November 22, 2009
This past week: in D.R. Congo, an MD-80 strikes a lava field at the end of a runway; earlier over Iran, a medical emergency diversion frightens a passenger; the day prior, an LA-Sydney flight diverts to Honolulu to drop off a new mother and her child born en route. Also medical emergencies, unruly passengers, and unruly medical emergencies. It's avherald.com, your daily source for pretty much every incident occurring on an airliner.
Whole Tree Architecture - if you'd like a house built by pioneering architect Roald Gundersen, your first step might be to hike in your nearby woods to choose some young, wind-bent, and diseased "Charlie Brown" trees. Small diameter round trees have 150% the strength of milled lumber and twice the strength of steel in tension. Besides structural and environmental advantages, whole trees make for some beautiful and naturally sculptured environments. [more inside]
Thanksgiving is a difficult time for some people to celebrate. The holiday that Lincoln gave us has been saddled with a wonderful mythology. The real story is a bit more problematic, and involves a vicious, genocidal war. Is it possible to reclaim the beauty of this holiday, or is it too tainted by its history? [more inside]
The surprising motion of ski moguls: ski moguls migrate uphill, even though skiers and snow move downhill. Time lapse video (YouTube) [more inside]
"Go up to him and start a conversation. Anything except feminism--which is like toxic waste to Good Men--is fair game." Spoiler: It's all about The Golden Rule.
Calcio Fiorentino was an early form of football (YT) that originated in 16th century Italy (YT). The modern version (Foto Gallery) allows tactics such as head-butting, punching, elbowing, and choking, but forbids sucker-punching and kicks to the head.
The Quarter Shrinker as constructed by Rob Flickenger at Hackerbot Labs in conjunction with Intellectual Ventures Lab. flickr photo set of shrunken coins. The physics behind coin shrinking. Coin World May 2009 article (PDF). Another Shrunken Head Guy.
An automobile dealership in Wheat Ridge, Colorado made the decision last Friday to post a billboard which asks if President Obama is a terrorist and if he's really an American citizen by birth. Part of the sign also references the recent tragedy at Fort Hood. The brainchild of Phil Wolf, owner of Wolf Interstate Leasing and Sales, the sign depicts a Bamboozled-esque rendition of the PUSA, with and without a turban. Protestors have gathered to display their dislike of the billboard, which even the shop's proprieter admits "may be a little scattered. It says several things. It brings us several questions and I think they got to be answered (sic)."
The American Imperialists have sent potato beetle by clouds and air to our Republic. He May Be a Communist.
Crafting can be great. But beware: crafting can also go spectacularly wrong. Fortunately for the benefit of those of us who might become so proud of having made something, anything, all by ourselves, that we are oblivious that the result is an aesthetic travesty, there are websites making a valiant attempt to document the legion of ways in which crafting can get totally out of hand. Before you pick up those needles or scissors or fire up the kiln or soldering iron, check out: Glitter Gone Bad; Handmade Gone Wrong; What Not To Craft, Homemade Hilarity; and Kraftomatic. The sturdy souls at CraftFail (previously) deserve special credit for documenting their own crafting mishaps, and Regretsy (also previously) and Etsy WTF will help you choose wisely from among Etsy’s hand-crafted wares. [more inside]
Make your own solar cell out of powdered donuts, Everclear, Tazo Passion tea, and other common ingredients. (slyt) [more inside]
The Senate votes to bring health care bill (text in an amendment) to floor, 60-39. Major concessions extracted by holdout senators. Other analysis here and here. Differences between this and the House bill.
Doug Rushkoff throws down the gauntlet in his “Radical Abundance” speech at the O’Reilly Web 2.0 conference. Some highlights of the speech: “The only real possible competition to Google and their economy of faux openness would be peer-to-peer exchange.” “As a result of all this freedom the abundance of genuine creative output is declining. We are actually getting the scarce market place demanded by our currency legacy system. The same way the early Renaissance got a scarcity by killing off half the people with the plague.” Some Alternatives: 1: The development of a digital culture that actually respects the labor of individuals. 2: The creation of new modes of currency based in abundance rather than scarcity.
5bis rue du Verneuil is the home of Serge Gainsbourg in Paris. This short film peels off the layers of graffiti left on the wall there.
You think you have a problem with baldness? Check out the bears in the Leipzig Zoo.