December 27, 2008
Braess' paradox and the price of anarchy [PDF]: "We had three tunnels in the city and one needed to be shut down. Bizarrely, we found that car volumes dropped. ... We discovered it was a case of Braess' paradox, which says that by taking away space in an urban area you can actually increase the flow of traffic, and, by implication, by adding extra capacity to a road network you can reduce overall performance." [more inside]
Ground Zero. This Google Maps mashup shows the thermal damage caused by various nuclear weapons or an asteroid on the city of your choice.
First QB in NCAA history to win four bowl games. Patrick White has been a record setting quarterback during his four years at West Virginia University. An early season Heisman trophy candidate, White is the all-time rushing QB in history, and apparently, an unassuming ladies man.
"We do not think our way to right action. We act our way to right thinking." David Milch talks to students in USC class Religion, Media and Hollywood. Not for everyone but I find pretty much anything this guy says fascinating. Parts 1 2 3 4 5 6.
Samuel Phillip Huntington, best known for his work "Clash of Civilizations," died on December 24. Previously on the blue (here, here, here, and here)
The Caffeine Examiner will review any product containing caffeine. For example: chewing gum, sprays, energy drinks, soft drinks, hard drinks, perplexingly hard drinks, patches...? The sidebar on the right points to reviews of more caffeinated products than I had ever dreamed existed. Products are also rated by taste, packaging, nutrition/buzz, and website functionality. [via]
Play board games during the holidays? Try an updated version of an old classic. You can indulge in as much sex, drugs, crime, and rock and roll as your health will handle, just don't roll a 1 on your first turn or you'll be aborted before you get started. [more inside]
Hippie Masala [masala is the Hindi word for spice mix] is a documentary which poignantly depicts the lives of a handful of old hippies from different countries, who not only remained in India but also remained in the caricature roles of a small few in those days. These are, in some ways, lost souls stuck in the amber of the 1960's and 70's and this movie offers glimpses into their lives now. SnagFilms also has 510 other excellent documentaries to watch for free online. [more inside]
Anthony Diaz Hope is a modern artist. He photographs a scene, dissects the image into a grid, and inserts pill capsules into each tiny segment.
Using one of these Jeremy Peterson makes things like a folded box, a hex connector toy, and a calling card (he makes his project files available). His photos are cool and his art doesn't suck. [more inside]
The Top Ten Top Ten Top Ten of 2008; NY Times blog, Social Citizens, Swan Fungus, lifehacker, PC World, Tynan, Something Else, The Exploding Barrel, Technorati, Google, Toptentopten.
I regard myself as a woman who has seen much of life. Belle Starr, also known as the Bandit Queen, was a well-educated "spoiled, rich girl" who grew up to prefer the company of outlaws. Her unconventional life inspired song lyrics [1, 2, 3, 4], movies [1, 2, 3], even manga [1, 2].
[belated but brilliant] Friday Flash Fun — The Majesty of Colors