Rust, a popular multiplayer survival video game, has just added female character models to their game. In an interesting twist, rather than being able to choose your gender, one is randomly assigned to your Steam account, permanently, when you first join. They did something similar previously with skin colour and body shape. Some players are not happy. (NSFW warning: screenshots contain pixelated CGI nudity, since players are dropped into the game naked and must, among their first objectives, find clothing) [more inside]
The soothing educational tones of Reading Rainbow combined with the exciting technical explanations of Geordi La Forge: Levar Burton explains how to Combat the Pervasive Menace of Corrosion. In this series of DoD-sponsored educational videos, Levar Burton and various luminaries in the field explain how corrosion works and how to fight it. [more inside]
Pijul is distributed version control system that combines the patch theory based approach of Darcs with the snapshot-based approach of git, mercurial, etc. (NH) [more inside]
“Nature is stronger than technology, and that I will show here,” said Michael, who has no doubt succeeded in displaying the power of nature that triumphs over even some of the most revered examples of man-made machinery.
Programming language subreddits and their choice of words presents an interactive chord graph showing how often particular languages are mentioned in other languages' communities. Another chart shows how proportional others' mentions are to the TIOBE Index. And some very elementary sentiment analysis suggests how often each language inspires pure theory, happiness and fun, or cursing. A tongue-in-cheek aside reveals that counting infrequently-mentioned languages yields another happiness/coolness chart that puts Elm at the top, just above other surprises.
This playlist documents the restoration to operable status of an early US Army 1911 (1918 pattern) pistol. The 1911 was recovered buried in 3 feet of mud in Tennessee alongside an old bootlegging road. Wanna see the 1911 in action? The incomparable hickok45 gives a run-down of its history and fires a few mags.
Himileia Vastatrix, colloquially known as Roya or coffee rust, outbreaks are occurring at a frightening pace in Central America. Coffee futures and associated prices for specialty coffees, especially from small family-run farms are expected to rise, drastically, on top of a lower estimated harvest. [more inside]
A documentary film about Norman Borlaug, the Iowa farm boy who saved over a billion people from starvation. (1:06:47) Americans have little knowledge of one of their greatest sons. Why do schoolchildren in China, India, Mexico, and Pakistan know the name and work of Nobel Peace Prize winner [His speech] Norman Borlaug while so few of his countrymen have never heard of him? How did a dirt-poor farm boy from rural Iowa grow up to save a billion people worldwide from starvation and malnutrition and become the father of the Green Revolution? What were the inherited traits and environmental factors that shaped his astonishing journey and led to successes that surprised even him? What can we learn from his life and views that might help the human race survive the next critical century? [more inside]
For decades the Golpa-Nord open-pit mine was scoured by gigantic machines day and night. When the coal ran out, the enormous steel constructs - with names like Mad Max, Big Wheel, and Medusa - were left in place. Today, the abandoned machines form the remarkable city of Ferropolis. Much more at Urban Ghosts.
In 2000, microbial ecologist Roy Cullimore and Charles Pellegrino (author of Ghosts of the Titanic) discovered that the Titanic was being eaten by an extremeophile super-organism, transforming the steel into huge pillars of rust. [Previously, regarding the Titanic.] [more inside]
"Another useful analogy might be with a clearing in the jungle. The web is certainly a jungle, and without a few clearings it is hard to see how the innocent can stay sane in there, and it might soon be hard to see anything at all." The words of poet and essayist Clive James, whose eponymous site is an online galley/anthology of breathtaking writing, art, and video interviews. My favorites include Ophelia Redpath's paintings titled after Shakespeare quotes, Laura Noble's photos of rusty things, and, of course, a collection James's outstanding poetry.