The night that the Berlin Wall collapsed was certainly one of the most dramatic moments in the cascading events of 1989, events that brought the era of Communist rule in Eastern Europe to a close. What follows is an examination of the intersecting developments that led to the collapse of the Communist regimes in 1989. [more inside]
Dr. Yotarou Hatamura, who runs the Association for the Study of Failure, is also supervisor of the Failure Knowledge Database Project. He proposes adopting the "Failure Mandala" to promote the systematic understanding and dissemination of failures. To support this approach, he presents a compilation of 100 case studies of failure events organized by topic (also viewable as a single list of PDF files; and available in Japanese). Dr. Hatamura subsequently chaired the investigative committee into the Fukushima nuclear incident, which he discusses here.
In 1954, Harper's Magazine ran a story called the Jet-Propelled Couch (Part 2) about a government scientist who was forced to go into to treatment. His problem? He lived half his life on another planet:
“As I read about the adventures of Kirk Allen in these books the conviction began to grow on me that the stories were not only true to the very last detail but that they were about me. In some weird and inexplicable way I knew that what I was reading was my biography. Nothing in these books was unfamiliar to me: I recognized everything–the scenes, the people, the furnishings of rooms, the events, even the words that were spoken. My everyday life began to recede at this point. In fact, it became fiction–and, as it did, the books became my reality.”Ever since the story was published, sci-fi fans have attempted to discover who Kirk Allen really was. One theory is that it was cleverly disguised Cordwainer Smith, others think there may have been a government physicist named John Carter, and some think he might have been more than one patient. Either way, it's a great story. [via] [more inside]