Dilatant Compound 3179 (previously), better known to kids young and old as Silly Putty, may finally have a proper scientific use (besides the other semi-proper uses). Add graphene to the polymer, you get a very sensitive electro-mechanical sensor that can measure breathing, pulse and even blood pressure when placed on a person's neck or chest, and even detect the footsteps of small spiders (via NPR; abstract, paywalled article on Science Mag: Sensitive electromechanical sensors using viscoelastic graphene-polymer nanocomposites).
Ornette Coleman has died at 85. Free Jazz. Lonely Woman, from "The Shape of Jazz to Come". What Reason Could I Give?. Skies of America, with the London Symphony Orchestra. Gunther Schuller interviews Coleman; Ethan Iverson on Coleman.
Hot Potato Style is a video by New Orleans rapper Nicky Da B made with a little help from Jean Luc Picard, Pee Wee Herman, John Stamos, and Charlie Chaplin (among others). Lyrics are probably slightly not safe for work.
The Soundworks Collection gives a behind-the-scenes look into the work of talented sound teams working on feature films, soundtrack scoring, and video games with a compilation of exclusive interviews, awards shows / event panel coverage and sound stage / studio room videos. Vimeo Channel. YouTube Channel. [more inside]
Child actor, former California gubernatorial candidate, and former security guard Gary Coleman passed away today.
You be the [election] judge. View and vote on six hundred challenged Minnesota ballots. Each is accompanied by a link to a PDF of the full ballot with the name of the challenging candidate and the reason for the challenge. (registration required) via fivethirtyeight.com
Minnesota's recount of the Senate race between incumbent Norm Coleman (R) and challenger Al Franken (D) began yesterday. Some results are already being reported. One unintended consequence of the recount is the exposure of a shocking write-in challenger: Lizard People.
Minnesota is a state rich in study material for fans of political oddity. The state has faced famous (and infamous) political news in the last few years, from the legendary surprise independent gubernatorial victory of Jesse "The Body" Ventura to the tragic death of Senator Paul Wellstone and its ensuing fallout, controversy, and lunacy. It holds a unique variation in the usual two-party system with the DFL replacing the Democratic Party. St. Paul will host the 2008 Republican National Convention. And now, the ongoing oddity that is Minnesota politics will now enter a new chapter as Comedian Al Franken, who moved his Air America radio show to his home state of Minnesota a year ago, will be leaving radio in February to run for his late friend Paul Wellstone's old Senate seat against incumbent Republican incumbent Norm Coleman. Another unique fact would be should Franken win the DFL nomination, it would be a rare instance of both candidates from the major parties in a statewide race being Jewish- Franken and Coleman are two of the less than 50,000 Jews living in the state.
The Bush administration is backing a US Senate resolution to stop the UN in its plans to try and move some control of the Internet away from the US -- A new resolution introduced in the U.S. Senate offers political backing to the Bush administration by slamming a United Nations effort to exert more influence over the Internet. Senator Norm Coleman, a Republican from Minnesota, said his nonbinding resolution would protect the Internet from a takeover by the United Nations that's scheduled to be discussed at a summit in Tunisia next month.
"Joseph McCarthy must be smiling admirably in Hades" -- British MP George Galloway, on Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) We've previously discussed Galloway here, but I thought that pan had flashed and I'd never hear his name again. This is transAtlantic Politifilter for your Friday Morning. (via Minneapolis Star-Tribune, it may ask for reg.)