Koh Yao Noi Island [Vimeo], near Phuket, Thailand, shot using GoPro from a Phantom 2 Vision Quadcopter.
How the north ended up on top of the map is an article by Nick Danforth, author/curator of (The/Mid) Afternoon Map blog, detailing how the north-up orientation came to be the default orientation, looking beyond Eurocentrism to Byzantine monks and Majorcan Jews who set the path for modern cartography. If you want more information, you might enjoy the Wikipedia article on the history of cartography, or you can really dig deep with the three-volume text, The History of Cartography, which is available in full from the University of Chicago Press online, split into individual PDFs for each chapter. [more inside]
The Birds of Paradise Project "It took 8 years and 18 expeditions to New Guinea, Australia, and nearby islands, but Cornell Lab scientist Ed Scholes and National Geographic photographer Tim Laman succeeded in capturing images of all 39 species in the bird-of-paradise family for the first time ever. This video gives a sense of their monumental undertaking and the spectacular footage that resulted.". See, for example, the Ballerina Bird's novel shape shifting view.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has released a trailer for their upcoming documentary, "The Birds of Paradise" (SLYT) [more inside]
In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these. The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth -- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect," a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger. More: Table of Contents - Publishing history - Technical discussion - Buy a paperback copy - Podcast interview - Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace" - possible sequel discussion
The Nerds of Paradise: a new webcomic from Dale Beran, the writer of A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible (Previously).
In the waning days of the Disco era, Larry Levan crafted a new style of dance music, which, like House music in Chicago, came to be named after the nightclub where it was most played, the Paradise Garage. Garage music may have started with disco, but over the decades, it's evolved in some surprising ways: [more inside]
1200 kilometers southwest of Acapulco lies the only atoll in the eastern Pacific: one of France's most isolated overseas possessions. First named for an English pirate/buccaneer/privateer, written about here by one John Harris in 1744, the island has changed hands numerous times: claimed by France as part of Tahiti, claimed by the US under the Guano Islands Act of 1856. The island remained uninhabited until 1906, when a British and Mexican mission began mining guano (still in demand today, though sources can now be found a little closer to home). The atoll was thought to have been polished off entirely by an earthquake rumored to have sunk the islands outright in August of 1909. [more inside]
The male Superb Bird of Paradise has an unusual courtship routine. First he sings. Then he hops. Finally, he busts out a spectacular finishing move, which the female finds attractive and/or totally scary. [more inside]
Vatu Vara Thinking of using that spare $75mil. to purchase that apartment on top of the Pierre hotel? Wouldn't you really be happier here...
Ahmad Nadalian's work can be found all over the world. He is an artist that carves symbols on rocks and then leaves them at the site where they were created (sometimes burying them).
The Hedonistic Imperative. David Pearce wants to promote paradise-engineering and abolish the biological substrates of suffering in all sentient life. A brave new world? What would Buddha do?