"I’ve been waiting 10 years for someone to ask about his life, not his death". The amazing life — and mysterious death — of former NBA player Bison Dele.
"I called Joe," Stewart remembers, "and asked if he wanted to come to spring training with me. I said, 'The Mets have this pitcher they picked up. They got him pitching in secret, under a big tarp. He has a 168 mile an hour fastball and he plays the French horn and went to Harvard and he was raised in Tibet by Buddhist monks and he pitches with one foot bare and one foot in a boot. And guess what? You're going to be him.'" [more inside]
The official SI definition of a kilogram is "equal to the mass of the international prototype," a cylinder of nine-tenths platinum and one-tenth iridium, forged in the 1880s. "Le Grand K," as the prototype is affectionately known, is the basis not only for the measurement of mass and volume, but of force, energy, and luminosity—and since the 1940s, Le Grand K has been losing weight. Now scientists are trying to redefine the kilogram in terms of fundamental constants—and in doing so, perhaps fulfill the 18th-century promise of a universal, fundamental system of measurement "for all people, for all time."
Ken Knabb's Bureau of Public Secrets, a huge online archive of copyright-free Situationist and other radical texts, turns 10 years old today. (pre vio usly)
Redefining Avogadro's Number. A mole is the number of molecules in a gram of water: ~6.022 x 1023. Unfortunately "a gram" is defined by a chunk of metal in a vault in France, the last of the seven SI units still defined by a physical artifact. Since the reference mass (known as "Le Gran K") is actually changing over time (due to cleaning, handling, etc), the definition of a gram is currently temporally unstable. Now a new proposal has been put forward to explicitly define the number to be a known integer: 602,214,141,070,409,084,099,072, which would fundamentally change the way we define a gram. Le Gran K could become a historical curiosity like the original platinum meter stick.
Picking Up Butch at Middlebury (Vt.) College - Rick Reilly pulls on the heart strings with a story about a dedicated sports fan.
"We are male and female. We are artists, athletes, students, and business owners. We have depression, DID, PTSD, eating disorders, borderline personalities, bipolar disorder, or maybe no diagnosis at all. Some of us were abused, some were not. We are straight, bi, and gay. We come from all walks of life and can be any age. We are every single race or religion that you can possibly think of. Our common link is this: We are in pain. We self-injure. And we are not freaks". 29 days until March 1 - National Self-Injury Awareness Day.
Even as the fans chanted "Let Them Play" MLB's powers-that-be decided to call the All-Star game after 11 innings. It's only the second time the game has ended in a tie (the other time it was called for rain). Given the game's current environment, could there have been a more symbolic ending to this game? Between the steroid questions, contraction,and the threat of a work stoppage, can baseball fix itself, or is (North) America's national pastime rounding third and heading towards self-inflicted obscurity?