How are Americans spending their time? An informational graphic from The New York Times.
Bill Maher's criticism of Obama? Be more like Bush. ...And just like Lindsey [Lohan], we see your name in the paper a lot, but we're kind of wondering when you're actually going to do something. Follow up of his statements with Keith Olbermann. ...But where's the beef? And it's easy to make speeches; what's hard to do is stand up against corporations. Corporations and their incredible strength are what have ruined this country so far, and this president -- we thought -- might be the one to stand up to them. I'm losing hope. I still have audacity, but my hope is fading.
Timepieces! Ancient calendars, ancient clocks, beautiful clocks, atomic clocks and the clocks built into your brain that determine how you perceive time and form memories. All the good stuff is inside: [more inside]
Rules for Time Travelers [Spoiler? alert.]
Voting for the Time 100, Time Magazine's list of the world's most influential people in government, science, technology and the arts, has taken a bizarre turn. Rather than the expected dance-off between Stephen Colbert and Korean pop star Rain, the top spot is currently occupied by moot, the owner and operator of 4chan. Hear Time's own take on it, and then, learn who hacked the vote.
A Quiet Revolution Grows in the Muslim World "In many of the scores of countries that are predominantly Muslim, the latest generation of activists is redefining society in novel ways. This new soft revolution is distinct from three earlier waves of change--the Islamic revival of the 1970s, the rise of extremism in the 1980s and the growth of Muslim political parties in the 1990s. Today's revolution is more vibrantly Islamic than ever. Yet it is also decidedly antijihadist and ambivalent about Islamist political parties. Culturally, it is deeply conservative, but its goal is to adapt to the 21st century. Politically, it rejects secularism and Westernization but craves changes compatible with modern global trends. The soft revolution is more about groping for identity and direction than expressing piety. The new revolutionaries are synthesizing Koranic values with the ways of life spawned by the Internet, satellite television and Facebook. For them, Islam, you might say, is the path to change rather than the goal itself."
Cool video of an undersea volcano erupting off Tonga. Spectacular clouds began spewing out of the sea on Monday about 10km from the southwest coast off the main island of Tongatapu, where up to 36 undersea volcanoes are clustered. More on these volcanism blogs.
These subjects still fascinate me after a lifetime of interest: faster-than-light speed, alternate time streams, parallel universes, time travel, antiparticles moving backward in time, time loops, and the recurring themes of paradox -- all serious but astonishing ideas of science. Something about them inspires infinite possibilities. Am I not alone?
Australian auto website offers anatomy of a crash-- a point by point account of what happens during an accident, up to and including the moment you realize it's happening. [more inside]
"It doubtless seems highly paradoxical to assert that Time is unreal, and that all statements which involve its reality are erroneous. ... I believe that time is unreal. But I do so for reasons which are not, I think, employed by any of the philosophers whom I have mentioned, and I propose to explain my reasons in this paper." ~McTaggart, The Unreality of Time, 1908. (Bonus: The Kant Song.)
"For having the confidence to sketch an ambitious future in a gloomy hour, and for showing the competence that makes Americans hopeful he might pull it off, president-elect Barack Obama is TIME's Person of the Year." Henry Paulson and Sarah Palin are among the runners-up.
Animata is an open source real-time animation software, designed to create animations, interactive background projections for concerts, theatre and dance performances.
Flow of Time is a BBC documentary that "tries to explain time and covers the different ways we have used to understand Time, religion, mathematics, relativity, and quantum mechanics." Part 1, 2, 3, 4
"'It is terrifying, it is meant to be,' said John Taylor, the creator and funder of an extraordinary new clock to be unveiled tomorrow by Stephen Hawking at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. 'Basically I view time as not on your side....'" The Corpus Clock. (via)
Snail mail isn't that slow, unless you use real snails.... As part of a "slow art" project, Vicki Isley and Paul Smith of Bournemouth University have attached radio frequency identification chips (RFID's) to three gastropods, Austin, Cecil and Muriel. The RFID's will pick up your mail as the carriers amble past an electronic reader and deliver it when (in just a few days! ...or weeks ...or months....) they slip past a second reader.... RealSnailMail! [more inside]
The Kamusi project, an online Swahili-English dictionary site, has created the world's first clock that tells Swahili time. Not to be confused with the conceptual clocks of Tibor Kalman, like the Five O'Clock Clock, or Kalman's jumbled time clock tower The Swahili clock reflects an actual conceptual change that takes place for Swahili speakers. In Swahili culture the day starts at sunrise (unlike in the Arab world where the day starts at sunset, and in the Western world where the day starts at midnight). Sunrise in East Africa, being exactly at the Equator, happens every day at approximately 6:00 a.m. And for that reason, 6:00 a.m. is "0:00 morning" Swahili time. So the hands of a watch or clock meant to read Swahili time would always point to a number opposite to the number for the actual time as spoken in English. That is, the Swahili time anywhere in the world (not just East Africa) is delayed by 6 hours. [more inside]
This may be the coolest flash game ever. Although it's graphics are nothing to write home about, the game play (which I will wisely follow kotaku's example in not spoiling for you) is quite simply incredible. It's a unique and quick little work break for you via kotaku. [more inside]
British artist Jason de Caires Taylor creates an underwater sculpture park in the West Indies, not only to "explore the boundaries between art and the environment" but also to portray a beautiful process that happens to be doing nice things for the ecosystem. You can see a video of the sculptures on YouTube.
A Tsar Is Born. For his "extraordinary feat of leadership in taking a country that was in chaos and bringing it stability," Time has announced Vladimir Putin as Person of the Year. Al Gore and J.K. Rowling are runners-up.
Waitless.org: a Sprint marketing site, with a lot of useful time saving tips.
A Profound Sense of Time. "PZ Myers on the process that prompts the growth of all vertebrates from embryos to unspecialized segments to multicellular animals."
How do you see time? Florentine graphic designer Camilla Torna is collecting hand-drawn personal visions of "time." It started as a personal collection from friends and students in the 1990s. In 2006 it was on-line with a submission form. Submissions are can be sorted by theme words, style or age of artist. Ages range from those in their first decade of life to those in their 70s. (Via Information Aesthetics)
There is time, and there is "African time". The Ivory Coast is fighting chronic lateness with a contest that offered a $60,000 villa as its grand prize. The winner, legal adviser Narcisse Aka, is known by his colleagues as "Mr. White Man's Time" and said that his punctuality makes him feel like "an extra-terrestrial."
The best times to buy anything. The best places to do everything. The best seasons to eat everything. The best months to go anywhere or to go anywhere cheap. The best times of day to do anything. Also, the worst day to dine in New York, click delete without looking, fly, get arrested, and give birth.
Time Travel, or, the art of causing events after they've already happened. [requires java, more inside]
World Clock SWF application showing the time of day expressed in actual time, the number of species passed into extinction, barrels of oil produced, the temperature of the earth, prison population, world population, and deaths by various causes. Because, y'know, you weren't depressed enough already. Site also offers a number of free games, calculators and applications for your own site.
"Wasting time gets a bad rap", says Lisa Belkin in today's NYTimes, who argues that time often considered "unproductive" or "wasted" in today's workaholic culture is actually time well spent- "Over the years I have come to see that the hours away from the writing are the time when the real work gets done." Readers seem to agree.
There and Back Again: The Soul of the Commuter How long is your commute? Is it worth the personal and social cost? Nick Paumgarten in this week's New Yorker on the bargains Americans strike between their work lives and home lives.
In Our Time Faced with a wet weekend indoors, I realised it's time to dig into the archive of In Our Time, the most unashamedly intellectual radio discussion series every produced. Broadcast on BBC Radio 4, and hosted by Melvyn Bragg (sorry, make that Lord Bragg), the show's format is simple: Take a topic that's shaped our world, invite a handful of academics who specialize in that field, and chat. But remember: Commercially suicidal program(me)s like this wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the unique way the BBC is funded.
Watchismo is a blog dedicated to portable timepieces, spotlighting the spectacularly beautiful (and spectacularly expensive), among the rare handcrafted artifacts such as this watch made from wood, or this one made from bone. [Via]
A time-lapse video of someone painting Thom Yorke in photoshop. Absolutely amazing.
Time of the Season: Conceptual artist Chris Hardman of Antenna Theater has reimagined the calendar. His ECOcalendar abandons the grid concept, instead unrolling like a scroll to define days vertically. Each day appears in its unique position along the arc of gradual seasonal change, with graphics linking stars to tides to the terrestrial world . Radio interview here.
2007 Calendar: It contextualizes every hour, even on a year’s time scale: if someone marks the calendar, then looks back in even as little as an hour, they will be able to see time’s inexorable march. ...a sort of graph paper for personal life.
John Cramer is going to conduct an experiment in quantum retrocasuality [ppt] - sending a signal backwards through time
Raft to the Future: An article about the weirdness of physical models of the universe, how that weirdness correlates to the inherent incompleteness of mathematical systems, and how time itself can emerge at the fringes of these incomplete models.
The ultimate in passive communication. A time capsule doesn't say I love you like a time-delayed email.
The New "Science" of Siblings An amusing article from Time magazine by Jeffrey Kluger which reports that your siblings have more influece on your personality than any other group-- parents, peers, spouses, children, etc. My ex-wife thinks I'm sarcastic, combative, insensitive, etc. Do I get to blame my brothers and sisters for this now? Another article on this issue "The Science of Siblings". Apparently, they could have made me more likely to be gay too.