January 11, 2009
International House of Logorrhea, at The Phrontistry, a free online dictionary of weird and unusual words to help enhance your vocabulary. Generous language resources, 2 and 3 letter Scrabble words l The Compass DeRose Guide to Emotion Words l all kinds of glossaries for color terms, wisdom, love and attraction, scientific instruments, manias and obsessions, feeding and eating, carriages and chariots, dance styles and all kinds of fun word stuff. [more inside]
Blind Spot Optical Illusions. Online seminar from McCormick Lab at Yale lets you find your own visual blind spots. After that, you can make Monet's sun, and Van Gogh's ear, disappear. [more inside]
Twenty-nine Tao te Chings, a line at a time. For Sunday evening, a spare, meditative post. The Tao-te-Ching in 29 translations, line by line and side by side. I'll leave you to investigate the writings on your own; here alone are just the words to consider. Suggested: Mitchell. [more inside]
Bringing Justice to the War on Terrorism. 3 views on how the incoming administration should deal with the legal legacy of Bush Administration policies like torture, surveillance, and extraordinary rendition. Charles Fried makes the case against criminal prosecutions, Dahlia Lithwick makes the case for investigations followed by prosecutions, and Jack Balkin argues for truth commissions. [Via]
2009 U.S. government wall calendar pdfs! We already hit the counterterrorism calendar, so let's look at the wall calendar pdfs for Biosecurity for Birds, Invasive Plants, Invasive Species, and Private Lands. We've got funky green and blue monochrome. There's a brief one from the CDC and one that overdoes it a tad from NOAA. Finally, one from the International Space Station and my favorite, the Overseas Security Advisory Council's A-OK Kids Safety Calendar (2.6 megs). A preview of March's drawing by 3rd grader Roxane Kokka with someone impaled on a tree will make sure you always ware your seat belt.
The US Senate Sunday in an unusual session passed 66-12 the largest land protection bill in 25 years. It is an "omnibus" containing hundreds of bills that have been in the works for years. For a list of all the projects and new lands protected.. [more inside]
General Laurent Nkunda is a Tutsi warlord in Katanga who was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post. The BBC believe he is nothing more than your standard African rebel with a long list of atrocities to his name. An opinion supported by the UN and some human rights groups. The War Nerd has come to his defense, however, suggesting that he's just angered the UN by refusing to disarm and allow the Hutu "refugees" from the Rwandan Genocide to terrorize the lands under his control. [more inside]
A visit to Russian abandoned nuclear lighthouses.. Despite the hazards, there has been much vandalism of these sites. The IAEA has taken on the task of decommissioning these radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's).
Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches - "Physicist Alex Wissner-Gross says that performing two Google searches uses up as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea."
"Far more is known about...the activities of the secret service in Moscow...than what the England selectors said and did that night": Basil D'Oliveira was a Coloured South African all-round cricketer who moved to the UK to avoid the colour bar that prevented him representing South Africa; representing England with considerable credit, he created a crises for English and South African cricket, with Nazi sympathiser and South African Prime Minister Vorster ordering the British not to select him to tour South Africa. [more inside]
Fridge magnets in seven scripts – Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Korean, Arabic, Devanagari. [more inside]
This week, American diplomats took down the State Department's email system by using reply-to-all. They're not the only ones to make this gaffe. Spirit Airlines' CEO hit reply-to-all in response to a customer complaint. A corporate attorney sent a note intended for a client to a NY Times reporter. A Minnesota judicial candidate replies to an email claiming Barack Obama is a Muslim. Maybe they should read this guide to knowing when not to reply-to-all. Or their admins should prevent them from using reply-to-all or forward in Outlook. Also, don't put everyone's addresses in the TO: field - Seagate Software, AT&T, and Nissan found this out the hard way.
President Obama's plan for American Recovery and Reinvestment [pdf] might be thought of as TARP round two [1,2] -- instead of hiding the bodies, this one's preparing the ground for a big tent or the economic equivalent of war. There are critics and detractors (cramdown nation ;) left and right, natch, but also conservative supporters and progressive defenders to save or create
three four million jobs; hooray! [more inside]
You’re a former diva who’s decided to eschew cosmetics and let your natural beauty speak for itself, or you just find yourself with drawers full of makeup that you’ll never use. What will you do with all these products? Well, you can consolidate your lipsticks, check out these five ways to use or recycle old makeup, or see the reader comments in these threads for more tips. You could make a snake out of your old fake nails, or take a look at this list of 20 things to do with old nail polish. When your mascara gets too old to be safely used on your eyes, you could sketch a tree with it, or Bette Davis. Here are some tips on how to use makeup as an art medium. And if you decide to paint with your old makeup, please start with the blue eyeshadow and mascara. Merci.
First came the Whatsit/Arrowplane (1936) ("Model T's of the air for the common man") and the Arrowbile Flying Auto, three of which were flown to the National Air Races in 1937. Both were creations of Waldo Waterman. Then came Molt Taylor's Aerocar (a great success), followed by the Waterman Aerobile (a spectacular failure). In 1945, Robert Fulton introduced the Airphibian, and the CIA ordered several. Flash forward to today. There have been many promising flying cars. Terrafugia is marketing a $194,000 "drivable plane" which it intends to release in late 2009. It hasn't yet been test-flown. So why is it being heralded by media outlets as the "World's First Flying Car"? [more inside]