July 24, 2011
"On the surface, it looks as if our identity as male or female is determined in the womb. The decision seems final – a genetic switch flicks towards either setting, and locks into place for the rest of our lives." [more inside]
Senator Leahy's Protect IP Act would require that U.S. ISPs impose an 'internet death penalty' upon domain after merely a preliminary injunction from a U.S. court that suspects the site of being 'dedicated to infringing activities', even if the domain's owner had never been notified and was not subject to U.S. jurisdiction. There is concern that the legislation would fragment the DNS system and facilitate DNS spoofing by obstructing DNSSEC (pdf). There is also an open letter opposing the bill signed by 108 Law Professors who study intellectual property law. [more inside]
The Basket Cat Blog: Shiro loves very small baskets. He also wears flowered hats (sometimes vegetables) and enjoys the idyllic Japanese countryside of Iwate Prefecture. He and his brothers are very chill. Many short but sweet videos of them have been uploaded to YouTube on the shironekoshiro channel. The blog is updated frequently and has extensive archives. More archives here. Twitter Facebook [more inside]
On July 25th pilgrims arrive at Santiago de Compostela for the holy feast day of St. James. The medieval pilgrimage route has seen a spike in popularity in recent years and has been portrayed in both classic and contemporary film as an introspective journey. However, travelers along the way also pass many reminders of Spain's history of religious conflict such as a monument to Ferregut's final duel, the final resting place of El Sid, and the final battleground of Roland. Images of the saint himself can sometimes be controversial as well.
It was like I’d been here before. I mean we’ve all had feelings of déjà vu but this was ridiculous. It’s almost like I knew what was going to be around every corner.
In the seven years since its last* appearance in the blue, Cliff Muskiet's Stewardess Uniform Collection has grown to more than 1,000 different uniforms from more than 400 different airlines. [more inside]
Bankster Gangs (SLYT)
Leprosy in India has officially been eliminated since 2005 as prevalence of the disease has fallen to historic lows. But what was once a public health issue sometimes looks more like a political or religious one as some of the Christian charities that treat victims come under sustained pressure. [more inside]
Early this morning, the law that legalized Same-Sex Marriage in New York State went into effect, with many couples choosing to tie the knot at the stroke of midnight. In New York City, the city clerk will be working overtime to process marriage licenses for the 823 same-sex couples expected to wed there today, having adding extra capacity to ensure that all couples who signed up in advance would not be turned away. LGBT weddings are expected to bring an additional $155 million in tourism revenues into the state over the next 12 months, and governor Andrew Cuomo's approval ratings are currently the highest of any US state governor following the passage of the bill.
Corey Starliper of Tewksbury, Massachusetts believes he has solved the last Zodiac serial killer cipher and has identified the person who terrorized northern California in the late '60s. "Zodiac sent encrypted communication to area newspapers, taking credit for the killings and warning of more to come ..." His most famous: a 340-character cipher, "was mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle, according to zodiackillerfacts.com. To this day, the cipher has not been completely cracked. Starliper, however, believes he has found the solution to that code." [more inside]
There's a growing movement to make sure that smells are incorporated into historical records. Historians, perfumers, and florists all want to make sure we can smell the past.
Subsidizing Healthy Foods by Taxing Unhealthy Foods. Mark Bitman proposes a "national program that would make progress on a half-dozen problems at once — disease, budget, health care, environment, food access and more — while paying for itself." [NYT] [more inside]
The talks between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner "collapsed" Friday with little more than a week to go before the United States may effectively default on its debt. The two parties have been in ongoing negotiations for months over GOP refusal to raise the legal limit on national debt unless tied to a significant package of spending cuts - with some members and activists opposed to any increase whatsoever [more inside]
Bret Victor on WorryDream The power to understand and predict the quantities of the world should not be restricted to those with a freakish knack for manipulating abstract symbols. When most people speak of Math, what they have in mind is more its mechanism than its essence. This "Math" consists of assigning meaning to a set of symbols, blindly shuffling around these symbols according to arcane rules, and then interpreting a meaning from the shuffled result. The process is not unlike casting lots.
The Bomb That Didn't Go Off. Since September 11, 2001, we have finely honed our fear of the other. But the truth is, the overwhelming majority of our terrorism has always been homegrown. And it is times like these — times of anger and disaffection — when we turn on ourselves, and kill. [more inside]
"Ending coal power production is the right thing to do, because while it may seem to be an inexpensive energy source the impact on our environment and the impact on public health is significant..." New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has announced a donation of $50 million dollars to The Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign.
Fluid Radio stream experimental frequencies into the ether. Channel 2 is especially worth a listen, flowing forth a fairly constant warm wash of haunting melancholy and mellow fruitiness in post folk and post rock form. The reviews on the site appear to be written by an offspring of Monty Cantsin and Rrose Sélavy: I don't know what they're saying, but the reading of them brings zen-like quietude.