November 21, 2015
The Baltic’s BDI index, which gauges the cost of shipping resources including iron ore, cement, grain, coal and fertilizer, has dropped to 498 points and is over 95 percent down from its all-time high of 11,793 points in 2008 before the financial crisis first hurt the sector. This index can be used as an overall economic indicator as it shows where end prices are heading for items that use the raw materials that are shipped in dry bulk. It’s important to keep in mind, though, that what the index is measuring isn’t the use of those commodities, but the shipping of them. Judging by wait times at the Panama Canal, you'd think things are busy but that traffic jam seems to be easing. [more inside]
Professor of Mathematics Izabella Laba's "A Response to … " Scott Aaronson's "Words Will Do". An exchange between a mathematician and a computer scientist, on the use of terms including: privilege, hegemony, false consciousness, mansplaining, etc., and the general problem of clear communication, when the social sciences are applied towards political causes. [more inside]
Today we're republishing one of Sansara's most recent and important albums for a Western audience, together with translations of the songs, thirty-one articles, and twenty-four video clips. The album's title - "Igla" (Needle) - carries a specific meaning in the context of Russian rock. It's a reference to a prior generation and therefore to any (ongoing) hope of building meaningful linkages today. For audiences across Russia, that simple noun will undoubtedly suggest a famous cinematic melodrama of 1988, in which rock legend Viktor Tsoi played a young man whose life is tragically shackled to the local drug trade.
He is killed seconds before the credits roll.
He is killed seconds before the credits roll.
The Many Facets of Hamlet: Hamlet's most famous monologue, spliced together from performances by Mel Gibson, Laurence Olivier, David Tennant, and Kenneth Branagh. [more inside]
10 cellphone/tablet accessories you can DIY. 10. Car docks. 9. Styluses. 8. Rubber Cases 7. Touch Screen Gloves 6. Mini-Charging Tables 5. Headphones with Remote Controls 4. Portable USB Chargers 3. Screen Protectors 2. Portable Speakers 1. Stands and Docks. [more inside]
It's time once again for The Literary Journal's Bad Sex in Fiction Award nominees (previously here: 2002, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, because we love it!) The Guardian (in Guarniad style) has a collection of NotVerySafe CannotBeUnseen HiYoTriggerWarning excerpts, including first-time novelist Morrissey's "giggling snowball of full-figured copulation" and sex-writing veteran Erica Jong's "Adam just discovering Eve’s pussy". It doesn't get much badder.
"Bland, horrible, almost always dry: turkey is an awful choice for a main course." Here's my tip for your Thanksgiving turkey prep: throw it in the garbage, by Dave Bry (SLTheGuardian)
Nebulae run through a tilt-shift filter come out looking tiny and adorable and precious.
Metafilter favorite Tony Zhou is back with a video about everybody's favorite visual comedian, Buster Keaton. [more inside]
11 robots whose designs were inspired by animals plus more in depth coverage on that roach inspired robot. [more inside]
"Looks more like a Pokemon than a real animal, right? But the 'blue dragon" is quite real. It's actually named Glaucus atlanticus and is a small sea slug found in in tropical and temperate waters throughout the world. One recently washed ashore in Queensland, Australia." [more inside]
The Cult of the Toto Toilet
“I’ve had conversations about washlets with people and it’s always, ‘How good is your life now?’” Ms. Poh said. “It’s about the heated seats. Your life is really good when you have a heated toilet seat.”[more inside]
Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky, The Art of Translation No. 4 [The Paris Review] [more inside]
The CIA’s WWII Guide to Creating Organizational Dysfunction Perfectly Describes Your Toxic Workplace (and the link to the full 1944 document at cia.gov)
Less than half of FIFA’s national federations have girls soccer programs. Those that do exist give a girl less access to facilities, less support, and poorer development pathways than her brother. She will play in competitions with less investment, minimal promotion, and consequently fewer fans than the all-important male versions. Media coverage will amplify this skew, battling age-old preconceptions and making her all but invisible in the mainstream. Administrators preoccupied with the men’s game will struggle to meet her needs. (SLNYT)