November 9, 2012
I love a sun-powered country, A land of deepening mines, of ragged nuclear plants, of biomass and hydropower
While developed countries are pondering whether they should sign up to The Kyoto 2 Protocol and cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5% by 2020, based on 2000 levels which may be of questionable impact, the tiny Pacific territory of Tokelau has ditched its primary source of electricity generation, costly diesel imports, in favour of 100% renewable solar power, becoming the first nation in the world to do so, at a time when the global energy systems of the 21C are struggling towards decarbonisation. [more inside]
Quasi-muppets get wasted at a rich kids graduation bash in Your Parent's Cocaine by Oakland's The Coup. [more inside]
"You sit down and pull the visor over your head. The visor interior is soft and enveloping. You squeeze the drip tube between your teeth and sickly sweet fluid floods your mouth. Pulses fire into your retinas." howling dogs is a work of interactive fiction by game designer Porpentine. It is a strange story about a person who lives in a cell and imagines strange scenes for a living. Endorsed by Emily Short, and made with Twine. Takes about 10 to 15 minutes with multiple endings. Via.
December was Christmas. January was New Years. April was Easter. And the Fourth of July. But now it's Thanksgiving! Which is held on a Thursday, not a Friday.
Fuck You Daily Mail. Martin Robbins of The Pod Delusion, gives a 20 minute presentation of his thoughts concerning The Daily Mail (slyt).
David Petraeus, Director of the CIA, has resigned after admitting to an extramarital affair. [more inside]
In the early years of the 20th century, a pair of ex-piano retailers invented an instrument that looked something like a miniature piano. Manufactured by the Toledo Symphony Company it was called a Dolceola. But why read about a musical instrument, when you can hear one? A Dolceola demonstration by Andy Cohen. Ray Skjelbred playing "Dolceola Blues". [more inside]
"My friend showed me around the MUNI Kirkland bus yard. MUNI is the municipal public transit system serving the city and county of San Francisco. It will turn exactly 100 later this year." [via]
A new study in which researchers have compared the last 10 years of actual climate data with the world's most sophisticated climate simulations and found the models predicting the most extreme global warming have been the most accurate in predicting the actual climate over the last 10 years. That means if those models continue to hold true, the world could be in for a devastating worst case of 4 to 6 degrees C by 2100. There are scientists who lay out the logic why human civilization could not survive. "If you have got a population of 9 billion by 2050 and you hit 4 degrees, 5 degrees or 6 degrees, you might have half a billion people surviving." (Previously; via)
So was it worth it? Well of course not. It turns out it was just advertising. There was no higher calling. No ultimate prize. Just a lot of faded, yellowing newsprint, and old video cassettes in an obsolete format I can’t even play any more even if I was interested. Oh yes, and a lot of framed certificates and little gold statuettes. A shit-load of empty Prozac boxes, wine bottles, a lot of grey hair and a tumor of indeterminate dimensions.[more inside]
"Forcible entry has always been a primary goal of the fire service." An illustrated reference guide to breaking in to buildings with the goal of preserving property and saving lives. [more inside]
NASA will send you an email or text alert when the International Space Station is visible from your area. IBM scientists have recently made significant advances in nanotechnology. A mathematician thought a poorly-encrypted headhunting email from Google was testing him, but he had actually discovered a major security hole. All of this found via The Brief: A Daily Briefing of Technology News Worth Caring About from MeFi's own nostrich. [via mefi projects]
Return of the Living Dead (NSFW) is one of the greatest zombie movies ever made. Not only does it have loads of great looking zombies in it, it's one of the few zombie movies, besides its sequel, that has a perfect blend of humor and horror.
In just a few weeks single-celled yeast have evolved into a multicellular organism, complete with division of labour between cells. This suggests that the evolutionary leap to multicellularity may be a surprisingly small hurdle. More from Scientific American blogs. [Full Text PDF of the Publication of Note] [more inside]
MeFi's own Christopher Livingston programs a Movie Channel That He'd Never Stop Watching. [more inside]
Just in case you haven't overdosed on American politics: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington Most Corrupt members of Congress (Full 2012 report - pdf). [more inside]
John McAfee is the founder of the McAfee security software company, one of the first and, to this day, one of the biggest. But it's what he has done since leaving the company in 1994 that has attracted him notoriety. After working on instant messaging software for a few years, McAfee devoted himself to thrill-seeking: yoga, jet skiing, and "aerotrekking," or flying small aircraft at low altitudes. After the 2008 financial crisis reportedly wiped out most of his personal fortune, once estimated at $100 million, McAfee decamped to Belize, where he began promoting a business venture aimed at halting the spread of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. But as science writer Jeff Wise (who also wrote the aerotrekking article) detailed after interviewing him in 2010, McAfee's commitment to the project seemed half-hearted at best, and his behavior came off as erratic and even paranoid. In a follow-up article, written after Belizean police raided McAfee's compound on suspicion of illegal weapons possession and drug manufacturing, Wise explores how "the enlightened Peter Pan seems to have refashioned himself into a kind of final-reel Scarface."
"Unwrapping the history of Mexico's real national snack uncovers classism, dynamite, and shifting definitions of culture." The history of tacos, the linguistic history of the word "taco", and the tenuous notion of an "authentic taco" have a whole complex of intersecting stories behind them. "The Messy Business of Tacos" is an excerpt from food historian Jeffrey Pilcher's Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food. [more inside]
Hellblazer, the DC/Vertigo comic starring Alan Moore created occult investigator John Constantine, is being cancelled at issue #300 to make way for a new comic set in DC's New 52 universe. Hellblazer was DC's longest running continuously numbered comic and it's cancelation marks the last of the DC Comics characters with Vertigo titles being taken back into the mainstream DC universe (previously). Vertigo was originally an imprint for mature readers occult themed titles and creator owned work, though it has changed over the years with an adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo becoming the first Vertigo to receive TV advertising.
The Futurist Magazine along with The World Future Society predicts the future with a list of the top trends and forecasts for 2013 and beyond.
"the most embarrassing verse in the Bible" - C.S. Lewis "this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled" - 2000 years of arguments over the central verse in all prophecy. The meaning of Christianity, and hence much of our culture, hangs on the disputed meaning of a single word, "genea" or "generation." [more inside]
For years now, the primary way of representing and storing color on a computer display has been to define it as existing in three dimensions: Red, Green, and Blue. What if that's wrong? “While the appearance of a color on a screen can be described in three dimensions, the blending of color actually is happening in a six dimensional space,” How Fifty-Three, developers of the iPad painting app Paper, used a theory of paint optics from 1931 to develop a better color mixer.
Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) is a hormone produced during pregnancy and a marker in many pregnancy tests. After one man tested himself for pregnancy "for shits and giggles", his friend posted the surprising result in Rage Face form on Reddit... only to find out that elevated hCG levels in men are actually not lulzy (Reddit thread), resulting in an emergency visit to the doctor and a more thoughtful follow-up Rage Face comic.
Ken Liu's "Paper Menagerie", the first work of fiction to win the Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy awards, is now available to read in full at io9.
Well now, this is an interesting discovery... Reexamination of data collect through HARPS has resulted in finding three additional planets bringing the total to six. One of which is safely within the goldilocks zone of its star.
"If you actually tried to picture Graham's number in your head, then your head would collapse into a black hole." SLYT discussion of a number beyond "stupidly, stupidly big." Previously.
Yesterday on AskReddit: Where/how could an aspiring pot smoker such as myself buy weed on campus/near campus? Marked as best answer: *Cough*