Saturday, May 11, 2013

Fiction gives us a second chance...

Today's soundtrack - EndlessCity/ConcreteGarden by the collaboration of Roger Eno and Plumbline.

Do you remember Geometry Daily? The artist behind it shares the story behind its first year, the site's popularity, and plans for the future. (Be sure to watch the video Gray Keys at the 2nd link.)

There must be something wrong with me. MIT Technology Review's annual list of 10 breakthrough technologies doesn't excite me much this year. 3D printing, OK. Temporary social media (e.g. SnapChat)? C'mon man.

On the other hand, MIT Tech Review does tantalize with this article about the Tunguska explosion of 1908. You've probably heard about that - a blast about 1,000 times larger than Hiroshma that devastated a remote region of Siberia. The generally accepted theory is an atmospheric explosion of a comet or meteorite but no one has ever found a single fragment. Until now.

Speaking of meteorites, you gotta check out this animated timeline of all witnessed meteorite-earth impacts.

It's That Time of the Week 

The periodic table of elements but with flags of the country of discovery.
The periodic table of Star Wars episodes IV, V, and VI.
The periodic table of Middle Earth for all you LoTR fans.
The illustrated periodic table of the elements. (PDF)

Phew - That's Over

If you think those standing and walking desks are shitty ideas and if you realize that your best thoughts often occur on the throne, you'll love the CanDo Lavatory Workstation.
Flying car? The PAL-V.

Draw whatever conclusion you like but I've lived in two of the top 10 redneck cities: Fort Worth (#6) and Cleveland (#9). Cleveland? How'd it make the list?

And Now, A Refreshing Drink

A Baltic Porter made from seaweed? Quaff that, beer buddies.

Sierra Nevada (Brewing) meets Sierra Nevada (Corp. - the spacecraft people) and the result is the brewing of beer.

In a medical advance for the mouthless, here's how you drink beer with your ear.

Moving On

Aviation pr0n, video version. The X-51A scramjet-powered WaveRider achieves hypersonic speeds. And the X-47B UAV completes a simulated carrier landing.

More than you ever wanted to know about North American English Dialects.
Presentation tip #37: do not tell a female audience member she's a lying bitch while you're onstage.

If you believe that Walt Disney invented Mickey Mouse you'd better read this article about Disney artist Ub Iwerks and his many talents.

Moving forward in the animation timeline, here's an interview with Tom Sito who recently authored a book on the history of computer animation, Moving Innovation: A History of Computer Animation.

Pop Chart Lab brings us this visual history of video game controllers.
Take 8 minutes for a video about the art of data visualization

How about a color video of London in 1927?

Need blank sheet music for your band, chorus, solo, or ensemble? Look no further than Music Paper.

On the other hand, maybe musical notation needs to be a bit more freeform like Cycles 720 where music is defined by the interaction of shapes.
How many of the top 30 philosophers of all time can you guess before clicking the link? Hint: the most recent is Sartre.

Would you be surprised to learn that some atoms have pear-shaped nuclei? So what, you might say. Well, they may help explain supersymmetry by revealing an asymmetric distribution of charge inside a neutron.

Truly TL;DR but you movie fans might like it - Steven Soderbergh talks about the state of cinema.

Abstract art. Did it peak in the latter half of the 20th century? Or is now the golden age of abstraction?

I added that last part. source
What does it take to restore the shuttlecraft Galileo from Star Trek, The Original Series? Lot's of money and 2,000 hours (and counting).

This TL;DR article about "living in space" seems to compare reality with fantasy regarding human activity in space. It does contain this bit of self-delusion: "The business of getting people to and from orbital space is now largely routine, thanks in no small part to the retirement of the accident-prone Space Shuttle and a greater reliance on sturdier rocket-and-capsule technology." First, access to space is hardly routine. Putting humans and/or cargo into space is still a very risky proposition. Let's try to imagine the shitstorm in the wake of the destruction of a commercial launch vehicle and crew. Second, the Space Shuttle wasn't accident-prone. In fact, you could make an argument that it failed much less frequently than it should have (statistically speaking).

In the future, gray hair may be a thing of the past thanks to science. Now that we know that hairs turn gray from the inside out due to a build-up of hydrogen peroxide we can create something that offsets the process.

Can you believe an entire website dedicated to the original 1966 Batmobile?

Collectors Weekly takes us on a trip down memory lane as it considers the history of men's underwear. "Undergarments as we know them today were first sold to promote cleanliness and improve the comfort of wearing clothing. That they might one day be deemed fashionable was not even an after-thought." Uh, when did I miss this fashionable underwear bit? How can something unseen be considered fashionable?

If I can trust Google Translate, the mascot of Brazil's Assistant Association for People with Cancer is a giant, walking pair of testicles.
Think you're having a bad day? I was swallowed by a hippo.

...that life denies us. ~Paul Theroux

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