October 16, 2007

In Case You Were Feeling Too Gloomy

Attention conservation notice: Links to more-or-less amsuing and pleasant things to look at online, assembled with no particular order or design. It's very likely that you've already seen all the ones you'd really enjoy here.

Mostly written before the root canal.

How to make a clockwork powerbook; the finished device (via Ectoplasmosis).

Beef sushi.

Scot McLemee on library culling, of which I need to do some a lot. (Not that that should inhibit you from buying me books from my wishlist.)

Progress in the eradication of the guinea worm parasite. Also from Chapati Mystery: William Moorcroft, veterinarian-adventurer.

Color photographs of the pre-revolutionary Russian Empire, including a section from Central Asia (via Light Reading).

"Dear Mr. Turing: We regret to inform you that your submission 'On Computable Numbers, With an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem' was not accepted to appear in FOCS 1936..." (more).

BLDGBLOG is always reliable for cwonders: building San Francisco on old ships; "A completely automated world of self-assembling machine-flowers"; Derinkuyu; Gunkanjima; Cecil B. DeMille's lost city.

On a grander scale: Astronomical alignments of the streets of Manhattan, sure to provoke intense speculation among future archaeoastronomers. Of course, as the global financial capital, what New York really needs is invincibility, and where shall invincibility be found other than through the Maharishi? (Via John Burke).

Doubtless it was owing to a lack of adequate understanding of unified field theory that Jerash, Jordan became an abandoned place. More abandoned places: Crumbling concrete dinosaurs in desert California. An old New England Mill. "Night photography of the abandoned west" (again via John Burke in e-mail). The Times runs a story about "urban exploration" and pleaures-of-modern-ruins photograph, with pictures (some including one of the photographer in various stages of undress; not safe for work if your boss is more uptight about nekkid wimmen than the pages of the Times). A secret garden, not abanonded, in London.

Cats versus English professors (with conclusions generalizing to others professors); cats versus dogs.

Geo. Chaucer asks: I Can Hath Cheezburger? Also: LOLthulhu (of which this might be the best).

The Persecution and Assassination of Western Civilization as Performed by the Inmates of Wikipedia Under the Direction of Jimbo Wales.

Speaking of Wikipedia and who writes it, Aaron Swartz discovers the lived value of Aufklärung, and explores the wonders of biotechnology. (The comments on the latter are... remarkable.)

A defiant daisy, no relations of Bob the Angry Flower. Bob's appropriately thoughtful sequel to Atlas Shrugged in turn calls to mind The 25 Most Inappropriate Things An Objectivist Can Say During Sex. (Number 1 is too obvious, but number 11 is almost sweet.)

Edward Gorey's adaptation of The Trouble with Tribbles (via Making Light).

Garance Franke-Ruta catches glimpses of a kind of Heaven in Iowa.

Inside the Large Hadron Collider (via Fed By Birds) — huge, striking wrap-around photos with sound.

The Miserable World of Prometheus.

An alternate history of Chinese science fiction (via Chrononautic Log).

Michael Dirda appreciates the Book of Imaginary Beings and Clark Ashton Smith.

Only one writer deals adequately with Svalbard's threat to peace.

The Codex Seraphinus.

What is best in life? Perhaps the New Mexico sky.

Ediacaran fossil embryos. "It appears that by the time the Doushantuo Formation was deposited ~550 million years ago, cnidarians had already split off from the lineage that evolved into cuter, fuzzier animals like nematodes and kitty-cats. So the discovery of a complete embryonic sequence of early cnidarian wouldn't help much in the race to figure out what the hell was happening with bilateral symmetry and the general body plan confusion of the late Vendian and early Cambrian. In that respect, these findings are a little disappointing - what we really want are bilaterian embryos. But y'know, cnidarians are awesome too, and deserve love just as much as any other fossil embryos."

NERO, the video game of evolutionary autonomous system design. Back in the realized world, how our soldiers in Iraq feel about their bomb-exploding robots.

Some people look at developments like those and start muttering darkly about how the Singularity is nigh. In fact, of course, the Singularity happened in the last years of the nineteenth century. (A recurring theme around here.)

Essential post-Singularity technologies: How JPEG image compression works (viaDanny Yee). How spam filtering works. (Incidentally: Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer?)

Spam can be interpreted for divinatory purposes, as can the 80s Tarot.

See the 80s Tarot come to life by watching the Talking Heads perform "Take Me to the River" in Rome in 1980.

Paul Krugman uses the Talking Heads to explain it all to you:

Now, as they survey the wreckage of their cause, conservatives may ask themselves: "Well, how did we get here?" They may tell themselves: "This is not my beautiful Right." They may ask themselves: "My God, what have we done?"

But their movement is the same as it ever was.

On which note, I'll leave you with some tranquil photos of a road to nowhere.

Manual trackback: Danny Yee.


Posted at October 16, 2007 15:02 | permanent link

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