March 25, 2008


Apparently Obama is related to Brad Pitt, and Clinton to Angelina Jolie.
Obama has a prolific presidential lineage that features Democrats and Republicans. His distant cousins include President George W. Bush and his father, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford, Lyndon Johnson, Harry S. Truman and James Madison. Other Obama cousins include Vice President Dick Cheney, British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and Civil War General Robert E. Lee.
+ Article here.


March 22, 2008

Deeper weekend reading

The Wall Street Journal, after perhaps a lackluster week (I've been grabbing the absent neighbor's deliveries each morning) put out a great paper today. Try the links below, but if they expire, either read them through the back door (details here) or swing by for the print edition at The Sadbear.

+ A Thinking Man's Speech (Peggy Noonan dissects Obama's race speech; heaps praise)
+ The Marvel of Marfa (superb art writing, blends depth with accessibility)
+ The Black Keys (new album and mini bio)
+ The Cuban Art Revolution (w/ slideshow)
+ Thoughts on movies that remind you they're just movies

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March 19, 2008

Arthur C. Clarke's last message to man

Arthur C. Clarke died this morning. Watch his last message to man, posted to YouTube in December when was completing his “90th orbit around the sun”.
“I am sometimes asked how I would like toe be remembered. I've had a diverse career as a writer, underwater explorer, space promoter, and science popularizer. Of all these, I want to be remembered as a writer, one who entertained readers and hopefully stretch their imaginations as well.”

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March 12, 2008

Dolphin rescues stranded whales

“She established contact, and immediately those two whales seemed to relax.”

Read the whole thing; it's so good.

Expert: Dolphins have “a great capacity for altruistic activities.”

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March 11, 2008

Race and Basketball and Improbable Soccer

A really interesting article from the K-Zoo Gazette on the racially-diverse Western Michigan basketball team. I think it's an interesting article in that I've never really seen race treated this bluntly before in a sports article. Usually it's a little dicier than that.

Also, I found this blog, Improbable Soccer, which highlights some interesting things about the world's most popular sport. Choice quote (in a post entitled "The Most Distinguished Team In The World! …according to Wikipedia," which is about how he likes searching Wikipedia for interesting facts about teams from small, relatively insignificant countries):

"So if you, as I do, go traipsing through Wikipedia, RSSSF, The Roon Ba, and others searching for obscure teams and small leagues, you might, right about the time you lost coherence, come across KPMG United FC in the MFL League in the Turks & Caicos Islands.

And you would then come across the following list, as did I (you know what? Screw this second person schwa. I can’t keep it up - so just pretend you’re reading an erudite article in the second person - pretend I’m William F. Buckley, but less dead, and more football oriented)."

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Rate My Cop

A creator of Rate My Cop says, “Our website's purpose is to break the stereotype that people have that cops are all bad by having officers become responsible for their actions.”

Meanwhile, the vice president of the San Francisco Police Officers Association struggles with the notion of freedom of information and the First Amendment.

The site's database was compiled from public records and does not include personal information.

Update: The site was censored by GoDaddy.

Also, listen to this recording that plays two Linkin Park songs at once, demonstrating that all Linkin Park songs sound exactly the same. Use the volume control interface on your computer to turn on and off the left or right channel, to compare one song to the “other”.

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March 10, 2008

Unitard Theory

Chabon's got a sweet article in the New Yorker about superhero costumes. And yes, "unitard theory."

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March 6, 2008

Niagara Falls tunnels and student protests

The Toronto Power Company tunnels look fascinating.

Also, check out the Hillsdale Praxis Blog posts on Pennygate and a high school's two-second limit on hugs.

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March 5, 2008

Blacker Black Pt. 2

On an only slightly related and far more trivial note, I saw the "blacker black" and had to post this.

Perhaps the most garish sports uniform of any kind? Somehow I figured that it wasn't possible for black and only black to make a uniform completely shitty - I always had teal or magenta pegged in that role. This is, after all, Oregon. The same people who brought you such luminary uniforms as this. So go figure.

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March 4, 2008

Blacker black

From Washington Post via Kansas City Star via Design Observer:

Researchers in New York reported last month that they have created a paper-thin material that absorbs 99.955 percent of the light that hits it, making it by far the darkest substance ever made — about 30 times as dark as the government’s current standard for blackest black.

The material, made of hollow fibers, is a Roach Motel for photons — light checks in, but it never checks out. By voraciously sucking up all surrounding illumination, it can give those who gaze on it a dizzying sensation of nothingness.

March 2, 2008


What was a brunch-time discussion ended up being me watching YouTube for an hour. Check out some of these crazy animal videos:

+ Anaconda attacks dog
+ Giant octopus fights shark
+ Anaconda regurgitates hippo
+ Chased by hippos
+ This man wants hippo sweat = get in hippo costume
+ Sperm whale attacks fishermen
+ Killer whale destroys seal
+ Electric eel lights tree
+ Rhino vs. Zebra
+ Fighting Giraffes
+ Fighting cats