Thursday, March 27, 2014

Web Nuggets Five

I really enjoy the idea of zeppelin travel, though I have never actually been in one.  It seems slow and relaxing.  So, while I daydream about floating around the world, here is Web Nuggets Number Five for you: 

"A new fuel-efficient airship, capable of carrying up to 50 tons, can stay aloft for weeks and can land just about anywhere"

(credit: Chris Baldwin)

Super resolution atom by atom laser machining - 
"Australian researchers have discovered how to use laser light to pick apart a substance atom by atom, allowing for creating new nanoscale diamond devices."  

30 Cult Movies that Absolutely Everybody Must See -

Golden Age Comics from the Digital Comic Museum -
The Digital Comic Museum offers free access to hundreds of pre-1959 comic books, uploaded by users who often offer historical research and commentary alongside high-quality scans.

The site’s moderators and administrators are particularly careful to avoid posting non-public-domain comics (a complicated designation, as described in this forum thread). The resulting archive is devoid of many familiar comic-book characters, like those from Marvel, D.C., or Disney.
On the other hand, because of this restriction, the archive offers an interesting window into the themes of lesser-known comics in the Golden Age—romance, Westerns, combat, crime, supernatural and horror. The covers of the romance comics are great examples of popular art.

“A human being is part of the whole called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. “ (Albert Einstein, 1954)

Paleo Ale, Brewed from fossils

Craft beer is all about pushing the boundaries.  Fossil Yeast? Pretty crazy, but, why not? 


Bone Dusters Paleo Ale, Brewed from Real Fossils! - Scientific American

"With craft brewing on the rise and many breweries tinkering with flavorings that range from the somewhat obvious (honey or citrus) to the eyebrow-raising (jalapeƱo, hemp, or even peanut butter cup) it was only a matter of time before someone stared a 35-million year old fossil in the face and thought, “would you make a good brew?” Well, the time has come, people. Now you can have a beer that is derived from a fossil icon. Really? Yes, really! Here’s how:

Jason Osborne, co-founder of Paleo Quest, a non-profit dedicated to advancing paleontology and geology, was daydreaming about how to engage the public in conversations about science. He made the natural connection between lively conversation and throwing back a cold one and wondered if he could sneak science in there somehow. Knowing that yeast, the organism responsible for turning sugar into alcohol, is everywhere, he wondered whether there was an undiscovered strain hanging out on fossils that could be roped into making beer."  Read the rest

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Web Nuggets 4

"They had to start from scratch. Alexandria was a brand-new city with a population consisting most of soldiers and sailors of the Ptolemies’ armed forces, bureaucrats and clerks of their administration, and the mixed bag of traders, businessmen, craftsman [sic], swindlers, and whatnot, who see opportunity in, as it were, a fresh playing field. Intellectuals had to be blandished into coming to a place that to all outward appearances was a cultural wasteland."  

Can't find a time machine to go back to Ancient Alexandria?  Looking for something closer to home to read?  Check out 

Gravitational Waves and Inflation explained by PHD comics.  

 (via I09)

A few posts on Art.  

The Guardian had an article titled "The 10 Greatest works of art ever".  Pretty tough list to put together.  Though I do enjoy this one:
(Chauvet Cave Paintins (c 30,000 years ago) had this great picture of some London Street Art. 
(photo: Jason Weisberger)

Huffington Post had an article on 'The Gorgeous History of Tattoos, From 1900 to Present". 

"The mind is an endless train weaving its way through the landscape of reality.
But who made the train tracks and where is the conductor?”
From the book ‘Sex, Drugs, Einstein, and Elves: Sushi, Psychedelics, Parallel Universes, and the Quest for Transcendence’ by Clifford A. Pickover

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Future

Tough to tell if he's stoked about this or apologetic about it.  If apologetic, then what is he going to do to change this scenario.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Web Nuggets 3

New Sensor Paves Way for Night Vision Contact Lenses.
"Contact lenses sharpen our blurry vision,  and free us from the hassle of pushing sliding glasses back up our noses. But the future of contacts is nigh: Researchers have created a super-thin infrared sensor that could lead to the development of night vision contact lenses." 

Five Reasons you Should Watch Adventure Time
"If you haven’t been watching Pendleton Ward’s cult animation Adventure Time already, here are some reasons why you should start "
(via reddit)

Map of Coffee Chains across America (and Canada) 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Web Nuggets 2

Just some stuff around the web that I have had kicking around:

Check out the Ulysses comic that these guys are creating at

The Reign of the Penitents

More illustrations of classic works.  Check out Dali's 100 Illustrations of Dante's Divine Comedy at lockportstreetgallery.  (via open culture)

How the world will end in one chart:
You can actually read it at the washington post.


In two studies in the January 24 issue of Science, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University used advanced imaging techniques to provide a window into how the brain makes memories. These insights into the molecular basis of memory were made possible by a technological tour de force never before achieved in animals: a mouse model developed at Einstein in which molecules crucial to making memories were given fluorescent "tags" so they could be observed traveling in real time in living brain cells.  (read the rest here)

In the take it with a 'grain of salt, category.  Scientists claim that Quantum Theory proves consciousness moves to another universe at death.

Words I should follow:
"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The proper function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."  - Jack London

Friday, March 14, 2014

Major Tom

So I found this funky old bookstore in Peekskill, New York where they were selling old copies of The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction for $.50 a book.  I picked up October, 1959 and in addition to Isaac Asimov explaining the science behind temperature and concluding that, "there is no maximum possible temperature in the Einsteinian universe - any more than in the Newtonian," I found this killer story by Theodore Sturgeon called "The Man Who Lost the Sea." It was described by the editors as "nearly impossible to describe simply," and said that a second reading is pretty much required.

Seemed to me that the story was about a space traveler on his final mission and being inside his mind as the shock from a crash landing wears off and reality sets in. 

Here's a little taste...Dig the cover

Say you're a kid, and one dark night you're running along the cold sand with this helicopter in your hand, saying very fast witchy-witchy-witchy. You pass the sick man and he wants you to shove off with that thing. Maybe he thinks you're too old to play with toys. So you squat next to him in the sand and tell him it isn't a toy, it's a model. You tell him look here, here's something most people don't know about helicopters. You take a blade of the rotor in your fingers and show him how it can move in the hub, up and down a little, back and forth a little, and twist a little, to change pitch. You start to tell him how this flexibility does away with the gyroscopic effect, but he won't listen. He doesn't want to think about flying, about helicopters, or about you, and he most especially does not want explanations about anything by anybody. Not now. Now, he wants to think about the sea. So you go away.

The sick man is buried in the cold sand with only his head and his left arm showing. He is dressed in a pressure suit and looks like a man from Mars. Built into his left sleeve is a combination time-piece and pressure gauge, the gauge with a luminous blue indicator which makes no sense, the clock hands luminous red. He can hear the pounding of surf and the soft swift pulse of his pumps. One time long ago when he was swimming he went too deep and stayed down too long and came up too fast, and when he came to it was like this: they said, "Don't move, boy. You've got the bends. Don't even try to move." He had tried anyway. It hurt. So now, this time, he lies in the sand without moving, without trying.

His head isn't working right. But he knows clearly that it isn't working right, which is a strange thing that happens to people in shock sometimes. Say you were that kid, you could say how it was, because once you woke up lying in the gym office in high school and asked what had happened. They explained how you tried something on the parallel bars and fell on your head. You understood exactly, though you couldn't remember falling. Then a minute later you asked again what had happened and they told you. You understood it. And a minute later . . . forty-one times they told you, and you understood. It was just that no matter how many times they pushed it into your head, it wouldn't stick there; but all the while you knew that your head would start working again in time. And in time it did. . . . Of course, if you were that kid, always explaining things to people and to yourself, you wouldn't want to bother the sick man with it now.

Here's the rest...

Goes well with:

Monday, March 10, 2014

Want to feel insignificant?

Then check out what someone on Mars would see if they looked up at the night sky looking for earth.

Good thing there's no life on Mars isn't it Mr. Bowie?


Friday, March 7, 2014


For those of you keeping score at home, if I had to choose my favorite composer of the 20th century, Danbury, Connecticut's Charles Ives definitely comes out on top. 

If you're so inclined you can go see his study, on display at the American Academy of Arts and Letters and marvel at his pencil shavings and stash of booze, though it does look like a nice place to sit and think.

For those not familiar, this is "The Unanswered Question"


This next one is one of my personal favorites; "Three Places in New England (Orchestral Set No. 1)" is a composition of three parts. Each, as the name suggests, is inspired by a place in New England.  The first place is Augustus St. Gauden's memorial to Robert Gould Shaw and his 54th Massachusetts Regiment in the Boston Commons across from the State House. This is what that looks like. 

One of these days I'll get around to the other two, General Israel Putnam's camp in Redding, Connecticut.  I'll probably get to that one sooner than the third, which is the Housatonic River in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  I've been over the Housatonic plenty of times on I-84 near Southbury, Connecticut, but I think that Redding is more easily accessible to me.

More importantly,  this is what all those places sound like as imagined by Ives in his study.


(Play 'em loud if you want. Mgt.) \000/

The map is not the territory

"The map is not the territory" is a phrase that was often used by Robert Anton Wilson.  He got that from one of his favorite linguists, Alfred Korzybski.  "He is remembered for developing the theory of general semantics. Korzybski's work argued that human knowledge of the world is limited both by the human nervous system and by the structure of language. Korzybski thought that people do not have access to direct knowledge of reality; rather they have access to perceptions and to a set of beliefs which human society has confused with direct knowledge of reality."(

From the wikipedia article on Map-territory relations:  "The map–territory relation describes the relationship between an object and a representation of that object, as in the relation between a geographical territory and a map of it. Polish-American scientist and philosopher Alfred Korzybski remarked that "the map is not the territory", encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself. Korzybski held that many people do confuse maps with territories, that is, confuse models of reality with reality itself."

Jason Silva tweeted this article on Maps:  

How the north ended up on top of the map

"Why do maps always show the north as up? For those who don’t just take it for granted, the common answer is that Europeans made the maps and they wanted to be on top. But there’s really no good reason for the north to claim top-notch cartographic real estate over any other bearing, as an examination of old maps from different places and periods can confirm."  Read the rest here

I certain enjoy a good map.  Here is a link to the video game map atlas.
So I will leave you with one of my all time favorite maps: