.: July 2006 --> July 2006
» Last week I linked to some charming reviews of childrens book by 6-year-old Andrew Oglesby. Here is an earlier set of reviews by my new favorite book critic. On Earth Magic
To me, it's not a book for 6-year-olds. Other 6-year-olds might like it, but I really think it's a book for older people because it's like something that would have to do with history, and older kids like things like history. This book is very imaginary -- like the Tuesday [poem]. It has playing hopscotch with the sun and that's not something that would really happen. It's very creative. Whoever wrote this book was really using their creative juices.
(By the way, when you click through that Amazon link, notice that all the books offered in conjunction with this book are the other ones in this review. A mention on CNN really works.) [ 07.04.06 ]
» Amish farmer caught in milk sting fights dairy law. I just like saying that. / (1) Comments / [ 07.07.06 ]
» Media Literacy Moment: In May, Rep. Pete Hoekstra, a Michigan Republican who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, wrote the President a four-page letter warning him that the failure to disclose secret intelligence activities to Congress may be a violation of the law. The activities were disclosed to the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee by whistleblowers. But that's not why I called you here today.
I wanted to point out the photograph that accompanies the article (or did when I read it Sunday morning). It is typical of a photo selected to illustrate an article of this type: President Bush, caught in an uncomfortable moment, his back turned to photographers, head down, as if, perhaps, in shame.
But click through to the picture and you'll see that the caption reads "President Bush attends a Sunday morning church service in Washington, July 9, 2006". Now read the picture: President Bush, caught in a private moment, his back turned to photographers, head down, as if, perhaps, in prayer.
Context is everything in interpreting this photo, which was chosen—not to document the moment when Bush was confronted with his wrongdoing—but to illustrate a [repentant/wronged/uncommunicative/ashamed/angry/take your pick] response to the news. [ 07.10.06 ]
» Tony Horwitz on the early Spanish conquest of what is now the United States.
Two iconic American stories have Spanish antecedents, too. Almost 80 years before John Smith's alleged rescue by Pocahontas, a man by the name of Juan Ortiz told of his remarkably similar rescue from execution by an Indian girl. Spaniards also held a thanksgiving, 56 years before the Pilgrims, when they feasted near St. Augustine with Florida Indians, probably on stewed pork and garbanzo beans.
The early history of Spanish North America is well documented, as is the extensive exploration by the 16th-century French and Portuguese. So why do Americans cling to a creation myth centered on one band of late-arriving English—Pilgrims who weren't even the first English to settle New England or the first Europeans to reach Plymouth Harbor?
/ (2) Comments / [ 07.10.06 ]
» Oakland California school librarian Mrs. Dittmer's list of recommended summer reading for kindergarten through 8th grade. [ 07.11.06 ]
- Work four summers, starting at age 16
- Save the income in a Roth IRA account
- Invest it in a simple, low-cost equity portfolio
- Simmer slowly for 47 years
- Serve ungarnished (and untaxed) at age 67
» What Bill Clinton learned from his predecessors about being president, and his formula for fairly judging any president. "I really think the circumstances determine where you are ranked — whether you have big wars, like the Civil War or World War II. But there are three or four tests you can apply to any president, which are much fairer than ranking them where the deal is rigged based on the time in which they served." William Jefferson Clinton, Forty-Second President of the United States. [ 07.11.06 ]
Update: Kaurinui does an interesting bit of arithmetic using the numbers provided here, and finds that the manufacturers that seem to be the most polluting, pollute the least. I'm not much of a mathematician, but this reasoning makes sense to me (if GM manufactures 36.97% of all US cars and produces 31% of the carbon, that's actually better than Nissan, which produces 2.87% of the cars, but produces 5.00% of the carbon.) Would those of you who are good at math care to take a look and comment on these results?
Another update: Will does the math and comes up with a very different scenario. The ranking, by Will's calculation, is completely different from Kaurinui's. / (4) Comments / [ 07.11.06 ]
» Have you heard of "blog carnivals"? They are recurring events in which bloggers submit posts on a pre-selected topic, which are collated by a carnival host. And they are on every topic imaginable: homeschooling, microbiology, personal finance, and a million flavors of politics. There's even a carnival of German-American relations. For bloggers, they are a way to promote your blog (or establish leadership in your cluster, if you organize a carnival). For readers, they are a way to read a regular selection of posts on topics that may be of interest to you. Here is a list of blog carnivals for those who want to explore further. / (1) Comments / [ 07.12.06 ]
» Wired: What kind of genius are you? A new "unified field theory of creativity" asserts that genius comes in two flavors: young, "Conceptual Innovators" like Mozart and Orson Welles, and late-blooming "Experimental Innovators" like Alfred Hitchcock and August Rodin. [ 07.12.06 ]
» Update: Kaurinui does an interesting bit of arithmetic using the numbers provided in yesterday's article about US cars and air pollution and finds that the manufacturers that seem to be the most polluting, pollute the least. I'm not much of a mathematician, but this reasoning makes sense to me (if GM manufactures 36.97% of all US cars and produces 31% of the carbon, that's actually better than Nissan, which produces 2.87% of the cars, but produces 5.00% of the carbon.) Would those of you who are good at math care to take a look and comment on these results? [ 07.12.06 ]
» Here's a musical genre I had never heard of, and would never have predicted: Nerdcore hip hop, also known as "geeksta rap". CmdrTaco reviews the Rhyme Torrents Nerdcore Compilation.
It's like a Weird Al mad libs lyric, where the rapper tries to rhyme whatever techish things pop into mind. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. MC Hawking is a great example. His track essentially an MC Battle style rap that relies on the synthesizer voice gimmick. But damnit it actually works. The lyrics are tight and amusing. I wish the hook was stronger, but thats a track I'll enjoy listening to. [...]
[A]t the end of the day, sometimes you just need to find a bit of music that you can relate to. And when you hear 'join me in the basement cuz it's warcraft patch day / time for D&D a frontalittle mainstay' day, so it's time to play D&D.... well, thats my Tuesday too.
Formed by four members of a math club and breakdancing troupe in 1982 at a concert in New Jersey, Commodore 64 were the first group to release a single produced entirely using an Apple Macintosh computer, "Horton Hears A Ho" in 1999.
The MC Hawking entry includes sample lyrics ("I explode like a bomb. No one is spared. My power is my mass times the speed of light squared." - From "E = MC Hawking") and a fictional discography from the official website. Awesome. [ 07.13.06 ]
» Lawyer, writer, actor and economist Ben Stein looks at the economic landscape and gasps in horror.
We are mortgaging ourselves to foreigners on a scale that would make George Washington cry. Every day — every single day — we borrow a billion dollars from foreigners to buy petroleum from abroad, often from countries that hate us. We are the beggars of the world, financing our lavish lifestyle by selling our family heirlooms and by enslaving our progeny with the need to service the debt.
I don't see this — except for the taxes — as a Republican thing or a Democratic thing. It's just the way we live today. Drunken sailors from the Capitol to the freeways. Heirs living on their inheritance and spending it fast. The titans of corporate America getting as much as they can get away with and hiring lawyers and public-relations people if there is a problem. It is later than anyone dares to think.
(via htstw) [ 07.13.06 ]
» Today's update to the recent article about the US automotive fleet and air pollution. Will does the math and comes up with a very different scenario. The ranking, by Will's calculation, is completely different from Kaurinui's. [ 07.13.06 ]
» A Summer Reading List from Mickey Pearlman, author of What To Read: The Essential Guide for Reading Group Members and Other Book Lovers. [ 07.14.06 ]
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Change "example.com" to your own domain. No, I can't troubleshoot it for you. / (4) Comments / [ 07.14.06 ]
» A Little Weekend Reading: The Immigration Equation probes the immigration debate through the lens of two economists: David Card, a Canadian who believes that "immigration is no big deal and that a lot of the opposition to it is most likely social or cultural" and George Borjas, a Cuban immigrant who believes he has proven that immigrants hurt the economic prospects of the Americans they compete with. It's a thought-provoking and subtle examination of a complex issue.
That stark contrast conveys, to economists, two important facts. One is that Mexicans are supplying a skill level that is much in demand. It doesn't just seem that Americans don't want to be hotel chambermaids, pick lettuce or repair roofs; it's true. Most gringos are too educated for that kind of work. The added diversity, the complementariness of skills, that Mexicans bring is good for the economy as a whole. They perform services that would otherwise be more expensive and in some cases simply unavailable.
The Americans who are unskilled, however, must compete with a disproportionate number of immigrants. One of every four high-school dropouts in the U.S. was born in Mexico, an astonishing ratio given that the proportion of Mexicans in the overall labor force is only 1 in 25. [...]
That's the theory. But economists have had a hard time finding evidence of actual harm.
[ 07.14.06 ]
» Note to self: Amsterdam Wasserettes.
Frans Halsstraat 83
Wash & Mail
Amstel 30 / (3) Comments / [ 07.17.06 ]
- How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman. It really does what the title says, and should be given to anyone setting up house for the first time.
- The Passionate Vegetarian, by Crescent Dragonwagon. I love this book for its enthusiasm, its variety, and its solid education about cooking every basic food (except meat). The dishes in this book have been more inconsistent than the others on this list, but I think that's because each of her recipes has such a strong point of view, if you will. She is not afraid to judiciously recommend shortcuts and convenience items, unlike most of the other cookbooks I own—she really wants you to cook. I would recommend this book to anyone (vegetarian or not) who wants to expand their repertoire of food approaches, or who has had trouble learning to think about cooking without meat.
- World Vegetarian by Madhur Jaffrey, (currently, the book I most frequently cook from) for any couple (vegetarian or not) who loves international cuisine. This really is food is from all around the world, the information about basic approaches and ingredients is very thorough, and the recipes I have tried have been consistently delicious.
- I guess my 4th recommendation wouldn't be a cookbook at all, but a subscription to Cooks Illustrated, once described by a friend of mine as a "serial education in cooking". Clear directions, good variety, and reliable product recommendations.
What would you recommend? / (12) Comments / [ 07.17.06 ]
» Wired: My Compliments to the Lab is another article on the "molecular gastronomists" who are using specialized equipment (the "anti-griddle", anyone?) and chemical additives to create cuisine that is both haute and high-tech.
"How would Thomas Keller make that parsley sauce?" Achatz asks.... He'd puree parsley and oil in a blender and strain it.
"Then he'd have parsley oil," Achatz says. "It tastes like parsley and oil." Achatz instead starts with parsley juice, maybe a little water and salt. "That liquid is going to taste intensely of parsley, because that's all it is. Then I'd thicken it with Ultra-tex 3, a modified starch that imparts zero flavor but gives it the same viscosity as oil."
Keller, in other words, would have compromised the flavor of the parsley. Achatz believes that technology can actually deliver a purer dish.
» NYT: An American Foreign Policy That Both Realists and Idealists Should Fall in Love With. Robert Wright, a senior fellow at the New America Foundation, outlines his approach to foreign policy: progressive realism.
This sounds harsh, but it is only acknowledgment of something often left unsaid: a nation’s foreign policy will always favor the interests of its citizens and so fall short of moral perfection. We can at least be thankful that history, by intertwining the fates of peoples, is bringing national interest closer to moral ideals.
Harnessing this benign dynamic isn’t the only redemptive feature of progressive realism. [Hans] Morgenthau emphasized that sound strategy requires a “respectful understanding” of all players in the game. “The political actor,” he wrote, “must put himself into the other man’s shoes, look at the world and judge it as he does.”
This immersion in the perspective of the other is sometimes called “moral imagination,” and it is hard. Understanding why some people hate America, and why terrorists kill, is challenging not just intellectually but emotionally. Yet it is crucial and has been lacking in President Bush, who saves time by ascribing behavior that threatens America to the hatred of freedom or (and this is a real time saver) to evil. As Morgenthau saw, exploring the root causes of bad behavior, far from being a sentimentalist weakness, informs the deft use of power. Realpolitik is reality-based.
/ (4) Comments / [ 07.17.06 ]
» Doc Ezra's Summer Reading Lists from 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. (
Hmm. I'm having a bit of trouble opening these up today. Come back later, maybe. Widgett informs me that their ISP problems are resolved—click away!)
/ (1) Comments / [ 07.18.06 ]
» Think Again: Al Jazeera demonstrates how erroneous the popular portrayal of the network really is. (FWIW, I've never found them to be particularly biased, just Arab-centric instead of American-centric.) But here's the part that is most interesting to me: they are planning to start global broadcasting, and it sounds like they really do have some innovative ideas about how to do that.
Although it has hired a large number of Western journalists, it won’t look much like CNN. The network’s coverage will “follow the sun” throughout the day, airing from Kuala Lumpur for 4 hours, Doha for 11 hours, London for 5, and Washington for the remaining 4. Reporters and editors in each locale will present news from their region’s perspective, and the entire world will watch the same satellite feed at the same time.
(via rc3oi) [ 07.18.06 ]
» And now the Incredible Bookman, or as NeedCoffee puts it: Cool Bookshelf or My Nightmare Come to Life? You be the judge. Whichever, it's a bookshelf in the shape of a man, and you have to see it to believe it. [ 07.19.06 ]
» Young Adult Round Table of the Texas Library Association's Tayshas Reading Lists from 1996 through 2007. ('Tayshas takes its name from the Caddo Indian word meaning "friends or allies." Sometimes written "Texas".) Check out their reading lists for other age groups, too. [ 07.19.06 ]
» Karmen Franklin has used the Western History Photos collection at the Denver Public Library to construct Lillybridge I: An Early 20th Century Photo Essay. She has focused on the photos of local photographer Charles S. Lillybridge, who set up a photography studio in 1904 and proceeded to document life on the Colorado canals. [ 07.19.06 ]
» Wow. I'm with Rafe: Why wasn't this Spike Jonze film interview of Al Gore shown during the 2000 election season? It's 15 minutes long. Save it for your lunch hour or when you get home. You'll be glad you saw it. [ 07.19.06 ]
Q. When you were a woman did you experience bias?
A. An M.I.T. professor accused me of cheating on this test. I was the only one in the class who solved a particular problem, and he said my boyfriend must have solved it for me. One, I did not have a boyfriend. And two, I solved it myself, goddamn it! But it did not occur to me to think of sexism. I was just indignant that I would be accused of cheating.
Then later I was in a prestigious competition. I was doing my Ph.D. at Harvard, which would nominate one person. It came down to me and one other graduate student, and a dean pulled me aside and said, “I have read both applications, and it’s going to be you; your application is so much better.” Not only did I not win, the guy got it, but he dropped out of science a year later.
But even then I did not think of sexism.
[ 07.19.06 ]
Does placing contaminated water into clear plastic bottles and exposing the water to the sun (not inside a solar cooker) actually make it safe to drink? There is a technology called SODIS being promoted around the world for this purpose. There is some doubt about whether this really makes the water safe to drink. A good science project would be to test this by using toilet water and measuring using the Colilert System.
If you do the research, they will post your results. [ 07.20.06 ]
I would like to see the "Funnel Refrigerator" tried in desert climates, especially where freezing temperatures are rarely reached. It should be possible in this way to cheaply make ice for Hutus in Rwanda and for aborigines in Australia, without using any electricity or other modern "tricks." We are in effect bringing some of the cold of space to a little corner on earth. Please let me know how this works for you.
/ (4) Comments / [ 07.20.06 ]
» Do click over to Any Amount of Books' News page and scroll down to Synonyms Employed by Amanda Ros to Designate Critics. A few favorites: "Evil-minded snapshots of spleen", "Maggoty numskulls", and "Mushroom class of idiotics". Oh, she would have made a magnificent blogger. [ 07.20.06 ]
» For those who were intrigued by yesterday's interview with Stanford professor Ben Barres on gender in the sciences, this month's Carnival of Feminists theme is Feminism and Career. [ 07.20.06 ]
» Meanwhile, the Brookings Institution has discovered that the Ghetto tax is real. "[P]oor urban residents frequently pay hundreds if not thousands of dollars a year in extra costs for everyday necessities. The study said some of the disparities were due to real differences in the cost of doing business in poor areas, some to predatory financial practices and some to consumer ignorance." The study is available online. [ 07.20.06 ]
» A new study concludes that residents of Chicago's South and West sides—a "food desert" with ample access to fast food restaurants, but very few grocery stores—are more likely to die prematurely and at greater rates from diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and obesity. [bugmenot] Overall, the worst food choices fell in African-American neighborhoods. "The new study is a sequel to a 2005 report that found that poor residents of Chicago's South Side live in a 'commercial desert' where they have little access to major grocers, pharmacies or other retailers, but have plenty of liquor stores and fast-food restaurants." (via batc) [ 07.20.06 ]
» In Barcelona, we spent one long day being interviewed by about a dozen journalists each. I believe I was featured in 3 different news spots that evening. One of the video journalists, Javier Celaya, has posted portions of our interview on the Web, in snippets. Each section is just a minute or two long, with a translation into Spanish at the bottom of each page.
Some blogs aspire to become journalistic mass media. Do you think that this it is the model to follow?
Let's talk now about the impact of blogs in the business world. What do these tools contribute to business?
With regard to blogs' comments, some readers think these conversations are the most interesting part of blogging, whereas others think they are irrelevant. What is your opinion?
» The Tesla is one hot electric car. Range: 250 miles. Fuel efficiency: 1 to 2 cents per mile. Top speed: more than 130 mph. Power: 0 to 60 in about four seconds. It runs on 6,831 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, the same ones that power your laptop and the 4-door sedan could be available as early as 2008. (via fc) / (2) Comments / [ 07.21.06 ]
» How to Recycle Almost Anything includes a long list of organizations that will take your most unlikely cast-offs. "Without recycling, given current virgin raw material supplies, we could not print the daily newspaper, build a car, or ship a product in a cardboard box. Recycling is not some feel-good activity; it is one of the backbones of global economic development." Jerry Powell, editor of Resource Recycling magazine. / (1) Comments / [ 07.21.06 ]
» Using computer modeling and manual tools, Brigham Young University graduate student Joey Jacobsen and mechanical engineering professor Larry Howell have built a working replica of the odometer pioneers used on the Mormon Trail. Information collected was later published in in the Latter-day Saints' emigrants' guide. It's hard to see exactly how this works, (cunning gears and a rotating stick) but it's rather large and requires someone to record every mile it tallies. "When I realized that although the pioneers were in tough circumstances out in the wilderness they took the time to do a research and development project to help other people, I wanted to do my own project to recognize their contribution." Larry Howell. [ 07.21.06 ]
» It's my funeral and I'll serve ice cream if I want to. A new trend among the well-to-do: the funeral planner. This isn't so new (except for the price tag). My great-grandmother compiled a list of Bible verses and hymns she wanted at her funeral. / (2) Comments / [ 07.21.06 ]
» Bush cuts the number of estate tax lawyers working in the IRS. Sharyn Phillips, a veteran I.R.S. estate tax lawyer in Manhattan, called the cuts a “back-door way for the Bush administration to achieve what it cannot get from Congress, which is repeal of the estate tax.” I guess there's more than one way to skin a cat. [ 07.24.06 ]
» And now, the Whole Foods Effect. Residents in several neighborhoods have organized letter-writing campaigns to persuade Whole Foods to move into their area, partly for their own convenience, and partly to raise their property values. "A lot of the blacks are having to move because they can't afford to stay here. These are people who have owned their own homes but have had to leave because the taxes are going up. The affluent is coming in, and the have-nots are moving out, and it's not right." Fran Robertson, Columbia Heights resident who is watching her neighborhood gentrify. / (1) Comments / [ 07.24.06 ]
» Don't miss this hilariously snarky article about foodies and their affectations. When I first joined Orkut, I joined a couple of groups that were centered around food (cheese, I think, and artisian breads, and something else I was hoping to learn about). I un-joined just 24 hours later, unimpressed with the level of posturing that pervaded all of them. (via mn) / (1) Comments / [ 07.24.06 ]
» Gorgeous. Pictures from the deep dark regions under Russian streets. These look like movie sets. / (1) Comments / [ 07.24.06 ]
» Citizen Journalism on Flickr: Pictures of the wreckage in Lebanon on Flickr. You can also search for "Beirut" and "Israel" or the Middle East Israel-Lebanon-War cluster to see recent images. (via dp) [ 07.24.06 ]
» As gaming matures, designers are experimenting with "serious games" that aim to illustrate their political views, spur players into humanitarian action, or even to see the other side of an entrenched world view.
"When they hear about Peacemaker, people sometimes go, 'What? A computer game about the Middle East?'" admits Asi Burak, the Israeli-born graduate student who developed it with a team at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. "But people get very engaged. They really try very hard to get a solution. Even after one hour or two hours, they’d come to me and say, you know, I know more about the conflict than when I’ve read newspapers for 10 years." [...]
When Mr. Burak first showed Peacemaker to Israelis and Palestinians, he found that they were most interested in playing as their own "side." But when he pushed them to switch positions they developed a more nuanced sense of why the other side acted as it did. In Qatar several people told him that "they kind of understood more the pressures the Israeli prime minister has."
Now the MacArthur Foundation is issuing grants to develop persuasive games. (thanks, jjg!) [ 07.25.06 ]
» All cultures seem to allow for retribution: an in-kind act to repay an affront and to balance things out. But studies suggest that people tend to remember the causes of their own actions, and the consequences of other peoples'. To complicate matters, volunteers instructed to respond to a physical touch with equal force typically respond with about 40 percent more force than they had just experienced. It all adds up to this: He Who Cast the First Stone Probably Didn’t. / (1) Comments / [ 07.25.06 ]
- James Wolcott introduces us to Amir Taheri, "Chalabi 2.0".
- Ralph Nader's Open Letter to President Bush. "The time has come for you to return to Texas for a private meeting with your father, his former national security advisor, Brent Scowcroft and his former Secretary of State, James Baker. You need to say to them 'I can't trust my advisors anymore; there have been so many tragic blunders. What do you advise me to do about the destruction of a friendly nation by the world's fifth most powerful military?' Here is what I think they should say to you:"
- Notes from a talk by former U.N. weapons inspector Scott Ritter and former CIA analyst and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, Ray McGovern. "How do we get out of Iraq? Overcome the complacency. Exercise citizenship. Take the Constitution and live it, breathe it, follow it."
[ 07.25.06 ]
» Researchers have found that partisans on both sides of an issue will see bias against their side even when they are watching in the same news report.
The tendency to see bias in the news -- now the raison d'etre of much of the blogosphere -- is such a reliable indicator of partisan thinking that researchers coined a term, "hostile media effect," to describe the sincere belief among partisans that news reports are painting them in the worst possible light. [...] The best-informed partisans were the most likely to see bias against their side.
/ (2) Comments / [ 07.25.06 ]
» More film commentary released to iPod. This time, it's by the creators of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Rifftrax. Now when will my favorite film directors start critiquing their favorite films? (via rw) [ 07.26.06 ]
» First they came for the clowns. Then they came for the zombies. I am not making any of this up. Pharyngula has worked up a helpful infographic for the Minneapolis Police Department. [ 07.26.06 ]
» In India there is a growing trend for neighborhood societies to uphold strict vegetarian-only housing policies. It's completely legal, as are housing societies based on religion. "It's just not fair. It's a monopoly by vegetarians. If you step out to eat, there's nothing for miles because everything around is veggie." Kiran Talwar, a resident who has seen vegetarianism take over restaurants and groceries all over his childhood neighborhood. (via amy) / (1) Comments / [ 07.26.06 ]
"I was a kid, much younger, working for another contractor, who left me to do a deck on a house,” said one upstate New York contractor, now middle-aged, who begged anonymity. “The woman was divorced, the door to the deck is four feet off the ground."
So you’re — ?
" — Right. I’m looking at her crotch. She’s bringing me breakfast, lingering in the doorway in her bedclothes and one thing led to another and I end up in bed with her and when the boss came back from vacation she made a row and threatened not to pay. My boss was a little upset that I had sex, but I was 19 at the time, and it was a new experience for me, the older woman. When you’re 19 and you have a woman like that, you don’t ask questions, you go for it."
What did he learn from this experience?
"From that I learned — I really did not learn anything," he said.
/ (1) Comments / [ 07.26.06 ]
Lightings and everything is just captured as it was there - I didn’t even use a flash light! It’s magic: you first hear the car noises on the ground level and as you descend slowly, suddenly, this vast and silent space unfolds in front of you. [...]
Shapes, colours, lights - not a single element you see in the photos was designed for the sake of beauty. They were totally designed for ultimate functionality. Yet, I do found such an extraordinary futuristic beauty in such places and I wish people can also find that in my photos.
/ (1) Comments / [ 07.27.06 ]
» For those still in the throes of the heat wave, Garret Vreeland, an experienced New Mexico resident, offers tips for living in the heat. His in-house regimen is very similar to mine. / (1) Comments / [ 07.27.06 ]
The hot, wet Amazon, he explained, normally evaporates vast amounts of water, which rise high into the air as if in an invisible chimney, drawing in wet northeast trade winds, which have picked up moisture from the Atlantic. This, in turn, controls the temperature of the ocean - as the trade winds pick up the moisture, the warm water left gets saltier and sinks.
Deforestation disrupts the cycle by weakening the Amazonian evaporation which drives the whole process. One result is that the hot water in the Atlantic stays on the surface and fuels the hurricanes. Another is that less moisture arrives on the trade winds, intensifying the forest drought.
[ 07.27.06 ]
» As seen in Edward Tufte's Visual Explanations, Reebee Garofalo's hand-drawn Genealogy of Pop/Rock Music [Flash required], covering 1955 to 1978 and representing more than 700 artists and 30 styles of music. If that's too hard to read, you can you can try this reproduction of the pages on Tufte's site or zoom in on the the poster, which is available for purchase. (via rw) [ 07.27.06 ]
» Here's a great story about black baseball players playing professional baseball 60 years before Jackie Robinson. "Some of the pitchers wouldn’t let Fleet Walker call pitches for them. They would throw whatever they wanted, even purposely trying to cross up Walker. What’s interesting is that those players later admitted that Walker caught all the pitches anyway." Baseball historian Jim Overmyer, on the first black man to play professional baseball. [ 07.28.06 ]
» The Guardian has in interesting survey of culturally imposed differences in game releases across the world. It includes this interesting aside:
Westerners tend to assume linearity but Asians assume circularity. For example [... given] a stable set of circumstances a Westerner will tend to think that this signified a trend and that things will continue in the same fashion but an Asian will tend to think that it is indicative of the potential for change and ultimate return to some pre-existing state.
Inspired by The 12 Differences Between Super Mario Bros. 2 and Doki Doki Panic. / (1) Comments / [ 07.28.06 ]
When experts exhibit their superior performance in public their behavior looks so effortless and natural that we are tempted to attribute it to special talents. [...] The critical difference between expert musicians differing in the level of attained solo performance concerned the amounts of time they had spent in solitary practice during their music development, which totaled around 10,000 hours by age 20 for the best experts, around 5,000 hours for the least accomplished expert musicians and only 2,000 hours for serious amateur pianists.
[ 07.31.06 ]
» How to get to Carnegie Hall? Practice. Jonah Lehrer suggests that two of the most famous child prodigies—Amadeus Mozart and Tiger Woods—are notable as much for their work ethic as for their innate talent. He references Ericsson's assertion that world-class performance requires 10,000 hours of practice. Now, most of these studies are focused on people who started their study at young ages and emerged as experts when they reached adulthood (or as accomplished practioners, which takes 7,500 hours of work). But, barring physical limits, why couldn't someone become an expert practitioner later in life? "Other golfers may outplay me from time to time, but they'll never outwork me." Tiger Woods. [ 07.31.06 ]
» After the Bell Curve. New studies show that IQ directly correlates to a child's economic status. One study measured an astonishing increase of 20 points for abused children adopted by well-to-do families. From my experience, hard work is more important than intelligence, anyway. I've known lots of really smart non-achievers. / (4) Comments / [ 07.31.06 ]