.: March 2008 --> March 2008
» Going green for Lent. "It's no longer seen as one among many advocacy issues, but one that goes to the core of what it means to be in relationship to God and creation. People are talking about it as how you walk in the world, how you use resources." Laura Everett, associate director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches.[ 03.04.08 ]
» Are librarians destined to go the way of bank tellers? The Contra Costa County Library system plans to install 4 stand-alone "Book ATMs" in Bay Area Regional Transit stations, the first to be working in April. The units, designed in Sweden, will hold 270-400 books (depending on size) and will allow patrons to browse by genre. (via ra) [ 03.05.08 ]
» Believe it or not, I've only just now heard of Hugg, a source of user-generated and rated green news. It's likely many of you Pocket readers would like to know about it, too. From today's top page: Learn how to make biodiesel on YouTube, which lists five instructional videos to teach you what you need to know. [ 03.06.08 ]
» Simondale is a hand-built woodland home that was built in 4 months for about £3000. Built into the side of a hill with straw bale construction, it reminds me of a hobbit house. A few features that may interest you:
- Wood for the house was either reclaimed scrap or thinned from from the surrounding woods
- The house is heated with a woodstove with a slow heat diffusing flue
- Refrigeration is provided by air that is naturally cooled by coming from underground
- Water is provided by a nearby spring
- Electricity is provided by solar panels
The study began with a group of Ashkenazi Jews, all of them over 95. Researchers asked them why they thought they had lived for so long. "We would get two answers. One was, 'My mother was 102 and my grandmother was 108'--a strong family history," says one of the scientists, Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "Then we would say, 'Come on, tell us the real reason. Maybe you ate yogurt all your life.' But hundreds of cases later, we didn't have any yogurt-eaters. We didn't have any athletes. Twenty percent of our subjects had smoked for decades. We had one woman who was 105 and had smoked for 90 years. As a population, this group was doing exactly what we tell our patients not to do."
[ 03.10.08 ]
» I was very moved by this account of the beautiful (and, by tradition, hand-written) letters commanding officers write to the families of soldiers who have been killed under their command.
[B]efore coming here from his battalion's home base in Italy, [Lt. Col. Fenzel] bought some parchment stationery bearing the wing-and-sword crest of the 173rd Airborne Brigade. He knew he would likely have to write letters such as these. He didn't want to use printer paper. [...] "I wait to find the words, and they will come," he says.
[ 03.11.08 ]
» Those of you who love to cook will be interested in European Cuisines' tribute to St Patrick's Day: 17 Irish recipes in 17 days. They've linked to last year's assortment at the bottom of the entry. [ 03.12.08 ]
» Seriously, is anyone surprised by this? A Pentagon-sponsored study of more than 600,000 documents captured in Iraq after the American invasion concludes that there was no link between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida. Furthermore, the Pentagon has terminated its plans to send out a press release announcing the report's release and will no longer make the report available online. Source. [ 03.13.08 ]
» An article on homelessness in San Francisco suggests that the adversarial relationship between city officials and homeless advocates is wasting time and resources while failing to meet both groups' goals: getting homeless people the help they need. [ 03.18.08 ]
» HeiDeas fourth annual St Patrick's Day Simpsons linguistic joke collection.
Category: Object pronoun cliticization and particle shift
Homer has eaten a glowing green blob from outer space. It's trying to crawl out his orifices, but he determinedly and repeatedly sucks it back in.
Homer: If I can keep down Arby's, I can keep down you!
Category: Wh-in-situ echo question, sub-word level.
Lisa: Well, I like it here too. Luke has showed me the gentle side of the Old West. He's really sophisticated for a thirteen year old.
Marge: Thir-what year old?!
(via br) [ 03.19.08 ]
» Sculptural art for your table: Riedel has unveiled a new line of wine decanters. Swan and Flamingo are certainly dramatic, but for my taste, Paloma is the most beautiful. This new line seems to be a natural evolution from their Amadeo and Lyra decanters. [ 03.24.08 ]
» Book Lamp is a technology demonstration of an experimental book recommender that aims to allow users to ask for recommendations that are customized to their particular likes ("Show me a book like 'The Fellowship of the Rings', but with a lot less description").
So far, Book Lamp's database seems to consist mostly (or exclusively) of science fiction and fantasy authors—there is no Jane Austen or Charles Dickens, but they do list L. Ron Hubbard and James Doohan. And the functionality is slight.
But if you are a librarian or booklover, you might want to jump in and help the developers decide which direction they should go with the project. If you're an author or publisher, you might be interested in their plans to use their technology to match manuscripts with publishing houses. And if you're a Web developer, you might be interested in the ways this contextual analysis might be applied to Web pages. (via lh) [ 03.25.08 ]
And in another use of social software by a government agency, the TSA has a blog—and Bruce Schneier is in their blogroll. I'm actually pretty impressed with this. A blog is not the right answer to every organization's problems, but this one provides at least a modicum of transparency to an intentionally opaque and often frustrating process.
Check out this entry by Blogger Bob (with video), explaining why the Macbook Air has caused problems going through the x-ray machine in airports. Watching it, I trust Bob. He seems like a straight shooter. And I'm impressed that he became aware of the problem by reading other blogs, and so quickly responded with this video. Smart. [ 03.27.08 ]
The phrase "cutting the apron strings" turns out to have literal meaning. As soon as your children are out the door, you get rid of the apron. No more countless supermarket runs -- just the occasional small shopping trip. No more nightly grind of turning out balanced meals with protein, vegetables and a starch. No more scrubbing pots and pans. You trade all that for freedom.
And that's the part that baffles me. Freedom from what? Eating tasty, home-cooked meals?
(via mamr) [ 03.31.08 ]