Posts

August 29, 2014

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1:57 PM | Ouroboros predecessor (IV): how the walker eats
Continues from  Ouroboros predecessor (III): the walking machine .  This time you have to imagine that the walker machine sits on a long enough train track. The regularity of the train track is corrupted by a bit of food (appearing as a L node connected to a termination node), see the next (BIG) picture. It […]
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12:43 PM | from church bells to dumbbells
Katherine Hunt at Cabinet Magazine: In an article in the Spectator in July 1711, the eponymous character Mr. Spectator—as written by Joseph Addison, one of the magazine’s founders—described his exercise routine. When in town, and therefore not able to go...
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12:41 PM | Women’s Shadow in the American Western
Thirza Wakefield at Granta: ‘You want to talk about the vanishing wilderness?’ These are the opening words of John Boorman’s Deliverance (1972), spoken by Burt Reynolds’ character Lewis, the only self-declared outdoorsman among four Atlanta men headed for a canoeing...
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12:34 PM | john Williams' "Augustus"
Daniel Mendelsohn at The New York Review of Books: How to write about such a figure? In Augustus, the question is slyly put in the mouth of the emperor’s real-life biographer Nicolaus. “Do you see what I mean,” the confounded...
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10:44 AM | Friday Poem
The Clothes Shrine In the early days to find Light white muslin blouses On a see-through nylon lone Drip-drying in the bathroom Or a nylon slip in the shine of its own electricity- As if St, Brigid once more Had...
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10:00 AM | Gratitude for help among adult friends and siblings
Anna Rotkirch in Evolutionary Psychology: Although gratitude is a key prosocial emotion reinforcing reciprocal altruism, it has been largely ignored in the empirical literature. We examined feelings of gratitude and the importance of reciprocity in same-sex peer relations. Participants were...
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9:18 AM | Etching the Neural Landscape
Greg Dunn in American Scientist: Both art and science arise from our root desires to describe our experience of reality. From this starting point, the artistic and scientific paths diverge. Science describes external reality, about which we share a consensus....
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3:36 AM | From the archives of Playboy: Frank Sinatra
Joe Hyams in Playboy in 1963: Playboy: All right, let’s start with the most basic question there is: Are you a religious man? Do you believe in God? Sinatra: Well, that’ll do for openers. I think I can sum up...
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1:36 AM | Making money out of fanatics
Click on image to enlarge This looks like a Xcd cartoon. I picked it up from a new Facebook page The Girl Against Fluoride Lies. Good to see more and more Facebook pages like this. Speaking of fluoride – the cartoon sort … Continue reading →

August 28, 2014

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4:21 PM | The Bourgeois Eric Hobsbawm
David A. Bell in The National Interest: In a famous exchange in 1994, Michael Ignatieff asked Eric Hobsbawm whether the vast human costs inflicted by Stalin on the Soviet Union could possibly be justified. Hobsbawm replied, “Probably not. . ....
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4:17 PM | Seven of Italy’s top scientists were convicted of manslaughter following a catastrophic quake. Has the country criminalized science?
David Wolman in Medium: During the winter and early spring of 2009, Selvaggi and other seismologists at Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology had been monitoring numerous tremors around L’Aquila. The sequence of small quakes over a short period...
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4:11 PM | You Almost Certainly Have Mites On Your Face
Ed Yong in Not Exactly Rocket Science: Think of all the adults you know. Think of your parents and grandparents. Think of the teachers you had at school, your doctors and dentists, the people who collect your rubbish, and the...
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3:31 PM | Sid Caesar Double-Talk Routine
No summary available for this post.
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2:34 PM | virginia woolf, writing, and painting
Ruth Scurr at the Times Literary Supplement: Critical to the development of Woolf’s writing was the freedom of the Hogarth Press, which she and Leonard began in 1917 after buying a hand-press for £19 5s 6d on Farringdon Street. Woolf’s...
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2:28 PM | Why Conservatives Should Read Marx
Jonny Thakkar at The Point: If they want to be consistent, conservatives ought really to be anti-capitalist. This may be a little surprising, but in point of fact conservatism has always been flexible as far as particular policies are concerned....
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2:25 PM | Chris Marker's level five
Whitney Mallet at n+1: Around the time video games were to coming to define the memory of Operation Desert Storm, Chris Marker made a movie about a video game that depicted a forgotten battle of a well-remembered war. The heroine...
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1:28 PM | What Do Talking Apes Really Tell Us?
Jane C. Hu in Slate: Last week, people around the world mourned the death of beloved actor and comedian Robin Williams. According to the Gorilla Foundation in Woodside, California, we were not the only primates mourning. A press release from...
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11:54 AM | Autómata: a believable robot future
From KurzweilAI: George Mason University neuroscience researcher Todd Gillette got a preview of the forthcoming movie Autómata. It “caught me completely by surprise,” he said on his OnMason blog. “Starring Antonio Banderas, here we have a believable future (2044, 30...

August 27, 2014

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6:29 PM | Ouroboros predecessor (III): the walking machine
In the post   Ouroboros predecessor (II): start of the healing process   there is a curious phenomenon happening: there are 3 quasi-identical reduction steps, each involving 8 reductions. That is because there is a walking machine in those graphs. Explanations follow. Recall the reduction strategy: at each step we do all the possible (non-conflicting) graph rewrites involving […]
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6:01 PM | Iraqi Immigrants Struggle to Make a Living in Arizona
Sue Halpern and Bill McKibben at Smithsonian Magazine: Perhaps you’ve bought pita bread at the supermarket? Dry, flat: a kind of envelope for holding food. Now imagine something more like a beautiful down pillow where food could rest and relax...
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5:56 PM | Wallace Stevens: “The Emperor of Ice-Cream”
Austin Allen at Poetry Magazine: Wallace Stevens had a notorious sweet tooth. In the oral biography Parts of a World: Wallace Stevens Remembered, friends and colleagues repeatedly attest to his appetite and love of delicious foods. Yet Stevens also had...
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5:53 PM | why we walk
Adam Gopnik at The New Yorker: Why people walk is a hard question that looks easy. Upright bipedalism seems such an obvious advantage from the viewpoint of those already upright that we rarely see its difficulty. In the famous diagram,...
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3:54 PM | A genome is not a blueprint for building a human being, so is there any way to judge whether DNA is junk or not?
Itai Yanai and Martin Lercher in Aeon: Humans are astounding creatures, our unique and highly complex traits encoded by our genome – a vast sequence of DNA ‘letters’ (called nucleotides) directing the building and maintenance of the body and brain....
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3:49 PM | Fix a Wobbly Table With Math
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3:26 PM | What fraction of our brain do we use?
There is a long-standing “science myth” claiming that “we only use ten percent of our brain”.  The myth dates back many years, and rises and falls in popularity, but has recently been reinvigorated by the movie Lucy, where it is asserted by the authoritative voice of Morgan Freeman.  It has been debunked so many times … Continue reading »
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12:42 PM | Wednesday Poem
The Doctor -Exceprt from A Boxing Story No more boxers for me. Bar room brawlers, that's another story. They don't train to destroy people. No one pays to watch a couple of drunks demolish furniture. Four and a half hours...
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12:16 PM | Europe's Slow Surrender to Intolerance
Jeffrey Goldberg in The Atlantic: On the one hand, it is completely unsurprising that Europe has become a swamp of anti-Jewish hostility. It is, after all, Europe. Anti-Jewish hostility has been its metier for centuries. (Yes, the locus of much...
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10:58 AM | E-cigarettes: The lingering questions
Daniel Cressey in Nature: In many respects, the modern electronic cigarette is not so different from its leaf-and-paper predecessor. Take a drag from the mouthpiece and you get a genuine nicotine fix — albeit from a fluid wicked into the...
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10:41 AM | I will build columns to support your roof / If need be, with my bones
Douglas Martin in the New York Times: Simin Behbahani, a prizewinning poet known as “the lioness of Iran” for using her verse as a means of courageous social protest, died on Tuesday in Tehran. She was 87. Her death was...
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9:54 AM | Forum: Against Empathy
Paul Bloom in the Boston Review: When asked what I am working on, I often say I am writing a book about empathy. People tend to smile and nod, and then I add, “I’m against it.” This usually gets an...
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