Monthly Archives: June 2008

The Big Bang Machine

All you ever wanted to know about the Large Hadron Collider, courtesy of the Guardian. I’m looking forward to it being switched on.

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So Fucking What…

Sorry for the intemperate headline, but while thinking about Stephen Fry’s response to sensitive souls who take offense at every little thing, it seemed to me to be aposite for Stephen Lenski’s reponse to Andrew Schlafly’s particularly stupid queries over Lenski’s research. As … Continue reading

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Too Late…

For my vicarious pleasure, I often peruse the Not Always Right web site, where the more depressing side of humanity is often on display during a customer/vendor transaction. While most of them make me despair for the future of humanity, some … Continue reading

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Wind-powered Skyscrapers

Architect David Fisher has come up with the idea of skyscrapers where each floor can rotate independently, driven by wind turbines. Intriguing, although I assume that the kitchen and bathroom units will hug the central, static, core of the building. … Continue reading

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Nothing Can Go Wrong…

Geoff Manaugh, over at BLDGBLOG, has an intriguing entry on RoboVault, a robotic storage facility in Florida. It’s also worth visiting RoboVault’s actual web site, if only to hear the corny voiceover extolling the virtues of the facility. Mind you, … Continue reading

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Creature Creator

I see that the launch date of Spore is at last getting within reach. The makers have just released the Creature Creator, which allows you to design your own animals for the Spore worlds. I’ve always wondered what it must … Continue reading

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Would You Like Mayo With That?

And just to illustrate how little UK society seems to have moved on since Section 28, here comes the news that a Heinz advert has been pulled because it features two men sharing a peck on the cheek. I don’t … Continue reading

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Section 28

Johann Hari has a very good article on a piece of UK legislation that has now been consigned to the rubbish bin of history, but whose toxic impact is still felt within UK society. Go and read about it.

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The Asylum and its Administrators

It begins to seem as though the insane have indeed taken over the running of the asylum. Ophelia has the story. I find this ominous. The UN Human Rights Council seems to be concerned with nothing of the sort. Perhaps … Continue reading

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Hello Hal

Another quiz, which, with its nod to 2001, I simply had to do:   OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets    One of the questions asks you to classify yourself into an age group. It came home to me that I can … Continue reading

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Knobs and Knickers

I see that the conservative faction of the Church of England is getting its knickers in a twist over the fact that two men (both members of the clergy) dared to hold their civil partnership union in a church. Very … Continue reading

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Today is our tenth wedding anniversary. Last Sunday, our friends and neighbours sprang a surprise party on us to celebrate the fact. They turned up completely unexpectedly with food and drinks in the afternoon. As it was hot in the … Continue reading

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Love Threatens

I see that the work of art in the Rijksmuseum displayed by today’s edition of the Rijkswidget is L’Amour Menaçant by Etienne-Maurice Falconet. I’ve always liked the expression on this Cupid’s face. It’s somewhat unsettling. Here’s a closeup.    

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Hot Weather

We’re currently experiencing a spell of hot weather. That’s brought out the dragonflies to hunt over the ponds. This specimen of Libella depressa uses this iron rod by one of the ponds as its favourite perch.    

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Crows and Memes

And if to illustrate the point that I made in the last entry (that memes are not the sole province of humans), here’s Joshua Klein talking about the intelligence of crows. He uses examples of memetic behaviour to demonstrate it… … Continue reading

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Genes, Memes and Temes

Susan Blackmore’s talk at the year’s TED conference is now available online. As usual, thought-provoking, although, judging from the comments on the TED site, many people dismiss her ideas almost out of hand. She’s accused of anthropomorphising memes, whereas I … Continue reading

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Mrs. Mortimer

I was curious to see how many members of LibraryThing have a copy of the Codex Seraphinianus. Apparently, there are 76 of us, all sharing a taste for this decidedly odd book. That got me thinking about weird and wonderful … Continue reading

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The Singularity

IEEE Spectrum has an interesting issue devoted to looking at the subject of the Singularity. An intriguing topic, but I definitely remain a skeptic about the wilder predictions of transhumanism. It seems to me that some of its proponents haven’t … Continue reading

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Insect Behaviours

Carl Zimmer has another of his terrific (in all senses of the word) posts on parasitic wasps and their victims. This time it’s about Glyptapanteles glyptapanteles. Definitely worth reading and his piece conveys not only the stuff of nightmares, but also a … Continue reading

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A Tragedy’s Final Act

Last April, Rand Abdel-Qader was killed by her father. Now, her mother has been killed, quite possibly for daring to speak out against him and a society where "honour" killings are considered just.

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