Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 35)

Van Halen and M&Ms

So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you're going to arrive at a technical error. They didn't read the contract. Guaranteed you'd run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.

Ethics in School

Nile says that scripture is under threat from ethics classes. But this is nonsense. The right of a child to receive classes in special religious education is enshrined in law - and there is no movement to change this. In the time since the ethics classes have been introduced, at the beginning of this year, there has not been a precipitous decline in the number of children attending scripture. Primary Ethics' volunteer teachers and co-ordinators have been welcomed into schools where they now offer programs to about 2700 children. That leaves an estimated 97,000 children still without a meaningful option to being ''parked'' while others attend scripture.

The Art of Drums

SceneFour has used long-exposure photography and magic glowing drumsticks to create the work. While the final artwork comes in canvas form -- all the better for that celeb-style signing, of course -- there isn't a hint of paint in how the drumming movement is captured. Cory Danziger, the collective's creative director, explains to Wired.co.uk: "We were inspired to go outside of the confines of oil or acrylic. We wanted to create a new, basically untapped medium that a visual artist could work with.

The Art of Drums

INgSOC hybrid bike concept

Although the technology is not exactly new, I still find the look of a spokeless/hubless bike wheel somewhat spell-binding. When combined with a frame design that wouldn't look out of place on the pages of a Marvel comic strip, the effect seems positively extra-terrestrial. Such is the case with the INgSOC concept from Edward Kim and Benny Cemoli, a very strange-looking human/electric two-wheeler design sporting sharp lines and some dangerous-looking edges.

INgSOC hybrid bike concept

After the Space Shuttle

NASA's recent report on shuttle safety found that the chance of making it through first 25 flights (#25 being Challenger's last flight) was only 6%, and the chance of 88 safe flights between the Challenger and Columbia disasters was just 7%. If the study is accurate, then Challenger and Columbia weren't freak accidents--the flights before them were freak successes.

1 percent of US takes quarter of income

It's no use pretending that what has obviously happened has not in fact happened. The upper 1 percent of Americans are now taking in nearly a quarter of the nation's income every year. In terms of wealth rather than income, the top 1 percent control 40 percent. Their lot in life has improved considerably. Twenty-five years ago, the corresponding figures were 12 percent and 33 percent. One response might be to celebrate the ingenuity and drive that brought good fortune to these people, and to contend that a rising tide lifts all boats. That response would be misguided. While the top 1 percent have seen their incomes rise 18 percent over the past decade, those in the middle have actually seen their incomes fall. For men with only high-school degrees, the decline has been precipitous--12 percent in the last quarter-century alone. All the growth in recent decades--and more--has gone to those at the top. In terms of income equality, America lags behind any country in the old, ossified Europe that President George W. Bush used to deride. Among our closest counterparts are Russia with its oligarchs and Iran. While many of the old centers of inequality in Latin America, such as Brazil, have been striving in recent years, rather successfully, to improve the plight of the poor and reduce gaps in income, America has allowed inequality to grow.

Milky Way pictures

A star-gazer has come a little bit closer to the final frontier - after spending 18 months photographing the night sky.With just an ordinary digital camera, Alex Cherney turned thousands of snaps into an incredible time-lapse video of the cosmos.Using long exposures to allow more light in, these breath-taking pictures from the southern tip of Australia demonstrate how he captured the dramatic way the sky changes at night.

A Long Painful History of Time

This paper is almost all about how we got ourselves into trouble by neglecting to think about time frames longer than a human lifetime, how we got all confused by the difference between time as an orderly concept in science and a mess in the rest of human existence, and how we have missed every opportunity to fix the problems. This paper proposes a fix to the most glaring problems in a programming language that should not have been left without a means to express time for so long.