Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 51)

The 90 Best Movies of the 1990s

You'd think that narrowing down a list of the Top 90 films of any decade would be relatively painless. But even just my personal worksheet of no-brainers for the Best 90 Movies of the 1990s added up to over 100 films--not to mention everyone else's exhaustive picks. Maybe it was the birth of the modern American indie film movement, led by Steven Soderbergh and Richard Linklater, that produced such an explosion of memorable movies in the decade. Maybe it was the emergence of the New World Order (certainly the fall of Communism was directly responsible for Krzysztof Kieslowski, among many others, to do his finest work). Or maybe it's just that we all have a soft spot in our hearts for our post-college-era movies.

Russell Brand was right, what now?

That does not mean the solution lies within the prevailing political paradigm. Brand's call for revolution, for a fundamental political, economic, cultural and cognitive shift, is on point. But rather than entailing disengagement resulting in anarchy, this requires the opposite: Engagement at all levels in order to elicit structural transformation on multiple scales through the overwhelming presence of people taking power back, here and now.That could include civil disobedience and occupying public spaces. But it should also include occupying mainstream political spaces - not just as an act of protest, but as an act of constructive engagement that is difficult to ignore, through intensive, organised grassroots campaigning, lobbying and dialogue with political actors; occupying media narratives by mobilising organised critical engagement with journalists and editors; occupying economic spaces by experimenting with new equitable forms of production, consumption and exchange; occupying food and energy spaces by pooling community resources to grow our own food and produce our own energy in our communities; and so on.

Physics - What We Do and Don't Know

Cosmology and elementary particle physics span a range from the largest to the smallest distances about which we have any reliable knowledge. The cosmologist looks out to a cosmic horizon, the farthest distance light could have traveled since the universe became transparent to light over ten billion years ago, while the elementary particle physicist explores distances much smaller than an atomic nucleus. Yet our standard models really work--they allow us to make numerical predictions of high precision, which turn out to agree with observation. Up to a point the stories of cosmology and particle physics can be told separately. In the end, though, they will come together.

Physics - What We Do and Don't Know

History of Formula 1 engines

Formula 1 is a multi-billion dollar sport driven by superfast cars. The cars are multi-million dollar vehicles encompassing the best of modern cutting-edge technology. The chassis, the carbon-fiber body, the electronic systems and the engines are all designed with the best technology and engineering in the world in Formula 1 (F1). The leading F1 car designers apply the best aerodynamic techniques to assemble these parts to produce the fastest vehicles on earth. At the heart of this F1 car is the F1 engine which is located behind the driver in the car. The engines allow the F1 cars to travel at over 300 km/h speed and produce the high-pitched roar of the cars that has captivated millions of F1 fans around the world.

History of Formula 1 engines

A Legendary Photo Gives Up Its Secrets

Part detective story, part homage to the American immigrant experience and, ultimately, a tribute to the simple dignity of hard work, the documentary film Men at Lunch examines the mysteries behind one of the most recognizable images of the 20th century: eleven men casually perched atop a steel beam hundreds of feet above Manhattan. For eight decades, from the time the photo was made in 1932 until brothers Sean and Eamonn O Cualain came across a print of the photo in a pub in the west of Ireland in 2009, the picture was embraced as a stirring illustration of the creation of modern New York. Here, the picture seems to say, are the immigrants who built, by hand, the greatest skyline in the world. Here are the unsung heroes of Manhattan.

A Legendary Photo Gives Up Its Secrets

A Gear Discovered in Nature

As the legs unfurl to power the jump," Burrows says, "both have to move at exactly the same time. If they didn't, the animal would start to spiral out of control." Larger animals, whether kangaroos or NBA players, rely on their nervous system to keep their legs in sync when pushing off to jump--using a constant loop of adjustment and feedback. But for the issus, their legs outpace their nervous system. By the time the insect has sent a signal from its legs to its brain and back again, roughly 5 or 6 milliseconds, the launch has long since happened. Instead, the gears, which engage before the jump, let the issus lock its legs together--synchronizing their movements to a precision of 1/300,000 of a second.

A Gear Discovered in Nature

Movement Evolution

How will robots of the future get around? Some say tank treads. Some say legs and feet. But nobody knows for sure, and that's why researchers at Cornell University designed a computer program to figure it out. The software simulates evolution. Robots begin as blocks of muscle, tissue, and bone, then natural selection kicks in: The fastest bots in each generation have offspring and are more likely to move on to the next round. The slower ones die out. Here are five of the most memorable variations from 175,000 generations.

Life and Death and Middle Pair

Games are something like music, literature, film," Lantz said. "Games can be meaningful, beautiful in the way these other things are, but their meaning and beauty is actually quite different."But rather than looking at video games, Lantz turned his attention to go and poker, two games that have long since stood the test of time and have proven the power games can hold over their players. By examining what makes these games special, Lantz believes video game designers can have a batter grasp of what makes their craft meaningful.