Somehow, I still manage to be surprised when Cracked.com has an article that's got pretty good science and pretty good advice in it, like What is the Monkeyspehere?.
I'm just gonna link this post of UrsulaV's, where she talks about just wanting to grow a garden with hummingbirds, and the trip down the rabbit hole this led her on through all the dysfunctional systems we have in the world.

And if you're interested in a field guide to this particular rabbit hole, I recommend Worldchanging, the new 2.0 updated book, or the website, with its archives of solutions and more.

Time to get fixing things. Even if people look at you like you're crazy.
I would (and, in fact, am) recommend Space Exploration: Serpens Sector to anyone seeking to fill a few random half-hours with seeking out new life, and new civilizations in a randomly generated cluster of stars. It's a lot of fun, and there's interesting little interactions based on your crew and previous actions in all sorts of places, so even if you think you've found all the quests, there's still lots of little things to make repeated playthroughs worthwhile. And not every tactic will work the same each time, so diplomacy isn't just a matter of memorizing responses.
So I was reading the comments on The Ferret's post about manilness and somebody linked to the website The Art of Manliness, and I clicked over because I was curious, and I was ready to make jokes about it, but then I saw the title bar.

I simply cannot argue with that moustache. That is a truly elegant and wise moustache, and only a fool would dispute with it.

Now I'm actually going to go read the site, but between the moustaches, top hats, and illustrations taken from vintage men's magazines, I get the feeling that these people have their heads on straight enough to not actually take it all seriously, while taking it seriously. Or maybe it just reminds me of David Malki!'s Wondermark.
I... There's really no words for how awesome this is, you need to see it for yourself. Pacific Star I & II.

They built a weather balloon and attached digital cameras to it, that flew up into the edge of space, and took pictures that show the curve of the Earth. No, not NASA, this was done by three dudes from California.

Let me repeat that. These guys, in their backyard, sent cameras up to the EDGE OF SPACE, and got back pictures. From the edge of space. With digital cameras from eBay, styrofoam, duct tape, and chemical hand warmers.

(Shamelessly stolen from Afterlife Blues' daily link. Because, DUDE.)
These people in Minneapolis seem pretty cool, The Geek Partnership Society. They run themed "nerd proms", gaming events, writer workshops, parties at cons, volunteer things, nerf wars, and organize getting authors and scientists to come visit some of the local schools. It's an idea with potential.

(Also, I just realized I have a "geekery" and a "nerdity" tag, and I think only one can survive. Now to figure out which.)
So, Fred Phelps (the "God hates fags" guy and his famiy) decided to mount a protest at... San Diego Comic-Con. Seriously. No, I don't know why either.

But, word of this got out beforehand, so there were a few more protesters than expected. AWESOME protestors.

(Also, you're not supposed to use the flag as clothing, according to the Flag Code, also she has it upside down, which is a distress signal)

Memories

Jul. 16th, 2010 10:21 am
In light of today's XKCD about Mr. Rogers, here's a link to Mr. Rogers facts, a link to a video of Mr. Rogers saving PBS from Congress, and the Sesame Street video of crayons being made which isn't relevant at all, but it reminded me of it. EDIT: Apparently Mr. Rogers did a crayon making video too, you can see it here, but the Sesame Street one is the one I remember.
Huh. This Cracked article, The 10 Most Important Things They Didn't Teach You in School is pretty good at being on the ball the whole way through, and would actually make a pretty good skeleton for real classes.
These autonomous flight tricks are awesome. Almost unreal to watch. Luckily these things are so little I don't think they could carry any weapons, so we're safe from the robot dragonfly revolution... FOR NOW.

D'Awww!

May. 25th, 2010 12:48 am
Sylvia's Super-Awesome Maker Show is both super awesome and one of the cutest things ever.
Genius: The Transgression, a fan-made RPG for the New White Wolf universe. Where, yes, everyone is a mad scientist. You, too, can SHOW THEM ALL!!!! (Not in the flasher sense)

I SO want to play this.
This week's assortment of links:

Meaning-Making Machines: In Which is Discussed Hallucinations, Game Design, and Control
Obesity: The killer combination of salt, fat and sugar [sic]: In Which is Discussed Food, Flavors, and Intermittent Rewards and Their Effects on Brain Chemistry
Superhero Tragedy Porn Is Bad For Comics: In Which is Discussed Tragedy, Superheroes, Pathos, and Steady State Continuity, and How Serious Superhero Comics Become More Farcical
Radiolab: Random Rules: In Which is Discussed Randomness, Cellular Structure, and the Messy Business of Life
The secret mall gardens of Cleveland: In Which is Discussed Sinking Malls and Their Attempts to Become Something More, Like Greenhouses and Farmers' Markets
Abraham Lincoln: First Inaugural Address: In Which is Discussed Imminent Rebellion by the Soon-to-briefly-be Confederacy and the Moral Obligations On the Participants
What's Left to Eat?: In Which is Discussed How We Have Enough Food to Feed the World, and How to Get it Where it Needs to Be.
So, in response to that school in Mississippi canceling the prom because a lesbian couple wanted to go, at least one blog is collecting prom pictures from lesbian couples. Theoretically, this should prove the world won't end if girls dance with girls, but I don't think the school board's going to read it.

But D'AWWW! So cute.

Also, it makes me wonder, which would be more culturally subversive, two girls going, and one wearing a tux, the "male" uniform, or both going in dresses? (At least one couple both went in suits, I think they win.)
One of the only redeeming fearures of Vista is the text box in the start menu that will either act as a search, or launch the program you type in. Much easier than menus for running programs you don't run all the time.

And I swear I've linked this before, but I'm not sure, so here it is again, Fanspeak, a webpage made from a Usenet post about a speech pathologist's impressions of geek culture, once removed. At least at cons. A bunch of it seems dead-on to me. And the part about talking with your hand under your chin struck me, and yeah, I can. That's weird, I guess? At least to some people? (Found via the comments of [livejournal.com profile] theferret's post "If Nerds Can Learn Linux, Why Can't They Learn Not To Interrupt People?"
"Libro al viento" (Book on the Wind) and other mobile books An article about mini-libraries and book dispensers in public transit stations. A really neat and simple idea.

Collapse Roger Ebert's review of a movie interview with Michael Ruppert and unrelated to Jared Diamond's book Collapse. In it, he spells out a lot of the worst case scenario results of Peak Oil, when demand for oil outstrips the speed we can dig up oil, because the easy oil's gone. Chances are, we're there, or will be there soon, and are headed down the far side of the Hubbert curve. It's not a pretty picture, and check out the wikipedia article for more about Peak Oil. A lot of it's scary, because we've built our civilization on oil, both for energy and for lots of our stuff.

And Peak Oil's just one of the many problems we are headed into. We should have been using the easy oil to set ourselves up for when it wasn't easy any more, sort of like investing lottery winnings in stuff that'll work when the lottery money is gone. I think we still can, but it's a lot harder now than it would have been if we'd started forty years ago.
Closing tabs on articles I was reading over at Worldchanging.

Why Our Bright Green Futures Will be Weirder Than We Think Some solutions that sound great fail to be able to deliver sufficient change quickly enough to be very important. Others deliver change -- perhaps even lots of change -- but are dead-end paths: beyond a certain point, they can deliver no more benefit, and they also don't make the next solution set any easier. Still others may offer some level of benefit but actually impede progress beyond that level, to the point of being harmful distractions. It's not at all clear that every little bit helps: some solutions can get in the way.

My Other Car is a Bright Green City

De-Industrializing the City "Engineering without engines. We should use contemporary technology and computation capacity to make our buildings independent of machinery. Building services today are essentially mechanical compensations for the fact that buildings are bad for what they are designed for—human life. Therefore we pump air around, illuminate dark spaces with electric lights, and heat and cool the spaces in order to make them livable. The result is boring boxes with big energy bills. If we moved the qualities out of the machine room and back into architecture’s inherent attributes, we’d make more interesting buildings and more sustainable cities."

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