Thursday, December 30, 2010

That's Art

Not sure if I'd call it sculpture or photography, or what exactly.  Then again I'm not an art critic, I just know what I like when I see it.

This is pretty freaking cool...

Water Sculpture from Shinichi Maruyama on Vimeo.

The artist in question is Shinichi Maruyama.  You can read an interview with him at The Morning News.

(via kottke)

I Give Up - The IPhone Is The Future

At the upcoming CES these guys will premier their clip on case and app witch turn the IPhone into a clinical quality ECG device capable of recording and wirelessly transmitting the readings anywhere...

The application makes a lot of sense, and it's super freaking cool.

Technology man, wow.

(via MC)

Rich & Talented In LA

A friend sent this video my way a while ago and I finally got the chance to check it out during the holiday lull.  You'll probably chuckle, especially if you like sports, and Seinfeld, and in this video if you enjoy jokes about LA...

There are a bunch more in the Narrow World of Sports series if you're interested.

(via EH)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

There's Bombs In Them Thar Swamps

Well one bomb anyway, but it's a big one.  It seems that in 1961 the Air Force managed to let a couple of nukes drop in the Nahunta Swamp near Goldsboro, NC.  The pilot was only following procedure, his bomber having lost a wing in a storm.  One of the nukes wafted down on a parachute and the military picked it up quickly.  The other one, well it's still down in the muck somewhere...

The one they got back.

Good thing they didn't go off, we wouldn't be able to stop at Wilbur's on the way to the coast if they had...

(via Restoration Systems who had the picture and links to the wikipedia rundown on the incident)

Monday, December 20, 2010

File This Under Interesting Read

Now that finals season has wrapped for another semester in the academic sphere here are a couple of articles to take a look at while your brain is on hiatus.  If, you're a student or professor that is, otherwise these are just another thing to add to your (hopefully) already long reading list.

You may have caught wind of a recent essay in the Chronicle of Higher Education by a soon to be former term paper writer for hire.  His piece is worth reading, if only for its tone and lambasting of our system of higher education for failing the students it purports to educate (at least some of them).  If you brave the comments section (which, needless to say, is long and occasionally vituperative) your head may explode and you'll find plenty of folks questioning the truth of the story.

One of the more even keeled commenters pointed another essay by a former term paper writer from a couple of  years ago that hits on many of the same points.

Both authors say the students buying the papers are either simply unable to do the work, lazy students who can afford to pay for whatever they want, and non-native English speakers who are often just getting screwed by the system. The authors also discuss the writing process and what goes into writing 50 plus pages in a weekend.

Interesting, and potentially thought provoking reads if you're interested in writing generally and in educational and academic issues at an undergraduate and higher level.

The Shadow Scholar - The Chronicle of Higher Ed
The Term Paper Artist - The Smart Set (interview from On the Media)

The Great Facebook Dilemma

No, not whether you should switch to the newest profile, or which pictures you should tag yourself in.  There are many such dilemmas swirling around for the ever growing facebook community, but deciding whether to friend your parents on facebook is the only one I've seen a super cool flow chart for...

(via @anniecolbert, graphic from holy kaw)

Friday, December 17, 2010

9/11 Hypocrites

Well Jon Stewart has this covered lock, stock, and barrel...

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
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The whole episode is on the issue, I'd show it to you but Comedy Central's codes are once again not working well...
The GOP is an embarrassment to America.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

School Work

Being in grad school means doing lots of work.  Luckily it's fairly targeted so it tends to be more interesting and enjoyable than might otherwise be the case.  Most of the work though isn't anything that makes me feel like sharing.

My latest project is different though.  For an advanced GIS (think google maps, spatial processing and the like) this semester I built a google earth plugin based website that helps visualize the effects of sea level rise.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out and you should go have a look and play around a bit.

I believe that the project is pretty neat as is but that its greatest potential lies in creating specific sea level rise overlays for selected regions and then constructing the corresponding 3-D buildings for the region in order to visualize sea level rise affects accurately and effectively.

I'd be interested in any thoughts or feedback that you feel like sharing as well.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Metrodome Comes Down

I always wondered what a collapsing dome stadium would look like...


(via kottke)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

China Keeps It Classy

I don't get why China persists in handling human rights issues and civil liberties so poorly.  I know they have a dictatorial communist regime background to work through, but they've done a pretty good job of modernizing and liberalizing the economy and it seems that they should be able to loosen up a bit on the people and thoughts side of things without the country crumbling and without even creating any real threat to the ruling party's grip on power.

But then a Chinese dissident gets the Nobel Peace Prize and the Chinese government goes nuts and handles the PR and the situation generally just about as poorly as they possibly could, especially on an international stage.

Which results in this picture from the Nobel ceremony...

Photo via Maddow Blog

The last time that a Nobel Peace Prize wasn't handed to the laureate or a family member representing them the Nazi's wouldn't let anyone attend.

Nice one China.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

It'll Feel Good To Be Working

I came across this somewhere in my online rambles recently. The semester is drawing to a close and the urge to dither instead of finishing up papers is only getting stronger...

I'm not at Fuqua, but I took a class up there this past semester, and mostly I think the options profiled fit the options that a lot of Nicholas School students are eying as they start to think about life after grad school.

Plus it made me laugh, twice.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Go Domesticity!

So I've known the tuck the corners together trick for a while (my fiance taught me) but it never occurred to me that you could fold a fitted sheet this well on your own...

Can you tell it's finals season?

(via kottke)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Take A Stand Already

Well, here we are again with the Dem's showing exactly why I get so frustrated with them.  Given a pretty cut and dry winning position on extending the below $250,000 Bush Tax cuts while letting the millionaires return to paying something slightly closer to their fair share, Obama and the Dem's are getting ready to give it all away.

Ezra Klein has a clear eyed piece on how this happened and why it's such a familiar process at this point, you should read it...

And you should watch this new add running on DC cable and in Iowa:

(video via PL)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Read This Now - Google Strikes Back

So the guy who was scamming for links and a good google ranking by screwing over his customers probably wishes he hadn't given that interview to the NYT.

Google has a post up explaining the options they considered and how they ended up tweaking their algorithm to get smarter and stop rewarding negative links. 

We can say with reasonable confidence that being bad to customers is bad for business on Google. And we will continue to work hard towards a better search.
Nice to see them jump on the problem and embrace it as an opportunity to get better.