How cool is this? Letters of Note:
Back in 1936, renowned sculptor Isamu Noguchi was in Mexico working on a 72-ft-long public mural when he hit a snag: for some reason, he couldn't precisely recall the famous formula, E=mc². Rather than risk a mistake, he decided to seek advice and wired his good friend, Buckminster Fuller — a famed architect and great admirer of Einstein — for clarification.
I find telegrams almost impossible to read (ALL CAPS SHOUTING IS HARD OK), so while there's a picture of the telegram and a transcription, I thought I'd try some CSS to get rid of the caps without needing to retype the whole thing:

EINSTEINS FORMULA DETERMINATION INDIVIDUAL SPECIFICS RELATIVITY READS QUOTE ENERGY EQUALS MASS TIMES THE SPEED OF LIGHT SQUARED UNQUOTE

SPEED OF LIGHT IDENTICAL SPEED ALL RADIATION COSMIC GAMMA X ULTRA VIOLET INFRA RED RAYS ETCETERA ONE HUNDRED EIGHTY SIX THOUSAND MILES PER SECOND WHICH SQUARED IS TOP OR PERFECT SPEED GIVING SCIENCE A FINITE VALUE FOR BASIC FACTOR IN MOTION UNIVERSE STOP

SPEED OF RADIANT ENERGY BEING DIRECTIONAL OUTWARD ALL DIRECTIONS EXPANDING WAVE SURFACE DIAMETRIC POLAR SPEED AWAY FROM SELF IS TWICE SPEED IN ONE DIRECTION AND SPEED OF VOLUME INCREASE IS SQUARE OF SPEED IN ONE DIRECTION APPROXIMATELY THIRTY FIVE BILLION VOLUMETRIC MILES PER SECOND STOP

FORMULA IS WRITTEN QUOTE LETTER E FOLLOWED BY EQUATION MARK FOLLOWED BY LETTER M FOLLOWED BY LETTER C FOLLOWED CLOSELY BY ELEVATED SMALL FIGURE TWO SYMBOL OF SQUARING UNQUOTE

ONLY VARIABLE IN FORMULA IS SPECIFIC MASS SPEED IS A UNIT OF RATE WHICH IS AN INTEGRATED RATIO OF BOTH TIME AND SPACE AND NO GREATER RATE OF SPEED THAN THAT PROVIDED BY ITS CAUSE WHICH IS PURE ENERGY LATENT OR RADIANT IS ATTAINABLE STOP

THE FORMULA THEREFORE PROVIDES A UNIT AND A RATE OF PERFECTION TO WHICH THE RELATIVE IMPERFECTION OF INEFFICIENCY OF ENERGY RELEASE IN RADIANT OR CONFINED DIRECTION OF ALL TEMPORAL SPACE PHENOMENA MAY BE COMPARED BY ACTUAL CALCULATION STOP

SIGNIFICANCE STOP

SPECIFIC QUALITY OF ANIMATES IS CONTROL WILLFUL OR OTHERWISE OF RATE AND DIRECTION ENERGY RELEASE AND APPLICATION NOT ONLY OF SELF MECHANISM BUT OF FROM SELF MACHINE DIVIDED MECHANISMS AND RELATIVITY OF ALL ANIMATES AND INANIMATES IS POTENTIAL OF ESTABLISHMENT THROUGH EINSTEIN FORMULA



BUCKY
That's Richard Buckminster-Fuller explaining Einstein in a few sentences. I now need to go close about 50 billion wikipedia pages on various related subjects including Fullerenes, carbon-nanotubes and space elevators. But I felt the need to share
K, looks like I kinda forgot to update for awhile. Oops. You know what that means right? A backlog of silly, informative, thinkworthy or merely funny links. In no particular order:

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite". Sounds fun to me. Street View solves Dutch mugging. See? Useful. Random chance, but still useful.

Next up, researchers do study that finds obvious finding. Except it's not obvious, because if it were, you wouldn't still have idiot politicians the world over trying to pretend the exact opposite is true :-( Professor Kelly Musick and Dr Ann Meier of Cornell University have carried out a study of children whose parents stay together for the sake of the kids: ( more explanation with longer quote ) What matters is the quality of the parenting and the attitude they inculcate to opportunity, not whether they pretend to be happy for the kids sake.

Neologism of the Day—Huxleyed:

To have died with a degree of fame or notoriety that would have guaranteed extensive media coverage, save for the death of someone even more famous or notorious immediately afterwards. From Aldous Huxley, who died an hour before President Kennedy was assassinated. Usage: "Farrah Fawcett was completely Huxleyed by Michael Jackson."

And on that subject, this comic is particularly apposite:
( 'A famous person has died, we go live to somewhere tangentially related' )

One of my favourite authors is, as many of you know, Charles Stross, also known as [info - personal]autopope, he's up for the Hugos, again, this year, and has been writing an auto-biographical series of blog posts for the last week or so that I've been meaning to link to as they are, frankly, quite funny, and also count as a nice little rundown of the history of how the web came to be—you can blame the need for a robots.txt file on him, and his time working for a Demon subcontractor where part of my official job description was to keep Danny the tomcat from pissing on the modem rack is also amusing.

This is really cool to know, assuming that they're on the button: All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. Unlike in many other species, we have multiple possible mutations that could make us, for example, short, and populations famous for small stature, like pygmies, simply have a large number of them instead of one specific key change. Same applies to things like the ability to tolerate cows milk.

Now, simple little question, how many colours are there in the following pattern (via):
( Spiral image pattern with clever optical illusion )
Yup, that's right, there are ( look at the image first damnit! ) colours there, funny how our mind tricks us by filling in assumed blanks, full explanation at Bad Astronomy.

Not sure about this one: science explains why Yorkshiremen like pies so much. Um, I like pies, and I only moved up here 18 months ago (SRSLY, a whole 18 months). Shame that decent non-meat pies are a pain to get hold of. Still, really happy about this one: Alastair Reynolds scores unprecedented 10-year, 10-book deal from Gollancz for his 'mean line in alien cultures and technology'. Completely different writing style to Charlie, but one I also really like, and it's nice to see grand sweeping plots with a background that seems to make sense. In 'so obvious now you think of it' mode, I concur with [livejournal.com profile] rhodri, I really hope that the designer of The folding plug makes lots and lots of money, especially the multi-plug adapter design. I wants them I does...

Slightly more seriously, [info - staff]denise got interviewed for American NPR, and it's another case of stating the obvious until people listen—social networks that try to make money from ad revenue are going to be in trouble, much better to provide a service people actually want (in DW's case, damn fine blog hosting with a good feed aggregation service bolted on) and charge users for it in some way. By the way, no link for this one, Livejournal is soon going to allow people to host their own adverts on a revenue-sharing model; I personally have less of a problem with this than the way they're plastered all over the dormant basic accounts now, but some of you might like to know...

On the subject of blogging, one of its principle strengths has always been what's called "the long tail"—( defined )this tail is getting a lot shorter. Charles Arthur at The Guardian explains why. ( I mostly agree )

Back to silliness. The US economy was too reliant on crap made by General Motors. Have a look at this: Ten Vehicles That Bankrupted GM. Seriously, these things sold? Ouch.

Now, it can't have escaped the notice of most of you that have met me that my wardrobe is, shall we say, a little bit monochrome. [livejournal.com profile] susannah_banana claims I'm not a goth because I'm not goth enough. She's one of the DJs at one of the top goth nights in the UK, but she's wrong, here's why: About Goth [stereo] Types - All Types. I am #19, and I claim my £5. (created by [livejournal.com profile] sinju, a now defunct journal that was very very cool while she was still documenting her time in Japan).

WANT

More sciency stuff: Flourescent lightbulbs are not the saviour they're being sold as and incandescents have still got some light in them yet. Personally, I can't stand reading by the horribly light they output (we use candles by the bed) and they set of my photic sneeze reflex something chronic.

BASTARDS

One of the best uses of animation within a webcomic I've seen, very cleverly done.

Royal British Legion to Nick Griffin MEP, leader of the BNP: Stop it, Mr Griffin. Just stop it. First rule of politics: don't piss off the veterans association.

OK, that's loads. I've cut the images and longer explanations, but left the rest open for easy clicking—if I do a post this long again is that still the best plan?
Original post on Dreamwidth, I prefer to keep all the comments there, if you have trouble using OpenID let me know, it's still in beta and subject to improvement.
K, looks like I kinda forgot to update for awhile. Oops. You know what that means right? A backlog of silly, informative, thinkworthy or merely funny links. In no particular order:

Australian wallabies are eating opium poppies and creating crop circles as they hop around "as high as a kite". Sounds fun to me. Street View solves Dutch mugging. See? Useful. Random chance, but still useful.

Next up, researchers do study that finds obvious finding. Except it's not obvious, because if it were, you wouldn't still have idiot politicians the world over trying to pretend the exact opposite is true :-( Professor Kelly Musick and Dr Ann Meier of Cornell University have carried out a study of children whose parents stay together for the sake of the kids: more explanation with longer quote ) What matters is the quality of the parenting and the attitude they inculcate to opportunity, not whether they pretend to be happy for the kids sake.

Neologism of the Day—Huxleyed:

To have died with a degree of fame or notoriety that would have guaranteed extensive media coverage, save for the death of someone even more famous or notorious immediately afterwards. From Aldous Huxley, who died an hour before President Kennedy was assassinated. Usage: "Farrah Fawcett was completely Huxleyed by Michael Jackson."

And on that subject, this comic is particularly apposite:
'A famous person has died, we go live to somewhere tangentially related' )

One of my favourite authors is, as many of you know, Charles Stross, also known as [personal profile] autopope, he's up for the Hugos, again, this year, and has been writing an auto-biographical series of blog posts for the last week or so that I've been meaning to link to as they are, frankly, quite funny, and also count as a nice little rundown of the history of how the web came to be—you can blame the need for a robots.txt file on him, and his time working for a Demon subcontractor where part of my official job description was to keep Danny the tomcat from pissing on the modem rack is also amusing.

This is really cool to know, assuming that they're on the button: All of Earth's people, according to a new analysis of the genomes of 53 populations, fall into just three genetic groups. Unlike in many other species, we have multiple possible mutations that could make us, for example, short, and populations famous for small stature, like pygmies, simply have a large number of them instead of one specific key change. Same applies to things like the ability to tolerate cows milk.

Now, simple little question, how many colours are there in the following pattern (via):
Spiral image pattern with clever optical illusion )
Yup, that's right, there are look at the image first damnit! ) colours there, funny how our mind tricks us by filling in assumed blanks, full explanation at Bad Astronomy.

Not sure about this one: science explains why Yorkshiremen like pies so much. Um, I like pies, and I only moved up here 18 months ago (SRSLY, a whole 18 months). Shame that decent non-meat pies are a pain to get hold of. Still, really happy about this one: Alastair Reynolds scores unprecedented 10-year, 10-book deal from Gollancz for his 'mean line in alien cultures and technology'. Completely different writing style to Charlie, but one I also really like, and it's nice to see grand sweeping plots with a background that seems to make sense. In 'so obvious now you think of it' mode, I concur with [livejournal.com profile] rhodri, I really hope that the designer of The folding plug makes lots and lots of money, especially the multi-plug adapter design. I wants them I does...

Slightly more seriously, [staff profile] denise got interviewed for American NPR, and it's another case of stating the obvious until people listen—social networks that try to make money from ad revenue are going to be in trouble, much better to provide a service people actually want (in DW's case, damn fine blog hosting with a good feed aggregation service bolted on) and charge users for it in some way. By the way, no link for this one, Livejournal is soon going to allow people to host their own adverts on a revenue-sharing model; I personally have less of a problem with this than the way they're plastered all over the dormant basic accounts now, but some of you might like to know...

On the subject of blogging, one of its principle strengths has always been what's called "the long tail"—defined )this tail is getting a lot shorter. Charles Arthur at The Guardian explains why. I mostly agree )

Back to silliness. The US economy was too reliant on crap made by General Motors. Have a look at this: Ten Vehicles That Bankrupted GM. Seriously, these things sold? Ouch.

Now, it can't have escaped the notice of most of you that have met me that my wardrobe is, shall we say, a little bit monochrome. [livejournal.com profile] susannah_banana claims I'm not a goth because I'm not goth enough. She's one of the DJs at one of the top goth nights in the UK, but she's wrong, here's why: About Goth [stereo] Types - All Types. I am #19, and I claim my £5. (created by [livejournal.com profile] sinju, a now defunct journal that was very very cool while she was still documenting her time in Japan).

WANT

More sciency stuff: Flourescent lightbulbs are not the saviour they're being sold as and incandescents have still got some light in them yet. Personally, I can't stand reading by the horribly light they output (we use candles by the bed) and they set of my photic sneeze reflex something chronic.

BASTARDS

One of the best uses of animation within a webcomic I've seen, very cleverly done.

Royal British Legion to Nick Griffin MEP, leader of the BNP: Stop it, Mr Griffin. Just stop it. First rule of politics: don't piss off the veterans association.

OK, that's loads. I've cut the images and longer explanations, but left the rest open for easy clicking—if I do a post this long again is that still the best plan?

ETA: I'm getting a massive pile of spam comments on this specific entry, all in Japanese script from what I can see, so I've set anonymous comments to be screened and turned off notification emails, if you want my attention for this post email me directly?
Dear BBC.

You've just assaulted my eardrums with some music—in a news report on Radio 4, a radio station which has as a selling point a lack of music.

In it, the reporter revealed, once again, a complete lack of basic understanding. Chimpanzees are APES, not MONKEYS. Please send your reporters on a refresher course. I'm sure this little guy is upset enough, you don't need to insult him as well.
In lieu of propper content, and because I'm a) doing more childcare than normal and b) getting addicted to the damn wii, have some links to posts by others that you should be reading.

Firstly, on the Atheist Bus campaign[1], three scientist bloggers, Dave Godfrey, Debi Linton and Strangefrontier who says:
Dear Christians on my friendslist, when you feel that atheist campaigners are generalising about your whole faith and railing against you, the real target is folks like Stephen Green. The problem is that he and others like like are so damn loud and have such a constant media presence, they drown out the normal, decent and sane* Christians. No matter what positive PR you throw out there, the attention will be given to some cunt shouting, "God hates fags!"
I especially liked Dave's line If he didn't exist I think the atheists would have to invent him, he's launched a case on which the crux is he has evidence of the existence of God. Well, like Dawkins, if you can give me some proof I'll change my opinion...

Anyway, next topic. Woolworths has shut down. Since he finished his degree, [livejournal.com profile] doctorvee has been working for them, in a number of branches, and I heartily recommend his series of posts on the history of the company and the experiences of working there in its dying days. Like him, I loved Woollies as a kid but found them fairly pointless as an adult, they definitely had no clue what they were trying to be as a chain, and Wilkinson's have definitely displaced a lot of their business in Yorkshire. I had no idea that the company had started out as the early equivalent of a pound store, they only dumped their fixed price policy because of rationing during the war.

Sad news however. Number 6 is dead. In an era where his "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered, I am a free man" speech has increasing relevence, it remains an iconic series and I really hope they don't mess up the reimagined version with Sir Ian as Number Two. RIP Patrick, you were great.

Cool news: Molecular Analysis Confirms Tyrannosaurus Rex's Evolutionary Link To Birds. They didn't die out, they evolved. Next time you eat a chicken dinner, that's one of T-Rex's relatives you're chomping down on ;-)

Want: Trends Are Cyclical: the Asus Eee Keyboard. It a complete fully functioning computer, all inside thin keyboard. How cool is that?

Have to say, I pretty much agree with Tim here, economic protectionism makes us poorer and damages our economy more than it benefits us. Buy British if you want, but if it's not the best deal, buy whatever, the economy benefits from the transaction regardless. ETA: Friday's More or Less is a politics special starring Vince! Yay!

Last up, [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat wants to declared this year as the International Year of True History to commemorate both Darwin and Galileo. She's wrong to call it "true" history of course, everyone knows that real history started at about 1600, everything before that is pre-history, but it's a nice idea.


[1] From which I've taken this icon, I yoinked the LJified version from [livejournal.com profile] strangefrontier but it was designed by [livejournal.com profile] jonworth_eu_fd who coordinated the intial fundraising campaign before it all got a bit bigger than anyone expected. I'd forgotten how good a blogger he is until I found him on Twitter, Labour party members that can actually write well about politics are worth paying attention to, methinks[2].

[2] On a similar line, [livejournal.com profile] blimpish_fd is back, one of the few Tory bloggers that doesn't make me want to shout at the screen at the idiocy and ignorance.
http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com

I am, for the record, willing to bet anyone that wants to take the bet any amount of money that the LHC will not destroy the earth tomorrow. I'm assure by all the scientists I know that it's got no chance of doing so, hence my confidence in offering the bet.

ETA
: Look at the source code for extra giggles

ETA2: [livejournal.com profile] lhc_kills_earth set up by [livejournal.com profile] karohemd
Gah, sometimes you can try to be too clever. Bottom link is to Andrew's fix of the crossposter code, which theoretically auto-selects a userpic, gets the timestamp right and removes the auto formatting. Except that having done so, it's not posted at all today. So either del.icio.us is playing up or I've messed my code. Anyone want to lay odds? Apologies for the messy appearance, this is a copy/paste from my profile there. Still, it works.
  1. Taxing times for Hungary's porn inspectors | The Register

    A Hungarian porn producer has filed his tax forms, and claimed scene dressing props as legitimate business expenses. So the tax inspectors have to watch his films to confirm they're used. Apparently 'It's a hard job'

    to porn humour taxation ... saved by 2 other people ... 22 hours ago
  2. Solar Cycle 24 Could Be 13 Years Long - Cooler Times Ahead? « Watts Up With That?

    I'm not enough of a scientist to know if this holds water at all, written from a sceptic perspective I think, but I don't discount the anti-climate change position completely, doubt is good. Anyone able to expand, confirm or debunk?

  3. 'The Only Moral Abortion is My Abortion' - When the Anti-Choice Choose

    I've read many of these quotes before, but it is a fairly good collection about how anti-abortion campaigners react if it's them that needs to make the choice.

    to abortion Freedom ... saved by 320 other people ... 23 hours ago
  4. Hack Attack: Burn almost any video file to a playable DVD

    Mostly for my reference as I've got some stuff I want to back up from my old PC and have never done it. Anyone got experience of using this or other software to burn AVIs and similar onto DVD?

  5. Basic UK libel law for idiots by Adam Porter

    Another guide to online libel, this time from Urban 75. Seems accurate, although I'm really not sure about the linking could be defamation thing. Mentions the Staggers/Scallywag case directly though.

  6. Charlie's Diary: Moderation Policy

    Not a bad general guide about what is and isn't acceptable on someone else's blog, and most of it applies to me as well (although the bits about huge readership numbers and similar aren't, natch). Freedom of speech doesn't apply.

  7. Qinetiq ships first 'Transformer' war-droid | The Register

    It doesn't actually change shape, but it's got a selection opf different weapon fits, and dude, it's a robot. Um, not 100% sure I approve, but still, it's cool

  8. The greatest defunct Web sites and dotcom disasters - Crave at CNET.co.uk

    These are cool, a set of failed 'name' websites and why they failed. Some of the could work well now, others are just bad examples of stupid business plans.

  9. delicious -> livejournal reposter - May Contain Nuts

    Andrew's redone some of the code for the cross poster I'm using, much better, solves the timestamp problem and a few other things. I really need to reinstall an FTP client and fix mine.

    to del.icio.us livejournal ... 1 day ago
Well, I tried setting up the deli.icio.us cross poster (again), but it keeps crashing on me, so here's my linkspam of the last day or so redone with stripped html—sorry about some of the weirdness.

New Statesman - Richard Reeves

Wrote the bio of JS Mill I'm currently reading, which means I like him already. Very interesting set of columns, well worth looking over, even if they are in Staggers.


Edible Dirt,—Easter Sunday, Jesus wakes up

Not original, probably offensive to those that care, rather funny

10 Unfortunate Facts of Life | f*cking c*nts

This amused, it's about time I cleared it from my linklog and actually posted it somewhere

to funny life sex ...

theweaselking: Abortion discussion

Key quote from comments: "It's a hard enough choice without having to make it in an alley. I'll always be pro choice, period."

Why I am an abortion doctor

Read this: 'I can take a woman, in the biggest trouble she has ever experienced in her life, and by performing a five-minute operation, in comfort and dignity, I can give her back her life' Safe, legal, rare, why is there still a controversy?

How to Pack Up & Leave LiveJournal (A Tutorial) (://URLFAN)

Not a bad little how-to. Not how I'd do it specifically, I've already backed up everything including comments to a Wordpress install, but still not bad.

drjon: The LJ Strike (which is today)

Containts a nice little history of previous fusses on the site, with a balanced overview and points out that, well, we've won already

Pharyngula: EXPELLED!

Creationists premiere dodgy movie near home of famous science blogger, specifically ban him from viewing, but not his family or his guest. This is a really dumb move...

It's Just a Game... - Review: The Bible

Funny: "Summary: A confused film, half effects laden, no-brain blockbuster, half cinema-verite talking-heads, lacking a conclusion or climax to justify the budget. Poor plotting and characterisation lead the audience to sympathise with the villains rather

FT.com | The Undercover Economist | Dear Economist: How can I create an incentive scheme to keep our house clean?

Sounds familiar: "My fiancee is moving in with me. We’ve lived together before, and we hate housework. Before, we didn’t do work in retaliation for housework not done by the other." Good to know that even economics doesn't have all the answers

In my post about Darwin Tuesday I said: if you need a bit more explanation, ask a skientist, I recommend Debi the evolutionary morphologist and for damn fine reason.

Debi Linton - On Intelligent Design:
This week, however, I have been asked to give a basic run down of the I.D. milarkey from the point of view of an evolutionary scientist, and who am I to refuse to write about evolution?

About Science and Religion )

Evolution is only a Theory )

Creationism/Intelligent design is also a theory )

Evolution and abiogenesis )

And a YouTube vid )
Making the serious point that Evolution fulfills the serious requirements to be defined as a Theory, namely that a) it is predictive and b) it can be disproved. Intelligent Design cannot be defined as a theory because a) it is not predictive and b) it cannot be disproved [1]. The post contains some very (very) good explanation about what science is (and is not), and makes the solid point that the scientific method can only work with the world as it is, not as we might like it to be. This post is another prime example of why I love the ease of publication that blogging gives us, anyone can be a pamphleteer, and when someone, anyone, writes good content, that post can be picked up, linked to, and the ideas can spread. And spread. Yes, that is a hint to everyone.

I'm, unusually for me, closing comments on this post; Debi welcomes comments and questions, she promises not to bite ([livejournal.com profile] ms_ntropy might object), and it'd be good to keep the discussion in one place. Go read, talk, question, discuss.
[1] I've read some speculation that some Quantum theorists may, or may not, be working on a method to prove the existence of a higher, guiding power, based around disproving the parallel universes theory. I have no clue or links about that one, but what I read (in comments elsewhere and I've done no research on it) was intriguing to say the least.
Today is one of those birthday things. I knew it was coming up, because the BHA invited me to their annual event but a) I'd have had to pay and b) it was in London, so have fun all that do go, I'm sure it'll be good. Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] bagrec reminded me this morning, so I half inched this image from him Charles Darwin. Evolution was, I used to think, something that we generally all just accepted, sure, there were a few minority extremists that thought otherwise, but anyone with a decent education, including the entire Catholic Church, just know it to be real, right? Unfortunately the internet reveals this to be untrue, and that someone who is an avowed Creationist has a good chance at the Republican nomination (although no chance at the actual Presidency) is something that really does bother me. Fortunately, there are voices of reason out there, including my better half, and we all know what Theory means, etc, right? Ah well, if you need a bit more explanation, ask a skientist, I recommend Debi the evolutionary morphologist if you don't have another one handy. I'm sure her hangover will allow her to answer questions in her comments ;-)

In other news, Anonymous vs Scientology had a good weekend of protests it seems, [livejournal.com profile] deathboy went to the London protest and has a good report, and the Phoenix protest got /.ed. There's a little bit of me that dislikes the thing as a whole bunch of people, including people that have their own personal different brand of sky fairy, are ganging up on the Scientologists—I'm all for mocking all religions, but a dog pile seems a bit off when your allies are also batshit. Then I remember that they're Scientologists and that it's therefore OK anyway, right?

Last up, I've been promising various people for ages a post on markets, economics, and why I like them despite being a lot of a lefty, but while that's still on the planned list with a bunch of other stuff, Tim Harford continues his climb up my "top people" list by writing a post about why markets can at times fail, and how analysis of these "externalities" can help them get back on track and do a lot of good; "Green taxes" and similar are a method of dealing with externalities, and are generally much better than simply banning stuff.

Right, that's it for now, I have a fiancée to go snuggle for a bit before [livejournal.com profile] shrublette gets home...
So then, Google and [livejournal.com profile] brad have finally launched their social graph API. Simple version: Your friends list on LJ, Twitter, MySpace, FaceBook etc are public information. So if this takes off (and it will) you'll be able to log into one and find out if your friends from one are on the other. If the information is private, then you'll need permission, but if it's open info then I don't need to ask you gits to find me on Twitter or Bebo (MatGB, natch), I can get the site I just registered for to go see who I know, just like I can currently get them to check my Gmail addressbook. Which will be nice. If it works. It should do. Meh, Brad explains it in all his geekiness if you want:
Brad's product launch vid, in all his geeky glory )
There's an example of the code for those that want it on David Recordon's Blog, including a nice little in-joke.

LJ's new overlords are proceding apace with dragging Livejournal into the 21st century. It aggregates interesting public posts, yes, you can opt out if you want to (how it works for communities) but why would you want to? If you don't want people to see it, don't post it publicly. While it probably won't be of much use to established users, it will really help new users, which the site needs to survive, SUP spent money because they thought they could turn the site around and make it work. Features that draw new users in and help them get set up easily are needed--every other similar site has had this for years.

Last up, [livejournal.com profile] davegodfrey brings the science funny. SRSLY, go read and if time listen, watching a Discovery institute loony get schooled is always worth it, right?

Petition of the day

Sign this:
Petition to: reverse the decision to cut vital UK contributions to Particle Physics and Astronomy.

If you're not sure why, read [livejournal.com profile] purplecthulhu's recent entries, or just go look at the signatory list. The Arts Council mess was bad enough, but that's just "stuff wot I like". This is "stuff wot we all need" FFS. G'night all.
Quickie, aimed specifically at two people[1] but of general interest to all who value decent science education, [livejournal.com profile] nannyo excellent post about her encounter with the people that run the Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm. I am very scared that that place exisits within the UK. On a similar vein, those that haven't seen it should probably read Scalzi's report of his visit to the Creation Museum. Does anyone have any brain bleach?

Heh: I do like this from the comments at Scalzi's report though:
Galatians 4:24
These things may be taken figuratively, for the women represent two covenants.
So, um, the bible, if literally true, is literally a metaphor according to St Paul?

ETA: [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat has put on her day job hat and got into contact with them, removing the bit that she studies evolutionary morphology from her NHM email sigline. Go Debi!
[1] [livejournal.com profile] innerbrat and [livejournal.com profile] davegodfrey based on their regular postings on such topics.
A comment at SB's public blog:
The attractiveness of a low waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is generally due to it being an indicator of health and fertility, but this new research offers a possible additional factor, that low WHR also indicates high cognitive ability. So, yep, the study suggests that curvy girls are likely to be smart and produce smart children, and this increased smartness is possibly what makes the curves attractive to men. It's to do with the difference in upper bopdy fat and lower body fat supplying the particular kind of fatty acid that's essential for brain development.
I now have an excuse to letch after a nice arse--I'm checking out her likely mental capacity as well.

OK, I didn't have this excuse before, and it's never stopped me, but, y'know, skience on my side now. There are a lot of very smart women on my blog reading list, this is good. I'm marrying one of them. This is even better.

Oh, rest of the post and comments is worth a read over as well. I have another, different follow up post planned, but that one requires engaging my brain, which isn't working today, sorry...
Via [livejournal.com profile] theweaselking, Palaeos Vertebrates: Glossary Ta - Th:
Thagomizer: this started out as a Far Side joke, but has now more or less become a part of the serious anatomical literature. The thagomizer is the, otherwise difficult to describe, collection of spikes at the end of a stegosaurid's tail. It is named after the late Thag
Is that for real?
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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October 2015

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Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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