Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kurt Vonnegut's first public reading "Breakfast of Champions" [Audio, LInk]

This is the very first public reading by Kurt Vonnegut of the classic Breakfast of Champions, three years before it was published. Vonnegut appeared at 92Y a total of seven times and he had much admiration for the audience at the corner of 92nd Street and Lexington Avenue.  Add 92Y to your list of sites if you're interested in literature/ poetry/ biography etc.

Wheelchair inspiration [Video]

When falling off a wheelchair feels pretty good, like a cup of good coffee

A Thanksgiving letter to the family [Letters]

Margaret & Helen's blog is always full of interesting views on life. I guess it helps that in your eighties, you've seen it all before. Every year, Margaret writes a letter to the family - and is happy for the interested parties in the rest of the world to read it too. Here's the 2013 version.

For the mathematically inclined: Stop and smell the factors [Video]

A lovely explanation called "How I feel about algorithms". Even if you hate math, watch this video to see beauty in numbers.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Latest Revelations concerning the NSA, a division of the Claus Industries [Humor]

T Rob has the scoop:
It was revealed today in secret documents leaked to this reporter that the US National Security Agency (NSA) is actually a division of Claus Industries, LLC, a company synonymous with its eponymous founder and CEO, Santa Claus....Years ago, as world population rose beyond Santa’s ability to personally keep track of all of us, he first subcontracted, then eventually built his own surveillance teams.  Over the last decade, dedicated Claus Industries surveillance teams have been deployed to every country around the globe, all of them posing as government spy agencies.

The Shepherd who Twittered - [Article]

Herdy Shepherd who is a shepherd, & a late Twitter adopter, writes about his experiences with the technology. An engaging read:
If you spend your life working with sheep in the fells (what you’d call mountains) you perhaps don't really need to be 'connected' and you probably don't have time for, or need to have, fancy techno gadgets in your pocket. Our world is one of mountains, meadows, dry-stone-walls, sheep, sheepdogs and managing the landscape much as our ancestors have done over many centuries (it’s being nominated for World Heritage status because of its unique landscape culture).

Predictably Irrational: Dan Ariely [Article]

Dan Ariely sheds some great insights into what drives our irrationally rational behavior. Mr. Money Moustache links to this article from the good professor. If you have the time or inclination, I highly recommend this course, titled Introduction to Behavioral Economics

on Training [Image]


Monday, November 25, 2013

On the subject of to-do-lists [Article]

Bob Fulghum has his say:

Like most people I maintain an active Things-To-Do list.
But that’s not my only list – there are others.
Like The Things-I-Will- Do-Tomorrow-Whenever-Tomorrow-Comes list.
And the Things-I-Should-Have-Done-By-Now-But-Don’t-Want-To-Do list.
Plus the list of things I actually did, but in a half-assed way, knowing I should have got somebody who knows what they’re doing to do it.
There’s also a reality list of Things-I-Know-I’m-Never-Going-To-Do.

Conductor Erich Leinsdorf breaks the news of Kennedy's assassination [Audio]

A recording of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s live reaction (and audience reaction) to JFK’s assassination:
 “Ladies and gentlemen, we have a press report over the wireless. We hope that it is unconfirmed, but we have to doubt it. That the president of the United States has been the victim of an assassination. We will play the funeral march from Beethoven’s Third Symphony.”

This is how you die [Video]

Stories of the Inscrutable, Infallible, Inescapable MACHINE OF DEATH edited by Matthew Bennardo, Ryan North, and David Malki

Sunday, November 24, 2013

The necessary art of subtraction [Article]

Leo Babuata asks what can you let go of in your present circumstances?
The tendency of our lives, businesses, art, is to keep adding: more furniture, clothes, gadgets, tasks, appointments, features to websites and apps, words to our writing.
I have a list of things I'd like to stop doing, and I keep adding to it :)

Rejection letters sent to three famous artists [Article]

From Open Culture: Sylvia Plath, Kurt Vonnegut & Andy Warhol all received multiple rejection letters throughout their careers, and here are those that each one received.

The importance of education [Letters of note]

Alexander Coward's email to his students insisting that they turn up to class despite his colleagues going on strike has gone viral. not fall into the trap of thinking that you focusing on your education is a selfish thing. It’s not a selfish thing. It’s the most noble thing you could do.
Society is investing in you so that you can help solve the many challenges we are going to face in the coming decades, from profound technological challenges to helping people with the age old search for human happiness and meaning.
That is why I am not canceling class tomorrow. Your education is really really important, not just to you, but in a far broader and wider reaching way than I think any of you have yet to fully appreciate. 

Voltaire on the Perils of Censorship, the Freedom of the Press, and the Rewards of Reading [Article]

Voltaire's birthday occurs around this time (Nov 21), & is as good a reason as any to read this.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Doris Lessing in conversation with Bill Moyers [Interview]

I'm fascinated with this lady who I'd never heard of until she passed. Listen to this interview with Bill Moyers. & her reaction to winning the Nobel Prize for Literature

Reading to kids: how not to, unless you want to terrify them [Audio]

Benjamin Percy (author of the werewolf thriller Red Moon) takes the sweet children’s bedtime story, Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, and turns it into a story that will keep kids (and maybe adults) awake for days on end

Henry David Thoreau's Natural Law [Article]

A reminder to myself to read Thoreau on Natural Law again.

Who said seniors can't dance hip hop? [Video]

Grandpa can dance. and how!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The new Simon & Garfunkel? Milk Carton Kids again [Video]

Beautifully blending voices & some immaculate guitar-ing has got me hooked on to this music. Hope of a lifetime and Snake Eyes on the ABC National Radio. Snake Eyes will make your hair stand on end. Mine did.

Replacing goals with systems more effective for personal development [Article]

Scott Adams believes the research that says everyone has a limited supply of willpower. And when you use it for one goal, you have less left for the other. Goals are good, but for most of us,
we have no idea where we'll be in five years, what opportunities will arise, or what we'll want or need by then. So our best bet is to move from a place of low odds to a place of better odds. That means living someplace that has opportunities, paying attention to your health, continuously upgrading your skills, networking, and perhaps dabbling in lots of different areas.... Systems simply move you from a game with low odds to a game with better odds. With a system you are less likely to miss one opportunity because you were too focused on another. With a system, you are always scanning for any opportunity.
Scott's new book "How to fail at almost everything & still win big: kind of the story of my life" is now available.

A Nobel Prize winner's letter to the British empire [Letters of note]

Nobel Prize for Literature winner Doris Lessing passed earlier this week. In 1992, when offered a chance to become a Dame by the British monarchy, she wrote this letter back. Doris wasn't  one to mince words.
Dame of what?

3D printing clothes: The next revolution will not be hand-stitched [Article\]

Charlie Stross's vision of the printed clothing future:
You go in, go to the scanning booth, and do the airport-equivalent thing in a variety of positions—stretch and bend as well as hands-up. You then look at the styles on display on the shop floor, pick out what you like, and see it as it will appear on your own body on an avatar on a computer screen. You buy it, and a machine in the back of the store (or an out-of-town lights out 24x7 robotic garment factory) begins to print it. Some time later—maybe minutes, maybe hours or a day or two—the outfit you ordered comes to you. And it fits perfectly, every time. Some items are probably still off-the-shelf (socks, hosiery, maybe even those cheap tee shirts), but anything major is printed, unless you can afford to go to the really high end and pay a human being to make it for you out of natural fibres. Oh, and the printed stuff doesn't have seams in places that chafe or bind.
But it isn't all good. Read on.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Milk Carton Kids: the NPR Tiny Desk Concert [Video]

Joey Ryan and Kenneth Pattengale are the Milk Carton Kids. I've been hooked since I heard the first song.

Accept it, whether you can change it or not [Article]

David shares his thoughts on acceptance, which to him does not mean agreeing or resigning to an outcome. It is simply the letting go of the emotional demand for something to be different.

The Robots are here: and they're taking more than just jobs [Article]

A very interesting article by Tyler Cowen in the Politico titled "The robots are here"
“A modern textile mill employs only a man and a dog—the man to feed the dog, and the dog to keep the man away from the machines.” That is the world in which we now live.

Against Efficiency Machines | thread & circuits [Article]

Ian Bogost's essay on Hyperemployment  has inspired a few more on the subject. Read this one by Mimi Thi Nyugen about how blogging & tweeting are turning academics into the machines that Frederick Taylor described. Against Efficiency Machines. [Could be a hard read]

Monday, November 18, 2013

Renaud Garcia Fons on the double bass [Video]

Sixteen minutes of bliss for a few lucky NPR staffers, provided by double bassist Renaud Garcia-Fons.  From NPR Tiny Desk concerts.

Self-discipline in 5 sentences [Article]

From Leo Babauta:
Have a powerful reason — when things get difficult, “because it sounds nice” or “to look good” aren’t going to cut it.
Start tiny, with a simple but unbreakable promise to yourself to do one small thing every single day.
Watch your urges, and learn not to act on childish whims.
Listen to your self-rationalizations, and don’t believe their lying ways.
Enjoy the habit, or you won’t stay with it longer than a week’s worth of sunrises.

Dance. It's good for the soul. [Video]

Now if only I could heed that advice. Watch this sgt. do some groovy moo-ves at a Marine Corps Ball

The resentment machine: The immiseration of the digital creative class [Essay]

Freddie deBoer's calls the Internet the resentment machine in his scathing essay.
The role of the resentment machine: to amplify meaningless differences and assign to them vast importance for the quality of individuals. For those who are writing the most prominent parts of the internet—the bloggers, the trendsetters, the über-Tweeters, the tastemakers, the linkers, the creators of memes and online norms—online life is taking the place of the creation of the self, and doing so poorly.
Not entirely untrue, although blaming the tool for lack of discipline seems to be the choice of every generation.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Senegalese music: Orchestra Baobab [Music]

Soulful - like most African music. Listen to Orchestra Baobab from 1982, performing Coumba.

Letter to the Telegraph, 1913, on women's voting rights [Letters]

Everyone seems to agree upon the necessity of putting a stop to Suffragist outrages; but no one seems certain how to do so. There are two, and only two, ways in which this can be done. Both will be effectual:
1. Kill every woman in the United Kingdom.
2. Give women the vote.

Yours truly,
Bertha Brewster.
the original Tweet here via @LettersOfNote

A tool to ease birth. Designed by a car mechanic [Article]

The idea came to Jorge Odón, an Argentine car mechanic, as he slept. Somehow, he said, his unconscious made the leap from a YouTube video he had just seen on extracting a lost cork from a wine bottle to the realization that the same parlor trick could save a baby stuck in the birth canal.

As one of the comments on this article says, it is a good reminder that  truly revolutionary breakthroughs rarely, if ever, come from someone immersed in the field and practicing the discipline. It's always an outsider, unfettered by the beliefs and paradigms of the present state that can think clearly and see what is really needed.

The Act by Adam Haslett [Short story]

Grandfather. Father. Son. Three men. And the act that binds them all together.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Abdel Wright: Quicksand [Music]

Check out Abdel Wright's songs "Quicksand" & "For the Poor"

Thirty thousand words. In Pictures.

Found this link to 30 pictures on Reddit - and they are very powerful images - they speak more than a thousand words each.

On shooting an elephant. George Orwell [Story]

My younger self had read Orwell's "On Shooting an Elephant" (when maybe 11 or 12?)- and it did not make much of an impression at the time. Re-read the story last night. Wow, is all I could muster.  
As an aside, "The Literature Network" has some great stuff, which I hope remains in the public domain.

What No One Tells You About Losing Lots of Weight - The Cut [Article]

[Not for the easily offended]
Just after her wedding in 2009, when she weighed 338 pounds and became determined to lose much of it, photographer Julia Kozerski embarked on a new art project. She took photos of herself in department-store dressing rooms, documenting her body's transformation as she lost what would end up being 160 pounds. [NSFW]

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Your loving mother (Letters of note)

On January 22nd of 1919, during her freshman year at college, 19-year-old Margaret Mitchell (the author of Gone with the Wind) received word that her mother had fallen ill as a result of a deadly flu pandemic that was sweeping the globe, along with instructions from her father to return home. A few days later, she did just that, only to be greeted at the train station by her brother with the tragic news that their mother had succumbed to pneumonia the day before. As they travelled home from the station, he passed her this beautiful letter.

PS: I missed out posting the link to the domino's video yesterday. Here it is

How Gardening Enables Interdisciplinary Learning [Article, Video]

High school student Pierre combined biology, math, economics, and more to transform his campus greenhouse into a sustainable aquaponic system that provides fresh vegetables for the cafeteria. Listen to his inspirational story here.

The rise of the reader: journalism in the age of the open web [Article]

Katherine Viner is the editor-in-chief of Guardian Australia. This is the text of her AN Smith lecture in Melbourne during October. Or you can watch the hour-long video here.
A newspaper is complete. It is finished, sure of itself, certain. By contrast, digital news is constantly updated, improved upon, changed, moved, developed, an ongoing conversation and collaboration. It is living, evolving, limitless, relentless.
Newer tools are overwhelming established industries - and journalism is no different. A more recent story here.

Chet Atkins & Paul Yandell: Black Mountain Rag [Music]

Two great guitarists do their thing.  And here's another from 1988, "I'll Say She Does"

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Don't fear the reaper: Mike Masse & Jeff Hall [Video]

Mike Masse & Jeff Hall cover popular songs with just two guitars & incredibly blending vocals. I've linked to their music before (hear their version of Toto's Africa) and a more recent upload cover of Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper). And doesn't their version of Simon & Garfunkel's Sound of Silence sound as good as, if not better, than the original?

Insane domino tricks [Video]

Two videos in one day - and this one was awesomely cool. There are between 20,000-25,000 dominoes. A collaborative video - half shot in the US & the other in Germany, according to the uploader.
This style of domino video is called a "screenlink." Each clip is separate then edited together to make it look like one long setup. The first half are my clips (built in USA) then at 1:35 it switches to millionendollarboy's (built in Germany.) This was a collab video so it was impossible to do one take, not to mention how much floor space and dominoes would be needed.

This I Believe: A manifesto for a magnificent career [Article]

Avinash Kaushik writes a blog called Occam's Razor, mostly digital marketing stuff. In this post, however, he shares his personal philosophy. Worth a read.

You are a true man [Letters of note]

Correspondence between people, whether they know one another or not, is always fascinating to me.  And reading this exchange between poet Walt Whitman & Abraham Stoker (the author of Dracula), was another highlight for me.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Memento Mori: Men die not because they are sick but because they are alive. [Article]

Lapham's Quarterly always has some exceptionally good reads, like this essay by editor Lewis Lapham in the Fall 2013 edition, called Death.
The question “Why must I die?” and its implied follow-up, “How then do I live my life?”, both admit of an answer by and for and of oneself. Learning how to die, as Montaigne goes on to rightly say, is unlearning how to be a slave. 
Check out more about LQ' here 

The Bailsmen performing in Central Park [Video]

A very talented bunch of Gypsy Jazz musicians doing their gig from a park bench in Central Park. Here's another of them performing at a swing festival. A search for "The Bailsmen" on You Tube got me fabulous music from these guys.

How to build a country from the ground up [Article]

A controversial topic, and some interesting ideas, from the creator of Dilbert. And if it interested you enough, read the follow up post too.

Leonard Cohen has some wisdom to share before his performance [Video]

Before he performed a duet with Anjani Thomas - "If it Be Your Will" in Warsaw, Poland (1985), Leonard Cohen had some wisdom to share

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hyperemployment, or the exhausting work of the technology user [Article]

Ian Bogost suggests that we have turned Keynes' idea of leisure replacing work into a parody
If you’re like many people, you’ve started using your smartphone as an alarm clock. Now it’s the first thing you see and hear in the morning. And touch, before your spouse or your crusty eyes. Then the ritual begins. Overnight, twenty or forty new emails: spam, solicitations, invitations or requests from those whose days pass during your nights, mailing list reminders, bill pay notices. A quick triage, only to be undone while you shower and breakfast.

The Idan Raichel Project: Beyom Sabat [Music]

Idan Raichel is an Israeli singer-songwriter and a musician, known for his Idan Raichel Project, distinctive for its fusion of electronics, traditional Hebrew texts, Arab and Ethiopian music. Here are a few videos - Mon Amour, Hakol Over (This too shall pass) & Beyom Sabat.

Incredibly good juggling skills [Video]

The ball never touches the ground. Incredibly good skills, has this boy.

If you must measure, measure how grateful you are every day [Article]

Excerpts from a freewheeling Twitter conversation with James Altucher. There are a few gems there.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Discovery of a new element: CERN makes an announcement [Humor]

Scientists at CERN in Geneva have announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science. The new element Governmentium (Gv). It has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons giving it an atomic mass of 312. These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons which are surrounded by vast quantities of right-on-like particles called peons.

I embrace you with all my heart: Albert Camus [Letters of note]

A Nobel Prize winner's letter of gratitude to his teacher.
..when I heard the news, my first thought, after my mother, was of you. Without you, without the affectionate hand you extended to the small poor child that I was, without your teaching and example, none of all this would have happened.

Playing for change: Love is all you need [Video]

Another great video by Playing for Change - this time sung by kids around the world. "Love is all you need"

How Twitter hijacked my mind [Article] @KathrynSchulz

Money quote for me from Kathyrn Schulz's article about Twitter:
Collectively, the people I follow on Twitter — book nerds, science nerds, journalists, the uncategorizably interesting — come pretty close to my dream community. They also function as by far the best news source I’ve ever used
Lest you think it's all good - it's not -
I sometimes think that Twitter is such a parasite, and that I am one of its hosts, so effectively has it hacked my brain. Ask me what I love most in my life, and how I want to spend what limited allotment of it I have, and I will tell you that I want to be around friends and family, or reading, or writing, or in the outdoors, body and mind at play in the world. Ask me what I did today, where all the hours went, and — well, check out that chart.

Friday, November 8, 2013

10 figures of speech illustrated by Monty Python [Video]

Paradiastole, Epanorthosis, Syncatabasis, Grandiloquence, Pleonasm, Synonymia, Auxesis & Meiosis, Paralipsis, Paraprosdokian, and Apheresis/Apocope/Syncope - if you can't pronounce any of them, let alone know what it means, you ought to watch this video! Enjoy the weekend with some Monty Python and learn about the ancient Greek & Roman art of rhetoric.

A short history of the high-rise [Link]

A superb interactive guide from the New York Times on the history of high-rise buildings. The kids will enjoy this.

A weeding announcement to the family: Mark Twain [Letters]

Mark Twain wrote this letter to his "mother & brother & sisters & nephew & niece & Margaret", announcing his engagement to Olivia Langdon, who was to remain his wife for the next 34 years.

Tim Buckley: Down by the borderline [Video]

Although he wasn't as famous as his son Jeff, Tim Buckley experimented with lots of musical styles before his early death at the age of 28. Check out Down by the borderline and Sweet Surrender have a distinct 60's sound.  Jeff, at age 25, performed a tribute to his father, "I never asked to be your mountain", a song Tim wrote about an infant Jeff Buckley and his mother.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Richard Pryor sings the blues [Video]

He was a singer before he rocked as a stand-up comedian. Richard Pryor sings the blues - Nobody loves you when you're down & out.

Atoning for 20,000 war crimes [Article]

The horrifying story of Joshua Milto Blahyi of Liberia, better known as General Butt Naked, who is now a pastor who visits his victims & begs for their forgiveness. When asked "How many victims were there?" during a hearing, his chilling response:
"I don't know the entire… the entire… the entire number… but if I… if I… were to calculate it… everything I have done… it would be… it shouldn't be fewer than 20,000."
Read on to contemplate the depths to which the only species can do so can sink to.

Jan Grüter on the lute: Kapsberger's Piccinini Chiaconna [Video]

Jan Gruter interprets, & brings Johannes H Kapsberger's composition, Piccinini Chiaconna, to life on the lute. (and go here if you'd like to find out more about Kaspberger)

The Power of Patience: the value of deceleration & immersive attention [Article]

Professor of history of art & architecture, Jennifer L Roberts describes the experience that her students go through when required to write an intensive research paper based on a single work of art of their own choosing.
Before doing any research in books or online, the student would first be expected to go to the Museum of Fine Arts, where it hangs, and spend three full hours looking at the painting, noting down his or her evolving observations as well as the questions and speculations that arise from those observations. The time span is explicitly designed to seem excessive. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Procurement advice if you need to get a new e-book or whatever gadget [Humor]

T Rob Wyatt dispenses some advice on how to get yourself a new e-book or gadget. Married men, young or old, heed his advice.
If thirty years of marriage have taught me anything, it is that any good idea is her idea.  

The bittersweet fruit of Adversity -[Article]

Norman Rosenthal does not enjoy adversity but, as he discovered a while ago, the trick was in moving beyond the initial feelings of pain & displeasure and to find something of value in the experience. Worth a read.

Lyrical learning, & why we learn habits wrong [Article]

This is the second Leo Babauta link this week - and there is reason enough.  Using the analogy of learning the lyrics to a favourite song to building new habits is something I've not considered before, & Leo does a great job in this post.

Eric Andersen: My land is a good land [Video]

Eric Andersen is an Amercian folk singer-songwriter. Born in 1943, his music is covered by lots of artists, including Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Judy Collins Here's one called "My land is a good land" and another live performance, a duet with Roger McCuinn, of one his more famous hits "Thirsty boots"

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Need more reasons to read? Or just some recommendations? [Article]

Leo Babauta has a few suggestions, as well as a link to this Quartz article about a study which concludes that folks who read literary fiction are more empathetic.
"I get lost in worlds wholly created by an author, imagined but containing truths about life, incisively commenting about life, reproducing it in beautiful new ways, putting me in the mind of another human being, grabbing my heart and dragging it through the thrill of falling in love or the dull numbness of divorce or the fear of being found out, giving me the power of flight or omniscience or magic, confessing about guilty deeds and crimes and affairs, taking me into richly re-imagined periods of history, helping me time travel and space travel and regular travel into new lands, showing me how other people live in helplessness, in slavery, in squalor, in power and luxury, in prostitution and presidency, making the mundane seem magical and the magical seem possible."

Far from the madding crowd: A tale of living away from the busy-ness of cities [Article]

A bunch of idealistic friends got together, decided they wanted out of the madness of city life, and confident in their abilities to survive on almost nothing, & bought themselves a large block of land. Did they survive their idealism? Is it worth the challenges?  Michelle Nijhuis writes about her experience. Worth a read for at least some folks.

RL Burnside: See my jumper hanging on the line [Video]

R.L. Burnside performing "See my jumper hanging on the line" at home in Independence, Mississippi, shot by Alan Lomax, Worth Long, and John Bishop in August, 1978.

Dealing with the commodity of time - the Randy Pausch lecture on Time Management [Video]

This talk is fairly long (90 mins). What perspective can a chap who knows his life is limited bring to time management? A talk worth listening to if you're struggling to manage the activities that cause time famine.

Monday, November 4, 2013

How economic growth has become anti-life [Article]

Vandana Shiva posits that the fallacy of economic growth (called GDP) promoted since World War II, has caused immense harm to nature & majority of households, while concentrating wealth in the hands of a few. [via Guardian]

A kinder gentler way of defining success [Video]

Alain de Botton examines our ideas of success and failure -- and questions the assumptions underlying these two judgements. Is success always earned? Is failure? He makes an eloquent, witty case to move beyond snobbery to find true pleasure in our work. An older video (from 2009), and relevant more than ever.

Seamie O'Dowd: The Glen Seasons [Music]

I'd never heard of Seamie O'Dowd until I heard this performance in a glen - a guitar, the man's voice, & rich natural background music.

Handwritten Manuscripts of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein Now Online [Link]

[via Open Culture]

In 1816, Mary Shelley and Percy Bysshe Shelley, summering near Lake Geneva in Switzerland, were challenged by Lord Byron to take part in a competition to write a frightening tale. Mary, only 18 years old, later had a waking dream of sorts where she imagined the premise of her book:

When I placed my head on my pillow, I did not sleep, nor could I be said to think. My imagination, unbidden, possessed and guided me, gifting the successive images that arose in my mind with a vividness far beyond the usual bounds of reverie. I saw — with shut eyes, but acute mental vision, — I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together. I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out, and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half vital motion.
Thanks to the newly-opened Shelley-Godwin Archive, you can read “for the first time in digital form all the known manuscripts of Frankenstein,” Mary Shelley’s finest work and arguably the most famous work of British Romanticism.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NPR Interview with Cdr Chris Hadfield re his new book.

Listen to the interview. Or read the transcript. Either way, a very worthwhile investment of time talking to the man who's the first music producer/ artist from outer space.

What does a dog's tail wagging signify? [Article]

This interesting article on the NPR caught my eye - "The Tail's The Tell: Dog Wags Can Mean Friend Or Foe".
Dogs can pick up emotional cues from another dog by watching the direction of its wagging tail, a new study suggests. In a series of lab experiments, dogs got anxious when they saw an image of a dog wagging its tail to its left side. But when they saw a dog wagging its tail to its right side, they stayed relaxed.
While you may not be very interested in this, a vet called in to treat a rather angry dog might :)

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yungupingu: Wiyathul [Music]

Geoffrey Gurrumul Yungupingu is an Indigeneous Australian musician, & sings in the Yolngu language. He was born blind, has never learned Braille and does not have a guide dog or use a white cane. Listen to this haunting rendering of Wiyathul, & I was born blind. Learn more about the man here and visit his website here

Famous failures: worth another watch [Video]

Sometimes it is the little things that drag us down more than the colossal mess-ups. This video reminds us of a few famous failures.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Rocky ideas, or ideas rock. Whatever. [Article]

Bob Fulghum shares how he gets his inspiration.

Thoughts on hair transplantation [Humor]

If you need a laugh (& I did need several today), read this hilarious article by T.Rob Wyatt, who it appears from his LinkedIn profile to hide his hair under a hat.

"I Invited hackers to investigate me & what they found is chilling" [Article]

Adam Penenberg is the Editor of PandoDaily and a journalism professor at New York University. He has written for The New York Times, Forbes, Fast Company, the Economist, as well as many others, and is the author of several books, including the critically acclaimed "Viral Loop.  He invited white-hat hackers to investigate him, and writes about the experience