Archive for February, 2012
Why do we pay this obsessive attention to backing up a document, which we can reproduce, when we pay no attention to backing up our civilization?
- - “Project Icarus: Laying the Plans for Interstellar Travel” by Ross Andersen, February 23, 2012.
First published by The Atlantic.
Audio Fiction and Podcasts
- Listen to “All the Young Kirks and Their Good Intentions” by Helena Bell.
- Listen to “Asteroid Monte” by Craig DeLancey at Escapepod.
- Listen to “Billions of Stars” by K. J. Kabza at Beam Me Up.
- Listen to “The Clockwork Atom Bomb” by Dominic Green at StarShipSofa.
- Listen to “The Derelict” by Felbrigg at Cthulhu Podcast.
- Listen to “The Ever-Dreaming Verdict Of Plagues” (Part 1) by Jason Sanford.
- Listen to “The Gravedigger of Konstan Spring” by Genevieve Valentine.
- Listen to “Incantation” by Jessica Reisman at Toasted Cake.
- Listen to “My Boogie Man” by Harley May at Cast of Wonders.
- Listen to “A Revelation of Cormorants” by Mark Valentine at Pseudopod.
- Listen to “Shadows Under Hexmouth Street” by Justin Howe at Ceaseless Skies.
- Listen to “Urchins, While Swimming” by Catherynne M. Valente at PodCastle.
- Listen to “Welcome Home to Our Fair City” by Captain Radio at Radio Revival.
The American Telephone & Telegraph Company is incorporated as a subsidiary of the American Bell Telephone company in New York.
The synthetic polymer Nylon is first produced by Dr. Wallace H. Carothers of DuPont. It will first be used commercially for the bristles of toothbrushes in 1938, and it will go on to become the first commercially successful synthetic polymer.
Read the rest of this entry » » »
is proud to be sponsored by Host Color
Every time society advances, it faces challenges from those people economically and emotionally invested in the past. Undoubtedly stone age flint knappers were less than happy about bronze-age technology disturbing their business model. The medieval church was none too pleased about printing technology breaking their hegemony over knowledge, but we’d never have had the Enlightenment without it. Today the media-conglomerates, governments and educational institutions that profit from gatekeeping knowledge of all kinds are pushing the Stop Online Piracy Act, and even more draconian legislation to try and hold back the flood of free knowledge that threatens their power. Unless we want to stay in the knowledge equivalent of the stone age, and miss the next enlightenment the knowledge revolution promises to bring with it, we should all redouble our efforts to make sure they lose. For centuries the book has been the highest symbol of knowledge. The object that has enshrined and preserved knowledge through history. The book is so inextricably linked with our concept of knowledge that for many people it is hard to separate one from the other. But for human knowledge to reach its full potential, we may have to let go of the book-as-object first, or open our thinking to a radically different definition of what a book is.
- - “Are books and the internet about to merge?” by
Damien Walter, February 15, 2012.
First published to the Guardian.
- ‘The Big Bang Theory’ reimagined as ‘Firefly’
- Can’t afford to buy the Lego Millenium Falcon Set? Well, sit back and watch the assembly video.
- In his “I Know That Feel, Bro” series, artist Chris Gerringer draws funny and unexpected parallels between our favorite pop culture characters
- Phone Booth Pop-Up Libraries in New York
- Up / Star Wars Mash-Up
The poet Lord Byron makes his first Parliamentary address following his election to the House of Lords. In the speech, Byron opposes a proposed death penalty for the Luddites or “frame breakers” who protested Industrialism by destroying textile machines in his home county of Nottinghamshire.
The first federal vaccination legislation is enacted.
The neutron is discovered by Dr. James Chadwick, using scattering data to calculate the mass of a neutral particle. Since the the experiments of Ernest Rutherford, it was known that the atomic mass number A of nuclei is a bit more than twice the atomic number Z for most atoms and that essentially all the mass of the atom is concentrated in the relatively tiny nucleus. As of about 1930, it was presumed that the fundamental particles were protons and electrons, but that required that somehow a number of electrons were bound in the nucleus to partially cancel the charge of A protons. But it is also known from the uncertainty principle and “particle-in-a-box” type confinement calculations that there just isn’t enough energy available to contain electrons in the nucleus. Read more about the discovery of the neutron at Georgia State University’s physics department’s webpage.
Read the rest of this entry » » »