Critical Section


Monday,  10/25/04  09:38 PM

Randall Parker of FuturePundit observes that the Bush and Clinton administrations differ in their styles of lying.  "The Clinton Administration, personifying the very outgoing and brazen nature of its leader, was willing to lie in detail in public.  By contrast, the Bush Administration prefers to make its lies to the public in the form of simpler summary conclusions which seem aimed at shutting off discussion by providing little to discuss."  Is it lying if you don't know you're wrong?  Lying is all about intent.

Today Google's market cap passed Yahoo's.  I don't know why, but this makes me sad, and not because I didn't buy any of their stock (I tried, but bid too low).  This is pure market froth.

sea dragonWow, look at this gallery of Sea Dragons.  "Sea Dragons are arguably the most spectacular and mysterious of all ocean fish.  Though close relatives of sea horses, sea dragons have larger bodies and leaf-like appendages which enable them to hide among floating seaweed or kelp beds."  Unbelievable, nature does it again.  Evolution or Intelligent Design?  [ via Mark Frauenfelder ]

Anita Sharp: Legends.  "It was almost like a collective epiphany, when nearly everyone in the audience realized we weren't just watching a legendary entertainer or seeing an enjoyable show.  Instead, we were in the presence of genius...  After the concert, my amazed 12-year-old son said, 'Whoever missed seeing that, missed life'."  There is something transforming about seeing great artists in concert, a tide that raises all boats.  I'm not particularly a Dolly Parton fan or a Brian Wilson fan, but I know exactly what Anita means.

Cool blog: lactoso the intolerant.  Samples:

RustboyRustboy - "is a short film project which started out as a hobby but has become my full-time job due to private funding.  Rustboy (the character) started life many years ago as a simple 2D image produced as a proposed short story illustration.  He has changed in appearance since then, but it was the starting point for Rustboy as he appears today in all his 3D glory."  Looks really excellent, check it out.

CelestiaCelestia - "is a free real-time space simulation that lets you experience our universe in three dimensions. Unlike most planetarium software, Celestia doesn't confine you to the surface of the Earth. You can travel throughout the solar system, to any of over 100,000 stars, or even beyond the galaxy. All travel in Celestia is seamless; the exponential zoom feature lets you explore space across a huge range of scales, from galaxy clusters down to spacecraft only a few meters across. A 'point-and-goto' interface makes it simple to navigate through the universe to the object you want to visit."  Yay, space travel!

Hmmm... Looks like the Treo 650 won't support WiFi.  Oh, well.  If not the 650, then the 700.  It is only a matter of time.

RoadRunner flash UIHave you ever seen the RoadRunner browser UI?  Really cool!  All flash, and nicely done.  Seemed reasonably fast, too.  Probably the nicest example of a GUI done in a browser I've ever seen.

This is an example of the kind of serendipitous stuff you find when exploring referral logs.  Yippee.

Antipixel: Unjustified.  "When we hit the justification button in our word processors, what we really want to activate is that “make it look like a book” function in the generally vain hope that some of the gravitas of a well-set page will instantly be transferred to whatever we’ve written."  [ via Tom Coates ]

Chris Farmer emailed about the Journey Through the Center of the Earth: "Imagine two gravity-powered, frictionless trains.  One travels straight through the Earth's center to a station directly opposite the starting place.  The other slants, arriving at a station only a few thousand miles away.  If both trains leave at once, which arrives first?"  Yes, you do have enough information to answer the question.  I love it.

I wonder if this would apply to wormholes through space, too?  Did you see where Stephen Hawking lost his bet with John Preskill?  Looks like black holes don't destroy information, just reorganize it.  So they're "fuzzy".  Now, do they have holes through them?

This is just too cool: the Granular Matter Homepage.  "The key feature of a granular gas (making it fundamentally different from any standard gas) is its tendency to spontaneously separate into dense and dilute regions."  These movies really look like they're playing backward; how can this be?  Has anyone told the thermodynamics police?  Because they're definitely breaking the law :)

granular erruptions

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