Critical Section


Friday,  02/17/06  07:44 PM

Mark Steyn salutes Danna Vale.  There is no way to summarize, you have to read it (and please do!), but the essential argument is that a higher birthrate is giving Muslims a larger voice in Australia, and in the world.  Shades of Unnatural Selection, eh?

Last Sunday was the 197th birthday of two amazing people, Charles Darwin and Abraham Lincoln.  That is a pretty weird coincidence, and Larry Arnhart compares the two.  Fascinating in that most people think of Darwin as being an aethiest, and Lincoln as very religious, yet their core beliefs were nearly identical.  [ via Panda's Thumb, who also link this missive by Mike Dunford on Darwin Day. ]  ""

Insignia 7" DVD playerDo you ever marvel at the technology we have available today?  I just bought two Insignia 7" DVD players at Best Buy for a little over $100 each.  They play music CDs, MP3s, etc., and of course DVD movies, using little speakers and a pretty darn clear 7" 16:9 screen.  They run on batteries for four hours, or charge from a car or the wall.  They have two headphone jacks.  They have a video out jack, so you can connect to a TV and use as a "normal" DVD player.  They have an IR remote control.  And think about the technology a layer down, with the MPEG2 decoder and all.  And a layer below that, the laser picking the bits off the disc.  I mean, this is pretty cool stuff, and it is absolutely routine in 2006.  What a great time to be alive!

Among John Patrick's top ten picks from Demo 2006 was Accomplice Software, who claim to offer "a simple, intuitive application that integrates an efficient personal organizational tool with the ability to quickly pull together a team."  Okay, that seems kind of compelling, so I requested a beta copy and am presently testing it.  Stay tuned for my report as I become way more productive :)

Josh Newman ponders the effect of movie-watching on coffee-drinking.  "Somehow, ninety minutes spent sitting in the dark, watching lights flicker against a blank wall, had left me seeing the real world itself in a new, different way."

Dutch "lenticular stamp" featuring speedskatingThis is just too awesome, Netherlands debuts "video" stamp.  Featuring cool technology and speedskating, what could be better.  { My Dutch genes reveal themselves sometimes in odd ways, like my strange affinity for speedskating, which I absolutely love. }  As Gizmodo report: "Each stamp sells for €.39 (46 cents US), and before you think that’s crazy, keep in mind that these are not flat panel displays that we’re talking about.  How does this work, you might ask?  The technique is a variation on those little plastic decoder rings you might have seen as a kid - as you tilt the stamp to the left and right, the series of images appear to play back in sequence."  Almost enough to get me to use snail mail.

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