Friday, February 24, 2012

Where's That Novel

I put in the drawer? I think it might be worth something after all.
I never heard of Kickstarter until today, but it sounds cool.

  31 films playing at this year’s South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, were funded by Kickstarter donations, over 10 percent of those playing, along with 17 films at theSundance Film Festival.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Coolest Thing On Teh Intertubes. Evah.

I woke up wishing I had something like this (really, I did, I was thinking particle, atom, cell, whosis, jeez I wish I had a chart) and then suddenly this appeared via something you might also like, The Browser's weekly best-of newsletter.

UPDATE: Actually, I was thinking neutrino, then particle, etc. Turns out, there's string. It figures.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

More Brain Stuff

When you look at the structure of the brain it's made up of neurons. Of course, everybody knows that these days. There are 100 billion of these nerve cells. Each of these cells makes about 1,000 to 10,000 contacts with other neurons. From this information people have calculated that the number of possible brain states, of permutations and combinations of brain activity, exceeds the number of elementary particles in the universe.
Mindblowing, as they say. If you click the link, you will be at The Edge, which is a pretty cool place to be on a rainy day.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Why I Hate My (Former) Colleagues

So if dismantling the facade of lies around, say, Bush's tax cut is so easy to do--and makes you the most talked-about newspaper writer in the country--why don't any other reporters or columnists do it themselves? Because doing so would violate some of the informal, but strict, rules under which Washington journalists operate. Reporters usually don't call a spade a spade, unless the lie is small or something personal. When it comes to big policy disagreements, most reporters prefer a he-said, she-said approach--and any policy with a white paper or press release behind it is presumed to be plausible and sincere, no matter how farfetched or deceptive it may be.

This is from an old profile of Krugman, whose blog posts lately hint he's feeling some stress. Buck up, Paul, we need you.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

You Are Stardust

Isn't there a song by that name. Isn't it from Hair?
So, I'm reading this guy's book next, right after Thinking Fast and Slow by Kahneman, which I have to finish in two weeks. Guess I better think fast.
Anyhoo, the guy is Lawrence Krauss and his book is A Universe From Nothing.

Here's the link to his full lecture.

Bottom Line: The Universe is flat, it has zero energy and it began from nothing.

Dept. Of Women I Should Have Heard Of Dept.

Photographer Cindy Sherman has a new show coming up in New York and I am glad I bothered to read about it and I am glad they reproduced some of the images in the NYT story. Sadly, I'll probably never see the 16-foot images printed on something like contact paper. That would be cool.
The self-portrait aspects of her work are the most popular, and while I'm intrigued with what she has done, the apparent narcissism of it attracts/repels me. Is it okay, are we destined to be narcissists or are we just in a phase that will be forgotten in history as we evolve into the Borg? Um, it's late and I'm wide awake now.
I'm also wondering how we can take seriously an artist named Cindy. On the other hand, I guess we're okay with the Bobbies of the world, the Lennys. Like I said, it's late.