Saturday, September 27, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Eeek! The Singularity Approacheth: Self Replicating Machines

From SEED magazine comes news of a self-replicating machine "hailed as a step toward "Darwinian Marxism.""... luckily it does require humans to assemble it otherwise the universe would be clogged full of these things within 2 minutes. Makes you think about how cells don't need external controls to relf-replicate.. i guess there's enough jiggling (brownian motion) going on that the bits and pieces of protein and DNA fold into their correct configurations and slot into each other using electrical charge. I'm sure the Robots will kill us eventually.

Tulip - by me

History is Fun on iTunes stuck in traffic with an Ipod Car-stereo Adapter.

After 3 weeks of reading a GREAT book about the Roman Empire * and listening to a lecture series on "iTunes U" - "History 4a: The Ancient Mediterranean World" i am currently embedded in "History 5: European Civilization from the Renaissance to the Present"... great stuff from Prof. Margaret Lavinia Anderson from Berkeley.

I probably misquote (as it was 7 hours of lectures ago): "The study of History frees us from the parochialism of living in the present."

Click to launch Berkeley on iTunes U

* The book of the series is so much better than the overblown documentary it is designed to accompany... It takes John Pertwee's (Dr Who from the 1970's) son about 15 minutes of screen time dressed up as JC to cross the Rubicon .... but only 3 inches in the book. Was ancient Rome really so camp?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Chernobyl Fungi are Eating Radiation

"Our findings suggest that [the fungi] can capture the energy from radiation and transform it into other forms of energy that can be used for growth"

Arturo Casadevall

Radioactive fungi

Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin) vs Alison Krauss" Who has the Most Beautiful Blonde Locks?

This album "Raising Sand" is incredible.. produced by T-Bone Burnett. Apparently people who meet T-Bone tell him "..I thought you were black".. to which he replies "I thought so too!".

Who I Think I Am and Who I Really Am

Obviously there is a 'disconnect' between who we think we are- and who we actually are. For example, i think i'm a fun loving intellectual bon-vivant and racounteur when in fact i'm an overprotective whining killjoy : "careful you don't slice your finger off accidentally whilst you're cutting that cheese" and "i'm going to have a shower now- okay?". Not "fusilli"- "penne"!
When i buy the New-Yorker Magazine at airport newsagents (i do so ostentatiously - perhaps people think i am an urbane gentleman who will fly there today and need to know "what's on"). I read it smugly, knowing i am an intellectual and YET .. when i get to the end of the magazine i start to find little ads that disturb me. What would i want with a bean-bag, a treatment for erectile dysfunction, a self-help book etc? Not a Rolex-Jaguar ad to be found. And yet, as i am reminded, "marketing types" know their audience better than anyone. ..hmmmm

Demetri Martin: Graph of My Ability to Draw Mountains Over Time