Archive for February, 2014

We’re in the Age of the Anthropocene

February 28, 2014 | By | Reply More

People are now in charge of the Earth and we are destroying it. Robert Krulwich writes that Planet Earth is Under New Management. We are no longer in the age of the Holocene.

Earth is being dramatically changed, and the changer, this time, is us: humankind (“anthro” in the Greek). “We are no longer in the Holocene,” he told the group. “We are in the Anthropocene.” It’s a coinage he may have borrowed from biologist Eugene Stoermer, but here’s the logic: The Earth is no longer being shaped mainly by natural forces, forces that operate on their own with a logic of their own. Our little blue dot is now, increasingly, sculpted by one of its inhabitants. This is our planet now. We’ve taken over.

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Frustration with snake handlers

February 28, 2014 | By | Reply More

Michael Morris is at it again at Funmentionables. This time he’s frustrated with snake handlers. Here’s an excerpt:

So let’s make a new First Commandment, even before “Love the Lord your God and your neighbor etc.” and it’s this: “First and foremost, use your brain.” Period. I don’t want to read any more news stories of snake handlers dying in my name.

The article contains an interview with Jesus H. Christ, who corrects some errors in the Bible.

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How Google hires.

February 28, 2014 | By | Reply More

Excellent points made in this article describing how Google hires. The title is, “Why Google doesn’t care about hiring top college graduates.” These approaches dovetail well with Paul Tough’s book, “How Children Succeed.”

Here’s an excerpt:

Google looks for the ability to step back and embrace other people’s ideas when they’re better. “It’s ‘intellectual humility.’ Without humility, you are unable to learn,” Bock says. “Successful bright people rarely experience failure, and so they don’t learn how to learn from that failure.”

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Excellent photo site: 500 px

February 28, 2014 | By | 1 Reply More

When I visit the Popular Page of 500px, I’m overwhelmed. At least every other photo is stunning. And at least on every tenth photo, I think, “If I had taken THAT photo, it would have been one of best photos I had ever taken in my life. Really worth a visit.

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Cherry picked bible and other religious cartoon

February 28, 2014 | By | Reply More

I see a lot of cartoons on Facebook. Many of them have no attribution, and quite a few of them are clever. Here is a small collection of 8 such cartoons I’ve spotted over the past year. Topic: Religion.

cherry picked bible

Religion - man made for men

Noah

Jesus talking to Adam and Eve

Jesus explains his birth and death

jesus died for nothing

Jesus - set you on fire

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Graphic Novel version of super stimuli

February 27, 2014 | By | Reply More

I enjoyed this primer on super-stimuli by Gregory Ciotti, titled “Is Your Brain Truly Ready for Junk Food, Porn, or the Internet?” Super stimuli, featuring the work of Niko Tinbergen. He discovered that we can hijack animal’s instincts beyond their evolutionary purpose.

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Running a loop the loop

February 22, 2014 | By | Reply More

Is it possible to run the loop? This video proves that the answer is affirmative.

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Haunted House Fear

February 19, 2014 | By | Reply More

A haunted house near Niagra Falls takes photos of its customers at a key moment. People pay to experience this fear, and the photos are hilarious.

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Wristwatch that tells you how long you have to live

February 19, 2014 | By | Reply More

I was an early kickstart investor in a most unusual wristwatch, meaning that I bought one of these watches at a discount. This device was recently featured in The Atlantic:

A new watch called Tikker claims to have created a way to calculate approximately when, according to its creators, a person is likely to die, and then to input that date into a wristwatch. The idea is that being constantly reminded of his or her own mortality will nudge the wearer to live life to the fullest.

Here’s Tikker’s own website featuring its watch.

I’ve thought that it would be a good idea to have one these devices ever since a friend of mine (Tom Ball) told me 30 years ago that it would be cool to have a watch that ran backwards, estimating the amount of time you had to live. He said that when you found yourself at a boring party, you would glance at your backwards-running watch and say, “Sorry, I’ve got to go. I’ve only got X years to live.”

This device will soon be mine, and I’ll see whether I cherish it or whether it annoys me.

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