Thursday, August 29, 2013

Herman Melville, Moby Dick, tragedy of ambition

Herman Melville's "Moby Dick": 10 most memorable lines - The tragedy of ambition - "The tragedy of ambition:

"For all men tragically great are made so through a certain morbidness.... all mortal greatness is but disease."

– Ishmael on deranged leadership" (Herman Melville, Moby Dick)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dolphins can swim and think for days without rest or sleep

If only we were as "advanced" as Dolphins --

Dolphins able to sleep with half their brains, stay awake for two weeks straight - "The scientists found these dolphins could successfully use echolocation with near-perfect accuracy and no sign of deteriorating performance for up to 15 days. The researchers did not test how much longer the dolphins could have continued. "Dolphins can continue to swim and think for days without rest or sleep, possibly indefinitely," Branstetter told LiveScience. These findings suggest that dolphins evolved to sleep with only half their brains not only to keep from drowning, but also to remain vigilant. "These majestic beasts are true unwavering sentinels of the sea," Branstetter said. Future research can help verify whether the dolphins stayed awake and alert for multiple days by sleeping with half their brains. This would require monitoring their brains for electrical activity via electroencephalogram, or a EEG."

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Yahoo, CEO Mayer, VPN logs, working from home

Caveat Cooperatorem! (Warning Worker!) --

Yahoo CEO Mayer checked VPN logs before banning home working - Network World: "Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer came up with her controversial and hugely unfashionable policy of outlawing home working after doing something almost unheard of for a US CEO - she checked the VPN logs to see whether anyone was slacking. According to the reporter who broke the news of the ban, Mayer told told a staff meeting last week that the logs told her that some employees weren't using the VPN often enough.  The reasoning was simple and non-technical; if employees weren't using the VPN they couldn't be working or contributing to Yahoo as a company."

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Simple Ideas, Scientific Discoveries (video)

How simple ideas lead to scientific discoveries - Adam Savage - YouTube: "Adam Savage walks through two spectacular examples of profound scientific discoveries that came from simple, creative methods anyone could have followed -- Eratosthenes' calculation of the Earth's circumference around 200 BC and Hippolyte Fizeau's measurement of the speed of light in 1849. Lesson by Adam Savage, animation by TED-Ed."

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Obama, Global Warming, Delusions

As The Economy Recesses, Obama's Global Warming Delusions Are Truly Cruel - Forbes: " . . . Top Swedish climate scientist Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, who has served on the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the official global warming advocacy body, was also quoted publicly on February 3 as saying,“We are creating great anxiety without it being justified…there are no indications that the warming is so severe that we need to panic. The warming we have had the last a 100 years is so small that if we didn’t have meteorologists and climatologists to measure it we wouldn’t have noticed it at all. The Earth appears to have cooling properties that exceed the previously thought ones, and computer models are inadequate to try to foretell a chaotic object like the climate, where actual observations are the only way to go.” The award winning Bengtsson, highly decorated by scientific bodies across the globe, also pointed out that the heating effect of carbon dioxide (CO2) is logarithmic, which means the higher the concentration is, the smaller the effect of a further increase. . . . the sea level has been rising as the Earth has been recovering from the freezing period of the Little Ice Age. It is not due to man-caused global warming. President Obama also told us in the SOTU, “Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods – all are now more frequent and intense.” But that is a fairy tale. On the website of Obama’s own EPA is a chart of a U.S. Annual Heat Wave Index, 1895 to 2008, which supports this statement, indicating that heat waves were much worse in the 1930s: “Heat waves occurred with high frequency in the 1930s, and these remain the most severe heat waves in the U.S. historical record (see Figure 1). Many years of intense drought (the “Dust Bowl”) contributed to these heat waves by depleting soil moisture and reducing the moderating effects of evaporation.” The EPA also acknowledges that there is no trend in the historical record of heat waves becoming worse. . . . (read more at link above)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The New Royal Succession (video)

The New Royal Succession: "Gender will no longer be an issue for the baby of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge under a new succession rule for the British monarchy."

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Anomaly: incredibly efficient New York City passport office

Renewing your passport? Visit the incredibly efficient New York City passport office on Hudson Street. - Slate Magazine: "The success story of New York’s passport office tracks with a study recently released by a pair of economists at University College London, Imran Rasul and Daniel Rogger, who looked at the effectiveness of Nigerian government departments. They found that autonomy—in this case, whether project managers have the discretion and resources to do their jobs without approval from higher-ups—is a critical predictor of whether projects get done and whether they’re done well. For Hoffman to design a passport office that works for New York—and to manage the process well—he can’t be overruled by a one-size-fits-all approach that’s dictated from Washington or New Hampshire."

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Daily Life in Damascus (video)

Daily Life in Damascus: "New York Times Beirut correspondent Anne Barnard visits the city as its residents go about their lives in the shadow of Syria’s civil war, which is in its third year."

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Delusions of grandeur, government power, suffocating regulations

A Devil's Bargain In The Desert: Hoover Dam And The Coming Of The Leviathan State - Forbes: " . . . the proliferation of regulations since the 1930s has made the great endeavors of Keynesian worship all but impossible.  The Empire State Building went up in eighteen months and ended a competition for the title of “world’s tallest building.”  By contrast, cutting through red tape and building anew at Ground Zero took a decade. In rare cases, an economic activity has unavoidable federal implications.  Most other times, central planners are just indulging delusions of grandeur meant to expand government power.  Such Keynesian dreams of activist government and the realities of a suffocating regulatory state are one and the same, the stuff of nightmares."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reuters: World News

Top Stories - Google (UK) News

Reuters: Technology News

The Register articles by Kieren McCarthy

Altucher Confidential

BuzzMachine - Jeff Jarvis


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