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Archive for March, 2008

From the background action and all the easels passing by it looks as though there are at least a couple other painting elephants at the same location. Elephants are probably pretty smart, as non-primates go, but I don’t think this proves much. If dogs had a limb as flexible as a trunk then they could be trained to do the same thing.

Vodpod videos no longer available. from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

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That’s the policy of African leaders:

Reason Magazine – Demon Seed

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Using modern technology to play back a visual representation of sound that was recorded in 1860. Very clever.

Phonautogram – Thomas Edison – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory – Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville – New York Times

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switchboard.jpg

Originally uploaded by CitySkip

From CitySkip. Click the photo to view the whole set of images from New York City Blackout of 1977.

The landline phone system continues working even when the household power is out, of course. Most phones at the time were completely powered by big batteries or generators at the central office. The power comes in over the phone lines. See Matt McCaffrey’s comment on this interesting NYT retrospective for more information.

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The world’s 10 oldest leaders
A 2008 Pew study found that while less than a quarter of younger voters, when told his age, considered McCain too old for the presidency, fully 40 percent of retirement-age voters regarded him as too old.

While some people might find this result counterintuitive, I’m not really surprised that younger voters have less of a problem with McCain’s age than older voters do.

I think our perceptions of age and youth are formed early in life. I suspect many of today’s “retirement age” voters remember their own parents and grandparents retiring at age 65 and becoming old, tired and fragile by age 75. By comparison, younger voters are likely to see their own aging parents and grandparents (who are, ironically, those same “older voters”) in a much more positive light. Many of their parents are still working, and the cumulative results of more effective healthcare, a safer environment, and a lifetime of good nutrition means that far more than ever before are likely to be active and healthy well into their 80’s or 90’s. That group of voters looks at McCain and sees a fairly robust man who’s a little older than dad, a little younger than gramps, and not particularly likely to keel over during the next four years.

McCain’s been through some tough times, yes, but he seems like he’s held up pretty well. He’s gotten good medical care and seems as mentally sharp as ever. Two terms might be pushing it, yes, but I’m really not worried about his age this time around. And I suspect that when it comes down to it most voters will base their decisions on other factors entirely.

via neoneocon

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An interesting post about the loss of the HMAS Sydney of the Royal Australian Navy during WWII and recent news about the final fate of the ship.

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Video: Pontiac Ad Gives Nod to Classic Spy Hunter – Boing Boing Gadgets

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I’m sorry to hear that Arthur C. Clark has died at age 90. As Bruce Webster notes, he was the last of the “big three” writers who created the foundation for modern science fiction. The other two giants of 20th century SF were Issac Asimov, who died back in 1992, and Robert A. Heinlein, who died in 1988.

via Instapundit.

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Here’s some street photography of a different kind. A typical neighborhood in Fort Wayne, Indiana in the bygone years of 1972 and 1973. There are some very nice photos.

McCLELLAN STREET – Digital Journalist

I was born in 1971 in Maryland, quite a ways from Indiana, and grew up in working middle-class neighborhood not far from Baltimore City. The houses were less run down and the cars were a little newer, but every decade has a sort of sameness wherever you are, and there’s a lot in these photos that seems familiar to me. The kids, especially. My sister and our friends were not much different from those little kids running around the neighborhood barefoot. Not because we couldn’t afford shoes, just because going barefoot wasn’t unusual back then. And there were the older kids a lot like these, who always seemed to be sitting around smoking and listening to loud music.

I have a few photos up on flickr from back then, most taken by my dad, and quite a few more to scan. But, still, I really wish I’d taken more pictures back then myself. Not just of Christmas or special events, but of boring everyday stuff. I think it’d be nice to have them. That’s the thing about everyday life, though; it seems boring and commonplace now but it’ll be a lot more interesting in 15 years or so. So do you have a camera? Why not go out and take some pictures?

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via AVGeeks

Vodpod videos no longer available. from video.google.com posted with vodpod

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