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Rules They Don’t Teach You In School July 12, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Humor.
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Some rules kids won’t learn in school

Text By Charles J. Sykes

Printed in San Diego Union Tribune
September 19, 1996

Unfortunately, there are some things that children should be learning in
school, but don’t. Not all of them have to do with academics. As a modest
back-to-school offering, here are some basic rules that may not have found
their way into the standard curriculum.

Rule No. 1: Life is not fair. Get used to it. The average teen-ager uses the
phrase, “It’s not fair” 8.6 times a day. You got it from your parents, who
said it so often you decided they must be the most idealistic generation
ever. When they started hearing it from their own kids, they realized Rule
No. 1.

Rule No. 2: The real world won’t care as much about your self-esteem as much
as your school does. It’ll expect you to accomplish something before you
feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock. Usually, when inflated
self-esteem meets reality, kids complain it’s not fair. (See Rule No. 1) (more…)

4 Stages Of life July 12, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Humor.
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4-stages-of-life

Surfing Lava Waves July 9, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Cool photos, Lifestyle, Sports.
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Volcano surfing: Lava waves in Hawaii – Telegraph

Even for the hardened adventurer, surfing in boiling waters just 20 feet from the flowing lava of an active volcano is pushing the boundaries of extreme sport.

But for professional surfer CJ Kanuha the thrill of a challenge was too good to pass up.
CJ Kanuha, the daring professional surfer paddles close to the flowing lava of Kilauea volcano

Hovering above in a helicopter, a photographer captured the moment he edged as close as possible to the molten lava of Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Kirk Lee Aeder, who took the shots, said: “It was one of the most thrilling photo shoots I have ever had in my life.

“One day I was talking to my pro-surfing friend, CJ and we began discussing the idea of him surfing, or should I say, stand up paddle surfing close to where the lava enters the ocean and that I would shoot it from a helicopter.”

“I was tentative to get too close at first, and for good reason, the boiling water there is well over 200 hundred degrees in some spots, super hot, and it quickly melted the wax on the surfboard.”

The surfer, who suffered peeling skin on his legs from the boiling water, added: “It was an amazing feeling to get so close to the power of the lava from the volcano.” Click on picture to enlarge or on link for more photos.

Climate Change As Darwinism July 7, 2008

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A Different Climate Change Apocalypse Than the One You Were Envisioning – Freakonomics – Opinion – New York Times Blog
Let’s say you are convinced that climate change is a huge threat and will have catastrophic consequences for humankind in the foreseeable future. How exactly do you envision that catastrophe playing out?

According to a fascinating new working paper (abstract here; download available here by Melissa Dell, Benjamin F. Jones, and Benjamin A. Olken, the answer to that last question may be an easy one: poor countries.

Our main results show large, negative effects of higher temperatures on growth, but only in poor countries. … In rich countries, changes in temperature have no discernible effect on growth.

What does this mean? Among other things, it may mean that many Americans — who are by definition rich — are worried about the wrong thing. Instead of thinking about weather apocalypses, they should instead be thinking about border invasions: the huddled masses from the poorest countries who will be seeking refuge as their own economies collapse. This would be Darwinism on the most epic scale imaginable — but instead of the finch with the shorter beak becoming extinct, it’ll be the poorest millions, or perhaps billions.

Stradivarius Result Of Global Cooling July 4, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Music.
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Secrets of Stradivarius Explained | Wired Science from Wired.com
In a study published yesterday in Public Library of Science ONE, Dutch researchers ran five of the peerless instruments, made in the early 18th century by Italian craftsman Antonio Stradivari and synonymous with harmonic perfection, through a CT scanner.

The resulting three-dimensional X-rays revealed that wood used in Stradivari’s violins possessed an exceptionally uniform density, with little variation in growth rings added by trees each season.

Summertime growth typically outpaces wintertime growth, producing broad rings of relatively permeable wood that alternate with narrow, dense winter bands. That differential affects the wood’s harmonic qualities.

Fortunately for Stradivari, he lived during the Little Ice Age: trees grew little more in summer than in winter. Hence the uniformly dense wood, hence three centuries of experts baffled by the resonance of Stradivarius violins, which have been variously attributed to varnishes, boiling and submersion in ponds.

The Cult Of Che July 4, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Geopolitics, Lifestyle.
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Should we love Che Guevara? – By Paul Berman – Slate Magazine
The cult of Ernesto Che Guevara is an episode in the moral callousness of our time. Che was a totalitarian. He achieved nothing but disaster. Many of the early leaders of the Cuban Revolution favored a democratic or democratic-socialist direction for the new Cuba. But Che was a mainstay of the hardline pro-Soviet faction, and his faction won. Che presided over the Cuban Revolution’s first firing squads. He founded Cuba’s “labor camp” system—the system that was eventually employed to incarcerate gays, dissidents, and AIDS victims. To get himself killed, and to get a lot of other people killed, was central to Che’s imagination. In the famous essay in which he issued his ringing call for “two, three, many Vietnams,” he also spoke about martyrdom and managed to compose a number of chilling phrases: “Hatred as an element of struggle; unbending hatred for the enemy, which pushes a human being beyond his natural limitations, making him into an effective, violent, selective, and cold-blooded killing machine. This is what our soldiers must become …”— and so on. He was killed in Bolivia in 1967, leading a guerrilla movement that had failed to enlist a single Bolivian peasant. And yet he succeeded in inspiring tens of thousands of middle class Latin-Americans to exit the universities and organize guerrilla insurgencies of their own. And these insurgencies likewise accomplished nothing, except to bring about the death of hundreds of thousands, and to set back the cause of Latin-American democracy—a tragedy on the hugest scale. (more…)

Challenges To Assumptions about First Americans July 3, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Science & Technology.
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Texas Archaeological Dig Challenges Assumptions about First Americans: Scientific American
Since the 1930s textbooks have taught that the New World’s first inhabitants, known for the town in New Mexico where their spear points were discovered, walked from Siberia to Alaska about 13,300 years ago. The Clovis people were believed to be highly mobile nomadic hunters, never settling in one place, instead surviving on massive mammoths, mastodons and ancient bison.

But in excavations starting in 1998 Gault has revealed that Clovis people lived at the site for extended periods over a span of 300 years, says Michael Collins, a research associate with the Texas Archeological Research Laboratory. The evidence? Scientists have found numerous tools manufactured from local stone, used until they were worn, then repaired repeatedly until they finally were discarded. (more…)

Free Streaming Music Search Engine July 3, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Music, Video.
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Streamzy.com – streaming music search engine – search.stream.save.

Type in a name to view free videos and songs, mostly from new artists.

Has Global Warming Become Religion? July 2, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, Religion, Science & Technology.
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Global View – WSJ.com
But mother nature has opinions of her own. NASA now begrudgingly confirms that the hottest year on record in the continental 48 was not 1998, as previously believed, but 1934, and that six of the 10 hottest years since 1880 antedate 1954. Data from 3,000 scientific robots in the world’s oceans show there has been slight cooling in the past five years, never mind that “80% to 90% of global warming involves heating up ocean waters,” according to a report by NPR’s Richard Harris. A discussion of the various measurement models.

The Arctic ice cap may be thinning, but the extent of Antarctic sea ice has been expanding for years. At least as of February, last winter was the Northern Hemisphere’s coldest in decades. In May, German climate modelers reported in the journal Nature that global warming is due for a decade-long vacation. But be not not-afraid, added the modelers: The inexorable march to apocalypse resumes in 2020.

This last item is, of course, a forecast, not an empirical observation. But it raises a useful question: If even slight global cooling remains evidence of global warming, what isn’t evidence of global warming? What we have here is a nonfalsifiable hypothesis, logically indistinguishable from claims for the existence of God. This doesn’t mean God doesn’t exist, or that global warming isn’t happening. It does mean it isn’t science.

Grim proving ground for Obama’s housing policy July 2, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Business, Politics.
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Grim proving ground for Obama’s housing policy – The Boston Globe
The candidate endorsed subsidies for private entrepreneurs to build low-income units. But, while he garnered support from developers, many projects in his former district have fallen into disrepair.

As a result, some people in Chicago’s poorest neighborhoods are torn between a natural inclination to support Obama and a concern about his relationships with the developers they hold responsible for Chicago’s affordable housing failures. Some housing advocates worry that Obama has not learned from those failures.

“I’m not against Barack Obama,” said Willie J.R. Fleming, an organizer with the Coalition to Protect Public Housing and a former public housing resident. “What I am against is some of the people around him.”

Jamie Kalven, a longtime Chicago housing activist, put it this way: “I hope there is not much predictive value in his history and in his involvement with that community.” Video

Simple Tech How-To Videos July 1, 2008

Posted by tkcollier in Streamingvideo, Technology, Video.
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The CommonCraft Show | Common Craft – Explanations In Plain English
You want to learn about RSS Feeds, or Podcats, The Show is a series of short explanatory videos produced on our own time. These videos are free and sharable on the Web.

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