Interesting Stuff Out There

Science & Scientists



  • 2001 Revisited from Stephanie Andrews ... her blurb describes it as "a series of images and sound extracted from DVD and digitally manipulated. The work seamlessly combines images from 2001: A Space Odyssey with images from popular media that reflect the events following September 11th".
  • The Iowa Poll found that in "1989, 40 percent of tropical-fish owners wished that their pets were more affectionate"...
  • Beagle 2 fails because it is British: "That rugby business confused things for a while, but now the stubbornly silent Mars probe Beagle 2 has reminded us what Britain does best: heroic failure.... That's how rubbish Britain is: even our police officers can't catch a getaway car that has a top speed of 15mph. Which, personally speaking, is why I kind of like the place."
  • Ringing in 2004 with a laugh... A Liverpool grandmother had mixed fortunes when she suffered a heart attack on a plane full of cardiologists. Dorothy Fletcher, 67, was flying to her daughter's wedding in Florida when she collapsed with chest pains. A stewardess asked, "Is there a doctor on board?" and 15 heart specialists - en route to a cardiology conference in Orlando - stood up to offer help.
  • Fox decides it's not going to sue itself
  • UZ photos
  • Kindergarten for big babies Leave your man here while you go shopping...
  • Pachyderms like Bach ...playing Mozart and Beethoven makes the animals better behaved...and heap big shit on the hi-fi if they don't like what it's playing.
  • Feline joins list of NZ exports Dockworkers at a NZ port are desperate to have their cat back after it mistakenly ended up on a ship bound for South Korea, for reasons that are not altogether clear. Their spokesman said "She's a big part of all the people here, spends a lot of time wandering around the terminal, mostly chasing, and not catching, mice and birds and sitting around eating a lot," Meanwhile, another celebrity cat dies after failing to survive 11 000 volts a second time. (Okay, I'm reading into that.)
  • Mysterious South African hospital deaths solved
  • The asteroid that almost hit Ancient Rome
  • Life of Brian and how it got past the censors.
  • The liberal spirit in America, by Peter Berkowitz.
  • Newspapers finally start to make profits on the net Some quotes :
    • "it is mostly conventional newspaper companies that have the editorial, advertising and marketing resources to take advantage of the 'Net, not the startups"
    • "the New York Times went from a $7.5 million loss on its Internet site in 2001 to an $8 million profit in 2002"
    • "the average" (print) newspaper reader in the United States is now about 46 years old"
    • "one survey found that 46 percent of all trade title journalists believe their publication will be available only online within the next 15 years"
  • Ari Fleisher's evasive maneuvers. Catalogued
  • ooh, look, pretty!

Humans as Individuals

  • The creators of Google + their business plan, circa 2000.
  • Swimming with Sharks, Really. Couple spends $130K and three years on movie. Screenplay written in six days. Can't afford artificial sharks, so they use real ones.

    "They started with the shark scenes. The filmmakers hired dive experts and shark wranglers, outfitted the actors with protective chain mail under their wetsuits, then motored 10 miles offshore in an old lobster boat... And then the wranglers tossed chunks of bloody tuna into the sea.

    "There were 40, 50 sharks, gray fins as far as the eye can see," Ms. Ryan said. "And Chris said, `O.K., get in.' And we basically had to climb in the water right on top of the sharks, because they don't exactly get out of your way..."

  • Loic Wacquant: The UChicago grad student who learnt boxing

    When French sociologist Loic Wacquant signed up at a boxing gym in a black neighborhood of Chicagošs South Side, he had never contemplated getting close to a ring, let alone climbing into it. Yet for three years he immersed himself among local fighters, amateur and professional. He learned the sweet science of bruising, participating in all phases of the pugilistšs strenuous preparation, from shadow-boxing drills to sparring... (from a Seminary Coop review)

  • The Dick and Dyke Show ... Ellen Warren (Chicago Tribune) has an excellent story about gay-rights activist Deborah Mell and her dad, Chicago Alderman Richard Mell.

    Mell, 65, is holding forth on these most intimate of subjects with his customary, unvarnished vocabulary... On legalizing gay marriage: "Jesus Christ. I mean, give me a break! I mean what is the big thing here? I mean, is this going to be Sodom and Gomorrah? Jesus Christ. Half the marriages end up in divorce right now. Half the . . . people who are beating the hell out of their wives are good heterosexual married people. I mean give me a break!"

  • Project Innocence
  • Letters home from Guantanamo Bay "...Boredom here is extreme. I have not seen the sun for over seven months except once, for around two minutes. ... I have done a lot of reading in the past few months (45 books or so), just having read about the United States' war of independence and Civil War. I had a discussion recently with someone about the US's major contribution to civilisation... I pondered for many hours and then came up with the answer - peanut butter (both smooth and crunchy)..." also see this.
  • Andy Bichel
  • Michael Crichton
  • Hamilton Naki One of the doctors who performed the first heart transplant operation with Christiaan Barnard in 1967 was considered to be the most technically gifted surgeon at Groote Schuur hospital in Cape Town. But being a black in apartheid South Africa, not to mention having no medical training, everyone had to pretend he was a gardener.
  • Zacarias Moussaoui, the ethnically-Moroccan Frenchman commonly known as 'the 20th hijacker'. His older brother describes how a really nice guy, who could have become a professional handballer, slid down the murky slopes of diasporan life.

Humans in Groups