Friday, April 13, 2007

Friday Links

For your reading pleasure.

First, from Vahur Teller, a link to a story about the Arirang Festival in North Korea. 100,000 people are involved as performers, and a giant section of the stadium is filled with people doing an amazing job of holding placards and (as a group) creating an amazing series of images.

Obviously, given what we know about the situation in North Korea, they should call it the Festival of Starvation or something, but the images and videos are pretty spectacular. And the first video is particularly interesting because it gives you an idea of how North Korea markets itself, which is fascinating to see.

Here's the first link (with two videos): Arirang Festival.
The second link has a few pictures (and again, those giant images in the background are made by people holding placards): BBC.

Next, part three of the excellent series "The History of Computer Role-Playing Games" is now available over at Gamastura. This installment covers the years 1994-2004, and you can read it here.

Sirius sent in a link about an enormous and embarrassing case of mathematical oops:
A £2 billion project to answer some of the biggest mysteries of the universe has been delayed by months after scientists building it made basic errors in their mathematical calculations.

The mistakes led to an explosion deep in the tunnel at the Cern particle accelerator complex near Geneva in Switzerland. It lifted a 20-ton magnet off its mountings, filling a tunnel with helium gas and forcing an evacuation.

Read about it here.

Here's an article from MSNBC about scientists using collagen protein analysis to support the theory that modern birds descended from dinosaurs. If you remember the 2003 story about preserved soft tissue being found inside the femur of a T-rex, that's how this analysis was possible. Read it here.

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