Friday, February 22, 2008

Friday Links!

A wild assortment of time-wasters today, so I hope you don't need to finish anything at work.

First off, a must-see link from Edwin Garcia. It's hard to describe, but try to imagine a piece of classical music played by one man--on crystal glasses. About thirty glasses, I think, all filled with varying levels of water. It's both beautiful and mind-blowing, and you can see it here.

Here's another must-see video, this time from Paul Costello. In one of the best pranks I've ever seen, the Philadelphia Phillies (including the Assistant GM and the Manager) convinced pitcher Kyle Kendrick that he had been traded--to the Yomiuri Giants. Plus they caught it all on video.

From The Onion, one of my favorite articles ever: Local Girlfriend Always Wants To Do Stuff.

Kevin sent in two excellent links. First, can you say "Margaret Atwood" (author and Booker Award winner) and "hockey" in the same sentence? Yes, you can. The second link is to a story about Wakulla Springs, a remarkable location with amazing underwater caves. And if you want to see more, here are some maps.

From Ty Sleck, a link to an amazing story and video about how geckos beg sap-sucking insects for a taste of honeydew. Here's an excerpt:
The lizard repeatedly nods its head at the insect, called a plant hopper, until it flicks over small balls of honeydew for the gecko to dine upon.

Looking for a nine-pound frog? Geoff Engelstein sent in a link to the fossil.

From Sirius, a link to a story about how a group of Danish scientists can tell your age--with your eyes. Here's an excerpt:
Their new technique uses radiocarbon dating to measure special proteins known as lens crystallines that develop around birth and remain unchanged for the rest of our lives. They are the only part of the body apart from teeth that do so.

Here's a second link from Edwin Garcia, to what must be the largest private collection of music in the world. How large? Try 3 million records and 300,000 CD's, and it's up for auction on eBay. The third link from Edwin is to photographs of one of the oddest houses I've ever seen--the Nautilus Shell House.

From Don Barree, a link to what may be the discovery of the Amber Room. Here's an excerpt:
Could it be that more than 60 years after the end of World War II, the Amber Room has been found? Long-lost amber panels backed with gold leaf were stolen by the Nazis from the Soviet Union during the war. Now it appears they may lie in a man-made cavern 60 feet underground near the village of Deutschneudorf on the German border with the Czech Republic, Spiegel Online International reported. The Amber Room, below, created by German and Russian craftsmen, was a gift from King Friedrich Wilhelm I of Prussia to his ally Czar Peter the Great of Russia in 1716. The possible discovery of an estimated two tons of gold was made over the weekend when electromagnetic pulse measurements found the cavern near a long-abandoned railway station. Heinz-Peter Haustein, the mayor of Deutschneudorf and a member of Parliament who led the search, said, ā€œIā€™m well over 90 percent sure we have found the Amber Room.ā€

Actually, that was the entire story, not just an excerpt. And here's the Wikipedia entry if you're interested.

Finally, from Steve Davis, a link to an article titled Richard Feynman, the Challenger Disaster, and Software Engineering, which is a closer look at Feynman's dissenting opinion as part of the Rogers Commission, which investigated the Challenger disaster. Excellent reading, and there's a link to the full text of Feynman's dissent as well.

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