Friday, April 18, 2008

Friday Links!

From rivets to lobotomies to skateboarding dogs, we've got it all this week. Close the door, forward the phone, and say hello the weekend.

From Don Barree, and it's a bombshell, even 96 years later:
Researchers have discovered that the builder of the Titanic struggled for years to obtain enough good rivets and riveters and ultimately settled on faulty materials that doomed the ship, which sank 96 years ago Tuesday.

The research is remarkable, and you can read about it all here.

Here's a fascinating link from Jonathan Arnold, although it's a difficult read: one of the youngest patients to be lobotomized by the infamous Walter Freeman decided to find out everything he could about why the procedure was performed on him.

From Sirius, a link to a story about the Difference Engine, and it's a stunner:
The Computer History Museum, in Mountain View, Calif., will unveil a new construction, the first in the United States, of the 19th century British mathematician Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 2, an improved version of his earlier mechanical digital calculator.

It will weight five tons, which is about the same weight as that calculator I needed in high school.

A second link from Sirius, and this is totally cool: a fourteen-year old named Anshul Samar has created a science-based fantasty card game called Elementeo. Here's an excerpt:
The game is based on a 121-card deck of chemical elements, compounds and catalysts. Every card has an explanation of the element or compound's uses and chemical properties. For example, the Oxygen card can rust neighboring metal cards and the Copper Conductor card can shock any metals. The oxidation state of an element is used as its attack power, and its physical state determines its movement on the board. The goal of the game is to reduce the opponents electrons to zero through strategic use of each card's chemical properties.

Here's a link to Miles Davis and John Coltrane performing "So What".

From David Gloier, links to two videos of Conrad Oberg, a remarkable twelve-year old musician who happens to be blind. First, a video of his remarkble piano-playing skills, then a link to his rendition of Voodoo Child on electric guitar (which is huge fun to watch). Oh, and if you want one more, here's Conrad playing Little Wing, and it's fantastic.

From the Edwin Garcia links machine, a link to I Guess You'll Do, one of the darkest looks at adult life ever. The female narrator, though, makes it very, very funny. Next a link to Digger FAIL, part of The FAIL Blog. Next, NASA has a new science website, and it's excellent.

From Scott Zimmerman, a link to an article about the decoding of Aztec mathematics. Also from Scott, a link to "Hubble", "a system that operates continuously to find persistent Internet black holes as they occur."

From Curtis Moore, a great project to do with your kids: a table-top biosphere. It looks excellent, and I'm sure Eli 6.8 will be up for doing this.

From Garrett Alley, it's Mario Drums. That's right--someone who looks to be an excellent drummer took the time to write a drum score (I'm sure I'm using that word wrong) and play along with the Mario theme.

Here's a link from George Paci, and I'm pretty sure it's NSFW, unless a group of naked men wearing Mickey Mouse masks passes for acceptable in your office. The title of the article really says it all: German staging of Verdi's A Masked Ball on 9/11 with naked case in Mickey Mouse masks.

From Lael Jones, a link to a video that, incredibly, exponentially surpasses International Dance Party in sheer cheesiness. It's an informercial for the Beamz Music System. This video is a classic, and what makes it so remarkable is that every single person in the video has the look of a complete loser. Now these people are actors, which means the director was directing them to look like that.

From Mike Jacobs, a link to some unique art: the visualization of computer viruses. MIT Media Lab's grad student Alex Dragulescu used algorithms to find recurring patterns in the source code, then put the results into a visualization algorithm.

Pete the skateboarding dog. I think that says it all.

From Keith Schleicher, a link to an article on the best band (all-time) from each state, as determiend by Jeopardy Whiz Ken Jennings.

From Jonathan Arnold, a link to a website called #1 Song on This Date in History, and that's exactly what it will tell you.

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