Friday, September 05, 2008

Friday Links!

We're absolutely loaded this week, so put your phone on "forward" and let's go.

Leading off, from Allen Varney, links to the fourth dimension--or rather, an explanation of the fourth dimension (in video form). Plus the story of Alicia Boole Stott, and here's an excerpt:
Despite having no formal education in mathematics, she still possessed a great power of geometric visualization in hyperspace. From the age of seventeen until her death, she remained interested in regular and semi-regular four-dimensional polytopes and made several important discoveries in this area. For example, she showed that there were 6 regular polyhedra in 4-dimensional space and made physical models related to her work.

Prototypes? You can see them right here.

Finally, a 4D game: Hypercube.

Allen also sent me a link a few weeks back that somehow got lost. It's Metal Eating Bird, a 1930 Harold Muller film that combined live-action and animation in remarkable ways.

Here's one of the most epic, incredible white-trash stories in the history of the world, and it demands to be read: One widow, two dead men, one shared heart.

From David Gloier, a link to a story that I'm very surprised hasn't gotten more attention: the Zodiac Killer may finally have been identified.

From Tim Jones, a link to pictures of every console in history, along with brief descriptions.

From Jonathan Arnold, a link to a story about the worst player in sports videogame history--or rather, the worst-rated player in videogame history. Here's an excerpt:
To call Shawn Chambers the worst player in video game history does the man and his career a disservice. Chambers had an accomplished thirteen-year NHL career as an NHL defenseman, winning two Stanley Cups in the process. Despite suffering through more than twenty surgeries on ailing knees, Chambers made it to the playoffs seven times and had 235 points in 625 NHL games.

And yet, if you loaded up NHL '93 back when you were wearing your flannel shirt and blaming your Gin Blossoms CD on your ex-girlfriend, you would've seen Chambers sporting the worst rating ever given to any athlete in video game history: A 1 overall rating.

They even interview Chambers, and you can read it here. Also from Jonathan, a link to a new installment of Gamastura's excellent Postmortem feature, this time on BioShock.

From Schmultzi, a link to a remarkable story about Paul Otlet, who in 1934 created the design for a lower-tech version of the Internet. Here's an excerpt:
Although Otlet’s proto-Web relied on a patchwork of analog technologies like index cards and telegraph machines, it nonetheless anticipated the hyperlinked structure of today’s Web. “This was a Steampunk version of hypertext,” said Kevin Kelly, former editor of Wired, who is writing a book about the future of technology.

Otlet’s vision hinged on the idea of a networked machine that joined documents using symbolic links. While that notion may seem obvious today, in 1934 it marked a conceptual breakthrough.

From Sean, a link to a video about a drink you can eat: the edible martini.

From the Edwin Garcia Links Machine, a link to an absolutely fascinating article about a new business in Japan: professional seduction. Here's an excerpt:
In Japan, if you have the money you can sort out virtually any problem in your love life. If you want to get rid of an unwanted spouse, retrieve a straying one, get back with an ex or even get together with someone you’ve seen but don’t yet know, there are companies that will help you, using all the technology and expertise in human psychology at their disposal.

Also from Edwin, a link to creative recycling--of 747's.

From Sirius, a link to a story about Henri Cartan, the founder of the Secret Society of Mathematicians, who published articles under the pen name "Nicolas Bourbaki." Cartan recently died at age 104, and his life is a fascinating story. Also, a link to typewiter art--in this case, typewriters morphed into science fiction creatures.

A delicious bit of history: it appears that Agatha Christie set up her own murder. Well, the appearance of her murder.

From John Lewkowitz, a link to an article about a class that appreciates life by examining death. Here's an excerpt:
For the last decade, Bowe has led her classes of 30 students into the refrigerated tombs of bodies stacked bunk-bed-style in the morgue and into hospice bedrooms, glowing from television screens, occupied by the sickly and soon-to-die. She guides them through the barbed-wire fences of Northern New Jersey State Penitentiary, past the outdoor recreation kennels where gang members sweat and swear, to a law library where they sit down with murderers.

From Andrew Stingel (our official representative in Australia), a link to booksthatmakeyoudumb, and the results are very amusing.

In the "you just have to read it for yourself" category, a man caught a 21-pound catfish on a Barbie Doll fishing pole.

Here's a link to some terrific photos of gargoyles.

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