Friday, November 14, 2008

Friday Links

Running on empty edition.

One of the things I forgot to do this week is link to the latest installment of Matt Sakey's excellent Culture Clash column, let's fix that now.

From Tim Lesnick, and of course I had to lead with this, a film excerpt from a documentary about "Iron Crotch," also known as Qigong. Let's just say that I don't plan on pulling a truck with my penis anytime soon, but it doesn't mean I mind if someone else does it. You'll see some incredible things in this video, but no private parts, so it's still safe for work. Well, depending on your work, of course.

From Jacob Garrett, a link to a remarkable short film of ants building a lifeboat--of themselves.

From Joe Craig, two excellent links. The first is to an absolutely fantastic story about a scientists teaching chimps how to use currency. The second would be highly appreciated by surviving members of Monty Python--a guide to illegal and dangerous cheeses.

Two interesting links from Wired. The first is a story about Scott Safran's three-day marathon that resulted in an Asteroids world record in 1982, a score that has never again been approached. The second is the backstory behind Valve's infamous attempt to trick the hacker who gained access to the Half-Life 2 source code in 2003.

Frank Regan sent me a link to a moving story about Anthony Acevedo, a WWII medic who was captured and survived a Nazi slave labor camp.

From Jesse Leimkuehler, a link to a remarkable obituary--for the Phoenix Mars Lander. Its list of achievements in five months of operation are remarkable.

From the Edwin Garcia Links Machine, a story about doctors curing HIV with a bone marrow transplant. Also, a totally fantastic story about the Saturn V rocket, still the biggest rocket in history 41 years after its launch. It was 364 feet tall, believe it or not, and the link also has an epic video of the launch and the rocket in flight. It's amazing.

Here's something I saw in archaelogy magazine that's an excellent read: a full page of different links on the history of gladiators.

From Brian Minsker, a link to a remarkable story from the BBC about a pilot being guided safely to the ground after being blinded by a stroke.

From Michael Martin, an a cappella tribute to Star Wars (I've got to get Eli to watch this--he quizzed his dentist on Star Wars trivia this week).

From Sirius, a link to a story about scientists turning tequila into diamonds. Also, a link to a story about Gobekli Tepe, and here's an excerpt:
Six miles from Urfa, an ancient city in southeastern Turkey, Klaus Schmidt has made one of the most startling archaeological discoveries of our time: massive carved stones about 11,000 years old, crafted and arranged by prehistoric people who had not yet developed metal tools or even pottery. The megaliths predate Stonehenge by some 6,000 years. The place is called Gobekli Tepe, and Schmidt, a German archaeologist who has been working here more than a decade, is convinced it's the site of the world's oldest temple.

Finaly, also from Sirius, a link to a story about chains of proteins in living organisms possessing the ability to control their own evolution.

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