Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Links!

We are loaded this week, with some of the best "long form" links we've ever had.

Leading off, in what qualifies as one of the most inspired pranks I've ever seen, a woman who hated high school hired a stripper to go to her 10-year reunion in her place--and there's video.

From Michael Hughes, a link to a brilliantly written piece by Christopher Buckley titled Growing Up Buckley. It speaks very deeply to the relationship between parents and children, and it's poignant and wistful and makes you feel a bit uncomfortable at the same time it makes you feel a bit good. In other words, a great piece of writing.

From Dave Yeager, a link to a story about the man who is in farther over his head than maybe anyone else in the world--Lenny Dykstra. Yes, the ex-baseball player and self-proclaimed "financial guru" is finally hitting the wall, and it's a fascinating read.

Here's one more sports-related link, and it's also an excellent read. It's the story of Matt Harrington, former high first-round pick in the baseball amateur draft, drafted five times over five years, but never never signed a contract (turning down one offer for $4.9 million). He now makes $11.50/hr. at Costco.

Here's a link to what must be one of the greatest tables in history: A Comparison of Shark Attacks and Fatalities with the American Alligator
(Alligator mississippiensis) Attacks and Fatalities in the U.S.: 1948-2005

From Sirius, a link to an article about a new way to study dinosaurs: computer paleontology. Also, and this just totally spectacular, a link to a story about the Gilbert Atomic Energy Lab, and here's an excerpt:
This was the most elaborate Atomic Energy educational set ever produced, but it was only only available from 1951 to 1952. Its relatively high price for the time ($50.00) and its sophistication were the explanation Gilbert gave for the set's short lifespan. Today, it is so highly prized by collectors that a complete set can go for more than 100 times the original price.

The set came with four types of uranium ore, a beta-alpha source (Pb-210), a pure beta source (Ru-106), a gamma source (Zn-65?), a spinthariscope, a cloud chamber with its own short-lived alpha source (Po-210), an electroscope, a geiger counter, a manual, a comic book and a government manual 'Prospecting for Uranium.


Also, from Sirius, a link to (believe it or not) a fire tornado. Oh, and a link to a story about one of the "world's most powerful stargazing systems"--The e-Merlin array.

From John Catania, a link to a new kind of memory, and we may be hearing quite a lot about this in the future--it's racetrack memory.

From Richard Matsunaga, a link to an amazing fossil discovery: a flipper-free mammal related to modern seals.

From Jesse Leimkuehler, a link to an image from the Hubble, and it's amazing: a jet of matter blasting from a black hole. Also from Jesse, and the headline is so good that I'm just going to use it, is Giant Mystery Blob Discovered Near Blob Of Time.

From Liz Watson, a link to a story that makes you realize you haven't seen it all: Tree grows inside man's lung.

From the Edwin Garcia Links Machine, an absoutely stunning image of Saturn.

From Michael O'Reilly, a link to a story about the first news helicopter. Oh, and absolutely do not miss the video via the link on page five to the Baldwin Hills Dam disaster.

From Katy Mulvey, a link to a performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody"--by old computer equipment.

From Andrew B, a remarkably depressing article about computer disposal in the third world, as well as a look at some of the information that can still be retrieved from those systems. Here's the lead:
Under the pretence of recycling, NHS computers have been dumped in Ghana, where their hard drives are mined of your confidential data by criminal gangs... while children die melting down the highly toxic empty shells.

From Steven Kreuch, a link to a video of some of the most spectacular bicycle tricks I've ever seen.

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