Monday, December 29, 2008

Eye-glasses for a billion poor people

Here's an article from the Guardian about a fellow named Josh Silver who wants to take a simple adjustable lens technology and apply it to low-cost eye-glasses so that poor people can have personally tuned prescription vision correction without the need for an expensive optometrist. Silver says,
"Things are never simple. But I will solve this problem if I can. And I won't really let people stand in my way."
This guy is my hero. This is an awesome story about the birth of an idea, the recognition of a problem, the connection made between the two, and the will to implement the solution, despite the tremendous obstacles of organization, distribution and shear cost.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Presets

Looking around, it was difficult to find a better online video introduction to The Presets than this one. Enjoy.
The Presets - Ormand Hall Live from Sey Something on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Christopher Schabel's disc golf wiki

Because he's such a cool guy, I am linking to the website of Christopher Schabel where he hosts a wiki on disc golf.

That's awesome not just because disc golf is pretty awesome too, but also because of the awesome score cards he's got on there.

Friday, December 19, 2008

If time travel is possible, then why haven't we been visited?

I know this topic has been addressed numerous times on the web and in an endless stream of science fiction books, movies and television shows, but I'd like to see if anybody out there has their own ideas. The idea is that time travel cannot be possible, because if it were possible then a working time machine would inevitably be engineered sometime in the future.

Once a time machine was in the hands of human beings, there would be all kinds of weirdness happening. What could stop us from traveling back in time to "fix" things to our advantage? Surely if time travel is possible then a time machine will exist in the future and someone will abuse it.

Given the amount of time in the future (theoretically infinite) someone traveling back in time to visit us is simply unavoidable if time travel is possible.

So why didn't we catch any people from the future taking their vacations in the Ming Dynasty?

Possible explanations for why this doesn't seem to have happened:
  1. It has already happened, but the government has covered it up.
  2. It has already happened, but a secret future agency of time cops has been traveling back in time and short circuiting the offending time travelers before they can commit their abuse of the past.
  3. We don't have as much time as we think we do. The sun will go nova (or another global catastrophe) way before we think it will and there is nobody left on future Earth to travel back in time.
  4. Time travel simply will never be possible no matter how far our scientific and technological advances take us.
  5. Update: Greg Lange of has suggested that it may only be possible to travel into the future, and not the past. Forward-only time travel certainly seems possible given the phenomenon of time dilation based on velocity close to light speed in the theory of special relativity (see the Wikipedia article on the twin paradox).
  6. Update: Another possibility involves imagining that traveling back in time instantly shifts the traveler into an alternate universe exactly like our own, except with the traveler temporally located in a time in the past instead of his native time. This would explain why no one has ever seen a backwards time traveler -- we're all still in this universe. The time traveler doesn't travel back in time to our time, but backwards in the time line of a completely different universe.

What do you think?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Are you a film addict?

IMDB has a Top 250 Films Of All Time list.

Which have you seen?
Take the quiz

[ via Kottke ]

Shoes thrown at Bush

Wow. Just wow. Bush was giving a press conference about how everything's going better in Iraq and some Iraqi journalist chunks his shoes at our President while yelling, "It is the farewell kiss, you dog." Apparently that is the worst insult the guy could think of.

This is probably the best angle on the takedown of the assailant:

But honestly...

[ Link ]

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fat Freddy's Drop - Cay's Crays

No, he's not singing, "The Skank be the rock in my life".

He's singing, "The skank beat rockin' my life".

You may have just learned a new piece of valuable musical trivia.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Thought-provoking video on the banking system

Sometime last year I came across this series of videos on YouTube about how banks making loans, not government-printed currency, creates most of the money in the United States economy. At the time, I thought, "This is hard to believe, but it makes sense. This is just some communist outfit propaganda, though, right? How can it be that the government is seemingly so far removed from actual control of the money supply?" The YouTube version was bookmarked and forgotten in my Firefox browser. (My delicious account is desperately long overdue for syncing.)

These past few months though, when US banks started begging "us tax-payers" for bailout money, reminded me of the ideas in the video. Thanks to Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing and someone named Chris (?) for the link.

Stuff in this video gets a bit complicated but it is well-worth the effort to endure all 47 minutes.

[ Link ]

Update! Here is a web page that lists the references for the quotes that Paul Grignon has used in his Money as Debt video.

Clerkenwell and The Real Tuesday Weld

Beat-boxing, duck-stepping, cuckoo birds. Good stuff. The Real Tuesday Weld is pretty fun music.

Bathtime in Clerkenwell

Last Time In Clerkenwell

(@davewiner reminded me about this via twitter.)

[ Link ]

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Film personality test


Choose your favorite movie per director.
1) Joel Coen, 2) Wes Anderson, 3) Hal Ashby, 4) Kevin Smith, 5) Quentin Tarantino, 6) Stanley Kubrick, 7) P.T. Anderson, 8) Errol Morris

1) The Big Lebowski (runner-up: O Brother, Where Art Thou)
2) Rushmore (runner-up: The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou)
3) Being There
4) Clerks (runner-up: Chasing Amy)
5) Reservoir Dogs (runner-up: Kill Bill)
6) 2001: A Space Odyssey (runner-up: Full Metal Jacket)
7) There Will Be Blood
8) A Brief History of Time

But, none of these are my favorite movies.

I like WALL•E the most, at least for this year 2008.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Moving, you're doing it wrong

This defines my moving ideology.

Unfortunately, my implementation == epic fail[1]. Pip and Kitteh do it better for realz.

I heart Laugh-Out-Loud Cats, btw!

[1] Speaking of fail: