shockingly, kids are sick and tired of paying hundreds of dollars for overpriced stacks of paper!!!!!! who wouldve thought!!!!!!
shockingly, kids are sick and tired of paying hundreds of dollars for overpriced stacks of paper!!!!!! who wouldve thought!!!!!!
"The hunting lodge is beautifully situated, alone beside a lake in the untouched mountain areas close to Åkrafjorden in the western part of Norway. It is accessible only by foot or horseback. The integration of the hut into the landscape has been an important part of the concept. The terrain is characteristic with grass, heather and rocks, and the hut’s shape, orientation, and materials are dictated by this. “
Mi brillano gli occhi.
Ever since I made one of my favorite salads to date, the broccoli slaw, I have wanted to make a cauliflower slaw companion for it, and I know this because I have listed it no less than five times on my sprawling To Cook list. I knew that I wanted it to be “mayo-free,” with a “sharp lemony dressing.” I knew that I wanted it to have “tiny dried currants” in it, and that maybe I’d soak/plump them in the dressing for a while so they added more than just sweetness. I knew that, like the broccoli slaw, it should have well-toasted almonds in it, and that I didn’t mind if it had capers in it, especially if they were crispy. But I couldn’t figure out the structure — I was convinced that cauliflower, shaved thinly, would be nothing but a pile of rubble, but not in a charming way. And then a couple months ago a cauliflower salad appeared on the menu of my favorite restaurant, Barbuto in the West Village (which also brought us this kale salad), and to my delight, it turned out to have many elements of the cauliflower slaw I’d been dreaming about — theirs with raisins, hazelnuts and a unholy helping of olive oil — and the cauliflower had been shaved thin on an adjustable-blade slicer and it was perfect. Sure, there was some rubble but there was an equal amount of nicely intact slices and all I wanted to go home and make it the very next second.
Brass is a kind of metal
I miss the time when we were still defined by our music. When our music was still our music. I miss being younger, with a head full subversive ideas; white cables snaking down my neck, stolen songs in my pocket. There will never be an app for that.
Information "wants to be rented."
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
It’s pirate chickens all week until TLAPD! This one is dedicated to Amy, who is defending her PhD thesis today (but it isn’t about pirates and/or global warming). Good luck Amy!
A study [PDF] published in a journal of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence found that sites that have a "downvote" button to punish bad comments lock the downvoted users into spirals of ever-more-prolific, ever-lower-quality posting due to a perception of having been martyred by the downvoters. Read the rest
It took me a full minute to see what was actually going on here. Now of course I can see, it's weird to think of past-self-me being blind to it.
My Least Favorite Trope (and this post will include spoilers for The Lego Movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Matrix, Western Civilization, and—cod help me—Bulletproof Monk*.) is the thing where there’s an awesome, smart, wonderful, powerful female character who by all rights ought to be the Chosen One and the hero of the movie, who is tasked with taking care of some generally ineffectual male character who is, for reasons of wish fulfillment, actually the person the film focuses on. She mentors him, she teaches him, and she inevitably becomes his girlfriend… and he gets the job she wanted: he gets to be the Chosen One even though she’s obviously far more qualified. And all he has to do to get it and deserve it is Man Up and Take Responsibility.
And that’s it. Every god-damned time. The mere fact of naming the films above and naming the trope gives away the entire plot and character arc of every single movie.”
MAKIN’ IT RAINNNN
Last year a company called Darkside Scientific wowed us with an electroluminescent paint known as LumiLor that was completely invisible under lights, but glowed with a bright intensity in the dark. And now the company has revealed an even cooler application of LumiLor: Giving a Tesla S \ an animated, glowing paint job.
Okay, maybe not #4.
It’s like when Windows does this, but in real life.
You see, Litchfield is an avid urban explorer who has been fascinated by scenes of decay found in countries that were formerly part of the USSR and the Eastern Bloc.
Photographing and exploring the old Iron Curtain isn’t the easiest thing to turn into a project, she says:
Not many explorers travel to Russia, where the rules are very different, locations are heavily guarded and a strong military presence exists everywhere. There are serious consequences for getting caught. We managed to stay hidden for all of the trip, we maximised our stealthiness, ducking and diving into bushes and sneaking past sleeping security. But on day three our good fortune ran out as we visited a top secret radar installation. After walking through the forest, mosquitos attacking us from all directions, we saw the radar and made our way towards it, but just metres away suddenly we were joined by military and they weren’t happy…
Fortunately for Litchfield, she was able to wiggle out of that tricky situation and continue her adventure through more than 10 different countries.
She says that her goal is to capture the scenes as they are, highlighting their beauty in decay, “like a memory hanging on that will soon be lost in a breeze, a museum that no one gets to see.”
Here are some of the haunting photographs in the project:
The photos in the project have also been published in a book that’s available from $28 over on Amazon. You can also find more of Litchfield’s work over on her website.
Image credits: Photographs by Rebecca Litchfield and used with permission
The two halves of the bowl snap together to make a giant D20 (saving throw up, of course), and then snap apart to form a pair of dishwasher/ microwave-safe serving bowls -- $13 from Thinkgeek.
(I've been under the weather due to a chest bug picked up in Dublin, so haven't had time to write the lengthy article I promised a while ago. Here's it's truncated summary version. Please don't bring up the referendum debate in discussions under other blog posts, okay?)
"Should Scotland be an independent country?"
I have a postal vote. I already voted "yes".
For what is probably an unusual reason ...
Forget all the short term arguments advanced by both sides about what currency Scotland will use, about whether we'll be economically better or worse off, the nature of post-independence Scottish defense policy, whether we remain a monarchy or become a republic, what passport we'll carry, and so on. That stuff is all short-term and will be resolved within a generation.
No, seriously: 95% of the discussion in the referendum debates and on the street has been about short term issues that can be resolved one way or the other in the coming days and months (occasionally, months or single-digit years). There's a remarkable amount of FUD—fear, uncertainty, and doubt—flying around. Many folks seem to think that if Scotland opts for independence on September 18th then on the 19th they'll be stripped of their existing British citizenship, armed border checkpoints will show up on the M76 and A1, and the Queen will be given the boot by the end of the month. (Needless to say, none of this is going to happen.)
In making my mind up, I looked at the long term prospects.
In the long term I favour a Europe—indeed, a world—of much smaller states. I don't just favour breaking up the UK; I favour breaking up the United States, India, and China. Break up the Westphalian system. We live today in a world dominated by two types of group entity; the nation-states with defined borders and treaty obligations that emerged after the end of the 30 Years War, and the transnational corporate entities which thrive atop the free trade framework provided by the treaty organizations binding those Westphalian states together.
I believe the Westphalian nation-state system isn't simply showing its age: it's creaking at the seams and teetering on the edge of catastrophic breakdown. The world today is far smaller than the world of 1648; the entire planet, in travel terms, is shrunk to the size of the English home counties. In 1648 to travel from the south of Scotland (from, say, Berwick-upon-Tweed, the debatable walled border city) to the far north-west would take, at a minimum, a couple of weeks by sea; to travel that distance by land was a harsh journey of hundreds of miles across mountains and bogs and through still-forested glens, on foot or horseback. Today it's a couple of noisy hours on board a turboprop airliner. Distance has collapsed under us. To some extent the definition of the Westphalian state as being able to control its own internal territory was a side-effect of distance: a foreign army couldn't rapidly and easily penetrate the inner lands of a state without fear of retaliation. (Tell that to the residents of the tribal provinces in Pakistan.)
Moreover, our nations today have not only undergone a strange geographical implosion since the 17th century: they have exploded in population terms. The population of the American Colonies in 1790 is estimated at roughly 2.7 million; the United States today has over 300 million inhabitants. In 1780 England and Wales had around 7.5 million inhabitants; they're now at 57 million. So we have a 1-2 order of magnitude increase in population and a 2-3 order of magnitude decrease in travel time ... and possibly a 3-5 order of magnitude decrease in communications latency.
Today we're seeing the fallout from this problem everywhere. Westphalian states can't, for the most part, control their own territory to the extent of keeping intruders out; just look at the ghastly situation in Ukraine right now. Non-state actors play an increasingly huge role in dictating our economic conditions. And it seems to me that something goes badly wrong with representative democracy in polities that grow beyond somewhere in the range 5-15 million people; direct accountability vanishes and we end up with what I've termed the beige dictatorship. Beige isn't the worst colour‐some of the non-beige contenders are distinctly alarming—but their popular appeal is a symptom of an institutional failure, a representational deficit: many voters feel so alienated by the beige that they'll vote for the brownshirts.
My feeling is that we'd be better served by a group of much smaller nations working in a loose confederation or treaty structure. Their job should be to handle local issues (yes, this is localism) while compartmentalizing failure modes: the failure modes of a gigantic imperial power are almost always far worse than those of a smaller nation (compare the disintegration of the Soviet Union with that of Czecheslovakia). Rather than large monolithic states run by people at the top who are so remote from their constituents that they set policy to please lobbyists rather than their electors, I'd prefer to see treaty organizations like NATO and the EU emerging at consensus after discussions among numerous smaller stakeholder entities, where representatives are actually accountable to their electors. (Call me a utopian, if you will.)
Yes, this is also an argument for Wales, the North of England, and London itself all becoming independent nations. But they aren't on the ballot. So Scottish independence is a starting point.
One final note: what about left-internationalism? Isn't nationalism the enemy of the working class? (And to the extent that all of us who aren't in the 0.1% are "working class"—if you have to work to earn a living, you're working class, even if you're a brain surgeon or an accountant—the enemy of all of us?) Well yes: but the kind of nationalism that brought us the Great European War (for the Second World War may best be viewed with the perspective of long-term history as simply a flare-up of the war that began in 1914, after the combatants time out to breed a new generation of cannon-fodder) is pretty much dead. As dead as the Westphalian states that had territorial integrity they could defend, because getting from one to the other still took days or weeks by railway or steam ship, and invading another from the one took days or weeks of marching infantry divisions. Nor is the working "class" still obviously an entity you can point at, with which people share a strong sense of solidarity: where is the solidarity between lawyer and street-sweeper, nursing home care worker and robot designer? Yes, capitalism and the crisis of capitalism is still with us: but the continuing and ongoing recomplication of the world around us makes the traditional movement of masses one of questionable relevance. We need better structures, it's true. But I don't see them emerging from the kind of monolithic, territorially hegemonic state that thinks its place in the world is best secured by building bigger aircraft carriers. Firepower doesn't build external stability, as the past decade in Iraq demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt. We need consensus, and we need a finer granularity of constitutional decision making. Hence smaller nation-states.
More Devil chicken.