I wondered how long it would take her to comment on True Detective
[Video Link] "Excerpt from a bizarre early stop-motion animation piece featuring Charley Bowers and a metal-eating bird. The creature devours junk from an auto scrapyard, then lays an egg that hatches and grows into a brand new car! Very impressive FX and way before CGI. Directed by Harold L. Muller." (Via Magic Transistor)
The New York Public Library has just posted 20,000 high-resolution maps, and other cartographical historical records dating from the 1600s, online, for free.
It’s totally fun. I spent two hours last night going through and downloading them.
Here’s more from the Library on what they did and how they did it. Note the reference to a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. That’s one of those programs that Congress keeps on trying to kill.
A little background on how we got here… We’ve been scanning maps for about 15 years, both as part of the NYPL’s general work but mostly through grant funded projects like the 2001 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) funded American Shores: Maps of the MidAtlantic to 1850, the 2004 Institute of Museums and Library Science (IMLS) funded Building a Globally Distributed Historical Sheet Map Set and the 2010 NEH funded New York City Historical GIS.
Through these projects, we’ve built up a great collection of: 1,100 maps of the Mid-Atlantic United States and cities from the 16th to 19th centuries, mostly drawn from the Lawrence H. Slaughter Collection; a detailed collection of more than 700 topographic maps of the Austro-Hungarian empire created between 1877 and 1914; a collection of 2,800 maps from state, county and city atlases (mostly New York and New Jersey); a huge collection of more than 10,300 maps from property, zoning, topographic, but mostly fire insurance atlases of New York City dating from 1852 to 1922; and an incredibly diverse collection of more than 1,000 maps of New York City, its boroughs and neighborhoods, dating from 1660 to 1922, which detail transportation, vice, real estate development, urban renewal, industrial development and pollution, political geography among many, many other things.
We in the Map Division are all very excited about this release and look forward to seeing these maps in works of art, historical publications, movies, archaeological reports, novels, environmental remediation efforts, urban planning studies and more… Enjoy!
And here are a bunch of interesting maps and pages of book that I downloaded. A lot of them, if not all of them, are from the 1600s and 1700s. How totally cool.
Designer Drills Holes into Quarters, Turns Them into Rings
Designer Nicholas Heckaman of The Ring Tree meticulously handcrafts detailed rings out of US coins. The Gainesville, Florida-based designer first discovered his skill when he was looking for the perfect ring to propose to his girlfriend with. He managed to create a special engagement ring out of a silver coin with a hammer and “a lot of patience.”
That’s cool as fuck
The Web is 25 today, and its inventor, Tim Berners-Lee, has called for a "Magna Carta" for the Web, through which the people of the world will articulate how they want to curtail their governments' adversarial attacks on Internet freedom. Berners-Lee is particularly concerned with the Edward Snowden revelations about mass surveillance and systematic government sabotage of Internet security.
I'm delighted to see Berners-Lee tackling this. Everything we do today involves the Web and everything we do tomorrow will require it; getting Web policy right is the first step to getting everything else right.
I hope that this also signals a re-think of Berners-Lee's endorsement of the idea of standardizing "digital rights management" technology for Web browsers through the W3C. The majority of the Web's users live in a country in which it is illegal to report on vulnerabilities in DRM, because doing so might help to defeat the DRM's locks. The standardization of DRM in the deep structures of the Web means that our browsers will become reservoirs of long-lived, critical bugs that can be used to attack Web users -- just as Web users are massively expanding the activities that are mediated through their browsers.
If we are to have a Web that is fit for a free and fair world, it must be a Web where researchers are free to warn users about defects in their tools. We wouldn't countenance a rule that banned engineers from telling you if your house was structurally unsound. By standardizing DRM in browsers, the W3C is setting in place rules that will make it virtually impossible to know if your digital infrastructure is stable and secure.
Principles of privacy, free speech and responsible anonymity would be explored in the Magna Carta scheme. "These issues have crept up on us," Berners-Lee said. "Our rights are being infringed more and more on every side, and the danger is that we get used to it. So I want to use the 25th anniversary for us all to do that, to take the web back into our own hands and define the web we want for the next 25 years."
The web constitution proposal should also examine the impact of copyright laws and the cultural-societal issues around the ethics of technology.
While regional regulation and cultural sensitivities would vary, Berners-Lee said he believed a shared document of principle could provide an international standard for the values of the open web.
An online Magna Carta: Berners-Lee calls for bill of rights for web [Jemima Kiss/Guardian]
(Image: File:Magna Carta (1297 version with seal, owned by David M Rubenstein).png, Wikimedia Commons/public domain)
If there were a divine creator who loved us and watched over us, this Michonne Barbie doll would be a real product I could buy right this instant. But instead it's a beautiful figure custom-made by Park Seoung and it taunts me with its perfection, forever out of my reach.
Like socks, or any other paired object of everyday use, it seems the eternal curse of chopsticks to become separated and mismatched over time, at least until now.
Japanese design firm Nendo, well known for classy solutions to classic design problems, turned their attention to the chopstick and came up with a pair of ingenious solutions.
One design, the Rassen, is strictly mechanical – the ends are carefully corkscrewed so they can intertwine with one another like tightly-interlocked strands of double-helical DNA.
The other design employs inconspicuous magnets that keep points and backs from sticking while helping them stay together (and appear part of a whole) when flipped and nestled.
Few everyday objects have remained so consistent in their shape and function for so long as the Chinese chopstick, but as these designs show: a few thousand years of history is no reason not to look at a product anew. Each of these easy-to-re-pair designs (as well as a few other clever variations) is set to go on sale soon via manufacturer Hashikura Matsukan.
We all live on, even if we’re not us.
This sports ad from Norway was released to time with the Olympics, and includes three Norwegian sports stars.
The funny thing is, it’s a wee bit sexist too.
But only the Norwegians could turn a kinda sexist commercial into an effective statement on diversity.
It’s fun. Enjoy.
SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 is possibly one of the oldest stars ever identified. We don't know it's age, writes Invader Xan at the Supernova Condensate blog. But, based on the colors of light it produces, there's reason to think it dates to a time that is damn near impossible to comprehend.
To find a star which is so devoid of metals, it must be old. Very old. In fact, the venerable SMSS J031300.36-670839.3 shows all the hallmarks of being one of the second generation of stars ever formed. The first ever stars formed quite soon after the Universe was born. They were composed of little more than hydrogen and helium. As a result, they were massive, fast burning, and rapidly died as supernovae. Known as “Population III” stars, these mysterious primordial stellar beasts have never actually been observed. However, we know they must have existed.
You can read more about the star at the Supernova Condensate blog. And be sure to check out the comments where there's an answer to the question, "If this star is so old, why isn't it dead yet?"
Mrmcd sez, "Contained within the borders of Canada are: the world's largest island in a lake on an island; the world's largest island in a lake on an island in a lake; and the world's largest island in a lake on an island in a lake on an island.
Wait for it...
Vote for your favorites at the Gifys. The above is one of many to choose from, sorted into helpful categories such as "cats".