Friday, August 31, 2012

Other ways, other lives

A fabulous, though grim, description of some of the lost/sacrificed places in America. If only for this one line: "Those who are not able to hang on, fall long and hard." It also marks the first time I've read the term "hillbilly heroin". 

Star tracking

A great write up, albeit too brief, of the way that Pacific islanders navigated by the stars.

Colour wheel

This could prove very useful when I'm looking for a novel way to describe a colour. Its multi-lingual too. Though it has to be said that some of the descriptions, subdued fuschia (viola in Italian), are less useful than others.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Damping down

Any story dealing with the near future will have to take account of climate change. There are some obvious elements to this (it might always be raining) but this paper clues me into more unforeseen effects such as the economic impact. Effects on agriculture are obvious but it might mean mass migrations and a suppressed GDP because firms have to set aside funds to pay for insurance or hedge against future calamities.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Modern lifestyles

In light of the comment I posted a long time ago which said that meal times were just a mediated social construct, are links to sites that are deconstructing how to get fit and well. Nerd Fitness and Primal Life. I remember one Iris Murdoch book (The Sea, The Sea?) made much more entertaining by its main character's obsession with food and eating well on a small budget.

Social life

A great short comment about what life and chatter is all about. Privacy is valuable because it stands apart from the times when we are in a group and happy to be there. It gains its power, and importance, from that difference. Take it away, or force me to abandon it, and you lose more than a bit of 'me time'.

Friday, August 03, 2012

History lessons

To paraphrase John Crowley, general laws of history have not had an impact on history, but the history of grand cycles in history has had an impact on history. Plus, there's the intriguing comment that "all the major ecological questions about population dynamics had been answered". Really? Really?

Thursday, August 02, 2012

I like trains

It's the details in this write-up of how to hack transport networks that are most interesting - especially how he nabbed the RFID codes. Cracks are appearing everywhere.