Life on Mars?
Yesterday’s big news is that the Viking missions in 1976 may have actually discovered organic material:
A claim that NASA overlooked evidence of life on Mars in data collected by the Viking missions 25 years ago has been met with interest and scepticism.
Joseph Miller, a visiting professor at the University of Southern California, re-analysed data collected by probes sent to the Martian surface by the Viking 1 and 2 spacecraft in 1976. He believes tests performed on soil samples reveal a cycle of chemical activity similar to the daily rhythms seen in living organisms on Earth.
It’s Time for the Left to Reclaim the Word “Anarchy”
Mother Jones has an article on left anarchism:
If you’ve watched the news much in the past two years, the term “anarchist” probably evokes balaclava-clad ruffians with no political agenda beyond breaking windows, burning police cars, and looting stores. Mention the word and the world tunes out; violent thugs can’t possibly have a message worth listening to. The term has been used to paint all activists with the same brush and to justify violent responses against peaceful and aggressive protesters alike. The New York Post even called Carlo Giuliani, the protester killed by Italian carabinieri at the G-8 summit in Genoa, an “anarchist berserker” who “deserved what he got.”
As it happens, it was during another protest, more than 100 years ago, that the word “anarchist” first made headlines. On May 1, 1886, an anarchist group called the Chicago Knights of Labor — whose supporters included Mary Harris “Mother” Jones — staged a peaceful march for an eight-hour workday. The event led to a days-long general strike involving thousands of workers; at one rally, police arrived and without provocation sprayed the crowd with gunfire, killing at least one demonstrator.
Marijuana’s Effect on Driving
Here is an interesting example of the way data can be presented and interpretted in entirely different ways by the media. New Scientist‘s lede was “It’s official: smoking dope makes you a worse driver” and Getting It‘s headline was “DRIVING WHILE DOPED Are potheads better drivers?”
Both publications used the same source data to reach opposite conclusions. There is no reality.
Global Mind Control Set for 2004
That’s right, aliens are planning to take over our minds by 2004. Go here to learn how they’re gonna do it and how you can prevent it from happening to you (link via the Barbelith Underground).
Shirt That Rolls Up Own Sleaves, Super Human Strength
A shirt that rolls up its own sleeves and never needs ironing was unveiled at a “tech-savvy Italian fashion house.”
The fabric for the prototype shirt is woven from fibres of the shape-memory alloy nitinol, interspersed with nylon. The alloy can be deformed, and then returned to its original shape when heated to a certain temperature.
Also, “A robotic exoskeleton has been created by Japanese researchers to allow nurses to lift patients effortlessly – and without damaging their backs.”
(links via Boing Boing)
The Hunter S. Thompson-like Insult Generator
I’ve been sending these insults out randomly to people on my ICQ list. I’m such a nice person. (link).
The Big Website of Everything
If you’ve never been there, Everything2 is definitely worth a look.
Update: Everything2 is an encyclopedia-esque repository of collective knowledge that predates Wikipedia. But you can read about it on Wikipedia.
Romania Builds Dracula Land
Romania is hoping to cash in on Vlad Tepes, the person who inspired the character of Dracula, by creating a a dracula theme park”
Romanian Minister for Tourism Matei Dan has announced that a Dracula Land theme park will be built near the medieval Transylvanian city of Sighisoara.
The privately-financed tourist attraction will celebrate the 15th century ruler Vlad Tepes or Vlad the Impaler, the model for Bram Stoker’s fictional anti-hero, Count Dracula.
(Link via Plastic).
Weird Online Comic
When I am King is a particularly strange but really rad online comic.
Update: My interview with When I am King artist Demian 5 is here. You can find another interview with him here.