Singing Science Songs.
We now have the world's first cyborg rights lawsuit.
Update to a previous item: I contacted the architecture firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and found out that the 7 South Dearborn project is "on hold." That's not an absolute kiss of death -- I've heard that the site is being cleared as we speak -- but admittedly not encouraging. Oh well. But it was still nice of them to answer a question asked by a random person off the street such as me.
Well, hey! Straight from the Palestinian Authority's own official press website, it's a map of Palestine! Hmm... wait a minute. There's something odd about that map, something missing, almost, but I can't quite put my finger on it. Hmm. Oh well, I must just be paranoid.
Speaking of lying with maps, here's how to tell the truth with one. Although it seems a long time ago now, you may recall there was a lot of anger about the 2000 Presidential election. Much was made of the TV networks' electoral college maps that indicated blue for Gore and red for Bush, with solid walls of blue along the coasts and red throughout the heartland; various irresponsible people made "blue states" and "red states" cornerstones of rhetoric about the division of America -- or, more frequently, their unstated desire to see the division of America. But put all that aside and look at this map, made by mixing together red and blue in proportion to the number of votes for Bush or Gore respectively in each state. With very few exceptions, the entire freakin' United States is purple. For some reason, that makes me proud.
And another thing to be proud of: Smart concrete. I'm really getting into this "advanced materials science" groove; we're on the verge of making our own environment responsive and intelligent. Neat.
Ooh! A virtual laser keyboard for palmtop computers! I want one.
Here's a fascinating and sad article by one of the American representatives on exactly how the UN World Conference on Racism in Durban last Sept. 9 went off the rails. I don't really have much to say about it; it's too depressing.
A couple of days ago I mentioned the heliopause -- the place where our Sun's solar wind encounters the interstellar medium. The Voyager and Pioneer robot space probes are still looking for ours, but through the magic of science now you can see another star's.
Nerd corner: Why Java Will Always Be Slower Than C++.
Well, this isn't reassuring.
And here's the equipment that makes the towers of light possible.
An even even more beautiful picture of the you-know-what. Holy cow. I think the JPEG compression artifacts only add to the effect, really.
Here's an elegant graph showing the world's tallest buildings (as of, uh, last August.) It's easy to forget that the tallest structure of any kind in the world isn't the Petronas Towers, and it hasn't been the Sears Tower for a long time; it is in fact the 1,815-foot tall CN Tower in Toronto. But personally, I'm pulling for 7 South Dearborn right here in Chicago, Illinois -- assuming that after the recent unpleasantness anyone's still willing to build it, it will contain offices going up to 1,550 feet and top out at 2,000 feet when its television antenna is counted. It's a remarkable, futuristic structure; the Sears Tower looks like a toy next to it.
For your amusement and amazement: it's the least safe thing in the entire known universe!
At last! The first fully automatic machine gun that's designed for office use!
Another lovely picture of the Tribute in Light. As an aside, I hate that name. The victims' families griped that calling it "Towers of Light" minimized the importance of the lives lost in favor of the buildings lost, and I can see their point, but the World Trade Center itself -- the two big ugly piles of masonry -- is a loss for me personally, and I'm sure for plenty of other people as well: one of my fondest memories is of sneaking away from a business trip to NYC to travel to the top. Let's not forget that part of what was lost, either.