Category Archives: Cultural Comment

Schott’s Vocab: The Pondonome Scores!

Ben Schott’s blog at The New York Times features a vocabulary contest each weekend. This last one: Bluetooth-Ache This weekend, co-vocabularists have generously proposed modern maladies. As ever, it’s the taking part that counts. The following took part especially well: … Continue reading

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Coneheads

The Larval Form Fail  

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Twelve Insane Roller Coasters

So this is how they play with the gravity well on planet earth. Think of what we could do on the surface of a neutron star. Of course, the ultimate would be a black holercoaster. From Oobject Incredible Roller Coasters … Continue reading

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21 March: Happy Birthday J S Bach!

Here is my favorite conductor, at the age of 2 1/2, leading a performance of Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D-Minor. It takes a great deal of self-confidence and composure to conduct with a sippy cup, don’t you think?

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Why Should Poltergeists Haunt Houses When They Can Infect Computers?

from GraphJam Must Be His Area Code

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Twelve Vintage Phones

“Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you!” From Oobject: coolest vintage phones      

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Pharm-illogical Panic Buying: Iodine Sells Out on West Coast

I bet I could sell a TON of anti-radiation placebos in California. Many West Coast residents came up empty handed in their search of potassium iodide this week as fears over radiation spreading from Japan took hold. The rush on … Continue reading

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Faster Than a Tsunami: The Speed of Rumor

I was living in St Petersburg, Florida, when Chernobyl exploded. That afternoon, rainbow arcs appeared around the sun. These parhelions, aka sundogs, are caused by the diffraction of sunlight by ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. There were frantic calls … Continue reading

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The Quake: Nuclear Plant Out of Control

The Genie is Out of the Lamp Containment Structure Japan’s nuclear crisis verged toward catastrophe on Tuesday after an explosion damaged the vessel containing the nuclear core at one reactor and a fire at another spewed large amounts of radioactive … Continue reading

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Where Will The Radiation Blow?

Jeff Masters has been running wind direction projections from NOAA. The takeaway: Whatever radiation leaks from the blown reactors in Japan will very probably drift mostly to sea, and precipitate onto the ocean. Note the comparison to Chernobyl, emphasis added. … Continue reading

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