Cool Links

Afficionados of modern poured-concrete design heard NJIT Assistant Professor Matt Burgermaster's presentation at the 64th annual meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians entitled "Edison's 'Single-Pour System: Inventing Seamless Architecture", which illustrated how, in 1917, Thomas Edison invented and patented an innovative construction system to mass produce prefabricated and seamless concrete houses. Typically most people associate this style of architectural design and type of building technology with the European avant-garde of the early 20th century. 
Literary genius — or at least competence — never blossoms in a vacuum. As much as many creative types like to pose as a mysterious lone wolves skulking through the fringes of society without ever becoming a cog in the machine, man, even their works have been shaped by their external experiences up to that point. Fred Lapides notes that soaking up advice through any reads available opens up new worlds and ideas and can help mold a work from just OK to just plain awesome.
We are losing the war against infectious bacteria. They are becoming increasingly resistant to our antibiotics, and we have few new drugs in the pipeline. Worse still, bacteria can transfer genes between each other with great ease, so if one of them evolves to resist an antibiotic, its neighbours can pick up the same ability. But Matti Jalasvuori from the University of Jyvaskyla doesn’t see this microscopic arms-dealing as a problem. He sees it as a target.
iWatch calls them Limousine Liberals but funding outreach to encourage the common people to ride bicycles while government people remain too important for that and need limousines is a progressive trait, not a liberal one.
Despite being beset by massive unemployment and home foreclosures, residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan aren't happy being on the Mainstreet.com list of dying cities.  

So they did something about it.

5,000 of them decided to get in the news for something else; they set out to break the world record for largest lip sync ever, to Don McLean's sombre "American Pie."   And so they did, as you can see below.
Ukuleles are not cool.  Since seeing Tiny Tim warble his way among the tulips, I have had a hatred for the thing bordering on the unnatural.



The Queen Anne's Revenge, Blackbeard's flagship, is believed to have run aground in the shallow waters off Beaufort, North Carolina in 1718. The ship was discovered in 1996, with recovery of artifacts intensifying only a few years ago.

Friday, an expedition off the North Carolina coast hoisted a nearly 3,000-pound anchor, one of three belonging to the Queen Anne's Revenge from a location under just 20 feet of water, according to the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources.  The anchor joins approximately 250,000 artifacts from the site, including cannons, gold, platters, glass, beads, shackles and rope, according to the state.
A recent Gallup Poll using results from January 2010 to April 2011 showed that military veterans and servicemen and women on active duty give President Barack Obama lower approval numbers than does the general electorate.   37 percent of veterans and active duty military approve of his performance versus 48 percent among the general public but among younger service people, it is more pronounced -  42 percent of young veterans and active duty military give him the thumbs up versus 57 percent of young in the general public.
Boy or girl?  For most people - and all of science - that is a simple issue of biology.    Kathy Witterick and David Stocker disagree and say their baby's gender is no one's business - not even his.  Or hers.

They're taking sexual politics to a whole new level and say their four-month-old baby "Storm" should be able to develop its own sexual identity without having to conform to social stereotypes or bow to predetermined expectations associated with gender.
France has one of the stricter laws on embryonic stem cell research in Europe, banning it except for research with imported embryos not used for in vitro fertilization in other countries and the National Assembly voted to uphold the curbs in the second reading of the new bioethics law

Opponents of embryonic stem cell research argue it is morally wrong because it manipulates or destroys human embryos. Supporters see it as a possible avenue toward new treatments for many medical conditions.

How do you make a restaurant great if the food is bad?

You have an owner who is such an astute purveyor of psychology, the human condition and interpersonal relationships, so good at it that she knows who you would most like to talk with - and can make it happen.

The social scene was the hallmark of Elaine Kaufman, who ran her namesake Elaine's restaurant for 48 years before dying in December.    It didn't just apply to celebrities, any person who walked in alone would be introduced to someone.    Over time, regulars would know many other regulars, which is what made them...regulars.   Celebrities, athletes and a substantial local clientèle would return despite the spotty food.
New Democratic Party Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Shultz seems to think abortion and being female are interchangeable.   At a breakfast roundtable with reporters, Newsweek scribe Paul Bedard notes that Wasserman Shultz said Republican efforts to defund Planned Parenthood and Title 10 funding for clinics that perform abortions was proof that "their record is anti-women, their record is a war on women and it's a priority for them."
Beware of making bold claims about what your research might be able to accomplish when you need funding - a group of Italians have discovered society can look down on you even for claims you don't make. 

Judge Giuseppe Romano says Enzo Boschi, the president of Italy's National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), and six others can face trial on charges of manslaughter because of the  earthquake that struck the central Italian town of L'Aquila April 6th, 2009 and killed 308 people.
Maybe prisons in totalitarian, communist regimes get a bad rap.   In America, citizens have to pay to play World of Warcraft and similar games but, at least in China, they have prisoners doing it and not paying anything at all.

Oh wait, maybe it isn't that great.  Leave it to the Chi-Com to take the fun out of video-gaming.   The Guardian lists the story of "Liu Dali", a pseudonym for a prisoner from 2004 to 2007, who was forced to play video games in 12 hour shifts to generate game 'currency' the guards would then sell for cash.
You may have been baffled when The Walt Disney Co. filed a trademark application on "SEAL Team 6" shortly after the Navy special operations unit killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan and took his stash of porn.

How does a company trademark an American military unit, you may have asked?    If they can do that, imagine what they could do to Science 2.0.  Well, it turns out that they realized they can't and being ridiculed across all media for their shameless cultural profiteering did not help matters much.   They have withdrawn their application since the Navy moved to block it.
Tatiana and Krista Hogan, age 4, are joined at the head — medical term craniopagus — a 1 in 2,500,000 event only a few survive.    But they have something that makes them even more distinct, even in the annals of medical literature; brain images show an attenuated line stretching between their two brains, what Dr. Douglas Cochrane of British Columbia Children’s Hospital called a thalamic bridge, because he believes it links the thalamus of one girl to the thalamus of her sister.

The thalamus is a kind of switchboard, a two-lobed organ that filters most sensory input and has long been thought to be essential in the neural loops that create consciousness.
50 years ago, Alan Shepard became the first American in space and President Kennedy challenged science, engineering and US citizenry to do what most thought to be impossible - put a man on the Moon.   They succeeded and that and successive space achievements spurred their interest in science and engineering among young people education.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Charles E. Ramos has denied a motion by lawyers for the Huffington Post to dismiss the lawsuit by Democratic political consultants Peter Daou and James Boyce that they brought the idea of the Huffington Post to subsequent co-founders Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer in 2004 and were cut out of the deal after money was raised to launch and develop the site.

Huffington and Lerer said said the claims were "pure fantasy" but the judge did not agree.

NYC judge allows lawsuit against Huffington Post
Toni Vernelli thinks babies are not very eco-friendly.  She doesn't want to kill the planet but killing a baby seems to be okay.   Still, she's going to get some cultural flak for having an abortion because she thinks children are bad for the environment, and appearing in a news article despite that takes some courage.