Sunday, 17 June 2012

10 stories and links I found educative, interesting or just plain weird

75 Years & Counting: The Golden Gate Bridge
via Picture This: Library of Congress Prints & Photos by Kristi Finefield
Photographing the Golden Gate Bridge is a challenge on many levels – quite literally! Nearly 9,000 feet in length, and rising almost 800 feet into the air, it doesn't pose easily for the camera.
I can only assume from looking at the images of the Golden Gate Bridge in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, that neither Jet Lowe, working for the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER), nor Carol M. Highsmith have a fear of heights. How else could they create their beautiful and dizzying photographs of this world famous bridge?
I have not included the pictures here as they could upset someone with a fear of heights! Go and look for yourself, and read some more facts about this incredible structure here.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Pity the liberals of the Muslim world. Extreme and perverse ideologues now hold sway. Their goal: narrow the limits of what everybody else is allowed to think... more

What the World Needs is More Curious Amateurs
via Big Think by Jason Gots
In 1712, nobody would have looked at you funny if your business card read: “Surgeon, Apothecary, Investigator of the Unknown. Also, Shoemaker”. There are many reasons why, in 2012, that’s no longer the case. Among them, the increasing specialization driven by the rise of the great universities and the classification of disciplines.
Read More

“How Masculine or Feminine Are You?”, 1948
via Retronaut by Chris

Source: Chris Mullen
Impossible to read at this size, better here.
I found it incredible to note that flowers are for women and vegetables are for men!

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
War is meaningless brutality, without virtue or purpose. So goes the de rigueur view of right-thinking denizens of high culture. It’s the new old lie...more

Quick Physics: Why the Solar System can Exist via How-To Geek by Asian Angel
Ever wonder how the planets in our solar system maintain their balanced orbits around the Sun?
This quick [two minutes of awesomeness] physics lesson video shows you just how the balance is maintained.
Why the solar system can exist [via Geeks are Sexy]

Bones of Turkana: Meave and Richard Leakey on human ancestors and the Leakey legacy
via Boing Boing by Maggie Koerth-Baker

The Leakey family is like the Kennedys, but for paleoanthropology instead of politics. Think about any hominin fossil or artifact you can name. Chances are, there was a Leakey involved in its discovery. Louis Leakey was one of the first scientists to champion the idea that humans had their origins in Africa. For three generations now, his family has carried out active paleo excavations in eastern Africa, especially the countries of Tanzania and Kenya.
The first generation – Louis Leakey and his wife Mary – were most associated with Tanzania’s Oldupai Gorge. But their son Richard, his wife Meave, and their daughter Louise have all spent their careers focused on Lake Turkana, on the border between Kenya and Ethiopia. The site is the world’s largest, permanent desert lake. Undisturbed by modern development, in a spot where millions of years of flowing water have washed deposits and fossils down from the rift valley – Lake Turkana is an excellent place to search for human ancestors and our ancient relatives.
PBS will air an hour-long documentary on the Leakeys’ work at Lake Turkana. Part biography of Richard Leakey and part exploration of human history – Bones of Turkana will [go out at a date already gone past on a channel that most of the UK can’t get but check the link above. I think I’ve found the original from National Geographic.]
Also go to the Boing Boing post for the transcript of an interview with Richard and Meave Leakey.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
What’s got Leon Wieseltier in a sour mood? The much-touted New American Haggadah, an incompetent work devoid of spiritual and intellectual ambition... more

Animated 3D Stereoscopic Civil War Photos, c.1861-1865
via Retronaut by Chris

Source: Wild Ammo
This capsule was curated by Phlip Altman
The rest of the selection, which you can view here, makes it obvious which war the images are of but this one could be any war and almost any time.

Video of cool undersea jelly blob
via Boing Boing by Mark Frauenfelder
Steve Haddock, a research scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (as well as a MAKE contributor, and co-author of a great book called Practical Computing for Biologists) just posted this video about a weird and wonderful jelly called the scyphomedusa Deepstaria.
If you like what you see here, visit Jellywatch, Steve’s citizen-science website about jellies.

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