Monday, 1 October 2012

10 stories and links I should have published yesterday

Trying to unravel the secret of spider silk
via Education news, comment and analysis |
View the video here [sorry, but I could not work out embedding from Real Player].
Five times tougher than steel, spider silk is virtually indestructible, but what spiders do naturally is a tough act to follow on a commercial scale.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
“What will survive of us is love”. Oprah? The Beatles? Hallmark? No, Philip Larkin. As soon as he wrote it, he had second thoughts... more

Lewis Carroll’s “Alice” – Done Differently
via Reading Copy Book Blog by Beth Carswell
Ken Sanders, a long-time seller on AbeBooks, is now offering a rare and highly unusual edition of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland stories. Les Aventures d’Alice au pays des Merveilles at De l’autre cote du mirroir et de ce qu’Alice y trouva (Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There) is illustrated by Dutch-born artist Pat Andrea. It was published in 2006 by Paris firm, Diane de Selliers.
Ken describes Andrea’s interpretation of Alice as having “an angrier and more disturbing edge than that of traditional Alice illustration, with dark glimmers of bondage, sexual hegemony, and voyeurism. A stunning addition to the visual Alice canon”.
I think Lewis Carroll would have a seizure if he saw this particular edition of Alice in Wonderland. Apparently, Andrea’s art is called magical realism. He was born in 1942 in Den Haag but lives and works in Paris and Buenos Aires.
The book comes in two hardcover volumes in a slipcase with a prospectus. The text is in French and English, and the price is £330.
A sample of the images the remainder of which you can view here. I don’t know about Lewis Carroll having a seizure I think many Alice fans will but it’s interesting all the same

(Images courtesy of Ken Sanders)

via How-To Geek by Asian Angel
In this game you will need a mix of patience, timing, and a touch of strategy in order to achieve victory in this physics puzzler.
Can you successfully control all of the liquid while moving it towards a victorious finish or will it all “go down the drain”?
You can follow Asian Angel’s walkthrough here or go it alone if you prefer.
Warning: this one is a lot harder than you might think.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
The Origins of the Golden Rule. Long the stuff of theology and politics, morality is perhaps best understood as a feature of biology, not heart and soul... more

A New Measure of Development: Well-being
via Big Think by Daniel Altman
What’s the best measure of progress in the global economy? Even economists aren’t satisfied with gross domestic product and incomes anymore. Now we also want to know how happy people are and how much they feel they can realize their potential. These are the right goals for economic policy, but pursuing them raises some difficult questions.
View entire story

Toledo: 1908
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive - Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Toledo: 1909
Toledo, Ohio, circa 1908
“Maumee River waterfront”
8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company
View original post

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
P.G. Wodehouse’s stay in wartime Berlin might make him a fool. But when it came to fascism, the comic novelist was far from a naïf... more

Stunning feathered dinosaur fossil
via Boing Boing by David Pescovitz
 Wpf Media-Live Photos 000 558 Custom New-Species-Feathered-Dinosaur-Hints-Widespread-Feathers 55896 744X417
This gorgeous fossil is a 150-million-year-old squirrel-tailed, feathered dinosaur, named Sciurumimus albersdoerferi. Oliver Rauhut of the Bavarian State Collections of Palaeontology and Geology says, “I was overwhelmed when I first saw it. Even apart from the preservation of feathers, this is certainly one of the most beautiful dinosaur fossils ever found.”
From National Geographic:
Previously, paleontologists have found feathers only on coelurosaurs – birdlike dinosaurs that evolved later than so-called megalosaurs such as Sciurumimus.
Because Sciurumimus is not closely related to coelurosaurs, the new fossil suggests feathered dinosaurs were the norm, not the exception, Rauhut said.
“Probably all dinosaurs were feathered,” he added, “and we should say goodbye to the familiar image of the overgrown lizards.”
“Beautiful” Squirrel-Tail Dinosaur Fossil Upends Feather Theory

Calculating the Distance to a Lightning Strike
via Britannica Blog by Britannica Editors
A flash of lightning brightens the sky and is followed seven seconds later by the ominous roar of thunder. How far away was the lightning strike?

Cloud-to-ground lightning discharge in a field from a cumulonimbus cloud. Credit: © Hemera/Thinkstock
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