The Nutlog

The Nutlog Archive

12th February
The Old Hippie's Groovy Site. Via Booknotes.

Images of the Trojan War Myth. A good collection overall, although a couple of the images didn't load for me.

Buddha Images. Nice collection.

Tavistock Abbey, in Devon, has a history dating back to the tenth century.

Cog, a humanoid robot built by artificial intelligence researchers at MIT.
'The motivation behind creating Cog is the hypothesis that: Humanoid intelligence requires humanoid interactions with the world.'
'...If the robot has humanoid form then it will be both easy and natural for humans to interact with it in a human like way. In fact it has been our observation that with just a very few human-like cues from a humanoid robot, people naturally fall into the pattern of interacting with it as if it were a human... '

Big Bang Science. Exploring the origins of matter and attempting to make particle physics interesting. now has a gallery of haiku postcards which people have sent them.

Bubble Trouble. A fun Flash game.

Spinning Jennie has some great Chinese New Year links today.

FBI warns of attack possible for today.
The FBI alert.

The 1943 Detroit Race Riots. The sad history of Detroit. Via Spinning Jennie.

Milosevic on trial.

Dimitar Peshev sounds like an unsung hero. 'Twenty-eight years ago, on the 20th of February, a man named Dimitar Peshev was dying in a house in Neofit Rilski Street, Sofia. He played a more than significant part in saving the Jews of an entire nation: however he was soon forgotten by practically everyone.'

Children of Rwanda's Genocide.

Digital Archive of Cambodian Holocaust Survivors.

' Over the coming months a court in the Hague will hear lurid details of Slobodan Milosevic's reign of terror. Meanwhile, his countrymen are enjoying an altogether more bizarre side to the former dictator's life, courtesy of Croatian intelligence, who secretly tapped his phone between 1995 and 1998. Below are a few choice cuts.'

Card Counters. A logic puzzle.

' A 53-year-old Japanese explorer completed Sunday a 50,000-km series of journeys across 35 countries to retrace in reverse the "great journey" believed to have been made by humanity as it moved from Africa to other parts of the world beginning millions of years ago.'

' Full moon in May brings horseshoe crabs ashore to mate and migrating birds in to feast.'

' Biologists in Hawaii are trying to make the island's last male po'ouli bird mate before its species becomes extinct.'
A page about the po'ouli bird, with a picture.

' Crashing branes and cosmic acceleration may power an infinite cycle in which our universe is but a phase.'

' People who go around in a bad mood have an overactive area in their brains, researchers said on Monday, in a possible clue to the future treatment of clinical depression. '

The BBC's story on the fossilised dinosaur vomit, with a picture.
Stone Age cave found in Banjur, Pakistan.
Scientists probe Civil War submarine crew's remains.

Crustacean brawls caught on camera.
Exploding star strafed Earth.
Cockroaches in coke is secret potion.
Tropical fungus eats cd.
Animal fat will heat university campus.

New Afghan women's magazine snatched up.

The Chinese Spring Festival in pictures. Happy Chinese New Year.

Milk Bottle of the Week. Via gmtPlus9.

11th February
Steve's Ant Farm. Has its own webcam. Lots of good stuff.

Lojban: The Logical Language. Lojban is a constructed language which was designed to be regular, logical and culturally neutral.

Lapine. The language of 'Watership Down'.

Hummingbirds. 'Welcome to, the source for information on attracting, watching, feeding, and studying North American hummingbirds.'

' British scientists said Monday they had discovered what they believed to be the world's oldest fossilized vomit from a large marine reptile that lived 160 million years ago.'

William Claxton Photography. Some great jazz, fashion and celebrity photos.

Two Views of Kabuki. Virtual exhibition of ukiyo-e prints about kabuki.

Two philosophical games/amusements I greatly enjoyed working through - Battleground God and Morality Play.

Grimm's Fairy Tales. 'Looking for a sweet, soothing tale to waft you toward dreamland? Look somewhere else. The stories collected by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in the early 1800s serve up life as generations of central Europeans knew it-capricious and often cruel. '

Early Tibetan Mandalas.

Inspired by Dante. Jennifer Strange's art inspired by the Divine Comedy.

What is this artwork about? 'The artist requests that you look at this picture carefully, and then give it a Title and a short description.'

The Pi Pages. 'The story of pi reflects the most seminal, the most serious and sometimes the silliest aspects of mathematics. A surprising amount of the most important mathematics and a significant number of the most important mathematicians have contributed to its unfolding -- directly or otherwise. '
Pi Poetry.
The Pi-Search Page. 'A result of taking people too seriously, the Pi Searcher lets you search for any string of digits (up to 120 of them) in the first 100 million digits of Pi. You can also show any substring of Pi. '

Fossil Hominids: the evidence for human evolution.

The Daily Tao.

Astro pic of the day: Reflection nebula M78.

The Sheela Na Gig Project. 'Sheela Na Gig's are quasi-erotic stone carvings of a female figure ,usually found on Norman churches.' Locations and images. Via GoodShit.

Abandoned House of the Week. Via Alt-log.

' Scientists have issued a fresh warning about the dangers of cloning after new research found some mouse clones died young. '
Researchers tackle superweed.

'Scientists have developed an artificial womb that allows embryos to grow outside the body.'

Study finds women take longer to form hierarchies. Both sexes form hierarchies, but women take longer over it.

Computer historian Michael Williams is passionate about preserving old computers. New Scientist interview.

Michael Ignatieff - 'Since the end of the Cold War, human rights has become the dominant moral vocabulary in foreign affairs. The question after September 11 is whether the era of human rights has come and gone.'

' BT Group PLC will appear in a New York federal court on Monday to try to enforce a patent it says covers all hyperlinking.'

' The Ministry of Defence has been forced to admit that Fylingdales, the remote Yorkshire radar base earmarked for a frontline role in the US Star Wars defence programme, has been upgraded, secretly and without planning permission.'

Man makes home in Manhattan cave.
' A mobile beer school is being launched in Australia to make sure the art of pulling a pint never dies.'
' A rare and extremely valuable copy of the bible has been stolen from a church in northern Hungary. '
Schools translate terror into curriculum changes.
Vietnamese people are getting taller.
First female Thai Buddhist monk ordained. (Note that she's a female monk as opposed to a nun).

Guardian special report: Princess Margaret.

Pictures from the Rio carnival. Barbara Bush is in there somewhere.

Lost cat makes 350-mile journey home.
' A man charged with growing marijuana at his house could have been jailed for years, but was sentenced to probation because the plants were in such bad shape. '
Thanks, again, to JP.

10th February
The Iona Community is interesting. 'The Iona Community, founded in 1938 by the Rev George MacLeod, is an ecumenical Christian community that is committed to seeking new ways of living the Gospel in today's world.'
History of Iona Abbey.

Dress 'm up Dubya. Thanks, JP.

It's Sunday which means it's time for Planetarium.

Dancing Demons - Ceremonial Masks of Mongolia. 'Among the great religious festivals of Asia, the ceremonies of Mongolia stand unsurpassed in the splendor of their visual imagery and their dramatic expressiveness. Dancing Demons: Ceremonial Masks of Mongolia presents spectacular examples of masks, costumes, and paraphernalia used in these ceremonies. '

Net in Arcadia 'is the Virtual Museum of Contemporary Classicism, exhibiting works by Alfred Russell, Andree Descharnes, their daughter, Elsie Russell, and other artists interpreting classical themes and material. '

Fading Ad Campaign. Documenting vintage mural ads on brickfaces in New York.

Permaculture Design at Tir Penrhos Isaf. A permaculture holding in North Wales.

Uw Oykangand and Uw Olkola Multimedia Dictionary. 'Uw Oykangand and Uw Olkola are Australian Aboriginal languages spoken in central Cape York Peninsula in far north Queensland. This dictionary is a community-based initiative of the Kowanyama Aboriginal Community Council funded by grants from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). Philip Hamilton worked with the Uw Oykangand and Uw Olkola elders to write down the language and collect the other materials for this dictionary. '

Friends. A photoessay from snowy Tehran.

Chandra scores a double bonus with a distant quasar. There's a great picture of the quasar here.

The True Story of Mortar and Pestle.

Big Mac Index. 'The Economist's Big Mac index seeks to make exchange-rate theory more digestible. It is arguably the world's most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item. '

' Six ancient cities, the oldest and bottommost being more than two millennia old, have been confirmed to be lying underground on top of each other in Kaifeng city of Henan province.'
'The unusual discovery was announced recently by Chinese archaeologists after 20 years of excavation said a report in Xinhua yesterday.'

Rock paintings discovered in Dominican Republic. 'Archaeologists have discovered 43 rock paintings in a cave in the Loma Nalga de Maco National Park in the western Dominican Republic, according to Gabriel Atiles, head of the Department of Rupestrian Art at the Museum of Dominican Man. '

Basildon Peta: My ordeal as Mugabe's prisoner. 'As repression has tightened its grip on Zimbabwe, the Independent's Basildon Peta has found unsought prominence as a champion of freedom. On Monday came the reprisals he had been dreading: arrest and imprisonment...'

' Within four decades, one in 20 Americans may be a Mormon and there may be 50m or more worldwide. How will outsiders react to the next world religion? '

Insects boost immune system. Via Nonharmful.

Britain's kinkiest hotel rooms.

' A space probe launched 30 years ago is under a mysterious force field which is baffling scientists.'
'Researchers say Pioneer 10, which took the first close-up pictures of Jupiter before leaving our solar system in 1983, is being pulled back to the Sun by an unknown force.'

Greenhouse gases could trigger massive species loss. 'Ecosystems could recede faster than one kilometre a year if greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb, a report has warned.'
Climate change devastating archaeological sites.

Cold War weapons testing increased human DNA mutation rate.

' Sharks are to be serenaded by Barry White at The National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham in an experiment to help them mate.'
New football stadium will have 'walls made of air'. 'Hundreds of inflatable plastic cushions will form the walls of Munich's new football stadium.'
Germany's most original insult declared.
Top dogs win golden bone awards.
Iceberg in a bottle set to wash over UK.
Muhammad Ali has Irish ancestry.
Woman kept mother's corpse in bed for a year.

Colorgenics. Interesting colour-based personality test. Thanks, JP.

9th February
In a Dark Time, Feb 8: To Thine Own Self Be True. 'If thirty years of teaching high school taught me anything, it taught me not to trust group opinions. Popularity in and of itself is not a proof of worth. The most popular students in high school had nothing, except popularity, over students who are hardly noticed, or who were even made fun of. Another obvious example is the media. Is a popular movie written for teenage boys really better art than a less popular play written by Samuel Beckett? Popularity is not proof of much but popularity.'

It's been pretty busy around here lately, hasn't it? Probably only a few updates this weekend - I'm going walking.

RIP Princess Margaret.

8th February
Who discovered calculus? Newton and Leibniz are traditionally seen as the most likely candidates - but how about Archimedes? Or was it even Seki Kowa, working in Japan?
It's interesting how people working in different places sometimes make the same discoveries at around the same time.
Poster of Archimedes.
Mathematical games and recreations. Puzzles which have influenced the history of mathematics.

Then there's the controversy over who invented the square watermelon. Via Reenhead.
Some pictures of square watermelons. The cubic shape means you can pack more in your fridge.

The End of the Internet. 'Congratulations! This is the last page.'

The Ovid Project. 'The University of Vermont's rare book department contains an extensive collection of illustrated works of Ovid. Included are several editions of engravings by the 17th century German artist, Johann Wilhelm Bauer, depicting 150 scenes from the Metamorphoses. Each scene has a brief description in both Latin and German. Some plates from a 1640 edition of the translation done by George Sandys are also available. ' Amazing plates.

The Hidden Forest. 'Have you ever been out in the forest (bush) or maybe even in your own backyard, and come across some strange fungus, lichen or maybe even a slime mould, and wondered "what's that?" My web site is my small attempt to photograph and name many of these strange things. As I live in Auckland, New Zealand many of the photographs have been taken in the lowland and coastal forest of this region.' An interesting site about mosses, lichen, slime moulds and fungi; lots of images.

Planet Quest. Another great site from NASA, about planets beyond the solar system. Lots of information, news of new discoveries, etc.

Parasite of the Month. Hasn't been updated since 1996 but worth a look.

Maths posters in the London Underground.

Don't sell salt illegally: Posters in occupied Japan. Part of The Confusion Era : Art and culture of Japan during the Allied Occupation, 1945-52.

A Lego DAT tape loader.

British myths and legends. 'Britain's vast body of national mythology and local legend is one of the world's richest veins of written and verbally-transmitted literature and has served for centuries as a primary source of artistic inspiration and general enjoyment. '

The Book of Sand. A hypertext puzzle. Via Metafilter.

The Quotable History of Saudi Arabia. Don't miss the section on human rights.

Astro pic of the day: Coronal hole.

Haiku Postcard Project.

Continuing the classical theme... Oedipus.
'My own feeling about the story is that Oedipus is an inspiration for mankind: he must find out the truth at whatever cost, and then accept the full responsibilty for the knowledge he has discovered. Knowledge + pain is better than Ignorance + bliss. '
'Oedipus is thus the patron saint of philosophers, scientists, poets and artists - of all truth-seekers. Like Mulder and Scully in the X Files, Oedipus knows "the truth is out there", but unlike them, he doesn't expect to have his eyesight restored for next week's episode!'
Of course, there is an Oedipus game and an Antigone game.
Oedipus and the Sphinx by Ingres and Francis Bacon.

Cupid and Psyche. Sweet. :)

Sliding Puzzle. Flash required.

Some good links related to Black History Month at Formica. Via wood s lot.

Are we hardwired for God? 'In all cultures we find notions of gods, spirits and ancestors as supernatural agents, who are remarkably similar to humans. Where do these ideas originate? And why do they persist so strongly in the face of science? In this exclusive essay from the London Review of Books, WG Runciman examines the argument that recent advances in evolutionary psychology hold the answer to the 'God-question'. '

' Crumple a sheet of paper in your hand and you will end up with a ragged little ball that no matter how hard you try to squash it further, you just cannot squeeze any more. '
'Curiously, physicists have had great difficulty explaining this seemingly simple phenomenon: why a flimsy piece of paper can be so strong when scrunched up. Now, they may be on the way to an answer. '

Grey squirrels nick reds' nuts.

Equatorial water belt slackens. '30 years of slowing Pacific circulation may have changed climate.'

Ancient lake's climate secrets. 'Scientists are planning to drill into what could be the longest and richest archive of Earth's past climate. It could provide a year-by-year continuous record going back millions of years in a part of the world where it is thought humans first evolved. '

Ozone layer thins over Europe. 'The ozone layer was up to 30 per cent thinner over Europe during the first week of February and periodic depletions like this are becoming more frequent, say scientists at the European Space Agency (ESA).'

Not the end of the world. 'George Bush wants to see a recent BBC docu-drama on a smallpox terrorist attack. But while the show sent a chill down viewers' spines, is it just another remote doomsday scenario, asks BBC News Online's Chris Horrie. '

' Veterans groups have reacted angrily to research which suggests so-called Gulf War syndrome may really be an established post-combat condition dating back at least 100 years. '

Illness caused by sin says Vatican official. I think he was probably referring more to original sin, rather than asserting that it's morally better to be in possession of the body beautiful (which is how some sections of the media have interpreted the comments).
Not unrelated - some views on karma from Buddhists and sceptics, the Skeptic's Dictionary entry on karma (at least, one version of it), a Hindu page on karma and the Catholic Encyclopaedia on original sin.
'. . . . good and evil fortunes fall to the lot of pious and impious alike . . . .' ---Spinoza.

Virtual moths 'evolve' in lab. 'A study of trained birds pecking at images of moths on a computer screen has led to virtual evolution in a laboratory.'

' One of Britain's leading restaurant chains yesterday took three of its most popular fish off the menu after a conservation group warned that overfishing was endangering the survival of the species. '

'Analysing compressed data leads to impressive results in linguistics.'

Linking patent goes to court.

' To the surprise of astronomers, a galaxy called NGC 4622 appears to be rotating in the opposite direction to what they expected. '

Cash and carry misery in Ghana.

' The Weekly World News site is temporarily closed for the following reason: we would like you to buy the paper at least one stinking week of the year.' Via lots of places.

Kitchen knives could be banned in Estonia.

The Japan Observer is an 'alternative' news monthly with some interesting articles.