The Nutlog

The Nutlog Archive

30th September
Sunspot.Net - 'Agency lifts its veil of secrecy.' 'For the third time in 50 years, the National Security Agency played host to "family day" yesterday, an event that for many decades-long employees signaled the first time their relatives were allowed to see where they work. '

Neologisms, or new words and phrases. Quite funny. - the Tibetan government-in-exile's website.

The Daily Zen. A meditation for the day.

The Curse Engine - generate curses in Gaelic.

Unknown News - the news you need, whether you know it or not. Hi there, and thanks for linking to the Nutlog.

29th September
The Russian Chronicles. Photo-essays and stories from a journey from Vladivostok to St. Petersburg in 1995. Be sure to look at the 'road stories' section which includes personal stories of people the travellers met. Absolutely fascinating.

Reuters - 'Pencil-carrying camel convoy blocked.' 'Saudi Arabia has refused to allow a convoy of camels carrying pencils to Iraq to pass through its territory, Iraqi newspapers said Thursday.' Bet that'll show them.

Reuters - 'Former official cleared in stink bombings.' 'The former head of New York's public hospital system was cleared on Thursday of allegations that he set off stink bombs on two TWA international flights.'

The Official Rolf Harris site. Rolf Harris is a TV presenter who does amusing cartoons for children's TV shows. He lives in the UK, but comes from Australia. He's been around forever.
There is an unofficial Rolf Harris fan site too.
Rolf Harris to hold his first British art exhibition.

Sorry for the lack of updates today. Got flu. Brrr.

28th September
It's always a bit worrying when they try to patent trees. Not that they can always get away with it.

Wired News on BT's claim that it owns the US patent on hyperlinks.
'Tech-savvy posters at geek news forum Slashdot railed against BT for trying to enforce what they feel is an overly broad patent, while blasting the patent system for granting overly broad patents in the first place.'
'"This is absolutely amazing," fumed one poster. "Next thing we know, we will have people trying to reinforce patents on toilet paper, and more. When is this madness going to end?" '

What was the Number 1 best-selling single in the UK on the day you were born? Thanks, Bloglet.

The Daily Doozer is back, except it's now called Extenuating Circumstances. Hurrah!

Ninja Village.
Bonsai Web.

Reuters - 'Pole invests savings in Walesa's pipe.' 'A Polish man spent a quarter of his life's savings to buy a pipe used by former Solidarity trade union hero and ex-President Lech Walesa, Gazeta Wyborcza daily reported Tuesday.'

BBC - 'When slime is not so thick.' On an 'intelligent' slime mould -
'Scientists have discovered that a single-celled organism can negotiate the shortest way through a maze...'
'Announcing their findings in the journal Nature, the researchers say they believe the organism changed its shape to maximise its foraging efficiency and therefore its chances of survival. '
New Scientist also has an article on the puzzle-solving slime mould.

Horizon - 'The Eyes of Jane Elliott.' A report on Jane Elliott, a former primary school teacher from Iowa who believes that disciminatory behaviour is learned from society, not innate. To prove the point, when she was teaching a class in 1968, she segregated her all-white class into two groups of children : brown-eyed and blue-eyed, with the brown-eyed children told that they were superior to the blue-eyed children.
'Seeing her brown-eyed students act like "arrogant, ugly, domineering, overbearing White Americans" with no instructions to do so proved to Elliott that racism is learned. Prior to that day in 1968, her students had expressed neither positive nor negative thoughts about each other based on eye color. Yes, Elliott taught them that it was all right to judge one another based on eye color. But she did not teach them how to oppress. "They already knew how to be racist because every one of them knew without my telling them how to treat those who were on the bottom," says Elliott.'
Thanks to the Guardian weblog for this link.

27th September
Top ten toys from the Seventies - the boy edition. Featuring Jaws the Game and Shogun Warriors Godzilla, among others. The girl edition is, apparently, coming soon. Via Pop Culture Junk Mail.
One toy that didn't make it to the list was the space hopper - feast your eyes on this adult-sized space hopper.
The Rubik Cube should make a list of classic Seventies toys - Erno Rubik's site includes an online cube. If you get stuck, you can always try this applet which purports to solve the cube.

National Geographic News - ' 'Lump of rock' turns out to be world's first sculpture.' 'A stone dismissed by experts as no more than a lump of rock has been identified as the world's first sculpture and the oldest piece of figurative art ever seen.'

Reuters - 'Snakes charmed from hospital.' 'A hospital in southern Egypt has turned to snake-charmers to help get rid of snakes and scorpions terrorizing patients and staff.'

Reuters - 'Hippies to keep own coins after euro vote.' 'Central Copenhagen's hippie colony, Christiania, intends to cling firmly to its own local currency regardless of the outcome of Denmark's referendum on joining the euro Thursday.' The loen (meaning pay) coin features a snail on one side, and a woman's head on the other, and bears the motto 'Live and let live.'

Reuters - 'Bushman's body to return home.' 'Spain said Monday it would send to Botswana the embalmed body of a 19th century African bushman that had been on display in a museum for decades, ending a long-running dispute over the exhibit.'
Reuters - 'US says tribes should get Kennewick Man.' 'The U.S. Interior Department ended a four-year dispute over a 9,000-year-old human skeleton found in southern Washington state, awarding it to five American Indian tribes that claimed it as one of their ancestors.'

26th September
Reuters - 'One mower way to get even.' 'Apartment dwellers have a new weapon to use on noisy neighbors, with a New Zealand man recording a compact disc of 64 minutes of lawnmower noise.'

See the world through the eyes of a honey bee. 'I am a neuroscientist working on bee vision. Part of my work involves training bees to discriminate between two different visual patterns. I wrote B-EYE as a tool to give me some idea what my bees perceive of the patterns I present them with.' Fascinating images.

The Official Sandwich Homepage. All about sandwiches, obviously.
The Bubblesphere. How to make enormous soap bubbles.
Waste vital minutes with Perpetual Bubblewrap. 'For the ultimate in time wasting, simply roll your mouse over the bubble wrap to see and hear a satisfying 'pop' as the bubble bursts.'
The world's best bubblewrap homepage. Absolutely everything you could ever possibly want to know about bubblewrap, and then some.

Of course, I'm enjoying Behind the Curtain, which is being linked to absolutely everywhere.

More on the allegations in an as yet unpublished book that Yanomami Indians were deliberately infected with a measles vaccine. Take a look at the Chronicle of Higher Education ('Scholars fear that alleged misdeeds by Amazon anthropologists will taint entire discipline').
Also take a look at the open letter from Drs. Turner and Sponsel, the two anthropologists who read pre-release copies of the book 'Darkness in El Dorado' which makes the allegations, and Dr. Sponsel's complaint that speculation on the book's contents is unwarranted before its publication. Sponsel also says :-
'Most of all, it is most regrettable and appalling that in all of this ugly mess, very few individuals appear to have the YANOMAMI as their first priority. As far as I am concerned, ultimately what is most important by far is the survival, welfare, and rights of the Yanomami and other endangered indigenous peoples and ethnic groups. IF any of the numerous and diverse ALLEGATIONS that Tierney makes and extensively documents in his book after 10 years of investigative journalism are true, then, most of all, people should be most concerned about what they mean for the Yanomami and, as appropriate, explore the possibilities of some kinds of assistance and reparations to the Yanomami.'
Thanks to Honey Guide for these links, and for reasonable and well thought-out commentary on them.