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Old 05-10-2011, 11:33 AM   #2551
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My Interview with Bruce Sterling and Vernor Vinge on Augmented Reality in the Workplace



Here’s my interview with Bruce Sterling and Vernor Vinge on augmented reality in the workplace. Bruce, Vernor and several others will be speaking at are2011 May 17-18.

I told Sterling and Vinge that I thought that apart from gaming, AR would be most useful to professionals. Yet the only widespread use of AR that I could think of outside of gaming and marketing is in the military. I asked Sterling and Vinge whether they thought AR would be more useful in the civilian workplace than in consumer technology. “The consumer coverage hasn’t covered the most important applications in that domain either,” Vinge said. “AR will be enormously useful in both domains, with the consumer end providing social acceptance and product pricing to further encourage workplace changes.”

Sterling pointed out that “Every medium in a capitalist society has ‘marketing gimmicks.’ TV, cinema, Internet, newspapers, recorded music, even sci-fi novels have gimmicks. Even if AR gets terrifically good at doing something more serious, those marketing gimmicks are not going away.”

Sterling also emphasized that AR needn’t be a stand-alone industry. There’s room for many technologies that apply the general idea of AR.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:37 AM   #2552
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http://www.seacoastonline.com/apps/p...0343/-1/NEWS01

http://freerangekids.wordpress.com/

Bill toughens law on visual sexual aggression against children in Maine

Maine Rep. Dawn Hill was outraged to discover that it wasn't illegal to look at kids in a public place, even if it weirded out their parents. So she's passed a bill in the Maine house that makes it a Class D felony to look at a kid aged 12 to 14, and a Class C felony to look at a kid under 12. They call it "visual sexual aggression."

Her involvement started when Ogunquit Police Lt. David Alexander was called to a local beach to deal with a man who appeared to be observing children entering the community bathrooms. Because the state statute prevents arrests for visual sexual aggression of a child in a public place, Alexander said he and his fellow officer could only ask the man to move along.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:38 AM   #2553
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http://www.stealthisknowledge.com/my...ng-south-pole/

Cosmic rays zapping the Earth over the South Pole appear to be coming from particular locations, rather than being distributed uniformly across the sky. Cosmic ray “hotspots” have also been seen in the northern skies too, yet there is no source close enough to produce this strange pattern.
“We don’t know where they are coming from,” says Stefan Westerhoff of the University of Wisconsin, who used the IceCube neutrino observatory at the South Pole with a team of colleagues to create the most comprehensive map to date of the arrival direction of cosmic rays in the southern skies.

IceCube detects muons produced by neutrinos striking ice, but it also detects muons created by cosmic rays hitting Earth’s atmosphere. These cosmic ray muons can be used to figure out the direction of the original cosmic ray particle.

Between May 2009 and May 2010, IceCube has detected 32 billion cosmic-ray muons, with a median energy of about 20 teraelectronvolts (TeV). These muons revealed, with extremely high statistical significance, a southern sky with some regions of excess cosmic rays (“hotspots”) and others with a deficit of cosmic rays (“cold” spots).

Over the past two years, a similar pattern has been seen over the northern skies by the Milagro observatory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, and the Tibet Air Shower array in Yangbajain.

The mystery remains perplexing because the hotspots must be produced within about 0.03 light years of Earth. Further out, galactic magnetic fields should deflect the particles so much that the hotspots would be smeared out across the sky. But no such sources are known to exist.

One of the hotspots seen by IceCube points in the direction of the Vela supernova remnant, a possible source of cosmic rays, but it’s almost 1000 light years away. Its source supernova exploded about 800 light years away in the southern constellation, Vela. The Vela pulsar, made by astronomers at the University of Sydney in 1968, was the first direct observational proof that supernovae form neutron stars.

The stunning image above from the orbiting Chandra X-ray Observatory is the Vela pulsar — the collapsed stellar core within the Vela supernova remnant. The Vela pulsar is a neutron star. More massive than the Sun, it has the density of an atomic nucleus. About 12 miles in diameter it spins 10 times a second as it hurtles through the supernova debris cloud. The pulsar’s electric and magnetic fields accelerate particles to nearly the speed of light, powering the compact x-ray emission nebula revealed in the Chandra picture. The Vela pulsar and the supernova remnant was created by a massive star which exploded over 10,000 years ago.

Cosmic rays coming from such large distances should be constantly buffeted and deflected by galactic magnetic fields on route, and should thus have lost all directionality by the time they reach Earth. In other words, such long-distance cosmic rays should appear to come from all parts of the sky.

Milagro has also seen hotspots that appear to come from implausibly distant sources. As an explanation, Felix Aharonian of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies in Ireland and colleagues have suggested that there could be a “tube” of magnetic field lines extending between the source and our solar system, funnelling the cosmic rays towards us. However, Aharonian admits the theory is highly speculative.

Others have proposed that a local phenomenon called magnetic reconnection –- in which solar magnetic field lines cross and rearrange, converting magnetic energy to kinetic energy –- could be accelerating local cosmic rays to energies in the TeV range and beaming them towards Earth, creating the observed hotspots. “It implies that we have a Tevatron in the solar system,” says Aharonian, referring to the particle accelerator at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois. “That’s also crazy, but it is at least less crazy than other explanations.”
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:50 AM   #2554
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http://www.behance.net/gallery/Honest-logos/1222137

Honest logos

An idea for a series with honest logos, revealing the actual content of the company, what they really should be called. Some are cheap, some might be a bit funny, some will maybe be brilliant. I don't know.








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Old 05-10-2011, 11:53 AM   #2555
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http://www.greatnewsnetwork.org/inde...es/?source=rss

Pressure Builds to End $4 Billion in Taxpayer Subsidies for Oil Companies
May 03, 11 | Comment

In these days of federal budget-cutting (and high gas prices), it was only a matter of time before subsidies for oil companies came under closer scrutiny. That moment has come.

Chatter has been building for a few weeks and things came to a head this past Saturday, when President Obama used his weekly address to make the case for putting an end to the $4 billion that U.S. taxpayers contribute to the oil industry. However, it’s important to note that President Obama did not present the issue as a savings of $4 billion to trim the deficit. Instead, it’s $4 billion that could be better invested in clean, renewable energy.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:00 PM   #2556
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http://www.kurzweilai.net/ge-and-ead...-for-airplanes

GE is starting a new lab at its global research headquarters in Niskayuna, New York devoted to turning 3-D printing technology into a viable means of manufacturing functional parts for a range of its businesses, including health care and aerospace.

3-D printing technology has improved to the point that these printers can make intricate objects out of durable materials , including ceramics and metals such as titanium and aluminum, with resolution on the scale of tens of micrometers (millionths of a meter). Companies such as GE and European defense and aerospace giant EADS are working to apply it where large numbers of the same part are needed.

GE has developed a new printing technology that spreads out a thin layer of a slurry composed of ceramic embedded in a polymer precursor. They are investigating the possibility of printing some airplane parts, a strategy that EADS has also recently pursued.

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Old 05-10-2011, 12:15 PM   #2557
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http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011...d-with-sorcery

Ahmadinejad allies charged with sorcery

Iranian power struggle between president and supreme leader sees arrests and claims of undue influence of chief of staff


Close allies of Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have been accused of using supernatural powers to further his policies amid an increasingly bitter power struggle between him and the country's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Several people said to be close to the president and his chief of staff, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, have been arrested in recent days and charged with being "magicians" and invoking djinns (spirits).
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:28 PM   #2558
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http://www.kurzweilai.net/quantum-en...d-by-naked-eye

Quantum Entanglement Observed by Naked Eye
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:35 PM   #2559
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http://www.astrobio.net/pressrelease...ter-shapes-dna

How Water Shapes DNA

Water molecules surround the genetic material DNA in a very specific way. Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have discovered that, on the one hand, the texture of this hydration shell depends on the water content and, on the other hand, actually influences the structure of the genetic substance itself. These findings are not only important in understanding the biological function of DNA; they could also be used for the construction of new DNA-based materials.

The DNA's double helix never occurs in isolation; instead, its entire surface is always covered by water molecules which attach themselves with the help of hydrogen bonds. But the DNA does not bind all molecules the same way.

"We've been able to verify that some of the water is bound stronger whereas other molecules are less so," notes Dr. Karim Fahmy, Head of the Biophysics Division at the Institute of Radiochemistry. This is, however, only true if the water content is low. When the water sheath swells, these differences are adjusted and all hydrogen bonds become equally strong. This, in turn, changes the geometry of the DNA strand: The backbone of the double helix, which consists of sugar and phosphate groups, bends slightly. "The precise DNA structure depends on the specific amount of water surrounding the molecule," summarizes Dr. Fahmy.


***Cont'd @ Source
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:38 PM   #2560
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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...oys-house.html

Dog opens four doors to get into basement and sit in bath full of cold water as huge blaze destroys house

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz1LypUht11



A home was destroyed in a blaze that firefighters took six hours to get under control, but Mia the family's dog miraculously survived the ordeal.

The one-year-old Belgian Malinois had to open four doors to get down to the basement to hide in a bathtub filled with cold water.

Firefighters in Greenville, South Carolina, were amazed to find her uninjured Thursday.
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:48 PM   #2561
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Some golden quotes from Terence Mckenna
from Dedroidify by R
So you know what we have to do is stop looking for leadership from the top, because the least among us make their way into those positions of power, I mean you can see that now, those guys are not fit to throw guts down to a bear, any of them.
So what we have to do is knock off this fantasy of being citizens inside a democratic state, I mean, what we are, are the propagandized masses inside a fascist dictatorship, and what people have to do is begin to form affinity groups, get their own ship together, get their own goals defined, and then move out into it and do it, it's not gonna come from the policy council of the republic or democratic party, that's just silly to think that.


The mushroom said to me once, it said: "If you don't have a plan, you become part of somebody else's plan. Because there are only planners and plannees. So what do you wanna do?"


I once said to the mushroom, why me? Why are you telling me all this stuff? And it without hesitation, it said: because you don't believe anything, you don't believe anything." Belief makes it impossible to believe the opposite proposition, and that means you just truncated your freedom. No matter how noble the belief you have taken on. You have just rejected and limited your ability to believe other things.

My favorite story in the gospels, and this shows you how ... I am, my favorite story in the gospels, is the story of the apostel Thomas. Because you will recall that after the crucifixion - this is a good place to end, this is an alchemical story - after the crucifixion Christ appeared to the apostels in the upper room in Jerusalem, 40 days after, and Thomas was not there. I don't know where he was, somewhere, they sent him out for sandwiches or something. Anyway he came back, and they said "the master was with us" and he said "come oooon you guys," he said, "you been smoking too much red lab we brought in 3 weeks ago," and they said "no no the master was with us," and he said, "unless I put my hand into the wound, I will not believe it."
So then time passed, and then Christ came again to the apostels, and Thomas was among them on this second get go, and Christ walked in and kicked off his overshoes and looked around the room, and he said "Thomas, come forward, put your hand into the wound," which he did, which he did.
Now, people have different interpretations of this story, my interpretation of it ... is that alone among all human beings, in all of human history, only one person was ever so priviliged as to be allowed to touch the resurrected body, it was Thomas the Doubter, who was allowed to touch the resurrection body because he didn't believe, and so if you want to touch the resurrection body, be very careful with where you commit your belief, keep your eyes open, stay smart, take it easy...


(PS, thanks Baja...)
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Old 05-10-2011, 12:53 PM   #2562
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http://www.disinfo.com/2011/05/the-c...-adult-babies/

National Geographic’s Taboo looks at phenomenon of people who choose to live their lives as “adult babies”. Is it a metaphor for the “nanny state” we live in? A retreat from the pressures of modern life? Or just the most disturbing subculture to ever emerge in history? (Scandinavian black metal has nothing on adult infantilism.) Warning: this cannot be unseen.



http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sB1gPgcycQ8
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:59 AM   #2563
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It was pretty much known about since last night, but Microsoft and Skype have now obliterated any lingering doubt in the matter: the Redmond-based software giant will acquire the internet telephony company for a cool $8.5 billion in cash. Xbox and Kinect support are explicitly mentioned in the announcement of this definitive agreement, as is Windows Phone integration -- both the gaming and mobile aspects being presumably key incentives for Microsoft to acquire Skype. Importantly, this purchase shouldn't affect Skypers outside of the Microsoft ecosystem, as Steve Ballmer's team promises to continue "to invest in and support Skype clients on non-Microsoft platforms." Skype was first sold for a relative bargain at $2.5b to eBay in 2005, who in turn sold most of it off to Silver Lake in 2009 at an overall valuation of $2.75b, and now Redmond is concluding proceedings by tripling those earlier prices and offering Skype a permanent home. A new Microsoft Skype Division will now be opened up to accommodate the newcomers, with current Skype CEO Tony Bates becoming president of that operation and reporting directly to Ballmer. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year and you can read Microskype's full announcement after the break.

Update: Microsoft has just disclosed a couple more details about the deal. It was signed last night, May 9th, though the price was finalized on April 18th. You can follow a live stream of Steve Ballmer and Tony Bates' presentation right here.

http://www.engadget.com/2011/05/10/m...ecomes-offici/

Microsoft's acquisition of Skype for $8.5 billion becomes official
from Engadget by Vlad Savov
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:01 AM   #2564
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https://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/08/m...ef=todayspaper

Acts of Mild Subversion
How to Beat High Airfares


When a US city's airport is controlled by a single airline, that city becomes disproportionately expensive to fly into -- the airline has no competition. But you can often get a bargain by booking a ticket that has a layover in that city and then abandoning the second leg of your trip. For example, to fly from Des Moines to Dallas costs $375; flying Des Moines to LA via Dallas costs $186 -- all you need to do is get off the plane in Dallas with your carryon-only bag. Airlines' terms of service prohibit this, but their only remedy if you get caught is to bar you from flying with them anymore.





Quote:
1. Look to employ the switcheroo when your final destination is at a hub airport dominated by just one or two carriers, like Atlanta, Cleveland, Salt Lake City, Charlotte, Detroit, Cincinnati or Chicago O'Hare, all of which have overpriced tickets.

2. When you're traveling to one of those cities, you should search for phantom flights into airports that are more competitive -- New York, Miami, Las Vegas and Boston are good examples. Search engines like Kayak.com will allow you to select your routing through your desired layover airport.

3. Book your itinerary as a set of two one-way flights, rather than as a round trip. If you miss any segment of your itinerary, the airline will usually cancel the rest of it.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:23 AM   #2565
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http://www.realitysandwich.com/2012_..._consciousness
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:27 AM   #2566
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-13333473#

Shale gas drilling operations increase the risk of nearby drinking water becoming contaminated with methane, a study has suggested.

Researchers found, on average, methane concentrations 17 times above normal in samples taken near drilling sites.

Growing demand for energy has led to a sharp increase in shale gas extraction around the globe, prompting concerns about the impact of the technology.

The findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"We found surprising levels of methane in home-owners' wells that were close to natural gas wells, " co-author Rob Jackson, Nicholas Professor of Global Change at Duke University, North Carolina, explained.

"We found that within a kilometre of an active gas well, you were much more likely to have high methane concentrations," he told BBC News.

The team from Duke University collected samples from 68 private water wells in the north-eastern states of Pennsylvania and New York.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:29 AM   #2567
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http://www.newstatesman.com/ideas/20...-essay-pattern

The formula of life

Ian Stewart

Published 27 April 2011

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Biology is undergoing a renaissance as scientists apply mathematical ideas to old theory. Welcome to the discipline of biomathematics, with its visions of spherical cows, football-shaped viruses and equations that can predict the pattern of a zebra’s stripes.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:33 AM   #2568
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http://news.discovery.com/archaeolog...od-110509.html

Crocodile God Temple Featured Croc Nursery
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:33 AM   #2569
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renenutet

In Egyptian mythology, Renenutet (also transliterated as Ernutet, and Renenet) was the anthropomorphic deification of the act of gaining a true name, an aspect of the soul, during birth. Her name simply meaning, (she who) gives Ren, with Ren being the Egyptian word for this true name[dubious – discuss]. Indeed, it was said that newborns had Renenutet upon their shoulder from their first day, and she was referred to as (she who) rears, and Lady of the robes (referring to birth-robes). Initially, her cult was centered in Terenuthis.

Her name also could be interpreted in an alternate way, as renen-utet, rather than ren-nutet, consequently having the more esoteric meaning - nourishment snake. As a nourishment snake, Renenutet was envisioned, particularly in art, as a cobra, or as a woman with the head of a cobra. Snakes are another animal without sexual dimorphism and seeming only to be female to the Ancient Egyptians so there was only a goddess. This secondary meaning also led to her being considered the source of nourishment, thus a goddess of the harvest; gaining titles such as Lady of granaries, and Lady of fertile fields. The importance of the harvest caused people to make many offerings to Renenutet during harvest time, leading to her being seen as a goddess of riches and good fortune.

Sometimes, as the goddess of nourishment, Renenutet was seen as having a husband, Sobek. He was represented as the Nile River, the annual flooding of which deposited the fertile silt that enabled abundant harvests. However, more usually, Renenutet was seen as the mother of Nehebkau, who was the deification of another important change concerning parts of the soul - the binding of Ka and Ba, who occasionally was represented as a snake also. When considered the mother of Nehebkau, Renenutet was seen as having a husband, Geb, who represented the Earth, since it was from the ground that snakes appear to arise.

Later, as a snake-goddess worshiped over the whole of Lower Egypt, Renenutet was increasingly confused with Wadjet, Lower Egypt's powerful protector and another snake goddess represented as a cobra. Eventually Renenutet was identified as an alternate form of Wadjet, whose gaze was said to slaughter enemies. Wadjet is the cobra on the crown of the pharaohs.

The Hymn of Renenutet says:
Quote:
I will make the Nile swell for you,
without there being a year of lack and exhaustion in the whole land,
so the plants will flourish, bending under their fruit.
The land of Egypt is beginning to stir again,
the shores are shining wonderfully,
and wealth and well-being dwell with them,
as it had been before.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:35 AM   #2570
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Sobek

Gradually, Sobek also came to symbolize the produce of the Nile and the fertility that it brought to the land; its status thus became more ambiguous.[2] Sometimes the ferocity of a crocodiles was seen in a positive light, Sobek in these circumstances was considered the army's patron, as a representation of strength and power.

In Egyptian art, Sobek was depicted as an ordinary crocodile, or as a man with the head of a crocodile. When considered a patron of the pharaoh's army, he was shown with the symbol of royal authority - the uraeus. He was also shown with an ankh, representing his ability to undo evil and so cure ills. Once he had become Sobek-Ra, he was also shown with a sun-disc over his head, as Ra was a sun god.

In other myths, which appeared extremely late in ancient Egyptian history, Sobek was credited for catching the Four sons of Horus in a net as they emerged from the waters of the Nile in a lotus blossom. This motif derives from the birth of Ra in the Ogdoad cosmogony, and the idea that as a crocodile, Sobek is the best suited to collecting items upon the Nile.
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:39 AM   #2571
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http://zenarchery.com/?p=1540

So this girl comes over and asks you to dance
She’s a warm refugee from the cold middle class
And you wanna take her home and sing her
All your love songs
But you feel so awkward and stupid and lame
That you can’t even manage to spit out your name
And she walks away disappointed
And you walk away with your heart on

With your heart on your sleeve
‘Cause you’d love to believe
That in love it is better
To give than receive
That someone’s waiting for you in the night
Yeah, you’d love to believe that forever and ever
Is not just some poet being clever
That everything will all work out alright

At least sometimes

So you stumble back to your sad little room
And your roommate laughs, ’cause you’re home so soon
And you crumble in about a thousand little ways
And you watch all the movies on late night TV
About people in places you’d rather be
Falling for each other
As the soaring music plays

And nobody goes for the kiss too soon
And everything’s lit by the glow of the moon
And when he calls
She answers the phone
And nothing ever ends in regret
For the words that were spoken
Or weren’t spoken yet
And nobody ever
Ends up alone

At least sometimes

So this girl comes over and tries to be cool
But she’s stumbling over her words like a fool
And you slowly realize,
And you start to smile…
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:44 AM   #2572
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I'm really enthralled with the Dogman stories from MI:

http://from-the-shadows.blogspot.com...ng-dogman.html

Last edited by alkemical; 05-11-2011 at 08:46 AM..
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:51 AM   #2573
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http://www.disinfo.com/2011/05/morge...mass-hysteria/

Morgellons: A Hidden Epidemic Or Mass Hysteria?



Is Morgellons disease from out of this world or all in our heads? Will Storr from the Guardian writes:

It all started in August 2007, on a family holiday in New England. Paul had been watching Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix with his wife and two sons, and he had started to itch. His legs, his arms, his torso – it was everywhere. It must be fleas in the seat, he decided.

But the 55-year-old IT executive from Birmingham has been itching ever since, and the mystery of what is wrong with him has only deepened. When Paul rubbed his fingertips over the pimples that dotted his skin, he felt spines. Weird, alien things, like splinters. Then, in 2008, his wife was soothing his back with surgical spirit when the cotton swab she was using gathered a curious blue-black haze from his skin. Paul went out, bought a 40 microscope and examined the cotton. What were those curling, coloured fibres? He Googled the words: “Fibres. Itch. Sting. Skin.” And there was his answer. It must be: all the symptoms fitted. He had a new disease called morgellons. The fibres were the product of mysterious creatures that burrow and breed in the body. As he read on, he had no idea that morgellons would turn out to be the worst kind of answer imaginable.

[Continues at The Guardian]
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:56 AM   #2574
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Old 05-11-2011, 08:59 AM   #2575
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What Does Your Boss Do All Day?
from mental_floss Blog by Brett Savage
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In a classic episode of The Office, Jan tasks Pam with documenting in detail what, exactly, Michael does with his time at work. Pam begins compiling a time-use diary. Michael, oblivious to the assignment, casually resists Pam’s subtle suggestions to perform his typical duties, and the time log ultimately includes such inane activities as Michael doing his Bill Cosby impression, and standing in line for a free pretzel in the lobby.

This intriguing subplot raises the question—”What do bosses do with their time?”

Harvard Business School researchers adopted a similar approach for a working paper, asking the chief executives of 94 Italian companies to have their assistants record their activities. The results give us some idea of how top tier executives manage their time. Here are some interesting findings:

• The executives worked 48 hours per week and spend 60% of their time in meetings

• Bosses complain about getting bogged down in day-to-day operations (“small picture stuff” in The Office)

• Bosses spend only about 3-4% of their time thinking about long-term strategy

• Bill Gates took regular “think weeks” to contemplate his company’s future

• The more time spent with employees of the firm, rather than outsiders, correlates to higher profits

Read the full article at The Economist. Or, you can read the source material here (opens PDF).

http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/87168

http://www.economist.com/node/186518...ry_id=18651811

http://www.hbs.edu/research/pdf/11-081.pdf
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