Me + Timon:
19 hours ago
"A remarkable 55 percent of deaths for people age 15 to 64 can be attributed to decisions with readily available alternatives. In other words, most people are the agents of their own demise. That's a vast difference from a century ago, when, Keeney estimates, a scant 5 percent of deaths were brought on by personal decisions (infectious diseases account for most of the rest)."
"Music is a social process driven by passion, not market logic or copyright."
"The mp3 may have atomized music into millions of little pieces, but each piece, it seems, found a publicist. The average music fan now has the built-in capacity to double as promoter and distributor in an ever-expanding arena that's making and eliminating rules every minute."
"In the same way that technology is a social force created by humans, with the power to expand or restrict what we're able to do, so goes the law."
"What DRM taught us during its short life, is that for the law to work, people have to believe in it. This doesn't necessitate Pirate Bay-level countercultural deviance, but the simple idea that the rules laid down are based in common sense, not the frigid logic of corporate balance sheets."[via Nick via Noah]
"The club only lasted a couple of years, but during that time its resident DJ invented a new form of dance music. He was Francis Grasso. Writer Albert Goldman claimed that, 'Grasso invented the technique used by every DJ ever since of holding the record he was about to play at the precise point he wanted it to start playing, while a felt mat underneath it revolved on the turntable. Then letting it go, to make a seamless connecting point between two pieces of music.'"
"Grasso's other specialty was to play two tracks at the same time mixing the raunchy heavy drums of British rock music with the soaring voices of American soul. Led Zeppelin's thumping solid drum breaks would throb like an amphetamined heartbeat under the delicate vocals of Gladys Knight or Aretha Franklin. According to Albert Goldman, Francis Grasso didn't just play records, 'he reinvented them out of their composite parts,' the top end vocals and the bottom end rhythm. His method of mixing the different parts of different records to make altogether new music was 15 years ahead of its time."Emphasis mine.
"During the eight-week study period, students in the dorms with ready access to hand sanitizers had a third fewer complaints of coughs, chest congestion and fever. Over all, the risk of getting sick was 20 percent lower in the dorms where hand hygiene was emphasized, and those students missed 43 percent fewer days of school."
"Unfortunately many of our health-care problems are self-inflicted: two-thirds of Americans are now overweight and one-third are obese. Most of the diseases that kill us and account for about 70% of all health-care spending—heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and obesity—are mostly preventable through proper diet, exercise, not smoking, minimal alcohol consumption and other healthy lifestyle choices."This isn't rocket science, people.
Down inside a yacht anchored off an island in the Caribbean, skipper Jason White shows off a state-of-the-art computerized control center. He points out a marine single sideband (SSB) radio, somewhat of a sailing-instrument anachronism amid modern technology like satellite phones and weather faxes.Read the rest.
And then he tells me about Herb. Somewhere out there, on the frequency 12359 kilohertz, is a man named Herb who will give any boat a personalized weather forecast upon request. He’s more accurate than any weather service, say the mariners who rely upon his expertise. But very few sailors even know he exists.
“He only says it once, and he talks so fast, you have to record it and listen to it later,” says White, holding up a small digital recorder. “I use him all the time. But if you bug him too much, he’ll just ignore you.”
In November 1999, Hurricane Lenny developed south of Cuba and then moved west to east, the first Caribbean tropical storm in recorded history to do so. It would eventually smash through several islands, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Herb was in contact with a number of boats in the danger zone and immediately directed them around the Category 4 storm. Except one.
“There was one guy just sitting north of Puerto Rico,” Herb Hilgenberg recalls. “A Swiss couple and their dog. I talked to him and said, ‘You’re gonna have a hurricane in front of you, and it’s gonna approach you in the next six hours.’ “
The sailor radioed back, saying, “I need to get off the boat; I can’t make it. My engine’s not working.” In six hours, he, his wife, and their dog were going to get ravaged by a hurricane with wind speeds of 150 miles per hour and be pounded to pieces. And they couldn’t move.
Herb called the U.S. Coast Guard based in Puerto Rico, but they had already lashed down all their helicopters for the storm. They managed to establish contact with a nearby commercial vessel, and it was able to approach the boat and rescue the couple and their dog.
"The best leaders I know don't want the job of thinking for everybody else. They understand that if they can tap the hidden genius inside the organization, and the collective genius outside the organization, they will create ideas that will be much more powerful than what even the smartest individual leader could ever come up with on his or her own. Nobody alone is as smart as everybody together."
"The United States and New Zealand are the only two countries in the world where it is legal to advertise prescription drugs. The United States accounts for almost 50% of all monies spent on prescription drugs worldwide. But according to a 2006 report by the Journal of the American Medical Association, US residents are nearly twice as sickly as their English counterparts, despite the fact that the former spend almost twice as much on healthcare per person."
Taipei has strived to achieve "zero landfill, total recycling" by 2010, 30 years ahead of the UN's trash targets. It will probably fall short, but its policies are still exemplary. The city has encouraged the private sector to build composting facilities and recycling plants, and requires residents to pay for trash collection by the bag. Garbage trucks playing Beethoven's "Für Elise" and Badarzewska's "The Maiden's Prayer" collect trash, which must be in city-approved bags, from residents, who toss the bags into the trucks themselves. Taipei promotes trade in secondhand goods and introduced new methods of kitchen-waste disposal -- one pilot program turns food waste into pig feed. The result: The volume of trash has been slashed by well over 60%.Emphasis mine.
Wired: Thorny ethical issues?
Horner: If you think we're playing God, maybe. But we're already modifying plants and mice. I don't see a lot of people jumping up and down complaining about better tomatoes.
Wired: Are you getting flak from other researchers?
Horner: Scientists who play by someone else's rules don't have much chance of making discoveries.
Wired: It would certainly prove the creationists dead wrong.
Horner: Religion is about faith, not evidence. Comparing science and religion isn't like comparing apples and oranges—it's more like apples and sewing machines.
"The whitehouse.gov blog really needs to understand the guid. Google Reader shows every edited post 2 or 3 times as separate items. Annoying."That had been annoying me too, but I'd just been paging by them. Matt's note reminded me that I have a friend who worked with the Obama Campaign and Transition Team's tech crew, and he probably knows the right people to sort it out. I sent him a quick email, and a day later it was fixed.
"! Whitehouse.gov fixes their feeds! http://tinyurl.com/ahwg6b I can't imagine the last presidency going from complaint to fixed in 24hrs."
"Heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer and obesity account for 75% of health-care costs, and yet these are largely preventable and even reversible by changing diet and lifestyle. As Mr. Obama states in his health plan, unveiled during his campaign: 'This nation is facing a true epidemic of chronic disease. An increasing number of Americans are suffering and dying needlessly from diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, asthma and HIV/AIDS, all of which can be delayed in onset if not prevented entirely.'"