snippets

8< If you haven’t been reading Henry Raddick‘s Amazon reviews, you’re in for a treat.
8< Ever wonder what happened to HMS Beagle of Charles-Darwin-goes-to-the-Galapagos fame? Never occurred to me until now, but marine archaeologist Robert Prescott thinks he’s found her under 12 feet of Essex mud. Early indications are that the ship, whoever she is, is pretty much intact; and wouldn’t the Beagle make a superb museum, though? (via Samizdata.net)
8< (via Boing Boing) In the video of his arrest, Dudley Hiibel seems kind of obnoxious to me, but you can’t (yet) be sent to jail for being an asshole. I think most citizens should cooperate with most cops most of the time, but no law that I know of says they have to. Predictably, I’m on the side of the assholes here.
8< This is a fascinating and deeply unsatisfying story. For about a week, a glitch at amazon.com’s Canadian site displayed the real names of anonymous reviewers, but no one seems to have really dug into the wealth of information thus revealed. I’m not so interested in writers pushing their own books as in those who claim to be fighting back against unfair anonymous reviewers:

The suspicion that […] the Underground Literary Alliance had anonymously attacked his friend Heidi Julavits prompted the novelist Dave Eggers to write a review last August calling Ms. Julavits’s first novel “one of the best books of the year.”

So why didn’t Eggers, or the writer of the NYT piece I linked, check to see who wrote the attacks? Gah.
8< Eliot points to a Morning News article by Mighty Girl Margaret Berry: ten charities who know the value of ten dollars.
8< Do you know anything about Leonora O’Reilly, Mary Breckinridge, Dorothy Kenyon or Patty Andrews? Neither did I, but keeping up with bean’s series ejumacated me.

snippets

8<Education is about as important as an issue gets, if not quite so pressing as poverty or disease, and science education is, for obvious reasons, my thing. For this reason, and as part of an ongoing program of becoming more involved in the various communities (geographic, scientific, etc.) to which I belong, I’ve applied to be a judge at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. Besides, it’s gonna be fun.
8<(via Language Hat) Ever wonder what was up with the odd names for those new superheavy elements? William Drenttel explains that they’re placeholders, just the atomic numbers rendered in Latin, for use until their existence is confirmed and someone comes up with a real name.
8<(via Rebecca Blood) Washington State Supreme Court Justice Faith Ireland won her second national powerlifting championship last weekend. The 130-pound judge squat lifted 198 pounds, bench pressed 133 pounds and deadlifted 253 pounds. Oh yeah — she’s sixty-one. Makes me feel kinda, eh, flabby.
8<(via Leuschke) This is a great short story.
8<Over at Language Log, John McWhorter is engaged in some utterly fascinating cross-disciplinary detective work. It’s a bit complex to compress, so just go read it. Trust me, you’ll be glad you did.
8<(Joi Ito) Eisbrecher‘s self-titled debut album is being released with two blank CD-ROMs, because “We are of the opinion that the music buyers are criminalized enough and have been made responsible for the wretched state in the music industry. We are giving them the chance to make 2 legal copies for private use with ‘official blanks’. It can’t always be that the end users have to take the blame for something that international corporations have arranged with their artist-burning methods.” Kudos.
8<(via Slashdot) Stephen Wolfram’s much-hyped book A New Kind Of Science is available free online. I still won’t understand it, but at least I won’t waste fifty bucks on being reminded how dumb I am.
8< Eliot takes a smack at that talentless idiot Lileks so I don’t have to.

snippets

8< “Open Reading Frame” would have been another good name for this blog. I didn’t think of it until after the spousal unit built me a site and a logo that I like too much to change, so mol biol geeks feel free to steal that idea.
8< (via Jared) A big ol’ collection of record labels on the web.
8< Like photoblogs? Photoblogs.org is your one-stop shop (3,273 photoblogs in 54 countries and 25 languages as I write this). If that’s too much, just try Eliot Shepard’s slower.net, which is consistently wonderful.
8< (via BoingBoing) It had to happen sometime, I guess: geek names son version 2.0.
8< Super Size Me wins Documentary Directing Award at Sundance. I want to see this film, in which madman Morgan Spurlock documents the terrible things that a month-long diet of nothing but McFood does to his body.