, that is certainly not safe for work.
A street musician making change in Vigeland Park, Oslo, NorwayI'm not sure how much money she madebut I liked her boots.
, the online graphical dictionary.
Visuwords™ uses Princeton University’s WordNet, an opensource database built by University students and language researchers. Combined with a visualization tool and user interface built from a combination of modern web technologies, Visuwords™ is available as a free resource to all patrons of the web.
Nifty. Check it out. For an example, try association
- it is a particularly connected word.
From the Earth Institute and my buddy Jeffrey Sachs comes .. carbon dioxide capture and sequestration
? That's mumbo-jumbo for "take the pollution out of the air and store it somewhere". It's an idea, anyway:
"This significant achievement holds incredible promise in the fight against climate change," said Jeffrey D. Sachs, director of The Earth Institute, "and thanks to the ingenuity of GRT and Klaus Lackner, the world may, sooner rather than later, have an important tool in this fight."
A device with an opening of one square meter can extract about 10 tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere each year. If a single device were to measure 10 meters by 10 meters it could extract 1,000 tons each year. On this scale, one million devices would be required to remove one billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. According to the U.K. Treasury’s Stern Review on climate change, the world will need to reduce carbon emissions by 11 billion tons by 2025 in order to maintain a concentration of carbon dioxide at twice pre-industrial levels.
My question is: how much will it cost (environmentally) to manufacture and power these things? Removing 1,000 tons of CO2
is moot if you're putting most of it back into the environment just to power the thing. Who knows, though. Maybe it's sustainable?
A bee-constructed honeycomb vase
I’m a self-proclaimed Droog addict, and have touted the “je ne sais quoi” of the always-engaging and wryly humorous Dutch design ad nauseum. And this bee-made vessel by Tomas Gabzdil Libertiny of Studio Libertiny is no exception. Making its debut at Droog’s booth in Milan, the vase was made by 40,000 bees over the course of one week. Studio Libertiny constructed a vase-shaped hive that the bees then colonized, building a hexagonal comb to encompass the existing form. And in the usual dry yet oh-so-clever Dutch manner, Studio Libertiny calls this process “slow prototyping,” a more time-consuming, yet much more poetic alternative to CNC rapid prototyping.
The BBC's Channel 4, in conjunction with a new show they are doing, has a nifty flash-based Human Footprint Calculator
. It's mildly informative if you like big numbers and the interface isn't bad to boot.
It warms the cockles of my entsy weensy leetle heart to see the likes of the BBC, the NY Times, and other old media
doing a relatively good job of producing informatically solid, visually appealing, and easily navigable "products". If you follow my links at all, you'll be familiar with offers such as the recent NY Times Rent vs. Buy calculator
Say what you will about the death of the print newspaper but with owner/publisher Arthur Sulzberger saying things like "I really don't know whether we'll be printing the Times in five years, and you know what? I don't care, either," well, does it matter? While traffic to "news-ish" sites like Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and CNN crushes the NYTimes, they are nevertheless the 25th heaviest trafficked of all
websites in the USA and the only true old media showing below 50 - unless you count tv in that group, like CNN.
Ten easy steps to fascism and we've already made 'em all
. If you believe the UK's Guardian, Bush has us all lined up like ducks in a row and we're F-U-C-K-E-D unless.. well.. unless someone can reverse time and bend space and in the meantime rebuild our government into a positive
Found on Flickr
. Probably one of the most amazing photos of a praying mantis you will ever see.
Black men mellow with age. Or they become more constructive. Or they sell their guns. Or they get religion. I'm not really sure. Whatever it is, it's better than become a sad old whitey.Well over half of over-40 gun deaths are white male suicides.
Vigeland Park, Oslo, Norway
Vigeland Park, Oslo, NorwayTree Shadows
Vigeland Park, Oslo, NorwayLilacs
Strange, bizarre, and alien. Or at least sometimes confused for aliens.
Surprisingly, considering the sort of FUD that people like to throw around about the United States federal deficit, we basically owe ourselves more than anyone else.Who Owns the National Debt
As far as the external debt goes with respect to GDP (we gotta be relative, right), we don't even rank in the top 20. We're way down at #50
Cafe Bar, Oslo, NorwayVigeland Park, Oslo, NorwayVigeland Park, Oslo, Norway
While it's a bit short on details, this String Theory crib sheet
is at least a good introduction to the field. Now you know where to send your liberal art pals when they start babbling about extra dimensions.
While I'm at it, I should mention the 2008 Federal Discretionary Budget poster
is available now. Go see where your money is going.
Kurt Vonnegut, the prolific and sometimes quirky writer, essayist, anti-war advocate, and all around funny guy, has died at 84
. He is probably the closest thing we had to a modern day Mark Twain.
“Robert Kennedy, whose summer home is eight miles from the home I live in all year round,” Mr. Vonnegut wrote at the end of the book [“Slaughterhouse-Five,”] “was shot two nights ago. He died last night. So it goes.
“Martin Luther King was shot a month ago. He died, too. So it goes. And every day my Government gives me a count of corpses created by military science in Vietnam. So it goes.”
Here is an earlier Rolling Stone piece
on him. So it goes.
For all your schleeps out there like me who can't seem to get your American Dream together and buy a house - you know, white picket fence with 2.5 kids running around in the yard - the New York Times has a Rent vs. Buy calculater
. With nifty graph! So.. if you don't own a house, you can at least check this out and realize how much it would cost, and then you can think: I'm awful glad I'm a schleep
72-Hour Party People
Back at Nick's house, there are Otter Pop wrappers everywhere. Otter Pop wrappers on the hardwood floors, on the kitchen tile, on the toilet seats in all the bathrooms, in the sinks, on the turntables, on the couch cushions. They are hard, plastic, sticky, omnipresent evidence that something very strange and very wicked went down in this place.
And then there is Emile, passed out on the love seat in the parlor just inside the front door, shirtless, with what looks to be dried bright-blue goo smeared all over his bare chest. Judging by the Otter Pop wrapper dangling from his fingertips, he fell deep asleep mid-pop and then failed to wake as the blue ice melted on him, drip by drip.
The doors to the TV room are now open. The big screen displays the DVD menu for Gang Bang Angels.
Looking out across the street from the patio of the Andarilho Hostel
in the Bolhão district of Porto, Portugal.
"She's 102 years old, she's from Chico, and this weekend while you doing nothing, she hit a hole-in-one" says the LAist
, referencing this Seattle Times article
But lo! I was not, in fact, doing nothing this weekend like they so presumptiously concluded. I was busy busting out 18 holes myself (despite the sub-freezing temperatures and 10 inches of snow on the ground). Never mind that I was playing Lee Trevino's Fighting Golf.. cause I hit a hole in one too.
Just to get that horrid picture off the top of this page, and also to take advantage of new traffic that is trickling in from Jaime's link
, here are some more pictures of Vigeland Park.
As usual, you should click on the pictures to see the full sized versions. I think they look a lot better that way, if you're so inclined and such.
This photo is part of the fountain, which is some of the oldest work of Vigeland in the park. Initially sketched up in plaster, it was commissioned by the city of Oslo for the front of the Parliament. However, it ended up in bronze in the Frogner fields. Sadly, I'm an idiot and didn't manage to get that damn tree in the lower right hand corner out of the way enough to crop it, but not the foot, off.
The main thoroughfare of the park leads you from the main gates through a grass mall of sorts, over a small bridge, and up a number of shallow stairways. The final steps up to the Monolith (the central culmination of the park) are barred by some very unique iron doors, as seen in this picture.
The shadows cast by the wrought iron doors were fantastic. In the background to the right, the farthest away, you can see the mall (lawn: brown) with the bridge to the forefront of that (the large cement area, with statues to the left and right). The fountain is yet closer, the center of which is bronze people in a circle holding up a bowl.
The sun was low in the sky by the time we got to the Monolith so I was able to get this fun candlestick photo, outlining the piece. Not surprising, given the name, the Monolith was carved from a single piece of granite. That must have been huge. It took three stone carvers 14 years to finish the work.
All the silhouettes of "people" that can be seen at the base are stone statues of the type coming up (and of the type found two posts below).
Vigeland was obviously into people because that is almost 100% of the subject matter in the park. As you get close to the Monolith it becomes quickly apparent that it is no different. It is basically a writhing slithering mass of people, intertwined together like a pile of water moccasins or other slimey creature. It seems to be announcing in some silent stone way that we are all, in the end, down in it; in the mud; the muck of everyday life. Somehow this is okay?
The final images impart a certain sense of serenity about the whole ordeal.
On Family, this one could be called. Or something similar. The official website
suggests that the dramatic theme of the entire park is: Man's journey from cradle to grave, through happiness and grief, through fantasy, hope and wishes of eternity.
No doubt, none of us want
to be ridden like a beast of burden but somehow, in this case, I think it's implied that there is some amount of acceptance in one's position here. So the mom is a mule to her two children. I suspect she is okay with that.
This is one of my favourite photos. There seemed to be no problems with children climbing on the statues and, in fact, it was perhaps encouraged. This girl seemed to enjoy herself, anyway.
One last iron gate. It is worth mentioning that there is a subtle but strong will imparted by the father on the son, with his fist nestled up underneath his chin. Protection, certainly, but also a vague warning. This was pointed out to me by my Norwegian friend. I got the sense that there is the slightest hint of an underlying communism (truly, for a lack of a better term) in Norway and it is either mostly repressed or only dangerous on the very fringes, like a wolf at the edge of the forest-fire light.
Me as an Afro-Caribean, according to The Face Transformer
offered by The University of St. Andrews Computer Science department:
Oslo City Hall
In Norway, the government busied itself with the surplus cash generated by it's strong oil economy by creating the Petroleum Fund
in 1990 in an attempt to deal with the likelyhood of volatile oil markets and the decline in oil income in the future. It is quite large, at US$292 billion - well over seven times the size of the US$38 billion Alaska Permanent Fund
. While the Alaska fund pays dividends to it's citizens, it has far fewer members (Alaska's population is less than 700,000) and has been going since the late 1970's.Oslofjorden
While Norwegians seem a bit miffed with certain aspects of their socialistic government (as I find any intelligent person is, in some parts, unhappy with their particular government) they seem particularly proud of the achievements of the Petrol Fund. More than one of them brought it up in separate conversation with me and they all seemed pleased that the government had instruments set in place that were meant for inflation and economic control.Oslo Piers
Not surprisingly, Norway has a pretty strong economy. They have the second largest per capita GDP in the world - no doubt part of the reason they have held back from the EU and yet the union has been happy enough to deal with them. Some Norwegians spoke of the general European perception that Norway was the quiet king of Europe, a staid and well behaved economic centerpiece. Whether these feelings are truly shared with other Europeans, it is hard to say.New Construction near the posh shopping and nightlife area of Aker Brygge
Regardless, for a tiny country that straddles the Artic Circle and is roughly the size of Montana with about the same number of people as Alabama (4.6 million people), they seem to be doing alright for themselves.
What happens when a world-reknowned classical musician sets up shop in a subway station? Will anyone notice? What does it all mean? Pearls Before Breakfast
says the Washington Post.
For now, here is one of my many Europe photos - a picture from Vigeland Sculpture Park. It is worthwhile to click on it to see the full size image.
Gustav Vigeland was a Norwegian artist and from the late 1920s through the early 1940s he spent his time making public works that he sculpted and then placed in Frogner Park, what is now known as Vigeland Park, in Oslo.