Paul Robinson: The Philosophy of Punctuation
Book taste linked to dreams: If you like fiction, your dreams are likely to be stranger but you’ll remember them more readily. Fantasy readers have more nightmares and ‘lucid’ dreams. “The research also suggests children who read scary books are three times more likely to have nightmares.” What does ‘suggested’ mean here? The adult findings probably mean that personality type shapes both reading preferences and types of dreams — correlation but not causation. While it is not hard to understand how reading a child a scary story might cause a nightmare, will it shape her personality so that she has a lifelong tendency toward nightmares? I doubt it. BBC
The Gauss Rifle:
A Magnetic Linear Accelerator — “This very simple toy uses a magnetic chain reaction to launch a steel marble at a target at high speed.” [via leuschke]
There are terrific tools (like PGP and GPG) for encrypting your mail. If somebody along the way looks at the mail they can’t understand it. But they do know you are sending encrypted mail to your pal.
The answer: encode your message into something innocent looking.
Your messages will be safe and nobody will know they’re encrypted!
There is tons of spam flying around the Internet. Most people can’t delete it fast enough. It’s virtually invisible. This site gives you access to a program that will encrypt a short message into spam. Basically, the sentences it outputs vary depending on the message you are encoding. Real spam is so stupidly written it’s sometimes hard to tell the machine written spam from the genuine article.
Israeli Device Detects Cell Phones Acting as Bugs: ‘With a slight modification, cell phones become high-quality bugs. An owner can call the phone from anywhere in the world without it emitting a ringing tone while its screen remains blank, apparently turned off.
“The beauty of the cell phone as a bug is that it’s an innocent looking and ubiquitous object,” said Ben Te’eni, co-founder of Netline Communications Technologies, which has developed a device for detecting cell phone communications, especially from cell phones in apparently dormant mode.’ Yahoo! News
Patenting the Harvard Scientist: ‘In a new phase of the battle to patent living organisms, the parents of one of the Harvard scientists credited with creating the Harvard Mouse are seeking a patent on their son. Says the mother, “clearly our Harvard Son meets the test of being a composition of matter that is novel, useful and not obvious.” ‘ This is from 357 Magazine, a unique publication where each article is exactly 357 words in length (with title, excluding by-line). ” But why 357? You can say at lot with three hundred and fifty seven words, but you’re not in much danger of saying too much. It’s a bit haikuish in that you have to think what every word does. You don’t have too many to spare. Each one has to mean something. Even the ones you leave out, especially the ones you leave out, have to really mean something.”
Film: Material Witnesses: “An itemized casualty list of calamities across multiple nations, The Trials of Henry Kissinger is something of a microcosm of the 2002 Human Rights Watch festival itself. Condensing Christopher Hitchens’s enraged deposition into 80 lucid minutes, directors Alex Gibney and Eugene Jarecki map out Kissinger’s collusions with Nixon and Ford in the short-circuiting of the ’68 Paris peace talks, secret bombing of Cambodia, upending of democracy in Chile, and savaging of East Timor. The revered elder statesman becomes Machiavellian tyrant-as-apparatchik, driven equally by chillingly abstract realpolitik and panting power lust. Hitchens & co. sometimes press their case too hard (as when they posit Kissinger as the virtual lone gunman who distended the American war in Vietnam by four years) and remain hazy on the logistics of charging him in international court. Quibbles aside, though, Trials is an indispensable primer on U.S. foreign policy—especially during wartime.” The Village Voice
Film: Stray Dogs: “Ten years on, American independent moviemakers seem to have come to terms with the anxiety of Quentin Tarantino’s influence — the guns-&-blather template no longer gluts Sundance, and third-generation straight-to-tapers like 4 Dogs Playing Poker and Gunblast Vodka occupy only nominal Blockbuster shelf space. Not so with the British, whose industry’s ironic-gangster saliva glands are still in overdrive, and whose reawakened taste for legendary Swinging London hoodlums scans oddly like cultural pride.” The Village Voice
Potter trailer making magic on the Web: “A teaser trailer for the next Harry Potter film has been posted on the Internet, movie studio Warner Bros. said on Tuesday.
The teaser lasts for only 30 seconds but is enough to let fans have a look at Dobby the house elf, a character introduced in J.K. Rowling’s second book, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets…Warner Bros… will release the film in the United Kingdom on Nov. 15, 2002.” CNET
“If the past 18 months have been what policy looks like with Karl Rove only partly in control, one shudders to think what comes next.” Paul Krugman on The Rove Doctrine: ” For the most distinctive feature of Mr. Rove’s modus operandi is not his conservatism; it’s his view that the administration should do whatever gives it a political advantage. This includes, of course, exploiting the war on terrorism — something Mr. Rove has actually boasted about. But it also includes coddling special interests.” NY Times op-ed
Neutralizing Bush Critics: “For the president, the drama of the dirty-bomb threat and its successful interdiction … sent a clear warning to those Congressional leaders who are preparing to focus a long political season on how the nation’s intelligence-gathering system broke down during Mr. Bush’s watch.” NY Times news analysis
“Big Bird needed to molt…” Children’s TV Catches Up With How Kids Watch: “The assumption that very young children can’t sit still to watch long narrative stretches on TV has been proven wrong.” NY Times