“The safety of cellphones has been brought into question once again by research that suggests radio waves from the devices could promote the growth of tumours. Paradoxically, the study suggests that the radiation makes tumours grow more aggressively by initially killing off cancer cells.” New Scientist
Day: October 26, 2002
Dogs prefer Bach to Britney:
“Dogs are more relaxed and well-behaved when listening to classical music, rather than pop or heavy metal, according to a new behavioural study. The researchers say the results could help dog pounds work out the best play list for calming their canines.” New Scientist
‘Jesus’ inscription found on ancient burial box
“The engraving could be the earliest archaeological evidence of the existence of the Biblical Jesus, say scholars.” New Scientist
Arts & Letters Daily to Resume Publication After Purchase by The Chronicle of Higher Education: “…Arts & Letters Daily will resume under the editorship of its founder, Denis Dutton, a professor of philosophy at the University of Canterbury, in Christchurch, New Zealand.”
‘I Am God’
Sniper Letter Linked to Movement: “An FBI spokeswoman declined to comment Saturday on whether authorities were looking into the possibility that the writer borrowed from the language of the Five Percent movement, which teaches that education and family are of central importance. It rejects drinking, drugs and fornication, as well as most accepted history, authority and religion.
The 39-year-old movement started as an offshoot of the Nation of Islam, but Five Percenters say they are not Muslims. The group teaches that black men are to be called ‘God’ and black women ‘Earth,’ and that only five percent of the population is enlightened.” Yahoo! News
Annals of Depravity (cont’d.):
Self-styled ‘vampire’ prisoner denied conjugal visits: ‘The Utah State Court of Appeals on Thursday dismissed Robert Paul Rice’s claims that the Utah State Prison is violating his right to practice his religion by failing to provide him with a “vampire” diet.
The court also showed no sympathy for Rice’s complaint that he wasn’t allowed a conjugal visit when a “vampress” is available so he can partake “in the vampiric sacrament (drinking blood.)” ‘ CNN
‘So many answers, so little insight…’
The media’s role in the sniper hunt was debated
from long before his capture LA Times
, but just watch what happens now that the facts are compared with the press’ influence and the pundits’ predictions
sunspot.net. Almost everything the TV press told us about the sniper was wrong Washington Post; the white van was an egregious red herring Austin American-Statesman. Not only that; after the arrest, the Maryland prosecutor made a statement accusing the press of creating a climate of fear
R.I.P. Paul Wellstone
Walter Mondale is reportedly about to bow to intense Democratic pressure and run for Wellstone’s seat. Washington Post
Newsblaster: An Automatic Weblogger
A review: “Newsblaster, a project developed by the Columbia NLP (natural language processing) Group, represents the next level of evolution for news on the web. The service monitors seventeen major web news services, and groups related stories together for easy access.
What’s so special about that? Isn’t that what other news aggregators do?
Yes and no. What makes Newsblaster different is that it ‘reads’ the news, using natural language and artificial intelligence techniques, and then actually writes short summaries of each major news event based on what it has ‘understood.’ And it’s remarkably good at what it does.” SearchDay [Columbia NewsBlaster itself can be found here.]
Artificial Worlds: John Benditt. Amy Bruckman. Will Calhoun. Bruce Damer. Tom DeMarco. Judith Donath. Maya Draisin. Simson Garfinkel. Dan Gillmor. General Paul Gorman. Henry Jenkins. Gerard Jones. Amy Jo Kim. Angus S. King, Jr.. Ray Kurzweil. Polly LaBarre. Jaron Lanier. Steve Larsen. Bob Metcalfe. Joe Pine. Jordan Pollack. Lauren Rabinovitz. Howard Rheingold. John Sculley. Alexander Shulgin. Alvy Ray Smith. Elliot Soloway. Warren Spector. Linda Stone. Noel Paul Stookey. Sherry Turkle. Vernor Vinge. Stephen Wolfram.
Where Net Luminaries Turn For News
JD Lasica asks the digerati about their online newsreading recommendations. Fewer surprises than I’d expected. No one mentions FmH.
Howard Rheingold: “If you know a subject well, you see The New York Times and The Washington Post completely blow it…” OJR
Star Speeds Around Milky Way’s Black Hole
“After tracking its motion for 10 years, astronomers have caught a star careening around the supermassive black hole at the Milky Way’s center. Their observations, reported in tomorrow’s issue of Nature, provide definitive proof that a roughly 2.6-million-solar-mass black hole lurks at the core of our galaxy.” Sky and Telescope
A movie of a star orbiting the black hole, and an explanation of the significance of this finding, are here.
In related news, astronomer sees distant black hole ‘eat’ star. CNN
Reportedly, a fully-functional Segway clone built using Legos.
Methuselah the Worm?
Gene tweaking safely doubles lifespan: “A US team has doubled the lifespan of the nematode worm with no apparent physiological side affects. The key to what appears to be uncompromised longevity is to silence a gene involved in ageing at just the right point in a worm’s life cycle.” New ScientistF
You don’t have to hold your nose?
For Massachusetts voters: consider disarmament activist Randall C Forsberg‘s write-in campaign for the U.S. Senate. Anyone appalled at presidential aspirant John Kerry’s support for the Congressional resolution on Iraq can go in another direction. It’s riskfree, too, because Kerry has no major-party opponent on the ballot. And while you’re at it, don’t forget to throw out the thinly-veiled anti-immigrant agenda of the bilingual education referendum question (2), and to uphold the Clean Elections preferences we voted in four years ago.
Daily Telegraph Project
As Simon says, this guy is cool. [via Experiment] Explore further around his site; don’t fail to view his personal history of corruption, for example.
Also via Simon, look at this Biblical genealogy.
Drop Bush, Not Bombs:
Anti-War Activists Rally in Washington:
‘One graphic sign showed Bush’s face at the end of two bright red bombs with the caption: “Drop Bush, not bombs.” Another demonstrator’s sign said: “Regime change begins at home.” Bush administration policy holds that a “regime change” must come about in Iraq, by force if necessary.
Saturday’s march around the White House coincides with anti-war demonstrations in San Francisco, Rome, Berlin, Copenhagen, Tokyo and Mexico City. Organizers say they expected the combined participation of hundreds of thousands of people.’ Washington Post
form bartcop [via adam]
Dead Parrot Society:
Paul Krugman (now apparently thoroughly relishing repeatedly his place in the crosshairs of the Rabid Right): “Despite his public image as a plain-spoken man, President Bush is in fact as slippery and evasive as any politician in memory“. NY Times
Who Am I This Time?
Say Hello to Sanjeep, Er, Sam: a hilarious piece on American corporations’ attempts to Americanize their Indian technical support personnel as they migrate their tech support to the Indian subcontinent. Wired
Who Will Get $500,000 for Tip Leading To Suspect?
No Claimants Yet for Reward, But Some Fear Messy Battle Washington Post