Day: May 22, 2014

The Hidden Beauty of Airport Runways, and How to Decipher Them

The Hidden Beauty of Airport Runways, and How to Decipher Them | Autopia | WIRED

‘Almost all airport designs are governed by regulations established by the International Civil Aviation Organization to ensure pilots circling Toledo or Timbuktu remain properly oriented and deliver passengers and cargo safely.

Lauren O’Neil turns those strictures into art, with the help of Google Earth. The Brooklyn-based designer has made a meticulous study of airport runways and logged the results on a Tumblr called Holding Pattern. These views reveal beautiful compositions at airports that are nothing special at ground level…’ (WIRED).

Top 10 new species of 2014 announced

‘Although there is an estimated 10 million to 12 million living species in the world, we know surprisingly little about them. According to Quentin Wheeler, founding director of the International Institute for Species Exploration, we have only identified around two million — and species are going extinct faster than they are being identified.

That said, on average 18,000 new species are discovered every year; and, every year since 2008, the IISE and the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry announce a list of the top 10 species discovered the previous year, in order to draw attention to those discoveries. This occurs on 23 May — the birthday of Carolus Linnaeus, the 18th-century Swedish botanist who devised the modern system of scientific names and classifications.

“The majority of people are unaware of the dimensions of the biodiversity crisis,” Dr Wheeler said. “The top 10 is designed to bring attention to the unsung heroes addressing the biodiversity crisis by working to complete an inventory of earth’s plants, animals and microbes. Each year a small, dedicated community of taxonomists and curators substantively improve our understanding of the diversity of life and the wondrous ways in which species have adapted for survival.” ‘ (CNET).

A Brief Investigation of Human-Ghost Intercourse

‘A few weeks ago, Paranormal 2 actress Natasha Blasick made news for claiming to have had sex (two times, actually) with a ghost. Blasick first shared her story on This Morning, a popular British daytime talk show with a real verve for oddball guests and overwrought set design. Speaking remotely with hosts Phillip Schofield and Christine Bleakley, and accompanied by psychic Patti Negri, Blasick says, “I could feel the weight of a body on top of me, and I couldn’t see anybody, but … I could feel the energy, I could feel the warmth … and at first I was very confused with all that, but then I just decided to relax and, um, it was really, really pleasurable.”

As she speaks, a hashtag appears on the screen: #SexWithGhosts.’ (Pacific Standard)

Everything Is Broken

Everything Is Broken — The Message — Medium

‘Once upon a time, a friend of mine accidentally took over thousands of computers. He had found a vulnerability in a piece of software and started playing with it. In the process, he figured out how to get total administration access over a network. He put it in a script, and ran it to see what would happen, then went to bed for about four hours. Next morning on the way to work he checked on it, and discovered he was now lord and master of about 50,000 computers. After nearly vomiting in fear he killed the whole thing and deleted all the files associated with it. In the end he said he threw the hard drive into a bonfire. I can’t tell you who he is because he doesn’t want to go to Federal prison, which is what could have happened if he’d told anyone that could do anything about the bug he’d found. Did that bug get fixed? Probably eventually, but not by my friend. This story isn’t extraordinary at all. Spend much time in the hacker and security scene, you’ll hear stories like this and worse.

It’s hard to explain to regular people how much technology barely works, how much the infrastructure of our lives is held together by the IT equivalent of baling wire.

Computers, and computing, are broken.’ (Medium).

Revisit the Golden Age of Max’s Kansas City

Film & Audio From The Velvet Underground, The Ramones, Devo & Talking Heads: ‘You know the old joke: “if you don’t like the neighborhood, wait ten minutes.” New Yorkers know it the other way around, too. If you like the neighborhood, wait ten minutes; your local haunts will disappear. But while the physical markers of my own New York era shutter one by one, during said era all I ever wanted was for it to be the late 70s again, when you could catch such upstarts as the Talking Heads, Devo, the Ramones, Television, or Patti Smith at Max’s Kansas City. Or even earlier in the decade, when Max’s served as the NYC home base for David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and even a young Bruce Springsteen.’ (Open Culture).