May 6, 2016

Life. Woman. Science. Visualization. Magic.

‘Science’ is just one of the 5 things that caught my eyes and ears this past week that I wanted to share with you.


Sometimes things just come together in my feed. First I saw this cartoon from Gaping Void … gapingvoid and then I read this article from Vice.

For 18- to 29-year-olds, real wages are down and living expenses are up, but fresh batches of transplants keep coming here anyway.

Art replicating society - or the other way round?


Sarah Lacey is outspoken. She is angry. Rightly so BTW. You might remember her from this ‘little issue’ she had with Uber … and her campaign continues. I don’t know the facts other than what we can all read online, but here are some words she wrote in her own publication about that company …

This is a company whose treatment of women has been so horrible that the UN Women’s group backed out of a deal with them.

… going on to write …

It’s an organization that has blamed women’s attire or alcohol intake when they’ve claimed to be assaulted in Uber cars. It’s an organization that does marketing stunts alluding to women as prostitutes.

These words are taken from her article at Pando, where she slams Arianna Huffington for taking a board seat at Uber. If you do not have a Pando subscription - the guys over at Taxi Leaks reproduced it here. Makes for a good read. I have never quite got on board the Arianna train, deleting the Huff Post, ‘rip-off journalism’ and ‘click-bate headlines’ from my feed a long time ago. But there is no doubt that her opportunism knows no bounds. Me? I add this one to her ever growing list of ‘accomplishments’, since I am at one with Phil Reeves who in 1994, referenced her in the UK’s ‘Independent’ (when most of us had never heard of her) with the label her ‘enemies’ used … “the Sir Edmund Hillary of social climbing.” Oh how high she has climbed. BTW this 22 year old article has high relevance to her current modus operandi.

Another kick in the teeth for women


In life, I have occasion to talk about science and faith. Maybe more accurately science versus faith … though why it has to be ‘versus’ is beyond me - some of history’s greatest scientists have been ‘of the cloth’. Still, the premise seems to be Science ‘keeps changing its mind’, ‘can’t make it’s mind up’, ‘doesn’t know’ … and since they ‘don’t know’ - then it is equally acceptable for them to have a theory of belief that is equally valid. It isn’t. But we will save that for another day. In support of my argument about the power of science ….. this is a super article from our friends over at Aeon highlighting that Physics is on the verge of an Earth-shattering discovery. It’s pretty amazing really. Buried in the article was this little nougat and I thought it perfectly highlighted why science is right - if flawed.

That is why, after spending nearly 60 years building the Standard Model, particle physicists are now terribly excited at the prospect of finally breaking it. The flaws of the model were well known, but no one knows what the right model might be. Theorists have been stuck for decades, exploring a vast array of ideas but lacking the data to tell them if they were on the right path. Only an experimental breakthrough can help them move forward, and the LHC might have already made it.

60 years - during which some of the best and brightest minds have consistently worked to break the model. They never assume they are right, and constantly strive to learn more. And just as they were about to discover the real world’s closest approximation to ‘42’ …. the world’s most powerful particle collider was thwarted by a weasel. Seriously!

Sometimes we need to be reminded who is in charge


Click on this link to see a fascinating visualization to solve the traveling salesman problem. ( Bet you didn’t know there was one … right ?) .. via Kottke.

Visual Thinking is powerful


And maybe a little lightness is required to finish ? Let me introduce you to Ricky Jay. Is it ‘sleight of hand’ ? Or is it ’magic? Whichever - this one is very, VERY good. via Kottke - again.

To make something appear simple is actually very hard


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