Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Hiatus and food for thought

Graduate school is about to begin, limiting the time I will have to spend on updating old ironsides here. I'll get to it when I may. In the interim, consider this:

Finite infinity:
A theoretical supernova will emit an infinite number of light rays upon its detonation, yet those light rays will reach a finite portion of the universe.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Japan, the West, and Videogames

For roughly 5 years now, the Japanese gaming industry has been experiencing a decline in its overall share of the video games industry worldwide. Numerous developers, creators, and directors have weighed in on this trend, including Tomonobu Itagaki who laid the blame on Japan's 'humorlessness.'

Bear in mind that the most iconic stars of the video game universe are still predominantly Japanese: Mario, Link, Sonic to name a few. But the last decade has seen a seismic shift in the buying patterns of consumers all over the globe. At the turn of the century, the pattern of demand was inverted, with Japanese games being highly demanded in the west, while western efforts, or gaika, went largely ignored in Japan. But much is being made today of Japan's shrinking presence in western consumption habits, even as the video game industry as a whole grows exponentially. And, while Mr. Itagaki is entitled to his opinion, it seems to me Japan has always been a niche market in the west.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. This is truly shocking. Despite fully supporting a rehabilitation-focused reset of the American prison system, my monocle almost fell out when I read this article. And yet, all statistics indicate that the system works, at least better than in America.
  2. Radiation 'weather' in Germany. Via Infosthetics.
  3. A surprisingly poignant obituary for Amy Winehouse by Russell Brand.
  4. It's looking increasingly grim for the American economy.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Pink and Blue as gendered colors is more recent than you think.
  2. We all know it's bad. Still, the graph manages to shock. Via The Browser.
  3. Bill Maher not pulling any punches
  4. Beautiful animation of one soccer player's recounting of New York's 1977 black out and attendant riots. Via Gizmodo.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Weird writing habits of famous authors.
  2. The International Community is dragging its feet for food aid to North Korea.
  3. Star Trek, here we come. Via Marginal Revolution.
  4. Our innate cooperativeness. Via The Browser.

War

In Barbara Ehrenreich's new introduction to her book, Blood Rites, she hints at a comprehensive understanding of human social organization based on the technologies we use for war. This piqued our interest here at BofHam so we decided to dig a little deeper by applying this theory to some case studies. What did we find? A sexy framework for social organization but, as with anything relating to human society and development, a few too many variables that we can't control. But sexy! We love us some sexy.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Producer surplus case study.
  2. Great infographic about the work we put in for taxes
  3. Food shortages in North Korea and the politics played with aid.
  4. Forestalling 'harrassment' with nuclear weapons.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. NKEconWatch on North Korea's housing initiatives. The degree of attention this blog lavishes on the details is astounding.
  2. More people voting with their feet. Times must be getting tough in the Hermit Kingdom.
  3. North Korea's entrepreneurship abroad.
  4. Beautiful, interactive infographic charting population movement around the world. (Although their data shows no movement from North to South Korea.) Via Infosthetics.
  5. The Year of Wonders. Via The Browser.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Moving

Time to return from whence we came. There will be a short hiatus in your regularly scheduled programming. Please check back in around July 7th.

Love,
BofHam

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Funny organizational charts. Makes me shudder at the memory of having to make these for my old employer. Nowhere is a company's self-deception more apparent than in their organizational charts.
  2. Propaganda art is hilarious. (Am I the only one who thinks so?)
  3. The circus of Russian politics.
  4. Google famously subscribes to it's "Don't be evil" mantra of its founder. Where do our morals lie though, when it comes to a trade-off between privacy and evil
  5. Painting with salt. Via The Awesomer.
  6. An excellent article describing the inescapable corruption that accompanies even the most well-intentioned designs. Similar stuff to our previous link to over-counting graves. Whiiiiiiiich...I can't find. I think I should probably rethink my organization here. 

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Falling RD in the pharma sector. Via Marginal Revolution.
  2. Sexy revolutionary activity in North Korea. Via Gawker.
  3. Scary portents of further famine in North Korea.
  4. Here's hoping this never leaves the internet. It is too powerful, too right, too important to be consigned to a $12.95 book.
  5. Here's one way to spice up baseball. Via The Awesomer.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Sad infographic about the state of the rhino. Although, it must be said, also not very clear. The static version (found here) is no better. Why they're overlaying dark gray on light is beyond me. But still...stupid urban legend-driven prices for rhino horn are nothing short of tragic.
  2. Great summary of China's foreign policy and prospects. Via The Browser.
  3. Oy. Via Marginal Revolution.
  4. Daily Show making fun of itself
  5. An extremely compelling argument to send a man to Mars. I mean extremely compelling. Seriously.
  6. Beautiful ad for Nokia from all over the interwebs today.
    Splitscreen: A Love Story from JW Griffiths on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Good history of coffee and its effects. Via Gizmodo.
  2. Where HAVE all the girls gone?
  3. Interesting read from one of the fathers of a Gizmodo editor of all people. Goes to show that any life is interesting. (Or maybe...that our fathers had way more interesting lives than us.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. One woman's explanation for why she's joining another flotilla aimed at the Gaza blockade. A clear reminder that, for all the obfuscating politics of our world, right and wrong can be, and often are, simple choices. Via The Browser. Her full account can be found on her blog.
  2. Another summary of North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
  3. According to one think-tank's algorithm, China is the most pregnant for revolution in 2011.
  4. Amazing tribute to Terminator 2 on its 20th anniversary.  Via Gizmodo.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

X-Men: First Class Review

To call X-Men: First Class a disappointment is not being fair. It is leaps and bounds ahead of the last two X-Men movies: The Last Stand and Wolverine. It is tightly directed, reasonably well-acted, and decently exciting. By any normal metric, a 'disappointment' is not the correct term for this movie.

However, I have insider information. I know some backstory to the various permutations of the X-Men intellectual property. And this background makes First Class almost unbearable to watch. It is a Frankenstein of a movie with stitches so indelicately sewing it together that I am shocked there aren't more reviewers crying foul.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Comparing North Korea with the Soviet Union. Via North Korean Economy Watch.
  2. Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Soviet Union. On the ground accounts from the people who were there, retrospectives digging into the intangibles that sparked the revolution, and what the fall initially meant for dictators the world over compared to China's template today.
  3. Visualizing our fuel reserves. Made for GE by Information is Beautiful.
  4. Fukashima is worse than our short-attention spans would like to believe

Friday, June 17, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Analysis of Washington's North Korean policies.
  2. YouTube Doubler. The link is to my following the advice found in the comments to the Assassin's Creed Brotherhood trailer. Make sure to mute the left video.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Two different views of the Republican primaries in New Hampshire. One takes them somewhat seriously, questioning whether the Republican Party is putting its George Bush years of Foreign Policy behind it. The other...well...the other's a clip from The Daily Show so you take a wild guess.
  2. An amazing series of photos of Russia's disparity, framed through the lens of their car culture.
  3. Terrifying portents of the future. Via, where else, Gizmodo.
  4. We've been Sean Bean fans since GoldenEye but getting stabbed and then ordering another pint raises our admiration to a whole new level.
  5. The true purpose of our higher faculties

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Compelling re-review of Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Via Marginal Revolution.
  2. Also from Marginal Revolution, Bitcoin's first dip and an ominous potent for where we assume currency is heading in the future.
  3. Conan gives a great commencement address for Dartmouth.

Assassins

Foreign Policy has an article discussing the legality of targeting Qaddafi, begging the question: why aren't leaders targeted more frequently?

The article shrewdly points out that no leader is particularly interested in crossing that line, leading, as it would, to reprisals and increasing the threat felt by all leaders. But pop culture and entertainment (and, depending on how far into conspiracy theories one ventures, history) is full of stories of shadowy organizations and figures who play the game of diplomacy using rather direct measures. The term 'assassin' itself is derived from the Arabic term hashishi, roughly translated to 'rabble'. It was adopted to describe the first group of assassins, famously lead by Hasan-i Sabbah, or The Old Man of the Mountain.

Monday, June 13, 2011

A few funny things

  1. This is funny
  2. This is interesting.
Good night.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Adjacencies and the 9/11 memorial. I wish I had this program back two years ago when I needed to create a matrix to satisfy just two requirements. Via Infosthetics.
  2. Haunting footage of Japan's wreckage, albeit with an epically poetic news anchor narrating. Via Gizmodo.
  3. Though this is a few days old, it's a great video. Humor makes political statements so much more effective.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Last.fm getting us to do their work them. Thankfully, their work is really cool. Via Infosthetics.
  2. The future, via Gizmodo. I'm saving up for this bad boy if he can get some decent gyroscopes to keep me from flipping over.
  3. Depressing but unavoidable realities of humanitarian aid and the numbers they use to ask for support.
  4. Two amazing videos from Gizmodo. One of base-jumping (it's a watch ad yes, but still breathtaking), the other of a funny, scary TED Talk. (Second is after the break.)

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Covers

Are covers cool? Some people think yes, some think no, some think only if the band puts their unique stamp on the song, others think only if the band does a faithful recreation. I think covers are cool in any regard, particularly this one:

The Tyler Cowen

  1. A photo essay on North Korea and an accompanying article about the unlikelihood of its imminent collapse.
  2. Music video. Via Infosthetics.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Motion Control

We're pretty tired right now so this might not be the most focused post, but after watching the entirety of Microsoft's event at E3, the cringe-inducing awkward ants are crawling all over my skin. Some of the worst offenders:

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

A good idea

We love us some time-lapse video here at Bag of Hammers. Our swiftly tilting planet surely is a thing of beauty. However, particularly as with night time-elapse videos like the one below, the effect is Earth-centric. The frame makes the mountain ranges and telescopes stationary while the stars dance and wheel above us. I would love to see someone figure out how to make the stars stationary while the Earth in the foreground circles around. While everything is relative, it would be an interesting perspective that would highlight our movement through the cosmos. Imagine the scene at 4:06 with the mountains twisting around in the foreground.


Via The Awesomer.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Halo Review

Is the Halo franchise on the wane? Perhaps. It no longer dominates the Xbox live online stats, it's records for largest entertainment launches in history have been eclipsed and re-eclipsed by Modern Warfare sequels, and the fever-pitch of a new iteration's announcement has taken a cold shower compared to the initial teasers for Halo 2.

But, while it doesn't generate the same buzz that it once did, it has aged, like a fine wine, into an iconic franchise. A staple in the modern buffet of video games. A hero with a look so recognizable as to be placed in the elite branded leagues of Mario, Sonic, and Lara Croft. We here at BofHam enjoy our Halo, though our affection is certainly tempered by the franchise's more questionable decisions. (Halo 2 tried a bit too much graphically, Halo 3 jumped the shark story-wise, etc.) But with the rumor mill whirling full-tilt with speculation about a re-release of Combat Evolved, we decided to sit down and blow through the first iteration of Bungie's cash-cow.

And boy, were we ever blown away all over again.

Smashing Friday

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Hilarious review of Wing Commander. Via Kotaku.
  2. Trials for deposed leaders.
  3. The story of economics. Via Marginal Revolution.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Kim Jong-il heads to China on his armored train again.
  2. Incredible Lego diorama. Via The Awesomer.
  3. The Bible in video-game form. Or at least content inspired by the Bible. Or at least not another Greek / Norse romp. Can't wait until Fox gets their grubby little mitts on this. 
  4. Dennis Rodman is more valuable than Michael Jordan? Via Marginal Revolution.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Our Swiftly Tilting Planet

The ponderous pace of nature seems a lot less ponderous when viewed in time-lapse. Beautiful, beautiful time lapse.

El Cielo de Canarias / Canary sky - Tenerife from Daniel López on Vimeo.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Foursquare infographic.
  2. SNL with Justin Timberlake. I'm not even sure if it's funny but they have so much fun there's a vicarious thrill to be had.
  3. Funny thoughts on The Rapture.
  4. Two bits on North Korean documentaries from 38 North. The first, an interview with a filmmaker, the second, an essay on the role of documentaries in the Hermit Kingdom.
  5. More not good news for optimists on the fall's UN decision on Palestinian statehood.
  6. Interesting science on the Earth's soil. Via Marginal Revolution.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Airplanes taking off from Logan. Those little bastards don't seem to wait long enough before jumping the queue.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

More since we've been lazy as of late.
  1. Riding the escalator. We truly live in the future.
  2. 35 years backwards.
  3. Funny, creative charts.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Jon Stewart vs. Bill O'Reilly. Do you almost feel...like...Jesus...mutual respect?
  2. David Ortiz getting hugs in NYC. Extremely feel good stuff.
  3. Breakdown of a mashup, via Infosthetics.
  4. A history of Christian Rock. Via Marginal Revolution.
  5. Big Oil in today's economy.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Serenity Review

"Wait...Buffy and Angel? Aren't those...like...vampire shows?"
Serenity has a difficult line to straddle. It must be accessible to those not steeped in Firefly's universe (not a small percentage of the population given the low ratings and subsequent cancellation of the show) while not retreading so much ground as to be redundant to the faithful (for whom, it must be noted, the movie was almost exclusively created). In short, it must be a movie for everyone and a last ditch, Hail Mary of an attempt to stir up enough interest to get the show back on the airwaves. Does it succeed? In all ways but one.

The show, after all, was never resuscitated.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

Apologies for the sudden disappearance fans, our senior editor was called away to Japan on short notice. He has returned this morning, happy to report that, despite doomsaying articles to the contrary, Japan seems to be doing well. He is also happy to report that he has not yet grown a third arm.
  1. Two articles on North Korea. One on their relationship with Burma and the other continuing the adventures of Inspector O.
  2. Portents of future conflict.
  3. Best cities to live in. Via Marginal Revolution.
  4. A photo that is rapidly becoming famous.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. An unsurprisingly graphic account of what happens when you're shot in the head.
  2. After so many awful quotes from all sides of every aisle, it's genuinely shocking to hear an articulate politician. Via Gawker.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

The flood of Osama news continues. Might as well embrace it.
  1. Funny user reviews of Bin Laden's compound.
  2. Colbert's routine celebrating Bin Laden's death isn't particularly funny until the end. And then you realize how long it's been the world has been hunting this guy.
  3. Uhhh...conservatives can't predict anything. (Hides.)
  4. Imagine you'd never seen any of the movies used to create the fake trailer. Via the Awesomer.

Firefly: Objects in Space Review

The crew.
It was not without a tinge of regret that I fired up the final episode of Firefly. Though hardly the holy grail of science fiction television that many contend it to be, the series was heartfelt, creative, and clever without being too highbrow. It managed to capture the gee-whiz appeal of science fiction without ever letting it dominate the thoroughly human characters and stories. And it is tragic to ponder the directions and advances the show could have made had it not been prematurely canceled. While 14 episodes could never dethrone TV's sci champion Star Trek: The Next Generation (at least in the minds of BofHam's elite editors), a full run might have been a different story.

But we've got a job to do here and it's not about lamenting long-dead television programs. It's about reviewing them.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

Well, they got Osama, effectively covering our normal internet watering holes in a deluge of redundancy. But here are some nice things (only one of which is about Mr. Bin Laden).
  1. Redneck carrier landing. Via The Awesomer.
  2. Just the facts regarding Bin Laden.
  3. Realists being realists. Numbers 7 and 8 are important bits of fresh air. But it is worth remembering that, without a degree of wishful thinking, nothing would ever get done. In other words, we need to think some good will come of an action for us to take that action in the first place.

Firefly: Heart of Gold Review

Firefly seems to make an economic assessment on the value of water along the lines of the econ 101 thought-experiment of the water-diamond paradox. (Said thought-experiment simply noting the primacy of scarcity over function in valuing a good on the free market.) In Firefly's future, it would appear that water is an expensive commodity, at least when bought for terraforming. The poorer the planet, the drier the climate and Heart of Gold is no exception. Unlike the wild-west styled dust-balls of Our Mrs. Reynolds and Safe, or the muddy mess of Jaynestown, Heart of Gold takes place almost entirely in a desert.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Metal Friday

Some of the best music ever put to a heavy metal guitar. Up the irons!

Hayek vs. Keynes Round II

One of my favorite things this month and front-runner for one of my favorites this year.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Great article on the economics of the Death Star. The comments are even more robust and thoughtful than the article itself. Via Marginal Revolution
  2. The best interactive weather forecaster and historical record I've ever clapped eyes on. Via Information Aesthetics.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Tyler Cowen - Fun and Stuff Edition

We're back after getting some sweat on a Filipino dance floor. There's a lot of fun stuff that's happened in the past 5 days. As such, we're breaking today's edition of links into pieces. The Fun and Stuff Edition summarizes the best things on the internet in the past five days.

The Tyler Cowen - Global Affairs Edition

We're back after some sun on the beaches of Puerto Galera. There is a lot of news to catch up on and articles to recommend. As such, we're breaking today's edition of links into pieces. The Global Affairs Edition summarizes the best writing of the past five days on global issues.
  1. Great insight on North Korea from Russia. I need to dig deeper into the Cheonan incident. 
  2. Pacifism. Via Marginal Revolution
  3. The resurgence of the veil and the broader implications of Islamism not as a religious force but a socio-political one.
  4. Another article questioning the widely-accepted connection between prosperity and democratization. I still think they're conflating revolution and democratization
  5. A sweepingly comprehensive overview of The Arab Spring. Ranging from a summary of the Tunisian tipping point to the historical comparisons to Communism and 'Common Sense' to the role of technology in revolutions. The picture it paints for the Middle East's future is not a rosy one but it is far more realistic than most analyses which look only forward. As always, a Maslow's Pyramid understanding of what's needed strikes me as the most obvious. 
"The truth of the matter is that Europe's requirements for the next three or four years of foreign food and other essential products -- principally from America -- are so much greater than her present ability to pay that she must have substantial additional help or face economic, social, and political deterioration of a very grave character."

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

Minimal updates today. Our crack team of journalists is heading to...the Philippines. For what they assure me is the scoop of the century. On a beach. Thankfully I don't pay them anything so I can't get too bent out of shape as they slowly burn to a crisp on vacation.

We'll be back in the saddle next Wednesday fans, with more of the content that you love. Until then, enjoy.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Firefly: The Message Review

Generations of charm.
Firefly continues to oscillate between the satire and the saccharine, the mindless and the maudlin. It's starting to feel like the wheels are falling off the show a little bit, particularly with the extremely weepy conclusion to The Message. Which is something of a shame, given how tight the episode feels overall. Slightly deeper research however, reveals an explanation for The Message's jarringly heavy-handed conclusion; the news of the show's cancellation came during the production of The Message. Whedon and Minear used the final moments of the episode as a vehicle for their own farewell to the show. Cast in this light, the episode's conclusion is no less jarring but is, at least, forgivably so, putting The Message up there with the series' best.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. iPhone owners...you're being watched
  2. Genetic modification promises to save us all. Not to be a cold-hearted pragmatist, but effectively stopping 1M human deaths a year isn't going to help our over-population problem now is it?
  3. OKCupid parses through it's wealth of information. Via Marginal Revolution.
  4. How to talk to a North Korean.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quick apocalypse link

The threats to our continued existence were terrifying enough without impossible to predict or forestall cosmic events. Thank you very much Cracked! (Although I do appreciate the levity with which you present these terrors.)

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Portal Kombat. Via Joystiq.
  2. Transiency. Via Marginal Revolution.
  3. Simple but effective infographics. Also via Marginal Revolution.
  4. Sexist assholes getting taken to task.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Firefly: Trash Review

Back, in all her buxomy glory (turns out 'buxomy' is not an acceptable adverbification of 'buxom' just as 'adverbification' is not an acceptable noun form of 'adverb'), is Kristina Hendricks of Mad Men fame. However, despite attempting to kill the gang in her previous appearance, Trash sees her teaming up with Mal and co. for a historic heist. It's a fun, light-hearted romp through Firefly's universe with some interesting sets and clever plans. As is the show's custom, it occasionally veers a little too close to camp for my comfort but, with a naked Nathan Fillion, who can really complain?

Fan service.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Problems in Pakistan.
  2. The origin of all language. Via Marginal Revolution. And a skeptic's rebuttal
  3. Teleportation is now a reality for packets of information. Now all we need is to get far enough away from each other where this means a damn. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Smart phones in North Korea.
  2. Yellowstone...still scary. (Scarier still after seeing 2012.)
  3. When diplomacy and humanity clash.
  4. US-Saudi relations are worsening. Somewhere, Michael Ruppert is planting his organic crops, waiting for the collapse.
  5. Capitalizing on the Arab Spring in positive, economic ways

2012 Review

My review of Inception was hardly glowing and based on some pretty unapologetic criticisms of not just the movie but the psychological soundness of those who enjoyed it. While I'm not going to back down from those comments, I will post a glowing review of 2012. That way, those who love Inception can discount my disgust as the ramblings of a madman and refer to my 2012 review as proof of my lunacy. To all the Inception fans out there: this is my gift to you.


2012 is everything a disaster movie should be.

Phoenix Friday

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Awesome summary of the universe understood through thresholds of complexity.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Awesome

Alan Simpson, a former Republican Senator from Wyoming, goes after the less attractive parts of his party. Ah catharsis is a beautiful thing.

The Tyler Cowen

Enough hating on Inception eh? Let's bask in the glory that is Eddie Izzard. May he live one thousand years.
  1. MORE The Daily Show.
  2. and MORE The Colbert Report.
  3. and! TOGETHER!
  4. More Eddie Izzard you say? Oh fine fine...

Inception Review

Here's hoping we're far enough removed from Inception's hype for a clear-eyed (and not overwhelmingly positive) review to not be met with anger.

Look serious and people will take you seriously.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fun with Lego

A weird but fun stop-motion using lego pieces. Via Gizmodo.

Ah from studio shelter on Vimeo.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. In our third Cowen in a row (?), COLBERT AND STEWART MAKE AN APPEARANCE!
  2. Krugman on the Paul Ryan plan.
  3. Post-apocalypse preview.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Richard Branson shoots for the depths in a submarine named 'Virgin Oceanic.' Wasn't Oceanic the fictitious airline that got it all started on Lost?
  2. How fast are professional athletes? Really. Effing. Fast. Via The Awesomer.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. How has this slipped past my radar? This is truly the uncanniest valley I've been in.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Collapse Review

Collapse is a documentary filmed in the spring of 2009 that deals with the pending collapse of modern human civilization. It stars Michael Ruppert, a 60-year old ex-police officer currently living in Napa County, California. 'Stars' might be a misleading word actually. Collapse is essentially an 82-minute monologue by Ruppert, interspersed with archival footage and the occasional off-camera question from his interlocutor, director Chris Smith. It is, at turns, fascinating, terrifying, and cringe-worthy.


Thursday, March 31, 2011

Monday, March 28, 2011

Firefly: War Stories Review

Over the course of the past two months, Firefly has been an enjoyable, if uneven, treat. Its strengths clearly lie in its human characters and believable dialogue whereas, no less clearly, its weaknesses are in poor production values and an over-earnestness that occasionally borders on camp. It has been genuinely scary, funny, and touching over the course of the 9 episodes seen thus far. Even with this experience however, I was unprepared for how powerful the emotional core of War Stories is.

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Funny recap of the Half Life story thus far.
  2. Breaking down how hard it is to connect the Deepwater Horizon to the oil cap 5,000 feet below the ocean's surface
  3. A not-so-rosy future for Libya.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fractured Friday

The Tyler Cowen

Foreign Policy-heavy focus of today's links.
  1. Wonderful article on Japan
  2. Eye-opening article on Qaddafi. This sort of buck-the-trend thinking is one of the things I miss most about college, even if it has some serious soft spots. 
  3. The demographic shift in global wealth by 2025 points to the importance of cities, particularly those from the developing world. It's a pretty dry article but successfully hammers home the point that investors and entrepreneurs should be paying better attention to these shifts. 
  4. Short, compelling article on the imperial nature of Obama's presidency, at least in the last month. Are we witnessing the demise of American democracy as it really starts to crumble in earnest? And, if so, does it not speak to the failure of democratic government at large? Probably not but it's still scary. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Placeholder

New original posts coming, we promise. This past week has been a blur of coding and rocking. (To whet your appetite, how do you feel about more Firefly reviews, a video game review, and an editorial in defense of hipsters?) To hold you over, here's an incredibly relaxing time lapse video of a different sort of radiation.


The Aurora from Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

Nuclear Power!
  1. We should stop using nuclear power!
  2. We should continue using nuclear power!
  3. Disney and co. have some not-exactly-reassuring support of atomic power!
  4. Some original writing from the first nuclear sub test in 1959!
Infographics!
  1. Phenomenal infographic of 2011 in the Middle East. 
  2. Hair infographic.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Tyler Cowen

  1. Couldn't have said it better myself. When will the world's policy-makers realize that nothing is done in a vacuum. Strategies must be crafted with an eye not only for the immediate impact but also the message it sends the other players. 
  2. Excellent interview regarding the status of women in North Korea
  3. Finally, an overview of the tangled mess of politics and diplomacy on the Korean peninsula
  4. And, turning to the Middle East, a series of essays supporting and condemning the international intervention in Libya.