Lifes Worth Knowing

Archive for April, 2012|Monthly archive page

The Weekender

In Beauty, Fascinating, General, Interesting, Justin, Nature, Science, Thoughtful on April 22, 2012 at 8:17 pm

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

Epic in so many ways. When Planet Earth came out a few years ago, it was mandatory Sunday night viewing in our dorm rooms. Very few shows were appointment television in college because of all that “studying” all the time, but Planet Earth was something different. It was something like we had never seen before, and I love BBC America for throwing this twist and launching a promo video featuring kids as narrators. Some of them stick to the script and some of them don’t…dropping gems like “I would never eat a fly because I like cheeseburgers” and “Ok, so the grizzly bear is like, ripping their heads off.”  Love it. (via kottke.org)

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The End of Childhood

In Uncategorized on April 19, 2012 at 8:57 pm

It’s a funny thing isn’t it? That moment when one of tethers that connects you to some small part of your childhood becomes severed, and just like watching a balloon drift out of reach and into the clouds, you can lose a part of yourself into the fog of memory. We all have these moments when a concrete part of our past is lost. Whether it is seeing your parents move away from your childhood home, or getting rid of your first car, or realizing that all of your favorite TV shows only run on TV Land or Nick at Night anymore. Losing a touchstone to your past can be a traumatic experience. This past week I had to deal with one of these moments, but at least I was able to share my sadness with the country.

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The Weekender

In Birth Control, Current events, General, Interesting, Justin, Maps, Nature, Science, Ted Talk, Thoughtful on April 13, 2012 at 7:55 pm

The Weekender is a weekly column devoted to the ideas/articles/videos that I find fascinating and wish I had more time to explore.

I, for one welcome our new monkey overlords. The study of language is one of my under-explored interests on this blog. Ever since being introduced to Noam Chomsky and that idea that the language that we speak can have a direct impact on our view of the world, I have found linguistics fascinating. One of the hallmarks of our humanity is that we have a written language…something that we thought was uniquely human. This study showed that baboons can learn to “read” English words. While it is too much of a leap to say that they understand language, it is interesting nonetheless. The experiment basically rewarded a monkey for determining if a word was real or not. A positive response for the word “wasp” would return a treat, a positive response for the word “telk”… no treat. At the end of the study, the baboons could get the right response 75% of the time. Let that sink in for a moment…baboons can determine real English words from fake English words. Nature is awesome.

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The Weekender (Vacation Edition)

In Fascinating, General, Justin on April 8, 2012 at 9:34 am

The Weekender was on vacation this week, taking the family out for a little camping trip, and thus not being able to cobble together a full post for the week, so today just two links; an update from last week and a fascinating, paradigm destroying archaeological find.

The Ghost Ship Sinks. We covered the incredible story of this Japanese trawler last week. But, to sum up – this abandoned vessel was cut loose from it’s moorings in the Japanese tsunami and has been drifting across the Pacific for over a year. It was recently spotted off of the coast of Alaska, and after it was determined that this unlighted and unmarked vessel posed a safety risk for commercial traffic, the Coast Guard did what Americans do best…they unleashed holy hell.  Cannon fire from the Anacapa sunk the ship in a little over four hours. The ship formerly known as Ryou-un Maru now rests under 6,000 feet of water

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