Archive for February, 2009


February 19, 2009


In Montreal.

Virtual Magnetism

February 18, 2009

Fascinating example of somnambulism in the early 21st century. First reported in Sleep Medicine, the Fortean Times documents a case of a woman who e-mailed party invitations while essentially sleepwalking. What might be called “digital delirium”. Strange new manifestation of the mind-machine interface. A damn sight more unusual than our everyday ebb and flow of constant connectedness.

Mesmer in mirrorshades, that.

By way of Boing Boing.

At Dundas

February 15, 2009


The Darwinian Revolution

February 13, 2009

Harvard doyen Richard C. Lewontin just wrote a wonderful review essay for The New York Review of Books on Darwin and those who have recently written about him. Lewontin uses the language of revolution, both scientific and otherwise, to get across the deep, penetrating and epochal impact of Darwin’s theories. There are all sorts of things being penned about the great naturalist this year — largely a result of the anniversary of his birth and the publication of Origin — but this is one of the better brief treatments. Highly recommended.

Space Junk

February 12, 2009

Various news agencies, including the CBC, report that two satellites — an old Russian one that no longer functioned and one from the Iridium system that provides connectivity for satellite phones — collided today. This would be amusing if it wasn’t also alarming. Stuff in space, which I’ve mentioned before, has a tendency to do unpredictable things. Space junk is a genuine problem. A few years ago, an object put a dangerous dent in one of NASA’s space shuttles. The object in question? A fleck of paint. All these bits of busted satellite, in fine Newtonian fashion, are now ideal objects for causing further collisions and damage, which could lead to further debris, which could lead to further collisions, etc…

Wow, causality is a bitch…

Dead Philosophers

February 9, 2009

An article from The Chronicle of Higher Education on philosophers and death. With a one-two punch like that, how could I resist providing a link?

Via Arts & Letters Daily.


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