facebook twitter tumblr newsletter

Findings from around the Internet.


“his effort was to make world peace but he got caught up in the Gulf Stream”

October 13, 2014

Inflatable Hydro Bubble Rescue

The Coast Guard first encountered Baluchi on Wednesday after receiving a report about a man in a bubble off the coast of Miami, disoriented and asking for directions to Bermuda, a Coast Guard press release said. It was not clear when he started his quest.

A Coast Guard cutter found Baluchi. Officials described the craft as a “hydro pod bubble” and a man in a 2013 YouTube video called a Baluchi bubble “a big hamster wheel.” It moved along the ground as Baluchi ran inside.

In the press release, the Coast Guard said Baluchi had protein bars, bottled water, a GPS and a satellite phone. The Coast Guard conveyed the voyage’s dangers and asked Baluchi to quit his journey because he didn’t have enough supplies. But he wouldn’t leave his vessel, officials said.

Read More | “Man running in inflatable bubble rescued off coast of Florida” | Ralph Ellis | CNN


“It’s a very small expression of resistance to wear a hat”

October 10, 2014


A man who only identified himself as “Bijan” sat down inside the council chambers wearing the Starter-style snapback cap, embroidered with the slogan in the same font on NWA Raiders hats that they used for publicity shots. “We noticed Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas, the Mayor and City Manager looking at us,” says Angel Juarez, a member of CopWatch Santa Ana. “They asked Bijan to remove his hat under threat of stopping or delaying the meeting.” He didn’t.

Why? “Because it’s what I believe,” Bijan tells the Weekly.

Before public comments even had the chance to start, an angry Mayor Miguel Pulido announced that everyone needed to leave. He ordered that the television cameras not be turned on to broadcast the meeting, saying, “We find the gentleman in the hat offensive.”

Read More | “Santa Ana City Council Meeting Canceled Over F the Police Hat” | Gabriel San Roman | OC Weekly


“how is this philosophy?”

October 7, 2014


Third: Music Theory and Ethno/Musicology separate out analysis (the purview of “theory”) from history and ethnography. That’s more or less parallel to mainstream philosophy’s separation of analysis (mainstream analytic philosophy) from history and ethnography and practical philosophy. I suspect that this structural and intellectual separation of analysis from everything else is an important factor in both fields’ demographic problem. This separation allows analysis to be something of an epistemology of ignorance, a theoretical practice that naturalizes the commonsense intuitions of the most privileged members of society as “objective” knowledge.

Fourth: Mainstream analytic philosophy and music theory/composition share a route out of McCarthyism and through the postwar academic industrial complex. Both fields presented themselves as specialist practices modeled on the sciences. These specialist practices had nothing to say to or about politics or public affairs. Just read Babbitt’s “Who Cares If You Listen?” with McCumber’s “Time In The Ditch”–you can’t miss the similarities. (Even Babbitt’s discussion of the “efficiency” of post-tonal musical languages echoes analytics’ obsession with so-called “clarity.” And, if you look at the bottom of page 3 of “Who Cares,” you’ll see Babbitt dig at “nonanalytic” philosophers and implicitly identify himself with midcentury analytic philosophy.)

Read More | “What we can learn about Philosophy’s diversity problems by comparing ourselves to Music Theory” | Robin James | It’s Her Factory


a “weird crystal” can “absorb all the oxygen in a room”

October 6, 2014


if “just a spoonful of the stuff can suck up all the oxygen in a room,” then you’re looking at a very potent, seemingly instantaneous method for causing mass suffocation. Drop a few spoonfuls of these crystals into a building’s ventilation system, and… Well, you get the idea.

But the actual, far more productive implications are incredible (assuming further tests with the material pan out). The University of Southern Denmark-based researchers suggest, for example, that this could revolutionize SCUBA diving, “as the material can absorb oxygen from the water around the diver and supply the diver with it,” meaning that “scuba divers could potentially leave their tanks at home,” gearing up with just a few grains of salt. ”

Extrapolate from this for a moment, however, and imagine all of the other confined spatial environments in which oxygen-emitting cobalt salts could upend conventional thinking. Long-term submarine missions; underwater scientific bases or other submerged structures of any kind; mines, collapsed buildings, and other underground spaces; or, perhaps most interestingly, even offworld space missions could all be equipped with radically minimalized oxygen storage systems, reducing costs.

Read More | “Atmospheric Crystallography” | BLDG Blog


“the existence of victims after the fact, with their boringly gradual narratives of recovery, dilutes this imperial fantasy”

September 30, 2014

Fedor Emelianenko

If childhood for boys is a prolonged preparation for violence, then sport is the practice of making that violence incidental. Like the weather, its rulebook can’t be exactly predicted, but it’s always there in some form. For someone acquainted with and made uneasy by out-of-control schoolyard fighting, the contained version——in wrestling, or in mixed martial arts——is endlessly appealing.

The first time I saw a full MMA fight on a roommate’s bootlegged UFC tape, I felt the way an alcoholic does when he takes his first drink in youth. A total peace overcame me. The traumatized parts that had felt frail and disjointed, unable to bear any social or emotional weight, became suddenly relaxed and legible as belonging to my body. These parts had purpose in the context of men stripped to their shorts and told——no petty reason provided——to punish each other in every conceivable way. Arms could snap. Jaws could fracture. Though the rules have changed over the years, almost everything was permissible in the earliest UFC tournaments, with only eye gouges, biting, and groin strikes prohibited. The battle metaphors and concealed tension of baseball or basketball, always on the verge of bursting into a fight over one brushback pitch too many or an errant elbow under the basket, lost their pretense on the stage of MMA. The drama was not in awaiting the moment when a fight might break out, but in watching for the moment when irreparable damage arrived.

Fedor Emelienenko was a center of gravity in this universe, a pudgy Russian man just under six feet tall, who, for a brief period in the mid 2000s, was unbeatable. Nicknamed The Last Emperor, he was detached in the ring, eyes cast downward and face always neutral. He was majestic. In victory he would never sprint circles around the ring or bask in his cheers, but only walk back to his corner as if, rather than pummel his opponent into hopelessness, he had done nothing more interesting than return an email. His body wasn’t good; he was an overfull upright wheelbarrow pouring its contents into a pair of spandex shorts, and yet his upper half was nightmarishly strong, thick and iron-like. He moved with a speed that imparted a kind of animal warning. Just seeing him evoked hallucinatory flashes of the damage he could inflict, an effect that, when taken alongside his Russian Orthodox quietude, became sublime.

Read More | “Unswung” | Mike Thomsen | Adult Magazine