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Post #4044

Friday Links believes that the aliens are already among us

Here’s a video called Mark Wahlberg talks to animals:

(Thanks Jack.)

About half-way through the video, Wahlberg speaks to a chicken. This reminds me: you know how many birds there are in the world, actual individual birds? One hundred billion.

You know what birds there are most of? Domesticated chickens. There are 24 billion domesticated chickens alive right now. That means that if you are talking to a bird, there is a one in four chance it is a domesticated chicken.

Origin of birds: birds are tiny dinosaurs.

An iPhone docks that expresses alarmclockness:

Alarm Dock, by Areaware.

From via frog’s product design team, who say:

Alarm clocks, calculators, and cameras are some of these disappearing products. The smart devices themselves are shrinking so much that they don’t offer a lot of opportunity for formal expression either – especially since most of their physicality happens to be a screen. … [but this is also an opportunity.] These iPhones serving as alarm clocks now could use a dock that expresses “alarm clock” as well as those flip clocks did years ago. Like the feeling of a phantom limb, there is a form that feels right and like it has always been there. Augmented by a flip clock app, this dock made by Areaware returns meaningful form to the sliver of a device that will wake you up.

From Denise, a little pointer to Emily Post’s 1922 guide to etiquette, Etiquette in Society, in Business, in Politics and at Home. The chapter on Conversation contains some advice which might be well-taken for users of social media:


The faults of commission are far more serious than those of omission; regrets are seldom for what you left unsaid.

The chatterer reveals every corner of his shallow mind; one who keeps silent can not have his depth plumbed.

Don’t pretend to know more than you do. To say you have read a book and then seemingly to understand nothing of what you have read, proves you a half-wit. Only the very small mind hesitates to say “I don’t know.”

Above all, stop and think what you are saying! This is really the first, last and only rule. If you “stop” you can’t chatter or expound or flounder ceaselessly, and if you think, you will find a topic and a manner of presenting your topic so that your neighbor will be interested rather than long-suffering.

Remember also that the sympathetic (not apathetic) listener is the delight of delights. The person who looks glad to see you, who is seemingly eager for your news, or enthralled with your conversation; who looks at you with a kindling of the face, and gives you spontaneous and undivided attention, is the one to whom the palm for the art of conversation would undoubtedly be awarded.

Here is the Hindenburg flying over Manhattan in 1936/1937:

Not Just a Perch for King Kong, via david galbraith on the twitters.

Alice recommends Beyonce’s performance of “Run the World” at the Billboard Awards 2011:

Too right! The play between illumination, Beyonce, real/projected, and huge screens is electric. It’s like you can see her aura, and her aura is performance. Powerful!

Hey, humans could have geomagnetic sight (via @bruces):

The ability to see Earth’s magnetic field, thought to be restricted to sea turtles and swallows and other long-distance animal navigators, may also reside in human eyes.

Tests of cryptochrome 2, a key protein component of geomagnetic perception, found that its human version restored geomagnetic orientation in cryptochrome-deficient fruit flies.

Two immediate associations:

ONE – this is the North Paw anklet from Sensebridge.

A North Paw is an anklet that tells the wearer which way is North. The anklet holds eight cellphone vibrator motors around your ankle. A control unit senses magnetic north and turns on and off the motors. At any given time only one motor is on and this motor is the closest to North. The skin senses the vibration, and the wearer’s brain learns to associate the vibration with direction, giving the wearer an intuitive sense of which way is North.

TWO – you know that light is polarised? That is, it wiggles in a direction, like up/down or side-to-side. In 3d theatres, the lenses in the glasses are polarised in two different ways to pick up two different pictures.

Yet human beings are already able to perceive the polarisation of light. The sense of it is called Haidinger’s brush. It is very faint, and visible because the blue cones on the retina lay circularly around the centre of the retina. Each cone molecule is longer than it is fat, and responds better to light which is wiggling in the same direction it lies. Sweet.

I would like to see the magnetic field-lines of pop.

From Simon, here is a cat caught barking like a dog by a human, which then resumes meowing:

Cats are parasites on the flows of social interaction between living things.

Between all particles in the universe, there is a constant interchange of exchange particles carrying force, virtual particles popping in and out of existence, negotiating interaction.

Between all people, there is a constant flow of favours, emotion, status, power, love, hate, redirected attention. Cats feed on these, like whales filtering plankton from the sea.

Whale baleen.

Humans never worked to domesticate animals. They flocked to us to feed on us, thriving on us like the weird pockets of life around deep ocean volcanic vents.

Who’s to say that there aren’t similar pockets of life emerging on the internet, feeding off the energy expended by YouTube comment fiends, and the vast computing capacity dumped into the internet oceans by spam engines?

The Search for Internet Intelligence:

A non-human intelligence operating within and at the scale of the global communications network is possible. Such an intelligence would have a huge impact on our global civilization. We seek tools and skills for detecting such an intelligence with falsifiable and scientific evidence.

(Thanks Matt Jones.)

Alien life could already be here.

Oh, here’s a thing:

Rainmaking bacteria that live in clouds may have evolved the ability to spur showers as a way to disperse themselves worldwide, a recent study found.

There’s life in the clouds.

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