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Having leisure time is now a marker for poverty, not riches


In Post-Industrious Society: Why Work Time will not Disappear for our Grandchildren, researchers from Oxford's Centre for Time Use Research argue that there has been a radical shift in the relationship between leisure, work and income. Where once leisure time was a mark of affluence, now it is a marker for poverty. The richer you are, the more likely you are to work long hours; while the poorer you are, the fewer hours you are likely to work every week.

The researchers theorise multiple causes for this. Poor people are more likely to be underemployed and unable to get the work-hours they want (and need) to support themselves. Rich people are likely to work in jobs that disproportionately advance and reward workers who put in overtime, so a 10% increase in hours worked generates more than 10% in expected career-gains.

They also claim that rich workers are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs, but I'm skeptical of this -- I think that relative to unskilled workers doing at-will 0-hours temp work whose every move is constrained and scripted by their employers, this is probably true, but I don't think that the white-collar world is producing a lot of people who think that their work is meaningful and rewarding.

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Google Street View now lets you 'go back in time' to view previous captures of a place


"If you see a clock icon in the upper left-hand portion of a Street View image," explain the Googles, "click on it and move the slider through time and select a thumbnail to see that same place in previous years or seasons."

This is kind of neat. From the Official Google Blog: "Starting today, you can travel to the past to see how a place has changed over the years by exploring Street View imagery in Google Maps for desktop. We've gathered historical imagery from past Street View collections dating back to 2007 to create this digital time capsule of the world."

HBO reruns to be offered through Amazon Prime Instant Video


HBO will sell reruns of hit shows like "The Sopranos" to Amazon Prime. (HBO)

HBO and Amazon have announced a deal through which the cable TV network will offer reruns of many hit shows on Amazon's Prime Instant Video platform. The shows to be sold include "The Sopranos," "Six Feet Under," "The Wire," "Girls" and "Veep," as well as HBO miniseries like "Band of Brothers" and original features such as "Game Change."

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TOM THE DANCING BUG: Lucky Ducky, in "State of Denial"

Tom the Dancing Bug, IN WHICH Lucky Ducky’s entire state is saved from the ignominy of federally funded healthcare.

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BCnF: build, certify and fly your own homemade airplane


BCnF (build, certify and fly) hobbyists make their own airplanes from scratch or out of kits, extensively customizing them, and then get them certified by the FAA and take them into the air. The US has more 32,000 registered homemade airplanes. BCnF makers produce everything from racers to fabric-covered biplanes. This post is a good introduction to the fascinating world of BCnF, and is a great place to start if you're thinking of kit-bashing your own flying machine.

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Syria's lethal Facebook checkpoints

An anonymous tip from a highly reliable source: "There are checkpoints in Syria where your Facebook is checked for affiliation with the rebellious groups or individuals aligned with the rebellion. People are then disappeared or killed if they are found to be connected. Drivers are literally forced to load their Facebook/Twitter accounts and then they are riffled through. It's happening daily, and has been for a year at least." Anyone have any corroboration for this? Cory 8

CATable desk designed for humans and cats

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The CATable integrates crawl spaces to keep your kitty happy. (Laughing Squid)

Accused murderer wants "murder" tattoo hidden pre-trial

New slt chapman

This gentleman is Jeffrey Wade Chapman who will soon go to trial in Barton County, Kansas for first degree murder. Chapman's attorney has filed a motion requesting that before the trial Chapman be permitted to have a tattoo artist cover up his client's tattoo -- the word "MURDER" in mirror image -- because it "is irrelevant to the State’s case and would be extremely prejudicial to Mr. Chapman if introduced at trial or observed by the jury.” The State doesn't oppose Chapman's covering the tattoo but will not transport him to a licensed tattoo shop, and it's illegal for a tattoo artist to practice anywhere else. (Great Bend Tribune)

How science fiction influences thinking about the future


Eileen Gunn writes, "What's science fiction good for? The May issue of Smithsonian magazine has an essay on the relationship between science, science fiction, and the future by Boing Boing buddy Eileen Gunn. Major writers -- Ursula K. Le Guin, William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, Samuel R. Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, Cory Doctorow and others -- talk about why science fiction likes to think about the future and how SF can be used to help scientists think about the uses and ethics of their inventions. The rest of the issue covers science and ethical issues of the near future."

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Marvelous 18th century secretary cabinet

Please enjoy this video of my new writing desk with its hidden compartments, clockwork mechanisms, chimes, inkwell, and sand sifter. It was built in the workshop of Abraham and David Roentgen during the 18th century and previously owned by King Frederick William II. OK, fine, it's not mine. But it will be. Someday. SOMEDAY! (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, thanks Bob Pescovitz!)

Video: Bringing back extinct species

In recent years, the possibility of reviving extinct species by recreating their genomes has become a reality. First on deck for "de-extinction" are the wolly mammoth and passenger pigeon. But is this a good idea? KQED's QUEST takes a look: "Reawakening Extinct Species"

Loch Ness Monster photo on Apple Maps?

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Does this image of Loch Ness from Apple's Maps app depicts Nessie or the wake of a small boat? Unfortunately, I think it's the latter as we all know the Loch Ness Monster more closely resembles a pleiosaur than a giant catfish. (Forbes)

Phone phreakers' anthem

Brad sez, "A few decades ago, phone phreaks spent all of their free time learning about the Bell telephone system and making free phone calls to each other. This song by Bonecage attempts to capture that era, and the footage for the video was contributed by phone phreaks (and ex-phone phreaks) around the world."

Stephen Colbert on David Letterman

Last night Stephen Colbert sat down with David Letterman. The conversation is fantastic.

I will dearly miss Letterman, however I haven't been regularly watching the show in years. I remember sneaking after my bedtime, as a young kid, to watch Dave and Paul in the early 80s. Hal Gurnee's network time killers changed my life.

I can not wait to see Colbert's version of the Late Show. I'm already a fan!

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Petition against UK sell-off of private tax data

Pam writes, "The Open Rights Group has set up a petition in response to last week's news that the British government is planning to sell access to private tax records."

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