Now, this thing doesn't come close to the output of powered speakers. Duh. But it does increase the volume quite a bit and layers the sound with a subtly echoey and organic vibe. But that isn't really the point. It's a wonderful curiosity at the intersection of nature, art, and technology. And it's beautiful to boot. Vomhof and Zinsmaster have launched a Kickstarter to bring their prototype design into full production. Pledge $60 and, if they hit their goal of $10,000, you'll receive your own Shellphone Loudspeaker early next year.
This image, taken by artist David Liittschwager shows the plants and animals collected in a square meter of South African public park over the course of 24 hours.
This image, from National Public Radio, illustrates the plants and animals found over the course of two nights and three days in an Iowa cornfield.
Robert Krulwich has a fascinating piece about the ways food systems affect ecological systems. How efficient is too efficient?
Via On Earth
(Video link) It feels like Nicolas Cage is in every single movie, but he actually isn't! He's just in quite a few of them, and I commend him for keeping busy. But what if he really did make his way into some of our most beloved movies? Through the magic of editing, Pleated Jeans has inserted Mr. Cage into a selection of classic movies so we can, for a short time, imagine how much better everything would be with him in it. Because My Girl? Such a downer. But not with Nicolas Cage. (via Flavorwire)
Atmospheric rivers are meteorological phenomenon that we humans only discovered in 1998 and which supply about 30-to-50 percent of California's annual precipitation. In the NOAA satellite image above, the atmospheric river is visible as a thin yellow arm, reaching out from the Pacific to touch California. Or, more evocatively, reaching out to slap California silly with a gushing downpour.
An atmospheric river is a narrow conveyor belt of vapor about a mile high that extends thousands of miles from out at sea and can carry as much water as 15 Mississippi Rivers. It strikes as a series of storms that arrive for days or weeks on end. Each storm can dump inches of rain or feet of snow.
The real scare, however, is that truly massive atmospheric rivers that cause catastrophic flooding seem to hit the state about once every 200 years, according to evidence recently pieced together (and described in the article noted above). The last megaflood was in 1861; rains arrived for 43 days, obliterating Sacramento and bankrupting the state.
As you might guess, climate change is also involved. Evidence suggests that warming global temperatures could increase the frequency of atmospheric rivers. That, combined with the 200-year event expected soon and the fact we're learning so much much more about these storms, means that you should expect to hear the phrase "atmospheric river" more often.
Scientific American has two interesting stories on the phenomenon right now. The first, which I quote from above, is a blog post by Mark Fischetti. The second is a much longer feature story that gets into the forces that cause these storms and the climate change connection.
The evil bakers at Eat Your Heart Out showcase these custom-made, specially commissioned hyper-realistic chocolate baby heads, suitable for an infanticidal feast. They won't say who commissioned 'em, but I'm guessing whomever it is has plans for a hell of an office Christmas party.
A private commission (that’s all we can say), they are solid white chocolate baby heads, and the same size as the head of your average newborn baby. They also TERRIFY me! As I was tweeting earlier there is something SO disturbing about these heads but I just can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s as they have no body, or maybe it’s just as they are a baby’s head?!? Either way I am so proud to be heading up a movement which leads to the creation of amazing edible works of art just like these. We’ll be using them in a project very soon I am sure!!!
On Thursday, a military judge, Col. Denise Lind, accepted the terms under which Private Manning would plead guilty to eight charges for sending classified documents to WikiLeaks.
The judge’s ruling does not mean the pleas have been formally accepted. That could happen in December.
But she approved the language of the offenses to which Private Manning would admit, which she said would carry a total maximum prison term of 16 years.
Private Manning made the offer as a way of accepting responsibility for the leaks. Government officials have not said whether they would continue prosecuting him for the other 14 counts he faces, including aiding the enemy. That offense carries a maximum penalty of life in prison.
Democracy Now has an interview with Julian Assange, speaking from inside the Ecuadorean embassy in London, where he has been holed up for about six months. Assange speaks about his new book, "Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet," about the EU ruling that credit card companies did not commit a crime in blocking payment to Wikileaks. And, Bradley Manning's pre-trial hearing.
Laina Walker, aka Overly Attached Girlfriend, is quick on her feet at the American Music Awards.
Andrew Auernheimer, aka “weev,” the hacker found guilty last week of computer intrusion for obtaining the unprotected e-mail addresses of more than 100,000 iPad owners from AT&T’s website and passing them to a journalist, has an opinion piece in Wired News today.
Auenheimer, who founded troll group Gay Nigger Association of American and once said "some big Jews" would love to serve him a summons, sees his conviction as an unjust way to AT&T punish the messenger, rather than owning responsibility for a weak system.
In the Wired op-ed, he argues that hackers should forget about disclosure, and keep what they learn of security holes to themselves.