Mysterious stone circles of the Middle East


Long known of but little-understood, Jordan's "Big Circles" are around 400 meters in diameter and remain a compelling mystery.

Their purpose is unknown, and archaeologists are unsure when these structures were built. Analysis of the photographs, as well as artifacts found on the ground, suggest the circles date back at least 2,000 years, but they may be much older. They could even have been constructed in prehistoric times, before writing was invented, scientists say.

New satellite imagery revealed at least two more circles, bringing the total to 13; one, in Syria, was recently destroyed. Though the circles were not hard to create, comprising of only a single low stone wall, they would have been ineffective animal corrals and their sheer enormity would have required extensive planning.

*Copyright Redux*

A sestina for free culture by William Carleton, who writes that “the form itself, where the same six words are repeated in each
stanza, lends itself to the subject of copying and transformative use.”

Read the rest

Court orders man to stop pretending to fall over

English magistrates have told a 51-year old man that he will be in trouble if he lies on the ground anywhere in the country in order to attract attention.

Easily find top rated movies on Netflix

What Is On Netflix? ranks movies based on ratings from Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB and presents a simple list. This will come in handy.

UK military slang from Afghanistan

"ALLY Term for a battlefield fashionista - desirables include having a beard, using a different rifle, carrying vast amounts of ammunition, being dusty and having obscene amounts of tattoos and hair. Special forces are automatically Ally."

Read the rest

YouTube now supports 60 frames per second

More versatility for videographers in search of smooth performance, not least among them those recording video games and sports, where 60fps is the standard.

Microsoft announces Health platform

In anticipation of "wearable devices with smart sensors that are telling us more about our lives," should anyone fancy making such a thing.
At launch, our Intelligence Engine will share insights such as:

• Which exercises burned the most calories during a workout
• The recommended recovery time based on the intensity of a workout
• The amount of restful vs. restless sleep

Over time, you will have the choice to combine your fitness data with calendar and email information from Office as well as location-based information and more. As you make more data available, the Intelligence Engine will get smarter and provide more powerful insights, such as:

• Fitness performance relative to work schedule
• Whether eating breakfast helps you run faster
• If the number of meetings during the day impacts sleep quality.

Nicely preserved teenage wooly mammoth carcass to be cloned into new wooly mammoths

Photo: REUTERS. Yuka, a 39,000-year-old baby mammoth, was found with liquid blood in her veins, a positive sign for scientists wishing to study the animal's DNA.

Yuka, a 39,000-year-old baby mammoth, was found with liquid blood in her veins, a positive sign for scientists wishing to study the animal's DNA.

A 40,000 year old teenage wooly mammoth "in surprisingly good shape" has gone on display in Moscow. Scientists want to bring her back to life, by cloning her DNA.

Read the rest

Colbert tackles Gamergate

Feminist media critic Anita Sarkeesian was Stephen Colbert's guest last night. Can you guess what they discussed? "One man, one joystick—it's right there in Sega Genesis"

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep – A graphic novel of Philip K. Dick’s original story that inspired Blade Runner

This will take some ‘splaining. This is a series of 6 graphic novels based on the novel by Philip K. Dick that became the seminal movie Blade Runner. But the hit movie, weird as it was, was so different from Dick’s even weirder novel that it is usually said that his book “inspired” the movie. They are two different beings. There are far more currents and strange inventions in Dick’s story, and it is far more out of balance. But that offset between book and movie is nothing extraordinary. What’s extraordinary about these graphic novels is that they include *every word* of Dick’s book!

Graphic novels are usually cinematic and not literary. The only words are dialog, not descriptions. This weird graphic novel about a strange world has almost as many words as pictures. You are reading a novel and watching a movie at the same time. It is a great experience and I don’t know why there aren’t more novel-ish graphic novels like it. The story contains the original genius premise of a bounty hunter tracking down sociopathic robots nearly indistinguishable from humans, but there are other disturbing subtexts and sub stories. The art is great, too. The one downside: Regrettably, the graphic novel is divided into 6 slim booklets instead of bound into a single volume, forcing you to purchase all six for the full story.

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep: Volume One, by Philip K. Dick (author), Tony Parker (illustrator) and Bill Sienkiewicz (illustrator)

Take a look at other beautiful paper books at Wink. And sign up for the Wink newsletter to get all the reviews and photos delivered once a week.

What is energy?

As long as there's been a universe, there has been energy. But what is energy? The YouTube SciShow answers that in this short video from their “World's Most Asked Questions” series.

Color palette generator for designers in a hurry


Coolors is "the super fast color scheme generator for cool designers." Just hit the space bar to see a new palette, and get inspired.

Read the rest

Neighbors unhappy about mothball-covered driveway

A Florida woman covered her driveway with at least 400 mothballs in the hope that it will prevent dogs from crapping in her yard. Neighbors are upset.

"It started off with just a few and now it's got over 400 or more," Dana Nicol said. "She drives back and forth and crushes them up with her car to make them stink even more." Neighbour Kim Bristol said she filed a complaint with the city, accusing the neighbour of causing a health hazard.


How many people are on Tinder? A fuckload

A team strategizes at the Tinder office in West Hollywood. Photo:  Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times

A team strategizes at the Tinder office in West Hollywood. Photo: Kendrick Brinson for The New York Times

An awful lot of love-hungry people use Tinder, and they use it intensely and compulsively. reports Nick Bilton in a New York Times profile.

Read the rest

Leaks to US news media are as bad as terrorism, says new Defense directive

"Unauthorized disclosures of classified information, leaks to the news media, acts of espionage, and certain other information security offenses are now to be collectively designated as 'serious security incidents,' according to a Department of Defense directive that was published this week." [FAS]