Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ancient Greek Computer Alive in Legos

Thanks to Nick for the tip on this! :)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Origin of Species - Animated, for Kids!

 "The aim of the series is to educate children in an interesting and informative way about evolution."
      ~Bob Etchingham

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wind-up BIKE! aka - the Flywheel Bicycle

Here see Maxwell von Stein show you his flywheel bicycle. This piece of work earned him the Nicholas Stefano Prize for an outstanding mechanical engineering awarded by The Cooper Union. Read more about it on SciAm!

Links with your iced tea

One of my old favorites - onegoodmove - periodically has "Links with your coffee."  I've always liked these quickie updates and therefore will link with whatever drink I'm craving at a particular moment here on TPG.

Being somewhere in the center of the oppressive heat index I present you
              Links with your Iced Tea.   
                         Bits of information swirling around my head...

Tour de Fat! Kicks off tomorrow in Durham, North Carolina Saturday June 25th. Go Todd and Meg! Fly the Fort Collins, Colorado banner HIGH.

Post with the Most - Blog post contest on Tom Paine's Ghost is now closed.  A full list of entrants is coming soon. Winner to be announced July 4th, 2011.

I joined the National Trust for Historic Preservation and was immediately disappointed in the distinctly moneyed-east-coast attitude pervading the completely disconnected article on stopping renewable energy projects for fear they will "drastically compromise the integrity of the landscape." 

First New York Times article this month that caught my eye - My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant  By JOSE ANTONIO VARGAS - NYT's 20 article limit not so scary when I consider maybe I'll look at a handful a month.

Thought this job posting for Director of Sustainability at Wikimedia was my dream job until I realized it was a different kind of "$ustainability."  My approach would have been to rebuild all Wikipedia offices with the help of the Amish somewhere in the Pacific northwest where their funding would come from local barter of eggs, chickens, sheep's wool, honey, and kale. Since almost all other commerce in the United States is floating on a large bubble of oil.

Still trying to write this interactive blog-post linking the singularity, nerve regeneration using pig veins and spider silk, and spider silk protein made with genetically engineered goats! Trying to synthesize these ideas into a post about being able to accomplish secular reincarnation by wiring a human brain into an animal's body. Imaging hooking into a whale's nervous system as a literal after-life.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Illusion of Certainty - via WSF

The Illusion of Certainty brought to you here on TPG via the World Science Festival.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Motivated Reasoning

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Four Days to Post with the Most!

The 2011 POST with the MOST competition on Tom Paine's Ghost will soon be closed to new submissions.

You have until midnight on June 21st, 2011 to nominate any post on any blog ever written you feel has power enough to change the world.

Nominate by commenting here, emailing me, or @PwtM or #PwtM on twitter - link to your nomination!

The winner will be selected by a secret panel formed to judge superiority in the realm of revolutionaries.

As I have been happily distracted lately this year's list of entries is short. We have four days to scour the internet in search of the fountain of youth, the goose that laid the golden egg, and most importantly, the POST with the MOST. Please please please link (http://bit.ly/ee4zX9), retweet, mention, and NOMINATE! Nominate YOURSELF, your friends, your mother. It's all good. Winner gets $100 and a certain publication on epically sacrificed trees.

POST with the MOST entries so far include -
Single, Saved, and Sewn In: The Gospel of Getting Your Hair Done by Ashaf
Nuclear Engineer on Japan Nuclear Disaster by Evelyn Mervine
Nothing to plunder – the evolution of Somalia’s pirate nation by the Southern Fried Scientist

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Who's House? OUR HOUSE!

"Who’s House?  OUR HOUSE!"
Chanted the crowd on June 14th, 2011.  Prior to arms around the capitol in Madison, WI, a rally led by Mahlon Mitchell (President of Proffessional firefighters of Wisconsin).  People sang loud and proud ‘We will overcome”, while holding hands surrounding the capitol so as to allow no one in.  A response to Governor Scott Walker's disregard for the rights American workers have struggled decades for.  

Collective bargaining makes this country great to live and work in.  It separates us from China and Mexico where cheap goods are made at the expense of human rights.  The People of Wisconsin are mad.  There are better ways to fix a broken budget. 

The voice of the people was to no avail.  “Acting with unusual speed, the state Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the reinstatement of Gov. Scott Walker’s controversial plan to end most collective bargaining for tens of thousands of public workers. jsonline

The court found that the hasty backroom legislation by the Wisconsin GOP did not in fact violate the open meeting law it was accused of.  A shady act committed by the right shortly after last year's elections, while members of the democratic minority were out of state, a strategy used to stall negotiations.  A video of some of wisconsins current state of politics can be seen here.

Even Worse…

Leinenkugels, The Milwaukee Brewers, New Glarus, and Stevens Point.  Beer.  This shit just kills me.  Scott Walker's attack on craft breweries. Just five days ago tucked neatly into the governors budget was a provision to make it more difficult for craft breweries to operate in Wisconsin.  The provision will make it illegal for craft breweries to sell directly to liquor stores and restaurants, and preventing them from selling their own products onsite.  The craft brew industry is one that has continued to grow despite the recession in nearly all areas of the country.  This is small business expanding and actually creating jobs.  Scott Walker who calls himself a “champion of small business” wants to treat these breweries as if they were big corporations.  It's only fair I guess since MillerCoors donated $22,675 to his campaign.

 I wonder if he puts ice cubes in his bud light? 

Wisconsin has always been an idyllic place.  It is the home of Richie Cunningham and Eric Foreman.  It provided the setting for “Grease.”  Good, wholesome, hardworking representations of America.  Then there is the Green Bay Packers, the NFL’s third oldest team.  A team owned by the community of Green Bay and named after factory workers who canned (packed) meat.  Named after the people and owned by the people.  It is a shame that this State's good reputation of community is being steamrolled by big business (Koch bros) and greed (Scott Walker).  I really love however, to see the people get mad and I’m damned sure that Wisconsonites will overcome and get the recall they desperately deserve. 

I was recently at an event in which Steven Weinberg, arguably one of America’s brightest scientists, gave a speech on the future of big science.  In the address he stated that “We need to make a teaching career look attractive to our best college graduates.”  I could not agree more.  I mean God forbid we have intelligent people working in government.  You aren’t helping, Scott.

“The role of Government is to help those who cannot help themselves.”
-Abraham Lincoln

The role of government is not to “know what’s best” and rule deceptively.  

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Jesus Emerges from an Alternate Universe

In an act of guerrilla reporting from the World Science Festival in New York City last week Inflaton - the newest TPG affiliate captured this entertaining bit of logic vs. faith. This iPhone gem was shot just moments after Steven Weinberg delivered the inaugural On The Shoulders of Giants address titled - The Future of Big Science. I wonder the probability of the Webb space telescope seeing Jesus seared on the side of a piece of cosmic toast?

Friday, June 10, 2011


‘We the people’ takes on a literal meaning for the people of Iceland this year as the government has reached out to the populace to help draft a new constitution. In the wake of economic collapse, and protesting, the government of Iceland has decided to script a new constitution. Brand new, unlike the original drafted in 1944 which is a tweaked version of Denmarks constitution.

This truly transparent new document is on the internet and citizens have a duty to examine it and send in their own tweaks, truly making it by the people and for the people. It can go without saying that everyone won’t get what they want, however if enough voices are heard on enough issues, the document will be the greatest example of democracy in the world.

The great communicator (internet) is proving to make leaps and bounds for this world in a very short time it seems. The people are able to come together, as we have seen in Tunisia , Egypt, Libya and others. I have hope that our species will persevere. Speak Out!

On the other hand… Back here across the water. Ego’s continue to get in the way…

Friday, June 3, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Science in the Constitution of the United States of America

Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution reads -  

"To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"

This bit codified prose is pressing on my mind.  Is it possible that promoting the "Progress of science" now requires a new approach different to that agreed upon over two centuries ago?

World Science Festival 2011

Hello from New York City. For all you faithful Tom Paine's Ghost readers out there you may have noticed a marked decline in my actual written-word of late.  Apologies as I was composing my dissertation and being distracted with flowering aloe plants good music and LOVE all at the same time.  Having defended my dissertation and driven a few thousand miles I am here in New York City to live-blog the 2011 World Science Festival.

I am a big fan of the overall mission of this festival which is...

"The Mission of the World Science Festival is to cultivate and sustain a general public informed by the content of science, inspired by its wonder, convinced of its value, and prepared to engage with its implications for the future."

Keep your eyes here at Tom Paine's Ghost and catch me blogging for the official WSF blog over the next few days!

PS - please excuse grammatical and spelling mistakes for the time being. I am of the philosophy that content is more important than the frame it is presented in. I promise I will  go back and tidy it up after I come up for air sometime next week but for now you get my thoughts raw!