Monthly Archives: April 2008

Yochai Benkler: Open-source economics

Law professor Yochai Benkler explains how collaborative projects like Wikipedia and Linux represent the next stage of human organization. By disrupting traditional economic production, copyright law and established competition, they’re paving the way for a new set of economic laws, where empowered individuals are put on a level playing field with industry giants.

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Felton, California, will go Totally Linux

i-61dadb9c68f2f211888e5e03ecfc21e8-linux_cut.jpgOn July 4th, a significant percentage of Felton, Calif., will go Microsoft-free for one week…maybe an entire month. Maybe for good. The arrangements have been made and the news is going forth in Felton. Businesses and home users alike are excited about one of their own — Larry Cafiero of HeliOS Solutions West in Felton — joining a committed group of volunteers into their town to show them a better way to operate their computers. For a week…maybe a month…If things go right, we can start talking about forever.

This is part of the LINdependence 2008 project. Details can be savored here.

The Ultimate Blogging Pants


Designer Erik De Nijs, has stitched together this eye catching pair of “Beauty and the Geek” jeans. These “modern shaped trousers which are often worn by youngsters..” are the perfect solution for Googling quick exits while running from the fashion police. Built into the knees are a pair of crotch rocking speakers, around the back you have the added convenience of a back pocket for your “mouse”, and for you gamers, there is a joystick controller located just behind the front zipper. As usual, there are additional pics after the jump.

Check them out HERE.Hat Tip: Ginny

Meltdown at Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant

The Chernobyl Meltdown happened on this day in 1986. i-e2a7f324b13ae36293e04a2119b58d06-chernobyl_hydroceph.jpg

On 26 April 1986 at 01:23:40 a.m. (UTC+3) reactor number four at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant located in the Soviet Union near Pripyat in Ukraine exploded. Further explosions and the resulting fire sent a plume of highly radioactive fallout into the atmosphere and over an extensive geographical area. Nearly thirty to forty times more fallout was released than Hiroshima. The plume drifted over parts of the western Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Northern Europe, and eastern North America. Large areas in Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia were badly contaminated, resulting in the evacuation and resettlement of over 336,000 people. According to official post-Soviet data, about 60% of the radioactive fallout landed in Belarus. *

From the UN’s Chernobyl site:

Recent research has shown that people in the Chernobyl region still lack the information they need to lead healthy, productive lives. Information itself is not in short supply; what is missing are creative ways of disseminating information in a way that induces people to change their behavior. Moreover, propagation of healthy lifestyles is at least as important as providing information on living safely with low-dose radiation. To improve the population’s mental health and ease fears, community activists will be mobilized to deliver truthful and reassuring messages to dispel the misconceptions surrounding Chernobyl. *

Chernobyl Legacy (Film) SitePhotos by Robert KnothThe Chernobyl Forum Publication (PDF)

Brian Greene: The universe on a string

In clear, nontechnical language, string theorist Brian Greene explains how our understanding of the universe has evolved from Einstein’s notions of gravity and space-time to superstring theory, where minuscule strands of energy vibrating in 11 dimensions create every particle and force in the universe. (This mind-bending theory may soon be put to the test at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva.)

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Earthquake Dangers

Did you ever notice how when there is one earthquake in the news, more follow right away, often leading to the impression that earthquakes come in clusters? Well, maybe they do come in clusters, but if they do, it is not the cluster you are observing on the news. That is entirely an effect of copycat journalism.The recent earthquake in Illinois was, unfortunately for the journalistic appetite, not followed by any other really interesting earthquakes. So instead, we have two news items about earthquakes that have not happened … yet … Continue reading Earthquake Dangers

New NCSE Video


“Teaching Creationism in Schools,” the second in a series of videos produced by NCSE, debuted at on April 23, 2008. The brief video presents three incidents in which NCSE helped concerned citizens to resist assaults on the integrity of evolution education. In the video, NCSE’s Eugenie C. Scott explains: “If we’re going to have good science education, now and in the future, we have to support people like Erec [Hillis], people like the citizens of Dover, and people like the citizens in Kansas, and we have to put out those brushfires. And NCSE is going to be there until the last fire is out.”

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New Poll Reveals Overwhelming Opposition to Teaching Intelligent Design Creationism in Schools

A new poll asks “Do you think the thoery of Intelligent Design should be taught in our education system? Respondents to this on line poll were given the options: Yes, No, Not Sure, and What is it?The results show that nearly 90 percent of respondents oppose teaching ID in schools.i-fc71eefa8f7bdc754fa8a9c445cd3412-idpoll.jpgAlmost no one was unsure, and just under six percent claim to not know what ID is.The poll was conducted by Expelled The Movement, a MySpace group.[source]