Huh, not quite so sure on the need for the timezone alterations (in favor of a unified world timezone) but the harmonized calendar would be rather nice. However, deciding when major holidays fall (which day of the week) would be difficult I think.
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have discovered a way to make time stand still — at least when it comes to the yearly calendar.
Using computer programs and mathematical formulas, Richard Conn Henry, an astrophysicist in the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, and Steve H. Hanke, an applied economist in the Whiting School of Engineering, have created a new calendar in which each new 12-month period is identical to the one which came before, and remains that way from one year to the next in perpetuity.
Under the Hanke-Henry Permanent Calendar, for instance, if Christmas fell on a Sunday in 2012 (and it would), it will also fall on a Sunday in 2013, 2014 and beyond. In addition, under the new calendar, the rhyme “30 days hath September, April, June and November,” would no longer apply, because September would have 31 days, as would June, March and December. All the rest have 30 (Try creating a rhyme using that.)
“When journalism was local, the math of reporting was pretty simple: you found a trend, an event or an issue that was important and you wrote about it. After all, you were the voice to your readers. Being in sync with a hundred or a thousand print journalists around the world was important, otherwise your readers woul’d be left out of a story everyone else knew about. And being in sync let a reporter know she was working on the right stories. It wasn’t lazy. It was smart. Your job was to report to the people in your town first, and to report what would be important tomorrow, which was the same thing everyone in every other town was doing.”—
The world’s is facing uncertain times: revolutions, Occupy protests squelched by all-too-liberal uses of police pepper spray and batons, and the looming threats of NDAA and SOPA hanging over our heads. It’s a lot to think about.
In the meantime, here’s a video of a bearded dragon playing Ant Crusher with its tongue:
Wow, time flies. I remember seeing it in the theater and thinking it was pure magic. It was easily one of the greatest films I’ve ever seen in a theater because I was totally transported back to being a little kid and reading the books.
I also remember the rumors for years that the movie was getting made than it wasn’t getting made — with plenty saying it would be impossible to make. Not only did Peter Jackson do it, he did it better than anyone could have ever imagined. Those three films are three of the best ever made in any genre.
While art direction in big budget games is largely a race towards the photorealism, it seems that the fashion world would like to be virtual. The clothing retailer H&M has admitted that their lingerie models are too good to be true.
“It’s not a real body; it is completely virtual and…
“The idea that press freedom is about protecting journalists is anachronistic, something we have pasted onto an older idea. When Thomas Jefferson wrote about press freedom, the idea of a professional journalist didn’t exist in any modern sense. His ideas were motivated by the dual legacies of licensing and censorship. In the 17th century, censors regulated presses so tightly that only licensed printers could operate and they could publish only books explicitly approved by the queen. For Jefferson, a protection for a particular, favored business would have smacked of exactly the sort of licensing scheme he was trying to avoid.”—Why We Should Stop Asking Whether Bloggers Are Journalists - Rebecca J. Rosen - Technology - The Atlantic (via infoneer-pulse)
“This is a joke. This bill will have very little impact on jobs directly. And of course the money that people don’t pay to the MPAA, they spend somewhere else. So this is about the distribution of jobs, not the number.”—Economist Dean Baker’s assessment of the MPAA’s bold claims about job losses due to piracy, in a long but well-worth-it analysis of the SOPA fight over at Huffington Post. (via arlpolicynotes)
“But more importantly, Universal argues that its takedown is not governed by the DMCA in the first place. In a statement supporting Megaupload’s complaint, CIO Kim Dotcom had stated “it is my understanding” that Universal had invoked the DMCA’s notice-and-takedown provisions. But UMG says Dotcom got it wrong: the takedown was sent “pursuant to the UMG-YouTube agreement,” which gives UMG “the right to block or remove user-posted videos through YouTube’s CMS based on a number of contractually specified criteria.” In other words, when UMG removes a video using YouTube’s CMS, that might be a takedown, but it’s not a DMCA takedown. And that, UMG argues, means that the DMCA’s rule against sending takedown requests for files you don’t own doesn’t apply.”—
Well great. This is fantastic. So they have the law, and then they also have extra deals that allow them to make an end run around the law? Our freedom of expression is being controlled by a secret agreement that we can’t see the contents of, can’t appeal, and didn’t really know existed until now. And these guys “need” more legal powers to do things like this? Yeah, right.
A harrowing look at parallels between the Great Depression and the Long Slump. He advances an alternative model for the causes of both, and proposes a solution for the fundamental economic restructuring that he feels is required to fix things.
(Via Marco Arment)
“Passage of the Stop Online Piracy Act or Protect IP will send a loud signal to governments everywhere that it is fine to monitor and censor citizens’ online behavior to catch and prevent “infringing activity,” which too often means political and religious dissent.”—Online piracy laws must preserve Web freedom - CNN.com (via arlpolicynotes)
“What if the library building is gutted and turned into classrooms and graduate offices (universities always need more of those!) and the librarians were fully embedded in their College. This builds upon the special library model in which the librarian works at and is paid by a particular College. This could be feasible in a digital world—we’re not there yet, but getting closer every year. How might this change the relationship between the faculty and the librarians with the Colleges investing in such professional positions?”—
An interesting look, but I find the proposed model unlikely for its dependence upon a paperless environment. I’ve lived through the “paperless office”, and so I find myself skeptical about that aspect, not really the rest of his point.
So, so now THIS IS TRUE. I’ve also heard (from people who live there) that it’s not all due to consumption though.
No quite that much, it is ‘only’ 136$ pr kg, which means an American whit a 20kg baggage limit can get 2720$ for a round trip that cost 600$ from the East coast.
Another source says this:
According to a domestic news site I just visited, the reason for the shortage isn’t the low-carb fad, but because we have fewer milking cows, those cows are giving a lot less milk than usual, and additionally that milk is low in fat and ill suited for butter production. The decrease in milking cows is a known trend, but the other two factors are caused by poor quality feed, a consequence of a season of bad weather.
Apparently, the butter consumption has only risen by about 7%.
Unprecedented cuts by the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service will slow first-class delivery next spring and, for the first time in 40 years, eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day.
The estimated $3 billion in reductions, to be announced in broader detail later Monday, are part of a wide-ranging effort by the Postal Service to quickly trim costs and avert bankruptcy. They could slow everything from check payments to Netflix’s DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carrier to far-flung suburban and rural communities.
“Mexico’s National Institute for Anthropological History has also tried to counter speculation that the Mayans predicted a catastrophic event for 2012. Only two out of 15,000 registered Mayan texts mention the date 2012, according to the Institute, and no Mayan text predicts the end of the world. “There is no prophecy for 2012. It is a marketing fallacy,” Erik Velasquez, etchings specialist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, told Reuters.”—Yay archaeology!
BBC News - Mayans ‘did not predict world to end in 2012’