Posts Tagged ‘Happy Mutants’

BBC to track a shipping container around the world: The Box

09 Sep
The BBC is sticking a GPS in a shipping container and sending it around the world in order to reveal the secret lives of these giant steel packets:
We have painted and branded a BBC container and bolted on a GPS transmitter so you can follow its progress all year round as it criss-crosses the globe. The Box will hopefully reach the US, Asia, the Middle East , Europe and Africa and when it does BBC correspondents will be there to report on who's producing goods and who's consuming them...

Surprisingly, this project will not be costing the BBC much over and above the coverage costs for the editorial content.

Whilst we have paid a little for the branding of the box and some technical costs the fact this is a working container means it will be earning its own keep.

We are keeping our fingers crossed the Box does not fall overboard (it happens) and that it gives us a better understanding of what ties countries and continents together.

The Box takes off on global journey (via Futurismic)

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Heinlein’s fan-mail solution

09 Sep
George sez, "Kevin Kelly describes how Robert Heinlein dealt with fan mail before PCs."

Heinlein engineered his own nerdy solution to a problem common to famous authors: how to deal with fan mail. In the days before the internet, Heinlein's solution was fabulous. He created a one page FAQ answer sheet -- minus the questions. Then he, or rather his wife Ginny, checked off the appropriate answer and mailed it back. While getting a form letter back might be thought rude, it was much better than being ignored, and besides, the other questions you did not ask were also answered! Indeed, it is both remarkable and heartwarming that Heinlein replied at all to most mail. Can you imagine other great authors doing the same -- even with a form letter? Heinlein's form is very entertaining to read because you are forced to reconstruct the missing requests.
I love these, especially the slightly grumpy ones about whether authors can be reasonably expected to answer essay questions as part of a student's homework assignment! Oh, and the answer to "I love your work, but your latest story stank," is spot-on perfect. Heinlein's Fan Mail Solution (Thanks, George!)

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Animated spider Flash toy

08 Sep

Play With Spider is a remarkable, Flash-based 3D animated spider that set my skin a-crawl within seconds of loading, You can even drop little insects for it to feast on. Don't miss the sliders for ultimate creepiness. Play With Spider (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)

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Mickey Mouse bridges the culture war when teaching evolution to evangelical students

25 Aug
David Campbell managed to slip evolution into the high-school science curriculum in the conservative Florida town where he teaches -- by using images of Mickey Mouse through the years to illustrate the principle:
On the projector, Campbell placed slides of the cartoon icon: one at his skinny genesis in 1928, one from his 1940 turn as the impish "Sorcerer's Apprentice," and one of the rounded, ingratiating charmer of Mouse Club fame.

"How," he asked his students, "has Mickey changed?"

Natives of Disney World's home state, they waved their hands and called out answers.

"His tail gets shorter," Bryce volunteered.

"Bigger eyes!" someone else shouted.

"He looks happier," one girl observed. "And cuter."

Campbell smiled. "Mickey evolved," he said. "And Mickey gets cuter because Walt Disney makes more money that way. That is 'selection.' "

Teacher shows that science, religion don't have to clash (Thanks, Andrew!)

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