Tuesday, May 31, 2005


from SciTech Daily:

mind_mapping site
Organizing knowledge as a concept map means you have to understand what you're mapping

update, June 3: I was particularly interested in using this as a possible site map tool (for a website), because it can automatically create web pages out of the tool. However, I've since decided that it will not help me enough because (1) it is not very flexible in shape styles, etc., and (2) it forces the page that comes up to come to a new browser window. I needed the resulting page to be in the same frame. I will be using image maps.

Monday, May 30, 2005

things that make you go hmmm

from Arts & Letters Daily:

Suppose they invent a drug that enables your child to learn to play piano quickly and easily. Would you give your kid the piano pill?... more»

My opinion rests only with whether or not to give these things to kids. I would vote no, because it is during the childhood years that all of those brain cells are developing. We don't know what all the side effects are. If we want to mess up as a grown up and end up with some side effects, that's one thing. But if we subject our kids to possibly bad side effects and cause them to suffer later in life when, given the "natural" methods, they simply would have worked towards their talents, then it is irresponsible parenting.

nature-deficit disorder

from SciTech Daily:

Save our children from nature-deficit disorder.
the article . . .

Saturday, May 28, 2005

split infinitive

My father hates split infinitives. He can get passionate in his discussions about them. I've smiled and nodded, but have not been sure what they are. So, here are the results of my research:

Here's a link to the definition. So, apparently, an infinitive is something that is one word in many languages (but two in English --> to + verb). In the definition, they mention Latin and Greek, but my memory of French and Spanish (and, I would guess, all romance languages) recalls that all of those infinitives are one word.

So, I guess that the person who objects to them being split in English has just been so well trained in languages that have them as one word that it is almost a molestation (or, substitute a less delicate word) of the infinitive to have an adverb stuck in the middle of it.

eh. It is as it is.


learn something new every day (from bartleby.com) . . .

abracadabra - magical formula used by the Gnostics (see Gnosticism) to invoke the aid of benevolent spirits to ward off disease and affliction. It is supposed to be derived from the abraxas, a word that was engraved on gems and amulets or was variously worn as a protective charm. Handed down through the Middle Ages, the abracadabra gradually lost its occult significance, and its meaning was extended to cover any hocus-pocus.

makes me think about my son

'nuther, from Arts & Letters Daily:

Mathematicians move around in a reality parallel to the rest of us: they see numbers where we see words, equations where we see poetry... more»

thinking about the rest of the world

one way we can think about the rest of humanity and its welfare is to keep up to date with what the UN is doing.

Friday, May 27, 2005

thinkin' about the world

This article got me thinking about how we hope for people. It can also be called "crossing your fingers" or even praying for someone. Here's a portion of that article, translated for a more universal audience:

When you hope for good things to happen to others, remember to do so on a global scale. Rather than limit your hopes to family and friends, reach out in peace. Enfold the people throughout the world, including world leaders, in your peace-filled thoughts. Envision that each person is guided by love and peace in order to find the right ways to live in love and peace with others. Although distance separates you from these people, hoping for them, or "crossing your fingers" for them, bridges the gap toward unity and peace brings you together in harmony.

I thought that this was a particularly poignant message for folks who get very caught up in nationalism, or for people who feel drawn to the slogan, "God bless the good guys". It is so easy to get caught up in that at the expense of hoping for peace between the nations. It can be seen in the media most especially.

The original excerpt from the article:
"When you pray, remember to do so on a global scale. Rather than limit your prayers to family and friends, reach out in faith and love. Enfold the people throughout the world, including world leaders, in your faith-filled thoughts. Envision each person divinely guided in finding the right ways to live in love and peace with others. Although distance separates you from these people, prayer bridges the gap toward spiritual unity and peace brings you together in harmony."

Thursday, May 26, 2005

the sun in moderation

sunlight can be good for you (duh...)
here's the article

The Darwinian vs. God Contest

a joke from Beliefnet.com:

One day a group of Darwinian scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one Darwinian to go and tell Him that they were done with Him.

The Darwinian walked up to God and said, "God, we've decided that we no longer need you. We're to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don't you just go on and get lost."

God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the Darwinian was done talking, God said, "Very well, how about this? Let's say we have a man-making contest." To which the Darwinian happily agreed.

God added, "Now, we're going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.

"The Darwinian said, "Sure, no problem," and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.

God looked at him and said, "No, no, no. You go get your own dirt!"

sarcasm science

from SciTech daily:

Oh, you're being sarcastic are you? Sorry, I didn't get it...


no virtual orchestras allowed!

from http://www.andante.com:

American Ballet Theatre and Musicians' Union Reach Deal to Ban 'Virtual Orchestras'
Associated Press - 24 May 2005
Read Article

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Brand "Hillary"

By crafting an evolving politics that's uniquely her own,Senator Clinton has won supporters in unlikely places.

sorry, H.G. Wells

from SciTech Daily:

For budding time travellers, the future (or should that be the past?) is starting to look bleak
the article . . .

Wal-Mart vs. Target

Found this blurb at the Buy Blue site:
In Crain's New York Business, Wal-Mart whines about not being welcomed with open arms into New York City even though Target is doing well there


I watched the Patty Hearst special this week. The group she'd been "abducted" into was the SLA - the Symbionese Liberation Army. There were underpinnings in the footage taken of the SLA, mentioning how our government is run by fascists. This rang a bell with me, since my brother runs a site which is dedicated to that idea. I'm hoping you're working on being an activist in peaceful ways, bro'.

Adin Ballou


shared by a friend on the UU Christian Fellowship Listserv.

church meets state

New York Times: Church Meets State
Published: May 15, 2005

EVERYONE, it seems, wants to get religion. Since the re-election of George W. Bush our magazines and newspapers have been playing catch-up, running long articles on the evangelicals and fundamentalists, an alien world the press typically ignores. Anxious Democratic strategists have issued pleas to find common ground with the religious center on issues like abortion, and elected officials have dutifully begun baring their souls in public. This is a media bubble, and like all bubbles it will burst. Far more interesting and consequential has been the effort to reinterpret history to give religion a more central place in America's past -- and, perhaps, in its future.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The Universal Language

from christianitytoday.com:

If Latin died in our mouths, we'd just stop talking.
Reviewed by Preston Jones

Latin a "dead" language? Don't say that anywhere in the vicinity of B&C contributing editor Preston Jones. "If Yiddish were erased from contemporary English," Jones writes, "we'd have a hard time talking about bagels, pastrami, klutzes, and schmucks. If we dumped Dutch, we'd be without cookies, Yankees, bundles, and booms. If we bid au revoir to Hindi, we'd be at a loss when contemplating bandannas, cheetahs, jungles, and shampoo. If we said aloha to Congolese we'd have a tough time ruminating on funky gorillas, zebra zombies, and mojo boogie. Sans Arabic, we wouldn't know about algebra, algorithms, and almanacs. But if Latin died in our mouths, we'd just stop talking; or, at best, we'd be left mostly with monosyllables bequeathed to us from the Angles and Saxons—requiem aeternum dona eis, Domine." Jones is reviewing our Book of the Week, Tore Janson's A Natural History of Latin (Oxford Univ. Press).


some blogs

Here are blogs of folks who have commented on the misccubed blog:

Just Call Me Charles and Pias at Home - a recent commenter and his fiancee
the pansi files - another commenter; mostly strange barbie pictures
Robyn - yet another; blogs of a practicing witch
G - and another
SwissToni - yep, another
Dr. Forbush - 'nuther
Iraq pictures - ditto

9 out of 10 historians agree

Yes, it's Alternet, a group that is inherently not a fan of Bush, but this article does "peek" my interest:
Bush: Worst. President. Ever.
Sure it's like hearing that ice is cold, but when 4 out of 5 historians agree, ears perk up. The author writes: "HNN [a project of George Mason U.] surveyed 415 historians and, without hanging chads or un-auditable electronic voting machines, the answer is at hand. Yes. Yes he certainly is [the biggest failure in history]." Want specifics? Historians wrote: "In terms of affable incompetence the worst since Harding...In terms of general lassitude and cluelessness, the worst since Coolidge..." (News For Real)


from SciTech daily:

article: Physics was the superstar of the sciences, but that was sooo last century

Monday, May 23, 2005


here's something I may look into (from scitech daily):
"Put scientists, humanists, artists and countercultural explorers together and you get a New Alchemy."

I recently read The Alchemist, and am now reading it with my son, who finds it quite interesting. He's in the middle of the Narnia books, and I just finished them. The Alchemist is of a similar style, though I don't know that its author was targeting children when he wrote it. It's real cool to have my son so interested in "pondering".

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Friday, May 20, 2005

shoe pedometer

Who needs Mom when your shoes can monitor your exercise and control your couch potato habit

Thursday, May 19, 2005

scouts n sex?

Here's an article I will be interested to read. However, I suspect that I will not entirely agree with the authors:

Jennifer Gerarda Brown, Ian Ayres, AlterNet
Many people who might otherwise allow their sons to join the Boy Scouts might be less willing if they knew they had tosign a sexual orientation disclosure statement.

darn media

Danny Schechter, MediaChannel.org
In St. Louis last weekend citizens met to discuss ways to'take back' a media beholden less to democracy than to thebottom line.

Bill Moyers, AlterNet
In this highly anticipated speech the veteran publicbroadcaster takes on the PBS coup and its right-wingengineers who are 'squealing like a stuck pig.'

By Grace Hanson, Utne.com
Journalists, politicians, activists, educators, and citizens participated in last weekend's National Conference on Media Reform. From the bloggers to Bill Moyers, much was said about the state of media and where to go from here.

Chapel of Glass

Most people associate stained glass with the colorful windows found in churches. And the name most widely associated with stained glass is Louis Comfort Tiffany. Now imagine a chapel built almost entirely of glass and that is exactly what Tiffany built in 1893.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

marissa (BETA)

I like this blog. It's weird. :-)

cannabis & info-overload vs IQ

from SciTech daily:

The distractions of constant emails, text and phone messages are a greater threat to IQ and concentration than taking cannabis
the article

Monday, May 16, 2005

gay bishop

Interesting docs regarding the Anglican Communion, and the current discussions regarding what the communion means, and whether the different churches around the world are remaining in it, with the ECUSA's blessing of a gay bishop (in August 2003).

On being excommunicated. Good quote: "In [Saint] Paul's thinking it does not seem possible that a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ can opt out of fellowship with his people, no matter how odd or different they may appear to be."

Sunday, May 15, 2005

A More Secure World

Here's a movement from the United Nations:

Recent news on this: link

my favorite "cartoon"

I'm thrilled to find out that my favorite "cartoon," Wallace & Gromit, will have a movie this fall. Here's the official website.

American English

My Linguistic Profile:
40% Yankee
35% General American English
15% Dixie
10% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern


from Yahoo!Picks:

For those who enjoy spending time in just two dimensions, this one's a must. A collaborative blog "devoted to illustration, art, cartoooning, and drawing," Drawn! functions as a sort of Picks for visual artists. Each post describes one or more sites, and is archived in such categories as comics, film and TV, animation, and design. (Some days as many as five sites are listed.) Among this cornucopia of links you'll find Calvin & Hobbes, Spiderman, The Office's Ricky Gervais (as a teddy bear!), Norman Rockwell, Walt Disney's Oswald the Rabbit (the precursor to Mickey Mouse), and an isometric pixel art tutorial. But keep browsing; whether you're interested in the highbrow, lowbrow, or no brow, you're bound to find something you like. (in Weblogs)

Friday, May 13, 2005


The UnGoogle
Which Web powerhouse was started by two Stanford geeks as a simple search page with a silly name and became the biggest thing on the Internet? Nope, not them. Try again. The invisible giant turns 10.
By Michael S. Malone

mmmm, video games . . .

Dome Improvement
Pop quiz: What's behind the surprising rise in IQ? (Hint: Stop reading the great authors and start playing Grand Theft Auto.)
By Steven Johnson

Thursday, May 12, 2005

savannah cat

What's Up, Pussycat? Whoa!
Here's an article about a 35 lb cat breed. Interesting . . .

Hillary and Newt

Oddly, Hillary and, Yes, Newt Agree to Agree
Newt Gingrich has been talking up Hillary Clinton's presidential prospects in 2008, to the chagrin of conservative loyalists.

international relations

By Tom Barry, Salih Booker, Laura Carlsen, Marie Dennis, and John Gershman, International Relations Center
Quagmires in Iraq and Afghanistan have led many at home and abroad to question the effectiveness of a US foreign policy based on military domination. An alternative, according to a group of foreign policy strategists, is to abandon unilateralism and adopt an approach based on old-fashioned cooperation and Roosevelt-era common sense.

Sunday, May 08, 2005


The In Crowd
Need a filter to make sense of your info-soaked world?

All Thought Out?

The intellectuals are dead! Long live the intellectuals!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

brain vs reading

Learning to read triggers certain universal brain accommodations, no matter what the language
Read more . . .

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hitchicker's Guide celebration

As Douglas Adams taught us, we all need to keep a sense of proportion about our place in the universe
Read more . . .

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

what is normal?

from SciTech Daily:

What is normal when it comes to brains, behaviour and emotional life?
Read more . . .

Depression is a disease that damages body organs, not a character-building creativity generator
Read more . . .

We’ve come a long way since we thought mood disorders were about cells talking to each other. Now we know it’s about cells talking to each other.
Read more . . .