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Friday, May 16, 2008

It's Friday, and I've been saving some special links to mark the occasion.

* A 3-D exploration of Picasso's Guernica. Via MeFi.

* 7 reasons why sci-fi book series outstay their welcome.

* The top twenty-five Batman stories of all time. That Dark Knight Returns only clocked in at #25 may surprise you, but once you know that it's no real shock that Alan Moore takes the #1 slot for The Killing Joke, the story that saw Batgirl shot in the back by the Joker and confined to a wheelchair for life.

* The L.A. Times has an interview with Joss Whedon about Dollhouse. There's been a lot of hype about this show lately—the news that it's been given the post-24 timeslot, the news that there will only be five minutes of commercials per hour, a teaser clip at—so much hype, in fact, that I almost believe Fox isn't planning to air the episodes out of order and then cancel it after 7 episodes. Almost.

* The physics of anime.

#12 - Law of Phlogistatic Emission

Nearly all things emit light from fatal wounds.

#18 - Law of Hemoglobin Capacity

The human body contains over 12 gallons of blood, sometimes more, under high pressure.

#41 - Law of Xylolaceration

Wooden or bamboo swords are just as sharp as metal swords, if not sharper.
* Here's part of the reason Americans have gotten and are getting so much fatter: portion sizes keep increasing and unit bias induces us to eat everything we're given.

* Of course, the obesity epidemic affects more than just a single person's quality of life.

* And via Matt Yglesias, David Brooks explores our Buddhist future. And yet my guess is that the atheism debate is going to be a sideshow. The cognitive revolution is not going to end up undermining faith in God, it’s going to end up challenging faith in the Bible.

Over the past several years, the momentum has shifted away from hard-core materialism. The brain seems less like a cold machine. It does not operate like a computer. Instead, meaning, belief and consciousness seem to emerge mysteriously from idiosyncratic networks of neural firings. Those squishy things called emotions play a gigantic role in all forms of thinking. Love is vital to brain development.
Matt makes the smart point the increased concentration of capital (economic, cultural, and otherwise) in China and India will likely accelerate this process greatly.