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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A few more.

* #Nabokovfail.

* Scenes from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

* Nations must invest $37 trillion in energy technologies by 2030 to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions at sustainable levels and meet energy needs, the International Energy Agency warned today.

* A woman is six times more likely to be separated or divorced soon after a diagnosis of cancer or multiple sclerosis than if a man in the relationship is the patient, according to a study that examined the role gender played in so-called "partner abandonment."

* Picasso and his love of Japanese erotic prints.

* Always start your viral marketing campaign after your show is already doomed.

* The New Yorker takes down Superfreakonomics. I like this coda from Crooked Timber a lot:

Kolbert’s closing words are, however, a little unfair.
To be skeptical of climate models and credulous about things like carbon-eating trees and cloudmaking machinery and hoses that shoot sulfur into the sky is to replace a faith in science with a belief in science fiction. This is the turn that “SuperFreakonomics” takes, even as its authors repeatedly extoll their hard-headedness. All of which goes to show that, while some forms of horseshit are no longer a problem, others will always be with us.
Not unfair to Levitt and Dubner, mind you, but to science fiction. After all, two science fiction authors, Frederick Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth, had their number down way back in 1953 with The Space Merchants (Pohl, amazingly, is still active and alive).
The Conservationists were fair game, those wild eyed zealots who pretended modern civilization was in some way “plundering” our planet. Preposterous stuff. Science is always a step ahead of the failure of natural resources. After all, when real meat got scarce, we had soyaburgers ready. When oil ran low, technology developed the pedicab.
The Space Merchants is truly great, incidentally. Read it if you haven't.

* Twenty years after the Berlin Wall. The "click to fade" images are stunning.