Epic Photocopier Explanation

Scientists are the coolest.

[via The Daily What]

July 30, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Auguste Comte: Atheist Pluralist

Auguste Comte. Inventor of sociology and positivism. Yeah, yeah. Here’s what really impressed me:

Although we tend to think of atheists as not only unbelieving but also hostile to religion, there is a minor tradition of atheistic thinkers who have attempted to reconcile suspicion of religion with a sympathy for its ritualistic aspects. […]

Comte’s thinking on religion had as its starting point a characteristically blunt observation that, in the modern world, thanks to the discoveries of science, it would no longer be possible for anyone intelligent or robust to believe in God. […]

At the same time Comte recognised, as many of his more rational contemporaries did not, that a secular society devoted solely to financial accumulation and romantic love and devoid of any sources of consolation, transcendent awe or solidarity would be prey to untenable social and emotional ills.

Comte’s solution was neither to cling blindly to sacred traditions, nor to cast them collectively and belligerently aside, but rather to pick out their more relevant and secular aspects and fuse them with certain insights drawn from philosophy, art and science. The result, the outcome of decades of thought and the summit of Comte’s intellectual achievement, was a new religion: a religion for atheists, or, as he termed it, a religion of humanity.

Radical.

Dude was way ahead of his time. Prominent modern atheists like Dawkins, Harris, Hitchens, and Dennett are so shrill in comparison. Where’s the room for reconciliation in today’s discourse? The respectful space required for reverence and community for non-religious people?

[Alain de Botton @ New Statesman via The Browser]

[photo via Wikipedia]

July 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.

Impressive Physics Demo

[via Kyle VanHemert @ Gizmodo]

July 27, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Video. 1 comment.

The Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale

An alternative scale to measure earthquakes. Instead of measuring seismic energy like for the better known Richter Scale, this scale is informed by a (surviving) participant’s emotional reactions and observations after the shaking stops.

I think this scale also works well for arguments. Two of the ratings:

V. Felt by nearly everyone; many awakened. Some dishes, windows broken. Unstable objects overturned. Pendulum clocks may stop.
VI. Felt by all, many frightened. Some heavy furniture moved; a few instances of fallen plaster. Damage slight.

[USGS.gov via Marshall Brain @ How Stuff Works]

[photo via dvhardware]

July 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Smarts. Leave a comment.

Boston Globe’s Tour de France Pictures

The Big Picture from the Boston Globe compiles the most stunning images, no?

I recommend their RSS feed if you’re not already on that tip.

Part I of their Tour de France coverage.

More stunning scenery can be found at Part II.

July 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Art. 2 comments.

Don’t yall know I’m Bruce Willis?

True confession: since witnessing this video, I’m constantly asking strangers this question… In my mind.

At the very least, do yourself a big one and watch the first part of minute two.

[Wreck and Salvage via The Daily What]

July 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Shit Guys Do

Epic thread full of mostly G-list internet celebrities talking bout what guys do.

The sweetest one comes from some dude Todd Mauldin:

Every day, Monday through Friday, at some point in the day, I call my friend, Eddy, or he calls me. Sometimes we talk for five minutes, sometimes an hour. We’ve done this for five or six years.

Jealous.

[Shit Guys Do via Andrew Sullivan]

[photo via The Economist]

July 26, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.

Amazing Video from Beach House

[via David Pescovitz @ Boing Boing]

July 24, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Video. Leave a comment.

Exhaustive interview with David Simon

The tiniest excerpt from the best ever interview about The Wire:

We were always laying pipe that could be picked up later.

[What’s Alan Watching via Luke Johnson @ Proof of Blog]

[photo via Can’t Stop the Bleeding]

July 23, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Reading. Leave a comment.

Neil Patrick Harris

Casual. Poised. Full on.

What does it mean?

[NPH‘s twitter via The Daily What]

July 22, 2010. Tags: , , , , , , . Funny. Leave a comment.

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