The Wonderful Story of the Clock

How the clock Gave Rise to the Modern Tyranny and how it powered the Industrial Revolution and sparked the Information Age

Imagine first how one invention triggers the invention of something else that triggers another…

“Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press created a surge in demand for spectacles, as the new practice of reading made Europeans across the continent suddenly realize that they were farsighted; the market demand for spectacles encouraged a growing number of people to produce and experiment with lenses, which led to the invention of the microscope, which shortly thereafter enabled us to perceive that our bodies were made up of microscopic cells. You wouldn’t think that printing technology would have anything to do with the expansion of our vision down to the cellular scale, just as you wouldn’t have thought that the evolution of pollen would alter the design of a hummingbird’s wing. But that is the way change happens.” -Steven Johnson

‘There is something so poetic about Galileo inventing split-second time for the public on a private scale of decades.

‘”Accurate clocks, thanks to their unrivaled ability to determine longitude at sea, greatly reduced the risks of global shipping networks, which gave the first industrialists a constant supply of raw materials and access to overseas markets. In the late 1600s and early 1700s, the most reliable watches in the world were manufactured in England, which created a pool of expertise with fine-tool manufacture that would prove to be incredibly handy when the demands of industrial innovation arrived, just as the glassmaking expertise producing spectacles opened the door for telescopes and microscopes. The watchmakers were the advance guard of what would become industrial engineering.”…’

Mark Twain on Slavery and How Religion Is Used to Justify Injustice
If this isn’t proof that Mark Twain wasn’t racist….
‘Half a century before “African American” came into popular use as a politically dignified term, Twain recounts his childhood friendships with black slaves:

‘”…I have not seen him for more than half a century, and yet spiritually I have had his welcome company a good part of that time, and have staged him in books under his own name and as ‘Jim,’ and carted him all around — to Hannibal, down the Mississippi on a raft, and even across the Desert of Sahara in a balloon — and he has endured it all with the patience and friendliness and loyalty which were his birthright. It was on the farm that I got my strong liking for his race and my appreciation of certain of its fine qualities. This feeling and this estimate have stood the test of sixty years and more and have suffered no impairment. The black face is as welcome to me now as it was then.”…’

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Newly Discovered Miracles of Nature Ferns Can Turn Their Neighbors Male
They communicate with one another to decide gender
‘A combined team of researchers from Nagoya University and the University of Tokyo has discovered that a certain type of fern plant communicates with others of its kind using pheromones as a means of choosing the gender of maturing plants. In their paper published in the journal Science, the researchers describe how their study of the Japanese climbing fern, led to a better understanding of the role that the pheromone gibberellin plays in its reproduction process. Tai-ping Sun, with Duke University offers a perspective piece in the same journal edition, providing a more in-depth analysis of the work the team has done…’
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World’s Longest Snake Has Virgin Birth—First Recorded in Species
‘An 11-year-old reticulated python named Thelma produced six female offspring in June 2012 at the Louisville Zoo in Kentucky, where she lives with another female python, Louise. No male had ever slithered anywhere near the 200-pound (91-kilogram), 20-foot-long (6 meters) mother snake.

‘New DNA evidence, published in July in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, revealed that Thelma is the sole parent, said Bill McMahan, the zoo’s curator of ectotherms, or cold-blooded animals. (Read: “‘Virgin Birth’ Seen in Wild Snakes, Even When Males Are Available.”)…’

City’s Pest Control Chief One-Upped by Cockroach
Mayoral aide shamed by giant cockroach in Council chambers
‘To say Reynolds was embarrassed would be an understatement. Especially when Ald. Brendan Reilly (42nd) called attention to it, then asked what the department’s budget was for pest control.

‘“I was mortified.…I had horrible luck on this one….The timing is ironic that, in the middle of my budget hearing, a cockroach decides to make itself known,” Reynolds said Thursday.

‘“I do take pride in the condition of our facilities. When I get calls or notices that we have issues, I am embarrassed. We very routinely do treatments for cockroaches and other pests. We often just end up chasing them around. This is an old building. Lots of places for them to hide. People eat their lunch…. It’s had lots of people in it. We’re never going to be roach-free. We’ll just manage it the best we can.”…’

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Students with sexy FB photos Barred from Graduating students also ruined the reputation of St. Theresa’s College

‘The SC said there was no violation of privacy of the two students when their school, the St. Theresa College, penalized them for uploading the photographs allegedly showing them wearing only brassieres, smoking and drinking in a bar.

‘Petitioners Rhonda Ave Vinares and couple Margarita and David Suzara argued that the school violated their children’s privacy since the photos were only for exclusive viewing of their friends on the social media.

‘The court said the school and its personnel did not resort to any unlawful means of gathering the information as it was voluntarily given to them by persons who had access to the girls’ Facebook account.

‘It said digital images under such a setting are outside the confines of privacy since a majority of Facebook users befriend other users who are total strangers…’

Wife discovers on Facebook her husband married another woman
‘She had read rumours about his possible infidelity on Facebook, but remained confident it was just gossip and that he wasn’t cheating on her while he worked away in Oman.

‘That is until she discovered pictures of the father of two getting married to another woman on a beach in the Arab state.

‘Unknown to Mrs Gibney, 55, the oil contractor had been living a double life with teacher Suzanne Prudhoe, 46.

‘It later transpired the couple had been an item for at least 18 months before their £45,000 beach ceremony at the British Embassy in March last year…’
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Ex-Pinoy gangster keeping kids safe in San Francisco
‘The South of Market or the SOMA is a neighborhood in San Francisco that houses major technology companies like Twitter and Pinterest.

‘The SOMA also has a notorious reputation for not being one of the safest neighborhoods where some fall victims to gang violence and drug dealing.

‘Filipinos make up a big part of the population in the South of Market, and one former gang member made it his mission 20 years ago to do what he could to keep kids away from the dangers of the streets.

‘Rudy Corpuz Jr. founded the United Playaz which is a violence prevention and mentorship program. They celebrated two decades of helping the youth…’

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Facebook Paternity Notice Not Legal in Oklahoma

hollywoodlife-arian-foster-college-student-pregnant-lead‘Notification via Facebook message does not satisfy a man’s constitutional right to be informed that he fathered a child, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled.

‘The biological parents in question broke off contact after a sexual relationship that lasted from August 2011 to September or October of that year.

‘Billy McCall testified he saw the mother, who is identified in the court record only by her initials T.Z., once more in December 2011 when she visited him at his workplace.

‘It didn’t come up that T.Z. was pregnant…’

Senator Leahy Slams DEA For Impersonating A Woman On Facebook
‘Apparently, it’s not just Facebook that is furious with the DEA for impersonating a woman, posting pictures from her phone, in an attempt to get evidence concerning a drug dealer. Senator Patrick Leahy has now sent an angry letter to the DOJ about this situation as well.

“I am greatly concerned by recent reports that the Drug Enforcement Administration used the identity of an unsuspecting young woman to create a public Facebook profile to interact with suspected drug traffickers. This extraordinary tactic placed this woman and her family at risk, and I expect the Justice Department to reconsider the use of such techniques.” the senator said.

Husband’s ‘Secret’ Video, The Reason Why Governor’s Wife went Hiding
‘…Josie admitted she had long suffered because of his infidelity but denied that she was the one behind the video and photo upload.

‘She saw that he had a gun hidden behind his back during the confrontation. He later destroyed her gadgets, including her laptop.

‘This made her realize that he would have no qualms in killing her. Feeling unsafe in her own home, she made a dash for freedom when she had the chance.

‘She escaped with the help of her friend Darlene. They obtained a barangay protection order so the governor will be barred from going anywhere near her…’

5 Weird Things I Learned Selling My Used Panties on Reddit
#4. It’s an International, Underground Industry
‘Hawking your dirty booty-slings isn’t limited to obscure corners of Reddit. You’ve probably heard that Japan used to have vending machines that sold pre-worn panties. Nowadays, the Japanese government makes commercials to discourage that trade. Not because it’s creepy, mind you, but because a man might’ve worn those panties:

‘But an aspiring panty vendor can find unnervingly exhaustive guides online at the aptly-named “”:…’
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Why They Hide Water at Fast Foods disgusts me more than a fast food shop without water because I like water more than sweet drinks. I already bashed waiters at two shops. They don’t even care about diabetics as long as they sell their drinks.

‘Just Say No to H20′ (Unless It’s Coke’s Own Brew)

‘Coca-Cola offered a glimpse of its battle plan against tap water in an article on one of its Web sites headlined “The Olive Garden Targets Tap Water & WINS.” Aimed at restaurants selling the company’s fountain drinks, the article laid out Coke’s antiwater program for the Olive Garden chain as a “success story” for others to emulate.

‘The article was posted three years ago but went unnoticed until this summer, when Rob Cockerham, a graphic designer in Sacramento, Calif., stumbled across it. It then spread through Internet circles until Coca-Cola started fielding questions about it and took the entire site down. A spokeswoman said the company was concerned that the site, which was due to be dismantled anyway, might be misinterpreted by consumers…’

Survey: Filipinos spend less on groceries, eat out more

Compare that headline to this:

Millions to remain in poverty as gov’t revises target

‘The Philippines had originally projected that 16.6% of its 100 million people would still be living in poverty by 2016…’ -link

So how could Filipinos eat out more while most are living in poverty. Someone is obviously lying.

‘Filipinos shell out less for monthly groceries as a quarter of consumers preferred to eat in fast food restaurants and convenience stores, global information and insights company Nielsen said Wednesday.

‘In an emailed statement, Nielsen said respondents spent P4,700 on an average this year, 13 percent less than the monthly allocation of P5,400 for groceries in 2012.

‘”Driving this cut in grocery spend is the spike in the number of consumers who are dining out and the increased frequency in eating out of home,” the statement read…’

And it’s funny too that most middle class families I know buy groceries to save money.

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You Can Now Let Your Finger Do the Reading

bigthink-Screen_Shot_2014-10-13_at_1.55.06_PMLet Your Finger Do The Reading With This Great Device From MIT Media Lab
‘Trace a page with your finger and Finger Reader will read it out loud for you. The device, currently in development by the MIT Media Lab, fits on your index finger like a ring. It can be used to assist children, the elderly, visually-impaired people, and second-language learners with reading labels, business cards, menus in a restaurant, prescriptions, or any other type of printed text.

‘Indeed, Finger Reader could make a lot more content instantly accessible to visually impaired people. Currently, only 7% of all books are available in Braille, audio and large print. In a 2009 survey, nearly three ­quarters (74%, 72%) of blind and partially sighted people reported that they could not read the information provided by their hospital or their GP. In addition, things like letters, menus, reports, magazines, rarely exist in Braille…’

Are Database Administrators Doomed?
‘Traditionally, database administrators (also known as DBAs) have been at the center of the data-management universe: There was always a need to have someone optimize the performance of applications by making sure data was well structured. But with the rise of Hadoop and other Big Data platforms, there’s no longer a premium on structure. In fact, many programmers are choosing to write their applications to Hadoop or other classes of so-called “NoSQL databases” to specifically eliminate the need to rely on having a DBA.

‘The end result has not only been a significant diminishing of the influence of the average DBA; the location where SQL queries within a data warehousing application are processed is beginning to shift…’

What’s Your Favorite Vintage Gadget?
‘…Such progress makes me nostalgic for the gadgets of yesterday that once seemed so cutting edge: the Samsung Rogue SCH-U960 that first put the Internet in my pocket (sort of); the Handspring Visor that let me digitize all my contacts a decade earlier; and the Atari 800XL that introduced me to home computing in the early 1980s. I’m sure that firing up my old 8-bit Atari for a game of Karateka or Hardball! wouldn’t be as much fun as I remember it being when I was in middle school. Still, I think back to all of the hours spent in front of that computer with a certain fondness…’

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Women Least Welcome in Online Gaming Space

‘The Pew research supports the notion that women are less welcome in the world of online gaming. Survey respondents, who were both men and women, were asked about a series of online platforms — social networks and online commenting forums, for example — and whether they thought those platforms were more welcoming to women, equally welcome to both sexes or more welcoming toward men.

‘The findings show that while most online environments are viewed as equally welcoming, gaming is not. “The starkest results were for online gaming,” the researchers write, where 44 percent of respondents said the platform was more welcoming to men. You can see the starkness of the results in this bar graph:…’

When your virtual girlfriend psychologically profiles you
‘Karen comes to you through a daily feed of interactive HD videos that allow you to respond through touch and text. Although you can choose to ignore her or ask her to “call back later,” she’ll become more responsive the more time you spend with her. But be careful, because this is an experiment in big data utilization, and Blast Theory seems to want to test out just how far they can take things. “As she gets to know you, she gets more and more curious,” their Kickstarter campaign reads. “She seems to know things about you that she shouldn’t… Where exactly is this going to end?” If you become a backer, they’re even promising to show you how they used the data to shape your experience…’

Mind Your Health, Weight Loss with Portion Control Plate
‘Nutritional science has known for decades, and the public has known since the 2006 release of Brian Wansink’s Mindless Eating, that the single most important factor in how much people eat is how much food people are given. It’s a simple fact of food consumption that is too often exacerbated by large dinner plates, super-sizing and all-you-can-eat appetizer deals at your favorite restaurant.

‘Dutch designer Annet Bruil saw the problem, and offers a solution in her ETE plate. It’s a “pie chart” for the meal you eat before your pie. The simple, white plate has lines drawn on it dividing its surface into sections for vegetables, carbohydrates and proteins. The size of the plate keeps your total amount of food in line with daily calorie requirements, and the dividing lines keep the relative proportions in line with what nutritionists recommend…’

Self-Filling Water Bottle for Your Bicycle
Solar-powered device converts moisture in the air into safe drinking water
‘Cycling is a good way to work up a thirst, but how do you ensure you always have some water to hand – even without a water source? The answer is Fontus, a self-filling water bottle designed by Kristof Retezar that collects the moisture contained in the air, condenses it and stores it as safe drinking water. Powered by solar cells, it can harvest up to 0.5 litres of water in an hour´s time – assuming you have the right climatic conditions…’

And more importantly, clean air

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