1971 Charles Bukowski letter outlining his terms of employment


Charles Bukowski was a no-bullshit man and made it clear from the get go. This wonderful letter of employment makes us a witness of what it was like dealing with him. Good times.

I have fond memories of reading all I could find from Charles Bukowski at the local public library in some suburb of Helsinki one particularly vicious winter many, many moons ago. It was that or drinking. Oh, the irony!

via This isnt happiness

The Year in Volcanic Activity – 36 stunning photos


The Year in Volcanic Activity – 36 stunning photos

Nature in all its awesomeness.

via The Year in Volcanic Activity – Alan Taylor – In Focus – The Atlantic.

How Computers Work

it's funny

Well yes, I do work on a mainframe computer. This made me chuckle a lot. It’s all true.

Read the whole thing on How Computers Work – Boing Boing.

The best street art of 2011



Street art is always surprising. This sample of 2011’s best crop is an example.


Shock as retreat of Arctic sea ice releases deadly greenhouse gas

this can't end well

Something tells me this can’t end well. On the other hand, this may push for new methane-harvesting technologies.

Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane – a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide – have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean by scientists undertaking an extensive survey of the region.

The scale and volume of the methane release has astonished the head of the Russian research team who has been surveying the seabed of the East Siberian Arctic Shelf off northern Russia for nearly 20 years.

via The Independent.

What Toronto looks like from space


Toronto by snow from space

Toronto by night from space

BlogTO has a very nice series of photos of Toronto seen from space. The contrasts offered by urban lighting and snow are particularly striking.

Via BlogTO: What Toronto looks like from space.

Daytime fireworks!


Using special microchip-controlled explosives, Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang created a daytime fireworks show using timed detonations on the ground and clusters of colored smoke clouds exploding in the air—with results that easily rival nighttime fireworks displays.

via Gizmodo

New US laws compared to nazi Germany


An interesting comparison between the “Battlefield USA” law (seen in the context of the erosion of democracy and rise of American fascism) and Milton Mayer’s “They thought they were free (the Germans 1933-1944)”. Unfortunately, the phenomenon isn’t isolated to the USA, as we see governments acting alike in many other Western nations. Sad comparison.

I really hope Mr Obama won’t sign this law, although the scary thing is that it was even allowed to be tabled in the first place.

But Then It Was Too Late ~ “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could not understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it this separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

Apathy increases with each measured step, as it most certainly has in America, and Mayer knowingly describes the consequences for Germany in the early 1930′s ~ when the burden of self deception becomes so heavy, as it is now, that suddenly you realize that your whole world has changed and you have accepted things (out of fear) that you would never have accepted before the War on Terror.

via Nat Defense Authorization Act Confirms Battlefield USA | Dark Politricks.

This Cube Made of Gears Shouldnt Work, But It Does

tech, video

Watching this cube slowly turn itself inside out as its internal gears mesh together is a mesmerizing and puzzling experience. It looks like it should never work, but it does.

via Gizmodo

Stanley Kubrick’s Dramatic Photos of 1940s New York City


Stanley Kubrick's early work as a press photographer

“…before he became famous for directing films like A Clockwork OrangeLolita, and Dr. Strangelove, Stanley Kubrick was a poor kid from the Bronx who worked as a photojournalist for Look magazine. (He was their youngest staff photographer on record.) Kubrick’s striking black and white images of 1940s New York City — which were often shot on the sly, his camera concealed in a paper bag with a hole in it — hint at the dark beauty and psychological drama of his later creative output.”

Flavorwire » Stanley Kubrick’s Dramatic Photos of 1940s New York City.

This is the world’s largest insect


The world's largest insect

This is the world’s largest insect.

The giant weta is a cricket-like creature with a wingspan of close to seven inches. The one in the picture (full image below), isn’t just the largest weta, it’s the world’s largest insect ever photographed.

Renowned entomologist Mark Moffett found the amazing bug after two days of searching New Zealand’s Little Barrier Island. The species was previously found on the New Zealand mainland, but had been virtually annihilated by rats introduced by Europeans.

via The Huffington Post

The best story you’ll hear this week


This guy tells a great story and I laughed my head off. And yes, he’s a hacker and a scientist who robs banks. Best 9 minutes of the week!