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me: "In ancient Westeros, Persephone ate the whole pomegranate."

Breaking Bad, the non-US version. One strip; kudos if you guess what it is before seeing it. http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/if-breaking-bad-had-been-set-in-the-uk

A more ethically sourced smartphone http://www.cnbc.com/id/101042659

Below: babies, China rail, traffic, women and cities, space crisis, Nazis, self-nuking, more.

Why we go "nom nom nom" on babies. Well, some of us. You. http://www.csmonitor.com/Science/2013/0923/Why-do-people-want-to-eat-babies-Scientists-explain

China's high speed rail boom. Went into operation 5 years ago, now carrying more people than planes. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/business/global/high-speed-train-system-is-huge-success-for-china.html?partner=rss&emc=rss
Goes along with China's subway boom, with more than half the world's large tunneling machines, and spending of $100 billion/year. Though cities are sprawling faster than they can tunnel, as apart from Shanghai most cities are reluctant to rein in the car. $100 million/mile in Guangzhou, helped by cheap labor, authoritarian land acquisition, and economies of scale. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/24/business/global/high-speed-train-system-is-huge-success-for-china.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

new Japanese Epsilon rocket, supposedly much cheaper thanks to AI doing the system checks instead of 150 people. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-24090322
NASA's future deep space missions are facing a shortage of Pu-238, the key power source when solar panels don't cut it. http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2013/09/plutonium-238-problem/

A Swiss town bans veils. Someone will probably invoke this as an example of why direct democracy is bad, while ignoring that veils have also been banned by the representative democracies of France, Belgium, and Barcelona, with the Dutch talking about following. http://rt.com/news/swiss-region-bans-veils-212/

Vienna's learning how to make streets safer and more useful for women. "Gender mainstreaming", though they're changing the name to "fair share use" or such to get away from the gender implications. Still, neat stuff. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/09/how-design-city-women/6739/

Listening to phone conversations *is* more annoying, as our brain tries to fill in the other half. Unpredictability is harder to tune out than just people talking: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/04/theres-good-reason-we-feel-anxious-about-expanding-cell-phone-service-subway/5429/

why traffic happens http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2013/09/fantastically-clear-concise-explanation-why-traffic-happens/6962/
drivers with a free taste of transit like it more than expected http://www.theatlanticcities.com/commute/2012/12/even-american-drivers-mass-transit-more-they-think/4142/
In defense of check-cashing services: given likely bank fees, they may actually be cheaper for their clientele than banks. They're also more personal and service oriented, and flexible about ID or liens. http://www.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and-economy/2013/09/why-poor-choose-go-without-bank-accounts/6783/
Five major US cities have a majority of workers not driving alone to work. http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2013/09/census-majority-of-seattleites-did-not-drive-alone-to-work-in-2012/

It's fairly easy to build a passively cooled house in dry climates with wide temperature night-day variation. But what about humid ones? The best I'd thought of was shading the whole house, not just overhanging roofs but an air-gapped double roof. A Japanese person living in the Philippines has had a similar thought, and built it (I think). He also gaps the walls. http://www.notechmagazine.com/2013/09/a-passively-cooled-house-in-the-tropics.html

There are no prominent economists speaking up for austerity any more. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/23/where-are-the-austerian-economists/?_r=0
We know how to control health care costs in the US, it's called Medicaid. http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/09/21/i-have-seen-the-future-and-it-is-medicaid/

Battery manufacture and coal-fed electricity can make electric cars worse for the environment than hybrids. Especially the Tesla, with its giant battery. http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2013/08/electric-cars-are-great-vermont-not-so-great-kentucky

In 1961 the US almost nuked itself. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-24183879

The British completely pwned Nazi intelligence. Like, every single Nazi agent turned voluntarily or was turned or neutralized. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Double_Cross_System
And then this guy completely ran rings around the Nazis all on his own. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Juan_Pujol_%28alias_Garbo%29

I've been very good and not dumped most of the political and GOP crazy links I have.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/375357.html#comments



( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Sep. 25th, 2013 01:24 pm (UTC)
If you're interested in the Double Cross system, the classic text on it is John Masterman's "The Double-Cross System." Masterman was Chairman of the Twenty Committee and published this book about the program. It's a bit dry - more like an academic report than the sensationalist presentation that the Double Cross System could justify - but quite straightforward about both successes and failures. And insights: he gets it right why the Double Cross System worked well when England was isolated from the Continent but could not be reproduced once the Allies invaded Europe.

And yes, Garbo was amazing. Even the work involved in just thinking of all those false stories is stunning, not to mention which non-existent person is supposed to know what. Absolutely jaw-dropping.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )


Damien Sullivan

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