Visualizing the iPad 3's (likely) retina-display screen#

A lovely and powerful illustration. I really can't put in to words how excited I am for this 2048x1536 screen; I think my anticipation is on par with what I was feeling right before the iPhone debuted in 2007.

I've a strong sense that most people--even those who consider themselves gadget geeks--are not prepared for the sea change that this sort of pixel density (in a consumer screen this large) will bring about. The applications are limitless, and most of them haven't even been imagined yet.

If you aren't already using your iPad in lieu of your Mac (where possible), I suspect this screen probably will put you over the edge (even if that means always having to carry around a Bluetooth keyboard)... at least until Macs get similar displays.

The "Pillars of Creation" haven't existed for thousands of years#

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Surely you're familiar with this photo taken by the Hubble telescope in 1995, right? Check it:

The Pillars of Creation no longer exist. In 2007, astronomers announced that they were destroyed about 6,000 years ago by the shock wave from a supernova. Because of the limited speed of light, the shock wave's approach to the pillars can currently be seen from Earth, but their actual destruction will not be visible for another millennium.

The late great Lucy Grealy on her face, tragedy, beauty and identity#

This story likely will make you cry, but you'll be better for reading it.

Halloween, that night of frights, became my favorite holiday because I could put on a mask and walk among the blessed for a few brief, sweet hours. Such freedom I felt, walking down the street, my face hidden! Through the imperfect oval holes I could peer out at other faces, masked or painted or not, and see on those faces nothing but the normal faces of childhood looking back at me, faces I mistakenly thought were the faces everyone else but me saw all the time, faces that were simply curious and ready for fun, not the faces I usually braced myself for, the cruel, lonely, vicious ones I spent every day other than Halloween waiting to see around each corner. [...]

I had long, blonde hair, and I also had a thin figure. Sometimes, from a distance, men would see a thin blonde and whistle, something I dreaded more than anything else because I knew that as they got closer, their tune, so to speak, would inevitably change; they would stare openly or, worse, turn away quickly in shame or repulsion. l decided to cut my hair to avoid any misconception that anyone, however briefly, might have about my being attractive.

Biology doesn't support gay marriage bans#

Sex is not the binary system we think it is, and we can't go around making rules about what people can and can't do based on what anatomy happens to be between their legs. So on top of the fact thatgay marriage bans are unconstitutional, unnecessary, and downright petty, they are alsoterriblyunscientific.

I'm sorry, but you have to be a special kind of ignorant asshole to be against gay marriage.

Science > your blind hate.

Black SMS iPhone app#

BlackSMS lets you send hidden password-protected text messages. The name "BlackSMS" is due to the texts showing up as black chat bubbles in the iMessage app.

A clever idea, but the implementation sure is kludgy. Also, I'm not sure I can fully trust an app whose only screenshot in the App Store is of an SMS conversation that begins with, "So... did u do it with Stacy last night give details."

YOURLS#

YOURLS is a small set of PHP scripts that will allow you to run your own URL shortening service. You can make it private or public, you can pick custom keyword URLs, it comes with its own API.

To My Old Master#

In August of 1865, aColonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave,Jourdon Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdon -- who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family -- responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below.

A beautiful, honest letter that's equal parts tragic and joyful. (Kottke did some follow-up research into Jourdon Anderson and family.)

Can religion survive without all the hocus-pocus?#

Of course not.

It is the supernatural elements of those [religious] texts that give them any authority... [Without those elements] all the religions would be reduced to some banal version of the golden rule that could just as easily be found in any basic ethical system.

A sampling of advancements associated with past world's fairs#

Though world's fair have long been outmoded, I've always romanticized them. Can you imagine being a Parisian teenager in the late 1800s--wholly interested in technology and science--and stepping onto the grounds of a world's fair? Your head would explode.

We're spoiled these days--what with infinite access to infinite knowledge and all--but back then your mind would have exhausted itself racing with the possibilities of what was taking place before your eyes. Not only had you never seen most of this stuff before, you likely had never even imagined it. The feeling must have been overwhelming.

(Relatedly, check out Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America, which chronicles both the production of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair and a serial killer who created a killing chamber in a hotel near the fairgrounds.)

Burger King tries home delivery#

Burger King has quietly begun testing home delivery of its burgers, fries and other sandwiches. [...]

There's a $2 delivery fee. And depending on the store, minimum orders vary from $8 to $10. The stores try to deliver within 30 minutes of the time a phone or online order is received. Delivery customers must live within a 10-minute drive of the store.

Our hunter-gatherer ancestors would be so proud.

I, of course, would do this in a heartbeat, but only if they somehow disguised themselves and the bag(s). There's no way I'm walking down to the lobby of my (rather nice) apartment complex and accepting--in plain sight of people I interact with on a daily basis--delivery of a BK Big Fish and fries.