November 17, 2018: Illuminated Site of the Week: What Shape Will Society Take?
Maybe they've used too much finesse, maybe not enough, but it's hard to tell what Vi Hart and Nicky Case are driving at. Do they inform you the perils of racism? Would they have you support STEM in your community? What's their angle? Their sphere of influence appears to be all things geometrical, summed up in two glorious dimensions in the Parable of the Polygons.
Can you make the Squares and Triangles happy? All you have to do is put them next to more of their own kind. Oh, they're not shapist, they just like a little of the familiar. But moving one makes another unhappy so you have to move them to a new home and . . . well, if you're not careful, eventually everyone gets bent out of shape. Part video game, part social experiment, part community commentary, part coding exercise, it can be all these things and more. Happiness takes many forms; let it into your circle.
-- Suggested by Josh Meyer
October 14, 2018: Illuminated Site of the Week: Look, Up In The Sky, It’s Not A Bird
It's a drone, because you see, Birds Aren't Real. No, they're not figments of your imagination, the things exist – existed – but now, they're actually drones and have been since 2001. Seems the CIA pulled out all the stops to get rid of them and replace them with mechanical doppelgängers that do everything for the government from surveillance to drug trade.
Is it the truth, a cynical worldview, the work of a madman, a gigantic cash grab? (It's a cash grab; the licensed product page attests to that.) If only the CIA were as effective in getting rid of the aphids . . . or have they?
-- Suggested by Andrea Loughry
September 15, 2018: Illuminated Site of the Week: You Spin Me Wrong ‘Round, Baby, Wrong ‘Round
Remember the bit in Superman: The Motion Picture about the Earth made to orbit the wrong way? Where do people get these patently absurd . . . what? The government? Of course.
Sorry, it seems there was a plan to spin the planet in the opposite direction, back in the '60s. To counteract the Soviets' ability to bomb us, some genius thought that if we built a platform with a thousand Atlas engines pointing the right way, we could turn them on and halt the world's momentum long enough for the missiles to overshoot us in a display of ingenuity that would make Wile E. Coyote swear off physics once and for all.
Of course, it all sounds like science fiction. You'd have to have someone pretty convincing tell us how this suggestion came under any degree of consideration.
One of the people involved in the nuclear programs wrote a book? Huh. Yeah, that would probably do it. The folks at the Daily Grail do their part as well.
-- Suggested by Blake Smith
August 11, 2018: Illuminated Site of the Week: Nothing Comes Between You And Your Designer Genes
Except maybe the scientific community. But the Nuffield Council on Bioethics said tinkering with DNA before having a baby might not be such a bad thing. Some of the processes being discussed these days involves the genetic material from three donors instead of two. (One must assume having a trio of parents makes it easier to look after a child with a super-science makeup.) Not everyone's on board, of course; some still decry eugenics, unfair playing fields, and the unforeseen consequences of overcompensation. But with all the diseases modern treatments might defeat, it's getting harder to wave off eager go-getters in the arena of genetic manipulation. The Telegraph has the story.
-- Suggested by Wes Brown