Odds & Ends

Jonathan Haidt explains our contentious culture

From BillMoyers.com

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Tweet of the Day

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A better map of the world

Gall–Peters_projection

The Gall-Peters projection map, showing the true relative size of the continents without the distortion of the traditional Mercator projection. (As usual, “The West Wing” got there first.)

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A thought for New Year’s Day

It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Life is long enough, and a sufficiently generous amount has been given to us for the highest achievements if it were all well invested. But when it is wasted in heedless luxury and spent on no good activity, we are forced at last by death’s final constraint to realize that it has passed away before we knew it was passing. So it is: we are not given a short life but we make it short, and we are not ill-supplied but wasteful of it… Life is long if you know how to use it.

Seneca, On the Shortness of Life (via)

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Sam Harris: The self is an illusion

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The First Flight

The first successful powered flight by the Wright brothers, 1903.

The Atlantic has posted a series of remarkable photos of the Wright brothers’ early experiments in flight. Above:

First flight: 120 feet in 12 seconds, on December 17, 1903. This photograph shows man’s first powered, controlled, sustained flight. Orville Wright at the controls of the machine, lying prone on the lower wing with hips in the cradle which operated the wing-warping mechanism. Wilbur Wright running alongside to balance the machine, has just released his hold on the forward upright of the right wing. The starting rail, the wing-rest, a coil box, and other items needed for flight preparation are visible behind the machine. Orville Wright preset the camera and had John T. Daniels squeeze the rubber bulb, tripping the shutter.

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Moonshot thinking

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Emerson: Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is one of the most powerful engines of success. When you do a thing, do it with all your might. Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and be faithful, and you will accomplish your objective. Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Louis C.K. on cell phones

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Video of the Day

Time-lapse video of European cities by Dominic Boudreault. Watch it full-screen.

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Quote of the Day

We are masters of the unsaid words, but slaves of those we let slip out.

— Winston Churchill

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Quote of the Day

Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the mouth.

Mike Tyson

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Obama offstage

“As the First Cameraman for the United States of America, Arun Chaudhary filmed President Barack Obama all over the world. Luckily he captured these backstage moments for your viewing pleasure.” (via)

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Today’s paper

Boston Globe after Obama's re-election

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Three Lawyer-Writers

bouchercon

At Bouchercon 2012 in Cleveland with fellow authors Twist Phelan and Linda Fairstein. October 5, 2012.

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Emerson: Finish each day and be done with it

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day, you shall begin it serenely with too high a spirit to be encumbered by your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Homer votes

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Quote of the Day

War hath no fury like a non-combatant.

Charles Edward Montague (via)

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Quote of the Day

Even within the most beautiful landscape, in the trees, under the leaves the insects are eating each other; violence is a part of life.

Francis Bacon

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Do schools kill creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson: “Do schools kill creativity?” Still the best TED talk ever.

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