Monthly Archives: October 2011

Zombies! They’re everywhere! Run! (or THE best running app you’ll ever find)

The folks that came up with this are brilliant: ZOMBIES, RUN! (A running game & audio adventure for iOS/Android by Six to Start and Naomi Alderman). As they say:

Zombies, Run! is an ultra-immersive game for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and Android where you help rebuild civilisation after a zombie apocalypse. By going out and running in the real world, you can collect medicine, ammo, batteries, and spare parts that you can use to build up and expand your base – all while getting orders, clues, and story through your headphones.

If you find your running routine is getting stale, this could be the perfect way to reinvigorate it. I haven’t tried this yet, but I am thinking about it, especially for winter, when running becomes that much more challenging.

How blogging changed economics and academia in general, or why “social” media is really “open” media

Paul Krugman has an insightful blog post regarding blogging and it’s effect on the study of economics: Our Blogs, Ourselves – It’s worth a read even if you are not interested in economics, for it deals with something bigger. The bigger thing is that blogging and social media is changing the way we develop new ideas. As Krugman points out, things had been changing for sometime. What blogging has done is accelerate that change and make things more open. I don’t think this is limited to blogging: any field of academic study is being affected by this. I strongly believe that.

In IT, open source technology has allowed people to create software any other technology that would not be possible otherwise. This openness made great advances possible. It now looks like social media is doing the same thing in the world of ideas. Maybe we need to change the term from “social media” to “open media”.

Pope Leo XIII and the Roman Catholic Church in the modern world

The Catholic Church approaches the modern world in fits and starts, it seems to me. One leader of the church that did approach the modern world and attempt to reconcile it with the Church was Pope Leo XIII. As it says in Wikipedia:

As soon as he was elected to the papacy, Leo XIII worked to encourage understanding between the Church and the modern world. When he firmly re-asserted the scholastic doctrine that science and religion co-exist, he required the study of Thomas Aquinas[16] and opened the Vatican Secret Archives to qualified researchers, among whom was the noted historian of the Papacy Ludwig von Pastor.

Leo XIII was the first Pope of whom a sound recording was made. The recording can be found on a compact disc of Alessandro Moreschi’s singing; a recording of his performance of the Ave Maria is available on the web. He was also the first Pope to be filmed on the motion picture camera. He was filmed by its inventor, W. K. Dickson, and blessed the camera while being filmed.[17][18]

Leo XIII brought normality back to the Church after the tumultuous years of Pius IX. Leo’s intellectual and diplomatic skills helped regain much of the prestige lost with the fall of the Papal States. He tried to reconcile the Church with the working class, particularly by dealing with the social changes that were sweeping Europe. The new economic order had resulted in the growth of an impoverished working class, with increasing anti-clerical and socialist sympathies. Leo helped reverse this trend.

While Leo was no radical in either theology or politics, his papacy did move the Church back to the mainstream of European life. Considered a great diplomat, he managed to improve relations with Russia, Prussia, Germany, France, England and other countries.

Pope Leo XIII was able to reach several agreements in 1896, which resulted in better conditions for the faithful and additional appointments of bishops. During the Fifth cholera pandemic in 1891 he ordered the construction of a hospice inside the Vatican. That building would be torn down in 1996 to make way for construction of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.[19]

His favorite poets were Virgil and Dante.[20]

A simple illustration of this is his appearance in this film in 1896 (1896!)

Remarkable video of a remarkable man.

Skateboarding in India

Skateboarders roll across Indian cities. Beautiful in different ways.

India : Oxelo Skateboards on Vimeo

Why the Occupy movement and the We Are the 99 Percent matters

Here’s a recent study blogged about and presented by the directory of Congressional Budget Office (CBO) in the U.S. on Trends in the Distribution of Income.

Notice the focus on the 1%, including here:

What is happening in the U.S. and elsewhere is a focus on the inequalities (and more) between various economic groups. The inequality is not new, but the focus is new, and it is a result of the efforts of groups of people striving to highlight the financial difficulties that they are having. If people say it doesn’t matter, they are wrong. The ability to shift the focus in a culture matters is a big deal. It’s a big deal that the Occupy movement and the We Are the 99 Percent people have managed to achieve.

Low tech secrets on how to recover lost data on your hard disk or save your mobile device if it gets wet

If you are having a problem with your hard disk and it is removable from your computer, one thing you can do is freeze it! Yes! Here is the method my manager used to recover data. It’s not 100% foolproof, but it will allow you to recover data you might not get otherwise.

As for mobile devices that get wet and stop working, once trick is to get a container of uncooked rice. If you have an iPhone, bury it under the rice. If you have a Blackberry or some other device with a removable battery, remove the battery and any other removable parts and put them aside while you bury the device under the rice. Leave it there for a few hours (or overnight). The rice will draw the water away from the internals of the device and may allow it to recover. (Sometimes it does: other times, it will be too far gone). After you are, throw the rice in the garbage.

Midnight music: Lykke Li – Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

The classic song by The Shirelles never gets old. The latest cover I know is Lykke Li ‘s Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? Here it is

P.S. 50 years ago The Shirelles were the first African-American girl group to top the Billboard Hot 100 with this wonderful piece of music. Something to celebrate, for sure.