“I don’t drink water,” said John Young. The 74-year-old architect was an early associate of WikiLeaks and has run his own document-publishing Web site, Cryptome.org since 1996. “Why drink water when there is alcohol?”
Last Friday, at the Five Napkin Burger on the Upper West Side, Mr. Young sipped coffee and looked surprised as I guzzled a glass of water. He asked if I owned a water filter, inquired about my daily water intake and then wondered if I was addicted to water.
“How does that water taste” he asked.
It had a slight metallic tint that resembled garden-hose water. In short, it was gross.
It made me uneasy. I immediately thought about recent accusations of lithium being spiked into drinking water. He seemed pleased with that. After all, he doesn’t trust the water. And he certainly doesn’t trust strangers who unexpectedly email him, arrive with a digital recorder and then tell the waitress, “I’ll have the same,”after he orders lunch.
“Take a look,” Ben Kingsley says, dropping an ancient tome before three British students as if he were teaching the Dark Arts at Hogwarts. “Take a look,” he tells them, “if you dare.”The book magically opens, releasing a cyclone of glittering ghosts. And Mr. Kingsley — who here portrays a librarian trying to get bored students interested in what their teacher calls the “Dark Ages” — is transformed into the turbaned al-Jazari: 12th-century inventor, mechanical engineer, visionary. “Welcome to the Dark Ages!” he declares, “or as it should be known, the Golden Ages!”
After he takes the students “from darkness into light” in this introductory film, we are off and running through “1001 Inventions,” at the New York Hall of Science in Queens. The exhibition’s name invokes the Eastern exoticism of Scheherazade, but the show is in earnest about its claims.
There aren’t 1,001 inventions on display, but those that are, along with the ideas described, are meant to show that the Western Dark Ages really were a Golden Age of Islam: a thousand years, in the show’s reckoning, that lasted into the 17th century. During that era, the exhibition asserts, Muslim scientists and inventors, living in empires reaching from Spain to China, anticipated the innovations of the modern world.
There are serious problems with this exhibition, but this has had no effect on its international acclaim. Conceived by a mechanical engineer, Salim T. S. al-Hassani, it began on a smaller scale touring British cities. It expanded into its current form at the London Science Museum this year, attracting 400,000 visitors, according to the show’s Web site. And its lavish companion book, “Muslim Heritage in Our World,” has won plaudits.
Kiosks are arranged here in an 8,000-square-foot space, their explanations, interactive displays, and videos examining seven “zones”: Home, School, Market, Hospital, Town, World, Universe. The show is also family friendly. A 20-foot-high reproduction of al-Jazari’s mechanical water clock welcomes visitors, its base an elephant and its crown a phoenix; unfortunately it is not really a replica — it operates without the water mechanism — but its playful monumentalism intrigues. And while some interactive exhibits are stilted, an astronomy display lets you reach toward a screen of the night sky like a deity, your gestures gliding a constellation into its proper place.
Is it just me, or is this the most orally sexy Oscar season in memory?
As blogger Jeff Wells notes, “at least three of the six actresses nominated by the Broadcast Film Critics Association for Best Actress received on-screen oral pleasuring in their respective films — Annette Bening in The Kids Are All Right, Natalie Portman in Black Swan and Michelle Williams in Blue Valentine.” Julianne Moore didn’t receive a BFCA honor for doing the honors in Kids, but Williams’ Blue Valentine bittersweetheart Ryan Gosling got a best actor nom, and more influentially, Portman’s partner Mila Kunis, who’s been too often overlooked in all the film’s hooplah, got a best supporting actress nom from BFCA.
More than almost any other critics awards group, BFCA tends to overlap with Academy voters’ tastes.
Of course, it’s not about the mere collision of what Brits call “naughty bits.” It’s all about the context. In Kids, oral sex is lighthearted, upsetting only to people who’d never see this film anyhow.
The Portman-Kunis scene is scary, like Catherine Deneuve’s violent sexual hallucinations in Repulsion. And do let’s remember, it’s Kunis’s intense scene too — Danny Boyle told me he calls her “the Bad Black Swan.”
Spaghetti, mafia, musical accent, gestures, romantic, loud, fashion, chaos – these are all words often used to describe Italians and are in fact short definition of italianity. But are these stereotypes true? In this article we will try to give you some insight into the Italian soul and clarify some common misunderstandings that foreigners have about them. Some of the stereotypes are actually true, but being Italian takes a lot more than that – they are not really pasta and pizza chomping mafiosi. And Italy is a wonderful country that is well worth a visit – you may like it or not, but you will definitely be surprised!
Wave a tear-stained handkerchief for the drone that changed the face of air war: The Air Force won’t buy any more Predators. The Reaper drone is about to be in full effect.
This year, the Air Force completed its scheduled purchase of 268 Predators from manufacturer General Atomics, somewhat behind a schedule the service announced in 2008. By “early 2011,” says Lt. Col. Richard Johnson, an Air Force spokesman, “we’re taking delivery of our last Predator.”
February, to be exact, according to Kimberly Kasitz, a General Atomics spokeswoman. “We’ve actually had a couple of internal celebrations,” she says.
That doesn’t mean the end for the Predator, exactly, since the Air Force will continue to fly the planes it’s bought. But it does mean the beginning of the end. “We’re not replacing the Predator with the Reaper,” Johnson says, “but as the [Predator] fleet diminishes by attrition, we’ll phase in the Reaper.”
Scientists claim to have discovered a “fountain of youth pill” that makes people live longer by boosting their immune system.
The medication contains the drug lenalidomide which stimulates immune cell production, something that slows down with age.
This improves the body’s ability to fight off bugs or tumours which often causes an overall decline in health in older people.
Preventive measures such as flu jabs could also become more effective, scientists claimed.
Why Are You Here? A New Theory May Hold the Missing Piece
Why do you happen to be alive on this lush little planet with its warm sun and coconut trees? And at just the right time in the history of the universe? The surface of the molten earth has cooled, but it’s not too cold. And it’s not too hot; the sun hasn’t expanded enough to melt the Earth’s surface with its searing gas yet. Even setting aside the issue of being here and now, the probability of random physical laws and events leading to this point is less than 1 out of 100,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, equivalent to winning every lottery there ever was.
Biocentrism, a new theory of everything, provides the missing piece. Although classical evolution does an excellent job of helping us understand the past, it fails to capture the driving force. Evolution needs to add the observer to the equation. Indeed, Niels Bohr, the great Nobel physicist, said, “When we measure something we are forcing an undetermined, undefined world to assume an experimental value. We are not ‘measuring’ the world, we are creating it.” The evolutionists are trying to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. They think we, the observer, are a mindless accident, debris left over from an explosion that appeared out of nowhere one day.
The earliest known tool made from human bone has been discovered — and it was apparently crafted by Neanderthals, scientists find.
The scientists note that as of yet, they have no way to prove or disprove whether the Neanderthals who made the tool did so intentionally — for instance, for rituals or after cannibalization.
Until now, the first evidence that human bones were used either symbolically or as tools were 30,000-to 34,000-year-old perforated human teeth found at excavations in southwest France. These were apparently used as ornaments.
Originally posted 2010-12-15 11:24:34. Republished by Blog Post Promoter