Posts Tagged naming things

Mapping Out the Fiction-verse

Austin Kleon wrote in may about the useful application of fictional places being mapped out. World-building: it’s not just for fantasy and sci-fi writers anymore.

My undergrad thesis argued that world-building wasn’t just for fantasy and sci-fi writers—every tale has a setting, every tale creates a world in the reader’s mind—and it explored ways that drawing that world (visual thinking!) can lead to better fiction.

Some of my favorite “lit’ry” books are accompanied by maps.

For those, like me, who forgot my previous post on maps(Hello Mongo) I re-introduce the Strange Maps blog.

(via austin kleon)

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Jules Verne Gives the ISS a Tug

The Jules Verne currently is keeping the ISS orbit from being dragged down to Earth and serving as a rest area for astronauts.

ISS astronauts are reportedly using the space in Jules Verne’s pressurized section as somewhere to sleep. They find it less noisy than some other areas of the station, which suffers a constant hum from its ventilation system.

(via bbc)

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George Carlin ( 1937 – 2008)

George Carlin, a searing comic who pushed the boundaries of language and culture with his classic “Seven Words You Can Never Say On TV” routine, died Sunday of heart failure. He was 71.

His “Seven Words,” when played on New York radio, led to a 1978 Supreme Court ruling upholding the government’s authority to punish stations for broadcasting offensive language.


Despite his bad-boy reputation, the stand-up comic hosted Saturday Night Live and made more than 100 appearances on The Tonight Show. His counterculture take on the world’s sorry state of affairs filled 23 comedy albums, 14 HBO specials and three books. Carlin won four Grammy Awards for best spoken comedy album, and it was announced Tuesday that he would be awarded the 11th annual Mark Twain Prize for American Humor.

In special honor of George Carlin, 2 words you can’t say on twitter.

(via 7d, the 8th dirty word, mattpdx, wired, nate angell)

UPDATE: The New York Times article I’ve been waiting on is finally up.

Still, when pushed to explain the pessimism and overt spleen that had crept into his act, he quickly reaffirmed the zeal that inspired his lists of complaints and grievances. “I don’t have pet peeves,” he said, correcting the interviewer. And with a mischievous glint in his eyes, he added, “I have major, psychotic hatreds.”

UPDATE 2: Mega George Carlin Video Tribute

UPDATE3: Fresh Air is remembering Carlin with a collection of audio clips.

You really should watch the act in question.

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Modified Bugs would Eat Poo and Crap Oil 2.0


He means bugs. To be more precise: the genetic alteration of bugs – very, very small ones – so that when they feed on agricultural waste such as woodchips or wheat straw, they do something extraordinary. They excrete crude oil.


What is most remarkable about what they are doing is that instead of trying to reengineer the global economy – as is required, for example, for the use of hydrogen fuel – they are trying to make a product that is interchangeable with oil. The company claims that this “Oil 2.0” will not only be renewable but also carbon negative – meaning that the carbon it emits will be less than that sucked from the atmosphere by the raw materials from which it is made.

(via times online, eggradio )

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BAE Systems to Create Insecticons for Military

The military is in the market for insect robots. Nothing new, really.

The robots will slither and crawl around corners, into caves, and through booby-trapped streets, sending images back to screens in a command center or to a screen mounted on a soldiers wrist. The purpose is to “extend the warfighter’s senses and reach, providing operational capabilities that would otherwise be costly, impossible, or deadly to achieve,” says Joseph Mait, MAST cooperative agreement manager for the Army Research Laboratory.

Wouldn’t a “warfighter” be a person fighting “against” a war and not “in” the war?

(via geekologie)

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Scientists Land on Mars, Name it Funny Things

Scientists have named the areas around Mars Phoenix. They are a goofy lot, I’ll tell you that for nothing.


Scientists are assigning nicknames to the areas surrounding Phoenix so they can easily identify and discuss features of interest during the mission. This map, for example, shows the workspace reachable by Phoenix’s robotic arm, with “Sleepy Hollow” denoting a trench and “Headless” designating a rock. A “National Park,” marked by purple text and a purple arrow, has been set aside for protection until scientists and engineers have tested the operation of the robotic scoop. In this view, rocks are circled in yellow, other areas of interest in green.NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona

Also, the Phoenix Lander will talk to you on Twitter if you talk to it first:

It currently has 17,890 followers. Yet Phoenix follows no one.

Elitist bastard.

(via discovery news, phoenix twitter)

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Neil Young as a Spider

Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi they will call him.

Bond discovered a new species of trapdoor spider last year in Alabama and set about publishing a paper about it with Norman I. Platnick, curator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. When it came time to name his discovery, Bond reached not into the annals of science but those of music, dubbing it Myrmekiaphila neilyoungi (teach your children how to pronounce that). While it was Young’s diverse sonic offerings that initially attracted Bond to the idea, it was the Canadian legend’s track record on sociopolitics that clinched the deal.

If you want a pic of the horrible little thing go here.

(via buzz feed)

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