Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image

Odd Lots

  • Here's a nice article from NPR on sleep. Worth noting is the author's comment that in 20 years, the stylishness of getting only five hours of sleep a night may be seen the same way that the “stylishness” of smoking is seen today: As something that kills you before your time.
  • Pertinent to the above: I have notes on an SF novel postulating a drug that lets people sleep as much as 23 hours a day, with a side effect that lucid dreaming is not only normative but shared: People using the drug encounter one another in their dreams, and struggle for control of the weird collaborative colony they've created within the human collective unconscious. As years of use roll by, research shows that drug-induced sleep occupying over 75% of each day leads to reversal of aging and what might actually be physical immortality. Sleep forever and live in your dreams! Take that, you short-sleepers!
  • I stumbled upon Gos earlier today, and it's an interesting concept: A Linux distro focused on Web apps that might be ideal for ultra-mobile PCs, tablets, and ebook readers. (Alas, it's not mature and may not be as “small footprint” as people would like.) Many of the Web apps it installs by default are Google apps, which led me to wonder if the product's creators intended from the start to sell the company to Google someday.
  • Pete Albrecht put together a long and detailed resources page for model rocketry. Perhaps only peripherally related to model rocketry but interesting nonetheless is the linked-to story of Miss Bomarc. (I had a model Bomarc when I was a kid, and Pete is building a flying model.)
  • From George Ewing comes a pointer to an intriguing article about 13 Things That Do Not Make Sense. Actually, they do make sense—the problem is that we don't understand them yet. (Humanity's most grievous sin is refusing to admit its own ignorance.) I'm glad they included cold fusion, and the one I would add is poltergeist activity.
  • Jim Strickland sent me a pointer to an item about a pair of prosthetic legs that communicate via Bluetooth in order to help a double amputee walk more effectively. The story I currently have doing the rounds (though all the majors have bounced it) posits a prosthetic leg with a 128-core Intel processor, a snarky AI personality, a thigh speaker, and WiMax, with all that that implies. If I don't sell it soon, you'll see it in Souls in Silicon later this year.
  • This June, ContraPositive Diary will be ten years old. (How many blogs can make that claim!) What would you all suggest I do to celebrate? Should I publish a print book “best of” on Lulu? (Might make good bathroom reading…)

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