It was only a matter

It was only a matter of time before the Media Lab did something with blogs. blogdex is that something. It’s a sort of meta-blog zeitgeist filter. Punchline: if it appears on a lot of blogs, it must be cool. It’s a good idea, but only just now getting off the ground.

Darwin in a test tube:

Darwin in a test tube: Avida is an artificial life software package from the Digital Life Laboratory at Caltech. Computer simulations are now able to hit “magic thresholds” of complexity that allow them to model something that looks an awful lot like life. We’re going to be learning a lot from artificial life in the near future.

Jorn Barger, of Robot Wisdom

Jorn Barger, of Robot Wisdom fame, has a pet project (he has a bunch of pet projects, actually) called the Internet Timelines Project. I find the concept intriguing. I’ve often thought about how I would construct a lifeline hypertext construct. It reminds me of David Gelernter’s Scopeware concept, where time is the predominant organizing force. Speaking of Gelernter, here is his keynote address (PDF) to the PCExpo in New York, along with a very fond piece by the New York Times (PDF) on the same topic. Interesting stuff.

This is old news now,

This is old news now, but take a look at this Election 2000 map of presidential vote by county. It’s pretty enlightening: The Mathematics of a Tie Election. The actual map of interest is partway down the page. It’s an almost perfect urban/rural split, with most major population centers going for Gore. As they say on the site: Of the 40 largest metropolitan areas, only Phoenix, Dallas, San Diego, Tampa Bay, Salt Lake City, and Indianapolis went for Bush. Take a close look: not too many Gore votes in Wyoming. You can also see how the rural areas that went for Gore have a strong minority presence. The banks of the Mississippi was solid Gore territory right through the deep south.

What’s the weather like on

What’s the weather like on Mars? It’s frosty on the dunes. Check out these pictures from the Mars Global Surveyor. The Mars orbiter continues to astound. It’s sad to think how much money the International Space Station is siphoning off of projects like this. I prefer to think of the space station as a kind of Depression make-work project for sad post-Cold War engineers and man-in-space jocks who long for the days of Apollo. The Civilian Conservation Corps in Space.

Speaking of weather in space, you can also visit the Space Weather Now page. Keep your jacket on: the solar wind is screaming at around 600 km/sec.