Send your name to Mars. NASA will put your name on Mars for free. No catch. But it’s a pretty cerebral kind of stunt. Your name will be data-compressed and encoded on a CD-ROM that then gets mailed to Mars. Catch this snazzy marketing line: “Everyone on Earth who has ever dreamed of being an explorer on an alien planet will want to go along for the ride as we explore the surface of Mars” invites Dr. Ed Weiler, Associate Administrator for the Office of Space Science. That’s seems like a stretch, but then again, it’s a pretty irresistible gimmick. Hats off to the Mars minders.
I am fascinated by the image of the wild-n-free communes in the 60s. On the one hand, it seems like such a cool concept. On the other hand, it seems so hopeless, ridiculous, and filthy. I recently rented Easy Rider, which offers an excellent viewpoint from the middle of the era in question. Recently, there were some good articles on Salon about this topic too. Salon.com Life | Curse of the hippie parents. “Sometimes,” says the author, “your mind can be so open, your brain falls out.”
Also in the same mini-section on Salon there were some reviews of books on the same topic. The consensus? These communes were mostly hopeless, ridiculous, and filthy. Communes that work, and they exist, are not wild-n-free.
The relationship between Dionysus and civilized society is captivating. You can’t be rid of him, but you can’t get too close to him either. It is, by definition almost, the object of desire that cannot be grasped. Check out R. H. Albright’s Apollo and Dionysus bookstore for some background reading.
Martin Wattenberg’s treemap implementation taken to the Smithsonian: HistoryWired: A few of our favorite things. Very nice, and a glimpse of things to come, I’m sure. This interface is getting heavy press, which is a pretty cool concept in itself.
MIT’s ( blogdex ) is now working, and sure enough, they scrape together all the content that’s being referenced by blogs around the world. Since the net is a pretty repetitive place, you get an idea very quickly of what’s hot right now. Look at the top items on this list. They’re all pretty good. When I last looked, my favorite was the faked lunar landing page. They think they’re pretty clever, those NASA people, but one look at this page will convince you of the enormous ruse they’ve got going.
This one is from Wally. Check out humanclock.com to see what time it is. Why go electronic when you can go human? A nice small humanizing gift for the wired world.