Year-end link dump

In Japan, tradition for New Year’s Day is that it’s a fresh start – houses are cleaned, debts are paid, and so on. I’m not going to be anywhere near a fresh start this New Year’s, but I can at least try to clear out some of the links I’ve been accumulating.

This is not any sort of year-in-review, so don’t expect comprehensive links or dots being connected. This is just some of what I’ve accumulated in the last couple of months.

We’ll start with the Christmas/winter-related links while they’re fresh.

The Portal Christmas Tree is pretty cool. It’s appeared on a number of websites recently. The Portal 2 present wasn’t quite so widely noted. This last Portal-related link shows how Santa gets around quickly.

Instead of the Portal tree, which is one tree in two places, the Obama’s have 37 separate Christmas trees.

I’ve never cared for Star Trek ornaments, but I like this.

If you’re concerned that your stocking won’t hold your stuff, you can build one of these.

Do you tell spooky stories at Christmas? Some people do.

Some people like music to go with (inspired by) those spooky stories.

Some people have entirely too much time to play in the snow. Looks like fun. Back around 1977, I made this kind of fancy snow sculpture with my housemates, but I’ve not done it since then. Most winters, there’s seldom enough snow where I am to make an attempt worthwhile.

Art links:

Street Art Utopia has a wonderful retrospective of street art from the past year.

Variations on a theme. Some drawing are likely to be NSFW.

I like the fourth picture, but they’re all good.

Did Vincent Van Gogh have a vision deficiency?

Music links:

The Whitney Music Box. It’s fun to watch, too. Via.

Play Ukulele Hero.

So you’ve heard a song in a movie, and you want to know what it is.

Math and Science links:

A new technique lets you count the animals living in a body of water by monitoring the DNA in a sample of it.

This is amazing! MIT has a new high-speed camera system that can show the advance of light.

The archives of the Royal Society have been put onto the net for free access.

Nature wants to eat you.

This is cool! Watch the video showing how a new spray can keep your clothes and other things clean. I could use this on my windows and shower doors.

Another success for adult stem cells. To the best of my knowledge, all stem cell successes to date have involved adult stem cells, not fetal stem cells.

Do you believe in anthropogenic global warming enough to kill people? I don’t.

On science, pseudo-science, and heresy as it relates to AGW.

Nine equations true geeks should know (or pretend to know).

Technology and Toys links:

One of the Christmas presents I gave this year was a nice watch. Personally, I wear a cheap Casio watch currently, but I’ve been thinking of getting myself a nicer one. Here is one website I’ve checked out. You can find some nicer watches (definitely out of my price range) here, including this one that is wayout of my price range. It is beautiful, though. There is some attraction in an Android watch, though.

I had a Digi-Comp1 when I was younger. All that I have left is the manual. I may have to play with this emulator some time, but it was a pretty rudimentary computer, so perhaps not. Via Boing Boing.

I came so close to building one of these for a senior project in EE. I wish I had.

I have fond memories of Rogue, but they’re not too specific, because it’s been a long time since I’ve played. I wonder how close this is.

I haven’t tried this game-development system yet, but it looks interesting.

There’s not only an app for that, there’s now a brick-and-mortar app store.

It can’t tell you what changes were made, but there’s a new computer program that can tell you what parts of an image have been changed.

I remember reading this article (the Popular Science one) when it came out. I thought it would be a neat thing, and wanted to try making an aquarium pump. Unfortunately, I was a poor pre-teen at the time, and had no way to obtain the supplies.

This looks cool (and I almost put it in the art category), but I have to wonder about traction.

How cool is the idea of black boxes for archery arrows?

Politics, culture, and the economy:

An infographic about the Federal budget.

If the media were actually conservative, or even impartial or honest, this would be one of a number of major administration scandals.

The claim has been made that Occupy Wall Street is a grassroots uprising just like the Tea Party, but on the opposite side of the political spectrum. Is it? Is it really?

I had to ask some friends not to invite me for dinner if they were also inviting a specific neighbor of theirs to the same dinner; at each get-together where we were both present, he seemed to be challenging me to respond to his provocatively-stated political opinions, and I refused to submit myself to him being obnoxious all evening, and I didn’t want to make a scene. It’s not an unknown problem.

There are a lot of scary charts and graphs around. Here are two of them.

Are white men gods? Fred makes a good case for it.

At the very least, it appears that old Republican white men know what’s going on in the world.

Muslims have killed more than 1000 Christians this year. They don’t limit themselves to Christian targets though, and the numbers add up.

It used to be that medicine had little relation to or dependence upon evolutionary concepts. As that is no longer the case, I weep for the future of medical treatment.

When should you use violence? Don’t skip the comments.

Sometimes, they don’t even make an effort to hide their attitudes.

Food and Drink links:

A cheeseburger requires the capabilities of modern society.

Recipes for Liquers.

Highway closed by 20-ton Marmite spill. Kind of reminds me of the Great Molasses Flood.

I’ve made orange peel candy before, but it’s nice to keep a recipe handy.

I’m planning to try this recipe tomorrow night.

Sometime, I’ll have to try to make Italian Beef.

Most honey isn’t honey (according to the FDA).

Whisky and lasers sounds like a dangerous pairing, but it’s actually useful.

I’ve had a couple of these brews. I used to have some bottles saved from various brews with fun names (I had a bottle of Beer Goggles IPA, and two of the Denver Zoo’s custom labels), but I got rid of them some time ago.

I never really cared for Dippin’ Dots, although it was an interesting thing to try when I was young. It seems that other people feel the same way.

Miscellaneous links:

I propose that world building is the primary distinguishing characteristic of SF and fantasy.” Years ago, I attended a presentation on world building given by John Barnes. It was fascinating – among other things, he talked about Mac applications he’d developed to do forecasting of everything from expected rates of technology introduction to likely political alliances to popular names that could be extrapolated for particular future time periods.

Trade your old gold for a new cat.

Lost/missing culture

An enlightening discourse on Fantasy Armor and Lady Bits.

I’ve seen this guy before, but he wasn’t modeling bras then.

Speaking of modeling, a Swedish fashion chain is under fire for showing their clothing using computer-generated models.

Also, as a model, you should know what terms are in your model release.

Here is one link to a resource for learning languages.

Speaking of languages, they’re being mapped by Twitter.

Like a southern accent is good for a drop in perceived IQ, the same is true of dressing in a certain manner.

I think I’ve posted this before, but I ran across it again recently. An amusing anecdote about an attack cat.

Wisdom from Calvin’s father.

Ernie Pyle remembers Clark Kent.

And Bruce Wayne has a medical examination.

This is interesting – Mayan ruins found in Georgia.

It’s not GlaDos, but it used to be potato powered.

The Royal Navy is retrofitting submarines in preparation to allowing women to serve on them. I’ve written about this before; I think it’s a bad idea.

Be careful what you text. Also, review it to make sure it’s what you intend to send.

It’s a sad thing to note that this is necessary these days.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show actors – where are they now?

I haven’t gotten around to reading this webcomic yet.

Some nice newspaper headlines here.

Watch out for online dating scams.

UPDATE: Fixed a couple of links that weren’t properly closed.

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