Neodymium Super Magnets

Matt Hoy writes: They sell rare earth magnets. Incredibly strong and small. I ordered a bunch of them. These would be useful for creating the “hard drive killer” door frame [Neal] Stephenson mentions in “Cryptonomicon”. They sell one monster with over 350 lbs of force. I’m afraid I had to buy smaller ones, since I don’t like the idea of breaking a finger when I get it caught between the…

'Historic find' is old garden patio

Huge slabs uncovered in Marion Garry’s garden in Buckhaven, Fife, had experts convinced they had found evidence of an early Viking village….Mr Speirs admitted that his team mistakenly ignored the finds of a World War II child’s gas mask and old television remote in their hunt for Viking evidence. –‘Historic find’ is old garden patio (BBC)

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The Wandering and Homes of Manuscripts

The Wanderings and Homes of Manuscripts is the title of this book. To have called it the survival and transmission of ancient literature would have been pretentious, but not wholly untruthful. Manuscripts, we all know, are the chief means by which the records and imaginings of twenty centuries have been preserved. It is my purpose to tell where manuscripts were made, and how and in what centres they have been…

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No Mark of Distinction

Over the last two decades, academic [book] titles have become increasingly cumbersome, and it is rare to find an academic book title that is not lashed together with a subtitle and its colon. Some books even boast two subtitles, glued tenuously to the title with two colons. –Jennifer Jabson –No Mark of Distinction (Chronicle) The title of my dissertation is “Soul and Society in a Technological Age: American Drama, 1920-1950.” When…

PC version of Deus Ex: Invisible War disappoints

The game’s artificial intelligence borders on idiotic. At one point, I conversed with the civic manager of Upper Seattle in his office. After our chat, he conveniently walked into the hallway and blankly looked on as I hacked into his safe and stole secret information. I was especially disappointed with Invisible War because its ambitious technological underpinnings held much promise. Graphics were filled with realistic nuances such as hanging lights…

The S factor explains Bush's popularity

They’re the ones who keep the puerile shows on TV, who appear as regular recipients of the Darwin Awards, who raise our insurance rates by doing dumb things, who generally make life much more miserable for all of us than it ought to be. Sad to say, they comprise a substantial minority — perhaps even a majority — of the populace. –Neal Starkman –The S factor explains Bush’s popularity (Seattle PI)…