Links for 2012-03-29

  • The Virtuosi: Money for (almost) Nothing

    I am not typically interested in lotteries. They seem silly and I am seriously beginning to question their usefulness in bringing about a good harvest. But this morning I read in the news that the Mega Millions lottery currently has a world record jackpot up for grabs. In fact, the jackpot is so big...

    Tonight Show Audience: HOW BIG IS IT?

    It is so big that I decided to do a little bit of analysis on the expected returns. Zing!

  • Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning

    How did this captain know - from fifty feet away - what the father couldn't recognize from just ten? Drowning is not the violent, splashing, call for help that most people expect. The captain was trained to recognize drowning by experts and years of experience. The father, on the other hand, had learned what drowning looks like by watching television. If you spend time on or near the water (hint: that's all of us) then you should make sure that you and your crew knows what to look for whenever people enter the water. Until she cried a tearful, "Daddy," she hadn't made a sound. As a former Coast Guard rescue swimmer, I wasn't surprised at all by this story. Drowning is almost always a deceptively quiet event. The waving, splashing, and yelling that dramatic conditioning (television) prepares us to look for, is rarely seen in real life.

  • Who is the Route 29 Batman? This guy. - Rosenwald, Md. - The Washington Post

    I actually know Batman. His parents are dear friends of my wife's family, and I see him at holiday dinners where my 4-year-old son believes he is the real-life Bruce Wayne. "Daddy, he's Batman, too," my son will whisper to me. Though Batman has long been aware that I'm a journalist, he has never suggested I write about him. He does not crave publicity. Like his comic book namesake, he doesn't seek credit for what he does.

    "I'm just doing it for the kids," he says.

    But in light of him going viral -- "Gotham City is on the verge of chaos," Anderson Cooper informed CNN viewers -- I asked him whether I could unveil the man behind the mask. He acquiesced but suggested I do so by accompanying him to the cancer ward at Children's National Medical Center in Northwest Washington for a superhero party thrown by the Hope for Henry organization.

  • Hubble's Hidden Treasures 2012 | ESA/Hubble

    Since 1990, Hubble has made more than a million observations. We feature many of these on, and the most stunning are in our Top 100 gallery and iPad app.

    But there are thousands of pictures in Hubble's science archive that have only been seen by a few scientists. We call these images Hubble's hidden treasures -- stunning images of astronomical phenomena that have never been seen and enjoyed by the public.

    Every week, we search the archive for hidden treasures, process the scientific data into attractive images and publish them as the Hubble Picture of the Week. But the archive is so vast that nobody really knows the full extent of what Hubble has observed.

    This is where you come in.

  • Health-care reform: Collective solutions and the individualist tantrum | Grist

    Faced with the programs and rules that make up a moderate, private-enterprise-friendly health-care reform program like Obamacare, the Red State id is throwing an individualist tantrum. Like the Tea Partiers shouting "Hands off my Medicare" to the government that runs the program, today's conservatives are deeply confused, and they are flailing in every direction at once. Mandates are unconstitutional! Save Medicare by ending it! Down with the death panels! Beware bureaucrats bearing broccoli!

    This fight seems to be about mandates and dollars. But what's at stake is even more basic: Are we ever again going to be able to apply big collective solutions to our big collective problems?

  • Experimental Theology: On Masculine Christianity and Powerplays

    I think the rush to show that God has "feminine" attributes muddies the waters at best and makes Piper's case at worst.

    My recommendation is to not play Piper's game. Don't accept his framing. The issue isn't really about gender at all. The issue is about power.

    Which brings be back to Matthew 23.9.

    On the surface in this passage it looks like Jesus is saying something that backs Piper up. That God is a Father, a male. But I think that is missing the point.

    Jesus's statement--"call no man on earth father"--was a bomb. A huge bomb. Jesus is attacking the foundation of the power structure supporting his society.


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