Biomimetics Or How I Got So Cool

Biomimetics – National Geographic Magazine

This the thorny devil knows, with an elegance and certainty that fascinated Parker beyond all thought of snakebite or sunstroke. “Look, look!” he exclaimed. “Its back is completely drenched!” Sure enough, after 30 seconds, water from the dish had wicked up the lizard’s leg and was glistening all over its prickly hide. In a few seconds more the water reached its mouth, and the lizard began to smack its jaws with evident satisfaction. It was, in essence, drinking through its foot. Given more time, the thorny devil can perform this same conjuring trick on a patch of damp sand—a vital competitive advantage in the desert. Parker had come here to discover precisely how it does this, not from purely biological interest, but with a concrete purpose in mind: to make a thorny-devil-inspired device that will help people collect lifesaving water in the desert.

Great article over there on how re-engineering nature is the next step to figuring out how to get along better with it.   The ninja learns these skills in order to be both and invisible and deadly as nature itself.

How China Could Leverage Tibetans

This is one of the better of a series of articles I’ve been following on China’s idiotic response to the Tibet situation.  The author does a good job in pointing out how China could get a whole lot of whuffie for dealing fairly with Tibet, and it would make a huge move to quell the disquiet surrounding China’s rise to a world power.

Why Beijing Needs Tibet’s Help | Newsweek International Edition |

Recent events in Tibet have underscored the fact that more than a Half Century of Chinese occupation—and forcible attempts to change Tibetans into Han Chinese—aren’t working and never will. Resistance to Beijing’s imperialism hasn’t come just from the “Dalai Lama clique,” as Chinese officials put it, but from all 6 million Tibetans.

Thus Beijing’s problems won’t simply go away when the 14th Dalai Lama dies; he’s now 72 and very durable. But that’s a good thing, for China’s leaders are going to need his help to peacefully resolve the crisis. The Dalai Lama remains committed to nonviolence and a solution that would benefit both sides. And he’s the only person capable of persuading his people to accept such a deal.

As a ninja who wouldn’t mind seeing my monkish friends enjoying their lives instead of being arrested and/or executed, I’m all for this one.

This idea, on the other hand, is retarded.

Far from heeding international calls for dialogue with the Dalai Lama, China has accused Tibet’s exiled god-king of colluding with Muslim terrorists to destabilise the country before the Olympic Games.

State-run newspapers have issued prominent leading articles that are part of a campaign to portray the Dalai Lama as the mastermind of the deadly riots that have rippled through Tibet and ethnic Tibetan communities.

In Lhasa, the Tibetan capital, yesterday local TV issued the No 7 list of those most wanted in connection with the riots on March 10 in which Chinese officials say 22 people were killed, including a baby boy burnt to death in a garage and one paramilitary police officer.

[full story]

C’mon China, “goodwill” is bankable.  The U.S. has proved that without a doubt in the 21st Century (albeit in the negative).  See chart, weep.

Wii-Mote is Da Bomb

Or at least can be used to diffuse them…

Defuse Bombs With A Wii Remote – Video Game Feature – Yahoo! Video Games

You’ve used it to virtually swing a racket, smack a homerun and hurl a bowling ball. The U.S. military, however, wants to use it to defuse real-world bombs.

According to a report by New Scientist magazine, enterprising engineers at the U.S. Department of Energy have made it possible to control a bomb-defusing robot with the same Nintendo Wii remote that millions of gamers consider a natural extension of their hands.

Note: in times of peace it can also be used to wreck some phat beats.

Communists Exploit Lazy Caplitalists to Spy on Buddhists

Espionage Against Pro-Tibet Groups, Others, Spurred Microsoft Patches

SAN FRANCISCO — Computer intruders targeting pro-Tibetan groups, U.S. defense contractors and government agencies slipped in through previously unknown security holes in Microsoft Office, prompting Microsoft to issue a flurry of patches to the popular software suite in 2006 and 2007, according to computer security experts.

These attacks, which appeared to have originated in China, began in early 2006 when the attackers started sending e-mails to victims with booby-trapped Word documents and Excel spreadsheets attached.

“We are seeing more and more spying done with Trojans, a shift that has happened in the last two years,” Mikko Hyppönen, the chief research officer for software security vendor F-Secure, told RSA conference attendees Thursday morning.

The Pentagon and pro-Tibet groups have previously acknowledged the intrusions, but Hyppönen is the first to link the cyber espionage to a series of patches that Microsoft pushed out without explanation. Microsoft did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Curious run of events here, as China is using regualr holes to get at the “terrorists” (i.e. “splittest” in Chinese).

Old School Interviews

The Mike Wallace Interview

Mike Wallace rose to prominence in 1956 with the New York City television interview program, Night-Beat, which soon developed into the nationally televised prime-time program, The Mike Wallace Interview. Well prepared with extensive research, Wallace asked probing questions of guests framed in tight close-ups. The result was a series of compelling and revealing interviews with some of the most interesting and important people of the day.

The Mike Wallace Interview ran from 1957 to 1960, but the Ransom Center collection includes interviews from only 1957 and 1958. In the early 1960s, Mr. Wallace donated to the Ransom Center kinescopes of these programs and related materials, including his prepared questions, research material, and correspondence.

The kind of interviews where the interviewer blows smoke in your face, then asks you a question.

Watch the Pearl Buck one to see why Parliament cigarettes are the best smokes ever.