What Does Wi-Fi Sound Like? http://www.fastcolabs.com/3038556/what-does-wifi-sound-like?partner=rss
Right-to-carry gun laws linked to increase in violent crime http://scienceblog.com/75349/right-carry-gun-laws-linked-increase-violent-crime/
Penn & Teller Urge You to Be Openly Secular, If You So Choose http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/2014/11/15/penn-teller-urge-you-to-be-openly-secular-if-you-so-choose/
Despite a dearth of fresh snow in most areas in December 2013, a Christmas in the Austrian Alps is still the best Christmas there is.
In an apparently heartfelt goodbye, Alec Baldwin said his final farewell to public life in an emotional article on entertainment news site Vulture.
The cynic in me hears a PR person in the background going: “We’ve moved past the soft-soap interview Alex, you’re going to have to write this one in your own words.”
I’ve always liked Alex Baldwin, but he did have a bit of a meltdown last year. New baby in the house, not enough sleep, and being a bit flakey to start with will do that to you. Did he call Harvey Levin a cocksucker? Probably. Did he call him a faggot? Possibly, but there’s no proof, and as long as he says he didn’t, he didn’t. Of course, when celebrities are involved, people will gossip.
Some celebrities appear to have this very dysfuntional relationship with fame. Does Alec Baldwin believe he was paid $300K per episode of 30 Rock because he’s that great an actor? He was paid union rates for acting, plus a very large bonus for being public property. For being the kind of celebrity that everyone wants to photograph, everyone wants to own a small piece of. They still have the right to stand on street corners in New York like everyone else, but unlike everyone else people are going to notice them. Celebrities who don’t like that, still have the options of taking their tens of millions of dollars and going somewhere more anonymous.
Google outdid themselves again with their Doodle to celebrate the opening of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. As a special statement on the xxx of Russia’s homophobic politics and legislation, Google added this quote from the Olympic Charter:
The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.
Some excellent skeptical advice from the always fabulous Tim Minchin.
An ideal place to start exploring Taiwan’s deliciously exotic culinary spectrum is at one of Taipei’s night markets. If you’re a Westerner, set aside your prejudices as to what is edible and what isn’t, and dive right in. Pro-tip: nearly everything sold as food at night markets can be considered edible. However, not everything might be palatable.
Several markets in Taipei are open by day as well, mostly from early afternoon. For the weary traveller, this is an excellent opportunity to use daylight to make sure your next meal isn’t still alive.
Of course Taipei also has its share of restaurants catering to every taste (such as the Sherwood Hotel’s Yi Yuan restaurant’s excellent Peking duck).
For Westerners wishing to restore their equilibrium with something familiar, there’s always the Brass Monkey pub.
And of course, finally something sweet to cool you down: iced green tea served with clotted cream and sugar!
Built in 1738 by settlers from Fujian, Taipei’s Mengjia Longshan Temple worships Buddhist, Taoist, and folk deities such as Matsu.
For a while there, the Taipei 101 building was the tallest building in the world, until it was overtaken by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in 2010. The 509.2m high building is currently the second tallest building in the world, and was the first building in the world to break the half a kilometer mark.
A 660 tonne steel pendulum serves as a tuned mass damper, swaying from side to side to compensate for the movement of the building caused by gusts of wind. This prevents structural damage to the building during frequent typhoons.
The National Revolutionary Martyrs’ Shrine is dedicated to the Republic of China’s war dead. From Wikipedia:
Built on Chingshan Mountain and overseeing the Keelung River in Taipei’s Zhongshan District in 1969, the Martyrs Shrine recalls the architecture of the Hall of Supreme Harmony in Beijing’s Forbidden City. The structure houses the spirit tablets of about 390,000 persons killed, among other engagements, during the Xinhai Revolution, Northern Expedition, Second Sino-Japanese War, Chinese Civil War, and the First and Second Taiwan Strait Crises.
Housing the Mira Department Store, the Core Pacific City Mall‘s 11 story sphere is made of imported Finnish granite.