Archive for January 1st, 2011

January 1, 2011

Magpul FMG9

fmg

The Magpul FMG-9 is a prototype for a folding machine gun, designed by Magpul Industries in 2008. It is made out of a light-weight polymer material rather than metal, making it easy to carry and conceal. It is also small enough even to fit in the back pocket of most pants.

It was developed for use by personal protection details such as the United States Secret Service. It is still a prototype and may or may not be made in large numbers for law enforcement agencies. The prototype uses Glock pistol firing mechanisms, specifically the 9mm Glock 17 pistol and the Glock 18 machine pistol.

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January 1, 2011

TED

TED (Technology Entertainment and Design) is a global set of conferences curated by the American private non-profit Sapling Foundation, formed to disseminate ‘ideas worth spreading.’ over 700 talks are available free online. TED was founded in 1984, and the conference was held annually from 1990 in Monterey, California. The speakers are given a maximum of 18 minutes to present their ideas in the most innovative and engaging ways they can

Past presenters include Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Malcolm Gladwell, Al Gore, Richard Dawkins, Bill Gates, and Larry Page and Sergey Brin. TED’s current curator is the British former computer journalist and magazine publisher Chris Anderson. TED’s early emphasis was largely technology and design, consistent with a Silicon Valley center of gravity. The events are now held in Long Beach and Palm Springs in the U.S. as well as in Europe and Asia, offering live streaming of the talks. They address an increasingly wide range of topics within the research and practice of science and culture.

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January 1, 2011

Neurodiversity

autism speaks

MindFreedom

Neurodiversity is an idea which asserts that atypical neurological development is a normal human difference that is to be recognized and respected as any other human variation. Differences may arise in ways of processing information, including language, sound, images, light, texture, taste, or movement. The concept of neurodiversity is embraced by some autistic individuals and people with related conditions.

Some groups apply the concept of neurodiversity to conditions potentially unrelated to autism such as bipolar disorder, ADHD, schizophrenia, circadian rhythm disorders, developmental speech disorders, Parkinson’s disease (and other motor control disorders), and dyslexia.

January 1, 2011

Temple Grandin

temple grandin

Temple Grandin (b. 1947) is an American doctor of animal science and professor at Colorado State University, bestselling author, and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior. As a person with high-functioning autism, Grandin is also widely noted for her work in autism advocacy and is the inventor of the ‘hug machine’ designed to calm hypersensitive persons.

Grandin became well known after being described by Oliver Sacks in the title narrative of his book ‘An Anthropologist on Mars’ (1995); the title is derived from Grandin’s description of how she feels around neurotypical people. She first spoke in public about autism in the mid-1980s at the request of Ruth C. Sullivan, one of the founders of the Autism Society of America.

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January 1, 2011

Kusudama

Kusudama

Kusudama

The Japanese kusudama (literally ‘medicine ball’) is a paper model that is usually (although not always) created by sewing or gluing multiple identical pyramidal units (usually stylized flowers folded from square paper) together through their points to form a spherical shape. Occasionally, a tassel is attached to the bottom for decoration.

Kusudama originate from ancient Japanese culture, where they were used for incense and potpourri; possibly originally being actual bunches of flowers or herbs. They are now typically used as decorations, or as gifts. It is a precursor to modular origami, a paper folding technique which uses multiple sheets of paper to create a larger and more complex structure than possible using single-piece origami techniques.

January 1, 2011

Dox

spokeo

Dox (short for documents) is internet slang for personal information, often including real name, known aliases, addresses, phone numbers, SSN, credit card numbers, place of employment, etc. A person is ‘doxed’ when all their personal information is made public.

January 1, 2011

Free Beer

Free Beer, formerly known as ‘Our Beer,’ is the first brand of Danish beer with a ‘free’ recipe – free as in ‘freedom,’ taken after the term ‘free software.’ The name ‘Free Bee’ is a play on Richard Stallman’s common explanation that free software is ‘free as in speech, not free as in beer.’ The recipe is published under a Creative Commons license, specifically the Attribution-ShareAlike license. The beer was created by students at the IT-University in Copenhagen together with Superflex, a Copenhagen-based artist collective, to illustrate how concepts of the free software movement might be applied outside the digital world.

Initially, much of the homebrewing community spoke out against the quality and comprehensiveness of the recipe. Making reference to the technical problems of when software instructions (‘source code’) cannot be made into a functioning program, several people commented that if the recipe were source code, it would not compile (a compiler is a program that takes ‘source code’ from a high-level language and changes it to a target language, mostly machine code, the lowest level language). Since then the recipe went through several iterations and has now reached version 4.0, which corrects most of the early mistakes. The quality of the beer also improved, and the amount of sugar in it decreased by 90%.

January 1, 2011

OpenCola

OpenCola is a brand of cola unique in that the instructions for making it are freely available and modifiable. Anybody can make the drink, and anyone can modify and improve on the recipe as long as they, too, license their recipe under the GNU General Public License.  Since recipes are, by themselves, not copyrightable, the legal basis for this is untested.

The original version 1.0 was released on 27th January 2001. Current Version is 1.1.3. Although originally intended as a promotional tool to explain free and open source software, the drink took on a life of its own and 150,000 cans were sold. The Toronto-based company Opencola founded by Grad Conn, Cory Doctorow, and John Henson became better known for the drink than the software it was supposed to promote. Laird Brown, the company’s senior strategist, attributes its success to a widespread mistrust of big corporations and the ‘proprietary nature of almost everything.’

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January 1, 2011

Blockhead

blockhead

Blockhead (real name Tony Simon) is an American Hip hop producer based in Manhattan, New York. Aside from his solo efforts released on the Ninja Tune label, he is most associated with producing for Aesop Rock, a rapper for the Definitive Jux independent hip hop label. He is also a member of the hip hop/comedy group Party Fun Action Committee. His father, the late Sidney Simon, was a well known sculptor in New York City.