08 October 2011


Yesterday it was announced that the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to "three women from Africa and the Arab world in acknowledgment of their nonviolent role in promoting peace, democracy and gender equality. The winners were President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia (the first woman to be elected president in modern Africa, shown above center), her compatriot, the peace activist Leymah Gbowee (shown above left), and Tawakkel Karman of Yemen (shown above right), a pro-democracy campaigner .... Most of the recipients in the award's 110-year history have been men, and Friday's decision seemed designed to give impetus to the fight for women's rights around the world." You can learn more about the remarkable achievements of these three women, who live in cultures even more male-dominated than in the U.S., in this NYTimes article. Heartfelt congratulations to all three. The world is a better place for the courage and dedication of women and men like these.

Now, a series of visual entertainments. The first, courtesy of friend Bill in Chicago, is a website called I Love Charts. And I do, actually, right up there with maps. These charts offer social, political, and economic eye-popping visuals, often humorous, without editorial comment. The facts speak for themselves.

The second is an NPR video called Flu Attack! How a Virus Invades Your Body. It is visually arresting and has its facts in order. My only reservation is that the narration dumbs down scientific terminology, which is unfortunately condescending toward the viewer. "Those little noodley things"? Where are we, 3rd grade? Nevertheless, the 3+ minute video is entertaining and informative.

Third ~ Blackboards in Porn ~ "Celebrating pornographers who go the extra mile when set-dressing classroom porn and actually write something on the blackboard. What do they write, and is it correct? (Humor site ~ safe for work.)" No fears, the images are suggestive but not explicit (alas), and each image is accompanied by commentary on what's on the blackboard. Heh.

Fourth is Pendulum Waves ~ "Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and (seemingly) random motion." Physics and math in visual form.

Finally, another translation of the physics of pendulums into art ~ Sand Pendulum. Spirograph meets Japanese garden sand raking. Enjoy your day.

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