Why do these things always happen in China? (img from the Mirror)
If you haven’t read Max Brooks’ World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, this won’t ring bells for you. You should read it, and not just so that you’ll get the reference in this article. Brooks’ book is an excellent prescient retelling of a global zombie epidemic from start to finish… its inception in China, coverups and hard choices by governments and people, the restructuring of society, and the long slow denouement all seem very possible, due to the interview “oral history” flavor. Read it.
He's right there behind the bush. (img by Steve Wilson)
I played woodsball with my brothers and father one summer a couple of years ago. It was the second time I’d ever played any sort of paintball game, and I learned a hell of a lot.
I’ve always sucked at FPS type games. I have a weird spatial-awareness retardation when it comes to representation on the screen. It takes me forever to memorize maps that my brothers seem to pick up instantly, and I die a lot. I’ve begun to suspect that they’re good at learning maps because they’ve spent thousands of hours playing FPS games, where I’ve spent probably less than 40, but I like playing outside too much right now to dedicate time to killing dudes on screen.
I’ve always liked playing in the woods, love things like flashlight tag and capture the flag, and now play outside under the totally legit auspices of parkour.
But it turns out that parkour experience translates really well to moving around in the woods, but it translates really badly to the objective mission of paintball: shooting other people and avoiding being shot.
I expected my paintball debut to look like this: (more…)
I know a guy who at one time worked with railguns in the Carolinas. He would track them down in the wild, tranquilize them, tag them, and release them so that scientists in his lab could get a better picture of their day to day behavior and migration patterns.
He said that he couldn’t say much about the stuff he worked on, but mentioned that railguns need lots of room to run. And I can see why.
BAE Systems, apparently a one-stop military technology shop, just tested a 33 megajoule railgun. They helpfully explain a megajoule as roughly the equivalent of a one-ton vehicle moving at 100mph.
Politeness is our watchword. (img by passiveaggressivenotes)
It’s becoming common for first responses to fast-moving crises—terrorist acts, emergencies, natural disasters—to arrive over fast-moving social-media channels. Social media was critical in the aftermath of the magnitude 7.2 earthquake in eastern Turkey in October, where survivors used Twitter to let people know they were alive. During the Virginia Tech shooting in December, the Twitter feed of school newspaper the Collegiate Times kept students aware of police activity on campus, including when the SWAT team announced there were no suspicious people inside the Student Centre building.
Chances are, you’ve seen this behavior all around you. People walking around staring at their phones, completely oblivious to the world around them. You’ve probably scoffed at them or bumped into them or gotten inordinately pissed off because you have to route around someone standing in the middle of a flight of stairs typing into a phone.
Chances are, you’re guilty, too. Here’s a quick video tutorial on the dangers of walking and texting:
Although the video stresses the social dangers of walking and texting, it doesn’t really hit the real physical dangers of walking out into a busy street or bumping into someone who’s looking for a reason to hit someone.
When you’re out in the world, keep your head up. You’ll die less, and you just might see something beautiful.
Bruce Schneier’s a security specialist with his own Internet meme. And while most people believe that technology elevates, improves things, Schneier holds that technology magnifies, makes things bigger, good and…