Interesting numbers

Accumulated time spent on building Wikipedia ... 100'000'000 hours
Total time spent watching TV in the USA ... 200'000'000'000 hours per annum
TV time of global web-connected population ... 1'000'000'000'000 hours p.a.

That's what Clay Shirky calls Cognitive Surplus. An interesting thought indeed.


Alumni meeting

Yesterday, I went to a meeting of an Edinburgh alumni group at the Member's Room of the Swiss Scotch Malt Whisky Society in Schönenwerd. The group consisted of MBA alumni who were kind enough to invite us others, so we were a motley crew from different faculties and graduation years, and I happened to be the most senior of the lot, at least in terms of the graduation year. It was great fun to meet everybody, and I hope we will be able to do that again. The icing on the cake was that I got to see the Member's Room, which I've never been to despite of all the years that I'm a member.


Rule Britannica!

Coolness! Being the web publisher and blogger that I am, I have been accepted into Britannica's Webshare programme by virtue of this blog (among others). This programme gives its participants free access to Encyclopedia Britannica online and lets them (me!) share whatever article they fancy with readers - yes, you! So, here goes, and most appropriately to start with, hell! This looks like a great way to compete with Wikipdia - you better get used to the thought of not getting any more Wikipedia references from this source.


Oy, Google!

What have I done?? Since about 16 April, the amount of search based traffic that Google has directed my way has fallen off the cliff quite dramatically, as witnessed by the chart. Not that it matters much, as most of that traffic has been after the globe's most expansive posterior (I paraphrase, obviously), which I talked about in an early post, but it's strange anyway. Ah well, somebody else must have come up with a more relevant reference, then ...



Ever wondered what the golden disk aboard spacecrafts Voyager 1 & 2 contained? Unsurprisingly, you can find out online here.


The Ampersand

Ever since reading The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman ("learned wit" - bah!), I like using and (&) per se and in any language, whatever the rules - learn more about its meaning & history here. Thanks to kottke for the pointer!



Wow - this article in NZZ Folio reports the Xentonality work of William Sethares - with plenty of free music samples. It's experimental music of the best kind: strangely harmonic even though it defies all conventional rules of harmony. Fascinating!


The Distillery List

I am a veteran member (#303) of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Swiss Branch, and I enjoy their bottlings a lot, especially from distillery 1. I used to keep the distillery list online myself, but since you only get it when you join, it would be rather dated by now. So here I found a pretty current one - thanks Julian!


Change, please!

How come most everything that the Brits do turns out in style? I'm definitely looking forward to getting my mitts on those shiny beauties next time I'm in London. Thanks to the Royal Mint's picture (watch the video - a modern classic in the making), I've now even understood the scheme that the coinage follows. You get multiple "dimensions" in terms of material (brass, nickel, copper), format (thick / thin, large / small / tiny) and shapes (round, heptagonic). While this baroque richness of form is not exactly in line with Bauhaus' form follows function, it probably harks back to the days of pounds, shillings and pence before D-Day on 15 February 1971. One wonders for how long this opulent memory will linger. (via DF)


Homer singt Tod und Klingen, zaubert Hexameter durch die Jahrtausende, sechs Hebungen pro Vers, über jede rumpelt der tote Körper Hektors, den Achill in seinem Zorn vor den Mauern Trojas herumschleift. Wie Blitze zucken altgriechische Grosssbuchstaben am Himmel über den Helden, OΔYΣΣEYΣ bohrt sich als zischheisser Pfahl ins Auge des Riesen Polyphem. Pfähle, Lanzen und steil ragende Phalli - und jetzt also soll Homer ein Eunuch gewesen sein?
Ein literarisches Fundstück besonderer Güte aus Stefan Zweifels gelungener Kolumne zur Sonderausstellung Homer, die ich ganz bestimmt besuchen werde. Schliesslich: Honi soit qui jaune y pense.


April revisited

This one is perfectly worthy to be listed with its predecessor. Don't you just love the penguins taking off? This may also signal the beginning of a humouristic examination of global warming, which is awfully scarce.

Screw Yoga

This is excellent stuff!