A potpourri of ironies for the weekend

Baseball fans, here’s a unique (true?) tale of how – just after World War II – a baseball team consisting of Stratford-on-Avon actors and ex-POWs would dress in Elizabethan blouses and crush teams from nearby US air bases. “A dream team “with Paul Robeson (Othello) on first base, Sam Wanamaker (Iago) on second, Laurence Olivier (Coriolanus) on third and Peter O’Toole (Shylock) at shortstop. Albert Finney (a utility player) used to catch for me while Charles Laughton (King Lear) was the plate umpire. When Laughton said, ‘Strike three, you’re out!’ nobody argued.”  How I hope some time traveler secretly recorded their baseline trash talk and banter.  What a cute moment for a short story setting. Read: The Strangest Baseball Team in History.

And while we’re on the Bard… Ah, consistency. Here is a hilarious moment of aha! realization… something we always knew, but without ever putting the pieces together. You will slap your forehead and cry “d’oh!”

== Inspirational ==

JohnCleaseJohn Cleese has a very large brain! This speech about “how creativity works” is incisive and brilliant!

Watch Richard Turure on TED: An inspiring young fellow.

One public servant I very much admire… retired Defense Secretary Robert Gates… talking about another who I deemed (elsewhere) to have been the “Man of the 20th Century,” George C Marshall. There are grownups in this world. Amid all the preening and posturing, take solace in that fact.

Okay, name for me another species that can do this sort of stuff.  All right, I can’t do any of it either… still…

InternetWarningBritish humor site The Poke presents an optimistic vision of the future in which humankind has managed (by 2068) to break free from the shackles of YouTube, Flash plug-in crashes, and even, somehow,  cat videos.

Best rope-jumper in the world!

== And disturbing ==

Great big conspiracy flow chart.  It covers almost 15% of the crazy space!

Fascinating how gender imbalance and the one-child policy are affecting weddings and the “bride price” in China.

== And scientific ==

DNAAn auspicious anniversary? On 25 April, 1953, Nature published “A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” by J.D.Watson and F.H.C.Crick, setting out the double helix structure of the molecule of heredity. This year is DNA@60.   Now watch the estimable Roger Bingham interview James Watson in an enlightening Science Channel Show.

Here’s an excerpt. Or read Watson’s The Double Helix: A Personal Account of the Discovery of the Structure of DNA.

As the world’s first building powered by algae, the 15-unit Bio Intelligent Quotient (BIQ) House generates biomass and heat with the assistance of 129 integrated glass bioreactor panels (read: micro-algae harvesters). The algae flourish and multiply in a regular cycle until they can be harvested. They are then separated from the rest of the algae and transferred as a thick pulp to the technical room of the BIQ. The little plants are then fermented in an external biogas plant, so that they can be used again to generate biogas.

A stunt, you say?  I know the folks at Heliae, who have announced the launch of their patent pending microalgae production platform, using sunlight and waste carbon to produce high-value products from algae.

The “Grasshopper” reusable rocket prototype shattered its own record, reaching a height of 820 feet. That’s more than triple its previous record.  Oh, and ain’t this the way a rocket ship s’pzed ta be?

== Sci fi items ==

DanielWilsonDaniel H. Wilson, the young scientist author of novels like Amped and Robopocalypse gives a talk at Carnegie-Mellon about robotics in science fiction and how it relates to both real technology and our visions of the future.  Bright and funny.  Also,  he reminds me SO much of myself at that hot new author phase… including the hat!

Star Wars on Trial is available on Kindle, and only 99 cents!

…and miscellaneous…

Seven billion people on one browser page (one mile long). Don’t send this to your printer…

View inside a Redbox Kiosk.

TheGiftAnd finally, compiled by Cracked.com: Five excellent Sci Fi short films worth watching.

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Filed under future, science

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