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Map of the "square and stationary" Earth

My coworker went on vacation to the Dakotas to take a tour of where her grandparents and parents used to live. At one point, they were in a schoohouse that her grandma went to, which had been converted into a museum.  Hanging on the wall was this map, created by Orlando Furgeson in 1893. 


(Not the actual picture my co-worker took - that comes later.)


This was so fascinating to me that I spent the next hour reading about the geocentric model of the universe, trying to understand how this illustration came to be. Apparently, it's based on a Biblical passage (Revelations) that talks about angels on the "four corners of the Earth":
“After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth to prevent any wind from blowing on the land or on the sea or on any tree.” (Revelation 7:1)




As you can see, this Earth model has the northern hemisphere as a convex shape inside a concave one (the southern hemisphere).  I assume that the concave shape prevents the oceans from leaking into space, but wouldn't that also mean that Africa and Australia are constantly under water? 

I'm sad to report that I still don't have an explanation for the shape and placement of the Earth in this illustration.

My favorite part was this "debunking" of the theory that the Earth moves through space:




I highly encourage you to visit this website, which has taken the time to review the current International Flat Earth Society's website for humorous rationale and a marvelous FAQ.  (No sense in giving the IFE any ad revenue.)

LJ

Thanks to midnightmadness for the following:

LiveJournal has started "spying" on you - nice of them to, like, let US know

How To Fix This Invasion of Privacy and Potential Browser Function Fuckery
For those that just want to fix, it go to the following page (while you're logged into LJ)
http://www.livejournal.com/admin/console/
and enter
set opt_exclude_stats 1
(copy and paste that last line and hit return).

If you run NoScript or an AdBlocker, also add to it these links
outboundlink.net
outboundlink.me
l-stat.livejournal.com/js/pagestats/DR_v4u2.js

What's Going On
It doesn't matter who you are, or if you're a paid/permanent user, LJ recently, sneakily and underhandedly, added a piece of javascript code into all of the pages generated on LJ - unlike many of these advertising related features, this one DOES affect paid/permanent users (though, do note that not every user/LJ server had this implemented, so it *might* not be on your LJ - still, you should opt out right now even if it isn't as, presumably, any stuff like this will be implemented site wide in time). They're using a service to spy on every link you click on LJ. They didn't tell the users about this, which also was another hit of fuckery against me as I block all "services" like this by default and it was messing up my LJ until I fixed it.

http://midnightmadness.livejournal.com/380207.html
 

VD cards for my Lost buddies






And my favorite:




 
 I answered my work phone at 5:05pm and ended up working until 9pm.  

In other news, the HTC phone commercials re-ignited my love for Nina Simone's "Sinnerman". Man, this is such an amazing song.



And so is this, by the way:  Watch to the end, when Letterman is so tickled with the awesome performance that he asks them to continue for a little longer. 


As someone on Reddit said: Go on, rock out with your cock out!

for the Scrabble peeps


Scrabble tips and (sometimes dirty) tricks.
I don't know why, but I have just spent the majority of my cup of coffee + 20 minutes reading these. I started off with an interesting photo essay about the rotting and abandoned schools in the Detroit metro area and ended up reading snarky snippets that "Oh No They Didn't" would love. [some images are NSFW, NSFK]


Here's a few of the tamer ones.



This British public-schooler's smirky bravado may seem out of place, but when you factor in all the tablings and ball-blackings and bogwashes, they're basically the Navy SEALS of the international nerd community.




Wow, flip-flops, pajama pants, and the infamous crunched-up cowboy hat. That’s all there is. That’s all three. That’s like a girl being fat, ugly, and stupid.




Forget false metal, someone really needs to call for a death to false nerds. We're talking about all these frat guys and regular bitches who saw Juno and decided to retrofit their boring personalities with a bunch of shitty cartoon characters and video games they don't know the name of. Who do we talk to about getting this done? Who's the current Nerdatollah, Harry Knowles?

You have to love that the page is pretty much entirely sponsored by American Apparel, with ads that look like this:



[source: http://www.viceland.com]
I'm kind of obsessed with photos, stories, and documentaries about North Korea. I think it started with the story my (South) Korean roommate told about North Korean propaganda during a visit "reuniting" families that had been split apart during the war. The North wanted the family members from the south to feel that their families were better off in the North. The North Korean tourguides drove the South Koreans down a particular avenue that was very well kept and middle-class looking, beautiful and clean.  Everyone "living" on the street had a bicycle.... only no one was riding theirs; they were all walking them. And during the photo op, the South Korean journalists noticed that all the North Korean men's neckties were the same. It struck me as very transparent, this type of propoganda, and I've been fascinated every since.

So, anyway, I was watching this slideshow and was totally struck by this picture:





Here were my thoughts.
  • What is on the wall in the back left of the picture? Is it a punch card reader or something? Compare/contrast to the computer in the left foreground.
  • Is there no money for heat? Why is everyone wearing their coats inside?
  • It seems like this room is never, ever used. I can't imagine that the tables, desks, and walls would be that bare if this were an actual classroom.
  • It's like they pulled guys out of the mines, gave them a shower and a change of clothes, and told them to pretend they were doing physics experiments. Hell, the lighting in the room consist solely of outside natural light and bare 60w fluorescent bulbs embedded in the ceiling... I can't imagine that's enough light to do physics experiments.

Is there anything you see in this picture that makes it just a bit ... off?

betta test

I decided to try an installation of the Windows 7 beta because Vista is hinky about certain things.  There were problems with the Host process being stopped, I couldn't print to the networked printer, some flash video wasn't working (though we found out that was a WAP problem), the hard drive would grind away constantly, even though I wasn't doing anything drive-intensive, and I was having problems with sluggish performance.

The installation went fine, but I find that I'm at a loss for at least one of my frequent shortcuts: the desktop. (Minimizing all windows in one click.) If anyone knows how to get to this via Windows 7, lemme know. Also, how do you get to My Computer? If I want to browse to my external hard drive, do I have to use Internet Explorer and type in the drive letter? Maybe I just need someone to point out their favorite Windows 7-centric website?

I also need DVD authoring software. I assume that the installation came with Windows Movie Maker (haven't checked -- still trying to find my way around the Start Menu. Little known fact about me: I always revert the Start menu to the "classic" setting.), and that, in combination with the DVD authoring software are two of the most-used resident programs on my laptop.

re: the subject line, the beta test of Windows 7 comes with a background of a betta fish.

Completely unrelated... I"m surrounded by tiny ants this morning. I've killed about 50 since getting to work an hour ago.