Links for 17th November 2009

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Cormac McCarthy on The Road

    "I don't think there's any rich period or fallow period. That's just a perception you get from what's published. Your busiest day might be watching some ants carrying bread crumbs. Someone asked Flannery O'Connor why she wrote, and she said, "Because I was good at it." And I think that's the right answer. If you're good at something it's very hard not to do it. In talking to older people who've had good lives, inevitably half of them will say, "The most significant thing in my life is that I've been extraordinarily lucky." And when you hear that you know you're hearing the truth. It doesn't diminish their talent or industry. You can have all that and fail."

    Tagged with: Cormac-McCarthywritingliteraturebookscinemainterview

  2. Judge Dredd ‘Black Box’ recorder/spy kit for guns unveiled

    "The idea is that the Black Box electronics would be installed internally in a void space such as the pistol grip of an assault rifle. (It "fits in any weapon type", apparently.) The gadget would run on a non-replaceable battery lasting ten years or 100,000 shots – covering the weapon handily between major overhauls.

    The initial uses of the Black Box would, according to FN, be in logistics and maintenance. The in-gun shot counter would keep track of how many rounds were being fired, updating a future soldier's digital comm/puter system – Land Warrior or some similar rig – as it went, using some form of wearable networking.

    Not only would the soldier then know automatically how many shots he had fired without the need to keep count or look at his magazines and pouches, but so would his team leader – and higher commanders would be warned in advance if their people seemed likely to run out of ammo." ECAWBH.

    Tagged with: ECAWBHweaponmonitoringblack-boxtechnology

  3. The Coming Nuclear Crisis

    "… the most worrying problem is the misconception that uranium is plentiful. The world's nuclear plants today eat through some 65,000 tons of uranium each year. Of this, the mining industry supplies about 40,000 tons. The rest comes from secondary sources such as civilian and military stockpiles, reprocessed fuel and re-enriched uranium. "But without access to the military stocks, the civilian western uranium stocks will be exhausted by 2013, concludes Dittmar.

    It's not clear how the shortfall can be made up since nobody seems to know where the mining industry can look for more.

    That means countries that rely on uranium imports such as Japan and many western countries will face uranium .shortages, possibly as soon as 2013. Far from being the secure source of energy that many governments are basing their future energy needs on, nuclear power looks decidedly rickety." Frying pan, fire.

    Tagged with: nuclearpowerenergysustainabilityuraniumshortagefuel

  4. Jackpot: Lawyers earn fees from law they wrote

    "All the cases have been initiated by Rubin's committee or Avila, who also is a member of the lawyers' group, according to an Associated Press review of legal documents, correspondence and legislative records, and interviews with lawyers, school and government officials, current and former legislators and voting-rights experts.

    There is nothing illegal about the lawyers profiting from a law they authored and state lawmakers approved. But it is unusual that after seven years all legal efforts are so narrowly focused, especially since Avila told lawmakers when he testified for the bill in 2002 that he expected other attorneys would take on cases because of favorable incentives written into the measure." Weasels.

    Tagged with: lawlegalUSlegislature

  5. Pop As Modernism

    "‘Pop’ has mutated into pop – as ubiquitous, abundant and invisible as electricity. It’s barely an exaggeration to say that pop is the day – and as Philip Larkin once rhetorically questioned, where can we live but days? To get to a place entirely beyond the precinct of pop and its merchandise, one would have to travel for weeks and perhaps into the remote past or far future. It would be like trying to find your way out of the world’s largest mall, or rather the world-as-mall, for pop has played its part in converting the globe into a brightly-lit park of productised pleasure. Pop is as inescapable as the day, and it establishes its rhythm. From the garrulous morning DJ on the radio, to the muzak of shops and offices, to the atmosphere in clubs, bars, and restaurants, pop music gives the day its shape, and a day completely devoid of it is rare to the point of aberration. So ‘popular’ that it’s universal, pop, like weather, is simply there."

    Tagged with: popmusicculturemodernismcriticism

  6. Make a Footer Stick to the Bottom of the Page

    "There are several ways to make a footer stick to the bottom of a page using CSS. But until now, they've used long and messy hacks or a lot of extra HTML markup; this method uses only 15 lines of CSS and hardly any HTML markup. Even better, it's completely valid CSS, and it works in all major browsers. Internet Explorer 5 and up, Firefox, Safari, Opera and more."

    Tagged with: webdevcsslayoutstickyfootertechnique

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