Sometime between July 27th and July 30th, I thought this stuff was interesting. You might think so too!

  • Solving the 800-Year Mystery of Pisa’s Leaning Tower: "Professor John Burland has spent the last two decades striving to save – and understand – the Leaning Tower of Pisa. After defying gravity, Italian bureaucracy and accusations of corruption, it seems he's finally cracked the case." Neat. I was able to visit the Tower during a trip to Europe in the summer of 1990. According to this article, the tower was closed in 1990, so I must have been there in one of the final months that it was open, as I have clear memories of how odd it was to climb a spiral staircase where the incline got steeper and shallower depending on which side of the Tower, and which part of the lean, I was on at any particular moment.
  • The Best Magazine Articles Ever: "The following are suggestions for the best magazine articles (in English) ever. Stars denote how many times a correspondent has suggested it. Submitter comments are in italics. This is a work in progress. It is a on-going list of suggestions collectively made by readers of this post. At this point the list has not been vetted or selected by me. It is incomplete. You may notice that your favorite author or piece is missing."
  • MR FAB & RIAA: RIAA Presents "USA," a "Mix-Album" in 10 Parts: "'USA' is a four-hour-long 'mix-album,' conveniently divided into 10 separate mixes. The history, geography, culture, and politics of the United States is all fair game for RIAA's musical collages, incisive observations, and cheap jokes. The United States of America is a big subject, and I don't pretend to be offering anything close to a comprehensive overview of the country – this is a musical project. That is, an experiment in mixing and mashing any audio related to the U.S. There is material here that will seem controversial to some, but I'm not using 'USA' as a soapbox. This isn't political satire, really, because that implies a point of view that the composer is trying to push, and I think of this more as a portrait. A surreal, fun-house mirror portrait perhaps, but nonetheless, I wanted to just let everyone speak for themselves."
  • NJ School District Drops the Ds: "Students in one New Jersey school district may have to hit the books a little harder to get a passing grade. In Mount Olive, you won't see any more Ds on report card starting this fall, only A, B, C and F. 'I'm tired of kids coming to school and not learning and getting credit for it,' said Superintendent Larrie Reynolds in a Daily Record report."
  • Science in My Fiction » I Know Why the Vampire Sparkles!: "I finally read Twilight, and after hours of internet research, I've found a solution to a major problem I had with the story. I know why the vampire sparkles! Of course, innate body glitter is just the latest thing wrong with vampires at large, so I'll start with the broader picture and work my way to the answer to that new riddle."