Thursday, June 03, 2010

Links and Notes

I meant to mention it; yesterday Siris finished its sixth year.

* Stabilize the debt. An online simulator that allows you to play around with various proposals that have made for making the U.S. federal debt more manageable in order to see if you can bring the U.S. debt down to an estimated 60% of the GDP by 2018. It's interesting to try out different alternatives, and things often look somewhat different in final overview than they do when you take things one by one.

* A castle is being built in France using only methods available to the 13th century. (ht)

* Virtual tour of the Sistine Chapel. (ht)

* Soviet illustrations of Tolkien's The Hobbit. The Russian fairy-tale style is charming, and fits the tale quite well. (ht)

* Moon Zoo is a site where you can assist lunar researchers in their survey of craters on the moon. I love it when scientists do this. This sort of thing was advocated in the nineteenth century by the likes of John Herschel and William Whewell (Herschel recommended a low-tech version of precisely this sort of program for meteorology); there still were dreams of a world in which science was done not by scattered individuals but by societies, nations, civilizations. This is not what we actually got; for instance, by the end of the nineteenth century brilliant amateur natural historians like Beatrix Potter were being steadily frozen out of increasingly specialized scientific circles. One advantage of our age is that the increasing ease with which one can gather data on truly massive scales has forced sciences to reopen projects of this kind.

* Tim O'Neill reviews Agora.

* Christopher Donohue discusses Fustel de Coulanges. I'm reminded of an anecdote from Duhem's German Science, in which students were amused that whenever they would make a claim about some historical matter, Fustel de Coulanges would reply, "Do you have a text to support that?"

* Jimmy Akin discusses the Old Brass Wagon and how people dance in a culture that frowns on dance.

* Rod Bennett on Justin Martyr.

* Stephen Barr discusses neutrinos.

* Charles Lwanda and the Ugandan martyrs.

I will be busy attending a cousin's wedding this weekend, so there will probably be no more posts until Mondary or Tuesday.

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