dimanche 12 août 2012

Pot-pourri

Adam Gopnik: Mormonism’s History and Meanings : (The New Yorker) [eng.]
Adam Gopnick in a brillant piece about Mormonism and its meaning.

Insight: The greatest Olympian and his coach (Reuters) [eng.]
"When a teenage Michael Phelps started splashing the girls at the end of a particularly tough training session, his coach Bob Bowman tried to discipline him.
"I said, 'you should be very tired, that's the hardest practice you've ever done,'" the coach recalled.
"I'll never forget. He looked me straight in the eye and said 'I don't get tired.' So I made that my life goal, to see if I could accomplish that.""

Israel’s Fading Democracy (NYTimes) [eng.]
"Listening to today’s political discourse, one can’t help but notice the radical change in tone. My children have watched their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, kowtow to a fundamentalist coalition in Israel. They are convinced that what ties Israel and America today is not a covenant of humanistic values but rather a new set of mutual interests: war, bombs, threats, fear and trauma. How did this happen? Where is that righteous America? Whatever happened to the good old Israel? "

The Subway Map That Rattled New Yorkers (NYTimes) [eng.]
"No sooner had the Metropolitan Transportation Authority introduced a new map of the New York subway system on Aug. 7, 1972, than complaints flooded in. Many stations seemed to be in the wrong places. The water surrounding the city was colored beige, not blue. As for Central Park, it appeared to be almost square, rather than an elongated rectangle, three times bigger than the map suggested, and was depicted in a dreary shade of gray."

My Life as a Telecommuting Robot (WSJ) [eng.]
"Thus went my short, eventful life as QB-82, a wheeled, skinny robot that can reach a height of more than six feet. On the QB-82, my face and voice appeared via the robot's 3.5-inch video screen. Using my laptop's arrow keys, I navigated around the Journal's headquarters—becoming a kind of chatty, whirring, stick-figure colleague."

How The "Internet Of Things" Is Turning Cities Into Living Organisms (Fast Company) [eng.]
"With a little help from what's called the Internet of Things, engineers are transforming cities from passive conduits for water into dynamic systems that store and manage it like the tissues of desert animals. By using the Internet to connect real-world sensors and control mechanisms to cloud-based control systems that can pull in streams from any other data source, including weather reports, these efforts enable conservation and money-saving measures that would have been impossible without this virtual nervous system."

Faking insanity: Forensic psychologists detect signs of malingering. (Slate Magazine) [eng.]
"When someone commits a horrific, inexplicable crime, we naturally wonder whether he’s mentally ill: Who but a crazy person could do such a thing? But when a killer acts crazy after his arrest, we also might wonder whether he’s preparing for his trial. That’s the speculation around Colorado shooter James Holmes, whose psychiatric treatment and bizarre behavior in court and prison make people wonder whether he’s truly insane or building a case for an insanity defense. It leads to the question: Can a criminal get away with faking insanity?"

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