- Federal Register
If you haven't seen the website for the Federal Register in the past year, it's really a thing of beauty. Andrew Carpenter, Bob Burbach, and Dave Augustine put it together as an independent site, GovPulse,us, which the feds liked so much they asked the guys to take on the job of replacing federalregister.gov with what they'd put together for govpulse.us. It doesn't matter if you don't care about the Federal Register—the site makes it interesting to anybody.
- Science Now: ‘Dinofuzz’ Found in Canadian Amber
Feathers from Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, preserved in amber, are providing the first detailed look at how hair evolved into feathers. The 78-million-year-old feathers are really "dinofuzz"— not quite hair and not quite feathers. Eleven samples were found in all, and provide what seems like a great cross-sample of the varieties of dinofuzz in existence then.
- Media Matters: News Corp. Outlets Attack Obama Over Paper Clip
Fox & Friends and the New York Post are very upset that President Obama used a paper clip to hold together a document. Seriously. This is not The Onion.
- GitHub: nysenatecio/OpenLegislation
The New York Senate's online legislative repository is available on Github. Very impressive.
- Reuters: It pays to be Murdoch. Just ask US gov’t.
Over the past four years, not only has News Corp. not paid income taxes, they've actually gamed the system to collect $4.8B in tax refunds. Murdoch has 152 subsidiaries spread among tax havens throughout the world, and uses them to make *us* pay *him*, via our government.
- The Daily Beast: Debt Crisis Deepens as Eric Cantor, GOP Propose New Cuts
Eric Cantor proposed to the president that college students start making payments on student loans immediately, rather than waiting until graduation. Apparently Cantor doesn't know any actual college students. To his credit, the president responded, "I’m not going to take money from old people and screw students."
- Wikipedia: List of predicted dates of the end of the world
I'm pretty sure none of them worked out.
- New York: The Elephant in the Green Room
The conditions under which Glenn Beck left Fox News turn out to be pretty fascinating. Roger Ailes brought Beck on to fire up the conservative base after their 2008 defeat, in an effort to make Barack Obama a one-term president. But then Beck said the things that Fox News’ viewers actually believe, but that Fox News is only supposed to imply. Beck's success brought about the Tea Party and, with it, the rise of room-temperature-IQ Republicans. It was time for damage control. It was time for Beck to go.
- IEEE Spectrum: Lingodroid Robots Invent Their Own Spoken Language
Australian computer scientist and artificial intelligence researcher Ruth Schultz has developed a pair of autonomous robots, outfitted with a camera, range finder, sonar, a microphone, and speakers. Then she gave them the concepts of linguistics and set them free. They developed a language to teach each other about the room that they're in, using words like "puga," "hiza," and "bula" to indicate direction, distance, and location.
- Betsy Ross Homepage: What does the gold fringe on the flag represent?
The use of gold fringe on the U.S. flag is decorative fluff, but the problem with it ends there. There are urban legends about what it means, many of them citing an executive order and then inventing text that's supposedly in it, but none of them are true.