Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Kasparov leads Karpov 3-1 in chess rematch

"Garry Kasparov stretched his lead over Anatoly Karpov to 3-1 Wednesday on the second day of an exhibition chess match commemorating the 25th anniversary of their marathon first title bout.

Karpov, 58, won his first game of the unofficial tournament, which is being played in the eastern city of Valencia after Kasparov abandoned the game. Kasparov, 46, rebounded to win the second game as Karpov ran out of time.
On Tuesday, Kasparov won the first two semi-rapid games as Karpov struggled to manage his time.

...The two men waged one of the sporting world's greatest rivalries when between 1984 and 1990 they met five times for the world championship and pretty much drew even: Kasparov won 21 games, Karpov took 19 and they drew 104 times.
The first title bout started in Sept. 1984 in Moscow and lasted nearly five months before it was halted with no winner declared on the grounds that both were exhausted.
Kasparov won a rematch in 1985 and captured his first world title, at age 22, becoming the world's youngest-ever champion.

Kasparov is considered by some to have been the best player in chess history. He retired from top-level professional play in 2005, after dominating the game for two decades."

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Evolution can’t be reversed, research suggests

Modern protein became non-functional when scientists reversed changes

"In a kind of evolutionary bridge-burning, once a gene has morphed into its current state, the road back gets blocked, new research suggests. So there's no easy way to turn back.

...Their results, detailed in the Sept. 24 issue of the journal Nature, reveal that over long time scales, certain genetic blockades arise that make it nearly impossible to transform a modern protein into its ancestral state, even if ancient environmental pressures were to exist.

"This is the best demonstration of the molecular foundations of evolutionary irreversibility that I have ever read," said Michael Rose, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of California, Irvine, who was not involved in the current study."

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Umberto Eco: The lost art of handwriting

The days when children were taught to write properly are long gone. Does it matter? Yes, says Umberto Eco

Author of 'The Name of the Rose' says "The crisis began with the ballpoint pen. Handwriting no longer had soul, style or personality."

Click the title bar to read his entire article.

Life magazine on Google Books

Google books has now completed scanning all issues of Life magazine, and they're now available for free here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Bob Dylan to Exhibit a Simple Twist of Paint

NY Times
Compiled by DAVE ITZKOFF
Published: September 16, 2009

“Someday,” Bob Dylan sang, “everything’s gonna be different when I paint my masterpiece.” Is this different enough to qualify? Nearly 100 paintings by Mr. Dylan, an artist better known for his throat than for his palette, will go on display next year at the Statens Museum for Kunst in Copenhagen, Reuters reported. ...The exhibition, to open in fall 2010, will include the premiere of 30 acrylic paintings from Mr. Dylan’s “Brazil” series,” as well as paintings from his “Drawn Blank” series that were shown in Britain and Germany. A representative for Mr. Dylan told Reuters that he did not know what the new paintings would depict or how Mr. Dylan chose the names of his series. In a statement the museum’s chief curator, Kasper Monrad, said, “Bob Dylan’s visual artistic practice has only been discussed by art historians to a limited extent, so critical examination and interpretation are called for.”

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bucky Fuller back!

no original descriptionImage via Wikipedia

I finally found another online source for the incredible 42 hours of video left to us when Buckminster Fuller was asked to tell us "Everything I Know". I'd linked to these videos on another host for years, but they were eventually taken down. I'm so excited that they're back!

One of my real lifetime highlights was attending a weekend symposium with Bucky at the Harvard Science Center back in the late 70's, when I was in my early 20s. I'd already read just about everything he'd ever written and thought that I was going to meet the 'mind of the planet'. I came away learning that I'd met the 'heart of the planet'. (Some of my earlier thoughts can be found in the essay 'Heroes Still' linked to the right).

I realize that it's a major commitment of time and mental energy to watch all of these videos...and it may take awhile for some to become familiar with his New England accent and self-created vocabulary. It's worth it. Think of it as a year-long course (just watch an hour a week) that will greatly expand your knowledge and view of how the world works. He was truly a 20th Century Renaissance man, and we've been given a tremendous gift by the preservation of these video records.

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My Pen

Ever felt like this about your pen?