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What Were The Earliest Vibrators Like?

by Nick Glossop on February 3, 2014

They were steam-powered, coal-fired, belt-driven and studded with vibratodes as Rachel Maines, technology historian and author of The Technology of Orgasm explains. I thank her for introducing me to the term “vibratode,” and to the phrase “hedonizing technology.” She gives an eye-opening account of the social, medical and technological history of self-pleasure, replete with self-deceptions, hypocrisies and rooftop Chattanoogas.

But in any case, there’s the connection with hydrotherapy and

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  • Categories: Contraptions / Droid Affairs / Gender / History / Human Affairs / Technology

You Are Here, and Now

by Nick Glossop on December 31, 2013


The Orloj Astrolabe

More than just your average timepiece, the Old Town Clock of Prague, or Orloj, can tell you what time it is and what date. It also tells you what the heavens should look like from where it stands. It tells you what time to expect sun rise and set, what lunar phase the moon should appear in, and even which Zodiacal sign is in ascendence. Elsewhere on …
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  • Categories: Astral / History / Human Affairs / Technology / The Paltry Sapien

Shopping By The Stars: New Year’s Edition

by Marty Schwartz on December 16, 2013

In this new installment in what future generations will one day refer to as ‘Paltry Wisdom,’ we provide helpful shopping tips for you, the consumer. Many of us will soon be awash in the drunken, regretful spectacle that is New Year’s Eve. Maybe you’ve been invited to attend a New Year’s party. Maybe you’re the kind of conscientious party guest who plans ahead and brings a gift for the host. …
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  • Categories: Contraptions / Droid Affairs / Human Affairs / Humour / Technology / The Geekly Standard / The Paltry Sapien / Web

Shale Gas in New Brunswick: We need your Leadership — An Open Letter to Premier David Alward

by Michelle Lovegrove Thomson on October 22, 2013

Dear Hon. David Alward,

I have been closely following the protests and blockade near Rexton, NB. It has been heartening to see members of the Elsipogtog First Nation, Acadian, and Anglo communities collaborate over the common goal of protecting the natural resources of our beautiful province. It has been shocking to see the RCMP act violently against the citizens of this province to protect the assets of a foreign company. …
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  • Categories: Climate / Health / News / Politics / The Paltry Sapien

Do Androids Need Buddhist Non-Attachment? (And A PowerWasher)

by Nick Glossop on August 9, 2013


The Blue Fairy from A.I. Artificial Intelligence

1. The robot who loved his ‘mom’ too much

2. The robot who loved whoever came into the room, too much

Robot Programmed to Fall in Love with a Girl Goes too Far

Kenji was part of an experiment involving several robots loaded with custom software designed to let them react emotionally to external stimuli. After some limited environmental conditioning, Kenji first demonstrated

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  • Categories: Contraptions / Droid Affairs / Humour / Music / Technology / Television / The Geekly Standard / The Sciences

Opera Of The Material World

by Nick Glossop on May 20, 2013

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  • Categories: Comics & Animation / Music / Physical / The Geekly Standard / The Sciences

A Fibonacci Cèilidh

by Nick Glossop on April 5, 2013

The mathusiasts at Numberphile go all Braveheart with a Fibonacci sequence tartan and accompanying skirl.

Dance (wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous) critters!

Fun fact: At the Battle of Stirling Bridge, William Wallace arranged his defensive shiltrons in Fibonacci sequence. The numerous but innumerate English invaders were baffled as well as defeated there. …
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  • Categories: Human Affairs / The Geekly Standard / The Sciences / Theory / War

Paul Root Wolpe – Ethical Boundaries For Bio-Tech

by Nick Glossop on March 29, 2013


Mouse Ears

Paul Root Wolpe, of Emory University, does not spend much time making an argument for clear ethical boundaries for the conduct of bio-technology, rather he just lists off some of the more startling greatest hits of the field, and the argument more or less makes itself: bio-luminescent monkeys, bug-bots, robo-rats, animals as donor part farms (mouse ears), computer chips comprised of self-aggregated rat neurons, creatures with neural …
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  • Categories: Biological / Droid Affairs / Philosophy / Technology / The Geekly Standard / The Paltry Sapien / The Sciences / Thought

Walking With The Beast

by Nick Glossop on March 24, 2013

Europe’s Wild Men


c/o Charles Fréger < < Wilder Mann Image of The Savage

The bear is the wild man’s close counterpart—in some legends the bear is his father. A beast that walks upright, the bear also hibernates in winter. The symbolic death and rebirth of hibernation herald the arrival of spring with all its plenty. For festival participants, says Fréger, “becoming a bear is a way to express the beast and a way to control the beast.”

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  • Categories: Gender / History / Human / Human Affairs / Photography / The Geekly Standard / The Paltry Sapien / The Sciences

Top 10 Most Powerful Nuclear Bombs In History

by Nick Glossop on March 23, 2013

Via Democratic Underground…
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  • Categories: Contraptions / Droid Affairs / History / Human Affairs / Sub-atomic / The Geekly Standard / The Sciences / War

Magnify/Shrinkify The Universe

by Nick Glossop on March 11, 2013

Copyright 2012. Magnifying the Universe by Number Sleuth.

This interactive infographic from Number Sleuth accurately illustrates the scale of over 100 items within the observable universe ranging from galaxies to insects, nebulae and stars to molecules and atoms. Numerous hot points along the zoom slider allow for direct access to planets, animals, the hydrogen atom and more. As you scroll, a handy dial spins to show you your

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  • Categories: Astral / Physical / The Geekly Standard / The Sciences

Viewing Alberta’s Tar Sands: A Canadian Catastrophe

by Andrew Loewen on March 4, 2013

Business Insider commissioned photo journalist Robert Johnson to fly over the largest industrial mega-project on earth, Alberta’s Tar Sands, and document the process: from untrammeled boreal forest to strip mines, refineries, and tailing ponds. The results are spectacular and richly informative. A bird’s eye view of a made-in-Canada project. The scale of destruction and irrationality is staggering. Here’s part of a statement from Chief Adam (Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation) in …
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  • Categories: Climate / Eco / Photography / Politics

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