The likelihood that I’ll participate isn’t great, but it has an Improv Everywhere mission written all over it.
clipped from forums.koalawallop.com

You must spend the entire day in costume and character. The only rule is that you cannot actually tell anyone that you are a time traveler.

I’ve set the tentative date for December 8th.

There are three possible options:
1) Utopian/clich Future
“If the Future did a documentary of the last fifty years, this is how badly the reenactors would dress.”
2) Dystopian Future
Remember, dystopian future travelers are very startled that they’ve gone back in time.

– Walk up to random people and say “WHAT YEAR IS THIS?” and when they tell you, get quiet and then say “Then there’s still time!” and run off.

– Stand in front of a statue (any statue, really), fall to your knees, and yell “NOOOOOOOOO”
2) The Past
Basically dress in period clothing (preferably Victorian era) and stagger around amazed at everything. Since the culture’s set in place already, you have more of a template to work off of.

– Airplanes are terrifying. Also, carry on conversations with televisions for a while.
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The eyes have it.
clipped from www.physorg.com

Whether we are seeking a mate or sizing up a potential rival, good-looking people capture our attention nearly instantaneously and render us temporarily helpless to turn our eyes away from them, according to a new Florida State University study.

“It’s like magnetism at the level of visual attention,” said Jon Mane
In a series of three experiments, Maner and his colleagues found that the study participants, all heterosexual men and women, fixated on highly attractive people within the first half of a second of seeing them. Single folks ogled the opposite sex, of course, but those in committed relationships also checked people out, with one major difference: They were more interested in beautiful people of the same sex.
Modern technology has enhanced these pitfalls.
Maner said he was surprised that his studies showed little differences between the sexes when it came to fixating on eye-catching people.
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clipped from www.physorg.com

An Ipswich, England, businessman has created a bottle that makes even the filthiest water drinkable in a matter of seconds.

Michael Pritchard, who unveiled his invention Thursday at the DESI defense show in London, said he hopes the $380 bottle can be used to help refugees in areas where clean drinking water is difficult to come by, The Telegraph reported Friday.
Pritchard said he sold his entire 1,000-item stock of the “Life Saver” bottles after only four hours at the show.
“I am bowled over,” he said.
The bottles are attractive items to military commanders because they can distill a great amount of water before the filter needs changing and they can benefit soldiers who have long been forced to drink water treated with iodine.
Pritchard said he was inspired to create the item after watching footage of the 2004 tsunami in southeast Asia and of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
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clipped from www.guardian.co.uk

Ancient writings from the Dead Sea scrolls are to be read for the first time by British scientists using powerful x-rays.

The team will examine rare and unread fragments of the scrolls, which are believed to shed light on how the texts came to be written in caves along the north-west coast of the sea nearly 2,000 years ago.

The technique will give scientists from Cardiff University a first opportunity to read ancient texts considered too fragile to open.

Researchers led by Tim Wess have developed computer software that can “unravel” x-ray images of rolled up parchment documents to reveal the writing, even if the parchment has text on either side.

The scientists have focused their efforts on reading parchments from the 18th century and found that they are able to read 80% of the words written on documents without unravelling them.

“There are some parts of the Dead Sea scrolls that haven’t been unrolled, and there are parts of the Torah that haven’t been seen as well,” Prof Wess said.
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clipped from www.bbspot.com
Early adopters of the iPhone weren’t the only ones receiving in-store credit from Steve Jobs. In an overlooked announcement, Jobs said that early adopters of the Apple Lisa would be receiving a $7000 in-store credit.

Apple LisaApple released the Lisa in January of 1983 for $9,995, and the similar Macintosh was released a year later for $2,495.

“I’ve felt bad about people who bought the Lisa for a long time. Anybody who bought one of the first Apple Lisas really got screwed,” said Jobs. “Now that we’ve got some cash, I think it’s about time we made it right.”

Steve Bloughs, who bought a Lisa, said, “When I heard about the iPhone refund, I was furious. The Lisa screw job was much more egregious. I’ve been waiting over twenty years for Apple to make this right. I’m glad they finally have.”

Apple representatives said that consumers shouldn’t expect a refund every time a product bombs or prices drop. These two cases were the “exception rather than the rule.”

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New Scientist requires a subscription to read further. A full version is posted in Google groups for soc.culture.romanian:

http://groups.google.com/group/soc.culture.romanian/msg/e1a23414ed40bf62

clipped from space.newscientist.com

“I am a heretic,” Cristiano Germani announced to an audience of cosmologists last month. Few would disagree, as he is proposing a radical alternative to standard cosmology: a universe with no big bang creation moment, and no rapid inflation. Rather than a big bang, he suggests a slingshot.

In the early 1980s, Alan Guth at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology proposed that our universe underwent inflation – a period of rapid expansion in the first 10-34 seconds after the big bang. Germani, a cosmologist at the International School of Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, says that inflation is beautiful and successful, yet he insists that we need to replace it.

“We don’t have any fundamental physical explanation for how or why it occurred,” he says. “Yet cosmologists today accept it as though it is a religion.”

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This doesn’t say, however, if people are liberal because they are more flexible, or if flexible people gravitate toward liberal politics. But it’s an interesting study, nonetheless.
clipped from www.physorg.com

The brain neurons of liberals and conservatives fire differently when confronted with tough choices, suggesting that some political divides may be hard-wired, according a study released Sunday.
Dozens of previous studies have established a strong link between political persuasion and certain personality traits.
Conservatives tend to crave order and structure in their lives, and are more consistent in the way they make decisions. Liberals, by contrast, show a higher tolerance for ambiguity and complexity, and adapt more easily to unexpected circumstances.
The affinity between political views and “cognitive style” has also been shown to be heritable, handed down from parents to children, said the study, published in the British journal Nature Neuroscience.
Using electroencephalographs, which measure neuronal impulses, the researchers examined activity in a part of the brain — the anterior cingulate cortex — that is strongly linked with the self-regulatory process of conflict monitoring.
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