— Seattle bans sale of bottled water - That's just for the city government, they didn't actually stop citizens from purchasing the stuff. The article mentions something that had me up a tree last week. Remember that news about the drugs in the drinking water? The crazy person in me was convinced it was a conspiracy by the bottled water companies. In the above link Treehugger mentions San Francisco and Chicago taking action against bottled water, but the movement is broader than that. New Yorkers are being actively encouraged to stop buying bottled water and switch to tap. Like Seattle, there have been bans on bottled water in legislatures across the UK. Salt Lake City and many other cities have taken action as well.
Bottled water is also being dropped fancy restaurants and food coops. It's being called immoral and is the subject of boycotts, with the bad points and shortcomings highlighted and explained in global major media. It looks like there's a war on bottled water taking place.
So given all of that you can imagine how the sudden appearance of alarming headlines ripping tap water for containing "pharmaceuticals!" would trigger suspicion in a mind prone to conspiracy theories. Especially with the contradictory message that we shouldn't misunderstand or overreact but we should know the story involves mutated fish growing extra genitals (and not in a good way) and a "powerful effect" on "human cells."
"As far as I know, this was the first flight of an insect-size robot." This is actually the blog that broke that robot dog story. I was poking around to see what else they had and was impressed by this flying robot the size of a penny.
But before you're too impressed with that, I also clicked this item about "bug 'borgs." They put "micro-mechanical systems [MEMS] 'inside the insects during the early stages of metamorphosis,' the agency explains. That way, as the bugs get older, tissues grow around -- and fuse together with -- the tiny machines." Deepening the madness, they want to control the bugs remotely through this implanted technology.
Oh, and... "Killer robot shoots man dead on driveway" - But don't worry, it was actually "an elaborate suicide robot" so the killing wasn't a malfunction, it was supposed to do that. (I'm still wondering why [or if] it's easier to sit in front of a shooting machine than simply pull the trigger himself.)
The Billboard top 25 of 2007 mixed into one song. The criticism is that the mix demonstrates the similarity of pop songs. I can't disagree with that but it does sound like the DJ is doing some pitch shifting and other tricks to make them all fit. It's been a while since I've been to this site. Fun mashups.
Have you played with Google Sky yet? The constellation button is useful.
The headline says this guy hit the fire button by accident. I don't believe that's very easy to do but I also don't imagine the guy wanted to blast himself like that. With this video circulating out there, gas station owners might want to make it a little more difficult to "accidentally" push or it could become a new favorite prank.
The Politico has an extended version of the speech by Obama's "former" reverend in which he drops the N bomb and generally bashes Hillary for never having been black-in-America. As you can see in the comments, the clip isn't really mind-changing but for those of us who don't attend this kind (or um... any kind) of church it's interesting viewing.
A rare uncivil moment on local TV that's worth watching because you always knew this kind of animosity was lurking under those smarmy "back to you in the studio" hand-offs. NOTE: Stop at YouTube. Don't follow that "ripe videos" link, unsafe content there.
"Intel has found a way to stretch a Wi-Fi signal from one antenna to another located more than 60 miles away."
Does More Than One Monitor Improve Productivity? This is related to the item we saw earlier about larger monitors increasing productivity. Apparently having two monitors does help you work better but it's also interesting to see that there's a point of diminishing returns when it comes to monitor size.
I didn't read the description before clicking this video I was a little shocked at how violent it is. But for what it is, it makes sense. It's "an abridged history of American-centric war, from World War II to present day, told through the foods of the countries in conflict." There's some sense on the site that it's cheating to look at the sheet that explains what each food is and where it's from but I found that helpful.
A simple animated gif showing how a sewing machine works.
Some Psychiatrists Addicted To Prescribing Internet Addiction - As Gothamist points out, that excuse apparently didn't occur to one city worker fired for surfing. What's more interesting to me about that Gothamist item is the shot of what tracking software looks like. I've heard about employers monitoring what employees look at online but I've never seen an actual user interface that shows how an employee's online activities are logged.
Speaking of keeping track of what you do online, 5 tools to track how much time you waste while online. Of course, "time you waste while online" is an oxymoron. We all know that time online is time well spent, by definition. But in the same way that tracking the food you eat all day can help you adjust your eating habits, software like this could make give you some insights on your surfing.
And as long as we're talking about tracking online activity, now is a good time to mention that FriendFeed is the new hotness. Some folks coming out of SXSW are calling it "this year's Twitter." I haven't registered for an account yet to see how easy it is to use but it sure looks easy. The output is like a combination of the short notes sent on Twitter and the activity reports sent through a Facebook news stream. I don't want to get too ridiculous with the lingo dropping but it's like abbreviated kind of tumblelog. Part of the idea is that you can follow the online activities of your friends or, like with Twitter, of total strangers (particularly influential A-listers). You can also turn feeds into friends and mix those together, so it works like an RSS reader too. I'll have more as I play with it and hopefully find some good new stuff with their "everyone" aggregator.
Morning soundtrack: Baby Baby Babe-uh!