Radiolab on Race

Radiolab on Race

I highly recommend setting aside an hour and listening to this piece, it’s an incredible discussion in multiple parts on all things related to race: the nature – nurture of it, what it means, science vs. culture, and a lot more.

If it were simplistic it would sit back on the idea that there is no scientific or genetic basis for race yet it doesn’t, it digs much deeper.


[via Zapong]

Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview

Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview

Two of the best interviewers around: Terry Gross interviews Rachel Maddow. This is an incredible interview and no matter what your politics you should give it a listen. As many know, Maddow was a Rhodes Scholar, has a PhD in political science, and is a brilliant thinker and explainer, but the interview goes further in uncovering her thinking which is less partisan than many on the right think. Her discussion of getting Roger Ailes to comment on her new Book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power is fascinating.

Barry Blitt on Fresh Air

Barry Blitt on Fresh Air

Drag the media player slider to 29 minutes, Blitt is on the second half of the show.

Here’s Barry Blitt’s web site. Click on “What-not” for a collection of his New Yorker covers including all the covers mentioned in the interview. Fantastic stuff.

I love his work and it was nice to hear that he works exclusively in pen and ink and not Photoshop.

Anatomy of a skyscraper

Terry Gross (Fresh Air) recently interviewed Kate Ascher on the topic of How The World’s Tallest Skyscrapers Work. Fascinating stuff. Kate’s book The Heights looks good.

What struck me in this interview is that the world’s tallest building (at the moment), The Burj Khalifa, built in Dubai is a very modern building built in a city with no city wide sewage system (yet). Because of this waste from this huge building has to be trucked away constantly and the trucks wait in lines to dump their waste into a sewage treatment plant for as much as 24 hours. Kate mentions in this piece that in many ways a city sewage system is a bigger challenge to build than a skyscraper. As an American, this strikes me as amazing because even though I live in a rural place where we have our own well and septic system I take for granted that cities and towns have services like these built in from the start. But, what we as Americans might call a natural evolution of a city or an infrastructure gets turned on its head with things like the internet and cellular phone systems which allow everyone in a developing country to have a cell phone or even a smart phone long before there is a land line infrastructure.

The Federal Trade Commission tackles online tracking

What if There Was a Do-Not-Track List for Online Browsing?

For those who want to abolish the Federal Trade Commission, maybe things like this should make you reconsider.

On Wednesday, [the FTC] turned up the heat on the technology industry – and browser makers specifically – to move more quickly to create simple, universal controls to let people tell advertisers and data brokers that they may not collect information about their Web browsing and buying habits.

It’s complicated but its good to know someone’s looking at it.

It does creep me out when I visit B&H photo and find a rotating ad for a pair of boots I just looked at at Zappos. The cookie that does this is called a “beacon” and its in use all over the place. Easy to disable but just as easy to step into again.

If this topic interests you I highly recommend listening to this: Online Tracking: Creepy Commerce?. This was an excellent show and Julia Angwin of The Wall Street Journal gave a great overview of how all of these behind the scenes technologies work.