What would happen if you had an election and nobody came? Pillsbury, ND found out. Nobody voted -- the voting precinct was a drive into Sibley away, but none of the Pillsbury residents thought it worth the effort. I wouldn't call it a failure of democracy or anything; when you've got small towns like this, where everyone's pretty familiar with each other, the consensus is usually evident without anyone going to the polls.
The Discovery Channel's "I love the world" commercials (short version, live version) are some of the greatest commercials ever -- it so sells why people like the Discovery Channel, the simple enjoyment of hearing about how and why things are. It's not "I love Mythbusters," it's "I love the cool stuff Mythbusters talks about." (more info)
Forced perspective defeated in Pisa (via)
The In-Between Manifesto: in a nutshell, the trip is better than the destination. Focus moves from achieving goals and resolving desires, to the creative or achievement process that leads to the endpoint.
Diegesis: the action and content of a story's world, separate and independent from the means or methods of telling it. A common crossing of the diegetic line in television these days is to have the background music slowly change to coming from a radio or headphones that the characters interact with. As background music, the characters are unaware of the tune (non-diegetic), but once they are aware of it or can interact with it, it becomes diegetic, a part of the world the story exists in. A very well-done play on crossing diegetic lines is the movie Stranger Than Fiction, where the film begins with narration, but shortly thereafter the main character suddenly realizes he, too, can hear the narration along with the audience. The line further blurs when the character being narrated realizes he can interact with the narrator and hopefully influence her actions.
If you want to know what happened to that YouTube video that's just reporting 'removed for violation,' you can find out more at YouTomb, a MIT project that tracks video removals from YouTube and documents the video and the conditions of the removal.
Relativism, rad or retarded? In two parts, best viewed from within Metafilter, which includes brain-melting actual analysis of the arguments.
What I'd Say To the Martians, by Jack Handey.
Today marks the start of Pride 2008, Fargo-Moorhead's GBLT fiesta. Minor events occur for the next few days, but Sunday has a pride parade downtown. Don't be an ass that disapproves; communities benefit from everyone's value of self-worth -- making people feel worthwhile is good for everyone. Show your support.
Praxis effect: When an object of planetary size explodes, it emits a circular 'halo' of debris or glowing energy along an equatorial line. It has little or no basis in science -- "Praxis" was the name of a Klingon moon, which exploded and gave off one such shockwave. Science fiction special effects people thought, "dude, that looked so cool," so it has been used for nearly every huge explosion in outer space since. It appears to be inspired by supernova shock rings, which are actually spherical, but the energy becomes less visible if the viewing angle is less than 90°, much like a sun dog or light in fog.