The Null Device
Skylab all over again: The Russians have lost contact with Mir, raising the prospect that a controlled descent into the Pacific Ocean may not be possible, and the aging space station may come down where it damn well pleases.
Gimp 1.2 is out now. Happy Newtonmas!
Researchers in Italy have discovered that dementia affects musical taste; to whit, people suffering from dementia can start to appreciate musical genres they have always detested, such as pop music.
About two years after his diagnosis, he began to listen at full volume to a popular Italian pop music band. Formerly a classical music listener, he had once referred to pop music as "mere noise".
There are several theories as to why this is so; some conjecture that some forms of dementia cause an attraction to novelty, by increasing the dominance of the right frontal lobe over the left; others that dementia and certain forms of brain damage can bring out previously latent artistic inclinations.
(I wonder what Tanya would make of this...)
In Britain, there is a minor tradition of giving Xmas gifts to the family doctor. Though some of these gifts tend to be really odd ones, like stuffed ducks and musical kitten calendars.
The World's Greatest Democracy: As the media pores over the ballots from Florida, in the wake of the US presidential election fiasco, one ally of president-elect Bush wants to seal the ballot boxes for 10 years, to prevent mischief-makers in the press from undermining the authority and legitimacy of the Presidency (an argument which could be summed up as "he stole it fair and square"). By then, nobody may care whether Gore would have been the true winner of the election, other than perhaps the Oliver Stones of 2010, and so there may not even be a need to have the errant ballots "mislaid" somewhere along the way.
A biographical piece on oddly-named game designer American McGee, creator of the entertainingly goth-as-fuck take on Alice in Wonderland. Not surprising that this guy's a friend of such pillars of the teen-angst industry as Trent Reznor and Marilyn Manson.