A History of Things Worth Knowing

If you think you can get lost surfing the internet, try adding another dimension to it by going through old newspapers online.  It can be a strange experience looking at a past that is at once so familiar and yet somehow alien.  A quarter page might be more than most can handle and a close look at a single ad can send you down the most random of rabbit holes.

Take this ad from the November 27th, 1873 edition of The Weekly Kansas Chief

Turns out we’ve been attempting to assemble useful knowledge into a single volume for longer than you’d think.  Didn’t they know they were clueless back in 2012 1873?   Yes, as one reviewer on Amazon notes of Joseph Triemens’ Manual of Ready Reference, “the material in this book is out of date”, but that doesn’t mean we still can’t learn something from it.  Project Gutenburg has a copy of the 1911 edition you can peruse for free to find out how to keep your canary birds “healthy and in good song”, be reminded that duration of copyright is “fifty-six years in all” or hear that:

the two great apostles of the evolution theory were Charles Darwin and Herbert Spencer. The latter began his great work, the “First Principles of Philosophy,” showing the application of evolution in the facts of life, in 1852. In 1859 appeared Darwin’s “Origin of Species.” The hypothesis of the latter was that different species originated in spontaneous variation, and the survival of the fittest through natural selection and the struggle for existence. This theory was further elaborated and applied by Spencer, Darwin, Huxley, and other writers in Europe and America, and though to-day by no means all the ideas upheld by these early advocates of the theory are still accepted, evolution as a principle is now acknowledged by nearly all scientists. It is taken to be an established fact in nature, a valid induction from man’s knowledge of natural order.

Looks like we need to send a few copies of this one to some people in the present.  If you find yourself unearthing some gems from its pages, please share your favorite “Things Worth Knowing” in the comments.

[Image from the Library of Congress’ Chronicling America archive]

We’re Not Going To Take It and It Would Help If You Didn’t Either

It’s easy to do what everyone else is doing and eventually we might find out that’s been our only problem all along.  If you question how different daily life could be, witness what one artist and a 90 piece marching band were able to do in the city of Denver.

Now imagine what kind of show 7 billion people could be putting on if everyone wasn’t so busy taking it.

[from Lee Walton‘s Playing Apart] [See also: 7 of 27]

Everyone’s Doing It

posted in: Library, Smog 0

Google’s new privacy policy kicked in this month and who really knows what we are supposed to be doing now…

Everything above might be too much, but doing nothing probably isn’t enough.  Even if we’re still just guessing at how this is going to come back to bite us.  (Or perhaps we are all just sharing?)

The problem is these security and privacy issues require more time and thought than most people are giving to information they are actually interested in.  The risks can seem far-fetched and the benefits are…  overwhelming.  As soon as number three on the list of Six Tips to Protect Your Search Privacy encourages you not to log into Google, … it just stops making sense.  Who wants to face such a fundamental disconnect while they are trying to surf the web?!

[Joy of Tech via Pensador Louco on Diaspora]

A Magical Extra Day

“Poke your eye, pull your hair, you forgot what clothes to wear!”

If you don’t catch the reference, 30 Rock has stepped up and given long-overdue meaning to Leap Day.  Unless you have a better idea, it might be our best chance to give this awkward and abitrary day some life.

Meanwhile, if you find yourself wishing the rest of the year could have a bit of a twist to it, the Ape Con Myth 2012 Novelty Calendar is ready to serve up the next ten months in ways you’ve never seen before!  (Mainly because calendars become much less useful once you start messing with them.)

You can find the calendar, and very little else, in the fairly new Ape Con Myth shop!

Happy Leap Day!  Real life is for March!

What’s Your Line, Brother?

From Daniel ClowesWilson:

Some Ivy League students are starting to agree with the sentiment after watching so many of their peers head off to work in consulting and finance after graduation.  From All Things Considered’s Stopping the ‘Brain Drain’ of the U.S. Economy

Student protesters recently got into a Goldman Sachs recruitment session at Princeton University to tell student attendees they were listening to a “carefully crafted recruitment pitch” and that they could “do better for society.” Similar protests have been held at Harvard University, and at Stanford University, where Teryn Norris was a student. …

“The problem is that when you’ve got 20 to 30 percent of some of the top talent in this country going into a sector that is not necessarily contributing to economic and social productivity,” he says. “That’s a problem for the country at large and it’s something that we should all be concerned about.”

Economist Paul Kedrosky agrees, except that we’re about two decades late in getting concerned.  He believes the current financial morass is the work of a long line of bright minds who decided to spin their wheels in the name of money, as opposed to areas like science, engineering and mathematics, a.k.a. the subjects many of them actually studied in school…

[Wilson is available from Drawn & Quarterly; NPR story via Hacker News]

Compete with Ape Con Myth to Click Your Life Away!

When you boil down a lot of online games, you are basically being rewarded for clicking the screen over and over again.  Not that there is anything wrong with it necessarily, so long as you know what you are doing.  The people making the games know.

The unknown forces behind Click Your Life Away know too, but were kind enough to spare you the cute design, shallow story lines and incessant baiting to buy-in.  The object here is to click in the box, and Ape Con Myth wants to take you on!

The contest?  Click as many times as you can.  The stakes?  Whoever is in the lead Friday, February 10th at 5pm PST wins a free Ape Con Myth t-shirt.  Contest entry will be tracked in the comments, so please include your email and tell us your username* if you want to win.  ACM has started a new account for the occasion, so don’t worry, you’re not already 5,000 clicks behind.

WARNING:  Refresh the page if you let it sit for a while!!!  It WILL have logged you out, but pretends to still be keeping score.  Otherwise, it’s as simple as it goes.  Good luck!

[*Work “ape” into your username for non-redeemable style points.]

Winning What You’re Scared To Go For

Artist: Panda Bear
Song: Comfy in Nautica
Album: Person Pitch 

(Press play and sing along…)


If you’re already heard the song or just want more, check out the Strawberry Time Lapse below. Animal Collective just headed back into the studio and to get us in the mood shared an array of glimpses from their time recording Strawberry Jam.

[Lyrics via Lyrical Collective]

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