In a Relative Way

100 Years of the Einstein Theory
That Jump-Started the Modern World

Most of the technological wonder mankind grew accustomed during the 20th century, and is still the basis of contemporary life, was not yet in place when a 36-year-old Albert Einstein published his General Theory of Relativity, after a decade of feverish research.
Despite its far reaching concepts and complexities of its precepts, the theory became both popular and enduring, dismantling old assumptions and challenging scientific thought. Its astonishing accuracy has also proven resilient and still ahead of our time.
In fact, along Max Planck’s Quantum Mechanics formulations, Relativity is arguably one of the most comprehensive – despite its gaps – explanations of natural phenomena since Isaac Newton published his Law of Universal Gravitation, over 220 years before.
It guaranteed Einstein immortality and, even if indirectly, the 1921 Nobel of Physics. While only a few could elaborate on its implications, the theory‘s appeal lies on the simplicity of its outline, and almost direct impact and correlation to our world.
Although most of us couldn’t explain gravity to save our lives, many have at least heard about how massive objects, such as (more)

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* Time Out of Joint

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Spinning World

Fear of Losing the Internet, Your
Religion & the Best Things in Life

There are times when we fancy ourselves as a sort of keepers of the world. We pretend that bad things skip a beat under our watch, or look the other way. It may be all silly, but lately we’re only able to function under the illusion that things won’t turn that mad when we’re around.
Take the past weeks when we were off, for instance. You may argue, things unravel, as they wont to do, regardless of who’s at the helm. But eyeballs in a trash bin? An anti-atheist postal bias? An entire continent severed from the Internet by a pair of scissors? There’s more.
Guess what item is the current hottest U.S. export? But we’ll let you crave about this one for a bit, while we litter your Friday with a bunch of weird news, and a few signposts along the way first. For it wouldn’t be fair, otherwise. After all, we’re not talking about nuke threats from a diminutive Asian dictator here.
In fact, we’re the ones craving about these odd splinters we eagerly collect from the daily grind. As we said before, our files are stuffed with them, begging to be let loose. The only ground rules we’d consider would be to group them with like-minded items, under the general rubric of a world that’s lost its lid.
Which brings us back to the undercurrent theme of this fair Spring day: who can keep up with so much musings and rantings about ‘what I think,’ or ‘what I’d do,’ or how many ways one could count to appreciate the wonder of being themselves. But we digress. The point is to offer you a ride, a spin if you would, and see what still stands, when all is said and done.

The biggest, albeit hardly noticed, Internet attack ever recorded happened just the other week, to dismay of those who, by now, take online access for granted. As it turns out, this megabillion bytes digital highway has so many vulnerabilities to make us all fear for its continuous operation, if such attacks intensify.
And they will, we’re told. But we won’t bore you with the nerd details you probably already know, other than saying that your computer was probably made part of it, as a zombie, along with its printer and, hey, even your toaster, for that matter. What we should be asking, though, is why bother?
That’s because three men caught off the coast of Alexandria proved that disrupting the Internet is way simpler than that, at least in theory (and if you happen to be a diver, of course). They were attempting to cut through the SEA-ME-WE 4 undersea cable. Talking about the tubes of the Internet, well, this is it.
Disabling such a prosaic piece of hardware would be disastrous for millions of people in Asia and Europe. It’d immediately cut off the Internet in France, Italy, north Africa, the middle east and Malaysia. Cables like this run all over the world, making sure you get your porn at the click of a bottom.
The latest digital attack, by a shady organization called CyberBunker, has clogged up a staggering 300 gigabits per second of the Internet, so the threat of disruption by hacking is still pretty scary. If it were directed at a major utility, or a nuclear defense system, for example, it’d be downright nightmarish.
But many other nameless thugs may lack the technical expertise to bring the world online to its knees. So the next best thing may be Continue reading

Old Underwear

Abreast About Bras, Breast
Washers & Victoria’s Knickers

News about ancient female undergarments took our breath away. It’s well established that much of Medieval and Victorian attire had all the makings of portable restrainers, as women were deemed their fathers and husbands’ property. Just like some faiths would still have it.
A set of brassieres, found in a floorboard vault of the 1100s Lengberg Castle, and one of Queen Victoria’s own bottoms, show that such zeal went even deeper. While the bras look sexy, in a poverty-chic kind of way, the huge ‘bloomers’ would make even a clown blush.
Victoria’s secrets, which have been sold in auction, were known to exist, but the elaborate needle-lace design of the bras was a relative surprise. Their format, with distinct cut cups, is unlike that of the antique strips of cloth or leather favored by Greeks and Romans, used mainly to flatten the breasts.
Researchers who are studying the pieces are unsure whether the well preserved linen underpants also found in the vault are female or male. That’s because while men were known for wearing them, women are believed to have acquired the habit much later, around the time when England’s Virgin Queen was crowned, in the early 1800s.
Risking veering off the subject here, but in a loosely related field, it’s interesting how breast washers became relatively popular, just over a century later. Even though they seem inexplicable from the point of view of modern notions of hygiene, Continue reading