Waves Freeze in Newfoundland

This counts as science, right?

Also see 18 Stunning Bridges From Around The World via Metafilter.

The Future of Ideas: Download Your Free Copy (and More)

thefutureofideas.jpgIn 2001, Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig published The Future of Ideas: The Fate of the Commons in a Connected World. Here, Lessig launched a campaign against American copyright law, arguing that it has become so restrictive that it stifles cultural innovation and social progress .... which undermines the original point of copyright law. Back in 1787, the founding fathers included the "copyright clause" in the American constitution, looking to give authors a short-term incentive to innovate and ultimately contribute to the public good. (Article I, Section 8 empowers Congress "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."). At the outset, copyright law protected forms of expression -- and let authors profit from them -- for a minimum of 14 years and a maximum of 28. Then, the material went into the public domain. But over time, the protections placed on cultural expression have been extended, and now works are protected so long as an author is alive, and then another 70 years. That's potentially up to 140 years or more. All of this has happened because Congress has been successfully lobbied by large media corporations (e.g. Disney), wanting to monetize their media assets (think, Mickey Mouse) indefinitely.

Anyway, this is a long way of telling you that you can now download The Future of Ideas for free. Lessig persuaded Random House to release the book under a "Creative Commons" license, using the argument that free e-books will actually stimulate sales of paper copies. (Do you really want to read 350 pages on your computer screen?)

This is not the first time that Lessig has worked with this model. One of his previous books, Free Culture: How Big Media Uses Technology and the Law to Lock Down Culture and Control Creativity, was also made freely available in digital format. (You can download a free audiobook version or buy the paper version here.)

As a final note, I should mention that Lessig will be leaving behind his focus on these copyright issues, and turning his sights to corruption in Washington. Below you can watch him outline the problem that he's looking to tackle.

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Steve Jobs’ 90 Minute Keynote Boiled Down to 60 Seconds

Want the quick overview of what Apple has in the pipeline for '08? Here it is:

The Second Amendment: Does It Really Let You Bear Arms?

What does the Second Amendment mean? It's something that the Supreme Court has never really said. In this hour long video, Cass Sunstein, a very well known law professor from the University of Chicago, takes a crack at interpreting this amendment and seeing whether its original meaning actually confers the right to bear arms. Originalists/conservatives probably won't like his conclusions, and they may be inclined to dismiss this as a talk given by another liberal elitist. But they should keep in mind that Sunstein actually saw the Bush administration's wiretapping as having a plausible legal basis, and he's had anything but a harsh assessment of John Roberts' track record as a judge.

This talk was recorded on October 23, 2007.

Jimi Hendrix Vintage Footage

Astoundingly good footage of Hendrix playing Voodoo Chile live. The date is 1969, in London. (Video is added to our YouTube Playlist.)

Resolving the Omnivore’s Dilemma: Pollan’s New Book

Coming off of the runaway success of Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan has just published a logical sequel -- In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto. His new book tells us what to eat, what not to eat, and how to stay healthy. Generally speaking, his advice can be boiled down to a few words: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants." But there is obviously much more to it than that. To fill in the gaps, you can buy the book or listen to two recent interviews with Pollan:

1.) The Leonard Lopate Show (January 9) : MP3 - iTunes - Feed - Web Site 

2.) Science Friday (January 4): MP3 - iTunes - Feed - Web Site

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Library of Congress Adds 3,000 Photos to Flickr

Check them out here.

via Lifehacker

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