Droning On

Remember that Golden Era, when war was all about hacking bits off each other from high-five range? Well those days are gone. Stupid technology. Takes the fun out of everything. I was reminded of technology’s curse – the efficient maiming and killing of each other fro a distance, as opposed to the inefficient maiming and killing of each other with manual implements – by the most recent episode (“Drone”) of the excellent My History Can Beat Up Your Politics podcast. In the episode, Bruce Carlson discusses the history of armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and potential ramifications of their use.

MQ-9 Reaper Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, Photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson, Public Domain photo from Wikipedia Commons

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Bullet Health Hazard?

The difference between a great title and one that gets you ignored? In this case, six words – or one conditional phrase. Here is the title of the PLoS One article by Pain et al.:

Potential Hazard to Human Health from Exposure to Fragments of Lead Bullets and Shot

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Literary Evolution

I love this map by Haisam Hussein tracking the evolution of four stories (Pygmalion, Leviathan, Faust, and Oedipus) through history and geography.

Not only does this speak about how we reuse and reinterpret the same myths throughout history, but also struck a few personal chords. First, the night before I saw Hussein’s map, my Sky TV Guide described She’s All That as a reimagining of Pygmalion, not My Fair Lady, which stood out in my mind. Second, I had never considered Jaws as a retelling of the Leviathan legend before, but now cannot get over the casting of Roy Schneider in the role of Jehovah (aka, Chief Brody).