Two small words that every Kiwi knows: per capita. During an Olympics year we hear these two words even more frequently.
I’ve linked to this before I think but it’s worth another look: athlete body types, an artist’s reference
Did you hear about the badminton teams that were tossed out of the Olympics for playing to lose in order to get a better draw in subsequent rounds? That’s not the Olympic spirit, is it! Also, its a sign that the tournament design is deeply flawed.
Wil Wheaton’s web show “Tabletop” has had a two-parter in which some good people (including John Rogers, showrunner of cult caper TV show Leverage, and Bonnie Burton, until recently the friendly face of Star Wars on the internets) play the story game Fiasco. It’s a good watch, and might give you a sense of why I love the roleplaying game thing so much. (& hey, if anyone out there would like to give this sort of game a try, give me a shout – I am Fiasco-enabled…)
Fascinating (PDF) essay on “phantom states” like Taiwan, Gaza/Palestine, Northern Cyprus… how they function when they aren’t part of the apparatus of global statehood, and the problems they cause.
Star Wars Identities exhibition – sort of pictures of Star Wars things made up of smaller pictures of related Star Wars things? Sort of.
Some more caveats about microfinancing from an insider. This has been discussed in this blog before. The short version here seems to be: the form has potential, but it is trivially easy to abuse and exploit the system and so that is exactly what is happening all over the place. (via Amanda Lyons)
Whoa – a blacklist in the UK for construction industry workers who speak out about worker safety? This sounds horrific.
Busting myths about New Zealand using population data – NZ’s Dept of Stats shows how engaging with the public is done.
Big trigger warning for this link. There’s been a big thing on Reddit where sexual assaulters & rapists talk about their actions. Jezebel argues there’s much to learn from this; others have vehemently disagreed (not least due to Reddit’s supposed tendency to provide comfort & cover to misogyny). I tentatively agree with Jezebel on this, not least because this is a huge swathe of content that academics will already be furiously subjecting to thematic analysis. But it does make me uncomfortable. I link it here anyway because even if you don’t click through I think it’s important to know this exists in the world, that the huge conversation that is the internet makes discussions like this possible if not inevitable. Issues of gender representation & sexual harrassment are being discussed seemingly everywhere online right now, so hopefully this is building towards some kind of positive change. (via Daniel Gorringe, among others)
Film special effects guy explains the 7 most common CGI screwups (EDIT: margie points out this guy is a girl. Awhoops. In time between reading this and blogging it, my memory was rewritten to accord with gender steretypes.)
Is Margaret Thatcher dead yet? Man, there’s still a lot of fury at Maggie, huh.
Classics scholar hanging out in Florence writes amazing blog post about why Machiavelli mattered. If you only have the same surface knowledge of the guy that I do, read this.
And finally, via Fraser P: