Sunday Reading: You snnnneeaaky mom!

Hey everybody, another week, come and gone.  Christmas decorations have immidiately popped up before the Halloween candy has even been finished while Middlebury had visits from Dan Choi, Jeffrey Blount, Phil Kaye, and many, many more at the TEDx talks this weekend.  Something about TEDx really reminded me of why I chose to go to Middlebury.  At the same time, however, it urged me to remember what the rest of the world has to offer. As for a little sampling of what the world has to offer:

MUSIC: John Lennon’s tooth was sold yesterday at an auction yesterday for 19,500 pounds.  A Canadian dentist claimed the winning bid (a dentist, really?.) Just goes on the list of weird things sold on eBay.

TECHNOLOGY: For many who have lost their hearing and require the use of hearing aids, background noise dominates the noises and sounds coming through to their eardrums.  Inventors have now developed a ‘hearing loop’ however, that gets rid of those sounds, amplifying the important noises.  “It’s the equivalent of a wheelchair ramp for people who used to be socially isolated because of their hearing loss.”

SKYPE: Having just finished two long Skype conversations with friends abroad, I can attest to the usefulness and importance of Skype in the technology-savvy younger generations.  This NyTimes piece does a great job describing how Skype has changed the nature of  long term relationships over time.

PATENTS: David Gelernter is a computer scientist, known for helping to connect computers together in collaborative networks.  In 1993, he was the victim of the Unibomber after receiving a pipe bomb in the mail.  Now, he is fighting Apple in a lawsuit, claiming patent infringement to the tune of $625 million dollars.  Reminds me of an episode of This American Life I just listened to called “When Patents Attack.”

SPACE: A construction firm in Japan recently proposed building a set of solar panels across the moon’s equator, with the ultimate goal of supplying energy to the entire world.  Actually.  This is actually happening.

ART: Ai Weiwei, a Chinese artist and activist was detained last April for 81 days for supposed tax evasion.  Others believe his detainment had more to do with pro-democracy connections, but either way, his fine was set last Tuesday.  Since the announcement of the $2.4 million tax bill (more than 3x the amount he supposedly evaded,) over 20,000 people have chipped in and contributed $550,000 to help pay the fine.

And your video of the week: (It gets freaking incredible at :50)