Mathematical Model Reveals the Patterns of How Innovations Arise | MIT Technology Review

Read Mathematicians have discovered how the universal patterns behind innovation arise (MIT Technology Review)
A mathematical model could lead to a new approach to the study of what is possible, and how it follows from what already exists.

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The Language Of Falconry

Read The Language of Falconry | The Use of Falconry Terms (wingspan.co.nz)

You probably don’t realise – we all talk the language of falconry!


Having such a long and rich history around the world, the practice of falconry has developed an extensive vocabulary to describe it. Over time many of these words and phrases have become part of everyday life without many of us realising the original meaning behind the term.

For example:

“I’m just so fed up with all this work.”
The term to be ‘fed up’ comes from the falconry term for when a trained hawk has eaten its fill. When a bird is ‘fed up’ it is unwilling to fly and hunt for the falconer. Hence today, to be ‘fed up’ means you are no longer interested in doing something.

“That guy is so under her thumb!”
To be under the thumb, comes from the action of a falconer holding the leash of the hawk under their thumb to maintain a tight control of the bird. Today the term under the thumb is generally used in a derogatory manner to describe a partners overbearing control over the other partners actions.

“Ha ha – he’s been hoodwinked!”
Falconers use a leather ‘hood’ to cover a hawks eyes and keep them calm. Hence the term hoodwinked came about to describe somebody being fooled or tricked into doing something.

“Noel has been working too hard – he’s looking a bit haggard!”
A haggard falcon was traditionally a bird that was caught from the wild while on migration. Typically a bird caught at this time would be thin and tired from its journey. Hence the term for somebody looking ‘haggard’ means that they look a bit rough around the edges, a bit worn out.

“She’s been waiting with bated breath all day”
Falcons, when they want to fly, bate from the block, meaning they try to fly but are held short of leaving the area around their perch by their leash. When doing this they can become short of breath – and hence are waiting for the falconer to come to release them from their tether with ‘bated breath’. The term “at the end of my tether” similarly comes from the action of a falcon, particularly an un-trained young falcon, bating from the perch and being held up by their tether – hence they are at the end of their tether i.e. extremely frustrated.

“Ok, I will cadge a lift off Tom.”
A cadge was what falconers called a portable perch. Falcons were carried to the hunting grounds on a cadge. Thus the term to ‘cadge a lift’ came about, meaning to get a free lift. Phrases based on the words cadge don’t end there. ‘Codger’ is a derivative of the word ‘cadger’. Cadgers were usually old falconers (who carried the falcons on the cadge) hence today the term has come to be used to refer to an elderly person, as in the affectionate term – ‘the old codger’. Interestingly, a caddy today is somebody who carries golf clubs for somebody – and normally the person carrying the clubs is considerably younger than the person playing the game!

“I’m off down the boozer.”
When raptors drink, it is called bowsing. A bird that drinks heavily is called a boozer. The same term is used to describe the same tendency in humans – hence a ‘boozer’ is someone who drinks a lot and the ‘boozer’ is where people that drink beer like to go for a drink (or two).

Source: Falconry | The Language of Falconry | The Use of Falconry Terms

When Ayn Rand Collected Social Security & Medicare, After Years of Opposing Benefit Programs | Open Culture

Read When Ayn Rand Collected Social Security & Medicare, After Years of Opposing Benefit Programs (openculture.com)

The tough part that most don’t realize or take into account is the randomness of life. In some cases one is born to wealth and privilege while others not. And even in cases of wealth and privilege one may be randomly “singled out” for disease, accidents, or other problems that may level a lifetime of working. Statistical thermodynamics and big history can tell us is that none of us are immune, all of us will die eventually, but also that we’re here because of the billions who came before us. If we’re going to beat evolution, we’ll need all the help we can get, from every single member of our society.


A robust social safety net can benefit both the individuals in a society and the society itself. Free of the fear of total impoverishment and able to meet their basic needs, people have a better opportunity to pursue long-term goals, to invent, create, and innovate. Of course, there are many who believe otherwise. And there are some, including the acolytes of Ayn Rand, who believe as Rand did: that those who rely on social systems are—to use her ugly term—“parasites,” and those who amass large amounts of private wealth are heroic supermen.
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Plagiarism charges against Monica Crowley put her publishing house on stage | PressThink

Read Plagiarism charges against Monica Crowley put her publishing house on stage (PressThink)
These mettle tests are going to come more quickly than we thought, I guess. HarperCollins: you're up!

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RSSCloud For WordPress | Joseph Scott

Read RSSCloud For WordPress by Joseph Scott (blog.josephscott.org)
RSSCloud support has been enabled on all WordPress.com blogs. If you are running a WordPress.org powered blog you can do the same thing with the RSSCloud plugin.

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rssCloud WordPress Plugin Update – 0.4.1 | Joseph Scott

Read rssCloud WordPress Plugin Update – 0.4.1 – by Joseph Scott (blog.josephscott.org)

rssCloud WordPress Plugin Update – 0.4.1

Update – 5 Nov 2009:
These features are now available on WordPress.com as well – http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/11/05/rsscloud-update/

Version 0.4.1 of the rssCloud WordPress plugin is now available. The biggest change is adding support for the domain parameter in notification requests. This means that rssCloud updates processed by the plugin are no longer limited to being sent to the IP address that the request came from. Support for the domain parameter is live on WordPress.com as well.

When a domain parameter is included with a notification request the verification process does the following:

  • Sends an HTTP GET request to the {domain}:{port}{path} URL
  • That HTTP GET includes to pieces of data: url and challenge. The url field contains the URL of the feed that we’ll been sending pings about. The challenge field contains a random string of characters
  • The response back must have a status code of 2xx and the body must contain EXACTLY the contents of the challenge field. If both of those conditions are not met then the verification process will consider this a failure

For notification requests that have no domain parameter the verification process is unchanged from before.

Another item that some may find helpful is a new constant – RSSCLOUD_FEED_URL – if that is defined they it will be used as the feed URL of the blog instead of determining it via get_bloginfo( 'rss2_url' );. For plugin authors that provide options for an alternative feed URL note that can override the default in WordPress via the feed_link filter. That filter can be used instead of the RSSCLOUD_FEED_URL constant and will bubble up through the get_bloginfo( 'rss2_url' ); call.

Source: rssCloud WordPress Plugin Update – 0.4.1 | Joseph Scott

Social Importer Upgrade | Beau Lebens

Read Social Importer Upgrade by Beau Lebens (Beau Lebens Blog)
Today I pushed some updates to: People & Places Keyring Social Importers These updates make it so that the Twitter, Foursquare and Instagram importers are now dynamically identifying and indexi…

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📖 On page 157 of 206 of The Science of the Oven by Hervé This

📖 On page 157 of 206 of The Science of the Oven by Hervé This

… an odor in the kitchen is a symptom of odorant molecule loss (logically, kitchens should not smell good, because then we would be sure that the pleasing odors remained in the pots.)

–Hervé This, on page 154

Book cover for The Science of the Oven

Stop Publishing Web Pages | Anil Dash

Read Stop Publishing Web Pages (anildash.com)
Most users on the web spend most of their time in apps. The most popular of those apps, like Facebook, Twitter, Gmail, Tumblr and others, are primarily focused on a single, simple stream that offers a river of news which users can easily scroll through, skim over, and click on to read in more depth. Most media companies on the web spend all of their effort putting content into content management systems which publish pages. These pages work essentially the same way that pages have worked since the beginning of the web, with a single article or post living at...

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Getting data out of Medium

Read Getting data out of Medium (pushpullfork.com)
Controlling my data is important to me. It’s also important that my students (and the faculty that I support) have the ability to control their own...

A prescient article written last fall before the news that Medium was downsizing significantly this week.


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Snapchat Accused of Misleading Investors in Ex-Employee’s Lawsuit

Read Snapchat Accused of Misleading Investors in Ex-Employee's Lawsuit (The Hollywood Reporter)
An ex-Snapchat employee says he was fired just weeks after the company poached him from Facebook and is being blackballed. The company says his claims have no merit.

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It’s more than just the words

Read It's more than just the words (The site of Rachel Andrew, writer, speaker and web developer)
Reading an article from 1999 caused me to consider how not owning your own content leads to a loss of more than just the content itself.

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Break the logjam with a simple API

Read Break the logjam with a simple API by Dave Winer (Scripting News)
Some say to get independence from silos, users have to run servers, but that's not true. A small new connection can break the logjam.

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