Find free Online University Courses with OpenCourseWare Finder

From Opencontent.org comes the OpenCourseWare Finder

This specialist search engine searches the following Universities for Open Course  – usually university courses made available to the public for free.

“Open Course refers to the sharing of educational materials with minimal restrictions, usually in the context of new digital technologies available through the World-Wide Web. Its purpose is the broadest possible dissemination of knowledge, in keeping with academic tradition and counter to the current trend toward the commercialization of education.” – opencourse.info

I found an excellent Introduction to Psychology Course that I am now taking.

See also:

Opencourse.org
Opencourse.info
Addendum Feb 2014: Also see the Open Courseware Bookshelf where you have textbooks and accompanying materials for the courses.

 

 

Racism is bad – so is self-delusion

From Mark Steyn in the Daily Telegraph:

What’s the deal with these riots in Sydney? You switch on the television and there’s scenes of urban conflagration and you think, “Hang on, I saw this story last month.” But no. They were French riots. These are Australian riots. Entirely different. The French riots were perpetrated by – what’s the word? – “youths”. The Australian riots were perpetrated by “white youths”. Same age cohort, but adjectivally enhanced.

And, being “white youths”, they thus offered “a chilling glimpse into the darker corners of Australian society”, as Nick Squires put it last week, “with thousands of white youths rampaging through a well-known beach suburb, attacking people of Middle Eastern background. They were egged on by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.” Gotcha. White youths egged on by white supremacists. You can’t make a racist omelette without egged whites.

More at Mark Steyn’s website.

Britain's first black archbishop inaugurated

Via Abelard.org:

‚ÄúThe new Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, Britain’s first black archbishop, has been inaugurated. A 20-strong group of dancers – some bare-chested – performed a dance of “rejoicing and thanksgiving” wearing colourful head plumage of red, white and black feathers and leopardskin print skirts and T-shirts. The 3,000-strong congregation was mesmerised by the spectacle. The ancient walls of York Minster echoed to the rhythms of African drumming and high-pitched wailing for several minutes. The majority of the service was dominated by ancient ritual and tradition but the new Ugandan-born Archbishop brought a flavour of Africa to the proceedings with brightly-coloured costumes and African music.‚Äù

Reminds me of that quote from Ape and Essence where Huxley describes tribal African dances in the ruins of the Post Apocalyptic Rome.

Image Harvesting

I love browsing images, especially the sort of random things people tend to post on their blogs.

There are several fun places once can go to see amazing images harvested from peoples uploads:

Flickr – the worlds most popular online image repository
Delimages – Images being linked to by De.licio.us users
Found Photos – Random images harvested from open webservers or found on memory cards (NSFW))
IRC Images – Images harvested from the IRC chat network
LiveJournal Harvester – Images harvested from the Livejournal Blogging service servers.

Also see this post on harvesting images from online image hosting services like ImageShack:

Binaryhack.org ~ View topic – Imageshack Script – Perl

Finally, as a treat for the boys, check out one of the best uses of this technology:

Flickr Babes
Flickrlicio.us (or its very naughty cousin xxx.flickrlicio.us)

Quote: The Real Truth That Dare Not Speak Itself

The Real Truth That Dare Not Speak Itself

“A balkanization of epistemology is taking place. There is no longer a commonality of understanding. For some people quantum physics provides the answers. Their next door neighbor may look to the channeling of archangels with equal fervor.

It is accompanied by a related phenomenon which is technology, or the historical momentum of things, is creating such a bewildering social milieu that the monkey mind cannot find a simple story, a simple creation myth or redemption myth to lay over the crazy contradictory patchwork of profane techno-consumerist post-McLuhanist electronic pre-apocalyptic existence.

Into that dimension of anxiety created by this inability to parse reality rushes a bewildering variety of squirrelly notions, epistemological cartoons if you will. Conspiracy theory, in my humble opinion, is a kind of epistemological cartoon about reality. Isn’t it so simple to believe that things are run by the greys, and that all we have to do is trade sufficient fetal tissue to them and then we can solve our technological problems, or isn’t it comforting to believe that the Jews are behind everything, or the Communist Party, or the Catholic Church, or the Masons. Well, these are epistemological cartoons, it is kindergarten in the art of amateur historiography.

I believe that the truth of the matter is far more terrifying, that the real truth that dare not speak itself is that no one is in control, absolutely no one. This stuff is ruled by the equations of dynamics and chaos. There may be entities seeking control, but to seek control is to take enormous aggravation upon yourself. It’s like trying to control a dream.

From: Terrence McKenna in Dreaming Awake at the End of Time

[NOTE: Look out for my new one page portal on magick, the occult, shamanism, psychonautics and quantum psychology. Terrence McKenna will, of course, feature heavily.]

Dancing advertises "sexual quality"

Dancing advertises sexual quality – Study of Jamaicans shows symmetrical dancers shake it better.

Women love a guy who can dance, right? Well, a study using Jamaican volunteers might explain why. The results suggest that men who are better at busting a move also have more to offer as a mate.

Researchers led by William Brown of Rutgers University in New Jersey filmed more than 180 teenagers shaking it down, and converted the films into computer-animated, androgynous dancing figures. When shown the animated dancers, viewers gave higher ratings to dances performed by people who in reality had more symmetrical bodies and were generally more attractive.

The effect was stronger for women watching male dances than for men watching women. And the dances performed by men scored more highly overall than those by women, Brown and his colleagues report in Nature.

“An initial surprise was that males were better dancers than females overall. But in retrospect we should have predicted this,” says Brown. Because females generally shoulder a greater burden in reproduction, it is understandable that women should be more choosy when picking a partner, he says. Men might therefore be under more pressure to perform on the dance floor.”

It’s not just the dancefloor pal!

Make sure you check out the videos that accompany the article. The “asymmetrical” male subject has a classic nerd dance.

Most inaccurate prediction by an experts prize 2005

“Modern airliners…don’t have accidents.” David Learmount “Aircraft Expert” on the BBC, after Air France plane skidded off a runway and burst into flames at Toronto’s Pearson airport in August 2005, but all 309 people aboard survived.

Check out the crash tally for commercial aircraft following that remark…

  • Aug. 6: A Tunisian ATR-42 plane crashes into the sea off Palermo in Sicily, Italy, killing 13 of the 39 passengers and crew members on board, with three others missing.
  • Aug. 14: A Cypriot Boeing 737 operated by the private Helios Airways crashes in north Athens, killing all the 121 passengers and crew members on board.
  • Aug. 17: A jet carrying French tourists crashes in the mountains of western Venezuela, killing all the 160 people on board.
  • Aug. 24: A Peruvian Boeing 737-200 crashes in the Amazon jungle, killing at least 48 of the 100 people aboard.
  • Sept. 5: An Indonesian Boeing 737-200 with 117 on board crashes into a residential area in the city of Medan, Indonesia’s third-largest city, killing more than 130 people aboard and on the ground.
  • Oct. 22: A Boeing 737-200 operated by Nigeria’s Bellview Airlines crashes on the outskirts of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, killing 117 people on board.
  • Dec. 10: A plane with 103 passengers and seven crew members on board crashed in the southern Nigerian oil city of Port Harcourt, killing 103 people.
  • Dec 20: A seaplane crash kills 20 off Miami, Florida.
  • Dec 24: All 23 passengers and crew died when an Azerbaijan Airlines plane crashed shortly after taking off from the capital, Baku.

I am actually being completely unfair. Mr Learmont is talking about the latest generation of aircraft like the A340 that crashed in Toronto. I could not resist the slight scoff though.