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The Linkage for December 15th

Here’s a quick look at what I was reading online from November 27th to December 15th.

China launches “Chairman Mao’s Little Red Twitter”
If Twitter is threatening to undermine your tenuous grip on your billion minions, what’s a 21st century communist country to do? That’s right – use their own bourgeois technology against them!

Voyager 1 has outdistanced the solar wind
33 years after its launch, Voyager 1 has now reached a distant point at the edge of our solar system where it is no longer detecting the solar wind.

Remote Canadian town installs fake ice for year-round hockey
Getting ice isn’t a problem for the people of Fort Chipewyan, Alberta during the winter. But during the summer, maintaining a refrigeration system for the remote outposts’s hockey rink is impossible. So they’ve eliminated the ice.

Newfound planet adds to already crowded system
The discovery of a fourth large planet closely orbiting HR 8799 is challenging astrophysicists’ notions of what’s possible in terms of solar system formation.

Study finds that M&Ms digest in your mind, not in your stomach
A fleeting thought about a handful of M&M’s might be enough to derail your diet. But imagining yourself eating the candy-covered chocolates in painstaking detail could actually make you want them less.

Kim Jong-Il looking at things
It’s hard being the world’s foremost crazy communist dictator. You’ve got to look at a lot of stuff.

U.S. life expectancy slips during recession
Life expectancy in the United States dropped in 2008, the first full year of a grueling recession that saw mixed effects, both good and bad, on the nation’s health, according to new government data.

Slideshow: Ghana’s amazing coffins
In Ghana, they make sure you if you gotta go, at least you go in style.

Louisiana gets itself a new flag
After discovering that their state flag was missing a few drops of blood, the State of Louisiana has rolled out an updated version of it.

Cosmos may show echoes of events before Big Bang
Evidence of events that happened before the Big Bang can be seen in the glow of microwave radiation that fills the Universe, scientists have asserted. And the BBC tries to pass off the idea of a cyclic universe as new, even though such theories have been floating around since the 1930s.

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