Links For March 29, 2014

The Man Who Proved the Land, Air and Water Belong To All of Us

By legally establishing the “public trust” necessary to protect the sky, water and land from complete destruction by industrialists, Joseph Sax upended two centuries of American law. He proved that one person really can change the world for the better, but his accomplishment also shows the importance of these groundswells of public passion.


Basketball court builders find Maya Ball Game court

The location at the foot of the hill was a deliberate choice. The soil there is a rich red earth called Kankab, deposited as runoff from mountain streams. It’s highly fertile and was prize land for Maya farmers. Some researchers believe the Ball Game was associated with agriculture and fertility rituals, hence the placement. A cave at the top of the hill represented the birthplace of the gods and the Ball Game linked the deities on the mountain to the agricultural land during ceremonies.


Why don’t designers take Android seriously?

However, the growth patterns of Android are what give it such power. Android utterly dominates in emerging markets. I’m no analyst or global market specialist, but it’s clear that major tech companies recognise this, and many have launched low-end Android clients to address these markets. While developing nations are nearing smartphone saturation, there’s enormous growth potential in the rest of the world. The curve will continue, and it’s likely that Android will reach a larger proportion of humanity than any comparable technology, if it hasn’t already.


Behind the Rocket Cat: Animals in Warfare from Hannibal to World War One

Mitch conceded that the whole scheme “seems like a really terrible idea, and very unlikely the animals would run back to where they came from....” But when viewed in the context of early experiments with the capabilities of gunpowder and how it could change warfare, the rocket cat and his pigeon friend begin to make more sense.


R.I.P. Dave Brockie (Oderus Urungus)

Dave Brockie, frontman of the theatrical joke-metal institution Gwar, has died, as Blabbermouth has confirmed. Brockie co-founded Gwar in 1984, and he was the only constant member in the band’s 30-year history. Performing as Oderus Urungus, Brockie was something of an underground icon, a proudly ridiculous and obscene figure who built a huge cult audience from the ground up. Richmond, Virginia police found him dead in his home yesterday. He was 50.


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