Still catching up to e-mail and unread RSS items. Here are some that look interesting and/or important:

The ever-interesting and well-informed folks at Boing Boing alert me to John Perry Barlow‘s post about his month in Brazil:

Brazil is the world’s largest Inside Joke. It is, to those who get it, sufficiently involving to render even such external considerations as the possible outbreak of Armageddon slightly irrelevant.

Besides, it seems to have an instinct for peace that runs the length of its history and is wisely aware that even opposing the bellicose behavior of less enlightened cultures adds energy to the cyclone of war. Brazil doesn’t study war no more. The only organized conflict Brazil is likely to enter involves no weapon more lethal than a soccer ball.

…As you might expect, I have much more to report from down here, where I’ve now spent an utterly transforming month. Until now, I’ve been having too much fun having adventures to spend my energies on turning them into information.

Extremely well put, and a must read. I’m looking forward to his forthcoming reports.

Still on Boing Boing, a link to an extremely interesting NYTimes article about inventor Woody Norris. Apparently, Norris invented the medical ultrasonogram, the Jabra earphone, a soon-to-be-available personal helicopter, and countless other things – among which the focused loudspeaker which is the article’s theme is one of the most interesting.

Mark Pilgrim admits to being the Raging Platypus. Hopefully he’ll continue posting platypus stuff… I’m searching in my stored books for Arthur Byron Cover‘s 1976 story collection “The Platypus of Doom and Other Nihilists” (sadly out of print). The book’s cover should be a nice addition to the site… IIRC, the title story involved the protagonist playing table tennis for his life with the P.o.D. Other stories are called “The Aardvark of Despair”, “The Clam of Catastrophe”, and “The Armadillo of Destruction”; perhaps someone will put up a “Raging Aardvark” site? icon_biggrin.gif