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Your favorite internet magazine. Published twice monthly with Free Content. [Issue #4, Archived]



Music —

Most Valuable Player

Twice Monthly Mixtape by Jesse Alejandro

Can We Go Back Where We Began? Nat Baldwin gives us his newest album, Most Valuable Player, for download and Jesse Alejandro reviews the bass-infused tracks.
Read | Download Album

Network —

Ownership and a DRM World

This Month in Network By Justina White

drm logo Justina White asks what ownership really means when it comes to DRM-locked digital media. Do you actually own your music in the full sense of the word if you can't use it as you like? Read more …

Code —

Presenters in Ruby on Rails Applications

This Month in Code by Joshua Clayton

PPresenters in Ruby on Rails Applications Joshua Clayton discusses his use of Presenters, and gives us an demo application to play with the concepts. Read more …


Feature —

Of White Whales and Dark Energies

November 26th 2008 by Dylan Thuras

Mapping Cyberspace Onto Actual Space

Featuring Cannibalism, Whale Attacks, Mustaches, Physics Jokes, Doughnuts, Sperm Jokes, Shrinking Space Men, the Weird History of the Ether, and Exploding Stars…

"This whole act's immutably decreed. 'Twas rehearsed by thee and me a billion years before this ocean rolled. Fool! I am the Fates' lieutenant; I act under orders." —Herman Melville, Moby Dick

It would appear that something is blasting our universe apart— an awkward situation, to say the least. As a resident of the universe, one feels as if he should have a say, a vote in the cosmic election. "Nay on Proposition Omega - The Blasting Apart of the Universe!" But alas, the universe is cruelly undemocratic. Despite one's uncomfortable feelings about it, the galaxies will continue to fly away from each other at an ever-increasing speed, and they will seemingly do so forever, until the universe turns cold and empty— a cosmic desert.

This is the standing theory anyway. To understand how we got here, to this strange and disconcerting flinging to pieces, we must go back (or at least I feel like taking us back) on a curious journey. A journey through rough seas and darkened basements, up mountain observatories and into the furthest reaches of dying starlight. We'll even learn about whales! We begin this tale one hundred and thirty years ago in Nantucket, with the unfortunate tale of a young whaler named Owen Coffin.

It was 1819 and seventeen year old Owen was bored of the Nantucket life. Bored. To. Tears. To escape his folks and enjoy a little adventure, Owen and his friend Charles took jobs aboard a whaling ship. It was a stroke of good fortune that Owen's cousin was George_Pollard_Jr, the captain of the Essex. He had gladly secured Owen and Charles positions on the ship. They were going to see the world! The intended voyage would be a two and half year trip around the west side of South America and into the South Pacific in search of Sperm Whale.

They had been out to sea for about a year, and things were going well. In fact, if things kept up at this pace, the crew of eighteen would be home, and rich, in no time at all. On the morning of November 20, 1820, whale spouts were spotted on the horizon. Three small whaling boats set out from the Essex. In the midst of the Sperm Whale hunt, a seemingly improbable disaster struck. The whale fought back.

The crew had already speared two sperm whales when, in a flash, an 85-foot bull whale 1 slammed its huge head into the side of the boat, causing the boat to rock violently "as if she had been struck by a rock," the first mate recalled. "We looked at each other with perfect amazement, deprived almost of the power of speech." As young Owen and the crew regained their footing, the whale struck the Essex again, this time staving in the bow of the huge ship. Nothing could be done. Within ten minutes, the 238-ton ship was underwater. The first mate wrote of the incident,

"Amazement and despair now wholly took possession of us. We contemplated the frightful situation the ship lay in, and thought with horror on the sudden and dreadful calamity that had overtaken us...To shed tears was all together unavailing, and withal unmanly; yet I was not able to deny myself the relief they served to afford me."
Read more …

Politics —

How to Make Barack Obama Keep His Promises

This Month in Politics by Justin Boland

obama presedential seal The online organizing and social networking that engineered Barack Obama's rise to the White House wasn't just an expensive tool, it was a culture. A culture of people who are motivated, informed and demanding, and a culture that will turn on Obama once they suspect they've been used.
Read more …


Obama Biden Transition Project and Cluen

This Month in Politics by Ari Herzog

Obama Biden Transition Project and Cluen Ari Herzog rips through layers of .gov and .org transitional websites, asks why government data is being hosted on private sector servers, and calls for greater transparency in the Obama Biden Transition Project.
Read more …


Change.gov

This Month in Politics by Jacob Perkins

Presedential Seal Jacob Perkins discusses the implications of an online presidency @ Change.gov, the Obama administration's official transition Web site. Read more …


Comics —

Open Source Debugger

This week's programmer comic by Rick Waldron

open source debugger


Information Wants To Be Free

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