I wasted—er, enjoyably spent—the weekend reading Phil and Kaja Foglio's Girl Genius online. Now I've ordered the printed books, and I recommend you do the same. Here's a taste of the Oz meeets steampunk comic. Order all six volumes—or spend the next three days online. At which point, you'll order all six volumes anyway, so save a step.
Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy gives us a fascinating overview of Islam's long and variable engagement with science. "The question I want to pose—perhaps as much to myself as to anyone else—is this: With well over a billion Muslims and extensive material resources, why is the Islamic world disengaged from science and the process of creating new knowledge?"
Gareth Rees calculates that the British archers at Agincourt might have rained 50,000 arrows a minute for a solid eight minutes onto the French. So if you were snorting derisively at the title's combination of "medieval" and "physics," consider this: Agincourt was, essentially, the first battle where conventional cavalry tactics met the equivalent of the machine gun.
Silicon Valley's culture didn't begin with Hewlett and Packard's garage or, for that matter, the "treacherous eight" from Fairchild Semiconductor. The stage was set in 1909, in the wake of the great quake—and at the birth of radio.
Sometimes it is. "In theory, the planet has 24 time zones. Actually, there are about 39, and they are still hotly debated. Within the past month, President Hugo Chavez has talked of moving Venezuela’s clocks forward half an hour, and Indian scientists have urged their government to do the same."