Bomb Sight

by Harry on December 8, 2012

My friend Amy Keys alerted me to this amazing website documenting every single bomb that was dropped during the Blitz. I recommend zooming out on the main page, and then narrowing in to particular places you know well. My first trip was to Regents Park.

Apparently there’s going to be an app.

Why Can’t We Say What Color Our Skin Is?

by John Holbo on December 8, 2012

Corey’s post about the more toxic stuff in Jefferson’s writings was interesting, wasn’t it?

This bit –

Are not the fine mixtures of red and white, the expressions of every passion by greater or less suffusions of colour in the one, preferable to that eternal monotony, which reigns in the countenances, that immoveable veil of black which covers all the emotions of the other race?

– reminded me of something else I read recently, in The Vision Revolution: How the Latest Research Overturns Everything We Thought We Knew About Human Vision, by Mark Changizi [Kindle version only $1.99. Good deal!]

The book manages to hit the popularized-but-substantive sweet spot pretty consistently. The chapter on skin color reports some of Changizi’s own research. He starts with a puzzle: why is it no one has a good name – a name they are satisfied with – for their own skin color? ‘White’ people aren’t white: tan, pink, salmon, off-white, peach? There are 11 ‘basic’ colors, per Berlin and Kay. None are good descriptors of anyone’s skin color. This result generalizes. ‘Black’ people aren’t any better at finding words for their own skin color they are satisfied with than ‘white’ people are.

Why would that be? A hypothesis. [click to continue…]