links for 2009-01-18

  • "How many members can a committee have and still be effective? Parkinson’s own guess was based on the 700-year history of England’s highest council of state- in its modern incarnation, the UK cabinet. Five times in succession between 1257 and 1955, this council grew from small beginnings to a membership of just over 20. Each time it reached that point, it was replaced by a new, smaller body, which began growing again. This was no coincidence, Parkinson argued: beyond about 20 members, groups become structurally unable to come to consensus."
  • "The path is a familiar one: Ancestry in Kansas; influences from Africa; a kind of apotheosis in Michael Jordan’s Chicago; eventual acclamation by the world. And while, no, basketball itself won’t be sworn in next Tuesday as the 44th president of the U.S., the game has played an outsized role in forming the man who will. Basketball, says his brother-in-law, Oregon State coach Craig Robinson, is why Barack Obama "is sitting where he’s sitting.""
  • "It can be easy to get lost in the modern-day college hoops world with dozens of games being played each night, many of them broadcast on outlets you barely know exist. Ever kick yourself for watching a dud of a game on a four-letter network only to find out the next morning that you missed a thriller on a three-letter or even a two-letter network? Well, kick no more, because FanMatch is here!"
  • "SUPERUSELESS SUPERPOWER: Eventual Kevlar Skin.
    Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Boink."
  • "The Earth Observatory is a website run by NASA’s Earth Observing System Project Science Office (EOSPSO). Bringing together imagery from many different satellites and astronaut missions, the website publishes fantastic images with highly detailed descriptions, feature articles and more. Gathered here are some standout photographs from the collections in the Earth Observatory over the past several years. "