Hiding a pregnancy from Big Data might get you flagged as a criminal.

    A friend of mine sent me an interesting read this morning: a Mashable story on Princeton sociology professor Janet Vertesi’s mission to prevent marketers from discovering her pregnancy. The manner of methods by which she evaded detection are striking reminders of how embedded in our daily lives are the means of personal data collection–and retrieval. By now, most…

“Don’t Give It to a Russian” sex embargo takes guerrilla boycotting to the next level

Sanctions just got real. Ukrainian women are urging others to “fight the enemy by whatever means” by boycotting sex with Russian citizens. Global Voices reports: “This week, a creative boycott began in Ukraine that is drawing the attention of Russian Internet users. Ukrainian women are organizing a new campaign called “Don’t give it to a Russian”—a sex…

International recognition? Please. Why Crimea isn’t Russian until Google Maps says it is.

Every so often, the world considers what mapping really is and why it matters. Determining what cartographic elements to include and how spatial entities are represented on a map have long been subjects of occasionally-esoteric study, but sometimes it takes a major geo-political action to remind the non-geographers among us what power and influence these…

Bitcoin demographics: on politics and privilege

This just in: Libertarians and “unbanked” peoples love Bitcoin like whoa. An interesting look at who’s using the open source P2P money: “…there’s a fair amount of privilege built directly into the currency: In order to buy the sometimes wildly expensive currency, Bitcoin users need to be wealthy. And they can afford to put their…

Israeli commercial air flight: now with lasers!

Just when you thought El Al couldn’t get any more hardcore… “Dubbed the Sky Shield—no, not that Skyshield—this Multi-Spectral Infrared Countermeasure (MUSIC) system from Elbit first identifies incoming threats with an integrated thermal camera, then hits it with a fiber-laser based Directional InfraRed CounterMeasure (DIRCM) to deflect heat seeking anti-aircraft missiles.” Via Gismodo

Why everyone should care about mathematical literacy

I really enjoyed this excellent profile in Mother Jones on Edward Frenkel and his crusade to promote mathematical literacy. Before college, I hated math like it was my job. Probably because my K-12 exposure was limited to a life-sucking traditional pedagogy: mastering principles via boring, obnoxiously repetitious, and seemingly irrelevant rote memorization and application of equations because testing. Frenkel gets…