Explaining Google’s PageRank

From Smashing Magazine:

Everybody is using it, but (almost) nobody really knows, how it works. Google PageRank is probably one of the most important algorithms ever developed for the Web. With billions of existing pages and millions of pages generated every day, the search issue in the Web is more complex than you probably think it is. PageRank, only one of hundreds of factors used by Google to determine best search results, helps to keep our search clean and efficient. But how is it actually done? How does Google PageRank work, which factors do have an impact on it and which don’t? And what do we really know about PageRank?

In this article we put the facts straight.

Irena Sendler


Sendler, a social worker, began organizing financial and material help for Jews after the war began in 1939 with the Nazi invasion. Posing as a nurse and wearing a Star of David armband – in solidarity and to blend in – Sendler would enter the Warsaw Ghetto, the prison enclave the Nazis established as a prelude to deporting and murdering Poland’s Jews in death camps.

A Polish doctor forged papers stating she was a nurse. The Nazis, who feared the typhoid fever spreading in the ghetto, were happy to let Polish medical workers handle the sick and the dead.

Sendler persuaded Jewish parents that their children had a better chance to live if she smuggled them out and placed them with Catholic families.

In hopes of reuniting them later with their birth parents, she wrote the children’s names and new addresses, in code, on slips of paper and buried them in two jars in an assistant’s yard. That hope never came true: Almost all the parents died in Hitler’s camps.

What the jar did save was their true, Jewish names.

Sendler was arrested in a Gestapo night raid on her apartment on Oct. 20, 1943. The Nazis took her to the dreaded Pawiak prison, which few left alive. She was tortured and says she still has scars on her body – but she refused to betray her team.

“I kept silent. I preferred to die than to reveal our activity,” she was quoted as saying in the one book about her, “Mother of the Children of the Holocaust: The Story of Irena Sendler” by Anna Mieszkowska.

The Polish resistance bribed a Gestapo officer. He put her name on a list of executed prisoners and let her go. She went into hiding under an assumed name but continued her activity.

(via Reddit)

Wikipedia’s entry on Irena Sendler.

The Olympics Logo

I’m not saying it’s a bad logo but…..

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket
(From The Spark)

However, the Mayor of London is defending the logo:

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone today made light of the controversy surrounding the 2012 Olympic logo and said politicians were not employed to make artistic decisions.

The bold, jagged £400,000 brand which is a modern take on the Olympic colours took a year’s research, including consumer testing.

Organisers have hailed it as dynamic and vibrant, but other people have said it resembles a “toileting monkey” or a “broken swastika”.

Plastic Ocean

From BestLifeOnline:

A vast swath of the Pacific, twice the size of Texas, is full of a plastic stew that is entering the food chain. Scientists say these toxins are causing obesity, infertility…and worse.

It began with a line of plastic bags ghosting the surface, followed by an ugly tangle of junk: nets and ropes and bottles, motor-oil jugs and cracked bath toys, a mangled tarp. Tires. A traffic cone. Moore could not believe his eyes. Out here in this desolate place, the water was a stew of plastic crap. It was as though someone had taken the pristine seascape of his youth and swapped it for a landfill.

How did all the plastic end up here? How did this trash tsunami begin? What did it mean? If the questions seemed overwhelming, Moore would soon learn that the answers were even more so, and that his discovery had dire implications for human—and planetary—health. As Alguita glided through the area that scientists now refer to as the “Eastern Garbage Patch,” Moore realized that the trail of plastic went on for hundreds of miles. Depressed and stunned, he sailed for a week through bobbing, toxic debris trapped in a purgatory of circling currents. To his horror, he had stumbled across the 21st-century Leviathan. It had no head, no tail. Just an endless body.

(Thanks Alison and/or Chris)

Voltron is the Devil

The Decepticons are evil I tells you. Evil!!!!

This Christian program aired in 1984 as “Turmoil In The Toy Box”, hosted by Gary Greenwald and Phil Phillips. It focused on Toys, comics, cartoons and even cereal! I remember seeing this show as a kid and being scared, because I had some of the toys that they talked about…LOL! Here’s 4 minutes of the 90 minute show.

Diner City, Your Online Guide to Classic Diners

The online diner directory keeps a list of Diners from around the US. The one pictured above is Al Mac’s in Fall River and should be recogizable to anybody from Southeastern MA.

I was about 12 years old when I developed my facination with diners. In the early 1980’s, there were plenty of stainless steel and porcelin enamel diners to be found in my home state of New Jersey. Many have since been demolished. Others have been covered over with brickface, stoneface or wood which is quite a shame. The original materials are virtually maintainence free and are an essential part of the classic diner look. A few NJ diners have been moved to the Midwest or overseas. Every year at least a dozen vintage diners in New Jersey and other diner-rich states such as Massachusetts are being junked, moved, or given hideous makeovers. Watching this happen time and again, I found myself travelling all around the United States with my camera and plenty of film. Over the past few years, I have photographed hundreds of diners, with the hope that my images might foster some appreciation for these historical treasures.

(Thanks Marvin!)