March 27th, 2002

Porcupine

An idea whose time has not come

http://www.moderntales.com/
A collection of web comics, where you pay $3 per month to read the archives. (The current strip is free, at least yet.)

This would have been a great idea if
1) you could pay with your usual credit card or VISA, instead of the rather finicky PayPal (which evidently doesn't handle people with un-American characters in their address ... just my guess, since the error message is basically saying "there was an error and you can't use PayPal after all").*
2) the archives strips were actually worth reading; that is to say, if the comics were good. Currently there is 1 good comic (The Circle Weave) and it is a weekly one, meaning the entire archives is less than a comic book yet. I'd wait a few years more before I subscribe, personally, especially since I evidently have to move to a more ASCII-friendly address first.

*[edit:] I know this about PayPal because I tried to use it to pay for a LiveJournal account, not because I've considered subscribing to ModernTales.[/edit]
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Porcupine

Global Consciousness Project

Scissored from Psychology Today, April 2002.

"Perhaps the oddest is the Global Consciousness Project, an attempt to gauge unified patterns when humanity focuses on a single event. Machines in 38 cities perform digital 'coin tosses' at the rate of 200 per second. The results are usually 50:50, but last September the data skewed markedly in one direction. Statistical anomalies first appeared three hours before the attacks, peeked at 9:10 EST and continued for three days."