The coolest thing I saw all week, no contest, was Felix Baumgartner’s supersonic free fall skydive. Nothing beats that. Red Bull has two short videos of the event: a 1:30 minute highlight version and a 4:30 minute full recap version. Both are exhilarating to watch.

If you publish text, video, and photos on the web, please understand how copyright works. I’ve been a little loose a few times with screenshots of YouTube videos, but other than that, I try to stick to the rules, it’s only fair.  However, I’ve seen lots of blogs using copyrighted photos, and I bet it’s because they just don’t know any better. My most popular post of all time explained the basics of copyright, so if you’re not clear, be a good social citizen and check it out.

Here’s the worst case scenario when you infringe on someone’s copyright. A blog hosted by EduBlogs, a client of web hosting firm ServerBeach, had posted a questionnaire copyrighted by Pearson, an educational publishing company. ServerBeach received a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) violation notice from Pearson. Jon Brodkin at Ars Technica explains what happened next: instead of dealing with the complaint in a rational way, ServerBeach shut down all 1.45 million education blogs hosted by EduBlogs.

And here’s another one. Jeff John Roberts at GigaOm writes about copyright trolls hired by “image owners (who) are brandishing the nuclear option against everyone — from small blogs to careless interns.” This could happen to you if you use copyrighted material and the owner gets sore about it.

I love politics. I hate politics. That’s life inside my head during election season. I guess what really drives me bonkers is the partisan hatred. The self-righteous arrogance that too many people on both sides have toward the other. No wonder I’m an independent, but not undecided.

Chelsea J. Carter at CNN says this election tests Facebook friendships. An election should never test a real friendship but I can see how it would test your tolerance for being around someone who talks politics all the time. According to Pew Research Center, “Nearly one-fifth of people admit to blocking, unfriending or hiding someone on social media over political postings.” I’m part of that one-fifth. I’ve hidden people for now. I’ll bring them back later. Her article mentioned a Facebook page: Nobody Cares About Your Political Posts. Really. Like. There’s more to life than politics.

All this political drama might just be an exercise in someone’s lab. According to physicists at the University of Bonn, “they may have evidence that the universe is a computer simulation.” Have we finally discovered who the They are? Hmm, maybe someone is watching you.

And if that didn’t spin your mind around enough, have you read this Newsweek piece by Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, about the after-life experience he had during a coma? I hope this guy is on the level. Pretty wild.

I read a disturbing essay last weekend by religious scholar Sarah Sentilles in the Harvard Divinity Bulletin: The Pen is Mightier: Sexist Responses to Women Writing about Religion. No, I don’t normally read the Harvard Divinity Bulletin, but I was led to it by one of my literary blogs. She writes about the sexist responses her recent book received from male critics. Then she goes on to discuss the more pervasive sexism existing in the literary world, and speculates about the reception her essay will receive: “I expect to be called whiny and strident and annoying and grating and hysterical and uninformed. I expect to be told I don’t know what I’m talking about.” Why does this persist? It makes no sense to me.

Art geeks will enjoy this one. Bence Hajdu creates new works from paintings by Old Masters, like David, Boticelli, and Fra Angelico. They’re eerie and wonderful in their abandoned state. See for yourself at Hyperallergic.

Happy Friday!

into the light by mindfulness (Flickr)