Urban Growth – The patterns in this stuff reflect, to my eye, the details of who has zoning regulations that guide the growth. Cities would be more dense (not necessarily overcrowded though) if they could; since they naturally want to be power-law density. As it is they sprawl since the perimeter regions the power to control their land use. I suspect that’s a much more potent control over thier distirbution than engineering or property rights are.
Ant tracking — Some people get to work on the most amusing projects.
Six-Sigma vs Fractal Gorrilla Fighters – “The issue of quantifying success in counterinsurgency operations is a fool’s errand,” said one officer based in Baghdad. “It is great for business management, but not for the conduct of war. It is something that is questionable in conventional warfare and downright dangerous in unconventional warfare, simply because it will force you into taking actions based on that which is to be measured and not on what needs to be done.” Boy is that the ultimate collision of two or more cultures.
Chinese Standards – Interesting column about the Chinese setting standards.