Drowning In Light
n 1996, Yale economist William D. Nordhaus calculated that the average citizen of Babylon would have had to work a total of 41 hours to buy enough lamp oil to equal a 75-watt light bulb burning for one hour. At the time of the American Revolution, a colonial would have been able to purchase the same amount of light, in the form of candles, for about five hour’s worth of work. And by 1992, the average American, using compact fluorescents, could earn the same amount of light in less than one second. That sounds like a great deal.
Except for one thing: We treat light like a drug whose price is spiraling toward zero. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:28 AM - 1 comment
"In 2011, when we blogged about the Shaftesbury Psalter (which may have belonged to Adeliza of Louvain; see below), we wrote that medieval manuscripts which had belonged to women were relatively rare survivals. This still remains true, but as we have reviewed our blog over the past few years, it has become clear that we must emphasize the relative nature of the rarity – we have posted literally dozens of times about manuscripts that were produced for, owned, or created by a number of medieval women." -- For International Womens' Day last week, the British Library's Medieval Manuscripts blog showcases a selection of manuscripts that belonged to some of the most remarkable women of the Middle Ages
. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 8:00 AM - 2 comments
What would a great ad for a university of technology be? An ad, that itself, solves a problem through technology
This is exactly what the University of Engineering and Technology of Peru and their ad agency Mayo DraftFCB have done - the first billboard in the world to make drinking water out of thin air and alleviate the lives of Peru's people.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:45 AM - 6 comments
-- "a blog about design, programming and general geekery" -- tackles The Geometry of Starship Design -- the USS Enterprise
posted by ricochet biscuit at 7:28 AM - 15 comments
The Egyptian Military's War on Alcohol Just before the Ahmed Hamdy tunnel, which links Egypt's main bulk of land to the Sinai Peninsula, there are two consecutive checkpoints. One of them is run by the military, and the other by the Ministry of Interior. This weekend, on a trip to Sinai with a group of friends, we were stopped at the military checkpoint. The conscripts insisted on searching us, and a mere inquiry as to what the purpose of the search was made them adamant on going through every bag.
posted by modernnomad at 12:12 AM - 14 comments
Carry cash, take the metro and always look at people's feet – Araz Fazaeli, who lives in Paris but runs the street style blog Tehran Times with a team in Iran, offers his tips about how to make the most of the capital.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:49 PM - 12 comments
A Lie Agreed Upon: David Milch's Deadwood
(SLVimeo, NSFW). A video essay by film and TV critic Matt Zoller Seitz, narrated by Jim Beaver and edited by Steven Santos, celebrating the 10th anniversary of the show's premiere. [more inside]
posted by zombieflanders at 6:02 PM - 70 comments
7 month old baby pulls tail of cat. Cat scratches baby. Father of baby kicks cat butt. Then things go rapidly downhill
between the 22 pound house cat "with a history of violence"
and the family... [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 3:38 PM - 128 comments
Brian Greene is now offering an online course on the theory of relativity.
There are two versions of the class, one with math and one without. Additional information was provided during Greene's recent Ask Me Anything
on reddit, during which he agrees with a redditor who recommends Leonard Susskind's "Theoretical Minimum"(previously)
as a good preliminary.
posted by Ipsifendus at 2:07 PM - 39 comments
On April 7th, Quebeckers will head to the polls because of a snap election called by the PQ minority government.
Of course, as in this part of Canada, election time is never without controversy. Between Liberal leader Phillippe Couillard touting the benefits of bilingualism
and CAQ leader Francois LeGault presenting his budget if his party is elected
, it all pales to this past weekend's announcement that Quebec media oligarch Pierre Karl Peladeau is running in a riding for the Parti Quebecois
. [more inside]
posted by Kitteh at 1:40 PM - 74 comments
Melody Jo Samuelson, a staff psychologist at California's Napa State Hospital (Previously
), recently won a million-dollar judgement against the state and her supervisors
. She had been told to declare mentally ill patients competent to stand trial. [more inside]
posted by larrybob at 1:35 PM - 14 comments
Last Friday, Chipotle filed a lawsuit
against Frank Ocean
for failing to deliver a song he was due to record for an ad campaign. Ocean was paid in advance but apparently thought he was promoting responsible farming, not Chipotle’s brand. Ocean responded on Tumblr with This
" was eventually recorded by Fiona Apple
) but has been criticised
due to its greenwashing
of Chipotle’s real-life meat sources.
posted by Lanark at 12:45 PM - 66 comments
United States Senator Dianne Feinstein Publicly Accuses C.I.A. of Spying on Congress.
'The chairwoman of the Senate intelligence committee on Tuesday accused the Central Intelligence Agency of improperly removing documents from computers that committee staff members had been using to complete a report on the agency’s detention program, saying the move was part of an effort to intimidate the committee.' 'Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California and the chairwoman of the committee, suggested on the Senate floor that the agency had violated federal law and said the C.I.A. had undermined Congress’s constitutional right to oversee the actions of the executive branch.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 10:28 AM - 123 comments
From writing about Tree-Living Anarchists
to a recent GQ story on Drone pilots
, Matthew Power wrote
"The kind of stories I've gotten to do have involved fulfilling my childhood fantasies of having an adventurous life." He had an adventurous life
and brought us along with him
posted by history is a weapon at 9:02 AM - 14 comments
is a polemic against 'world literature' published last year in the magazine N+1. It is the latest salvo in a long-running debate about the term. M. Lynx Qualey of Arabic Literature (in English) gave a response to N+1
, and so did Poorva Rajaram and Michael Griffith in Tehelka
, N+1 responded to both
, and the article was discussed at the Hay Festival in Dhaka
. The N+1 article references Franco Moretti, who framed the contemporary version of the debate when he published Conjectures on World Literature
and More Conjectures
in 2000 and 2003 respectively. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 8:25 AM - 9 comments
Polyhedra and the Media
- On the new polyhedra of Schein and Gayed, and mathematical journalism.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:24 AM - 20 comments
a central Stockholm high school with special classes for Jewish pupils was covered in Nazi graffiti on Monday morning, leaving a parent in tears and fearing the rise of fascism in Europe. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice at 6:14 AM - 41 comments
"Margery Kempe was a self-proclaimed holy woman, visionary, mystic and medieval pilgrim. She is also unique because although she was not proficient at reading and writing, she was determined to record her visions, journeys and spiritual experiences. She dictated her book to a scribe of which only one copy survives, now housed in the British Library. Nearly everything we know about her comes from her book." -- Susan Abernethy writes about a woman we only know about because she wrote a tell-all autobiography
posted by MartinWisse at 5:55 AM - 17 comments
While the UK-based FACT magazine
surveys a broad range of popular music content, its regular mix series
tends to focus on electronic and hip-hop. Since January, however, the website has featured three distinctive mixes that buck this general trend: Peanut Butter Wolf's 24-hour soul music mix
for Valentine's day; the Wild Beasts's eclectic, short-and-sweet mix
of classical, black metal, poetry, rock, and folk in support of their new album Present Tense
; and Slowdive's rock-and-shoegaze mix
compiling many of their inspirations in celebration of the band's reunion
. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 7:12 PM - 5 comments
Stephen Colbert, as "Stephen Colbert" gave the closing keynote speech at the 2014 RSA Conference in San Francisco. While this speech has not been made officially available, it has been posted in its entirety to YouTube. Part 1, Part 2
[total length <20m] [warning - audience video of conference hall video screens -- content overcomes video shortcomings]
posted by hippybear at 6:23 PM - 23 comments
The Mountain Bike Hall of Fame
, which has been in Crested Butte, CO since 1988, announced a few months ago they would be moving to Marin County, considered the birthplace of the sport. It seems like a natural
move to many
, but others (including many in bike forums) point out the irony of moving to an area where bike trail access has become so limited. The Angry Singlespeeder is not happy
posted by bongo_x at 6:17 PM - 18 comments
There's an ongoing culture war in America between fitness enthusiasts and automobiles — a quiet, persistent, and almost entirely one-sided battle that creates new casualties every day. The legal skirmish surrounding the death of Ashley Poissant reveals this stark divide. The Clinton County District Attorney and Poissant's friends insist that when an 85-year-old man with an unsafe level of alcohol in his blood and a steering wheel in his hand collides with and kills a 27-year-old woman, it is a crime, a form of homicide. Trombly's attorney says it's a horrible accident, one that the women contributed to by running at dusk on the wrong side of the road. He believes an accident, even a fatal one, doesn't warrant sending an octogenarian to a New York state penitentiary.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:13 PM - 93 comments
DIY model rocket builders do it (YT)
Just searching for cool things (COOL!) people do that I'd like to try....
Prev on the Blue... Steve Eves
launched a 1:10 scale Saturn V.
Of course you can get just a lil creepy with this sort of thing
then again...be a 12 year old already
. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 6:10 PM - 20 comments
, a tile game.
posted by grouse at 6:10 PM - 67 comments
Stanford bioengineer Manu Prakash
has developed the Foldoscope (pdf
), an Origami-based paper microscope
. A shave and a haircut is two bits (25 cents), the Foldoscope costs only twice that
posted by Rob Rockets at 5:52 PM - 10 comments
Many animals, cats in particular, are graceful creatures capable of leaping high and far with remarkable precision. But sometimes they miss.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:59 PM - 72 comments
The small town of Hampton, Florida (pop. 477), is facing disincorporation
after a state audit discovered massive irregularities in its finances and records. The audit was triggered by the excessive ticketing practices linked to the town's notorious speed trap on a corridor of U.S. 301. As The New York Times reports,
between 2011 and 2012 the Hampton police (many of whom were essentially irregular volunteers) issued 12,698 speeding tickets to motorists on the 301 corridor. [more inside]
posted by kewb at 1:44 PM - 72 comments
Arms Wide Open.
Inside Rio's iconic statue of Cristo Redentor.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:35 PM - 19 comments
RC Subaru WRX STi versus many many stick bombs.
Perhaps I'm easily impressed but they brought out a lot of very nice equipment to do this shoot.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 1:31 PM - 21 comments
Rails-to-Trails Essentially Told To Take A Hike
"For all I know, there is some right of way that goes through people's houses, you know," Justice Stephen Breyer said, "and all of a sudden, they are going to be living in their house and suddenly a bicycle will run through it."
The Supreme Court struck a decisive (8-1) blow against rails-to-trails programs today with its ruling on Marvin Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States
. [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana at 12:37 PM - 95 comments
The Waboba ("WAter BOuncing BAll")
, has attracted all sorts of fans since it went into production over five years ago. Now it can count one more: The U.S. Navy
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:02 PM - 13 comments
"Armed with Science,"
is a new science-focused TV show developed by two of the Department of Defense's in-house research laboratories and the Pentagon. They have always developed some crazy tech work, like perception tests on their robots
. If Skynet is going to be real, I think these are the agencies that will put the terminators online.
posted by nealrodriguez at 8:59 AM - 4 comments
Photojournal of Spain's new squatters: families, young professionals, degree-holders, single mothers, the elderly. "I have grandchildren," she says. "When I die I would like to be able to say to myself that they will have jobs, homes and a happy life. The corralas are important. They set an example to people who are struggling. They show that we can help ourselves and each other. I don't know what the future will hold for any of us, but one way or another I believe that this will be a successful fight. I have to, otherwise I wouldn't be able to sleep at night." [more inside]
posted by alona at 8:48 AM - 11 comments
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