Retailers prepare as Black Friday goes global. And even the UK is getting more and more into the feel of a Thanksgiving meal. Wow, even Denmark is joining the fray too!
The list to follow is offered purely in a spirit of fun and education, and is not intended to be definitive. It concerns only the most basic physics concepts, and nothing electronic. No answers are offered. [more inside]
"He was a fun-loving, care-free sort of see-ball, hit-ball guy with a cheeky grin" ... "We would have late-night coffees and he would just be in awe of the fact he was playing for Australia.... He would just say 'I'm going to go out there and smash it bro'. That was how he would talk. He would not think about it. He would just go out there and whack the ball. He was just positive all the time, he never moaned or complained.Australian test cricketer Phillip Hughes has died in hospital two days after being hit by a bouncer during a match between South Australia and New South Wales in Sydney. [Warning: graphic images.] [more inside]
President of Eckerd college Donald Eastman III wrote a letter to the students about preventing sexual assault. His recommendation? Less alcohol and less casual sex. The college's student paper, The Current, responds in a civil, well spoken and cogent rebuttal.
She started by diving into PubMed—an online search engine for biomedical papers—hunting down everything she could on Charcot-Marie-Tooth. She hoped that her brief fling with a scientific education would carry her through. But with pre-med knowledge that had been gathering dust for 30 years and no formal training in genetics, Kim quickly ran head first into a wall of unfamiliar concepts and impenetrable jargon. “It was like reading Chinese,” she says.
The NYT calculates the probability of pregnancy using 15 common birth control methods, for up to 10 years of both "typical" and "perfect" use. Protip: the graphs do slidey comparison things on mouseover!
Here is a video you might want to watch. It is a video of a Shih Tzu in a teddy bear costume walking on a treadmill. Which is why you might want to watch it. (SLYT)
Whales Aren't Keen on Being Flayed Alive By Gulls by Ed Yong (National Geographic Phenomena). [more inside]
A eulogy for RadioShack. With hopes for a turnaround plan fading, RadioShack will now join other stores in opening on Thanksgiving. Jon Bois (previously) looks back on his time working for "strange, craven, five thousand-fingered strip-mall monster from a forgotten age."
My Salami Heart: Reflections on the Convergence of Art, Generosity, Success, Sex, and Law by Nick Kocz.
Black to the future: science fiction writer Tananarive Due talks about afrofuturism and why it's important. [more inside]
William S. Burroughs’ “The Thanksgiving Prayer,” Shot by Gus Van Sant [YouTube]
“Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, 1986” first appeared in print in Tornado Alley, a chapbook published by William S. Burroughs in 1989. Two years later, Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting, My Own Private Idaho, Milk) shot a montage that brought the poem to film, making it at least the second time the director adapted the beat writer to film.[more inside]
Hindu ki bas eik khasusiat: Baghl mein churi, moen par Ram Ram. My Urdu, at the time, was idiomatically sub-par. I had recently moved from Doha, Qatar, to General Zia ul Haq’s Lahore and his 9th grade Social Sciences textbook was nearly incomprehensible. The teacher read the line with a sneer. I intuited from his body language, and from the twitter that ran through the class, that this was a derisive remark, but I couldn’t quite follow: If someone had just been stabbed in the side with a knife wouldn’t he be crying to the gods in pain? What’s the shame here? I went home and asked my mother. She explained the idiom: Baghl mein churi does not mean a knife in the side but a knife concealed in the armpit of a garment. Moen pay Ram Ram is not a gesture towards pious invocation (like my grandmother’s recitation of Ya Rahman Ya Rahim)—it is meant to stand as insincere. The Hindu has only one characteristic: He conceals a knife, ready to strike, even as his lips intone Ram. I remember wanting to see or speak to a Hindu, to corroborate or defy this assessment, but Lahore in the mid-1980s held only bare traces—a place name, the legends of a boarded-up building, a strange spiral shape buried in the horizon—of its Hindu past. The city of Madho Lal or Chandarbhan had disappeared even from memories. Our teacher was a history enthusiast and he quickly warmed up to my hesitant question: Sir, why are Hindus never to be trusted?Also in Urdu [PDF]. Manan Ahmed writes at Chapati Mystery [more inside]
For golden centuries, the clone empresses of the Second Zenith Empire have ruled the galaxy. The source and expression of their power is the Zenith Fleet: a hundred ancient starships, the only vessels in existence capable of exceeding light speed. One of them has somehow disappeared—and you, Astronaut-Superintendent Waechter, must assemble a crew and find it.
I never correct anything and I never go back to what I have written, except to the foot of the last page to see where I have got to. If you once look back, you are lost. How could you have written this drivel? How could you have used "terrible" six times on one page? And so forth. If you interrupt the writing of fast narrative with too much introspection and self-criticism, you will be lucky if you write 500 words a day and you will be disgusted with them into the bargain. A year before his death, James Bond author Ian Fleming explained how to write a thriller.
“im bored of the old men threatening young women as entertainment trend and much more interested in the young women getting $ trend. zzzz”
Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas gets a whole lot of love, but for sheer musical enjoyment it shouldn't overshadow his work on A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Here for your cooking-soundtrack pleasure are Thanksgiving Theme, Play it Again Charlie Brown (aka Charlie Brown Blues), Peppermint Patty, and Little Birdie (incidentally, Guaraldi's own vocal, and the first time any adult voice appeared on a Charlie Brown show). [more inside]
Worried that your feline house-mates will ruin Thanksgiving with their evil kitty machinations? Fear not! Once you learn How To Trap A Cat In 3 Easy Steps, you can feel safe in the knowledge that your furry ball of mischief is safely jailed by cat psychology!
If you're looking for a little mood music before and/or after watching a movie, you might enjoy the Cinespia experience at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery (Wikipedia). But if you're not likely to join the crowd in Los Angeles, you can recreate a part of that movie warm-up/cool-down experience with Cinespia's archive of mixes from various notable musicians. Their site currently lists 11 mixes from the likes of Cut Chemist, The Gaslamp Killer (previously), David Holmes and Carlos Niño, but if you dig into the Internet Archive, you can find 38 more mixes (including a good number of paired before-and-after mixes) from even more artists, set to a range of movies, classics both older (North by Northwest, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) and newer (Bladerunner, The Big Lebowski).
Aunt Bertha is a web-based platform that connects Americans in need to locally available government programs, non-profit organizations, and community-based resources that offer free or low-cost assistance with health and dental care, job placement, emergency and long-term shelter, clothing and household goods, child and elder care, legal aid, assistance with navigating the social safety net, and much more. All programs are searchable and sortable by ZIP code, city, or eligibility. Find food, health, housing, job training programs and more, anywhere. [more inside]
Adventure Time Forum, The Leading Journal of Adventure Time Research, Commentary, and Analysis released its first issue. [more inside]
"A few months earlier, an archivist friend had mentioned over lunch that she had a connection to my hometown—in fact her first job as an archivist was in St. Louis, organizing the papers from a midcentury study of radioactivity in children’s teeth. I had been unable to shake the story, and found myself up late at night reading about nuclear weapons testing, or daydreaming during work about purity and milk, innocence and poison, the movement of invisible contamination. A follow-up with my archivist friend revealed that the archive contained letters from children—to scientists, and to the tooth fairy." From The Appendix: "Atomic Anxiety and the Tooth Fairy: Citizen Science in the Midcentury Midwest."
You are perhaps aware that The Funk Brothers is the name given to the masterful session players behind more 60s and 70s Motown hits than you can shake a tambourine at. You probably know they were great. But when you take away the lead vocal tracks by Stevie Wonder, The Supremes, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson and other singing icons of the era, and hear the purely instrumental versions of those familiar tunes, it becomes all the more apparent, or rather, absolutely undeniable just how brilliantly talented these musicians and arrangers were. Absolute monsters, as we say. Let's start things off with the backing track for the Marvin Gaye/Tammi Terrel hit Ain't No Mountain High Enough, and after that, there's... [more inside]
With a knife in his hand, a pig butcher said he would chop me. He wanted his spirit back.
Fan Ho's black and white street photography of 1950s Hong Kong
Fan Ho's black and white street photography of 1950s Hong Kong
TFL Future Streets Incubator is like the Cult of Skaro for transport planning, creating innovative ways to improve London's transport infrastructure. These include such things as turning parking spots into tiny parks and cycle scramble green lights, but the Jewel in the crown of these schemes is The Bounceway , the world's longest commuter trampoline.
Pencil and Paper Games is devoted to games you can play with nothing more than a pencil and a piece of paper (some of which can be played on the site, for those who do not have access to a pencil and paper, or remember what those are.) [more inside]
A long-form essay from The Toast (of which you may have read) about life and grieving and gentleness and joy and ... look, just read it: No Matter How Your Heart Is Grieving: Disney for the Sad
The first communication I ever received from Dante Orpilla landed in my mailbox one morning in the summer of 2011. The handwritten letter, filling up six pages of legal-sized paper, arrived in an envelope stamped with a return address to the Federal Correctional Institution in Sheridan, Ore.
Paul Rose, late of surreal teletext magazine Digitiser, writes about scripting the Pudsey The Dog movie, a film about a dancing dog with the dubious honor of retaining a 0% rating on RottenTomatoes.
How to Defeat the Islamic State. "Over the last thirteen years, America’s foreign policy has consisted mostly of defining what we don’t want: Saddam, Al-Qaida, Qaddafi, Boko Haram, the Islamic State. But we have failed to define what we do want. Rather than pausing to define the ultimate aim of our involvement – the very point of war for military action is just a means to a political end – we have rushed ahead anyway: Ready, Shoot, Aim. Unfortunately, we now have quite the track record of removing one monster only to find a more brutal monster in his place. This global war will never end without a coherent American strategy and we don’t have one for Iraq and Syria at the time of this writing. [...] To defeat the Islamic State and to further American interests, the United States must create a legitimate secular, political alternative for Iraq’s Sunnis."
The best learning games are always fun. Try playing them yourself and see if you enjoy them. No matter how advanced your understanding of the subject matter, a good game should still be fun. I've understood algebra and number partitions for decades, but DragonBox and Wuzzit Trouble are still challenging puzzlers that I like to fiddle with on long airline flights. All good games offer challenges in intuitive ways. In fact, this is the reason games work so well for learning: Players are intrinsically motivated to identify and succeed at understanding the game's mechanics.The MindShift Guide to Digital Games and Learning provides a basic introduction to the use of video games in education, gives several thought-provoking examples, and points to numerous sites with related goals, including Edutopia's articles on game-based learning and Graphite's reviews of digital games with educational content. Meanwhile, this being what The Guardian has just called "Board games' golden age," resources such as Play Play Learn, BoardGameGeek's Games in the Classroom, and The Dice Tower's recent countdown of "Top Ten Games for the Classroom" offer interesting options for the tabletop as well. [more inside]
@eventuallybot @eventuallybot is a Twitter bot that generates short films in GIF format, sourced from shreds of random YouTube clips. The films all tell stories, but sometimes the stories don't make a lot of sense. [via mefi projects]
Shanghai Tango - Whimsical illustrations.
The Disastrous Show That Made The Replacements Legendary "Stinson’s remarks, as well as a series of other unexpected antics, placed the band’s show at Chicago’s Grant Park on July 4, 1991 as one of the most legendary concerts in history as 50,000 screaming fans bore witness to the very live and public breakup of one of rock & roll’s most underrated bands."
Ongoing Swedish film series Experiment Ensam (Experiment Alone) films people experiencing things completely alone that are usually reserved for large crowds. Past films focused on lone people at comedy clubs or karaoke bars. The filmmakers thought a lot bigger for this one and made arrangements with Bob Dylan and his touring band to perform a private show for 41-year-old Bob Dylan superfan Fredrik Wikingsson at Philadelphia's Academy of Music.
Oil and conflict in Nigeria's Niger Delta region: Between the barrel and the trigger. In the most recent issue of The Extractive Industries and Society, Cyril Obi examines the "resource curse" explanation for the “failure” of African states: poverty, corruption and violent conflict. [more inside]
The harsh environments of our neighboring planets will require proper attire, with 3D-printed, biological fashions that, in the words of the designer Neri Oxman, "blur the boundary between the environment and ourselves." Oxman's other recent work explores similar lines of utility with her organic, post-industrial aesthetic: some of it disturbing and some sublime.
After causing some serious angst among the good people of Minnesota (cf. the cri de coeur of ex-Gopher and Mefi's own Linda Holmes) with its own unique Thanksgiving recipe suggestions for each of the 50 nifty United States (previously), the agents provocatuer of the New York Times are back at it again, this time leaning on the Google data team to find out which unusual regional recipes really are the favorites of each state: Behold, the Snickers Salad Belt.
Carbon monoxide canary is a rousing live performance from the trad singing, carbon monoxide campaigning canary, Tommy McAnairey. Features excerpts from two of Tommy’s most celebrated songs, ‘The Ballad of Uncle Pat (Stone Dead In Three Minutes Flat)’ and ‘Any Fuel Can Harm’. [more inside]
Have a question about ice cream? Ask The Ice Cream Informant. With finds like New Orleans Ice Cream Co. Café au Lait & Beignets, Blue Bell Birthday Cake and Talenti Gelato Sea Salt Caramel. [more inside]
Hyper.net's Best UFO Resources
This is a reference Website. It offers a collection of hand-picked UFO resources: real UFO pictures (see the "summary" and "technical overview" pages), video documentaries, video footage and testimonies, technical data and over 500 links to scientific studies, books, portals, newsfeeds, blogs and forums about UFOs. In short, by combining info from many diverse sources, our goal is to share a selection of valuable, representative (in a some cases unique UFO info and original research), as concisely as possible and offer some possible answers. Also provide a "starting point" for in-depth info and gems of real value in a labyrinth of (often false) information published on the fascinating subject of UFOs.The site also includes links to other organizations around the world, though the site hasn't yet added France's official, full-time state-run UFO department, GEIPAN (Group d'Etudes et d'Informations Sur Les Phenomenes Aerospatiaux Non Identifies; translation: Study Group and Information on Non-Identified Aerospace Phenomenon, covered previously). See also: Disclosure Project's UFO files, a list of official government comments and UFO archives released by various countries.
This is the heavy heavy monster sound, the nuttiest sound around so if you've come in off the street and you're beginning to feel the heat, well listen buster you better start to move your feet to the rockinest, rock-steady beat of Madness... One Step Beyond!
In this paper, we examine a first-year torque and angular acceleration problem to address a possible use of the forelimbs of Tyrannosaurus rex. A 1/40th-scale model is brought to the classroom to introduce the students to the quandary: given that the forelimbs of T. rex were too short to reach its mouth, what function did the forelimbs serve? This issue crosses several scientific disciplines including paleontology, ecology, and physics, making it a great starting point for thinking “outside the box..." Lipkin and Carpenter have suggested that the forelimbs were used to hold a struggling victim (which had not been dispatched with the first bite) while the final, lethal bite was applied. If that is the case, then the forelimbs must be capable of large angular accelerations α in order to grab the animal attempting to escape. The concepts of the typical first-year physics course are sufficient to test this hypothesis... Naturally, student love solving any problem related to Tyrannosaurus rex.