Rebuild the Universe
an incremental game that starts with the smallest unit possible to end with the universe itself. Bonuses, special effects and more await you in this incremental game.
posted by boo_radley at 10:25 AM - 0 comments
Have you ever wondered who owns the largest private collection of artifacts related to the Alamo? Well, wonder no more
. The answer is vocal mega-creep
and platinum-selling recording artist Phil Collins
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:22 AM - 4 comments
You’re about as sexually attractive to me as a turtle: Coming out as asexual in a hypersexual culture
plus, more from the author:
the author's tumblr
, essays (on the inside, your reason, "playing devil’s advocate" with someone else’s identity, missing out, coming out as asexual, asexuality pre-and-post-transition)
, other writings and articles ("Enjoy Your Houseful of Cats": On Being an Asexual Woman)
, videos (introduction to asexuality, a talk @ UVA about asexual relationships, shit people say to asexuals)
, and a list of arguments she's had with other people on the internet (but, why be asexual?)
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 9:52 AM - 7 comments
The Online Legacy of a Suicide Cult and the Webmasters Who Stayed Behind
. A short history of the Heaven's Gate Millenarian Cult
and the (ex?) members who still keep the page running seventeen years after their last contact
with the leader and members.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:15 AM - 10 comments
Fan stories, like midrash, give voice to characters who aren't front and center in narratives as we've received them.
Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, who blogs at Velveteen Rabbi
, has published an essay in Transformative Works and Cultures
on the parallels between fan works that fill gaps in pop culture stories and midrash used to fill gaps in the Torah.
posted by emjaybee at 7:52 AM - 15 comments
Yes, we could more easily aim toward something considered more “objective” at this point, simply listing the facts as presented by the developer/publisher. But oh my goodness, what now? See – see where this notion of objectivity has so quickly taken us? Objectivity is now demanding that we parrot information given to us by the creator/publisher of the game, and not apply our own critical faculties – our own subjective expertise – to this.
-Some Subjective Thoughts On Objectivity [in Games Criticism]
posted by griphus at 7:30 AM - 30 comments
...the reality of ISIS and what this group seeks is opaque to the public, and to policymakers not clued into the private salons where the details of secrets can be discussed. Even among those policymakers, the compartmentalized national security establishment means that no one really grasps the whole picture. The attempt to get the US into a war in Syria a year ago was similarly opaque. The public cannot make well-informed decisions about national security choices because information critical to such choices is withheld from them. It is withheld from them at the source, through the classification-censorship process, then by obfuscations in the salons and think tanks of DC and New York, and then finally through the bottleneck of the mass media itself.
The Solution to ISIS Is the First Amendment
by Matt Stoler [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz at 7:30 AM - 19 comments
: a side-scrolling game with a surprising mechanic. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:27 AM - 2 comments
is a beautiful collection of photographs taken at night on the streets of Nairobi. Sometimes chilling, sometimes grim, always evocative
posted by darsh at 7:15 AM - 2 comments
In This Horror Film, Blood Is All Too Real [New York Times] ‘Terror at the Mall’ on HBO
documents an Attack in Kenya.
One year ago, gunmen from the Shabab militant group in Somalia laid siege to the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Armed with AK-47s and grenades, they stalked their victims from a gourmet burger restaurant at the entrance to the vegetable aisle of a grocery store at the back.
The British filmmaker Dan Reed assembled thousands of hours of footage gleaned from more than 100 security cameras inside the mall, video from television crews and modest cellphones, as well as still photographs. Then he and his team tracked down more than 200 people and interviewed 82 of them on camera, many survivors or their rescuers. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:04 AM - 1 comment
In superheated London, where stratospheric land values beget accordingly bloated developments – authorities are allowing planning policies to be continually flouted, affordable housing quotas to be waived, height limits breached, the interests of residents endlessly trampled. Places are becoming ever meaner and more divided, as public assets are relentlessly sold off, entire council estates flattened to make room for silos of luxury safe-deposit boxes in the sky. We are replacing homes with investment units, to be sold overseas and never inhabited, substituting community for vacancy. The more we build, the more our cities are emptied, producing dead swathes of zombie town where the lights might never even be switched on.
's architecture and design critic Oliver Wainright
discusses housing development policy in London and the new city it is ushering in. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:09 AM - 17 comments
The importance of the culture-of-poverty approach is that it allows for recognition of the accumulated history of racism and inequality, but posits the ongoing effects of these as mediated through black cultural pathologies. It therefore permits American liberals to identify with opposition to racism while pushing them towards policy solutions geared towards the transformation of black people, and not American society.
With every crisis in Black America the same pathologies the Black community supposedly suffers from -- veneration of the criminal lifestyle, lack of proper family structures, abhorrence of education as acting white -- are trotted out as an explanation, by conservative commentators as that's just how those people are, by supposed liberals as the unfortunate end product of Black history in America. There's just one problem: they're lies. The culture of poverty does not exist
posted by MartinWisse at 3:49 AM - 50 comments
A heavily-illiustrated article on Jeff Wilson ("Professor Dumpster") and the evolution of his thirty-six square feet of open-air accommodation: Living Simply in a Dumpster
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:32 AM - 37 comments
Having a rough day? Need something to make you feel better? May I present you with A DEN OF KITTENS
, a video where the roar of their purring is punctuated by the occasional "Meep" as one after another pops up to discover the camera.
posted by quin at 9:11 PM - 24 comments
A few days ago, the first race of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)'s new Formula E Championship
ran with the Bejing ePrix
. The race is not quite a simple variant of Formula 1 with electric cars, as the heavy battery packs don't provide enough energy for a complete 50 mile race
, so a second car is used to finish the race, and each Formula E car receives 10 specially designed tires per race weekend
, which are designed to last the full race, compared to the 52 tires that Formula One cars receive. Though this is a serious race with serious vehicles, as veteran open-wheel and sports car driver Katherine Legge explains in a first-hand account of what it's like to drive the all-electric Formula E car
, it's also an effort to promote the potential of electric cars via social media
. Saturday's race was the first of 10 races, which will wrap up in June 2015
. The Wire has a wrap-up of various news stories
, and that article includes a full video of the race in Beijing
. More information from Wired
, and on the official FIA Formula E
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 PM - 28 comments
In “The Strange Tale of Graceland Too,”
Richard Murff writes for The Bitter Southerner
, “Among the King’s acolytes, it’s hard to seem crazier than the average Presleyhead. But Paul MacLeod went plumb overboard.”
posted by ob1quixote at 8:27 PM - 8 comments
A new book by journalist Dana Goldstein
profiles the deeply controversial history of the teaching profession in the US. A write up in the New York Times
and the New Inquiry
posted by latkes at 8:14 PM - 20 comments
When the prices of the steel and (especially) gold Apple Watches are announced, I expect the tech press to have the biggest collective shit fit in the history of Apple-versus-the-standard-tech-industry shit fits. The utilitarian mindset that asks “Why would anyone waste money on a gold watch?” isn’t going to be able to come to grips with what Apple is doing here.
Apple watcher and polarizing writer John Gruber offers a long meditation
on Apple's philosophy, the (as yet unannounced) pricing tiers of the Apple watch, the "smartwatch" market versus the "watch" market, and the new frontiers of wearable technology.
posted by RedOrGreen at 6:55 PM - 123 comments
Binary stars are common in our galaxy. In fact, singleton star systems like ours make up only 15% of the systems in the Milky Way
In the 1970s, astronomers Kip Thorne and Anna Żytkow, imagined what might happen if a neutron star in a binary system merged with its partner, a red supergiant. Recently, a real example of this strange star-within-a-star, known as a Thorne–Żytkow object (TZO), appears to have been spotted
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:39 PM - 21 comments
The recovery of Salyut 7
In 1985, the Soviet Union's space station Salyut 7 was crippled by an total electrical failure. Reactivating it would require a manual docking and working in bitter cold, 130 miles above the planet.
posted by bitmage at 5:06 PM - 18 comments
Women Who Conquered the Comics World
Robbins knows something about the glass ceiling for women cartoonists because she first hit it herself in the early 1970s, when she tried to join the male-dominated “underground comix” movement based in San Francisco. After the men cartoonists shut her out, Robbins joined forces with other women cartoonists to create their own women’s-lib comic books. She went on to become a well-respected mainstream comic artist and writer, as well as a feminist comics critic who’s written myriad nonfiction books on the subject of great women cartoonists and the powerful female characters they created. Naturally, Robbins has spent some time hunting down the original cartoons from the women who paved the way for her career, and as luck would have it, she found the very first comic strip ever drawn by a woman, “The Old Subscriber Calls” by Rose O’Neill, practically in her backyard.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:17 PM - 15 comments
"We have all these 600 year old books on how to fight, so we thought wouldn't it be cool if we did this?"
The New York Times video team visits the world of German longsword fighting, a variety of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA
posted by Diablevert at 3:06 PM - 25 comments
For the first time ever Sir Ken Robinson (of Do schools kill creativity?
fame) attended a TEDx and it was in his home town of Liverpool
. As well as presenting the second half, he was interviewed (part one
, part two
) and gave the epilogue
posted by feelinglistless at 2:29 PM - 4 comments
If there is one thing we've learned from movies like Terminator and the Matrix, it's that an artificial robotic intelligence will one day force mankind into a seemingly hopeless battle for its survival. Now a new book by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom
provides detailed arguments in support of your fears of Skynet, and ideas about we might protect ourselves from an A.I. Apocalypse: Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies
. An excerpt at Slate discusses how intelligence could be related to goals: You Should Be Terrified of Superintelligent Machines
. Ron Bailey reviews Bostrom
at Reason Magazine. The Chronicle of Higher Education also has a new article that discusses more than Bostrom's book: Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat? [more inside]
posted by dgaicun at 2:06 PM - 84 comments
College admissions officers attribute the organization’s success to the simplicity of its approach to students. It avoids mind-numbingly complex talk of financial-aid forms and formulas that scare away so many low-income families (and frustrate so many middle-income families, like my own when I was applying to college). QuestBridge instead gives students a simple message: If you get in, you can go.
Yet the broader lessons of QuestBridge aren’t only about how to communicate with students. They’re also how our society spends the limited resource that is financial aid.
The group’s founders, Michael and Ana Rowena McCullough, are now turning their attention to the estimated $3 billion in outside scholarships, from local Rotary Clubs, corporations and other groups, that are awarded every year to high school seniors. The McCulloughs see this money as a wasted opportunity, saying it comes too late to affect whether and where students go to college. It doesn’t help the many high-achieving, low-income strivers who don’t apply to top colleges — and often don’t graduate from any college.
Continue reading the main story
“Any private scholarship given at the end of senior year is intrinsically disconnected from the college application process,” Dr. McCullough said, “and it doesn’t have to be.”
- The New York Times takes a look at Questbridge, "which has quietly become one of the biggest players in elite-college admissions."
posted by beisny at 1:51 PM - 26 comments
Relax on your pristine white couch and enjoy these realistic depictions of motherhood
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:23 AM - 69 comments
Between the Lines
: tracing the controversial history and recent revival of Inuit facial tattoos.
posted by Rumple at 9:48 AM - 13 comments
The Power Broker
is 40 years old today. To commemorate the occasion, the Daily Beast conducted a rare interview with Robert Caro, author of The Power Broker
, master prose stylist, researcher, and typewriter enthusiast.
posted by ferret branca at 9:27 AM - 18 comments
is the first incremental game (previously
) to use the movement of the mouse as its gameplay input rather than clicking. But if you don't want to play it as a game, you can make one simple tweak to it and transform it into an oddly relaxing web toy. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 7:01 AM - 38 comments
Australian television raconteur and polymath critic (and tango enthusiast
) Clive James
, part of a small wave of intellectual exiles
in the 1960s, and now lingeringly dying of leukemia and emphysema, has published a poem titled "Japanese Maple"
by way of leave-taking.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:52 AM - 22 comments
"Feminism Has Conquered the Culture. Now Comes the Hard Part
: A debate on this unprecedented opportunity"
By Rebecca Traister and Judith Shulevitz
posted by davidstandaford at 6:33 AM - 44 comments
Ken Burns’ new film The Roosevelts is 14 hours long. Which hours should you watch? [vox.com]
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns's latest PBS opus, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. If you'd rather stream, the entirety of the miniseries will be available on PBS.com, PBS member sites, and various PBS digital platforms. (It leaves streaming Friday, Sept. 26, so hurry.) It will also be rerun frequently on PBS and comes out on DVD/BLURAY Tuesday.
So that's a whole host of ways to watch. But should you? This sucker, like many of Burns's most famous films, including The Civil War, Baseball, and The War, is really, really long. It's seven installments, of roughly two hours each, so you'll be devoting around 14 hours of your life to this thing. If you really, really like the Roosevelts, that's great, because this is a terrific screen biography of the famous family. But what if you're more Roosevelt-curious?
posted by Fizz at 6:21 AM - 37 comments
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