The sign language interpreter at the funeral of Nelson Mandela apparently... wasn't.
If you thought the strangest thing out of the Nelson Mandela funeral was the byplay between President Obama, the first lady, and the Danish Prime Minister, think again. Deaf advocacy groups, led by the Deaf Federation of South Africa
are expressing anger today over the appearance onstage of a supposed sign language interpreter who apparently knew nothing of sign language and was just making nonsense gestures.
posted by Naberius at 7:06 AM - 59 comments
"He took the name of a humble saint and then called for a church of healing. The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century." Pope Francis, "The People’s Pope," is Time's 2013 Person of the Year
. [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:37 AM - 85 comments
The marking "DG" was said to be an abbreviation of deputy governor, but in fact was a protective code word to indicate that papers so marked were for sight by "British officers of European descent only".
-- Before withdrawing from its colonies, UK colonial officials made certain to destroy any papers
that "might embarrass Her Majesty's [the] government", that could "embarrass members of the police, military forces, public servants or others eg police informers", that might betray intelligence sources, or that might "be used unethically by ministers in the successor government".
posted by MartinWisse at 3:46 AM - 9 comments
The public radio science program Radiolab
recently wrapped up a tour featuring their latest live show, Apocalyptical
. It is, as you might have guessed, about the end times. The show, hosted by Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich and featuring live performances from comedians Kurt Braunohler and Reggie Watts and an appearance from dinosaur puppets, is now available for free on YouTube.
posted by inturnaround at 3:31 AM - 5 comments
In 1972, National Lampoon
expanded into recorded comedy with Radio Dinner
. The album
was largely a star turn for a young NatLamp
contributor named Christopher Guest; when the magazine followed up on Radio Dinner's
success by sponsoring an off-Broadway "satirical joke-rock mock-concert musical comedy semi-revue,"
he was tapped to perform in it alongside a drummer named Chevy Chase and a 24-year-old John Belushi. National Lampoon's Lemmings
(original cast album
) was another hit, running for 350 performances of Woodstock parody and Joe Cocker mockery
editor Michael O'Donaghue decided the time was right to take the brand to a weekly radio show. He brought the stars of Lemmings
back for it, together with Belushi's old Second City castmates Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Joe Flaherty, and Brian Doyle-Murray. Harry Shearer, Doug Kenney, and Richard Belzer helped round out the cast of The National Lampoon Radio Hour
. [You should probably just assume that all YT links are NSF playing out loud at W.]
posted by Iridic at 8:46 PM - 23 comments
The Men Who Leaked The Secrets
To the likes of Brooks, Snowden was a disconcerting mystery; Glenn Greenwald, though, got him right away. "He had no power, no prestige, he grew up in a lower-middle-class family, totally obscure, totally ordinary," Greenwald says. "He didn't even have a high school diploma. But he was going to change the world – and I knew that." And, Greenwald also believed, so would he. "In all kinds of ways, my whole life has been in preparation for this moment," he says. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:14 PM - 27 comments
Roger Angell is the greatest of all baseball writers.
Today, the game has recognized the fact. This July, along with Joe Torre, Bobby Cox, and Tony La Russa, Roger
will be celebrated in Cooperstown, New York, the site of the Hall of Fame. He will receive the J. G. Taylor Spink Award,
which has previously gone to the likes of Grantland Rice
, Red Smith
, Ring Lardner
, and Damon Runyon
. [more inside]
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:54 PM - 6 comments
Russian scientists attempt to perfect the ultimate dance shoe in Slightly Left of Centre's "Love the Way You Move
posted by Aznable at 5:31 PM - 21 comments
became the first country to legalize
the growing, sale and smoking of marijuana
posted by Tom-B at 5:11 PM - 53 comments
Demand Media, once valued higher than the New York Times, is seeing a rapid decrease in profits because of Google changing its search algorithms. Does this mean the beginning of the end for "content farms"?
posted by reenum at 4:43 PM - 35 comments
The Electric Mayhem (previously
) perform "Can You Picture That"
(SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Gelatin at 4:42 PM - 22 comments
Two Turkish girls react
to seeing [SPOILER REDACTED]
in "Day Of The Doctor
posted by mediocre at 3:36 PM - 45 comments
Martyn Ashton gets a little help from his friends to finish Bike Party 2
Earlier this year, Martyn Ashton, one of the fathers of trials riding, sustained life changing injuries (Previously
). He is currently paralyzed from the waist down. When he was injured, he had partially completed the sequel to his first Road Bike Party
video. His friends, Chris Akrigg and Danny MacAskill, helped finish the new video.
posted by The World Famous at 2:34 PM - 10 comments
a BBC documentary on the controversial
cult novelist James Moffat
aka Richard Allen
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:12 PM - 10 comments
Do you like obsessively cataloged information? Do you like abandoned, semi-abandoned, and/or semi-repopulated ghost towns? Do you like amazingly poor web design? Then you will love ghosttowns.com
, an exhaustive collection of thousands of ghost towns in the US and Canada. Find out how to visit ghost towns
, and then click on the map to find one near you!
posted by showbiz_liz at 12:29 PM - 24 comments
"Maybe the Big Bang never happened because the universe never began because it has always existed."
Scientific American magazine revisits the decade-old idea that we live in a "Rainbow" universe
(where different wavelengths of light experience spacetime differently and where the big bang may never have happened) following the publication of new physics research
on the subject.
posted by rcraniac at 12:19 PM - 77 comments
We were left wondering why a man who served 16 terms in Congress and who bravely came out as gay all the way back in 1987 felt the need to hide his atheism until he was out of office. Was it really harder to come out as an atheist politician in 2013 than as a gay one 25 years ago? Incredibly, the answer might be yes. For starters, consider that there is not a single self-described atheist in Congress today. Not one.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:05 PM - 147 comments
Discover what patrolling pirate infested waters off the coast of the Horn of Africa is like with the Danish Navy. (6lyt)
posted by allkindsoftime at 11:29 AM - 14 comments
On Sunday I covered what was easily the hardest football game I've ever been asked to shoot. In turn it was the most fun I've ever had on an assignment.
The blizzard-like conditions this past Sunday rendered his auto-focus useless,
but for photojournalist Kyle Grantham,
the challenge didn't stop him from capturing incredible photographs
posted by spiderskull at 11:25 AM - 27 comments
This is The Big Picture, an official television report of the United States Army, produced for the armed forces and the American people. Now to show you part of The Big Picture here is Master Sargent Stuart Queen
The series consists of ~822 documentaries produced by the United States Army Signal Corps Army Pictorial Service from 1951 to 1971 to educate both soldiers in uniform and the American public about military concerns as well as things like historical battles, world geography, famous soldiers, the latest weapons, space exploration, strategic objectives, peaceful initiatives, and the life of a soldier. Being a product of the Federal Government it belongs to the the American people, and is thus freely available to all to copy and distribute. Most can now be viewed on archive.org [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 11:05 AM - 6 comments
Who's influencing reproductive policy in Canada?
Unfortunately, the difference between the religious right in Canada and our neighbours to the south is not so much doctrinal as it is window dressing. The Tea Party’s "late term abortion" red herring with its attendant gruesome imagery very much parallels the "gender-selection" trope of the Conservative base in Canada. It’s a matter of media and public relations, knowing your audience and playing to its sympathies.
posted by Conspire at 11:02 AM - 22 comments
Just two sentences make Americans as pro-welfare as Danes
People’s attitudes to welfare depend on their perceptions of welfare recipients. If they believe that welfare recipients are lazy, they are unlikely to support welfare. If they believe that welfare recipients are making an effort to find work, they are likely to take a different attitude.
Aarøe and Petersen conducted survey experiments in the United States and Denmark to investigate whether stereotypes shaped Danish and European attitudes. They randomly exposed some participants in both countries to canned information suggesting that a welfare recipient was lazy, others to information suggesting that a welfare recipient was motivated to find work, and others to no substantial information about the recipient. They then asked people to evaluate social welfare benefits.
On average, Americans were considerably more likely to associate welfare with laziness than Danes. But what’s interesting is that these stereotypes were largely overwhelmed by the canned information when it was available. When the man on welfare was described in the following terms:
"He has always had a regular job, but has now been the victim of a work-related injury. He is very motivated to get back to work again"
the differences between Americans and Danes disappeared. Both were largely willing to support social welfare measures. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:34 AM - 29 comments
“They literally come in waves of just millions."
Crazy ants are infecting Texas. (Single link NY Times Magazine)
posted by capnsue at 10:01 AM - 120 comments
The PLT Games
are a monthly programming language competition. At the beginning of every month, a new theme is picked and developers begin work on a language that they think best fits the theme. At the end of every month, developers submit their projects and entries are submitted during the next month. [more inside]
posted by fizzzzzzzzzzzy at 8:53 AM - 5 comments
Prestige scientific journals are bad for science, and we should avoid them.
"Just as Wall Street needs to break the hold of bonus culture, so science must break the tyranny of the luxury journals." So argues Nobel laureate Randy Schekman
, urging scholars to shift their work to open source journals. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:04 AM - 24 comments
What Happened on Easter Island - A New (Even Scarier)Scenario
A new theory exploring the rise and fall of the people of Easter Island.
posted by agregoli at 7:42 AM - 52 comments
Tim Gunn and the ACLU present "My Big Gay (Il)legal Wedding"
, a contest for same-sex folks in non-marriage equality states to come up with the most creative ways to cross state lines into a marriage equality state and get married. The winning couples will receive $5,000 for their wedding expenses, assistance from a wedding planner and a trip to New York for an event, planned for March, styled like a wedding reception.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:38 AM - 23 comments
The mystery of the Mima mounds
may have been solved
posted by Artw at 7:06 AM - 42 comments
Making Of The Bear and The Hare
- For the John Lewis Christmas advert Hornet/Blinkink directors Elliot Dear and Yves Geleyn took the two most traditional and time-honored animation processes – stop-motion and traditional hand-drawn 2D animation – and combined them to create something innovative and unique.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:50 AM - 13 comments
Let's admit it: Britain is now a developing country.
Gender equality? The WEF ranks us behind Nicaragua and Lesotho. Investment by business? The Economist thinks we are struggling to keep up with Mali. Let me put it more broadly, Britain is a rich country accruing many of the stereotypical bad habits of a developing country.
Aditya Chakrabortty discusses the increasing hollowing out of the UK economy, as well as the City as an economically distorting resource curse.
posted by jaduncan at 3:18 AM - 72 comments
Why I’m quitting Tropfest
The December 2013 winner of Tropfest
- The world's largest short film festival
has attracted controversy by awarding first prize to Bamboozled
- a story where a man sleeps with his ex girlfriend who's had a sex change as a punchline. TROPFEST #FAIL: WHY THEY GOT IT WRONG
posted by mattoxic at 1:32 AM - 65 comments
"We began the present study by asking, as some linguists have asked before us, why the ordering of certain conjoined elements is fixed
." -Cooper and Ross, 1975 (pdf)
Siamese twins in linguistics
: examples are "here and there (and everywhere)" and "peas and carrots." Siamese twins are also known as "binomial freezes," "irreversible binomials," or "freezes," and they can change over time
, too. And that can lead to fossil words
! Speaking of fossil words, did you know about cranberry morphemes
? [more inside]
posted by aniola at 1:00 AM - 39 comments
We northerners are well-balanced people: we have chips on both our shoulders. One of our long-standing gripes is that Their Rugby – union – is treated as a national sport while Our Rugby – league – is patronised as a parochial throwback to a mud-splattered, black-and-white, trouble-at-the-mill world of slag heaps, Tetley’s ale, black pudding, whippets, brass bands and bizarrely accented, trilby-hatted buffoons droning on about “up and unders” and “early baths”.
-- Why is Rugby League still patronised as a mud-splattered, parochial throwback
posted by MartinWisse at 12:14 AM - 26 comments
Curious as to what various legal and intelligence agencies can do with the data they are now currently collecting? They are collecting cell phone locations, there are currently license plate scanning vehicles in many larger cities, and Google Maps will gladly integrate with your location mapping systems to show you what type of business is at your coordinates. All state criminal databases are now nationally available. So the ACLU would like you to know what is going to happen
in the possible near future.
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 8:53 PM - 63 comments
In 1973, a small think-tank with the mandate of anticipating and preparing for future threats was formed inside the DoD, called the Office of Net Assessment
. A RAND corp strategist named Andrew Marshall
was placed at its head. Forty years later, he's still at it and has survived the latest round of budget cuts
- for now. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:55 PM - 16 comments
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