Metro Collective is an international coalition of independent photographers. This website is an ongoing compilation of features and portfolios that represent the individual visions of Metro photographers and their commitment to particular subjects. Their weblog features Metro news and single images, plus interesting outtake images, tearsheets, and behind the image commentary. posted by netbros at 9:46 PM PST - 2 comments
US meddling in Kenyan elections: An exit poll, if it had been released in a timely manner, could have altered the result of Kenya's presidential election in 2007 and prevented the deaths of many people there, say people involved in the U.S. backed effort.
It is suggested that Michael E. Ranneberger US ambassador to Kenya was meddling in Kenya's Elections, playing down the corruption of Mwai Kibaki's government. More than 1,000 people died and 304,000 displaced.
Related Metafiler threads on the 2007 Kenya election . 1, 2, 3 , 4 posted by adamvasco at 1:05 PM PST - 11 comments
Desperate Man Blues Edward Gillen's documentary about Joe Bussard, renowned collector of 25,000+ blues, folk and gospel 78rpm records from the 20s and 30s. It's about the hunt and the hunter, as much as what he found. One week only on Pitchfork TV [more inside] posted by msalt at 11:55 AM PST - 15 comments
Blueful. Web-dispersed storytelling reminiscent of the some of the stuff in We Tell Stories to promote the free interactive fiction game Blue Lacuna from Aaron A. Reed, the creator of the excellent interactive fiction title Whom the Telling Changed. Caveat: the ending is only available (afaik) on a (free) postcard so if you don't feel comfortable giving up a mailing address, you won't see the ending. posted by juv3nal at 11:06 AM PST - 8 comments
I asked myself: If you purchased this cheering CD for yourself or for someone else, what would I want you or your friend to feel? The answer was easy. I'd want you to feel that you were known and that you were recognized. I'd want you to feel that you were valuable and deserving and that you are worthy. Worthy! Yes, you! You are unique, an original, one-of-a-kind! And you are not overlooked, you are not ignored,and you're not forgotten! "Don't stop now! You're almost there! We believe in you!"
Another seemingly meant-to-be-taken-seriously gift from the makers of the Because of You CD, and "Piece of The Puzzle Affirmative Jewelry" posted by kosem at 8:40 AM PST - 40 comments
Virginity at age 22. Two approaches:
1. Sell it. "It became apparent to me that idealized virginity is just a tool to keep women in their place. But then I realized something else: if virginity is considered that valuable, what’s to stop me from benefiting from that?"
2. Keep it. "It is puzzling and disturbing to me that regnant feminism has never acknowledged the empowering value of virginity." posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:05 AM PST - 114 comments
Cops regularly perjure themselves - Blue Lies.Though few officers will confess to lying -- after all, it's a crime -- work by researchers and a 1990s commission appointed to examine police corruption shows there's a tacit agreement among many officers that lying about how evidence is seized keeps criminals off the street....
Criminal-justice researchers say it's difficult to quantify how often perjury is being committed. According to a 1992 survey, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges in Chicago said they thought that, on average, perjury by police occurs 20% of the time in which defendants claim evidence was illegally seized.
"It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges that perjury is widespread among law enforcement officers," though it's difficult to detect in specific cases, said Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals-court judge, in the 1990s.[more inside] posted by caddis at 1:14 AM PST - 75 comments
"To pedal the 3700 kilometres of open water from Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa to Barbados in the Caribbean should take around 50 days..." Engineer and machinist Ted Ciamillo has built a human powered mini-submarine, designed around a larger version of his Lunocet carbon-fibre "tail" for divers, for an Atlantic Ocean crossing.... The "SubHuman project". posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:35 PM PST - 23 comments
Save the Words.Do lost words still have meaning? Just because society has neglected them doesn't make them any less of a word. How do you get lost words back in the dictionary? With lexicographers scanning publications and other communication for words not currently housed in the dictionary, all you need do is use your adopted words as often as possible. Go, Adopt a Word.
* - government by an old woman or women. [more inside] posted by Tufa at 9:44 PM PST - 37 comments
The P22 Music Text Composition Generator allows any text to be converted into a musical composition. This composition is displayed in musical notation and simultaneously generated as a midi file. The P22 Music Composition Font was proposed in 1997 to the John Cage Trust as an accompaniment to the John Cage text font based on the handwriting of the composer. The idea was basic and simple-every letter of the alphabet was assigned to a note on a scale. This would allow for any text to be converted into musical notation. posted by Sailormom at 7:52 PM PST - 17 comments
Most wives are Mad at Dad. "We're mad that having children has turned our lives upside down much more than theirs. We're mad that these guys, who can manage businesses or keep track of thousands of pieces of sports trivia, can be clueless when it comes to what our kids are eating and what supplies they need for school. And more than anything else, we're mad that they get more time to themselves than we do." posted by Xurando at 5:45 PM PST - 199 comments
"The Department of Defense claimed in a dramatic press briefing on January 13 that “61 in all former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight” of terrorism."
...troubling is the Defense Department’s listing of the released Uighurs, who were completely exonerated by an internal military hearing. They’ve done nothing wrong. However, one of them wrote an op-ed column for the New York Times proclaiming that “I was locked up and mistreated for being in the wrong place at the wrong time during America's war in Afghanistan.” He also said in the same editorial: “The United States [is] a country I deeply admire.”
That’s “suspected of going back into the battlefield”? Only if you are delusional. [more inside] posted by 445supermag at 12:45 PM PST - 33 comments
Every day we go on to the streets, dying at his defenders who thought about us. About us, that they were not destined to see. But we can remember!
And imagine that the horror that the people was to survive.
WWII era Photographs, I assume, of Leningrad combined with current photographs. This era has also recently been portrayed effectively by David Benioff in his novel City of Thieves. Found the pictures via Warren Ellis who thinks the photographer may be Sergei Larenkov. posted by zzazazz at 12:42 PM PST - 16 comments
Vegetable farming! Boar breeding! All the maniac thrills of 17th century agriculture -- on your tabletop! Since its introduction two years ago, Agricola has grown from being a German hit to a runaway success worldwide -- at least among the niche market of serious board game fans. [more inside] posted by Shepherd at 11:18 AM PST - 34 comments
Wanna test if your ISP (or company or university) is blocking or throttling BitTorrent traffic? Want some tools to diagnose network problems in your "last mile" connection? Google to the rescue: M-Lab! Predictably, with the recent announcement and publicity, the servers are now getting hammered. So post this? You can help: Host a Glasnost server (tests for BitTorrent). *Results so far. Coming soon are apps to "Determine whether an ISP is giving some traffic a lower priority than other traffic" and "Determine whether an ISP is degrading the performance of a certain subset of users, applications, or destinations". Power to the People, bay-bee! posted by spock at 7:10 AM PST - 58 comments
[As early as 2002] "We knew that the mortgage-brokerage industry was corrupt... Where we would have gotten a sense of what was really going on was the point where the mortgage was sold knowing that it was a piece of dung and it would be turned into a security. But the agents with the expertise had been diverted to counterterrorism." [. . . . FBI Director Robert] "Mueller actually circumvented the Justice Department and the OMB to get resources. But he was shut down" by the [Bush A]dministration. [. . . . Testifying in October 2004, ] Chris Swecker, then assistant director of the criminal investigation division said ... "The potential impact of mortgage fraud on financial institutions in the stock market is clear. If fraudulent practices become systemic within the mortgage industry and mortgage fraud is allowed to become unrestrained, it will ultimately place financial institutions at risk and have adverse effects on the stock market."
Lunatic Magazine is a bi-annual online photo magazine presenting new work of photographers from around the world. Lunatic offers the opportunity to photographers to promote original stories, images, and photojournalism. (Issue1, Issue2, Issue3) posted by netbros at 9:53 PM PST - 7 comments
"Civilization is Just a Thin Veneer. In the absence of law and order, men quickly revert to savagery. As was illustrated by the rioting and looting that accompanied disasters in the past three decades, the transition from tranquility to absolute barbarism can occur overnight. People expect tomorrow to be just like today, and they act accordingly. But then comes a unpredictable disaster that catches the vast majority unprepared. The average American family has four days worth of food on hand. When that food is gone, we'll soon see the thin veneer stripped away." [more inside] posted by Joe Beese at 6:21 PM PST - 179 comments
Dave Chalmers has just launched PhilPapers, a directory of nearly 200,000 online papers in philosophy. This is a jawdropping and amazing resource for philosophical research. For evidence of the scope of this project and the care that has been given to it, see the taxonomy of philosophy that was developed for the site. posted by painquale at 5:19 PM PST - 28 comments
The Vocaloids,1 anime-like characters created for the singing synthasizer program by the Yamaha Corporation, have been capturing the imaginations of Japanese fans for more than a year. They've inspired and starred in a large body of fan-produced songs and animated videos,2 ranging from macabre to sorrowful to dramatic to humorous. [Massive MLYTP] [more inside] posted by anthy at 1:44 PM PST - 7 comments
Bats sleep upside down. They hang by their feet. They have little claws. They use echolocation to catch bugs. They are the only mammals that fly. They sleep during the day. They are dying. [more inside] posted by Mister_A at 10:50 AM PST - 86 comments
Dating A Banker AnonymousAre you or someone you love dating a banker? If so, we are here to support you through these difficult times. Dating A Banker Anonymous (DABA) is a safe place where women can come together – free from the scrutiny of feminists– and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships.Via posted by ColdChef at 9:54 AM PST - 167 comments
Colour on the Thames is a 7 minute film shot in 1935 using Gasparcolor, one of the many early forms of tinting black and white film. Beside Colour on the Thames, which provides a wonderful view of 1930's England, the only film made in Gasparcolor I could find online was Colour Flight by New Zealand artist Len Lye, an abstract cartoon set to instrumental 1930's pop music. The story of Gasparcolor is in itself interesting, for instance touching on Nazis, Hungary between the wars and early color animation. posted by Kattullus at 9:49 PM PST - 12 comments
Portuguese carpenter Carlos Alberto is a wizard with wood.
His modified Vespa Daniela is a thing of beauty, and the Mota is pretty damned cool as well.
Would love to see him panel a Rolls Royce or a Bentley. posted by bwg at 6:15 PM PST - 15 comments
Mingei is a transcultural word which combines the Japanese words for all people (Min) and art (Gei). The site has a flash interface and features over 5,000 high resolution, zoomable objects. More information on the Mingei Movement. posted by tellurian at 3:54 PM PST - 13 comments
Snow day (in DC) flash fun: Closure. is a stark, imaginative, beautiful and a creepy platformer where the only light is the one you carry in your hands... posted by oneironaut at 7:53 AM PST - 21 comments
Art Museum for sale. Rocked by a budget crisis, Brandeis University will close its Rose Art Museum and sell off a 6,000-object collection that includes work by such contemporary masters as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Nam June Paik.
The LA Times makes the Madoff connection. posted by R. Mutt at 7:30 PM PST - 29 comments
British Library warns of 'black hole' in history if websites and digital files are not preserved. "Historians of the future, citizens of the future, will find a black hole in the knowledge base of the 21st century." In addition to dead file formats and lost information from government websites, Lynne Brindley also points to the habits of individuals. "I call it personal digital disorder. Think of those thousands of digital photographs that lie hidden on our computers. Few store them, so those who come after us will not be able to look at them." posted by cashman at 10:41 AM PST - 63 comments
Obesity can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.... As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36. posted by caddis at 4:35 AM PST - 327 comments
Robots at War: The New Battlefield. "It sounds like science fiction, but it is fact: On the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, robots are killing America’s enemies and saving American lives. But today’s PackBots, Predators, and Ravens are relatively primitive machines. The coming generation of 'war-bots' will be immensely more sophisticated, and their development raises troubling new questions about how and when we wage war." [Via] posted by homunculus at 11:16 PM PST - 65 comments
The End of Solitude. In an age when many people are rarely alone, in near-constant contact with social networks composed of both friends and strangers, are we facing the end of solitude as we once knew it? Have we lost the ability to enjoy our own company, and learned to fear loneliness instead? William Deresiewicz seems to think so. posted by sarabeth at 6:17 PM PST - 87 comments
Sunday Afternoon Flash Fun/Metafilter Convalescence Flash Fun: BubbleQuod. You have lived your entire life in a bubble. Now you want out. Burst your bubble. posted by schyler523 at 2:27 PM PST - 7 comments
'Ten years ago, while working on The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg and I had a heated discussion on the pros and cons of film censorship. Broadly speaking, Melvyn was against it, while I, much to his surprise, was absolutely for it. He then dared me to write a script that I thought should be banned. I accepted the challenge and a month or so later sent him a short subject entitled A Kitten for Hitler. “Ken,” he said, “if ever you make this film and it is shown, you will be lynched.'
Airlines Use Terrorism Law to Punish Unruly Passengers. Since 2003, more than 200 airline passengers have been convicted of felonies for violating terrorism laws, many for incidents only involving yelling, cursing, or behaving drunkenly. One such passenger, Tamera Jo Freeman, was arrested and convicted for "an act of terrorism under the Patriot Act," after she spanked her children for toppling tomato juice, cursed at the flight attendant who confronted her, and tossed the juice can on the floor. posted by terranova at 9:37 AM PST - 91 comments
Andrew Stantion, director of Wall-E, briefly talks about a sequel, why the female robot has a gun and the separation of animated and live action films. posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:34 PM PST - 62 comments
Decodeunicode.org has a useful and full-featured search for the names and glyphs for those Unicode characters that display as a plain box full of despair. It is presented by the Department of Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz. Roll the dice ⚅⚄ and try it out. [more inside] posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:15 PM PST - 25 comments
Friday Flash Fun: Scriball [Kongregate] is a game where you want to get your ball to the goal area. Your cursor creates a line that you can use to guide the ball. Mouse button makes the ball jump. Have Fun. posted by schyler523 at 1:32 PM PST - 10 comments
Wired: Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case."The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants." posted by blue_beetle at 12:08 PM PST - 86 comments
"It would be naïve to identify the Internet with the Enlightenment. It has the potential to diffuse knowledge beyond anything imagined by Jefferson; but while it was being constructed, link by hyperlink, commercial interests did not sit idly on the sidelines. They want to control the game, to take it over, to own it. They compete among themselves, of course, but so ferociously that they kill each other off. Their struggle for survival is leading toward an oligopoly; and whoever may win, the victory could mean a defeat for the public good. ...We could have created a National Digital Library—the twenty-first-century equivalent of the Library of Alexandria. It is too late now. Not only have we failed to realize that possibility, but, even worse, we are allowing a question of public policy—the control of access to information—to be determined by private lawsuit."—Robert Darnton on what the proposed Google Book Settlement could mean for the pursuit of knowledge—Google and the Future of Books posted by Toekneesan at 9:48 AM PST - 44 comments
The Dollar Dreadful Family Library offers gripping tales of scientific adventures in matrimony, mysterious Appalachian woodsmen, macabre travels in the ether, exotic travels in distant lands, itinerant prospectors, and cunning detectives who pose as genteel dressmakers. Assorted amusements are offered in the form of downloadable PDF booklets, perfect leisure literature for "the distinguished reader or the particularly wealthy dunder-head". posted by sarabeth at 7:15 AM PST - 8 comments
Benjamin Gump - I was just thinking this, after watching the first half of BB..."Both movies were written by Eric Roth, a man who now owes me seventeen dollars." [more inside] posted by mrblack at 6:38 AM PST - 87 comments
academia.edu is a project by Richard Price, who recently completed a Ph.D at Oxford on the philosophy of perception. In collaboration with a team of people from Stanford and Cambridge, he's launched this website, which "shows academics around the world structured in a 'tree' format, displayed according to their departmental and institutional affiliations" and "enables academics to see news on the latest research in their area - the latest people, papers and talks". [more inside] posted by jokeefe at 10:30 PM PST - 26 comments
House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank gave a bank, whose capital ratio equaled only 1.88% of assets at the bank, versus a desired level of about 6%, TARP money after heavy lobbying. Frank inserted into the bill a provision to give special consideration to banks that had less than $1 billion of assets, had been well-capitalized as of June 30, served low- and moderate-income areas, and had taken a capital hit in the federal seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.(WSJ link)[more inside] posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:39 PM PST - 92 comments
Sam Adams, the recently elected openly gay mayor of Portland, Oregon, has come under fire for lying about a relationship he had with a teenage legislative intern in 2005 named Beau Breedlove. When first asked about the relationship in 2007 during the election campaign, Sam (then 42) claimed he was being a mentor to the young man.
Sam recently cut short a trip to DC to return to Portland to publicly apologize and control damage over a new article in which he admits to having a sexual relationship with Beau. It's got the town divided over whether he should resign of if the whole thing is being blown out of proportion. posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 2:27 PM PST - 116 comments
Russell Tice, former NSA security analyst, just came on the Keith Olbermann show revealing that the NSA's domestic surveillance programs were not only far greater in scope than formerly thought, but also were specifically targeted at journalists. posted by dunkadunc at 11:39 AM PST - 82 comments
After the Obama party, the Bush team continuestospin. "Whether Barack Obama is standing on the Capitol steps to be sworn in a second time depends on whether he succeeds in replicating Bush's achievement." "If Obama weakens any of the defenses Bush put in place and terrorists strike our country again, Americans will hold Obama responsible -- and the Democratic Party could find itself unelectable for a generation." posted by Xurando at 11:13 AM PST - 129 comments
The Letter of Last Resort.At this very moment, miles beneath the surface of the ocean, there is a British nuclear submarine carrying powerful ICBMs ... there is a safe attached to a control room floor. Inside that, there is an inner safe. And inside that sits a letter. It is addressed to the submarine commander and it is from the Prime Minister. In that letter, Gordon Brown conveys the most awesome decision of his political career ... and none of us is ever likely to know what he decided. posted by veedubya at 10:30 AM PST - 65 comments
Super Useless Super Powers. A cute website with dinky cartoons and fun descriptions of those super powers which, if you were to be blessed with one, would be pretty much damn-near useless. posted by benzo8 at 12:42 AM PST - 81 comments
Pakistan in Peril. "The relative calm in Iraq in recent months, combined with the drama of the US elections, has managed to distract attention from the catastrophe that is rapidly overwhelming Western interests in the part of the world that always should have been the focus of America's response to September 11: the al-Qaeda and Taliban heartlands on either side of the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Via] posted by homunculus at 5:30 PM PST - 30 comments
Easy access to the internet and simplified technology for recording songs and videos might do great things for the future of pop music. Or it might be like this. [more inside] posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:23 PM PST - 109 comments
Blandings is "a guide and companion to the books, stories, plays and musicals of P. G. Wodehouse, probably the finest craftsman of the English language in the 20th Century." It has lists of his works (and advice on collecting them), a miscellany (old English counties, money and words, JPs, younger sons, sport, public schools and much more), a gazetteer (with notes on real places and maps), and other amenities, but what really put a jaunty spring in my step was the detailed notes for the works. If you go, say, to the Something Freshpage and click on the Notes & Quotes tab, you will find, well, Notes and Quotes. The first thing your bright, expectant orb will encounter: "Arundell Street - no longer exists but it was close to Leicester Square and held both the Hotels Mathis and Previtali (also gone). See West End for a sketch map showing its location." It's a blooming marvel! (Via Wordorigins.org; Wodehouse previously on MetaFilter.) posted by languagehat at 1:59 PM PST - 32 comments
"This is the safest place these kids have," Mr. McMonigle explains. "No matter how crazy it gets here, no matter how bad the school is, it’s still better than what’s waiting for them out there when they leave. The irony is that after all the bitching and the moaning about how they don’t want to be here, at the end of the day you can’t get them to go home!"School of Hard Knocks is a heartbreaking 7-part series of articles about kids with behavioral problems in a Philadelpha high school. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7]
[via mefi projects] posted by dersins at 10:59 AM PST - 33 comments
David Goo and the Variety Band have been gigging in London for a few years, but a recent appearance as a soundtrack to an advert could be what propels them to the big time. Merging ska, punk, indie and klezmer influences, read an interview with them here as they speculate on the concept of 'selling out' posted by muggsy1079 at 9:03 AM PST - 9 comments
Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Naa (You don't know, and neither do I) = A guy who's in love with a girl falls in love with someone who he thinks is right for him, but he realizes his mistake, only after the girl has decided to marry her perfect match [or so she thinks]. Taree Zameen Par (Stars On The Ground) = A boy who has difficulty with school work gets put into a Hostel for boys where he discovers a teacher who understands him and is willing to fight for him. And Jab We Met (When we met) = A story about a guy and a girl, who meet on a train and get hitched to each other; the guy finds himself by the end of their travel but has to leave the girl because she's run away from home to marry a guy, only to find out that he doesn't want to marry her... three Hindi movies which I would suggest that everyone watch! posted by hadjiboy at 5:07 AM PST - 12 comments
An unexpected corollary of the modern marketing-and-distribution model is that films no longer have time to find their audience; that audience has to be identified and solicited well in advance.The Cobra - The New Yorker on the art and science of movie marketing. posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:44 AM PST - 36 comments
More than 20 years ago, Matt Pritchett, the son of a newspaper columnist, began his daily cartoon in the Daily Telegraph. Generally accepted as the best daily cartoonist working today on these shores, he actually wanted to become a cameraman originally but failed to find the work. Always wry, understated and pithy, Matt's cartoons typically summarise the absurd and the humdrum in modern day Britain, often at the same time. Here's his effort for today. Some of his classics here, here and here. posted by MuffinMan at 2:04 AM PST - 19 comments
Khoda :"What if you watch a film and whenever you pause it, you face a painting? This idea inspired Reza Dolatabadi to make Khoda. Over 6000 paintings were painstakingly produced during two years to create a five minutes film." posted by dhruva at 5:45 PM PST - 41 comments
Shortly after recording "Revolution 9", John Lennon allegedly went around telling friends that his new song was the music of the future. Well, here we are, 40 years later, and I don’t see the pop charts filled with experimental song collages featuring recording engineers, chanting football crowds, mangled orchestras, and bizarre non-sequiturs. [...] [more inside] posted by swift at 2:59 PM PST - 116 comments
On January 20, the HHS "Provider ConscienceRule" went into effect, allowing employees and volunteers at government-funded hospitals and clinics to deny patients access to a variety of medical services, based on moral objection.
The Rule is one of the Bush Administration's parting midnight regulations. Ostensibly focusing on abortion and sterilization, it is consideredby some to be written so vaguely that it might be applied to "contraception, fertility treatments, HIV/AIDS services, gender reassignment, end-of-life care, or any other medical practice to which someone might have a personal moral (not even religious) objection.”
[more inside] posted by terranova at 2:54 PM PST - 31 comments
A clinic nurse first removed her intrauterine birth-control device without permission, says the patient in a federal action, then told her that "having the IUD come out was a good thing," because "I personally do not like IUDs. I feel they are a type of abortion. I don't know how you feel about abortion, but I am against them." posted by tehloki at 12:31 PM PST - 119 comments
"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion."
~ George Washington/ "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature."
~ Thomas Jefferson/ "The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion."
~ Abraham Lincoln/ "A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison/ "I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy/ "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." ~ Barack Obama posted by 0bvious at 11:40 AM PST - 270 comments
Happy Birthday Dr. King.Today is Martin Luther King Day. He was born 80 years ago, on January 15th, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just thirty-nine years old.
Tomorrow, more than four decades after Dr. King’s death, Barack Obama will take his oath of office to become the 44th president of the United States and the first African American president in US history. The Reverend Joseph Lowery, a civil rights icon who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr, King, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration ceremony. Obama accepted the Democratic party nomination on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, arguably his most famous address.
While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People"s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic US foreign policy and the Vietnam War.[more inside] posted by caddis at 6:40 PM PST - 30 comments
Progressive rock was kicked off American radio circa 1985 (not so much fired as pressured into resigning); today, there's virtually nothing on mainstream radio in an odd meter (5/4, 7/8, etc.). At Odd Time Obsessed, though, everything is. [more inside] posted by kurumi at 5:27 PM PST - 73 comments
Walkie Tonky is a physics-based action game which puts you in the shoes of a giant robot invading Earth. Smash and kick your way forward using the robot's every limb to cause mayhem and clear the road ahead. (Download required, from a sort of funky filehosting site. Probably Windows only, but I'm not sure.) [more inside] posted by Caduceus at 5:20 PM PST - 9 comments
A tempest in a Livejournal: It starts with author Elizabeth Bear's post Writing for The Other. Or maybe it started with Jay Lake's Thinking about the Other. It leads to a wide ranging, intense and angry debate on the portrayal of ethnicity in fiction, culture and the media. Avalon's Willow responds with an open letter on the racial content in one of her books, and relates it to media portrayals of ethnic peoples. Deepa D follows up with a post on, cultural appropriation. And then things get intense. [more inside] posted by happyroach at 3:53 PM PST - 82 comments
Ensuring that at least someone gets his legacy right, Ex-President Bush has on his final day in office commissioned a series of Official Legacy Booklets with such unlikely titles as 100 Things Americans May Not Know About the Bush Administration Record. These weighty tomes inform us, for example, that "the Afghan economy has doubled since 2001"-- an accomplishment perhaps assisted by the arrival of American forces spending some $3 billion per month there. [more inside] posted by shii at 2:28 PM PST - 64 comments
"Then I started stripping and cleaning. I told myself it would help sell the flat. How could anyone think of buying it? But I also imagined that if I cleaned long enough and hard enough, the dull patina of dried blood that seemed to cling to every surface would finally go. I hoped that if I emptied the flat of its objects, and pared back its contents to nothing, I would uncover the place that I grew up in, before Ivor was the old man, before he was a legend. I couldn’t find that place, and I didn’t think I would find it in the boxes and among the papers either." David Goldblatt traces his murdered father's life through unpaid bills and unopened letters. posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 4:40 AM PST - 19 comments
Introducing the Gamelatron, "the world's first and only fully robotic gamelan". Brought to you by the Brooklyn-based League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, affectionately known as LEMUR. posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:07 PM PST - 29 comments
Astronomer Tycho Brahe was one of the more colorful characters of the scientific Renaissance. He lost his nose in a duel; flouted the rules of Danish nobility and married a commoner; built, on the island of Hven, Uraniborg, the best astronomical observatory of his day; kept a beer-drinking pet moose; and amassed the data that would ultimately allow Johannes Kepler to derive the three laws of planetary motion.
His chief sponsor had been Danish king Frederick II, but Frederick's heir, Christian IV, quarreled with Tycho and kicked him out of Hven. Insulted, Brahe left Denmark for Prague and the sponsorship of Rudolph II. New evidence has emerged suggesting that the offended king may have had Tycho assassinated. [more inside] posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 2:31 PM PST - 30 comments
The New Yorker has reprinted their articles about the Obamas over the years.
From a 1996 profile as part of a series about couples in America:
MICHELLE OBAMA: There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it’s unclear. There is a little tension with that. I’m very wary of politics. I think he’s too much of a good guy for the kind of brutality, the skepticism.
From a story about his Senate campaign:
He was affable with everyone, smiling warmly, but in exchanges that lasted more than a few seconds it was possible to see him slipping subtly into the idiom of his interlocutor—the blushing, polysyllabic grad student, the hefty black church-pillar lady, the hip-hop autoshop guy. Black activists sometimes say that African-American kids need to become “bi-dialectic”—to speak both black English and standard English—to succeed. Obama, the biracial kid from Hawaii, speaks a full range of American vernaculars.
There are others. Read in sequence, it's an interesting series of snapshots, with the guy slowly coming into focus.
Who Doesn't Like Soil Science? Well, OK, a lot of people. But there is a cool collection of 3-D models of significant compound in the field at the Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules. Hosted at the University of Wisconsin, it currenly has 26 exhibits ranging from simple (I like graphite) to complex (plastocyanin should please everyone with its useful copper-holding functions).You can rotate the models in all directions and emphasize particular substructures to get a better look at them. Fun for anyone who like soil, chemistry, or playing with 3-D molecule models. posted by GenjiandProust at 7:07 AM PST - 11 comments
Nebraska-born musician Christiaan Virant was in Beijing performing drone-like ambient music with his Chinese collaborator Zhang Jian, under the name FM3 (mostly in Chinese); as pioneers of the electronic movement in China, most of their money came from sound installations at art galleries, which entailed wiring up rooms with sound equipment. Mulling a simpler and cheaper way of doing this, Virant was wandering around a Buddhist temple in southwest China when he spotted a little plastic box on the altar (one such possible example), piping out loops of the tinny, digitized chants played endlessly at such places. Intrigued, he found two of the devices in the temple gift shop and bought both. The idea of an instant sound installation was born. That was almost four years ago. [more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 5:25 PM PST - 26 comments
Peanut butter recall - hundreds sick.Federal health authorities on Saturday urged consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods that contain peanut butter until authorities can learn more about a deadly outbreak of salmonella contamination. It appears that retail peanut butter in jars is safe. So far, more than 470 people have gotten sick in 43 states, and at least 90 had to be hospitalized. At least six deaths are being blamed on the outbreak which is believed to have started at a Blakely, Ga., facility owned by Peanut Corp. of America that ships peanut products to 85 food companies. posted by dejah420 at 4:51 PM PST - 73 comments
With George W. Bush's presidency coming to a close David Letterman on last night's The Late Show bid farewell to his recurring segment "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches" with a video montage [4:00] of clips. Another compilation of clips [4:49]. posted by ericb at 1:53 PM PST - 39 comments
Billionaires have more grandchildren through their sons than through their daughters, because the status advantage is more reproductively valuable to the sons. Therefore, it would be adaptive for the mothers of their children to bear more sons than daughters. But surely that can't be; mothers can't control the sex of their children. Oh but so it is: billionaires have 60% male children. [more inside] posted by grobstein at 1:21 PM PST - 69 comments
On November 20th, the CTRC made a landmark ruling that defeated the CAIP's plea to stop Bell's conjuration of the Deep Packet Throttle Monster. However all was not lost, as consumers of Bell's copper pipes can take solace in three recent developments that aim to reclaim the pipes for We, the little guy. hooray![more inside] posted by tybeet at 11:01 AM PST - 28 comments
Known as Black Box in the UK, Survival in the Sky was a four-episode 1996 series about commercial aviation accidents and the investigation of their causes. (Two additional episodes were filmed in 1998.) Not currently available on DVD, five of the six episodes are available in their entirety on YouTube (links within). [more inside] posted by maxwelton at 1:16 AM PST - 12 comments
"Well behaved women rarely make history," said Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Scandalous Women brings you the lives, loves, and sexual adventures of some of the most fascinating women who rocked the world. Like Olimpia Maidalchini who managed to achieve something that no woman ever has, for the 11 years of her brother-in-law Innocent X's reign as pope, Olimpia was the real power at the Vatican; or Elizabeth Armistead, wife of a cabinet minister, courtesan to many. Read the bios and follow the tales of nearly a hundred women of scandalous pursuit from Mata Hari to Typhoid Mary. posted by netbros at 10:04 PM PST - 14 comments
People of the Screen : "Digital literacy’s advocates increasingly speak of replacing, rather than supplementing, print literacy. What is “reading” anyway, they ask, in a multimedia world like ours? We are increasingly distractible, impatient, and convenience-obsessed—and the paper book just can’t keep up. Shouldn’t we simply acknowledge that we are becoming people of the screen, not people of the book?" posted by dhruva at 9:22 PM PST - 31 comments
"The Mass Observation movement was founded by a group of 1930s' British intellectuals who believed the most revealing way to document an event was to document the peripheral activities surrounding it. The Mass Observers carried out their greatest project on May 12th, 1937, when they dispatched more than 200 observers throughout London to monitor the coronation of King George VI." This coming Tuesday, the folks at Januarythe20th.com are attempting to create a day of Mass Observation in the United States. posted by TheWash at 8:02 PM PST - 18 comments
Frozen in 1955 This awesome 50's bungalow, located on a quiet, cul-de-sac street on the Hill neighborhood in St. Louis Missouri, has seriously never been lived in... at least on the main level. This ONE-OWNER home was resided only in the lower level during their stay here, so the main level has been frozen in time and perfectly preserved. posted by robbyrobs at 6:45 PM PST - 64 comments
The Bioscope is dedicated to the subject of early and silent cinema. It is designed to be a news and information resource on all aspects of the motion picture before sound. It covers news, publications, events, discoveries, documents, critical theory, filmmakers, performers, audiences and technology, and aims to encompass film production, distribution and exhibition in the silent era, as well as ‘pre-cinema’, chronophotography, optical toys, and related media, across the world. [more inside] posted by jokeefe at 6:21 PM PST - 4 comments
Willy Pete - Now It’s a Chemical Weapon, Now It’s Not; was used by US forces in the siege of Fallujah. Now Haaretz has questioned if White Phosphoros is being used against Gaza. Here is apparent video proof. Willy Pete has a strange legality; but whether legal or not is certainly one of the nastiest chemicals used in warfare. posted by adamvasco at 4:32 PM PST - 62 comments
The New Creation was born in 1970 when Chris Towers, an unknown guitarist from Vancouver, decided to form a Christian rock group with his mother Lorna as lead singer and their neighbor Janet Tiessen on drums. Scared by reports of the hippie excesses of the Manson/Altamont era, Lorna Towers wrote doom-laden, apocalyptic lyrics for the New Creation's aptly titled album, Troubled. The band was unpolished, yet somehow captured a unique lo-fi sound comparable to a hybrid of the Velvet Underground and the Shaggs. The group might be totally forgotten today, if an aging hippie record dealer named Ty Scammel hadn't rescued a copy from a $1 bargain bin, leading to the album's rediscovery by collectors of Christian rock and outsider music. [more inside] posted by jonp72 at 12:46 PM PST - 23 comments
44 Presidents Coming is either the perfect antidote or the perfect complement to all the Inaugural excitement. Though not complete yet, it will continue to be updated until all 44 presidents are....there. I'm particularly partial to Teddy. posted by sleevener at 9:30 AM PST - 35 comments
Kamal Chunchie charts the history of the black and Asian community in Canning Town, east London, in the 1920s and 1930s. It tells the story of the Coloured Men's Institute and its founder, Kamal Chunchie, a man who can rightly be called east London's first black and Asian community leader. One of the many excellent East London history projects at Hidden Histories. posted by Abiezer at 4:16 AM PST - 2 comments
President-Elect Obama has shown he can make the hard decisions when it comes to appointments, but one job remains to be filled: Drug Czar. A tough job requires a tough man, and one such man is asking for the chance. Ted Nugent for Drug Czar.[more inside] posted by theroadahead at 5:35 PM PST - 89 comments
US Airways Flight 1549 has crashedinto the Hudson. Fortunately, it appears that everyone has survived. The culprit appears to be a bird strike from a flock of geese (as opposed to a single bird, which airplane engines are built to withstand). [more inside] posted by kdar at 1:56 PM PST - 169 comments
"Authored by the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), the Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008, pdf) outlines a strategic framework and forecasts possible threats and opportunities that will challenge the future joint force." One portion picked out by the media: Mexico and Pakistan are the two countries most likely to undergo "sudden collapse". [more inside] posted by 445supermag at 1:39 PM PST - 7 comments
GSA and NARA hope that this online directory will introduce you to the operation of the Federal government and the resources available to help you begin your service in the new Administration. Are you a nominee? Your survival guide can be found here. Just an appointee? Your orientation begins here. And be sure to make sure you have a good understanding of the Org Chart. posted by dchase at 10:17 AM PST - 1 comments
As you may know, acoustic treatment of your listening room is very important. But many people want to use their space for both music listening and entertaining guests. Quite often large and effective bass traps can rob your space of its grace and majesty and make your guests feel weird and uncomfortable. posted by Brocktoon at 10:01 AM PST - 37 comments
About those tunnels The media here had led me to believe that those tunnels were crude things that were used to smuggle rockets and explosives, but this photo essay from Foreign Policy, gives another take on what its been about posted by donfactor at 5:39 AM PST - 111 comments
Obama's People [full-screen slideshow]: one photographer; one background; fifty-two members of the incoming US administration. Oh, and one "significant item" per person. The kind of thing -- not just a political piece, but a photographic project -- that reminds you what the institutional clout of the New York Times can make possible. posted by holgate at 9:36 PM PST - 93 comments
Smiles, everyone. Ricardo Montalban dies at 88. The actor may be best remembered for his roles as Mr. Roarke in Fantasy Island and as the malevolent Khan in Star Trek (and, to a younger generation, as the grandfather in Spy Kids, and, to teevee fans, as the hawker of the fine Corinthian leather of the Cordoba), but, after early years of playing Asians (!), the actor might be most important for gaving been one of the few Hispanic actors to get lead roles during the 1950s and 60s. Also, the actor introduced the song "Baby It's Cold Outside," which he never gets credit for. posted by Astro Zombie at 1:41 PM PST - 131 comments
The meat is almost ready to be boiled, except for one thing: Although its head, innards and three paws have been removed, it still has one. That’s the law.
"They leave the paw on to prove it's not a cat or a dog," posted by 445supermag at 11:20 AM PST - 105 comments
"Yes, We Tortured," says Susan Crawford, Convening Authority of The Guantanamo Military Commission. "I sympathize with the intelligence gatherers in those days after 9/11, not knowing what was coming next and trying to gain information to keep us safe," said Crawford, a lifelong Republican. "But there still has to be a line that we should not cross. And unfortunately what this has done, I think, has tainted everything going forward." posted by Xurando at 7:48 AM PST - 131 comments
Lovecraft is Missing. If you like reading Lovecraft, you might enjoy this comic about his unexplained absence, as well. Make sure to check out the Lovecraft related links on the left. posted by Caduceus at 10:28 PM PST - 25 comments
Fire destroyed the office of the War Department and all its files in 1800, and for decades historians believed that the collection, and the window it provided into the workings of the early federal government, was lost forever. Thanks to a decade-long effort to retrieve copies of the files scattered in archives across the country, the collection has been reconstituted and is offered here as a fully-searchable digital database. posted by Knappster at 9:41 PM PST - 10 comments
At nightfall youth gangs transform the streets of Kinshasa's townships into arenas of the fight. Although many of these boys and young men are trained in foreign fighting styles such as judo, jujitsu and karate, in the public clashes between the fighting groups, these boys and young men perform mukumbusu.
This fighting style, inspired and based on the gorilla, was invented during the last decade of colonialism, and is an original mixture of a traditional Mongo wrestling practice, libanda, and Asian and Western fighting practices.
An essay from Edinburgh University's Center of African Studies (PDF - or accessmylibrary link) [more inside] posted by Smedleyman at 9:35 PM PST - 15 comments
Most video games are easy to learn, but hard to master. For those focused on single player, there are always speed runs. However, multiplayer competition can often be much more interesting to perfect.
Of course, there are those who make gaming a career with games like Halo and other FPSes.
There's Street Fighter II (as well as other editions and variations), which can lead to some incredible matches. There are some very intense StarCraft tournaments, as well as similar tournaments for a variety of other RTSes.
Often, games can last so long beyond their shelf lives simply because of the fan base and multiplayer aspect. posted by cardern at 7:11 PM PST - 41 comments
In a breathless, passionate, yet level-headed 15 part series, YouTube user, paleontologist, ex-Christian, and potential Space Coyote impersonator AronRa presents an uncommonly well-written and presented argument against what he identifies as the 14 "Fundamental Falsehoods of Creationism." [more inside] posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 6:24 PM PST - 57 comments
“It would be completely unethical to give the drug to someone else,” he said, “but if you’re in a marriage and want to maintain that relationship, you might take a little booster shot yourself every now and then. Even now it’s not such a far-out possibility that you could use drugs in conjunction with marital therapy.” posted by badego at 11:59 AM PST - 42 comments
Autumn 1944, and London was under attack from space. Hitler's 'vengeance' rocket, the V-2, was the world's first ballistic missile, and the first man-made object to make a sub-orbital spaceflight. Over 1400 were launched at Britain, with more than 500 striking London. Each hit caused devastation. The 13 tonne rocket impacted at over 3000 miles per hour. There was no warning; the missile descended faster than the speed of sound and survivors would only hear the approach and sonic booms after the blast. via Londonist. posted by swift at 9:15 AM PST - 84 comments
C. Brian Smith gets invited to dinner at a college friend's house. The father drinks "non beer" and scolds the dog for farting. Smith remembers that he has a joint in the cigarette box in his pocket. One of the sisters "severs the tension by asking her father how many words he screwed up" during a recent speech he gave. Just another family dinner at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. posted by tractorfeed at 4:39 AM PST - 107 comments
Global Museum is sort of a daily paper for the museum world. The site, which marked its tenth year in 2008, aggregates museum news, job listings, and links from around the world, helping readers stay up-to-date on issues and events like artifact repatriation, art theft and trade, archaeological discoveries, innovative programs, unusual museums, threats to collections from war and natural disasters, and plenty of stuff just for fun. [more inside] posted by Miko at 10:24 AM PST - 4 comments
The Best Job in the World. Would you like to be paid AUD$150,0000 to live for free in a three-bedroom villa on an island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months, simply in exchange for blogging about your experience? Yeah, so would I. Submit your application before February 22nd, and see if you make it through the other millions of people who are sure to apply. And no--it's not a joke. posted by schroedinger at 6:33 AM PST - 70 comments
The State of the Web 2008 is a report from Web Directions that includes details and analysis of all the responses to over 50 questions covering technologies, techniques, philosophies and practices that today’s web professionals employ. The survey was open for just under 3 weeks, from December 1st to 20th 2008. In total, over 1200 designers and developers from around the world responded to the survey. Respondents were likely to be self-educating, “early adopters” who keep abreast of developments in their field. Here are the tabular results. [more inside] posted by netbros at 4:25 AM PST - 7 comments
General Laurent Nkunda is a Tutsi warlord in Katanga who was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post. The BBC believe he is nothing more than your standard African rebel with a long list of atrocities to his name. An opinion supported by the UN and some human rights groups. The War Nerd has come to his defense, however, suggesting that he's just angered the UN by refusing to disarm and allow the Hutu "refugees" from the Rwandan Genocide to terrorize the lands under his control. [more inside] posted by Pseudology at 5:35 PM PST - 8 comments
SFXR by Tomas Pettersson - Ever needed a skilled Foley artist and an audio lab for making sound effects? No, probably not, but even the most amateur game designer needs sound effects for his game. Now, thanks to Tomas Pettersson the long tradition of stealing sound effects from other games is finally over. It doesn't do much more than little 8-bit bleeps and bloops, but it sure feels nice to have original, royalty-free sound effects for your game, or just for fun.
[previously] posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:04 PM PST - 15 comments
Top Events USA lists their top 20 events across the USA, the top 10 events and festivals for each of the United States, and lists of the best annual events and festivals by category or theme. [more inside] posted by netbros at 4:49 PM PST - 7 comments
Everybody has one -- that album that first made you a music-lover for life. It could be the first album you ever heard or bought with your own money. It could be one you didn't hear until later in life. But everybody has one, and we want to know about yours. posted by davebush at 11:37 AM PST - 212 comments
"The more we understand why we demonise certain scientific advances, the better we will be able to decide whether some areas of research are so sensitive they should always remain off limits to science."Is Science Out of Control? posted by tybeet at 8:37 AM PST - 60 comments
When the modern oil industry began 150 years ago, many speculators moved into Northwestern Pennsylvania. Among them was John Wilkes Booth, who walked off the stage and onto the oil fields in an attempt to increase his fortunes with the Dramatic Oil Company. [more inside] posted by hoppytoad at 6:48 AM PST - 4 comments
Neale Donald Walsch, author of the best-selling series “Conversations With God,” recently posted a personal Christmas essay on the spiritual Web site Beliefnet about his son’s kindergarten winter pageant.
During a dress rehearsal, he wrote, a group of children spelled out the title of a song, “Christmas Love,” with each child holding up a letter. One girl held the “m” upside down, so that it appeared as a “w,” and it looked as if the group was spelling “Christ Was Love.” It was a heartwarming Christmas story from a writer known for his spiritual teachings.
Except it never happened — to him.[more inside] posted by tatnasty at 1:58 AM PST - 95 comments
Having a hard time taking over the Earth? Inefficient right hand men making a mockery of your efforts to wreak havoc? Could you use a tool that will help your evil team monitor the crises you create whilst you cackle out callous laughter? Well then the Henchman's Helper is just what you've been breaking into run-down laboratories for. [via mefi projects] posted by cashman at 8:43 PM PST - 18 comments
In December 2003, Brent Cambron gave himself his first injection of morphine. Save for the fact that he was sticking the needle into his own skin, the motion was familiar--almost rote. Over the course of the previous 17 months, as an anesthesia resident at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambron had given hundreds of injections.
Friday Flash Fun: Evacuation is a puzzle game about explosive decompression. Save the crew! Eject the aliens into space by opening the spaceship's doors! The catch: doors of the same color all open together. [more inside] posted by Rinku at 1:01 PM PST - 17 comments
Blagojevich impeached by State House. With only one dissenter Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives while out jogging (video). This is the first step for removing the governor from power. Next the state senate puts Blaggo on trail, and that is scheduled to happen shortly after Obama's inauguration in a couple of weeks.
Capital Fax Blog is reporting that Blaggo is not going to resign, and the governer has scheduled a press conference this afternoon with an official response to the vote. Previously on Mefi[more inside] posted by zenon at 10:38 AM PST - 78 comments
Worried about antibiotics in your beef? Organic vegetables (and pirated honey) may be no better. 90% of animal antibiotics are excreted as dung which is then used as fertilizer. The amounts are smaller but cumulative, particularly in potatoes, lettuce. posted by stbalbach at 8:37 AM PST - 31 comments
Once every 27 years or so, the mysterious binary star system of Epsilon Aurigae undergoes an eclipse, lasting nearly two years. This gives this system the distinction of having both the longest eclipse and the longest period of any known binary system. However, it is not clear why the eclipses last so long, or even what the structure of the system actually looks like--the main star is a supergiant, with a radius as big as the distance from the earth to the sun, and yet its light is dimmed for two years by something yet bigger. The next eclipse is due to begin in August of 2009, and as part of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, amateur astronomers are being called on to make their own observations of the changing brightness of Epsilon Aurigae. If you want to try it yourself, you can read the training guide to find out how to do your own observations and report them. In addition, the two scientists who organized observations of the previous eclipse both have webpages [1, 2] which are coordinating the organization for the upcoming observation. If you want to learn more about the science behind ε Aurigae, a good rundown with links to papers is available here. posted by Upton O'Good at 10:49 PM PST - 32 comments
Eartheasy is about sustainable living. It offers information, activities and ideas which help us live more simply, efficiently and with less impact on the environment. [more inside] posted by netbros at 10:20 PM PST - 9 comments
Remember Palm? In the 1990s they created an industry and ate Apple's lunch when their smaller, nimbler Palm Pilot 1000 did the PDA right and blew the MessagePad away. Today they unveiled the Pre, a phone running their new "WebOS" and aimed straight at the iPhone's weaknesses. With one of the guys behind the iMac and iPod running the show, can they pull it off again? posted by bonaldi at 6:23 PM PST - 108 comments
Today Boeing completed the first test flight of a commercial jet-liner using a mix of conventional jet-fuel and a fuel created from algae and the african weed jatropha. Boeing hopes that biofueled flights will be common in just three years. posted by Artw at 10:21 AM PST - 28 comments
2009 marks not only the 150th anniversary of the publication of CharlesDarwin's On The Origin of Species* but the 200th anniversary of his birth as well. To celebrate, BBCRadio 4 presents a special series of Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time exploring Darwin's life and work: Episode 1 explores Darwin's unhappy childhood, his time at Cambridge University and his failure to become a priest, episode 2 focuses on Darwin's round the world voyage on the Beagle and the objects and the ideas he bought back, episode 3 looks at the publication of Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, and the controversy it stirred, and episode 4 is set in Down House where Darwin lived out the final years of his life and which became both family home and experiment lab. [more inside] posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:39 AM PST - 14 comments
"The National Counterterrorism Center is pleased to present the 2009 edition of the Counterterrorism (CT) Calendar. This edition... contains useful information across a wide range of terrorism-related topics: terrorist groups, wanted terrorists, and technical pages on various threat-related issues" such as recognizing the effects of an anthrax infection. "The Calendar marks dates according to the Gregorian and Islamic calendars, and contains significant dates in terrorism history, as well as dates that terrorists may believe are important when planning 'commemoration-style' attacks." Conveniently available in both online multimedia format (deep link to the timeline itself), as well as a printable version (63 MB PDF). [more inside] posted by grouse at 7:34 AM PST - 11 comments
Pink is still the colour where little girls are concerned, no matter where they grow up - some think propensity for pink is hardwired into girls. For a stark depiction of how many pink things a five-year-old could possibly own, a Korean photographer photographed boys and girls with their possessions arranged according to colour. posted by mippy at 7:28 AM PST - 116 comments
Congress must back sex! According to Larry, "Americans can do without cars and such", but it can't do without sex...and for an extra $5 billion US, he will help Americans do who ever, I mean what ever it takes to get people using porn. However, maybe, just maybe that the decline in sales is due to the free porn access on the net. Another article about it here posted by Prunedish at 2:35 AM PST - 46 comments
A recent series of posts on the web site of First Things magazine looks at what could be described as a reactionary moment on the part of some folk and roots musicians in Québec and around the world... and we're not talking The Goldwaters (Wikipedia). [more inside] posted by Jahaza at 9:52 PM PST - 10 comments
"So I found out yesterday that the soundstage for "The Wire" still existed. I wasted no time in visiting it and was there almost less than 24 hours [sic]. It's one of my favorite TV shows ever and I had to see this before everyone ruined it. The building is also scheduled for demolition and they are going to build a super market on it." NOTE: LINK CONTAINS SPOILERS [more inside] posted by dersins at 4:19 PM PST - 79 comments
Flickr stream. "...[T]he 5′X10′ diorama is comprised of 60,000 Lego bricks. It cost creator Mark Borlase about $3,000 and four years of construction time to complete." Take note of his custom LEGO pieces.
[via] posted by deborah at 12:31 PM PST - 46 comments
A perfect space storm, which happens about every century, like the one that occurred in 1859, could cause "catastrophic social and economic disruptions", according to a new study by the National Academy of Sciences on behalf of NASA. "Potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply and so on," the report states. Outages could take months to fix, the researchers say. Banks might close, and trade with other countries might halt. The next peak in solar activity is expected around 2012. posted by stbalbach at 8:31 AM PST - 61 comments
“You can’t roll a joint on an iPod” or how the iPod killed the music industry. First the music biz overlooked the computer CD rom when they put copy control on cd burners. Then they eliminated the single. Shortly after that "mp3" replaced "sex" as the most popular search term. Apple has become the largest music seller largely against the wishes of the music biz, but 99 cents beats free. Yesterday Apple announced they were eliminating DRM. The questions remains, who needs Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, and EMI, does Apple? When is Apple just going to replace them? There were rumors a year ago that they would launch a record label with Jay-Z but that does not appear to have come to fruition. posted by caddis at 8:18 AM PST - 105 comments
In these difficult economic times, what's a museum to do? Is an art collection a financial asset or a trust to be held in perpetuity? These questions are being raised by The National Academy in New York's recent sale (or "deaccessioning" in museum lingo) of two important paintings for $15 million to shore up its finances, first reported by Lee Rosenbaum's ArtsJournal blog. The museum's director told The New York Times that it was the only way for the 183-year-old academy, which runs a chronic operating deficit, to survive. The Association of Art Museum Directors censured the Academy and called on its members to suspend any loans of art to the institution. New York lawyer Donn Zaretzky's ArtLaw Blog has become ground zero for a fascinating debate involving art critics, museum directors, financial bloggers and others. posted by up in the old hotel at 7:00 AM PST - 40 comments
Every year the Strategy Team at Saxo Bank, a Danish virtual bank, publishes a list of ten black swan class market events. Some of the more dramatic possibilities Saxo advance for 2009: crude trading down to $25 a barrel causing severe social unrest in Iran, the S&P 500 falling to 500, Chinese GDP approaching zero and several member states dropping the Euro. The complete 2009 list is here and for completeness their 2008 [ .pdf ] , 2007 [ .pdf ] and 2006 lists [ .pdf ] are also available. [more inside] posted by Mutant at 2:13 AM PST - 32 comments
Virtually all the predictions about the death of old media have assumed a comfortingly long time frame for the end of print—the moment when, amid a panoply of flashing lights, press conferences, and elegiac reminiscences, the newspaper presses stop rolling and news goes entirely digital. Most of these scenarios assume a gradual crossing-over, almost like the migration of dunes, as behaviors change, paradigms shift, and the digital future heaves fully into view. But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a hurricane comes along and obliterates the dunes entirely? Specifically, what if The New York Times goes out of business—like, this May? [more inside] posted by netbros at 9:11 PM PST - 62 comments
Who would have known that that the death of DRM would come in the form of a press release? While MP3stores are nothing new, with iTunes moving to a 100% DRM free catalog by the 31st of March this now cements a de facto standard of DRM free music in the marketplace. As a side effect it's now a near certainty that AAC will become the successor of MP3. posted by Talez at 4:15 PM PST - 135 comments
A nice photogallery, with descriptions, illustrating the progress of Moore's Law from a 1958 single-transistor Texas Instruments integrated circuit to the anticipated 2009 AMD Phenom II, with 758,000,000 transistors. posted by beagle at 9:15 AM PST - 14 comments
Bought a video game second hand and found it doesn’t have a manual? Or have you been thinking about that great manual that came with that copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past you owned years ago and wouldn't mind taking a look through it again? Well, help is at hand! Vimm offers you heaps of free pdf manuals from retro systems as old as the Atari 2600 and as recent as the N64! Meanwhile Meekeo does much the same, although it mostly looks after current generation systems (including the PC) only. Finally, if you own a Nintendo Wii, DS, Gamecube or Gameboy Advance, Nintendo is offering up full colour pdfs of games they publish(ed) for these systems, as well as manuals for some of their older games. posted by Effigy2000 at 9:24 PM PST - 15 comments
Do you have something to say, but never had the chance to? Founded in late 1997 and originally published August 15th, 1998, So There has stood as a testament to your daily lives for over five years. posted by cjorgensen at 8:03 PM PST - 26 comments
A year and a half ago, a professor of underwater archeology at Northwestern Michigan University discovered a pattern of stones 40 feet below the waters of Lake Michigan. The story has been surprisingly under-reported, given that the Stonehenge-like structure is potentially estimated to be 10,000 years old. One of the stones even appears to have a mastodon carved on it. posted by jon_hansen at 1:42 PM PST - 42 comments
"Church was not part of my family life, and I don't think I ever expected to find myself being a Christian or, as I used to think of it, a 'religious nut.'"Sara Miles grew up an atheist. One day she went into a church, took communion and had a moment with God. She's now a Christian that has made it her mission in life to feed the homeless. She's started a food pantry in the slums of San Francisco that feeds over 450 hungry families every week.
She's also a lesbian who is outspoken for gay marriage and considers herself a liberal but doesn't really care for liberal guilt. posted by Hands of Manos at 11:11 AM PST - 63 comments
The Great British Sandwich is a 'collaborative web project' to build the world's tallest sandwich, one ingredient at a time. It began picking up inedible layers early (20th from the bottom is Cat Hair, 38th is an iPhone 3G) and is now almostover 400 layers including the Higgs Boson, Child's Tears and All the Turtles. via the Ridiculant posted by wendell at 10:56 AM PST - 19 comments
New Yorker fiction 2008. Annotated list of short fiction from the past year. "As perhaps the most high-profile venue for short fiction in the world, taking stock of the New Yorker's year in fiction is a worthwhile exercise for writers and readers alike." posted by stbalbach at 7:38 AM PST - 24 comments
What was so shameful and embarrassing to me, an American journalist whose own Moscow-based newspaper, The eXile, had just been driven out of existence [previously] by these same Kremlin bastards, is that Sasha was rightly frustrated. A Kremlin minder right and the Western journalists wrong? What has this world come to when the Kremlin has a better grasp of the truth than the free Western media?
Have we ever been more emotionally volatile, more in thrall to our sensations than now? We had become used to viewing all our neuroses as crises; now a genuine crisis was upon us, it was a cataclysm. Atheist or believer, we have in the last decade been primed for an end-time of sorts, with a stock of latent fears ready and waiting.
Suddenly, all of those fears had an outlet.
It's easy to take for granted in today's data-drenched world. But time was, if you wanted to see Doctor Who and you had the misfortune of being an American. You have very few options, you could hope to connect to someone across the world via a BBS once the 80's rolled around and FidoNet mail someone who may be able and/or willing to send you NTSC VHS copies from their own collection, taking the generational hit in quality as penance for your copyright crime. Or you could phone your local PBS station and beg them to show the Tom Baker era episodes that proved popular with the more imaginative kids (or poor kids, depending on whether or not you had CATV) . [more inside] posted by mediocre at 5:14 AM PST - 64 comments
So you've spent the holidays playing games, but now you have to be back at work. How to get your gaming fix during commutes and lunch-hours, whilst keeping up with that resolution to Learn Something New this year? Well, you could make a Sack-Boy. You can keep your portable games device warm with a Zelda cosy. You can knit up a Pacman scarf or a Space Invaders bag or socks if you're feeling retro. Or you can make a pocket ninja, an invincibility star to get you through the afternoon, a maqgnetic Katamari ball to spring-clean that desk, or a friendly companion cube. (and if you're too cack-handed to knit, you can sew a friendly cube with the pattern here and tutorial here!) posted by mippy at 2:59 AM PST - 13 comments
Some videos: In 1985, Tipper Gore's PMRC released a list they called the "Filthy Fifteen," detailing what they believed to be the fifteen most objectionable songs of the time, and the reason they felt each song should be censored... [more inside] posted by the_bone at 4:51 PM PST - 120 comments
Love Thy Neighbor: Why Have We Become So Suspicious Of Kindness? Most people, as they grow up now, secretly believe that kindness is a virtue of losers. But agreeing to talk about winners and losers is part and parcel of the phobic avoidance, the contemporary terror, of kindness. Because one of the things the enemies of kindness never ask themselves - and this is now an enemy within all of us - is why we feel it at all. Why are we ever, in any way, moved to be kind to other people, not to mention to ourselves? Why does kindness matter to us? posted by jason's_planet at 12:54 PM PST - 71 comments
J. Tithonus Pednaud herein presents for your edification and enlightenment a curious collection of human marvels. You may call them oddities, freaks or monstrosities—whatever you will—but I call them incredible, persevering, resourceful and marvelous human beings. I chronicle their inspirational stories of triumph over nature, fate and the judgment of man. [Previouslyseenhere. Seealso.] posted by parudox at 9:52 AM PST - 9 comments
Kurt Kuenne is a filmmaker and composer. His light hearted, modern fairy tales have a strange continuity to them. Validation is the story of how free parking can change your life. Rent-A-Person is a musical about restroom attendants and Slow is about the power of travel. But Kurt's work isn't just fairy tales. [more inside] posted by Lord_Pall at 11:21 PM PST - 7 comments
My Day Yesterday. A Flickr set of short (under 90 seconds) videos which describe... a person's day. The instructions, as outlined by Garrett Murray, who started the group with this video: "Shoot video throughout a day in your life, then put it together and upload it the next day. Don't add any music or sound effects, just use what the camera recorded." Some favourites: Delphine Gilbert in Cordoba, Dean Allen in France, and Piotr/presentday in Florence. posted by jokeefe at 6:41 PM PST - 25 comments
"When Harold Carr's nephews and nieces inherited a dusty old lock-up garage from their eccentric uncle their expectations were low. But when they opened the doors of the car collector's Tyneside [England] garage they discovered what may prove to be a life-changing inheritance."* Inside they found a rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante. Having sat hidden, gathering dust for over 50 years, the classic car -- of which only 17 were built -- goes up for auction by Bonhams at the Retromobile auto show in Paris on February 7, 2009. [more inside] posted by ericb at 2:54 PM PST - 44 comments
Offbeat Guides create personalized, up-to-date travel guides that cover over 30,000 travel destinations, using a combination of search technology and curation by both amateur and professional travel experts. [more inside] posted by gman at 2:30 PM PST - 30 comments
Peace and War in the 20th Century is an ambitious, in progress, massive assemblage of posters, photographs, propaganda, ephemera, letters, diaries, paintings, sketches, stories, letters, music and related items, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The collection is international in scope. Some of the nodes lack content, and the navigation is a little confusing, so the jump I list some of my favourite case studies from their site. [more inside] posted by Rumple at 12:03 PM PST - 4 comments
At 18 lanes and 110 metres wide, Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is not only a beautiful example of urban design but is also apparently the widest major road on the planet. [more inside] posted by Cobalt at 9:25 AM PST - 60 comments
Walter Monheit -- The Oldest Club Kid A retiree who lives in Bensonhurst with his cat, Precious, he is known for nocturnal antics like dancing with sexy young women in clubs, and getting their phone numbers. In a world marked by status-consciousness tied to youth, physical beauty, and wealth, this elderly man of modest means is popular and respected, and some club owners admit him for free—the mark of a VIP. posted by jason's_planet at 9:56 PM PST - 28 comments
So one of your resolutions was about your lifelong dream of getting into Playboy? Here's an article that has all the details you don't normally hear about.
"Hef is like any normal hot-blooded American who likes pretty ladies: He took a wife or two, has four kids, and lives in a Tudor-style mansion with luscious lawns and a personal zoo. Sounds like any old family man, right?"
There's a How-To included: [more inside] posted by P.o.B. at 4:53 PM PST - 59 comments
The End of the World Cult is a 2007 documentary about the Lord Our Righteousness Church, aka the Strong City Cult, as they count down the days before the end of the world on October 31st 2007. The film features unusually good access and especially focuses on the creepy sexual relationship cult leader Wayne Bent has with his mostly female followers. If you watch the film and are hankering after justice, you'll be pleased to know that yesterday Bent was sentenced to eighteen years prison for sexual relations with minors. Oh, he also has a blog. posted by dydecker at 3:42 AM PST - 38 comments