God Hates Signs: Fred Phelps' Westboro Baptist Church band-of-bigots showed up in San Francisco the other day to protest at the headquarters of Twitter. (Why? "Twitter should be used to tell the punks of doomed America that God hates you!"). They were met by counter-protesters, well versed in the dark arts of snark. Hilarity ensues. posted by fourcheesemac at 2:18 PM PST - 123 comments
Capa TV. One for the francophones. The French television production agency Capa (no relation) is celebrating its 20th anniversary with excerpts from its best documentaries along with commentary from the reporters that made them. I particularly recommend two that have nothing in common : Vivre et Mourir à Sarajevo (1993) and Les Chouchous du Camping (1991). But be warned, navigation is annoyingly difficult. posted by Lezzles at 9:49 AM PST - 5 comments
What makes a great teacher? Analyzing more than twenty years of data, Teach for America has found that great teachers had trained in their subject areas rather than in education, and had high "life satisfaction." They also demonstrated five tendencies: they
"constantly reevaluate what they are doing... they avidly recruited students and their families into the process; they maintained focus, ensuring that everything they did contributed to student learning; they planned exhaustively and purposefully—for the next day or the year ahead—by working backward from the desired outcome; and they worked relentlessly, refusing to surrender to the combined menaces of poverty, bureaucracy, and budgetary shortfalls."
"I hear bullets, I dodge mortars, I hear nasheeds" — Islamic songs — "and play soccer. Sometimes I live in the bush with camels, sometimes I live the five-star life. Sometimes I walk for miles in the terrible heat with no water, sometimes I ride in extremely slick cars. Sometimes I’m chased by the enemy, sometimes I chase him! I have hatred, I have love," he went on. "It’s the best life on earth!"
Minimal origami is paper folding with just one fold. A single fold in a piece of paper is enough to make a swan or an interesting curve. Notably, Paul Jackson has made beautiful one crease origami structures. posted by twoleftfeet at 3:34 AM PST - 16 comments
In 1660, the Coldstream Regiment of Foot Guards marched from Scotland to London under the command of General Monck, and helped end Parliamentary rule and restored the monarchy under Charles II. 350 years later, to honour their former commander and to help raise funds for their injured colleagues, soldiers from the Coldstream Guards recreated the march in aid of charity. [more inside] posted by Petrot at 6:11 PM PST - 9 comments
As Scott Jerome-Parks lay dying, he clung to this wish: that his fatal radiation overdose — which left him deaf, struggling to see, unable to swallow, burned, with his teeth falling out, with ulcers in his mouth and throat, nauseated, in severe pain and finally unable to breathe — be studied and talked about publicly so that others might not have to live his nightmare.
From the first of a series of articles by the New York Times, putting the spotlight on what happens when radiation therapy goes wrong. [more inside] posted by Bukvoed at 4:58 PM PST - 49 comments
Mameshiba They're not quite a dog, nor a bean but a hybrid of both. They love to appear out of nowhere and offer random bits of trivia whether you asked for it or not. posted by boo_radley at 3:26 PM PST - 62 comments
This was going to be a post about japanese fighter ace SaburoSakai(around 60 kills) while also mentioning Hiroyoshi "the Devil" Nishizawa, Japan's top WWII ace (around 110 kills). But while comparing them to aces of other countries I encountered something your average non-war buff american probably doesn't know. That is that about thetop 60 fighter aces of WWII (and all time consequently) were all german. And where does the US rank on this list. You don't want to know. posted by jake1 at 2:32 PM PST - 52 comments
The announcement of the iPad earlier this week has prompted a lot of discussion about ebook prices among publishers and their sales partners. That discussion took a major turn yesterday when Amazon pulled the buy buttons for Macmillan's books off their site. Many of Macmillan's titles are still available through Amazon, but only through third parties. Right now, one of the largest publishers in America is no longer available from Amazon because they can not agree on ebook prices. [more inside] posted by Toekneesan at 9:18 AM PST - 306 comments
Behold the N Building, a new structure in a Tokyo shopping district that at first glance looks kind of like a giant Tetris screen until you realize that the fancy geometric design on its facade isn't merely ornamental: It's code—QR code, to be exact. What that code allows passersby to do is quite unique. [via, via] [more inside] posted by netbros at 11:35 AM PST - 21 comments
That afternoon, American signals operators picked up bin Laden speaking to his followers. Fury kept a careful log of these communications in his notebook, which he would type up at the end of every day and pass up his chain of command. “The time is now,” bin Laden said. “Arm your women and children against the infidel!” Following several hours of high-intensity bombing, the Al Qaeda leader spoke again. Fury paraphrases: “Our prayers have not been answered. Times are dire. We didn’t receive support from the apostate nations who call themselves our Muslim brothers.” Bin Laden apologized to his men for having involved them in the fight and gave them permission to surrender. posted by jason's_planet at 10:38 AM PST - 26 comments
Visualizing Whale Songs "Mark Fischer, an expert in marine acoustics, has come up with another way to illustrate whale song. He uses a more obscure method, known as the wavelet transform, which represents the sound in terms of components known as wavelets: short, discrete waves that are better at capturing cetacean song." posted by dhruva at 8:50 AM PST - 12 comments
New York Times: "A study to be released next month is offering a rare glimpse inside gay relationships and reveals that monogamy is not a central feature for many. Some gay men and lesbians argue that, as a result, they have stronger, longer-lasting and more honest relationships. And while that may sound counterintuitive, some experts say boundary-challenging gay relationships represent an evolution in marriage — one that might point the way for the survival of the institution." posted by andoatnp at 7:58 AM PST - 143 comments
When Pablo Escobar escaped from prison in 1992, a lot of people in Colombia began to lose sleep. Some of these people formed Los Pepes - People Persecuted by Pablo Escobar - a collection of Escobar's fiercest narco competitors, paramilitaries and columbian authorities with perhaps even american intelligence assisstance. After taking care of Escobar the victorious narcos, as the Cali Cartel, went on to rule the world of cocaine. For about three years. A younger, more ruthless crew inside the Cali Cartel quickly did away with the old guard and established what is still today considered the largest supplier of cocaine in the world, the North Valley Cartel.With many former police officers in its upper ranks and the assisstance of one of the Colombian military's top antinarcotics officers, the North Valley Cartel was more likely to run a wiretap than be caught on one.Still, as to the whole omerta thing? North Valley Cartel bigshot Andres Lopez AKA Florecita (little flower?), after turning himself in to american authorities, cooperating and serving about 2 years in prison, wrote a book. El Cartel de los Sapos (Cartel of the Snitches) was then made into the most popular telenovela ever by Colombia's Caracol and dominated just about every market its played in. Oh yeah, and telemundo is streaming them all for free with subtitles as we speak. Not quite The Wire, but still a must see. posted by jake1 at 10:59 PM PST - 37 comments
Gay culture: Patricidal? A former reverend in the Church of Satan, Jack Donovan (nom de plume: Malebranche), is coauthor of an E-book on blood brotherhood and a previous book on masculinity and homosexuality. Now: Do teh Gays have a problem with manhood? Donovan thinks so. “Sexually... homosexual men venerate manliness and virility. They want their fantasy men to be uppercase MEN.... All homosexual men are aware of the fact that there will always be some straight men who, given the opportunity, would exclude them from male groups.... [T]hey love him through surrogates and kill him by rejecting what he stands for. They side with women against him to castrate him. They mock and taunt him with flamboyant, effeminate displays. They look down on his stoic, simple, grounded manliness by aligning themselves with high culture and excess. Gay culture is patricide.” Oh, snap! as they say. [more inside] posted by joeclark at 6:56 PM PST - 109 comments
Miramax Films (named after founders Bob and Harvey Weinstein's parents Miriam and Max) has been closed. The company was founded in 1979, but found massive success in the 90s with films like The Piano, Pulp Fiction, Sex, Lies and Videotape, Clerks, and The English Patient, and many others. Owned by Disney, the production company still has six movies unreleased. More at The Wrap. posted by zardoz at 6:40 PM PST - 47 comments
Another institution might be close to biting the digital dust: The high school/collegeyearbook. Some are looking at alternative business approaches. " Last spring was the first time since World War II that University of Virginia students did not publish their yearbook, "Corks and Curls." No one seemed to notice." posted by Xurando at 5:49 PM PST - 67 comments
It's not uncommon for the mayors of two cities locked in sports competition to make friendlywagers. But, do the cities' art museums do too? Apparently, they do. posted by Leezie at 11:57 AM PST - 26 comments
Egg Watchers: Egg Timer 2.0 A cute little web interface serves you a YouTube video based on how done you want your boiled egg, its size, and whether it's just out of the fridge. The length of the video is the length of the boil. No more watched pots! posted by OmieWise at 9:21 AM PST - 25 comments
Simo Häyhä is often revered as the deadliest sniper in history. Using nothing more than a Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle with stock iron sights, Häyhä is credited with felling 542 Soviet soldiers during the Finnish Winter War (with as many as 150 more kills by SMG). Nicknamed "The White Death", Häyhä spent weeks in snow-covered forests, enduring sub-zero temperatures while sniping Russian officers, weapons crews and snipers. The Soviets placed a bounty on Häyhä's head, utilizing counter-snipers and artillery fire in an attempt to kill him. Over the course of only three months, the 5'3" Häyhä (a farmer by trade) killed upwards of 800 of the Red Army soldiers deployed to Finland. Despite eventually being shot in the face by a Russian sharpshooter, Häyhä recovered and passed away in 2002 at the age of 96. posted by Tenacious.Me.Tokyo at 8:50 AM PST - 244 comments
Dallas police were skeptical at first, nicknaming the program "Hug-a-Ho." Two years later, the STAR Court ("strengthening, transition and recovery") is attracting attention from agencies and researchers nationwide, for its innovative approach to prostitute diversion.
"It's absolutely apparent when you work with these women that they're struggling with incredible issues of domestic violence, substance abuse, sexual violence. We want to help these women change their lives, and if we want to change what's happening, we have to change our approach." posted by pineapple at 8:43 AM PST - 35 comments
Early elementary school teachers in the United States are almost exclusively female (>90%), and we provide evidence that these female teachers’ anxieties relate to girls’ math achievement via girls’ beliefs about who is good at math. A study (abstract and full-text [pdf]) by the University of Chicago Department of Psychology and Committee on Education found a link between math anxiety in elementary school teachers and their female students' math abilities. [more inside] posted by albrecht at 8:05 AM PST - 56 comments
About 2% of the US population died while serving in the military during the US Civil War, roughly equivalent to about six million people today. A few years after the war the best selling book at 100,000 copies was Elizabeth Stuart Phelps' The Gates Ajar, which deals mainly with heaven and what exactly happens there. Spoilers follow. [more inside] posted by shothotbot at 8:42 PM PST - 29 comments
The Tobolowsky Files is a series of podcasts by character actor Stephen Tobolowsky - one of Those Guys, a recognizable face that has popped up in a multitude of productions but stayed mostly in the background. Following the style of Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party, where he shares many stories from his experiences, the podcasts bring a fascinating, sometimes humor-filled and sometimes tragic, look on the life of this almost jack-of-all-trades actor. It is hard not to be pulled in as he speaks of the death of his mother, his wild journey through Paris as a young student with his girlfriend, and many other tales from acting jobs to the random people he's encountered throughout his years. [more inside] posted by Tequila Mockingbird at 10:03 AM PST - 16 comments
As craft beer brewers and brewpubs in the US grow in popularity among the population of discerning beer consumers, a new (to the US, anyway) container has emerged for the take-home beer buyer. Growlers, reusable half-gallon glass jugs, have become popular recently for the take-home crowd. [more inside] posted by dammitjim at 9:15 AM PST - 115 comments
Dr. Tiller: The lost tapes. In never-before-seen footage, the slain abortion provider explains his career choice. Physicians for Reproductive Choice has released two "never-before-seen" video clips of the slain abortion provider talking about why he chose his line of work. [more inside] posted by severiina at 9:04 AM PST - 80 comments
"Hatch Show Print: We Print and Sell Posters." And the Nashville landmark, just down the street from the Ryman Auditorium, has been doing exactly that, with wood type and a gigantic Vandercook press, since 1879. Take a video and photo tour through the press, and read about how they do their work (with videos of the printmaking process). Manager Jim Sherraden's motto is “preservation through production”: all the equipment, all the wood type, everything, is still used regularly, even if it’s for a run as small as one print. [more inside] posted by ocherdraco at 7:45 AM PST - 14 comments
Fox News is the most trusted news network in the United States, according to a new poll [.pdf] of 1,151 Americans conducted by Public Policy Polling (a polling firm with a mostly Democratic and progressive list of clients), the most trusted news network among Americans is FOX News, which was trusted by 49% of respondents (beating out CNN, MS-NBC, CBS, NBC, and ABC (though PBS was not included in the survey)).
The pollsters conclude:
“A generation ago you would have expected Americans to place their trust in the most
neutral and unbiased conveyors of news,” said Dean Debnam, President of Public Policy
Polling. “But the media landscape has really changed and now they’re turning more
toward the outlets that tell them what they want to hear.” posted by washburn at 8:10 PM PST - 126 comments
"It was my luck (perhaps my bad luck) to be the world chess champion during the critical years in which computers challenged, then surpassed, human chess players. [...] What if instead of human versus machine we played as partners? My brainchild saw the light of day in a match in 1998 in León, Spain, and we called it "Advanced Chess." Each player had a PC at hand running the chess software of his choice during the game. The idea was to create the highest level of chess ever played, a synthesis of the best of man and machine."The Chess Master and the Computer: A article/book review on computer chess and the state of the top-level chess world by Garry Kasparov. [more inside] posted by painquale at 5:35 PM PST - 43 comments
From the newly launched OpenSource.com comes a pointer to the Open College Textbook Act of 2009. This bill, currently stuck in committee, calls for the adoption of openly licensed and freely distributed electronic textbooks. It is hoped that this will lower costs, level the playing field and even help restore overseas confidence in the U.S. educational system. [more inside] posted by cedar at 3:35 PM PST - 26 comments
The FBI has arrested James O'Keefe, one of the filmmakers behind the ACORN "pimp" video, and three others over an alleged plot to tap the phones in the office of Senator Mary Landrieu, D-La., according to a report in the New Orleans Times-Picayune. (Previously: 1,2,3) posted by ekroh at 2:05 PM PST - 263 comments
Wired magazine has a long and detailed article about the future of manufacturing. Short version: the same kind of democratization that technology has effected in publishing, music, video, etc., is opening up design and manufacturing to anyone who wants to participate. [more inside] posted by yesster at 10:59 AM PST - 41 comments
"What we’ve called it has never been stable—it’s been known alternately as “punk” for its early attitude, “underground” for where it happened, “alternative” when the mainstream held it up as an antidote to its own poison—each of these picked up then sloughed off when the semantic baggage grew too unwieldy. Most recently, “indie”—long thrown around as a signifier of how it got done (i.e. independently)—has become the nom du jour." Is indie dead? posted by Slack-a-gogo at 8:40 AM PST - 127 comments
On the one hand, it ensures slow dancin' teens keep a safe distance apart. On the other, well, there's the sightline issue. Will it give geeks the nerve to dance with a partner? Covert Athletics presents Pong Prom. Can literally gettin' it on like Donkey Kong be next? posted by GhostintheMachine at 7:40 AM PST - 12 comments
Magician, actor & Scientologist Larry Anderson wants his money back. Although he had modest success in Hollywood, he was known to millions as the narrator of Scientology's introductory film Orientation; certainly his most famous line was said for that movie:
"If you leave this room after seeing this film and walk out and never mention Scientology again, you are perfectly free to do so. It would be stupid. But you can do it. You can also dive off a bridge or blow your brains out. That is your choice."
Listen in as Larry negotiates with Church officials to recover $120,000 he deposited with the church in anticipation of receiving services from it.
Economic crisis, mounting national debt, excessive foreign commitments -- this is no way to run an empire. America needs serious strategic counseling. And fast. It has never been Rome, and to adopt its strategies no -- its ruthless expansion of empire, domination of foreign peoples, and bone-crushing brand of total war -- would only hasten America's decline. Better instead to look to the empire's eastern incarnation: Byzantium, which outlasted its Roman predecessor by eight centuries. It is the lessons of Byzantine grand strategy that America must rediscover today. posted by jason's_planet at 3:43 PM PST - 38 comments
Alan Grayson (D - FL) has introduced a bill to tax corporate political campaign donations at 500% (via). The bill is called the "Business Should Mind Its Own Business Act." posted by lohmannn at 9:38 AM PST - 93 comments
As a recent New York Times article notes: "Mexicans, despite their reputation in Latin America for ultrapoliteness and formality, curse like sailors, a recent survey found. They use profanity when speaking with their friends, with their co-workers, with their spouses and even with their bosses and parents."
Solium Infernum, the most recent release from indie game designer Vic Davies (and one of Eurogamer's Games of 2009), is a turn-based wargame in which the players, as members of Hell's aristocracy, vie for control of Satan's recently vacated throne employing diplomatic measures and demonic armies. Over the last couple of weeks the boys at Rock, Paper, Shotgun have posted epic turn by turn battle reports of a month-long play-by-email game undertaken by two of their own and four acquaintances, two of whom have written up their own reports. Without fail the accounts are full of twists and turns, blunders and screwups, conniving, back-stabbing and all sorts of bastardry that make them fine examples of game writing as well as gripping page-turners. [more inside] posted by aldurtregi at 3:31 AM PST - 45 comments
Os Novos Baianos (The New Bahians) played psychedelic rock blended with regional Brazilian folk styles, heavily influenced by bossa nova maestro João Gilberto.
In 1972, after recording Acabou Chorare (which went on to top Rolling Stone Brazil's list of best Brazilian albums ), the band moved to a far suburb of Rio de Janiero to live communally, play soccer, and work on the album Novos Baianos F.C. (New Bahians Football Club). In 1973, German television sent music producer Solano Ribeiro to capture their daily life on film. It's around 45 minutes, broken up in six youtube videos: 123456. No subtitles, but you won't need them too much. The audio is spotty, but it gets better. [more inside] posted by hydrophonic at 10:16 PM PST - 11 comments
Illinoize - "a free remix tape put together by Montreal-based producer Tor, sampling songs from multi-instrumentalist and indie hero, Sufjan Stevens. Tracks are sampled from his 2005 LP Illinoise, as well as 3 of his other albums, 'A Sun Came', 'Seven Swans' and 'Songs for Christmas', blending Sufjan Steven's acoustic guitar, piano and horns with MC's Aesop Rock, Big Daddy Kane, Gift of Gab (Blackalicious), C.L. Smooth, Outkast, Brother Ali, and Grand Puba." posted by Paragon at 5:42 PM PST - 26 comments
A rap song that mentions Chomsky! Coco Love Alcorn steals the hearts of nerds, geeks, and Mensa members everywhere by ditching all those muscle-bound playas in favor of brainiacs. Thought this would play well on Metafilter. posted by crazylegs at 11:44 AM PST - 74 comments
Sky burials are often practiced in the mountains of Tibet, both for religious and practical reasons. Basically, the corpse is placed on a mountain top and sliced open in various places, to attract the birds of prey circling above. They’d probably feast on it anyway, but an invitation like that doesn’t hurt. posted by Mr_Zero at 11:56 PM PST - 107 comments
New time lapse video [04:48] of the salvage of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 (aka 'Miracle on the Hudson'). The A320 is up for sale. It was put "on the online auction block by the insurance company Chartis...The sale attracted widespread attention within hours on Friday, and Chartis was apparently so inundated by curiosity or online bids that it removed the information from its Web site. Chartis identified the plane only by its registration number and its family name, A320, and yet it was instantly recognizable." [more inside] posted by ericb at 2:43 PM PST - 28 comments
The show is loaded with intramural cracks, tedium, desperate looking guests reaching for laughs, mechanical dolls that wave their arms and drop their pants, additional tedium, and the apparent illusion that several million people want to watch 120 minutes of the scriptless life of a semi-educated, egocentric boor.The rise and fall of a late night TV talk show host.[more inside] posted by twoleftfeet at 2:18 AM PST - 31 comments
Mr. Quentin Crisp and Mr. John Hurt. Mark Simpson conducts a kind of comparative iconography of John Hurt as Quentin Crisp in the intertitle-replete Naked Civil Servant and, 33 years later, as Crisp again in An Englishman in New York. “[A]s an effeminate homosexual, he was imprisoned inside an exquisite paradox, like some kind of ancient insect trapped in amber: Attracted to masculine males – the famous Great Dark Man – he cannot himself be attracted to a man who finds him, another male, attractive because then they cannot be the Great Dark Man any more.” posted by joeclark at 6:07 PM PST - 28 comments
Frank Serpico testified before the Knapp Commission in October 1971, becoming the first police officer in the United States to voluntarily give evidence against a fellow policeman. You probably have seen the movie. FrankSerpicoreturns. “I still have nightmares,” he said. “I open a door a little bit and it just explodes in my face. Or I’m in a jam and I call the police, and guess who shows up? My old cop buddies who hated me.” posted by Xurando at 3:04 PM PST - 41 comments
"In looking closely at the astonishingly wide variety of ways our users have chosen to represent themselves, we discovered much of the collective wisdom about profile pictures was wrong." posted by Groovytimes at 2:11 PM PST - 51 comments
Iris Robinson [wiki] is, at the time of writing, under acute psychiatric care in a Belfast hospital, after a BBC Northern Ireland documentary revealed that she had, at the age of 59, solicited £50,000 from two property developers to help fund a business run by her 19-year-old lover, Kirk McCambley. posted by billysumday at 4:56 AM PST - 55 comments
Michael Schmidt has been found not guilty of selling raw milk in the province of Ontario. Schmidt owns a dairy co-op where consumers can purchase shares in a dairy herd and receive a portion of the raw milk those cows produce in return. His farm was raided and his equipment seized at gun point back in 2006. Experts are predicting this decision could have wide ranging effects on the rights of consumers to choose what they purchase and eat. posted by talkingmuffin at 11:52 AM PST - 57 comments
Arms dealers affiliated with 22 companies, including one with a former Joint Chief of Staff on its board of directors, have been indicted for soliciting kickbacks on multimillion dollar deals to supply munitions to representatives of a fictitious African government. [more inside] posted by minimii at 9:00 AM PST - 41 comments
Virtual hacking is cool but place hacking makes it core again, brachiating across scaffolding to get the shot on your Digital SLR that maximizes your flickr stats, raking in the google adsense cash and conforming to a zerowork ethos if we get pro at it. Sleep in ruins, sell your photos of disgusting shit to tourists. Rinse off in a petrol station sink and repeat. We are the nerds that finally walked away from their computers and we are behind that scaffolding covering the building you ignore everyday when you walk by it going to work, we just loved on that place like no one has in 20 years. We are psychotopological terrorists and we will shove that masterlock up your ass.
Around the time of the flooding in Troyes a plant in the south-east of Paris which supplied compressed air to the owners of ‘pneumatique’ equipment – lifts, ventilation, industrial machinery – was submerged. Parisians were fond of compressed-air technology. It was how the postal service delivered mail from one office to another in small brass shuttles propelled along a network of tubes. It was also used to keep the clocks ticking on the streets of the city and, by subscription, in private apartments. When the plant went underwater during the night, pneumatic time stopped dead.
More than 15 years again Robert Kaplan wrote in his occasionally prescient essay, "Though Islam is spreading in West Africa, it is being hobbled by syncretization with animism: this makes new converts less apt to become anti-Western extremists...." Glossing over the omission that Islam has been in West Africa for centuries, the recent exploding underpants incident has cemented the idea that a form of violent religious extremism has found root in West Africa, leaving many to wonder why and how. Some argue it's the inevitable result of dangerousdemographics. posted by Panjandrum at 3:13 PM PST - 17 comments
So, Nathan has left the tape recorder on, and he says if I want to say fascinating things while he’s gone, I can. Well guess what I’m gonna do. While he’s gone, I’m taking his glass of beer and I’m putting it under the table and I’m gonna stick my fuckin’ dick in it. I’m gonna open up my zipper, and I’m gonna rub the tip of my fuckin’ cock around the mouth of his glass. Now I’m putting it back there. He’s gonna be drinkin’, but he ain’t gonna know until he plays this back the trick I pulled on him. The AV Club interviews Tony Clifton. posted by shakespeherian at 1:34 PM PST - 58 comments
In Germany, a Tradition Falls, and Women Rise. The half-day school system survived feudalism, the rise and demise of Hitler’s mother cult, the women’s movement of the 1970s and reunification with East Germany. Now, in the face of economic necessity, it is crumbling: one of the lowest birthrates in the world, the specter of labor shortages and slipping education standards have prompted a rethink. posted by msalt at 10:08 AM PST - 94 comments
Sex Worker Literati is a monthly storytelling series that features sex workers, former sex workers, and people with stories about the sex industry who read, monologue, perform, and shimmy their ways into your hearts, minds, and naughty bits. (NSFW video feed) [more inside] posted by hippybear at 9:52 AM PST - 46 comments
LGBT Immigration Some countries such as Australia and Canada already allow same sex couples to immigrate.
In the United States Senator Chuck Schumer of New York has said he will introduce a comprehensive immigration reform bill early this year. A window is opening to pass the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA).... posted by ginky at 5:53 PM PST - 26 comments
If you live in a sufficiently old city in the U.S.,Canada, or the UK you've probably seen these set into concrete sidewalks or the panels of cast iron steps. Termed vault lights in the U.S., pavement lights in the UK, and sidewalk prisms in Canada, the glass insets were originally clear and intended to produce daylighting in subterranean spaces. The ethereal purple color results from the glass's manganese content being exposed to ultraviolet light over time. Many vault lights or sidewalk prisms are in poor condition, but some are being repaired. posted by bad grammar at 5:18 PM PST - 46 comments
That's Why I chose Appalachian State Yale! Only 5 years after the original, an Ivy League school discovers the "brilliant" internet meme and decides to go for it no holds barred! posted by zany pita at 4:30 PM PST - 57 comments
Interested in making the Best Fried Chicken Ever? You'd start with a brine, perhaps the one Thomas Keller uses, which has lemon, honey, herbs and peppercorns. Harlem's master chicken fryer Charles Gabriel prefers a dry brine and the legendary Edna Lewis would have you brine the chicken a second time in buttermilk. [more inside] posted by AceRock at 3:38 PM PST - 47 comments
Trans-Siberian Rail Journeys ...follows the route of the Trans-Siberian Railroad which connects the newly opened regions of Russia, China and Mongolia. The seven-day train trip begins in Moscow and ends in Bejing. Also includes Russian archival footage that traces the 25 years (1891-1916) that it took to build the railroad. (PBS, 1996, 2 hours) posted by vronsky at 12:00 PM PST - 12 comments
BobbyCharles1938-2010. Songwriter, musician's musician and cultural treasure, he died on last Thursday in Abbeville,Lousiana. In the 1950s, he wrote Fats Domino's Walking to New Orleans, Bill Haley and the Comet's See You Later, Alligator and recorded for Chess records. His eponymous Bearsville album recorded in Woodstock in 1972 has been described as the best Band album released under another name.(Check out Small Town Talk there.) He appeared as well in the Band's farewell concert filmed as The Last Waltz. He made an enormous contribution to American popular music. [more inside] posted by y2karl at 11:43 AM PST - 25 comments
The FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews. FBI officials issued approvals after the fact to justify their actions. E-mails obtained by The Washington Post detail how counterterrorism officials inside FBI headquarters did not follow their own procedures that were put in place to protect civil liberties. The stream of urgent requests for phone records also overwhelmed the FBI communications analysis unit with work that ultimately was not connected to imminent threats.
A Justice Department inspector general's report due out this month is expected to conclude that the FBI frequently violated the law with its emergency requests, bureau officials confirmed.
Among those whose phone records were searched improperly were journalists for The Washington Post and the New York Times, according to interviews with government officials. [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 9:42 AM PST - 93 comments
In 1933 Newfoundland was a responsible, that is self governing, dominion on a par with Canada and Australia. To avoid a debt default the government suspended its constitution in favor of rule from the colonial office in London. After the second world war and a close referendum the the governments of the United Kingdom and Canada negotiated Newfoundland's ascension to Canada. The story boils down to a people losing their sovereignty due to a debt crisis. The Newfoundland Royal Commission report of 1933, the basis for the article and the actions it recounts is here. (The report is seeded with great-if-too-small pictures of Newfoundland from the 1930s and cool maps). [more inside] posted by shothotbot at 7:44 PM PST - 46 comments
Vivienne Westwood unveils homeless chic at Milan Fashion Week in a Zoolander joke brought to life. Fashion blog Project Rungay says, "Darlings, you just can't make this shit up." From The Times Online: "Some carried bedrolls. Another emerged from his cardboard box with a sleeping bag, slung it around his neck and quickly walked away." And there were shopping carts... posted by artychoke at 4:06 PM PST - 86 comments
If You Could: Collaborate is the fourth annual If You Could exhibition. Aiming to provide a platform for creatives from all over the world to question their conventional working methods and outcomes. The contributors have been challenged to produce something a little unexpected, by working with a partner of their choosing from any discipline, profession or background. These are the 33 collaborations. Previously, the Print Series 2008. [on display at the A Foundation Gallery until January 23rd] posted by netbros at 4:02 PM PST - 2 comments
MLK Jr: The First Attempt : Nearly 10 years before he was assassinated, as Dr. King signed copies of his book Stride Toward Freedom, Izola Ware Curry, a part-time maid from Georgia, stabbed him in the chest with a letter opener, nearly puncturing his aorta. Though she was eventually indicted for attempted murder, Ms. Curry was found incompetent to stand trial and committed to Matteawan State Hospital for the criminally insane. Characteristically, Dr. King forgave her and requested that she be rehabilitated as a productive member of society. [more inside] posted by Alison at 2:53 PM PST - 7 comments
The Book Pirates of Peru. A slideshow in which Peruvian author Daniel Alarcón describes the vibrant literary scene in his home country, where the informal publishing industry is the same size as its legitimate counterpart. There's no library system to speak of, the National Library's acquisitions budget is nil, but a culture of reading and writing is booming, with book sales and attendance at literary festivals up, up, up. posted by WPW at 5:50 AM PST - 16 comments
Valentino Braitenberg's 1984 book, Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology was a seminal work for its discussion of how one might design a system (biological or otherwise) in order to generate behavior like that seen in beings with brains. He embarks on a series of thought experiments in which he creates thirteen "vehicles" through simple components that (arguably) display intelligent behavior, evolving in a Darwinian fashion to demonstrate what appears to be high-level cognition. [more inside] posted by emilyd22222 at 9:10 PM PST - 16 comments
A brilliant farce (or is it) The Antichrist Conspiracy,
Get ready to dig deep into the world wide web of conspiracy. Learn about the Luciferians, the Freemasons, and the Metafilter-moderator-cabal who together with the dark lord of hell and Yonkers is trying to harvest your organs for Satan. [more inside] posted by nola at 3:42 PM PST - 52 comments
Queens of Poland Long review/essay at the DRB on Michał Witkowski's Lubiewo (forthcoming in English translation as Lovetown; extract here), a book about gay life in Poland both in the days of communism and the subsequent Third Republic. posted by Abiezer at 3:42 AM PST - 7 comments
The Imperial Palaces of Tsarskoye Selo (nowadays Pushkin), near St. Petersburg, contained many invaluable cultural treasures that were plundered or destroyed during the Second World War. Most famous among them was the fabled Amber Room, whose disappearance has soured diplomatic relations between Germany and Russia ever since (the Germans can't find it back). Some claim that another, much more secret room of the Catherine Palace was also plundered. However, in this case, the Russian authorities deny that it ever existed. [more inside] posted by Skeptic at 3:36 AM PST - 26 comments
"No one guessed the truth, which was simpler, and therefore stranger, than their wildest theories: that the scared young woman so hotly pursued by South Carolina police, the Secret Service, federal marshals and even the U.S. Army was actually on a bizarre and misguided journey of self-discovery." Rolling Stone reports on the strange case of Esther Reed: The Girl Who Conned The Ivy League. (via Metachat) posted by The Whelk at 1:41 AM PST - 46 comments
Following the end of the Civil War, Congress enacted “An Act to Increase and Fix the Military Peace Establishment of the United States”, which … included the establishment of two regiments of cavalry and four regiments of infantry to be composed of “colored men”. For the first time in the United States history black men had a place in the regular army.[more inside] posted by serazin at 11:30 PM PST - 11 comments
A great Rant About Women by Clay Shirky: (Women) "are bad at behaving like self-promoting narcissists, anti-social obsessives, or pompous blowhards, even a little bit, even temporarily, even when it would be in their best interests to do so."[more inside] posted by bru at 9:02 AM PST - 167 comments
The Dirtiest Player. Was it only last season that Marvin Harrison was still catching TD passes for Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts? Now, in the wake of a brazen but mysterious Philadelphia gunfight - many details of which are reported here for the first time - the man who holds the NFL record for most receptions in a season may yet find himself with a permanent record of a different sort. (SLGQ) [more inside] posted by The Card Cheat at 6:32 AM PST - 37 comments
California's calm before the storm. It's just rain, right? Well, the meteorologists are publicly talking about a potentially epic storm that could trigger major flooding and mudslides, especially in areas effected by the state's widespread fires of the past few years. More ominously, though, is this internal email from CAL FIRE Division Chief Bob Wallen, which talks of the potential for "multiple large and powerful storm systems" with "a tremendous amount of precipitation . . . Much of NorCal is likely to see 5-10 inches in the lowlands, with 10-20 inches in orographically-favored areas. Most of SoCal will see 3-6 inches at lower elevations, with perhaps triple that amount in favored areas", with the potential for a massive snowfall, gusts in the 100-200 mph range in the high Sierras, possibly followed by plentiful warm rains that could melt the snow and cause massive flooding statewide. "The next 2-3 weeks (at least) are likely to be more active across California than any other 2-3 week period in recent memory." posted by markkraft at 4:49 AM PST - 176 comments
Indeed, at 6 million years of separation, the difference in [Y-chromosome] gene content in chimpanzee and human is more comparable to the difference in autosomal gene content in chicken and human, at 310 million years of separation.
It is commonly said that the Human and Chimpanzee genomes share 99% or more identical DNA. In a surprising development about to be published in Nature, the Y-chromosomes of these two species were found to share only 70% of their DNA, raising important questions about the mode and tempo by which speciation from a common ancestor occurred. This finding may point the finger at the evolution of different patterns of sperm-competition and mating practices within these two species. posted by Rumple at 12:00 AM PST - 21 comments
An excellent response to Pat Robertson. "This Vodou priest is not speaking about divine retribution, as has Pat Robertson. God is not punishing us for disobedience. Erol is speaking about a giant natural rebalancing act, a reaction against human dealings with the ecosystem." posted by fullofragerie at 3:30 PM PST - 148 comments
Boney M were a successful German disco group of the late 70s, known for wild onstage costumes, frontman Bobby Farrell's bass voice and signature dancing style, and their hits, which included Baby Do You Wanna Bump, Daddy Cool, Ma Baker, and Belfast.
However, it was an open secret that Boney M was masterminded by producer Frank Farian. Farian wrote Boney M's songs and performed all of the male vocals (and many of the background female vocals) in the studio. Farrell and the rest of the band merely mimed Farian's heavily manipulated vocals when appearing on television. Hmm, a German dance band lipsynching someone else's vocals...sound familiar? [more inside] posted by Ian A.T. at 3:27 PM PST - 54 comments
Friday Flash Fun Puzzler: Grayscale is a puzzle game where you control a dot from one end of a route to another, manipulating wheels and other obstacles to get to the goal. Controlled by mouse. posted by schyler523 at 10:34 AM PST - 13 comments
Do you want to personally verify climate science? You can, with open source data and algorithms. OpenTemp.org: An Open Analysis of the Historical Temperature Record. Clear Climate Code: Python reimplementation of GISTEMP, the NASA GISS surface temperature analysis. EDGCM: a research-grade Global Climate Model (GCM) with a user-friendly interface that can be run on a desktop computer. posted by stbalbach at 10:33 AM PST - 42 comments
ICSI Netalyzr is a java applet that performs an impressive collection of tests on your Internet connection, and reports the results back to you (and to the ICSI) in an easily readable format. [more inside] posted by FishBike at 3:23 PM PST - 96 comments
I think for a male, if you want to be successful in this type of venture, you're not a prostitute. You're a surrogate lover. You encompass everything that's required of you—not only emotionally, physically—but psychologically. Because women are wired differently. They're much more sensitive creatures. You actually have to enjoy what you do. You can't necessarily say, "Oh, it's just a job." You actually have to say it's a passion.
James Cameron has acknowledged that Avatar implicitly criticizes America's War in Iraq and the impersonal nature of mechanized warfare in general, although it's not the films main theme. American Conservatives have blasted Avatar for depicting U.S. marines as villains. Others see it as a "race fantasy" for white people. Over in China, Communists see parallels between the movie’s plot and one of the nation’s most prominent social issues: the forced removal of Chinese citizens from their homes for government development projects. The St. Petersburg Communist Party believes the film is an American apology for Obama's Nobel Peace Prize. “It is quite funny to watch how the activists of the national liberation movement of Pandora accept a Pentagon-made mutant instead of judging him by the laws of the revolutionary time,” the communists noted. posted by stbalbach at 8:09 AM PST - 264 comments
And if she woke up as from a deep sleep, she’d wake up into a world where her best friend was dead, where her body had been forcibly edited back to its pre-transition state and given a few more years of the influence of testosterone to boot, where her memory and self were hazy and confusing and nobody was calling her by the right name and pronouns, they were in fact pretending four years of her life, the four years she finally got to be honest and true to herself, those had never happened, and shh, she’s just confused, shhhh, calm down, let’s work on fixing your memory some more.
"One might be tempted to say that the LFL is a startling critique of the homoerotic undertones that are rife within men’s American Football. Indeed American Football’s hyper-masculine qualities, its predilection for tight trousers, bottom patting and suggestive positional names (‘tight end’) have long made it an easy target for artists, theorists, critics, or anyone who is not American. Yet while to claim such satirical depths for the LFL would be disingenuous, what the LFL does achieve is equally subversive." Highbrow British art magazine Frieze discovers the Lingerie Football League. Warning: pictures on both links are NSFW. posted by WPW at 12:55 PM PST - 73 comments
One hot June morning in 1953, a retired couple from western Missouri packed their Chrysler New Yorker with 11 suitcases and started driving east. A few hours later, they stopped at a diner in Hannibal, Mo., and ordered fruit plates and iced tea.
“We thought we were getting by big as an unknown traveling couple until we went to the counter to pay the bill,” Harry Truman later wrote of that lunch. “Just as we arose from the table some county judges came in and the incog was off.”
And thus began an excellent adventure of a type that happened once and will never happen again: The Harry and Bess Truman Ex-Presidential Road Trip. [more inside] posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:16 AM PST - 56 comments
"This is a garden of make believe, a magical garden of make believe where the flowers chuckle and birds play tricks and the magic tree grows lollipop sticks." - If you were a kid in New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania from 1972 to 1984, chances are you watched The Magic Garden. [more inside] posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:03 AM PST - 36 comments
Boarding Pass/Fail, "I was heading back from New York where I had met up with fellow designer Dustin Curtis. If you are not aware of Dustin's take on American Airlines, go read this. Anyway, I was inspired by Dustin and his attitude towards shittily designed things, to say the least. I was bored so I started rummaging through my stuff trying to find something to read when I grabbed my boarding pass. So I stared at it for a while. Rubbed my eyes, then stared at it some more. " posted by geoff. at 7:41 AM PST - 252 comments
"When the car would stop and the engine would cease, the player would also die away. The tape of the cassette motionless. [...] Stationary and in silence, we saw black. The world as it was. Nothing."
A collection of early American black metal, including Haxan, Akitsa, and Ancestors. Compiled from tapes, hiss and all. [more inside] posted by thedaniel at 4:14 PM PST - 16 comments
Official Google Blog: In mid-December, we detected a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google. However, it soon became clear that what at first appeared to be solely a security incident--albeit a significant one--was something quite different ... ... we have evidence to suggest that a primary goal of the attackers was accessing the Gmail accounts of Chinese human rights activists ... ... We have decided we are no longer willing to continue censoring our results on Google.cn, and so over the next few weeks we will be discussing with the Chinese government the basis on which we could operate an unfiltered search engine within the law, if at all. posted by memebake at 3:39 PM PST - 227 comments
Wolfire Games (Lugaru, Black Shades) is blogging the creation of their next game, Overgrowth. Every aspect of the design process, from the technical to the creative, is thoroughly detailed and illustrated, with new articles appearing every few days. In addition, every preorder grants access to the alpha version and editing tools, which are updated on a weekly basis. A great source of information if you're interested in contemporary game design!
(Bonus: Wolfire and Unknown Worlds are currently selling a bundled preorder for Overgrowth and Natural Selection 2 for $40 [70% off], but only for 20 more hours!) [more inside] posted by archagon at 12:52 PM PST - 7 comments
Simulated U.S. Government Agency Responses to Vampire-Americans "Every spring, [the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce] runs a policy simulation designed to illustrate the difficulty of operating an organization in the context of asymmetric and limited information. Every fall, I run a two hour mini-simulation designed to give students a sense of how the larger simulation will play out. ... Since vampires seem to be in the news lately, this year I chose a vampire oriented scenario." posted by amber_dale at 11:49 AM PST - 23 comments
The Kids in The Hall are returning to CBC tonight with an 8-part murder mystery miniseries, "Death Comes To Town."Trailer.
Death hops off a bus in the small town of Shuckton, Ontario, wearing a codpiece and a vest once worn by The Friendly Giant. Murder, mayhem, and hilarity are sure to ensue.
Excellent interview with Scott Thompson on the history of the group, Buddy Cole (Previously on Mefi), and dealing with his own mortality while undergoing chemotherapy during the writing and production of the series.
Sorry, non-Canadians, although negotiations are said to be underway, there are no known plans to broadcast the series outside the country. posted by yellowbinder at 11:47 AM PST - 66 comments
"Early in the Iraq War, it cost taxpayers $100,000 per year to insure a civilian contractor who was paid $100,000 per year. So the insurance was the same amount as the salary."
"Another very peculiar part of this particular story is that because of another law, the U.S. actually reimburses the insurance companies for any civilians who are injured in a combat situation. So at the very end, the insurance company will ultimately submit the bill to the U.S. government, and they will get paid back for any injury involving a combat wound."
"Let me ask a stupid question: What is the point of the insurance company if taxpayers are paying for the premium and then also paying for the medical bill?" [more inside] posted by webhund at 11:21 AM PST - 51 comments
The Baffler, storied zine of cultural and political analysis and criticism, is back, and excerpts of the latest issue are now online, including a review of Rod Blagojevich's memoir by Matt Taibbi, as well as articles by Christian Parenti and Walter Benn Michaels. [more inside] posted by carrienation at 10:48 AM PST - 13 comments
Audiophoolery: Pseudoscience in Consumer Audio. You might think that a science-based field like audio engineering would be immune to the kind of magical thinking we see in other fields. Unfortunately, you would be wrong [...] As a consumerist, it galls me to see people pay thousands of dollars for fancy-looking wire that’s no better than the heavy lamp cord they can buy at any hardware store. Or magic isolation pads and little discs made from exotic hardwood that purport to “improve clarity and reduce listening fatigue,” among other surprising claims. The number of scams based on ignorance of basic audio science grows every day. Via. posted by amyms at 11:13 PM PST - 209 comments
At 104, fit & spry Joe Rollino was the last classic strongman -- the sport of strength athletics, which evolved into modern bodybuilding. Standing 5'10" and weighing a mere 145 pounds, he was a fixture on Coney Island, known for feats of strength like 450 pound teeth lifts, or bending quarters with his fingers. Rollino also boxed in the 1920's as "Kid Dundee", and returned from World War II decorated with the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. Joe Rollino never drank, never smoked, was a lifetime vegetarian and a confirmed bachelor. He died today after being struck by a minivan. posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 7:47 PM PST - 34 comments
What type are you? (password: character) Step into Pentagram's psychoanalyst's office, and let him diagnose your type. 'Researched over seven years with a team of 23 academics across Eastern Europe, ‘What Type Are You’ asks the four key character questions of our day, analyses your responses in exceptional detail and recommends one of 16 typefaces as a result. The recommendation is sometimes controversial but always unerringly true. Said one respondent, “At first I felt angry when I was told my type is Pistilli Roman but two weeks later, I was completely reconciled to it. Now I wonder why I ever thought I was a Gill Sans.”' posted by heatherann at 7:05 PM PST - 126 comments
“I am not a hero...I stand at the end of the long, long line of good Dutch people who did what I did and more — much more — during those dark and terrible times years ago, but always like yesterday in the heart of those of us who bear witness.”
Miep Gies, protector of Anne Frank and her family, passes away at age 100. posted by dnash at 5:31 PM PST - 142 comments
In Visions of Space, Robert Hughes tackles the work and lives of three remarkable 20th-century architects: Antonio Gaudi, Albert Speer and Mies van der Rohe - whose work did so much to shape the modern world. Hughes looks at how each one used space in different ways to express our response, respectively, to the power of religion (Gaudi), the power of the State (Speer), and the power of the corporation (Mies van der Rohe). AntoniGaudi: God's Architect 1234567Mies van der Rohe: Less is More 1234567Albert Speer: Size Matters 1234567 posted by vronsky at 3:29 PM PST - 15 comments
Kosmosis is based on the idea that the modern shooter is rooted in the capitalist military-industrial complex. Created by Molleindustria (behind Oligarchy and much more) it reinvents the idea of the shooter along Communist lines. The game play is based on three principles: Thesis I: The task of the vanguard is to instill revolutionary class consciousness in the intergalatic proletariat. Thesis II: The people united will never be defeated. Thesis III: The role of the vanguard will diminish as the educated masses gain autonomy. All with little glowing dots. [more inside] posted by blahblahblah at 1:06 PM PST - 16 comments
"2044 starts where George Orwell’s 1984 left off. The problem isn’t Big Brother and the leviathan government. The problem is Big Brother, Inc., and the all-powerful marketplace." [more inside] posted by AceRock at 11:29 AM PST - 91 comments
"I found him, this little dog in a dumpster down in the projects in the South Side while I was pickin’ up cans. The reason I picked it up is because whenever I see a little child I give it to him." [more inside] posted by AzraelBrown at 8:23 AM PST - 10 comments
The exotic blend of international travel, the authority of commanding the ever larger and faster airliners, and those dashing uniforms turned heads, drew autograph hunters and attracted groupies. Pilots also made a lot of money. Today it is different. Captain Dave Ryter earned so little when he was a co-pilot for a major airline that he lived in a gang area of Los Angeles, commuted for hours to work and made less money than a bus driver.A pilot's life: exhausting hours for meagre wages posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:41 AM PST - 39 comments
"Indian country begins where the serene prairie of Custer county gives way to the formidable rock spires marking out South Dakota's rugged Badlands. The road runs straight until the indistinguishable, clapboard American homesteads fade from view and the path climbs into a landscape sharpened by an eternity of wind and water. At this time of year, the temperature slides to tens of degrees below freezing and a relentless gale sets the snow dancing on the road, a whirligig of white blotting out the black of the asphalt."
The threat of a mild punishment imposed reliably and immediately has a much greater deterrent effect than the threat of a severe punishment that is delayed and uncertain.A state trial judge in Hawaii, was frustrated with the cases on his docket. Nearly half of the people appearing before him were convicted offenders with drug problems who had been sentenced to probation rather than prison and then repeatedly violated the terms of that probation by missing appointments or testing positive for drugs. Whether out of neglect or leniency, probation officers would tend to overlook a probationer’s first 5 or 10 violations, giving the offender the impression that he could ignore the rules. But eventually, the officers would get fed up and recommend that Alm revoke probation and send the offender to jail to serve out his sentence. That struck Alm as too harsh, but the alternative — winking at probation violations — struck him as too soft. “I thought, This is crazy, this is a crazy way to change people’s behavior,” he told me recently. So Alm decided to try something different.[more inside] posted by caddis at 6:54 PM PST - 33 comments
The New Age Cavemen and the City: "The caveman lifestyle in New York was once a solitary pursuit. But Mr. Durant, who looks like a cheerful Jim Morrison, with shoulder-length curly hair, has emerged over the last year as a chieftain of sorts among 10 or so other cavemen." - Joseph Goldstein, writing in The New York Times. [more inside] posted by fourcheesemac at 9:41 AM PST - 127 comments
Out of Control is a 45 minute documentary that was recently broadcast on The Fifth Estate program on Canadian TV. It is the story of "Ashley Smith . . . a troubled 19-year-old [who] choked herself to death with a strip of cloth at Grand Valley Institution in Kitchener, Ontario." The documentary features video shot inside Ashley Smith’s cell. It is a sad and at times disturbing look at the difficulties of dealing with a prisoner with mental illness. [Language and some images are NSFW]. posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 11:59 PM PST - 5 comments
We don’t look at those crazy-ass toxic relationships that were so intense they carved a hole in your heart and you knew, no matter how deep the emotional connection, that at any minute your loved one could get up, walk out the door, and never speak to you again, and that it wouldn’t matter if you’d paid their bills or built a life around their demands. There is nothing tying you together besides your feelings. And that’s really frightening.
Flash Friday Saturday Fun: Paradox Embrace is a platform puzzler similar to the Shift trilogy (2 & 3) but in COLOR! You shift between three space-times to negotiate the levels collecting keys and such. In game tutorial makes learning the game pretty quick. Deceptively simple at first but gets quite difficult. posted by schyler523 at 2:59 PM PST - 6 comments
Top 10 Places You Can't Go.The world is full of secret and exclusive places that we either don’t know about, or simply couldn’t visit if we wanted to. This list takes a look at ten of the most significant places around the world that are closed to the general public or are virtually impossible for the general public to visit. posted by jjray at 11:53 AM PST - 56 comments
Nobuyuki Tsujii is a 21 year old blind Japanese pianist. Van Cliburn has this to say about Nobuyuki "Miracle is the only word to describe him. This is truly an act of God." [more inside] posted by pwally at 11:39 AM PST - 35 comments
"On [Monday] January 11th, a remarkable legal case opens in a San Francisco courtroom—on its way, it seems almost certain, to the Supreme Court. Perry v. Schwarzenegger challenges the constitutionality of Proposition 8, the California referendum that, in November, 2008, overturned a state Supreme Court decision allowing same-sex couples to marry. Its lead lawyers are unlikely allies: Theodore B. Olson, the former solicitor general under President George W. Bush, and a prominent conservative; and David Boies, the Democratic trial lawyer who was his opposing counsel in Bush v. Gore." "Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker approved court-operated cameras in his courtroom for delayed release on YouTube, but rejected a bid by media organizations to televise the proceedings themselves for live broadcast." [more inside] posted by ericb at 11:35 AM PST - 127 comments
Top Imams affiliated with the Islamic Supreme Council of Canada have issued a fatwa calling those terrorists who attack the United States and Canada “evil.” ... Extremists have been told that any attack on the U.S. or on Canada will be construed as an attack on 10 million Muslims who live in these two countries. (via) [more inside] posted by Joe Beese at 9:19 AM PST - 58 comments
Monogamouse Prairie voles have many vasopressin receptors in the reward centres of their brains. It seems as though these are wired up in a way that causes the animal to take pleasure from monogamy. (previously 1|2) posted by kliuless at 8:42 AM PST - 20 comments
Mohandas K. Gandhi’s critique of the modern identification of society with the state was devastating. He believed that it disabled citizens, subjecting mind and body to the control of professional experts when the purpose of a civilization should be to enhance its members’ sense of their own self-reliance. He proposed instead that every human being is a unique personality and participates with the rest of humanity in an encompassing whole. Between these extremes lie proliferating associations of great variety. [...] But what is most relevant to us is his existentialist project. If the world of society and nature is devoid of meaning, each of us is left feeling small, isolated and vulnerable. How do we bridge the gap between a puny self and a vast, unknowable world? The answer is to scale down the world, to scale up the self or a combination of both, so that a meaningful relationship might be established between the two. Gandhi devoted a large part of his philosophy to building up the personal resources of individuals. Our task is to bring this project up to date. ~ From The Digital Revolution and me by John Keith Hart posted by infini at 4:34 AM PST - 15 comments
Art Clokey, the creator of Gumby, died Friday January 8 at the age of 88. Gumby has always been one of my favorite shows, and the episode Of Clay and Critters is one of the weirdest things that has ever appeared on television. [more inside] posted by foonly at 2:50 AM PST - 59 comments
The Real Good Chair Experiment - What happens if you leave 25 chairs around New York and watch to see where they go? The short film then continues with an interview with a few of the people who brought them home. posted by flatluigi at 6:08 PM PST - 27 comments
Where does the food in your bodega — or the corner grocer, the local minimart — come from? [...] How come it's easier to find fresh fruits and vegetables in Brooklyn Heights than in the South Bronx? What's the connection between the incidence of diabetes and the food market supply chain?
Voting has now closed in the NYC BigApps Challenge, a $20,000 contest to produce amusing, interesting, or even useful apps using the information in the NYC DataMine. Browse the eligible submissions here. Some highlights:
Taxihack: collects e-mailed and tweeted comments on NYC cabs, by medallion or license number.
Clean.ly: Did the restaurant across the street pass its last health inspection?
Walkshed: You tell Walkshed what kind of amenities you'd like to be within walking distance of, and the app makes you a heat map showing your most walkable neighborhoods.
SmartPark: Locates nearby garages and collects social information about available street parking. Buzzes you when it's time to move your car.
Trees Near You: Does what it says on the box.
(via Indirect Collaboration.) posted by escabeche at 9:32 AM PST - 13 comments
The Late Shift was a 1996 HBO movie exploring the highly political world of how Jay Leno and secures the Tonight Show hosting job over David Letterman (played by a young John Michael Higgens) after Johnny Carson retires. Jay Leno stepped down for Conan O'Brian in 2009, for a new business model of a 10 pm talk show five times a week for NBC which some called the future of television. Leno's ratings have been abysmal, leading to major concerns among affiliates. It now seems the man who managed to beat out David Letterman may have done it yet again, as it is being rumored that Leno will get his old timeslot back after the Winter Olympics, leaving Conan's future uncertain. posted by dig_duggler at 8:14 AM PST - 206 comments
More than 1,000 unreleased recordings of lectures by L. Ron Hubbard and reams of corresponding writings have been unveiled in the culmination of a 25-year project to locate, restore and transcribe lost pieces of the Scientology founder's work. ... "It would be like discovering that Buddha, unbeknownst to anybody, had sat down and wrote down the entirety of his discoveries and it could be verified that he wrote it," said Tommy Davis, the church's top spokesman. ... They're also available for sale to members for about $7,500... posted by Joe Beese at 7:21 AM PST - 84 comments
Jerry Jazz Musician is "a website devoted to jazz and American civilization." Individual pages have been linked a few times on MeFi, but it's high time this terrific site got its own post. Anyone interested in jazz (or blues, or any of the related topics they frequently cover, like Ralph Ellison or Romare Bearden) should bookmark it pronto. A sample, more or less at random: the life and photography of Milt Hinton. (Via The Daily Growler, itself an excellent source for informed and passionate discussion of music, NYC, and life in general; the linked post finishes with a tribute to that fine pianist Terry Pollard.) posted by languagehat at 6:40 AM PST - 5 comments
John Storm Roberts, 1936-2009. A magnificent scholar and record producer, and the author of great classics including The Latin Tinge and Black Music of Two Worlds,, and the founder of Original Music, John Storm Roberts passed away at the age of 73 back on Nov. 29. Few figures have had such a profoundly intertwined influence on both musical scholarship and popular musical culture. [more inside] posted by fourcheesemac at 4:23 AM PST - 4 comments
"The History of every major Galactic Civilization tends to pass through three distinct and recognizable phases, those of Survival, Inquiry and Sophistication, otherwise known as the How, Why and Where phases." [more inside] posted by Hardcore Poser at 11:44 PM PST - 16 comments
The Nine Eyes of Google Street View "It was tempting to see the images as a neutral and privileged representation of reality—as though the Street Views, wrenched from any social context other than geospatial contiguity, were able to perform true docu-photography, capturing fragments of reality stripped of all cultural intentions." posted by dhruva at 5:15 PM PST - 35 comments
Nil by Mouth is Roger Ebert's article about what life is like now that he doesn't eat or drink anymore, but is nourished by tube. And interesting reflection on what life can be like after thyroid cancer, and not as sad as you might think. posted by kaszeta at 4:04 PM PST - 50 comments
The Violet Hour, a speakeasy styled lounge in Chicago with no sign, has been pushing the envelope in creative drink mixing since it opened in 2005. Toby Maloney, the Violet Hour's "Head Intoxocologist", had no problem posting on a Chicago food forum and sharing some of the drink recipes that have made his bar one of the most exciting in the country. [more inside] posted by AceRock at 12:00 PM PST - 35 comments
Blow the whistle on the rich and powerful, go to jail, while they avoid jail.Tax Notes, the weekly publication on federal taxation, announced its "2009 Tax Person of the Year" - a whistleblower from Swiss banking giant UBS whom it called "the Benedict Arnold of the private banking industry."Bradley Birkenfeld came forward and exposed the tax fraud dealings of UBS which led thousands of millionaire tax cheats to come forward and pay billions in back taxes. His reward? Tomorrow he goes to jail. The Government Accountability Project (GAP), a Washington watchdog organization that has extensive whistle-blower experience, says a chilling effect is already apparent: a senior executive at a European bank that offers similar U.S. tax shelters is having second thoughts about going public because of the Birkenfeld case.
posted by caddis at 10:28 AM PST - 42 comments
Acclaimed writer Bruce Sterling is back for his annual State of the World interview in The WELL's inkwell conference. It's a must-read. The first question comes from Cory Doctorow who asks him to help him plan for the future now that Cory has a kid, etc. Sterling's answer is hilarious, biting, and brilliant all at the same time. And that's only the beginning... posted by brianstorms at 6:16 PM PST - 130 comments
The man behind the classic sound of Al Green, Memphis producer and soulmeister supreme Willie Mitchell has passedon. Many of the Al Green sides are legendary, of course, and very well known (as is the fantastic "I Can't Stand the Rain, by Ann Peebles), but be sure and head over to the excellent Funky 16 Corners where you can hear three of his lesser-known but deeply grooving productions. Fat stuff. So long, Willie Mitchell, and thanks for the wonderful music. posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:14 PM PST - 24 comments
Loran C will cease operation in 2010. LoranC is "a terrestrial radio navigation system using low frequency radio transmitters that uses multiple transmitters (multilateration) to determine the location and speed of the receiver." It is currently used as a backup to GPS for navigational and timing purposes. posted by vansly at 1:53 PM PST - 54 comments
Ursula Nordstrom—the "Maxwell Perkins of the Tot Department"—was, from 1940 to 1973, head of the Department of Books for Boys and Girls at the New York publisher Harper & Row, and until 1979 had her own imprint there, Ursula Nordstrom Books. A legendary editor known to her authors as UN, she published the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Margaret Wise Brown, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak (whom she is credited with discovering) and, to not a little controversy, E. B. White (previously). One of "the last generation of devoted letter writers," she wrote nearly 100,000 during her five decade career at Harper, of which 300 of the most amusing, acerbic, and illuminating are collected in Dear Genius by Leonard S. Marcus, the first hundred pages of which can be read at the Harper website. [more inside] posted by ocherdraco at 12:35 PM PST - 8 comments
A wordy, multiple-panel strip with extended conversation and developed personalities does not condense to a coffee mug illustration without great violation to the strip's spirit. The subtleties of a multi-dimensional strip are sacrificed for the one-dimensional needs of the product.
Hot nude bronze gay hockey action. Do you associate the Winter Olympics with middle-aged curlers in warm-up jackets, Lycra-clad former linebackers sardined into a bobsled, and sparkly figure skaters’ outfits (and whatever the girls are wearing)? Oh, you’re so last century! For Vancouver 2010, the Olympics’ first-ever Pride House for gay athletes will feature a bronze sculpture (by Edmund Haakonson) of a hockey player. It’s a dude, and he’s naked save for skates, helmet, and gloves. Of course he’s carrying a big stick. posted by joeclark at 11:35 AM PST - 44 comments
From late January through late May 1974, a wave of "streaking"—roughly defined as running naked in public—occurred in the United States, primarily on college and university campuses; the brief phenomenon eventually spread around the world. Although the exact number of streaks during this time is unknown, one group of researchers gathered data on over 1000 incidents on U.S. college campuses alone (Aguirre et al. 569). Streaking generated significant press coverage and spawned a plethora of streaker-related consumer items including coffee mugs, t-shirts, necklace pendants, "Keep On Streaking" patches, "Streak Freak" buttons, a "Nixon Streaking" wristwatch, pink underwear embroidered with "Too shy to streak," and two dozen novelty singles (one of which, Ray Stevens’ The Streak, became a major hit). ... The important point is that the campus politics that were being contained in the spring of 1974 were precisely the ones that most threatened to consolidate and advance the gains of the previous decade in terms of opportunities for women and people of color. While many Americans were longing for the Age of Innocence of the (white, patriarchal) 1950s, the university continued to lead the way in altering the gendered and racialized relations of power on campus and in American society at large. And it was at precisely this socio-historical juncture that young white men began stripping off their clothes and running in public. << Perhaps the best academic paper you'll ever read about streaking. posted by billysumday at 9:48 AM PST - 64 comments
Neill Blomkamp talks to the LA Times Hero Complex blog about what's next after District 9, making science fiction films and why he is turning down big budgets to make better movies: Part 1,
Part 3 posted by Artw at 9:45 AM PST - 41 comments
Is television holding back the evolution of football?What is rarely considered is that television could be shaping the way the game is played, and not necessarily for the better. It sounds, admittedly, a touch far-fetched, but two of football's most respected thinkers believe it to be true, and when Jorge Valdano and Arrigo Sacchi are in agreement, it is usually worth listening. Sports journalist Jonathan Wilson investigates the effect televised football/soccer might be having on the tactics of the game. [more inside] posted by dng at 7:00 AM PST - 64 comments
The beauty of roots. From Dan Christensen and Sam Derbyshire via John Baez. If you like algebra: these are plots of the density in the complex plane of roots of polynomials with small integral coefficients. If you don't: these are extravagantly beautiful images produced from the simplest of mathematical procedures. Explore the image interactively here. posted by escabeche at 6:18 PM PST - 29 comments
The Vintage Ad Browser "aims to collect vintage ads from a variety of sources, including comic books, CD-Roms, websites, APIs, your submissions, book, magazine & comic book scans, and more." [more inside] posted by tractorfeed at 11:30 AM PST - 15 comments
The San Francisco Maritime National Park operates the USS Pampanito (SS-383), a World War II Balao class Fleet submarine museum and memorial that is open for visitors daily at San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf. The Park website also hosts "The Fleet Type Submarine, Navpers 16160", the first in a series of submarine training manuals that was completed just after WW II. The series describes the peak of WW II US submarine technology. [more inside] posted by KokuRyu at 10:52 PM PST - 14 comments
MTV's Jersey Shore, a Real World-style reality program centered around eight young Italian-Americans living together in a beach house, is garnering charges of racism following their use of the allegedly pejorative terms guido and the feminine counterpart guidette in advertisements. But what exactly is a guido? [more inside] posted by joechip at 3:53 PM PST - 232 comments
Jaron Lanier's new book, You Are Not a Gadget -- a cri de coeur on the commercialized, despoiled, fallen Eden of the modern Web-- is reviewed here . MetaFilter name-checked by reviewer, though with the aid of a shoehorn. The Mondo 2000-era dreadster explains himself here. Lanier, previouslydiscussed on MeFi. posted by darth_tedious at 3:05 PM PST - 43 comments
Metafilter's own JF Ptak has an interesting post on the Life magazine issue of March 2nd, 1942, readers of which were confronted by some startling maps detailing possible Axis invasion strategies for North America. There was invasion down the St. Lawrence valley, there was invasion via Trinidad, via Bermuda, full frontal west coast, and down the west coast as well - note the mapping of the large "fifth columns". As Ptak notes, maps such as these with huge arrows pointed menancingly at the American homeland were very much not the norm of the day. [more inside] posted by Rumple at 12:11 PM PST - 44 comments
Losing the War"From the beginning, the actual circumstances of World War II were smothered in countless lies...People all along have preferred the movie version: the tense border crossing where the flint-eyed SS guards check the forged papers; the despondent high-level briefing where the junior staff officer pipes up with the crazy plan that just might work...The truth behind these cliches was never forgotten -- because nobody except the soldiers ever learned it in the first place." posted by deern the headlice at 12:35 AM PST - 151 comments
In her essay, The Naked and the Conflicted, Katie Roiphe compares the directly sexual writing of Roth, Mailer, and Updike with the more timid approach adopted by America's new batch of male novelists. "We denounce the Great Male Novelists of the last century for their sexism. But something has been lost now that innocence is more fashionable than virility, the cuddle preferable to sex." [SLNYT] posted by billysumday at 9:21 AM PST - 123 comments
A decade of digital music Vaguely styled as a timeline, this end-of-the-decade blog post (from UK digital music news source Music Ally) could prove valuable to anyone studying the music business or the intersection between entertainment and technology. The piece links to ten years of stories on digital music - from Napster through to Spotify - allowing us to look back on the issues without the 20/20 vision of hindsight. Gems include the Bluematter scheme from Universal Records in 2000, which comprised 60 non-transferrable, non-burnable tracks for $1.99 each. posted by skylar at 5:30 AM PST - 4 comments
There isn't a single decent candidate running for office, the homeless guy struck by a car was more fortunate than the auto workers and if you want a grilled raccoon they sure have a deal for you: it's Detroit 2009, The Movie, the chronicle of a rough year from The Detroit News. posted by krautland at 9:50 PM PST - 40 comments
David Levine, beloved caricaturist for several publications, but most notably for the New York Review of Books, died last Tuesday at age 83 due to complications of prostate cancer. Since 1963, he contributed over 3,800 caricatures for the magazine, which prominently featured his drawings in promotional material. You can look at over 2,500 of his drawings here, review his website featuring his painting here, and see him interviewed here.
Toward the end of his life, his vision failed due to macular degeneration and his relationship with the magazine became somewhat strained. Upon his death, the magazine noted that he was, simply, "the greatest caricaturist of his time." [more inside] posted by pasici at 9:08 PM PST - 24 comments
Stargate Studios opened in 1989, and has been doing visual effects for some the most successful tv shows of the past few years such as Heroes, Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy and 24. Green screens allow them to artificially blend and create scenes that you wouldn't expect. Their official website has more on their Virtual Backlot and other Tech Demos. posted by OrangeSoda at 8:50 PM PST - 26 comments
Placebo pills for sale. You've seen some of the many spoofs, and they've been discussed before, but now you can pay real money for real pills. So multi-powerful, they're the go-to pill of choice when conducting double blind studies for medicines treating every disease and disorder. It's SCIENCE! posted by birdsquared at 1:16 AM PST - 40 comments