The band "OK Go" are using their signature blend of pleasant indie pop and quirky, home-grown videos to teach kids about primary colors in a new short for Sesame Street. - SLYT posted by Slap*Happy at 6:45 PM PST - 37 comments
"Piss" Sometimes a girl just wants to get peed on. Filmmaker Bette Bentley has written, produced, starred in and co-directed a funny and very sweet short film on the bedroom negotiations of piss play. [NSFW - also possible trigger] posted by stray at 6:01 PM PST - 88 comments
NPR is reporting that the Susan G. Komen foundation is severing it's ties and halting grants to Planned Parenthood, cutting off "hundreds of thousands of dollars", mainly earmarked for breast exams.
Komen says the key reason is that Planned Parenthood is under investigation in Congress — a probe launched by a conservative Republican who was urged to act by anti-abortion groups. [more inside] posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:47 PM PST - 313 comments
The Story of Trip-Hop's Rise Sinuous and mysterious as a plume of drifting smoke, a new sort of groove wafted two decades ago from Bristol, a bohemian university town in the west of England.... Not all local grooves take flight, but trip-hop most certainly did. Over the next two decades it was re-imagined as chill-out, downtempo, illbient and lounge music. posted by modernnomad at 2:21 PM PST - 50 comments
Meet Brant Widgeon, an Astronomical Image Enhancement Engineer. This short video goes into the steps he takes to clean up the images taken of space. One of the most technically difficult parts of Brant's job, however, is dealing with space cats. posted by routergirl at 11:37 AM PST - 11 comments
"What if you took the audio from an extended trailer for Forrest Gump and matched to clips from [The Simpsons]? Well, you don’t have to, someone else did and it is fantastic (SLYT)" [more inside] posted by bitteroldman at 9:55 AM PST - 24 comments
For the past 18 months, engineers at PayPal, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft and nine other technology companies have spent their off-hours (and some on-hours) working hand in hand to tackle the problem that plagues them all: e-mail phishing. The result is DMARC, or, "Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance". It's not new, but puts SPF and DKIM to work in a new way. posted by Blake at 7:12 AM PST - 45 comments
. . . there is indeed a single, simple, litmus-like test for the quality of southernness in literature, one easily formulated into a question to be asked of any literary text and whose answer may be taken as definitive, delimiting, and final. The test is: Is there a dead mule in it?"
Mills’s convincing textual evidence draws on over thirty authors, but declares Cormac McCarthy ”unchallenged king of literary mule carnage.” posted by Fizz at 5:51 AM PST - 35 comments
In Martian Chronicles, a young-adult novella by Cory Doctorow, colonists leave a bloated earth and head towards the economic promise land of Mars. There's a fascinating spin on this tale that isn't summarize-able so go listen to it. Part 1, 2, 3. posted by Taft at 10:29 PM PST - 132 comments
A decade after the death of renowned folklorist Alan Lomax, his vision of a "global jukebox" is being realized: his vast archive — some 5,000 hours of sound recordings, 400,000 feet of film, 3,000 videotapes, 5,000 photographs and piles of manuscripts, much of it tucked away in forgotten or inaccessible corners — is being digitized so that the collection can be accessed online. About 17,000 music tracks will be available for free streaming by the end of February. NYT article here. posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:16 PM PST - 39 comments
Diplomacy isn't everyone's idea of fun. Time is one obstacle; a quick game can take six hours, and others can go on for 16 hours. More important, most of the action unfolds away from the table, in tense, furtive conversations among the seven players representing the once-great powers of Europe as they trade intelligence and plan joint maneuvers. The back-and-forth sounds like a David Mamet screenplay about the Triple Entente, especially because no promise is binding, no piece of information reliable. According to the rules (3 MB PDF), "players may say anything they wish." Eavesdropping, slander and betrayal -- back-stabbing, in Diplomacy parlance -- become arrows in your quiver, not the concealed weaponry of cheats and spoilsports. posted by Trurl at 8:10 PM PST - 111 comments
The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore , was "Inspired, in equal measures, by Hurricane Katrina, Buster Keaton, The Wizard of Oz, and a love for books, “Morris Lessmore” is a story of people who devote their lives to books and books who return the favor." (SLV) posted by HuronBob at 4:18 PM PST - 9 comments
James McBride talks about The Help, Hattie McDaniel, why black women are still winning awards for playing maids, how black culture is appropriated and represented, and whether marginalized groups in America all serve the purpose of "cultural maids". [more inside] posted by nakedmolerats at 3:39 PM PST - 59 comments
Swole.me is a completely free automated diet planner that creates meals according to your goal calorie intake and how many meals you’d like to eat per day. [more inside] posted by netbros at 2:40 PM PST - 51 comments
"Planning to make a joke on Twitter about bombing something? You might want to reconsider: According to a report from Britain, two tourists were detained and denied entry into the U.S. recently after they joked about destroying America and digging up Marilyn Monroe. That the Homeland Security Dept. and other authorities—including the FBI—are monitoring such social media as Twitter and Facebook isn’t surprising. That these authorities are willing to detain people based on what is clearly a harmless joke, however, raises questions about what the impact of all that monitoring will be."*[more inside] posted by ericb at 2:38 PM PST - 99 comments
Gigi Gordon dies at 54; crusading criminal defense lawyer. 'Defense attorney Gigi Gordon, who was hailed as 'an unstoppable force for justice,' battled corrupt police and overzealous prosecutors to free dozens of prisoners who had been wrongfully convicted.''"She changed the way criminal law was practiced in this county," said her ex-husband, Andrew M. Stein, who also is a criminal defense lawyer. "People don't realize how many people she set free."' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:40 PM PST - 20 comments
The Beardslee, Shellrude and Darr families left North America for West Africa during the 1950s. They followed what they believed to be “God’s Calling” – to spread Christianity throughout the world. Their children however - starting at the age of 6 – were required to attend the boarding school in Mamou, Guinea, run by the Christian and Missionary Alliance. Cut off from their families for 9 months out of the year and without any reliable means of communication, the children quietly suffered emotional, spiritual, physical and/or sexual abuse at the hands of the all-missionary staff.
All God’s Children tells the personal story of the first boarding school for children of missionaries to be investigated for abuse at the hands of the parents’ missionary colleagues. The survivors and parents share their journey of seeking justice, redemption and healing. [more inside] posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:40 PM PST - 9 comments
FML Listings posts incredulous commentary about outrageously overpriced real estate listings in Toronto. Look at the run-down bungalows -- in North York! -- listed for a million dollars and despair. Canada's housing bubble, on full display. Via Maclean's. posted by mcwetboy at 10:29 AM PST - 74 comments
"I would point out to you that medical explanations are modern. That Americans today want medical explanations for things that in the 19th century would have been explained by hysteria, and in the 18th century would have been explained by religious conversion experiences in the context of the Great Awakening, when people were having these types of fits, and in the 17th century by witchcraft."
"You know how annoying it is when you're sitting on the train with a magazine and the person sitting beside you starts reading over your shoulder? Welcome to every single moment of your future. Might as well get used to it. It's an experience we'll all be sharing." --Charlie Brooker on sharing, and why the world is doomed posted by bardic at 10:00 PM PST - 101 comments
78 78s - In Search Of Lost Time - is a streaming mix of beautiful 78s from around the world, collected and curated by Ian Nagoski. "I started sifting through boxes of junky old 78s that no one else wanted about 15 years ago, and almost right away, I made a rule: Anything that wasn't in English, buy it." [more inside] posted by carter at 6:00 PM PST - 15 comments
In 1962, the New York Times called it a masterpiece, and it won the Oscar for best foreign film that year. If you can't see it any other way, one reviewer on IMDB will rent a theater and screen it for you - if you don't mind a trip to Melbourne. Sundays and Cybele (Les dimanches de Ville d'Avray) is worth tracking down, however you manage. [more inside] posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:34 AM PST - 8 comments
Colombian video artist Dicken Schrader covers Depeche Mode songs with the help of his young children, Milah and Korben, using some unexpected objects as instruments and illustrative props. Three split-screen videos: "Strangelove", "Everything Counts", & "Shake The Disease". posted by flex at 7:57 AM PST - 22 comments
We've had a lot of posts about Bohemian Rhapsody, but this is worth one more listen. Richie Castellano has put together a one man show, split screen version of Queen's hit, and nails it! posted by HuronBob at 7:36 PM PST - 45 comments
Benny Anderssons Orkester has been creating their own special blend of pop, big band jazz and Swedish folk music for over a decade now. See them in a delightful 2-hour concert recorded last summer courtesy of SVT Play. Part 1 [59m, expires Feb 7], Part 2 [59m, expires Feb 14] [more inside] posted by hippybear at 7:15 PM PST - 8 comments
Former Black Panther patches together purpose in Africa exile. 'Most of O'Neal's big dreams have faded over the years, or come to feel silly. Like beating the 42-year-old federal gun charges that caused him to flee the United States. Like the global socialist revolution that he was supposed to help lead. Like returning home to the streets of his Midwestern childhood. Like winning citizenship in his adopted African country, and the prize that's eluded him on two continents: the feeling of belonging somewhere.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 4:46 PM PST - 11 comments
The great pianist-arranger-composer Clare Fischer has died. Besides being a mean pianist who even Herbie Hancock called a huge influence, very few could claim the achievements of this man, who worked with everyone from Dizzy Gillespie, the Hi-Los and other jazzmen to Prince, Rufus and Chaka Khan, Paul McCartney, Prince, and so many more. posted by Seekerofsplendor at 4:22 PM PST - 9 comments
Incident reports from police departments can be boring, staid affairs. Not so with those from University of Texas at Austin.
This week's highlights include a budding horticulturist with a marijuana growing habit, a non-alcoholic student with catlike reflexes and a man who enjoys singing in trees.
Via TM Daily Post. posted by Leezie at 11:00 AM PST - 22 comments
An internet search, even in these days of abundant information, yields only that the pamphlets can be found in various library collections, and that they continued to be produced into the '70s. And that Edmund Wilson once sent one, "Mr. P. Squiggle's Reward," to Nabokov, calling it "one of the oddest of many odd things that are sent me by unknown people." He also got the title wrong, dubbing it "Mr. P. Squiggle's Revenge," which is probably significant. But that’s it: nothing about Volk or McCalib.
Cats On Film brings us My Day, By Jonesy. What's a cat to do when all the can-openers seem to have their attention focussed on the giant hairless kitten which just burst out of one of their chests? posted by hippybear at 5:48 PM PST - 8 comments
Musaic Box is a puzzle game that uses music to define the pieces. Find outlines for songs, and then try to put them together...very fun and addicting. Don't try to play with the sound off obviously. posted by schyler523 at 6:37 AM PST - 6 comments
"Speaking for many scientists and engineers who have looked carefully and independently at the science of climate, we have a message to any candidate for public office: There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy. Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically."Link. [more inside] posted by BobbyVan at 5:59 AM PST - 270 comments
A serial intern in the finance sector speaks: "Applying for internships is so tiresome and bruising. It's like dating, you sit by the phone waiting for a call. Back in my days at university I would get up at 5.30am or 6am. First I'd go jogging, then send out an application for an internship. Every morning. It's so painful to hear 'no' all the time." posted by feelinglistless at 5:21 AM PST - 86 comments
Jo Mora was a California (by way of Uruguay and Boston) painter, sculptor, author, photographer and, most notably, map-maker. He sculpted the many figures on the Monterey County Courthouse and designed the chapel in the Carmel mission. He spent three years living with and photographing the Navajo and Hopi in Arizona. He authored and illustrated a number of children's books. Of all his many talents, Mora was probably best known for his unique maps ("cartes" as he called them) of the West. He created incredibly detailed maps, interesting, funny and maybe anachronistically racial, of California, Yosemite and Yellowstone. Music fans will recognize Mora's work from the Byrds' 1968 album Sweetheart of the Rodeo (full carte here). posted by one_bean at 6:59 PM PST - 4 comments
Former Fox News host Glenn Beck has produced a video appropriating Anonymous' trademark style. It is unclear whether he is mocking the group or whether he seeks to join them. If "we are all Anonymous," then can't he be Anonymous, too? (direct youtube link, for those wishing to avoid Beck's site.) posted by nobody at 3:40 PM PST - 100 comments
TVTropes calls it a "Neo-Dada art form consisting of video remixes. . . to confuse, stun or entertain the viewer". A recent top ten list (more here) fills the gaps of that description with ample WTF, which is almost too appropriate for a video genre that first garnered attention as a misdirection troll. [more inside] posted by I've wasted my life at 2:57 PM PST - 33 comments
Lego figurines, Kinder surprises and other toys played the role of 'demonstrators'. Police in Siberian city ask prosecutors to investigate legality of protest involving display of toy figures holding miniature placards. "Political opposition forces are using new technologies to carry out public events – using toys with placards at mini-protests," Andrei Mulintsev, the city's deputy police chief, said at a press conference this week, according to local media. "In our opinion, this is still an unsanctioned public event." [more inside] posted by KokuRyu at 9:55 AM PST - 24 comments
The long strange trip of a Singaporean Cold-War-era assault rifle into the hands of Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden, and what it reveals about the unintended consequences of the global trade in small arms and ammunition. [slnyt] posted by killdevil at 8:00 AM PST - 9 comments
"Jim Henson made this film in 1963 for The Bell System. Specifically, it was made for an elite seminar given for business owners, on the then-brand-new topic — Data Communications." - SLYT, from AT&T's Archives YouTube channel. posted by Slap*Happy at 6:29 AM PST - 8 comments
Check Out Some New People: The Human Library is an innovative method designed to promote dialogue, reduce prejudices and encourage understanding.The main characteristics of the project are to be found in its simplicity and positive approach. Started in Copenhagen, Denmark 12 years ago, it has since Spread, and new libraries continue to pop-up All Over the Place. posted by Blake at 5:11 AM PST - 6 comments
"Gridiron League is a collection of idealized NFL insignias that pay tribute to each team's history and geography in a period-specific aesthetic that glorifies the Vince Lombardi-era over the Cold-Activated-era. This is not an exercise in nostalgia but an interpretation of the league's founding principles through the symbols that we, as football fans, identify with most." [more inside] posted by Doleful Creature at 8:49 PM PST - 45 comments
It's a day of high jinx, high revelry and high people in Australia; a day when a large and vocal majority come together to "celebrate what's great" about this country. But what is the meaning of all this fanfare? What is the true origin of this passionately marked day of facepaint and binge drinking? Is everyone in Australia so keen on this particular anniversary? To get to bottom of these questions, and more, join your amiable host Robert Foster [previously] as he conducts a high-octane, high-frequency satellite link-up with a representative of the Mainstream Australian media: multi-Logie award-winning broadcaster, entertainer, emu-wrangler and true blue Aussie, Kenneth Oathcarn. Rap News Episode 11: Australia Day WARNING: contains adult Australian vernacular - viewer discretion is strongly advised. posted by finite at 7:13 PM PST - 12 comments
WPS (Wi-fi Protected Setup) is a protocol used by many wireless routers to make it easy to use wireless printers and other networked peripherals. Recently researchers revealed that the protocol was unsafe. It turns out that the PIN password space is only 11,000, and most routers don't object to repeated failed attempts to log in. As a result, it is possible to brute-force try every PIN in two-four hours. An open source program called Reaver has now been released which will do this. The Department of Homeland Security recommends disabling WPS on all routers, but not all routers permit it to be disabled. posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:22 PM PST - 45 comments
What happens when a Southern paleontologist falls for a creationist? According to Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally, it might go a little something like this. posted by yellowbinder at 2:30 PM PST - 30 comments
My mistake, if I can call it that, was trust - to think a smile was a smile and not a show of teeth. - - - All this week, tor.com is publishing The Situation, a comic based on a story by everyone's favorite Jeff VanderMeer, and illustrated by Eric Orchard. [more inside] posted by Think_Long at 10:56 AM PST - 20 comments
"The Soldier Portraits Project...consists of portrait photographs of soldiers of the United States Army, primarily of the 3rd Infantry Division...[t]he photographs are made using the 150 year old collodion wet plate process - the same process that was used to document much of the period (and many of the soldiers) of the Civil War." [more inside] posted by cjelli at 8:56 AM PST - 9 comments
It appears that the O2, Tesco mobile, and GiffGaff mobile data networks (they are the same, just rebranded) reveals your mobile number (cell phone #) to every website you visit using their mobile data network. [more inside] posted by priorpark17 at 1:01 AM PST - 47 comments
The scale and the brutality of our prisons are the moral scandal of American life. Every day, at least fifty thousand men—a full house at Yankee Stadium—wake in solitary confinement, often in “supermax” prisons or prison wings, in which men are locked in small cells, where they see no one, cannot freely read and write, and are allowed out just once a day for an hour’s solo “exercise.” (Lock yourself in your bathroom and then imagine you have to stay there for the next ten years, and you will have some sense of the experience.) posted by Trurl at 7:58 PM PST - 102 comments
Let's Talk About Reproductive Norm Enforcement, Baby. An anonymous philoso-blogger recounts, in an honest, intelligent, compelling, and occasionally poignant way, the process of undergoing medically necessary surgery that would cause infertility. If you care about the reproductive expectations with which women are saddled by contemporary society, you should read this. You should also read this if you care about bioethics, medical decorum, feminism, women in academia, the ethical behavior of philosophers, or, you know, justice. If you care about those last four things, you should have been reading Feminist Philosophers already. posted by MultiplyDrafted at 5:43 PM PST - 114 comments
The Legal Stranger Project "How do I explain to my child as it grows up that in our state, I am not your mom, that there are people out there who go out of their way to make sure our family cannot be complete? " posted by chronkite at 4:40 PM PST - 51 comments
In the last decade, no organ of music criticism has wielded as much influence as Pitchfork. It is the only publication, online or print, that can have a decisive effect on a musician or band’s career.... [W]hatever attracts people to Pitchfork, it isn’t the writing. Even writers who admire the site’s reviews almost always feel obliged to describe the prose as “uneven,” and that’s charitable. Pitchfork has a very specific scoring system that grades albums on a scale from 0.0 to 10.0, and that accounts for some of the site’s appeal, but it can’t just be the scores.... How has Pitchfork succeeded where so many other websites and magazines have not? And why is that success depressing? A lengthy history and review of Pitchfork [Media], from an inexpensive online alternative to a music zine, to "indie" music kingmaker, and thoughts on pop music (criticism). [more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 3:48 PM PST - 109 comments
This stealthy undertaking was not an act of robbery or espionage but rather a crucial operation in what would become an association called UX, for “Urban eXperiment.” UX is sort of like an artist’s collective, but far from being avant-garde—confronting audiences by pushing the boundaries of the new—its only audience is itself. More surprising still, its work is often radically conservative, intemperate in its devotion to the old. Through meticulous infiltration, UX members have carried out shocking acts of cultural preservation and repair, with an ethos of “restoring those invisible parts of our patrimony that the government has abandoned or doesn’t have the means to maintain.” The group claims to have conducted 15 such covert restorations, often in centuries-old spaces, all over Paris. - Wired.com "The New French Hacker-Artist Underground" posted by The Whelk at 1:06 PM PST - 20 comments
Having now traversed 34 kilometres (21 miles) across the surface of Mars and exceeding it's 90-day mission to explore Mars by 2,830 days, NASA's Opportunity rover turned 8 years old today. So what's the feisty martian robot been up to lately? It's now exploring the rim of the 14-mile-wide Endeavor crater, discovering "slam-dunk" evidence that water once flowed through underground fractures, and is being strategically positioned at a 15-degree angle for a long winter suntan. posted by joinks at 11:50 AM PST - 29 comments
The Pirate Bay announced today a new category of torrents, Physibles:
We believe that the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form. It will be physical objects. Or as we decided to call them: Physibles. Data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical. We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare sparts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years.
Archetype is a seven minute sci-fi short by Aaron Sims, which despite being a no-budget project, features amazingly high quality special effects. [more inside] posted by quin at 8:15 AM PST - 17 comments
OxyContin: Purdue Pharma's painful medicine.Among the sellers of opioids, none has been more successful -- or controversial -- than Purdue Pharma, maker of the No. 1 drug in the class: OxyContin, which generated $3.1 billion in revenue in 2010. Purdue and its marketing prowess are the biggest reasons such drugs are now widely prescribed for all sorts of pain, says Dhalla: "Purdue played a very large role in making physicians feel comfortable about opioids." And as we'll see, Purdue's past and present go a long way toward explaining how so many Americans came to be in the grip of potent painkillers. posted by storybored at 8:53 PM PST - 63 comments
Taxali is not my original last name. It was changed 300 years ago to Taxali by a Maharaja in India. My ancestor invented a coin that was difficult to counterfeit and was subsequently knighted Taxali by the Maharaja. It means, "Maker or Steward of The Mint". How serendipitous!! Here I am, 300 years later, honouring my ancestor's achievements and mine and my sister's family name.
via [Drawn] posted by unliteral at 4:41 PM PST - 20 comments
"We were so dumbfounded at the noise that was coming out of our instruments it took us a while to get a handle on what we were hearing, let alone thinking in terms of how any records would be structured." Music journalist Ned Raggett assembles the oral history of British experimental rock group Disco Inferno's five EPs. posted by Houyhnhnm at 2:51 PM PST - 17 comments
Pipe Logic "Suppose the null-byte is an electron. Then, /dev/zero provides an infinite supply of electrons and /dev/null has an infinite appetite for them..." Modeling transistors and logic gates using Unix pipes. posted by bitmage at 1:55 PM PST - 22 comments
On the same day that NJ governor Chris Christie announced that he has nominated an openly gay African-American Republican mayor to the state’s highest court, Washington state's legislature has announced that they have the votes to pass the same sex-marriage bill that the governor has already promised to sign. Washington will be the seventh state to have same sex marriages. [more inside] posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:24 PM PST - 70 comments
"Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey's image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That's appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!" posted by obscurator at 11:18 AM PST - 95 comments
A Portrait in Postcards. Twenty years after her death, Angela Carter's literary executor and friend, Susannah Clapp, remembers Carter through the cards she sent, "These cards make a paper trail, a zigzag path through the 80s. They are casually dispatched – some messages are barely more than a signature – but are often the more telling for that: they catch Angela on the wing, shooting her mouth off. She would have hated the idea of a soundbite, but she had a gift for a capsule phrase, for a story in a word. " The postcard gallery. posted by gladly at 9:55 AM PST - 4 comments
Four days after the shutdown of popular "cyber-locker" Megaupload, rival companies Filesonic and Fileserve have also disabled file sharing. The two companies also owned wupload, upload.to, and a number of other cyber-locker sites. Is this the end of direct download filesharing? posted by reformedjerk at 9:08 AM PST - 108 comments
"I love stories. My chief hobby is reading. I was formally trained as a writer, not as a game designer (there wasn’t really any formal training for game design I got started, but that’s another story). I think most game stories are not very good. And I quite enjoy games with narrative threads pulling me through them. When I find a game with a good story, I frequently prefer the story to the actual game! So please keep that in mind as you read: I love story."
Narrative in a game is not a mechanic. It’s a form of a feedback, by Raph Koster posted by codacorolla at 8:57 AM PST - 10 comments
In the course of his life, he stepped into the ring as a Golden Gloves boxer, marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington DC and even fell victim to southern racism. It would not be until decades later as a mechanic that a customer would ask Gordon Burt Jr to play a song on his guitar.
"The observers of this unusual visual stimulus reported seeing the borders between the stripes gradually disappear, and the colors seem to flood into each other. Amazingly, the image seemed to override their eyes' opponency mechanism, and they said they perceived colors they'd never seen before." posted by Slap*Happy at 4:07 AM PST - 30 comments
"We are seeing the emergence of a new variation on an old, cissexist theme: 'No, it’s not a good time for you to transition. This is going to be so hard on us. Oh won’t you wait or reconsider this choice for us normal people?'. Their subtext is plain and unambiguous to nearly every trans person: 'Maybe you should never transition.'" [more inside] posted by cp311 at 8:18 PM PST - 184 comments
Here's a dance performed by Yang Liping and her niece Cai Qi at a Chinese New Year gala recently. It's called "Spring" and will likely mark the end of a celebrated career. Yang Liping (杨丽萍） is perhaps most famous for her gorgeous arm movements in the Peacock Dance (雀之灵), and here's one more dance performed entirely in silhouette called "Moon". (MLYT) posted by of strange foe at 3:09 PM PST - 7 comments
Finland votes – as visualized by national broadcasting company, click Sivakoikaa! (Ski!). (About the candidates). First round of Finland's presidential elections has finished with Sauli Niinistö (conservative) and Pekka Haavisto (green) winning 36.7% and 18.7% of votes. If no-one wins over 50% in the first round, the second round will be held amongst the top two candidates two weeks later. Haavisto has steadily doubled his share in polls, where Niinistö has halved his share from his best polls. Among his other achievements in international peace and being green, Haavisto could be the first openly gay elected head of the state. posted by Free word order! at 1:28 PM PST - 26 comments
Driving through Time features roughly 2700 photographs and 76 interactive maps of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The website allows students, researchers, and digital tourists to uncover hidden stories, hear forgotten voices, and understand the often wrenching choices that the construction and preservation of a scenic parkway in a populated region have necessarily entailed. [more inside] posted by netbros at 1:23 PM PST - 4 comments
Germany has the economic strengths America once boasted. 'Germany with its manufacturing base and export prowess is the U.S. of yesteryear, an economic power unlike any of its European neighbors. As the world's fourth-largest economy, it has thrived on principles America seems to have lost.' 'Germany's economy looks like that of the U.S. a generation ago. In 1975, manufacturing accounted for about 20% of the United States' economic output, or gross domestic product, about the same as in Germany today. Since then, U.S. manufacturing's share of GDP has slid to about 12%.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 11:28 AM PST - 85 comments
In one of the strangest new bids to get tourism dollars, Yves Jégo, the current veep of France's Radical party and the former Overseas Secretary of State, has announced plans to start raising funds for a new theme park dedicated to Napoleon. [more inside] posted by suburbanbeatnik at 2:45 AM PST - 34 comments
Ayn Rand has a fantasy in Atlas Shrugged of striking ‘creative’ capitalists, a fantasy that finds its perverted realisation in today’s strikes, most of which are held by a ‘salaried bourgeoisie’ driven by fear of losing their surplus wage. These are not proletarian protests, but protests against the threat of being reduced to proletarians.
Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Collection provides visitors with the opportunity to view a virtual reconstruction of Walpole's extensive collections--everything from armor to wall hangings--housed in his custom-built Gothic villa, Strawberry Hill. (For video tours and discussions of its ornamentation, ongoing restoration &c., check out the Strawberry Hill Youtube Channel.) Objects can be viewed according to maker, type, or room; there's also a virtual tour, based on contemporary paintings and sketches. For more about Walpole, plus links to e-texts of his fiction (most famously, the pioneering Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto), visit The Literary Gothic. posted by thomas j wise at 4:07 PM PST - 5 comments
Speaking of Dub (the real kind), just over one year ago the music world lost one of its pioneers in the realm of dub and roots. Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson produced some of the most hard driving reggae ever released. RIP. [more inside] posted by Jibuzaemon at 1:33 PM PST - 9 comments
“You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.” Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of the NY Times give an in-depth report on Apple's migration of electronics manufacturing to Asia and its impact on middle class Americans. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:19 AM PST - 158 comments
Gizmo's Freeware is a non-commercial community website staffed entirely by volunteers. Our primary function is to help you select the best freeware product for your particular needs. posted by Trurl at 9:14 AM PST - 8 comments
Hollywood dream of filmmaker Nicholas McCarthy is stop and go. 'His 11-minute thriller had just played Sundance. He had hoped the premiere would launch — after many failed attempts — his dream of making it. He was offered one meeting on which all his hopes rested.' 'This might be his last chance. He was 40, with a wife and baby. Like countless dreamers, he'd existed on the outskirts of Hollywood, fending off debt and doubt, staying afloat with low-wage jobs, diligently writing screenplays and making short films, hoping to hold on long enough to catch a break.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:18 PM PST - 7 comments
Freud: the last great Enlightenment thinker.Freud never held out the hope of tranquillity. Rather, he aimed to reconcile those who entered psychoanalysis to a state of perpetual unrest...psychoanalysis does not so much promise inner peace as open up a possibility of release from the fantasy that inner conflict will end. posted by shivohum at 9:23 AM PST - 71 comments
You order your food, everyone places their phone on the table face down. The first one to flip over their phone loses the game and pays for everyone's meal, otherwise everyone pays for themselves. Don't be a dick when you're out with friends at a restaurant. posted by cashman at 8:28 AM PST - 170 comments
The small village of Siem Reap, Cambodia has mushroomed since the 19th century French discovery of Angkor Wat. It is now Southeast Asia's most visited tourist destination, notably among South Koreans. In 2010, they accounted for 12% of foreign visitors to the region, ranking just below neighboring Vietnam. But the sprawling temples of Angkor may not be the first stop on every South Korean's itinerary.
Gordotronic.com launched across the interwebs.... Seattle artist and record producer Gordon Raphael (The Strokes, Regina Spektor) has launched an all encompassing website featuring his own unreleased albums (7 of them) , Interviews, Art, and Video. posted by ktrain at 11:32 AM PST - 1 comments
"The '70s, man. Martin Luther King Jr. is dead. Malcolm X is dead. The Kennedys are dead. Kids at Kent State are getting capped. Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix have both gone haint. Nixon's in the Oval Office, and the Manson murders stain the Hills. Morrison and Dennis Wilson once picked up Charles Manson on Sunset and dropped him off at producer Terry 'Turn Turn Turn' Melcher's house on Cielo Drive. A few years later, Manson's acolytes would murder Sharon Tate and four others at that house, including celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring, who styled Morrison's original king-of-the-jungle coif." -- LA Weekly's Jeff Weiss presents an exhaustive account of The Door's album L.A. Woman, which is now 40 years old posted by bardic at 1:11 AM PST - 84 comments
Chances are that sometime, somewhere, out of the corner of one ear, at least, you've heard the iconic (yet all-but-forgotten) "Willie and the Hand Jive". Set to a Bo Diddley beat, it was an infectious little number that made quite a splash back in its day. Here's a fun live version of the bouncy tune, complete with the three largest dancing girls you're ever likely to see, and here's the original 1958 recording. The composer of the tune, the son of Greek immigrants who decided that the world of black music was where he wanted to be, was one Johnny Otis, who has just died at the grand old age of 90. Shortly after its release, "Willie and the Hand Jive" was covered by early rock icons like Bo Diddley and, across the pond in England, Cliff Richard. But apart from his most famous tune, Johnny did a LOT of recording and performing throughout his lengthy career, so there's... [more inside] posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:16 AM PST - 42 comments
A quicker picker-upper. "[A] group of MIT researchers will present a new algorithm that, in a large range of practically important cases, improves on the fast Fourier transform." posted by Ardiril at 10:33 PM PST - 34 comments
"The Cranach Digital Archive is an interdisciplinary collaborative research resource, providing access to art historical, technical and conservation information on paintings by Lucas Cranach (c.1472 - 1553) and his workshop. The repository presently provides information on more than 400 paintings including c.5000 images and documents from 19 partner institutions." posted by peacay at 5:57 PM PST - 4 comments
After the highly publicized Bruce Lee monument was erected in Mostar, a city and municipality in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2005, a series of similar ventures were initiated in rural Serbia. Some sociologists describe the glorification of nonpolitical celebrity figures as the result of an identity crisis caused by the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s, a period when a once functioning multi-ethnic unity collapsed.
Swallowed by a whale.If, I’ll pretend for a moment, you were swallowed, it would happen like this: You would first be chewed. Sperm whales’ teeth are 8 inches long – longer than most blades in your knife drawer. Then you would be gulped to the fauces, the back of the mouth, and forced down. Here is where Bartley apparently touched the quivering sides of the throat. You would also touch the throat, perhaps claw at the sides of the throat like you would sliding down an icy slope. There would be no air, and you’d suffocate in acid and water, but, we’re saying, you somehow survive. Imagine a black and mucous-smothered tube sock slipping over you. posted by From Bklyn at 12:47 PM PST - 125 comments
In an editorial(PDF) in the Canadian Medical Association Journal this week, interim Editor-in-Chief Rajendra Kale suggests that the sex of a fetus, determined by ultrasound, should not be revealed until after 30 weeks of pregnancy to prevent the selective abortion of females, common in other countries and taking place in some immigrant communities in Canada. [more inside] posted by 2bucksplus at 11:37 AM PST - 85 comments
German filmmaker David Sieveking had just finished film school and was a huge fan of David Lynch. How could he pass up the opportunity to see Lynch when he came to speak about creativity and how to unlock it? How could he possibly fathom that the lecture would lead him on a five year voyage into the world of Transcendental Meditation, viewing the movement from within and without, with an accepting and then a critical eye, and ultimately would lead him on a journey to the source of the Ganges and yield a feature-length documentary, Sieveking's first movie? For a limited time, David Wants To Fly can be viewed at the Link TV website in its entirety. [~95min] posted by hippybear at 8:54 PM PST - 7 comments
"The following is a short demonstration of Quintronics' latest musical invention called The Singing House. This drone synthesizer can be installed into any building in order to provide its inhabitants with a pleasing chord that is constantly changed by the weather." Brought to you by the maker of The Drum Buddy. [more inside] posted by crunchland at 6:26 PM PST - 17 comments
The gray Cherkassian cow lived alone in a shed attached to a railroad attendant's tiny house on the vast Soviet grasslands. The cow had a calf, and the railroad attendant's son liked the calf very much. Then the calf was taken away and the cow became very melancholy. She never had a chance to tell her story. This is her story. (Contains Russian animation.) [more inside] posted by Nomyte at 6:13 PM PST - 6 comments
A Million Wisconsinites Petition to Recall Scott Walker: "Petitions with the names of 1 million Wisconsinites were submitted to state elections officials today, in a move that will jump-start the process of removing the nation’s most notorious antilabor governor from office... In all, close to 2 million signatures were submitted Tuesday, building the historic in-the-streets popular uprising that rocked Wisconsin in 2012 into a electoral uprising that has the potential to rock the politics not just of the state but of the nation in 2012. The movement to oust Walker will have secured the support of a higher percentage of eligible voters than has ever before sought to recall an American governor." [more inside] posted by flex at 4:32 PM PST - 106 comments
Screaming Females are a 3-person self described "rock/rock/rock" band from New Jersey featuring Jarrett Dougherty on drums, King Mike Abbate on bass, and Marissa Paternoster on guitar and vocals. They're not incredibly famous and they're probably not on the cusp of a string of number 1 hits, but they put on a mean show and they've got a new album in a couple of months if rock/rock/rock should happen to be your thing. [more inside] posted by sandswipe at 12:28 PM PST - 33 comments
...there’s some desperation to this junk version of “Dancing in the Street,” with both parties trying to affirm their A-1 celebrity status. One of the more pernicious effects of the whole Live Aid/Farm Aid/Band Aid spectacle was to cement the hierarchy of the “legend” rock acts and a smaller tier of anointed successors from the slightly-younger generation (Tom Petty, Sting, Dire Straits, U2). It was the height of the Boomer Counter-Reformation. The late Eighties would see the over-publicized returns of everyone from Steve Winwood to the Monkees to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, to a revamped George Harrison to a MOR version of Pink Floyd to Robbie Robertson pretending that he was Peter Gabriel (a version of Gabriel who couldn’t sing) to an all-star Yes and a Zeppelin-sampling Robert Plant, culminating in the return of the “revitalized” Stones in 1989, the touring company now reincorporated into a gleaming multinational. As Marcello Carlin said back when Popular covered this single: “Suddenly we were once again reminded who in pop and rock mattered and who didn’t…With their massacre of “Dancing In The Street,” Bowie and Jagger seemed to relish rubbing it in.“
Copenhagen's Christiania squatters, famed for their anti-free market ways, are selling shares in their community so they can buy it from the government. What do you get for your investment: "a symbolic sense of ownership in Christiania and the promise of an invitation to a planned annual shareholder party." As one squatter calls it, "ownership in an abstract form."
According to the Copenhagen Post, after striking a deal with the state this summer, Christiania residents now need to raise 76.2 million kroner (almost $13 million) to buy the majority of the area’s properties and an additional six million kroner to rent adjoining green spaces. The first 43 million kroner (or approximately $8 million) is due on 15 April 2012. Several prominent people have purchased Christiania Shares, including Margrethe Vestager, minister of the economy and interior, and Mogens Lykketoft, president of parliament. The shares are available for purchase online (Text source) posted by infini at 9:25 AM PST - 22 comments
I'm Human A video by the students of Liberty Middle School in Madison, Alabama. Featuring the students and faculty of Liberty Middle School, Bob Jones High School, and James Clements High School; and the music of Sigur Rós. (SLYT) posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:48 AM PST - 12 comments
"With a little help from the internet, the genre grew because it was so unique.
But in growing, it also evolved. The relaxed, dubby vibe got pushed aside to make way for more. More wobble, more sounds, more everything. Maximize to maximize."
William and Sly 2 is a gorgeous, ethereal fantasy exploration game wherein you play a nimble fox tasked with finding the scattered pages of your human friend's journal, while gathering mushrooms, finding keys to unlock mystery boxes, and freeing rune-bound spirits and pixies trapped in frost along the way. [more inside] posted by taz at 1:32 AM PST - 14 comments
Teahupo'o was included on Transworld Surf's list of the' Top 10 Deadliest Waves' and is commonly referred to as the "heaviest wave in the world". The name 'Teahupo'o' loosely translates to English as “to sever the head” or "place of skulls"." [more inside] posted by philip-random at 10:20 PM PST - 62 comments
Hugh Howey was a self-published novelist of no real success. Until WOOL, that is - a 15,000 word "little throwaway story" he uploaded to Amazon's Kindle Marketplace one day and promptly forget about. The story he didn't blog, didn't tweet, and didn't even sell on his site hit #2 on the Kindle SciFi Bestseller list and "changed the course of e-books." [more inside] posted by DarlingBri at 9:27 PM PST - 140 comments
Victorian Farm | Edwardian Farm -- 18 hours of BBC experimental archeology/historical documentaries, online. Archaeologists Alex Langlands and Peter Ginn and historian Ruth Goodman spend two years living the life of rural country farmers. posted by crunchland at 6:53 PM PST - 33 comments
All this brings me to an Indian I want you to know better than his jury did—Douglas Ray Stankewitz, the longest tenured inmate on California’s death row. Like most Indians who find themselves in a group of non-Indians, he is currently known as Chief, but unlike many Indians, he is proud of the nickname.
The government wants to kill Chief because Theresa Greybeal was shot dead in the course of a robbery by a group of people high on heroin, and there is no question that Chief was one of them. There is a serious question about who pulled the trigger, and juries are reluctant to kill individuals who did not pull the trigger. But as far as his jury knew, Douglas Stankewitz pulled the trigger. And he might have, but we will never know, based on his trial. posted by latkes at 6:32 PM PST - 31 comments
There has been only one mass-produced internal combustion alternative to the traditional reciprocating engine, the Wankel rotary. There has been only one auto manufacturer that has adopted the rotary engine, Mazda. After the 2012 model year, for the first time since 1967, Mazda's line-up will not include a rotary engined car. [more inside] posted by hwyengr at 5:23 PM PST - 72 comments
Birds in Books. "Pennsylvania artist and designer Paula Swisher takes doodling in the margins of old engineering and science manuals to new heights. She began the illustrations using nothing but ballpoint pen and white-out similar to Mark Powell’s envelopes, but soon explored new materials including colored pencil, gouache and other mixed media like thread and cut-out paper."
More illustrations on her flickr. posted by sweetkid at 3:21 PM PST - 10 comments
Professor Brian Cox (previously 1 2) goes unplugged in a specially recorded programme from the lecture theatre of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. In his own inimitable style, Brian takes an audience of famous faces, scientists and members of the public on a journey through some of the most challenging concepts in physics. [more inside] posted by lazaruslong at 3:20 PM PST - 40 comments
FallingSTAR*D?: It is common practice for psychiatrists to switch depressive patients between different antidepressants if their current drug does not evince a symptomatic response. Despite clinical wisdom supporting this, little empirical, controlled evidence exists to direct “switching” protocols (e.g. if a patient with Z characteristics is on drug X, is it usually better to switch to drug A, B, or C? Will switching help at all?) in the psychopharmacological treatment of depression. The NIMH-funded STAR*D (Sequenced Alternatives to Relieve Depression) study aimed to address these questions of treatment direction in a very large (n>4000), “real-world” sample using a multi-phase treatment plan with different drugs (and cognitive therapy) at every step to maximize chances of eventual remission. Overall, the NIMH reported that about 67% of patients eventually achieved remission, with few differences in effectiveness between different types of treatment at each step. However, researchers and commentators have raised concerns regarding inconsistent reporting of outcomes, after-the-fact changes in study design and analysis, and other issues that may have inflated, partially invalidated, or misrepresented widely reported treatment outcomes. These inequities may also have implications for the secondary moderator analyses (i.e. does trait A predict switching to X or Y is better?) that were a major reason for the study. [more inside] posted by Keter at 12:16 PM PST - 12 comments
... [Sarah Orne] Jewett's gifts have always been recognized by a select few, and continue to be. [The Country of the] Pointed Firs, especially, was immediately recognized as a major achievement. Henry James called it, perfectly, “a beautiful little quantum of achievement.” Willa Cather listed it as one of her three great American novels... posted by Trurl at 7:43 PM PST - 13 comments
Foreign Policy is reporting that Israeli intelligence agents posed as CIA officers to recruit members of Jundallah, a designated terrorist group, in its covert fight against the Iranian effort to acquire nuclear capability. posted by RedShrek at 12:18 PM PST - 36 comments
The best description I can give
Would be that if you looked at new spring snow
Which has a fine grain size
About an hour after dawn or an hour before sunset
You'd see the same spectrum of light
That an alien astronomer in another galaxy would see Looking at the Milky Way[more inside] posted by thirteenkiller at 10:45 AM PST - 10 comments
The Anglo-Moroccan connection originates in the quarrels between the two half-sisters Queen Elizabeth i and Queen Mary i. Elizabeth suspected that Mary's husband, Philip ii of Spain, had designs on England, and she was consequently interested in an ally who could join in attacking Spain. On the Moroccan side, there was considerable enthusiasm for expelling the Spanish and Portuguese from the several Moroccan coastal cities they had conquered. The Moroccans also wanted naval support in case of further encroachment by the Ottoman Turks, who were eager to extend their empire west from Algiers into Morocco. It was for this last reason that the Moroccan sultan Ahmad al-Mansur was unwilling to collaborate with the Ottomans despite Ottoman consideration of an invasion of Spain: He preferred instead an alliance with the English.
Matty Moroun is a Detroit businessman and the owner of Centra Inc, the holding company which controls the Ambassador Bridge - a the only privately managed U.S. / Canada Border crossing, and the #1 busiest North American border crossing.
He was sent to jail early yesterday for defying a judge's ruling that he comply with a court order compelling him to complete his company's portion of The Gateway project, a joint construction project he agreed to in 2008 designed to ease border traffic. Instead of working on the ramps to ease congestion, his crews built built a roadway that took traffic past the company's lucrative duty-free store and fuel pumps, and that kept thousands of trucks bound for expressways lined up on surface streets in the area. [more inside] posted by bricksNmortar at 4:55 AM PST - 147 comments
When Mitt Romney Came to Town (subtitle: The King of Bain) a 30 minute attack documentary whose "overriding sensibility is not Swift Boat — it's Frontline, replete with a calming voice of God narration and meticulous sourcing to SEC filings, court documents, and the Boston Globe" (Rolling Stone) provides an interesting moment in the future of political messaging and funding. [more inside] posted by stratastar at 5:16 PM PST - 195 comments
A year after Jared Loughner's shooting of 20 people, including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, The Exiled Online has published transcripts of an interview with some of his closest friends. Their story was recorded the week of the shootings and describes the enviornment that nurtured Loughner's mania.
This piece is a part of a category of eXiled reporting based on Mark Ames's Going Postal premise: Reaganomics begat a new era of desparation, and people with mental instabilities have been the first to attempt thier own abortive rebellions. The idea was explored by a 2009 BBC documentary of the same name. posted by clarknova at 11:44 AM PST - 32 comments
If you believe the US government is too heavily influenced by corporations, perhaps apps like No More SOPA are the future of "voting". Will technology enable us to directly push back on corporations influencing government policy? posted by sarah_pdx at 11:35 AM PST - 28 comments
"Half a century after Little Rock, the Montgomery bus boycott and the tumultuous dawn of the modern civil rights era, the new face of the movement is Facebook, MySpace and some 150 black blogs united in an Internet alliance they call the AfroSpear.
Older, familiar leaders such as Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton and NAACP Chairman Julian Bond, are under challenge by a younger generation of bloggers known by such provocative screen names as Field Negro, thefreeslave and African American Political Pundit (new). And many of the newest struggles are being waged online." ~Howard Witt-The Chicago Tribune (text via fieldnegro) posted by infini at 11:00 AM PST - 6 comments
A "mystery man" was caught at a polling site for the New Hampshire primary attempting to use a dead man's name to vote. That man turned out to be James O'Keefe, who may have also broken federal law (and potentially violated his probation for previous wiretapping shenanigans) by crossing state lines to tamper with another state's election by filming poll workers and attempting to commit election fraud. posted by backseatpilot at 10:41 AM PST - 153 comments
If you enjoy playing Dungeons & Dragons or similar fantasy RPGs, or if you just like reading in-depth analysis of fictional worlds, then the Tome of Awesome [pdf] is for you. [more inside] posted by jedicus at 10:08 AM PST - 50 comments
Ottawa does about face on same-sex marriage for non-Canadians.The Harper government has served notice that thousands of same-sex couples who flocked to Canada from abroad since 2004 to get married are not legally wed. The reversal of federal policy is revealed in a document filed in a Toronto test case launched recently by a lesbian couple seeking a divorce.... The government’s hard line has cast sudden doubt on the rights and legal status of couples who wed in Canada after a series of court decisions opened the floodgates to same-sex marriage. The mechanics of determining issues such as tax status, employment benefits and immigration have been thrown into legal limbo. [The lesbian couple's] divorce application will be considered next month by an Ontario Superior Court judge. They are asking the judge to either craft an exemption allowing them to divorce or to strike down any legislative provision that has the effect of preventing them from doing so.[more inside] posted by maudlin at 2:52 AM PST - 116 comments
"To really love Joan Didion—to have been blown over by things like the smell of jasmine and the packing list she kept by her suitcase—you have to be female. … Women who encountered Joan Didion when they were young received from her a way of being female and being writers that no one else could give them. She was our Hunter Thompson, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem was our Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He gave the boys twisted pig-fuckers and quarts of tequila; she gave us quiet days in Malibu and flowers in our hair. … Ultimately Joan Didion’s crime—artistic and personal—is the one of which all of us will eventually be convicted: she got old. Her writing got old, her perspective got old, her bag of tricks didn’t work anymore." posted by Houyhnhnm at 5:13 PM PST - 45 comments
Swissted New York graphic designer Mike Joyce takes vintage flyers from punk, hardcore and indie rock shows and redesigns them "into international typographic style posters. Each poster is sized to the standard swiss kiosk dimensions of 35.5 inches wide by 50 inches high and set in berthold akzidenz grotesk medium, all lowercase. Every single one of these shows actually happened." posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:31 PM PST - 36 comments
In a first-person tale of woe, a beleaguered New Yorker stranded in the Land of Lard related his struggle to find adequate vegetarian options [NYT link, featuring obligatory pic of sullen, obese Midwesterners]. Reactions came swiftly, albeit indirectly [also NYT] since, curiously, the article itself lacks a comment section. Best comment: the one touting the multiple and tasty options, including veggie dogs and veggie chili on coney dogs, at the dive bar just across the street from the KC Star. Despite an apparent unfamiliarity with such staples as grilled cheese sandwiches, the cub reporter's failure probably won't keep him down for long.[more inside] posted by Madamina at 10:52 AM PST - 99 comments
The new orchestra will achieve the most complex and novel aural emotions not by incorporating a succession of life-imitating noises but by manipulating fantastic juxtapositions of these varied tones and rhythms. Therefore an instrument will have to offer the possibility of tone changes and varying degrees of amplification.
In 1984, inspired by concepts outlined in The Art Of Noises, a 1913 Futurist manifesto by Luigi Russolo [HTML version, PDF pamphlet version] and new music technology , a musician, a audio engineer, a programmer, a producer, and a music journalist came together to form one of the most influential music collectives of all time. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present for you, a definitive look at the Art Of Noise. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 8:12 PM PST - 66 comments
Newspapers have two principal sources of revenue, readers and advertisers, and they can operate at mass or niche scale for each of those groups. A metro-area daily paper is a mass product for customers (many readers buy the paper) and for advertisers (many readers see their ads.) Newsletters and small-circulation magazines, by contrast, serve niche readers, and therefore niche advertisers — Fire Chief, Mother Earth News. (Some newsletters get by with no advertising at all, as with Cooks’ Illustrated, where part of what the user pays for is freedom from ads, or rather freedom from a publisher beholden to advertisers.)
Paywalls were an attempt to preserve the old mass+mass model after a transition to digital distribution. With so few readers willing to pay, and therefore so few readers to advertise to, paywalls instead turned newspapers into a niche+niche business. What the article threshold creates is an odd hybrid — a mass market for advertising, but a niche market for users.Clay Shirky on the economics of newspaper paywalls and why article thresholds seem to be the way of the future. posted by storybored at 7:14 PM PST - 15 comments
"The line between intentional and inadvertent exposure can be blurry in a context where inmates do not control their privacy and cells are sometimes defined as public places. What’s more, some experts on prison sex contend that anti-masturbation and anti-porn policies in prisons are counterproductive because they effectively drive inmates to engage in risky sexual behavior. According to this theory, increased access to pornography—which goes hand-in-hand with increased access to one’s doo-dads—might be just what correctional facilities need to stem prison rape. Is it time for a revolution in prisoners’ masturbatory rights?" posted by Houyhnhnm at 4:09 PM PST - 45 comments
Dashan represents or symbolizes something very powerful to a Chinese audience...[the] Chinese have a very complex and conflicting view of themselves and the world at large...Dashan represents a Westerner who appreciates and respects China, who has learned the language and understands the culture and has even become “more Chinese than the Chinese”. It’s a very powerful and reassuring image that appeals to very deep-rooted emotions.
The Fantasy Novelist's Exam: "Ever since J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis created the worlds of Middle Earth and Narnia, it seems like every windbag off the street thinks he can write great, original fantasy, too. The problem is that most of this "great, original fantasy" is actually poor, derivative fantasy. Frankly, we're sick of it, so we've compiled a list of rip-off tip-offs in the form of an exam. We think anybody considering writing a fantasy novel should be required to take this exam first. Answering "yes" to any one question results in failure and means that the prospective novel should be abandoned at once." posted by Fizz at 12:42 PM PST - 306 comments
Your mind subconsciously interprets this line drawing of an impossible cube as a three-dimensional object, even though it is not actually possible for such an object to exist. [more inside] posted by Nomyte at 12:18 PM PST - 49 comments
"You're gonna like the little schticky, but you're gonna love the big schticky." Pitchman Vince Offer (previously, previouslier) has returned to the airwaves to hawk a reusable silicone lint roller. This is his first new ad campaign since his 2009 arrest for aggravated battery against Sasha Harris (Vince wryly spoofs his own mug shot in the commercial). The bizarrely innuendo-laden video blurs the line between truth and parody, arguably shining a spotlight more on the polarizing salesman than on the product itself — which, for those still skeptical, is indeed real. posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:12 AM PST - 53 comments
Breaking Bad Remix // POV Compilation You know those point-of-view shots from inanimate objects in Breaking Bad (e.g., pan, bathtub, pizza, shovel, floor)? As a fan of the show, I feel a bit ambivalent about these shots. Stylistic flourish? Representative of paranoia? A distraction? But I like this video. posted by jacknose at 8:21 AM PST - 21 comments
Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce "Hemo the Magnificent" (part 2), the 1957 Frank Capra-produced-written-directed introduction to the circulatory system? Bonus points for seeing Winnie the Pooh's red hair and for voice work by June Foray and Mel Blanc. "Public education through entertainment!" posted by MonkeyToes at 6:26 AM PST - 18 comments
The most intense forms of competition, stress, conflict, and insecurity that most of us will ever feel take place at work. We embrace mediocrity as a safety net to alleviate our minds from these uncomfortable thoughts, and hide from the idea of heightened accountability and expectations. Instead, we choose to live vicariously through other people we don't know who are actually 'special.' Athletes, technological entrepreneurs, and other people who are recognized for being legitimately 'gifted and talented' serve as our daily inspirations and escapes. While society tends to praise greatness and unique achievement, the public ceremony of 'exposing' mediocrity provides us with the opportunity for humor and hyperbole that inspires a dark breed of empathy and fan interest.
Well, bust my britches, here it is January 8, Elvis Presley's birthday! Now, a mere 20 days after the young rock crooner had celebrated his 21st, back in 1956, he stepped onto the stage at CBS Studio in New York City and made his US national television debut, on the Dorsey Brothers show. Seems he was hot property from the get-go, cause he was back on that stage, straightaway, for five more appearances, on February 4th, 11th and 18th, then again on March 17th and 24th. And, yeah, heck, he was pretty good. posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:26 PM PST - 42 comments
"Five thousand years from now—let’s say we didn’t find the God particle. We’re still looking. I think we probably won’t be making things of the nature that we are now. I think we’ll just be trying to appreciate things more. Maybe we’ll design better ears. I mean, our hearing’s crappy. We’ll have huge ears and we’ll be able to tune in to Mars, or we’ll have a hundred lenses through which we can look onto the surface of Mars with our so-called “bare eyes,” or look through our hands. We’ll be able to be in the present more effectively."
The Believer interviews Laurie Anderson. posted by latkes at 6:58 PM PST - 25 comments
Frederica Sagor Maas dies at 111; silent film screenwriter. Her 1925 script for "The Plastic Age" launched the career Clara Bow. She wrote numerous scripts during the silent era, including movies starring Greta Garbo and Norma Shearer with whom she became friends. But she felt badly treated by Hollywood, her scripts stolen, plagiarized or bowdlerized. She was also blacklisted, wrongly accused of being a communist. Broke and dispirited, she and her husband contemplated suicide. But she survived, and went on to write a highly critical book about early Hollywood, where she dished on many famous figures. [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 11:15 AM PST - 13 comments
Infinite StupidityNow, it sounds incredible. It sounds insane. It sounds mad. Because we think of ourselves as so intelligent. But when we really ask ourselves about the nature of any evolutionary process, we have to ask ourselves whether [our mechanism for generating ideas] could be any better than random, because in fact, random might be the best strategy.Mark Pagelpreviously, edge.orgpreviously posted by victors at 9:08 AM PST - 33 comments
If you ever caught NRBQ live, you were most likely treated to some raucous, pounding and undeniablyjoyfulroadhouserevelry that made you wanna drink another beer (at least) and bask in the divine glory of Rock. And. Roll. But it is with a sad heart that I relay the news to you today that the hard-hitting, deeply grooving powerhouse behind the drums, the man who drove America's Best Bar Band to ever more delirious heights of cathartic oneness with the Universe, has left us. RIP, TommyArdolino. [more inside] posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:19 PM PST - 27 comments
WALK.. is a trippy 1983 journey from one part of Minneapolis to another. It begins with a guy who can hardly move. He slowly gains stuttered motion and utters basic letter sounds, then begins a real and imaginary walk. His journey is from his view - floating. At the end of this walk, he meets a friend. Walk's film surface is hand worked and street noise is composed as music-concrete. 16mm B/W SLYT posted by louche mustachio at 7:39 PM PST - 13 comments
Social Credit is a movement that takes a different view of economic expansion. Mostly it focuses on how value is created and what happens to the excess value. Proponents can be very aggressive or very mellow but a key part of their philosophy is that we must recognize the value we've inherited from the past. In other words, we don't start our lives with an empty ledger but have inherited many physical and intellectual gifts from previous generations. Recently I began wondering whether we shouldn't look at the other side of the ledger, particularly when it comes to ecological impacts - i.e., the messes we inherit. It turns out that in the early 90s, some social credit economists were writing about this and were even talking about climate change as something that needed to be added to the equation. Is this an idea whose time has finally come? posted by BillW at 7:30 PM PST - 13 comments
"The current economic climate has made it easier than ever for management to exploit employees. Fearful of losing their jobs and facing unemployment, insecure workers often submit to working conditions they otherwise would not tolerate."
"The only way to improve working conditions is to organize ourselves to share information and demand respect. The “Joey Quits” video has deterred the Providence Renaissance managers from disrespecting Renaissance workers. We’ve created this site as a way to help other hotel workers share their stories and, by doing so, make change in their unjust workplaces as well." [more inside] posted by 445supermag at 7:22 PM PST - 8 comments
‘Whatever you do—hang on to your childhood!’ He was true to this in his fashion, both in ways that delight me and in ways that do not. He loved the idea of a birthday celebration, being lavish about it, reminding people that they were once unborn and are now launched. This is bighearted, and we might all do a bit more of it. It would help me to forgive, perhaps just a little, the man who helped generate the Hallmark birthday industry and who, with some of his less imposing and more moistly sentimental prose scenes in A Christmas Carol, took the Greatest Birthday Ever Told and helped make it into the near Ramadan of protracted obligatory celebration now darkening our Decembers. - Christopher Hitchens writes about Charles Dickens in his last Vanity Fair column posted by beisny at 12:37 PM PST - 8 comments
This is a story of a young man named Chotu Lohar* from a small nondescript village in one of the poorest states of India. He dropped out of school to work in the iron mines. Music on a radio was the only entertainment available in his house but last year he came to national notice on a reality show called Dance India Dance - where although his untutored enthusiasm and energy captured attention - he was unable to make the cut. His passion, on the other hand, caught the interest** of the show's producers who took him under their wing and a year later, he's just made the shortlist for this year's show. [more inside] posted by infini at 9:24 AM PST - 7 comments
The Corpus of American Historical English is a searchable index of word usage in American printed material from 1810 to 2009. Powerful complex searches allow you to trace the appearance and evolution of words and phrases and even specific grammatical constructions, see trends in frequency, and plenty more. Start with the 5-Minute Tour. posted by Miko at 8:40 AM PST - 23 comments
Sensory Maps is an attempt by Kate Mclean to chart the Taste, Views and Touch of Edinburgh. More details in this post on Edible Geography. In the Victorian era, Edinburgh earned the nickname “Auld Reekie,”for its smog. Now, according to McClean’s map, it “emits a plethora of scents and smells; some particular to Edinburgh, some ubiquitous city aromas.” Among the latter are fish and chip shops and vomit, while the peculiar smell of the Macfarlan Smith opiate factory, the fishy pong of the penguin enclosure at the zoo, and the ammoniac stench of the boys’ toilets at South Morningside primary school are more city-specific, as is the way that the prevailing south-westerly winds distribute these smell combinations.
Also related, the Sheffield Smellwalk. posted by vacapinta at 3:39 AM PST - 9 comments
Alain Goeppert, G. K. Surya Prakash, chemistry Nobel Laureate George A. Olah and colleagues have co-authored a paper (doi: 10.1021/ja2100005) in the Journal of the American Chemical Society describing a novel, cheap material that scrubs CO2 from ambient air, even at the very low concentrations of the atmosphere. The material is easily manufactured, and carbon captured is readily removed from the polymer, allowing recycling of the polymer and sequestration of the carbon. The researchers, co-authors of Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy regard this as more than simply a technique for decreasing the carbon emissions of industrial processes and fossil-fuel burning machines, but as possibly an energy-carrier, by using the "catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 with H2 where the hydrogen has been obtained from water electrolysis (wiki).
Articles: ScienceDaily, SciAm. posted by bumpkin at 8:15 PM PST - 29 comments
Both an ingeniously choreographed crime film and a moral drama influenced by Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment, Pickpocket marks the apotheosis of Bresson's stripped-down style. There’s little or no psychological realism or conventional drama at work in Martin La Salle’s portrayal of a master thief who plies his trade at the Gare de Lyon and easily outwits the cops who seek to ensnare him. See it once to appreciate the spare elegance of the pickpocketing scenes, and then a second time to appreciate how subtly Bresson accomplishes the story of a man’s self-willed corruption, his liberation through imprisonment and his redemption through love, all in less than 80 minutes.*[more inside] posted by Trurl at 8:15 PM PST - 11 comments
Step 1: Compose your post to MetaFilter: Description:An inspirational Holiday Tale from Peter Watts. Step 2: Justify using the words "inspirational", "holiday", and "Peter Watts" in the same sentence: I'm grading on a curve. Step 3: Do you want to warn us about any pictures? Yes, I'm warning you. (Remember last time?) Seriously, some animal lovers may want to skip this. posted by maudlin at 4:58 PM PST - 18 comments
"In 1999, Toronto-based photographer Jeff Harris began taking a photo of himself each day as an alternative to all those diaries he started but couldn't keep up. But what began as a self-portrait project has evolved considerably in its 13 years. Harris' photographs aren't the typical, self-portrait vanity projects that crop up on YouTube now and again. Instead, he used the project to inspire him in his daily life, to go out and do something that would get him off his couch....This story becomes even more incredible as it progresses, but it's difficult to explain without cheapening it."* So watch it now [video || 05:26]. posted by ericb at 1:36 PM PST - 22 comments
GeoCurrents is blog dedicated to "map-illustrated analyses of current events and geographical issues", run by Martin W. Lewis, a Stanford senior lecturer. For the past week, they've been posting a series of articles on imaginary geography. See below for a list of the posts so far: [more inside] posted by daniel_charms at 1:08 PM PST - 8 comments
I Am tells the stories of 36 Sri Lankan elders, about their lives and work, and their connections to their hometown. ... With the movement of people away from their hometowns, particularly from Jaffna and Galle, I also spoke to the so called 'internal diaspora', about their longing for their hometowns and their sense of belonging to their adoptive homes." posted by chunking express at 12:33 PM PST - 3 comments
Why Best Buy is Going out of Business...Gradually. Or not - opposing view. 'Consider a few key metrics. Despite the disappearance of competitors including Circuit City, the company is losing market share. Its last earnings announcement disappointed investors. In 2011, the company’s stock has lost 40% of its value. Forward P/E is a mere 6.23 (industry average is 10.20). Its market cap down to less than $9 billion. Its average analyst rating, according to The Street.com, is a B-.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:31 PM PST - 143 comments
"Where I come from, a little patience at the crosswalk usually rewards me with a stoplight-induced pause in traffic, but here things are different. One had to simply cross, stride forward into the asphalt gauntlet with no fear, just faith that two intersecting streams of traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian, would reconcile themselves. And they always did." Photographer Rob Whitworth stitches together 10,000 images to bring you a very kinetic time-lapse video of "Traffic in Frenetic HCMC, Vietnam." [via] posted by bayani at 12:08 PM PST - 15 comments
The outdated definition that has been governing national rape statistics since 1929, “the carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will,” has been updated to "penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.” According to Susan D. Carbon, director of the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, the previous definition “excluded an untold number of victims.” For the first time, men will be included in national rape statistics, as well as those raped while unable to give consent due to intoxication or other mental and physical incapacity.
Lily, the caretaker's daughter, was literally run off her feet...
Today is the feast of Epiphany, the last day of the traditional Christmas season; the day also when the Misses Morkan held that grand affair, their annual dance, in James Joyce's "The Dead."[more inside] posted by Iridic at 9:16 AM PST - 71 comments
Why do most people assume that all nonmonogamous relationships are destined to fail? Because we only hear about the ones that do. If a three-way or an affair was a factor in a divorce or breakup, we hear all about it. But we rarely hear from happy couples who aren’t monogamous, because they don’t want to be perceived as dangerous sex maniacs who are destined to divorce. Monogamish Couples Share Their Stories. posted by sour cream at 7:58 AM PST - 122 comments
At one point, Stafford recognized a landmark crater, Censorinus A. He was momentarily distracted by the dramatic shadows and giant boulders surrounding the crater. “I’ve got Censorinus A right here,” he said out loud to the world, “bigger than shit!” A shocked reporter listening to the transmission in mission control turned to astronaut Jack Schmitt. “What did Colonel Stafford just say?” Thinking quickly, Schmitt covered for his colleague and replied “He said, ‘Oh, there’s Censorinus… bigger than Schmitt!’”
England's Obscenity Trial of the Decade is over, with unanimous Not Guilty verdicts being returned for all 6 charges. R v Peacock was a rare outing for the Obscene Publications Act 1959 and its out-lawing of media which depraves and corrupts, and despite being shown DVDs of explicit homosexual acts, fisting, testicular torture, rape scenes, prolaspses and other acts the prosecution described as extreme the jury decided the material didn't breech the law. Alex d. live tweeted the proceeding and Peacock's supprters are celebratory. The question now is what is obscene in today's society, and is the act still relevant. [more inside] posted by samworm at 7:06 AM PST - 25 comments
On December 4, 2005, the computer chess community was astonished by the initial release of a free, downloadable chess program named Rybka 1.0 Beta, which within days took a sizable lead on all then-existing chess program rankings, surpassing all commercial programs, including renowned engines Shredder, HIARCS, Fritz and Junior.
In early 2011 sixteen chess programmers, many of whose programs were direct competitors of Rybka, signed a letter wherein they asserted that Rajlich copied programming code from another engine, Fruit, authored by Fabien Letouzey and released to the public in June 2005, about six months before Rybka 1.0 Beta.
Interview Transcripts from Wired.com Michael Hastings has come out with a new book titled "The Operators" in which he expands on his infamous Rolling Stone article that led to the firing of Gen. Stanley McChrystal by President Obama. In this Wired interview, Hastings explains why he views our current situation in Afghanistan as hopeless and the real story behind the quotes he obtained from the general and his staff. posted by RedShrek at 6:08 AM PST - 18 comments
On November 13, 1982, in an outdoor arena next to Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini beat Duk Koo Kim to retain his World Boxing Association lightweight championship title. It was a thrilling match, but its aftermath quickly turned into a nightmare, as Kim fell into a coma, and, a few days later, died. The bout's effects have rippled outward ever since. [more inside] posted by ocherdraco at 9:14 PM PST - 51 comments
Bugs and Beasts Before the Law - "Murderous pigs sent to the gallows, sparrows prosecuted for chattering in Church, a gang of thieving rats let off on a wholly technical acquittal – theoretical psychologist and author Nicholas Humphrey explores the strange world of medieval animal trials." More on the theme of barnyard scapegoats from the BBC podcast documentary: Animals on Trial. posted by madamjujujive at 6:24 PM PST - 22 comments
Presidential appointments that require Senate confirmation can be made without confirmation by the President when the chamber is in recess: a so-called recess appointment, wherein the appointee is allowed to serve until the end of the next congressional session. During the Bush II administration, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid began holding pro forma sessions every three days—a local Senator gavels the session in and immediately back out—to ensure that the Senate never went into recess and as a result, Bush stopped confirming recess appointments. When the Obama administration took over, the Republicans began holding the same pro forma sessions to prevent Obama from appointing any positions in recess. This week, Obama made four appointments, including Richard Cordray to the newly created role of director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, despite the fact that the Senate is not in technical recess. [more inside] posted by disillusioned at 2:01 PM PST - 113 comments
Eve Arnold was regarded as one of the finest photojournalists of the 20th century. Invited to join Magnum Photos in 1951 by Robert Capa, it was with Magnum that she travelled the world documenting areas of America, China, the Middle East and the United Kingdom. A master of both black & white and colour, Arnold thrived in the golden age of photojournalism, when publications gave photographers great resources and freedom to practice their art. A world-travelling photojournalist whose subjects ranged from the poor and dispossessed to Marilyn Monroe, she has died at age 99:Her page at Magnum Photos. Images from a recent London exhibition. A 1987 audio interview, after the publication of her book of Marilyn Monroe images. posted by spock at 11:25 AM PST - 12 comments
...technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself. There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. It is a mistake to place any particular technology in this exalted category, since over time we will end up valuing the wrong things. For example, at one time if you didn’t have a horse it was hard to make a living. But the important right in that case was the right to make a living, not the right to a horse. Today, if I were granted a right to have a horse, I’m not sure where I would put it.
In March last year, the unmanned X-37B US military spaceplane launched from Cape Canaveral on mission USA-226, to "demonstrate various experiments", sensors and technology. Its original 270 day mission was extended in November "as circumstances allow" for "additional experimentation opportunities", but a dedicated group of optical tracking specialists in the US and Europe believe that the X-37B is in fact spying on the Chinese space station Tiangong-1. [more inside] posted by adrianhon at 7:56 AM PST - 59 comments
"...Obama isn’t just lying about his identity. He’s lying about his military service record, too. While his political opponents in 2008 attacked him for never serving, in truth, he was concealing his participation in a hidden CIA intergalactic program hosted at a California community college in 1980." posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:58 PM PST - 77 comments
Just before Christmas, the Swedish governmental agency Kammarkollegiet registered the Church of Kopimism as a religious organisation. This means that Sweden is the first country to recognize kopimism as a religion.Previously. posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:31 PM PST - 15 comments
After 30 years, Peter Frampton had been living without 2 critical pieces of his legacy: 1) his hair and 2) the Les Paul that he used in Humble Pie and on the (in)famous Frampton Comes Alive album. But now Frampton can rest easy, as one of those things has been returned to him. posted by spicynuts at 7:20 AM PST - 110 comments
"He doesn’t leave anything on the table, does he?" John Hammergren is the CEO of McKesson, a major healthcare system and pharmaceutical provider. He earned $145 million last year, not including an employer-contributed $13 million to his executive pension plan (the employee pension plan was shuttered in 1997, before Hammergren's tenure began), unlimited personal use of a corporate private jet, car and chauffeur, and other perks like a lifetime personal assistant and office and financial counselor. In his ten years with McKesson, Hammergren has earned over $500 million. The Daily Beast dives into the extraordinary compensation of the 0.01%. If you're so inclined, the EDGAR filing has the excruciating detail, including bits like this: [more inside] posted by disillusioned at 6:22 AM PST - 93 comments
"Last year, Kien Lam quit his job, packed a bag with his camera and bought a one-way ticket to London. This video is a compilation of the time lapse vistas that he captured across the next 17 countries. In crowded cities, in jungles, libraries and ancient ruins, Lam captures scenes familiar to those that live there and foreign to those of us that don't."* posted by ericb at 4:03 PM PST - 19 comments
Out-of-body experience: Master of illusion: Out-of-body experiences are just part of Ehrsson's repertoire. He has convinced people that they have swapped bodies with another person, gained a third arm, shrunk to the size of a doll or grown to giant proportions.
[ . . . ]
But Ehrsson's unorthodox apparatus amount to more than cheap trickery. They are part of his quest to understand how people come to experience a sense of self, located within their own bodies. The feeling of body ownership is so ingrained that few people ever think about it — and those scientists and philosophers who do have assumed that it was unassailable.
[ . . . ]
Ehrsson's work also intrigues neuroscientists and philosophers because it turns a slippery, metaphysical construct — the self — into something that scientists can dissect. posted by troll at 2:46 PM PST - 23 comments
"Although there is a great deal of psychological research on misinformation, there's no summary of the literature that offers practical guidelines on the most effective ways of reducing the influence of myths. The Debunking Handbook boils the research down into a short, simple summary, intended as a guide for communicators in all areas (not just climate) who encounter misinformation." Direct PDF link. posted by brundlefly at 2:39 PM PST - 33 comments
On 1 January Hungary's new Constitution came into effect which, amongst other things, entrenches the power of the current ruling party, FIDESZ, and enshrines social issues such as the right of the unborn child. Many so-called cardinal laws have been passed in Parliament which requires a 2/3 majority to change.
The president of the EU, José Barroso wrote to the Hungarian Prime Minister, Victor Orbán, requesting a rethink of two such laws which impact the political independence to the Central Bank. This was
rejected by the Hungarian government.
Economically things are tough with Hungary requesting additional IMF assistance but they withdrew from informal talks, citing concern over the independence of the central bank. Hungary's debt was downgraded to junk status with rating agencies citing concerned at the relationship with the IMF. [more inside] posted by vac2003 at 2:00 PM PST - 27 comments
Anatomy of a Stump Speech. The NY Times has been killing it of late with interactive features. This one is particularly good -- an annotated breakdown of the text and video of Republican stump speeches by four candidates. "Revisionist history alert: Mr. Gingrich is recasting his tempestuous tenure as House speaker..." posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:54 PM PST - 26 comments
Wanderfly is travel inspiration site. Enter your starting point, when you want to travel, how much you want to spend, and what you want to do, and Wanderfly spits out some suggestions from sites around the world, including things to do and places to stay. posted by filthy light thief at 10:32 AM PST - 47 comments
In the world of violins, the names Stradivari and Guarneri are sacred. For three centuries, violin-makers and scientists have studied the instruments made by these Italian craftsmen. So far no one has figured out what makes their sound different. But a new study now suggests maybe they aren't so different after all. posted by unSane at 7:08 PM PST - 108 comments
The historian Taylor Branch, who in October published a lengthy excoriation of the N.C.A.A. in The Atlantic, comparing it to “the plantation,” was only the most recent voice to call for players to be paid. Like most such would-be reformers, however, he didn’t offer a way to go about it.
That’s what I’m setting out to do here. Over the last few months, in consultation with sports economists, antitrust lawyers and reformers, I put together the outlines of what I believe to be a realistic plan to pay those who play football and men’s basketball in college. Although the approach may appear radical at first glance, that’s mainly because we’ve been brainwashed into believing that there’s something fundamentally wrong with rewarding college athletes with cold, hard cash. There isn’t. Paying football and basketball players will not ruin college sports or cause them to become “subcontractors.” Indeed, given the way big-time college sports are going, paying the players may be the only way to save them. - Joe Nocera, Let's Start Paying College Athletes[more inside] posted by beisny at 11:03 AM PST - 61 comments
The most common references you will see about the Green Swizzle, are the recipe that incorporates creme de menthe, or the quote from "The Rummy Affair of Old Biffy". It has been said, many times, that the creme de menthe version is not the original recipe and that the original "has been lost in history" or that "it never existed". These two statements I do not agree with, and I've managed to dig up a number of articles that prove the Green Swizzle did exist, and that the original recipe may be right in front of our eyes. posted by Wolfdog at 8:45 AM PST - 13 comments
Pokemon: Game Freak and Nintendo's series of cartoony monster-training RPGs that kicked off huge crazes among the kids of both Japan and the U.S. In these games, children take up the calling of "Pokemon trainers," capturing the titular animals and then keeping them as pets or fighting them against either wild pokemon or those of other trainers. Nobunaga's Ambition: An even-longer-running classic series of historical strategy/simulation games produced by Koei. Noted for their realistic approach, their difficulty, and a high level of dryness. You grow rice, distribute it to your population to keep them happy, send out spies, guard against assassins, raise and train a military, and ultimately attempt to unite feudal-era Japan.
And now... Pokemon + Nobunaga's Ambition, a Real Thing that will Soon Exist. posted by JHarris at 9:52 PM PST - 26 comments
Tubalr is a music video playing service for YouTube. Type in a band name and click "only" or "similar" and it will play a stream of music videos only from that artist or from a selection of similar artists. Creating an account will allow for marking videos as favorites and enable saving of playlists. Also available are genre-based playlists rather than using artists as seeds. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 6:43 PM PST - 27 comments
Dragon Hunters is a french made CGI animated movie that had a limited US release. Scott Mendelson says "It is a visually rich and emotionally satisfying adventure movie that deserves to get noticed." posted by garlic at 4:35 PM PST - 16 comments
Makoto Hirata, a senior member of doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo and one of three remaining fugitives from the group, has turned himself in to police after more than sixteen years on the run, leading to questions about the timing of his surrender now, after all these years.
While Aum is best known as the group responsible for the deadly sarin-gas attack on Tokyo's subway system that killed 13 people and injured more than 6000, Hirata is wanted on suspicion of taking part in a different crime, the kidnapping and murder of Kiyoshi Kariya, the brother of an ex-Aum member who had left the group.
Despite the fact that police stations and koban (police boxes) throughout Japan have prominently displayed wanted posters of the three Aum Shinrikyo fugitives for the past 16 years, Hirata had remained at large and hadn't had plastic surgery, leading to police speculation that he must have been helped by others while on the run. posted by Umami Dearest at 12:06 PM PST - 22 comments
Garth Turner, former Member of Parliament and current entertaining, curmudgeonly, and well-informed Greater Fool blogger about Canadian real estate -- and the world economy generally -- gives his predictions for 2012. The main one, IMO, is the one that he talks about relentlessly in his postings: "Most people won't get it." posted by anothermug at 10:55 AM PST - 30 comments