Stronger people are harder to kill. A 20-year study involving nearly 9000 men aged 20-80 found "Muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with death from all causes and cancer, even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other potential confounders." Food for thought when designing your next fitness program? posted by schroedinger at 5:22 PM PST - 88 comments
"Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram." [more inside] posted by pwally at 2:05 PM PST - 13 comments
Are you gay enough for asylum? “Judges and immigration officials are adding a new hurdle in gay asylum cases that an applicant’s homosexuality must be socially visible,” said Lori Adams, a lawyer at Human Rights First, a nonprofit group, who advises people seeking asylum based on sexuality. “The rationale is that if you don’t look obviously gay, you can go home and hide your sexuality and don’t need to be worried about being persecuted.” [more inside] posted by anya32 at 12:54 PM PST - 33 comments
Wikipedia Struggles to Reduce Gender Disparities in Online ContributionsSue Gardner, the executive director of the foundation, has set a goal to raise the share of female contributors to 25 percent by 2015, but she is running up against the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women. Her effort is not diversity for diversity’s sake, she says. “This is about wanting to ensure that the encyclopedia is as good as it could be." posted by modernnomad at 6:16 AM PST - 147 comments
RIPJohnBarry, composer of the soundtracks of 11 James Bond films and many others including Midnight Cowboy. He won Oscars for Born Free (for best song and best score), The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances With Wolves. [more inside] posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:54 AM PST - 65 comments
In which our guide, Iain Sinclair, expounds upon and attempts to participate in the Transport for London/Barclays "Cycle Hire" program ("scheme" in the Queen's English"). [more inside] posted by webhund at 2:02 PM PST - 24 comments
"If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women." 73-year-old Jack Nicholson talks about relationships, sex, aging, art, drugs, partying with Keith Richards, plastic surgery, and acting. posted by John Cohen at 1:32 PM PST - 107 comments
Scott Adams suggests that if we assume that the solution to our fiscal problems is increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, perhaps we should figure out how to make the taxation amenable to them... [more inside] posted by bpm140 at 1:27 PM PST - 223 comments
Cold fusion returns to the debate over itself.Rossi and Focardi say that, when the atomic nuclei of nickel and hydrogen are fused in their reactor, the reaction produces copper and a large amount of energy. The reactor uses less than 1 gram of hydrogen and starts with about 1,000 W of electricity, which is reduced to 400 W after a few minutes. Every minute, the reaction can convert 292 grams of 20°C water into dry steam at about 101°C. Since raising the temperature of water by 80°C and converting it to steam requires about 12,400 W of power, the experiment provides a power gain of 12,400/400 = 31. As for costs, the scientists estimate that electricity can be generated at a cost of less than 1 cent/kWh, which is significantly less than coal or natural gas plants.[more inside] posted by Brian B. at 1:26 PM PST - 52 comments
Solard Death Ray: Power of 5000 suns! [SLYT] The R5800: made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 suns! This amount of power is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across. posted by Fizz at 11:06 AM PST - 59 comments
KNTV is an educational programme for secondary schools, produced for Channel 4. It ran for three series, covering science, philosophy and sex education. Oh, and it happens to be hosted by two animated teenagers, Kierky and Nietschze, residents of the last Communist country in Europe, Slabovia, who understand the modern world only via You've Been Framed-style home video bloopers. Slabovian news.Educational ditties, including the excellent Communist Song. Watch the Sex series on 4oD here (may be UK only) posted by mippy at 8:52 AM PST - 3 comments
This is a game about breeding flowers. Each flower's traits are determined by its genes. Pick two flowers and their genes combine to create new variations. There is no aim in this game... Feel free to set yourself one. -- Rare Breeds: Petunia. (Flash.) [more inside] posted by Gator at 6:48 AM PST - 44 comments
John Fliszar had a heart attack in 2006 and was rushed to Illinois Masonic Medical Center.
“When I was in the emergency room with him, he asked me to promise him, if he died, to make sure his ashes were interred in the Naval Academy,” said Mark Ketterson. “He loved that place. He very much wanted to be there.” The memorial coordinator asked about his relationship to the deceased. Ketterson said that John Fliszar was his husband.[more inside] posted by BZArcher at 5:46 AM PST - 23 comments
Andy Kershaw's back. BBC radio DJ Andy Kershaw, champion of world music and an old mate of John Peel's, was sacked from the airwaves three years ago after some personal problems. Now he's back, with a Radio 3 series called Music Planet, where he and Lucy Duran travel the globe listening to each region's traditional music. So far, they've tackled Deserts, Oceans and the Arctic, and all three 60 minute programmes are available online. I think they're rather good. posted by Paul Slade at 4:40 AM PST - 9 comments
Green Bay Packers Yearbooks from the (Vince) Lombardi Era (1960-1967). The yearbooks here are from the team's return to glory under Lombardi. Arriving in 1959, Lombardi led the Packers to their first winning season in eleven years in his first year as coach. From that auspicious start, Lombardi's Packers had nine winning seasons and claimed five NFL championships in the 1960s. Each yearbook contains roughly 80 pages of text and photos. posted by cashman at 6:36 PM PST - 8 comments
I don't watch American Idol. I'm not even remotely interested. But I did happen across this clip of barista Chris Medina, who impressed me less with his singing during his audition (which is great) than with his heart (SLYT; 4.55). Excuse me, but I've got something in my eye. posted by bwg at 3:29 PM PST - 85 comments
Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel, in the distant era of 1994, try to puzzle out what "internet" is. They should have asked Peter Mansbridge and Bill Cameron at the CBC, who had reported a year earlier about this revolution in which fifteen million people were taking part. [more inside] posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:49 PM PST - 90 comments
Jacques Rivette, who emerged in the 1950s... as one of the primary filmmakers of the French New Wave, is the most underappreciated (and under-screened) of this legendary group. Rivette’s deliberately challenging, super-size films defy easy assimilation, and demand a level of attention unusual even to his compatriots’ works. In addition to being considered difficult, however, Rivette’s body of work is also, arguably, the richest of the New Wave era, possessing an intellectual inquiry and humanity unmatched in the French cinema of his time.[more inside] posted by Joe Beese at 11:42 AM PST - 11 comments
By helping other people look happy, Facebook is making us sad. The human habit of overestimating other people's happiness is nothing new, of course. Jordan points to a quote by Montesquieu: "If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are." But social networking may be making this tendency worse. Jordan's research doesn't look at Facebook explicitly, but if his conclusions are correct, it follows that the site would have a special power to make us sadder and lonelier. By showcasing the most witty, joyful, bullet-pointed versions of people's lives, and inviting constant comparisons in which we tend to see ourselves as the losers, Facebook appears to exploit an Achilles' heel of human nature. And women—an especially unhappy bunch of late—may be especially vulnerable to keeping up with what they imagine is the happiness of the Joneses.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:59 AM PST - 106 comments
With kettling becoming a commonly deployed tactic by the London Met, students from the University College London are fighting back with Sukey, launched this morning. [more inside] posted by asymptotic at 7:58 AM PST - 56 comments
The final tranches of the net addresses used by most people are about to be allocated, raising the prospect of a web that isn't world wide. In the next few days the last big blocks of the net's dwindling stock of addresses are about to be handed out. These are the days when IPv4 dies and is replaced by IPv6. The deadline arrived a little earlier than expected (previously). posted by twoleftfeet at 2:51 AM PST - 79 comments
Watch your computer design a 2 dimensional car. What happens when you give a computer, instead of a predefined function to run, a set of parameters, a goal, and the ability to mutate those parameters? You get a geneticalgorithm. At its core, genetic algorithms can best be described as Darwinian evolution of computer functions. Is it better to use a streamlined, wide-wheel-base motorcycle to cross terrain, or something that looks like a cross between a fish and a tank? This simplistic simulation shows just what's going to cause the rise of Skynet. posted by mark242 at 4:45 PM PST - 90 comments
The Viral Me - GQ article on some of the newer social media stuff coming down the pike by Devin Friedman who asks: What is the endgame of your revolution? And can you promise me it won't suck?
A more general thesis about the basic disappointment of the Internet: It ultimately evolves only where it meets human desire, which itself is geared for life circa 200 b.c. If the Internet ultimately disappoints, it's because it was made for humans. Give us instant connection to everyone and the ability to collaborate in vast seamless networks and we spend 99 percent of those resources telling everyone what kind of oatmeal we ate for breakfast and 1 percent of it building Wikipedia.
'On the Hunt for Universal Intelligence' 'How do you use a scientific method to measure the intelligence of a human being, an animal, a machine or an extra-terrestrial? So far this has not been possible, but a team of Spanish and Australian researchers have taken a first step towards this by presenting the foundations to be used as a basis for this method in the journal Artificial Intelligence, and have also put forward a new intelligence test.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:45 PM PST - 11 comments
In 1969 banjo virtuoso and bluegrass innovator Earl Scruggs parted ways with his longtime musical partner Lester Flatt and the band they led to great popularity and acclaim, The Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs wanted to push his musical gifts as far as they could go. In 1970 he was the subject of a PBS documentary where he played with artists such as Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, The Morris Brothers, The Byrds, Charlie Daniels, Bill Monroe, Joan Baez, various friends and family members, and even records a track accompanying a Moog. You can watch the whole thing online: Earl Scruggs, His Family and Friends. posted by Kattullus at 7:39 AM PST - 17 comments
After football head coach Randy Edsall left the University of Connecticut for the head coaching position at Maryland, the athletic director began the search for a new head coach. On January 13, Paul Pasqualoni was named the new UConn football head coach. In an unprecedentedly public manner, the largest athletics department donor at UConn sent a scathing six page letter to the athletics director demanding his money back for not being consulted prior to the hiring, while also listing his grievances against the UConn athletics director. [more inside] posted by This Guy at 5:56 AM PST - 65 comments
radio k'bvh;b is on the air. A three day Internet radio experiment by Catalin Ilie and Letitia Calin, radio k'bvh;b presents field recordings, noise, experimental stuff, and live performances direct from Berlin. It only goes until Sunday midnight CET, so tune in to the odd noises while you still can. posted by sixohsix at 5:35 AM PST - 17 comments
The first thing I was told about Arcanum was the central conflict of the game: magic versus technology. This idea was so interesting and unique that I considered carefully how to best reflect it in the music. […] We finally settled on a sort of musical anachronism: a score centered around the styles and textures of Renaissance, medieval, and early music, but performed by a characteristic ensemble of the Victorian era, the string quartet.
Composer Ben Houge and his choir-on-strings score for Troika Studios' (buggy, beloved) steampunk step-child Arcanum (letsplay), in mp3, lossless pcm, and full sheet music. [more inside] posted by kid ichorous at 6:53 PM PST - 41 comments
Big Coach in the Little GymScott Lang was 41 years old when he died last month. He was not married. He had no children. He spent almost all of his adult life as the basketball coach at La Roche College, a tiny Division III school in the north hills just above Pittsburgh. posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:37 PM PST - 29 comments
"The most notable women in technology probably don't spend all day thinking about hairstyles and dinner parties. But according to a bright pink infographic making its way around the web, you can tell a lot about some of the world's most tech-savvy women based on their hairdos and extracurriculars. In hopes of inspiring people, Wpromote ... created "Which Female Tech Influencer Are You?" -- an infographic reminiscent of a teen magazine quiz."*[more inside] posted by ericb at 2:28 PM PST - 46 comments
Natalia Fabia Inspired by light, color, punk rock music, hot chicks and sparkles, Fabia is fascinated with “hookers”, which fuels her paintings of sultry women. (A bit NSFW) posted by SylviaAspevig at 12:49 PM PST - 2 comments
Two years ago, Mann says, he had never seen a pot plant. Today, he envisions weGrow becoming the "Wal-Mart of Weed", a vertically integrated chain of big-box stores perfectly positioned to cash in on California's booming marijuana industry as it moves from the shadows to the mainstream. In this "green rush" for semi-legal weed, Mann and his partner Derek Peterson, a 36-year-old investment banker, seek to be the modern equivalents of Levi Strauss and Samuel Brannan—the Gold Rush entrepreneurs who made a killing not from mining, but from selling pans, pickaxes, and victuals to the forty-niners. posted by Joe Beese at 12:02 PM PST - 43 comments
If you buy a Billy, a wee bunch of crowns goes directly into the pocket of their boss which (that is, the metaphorical pocket) resides in Liechtenstein and pays no taxes. Single link to the news of the day in Swedish. [The TV programme "uppdrag granskning," love-hated revelation-platform of the Swedish TV, cooperated this time with a bunch of newspapers to get the capitalist truth about this family company to the people. Background in Swedish here] posted by Namlit at 4:07 PM PST - 27 comments
Using pioneering animation techniques to create a look never seen on film before, this 10-minute award-winning film tells the true legend of history's most challenging cipher....The film contains 16 hidden messages that reveal the larger story at play. Eight are fairly easy and require only a close eye. Six are moderately difficult using various encryption methods. Two are extremely difficult and will require a genius mind to decrypt. [more inside] posted by louche mustachio at 2:52 PM PST - 14 comments
Today marks the exit of The Minimalist from the pages of the Dining section, as a weekly column at least. There may be return appearances, but the unbroken string of more than 13 years and nearly 700 columns ends here. (I’m not leaving the Times family; more about that in a minute.) (previously) posted by Joe Beese at 11:59 AM PST - 51 comments
A large chunk of the Yad Vashem Photo Archive has been made available online. The first batch consists of 130,000 photographs and more will follow. The photos and their keywords are indexed and searchable via Google. Readers can contribute to the archive project by adding stories, comments and further documents linked to the photos. Photos range from the horrific to the charmingly mundane. [more inside] posted by jonesor at 10:29 AM PST - 11 comments
The Jungle. Made in 1967 and awarded a Documentary Film Award at the Festival de Popoli, Italy, The Jungle is a short film made in Philly by Harold Haskins and the 12 & Oxford Film Corp. Re-discovered a few years back through Temple University’s Urban Archives. posted by fixedgear at 9:57 AM PST - 2 comments
The Museum of Modern Art announced this week it would induct 23 digital-era typefaces into its permanent collection (Times coverage). But what do the designers of these fonts look like? Pics or it didn’t happen: first set; second. posted by joeclark at 9:47 AM PST - 34 comments
Yes, there are grocery stores in Detroit.The myth of a city without supermarkets is hard to kill, even faced with the evidence above. Ultimately, that myth perseveres because the mainstream media and its audience is steeped in a suburban mentality where the only grocery stores that really seem to count are those large, big-box chain stores that are the only option in so many communities these days, largely because they have put locally-owned and independent stores like the ones you find in Detroit out of business.[more inside] posted by enn at 8:06 AM PST - 61 comments
Nabokov Butterfly Theory Is Vindicated "Nabokov came up with a sweeping hypothesis for the evolution of the butterflies he studied, a group known as the Polyommatus blues. He envisioned them coming to the New World from Asia over millions of years in a series of waves. Few professional lepidopterists took these ideas seriously during Nabokov’s lifetime. But in the years since his death in 1977, his scientific reputation has grown. And over the past 10 years, a team of scientists has been applying gene-sequencing technology to his hypothesis about how Polyommatus blues evolved. On Tuesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, they reported that Nabokov was absolutely right." posted by dhruva at 6:35 AM PST - 27 comments
John Park Finley, American meteorologist, wrote the first known book on tornadoes (Tornadoes, 1887). Though some of his "safety" guidelines for surviving a tornado have since been refuted as dangerous (seek shelter on the side of a house facing an oncoming tornado!), the book remains a seminal work in tornado research. [more inside] posted by Wossname at 5:50 PM PST - 9 comments
Kelly Williams-Bolar has been sentenced to ten days in prison in a school residency case. The African-American mother of two lives in public housing in Akron, Ohio, and forged court records so that her children could attend a better school in nearby Copley Township. Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced her to 10 days in prison, 80 hours of community service, and two years of probation. Ms. Williams-Bolar works as a special education classroom aide, and was working towards a teaching degree. Because of the felony conviction she may no longer be eligible to teach in the state of Ohio. posted by mmmbacon at 4:04 PM PST - 190 comments
Rock My Religion "...is a thesis on the relation between religion and rock music in contemporary culture. Graham formulates a history that begins with the Shakers, an early religious community who practiced self-denial and ecstatic trance dances. With the "reeling and rocking" of religious revivals as his point of departure, Graham analyzes the emergence of rock music as religion with the teenage consumer in the isolated suburban milieu of the 1950s, locating rock's sexual and ideological context in post-World War II America. The music and philosophies of Patti Smith, who made explicit the trope that rock is religion, are his focus. This complex collage of text, film footage and performance forms a compelling theoretical essay on the ideological codes and historical contexts that inform the cultural phenomenon of rock 'n' roll music. (Original Music: Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth) posted by puny human at 1:17 PM PST - 64 comments
Well, that's one way to use your Youtube audience. Hank Green, one half of the VlogBrothers, is angry at Warner Chilcott, the pharmaceutical company responsible for Asacol--a drug that's gone up in price by 1200%. He's so angry, in fact, that he encourages his nearly half-million-strong YouTube audience to spam Warner Chilcott's CEO, Roger Boissonneault. posted by litnerd at 12:52 PM PST - 38 comments
The greedy ghost of market fundamentalism. Oxfordshire county council is planning to close just under half of all of its libraries, and has invited locals to set up new ones on a voluntary basis. Philip Pullman, ironically criticised for having a profit motive, objects. posted by Summer at 6:15 AM PST - 111 comments
Food for Thinkers is a week-long, distributed, online conversation looking at food writing from as wide and unusual a variety of perspectives as possible. Between January 18 and January 23, 2011, more than 40 food and non-food writers will respond to a question posed by GOOD's newly-launched Food hub: What does—or could, or even should—it mean to write about food today? posted by parudox at 10:19 PM PST - 7 comments
He Touched Me: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley -- Where other documentaries have focused on the early rock-and-roll of the Sun years, the Memphis Mafia, or the fat, drugged Elvis of the Las Vegas era, this documentary focusses on a side of Elvis many people may not be familiar with, and does a convincing job showing that it was early Southern gospel groups (both black and white) which were his true love and the main musical influence throughout his life. Filled with wonderful archival footage and revealing, and rather tender interviews from his band and his backup singers. (Part One) 1::2::3::4::5::6::7::8::9::10::11::12 (Part Two) 1::2::3::4::5::6::7::8::9::10::11 And here is a clip of Elvis singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic section from his American Trilogy, used to good effect in the Bazooka & Jetpack Scene from the movie Kick Ass. [This post dedicated to "The King" of Metafilter music, the mighty mighty flapjax at midnight] posted by puny human at 1:06 PM PST - 13 comments
Müller Exercise System - A 15-minute No-Equipment Workout. 'Watch and learn the favorite exercise routine of early 20th century Europeans.''The exercise guide, which promised that just "15 minutes a day" of prescribed* exercise would make "weaklings" into strong men (and women), was ultimately translated into 25 languages, reprinted dozens of times, and sold briskly well into the 20th century.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:23 PM PST - 32 comments
In the summer of 2004 I [Jason Oliver Goodman] set out alone on my bike to make a photography project called A Girl's Bike. In roughly 4 months I documented close to 200 women and their bicycles around NYC, mostly on the street as I found them. In 2008 it was made into a book published by Partners & Spade. It also toured with the Bicycle Film Festival as a slide show before films and in the art show Joy Ride. posted by fiercecupcake at 11:32 AM PST - 41 comments
The Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri is a 500 year old manuscript written on six foot square sheets of a silken, vellum-like fabric which is polished with smooth stones so that ink sits on the surface rather than being absorbed. It is considered "one of the finest, most lavishly illuminated and calligraphically significant Qur’an manuscripts from the late Mamluk period". Too fragile to be displayed, it is also missing two leaves that were discovered in Dublin's Chester Beatty Library in the 1970s. So a unified digitized edition is being prepared that will be freely available on the Internet for researchers. The process is being blogged here. posted by Joe Beese at 9:08 AM PST - 14 comments
Film editor and sound designer extraordinaire Walter Murch writes to Roger Ebert regarding a fundamental conundrum of current 3D technology: "It is like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time." posted by oulipian at 8:48 AM PST - 84 comments
One year after the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which, overturning over 100 years of precedent, opened a floodgate of corporate money into election campaigns, Virginia Lyons (D-VT), has introduced legislation (full text of bill not yet available, articles here and here) in the Vermont State Senate to amend the United States Constitution to explicitly state that corporations are not persons.
This would overturn the controversial notion of corporate personhood which was established in the 1800s. Controversial not only for the unequal distribution of rights and responsibilities among humans and corporations, some, like Thom Hartmann (previously), have claimed that the notion of corporate personhood was established as an intentional misinterpretation of the decision as recorded by court reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis, former president of the Newburgh & New York Railway Co. [more inside] posted by laminarial at 8:25 AM PST - 102 comments
Why Wal-Mart Is Making Our Health Its Problem - "So what's behind the [healthier-eating] initiative? In a word: scale. In a recent article in HBR, Chris Meyer and I argued that we'll see companies taking more and more ownership of externalities they could ignore because of changing sensibilities and better sensors (meaning detection and reporting of impacts by third parties). But we also identified a third driver: the scale of modern business. Whereas in the past, a single grocer could not have much impact on society, in today's highly consolidated market, Wal-Mart touches a significant percentage of the nation's food intake. Once you reach a scale where your decisions have ramifications for millions, it is hard to pretend that the impacts, even as distant ripples, are not your problem." posted by kliuless at 6:09 AM PST - 75 comments
The Art of Hermann Zapf film "was produced in 1967 at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City and in my design studio in Dreieichenhain, Germany... After long discussions and the help of a lot of alcohol we started late in the night. I was sitting at a slanted glass table with a hot spotlight in my neck. Frank Robinson was lying on the floor with the camera ready for a frog-view shot. My task was to write beautiful letters with ink which dried as soon the pen touched the slippery surface of an astralon sheet." — Hermann Zapf posted by netbros at 7:31 AM PST - 16 comments
The ambulance that was used to carry the body of John F. Kennedy from Andrews Air Force Base to Bethesda Naval Hospital was sold at auction last night for $120,000. Or was it? [more inside] posted by fixedgear at 4:37 AM PST - 10 comments
Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A. 'Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central Intelligence Agency more than two decades ago, but from poolside at his home near San Diego, he still runs a network of spies. Over the past two years, he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan and the desert badlands of Afghanistan. Since the United States military cut off his funding in May, he has relied on like-minded private donors to pay his agents to continue gathering information about militant fighters, Taliban leaders and the secrets of Kabul’s ruling class.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 6:14 PM PST - 32 comments
Basically, the big hurdle on this title was a clause in the contracts stating that the likenesses of both Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster MUST appear, and both MUST be the same size. And given the power imbalance between the two characters in the film, the idea of having the two of them just standing there, on equal footing with each other, felt really wrong… Eric Skillman on working with artist Sean Philips on the cover for the Criterion edition of Sweet Smell of Sucess. posted by Artw at 3:40 PM PST - 21 comments
Our True Intent Is AllFor Your Delight: The JohnHinde Butlin'sPhotographs "Long viewed only as a master of kitsch Hinde is now recognised, albeit posthumously, as a peerless social documentarian. Dazzling in their their colour intensity and strange clarity.... Visionary, Wonderful." Sean O'Hagan, The Observer, London "Extraordinary...the combination of aesthetics and promotion produced something that bypasses documentary and approaches an arresting British surrealism". David Jays, Financial Times "These phenomenal photographs...a cacophony of colour...Despite and because of their artifice, John Hinde's picture postcards are endlessly fascinating, exposing social trends, sartorial aberrations and a particular photographic vision. A delightful book". The Art Book. Large collection of his other work at the John Hinde Collection posted by puny human at 10:00 AM PST - 6 comments
Devadasi are women in southeastern India who were dedicated in their youth to the goddess Yellamma. When they reach puberty they are forced into sex work. Once they were women of high status, but now they've been relegated to the outskirts of society. The devadasi practice goes back a long way in history, and was once celebrated in poetry. When God Is a Customer, a collection of translated classical Telugu poems about the devadasi, is free to read online. Their modern life is described by William Dalrymple in The New Yorker and in a video interview with filmmaker Beeban Kidron which includes clips from her documentary Sex, Death and the Gods. The devadasi have been targeted by exploitative Western media for a long time, but have recently started to hit back, using the internet to disseminate their views. posted by Kattullus at 7:46 AM PST - 14 comments
This is not the South Africa we dream of... (NSFW) "Using a Pentax camera with 35mm focal-length lens, Billy Monk photographed the nightclub revellers and sold the prints to his subjects. His close and long friendships with many of the people in the images allowed him to photograph them with extraordinary intimacy in all their states of joy and sadness. His images of nightlife seem carefree and far away from the scars and segregation of apartheid that fractured this society in the daylight." posted by artof.mulata at 3:14 AM PST - 54 comments
They Were There is a 30 min video from IBM, who is turning 100 this year. "told by first-hand witnesses—current and retired employees and clients—who were there when IBM helped to change the way world works." posted by finite at 12:05 AM PST - 52 comments
A blogger for information security firm Imperva reports the discovery of a hacker site offering root access on US & foreign government, military & educational sites for sale for prices ranging from $55 to $499, or just database records for the reasonable price of $20/1000. Besides US sites the hacker(s) also offer government servers in India, Taiwan & Italy. The hacker(s) also provide what they claim is proof of their access for the skeptical or cautious buyer. No credit card offers, please - the only currency they accept is Liberty Reserve. posted by scalefree at 7:17 PM PST - 29 comments
Belgium's telecoms companies have a reputation for customer care that is only slightly better than the Gestapo's. Because of divisions among the linguistic areas, monopolies and a disinterest in oversight, the phone and internet companies are notorious for outstandingly poor customer service.
Everyone has a tale to tell. In my case, I had a deal with one company and when my neighbour got connected with a rival firm, instead of putting in a new cable, they literally cut through mine and attached him. They then refused to reconnect me, on the grounds that I was not a customer of theirs.
After five weeks of getting nowhere, I had to pay another company to install a new cable.
Recently a Flemish TV show fought back for all of us. SLYT. A fine and elaborate prank that needs to be watched to the end.
Yes it is a SLYT but for anyone who has ever had to deal with Belgian telecoms or internet companies, this is entirely justified payback. posted by quarsan at 1:59 PM PST - 32 comments
Microaggressions.This blog seeks to provide a visual representation of the everyday of “microaggressions.” Each event, observation and experience posted is not necessarily particularly striking in and of themselves. Often, they are never meant to hurt - acts done with little conscious awareness of their meanings and effects. Instead, their slow accumulation during a childhood and over a lifetime is in part what defines a marginalized experience, making explanation and communication with someone who does not share this identity particularly difficult. Social others are microaggressed hourly, daily, weekly, monthly. posted by prefpara at 1:54 PM PST - 56 comments
Real Men Find Real Utopias Historian reviews new book by bigshot sociologist Erik Olin Wright and gives it a thorough drubbing. Wishes sociology could be like it used to be, with more history and better English. Via ALDaily. posted by Philosopher's Beard at 6:36 AM PST - 34 comments
The Doge was the leader of the Venetian Republic, which lasted for over a thousand years, so they must have been doing something right. Here's Wikipedia's concise description of the selection process: "Thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine; the nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve, who chose twenty-five. The twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine and the nine elected forty-five. Then the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven, and the eleven finally chose the forty-one who actually elected the doge." Sounds crazy, but Miranda Mowbray and Dieter Gollmann wrote a paper, "Electing the Doge of Venice: Analysis of a 13th Century Protocol" (pdf) explaining its virtues in terms that should warm the cockles of MetaFilter's collective geeky heart. From the abstract: "We will show that it has some useful properties that in addition to being interesting in themselves, also suggest that its fundamental design principle is worth investigating for application to leader election protocols in computer science." Interesting sidelight: "security theater" can be a good thing. posted by languagehat at 6:06 AM PST - 49 comments
In Aliens, what was the primary danger Ellen Ripley faced? Was it A. the machinations of the officials of the Weyland-Yutani corporation, B. the attacks and acid blood of the aliens themselves, or C. the bizarre, space-warping doors of the space colony dumping her into pits of death? According to a recently-surfaced prototype of a Famicom (Japanese NES) port of Aliens, produced by Squaresoft, the answer is C!
Sardius of gaming blog Dream And Friends tells us all about it: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3[more inside] posted by JHarris at 6:40 PM PST - 37 comments
Inside Google's Age of Augmented Humanity. Wade Roush of Xconomy interviews Google researchers working on speech recognition, machine translation, and computer vision. [CEO Eric] Schmidt talked about "the age of augmented humanity," a time when computers remember things for us, when they save us from getting lost, lonely, or bored, and when "you really do have all the world's information at your fingertips in any language"—finally fulfilling Bill Gates' famous 1990 forecast. This future, Schmidt says, will soon be accessible to everyone who can afford a smartphone—one billion people now, and as many as four billion by 2020.... It's not that phones themselves are all that powerful, at least compared to laptop or desktop machines. But more and more of them are backed up by broadband networks that, in turn, connect to massively distributed computing clouds (some of which, of course, are operated by Google). "It’s like having a supercomputer in your pocket," Schmidt said in Berlin. "When we do voice translation, when we do picture identification, all [the smartphone] does is send a request to the supercomputers that then do all the work." posted by russilwvong at 1:50 PM PST - 62 comments
Hu Jintao, premier of China, is in the middle of his first state visit to the US, whose pomp and circumstance reflects China's growing economic stature and role in world affairs. Due to the linguistic and political differences between the US and China, few Americans know very much about Hu. Many of them will have had their first real look at him during an extended and surprisngly candid joint press conference held with President Obama and lasting well over an hour - something which never happens in China. Fears (or possibly hopes) of a trade war between the US and China a year ago have faded, and instead a trade deal involving $45 billion of American exports was announced, to mixed reactions. He was received less kindly by Congress, whose members expressed disquiet about everything from trade deficits to human rights and whose leaders declined to discuss matters over dinner - perhaps because they did not wish to be lost in the high-powered crowd of attendees. [more inside] posted by anigbrowl at 11:33 AM PST - 59 comments
Cow Clicker distilled social games to their essence, offering players incentive to instrumentalize their friendships, obsess over arbitrary timed events, buy their way out of challenge and effort, and incrementally blight their offline lives through worry and dread. posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 10:50 AM PST - 18 comments
Copycat of Arizona's immigration status bill has passed the Mississippi Senate by a vote of 34-15. The difference here is that there is a precondition with the immigration status check. Though selection cannot be based on race, color, or country of origin but ability to English can cast enough suspicion to warrant a check on immigration status. posted by azileretsis at 10:24 AM PST - 73 comments
Lily the bear is giving birth and is going under the web camagain. The web cam and the American Bear Center are the creation of Lynn Rogers. Dr. Rogers work hashiscritics: "I highly disagree with the way Lynn Rogers has decided to pimp out these bears in order to pay off HIS debt. Instead of studying bears, I believe he has successfully 'studied' humans and has found the trick to manipulating them. " posted by Xurando at 6:50 AM PST - 11 comments
RUBBER (Not THAT one) is the story of Robert, an inanimate tire that has been abandoned in the desert, and suddenly and inexplicably comes to life. As Robert roams the bleak landscape, he discovers that he possesses terrifying telepathic powers that give him the ability to destroy anything he wishes without having to move. At first content to prey on small desert creatures and various discarded objects, his attention soon turns to humans, especially a beautiful and mysterious woman who crosses his path. [more inside] posted by Knigel at 9:39 PM PST - 17 comments
"I was daydreaming in class about who knows what, when I thought of my fire poofer project...I tried to think of ways I could apply a fireball shooter to things in ways that would be pretty awesome. I thought of using a microcontroller to sync the fire to the beat of music - now that would be pretty cool, and the patterns would always be different, so it wouldn't get as boring as fast. Then I thought of the game Guitar Hero."
High school student Chris Marion hacks a guitar controller and builds FireHero. Facemelting ensues. posted by therewolf at 8:53 PM PST - 28 comments
The BBC and toy company Character Options will be putting a new Doctor Who themed series of construction toys on store shelves around the world in the next few months. Just when you thought Matt Smith and Karen Gillan couldn't get any cuter... posted by BZArcher at 3:09 PM PST - 62 comments
The Global Aging Preparedness Index The GAP Index is a measure of how countries are prepared to deal with their elderly/retired - this is a recent report put together by the Center for Strategic International Studies and looks at how things stood in 2007 and looks ahead to 2040.
Hint: you don't want to be old now in South Korea or old in 2040 in Spain.
via cfr.org posted by skyscraper at 12:14 PM PST - 16 comments
Right before the 10th anniversary of the first same-sex marriage in Canada, Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled that a proposed law allowing provincial marriage commissioners to refuse to wed same-sex couples is unconstitutional.
Thecourt.ca gives its thoughts on the decision and the social context surrounding it. posted by Lemurrhea at 9:34 AM PST - 40 comments
Indeed, the comeback of the culture of poverty, albeit in new rhetorical guise, signifies a reversion to the status quo ante: to the discourses and concomitant policy agenda that existed before the black protest movement forced the nation to confront its collective guilt and responsibility for two centuries of slavery and a century of Jim Crow—racism that pervaded all major institutions of our society, North and South. Such momentous issues are brushed away as a new generation of sociologists delves into deliberately myopic examinations of a small sphere where culture makes some measurable difference—to prove that “culture matters.”
GLBT rights advocate Carolyn Wagner has passed away. In 1996, Carolyn's 16 year old son, William, was assaulted in his school in Fayetteville, Arkansas, following years of anti-gay harassment. School administrators rebuffed his complaints, telling him to man-up. His mother, Carolyn, filed a complaint with the Office For Civil Rights that the Fayetteville Arkansas School District was in violation of their son's Title lX rights and succeeded in convincing the OCR that GLBT students are covered by Title lX, and won. [more inside] posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:20 AM PST - 28 comments
"Feathered Hussy Moves in on Pale Male." Famous Central Park raptor Pale Male has taken a new mate, which most likely means that Lola, his companion of the last eight years, has died. Though some birders hold out hope for her return, one expert says, "This is not the season that experienced [female hawks] cavalierly absent themselves from their established territories." Pale Male is known to have sired at least 26 chicks, and inspired both controversy and counter-protests when fancy Upper East Siders tried to evict his nest from their fancy building. The birds won that conflict. Next argument on tap: what to name his new mate. posted by BlahLaLa at 5:15 PM PST - 31 comments
What the Heck is Shadow DOM? Browser developers realized that coding the appearance and behavior of HTML elements completely by hand is a) hard and b) silly. So they sort of cheated. They created a boundary between what you, the Web developer can reach and what’s considered implementation details, thus inaccessible to you. The browser however, can traipse across this boundary at will. posted by netbros at 4:00 PM PST - 38 comments
“You know what Miami gets in their crime show? They get detectives that look like models, and they drive around in sports cars. And you know what New York gets, they get these incredibly tough prosecutors, competent cops that solve the most crazy, complicated cases. —What Baltimore gets is this reinforced notion that it's a city full of hopelessness, despair and dysfunction. There was very little effort—beyond self-serving—to highlight the great and wonderful things happening here, and to indict the whole population, the criminal justice system, the school system.” —Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, on the effect of The Wire on Baltimore’s reputation. [more inside] posted by kipmanley at 3:14 PM PST - 119 comments
The other places are like kindergartens compared with this. It smells so incredibly evil! I didn't think such a place existed except in my own imagination. It has a ghastly familiarity like a half-remembered dream. *Anything* could happen here... any moment... Pauline Kael called it "hilariously, awesomely terrible". Others consider it "a forgotten gem of a film that set the gold standard for noir films to come".
It was Josef von Sternberg's last major film - The Shanghai Gesture (1941). (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
posted by Joe Beese at 2:20 PM PST - 7 comments
Kibera is a slum in the southwest of Nairobi, often called the biggest slum in the world; some estimates of the population put it as high as 1.5m, although the 2009 Kenyan census puts the population at a rather more sober 170k(ish). Now, Kiberans are carrying out two similarly named but unaffiliated projects, Map Kibera and Map Kibera Project, to create maps of their home. MKP has a pair of rather slick-looking PDF maps showing the terrain and structures in Kibera. MK uses OpenStreetMap, which means that their cartographers can be rapidly update it to more accurately reflect how quickly things change in Kibera. They also have, inevitably, a twitter account, flickr stream and a blog to keep the world up to date with their work, including their ambition to start mapping another Nairobi slum, Mathare.
Via the Beeb, which also has a nice wee audio slideshow about MK. posted by Dim Siawns at 9:46 AM PST - 8 comments
Who, exactly, represents the left extreme in the establishment blogosphere? You'd likely hear names like Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald. But these examples are instructive. Is Hamsher a socialist? A revolutionary anti-capitalist? In any historical or international context-- in the context of a country that once had a robust socialist left, and in a world where there are straightforwardly socialist parties in almost every other democracy-- is Hamsher particularly left-wing? Not at all. It's only because her rhetoric is rather inflamed that she is seen as particularly far to the left.
Brazil won't extradite an Italian writer convicted for political murders in the 1970s, so a Venetian official wants his books out of libraries. Not only Cesare Battisti's works, but also those written by Italians who supported him through petitions.
In September, a privately held and highly secretive U.S. biotech company received a patent for a genetically adapted E. coli bacterium that feeds solely on carbon dioxide and excretes liquid hydrocarbons. Joule Unlimited, co-founded by George Church, appears ready to forever alter the way we produce fuel. [more inside] posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:15 AM PST - 140 comments
In the 1960's, 70's and 80's, urban decay and high crime rates caused retail chain supermarkets to flee New York City. (google books link) Korean immigrants filled the gap with corner grocery stores. For nearly two decades they were ubiquitous -- symbols of the group's ongoing quest to achieve the American Dream. But 30 years later, Where Did The Korean Greengrocers Go?[more inside] posted by zarq at 8:03 AM PST - 19 comments
The Fifth Solvay Conference, where the leading physicists of the time gathered to discuss quantum theory, produced an iconic photo of the participants. 17 of the 29 pictured either already were or would be Nobel prize winners, including Marie Curie who was badass enough to have two. But did you know there is film footage of the conference as well? [more inside] posted by kmz at 6:28 AM PST - 8 comments
Matthew Irvine Brown has written 18 short pieces specifically to be played in iTunes shuffle mode. The fragments can be downloaded from his site to create your own original track. A liking of glitch will probably increase your enjoyment. posted by meech at 5:40 PM PST - 22 comments
The way different people respond to Wikipedia may tell us more about them (or ourselves as we react) than it does about The Opus itself. Oh well, when you're rowing a boat, you're always looking at where you've been. At any rate, Atlantic has posted a nice selection of opinions on a worthy, controversial subject by mostly recognizable names. posted by Twang at 4:23 PM PST - 74 comments
The new film Blue Valentine (trailer) features a damn fine 60's-era soul ballad called "You and Me," of mysterious origin. The exposure has sparked an effort to find out who sang it and where it came from. The archival label Numero Group (previously) discovered the rehearsal tape, labeled only 'Penny and the Quarters', at an estate sale in Columbus, OH. Since then, "we have played this recording to over 100 movers and shakers from the time and no one has a clue." posted by naju at 2:37 PM PST - 28 comments
Congratulations, Mr Karimov! On the eve of your first official visit to Brussels in years, President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, you deserve high praise. You have played the long game expertly and outmanoeuvred European foreign-policy makers so deftly that you have become a model of how to shrug off international pariah status. [more inside] posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:11 PM PST - 11 comments
On MLK Day, Some Thoughts on Segregated Schools, Arne Duncan, and President Obama "American schools are more segregated by race and class today than they were on the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, 43 years ago. The average white child in America attends a school that is 77 percent white, and where just 32 percent of the student body lives in poverty. The average black child attends a school that is 59 percent poor but only 29 percent white. The typical Latino kid is similarly segregated; his school is 57 percent poor and 27 percent white." posted by Fizz at 10:40 AM PST - 55 comments
How Private Is 'Private Charity'? Private charity may be more accurately described as "private donations coupled with involuntary, tax-financed public subsidies." And it's not fair: "very low-income people paying only payroll taxes get hardly any leverage for their donations. Very high-income people in states with high income-tax rates – such as New Jersey and New York – can through the tax code virtually double the money funneled to a charity per dollar of their own sacrifice." (previously) posted by kliuless at 9:33 AM PST - 39 comments
Why we're still fighting yesterday's economic war Above all, like historians assessing the Maginot Line, we must avoid comforting ourselves with the judgment that the [financial] system's architects were naive and that therefore we might hope to do much better. Far more important is to be aware that defenses are vulnerable precisely where they are strongest and to be prepared to respond creatively and calmly when they fail, as they surely will again. posted by Philosopher's Beard at 6:26 AM PST - 19 comments
As you may know, January 15th will be our 10th anniversary.
Unfortunately, Plastic will shut down a month from then, around February 15th (exact date to come)." [more inside] posted by iviken at 1:35 AM PST - 112 comments
"Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.... At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion." Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures in the U.S., but it can be very difficult to get unbiased information about the procedure. From Jezebel: The Girl's Guide to Having an Abortion. posted by jokeefe at 10:39 PM PST - 104 comments
The Rise of the New Global Elite The new global elite are fabulously wealthy, cosmopolitan, philanthrocapitalist, entrepreneurial, highly driven, frequently self-made, and confident they deserve their success. They are also often unsympathetic to the middle classes of the developed world. Said one senior executive: "...if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty [and] one American drops out of the middle class...that's not such a bad trade." posted by shivohum at 4:49 PM PST - 70 comments
The "Brown Stabilizer" - better known as a Steadicam - had its first commercial use 35 years ago in Bound for Glory, Hal Ashby's biopic of Woody Guthrie. Later that year, it was used to film the iconic shot of Rocky Balboa running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. But it was this shot in The Shining - which even Kubrick-hater Pauline Kael deemed "spectacular" - that showed the technology's full potential. (previously) posted by Joe Beese at 10:04 AM PST - 41 comments
Louie recoiled in horror, jerking his legs to the side, away from the shark's mouth. The shark kept coming, directly at Louie's head. Louie rammed his palm into the tip of the shark's nose. The shark flinched, circled away, then swam back at him again. Louie waited until the shark was inches from him, then struck it on the nose again. Again, the shark peeled away. Above, the bullets stopped coming. As quickly as he could, Louie pulled himself along the cord until he reached the raft. He grabbed its wall and lifted himself clear of the shark.
This quote is from an article about Louis Zamperini, whose planed crashed into the Pacific in 1941. He and two other men, Francis McNamara and Russell Phillips, made it into liferafts. They would drift in the ocean for weeks. The article is by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit. For more about Zamperini and his amazing story you can go to his website. posted by Kattullus at 6:58 PM PST - 24 comments
On the afternoon of November 1, 2010, Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks.org, marched with his lawyer into the London office of Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian. Assange was pallid and sweaty, his thin frame racked by a cough that had been plaguing him for weeks. He was also angry, and his message was simple: he would sue the newspaper if it went ahead and published stories based on the quarter of a million documents that he had handed over to The Guardian just three months earlier. [. . .]
In Rusbridger’s office, Assange’s position was rife with ironies. An unwavering advocate of full, unfettered disclosure of primary-source material, Assange was now seeking to keep highly sensitive information from reaching a broader audience. He had become the victim of his own methods: someone at WikiLeaks, where there was no shortage of disgruntled volunteers, had leaked the last big segment of the documents, and they ended up at The Guardian in such a way that the paper was released from its previous agreement with Assange—that The Guardian would publish its stories only when Assange gave his permission.
Growing Up Gay (Part 1, Part 2) is a two-part documentary series exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people growing up in Ireland.
As recently as 1993, homosexuality was illegal in Ireland. As the first generation born after decriminalization comes of age, this series seeks to establish how much has changed in Irish society in the intervening years. For young people, whose lives revolve around school and the family, is it any easier to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender today than it was 17 years ago? posted by minifigs at 11:52 PM PST - 27 comments
Does a better education really lead to a higher income? Take a map of the USA, overlay census data for high school graduation rates (red), college graduate rates (yellow) and median household income (blue). What do you get? A patchwork map of purples, blues, pinks and greens, that shows the relationship between education and income by county. [more inside] posted by Joh at 9:32 PM PST - 61 comments
A Danish court rules that truth is not a defense to its hate speech law and fines Member of Parliament Jesper Langballe $1,000 for commenting that "Of course Lars Hedegaard [President of the Danish Free Press Society] should not have said that there are Muslim fathers who rape their daughters when the truth appears to be that they make do with killing their daughters (the so-called honour killings) and leave it to their uncles to rape them." Hedegaard had tried to explain that he was speaking in the context of an epidemic of honor violence within Muslim families when he said "They rape their own children"; he faces his own set of charges. (via Volokh Conspiracy) [more inside] posted by shivohum at 9:20 PM PST - 229 comments
Where do you think Apple’s iPhone is the most popular? Where do Nokia’s Symbian phones dominate? How is it going for Android in different parts of the world? What about Blackberry?
We’re going to answer all of those questions and more in this article, which will closely examine mobile OS usage across the world. posted by infini at 5:30 PM PST - 45 comments
"The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular places in space that a person might theoretically be able to one day visit. So for the most part, nebula, galaxies and the like are not a part of this forum. I tend to focus on “terrestrial” places or places that host such places. I suppose I would like to find out more about these places that we may one day inhabit or simply visit."
Hat tip to Nice Guy Mike! posted by boo_radley at 2:08 PM PST - 4 comments
Wins-above-replacement, or WAR, is a Sabermetric term of art for baseball player comparison. Fangraphs, one of the go-to sites for baseball nerdlingers, now offers a way to make WAR grids, an amazingly easily comprehended visual display comparing players based on WAR, sortable by team, position and season, with a default topline of player age. [more inside] posted by klangklangston at 10:16 AM PST - 54 comments
The Decentralized Dance Party : The DDP is a portable, battery-powered Party System. It consists of hundreds of Party People, carrying boomboxes, and a DJ who wears a backpack, containing a powerful FM transmitter. posted by GuyZero at 9:39 AM PST - 34 comments
The absurd amount of over-laughing that occurs during NFL Pregame Shows has long been a cliche. The Wall Street Journal recently calculated that one show spent 2 minutes and 22 seconds, or 11.6% of its length, laughing. But this recent video may be the defining moment of the trend, raising over-laughing to an art form. posted by JoeGoblin at 9:30 AM PST - 68 comments
The Word made another helper from fire to be its hands as it toiled on its creations. The Word gave them free will. Although they did not know their name, they were called the Jinn...Iblis, a webcomic take on the Islamic tempter figure by Kelli Nelson. [more inside] posted by kid ichorous at 4:42 AM PST - 15 comments
While the self-appointed task of one creative act per day continues to exist, I present the sonic explorations of Clang Jingle Clang . Highlights of Kerrith Livengood's early morning posts include a Goomba attack, political musings, and a fable from Aesop. posted by Bistle at 1:50 AM PST - 2 comments
Superguy was a forum for the posting of original, comedic fiction based loosely on superheroes and related concepts. ... It existed during the birth of the modern Internet culture, and survived much longer than many similar groups, diminishing in activity only when the webcomic trend became widespread. ... It is one of the longest running collaborative shared universe projects on the Internet. posted by Joe Beese at 8:31 PM PST - 1 comments
Still clinging desperately to those reading-things of yours made from dead trees? While you're at it, scan the damn thing and make your own e-book. (My prediction is that there are copyright issues here that the manufacturer is ignoring, but that will come back to haunt them.) posted by anothermug at 6:24 PM PST - 48 comments
We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies. - Google's Chrome is will be joining Firefox in no longer licensing the MPEG-LA H.264 video codec favoured by Apple and Microsoft for use in the HTML5 <video> tag (previously). Not everyone is seeing this as a good thing. posted by Artw at 11:57 AM PST - 145 comments
"The world’s oceans have been experiencing enormous blooms of jellyfish, apparently caused by overfishing, declining water quality, and rising sea temperatures. Now, scientists are trying to determine if these outbreaks could represent a “new normal” in which jellyfish increasingly supplant fish.. Total jelly domination would be like turning back the clock to the Precambrian world, more than 550 million years ago." posted by stbalbach at 8:57 AM PST - 69 comments
Richard Henry has died. "The bird was originally discovered in Fiordland in 1975 when kakapo were believed to be extinct. [...] Richard Henry played a vital role by offering genetic diversity to the breeding programme, which now numbers 121 birds"; Kakapo, memorably described by Douglas Adams as the "world's largest, fattest and least-able-to-fly parrot", are not the only New Zealand bird brought back from the brink (and Don Merton features in many of their stories, as well as others farther abroad). [more inside] posted by rodgerd at 11:33 PM PST - 27 comments
A Day in the Future. "I don’t live in Philadelphia, but my friend has a machine that lets us see what’s happening there. I have one too. Almost everyone does. The sun won’t rise for another hour, but I don’t need to light a fire or candles. I have artificial ones, mounted on the ceiling. Hit a tiny switch and I can see everything, any time of day." posted by WCityMike at 7:34 PM PST - 78 comments
EterRNA (reg. req) is a game, of sorts, that asks you to design complex new ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules, with the chance to have your efforts synthesised by Stanford University. A successor to the protein-folding of FoldIt. There's some background info at the NYT. posted by Sparx at 7:32 PM PST - 10 comments
Henry Roth had one of the most anomalous careers in modern letters: a brilliant novel at age twenty-eight, the incomparableCall It Sleep, lost for thirty years but never quite forgotten, then a torrent of words let loose in his seventies and eighties. ... Roth continued to resist any single explanation for his catastrophic writer's block, but it became evident that it was the incest, and the self-loathing that accompanied it, that threw the biggest roadblock across his path.[more inside] posted by Joe Beese at 11:57 AM PST - 7 comments
Separation Anxiety: "Now that there's no escaping the digital world, research is getting more serious about what happens to personalities that are incessantly on." posted by zarq at 5:48 AM PST - 42 comments
There are many types of Reogs in Indonesia but Reog Ponorogo is the most famous. Waroks hold a 50kg singobarong mask in their teeth while performing. Malaysia has attempted to annex the performance. posted by unliteral at 7:24 PM PST - 6 comments
The Noun Project collects, organizes and adds to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world's visual language, so they may be shared in a fun and meaningful way. The goal is to collect and organize all the symbols that form our language into one easy-to-use online library that can be accessed by anyone. All the symbols on their site are completely free to download, and can be used for design projects, architecture presentations, art pieces — just about anything. posted by netbros at 6:42 PM PST - 23 comments
English-born artist metal-worker Ford Hallam in South Africa recently completed a very special project - at the request of a patron-collector, he created a reproduction of a lost tsuba (Japanese sword guard), transforming scraps of raw metal into this exquisite object. The hugely interesting process was documented in HD video, and you can watch it on YouTube in two parts:  | .
[more inside] posted by woodblock100 at 3:57 PM PST - 31 comments
There is Housing Works in NYC, which raises money for community based AIDS/HIV treatment and housing for the homeless. Here in Chicago we have Open Books, who uses the money raised from selling donated books to run literacy programs and tutoring programs for children.
Now Minneapolis is getting Boneshaker Books; an all volunteer run radical bookstore that will house the Women's Prison Book Project and offer bike book delivery. posted by bibliogrrl at 7:20 AM PST - 17 comments
"The Szpilman Award
is awarded to works that exist only for a moment or a short period of time. The purpose of the award is to promote such works whose forms consist of ephemeral situations." This years winner is Treebute to Yogya. The organisers also maintain a blog and an encyclopædia of ephemeral works. posted by unliteral at 4:39 PM PST - 9 comments
In an age of information wealth, how do we decide what's true & what's not? Allow me to introduce the world of discussion mapping. First up we have zest (demo here), a simple tool for threading mailing lists for easier navigation. It lacks the advanced features of the others but it's an easy starting point for structuring your discussions. [more inside] posted by scalefree at 11:53 AM PST - 6 comments
Debbie Friedman passed away today. She was the most well known and influential composer of Jewish music and litergy in the United States. The Jerusalem Post says that "Friedman’s music is performed in synagogues around the world more than that of any other modern composer."
Her most well known song is a setting of Mi Shebeirach, a prayer for healing. posted by kdern at 12:07 PM PST - 24 comments
In 1989, Milton Bradley debuted HeroQuest, a board game in the style of Dungeons and Dragons. Not to be bested at their own game, D&D's parent company TSR released Dragon Strike (reviewed here by Angry Video Game Nerd's James Rolfe.) Packaged with the board game was a low-budget fantasy short film meant to simultaneously set the mood, demonstrate a potential adventure and explain the rules. posted by griphus at 10:01 AM PST - 74 comments
On Friday evening, Trent Reznor sat down with Jon Pareles (music critic for the NYT) for a lengthy, candid interview about his work on The Social Network soundtrack, Nine Inch Nails, How To Destroy Angels, and his creative process. The interview runs 1h15m, and is available for download in both video and audio versions. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 9:33 AM PST - 17 comments
The Romanian government has changed its labour laws, and in doing so has added a number of professions which weren't previously recognised but which are now subject to tax. Car valets, embalmers and driving instructors are unhappy to be added, but their protests aren't likely to be as scary as those of the...witches. [more inside] posted by reynir at 8:45 AM PST - 18 comments
Following the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology's decision to publish Daryl Bem's writeup of 8 studies (PDF) purporting to show evidence for precognition (previously), researchers from the University of Amsterdam have written a rebuttal (PDF) which finds methodological flaws not only in Bem's research, but in many other published papers in experimental psychology. Could this prove to be psychology's cold fusion moment? [more inside] posted by yourcelf at 10:34 AM PST - 21 comments
It was December 14 when Twitter first received the sealed order to turn over information on several of its users. Twitter could simply have provided the information requested, instead of acting, on January 5, to have the order unsealed. The unsealing of the subpoena allowed the Twitter users in question to become aware of the situation, and it allowed them an opportunity to dispute the order--an opportunity they would not otherwise have had.
US wants Twitter details of Wikileaks activists.
WikiLeaks demands Google and Facebook unseal US subpoenas. One of the subpeoned accounts it that of Birgitta Jónsdóttir, activist and Icelandic Member of parliament.
A resolution proposing the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), has already been unanimously passed by the country's parliament.
Icelands intention is to become an international transparency haven. posted by adamvasco at 7:57 AM PST - 86 comments
Open Tyrian OpenTyrian is a port of the DOS shoot-em-up Tyrian (previously). The port uses SDL, making it easily cross-platform. Builds are available for Windows and Mac OS X [... and] for Android, Amiga, Dingoo, Dreamcast, DS, GameCube, Gizmondo, GP2X, GP32, Nokia Internet Tablets, PSP, PS3 Linux, Symbian, Wii, and Wiz posted by kid ichorous at 1:13 AM PST - 21 comments
'Illinois wants Amazon to collect 6.25 percent sales tax and send it back to the state.' Amazon fights back. Under current law, only companies with a physical presence in the state have to do this, but the new bill declares that even having affiliates in Illinois counts as "presence." 'An e-mail sent from the company to all of its Illinois affiliates this morning warns that, should Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sign a just-passed tax bill, Amazon is cutting off every affiliate in Illinois.
"We regret to inform you that the Illinois state legislature has passed an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that, if signed by Governor Quinn, would leave Amazon.com little choice but to end its relationships with Illinois-based Associates," said the e-mail.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 4:36 PM PST - 149 comments
On August 30, 1978 a Polish airliner was hijacked and redirected to Tempelhof airport in West Berlin. Torn between a policy of supporting defection and a recently-signed anti-hijacking treaty, the West German government ceded jurisdiction over the defendants to the United States government, which was still technically an occupying power and had an interest in the case because of the US Air Force Base at Tempelhof. The result was the one and only decision rendered by the United States Court for Berlin, United States v. Tiede. [more inside] posted by jedicus at 3:08 PM PST - 13 comments
Butt (previously) interviews Didier Lestrade, former publisher of classic French gay zines and periodicals like Magazine (scanned archives) and Têtu. “Unlike many young fags today, we knew our gay history. We were learning all the time about all kinds of stuff and we were always eager to lean more…. It freaks me out to think how quickly we went from creating our own history to not caring about gay history anymore! It happened so fast. No one has even begun to collect and preserve all the material from the Paradise Garage, the Saint, etc., and now gay people don’t seem to even care.” [more inside] posted by joeclark at 12:09 PM PST - 31 comments
"Just months before the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union, they had nothing better to do than to obsess about this dog." Introducing Jackie, the Finnish dog that infuriated the Nazis. posted by naju at 9:24 AM PST - 69 comments
Rocaterrania is a country located in part of what's often known as the North Country of New York State, bordering on Canada. At least, it's there in the mind of Renaldo Kuhler, its creator, who has been imagining -- and sometimes physically creating -- the nation's politics, fashion, and artifacts since he was a teenager on his family's ranch in Colorado just after World War II. The son of Otto Kuhler, who designed the Hiawatha passenger trains of the Milwaukee Road railway, Renaldo needed an escape from ranch life. He invented a nation of forward-looking Eastern European immigrants with a vibrant, distinctly un-American culture. He warns, though, "it is not a Utopia." He has drawn, painted, and been the nation's history. He created its language, Rocaterranski, and alphabet from Yiddish and Spanish and German. Rocaterrania is a large-scale work of fiction but sometimes the way Kuhler speaks, it sounds like he believes it's really there. Kuhler now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and is known about town for his Rocaterranian garb. [more inside] posted by knile at 6:57 AM PST - 12 comments
Yes, it's Canadian, of course. I like the way the promo overreacts to the possibility that some people might find the sport a little slow, or, perhaps not a sport at all. Snazzy music. Shots of the guys horsing around. Black and white and slo-mo. Killer, eh. posted by anothermug at 5:29 AM PST - 31 comments
If you like meaty filthy 60s-70s rock by sometimes severely ripped blokes &b.b.b.babes — like I know I do — then bite on these two crispy mix streams and the extensive opinionated textual japery and idolatry from Brit musician, musicologist, Julian Cope that accompanies them. This man writes books on music. Why is he giving it away? [more inside] posted by Twang at 11:24 PM PST - 21 comments
The Chevy Volt plug-in electric goes 40 miles on battery alone, yet can go up to 350 miles. Top speed 100mph. How can you top that?
How about an 80 miles on battery, 500 miles total, and a top speed of 150mph and 0-60 in 3.9 seconds? The gasoline engine is a turbine (also used in jet engines). The Capstone CMT380. Specs (PDF). [more inside] posted by eye of newt at 10:56 PM PST - 57 comments
The French government today said it was the victim of an "economic war" after Renault, the partially state-owned car maker, suspended three top executives over suspected leaks of secret electric car technology.
The French industry minister, Eric Besson, told French radio: "The expression 'economic war', while often outrageous, is for once appropriate here." He said the case illustrated "the risks our companies face in terms of industrial espionage, and economic intelligence". posted by infini at 7:49 PM PST - 28 comments
To celebrate the 30th anniversary of his awesome abstract compilation album Miniatures, Morgan Fisher (of Mott the Hoople fame) has started going through the 51-track masterpiece from the beginning in, well, minute detail, updating readers on the current status of the featured band, providing relevant links, explaining his compilation process, and, of course, streaming each track. So far the first 7 tracks are featured, but start here with the bonus track added to the 1994 CD re-issue of Miniatures – "The Miniatures Miniature". [more inside] posted by carsonb at 7:44 PM PST - 11 comments
Star Magazine ran for five issues in the spring and summer of 1973. Based in Los Angeles and directed at teenage girls, it covered rock stars, fashion ("How to get the rich hippie look"), dating advice ("How to get guys"), and interviews with such luminaries as Marc Bolan and Sally Struthers, as well as paeans to groupie life and getting your head together. All five issues have been scanned and uploaded for your viewing pleasure (once you get past the clunky interface and watermarks). Platform shoes recommended. posted by jokeefe at 6:47 PM PST - 38 comments
Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes of as much as 59% for individuals. 'Insurer says the increases result from fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws. The move comes less than a year after Anthem Blue Cross tried and failed to raise rates as much as 39%.''Nearly 1 in 4 of the affected customers will see cumulative increases of more than 50% over five months.''Michael Fraser, a Blue Shield policyholder from San Diego, learned recently that his monthly bill would climb 59%, to $431 from $271.''Anthem's attempt to raise rates by up to 39% led to national outrage and helped President Obama marshal support for his healthcare overhaul. The insurer was ultimately forced to back down, accepting maximum rate hikes of 20%.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 3:46 PM PST - 108 comments
"On GChat, I type many things – sincere and not – that I would never say in person because it’s easy, when typing certain things into a box, to forget whom you are typing to." From Thought Catalog, writer Caroline Bankoff lists 45 things she thinks about when she thinks about google's chat service. [more inside] posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:14 PM PST - 34 comments
Canntaireachd is a Scottish oral tradition for the vocal imitation of the bagpipes, dating from the 16th Century or earlier. Canntaireachd `nonsense' words represent particular manner of articulation as well as pitch, and are used during instruction, to swap tunes between musicians, and during performance. Canntaireachd is a dying art, largely replaced by staff notation, but a fewplayers are keeping it alive. [more inside] posted by yaxu at 1:15 PM PST - 15 comments
Heading out for a drive this weekend? Live near Lake Biwa in Japan? Then head over the O-hashi ('Big Bridge') and sing along with the music your car will make as it runs over the 'Melody Road'. These attractions (distractions?) - created by carving ridges into the surface of the road, causing your tires to play 'music' - have popped up all over Japan in recent years (here's an English-language news clip on the phenomenon). But if you are a road engineer, and are thinking of perhaps making one of these, you had better do the math properly, something the engineers on a similar project for a Honda commercial spectacularly failed to do. (Analysis of what went wrong on this interesting blog post). posted by woodblock100 at 5:51 AM PST - 11 comments
Let’s put things into perspective: 2010 was not the worst year ever. There have been MUCH worse years. For example, toward the end of the Cretaceous Period, the Earth was struck by an asteroid that wiped out 75 percent of all the species on the planet. Can we honestly say that we had a worse year than those species did? Yes we can, because they were not exposed to Jersey Shore.Dave Barry reviews 2010, the worst of all years, ever. posted by hippybear at 1:33 PM PST - 63 comments
The Children of Leningradsky. A 20 minute short by two Polish directors, Andrzej Celinski and Hanna Polak, nominated for the 2004 Academy Award for Best Documentary,
Short Subject. 'Since the fall of the Iron Curtain an estimated four million children have found themselves living on the streets in the former countries of the Soviet Union. In the streets of Moscow alone there are over 30,000 surviving in this manner at the present time. The makers of the documentary film concentrated on a community of homeless children living hand to mouth in the Moscow train station Leningradsky.' Through Liveleak. posted by VikingSword at 12:27 PM PST - 8 comments
Amazing World of Insect-Wing Color Discovered "A closer look at seemingly drab, transparent insect wings has revealed realms of previously unappreciated color, visible to the naked eye yet overlooked for centuries. Until now, the wing colors of many flies and wasps were dismissed as random iridescence. But they may be as distinctive and marvelous as the much-studied, much-celebrated wings of butterflies and beetles." The paper (pdf) was published in PNAS. posted by dhruva at 10:49 AM PST - 10 comments
With Air Force's Gorgon Drone 'we can see everything.' "In ancient times, Gorgon was a mythical Greek creature whose unblinking eyes turned to stone those who beheld them. In modern times, Gorgon may be one of the military's most valuable new tools. This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town." posted by homunculus at 9:49 AM PST - 85 comments
"What dudes do have for inspiration is Fuck Yeah Menswear, a new anonymous blog dedicated to the poetry of self aggrandizing and hurting people’s feelings through your personal style." Via. posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:04 AM PST - 57 comments
The Dubai Job:One year ago, an elite Mossad hit squad traveled to Dubai to kill a high-ranking member of Hamas. They completed the mission, but their covers were blown, and Israel was humiliated by the twenty-seven-minute video of their movements that was posted online for all the world to see. Ronen Bergman reveals the intricate, chilling details of the mission and investigates how Israel's vaunted spy agency did things so spectacularly wrong
(previously) posted by allkindsoftime at 12:32 AM PST - 73 comments
First Leslie Nielsen, and now Anne Francis. Fortunately, Robbie the Robot will live forever.
While probably best known as Altaira Morbius, the Miranda character in the Shakespeare-inspired sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet", Francis had a long career in film and TV. She co-starred with Spencer Tracy in the thriller "Bad Day at Black Rock", which took a stand against the racism of Japanese internment during WWII, and played a private detective in "Honey West." An Aaron Spelling copy of Great Britain's "The Avengers," "Honey West" was more notable for the lead's pet ocelot than compelling writing, though Anne's charm and good looks kept the show afloat for two seasons.
Hearing him discuss films one day in the Lake Street Screening Room used by Chicago critics, Ebert said, "I was struck by the depth and detail of his film knowledge, and by how articulate he was." After reading his work online, Ebert was sold.
Winter's Bone director Debra Granik offers her 45+ minute documentary, Hillbilly Up!, as a free exclusive iTunes download. The film features several of the local musicians and actors from the film discussing Ozarks culture and history. posted by dobbs at 9:25 PM PST - 17 comments
Poo Prints: DNA Profiling for Pets; "... designed to help communities enforce their pooper scooper rules and give the pet owner tools that help them build a better relationship with their dog." [more inside] posted by bwg at 5:22 PM PST - 73 comments
Why does Futura work here but Slanted Futura doesn't? Enter FONTS IN USE: A breakdown, explanation and appreciation of type design out in the real world. posted by The Whelk at 12:58 PM PST - 17 comments
Do you use RSS? Not many do, apparently. Goodbye, then, RSS button in the location bar of Firefox 4 (Bugzilla entry). “RSS is dying,” a blog hyperbolizes in response, with retort from Asa Dotzler of Mozilla, who states the functionality is being moved to a menu item. posted by joeclark at 12:38 PM PST - 98 comments
British actor Pete Postlethwaite has died at the age of 64, after a lengthy battle with cancer. A renowned veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company (he held the leading roles in both The Tempest and 2009's King Lear among others), Postlethwaite is perhaps best known worldwide for his roles in The Usual Suspects (trailer), The Constant Gardener and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Steven Spielberg supposedly described him as "the best actor in the world", although Postlethwaite himself often denied this. posted by fight or flight at 2:57 AM PST - 136 comments
It is the 16th century. From all over Europe great ships sail west to conquer the new world, the Americas. The men eager to seek their fortune, to find new adventures in new lands. They long to cross uncharted seas and discover unknown countries. To find secret gold on a mountain trail high in the Andes. They dream of following the path of the setting sun that leads to Eldorado, and the Mysterious Cities Of Gold.[more inside] posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:24 PM PST - 41 comments
The miniskirts, hotpants, bellbottoms, boots, sunglasses, and hairdos of the Sixties Seventies as worn by the famous and anonymous beauties of the time. (some images NSFW) posted by Joe Beese at 8:02 PM PST - 60 comments
The team of scientists and young researchers at POLENET, stationed at Byrd camp on the west Antarctic ice sheet, have been video podcasting since October 2009. Their seventh features kickin' music by the Weepies. SLYT: Antarctica (song) posted by friendlymilkman at 6:13 PM PST - 2 comments
Iftin , a Somali form of funk, was popular from the early 1970s until the time of the civil war there in 1991. It's just one of many examples of little-known (outside of Africa) African popular music found preserved at Likembe. Found while falling down the world music blog rabbit hole here, after stumbling on a rock here. [more inside] posted by Burhanistan at 2:54 PM PST - 8 comments
Writer Melanie Thernstrom continues to be interesting. After a career spanning more than 20 years, and including well-received articles and books covering murders, suicide, and chronic pain, Thernstrom has published an article -- today on the cover of the New York Times Magazine -- describing her and her husband's choices and experiences in building a family through one husband slash sperm donor, one wife and mother with infertility, one egg donor, and two women serving as gestational surrogates. The internetweighsin. [more inside] posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:12 PM PST - 56 comments
Rise of the Neuronovel. Marco Roth at N+1 argues that the recent interest of contemporary novels (Motherless Brooklyn, Saturday, Atmospheric Disturbances) in the disordered wetware of their characters represents a defeat for fiction. "...the new genre of the neuronovel, which looks on the face of it to expand the writ of literature, appears as another sign of the novel’s diminishing purview." Jonah Lehrer responds to Roth and Roth responds back. posted by escabeche at 12:08 PM PST - 58 comments
Want to create a video of a steady stream of divers simultaneously using the 10 and 3-metre platforms at the diving pool? Get a lot of fellows together, or just Fake It (SLYT; 3.43). Original site (Japanese). posted by bwg at 3:42 AM PST - 35 comments
Every January 1 is Public Domain Day, when new authors enter the public domain. Copyright law is "fiendishly complex", but using the generic "life plus seventy" rule, here are some of the authors who enter the public domain today. What could have been entering the public domain today under the pre-1978-era law (Fellowship of the Ring, Dr. Seuss, etc..).. but you can expect further endless extensions of copyright to come. More articles here, here. posted by stbalbach at 9:43 PM PST - 115 comments
Strategy Page offers a brief overview of the state of the planet, concentrating on who is fighting whom, and why. One interesting thing about it is that the most violent and destructive current wars aren't getting a lot of press coverage in the West. Another interesting thing is that the majority of current violent conflicts are driven by ethnic or religious differences, or by a struggle for control over local sources of wealth (i.e. oil or cocaine or opium). [more inside] posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:35 PM PST - 44 comments
January 1, 1985: Earfuls of earrings out, armful of bangles in.
January 1, 1993: Pellegrino out, Crystal Pepsi in
January 1, 2004: Viagra out, Levitra in (MetaFilter previously in)
January 1, 2011: Trolling out, Hacktivism in.
The List: a middlebrow, Beltway elite, mildly insufferable, perennially baffling Washington Post tradition since 1978 (Concave chests out, bosoms in) posted by silby at 12:17 PM PST - 52 comments