Xupiter and other crap You geeks out there probably already know about the hell that is xupiter, and other parasite programs from Hades. I had to learn the hard way. posted by konolia at 6:48 PM PST - 22 comments
Nu, These New Rabbis, What Chutzpah, Huh? Judaism has decried proselytism, at least since Rome officially adopted Christianity, but a new wave of showbizzy American rabbis seem to be wowing their audiences. Their logic, apparently, is that there's nothing wrong with preaching to the converted. The refusal to engage in propaganda [scroll down to "Jewish Propagandism"] and conversion campaigns (since, unlike the other two great monotheisms, there is no need to be a Jew to have a place in the world to come) is often seen as one of the most attractive features of Judaism [see Part III], although many think its implied exclusivity and indifference to the world at large (and its religions) may actually foster antisemitism. Are things about to change? Should they? Whatever your view, have a happy Hannukah!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:53 PM PST - 15 comments
TextArc is an interactive program that reproduces the text of more than 2,000 books as works of art.
The software converts the text into an interactive map that allows viewers to quickly see relationships between words and characters at a glance, even without having read the book. Try it with Alice in Wonderland. (Links opens a full-screen window.) posted by Mwongozi at 4:41 PM PST - 9 comments
Out of the mist of the beginning of our era there looms a pageant of mythical figures whose vast, superhuman contours might people the walls of another Sistine Chapel. Their countenances and gestures, the roles in which they are cast, the drama which they enact, would yield images different from the biblical ones on which the imagination of the beholder was reared, yet strangely familiar to him and disturbingly moving. The stage would be the same, the theme as transcending: the creation of the world, the destiny of man, fall and redemption, the first and the last things. But how much more numerous would be the cast, how much more bizarre the symbolism, how much more extravagant the emotions! Hans Jonas
Into the Gnostic.
Conservatives dispute Bush on Islam Bush critics, we are told, though they support him believe his statements about Islam are basically political and that Islam is not a peace-loving religion. Though I am not sure on this issue, I do not think citing a passage or two in this or that holy scripture is sufficient to apply to any religion, since what it does (or has done) differs often from what it's stated position is. In this article I find myself torn between disliking in general anything that right-wing conservatives utter and also disliking anything that Bush has to say! My shortcoming, no doubt. posted by Postroad at 1:43 PM PST - 43 comments
Fashion? What Fashion? Does any woman really care about fashion? Or put it another way: "fashion" . Doesn't each woman just shop for herself? For what she likes and looks good on - and to - her? Perhaps the idea of fashion (and the fact that most designers are men) is a man thing. And a gay man thing at that. It's very interesting and welcome but, when it comes to theory (as opposed to praxis), completely beside the point. I find it a pity some feminists (like Jenny Diski and Elaine Showalter) are becoming swayed and hesitant on this. posted by Schweppes Girl at 1:14 PM PST - 12 comments
Caution: Violent metaphors can blow up in your face. This one (see paragraph two)—which I discovered a day or so before the D.C. snipers were apprehended—struck me at the time as a particularly unfortunate demonstration as to why, especially considering this ad agency is based just outside Washington. George Lakoff, an undisputed Heavyweight Metaphorician of the World, turns the tables and uses human metaphors rather neatly to think about 9/11. And apparently, there are workshops that teach how to make nonviolent metaphors more vivid and, the logic goes, make violence less attractive. So, the explosive question: does hostile language encourage conflict or reflect it? Peace out. posted by micropublishery at 9:27 AM PST - 10 comments
Can Poetry Matter - Part 2 (nyt reg req) "Today photography is considered by many to be the most effective way to convey the plight of war's combatants, victims and mourners. But during World War I it was through poetry that many Britons came to share the horror of life and death in the muddy trenches of northern France.....To this day, every time Britons go to war, the opening lines of Rupert Brooke's 1914 poem, "The Soldier," are remembered: "If I should die, think only this of me:/That there's some corner of a foreign field/That is forever England."..." posted by Voyageman at 8:45 AM PST - 10 comments
Art goes to Mars. This may be the very first art that our species sends into space, unless you count the little naked folks on the Voyager plaque, or broadcast television. In a somewhat bold move, they've chosen shock artist putter-of-sharks-in-formaldehyde Damien Hirst. Is it me, or would the chosen painting be much dorkier if this were NASA rather than the European Space Agency? Like a duck or something. posted by condour75 at 12:30 AM PST - 12 comments
Selling a used item as a copyright infringement? Used knitting patterns are often resold by the original buyer when they've used them. "Alice Starmore(R)" is a company that makes patterns and yarns for knitters. Ebay is a big clearinghouse for knitters, and "Alice Starmore(R)" has repeatedly insisted that ANY auction of their yarns or patterns be pulled as the auctions violate their trademark and/or copyrights. So the knitters are getting a defense fund together to claim anti-trust and restraint of trade. Didn't we sort this all out over selling used books and cd's already?
You really shouldn't mess with people who have a hobby that makes them adept with big metal needles. (BTW Alice Starmore is from the Hebrides, hence the whole "KnittingBeyond..." business.) posted by Salmonberry at 7:40 PM PST - 19 comments
This stuff is nasty! Have anyone out there ever tried Marmite? It looks like something you might pack your wheel bearings in. The taste isn't much better. Maybe it's just a British thing? posted by reidfleming at 3:37 PM PST - 69 comments
Got a health question? Go Ask Alice! Fielding questions ranging from the common cold to way out there sexual dysfunctions, Go Ask Alice!--Columbia University's "Q&A Internet Service"--handles even the most bizarre sounding questions with honesty, humor, and good advice. I visit this site about once a week, and have learned quite a bit. posted by WolfDaddy at 11:43 AM PST - 8 comments
Just say 'no' to Bose. Bose speakers may be the best known brand to many people, but ask an audiophile about them, and be prepared for flames. Is this just snobbery and elitism? This guy walks you through why Bose speakers are a very poor choice for the money, Bose's deceptive marketing practices, and even gives you a list of better alternatives. [more inside] posted by Slithy_Tove at 7:34 AM PST - 89 comments
Millionaires' Havens, Heavens And Hell Holes: Ghastly, depressing Monaco comes in for a deserved drubbing from Philip Delves Broughton in this week's Spectator. The idea of billionaires surfing the Web looking for a hide-out makes me giggle and gag, but it appears poor people can play too. Have a look at (free!) e-zine Escape From America; run your index finger down a list of tax havens and choose the paradiseplace you'd scarper off to, if your money problems, whether from excess or lack of money, ever become too [sorry...] taxing. posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:34 AM PST - 9 comments
"Cryptophis nigrescens killed my computer." ... "my computer was making a strange hissing noise last night and this morning when I turned it on there was a crackling noise and some smoke then nothing, if I bring it in can you fix it?"
One of my colleagues took this tech support call and has the photographs to prove it. posted by snarfodox at 3:58 PM PST - 19 comments
Bomb Shelter Gets Makeover Got an old bomb shelter sitting around? Wondering what to do with it? Why not turn it into a shopping mall?
Across China, more than 3,700 hotels and dormitories and 1,270 shops and restaurants have been created in former bomb shelters, according to an article in Beijing Youth Weekly last year. In Beijing, a youth hostel has been established in a bomb shelter below Wangfujing, the glitziest shopping street in the city. An estimated 20,000 workers are employed in businesses in former bomb shelters in Beijing alone. posted by orange swan at 2:12 PM PST - 6 comments
The Massey Lectures are the CBC's annual effort to give exposure to eminent minds working on 'big ideas' in the realm of social criticism. This year's lecturer, Margaret Visser, undertakes a very engaging attempt to explain and undermine fatalism. The site links to transcripts and audio files of some past lectures. Some Canadian book-learnin' for those of you who aren't sleepily digesting your Thanksgiving turkey! posted by stonerose at 11:02 AM PST - 3 comments
Thanksgiving Bill of Fare - "If you will boile chickens, young turkeys, peahens, or any house fowl daintily, you shall, after you have trimmed them, drawn them, trussed them, and washed them, fill their bellies as full of parsley as they can hold; then boil them with salt and water only till they be enough." When sated with peahens and house fowl you might have enjoyed a taste of Pumpion Pie. Early colonial cuisine probably borrowed heavily from the New Booke of Cookerie from London and were no doubt greatly influenced by native recipes and cooking customs. posted by madamjujujive at 6:04 AM PST - 7 comments
Ruavista explores city streets and urban life through all kinds of signs: street graphics, architecture, street sounds. Put simply, a fantastic resource for urban photography. posted by chill at 4:47 AM PST - 3 comments
Israelis targeted in Kenya attacks
On the day of important primary elections in Israel as Prime Minister Ariel Sharon faces a party leadership challenge from Foreign Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ahead of January's general election, suicide car bombers have killed at least eight people at an Israeli-owned hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, just as two missiles were fired (but did not hit) at an Israeli jet that had taken off from the city's airport.
The Kenyan ambassador to Israel suspects these attacks were carried out by al-Qaeda, and this theory is being checked on as I write. posted by tomcosgrave at 3:20 AM PST - 14 comments
Why Does Dan Savage Owe Katie a Hitachi Magic Wand? It all started when Dan Savage informed his readers that he liked to fantasize about Brad Pitt coming on Ashton Kutcher's face. He was later inspired to have a contest in which readers sent in their sexual fantasies. He said that readers whose sexual fantasies were selected for publication would receive five dollars. I sent in a fanstasy I had when I was six years old (you'll read about it later). In a subsequent column, he canceled the contest, saying that all the fantasies he had received were boring. I shrugged it off, until... posted by grumblebee at 4:01 PM PST - 42 comments
The Self-Healing Minefield From the current Village Voice: "Utilizing commercial off-the-shelf computer chips and 'healing' software, the networked minefield detects rude attempts to clear it, deduces which parts of itself have been removed, and signals its remaining munitions to close the hole using best-fit mathematics."
Bonus ubertasteless Flash animation courtesy of DARPA here. Color me fascinated and repulsed in equal measure. posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:33 PM PST - 40 comments
If the Vaccine makers are scared about huge rewards for families harmed by their products, they should have made sure their vaccines didn't cause children to develop autism posted by RobbieFal at 2:28 PM PST - 43 comments
Slimeball!!!!! Quadruple post, I know, but it is the day before Thanksgiving, and if your boss is making you be in the office this afternoon you should at least make the best of it. posted by trigfunctions at 12:46 PM PST - 16 comments
How familiar do these words sound today?
* This year, however, we are wallowing in the sordid aftermath of the revelations of the misguided administration policy that brought about that war. We have been treated to details of how the administration bent over backwards in its misguided effort to support the regime of Saddam Hussein on the very eve of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. ......`Public disclosure of classified information harms the national security,' Attorney General William Barr instructed the House Banking Committee last week. `. . . in light of your recent disclosures, the executive branch will not provide any more classified information'--unless the wrongdoing is kept secret.
`Your threat to withhold documents,' responded Chairman Gonzalez, `has all the earmarks of a classic effort to obstruct a proper and legitimate investigation . . . none of the documents compromise, in any fashion whatsoever, the national security or intelligence sources and methods.' .....Policy blunders are not crimes. But perverting the purpose of appropriated funds is a crime; lying to Congress compounds that crime; and obstructing justice to cover up the original crime is a criminal conspiracy
Will we, as a country, learn from our recent history or are we doomed to repeat the same mistakes? posted by nofundy at 12:07 PM PST - 49 comments
Are Online Depression Quizzes Depressingly Useless? Or is there something to them? There are certainly a lot of them about, posted by respectable institutions. And they don't seem far removed or less complete than the set of questions doctors will ask you to help them decide whether you're depressed or not. In other words, if I were to take all four quizzes and divided my results by four or something, would I be any wiser? Is the fact that they're very private an advantage? So many questions! [First link, for which I assume you don't need to have had a baby this month in order to answer, via Bifurcated Rivets.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:49 AM PST - 18 comments
Strange Bedfellows fight tyranny? - Bob Barr, Dick Armey to join ACLU Quoth James Madison: (Federalist Papers #47) - "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive and judiciary, in the same hands, whether of one, a few, or many . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny." and Benjamin Franklin:"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
William Safire Slammed the Bush Adminstration (Nov 15) over John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program. NOW: Bob Barr, a gun-rights anti-gay firebrand conservative to join the ACLU? Dick Armey's joining as a consultant? Say that again?
And Nat Hentoff reports that the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Indiana ran a broadside called (sept. 8) "Attacks on Liberty" - "In the name of national security, President Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and even Congress have pulled strand after strand out of the constitutional fabric that distinguishes the United States from other nations. . . . Actions taken over the past year are eerily reminiscent of tyranny portrayed in the most nightmarish works of fiction" MEANWHILE...an email of an editorial by right wing radio personality Chuck Baldwin, "Bush Government 'Out of Control' ("The Bush administration seems determined to turn our country into the most elaborate and sophisticated police state ever devised") first published in an online Christian Fundamentalist antiabortion newpaper is making the (right wing) rounds. It asks: "Does that mean one must leave the Republican Party in order to fight for liberty?" [antitroll protection dislaimer: most Democrats signed the Patriot Act, the principle cause of concern behind the statements and editorials linked to on this post] posted by troutfishing at 10:53 AM PST - 25 comments
A warning shot in the dark: For connoisseurs of clever turns of phrase: The phrase "a warning shot in the dark" popped out at me from a Google News preview panel as being a mixed metaphor. Indeed, a Google search reveals that the phrase has never before been used on the entire Web, which is rather amazing. Delving into the story, it appears by paragraph three that the mixed metaphors are appropriate, in this case. posted by beagle at 9:41 AM PST - 35 comments
Return of the vast right-wing conspiracy? Al Gore is quoted in the New York Observer: "Fox News Network, The Washington Times, Rush Limbaugh—there’s a bunch of them, and some of them are financed by wealthy ultra-conservative billionaires who make political deals with Republican administrations and the rest of the media …. Most of the media [has] been slow to recognize the pervasive impact of this fifth column in their ranks—that is, day after day, injecting the daily Republican talking points into the definition of what’s objective as stated by the news media as a whole."
Has Al Gore lost his mind? posted by Durwood at 9:19 AM PST - 114 comments
Should advertising be allowed to contain caricatures and satire of major figures without their permission? My opinion is yes they bloody well should. Good luck to the producers with hunting down Osama. posted by Pretty_Generic at 8:40 AM PST - 15 comments
“A nation is little more and nothing less than a conversation. [T]he conversation that is the United States has continued for more than 200 years as a lover's quarrel between equality and justice.” A gallery of ways this “conversation” is still taking place in the ways we live the Constitution’s 27 Amendments every day. posted by arco at 8:18 AM PST - 9 comments
General Pervez Musharraf VS. Zombies. Does the Pakistani leader really have any business being in a pub in England drinking and attacking the undead? Let's hear it for quiet, non-stereotypical uses of turbanized humans. (I wish Boutros-Boutros Ghali would make an appearance in Spongebob Squarepants) posted by clango at 7:27 AM PST - 8 comments
Face transplant surgery appears to be nearing reality. A conference taking place this week will discuss the issue, which is not without controversy. How would you feel about a loved one who had been severely disfigured getting a new and different face? Would you be willing to donate your face after you had died? posted by CoolHandPuke at 7:13 AM PST - 32 comments
Rock n Roll! We know that Sex and Drugs ain't good for us, but researchers at McGill University are using very fancy devices to learn how our brains react to music. (Probably not much to discuss, but it's an interesting article) posted by adamms222 at 5:34 AM PST - 6 comments
Bush is soft on tobacco Just say No! Unless you are in cahoots with Big Tobacco. On issues such as this, I do not hold Bush or his party solely guilty but instead view it as The American Way--lobby groups, gifts, elections handouts--all of which blur party lines. posted by Postroad at 4:57 AM PST - 15 comments
Is the Internet in danger of collapse from a disaster or terrorist attack? The Internet was a product of DARPA and designed during the Cold War because it was thought that the centralized phone system networks providing most or all of the National Defense communications networks- used at that time would not survive a nuclear attack disabling our ability to communicate with our troops. At the suggestion of the RAND Corporation and a number of Scientists the design scheme was to make the Internet a system with no central control in order to make it difficult for an enemy to disable our countries ability to communicate during a War. Has the decentralized Internet now become a threat to our very Centralized Goverment that initially created it-and other Goverments? Why would terrorist organizations want to destroy something that they in fact use themselves? Or perhap the researchers are right that the emergence of large centralized hubs brought forth by the increased commercialization of the Net has in fact made the Internet more vulnerable to attack or disaster! Perhaps there are lessons in this story regarding the whole Centralization/ Decentralization dichotomy that Goverments, and Individuals can learn from? posted by thedailygrowl at 11:24 PM PST - 9 comments
boxplorer one of the most interesting website interpreters i've ever seen. i'll just quote the site: The Internet BOXPLORER browser offers a rectangular view of the World Wide Web. It abstracts web page layouts to produce what are frequently rather colorful compositions. BOXPLORER purifies the Web, making it safe for children of all ages -- free from controversy and advertising. Translation - very interesting graphic renditions of any site you enter. posted by tatochip at 8:00 PM PST - 25 comments
Happy Thanksgiving or Is It? In 1939, Franklin Delano Roosevelt responed to pressure from the National Retail Dry Goods Association to move the official date of Thanksgiving back one week to the next-to-last Thursday of the month. FDR hoped that this would enliven the economy by adding one week to the Christmas shopping season, but he received considerable political flak for tampering with what many viewed as a sacred religious holiday. (Thanksgiving is considered sacred even though it only became a national holiday due to lobbying by the editor of a 19th century woman's magazine.) New Deal-era Republicans were especially bothered by the calendar change and one essayist at the American Enterprise Institute still seems to carry a grudge. Congress later resolved the issue by passing a resolution in 1941 that designated Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday of November. posted by jonp72 at 6:52 PM PST - 11 comments
Run Ricky Run. Ricky Williams, running-back for the Miami Dolphins, gets an A for effort for designing and maintaining his own website. He keeps a journal where he sounds off on everything from battling fame and the perks that come with it, to meeting his idol (Jim Brown). He even talks about money problems, just on a much larger scale then you or I would have. posted by Starchile at 2:43 PM PST - 15 comments
Ever Try Getting Wine Shipped in the U.S.? Looks like Montana had set up a "wine connoisseur" rule that allowed for some shipping into the state if you filled out some paperwork, blah blah blah. PAIN!
As someone who enjoys a good wine and wanted to order a bunch of it earlier in '02 when I was in Sonoma, CA and have it shipped home, only to be crushed when I couldn't have it done, I'm looking for a way to get this to work.
Anyone else come across these various laws? Anyone else live in a state where they CAN get wine shipped in to them? 13 states allow reciprocal shipping from other partner states, and 14 others have some strict rules about it. Will opening these rules up allow minors an easy way to get alcohol?
Some great links at the bottom of the article, too. posted by djspicerack at 2:12 PM PST - 30 comments
Sex Crimes and equal treatment "under the law." (pun anyone?)
Outraged prosecutors said Thursday that they will appeal the sentence given to Edwin "Ed" Mann, a former Orlando Police Department sex-crimes detective, for having a sexual affair with a 14-year-old girl who had earlier dated his son.
Mann, a former leader in Cops for Christ, pleaded guilty last week to four felony charges resulting from an ongoing sexual relationship he had with the girl two years ago when he was a sex-crimes detective.
Do you think being "religious" and policeman merits special treatment from a judge? posted by nofundy at 11:46 AM PST - 37 comments
"A placid boat ride past sets of harmonizing, doe-eyed dolls just doesn't cut it for kids raised on Quake and MTV." Epcot's new Mission: Space to feature intense g-force and weightlessness simulation. How is this possible and still be Disney-safe? Even though that caught my attention, the article is really about how Disney's creative engineers are having trouble staying a few steps ahead of the tech-savvy kiddies. posted by archimago at 11:40 AM PST - 15 comments
My Tivo thinks I'm a gay pregnant man! This article documents the struggles that some people have gone to in order to gear Tivo's programming to their interests. As one man said of himself: " [I] often [order] cooking shows, which softens TiVo's view of [me]. "I don't want it thinking I'm an ax murderer,". posted by Raichle at 9:47 AM PST - 33 comments
When you take a good storyteller with keys to much of campus, a desire to get into everyplace else, and a need to bring about change through "constructive vandalism" and then wait for the statute of limitations to pass, you wind up with the published stories of Stealth Force Beta. Those folks who never had fun in college didn't get isolated in the middle of the desert with a bunch of nerds. posted by ewagoner at 6:49 AM PST - 6 comments
Hooray! Great news for those who love to communicate - Microsoft have released a new version of their popular Windows/MSN/.NET Messenger software! So, let's glance at the new features: there's a great new look with a spinny logo thingy, and... and, erm... well... it's had some features removed... like the ability to use third-party add-ons... and, oh but wait, there's new pop-up advertising and alleged spy-ware! Oh... posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:29 AM PST - 20 comments
Pamie returns! In an update to this old thread, Pamela Ribon is once again writing online. As some may know, Pamela's original site was named Squishy (a.k.a. Pamie's Panties), and it was part of the first generation of online journals. posted by gd779 at 3:31 AM PST - 5 comments
Where To Stay In Portugal And Spain: You could do worse than try Secret Places, an ambitious and delightful website that has the advantage of emphasizing unusual and charming accommodation. I don't know about Spain, but the places they recommend in Portugal, the Azores and Madeira are top notch and not at all touristy. These are the fairly priced rural inns, private homes and hotels we Portuguese repair to when our batteries need recharging. Although Portugal is a big tourist destination and there are loads of accommodation websites, I'm sorry to say that this is the first I've seen that's any good. I'm not so sure about the other hotel chain websites highly praised in a New York Times article [ registration required; with pop-ups], although the Ian Schrager Hotels [with pop-ups] one is quite attractive (in an early Nineties way) and very efficient reservation-wise. posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:57 AM PST - 37 comments
Ages back there was a link, here at MeFi, to a project aimed at creating a DVD full of PC demos from back in the day. Well, they've finished. (They say if you pre-order now you'll get it in time for Christmas.) posted by krisjohn at 12:51 AM PST - 3 comments
This is probably the most upsetting job post I've ever come across. I don't know whether I should pity this couple or be really disturbed by them. posted by croutonsupafreak at 8:56 PM PST - 36 comments
Alter Ego What if you could live your life over again? This straightforward virtual life simulator is fun and involving, and I almost wonder if I didn't learn a thing or two in the process. Wonderful implementation of the concept. posted by oissubke at 7:32 PM PST - 19 comments
Yesterday's NYT magazine section (reg req'd) featured a profile of Jack Osbourne---whose family's show premieres its second season tomorrow---and discussed the unpleasant repercussions of his new fame: a prescription to Zoloft, a discontinued high school education and severe threats that warrant his own eye-patched bodyguard. Is this kind of exposure (especially in a reality TV context) too much for a 17 year old kid to handle? posted by adrober at 6:48 PM PST - 17 comments
Deep, way deep inside Iraq This aired very recently on PBS but I just caught it online -- the link is the second of four video clips following U.K. journalist Sam Kiley reporting on perception and reality in Jordan and Iraq and contains the most horrific footage of Saddam supporters you're likely to ever see. Be warned, it's not pretty. posted by subpixel at 5:13 PM PST - 28 comments
This article is about new border crossing security measures that are supposedly in the works. Cross the U.S. border in a few years, and a hidden camera may zero in on you from 150 metres away, able to recognize you by the shape of your face, perhaps by the telltale markings of your eyeball or even in the way you walk past the border guard.
In milliseconds, a supercomputer would sift through a massive "data warehouse," able to dip into your life: Credit-card purchases, travel patterns, health and banking records would all be scanned. Your old telephone conversations -- in any language -- would be instantly available, along with e-mails that you sent years ago.
Perhaps they'll even be able to read your MetaFilter posts. posted by orange swan at 2:05 PM PST - 36 comments
Oregon Prescription Drug Research. AARP provides a guide to the first publicly funded, unbiased source of information comparing the effectiveness and safety of several categories of prescription drugs. posted by semmi at 12:55 PM PST - 3 comments
MOON: Because you've been everywhere else. [warning: sound and flash] "Moon Resort and Casino will be an escape into the future with hundreds of attractions including a giant lunar-themed aquatic center, exclusive shopping complex, terrestrial biosphere, moon buggy rides, and its own International Space Station. Nestled between the [10,000 room] hotel's dramatic wings will be the centerpiece of the resort, the Moon itself, towering over 350 feet and housing the world's largest casino." The creator is not without controversy, but Robin Leach is already on board. posted by me3dia at 12:09 PM PST - 19 comments
"We are summoning forth the proletariat around the globe to aid us in this revolution. We call on the common man to rise up in revolt against this evil of typographical ignorance. We believe in the gospel message "ban comic sans." posted by m@ at 11:56 AM PST - 52 comments
How mushrooms will save the world "I have a strategy for creating ecological footprints on other planets," says the Johnny Appleseed of mushrooms. "By using a consortium of fungi and seeds and other microorganisms, you could actually seed other planets with little plops. You could actually start keystone species and go to creating vegetation on planets." And the Internet is one big giant 'shroom. Fascinating article on how mushrooms may hold the key to environmental clean ups. And so much more! posted by archimago at 10:46 AM PST - 9 comments
You Have The Right To Remain Silent or...maybe not... Police can hold people in custody and force them to talk, so long as their incriminating statements are not used to prosecute them, U.S. Solicitor Gen. Theodore B. Olson and Michael Chertoff, the chief of the Justice Department's criminal division, say in their brief to the court.
It "will chill legitimate law enforcement efforts to obtain potentially life-saving information during emergencies," including terrorism alerts, if police and FBI agents can be sued for coercive questioning, they add
Are YOU ready to talk or will I have to get my rubber hose and smash your face with my club? posted by nofundy at 8:58 AM PST - 93 comments
AltaVista goes back to its roots I regularly used AltaVista when I first came to the web but now haven't used it as a Search Engine for many months. Portals, and MSN in particular seem to be very popular but I'm unable to see the attraction (smacks of spoon-feeding idiots "content" who can't find it themselves) so I'm pleased to see AltaVista changing back to what they do best. Can't see me switching back from Google though.. posted by jontyjago at 7:03 AM PST - 12 comments
Video on Demand Is Finally Taking Hold by the way of Time Warner Cable. We've read this news before, but this time they're promising to start providing the service at buyable prices "by the end of the year throughout 1.2 million subscribers in New York City" (the slogan "Now Anything's Possible" is already on their site). Choose, play, pause and rewind any program you want, from film to tv series, it's all there for you. It "may be the most significant development for the Couch Potato Nation since the remote control". And the cable tv providers take the lead over the satellite television providers (DirecTV, EchoStar), who just can't offer video on-demand like that. posted by nandop at 5:27 AM PST - 15 comments
Roswell Smoking Gun? Army General said to be holding document in press photo (Not the one they used obviously) that reveals proof of cover-up: "Using a digital photo scanner to enlarge and enhance words printed on the folded piece of paper Ramey held, and using another computer program to select the most likely words, researcher David Rudiak, who has a Ph.D. in physics from UC Berkeley, found two key phrases: "the victims of the wreck" and "in the 'disc' they will ship." posted by Hilfy at 8:26 PM PST - 36 comments
What is the Darknet? Unfortunately, no one can be told what the Darknet is. Okay, actually, it's a term that some Microsoft computer scientists came up with to refer to all the different ways that internet users can swap copyrighted materials. In a paper they authored [DOC] for a workshop on Digital Rights Management (DRM), these engineers predict that the Darknet will grow ever stronger and more efficient while DRM technologies will make legal right holders less able to compete with Darknet and are ultimately "doomed to failure." posted by boltman at 7:39 PM PST - 38 comments
Three Dog Eves--They really do understand us--even better than our cousin chimpanzees. Well, at least when food's involved. As to how wolves became dogs, the current understanding seems to be they tamed themselves--in a Survival of the Friendliest. Here's more on animallinguistics. As for cats, well, Stephen Budiansky in The Character of Cats suggests they aren't even really tame. Hence, unlike dogs, cats haven't bothered to pick up our language--they've taught us Cattalk instead. Take the test and see. A woof out to Australian Broadcast Coporation's five part Animal Attraction series is called for here. C--Miao baby! posted by y2karl at 6:09 PM PST - 11 comments
Stone Clonez: Rawk by Dawk. "...these gemstone characters are real and millions of years old. No artist will draw them, no computer will generate them, and they have been available all this time. Until now no one could figure out how to bring them into our world." posted by agentfresh at 8:55 AM PST - 3 comments
Le Beaujolais nouveau est arrivé, but the wine's popularity has more to do with clever marketing than the quality of the wine itself. "Why it was decided to make the region's humblest juice—a wine mainly borne of its worst vineyards, a wine barely removed from the fermentation vat, a wine that is nothing more than pleasantly tart barroom swill—its international standard bearer is a question that will undoubtedly puzzle marketing students for generations to come." posted by mcwetboy at 5:32 AM PST - 22 comments
The Upper Crust Of Bread: What happens when the greatest bread-maker in France, Lionel Poilâne, talks to America's finest baker, Peter Reinhart, and her most fanatical bread-taster, Edward Behr? I'll tell you what: a scrumptious, crackling and very knowledgeable conversation about the the wonders of the baguette, the complexities of simple bread and the deliciousness ["Forgiveness for mistranslations"] of the staff of life in general. Last year, for the first time ever, an American baker beat the French competition to win the "Best Bread in the World" award. Will what recently happened with wine in the New World now happen with bread? Will the Americans [peanut butter and jelly sandwiches notwithstanding] begin abandoning industrial, pre-sliced and sweetened white bread, just as Europe increasingly and depressingly succumbs to it? [Main link requires Real Audio.]. posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:26 AM PST - 29 comments
President Bush is pressuring Iraq because he says that they support terror (there is someevidence of that). So what about Saudi Arabia? "Sources familiar with the evidence say the payments—amounting to about $3,500 a month—came from an account at Washington’s Riggs Bank in the name of Princess Haifa Al-Faisal, the wife of Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, and the daughter of the late Saudi King Faisal." And why were CIA/FBI investigations of the Saudi connection reigned in? When Bush met that very same Prince Bandar in August, somehow the issue never came up. Don't want to step on Dad's toes, you know. posted by owillis at 12:27 AM PST - 18 comments
An official Q&A with the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, alludes to some extremely scary/interesting tidbits-- the Office of Strategic Influence is still alive, John Poindexter can do anything he pleases with DARPA, we just might renew nuclear weapons testing.
Don't worry, though. Rummy sez: "Anyone who is concerned ought not be. Anyone with any concern ought to be able to sleep well tonight. Nothing terrible is going to happen." posted by LimePi at 12:11 AM PST - 7 comments
Literary Flash Friday. "Life of Pi", this year's Booker
Prize winner, and
the sources of "inspiration" of its author were discussed here
some days ago. Now you
can enjoy the interactive
the novel (requires Flash and a fast connection I'm afraid). posted by blogenstock at 9:50 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment
Lusty Linens! "Inspiring lovemaking and pleasure with our beautifully designed, finely crafted erotic bed linen and other home accessories." Perfect holiday gifts for your favorite pervert! posted by adrober at 5:14 PM PST - 4 comments
The Burden of Profit. Two Texas energy companies, both closely tied to the Bush White House, are lining up administration support for nearly $900 million in public financing for a Peruvian natural gas project that will cut through one of the world's most pristine tropical rain forests. (via homunculus) posted by four panels at 4:46 PM PST - 9 comments
War With Iraq - As Predictable As Chess There is still a good chance we can avoid war with Iraq. Saddam Hussein has never won a war, and his military forces surely foresee their own destruction. Numerous assassination attempts by them (some involving the Republican Guard) have failed. They are likely trying again, even now. Therein lies our best hope.
What if they fail again? Then invasion by the U.S. is inevitable. posted by daHIFI at 2:33 PM PST - 20 comments
Counting in base-14. "Just because we use a decimal system doesn't mean everyone does. "The teseradecimal lifestyle is thus not just a way of life. It is not only a method of regulating marriage, birth, succession, and other aspects of village life. It is also a theory of history where genesis, finality, and apocalypse are laid out on the space between the pinky and the nose."
Alex Golub illuminates the counting system of the Ipili tribe of Papua New Guinea, in response to much discussion of the ethnomathmatics at Leuschke.org. [more inside] posted by me3dia at 2:27 PM PST - 21 comments
My laptop gets pretty hot but I never imagined it could cause burns! In fact this is probably the only injury that can be caused by a computer, apart from electrocution? posted by chrid at 12:17 PM PST - 30 comments
JFK Assassination: Up close and personal After years of silence, they're finally talking. Here's a first-hand account from my family who were about 10 yards away from the shot that killed JFK. They are clearly visible in the Zapruder film. Spooky. posted by sparky at 9:24 AM PST - 38 comments
TV night or a drag show? Gay retirement homes are starting to open as the Stonewall Generation grows old. A study by the Brookdale Centre on Ageing at Hunter College in New York found that fewer than one in five elderly gays have a life partner and only one in ten has children. By contrast, nearly half the overall general senior population has a spouse and four in five have children. America’s first, of course, was in Florida. posted by gottabefunky at 9:10 AM PST - 13 comments
More Evidance that Cannabis can lead to Mental Illness. The link between regular cannabis use and later depression and schizophrenia has been significantly strengthened by three new studies. One of the key conclusions of the research is that people who start smoking cannabis as adolescents are at the greatest risk of later developing mental health problems. Studying 1600 Australian school pupils aged 14 to 15 for seven years, daily cannabis use was associated with a five-fold increased risk of depression at the age of 20. posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 8:40 AM PST - 83 comments
They're Nippiting it in the bud. I suppose you can't blame them. A director or costumer puts an actor in a tight wet shirt on a chilly nippy set on purpose, right? Well, no need to poke, err, put up with it anymore. But should you so desire, you can still achieve the exact opposite effect as well. (I'm fresh out of Flash, so thought I'd post this sad development as part of LowBrowFriday. Sorry...) posted by Shane at 7:13 AM PST - 27 comments
Gently strain your brain this Friday morning with some pop quizzes. Besides today's test, there are more in the archives. Sort of an educational way to pass the time (or your employer's time). posted by Oriole Adams at 6:38 AM PST - 6 comments
Dildo's illegal in Texas? Apparently so. Let me get this straight... in a state where you can carry loaded firearms on your hip, if you get caught with more than 6 dildos or other "pleasure devices", it's a FELONY? Absolutely amazing. Texas is like a whole other country. It also helps explain a lot. (via obscurestore) posted by Ynoxas at 6:04 AM PST - 78 comments
Ellen Feiss speaks! In her first-ever interview, she breaks her silence and answers the question many of you have been asking: "by the time I made it it was like 10, so I was really tired. The funny thing was, I was on drugs! I was on Benedryl, my allergy medication, so I was really out of it anyway. That's why my eyes were all red, because I have seasonal allergies. But no one believes me." (via MacRumors; see also Wired) posted by mcwetboy at 3:01 AM PST - 48 comments
Hit the Fan! Here's a great little game that's been floating around my "to post" box for a few days just waiting for Flash Friday here at MeFi. The object is to propel a mound of fecal matter with your ping-pong paddle so that it connects with the rotary air circulation device. Once you get some practice, try springing one off the stapler or landing it in the coffee cup. Even better yet, go for a "Mac attack" and ricochette one off the iMac screen into the blades. They did a fairly good job of creating a sound effects for the moment when the caca hits the old ventilador too - so how can you lose? posted by RevGreg at 2:41 AM PST - 16 comments
Flash with no name - think you've seen every bizarre Japanese flash? Good chance you haven't seen this one yet. I am at a loss for a title. This is not safe for work. This is not safe for children or small animals. Do not take with medication. Mock the message, not the messenger. posted by madamjujujive at 9:44 PM PST - 29 comments
Bill Maher back on cable? AP is reporting that Bill Maher will host a late-night talk show on HBO starting Feb. 21. The hour-long news and comedy program, which has yet to be titled, will air once a week for 20 episodes. I personally think ABC were a bunch of pussies for cancelling him, and I think the new show will rock. What do you think? posted by RylandDotNet at 7:12 PM PST - 26 comments
High School Girls Basketball team destroys opponent 115-2. Is sportsmanship about to go the way of the dodo? More and more teams are pushing for winning (and winning by a lot) more than just playing well. Is it the coach's fault? Could it be that the players are just too good and they couldn't 'help' crushing their opponent by over 100 points? (I say that, of course, in jest) posted by gwong at 2:41 PM PST - 60 comments
Karl Frank Kleinpaste is on trial defending himself for tax evasion claiming that he lives in the 'Democratic Republic of Pennsylvania' and is therefore not duty bound to pay federal income tax. Some think that this will not go very well for him while others encourage the masses to do the same. posted by Raichle at 12:23 PM PST - 28 comments
Need a quick pick-me-up? Electroshock therapy, police-style! Video of an abusive prisoner being incapacitated with a non-lethal, handheld, electrical device. Instant mood transformation is achieved. (1.5m of quicktime) More videos available here. There's also a video (13m of mpeg) of volunteers being zapped, not available on the page above. (Much laughter on that last one, because, you know... pain is funny.) Probably not for the squeamish. via mister pants posted by crunchland at 10:34 AM PST - 6 comments
Is "a 25-cent bullet" the solution to men who abuse women? (Via Obscurestore) NY State legislator Wanda Hudak claims social services are overloaded by women of "low moral character" and the men who abuse them. This seems to be a week for blunt ideas about abusive relationships: in the NYTimes Magazine (reg req) Deborah Sontag challenges the "doctrinaire thinking about the nature of domestic violence" which posits men as uncontrollable ogres and women as meek victims. Thoughts? posted by serafinapekkala at 8:54 AM PST - 39 comments
All Fall Down: Remember the famous explosion sequence in Antonioni's Zabriskie Point? Fiona Villela says: "Flying toward the viewer, these many shards of shiny bits and pieces that once served a utilitarian purpose when part of a greater object here exist in and of themselves in a purely dazzling spectacle. This is the only way Antonioni can see the beauty of American capitalism, as a rainbow of shattered objects lost in space and time. ". What is the (undeniable) pleasure of watching big structures, that took years to build, destroyed in a few seconds? And has September 11 taken the fun out of implosion voyeurism?
[Via memepool; original post by yoyology; Real required.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 8:53 AM PST - 18 comments
A pinhead editorial writer's adventure in the No Spin Zone. Not intending to post another partisan attack on Bill O'Reilly, but rather an interesting example from start to finish of how the host of a "fair" debate show calls every shot from minute one, and why, frankly, it's just not worth it to watch American news channels anymore. [More within...] posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:59 AM PST - 46 comments
Now, in response to yesterdays shocking data that Americans are an unworldly, culturally ignorant batch, we bring you a much needed ethnographic survey. Take time to learn about The Semen Warriors of New Guinea. Not since the Yanomamo, have anthropologists found a group so vital to our quest of understanding the limits and details of human nature. posted by dgaicun at 7:13 AM PST - 70 comments
Black Friday. The meaning of which brings either joy, bewilderment or disgust. Several retailers have sent DMCA notices to several dealhuntingsites forcing them to remove any ads or information that reveal any specials that will be offered. WTF!? What other inane uses will the DMCA be used for? posted by the biscuit man at 6:33 AM PST - 17 comments
Someone's magnificent obsession: an exhaustive list of movies which have contained jugglers, or scenes involving juggling. There are many, many more than you could have possibly imagined, if you're the type who actually spends times imagining such things. There are also lists of movies which contain bagpipes, accordians, librarians, and math. posted by iconomy at 5:11 AM PST - 20 comments
"Twexus does contain 15800 images today".Twexus is an enigmatic, engaging little database-driven photoart site that rewards you with new site features as your page views increase. I can't seem to tear free from the hypnotic effect of the "symmetry" page that concerns itself with my opinion on each proffered image. sorry, gotta go... must... return... to... twexus... posted by taz at 2:34 AM PST - 15 comments
Paging Dr. Frankenstein A team of geneticists has announced that it is going to create an artificial lifeform. The project raises philosophical, ethical and practical questions. For instance, if a man-made organism proved able to survive and reproduce only under a narrow range of laboratory conditions, could it really be considered life? More broadly, do scientists have any moral right to create new organisms? (From the Washington Post. First-time users may be asked to provide demographic information.) posted by Man-Thing at 1:34 AM PST - 37 comments
An international survey for National Geographic finds that of Americans surveyed between 18 and 24, half couldn't find New York on a map of the US, only one in seven can find Iraq on a map of the world, and one in nine couldn't find the United States on that same map. Sweden averaged 40 correct answers out of 56. The US averaged 23. What is the US doing wrong that countries like Sweden are doing right in education and world awareness? posted by AaRdVarK at 2:59 PM PST - 127 comments
The Ladder Theory... a theory of adult male/female interaction. While some may find this a bit offensive, it is quite interesting. It includes rating systems, attraction breakdowns, scenarios, consequences, and manifestations. posted by darian at 1:15 PM PST - 76 comments
$0.99 song downloads are here! Universal Music Group will release 43,000 songs as digital downloads. The tracks will be available to US consumers for $0.99 for individual songs, and $9.99 for the entire album. There's only one little problem, the songs are available as either Liquid Audio or Windows Media. posted by riffola at 10:28 AM PST - 41 comments
White House Wages Stealth War on Condoms The government is waging a covert war on condoms. Fact sheets on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the transmission of the AIDS virus have disappeared from government sites. Right wing activists have been appointed to the the presidential AIDS panel. Government audits of AIDS activist groups who protest these policies have begun. So, apparently only evil-doers have sex outside of marriage, and they deserve to die horrible deaths. posted by dejah420 at 10:14 AM PST - 166 comments
Seamless City is a project made possible by proliferation of gigabytes of affordable disk space, digital cameras, photo composition applications, and a lot of time. Take a 30 mile pedestrian tour of San Francisco. posted by mnology at 10:14 AM PST - 8 comments
Can Mercenaries Protect Hamid Karzai? The US govt is hiring private mercenaries to do it's dirty work overseas. In short, by hiring private military contractors such as DynCorp, the U.S. government has found an effective way to conduct foreign policy by proxy and in secret. These proxies cannot be monitored, are effectively immune from all criminal sanctions, and are dangerously hard to control since they answer to corporate bosses, not military brass. (easy registration required) posted by Coop at 9:37 AM PST - 12 comments
Salon Opens up Premium ... sort of. Salon will now let you read premium content in exchange for viewing an ad. Is this a signal that paid content isn't working for them, a groundbreaking way to bring in ad revenue (as they claim), both, or neither? posted by risenc at 7:55 AM PST - 35 comments
Frightening Archaeology:Dark Passage is scarier than Infiltration; less cosy than Lost America; and more disturbing than Ruins of Detroit or any other ruination already investigated on Metafilter. In fact, it's probably the extreme incarnation of the thriving world of websites about abandoned buildings, full of spooky mental asylums, echoes of depravity and twisted archaeology - like a spaced-out online version of Brad Anderson's Session 9. Or the real thing. To make matters worse, it also falls disconcertingly into the "What's this all about?" category. Brrrrr.... [QT/WM required for the last link only - please disregard "Purchase" title and enjoy Nine Inch Nails soundtrack. Via Linkfilter.] posted by Carlos Quevedo at 3:26 AM PST - 42 comments
Time Magazine's 2002 Best Inventions
I love my toys and gadgets, and I especially fancy the Air Surfer, @ $75 it looks like the glider for klutzes like me. However, I'm not ready just yet to take the hoots of derision that this Bluetooth Mobile Phone Headset will bring.
This new chip looks set to improve digital photography... I do fancy that! But will Foveon have the muscle to bring the X3 to fruition?
This, though, is as close as we'll ever get to 'vaporware': Nasa's AeroGel... find out what earthly purpose it could serve.
Some on the list are little more than product placements (I'm looking at 'Breathe Strips' and 'Ultra-Cashmere' now), and some - Mr. Dyson's Cyclonic spin vacuum, I'm surprised to see - are hardly new. Others [Nano-Tex, Date Rape Drug Spotter & The Scramjet] I'm sure we've discussed before (but they don't figure in Mefi searches).
How many of these will change our lives - and how many will improve them? Is there something cool missing from the list? - something tells me that their gushing over their discovery of '3D Online Entertainment' ["...you can do it all and more in Second Life, a startlingly lifelike 3-D virtual world now evolving on the Internet"] gives it the Kiss O' Death. [...via blogdex]
Black Holes Merge. Massive layoffs expected throughout galaxy. Analysts predict big payoffs for the economy, however. "A burst of gravitational waves that could warp the very fabric of space will go a long way towards increasing shareholding value," said one economist. Both black holes had recently suffered a dramatic drop in stock price, and were under the threat of hostile takeover from industry leader Black Hole 86184-B before the merger was announced, which took Wall Street pundits off guard. "Much to our surprise, we found that both were active black holes," Stefanie Komossa of the Max Planck Astro-Economics Institute in Germany, said in a statement. Proponents of big business greeted the announcement with pleasure: "This supports the idea that black holes can grow to enormous masses in the centres of galaxies by merging with other black holes." posted by tweebiscuit at 2:43 PM PST - 17 comments
Cloaca While it's a shame that contemporary "art" seems to require some form of bodily waste product in order to be considered an act of genius, I have to say that this particular one is fascinating. It eats a meal, digests it, and then ... does the obvious. posted by oissubke at 11:46 AM PST - 38 comments
Inside the JFK medical files. Very interesting article from Sunday's NY Times (reg. req'd) about the long-term health of John F. Kennedy, from World War II to his death. Corresponding Yahoo News item here also. [more inside...] posted by PeteyStock at 11:26 AM PST - 11 comments
Previously discussed here, the Body World exhibition in, London, Brick Lane is hosting what is to be the last publicly performed autopsy before they are banned. I've seen the exhibition and felt that it was done very well, but I'm not sure ill be attending the autopsy with as much haste. Macabre voyeurism or lay man intrigue? Its being rumored that is may also be televised on channel 4 posted by monkeyJuice at 11:12 AM PST - 15 comments
Before there were blogs, before there was the Web, there were zines. Most MeFi folk know this - right? - but it seems to be astonishing news to the Washington Post. Maybe not everybody here was part of the zine scene back in the 80s and early 90s, but I bet a lot of you were. My question: Am I just an out-of-touch curmudgeon or is it insulting to do an article like this on a "Zine Guide" (which I haven't seen - I haven't touched a zine in about five years, probably) without even mentioning the Alpha and Omega of the genre, Mike Gunderloy's Factsheet Five? posted by soyjoy at 10:13 AM PST - 48 comments
Bread and Circuses The Texas Prison Museum as an odd mix of entertainment and education. If someone gives it $100 million will the prison museum unenroll from the Kroger Share Card Program and lose the value of 1% of participants' grocery purchases? A veritable treasure trove of the absurd and frightening. What's your favorite? Mine are the pavers. We could get up a collection for one from Metafilter. Who's with me? posted by elgoose at 9:26 AM PST - 2 comments
Let your voice be heard. The Copyright Office is Taking Comments On The DMCA, starting today. You can read the law as a PDF Here.
They are requesting written comments from all interested parties, including representatives of copyright owners, educational institutions, libraries and archives, scholars, researchers and members of the public, in order to elicit evidence on whether noninfringing uses of certain classes of works are, or are likely to be, adversely affected by this prohibition on the circumvention of measures that control access to copyrighted works. posted by Blake at 6:51 AM PST - 26 comments
Here is the News. The old news, that is: the entire 3500 hour British Pathé Film Archive covering news, sport, social history and entertainment from 1896 to 1970, with low-res clips available for free, was launched today. posted by rory at 4:45 AM PST - 15 comments
To Boggan Or Not To Boggan On A Tuesday: that is the question. Jus don't let the disrespect shown to Johnny Cash or the deliberately annoying Schwarzenegger commentary put you off this great little game - or dare get past level 6 either! [Flash required and via Bifurcated Rivets, of course.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:58 AM PST - 15 comments
Collateral Damage: The Health and Environmental Costs of War on Iraq. The terror of the war on terror: "A war against Iraq could kill half a million people, warns a new report by medical experts - and most would be civilians." The report (pdf format) is from Medact, the British affiliate of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War. One of the report's conclusions: "It cannot be emphasised too strongly that even a best-case scenario of a limited war of short duration, perhaps comparable to 1991, would have much greater impact on the Iraqi people and would initially kill three times the number who died on September 11." posted by fold_and_mutilate at 12:29 AM PST - 49 comments
The city of Paphos might have been designed and built by a Grecian architect dreamy with the drugs called talaquin or mandragora: in marble yellow as unmixed cream, marble pink as sweetmeats, marble the green of pistuquim nuts, veined marble and grained marble, honey-colored and rose-red, the buildings climbed along the hills and frothed among the hollows. Tier after tier of overtall pillars, capitals of a profusion of carvings to make Corinthian seem ascetic, pediments lush with bas-reliefs, four-fold arches at every corner and crossing, statues so huge that they loomed over the housetops, statues so small that whole troops of them flocked and frolicked under every building's eaves, groves and gardens everywhere, fountains playing, water spouting . . .
He was the autodidact's autodidact; cognoscenti's cognocenti; the polymath's polymath, one who knew the minutiae of freemasonry, heraldry-any number of categories of the arcane, major and minor; front to back; top to bottom. Long before the genre Steam punk was named, he'd already defined the Other Nineteenth Century. And he wrote the most sumptuous prose.
Come step within the heirodule enclosure posted by y2karl at 10:09 PM PST - 17 comments
An astonishing bequest of $100 million to Poetry Magazine instantly turns a 4-person literary journal into the wealthiest poetry organization on the planet. The benefactress, Ruth Lilly, has given millions to libraries and medical research labs in the midwest. But poetry has never been showered with such munificence until now. What will this donation achieve beyond ensuring the existence of the journal into perpetuity? posted by dougb at 8:57 PM PST - 48 comments
The JetSet Society What if the passengers on any given plane actually lived there? One guy's musings, with sections on the Economy, Love and Death, and of course, Religion. posted by amberglow at 6:40 PM PST - 2 comments
At last, someone has created an on-line petition that in its own way, though user participation has proved its own point. I especially think that because Bill Gates AND Elvis Presley have both signed it, gives the whole exercise immediate merit.
Has an on-line petition ever succeeded at anything? posted by Smooth at 4:26 PM PST - 15 comments
Homeland Security "Goodies". "The bill the president supported was 35 pages long. The bill that I've been asked to vote on on Monday or Tuesday is 484 pages long, filled with special-interest legislation, loaded up by the House Republicans in the last few days," Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.)
The most egregious, Democrats say, is language to protect pharmaceutical companies from lawsuits over the vaccines they create and their side effects, including wiping out lawsuits already in court. posted by Espoo2 at 3:56 PM PST - 39 comments
Al Gore Tells All! Okay, maybe not all, but he does give his first extended interview since the 2000 election to Liza Mundy of the Washington Post. Mundy discussed the interview further in a live forum earlier today. Required reading for political junkies. [via Tapped] posted by boltman at 2:11 PM PST - 32 comments
Please address me as Reverend Carlos from now on. Thank you. For I have been ordained a Minister, in two minutes flat, by the Universal Life Church and possess the official document to prove it. Tomorrow I'll be starting my own religion - your contributions and suggestions for a good name for my Church are most welcome. [Sacred instructions inside]. posted by Carlos Quevedo at 8:13 AM PST - 64 comments
chip glitch Robbie Floyd - seemed agape even hours after learning of his defeat Wednesday.
"It was hard to believe that that type of mistake had happened," he said. posted by specialk420 at 7:56 AM PST - 8 comments
Fans of first-person shooter games are flocking to Natural Selection (review 1, review 2), the Marines vs Aliens modification that uses the engine of Half-Life. It is a stunning game and focuses greatly on cooperation with your team (it currently is only playable through network). The designers are still working out balancing the strengths and abilities between human and xenomorph but the anxiety of trying to defend the marine base while the mammoth-sized aliens are battering the door down is a delight to all of us who always wanted to be like Drake, Vasquez and Hicks (and Hudson). Download it here (reg req'd) and find games to join over at Gamespy (their Arcade download makes it super-easy). Note: you do need to have a retail version of Half-Life to play the game. posted by ao4047 at 7:36 AM PST - 33 comments
Ryoan-ji (Temple of the Peaceful Dragon) is possibly the best known of all rock gardens. The entire design consists of fifteen rocks arranged in a large bed of raked gravel, and on the outskirts there are many benches so that visitors may contemplate its meaning and find inner peace. Ryoan-ji inspired the design of the very first mini-zen garden, according to the self-proclaimed inventor, who also pays homage to Ryoan-ji with beautiful photographs. For those who might like to try making their own source of inner peace and harmony, not to mention taking up that awkward space on their coffee table, check out the unabashedly exuberant version by Crafty Chica, who always celebrates her Mexican-American roots with color and verve and quirky charm. posted by iconomy at 5:11 AM PST - 9 comments
I've never had a cup of coffee in my life. Can't stand the smell. However, if I were able to watch Reverend Billy's Starbucks Spat Theatre I'd be living there 24/7. Has anyone witnessed one of these performances? [via an email i got from bud] posted by dobbs at 8:56 PM PST - 15 comments
The Commander in Chief commanding.But while Mr. Bush was waiting for the military, at his direction, the CIA led by George Tenet, was already on the ground buying Afghan warlords.
Bob Woodward, reveals this an other behind the scenes activity in the Bush's Cabinet just after 9/11. posted by hockeyman at 1:06 PM PST - 9 comments
The Apothecary's Drawer
is the "play page" of writer and science journalist Ray Girvan. Here you'll find the Web equivalent of stuffed alligators, brass astrolabes and jars of leeches: an eclectic choice of links to scientific and artistic sites worldwide. Give it a try. posted by Morphic at 10:49 AM PST - 6 comments
God of the Month Club - unsure of your belief system yet yearn for some spirituality? Why limit yourself to one - sample a different God or Goddess every month. Learn about the belief and worship systems surrounding White Buffalo Woman, the Horned God, Green Men, Morpheus, Hecate, Vulcan, Freya or the ever-popular Venus, just to name a few. posted by madamjujujive at 6:54 AM PST - 22 comments
Aspects of the Victorian Book is a Sunday morning kind of site, a relaxed but vivid tour of 19th century British publishing that explores production techniques such as lithography, binding and illustration, and looks at the printed works of the period (including forms such as the inexpensive "Yellowbacks" and their cousins, the usually lurid "Penny Dreadfuls"). posted by taz at 1:16 AM PST - 6 comments
AnarchistParenting.com As any parent knows, kids are heavily into anarchy. It seems that some parents are, too.
Personally, I like to keep my anarchy where it belongs: fairytales (which are also the only places it works.) posted by agentfresh at 12:11 AM PST - 38 comments
Such meteor storms rarely happen in consecutive years, but 2001 and 2002 are exceptions. Experts have just released their predictions: Depending on where you live (Europe and the Americas are favored) Leonid meteor rates in 2002 should equal or exceed 2001 levels.
That's the good news. The bad news is that the Moon will be full when the storm begins on Nov. 19th. Glaring moonlight will completely overwhelm many faint shooting stars. Indeed, I often hear that the Moon is going to "ruin the show."
Peace protest really takes off. I live in West Marin, where some people take their peace protests fairly seriously, and this has been the topic of conversation pretty much in every little town that the Point Reyes Light covers since Thursday's issue of the paper came out. I can just see the White House staff and Dubya's dad when they get a load of this. "See, those people in Marin County are all nuts, just like John Walker Lindh!" posted by Lynsey at 3:19 PM PST - 19 comments
Venda Girls' Initiation Schools is a fascinating collection of material from the observation of the Initiation of Venda girls in South Africa in the 1950's by ethnomusicologist John Blacking. Included are songs, virtual divination dice, video, and mostly collected descriptions and local interpretations of the various stages and rituals of the schools with a primary emphasis on music in this context. Quite a bit here for a mostly linear navigation architecture, but it's the results of some very interesting work available on the web just the same. posted by mblandi at 2:54 PM PST - 1 comments
Indecent proposal? "People usually find love and marriage in the traditional way. You meet, fall in love and tie the knot...What if there's a better way? MARRIED BY AMERICA (tentative title) is a groundbreaking reality-based show that invites the viewing audience to be your personal matchmaker." How else would you expect beautiful people to meet? posted by boost ventilator at 12:07 PM PST - 7 comments
But...But Wallace Stevens Sounds So...English! Here's an extraordinary wealth of poets' voices from The Factory School Digital Audio Archive. Natural curiosity, of course, kicks in with the prosaic question of what your favourite poets sound like. Some are unexpectedly pompous; others are a bit Beverly Hillbillies; a few are steeped in real gravitas. But why does reading a particular poet, in years and years of silence, make one suppose he or she hasn't a living voice like the rest of us? Wallace Stevens and Anne Sexton, for instance, surprised me immensely... [Via wood's lot; requiring Real; a few links broken.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:26 AM PST - 17 comments
'Literature of fact' The high wall which seperates fact and fiction has a small door in it through which people can step. A piece which discusses how someone writing a supposed eyewitness account of an event always tends to fictionalise, even unconciously, in order to make the subject interesting, the idea being that just because a book is in that section, it might not actually be completely non-fiction. posted by feelinglistless at 8:50 AM PST - 12 comments
Letters from kids to Einstein - NYT article. I love the simple outlook kids have. The few replies from Einstein included seem to have the same simple flavor. We could use more Einsteins, not just brain but conscience. posted by yoga at 7:52 AM PST - 9 comments
Rachel: "Look, she is breastfeeding. Look!" [Phoebe was pummelled by Wizard_cev] "These images were recorded by the performers during our visit to the "Hulk" server. Note the yellow text at the top of the screen shots which are dialogue from the performance. The blue speakers bubbles represent our characters typing their lines. The other gamers depicted are constantly killing us. Scroll to the right to view additional images."
Conceptual artist Joseph DeLappe and his mates hybridize The Ultimate Shoot-'em-Up with the Acme of Sit-Com: now the teen boys and the teen girls can play together! posted by dash_slot- at 4:10 AM PST - 21 comments
Secret Santa. Previously mentioned here, a year ago. "Got your own Web site? Got an Amazon wishlist? If the answer to both of these is yes, and you like the idea of giving and receiving, you should definitely sign up." Well, it's that time of year again. posted by crunchland at 9:07 PM PST - 14 comments
Before there was McSweeney's... Phyllis Johnson published 10 issues of Aspen, a multimedia magazine in a box to which the USPS denied second-class mail rates. After a few issues that stayed close to the ski resort in terms of theme, the magazine began bringing in guest editors and addressing cutting edge art and media, in New York, Britain, Asia, and the minds of cultural critics and psychedlic drug users. Andy Warhol participated in Issue 3 and the Fluxus movement dominated Issue 8. There were 10 issues in all, the first 9 of which are featured in this new web adaptation at Ubuweb.
At the risk of only posting whenever Andrew Stafford unveils another cool web-native multimedia art project, I thought a lot of Metafiltrates would appreciate this interpretation of Aspen Magazine posted by xian at 4:56 PM PST - 11 comments
1901 Back on it's feet again... At last it's the 1901 show!(the date not the time) and the UK Public Record Office 1901 Census is up and testing again after having crashed due to overdemand earlier in theyear. And it works! I've discovered my great grandfather was a wheelwright and that his eldest son was a labourer at the gas works (I saw my first naked girlfriend in a bedroom in the shadow of that very gasworks!) and that I had a great great Uncle Percy! posted by terrymiles at 3:27 PM PST - 4 comments
In the late 18th or early 19th century a group of runaway slaves and serfs fled from Kentucky into the Ohio Territory, where they inter-married with Natives and formed a tribe - red, white & black - called the Ben Ishmael tribe. The Ishmaels (who seem to have been Islamically inclined) followed an annual nomadic route through the territory, hunting & fishing, and finding work as tinkers and minstrels. They were polygamists, and drank no alcohol. Every winter they returned to their original settlement, where a village had grown.
But eventually the US Govt. opened the Territory to settlement, and the ~official~ pioneers arrived. Around the Ishmael village a town began to spring up, called Cincinnati. Soon it was a big city. But Ishmael village was still there, engulfed & surrounded by "civilization." Now it was a ~slum~.
PubScience Shut Down "Having persuaded the Energy Department to pull the plug on PubScience, a Web site that offered free access to scientific and technical articles, commercial publishers are taking aim at government-funded information services offering free legal and agricultural data." posted by frykitty at 2:59 PM PST - 35 comments
Amazing Pencil Lead Sculptor Dante Ghetti carves intricate, tiny sculptures out of the lead of draftsman's pencils, using the pencil stub as the mount for the finished piece; amazing. I realize this post doesn't offer much in the way of vigorous debate ("I like tiny sculptures" "They suck. You suck!"), but what can I say, I think it's pretty damn cool. (from BoingBoing) posted by jonson at 1:25 PM PST - 21 comments
It's not Just a Label, it's a Lifestyle. I really dig the Flash site for Sean "P Puffy Diddy Daddy" Comb's new clothing line. It's a fancy and somewhat restrained use of Flash, but with an UCR (unintentional comedy rating) through the roof. Choose your own sountrack while you explore the catwalk shots. "It's how you freak it baby," indeed. posted by sixfoot6 at 12:03 PM PST - 20 comments
The History of the Shuar. The Jivaro are one of the few native clans in South America who successfully revolted against the Spanish Conquest, but they're more famous for their shrunken heads- this site not only has the history, but also a pretty fascinating gallery. Of course, if you're just interested in the shrunken heads, Doc Bwana's Museum of Shrunken Heads will most certainly meet your shrunken-head viewing needs. (Probably safe for work, but I wouldn't read it while eating lunch.) posted by headspace at 11:22 AM PST - 5 comments
Are newspapers becoming opinionpapers? Interesting article on the current preponderance of op-ed materials in newspapers. The papers are cutting back on news, especially international news, in favour of news lite or opinion columns. Or what's styled as opinion but is really pieces by "columnists" who are totally self-referential and whose idea of research is interviewing their own friends.
The article is very Can-Con (high Canadian content) but it'll be interesting if Me-Fiers from other countries weigh in with data/observations about their own media. Canadian media doesn't probably doesn't stand alone in this trend. posted by orange swan at 10:31 AM PST - 19 comments
Moors murderer Myra Hindley is dead The serial killer was serving her 36th year behind bars at nearby Highpoint Prison, Suffolk. Hindley and Ian Brady, 64, were jailed for life in 1966 for the sexual abuse, torture and murder of three youngsters. In 1987 they confessed to two more child killings. posted by tomcosgrave at 10:00 AM PST - 13 comments
The Digital Michelangelo Project A team of 30 faculty, staff, and students from Stanford University and the University of Washington spent the 1998-99 academic year in Italy scanning the sculptures and architecture of Michelangelo. They are now working on building 3D models from the data. (more inside) posted by snez at 9:31 AM PST - 6 comments
Collective Memory. A collection of sites which are creating collective memory on the web. A personal favourite is TimeSlips, a storytelling project with people with Alzheimer's. posted by plep at 4:43 AM PST - 5 comments
The Voyage of Terry Waite's Clogs I first saw this a couple of days ago and the more I think about the logistics and reasoning behind this the stranger it becomes. I like the fact this probably wouldn't happen in any other country than England, but all the same you do have to wonder why it happened.
For those non-Brits Terry Waite was the Archbishop of Canterbury's envoy to Beirut in the 80s and was held hostage for 5 years by a militant islamic group. posted by jontyjago at 3:47 AM PST - 10 comments
Amateurs, Mere Amateurs still make significant contributions to astronomy [The Canadian Laval group's website is typically enthusiastic] and may yet make a difference in other sciences, according to Freeman J. Dyson in this review of Steve Guttenberg lookalike Timothy Ferris's latest book [Here's an enticing glimpse of his home-made Rocky Hill Observatory.]. I wonder just how much easier it's becoming for amateurs to contribute to specific areas of scientific knowledge? Or is it, in fact, increasingly more difficult? And would it still be strictly limited to the observational sciences? posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:57 AM PST - 8 comments
Shy Kids. "Each realistic Shy Kid (UK time out dolls) is lovingly hand-crafted and each one is different. Standing around 29"-34" approximately the same height as a two year old, your Shy Kid can be leant against a wall, couch or anywhere you desire." posted by _sirmissalot_ at 12:11 AM PST - 39 comments
U.S. states ranked according to smartness. The ranking was based on such factors as average high school dropout rate, how much teachers earn and how frequently they are attacked, etc. There are probably some other relevant factors they might have included, but didn't. What criteria do you think would be most appropriate for measuring a state's relative intelligence? posted by shoos at 10:53 PM PST - 47 comments
Rock paper scissors: The world championship: This year, for the first time, the annual Rock Paper Scissors international championship is open to the general public (as opposed to just professional RPS players. I had no idea there even were professional RPS players). Some interesting facts on RPS, including the answer to the age-old question: Does Rock crush Scissors or is Scissors dulled by Rock? posted by Badmichelle at 8:34 PM PST - 26 comments
Slippery football players. Probably not a new way to avoid getting tackled, but an interesting use of technology nonetheless. It certainly didn't help them win. And who's gonna wash those uniforms, hmm? [OK, I haven't posted in a while, so forgive the formatting gaffes...] posted by datawrangler at 1:34 PM PST - 10 comments
Lord Timothy Dexter (1747-1806) was one of the most colorful characters of early American history, described here as, among other things, an "Eccentric 18th Century Merchant - Investor with a Midas Touch - Impresario - Patron of the Arts, founding the 'World Mouserum of Grate Wonder and Gret Caricters' - progressive 'Libperel' - Self Appointed 'Consler of Trouth.'" This site includes a complete transcription of Dexter's punctuation-free magnum opus, A Pickle for the Knowing Ones featuring his famous Addenda. posted by Joey Michaels at 12:10 PM PST - 12 comments
Even ignoring the lack of cover (644 GGs replacing 4,311 normal engines) and lack of equipment the army fire teams have, should emergency services be able to strike? posted by twine42 at 9:43 AM PST - 27 comments
last year i saw the land rover, yesterday i saw the boot bus. while it looks to be in support of a small commercial site, the bus is a 'grassroots' adventure to document and share information gathered during their endless journeys in a VW bus. feel free to share your favorite 'common-man' travel resource. posted by donkeysuck at 9:11 AM PST - 3 comments
The true story of Ex Parte Quirin. The case that is cited to support the Bush administration's "Terrorism Tribunals" has gotten little scrutiny. Everyone knows that the Nazi saboteurs were part of a plot cracked by FBI agents and justly imprisoned and executed, and everyone may be wrong. Michael Belknap, a professor at California Western School of Law, aptly referred to Quirin as "a putrid pedigree" in a recent law review article. Kenneth Royall, a former military counsel in the case, described it as a lynching. And John P. Frank, a clerk to Hugo Black at the time of Quirin, denounced the court in his 1958 book Marble Palace for acting like a "butcher shop." posted by norm at 7:39 AM PST - 5 comments
HOW TO GET RICH, by Jared Diamond.
An academic justification for the pluralist society?
Clay Shirley (guest blogger @ B-B) makes the point: "In a finding that everyone worried about having a single global IP regime should read, Diamond concludes that innovation requires having several different legal, cultural and technological regimes at the same time, in competition with one another. Columbus had to go to several countries before he got funding for the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. Had there been a pan-European agreement on naval expeditions, he would never have left port." [More inside] *Warning*: 12, easily read pages in link.I hope this thread is a grower... posted by dash_slot- at 5:22 AM PST - 30 comments
You Are a Suspect A growing awareness by those on the right and on the left that our rights are now seriously in threat of total erosion in light of new Petnagon proposal to track all moves of citizens in giagantic data base. may require reg for NY Times. posted by Postroad at 3:57 AM PST - 66 comments
A Bullet-Proof Mind? "Too much, and you end up with a My Lai.... Too little, and your soldiers will be defeated and killed." A balanced look at the reasons for, and consequences of, the reflex-based killing techniques in which U.S. Special Forces soldiers are trained. (NYTimes Magazine). posted by josh at 9:35 PM PST - 33 comments
Drudge Blows Past a Billion, Nobody Cares If we are to believe his counter, Matt Drudge cleared over a billion page views so far this year, a milestone, certainly, amid a collective yawn to those in the press or those on the web. How could this be? How could one man be apparently so popular while going so unrecognized?
Is the Drudge Report the web's dirtiest little secret? And for those of you who are part of the billion, why on Earth do you go there? He doesn't write anything, really. And when he does it's not always true.
And the final question is, why hasn't any of the major news services borrowed from his format or style, he's just a guy in a dumb hat after all. Isn't he? posted by tsarfan at 4:44 PM PST - 38 comments
Did the election of Bush create an environment that would allow a violent misogynist like Eminem to become famous? Or, does Eminem's popularity reflect how easily we are blinded by nice wrapping? This article looks into what this kind of popularity could indicate to us about our present social conditions. posted by Raichle at 3:10 PM PST - 75 comments
Britain's Pubs to Entertain Longer Hours? Tony Blair Says Yes! In an effort to curb binge drinking and overall ruddy behavior after closing times at 11pm, Parliament has it before them to allow for extended bar hours, rather than fixed open and closing hours. Communities would have some sort of say in which pubs would be able to have which hours, probably based on distance to residential areas, etc. CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale was one of the formal organizations backing this plan. Open All Hours? is a group opposing the plan. Check it out! posted by djspicerack at 2:31 PM PST - 32 comments
Cervantes no not THAT Cervantes silly, THIS Cervantes wrote the first half of Don Quixote in 1605. The popularity of the world's first novel was so great that an impostor book was published chronicling the continued misadventures of the Don Quixote and Sancho, so scandalously in fact that Cervantes himself had to write a second half ten years later which ends (SPOILER) with the death of Alonso Quixano and the end of all further tales. Now it seems some 400 years later its happening to our young Harry Potter! posted by Pollomacho at 2:15 PM PST - 27 comments
Don't Ask, Don't Tell, Don't Matter If You Are Fluent In Arabic, Despite Our Serious Need For That.... This story hits very close to home. This is a friend from college (Emory) who was just thrown out of the army when they discovered he had a boyfriend. Particularly ridiculous is the fact that he had just achieved fluency in Arabic and would have been (among other gay soldiers) extremely useful to the cause at present. Apparently, heterosexual couples discovered coupled in their rooms at the same inspection were given 10 days restriction and extra duty. posted by adrober at 1:47 PM PST - 66 comments
Believe who, again? "So twice a week, for US$3,000 a month, the Iraqi student says, under condition of anonymity, that he took a taxi...to a Boston-area recording studio rented by the Rendon Group, a DC-based public relations firm with close ties to the US government. His job: translate and dub spoofed Saddam Hussein speeches and tongue-in-cheek newscasts for broadcast throughout Iraq."
And other machinations of the PR-industrial complex in this piece from the Asia Times (courtesy of prwatch).
Not so much funny "ha-ha" as funny "Ahhhhh!!! Ahhhh!" posted by chandy72 at 12:08 PM PST - 12 comments
The term POSH is widely believed to have originated in the time of the British Raj when P&O passenger ship tickets were marked POSH -Port Out Starboard Home - port (left-hand side) berths were mostly in the shade when travelling out (easterly) and the starboard ones when coming back. So the best and most expensive berths were POSH. Unfortunately P&O say they have never issued such tickets and none have ever been found even though many tickets do exist from the time.
But this page from the US Navy METOC site claims it originated in Boston as a label for the luggage of wealthy passengers travelling from the US to Europe to indicate which side of the ship to place the luggage to protect it from the sun.
Should you be allowed to register a word in common usage as a trademark? If posh goes what word is next. posted by stunned at 11:08 AM PST - 32 comments
A Mad Parody Of The Onion Well, if this isn't Meta, I don't know what is. Certainly, we all know about The Onion (and, indeed, our consensus is that we don't post Onion links here). The fine fellows at MAD magazine have hoisted the Area Men by their own petard. I hate to say it, 'cuz I think The Onion is often quite funny, but they've got it nailed. (via Heath Row's Media Diet) posted by briank at 8:58 AM PST - 58 comments
The male contraceptive pill is 100% effective and will be available in 2005. Will you take it? Will men stop using condoms and STDs increase as a result? Can men be trusted to take it every day? posted by norm29 at 8:08 AM PST - 66 comments
Picasso vs The Uncanny X-Men. Charles Bock with a really long essay digs up the old dead horse of "What Is Art?" Do you stare blankly at contemporary/conceptual art and try to get what critics and curators think is so great? Was Tolstoy right that truly great art must be able to communicate to laypeople with no art training? I myself love spending afternoons at Museums, not to look at the art, but to look at people confused out of their minds. posted by Stan Chin at 7:42 AM PST - 28 comments
Paging Andy Warhol What happens during the 16th minute after you unexpectedly become famous? Here's a follow up story on the Coal Miners trapped and then rescued last July. You know its gonna get weirder, so lets get on with the show posted by BentPenguin at 7:25 AM PST - 9 comments
Roger Ebert salutes Buster Keaton in an article in which he says the Great Stone Face is "the greatest actor-director in the history of the movies." High praise indeed! Any other Keaton fans out there? (This is from the Chicago Sun-times--I don't believe registration is required.) And if you want to see Buster smiling--sort of--here's a picture of him with one-time movie partner Fatty Arbuckle. posted by Man-Thing at 7:22 AM PST - 19 comments
Taking the adage "be prepared" to the next level Eric, a thirty year old electrician from Lyons, France, has made the record books for having the "most practical suit of clothing". Often dubbed "The Human Penknife" Eric has no less that 1,300 useful objects, ranging from a humble toothbrush to a soldering iron, arranged in carefully designed pouches sewn into his clothing. What won't you leave home without? posted by lucien at 4:37 AM PST - 29 comments
State Coalition Approves Internet Sales Tax Plan Ignoring, it seems, both Bush and Clinton, the states, greedy for money in these tight times, have a source of revenue from Net sales. And this will help retail stores on pricing (they must pay taxes), but how will it impact on the Net--or will Net sales manage to skirt a tax somehow? Are you for or against taxing net sales? posted by Postroad at 4:46 PM PST - 36 comments
Yes, it's another Internet-only comic strip But this one would never make it past the security guard at your local newspaper. It happens to be really, really funny, especially if you appreciate humor on the warped side. What are the other worthwhile comics that may be flying under the radar due to their "not quite ready for mainstream" content? posted by jeremias at 3:06 PM PST - 106 comments
The Smithsonian offers an online sampling of its Collection of Aeronautic Sheet Music. From the introduction: "...widespread fascination with flight has inspired an enormous output of historical drawings, paintings, advertisements and illustrations for publications. Some of the most colorful illustrations are those which adorn sheet music. In the Bella Landauer collection, you can find illustrations that range from the bizarre to the commonplace, from the humorous to the mundane. But most are colorful and interesting."
The collection is divided into categories such as "Ballooning", "Biplanes", and "Flying Machines". I love this one from 1914, called "A Hundred Years From Now". posted by taz at 11:02 AM PST - 9 comments
China. Abandons Communism. Gets AIDS. May be about to lose its shirt. While everybody on the pink side of Ebenezer Scrooge is pissing and moaning about the state of America, here's one American who thinks the state of the Middle Kingdom is at least equally interesting (as in ancient Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times.") posted by jfuller at 9:16 AM PST - 11 comments
Mr. Print, Meet Ms. Web; Ms. Web Meet Mr. Print... As a long-time Argentinian exile, I'm quite proud to report that, amidst (and notwithstanding) the economic chaos, my favorite daily newspaper, Clarín, is experimenting with a (free and complete) Internet edition that ambitiously attempts to combine facsimiles of the printed pages with the Web-friendly version. It even has (perhaps excessively) an estimated time for reading! What do you think? [In Spanish, but, for the purposes of the present evaluation, not important. Please click on "Ingresar".] posted by Carlos Quevedo at 2:12 AM PST - 14 comments
Are you being served, Ma'am? Need an update on the latest twists and turns in top-rated British soap opera 'Royal Family'? It's an endless saga of hidden homosexual rape, trollops, locked boxes, yacht orgies, bungled police raids, regal amnesia, tittle-tattle, KFC, naked princesses in fur coats, and endless amounts of rocks. posted by humuhumu at 1:09 AM PST - 43 comments
KidPub is an enchanting little website that I rediscovered after rediscovering a list of my circa-1995 bookmarks. (And it looks today almost exactly like it did then -- you can even see a bit of Siegel influence) KidPub is a place for children to post their stories, poems, etc. Most of the authors seem to be in the 9- to 12-year-old age range, and the stories have titles like "The Mystery of the Circus Clown" and "Crazy School". A cute site to remind you of the importance of reading and writing for children. posted by oissubke at 9:19 PM PST - 9 comments
Karyn has been saved. Her $20k debit has been paid off thanks to her website. 18 months of buying crap at department stores with credit cards were paid off even though her web site wasn't fancy, her story wasn't all that tragic, and many found it hard to sympathize with her .
so what have we learned? is this a success story? is this another fine example of the web wielding it's magic? or will this open a can of worms for the next jackass who overspends and hopes the society will pay for their ills? posted by tsarfan at 4:26 PM PST - 77 comments
Someone set us up the bomb.The Bomb Project is a comprehensive on-line compendium of nuclear-related links, imagery and documentation. It makes accessible the declassified files and graphic documentation produced by the nuclear industry itself, providing a context for comparative study, analysis and creativity. (courtesy of Bruce Sterling's Infinite Matrix) posted by crunchland at 4:06 PM PST - 6 comments
Coming quickly after the announcement of Mitch Kapor and the OSAF's plans for an MS Outlook competitor, Spaces seems to already do a lot of what Chandler has plans to do, but is ready for download and testing right now.
A very cool feature of Spaces is the integration of an RSS new aggregator right alongside the email client. News items and email messages are fundamentally the same and the app takes advantage of that. Spaces is blurring the differences between how we read news and email and it's about time! posted by antidigerati at 3:52 PM PST - 9 comments
Abigail and Brittany Hensel are in the 6th grade and continue to defy the odds. After the initial struggle with the personal pronoun (her? their?), one is left with both curiosity and sympathy. The greater issue is how to assimilate the truly miraculous. posted by kablam at 1:22 PM PST - 22 comments
Archaeological Collage. Neat old cityscene photographs dissolve part by part into modern shots of the same location. Slide the slider and trollies morph into cars, stoop tragedy is supplanted by stoop dalliance. This site has been my white whale: I spent many months tracking it down after losing the link, asking here, asking there, and finally getting an Answer. SPOILER: In the saddest one, going left to right, you're delighted that the grand hotel survives, until in the last 10% it yields to a parking lot. *sob* (Shockwave required) posted by luser at 1:17 PM PST - 9 comments
Our Bastard(s) Somoza Speaking of brutal Nicaraguan dicatator Somoza, Harry Truman is supposed to have said "He's a bastard, but he's our bastard." Looking for a source for this quote, I discovered it's attributed to Truman, FDR, and Nixon. This is such a broad chronological range that I figured I could narrow it down by finding out when Somza lived. No such luck: according to two biography*/histories, there were actuall three Somozas: Anastasio Somoza Garcia, who fathered Luis Somoza Debayle and Anastasio Somoza Debayle, and the Somoza dynasty that ruled Nicaragua from the mid 1930s through the late 1970s. All three of those presidents could well have made the comment. But I'm still stuck for a source...
* This link (the first history/bio) requires anyone clicking from an outside page to go through an extra "Welcome Mat" page on the first time through. Annoying, but no registration required. posted by namespan at 10:58 AM PST - 18 comments
Did The Good Old Days Really Exist or was it just the iconography that was cute? Not to mention the cars. Or the clothes. Or the refrigerators. And the music. Or the supermarkets.... But were any of these commodities and comforts actually any good? Could we live with them today? Accomplished websites like Ephemera Now and Fifties Boulevard give the impression of an increasingly unrealistic American Dream that's still fighting against waking up. Is there - can there be - any equivalent nowadays? [First two links from today's Bifurcated Rivets.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:28 AM PST - 20 comments
Why has Microsoft granted Saddam Hussein's son a .NET passport? A Microsoft representative would not comment on the issuance of a passport to the murderer, rapist, torturer and smuggler, but said Microsoft complies with all trade laws. Looks like it's time for Iraq to switch to Linux. Also, Yahoo is likely in violation of U.S. trade sanctions against Iraq by providing him with a free email account. You can show your support for 38-year-old Uday by emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org. What next? Cancel the accounts of all criminals? posted by tapeguy at 10:09 AM PST - 11 comments
An L.A. restaurateur just won a rare 2-pound mushroom in an annual "charity truffle auction" in Santa Monica. The winner paid $35,000 for the truffle after a fierce bidding war between a New York-based restaurant owner and Gunther IV, who placed his bids through a subsidiary due to the fact that he is, in fact, a dog. The canine heir to a vast German fortune lost the auction, and the honor of placing the highest recorded bid ever for a mushroom. Go ahead, read it again. This is all, mind you, before anyone actually got their hands on the giant 'shroom. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:06 AM PST - 42 comments
Learning from the RIAA's mistakes? "Seeking to protect movies from the rampant online piracy that afflicts the music industry, five major film studios plan to begin offering today rental feature films that consumers can download from a Web site for a fee." Sounds like at least a step in the right direction, but I still wonder: who watches movies on their computer anyway? Would you rather wait for your 90 minute feature film to download, or just get off your butt and go rent one? (first link is to the NYT) posted by Gilbert at 9:42 AM PST - 25 comments
Late for Halloween, but could come in handy the next time you want to give someone the finger. posted by rushmc at 9:53 AM PST - 7 comments
What do moedy, cruxtaposition, daugahyde and posolutely have in common? Don't bother looking up at dictionary.com, Merriam-Webster OnLine or britannica.com. All these words are newly made up words and only the pseudodictionary knows them. Don't know what NSFW means? Want to submit a new word creation of yours? You have no clue and want to brush up your vocabulary? Try the randomerizor and get smart! posted by ugly_n_sticky at 9:14 AM PST - 21 comments
Home improvement Twenty years saying nothing but "Hello" and "Goodbye" to the neighbours, all the while fixing to kill people after you're dead ... this man deserves to become the sixth famous Belgian. posted by alloneword at 2:55 AM PST - 15 comments
Reading the 9th Prophecy of the American Hopi Indians has sent a chill in my spine! Some interpretations I have read say that this prophecy is an interpretation of Nasa's Skylab falling back to Earth circa 1979. However when I read this prophecy a few months ago the crash of the World Trade Center immediately popped into my mind! The Hopi's 9th prophecy states "You will hear of a dwelling-place in the heavens, above the earth, that shall fall with a great crash! It will appear as a blue star." "These are the Signs that great destruction is here: The world shall rock to and fro. The white man will battle people in other lands - those who possessed the first light of wisdom. " Is this not our time? posted by thedailygrowl at 2:30 AM PST - 42 comments
Geekroom contest 2002. [this is a mirror, the site was recently slashdotted] They say these are the best geekrooms; to me they seem to fall somewhere between somewhere between quintessential, and epitome-of. Does your computing take over a significant chunk of your space? A room? A nook? What do Mefites' geek lairs look like? posted by condour75 at 2:16 AM PST - 35 comments
Is this naturism, photography or soft-core child pornography? If you search for photographers like Sally Mann or Jock Sturges you'll come across this entirely legitimate purveyor of naturist books and videos. In the Fifties and Sixties nudist magazines, like Health and Efficiency, were an excuse for looking at naked bodies. Now that porn is legal, have nudist publications made a comeback as an excuse for looking at photographs of naked children? Their website is itself well concealed - the front page looks innocent enough but, the further you click into it, the more unsettling it becomes. Or are we all becoming to paranoid for our own good? (I'd say NSFW) posted by Carlos Quevedo at 6:50 PM PST - 110 comments
Farm Sluts is a side-splitting parable illustrating the seriousness of using the NSFW designation. This 49 megabyte Quicktime short runs 17 minutes and is totally NSFDU (not safe for dial-up). It's probably itself NSFW, but only because you'll have to explain ROFL. posted by quonsar at 5:36 PM PST - 27 comments
Pentagon Plans a Computer System That Would Peek at Personal Data of Americans And this is justified because of National Security. We will lose much that is personal, private, but in turn we will be protefted against the bad guys. Or will we? When NASA and CIA claim they need to spy domestically, and computers gather all data on Americans, what is left that is not what Orwell had suggested might our future be like?Or, as Morth Sahl once labelled a comic record: TheFuture Lies Ahead." posted by Postroad at 8:30 AM PST - 97 comments
Who Counts your Votes? This book published back in 1992 is a good launching pad to begin the quest regarding elections and election fraud in America. Joseph Stalin had a saying: ``Those who cast the votes decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.'' When I voted on November 5, I was handed a little card stuck it in to a Diebold voting machine and presto all the votes I submitted were counted correctly right? Well I'm not sure after I read the article Diebold: The face of modern balloting at http://www.bartcop.com/110702otter.htm
and some of the articles at
Perhaps we Americans have handed a bit to much over to computers and the people who own the companies that make the computers and that write the code. Perhaps to restore faith in our Democracy its time to to go back a simple hand counted system, with observers from multiple parties stationed in the local precincts counting the paper ballots. posted by thedailygrowl at 12:16 AM PST - 3 comments
No Child Unrecruited Under the "No Child Left Behind Act" passed earlier this year, secondary schools must provide military recruiters with the names, addresses and phone numbers of their students or risk losing federal aid. [More Inside] posted by EmergencyPenguin at 11:16 PM PST - 47 comments
What happened to intent to commit a crime? Jalbert, a resident of Pohenegamook, Que., was arrested on Oct. 11 after failing to stop at the local border crossing. He had crossed into a neighbouring Maine town to fill up his truck with gasoline before a weekend hunting trip. U.S. officials noticed a hunting rifle on his front seat. A subsequent computer search by American authorities revealed that he had a criminal record in Canada, related to a 12-year-old breaking and entering conviction. Now he's facing four months in jail. An editorial in the Maine newspaper The Portland Herald called the decision to keep Jalbert locked up "odd" and said he "is no threat to anyone (unless you're a duck)." posted by Coop at 3:08 PM PST - 22 comments
I'm amazed. (And no, this isn't a Lone Star thread.) For all the politics fuss we've engaged in over the last 2 years, I'm a bit surprised that no one thought it a fit topic for discussion that Florida lost 100,000 votes this week. In Broward County. But of course, those are the *only* votes we lost track of, right...? posted by baylink at 10:11 AM PST - 5 comments
A quick HIV test is about to hit the US market. An HIV test that is easy to administer and provides results in 20 minutes has just been approved by the FDA. This is a big deal partly because almost 250,000 Americans are infected and don't know it. The ease of this fast-response test will help identify some of them. posted by o2b at 10:04 AM PST - 30 comments
Name That Fundamentalist! Is everyone ready for some Friday fun? How about online quizzes today? Here's one where you try to guess which fundamentalist is responsible for a quote. Go ahead, give it a try and post your favorites too! posted by nofundy at 9:51 AM PST - 14 comments
Menstrual Art: Vanessa Tiegs uses her livejournal and her own, uh "natural" paint supply to make some pretty cool paintings. (via fullofnothing)
My intention in making paintings using my menstrual blood is to create beauty from something that most people would rather avoid. I consider my paintings as personal and political images presenting a positive and celebratory attitude toward menstruation.
Bet the Farm. Friday Flash Fun! Do you have what it takes to run a modern farm? This online game pits your decision making against the forces of nature and the market in a simple, clever, educational flash game. I made $9.33 an hour! Who will be MetaFilter's master farmer? posted by putzface_dickman at 8:42 AM PST - 29 comments
Akiyoshi's illusion pages. This japanese psychology professor has been collecting and developing geometric optical illusions, some of which are found on the streets [inc. Brighton, UK!], notably he is inspired by traditional japanese design and architecture. NB: Though not exactly Friday Flash, the emphasis on clour & motion illusion prompts Akiyoshi to warn: "Caution: This page contains some works of "anomalous motion illusion", which might make sensitive observers dizzy or sick. Should you feel dizzy, you had better leave this page immediately." How polite! posted by dash_slot- at 7:01 AM PST - 12 comments
Why We Tuned Out"We don't allow our kids to watch TV. Period. Not at home, not at friends’ houses; and they don’t watch videos or movies, either. We want our daughters, Jazzy, now nearly 6, and Gigi, 3, to be as active as possible, physically and mentally." What's the best approach with kids and television? posted by tippiedog at 8:58 PM PST - 89 comments
Ecstasy is being hailed as the key to better treatments for the Parkinson's disease, marking a complete turnaround from a few weeks ago when ecstasy was condemned for causing the disease. posted by semmi at 8:30 PM PST - 26 comments
New Mexico's voters decided against an amendment that would remove language in the state constitution prohibiting Asian immigrants from owning land [scroll down]. Florida is the only other state now with such a clause. Surprising that they would keep such laws around...
Tangentially, do all Asians really look the same? And would a high score be a good or bad thing? posted by casarkos at 8:11 PM PST - 17 comments
"The oldest profession in the world" gains a whole new meaning with this 57-year-old woman's spirited account, in The Spectator (est. 1858) no less, of her successful new career as a prostitute. I must admit a part of me said "Hooray! There's hope for us thirtysomethings yet" but the rest remained highly suspicious or (to be honest) whispered "How pathetic!" Is this ageism or are (much) older women really more attractive nowadays? posted by Schweppes Girl at 4:57 PM PST - 29 comments
The Patriot Act. Ashcrft's TIPS program. FBI surveying your Public Library consumption history.
Freedom in America isn't what it used to be, and in most cases, the changes have been foisted on the public, sans referendum.
Have you heard the name Lt. General Michael V. Hayden before? Probably not. Probably cuz he's king spook. aka Director fo the National Security Agency.
Here's a transcript of his testimony before congress about pre and post 9/11 national security issues.
Its a really scary read. Why? Because his assessment comes across as more level headed, even handed and realistic on this prime topic than the President and everyone in congress put together. (YMMV)
Who'd a thunkit?
Briefly, he tells Congress "that they can best help him by going back to their constituents and finding out where the public wants to draw the line between liberty and safety.”
More importantly, he talks to the people about security, not at them. Where's the line gotta be? [found on /.] posted by BentPenguin at 1:20 PM PST - 28 comments
Michael McNevin creates the most incredibly detailed pictures using an Etch-A-Sketch. Call me a cynic if you like, but I can't help wondering if it's a fake ... (via b3ta) posted by ralawrence at 10:10 AM PST - 21 comments
Self-Sufficiency in Style is possible, desirable and fun, according to Pat Gardiner, the resident theorist of Hangman's Cottage (in Hangman's Lane, just to the south of Misery Corner, somewhere in Norfolk, England). His amusing monthly diary (Killing for Food and Pleasure is the title of October's entry) and unconventional advice (His advice on inheritance is: don't leave your children anything) are quite addictive. And his essential message doesn't even mention hippies : Self-sufficiency need not be all crankiness and mud, manure, muck and mystery. It may be a return to a frontier spirit for an American, or a yearning for a lost rural idyll for an Englishman. posted by Carlos Quevedo at 10:04 AM PST - 4 comments
The Cowbell Project Inspired by the SNL/Christopher Walken sketch, a database of recordings that feature the cowbell, and a list of other songs that maybe should have considered it... posted by lilboo at 9:24 AM PST - 33 comments
Bubonic plague strikes again... It seems that bubonic plague has never actually gone away with reports of occurences in Madagascar, Bolivia and now it seems, from New Mexico. Given that the disease has been diagnosed and treated outside of the host cities in the cases of the Bolivian woman and the couple in New York, I think this highlights how diseases we tend to classify as third world health problems, are merely a plane ride away from causing an outbreak here. posted by gloege at 6:52 AM PST - 26 comments
All the Saints of the City of Angels: This website is dedicated to the exploration - at once poetic and historical - of this "spiritual geography" of Los Angeles; a road trip into the city's cultural, spiritual, and ethnic heritage via its streets which bear the names of saints. posted by ahughey at 5:46 AM PST - 5 comments
Microsoft launch the windows xp Tablet. A cross between a laptop and a PDA, comes in two forms, a laptop with a rotatable screen or just as a tablet with no key board or mouse. you can write directly onto the screen with the magic pen and send e-mails or create documents in your own hand writing. not sure how much it costs. I wonder how long before the Linux posse get their hands on it! more cool pics here. posted by JonnyX at 3:18 AM PST - 44 comments
The Party's Over What happened on November 5, 2002 was the culmination of a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party that began more than a decade ago under the leadership of a group of conservatives, corporadoes, and con men .... It must find a soul, a passion, and a sense of itself. Most of all, it must get rid of those false prophets and phony friends who have not only done it so much damage but have left the country fully in the hands of the cruel, the selfish, the violent, the dumb, and the anti-democratic. posted by thedailygrowl at 12:07 AM PST - 33 comments
How the world sees Americans. "They readily distinguish between the official face of the American government (who they tend to disagree with and fear) and American people, pop culture and values (which they tend to adore and emulate)." "It's the world's superpower ... that has a childlike understanding of everyone else."
Journalist Mark Hertsgaard travelled the globe gathering opinions about the U.S. He talks about the surprising results. posted by gazingus at 10:13 PM PST - 108 comments
Alien Equipment Turning immigrants into cyborgs. A small video monitor and loudspeakers are installed at the center of the instrument and in front of the user's mouth. The monitor and the loudspeakers replace the real act of speech with an audio-visual broadcast of pre-recorded statements. posted by riley370 at 8:59 PM PST - 13 comments
If you live in Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky or Pennsylvania (“the Euchre belt”) Euchre might be a familiar pastime or at least well, familiar. The game is not exclusive to those areas but is most concentrated in the Midwest. It used to be one of the most popular card games the U.S. but lost out to bridge. Today the game has somewhat of a cult following in Midwest towns and especially on college campuses. It is a fast paced thinking game that combines strategy and skill with luck that can eat away hours of a person’s life. If you have never played the game I encourage you to read an introduction and try yahoo games. (I hope this is not too common to bring up, but I rarely see anyone playing online not from the states listed above.) Warning popups. posted by Recockulous at 7:50 PM PST - 43 comments
I don't know about any of you, but after weeks of politics, I am in dire need of a little light-heartedness. Party down with me to one-t, a cool music video with great artwork! Or if that's a little too edgy for you, maybe a good old-fashioned super orgy porno party is more your style. Not really in a party mood? Well, don't let politics get you down, stay loose, stay cool, and just be sure you don't ride the fence.. quicktime files, crank up the volume, and not really risque but probly not work safe. posted by madamjujujive at 7:28 PM PST - 17 comments
Polo Cited For Forcing Employees To Buy Polo "Polo Ralph Lauren Corp., in a court filing, has denied allegations that it requires store employees to buy and wear the company's clothing at work..." Probably many Mefi readers have had retail jobs, and count me as one of them. At the department store where my mother and I worked, we probably spent about 30% of our wages on the store's merchandise in order to keep up with the dress code. After reading this I see that it might be a widespread practice. Has this happened to you? Is this a trend in how retailers treat their employees? Do you have any other examples? posted by Tystnaden at 6:50 PM PST - 31 comments
When in doubt, blame the software. Who is the governor of Alabama? Both incumbent candidate Don Siegelmand and Republican opponent Bob Riley have claimed victories. The answer lies in the hands of Baldwin County officials, who claim a software glitch "miscounted" almost 7,000 votes. [more inside] posted by somethingotherthan at 1:47 PM PST - 18 comments
Election results got you down? Feel like drowning your sorrows, but don't have much to spend? If you're in Athens, GA, you can use the beerometer, thoughtfully provided by the local mainstream newspaper, to get the most beer for your buck. posted by ewagoner at 1:41 PM PST - 20 comments
"We are conducting a two-front war on only one front," according to former senators Gary Hart and Warren Rudman. Even before their U.S. Commission on National Security/21st Century report in January 2001, Hart and Rudman had predicted that "Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers" at the hands of terrorists, but they were ignored. And today, according to them, "more than a year has passed since the 9/11 attacks, and basic security priorities have not been met." On another note, Hart is considering a bid for the White House in 2004. With his record on national security issues, and after yesterday's Democratic performance, I think he might have a chance. posted by homunculus at 12:35 PM PST - 18 comments
Data Archives from the American Presidency Project Fascinating statistical data about a variety of subjects, and not just trivia either. Includes data, for example, about Congressional concurrence with the President, number of Presidential vetos, number of first-year requests, etc. Good information for acquiring an overall understanding of our current political situation. posted by oissubke at 12:22 PM PST - 6 comments
Poetry International Web opens today. "Hundreds of poems by acclaimed modern poets from all around the world, both in the original language and in English translation." posted by igor.boog at 10:45 AM PST - 7 comments
Violence and Repression in Western Afghanistan. "A man who was severely beaten by Ismail Khan's forces described to Human Rights Watch the effect of the repression: 'At any time I feel that I am in danger. When I leave my house, I do not know if I will return. I do not know whether something will happen to me, if there will be some car crash, or that I will be hit in the back of the head.' Another witness talked about how his community's hopes after the hated Taliban regime was ended have been deflated: 'What has changed in Afghanistan? All our hopes are crushed. We are completely disappointed. Look-all the same warlords are in power as before. Fundamentalism has come into power, and every day they strengthen their power.'
The Apple Switch Ads have been beamed to a galaxy far, far away. The fad has caught on. We now no longer need "Star Wars: Episode 3." I know why Anakin has... switched. posted by mychai at 8:52 AM PST - 18 comments
Daschle, Gephardt: 'political strategy is working' "WASHINGTON (CNN) - As cable networks projected continued Republican dominance of the House and a Republican takeover of the Senate, two leading Democrats met with reporters to announce that 'everything is going according to plan' and the future of the Democratic Party looks bright.
Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle expressed optimism about Democratic prospects for the next elections, saying that "our strategy of leaving no daylight between ourselves and the president is clearly working. Although in today's election the voters were still able to distinguish Republicans from Democrats, resulting in some lost seats for us, I'm confident that by 2004 we will regain our lead by becoming utterly indistinguishable from Republicans."
... and the doctor says, I can clearly see you're nuts. A PRODIGY IN MANY FIELDS. Perhaps I rank historically among the 50 or 100 most intelligent and talented people in the most fields ever. And so begins the best resume ever. posted by patrickje at 5:32 PM PST - 59 comments
Are we using the worst voting procedure? "Voting theorists argue that plurality voting is one of the worst of all possible choices." Plurality voting, in which each voter selects one canidate, is vulnerable to a third party spoiler (Nader) or with many canidates can lead to the (near) election of a candidate most voters despise (le Pen). Some alternative voting systems include instant runoff where canidates are ranked by voters, a Borda count where voters assigns points to each canidate, or approval system where voters vote for as many canidates as they like. (via argmax.com) posted by Quinn at 11:27 AM PST - 63 comments
Rez, a Japanese title for the Playstation 2 that was supposedly inspired by Kandinski's ideas on synaesthesia, comes packaged with a piece of hardware called a "trance vibrator."
Here's an entirely NOT SAFE FOR WORK guide to how one couple came to refer to the game as "Tron on Ecstasy." posted by Pinwheel at 10:58 AM PST - 33 comments
Roadside memorials. Every so often you'll catch one out of the corner of your eye--a makeshift cross on the side of a highway, or flowers tacked to a highway sign, marking a life that ended in that spot. Gives me chills--realistically, probably every single day we pass places where someone breathed their last, but we don't know it. Photographer Bill Sampson takes photographs of roadside memorials--called "descansos" from a Spanish word meaning rest--and collects them on his site. Loved ones are invited to submit memorials of their own. (Link via USA Today Web Guide.) posted by GaelFC at 10:57 AM PST - 39 comments
Stop Wining Laddie - And Pass the Macallan! Why bother with sissy wines and beers when you can have whisky all through your meal? A new trend in dining is pairing spirits and cocktails with food. Russian aristocrats still refuse to drink vodka unaccompanied by comestibles while modern Italians and Americans cook with it. The Japanese love their straight Cognac and Chivas with everything bar sashimi and eccentric old Englishmen stick with Port from start to finish. I guess they're all on to something, no? In case they're not, here, by way of consolation, is a wonderful interactive food and wine matcher for the dullards and traditionalists among us. Cheers! posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:57 AM PST - 15 comments
Are you using AOL IM at work? Chatting with your buds or SO while you should probably be working? Well, in a desperate attempt to turn some kind of profit, AOL is willing to sell your boss the ability to be in on the conversation, too. posted by crunchland at 9:29 AM PST - 21 comments
A New Constitutional Convention? Well, as we are all aware it's election days. Time to reshape our government as we see fit. And we have an remarkably robust blueprint for our government, one that has stood the test of time. But is it time to change? What would your suggestions be if you were present at a new creation? I know these links have a lefty feel, there what I could find. But I'm interested in reasoned perspectives from left and right. Is this process necessary or desirable? What Would You Do? posted by pjgulliver at 8:35 AM PST - 39 comments
Florida Machine Records Votes for Wrong Candidate. OK, I know Matt Drudge isn't exactly a venerated news outlet, but he is in South Florida. And he's reporting that a West Palm Beach voter called in to a South Florida radio talk show to report that when he voted for McBride this morning the machine counted his vote for Bush. After he'd tried three times, the voter said, an observing poll worker finally acknowledged that the machine would have to be reprogrammed, since earlier voters had experienced the same problem. There is no official confirmation of this problem, but calls to the same radio show two years ago evidently foreshadowed the 2000 election debacle. I'll be keeping an eye on sites like Josh Marshall's Talking Points Memo as the day wears on. In the end, what should the electorate do (in addition to initiating lawsuits) if outcome-determining irregularities surface in yet another Florida election? posted by maud at 7:40 AM PST - 68 comments
Remember the Sokal Hoax? In the mid 1990s, NYU professor Alan Sokal got a deliberately ridiculous paper in the po-mo journal Social Text, which would have embarrassed the editors if the concept of shame weren't merely a social construct.
Now it seems that turnabout is fair play. In this week's Chronicle of Higher Education, there's a fascinating article about two brothers -- they apparently got their physics PhDs by spouting nonsense, and even got their tripe published in peer-reviewed journals. (The article itself requires a subscription, but here is an account by one of the players in the drama.
Even though every scientific field has bad journals and these papers are in French, which consigned them to less well-known journals, it's still a major embarrassment for physics. posted by ptermit at 7:23 AM PST - 40 comments
Today, Georgia becomes the first state in the US to have standardized, state-wide electronic voting. Not wanting to be "the next Florida", Georgia spent nearly $60M to go from paper punch cards to touch screens. What's in store, fame or infamy? After using the computer myself and hearing raves from all the sweet old ladies, I'll bet on the former. posted by ewagoner at 6:42 AM PST - 38 comments
Ever heard of this kid? Richard Sandrak is a 10 year old body builder! I cant help but wonder what health problems this kid will develop when he reaches puberty. freak or unique? posted by JonnyX at 4:59 AM PST - 46 comments
What do you do with an eyesore built by a madman? [Geocities site, caress lovingly before clicking] During WWII, Hitler built several Flakbunkers around the city of Hamburg, to act as self-contained civilian shelters and defensive posts. After the war, the British tried to blow them up. And failed, on two accounts. The buildings still stand today, squat and romanesque remnants of a horrible period in the city's history. So, in a show of Hanseatic League moxie, the citizens of Hamburg have converted one of them into a disco. [warning: Flash, and starts with music]. There are better pictures of the truly hideous exterior here and here. A timely reminder, this Tuesday morning, that poor decisions can have long-reaching and unintended consequences. What will your grandchildren have to turn into a disco? posted by condour75 at 12:01 AM PST - 40 comments
Should majorities also have a say? Why doesn't Russia get to vote on Chechen independence? Why can't Britain vote on expelling Northern Ireland ... or the English on Scottish devolution? Should minorities be allowed to hold a gun to the heads of the majority? posted by bonaldi at 6:29 PM PST - 35 comments
'Come Out To Vote On November 6th' In Baltimore, Republicans are accusing Democrats of paying people to canvass African-American neighborhoods on Tuesday. Democrats are accusing Republicans of intimidating minority voters by planning to use members of the Fraternal Order of Police to serve as GOP poll workers. Meanwhile, a flyer being circulated in African-American communities 'reminds' readers to vote on November 6th - but only if all outstanding tickets, warrants, and outstanding rent payments have been paid. posted by tpoh.org at 5:33 PM PST - 34 comments
The 80's Movie Gateway. "Like an encyclopedia, we've got mini-sites for loads of your fave films from the 80's, packed with info, pictures, trivia, soundtrack details, trailers and much, much more... Like a web directory, on each page, we also give you links to the best sites dedicated to each movie." posted by Joey Michaels at 4:44 PM PST - 7 comments
On this day, 23 years ago, thousands of radical Iranian students, demanding the return of the shah, overran the U.S. embassy and took about 90 people captive. Most Iranian officials and even ordinary people supported their action. However, today about %75 of Iranians want better relations with U.S. posted by hoder at 3:28 PM PST - 21 comments
Paint By Numbers Proving that everything old school is new again. Choose from hundreds of masterworks from artistic greats such Georgia O'Keefe, Mark Rothko, Picasso and Monet or just paint up the perfect black velvet Elvis. Select your artwork, choose a color and click to fill. You'll never color outside the lines again. (This was just too fun to save for Friday.) [ Via Linky Dinky ] posted by VelvetHellvis at 2:33 PM PST - 12 comments
We don't need more voters, we need better voters "Far from urging everyone to vote, perhaps the media might better urge those who are going to vote to first make sure that they have heard both sides of the issues at stake, instead of just voting by habit, whim, or according to the image or rhetoric of the candidates.
A case could be made that those who have not informed themselves on the issues have a patriotic duty to stay away from the polls on Election Day, rather than mess with something that is too important to be decided by ignorance or prejudice. " Is Tom's suggestion an attack on a civic institution/central tenet of democracy, or a needed improvement? I share the opinion that uninformed voter turnout is a greater problem than low voter turnout, and I know I'm not alone, but I prefer the approach of those who promote use of emerging information resources, especially the incredible Project Vote Smart, rather than simply complaining. Why don't Sowell -- or for that matter, the rest of traditional media -- push these organizations? What can we do about it -- other than posting on Metafilter? posted by namespan at 1:01 PM PST - 35 comments
Chechen Rebels to be buried in pigskin It seems that the Russian security forces have decided that burying the Chechens in pig's skin will keep future Islamic terrorists from following suit in the attacks in a theater a little over a week ago.
Instead of immediately going to 'heaven', the terrorists would preventing from doing so forever.
sorry for the short link, just thought the headline was niche-y enough... posted by djspicerack at 11:48 AM PST - 70 comments
It's good to be a king ... of Swaziland. Sounds like we may be witness to decline of one of the oldest absolute monarchies in the world. It's amazing to me that there are still corners of our planet where kidnapping young women into "marriage" is deemed acceptable. posted by blindcarboncopy at 11:43 AM PST - 5 comments
Anti-union Yahoo!? A former janitor at the Yahoo! offices wrote to The Mercury News about his experience: $16K/yr, no benefits, no union. Reads like a page from Barbara Ehrenreich's "Nickel and Dimed." In the wake of the e-bubble and Enron economy, cleaning out the wastebaskets still gets no respect...or does it? Discuss. (Thanks to J. Romenesko) posted by serafinapekkala at 8:13 AM PST - 82 comments
Am I the only one who doesn't think this is news? This story also showed up here a few days ago. (more inside) posted by kate_fairfax at 7:51 AM PST - 54 comments
Sorry for the US-centric post, but VoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVoteVote tomorrow!! This nation is run by a handful of individuals: Not the rich, nor the famous, nor the powerful, but those common Joes and Janes who take a few minutes a year to go and put a checkbox on a piece of paper (or whatever you do in your state). While it's all very fun to discuss politics on Metafilter, or post about it on your blog, or shake your fist at it while watching the evening news, election day is the time when your opinion is worth something more than the Special Olympics Award for Internet Debate. Your country is asking you a question, and how you respond determines the course we all take in the future. I apologize for the grand and idealistic rhetoric, but this is a grand and idealistic situation! VOTE ALREADY!!! posted by oissubke at 7:37 AM PST - 125 comments
You probably remember him best for his famous green devil, tempting you with the esoteric delight of evil absinthe*, or the familiar image of the jester pushing the pleasures of Bitter Campari. Called by some the "father of the modern poster", and even the "father of advertising", Italian-born Leonetto Cappiello created over 1,000 memorable posters during his 40-year career in belle-epoque and fin-de-siecle Paris, and a quick look at a collection of his work quickly reminds us how enduring both his images and his basic concepts have been. (more...) posted by taz at 4:37 AM PST - 15 comments
Ever wonder if your great grandmother kept her pin money in an account no one knew about? Your state treasurer has those unclaimed funds just waiting for you to find them. [more inside] posted by xyzzy at 1:47 AM PST - 9 comments
The Hand of Karl Rove has moved before, and it may be moving as we speak. With the sudden revelation of an illegal working for Senate candidate David Pryor (who is leading Sen. Hutchinson), suspicion of the timing and credibility of these attacks is warranted, along with asking 'who benefits the most from this being revealed'. Don't be so sure other dirty tricks aren't being played. Don't worry about voting, this guy says it won't matter. Bleh. posted by RobbieFal at 10:08 PM PST - 11 comments
Loopland - fun and stylish site of Allan Sanders, freelance London-based illustrator. Visit his portfolio of client work, personal sketches and quirky little flash films (I like 06.01). Among his notable work, he was recently commissioned by Studio AKA to design & build the fun, interactive Campus FIFA for the official FIFA World Cup website.
(but you know those damn designers - sites may contain flash and launch new windows) posted by madamjujujive at 9:45 PM PST - 10 comments
A proposed mega wind farm miles into the ocean off Cape Cod is being fought by Democrats like Robert Kennedy Jr because it would "obstruct" the view from his oceanside house on clear days. Other concerns like bird kills (perhaps a few hundred birds a year), fish disruption from poles in the sand and danger to low flying planes are cited and could hold the project up for 5 years or perhaps forever. Would you care about a windfarm out in the ocean if Kennedy and few other had a view that was not "like when the Pilgrams arrived" or is this powerfull community leaders pulling a Not in my Backyard when it comes to fighting for the Environment. Horseshoe Shoals is one of the best wind spots on the East Coast. posted by stbalbach at 6:53 PM PST - 30 comments
This arrest is brought to you by... This company has come up with the idea of covering police cruisers with advertising as a way for local law-enforcement to deal with budget cuts. Apparently, twelve towns have already gone for it. This group is trying to stop it. Institutions like schools and hospitals are already being taken over by advertising and product placement. Is this any different? "Freeze! You want fries with that?" posted by notclosed at 2:16 PM PST - 11 comments
What is MetaFilter?
metafilter is important
metafilter is cool
metafilter is different from most weblogs
metafilter is gone for good
metafilter is boring
metafilter is bad for me
More fun usage of everyone's favourite search engine at www.googlism.com. I myself, am said said to have the highest dispersive mixing capability of any compounder yet. Who knew!? posted by PenDevil at 7:44 AM PST - 50 comments
Swan song for a great explorer. Tomorow, the Galileo explorer will make a flyby of Jovian moon Amalthea ending pehaps the geatest unmanned mission in NASA history. Galileo telemetry may not survive the flyby having already receieved much more radiation than it was designed for. Even if it does survive, this will be its final orbit scheduled to crash into Jupiter in September of next year. In spite of antenna difficulties, the spacecraft returned many beautiful images of Jupiter's moons, along with coverage of the Shoemaker-Levy collision and the first atmospheric probe to decend into Jupiter's weather. posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:54 AM PST - 9 comments
B-Boys in blue: the thought that there is a team of hip-hop detectives in the NYPD whose day to day job is to listen to hip-hop lyrics, go out to clubs, and "monitor whose compact disc sales are climbing," among other things, is just nuts. so, to get this straight, they get paid to do at work what a lot of the rest of us do when they should be doing work. I can't imagine they're any more productive than we are. Yeah, this is funny, but c'mon guys - do some real police work already. posted by moth at 3:27 AM PST - 11 comments
Tales from the Land of Dragons. 100 years of Chinese paintings. From the overview :- 'In China, painting is one of the "Three Perfections," linked with calligraphy and poetry as the most refined of artistic endeavors. This exhibition ... focuses on the years in which the great traditions of Chinese painting were established, during the Tang, Song, and Yuan dynasties ... ' posted by plep at 2:59 AM PST - 10 comments
"Our goal is to become bigger than Yahoo" "...We don't serve banners or pop-ups...We will not rent, sell or trade your personal information...
Out of the gate, we make money through Google's advertisements - Google sells the ads, Dell pays Google and Google pays us....Does it work? Yes. In fact, we will be profitable in our first month of operation." Could this be a Google back-door attempt to begin to move into Yahoo territory, or are they just starry-eyed dreamers? Their mission, and some answers from the founder, apparently the same people behind iWon.com. PS Site really does look like a Yahoo carbon copy. There must be some copyright issues. posted by Voyageman at 8:51 PM PST - 28 comments
I'm really excited about this. A 42" flat panel plasma TV for under $3000. From Gateway, of all companies. This undercuts the Philips 40" price by at least $3000. How many of you would buy one of these instead of a 70" projection model for half the price? posted by schlaager at 8:17 PM PST - 39 comments
Find yourself using IM shortcuts in your everyday writing? According to the article, many teachers are seeing IM shortcuts such as u, r, 2, @, etc. turning up in students' papers. Some think the IM influence contributes to literacy and others worry about the death of handwriting as well as normal written English. Wonder how many students have ended papers with the odious kthxbye? posted by Lynsey at 12:28 AM PST - 65 comments
Sup, G? The Five Percent Nation: A splinter group from the Nation of Islam, they have contributed quite a bit to the hip-hop scene -- and to the English language. Phrases like "Break it down", "word", and even "peace" (as a form of salutation) can be traced back to their teachings. The Wu-tang Clan and Digable Planets are among the artists greatly influenced by the unique, sometimes inspiring, and often unsettling, worldview of this religion. It ain't all smiles und sunshine, but whatever you think of it, one thing's for sure: This is one fit and fecund memeplex. posted by condour75 at 12:02 AM PST - 28 comments
Journal of a new COBRA recruit. "I report to COBRA boot camp out in Utah in the middle of June. The recruiter guy said that everyone around there thinks it's where some crazy old Mormon lives with all his wives. I'm not supposed to say anything about it to anyone. I'm supposed to tell Mom and Dad that I'm going off to work for the phone company." posted by owillis at 8:48 PM PST - 22 comments
Looking Back Suddenly it hits. You realize you are three, four, five decades old, and you become sentimental, nostalgic, remembering only what you want to remember. Care to share some of your memories of the 90s, 80s, 70s, 60s, (50s?) (40s?). posted by Voyageman at 5:39 PM PST - 35 comments
"You will not be able to save or create new documents", the MS Office XP (Re-)Activation Wizard said to me this afternoon. You can imagine my horror, when I sat down to print off my housemate's coursework, only to discover that the floppy drive I'd reattached so that I could get to her document had spurred Office XP into an unwelcome data embargo. Be warned, MeFites: Significant hardware changes piss Microsoft off! This is especially dangerous for those of us who... er... can't seem to find our original store-bought fully licensed Office CDs.
Even though it's been lurking a while, I'd never heard of it. Is this a justifiable (ha!) anti-piracy technique or another excellent reason not to hand in Uni assignments on time? ("I'm sorry sir; Microsoft ate my homework") Either way, I won't be able to check my email in Outlook for a while. Until then, thank God for openoffice.org. posted by armoured-ant at 4:04 PM PST - 62 comments
The Political Graveyard -- It all started innocently enough.....I was reading a piece by a professor of media and journalism studies who wondered: Was Paul Wellstone murdered?" and cited an unusual number of democrats who had died in plane crashes. Was it true, I wondered? -- My search led me to The Political Graveyard, with it's endless categorizations of the details in the deaths of US politicians. Deaths by religious affiliation, politicians killed by poison or gunfights, opium overdoses or car crashes. But was it true? Yes, the site seemed to confirm the deaths (for the last 3 decades or so) of a statistically anomalous number of national democratic politicians (sitting or running for office) in plane crashes....but the site just grabbed me and wouldn't let me leave: Charles Tillinghast James (1805-1862): died while making his own cannon, Richard Ellis (1781-1846): died when his clothes suddenly caught fire, Thomas Caute Reynolds (1821-1887): killed himself by leaping down an elevator shaft, Sidney Theodore Roebuck (1901-1982): died from RAT poison, and MY FAVORITE, Elmer Severson (1922-1999), who died from spinal cord injuries he lost a "tussle with a cow" posted by troutfishing at 3:01 PM PST - 21 comments
I'm sure this isn't news to anybody, but Judge Colleen has decided that the Seattlement stands as originally crafted. Of course, the States can always appeal. Has Microsoft won? Has the consumer lost? Discuss. posted by Maxor at 2:43 PM PST - 17 comments
This CNN article reminded me of something I've been wanting to share with my fellow MeFiers for a long time now: the Storm King Art Center. There really aren't enough places in the world where you can view dozens of monumental abstract sculptures on 500 acres of rolling hills and beautiful wooded groves. For those interested in a 3D look (albeit via an obscure plug-in) try these views of a few Storm King sculptures. So, has anyone else ever been there? Better yet, anyone care to share any other unusual "museums" you've discovered? posted by Ptrin at 12:56 PM PST - 25 comments
To lessen the clutter on their dashboard, a German auto manufacturer has put in a data screen and command input device that allows the driver to control 700 different aspects of their driving experience (including Navigation, Communication, Car Data, and Settings). More interestingly, there's an undocumented feature in the high-tech control system -- Press the right buttons in the right order and the car will launch you from a stop after revving the engine to 5,000 rpm... at least it will if you're in Europe, where performing the trick more than 15 times voids the car's warranty. Cars sold here in the US will only rev to 1,500 rpm. Supposedly, this is the first example of an Automotive Easter Egg. posted by crunchland at 12:47 PM PST - 17 comments
The Political Oddsmaker gives you the odds of a particular candidate winning their election. You can get odds for each of the major U.S. races (Senate, House, and Governors for this election). It claims a 98% success rate in picking the winner since 1996 (more inside.) posted by pitchblende at 12:31 PM PST - 15 comments
Dammit, boys, what on earth is it going to take for you to stop barebacking, and to stop practicing unsafe sex in general?? Obviously not an HIV scare, so howzabout the report that syphilis is on the rise, thanks to the efforts of gay men? The problem's so bad that gAyOL has started staffing some of its chat rooms with safe-sex counselors. Look guys, I already lost the generation ahead of me--they're all dead because they loved the booty so much. I don't want to lose the one that follows me, too. So please, please, please don't be silly, put a rubber on that willy! posted by WolfDaddy at 12:29 PM PST - 71 comments
Google Compute is a distributed computing project involving users of the google toolbar. It's a light application which uses idle processor cycles to analyse data for "carefully selected charitable projects, with the guiding principle being to help humanity and advance scientific knowledge". posted by walrus at 11:48 AM PST - 5 comments
Friday Fun!! Got a question for the Axis of Chicken Hawks? "The Official Simulation Act of 2002 created the Dept. of Official Simulation (DoOS) and tasked it with minimizing time wasted on media availability by certain U.S. Government officials who have been designated as essential to national security.
DoOS makes available for press conferences and interviews simulated officials virtually identical to the originals with regard to talking points, lucidity and veracity"
Try it! The answers are hilarious!! (thanks to busybusybusy) posted by nofundy at 11:36 AM PST - 8 comments
Time was, American society had at least a loose pecking order, with the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, et al, setting standards for snobbery and WASP-y elitism. Now, says David Brooks, “we’ve democratized elitism in this country,” with everyone finding their own niche in which to be a snob. [more inside…] posted by arco at 7:59 AM PST - 19 comments
Donald Roller Wilson - explore the entertaining gallery of this artist called "...a Gothic storyteller with the phenomenal technique and precision of an old master." Some say he takes his silliness seriously. Meet his menagerie of lavishly costumed monkeys, dogs and cats. Collector and fan Robin Williams describes his art as "Hieronymus Bosch meets P.T Barnum, Faulkner meets Dr. Seuss, and Leakey meets Freud. " site requires flash. registration is optional. posted by madamjujujive at 1:18 AM PST - 7 comments