Emily the Strange has been the Hello Kitty for teenage girls who prefer black to pink for some 17 years now (if she were a real teenager she'd have grown out of her merchandise). Unfortunately for her creator, someone noticed that nonconformist gloomy teens are nothingnew... posted by mippy at 11:54 AM PST - 121 comments
Charles Schulz: "I finally sighed and said, 'Well, Larry, let’s put it this way: Either you print it just the way I draw it or I quit. How’s that?'" We don't usually think of Peanuts as given to political statements but this great post at Edge of the American West makes the case for Schulz's progressive racial politics. [more inside] posted by LarryC at 12:00 AM PST - 69 comments
The Western press is heralding the discovery of the "world's oldest marijuana stash" (789 grams) in the tomb of a 2,700-year-old blond-haired, blue-eyed mummy in the Xinjiang region of China (photo). The mummy is believed to be a Nordic-featured Gushi shaman from the Tarim Basin. Scientists conjecture that the cannabis was being saved for use in the afterlife. In actuality, according to the Journal of Experimental Botany, the stash is the oldest pot to be tested for its properties. In 2006, the Chinese press reported that Chinese scientists had unearthed an older marijuana "baggy" in a 2,800-year-old Caucasian shaman's Xinjiang tomb. posted by terranova at 7:25 PM PST - 63 comments
Death To Film Critics! Hail The CelebCult! "A newspaper film critic is like a canary in a coal mine. When one croaks, get the hell out. The lengthening toll of former film critics acts as a poster child for the self-destruction of American newspapers, which once hoped to be more like the New York Times and now yearn to become more like the National Enquirer. We used to be the town crier. Now we are the neighborhood gossip." posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 6:24 PM PST - 37 comments
Jørn Utzon, the architect who designed Sydney Opera House despite the project being plagued by controversy and scandal, died today.
While the rest of us are posting photographs of our drunken friends or the poetry of a plastic bag caught in the wind, one Flickr user is busy with pithy, insightful, considered and often witty architectural commentary supplementing exquisite architectural photography. This obituary for Utzon captures the cost of that project to the man himself and to the world. [more inside] posted by carbide at 4:15 PM PST - 21 comments
On this date in 1949, a Canadian music legend was born. Stanley Allison "Stan" Rogers chronicled Canadian life. He wrote his own sea shanty after a song session with the Friends of Fiddler's Green , and the song he came up with, Barrett's Privateers, is still sung today by members of the Canadian navy as they march.
Many of his songs were of tragedy or hard times or the loss of a way of life.
On June 2nd, 1983, an in-flight fire aboard an Air Canada flight forced the plane to make an emergency landing at the Greater Cincinnati Airport. Survivors spoke of a large man with a booming voice who helped others to safety, only to perish himself of smoke inhalation. It was believed, though not confirmed, that Stan Rogers was the hero.
His music has also saved at least one life. The song "The Mary Ellen Carter" speaks of perseverance and rising to any challenge, and is a fitting legacy to a Canadian legend who died at the age of 33.
His son Nathan carries on his musical tradition, as does Stan's brother Garnet Rogers, who also performed on Stan's albums. posted by newfers at 3:59 PM PST - 44 comments
JS (Aged 5) She can't wake up. Operator No? Is she breathing? Can you see her chest go up and down? JS I can see her shoulders going ... I can see her doing [Makes breathing noises] Operator She's breathing, is she? But you think she's having a fit. JS Yeah, I think she is and ... I don't know what to do.
It's party season and a good time to start thinking about topping last year's lame office party. It may have been a few years and maybe you have forgotten some critical lessons from college. Thankfully, there is a science to keg beer. Think it all through and make some plans. You could also hide the vodka and tonic for you and your close buds and be a dick to everyone else. Have fun! posted by shockingbluamp at 9:55 PM PST - 6 comments
Nostalgic for a time when robots tried to kill you while being condescending? Well, Hunted Forever isn't Portal, but if you're jonesing for some Flash Friday, it might be right up your alley. posted by 235w103 at 7:15 PM PST - 15 comments
Katie's husband, Jack, whose property portfolio disintegrated in the financial crash, had just told his wife that she would have to cut back on her thrice-weekly visits to Nicky Clarke, the nail salon in Harvey Nichols, and the oxygen facials, chemical peels and seaweed wraps at Space NK. posted by plexi at 12:57 PM PST - 91 comments
Night of the Cephalopods Shoot eldritch floating squid monsters with a shotgun as a horrified narrator describes your every move. Requires download, and is Windows only, I'm afraid. via posted by Caduceus at 10:41 AM PST - 10 comments
Je ne comprends pas anglais, Former Canadian PM Jean Chrétien forgets his second language as he and former NDP leader Ed Broadbent use their elder statesmen status to discuss bringing down the six week old Conservative government in Canada after the promised economic stimulus turned into cutting travel expenses, cancelling pay equity and the right to strike for federal workers, and changing the party funding law in favour of the ruling Conservatives under PM Stephen Harper. The opposition still vow to topple the government even though the funding change appears to have been dropped. But the largest opposition party is effectively leaderless and they need the Bloc Quebecois support. Could the next Prime Minister of Canada be Gilles Duceppe? posted by saucysault at 9:43 AM PST - 295 comments
Post-Thanksgiving Friday Flash Fun: Damn Birds is a point and shoot game with a humorous twist. You are a statue sick and tired of bird crap and have decided to defend your honor. [more inside] posted by schyler523 at 8:50 AM PST - 9 comments
Rick Astley and Foster's Home for Imaginary Kids conduct the largest rickroll in recorded history, when you consider how much of America tunes into the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. (And maybe the first live, in-person rickroll with Astley himself?) (SLYT) posted by WCityMike at 9:46 PM PST - 87 comments
1930's Bondi Beach fun "Bondi resident George Caddy was best known for his success as a jitterbug dancer. But it's these posthumously discovered photographs of 1930s 'Beachobatics' that's got Alan Davies from the State Library of NSW jumping for joy." [more inside] posted by lottie at 8:45 PM PST - 13 comments
Tis the season for Shoplifting, when the unemployed, teens, professionals, kleptos, and political shoplifters jack, rack, nick, and stroke holiday gifts. The BBB anticipates a rise in light-fingered merchandising, but notes that on average, shoplifters get pinched only "once for every 48 times they steal." Retailers are fighting back in unusual ways. Wal-Mart, the oft-target of political shoplifters, aggressively guards its merchandise, while across the pond the Dutch approach the problem with bemusement. posted by terranova at 7:47 PM PST - 50 comments
Produced and recorded in the studios of Kootenay Co-op Radio in Nelson, British Columbia, Deconstructing Dinner has been designed to dispense and discuss current food issues.
This weekly radio show hosted by Jon Steinman features a wide range of topics revolving around food security. [more inside] posted by utsutsu at 12:23 PM PST - 4 comments
World of Warcraft's Wrath of the Lich King expansion involves a quest titled The Art of Persuasion. Richard Bartle, co-author of MUD (and pioneer of MMO gaming), speaks out against this: "Basically, you have to take some kind of cow poke and zap a prisoner until he talks. I'm not at all happy with this. I was expecting for there to be some way to tell the guy who gave you the quest that no, actually I don't want to torture a prisoner, but there didn't seem to be any way to do that..." (via) [more inside] posted by tybeet at 8:18 AM PST - 167 comments
I often find myself asking, "Who wants to kill me and how can I avoid them?" It seems that the list is pretty long. There are a whole batch of international threats out to get me. There also appear to be a number of street gangs, happy to do the deed as well. What's worse is that they are spreading. However, since I don't travel abroad and I don't live in a fancy-dancy city like Los Angeles, Chicago or Fargo, I'm probably safe right? Nope, sadly it seems hate groups are everywhere -- in my backyard and probably yours. I think this year I'm having Thanksgiving in the bunker. posted by BeReasonable at 10:36 PM PST - 43 comments
In a must-see interview for tabletop gamers everywhere, Colonel Louis Zocchi talks about modern mass produced plastic dice and why they utterly fail at being random: Part 1 - Part 2 posted by loquacious at 6:00 PM PST - 84 comments
Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE) is the first video journal for biological research accepted in PubMed, featuring hundreds of peer-reviewed video-protocols demonstrating experimental techniques in the fields of neuroscience, cellular biology, developmental biology, immunology, bioengineering, microbiology and plant biology, free of charge. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:00 PM PST - 6 comments
minim ['mInIm] n: a statement expressed in proverbial or sentential form but having no general application or practical use whatever — compare MAXIM. [via] posted by parudox at 2:32 PM PST - 93 comments
Garvan Ellison purports to be an expat Ulsterman now living in Chesterfield, England. His persona is that of a funeral director with a macabre sense of humour, who baits sparrows for his cat Zoe, spies on his neighbors Wong, Raj and Marvyn with CCTV, tests electrical outlets by poking a pen knife in the socket, writes odes to Sarah Palin and expounds broadly on his flat earth view of science and religion. His blog entries are a delightful tongue in cheeck variety of the charming, the whimsical and the bizarre. posted by Neiltupper at 12:24 PM PST - 5 comments
If people who have a lot of time on their hands and inner demons to exorcise turn to art as an outlet, the results can be startling, even if they have had no prior art instruction and have to make a paint brush out of their own hair and use coffee as paint, or weave things out of hoarded chip or Ramen bags. Drawing elaborately on handkerchiefs became so common in the mid 20th century it's become known as panos. Welcome to the world of prison art. [more inside] posted by orange swan at 12:16 PM PST - 12 comments
Russian professor and information warrior, Igor Panarin, has predicted the collapse and breakup of the USA. (Potential artists' renderings 1 2) The interview was originally reported in the Russian newspaper, Izvestia. (Google Translated) The prediction has been met with varying levels of credulity, scoffed at by some and embraced by others. The prediction, which goes so far as to speculate exactly how the US might reorganize, was posted to Drudge and has offended many bloggers who, while excited by the prospects of secession, are insulted by the insinuation that the south may go Hispanic and not Confederate. posted by Telf at 8:23 AM PST - 106 comments
Ever wondered what makes people complain about the media? An Apple ad was recently banned by the ASA as it was felt that the ad exaggerated the speed of internet services. Could the complainants have been genuinely mislead about the phone's services? In the case of one complainant, a man who had queued on release for the first iPhones to arrive in the UK, it seemed an ideal way to fight back against poor customer service. "We arent a cult, we are just a brand..." posted by mippy at 5:09 AM PST - 23 comments
"Rich governments and corporations are triggering alarm for the poor as they buy up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies as shown by this map.
The resentment rises as villagers are stripped of holdings and livelihood in Laos; and land prices are soaring in Brazil. Here are some of the biggest deals. [more inside] posted by adamvasco at 4:14 AM PST - 14 comments
The entirety of the Fleischer/Famous Studios Superman Film Series. In the early 1940s, this series raised the bar for theatrical shorts with its fluid animation and action-packed storylines. It remains a classic series thanks to its high production values and historical significance not only as the first comic-to-film adaptation, but also as an occasional vehicle for American propaganda during the war. posted by cthuljew at 10:59 PM PST - 21 comments
"The plays can reassure a soldier, she says, 'that I am not alone, that I am not going crazy, that I am joined by the ages of warriors and their loved ones who've gone before me, and who have done what most in society have no idea our warriors do.' "
The Philoctetes Project. (video available) posted by wittgenstein at 2:54 PM PST - 6 comments
When I heard NPR's remembrance of Tom Gish yesterday, I figured someone would beat me to posting about him here on the Blue for sure, but apparently not. Gish, who died last week at 82, was the editor and publisher of The Mountain Eagle, a rural Kentucky newspaper. While still covering typical small-town happenings over the last 50+ years, he and his wife Pat (and eventually their kids) brought to light myriad injustices, from political corruption to poverty, safety violations in local mines to illiteracy. I found this appreciation, with bottom line proof of the Gish's popularity and influence, despite the death threats, firebombing, boycotts, and other hardships they endured:
"The population of Letcher is less than half what it was when they moved up here," said Ben Gish, editor of The Mountain Eagle and the couple's son. "But circulation has more than tripled." posted by yiftach at 2:45 PM PST - 6 comments
The Auteurs is a new web site (in beta) for film lovers--and, for those film lovers, Criterion has relaunched their site. Now with the ability to watch (some of) their films online for $5 (good for a week's worth of watching one title). The viewing cost is also applicable to the cost of buying the same title on DVD. posted by Manhasset at 8:58 AM PST - 22 comments
Alone Together. In American lore, the small town is the archetypal community, a state of grace from which city dwellers have fallen.
Yet the picture of cities—and New York in particular—that has been emerging from the work of social scientists is that the people living in them are actually less lonely. Rather than driving people apart, large population centers pull them together, and as a rule tend to possess greater community virtues than smaller ones. posted by plexi at 7:19 AM PST - 90 comments
"There's something very shabby about a noble grave... Political power and the power of wealth result in splendid graves. Really impressive graves, you know. Such creatures never had any imagination while they lived, and quite naturally their graves don't leave any room for imagination either. But noble people live only on the imaginations of themselves and others, and so they leave graves like this one which inevitably stir one's imagination. And this I find even more wretched. Such people, you see, are obliged even after they are dead to continue begging people to use their power of imagination." - Yukio Mishima via Kashiwagi in The Temple of the Golden Pavilion. On this, the anniversary of Mishima's transformation into a headless god, a collection of video links. [more inside] posted by eccnineten at 6:59 AM PST - 11 comments
we've covered corporate villains, scoundrels, criminals and miscreants. We've reported on some really bad stuff - from Exxon's Valdez spill to Union Carbide and Dow's effort to avoid responsibility for the Bhopal disaster; from oil companies coddling dictators (including Chevron and CNPC, both profiled this year) to a bank (Riggs) providing financial services for Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet; from oil and auto companies threatening the future of the planet by blocking efforts to address climate change to duplicitous tobacco companies marketing cigarettes around the world by associating their product with images of freedom, sports, youthful energy and good health.
But we've never had a year like 2008.
The SERPENT project Collaborating closely with key players in the oil and gas industry, the SERPENT project aims to make cutting-edge industrial ROV technology and data more accessible to the world's science community, share knowledge and progress deep-sea research. Galleries, video of rare elbowed squid. posted by dhruva at 9:48 PM PST - 5 comments
Thanksgiving is a few days away and while most will be doing the turkey and trimmings thing and perhaps a ham, in my house we do that along with CFS and tamales. Sound strange? It is afterall, all about the gravy and gravy. YUM! Don't be afraid. Texas love & Happy Thanksgiving! posted by shockingbluamp at 6:43 PM PST - 23 comments
"With the holiday season almost upon us, the Picture Palace is in a familial, touchy-feely mood. Also, we thought it’d be kind of cool to turn you into a shivering puddle of tears. And so we present to you Michael Dudok de Wit’s Father and Daughter. It won the 2000 Best Animated Short Oscar, along with a whole crapload of other awards. There’s a reason for all those accolades: This wordless, minimalist, beautifully animated eight-minute fable, about a girl who watches her father leave and continues to wait for him, is one of the most powerful things we’ve ever seen. It’s also been a cult item among animation buffs for a long time now." posted by vronsky at 3:42 PM PST - 28 comments
The mesmerizing live question feed from text118118.com shows questions from curious UK residents. The answers are always polite and reasonable complete and accurate. Sometimes you can see one person submitting the same question or a string of related questions. posted by closetphilosopher at 3:28 PM PST - 70 comments
Rose George wants you to start talking about waste. And no, she isn't concerned with your recycling habits, your fluorescent light bulbs, or the packaging on your electronics. She's concerned with your, ahem, human waste. Ms. George has written a book on the way both first and third world societies deal with sewage, and now Freakonomics is talking with her about it. posted by aliceinreality at 12:26 PM PST - 31 comments
David Samuel "Sam" Peckinpah (February 21, 1925 – December 28, 1984) was an American film maker who directed 15 major motion pictures, and created the television series The Westerner, starring Brian Keith and John Dehner. His second film Ride the High Country, " [Starring aging Western stars Joel McCrea and Randolph Scott in their final major screen roles, the film initially went unnoticed in the United States but was an enormous success in Europe. Beating Federico Fellini's 8½ for first prize at the Belgium Film Festival, the film was hailed by foreign critics as a brilliant reworking of the Western genre.] [more inside] posted by nola at 6:21 PM PST - 25 comments
In a series of sixteen advertisements screened in Japan, Tommy Lee Jones plays extraterrestrial 'Alien Jones', who has taken the form of a man to check on the world of humans, all the while drinking a Japanese brand of coffee named BOSS. I have no idea how Tommy Lee Jones got talked into doing these advertisements, or why. And after watching them for yourself (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16), you probably won't either. posted by Effigy2000 at 3:59 PM PST - 85 comments
In 1972 the Club of Rome published the famous book Limits to Growth that predicted exponential growth would eventually lead to economic and environmental collapse. It was criticized by economists and largely ignored by politicians. Now Graham Turner at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in Australia has compared the book's predictions with data from the intervening years. According to Turner (PDF report) changes in industrial production, food production and pollution are all in line with the book's predictions of collapse in the 21st century. According to the book, the path we have taken will cause decreasing resource availability and an escalating cost of extraction that triggers a slowdown of industry, which eventually results in economic collapse some time after 2020.(via; previously; previously) posted by stbalbach at 10:15 AM PST - 80 comments
If you've quit smoking and you're trying to get through the early withdrawal symptoms without gaining 20 pounds, one coping strategy is to get busy crafting. Sure, you say, you've made naughty figurines out of your cigarette packages in bored moments before, but now if you're going to craft you want to make something that celebrates your fantastic self-discipline and can serve as a worthy memorial to your renounced habit. If that's how you feel, check out these links. [more inside] posted by orange swan at 9:37 AM PST - 8 comments
Playing for Change - Peace Through Music (flash) is a documentary film by Mark Johnson. He traveled the world and recorded various musicians playing the song Stand By Me. Each musician was charged with layering a single song over the previous artist thus building upon it. Over thirty musicians globally participated in this project and not one artist knew the other or came in contact initially. [more inside] posted by Sailormom at 9:09 AM PST - 13 comments
Blindspots is a continually-updated collection of movie reviews based around one very interesting concept -- how accessible they are to the visually impaired. [more inside] posted by flatluigi at 11:20 PM PST - 25 comments
A place that is covered in graffiti and festooned with rubbish makes people feel uneasy. And with good reason, according to a group of researchers in the Netherlands. Kees Keizer and his colleagues at the University of Groningen deliberately created such settings as a part of a series of experiments designed to discover if signs of vandalism, litter and low-level lawbreaking could change the way people behave. They found that they could, by a lot: doubling the number who are prepared to litter and steal.
"We were looking for pretty animals that have eyes, are coloured, or glow in the dark; instead, the most interesting find was the organism that was blind, brainless, and completely covered in mud." Some of the oldest fossil records may need to be reconsidered: Dr. Mikhail Matz of the University of Texas has discovered Gromia Sphaerica, a species of protist, making tracks.... [more inside] posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:35 AM PST - 21 comments
Chinese Democracy, the sixth studio album by Guns N’ Roses, is being released this Sunday, after over a decade of delays. Chuck Klosterman liked it. John Pareles from the New York Times did not. You can decide for yourself by listening to it here. Or you can pick it up this Sunday at Best Buy. But make sure you collect your free Dr Pepper. [more inside] posted by emd3737 at 8:00 PM PST - 122 comments
Despite sagging paperback sales in the publishing industry, romance novels -- and particularly hen lit -- fiction featuring older female heroines -- are thriving. In 2006, according to Romance Writers of America, 26.4% of all books sold were romances, generating $1.37 billion in sales.
In hen lit aka Matron literature, heroines typically are over-40, widowed grandmothers whose romance yearnings are secondary to family, work, and hobbies. posted by terranova at 1:40 PM PST - 29 comments
DIGG ATTACK is a game. Lead a small band of good guys (small bluish dots) in a struggle to flee from Digg Stories. Requires your browser support the canvas tag. posted by boo_radley at 10:18 AM PST - 14 comments
Pilot School. A nice collection of teevee show pilot scripts. Observe the embryonic state of many of the classics of the past few decades, including Buffy, The Wire, Hill Street Blues, Battlestar Galactica, The Sopranos and The West Wing. [more inside] posted by Bookhouse at 9:41 AM PST - 29 comments
Auditorium is a musical flash game where you influence a stream of particles with gravity-based nodes. A steady stream of particles past a collector enables a layer of music. Good fun! Via Jay is Games posted by closetphilosopher at 1:54 AM PST - 15 comments
Mongo the Magnificent. "Out of nowhere, believing that it is good for the soul to have one insane idea a day, whether you need it or not, the notion of a dwarf private detective came to me [...] I considered such a character bizarre and absurd, unworkable and unpublishable, and thus a waste of time to spend and length of time trying to develop it. I kept searching, but the damn dwarf just wouldn't go away. [...] It was to be a satire. Halfway through, I discovered a key to the man's character was a simple quest to be taken seriously, for dignity. That touched me, and I started over again, this time doing it "straight" (or as straight as I'm able). I gave Mongo dignity, and in return he gave me a career. The diverse background was, I thought, necessary in order to properly equip him in a "world of giants"."
Mark takes us on the A380 (warning: image heavy) from Dubai to New York with meticulous photographic detail. For $7300 you can fly the A380 with access to amenities like showers and a full-service bar, and stroll down to see the plebs in steerage. Arguably the last time a flying hotel was tried in earnest was the post-WWII Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, a staple of Pacific routes until jet-powered 707s appeared on the scene. posted by crapmatic at 1:12 PM PST - 90 comments
Then, all of sudden, I saw a hand holding a piece of chalk and writing on a black-board something like a mathematical formula. The vision was very clear, but it stayed only for few seconds and disappeared again. The Internet is abound with a new, simple technique for at-home DIY multimodal (vision, sound) GanzfeldHallucinations (previously). [more inside] posted by tybeet at 9:22 AM PST - 45 comments
Ten years ago Valve released Half Life, to the delight of gamers, modders, critics and people who hate cut scenes. Marc Laidlaw, writer for Valve, talks about the genesis of scientist turned crowbar wielding survivor, Gordon Freeman. Somehow avoided playing it in all these years? You can buy it on Steam for less than a dollar until midnight November 21st. posted by Artw at 9:00 AM PST - 86 comments
Europeana is the new EU digital library. It gives multilingual access to two million digitized books and other items of cultural and historical significance held in over 1,000 institutions in the 27 EU states. There will be 10 million by 2010. Soon after its launch the website froze, its servers overwhelmed by over "10 million hits an hour". posted by stbalbach at 5:36 AM PST - 21 comments
I do not want to spend too much time beating a dead war-horse, but your average D&D game consists of a group of white players acting out how their white characters encounter and destroy orcs and goblins, who are, as a race evil, uncivilized, and dark-skinned. To quote Steve Sumner’s essay again, “Unless played very carefully, Dungeons & Dragons could easily become a proxy race war, with your group filling the shoes of the noble white power crusaders seeking to extinguish any orc war bands or goblin villages they happened across.” I would argue with Sumner’s use of the phrase “could become,” and say that unless played very carefully, D&D usually becomes a proxy race war. Any adventurer knows that if you see an orc, you kill it. You don’t talk to it, you don’t ask what it’s doing there - you kill it, since it’s life is worth less than the treasure it carries and the experience points you’ll get from the kill. If filmed, your average D&D campaign would look something like Birth of a Nation set in Greyhawk.
In 1939, King George VI commissioned the Ministry of Information to produce three posters designed to reassure and prepare the British nation for an inevitable war. The posters were designed not so much to deliver any specific instruction, but rather to suggest an attitude - from King to country - towards the unknown. Stiff upper lip, old boy. KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON.[more inside] posted by 6am at 5:42 PM PST - 38 comments
"A frail old man lost in space and time. They give him this name because they don't know who he is. He seems not to remember where he has come from; he is suspicious and capable of sudden malignance; he seems to have some undefined energy; he is searching for something as well as fleeing from something. He has a 'machine' which enables them to travel together through time, through space, and through matter." The Genesis of Doctor Who. posted by Knappster at 2:15 PM PST - 49 comments
Poladroid is a free app for your mac that lets you drag an image onto the polaroid camera in the corner of your screen. it then spits out a polaroid image that develops on your desktop. there's a flickr group for these shots already. [more inside] posted by krautland at 10:18 AM PST - 39 comments
Trey Parker and Matt Stone, creators of South Park, "are planning to stage a Broadway musical based on the lives and (many) loves of typical members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints." They - "along with Robert Lopez, the co-writer of 'Avenue Q' - have finally settled on a script and are workshopping their new production aptly titled, 'Mormon Musical.'" They've had fun with Mormons before: South Park episode: All About the Mormons? Full episode [21:37]. Clip [08:40] posted by ericb at 9:53 AM PST - 45 comments
The invisible hand of the Free Market guides insurance payments to hospitals "Call it the best-kept secret in Massachusetts medicine: Health insurance companies pay a handful of hospitals far more for the same work even when there is no evidence that the higher-priced care produces healthier patients. In fact, sometimes the opposite is true: Massachusetts General Hospital, for example, earns 15 percent more than Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for treating heart-failure patients even though government figures show that Beth Israel has for years reported lower patient death rates." posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:46 AM PST - 29 comments
Fraction is a bi-monthly online photo magazine that promotes work from established artists and emerging artists side by side. In the current issue, I particularly like the work of David Eisenlord and Suzanne Revy. It also features the recently posted Richard Rinaldi piece, Touching Strangers. There are also three archived issues. [A few images nsfw] [more inside] posted by netbros at 9:25 PM PST - 2 comments
30 seconds over Tokyo is a song that is both unpretentious and epic at the same time. Anticipation mixed up with fear, flying, crashing, burning. Nevermind just give it a listen 30 seconds over Tokyo. Rocket from the Tombs, a nasty bit of rock history. Get out a shovel and exhume it's remains. [more inside] posted by nola at 8:22 PM PST - 18 comments
SuperPowers, winner of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival Special Jury Prize for Best Narrative Short (possibly NSFW - a couple of swear words and adult theme) posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:12 PM PST - 12 comments
Georgia and Russia: This is the most balanced and informative discussion I've seen since the invasion over three months ago (MeFi thread). If you've been wanting to catch up, this essay and its many useful links are the way to go. The author, Donald Rayfield, is professor of Russian and Georgian and knows both countries well. (Via wood s lot.) posted by languagehat at 9:01 AM PST - 12 comments
Kay S. Hymowitz strikes again. Previously, she wrote an article positing that "that too many single young males (SYMs) were lingering in a hormonal limbo between adolescence and adulthood, shunning marriage and children, and whiling away their leisure hours with South Park reruns, marathon sessions of World of Warcraft, and Maxim lists of the ten best movie fart scenes."
Now she has a new thesis: That angry, disenfranchised single young men use "Darwinist" philosophy to justify "resistance to settling down" and "unsentimental promiscuity". [via] posted by shotgunbooty at 10:55 PM PST - 164 comments
Make this Christmas special. Spend it in Ralphie's house! Bunny suit and Lifebuoy soap included. For an extra fee, the owner will convince you to lick a metal pole and then shoot your eye out. [more inside] posted by miss lynnster at 2:40 PM PST - 41 comments
Pollan for Agriculture Secretary? It has been suggested (and previously) that Michael Pollan, author of Second Nature, The Omnivore's Dilemma, might make a good Secretary of Agriculture. This would be a dramatic departure for an office that has a decades-long history of steering US agriculture policy to the advantage of the largest agribusiness corporations.
Especially given Obama's potential connections to Big Corn, how silly would we be to anticipate real change in US ag policy, relevant as it may be to the economic, energy, climate, and national security issues he campaigned on?
Via the Brian Lehrer Show. posted by maniabug at 11:56 AM PST - 66 comments
Trolling the Head of the TSA: Bruce Schneier [previously], consummate voice of sanity on all issues of security, co-authors an article in The Atlantic [previously] demonstrating how weak and ultimately pointless most of the new security practices put in place at airports since 9/11 are by, among other things, boarding airplanes with large amounts of liquid, using fake boarding passes he printed off his computer, and wearing an "I <3 Hezbollah" t-shirt. TSA head Kip Hawley then responds on the TSA's blog. Schneier then responds to the response on his blog. Hawley then leaves a comment to that post. Schneier fires back again in his monthly newsletter. Quite an interesting and intelligent debate, despite both men humorously falling victim to the idioms of the medium and getting increasingly snarky with each passing post. [via this month's crypto-gram, a good read all the way around.] posted by ChasFile at 11:23 AM PST - 30 comments
Join Devin Friedman at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, a city of broken men. During the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany has blossomed into the hub of one of the most amazing and miraculous wartime medical systems in modern history. Each week sees 14 flights into and out of the medical center, delivering dozens of war wounded from the battlefield and back out to the more specialized care centers back stateside; the rapidity of care and transit from the war fronts to stable medical care has decreased the mortality of serious wartime military injuries to just ten percent, from the high-20s/low-30s of previous wars. This is an incredibly nice look at the Landstuhl system from the perspective of a single planeload of injured soldiers. posted by delfuego at 11:14 AM PST - 5 comments
"Beautiful Sunrises" is a pretty good litmus test for whether or not you like music for reasons I can get behind. If you don't appreciate "Beautiful Sunrises" as a unique and untempered piece of genuine expression, then you probably like a lot of bullshit music.
If I could spend five minutes of my life as completely into something as the vocalist of Complete is about being the vocalist of Complete, well then I'd think I had reached some sort of life accomplishment pinnacle.
- Steve Albini (quote via this electrical audio thread) [more inside] posted by anazgnos at 10:07 AM PST - 135 comments
A report presented today to the US Secretary of Veteran's Affairs concludes that Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) is "a real condition with real causes and serious consequences for affected veterans." While depleted uranium had longbeensuspected as a cause of the physical and neurological symptoms associated with GWS, the report fingers pesticides and the pyridostigmine bromide pills given to troops to counter the effects of nerve agents. [more inside] posted by googly at 9:51 AM PST - 10 comments
Phil Gramm is unrepentent. "Mr. Gramm said the problem of predatory loans was not of the banks’ making. Instead, he faulted “predatory borrowers".
"Mr. Gramm, ever the economics professor, disputes his critics’ analysis of the causes of the upheaval. He asserts that swaps, by enabling companies to insure themselves against defaults, have diminished, not increased, the effects of the declining housing markets."
“This is part of this myth of deregulation,” he said in the interview. “By and large, credit-default swaps have distributed the risks. They didn’t create it. The only reason people have focused on them is that some politicians don’t know a credit-default swap from a turnip.” posted by Xurando at 9:37 AM PST - 69 comments
Faen! (SLYT) Will teach you a useful Norwegian swear word. Warning: will offend Finns, who will find their own favorite curse mocked, and annoy Danes, who will find that the dapper hat-wearing, glasses-doffing Norwegian mispronounces their favorite curse word. (NSFW: Much cursing in English and various Scandinavian languages; brief image of copulating turtles.) posted by languagehat at 8:19 AM PST - 44 comments
Once Upon a Time - a filmed fairy tale starring baby monkeys lost in frightening trees, a witch, crocodiles, a tiger, a "popotamus" and a lion, and even a "tremendously very bad mammoth." (In French, English subtitles) posted by madamjujujive at 7:04 PM PST - 12 comments
Got some old leather articles lying around that have become dated, worn, or too small? Well, happy days are here again for your old leather goods, because here are some ideas on how to make old leather items into new items you can use. [more inside] posted by orange swan at 8:37 AM PST - 4 comments
The Tale of the Heike (Heike Monogatari) is a medieval Japanese account of the rise and fall of the Taira clan and has inspired many other works of art. Click on the chapters and scroll down to see Heike illustrations (or start here), see more art or figures inspired by the Heike. Would you rather read? [more inside] posted by ersatz at 8:29 AM PST - 10 comments
"I was distraught. I felt I was actively participating in something so inconsistent with reality that even most conservative talk radio devotees would see this. But in a way, it was merely a more obvious example of how talk radio portrayed reality selectively." A former producer reveals the secrets of talk radio. via posted by Knappster at 6:19 PM PST - 92 comments
[An Important SLYT from President-elect Barack Obama] President-elect Obama releases his first Weekly Radio Address over Youtube. This marks the first time the weekly address has ever been released on web video, and the first of his promised web addresses that will be broadcasted throughout his administration. posted by Weebot at 9:53 AM PST - 57 comments
20x200 "We introduce two new pieces a week: one photo and one work on paper. Each image is available in three sizes." Limited edition artworks priced $20 to $2000. An interesting concept with some nice pieces. posted by Manhasset at 9:46 PM PST - 13 comments
Is there no end to the shady associations of Barack Obama? Crack journalist Dave Barry has published photographic proof that the president-elect is a Lawn Ranger. What's a Lawn Ranger? Glad you asked. Dave Barry has written about this nefarious organization not once, but twice and their strange and eldritch rites have been profiled on WILL public television of Central Illinois, where the organization has its headquarters, in the town of Arcola, where they parade every year. posted by Kattullus at 8:59 PM PST - 19 comments
Enjoy Risk? Then you may like Strategy Game Network [requires registration.] Strategy Game Network has similar gameplay and in addition to the classic map, there are many alternative maps. With 24 hour turn limits it isn't a huge time sink, just play a few minutes a day. posted by schyler523 at 6:45 PM PST - 18 comments
Ernest Kirschner, a 61-year-old business owner from East Haddam, is among thousands of Connecticut residents who may become the new voice of Walmart.
When the Benton, Ark.-based retailer formed its own "support group," the New England Customer Action Network, Kirschner signed up eagerly.
"I would stick up for Wal-Mart as strong as I can," said Kirschner, a frequent shopper. "I really think they've gotten an unfair shake."
Wal-Mart Forms Customer 'Support Group' To Counter Opponents[more inside] posted by longsleeves at 3:25 PM PST - 21 comments
The laughed at him. Foretelling the doom and gloom of the mortgage crisis as a pundit in these 2006-2007 interviews, Peter Schiff held to a grim economic outlook. Recently in the Washington Post, Schiff writes: "Our leaders irrationally promoted home-buying, discouraged savings, and recklessly encouraged borrowing and lending, which together undermined our markets." posted by thisisdrew at 1:20 PM PST - 33 comments
Mike Wallace interviews Rod Serling in 1959, discussing timidity and censorship in television programming, and Serling's upcoming series The Twilight Zone. Part one. Part two. Part three. (TouTube links) posted by Astro Zombie at 12:56 PM PST - 13 comments
Team Lioness is the name given to a group of female soliders, (and thedocumentary about them) who were some of the firstwomen in modern American warfare to engage in frontline combat — something that is officially forbidden by the military. "The female support soliders were assigned to the 1st Engineer Battalion and they were recruited to accompany Marine units during raids. Originally, the female soldiers were there to search and detain any women they came upon and to guard the unit's Arabic interpreter. Over time, however, as the situation in Ramadi deteriorated, the Marine units transitioned into a more offensive role, baiting insurgents into firefights in order to draw them out. Until officers higher up the chain got spooked over the possibility of a female soldier killed in combat and quietly disbanded the unit, members of Team Lioness were often right in the thick of things, including some of the fiercest urban firefights of the Iraq War." posted by nooneyouknow at 11:49 AM PST - 22 comments
Dems eye midnight regulations reversal. Congressional Democrats are eyeing a little-known, Clinton-era law as a way to reverse Bush administration midnight regulations — even ones that have already taken effect. “Fortunately, [the White House] made a mistake,” said a top Senate Democratic aide. [more inside] posted by netbros at 6:48 AM PST - 76 comments
Explore painter Vincent Van Gogh's "nocturnal interiors and landscapes, which often combine with other longstanding themes of his art -- peasant life, sowers, wheatfields, and the encroachment of modernity on the rural scene." View "paintings, drawings, and letters from all periods of his career, as well as examples of the rich literary sources that influenced his work." Also includes audio commentary.flash. via[more inside] posted by hortense at 10:33 PM PST - 7 comments
BURN-E is a short film by Pixar Animation Studios based on a character who was briefly seen in the movie WALL-E. It takes place concurrently with the movie during the sequence when WALL-E and EVE fly around the Axiom starliner, and enter through a door, locking a welder robot outside of the ship. posted by Effigy2000 at 8:33 PM PST - 97 comments
"In Loveland, Colorado -- population 61,000, 92 percent white and heavily evangelical Christian -- Michelle didn't know what to expect when she began to work with the school to facilitate her daughter's transition from a boy to a girl. At first, it was difficult. The school 'freaked out when I told them,' Michelle says. 'When we started with M.J.'s transition, I was envisioning riots.' And so Michelle became an advocate for transgender people -- those who identify as a gender different from the one assigned at birth. Michelle organized trainings for the faculty and staff and prepared 'cheat sheets' in case any of their students asked prying questions. But on the first day of school, nothing happened." - Trans in the Red States by Jeremy Bearer-Friend and Daniel Redman. [via Obsidian Wings] posted by Kattullus at 7:11 PM PST - 21 comments
OCLC, owners of WorldCat, are getting greedy.It's now demanding that every library that uses WorldCat give control over all its catalog records to OCLC. It literally is asking libraries to put an OCLC policy notice on every book record in their catalog. It wants to own every library.
It's not just Open Library that's at risk here -- LibraryThing, Zotero, even some new Wikipedia features being developed are threatened. Basically anything that uses information about books is going to be a victim of this unprecedented power[ ]grab. It's a scary thought.[more inside] posted by mecran01 at 6:32 PM PST - 40 comments
The previously-mentioned Summums want to place their own monument in a park which contains the Ten Commandments, making the Supreme Court's heads explode in a a hilariously weird oral argument[pdf]: "Scalia: I don't know what that means. You keep saying it, and I don't know what it means. [...] Breyer: Suppose that there certain messages that private people had like "eat vitamins"—and then somebody comes along with a totally different content, "ride the roller coaster," and they say this part of the park is designed to get healthy children, not put children at risk."[more inside] posted by Non Prosequitur at 12:16 PM PST - 116 comments
On June 25, 1964, Janis Joplin visited Jorma Kaukonen at his home in San Francisco. Accompanied by Jorma's wife on typewriter, they recorded six songs. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 posted by Knappster at 11:53 AM PST - 24 comments
99 Bricks is what you get when you cross Tetris with Jenga. Instead of keeping your tower's height to a minimum, the goal is to get it as high as possible with 99 bricks. And the bricks don't stick to each other anymore. One wrong placement and they'll fall all over the place. posted by grouse at 7:30 AM PST - 29 comments
Nanobliss "Nanobliss is a gallery of visualizations of small-scale structures of carbon nanotubes and silicon, created by John Hart."
I came for the awesome Nanobamas[Flickr set here], but was impressed enough with the rest to share the whole. Enjoy---particularly the informative techniques page. At the very least, have a look at some of the pretty nano pictures. posted by kosem at 5:31 PM PST - 11 comments
Love the idea of Google Apps, but feel like they already have more of your data than they should? Self-hosted, open-source app OpenGoo just released version 1.0, and it appears to be taking on not just Google Apps but services like Basecamp and Backpack, too. Live demo. [more inside] posted by jbickers at 1:30 PM PST - 22 comments
Rosa is a bailarina. For a couple of dollars per song, she dances with strangers in a bailarina bar. It’s a job held by many immigrant women in Spanish-speaking New York, filling a need created by many immigrant men. The man on the phone is typical of her clients. He’s in his twenties, doesn’t speak English, and immigrated to the United States by himself—no mother, no girlfriend, no wife. He works six days a week at a restaurant and sends his money back home to Ecuador. Most of all, he’s lonely. posted by jason's_planet at 11:32 AM PST - 43 comments
This morning, New Yorkers were offered free copies of the New York Times--which happen to be fake, including a clever twist on the Times' slogan reading 'All the news we hope to print. The accompanying website may or may not open for you, but Gothamist posted the front page at least. Rumors are that this is the latest work of culture jammers, the Yes Men (whose site is also down today). posted by adamms222 at 10:14 AM PST - 54 comments
Everything. Right. Now. Sprint presents an overwhelming, sprawling, entertaining dashboard that both mocks and plays into data overload. See how many people are stuck in elevators while you play pong, hear the latest music, and observe internet buzz - all at the same time (and yes, it is an ad for something). Overwhelmed? A more sedate text-only version of live world statistics can be found at worldometers. posted by blahblahblah at 9:39 AM PST - 25 comments
Gandy Dancers is a fascinating and inspiring look at the music made by the African-American workers in the south who maintained railroad tracks, "lining up" the tracks manually. This hard work required synchronized effort, and the rhythm came from improvised songs. The film features a group of retired Gandy dancers talking about and demonstrating the songs they sang and the work they did. posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:48 AM PST - 18 comments
Charley Fox, two-time recipient of the Distinguished Cross, died on October 18th in a car accident. Another WWII veteran gone, and as with many, an interesting tale exists in his past. Credited with injuring Rommel (although he didn't know it at the time and it was denied by Germany), it's often thought that the loss of Rommel from Hitler's strategy team helped sway the war for the Allies (though it's wondered if has Rommel lived the July 20 plot against Hitler might have succeeded). After the war, Charley was an advocate for veterans and trained many. He died wearing his uniform. posted by Kickstart70 at 11:37 PM PST - 12 comments
The Stone of Folly is a wonderful stop motion animation released in 2002.
Luckily, for those of us who don't own a copy, it was shown on the Canadian short film show Bravo!Fact Presents. Their website contains a treasure trove of Canadian short film (check the linked video). posted by Alex404 at 10:44 PM PST - 4 comments
What killed Sgt. Gray? "He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary. posted by empath at 10:36 PM PST - 29 comments
You know, sometimes, you want to read about an upcoming economic nightmare, sometimes, you want to read about Obama's transition team, sometimes, you want to read about the Rifleman's Creed, and sometimes, you just want to see squirrels dance to Michael Jackson (SLYT). posted by WCityMike at 10:05 PM PST - 25 comments
Newspaper Website Design: Trends And Examples. News websites can be intriguing to examine from a design perspective. Regardless of what type of news they cover, they all face the challenge of displaying a huge amount of content on the home page, which creates plenty of layout, usability and navigational challenges for the designer. The lessons that can be learned from examining how news websites address these challenges can be valuable for designers who work with other types of websites, including ones with blog theme designs. posted by netbros at 9:46 PM PST - 9 comments
The End of the Wall Street Era. “We always asked the same question,” says Eisman. “Where are the rating agencies in all of this? And I’d always get the same reaction. It was a smirk.” He called Standard & Poor’s and asked what would happen to default rates if real estate prices fell. The man at S&P couldn’t say; its model for home prices had no ability to accept a negative number.
The author of Liar's Poker on the collapse of the subprime industry. posted by bitmage at 1:08 PM PST - 57 comments
Sometimes, especially in winter, Kenneth Westhues can hear a flock of crows tormenting a great horned owl outside his study in Waterloo, Ontario. It is a fitting soundtrack for his work. Mr. Westhues has made a career out of the study of mobbing. Since the late 1990s, he has written or edited five volumes on the topic. However, the mobbers that most captivate him are not sparrows, fieldfares, or jackdaws. They are modern-day college professors. [more inside] posted by parudox at 1:03 PM PST - 58 comments
"Their idea is, in broad outline, straightforward. Dr. Crespi and Dr. Badcock propose that an evolutionary tug of war between genes from the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg can, in effect, tip brain development in one of two ways. A strong bias toward the father pushes a developing brain along the autistic spectrum, toward a fascination with objects, patterns, mechanical systems, at the expense of social development. A bias toward the mother moves the growing brain along what the researchers call the psychotic spectrum, toward hypersensitivity to mood, their own and others’. This, according to the theory, increases a child’s risk of developing schizophrenia later on, as well as mood problems like bipolar disorder and depression." posted by grumblebee at 11:49 AM PST - 43 comments
11:11. Just in case you haven't already heard about it, people all over the world have been experiencing the most amazing phenomenon in the history of our planet. I suggest that you click on The Rainbow Chamber link to continue. posted by mrgrimm at 9:40 AM PST - 125 comments
BillViola's video game, The Night Journey, is inspired by "the lives and writings of great historical figures including: Rumi, the 13th century Islamic poet and mystic; Ryokan, the 18th century Zen Buddhist poet; St. John of the Cross, the 16th century Spanish mystic and poet; and Plotinus, the 3rd century philosopher" and "attempts to evoke in the player's mind a sense of the archetypal journey of enlightenment through the "mechanics" of the game experience". [more inside] posted by pinothefrog at 7:56 AM PST - 12 comments
Street With a viewOn May 3rd 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley invited the Google Inc. Street View team and residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside to collaborate on a series of tableaux along Sampsonia Way. Neighbors, and other participants from around the city, staged scenes ranging from a parade and a marathon, to a garage band practice, a seventeenth century sword fight, a heroic rescue and much more...
Street View technicians captured 360-degree photographs of the street with the scenes in action and integrated the images into the Street View mapping platform. This first-ever artistic intervention in Google Street View made its debut on the web in November of 2008. posted by srboisvert at 2:21 AM PST - 25 comments
"Good Guide provides the world's largest and most reliable source of information on the health, environmental, and social impacts of the products in your home." Now in iPhone. posted by one_bean at 7:21 PM PST - 7 comments
Do you have a yearning to be online? Do you suffer from difficulty concentrating or sleeping, irritation, or mental or physical distress? According to doctors in China, you might have an internet addiction. [more inside] posted by DiscourseMarker at 5:50 PM PST - 25 comments
The Great War Archive goes live today (November 11), the 90th anniversary of the Armistice. Launched by the University of Oxford in March 2008, the initiative invited members of the general public to submit digital photographs, audio, film, documents, and stories that originated from the Great War. Although the dealine for submissions is past, photos can still be added to the project's Flickr group. posted by Abiezer at 3:11 PM PST - 19 comments
Soros on the banking crisis: "A deep recession is now inevitable and the possibility of a depression cannot be ruled out. When I predicted earlier this year that we were facing the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, I did not anticipate that conditions would deteriorate so badly." - Soros lays out some ideas about what can be done to fix the markets ... Planet money had another nicely done piece on the debacle last Friday. posted by specialk420 at 12:42 PM PST - 79 comments
Pomegranate is the Answer. James Brett perhaps has an answer to Afghanistan's Opium issue: On the drive back to Peshawar I saw the same farmer in his fields harvesting his crop. I asked my driver to stop the car. On the card I had previously bought I wrote the words ‘Pomegranate is the Answer’ and ran into the field to go and talk to the farmer. My translator called after me “Don’t go in there you could get shot” but it all happened in a second and I called back to him “come on I need you to translate” . Upon reaching a surprised farmer I asked him many questions and talked to him about the affects of Heroin and also the possibilities of Pomegranates. He explained to me about his family , children, how he lived and why he grew opium. I explained how it was possible for him to change his situation working together with other farmers and how this would help the people of Afghanistan and the rest of the world. He appears to be having some success. (previously 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, ...) via Crooks and Liars posted by caddis at 11:23 AM PST - 56 comments
"[Martin Luther] King went on: 'When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note … a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'
And here Sancho [Panza] or Sacvan [Bercovitch] whispers to the guy standing next to him, 'Were they? Really? If we went back in time and asked the architects of the republic–Jefferson and Madison and Washington and the rest–did you mean for this to apply to your slaves too, would they agree? … Because it would have saved a lot of trouble if they’d spelled all this out in 1789.'"
Ain't It Funky is a BBC-produced documentary from 2005 with lots of great performance footage and interviews, as well as period footage from the civil rights era for some historical perspective. James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone, Stevie Wonder, George Clinton and many of their key sidemen are featured. Highly recommended. part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. These same YT clips can also be found all together, embedded at Funk Deli. NOTE: Unfortunately, the audio and video are slightly out of sync on part 1. Parts 2 through 8 lock up just fine, though. posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:44 AM PST - 18 comments
In 1972 Lady Sings the Blues was released. Ostensibly a biopic about the life of Billie Holiday, it was a travesty of made up history and glaring ommissions. In response to that release a symposium was held on Lady Day's life and work which included storytelling from Artie Shaw (about hiring her in 1938) and Carmen McRae (about her drug life). The CBC recently put together an excellent podcast with these stories and some interview tape from Billie Holiday herself. posted by salishsea at 8:03 PM PST - 3 comments
In 1972, Herman Wallace and Albert Woodfox were convicted of murdering a prison guard in Louisiana's notorious maximum-security prison, Angola. The warden sentenced them to solitary confinement, where they remained for the next 36 years. Until March 2008, the men had spent at least 23 hours per day in cells that measured only 6 x 9 feet.
Woodfox's conviction was recently overturned, evidently through a federal habeus proceeding, and he is awaiting a new trial. NPR did an outstanding job of tracking down people involved and telling a riveting story: Part I, Part II, Part III. No doubt that much of the attention brought to the case is due to the efforts of Jackie Sumell and her Herman's House project. [more inside] posted by ajr at 7:10 PM PST - 8 comments
In addition to hosting the stuff we all know and love (loathe?), the anime music videos, the World of Warcraft ego films, the leave Brittney alone guy, youtube is also a medium for distributing indie video. Often combining moderately good production values, bizarre humor and genuinely funny writing, Kim Evey is one such producer/writer/actor, in between doing various TV roles. [more inside] posted by sotonohito at 4:41 PM PST - 10 comments
A math professor was explaining a particularly complicated calculus concept to his class when a frustrated pre-med student interrupts him. "Why do we have to learn this stuff?" the pre-med blurts out. The professor pauses, and answers matter-of-factly: "Because math saves lives." "How?" demanded the student. "How on Earth does calculus save lives?" "Because," replied the professor, "it keeps certain people out of medical school." posted by cthuljew at 8:09 AM PST - 82 comments
PILLOWDROME NUMBER OF PLAYERS-
Standard play: 2
Tournament play: 3 - Infinite.
2 identical pillows
1 suburban-style kitchen island
There are two known strategies, and infinite unknown strategies:
Go fast and try to catch the other guy. The aggresive player will attempt to catch up to the other, focusing on moving as quickly as possible. This strategy relies upon SPEED.
Pillow management. This more defensive policy focuses upon preservation of a balanced pillow. The player circles just quickly enough to avoid the other. This strategy relies upon ENDURANCE. posted by vronsky at 8:33 PM PST - 22 comments
It's only 73 days before Inauguration Day 2009. Planning has been going on for a while.Beyonce wants to perform and the Boss plans to release an album on the day. Be sure to call your Congressperson to get your tickets. Make your plans right away, everybody wants to go.
If you go, don't forget to say a rousing good-bye to youknowwho. posted by Xurando at 7:14 PM PST - 27 comments
Rethinking Public Opinion - the immense importance of public opinion polling in American politics, and the under-reported problems at the heart of the enterprise, combine to call for a serious critique of the polling industry, its assumptions, and its method posted by Gyan at 3:26 AM PST - 40 comments
Tolerance over Race can Spread, Study Says....psychologists have been able to establish a close relationship between diverse pairs — black and white, Latino and Asian, black and Latino — in a matter of hours. That relationship immediately reduces conscious and unconscious bias in both people, and also significantly reduces prejudice toward the other group in each individual’s close friends. This extended-contact effect, as it is called, travels like a benign virus through an entire peer group, counteracting subtle or not so subtle mistrust.
A matter of hours...hmmmm... that might explain the subject of this thread. posted by storybored at 8:00 PM PST - 33 comments
Transcripts of a troubled mind tells the life and times of Breece D'J Pancake, a brilliant young writer from South Charleston, West Virginia. In a raw, stripped down style, much of his work focused on the people and the language of the Appalachia He committed suicide at the age of 29 and left behind a small, but powerful collection of stories posted by scarello at 1:21 PM PST - 22 comments
CIBC's Jeff Rubin and Peter Buchanan have written an article (pdf, pages 4-6) arguing that triple digit oil prices (and not plunging real estate prices) are to blame for the current economic woes of the OECD. [via] posted by adamdschneider at 9:18 AM PST - 41 comments
Wall Street Lays Another Egg. "Not so long ago, the dollar stood for a sum of gold, and bankers knew the people they lent to. The author charts the emergence of an abstract, even absurd world—call it Planet Finance—where mathematical models ignored both history and human nature, and value had no meaning." posted by homunculus at 12:18 AM PST - 63 comments
Live doom.KFJC in Los Altos Hills, California is streaming live video and audio of Japanese doom gods Corrupted and Oakland's Asunder starting immediately. Requires free download of VLC media player shareware to get the live feed (instructions in first link). Equipment being set up as we speak. [more inside] posted by The Straightener at 8:43 PM PST - 61 comments
Chances are, over the past two years you've seen lawn signs for [your_town_name]singles.com
If you're like me, you wondered about the marketing strategy behind them.
If you're like this guy, you launch an obsessive investigation into the phenomenon. [more inside] posted by lekvar at 1:46 PM PST - 41 comments
Grim Fandango, which was released in 1998, is considered by many to be one of the best Lucas Arts adventure games ever made. It tells the story of Manny Calavera, a travel agent working in the land of the dead. The game combines Aztec and film noir imagery to create a game that is wholly unique and still has a rabid fan base. Tim Schafer, the primary writer for the original (and a mastermind behind recently critically appreciated games such as Psychonauts through his company Double Fine Productions [previously]) has released the full 72 page design document that was written in 1996. [direct pdf link]. This is great reading for those who get nostalgic just thinking about the game.
Here's the opening scene of the game to help you develop an appreciation, if you haven't done so already: youtube link posted by SpacemanStix at 11:33 AM PST - 73 comments
Factory Balls 2 is a puzzle flash game where your objective is to recreate the ball shown on the box by dropping a ball on tools in the correct order. It isn't extremely difficult but is quite fun.
Sorry, every day feels like friday this week... posted by schyler523 at 10:02 AM PST - 35 comments
The day after a senator from Illinois, is elected president, the Pick 3 lottery in Illinois comes up 666. It's happened before, notably in Pennsylvania (12 times, including one time as part of a scam and once earlier this year, in Maryland. Some are jokingly (I hope) calling him theantichrist as a result. Others, namely numbers geeks like me, are spending their lunch hours looking up the history of lotteries drawing triple numbers and sharing it with MetaFilter. posted by sjuhawk31 at 9:59 AM PST - 70 comments
How Obama Did It: an in-depth look behind the scenes of the campaign, assembled by a special team of reporters who were granted year-long access on the condition that none of their findings appear until after Election Day. posted by thbt at 6:56 PM PST - 254 comments
Do you have Asperger's Syndrome? Answer these questions and find out. I'm skeptical about this, but I find it fascinating. For years, I've suspected I'm an Aspie, and, as it turns out, I answered the questions exactly the way the researchers predict an Aspie would answer them. My "normal" wife answers them they way "normal" people do. I am almost incapable of understanding the "normal" answer. To me, the Aspie answer is obviously correct. Here is a great discussion about the research. Here is the original research paper (MS Word file). [more inside] posted by grumblebee at 6:38 PM PST - 179 comments
Fela: Music is the Weapon is a documentary film from 1982 featuring a wealth of live concert footage (from his club in Lagos, "The Shrine") as well as interviews with the legendary Nigerian singer, bandleader and social critic. Here's part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. [more inside] posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:57 PM PST - 22 comments
“I think my relationship with Obama was probably like that of thousands of others in Chicago and, like millions and millions of others, I wished I knew him better.” William Ayers speaks. posted by Knappster at 10:54 AM PST - 78 comments
I first heard of a 'Paraset' when I saw a message on the QRP-L reflector announcing an upcoming 'June 6th Paraset D-Day' activity. A search for more information soon revealed that the Paraset was a small vacuum-tube transmitter-receiver unit built during WWII in the UK at the Whaddon Hall headquarters of the Secret Intelligence Service Communications Unit. Known officially as the 'Whaddon Mark VII', the units were either air-dropped by parachute or carried, by the jumpers themselves, into many of the occupied countries of western Europe. . . posted by jackspace at 9:49 AM PST - 13 comments
From the American Physical Society, Physics is a great free resource for those of you out there that want to keep up with current research topics in the vast world of physics. [more inside] posted by ozomatli at 1:43 PM PST - 6 comments
"Officer Sean Devlin, Narcotics Strike Force, was working the morning shift. Undercover surveillance. The neighborhood? Tough as a threedollar steak. Devlin knew. Five years on the beat, nine months with the Strike Force. He’d made fifteen, twenty drug busts in the neighborhood." Dashiell Hammett? Raymond Chandler? Nope. Chief Justice John Roberts (pdf). posted by Knappster at 10:49 AM PST - 16 comments
Planning next spring's garden? Just curious about plants? Then check out Plant Information Online, which "provides access to: Current Plant and Seed Sources for 107,631 plants... from 1,054 North American firms that will ship plants; Contact information and links... for 2,448 North American retail and wholesale seed and nursery firms; Bibliographic details for 377,083 images of 140,104 wild and cultivated plants from around the world in botanical and horticultural books and magazines from 1982 to the present; and links to expert-selected sites on growing plants in your region of Canada or the US." (Description from website.) posted by cog_nate at 8:32 AM PST - 5 comments
People All Over The World, Ride The Word Train! The Word Train! This is a neato thingy on the NY Times front page where you can enter a word that describes your mood on election day and compare with others.
Best thing is you can change your word every 30 minutes.
Next best thing - changing your word every 30 minutes might get your Virginia-baked ham away from the television/Internet/porcelain throne/medicine cabinet/gun closet while the election roars on.... posted by Lipstick Thespian at 5:04 AM PST - 31 comments
The Shahnama or “Book of Kings” is the longest poem ever written by a single author: Abu’l-Qasim Hasan Firdausi, from Tus in northeastern Iran. His epic work narrates the history of Iran (Persia) since the first king, Kayumars, who established his rule at the dawn of time, down to the conquest of Persia by the Muslim Arab invasions of the early 7th century A.D. posted by tellurian at 5:52 PM PST - 18 comments
The story of a speeding ticket, in three acts (click to see full-sized, readable versions). The Cliffs Notes version: man gets speeding ticket complete with a typo on the date of issue, man responds to police with amusing tales of time-travel, infants driving, and automobile prototypes. I won't spoil the ending. posted by mathowie at 10:12 AM PST - 88 comments
It is acceptable, but rarely, to join in a general audience uproar, as at the first Cannes press screening of "The Brown Bunny." Even then, no cupping your hand under your armpit and producing fart noises. Roger Ebert's little rule book. posted by Knappster at 10:27 PM PST - 39 comments
A man carrying a musket rushed at him. Another threw a brick, knocking him off his feet. George Kyle picked himself up and ran. He never did cast his vote. Nor did his brother, who died of his wounds. The Democratic candidate for Congress, William Harrison, lost to the American Party’s Henry Winter Davis. Three months later, when the House of Representatives convened hearings into the election, whose result Harrison contested, Davis’s victory was upheld on the ground that any “man of ordinary courage” could have made his way to the polls.
The New Yorker looks at how we used to vote. [more inside] posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:38 PM PST - 24 comments
Hunting the Hidden Dimension. You may be familiar with fractals, but in this PBS Nova episode, divided online into 5 parts, fractals go beyond the impossible zoom of the Mandelbrot set. Scientists are using fractals to describe complex natural occurrences, like lava, capillaries, and rain forests. In part 5, scientists measure one tree in the rain forests, and the distribution of small and large branches mirror the distribution of small and large trees. Fractals, it seems, are nature. posted by plexi at 10:56 AM PST - 43 comments
The final Opus comic strip appeared online a couple hours ago, but the final reveal of the beloved penguin's 'final paradise' had to wait for the Humane Society to update its website. (An interesting strategy for Berkeley Breathed, who started the eponymous Sunday Funnie as absolutely-paper-only... I'm sure Opus fans who acquired newsstand "Saturday Preview" editions of their Sunday papers are especially pissed) Well, the waiting is finally over because here he is... [more inside] posted by wendell at 9:03 PM PST - 73 comments
Real L.A. Noir. (Video/audio auto-plays). Los Angeles Times reporter Paul Lieberman has been chronicling the era of the LAPD Gangster Squad, a secret division of the department that tried to combat the mobs of Jack Dragna and Mickey Cohen in the 1940s and '50s. (Keep the cast of characters straight with this handy chart.) posted by Bookhouse at 9:42 AM PST - 9 comments