"You know, a lot of people ask me—well, some people ask me—two people asked me once—'What is facilities management, again?' Let me clarify this: facilities management is a very specialized function that is evolving in Corporate America, which takes care of the management of facilities for said corporations. Is that a lot clearer?"
Sam Hengel, a 15-year-old student at Marinette High School in Wisconsin, held a classroom of 23 students and a teacher hostage on Monday, November 28th. Without making any demands from police, Hengel released the hostages and shot himself. Early Tuesday morning, Hengel died in the hospital. (1, 2) [more inside] posted by MHPlost at 10:06 PM PST - 95 comments
Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen may hold the pop music record for highest ratio of covers to initial popular success. Why? theories abound, but in an essay in America Magazine Thomas G. Casey, S.J., director of the Cardinal Bea Center for Judaic Studies in Rome and professor of philosophy at the Gregorian University, offers an interesting and compelling argument why this is a song for our time. It also provides a framework for understanding the difference between the good, the bad and the meh. posted by TheShadowKnows at 8:33 PM PST - 99 comments
The Africa Portal is an online knowledge resource for policy-related issues on Africa. An undertaking by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Makerere University (MAK), and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the Africa Portal offers open access to a suite of features including an online library collection; a resource for opinion and analysis; an experts directory; an international events calendar; and a mobile technology component—all aimed to equip users with research and information on Africa’s current policy issues. [more inside] posted by infinite intimation at 7:47 PM PST - 8 comments
The pictures show a lovely celebration. A crowd of 100 or so is seated on a well-groomed lawn in front of a trim orchestra and a grand old plantation house. A retired astronaut has been flown in to address the group. Late in the day, two hot-air balloons skim the dusky sky. That fall day in 2007 seemed an auspicious start for a college with only five professors and 10 students. But as the year wore on, the students, professors, and staff members became convinced that it was a sign of something else entirely: an elaborate facade.
"The project was the brainchild of three good friends of mine. One was an astronaut, one was a communications genius who used to work with Walter Cronkite and the third was a highly respected scientist, and the one thing I won’t tell you about them is their names. You see, the three of them collectively cooked up one of the very best ideas I have ever heard, and they overcame all obstacles to make it come to pass. But then they messed up one tiny, inconsequential little detail. That turned the whole enterprise into a catastrophic confusion which gave great pleasure to some but cost others, including one of its principle intended beneficiaries of the idea, the Holland America cruise ship line, a ton of money." - Frederik Pohl [previously] [more inside] posted by brundlefly at 4:03 PM PST - 47 comments
SEED Magazine: Wealth of Nations: "Shared natural resources underpin the global economy, but our current economic system does not acknowledge their worth. Can a major new effort to assess the costs of biodiversity loss force a paradigm shift in what we value?"[more inside] posted by zarq at 2:17 PM PST - 10 comments
“It’s time to return America to the common sense conservative principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual responsibility. The Repeal Amendment would provide a check on the ever-expanding federal government, protect against Congressional overreach, and get the government working for the people again, not the other way around. In order to return America to opportunity, responsibility, and success, we must reverse course and the Repeal Amendment is a step in that direction.” —incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), on a proposed amendment allowing a 2/3 vote by the state governments to overturn any federal law or regulation. [more inside] posted by kipmanley at 2:04 PM PST - 134 comments
Melvin Van Peebles made a documentary called Classified X in 1998, about the portrayal of black people throughout the history of American cinema. You can see it on YT in six parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Apologies for the low video quality. posted by Dim Siawns at 1:46 PM PST - 19 comments
Steve Tucker met a woman at a nightclub in Canberra, made an extreme effort to find her, and was then ridiculed by the Australian media and most of the general public when his email went viral. But there's a backstory that gives a whole new perspective. [more inside] posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:09 PM PST - 167 comments
Irvin Kershner isn't a household name. Often incorrectly billed as Irving, Ervin, or Irwin, the director's filmography includes such films as the uninspiring sequel Robocop 2, the subpar "unofficial" James Bond film Never Say Never Again, and The Luck of Ginger Coffey, which, according to Kershner's site has in recent years become a cult film, but whose cult status is hardly evident elsewhere on the internet. So why should we care that Irvin Kershner has just died at age 78? Kershner directed the best of the Star Wars movies, and one of the best "second act" films ever, The Empire Strikes Back. Just before he died, Kershner spoke with Vanity Fair about the film, 30 years after its release in 1980. posted by ocherdraco at 6:53 AM PST - 64 comments
Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie reunite for a 90 minute TV special to mark the 30th anniversary of their partnership. The programme sees the former double act reminiscing about their friendship, careers and sketches. Parts IIIIIIIVV posted by lazaruslong at 11:12 PM PST - 37 comments
When Dennis, an introvert bodybuilder, invites a local girl out on a date his mother is hurt and disappointed. Despite the pressure she puts on him to cancel the date, Dennis ventures into the indelible. [more inside] posted by esprit de l'escalier at 11:07 PM PST - 17 comments
Advent Conspiracy begins today. In its 4th year, the movement continues to urge Christians to spend less money on Christmas gifts, and asks the question "What if Christmas became a world-changing event again?" Videos here and here. (Youtube) posted by klausman at 9:26 PM PST - 36 comments
In Hoxton, there's a shop. Run by the Ministry of Stories (and funded by the National Lottery), the Hoxton Street Monster Supplies shop provides a free space to stimulate creative writing with workshops, publishing projects and one-to-one mentoring. [more inside] posted by jim.christian at 12:53 PM PST - 18 comments
Take Back Yoga : A group of Indian-Americans have ignited a surprisingly fierce debate in the gentle world of yoga by mounting a campaign to acquaint Westerners with the faith that it says underlies every single yoga style followed in gyms, ashrams and spas: Hinduism. The campaign, labeled “Take Back Yoga,” does not ask yoga devotees to become Hindu, or instructors to teach more about Hinduism ... but only that people become more aware of yoga’s debt to the faith’s ancient traditions. posted by dhruva at 8:57 AM PST - 66 comments
Curt Teich (1877-1974) was a printer who immigrated to the United States from Germany in 1896. Curt Teich & Company, opened in 1898 in Chicago, was the world's largest printer of view and advertising postcards. Teich is best known for its "Greetings From" postcards with their big letters, vivid colors, and bold style. Flickr user amhpics has archived nearly 2000 Teich linen postcards in his set Vintage Curt Teich linen postcards 1930s-1950s. [more inside] posted by netbros at 7:19 AM PST - 5 comments
“The customer is always right — not here, you understand? I hate that phrase — the customer is always right. Why is the merchant always wrong? Can the customer ever be wrong? Is that not possible?” Gaming Google's PageRank algorithm, one online glasses merchant's prime directive seems to be Don'tBe Evil. posted by ocherdraco at 8:57 PM PST - 112 comments
The problem of beer. "Since beer bottles are not (usually) pathological or “wild” spheres, but smooth manifolds, they separate 3-space into two non-communicating regions: inside, containing beer, and outside, containing you. This state must not remain." posted by MuadDib at 1:22 PM PST - 54 comments
After scanning the old 'tube for a long while, I have selected the six most appealing videos that document n-scale realism. The selection is based on realistic impression, detail (landscaping and models), and camera use.
N-scale model railroading has gained ground over the years. One reason is that the 1:160 scale, while small, provides superior overall realism. This first example shows a bridge scene at three angles, then an overview shot of the entire part of the layout, and a shot of the prototype scene. [more inside] posted by Namlit at 7:45 AM PST - 39 comments
The Economics of Seinfeld strives to illustrate basic economic concepts using scenes from the famous sitcom. "Seinfeld ran for nine seasons on NBC and became famous as a “show about nothing". It is the simplicity of Seinfeld that makes it so appropriate for use in economics courses."[more inside] posted by Phire at 12:10 PM PST - 40 comments
The Kermode bear or Spirit bear is a an all white subspecies of the American Black Bear. Their white fur is the the result of a recessive allele and is believed to give them an advantage in daylight fishing for salmon, but places them at a significant disadvantage in areas inhabited by Grizzly bears or wolves, who prey on them. [more inside] posted by Ahab at 4:19 AM PST - 13 comments
Mast Brothers [vimeo 8:48] — They began their voyage in their apartment, using a homemade machine to process cacao beans. Over time they cultivated their creation, sourcing beans from family farms in Madagascar, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Ecuador. Each bar is handmade with incredible reverence for the process and history of chocolate. They are bound in ornamental papers and golden foil like a collection of rare books. Each bar offers its own story of flavors, and no two are exactly alike. [more inside] posted by netbros at 4:23 PM PST - 30 comments
I asked Igari to help me deal with the fallout from the book. After much discussion, he and his two colleagues came up with a plan. His parting words were: “It’ll be a long battle. It’ll take money and courage, and you’ll have to come up with those on your own. But we’ll fight.”
On August 28th, his body was found in his vacation home in Manila, wrists slashed. Time of death unknown. It’s been ruled a suicide. Personally, I believe he was killed. I probably will never be able to prove it.[more inside] posted by KokuRyu at 4:21 PM PST - 23 comments
Sustainable Growth is an Oxymoron Text of an outstanding talk that explains clearly why the idea of "sustainable growth" is impossible in the finite system that is the earth; how the compact energy-delivery system of fossil fuel is equivalent to mind-blowing amounts of free human labor, which cannot be sustained indefinitely; and why it's imperative for scientists to help humanity find ways to go back to "liv[ing] on the sun in real time." [more inside] posted by Sublimity at 7:54 AM PST - 95 comments
As Americans raise a glass today to family and absent friends they do not have to worry if they are drinking The Real McCoy.* "Bill" McCoy,
was an American sea captain and rum runner during Prohibition.
Originally from Daytona, he cut his ties and moved North when
My mom passed away, my wife left me, and my bulldog died.
The foe was the Coastguard; the smugglers normally had sail.
The Halifax Historical Museum is now running an exhibition about him; and here is a preview of a documentary with an interesting review
and some publications about Rum Running.
(* your interpretation may vary). posted by adamvasco at 4:14 AM PST - 4 comments
In 1975, desperate to escape Vietnam following the fall of Saigon and the end of the Vietnam War, twenty thousand refugees boarded the few remaining ships of the South Vietnamese army and fishing boats. They were escorted by the USSKirk, a Knox-class destroyer escort, which led them to the Philippines. This mission, Operation New Life lives on as one of the largest humanitarian missions in the history of the United States military, but has been largely forgotten by history. [more inside] posted by honeybee413 at 8:54 PM PST - 15 comments
Since the very beginning, PRI's This American Life has (every few years) commemorated Thanksgiving in the US with episodes about the exotic mysteries of turkeys, chicken and other fowl. They call it Poultry Slam and episodes from 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2003, 2007 and 2008 are all available for your turkey day and I-refuse-to-even-look-at-a-Walmart day enjoyment. posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:23 PM PST - 6 comments
They think of me as a scholar, an intellectual, a pen-pusher. And I am none of them. When I write, my fingers get covered not in ink but in blood. I think I am nothing more than this: an undaunted soul.[more inside] posted by Joe Beese at 7:58 PM PST - 9 comments
Most graduate students are surely aware of the many rigors and regulation of thesis preparation. For example, here is a FAQ on preparing for the "snake fight" portion of your thesis defense. posted by jjray at 7:58 PM PST - 28 comments
Libraries are, for many of us, the public places where we bring our most private selves, our fears and our dreams, so long buried and so studiously unspoken. The librarian checking out a stack of books may be for many of us, the equivalent of the first person we’ve told a secret to. Which brings me to the real reason I chose the profession that I did for my narrator: Even more than libraries, I love librarians. As Others See Us: An Author On Why She Loves Librarians posted by carsonb at 7:17 PM PST - 30 comments
Fifty+ Music Blogs. If you on occasion like wfmu's Beware of the Blog, you'll like these on occasion as well. Mostly strange, exotica, hip hop, noise, electronic, experimental, punk, industrial. No single-artist blogs. Updated seldom to constantly, all field tested at time of this post. Arranged alphabetically. All have free downloads. Some include videos, some contain images and sounds not appropriate to all ages or workplaces. Some have appeared at metafilter before, others have not, this list generated specifically for this post. You’ll find something new to listen to here, I assure you. [more inside] posted by eccnineten at 4:54 PM PST - 32 comments
From the NYT Economix blog: Are good-looking people more likely to get jobs? That depends whether you’re talking about men or women, according to a new working paper.
Job applicants in Europe and in Israel increasingly imbed a headshot of themselves in the top corner of their CVs. We sent 5,312 CVs in pairs to 2,656 advertised job openings. In each pair, one CV was without a picture while the second, otherwise almost identical CV contained a picture of either an attractive male/female or a plain-looking male/female. Employer callbacks to attractive men are significantly higher than to men with no picture and to plain-looking men, nearly doubling the latter group. Strikingly, attractive women do not enjoy the same beauty premium. In fact, women with no picture have a significantly higher rate of callbacks than attractive or plain-looking women. We explore a number of explanations and provide evidence that female jealousy of attractive women in the workplace is a primary reason for the punishment of attractive women. posted by krautland at 1:20 PM PST - 75 comments
"From the deck of a cruise ship along the coast of Brazil, a retiree named Bob Hulse snapped some high-resolution photographs of something unusual leaping from the sea: what appears to be dozens of squid propelling themselves through the air -- quite possibly the first time the impressive display has been caught on film." posted by nomadicink at 4:51 PM PST - 55 comments
The Royal HouseI knew I had seen one of the pictures before somewhere before, and understood instantly what the surrounding pictures all had in common. A familiar symbol caught my eye, glinting gold. It was the mark of the Imperial House of Japan. posted by KokuRyu at 4:45 PM PST - 13 comments
Miriam Moskowitz is one of the last survivors of the McCarthy era trials. She was sent to prison after being convicted of obstruction of justice in a trial that Roy Cohn said was a "dry run" for the Rosenberg case. Indeed, Miriam was in jail with Ethel Rosenberg. Her newly published book, "Phantom Spies, Phantom Justice" is one of the only books on the period to write about Ethel as a woman not as a symbol. The gripping memoir of Miriam's trial, her imprisonment and its aftermath, is also the first thing Miriam has ever written. At 94, that's quite an achievement. The Talk of the Town section of the New Yorker has a piece on Miriam. Click on the link to read it. posted by jeffisme at 12:34 PM PST - 12 comments
Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt," told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside] posted by zarq at 11:16 AM PST - 7 comments
[Warning: some links NSFW] Callgirl and blogger Alexa DiCarlo had some questions raised about her authenticity dating back to 2008 and 2009, but her website RealPrincessDiaries.com (archive.org cache) still attracted huge traffic and she was even named the #1 sex blogger of 2010. A student at SFSU's master's degree program in sexuality studies, she also volunteered her time providing sex education advice to teenagers online under the name Caitlain or Cathy. And she mentored newbie sex workers via e-mail, giving them pro tips and even sharing with them one of her top clients, Matt, whose identity and safety she vouched for.
But in true Kaycee Nicole / JT LeRoy style, it now turns out there wasn't any "Alexa", "Caitlain", or "Cathy". Outed by the anonymous blog Expose A Bro, combined with the anonymous twitter account @ExposingAlexa, the real story has emerged. Alexa was apparently a married middle-aged guy named Pat, not a student at SFSU, had no formal training from which to be sharing "advice" (or naked photos!) with those teenagers online, and he was the "client" that "Alexa" had sent to her protégées to sleep with... [more inside] posted by Asparagirl at 9:03 PM PST - 188 comments
I’ve spent the better part of the week serving as the foreman for a jury in a criminal case. As they tell you, you’re not allowed to talk about it with anyone, not even your fellow jurors, during the trial. As they also tell you, once the trial is over you can talk about anything you want. So, here goes. posted by DarlingBri at 7:22 PM PST - 80 comments
What Good is Wall Street?Think of all the profits produced by businesses operating in the U.S. as a cake. Twenty-five years ago, the slice taken by financial firms was about a seventh of the whole. Last year, it was more than a quarter. (In 2006, at the peak of the boom, it was about a third.) In other words, during a period in which American companies have created iPhones, Home Depot, and Lipitor, the best place to work has been in an industry that doesn’t design, build, or sell a single tangible thing. posted by shivohum at 7:11 PM PST - 102 comments
Wasdale is a remote valley in the English Lake District. It boasts England's deepest lake, highest mountain, smallest church...and biggest liar. [more inside] posted by reynir at 10:48 AM PST - 24 comments
Sometimes us cubicle monkeys don't have time to get out into the concrete jungle to check out street art for ourselves.
If you prefer moving pictures, check out the great 2007 documentary on graffiti art, Bomb It. It's online.
When you're done there, you can check out more great images at Art Crimes and find images from your own corner of the urban sprawl at CityNoise. posted by Stagger Lee at 10:29 AM PST - 2 comments
"Isarithmic maps are essentially topographic or contour maps, wherein a third variable is represented in two dimensions by color, or by contour lines, indicating gradations. I had never seen such a map depicting political data — certainly not election returns, and thus sought to create them". posted by nomadicink at 9:26 AM PST - 20 comments
Will Canada be the first developed nation to decriminalise Polygamy? After Charter challenges legalised orgies, prostitution (most recently "living off the avails"), same-sex marriages, non-sexual adult interdependent relationships, common-law marraiges and multiple legally recognised spouses in Saskatchewan, the West Coast is now hosting a unique reference case in B.C.'s superior court considering whether section 293 of the Canadian Criminal Code is legal under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [more inside] posted by saucysault at 6:27 AM PST - 119 comments
Jimmy Stewart once recited a poem about his dog, on the Johnny Carson Show.
It's an awwww moment...
now...go pet your dog.
I can't believe this hasn't been posted on Metafilter yet. posted by HuronBob at 9:50 PM PST - 63 comments
Yesterday was the Transgender Day of Remembrance. In the past year, at least 29 people have been killed out of transphobia. The vast majority were poor trans women of color. One was a baby, killed because the father perceived the child to not be masculine enough. It's almost certain that the real numbers of dead are much, much higher. posted by jiawen at 9:34 PM PST - 38 comments
"The most important event in the history of wine." Boutique winemaker Bill Wertzberger announces a rather expensive new line of wine. "If you ever find a bottle of wine more expensive ... we will retroactively bill you for the difference, plus a few thousand dollars. Just to make sure that you have the most expensive bottle of wine in the world." posted by woodblock100 at 1:40 AM PST - 32 comments
Arrest warrants have been issued for wikileaks founder Julian Assange. He is wanted on suspicion of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion - charges he denies.
The warrants follow a detention order issued on Thursday by the Stockholm District Court after a request from Sweden's Director of Prosecution, Marianne Ny. [more inside] posted by Ahab at 1:40 AM PST - 216 comments
Helpful Figures: Informative infographics on a variety of topics. For example, food: "There are many types of food, some of which are pies, the rest of which should be pies." And DNA: "Humans and computers share 95% of the same DNA." posted by kmz at 2:50 PM PST - 17 comments
In 2006, Joss Naylor ran 50 miles up and down seventy Lake District fells, ascending more than 25,000 feet in 21 hours. Not his best performance, but to be fair, he was 70 at the time.
Cumbrian shepherd Joss Naylor (warning: Youtube link; Cumbrian accent, impossibly adorable sheepdog) is one of the greatest British athletes most people have never heard of, and perhaps the greatest competitor ever in a sport most people have never heard of either: fell-running. [more inside] posted by reynir at 12:02 PM PST - 25 comments
Ushahidi (named after a Swahili word meaning "testimony") (previously) started as a volunteer project to map violence and has developed several crowdsourcing projects, including crowdmap.com. More recently, they have also helped create a tech incubator geekspace in Nairobi, iHub, which opened earlier this year. Another article about iHub with more details about how it works. posted by rmd1023 at 10:50 AM PST - 3 comments
Vegan No More: For 3 years I built my entire life on the premise of veganism. It was my life’s passion, my guiding light. Being a vegan was everything to me. I believed my actions made me an animal rights crusader; I was saving lives, and changing the world. Now, I know otherwise. And now, after 2 full months of non-veganism, I can honestly say that I feel reborn. posted by contessa at 7:27 PM PST - 328 comments
My Immortal is an infamous piece of fanfiction by Tara Gilesbie that has the distinction of being the top Google result for "worst fanfic ever". It's a fascinating read, both for its unique turns-of-word (like when Draco and the author begin to "make out keenly"), and for how effectively it reveals the author's culture and insecurities — the way it alternates between denunciations of superficial "prep" culture and elaborate descriptions of its protagonist's wardrobe, its constant obsession with sex mixed with a squeamish aversion of any eroticism, and its desire, chapter by chapter, to both denounce its critics and to prove them somehow wrong. TVtropes, Urban Dictionary, and Encyclopedia Dramatica each debate whether the piece is sincere or satirical. "If it's fake," says UD, "it's complete genius; and if it's real it's total desecration of a perfectly good book/movie series." posted by Rory Marinich at 2:17 PM PST - 85 comments
"Affluence breeds impatience, and impatience undermines well-being." Avner Offer is the professor of economic history at the University of Oxford, and he is interested in the well-being of people and families in liberal market societies. His latest work, The Challenge of Affluence: Self-Control and Well-Being in the United States and Britain since 1950, is an empirical socioeconomic history of the effects that liberal and neo-liberal economics has had on happiness, relationships, and social welfare. Specifically, he argues that Reaganism/Thatcherism catapulted forward the ability to produce new goods and services, and to create the desire for them, far ahead of society's ability to cope. Reagan and Thatcher "smashed the family to pieces;" the result of market liberalism is societies of ever-more dissatisfied, atomized, unhappy communities of dual-worker consumerist families. posted by r_nebblesworthII at 12:11 PM PST - 51 comments
Dirtbombs' drummer Ben Blackwell has created a map of Detroit of labels offering "vinyl releases throughout all eras". He also has a blog and participated in the SXSW panel "How to Make Money With Vinyl" (mp3) as an employee of Third Man Records. posted by dobbs at 11:53 AM PST - 6 comments
After a woman living in a hotel in Florida was raped, viciously beaten, and left for dead near the Everglades in 2005, the police investigation quickly went cold. But when the victim sued the Airport Regency, the hotel’s private detective, Ken Brennan, became obsessed with the case: how had the 21-year-old blonde disappeared from her room, unseen by security cameras? The author follows Brennan’s trail as the P.I. worked a chilling hunch that would lead him to other states, other crimes, and a man nobody else suspected.
[printer-friendly version; behind-the-scenes video; via]
"On the other hand, a seal made of shellac shall also n'er serve, for that it is too intemperate and hard and will too easily break upon the lightest blow. And belike as not, it will not adhere to a paper when attached thereto, so that oftimes it would pop loose without any encouragement, and bear false witness against the messager." —The Manufacture of a Good and Faithful Sealing Wax, circa 1683. [more inside] posted by usonian at 8:43 AM PST - 31 comments
Where will you be one week from today? "In this age of restless wanderings, how can you be certain where some urgent
call may take you? What guarantee have you that a feeble cry in the night, a
sudden emergency call, or a "date" will not summon you hurriedly to 431
Eighth Avenue?" [more inside] posted by pollex at 8:02 AM PST - 11 comments
You think it would be really fun to have sex with me. Because, I think you can tell from my posts, I’ll do anything. But maybe you can also tell from my posts that it’s a little bit weird. Because you know that I’ll say anything, too, but sometimes, I make you cringe.
The Soviet Collapse "The document which effectively concluded the history of the Soviet Union was a letter from the Vneshekonombank in November 1991 to the Soviet leadership, informing them that the Soviet state had not a cent in its coffers." posted by bitmage at 6:28 AM PST - 28 comments
"Every day there are untold millions of comments, texts, and online interactions. Millions. And each one says, I am here and I extend my consciousness to there. There might have been a time when humans were content to sit and simply be, like the goat I saw yesterday sitting contently in a patch of sunshine at the Lincoln Park Zoo. That time was long ago. We want the news. We want to chatter and gossip. We want to say "I am alive" in a billion billion different ways. And now here is internet, providing such an easy, easy way to do that." posted by nomadicink at 4:48 AM PST - 35 comments
What do you get when you combine two pounds of bacon with two pounds of Italian sausage carefully crafted into a woven log of artery clogging doom?
The Bacon Explosion. posted by quin at 3:40 PM PST - 92 comments
Time Magazine (with commentary from Jezebel) look at the question - why would people get married in 2010? These are reports based on a Pew Research survey that complements results with findings from census data. [more inside] posted by k8t at 1:49 PM PST - 104 comments
"The writing process, Merwin says, is all about time and environment. He will be the first to tell you that poetry “is something before it is about something,” and that if you try to force a poem to take a stance, it is likely to choke: “I think a poem begins out of what you don’t know, and you begin not by having a good idea but by hearing something in the language.”"
A terrific interview with U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin. posted by liketitanic at 10:34 AM PST - 9 comments
Vintage photos of women in sport. "At the turn of the last century women in the western world were finding a voice, both collectively and individually. As the Victorian era lapsed in to memory and the Edwardian Era commenced many women chose to pursue sports." [more inside] posted by gman at 9:44 AM PST - 14 comments
Harvey Araton wrote that basketball star Reggie Miller has "a mouth that can stretch as far as his jump shot range." He might be right. Once, in a game against the New York Knicks, Miller so taunted Knicks guard John Starks that Starks headbutted him. Starks was summarily ejected. That incident took place during Game 3 of the 1993 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals - a series New York would go on to win in 5 games. [more inside] posted by kbanas at 7:03 AM PST - 46 comments
A Public Service Announcement. Here are some sobering facts about the world today: Every day, millions of kids go to sleep having never been introduced to Chewbacca, and, worse, countless more think Greedo shot first. We here at Asylum want to make sure you and your child have an open and healthy conversation about Jar Jar and the differences between a "good trilogy" and an "uh-oh trilogy." So we've provided you with this, a PSA on talking to your child about Star Wars. posted by Fizz at 5:04 AM PST - 38 comments
Lost In The Garden of the World is a documentary shot at the 1975 Cannes film festival. It contains interviews with Paul Bartel, Tobe Hooper, Steven Spielberg, Werner Herzog, Martin Scorsese and Dustin Hoffman. posted by brundlefly at 9:52 PM PST - 3 comments
The Thirteenth Annual Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for American humor was awarded to Tina Fey. Here is video of the PBS broadcast of the awards ceremony as well as Ms. Fey's complete acceptance speech. posted by West of House at 5:35 PM PST - 78 comments
RegardingLuisBuñuel (Criterion, 1:37, subtitled) "All my life I've been harassed by questions: Why is something this way and not another? How do you account for that? This rage to understand, to fill in the blanks, only makes life more banal. If we could only find the courage to leave our destiny to chance, to accept the fundamental mystery of our lives, then we might be closer to the sort of happiness that comes with innocence." -- Luis Bunuel, "In Curiosity"
Bunuel wanted to rebel against the dogmatic structures of the Church that said, There is no salvation or grace outside the Church. He wanted a kind of Protestant surrealism in which grace was directly attainable like in Nazarin or Viridiana -- Carlos Fuentes
"He is a deeply Christian man who hates God as only a Christian can and, of course, he's very Spanish. I see him as the most supremely religious director in the history of the movies." -- Orson Welles
"I'd like to be able to rise from the dead every ten years, walk to a newsstand, and buy a few newspapers. I wouldn't ask for anything more. With my papers under my arm, pale, brushing against the walls, I'd return to the cemetery and read about the world's disasters before going back to sleep satisfied, in the calming refuge of the grave." -- Luis Bunuel posted by puny human at 4:03 PM PST - 23 comments
Somepictures from the world's largest ship graveyard at Nouadhibou in Mauritania (click 'here', then 'nouadhibou' in the Jan Smith link), or investigate it in Google Maps. Geographical Magazine has an explanation of how the graveyard came about. posted by Dim Siawns at 1:47 PM PST - 22 comments
In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owner and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow. posted by Joe Beese at 6:50 AM PST - 40 comments
Another kind of cookbook. For a couple years now, as evidenced by this old English cookbook, or this old French cookbook, or this even older Italian cookbook, recipes have been conveyed with language. Fitting with our age of copious visual information, Katie Shelly has made a cookbook using just illustrations. Eat your heart out. posted by From Bklyn at 1:21 AM PST - 24 comments
Andrew Goodman was a classmate and friend of Paul Simon. During the Freedom Summer of 1964, Andrew, Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney were arrested in Mississippi for speeding, and, after being released and encouraged to leave town, were shot by the KKK.
The song is attributed to Paul Kane (AKA Paul Simon). posted by HuronBob at 9:21 PM PST - 24 comments
Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi to Kinshasa. We made the decision to tackle this part of Democratic Republic of Congo when we were in Egypt. It would take us about 4 months to drive from Cairo down to the Zambia/DRC border. We immediately started our quest for information. It would soon become clear that very little information was available. We did not know of a single traveler that did this in the last 20 years. We knew of two who tried (both on motorbikes) in recent years. One crashed after a few days and got evacuated. The other got arrested and deported. Both didn't get very far.
So we had to be creative and think of other sources of information. If there is one thing you can find anywhere in the world it is Coca-Cola. They should know how to get their goods in the country. We had no response via email, so we called them up. Their answer was pretty short: They do not have a distribution network outside the major cities in Congo. And it proved to be true, Congo is the first country we have visited were Coca-cola is hard to get once you leave
the major cities.
The moral of the story was: nobody knew anything about the road conditions. posted by bluesky43 at 6:12 PM PST - 167 comments
“We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are,” Durkin said. “How many people are in the room when an ad is shown? How many people are in the room when a game is being played? When you add this sort of device to a living room, there’s a bunch of business opportunities that come with that.”
Lord of the Universe Do you remember the 7 UP Un-Deer commercials from the 1970s? This website has found audio recordings. "You just think I am sitting here cooling off my hoofies ..... wrong-o". I loved those commercials. posted by butcher at 4:36 PM PST - 9 comments
Face jugs are a widely recognized indigenous Southern American style of folk pottery. (Although of course ceramics have been decorated with faces for nearly as long as people have made jugs vaguely in the same shape as heads.) American face jugs are said to have been made deliberately frightening so that they would keep little children away, allowing parents to keep the corn liquor safe in the jug, but there may have been other reasons. The tradition dates at least from the 19th century, and appears to have originated in the work of enslaved African-Americanpotters.[more inside] posted by Countess Elena at 3:19 PM PST - 20 comments
... it's terribly important for veterans to feel they are continuing a mission that held them together through the violence and stress of war. "PTSD carries a stigma, that you're broken and wounded," said Yount, "And many guys have guilt for not still being in the fight. The idea of Paws for Purple Hearts is you can be part of the war effort while you're getting treatment." posted by Joe Beese at 1:29 PM PST - 17 comments
In 1977, NASA launched the Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft, fastening to each a phonograph album containing sounds and music of Earth. If the best calculations are to be believed, one of these records was intercepted and “remixed” sometime in 2005 by extraterrestrial intelligences on the edge of our solar system. Ladies and Gentlemen: the Voyager Interstellar Record, Remixed by Extraterrestrials. posted by muckster at 11:46 AM PST - 14 comments
It’s an agreement that says, “You’re going to write for me. I’m going to own it. I may or may not give you credit. If there is more than one book in the series, you are on the hook to write those too, for the exact same terms, but I don’t have to use you. In exchange for this, I’m going to pay you 40 percent of some amount you can’t verify — there’s no audit provision — and after the deduction of a whole bunch of expenses.”
Dirty Coal, Clean Future To environmentalists, "clean coal" is an insulting oxymoron. But for now, the only way to meet the world's energy needs, and to arrest climate change before it produces irreversible cataclysm, is to use coal—dirty, sooty, toxic coal—in more-sustainable ways. The good news is that new technologies are making this possible. China is now the leader in this area, the Google and Intel of the energy world. If we are serious about global warming, America needs to work with China to build a greener future on a foundation of coal. Otherwise, the clean-energy revolution will leave us behind, with grave costs for the world's climate and our economy. (more here and responses here, here and here) posted by kliuless at 11:33 AM PST - 49 comments
There is no question that HIV is an ugly virus in terms of human health. Each year, it infects some 2.7 million additional people and leads to some two million deaths from AIDS. But a new album manages to locate some sonic beauty deep in its genome. Sounds of HIV (Azica Records) by composer Alexandra Pajak explores the patterns of the virus's nucleotides as well as the amino acids transcribed by HIV, playing through these biologic signatures in 17 tracks.[more inside] posted by infinite intimation at 8:06 AM PST - 20 comments
Detroit's Greatest Hits (That Should Have Been)Here we've compiled our very own Top 40 list of Detroit songs or albums that were overlooked or undervalued — which naturally includes, to a lesser extent, the overlooked or undervalued artists who created them. These are songs that not only give up the goose bumps, or teach us something that we didn't already know, but records that hook us and make us want to share them. posted by louche mustachio at 6:58 AM PST - 29 comments
Back in May this year, British Twitter user Paul Chambers was found guilty of sending a 'menacing electronic communication'.
The communication in question? A Twitter update written when stuck at an airport, saying the following: "Crap! Robin Hood airport is closed. You've got a week and a bit to get your shit together otherwise I'm blowing the airport sky high!!" [more inside] posted by Catseye at 5:01 AM PST - 73 comments
Remember Worms? Well, Funky Pear (the guys who made playing golf in space fun) has another version of that, but the worms are replaced with guys in space suits, and the landscape is now a small planetary system. Use gravity to sling your rockets around planets, and build up the damage multiplier. Play Gravitee Wars. Warning: addictive. [more inside] posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:00 AM PST - 20 comments
Race to Nowhere (trailer) is a documentary film by first-time director Vicki Abeles that discusses her perception that the US education system has become "obsessed with the illusion of achievement, competition and the pressure to perform. Cheating has become commonplace, students have become disengaged, stress-related illness, depression and burnout are rampant, and young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired."[more inside] posted by Phire at 11:14 PM PST - 18 comments
Auction site Charity Buzz described the auction as a "once in a lifetime chance" to sit with Murdoch "face to face over a friendly lunch and get his feedback firsthand on your proposed business ideas."
It said it was valid for a total of six people and would be held in New York at a "mutually convenient" time with Murdoch covering the cost of lunch.
"Winner will be subject to security screening and background check," it stipulated.
Media Matters founder and chief executive David Brock expects the lunch to go ahead.
"I look forward to this opportunity to have a friendly lunch with Rupert Murdoch, along with five of my invited guests," Brock said in a statement.
"I will soon contact Mr. Murdoch's office to determine a mutually convenient time and place in New York," he added. posted by Jon_Evil at 10:46 PM PST - 33 comments
Maclean’s Magazine ('Canada’s only national weekly current affairs magazine') publishes an annual edition ranking Canadian universities. In this year’s issue, with strong showings of Asian student populations at the top schools, an article asks, whether Canadian universities are “Too Asian”?[more inside] posted by typewriter at 4:14 PM PST - 80 comments
"A pious, peaceful man, York had fought his country's enemy only after great deliberation and had to be convinced that war was sometimes necessary."1 On this day let us remember Sergeant York. 1 Celluloid Soldiers: The Warner Bros. Campaign Against Nazism By Michael E. Birdwell. posted by unliteral at 3:13 PM PST - 14 comments
Slaves of the moment: "The Mexican Agustín Víctor Casasola, with the intermittent help of his brother Miguel, began to set up around 1900 one of the most important photographicarchives for the history of a country. However, the international recognition of these almost 500,000 photos has not matched its importance. Born in 1874 and raised in the years of the Porfirio Díaz government, Agustín Casasola was a direct witness to all the adversities that led to modern Mexico, and breathed as nobody else the air of a country and a city that developed during the first third of the 20th century at a runaway pace." posted by puny human at 1:36 PM PST - 8 comments
A comic strip has caused a political uproar by making a bold, controversial statement on Veteran's Day, considered by some to be an insult to our nation's fighting men and women. The strip that has spit on the work of our country's bravest veterans is, as you would expect, that anti-American bastion of subversive vitriolic societal commentary, Garfield. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:00 PM PST - 146 comments
Nov. 24 is National Opt-out Day from airport back-scatter scanners Time to call BS on TSA's kabuki theater of airport security:
"As public anger grows over the TSA's body scanners and intrusive new airport pat-down procedure, a Web site is urging travelers to "opt out" from the body scanners and instead choose to have a pat-down in public view, so that everyone can "see for themselves how the government treats law-abiding citizens."
OptOutDay.com declares November 24 to be the day when air travelers should refuse to submit to a full body scan and choose the enhanced pat-down -- an option many travelers have described as little short of a molestation." posted by TDIpod at 8:51 PM PST - 395 comments
"'What are the laws?' he said, explaining his decision to adhere to the Orthodox level of observance. 'I want to know the laws. I don’t want to know the leniencies. I never look for the leniencies because of all of the terrible things I’ve done in my life, all of the mistakes I’ve made.'" posted by griphus at 6:05 PM PST - 42 comments
Complex China-U.S. currency issue explained in bizarre news animation. "Need a primer on the issues? Check out our US-Sino Currency Rap Battle, featuring Chinese president Hu Jintao and American president Barack Obama.
China has mad stacks of US Treasury debt and fears America will inflate its way out the hole by weakening the greenback further.
The US, on the other hand, says China is keeping its currency artificially undervalued to protect its exports.
It's a battle for the ages. And everything you need to know about US-Sino trade relations can be learned right here." posted by Fizz at 5:05 PM PST - 27 comments
Edward Tufte, patron saint of information visualization, is auctioning off his sizeable library of rare books, including major works in the history of science and statistical graphics. Christies auction catalogue is available for your perusal. First edition Isaac Newton, anyone? posted by krunk at 11:30 AM PST - 35 comments
This site depicts REAL things said to me (or at least near me) by customers in the comic book shop that I work in. These are real people. This is what they look like and this is something that they actually said. posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:54 AM PST - 110 comments
“What is this thing supposed to be? Damned if I even know. It weighs about 6 pounds and it is a horse with seven different dogs painted on it. I don’t own dogs or cats, I’m allergic to them. And I have never been on a horse in my lifetime." Celebrate the holidays with Why Did You Buy Me That. Or why not check out this (Previously) to get even more inspiration? posted by mippy at 8:06 AM PST - 67 comments
''I don't think it's appropriate they feel discriminated against, and I'm very upset they feel that,'' "After inviting friends to her home for ''pre-drinks'', [Hannah Williams] stood on her doorstep and watched her classmates file into the darkness to attend one of the highlights of the school year. Instead of joining them, Hannah took off her heels and black dress and went to bed...A few weeks earlier a teacher had told the year 11 student she couldn't attend the dance with her 15-year-old girlfriend, Savannah Supski. She was asked to bring a male instead." posted by rodgerd at 1:27 AM PST - 70 comments
A fine way to remove unwanted hair is to wrench it violently from your scalp. To facilitate this, try reading Dell Hell (Part 2), in which a sad soul descends into madness at the virtual hands of Dell's customer service. It's a companion piece to a 2005 series of Dell Hell deranged scribblings. posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 8:24 PM PST - 100 comments
Karen, Rick, Luke and Rachel are four people marooned in an airport lounge sometime in the very near future. The price of oil goes through the roof, and a kind of apocalypse takes over the world- or at least the world that they can see through the windows of the bar and on the crackling, intermittent news reports. Thick ash falls from the sky. The taps are dry. Cellphones don't work. Sealed in, the four can only talk to each other, examine their lives and the meaning of love, and try to confront their own demons. There is no turning back, they realise.[more inside] posted by infinite intimation at 8:07 PM PST - 21 comments
Want to get to that town in the next state on the cheap? Sure, there's Greyhound, but it's hardly a bargain at $32 for a journey from Seattle to Portland. When you really need to save the cash, use Epic Transit Journeys wiki to plot your route entirely on local transit carriers, allowing you to get to Stumptown for only $11.50 and a paltry five transfers. For a truly epic journey, cross international borders for the trip to Vancouver, BC, which includes a lovely 2.9 mi stroll across the border. Oran Viriyincy's travelogue of this trip includes lots of photos of buses and trains, and the border official's shocked reaction. posted by grouse at 4:50 PM PST - 42 comments
Jack Levine, Realist Artist, Dies at 95.Mr. Levine burst onto the American art scene in 1937 with a scathing triple portrait remarkable for its bravura brushwork and gleeful vitriol. Titled “The Feast of Pure Reason,” it depicted a police officer, a capitalist and a politician seated at a table, their bloated faces oozing malice and evil intent. His painting Cain and Abel hangs in the Vatican. Upon his discharge from service he painted Welcome Home, a lampoon of the arrogance of military power; years later the painting would engender political controversy when it was included in a show of art in Moscow, and along with works by other American artists, raised suspicions in the House Un-American Activities Committee of pro-Communist sympathies. You can see some of The Complete Graphic Work of Jack Levine (1984) via Google books. Online gallery. posted by chavenet at 2:51 PM PST - 12 comments
New England Webcomics Weekend was this past weekend in Easthampton, MA. It brought together many top names in the art of webcomics -- a form that may have at last grown distinct from its print-comics progenitor. A fine excuse to introduce you to (or remind you about) the sites of these hilarious, daring and innovative artists. Hyperlink omnibus enclosed... [more inside] posted by damehex at 1:14 PM PST - 18 comments
The Realist Archive Project (previously) is now complete. The Realist, edited and published by Paul Krassner, was a pioneering magazine of "social-political-religious criticism and satire" in the American countercultural press of the mid-20th century. Although The Realist is often regarded as a major milestone in the underground press, it was a nationally-distributed newsstand publication as early as 1959. Publication was discontinued in 2001. posted by Joe Beese at 12:05 PM PST - 6 comments
A description of the CIA's waterboarding techniques and the practical applications of other physical interrogation practices to enhance its effectiveness. posted by artof.mulata at 1:39 AM PST - 30 comments
LoopLoop: "Using animation, sounds warping and time shifts this video runs forwards and backwards looking for forgotten details, mimicking the way memories are replayed in the mind." Viewing in full-screen may require dramamine. [SLVimeo] posted by bayani at 4:52 PM PST - 22 comments
Ken Lay & Enron. Bernie Madoff. Bernie Ebbers & WorldCom. What is it about CEOs that makes them uniquely capable of pulling off the most audacious & expensive kind of white collar crime? Control Fraud Theory has the answer. Via the ever-enlightening Bruce Schneier. posted by scalefree at 3:01 PM PST - 37 comments
The letters of the Jewish German thinker Constantin Brunner were buried behind his grave to safeguard them from the Nazis. Now, a joint German-Israeli project is putting the letters online. [more inside] posted by No Robots at 10:52 AM PST - 5 comments
They Live, John Carpenter's 1988 cult classic, is a fairly subversive piece of work. The film, which combines sci-fi, horror and satire -- and includes one of the iconic fight scenes in movie history -- is an allegorical treatise on the evils of capitalism, set in a Los Angeles populated by evil, conspiratorial and wealthy aliens. The film, despite a mixed original reception, has developed a rabid fan-boy following over the last few decades, and now Jonathan Lethem, the author of "Motherless Brooklyn," "The Fortress of Solitude" and, more recently, "Chronic City" has written "They Live," a meticulous, scene-by-scene analysis of its many, many layers. posted by Joe Beese at 10:30 AM PST - 128 comments
These pamphlets have been a rich source for historians of medicine, crime novelists, and cultural historians, who mine them for evidence to illuminate the history of class, gender, race, the law, the city, crime, religion and other topics. The murder pamphlets in the NLM's collection address cases connected to forensic medicine, especially cases in which doctors were accused of committing-or were the victims of-murder.
Chasing Pirates: Inside Microsoft’s War Room - From the special thread that Chinese factories counterfeit in mile-long spools that adorns software authenticity stickers, to near-perfect bootleg discs leaving microscopic evidence of their factory origins, to Mexican and Russian gangsters who are dealt with very carefully, the NYT covers Microsoft's multi-pronged, international war on piracy. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:31 AM PST - 30 comments
Classical pianists tend to be identified by their favorite repertoire. Thus, Murray Perahia got stamped as a Mozart and Schumann pianist in his early career, and people raised their eyebrows when he embarked on Liszt and other heavy repertoire. And Rudolf Serkin is today perhaps known best for his Beethoven, and not for the Chopin etudes he played in his earlier years.
Searching for something totally else, I stumbled upon a few private recordings by Clara Haskil[more inside] posted by Namlit at 5:16 AM PST - 5 comments
Once, there was a boy named Yves. He lived in the mountainous country of Switzerland, and he dreamed of flying. He loved the idea of being free to soar through the air so much that he became a pilot. Later, he went on to fly bigger planes. Perhaps he's even been your pilot.
But being a pilot was never quite enough. Yves still dreamed of soaring through the air, like a bird. And now, he does. MeetJetman. Previously posted by anigbrowl at 12:46 AM PST - 6 comments
Secret Cinema presents Blade Runner. Secret Cinema is a growing community of all that love cinema, experience and the unknown. Secret audience. Secret locations. Secret worlds. The time is now to change how we watch films. [more inside] posted by Sailormom at 3:19 PM PST - 32 comments
"Between the Bars is a weblog platform for prisoners, through which the 1% of America which is behind bars can tell their stories. Since prisoners are routinely denied access to the Internet, we enable them to blog by scanning letters. We aim to provide a positive outlet for creativity, a tool to assist in the maintenance of social safety nets, an opportunity to forge connections between prisoners and non-prisoners, and a means to promote non-criminal identities and personal expression. We hope to improve prisoner's lives, and help to reduce recidivism." [more inside] posted by gman at 9:44 AM PST - 22 comments
Followup-Filter: Former BART Ofcr. Johannes Mehserle, who shot and killed Oscar Grant, has been sentenced after being found guilty of involuntary manslaughter [previously]. Although the jury originally did not believe the officer's story - that he had intended to reach for and fire his taser but grabbed his firearm instead - the prosecution offered insufficient evidence to show that the use of his firearm was intentional. Former Ofcr. Mehserle will spend 2 years in prison for the shooting. posted by thesmophoron at 9:38 AM PST - 82 comments
Friday Flash Fun: Nuclearoids. A little like Boomshine, a lot like dominoes. But with explosions. And bouncy balls. And colors. Lots of colors! Not too brain engaging, with particle attraction and even black holes. [more inside] posted by Old'n'Busted at 5:23 PM PST - 22 comments
Husband-and-wife team Christopher Ryan and Calcilda Jethá have written a book, Sex at Dawn, that challenges what they describe as the "standard narrative" of human sexual and social relationships. In a recent Savage Love podcast featuring Ryan as a guest, Dan Savage described the book as "...the single most important book about human sexuality since Alfred Kinsey unleashed Sexual Behavior in the Human Male on the American public in 1948." [more inside] posted by kitarra at 3:34 PM PST - 67 comments
Chewing gum artist. "Mr Wilson has created more than 8,000 works of art this way - each one photographed and catalogued for his archive. A picture can take anything from two hours to three days to complete." posted by rodgerd at 12:46 PM PST - 13 comments
Tatiana and Krista Hogan are 4 year old twin girls who are joined at the head. Amazingly, their brains are interconnected and share the thalamus, the section of the brain that is responsible for relaying physical sensation and motor function to the cerebral cortex. As a result, it is believed that they can experience one another’s sensations, including seeing though each other's eyes. posted by jpdoane at 10:54 AM PST - 43 comments
There's never been a better time to be a curious classical pianist. A fewYouTubeusers have been uploading synchronized scores to dozens of interesting pieces, usually virtuosic and/or obscure, and often out of print or otherwise unavailable. There are all sorts of treasures, but perhaps the most notable scores are those of a lost generation of post-ScriabinRussiancomposers whose avant-garde output was later suppressed by the Soviet government. posted by dfan at 7:03 PM PST - 15 comments
"Parallelograms is an album by American psychedelic folk singer LindaPerhacs. Her first and to date only album, it was all but completely ignored when originally released on Kapp Records in 1970. Discouraged by the lack of commercial attention and the label's reluctance to promote the album, Perhacs returned to her career as a dental technician. In the 30 or so years that followed, the album gradually developed a cult following, particularly on the Internet. Young listeners found appeal in her subtle instrumentation and delicate harmonies..." Parallelograms::ChimacumRain::Hey, Who Really Cares? posted by puny human at 3:18 PM PST - 20 comments
Once the fungus invades its victim’s body, it’s already too late.The invader spreads through the host in a matter of days. . . . Just before dying, the infected body—a zombie—grasps a perch as the mature fungal invader erupts from the back of the zombie’s head to rain down spores on unsuspecting victims below, starting the cycle again. This isn’t the latest gross-out moment from a George A. Romero horror film; it is part of a very real evolutionary arms race between a parasitic fungus and its victims, ants. (SL Smithsonian article) posted by bearwife at 2:31 PM PST - 80 comments
How They Did It - A Republican Strategy Session 11 days before Obama's inauguration. 'How they did it is the story of one of the most remarkable Congressional campaigns in more than a half-century, characterized by careful plotting by Republicans, miscalculations by Democrats and a new political dynamic with forces out of both parties’ control.'
'At that Republican retreat in January 2009, gathering inside a historic inn in Annapolis, Md., the group — led by Representatives John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, and Eric Cantor of Virginia, the whip — did not tolerate the hand-wringing that consumed so many Republicans that dark winter.
Instead, they walked through a by-the-numbers picture of Democratic vulnerability that had been lost in the excitement over Mr. Obama’s election.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 1:27 PM PST - 143 comments
"Tired of arguing with climate change deniers in 140 character quips, [programmer Nigel Leck] wrote a script to do it for him. Chatbot @AI_AGW scans Twitter every five minutes searching for hundreds of phrases that fit the usual denier argument paradigm. Then it serves them up some science." (via by way of via) posted by m0nm0n at 12:21 PM PST - 57 comments
Mr Mowatt said he had always wondered what lay under an 8ft stone in the garden and eventually curiosity got the better of him, "On the screen... I could clearly see what I thought was a white skull, with two eye sockets, looking back at me." [more inside] posted by BadMiker at 10:00 AM PST - 39 comments
Three or four nights after surgery – when, in the words of the staff, I have ‘mobilised’ – I come out of the bathroom and spot a circus strongman squatting on my bed. He sees me too; from beneath his shaggy brow he rolls a liquid eye. Brown-skinned, naked except for the tattered hide of some endangered species, he is bouncing on his heels and smoking furiously without taking the cigarette from his lips: puff, bounce, puff, bounce. What rubbish, I think, actually shouting at myself, but silently. This is a no-smoking hospital. It is impossible this man would be allowed in, to behave as he does. Therefore he’s not real, and if he’s not real I can take his space. As I get into bed beside him, the strongman vanishes. I pick up my diary and record him: was there, isn’t any more.
"One of the categories of garbage has its own word in New York City, but it’s a category found everywhere that there is trash. There are things people will put out for discard: they’re done with it, they don’t want to see it again. Somebody else looks at that same object and says, “Whoa, wait a minute. That’s pretty nice. I want to keep that.” Those two chairs you’re sitting in were on the curb to be thrown out. They’re pretty nice chairs. I’m happy to have them. In New York, that’s called mongo. It’s a noun and a verb: those are mongo. People who take things from the trash to keep are mongoing. " [more inside] posted by liketitanic at 9:50 PM PST - 87 comments
The idea behind Whatever Happened To Alternative Nation? is to look back at an era that’s both incredibly important and yet mysteriously absent from my life as a music fan.Part 1: 1990: “Once upon a time, I could love you”. Part 2: 1991: “What’s so civil about war anyway?” Part 3: 1992: Pearl Jam, the perils of fame, and the trouble with avoiding it posted by Joe Beese at 3:01 PM PST - 60 comments
"I just finished serving jury duty at the Van Nuys Superior Court. My case involved a man who was suing a stripper and strip club for a “fractured penis” injury he received while getting a nude lap dance. The stripper was from Sweden. The strip club owner was a retired porn star. There were many experts. Needless to say, this case was kind of awesome. As a member of the jury, I was given a pad and pen for note taking. The case lasted 7 days." posted by gman at 8:10 AM PST - 55 comments
Mr. Vonnegut talked about my dad a lot and put him into a lot of his books. Sometimes he was Dad, and sometimes he was just a character Mr. Vonnegut made up. So what I would say to any of you who are wondering is this: My dad was what people called a real character, which always made us laugh because it was so literally true owing to his association with a famous fiction writer. He could also get pretty obnoxious. But he was a good man. And he definitely wasn’t crazy. At least not until the brain tumor.
The border crossing at Wagah between India and Pakistan has long been host to one of the most bizarre rituals in diplomacy, one which draws massive crowds to witness its daily spectacle. Sadly, all good things come to an end. posted by Biru at 3:22 PM PST - 57 comments
"I don't know what I was thinking. I guess Liz's tenacity [at attempting to climb the tree] bought enough time to chase the thought 'what can this metal thing do if it's pointed up instead of down?' to its logical conclusion." At the end of election season, sanity and compassion are restored as an amputee uses his prosthetic to give a tree-climbing kid a little boost. posted by ocherdraco at 2:56 PM PST - 8 comments
DisunionOne-hundred-and-fifty years ago, Americans went to war with themselves. Disunion revisits and reconsiders America's most perilous period -- using contemporary accounts, diaries, images and historical assessments to follow the Civil War as it unfolded. Updated every Monday. posted by OmieWise at 1:19 PM PST - 39 comments
It's Election Day in America, and as is so often the case in this fickle land, the results of the 2010 midterm elections are up in the air. Although President Obama's party is expected to suffer significant losses, record numbers of districts remain competitive, and even minute errors in polling could mean the difference between a historic Republican landslide and an unexpectedly robust Democratic defense. At stake are control of not just the Senate and House, but myriad state and local offices, many of which will play key roles in the dynamics of the 2012 presidential race -- and, more subtly but no less crucially, the once-in-a-decade congressionalredistricting process. Much uncertainty surrounds the behavior of the electorate -- how many will turn out, and how informed will they be? To help move those statistics in the right direction, look inside for voter guides, national and state fact checkers, and an assortment of other resources to keep tabs on as the results roll in. [more inside] posted by Rhaomi at 8:45 AM PST - 858 comments
Transgender Man Plays on Women's College Team. A guard for George Washington University's women's basketball team is a transgender man. Kye Allums, who was born female and has not undergone any hormone treatments, changed his name from Kay-Kay to Kye within the last year and was relieved not to lose his scholarship. "When people refer to me as 'girl' or 'she,' it doesn't sit well with me," Allums said. "That feeling you get when someone pisses you off, that feeling you get when your stomach gets hot and it aches, that's what it feels like. And that's how I know I'm not supposed to be a girl." On Nov. 13, he will be the first transgender person to compete in Division One college basketball, according to OutSports. Opposing fans used to taunt Allums about his masculine build, but it backfired. "I love it," he said. "It makes me feel better about myself to hear them call me a man." posted by rcade at 8:21 AM PST - 187 comments
Old school hardware hacker, Postscript enthusiast, electronics writer, woo debunker, all around geek, and now amateur archaeologist Don Lancaster (prev 1, 2) needs you. And maybe some of your nerdy gadgets. [more inside] posted by 2N2222 at 12:36 AM PST - 6 comments
The nuclear weapons simulator at CarlosLabs (previously) has been updated to include fallout wind drift, pressure and thermal events to evaluate the impact of everything from a suitcase nuke to the Tsar Bomba on your city. The Missile Range Tool can show if you are in the vicinity of any delivery systems currently in service, or compare your location to the range of those used historically, such as the V2. For the effects of the cosmic collisions of asteroids and comets (and featuring rather more science) there's the Earth Impact Effects Program. posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:42 PM PST - 41 comments
The CIA spent 20 years promoting modern art as a propaganda tool: "We wanted to unite all the people who were writers, who were musicians, who were artists, to demonstrate that the West and the United States was devoted to freedom of expression and to intellectual achievement, without any rigid barriers as to what you must write, and what you must say, and what you must do, and what you must paint, which was what was going on in the Soviet Union. I think it was the most important division that the agency had, and I think that it played an enormous role in the Cold War." posted by BZArcher at 10:23 AM PST - 50 comments
Artist Aram Bartholl (creator of CAPTCHA business cards) has embedded USB sticks in various walls, buildings and curbs accessible throughout New York City for Dead Drops: "an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space." (Flickr) [more inside] posted by zarq at 8:08 AM PST - 58 comments
Chrontendo is a video podcast in which a guy systematically described and discusses every Famicom/NES game released. Currently up to 33 episodes and counting, and covering hundreds of games. [more inside] posted by JHarris at 2:39 AM PST - 23 comments