Reading Blaise Cendrars is like stepping into another universe. His fiction is unlike anything else I've ever read. His poetry influenced the mighty Guillaume Apollinaire and helped shape the face of modernism. But it is his mockery of biographical detail and the very notion of literature that fascinates me the most. If, like me, you're not a fan of autobiography, then Blaise Cendrars is the memoirist for you. posted by Trurl at 6:51 PM PST - 10 comments
Turns out you can up learning rate with a small current across brain Scientific American:
Amping Up Brain Function: Transcranial Stimulation Shows Promise in Speeding Up Learning
Electrical stimulation of subjects' brains is found to accelerate learning in military and civilian subjects, although researchers are yet wary of drawing larger conclusions about the mechanism....
I believe I've also seen some posts on external (strong) magnetic fields being able to hinder or help learning as well. Strange times we live in. posted by aleph at 1:58 PM PST - 37 comments
Critics of the Occupy Wall Street movement have complained that the protestors have no clear goals, so WE DON'T MAKE DEMANDS composed a list of 12 concrete, specific suggestions focusing on economic reform, stronger regulation, and closing loopholes. posted by The Whelk at 8:01 AM PST - 193 comments
「こくせん ― 黒板戦争」(Blackboard War) is a homemade stop motion video created by some students (out of more than 2500 still photos) for their school's culture festival. There is also a sequel (made from more than 3000 photos this time). posted by emmling at 5:46 AM PST - 14 comments
What if anyone in need of blood could find it anywhere? Based on this question, Hospital Albert Einstein created an innovative way to make people aware of the need for blood donations. They placed blood bags in refrigerators of several convenience stores throughout São Paulo. The customers were amazed to find them beside sodas and sandwiches. Their reactions were filmed. posted by twoleftfeet at 3:03 AM PST - 51 comments
Protesters vs. Supreme Council of Armed Forces Tahrir Square: "For five straight days, nearly 120 continuous hours, thousands of protesters, most of them young men and women, did battle with security forces. Police used live ammunition, rubber bullets, shotgun cartridges, and an astonishing amount of tear gas. Protesters fought back mostly with rocks and sometimes Molotov cocktails." [more inside] posted by jcrcarter at 8:35 PM PST - 39 comments
"Skyrim is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to Skyrim. [...] Lately, one of my favorite parts of Skyrim are the in-game books. At any time, you can pull a book off the shelf, and get a nice fresh slice of lore to go along with your hearty adventures. I’ve even gone so far as to break into houses in the middle of the night just to read their books." — So says the blogger who decided to extract all 1000+ pages of text contained in the books of Skyrim and format them for EPUB and Kindle. (Skyrim previously) posted by 256 at 4:55 PM PST - 95 comments
Page 23. [SYLT] Apparently, life isn't as perfect as you would assume for the immaculate models living inside the IKEA catalog. With this amusing short, Jeroen Houben, Tim Arts and Stefan van den Boogaard show us the real-life drama that goes on beyond what we can see from the outside. The four minute short won the juryprize and audience award at the 48 Hour Film Project in Utrecht (Netherlands). [Via: Adverblog] posted by Fizz at 3:46 PM PST - 20 comments
For twenty years, the fastest known algorithm to multiply two n-by-n matrices, due to Coppersmith and Winograd, took a leisurely O(n^2.376) steps. Last year, though, buried deep in his PhD thesis, Andy Stothers discussed an improvement to O(n^2.374) steps. And today, Virginia Vassilevska Williams of Berkeley and Stanford, released a breakthrough paper [pdf] that improves the matrix-multiplication time to a lightning-fast O(n^2.373) steps. [via][more inside] posted by albrecht at 1:48 PM PST - 50 comments
Girl Walk // All Day (previously), an epic dance video featuring Girl Talk's album All Day (previously) as the soundtrack, is finally premiering at the Brooklyn Masonic Temple on 12/8. Don't fret if you can't make it to the free dance party though, because the entire film is being released in 12 parts for free over the next six weeks starting today. Here's part one, School's Out. posted by carsonb at 11:09 AM PST - 14 comments
In a room near Maida Vale, a journalist for The Nation wrote around 1914, an unfortunate creature is strapped to the table of an unlicensed vivisector. When the subject is pinched with a pair of forceps, it winces. It is so strapped that its electric shudder of pain pulls the long arm of a very delicate lever that actuates a tiny mirror. This casts a beam of light on the frieze at the other end of the room, and thus enormously exaggerates the tremor of the creature. A pinch near the right-hand tube sends the beam 7 or 8 feet to the right, and a stab near the other wire sends it as far to the left. "Thus," the journalist concluded, "can science reveal the feelings of even so stolid a vegetable as the carrot." posted by vidur at 10:26 PM PST - 29 comments
It's Good to be Tim Tebow. "Tim Tebow’s completion percentage is 44.8 percent. Take away his magical fourth quarters and the number is closer to 30 percent. This kind of awful is in the 'Shaq free-throw percentage, Mario Mendoza batting average' sports hall of fame. But he’s not awful in the turgid unwatchable way that, say, a Kate Hudson movie is awful. He’s fascinating/awful." posted by sweetkid at 9:05 PM PST - 215 comments
Webcam is a short film which explores the concept (and apparent reality) of "webcam hacking." Straight link Vimeo. Warning: Vimeo comments contain spoilers. posted by kkrvgz at 8:19 PM PST - 37 comments
Growing up, she was a beloved celebrity in her home country. Thousands of girls were named after her. So was a bestselling perfume. But Josef Stalin's "Little Sparrow," his only daughter, (born Svetlana Stalina) defected to the United States in 1967. Upon arriving in New York, she promptly held a pressconference that surprised the world, denouncing her father's regime. Svetlana became a naturalized US citizen, moved to Taliesin West, married an American, changed her name to Lana Peters, then returned to the Soviet Union in 1984, declaring that she had not been free "for one single day" in the U.S., only to once again return to America in 1986. She lived out her remaining days in a small town in Wisconsin. Mrs. Peters passed away from colon cancer on November 22nd, at the age of 85.[more inside] posted by zarq at 2:16 PM PST - 39 comments
"Because of our mutant powers of obsession, it’s my guess that a lot of nerds suffer from addiction. Nerds get caught up in minutiae, because there is a tremendous and fulfilling sense of control in understanding every single detail of a thing more than any other living creature. But we also tend to have a very active internal monologue (in some cases, dialog). These are some delightful ingredients—mixed with a bit of genetic predisposition—for overdoing things that make us feel good in the moment." Chris Hardwick offers "self-help for nerds." posted by jbickers at 1:58 PM PST - 23 comments
MotherBoard TV: The Thorium DreamIf, like many of the world's leaders, you are eager for a dependable and cheap energy source that doesn't spew toxins and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere -- and that doesn't result in terrible, billion dollar accidents -- you can end your search now.
At least, that's the news from a tight-knit collective of energy blogs, dedicated to a common but relatively unknown metal called thorium.
In the right kind of nuclear reactor, they say, thorium could power the world forever -- and without the problems that come with the nuclear energy we use today, from Fukushima-like meltdowns to the difficult by-products of plutonium that leave behind radioactive waste and weapons material.
The idea certainly sounds like the stuff of fringe internet conspiracists, but it was actually born in the U.S. government's major atomic lab in the 1960s under the auspices of one of the country's most respected nuclear scientists, and the inventor of today's most common kind of nuclear technology, the light water reactor. - Thorium: World's Greatest Energy Breakthrough?[more inside] posted by ninjew at 1:08 PM PST - 58 comments
Teddy Bear does not believe in caring and sharing when it comes to corn on the cob. Snickers pretty much feels the same way. (Sorry, no dubstep remix -- yet.) posted by maudlin at 11:36 AM PST - 32 comments
Japanese artist Namio Harukawa (NSFW) has a singular vision/obsession: women in charge. In virtually all of his paintings and drawings, women radiate the bemusement of the Mona Lisa as they are sexually serviced by men who appear to be little more than appendages of the women’s sexual organs. Astride the faces of hapless males, the women are magnificent in their utterly cruel detachment.
This past weekend was Canadian Football League (CFL)'s title game -- for the Grey Cup. But almost as much as the game itself, a sideshow eruption of an old feud took centre stage this year. 48 years ago, Hamilton Ti-Cats' Angelo Mosca was widely ripped for having levelled BC Lions' running back Willie Fleming with a "questionable" hit in the 1963 title match that took Fleming out of the game. Hamilton went on to win and BC's quarterback at the time, Joe Kapp, has apparently been fuming about the hit ever since. When he and Mosca appeared on stage together at this year's CFL Alumni Luncheon, it was game on all over again. (Some coverage has since suggested it was staged but a viewing of the video, which has since gone viral, leaves that an open question. Mosca, who followed his football career with several years on the pro wrestling circuit, swings a mean cane, while Kapp appears to have kept his right cross in form.) posted by Mike D at 7:11 AM PST - 36 comments
A radical new idea is turning schools upside down. 'Flip the Classroom' is based on a simple concept: kids watch podcast video presentations of lecture material on their own time - at home. They then do the 'homework' at school, in an environment where the teachers can guide and support them, instructing on specific points as required. Colorado teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams have been pioneering the technique, and their Learning4Mastery website is a fount of information on it. [more inside] posted by woodblock100 at 5:23 AM PST - 65 comments
It has long been noted that style manuals and other usage advice frequently contain unintended examples of the usage they condemn. (This is sometimes referred to as Hartman's law or Muphry's law - an intentional misspelling of Murphy.)
Starting from this observation, Joseph Williams' paper The Phenomenology of Error offers an examination of our selective attention to different types of grammatical and usage errors that goes beyond the descriptivism-prescriptivism debate. (alternate pdf link for "The Phenomenology of Error") [more inside] posted by nangar at 5:23 AM PST - 17 comments
Yet by 1944 the IRS named Barbara Stanwyck the highest-paid woman in America. From 1930-57, she did a minimum of two pictures a year, sometimes even four or five. Yet it wasn't workaholism, according to the actress: "I was afraid they'd get somebody better, frankly. I never really thought I had any clout. For a lot of years I was free-lancing, by choice, but I think discipline stays with you. It's this fear that maybe somebody can come in and take over. Maybe a Redford or a Streep can take the luxury of a year off, but I never thought I could. Of course, we were more workable in those days. And they make more money now. Anyway, I never had self-assurance about leaving." posted by Trurl at 4:19 PM PST - 41 comments
"Little is changing modern India more than the spread of cars, a four-wheeled reflection of its economic transformation and a window into the aspirations of the new Indian middle class." posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:55 PM PST - 23 comments
The Recipe Project (as heard recently on a number of food radio programs), by One Ring Zero, takes recipes from famous chefs and sets them to music. The chefs got to choose the style of music, and some even have videos too! Listen to a recipe for "Brains and Eggs" (Chris Cosentino) in the style of the Beastie Boys, or recipes from Mario Batali, David Chang and many more. posted by AnnaRat at 3:30 PM PST - 2 comments
Missed "The Muppets" in theaters this weekend?* "How They Felt" is a short film co-starring a Muppet (apparently a Muppet Whatnot with custom wardrobe) that was part of this year's Boston 48 Hour Film Project, where it placed 2nd for Best film, won Best Actress (for the woman behind the Muppet) and also... "Best Sex Scene". Yeah, now you wanna see it. But be warned. Not a happy ending. It will either make you cry or make you want to strangle the filmmakers.
*then it's YOUR fault "Breaking Dawn" was #1 at the box office (does not apply to non-USAians) posted by oneswellfoop at 12:17 PM PST - 69 comments
There has been a string of recent crimes and other less positive events at Waffle House restaurants spread across the American south. "Another day, another Waffle House robbery" read a headline in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Waffle house has is its own museum, detractors, and supporters and opinions on all sides. (NYT) posted by Xurando at 12:06 PM PST - 60 comments
"Speech on the Internet requires a series of intermediaries to reach its audience. Each intermediary is vulnerable to some degree to pressure from those who want to silence the speaker. Even though the Internet is decentralized and distributed, "weak links" in this chain can operate as choke points to accomplish widespread censorship."Free speech is only as strong as the weakest link posted by rjs at 12:44 AM PST - 24 comments
"...I'm here to present to you - not lectures that are part of some curriculum; but in fact, I've combed the universe for my favorite subjects, and I'm going to spend twelve lectures bringing those favorite subjects to you." Renowned astrophysicist and television host Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses the various aspects of our universe in twelve separate half-hour long lectures (MLYT). [more inside] posted by Evernix at 10:26 PM PST - 40 comments
Serum hemoglobin is related to endurance running performance. Smoking is known to enhance serum hemoglobin levels ... alcohol may further enhance this beneficial adaptation.
A recent paper by Kenneth Myers in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reviews the potential benefits of smoking for endurance atheletes. [more inside] posted by nangar at 5:17 PM PST - 35 comments
In summer 2011 The Flaming Lips released collaborative vinyl EPs with Lightning Bolt, Neon Indian and Prefuse 73. The 'starter blob' of vinyl for each disc was assembled by hand using random amounts of different vinyl colors, ensuring that every record would be unique. Here are a couple of Flickrphotosets of the finished products (and a bit of the process) as they came off the presses. [more inside] posted by mintcake! at 9:01 AM PST - 15 comments
Steal this record. A 1-CD (with DVD, vinyl EP, book, poster and other collectables) edition of live recordings from Elvis Costello's most recent tour is being released as a limited edition - for around $260, with free Super Saver shipping. Expensive special editions aren't new, but this one seems to have caught even Costello by surprise; his official website is advising fans not to buy it, and to get a box set of Louis Armstrong records instead. [more inside] posted by running order squabble fest at 8:12 AM PST - 43 comments
Gaga singing into my vagina: [SLYT] "Ok, it was my sister's and my dad's birthday the day I met Gaga. So I asked her if she could wish them a happy birthday into my crotch, because we couldn't bring phones up and I snuck it into my pants. This is what she said, well sang.
Not my vagina. The poster of this video. posted by Fizz at 7:33 AM PST - 61 comments
A Month In Music - "There are 10,513 MP3s on my hard disk. According to iTunes, that’s nearly 30 days worth of music. It has taken half my life – 15 years – to build this collection but I decided to listen to them all in one go. One continuous concert, playing songs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. I wanted to revist all the songs I'd once loved, and the memories and places they called up. The only choice I made was the first track. After that, the computer randomly decided what was going to play. No stopping. No skipping. No changing the volume. Music, all the time, for a whole month. The Month In Music blog charts the progress of the playback project, updated once a day with original writing and photography."
[via mefi projects] posted by radioedit at 12:16 AM PST - 70 comments
The creators of Italian Spiderman were hired by Australia's multicultural TV network, SBS, to produce Danger 5: "Set in a bizarre, 1960s inspired version of World War II, action comedy series DANGER 5 follows a team of five spies on a mission to kill Adolf Hitler." The six-part TV series will air in February 2012, but the trailer and the first instalment of a promotional web-series are now playing. posted by robcorr at 2:29 PM PST - 30 comments
The best Thanksgiving song for nerds ever. In which geek comedy songsters Paul and Storm essay the things they are thankful for and ask whatever motivates the universe to take a moment and deliver a special message to your friend and mine, George Lucas. (NSFW language, but if you're in the US, hopefully you're not at work on Thanksgiving.) posted by jscalzi at 10:47 AM PST - 9 comments
Despite appearing early in his career,Aguirre, the Wrath of Godis for me the quintessential Herzog movie. ... It deals with possibly the most obsessed group of people in history, the Spanish conquistadors, and their desperate hunt for the most magic of all Grails, the elusive golden land of El Dorado – leaving destruction and death to millions in their wake. A few lines in an old chronicle is all that remains of the historical facts, thus leaving plenty of room for Herzog to employ his imagination and re-arrange the facts. In short: an ideal topic for a visionary director, tackled with just the right crew, and on a location guaranteed to make the shooting an ordeal in itself. posted by Trurl at 9:31 AM PST - 40 comments
"The rigorous division of websites into narrow interests, the attempts of Amazon and Netflix to steer your next purchase based on what you’ve already bought, the ability of Web users to never encounter anything outside of their established political or cultural preferences, and the way technology enables advertisers to identify each potential market and direct advertising to it, all represent the triumph of cultural segregation that is the negation of democracy. It’s the reassurance of never having to face anyone different from ourselves." – Charles Taylor, The Problem with Film Criticism posted by Rory Marinich at 6:30 AM PST - 56 comments
When they were making The Karate Kid, they decided to shoot each scene's rehearsal with budget cameras so the actors could watch themselves back afterwards. Now it's been edited together so that it forms a version of the movie that looks like it was shot and made by eight graders in their basement, including loads of unseen scenes (SLYT)- The Karate Kid Rehearsal Movie. posted by rudhraigh at 5:41 AM PST - 28 comments
Vladimir Putin booed live on Russian TV. Taking a rare evening off from propping up Bashar Assad and threatening to station missiles on EU borders, past and future President - and current Prime Minister - Vladimir Putin relaxed at a mixed martial arts fight last Sunday night at Moscow's Olimpisky Arena. When he stepped into the ring after the bout to address the crowd however, his reception was as hostile as the fight had been. The muzzled Russian media have either ignored the incident or claimed the booing was directed at Jeff "The Snowman" Monson, but thousands of comments on the American's facebook wall tell a different story. [more inside] posted by joannemullen at 4:00 AM PST - 29 comments
"Somebody's turkey might come out better and somebody's turkey comes out worse but just remember: it's just a f*cking turkey." Tante Marie offers last-minute, no nonsense advice on how to make a Thanksgiving turkey. [more inside] posted by Deathalicious at 7:27 PM PST - 80 comments
Yo boys. I am sing song. Soup song. Flop song."It's not meant to be anti-anything. Director [Aishwarya Dhanush] said the situation demanded a light-hearted fun song about love failure. I came up with a tune in ten minutes. I don't know what kind of mood Dhanush was in… he started singing in broken English and came up with this in 20 minutes. It just happened".
Presenting India's newest music phenomenon, a Tamil-English dada-ist patische eulogizing unrequited love through Madras street-slang, and hypnotic earthy drums. [more inside] posted by the cydonian at 5:35 PM PST - 26 comments
Mahna Mahna -- the signature Muppets tune you all know and love? It came from the soundtrack of an Italian soft porn film about Swedish lesbians. posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:57 PM PST - 61 comments
"Transforming the second chapter of Ellen Ripley's ongoing war with the Xenomorphs into an icecapade is the kind of loony idea that that can only possibly exist after someone has exploded fireworks inside a crowded bar to simulate RoboCop's iconic gas station explosion while the titular cyborg breaks into a musical interlude describing his existential crisis. Anything else would be a step back after that."
American biologist Lynn Margulis has died. Prolific and determined, Margulis was best known for her development of Endosymbiotic Theory, the now widely-accepted idea that complex cells began as a combination of simpler, prokaryotic ones, and the Gaia Hypothesis, which posited the Earth as a type of living organism. Some of her later ideas, including the claim that HIV is not the cause of AIDS or that caterpillers and butterflies were once separate organisms, received less support, but Endosymbiotic Theory, in the words of Richard Dawkins, remains "one of the great achievements of twentieth-century evolutionary biology." posted by Tubalcain at 10:34 AM PST - 32 comments
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is using a challenge program to find out whether it's possible to put shredded documents back together again.
"DARPA’s Shredder Challenge calls upon computer scientists, puzzle enthusiasts and anyone else who likes solving complex problems to compete for up to $50,000 by piecing together a series of shredded documents.
The goal is to identify and assess potential capabilities that could be used by our warfighters operating in war zones, but might also create vulnerabilities to sensitive information that is protected through our own shredding practices throughout the U.S. national security community." [more inside] posted by keli at 9:30 AM PST - 55 comments
If we trace liberal disappointment with President Obama to its origins, to try to pinpoint the moment when his crestfallen supporters realized that this was Not Change They Could Believe In, the souring probably began on December 17, 2008, when Obama announced that conservative Evangelical pastor Rick Warren would speak at his inauguration. “Abominable,” fumed John Aravosis on AmericaBlog. “Obama’s ‘inclusiveness’ mantra always seems to head only in one direction—an excuse to scorn progressives and embrace the Right,” seethed Salon’s Glenn Greenwald. On MSNBC, Rachel Maddow rode the story almost nightly: “I think the problem is getting larger for Barack Obama.” Negative 34 days into the start of the Obama presidency, the honeymoon was over.
Address is Approximate. "A lonely desk toy longs for escape from the dark confines of the office, so he takes a cross country road trip to the Pacific Coast in the only way he can – using a toy car and Google Maps Street View." posted by BoringPostcards at 7:54 AM PST - 12 comments
Shopper Stalking: Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two U.S. malls -- Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. -- will track guests' movements by monitoring the signals from their cell phones. "It's just not invasive of privacy," said Stephanie Shriver-Engdahl, vice president of digital strategy for Forest City. "There are no risks to privacy, so I don't see why anyone would opt out." (Consumers can opt out by turning off their phones.) posted by Blake at 5:14 AM PST - 153 comments
"In winter, the air temperature above the sea ice can be below -20C, whereas the sea water is only about -1.9C. Heat flows from the warmer sea up to the very cold air, forming new ice from the bottom. The salt in this newly formed ice is concentrated and pushed into the brine channels. And because it is very cold and salty, it is denser than the water beneath. The result is the brine sinks in a descending plume. But as this extremely cold brine leaves the sea ice, it freezes the relatively fresh seawater it comes in contact with. This forms a fragile tube of ice around the descending plume, which grows into what has been called a brinicle." A BBC film crew has recorded one of these freezing life on the sea floor. posted by cosmac at 4:08 AM PST - 47 comments
Women journalists confront harassment, sexism when using social mediaYou come to expect it, as a woman writer, particularly if you’re political. You come to expect the vitriol, the insults, the death threats. After a while, the emails and tweets and comments containing graphic fantasies of how and where and with what kitchen implements certain pseudonymous people would like to rape you cease to be shocking, and become merely a daily or weekly annoyance, something to phone your girlfriends about, seeking safety in hollow laughter. posted by modernnomad at 1:58 PM PST - 39 comments
Today the South African parliament, dominated by the ANC, passed by a large majority a media law which will restrict and constrain independent journalism in that country. Indeed, the law seems designed to squeeze, chill or eliminate independent reporting. The state is going to be accountable to the state. [George Brock]
A Girl's Guide to Attending a Gay Bar "If you take away one thing from this article, let it be this: keep your fucking bachelorette party out of our bars. If you treat my safe space like your zoo, I will seduce your fiance while you're out selecting stationary." See also: Queers Read This (1990), "Rules of Conduct for Straight People". posted by sevenyearlurk at 8:46 AM PST - 266 comments
Stanford has announced new online courses for January 2012. Like the three courses currently running (1,2,3), these courses are free, open to the general public, and have no required textbook (previously). [more inside] posted by -jf- at 7:54 AM PST - 28 comments
Now, we've shown that Facebook promotes captive content on its network ahead of content on the web, prohibits users from bringing open content into their network, warns users not to visit web content, and places obstacles in front of visits to web sites even if they've embraced Facebook's technologies and registered in Facebook's centralized database of sites on the web.[more inside] posted by Kimberly at 7:33 AM PST - 79 comments
One of my favorite blogs happens to be local to me. Eric Berger, the Houston Chronicle's "SciGuy" usually reports on the weather. But he also posts entertaining and serious stuff as well. [more inside] posted by PapaLobo at 6:57 AM PST - 3 comments
One of the biggest stars of TV and movies talks about his 30-year career, his relationship with Jim Henson, and his brand new movie. Jian Ghomeshi talks to Kermit the Frog, on the video version of Ghomeshi's radio show, Q.
Unfortunately, you have to put up with some ads before and during the interview. posted by angiep at 10:20 PM PST - 29 comments
“Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good,” Mark Zuckerberg said recently. “They are 100 times better.” Bull hockey, says Bill Taylor in the Harvard Business Review: great people are overrated. See also Great People are Overrated, II and Malcolm Gladwell's 2002 take on the same theme, The Talent Myth. posted by escabeche at 8:04 PM PST - 107 comments
Although [Michael] Mann has said he was inspired by a true story from Chicago in the late 1960s, the film is no gritty realist number about desperate thievery. Rather, HEAT is a high-gloss creature of its time, utilizing the classic "duel between cop and robber"... to thematize lifestyle issues in the mid-1990s. Specifically I argue that, for all its slickness and emphasis on style and personality, HEAT is a film about work and its increasing personal costs. For the characters in HEAT, work provides excitement* and challenge, but it ultimately excludes any emotional life outside of the demands of the job.*That's the shootout scene posted by Trurl at 5:18 PM PST - 108 comments
If you're looking for some uplifting dance music to help you get your week going, Goldroom's Otoño Mix 2011 is a very soulful nu-disco collection that pairs nicely with The Magician's Magic Tape Sixteen. Need something with more energy? Edwin van Cleef's November mix is a bit more hands in the air, perfectly suited for the elimination of afternoon doldrums. [more inside] posted by beaucoupkevin at 4:58 AM PST - 41 comments
Around the World in 80 Days is a BBC television travel series first broadcast in 1989. It was presented by comedian and actor Michael Palin.The show was inspired by Jules Verne's classic novel Around the World in Eighty Days, in which a character named Phileas Fogg accepts a wager to circumnavigate the globe in eighty days or less. Palin was given the same deadline... Here's Episode 1 - The Challenge. [more inside] posted by twoleftfeet at 3:09 AM PST - 35 comments
Today, November 20, is the Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day to remember all the people who've been killed in the past year out of transphobia. As before, the vast majority are poor trans women of color. Also as before, the true numbers are almost certainly far higher than the reported numbers.
Ceremonies are being held around the world; see the website for details. posted by jiawen at 12:25 PM PST - 82 comments
Where Did All The Adderall Go? A mysterious American adderall shortage has paralyzed the cognition and emptied the pocketbooks of millions of legal tweakers this year. Try to pay attention: it's a fun history of amphetamine, shortages, grotesque corporate greed and the Holy Grail of Big Pharma business models that is the "addiction-proof" addictive drug. [via mefi projects] [more inside] posted by DarlingBri at 12:29 PM PST - 183 comments
What do you give a spoiled brat who has everything? His own monster, of course. "My Bloody Lad" is two manic minutes of imaginatively morbid mayhem* from a team of four French student animators who call themselves Dead Walter. SLVimeo for now, but we'll be seeing more from these warped toonsmiths for sure.
* probably enough cartoon gore and ghoulish content to earn an NSFW on the weekend posted by oneswellfoop at 1:45 AM PST - 10 comments
There are those points in every interactive designer’s career when he becomes fed up with producing the same set of graphics all over again for every website he designs. It could be the social network icons or gallery arrows. Similar for interactive developers that have to slice the same GIFs and PNGs each time the art director asks them to. Until now. Just Be Nice Studio came up with a typeface that includes frequently used iconographics and symbols. Although, the idea is not unique — Webdings and Windings have been around for quite some time — all of them have a lot of unnecessary symbols. Web Symbols is a set of vector html-compliant typefaces, so it might be used in any size, color and browser (okay, mostly — but IE7 for sure). posted by netbros at 4:25 PM PST - 37 comments
"But when a saga popular with pre-adolescent girls peaks romantically on a night that leaves the heroine to wake up covered with bruises in the shape of her husband's hands — and when that heroine then spends the morning explaining to her husband that she's incredibly happy even though he injured her, and that it's not his fault because she understands he couldn't help it in light of the depth of his passion — that's profoundly irresponsible." MetaFilter's own Linda Holmes on the "psychosexual horror-show" that is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. [more inside] posted by davidjmcgee at 1:44 PM PST - 274 comments
Are you tired of reading about how neuroscientists have discovered the area of the brain devoted to a single, oddly-specific function, but lack access to the sophisticated neuroimaging technologies needed to refute them? NeuroSynth has you covered. [more inside] posted by logicpunk at 11:15 AM PST - 12 comments
"By putting an [unelected] senior adviser at Goldman Sachs in charge of a Western nation, it has taken to new heights the political power of an investment bank that you might have thought was prohibitively politically toxic."This is The Goldman Sachs Project[more inside] posted by rubyrudy at 9:28 AM PST - 67 comments
Shakespeare was not a full-time writer without other responsibilities, like O’Neill or Williams. But what might look like a distraction for such authors—acting in his own and other people’s plays, coaching fellow players, helping manage the ownership of the troupe’s resources (including its two theaters, the Globe and Blackfriars)—was a strength for Shakespeare, since it made him a day-by-day observer of what the troupe could accomplish, actor by actor. [...]
'According to Pacini,' Julian Budden writes in The Operas of Verdi, 'it was the custom at the San Carlo theatre, Naples, for the composer to turn the pages for the leading cello and double bass players on opening nights.' The composer had to change his score to fit new voices if there were substitutions caused by illness or some other accident. In subsequent performances, he was expected to take out or put in arias for the different houses, transposing keys, changing orchestration. He was not a man of the study but of the theater.
That's the drawback of the modern lab mouse. It's cheap, efficient, and highly standardized—all of which qualities have made it the favorite tool of large-scale biomedical research. But as Mattson points out, there's a danger to taking so much of our knowledge straight from the animal assembly line. The inbred, factory-farmed rodents in use today—raised by the millions in germ-free barrier rooms, overfed and understimulated and in some cases pumped through with antibiotics—may be placing unseen constraints on what we know and learn.
Bert and Ernie recording their voices for TomTom. This is perhaps the funniest viral ad for a product that I've seen. TomTom in-car navigation systems offer custom voices to read out directions, and their latest additions are from Sesame Street. This is the promotional video, showing what the recording session was like... [SLYTPB] posted by Slap*Happy at 6:19 AM PST - 33 comments
Meme Weaver In which "the author tries—and fails—to cash in on a big idea". Warning: skippable full-screen ad alert. Behind it is an article in the Atlantic (the magazine, not the ocean). Of possible interest to fans and critics of the popular science genre of books, Wikipedians, and underdog/failure sympathisers. posted by nthdegx at 5:06 AM PST - 7 comments
Last year Minnesota Wild prospect Mikael Granlund turned heads with his Floorball-style (or 'lacross-style' for the uninitiated) goal during Finland's semifinal game against Russia in the World Championships. Mikael's younger brother Markus notched a similar goal today. posted by mannequito at 1:27 AM PST - 23 comments
As the salar has no natural outflow, when it does rain the salar floods with an extremely thin layer of water (barely ankle deep even at its most extreme), creating what is essentially the world’s largest mirror. posted by Chrysostom at 9:42 PM PST - 16 comments
Donald Crowhurst (1932–1969) was a British businessman and amateur sailor who died while competing in the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race, a single-handed, round-the-world yacht race. Crowhurst had entered the race in hopes of winning a cash prize from The Sunday Times to aid his failing business. Instead, he encountered difficulty early in the voyage, and secretly abandoned the race while reporting false positions, in an attempt to appear to complete a circumnavigation without actually circling the world. Evidence found after his disappearance indicates that this attempt ended in insanity and suicide. (previously: 1, 2) posted by Trurl at 9:14 PM PST - 11 comments
Nature, one of the most well known (and well cited) scientific journals, recently published a humor piece entitled Womanspace. A senior editor of Nature, Henry Gee, commented last month on the article: "I'm amazed we haven't had any outraged comments about this story." Well, the outraged comments have arrived. [more inside] posted by demiurge at 7:18 PM PST - 88 comments
Some interesting things have recently happened in the world of solar power: Evergreen and Solyndra have gone bankrupt, panel cost has gone sub $1.00/watt, and China has vastly increased production capacities. [more inside] posted by thewalrus at 6:51 PM PST - 103 comments
What Middletown Read. Robert and Helen Lynd's immersive studies of early 20th century Muncie, Indiana, published as Middletown (1929) and Middletown in Transition (1937), are classics of American sociology. Ball State's Center for Middletown Studies has created a database of the circulation records from the Muncie Public Library from 1891-1902, providing a rare glimpse of the reading habits of turn-of-the-century middle America. Slate examines the project and what it reveals. posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:03 PM PST - 7 comments
Google Music v iTunes Match v Amazon Cloud Player.
Google has officially launched its (U.S. only) "Google Music" service, which aims to do for the Android market what iTunes and the recently unveiled (U.S. only) iTunes Match service does for Apple. All three services allow you to upload thousands of songs to the "Cloud". This music store showdown could revolutionise the way people collect, store and listen to music - or not. posted by joannemullen at 3:45 PM PST - 85 comments
In 1975, 10-year-old Stephanie was followed by photographer Jill Krementz as the subject of the book A Very Young Dancer (Stephanie was a student at the School of American Ballet, and was chosen by George Balanchine to play Marie in that year's production of the Nutcracker. Now, 34 years later, the New York Times has found her again. posted by ChuraChura at 12:55 PM PST - 26 comments
Leaping Sundogs"...that little wisp suddenly snaps into a new shape, as if someone had stopped the video, waited for the cloud to change, then started up the video again."More here. posted by dhruva at 9:54 AM PST - 11 comments
Depressed? Has all the negativity in the media got you down? Can't take one more awful news story? Me too. Maybe what you need is a new #1 news source for breaking news and investigative journalism fluffy animals![more inside] posted by Space Kitty at 10:11 PM PST - 26 comments
Mr. Rockefeller has not squandered his income. He has applied it for thirty-five years to accumulating not only oil property but real estate — railroad stock, iron mines, copper mines, anything and everything which could be bought cheap by temporary depressing and made to yield rich by his able management. For thirty-five years he has worked for special privileges giving him advantages over competitors, for thirty-five years he has patiently laid net-works around property he wanted, until he had it surely corralled and could seize it; for thirty-five years he has depreciated values when necessary to get his prey. And to-day he still is busy. In almost every great financial manoeuvre [sic] in the country is felt his supple, smooth hand with its grip of steel, and while he directs that which is big, nothing is too small for him to grasp.[more inside] posted by Trurl at 6:09 PM PST - 7 comments
Afflicted with writer's block? Need an extra dose of motivation? Written? Kitten! rewards you with a brand new kitty for every hundred words you write. posted by changeling at 3:15 PM PST - 51 comments
In 1887, a glacial geologist named George Frederick Wright was hiking across the Muir Glacier in southeast Alaska when something strange caught his eye. Just as the daylight began to fade, the previously uninterrupted expanse of white snow around him began to develop what appeared to be a five o’clock shadow.... posted by Chrysostom at 2:48 PM PST - 28 comments
For the last two years Scott Toepfer have been taking still photographs for a personal project entitled ‘It’s Better In The Wind,’ all the while collecting video footage from each ride as friends traveled around the Western United States together. Toepfer has been slowly editing the footage into a visual scrapbook of sorts for those who partook, and those who followed them via the web. No preaching the triumphs and failures of the motorcycle industry, no divisive commentary between manufacturers and styles…just a collection of imagery that will hopefully inspire more people to take to the road and discover what there is outside of our respective communities. [via] posted by netbros at 1:51 PM PST - 4 comments
The Metaphysics of Morrowind: an essay series that looks at the deceptively deep lore that surrounds one of the best-loved open world games ever made, and incorporates not only the plot elements of the game world, and the supplementary books scattered for the player to find, but also the meta-narrative of the gameplay itself, including the player character and the construction kit. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4. posted by codacorolla at 12:07 PM PST - 92 comments
Blind Photography "Taking a picture is so easy, you just need a camera, decide at which moment to shoot, press the button and you have your picture. Why can't the blind do this?" (Previously 1, 2) posted by spock at 11:37 AM PST - 12 comments
Portland Nights is a series of structured motion controlled time-lapse clips taken in and around downtown Portland, Oregon at night over the course of several months. posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:16 AM PST - 13 comments
"Things didn’t happen as I imagined. On the one hand, with the situation in Tehran, I expected the police to arrest me. I also thought that the resulting dress wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But it turned out to be more homogenous than I envisaged. Most of the passengers wanted to communicate with me and participate in the project. And I enjoyed this attention and collaboration. The point wasn’t their understanding of the project. I didn’t want anything to be imposed on the audience or participants. I wanted ordinary people to encounter their own personalities without any preconceptions about contemporary art. More than anything, I wanted something to emerge that is shared — between me and everyday metro passengers." The story of fashion student Shirin Abedinirad who conceived and carried out an unusual (and unusually bold) performance art experiment by asking Tehran metro passengers to donate their rubbish to pin on her dress. [more inside] posted by taz at 8:42 AM PST - 10 comments
How Salman Rushdie Used Twitter to Defeat Facebook On Monday, world-famous author Salman Rushdie, who won the “Booker of Booker” prize for his novel Midnight’s Children, revealed that Facebook had deleted his account at the weekend — and then, when he sent the company a copy of his passport to prove who he said he was, denied him the right to use “Salman” as his first name. (The author’s full given name, which he never uses, is Ahmed Salman Rushdie.) posted by sweetkid at 9:52 PM PST - 65 comments
Today marks the 10th birthday of the Xbox. VentureBeat takes an in-depth look back at its history, from its rocky inception to the Kinect. Part 2. [more inside] posted by kyp at 6:17 PM PST - 24 comments
From Colossal:It never ceases to amaze me: just when I think I’ve seen every possible permutation of an artform or technique—be it figurative sculpture, stop motion animation, or in this case, high speed photography—somebody comes along and manages to do something radically different. His photostream. His set up. (flickr) posted by elemenopee at 4:33 PM PST - 10 comments
Daniel Yerginwas recently interviewed on NPR's always informative Planet Money podcast. Yergin—most famous for his 1992 Pulitzer-winning opus on 20th century petroleum development, The Prize—has penned a sequel, of sorts, examining the modern quest for sustainable energy amidst the looming threat of climate change. If The Prize was an epic glorification of the quest for money, oil and power, The Quest is a look at those who might have to clean up the whole mess. "The heroes are the engineers and scientists of the energy world — the geeks, in other words." [more inside] posted by hamandcheese at 1:45 PM PST - 11 comments
Solyndra used to make thin-film solar cells, but they could not make any money. The Department of Energy tried to help with a $535 million “Green” loan guarantee but the DOE missed the memo that says EBITDA needs to be in the black if they expect to keep taxpayers out of the red. Private investors kicked in another $70 million eventually but only after the DOE primed itself. As White House economic advisor Larry Summers noted, “…[government] is a crappy vc [venture capitalist]…" Thanks to the DOE though, 40 employees and 150 contractors got to keep their jobs for an extra week last year according to the WaPo. posted by otto42 at 12:47 PM PST - 45 comments
Jane Austen 'died from arsenic poisoning'. [The Guardian] Crime writer Lindsay Ashford bases claim on reading of author's letters and claims murder cannot be ruled out. Almost 200 years after she died, Jane Austen's early death at the age of just 41 has been attributed to many things, from cancer to Addison's disease. Now sleuthing from a crime novelist has uncovered a new possibility: arsenic poisoning. posted by Fizz at 12:18 PM PST - 37 comments
Yesterday, the Supreme court granted certiorari to several of the challenges to the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Here's a great roundup of several news stories. I like the NPR story for a quick summary of the issues. The Court will hear a total of 5.5 hours of oral argument, and a decision is expected by the end of the current term, in June. posted by insectosaurus at 12:05 PM PST - 77 comments
Princeton's 5th annual Art of Science Competition "The Art of Science exhibition explores the interplay between science and art. These practices both involve the pursuit of those moments of discovery when what you perceive suddenly becomes more than the sum of its parts. Each piece in this exhibition is, in its own way, a record of such a moment." posted by dhruva at 10:15 AM PST - 8 comments
Bruce Wayne's medical history, from Gotham City General Hospital."These recent maladies appear to be in keeping with the pattern that has emerged over the past several years, in which significant medical problems are associated with odd or incongruous explanations." ... "By far the greatest contributor to patient’s ongoing morbidity are his multiple and seemingly ceaseless musculoskeletal injuries." posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:59 AM PST - 63 comments
Gullah—the African-influenced dialect of Georgia’s Sea Islands—has undergone few changes since the first slave ships landed 300 years ago, and provides a clear window into the shaping of African-American English. This classic PBS program traces that story from the west coast of Africa through the American South, then to large northern cities in the 1920s. Studying the origins of West African pidgin English and creole speech—along with the tendency of 19th-century white Southerners to pick up speech habits from their black nursemaids—the program highlights the impact of WWI-era industrialization and the migration of jazz musicians to New York and Chicago. posted by cthuljew at 7:42 AM PST - 12 comments
In Southern California in the 1980s, KROQ had this weird un-DJ-like guy named (seriously) Rodney Bingenheimer, who came on late at night on Sundays and played punk records and new bands like Blondie, The Ramones, X, Joan Jett, Devo and Cheap Trick. Did this weirdo really have some influence? A 90-minute 2004 documentary now on YouTube, Mayor of the Sunset Strip (Part 1) tells his story, and it's weirder than you may have imagined. [more inside] posted by planetkyoto at 9:25 PM PST - 24 comments
Harold Cooper’s Extend New York takes New York City to extremes, by extrapolating every street and avenue of the Manhattan grid to whole planet. What subway line stops at your front door, wherever you are? Why do all Avenues terminate in Shaytankuduk? posted by migurski at 8:22 PM PST - 19 comments
Regardless of the outcomes and foreshadowing, the lethal combination of the sudden musical revival and the roller disco fad that was freshly in the cultural air in the late 70’s was still too good to pass up. It was only inevitable that someone somewhere would make the explosive connection….and at this intersection,Xanaduwould happen...[more inside] posted by Trurl at 5:56 PM PST - 55 comments
The Fourth Turning is a book written by Williams Strauss & Neil Howe and published in 1997. Watch this 1997 C-SPAN interview of the two authors describing their theory. It is pretty shocking looking back 14 years, the turning is happening, but will the results be like Strauss and Howe predict it? You owe it to your self to check it out. [more inside] posted by analogtom at 5:56 PM PST - 32 comments
This one time in Edo Japan, Bashō got together with a bunch of his rich friends from Nagoya to make up a set of interlocking poems (renku) — 36 of them, to be exact (a format called kasen). Then, 320 years later, the complete cycle was animated by a diverse international team of artists. [more inside] posted by Nomyte at 3:22 PM PST - 26 comments
In 1995, Penn and Teller were the creative forces behind the-ultimately-unreleased Sega CD game Penn & Teller's Smoke and Mirrors, which contained several minigames designed to prank or torture your friends...or yourself. The most notorious of these mini-games is Desert Bus, a game vicious in its intentional monotony. [more inside] posted by mreleganza at 2:40 PM PST - 34 comments
The Elements of Drawing: John Ruskin's Teaching Collection at Oxford digitizes the drawings, engravings, and paintings that John Ruskin collected (and created) for use in teaching drawing. The objects can be viewed separately or in their teaching order and context, with Ruskin's own catalog annotations. The site also suggests how modern art students can put the collection to use, with instructional video and a variety of drawing exercises. Ruskin also assembled another fine art collection for working-class viewers in Sheffield; you can see that collection at the Museum of Sheffield, which also helps sponsor a digital reconstruction of the original museum building, the St. George's Museum. posted by thomas j wise at 1:20 PM PST - 5 comments
Pimento cheese, largely unknown outside of the Southern US, is an important player in the rich culinary tradition of the South. This short (15 min) documentary explores the history of the dish and gives a glimpse at just how passionate some folks are about their pimento cheese. [more inside] posted by robstercraw at 12:54 PM PST - 85 comments
Frank Miller is a giant among comic book creators. He gave us The Dark Knight Returns, which rewrote the book on Batman and comics in general. He also gave us seminal versions of Daredevil, Batman, and Wolverine. His Sin City and 300 books are a triumph of design, if not subtlety.
Lately, though, he's taken a different path. He recently released Holy Terror, which in 2005 was to have featured Batman, but now features a renamed stand-in fighting Al-Qaeda. It has been nearly universally panned as a piece of ugly, anti-Muslim propaganda.
Last week, Miller blasted the "Occupy" movement on his blog, describing the participants as, "louts, thieves, and rapists," who, "can do nothing but harm America" and pointing to the looming threat of Al-Qaeda. posted by Legomancer at 9:51 AM PST - 227 comments
"Imagine a world where casual and hardcore gamers can enjoy games together? So instead of hardcore gamers pretending to like wii sports just so they can spend xmas with their family they actually prefer it as opposed to just going off and playing the best hardcore games such as Skyrim or Fable3." From the often hilarious fake Twitter account for "Peter Molyneux 2" comes cascore. Finally, bowling and survival horror come together. [more inside] posted by jbickers at 9:41 AM PST - 13 comments
Malpertuis (Belgium, 1971, aka ‘The Legend of Doom House’) is a movie that has been described as ‘bizarre, lurid and baffling;’ ‘a mysterious curiosity;’ and ‘exquisitely bonkers.’ An international cast led by Mathieu Carrière and Susan Hampshire (playing five rôles) also included Orson Welles. Its director, Harry Kümel, is otherwise best known for his stylish lesbian vampire flickLes Lèvres Rouges (aka ‘Daughters of Darkness’). The movie was adapted from an unusual gothic novel, first published in wartime Brussels—the work of Jean Ray (aka Raymond Jean-Marie de Kremer): a convicted embezzler & prolific hack, who was, nevertheless, one of the foremost exponents of the fantastique in French-language fiction. Please note that some of the links above are NSFW (some nudity) & several contain SPOILERS. [more inside] posted by misteraitch at 1:37 AM PST - 7 comments
Exposing our skin to the sun's ultraviolet rays unfortunately can give rise to a multitude of adverse health effects. Our skin's ability to produce melanin serves as buffer by absorbing those nasty UV rays. But how exactly does our skin know when it's being exposed to UV light? Well, apparently it can see it. [more inside] posted by Isosceles at 8:16 PM PST - 21 comments
Brian Eno - Composers as Gardeners"My topic is the shift from 'architect' to 'gardener', where 'architect' stands for 'someone who carries a full picture of the work before it is made', to 'gardener' standing for 'someone who plants seeds and waits to see exactly what will come up'. I will argue that today's composer are more frequently 'gardeners' than 'architects' and, further, that the 'composer as architect' metaphor was a transitory historical blip."
Between August and October this year the crew of the ISS used a special low-light HD camera to visually capture the earth as it passed beneath them. The result, edited together by Michael König and set to music, is jaw-droppingly spectacular.
Awwwwww yeah, it's that time again! Damien Walters' Showreel 2011 has been released, and while it is slightly shorter than previous years, he sure has some great new tricks up his sleeve. [more inside] posted by lazaruslong at 10:36 AM PST - 14 comments
Edward Sorel: Nice Work If You Can Get It a 20-minute overview of his career as a cartoonist and illustrator, in which the artist goes through a lot of paper in the search for immediacy. Filmed by his son, with commentary by contemporaries Milton Glaser and Jules Feiffer. posted by TimTypeZed at 10:27 AM PST - 4 comments
In 95 years of life, Carl Ruggles composed only 84 minutes of music - including his masterpiece for orchestra, "Sun-Treader". Charles Seeger called it "dissonant counterpoint". Charles Ives called it simply "strong, masculine music". In 1980, Michael Tilson Thomas recorded all of it for a long-out-of-print 2 LP set that has never been reissued on CD. Today, with almost none of the music from this significant American composer commercially available in any form, the Internet Archive has performed a valuable cultural service by hosting a 24-bit lossless rip of the Tilson Thomas set. It is powerful stuff. posted by Trurl at 8:29 AM PST - 32 comments
Star explained: 'It is on the very corner for a few reasons: to make it easy to see that it is on one dime and I think the structure of the table is most sturdy there - plus I just like precarious balance.'
I don’t believe in dissing books I used to love, and I always suspect the moral judgment of people who sneer at the taste of the reader they used to be: “I know thee not, old book.” Six writers talk what's on their shelves. posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:23 AM PST - 72 comments
For decades Dawn Powell was always just on the verge of ceasing to be a cult and becoming a major religion. But despite the work of such dedicated cultists as Edmund Wilson and Matthew Josephson, John Dos Passos and Ernest Hemingway, Dawn Powell never became the popular writer that she ought to have been. In those days, with a bit of luck, a good writer eventually attracted voluntary readers and became popular. Today, of course, "popular" means bad writing that is widely read while good writing is that which is taught to involuntary readers. Powell failed on both counts. She needs no interpretation and in her lifetime she should have been as widely read as, say, Hemingway or the early Fitzgerald or the mid O'Hara or even the late, far too late, Katherine Anne Porter. But Powell was that unthinkable monster, a witty woman who felt no obligation to make a single, much less a final, down payment on Love or The Family; she saw life with a bright Petronian neutrality, and every host at life's feast was a potential Trimalchio to be sent up. - Gore Vidal posted by Trurl at 7:52 AM PST - 38 comments
Running a marathon is a particularly arduous task, even for the most able-bodied athlete. But for a four-year old to run a marathon is extraordinary. Especially a four-year old Indian boy who, at the age of two, was sold by his mother to a street peddler for 800 rupees. Meet Budhia, a prodigious runner and product of the slums, who is taken in and raised by a relentless trainer named Biranchi Das. After Das pushes Budhia to run a 42-mile race (which he completes), governmental agencies intervene and attempt to remove the boy from the custody of Das. Local protests erupt, a man is murdered, and Budhia returns to the care of his mother. This is the story told by the documentary Marathon Boy. // trailer // review // interview with filmmaker posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:12 AM PST - 18 comments
Years before Peter Frampton stuck a tube in his mouth and asked the world, through his guitar, "do you, YOU, feel like I do?" there was a fellow who wanted to make his pedal steel guitar talk. And talk it did. Welcome to the wondrously weird musical universe of Pete Drake: Welcome To My World, Blue Velvet, Am I That Easy To Forget, Only You, Roses Are Red... and here you can see Pete in action, with his whole crew of slightly scary looking players and singers, performing Forever. And, hey, just for good measure, let's check ol' Pete's sound without that crazy tube in his mouth, shall we? A snazzy little number called Panhandle Rag, or this (partial) driving waltz, The Spook. But wait! There's more! It's entirely likely that you've heard Pete already! You just didn't know it was he providing that gorgeous, slippery accompaniment for Bob Dylan on Lay Lady Lay. Thank you, Pete! posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:30 AM PST - 39 comments
Christine Sun Kim is a performance artist working in the realm of sound. She makes beautiful messes. She's also deaf. Todd Selby is a photographer. He's made a film about her. [more inside] posted by artof.mulata at 3:51 AM PST - 8 comments
Wonder Girls are back in Korea with a 2nd album, after a foray into the U.S. including touring with the Jonas Brothers in 2009, and an upcoming movie for Teen Nick, "Wonder Girls at the Apollo." The first single, "Be My Baby" will also be featured in the movie soundtrack. The album also includes their re-interpretation of Korean rock legend Shin Jung-hyeon's "The Beauty" - "Me, In" (link is to trailer for the song). If Wonder Girls are not your cup of tea, some other Korean girl groups: [more inside] posted by needled at 8:19 PM PST - 28 comments
The U.S.S. Carl Vinson, which has provided relief in Haiti after an earthquake, launched air strikes in the Middle East after 9/11 and, most recently, dumped Osama bin Laden’s body out at sea hosted an uncharacteristically maritime event this evening: a basketball game on the flight deck. [more inside] posted by obscurator at 7:44 PM PST - 34 comments
My dad taught me cashflow with a soda machineAfter a brief, failed experiment paying me to do chores, my dad tried something really neat. It clearly took a bit of legwork, but maybe there are some transferrable lessons for parents who want to lay an entrepreneurial foundation.
He gave me a vending machine. posted by elemenopee at 6:21 PM PST - 100 comments
Why Americans Won't Do Dirty Jobs? “Look, you got immigrants doing more than what blacks or whites will. Look at them, they just work and work all day. They don’t look at it like it’s a hard job. They don’t take breaks!” Businessweek takes a look at the labor supply situation in Alabama, after state legislation sent illegal immigrants packing to other states. posted by falameufilho at 6:06 PM PST - 227 comments
In 1933, Anthony Marino, Joe Murphy, Frank Pasqua and Dan Kriesberg decided to make money by taking out life insurance on drunks and then letting the victims drink themselves to death. Then they encountered Mike Malloy... posted by reenum at 2:46 PM PST - 17 comments
ROSA (vimeo) A sci-fi short animated film created by a new Spanish artist, Jesús Orellana. This was a year-long, solo project created without a budget. [more inside] posted by zarq at 10:57 AM PST - 8 comments
If mainstream conservatism is a “philosophically flabby movement,” and I won’t argue that it isn’t, this is not evidence of its success but simply of its exhaustion and lack of imagination. Perhaps conservatism should thrive on loss and defeat, but I see little evidence that the conservative movement in America understands that it has already lost on many fronts. There is an illusion of success that the most recent election has kept alive, but it is a temporary one.
Climate Variability and Climate Change: The New Climate Dice An excerpt from what should be a very incendiary academic paper by Hansen, J, et al: Thus there is no need to equivocate about the summer heat waves in Texas in 2011 and Moscow
in 2010, which exceeded 3σ – it is nearly certain that they would not have occurred in the
absence of global warming. If global warming is not slowed from its current pace, by midcentury 3σ events will be the new norm and 5σ events will be common. posted by Renoroc at 9:23 AM PST - 38 comments
In November 2002, at a meeting in the White House, the president and his top economic advisers packed tightly around a mahogany table in the Roosevelt Room. With the administration's own forecasts showing that the economy had already regained its footing, one after another of Bush's deputies sounded the alarm about the dangers of a new tax cut. "This burns a big hole in the budget," deputy chief of staff Josh Bolten told the president. "The budget hole is getting deeper," added Daniels, "and we are projecting deficits all the way to the end of your second term." O'Neill warned the president that a "tax cut that benefits mostly wealthy investors" could imperil the budding prosperity. "With the economy already improving, this could cause an unnecessary boost," he said. "That's how you get a bubble." Entertaining the chorus of doubters, Bush himself voiced qualms about more cuts for the rich. "Won't the top-rate people benefit the most?" he asked. "Didn't we already give them a break at the top?"
But Cheney was having none of it. When O'Neill warned Bush that America was headed for a "fiscal crisis," the vice president, sitting at the Treasury secretary's right elbow, dismissed him midsentence by citing the ultimate champion of Republican tax cuts: "Ronald Reagan proved that deficits don't matter, Paul." Rolling Stone's Tom Dickinson on how the GOP became the party of the rich. posted by therewolf at 6:20 PM PST - 69 comments
Fred Martinez was nádleehí, a male-bodied person with a feminine nature, a special gift according to his ancient Navajo culture. He was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16.Two Spiritsexplores the life and death of this boy who was also a girl, and the essentially spiritual nature of gender. (previously) posted by Trurl at 5:25 PM PST - 15 comments
Purity tests! From the olden days of Usenet:A purity test attempts to gauge how "pure" you are within some realm of experience by having you answer a list of questions regarding which acts, etc. associated with the subject you have engaged in. Generally, for each "yes" answer you lose a purity point. The result is scaled to tell you what percentage of purity you still retain.[more inside] posted by marble at 5:24 PM PST - 75 comments
It's the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month where I am right now, so I present to you Europeana, a project collecting memorabilia and stories from the period of the Great War (1914-1918). posted by unliteral at 4:00 PM PST - 30 comments
Dave Wilton of wordorigins.org (prev) has been compiling etymological snapshots for each year of the past 100 years, based on words that first appeared in English that year. As of now, he is up to 1941. The 1911 entry gives a good overview of his goals and parameters. (via) [more inside] posted by kmz at 3:23 PM PST - 9 comments
Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors. "Lower Manhattan’s 60 Hudson Street is one of the world’s most concentrated hubs of Internet connectivity. This short documentary peeks inside, offering a glimpse of the massive material infrastructure that makes the Internet possible." posted by twirlip at 1:41 PM PST - 18 comments
OpenCPU provides a RESTful interface to the popular open-source statistical package R, enabling the user to perform calculations and create publication-quality or web-embeddable visualizations via standard web requests. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:09 PM PST - 17 comments
Marshall Terry, a reporter for WFAE in Charlotte, NC eats a pepper that is being submitted to Guiness as the world's hottest. Caution: there is hurling and hallucinating. posted by zzazazz at 11:05 AM PST - 155 comments
"Imagine if you had never been homeless before and you'd just lost your job and you lost your home. What would you do? Would you immediately go begging or knocking on a door? No, you would downsize, move into cheaper accommodations, if that did not work you'd move in with friends or relatives and then you'd move into a cheap motel and then ... where would you want to go before winding up at a shelter door? You would much prefer to live at a park with your family and your dog." ... "In just about every major city, there are tent cities. Unfortunately, we're in a growth industry and the numbers are going to continue." -- Michael Stoop, a community organizer for the National Coalition for the Homeless, explaining that the surge in American tent city shantytowns, first highlighted on MeFi in 2008/09: 1, 2, 3, has not slowed. The Great Recession: Life in Tent City, Lakewood NJ / Photo Gallery / Video. [more inside] posted by zarq at 10:23 AM PST - 40 comments
Many listeners have written to us since our episode about Georgia Judge Amanda Williams, asking what ever happened to her. Did she face any consequences for the things we documented on our program? Yesterday, Georgia’s Judicial Qualifications Commission filed formal charges[PDF] against her. The twelve counts include a number of things reported in our episode: sending away inmates for indefinite detention, jailing Charlie McCullough for 14 days for exercising his right to contest a drug screen, and using “rude, abusive, or insulting language” with individuals appearing before her. Local reporting from the Altanta Journal-Constitution.Previously. posted by gerryblog at 8:09 AM PST - 43 comments
Machine guns still firing, 70 years later. The BBC's Dan Snow joins in an dig in Ireland to uncover a Spitfire mk2, hoping to find one o the machine guns in reasonable conditions. They find six, and then it's time to see if they still work.
Okay so they stripped the six to rebuild just one good one, and used modern .303 calibre ammo as opposed to the ammo in the ground, but hey. 70 years and still spitting fire. Of course the WWII in me will point out that the mk V's Hispano cannons were far more effective, but hey, that's not romantic enough for a modern news bulletin. posted by ewan at 2:27 AM PST - 19 comments
Pete Standing Alone has come full-circle in his dedication to preserving the traditional ways of his people on the Blood reserve in Southern Alberta. His 50 year journey from cultural alienation to pride and belonging has been uniquely captured by the NFB in the Pete Standing Alone Trilogy.[more inside] posted by Devils Rancher at 8:56 PM PST - 11 comments
To The Moon is a stunningly good game about death, love and memories. If you love games and you enjoy love stories, I highly urge you to download it and play it immediately. Here's a review, but you shouldn't read it. You should just play it. Warning: Have kleenex handy. posted by empath at 7:58 PM PST - 26 comments
GPX riding is a general term for using a GPS device to track and record location while riding a bicycle [previously on MetaFilter]. Combining this technology with a planned effort to create art is the premise behind Wallygpx. Think of the images as being akin to a giant etch-a-sketch. posted by netbros at 6:12 PM PST - 8 comments
The most vivid figure in Michael Gramaglia and Jim Fields'sEnd of the Centurywas the least articulate and most archetypal of the Ramones: Johnny, the right-wing prole whose hard-ass sense of style the others nutballed and softened and accelerated and above all imitated. ... Exciting and absolutely right though their '70s sets always were, the film establishes that they kept the faith live till the end, lifted by Joey's goofy dedication and powered by the chords Johnny thrashed out like they were why he was alive. As unyielding in his aesthetic principles as he was in everything else, this reactionary was an avant-gardist in spite of himself. - Robert Christgau posted by Trurl at 2:01 PM PST - 17 comments
A Brief Rant on the Future of Interaction Design - "The next time you make a sandwich, pay attention to your hands. Seriously! Notice the myriad little tricks your fingers have for manipulating the ingredients and the utensils and all the other objects involved in this enterprise. Then compare your experience to sliding around Pictures Under Glass. Are we really going to accept an Interface Of The Future that is less expressive than a sandwich?"
posted by Defenestrator at 1:53 PM PST - 96 comments
Elderly men accused of US ricin plot. 'Four elderly men from the US state of Georgia have appeared in court charged with plotting to murder officials using explosives and the lethal toxin ricin. Court documents say the group scoped out federal buildings and asked a contact to produce ricin. The FBI used a confidential informant to record the group's meetings. The men were arrested on Tuesday days after a laboratory test found trace amounts of ricin in their possession, the authorities said.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:16 PM PST - 93 comments
A massive rare 'superstorm' is currently bearing down on Alaska, with hurricane force winds (100+mph gusts), blizzard, sea-surge flooding. "This is going to be one of the worst storms on record over the Bering Sea". The storm passed through an area of unusually high sea surface temperatures. "This may help explain why the storm is turning from an ordinary Bering Sea disturbance into a ‘superstorm’." [more inside] posted by stbalbach at 11:49 AM PST - 69 comments
“I feel terrible,” [Best Buy chief executive Brian] Dunn told attendees at a conference in San Francisco. “It will change some Thanksgiving plans for our employees. It certainly changes mine...We were going to be open at much more civilized hour, like 3 or 4 [AM].”
Feeling pressure from a weak economy and escalating competition from rival retailers, stores like Best Buy are somewhat reluctantly planning to open stores at midnight on Thanksgiving evening. Traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday has become Black Midnight. [more inside] posted by 2bucksplus at 10:42 AM PST - 191 comments
Julius Fromm, a “quintessential ‘entrepreneurial proletariat’”, and a modest man with minimal education, sought a career alternative to making cigarettes and began taking evening classes in rubber chemistry around 1912. Julius Fromm then hit upon the idea of making condoms. The early condoms from the eighteenth century were generally made of animal intestines, and were used primarily by wealthy men – like Giacomo Casanova, who referred to them as “English riding coats” . . .
"As teachers and leaders of communities that promote the development of compassion and mindfulness, we are writing to express our solidarity with the Occupy movement now active in over 1,900 cities worldwide....
"The structural greed, anger and delusion that characterize our current system are incompatible with our obligations to future generations and our most cherished values of interdependence, creativity, and compassion. We call on teachers and practitioners from all traditions of mind/body awakening to join in actively transforming these structures."
“I remember so much of your childhood," he says. "I remember running you around the leaves in the wheelbarrow. Or the time you were so sick we took you to the hospital. I remember walking in the fields.”
I nod, because the moment’s not about me. “Yes Dad,” I say. “There were a lot of good times.”
No, there weren't. Which is why we both escaped: He into the bottle; I into the nerd. posted by jbickers at 6:40 AM PST - 70 comments
Allas creates surprisingly novel highlight clips of FC Barcelona, perhaps the most talented football/soccer team of the moment. This fifteen minute video illustrates Barcelona’s tactics, and serves as an introduction to aspects of the beautiful game that were previously invisible to novices like me. [more inside] posted by ferdydurke at 11:08 AM PST - 35 comments
What makes the McRib different from this everyday horror is that a) McDonald’s is huge to the point that it’s more useful to think of it as a company trading in commodities than it is to think of it as a chain of restaurants b) it is made of pork, which makes it a unique product in the QSR world and c) it is only available sometimes, but refuses to go away entirely.
America's First Suburb Turns 60 Almost 60 years ago, a planned community embodied the hopes and prosperity of America. Now, it represents a more realistic picture of the American experience. The BBC investigates Levittown, Pennsylvania, as part of a year-long series. [more inside] posted by modernnomad at 8:56 AM PST - 91 comments
The death of Ghaddafi may also herald the end of the battle for the Aouzou Strip." You could call this 44,000 square-mile piece of desert the world’s largest sandbox. Its most remarkable feature is that it was deemed worthy to be fought over at all." (NYT) posted by Xurando at 1:47 AM PST - 19 comments
The Rhythm of Life is one of those songs that sort of embeds itself in your brain. Originally fromSweet Charity, it's a powerful beat that is able to transcend meaning, transformed by the medium... The original intent was a bit of a bohemian/hippie chant.
The song sometimes was voiced by a congregation that appeared somewhat more innocent.
Yin and yang, backwards.... it's meaning became something different altogether.
Or, there's this... posted by HuronBob at 8:31 PM PST - 19 comments
It's All Games Now: The Convergence of Games and Social Media (video, 61 minutes), is a talk given by Raph Koster, one of the lead designers of the MMO Ultima Online, at the 2011 Game Developers Conference Online in Austin Texas. In it he looks at how digital games have changed as a social experience from MUDs to World of Warcraft, where they are going in the future, and the bleed between games and the real world. Koster has posted a summary here on his site. [more inside] posted by codacorolla at 6:47 PM PST - 15 comments
What should you drink? Take your cues from the tunes. That's the premise behind Drinkify, a scrappy little webapp that recommends drinks based on what you're listening to. Their motto? "Never listen to music alone again." [more inside] posted by Diagonalize at 2:22 PM PST - 112 comments
Two weeks ago, Google disabled the + operator for searches, requiring quotation marks to force inclusion of a word.
Today, Google Plus rolled out a new feature - Pages for companies and brands, so you can "build relationships with all the things you care about".
Included is Direct Connect - go straight to Pepsi's Google+ page by searching for +Pepsi. posted by dragoon at 1:29 PM PST - 205 comments
A Year of New York in 5 minutes. Cameraman Andrew Clancy lives in New York City, and was in the habit of shooting footage of what was going on around him whenever he was out. This is a compilation of life in the city, from the point of view of a New Yorker. posted by Phire at 10:47 AM PST - 21 comments
"Every day in the U.S., about 500 people lose a limb. About 1,800 amputation surgeries are performed each year in Oklahoma. More than 1,600 of those — about 90 percent — are lower body amputations. So every day in Oklahoma, four people lose part or all of a leg." (Nationally, the most common procedure is toe amputation.) "These are the stories of four people living in Oklahoma — a mother, a senior, a Marine and a student — all living life on at least one prosthetic leg": Standing Tall[more inside] posted by zarq at 8:13 AM PST - 21 comments
The Codex Seraphinianus. This rare art book with text written in a still-unbroken code has been out of print for years. Now the whole thing is now available to read online. posted by empath at 6:23 AM PST - 65 comments
When we first heard it, it sounded like it came from outer space… Douglas Hart There are just, every few years, the sound from a guitar, from someone who is channeling something that is so bone chilling, so blood healing, something that twists your molecular structure… Lydia Lunch It was extraordinary really. As soon as he played two notes you knew it was Rowland Howard… Nick Cave Autoluminescent, a documentary about the late great guitarist, has been released (along with the bats). [more inside] posted by Kerasia at 1:58 AM PST - 12 comments
The Socialbot Network - A UBC study suggests that many Facebook users will friend total strangers. Researchers said they collected 250 gigabytes of information from Facebook users by using socialbots — fake Facebook profiles created and controlled by computer code (sic). The researchers said they got the approval of UBC’s behavioural research ethics board. The data they collected was encrypted and anonymized and deleted after they completed their data analysis.[more inside] posted by KokuRyu at 8:39 PM PST - 65 comments
The Ally From Hell. "Pakistan lies. It hosted Osama bin Laden (knowingly or not). Its government is barely functional. It hates the democracy next door. It is home to both radical jihadists and a large and growing nuclear arsenal (which it fears the U.S. will seize). Its intelligence service sponsors terrorists who attack American troops. With a friend like this, who needs enemies?" [Via] posted by homunculus at 2:30 PM PST - 53 comments
Multiple missteps led to drone killing U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The Pentagon investigation into the friendly fire deaths of U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, looked into the first U.S. casualties caused by a drone attack. 'The incident raised a series of broad questions: How did the battalion's new rules for handling Predator strikes affect the decision to strike? Was the missile fired too quickly? Did the system built to help commanders make better decisions break down again?' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:42 PM PST - 107 comments
Beautiful Type is a patchwork of photos and illustrations having a relationship with typography. AisleOne is focused on graphic design, typography, grid systems, minimalism and modernism. iABC is a collection of beautiful letters. Inspiration Bit has a nice archive of articles about web typography. Nicetype is about fonts, logos, posters and software. Twenty-Six Types celebrates the beautiful letters. Typenuts is type-themed iPhone and desktop wallpapers. Typoretum is about typography, letterpress and printing history. Enjoy. posted by netbros at 11:36 AM PST - 5 comments
A GRAVE JOKE ON UNDERTAKERS — Some malicious wag at Providence, R.I. has been playing a grave practical joke on the undertakers there, by summoning them over the telephone to bring freezers, candlesticks and coffin for persons alleged to be dead. In each case the denouement was highly farcical, and the reputed corpses are now hunting in a lively manner for that telephonist. Paul Collins uncovers the birth of the prank call. [more inside] posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:37 AM PST - 28 comments
So it was with uncontainable excitement one Saturday afternoon that I went round to Alan Walters's house to watch something with the promising title of Predator. I knew only three things about it: it was certified 18, it starred the great Arnold Schwarzenegger – the WH Auden of ultraviolence – and it reputedly featured a scene in which someone's eviscerated chest cavity was on full display.My favourite film: PredatorThe rest of the series. posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:43 AM PST - 43 comments
Hacked! James Fallows writes in the Atlantic Monthly on how his wife's Gmail account was hacked, and years of email were deleted. Summary: if you have Gmail, you should be using its new 2-step verification; use strong passwords; don't re-use passwords. [more inside] posted by russilwvong at 5:45 PM PST - 97 comments
"Asymptote is an exciting new international journal dedicated to literary translation and bringing together in one place the best in contemporary writing. We are interested in encounters between languages and the consequences of these encounters. Though a translation may never fully replicate the original in effect (thus our name, 'asymptote': the dotted line on a graph that a mathematical function may tend towards but never reach), it is in itself an act of creation." posted by beshtya at 4:03 PM PST - 12 comments
cactus (aka Jonatan Söderström) is a prolific independent videogame developer. His games are known for playing against genre expectations and their surreal storytelling qualities (as in David Lynch surreal). His latest effort (a collaboration with his brother and FUCKING WEREWOLF ASSO) is called KEYBOARD DRUMSET FUCKING WEREWOLF. It's about an eskimo that that turns into a werewolf and the events that follow. Sound weird? It is. Available in pc and mac flavours. posted by pancreas at 2:59 PM PST - 22 comments
"As each of us has his own impression of Afghanistan that is predominantly marked with pictures of foreign forces, explosions and terror, we were privileged to have access to capture daily life and portrait some people of Afghanistan." Afghanistan-Touchdown in Flight (5m39s, full-screen). posted by stbalbach at 8:49 AM PST - 13 comments
Relays are simple electrical components that turn on an electromagnet with a small current to trigger a switch for a circuit usually capable of handling a larger current. For example, a relay can be used by a 5 volt DC microcontroller to turn on a 120 volt AC heating element in a rice cooker.
Since relays can be used for logic, they can also be the primary components of gloriouslyclickycomputers(see this for details on the last one). [more inside] posted by mccarty.tim at 8:45 AM PST - 36 comments
After 25 years I revisited To Live and Die In L.A. (1985), William Friedkin's cynical, fatalistic, hardboiled and high-energy crime noir about corruption and survival in the city of no angels. The script is literate, the characters are believable, the performances are brutally honest, the unpredictable twists keep coming, the action never stops, and the carchase is shot for real without any fake process.(spoilers) posted by Trurl at 8:26 PM PST - 60 comments
Meanwhile, 6th and Mission St
is in the center of city. If you've ever walked it, it's like stepping into the another world, not a pleasant one either. On a rainy night, wandering into Tu Lan, it's famed Vietnamese restaurant, is the closest experience I can recommend to feeling like you're in Blade Runner in America. I work between 5th and 6th on Mission and have wondered and despised how such a place like this came to be. Here's an answer from someone that lives there, which really has me thinking. posted by straight_razor at 3:23 PM PST - 106 comments
Mr. Remis’s wedding took place in 2003 and he waited six years to sue. And not only has he demanded to be repaid the $4,100 cost of the photography, he also wants $48,000 to recreate the entire wedding and fly the principals to New York so the celebration can be re-shot by another photographer. Among the many hurdles: He no longer knows where his now-ex-wife lives. posted by dmd at 2:49 PM PST - 61 comments
What touchscreens lack is something called affordance. It’s a lofty term for an object’s built-in ability to tell you how it works. A doorknob affords turning. The button on a car stereo affords pushing. A touchscreen affords nothing. It relies on software for any affordance, which in turn relies on total immersion for the user.... The days of analog affordance are gone. What we want, apparently, is to surround ourselves with touchscreens of varying size—tiny ones in our pockets, medium-size models for our laps and dashboards, and massive versions for our walls. We want tomorrow’s vintage shops to be lined with identical, blank, anonymous slabs. We want things to be vessels for software, and nothing more. - A Slate piece asks if touchscreens are becoming too ubiquitous posted by beisny at 9:19 AM PST - 97 comments
Ghost of Gone Birds. Over 100 artists were invited to choose an extinct bird and produce a piece of art inspired by that particular bird and celebrating its glory days. Birds celebrated in the show include the Dodo, the Matinique Amazon Parrot, the Black Mamo and the Great Auk. posted by sweetkid at 8:42 AM PST - 5 comments
In northeast India, a giant cliff leads up into a hidden world: LothlórienMeghalaya. Nearly two kilometers high and buffeted by monsoon storm clouds, this is possibly the wettest place on earth. Once, twenty-five meters of rain fell here in a year, the world record. Living here poses an unusual problem, and it's not just keeping dry. Nearly all the rain falls during the summer monsoon. Rivers switch from gentle streams to raging torrents. They become wild and unpredictable, and almost impossible to cross. Harley and his niece, Juliana, are busy cultivating a cunning solution.[more inside] posted by troll at 8:25 AM PST - 30 comments
With digital cinema on the rise, and DSLR video shooting becoming increasingly popular for low-budget and independent film making, expectations were high for Canon's big announcement at Paramount Studios today. And Canon delivered, the C300 is a DSLR-like camera that uses Canon or PL mount lenses (two different models), with no autofocus, S35mm sensor size, full HD to a 50Mbps 10-bit 4:2:2 stream, shipping in January 2012 for $20,000. They also announced a new range of high-resolution affordable zoom and prime lenses for cinema use, and, as an extra bonus, they announced they were developing a similar camera that could record 4k video for release at some time in the future. It all looked like a big win for Canon...
But, a few hours later, the always controversial and disruptive Red Digital Cinema, makers of the ubiquitous Red One and the relatively new 5K, 120fps EPIC, announced the EPIC's little sister, based on the same sensor, the Scarlet, a camera that also uses Canon or PL mount lenses, with an interchangeable lens mount, autofocus on Canon lenses, S35mm sensor size, 4k video (with HDR option) and 5k stills to a 400Mbps 16-bit compressed raw stream, shipping December 1st for $9,750 for the body (under $14,000 for a full, ready to shoot kit with media, card reader and 5" touchscreen, minus the lenses). posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:59 PM PST - 59 comments
In 1987 the first Castlevania was released. It was followed by Simon's Quest in 1988. The difference between the two games is stark. Although they both have the same basic plot lines (kill Dracula) and setting, Simon's Quest introduced an open world and RPG elements, giving eventual rise to the genre known as "Metroidvania". Sequelitis looks at the difference between these design decisions and shows that maybe Metroidvanias aren't quite as much fun as you might remember. posted by codacorolla at 9:17 AM PST - 66 comments
Previously, we discussed the strangely serious 1985 Too Close For Comfort episode titled: For Every Man, There's Two Women - a show of note in that one of its main characters, Monroe Ficus (Jm J. Bullock), is kidnapped and raped by two obese women with a jello fetish. At the time of the previous post, no footage of the episode could be found online. Recently, however, the entire episode [part 1] [part 2] was uploaded to YouTube. Trigger warning: the episode, though it deals with a serious subject, often plays the abduction/assault for laughs. [via] posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:03 AM PST - 72 comments
Are birds’ tweets grammatical? [Scientific American] But are the rules of grammar unique to human language? Perhaps not, according to a recent study, which showed that songbirds may also communicate using a sophisticated grammar—a feature absent in even our closest relatives, the nonhuman primates. Kentaro Abe and Dai Watanabe of Kyoto University performed a series of experiments to determine whether Bengalese finches expect the notes of their tunes to follow a certain order. posted by Fizz at 6:18 AM PST - 31 comments
"You've never heard of this game. It's in only one cabinet, playable in one city and, generously estimating, maybe it makes a dollar a day. Nothing about this video game suggests it's someone's meal ticket, but it is. For life." This is the story of Off the Waffle, the arcade game made for the Eugene, OR, restaurant of the same name. [more inside] posted by hades at 12:34 AM PST - 35 comments
Skinemax is Koyaanisqatsi for a generation raised on late night television and B-movie VHS tapes. It's long form entertainment for short attention spans. An hour long VJ odyssey, it will move your body and warp your mind. A nostalgic look back at a half remembered childhood growing up in the 80s and early 90s, Skinemax takes a close look at the culture of that era. The images that motivated, delighted, and terrified us on the silver screen, set to propulsive modern music that pines for a simpler time. posted by naju at 10:52 PM PST - 78 comments
What would happen if a monarchy ruled in part of America? With a monarch divinely crowned? And then a soldier, fighting in the trenches against your hated enemy, saves the king's son and is thrust into court politics? If you flimed it all in New York City, you'd get Kings, a short-lived (March 2009 - July 2009) television series that aired on NBC. It starred Ian McShane as King Silas and you can watch all 13 episodes of it on Hulu or NBC's website. [more inside] posted by curious nu at 8:42 PM PST - 71 comments
Late last month, the Board of Trustees at Shorter University, a Christian school in northwest Georgia, instituted a "personal lifestyle statement", asking all employees to, among other things, "reject as acceptable" homosexuality. The University president has stated flatly that anyone who "adheres to a lifestyle outside of what the bibical mandate is" will not be allowed to continue at Shorter.
In a surprise development, Panos Beglitis, Defence Minister, a close confidante of Mr Papandreou, summoned the chiefs of the army, navy and air-force and announced that they were being replaced by other senior officers.
Neither the minister nor any government spokesman offered an explanation for the sudden, sweeping changes, which were scheduled to be considered on November 7 as part of a regular annual review of military leadership retirements and promotions. Usually the annual changes do not affect the entire leadership.
The Formula for Complete and Utter BAYHEM or, How Michael Bay has Made Billions in Box Offices Worldwide. SLInfographic (the last graph is particularly depressing) posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:41 AM PST - 110 comments
The story of one woman's quest to photograph spider genitalia.By day, Nina is online operations manager for American Medical News, a newspaper published by the American Medical Association. But for 13 years, she’s devoted one day a week to behind-the-scenes work at the Field Museum in Chicago: sorting, identifying, and organizing spiders in the museum’s collections, and in the process turning an enthusiast’s knowledge about arachnids into a slightly demented personal project.[more inside] posted by srboisvert at 4:02 PM PST - 42 comments
Dancing babies and robot squirrrels (YT) Gustav Hoegen is an animatronics and prosthetics technician - perhaps his most immediately recognisable work to a MetaFilter audience being the spider-centaur (and quite possibly queen of Mars) Rachnos from Doctor Who's The Runaway Bride, along with the clockwork robots which menaced Madame de Pompadour in The Girl in the Fireplace. He has also contributed to Hellboy and Clash of the Titans. [more inside] posted by running order squabble fest at 1:12 PM PST - 13 comments
'Rum and Coca Cola' is a 1942 calypso song by Lord Invader about women on Trinidad prostituting themselves to American soldiers. In 1944, the song was performed in the US by the Andrews Sisters, with the verses altered but the underlying meaning of the song still intact; the song was banned from radio play, however, because of the reference to alcohol. Both versions of the song were enormously popular, and the ensuing plagiarism suits ran until 1950. The copious Rum and Coca Cola Reader has the full story, and over twenty versions of the song. [more inside] posted by kaibutsu at 12:18 PM PST - 45 comments
Life in a Day, Youtube's first feature length film, is now available in its entirety. Director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) and producer Ridley Scott (Alien, Gladiator) team up to offer this candid snapshot of a single day on planet Earth. Previously (SLYT) posted by Xurando at 10:30 AM PST - 12 comments
Even at its most remorselessly upbeat, the Beach Boys' music was marked by an ineffable sadness – you can hear it in the cascading tune played by the woodwind during Good Vibrations's verses – but on Smile, the sadness turned into something far weirder. All the talk of Wilson writing teenage symphonies to God – and indeed the sheer sumptuousness of the end results – tends to obscure what a thoroughly eerie album Smile is. Until LSD's psychological wreckage began washing up in rock via Skip Spence's Oar and Syd Barrett's The Madcap Laughs, artists tactfully ignored the dark side of the psychedelic experience. But it's there on Smile...
The first of a ten-part web series on the making of the album and the new reissue has been posted on youtube, featuring new interviews and rare archival footage. The full-length 2-CD version is streaming at AOL. posted by anazgnos at 9:37 AM PST - 162 comments
World War II in Photos "A retrospective of World War II in large-size photo stories. 900 photos in all, over 20 chapters, telling many of the countless millions of stories from the biggest conflict and biggest story of the 20th century."
[via mefi projects] [more inside] posted by bru at 9:03 AM PST - 34 comments
"It was no accident that arts funding was once again brought to national attention with the exhibit Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture. Since the 80s, the enemies of the NEA have not been those with differences of opinion about what art should be supported or how. Instead they oppose any support at all for art of any kind." Hide/Seek, Culture Wars and the History of the NEA (NSFW, art) posted by The Whelk at 8:23 AM PST - 115 comments
A vigil was held today. Some clever social commenters posted an advertisement on Craigslist today. Mourning the end of an enduring and important love story between two much beloved characters. [more inside] posted by taff at 4:26 AM PST - 92 comments