The Inside Story Of Pong- On Nov. 29, 1972, a crude table-tennis arcade game in a garish orange cabinet was delivered to bars and pizza parlors around California, and a multi-billion-dollar industry was born. Here's how that happened, direct from the freaks and geeks who invented a culture and paved the way for today's tech moguls. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:32 PM PST - 18 comments
As Americans, we pick a place to live and then figure out how to get where we need to go. If no way exists, we build it. Roads, arterials, highways, Interstates, and so on. Flexible and distributed transportation networks are really the only solution compatible with that way of thinking. Trains, which rely on a strong central network, never had a chance. We were destined for the automobile all the way back in 1787, when we first decided to carve up the countryside into tidy squares.
After 8 years and over 23 Issues released, City Of Heroes, the first Super-Hero MMO, will be shutting down for good at midnight tonight. Heroes has seen a tremendous amount of support not only from it's fan base, but from the industry as well, it's unique position as the only major Non-Fantasy MMO in the market helping to keep it standing out among the Goblins and the Panda Kung-Fu Fighters. But if the game is so beloved by its customers, why is the game shutting down tonight, even with the newest issue all but released in the Beta Server? Well that's where things get interesting. [more inside] posted by WeX Majors at 12:35 PM PST - 74 comments
In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye?[more inside] posted by zarq at 8:24 AM PST - 25 comments
'It's probably easy today to dismiss Negativland's activities as trifle, banal or plain stupid. They probably wouldn't be too uncomfortable with that, as they rarely claimed to go beyond the softest platitudes of the entertainment biz. No Other Possibility (1989, 58 mins, .avi d/l link), their first video work, showcases the band at a career threshold, before their U2ploitation move and just after their Christianityhoax. It typically explores the debris of American pop culture, dealing with automobile fetishism, televised preaching, halloween traditions, Marlboro masculinity, soft drinks and MTV.' [more inside] posted by item at 8:15 AM PST - 31 comments
A chronogram is a text (often an inscription), in which certain letters, construed as Roman numerals, express a date via the sum of their numerical values. For example, the sentence ‘LorD haVe MerCIe Vpon Vs,’ printed on a pamphlet might indicate its year of publication as (L + D + V + M + C + I + V + V =) 1666. [more inside] posted by misteraitch at 7:11 AM PST - 24 comments
The day would come when many West Virginians recalled the story of Jack's Powerball Christmas with a shudder at the magnitude of ruination: families asunder, precious lambs six feet under, folks undone by the lure of all that easy money. posted by Egg Shen at 3:21 PM PST - 68 comments
Today is the 85th birthday of Hall of Fame baseball announcer Vin Scully. He will be returning next year for his unprecedented 64th season calling games for the Dodgers, in a career reaching back to the team's Brooklyn days and their move to Los Angeles in 1958. The New York Yankees tried to pry him away in the 1960s, but he remained with the team and has become an LA institution. In the 21st Century, he has inspired blog names and tattoos and even dabbled in the online world himself during a game last season -- as an experiment, he asked fans to get a topic trending on Twitter about Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis, "a nice boy." Later in the broadcast he announced sheepishly that Ellis was trending across the U.S. This coming Monday, he will be taking over the team's Twitter feed to answer questions -- tag your tweets #askvin. [more inside] posted by Celsius1414 at 2:48 PM PST - 23 comments
"The bottom line: Obama’s e-mail fundraising team tested hundreds of grabby subject lines. The most successful—“Hey”— brought in millions of dollars."
Inside Obama's chatty e-mail fundraising campaign. posted by OmieWise at 1:14 PM PST - 44 comments
Manhattan District leader Mark Levine plans to run for a city council seat in 2013, for District 7. The problem? Thomas Lopez-Pierre, a Harlem activist who is also running for term-limited Councilman Robert Jackson’s seat, circulated an e-mail late on November 26th in an attempt to plan a “private meeting” to “discuss the potential damage to the political empowerment of the Black and Hispanic community if Mark Levine, a White/Jewish candidate was elected to the 7th Council District in 2013.” posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:53 AM PST - 9 comments
An eminent former editor of the Oxford English Dictionary covertly deleted thousands of words because of their foreign origins and bizarrely blamed previous editors, according to claims in a book published this week. posted by Chrysostom at 8:06 AM PST - 24 comments
Politico reports that the AP's online stylebook has recently banned the term "homophobia." AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn explained "it's just off the mark. It's ascribing a mental disability to someone, and suggests a knowledge that we don't have. It seems inaccurate. Instead, we would use something more neutral: anti-gay, or some such, if we had reason to believe that was the case." Slate's Nathaniel Frank disagrees with the decision stating that in an effort be appear neutral, the AP risks being part of the problem. James Rainey at the LA Times surveys the arguments for and against the decision and notes that homophobia may be the right term in some situations. posted by Area Man at 6:31 AM PST - 115 comments
Why People Really Love Technology: An Interview with Genevieve BellThe thing I love about Intel researcher Genevieve Bell is that she finds surprising things by looking at what's left out of the dominant narratives about technology. She finds data that's ignored because it didn't fit into the paradigm of, say, how people adopt technology. The dominant narrative is that young men determine the popularity of phones, computers, websites, and the like. But when Bell looked at the data, the story we told ourselves about how the world worked was not reflected in the numbers.
That's why I wanted to talk to her about what gadgets people around the world might be using over the next decade. I figured she was someone who could look past the conventional wisdom and find the missing pieces of the future posted by infini at 1:10 AM PST - 30 comments
Disney has a new cartoon series called "Gravity Falls," created by Alex Hirsch who also created The Marvelous Adventures of Flapjack. It features X-Files style paranormal activity in the titular town in Oregon from the perspective of 12 year old twins, Mabel (voiced by Kristen Schaal) and Dipper. While this alone could cultivate a fanbase, it also helps that the show has secret messages and cyphers for viewers to decode. [more inside] posted by mccarty.tim at 8:34 PM PST - 70 comments
"Entering into one of the fiercest competitions in existence, I found art."
Sixteen mushers. 120 dogs. An adventure across one of the longest mushing trails in the world: the Beringia, a dog sled race stretching 683 miles across eastern Russia. Twilight on the Tundra[more inside] posted by zarq at 8:16 PM PST - 8 comments
Rapid Growth Seen in Addiction to PainkillersThe escalating use and abuse of powerful painkillers can be found in rich societies from the UK, across Europe to the antipodes. But the country that really knows all about prescription pill excess, and the human toll it claims, is the US. Americans make up less than 5% of the global population but consume 80% of the world's supply of opioid prescription pills. [more inside] posted by modernnomad at 7:00 PM PST - 63 comments
"During his civil lawsuit against the People's Republic of China, Brian Milburn says he never once saw one of the country's lawyers. He read no court documents from China's attorneys because they filed none. The voluminous case record at the U.S. District courthouse in Santa Ana contains a single communication from China: a curt letter to the U.S. State Department, urging that the suit be dismissed. That doesn't mean Milburn's adversary had no contact with him." [China Mafia-Style Hack Attack Drives California Firm to Brink] posted by vidur at 6:16 PM PST - 12 comments
Friendship is Optimal is not a "My Little Pony" fanfic, but a SF story that starts with a procedurally-generated MLP MMO, and crescendos to what could very well be the Best Possible Outcome if self-optimizing algorithms are given /almost/ the right goals.
Some readers are horrified by the implications; some want to move into "Equestria Online" anyway. Whichever camp you fall in, you'll never forget the phrase "satisfy human values through friendship and ponies". posted by DataPacRat at 8:01 AM PST - 41 comments
Twenty miles or so east of Amsterdam, set between the new towns of Almere and Lelystad, and lying five metres below sea-level, is the youngest wilderness I have ever seen. The Oostvaardersplassen is now a vast region of grassland, reed-bed, shallow lake and ragged forest, over 6,000 hectares in extent. Sea eagles and marsh harriers hunt its wide skies, spoonbills and avocets stalk its marshes, and vast herds of red deer, wild ponies and Heck cattle graze its savannah.
But 40 years ago, the Oostvaardersplassen was underwater. posted by Chrysostom at 7:55 AM PST - 11 comments
American paratrooper Arthur Boorman suffered debilitating injuries during the first Gulf War. Doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. 15 years later....[more inside] posted by zarq at 7:47 PM PST - 16 comments
The International Tracing Service was established following the Second World War to help repatriate forced laborers and survivors of the concentration camps as well as to trace the missing. 67 years after the end of the war, ITS receives about 1,080 requests for information a month, some of which still result in reuniting relatives. [more inside] posted by hoyland at 7:45 PM PST - 5 comments
Do you have $500,000 lying around? If you do, Elon Musk might just send you to colonize Mars. This is not the first time that Musk has discussed his desire for a colony on Mars. Interesting as it sounds, not everyone is excited about the idea. posted by A Bad Catholic at 6:36 PM PST - 70 comments
Oscar Dominguez is probably best known for the Electro Sexual Sewing Machine. He was a surrealist (Fr) and a forger (pdf).
When a fight broke out between Oscar Dominguez and Esteban Frances, it was Victor Brauner who stepped in to separate them, Dominguez accidentally struck him in the face with a bottle. The injury cost Brauner his left eye, an event that Brauner had forseen.
Dominguez updated the technique known as Decalmania.
His last lover was the heiress Marie-Laure de Noailles and during this time he replaced some of her Picasso´s with forgeries painted by himself, selling the originals.
He is also suspected of forging Klee, Ledger and Laurens.
He slit his wrists one New years Eve and Janet Flanner churlishly conjectured that he “lay down on the floor, being a dirty, untidy man…and bled all over everything”. posted by adamvasco at 12:33 PM PST - 7 comments
Are Your Facebook Friends Stressing You Out? (Yes.) - "The finding, which is similar to one determined last year, is nice as a headline: It's both unexpected (friends! stressing you out! ha!) and ironic (the currency of the social web, taking value rather than adding it!). What's interesting, though, is the why of the matter: the idea that, the report theorizes, the wider your Facebook network, the more likely it is that something you say or do on the site will end up offending one of that network's members... Unsurprisingly, per the study's survey of more than 300 Facebook users, 'adding employers or parents resulted in the greatest increase in anxiety.'" [more inside] posted by flex at 10:54 AM PST - 135 comments
The video for Frightened Rabbit's new song "State Hospital" is a powerful meditation on rape, domestic violence, suicide and what it means to be strong in the face of all of them. [more inside] posted by jbickers at 9:23 AM PST - 16 comments
From The National Center For Children in Poverty: Young Child Risk Calculator: "The risk factors used in this tool are known to increase the chance of poor health, school, and developmental outcomes for young children. Economic hardship paired with any of the listed risk factors may indicate a greater chance of poor outcomes. Children with three or more risks are exceptionally vulnerable. Information about the prevalence of young children experiencing these risks can inform policies aimed at improving outcomes for vulnerable children and reducing the number of children experiencing early risks." [more inside] posted by OmieWise at 8:07 AM PST - 6 comments
More than three-quarters of the food consumed in the United States today is processed, packaged, shipped, stored, and sold under artificial refrigeration. The shiny, humming stainless steel box in your kitchen is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak—a tiny fragment of the vast global network of temperature-controlled storage and distribution warehouses cumulatively capable of hosting uncounted billions of cubic feet of chilled flesh, fish, or fruit. posted by Chrysostom at 7:48 AM PST - 28 comments
If you follow the usual crop of technology news sites, you will have read yesterday morning that Google had apparently acquired a little-known WiFi hotspot company for $400 million. This story spread with the help of the most popular (and most reputable) sites, like TechCrunch, Engadget, The Verge, The Next Web, and others. Only one small detail: the story wasn't actually true. [more inside] posted by nickheer at 7:45 AM PST - 54 comments
In October, 18-year old high school senior Ryan Romo was arrested for the sexual assault of a child (someone 16 or under, by TX state law).
On October 31, CultureMap Dallas's managing editor, Claire St. Amant published an article asking, "Is this Highland Park baseball star a rapist?" St. Amant ended her article, stating: If it's a case of impulsive teenage decisions, remorse and guilt, then no one suffers more than 18-year-old Ryan Romo. [more inside] posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:36 PM PST - 44 comments
Has politics gone peer-to-peer? A rich 90-minute panel discussion with Steven Johnson, author of "Future Perfect: The Case for Progress in a Networked World", featuring Yochai Benkler, Susan Crawford and Lawrence Lessig. posted by mhjb at 4:27 PM PST - 6 comments
"You will not find a group less in favor of automatically aggressive, invasive medical care than intensive care nurses, because we see the pointless suffering it often causes in patients and families. Intensive care is at best a temporary detour during which a patient’s instability is monitored, analyzed, and corrected, but it is at worst a high tech torture chamber, a taste of hell during a person’s last days on earth." posted by Baron Kriminel at 3:36 PM PST - 45 comments
Erdal Inci has been experimenting with "cloned motion" in video for years and has now converted some of his hypnotic videos into looped gifs. (long-loading page, but worth it) posted by oneswellfoop at 3:36 PM PST - 8 comments
Dynamo ep1It’s an experiment. It’s a story. It’s a series of shorts. It’s a sci-fi/fantasy/’cute cyberpunk’ webseries. It’s the result of four years of late night discussions between friends. It’s a convoluted puzzle about the nature of reality (and monsters! and horrible romance!) It’s a narrative with layers of interlocking pieces. It’s the best thing we know how to make- and it’s pretty wacky!
The Canto Ostinato is a minimalist classical composition written in 1976-1979 consisting of "small, entirely tonal cells which are repeated - how many times is left to the performer". Usually performed by two or four pianos, it's also been adapted to other instruments like the harp. The Canto Ostinato ("stubborn song") was written by Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt, who passed away yesterday. [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 1:28 PM PST - 6 comments
"my interest in a lot of old game music now has very little to do with "nostalgia" or any associations i had with the games, and much more to do with the way the different kinds of hardware used created interesting compromises for composers that led them [to] making some really interesting sounds," Liz Ryerson collects sounds from the abyss. In her blog post here she details the history and appeal of five (mostly forgotten) game soundtracks which push the limits of the both the genre and the hardware. [more inside] posted by codacorolla at 10:26 AM PST - 24 comments
Who's the Shop Steward on Your Kickstarter?"The true product for sale on Kickstarter is not your art project, but your community and networks. ... Our projects that facilitate the funding are a side effect, a cost of doing business—the business of drilling our relationships for all they are worth." posted by mykescipark at 10:07 AM PST - 35 comments
The Art of Ironing is, primarily, a Russian advertisement for steam irons, however it is also a remarkable demonstration of recreating art from unusual materials; in this case, a simple white piece of cloth. posted by quin at 8:56 AM PST - 11 comments
The Rule of Reciprocation: an interesting read for anyone who works for tips, or wonders why your physician is prescribing that particular medication. From NPR "Give And Take: How The Rule Of Reciprocation Binds Us" posted by HuronBob at 5:39 AM PST - 13 comments
Conceived as sort of a companion to Longreads, Longform, Pocket, Byliner, etc., Nieman Storyboard's Why's This So Good? series looks at why some great long-form journalism and narrative nonfiction pieces are so great. There are over 60 installments of writers talking shop about writing. [more inside] posted by AceRock at 12:06 AM PST - 7 comments
Which isn't to say it's not a deep record — it's just a record that wears its depth lightly, couching it in gags and a multitude of weird voices and ball-busting autocritique. The almost-hit-single "Passin' Me By" stands out most clearly as a foundational text for modern nerd-rap of all stripes, but the whole record operates in previously uncharted territory, foregoing both tough-guy posturing and didacticism in favor of honesty. It's about hormonal mischief and formative heartbreak, the mistakes these guys have made and the mistakes they'll make again, and the fact that it's one of the funniest-on-purpose rap albums ever made never quite overshadows its precocious intelligence.20 years later, it's time for another Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde.[more inside] posted by mannequito at 2:05 PM PST - 16 comments
Via io9: "The first nine Superman cartoons produced by Fleischer Studios from 1941 to 1942 are a wonder of animated retrofuturism, giving us a peek into a world that not only had a flying superstrong protector, but also filled viewers' heads with dreams of autonomous robots, comet-controlling telescopes, and machines that could shake the Earth. These films are in the public domain and have been available on the Internet Archive," but now Warner Bros. is releasing them (remastered) on YouTube. The first short, "Superman" (also known as "The Mad Scientist,") was nominated for an Academy Award. Also see: The Super Guide to the Fleischer Superman Cartoons. Find links to all nine episodes and more inside. [more inside] posted by zarq at 10:54 AM PST - 28 comments
Today, in Toronto, the Grey Cup will be awarded for the 100th time, to the CFL champion. What is it? What is the history? Who is playing? Why was someone riding a horse in the best hotel in town? [more inside] posted by Homeboy Trouble at 7:24 AM PST - 95 comments
“I stole this book from the library ages ago…”
“Fourth grade” I say, watching them huddled together in the mirror.
“…one of those Marvin K. Redpost books. He kisses his elbow one day and when he wakes up the next morning he's a girl.”
“I meant to make you take it back but I bet we still have it.”
“My mom's cataloging fifteen years of gender-bending in one week.” She says, rolling her eyes.... “Seriously Mom, how did you NOT know?” She will ask me this a hundred times. I will ask myself a hundred more and still never I didn't have a good answer then and I don't now. Perhaps we simply see what we expect to see and write off anything that doesn't fit into the little boxes we put people into. Or perhaps she'd learned to mask and over-correct, to hide so well that by the time those distinctions matter, I could not see her until she tore down that wall. I wish I'd known sooner.
Ecstasy found to help veterans with PTSD "In a paper posted online Tuesday by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, Michael and Ann Mithoefer, the husband-and-wife team offering the treatment — which combines psychotherapy with a dose of MDMA — write that they found 15 of 21 people who recovered from severe post-traumatic stress in the therapy in the early 2000s reported minor to virtually no symptoms today. Many said they have received other kinds of therapy since then, but not with MDMA... And news that the Mithoefers are beginning to test the drug in veterans is out, in the military press and on veterans’ blogs. 'We’ve had more than 250 vets call us,' Dr. Mithoefer said. 'There’s a long waiting list, we wish we could enroll them all.'" posted by bookman117 at 2:18 AM PST - 36 comments
ABC News issues a "Made in America" Christmas challenge.The average American will spend $700 on holiday gifts and goodies this year, totaling more than $465 billion, the National Retail Federation estimates. If that money was spent entirely on US made products it would create 4.6 million jobs. But it doesn't even have to be that big. If each of us spent just $64 on American made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new jobs.[more inside] posted by Brian B. at 3:21 PM PST - 102 comments
Jens Spahn is a parliamentarian in Germany's centre-right party, the Christian Democrats (CDU) and a committed Catholic. He is also gay, and has been openly so throughout his 11-year political career. While he does not focus specifically on gay issues, he advocates equal civil rights for gays and lesbians (including gay marriage, tax parity and adoption rights) from a conservative position. He does not regard this to be a contradiction. posted by acb at 2:30 PM PST - 32 comments
In the telling it has the contours of a creation myth: At a time of great evil and great terror, a small group of scientists, among the world’s greatest minds, secluded themselves in the desert. In secrecy and silence they toiled at their Promethean task. They sought the ultimate weapon, one of such great power as to end not just their war, but all war. They hoped their work would salvage the future. They feared it could end everything. - Prometheus in the desert: from atom bombs to radio astronomy, New Mexico's scientific legacy posted by Artw at 12:30 PM PST - 22 comments
Roger Federer in ShanghaiFederer is inescapably beautiful, but most of the time he does nothing extraordinary. Then there is a shot that makes people let out sounds and imitate, with imaginary rackets, what they just saw. In a way, Federer is like a good novel—it does not try to achieve genius in every line, that would be amateurish; it is unafraid of the lull, accepts the importance of the ordinary, and then there is a sudden moment of greatness. posted by dhruva at 10:50 AM PST - 16 comments
Lets Swim To Work! "Centuries of boat traffic, heavy industry, sewage runoff and toxic dumping have ingrained in us the idea that urban waterways are not places for people. Even as cities have rushed to the water’s edge over the past couple of decades, building elaborate waterfront parks and esplanades, few have taken the next logical step: encouraging residents to dive in." [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:57 AM PST - 42 comments
Can’t get enough of these videos from AsapSCIENCE. Here’s an earlier one from the Your Brain On Drugs series entitled marijuana. I was pretty stoned when watching it and ended up cracking up at the funny cats – total highlight for me. Can’t remember the gist, but you should definitely check it out. (Text Via) (slyt) posted by infini at 12:37 AM PST - 13 comments
In February 1964, when the Beatles played the Ed Sullivan Show, record executives in America were faced with the question of how to get a piece of the Beatlemania action. The result was an explosion of knockoff Beatles records, promising things like “The Beetle Beat”, “Beat-A-Mania” and “The Original Liverpool Sound”, credited (often in type far smaller than the famous song titles) to bands with names like The Bearcuts, The Manchesters, The Moptops and the Liverpool Kids, and featuring cover models with varyingly plausible approximations of the Beatles' haircuts, as detailed by WFMU's Gaylord Fields (SLVimeo). posted by acb at 4:43 PM PST - 34 comments
"Before playing he explained the story behind the song, which was a journey – it was in 1993 as a 12 year old that he was able to return to Beirut alone for the first time (his parents having fled to Paris during the war) and he wandered the streets with his walkman, earphones plugged but playing no music, instead composing music in his mind and looking at the bullet marks in the walls of homes which had been rebuilt so many times over during the war that not much of the devastation was actually visible.. but after walking for a while, he sat and rested for some time.. and then suddenly when he got up again he noticed a street in front of him completely devastated and abandoned – something that he had actually been looking to see – but in that moment he was listening to (having just discovered) Led Zepplin and the combination of seeing the devastation and the music actually scared him and he ran away. And so this song tells that journey." The song is Beirut, and he is Ibrahim Maalouf. [more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 3:06 PM PST - 14 comments
Google and Bing autocomplete what they think they know what you're thinking. Sometimes they get itwrong. "People who study online behavior also say the autocomplete feature reveals broader patterns, including indications that the questions people ask of search engines often veer into the sensitive and politically incorrect." previously posted by Xurando at 10:47 AM PST - 29 comments
Jazz prodigy Austin Peralta has died. Announcement and links to his music at Brainfeeder. Peralta contributed to Flying Lotus' recent album Until the Quiet comes; on Twitter this morning Flying Lotus wrote "it kills me to type that we lost a member of our family, Austin Peralta. I don't really have the right words right now." From Fact: "In his tragically short life, the California native had proved himself to be a fearsome and precocious talent. At 15 years old, Peralta was already touring the world with his own trio, and performing alongside legends like Chick Corea and Omar Hakim. Whilst still at high school, Peralta headed up ensembles featuring luminaries like Ron Carter and Buster Williams. He also released two LPs (2006′s Maiden Voyage and Mantra) in Japan before the age of 16." His entry on Wikipedia. Tribute from Frank Ocean. posted by jokeefe at 10:10 AM PST - 12 comments
What does proper authorization to access a computer system mean? Robert Graham of Errata Security writes about the recent conviction of Andrew Auernheimer (aka weev) for “hacking” AT&T. Two years ago, weev discovered a bug in AT&T's website that exposed the email addresses of customers with iPads. According to weev, the flaw was reported as per responsible disclosure practices by first informing AT&T before bringing it public. However the FBI investigated and arrested him under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). On 20th November 2012, he was found guilty of identity fraud and conspiracy to access a computer without authorization. posted by destrius at 10:00 PM PST - 114 comments
It may be the most notorious Thanksgiving promotion of all time. It is the 40th best television episode of all time. It's available in (semi-)entirety on HULU. And the classic TV blog offers an oral history. Happy thanksgiving, and, as God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly. posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:59 PM PST - 102 comments
Before The Pleasure Garden (Alfred Hitchcock's directorial debut) was released in 1925, Hitchcock's worked on a numerous silent films as both an assistant director and an art director.
Now recently recovered and restored footage from one of his oldest, long-lost films, 1924's The White Shadow, has been released online, and you can watch it now at Film Preservation. (Via io9).
Running time: About 43 minutes. posted by Mezentian at 4:58 PM PST - 3 comments
With their brutal, simple riffs and aggressive, fast tempos, Accept were one of the top metal bands of the early '80s, and a major influence on the development of thrash. Led by the unique vocal stylings of screeching banshee Udo Dirkschneider, the band forged an instantly recognizable sound and was notorious as one of the decade's fiercest live acts. - AllMusic posted by Egg Shen at 4:42 PM PST - 29 comments
Who to root for now? As a result of FOX/News Corp. going into business with the New York Yankees through by acquiring a 49% stake in the Yankees's regional sports network, Craig Robinson disavows his Yankees fandom, and goes in search of a new baseball team to which to swear his allegiance and passion. posted by dry white toast at 11:36 AM PST - 93 comments
Early English Laws is a project to publish online and in print new editions and translations of all English legal codes, edicts, and treatises produced up to the time of Magna Carta 1215. [more inside] posted by jedicus at 10:56 AM PST - 7 comments
Hungarian photographer David Nemcsik has created a series called the "Levitation Project" where he invites his friends to answer the question "where were you in your last dream?" and then attempts to recreate the surrealism of experience by having them float in midair at the location. [via] [more inside] posted by quin at 9:23 AM PST - 16 comments
Steven Pinker is apparently writing a science/academic writing style guide of sorts based on insights from psychology. Here is an hour-plus long video of Pinker discussing the book at MIT. posted by AceRock at 7:49 AM PST - 19 comments
News today is Lance Armstrong can no longer claim an honorary doctorate from Tufts University. Other recent notable rescissions: UMass rescinded Robert Mugabe's, and University of Bedfordshire rescinded Jimmy Savile's. Nortwestern U also rescinded an offer of an honorary degree to Rev. Jeremiah Wright. In the win column, two universities were pressured to rescind offers of doctorates, but decided to proceed and award degrees: Duke University to Susan Komen's Nancy Brinker, and CUNY to playwright Tony Kushner. posted by surplus at 6:41 AM PST - 35 comments
I am HazaraClose to 1,000 Hazaras have been killed in targeted attacks and shootings in [Quetta] the capital of Pakistan’s largest province [Baluchistan]. The indifference towards the atrocities has forced this shrinking community to take escape routes and gamble between life at the promised land and death at the ocean. Dawn, Pakistan's largest English-language daily, puts together an essay accompanied by short videos (subtitled in English). posted by bardophile at 6:28 AM PST - 8 comments
Randobot [Flash] is a "reimagined" take on the Rockman/Mega Man Saga: the player must guide a defective automaton through a fortified compound, while collecting energy cores and dodging enemies. As the machine was rushed out of development, software patches will have to be transmitted wirelessly to the unit at critical points of the enemy base. In spite of any and all modifications performed, there will still be a chance of the drone failing to perform the most rudimentary tasks. posted by Smart Dalek at 4:47 AM PST - 25 comments
England has a drinking problem. Since 1990, teenage alcohol consumption has doubled. Since World War II, alcohol intake for the population as a whole has doubled, with a third of that increase occurring since just 1995.
The United States, although no stranger to alcohol abuse problems, is in comparatively better shape. A third of the country does not drink, and teenage drinking is at a historic low.
Are Social Impact Bonds a good way to invest in public services? "Imagine a contract where private investors are paid by the government if there's a decrease in homelessness or convicts re-offending. It's a an idea that's taking shape in the UK and some US states. And now the Canadian government is considering piloting social impact bonds. Critics say it's a way of governments shirking their responsibilities." CBC's "The Current" reports. [more inside] posted by flex at 4:34 PM PST - 29 comments
In a report released [Tuesday], the World Bank analyzed the consequences of allowing temperatures to reach 4°C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. ... the report's authors admit that predications are a challenge. Still, they do their best to try to paint a picture, and boy, is it grim. posted by Egg Shen at 3:06 PM PST - 84 comments
in 1977 Amsterdam got its first Underground/metro line. The trains that first ran on that line, the "zilvermeeuwen or seagulls" are still in service some thirtyodd years later and have gotten a midlife update a few years ago. Part of that update included a new anti-graffitti skin, but also the transformation of some fortyfour carriages into art shows, featuring artworks and photographs by fortyfour Dutch artists. posted by MartinWisse at 2:29 PM PST - 10 comments
The US does not have a spending problem, we have a distribution problem "Forty years from now, America will be twice as rich on average as we are today. But most of that wealth will go to the very richest households. We only have a budget crisis if they refuse to pay higher taxes... So the real point isn't that we can't afford Social Security and Medicare. It's that some people don't want to pay the higher taxes necessary to maintain Social Security and Medicare. This is a question of distribution, pure and simple." posted by bookman117 at 2:21 PM PST - 53 comments
'On April 12, 1987, Michael Morton sat down to write a letter. “Your Honor,” he began, “I’m sure you remember me. I was convicted of murder, in your court, in February of this year.” He wrote each word carefully, sitting cross-legged on the top bunk in his cell at the Wynne prison unit, in Huntsville. “I have been told that you are to decide if I am ever to see my son, Eric, again. I haven’t seen him since the morning that I was convicted. I miss him terribly and I know that he has been asking about me.” Referring to the declarations of innocence he had made during his trial, he continued, “I must reiterate my innocence. I did NOT kill my wife.' [more inside] posted by mahershalal at 1:51 PM PST - 35 comments
But back in 1996, users of the proto-Web community Usenet got spammed with messages that reached an almost transcendent level of bizarre—a weirdness so precise it implied the influence of a very human intelligence. “Markovian Parallax Denigrate,” read the title of each post, followed by a mountain of seemingly meaningless word spew:
In 1993, 18-year-old Trevell Coleman shot a man in East Harlem and fled the scene. In the following years, he became part of the New York City rap community and eventually signed with Bad Boy Records, though he never stopped wondering what had happened to the man he'd shot. At the end of 2010, Coleman decided to find out. [more inside] posted by catlet at 12:13 PM PST - 38 comments
"We have little trouble recognizing that a chess grandmaster’s victory over a novice is skill, as well as assuming that Paul the octopus’s ability to predict World Cup games is due to chance. But what about everything else?" [Luck and Skill Untangled: The Science of Success] posted by vidur at 11:15 AM PST - 16 comments
"In 1925, California supplied [much] of the world’s oil (Google quickview, original PDF) and much of it came from pumps in the Southland (quickview, PDF). To date, around 9 billion barrels of oil have been produced in the Los Angeles area. There are still over 30,000 active wells here pumping around 230 million barrels of oil a year, making Los Angeles County the second most productive oil county in California (although the quality of the oil here is somewhat low by today’s standards). There are 55 known oil fields in the Los Angeles area and 11 of them are located in a very urban context. This setting makes the oil extraction process in Los Angeles unique." Things to do in LA: Urban Oil Wells In Los Angeles, Part I and Part II. [more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 9:43 PM PST - 43 comments
And in today's fun IPR news we have Games Workshop VS. Chapterhouse Studios. In which the plaintiffs lawyers are claiming (p.44) copyright and design dress on common iconography such as crosses, skulls and riveted armor.
But to get at the gist of it, what makes third party miniature wargaming accessories different to bodykits? Where doth this madness lead. [more inside] posted by xcasex at 8:36 PM PST - 55 comments
How to get less from more. A modest website by an ordinary M.D. who seems to have an extraordinary curiosity. The next time someone complains to you about socialized medicine vs. the efficiencies of the free market don't shoot them just point them here. An Alice in Wonderland view of the "Best healthcare in the world".
TLDR: You don't have to read the screed you can watch it. [more inside] posted by pdxpogo at 4:31 PM PST - 40 comments
Nanoparticles covered in proteins trick immune system. A breakthrough new experimental treatment that uses nanoparticles covered with proteins to trick the immune system, managed to stop it attacking myelin and halt disease progression in mice with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (MS). The researchers say the approach may also be applicable to other auto-immune diseases such as asthma and type 1 diabetes. posted by aleph at 1:14 PM PST - 23 comments
In an attempt to make itself less desirable to copyright infringers, starting November 27, RapidShare will begin capping non-paying users at 1 gigabyte of outbound downloads per day. (Paying users will have 30 gigabytes.) Meanwhile, controversial Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom is planning a January debut for his new Mega service - which plans to insure itself against litigation by having all hosted material encrypted by the uploader's browser before transmission. posted by Egg Shen at 11:02 AM PST - 68 comments
Guys don't want casual sex: "This stereotype 'tells us that guys are primarily interested in sex, not relationships... This contributes to the notion that guys are emotional clods who are incapable of connecting with their partners because, hey, they’re just guys, and guys are only interested in sex.'... the Wake Forest University professor lays out the current data on young men’s sexual desires and behavior to make a case against this insidious stereotype." Salon interviews Andrew Smiler, author of Challenging Casanova: Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male. [more inside] posted by flex at 9:02 AM PST - 122 comments
For their club’s big debut this semester, the cadets at the United States Air Force Academy hammered out talking points, printed fliers and hung their logo, a rainbow-colored globe, in their booth in Arnold Hall. Then they held their breath.
Airing in 1979, The New Sound of Music was a BBC documentary which depicted and demonstrated the history of recorded and manipulated music, from the earliest paper rolls to electronic synthesizers and the cutting and manipulation of tape. [more inside] posted by Pope Guilty at 3:35 AM PST - 13 comments
Bees and a species of bird can solve the traveling salesman problem "It’s Saturday; you’ve got errands to run. Your spouse wants bread from the bakery, you need to pick up the dry cleaning, your kids need new shoes, and you’ve got a dentist appointment. None of this is any fun, so you might as well do it as quickly as possible by calculating the fastest and most efficient route that takes you to each stop... Menger and Whitney both discovered that the number of possible routes between stops increases exponentially with each additional destination. In a typical model, for instance, three stops yield six routes, while eight stops yield 40,320... By setting up five artificial flowers in a pentagon shape and tracking each bee’s path, researchers discovered that every bee optimized its route, visiting the highest-reward flowers in the shortest possible amount of time." [more inside] posted by bookman117 at 3:11 AM PST - 34 comments
With the recent release of the new instalment of first-person shooter goliath Call of Duty, Activision is poised to make another cool gazillion dollars or so. In fact, the game is popular with many gamers except for one significant group -- the professional ones: "The new games can bring all kinds of changes. Guns fire differently. The physics of the world have been tweaked. This makes it challenging and fun for casual players, but it’s a nightmare scenario for pros. The most important thing for professionals is to be able to practice and play the same game, with the same rules, for years and years to hone their skills. (Imagine if they completely changed the rules of Major League Baseball every year, using different balls, spacing the bases further apart, adding a fourth outfielder.)" posted by bardic at 2:29 AM PST - 57 comments
Korean high school. What's life like for a Korean student? In one of the most competitive societies in the world, how does one find their place? What does it take to achieve your aspirations and goals? [more inside] posted by hellomina at 11:57 PM PST - 55 comments
As a function of fear and pre-emptive shame, ironic living bespeaks cultural numbness, resignation and defeat. If life has become merely a clutter of kitsch objects, an endless series of sarcastic jokes and pop references, a competition to see who can care the least (or, at minimum, a performance of such a competition), it seems we’ve made a collective misstep. Could this be the cause of our emptiness and existential malaise? Or a symptom? - How to Live Without Irony posted by beisny at 9:34 PM PST - 161 comments
"In a 2006 interview David Foster Wallace said, “it seems significant that we don’t want things to be quiet, ever, anymore.” Stores and restaurants have their ubiquitous Muzak or satellite radio; bars have anywhere between 1 and 17 TVs blaring Fox and soccer; ... Even some libraries, ... now have music and special segregated areas designated for “quiet study,” which is what a library used to be. ... People are louder, too. They complain at length and in detail about their divorces ... a foot away from you in restaurants. ... People practice rap lyrics on the bus or the subway, barking doggerel along with their iPods .... Respecting shared public space is becoming ... quaintly archaic .... philosopher Aaron James posits that people with this personality type are so infuriating ... because they refuse to recognize the moral reality of those around them." [previously] posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 6:40 PM PST - 121 comments
"I wish to dispel the notion that women are “more emotional.” I don’t think we are. I think that the emotions women stereotypically express are what men call “emotions,” and the emotions that men typically express are somehow considered by men to be something else." Jen Dziura in The Gloss: "When men are too emotional to have a rational argument." posted by escabeche at 1:54 PM PST - 85 comments
In 1977 Dial Press of New York published Robert Mayer’s first novel, Superfolks. It was, amongst other things, a story of a middle-aged man coming to terms with his life, an enormous collection of 1970s pop-culture references, some now lost to the mists of time, and a satire on certain aspects of the comic superhero, but would probably be largely unheard of these days if it wasn’t for the fact that it is regularly mentioned for its supposed influence on a young Alan Moore and his work, particularly on Watchmen, Marvelman, and his Superman story, Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Alan Moore and Superfolks: Part 1: The Case for the Prosecution, Part 2: The Case for the Defence, Part 3: The Strange Case of Grant Morrison and Alan Moore. posted by Artw at 1:22 PM PST - 37 comments
In the US, an undergraduate education used to be an option, one way to get into the middle class. Now it’s a hostage situation, required to avoid falling out of it. And if some of the hostages having trouble coming up with the ransom conclude that our current system is a completely terrible idea, then learning will come unbundled from the pursuit of a degree just as as songs came unbundled from CDs.
I Was A Teenage Sexist - "Girls – the ones we think of as “cool” – don’t trust other women, women who play by gender “rules” that the rest of us cannot quite understand. The most important things those women can seemingly do are spend money on clothes and appeal to the opposite sex. Meanwhile, we ourselves don’t feel particularly female. We only feel like people. It’s a tough fall. People intuitively detect that attitude, go out of their way to remind you that you’re not fooling anybody. You are a woman, and you will only ever be a woman." [more inside] posted by flex at 8:57 AM PST - 83 comments
"Dead Bears" is a photographic collection by artist Michael Fortune documenting the regional Irish habit of erecting stuff animals wearing local Gaelic sporting colours as territorial markers. [more inside] posted by distorte at 3:59 AM PST - 12 comments
Hosted by three professors of US history (one a specialist in the 18th Century, one in the 19th, and one in the 20th), each episode of the radio show and podcast Backstory takes a subject from the news and looks at the American history behind it. [more inside] posted by ocherdraco at 6:43 PM PST - 34 comments
No one expected the force of the tempest that hit the New York Public Library in late 2011—not its new president, Anthony Marx, and maybe not even the literary lions up in arms over plans for an ambitious, $300 million renovation. Will the “palace of culture” on Fifth Avenue become a glorified Starbucks, as some fear? Interviewing all sides, Paul Goldberger walks the controversy back to its flash point: the nature of the library’s 21st-century mission and the values at the center of the Norman Foster–designed project. - Paul Goldberger, Firestorm on Fifth Avenue posted by beisny at 12:57 PM PST - 23 comments
Let’s play Žižuku! Vaguely similar in theory to the Postmodern Text Generator, but practiced individually, rather than Markov-chain-generated text. The creator, Julian Baggini, describes Žižuku thus: "The rules are simple: pick on any widely received idea and find the most clever-sounding way to invert it, so as to create a paradox, or at least the semblance of one." [more inside] posted by exlotuseater at 12:42 PM PST - 21 comments
"A website called 'Is Anybody Down' [front page SFW] has popped up to fill the niche that was left when the revenge porn site 'Is Anyone Up' shut down in April of this year. Like its predecessor, the site allows users to submit naked photos of other people and include links to the naked person's social networking page. But according to [First Amendment lawyer] Marc Randazza, this website's business model is slightly different from 'Is Anyone Up,' and is of questionable legality."*[more inside] posted by ericb at 12:38 PM PST - 80 comments
But I couldn't do it. I spent three months and I just couldn't do it. And the reason was because I kept on meeting people who worked in the credit industry and they were really boring. I couldn't make them light up the page. And, as I said in The Psychopath Test, if you want to get away with wielding true malevolent power, be boring. Journalists hate writing about boring people, because we want to look good, you know?
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartmanappeared in 1976... and it exists as a sort of island of experimentation, its ripples of influence not fully engaged with until several decades later... . Predictably rejected by the networks, this Norman Lear production ran in first-run syndication, five nights a week, usually after the late-night news. ... Louise Lasser (once Woody Allen’s muse) stars as a put-upon pre-feminist housewife who repeats the secular liturgy of American consumerism in an attempt to stave off a nervous breakdown.* posted by Egg Shen at 5:46 PM PST - 61 comments
“Her early records are collectors’ items. Her writing and playing have become part of the pattern of jazz history. She has transcended the difficulties experienced by women in the music field and through several decades has held a position of eminence as one of jazz’s most original and creative pianists. She speaks softly: ‘Anything you are shows up in your music—jazz is whatever you are playing yourself, being yourself, letting your thoughts come through.’” Mary Lou Williams: Into The Sun, a conversational profile by fellow pianist Marian McPartland, 1964. [more inside] posted by koeselitz at 4:18 PM PST - 6 comments
Mike Sui and the new laowai: "...speaking Chinese is still just rare enough that Sui's instant fame has scratched a blister of resentment than never really heals in China's Chinese language-learner community, and his success has highlighted how Chinese demands on laowai [foreign] entertainers have drastically changed in just a decade." posted by ocherdraco at 12:27 PM PST - 14 comments
October 2012 is the 332nd consecutive month with an above-average temperature. If you were born in or after April 1985, if you are right now 27 years old or younger, you have never lived through a month that was colder than average. State of the Climate: Global Analysis October 2012 (NOAA). While $50 billion Sandy has had the spotlight, the biggest natural disaster of 2012 (in the US) has been the Great Drought still ongoing which is expected to cut America's GDP by 0.5 to 1% for the year. The death toll from the heat waves that accompanied this year's drought will exceed that of Sandy. This Sunday and Monday, Ken Burns premiers his new documentary "The Dust Bowl", on PBS. (via) posted by stbalbach at 10:55 AM PST - 42 comments
More than most literary phenomena, names in fiction seem very straightforward until you start to think about them. The simple question, ‘why does a name sound right?’ leads to a whole range of questions. Are there rules about how names are given to characters? Do naming practices differ in different periods? Are they specific to particular genres? Do different authors use names in entirely different ways? There are also anxieties to address: is discussion of names in fiction snagged in a feedback loop, in which we think James Bond is such a good name for a spy because that’s what we know it to be? posted by Chrysostom at 10:21 AM PST - 118 comments
Sonny Eliot celebrated 50 years in television back in 1997. Sonny, a B52 bomber pilot who was shot down and spent months in a POW camp in Germany, returned to Detroit after the war and began accepting any position/role he could in local TV. [more inside] posted by HuronBob at 10:04 AM PST - 16 comments
"I don't want my girls to be children who are perfect and then, when they start to feel like women, they remember how I thought of myself as ugly and so they will be ugly too. They will get older and their breasts will lose their shape and they will hate their bodies, because that's what women do. That's what mommy did." Some lovely Friday-morning encouragement for all the moms. posted by jbickers at 8:54 AM PST - 65 comments
"Sony has added some nifty new features. These include the ability to make copies of floppies using just the camera--very handy if you want to hand out extra disks on the spot. A new quarter-resolution (320 by 240) option also makes it faster to e-mail photographs. (The camera's full resolution is 640 by 480.) A built-in menu on the MVC-FD71's LCD screen permits you to easily take advantage of useful new options such as these."
You start out in 1954 by saying, “N-----, n-----, n-----.” By 1968 you can’t say “n-----”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “N-----, n-----.”
"The Ideology of Hatred": An interview with Niza Yanay - "Once we understand how hatred operates as an apparatus of power relations, and particularly how the discourse of hatred is motivated and mobilised in national conflicts, serious questions about misrecognition, veiled desires and symptomatic expressions arise. These questions have, to a large extent, been left unaddressed in studies of hatred between groups in conflict." [more inside] posted by flex at 4:08 PM PST - 13 comments
'TV historians will tell you that “Felix the Cat” was one of the first images ever broadcast on television (when RCA broadcast a Felix doll in 1928 on experimental station W2XBS) — but it wasn’t until the late ’40s that the first animated character was created expressly for TV. Crusader Rabbit appeared for the very first time on KNBH (Los Angeles) on August 1, 1950, and featured a Don Quixote-like title character aided by his friend Ragland T. “Rags” Tiger as they pursued adventures in serial (i.e. cliffhanger) installments.' On November 8th, the voice of Crusader Rabbit, Lucille Bliss, passedaway at the age of 96. Ms. Bliss may be more familiar to younger fans as the voice of Smurfette, from The Smurfs, or as Ms. Bitters on Invader ZIM. [more inside] posted by zarq at 2:47 PM PST - 18 comments
... [Thomas] Ligotti's stories tend to have a profound emotional impact. His vision is exceedingly dark, and it is possible for his stories to infect the reader with a mild-to-severe case of depression. It is even possible for them to effect a change in the reader's self-perception and view of the universe. This warning is not meant to be sensationalistic, nor is it meant to turn new readers away. It is simply a statement of fact based upon the experiences of actual readers. Ligotti writes about the darkest of themes with an amazing power, and he means what he says. Often his stories seem to communicate a message below their surface, a sort of subliminal statement that should not rightly be able to traverse the barrier of verbal language. - Matt Cardin (previously) [more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 1:50 PM PST - 21 comments
"The "Tugboat" 7" single, Galaxie 500's very first release, cost us $980.22 for 1,000 copies-- including shipping! (Naomi kept the receipts)-- or 98 cents each. I no longer remember what we sold them for, but obviously it was easy to turn at least a couple bucks' profit on each. Which means we earned more from every one of those 7"s we sold than from the song's recent 13,760 plays on Pandora and Spotify. Here's yet another way to look at it: Pressing 1,000 singles in 1988 gave us the earning potential of more than 13 million streams in 2012."
Making Cents: Damon Krukowski of Galaxie 500 and Damon & Naomi breaks down the meager royalties currently being paid out to bands by streaming services and explains what the music business' headlong quest for capital means for artists today. [more inside] posted by anazgnos at 1:42 PM PST - 85 comments
"Emma Stone was my dream best friend for a number of weeks. We'd see movies together. Get drinks and gossip. I remember one dream where we just texted. She resurfaced as my best friend last fall after I saw The Help. An actual friend of mine once told me a story about meeting Andrew Garfield's best friend, which meant Andrew Garfield and I were dream best friends for the following few nights. Again, there was texting." The Awl asks people: What Was Your Weirdest Celebrity Sex Dream? posted by The Whelk at 9:57 AM PST - 113 comments
A woman wanting a mans-style hair-cut was denied one by a Toronto barber because his religion forbids him from touching a woman he is not related to. The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario is expected to hear the issue if mediation fails, as a competing rights issue where there is a conflict between two individuals exercising their rights. The OBA (warning, cheesy music autoplay) defends some Barbershops as a men's-only space tradition dating back to Ancient Greece, while others point to womens-only spaces like spas that are allowed to continue to operate while discriminating against men. posted by saucysault at 6:53 AM PST - 239 comments
Radio Colifata is a beloved weekly Buenos Aires radio show run by psychiatric patients that breaks down boundaries between the "interned" and the "externed." During his Argentina tour, radio supporter Manu Chao invited a few Colifatos to join him. LT22 Radio La Colifata is 94 minute a documentary (in Spanish) shot over ten years that celebrates the station and the tour. posted by madamjujujive at 5:58 PM PST - 7 comments
In 2003, only two colleges charged more than $40,000 a year for tuition, fees, room, and board. Six years later more than two hundred colleges charged that amount. What happened between 2003 and 2009 was the start of the recession. By driving down endowments and giving tax-starved states a reason to cut back their support for higher education, the recession put new pressure on colleges and universities to raise their price.
When our current period of slow economic growth will end is anybody’s guess, but even when it does end, colleges and universities will certainly not be rolling back their prices. These days, it is not just the economic climate in which our colleges and universities find themselves that determines what they charge and how they operate; it is their increasing corporatization.
If corporatization meant only that colleges and universities were finding ways to be less wasteful, it would be a welcome turn of events. But an altogether different process is going on
COLBERT: I suppose fear is like a drug. A little bit isn’t that bad, but you can get addicted to the consumption and distribution of it. What’s evil is the purposeful distribution of fear. As Paul said when he was faced with the gom jabbar, “Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration.”
PLAYBOY: Did you just make a Dune reference?
COLBERT: I did! [laughs] If you’re injecting fear into other people, then you’re trying to kill their minds. You’re trying to get them to stop thinking.
What was Of Grammatology about? When Madeleine, the heroine of Jeffrey Eugenides's campus novel The Marriage Plot, asks a young theory-head this question, she is immediately set straight: 'If it was "about" anything, then it was about the need to stop thinking of books as being about things.' That's not so far off. In all three books, Derrida's argument was that Western thought from Plato to Rousseau to Lévi-Strauss had been hopelessly entangled in the illusion that language might provide us with access to a reality beyond language, beyond metaphor: an unmediated experience of truth and being which he called 'presence'.
"Decades ago, the Mbuti typically sold about half the meat they captured; now they sell nearly every carcass, saving only the prized entrails and heads for themselves. The hunt, in essence, has devolved into an all-out commercial endeavor, staged not for subsistence, but to feed growing regional markets. And the impact is clear." posted by Scientist at 11:37 PM PST - 20 comments
For those tired of watered-down, light-beer theology...Check out the Homebrewed Christianity Podcast, started by process-theologians Trip Fuller and Chad Crawford. Today's podcast interviews Old-Testament scholar Walter Brueggemann. The highlight is the lightning round finale (starts at ~61 min) where Walter gives rapid thoughts on such topics such as religious pluralism, ecological crises, immigration, homosexuality, economics, empire, and his favorite Bible story for his grandchildren. Also this week, a conversation with Barry Taylor (ACDC Sound Engineer, Episcopal Priest, and philosopher). posted by womprat78 at 6:40 PM PST - 12 comments
The complete soundtrack to the upcoming movie, The Hobbit, is available here. "The score is composed by Howard Shore who also wrote all three films in The Lord of The Rings trilogy for director Peter Jackson. “I have looked forward to returning to the imaginative world of Middle-earth for quite a while,” says Shore of the score. “I read all of the books by Tolkien, including The Hobbit, when I was in my twenties, and his deep love of nature and all things green resonates deeply with me.”" posted by h00py at 4:23 PM PST - 46 comments
Authentic Wm. Gibson promises “synopses for William Gibson novels that are definitely 100% real, but only in a timeline with greater authenticity than this one.”, and delivers exactly that. posted by acb at 3:43 PM PST - 26 comments
I was of course already familiar with the general characteristics of Friedman’s writing—hubris, clichéd jingoism, Orientalism, favoritism of Israel, self-contradiction, a severe handicap in the realm of metaphor construction, reduction of complex phenomena to simplistic and baseless theories. However, reviewing three decades of his work made it clear just how frightening, as opposed to simply laughable, it was that such a character had accrued three Pulitzer Prizes and risen to the position of journalistic icon at the US newspaper of record.
"The word reclaim came up more than once to describe the rising tide. It is a revealing word, more narrative than simply descriptive: it hints at some larger backstory, some plot twist in a longer saga about our claims and the water’s counterclaims to the earth.… This story was already ancient when it was adapted for the biblical text—which is to say, it records a very old fear. Like all old fears, it has the uncanny feel of a vivid memory. It may be a memory of an actual flood in an actual Sumerian city, Shurrupal, ca 2800 B.C.E. In fact, it may be even older than that." posted by the mad poster! at 1:40 PM PST - 21 comments
Real Oviedo, the Spanish football club that recently brought to you the talents of Juan Mata, Cazorla, Adrián or Michu, is facing bankrupcy. The 86-year-old club had to raise near 2 million euros by november 17th, an impossible challenge for a third division team in Spain. But surprisingly, in under just two weeks old and new fans from more than 60 countries have raised more than a million euros.
Instrumental in this unexpected worldwide attention has been Sid Lowe. The Guardian's reporter for all things Spanish Football is an ardent supporter of Real Oviedo, ever since his Erasmus stay in the city, and has been spreading the good word from his twitter account. Last Sunday, the team defeated Real Madrid's C team with an attendance of more than 20 thousand. The same weekend, there were significantly less people seeing Barcelona play in Mallorca. last two links in Spanish posted by valdesm at 6:03 AM PST - 15 comments
I promise there is nothing gaping here: goatse.cx is now accepting pre-registration signups for a webmail service. Who wants an address at one of the web's most prestigious and notable domain names? posted by thewalrus at 11:08 PM PST - 68 comments
It’s not very often the concept of restorative justice gets much play outside scholarly publications or reformist criminal justice circles, so first, some credit for Max Fisher at The Atlantic for giving it an earnest look last week. In seeking to explain Norway’s seemingly measly twenty-one-year sentence for remorseless, mass-murdering white supremacist Anders Breivik—a sentence that is certain to be extended to last the rest of his life—Fisher casts a critical eye on the underlying philosophy that animates that country’s sentencing practices, finding it to be “radically different” from what we’re used to in the United States.
Are you enthusiastic ("pertaining to possession by a deity," from Gk. enthousiastikos "inspired," from enthousiazein ) about Etymology? ( ethimolegia "facts of the origin and development of a word," from O.Fr. et(h)imologie (14c., Mod.Fr. étymologie), from L. etymologia, from Gk. etymologia, properly "study of the true sense (of a word)," Then why not explore ( 1580s, "to investigate, examine," a back formation from exploration, or else from M.Fr. explorer (16c.), from L. explorare ) the vast resources (1610s, "means of supplying a want or deficiency," from Fr. resourse) of the ONLINE ETYMOLOGY DICTIONARY[more inside] posted by The Whelk at 12:11 PM PST - 30 comments
The permanent collection of the (US) National Veterans Art Museum in Chicago contains more than 2,500 pieces of art by 250 artists, all of which can be seen at NVAM Collection Online. The site includes biographical material on the artists who created the work. Featured Artwork. A small selection. (Via. Images at links in this post may be nsfw, and/or disturbing to some viewers.) posted by zarq at 11:22 AM PST - 1 comments
It was simplifying.Forget your civilian reflexes. The task does not require a purpose. Do not ask questions, do not make suggestions, do not even think of that. The Legion is our fatherland. We will accept you. We will shelter you. posted by The corpse in the library at 10:29 AM PST - 32 comments
Dear Mr. President: “You're the President of the United States: a country with 5000 nuclear weapons, birthplace of the world's computing and telecommunications industry, home of the first atomic clock and creator of the global positioning system. But chances are, if you just took regular American high school physics, you don't know one iota about the science behind these things (no offense). That's because high school physics students across most of America are not required to learn about pretty much any physical phenomena discovered or explained more recently than 1865.” From Henry Reich of Minute Physics. (Can't watch video? Click the "interactive transcript" button under the video to read it instead.)
Minute Physics previously, previouslier. [more inside] posted by ocherdraco at 10:29 AM PST - 69 comments
Tainted: Why Gay Men Still Can't Donate Blood - "Since 1983, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines have disqualified men who have ever had sex with men (MSM) from donating blood... Uneven application of exclusion to at-risk individuals suggests that risk aversion disproportionately impacts MSMs. For example, a non-MSM individual who has had sexual contact with a commercial sex worker or HIV-positive partner is deferred for only twelve months... The fact that the U.S. upholds a lifetime ban on MSM donation while Australian policy allows MSM individuals to donate a year or less after contact reveals a glaring discrepancy. Both ethics and science point to a flaw in FDA policy. That I could have had sex with 365 partners this year and be a perfectly fine candidate for donating blood, while the MSM next to me wouldn't qualify, betrays a faulty line of logic." [more inside] posted by flex at 7:10 AM PST - 104 comments
The Useless Web serves a collection of some of the most frivolous, insignificant and worthless websites (many of which were previously seen here). Obvious Warning: May contain sound, flashing images, old memes or peanuts. Well, probably not peanuts. posted by oneswellfoop at 1:10 AM PST - 48 comments
Secret Weapons. "David Cronenberg's seldom seen 1972 made-for-TV movie, 'Secret Weapons'. It is six years into a future American civil war. A man has created a drug that enhances fighting skills. But will he give it to the theocratic government, or the rebels?" [Via] posted by homunculus at 11:40 PM PST - 4 comments
Mubei, or Tombstone, by Yang Jisheng, was published in 2008 and is considered to be the definitive account of the Chinese Great Famine. The book is banned in China, but has been available in Hong Kong. Counterfeit and electronic copies have allowed many Chinese to access the book. Before this November, Tombstone was available only in Chinese; however, the English translation has now been released. [more inside] posted by Bokmakierie at 10:47 PM PST - 27 comments
Are spanking fetishes nowmainstream sexual behavior or are they an untreated response to childhood trauma? "I think that avoiding raising one's children to be spanking fetishists is a good reason not to spank children. It is not that I view some particular set of sexual semiotics as intrinsically inferior to any other. It is because I believe that at least some forms of spanking fetishism are the direct result of traumatic repression caused by childhood spankings. Hence, to say "don't spank your kids because you might turn them into fetishists" is really just an abbreviated way of saying "don't spank your kids because this can evoke unintegratable emotions of hatred which your child will be forced to repress and which they may then cope with by eroticizing your spankings and spending the rest of their lives feeling frustrated because their pool of available sexual partners is so small, and feeling guilty and ashamed because of how your maltreatment of them made them hate you back when they were helpless and dependent upon you." NSFW previously posted by Xurando at 4:53 PM PST - 62 comments
is it t / is it true / is it too late to register to vote / is it time to break up / is it tuesday Enjoy the algorithmically-generated autocompleted poignance of Google Poetics, or submit your own. [more inside] posted by oulipian at 11:31 AM PST - 24 comments
In the long history of love songs the attention of a beautiful woman has been compared to many things – but perhaps only in Pakistan's tribal belt would it be likened to the deadly missile strike of a remotely controlled US drone. posted by infini at 3:56 AM PST - 28 comments
Ronda Rousey - the first American woman to medal in judo at the Summer Olympics - is widely regarded as the best pound-for-pound female MMA fighter in the world. She has won all six of her professional fights - all but one of them in less than a minute - using a trademark armbar that is usually described as "devastating". [more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 12:05 PM PST - 110 comments
Remember that big Red/Blue map that you kept looking at on election night?
That graphic was really pretty deceptive, and maps were mentioned 117 times in our huge election thread, often because they didn't make sense or were confusing.
Mark Newman, Department of Physics and Center for the Study of Complex Systems, University of Michigan, has created a neat page that represents the data from last Tuesday in a more visually accurate manner. [more inside] posted by HuronBob at 11:07 AM PST - 96 comments
Anyone familiar with the contemporary Russian humorous folklore (jokelore, or in Russian anekdoty) knows that one of the most popular series of such jokes revolves around the Chukchis, the native people of Chukotka, the most remote northeast corner of Russia. These jokes, especially popular in 1990s and 2000s, fit the international genre of ethnic stupidity jokes . . . posted by jason's_planet at 9:55 AM PST - 17 comments
Every month, Ian Anderson, editor of the UK music magazine fRoots, puts together a free 80-minute podcast of the past few weeks' best world music and folk music tracks. He has excellent taste - by which I mean it coincides largely with my own - and provides by far the best substitute I've yet found for Andy Kershaw's much-missed Radio 3 show. The same link has an archive offering the past four years' worth of fRoots shows for you to catch up on. posted by Paul Slade at 5:49 AM PST - 8 comments
"You sit down and pull the visor over your head. The visor interior is soft and enveloping. You squeeze the drip tube between your teeth and sickly sweet fluid floods your mouth. Pulses fire into your retinas." howling dogs is a work of interactive fiction by game designer Porpentine. It is a strange story about a person who lives in a cell and imagines strange scenes for a living. Endorsed by Emily Short, and made with Twine. Takes about 10 to 15 minutes with multiple endings. Via. posted by codacorolla at 4:22 PM PST - 17 comments
So was it worth it?
Well of course not. It turns out it was just advertising. There was no higher calling. No ultimate prize. Just a lot of faded, yellowing newsprint, and old video cassettes in an obsolete format I can’t even play any more even if I was interested. Oh yes, and a lot of framed certificates and little gold statuettes. A shit-load of empty Prozac boxes, wine bottles, a lot of grey hair and a tumor of indeterminate dimensions.
John McAfee is the founder of the McAfee security software company, one of the first and, to this day, one of the biggest. But it's what he has done since leaving the company in 1994 that has attracted him notoriety. After working on instant messaging software for a few years, McAfee devoted himself to thrill-seeking: yoga, jet skiing, and "aerotrekking," or flying small aircraft at low altitudes. After the 2008 financial crisis reportedly wiped out most of his personal fortune, once estimated at $100 million, McAfee decamped to Belize, where he began promoting a business venture aimed at halting the spread of bacterial resistance to antibiotics. But as science writer Jeff Wise (who also wrote the aerotrekking article) detailed after interviewing him in 2010, McAfee's commitment to the project seemed half-hearted at best, and his behavior came off as erratic and even paranoid. In a follow-up article, written after Belizean police raided McAfee's compound on suspicion of illegal weapons possession and drug manufacturing, Wise explores how "the enlightened Peter Pan seems to have refashioned himself into a kind of final-reel Scarface." posted by Cash4Lead at 9:38 AM PST - 82 comments
Hellblazer, the DC/Vertigo comic starring Alan Moore created occult investigator John Constantine, is being cancelled at issue #300 to make way for a new comic set in DC's New 52 universe. Hellblazer was DC's longest running continuously numbered comic and it's cancelation marks the last of the DC Comics characters with Vertigo titles being taken back into the mainstream DC universe (previously). Vertigo was originally an imprint for mature readers occult themed titles and creator owned work, though it has changed over the years with an adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo becoming the first Vertigo to receive TV advertising. posted by Artw at 8:11 AM PST - 85 comments
"If you actually tried to picture Graham's number in your head, then your head would collapse into a black hole." SLYT discussion of a number beyond "stupidly, stupidly big." Previously. posted by zanni at 3:02 AM PST - 35 comments
Is Everyone on the Spectrum? "In the nineties, clinicians began reconceptualizing autism from a singular disorder to a cluster of related conditions on a spectrum of severity; as the criteria broadened to encompass less acutely impaired people—such as the more verbal group diagnosed with Asperger’s—prevalence rose dramatically. Before 1980, one in 2,000 children was thought to be autistic. By 2007, the Centers for Disease Control were reporting that one in 152 American children had an autism-spectrum disorder. Two years later, the CDC updated the ratio to one in 110. This past March, the CDC revised the number upward again, to one in 88 (one in 54, if you just count boys, who are five times as likely to have one as girls). A South Korean study from last year put the number even higher, at one in 38. And in New Jersey, according to the latest numbers, an improbable one in 29 boys is on the spectrum." posted by bookman117 at 10:39 PM PST - 66 comments
"It seeped through the walls. It wafted up stairwells and elevator shafts. It was so bad, it rendered the other units on Nowell's floor unrentable. It was so bad, it made people dry-heave as they walked down the hallway. It was so bad, it caused the inspectors who examined Nowell's unit to gag and tear up. It was so bad, it attracted vermin. It was suffocating, overpowering, disgusting, distressing. It smelled like sour milk. Like diarrhea. Like mold." [The Man Who Smelled Too Much] posted by vidur at 8:12 PM PST - 87 comments
The poor in America: In need of helpSome 15% of Americans (around 46.2m people) live below the poverty line, as Ms Hamilton does. You have to go back to the early 1960s—before Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programmes—to find a significantly higher rate. Many more, like Ms Dunham, have incomes above the poverty line but nevertheless cannot meet their families’ basic monthly needs, and there are signs that their number is growing.
Once upon a time the fates of these people weighed heavily on American politicians. Ronald Reagan boasted about helping the poor by freeing them from having to pay federal income tax. Jack Kemp, Bob Dole’s running-mate in 1996, sought to spearhead a “new war on poverty.” George W. Bush called “deep, persistent poverty…unworthy of our nation’s promise”.
No longer. Budgets are tight and the safety net is expensive. Mitt Romney famously said he was not “concerned about the very poor” because they have a safety net to take care of them. Mr Obama’s second-term plan mentioned poverty once, and on the trail he spoke gingerly of “those aspiring to the middle class”. “Poor” is a four-letter word. posted by infini at 7:51 PM PST - 23 comments
A Vast Left-Wing Competency: "How Democrats became the party of effective campaigning — and why the GOP isn’t catching up anytime soon." Sasha Issenberg, author of The Victory Lab, has been writing a series of posts on Slate that focus on different aspects of "the new science of winning campaigns". [more inside] posted by flex at 2:12 PM PST - 103 comments
"Why did small business owner and gamer dad Mike Hoye spend the last few weeks hand-tweaking the text in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker so that the main character was referred to as a girl instead of a boy? As he put it, 'I’m not having my daughter growing up thinking girls don’t get to be the hero.'" posted by hot soup at 11:29 AM PST - 67 comments
"I'm on record as saying that Gerhard was, for twenty years, the best pure pen-and-ink artist in the comic-book field and that it was unfortunate that he got pigeon-holed as a mere inker and that Dave Sim's "pariahdom" extended to someone who never voiced an opinion about anything one way or the other." - Dave Sim [more inside] posted by nanojath at 10:32 AM PST - 36 comments
"In 1911, the Saenger Brothers, Abe and Julian, operators of a drug business at Louisiana and Milam streets, decided to enter the amusement field. They were impressed with [Shreveport movie theatre operator E.V. Richards] and induced him to join them in their new field of endeavor ... In 1912 the Saenger Amusement Company was organized with Saenger Brothers, E.V. Richards and L. M. Ash as the stockholders. Richards continued as manager and an expansion policy was adopted which linked Texarkana, Monroe and Alexandria with Shreveport and thus formed the first Saenger chain of theatres in this area ... The company moved to New Orleans where the Strand Theatre, a building of magnificent modernity, was formally opened on July 4, 1917 ... In 1924 the company again inhaled deeply before exhaling a new record of expansion that established branches in 12 southern states. In 1926 and '27 further expansion took the company into Cuba, Jamaica, Panama and Costa Rica. During the expansion peak 320 theatres were involved in the holding company." Sadly, few remain.[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:40 AM PST - 8 comments
For some, it's a document examining a pivotal point in rock history with one of the biggest bands. For others, it is a eulogy marking the transformation of a vibrant force in music into ironic self-importance. Either way, David Guggenheim's 2011 film From The Sky Down [in twoparts, ~90m total, trailer] is an interesting, somewhat historical, definitely hagiographic documentary about the struggles U2 faced between the end of the Joshua Tree tour and during the recording and release of Achtung Baby. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 11:28 PM PST - 70 comments
"We discussed the danger of partisan division, and the need for us, all of us, to come together and find common ground after a very rough and divisive couple of weeks. ... It is no secret that Brad and I had two very different visions for you and whom you date. Tonight, you have spoken, and Brad has prevailed."
--- The American People Have Spoken About Our Relationship posted by New Frontier at 9:34 PM PST - 19 comments
RIP Bob Quinn. If you've spent any time at the University of Washington, you'll likely recognize him as the guy who wandered, with his well-behaved off-leash dog, up and down the Ave, spending all day at various coffee shops and bookstores. Or if you were using heroin or were otherwise at high risk for HIV in North Seattle anytime between the 1980s and now, you likely recognize him because he may have saved your life. [more inside] posted by librarina at 6:50 PM PST - 45 comments
However long it takes for a real victory to be certified—no matter what happens on Election Day, it will be too early to unfurl a "Mission Accomplished" banner—the once ragtag march of lovers has acquired an air of inevitability. Edith Eyde's prophecy is almost fulfilled: gays are more or less regular folk. All the same, many who came out during the Stonewall era are wondering what will be lost as the community sheds its pariah status. They are baffled by the latter-day cult of marriage and the military—emblems of Eisenhower's America that the Stonewall generation joyfully rejected. The gay world is confronting a question with which Jews, African-Americans, and other marginalized groups have long been familiar: the price of assimilation.
How I Lost Faith In The Pro-Life Movement: "What I want to share here is how I came to this realization. And if you, reader, are one of those who opposes abortion because you believe it is murder and you want to save the lives of unborn babies, well, I hope to persuade you that the pro-life movement is not actually your ally in this, that you have been misled, and that you would be more effective in decreasing the number of abortions that occur if you were to side with pro-choice progressives. If this is you, please hear me out before shaking your head." [more inside] posted by flex at 2:01 PM PST - 544 comments
If ever there were a question about the ballooning scale of America's prison system, the Louisiana State Penitentiary provides an answer. It has its own golf course. posted by Chrysostom at 12:58 PM PST - 25 comments
The Gutenberg press, as Carr is well aware, did not precede or produce the literate subject, but merely facilitated its generalization by making the production of books more economical. Along the way it undoubtedly—through some of its own formal characteristics—exerted an influence on the text it carried... But there is a tendency in the critique of technology to over-emphasize such factors at the expense of farther-reaching socio-historical explanations.
And think about it for a second: this is bizarre. If Americans are in fact divided between two extremely different political ideologies, it would be an extraordinary coincidence if each of those philosophies were to hold the allegiance of nearly equal blocs of support.[more inside] posted by memebake at 7:54 AM PST - 206 comments
The light from a primary rainbow is partially polarised. Now, in a paper accepted by the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics, the authors show how to use the weak signal from rainbows in starlight reflected by exoplanets to detect the presence of liquid water clouds. [arXiv preprint link]
In particular, liquid water clouds covering as little as 10%-20% of the planetary surface, with more than half of these covered by ice clouds, still create a polarized rainbow feature in the planetary signal. Indeed, calculations of flux and polarization signals of an exoplanet with a realistic Earth-like cloud coverage, show a strong polarized rainbow feature.
"In the 2000 election, approximately 70% of Muslims in America voted for Bush; among non-African-American Muslims, the ratio was over 80%. It can be safely said that if the Muslim community had voted the same way they had in 2000, [Romney] would have won." So what happened? [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 2:25 AM PST - 74 comments
"Curiosity – what’s inside the cube" is the first experiment out of Peter Molyneux-headed game studio 22cans. "Something amazing is hidden in the cube but only one player will be fortunate to discover what it is." You can get crackin' at the cube for free from the iTunes App store or Google Play. [more inside] posted by disillusioned at 1:20 AM PST - 85 comments
You loved Battlestar Galactica (but you may have been iffy on the ending), and you may have enjoyed Caprica, so now, coming soonish, in the most confusing way possible, is the long delayed Blood And Chrome. A web series, a sequel, a prequel, and movie and/or a DVD. Something like that. Probably starting this week. posted by Mezentian at 6:58 AM PST - 95 comments
"Fundamentally flawed, unreasonable and irrational."
In 2006, ABN Amro created a new type of financial instrument, the constant proportion debt obligation (CPDO), and sold a number of them to 15 local councils in Australia. Standard & Poor's rated these CPDOs as AAA.
The Federal Court of Australia has now determined that both ABN Amro and S&P are liable for the losses the councils suffered when the value of the CPDOs collapsed during the financial crisis; the councils lost 90 per cent on the deal. S&P's rating of the CPDOs was found to have been "misleading and deceptive". Felix Salmon provides some analysis. [more inside] posted by kithrater at 12:16 AM PST - 28 comments
Undecided on election day? Sat through all the debates and still not sure who's right and who's wrong? What you're really looking for is an endorsment by people you can trust completely, you can look up to, true heroes? Well, J. Caleb Mozzocco has taken the trouble to interview a representative cross section of superheroes and is starting to see a pattern. [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 12:07 AM PST - 35 comments
What's Wrong With Online Reading, a slide presentation by Randy Connolly, argues that the relatively recent and increasingly popular approach to reading and learning - on computers, tablets and smartphones instead of traditional print - influences what and how we read, research and think, with disturbing consequences. posted by Schadenfreudian at 9:23 PM PST - 50 comments
Less than a day away from one of the most significant political battles of this century, it is critical that we not lose sight of that physical and mental conflict entered into on a daily basis in homes across this country. It is difficult to understand why we've intentionally designed our environment in a manner that enrages, terrifies, and taunts our most loved little ones, but we have.....and, alone, they confront it with bravery and determination. posted by HuronBob at 5:21 PM PST - 27 comments
Fast tracking kebal - Plugging the cord into an electric socket, I was instructed to place my foot on top of one of the plates. Pak Edi held the other plate under his own foot, and immediately his leg began to quiver from the electric current. posted by unliteral at 4:25 PM PST - 8 comments
Murder of an Idealist. "For six hours on September 11, the American compounds in Benghazi, Libya, stood siege. When the attack was over, J. Christopher Stevens's body was pulled from the wreckage—the first U.S. ambassador killed by militants in over thirty years. Since then, his death has been politicized and the details of the attack distorted. Sean Flynn straightens out the story of Stevens's last days in Libya—and reveals the true believer we lost that day." posted by homunculus at 2:40 PM PST - 36 comments
"Hipster Sexism consists of the objectification of women but in a manner that uses mockery, quotation marks, and paradox: the stuff you learned about in literature class." posted by Isadorady at 2:16 PM PST - 147 comments
The new "no comment": F-Off. Has electronic media created an F-bomb journalistic culture? "The close 2012 presidential campaign has been an especially ideal environment for this new mind-set of nonstop combat — marked by blazing email trails, streaked with profanity and accusations of incompetence and bad faith." posted by Xurando at 1:11 PM PST - 20 comments
On Kate Moss, and Taking One for the Team: "So, earlier this week Vanity Fair published a rare interview with Moss, in which the model, who is well-known for her circumspection, is unusually frank about the early years of her career. Moss was still a skinny, gangly teenager when she was plucked from mediocrity in Croydon and catapulted to superstardom. She was barely an adult, almost still a child, when she did her first topless photo shoot, with Corinne Day for The Face. In the interview, she talks about how uncomfortable this made her... This isn't the only the only revelation Moss made during the interview. It also turns out that the famous Calvin Klein campaign she did in 1992 with Mark Wahlberg gave her a nervous breakdown... Conveniently ignoring the fact that when the pictures were taken, Moss wasn't 'the face of the '90s', but a skinny teenage girl who cried because she was made to take her clothes off, Needham continues by saying that Moss' skinny frame 'seemed to encapsulate the euphoria of those long-distant times.'" [more inside] posted by flex at 9:10 AM PST - 92 comments
Our aim is to examine [Paris's] connection to its underground in a way no one has before: we will attempt to walk from the southern edge to the northern, using only catacombs, telecom tunnels, sewers and other hidden infrastructure. It is a 14-mile trek, every step illegal. posted by Chrysostom at 6:06 AM PST - 56 comments
The Fifth Problem: "If this were a boxing match, with one of the boxers pressed in the corner, bloodied, desperately trying to hold his own against the barrage of punches falling on him (many of them below the belt, I might add), that would be the equivalent of the final, deadly, blow. The problem looked innocent enough at first glance: given a circle and two points on the plane outside the circle, construct another circle passing trough those two points and touching the first circle at one point." Edward Frenkel, now Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, details the curiously baroque way Moscow State University chose to discriminate against talented Jewish math students: By quizzing them with fiendishly difficult math problems with deceptively simple solutions that are nearly impossible to find. [more inside] posted by flug at 12:43 AM PST - 41 comments
Gary Yost is a volunteer fire spotter at the Mount Tamalpais fire lookout. He made a beautiful video of "a day in the life" which has gone viral--somehow didn't make it to Metafilter yet. posted by agatha_magatha at 9:53 PM PST - 28 comments
CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER: The thing that strikes me about your friend's building -- if I understood you correctly -- is that somehow in some intentional way it is not harmonious. That is, Moneo intentionally wants to produce an effect of disharmony. Maybe even of incongruity.
PETER EISENMAN: That is correct.
CHRISTOPHER ALEXANDER: I find that incomprehensible. I find it very irresponsible. I find it nutty. I feel sorry for the man. I also feel incredibly angry because he is fucking up the world.
The International Ski Federation (FIS) has denied Lindsey Vonn's request that she be able to compete in a men's World Cup downhill race at Lake Louise, Alberta on November 24. The US Ski and Snowboard Associaton had petitioned the FIS in support of Vonn's request and the President of Alpine Canada has expressed his disagreement with the FIS decision. The New York Times explained that Vonn spends time training with men, often races on men's skis, and "has, at times, been faster than men in training." The BBC reports Vonn said, "I'd like the chance to compete against them and see where I stand." posted by Area Man at 12:21 PM PST - 47 comments
When I came to the US, I heard about Mensa — the high IQ society. My IQ had never been tested, so I was curious. I was told that there was a special IQ test for non-English speakers and that my fresh immigrant status and lack of English knowledge was not a problem. I signed up. posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:53 AM PST - 164 comments
Oliver Burkeman on happiness through negative thinking: "I think many of the techniques that claim to enable us to achieve happiness don’t work. They are too focused on strenuously stamping out any trace of negativity, rather than cultivating the conditions of real happiness... We are all to some extent in its grip, whenever we think that the way to achieve whatever we’re trying to achieve is to go after it vigorously, and that if we believe it will all work out fine then it will." A "five books" interview with the author of The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can't Stand Positive Thinking. [more inside] posted by flex at 8:32 AM PST - 49 comments
Back in 1999, Wandering Earl left home for a three month trip to Asia that still hasn't ended. As a permanent nomad, Earl's aim is to demonstrate that long-term travel is not a crazy fantasy, but a very real lifestyle option instead. Find out where Earl is now, and where he's been on his blog. [more inside] posted by netbros at 7:41 AM PST - 64 comments
Last year, after Halloween, Jimmy Kimmel had parents troll their kids for cheap laughs by telling them that they had eaten all their candy. While many observers, including some Mefites, felt that lying to your kids in this way was being willfully-mean, it garnered 34 million hits on YouTube, so naturally, he did it again.
Whether you think this is funny or not is definitely debatable; but if you're an old curmudgeon, like me, perhaps 3 year-old Madeline might just restore your hope for humanity. posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:04 PM PST - 124 comments
On November 3 1957, Лайка, also known as Laika The Space Dog is launched into orbit around the planet earth. A small mongrel chosen for her patient temper, the Soviet Space Program gloried in her achievement, but when she was sent into space, there was no plan in place for a proper re-entry into the earth’s atmosphere.
When pressed for details, the USSR media eventually claimed that she was peacefully euthanized with drugged food after six days in orbit. Documents released years later revealed that after six hours and four orbits, she died from a faulty heat-shield malfunction. Her spacecraft disintegrated five months later...
But what if Laika didn’t die?[more inside] posted by ovvl at 5:33 PM PST - 73 comments
Eighty years ago Australia went to war against a fierce and terrible enemy threatening the very foundations of life in Western Australia. An enemy so tough the Australian commanding officer described them as "like Zulus whom even dum-dum bullets could not stop". Though the army did have the upper hand in the first engagements, dreams of a quick victory were dashed when the enemy's central command let its "unwieldy army split up into innumerable small units that made use of the military equipment uneconomic. A crestfallen field force therefore withdrew from the combat area after about a month". Yes, it's eighty years since the Emu War. posted by MartinWisse at 1:37 PM PST - 27 comments
It’s a fierce object, many-layered yet taut as could be. It’s a dense field made of raw materials so rarefied that even in combination the resulting effect is singular, tensile. The album in question isFugazi Edits, for which Chris Lawhorn took the extensive discography of the hardcore band Fugazi and combined multiple songs into new hybrid compositions. posted by Egg Shen at 11:02 AM PST - 10 comments
The Caretaker of Dreams Wins The first time the rainbow mysteriously appeared on a tunnel visible from the Don Valley Parkway, the North York parks department painted over it.
But the guerrilla mural artist — known as “the Caretaker of Dreams” — persevered, eventually winning them over.
Now, 40 years later, the city has officially restored the psychedelic mural that has brought smiles to countless grim commutes — just as the artist intended. posted by modernnomad at 8:20 AM PST - 25 comments
The Toolchest Site does what it says on the tin. Possibly the most mind blowing tool chest on the site is this masterful 1/12 scale reproduction based on the Hewitt chest at Colonial Williamsburg, done by celebrated miniaturist William Robertson. Everything works like the original, down to the lock and the included tools like the plane and the folding rule. posted by Harald74 at 3:20 AM PST - 27 comments
The legendary Swiss graphic designer Donald Brun (1909-1999) was a master of the Object Poster (where the image is paramount in selling the product), an artform that thrived in the early and mid-20th Century before cheaper paper and printing and distribution methods made it virtually obsolete. Brun's work is marked by humor and whimsy, bright bold colors and shapes, a wide variety of graphic styles (although it is often compared to classic children's book illustrations), and animals. [more inside] posted by julen at 12:19 PM PST - 7 comments
"I’ve since discovered that dropping in on Steve Ditko unannounced is a pretty common practice. That does’t make me feel any better. I felt gross for having invaded someone’s privacy – there is zero excuse – but the fact that people do this as a sort of known event is even worse. I haven’t pulled that on Ditko since and I never will, but I suppose we’re all free to disrupt the man just to satiate our curiosity, or “just cuz”, as if he were a landmark attraction and not a person." -- On Ditko's eightyfifth birthday, cartoonist Michael Fiffe talks about Steve Ditko, the influence Ditko has had on his own comics and the incredibly gracious way in which he corresponded with him as a young clueless fan. posted by MartinWisse at 11:10 AM PST - 5 comments
The home front: Surrounded by barbed wire, sandbags and mud, this 60ft trench is barely distinguishable from those occupied by British soldiers fighting in the First World War almost a century ago.
The enormous dugout has been painstakingly recreated by an ex-history teacher in his back garden in Surrey, and the dedicated 55-year-old even spent 24 hours living in its confines with a team of volunteers as part of his efforts to experience life as a WWI soldier. posted by ShawnString at 7:37 AM PST - 47 comments
The world record for Flash Anzan was broken this year at the 2012 All Japan Soroban [abacus] Championship. Competitors in Flash Anzan sum up 15 3-digit numbers that are displayed in turn within a set time. The record is now 1.70 seconds, which means that each number is displayed for just over 0.1s. Here is a video of a "slow" 1.85 seconds seconds where the numbers are barely readable. [more inside] posted by milkb0at at 4:39 AM PST - 31 comments
Every few minutes of the day, all over the capital, people gather into small groups to share the same space and fleeting moment in time... simply to wait for something routine and forgettable as a London bus. In transient, with time to kill, and often among strangers, each collection of these individuals proves completely unique from the next. Each collection provides a little insight into London's incredible diversity, how they relate to their surroundings, and each other. The very deliberate intention with By the Bus Stop, was to capture those little moments which happen spontaneously, when the meeting of individuals is completely left to chance. [more inside] posted by netbros at 10:47 PM PST - 37 comments
OMNI Magazine delighted, informed, and even confused geeks of many flavours, and is now available to be downloaded from the Internet Archive. [previously] posted by batmonkey at 10:06 PM PST - 86 comments
Some people have made an interesting and clever 'goalkeeping machine', which prevents football (soccer) strikers from scoring goals, using high speed cameras and projectiles sent out to intercept the ball. And - obviously! - they've deployed it there, in the goalmouth, in a toilet. posted by Hartham's Hugging Robots at 3:26 PM PST - 26 comments
12-year-old uses Dungeons & Dragons to help scientist dad with his research: Cognitive scientist Alan Kingstone wanted to test whether people look at each others' eyes or simply to the center of faces. Some had suggested an answer would be impossible to discern because humans' eyes are in the center of their faces. But Alan’s son, Julian, a fan of D&D, told his father about D&D monster characters that have eyes in unusual places, such as on their hands or tail. “[Julian suggested] if you just showed them these images, you could find out whether they are looking for the eyes or not. I thought, actually, that’s a very good idea,” Kingstone said (summarized from Cosmos). The paper describing the results - "Monsters are people too" - was published in the British Royal Society journal Biology Letters this month, with 14-year-old Julian named as the lead author. posted by flex at 3:12 PM PST - 42 comments
My Fair Election crowd-sources pollwatching: "We hope that this information will be used by citizens, journalists, and election officials to identify the worst polling places and work to fix them. We hope that officials in charge of polling places with long lines or otherwise operate poorly will be embarrassed, held to account, and so motivated to do a better job." (via Hollie Russon-Gilman and Archon Fung) posted by anotherpanacea at 2:06 PM PST - 21 comments
Trip-hop/downtempo DJ and producer Wax Tailor (autoplay media) just released Dusty Rainbow from the Dark (album trailer), a narrated concept album about childhood, melancholia, and escapism. Two videos Time to Go (featuring Aloe Blacc) and Heart Stop (featuring Jennifer Charles) have been released. The album combines vocal collaborations with movie-line heavy compositions constructed through the turntable and sampler. (An earlier example is I Don't Know from Tales of Forgotten Memories.) [more inside] posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 10:28 AM PST - 5 comments
A small piece ofTruman Capote’s famously unfinished novel Answered Prayershas come to light. The six-page story, “Yachts and Things,” found among Capote’s papers in the Manuscripts and Archives Division of the New York Public Library, is published in the December issue of Vanity Fair, out now in New York and nationally next week. The story will be available online in mid-November.[more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 7:46 AM PST - 13 comments
"During that trip I even had a leech stuck to my eyeball for a couple of days. We tried coaxing it off with some raw meat and salt." Robbie Shone takes eye-popping cave photos. posted by unSane at 5:07 AM PST - 74 comments
Perhaps not as well known as Ackley's Ghost, whose legal, if not factual, existence is known to every American law student, the Greenbrier Ghost is still known as the only ghost whose testimony helped convict a murderer.
Although commonly used to convict witches, spectral evidence largely fell out of favor after the Salem Witch Trials, until one West Virginia women's ghost accused her husband of murdering her. posted by Bulgaroktonos at 4:54 AM PST - 5 comments