Stunning photography of wild things. Whales, Eagles, and more. Flash interface, but it's not too bad to navigate. Every time I think I'm getting good at taking pictures, I see something like this and just drool. posted by pjern at 11:36 PM PST - 28 comments
The Last Post, a military bugle call marking the end of the day, was originally sounded to call off-duty soldiers to barracks; later it was also incorporated into British and Commonwealth military funeral services (analogous to the playing of Taps for US military dead) and "symbolises that the duty of the dead is over and that they can rest in peace." It's perhaps as fitting as "Auld Lang Syne" at the close of year 2005. posted by orthogonality at 1:03 PM PST - 16 comments
The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail The U.S. Family Network, a public advocacy group that operated in the 1990s with close ties to Rep. Tom DeLay and claimed to be a nationwide grass-roots organization, was funded almost entirely by corporations linked to embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to tax records and former associates of the group. posted by Postroad at 12:46 PM PST - 33 comments
Many letters to the editor are unfit to print, but that didn't stop one of my local papers from saving them up and printing the most entertaining today. Among the gems are complaints about ugly feet and phallic WalMart trash cans, as well as the astute observation that the "Frenchies" own a lot of foreign cars. Registration may be required. I took the liberty of creating a metafilter/metafilter account. posted by ewagoner at 10:06 AM PST - 20 comments
Did the blue dress ever exist? Regina Louise had a miserable childhood, shuttled from foster home to foster home, at best ignored at best and at worst abused. There was only one happy memory from her childhood: the time she spent with the sole foster mother to ever show her love. But that woman had vanished from Louise's life years ago, and it seemed unlikely they'd ever meet again... (Warning: this newspaper article may make you cry.) posted by yankeefog at 7:04 AM PST - 46 comments
We won the f*ing lottery! Ingredients: TiVo of last week's lottery run, trusting friend, friends looking to capitalize on the relationship between the two and a lottery ticket for this week's lottery to seal the deal. (Um, yes, via) WARNING: Contains video, profanity, Milli Vanilli posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:06 PM PST - 37 comments
Strange Fruit Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin' in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees... posted by caddis at 1:31 PM PST - 47 comments
The new Yahoo! Mail service, which features a "new interface more like that of a desktop e-mail application...[plus] e-mail caching; message preview; drag-and-drop filing, an integrated RSS feeder, and the ability to view multiple e-mails at the same time in separate windows and scroll through all message headers in a folder rather than one page at a time," is getting some pretty good buzz (Leo really raved about it on TWiT last week). It's only out to a select few though -- any MeFites been privy? posted by JPowers at 12:37 PM PST - 29 comments
Jeremy Hermanns' flight on Alaska Air #536 was out of the ordinary, to say the least. A baggage handler ran into the plane before takeoff and didn't bother to report it. So when the plane reached altitude, its cabin suddenly depressurized, and was forced back to Sea-Tac Airport. Jeremy, who has experience as a pilot, posted about what happened on his blog. Rather than offer an apology, Alaska Air employees have taken to bashing him from company IP addresses.
This brings up a larger question, though. What should companies do when their products or services fail, and consumers (almost inevitably) discuss it in a public forum? Jeff Jarvis' Dell incident comes to mind. In that link, he mentions Dell's no talking to customers on blogs policy.
Would you rather have a company that reached out to disgruntled customers, or pushed them away? I've seen more than one small software company comment on a blog or take direct action as a result of a post -- is that the preferable route today? posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:20 AM PST - 40 comments
"[E]ven though you couldn't predict exactly what animals would look like if you started evolution over on earth, or it happened on another planet -- with a given gravity and density of their tissues, the same basic patterns of their design would evolve again." A new study models all forms of locomotion -- swimming, walking, flying by muscle or flying by 747 -- in one physics theory, and stultifies Stephen Jay Gould's conjectures about the "contingency" of evolution. [mi] posted by orthogonality at 3:36 AM PST - 62 comments
A Disturbance in the Blogosphere: Publishing the UK/US/Uzbekistan Torture Memo. Braving arrest, bloggers have broken the UK’s law of silence with the truth about torture.
Bloggers are mass publishing the leaked UK/US/Uzbekistan Torture Memos. The memos are from the correspondences of Craig Murray who was the United Kingdom's ambassador to Uzbekistan.
These memos are evidence and a memorandum of record outlining the rendition and torture of US-arrested prisoners in Uzbekistan.
From Craig Murray's Memo:12. On the usefulness of the material obtained, this is irrelevant. Article 2 of the [UN] Convention, to which we are a party, could not be plainer: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture."
13. Nonetheless, I repeat that this material is useless – we are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful. posted by Dunvegan at 11:51 PM PST - 246 comments
"Hi, Mom? Hi, I'm just calling to say I'm on my way to Baghdad." In which a Floridian teen decides he wants to see what's going on in Iraq. So he, you know, goes. "It was mid-afternoon Tuesday, after his second night in Baghdad, that he sought out editors at The Associated Press and announced he was in Iraq to do research and humanitarian work. AP staffers had never seen an unaccompanied teenage American walk into their war zone office. ("I would have been less surprised if little green men had walked in," said editor Patrick Quinn.)" posted by LondonYank at 3:04 PM PST - 109 comments
Once state-of-the-art mental healthcare facilities, Kirkbride buildings have long been relics of an obsolete therapeutic method known as Moral Treatment. These massive structures were conceived as ideal sanctuaries for the mentally ill in the latter half of the nineteenth century. AKA:The Kirkbride Plan. [more stuff inside] posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:03 AM PST - 21 comments
Of all the Christmas cards I received this year from political action committees, this one from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep & Bear arms best summed up the holiday spirit to me. posted by jonson at 9:06 AM PST - 75 comments
Checks and No Balance While previous presidents have at various times claimed the legal right to authorize searches and electronic surveillance without court warrants so as to gather foreign intelligence, those decisions have undergone scrutiny by either courts or congressional hearings.
It's fair to say that Bush had no intention of allowing public scrutiny of his act, since he personally summoned the top executives of The New York Times to a private meeting on December 6 and pressured them not to run the story about the domestic spying posted by Postroad at 8:14 AM PST - 20 comments
Sacco and Vanzetti are guilty. (LA Times link, reg. required/bugmenot) At least according to a letter that recently surfaced in California. The letter saying this was apparently written by none other than famed muckraker Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle.
What's more, after supposedly learning of their guilt from the pair's lawyer, Sinclair went ahead and wrote the novel Boston, which helped popularize the view that the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti was a matter of injustice, and the notion the two were innocent.
This is not the first time their guilt has been asserted, either.
In 1961, Max Eastman, famous leftist-turned-McCarthy supporter, wrote an article which alleged that the shadowy anarcho-syndicalist, CarloTresca, had told him that Sacco was guilty but Vanzetti was innocent. posted by Heminator at 7:07 AM PST - 33 comments
PICTURE THIS: A folksy, self-consciously plainspoken Southern politician rises to power during a period of profound unrest in America. The nation is facing one of the half-dozen or so of its worst existential crises to date, and the people, once sunny, confident, and striving, are now scared, angry, and disillusioned. Through a combination of factors -his easy bearing chief among them (along with massive cash donations from Big Business; disorganization in the liberal opposition; a stuffy, aloof opponent; and support from religious fanatics who feel they've been unfairly marginalized)-he wins the presidential election.
Ripped from today's headlines? Nope. Sinclair Lewis, Circa 1935: "It Can't Happen Here" has been recently reissued. But you can read it here (with free registration) at American Buddha (possibly NSFW). first link via Arts & Letters Daily posted by spock at 10:59 PM PST - 44 comments
Imagine what it might feel like to get hit in the head by a rotating helicopter blade. Johnny Lowe found out two days ago -- and has survived to earn the nickname "Chopper". posted by soiled cowboy at 8:47 PM PST - 25 comments
The Kids are Alright, Dammit.Reason's Nick Gillespie weighs-in on the 2005 Modern Language Association annual convention.
"...faced with a choice between a sort of bitter righteousness and increasing irrelevance on the one hand and engaging students with more fair-minded argumentation and open-ended discussion, some academics are choosing the latter. That's certainly good news for kids stuck in freshman composition classes, those dreary required classes which are often little more than clumsy attempts at political indoctrination." posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:01 PM PST - 42 comments
Miracle on 57th Street. Thomas Wolfe said that America is not only the place where miracles happen, but where they happen all the time. This is the story of a miracle, a true-life fairy tale, and appropriately enough it begins with the intervention of the Almighty.
ArturRodzinski, music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1943 to 1947, was an eccentric, a health nut who drank only milk from goats he raised himself and who kept a loaded revolver in his back pocket whenever he conducted. Rodzinski said that God told him to hire 24 year old LeonardBernstein, to be his assistant conductor. In the fall of 1943 Rodzinski decided to take a vacation, spend a little time with his goats, and called in Bruno Walter to conduct seven concerts in ten days. Only hours before one of those concerts (in the program, works by Schumann, Rosza, Strauss and Wagner) Walter fell ill. Rodzinski was only four hours away, in his farm. But he declined to come back to Carnegie Hall: "Call Bernstein. That's why we hired him." The concert was broadcast over radio and a review appeared on page 1 of The New York Times the next day: "Young Aide Leads Philharmonic; Steps in When Bruno Walter is Ill". In the same size type as another that read, "Japanese Plane Transport Sunk." More inside. posted by matteo at 10:41 AM PST - 48 comments
The Hard Road A very engrossing and well written series by three reporters of the St Petersburg Times who spent a year reporting on a hit-and-run case that shocked Tampa. This long, tragic narrative broken into five installments, explores what happened after Jennifer Porter, a quiet, unassuming 28-year-old schoolteacher, ran down four of Lisa Wilkins' children one evening in March 2004. [via] posted by StarForce5 at 8:50 AM PST - 91 comments
LibriVox is out to share public domain literature via podcast and soundfiles. Free. Volunteers do the reading. The catalog has only a short list of completed works, but there are many "in progress." I was pleased to see Psmith in the City is complete. posted by mmahaffie at 6:48 PM PST - 14 comments
Enchanted Ceiling is a menagerie of skies collected by you and your internet neighbors. It consists in a gallery of photos capturing the sky all over the world. The site was inspired by the enchanted ceiling of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which, by means of a spell, simulated the weather taking place outside. These pictures will nicely complement the pictures of the earth made from the sky. posted by Masi at 5:48 PM PST - 4 comments
Pentagon has yet to ban contractors from using forced labor "A proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor was drafted by the Pentagon last summer, but five defense lobbying groups oppose key provisions and a final policy still appears to be months away, according to those involved and Defense Department records." ...this is "zero tolerance" ? posted by specialk420 at 4:09 PM PST - 42 comments
Collapse of civilization: Not necessarily a bad thing Many will no doubt find the foregoing discussion of collapse depressing or pessimistic. In “How Civilizations Fall: A Theory of Catabolic Collapse”, John Michael Greer hints at why this is, writing, “Even within the social sciences, the process by which complex societies give way to smaller and simpler ones has often been presented in language drawn from literary tragedy, as though the loss of sociocultural complexity necessarily warranted a negative value judgment. This is understandable, since the collapse of civilizations often involves catastrophic human mortality and the loss of priceless cultural treasures, but like any value judgment it can obscure important features of the matter at hand.” Greer goes on to characterize collapse in terms of ecological succession.
…Collapse happens precisely because it improves our lives—and it happens when the alternative is no longer tolerable. posted by halekon at 11:33 AM PST - 45 comments
Matt Damitio's shamelessly egotistical Buddhist-Anarchist blog offers three books for free download: Slackville Road, a novel about homelessness in the US; Rough Living: An Urban Survival Manual about how to survive, er, homelessness in the US, and, last but not least, the Anarchist Manifesto Project, which offers an easy introduction to such rare philosophical delicacies as Anarcho-Taoism, primitivism, syndicalism, and green anarchism... a healthy antidote to the sense of defeated self-loathing that the corporations have generously given us all for Christmas. "Money is what the system tells us people obviously need", opines Damitio. "However, if one takes a deeper look, it becomes clear that what we really need is time. Time to enjoy a spontaneous discussion. Time to express our views and hear them critiqued. Time to hear the views of others and allow our thoughts and ideas to evolve." posted by cleardawn at 7:19 AM PST - 66 comments
In Middle Class, Signs of Anxiety on School Efforts. The New York City Department of Education has made a number of changes to gifted and talented and special admission programs, and has increased the emphasis on test preparation. These changes (it is suggested) may start pushing middle-class parents out of the (relatively few) public schools regarded as good. Parents who can afford the $20k tuition and who can manage the admissions process will go to private school ... one supposes those who fall short on either front will go to the suburbs. posted by MattD at 6:24 AM PST - 20 comments
Having trouble with that new videogame you got for Christmas? Text-only walkthroughs don't do it for you? Then try Stuck Gamer. Video walkthroughs for a pretty good number of games. Including, thanks the Lords of Kobol, Ninja Gaiden. posted by WolfDaddy at 10:04 PM PST - 16 comments
RIP Vincent Schiavelli , a character actor who appeared in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Buckaroo Banzai, Amadeus, Death to Smoochie and a ton of other films. A cult favorite, he was one of those actors you looked at and thought, "who is that guy?". posted by dbiedny at 2:06 PM PST - 81 comments
The Agency That Could Be Big Brother [when this guy talks about NSA, he is authoritative] "DEEP in a remote, fog-layered hollow near Sugar Grove, W.Va., hidden by fortress-like mountains, sits the country's largest eavesdropping bug. Located in a "radio quiet" zone, the station's large parabolic dishes secretly and silently sweep in millions of private telephone calls and e-mail messages an hour"... posted by Postroad at 11:17 AM PST - 100 comments
MAN - Mothers Against Noise. "Noise is music that uses unpleasant or painful or extremely loud or discordant sound. Noise is also a very dangerous musical trend that is hell bent on destroying civilized culture, this anti-cultural movement is quickly sweeping the globe, and is very dangerous to our youth."
via MonkeyFilter and our own panoptican. posted by loquacious at 11:14 AM PST - 70 comments
There have been a number of urban exploration or modern ruins photography posts here over the years, but I couldn't find any that linked to my new favorite modern ruin site, opacity.us. With 85 galleries of subjects as gorgeous as Bannerman's Arsenal and as haunting as the Verden Psychiatric Hospital, it's a treasure trove of entropy on film. posted by jonson at 10:27 AM PST - 18 comments
There are an infinite number of things you could be doing. No matter what you work on, you're not working on everything else. So the question is not how to avoid procrastination, but how to procrastinate well. (via slashdot) posted by Chuckles at 11:04 PM PST - 24 comments
America seems a little less evil today. The outrage and indignation expressed in a previous MeFi story was unjustified. The Department of Homeland Security did not visit a student after he made an interlibrary request for Mao Tse-Tung's Little Red Book. The student made it all up. posted by Meridian at 4:34 PM PST - 53 comments
Off in the Christmas Cosmos. Concert promoter Andy Cirzan spends a lot of his free time scouring record stores, thrift shops and flea markets for odd and obscure Christmas music. You used to have to be an industry insider to get a copy of his annual compilation, but now there's a download courtesy of Sound Opinions (the world's only rock 'n roll talk show). If the barrage of Christmas standards has left you with the holiday blahs, let the Free Design, Lord Beginner, and the polka of Don Cornell get you back in the mood. If that's not enough, get more (including Mr. Cirzan explaining what the heck you're listening too) on the SoundOpinions podcast. posted by hydrophonic at 1:24 PM PST - 10 comments
Merry Christmas Gesëende Kersfees, Milad Majid, Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!, Sretan Bozic, Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan, Gajan Kristnaskon, Joyeux Noel...... posted by zouhair at 4:52 AM PST - 36 comments
It Isn’t Easy Being the Sexy Bin Laden : “the face is alluring (big dark eyes, long lashes, plump lips, caramel skin)”. Satin sheets, a feather boa and not much else.
And who could resist alluring bin Laden quotes like this?
At last, someone is going to take the legal route. Italian authorities have issued arrest warrants for 22 CIA Agents suspected of involvement in the US kidnap/torture policy. "The new warrants allow for the suspects' detention anywhere in the 25-nation EU, a prosecutor said." That's more lost clients for the European tourist industry. posted by cassbrown1 at 12:14 AM PST - 45 comments
CryptoKids Hey Kids! Want to learn about how to spy on your friends? Do you like to snitch on your siblings? Here's a fun site for you where the U.S. Government can start to let you know about the fun world of cryptography and violating the Fourth Amendment rights of your fellow citizens.
For you parents, check out the NSA's Responsible Citizen page! Note the funny ellipses after the references to the Fourth Amendment and Government Oversight. Your tax dollars at work. posted by Ironmouth at 12:06 AM PST - 11 comments
How do you say, "I have a gub" in Hungarian? (registration or video viewing required) Attila Ambrus, the handsome, courtly Whiskey Robber of Budapest, shares his tale with Salon, and what a yarn it is! After fleeing his native Romania beneath a train, Ambrus was variously a pelt-smuggler, Zamboni-wrangler, world-class hockey failure, gravedigger, and dog-walker, until he found his true calling in 1993: relieving banks of their cash. Then the story gets interesting, involving bad disguises, flowers for the bank tellers, a nervous stomach, a prison break via knotted bedclothes, and pursuit by his own Lieut. Columbo. It all added up to folk heroism for "Chicky Panther," until they put him away in Hungary's maximum security slammer, where he languishes today. Now he's talking, and Hollywood's listening. posted by rob511 at 11:51 PM PST - 8 comments
The New York Times (reg required) is reporting that the National Security Agency has eavesdropped on far more domestic telecommunications at the directive of President Bush than has been previously admitted. "The N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications... N.S.A. technicians, besides actually eavesdropping on specific conversations, have combed through large volumes of phone and Internet traffic in search of patterns that might point to terrorism suspects. Some officials describe the program as a large data-mining operation." posted by chakalakasp at 10:09 PM PST - 243 comments
A Yule Log for your iPod. If you don't live in the New York area, and you have one of those fancy video iPods, you can now download some holiday cheer from Channel 11. (Their Yule Log phenomenon was previously discussed here.) For more information about Yule Log traditions, wikipedia features in depth articles on both the traditional and the modern. [Inspired by logging out of gmail.] posted by jann at 7:38 PM PST - 11 comments
In 1993, a series of racist incidents plagued Billings, Montana. When a brick was thrown through 5 year old Issac Schnitzer's menorah-decorated window, the predominantly non-Jewish city responded in a remarkable way: the local paper printed thousands of menorahs, and people displayed them in their windows as a gesture of solidarity. Since then, the story has inspired a book, a play, a song and a movement. posted by Biblio at 12:49 PM PST - 29 comments
Federal surveillance of over a hundred homes, businesses, mosques, warehouses and other sites has been conducted without warrants, according to a new USNews report. Indications are that the persons so targeted were US citizens. "In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts." posted by darkstar at 12:40 PM PST - 131 comments
The War on Christmas. A very brief overview of the war Christians have waged against other religious holidays since roughly 400AD. Just a reminder of the reason for the season. posted by tcobretti at 12:18 PM PST - 33 comments
BT Technology Timeline 2006-2051 It's interesting to see a major company such as BT set a timeline such as this, especially as they say thier 1990 timeline has had around 80% accuracy. They predict a supercomputer as powerful as the human mind in 2006, self aware computers that pass the turing test by 2020, and the rise of a global computer dictator by and artificial brain around 2040. After that its hard to predict, you know with the singularity coming and all...
Some of the interesting things they predict: genetically engineered teddy bears; androids form 10% of the population around 2015; the Matrix is created, 2030; thought recognition as input device by 2014; the list goes on and on.
Discuss. [via] posted by daHIFI at 9:33 AM PST - 43 comments
Police can deny entry to "transportation infrastructure" to anyone not showing an ID;
Police can demand the name, address, and date of birth of anyone suspected of having committed a crime or being about to commit a crime, or having witnessed a crime or a plan to commit a crime. Failure to provide this information is an arrestable offense -- so basically all demonstrators could be required to give their names, addresses and dates of birth or face arrest;
Reminiscent of Joe McCarthy's famous question, many state licenses will begin with the question "Are you a member of an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?". Failure to answer means no license; answering affirmatively is self-incrimination.
Perhaps worst of all, the original version of the bill simply prohibited state or local governemnts or government employees from objecting to the USA PATRIOT act. The current version allows criticism, but threatens local government with the loss of funds if they in any way "materially hinder" Federal anti-terrorism efforts.
King William's College Quiz. Mefites, your mission: Collectively solve the hardest 100 year old annual quiz around. (Be warned, I think they're getting wiser to the appliance of google-fu science.) posted by biffa at 2:43 AM PST - 75 comments
A Natural History of Peace. Humans like to think that they are unique, but the study of other primates has called into question the exceptionalism of our species. So what does primatology have to say about war and peace? Contrary to what was believed just a few decades ago, humans are not "killer apes" destined for violent conflict, but can make their own history. posted by semmi at 9:06 PM PST - 13 comments
"Do you know your Downfall from your Descent, your Crash from your Wedding Crashers? Discover how oblong-eyed you were in 2005 with our bumper end-of-year quiz". And be sure to post your score. posted by JPowers at 3:27 PM PST - 39 comments
NSFW MMOrgy: No more logging on and feeling sheepish 'cause you wanna know where the bordello is first. No more endless search through horrible shops finding implements for you and your fiancee who's 3000 miles away to have fun with. NSFW posted by signal at 1:13 PM PST - 25 comments
poketo.com's limited vinyl wallets might be the perfect last-minute gifts.. sweet designs by lots of fancy design and art people (links and infos to everyone of them too), e.g. derek kirk kim had 3 designs (take a look at the sold out designs by clicking on "archive" and "sale") posted by suni at 8:43 AM PST - 63 comments
Narrow Casting: This article describes the trend of narrowcasting, a media consumption pattern in which users increasingly turn to specialized, often web-produced media content and away from professionally mass-marketed content shown on TV and sold in record and video stores. [Via Aldaily.com] posted by gregb1007 at 2:41 AM PST - 12 comments
Shadowmechanics - Appropriately apocalyptic scenes for these end times. Artwork/Illustration by Harry Halme. A definite preponderance of nightmarish creatures and reapers to suit the mood of the last few day's political landscape. I found this at SpartanDog. posted by spicynuts at 7:21 PM PST - 17 comments
Our Domestic Intelligence Crisis Federal Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner imagines a world in which US citizens are constantly under electronic surveillance.... and is totally okay with it.
Once you accept Posner's premise that "machine collection and processing of data cannot, as such, invade privacy," how far are we from cameras and microphones in private homes. After all, there is no privacy invasion so long as it is only a computer flagging "suspicious" activity, right? posted by GregW at 1:25 PM PST - 164 comments
Abramoff is negotiating a possible deal with the Justice Department, in which he would agree to plead guilty and cooperate in the wide-ranging political corruption investigation focused on his dealings with members of Congress and executive branch officials, people familiar with the talks said last night.
Abramoff's entry in the Wikipedia. WaPo's chart outlining Abramoff's dealings. A dKos diary pointing out some omissions in the chart. [Newsfilter] posted by darkstar at 12:14 PM PST - 49 comments
Absolve Big Box shopping guilt! So apparently this bookstore in Boston decided if you can't beat them join them. You can basically buy permission to shop at a big box store...or absolve your guilt depending on how you look at it. Suppose they had to license the concept from the Catholic Church? posted by UMDirector at 8:45 AM PST - 23 comments
Listening In and Naming Names "...The press tends to shy away from covering America's largest and most secretive intelligence agency, fearing precisely the kind of scolding President Bush delivered to the New York Times. But the truth is that the NSA—which has an estimated $6 billion annual budget bigger than those of the CIA and the FBI combined—has a decidedly checkered history when it comes to playing by the rules." And yet, NSA abuse seems not limited to Bush. Now, possib ly, Carter and Clinton also used NSA for spying on civilians.
That said, NSA seems also to have been used for non-miltary spying, to help selected American firms compete against rival companies elsewhere.
What is curious about this agency is that it is the single biggest intelligence organization in our country and yet so few people know what they do, where they are, what they had been legally allowed to do. If, as we are told, tapping phones is necessary in our fight against terror, why then doesn't the FBI do this? If any mobster worth his blackjack knows not to use phones because they are potentially tapped, why are we told that NSA doesn't want terrorists alerted to our tapping their phones and therefore there ought not to be any discussion of this "strategy."?
In sum, my suspicion is that a lot more is going on than we have thus far been told, and that in fact email and the internet are more involved in what is taking place than is phone tapping. posted by Postroad at 4:27 AM PST - 134 comments
"...George Bush must resign. Failing that, he should be impeached. I have little doubt that this column will infuriate many Republicans and conservatives, millions of whom twice voted enthusiastically for George Bush. It is always painful to realize that one has been betrayed, and even more painful to discover that one has been made a willing accomplice in the destruction of that which one cherishes. You can continue to believe that George Bush is a patriotic American, though he is not. You can dismiss me as a liberal, a left-winger or a lunatic, though I am not." So says Vox Day, WorldNetDaily columnist, self-described Christian libertarian, and recent subject of MeFi interest for his views on rape. posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:13 PM PST - 144 comments
The weight of the evidence clearly demonstrates, as noted, that the systemic change from "creation" to "intelligent design" occurred sometime in 1987, after the Supreme Court's important Edwards decision. This compelling evidence strongly supports Plaintiffs' assertion that ID is creationism re-labeled.
"I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story..." President Bush really did not want journalists to reveal his NSA spying program against Americans [discussed here.] And in yesterday's rare press conference, the President said: "An open debate about law would say to the enemy, 'Here's what we're going to do.' And this is an enemy which adjusts... Any public hearings on programs will say to the enemy, 'Here's what they do. Adjust.' This is a war." Neocon guru William Kristol argues that talk of Bush being an "imperial" president" is "demagogic" and "irresponsible" since "Congress has the right and the ability to judge whether President Bush has in fact used his executive discretion soundly." What is the role of "open debate" in a war against terror that may last for decades? posted by digaman at 7:26 AM PST - 222 comments
The Alvin Lustig Archive - "Alvin Lustig's contributions to the design of books and book jackets, magazines, interiors, and textiles as well as his teachings would have made him a credible candidate for the AIGA Lifetime Achievement award when he was alive...Lustig created monuments of ingenuity and objects of aesthetic pleasure." The archive collects over 400 examples of his book, architectural, and ad-design work (see also AIGA's list of Lustig's Top-10 designs). Via HOW magazine... posted by tpl1212 at 5:21 AM PST - 5 comments
Barbarism begins with Barbie — the doll, that is. Research done at the University of Bath (UK) posits that prepubescents' pre-eminent plasticine plaything provokes disproportionate punishment. According to the study, which originally focused on the effects of branding on young consumers, the statuesque Mattel mini-miss seems to attract undue savagery. "The researchers had not intended to focus on Barbie, but they were taken aback by the rejection, hatred and violence she provoked when they asked the children about their feelings for the doll. Violence and torture against Barbie were repeatedly reported across age, school and gender. No other toy or brand name provoked such a negative response." posted by rob511 at 5:44 PM PST - 46 comments
Echelon This is what we know--or do not know--about NSA prgram called Echelon, from 60 Minute show (TV) in 2000. If we assume this what had been going on and there were some sort of restraints for internal spying, then what is going on now? This evening I had heard on radio that the White House claimed that only calls going in and out of the country might be monitored. But this early interview suggests that such calls were monitored previous to the "new" approach. Why were legal restraints put in place calling for judicial hearings? Because of spying abuse done under Nixon. Those restraints are now removed. posted by Postroad at 2:40 PM PST - 158 comments
The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 (some call it the Wilmington Massacre), occurred on November 10, 1898, when a white "mob forcibly expelled from the city black and white leaders opposed to Conservative Democratic rule and white supremacy. It used the threat of paramilitary forces -- in the only recorded coup d'etat to occur on American soil -- to remove from office at gunpoint a duly elected city government, which included three black aldermen." North Carolina just released an extensively researched and documented report on the riot and its effects. The riot helped ensure years of Jim Crow laws and a white supremacist government. [MI] posted by marxchivist at 12:06 PM PST - 17 comments
King Kong's Post Production Diary - videos of weekly progress, on all aspects of filmmaking, starting from the first day of post-production, upto the premiere. posted by Gyan at 11:59 AM PST - 18 comments
Who goes to POZ Parties? Researchers profile HIV-1 positive men who have sex with men (MSM) at so-called "POZ parties": "Predominantly white and over the age of 30, subjects in the sample include a broad range of years living with HIV infection. Motivations for using a POZ Party venue for sexual partnering include relief from burdens for serostatus disclosure, an interest in not infecting others, and opportunities for unprotected sexual exchange. High rates of unprotected sex with multiple partners are prevalent in the venue. Although the sample evidences high rates of lifetime exposure to illicit drugs, relatively little drug use was reported in these sexual environments." posted by docgonzo at 9:57 AM PST - 42 comments
A young man comes to the city. He has no name, no home, no work: he has come to the city to write. He writes. Or, more exactly, he does not write. He starves to the point of death. The city is Christiania (Oslo); the year is 1890. The young man wanders through the streets: the city is a labyrinth of hunger, and all his days are the same. He writes unsolicited articles for a local paper. He worries about his rent, his disintegrating clothes, the difficulty of finding his next meal. He suffers. He nearly goes mad. He is never more than one step from collapse.Still, he writes.
In From the Cold: The Return of KnutHamsun. posted by matteo at 7:18 AM PST - 17 comments
Looking for a flat in Switzerland? Yes, yet more ajax-y, web2.0 stuff, with satellite maps. This site crawls a number of swiss realty sites, and displays the available flats on a dynamic, zoomable map, according to your search criteria. posted by slater at 4:20 AM PST - 6 comments
Through his Webcam, A Boy Joins A Sordid Online World Justin Berry got a webcam when he was 13. Within an hour of his setting it up, a pedophile found him. More followed. They paid him, and he performed. He earned hundreds of thousands of dollars and lots of gifts, including webcams with better resolution which his new "friends" ordered him from his (presumably now abandoned) Amazon wish list and an apartment from which he could perform and not be bothered by Mom. He soon was persuaded by his "fans" to make lucrative in-person appearances so they could molest him, and he also started his own personal subscription service. More inside... posted by spira at 10:51 PM PST - 152 comments
Medical Malpractice Myth explores the idea that it's not litigious patients, ambulance chasing lawyers and runaway juries behind the rising costs of medical malpractice insurance. It's the increasing occurrence of medical malpractice that's driving those insurance rates up. posted by jperkins at 7:24 PM PST - 105 comments
Bush Buzzword Bingo - If you can't stand listening to the president speak, try playing this game. Like the Thanksgiving version, you get a bingo card randomly printed with Bush's favorite buzzwords, bushisms and talking points. First to get five in a row gets bingo, but probably will just end up feeling bad about the world. For more bush/bushism fun, try the "Give Bush a Brain" game from egreetings. (see if you can beat my high score of 8) posted by FeldBum at 4:01 PM PST - 36 comments
A few years back ASCAP, the performing rights agency that collects fees on behalf of songwriters and publishers, attempted to collect licensing fees from summer camps for songs sung around the campfire by Girl Scouts. This week, PRS, the UK equivalent of ASCAP, flexed its muscles by demanding a licence fee from a guitar shop owner for customers who play copyrighted riffs while testing instruments. Jimmy Page must be rubbing his hands together. posted by gfrobe at 12:29 PM PST - 69 comments
Main Course or Colonel Kurtz? Michael was a Harvard graduate, but otherwise refused to follow in his father's footsteps. After graduating cum laude and serving a hitch in the army, he went to New Guinea as a member of the Harvard Peabody Museum expedition. As he explained it, "I have the desire to do something romantic and adventurous at a time when frontiers in the real sense of the word are disappearing." In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, fortunate son of the first order, disappeared while studying the Asmat people of New Guinea. Questions remain, however. Was he, indeed, eaten by the Asmat, who had a rumored history of cannibalism, or did he decide to go native? At least one documentary has explored this. posted by John of Michigan at 12:14 PM PST - 14 comments
This media world of ours is teeming with hidden messages under the apparent ones. For instance: Bateman shows us Bush's actual meanings of his latest radio address. The Nightly Potato at AtomFilms is just one more spud in a tv universe of spuds. And you think you really understand "Who's on First?" Maybe you can, if you take a Star Wars approach at Squizzle. posted by WildThang at 9:21 AM PST - 8 comments
Newsfilter:Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Paul Hewson named by Time Magazine as their persons of the year in recognition of their efforts against HIV-1, malaria and debt in Africa. "For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are Time's Persons of the Year." said the mag's editor-in-chief. posted by docgonzo at 8:14 AM PST - 123 comments
At least one commander told him, "Follow the soldiers' instructions, because they'll put their lives at risk to save you." But no one tried to censor his drawings or discourage him from going out on missions. -- Steve Mumford is a New York painter who was embedded as a "combat artist" in Iraq. The archives of his Baghdad Journal make for fascinating reading. He has recently published a large book of the art he created on this voyage. posted by Gator at 7:48 AM PST - 9 comments
The feeding pipe was thick, thicker than my nostril, and would not go in. Blood came gushing out of my nose and tears down my cheeks, but they kept pushing until the cartilages cracked. I guess I would have screamed if I could, but I could not with the pipe in my throat.
. . . .
When torture is condoned, these rare talented people leave the service, having been outstripped by less gifted colleagues with their quick-fix methods, and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists. Thus, in its heyday, Joseph Stalin's notorious NKVD (the Soviet secret police) became nothing more than an army of butchers terrorizing the whole country but incapable of solving the simplest of crimes.
Vladimir Bukovsky, "who spent nearly 12 years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals for nonviolent human rights activities," explains how America's use of torture "will destroy your nation's important strategy to develop democracy in the Middle East." posted by orthogonality at 2:40 AM PST - 93 comments
How far will an online company go to make sure you're a good American? Some companies will test you like in a cheesy WWII movie drama. (screenshotted for posterity, but you can get there by clicking on "Unregistered?" on their website) posted by Kickstart70 at 5:49 PM PST - 29 comments
New Evidence says the Hummer inventory overfloweth trend is real. An interesting update on last month's Hummer Bummer posting. Latest inventory figures obtained from the same Californian dealership appear to confirm a pessimistic outlook and perhaps further validate the notion of an exhausted/oversaturated market for oversized vehicles. It really seems Californians aren't much dreaming these days of being your next typical owner of a gas-guzzling large persons chariot. posted by rodney stewart at 4:44 PM PST - 40 comments
Web Gallery of Art - "The Web Gallery of Art is a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1100-1850), currently containing over 14.500 reproductions. Commentaries on pictures, biographies of artists are available. Guided tours, free postcard and other services are provided for the visitors."
Direct Links seem to be turned off.... lame, but the search function is worth checking out. One of the coolest features is being able to search for artists based on country, style, or time period. posted by sourbrew at 3:36 PM PST - 14 comments
A Dictionary of Amercanisms by John Russell Bartlett, published 1848. A "vocabulary of the colloquial language of the United States" during the mid-19th century. As noted by jmorrison at the nonist (the source for this link), it is interesting to see much of what we find so common today " called out as 'americanisms' not yet included in the dictionary." The site has other goodies too, such as The Slave's Friend, a Christian anti-slavery tract, and Memoirs of a Captivity Among the Indians of North America, by John Dunn Hunter, published in 1823 and 1824 and recounting his life after being captured as a young boy and raised by Native American tribes. It provides an intimate, inside look at their societies, customs and battles. posted by caddis at 3:09 PM PST - 17 comments
The Chappelle Theory. According to this anonymous theorist, a team of African-American celebrities called the "Dark Crusaders" threatened Chappelle with a package containing a picture of a man, of Al Sharpton's build, standing next to his sleeping children. Is this a joke or the work of a right nutter? posted by farishta at 2:25 PM PST - 60 comments
Andy Rosen: I was a rock photographer working in London 1976-1984. This is my private collection. These pics have been stored since the Punk Days. This is the first time they can be seen in 25 years. His Clash and London Punks sets. posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:07 PM PST - 16 comments
The Real Story of Christmas...Many who are excitedly preparing for their Christmas celebrations would prefer not knowing about the holiday’s real significance. If they do know the history, they often object that their celebration has nothing to do with the holiday’s monstrous history and meaning. “We are just having fun.” posted by NorthernSky at 11:43 AM PST - 68 comments
I noticed tonight that my Dish TV basic-subscription service no longer offers MSNBC and suddenly does offer FOX News.
Strange indeed, but the bigger issue methinks is a potential plus in that a la carte programming may be on its way soon. Great, you say, right? Perhaps not -- because if you only pay for what you get, that means that the little guys (like Link TV, the RFD network and Free Speech TV) likely face a big honkin' challenge in being visible and thus viable.
So. Given that...do we really want pay-per-channel programming? Or is this just a moot point considering that "convergence" is creeping ever so closer?> posted by diastematic at 9:46 PM PST - 53 comments
Op-ed Payola, not just for the White House anymore.An outcry arose over the Bush administrations payments to multiple columnists to push the Bush agenda without disclosing the payments. Now it turns out Jack Abramoff had op-ed columnists on his payroll too. Doug Bandow has just resigned as a senior fellow of the Cato Institute after being discovered taking payola from Abramoff's clients. Josh Marshall claims this practice is endemic in DC. There are even shops in DC that specialize in ginning up bogus 'man on the street' opeds which they then get placed on major oped pages. Another area where my reporting showed this to be very common was among foreign lobbyists, a number of whom had ex-foreign service officers and various other foreign policy bigwigs on retainer to write opeds advocating on behalf of their clients. Actually, 'write' overstates the matter. The lobbying firm writes the OpEd and the expert signs it. posted by publius at 8:25 PM PST - 37 comments
Waddy. Waddy Watchel the amazing West Coast Gunslinger (rhythm
/lead guitarist) for all the big acts around there back in the day. Always in tune and up to eleven. Here's a freebie of him driving "Lawyers Guns and Money" home........ courtesy the Internet Archive Live Music Archive ... so even if this post is totally irrelevant to what's going on in the world, and even if you are not impressed, the're might be some other little treat for any regular ol' rock fan at the archive.org link. No Romanian pop ups or viral code there (I think) ... nice. posted by celerystick at 6:15 PM PST - 19 comments
Lost Numbers. I won't get to see any of the second season of Lost until summer 2006 'cause I live in Ireland. I also didn't care enough about the first season to use the "numbers" as my lottery numbers. I should have, they (almost) came up in the National Lottery on November 19. I say almost, instead of 42 it was 24 (sorry Douglas). posted by Elmore at 6:12 PM PST - 31 comments
The French Democracy is a short film on the recent riots in France. It was made by Alex Chan, Parisan-born but of Chinese parents, to "to correct what was being said in the media, especially in the United States" about the riots. He used a techinique called machinima--using a video game engine to make his movie. posted by LarryC at 4:36 PM PST - 39 comments
Ball of Dirt. Me, I'm stuck going home to Ohio for my vacation. If you can't get away either, you can scratch your travel itch by reading about other people's adventures... Torture yourself by searching for dreamed-of destinations. I especially enjoy the Indiana Jones-type maps. posted by tentacle at 2:07 PM PST - 7 comments
Congressional Resolution To "Defend Christmas" meets The History Channel... H. RES. 579: "Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would prohibit the establishment of religion....Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- (1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas; (2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and (3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions.". The bizarreness of that statement aside, what were US Christmas traditions at the time of the "framers" ? : see the History Channel for the real story of [ American ] Christmas. posted by troutfishing at 1:55 PM PST - 37 comments
Jewish movie goers might feel duped by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.Millions of readers (and, now, moviegoers) who thoroughly enjoyed a fantasy tale of four World War II-era British children tumbling into the enchanted world of Narnia via a wardrobe, and fighting medieval battles alongside talking animals and mystical creatures, would be surprised to learn that “Lion” and the six other books in Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia were seeping with Christian allegories. posted by debralee at 9:36 AM PST - 225 comments
Make your own DRM CD! Nothing says "Merry Christmas" (or Happy Chanukah, et al) like a homemade CD with the same crippling DRM technology that Sony and BMG use. Let a friend or relative you know that you care enough to prevent them from stealing music you've already stolen, even at the expense of enjoying the CD at all.
It's what the holidays are really about. posted by FeldBum at 9:19 AM PST - 8 comments
The Occupation of Iraq I first went to Iraq in 1978, and I’ve been there I suppose fifty or sixty times. Sometimes for as long as three months, at other times for a fortnight or so. In all I have spent a bit more than half my time in Iraq since the Occupation. I was there before, during and after the invasion... posted by Postroad at 9:02 AM PST - 21 comments
50FootWave is seeking new earballs. "We thought it'd be interesting to ask for your energy & enthusiasm rather than your money and see what happens. To that end, please share this music in any and every way you see fit. Burn CDs, post the mp3s, seed Torrents -- whatever's comfortable for you. It's an experiment. Who knows how it will go? Wheee!" [via] posted by YurikoKinje at 6:50 AM PST - 45 comments
Le Roi et L’oiseau - is an old school “anime” by Paul Grimault, the script and score were contributed to by Jacques Prévert. If those two names are not good enough for you then I also submit for your approval that the style in this film has been referenced as a source of inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki. Although the wikipedia article doesn't back it up, so ill link to another site that does. At any rate watching this movie will leave you wondering just how many people have ripped it off over the years. posted by sourbrew at 2:57 PM PST - 29 comments
Patriot Act used to arrest environmental activists "Federal marshals arrested six environmental activists in a series of coordinated raids in four states yesterday, Dec. 8, in apparent response to a string of arsons in Oregon and Washington attributed to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF)" ... has the patriot act produced any arrests in the country related to 9-11? posted by specialk420 at 2:45 PM PST - 105 comments
This Spanish commercial for Madrid's Metro system uses a cool visual device, making the ground transparent and showing the view from the subway, like a glass bottom boat in reverse. note: link contains embedded wmv posted by jonson at 11:07 AM PST - 26 comments
Looking for a broadband connection in the UK? Dont believe all you read from all providers (even well known ones, like Pipex).
A geek fights back; annoyed by his download rates being cut down from 200kb/sec, to 1kb/sec (with a geeky video of wow, gta and him downloading stuff). A bit more info (some annoying pop ups - and the videos a bit slow paced - but Pipex users beware!) posted by 13twelve at 10:46 AM PST - 23 comments
Sir John Soane (1753-1837) was responsible for the design of quite a few of London’s public buildings (and to some extent, its phonebooths). His home, now a museum, is filled to the brim with architectural relics, sculptures, paintings, drawings, stained glass, and assorted curiosities. Almost unchanged since his death, it also contains the gravesite of his wife’s beloved dog Fanny, a mummified rat, an Egyptian sarcophagus, and an imaginary monk named Padre Giovanni. Best of all, on the first Tuesday of every month the museum has a candlelight tour which enhances the spooky splendor of the rooms. posted by annaramma at 8:33 AM PST - 18 comments
The Top 10 Stories You Missed in 2005. Foreign Policy, the political science journal/magazine issues its top 10 stories that went under the radar in '05. Included are Rumsfeld’s Slip of the Tongue in regards to One-China, Oil's Opaque Outlook, and "The New Coalition of the Willing." posted by j-urb at 9:18 PM PST - 14 comments
Is your podcast being hijacked? The nature of RSS and podcast content makes it really easy for somebody to create new feeds based on somebody else's content and pass it off as the original through directories like Yahoo's or iTunes; then, of course, they potentially add advertising or use the built-up audience to extort the original podcaster. Podkeyword, the organization that has sparked concern about the issue, says they're not doing anything illegal or unethical; correspondence between Podkeyword and the guy whose podcast is at issue is available. [First pass legal take here, potential third-party retribution here; via.] posted by aaronetc at 7:55 PM PST - 31 comments
Smokers Brokers is brilliantly simple: take the cash you'd waste on cigarettes and invest it instead. Perhaps this could help coax economists into quitting smoking, for everyone else, it might be better to have some savings and your health than burning up a few more expensive coffin nails. [this site from mefi projects also won the contest for banished] posted by mathowie at 7:39 PM PST - 27 comments
Enjoy the interactive art work of Lars Arrhenius. "Arrhenius often uses pictographs, the kind of stereotypical figures and universal symbols seen on public information signs. A direct use of media, and a judicious blend of austerity and irony are typical of his work. The digital characters in his animation, The Street, create an exaggerated view of daily routines, where each individual contributes to keep things going like an anonymous cog in the machine of life." Complete bio (along with additional artworks) here. Flickr slideshow of his work here. posted by JPowers at 4:39 PM PST - 9 comments
The synchronization of two pendulum clocks was discovered in 1665 by Huygens. Two pendulum clocks mounted on the same wall always fell exactly out of phase with each other no matter what the starting conditions. Regardless of the initial conditions the system always ended up the same. In stark contrast, a chaotic system is extremely sensitive to initial conditions. How can these two seemingly seperate things be tied together? The synchronization of chaos. When two chaotic systems are synchronized together, information can be shared between them. It immediatly brings to mind applications for encryption, but it is still far away from everyday use. posted by ozomatli at 2:50 PM PST - 49 comments
"At Ceiling Scenes, we believe the ceiling has a fundamental right to take part in the ambiance of any interiorspace." -- From their catalog (.pdf). Personally, I think tinceilings are much more nifty, but I can see how these photographic tiles could really brighten up a dull office or classroom. Too bad they're so cagey about actually telling you how much they cost... posted by Gator at 12:54 PM PST - 20 comments
Civil war. Surely this is an adjectival misnomer of the first rank. Of all of the various types of war, civil war -- that is, a violent conflict waged between opposing sides within a society -- has generally been the least mannerly and the most savage... By just about every meaningful standard that can be applied -- the reference points of history, the research criteria of political science, the contemporaneous reporting of on-the-ground observers, the grim roll of civilian and combatant casualties -- Iraq is now well into the bloody sequence of civil war. Dispense with the tentative locution "on the verge of." An active, if not full-boil, civil war is already a reality.
Basic Brewing Radio : Good info and podcasts that are done pretty well. (22 shows already "in the can"). If you are looking for a good online book: How to Brew by John Palmer. Homebrewers, feel free to share your favorite sites and resources. posted by spock at 10:02 AM PST - 20 comments
Asimo gets an upgrade. His new abilities include running at 6 mph, operating a cart, serving tea, walking hand in hand, walking with a tray, facial recognition, and the ability to defenestrate you without moral responsibilities.
Judge: Stealing a password does not constitute hacking. David Egilman is a highly-regarded expert in occupational medicine; he was the plaintiff's witness in a recent $253-million verdict in Texas against Vioxx. After two opposing law firms stole a password to his private website containing confidential information for his clients and students, he sued them under the DMCA. He lost. posted by docgonzo at 7:57 AM PST - 50 comments
Brazilian mayor outlaws death. Faced with a shortage of cemetary space, and other options outlawed, what are the choices?
"Of course the bill is laughable, unconstitutional, and will never be approved," said Gilson Soares de Campos, an aide to the mayor. "But can you think of a better marketing strategy?" posted by Balisong at 6:40 AM PST - 20 comments
Cover Art: The Time Collection [Flash] "In 1978 Time Magazine gave to the National Portrait Gallery some 800 works of original art that had at one time or another appeared on its covers." The gallery has created an online-only exhibition of the covers (the museum is closed for renovation until July 4, 2006). "And while one may normally imagine ornately framed oils of distinguished luminaries when thinking of the NPG, the Time covers offer a much closer to 'street level' survey of the prominent figures of any specific period." [via CSM] posted by clgregor at 6:14 AM PST - 7 comments
Back in April, Carmel Andrews and Charles F. Gray claimed that Commodore reverse-engineered Atari's 8-bit hardware. Bob Yannes (creator of the SID chip and co-founder of Ensoniq) responds. What results is a brief, informative history on the concept of "sprites" and the idea of reverse-engineering. More drama, reviews, and retro computing at The Atari Times. (See also this collection of links at atari.org. Happy holidays.) posted by milquetoast at 4:55 AM PST - 14 comments
"A Helpful Hand" - Penn & Teller call Bullshit! on the "bestselling book in the world," the Holy Bible. (link is to entire episode approx 29mins - *language, flash) posted by hypersloth at 4:41 AM PST - 120 comments
Below is a press release announcing a partnership between Weedshare and Magnatune. I tried to hit the DRM issue head-on in the release, as that's likely the most contentious issue with our existing Magnatune fans.
Bottom line: this is an alternative way for people to buy Magnatune music, in a scheme where they can themselves make money by sharing their bought files with other people, in what is typically referred to as an "affiliate network." We absolutely will continue to sell DRM-free music through the magnatune web site, but for those who wish to make money by sharing their files, that option is now there. posted by zouhair at 3:03 PM PST - 21 comments
Tzintzuntzan was the capital city of the Purépecha Empire (also known as Tarascan). Culturally (scroll to middle of page) isolated from the rest of precolumbian Mexico, the origins of the Purépecha is still unknown. Their language is one that is not even provisionally linked with any other language and is still spoken by about 200,000 natives around Michoacan. The Purépechas were the only state to become an empire in the Western Mexico cultures. posted by ozomatli at 1:53 PM PST - 18 comments
Bound For Glory: Color Photographs from the FSAThe first major exhibition of The little known color images taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. These vivid scenes and portraits capture the effects of the Depression on America's rural and small town populations, the nation's subsequent economic recovery and industrial growth, and the country's great mobilization for World War II. --- Taken from when Kodachrome Film was just being developed, the pictures document life in color during the depresssion era US. We're so used to seeing FSA photos in black and white; seeing them in color is just surreal. posted by virga at 1:27 PM PST - 52 comments
But there may be something more important than making money. This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind. I don't want the world to wake up one day and say, 'How come some doofus billionaire in Texas made all this money by being aware of this, and why didn't someone tell us?'
It's official, humans are dumber than chimps. These guys show (at the NY Times level) that human kids will over-imitate every ritualized nuance modeled for them, whereas chimp kids just wanna get the damn cookie out of the box. Their website also describes more of their studies. posted by Eothele at 10:12 AM PST - 42 comments
The Eyes of Nye is "Bill Nye the Science Guy" for adults, with topics like "Cloning," "Pseudoscience," and "The Evolution of Sex" with its montage of happily fornicating animals. The topics are more serious but the humor is still there. The show's web site has video clips and extra information related to each episode. [both links use Flash] posted by pithy comment at 6:06 AM PST - 19 comments
Remember Surge? It was a Mountain Dew knockoff from the Super Wicked Radical days of the mid 90's. Reflecting the times, Surge was the color of radiator coolant and as thick as labrador drool. Inexplicably, it failed (except in Norway and also may have been the inspiration for this). The site is a magnificent document of true love for a dead product (and the opposite of Pepsi Blue on so many levels.) posted by Mayor Curley at 5:30 AM PST - 61 comments
When most of us think motorsports, we don't think Diesel. But the Vorsprung durch technik guys decided that a 5-liter V12 dual-turboed oil burner would be a good idea for the Le Mans and other racing series. The monstrosity is officially launched today (in English) posted by SharQ at 5:17 AM PST - 33 comments
Transcendence. Prepare to waste a lot of time. This free, downloadable game is kind of like Nethack. But re-envisioned as a shoot-em-up. In space. With pretty graphics. And a backstory. And user mods. If any of that appeals to you, download the newly released version .95 and say goodbye to the rest of your productive week. posted by blahblahblah at 10:53 PM PST - 29 comments
THE EVOLUTION OF GLOBAL POLITICS. University of Washington Professor George Modelski is credited with developing the concept of world leadership. There have been five world leaders: Portugal, the Netherlands, Great Britain I, Great Britain II, and currently the USA. Some scholars in political science and history are pointing towards U.S. decline and a takeover by a United States of Europe... posted by j-urb at 7:55 PM PST - 46 comments
RandomProxy [via mefi projects] Tired of talking to the same people on AIM all the time? RandomProxy allows you to talk to someone randomly and anonymously. Air out your problems with your boss or just find out what the weather is like across the country. Warning: Not for those who strictly adhere to the rules of conversation. posted by tozturk at 5:54 PM PST - 45 comments
Where's the green? In Canada, as elections loom closer, men in suits discuss each other for our bemusement on national television and radio, but where is the green party all of this? %5 of the popular vote, and unable to appear on the nationally televised debates hosted by the public broadcaster...via... posted by pucklermuskau at 5:48 PM PST - 62 comments
The Angels of the Hours offer us the opportunity to direct our lives from within,not being swept along by the demands of the clock.By living in the real rhythms of the day we become more real...(real audio) . posted by hortense at 5:36 PM PST - 4 comments
Eat Dog Cat Mouse (link goes to embedded QT movie with audio) is a charming, weird 3 minute cg cartoon described as a folk tale about the food chain. More info here. posted by jonson at 5:04 PM PST - 8 comments
Google Map NYC Subway Hack! Like most New Yorkers, I do most of my intra-city travel via subway. Back when Google Maps debuted, I sent in a request to have subway info added to the NYC maps.
The MTA's subway map focuses on the train lines, with very little street info. But you need a map that shows both subway and street data to figure out which train(s) to take to a given destination... and while you can buy printed maps of this kind, I've never found one online -- until now.
Something called Google Transit is in the works, but it only seems to cover Portland, OR at the moment. Thankfully, OnNYTurf has stepped into the breach with a beautiful, practical Google Maps hack. Cool! posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:26 AM PST - 43 comments
100 Cartoons to celebrate Black Ink Monday "Over the last 20 years, the number of cartoonists on the staff of daily newspapers nationwide has been cut in half." Today, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists protests "newspapers everywhere who have lost sight of the value of having a staff editorial cartoonist." posted by mediareport at 10:01 AM PST - 41 comments
This is not a new phenomenon as it was brought to the attention of US Congress in 2001, however, now people seeking transplants know in advance that there is an organ ready for them. "Blood samples are taken from prisoners to ensure they will be the perfect match for their Western beneficiaries."
It raises all sort of ethical issues. Should someone accept an organ from an executed prisoner? What right does someone have to say it is immoral to take an organ acquired in this way? Then again China's human rights record is appalling, should desperate Westerners be taking of advantage of those in prison? Should it be made illegal in the West to become a transplant tourist in order to curb this trade? posted by ClanvidHorse at 2:24 AM PST - 49 comments
The BugattiVeyron, according to Jeremy Clarkson on last night's Top Gear, may well be the Concorde of cars. So Clarkson is a man prone to hyperbole, but this time the facts might just back him up. A throw-away remark from VW boss Ferdinand Piëch became the informal design brief. A 1000 horsepower car capable of the north side of 400kph/250mph. It looks futuristic, but has the stats to match. 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. In an acceleration race with a McLaren F1 (the previous fastest supercar), the Veyron can give the F1 a head-start to 120mph, but will still beat it to 200mph. At 250mph, the 100 litre fuel tank will empty in 12 minutes, and you can brake to stand-still in just ten seconds (albeit covering the length of four football pitches in the process). The car will set you back most of UK £1,000,000 but that's barely an indicator: the few that exist are being sold at loss because they "just wanted to see if they could". With an industry facing shifting priorities, there may never be another super-car quite like this. posted by nthdegx at 1:38 AM PST - 77 comments
“Research in individual differences addresses three broad questions: 1) developing an adequate
of how people differ; 2) applying differences in one situation to predict differences in other situations; and 3) testing
explanations of the structure and dynamics of individual differences.”
Densha Otoko (Train Man) is the true story of a japanese otaku who finds love. After saving a beautiful woman on a train from the unwanted attentions of a drunken groper, an anonymous poster writes about the incident on the the Japanese mega messageboard 2ch. With the encouragement of his fellow internet geeks, he pursues her romantically and posts every detail to 2ch. Japanese media has been obsessed with the story all year, and the original postings were adapted into a best selling book, a major motion picture, an enormously popular TV show, and even a stage play. Of course, it may not be real. posted by JZig at 4:39 PM PST - 31 comments
Road rules [wmv] A birdseye view of an intersection in Nanchang reveals the intricate traffic flow. Keep an eye out for the swarm that builds up on the left-hand side, making a break for it at 2:18 in. posted by tellurian at 3:54 PM PST - 28 comments
Huge explosion rocks UK countryside. Police say the oil depot explosion appears to be an accident, even though Al-Qaeda called for attacks on the oil industry just a few days ago. (As usual, the media feels the need to report this, even though Al-Qaeda was speaking of Gulf oil targets, and nothing of this scale could have been implented in just a few days)
Some pictures: 1, 2, 3,
5, 6> posted by empath at 2:56 PM PST - 64 comments
He is “fine” by a certain very technical definition of “fine” which indicates he didn’t kill himself and do a header on the bathroom tile. Hillarious trip report from scotto on erowid.
Erowid previously here and here. posted by lalochezia at 9:35 AM PST - 11 comments
Experts can suck at predicting the future. Their intuitive sense of probability is no more developed than lay-people's. A classic experiment is to present two indistinguishable choices are presented, but with unequal probability of reward. Humans look for complex patterns, which don't exist, and preform quite poorly. Rats quickly recognize the choice with higher probability, and preform optimally. posted by jeffburdges at 7:38 AM PST - 34 comments
Merrian-Webster open dictionary "Have you spotted a new word or a new sense for an old word that hasn't made it into the dictionary yet? Well, here's your chance to add your discovery (and its definition) to Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary" posted by robbyrobs at 7:09 AM PST - 22 comments
' "Predictive programming works by means of the propagation of the illusion of an infallibly accurate vision of how the world is going to look in the future". Through the circulation of science "fiction" literature, the ignorant masses are provided with semiotic intimations of coming events. Within such literary works are narrative paradigms that are politically and socially expedient to the power elite. Thus, when the future unfolds as planned, it assumes the paradigmatic character of the "fiction" that foretold it...........' The Illuminati: an all encompassing conspiracy stranger than any fiction posted by 0bvious at 2:17 AM PST - 17 comments
"Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard. But in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners -- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo." posted by EarBucket at 5:48 PM PST - 102 comments
"I am standing at the traffic lights when the woman next to me, lost in her thoughts, suddenly bursts out laughing. Then she immediately covers her mouth with her hand and glances around, embarrassed. This gives me an idea. I phone the photographer Stephen Gill. 'Let's walk around looking for people who are laughing to themselves because of something they've just thought of,' I say. 'When we find them, you take their photograph and I'll ask them what they were thinking about that was so funny.'" Jon Ronson sets out to discover the secret source of joy. posted by Blue Stone at 2:01 PM PST - 31 comments
Woophy stands for WOrld Of PHotographY, a website founded by a Dutch collective of photo aficionados and internet designers who believe navigation on internet can be more visual, logical and associative. The goal of Woophy's founders is to create an accessible, visual, current, democratic and collective work of art comprised of a database picturing our remarkable world. posted by crunchland at 1:01 PM PST - 8 comments
Nazi swing music from the 30s. FMU's terrific blog presents mp3s of songs by Charlie and His Orchestra, a big band assembled by Hitler's minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, to spread the Nazi message abroad even while trying to stamp out jazz and swing domestically.
"Leave it to Goebbels to take the music of The Andrews Sisters, Paul Whiteman and Irving Berlin and fill it with venomous rants against Jews, America and the British." Vol. 1 is here. Some history. And now I want to see this movie about the band. via BB posted by CunningLinguist at 7:06 AM PST - 20 comments
Hippocamp Ruins Sgt Pepper's A group of electronic artists have worked on a "ruined" version of the Beatles Sgt Pepper's classic. Designed to accompany and contrast with the ".... Ruins Pet Sounds" release from earlier in the year .... this ruined release exists to be compared and contrasted to the original album and its artistic competitor Pet Sounds.
The original classic is recontextualised through the humour and vision of these artists whose approaches to the tracks aims to re-examine Pepper's through a filter of 2005 technology. posted by room at 1:51 AM PST - 31 comments
Face to Face: The Science of Reading Faces. Transcript(and video)of a 2004 interview with psychologist Paul Ekman, who is known for his research on facial expression and the development, with associates, of the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). Includes a few facial expression photos. Part of the "Conversations with History" series at the Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley . posted by hortense at 1:42 AM PST - 10 comments
Conservative Blogs Rock! NEW YORK In an argument sure to be challenged in certain sectors of the blogosphere, a story in The New York Times magazine coming up this Sunday declares that conservative blogs continue to best liberal blogs in political and electoral influence. posted by Sagres at 6:20 PM PST - 51 comments
Bush Threatens U.N. Over Clinton Climate Speech Bush-administration officials privately threatened organizers of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, telling them that any chance there might’ve been for the United States to sign on to the Kyoto global-warming protocol would be scuttled if they allowed Bill Clinton to speak at the gathering today in Montreal, posted by Postroad at 5:07 PM PST - 115 comments
Photobooth (quicktime, direct link) is a short absurdist comedy sketch about a couple who meet, fall in love & celebrate 101 blissful years together in a mall photobooth. via posted by jonson at 3:49 PM PST - 19 comments
y.ah.oo Del.icio.us bought by Yahoo. Another one bites the dust? I miss the days when del.icio.us was largely undocumented and was a somewhat underground, community-based project. What will the corporate buyout mean for everyone's favourite link sharing site? posted by sid at 11:55 AM PST - 69 comments
A Study in Brown.He was only 25 when he died, but he left a musical legacy that few can match. His early death led to the jazz standard I Remember Clifford. He helped pioneer hard bop in contrast to the prevailing "cool" jazz of Chet Baker and Miles Davis. influenced by Fats Navarro his signature rich beautiful tones and melodic solos were a refreshing change from the recent emphasis on technique, but make no mistakes about it he was one of the most talented and gifted trumpet players of all time. posted by ozomatli at 11:44 AM PST - 9 comments
Not safe for work: Shoot Your Wad (warning: Flash, porno music, and John Holmes). "You are Johnny Wadd, the hottest private eye/cocksman in America. You need to distribute your own unique brand of justice by sharing some loving with your adoring female fans." Avoid trannies and skanks, and say no to drugs; power up with Spanish Fly. posted by Gator at 11:32 AM PST - 11 comments
Yacht Rock —"We're not going to stand idly by while you stab the American airwaves in the balls with your shit music."
—"My musicians power their hits with their blood and their broken dreams." posted by oldleada at 11:22 AM PST - 7 comments
Death (?) of a Small-Press Legend The link points to a page dedicated to Bill-Dale Marcinko, one-time gonzo Rutgers University newspaper editor, small press publisher and a character it seems no one who knew could ever stop thinking about.
Marcinko, who had been supporting himself selling CDs on eBay, apparently died in a house fire when firemen were held back by cardboard boxes full of his collections. Still, he did fake his death several times before. His friends, most of whom haven't spoken to him in years, are hoping this is just a more elaborate prank.
Clifford Meth's tribute page celebrates Bill-Dale and his work, including AFTA zine, described as perhaps "the first comics 'zine distributed to book and comic shops that combined comedy, politics and reviews on books, films, and comics. It was very much an underground version of Crawdaddy, though with vastly personal content."
(via Mike Appelstein, a contributor to the Rutgers Livingston Medium) posted by Scram at 11:01 AM PST - 1 comments
Is every cop a criminal? At least 41 officers in the Tennessee Highway Patrol have a criminal record. Ranging from drunk driving and driving state vehicles without a valid license to assault and child abuse. Gov. Bredesen called for a comprehensive background check of the THP and was surprised by the "inherent cronyism" with the force. Further scandals have forced the Commander to resign and the interim Commander is under some doubt as well.
Will this be the end of the Good 'Ole Boys in Brown? posted by teleri025 at 10:46 AM PST - 31 comments
The servers are alive with the sound of music. Wolfram Tones takes patterns found out in the computer universe and converts them to completely original musical scores (which still may sound familiar, weirdly enough). Visitors to the site can then tweak styles, instrumentation and pitch (Phyrigian hexatonic, anyone?). Compositions can be saved, e-mailed or downloaded to your cellphone. Via. posted by Sully6 at 10:12 AM PST - 14 comments
Future handgun ban? Despite reassurances made during passage of C-68 that registration would not lead to confiscation, Paul Martin is promising to enable provinces to ban handguns if elected this January. posted by Mitheral at 6:56 AM PST - 77 comments
39 Pounds of Love "is the inspirational and humorous non-fiction account of Ami Ankilewitz, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare and often fatal form of SMA/2 that severely limits his physical growth and movement yet at 34 years of age, he continues to outlive a doctor's prediction of life expectancy by 28 years and counting. Ami, who weighs only 39 pounds, works in Israel as a 3D animator and creates his art despite the fact that his bodily motion is limited to a single finger on his left hand." posted by Gyan at 5:40 AM PST - 14 comments
The US has admitted for the first time that it has not given the Red Cross access to all detainees in its custody. Meanwhile, the German citizen picked up by the CIA and tortured in one of the secret prisons, based solely on having the same name as a suspected terrorist, would really, really like an apology from someone.
If you think things are getting out of hand, why not join the Amnesty International Write-a-thon? You can get the message across to the people in charge and let them know that you don't support prisoner abuse or rendition to secret prisons. posted by Dag Maggot at 3:41 AM PST - 80 comments
The Poetry Archive claims to be "the world's premier online collection of recordings of poets reading their work". The main page will open a RealAudio file whether you want it to or not, so you may prefer to explore the site from one of the inside pages, like the Historic Recordings page, where you can listen to Robert Browning (reciting "How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix" and forgetting the words halfway through), Alfred Tennyson ("The Charge of the Light Brigade") or W.B. Yeats (sonorously declaiming "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"). Or if you want something more modern, there's Ashbery, Heaney, Logue, Pinter .. (Warning: all links to individual poets have embedded RealAudio files.) posted by verstegan at 2:18 AM PST - 14 comments
David Stone Martin (Coralized link) is not very well known, but you've most likely seen his work on featured on various jazz records. Be sure to view all three pages of some amazing album covers. (The original site is on Geocities, please be gentle) posted by riffola at 1:16 AM PST - 12 comments
Some 25 million years ago, humans and vervetmonkeysdiverged from a common ancestor. In very rough terms, perhaps one and a quarter million human generations, or five million vervet generations, have been brought forth upon the Earth since that common ancestor lived. Of course, many differences have evolved between humans and vervets in those 25 million years: among other things, human parents choose toys for their children; vervet parents do not.
Not settled after all partial genetic explaination of eye color. it's not one classic dominant/recessive allele a la the monk Mendel. three known + unknown genes involved, everybody's still beautiful. posted by longsleeves at 6:46 PM PST - 19 comments
9306 Bombs, Grenades, Torpedoes, Mines, Missiles & Similar Munitions of War now available at the Ukraine outlet mall (free samples too!). Apparently it's just a click away to get just about any type of explosive you could imagine too. posted by Guerilla at 3:24 PM PST - 15 comments
Personalized Digg. What if you could be able to read news filtered by people you trust? Of course it would be better if system can automatically learn your interests and likes, filtering the news appropriately... Beelaxy tries to do that job. posted by snark9 at 2:34 PM PST - 22 comments
An open letter to Lance Armstong. Subject: Minor changes to your screenplay.
You mean once he starts winning, he just keeps winning? There's never a serious doubt that he'll keep winning? It gets a little predictable, Lance. Think about this for a second: Rocky lost in the first movie, and that's the only one that was any good.
posted by RockyChrysler at 2:21 PM PST - 41 comments
He looks like Zorro on doughnuts. Noel Gallagher berates White Stripes' Jack White for writing a song for a Coke ad (more here), saying it was as bad as doing an ad for McDonald's: "Jack White has just written a song for Coca-Cola. End of. He ceases to be in the club. And he looks like Zorro on doughnuts, I don't believe in adverts. He's meant to be the posterboy for the alternative way of thinking." But as the article notes: "Noel and his brother Liam are believed to be pocketing a six-figure sum from Toshiba for endorsing its 803 MP3 mobile phone." posted by josephtate at 1:05 PM PST - 76 comments
The End of Porn? The Ashcroft/Gonzales Justice Department has made obscenity prosecutions a top priority, with 60 prosecutions in the first four years of the Bush administration (compared to four for the entire eight years of the Clinton administration). Anti-porn advocates were dismayed in January when a federal judge in Pittsburgh, citing dicta on sexual liberty in the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision, dismissed an indictment in a closely-watched case. Today, however, the Third Circuit reversed, rejecting the defendant's arguments that (1) Lawrence protected their liberty interest in distributing pornographic material, and (2) earlier Supreme Court obscenity precedent should be revisited in light of the increased prevalence of Internet transmission. The result, undoubtedly, will be a new wave of prosecutions not seen since the Supreme Court set limits on First-Amendment based protections in the 1970s. posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:46 AM PST - 50 comments
Be. The. Battery. A brilliantly simple concept will allow anyone who needs (a small amount of) power to generate their own just by walking around while wearing this special backpack. By mounting the pack's load on springs connected to a rack and pinion device that is, in turn, connected to a small generator, the wearer's natural walking motion can generate up to 7.4 watts of power. Plenty enough to keep your Nofriendo DS charged. Or your sniper rifle's night scope.
The bonus? By having the pack's load on springs, the backpack is more comfortable and ergonomic than a traditional backpack too. posted by fenriq at 8:49 AM PST - 40 comments
Join the Sasquatch Militia Forest militarization: "The Bureau of Sasquatch Affairs' mission is to enhance the quality of life, promote economic and ecological opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of Sasquatch, Sasquatch culture and Cascadian native hominoids. We will accomplish this through the delivery of quality services, maintaining government-to-Sasquatch relationships within the spirit of Sasquatch self-determination." Supporting the right to keep and bear salmon from the Republic of Cascadia. posted by warbaby at 6:39 AM PST - 3 comments
Big Eye in the Sky. A collection of absolutely incredible 360 degree panoramas by St. Paul photographer Ed Fink of the Twin Cities, Mt. Rushmore, the Post-Katrina Gulf Coast and more. He claims to be the first photographer in the world to do full spherical (180 x 360) panoramas from a helicopter. The effect is truly spectacular. Those with vertigo beware. posted by panoptican at 12:46 AM PST - 19 comments
...With the end of the cold war and the emergence of global networks in which goods, ideas and people circulate outside the language of citizenship, the fundamentalist fight for ideological states has lost influence... Muslim radicalism, by contrast, has moved beyond the language of citizenship to assume a global countenance, joining movements as different as environmentalism and pacifism in its pursuit of justice on a worldwide scale. Such movements are ethical rather than political in nature: they can neither predict nor control the global consequences of their actions...
The Neopets Addiction:Neopets.com has a staggering 25 million members worldwide... Four out of five Neopians are under age 18, and two out of five are under 13... Neopets calls its model "immersive advertising... an evolutionary step forward in the traditional marketing practice of product placement."... Kalle Lasn, editor in chief of the advertising watchdog magazine Adbusters says, "It's the most insidious mind-fuck ever." posted by MetaMonkey at 8:46 PM PST - 54 comments
USF Professor acquitted of terrorism charges -- After being in prison for 3 years--much of that time in solitary confinement--Sami Al-Arian was acquitted today of 8 "key charges" (there was a hung jury on 9 other charges). In all, there was not one guilty verdict out of the 51 charges against Al-Arian and the three other men. The prosecution brought forth 80 witnesses and recorded over 20,000 hours of tapped phone calls--the defense didn't call a single witness. Now the government is trying to decide whether to retry him on the nine counts or to deport him to Israel--a move his attorney is calling "totally vindictive." posted by whatgorilla at 6:12 PM PST - 54 comments
The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, a case challenging the Solomon Amendment, a US federal law that allows the government to cut federal funding to universities that refuse to allow military recruiting on campus. FAIR is a coalition of law schools challenging this law on the basis that the US military's policy of prohibiting open homosexuals from serving violates the schools' anti-discrimination policies (see section 6-3). Summing the issue up nicely, the dean of one law school said of the US military, "If it were a private employer who discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation, race or gender, we wouldn't allow them here on campus." .rm C-SPAN coverage here. posted by thirteenkiller at 5:16 PM PST - 56 comments
Christmas carols reviewed It's that time of year again for the Christmas Abstract: a music reviewer casts his ear upon tunes of the season. Mostly acerbic, but still interesting. Even includes dialog between Jesus and the Pottery Barn music director. posted by forrest at 11:27 AM PST - 20 comments
RSVP is a cool puzzle/strategy game, albeit several years old. I ran across it again recently and couldn't find it posted previously, so here it is if you've not played before, or even if you have. posted by jonson at 11:25 AM PST - 23 comments
Bush and Blair slated by Pinter George W Bush and Tony Blair must be held to account for feeding the public "a vast tapestry of lies" about the Iraq war, writer Harold Pinter said.
[Postroad: but then, what do artists know about politics?] posted by Postroad at 10:40 AM PST - 41 comments
Imperial Grunts:With the Army Special Forces in the Philippines and Afghanistan—laboratories of counterinsurgency. Robert Kaplan's new book has been excerpted over the last while in the Atlantic Monthly, and it's an amazingly relevant and enthralling book. It draws several parallels that are perhaps underrepresented in the media, such as the the similarities between the Iraqi and Afghani insurgency and the the Philippine-American War. It's also an incredible look at the logistics and tactics involved in fighting wars, both at the forward-operating Special Forces level and within the macro "Big Army" bureaucracy. The focus of the book is the status and abilities of American "empire", its use of power and its goals. posted by loquax at 8:58 AM PST - 58 comments
ALPHA and ATRAP are two collaborations of physicists racing to trap and study antihydrogen. To the winner most likely goes a Nobel Prize. The proposed comparison of hydrogen to antihydrogen promises to give an extremely senstive test of CPT invarience. Why do we care? Thats a whole Noether matter... posted by ozomatli at 8:54 AM PST - 10 comments
For those who have moved away and miss the sounds, or for those who have never been and wonder what it sounds like, listen to Folk Songs for the Five Points, from New York's Tenement Museum. Dissonance in all it's aural beauty. posted by Framer at 6:52 AM PST - 7 comments
Have you got a copy of the bible you no longer want or need? Do you want some porn? Well, if you live in San Antonio, you're in luck, because a group of atheists at UTSA are trading bibles for porn. posted by Effigy2000 at 3:35 PM PST - 84 comments
Project Porchlight [via mefi projects] is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit group that aims to deliver one free energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulb to every household in Canada. If successful, the resulting reduction in pollution from energy saved will be the equivalent of taking 66,000 cars off the road. posted by Robot Johnny at 3:12 PM PST - 26 comments
Bush administration admits denies making mistake! Starts off new relationship with conservative German chancellor by personally insulting her. "We are not quite sure what was in her head." - a senior Bush administration official, referring to Merkel. This after Condoleeza Rice gave Merkel private assurances and made a public statement in which she said "when and if mistakes are made, we work very hard and as quickly as possible to rectify them. Any policy will sometimes have mistakes . . . we will do everything that we can to rectify those mistakes." Obviously, Condi was mistaken. The Bush administration does not make mistakes. posted by insomnia_lj at 2:54 PM PST - 54 comments
Salon Video Dog: (Reg. Req'd.) After squandering an entire decade on all-too-often embarrassingly cerebral journalism, online publishing
pioneer Salon.com has clearly decided to finally get serious, making a concerted push to join the ranks of the internet's
pillarsofinnovationandoriginality. Good thing too, because it's all too hard
these days to find quality mirrors for the Star Wars Kid, the Exploding Whale, and freshly ripped clips from last night's
Stewart/Colbert broadcasts. Thanks, Salon! posted by MaxVonCretin at 1:49 PM PST - 21 comments
This Site Cannot Exist! Recently I've been seeing a lot of crazy talk around the web regarding the possibility of a purely "community driven" website. And it is FIERCE -- running the gamut from here to here to here .
And, although the ongoing discussion is interesting (and centered around the pontification of one person), I couldn't help but think, "What the Hell is wrong with these people?" Community-owned blogging/websites have been alive and well for years. For example: Kuro5hin, Slashdot, Linkfilter, Plastic, and a growing host of sites using community platforms like Drupal and Scoop.
Heck, all they'd have to do is head on over to Google and type in the words "Community Weblog" to discover the answer to their queries.
That's right. At the top of the page staring them in the face is the grand-daddy of all community Blogging -- the pioneer that started it all -- Metafilter.com!! Is community blogging possible? Come on!
Long live the Big "M"!! posted by jb_thms at 8:43 AM PST - 43 comments
The USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts is a very useful compilation of essays on various topics, searchable versions of the Qur'an (uses three different translations) and hadith (the sayings and traditions of the Prophet), and a glossary (which is how I discovered the site, while trying to find a good reference for a comment on Falconetti's excellent Maniac Muslim post). The first of the Ten Misconceptions About Islam: "Islam is 'the religion of peace' because the Arabic word Islam is derived from the Arabic word Al-Salaam which means peace." Their response:
It might seem strange to think of this as a misconception, but in fact it is. The root word of Islam is al-silm which means "submission" or "surrender." It is understood to mean "submission to Allah." In spite of whatever noble intention has caused many a Muslim to claim that Islam is derived primarily from peace, this is not true.
As you can see, they care about accuracy, not just propaganda. posted by languagehat at 6:20 AM PST - 24 comments
3quarksdaily. Just another blog, sure, but a good one. 3quarksdaily is a filter blog much like our very own, but with only 15 users (and an editor). As they say on their about page "On this website, my guest authors and editors and I hope to present interesting items from around the web on a daily basis, in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating." The do an admirable job. posted by panoptican at 1:34 AM PST - 26 comments
Need cash right away? Your local car title lender will be happy to lend you a couple of grand. But you'd better be able to pay it back in a month, or you'll lose your car--or get trapped in a spiral of debt. This is a business model based on preying on the working poor. Imagine my surprise when I saw the latest commercial for title loan company LoanMax, featuring their new spokesman. posted by EarBucket at 4:39 PM PST - 86 comments
America's hopes today for an orderly exit from Iraq depend completely on the emergence of a viable Iraqi security force. There is no indication that such a force is about to emerge. As a matter of unavoidable logic, the United States must therefore choose one of two difficult alternatives: It can make the serious changes including certain commitments to remain in Iraq for many years that would be necessary to bring an Iraqi army to maturity. Or it can face the stark fact that it has no orderly way out of Iraq, and prepare accordingly.
A Peek Under the PR Mask Once in a blue moon, we actually get a peek under the White House's public-relations mask, and this morning it comes courtesy of Peter Baker and Dan Balz , whose front-pager in The Washington Post suggests that Bush's unflagging public confidence about his Iraq policy reflects the work of public opinion researchers. posted by Postroad at 10:38 AM PST - 25 comments
The Forbes Fictional 15 -- it is list season, after all--the usual suspects, and some new entries. Daddy Warbucks (Net Worth: $27.3 billion, attended SUNY Stony Brook) gets this: Iraqi conflict has been kind to Warbucks; recipient of multiple defense contracts; cat-food holdings also up. posted by amberglow at 6:48 AM PST - 49 comments
Mathematical proofs in sanus, with some visualization from Martin Wattenberg's The Shape of Song. "The music here...is a raw and unadorned representation of the mathematics itself, involving few human preconceptions beyond a basic mapping needed to accommodate the Western tonal scale." posted by Rothko at 10:40 PM PST - 13 comments
Global Options, Inc. Have you been unfairly attacked by: the media? trial lawyers? disgruntled workers? terrorists? overzealous federal regulators? competitors? hackers? industrial spies? one-issue activists? extortionists? intellectual property thieves? or even the Russian mafia? Global Options has your back. [warning: radar beeps.] posted by panoptican at 8:24 PM PST - 19 comments
Twice a victim. A 17-year-old girl in Beaverton, Oregon accused her then-boyfriend, 18, of raping her along with two of his friends. Not only was the case dismissed, but prosecutors then decided to charge the girl with filing a false report; she was found guilty this week: included in the judge's reasoning were such things as "she did not act traumatized" to his satisfaction, and "the woman's false accusations were serious enough to lead to charges." Several bloggers have touched on this story and its potential impact, including Kevin Drum, Shakespeare's Sister, and Kevin Hayden, who knows the victim personally. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:53 AM PST - 134 comments
Evidently, in the eyes of her brothers, Hatun Surucu's capital crime was that, living in Germany, she had begun living like a German. In a statement to the Turkish newspaper Zaman, one brother noted that she had stopped wearing her head scarf, that she refused to go back to her family and that she had declared her intent to "seek out her own circle of friends." posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:35 AM PST - 35 comments
Economist Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, has long posited a controversial thesis that legalized abortion help reduced crime, by reducing unwanted children, prone to crime. However, a new paper argues that Levitt (& Donohue) made serious errors in their research. Properly analysed, abortion has no significant effect on crime. Levitt disagrees, of course. posted by daksya at 6:34 AM PST - 46 comments
Santastic: Holiday boots for your stockings. Mash-ups of decades of Christmas records just in time for the holidays. The quality varies throughout, but it makes for some fun manic listening if you've grown tired of the same perennial chestnuts. Merry Christmash to all, and to all a boot night. posted by Robot Johnny at 9:34 PM PST - 14 comments
"Today the Federal Reserve is more likely to be the object of a Klan conspiracy theory than the source of its favored candidate for president. Today, for that matter, when a movie inspires people to create odd organizations and dress up in costume, they're more likely to end up at a convention devoted to Star Trek than a convention devoted to nominating a presidential candidate. A lot can change in 90 years. "
Don't smoke urine if you're looking for a methamphetamine high, because you might burn yourself, or worse, have the world find out about your mishap. The best is the quote from his lawyer:
"I suspect that, more than anything, Steve was doing this as an intellectual proposition."
Lawyers will say the darnedest things. posted by dbiedny at 3:25 PM PST - 28 comments
The first known motion picture(Quicktime movie, somewhat slow to download) was produced by Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince at Roundhay House, Leeds, UK some time before October of 1888. Its date can be verified, as the elderly lady in the film, Mrs. Sarah Whitley, died in that month. The two-second-long film was shot on paper or celluloid photographic film through a custom-made camera. Although the original paper film appears to have been lost, two photographic copies of the film dating from the 1930s remain in existence. Le Prince's second film, Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge, was shot shortly afterwards.
Le Prince is generally not well-known outside the film historical community, partly because he did not publicize his works, but also because he disappeared in 1890 during a journey to Paris, France. It's thought that Le Prince committed suicide over money worries, but his body was never found. posted by watsondog at 1:59 PM PST - 29 comments
Escape from Detention. It's the last day of school (well, yesterday was, technically) and you've been not just locked but trapped in the detention room; framed for a crime you didn't commit. You've got to get three crazy Canadjun youngsters out alive; but you can only succeed if you work together. Can you point and click your way toward victory? This game's fairly straightforward, but there are a few puzzles to make you scratch your head. Just about the right difficulty for a lazy Saturday afternoon. Found via jayisgames (thar be spoilers in the comments at that link). posted by Eideteker at 12:12 PM PST - 9 comments
Future Magazine covers: A bit self-aggrandizing in a subtile way. However I found the future mag covers engaging enough in a "lite" sort of way. (click on: "See covers from the future" option)(via) posted by edgeways at 11:19 AM PST - 30 comments
What Was That Movie is an online community database of people helping others figuring out what that movie with that guy who did that thing was. Sort of an AskMe that caters to a specific, though frequent, issue of inquiry. It's new, but odds are the longer it's up the more useful it will become, but until then, the unsolved questions are fascinating in among themselves. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:27 AM PST - 16 comments
Joblessness is a major motivating force of these riots, which is why the politicians and the press turn endlessly around the question of job creation in the banlieues. [...] An injection of vigorous enterprise, a big deregulating kick, and racial discrimination would evaporate in the tremendous, creative release of market forces. No race riots in an untrammelled market economy: that’s what Sarkozy really means. It’s an ingenious, high-pressure sales pitch for the ‘Anglo-Saxon model’ – indeed, it’s bordering on blackmail.
Jeremy Harding in the London Review of Books goes among the arsonists in Paris and offers some insights on the economic factors and political consequences of the riots. posted by funambulist at 7:38 AM PST - 6 comments
Whistling: a lostart? Once upon a time, siffleurs like Brother Bones, Fred Lowery and Marcel ‘Muzzy’ Marcellino warbled from the stage, and trilled across the airwaves. While our generation almost certainly whistles less than our grandparents’, and while we may never again see a whistler attain the modest fame of RonnieRonalde, let alone the celebrity of la belle siffleuse Alice Shaw, nor witness any meaningful revival of the kunstpfeifentradition, there are yet several contemporary whistlers who would revive the art: ‘Whistlin’ Tom,’ Sean Lomax, Robert Stemmons (‘the whistler of Coeur d’Alene’), Hylton ‘The Whistler’ Brown, Chris Ullman (‘the symphonic whistler’) and Milt Briggs (‘a maverick among whistlers’), etc., or any number of the other enthusiasts who attend the International Whistlers Convention held every year at Loiusburg, North Carolina, ‘the world’s whistling capital.’ posted by misteraitch at 3:42 AM PST - 26 comments
truthdig --drilling beneath the headlines. A new webmagazine, offering expert in-depth coverage of current affairs as well as a variety of thoughtful, provocative content assembled from a progressive point of view. The site is built around major “digs,” led by authorities in their fields, who will drill down into contemporary topics and assemble packages of content...Robert Scheer is editor in chief (you may know him from the SF Chronicle). The current featured "dig" is on religion and homosexuality. posted by amberglow at 8:43 PM PST - 12 comments
British and American mefites need not feel left out, Bush and Blair make multiple appearances.
CBC has a fine collection of newspaper cartoons about the current election. (unfortunately they are in a flash wrapper that Firefox has trouble getting through). posted by angrybeaver at 5:21 PM PST - 11 comments
Dear Valued Hybrid Customer... I can't tell if this is a joke or something. As rhetoric, it's well done. As a reasoned argument it falls apart if you actually know anything at all about hybrids. posted by Ken McE at 4:05 PM PST - 86 comments
LibertyFilter is an aggregator of freedom-focused bloggers, with some original content of its own as well. Great way to keep up on current happenings (good and bad) regarding our rights. Note, however, not much actual filtering seems to occur. posted by knave at 3:19 PM PST - 9 comments
Aeon Flux, animated Series. This may kill all your time today. With the release of the new Aeon Flux Movie, they are releasing some of their animated shorts on their Overdrive application.
Unfortunately, I can't provide a direct link to it, since it goes through a flash interface.
You can get their by clicking on the 'movie' link on top.
Requires IE, Flash, and probably windows only. posted by countzen at 12:36 PM PST - 50 comments
NewsFilter: UFO (missle) exhaust seen by pilot Have the aliens landed, and are shooting at planes with unidentified flying objects? Or is it the 'terrorists'?
Don't worry citizens: FBI agents and Homeland Security officials spent the weekend investigating the report of a possible missile fired at an American Airlines. posted by rough ashlar at 10:14 AM PST - 26 comments
"I sat down to it with my bottle of wine, a bowl of rice, salt and pepper at hand. I had thought about this and planned it for a long time, and now I was going to do it. I was going to do it, furthermore -- I had promised and told myself -- with a completely casual, open, and objective mind. But I was soon to discover that I had bluffed and deceived myself a little in pretending so detached an attitude." The problems of researching what you and I actually taste like. [Previousthreads]. [Via] posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:14 AM PST - 43 comments
The National Security Agency has released hundreds of pages of long-secret documents on the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident that played a critical role near the beginning of the Vietnam War.
The most provocative document is a 2001 article [PDF] in which an agency historian argued that the agency's intelligence officers "deliberately skewed" the evidence passed on to policymakers on the crucial question of whether North Vietnamese ships attacked U.S. destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964. Based on the mistaken belief that such an attack had occurred, President Lyndon Johnson ordered air strikes on North Vietnam, and Congress passed a broad resolution authorizing military action.
What is a "fair wage" for contractors working in Iraq? Halliburton subsidiary KBR pays subcontracted employees far more than they could earn at home, in exchange for living far from friends and family in a dangerous work environment. KBR insists their contractors adhere to all local labor laws in the country where they operate. But when that country doesn't yet have an effective or legitimate government of its own, and the workers are brought from a country with a 68% poverty rate, is that enough? posted by justkevin at 9:21 AM PST - 41 comments
A memo from the Department of Justice in Texas' voting division reveals that, back in 2003 during the Texas GOP's redistricting push, the division unanimously agreed that the redistricting plan sponsored by the state GOP and Rep. Tom DeLay was illegal under the Voting Rights Act. The plan was pushed through anyway, being the most effective in securing additional House seats for the GOP. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:18 AM PST - 71 comments
Why SETI's search for intelligent extraterrestrial life is different from the work of proponents of Intelligent Design. An interesting bit of argumentation regarding the distinction between the simple signals searched for by SETI and the complex signals used in arguments for ID. posted by voltairemodern at 7:41 AM PST - 55 comments
Arianna Calling! Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, we learned from reading the New England Transcendentalists, yet Arianna is often put down, bad mouthed, for having moved from the Right to the Left...Yes. she is very wealthy. Yes, she seems always in a spotlight. But there is much substance to this woman, as is indicated in this piece, found via Arts&Letters. posted by Postroad at 6:25 AM PST - 26 comments
Is H5N1 flu transitioning to a human-to-human illness? Recent reports of familial clusters suggest that it may be, though there are certainly other possible explanations, such as families living in environments contaminated by virus-laden bird feces. On the other hand, it would seem that epidemiologists are growing increasingly interested in the possibility that these clusters are indicative of human-to-human transmissions. Further, the virus may be inching towards being asymptomatic, which isn't as good as it sounds: if people can carry the virus and transmit it to others without showing symptoms, it will be very difficult to impossible to tell who is a vector and highly difficult to control any emerging epidemic. posted by chakalakasp at 1:30 AM PST - 23 comments
This entry from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization website is kinda creepy, especially if you download the high resolution JPEGs and look at them in an image editor. posted by dbiedny at 6:14 PM PST - 42 comments
Are you in your early 40s? Do you resemble the God Apollo yet feel a certain dissastisfaction (like a splinter in your mind) toward photos of yourself? You are not alone: "I have enclosed below a series of pictures to show how the US government starting around 1994 went back in time with remote sensing and holographic radiation longitudinal emf and sound wave holographic energy beams as shown in the movie time tunnel to place different computer generated holographic archetypes of different Nordic, Celtic, and Aryan faces and other attributes around my body as if I were a microcosm of the center of the universe, Adam, and God, to change the genetic attributes, facial form, eye color, hair color, voice sound, and many other body attributes throughout my life year by year from my birth (1962, Jan 23 Midnight) to the present representing correlation's between the years in my life and the ages of evolution and history from the beginning of time to the present." [via Waxy] posted by scarabic at 5:41 PM PST - 55 comments
Pentagon bribery scandal -- Iraqi journalists bought out. Officials in Washington have admitted that the US military has bribed Iraqi journalists with under-the-table payoffs of up to $200 a month -- twice the average Iraqi monthly income -- for producing upbeat newspaper, radio and television reports about the war in Iraq. This follows a similar report yesterday that the military secretly paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of pro-American articles written by the US Information Operations Task Force in Baghdad. A Pentagon spokesman described the report as "troubling". "This article raises some questions as to whether or not some of the practices that are described in there are consistent with the principles of this department." posted by insomnia_lj at 11:12 AM PST - 62 comments
Advent calendars 2005. Back when the internets were very young, people began combining a wonderful old holiday tradition, the Advent calendar, with the latest in communications, the internet, and thus it was that interactive Advent calendars were born. This one (requires Flash) was the first one I ever saw and here are some other of my favorites: Leslie Harpold's and Tibi and Beens. Want more? Check Google. posted by Lynsey at 11:12 AM PST - 13 comments
First World AIDS Day: CBC archive A short clip from December 1st, 1988, the first World AIDS Day (with a Canadian focus). Also of interest from the CBC archives are twopages of radio and video clips (21 in all) on the early years of the disease. posted by livii at 7:18 AM PST - 18 comments
Today is World AIDS Day around the world. Millions die from this disease every year, and I wish that we still devoted a whole day worth of links to AIDS. (You can still see it in the yearly December archives.) Also there's other info at Wikipedia. Please give a little to the effort if you can. posted by wheelieman at 6:52 AM PST - 5 comments