Mythbusters Saves! "Recalling an episode of a reality TV show he recently watched, the driver waited for the cab to fill with water before lowering a window and swimming out, Mora said." (Mythbusters has been in the blue before, saving those lives through reality television). Hi, Adam! posted by thanotopsis at 10:34 AM PST - 93 comments
Archaeology Magazine lists its top ten discoveries of 2007, with nine runners up. Among the discoveries listed are the discovery of Nebo-Sarsekim tablet that confirms some of the details of the Biblical book of Jeremiah (while casting doubt on other details), evidence that chimpanzees used basic stone tools 4,000 years ago that suggests that the primates may have passed "cultural" information through generations, and evidence of Polynesian chickens in Chile that may confirm Francisco Pizarro's report of chickens in Peru. posted by Pants! at 6:06 PM PST - 19 comments
Wombs for rent: "Anand's surrogate mothers, pioneers in the growing field of outsourced pregnancies, have given birth to roughly 40 babies. More than 50 women in this city are now pregnant with the children of couples from the United States, Taiwan, Britain and beyond. The women earn more than many would make in 15 years." posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:20 PM PST - 134 comments
"Hugh Massingberd, a celebrated former obituaries editor of The Telegraph of London who made a once-dreary page required reading by speaking frankly, wittily and often gleefully ill of the dead, became the recipient of his own services after dying in West London on Christmas Day." The linked NY Times obit (by Margalit Fox; print version) contains many good quotes, like "The Telegraph’s send-off of one Lt. Col. Geoffrey Knowles, 'who as a subaltern was bitten in the buttocks by a bear — he survived but the bear expired'"; The Telegraph's own obit is much longer (and, of course, unsigned) and contains, along with more good zingers, a well-written account of his life ("The inevitable consequence of his bingeing proved another triumph of style, as Massingberd, a tall, slim and notably handsome youth with hollowed-out cheeks, transmogrified into an impressively corpulent presence whose moon face lit up with Pickwickian benevolence"). [more inside] posted by languagehat at 12:08 PM PST - 21 comments
Soon after declining Starbucks's buyout offer, Hyman received the expected news that the company was opening up next to one of his stores. But instead of panicking, he decided to call his friend Jim Stewart, founder of the Seattle's Best Coffee chain, to find out what really happens when a Starbucks opens nearby. "You're going to love it," Stewart reported. "They'll do all of your marketing for you, and your sales will soar".
Contrary to popular belief Starbucks, instead of destroying it, is promoting a thriving Mom & Pop coffee house industry. With the number of independent owned stores growing 40% between 2000 and 2005 and a less than 10% failure rate you might want to start looking for an empty storefront next to your local branch of Seattle's biggest export. posted by PenDevil at 11:37 AM PST - 120 comments
Image of the Year. From the article: "If you want to go shallow for an Image of the Year, you can't do better than Paris Hilton, seen through the window of a Los Angeles sheriff's car, weeping as she's being hauled back to prison to complete a probation-violation sentence. But when you first notice the credit on that now infamous picture, there's a double take. The image came from the camera of NickUt, whose picture of a little girl burned by napalm, naked and running directly toward the camera and into the conscience of the American people, became perhaps the most powerful and influential vision of the Vietnam War. Not only was the Paris Hilton image taken by one of this country's most celebrated war photographers, it was taken June 8, 35 years to the day after the devastating image of 9-year-old Kim Phuc fleeing her bombed-out village. Let's put these two pictures up on the wall together for one last, end-of-the-year look, and see if something emerges." posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:47 AM PST - 52 comments
Small is Beautiful - The best new journals. (via Guardian / Observer) selected by Stephanie Merritt. "Published out of tiny offices or even editors' apartments, funded by grants, donations or founders' savings, distributed by direct subscription or in selected independent bookshops, paying contributors little or nothing at all, these magazines have nevertheless attracted such eminent writers as to give them an international reputation far beyond their limited circulation." posted by adamvasco at 10:18 AM PST - 29 comments
"This is the third version of a guide I have been developing for the past 5 years. It takes the 200 best documentaries I have reviewed on my website True Films and puts them into one handy book." Free as a PDF download, Kevin Kelly's book True Films. posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:44 PM PST - 12 comments
The Third World Squat (Some images not 100% safe for work) When it comes to training someone who's new to the world of squats, deadlifts, and the fine art of picking up heavy stuff, I've found a substantial disparity in the learning curve between North Americans and those from third-world countries . . . There are a variety of possible reasons for this, but there's one dominant variable that's a great predictor of a trainee's immediate potential before they even step foot in the gym: The third-world squat. posted by jason's_planet at 5:24 PM PST - 48 comments
Jon Swift asked everyone on his blogroll to pick what they considered their best post of 07-- ...There are posts on politics by liberals, conservatives and moderates, posts on movies, music, television, books, economics, health care, science, sports, religion and history, personal stories and slices of life, poetry, prose, pictures and video. Some are very funny, some are quite serious, some will make you angry and some will make you say "Huh?" ... posted by amberglow at 9:20 PM PST - 12 comments
"Road Trip is a short film composed of 12,397 pictures taken automatically from the back seat of a car while driving accross [sic] America from Portland, Oregon to New Hampshire." posted by dersins at 12:03 PM PST - 34 comments
"Zudatakes the Web publishing aspect out of the creators' hands, freeing them up to focus on writing and drawing the story. But to get Zuda to publish your comic, you first have to win a competition..." A major player enters into the fray of web comics publishing, previously populated mostly by independents. Is this a good thing or a bad thing? [more inside] posted by ZachsMind at 9:12 AM PST - 47 comments
Parentists, the dogmatic believers that parents alone are the source of Christmas presents, may have new reason to believe, with the scientific approach of External Delivery. Of course, some skeptics have opined that External Delivery is just Santa Clausism with a pseudoscientific veneer. Other commentators are more forgiving, and point out the great strides that ED has made in the study of Yuleogy. posted by CrunchyFrog at 12:34 AM PST - 29 comments
Barbara Pym’sbooks focused on women who rarely make it into any spotlight, literary or otherwise: quiet, sensible, independent women of a certain age. Like the spinsters who populate her novels, her genius has been too often overlooked, but she does have her devotees.[more inside] posted by freshwater_pr0n at 8:48 PM PST - 26 comments
"“If any of these said persons come in love unto us, we cannot in conscience lay violent hands upon them, but give them free egress and regress unto our town. For we are bound by the law of God and man to do good unto all men and evil to no man.”
Today is the 350th anniversary of the Flushing Remonstrance - a precursor of the Constitution, and "an iconic record of early Dutch colonial government that proclaimed the necessity of religious freedom of conscience and toleration."
As this NYT Op-Ed notes, this document originated (and is currently on display) in "the most diverse neighborhood in the most diverse borough in the most diverse city on the planet." posted by ericbop at 7:11 PM PST - 22 comments
Gimpix.com's home page title reads "exploring the sexuality of an attractive woman in a plaster of Paris leg cast"
There's something for everyone out on the interwebs, and if you're interested in purchasing snapshots of young women in leg casts, tracking cast sightings on tv and in movies, or checking out vintage images from magazines and newspapers, this might be for you.
NSFW, although not a Spanking The Monkey sort of NSFW posted by stagewhisper at 12:10 PM PST - 30 comments
Kwout, Use it to grab a quick quotation or other screen shot from a web site and embed it into a blog or other website (one click to Flickr and Tumblr).. [via/via] [more inside] posted by nickyskye at 10:48 PM PST - 20 comments
, from 200 a year to about 10... "You can't deny the numbers," he added. "Half the world is eager to see what's going to happen with this program."
Apparently, people in India can handle it.
(Surely you saw this on Reddit?) posted by jaronson at 6:15 PM PST - 63 comments
Make me a Muslim. The recently aired three episodes show takes a glamour model who wants to experience being completely hidden under a dress ,a skin therapist looking for meaning of life, a taxi driver that strongly feels islam is threatening UK lifestyle, a school teacher who wants to learn, an interracial interreligion couple and a flaming gay hairdresser tired of shallow party life.
Take this colourful bunch and have two imams, a preacher and a converted woman lead them through an "islamic lifestyle" experience. You can watch the results here , I guess at least for a while. posted by elpapacito at 7:20 AM PST - 59 comments
TheDataWeb - a network of online data libraries on topics including census data, economic data, health data, income and unemployment data, population data, labor data, cancer data, crime and transportation data, family dynamics, vital statistics data posted by Gyan at 7:03 AM PST - 10 comments
"In the Late December" (MP3 link), by Greg van Eekhout, is a Nebula award-nominated story about Santa Claus and the end of the universe, and is Escape Pod#138. (By the way, this is a very dark story -- there's no sex or violence but this probably isn't suitable for kids, where "kids" is defined as a stereotypical aggregate of child-like characteristics. Yours may be different.) posted by JHarris at 8:24 AM PST - 14 comments
A motherlode of ancient TV has been found at a web address near you! Journey now to the dim, poorly produced, and poorly preserved, but somehow incredibly sweet primitive ancestors of today's tv travesties.
See Captain Video hawk his amazing ring. Or gape as Foodini and Pinhead perform acts impossible for mere flesh-and-blood creatures. And these are not 10-second clips--they're whole shows.
And Variety (that means a bunch of unrelated entertaining music, dance, or comedy segments, each a few minutes long)--in English, not Spanish like nowadays (cf Sabado_Gigante) [more inside] posted by hexatron at 8:31 PM PST - 3 comments
Ever admired those hard-working hackers, toiling away to get you the programs you've always loathed to have? Have you ever dreamt of exploring the innards of someone else's computer but have held back due to those pesky legalities? If you said yes to either of the above questions or just want to play an online hacking simulation, then SlaveHack is the website for you. [more inside] posted by flatluigi at 10:31 PM PST - 9 comments
The Four Horsemen: Just in time for holidays, enjoy a pleasant chat between the world's most famous atheists - Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, Christopher Hitchens and Daniel Dennett. posted by empath at 8:52 PM PST - 79 comments
A site for artist Bas Jan Ader (wikipedia) who was last seen in 1975 when he took off in what would have been the smallest sailboat ever to cross the Atlantic. Site includes his most famous piece, I'm Too Sad to Tell You. posted by dobbs at 5:08 PM PST - 15 comments
Virtual Tour of Steve's Weird House. "Stephen resides in a Victorian home that is a cluttered combination of museum, library and art gallery, decorated with that old-world Addam's Family charm. Not only is every inch of every wall covered with art, but all the ceilings are also decorated." (Via.) posted by Astro Zombie at 3:14 PM PST - 23 comments
After I posted this article, many people asked me who listens to that berserk music. Well, it's most popular with Japanese girls lumped under the general term "gyaru". It is not really a fashion movement per se, as it has fractured into scores of rapidly-evolving subgroups--usually hostile to each other, even though many appear the same to the uninitiated. In fact, the book Japanese Schoolgirl Inferno, published in 2007, is already said to be out of date. This website is a bit more current.
What do "gyaru" look like? There are now quite a few slideshows of gyaru on the streets of Tokyo on YouTube. Examples: here,here, and here. And for those who need to buy these "fashions", the primary bibles are FRUiTS and Egg. There is something wrong with that country....... posted by metasonix at 2:34 AM PST - 78 comments
I Waterboard!If I had the choice of being waterboarded by a third party or having my fingers smashed one at a time by a sledgehammer, I'd take the fingers, no question. posted by telstar at 5:45 PM PST - 87 comments
Ho[over]! Ho[over]!Ho[over]! According to a document that was one of many declassified [PDF] by The State Department yesterday, “Former FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover had a plan to suspend the rules against illegal detention and arrest up to 12,000 Americans he suspected of being disloyal....The plan called for the FBI to apprehend all potentially dangerous individuals whose names were on a list Hoover had been compiling for years. ‘The index now contains approximately twelve thousand individuals, of which approximately ninety-seven percent are citizens of the United States,’ Hoover wrote in the now-declassified document. ‘In order to make effective these apprehensions, the proclamation suspends the writ of habeas corpus.’” [habeas corpus previously -- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.] posted by ericb at 2:46 PM PST - 58 comments
Collage is an online image database from the collections of the City of London Libraries and the Guildhall Art Gallery. Images cover the last five centuries. You can search by key word or browse by theme, artist/engraver, person or place. [more inside] posted by paduasoy at 12:13 PM PST - 7 comments
The bookforum site deserves to be brought to the attention of right thinking MeFis everywhere. It like a collection of really good front page posts: annotated collections of 10 or so links from disparate sources on a common theme. [more inside] posted by shothotbot at 4:41 AM PST - 9 comments
Yahoo's new BravoNation brings Xbox Live type achievements to the world outside of gaming. You can send or receive homemade awards from any user. They are banking on third party sites using their API to hand out bravo awards to people for doing various things. Our own waxpancake has the exclusive first look. posted by riffola at 9:53 PM PST - 22 comments
This Flash tool from the New York Times shows you how many times each candidate has named each of the other candidates, suggesting which candidates the others perceive as worthy of addressing. It's a very neat and efficient visualization tool. Guess who everyone can't stop mentioning? posted by Brian James at 5:21 PM PST - 39 comments
Like Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron (made famous through François Truffaut's film L'Enfant Sauvage), a modern-day feral child, known as 'werewolf boy ' "who snarls and bites [has] escaped from a Moscow clinic just a day after being rescued from the wild." "The boy, who looks about ten, moves around with his legs half bent and 'was running with wolves and searching for food with them.' Police, who named him Lyokha, said villagers found him in a lair made of leaves and sticks in freezing temperatures." * [Feral Children previously on MeFi - 1, 2] posted by ericb at 2:30 PM PST - 15 comments
Armed guards in church? Colorado's New Life Church: "The church's undercover security force is made up of an undisclosed number of volunteers with military or law-enforcement backgrounds, who carry radios and concealed weapons when they attend services." One of these guards recently shot a deranged gunman. [more inside] posted by CCBC at 1:57 PM PST - 126 comments
"When we're running, you can't tell. When people look at us, they don't point and go, 'Yeah, he's homeless, she's not, she's educated.'" Mahlum explained, "You look and say, 'Oh, look at the runners.' That's a positive association, because there's no separation." [more inside] posted by stagewhisper at 1:34 PM PST - 8 comments
"Lex has had two tours in Iraq," Jerome Lee said. "He's been through a lot, and we just want to get Lex home toour family and let him have a happy life." It is the first time a working dog has been granted retirement to live with a handler's family. [more inside] posted by miss lynnster at 12:21 PM PST - 19 comments
It has now been several years since Jacquie Lawson, an English artist living in the picturesque village of Lurgashall in Southern England, created an animated Christmas card in 2000. The e-card, featuring her dog, Chudleigh, her cats, and her 15th-century cottage, was sent to a few friends for their amusement. Those friends sent the e-card to others, and within weeks Jacquie was inundated with requests from all over the world to design more e-cards.[more inside] posted by nickyskye at 10:16 AM PST - 29 comments
Secrecy no more? The first major overhaul of the Freedom of Information act in years is awaiting President Bush's signature. It will finally create an "independent" government agency to handle to disputes between records holders and information requesters. The passage of the act comes after, ironically, after an Arizona senator used a "secret hold" to block the bill. He was ferreted out by a group of journalists. posted by nospecialfx at 6:34 AM PST - 26 comments
December 22 is World Orgasm Day. "WHY? To effect positive change in the energy field of the Earth through input of the largest possible instantaneous surge of human biological, mental and spiritual energy." posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:18 PM PST - 59 comments
Packed full of galleries of beautiful illustrations by Maxfield Parrish, Aubrey Beardsley, William Morris, Gustave Doré, Arthur Rackham and others with prints one can buy of any illustration, Artsy Craftsy includes a sumptuous collection of Victorian Fairies illustrations. The site also has the illustrated Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde, illustrations of cats in fairy tales, Magic Cats, and a selection of beautiful free ecards as well. [more inside] posted by nickyskye at 7:27 AM PST - 17 comments
It was revealed last week that former Wikipedia Chief Operating Officer Carolyn Doran was a convicted felon, her prior record includes four convictions for driving under the influence, two of check fraud and petty larceny, one hit and run with fatality, one unlawful wounding for shooting a former boyfriend, suspect in a murder case, and some suspicion surrounding the drowning death of her newlywed husband. Senior Wikipedians are "shocked", and the waves are still reverberating as apparently something totally secret and big is going down at the Foundation (that runs Wikipedia) that may radically alter the board for better or worse. posted by stbalbach at 6:55 AM PST - 103 comments
A Tsar Is Born. For his "extraordinary feat of leadership in taking a country that was in chaos and bringing it stability," Time has announced Vladimir Putin as Person of the Year. Al Gore and J.K. Rowling are runners-up. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:23 AM PST - 70 comments
Gutenberg-e now offers open access to Columbia University Press history ebooks. "These award winning monographs, coordinated with the American Historical Association, afford emerging scholars new possibilities for online publications, weaving traditional narrative with digitized primary sources, including maps, photographs, and oral histories." Found via a link to How Taiwan Became Chinese, one of the books available. posted by Abiezer at 5:40 AM PST - 8 comments
Footnote (mentioned previously but briefly on MeFi) is trying to be the latest big destination for history buffs and family historians on the web, where... "you can view the most exciting original source documents," over 22 million of 'em, some of which are "available for the first time on the internet"!
Sure, you have to pay to get to a bunch of the genealogy stuff, but they've also got digital scans of lots of cool American history documents for FREE! A current, more-or-less chronological list of the free docs follows... [more inside] posted by Misciel at 8:35 PM PST - 8 comments
Pages Unbound is a portal for serialized web novels, similar to web comic portals such as Buzz Comix and Top Web Comics, if not nearly as fancy. It is a new project by Tales of MU author Alexandra Erin. Note: Tales of MU and some of the novels found on Pages Unbound may be NSFW, as they contain explicit material of various sorts. MU, specifically, is concerned with LGBT issues and racism in a fantasy setting. posted by Caduceus at 1:17 PM PST - 9 comments
Hitchcock on Hitchcock: Alfred Hitchcock reflects on his career in movies, discussing among other things, the origin of the term "MacGuffin", his creative process and what his earliest fear was. posted by empath at 10:48 PM PST - 7 comments
Prior to his critically acclaimed program The Wire, creator Edward Burns wrote the HBO miniseries The Corner, which also focused on the drug trade in Baltimore. Charles S. Dutton, an African-American Baltimore native and former convict probably best known to most as TV's "Roc," was chosen to direct the miniseries. Who Gets To Tell a Black Story?, part of a Pulitzer-prize winning NYT series on race in America, examines Dutton's take on how to make a TV program which portrays a mostly African-American cast of characters, the struggles and differing perspectives of Dutton and Burns, and how race is portrayed in Hollywood. [more inside] posted by whir at 10:02 PM PST - 24 comments
The Losers Cover Gallery showcases the bold design sense and unique art style of UK comics artist Jock, who also produced much of the interior art for the VERTIGO series. Losely based on a WWII comic of the same name it became a fast paced action caper with a political edge under writer Andy Diggle, and the covers reflect both the themes and the cinematic style of the comic. posted by Artw at 3:57 PM PST - 17 comments
It was 30 years ago today that Elvis Costello and the Attractions appeared on Saturday Night Live. They'd wanted to play Radio Radio but SNL said no as it was thought to be 'anti-media.' So they started playing Less Than Zero, but stopped eight seconds in and played Radio Radio anyway, which led to them being banned from SNL for 12 years. Tip o' the hat to the Post Punk Progressive Pop Party. posted by carter at 3:07 PM PST - 85 comments
Jan Terri, an enigmatic outsider musician from Chicago, became a dubious celebrity in her own right after releasing a number of self-produced songs and accompanying videos on VHS in the 1990s. Among her "hits" were Losing You, Baby Blues, Get Down Goblin and the must-seeRock-'n'-Roll Santa (which has been covered by Yo La Tengo). Her music videos were so earnest and popular for their camp value that Marilyn Manson eventually enlisted her to sing at a birthday party of his and the Daily Show invited her on. However, she hasn't really been heard from since. Has Jan Terri given up her dream?
posted by Lillitatiana at 1:26 PM PST - 20 comments
Resolver One looks and feels like an Excel clone, except that it stores all the data and formulas as a Python program. You can add more code, or export the whole thing.
It's in public beta now, and the commercial release will be free for open source and personal projects. posted by signal at 9:38 AM PST - 38 comments
The other day, I overheard someone marveling at this story: Impatient jack-ass in Starbucks drive-thru (no, not always synonymous) honks and shouts repeatedly at driver in front of him, a tai-chi master who decides to "change the consciousness" of the jerk by paying for his coffee. The jerk is so moved, that he pays for the coffee of the person behind him, and this "chain of kindness" winds up lasting all day, with everyone paying for the drink behind him. Nice story, right?
How odd that the same thing (minus the Jewish zen-master) ccurred almost simultaneously in another part of the country. In this version, the "cheer chain," as the Starbucks employee calls it, was a near-perfect (except for this guy) example of holiday cheer. I guess pre-caffeinated Starbucks customers must possess a surprisingly high amount of holiday spirit.
Or maybe it's just the red cups. posted by ericbop at 7:34 AM PST - 205 comments
Part 1 of 6 It is 1969...I'm watching TV and here's this guy on a Harley. Darn...this was new...major characters on TV shows did NOT ride motorcycles! He pulls up at a light and a fellow in a station wagon (remember station wagons???) says.. "taking a trip?", Bronson says "yeah"..the guy says "where to?" Bronson says "I don't know, where ever I end up, I guess"...
That was the beginning of 26 episodes of "Then Came Bronson", I've wanted to take that trip ever since! [more inside] posted by HuronBob at 10:01 PM PST - 17 comments
Over the years millions of children have been introduced to a foreign language by BigMuzzy[wiki], a friendly, green, clock-eating monster. Here's the complete British English version of Muzzy in Gondoland on YouTube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. posted by sveskemus at 1:12 PM PST - 12 comments
Moreover, based on the empirical distribution of height and wages, the optimal height tax is substantial: a tall person earning $50,000 should pay about $4,500 more in taxes (pdf) than a short person earning the same income. Draw what inferences you will. posted by Pants! at 7:52 PM PST - 41 comments
A Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court in Vermont has ruled that a man allegedly caught with child pornography on his laptop need not reveal his PGP password (yes, authorities shut down the laptop and now can't get at the alleged porn) pursuant to the Fifth Amendment's protections against self incrimination. The decision is here[PDF]. A decent write-up (from CNET of all places) is here. This appears to be the first decision ever to directly address this issue, and many commentators had thought it would come out differently. The major question is whether revealing one's PGP key is "testimonial" or not. According to the Supreme Court, giving up fingerprints or blood samples isn't, nor is standing for a lineup, nor is handing over the key to a safe, but if it's combination safe, well maybe that's different. Never let it be said that your Fifth Amendment rights are easy. posted by The Bellman at 3:18 PM PST - 57 comments
Art Binninger was a sci-fi buff in the 1970s with the resources of the audiovisual squad at Vandenberg Air Force Base at his disposal. The result was Star Trix, a claymation Star Trek parody, that spawned threeshortfilms and Star Trix: The Flick (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5). Art Binninger himself explains the whole saga on his web site. posted by jonp72 at 2:19 PM PST - 3 comments
Open Yale Coursesprovides free and open access to seven introductory courses taught by distinguished teachers and scholars at Yale University:Astronomy, English, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Religious Studies: a full set of class lectures produced in high-quality video, syllabi, suggested readings, and problem sets. [more inside] posted by nickyskye at 7:43 AM PST - 30 comments
Duelity - the beginning in two parts The Vancover Film School does a really cool visual retelling of creation.
The 'biblical' version with a science edge.
The 'evolution' version with a biblical edge.
And you can watch them both at the same time! posted by filmgeek at 4:07 AM PST - 34 comments
During the latter half of the twentieth century, Liverpool writers made an enormous contribution to television drama. Writers like Willy Russell and Jimmy McGovern have been hugely influential. But the daddy of them all was unarguably Alan Bleasdale, whose television dramas dominated our screens during the latter half of the 20th century in a manner that was unmatched by anybody besides the late Dennis Potter. [more inside] posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:27 AM PST - 30 comments
How Africa's desert sun can bring Europe power. A £5bn solar power demonstration project called Desertec is being developed by Trans-Mediterranean Renewable Energy Cooperation (TREC) that would send solar energy northward from African deserts. The goal is in 30 years to provide a significant fraction of Europe's electricity needs. posted by stbalbach at 6:31 AM PST - 35 comments
The Association for Civil Rights in Israel says in its annual report that Israel has reached "new heights of racism". Embedded WMV video, article, and, typically for Ha'aretz, some very interesting reader comments. [more inside] posted by stammer at 7:31 PM PST - 30 comments
Hearing Voices? It May Be an Ad. Ok . . . this isn’t make-believe. A company is really doing this for an A&E promo. For just how long has this technology been in existence? How have people been manipulated with this?
The advertisement company, Adage, is using a device they call, Audio Spotlight from a company called Holosonics. Sounds perfect for conditioning crazed gunmen or for tricking feeble minded leaders into believing God is talking back to them.
If you are skeptical, the company owner replied to my email saying the Seattle Art Museam and the Space Needle are also using his product. posted by augustweed at 4:19 PM PST - 90 comments
Miss Landmine: We are currently preparing the live Miss Landmine Angola 2008 pageant in close collaboration with the Angolan government (CNIDAH) and supported by the European Union. The crowning of the world's first Miss Landmine will be taking place in Luanda, Angola on April 4th, 2008, the UN International Day for Mine Awareness and Assistance in Mine Action. Stay tuned! The web voting for Miss Landmine Angola is open until April 3, 2008. [more inside] posted by nickyskye at 10:46 AM PST - 17 comments
Straight No Chaser (Indiana University men's acapella group) performs this hilarious rendition of "The Twelve Days of Christmas." Want to perform it with your own acapella chorus? You're in luck. The sheet music is available as an inexpensive digital download. posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:11 AM PST - 38 comments
110% is a classic convivial québécois sportsHabs-centric debating talking heads french TV show, broadcasted every weeknight on TQS from 22:45 to 23:30 and daily episodes are posted online almost in their entirety (usually only missing some minor bumpers) at around 00:30 AM everyday, if you can figure out how to start the weird flash player (tip inside) and stand the chopping of the main part of the show in four randomly-sectionned parts. [more inside] posted by jchgf at 12:06 AM PST - 10 comments
Do Not Resuscitate. "For families facing the impending death of a loved one, few topics trigger more anguish than the Do Not Resuscitate order... There is little ambiguity in a DNR order: Emergency medical staff must withhold CPR and other life-reviving treatments if the patient's heart or breathing stops, allowing death." But, DNR orders aren't always cut-and-dried. There are many situations that complicate the medical professional's decision to comply. Related: Some people have opted to get a "D.N.R." tattoo, but others have wondered if it will hold up in court as a legal directive. [First link Via]. posted by amyms at 9:47 PM PST - 53 comments
Jean Shepherd was one of the greatest storytellers ever to be heard on radio. The Jean Shepherd Project collects recordings of these historic broadcasts, converts them to mp3 files and makes them available to be revisited by his longtime fans and by those who wish to discover what great American storytelling is all about. [more inside] posted by carsonb at 8:05 PM PST - 26 comments
"The really disturbing thing about Lagos’s pickers and venders is that their lives have essentially nothing to do with ours. They scavenge an existence beyond the margins of macroeconomics. They are, in the harsh terms of globalization, superfluous."
The Megacity, George Packer in Lagos.
posted by afu at 1:09 PM PST - 25 comments
Last week, the Chicago Reader laid off four of its best journalists: John Conroy (previously), Harold Henderson, Tori Marlan, and Steve Bogira. The cuts almost certainly mark the beginning of the end of the paper's role in Chicago as an investigative force and a corruption watchdog. The New York Times responds with a salute to Conroy and a defense of muckraking's relevance. [more inside] posted by Iridic at 12:02 PM PST - 25 comments
The Enigma of Amigara Fault is an absolutely compelling and terribly creepy short manga story by Junji Ito about mysterious human-shaped holes exposed in a cliff by an earthquake, each perfectly matching the outline of someone who is then compelled to enter the confining, claustrophobic darkness. For more of Ito in English, there is Falling. Make sure to read from right to left. posted by blahblahblah at 9:57 PM PST - 72 comments
A photographic catalog of a traditional whale hunt. (Flash, photos include whale hunting in all its bloody detail) In order to develop an experimental interface for storytelling, photographer Jonathan Harris accompanied a family of Inupiat Eskimos on a subsistence whale hunt. During his week long journey, he took 3,214 photographs, including pictures taken every 5 minutes while he was sleeping. The navigation allows for for very quick navigation through the series, using a heartbeat metaphor and a number of filtering constraints so that you can narrow your search to cast members, locations on the journey, and even something as loose as a photo's "concept".
via posted by mkb at 7:31 PM PST - 21 comments
On December 7th, talks between the Writer's Guild of America (WGA) and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) broke down. From AMPTP.com: "We are heartbroken to report that despite our best efforts, including sending them a muffin basket, making them a mix CD, and standing outside their window with a boombox blasting Peter Gabriel songs, our talks with the WGA have broken down." posted by Tehanu at 4:52 PM PST - 48 comments
Humans are evolving more rapidly than in the distant past, according to a new study published in PNAS. "The massive growth of human populations has led to far more genetic mutations, and every mutation that is advantageous to people has a chance of being selected and driven toward fixation. We are more different genetically from people living 5,000 years ago than they were different from Neanderthals", says lead author John Hawks. [more inside] posted by stbalbach at 3:53 PM PST - 136 comments
American Icons from Public Radio International's Studio 360 is host/author Kurt Andersen's "...survey into the books, movies, art, and architecture that have come to represent American culture and character."* For example, in the episode on 'Moby-Dick,' listen to Ray Bradbury, Tony Kushner and Frank Stella talk about Melville and his literary masterpiece. Listen to Laurie Anderson compare 'Moby Dick' to 'Star Trek.' In a segment on 'The Great Gatsby,' listen to the only known recording of F. Scott Fitzgerald. Then witness Salman Rushdie as he credits 'The Wizard of Oz' as his first literary influence while Bobby McFerrin performs snippets from his eight-minute medley condensing the entire movie.* posted by ericb at 3:48 PM PST - 10 comments
Doris Lessing's Nobel Prize for Literature acceptance speech. "The storyteller is deep inside everyone of us. The story-maker is always with us. Let us suppose our world is attacked by war, by the horrors that we all of us easily imagine. Let us suppose floods wash through our cities, the seas rise . . . but the storyteller will be there, for it is our imaginations which shape us, keep us, create us - for good and for ill. It is our stories that will recreate us, when we are torn, hurt, even destroyed." posted by jokeefe at 1:50 PM PST - 20 comments
The Terrible Secret of Animal Crossing "I've documented the journey of Billy, a young, happy lad who believes he's going off to have fantastic adventures at summer camp... This is a literal and practically contextual account of what happens to poor bastards sent to Animal Crossing." posted by chrismear at 1:38 PM PST - 28 comments
Being But Men. Every year around this time, this interstitial runs and I am reminded of the genius of Dylan Thomas and how much fun it must be to make interstitials for TNT. [more inside] posted by The Bellman at 1:17 PM PST - 8 comments
Language log has uncovered the reason for the inappropriately common appearance of the word fuck in English translations on Chinese signs. One more Chinglish phenomenon explained. posted by hindmost at 12:47 PM PST - 72 comments
The Gömböc is the first known convex, homogeneous shape having just one stable and one unstable point (i.e. altogether two points) of equilibrium. A little like some turtles' shells (or weebles), it's self-righting, but for purely geometric reasons. [more inside] posted by gleuschk at 10:02 AM PST - 35 comments
Miomi (beta) is taking all the world’s information—including the personal history of as many people as possible—and putting it all in a big fat timeline. [more inside] posted by carsonb at 8:03 AM PST - 18 comments
What I Killed Today.I work with a lot of injured wildlife. Also not wild animals that are just in a lot of pain. Sometimes I have to euthanize them. I decided to record each animal I euthanize here. posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:47 AM PST - 80 comments
Al Scaduto , illustrator of anachronistic comic They'll Do It Every Time passed away yesterday at the age of 79. An impressive tribute by the band of irrepressible cynics who warmed to his style and generosity despite themselves and had recently comprised a great deal of the participating audience component of the strip, joined by family and friends. posted by setanor at 10:36 PM PST - 13 comments
Pavel Bernek had grand plans for his newly-refurbished, 34-foot sailboat.
"He schemed to cross the Atlantic, blow through the Strait of Gibraltar and drop anchor in the Mediterranean Sea, where he hoped his girlfriend would be waiting for him.
But here in reality - in Milwaukee - the wounded "Falcon" lies on its side, in shin-deep water, ravaged by more than a month's worth of wintry punches from an ornery Lake Michigan."[more inside] posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 4:27 PM PST - 38 comments
This link goes to an discussion with 'Future Noir' author Paul Sammon... then this one goes to a Q&A with 'BR' director Ridley Scott, talking about the upcoming re-release. posted by Rajamadan at 1:59 PM PST - 12 comments
Hey daddy-o, when you hear that big brash horn section pump out that oddly familiarriff, only to stop cold and make way for that that prescient single note from an electric guitar, followed straightaway by a twangy voice in perfect rockabilly delivery proclaiming "well, she's got a dress that looks like a sack!", then brother, you're listening to the hoppin' boppin' sound of Wally Deane's Drag On. Once you hear it, you'll wonder why Quentin Tarrantino never put it in a movie. Wally Deane: one of the greatest rockabilly acts you never heard of. posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:40 AM PST - 21 comments
Luc Sante has started a blog (according to Sasha Frere-Jones). Two entries so far, the first on a book cover from the 60's and the second on a picture of a rockabilly band. From the 2nd blog post:
And that is why we come here once a year to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown rockabilly band: to persuade them to rest, and lay off the young. But just have a look at them--they were never meant to be! They should never have tried occupying the same stage, and they should have left music to find its own way home. The piano player, with his incipient Mickey Mouse ears, was clearly destined for a career working with puppets. The twins on guitar and bass were natural-born casino greeters. The other guitarist has the fine tapered hands of a pest-control agent specializing in silverfish. And the drummer--he was meant as an example. What happened to him should have been shown to driver-safety classes in every high school in the country. [more inside] posted by Kattullus at 12:18 AM PST - 18 comments
I think the trouble is telling them what the project is about. People think you are mad. Once I started telling people it was for “an oil tank”, they started to take me seriously.Guernsey Submarine documents the building of a homemade submersible. You can also watch another K-350 in action, read about how to design them, or buy plans, if you're truly inspired. posted by Upton O'Good at 3:53 PM PST - 3 comments
"Hundreds of thousands of Americans have endured tours of duty in Iraq. They are returning home with a new word on their lips. It will have an impact on the American Experiment, inshallah." posted by Firas at 3:51 PM PST - 52 comments
SOS-arsenic.net has excellent recipes, visuals, articles and information about life, history, living in Bangladesh, which borders India, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Assam, Burma and is near the Himalayan country of Bhutan. Among the many interesting things included in this site is disturbing information: mustard oil, whose production and consumption were until recently integral to India's way of life, has been banned, so as to provide a market for Monsanto's soya oil and the poisoning of between 85 and 125 million people with arsenic. posted by nickyskye at 9:21 AM PST - 20 comments
Juststolen.net "was created by police officers to provide the best possible asset tracking and property recovery services in the world. JustStolen.net is an innovative tool designed to easily register assets in order to facilitate their recovery if they are lost or stolen. JustStolen.net joins forces with online auctions to help identify stolen property." posted by tristeza at 3:59 PM PST - 7 comments
Yesterday, the US House passed the SAFE Act. No, not that one. Points of note:
- If signed into law, the SAFE Act will require people offering WiFi at their cafe, library, or even allowing their neighbours to use it, who notice that someone appears to have viewed certain dirty cartoons, or pictures of fully-clothed children looking sexy, to immediately make a comprehensive report to John Walsh's CyberTipLine, and retain the images, or face a fine of up to $150,000.
- ISPs or email services have the same obligations, and must store all data relating to the user's account, to be handed over to the authorities.
- The Democrats rushed the legislation through using a mechanism intended for non-controversial legislation. There was no hearing or committee vote. The legislation changed significantly before the vote and was not available for public review.
- The bill passed 409-2. Opposed were Paul Broun (R-Georgia) and Ron Paul (R-Texas). The Senate is next, so consider telling them what you think. posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 3:44 PM PST - 98 comments
Dr. Seuss 2.0 NYT's blogger, David Pogue, expounds on the un-creative Seussification of 2.0 website names. Entertaining and right-on... except that the Washington Post featured the very same article a week earlier! Ouch. posted by adamms222 at 1:07 PM PST - 49 comments
Are You Not DEVO? You Are Mutato! LA Weekly goes behind the scenes of Mutato Muzika, the commercial music studio owned by Mark Mothersbaugh. Mark is a visual artist, composer, oh, and front man for a little band called DEVO who is "spending December at Mutato trying to create an album’s worth of new material and contemplating a method of dispersal in the post-record-company world." posted by SansPoint at 11:58 AM PST - 17 comments
You want me to eat what?!? It's fun to talk about oral sex, but I want to chat about something else. To see if you have permission, sign in. Or just add email@example.com to your IM. Failing that, see what Howard has to offer. posted by gman at 10:40 AM PST - 20 comments
Some fancy security for 6 to 14-year-old girls Anne's Diary is a Canadian social network for 6 to 14-year-old girls (I read about it on the CBC's Spark blog). It has two interesting security features to fend off child molesters and the like. To sign up for the service, kids need to get a non-parental adult professional as a 'sponsor' who validates their identity and age (much like applying for a passport). Secondly, you get a USB fingerprint scanner with your initial package, and I gather the kids use this to log in to the service. And yes, that's Anne with an 'e'. No Prince Edward Island gable was ever this secure. [more inside] posted by dbarefoot at 9:47 AM PST - 31 comments
"Open Vault provides online access to unique and historically important content produced by public television station WGBH for individual and classroom learning. The ever-expanding site contains video excerpts, searchable transcripts, a select number of complete interviews for purchase, and resource management tools." (Requires QuickTime) [more inside] posted by OmieWise at 8:03 AM PST - 13 comments
Papervision3D 2.0 released yesterday. Papervision3D is an open source 3D Engine for flash which provides a lightweight, browser friendly platform for rendering 3d content in your browser window. Papervision (some examples of PV3D in use: 1, 2, 3 (this third one might be awhile to load...), however, is only the tip of the iceberg which is a very committed and talented open source flash community. [more inside] posted by localhuman at 5:53 PM PST - 11 comments
Depending on who you believe, either Guy Pearce or Viggo Mortensen will be cast in the lead role of the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's utterly brilliant dystopia, The Road. To my mind, the adaptation marks Hollywood's rekindling of the almost forgotten genre of the post-apocalyptical movie. With Mad Max, The Postman, Threads and The Day After, nuclear annihilation loomed large in the imaginations of filmmakers in the 70s and 80s. Since then cinematic dystopia has been projected in the realm of the fantastic (think 12 Monkey's, The Matrix and 28 Days Later). If dystopia is really just a satire of the present, what does the film adaptation of The Road tell us about the our times? posted by MrMerlot at 5:22 PM PST - 75 comments
Their days are filled with these sorts of moments, as when they go out for Chinese food and the fortune in Dennis's cookie tells him he has "integrity and consistency." ("Isn't that amazing?" Elizabeth says.) And then they turn the fortune over, and Dennis's Chinese word is "hat," and amazingly, Elizabeth just bought a hat before lunch.
Meetup Alliance -Meetup.com, the social networking site, probably best known for becoming a driving factor in Howard Dean's presidential campaign, has created the Meetup Alliance offshoot site, which allows local groups (whether organized through other networking sites or just locally) to link up and create global "alliances." posted by adamms222 at 11:40 AM PST - 3 comments
Word Magazine's Advent Calendar. The Man in Black in a field of white. Diana + (Flo and Mary) in Santa hats. "Weird Al"'s post-apocalyptic Xmas. Thin Pistols/Sex Lizzy serenade Kenny Everett. Grace Jones uncrated for Pee Wee.
And that's just the first five days. posted by the sobsister at 7:34 AM PST - 5 comments
Can three happy kids (15, 13, 9) REALLY play the blues? (and without knowing how to read music). Hell yeah! They placed 2nd (out of 157 bands) at this spring's International Blues Challenge in Memphis. (Featured: CBS Sunday Morning video) Even BB King is impressed. More YouTubery (this has to be a parent's posting page) - not the place for high fidelity, but you'll get the idea: Harvest Blues Festival performances. posted by spock at 7:01 AM PST - 7 comments
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, The Center for Constitutional Rights and cooperating counsel filed 11 new habeas petitions in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of over 70 detainees. These cases eventually became the consolidated cases of Al Odah v. United Statesand Boumediene v. Bush, the leading cases determining the significance of the Supreme Court’s decision in Rasul, the rights of non-citizens to challenge the legality of their detention in an offshore U.S. military base, and the constitutionality of the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
An obscure 1911 British law requires a copy of every published book, journal, newspaper, patent, sound recording, magazine etc.. to be permanently archived in at least one of five libraries around the country. The British Library has the most complete collection and is currently adding about 12.5km of new shelf space a year of mostly unheard of and unwanted stuff. A new state-of-the-art warehouse is being constructed with 262 linear kilometers of high-density, fully automated storage in a low-oxygen temperature controlled environment. It is not a library, it is a warehouse for "things that no one wants." BLDG Blog ponders on what it all means. posted by stbalbach at 6:36 PM PST - 60 comments
This is an ironic tale of the consequences of inept application of cryptographic tools. Or is it? Dan Egerstad, a Swedish hacker, gained access to hundreds of computer network accounts around the world, belonging to various embassies, corporations and other organizations. How did he do it? Very easily: by sniffing exit traffic on his Tor nodes. [more inside] posted by Anything at 6:04 PM PST - 27 comments
Straight from the Department of Things Everybody But Me Probably Knew About Two Years Ago, it was only yesterday that I discovered the mind-boggling usefulness of the Amazon Filler Item Finder, which allows you to enter the exact price of the item you need to pad your order up to $25.00 for free shipping. Happy postage-free holidays. [more inside] posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:14 AM PST - 54 comments
Face Your Pockets. "Our goal is to not only bring all these objects into light but show the owner of them. During the scanning process it is recommended not to open your eyes." posted by Soup at 5:12 PM PST - 20 comments
With the wild success of the Guitar Hero series, using video game controllers shaped like guitars is nothing new. However, the duo at Modal Kombat actually use guitars as video game controllers. They won't reveal all of their tricks, but you can read a bit about their technology here and at this interview with Urban Guitar. The results are awfully impressive. View the original Modal Kombat here, and their newest installment, the admittedly trippy GuitarKart here. via posted by Ufez Jones at 4:51 PM PST - 5 comments
Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue was an animated drug prevention television special starring many popular cartoon characters from American Saturday morning television. Airing in 1990 and financed by McDonald's, it was simulcast on all three major American television networks. The VHS home video edition of the special also opened with an introduction from then-President George Bush Snr and Barbara Bush. And thanks to the wonders of the interwebs, you can watch the whole thing here. And you really should. After all, where else are you going to get to hear cartoon characters like Garfield and Winnie the Pooh talking about smoking crack and shooting juice? [more inside] posted by Effigy2000 at 3:16 PM PST - 48 comments
The Howling Mob Society.Looking out over the burning Strip District from the safety of his office in Pittsburgh's Union Station, Thomas Alexander Scott must have been humbled. Only days before, as president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, Scott famously suggested that impoverished and striking railroad workers be given “a rifle diet for a few days and see how they like that kind of bread.” Now, with the local Pittsburgh militia all but mutinied and the State Militia rapidly retreating, he must have wondered if his hard-line stance had backfired… [more inside] posted by damnthesehumanhands at 10:41 AM PST - 9 comments
Scientists find a 'mummified' Hadrosaur in North Dakota "He looks like a blow-up dinosaur in some parts," said Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at the University of Manchester in England who is leading the inquiry. "When you actually look at the detail of the skin, the scales themselves are three dimensional. . . . The arm is breathtaking. It's a three-dimensional arm, you can shake the dinosaur by the hand. It just defies logic that such a remarkable specimen could preserve." [more inside] posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:54 AM PST - 52 comments
John Tenniel and the American Civil War. Best known for his illustrations for Alice in Wonderland, John Tenniel also produced political cartoons for the British magazine Punch. This sites collects 54 of Tenniel's cartoons dealing with the American Civil War. In addition to the cartoons themselves, the site gives an explanation of the symbols and props in each cartoon and places them context with then-current events and issues. [more inside] posted by marxchivist at 5:51 AM PST - 24 comments
Docu-Images of China and Tibet. Thomas H. Hahn is a Cornell professor and an excellent photographer. Themed collections include Chinese modern art, urbanisation and architecture, sacred mountains, religion, and historical photographs. posted by Abiezer at 1:04 AM PST - 5 comments
Machinima (muh-shin-eh-mah or ma-shin-i-ma) is a hybrid filmmaking technique where people utilize game engines and environments to create videos. At first, it was little more than screengrabs and screencasts of in-game action, but it has now grown to include sophisticated storylines independent of game action. Shows and entire series have been made from The Sims, Halo, The Movies, Quake, Half-Life, Unreal Tournament and Second Life to name just a few. Actually, some Team Fortress 2 machinima was recently mentioned (October 9th). Over the years, there have been some really amazing productions, such as the now legendary 100-episode Red vs Blue series (also previously mentioned) which was created with Halo 2. A lot of machinima can be found and viewed for free on machinima.com. The Internet Archive also maintains a machinima section. The recently-released BloodSpell, a "punk fantasy" from Strange Company, is believed to be the first feature-length movie released using the Neverwinter Nights game engine. (watch online free, free divx download - 847 MB, free quicktime download - 903 MB). Two of the people behind BloodSpell, Hugh Hancock and Johnnie Ingram have co-written the just-published "Machinima for Dummies". [more inside] posted by TrinityB5 at 5:26 PM PST - 32 comments
"You haven't seen true competition until you've watched editors of broadsheet newspapers, distinguished novelists and the controller of Radio 4 locked in furious argument about which was Frederick the Great's favourite musical instrument and what was the name of Jade Goody's range of perfumes." Jeremy Paxman, host of BBC's Newsnight, reviews the events of his week. posted by parmanparman at 1:57 PM PST - 4 comments
Gossip of the Sewing Circle Profound cattiness from 1903. Learn to use such snarkily coded terms as embonpoint in everyday conversation. Need to shame a beautiful rival who hasn't produced an heir for her much older husband? Describe her in The Newsaper of Record as owning "an extremely clever parrot." PDF, link from the NYT Archives. posted by maryh at 3:32 AM PST - 38 comments
The Mystery of the Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa. One of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park is the sliding rocks at Racetrack Playa (a playa is a dry lake bed). These rocks can be found on the floor of the playa with long trails behind them. Somehow these rocks slide across the playa, cutting a furrow in the sediment as they move. Some of these rocks weigh several hundred pounds. That makes the question: "How do they move?" a very challenging one. [Via]. For more in-depth information, including maps and additional pictures, see Paula Messina's website about the Sliding Rocks. posted by amyms at 1:46 AM PST - 37 comments
Chain Factor - a disappearing-piece Flash puzzle game that may also cause your time to disappear. I am trying to treat my addiction by passing it onto you. posted by aaronetc at 8:54 PM PST - 24 comments
The Daily Coyote: "Charlie came into my life when he was just ten days old, orphaned after both his parents were killed. He lives with me and a tomcat in a one-room log cabin in Wyoming." posted by fandango_matt at 9:13 AM PST - 54 comments
Earlier this week this story about illegal uranium sales was in the news. Had they been thinking they could have ordered online here and here. BTW, check out what else customers are buying. posted by Xurando at 4:47 AM PST - 28 comments
"Dear Miss Breed..." the letters begin. Clara Estelle Breed was the children's librarian at the San Diego Public Library from 1929 to 1945. When her young Japanese American patrons and their families were forced into relocation camps after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1942, Miss Breed became their penpal and their lifeline, sending them books and supplies, assisting with various requests, and "serving as a reminder of the possibility for decency and justice in a troubled world." [more inside] posted by amyms at 1:03 AM PST - 10 comments