I catch a lot of flak over my description of the years 1974 to 1983 as the Golden Age of roleplaying games, much of it based on a misunderstanding of my original point, namely that, after this period, tabletop RPGs would never again command the same degree of broad cultural significance that they did during this time. A good illustration of my point is this odd product, from wargames publisher SPI: Dallas: The Television Role-Playing Game. Published in 1980, the same year as the company's more well known foray into roleplaying, DragonQuest, Dallas was designed by none other than James F. Dunnigan, famous as (among many things) the designer of the classic wargames Jutland and PanzerBlitz.[more inside] posted by Trurl at 8:43 PM PST - 26 comments
"Smart talk has never been such a valuable commodity. It’s spawned conferences like TED, Davos, and now a slew of upstart competitors. It has made the eighteen‑minute TED lecture a viral online phenomenon. But are we running out of things to say?" posted by vidur at 7:11 PM PST - 47 comments
In January, 16 scientists and/or engineers wrote an opinion piece in the WSJ. This is the response of one of the academics cited in their piece: William Nordhaus. According to the 16 scientists/engineers, Nordhaus recommended no action on climate change for 50 years. But he didn't. The opinion piece has generated controversy among climate scientists as well. posted by blueberry sushi at 6:13 PM PST - 19 comments
The International Space Station is a complex place, with loads of gear packed into its 916 cubic meters of pressurized volume. SpaceRef has an assortment of detailed technical documents describing everything from basic operations to emergency procedures. For a general overview, see the excellent NASA ISS Reference Guide (pdf). posted by bitmage at 10:25 AM PST - 12 comments
Something For Nothing.(1940)
Cartoonist Rube Goldberg discusses the perpetual motion device, celebrates America's inexhaustible supply of fossil fuels, and mocks hydroelectric power and other whacky inventions.
(A 1930s Jam Handy/GM production.)
Previously. posted by Stagger Lee at 9:40 AM PST - 14 comments
Adam Curtis on The legacy of the Colonels Coup - "What is forgotten is that from 1967 to 1974 the Greek people lived under a harsh and violent dictatorship that tortured and murdered thousands of ordinary people. The Colonels also corrupted the society by handing out vast loans to individuals in towns and villages across the country - to buy their loyalty. At the same time the repression and torture bred a powerful resistance that finally burst out in incredible bravery in 1973." [more inside] posted by marienbad at 8:50 AM PST - 12 comments
Unf**k Your Habitat. Billed as "Terrifying motivation for lazy people with messy homes", it's more a place to go if you're desperately untidy, you like GIFs, and you want to hang out with people who are averse to tidying. There are challenges and tips. If, like me, the confusion of being a Tumblr and a community is too much, then the about page may be a good place to start. posted by zoo at 5:12 AM PST - 59 comments
Raspberry Pi the £22 ($35) computer was launched today and sold out immediately. It is intended to encourage children to develop a better understanding of computers and get involved in programming. The design is based on a Broadcom BCM2835 SoC with no keyboard or other frills; it's meant to run Linux. posted by Segundus at 4:40 AM PST - 128 comments
The tendency of existing research to treat the Roma as having first entered European political history with the Nazi genocide disregards a unique six-hundred-year history. It is indeed the case that the Roma, who over long periods of time lived nomadically and possessed no written culture of their own, have left almost no historical accounts of themselves. The heritage and documents therefore do not permit a history of the Roma comparable to that, for example, of the persecuted and expelled French Huguenots. What is available to us, however, is evidence – in the form of literature and art – of the way in which the settled, feudally organized European population experienced a way of life that it perceived as threatening. Despite consisting solely of stories and images that are defensive "distortions", this evidence provides a far from unfavourable basis for an examination of the six-hundred-year history of the European Roma, insofar as it is a history of cultural appropriation characterized by segregation. We encounter the traces of the reality experienced by the Roma almost exclusively through depictions by outsiders, and must use these to imagine those parts considered impossible to represent. The extraneous cultural depictions of the Roma – variously referred to as gypsies, zigeuner, tatern, cigány, çingeneler, and so on – have created heterogeneous units of "erased" identity and cultural attributes. The "invention" of the Gypsy is the underside of the European cultural subject's invention of itself as the agent of civilising progress in the world.
Australia hosts secret trade agreement negotiations this week in Melbourne This Thursday, behind closed doors in Melbourne, representatives from nine countries will take up discussions once again on an ambitious, comprehensive trade agreement for the Asia-Pacific region. Negotiators from Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Vietnam, Malaysia, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Peru and Singapore will pore over draft treaty text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, an agreement to cover all aspects of commercial relations between the countries, from competition and customs to e-commerce, rules of origin and labor, from textiles and apparel to telecommunications and intellectual property. The intellectual property chapter for the TPP will lay out lengthy, highly detailed, coverage of all aspects of IP enforcement and protection between the nine countries. posted by wilful at 8:42 PM PST - 11 comments
The Navy has spent seven years testing out the components of a way-futuristic weapon: a shipboard cannon that blasts bullets over vast distances at hypersonic speeds using bursts of electricity. ... The Navy released video of the first tests, viewable above, on Tuesday. The dramatic mini-inferno in the wake of the slug fired from the railgun is the result of “1 million amps flowing through” the gun, said test chief Tom Boucher, the hypersonic speed of the shot, and the actual aluminum of the bullet — “reactive in the atmosphere” — burning off. posted by Trurl at 6:22 PM PST - 143 comments
On April 1, the American Mustache Institute hopes to organize a Million Mustache March on Washington DC, in support of the proposed STACHE act (Stimulus to Allow for Critical Hair Expenses). “The Stache Act (Stimulus to Allow for Critical Hair Expenses) aims to earn a well-deserved $250 annual tax deduction for every Mustached American for expenditures on mustache grooming supplies." [more inside] posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:40 PM PST - 43 comments
"Experience the roadlessness, the bandits, the breakdowns, the yaks, and the camels, without ever having to figure out how to steer and shift a right-driving mini-car through some of the remotest land on the planet. And see it out the windshield just like we did."Drive across Mongolia in four minutes. [via] posted by quin at 11:15 AM PST - 6 comments
...Many Republicans are already looking past 2012. If either Romney or Santorum gains the nomination and then falls before Obama, flubbing an election that just months ago seemed eminently winnable, it will unleash a GOP apocalypse on November 7—followed by an epic struggle between the regulars and red-hots to refashion the party. And make no mistake: A loss is what the GOP’s political class now expects. “Six months before this thing got going, every Republican I know was saying, ‘We’re gonna win, we’re gonna beat Obama,’ ” says former Reagan strategist Ed Rollins. “Now even those who’ve endorsed Romney say, ‘My God, what a fucking mess.’ ”
Paypal is coming down hard on online erotica retailers. The service has sent demands to such ebook self-publishing sites as Smashwords, AllRomanceEbooks and Bookstrand, demanding that they remove all titles containing bestiality, rape-for-titillation, and incest- including the popular 'pseudo-incest' category of stepparent or stepsibling sex. [more inside] posted by showbiz_liz at 8:36 AM PST - 56 comments
In [the USA], buying a good over-the-counter nasal decongestant requires picking a card from an empty spot on the shelf, taking it to the pharmacist, handing over your driver's license, and getting it from behind the counter. Only the larger drug stores bother. Meth, on the other hand, is apparently easier to come by. So here (PDF), from the the wonderfully named Journal of Apocryphal Chemistry, is a paper on how to make Sudafed® from Meth. posted by TheNewWazoo at 4:37 AM PST - 58 comments
Machinery Scansa showcase for some of the most detailed advertisement engravings produced. During the later part of the 19th century most machinery and equipment makers spent large sums of money to have their tool or piece of machinery converted into an engraving for advertising. The scans are of engravings produced from the 1850s-1890s. posted by Mitheral at 2:17 AM PST - 27 comments
...this particular technicolour trench coat is stitched together from black leather, and fastened with a lot of safety pins and zippers: its sinister sounds are both haunted by the past, and haunting us toward the something-to-be-done. Like the saying goes: the darkest hour is just before the dawn. Our traumatized collective unconscious - the victim of social, political, cultural, and environmental shocks - is not a blank slate, but rather a pile of rubble that requires considerable rebuilding. There is much work yet to carry out. And really, why be blank when you can be bleak?
Temporal Distortion "What you see is real, but you can't see it this way with the naked eye. It is the result of thousands of 20-30 second exposures, edited together to produce the time lapse. This allows you to see the Milky Way, Aurora and other Phenomena, in a way you wouldn't normally see them."
More info here. posted by HuronBob at 7:31 PM PST - 18 comments
As you can see, the [Chinese] typewriter is extremely complicated and cumbersome. The main tray — which is like a typesetter's font of lead type — has about two thousand of the most frequent characters. Two thousand characters are not nearly enough for literary and scholarly purposes, so there are also a number of supplementary trays from which less frequent characters may be retrieved when necessary. What is even more intimidating about a Chinese typewriter is that the characters as seen by the typist are backwards and upside down![more inside] posted by Trurl at 6:12 PM PST - 43 comments
Daily deals sites have sprung up all over, with even Microsoft and Australia's Channel 9 TV operating one called CUDO. Last Thursday's bargain (still on sale) is an ebook reader complete with 4000 books. The listing originally included a link to the 4000 titles, which has since been removed. The title list includes many best seller books from authors such as J.K. Rowling, Douglas Adams, Stephen King, Bill Bryson and Jack Kerouac amongst others.
The list originally had the heading: 4001_ibooks_for_iphone_and_ipad_epub. 5832264.TPB.torrent
Which corresponds to files on the Pirate Bay, and other torrent sites. [more inside] posted by bystander at 3:05 PM PST - 31 comments
Stephen Leacock once wrote a story about a single pill that could replace a full Christmas dinner. Jimmy Kimmel offers you a similar pill to replace your upcoming year of movie-going. Movie: The Movie. Warning: Contains multiple movie stars. Do not take with water. posted by maudlin at 9:07 AM PST - 24 comments
Yunus Bakhsh a Trade-Unionist Whistleblower at Northumbria Tyne and Wear NHS Trust was fired after a letter was circulated to the management stating that he "had bullied and intimidated other workers. "
[Warning: most links are to the Socialist Worker website] [more inside] posted by marienbad at 9:01 AM PST - 27 comments
The Face of Gujarat 2002"And when I saw the military van pass by, I thought, 'This is our last chance'. I began shouting Sahib! Sahib! to the soldiers and folded my hands, and when I did that they looked back and returned. [...] My life went into a tailspin. The picture followed me wherever I went. It haunted me, and drove me out of my job, and my state". Twelve years after the defining image of the Gujaratcarnage. Previously. (Explanation of the title) posted by the cydonian at 4:19 AM PST - 13 comments
"As such, the film offers an interesting mix of, on the one hand, the surreal impossibility of reasoning with the state and its hired representatives (similar, say, to the writings of Franz Kafka); and, on the other, what seems to be a particularly American breed of libertarianism, one in which even parking meters can be interpreted as 'just a lot of guys laying down a lot of rules and regulations,' where all instances of authority are meant to be, if not resisted, than at least publicly mocked and undercut."--BLDGBLOG weighs in on the classic American film Cool Hand Luke (theatrical trailer). Part of a series entitled "Breaking Out & Breaking In" posted by bardic at 11:12 PM PST - 15 comments
Phil Ochs: There But for Fortune - excellent 90-minute documentary of the trenchant folk performer who chronicled civil rights, politics, and the Viet Nam War until death by his own hand in 1976. Although he never achieved widespread popular acclaim, many found him to be the true voice of his generation - with themes that are sadly still relevant today. Just a musical taste to whet your appetite: Love Me, I'm a Liberal. [more inside] posted by madamjujujive at 7:04 PM PST - 34 comments
Fake War Stories "Whenever a group of gamers get together, there's always a period of swapping crazy gaming stories. Role-playing (tabletop or LARP), war gaming, FPS--everyone has a funny story to tell. We've already gotten a number of prettyfunnyones." [via mefi projects] posted by Blasdelb at 9:02 AM PST - 72 comments
Stephanie Coontz: The M.R.S. and the Ph.D. "Is this really the fate facing educated heterosexual women: either no marriage at all or a marriage with more housework and less sex? Nonsense. That may have been the case in the past, but no longer. For a woman seeking a satisfying relationship as well as a secure economic future, there has never been a better time to be or become highly educated... The most important predictor of marital happiness for a woman is not how much she looks up to her husband but how sensitive he is to her emotional cues and how willing he is to share the housework and child-care. And those traits are often easier to find in a low-key guy than a powerhouse." [more inside] posted by flex at 7:14 PM PST - 50 comments
Almost immediately upon my arrival in my first teaching job, I became the go-to guy for the Holocaust. Of course, this was partly due to my dissertation, but in larger part, I suspect, because of my Jewishness. This was fine with me for a number of reasons. First, as a junior faculty member, this identification, though merely professional, could only help in my quest for tenure. An expert on the Holocaust carried infinitely greater weight, I thought, than an expert on ministerial instability during the French Third Republic.
"Elections Canada has traced fraudulent phone calls made during the federal election to an Edmonton voice-broadcast company that worked for the Conservative Party across the country." --National Post posted by seanmpuckett at 2:55 PM PST - 68 comments
"Over eighty percent of silent films are lost. I’ve always considered a lost film as a narrative with no known final resting place... It’s eventually occurred to me that the best way to see them would to make contact with their miserable spirits and invite them to possess me." Filmmaker Guy Maddin is summoning the ghosts of lost silents at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, with a cast including Udo Kier and Charlotte Rampling -- and streaming the results live on the web. [more inside] posted by muckster at 12:34 PM PST - 6 comments
The BBC has produced a fabulous infographic showing the ocean zones: Sunlight, Twilight, Midnight, Lower Midnight, and The Trenches. The page also includes videos showing: what happens to material at 100, 1000, and 10,000 meters down; the animals living in the Abyssal Plains (described in a lovely Scottish accent); and the story of Jacques Piccard and Don Walsh going down to the Mariana Trench in 1960. No one has been back there since, but director James Cameron and Richard Branson are among the contenders who are going to make a go of it. (Rumour has it that Cameron intends to be the sole person in the sub, while Branson is just financing a team.) Meanwhile, the Doer team (backed by Eric Schmidt of Google), says it's all about the science and not just being first in this century's race. And there's even a yellow submarine for the rest of us, if by "rest of us" one means "has $250,000 to spare for a single trip". Don't forget to click the links at the top of the infographic page to see everything. posted by maudlin at 10:35 AM PST - 17 comments
At Ross Nanotechnology, we have developed a super hydrophobic coating that completely repels water and heavy oils. Any object coated with our NeverWet™ coating literally cannot be touched by liquid. Any liquid placed on this coating is repelled and simply rolls off without touching the underlying surface. Not only is this amazing to see, but it solves a myriad of problems. posted by leigh1 at 8:51 AM PST - 85 comments
If you use Americanisms just to show you know them, people may find you a tad tiresome, so be discriminating. You may have to think harder if you are not to use jargon, but you can still be precise. Use all metaphors, dead or alive, sparingly, otherwise you will make trouble for yourself. Some words add nothing but length to your prose.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled yesterday [.pdf] that a citizen's refusal to decrypt encrypted drives is protected by the Fifth Amendment, at least under some circumstances. In doing so it reversed the district court's contempt order entered against a John Doe defendant after he refused to decrypt his laptop hard drive and five external hard drives in response to a subpoena. This decision arguably conflicts with an earlier decision in which a district court in Vermont required a defendant to provide the password to his encrypted drives. The Eleventh Circuit distinguishes the earlier case on the basis that the government in that case knew of the existence of the files and simply couldn't access them, while in the recent case the government did not know the names of files or even whether or not files actually existed on the encrypted drives. posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:20 AM PST - 89 comments
"You are invited to the fantastically flamboyant final performance of The Fabulous Screech and His Trained Humans." A whimsical, surreal, and surprisingly touching little point-and-click game from the maker of The Book of Living Magic and Infinite Ocean (previously and previouslier). posted by Dojie at 10:42 PM PST - 5 comments
"Still, I'm willing to bet that future generations will look back on the period between 2006 and 2008 as the real turning point. Here was the moment when what remained of the American Century ran out of steam and ground to a halt. More specifically, when Bush gave up on victory in Iraq (thereby abandoning expectations of U.S. military power transforming the Greater Middle East) and when the Great Recession brought the U.S. economy to its knees (the consequences of habitual profligacy coming home to roost), Luce's formulation lost any resemblance to reality."--Andrew Bacevich on how "The American Century Is Over—Good Riddance" posted by bardic at 9:44 PM PST - 76 comments
After almost 20 years of print publication, six bound collections and two animated series, Tony Millionaire announced today that MAAKIES -- the surreal pen-and-ink adventures of Drinky Crow & Uncle Gabby -- has been cancelled. [more inside] posted by overeducated_alligator at 10:45 AM PST - 58 comments
Three startup companies led by prominent scientists are working on new technologies to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. These scientists have launched start-up companies and attracted well-to-do investors — most notably Bill Gates — along with venture capital and, most recently, the attention of Wall Street. [more inside] posted by stbalbach at 8:32 AM PST - 53 comments
Stripe, a company that processes credit cards for web apps, decided to play a security wargame called Capture the Flag where you are given a logiin and password for a server and are invited to use your hacking abilities to gain access to accounts with increasing access and authorization. People who beat the server and "capture the flag" at /home/the-flag/.password are invited to contact the company for bragging rights and a T-shirt. Just one problem: the hacking game has been hacked, with something called a fork bomb. [more inside] posted by Deathalicious at 7:59 AM PST - 60 comments
Adobe has partnered with Google to develop PPAPI, codename "Pepper", a modern API for browser plugins. New versions of Adobe Flash will be released only as part of Google Chrome for the Linux platform. The last version of the Flash plugin for mobile browsers will be 11.1, according to the newest Flash roadmap, released today. posted by helicomatic at 7:03 AM PST - 49 comments
"So I'm literally walking around and talking to people, "Is there a black-owned restaurant, or a black-owned dry cleaner?" and folks are looking at me like I'm insane. And if I didn't know this, I'm sure that folks outside the black community don't have this as part of their reality or part of their picture for black America. When we talk about black people, the black situation, problems in the black community, you know, we start with, "Black kids are least likely to graduate from school; black unemployment is four times higher than the national average," all these numbers. But why can't we include that over 90 percent of businesses in the black community are not owned by black people or local residents? If we were to add that to the conversation, maybe folks would say, "Oh, well no wonder things are so bad there," and start thinking about things in a different way instead of allowing those awful numbers to be a reflection of our propensities. Why is it that my people are just supposed to be the perpetual consumer class, and everyone else is supposed to benefit from our money?"
Adults needing 8 consecutive hours of sleep every night is a common, generally unquestioned bit of medical wisdom that we are all familiar with. Is it really true? posted by COD at 6:00 AM PST - 98 comments
Coffee & The Newspaper is a menswear tumblr with no product links, no best of lists and no reports from fashion week - just post after post pairing a picture of menswear with a picture of food. Without the Pepsi Blue, it's a fascinating study of color, texture and structure in clothes. posted by Apropos of Something at 10:48 PM PST - 39 comments
Take dry Peacocks dung (the white part) 4 ounces; Millepedes alive bruised 1 ounce; black Cherry water, white Wine, each 1 pint and half; let them stand cold 24 hours, then having clarify'd it, by often passing it through a Flannel bag; add Langius's Antepileptic water 3 ounces; Spirit of Lavender compound 1 dram and half; Oil of Nutmeg 3 drops; Syrup of Piony compound 6 ounces, mix. It cleanses out the Meatus of the Brain, when choak'd up and grown unpassable, by reason of muddy Feculencies, roborates its Tone when flaccid and suck, and defecates the Animal Spirits, when clog'd and incens'd with an heterogeneous Copula, refreshes and invigorates them when feeble and fainting; discusses the Mists and Clouds of the Head, and procures Serenity and Sun shine. Therefore we employ it with happy Success in an Idiopathic Head-ach, Vertigo, Scotomy, &c. giving a quarter of a pint Nights and Mornings.
"Whether writing as herself, or through one of the many voices she heard in her head, Previn's sinister riverboat chansons revealed the pain, games, lies and loneliness behind the L.A. free love myth. 1971's Mythical Kings And Iguanas was, perhaps, the peak point of Previn's eerily confessional style containing the searingly honest Lemon Haired Ladies and The Lady With The Braid, both of which recount encounters between young men and single older women in chilling detail. Her third album, Reflections In A Mud Puddle was a concept album based upon her life with her father, and contained the astonishing Doppelganger, a Weillian Sympathy For The Devil in which the world's evils are found to lurk in all of us. " Singer-Songwriter Dory Previn has died. (previously on Metafilter). posted by The Whelk at 11:56 AM PST - 13 comments
The Great American Novel -- will there ever be another?...even if a new Melville or Twain, Faulkner or Fitzgerald were to appear in our midst, his work would fail to achieve the critical traction and existential weight of those earlier masters. We lack the requisite community of readers, and the ambient shared cultural assumptions...The diffusion or dispersion of culture brings with it a diffusion of manners and erosion of shared moral assumptions. Whatever we think of that process—love it as a sign of social liberation or loathe it as a token of cultural breakdown—it has robbed the novel, and the novel’s audience, of a primary resource: an authoritative tradition to react against. posted by shivohum at 11:47 AM PST - 126 comments
STUFF I WISH I’D NEVER BOUGHT. 'When I wrote about stuff I would buy with my own money it got me thinking about all of the buyer’s remorse I’ve had over the years, both with personal gear I’ve bought, and with things I’ve bought for Lensrentals. I’m a gearhead, so this isn’t about “things that weren’t profitable”.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 11:45 AM PST - 70 comments
Marie Colvin, an American journalist working for The Sunday Times of London, and French photographer, Rémi Ochlik were killed this morning in the city of Homs, Syria. The two Western journalists were among 20 people killed in a makeshift media center, raising suspicions that Syrian security forces targeted their location by tracing satellite signals. Their deaths follow 19 days of shelling that activists say killed hundreds of trapped civilians in one of the deadliest campaigns in nearly a year of violent repression by the government of President Bashar al-Assad. [more inside] posted by 2bucksplus at 9:16 AM PST - 104 comments
Tom & Lorenzo: "A show in 2012 with a large teen audience and a proportionately large gay audience will find itself dealing with the issue of gay teenagers generally and anti-gay bullying specifically at some point. We would have expected no less from Glee and we support the show’s efforts to consider the lives of young gays and help educate other people as to what those lives are really like. But... there comes a point when the urge to educate and be respectful of a group of disenfranchised people tips over into inadvertently redefining them in a new way: victim." (warning: spoilers for last night's episode of Glee) posted by flex at 8:12 AM PST - 71 comments
Rihanna's 'Birthday Cake': Reasons to listen (Ann Powers, NPR) "I'm choosing to do something else, though — to wrestle with the material at hand. As a music critic and, on a personal level, as someone who's long considered pop to be a crucial avenue for understanding the intricacies of the human heart and soul, I'm committed to engaging with the music that makes us sit up and take notice. I'm willing to try, even if those songs expose or even encourage aspects of behaviors that aren't so savory. I don't think "Turn Up the Music" tells us much; "Birthday Cake" is a different matter. So I'll continue trying to grasp what's happening in a song that makes many — but not all — of us want to turn away."
(Potentially triggering all round.) [more inside] posted by carbide at 7:30 AM PST - 74 comments
"This amazing photograph of sailor Alex Thomson walking on the keel of an 8-ton yacht was created with courage rather than Photoshop. It was an ad for fashion house HUGO BOSS, which has sponsored Alex Thomson Racing since 2003. The conditions for the shot had to be just right, and the skipper had to carefully keep the yacht at a 45-degree angle for up to a minute to avoid crushing Thomson and the jet ski driver. Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse at how the image was made." posted by SpacemanStix at 7:15 AM PST - 67 comments
$40,000 is what you'll pay to have the battery replaced if you leave your Tesla Roadster, a $100K electric car, unplugged long enough that the battery discharges completely. Reportedly, the problem will also plague the upcoming Model S coupe, a $50K downmarket model. Owners cannot insure against this loss, it is not covered by warranty, and the car cannot be driven, recharged, or easily towed if so "bricked". posted by seanmpuckett at 6:44 AM PST - 173 comments
We study techniques for identifying an anonymous author via linguistic stylometry, i.e., comparing the writing style against a corpus of texts of known authorship. We experimentally demonstrate the effectiveness of our techniques with as many as 100,000 candidate authors. [...] In over 20% of cases, our classiﬁers can correctly identify an anonymous author given a corpus of texts from 100,000 authors; in about 35% of cases the correct author is one of the top 20 guesses.
"The thing that distinguishes brainstorming from other types of group activity is the absence of criticism and negative feedback. If people were worried that their ideas might be ridiculed by the group, the process would fail." According to the technique's originator, Alex Osborn, "“Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom while discouragement often nips it in the bud.'" Brainstorming seems like a marvellous, feel-good way of creative problem-solving. But it doesn’t work.[more inside] posted by storybored at 10:00 PM PST - 63 comments
Newt Gingrich said in a political campaign speech that one could not put a gun rack in a Chevy Volt, speaking against President Obama's to raise subsidies for electric cars. One Georgia engineer took that challenge to heart and showed that you can put a gunrack in a Volt, showing that even in the Deep South, there are innovative, forward thinking people (who like to hunt). posted by patheral at 7:39 PM PST - 86 comments
Polltopia (625 kb zip file) "It's a treasure trove for researchers that I'm sure is unmatched in the world of modern polling: [Daily Kos has] assembled all the raw data for every single Daily Kos/SEIU poll conducted in 2011 into a single file. That's 46 polls, including questionnaires ... in a nifty 623 KB package. No one else releases information this granular, so if you've ever wanted to take a deep, deep dive into raw polling data, this is your chance." posted by crunchland at 7:01 PM PST - 22 comments
Gary Webster is the general manager for the Toronto Transit Commission. Last year, Mayor Rob Ford (previously), after cancelling the Transit City light rail expansion in favour of a subway into Toronto's east end (also previously), asked Webster to prepare a report on the viability of such a subway line. Webster did so, and gave his honest opinion, which was that the Sheppard subway was not economically viable. Ford buried the report, and after the Toronto Star discovered its existence, Ford then requested that Webster speak to City Council about the pros and cons of subways and light rail. Webster advised against subways as City Council overruled Ford and reinstated a light rail-based transit plan. Ford's allies on the Toronto Transit Commission then petitioned for a special meeting to fire Webster (despite severance clauses that could cost the city more than a million dollars).
They voted 5-4 to fire Gary Webster this afternoon. (Torontoist's liveblog of the meeting.) posted by mightygodking at 3:20 PM PST - 89 comments
"This is an attempt at recovery. This Essay hopes to call attention to then-Professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 1972 merits brief in Struck v. Secretary of Defense. The brief has been underappreciated in part because the Supreme Court of the United States eventually declined to decide the case.” On the 40th anniversary of the brief's submission, read Reva Siegel's compelling essay [pdf] on this overlooked brief in which “Ginsburg and the women’s movement talked about pregnancy discrimination in a way that ties together pregnancy discrimination and women’s equality, and women’s equality and reproductive freedom, before the Court split them apart,” and imagine what might have been had the Supreme Court decided Struck v. Secretary of Defense in 1972. posted by ocherdraco at 2:34 PM PST - 3 comments
If you’ve spent much time in museums—or even leafing through art books—you’ve probably come across something that leaves you scratching your head. You’re not alone. The very funny, if occasionally puerile blog WTF Art History was created, according to the anonymous art historian who writes it, for “everyone who loves art history but has a sense of humor to know that even great masters create things that leave us asking, WTF?” [via] [prev] posted by netbros at 1:16 PM PST - 24 comments
The Boy who Played with Fusion. At age four, [Taylor Wilson] donned a fluorescent orange vest and hard hat and stood in front of the house, directing traffic. For his fifth birthday, he said, he wanted a crane. But when his parents brought him to a toy store, the boy saw it as an act of provocation. “No,” he yelled, stomping his foot. “I want a real one.”[more inside] posted by obscurator at 8:37 AM PST - 18 comments
"Birdcloud met in Murfreesboro and
immediately didn’t like eachother. At a party in 2009 they had some
whiskeys and became friends and started dicking around on guitar,
writing their first song, a song about going down on your best friend,
now lost to the sands of time. Despite a lukewarm reception at
Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, they have been sitting on eachother’s faces
ever since, showing eachother their bruises and generally doing
whatever they want when it works out that way." Songs on the inside NSFW if you can't tell. [more inside] posted by cmoj at 8:10 AM PST - 14 comments
Once Upon a Time in Bombay "It is said that Bombay is the Alexandria of India. Its geographical position and commercial relations bear evidently some resemblance to the great eastern entrepot of the Mediterranean. As the swampy Rhakotis, a mere fishing village which Alexander the Great transformed into the splendid city of Alexandria, the desolate islet of the Bombay Koli fishermen was changed into the present capital of Western India." -- J. Gershon da Cunha in Origin of Bombay (google book) [more inside] posted by bluefly at 7:11 AM PST - 8 comments
...this stubborn idea he had about maintaining his sanity took a couple of hard hits when:
1. He presented the shoes that government agents had supposedly melted...which simply looked like worn out running shoes.
2. The government's psychologist and one of Friedman's choosing both concurred that he was totally schizophrenic.
Still, Friedman pressed on, demanding better counsel for himself and filing a second Freedom of Information Act (he was not satisfied with the first) for:
"all documents pertaining to the microwave auditory effect, microwave hearing effect, Frey effect, artificial telepathy, and/or any device/weapon which uses and/or causes such effect; and any covert or undisclosed use of hypnosis"
Surfing took a baby step or the first dip at the first India Surf Festival in Puri this month. Indian surfers, from states along India's long coastline, came together for the first time, in one place. From fishermen's sons to professional surfing instructors, they do not fit the classic, global image of surfers we have. They are uniquely Indian.
Are the X-Men Human? The US government says yes, these people are no different from you or I, but Marvel claims their strange mutations and powerful augmentations move them beyond humanity into the realm of monsters, angels and devils. This Radiolab short explains why Marvel Toys argued in the US Court of International Trade that Wolverine, Professor X and Storm are inhuman. [more inside] posted by justkevin at 6:50 PM PST - 51 comments
To do something well you have to like it. That idea is not exactly novel. We've got it down to four words: "Do what you love." But it's not enough just to tell people that. Doing what you love is complicated. From How to do what you love, by essayist (and programmer, and entrepreneur) Paul Graham. posted by shivohum at 6:42 PM PST - 39 comments
Mr. George said in a telephone interview that his goal for “The Announcement” was not only to tell the inside story of Mr. Johnson’s personal deliberations but also to “make people aware this thing hasn’t disappeared.” He added: “People are still dying of the virus. People are living very tough lives because of it. It’s falling off the national agenda, I believe, and this in some way helps us reintroduce it.”*
250 years ago newspapers like The Derby Mercury featured breathless reports on the Cock Lane ghost. Fanny Lynes wouldn't rest until her husband was hanged for having poisoned her, and the story, supported by a Clergyman, led to crowds paying to visit the house. The street outside was sometimes impassable due to the large number of spectators present at the séances until the Lord Mayor of London had to intervene, and he duly appointed a commission to look into the matter. Notables such as Dr Johnson spent a fruitless night next to a coffin before it was revealed that the truth of the matter was more mundane. [more inside] posted by ersatz at 5:38 PM PST - 3 comments
You've been there (well, if you've ever had any fun you've been there). It's the morning after, and you've got to get back home from wherever you ended up after a night of debauchery... otherwise known as "The Walk of Shame." Need a lift? posted by HuronBob at 4:53 PM PST - 40 comments
Cat_Lanta: Interactive Street Art One street artist in Atlanta has set out to create an interactive art project. He paints small, one-of-a-kind Cats and leaves them hidden all over Atlanta. He tweets pictures with very little context and his Atlanta followers will run to find them and be part of his on-going story. posted by achpea at 12:19 PM PST - 12 comments
Andrew Bacevich on the war: "So what tentative judgments can we offer regarding the ongoing [war formerly known as the global war on terrorism]? Operationally, a war launched by the conventionally minded has progressively fallen under the purview of those who inhabit what Dick Cheney once called “the dark side,” with implications that few seem willing to explore. Strategically, a war informed at the outset by utopian expectations continues today with no concretely stated expectations whatsoever, the forward momentum of events displacing serious consideration of purpose. Politically, a war that once occupied center stage in national politics has now slipped to the periphery, the American people moving on to other concerns and entertainments, with legal and moral questions raised by the war left dangling in midair." posted by crayz at 11:22 AM PST - 20 comments
For the first few minutes I'm not even sure this interview should be taking place at all. The greeting is an awkward shuffle of hunched shoulders and downcast eyes; he can't look at me, and I can't hear him. His gaze averted, hands stuffed into pockets, he mumbles in haltingly reluctant whispers, as if words can cause him physical pain. The man should be talking to a doctor, I worry, not a nosy journalist. We try some small talk, but it's almost impossible to make out what he's saying – until I ask what he prefers to be called. "Adam," he says firmly, glancing up for the first time. "Adam Ant." posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:12 AM PST - 49 comments
Fifty years ago today, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth. In an recent interview, he lamented the decline of the manned US space program: "It's unseemly to me that here we are, supposedly the world's greatest space-faring nation, and we don't even have a way to get back and forth to our own International Space Station." [more inside] posted by dsfan at 8:40 AM PST - 80 comments
"Canada exists for no natural reason. ... [This] is not to say that no significant differences exist between Canadians and Americans — just that our shared national border, unlike those of Europe, was not shaped by linguistic and ethnic variations. The War of 1812 made all the difference here. A complicated and unpleasant struggle, mostly forgotten, sundered our two countries. And that struggle is now 200 years old, which makes this as good a time as any to start remembering." posted by Johnny Assay at 7:37 AM PST - 119 comments
The Comedians, The Mob and the American Supperclub, all about the years when mobsters controlled not just Las Vegas but most of the clubs where singers and comedians performed all across the U.S. (many old-timers say they preferred the mob-ownership to the modern corporate-ownership), and the sad story of one mobbed-up comic, Allen Drake.
The lack of Corporate and Governmental transparency has been a topic of much controversy in recent years, yet our only tool for encouraging greater openness is the slow, tedious process of policy reform.
After the release of The Jazz Singer in 1927, all bets were off for live musicians who played in movie theaters. Thanks to synchronized sound, the use of live musicians was unnecessary — and perhaps a larger sin, old-fashioned. In 1930 the American Federation of Musicians formed a new organization called the Music Defense League and launched a scathing ad campaign to fight the advance of this terrible menace known as recorded sound.
The existing data... suggest that states and indigenous pro-democracy groups should be cautious about using economic sanctions as a tool in their struggles against authoritarian regimes. The data not only show that dictatorships faced with sanctions tend to enhance their grip on power, but also that successful cases of democratization have overwhelmingly occurred in the absence of broad economic sanctions.Sanctions Don’t Promote Democratic Change. posted by latkes at 10:39 AM PST - 37 comments
From June 2, 1957, CBS Radio Workshop presents Epitaphs, [online listening link, higher quality mp3 link click to listen, right-click to download] a half-hour of readings from 1915's Spoon River Anthology, a collection of poems by Clarence Darrow's former law partner which depict the inhabitants of a graveyard in a fictional small town in Illinois. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 9:34 AM PST - 30 comments
THE OYO EMPIRE by Prof George AyitteyAs you read this keep these pertinent modern questions in mind: Whether or not military dictatorship existed in the empire, rule of law was absent, there were no accountability or checks and balances, and whether the rulers can be removed. posted by infini at 8:39 AM PST - 4 comments
Farksolia: The nephew of Barbara Follett, the child-prodigy novelist who mysteriously disappeared in 1939, has created a Web site for his aunt’s life and works. [Previously] [more inside] posted by Fizz at 8:34 AM PST - 13 comments
Longtime New Yorker Bob Egan's PopSpots tracks down the original New York City locations where famous images were shot, then superimposes the original picture over the present-day location. Did you know the iconic The Kids are Alright album-cover shot of The Who, asleep and wrapped by the Union Jack, was staged just east of Columbia University? Ever wonder where, exactly, the shot of the Central Park "pretzle" guy from Steely Dan's Pretzel Logic was taken? Or curious whether it would be possible to figure out the exact spot in Greenwich Village where the solarized cover photo of Neil Young's After the Gold Rush was snapped? The exact fire escape where Paul Simon was photographed for Still Crazy After All These Years? Egan reveals all, then shows you how he figured it out. [more inside] posted by Joey Bagels at 8:02 AM PST - 17 comments
DogTV, a cable network for dogs, launched in San Diego this past Monday aimed at stay-at-home canines and their workaday owners who want to feel better about time apart. [more inside] posted by ga4ry at 6:12 AM PST - 34 comments
In the summer of 2007 on the campaign trail Barack Obama took a clear stance on the controversial subject of medical marijuana. “I would not have the Justice Department prosecuting and raiding medical marijuana users. It’s not a good use of our resources.” As President in 2009 he took action to follow through on this promise by instructing federal prosecutors to “not focus federal resources in [their] States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.” The memo cited the “efficient and rational use” of the U.S. Department of Justice’s “limited investigative and prosecutorial resources,” as a motivating factor in the decision."
In the winter of 2012 Rolling Stone magazine takes a look back on this subject and the record is surprising. "With more than 100 raids on pot dispensaries during his first three years, Obama is now on pace to exceed Bush's record for medical-marijuana busts. "There's no question that Obama's the worst president on medical marijuana," says Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project. "He's gone from first to worst."[more inside] posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:07 AM PST - 128 comments
The Top 100 Children's Books. Last week Scholastic's Parent & Child released a list of what they thought were the best children's books. The top three: Charlotte's Web, Goodnight Moon and a Wrinkle in Time.
Also listed were special awards for: — Best Read-Aloud: Mo Willems’ Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (#28). Most Beautifully Illustrated: Jerry Pinkney’s The Lion and the Mouse (#61). Most Relatable Character: Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid (#38). Most Side-Splitting Hilarious: Dav Pilkey’s The Adventures of Captain Underpants (#97).... [more inside] posted by storybored at 9:40 PM PST - 89 comments
"What we are talking about here are models that reproduce real guns in details. These are acting mechanisms and real copies of guns decreased 4-4.5 times. They could fire if real bullets were used." posted by Slap*Happy at 8:53 PM PST - 12 comments
The Love Competition: Can one person experience love more deeply than another? That’s what The Stanford Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Imaging and filmmaker Brent Hoff set out to understand when they hosted the 1st Annual Love Competition. Seven contestants, ranging from 10 to 75 years of age, took part. They each spent five minutes in an fMRI machine, thinking deeply about love and allowing the imaging technology to measure activity in their dopamine, serotonin and oxytocin/vasopressin pathways. [via] posted by hincandenza at 12:37 PM PST - 44 comments
The Oglala Sioux tribe of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation have just filed a lawsuit against Anheuser-Busch, InBev, SABMiller, Molson Coors, MillerCoors and Pabst, along with the four off-licences in Whiteclay, seeking $500m (£310m) in damages for their alleged encouragement of the "illegal sale and trade in alcohol" to members of the tribe.
Touched upon briefly in early comments, Whiteclay (pop. 11) has been long known for its disproportionate volume of liquor sales, with over 5 million cans of beer sold each year, while Pine Ridge, who outlawed drink on its property, and has a population of 20,000, suffers from a disproportionate percentage of families with at least one alcohol dependent adult member (no less than 85%). posted by infini at 7:39 AM PST - 77 comments
DJ Greg Wilson has photos of the Haçienda DJ
Booth (no, not the one you're thinking of).
DJ Hewan Clarke who played every night for the first four years talks about what it was like in the early days of the Haçienda:
What I used to do when I was playing the records… I always had to go out, run onto the stage, stand in the middle of the stage and listen to how it sounded in the club, went back in and readjust it on the mixer and I was constantly doing that because there was no feedback from what was going on outside, you just had to look through that gap.[more inside] posted by oneirodynia at 3:42 PM PST - 12 comments
Kirby Ferguson's fourth and final installment of Everything is a Remix: System Failure has been released. (Also on YouTube.) It covers intellectual property rights, the derivative nature of creativity, patents and copyright. Transcript. [more inside] posted by zarq at 2:49 PM PST - 5 comments
The Slap of Love A 1995 article from Open City, On House Xtravaganza and the life and death of its house mother Angie Xtravaganza, one of the stars of the documentary Paris is Burning, which brought vogueing and New York City’s transgendered ball culture into the spotlight.[via][more inside] posted by mlis at 12:24 PM PST - 3 comments
"Inception Park" (SLVimeo) where roller coasters and other amusement park rides, without their tracks or frames, move excited riders around downtown Buenos Aires. posted by oneswellfoop at 12:02 PM PST - 20 comments
With Amazon slowly taking over the publishing world and bookstores closing left and right, things can sometimes seem a little grim for the brick and mortar booksellers of the world. Before they go completely, here's a list of the 20 most beautiful bookshops in the world. posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:05 AM PST - 30 comments
A retired grandfather receives his medical marijuana card. He's never smoked before, and is trying it because he feels he is taking too many pills to control his back pain, anxiety, rage, and more. His exploration of the logistics (especially the pipe lighting techniques) is really quite charming. posted by punocchio at 8:57 PM PST - 49 comments
Dahlia Lithwick: This week, the Virginia state Legislature passed a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before they may have an abortion. Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law.[more inside] posted by gerryblog at 5:24 PM PST - 331 comments
The International Man: "My mission is very simple: To find the 'Rolls-Royces' of every category listed on this website on the Internet to help you avoid wasting your time and make it your useful and indispensable lifestyle and luxury resource." [more inside] posted by whimsicalnymph at 1:33 PM PST - 91 comments
"Rosetta Code is a programming chrestomathy site." Each page describes a programming concept or task, then lists how it's implemented in dozens of programming languages. Useful for learning a new programming language, especially if you're already familiar with how to do it in another language. posted by Deathalicious at 12:09 PM PST - 13 comments
The 'Piggyback Bandit': SI.com What they were dealing with the night of Feb. 4 was the Piggyback Bandit - Sherwin Shayegan of Bothell, Wash., a 28-year-old man who ingratiates himself with high school sports teams, then hoists his 5-foot-8, 240-pound frame onto the backs of the student athletes. posted by Fizz at 11:32 AM PST - 33 comments
Last Sunday, Comic Book Men premiered on AMC, sliding right into the time slot right after the comic book-based Walking Dead series. It's a reality show masterminded by filmmaker and occasional comic book writer Kevin Smith that follows four employees at his New Jersey comic book shop, the Secret Stash, as they deal with the world of comics retail. If the intent is to show comic shop employees as anything other than obnoxious walking sterotypes, it's a complete failure. If, however, it's meant to be the most compelling argument I've ever seen for never setting foot in a comic book store, I have to admit that it's a smashing success. - Chris Sims reviews Comic Book Men. Remember, no chicks allowed. posted by Artw at 11:06 AM PST - 112 comments
Bent Objects is the creation of Terry Border, a photographer and sculptor with a flair for visual puns created using every day objects, clever lighting and twisted wire. [more inside] posted by quin at 7:52 AM PST - 12 comments
"I always knew that Sugar was Cheryl, and that the anonymity was just a temporary experience, and it wasn’t going to be really who Sugar was in the end. I revealed myself to you. I only withheld one piece of pretty meaningless information: my name. But I showed myself to you." Dear Sugar of The Rumpus is revealed to be author Cheryl Strayed.[more inside] posted by mokin at 11:38 PM PST - 17 comments
Janet Flanner began her career at The New Yorker composing evocative and cogent dispatches from Europe, writing nearly seven hundred Letters from Paris under the nom de plume Genêt, from 1925 to 1975. In between these, she contributed Profiles, Reporter at Large dispatches, and other Letters from around the globe. In a Postscript published after she died, in 1978, editor-in-chief William Shawn wrote of his prolific correspondent: "Her eye never became jaded, her ardor for what was new and alive never diminished, and her language remained restless. She was a stylist who devoted her style, bedazzling and heady in itself, to the subtle task of conveying the spirit of a subtle people."[more inside] posted by Trurl at 8:31 PM PST - 7 comments
Towards the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s the Madchester sound swept the UK. Spearheaded by The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays Manchester became the dominant force in English music. One notable exception to this Northern domination were the boys from London's Camden Town known as Flowered Up. [more inside] posted by jontyjago at 6:34 PM PST - 25 comments
Between April 16th, 2006 and April 15th, 2007, Paleo, also known as David Strackany, wrote a song every day for a year and posted them on his website. These include a weekly 'Sunday Prayer,' featuring new lyrics sung to the same tune on the day of relative rest. At the end of the year, he received a letter of congratulations from Vice President Dick Cheney, who was in the midst of a (failed) campaign to convince the American people that he was not a robot alien overlord. Paleo kept up the site, with all the song-diary entries, and still posts occasional lyrics and a weekly Sunday Prayer. Here's a song I particularly like: The World's Tiniest Violin. posted by kaibutsu at 5:59 PM PST - 19 comments
How to Feed and Grow Your Health Care System. A landmark study has established that patient satisfaction is correlated with mortality - in the wrong way. The more satisfied, the greater mortality. What accounts for this dynamic? And what are the implications for healthcare costs and available political options? 'One of the primary findings itself raises concern—a 26% mortality excess among the most satisfied patients, an effect size that far exceeds that for all other, more immediate, study outcomes (eg, a 12% excess in hospitalizations).' Brenda E. Sirovich, MD, MS wrote a response to the study. [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 2:02 PM PST - 20 comments
Confessions of a middle-aged Ecstasy eater.I believe that my coming to Ecstasy goes further than mere thrill-seeking. I believe it goes to the centre of my life at the time. It was a period of personal devastation. It began with my only child, a son - he was then my best friend, from time to time still is - and I did not see it coming and it culminated in Ecstasy, and to that I see no end. He was beautiful and sensitive and extraordinarily talented, talented enough that at 13 his poetry had won the notice of university professors and New York book editors alike. So when he undertook to destroy himself, he took his mother and father with him. That was not, nor is it, his fault. posted by gottabefunky at 12:37 PM PST - 60 comments
Who Will Run the Frog Hospital World Bank? Robert Zoellick has announced that he will step down from his role as World Bank President on June 30, at the end of his five-year term. Though the president has traditionally been selected by the President of the United States through an informal agreement with European powers, emerging powers including Brazil and India have argued for a change in policy. [more inside] posted by psoas at 11:07 AM PST - 18 comments
Reported in Discover Magazine online, The Heartland Institute — a self-described "think tank" that actually serves in part as a way for climate change denialism to get funded — has a potentially embarrassing situation on their hands. Someone going by the handle "Heartland Insider" has anonymously released quite a few of what are claimed to be internal documents from Heartland, revealing the Institute’s strategies, funds, and much more. [more inside] posted by Man with Lantern at 7:56 AM PST - 86 comments
The Death of the Cyberflâneur "While not deliberately concealing his identity, the flâneur preferred to stroll incognito. “The art that the flâneur masters is that of seeing without being caught looking,” the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman once remarked. The flâneur was not asocial — he needed the crowds to thrive — but he did not blend in, preferring to savor his solitude. And he had all the time in the world: there were reports of flâneurs taking turtles for a walk." [more inside] posted by byanyothername at 5:17 AM PST - 50 comments
Your Brain in Love and Lust - This Valentine's Day, Scientific American traces the flow of chemicals in the brain during different phases of romance and describes surprising insights from the science of attraction. posted by nickyskye at 6:54 PM PST - 1 comments
170 years ago, a gala ball was held in his honor on Valentine's Day. Flattered by New York City's elites, the author considered the occasion the finest moment of his life, particularly since he felt the United States was an ideal example of how Britain's class-bound society should live. But in the following weeks, when besieged by fawning groupies and actually meeting directly with the less than well-heeled folk of the New World, that his disposition turned sour. [more inside] posted by Smart Dalek at 11:42 AM PST - 16 comments
"Lots of people write storytelling songs about trains and set it to acoustic music and do pretty harmonies, but First Aid Kit transcends that cliché. Their songs sound like they’ve gone away and seen too much and come back tired but still alive. Their music kind of has its own way of breathing: filled with tension for a little while until it goes over the edge and exhales while the instrumental parts just seem to grow. This part of every few songs of theirs is most thrilling in concert, when Klara plays guitar so intensely you’d think it’s her only way of communicating, while Johanna stands perfectly still and lets her voice carry out so that it seems kind of infinite, or like it’s been waiting to come out for forever, and I kind of can’t help imagining that it comes from under the ground up through her mouth, or that a little part of the sky exists in her diaphragm or something. They can sound like freaking angels, or like women demanding life’s answers and who can make Patti Smith cry." Tavi interviews First Aid Kit on Rookie[more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 11:01 AM PST - 14 comments
Aereo is a new venture that is about to start streaming live, over-the-air TV signals in NYC to your computer, tablet or smart phone for $12 per month. How, you might ask, can they do this legally??? They have developed a ultra small TV antenna and they'll be deploying many thousands of them around NYC. Each subscriber then get's their own personal antenna, and they are therefore -- at least in theory -- protected by the 2008 ruling allowing Cablevision to offer DVR services from their head end.
It's good they have Barry Diller behind them to cover their legal bills!
Here's another article about this in today's NYT. posted by Dean358 at 10:39 AM PST - 34 comments
He leaves his cellphone and laptop at home and instead brings "loaner" devices, which he erases before he leaves the US and wipes clean the minute he returns . In China, he disables Bluetooth and Wi-Fi , never lets his phone out of his sight and, in meetings, not only turns off his phone but also removes the battery , for fear his microphone could be turned on remotely. He connects to the Internet only through an encrypted, password-protected channel, and copies and pastes his password from a USB thumb drive. He never types in a password directly, because, he said, "Chinese are very good at installing key-logging software on your laptop." - Travel precautions in the age of digital espionage. posted by Artw at 9:06 PM PST - 125 comments
In Praise of Older Womenwas condemned by some as some as pornography. In spite or perhaps because of that, it was a phenomenal seller. There is nothing pornographic about it. It is a beautiful and tender book, the semi-autobiographical tale of the amorous adventures of a young man who learns much, not only in matters of sex, from older women. It is a primer for men on the threshold of adulthood and a paean of elegant praise for older women. Unlike many male writers who write about women, there is no fear or hatred. In Praise of Older Women is warm and wise.* posted by Trurl at 7:25 PM PST - 34 comments
Человек с киноаппаратом ("Man with a Movie Camera") is a classic experimental documentary film that was released in 1929. Directed by pioneer Soviet filmmaker DzigaVertov, this classic, silent documentary film has no story and no actors, and is actually three documentaries in one. Ostensibly it documents 24 hours of life in a single city in the Soviet Union. But it is also a documentary of the filming of that documentary and a depiction of an audience watching that documentary and their responses. "We see the cameraman and the editing of the film, but what we don't see is any of the film itself." [more inside] posted by zarq at 7:18 PM PST - 26 comments
Every workday morning Johnny Barnes has greeted Bermudians just to let them know how much he loved them. And after many years they love him right back. It's a simple story about the power one man has to make other people happy. Meet Mr. Happy Man. (Vimeo Link.) posted by elwoodwiles at 2:51 PM PST - 19 comments
The "visible web" is what you can find using general web search engines. It's also what you see in almost all subject directories. The "invisible web" is what you cannot find using these types of tools. It's the internet that Google doesn't show us; some of it dull, some of it private, some of it deliberately hidden.
RETRONTARIO: Yours To Rediscover. "RETRONTARIO was created to celebrate the neglected corners of Ontario’s rich televisual history; to put back into circulation material which rightly or wrongly had fallen into a black hole and was for all intents and purposes, lost." posted by chunking express at 8:31 AM PST - 23 comments
LACMA is currently hosting "In Wonderland", a retrospective of Surrealist art by female artists from Mexico and the United States. This is a great chance to check out some under-appreciated artists, who were often overshadowed by their male counterparts. [more inside] posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 7:36 AM PST - 5 comments
Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a Harvard man through and through.
"From 1900-1904, young Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with his Groton chum Lathrop Brown, rented rooms in Westmorly Court, (now B-17 of Adams House) the newest and most luxurious building on Harvard's Gold Coast. Equipped with all the latest innovations – central heat, electricity, a modern "hygienic" bathroom – the suite contained over 600 sq. feet of living space spread over 4 rooms, with 14' ceilings, French doors, and a working fireplace. These spacious quarters, which were originally decorated in high Victorian style by FDR and his mother Sara have been recently restored to their pristine Gilded Age condition... [more inside] posted by vacapinta at 5:11 AM PST - 13 comments
It towers 51 feet high, extending a further 36 feet below ground. It weighs approximately 16 million pounds. And it's capable of delivering 50,000 metric tons of compressive force. "The Fifty" is the largest hydraulic closed-die forging press in the world. Chances are, you've interacted with something built in part by The Fifty: every flying manned U.S. military aircraft (and every aircraft built by Boeing and Airbus) uses parts forged by it. Built in 1955, the press has recently completed a $100 million refurb, and is now back online in Alcoa's Cleveland Works facility. [more inside] posted by disillusioned at 1:09 AM PST - 79 comments
Let's tickle the ivories There is an old proverb that goes “Play the piano daily and stay sane.” For me, the main word of this proverb is daily. Playing the piano daily means inevitable accomplishment, and, without a sense of accomplishment, life is an impoverished journey. posted by Wolof at 11:35 PM PST - 46 comments
"To get something like that, something that belongs to you," Jones says of that monthly pension, "it makes a big difference in your life."
And for that, the 84-year-old Jones has an accomplice to thank. For he would not have had evidence of the extent of his Negro League service time and his pension eligibility if the Center for Negro League Baseball Research's best gumshoe hadn't been assigned to the case. posted by Snyder at 10:57 PM PST - 8 comments
At 300 feet, the pressure is so extreme that your lungs shrink to the size of oranges and your heart beats at less than half its normal rate to conserve oxygen. You lose some motor control. Most of the blood in your arms and legs has flooded to your body’s core as the vessels in your extremities constrict. Vessels in your lungs swell to several times their normal size so they won’t be crushed by the incredible pressure. Then comes the really hard part. [Open Your Mouth and You're Dead] posted by vidur at 4:23 PM PST - 76 comments
On February 22, , 13 [bus passengers] were crushed by an unreinforced brick building at 603-13 Colombo St. I broke half a dozen bones or so, severed a tendon, spent two months in hospital and six months off work. And I was lucky. Twelve people died. I did not know them, but they forever travel with me.
Saudi journalist Hamza Kashgari was arrested in Kuala Lumpur and deported to Saudi Arabia for at the behest of Interpol. Mr. Kashgari faces the death penalty in Saudi Arabia for a series of tweets insulting the prophet Muhammad, including 'I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don't understand about you I will not pray for you.' (BBC, Al Jazeera) [more inside] posted by jeffburdges at 11:55 AM PST - 59 comments
The Mystery of the Millionaire Metaphysician "In June 2000, the philosopher Dean Zimmerman moved from the University of Notre Dame to Syracuse University with his wife and three kids, only to see their new house catch fire the day they moved in." Months later, he received the second hopeful fortune cookie since the fire, which told him "A way out of a financial mess is discovered as if by magic!"; the next day, magic arrived in a letter offering Zimmerman a generous sum of money, which he later learned was $12,000, to review a sixty-page work of metaphysics titled "Coming to Understanding." [more inside] posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:50 AM PST - 45 comments
Arkitypo — Using the 26 letters of the alphabet as the starting point, the curators selected a specific typeface that began with each respective letter to develop a 3d alphabet of alphabets. After thoroughly researching the history of each letter, they set out to represent each individual character graphically with elements of its history serving as the foundation. Arkitypo: letter rotations on Vimeo. posted by netbros at 5:06 PM PST - 3 comments
I ﬁnd that speakers of languages with little to no grammatical distinction between the present and future (weak-FTR ["Future Time Reference"] language speakers) engage in much more future-oriented behavior. Weak-FTR speakers are 30% more likely to have saved in any given year, and have accumulated an additional 170 thousand Euros by retirement. I also examine non-monetary measures such as health behaviors and long-run health. I ﬁnd that by retirement, weak-FTR speakers are in better health by numerous measures: they are 24% less likely to have smoked heavily, are 29% more likely to be physically active, and are 13% less likely to be medically obese.[more inside] posted by gauche at 1:44 PM PST - 70 comments
Nanoscale electrodes separate salt from seawater. It uses special electrodes:
"It first draws ions from seawater into a pair of electrodes. As the researchers pass current through the electrodes, electrochemical reactions drive chloride ions into a silver electrode and sodium ions to an electrode made from manganese oxide nanorods. Next, the researchers remove the desalinated water and release the trapped ions into a separate stream of waste seawater by reversing the direction of the electrical current."
And at this point the salt in the water is only reduced by about 50%. posted by aleph at 12:14 PM PST - 29 comments
A "smartpill" is a type of endoscopic capsule camera that creates a video of the digestive process from entrance to exit.
For Stefani Bardin's "M2A Project" film for TEDxManhattan, two subjects swallowed a smartpill capsule. One subject ate a meal of Top Ramen and Haribo Goldbears, together with a drink of blue Gatorade. The other subject ate a meal of homemade chicken noodle soup, together with naturally flavored and colored gummy bears and a hibiscus drink. The camera followed.
[NSFLunch. Wired article for a quick overview.] [more inside] posted by Countess Elena at 9:53 AM PST - 43 comments
Belbury is an English market town with a picturesque 11th century church, and some notable modernist architecture, including the Polytechnic College. None of which exist except in the constructed world of the Ghost Box record label, whose founder Jim Jupp records under the name Belbury Poly, and publishes the Belbury Parish Magazine. [more inside] posted by reynir at 8:57 AM PST - 5 comments
Since its last* appearance in the blue, yWriter has been updated to version 5. Designed specifically for novels, this freeware "contains no adverts, unwanted web toolbars, desktop search programs or other cruft". posted by Trurl at 7:11 AM PST - 56 comments
We see the consequences of an American public's ignorance of world affairs in America's foreign policy. How did this happen and what can be done to turn the tide? To enable real understanding of world affairs by the American public? [more inside] posted by gen at 12:34 AM PST - 171 comments
"The Fraley plaintiffs sued Facebook, alleging that its 'Sponsored Stories' feature, which displays ads on Facebook containing the names and pictures of users who have 'Liked' a product, violated California’s Right of Publicity statute. The statute forbids the commercial use of an individual’s name or likeness without consent. Integral to the plaintiffs’ claim was the assertion they had been injured because they were “celebrities” to their Facebook friends, such that their endorsements of the products in the Sponsored Stories held economic value—economic value that they were deprived of when Facebook published their Stories without their consent." - Famous for Fifteen People (Stanford Law Review): Celebrity, Newsworthiness, and Fraley v. Facebook (Citizen Media Law Project) posted by wikipedia brown boy detective at 6:57 PM PST - 10 comments
Here are some old New Jersey maps, available online. Take a look at this map of southern New Jersey made by Dutch settlers in 1669. The Dutch labeled Cape May "Cabo May." Take a look at Delaware Bay. The Dutch called it Godyn's Bay. This 1709 map shows a division between east and west New Jersey. Probably most interesting of all is this map from 1795. Here, you can see archaic names of towns. What is now Pennington was once called "Pennytown." Lawrenceville was once called "Maidenhead." What is today called Hightstown was once called "Hiatstown." How about that little island off the southwestern New Jersey coast, Egg Island? Is that even there anymore? posted by candasartan at 3:18 PM PST - 26 comments
"Guardian 24/7 combines best-in-breed technology with protocols designed to serve the President of the United States, offering unprecedented medical attention to a demanding audience. Thanks to Guardian, your medical care can finally look like the rest of your life[...]. Our innovative ReadyRoom™ strategy places essential equipment, medications and supplies where you live, move and work. Yet everything is hidden away until needed. [...]Before Guardian, this kind of medical protection was only available to one person. But now, presidential-level care can be yours — on your schedule and your terms." Don't miss the embedded video. This appears to be in earnest. posted by nobody at 1:33 PM PST - 41 comments
Bodie Bailey Flickr A rare and fascinating bit of family and national history captured in B&W photographs. Bodie Bailey's Flickr shares family photos collected by his Aunt Ida- an actress during the turn-of-the-century and active in the founding of California. Through the photos of this young actress, we are able to get a glimpse of early Hollywood, Mission Plays and intimate family moments. posted by muchalucha at 11:43 AM PST - 1 comments
The Seventh Art is an independently produced video magazine about cinema with three sections: a profile on an interesting group/company/organization in the industry, a video essay and a long-form interview with a filmmaker. posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:55 AM PST - 1 comments
"I think a lot of women around you have experienced pain in various ways, through your words and actions. Have you ever considered: ‘I was the source of some of that. They are hurting, not just because of them and their own issues, but also because I contributed to their pain’?”
George Lucas sits down with The Hollywood Reporter: "The controversy over who shot first, Greedo or Han Solo, in Episode IV, what I did was try to clean up the confusion, but obviously it upset people because they wanted Solo [who seemed to be the one who shot first in the original] to be a cold-blooded killer, but he actually isn’t. It had been done in all close-ups and it was confusing about who did what to whom. I put a little wider shot in there that made it clear that Greedo is the one who shot first, but everyone wanted to think that Han shot first, because they wanted to think that he actually just gunned him down." [more inside] posted by 2bucksplus at 9:29 AM PST - 259 comments
The various subspecies of Asian carp are considered an invasive species in North America, and the governments of the US and Canada are working frantically to keep them from traveling up the Mississippi to the Great Lakes (previously). Unfortunately, they have circumvented sophisticated barriers designed to stop them, and as filter-feeders they are "difficult to catch using normal angling methods". But we're Americans, are we going to take this lying down? The Peoria Carp Hunters answer for us all, with a resounding, bro-ful "Hell, no!" (Warning, loud music.)[more inside] posted by richyoung at 8:59 AM PST - 31 comments
www.breadedcats.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their bread, or why. posted by radwolf76 at 7:44 AM PST - 55 comments
Five years ago, I flew to England to see the grand opening of something improbable: an attraction called Dickens World. It promised to be an “authentic” re-creation of the London of Charles Dickens’s novels, complete with soot, pickpockets, cobblestones, gas lamps, animatronic Dickens characters and strategically placed chemical “smell pots” that would, when heated, emit odors of offal and rotting cabbage. ... Today Dickens World survives largely as a landlord, collecting rent from the Odeon movie theater next door and the restaurants (Pizza Hut, Subway, Chimichanga) that surround it. (previously) posted by Trurl at 7:02 AM PST - 41 comments
Could it have been something else ?
It can be anything
Do I love everything ?
Unfortunately not, but all things can be loved by different people at different times: enemies, devils, gods and chocolate candies.
-Sigurdur Gudmundsson posted by beshtya at 5:27 AM PST - 8 comments
Hiya Freddie baby, give me a dozen...my life's blood, without bagels what is a day? Yah make it a dozen assorted. Dat's it, give me the garlic, the sesame, the onion, give me them all baby, that's it! They're still handmade eh? Hot Bagels! Wait a second let me PAY yah! Here you are, kid. Thank you. Have a good day. posted by timshel at 3:27 PM PST - 71 comments
"In one corner of Manoj Bhargava’s office is a cemetery of sorts. It’s a Formica bookcase, its shelves lined with hundreds of garishly colored screw-top plastic bottles not much taller than shot glasses. Front and center is a Cadillac-red bottle of 5-Hour Energy, the two-ounce caffeine and vitamin elixir that purports to keep you alert without crashing. In eight years 5-Hour has gone from nowhere to $1 billion in retail sales. Truckers swear by it. So do the traders in Oliver Stone’s 2010 sequel to Wall Street. So do hungover students. It’s $3 a bottle, and it has made Bhargava a fortune." posted by vidur at 3:26 PM PST - 59 comments
The Man Who Lived on his Bike is a 3 minute short by Canadian filmmaker Guillaume Blanchet, who spent 382 days riding his bicycle through the streets of Montreal in order to explore what life would be like if he actually lived on a bicycle. posted by Obscure Reference at 10:28 AM PST - 10 comments
“The words of the 1611 King James Bible ring out today in books, poems, popular songs, speeches, and sermons. But who translated it, and what made this particular translation so influential? Inspired by the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, Manifold Greatness tells the story of one of the most widely read books in the English language, through online content, exhibitions, and more.” Previously on Metafilter: 1234567. posted by found missing at 8:07 AM PST - 8 comments
How the zebra came by his stripes. "Why zebras evolved their characteristic black-and-white stripes has been the subject of decades of debate among scientists.
Now researchers from Hungary and Sweden claim to have solved the mystery." posted by estherhaza at 7:22 AM PST - 35 comments
In 1962, the Mansfield (Ohio) Police Department stationed officers armed with a movie camera behind a two-way mirror in a public restroom known for its "cruisy" atmosphere. With the help of the footage shot, dozens of men were arrested, prosecuted, and convicted on sodomy charges, which at the time carried mandatory minimum sentences of a year in prison. In 2007, the original surveillance footage was obtained by filmmaker William E. Jones. He's screened the unedited 56 minute film as Tearoom at festivals and museums the world over, providing a clandestine look at the scrutiny small-town Midwestern gay men faced in the 1960's. [warning: explicit, NSFW material lies beyond most links] [more inside] posted by item at 6:51 AM PST - 82 comments
Normally, when you buy stolen goods, you don't legally own them. The person they were stolen from still does. Unless: Until 1995, if you bought them in Bermondsey Market, London, between the hours of sunrise and sunset, they would then belong to you, even if clearlystolen. posted by Zarkonnen at 10:43 PM PST - 32 comments
The Clock is a film that is also a clock. It runs for 24 consecutive hours, and is made of thousands of samples, some lasting only seconds, others minutes, from hundreds of films and videos. All of it edited into a seamless whole by video artist Christian Marclay. When it is shown, it is synchronized to the real time, so if it's 2:15 on a clock shown on-screen, it's 2:15 in real time. Harrison Ford is in it. So is John Cusack, Humphrey Bogart, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lon Chaney, Roger Moore(and all the other James Bonds), John Cleese, Peter Sellers, Orson Welles, the Beatles, Jody Foster, Gregory Peck, Nicole Kidman, Nick Cage and a few hundred others. You'll see The Simpsons and The Office. You'll see The Avengers. You'll see stuff you have no clue about. Here's what it feels like to watch all twenty four hours of it in one sitting.[more inside] posted by storybored at 9:49 PM PST - 58 comments
Google is quietly launching a new program called Screenwise aimed at collected more data from users than is possible from monitoring activity across Google-owned sites. The program comes in two flavors: a browser-based extension that will share with Google the sites you visit and how you use them, and a Cisco-made, Knowledge Networks-managed "black box" installed on your home network to measure Internet use. The first program pays users up to $25 in Amazon gift cards, the second pays $100 for signing up, and an additional $20 every month the device is installed up to a maximum of one year. To be eligible for the programs users must have a Google account, install and use Chrome, and be 13 or older. Ars Technica has excerpts from leaked sign up process documents:
According to legal agreements displayed during signup, Google will share the aggregated data with third parties, including "academic institutions, advertisers, publishers, and programming networks." The agreement notes that the data collected will be personally identifiable, with some exceptions: https addresses and private browsing windows of people using the router will not be tracked. The browser extension, however, will track private or incognito browsing, though the data will not be personally identifiable. For all other collected data, Google will "attempt" to remove that identifiable info before sharing it—no guarantees, though.
"Fine art has become the billionaire’s-club equivalent of a Louis Vuitton bag, slathered in logos. It’s not connoisseurship which drives values, so much as recognizability. Which in turn helps to explain why the most prolific artists (Picasso, Warhol, Hirst) are also the most expensive: the more of their work there is, the more exposed to it people become, the more they’ll recognize it, and therefore the more desirable it is." posted by benbenson at 4:55 PM PST - 23 comments
"Risk" is a free podcast for storytelling junkies, hosted by Kevin Allison (formerly of the State).
In episodes 229 and 230 (obviously NSFW), the host himself shares an unusual tale of being a gay man at a hetero "kink" camp. posted by The ____ of Justice at 3:25 PM PST - 14 comments
In placing before my readers in the following pages the results of my twenty-five years’ experience of Rat-catching, Ferreting, etc., I may say that I have always done my best to accomplish every task that I have undertaken, and I have in consequence received excellent testimonials from many corporations, railway companies, and merchants. I have not only made it my study to discover the different and the best methods of catching Rats, but I have also taken great interest in watching their ways and habits, and I come to the conclusion that there is no sure way of completely exterminating the Rodents, especially in large towns. If I have in this work referred more particularly to Rat-catching in Manchester that is only because my experience, although extending over a much wider area, has been chiefly in that city, but the methods I describe are equally applicable to all large towns.
Is The Shining really about the gold standard? Using unpublished info from the Stanley Kubrick Archives as a key source, Kubrick's Gold Story [part 1 of 4] is a film analysis that uncovers economic themes encoded in The Shining with regard to gold vs fiat monetary systems. Written, narrated and edited by Rob Ager [Previously]. posted by albrecht at 12:47 PM PST - 75 comments
After years of work, New Zealand scholar Sally-Ann Lambert just released volume 2 of her 9-volume linguistics series. “Hlingit Word Encyclopedia: The Origin of Copper” is a 630-page encyclopedia of the SE Alaskan native language Tlingit. She traveled to Sitka for a mid-January book release and found one little problem: none of the Tlingit native speakers or scholars there recognized the language in it. [more inside] posted by msalt at 12:36 PM PST - 97 comments
Canada's Exclaim magazine former cartoonist Fiona Symth's new art. CHEEZ was originally a monthly comic/drawing published in Canada's Exclaim Magazine over a ten year period from 1992 to 2002. There were no editorial restrictions on the work apart from the monthly deadline and the colour restrictions of the paper (the art work had to be black and white). Each strip was created shortly before the deadline and numbered in chronological order. This CHEEZ will be drawn weekly and will continue with the same numbering sequence and restrictive palette. A collection of the first one hundred strips was published as CHEEZ 100 by Pedlar Press in 2001. posted by Ark_Light at 9:02 AM PST - 9 comments
Nicole Cliff has been reviewing Classic Trash fiction for The Awl, with a recent exposition on Clan of the Cave Bear. Jeffrey Sconce reviewed 100 obscure and largely unloved books last year on Consumed and Judged, and shows no sign of slowing down. Pop Sensation profiles the cover of one, generally trashy, paperback, three times a week, (and includes a seemingly random quote from the book). posted by latkes at 6:48 AM PST - 19 comments
Civilisation: A Personal View by Kenneth Clark is a 13-part documentary produced by the BBC that was first aired on in 1969. It is considered to be a landmark in British Television's broadcasting of the visual arts.
Here's the entire series (13 one-hour episodes) on YouTube. This is a treat for those of you who like History of Art, especially so if you haven't yet got around to seeing it. [more inside] posted by baejoseph at 5:16 AM PST - 24 comments
THE HISTORY (AND MYSTERY!) behind Action 52 and Cheetahmen, FINALLY REVEALED! And, if you have five hundred bucks to spare, NES cartridges of the newly unearthed(?) CHEETAHMEN: THE CREATION is available for sale! VINCE PERRI AT HIS DESIGN BEST, the web site proclaims, though it's unclear what this is expected to mean to us! posted by DoctorFedora at 9:32 PM PST - 15 comments
Argentina will take Falklands claim to the UNCristina Kirchner warns of 'grave risks to international security' and states intention to prevent war over natural resources.(Argentina) has mobilised much of South America and the Caribbean in a diplomatic and commercial squeeze. Ships flying the Falklands flag are barred from the region's ports, depriving the islands of bananas and other fresh fruit.[more inside] posted by KokuRyu at 7:27 PM PST - 124 comments
Woman, 83, Has World’s First Lower Jaw Replacement – In 3D [abc.com] In what has been called the first operation of its kind, an 83-year-old woman in the Netherlands has been fitted with a custom-made artificial jaw that was created by a 3D printer.
The titanium implant, which weighs less than 4 ounces, was created by taking a CT scan of the woman’s lower jaw and duplicating it with a 3D printer that lays down titanium powder instead of ink. The printer followed the pattern of the woman’s jaw bone layer by layer, fusing the titanium powder in place with heat. In just a couple hours, the 3D replica was ready. posted by Fizz at 3:27 PM PST - 43 comments
If Nicholas Carr is right, and consuming words on a screen is a "more primitive way of reading," then the iPad is a little bit Neanderthal and a little bit Prometheus. Its potential for creative ways to interact with literature makes it more than just an e-reader. And while it took more than a year and a half since the iPad's launch, some publishers are beginning to experiment with that potential. Last year saw several forays into innovative literature apps, most notably T.S. Elliot's The Waste Land; Atlas Shrugged and On The Road also received the "enhanced" app treatment. Laura Miller (Salon.com co-founder, NY Times Book Review columnist, author) and Maud Newton (writer and critic for The NY Times Book Review, Granta, The Awl) have both written extensively about digital reading and publishing and they've launched The Chimerist, tagline: Two iPad lovers at the intersection of art, stories, and technology. Newton writes: [more inside] posted by not_the_water at 12:34 PM PST - 20 comments
Atomic Bread Making At Home is an in-depth article covering the ingredients, manufacture, and chemistry of; market research into; and social impact of the 1950's-era USDA No.1 white pan loaf. posted by TheDonF at 10:16 AM PST - 23 comments
On the other side of the flimsy fence separating them from his neighbor Terry Thompson's property, Kopchak noticed that Thompson's horses seemed even more agitated. They were circling, and in the center of their troubled orbit there was some kind of dark shape. Only when the shape broke out of the circle could Kopchak see that it was a black bear.
Discover Europe's television heritage. EUscreen offers free online access to videos, stills, texts and audio from European broadcasters and audiovisual archives. Explore selected content from early 1900s until today. [more inside] posted by Lezzles at 6:00 AM PST - 3 comments
Is online dating destroying love?We are doomed, perhaps, to be unsatisfied creatures, whose desires are fulfilled only momentarily before we go on the hunt for new objects to scratch new itches. Which suggests that online dating sites will be filling us with hopes – and disappointments – for a good while yet.[more inside] posted by modernnomad at 5:59 AM PST - 124 comments
One of the last surviving members of the Edelweiss Pirates, a group of rebellious teenagers from western Germany who formed a resistance network against the Nazis, has died aged 82: Jean Jülich[more inside] posted by Mister Bijou at 12:42 AM PST - 19 comments
'In life, “no two people regard the world in exactly the same way,” as J. W. von Goethe says. Everyone sees and reacts to things in different ways. Even though they may see the world in similar ways, no two people’s views will ever be exactly the same. This statement is true since everyone sees things through different viewpoints.' posted by crayz at 10:28 PM PST - 8 comments
... it’s no exaggeration to say that LIFEFORCE tosses everything in but the kitchen in an attempt to entertain you. Actually, scratch that, it tosses everything including the kitchen sink. By the time the movie is complete, you may have to watch it again just to verify that you actually saw what you just saw. The movie is a mess of enormous proportions which I absolutely loved.* (previously) [more inside] posted by Trurl at 9:49 PM PST - 59 comments
Left and to the Back is a blog exploring the dark and dusty world of flop singles and albums, the kind you may find lingering near the stock room of your local second hand record store (if you still have one), or perhaps going for extortionate sums on ebay. [Found whilst trying to answer this AskMe]. posted by unliteral at 8:33 PM PST - 4 comments
Clint Eastwood: "'This country can’t be knocked out with one punch. We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines.' The [Super Bowl] commercial, 'Halftime in America,' didn’t reveal its sponsor until the final seconds, when Chrysler logos appeared briefly, but it has already become a classic, and perhaps inevitably in this election year, a political football.*[more inside] posted by ericb at 3:22 PM PST - 184 comments
OneSwarm is a privacy preserving BitTorrent client that offers permissions for restricting access to shared content and sharing without attribution, with the anonymity being provided by fellow OneSwarm peers routing transfers. [more inside] posted by jeffburdges at 9:23 AM PST - 13 comments
Artistic decline through Alzheimer's - William Utermohlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 1995 yet he continued drawing. His last self portraits painted between 1995 and 2001 tell a unique tale of an implacable disease encroaching on to his mind and senses.[more inside] posted by quin at 8:50 AM PST - 39 comments
Best known for the (exaggerated) tales of her miserliness, Hetty Green was arguably the greatest female investor in history. During the 1907 Bankers' Panic, her loan of $1.1 million helped keep New York City solvent. Her estate - greater than that of J.P. Morgan's - was valued at more than $2 billion in today's money. [more inside] posted by Trurl at 9:46 PM PST - 18 comments
India tells Britain: We don't want your aidAccording to a leaked memo, the foreign minister, Nirupama Rao, proposed “not to avail [of] any further DFID [British] assistance with effect from 1st April 2011,” because of the “negative publicity of Indian poverty promoted by DFID”. But officials at DFID, Britain’s Department for International Development, told the Indians that cancelling the programme would cause “grave political embarrassment” to Britain, according to sources in Delhi.Further embarressment ensues. Emma Boon, campaign director of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is incredible that ministers have defended the aid we send to India, insisting it is vital, when now we learn that even the Indian government doesn’t want it.” posted by infini at 8:04 AM PST - 34 comments
Like a lot of people, I'd always assumed, in a sort of cut-rate Hobbesian way, that the center of the brain, if you could ever find it, would inevitably be a pretty dark place, that whatever is good or beautiful about being human is a result of our struggles against everything innate, against physical nature. My brother changed my mind about all that. posted by unSane at 6:57 AM PST - 42 comments
It's 1912 and you are kerpuffling down Main in your new Stutz Bearcat, the envy of all who witness your ride. The "dog house" hood, open bucket seats, a tiny "monocle" windscreen in front of the driver, and a cylindrical fuel tank on a short rear deck are attracting stares from passersby. [more inside] posted by ecorrocio at 8:35 PM PST - 64 comments
PhyloPic is an open database of life form silhouettes. All images are available for reuse under a Public Domain or Creative Commons license. [more inside] posted by brundlefly at 7:47 PM PST - 20 comments
Hey! Do you like books? (Yeah...) Do you like free books? (Yeah!) Do you like giving books to friends and strangers and whomever? (Hell yeah!) Are you American? (I just said "hell yeah" didn't I?) Then sign up here! (Then what happens?) You can select from one of thirty books. (And?) They'll send you a box with twenty copies of one book which you can give to friends, strangers or enemies. (What's the catch?) There's no catch, it's World Book Night. [British edition previously on MeFi] posted by Kattullus at 1:28 PM PST - 39 comments
Through a Glass, Smartly Larry Sherk is one of the world's foremost brewerianists, a collector of beer stuff who over 40 years has amassed the country's second-largest private collection of beer labels (about 3,000), many of which date to the late 1800s. [more inside] posted by modernnomad at 11:03 AM PST - 4 comments
This is the perfect recipe for those of you who like to enjoy a big bowl of macaroni and cheese for dinner and absolutely nothing else. It’s beautifully flavored, creamy, cheesy, and with the smokey bite of crisp salty bacon on top?? Oh man, you guys are in for a treat — I’m not even kidding. It’s amazing. (previously) posted by Trurl at 7:48 PM PST - 111 comments
It's On The Ceiling! Roll d12:
1. d100 Swords of Damocles
2. City of the Intellectual Bats
3. Manhole-like trap door to maintenance level
4. Tapestry of webs depicting events in spider history
5. Stalactite pueblo dwellers: evil dungeon fairies
6. Adventurers impaled on barbed spikes
7. The furniture: nailed up by prankster
8. Alarming amount of dripping water and muddy seepage
9. Pulsating illumination from strange glass tubes in metal fixtures
11. Eyes (d1000)
12. Hand-chiseled diagram of dungeon level
This and many other useful tables for DM improvisation at The Dungeon Dozen. New table every day! posted by JHarris at 5:46 PM PST - 22 comments
"They stuck me at P.S.A. 7 in the South Bronx," he said, referring to Police Service Area No. 7 in the department’s housing bureau. "They cover all the housing projects in that area." It was dangerous work, performing vertical patrols — marching up and down staircases — watching for drug deals, responding to violent fights and domestic brawls, and worse.
Two years passed, and Officer Bolfo brought something else to work, along with his radio and his gun. A camera. posted by swift at 9:30 AM PST - 34 comments
How the Brain Reveals Why We Buy. "Most of us know that branding palpably influences our choices and shopping habits, but researchers suspect that branding can also fundamentally change the way we comprehend sense impressions.
At least that is the obvious conclusion to be drawn from the only (so far) classic study in neuromarketing, a fascinating study of what can be called the Pepsi paradox. " [more inside] posted by marienbad at 8:35 AM PST - 23 comments
Kobi thought it was right for his body to eat at least 200 wings every day he's been in Philly for the entire week leading up to the big competition on February 3rd -- aside from today, when he’ll eat like a “normal person” to rest his throat for tomorrow. You do the math and Kobi will have eaten well over 1,000 wings this week. That's before the competition even starts.
On February 6th, the infamous Westboro Baptist Church is planning a protest at Clayton High School in St Louis because of their support of the LGBT student body. The counter protest, however, has taken the form of a fund raising opportunity. [more inside] posted by deanklear at 6:36 AM PST - 42 comments
If you've been procrastinating on cleaning your monitor or laptop screen, the game Where's the Pixel just might be the encouragement you've been waiting for. posted by Deathalicious at 4:57 AM PST - 33 comments
The Earthbound Journal is the Mother of all fan projects; a labour of love that took journalist Armand Kossayan over 150 hours to complete. And it's amazing. Armand describes it as "a retelling of the game’s plot from the point of view of primarily Paula and Jeff, with some smaller parts from Ness and Poo." Did I mention it's free. Go get it! posted by Effigy2000 at 10:46 PM PST - 12 comments
Technology/sex columnist Violet Blue (previously) has been reporting from this year's Macworld trade fair for ZDNet; among her reportage was a photograph of a woman sitting in a booth, labelled as "The Saddest Booth Babe In The World". Later it emerged that the woman in question was not, in fact, a booth babe (i.e., a model hired to smile, hand out flyers and appeal to the heterosexual male gaze) but rather an iOS developer presenting her products, hence her less-than-effervescent demeanour. Blue's response was
somewhat evasive, suggesting that her (and, in her opinion, the average attendee's) expectation upon seeing a woman at a booth at a technology event would be that she would be there for decorative purposes. posted by acb at 7:23 PM PST - 160 comments
During a recent visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., I was reeducated in the power of branding — especially as applied to poster design — at the special exhibition,State of Deception: The Power of Nazi Propaganda, which demonstrates how the Nazi party used carefully crafted messages, advertising and design techniques, and then-new technologies (radio, television, film) to sway millions with its vision for a new Germany. (related) posted by Trurl at 6:33 PM PST - 28 comments
A major element of serious chess play is the study of openings* -- of known series of moves from the starting position whose effects to the later stages of the game are well established through previous games and through manual and computer analysis. Chess960 a.k.a. Fischer Random Chess was introduced in 1996 by chess genius (and reclusive paranoid anti-semite) Bobby Fischer as an alternative that aims to remove the emphasis on this laborious element while keeping other central aspects of the game intact. The tagline of one blog dedicated to the game calls it 'a return to the pleasure of the first move in a vast unexplored wilderness'. Some of this wilderness is being explored with new theory, linked below the fold among other things. [more inside] posted by Anything at 5:56 PM PST - 34 comments
In 2000, the anime industry was on the brink of what looked like a global takeover, and was pushing live action movies to the side. However, trouble began to take hold just a few years later, when labour issues involving long hours and low pay, along with a sharp drop in anime DVD sales, began to cause serious trouble for the industry. Although some government officials pinned their hopes in beefing up exports in order to breathe life into the economy, to industry insiders the situation looked bleak and possibly unresolvable using traditional models. However, other avenues - such as the internet, and even internet piracy - were studied for their economic effects. The results? [more inside] posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:09 PM PST - 32 comments
Muslim America moves away from the minaret. 'In post 9/11 America the construction of new mosques in the US has sometimes sparked controversy and even confrontation.' Now there appears to be an increasing trend to build new mosques in the US without some of the architectural features most commonly associated with the traditional Muslim houses of worship. '"It's a bad time for Islamic architecture," says Mr Ahmed, former Pakistani ambassador to the UK. But the Islamic Center of America in Michigan features imposing traditional domes and minarets "If there was some visionary with money who wanted to build the Taj Mahal in the US, he'd be attacked as a stealth Jihadist."' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 4:00 PM PST - 36 comments
Darkness "Sometimes you meet people like that, they have one adjective that fits them like a glove. They could be that word's picture in the dictionary..." posted by oneswellfoop at 3:29 PM PST - 49 comments
WAT. - A lightning talk by Gary Bernhardt from CodeMash 2012, on the peculiarities of some popular scripting languages. (Single video link, around 4 minutes in length.) posted by Slap*Happy at 2:12 PM PST - 37 comments
Brian Lam, from the excellent resource the wirecutter, drops some knowledge about what it's like to live a bit more meaningfully. "I owe my livelihood to technology and I love the raw capability it offers us as a tool, but I fear it a bit more than most people do. It's a tool, but it's not quite a hammer, because a hammer doesn't seduce you into sitting around lonely in your underwear for 6 hours at a stretch clicking on youtube videos and refreshing Twitter. posted by pwally at 12:35 PM PST - 15 comments
NSFW Lucien Clergue is a French Photographer from Arles, and renowned for his Nu zébré.
He was a friend of Picasso and Jean Cocteau.
He still gives the occasional talk:
Ansel said to me "I have been here for 40 years and I have never seen what you see."
Clergue: " I am Mediterranean by birth. What you see, I don't see. I look at the details." posted by adamvasco at 9:46 AM PST - 5 comments
Analogue: A Hate Story is a mystery featuring transhumanism, traditional marriage, loneliness, and cosplay told through interaction with the AI and logs of a derelict colony ship, lost thousands of years ago.
It is the latest visual novel from Christine Love (previously 1, 2, 3) The full thing is not free, but there is a demo. posted by juv3nal at 12:46 AM PST - 18 comments
"Round here, we say 'mate' a lot. Do yourself a favour, and learn to figure out when a bloke is about to buy you a drink, and when he's ready to put the boot in. He'll say mate either way, but how will he say it? Use our handy guide to MATE, know what your mates are on about!" posted by vidur at 4:46 PM PST - 35 comments
A study in Public Health Nutrition which compiles data relating to Americans' food-related time use over the past 30 years reveals some interesting trends: Eating as a primary activity declined in the past 30 years. On the other hand, eating as a secondary activity rose dramatically in the past 30 years. We now do almost 50 percent of our eating while concentrating on something else.
From lettersofnote.com : In July of 1931, author and philosopher Will Durant wrote to a number of notable figures and asked, essentially, "What is the meaning of life?" His letter concluded:
Spare me a moment to tell me what meaning life has for you, what keeps you going, what help—if any—religion gives you, what are the sources of your inspiration and your energy, what is the goal or motive-force of your toil, where you find your consolations and your happiness, where, in the last resort, your treasure lies. Write briefly if you must; write at length and at leisure if you possibly can; for every word from you will be precious to me.
Durant received many replies, a selection of which were compiled in the book, "On the Meaning of Life." By far the greatest response, in my opinion, came from the great H. L. Mencken. It can, and should, be read below.
(Description above taken straight from the linked post, as it summed it up pretty well) posted by datter at 5:42 AM PST - 30 comments