April 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 274 days remaining until the end of the year. April 1 is most notable in the Western world for being AprilFools' Day. [more inside] posted by jbickers at 6:15 PM PST - 42 comments
Girls Soccer Coach Resigns over hilarious (insane?) email to parents "Some say soccer at this age is about fun and I completely agree. However, I believe winning is fun and losing is for losers. Ergo, we will strive for the “W” in each game. While we may not win every game (excuse me, I just got a little nauseated) I expect us to fight for every loose ball and play every shift as if it were the finals of the World Cup. While I spent a good Saturday morning listening to the legal liability BS, which included a 30 minute dissertation on how we need to baby the kids and especially the refs, I was disgusted. The kids will run, they will fall, get bumps, bruises and even bleed a little. Big deal, it’s good for them (but I do hope the other team is the one bleeding)." posted by njbradburn at 1:38 PM PST - 221 comments
"The Passover Seder, the oldest continuously observed religious ceremony in the world, tells the story of the Jews' Exodus from Egypt. Jewish tradition says that people of each generation must imagine that they personally had departed from Egypt, and the sages say that each generation must tell the story in its own terms. The sages probably did not intend this. "(Via) posted by lucia__is__dada at 7:05 AM PST - 28 comments
Archaeologists and Native Americans race against the border fence. The REAL ID act authorized government agencies to bulldoze long-standing environmental, cultural and anthropological standards. But a team of activists worked delicately behind the scenes to win millions of dollars in federal funding and the go-ahead for a last-ditch effort to study ancient artifacts. Archaeologists have faced similarly rushed projects elsewhere along the fence route. posted by univac at 1:32 AM PST - 46 comments
With so many of our citizens in prison compared with the rest of the world, there are only two possibilities: Either we are home to the most evil people on earth or we are doing something different--and vastly counterproductive. Obviously, the answer is the latter.
Why do mummies scream?Are screaming mummies really testaments to horrific deaths? Or are they the result of natural processes, botched or ad hoc mummification jobs, or the depredations of tomb robbers? Archaeology Online examines the science and history behind the gape-mouthed "masks of agony" seen on some mummies, and explores their portrayal in entertainment and pop culture. The article includes lots of interesting and informative additional links. posted by amyms at 5:26 PM PST - 33 comments
Blatantly jumping on the opportunity to create yet another thread on The Wire, I'd like to remind you that starting tonight, BBC 2 will air the entire series start to finish, an episode every weekday. First episode starts in a moment, at 11:20 PM UK time. Watch! [more inside] posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:15 PM PST - 64 comments
Whose Father Was He?The soldier’s body was found near the center of Gettysburg with no identification — no regimental numbers on his cap, no corps badge on his jacket, no letters, no diary. Nothing save for an ambrotype (an early type of photograph popular in the late 1850s and 1860s) of three small children clutched in his hand. Errol Morris presents the Civil War-era mystery of a fallen soldier and a found photograph. [via] posted by sarabeth at 1:26 PM PST - 21 comments
A high-level Spanish court has taken the first steps toward opening a criminal investigation against six former Bush administration officials, on whether they violated international law. The officials named in this present case include the most senior legal minds in the Bush administration. They are: Alberto Gonzales, a former White House counsel and attorney general; David Addington, former vice-president Dick Cheney’s chief of staff; Douglas Feith, who was under-secretary of defence; William Haynes, formerly the Pentagon’s general counsel; and John Yoo and Jay Bybee, who were both senior justice department legal advisers. If America won’t have a Truth Commission maybe someone else will have to kick start it for them. posted by adamvasco at 11:27 AM PST - 196 comments
PersonRatings.com lets you rate and review millions of Americans. Anyone can post a profile and anyone can leave a comment. It's like Hot or Not for the new Web 2.0! Except, in what seems guaranteed to result in an eventual lawsuit, there is apparently no way to opt out. Here's the profile for PersonRatings CEO Jeremy Stamper. (via) posted by 6550 at 6:28 PM PST - 63 comments
A German researcher accidentally jabbed her finger with a hypodermic loaded with the deadly Ebola virus. 48 hours later, she was injected with an untested, experimental vaccine, developed by an international team of virologists and biologists. Though she may never have been infected, she was certainly in danger; in 2004, a similar incident caused the death of a Russian scientist at a former Soviet biological weapons lab. posted by permafrost at 1:54 PM PST - 39 comments
mid-70s proto-punk band, Death, have finally gotten a real disc out. unearthed in crates lost for decades, their founder dead before seeing it happen, their children never knowing the shadowy past of their forebears, the sound of black pop-punk-politi-metal-wave is finally here. [more inside] posted by artof.mulata at 12:44 PM PST - 16 comments
We made a mistake. That is the simple, undeniable truth of the matter, however painful it might be. The flaw was not in our Observatories, for those machines were as perfect as we could make, and they showed us only the unfiltered light of truth. The flaw was not in the Predictor, for it is a device of pure, infallible logic, turning raw data into meaningful information without the taint of emotion or bias. No, the flaw was within us, the Orchestrators of this disaster, the sentients who thought themselves beyond such failings. We are responsible. posted by aheckler at 9:33 AM PST - 51 comments
Information Age Prayer: Too busy to pray as often as you'd like? No Problem! IAP will pray for you using text-to-speech software for a small fee. Available in Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, and Other. Via posted by The Whelk at 8:53 AM PST - 14 comments
"If you’re given a choice between money and sex appeal, take the money. As you get older, the money will become your sex appeal." Katharine Hepburn rarely granted interviews, and when she did, she wanted them under her terms. When she agreed to appear on the Dick Cavett Show in September 1973, they went in the studio a day early so she could get the feel of things. They ended up doing the interview right then and there, without an audience. Kate Hepburn: The Full Cavett Interview. [more inside] posted by netbros at 8:39 AM PST - 14 comments
The World According to Hoyle. Matt Hoyle is a commercial and fine art photographer based out of New York City. His portfolio includes Barnumville, a fictitious 1940s town of sideshow performers, and a series of cinematic shots from movies that were never made.
Yes, he uses Photoshop, but I can't predict if you'll like or hate the final results. (He apparently has a long, happy relationship with saturation.) Yes, the site uses a Flash interface, but it's easy to switch from the default full display to thumbnails to full screen, and you can linktospecificimages. No, there are no pictures of his near-namesake mathowie anywhere in his portfolio. I checked. (via) posted by maudlin at 4:12 PM PST - 10 comments
Why I'm Alone: "People ask me why I'm still alone, and why I don't seek to date much, eight years after my husband died. I thought about it the other day, and came up with a few of the reasons." posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:31 PM PST - 195 comments
ROSA LOVES is a non-profit t-shirt company. Their limited edition t-shirts are specifically designed to raise money for individuals in need. Each individual's story is told through a unique design on the front and also by actual text that appears on the inverse of the shirt, directly in line with the heart. They have been featured in GOOD Magazine, and AOL named them one of the top 12 businesses that could be the next big thing. Recently, they introduced a t-shirt to "support the reinforcement and perseverance of a home that nurtures the culture of music in New Orleans". [more inside] posted by Houyhnhnm at 9:03 AM PST - 8 comments
"I said to myself, 'we are going to die.'" Space Shuttle commander Hoot Gibson on his reaction as he saw pictures from the Shuttle's robot arm of gouged and missing tiles along its underbelly. Shades of Columbia - but this was mission STS-27, over fourteen years earlier. Yet mission control discounted the reports from orbit, perhaps misled by the poor quality of the downlinked images that resulted from encryption demanded by the mission's secretive military profile. In the end, Atlantis made it back, but with visible damage along her right flank. But like most classified DoD missions of the time, little was reported, and NASA was arguably wary of drawing attention to the near-loss of only the second flight since the Challenger disaster. But if this near-miss had been better known, might NASA have been more concerned about indications of debris damage during the launch of STS-107? posted by Major Clanger at 3:36 AM PST - 28 comments
Friday Flash Fun*: Конструктор: Engineer of the People, in which you are an engineer working in a top-secret semiconductor facility called H3, designing top-secret integrated circuits based on specifications provided to you.
*For certain values of 'fun' posted by daniel_charms at 1:35 PM PST - 36 comments
What is the logical consequence of noting the fact that the terrorist groups that make a difference on planet Earth—such as Hamas and Hezbollah, the PLO, Colombia's FARC—are extensions of, respectively, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and Venezuela? It is the negation of the U.S. government's favorite axiom. It means that when George W. Bush spoke, and when Barack Obama speaks, of America being "at war" against "extremism" or "extremists" they are either being stupid or acting stupid to avoid dealing with the nasty fact that many governments wage indirect warfare.
COMPLETE STREETS are designed and operated to enable safe access for all users. Pedestrians, bicyclists, motorists and bus riders of all ages and abilities are able to safely move along and across a complete street. Senator Tom Harkin (IA) and Representative Doris Matsui (CA-5) have introduced the Complete Streets Act of 2009 into the US Senate (S. 584) and House (H.R. 1443), to ensure that federal transportation infrastructure investments provide safe travel for Americans whether they are driving, bicycling, walking, or taking public transportation. They were joined by original co-sponsors Sen. Tom Carper (DE), Rep. Ellen Tauscher (CA-10), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (NY-14), and Rep. David Wu (OR-1). Check out press releases from the Coalition (pdf), from Congresswoman Matsui, or from Senator Harkin for more information. Blog posts at The Infrastructurist and the Transportation For America campaign explain how the bills relate to the recent economic recovery package and the impact they could have across the country. [more inside] posted by aniola at 11:47 AM PST - 21 comments
"My friend Merlin Mann and I had a session at SXSW Interactive about two weeks ago. It certainly wasn’t a panel, and it wasn’t really a presentation. It was more like an hour-long duet rant, the main goal of which was to inspire anyone who wants to publish or write on the web to pursue their obsessions in a serious way.
We got the audio recording of the session from SXSW a few days ago, recorded short intro and outro segments, and Merlin spliced it together and has published it on his 43 Folders podcast. I encourage you to go ahead and listen to it."
How designers fail — "During college at the University of Arizona in 1992, I learned with other design freshman that revisions were part of the discipline; if you cried at critique you were a wimp, and the computer was just a finishing tool. . . . But something has happened since I was a college student in 1992: students just don’t believe these things." posted by camcgee at 8:28 AM PST - 64 comments
Beethoven's Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 9 in A, Op. 47 (audio) was originally dedicated to the black violin virtuoso George Bridgetower after he gave such a brilliant rendering of the piece that prompted Beethoven to jump from his seat and embrace him. Bridgetower was a musical child prodigy and composer who, despite rampant racial prejudice, reached "unusual heights in the music world of his day". Having lived and performed in major European cities such as London, Paris, and Vienna, he would later die forgotten and in poverty.
A personal disagreement with Bridgetower led Beethoven to dedicate the sonata to the famous violinist Rodolphe Kreutzer instead who, incidentally, never played it in public deeming it “outrageously unintelligible”. [more inside] posted by lucia__is__dada at 6:44 AM PST - 10 comments
Are plasma crystals alive?Cosmic dust can, in the presence of plasma, creates formations known as plasma crystals. An international team of researchers published a study in the Aug.14, 2007, issue of the New Journal of Physics (PDF here, abstract here) that indicates that these crystals may be more sophisticated than anyone realized. In simulations involving cosmic dust, the researchers witnessed the formation of plasma crystals displaying some of the elementary characteristics of life -- DNA-like structure, autonomous behavior, reproduction and evolution.[more inside] posted by KokuRyu at 9:39 PM PST - 48 comments
KaBOOM! This past Friday, the MythBusters exploded 500 pounds of ammonium nitrate (25% of the same material used in the Oklahoma City bombing,) at a rock quarry in Yolo County, CA for an upcoming episode. But the explosion was apparently a wee bit bigger than they expected. It shattered windows in nearby Esparto and was large enough to be picked up as a "small event" ground tremor by National Geographical Survey sensors. Which myth were they busting, you ask? [more inside] posted by zarq at 5:01 PM PST - 73 comments
The best driver never to win the Indy 500. Despite winning in midgets, stock cars, and both the Sebring and Daytona road races, he will always be best known for the one race he didn't win - despite running in it for eighteen consecutive years. Though he would like to be remembered "just as old me. I enjoyed racing," if you ask a Gurney, Andretti or Foyt and they'll tell you he's "a soft-spoken Texas lead foot with enormous natural talent." Race driving legend Lloyd Ruby passes away at age 81 in his hometown of Wichita Falls, Texas. posted by quartzcity at 2:12 PM PST - 9 comments
Nihongodict is an AJAXy online Japanese-English dictionary. The list of matches auto-updates as you type. You can enter (or paste in) romaji, Kanji or kana, and use character maps for hiragana and katakana. Results can be bookmarked. [more inside] posted by kurumi at 10:45 AM PST - 36 comments
Dear FileFront User:
We regret to inform you that due to the current economic conditions we are forced to indefinitely suspend the FileFront site operations on March 30, 2009. If you have uploaded files, images or posted blogs, or if you would like to download some of your favorite files, please take this opportunity to download them before March 30th when the site will be suspended.
We would like to give a warm thank you to all of you who have been part of the FileFront communities we have built together. Your support has had a meaningful impact for all of us here at FileFront. Again, we want to give you a sincere “thank you” for your support over the years and wish you all the very best.
Keep gaming alive,
FileFront Management and Team. posted by lazaruslong at 7:53 AM PST - 34 comments
Wikirank is an analytical tool that measures the popularity of trending topics on wikipedia. You can compare up to four topics and generate nifty embeddable graphs. posted by peacay at 6:39 AM PST - 9 comments
"How do you talk about something like gangsta rap from a conservative perspective?" he said. "Are you going to critique it, or just disagree with it?" Friedersdorf tried gamely to square that circle in a piece exploring his conflicted feelings about dancing to Lil Jon at a wedding, but it was an essay that could have been written only so many times.A post-mortem on Culture11. (previously) posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:53 AM PST - 34 comments
Once dubbed the Picture of the Century, the first Earthrise, photographed in 1966 by NASA's Lunar Orbiter 1, presented "a stunning juxtaposition of planet and moon that no earthling had ever seen before." After initially inspiring awe, the original image was almost destroyed. In the mad rush of the space race, the pictures and data from early missions were warehoused and forgotten. Many at NASA believed that the original high-resolution images, stored on fragile tapes that could only be read by obsolete equipment, would be nearly impossible to retrieve, but one woman was determined to see them restored. Via. posted by amyms at 1:20 AM PST - 37 comments
Bill Orban developed the "Five Basic Exercises" or 5BX program for the Royal Canadian Air force in the late 50s. Apart from the primary aim of getting people into shape it was designed to be simple to perform, to work on all the body, to require nothing in terms of special equipment or large spaces, to accommodate enough progression to cater for reformed couch potato and budding athlete alike and to fit into a time slot of 11 minutes including warm up. [Women, for whatever reason, were prescribed 10 exercises in 12 minutes with XBX]. The book of the exercises was translated into 13 languages and sold 23 million copies around the world before falling into obscurity in the 80s. [more inside] posted by rongorongo at 5:52 PM PST - 34 comments
Internet Archive - probably the single largest depository of Open Source content (and the Wayback Machine) - has transitioned its data center from racks of Linux machines to a Sun MD, basically a 3 petabyte data center housed in a liquid cooled shipping container, currently sitting in Sun's Santa Clara campus court yard. Sun and IA have put together an interesting interactive tour of how it works and what it looks like. [more inside] posted by stbalbach at 3:52 PM PST - 37 comments
Sick of worrying about the global financial crisis? Got global warming fatigue? Here's a whole new threat to worry about: NASA is warning that the world is ill-prepared for a Carrington event that wil melt electricity grids world-wide with 90 seconds notice.
If it's any consolation, it's going to look real pretty posted by girlgenius at 3:09 PM PST - 60 comments
On March 7, 2009, TornadoVideos.net (TVN) launched the beta version of their Live Streaming system. It's an interactive map that tracks each member of the TVN team as they criss-cross the country chasing storms, complete with live video. You can sign up (main page, top left: "Chase notifications") to be alerted when a chase is in progress. [more inside] posted by nitsuj at 1:22 PM PST - 8 comments
For most of us, science arrives in our lives packaged neatly as fact. But how did it get that way? Science is an active process of observation and investigation. Evidence: How Do We Know What We Know? [HTML version, Flash version also available] examines that process, revealing the ways in which ideas and information become knowledge and understanding. In this case study in human origins, the folks from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology explore how scientific evidence is being used to shape our current understanding of ourselves: What makes us human—and how did we get this way? posted by netbros at 7:18 AM PST - 15 comments
Fox News, keeping it classy, recently aired a comedy segment ridiculing the Canadian military's efforts in Afghanistan. On the overnight programme, host Greg Gutfeld and friends joked about Canada's plan to pull out troops in 2011 to "do some yoga, paint landscapes, run on the beach in gorgeous white Capri pants." He also suggested invading Canada seeing as how they "have no real army", and mocked the last name of one of the Canadian generals as being unmasculine.
[more inside] posted by spoobnooble at 5:13 PM PST - 138 comments
A Quiet Revolution Grows in the Muslim World "In many of the scores of countries that are predominantly Muslim, the latest generation of activists is redefining society in novel ways. This new soft revolution is distinct from three earlier waves of change--the Islamic revival of the 1970s, the rise of extremism in the 1980s and the growth of Muslim political parties in the 1990s. Today's revolution is more vibrantly Islamic than ever. Yet it is also decidedly antijihadist and ambivalent about Islamist political parties. Culturally, it is deeply conservative, but its goal is to adapt to the 21st century. Politically, it rejects secularism and Westernization but craves changes compatible with modern global trends. The soft revolution is more about groping for identity and direction than expressing piety. The new revolutionaries are synthesizing Koranic values with the ways of life spawned by the Internet, satellite television and Facebook. For them, Islam, you might say, is the path to change rather than the goal itself." posted by nooneyouknow at 11:15 AM PST - 26 comments
In the 1860’s, while the US was busy crushing its agrarian revolution, the Russians were busy expanding their empire towards Afghanistan and cleansing the Caucuses of those pesky Circassians, Chechens, and Tartars (to name a few) in a little known places like Abkhazia, the British were busy expanding their empire towards Afghanistan and extinguishing the last outposts of “mutineers,” and the Qing Dynasty of China was losing its grip on its Empire due to a cult of longhaired Christians lead by Jesus’s Chinese little brother. Alimkul, the de facto Khan of Khotan took advantage of the chaos by sending his greatest general, Yakub Beg, to Kashgar... [more inside] posted by Pollomacho at 9:50 AM PST - 31 comments
Orton and Halliwell first came to the public attention not as writers but through an elaborate and extended prank played out at their local library, altering book covers and adding new blurbs to dust jackets. Incensed at the poor choice of books at Essex Road, their local library, they began stealing books. These were smuggled out, dust jackets altered, new blurbs written on inside flaps and then surreptitiously returned.[more inside] posted by lucia__is__dada at 8:45 AM PST - 31 comments
The Highlights is an online arts journal. It consists of web-based projects and essays by artists. An example from the current issue, Master of None, where the author posits that a new model of work for artists can exist, one where the artist retains agency while also getting paid to do complementary work which is informed by the subtlety, strangeness, and sure-footed temperament of the artist’s persona. Two years of journals in the archives. [more inside] posted by netbros at 7:03 AM PST - 9 comments
Election Fraud in Kentucky. "I think this is the first documented case of election fraud in the U.S. using electronic voting machines (there have been lots of documented cases of errors and voting problems, but this one involves actual maliciousness)." posted by chunking express at 6:20 AM PST - 36 comments
March 19, 1979 - The United States House of Representatives goes live on television for the first time in history. Footage from the House floor aired on a network created by a consortium of American cable companies. The first member of Congress to speak? Al Gore (Sorry, only seems to be available on Real Player. Embedded video, in case weird link fails). [more inside] posted by IvoShandor at 6:42 PM PST - 17 comments
In the summer of 2007, artist and medical student Satre Stuelke started the Radiology Art project. Dedicated to the deeper visualization of various objects that hold unique cultural importance in modern society, this project intends to plant a seed of scientific creativity in the minds of all those inclined to participate. posted by Rinku at 6:01 PM PST - 8 comments
First Person Shooters don't always have to cost you money. Free Doom and Starsiege: Tribes are two of the most well known free FPS around, but inside this post is a list of 32 more for you to checkout, download legally for free and enjoy. [more inside] posted by Effigy2000 at 6:53 PM PST - 51 comments
NSFW-filter: Playboy Archive has 53 vintage issues of America's favorite gentleman's magazine up for free (legitimately). Requires a download of Microsoft's Silverlight. [more inside] posted by bardic at 4:53 AM PST - 129 comments
Conficker C is scary as hell.Conficker C represents a best-of-breed specimen of malware, with its swiss-army-knife-from-hell approach to digging in, staying hidden, and making your life generally miserable. Telltale symptoms: you can't view such web sites as Microsoft.com, symantec.com, avast.com, or any other computer security-related sites the worm authors have thought to include in the blacklist; you can't run any of the superb Sysinternals utilities, or many other utilities, because they get killed within a second of starting them up; your antiviral software is impotent. But none of that is the point of the worm. [more inside] posted by e.e. coli at 9:14 PM PST - 232 comments
In 1919 while at Cornell University future children's author, essayist and New Yorker magazine editor Elwyn Brooks (E.B.) White took heed of the advice of his English professor, William Strunk, Jr., to "omit needless words" in his writing. Strunk advised such -- and more -- to his students in a self-published compositional guide known on campus as "the Little Book." In 1935 his pamphlet was revised and published under the title The Elements and Practice of Composition. In 1957, 11 years after Strunk's death, White wrote a nostalgic article about his professor and his grammar and style guide for the New Yorker. Persuaded two years later by Macmillan editor Jack Case to revise and expand Strunk's manual, White co-authored the book The Elements of Style (New York Timesreview, June 9, 1959] often referred to as Strunk and White. Since its publication the book has sold more than 10 million copies. The literary world is now celebrating the book's golden anniversary.> [more inside] posted by ericb at 5:17 PM PST - 89 comments
SmARThistory is an edited online art history resource to augment or replace traditional art history texts. For a given artwork, smARThistory brings together podcasts, video clips, images, links to other resources, and commentary, providing a rich context for the work. Indexed by timeline, artistic style, artist and theme. posted by netbros at 4:17 PM PST - 8 comments
Matt Taibbifilter: Among other things, the GAO report noted that the entire OTS had only one insurance specialist on staff — and this despite the fact that it was the primary regulator for the world's largest insurer!Thisweek'sMeFistories have generally failed to explain the reasoning that caused the recession, even though Jon Stewart was basically on the mark. Now, Rolling Stone's only reporter lays it all out The Big Takeover, a typical combination of zealous snark and the overlooked, damning facts needed to clear up a ridiculously complicated story. posted by shii at 11:16 PM PST - 111 comments
Well, I'll tell you, Yanni would sound great on this system at The Great Theater in Ephesus, Turkey. A log cabin in the Bluegrass mountains would be another perfect setting for this system. Wow - the possibilities are endless. posted by squalor at 6:28 PM PST - 60 comments
Following the death of his sister to brain cancer, Motoi Yamamoto adopted salt as his primary artistic medium. In Japanese culture salt is not only a necessary element to sustain human life, but it is also a symbol of purification. He uses salt in loose form to create intricate labyrinth patterns on the gallery floor or in baked brick form to construct large interior structures. As with the labyrinths and unnavigable passageways, Motoi Yamamoto views his installations as exercises which are at once futile yet necessary to his healing. posted by netbros at 4:04 PM PST - 25 comments
I both loved and resented that wealth of warmth which Elisabeth brought to me in those unexpected hours of the night. I was usually in the midst of a sound sleep when she got into my bed, and thrilling as I found the ministrations of her fat little fingers, it also meant my being kept awake for hours and hours. Besides, though in my conscious nature I knew nothing about what was going on, I must have had a feeling that my sister was bringing to my life as accomplished facts sensations whose real value to a boy was in their being discovered as part of the experience of growing up. She was presenting me with triumphs I should by right attain only by my own efforts in a much more restricted world… [more inside] posted by Joe Beese at 2:09 PM PST - 11 comments
"All of the nomenclatural, bibliographic, and specimen data accumulated in MBG’s electronic databases during the past 25 years are publicly available here. This system has over one million scientific names and 3.5 million specimen records." (Description from website.) Searchable by scientific or common name, the database includes brief descriptions, images and references (with some links to full text in Botanicus), and specimen and distribution lists that are available in Google Maps and Earth. Quite a nice resource for anyone interested in botany. [more inside] posted by cog_nate at 10:54 AM PST - 3 comments
How To Be A Bat [Life in Motion] Carl Zimmer has a lengthy post about Bats over at Discover magazine's website. Several slow motion videos of bat flight including a cool matlabish model of a bat flight vortex. As with all flying takoffs are optional and landings are mandatory so they also have slow motion video of two point and four point landings as well as well as some more pedestrian videos. posted by srboisvert at 10:04 AM PST - 21 comments
Thunderdome Filter: In two separate incidents Texas schools have gotten a jump on any sort of dystopic future scenarios by staging illegal forced fights between those in their care. Corpus Christi State School night-staff made disabled residents get out of bed and then taped themfighting each other in over 20 incidents during 2008. South Oak Cliff High School had a policy between 2003 and 2005 of settling disputes between troubled students by having them fight it out in a steel cage in the boy's locker room while students and faculty looked on. Several arrests have been made in the Corpus Christi case and the South Oak Cliff one is just coming to public attention. posted by CheshireCat at 9:12 AM PST - 66 comments
Ken Mink became a national feel-good story late last year when, at age 73, he joined the basketball team of Roane State Community College in Tennessee. At the end of an early season game, with his team up big, Ken was subbed in and managed to draw a foul and make two free throws. Famefollowed. But is this feel-good story really all its cracked up to be? posted by Mountain Goatse at 7:58 AM PST - 27 comments
On Friday, Michelle Obama will begin digging up a patch of White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, the first since Eleanor Roosevelt’s victory garden in World War II. posted by jbiz at 6:56 PM PST - 137 comments
The sales of a book by Madame de Lafayette, "La Princesse de Clèves", are up in France and there have been public readings of it in theatres and universities. The reason? Sarkozy hates it. As Sarkozy's popularity plummets, the "17th century tale of thwarted love" gets unexpected attention beyond the classroom. Badges inscribed with "I am reading The Princess of Clèves" were the most popular item at the opening of the Paris book fair this week. [more inside] posted by lucia__is__dada at 9:06 AM PST - 29 comments
Do you know how to make a frog drunk? I bet you don't. But I do. I fired my pot up one morning and got it going real good. It had just started running high shots. That is what you call it when it first starts to come out. For so many jugs, then it turns to backins. Anyway here come hopping up to the still a damn big frog. I thought to myself ol' boy I'll make you drunk as hell.
Legendary Appalachian moonshiner Marvin "Popcorn" Sutton was arrested by the ATF in March 2008 [PDF]. At his arrest, agents found guns, three 1000-gallon stills, hundreds of gallons of sour mash, and over 800 gallons of white lightning. This week at 61 years old, and faced with 18 months in prison, he committed suicide. posted by Who_Am_I at 6:24 AM PST - 84 comments
You can take with you. A colleague of mine showed me this page and asked if I knew what it was all about. I suggested, doll houses. He said you're warm. After a few more guesses I gave up.
When he told was it was about, it all clicked. I live in Taiwan and know quite a bit about funeral ceremonies here. I've seen a couple of cars and planes...but never have I seen items like these or these or these.
Talk about going out in style!
All of this stuff is made out of paper and is set afire!
As for the prices....just divide by 34 to get US dollars. posted by rmmcclay at 5:53 AM PST - 7 comments
Today Kansas became onestepcloser to raising its state minimum wage and shedding its embarrassing position as lowest set state minimum wage in the nation at $2.65 per hour. (Kansas minimum wage is lower than Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Virgin Islands, though 5 states currently have no minimum wage whatsoever.) The Kansas Department of Labor estimates that over 20,000 Kansans earn less than the federal minimum wage. After passing the Kansas Senate by a vote of 33-7, will the Speaker of the House allow a vote on Senate Bill 160? posted by jlowen at 10:26 PM PST - 72 comments
ImprovEverywhere has a gallery opening in the New York Subway. "In the course of making the art labels, the mundane stuff of the platform really did become weirdly compelling and beautiful. I wasn’t sure if everyone else would have that experience, or if we would be busy consciously pretending that these random objects were art. In the course of the event, some other friends who came made brilliant observations about the pieces that helped bring my mindset firmly back into of-course-this-is-art, rather than viewing the subway as a collection of quick fixes over time. It’s wonderful how we can decide to create a collective reality, and how it can sometimes catch us up within itself. I’m glad other folks also got caught up in "Wow.. This might really be art!", and that some non-agents got such a kick out of it!" posted by Kattullus at 8:05 PM PST - 50 comments
Dave of Low Light Mixes spins together all manner of textural musical goodness into solid, themed sonic experiences. Component parts include but are not limited to ambient, jazz, "jazz", noise, field recordings and one hell of a lot of Brian Eno. posted by colinmarshall at 2:53 PM PST - 2 comments
No conflict of interest there, no sir. Organic food fans and small farmers alike are saying if HR 875 is passed, it will mean the end of organic farming in the United States. An overstatement? Perhaps, but HR 875 has serious flaws. The bill, introduced by Rosa DeLauro last month (who happens to be married to Stanley Greenburg of Monsanto, the world's largest producer of herbicides, chemical fertilizers and genetically engineered seeds), is here. [more inside] posted by bitter-girl.com at 1:02 PM PST - 56 comments
Familial genetic profiling of law enforcement DNA databases has already been used to succesfully establish both guilt and innocence. Legal and moral questions on these expanded techniques abound and are comprehensively explored by a speaker at a recent FBI symposium on the topic. In the author's words, scenarios previously limited to movies like Minority Report are unfolding quietly, before most of us have thought about the consequences. (Via) posted by protorp at 9:57 AM PST - 29 comments
Latvian copyright agency in Latvia wrote emails to over 500 local bloggers asking them to pay copyright fees for embedded YouTube videos (so far only one english post). Even more - in an interview spokesperson announced, that in Latvia YouTube is, in fact, operating illegally. If you dare to translate with google, more information can be found in latvian. posted by laacz at 7:14 AM PST - 6 comments
Can't wait till Friday Flash Fun: Atomic Kaos 2 Orbits is a puzzle-ish game where you are trying to remove all the atoms from the playing field through a chain of explosions. posted by schyler523 at 6:25 AM PST - 6 comments
Clearly you are not yet beautiful enough. Not to worry, there's help from Japan & Kyrgystan: Placenta 30,000 contains 30,000 mg of 100% undiluted horse-origin placenta. [more inside] posted by slater at 1:42 AM PST - 56 comments
Sixteen states already have laws [PDF] related to abortion ultrasounds . Eleven more states have recently introduced bills that demand that a woman who wants an abortion be forced to look at the ultrasound, while a doctor describes what she is seeing. All of these bills are because the legislators believe that adoption is the only choice a woman should make. This essay, On Living Pro-Lifer's Choice for Women, explores the difficulties faced by birth mothers who choose that path. posted by dejah420 at 8:09 PM PST - 505 comments
Ferdinand Waldo Demara Jr was a prison warden, a monk, a lawyer and a religiously-oriented psychologist, and yet he was actually none of those things. Now known as "The Great Imposter", Demara held many careers as he faked his way through life, but his most famous exploit was to masquerade as surgeon Joseph Cyr aboard the HMCS Cayuga, a Royal Canadian Navy destroyer, during the Korean War. [more inside] posted by Effigy2000 at 6:01 PM PST - 22 comments
For St. Patrick's Day, rather than show you how to knit your own leprechaun or make a hat out of a ice cream container (because who the hell wants to do that), I'm going to help you with your after party cleanup. You'll have lots of bottle caps and wine corks lying about afterwards, so here are some ideas on what to do with them. [more inside] posted by orange swan at 4:04 PM PST - 15 comments
Wonder how many of the original Woodstock performers are still alive? The Woodstock Death Count reveals that the percentage is not as low as one might imagine after Jeff Kay steps up to the plate and crunches the numbers, again. FYI: He is also responsible for counting the number of f-words in the HBO series Deadwood (which Drudge Report linked to) and this (previously mentioned) internet sensation.) posted by will wait 4 tanjents at 3:31 PM PST - 45 comments
Vague Terrain is a web based digital arts publication that showcases the creative practice of a variety of artists, musicians and scholars. Vague Terrain 13: citySCENE is their freshly launched project on urban representation that catalogs how cartography, infrastructure and locative media shape perception in the contemporary city. An example is Joyce Walks, a Google maps mashup which remaps routes from James Joyce's Ulysses to any city in the world, generating walking maps. [via mefi projects] [more inside] posted by netbros at 3:14 PM PST - 2 comments
Hip Hop Zelda. It's a booty call from Hyrule, a love letter in rhyme to your childhood featuring some of the best independent and mainstream Hip Hop artists. MF Doom, Edan and Aesop Rock get tossed together with Dr. Dre, Common, and Jay Z in this surprisingly compelling mashup of old Legend of Zelda tunes. If the TriForce Rules Everything Around You, hit up the link above to stream the album, or download it for free here.[more inside] posted by shmegegge at 10:31 AM PST - 23 comments
Cables: Don’t like ‘em. Despite the rise of wireless technologies, the back of your computer or stereo is likely a tangle of wires. No matter how carefully you first connect them, they are soon gleefully entangled into a snarled mass. Mathematics offers insight into the problem. posted by bitmage at 7:21 AM PST - 54 comments
The enlightenment was a reasonable time. Voltare wrote a book called Candy that got him into trouble with Frederick the Great. Philosophers were unknown yet, and the fundamental stake was one of religious toleration slightly confused with defeatism. posted by Wolof at 10:08 PM PST - 73 comments
The Search for Lilly E. GrayIn the Salt Lake City Cemetery, there is a gravestone for a woman named Lilly E. Gray with an inscription that reads, "VICTIM OF THE BEAST 666." Many people have attempted to research this stone and Lilly, but strangely always hit a brick wall, as there is no information aside from her obituary, which states only that she died in a local hospital from natural causes.Flickr, Find A Grave and About.com for more spookiness. posted by deborah at 7:39 PM PST - 32 comments
Newspapers might be dying, but does it matter? Here's what journalism 2.0 looks like: Spot.us is crowd-funded news for the masses, ReportingOn is Twitter for journalists, Everyblock is ultra-hyperlocal and Connectifyed tells us it'll analyze our social networks. posted by nospecialfx at 4:43 PM PST - 41 comments
Hanna Rosin has written a piece for the Atlantic claiming that the actual health benefits of breast-feeding are surprisingly thin, far thinner than most popular literature indicates. This is pretty controversial following "decades of indoctrination delivered with evangelical fervor," causing American women "to take it as an article of faith that if they don’t breast-feed their children, they'll grow up to be underachievers plagued with health problems and lacking a bond with their mother". [more inside] posted by ND¢ at 1:21 PM PST - 109 comments
Having grown tired of all the ludicrous conspiracy theories about Barack Obama not being eligible to hold the office of the President, one lone writer gives us his own deranged take with "The Obama Proxy". The descendants of the Melchocki Indians will not be amused. posted by ELF Radio at 10:35 AM PST - 23 comments
The Inamo restaurant in London's fashionable SoHo district isn't known for its splendid food or accommodating waitresses. Instead, this new Asian fusion eatery is getting raves for its use of a touch pad-projection system that allows diners to send food orders directly to the chefs and makes the dining experience fully interactive. It's all one graphic application, with new iconography for signs and menus, graphic wallpaper and tablecloths, shopfront etched patterns and illuminated screens. [more inside] posted by netbros at 10:31 AM PST - 40 comments
Hey, role-players! Want a break from rules-light, cinematicsystems? Nostalgic for the days when dungeons were sprawling and tough and the centerpiece of your gaming night? Well, Monte Cook is there for you with Dungeon-a-Day. Using a unique subscription business-model, he's building a mega-dungeon just for you. New content is released every day, complete with encounters, maps, photos, podcasts, and diagrams. Basically, it's an attempt to use contemporary networked tools to deliver a very old-school experience. (And no, I don't work for Monte - I just think this is awesome!) posted by macross city flaneur at 8:42 AM PST - 18 comments
On the heels of news about $165 million to be paid as bonuses to AIG employees, the company has released
a list of
"the counterparties involved in credit default swaps and other transactions in which bailout funds were used to meet A.I.G. obligations."
In other words, where your bailout money went.
More background here. posted by jourman2 at 7:14 PM PST - 74 comments
Meet batting stance guy. The NY Times has a neat profile on Gar Ryness, who has the most marketable least-marketable skill in America.
He does your favorite old-school players, as well as most of the current MLB team lineups, including the (non-Dutch) stars of the WBC. He's made video appearances for several teams (and MLB TV), and has quickly become a fan and player favorite for his uncanny depictions of players' idiosyncratic moves in the batter's box.
In terms of virtual baseball, batting stance guy is slightly more awesome than this. posted by ericbop at 5:37 PM PST - 20 comments
"R, and G, and B" is a very well-curated — and, seemingly as yet undiscovered — film review blog by the video artist Blake Williams covering pictures by filmmakers like Werner Herzog, Chris Marker, Chantal Akerman, Hirokazu Kore-eda, Carl Dreyer, Michael Haneke, Stanley Kubrick and, best of all, Abbas Kiarostami. posted by colinmarshall at 9:58 AM PST - 17 comments
Book Burning: For Your Health! "...under a law Congress passed last year aimed at regulating hazards in children’s products, the federal government has now advised that children’s books published before 1985 should not be considered safe and may in many cases be unlawful to sell or distribute." (via Neil Gaiman's twitter stream) posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:57 AM PST - 40 comments
The Musical Mystery of Connie Converse "To survive at all, I expect I must drift back down through the other half of the twentieth twentieth, which I already know pretty well, the hundredth hundredth, which I have only read and heard about. I might survive there quite a few years - who knows?"
This was the cryptic note Connie Converse left her family in 1974, and no one heard from her again. She had spent the 1950's in New York City, trying to promote her music- haunting, melancholy folk tunes, but never made a go of it. Her songs very nearly disappeared into the ether, but thanks to Lau derrete Records, her first album is now available to the public, fifty years after the songs were recorded. (via Spinning On Air) posted by kimdog at 6:09 AM PST - 13 comments
The novlist Julie Myerson has written a book, The Lost Child, about her son's addiction to cannabis, the violent behaviour she says this caused and her tough love policy. Extract. Her son is angry that she's published it, and says his parents over-reacted: "I wasn't doing anything that most other teenagers do, but such was their naive terror of drugs they were acting like six-year-olds". It comes out through MumsNet that Julie Myerson was the anonymous author of a Guardian column, "Living with Teenagers," which described her children's behaviour candidly without their knowledge. Extract. Myerson first denied this. The Guardian discusses whether it was right to publish the columns. Myerson is interviewed about whether she was right to publish The Lost Child. Her partner, and son's father, Jonathan Myerson supports her: This is an emergency. Her son says she's addicted to writing. [more inside] posted by paduasoy at 12:55 AM PST - 160 comments
The Czech Republic offers surgical castration as a "voluntary" option to sex offenders, whose rate of recidivism in some studies then drops precipitously. Officials at the Council of Europe are outraged, calling the punishment "invasive, irreversible and mutilating." Atul Gawande noted 10 years ago that, despite his reservations, castration works - at least against a subclass of offenders: the pedophiles and sadists. posted by shivohum at 12:49 PM PST - 86 comments
Not all groups with synthesizers in the 1970s and 1980s were lame Top 40 acts with keytars. Some groups of the era used synths for spastic keyboard bleeps, herky-jerky tempos, and angst-ridden aggression in a style now classified by record collector geeks as synthpunk, minimal synth, or minimal wave. Several famous New Wave acts dabbled in the style before providing soundtracks for Molly Ringwald movies (OMD, Electricty) or singing about waitresses in cocktail bars (the Human League, Being Boiled), but vintage videos from synth punk acts all over the world can be found all over YouTube. [more inside] posted by jonp72 at 11:59 AM PST - 29 comments
Malaria is one of the world’s most serious health problems. No single approach has yet to fully conquer either the disease or the disease vector, the mosquito. The most common electronic means of killing mosquitoes, the “bug zapper” is not particularlyeffective. Using lasers to kill mosquitoes has previously been thought of as completely ridiculous. Now the concept is being taken seriously. posted by Tube at 10:38 AM PST - 33 comments
Google introduces phone service. At the moment, the service is restricted but it should be publicly available within weeks.
List of features and how they work here. Click on "Place calls" to see how basic calls would work. Highlights include free phone calls within the U.S. and reportedly lower-than-Skype rates for international calls. posted by storybored at 12:01 PM PST - 93 comments
Friday Flash Fun:Green Moon Lab! Manipulate gravity and momentum to get to the exit in this sleek, simple, Portal-esque physics puzzler. Contains twenty levels plus an unlockable challenge mode. A little weak in the writing department, but the drunken swooping gameplay more than makes up for it. (via) posted by Rhaomi at 10:07 AM PST - 16 comments
A guide to Storyreading. "For over ten years now, various friends and I have been getting together on occasion to read stories aloud to each other. This activity—graced with the unlovely but utilitarian name "story reading"—can be a great deal of fun, but can also be rife with pitfalls of various sorts. This guide is an attempt to help others to run story readings. Note that reading stories is different from—and, generally, much easier than—telling stories; while people do occasionally tell stories at these gatherings (and it usually goes over well), that's not the primary emphasis...The origins of our approach to story readings are lost in the mists of antiquity. The idea may have sprung fully-fledged from a conversation I had with DH about a Delany essay called "On Pure Storytelling"; or it may've been derived from MK's reading The Princess Bride aloud, which in turn may've been inspired by folks at Yale who were doing much the same thing. Whatever the history, it's clear that other groups—notably one in Boston—have been having similar sorts of readings for at least as long as we have." [more inside] posted by ocherdraco at 10:06 AM PST - 19 comments
For 40 years starting in 1950 the huge - 18 x 60 foot - Kodak Coloramas hung in the east balcony of New York's Grand Central Terminal. Photos were enlarged onto successive strips of Ektacolor print film, each 19 inches wide and about 20 feet long, and after processing, 41 such strips were spliced together with transparent tape to make one, giant 18 x 60 foot display transparency. [more inside] posted by woodblock100 at 3:51 AM PST - 17 comments
From the late sixties to late seventies, many adventurers set out on an overland trek from Istanbul to India or Nepal using the route known as The Hippie Trail. The starting off point from Europe was typically the Pudding Shop in Istanbul. There, you could meet others and arrange transportation, usually by bus. The route was flexible, but the typical route was from Istanbul through Tehran, Herat, Kabul, Peshawar, Lahore to Goa or Kathmandu.The Islamic revolution in Iran and Russian invasion of Afghanistan brought the trail to an end in 1979, but some people are trying to start it back up (sans Afghanistan, the Khyber is still pretty dangerous). [more inside] posted by Bernt Pancreas at 12:09 AM PST - 25 comments
“I can't make anyone Jewish with a called shot.” “I cannot start the game pregnant.” “My medical supply bag will contain more than just a bone-saw and a bottle of whiskey.” “My halfling cannot take the flaw, 'Obsession: Ring of Invisibility.'” “Even if he was a paragon of humanity in his alternate dimension, Good Hitler is not an appropriate superhero concept.” “No more Crazy Ivans while I'm driving the AT-AT.” “I do not have to check before each adventure that my fellow adventurers are not doppelgangers, Cylons or pod people.” “'Everybody Wang Chung tonight' is not an acceptable use of the Mass Suggestion spell.” 1250 things Mr. Welch can no longer do during an RPG. (SLLJ) posted by Navelgazer at 7:22 PM PST - 73 comments
The Second Pass is an exclusively online publication devoted to reviews, essays, and blog posts about books new and old. It is updated every weekday. [via] posted by sciurus at 3:21 PM PST - 7 comments
Breakfast at Sulimay's with Bill, Moon, Joe and Ann: 1 featuring reviews of The Thermals, Joanna Newsom, The Decemberists, and Clipse. l
2 with The Knife, Deerhoof, and Paul Wall featuring 'lil Keke. l
5 with Asha, TI, Toby Mac.
6 with the Shins , !!!, and Common. l
7 with Bjork , Wilco , and Black Reble Motorcycle club. l
9 with Santogold, Portishead and Death Cab for Cutie!
more(v)yt posted by vronsky at 1:13 PM PST - 19 comments
In 1985, less than a week after the Palace of Justice siege in Bogota left 11 members of the Supreme Court dead, the ice-clad Nevada del Ruiz volcano erupted, wiping out the Colombian town of Armero in a huge wave of mud and water. Most links contain disturbing and NSFW images. [more inside] posted by jontyjago at 12:27 PM PST - 8 comments
"But no people. That’s the dream here. And that’s why nobody faces the pretty durn obvious fact that after the apocalypse, alliances, partnerships, gangs, whatever you want to call them, are going to be tighter, stricter, more important than ever. Because that’s no fun"The Omega Nerd: The War Nerd talks about survival porn, water, Mormons, and Mongols. posted by The Whelk at 12:02 PM PST - 25 comments
"With this blog, I want to use the Folkways Anthology as a roadmap to explore American folk music and maybe other countries traditions along the way. I’ll use texts, images, music and videos gathered from my personal collection and from the net to make this work-in-progress enjoyable and educational the best I can." (via) posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:15 AM PST - 17 comments
India’s New Face. "Meet Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat and the brightest star in the Hindu-chauvinist Bharatiya Janata Party. Under Modi, Gujarat has become an economic dynamo. But he also presided over India’s worst communal riots in decades, a 2002 slaughter that left almost 2,000 Muslims dead. Exploiting the insecurities and tensions stoked by India’s opening to the world, Modi has turned his state into a stronghold of Hindu extremism, shredding Gandhi’s vision of secular coexistence in the process. One day, he could be governing the world’s largest democracy." [Via] posted by homunculus at 10:00 PM PST - 12 comments
"Loot the Baedeker I did, all the details of a time and place I had never been to, right down to the names of the diplomatic corps." - Thomas Pynchon from Slow Learner. Baedeker's were the de facto travel guide for international men of leisure: "Baedeker’s publications, which covered most of Europe, became so popular that Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany was quoted as saying that he stationed himself at a particular palace window each noon because “It’s written in Baedeker that I watch the changing of the guard from that window, and the people have come to expect it.” Baedeker maps online. Baedeker books online. Are the old ones the best ones? posted by vacapinta at 2:03 PM PST - 13 comments
On December 9, 2008, Maine resident Amber Cummings shot and killed her husband. James Cummings was an abusive neo-nazi millionaire who was furious over Obama's election, and appears to have been making a dirty bomb. [more inside] posted by ornate insect at 1:25 PM PST - 155 comments
Shockingly, a novel about a Nazi officer who abets murder squads, transports Jews to Auschwitz, has sex with his twin sister, possibly kills his parents and then dies rich, old and reflective has caused a trans-Atlantic controversy among literary critics. Published in the original French three years ago, the English translation of Jonathan Littell'sThe Kindly Ones hit American bookstores this week. [more inside] posted by zoomorphic at 9:49 AM PST - 86 comments
The Swedish JAK bank (site in Swedish) is, in effect, a strongly ethics-driven co-operative bank which has declined to have any external commercial interests. It lends money to its approx 30,000 members free of charge, and has managed to stay in business doing so since 1965. Wikipedia has more.
Also; Documentary about JAK on YouTube (part 2, part 3, part 4) posted by SharQ at 5:01 AM PST - 22 comments
A Day in the Life of Abbey Road; (sorry for the prosaic lead-in link - at least I didn't use the word "iconic!") Enjoy watching Beatles' fans and locals negotiate London's famous Abbey Road crosswalk. I miss album covers; I'm of the generation of high school kids who spent a zillion hours flipping through them in record stores. The best of them - like Abbey Road - could be high-impact and sometimes accompanied their records like a kind of graphic mini-novel. What were some of your favorites and why? posted by Dex Quire at 7:33 PM PST - 42 comments
"Traitors" - Martin McGuinness' description of those who carried out attacks on a PSNI member in Craigavon and British solidiers in Antrim: "These people - they are traitors to the island of Ireland. They have betrayed the political desires, hopes and aspirations of all of the people who live on this island. And they don't deserve to be supported by anyone." [more inside] posted by tiny crocodile at 1:06 PM PST - 36 comments
They are known as “quants” because they do quantitative finance. Seduced by a vision of mathematical elegance underlying some of the messiest of human activities, they apply skills they once hoped to use to untangle string theory or the nervous system to making money. "They Tried to Outsmart Wall Street." [spoiler inside] [more inside] posted by dersins at 12:36 PM PST - 38 comments
Encounter Critical is the awesomest Fantasy/Sci-Fi RPG to come out of an alternate 1979. Full list of game-related resources here (Yahoo group, reg req'd). posted by mkultra at 9:04 AM PST - 17 comments
The "Raiders" Story Conference In 1978 George Lucas, Steven Spielberg, and Lawrence Kasdan spent five consecutive nine-hour days hashing out the characters and plot for Raiders of the Lost Ark. The 125-page transcript of their meetings, unreleased before now, details their insane talent and techniques for populist storytelling. (It also makes one wonder what happened to George Lucas, a man who once had a math formula for exciting cinema.) via Ain't It Cool News, unfortunately posted by incomple at 8:46 AM PST - 135 comments
"Prince announces a triple album setavailable from Target. Unless he’s going to write a hit song and play in each and every store in the chain, this is a bad deal. We’ve got enough Prince music. We want two CDs and a third of a protege? I don’t know about you, but I’ve got a life. And Prince hasn’t put out a good album in this century. ... How many people are going to tell their friends about Prince’s new album? None. No one has hipped me to a new Prince track in fifteen years. The release of his album is a dead end. He’s abused our trust. When you e-mail me an unsolicited track you abuse my trust. When you add me to your mailing list without asking first, you abuse my trust. When you focus on marketing as opposed to music, you’ve got your head up your ass." - Bob Lefsetz(previously) posted by Joe Beese at 7:28 AM PST - 109 comments
"The function of aid is not to make us feel better about ourselves; it is to promote development, and if a well-informed African tells us that we are inadvertently having the opposite effect, we had better take heed".
Destination: Out, an astounding mp3 blog devoted to mostly out-of-print free jazz and improv records, has been linked a few times on Ask, but never gotten the main-page exposure it deserves. Until now. The editors' selections are always interesting and written about well, and they're ready to go to the mat for the music. (The interview with Marsalis by the Bad Plus to which that's a response is also well worth reading.) But the real impetus for this post is only tangentially related to jazz: recently they got saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa to do a guest post on Indian (mostly Carnatic) music, and it won't be long before the links expire. Fall to! [more inside] posted by kenko at 11:47 PM PST - 18 comments
The Periodic Table of Typefaces(fully-readable close-up) Two great nerd-memes (Periodic Tables and Font Collecting) that look great together. After looking it over, I'm happy to say it has no room for Comic Sans or Arial or Hobo, but sad to say it's also missing my personal guilty pleasure, Bookman. What's in it (or not in it) to your liking? posted by wendell at 8:04 PM PST - 37 comments
Chimp stores weapons. After throwing cached stones at zoo visitors, the unfortunate animal had his own stones removed. Other examples of foresight and planning in animals are described here and here. posted by binturong at 12:31 PM PST - 73 comments
As the Jim Crow overt style of maintaining white supremacy was replaced with “now you see it, now you don’t” practices that were subtle, apparently non-racial, and institutionalized, an ideology fitting to this era emerged... -The Linguistics of Color-Blind Racism. posted by lunit at 7:16 AM PST - 191 comments
Music in the Digital Library of Appalachia provides an unprecedented resource for study of repertoire, technique, lore, and the musical interchanges among the region's traditional musicians. Once you know what you like, it's easy to find the music live with Blue Ridge Music Trails. Meet musicians who have grown up with that music, visit settings in which Blue Ridge folk music thrives, see traditional dancing, and in many cases, take part in the festivities. The Crooked Road, Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winds through the mountains of Southwest Virginia. Along the trail, the Bluegrass, Old Time, and Traditional Country music is as beautiful and rugged as the landscape itself. [previous 1, 2] posted by netbros at 8:51 AM PST - 12 comments
Why would an evolutionary biologist study words? It turns out there is an astonishing parallel between the evolution of words in a lexicon and the evolution of genes in an organism. The word two, for example, has been around much longer than most, and will likely be with us for millennia, whereas the comparatively rare and recent word dirty has undergone many mutations, and will probably be extinct in a few hundred years. Professor Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Reading, UK, tells us why on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's program As It Happens. Pull slider to 16:00 to start the seven minute interview. posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:43 PM PST - 49 comments
"He wore a black Cretan shirt, his clothing was in tatters and his patched boots - the semi-detached sole of one of which was secured to its upper with a thick strand of wire - were coming to bits on his feet. ..It was gruelling work, but in an interview many years later Psychoundakis made light of the hundreds of miles he covered at a run: "I felt as if I were flying, so light and easy - just like drinking a cup of coffee." [more inside] posted by bokeh at 2:07 PM PST - 6 comments
Fatal Distraction. The lead story in this Sunday's Washington Post Magazine. "Forgetting a child in the back seat of a hot, parked car is a horrifying, inexcusable mistake. But is it a crime?". By Gene Weingarten. [more inside] posted by Ike_Arumba at 1:57 PM PST - 296 comments
"Notes and Queries: A Medium of Communication for Literary Men, General Readers, etc." Notes and Queries is a long running journal which printed the, well, notes and queries sent in to them by readers. Google books seems to have full view available for most, if not all, of the issues from the founding in 1849 up through 1908. [more inside] posted by Caduceus at 10:22 AM PST - 12 comments
Video of Buzzcocks in Concert, Amsterdam Paradiso, Feb 2009 The Buzzcocks recently completed a European tour with a set comprising of their first two albums in the original running order, right down to the loop of 'Boredom' at the end of their debut LP.
They're better than ever and I'm knocked out that they still knock seven bells out of most bands around, over thirty years later. They're still there, still charming, still saying something about bittersweet love that is still true.
I'm old, so I'm onlt pogoing from a sitting position, but wow. Just wow. Previously. posted by quarsan at 12:55 AM PST - 31 comments
Remember the guy who escaped a prison transport, led police on a five state chase across the south, stole a Wal-Mart truck to get to his dying mama, and then took off in Crystal Gale's tour bus before being apprehended in Florida? He's at it again. posted by Roman Graves at 4:49 PM PST - 57 comments
Mickey Ween: A security guard came onstage and Gibby threw the alcohol on him. The dude just started backing away, it was clear that Gibby probably would set him on fire. And now, knowing Gibby like I do, it was definitely within the realm of possibility. Mark Pesetsky: And Gibby just gave me that psycho look with the Charles Manson eyes. He grabs a bottle of the rubbing alcohol and throws it on me and then starts walking towards me with a lighter. And John, the other bouncer, just jumps offstage. It was every man for himself at that point. Gibby Haynes: Oh yeah, I do remember that. I mean, I've lit kids' heads on fire and they were smiling!
Tonight NASA is scheduled to launch the Kepler Mission (named after planetary legislator Johannes Kepler) with the goal of finding Earth size planets in orbit around stars in the Cygnus-Lyra region of the sky. Over the next 3 and a half years it will maintain a nearly unblinking gaze on the approximately 100 thousand stars in the region. NASA expects it to find about 50 Earth size planets, as well as hundreds that are larger. You can watch the launch live on NASA TV. [more inside] posted by borkencode at 2:32 PM PST - 42 comments
Mary Ann, rescued from the Island, retires to Idaho and shills for the Idaho Potato Board.
As no one thought to grab the potato peeler from the Minnow's galley, she learned to do without. [SLYT]. Oh, she still has the hots for the Professor's spud. (0:55) posted by webhund at 10:25 AM PST - 32 comments
The diagnosis was only the first shock. The second came a few weeks later, in an Aug. 5 letter from Pat's health-insurance company. For six years — since losing the last job he had that provided medical coverage — Pat had been faithfully paying premiums to Assurant Health, buying a series of six-month medical policies, one after the other, always hoping he would soon find a job that would include health coverage. Until that happened, "unexpected illnesses and accidents happen every day, and the resulting medical bills can be disastrous," Assurant's website warned. "Safeguard your financial future with Short Term Medical temporary insurance. It provides the peace of mind and health care access you need at a price you can afford."
[But] diagnosing and treating an illness may not fall neatly into six-month increments. While Pat had been continuously covered since 2002 by the same company, Assurant Health, each successive policy treated him as a brand-new customer. In looking back over Pat's medical records, the company noticed test results from December, eight months earlier. Though Pat's doctors didn't determine the precise cause of the problem until the following July, his kidney disease was nonetheless judged a "pre-existing condition" — meaning his insurance wouldn't cover it, since he was now under a different six-month policy from the one he had when he got those first tests..... I tried to talk to Assurant for this story. Its only response was a written statement from ScottKrienke, senior vice president for product lines: "Due to privacy regulations, we cannot discuss the specifics of any of our customers' coverage."
Scanwiches.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their sandwiches wedged into their scanners, or why. posted by flashboy at 6:09 AM PST - 70 comments
(link is flash; you can navigate from inside of it by clicking down the sidebar.) He has walked across America with his dog Cosmo, whilest keeping a journal. He also has a blog. Here are is a taster of his work. Last april Verve Photo named him as one of the new breed of documentary photographers. (There are links to many others on the right sidebar) posted by adamvasco at 12:25 PM PST - 14 comments
Urban Camouflagedeals with the question how to camouflage
oneself and one’s identity in the urban space. Our costumes are
inspired by the «ghillie suits», the military camouflage suit. It was
an adventure to wear the suit in the stores because of the conflicts
with the employees, the reaction of the customers and also to see
the pretty well camouflage effect in a real situation. posted by educatedslacker at 9:53 AM PST - 48 comments
Cologne City Archive is a six-story building containing 26 kilometers of shelves, 65,000+ documents dating from 922 AD, 104,000 maps, 50,000 posters, 500,000 photographs and 780 estates and collections, including Irmgard Keun, Hans Mayer and Jacques Offenbach. Considered a state of the art institution when built in 1971 and copied around the world, the building simply collapsed on Tuesday, destroying most everything. ,(via) [more inside] posted by stbalbach at 6:37 AM PST - 94 comments
Does your linen closet runneth over? Yes, you say, you have a stack of towels you regularly use in the bathroom and for swan origami, but you have others that are getting worn. You have tablecloths and aprons you never use, your dish towels seem to breed in their drawer, and you have pillowcases which have outlasted their matching sheets, king-sized bed sheets for the bed your ex took when you split, and your linen closet contains a selection of linens that are faded or torn or leftover from former decorating colour schemes. What are you to do with them? [more inside] posted by orange swan at 7:17 PM PST - 23 comments
"Members of Quilters of South Carolina have created one-of-a-kind bras for Breast Cancer Awareness. The exhibit consists of fifty original works of art which are unique, entertaining, humorous, and beautiful to make the public aware of breast cancer, to memorialize those lost to the disease, and to honor survivors." via posted by gman at 4:17 PM PST - 15 comments
Family Words (scroll down, p.9). Do you know what the "Ahh-hee's" are? It describes the feeling you get when you put on a bathing suit that is still damp. What about a "winterpepper?" That would be a backwards flip (opposite of somersault). "Eeksler?" The lever on an ice cube tray, so-called because of the sound it makes. Daw daw, doot-do, to-do to-do, taw taw, der der, drit-drit and hoo-hoo? All refer to the tube of cardboard inside a roll of toilet paper. Featured on NPR's A Way With Words (full episode). posted by vronsky at 11:52 AM PST - 76 comments
A little detective work traced the problem to default date format conversions and floating-point format conversions in the very useful Excel program package. The date conversions affect at least 30 gene names; the floating-point conversions affect at least 2,000 if Riken identifiers are included. These conversions are irreversible; the original gene names cannot be recovered.
Kutiman, the masterful Israeli funk musician and producer, outdoes himself by creating Thru-You: Multiple YouTube clips (mostly instructional and performance videos) edited into slick mega-mashups. They're not just patchwork assemblages, they're sample-based original creations that coud hold their own on anyone's album... Plus they're 100% audiovisual! It's a work of next-level genius.
(sorry for the hyperbole, but my mind has just been blown)
More Kutiman here. Music video here. And for you Pitchfork aficionados, here. posted by Silky Slim at 12:58 AM PST - 171 comments
The SSD Project. "The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has created this Surveillance Self-Defense site to educate the American public about the law and technology of government surveillance in the United States, providing the information and tools necessary to evaluate the threat of surveillance and take appropriate steps to defend against it." [Via] posted by homunculus at 11:11 PM PST - 12 comments
In 2001, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 1325 on Women's Role on Peace-Building and Security, calling for increased participation by women in conflict resolution and peace negotiations.
Eight years later, "in terms of signing the peace documents and being at the peace table and involved in the peace-making operations, 1.3 percent of all the signatures in the world on these peacekeeping documents have been rendered by women." (Stephen Lewis, former UN special envoy), and as of 2007, women constituted only 1% of peacekeeping military personnel. Could increasing women's participation also help reduce sexual exploitation and abuse by UN peacekeepers?
posted by terranova at 6:02 PM PST - 5 comments
On March 3rd 1943, the worst civilian disaster of the Second World War killed 173 people, including 62 children. During an air-raid alert, the noise of a new anti-aircraft battery panicked the crowd trying to get into the shelter at Bethnal Green tube station. In the dark, wet conditions, someone tripped and fell at the foot of the stairs, blocking the pathway and knocking others over in a domino effect. More and more people continued to pile in at the top leading to a massive and deadly crush. [more inside] posted by Electric Dragon at 2:47 PM PST - 27 comments
TruceIn their seminal paper "Flying in Tune: Sexual recognition in mosquitoes", Gabrielle Gibson and and Ian Russel from the University of Greenwich discovered an inspiring phenomenon: male mosquitoes change their buzzing frequency to match that of a female mosquito. This synchronization brings their wing beats to within a millisecond or less of one another. The authors suggest that this phenomenon facilitates the mosquitoes' ability to copulate mid-flight. We take advantage of this phenomenon to engage the mosquitoes in song, inspired by the North Indian classical vocal tradition of Dhrupad. posted by mnology at 11:30 AM PST - 14 comments
Invincible Cities "Hundreds of color photographs of Richmond, California, Camden, New Jersey, and Harlem, New York, intended by the artist to be part of a 'Visual Encyclopedia of the American Ghetto.' The photos depict the built environment of these cities as they change over time (1980s-2005). Website features a detailed introduction and databases of photos from each city with interactive maps." [via] [more inside] posted by mlis at 6:46 AM PST - 10 comments
As jazz fans know, fifty years ago on March 2, 1959, Miles Davis,Bill Evans, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb met at the Columbia 30th Street Studios in NYC for the first session of Miles new album, Kind of Blue. (Link goes to the 50th anniversary collector's box set edition page at amazon.) It was the touchstone for many other future recordings bearing its mighty influence and it fostered several high profile careers, and a new modal sound for jazz. Kind of Blue went on to be certified platinum, selling 4 million records, the most ever for a jazz album. Bill Evans had left the band in late 1958, but was called back by Miles for the sessions, which included his new pianist Wynton Kelly on one track only, Freddie Freeloader. The tunes they did that day, "So What", "Blue in Green" (written by Evans, though credited to Miles) and "Freeloader" all became standards as did "All Blues" from the April session. Documentaries and entire books have been written on this one album alone. The phenomenon lives on. (previously on AskMeFi, but just on Trane and Miles.) posted by Seekerofsplendor at 1:22 AM PST - 71 comments
The Obama Justice Department has released nine legal memos from the Bush administration that assert broad extra-Constitutional powers for the president. The memos assert that both the First and Fourth Amendments may be subordinated to the needs of wartime. [more inside] posted by EarBucket at 7:35 PM PST - 81 comments
Omaha rockers Cursive are selling their new album for just $1... No wait, it's $2... $3... $4... WTF?? In yet another twist on the whole, name-your-price (Radiohead), fan-financed (Jill Sobule), take-shrooms-and-cruise-hollywood (Josh Freese) tiered pricing experiment being carried out by what's left of the music industry, Cursive are increasing the price of their new record by $1 each day until its "official" release. Given the popularity of sites like Did it Leak (and the corresponding file-sharing forums that I won't link to here) it seems to me like this is a pretty good way to reward well-intentioned but impatient fans who might otherwise resort to less honorable means of getting the latest stuff from their favorite bands. Or maybe it's just another hare-brained scheme that will only hasten the end of record labels as we know them. Either way, they got my $1... And that was after I already got my hands on the mp3s! posted by idontlikewords at 7:02 PM PST - 23 comments
Confused about the banking crisis? Confused by banks in general? This American Life's latest show Bad Bank (streaming, mp3) is a highly informative (and entertaining) overview of how banks work, and what problems they--and we all--face in this current crisis. Produced by another great NPR show, Planet Money. posted by zardoz at 3:39 PM PST - 23 comments
Andy Baio: "Part of the problem is that 'FAIL' implies objective truth, when it's just your personal opinion. Tantek Çelik pointed out that, in LOLspeak, 'DO NOT WANT' would be more appropriate since it clearly conveys a personal opinion. [...] I know many people who make stuff for the web, all of them very passionate about what they do. And every time I see a 'FAIL' assigned to their work, it makes me sad. Yes, I know you're trying to be funny. But I'm starting to see a trend away from the funny, and towards the angry, bitchy, or mean. So please, mind yer words." [more inside] posted by WCityMike at 2:12 PM PST - 181 comments
"The brief was simple: to build a house to retire to in order to grow food, entertain and enjoy the East Anglia landscape. The outcome was as unconventional as they come. A structure that has the ability to vary or connect the overall building's composition and character according to season, weather or simply a desire to delight. Wallpaper* took a trip to the site to capture the physical phenomenon in the only medium that serves it justice - film." via posted by Knappster at 12:34 PM PST - 15 comments
The Essence of Line is a collection of over 900 drawings by French artists "from Ingres to Degas" by the Baltimore Museum of Art. I'd link to some highlights but the site did such a stellar job of it that I'll just direct you there. They also have some sketchbooks. Note that some of the drawings have short essays about them. As a related link, here is the famous Demonographia, with drawings of demons by Louis Breton and descriptions by Collin de Plancy. posted by Kattullus at 9:39 PM PST - 7 comments
Vitaly S Alexius, a Siberian born artist living in Canada, creates some gorgeous digital and traditional art, mostly with a sci-fi or fantasy, vaguely post-apocalyptic theme. He is also a remarkable photographer. posted by Caduceus at 8:50 PM PST - 29 comments
You strike up a conversation with someone you don't know, and you're getting on OK, and then suddenly, without warning, you hear the five words that mean the relationship has no future beyond the time it takes to say them: “I think you'll like it.” via 3quarksdaily[more inside] posted by cgc373 at 7:43 PM PST - 108 comments
USANightFlight presents Dynaman. 1980s. "Plot -- The Jashinka empire (Combination of the Japanese words for 'evil,' (Jashin) and 'evolution' (Shinka) as an English Word as evilution ) rises from the depths of the Earth to conquer the world. To stop them, Dr. Yumeno assembles five inventors to his laboratory, Yumeno Invention Laboratory and gives them the power to become Dynamen. Each member has their own goal, but as the Scientific Squadron Dynaman, they are united to stop the Jashinka empire in their tracks." There is also a flying octopus. posted by vronsky at 7:00 PM PST - 18 comments