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March 2010 Archives
You might have noticed his work
in the collection of Windows 7 sample media, alongside a koala, penguins and a jellyfish
, a piano tune
and a version of Debussy's "Maid with the Flaxen Hair"
, or maybe his ditties got you tapping your toes in a video game
. Perhaps you met him at his tea shop in Manchester
), home to his own line of organic teas
. Maybe you know him for his marathon mixsets, running four
, or almost seven hour long
. You might know him as Andy Carthy
, but it's a bit more likely you've already heard something of Mr. Scruff
. [more inside]posted by filthy light thief at 10:21 PM PST - 14 comments
Guitar legend Les Paul once said of the good humored, generally accessible
guitar great Herb Ellis "If you're not swinging, he's gonna make you swing. Of the whole bunch of guys who play hollow-body guitar... I think Herb Ellis has got the most drive." R.I.P
to the smooth player
, and sometime standards composer
, who was pianist Oscar Peterson's "rhythm section
" from 1953 to 1958, dead of Alzheimer's, at 88.posted by paulsc at 4:58 PM PST - 18 comments
The stereotype of people who play a lot of videogames is that they're mostly guys who can't get a good-looking woman to talk to them unless they're paid to do so. GameCrush
is not assisting in the refutation of that stereotype. [more inside]posted by Halloween Jack at 1:47 PM PST - 60 comments
While US citizens know the Döner under its Greek name "gyros", Canadians refer to it as donair
. And in its country of birth, Germany, it is much more than late night drunk fodder: it is breakfast, lunch and solid dinner rollled into one. "The döner kebab trade may be worth 2.5 billion euros in Germany, but before last weekend, Germany's favorite fast food had never been honored with its own convention", reports Der Spiegel. " The star of the show? A remote-controlled döner robot." [more inside]posted by Omnomnom at 7:31 AM PST - 107 comments
“The quality of licensed imagery is virtually indistinguishable now from the quality of images they might commission,” Mr. Klein said. Yet “the price point that the client, or customer, is charged is a fraction of the price point which they would pay for a professional image.”
The NYT on the demise of news photography
in the age of the long tail.posted by sagwalla at 7:02 AM PST - 38 comments
, 90, says we're too stupid to prevent climate change.
"I don't think we're yet evolved to the point where we're clever enough to handle a complex a situation as climate change." One of the main obstructions to meaningful action is "modern democracy", he added in an extended interview
. "I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while." He thinks only a catastrophic event would now persuade humanity to take the threat of climate change seriously enough, such as the collapse of a giant glacier in Antarctica.posted by stbalbach at 5:18 PM PST - 78 comments
Featuring Nellie McKay, Cyndi Lauper, Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright, Steve Earle, Annie Clark (St. Vincent), Kate Pierson (of the B-52s) and many others, Here Lies Love
is the result of a recent collaboration
between David Byrne
and Fatboy Slim.
22-tracks long, it tells the story of the Iron Butterfly, aka Imelda Marcos, first lady of the Philippines,
and her relationship with her childhood servant Estrella Cumpas. Its official release is April 6th, but until then you can listen to the whole thing on NPR Music.
The double-disc set will also feature a 120 page booklet and a DVD of historical footage. [more inside]posted by Lutoslawski at 2:20 PM PST - 15 comments
[NSFWish] In this GlobalPost investigative report
, Prague correspondent Iva Skoch gained rare access to one of Eastern Europe’s most secretive industries, uncovering a world where shifting human sexuality meets rampant commercial demand..In this multimedia report, we examine the complex and interlocking pieces of Prague’s booming gay porn business, from its roots in an American entrepreneur, to the cultural, moral and political foundations that make Prague a gay porn capital, as well as the economic necessities that drive many into the industry, and finally, the human toll it takes on workers.posted by andoatnp at 2:19 PM PST - 12 comments
Citing security concerns, Sony has decided to release a firmware update
that will disable the "OtherOS" feature on its older (non-slim) PlayStation 3 systems. This is almost certainly a response to the system finally being hacked
two months ago by George "GeoHot" Hotz. To counter Sony's disabling of the feature, Hotz, who previously stated that he would not be releasing custom firmware for the PS3, now plans to do so
"The PlayStation 3 is the only product I know that loses features throughout its lifecycle. Software PS2 emulation, SACD playback, and OtherOS support are all just software switches you can flip. It's unbelievable you would go and flip one, not just on new boxes you are shipping, but on tens of millions already in the field."posted by Who_Am_I at 10:38 AM PST - 126 comments
Sam Harris's talk on morality
at TED has sparked a debate on whether science can have anything to say about moral problems. Harris, a prominent author and outspoken atheist, makes the politically incorrect assertion that there are right and wrong answers to questions of morality (as opposed to the concept of moral relativism), and that the methods of science can be used to determine them. [more inside]posted by knave at 8:32 PM PST - 162 comments
My brother found this deer alone and malnourished when it was a tiny baby. My family bottle fed the baby, named Theen, until he was eating grass. Several months later he's very socialized with people, our black lab, and our cats. He is free to wander if he likes and we've seen him with several herds of whitetail and axis deer. Apparently he fits in just fine with them. He frequently comes back to the house to eat some catfood and play with our dog, Buddy. He doesn't care much for deer corn.
One dog. One deer. One ball.posted by lazaruslong at 7:31 PM PST - 55 comments
What if you could compute the output of complex algorithms just by viewing an image?
Our everyday visual perceptions rely upon unfathomably complex computations carried out by tens of billions of neurons across over half our cortex. In spite of this, it does not “feel” like work to see. Our cognitive powers are, in stark contrast, “slow and painful,” and we have great trouble with embarrassingly simple logic tasks.
Might it be possible to harness our visual computational powers for other tasks, perhaps for tasks cognition finds difficult? I have recently begun such a research program with the goal of devising ways of converting digital logic circuits into visual stimuli – “visual circuits” – which, when presented to the eye, “tricks” the visual system into carrying out the digital logic computation and generating a perception that amounts to the “output” of the computation. That is, the technique amounts to turning our visual system into a programmable computer.
posted by scalefree at 2:57 PM PST - 57 comments
In the loosely related fields of planetary science and apocalyptic fiction, the phrase “minimum orbit intersection distance,” or MOID, describes the closest point of contact between the paths of two orbiting objects. Most vividly invoked whenever an asteroid encroaches on our corner of the solar system, that bit of jargon also has its aesthetic uses. Consider the coordinates of Neil Young and Miles Davis on the evenings of March 6 and 7, 1970, at the juncture of East Sixth Street and Second Avenue in Manhattan.Mapping the intersections of Miles Davis and Neil Young.posted by shakespeherian at 1:24 PM PST - 21 comments
"Surrounded by darker, deeper ocean waters, coral atolls often glow in vibrant hues of turquoise, teal, peacock blue, or aquamarine. Belize's Lighthouse Reef Atoll fits this description, with its shallow waters covering light-colored coral: the combination of water and pale corals creates varying shades of blue-green. Within this small sea of light colors, however, lies a giant circle of deep blue. Roughly 300 meters (1,000 feet) across and 125 meters (400 feet) deep, the feature is known as the Great Blue Hole
." (Massive NASA image
of the atoll). [more inside]posted by bwg at 3:16 AM PST - 24 comments
is an Italian, one-man band, street performer. He plays Kalimba, an accordeon, a nacchere, various found objects, and a bevy of other instruments. And he whistles and sings. See also, Amibuz
. [more inside]posted by Toekneesan at 2:16 PM PST - 13 comments
Popular open source roguelike Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup has updated to version 0.6
It is a variant of the older game Linley's Dungeon Crawl, and is regarded by many as one of the best roguelike games out there. Unlike its rival game Nethack
it is undergoing rapid development. Also unlike Nethack, the game retains a more consistent difficulty level (hard) throughout, and has a much greater variety of character types. [more inside]posted by JHarris at 1:02 PM PST - 61 comments
Ultimate Matzoh Balls
is a simple, quick (10 level, automatically advancing) Flash basketball game that may
help keep your mind off the lack of leavening in your diet this coming week.
And by "your" I mean "my".
The Yiddish exclamations for both the baskets and missed shots are worth the click.posted by yiftach at 10:39 PM PST - 15 comments
VHS cover art was the pop art of the 80's. It wasn't till the mid 90's and dvd era that the movie poster or a cast photo would become the cover. Here are my favorite places to check out old vhs covers The Deuce Grindhouse VHS Cover Art
has a great break down by company. Scarecrow Video blog
has posts pretty regularly like this one featuring painted covers of Klaus Kinski movies. and this post of horror movie cover boxes.
At the bottom of that post are links to the rest of the scarecrow blogs painted cover postings. Enjoy.posted by b2walton at 3:07 PM PST - 20 comments
Je suis lesbien declares the artist. His legs are encased in black stockings, secured to a suspender belt; his waist is constricted by a tight corset. On his head he wears a veil and a black mask. His fingers press a switch, a shutter clicks and Pierre Molinier, the forgotten Surrealist, is caught on camera forever.
An incestual necrophiliac, his work
specialised in Fetish photomontage.
by Jean-Luc Mercié. (NSFW
)posted by adamvasco at 3:07 PM PST - 29 comments
Good Show Sir
- a blog of the worst science fiction and fantasy book covers from the deepest depths of second hand bookstores around the world.posted by Artw at 12:05 AM PST - 67 comments
We saw a post about the Little House
back in 2007. It sold for $139000 then. About a year ago it sold for approximately $173000. Now, it's up for sale again at reportedly $180000
. It's been renovated and now has it's own site
complete with a gallery, history, and celebrity endorsement.posted by juiceCake at 9:09 PM PST - 24 comments
The 185 billion dollar
a year cell phone/wireless communication industry is coming under increased scrutiny
due to health concerns by some decidedly non tinfoil hat wearing parties
Earlier industry funded
studies are also being more closely examined as many early adopters of cell phones are getting tumors at an alarming rate. And where does everybody's favorite, the ipod, sit? This is funny.....Apple actually advises you on page 7
of their product information guide to....well....not hold the thing up to your head. Or your body. But that's okay, cause the Evo
, which doubles as a wi-fi hotspot, is about to hit. Good times!posted by jake1 at 9:09 PM PST - 105 comments
one of the founding fathers of underground comics, talks and draws at the 1974 Toronto Comic Con. Part 1
. Part 2
. Part 3
. Subjects include: censorship, Stan Lee, Jeff Jones, and the little tiny schizophrenic world inside his head. [maybe NSFW] [more inside]posted by marxchivist at 8:19 PM PST - 16 comments
An unwilling Afghan bride's defiance leads to death.
'Frashta didn't want to marry her cousin, and she fled. In a land where tradition and family honor are everything, that sealed her doom. "So beautiful that no words could describe her face," said her uncle. A child of the provinces can never run far. She should have known this. Frashta, though, was headstrong. Two shots from a hunting rifle in the night, then they rolled her in cloth and tried to hide her, but some things cannot be hidden. She was found in the yard.
"A bad woman," said the cop. [more inside]posted by VikingSword at 11:24 AM PST - 63 comments
I'm on a mission - not to praise Jesus or ensure that every child in Namibia has a netbook, but to kill every single living vaguely human-like character in Fallout 3. ... everyone ... no matter how friendly, helpful, or beneficial to my completion of the game, must be put into the ground.
"Natural Born Killer", an experiment in virtual genocide, parts One
.posted by slimepuppy at 11:12 AM PST - 45 comments
And scientific researchers appear to be slowly conceding that zoophilia may be a genuine human sexual orientation.
Scientific American's Jesse Bering research into zoophiles, prompted by a "an unusually erudite reader ... a self-professed zoophile" leads to more questions than answers: Are zoophiles attracted only to sexually mature animals—and if not, does this make them “zoopedophiles”? Do zoophiles find particular members of their preferred species more “attractive” than other individuals from those species, and, if so, are they seduced by standard beauty cues, such as facial symmetry in horses? What is the percentage of homosexual zoophiles (those who prefer animal partners of the same sex) over heterosexual zoophiles?posted by geoff. at 10:42 AM PST - 254 comments
Museums build some pretty cool websites. To help people find them, use them, and give them props, the Museums and the Web conference has held an annual Best of the Web contest since 1997. This year's nominees are here
. Just a sample: the MOMA on Bauhaus
, the Center for New Media's Bracero History Archive
, the Textile Museum of Canada's In Touch:Connecting Cloth, Culture, and Art
, Perception Deception from The National Science and Technology Center of Australia, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh
from the Van Gogh Museum, the Smithsonian's Prehistoric Climate Change and Why it Matters Today
, and more . If that doesn't wash out the remainder of your Friday, you can always dig into the past nominees
.posted by Miko at 10:28 AM PST - 8 comments
Toronto band Fucked Up
was everywhere at the South By Southwest music festival this year--playing at official
showcases, even once on the street
, but often at unofficial massive advertising areas by, say, Pepsi
Some might think: How can a hardcore band justify their position in these marketing schemes? The answer, posted on the band blog by Mike the Guitarist, is simply titled: SXSW WHY? [more inside]posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:27 AM PST - 47 comments
"she talked to me for a long time. she shared stories of staying in london and paris and that wonderful feeling that accompanies being there. she talked of gardening and music and even stress. we hit it off like old friends." .... Joshua Langlais spends a couple of hours every day looking for a stranger to talk with and photograph. He's done this every day since September 8, 2008. The results of his work can be seen at I ♥ Strangers
. [more inside]posted by bdragon at 11:42 PM PST - 20 comments
Remember when Obama held an Internet 'town hall' meeting last March (previously
)? Well Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, decided to participate in a decidedly similar "Internet town hall"-esque interview, with a public system for posting and voting on questions. The response was surprisingly similar both in terms of votes, and in terms of Harper's response (skip to 35:40)
to the voters' primary concern
. [more inside]posted by tybeet at 5:07 PM PST - 61 comments
The verdict of United States v. Russell Cletus Maricle et al.
is in: all defendants have been found guilty
by a Kentucky jury. What makes this case more interesting than your average vote rigging scheme is that this is the only one that involved electronic voting machines. [more inside]posted by cgs06 at 11:40 AM PST - 37 comments
was one of the most prolific Detroit session and solo guitarists. His revamped site features a couple phenomenal podcasts of his music and interviews.posted by klangklangston at 11:06 AM PST - 8 comments
Flash Mobs Take Violent Turn in Philadelphia
[H]undreds of teenagers have been converging downtown for a ritual that is part bullying, part running of the bulls: sprinting down the block, the teenagers sometimes pause to brawl with one another, assault pedestrians or vandalize property. . . .
The flash mobs have raised questions about race and class.
Most of the teenagers who have taken part in them are black and from poor neighborhoods. Most of the areas hit have been predominantly white business districts.
In the flash mob on Saturday, groups of teenagers were chanting “black boys” and “burn the city,” bystanders said.
is not proud.posted by grobstein at 11:03 AM PST - 70 comments
Don't ever accept a Tequila shot from Fat Mike
While performing as Cokie The Clown
at SXSW this year, Fat Mike of NOFX
made a lot of folks uncomfortable telling stories of his fucked up childhood, his mother's death, and of other crazy shit he allegedly witnessed and did throughout his life. The biggest "gag" of the evening involved Tequila. I imagine they would have been even more uncomfortable at one of these
shows.posted by snottydick at 8:55 AM PST - 120 comments
In the 50's and 60's, more than a thousand sled dogs were slaughtered by RCMP officers and provincial police, some of them killed in ad hoc gas chambers. A recent report
from retired Quebec judge Jean-Jacques Croteau states that Ottawa and Quebec should apologize and compensate the affected communities for 'turning a blind eye' to the slaughter. You can hear Makivik
President, Pita Aatami
talking about it on CBC's As It Happensposted by Bartonius at 7:47 AM PST - 9 comments
Trigonometric Delights. This book is neither a textbook of trigonometry—of which there are many—nor a comprehensive history of the subject, of which there is almost none. It is an attempt to present selected topics in trigonometry from a historic point of view and to show their relevance to other sciences. It grew out of my love affair with the subject, but also out of my frustration at the way it is being taught in our colleges.posted by Wolfdog at 5:22 PM PST - 18 comments
Is Facebook chametz?
An interview with two rabbis about their Facebook group
, encouraging Jews to consider giving up Facebook for Passover next week
. While the word "chametz"
strictly refers only to leavened bread, which is prohibited during Passover, the group is inspired by a Chassidic interpretation that connects the leavening of bread to an "over-inflated sense of self."posted by albrecht at 3:25 PM PST - 77 comments
UK Space Agency launched
with a logo
that "looks uncannily like the logo for the British Rocket Group, a scientific body from Doctor Who." It's mission is to develop British space technology
, "[b]ut this will have to be done through unmanned
space activities, because for the foreseeable future the UKSA will not have enough resources to reverse the decision, taken by the Thatcher government
in the 1980s, that Britain will not pay for manned space flights... planned expeditions to the International Space Station will be funded by the country's partners in the European Space Agency."posted by kliuless at 2:22 PM PST - 35 comments
A Muslim American soldier battles on friendly ground.
'In his 23 months in the Army, Klawonn has consistently earned among the highest physical training scores in his unit. He's at the top in weapons qualifications and is the only one in his battalion to be invited to try out for the Special Forces. But the thing that stands out most, says Capt. Christopher Arata, his commander, is Klawonn's impossibly clean record. Not one reprimand. Never even late to a morning formation.'
'You watch your words and actions, censoring anything that could be interpreted as anger. You do so even as you try to ignore the names piled on you. Sand monkey. Carpet jockey. Raghead. Zachari bin Laden. Nidal Klawonn. But the hardest to shake off -- the name that cuts deepest, especially for a man who defied his family and community to become a U.S. soldier -- is this one: Terrorist. "To be looked upon by the people you serve with, by people you've trusted your life with, as the enemy," Klawonn says, sitting in his barracks a month after receiving the note. His voice trails off as he struggles to describe the anger he feels. "It's not right." [more inside]posted by VikingSword at 1:44 PM PST - 54 comments
Parachuting through the Austrian night sky to land on the roof of an castle to steal the Star of Empress Sisi
is just the start of the adventures depicted in a fantastic article
in Wired on the exploits of one Gerald Blanchard, Criminal Mastermind.posted by Cobalt at 1:43 PM PST - 13 comments
Following the vote on Sunday, Mike Troxel of the Lynchburg Tea Party posted the address of what he thought was Dem Rep Tom Perriello, with the comment that activists should add a "personal touch" to their anger at Periello -- who voted yes on the health care bill -- by going to his house. It turns out the address was actually Perriello's brother's house, and the FBI are currently investigating the cut gas line that was discovered the next day
. [more inside]posted by FatherDagon at 11:59 AM PST - 380 comments
March Madness just got a little crazier... It's this year's Name of the Year ballot
! Names are submitted, verified to be real, then put in an NCAA-style bracket. Nohjay Nimpson might be a favorite this year, but I think Pepi Hamburger is going to be the dark horse. Voting for your favorites starts soon.
. Previously on MeFi
.posted by battlebison at 10:18 AM PST - 30 comments
Women were not allowed to speak
at a meeting held to determine the fate of suspended principal John Hartwig of St. John’s Lutheran School
in Baraboo, WI. While women are normally not allowed to vote at such meetings, this is the first time in recent history that the St. John’s Council President exercised his authority to keep females from even speaking. Women who wanted to ask questions were told to write them on a piece of paper and have a man read them aloud. Hartwig was suspended for distributing a document questioning Lutheran doctrine that says that women should not hold authority over men.posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 7:37 AM PST - 129 comments
: "In the fast paced world of tech, we often lure ourselves into believing that everything is different now, and old rules don’t apply. Well, quite often they do (if not always) and checking out our collective tech-past can help us get a perspective on the present."posted by sveskemus at 6:14 AM PST - 43 comments
Gaza's tragically peculiar economy
- Last week Palestinians marked the 1,000th day of the "siege" of the Gaza Strip. The continuing economic embargo, with its attendant social and economic effects on the more than 1.5 million Gazans, makes for a depressing story. Equally depressing is the extent to which this situation has somehow become accepted as normal and acceptable by much of the international community. [more inside]posted by nevercalm at 10:41 PM PST - 64 comments
In 1937, the London News Chronicle published a photograph of five boys at the gates of Lord's cricket ground; two stood aloof in top hats and tails, with their backs to a group of three working-class lads. The resulting photograph became famous as a metaphor for the class divide in Britain, appearing in newspaper stories about school reform, inequality and bourgeois guilt and on the covers of books
. The photograph appeared in the Getty Images archive as "Toffs and Toughs
", and even was printed on a jigsaw puzzle in 2004. The identities of the three working-class boys were unknown until a journalist tracked them down in 1998; here
is an article on the history of the photograph and the lives of the five boys in it.posted by acb at 6:59 PM PST - 36 comments
Plastic Bag -
Struggling with its immortality, a discarded plastic bag (voiced by Werner Herzog) ventures through the environmentally barren remains of America as it searches for its maker. A short film by Ramin Bahrani
.posted by HuronBob at 3:54 PM PST - 32 comments
The Banshee Lives in the Handball Alley
is a "compilation derived from a collection of folkloric stories recorded with children from the Moyross and St. Marys Park areas of Limerick City between 2004 and 2005. The work serves to highlight how folklore is constantly added to, and how it is linked to memory and occasion, fiction and interpretation."posted by minifigs at 4:25 AM PST - 12 comments
, the low-income community grassroots organisation, is set to close by April 1st
, citing "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era". Meanwhile the New York Times has issued a correction
on the stories which led to the 87-3 vote to remove ACORN's Federal funding (previously
), admiting that "while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O'Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers."posted by Artw at 10:13 PM PST - 87 comments
video of interviews with residents of a home for elderly prostitutes in Mexico's senior-citizen sex-worker capital. (via
)posted by prefpara at 12:11 PM PST - 4 comments
When a tree falls in the forest, but nobody comes along for 45,000 years, can you still hear it?
Recipe for 'preserved wood' (not 'petrified' wood): take one dead tree, cover with enough mud or freezing water to keep oxygen out, wait. How long? Perhaps only 45 years
, in the case of the Suriname hardwoods being harvested with underwater robot saws. Or maybe around 100 years
, for the millions of logs that sank in Lake Superior during logging operations, now being brought to the surface. But the carbon dating of 45,000 years
on the Kauri wood being 'logged' in New Zealand swamps and turned into furniture has these beat.posted by woodblock100 at 7:24 AM PST - 51 comments
Back in the 1920s, when Warren "Baby" Dodds
was busy inventing jazz drumming in the company of pioneers like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, to "give the drummer some" usually never meant more than a couple of bars fill every now and again. Fortunately, though, come 1946, when Dodds was already an older man but still in fine playing form, someone had the wherewithal to record this seminal percussion stylist in a series of extended drum solos, displaying his exuberant rhythmic stylings
as well as his lending of superbly playful swing
to the the rudiments
. But let's jump back to the 20's again, and hear drummer Dodds, with the aforementioned King Oliver, take what's gotta be the killingest slide whistle solo
in all of jazz history. [more inside]posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:56 AM PST - 11 comments
Welcome to the Martin Howard Collection of Early Typewriters. Comprised of typewriters from the very beginning of the typewriter industry (1880s & 1890s), it is the largest of its kind in Canada. The collection contains many rare and historically important typewriters, showing the remarkable diversity and beauty of the world's first typing machines. (Via
)posted by Astro Zombie at 9:04 PM PST - 20 comments
Fiverr -- What would you do for $5? "I will do voice over and/or voice acting for you for $5." • "I will write a Short Bed Time Story for $5." • "I will write anything appropriate on my forehead and wear it to public school all day for $5."
Any requests? "Do a 30 second video commercial for my website." • "Reduce/eliminate echo in an audio file." • "Ask a girl out for me."posted by not_on_display at 5:01 PM PST - 57 comments
Well, here goes. I really resent the term, but I use it because it’s recognized and accepted.
From some seventy years of personal experience, I can tell you that there’s not much “gay” about being homosexual. For the first twenty years of my life, I had to live in the shadows, in a culture that was — at least outwardly — totally hostile to any hint of that variation of life-style.
), at age 81, has come out. He discusses the announcement in more detail on the JREF
podcast For Good Reason
.posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:11 PM PST - 144 comments
An Australian Madoff? Trio Capital, an Australian fund manager, has been ordered to wind up
its funds after being unable to account for $123 million in its Astarra fund since investigations began in October. The fund "has a total of $426 million under management - including superannuation
savings of about 10,000 Australians." Some worry what this means for more potential frauds in Australia's "privatized social security." [more inside]posted by FuManchu at 3:01 PM PST - 10 comments
The <video tag>
, as defined by the HTML5 spec, is an element "used for playing videos or movies". Which codec
those videos or movies are in is currently undefined, with the two contenders being the free open source Ogg Theora
and the proprietary H.264
. With the unveiling of Internet Explorer 9
both Microsoft and Apple are supporting H.264 in their browsers, and comparisons
of the standards seem to bear out H.264 as the better of the two. However Mozilla have taken a stance against incorporating H264 into Firefox on the grounds that it is patented and has to be licensed
. Arguments are now being made for
Mozilla sticking to its ideals. John Gruber
of Daring Fireball points out that Firefox already supports proprietary formats such as GIF. Um, perhaps not the best example
.posted by Artw at 9:19 AM PST - 140 comments
(or Synco, in Spanish) was computer network constructed in 1970 by an English/Chilean team headed by cyberneticist Stafford Beer
). Cybersyn was an electronic nervous system for the Chilean economy, linking together mines, factories and so on, to better manage production and give workers a clear idea of what was in demand and where. The network was destroyed by the army after the 1973 coup. Later that year Stafford Beer drew upon the lessons of Cybersyn to write Fanfare for Effective Freedom
, a eulogy for Allende and Cybersyn, and Designing Freedom
, a series of six lectures he gave for CBC, outlining his ideas. Besides the first link in this post, the best place to start is this Guardian article from 2003
. If you want to go more in-depth, read Eden Medina's Designing Freedom, Regulating a Nation: Socialist Cybernetics in Allende’s Chile
. And if nothing else, just take a look at the amazing Cybersyn control room
.posted by Kattullus at 12:01 AM PST - 32 comments
Daily readings (and podcasts) from the Complete Corpus of Anglo Saxon Poetry, presented by Prof. Michael Drout, Wheaton College. For those that like to read along, the Corpus presented in text
(no translation, though).posted by Chrischris at 8:10 PM PST - 18 comments
"Starting with the precedents set by Charles Ives and John Cage, VARIATIONS
presents the principal milestones of Sampling Music, looking at examples from 20th century composition, popular art and the mass media, and the way all of these currents converge today." Curated by Jon Leidecker, who records and performs as Wobbly
"Poet Kenneth Goldsmith presents selections from UbuWeb, the learned and varietous online repository concerning concrete & sound poetry, experimental film, outsider art and all things avant-garde" in Avant-Garde All the Time
. Goldsmith's the founding editor of UbuWeb
and sometime DJ on WFMU
as Kenny G
- a 14-part podcast about the history and practice of sound collage and mashups. )posted by moonmilk at 8:01 PM PST - 9 comments
Not necessarily “naïve”; more like “vernacular.”
Jules Vernacular posts dozens of photos of vernacular or unschooled signage on French buildings (in the site’s punning slogan, lettres œuvrières et incongruités typographiques
). As ever, it’s amazing that this typography, most of it hand-drawn, hasn’t been wiped out by progress and regularized into Arial (or the Arial of 2010, Papyrus). [more inside]posted by joeclark at 12:27 PM PST - 18 comments
That much wind means some
very big and nasty waves... We
experienced a total of 4 knockdowns, the second was the most severe with the mast being pushed 180 degrees in to the water. Actually pushed isn't the right word, it would be more accurate to say that Ella's Pink Lady was picked up, thrown down a wave, then forced under a mountain of breaking water and violently turned upside down.posted by Huplescat at 7:00 PM PST - 40 comments
"Here come the inevitable Freudian references: the Solo Traveler lid
is a substitute for a mother’s breast – what we might call nature’s original travel lid. The flat covers with the tear-back openings offer no such metaphoric representation. Instead, spout = nipple. Paper cup = warm skin. Coffee, tea or soy = mother’s milk. Ergo the lid is a nurturing apparatus. It provides comfort and joy as well as nourishment." [via
] [more inside]posted by ocherdraco at 6:14 PM PST - 49 comments
Started in 1930
(by the by the lieutenant governor while the sitting governor was out of state) to protect the great state of Nebraska from all that wish it harm, Nebraska has it's own navy
. Want a commission? Just ask
the governor and join these notable members
.posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:54 AM PST - 26 comments
Due to population decline, Detroit plans
on bulldozing roughly a quarter of the 139-square-mile city into semi-rural farmland. It is a worst case scenario in America, but pales to the problem of Eastern Germany, where demographic collapse in some towns is so severe, urban
are the new order of the day. The mayor of one town says: "You can't go into the forest without a knife anymore." [more inside]posted by stbalbach at 10:54 AM PST - 114 comments
"Although the word “entitlement” fits, it’s been used so frequently as to have become inadequate to capture the preening self-regard, the obliviousness to the damage that high-flying finance has inflicted on the real economy, the learned blindness to vital considerations in the pay equation. Getting an education, or even hard work, does not guarantee outcomes. One of the basic precepts of finance is that of a risk-return tradeoff: high potential payoff investments come with greater downside.
But how did that evolve into the current belief system among the incumbents, that Wall Street was a sure ride, a guaranteed “heads I win, tails you lose” bet?"
Yves Smith writes an essay
on 'indefensible men.'posted by ennui.bz at 10:04 AM PST - 38 comments
Those who have watched a lot of Hollywood movies over the past few years may have noticed a trend: many of these films sport a uniform palette of teal and orange
, a result of the availability of digital colour-grading. Originally derived from applying complementary colour theory to human skin tones to make them stand out more, the teal-and-orange rule has spread, and is now being lazily applied across the board, whether appropriate or not.posted by acb at 9:57 AM PST - 125 comments
Everybody Have Fun.
In 1978, a trio of psychologists curious about happiness assembled two groups of subjects. In the first were winners of the Illinois state lottery. These men and women had received jackpots of between fifty thousand and a million dollars. In the second group were victims of devastating accidents. How happy had they been before these events? How about now? How about expectations for the future? These and other results have shown that hitting the jackpot fails to lift spirits along with a whole range of activities that people tend to think will make them happy (getting a raise, moving to California, or having kid). Is the United States a nation of joyless lottery winners? And are there implications for public policy decisions?posted by bluesky43 at 8:12 AM PST - 47 comments
Musicologist, Writer, Radio Presenter, and Record Producer.
who died yesterday was the author of The Sound of the City (1970), which has been described
as "the first comprehensive history of rock and roll". Gillett was also among the first DJs to champion
Graham Parker, Ian Dury (whom he briefly managed) and Elvis Costello.
However he is probably best known for sharing his passion for world music
I just love this music for its own sake,’ he says. 'I don’t have any other agenda in presenting it. I genuinely believe it’s the best music there is. [more inside]posted by adamvasco at 4:52 AM PST - 18 comments
Honk if you've missed a payment
A disgruntled former car dealership employee was arrested in Austin for bricking 100+ cars using a dealer-installed debt collection black box. Made by Pay Technologies
, the system allows the dealer to disable a car’s ignition system, or trigger the horn to begin honking, as a reminder that a payment is due.posted by letitrain at 4:01 PM PST - 63 comments
David Byrne on Collaborations:
"A writer at Pitchfork critically said I’d collaborate for a bag of Doritos. I do love it, and the results are sometimes surprising, sometimes creatively successful and sometimes even popular (“Lazy” was a huge hit everywhere except the US)." On song writing, "After the initial transcription of verbal sounds into nonsense sentences made of real words, a long, tedious process begins. I then begin to write out every phrase I can think of that matches that sonic/syllabic flow — no phrase is too mundane or stupid. I try not to pre-judge anything that occurs to me at this point — one never knows if something that sounded stupid at first will, in a new context, make the whole thing shine."posted by geoff. at 2:06 PM PST - 41 comments
40 years ago, a small crew of filmmakers set out to document some of the more pressing issues involving wildlife in America. They made eight half-hour films around the country and in doing so made what is believed to be the first environmental TV series in the US. Entitled Our Vanishing Wilderness
, all eight episodes are now online and free to view here.posted by Effigy2000 at 1:22 PM PST - 4 comments
Google Alleges That Viacom ‘Secretly Uploaded Its Content to YouTube, Even While Publicly Complaining About Its Presence There’
Zahavah Levine, chief counsel for YouTube in its litigation with Viacom, explains:
For years, Viacom continuously and secretly uploaded its content to YouTube, even while publicly complaining about its presence there. […] Viacom’s efforts to disguise its promotional use of YouTube worked so well that even its own employees could not keep track of everything it was posting or leaving up on the site. As a result, on countless occasions Viacom demanded the removal of clips that it had uploaded to YouTube, only to return later to sheepishly ask for their reinstatement. In fact, some of the very clips that Viacom is suing us over were actually uploaded by Viacom itself.
]posted by ocherdraco at 12:23 PM PST - 49 comments
On February 3, 2010, Autechre
celebrated the month-early release of their new album Oversteps
with a 12-hour netradio broadcast. [more inside]posted by mkb at 11:47 AM PST - 42 comments
...Or how our most common statistical methods really weren't meant to be used that way and why that study result is likely spurious. Since mefites like to argue about stats, here's some background for us all (and I'm not talking correlation vs causation)!posted by mandymanwasregistered at 10:20 AM PST - 51 comments
Was structuralism, the big idea of Claude Lévi-Strauss, more cult than science? Apostolos Doxiadis, Alecos Papadatos and Annie Di Donna – the team behind the bestselling graphic novel Logicomix – investigate.posted by infini at 9:13 AM PST - 30 comments
"When you see a wildlife photo or film that looks too good to be true, it probably is." Audubon Magazine's Ted Williams investigates
game farms and the widespread use of captive animals in wildlife photography. (via
) [more inside]posted by The Mouthchew at 7:01 AM PST - 45 comments
A French, state-run TV channel appears to be stirring controversy by airing a documentary about a fake game show in which contestants torture eachother, called "Game of Death."
Based on the well-known Stanley Milgram experiments
of the 1960's that, in the wake of Nazi Germany, sought out to measure man's willingness to obey orders. [more inside]posted by phaedon at 7:27 PM PST - 33 comments
"In May, 2002, Jerome Mitchell, a 17-year old college freshman from rural South Carolina, learned he had contracted HIV. The news, of course, was devastating, but Mitchell believed that he had one thing going for him: On his own initiative, in anticipation of his first year in college, he had purchased his own health insurance
. Shortly after his diagnosis, however, his insurance company, Fortis [now Assurant Health
], revoked his policy. Mitchell was told that without further treatment his HIV would become full-blown AIDS within a year or two and he would most likely die within two years after that." [more inside]posted by ericb at 2:03 PM PST - 139 comments
Today a New Jersey state appeals court ruled
that the secretary of state must accept a petition filed by the Sussex County Tea Party
to recall US Senator Robert Menendez - the first ever recall effort aimed at a US Senator. Their petition was originally denied by Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells back in January.
The debate over recall elections has persisted for centuries in the US, with it notably being a part of the Virginia Plan
that was proposed at the Constitutional Convention. Are recalls a good way to make senators accountable to their electorate? Or would they make senators slaves to the ever changing whims of the people? Here is a brief history
of the recall in the US.posted by Consonants Without Vowels at 5:27 PM PST - 45 comments
offers an unquestionably unique approach to Roguelike
games by taking compactness to the extreme. It distills the entire genre to a few core ideas which pay homage to the greats while forging new ground with gameplay similar to that of Oasis or Tower of the Sorcerer
. It also features emergent complexity that rewards truly skilled and thoughtful players.posted by painquale at 4:15 PM PST - 61 comments
Andrée Peel, Rescuer of Allied Airmen, Dies at 105.
Andree Peel, (born Andrée Marthe Virot
) who was known as Agent Rose, helped 102 British and American pilots escape from her native France. 'She was the most highly decorated woman to survive the conflict
and was awarded the Legion d'Honneur by her brother, General Maurice Virot.
Mrs Peel was awarded the War Cross with palm, the War Cross with purple star, the medal of the Resistance and the Liberation cross. She also received the American Medal of Freedom from US President Dwight Eisenhower, as well as the King's Commendation for Brave Conduct, presented to her by King George VI.'
'She fed information to the Allies on German shipping and troop movements and on the results of Allied bombing in the region. She also guided British planes carrying intelligence agents to nighttime landings at secret airstrips marked by torchlight.' [more inside]posted by VikingSword at 4:11 PM PST - 18 comments
The source Fr. Amoth refers to
, according to Fr. Fortea
, is the demons who are being exorcised
. Of this, the Spanish priest wrote that knowing whether or not the demon
is telling the truth "is in many cases impossible." "We can know with great confidence when a demon tells the truth in the subject directly related with the exorcism. That is, the number of demons, their name and similar things. But we cannot be confident in what regards concrete news relating to people." [more inside]posted by ServSci at 1:32 PM PST - 57 comments
In its latest issue, the American Book Review
has taken stock of literature and come up with its Top 40 Bad Books
[pdf]. Faced with the unusual Top 40 list (which is not strictly a list and includes, among other things, The Great Gatsby
) Alison Flood at the Guardian
responds by asking, "What makes a bad book bad?
" while at the L.A. Times
, Carolyn Kellogg puts forth
that the list's only constant is "that the best books that appear on their worst-book list are subject to the most unreasonable critiques." [more inside]posted by ocherdraco at 9:49 AM PST - 100 comments
After being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar, Mark Hogancamp built a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard. Mark populated the town he dubbed "Marwencol
" with dolls representing his friends and family and created life-like photographs detailing the town's many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helped Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds from the attack. [more inside]posted by dobbs at 8:33 AM PST - 40 comments
Do you have a life-changing medical condition? Patientslikeme (mentioned previously in a 2008 post on mood conditions)
is a way for you share information online with other people who have the same condition. Some of the conditions with groups established already are epilepsy, depression, and Multiple Sclerosis.
Started by 3 MIT engineers who had personal experiences with ALS (Lou Gherig's disease), the site is funded by partnerships with healthcare providers
who have access to anonymised data about the member base. The stated goal in their Openness Policy
has a plain-English description of what happens to information that members share.posted by harriet vane at 3:47 AM PST - 15 comments
"Every hard drive in the world will eventually fail. Assume that yours are all on the cusp of failure at all times." An Ode to DiskWarrior, SuperDuper, and Dropbox
: John Gruber talks about his Mac's hard drive failing and how he was able to recover all of his data using DiskWarrior
, a file recovery utility, SuperDuper!
, a backup utility that creates a fully bootable backup, and the file syncing system DropBox
. While his advice is Mac specific, you can get a similar system going on Windows with Acronis
for backups and one of many free file recovery programs such as TestDisk
(which also has a Mac version). [more inside]posted by The Devil Tesla at 5:23 PM PST - 90 comments
A lot of people figure things out, but it takes a special talent or maybe personality to figure it our and do something about it. Previously
, we heard about the man who wrote the software that blew up the economy. Now we find out whom
that software was written. [more inside]posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:27 PM PST - 40 comments
People have been upset
about Pluto's demotion for some time now. (While classical music fans
have just had a love/hate relationship with this whole process.) But astronomical hate mail
has never been as cute as the missives Neil deGrasse Tyson has received over the years from tots upset at poor Pluto's ouster.posted by greekphilosophy at 1:51 PM PST - 46 comments
From a 2008 document titled "Wikileaks.org—An Online Reference to Foreign Intelligence Services, Insurgents, or Terrorist Groups?
" (PDF) produced by the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessments Branch of the Army Counterintelligence Center:
(S//NF) Wikileaks.org uses trust as a center of gravity by assuring insiders, leakers, and whistleblowers who pass information to Wikileaks.org personnel or who post information to the Web site that they will remain anonymous. The identification, exposure, or termination of employment of or legal actions against current or former insiders, leakers, or whistleblowers could damage or destroy this center of gravity and deter others from using Wikileaks.org to make such information public.posted by scalefree at 1:46 PM PST - 31 comments
Irrespective of whether you exercise vigorously, sitting for long periods is bad for you.
'Your chair is your enemy. It doesn’t matter if you go running every morning, or you’re a regular at the gym. If you spend most of the rest of the day sitting — in your car, your office chair, on your sofa at home — you are putting yourself at increased risk of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, a variety of cancers and an early death.' 'Several strands of evidence suggest that there’s a “physiology of inactivity”: that when you spend long periods sitting, your body actually does things that are bad for you.' [more inside]posted by VikingSword at 1:22 PM PST - 141 comments
Curious about the Average Shot Length of a movie? Wondering how the ASL has changed over time? The Cinemetrics database
comes to the rescue with statistical data on shot length!posted by burnfirewalls at 8:29 AM PST - 19 comments
"I used to say that Ali was the best I'd ever seen," says Arum, an industry legend who co-promoted the Ali-Frazier "Thrilla in Manila" in 1975. "I had never said that about another man. I don't use those words cheaply. But here it is: Manny Pacquiao
is the best I have ever seen, including Ali.posted by AceRock at 9:34 PM PST - 59 comments
"Joey, have you ever been in a Turkish prison?" Veteran actor Peter Graves
--who was the star of the original Mission Impossible
TV series, most famously (for some of us) played Capt. Oveur in Airplane!
, and was the Emmy-winning host of Biography--has died
of natural causes. He was 83.posted by zardoz at 9:09 PM PST - 93 comments
Remember the many news stories
about the femicides
in Ciudad Juarez? Since 1993, hundreds of mutilated female bodies had turned up in the deserts surrounding this border city, and these horrific crimes have never been solved. Several books
have been written on the subject; you might also recall that Jennifer Lopez made a movie
about it. But now, with the (gender-neutral) bloodbath that Ciudad Juarez has turned into, it is shocking, indeed offensive, yet true, that we can look back at the decade of femicides as being relatively peaceful when compared to current events. The annual
murder rate is now in the thousands
(compared to just a few hundred per decade
for the femicides), making CJ the most dangerous city in the world, more so than Baghdad, Caracas, or Port-au-Prince. [more inside]posted by math at 9:01 PM PST - 74 comments
It may increase schadenfreude.
It's an assistant to abortifacients and it's produced by stimulating the nipples. Got a clogged lizard? Your mom used it to turn off your brain for your own good
. In women, it peaks at orgasm, but in men, it might be elevated throughout sex without peaking
. And what do you mean "social" monogamy!?
Is it the love 'em and leave 'em hormone?? Well, it's NOT Vasopressin For Her, contrary to what some people think
Is it an impedance to feminism
? Could it be the key to treating Autism
? Ism... ism... jism? YEP. It's in the jism
! Its synthesis was the end of A Trail of Sulfa Research
, and its master was awarded the Nobel Prize
. (Chemistry, not Peace.) You can scent your loveletters with it
, but sorry, peaches... you can't huff a good cuddle, but you might like to huff while you cuddle. Previously.posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:17 PM PST - 48 comments
Russia's Wooden Churches
- A century after celebrated Russian illustrator Ivan Bilibin
called for preservation of Russia's decaying wooden churches, architectural photographer Richard Davies revisits the churches to document and raise awareness of these gorgeous historic architectural treasures. [more inside]posted by madamjujujive at 1:51 PM PST - 29 comments
Pierre de Coubertin is well-known as the father of the modern Olympics. What is less well-known is that he pseudonymously won an Olympic medal - in poetry
(PDF) [more inside]posted by Dim Siawns at 6:22 AM PST - 5 comments
A one-hour dramatic television series.
Action - Adventure - Science Fiction.
The first such concept with strong central leas characters plus other continuing regulars.
Gene Roddenberry's original pitchfor Star Trek
(.pdf) - featuring Robert M. April, captain of the S.S. Yorktown. (via
)posted by Artw at 10:34 PM PST - 44 comments
This is the biggest ego battle in history.
It looked like the beginning of a beautiful friendship. Today, such warmth is in short supply. One well-connected Silicon Valley investor, who did not want to be identified talking about the Google-Apple feud, says he is stunned by the level of rancor he’s witnessed.
“It’s World War III. Amazing animosity is motivating two of the most powerful people in the industry,” he says. “This is emotional. This is the biggest ego battle in history. It’s incendiary.”posted by fixedgear at 8:11 PM PST - 202 comments
In Sizing Up Sperm
, people dressed in all white literally act out the role of sperm in the race to become one with the egg, running through valleys, squeezing through spirals, battling Leukocytes and much more. The results are stunning and the program airs this Sunday, March 14 on National Geographic. It just so happens that Slate also got in on the ejaculation meme, and delivered an article on a story of sperm donors and DNA tracing in Are Sperm Donors Really Anonymous Anymore?
] [more inside]posted by netbros at 4:45 PM PST - 26 comments
"Fed up with government gridlock, but put off by the flavor of the Tea Party, people in cities across the country are offering an alternative: the Coffee Party. Growing through a Facebook
page, the party pledges to “support leaders who work toward positive solutions, and hold accountable those who obstruct them.” (from the New York Times article
) [more inside]posted by Daddy-O at 12:39 PM PST - 62 comments
The September 2008 colapse of Lehman Bros. was the percipaticing event which channged a credit crunch to a panic. The examiner apointed by the bancrupcy court has produced a 2200 page report about what went wrong. The whole report is here
. Summaries and links to analysis after the jump. [more inside]posted by shothotbot at 7:00 AM PST - 31 comments
From the Borough of Brooklyn comes Dollar Van Demos
: a showcase of talented musicians, rappers and comedians performing inside a dollar van with real passengers. [more inside]posted by Drexen at 6:39 AM PST - 7 comments
"The Remains of War"
is an article by Carolin Emcke
a journalist, political theorist and writer.
Since 2007 she has worked as an international reporter for the German weekly "Die Zeit”
Other than her last book, “Echoes of Violence
”; little of Emcke’s work has been translated into English from German. But Emcke, who has a doctorate in philosophy and is a war correspondent for Die Zeit, has begun posting translations
of her articles.posted by adamvasco at 5:14 AM PST - 3 comments
-- the FCC wants you
to have broadband, and to get what you're paying for. They've created a site which will benchmark your broadband for you.posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:47 PM PST - 72 comments
1. Create a record label named "Unknown."
2. Form a band named "Various Artists."
3. (step 3 not required)
No, really: Please take your royalty check
Royalties are piling up from digital music streams, and a nonprofit has to track down artists who don't know. Then it has to convince them it's not a scam.posted by planetkyoto at 6:21 PM PST - 20 comments
After years of meticulous research of historic documents, mapping, modeling, texturing, and trying to convince a video game released in 1998 to do something it was never intended to be capable of, the 72 kilometer, 567-turn Piccolo circuito delle Madonie was released
as a community add-on track for Grand Prix Legends
last September. The track was home of the Targa Florio
from 1932 to 1936 and 1951 to 1977, and is made up of curving
, winding mountain roads
in the Sicilian countryside
, and is beautifully recreated in the game. Best of all, it's absolutely free
.posted by clorox at 5:54 PM PST - 21 comments
The winners of the Independent Game Festival Awards were announced
last night. A few winners are playable now: the awesome Max and the Magic Marker
won the Vision award with its whimsical drawing-based action; Closure
, featuring creepy light-based puzzles, won for sound design; Continuity
, a student-created puzzling platform game. Big winners Monaco
and the visually stunning Limbo
are only available in video form now, but are worth a look anyway. [Closure and Continuity are in Flash; Max is in Unity, but worth it]posted by blahblahblah at 11:13 AM PST - 6 comments
Paris in 26 gigapixels is a stitching of 2346 single photos showing a very high-resolution panoramic view of the French capital (354159x75570 px). Dive into the image and visit Paris like never before! [more inside]posted by i_cola at 8:17 AM PST - 41 comments
The late William Safire
left behind a language-column vacancy that the NY Times
has been filling with a rotating crew of language experts, some better than others. Now they've announced
their choice for a permanent replacement, and it could hardly be better: Ben Zimmer
, an actual linguist. Reading "On Language" will be slightly less enjoyable for us nitpickers but a lot more informative.posted by languagehat at 7:38 AM PST - 30 comments
Friday Flash Fun: Redder
is an exploration-based platformer by Auntie Pixelante
. It's a little bit like VVVVVV
, but with a red/green block switching mechanic instead of a gravity switching one.posted by Rinku at 6:30 PM PST - 17 comments
Confessions of a Call Bear
- "At 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds, he's a pretty big guy, though he "carries it well." His red hair is cut in a flattop, and he has a closely cropped beard, but he doesn't look particularly imposing." Rusty McMann is a 40something male escort.posted by desjardins at 6:13 PM PST - 62 comments
"You don't hear the words
'poodle,' 'tinfoil hat,' and 'First Amendment' in the same sentence often, but they are indeed linked in a classic Facebook melodrama." On February 8 Dale Blank created a Facebook page called 'Can this poodle wearing a tinfoil hat get more fans than Glenn Beck?
.' He received 273,582 fans before Facebook stepped in and "publish blocked" the page on February 18. "That put the tin-hatted poodle at the center of a dispute over First Amendment free speech rights and censorship. There were virtual howls that Facebook was actively siding with Glen Beck over the Poodle, that perhaps someone at Facebook was siding with the conservatives, or at least had developed a hatred for left-wing sarcasm." [more inside]posted by ericb at 2:03 PM PST - 99 comments
Sweet, sour, bitter, salty, umami, and.... fat? Dr. Russell Keast
, an Austrailian scientist who studies
"perceived flavour, consumer acceptance and preference of foods and nutrition," has conducted research exploring humans' apparent sixth taste perception: fat. The kicker? Sensitivity to the taste of fat was negatively correlated with fat intake and BMI. Dr. Keast discussed the results of his latest research
, and The Sydney Morning Herald
. (via) [more inside]posted by sentient at 12:57 PM PST - 31 comments
Hundreds of volunteers are needed to help create a line of light along the length of Hadrian's Wall
to mark the purported 1600th anniversary of the departure from Britain of Roman legions under Constantine III
Organisers are looking for 500 people to help create the spectacle on 13 March, which will light up the wall from one end to the other
. Each of the volunteer "illuminators" will be responsible for one of the 500 individual points of light that will be placed at 820ft (250m) intervals along the route of the 84-mile (135km) Hadrian's Wall Path National Trail
There is something gloriously pointless about this, although it will undoubtedly be a spectacle. One has to ask though - apart from building a fucking big wall to keep the Jocks
out, what have the Romans ever done for us……?posted by MajorDundee at 11:45 AM PST - 16 comments
[1h25m Google Video] is a 2001 documentary which traces the history of GNU, Linux, and the open source and free software movements. It features several interviews with prominent hackers and entrepreneurs (and hackers-cum-entrepreneurs), including Richard Stallman, Michael Tiemann, Linus Torvalds, Larry Augustin, Eric S. Raymond, Bruce Perens, Frank Hecker and Brian Behlendorf. [more inside]posted by hippybear at 8:57 AM PST - 68 comments
Of course lots of not-so-safe-for-work things show up on ChatRoulette
. What else can you expect when you offer anonymous access to strangers' webcams? But ChatRoulette Map
makes the "service" not-so-anonymous by plotting screen shots on a map based on IP addresses. (via
) [more inside]posted by nbergus at 10:38 PM PST - 45 comments
Oscar winner Jean-Xavier de Lestrade's TV documentary series The Staircase
can be watched in full on Google Video. It chronicles the defense strategy of Michael Peterson, the novelist who in 2001 was accused of murdering his wife, who he said had fallen down a flight of stairs at their grand house in Durham, N.C. Links inside. [more inside]posted by AceRock at 3:46 PM PST - 19 comments
What If Everybody in Canada Flushed At Once?
The water utility in Edmonton, EPCOR, published a graph of water consumption last week. By now you’ve probably heard that up to 80% of Canadians were watching the Olympics gold medal hockey game between Canada and the USA. So, it stands to reason that they’d all go pee between periods. More from The Globe and Mail
.posted by netbros at 2:24 PM PST - 56 comments
It looked legit
and not entirely out of the realm of possibility
in today's heated political climate: an anti-gay resolution being introduced in Utah to expel homosexuals from the state. Except that it was an entire, elaborate hoax
courtesy of the Yes Men
.posted by Leezie at 8:22 PM PST - 28 comments
is a physics game. Throw blocks off the stage by shooting balls at them. There are many types of blocks, there are many types of balls. 30 levels to finish. (flash, music/sound effects optional) [more inside]posted by crunchland at 7:15 PM PST - 26 comments
Once upon a time, before boats had motors, the only way to move vessels up the Shennong River (a tributary to the Yangtze River near Badong, Enshi) was for labourers, known as River Trackers, to haul them by hand using heavy ropes along a dangerously narrow ledge hacked from solid rock. And while naked
(slightly NSFW). [more inside]posted by bwg at 4:49 PM PST - 27 comments
I mean, in these days of indoor plumbing, the toilet is a naturally potent metaphor for everyday repression, for all the bile and rage and memories and sins and other impure thoughts and unclean urges that can't always kept down or flushed away. Every once in a while when the psychological plumbing gets clogged, the load of excrement becomes more than one's psychological pipes can handle, and the shit all comes bubbling back up from below and spews out onto the surface.A survey of plumbing in the movies. Wee bit NSFW in both word and image.posted by kipmanley at 1:19 PM PST - 33 comments
Celebrity chef Beppe Bigazzi upset viewers and his host with his recipe for "cat casserole
", and has been suspended from the program
[Italian]. Inhabitants of Northern Italy, particularly those of Vicenza, are still nicknamed "magnagati
" ('cat eaters') as a derogatory term in Venetian. Taking a clue from the Aboriginal population, cooking feral cats has even been proposed in Alice Springs
, Australia, to curb the out-of-control feral population. [more inside]posted by atomicmedia at 6:39 AM PST - 98 comments
, about the annual dolphins slaughter in Taiji, Japan, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary. However, the movie has only been screened once in Japan, during the Tokyo International Film Festival in October. Reaction from the town
is a combination of "We're not doing anything wrong" and "It's none of your business what we do" with the added refrain of "We're protecting our cultural traditions" which is already familiar to anti-whaling activists and the like. Due to a media blackout, most Japanese people don't even know the hunt happens, but will the movie's increasingly high profile (It's even becoming a TV show
) and the negative publicity force a change? More details
on the making and content of the movie. [more inside]posted by donkeymon at 3:22 AM PST - 91 comments
The Goon Show was a highly popular and immensely influential radio show on the BBC in the 1950s featuring Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan. They would sometimes do live readings of episodes, here's a video recording of The Whistling Spy Enigma (parts 1
) and a much later recording of Tales of Men's Shirts (parts 1
). The first features Ray Ellington, musical director of the Goon Show, and the second John Cleese, who, like his fellow Pythons, was a huge fan of The Goon Show growing up. In the 50s BBC turned The Goon Show into a TV show with puppets, called Telegoons. A number of shows exist online: The Lurgi Strikes Britain (1
), The Nadger Plague (1
), Captain Seagoon RN (1
), Tales of Montmartre (1
), The First Albert Memorial to the Moon (1
), The Hastings Flyer (1
), The Affair of the Lone Banana (1
), The Africa Ship Canal (1
), The Booted Gorilla (1
), The Ascent of Mount Everest (1
), The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler of Bexhill on Sea (1
), Fort Knight (1
), The Terrible Revenge of Fred Fu Manchu (1
), The Lost Colony (1
) and, finally, back where we first began, the Telegoons version of The Whistling Spy Enigma (1
).posted by Kattullus at 10:16 PM PST - 43 comments
"If it's the 21st Century, where's my jetpack?" Here you go
. Flight time of 30 minutes, runs on premium gasoline. Cheap, at just $86,000!posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:20 PM PST - 34 comments
How we lost the cure for scurvy.
"Now, I had been taught in school that scurvy had been conquered in 1747...but here was a Royal Navy surgeon in 1911 apparently ignorant of what caused the disease, or how to cure it. Somehow a highly-trained group of scientists at the start of the 20th century knew less about scurvy than the average sea captain in Napoleonic times."posted by rodgerd at 12:49 AM PST - 90 comments
By all accounts, it has outdated graphics, messy controls, and wild tonal shifts, though it is no longer quite as obviously Twin Peaks based as originally intended
. Released in North America on the same day as Heavy Rain
, very few people even in the video gaming world have heard of the budget horror/survival title Deadly Premonition
. Yet outside of a savage IGN review
, the few people
who've picked up the game seem
to genuinely enjoy
it. Destructoid's Jim Sterling even gave the game a perfect perfect 10
, defending the game with a combination of absurdity
and trollish sincerity
. (NSFW text in the Destructoid links. Violent imagery in the first link.)posted by kmz at 10:35 PM PST - 46 comments
Can't You See I'm Busy? Let’s face it; we all want to relax every now and then, but still want to appear professional or busy! That’s why all [these] games ... are designed in a way that nobody can see that you’re gaming. In fact, your boss and colleagues will think that you’re working harder than ever before.posted by crunchland at 4:28 PM PST - 24 comments
Home Inspection Nightmares, editions III
From the good folks at This Old House & The ASHI Reporter. (Previously, I & II)posted by R. Mutt at 9:59 AM PST - 40 comments
Will a lava lamp work on Jupiter?
Neil Fraser decided to test it.
"To find out how lava lamps behave in super-terrestrial gravity, I built a large centrifuge in my living room. ...it was a rich learning experience as I encountered one metal-shredding and wire-melting failure after another." [more inside]posted by odinsdream at 6:19 AM PST - 37 comments
Music! - A 1968 documentary by the National Music Council of Great Britain, featuring folk singing, The Beatles, and even early electronic music produced by tape splicing. Part 1
, part 2
, part 3
, part 4
, part 5
.posted by Artw at 1:20 AM PST - 8 comments
In 1896, Swedish physical chemist and Nobel laureate Svante Arrhenius
calculated that doubling CO2
in the atmosphere would raise Earth's temperature 5-6°C. The idea didn't get traction at the time, in part because many believed it impossible for humanity to affect the climate (sound familiar?), but Arrhenius might have been on to something. Historian and physicist Spencer Weart
's history of the century-long scientific investigation and popular debate
will re-frame your perspective on today's crisis and arm you to educate the uninformed. If you don't know the history, you are probably repeating it. [After I-don't-know-how-many years, my first FPP]posted by guanxi at 4:35 PM PST - 34 comments
Hilariously sleazy network marketing videos for Yoli.
The "Yoli's Hybrid Comp Plan" video specifically is quite ridiculous, as are all the ones from the company founders. Yoli is a network marketing product, a health drink specifically, with some terribly creepy videos over-promising their get rich quick product to suckers worldwide.posted by sp160n at 4:30 PM PST - 43 comments
. "In a recent survey of 110 news organizations, the Toronto Star found that increasingly, publishers are fielding regular requests from anxious and embarrassed readers to “unpublish” information, sometimes months or years after it first appeared online." [more inside]posted by severiina at 9:22 AM PST - 31 comments
This is not your (grand)father's PennyFarthing ... but it sure looks like one! Introducing the YikeBike
, being developed by an outfit in Christchurch, New Zealand. With a top speed of 20kph, a cruising range of 9~10km, and a re-charge time of 20+ minutes, it's not going to be the answer for every commuter, but given the astonishingly small compact size to which it can be collapsed - and taken on a train/bus/etc. - it looks to be a real contender in the 'run about town' market. Plenty of action videos are linked from the bottom of their Gallery
page.posted by woodblock100 at 7:58 PM PST - 99 comments
Auschwitz: Then and Now
From Remember.org: In 1979, The Auschwitz Museum Archive reproduced selected pieces of art and sent them to writer/photographer Alan Jacobs. After years of related work and many more trips, Jacobs, and his son Jesse, returned to the camps in 1996 to find and photograph the identical scenes depicted in the art. [more inside]posted by bwg at 5:11 PM PST - 12 comments
When writer Robin Romm's mother was dying of cancer, she started keeping a journal--writing from the trenches. At the time she had no idea it would become a book. The Mercy Papers (excerpt)
is a gut-wrenching, painfully honest, and deeply moving account of her mother's last three weeks. [more inside]posted by liketitanic at 3:38 PM PST - 31 comments
Las Vegas is the final part of the Another Version of the Truth collection, and is exclusively community-created.
Filmed entirely by fans and co-ordinated by Alex Gamble, this release saw the community fly in from around the world, donate technology, skill, and even airfare (fans raised money to send chaonatic, a valued taper, to the concert) to document the final performance of Nine Inch Nails' stunning 2008 tour. Over 200GB of footage was collected, which was meticulously edited together by a team comprising of people from all over the world. [more inside]posted by hippybear at 1:33 PM PST - 17 comments
. My Granddad once told me that I didn't understand Nazi's, because the black and white film always made it look unreal. He said if the films were color, I'd see.posted by Mblue at 12:22 PM PST - 74 comments
A future history of the CD revival.
In response to a piece on cassette culture
), music writer Tom Ewing reports from the 2020s' revival of interest in the compact disc format, and the interplays between hazy memories of growing up in the '00s, reaction against networked "social playlists", and a fetishisation of both the "glossy, uneasy sheen" of the CD sound and the constraints in working with physical artefacts.posted by acb at 8:33 AM PST - 56 comments
While much is being made of dysfunctional government
] and hung parliament
], David Cameron's pitches for a fairer society
], smarter policy
] and employee ownership
] have been positively, uh, Obamanian
.* [more inside]posted by kliuless at 7:28 AM PST - 26 comments
Flooding in Uganda displaces 20,000.
Heavy rains in eastern Uganda have triggered flooding that has displaced more than 20,000 people and hampered search efforts to find victims of massive landslides feared to have killed hundreds, officials said Thursday. posted by mdpatrick at 8:01 PM PST - 14 comments
"For the month of March 2010, the city of Topeka will be known as Google, Kansas
." Mayor Bill Bunten says the proclamation is an attempt to stand out from the crowd
, as cities around the United States have until March 26 to tell Google they're interested in participating in the Fiber for Communities
program, part of the company's recently announced plans to build a series of superfast broadband networks across the country [previously on MetaFilter
]. Other cities are trying to get Google's attention, but Duluth, Minnesota, has upped the ante
by pledging to name its firstborn sons "Google Fiber" and its firstborn daughters "Googlette Fiber" in a video [YouTube, 3:34]
spoofing Topeka's efforts.posted by amyms at 7:13 PM PST - 47 comments
The paradinha is a devastating penalty kick tactic popularized by Pelé in the 1970s, and increasingly adopted by Brazilian players. This week soccer's primary governing organization, FIFA, will discuss the maneuver as it prepares for the 2010 FIFA World Cup
As the Wall Street Journal
The paradinha (pronounced par-a-JEEN-ya) is performed on a penalty kick by the shooter, who pauses unexpectedly before striking the ball—or even swings his foot through the air several times—before making contact. It's designed to throw off the goalkeeper's timing. When executed properly, the move can have jaw-dropping results. [more inside]posted by 2bucksplus at 11:17 AM PST - 72 comments
The Mistake on Page 1,032: On Translating Infinite Jest into German.
"'The limits of my language are the limits of my world,' Ulrich Blumenbach quotes Wittgenstein as saying in a Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung
article to describe the challenges and inducements of the six years he spent translating David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest
) into German — something he did without input from the author, who refused to speak to him." [more inside]posted by ocherdraco at 8:47 AM PST - 35 comments
Need some light reading? Popular Science has put its entire 137-year catalog online for free.posted by backseatpilot at 6:04 AM PST - 36 comments
Doug Lemov is getting some attention
for his work at identifying - and trying to replicate - the key things that successful teachers do. [more inside]posted by mai at 4:16 PM PST - 44 comments
In Publishing: The Revolutionary Future
, Jason Epstein posits "The resistance today by publishers to the onrushing digital future does not arise from fear of disruptive literacy, but from the understandable fear of their own obsolescence and the complexity of the digital transformation that awaits them... The unprecedented ability of this technology to offer a vast new multilingual marketplace a practically limitless choice of titles will displace the Gutenberg system with or without the cooperation of its current executives." [more inside]posted by netbros at 4:11 PM PST - 19 comments
What is Rebetiko?
My own opinion is that it is the range of musical styles, that arose from the interaction and combining of the following ingredients:-
the music played by the Greeks who were in Smyrna until 1922 (Smyrnaika)
the songs called "Amanadhes"
the music used for dancing by the Zeybeks
the music that was being played in Greece up to the 1920s, that had developed from folk music
any other influences I have forgotten or never heard of!.
Previously on Metafilter
.posted by vostok at 4:25 PM PST - 9 comments
RIP Barry Hannah
Author Barry Hannah, whose fiction was laced with dark humor and populated by hard-drinking Southerners, died Monday at his home in Oxford, Miss. He was 67. [more inside]posted by Francis7 at 12:27 PM PST - 16 comments
Remember how OK Go had to explain
why they couldn't let fans embed their music videos? Well, they evidently got their record label to change their tune, because the off-the-charts amazing new video for "This Too Shall Pass
" is embeddable. "Picture that old board game Mouse Trap and multiply it by several thousand," says Rolling Stone
.posted by jbickers at 12:10 PM PST - 145 comments
How disgusting can the inside of computer become? See now!
Some people smoke near their computers. Some people secrete their chip packets inside their computer boxes. You think you can get away with it until you need someone to find out why your computer is fucked up and then.. Ah hah! Could it be.. you have an alien fetus? Mice? The detritus of your fucked up lifestyle? All living within your box? Feel bad about yourself now!posted by h00py at 6:59 AM PST - 70 comments
Boston College sociology professor Lisa Dodson
does research on poverty, public policy, and low-income work and family life. Recently her research took a different turn, as she discovered through interviews with U.S. managers in charge of low-income workers that some of them feel "(a) sense of unfairness (...) as a supervisor, making enough to live comfortably while overseeing workers who couldn’t feed their families on the money they earned. That inequality, he told her, tainted his job, making him feel complicit in an unfair system that paid hard workers too little to cover basic needs." Professor Dobson talks about this phenomenon, and how it plays out in that some managers undermine the system, in interviews in the Boston Globe
and on public radio
. [more inside]posted by Harald74 at 6:24 AM PST - 35 comments
"Indeed, 90 percent of the world’s wheat has little or no protection against the Ug99 race of P. graminis. If nothing is done to slow the pathogen, famines could soon become the norm — from the Red Sea to the Mongolian steppe — as Ug99 annihilates a crop that provides a third of our calories.
" [more inside]posted by SpringAquifer at 8:21 PM PST - 36 comments
— Atmospheric digital fiction projects designed to be experienced on a computer with the lights down and your sound turned up. Use the mouse to pan around and interact. [more inside]posted by netbros at 6:40 PM PST - 8 comments
short glimpse of an alien's life as it is caught in the midst of humanity. It's not really a game that you can win or lose, there are no bosses or leveling up. It's a beautiful but sad look at humanity.posted by schyler523 at 5:22 PM PST - 23 comments
Never Seen Lost
is a blog by 'papa durbin' aka John Durbin
, detailing his journey through watching the final season of Lost. The twist: he has never seen any other Lost episodes, and he attempts to understand whatever occurs as best he can. There is, however, some contention
about whether the author is truthful about his lack of background in the show.posted by jouir at 2:42 PM PST - 127 comments
relaunched their website last week (in Italian and English / pictures on the site may be NSFW,
) with three new subsites catering to specific fashion industry demographics: Vogue Curvy (focusing on plus-sized models, actresses and celebrities,)
Vogue Black (men and women of color,)
and Vogue Talents (veteran and up-and-coming designers. "Talents" also encourages hopeful designers to submit their work for review.)
"Curvy" and "Black" in particular have received some positive
attention and some wonder
those two fashion categories is truly inclusive
. Vogue responds
.posted by zarq at 9:38 AM PST - 31 comments
The Secret Life of Radovan Karadzic.
A 45 minute documentary made by Rageh Omaar who travels to Serbia and Bosnia to investigate the decade-long period the former president of the Republika Srpska spent in hiding and examines his legacy in present-day Bosnia and beyond.
(Warning: graphic and disturbing in parts).
As his trial for Genocide finally commences Karadzic defends his actions as "Just and Holy"
( Meta Related 1; 2;
)posted by adamvasco at 9:34 AM PST - 13 comments
It's not Friday and it's not Flash. Eric David Ruth
makes downloadable PC games which generally ape the style of old-school console games. He's got quite a bit of attention recently for Pixel Force Left 4 Dead
, which attempts to recreate Left 4 Dead as it would have been on the NES.posted by Pope Guilty at 7:19 AM PST - 18 comments
M. Sartre goes to Hollywood.
In 1958, John Huston asked Jean-Paul Sartre to write a biopic of Sigmund Freud. "The Huston-Sartre collaboration
fell apart in 1959, when Sartre travelled to Huston's home in Ireland to work on the script. The two didn't work well together. 'There was no such thing as a conversation with him,' Huston later recalled. 'He talked incessantly, and there was no interrupting him. You'd wait for him to catch his breath, but he wouldn't.' Meanwhile Sartre, in his letters to Simone de Beauvoir, described Huston as 'perfectly vacant, literally incapable of speaking to those whom he has invited.'"
[via Bookslut] [more inside]posted by Paragon at 12:48 AM PST - 27 comments