Long before he became a staff writer for The New Yorker and the bestselling author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell began his career writing for a politically conservative monthly magazine. Some of his early work for The American Spectator is now available online. posted by pjdoland at 1:56 PM PST - 25 comments
Cube: navigate a rolling ball down streets towards a goal by tilting the entire world, like a cross between a balance-ball game and Katamari Damacy. (Browser with WebGL support required, Chrome recommended at this time). Part of the new Start Here guide to Google Maps. posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:39 AM PST - 25 comments
In March, 2012, students in Montreal, Canada took to the streets to protest the Quebec Liberal government's intention to raise tuition by 75% over five years. The red square, a symbol of the last student strike, quickly became the symbol of this one as well. [more inside] posted by Stagger Lee at 8:17 AM PST - 84 comments
Take the word AFRICA… without thinking, what images immediately come to mind?
War? AIDS? Genocide? Or maybe the vision of a small child with a swollen belly, surrounded by flies? … Too many non-profits ask for your pity by depicting poor, helpless Africans. But like any stereotype, this portrayal has more exceptions than truth.
Many films are called “classic,” but few qualify as turning points in the evolution of cinematic language, films that opened the way to a more mature art form. Michelangelo Antonioni’sL’Avventurais such a work. It divided film history into that which came before and that which was possible after its epochal appearance. It expanded our knowledge of what a film could be and do. It is more than a classic, it’s an historical milestone. ... Antonioni’s great achievement was to put the burden of narration almost entirely on the image itself, that is, on the characters’ actions and on the visual surface of their environment. He uses natural or manmade settings to evoke his characters’ state of mind, their emotions, their life circumstances. We learn more about them by watching what they do than by hearing what they say. We follow the story more by reading images than we do by listening to dialogue. The settings are not symbolic or metaphoric—they are extensions, manifestations, of the characters’ psyches. Physical landscape and mental landscape become one. - Gene Youngblood posted by Trurl at 11:41 AM PST - 20 comments
"[It's] all the more staggering when you realize that more people were killed in the rehearsal for the landing at Utah beach than were killed in the actual landing at Utah beach." Operation Tiger, the disastrous secret rehearsal for D-Day, marks its 68th anniversary today. posted by Spike at 8:28 PM PST - 21 comments
In June of 1984, the UK latched onto a single by three London mates which openly challenged Thatcherite-era attitudes toward homosexuals, and gave the ball of social change a huge push as the single climbed to #3 on the charts. The band was Bronski Beat, the song was Smalltown Boy, and as the song charted around the globe, the world was introduced to singer and gay rights activist Jimmy Somerville. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 6:57 PM PST - 60 comments
Each time we make one of these new discoveries we are putting our hand into a big urn of balls and pulling up a new ball---so far we've pulled up white balls and grey balls, but maybe next time we will pull out a black ball, a discovery that spells disaster. At the moment we have no good way of putting the ball back into the urn if we don't like it. Once a discovery has been published there is no way of un-publishing it. (Dr Bostrom, previously on Metafilter.) posted by COD at 5:39 PM PST - 74 comments
A Stephen King interview: by Neil Gaiman "I interviewed Stephen King for the UK Sunday Times Magazine. The interview appeared a few weeks ago. The Times keeps its site paywalled, so I thought I'd post the original version of the interview here. (This is the raw copy, and it's somewhat longer than the interview as published.) I don't do much journalism any more, and this was mostly an excuse to drive across Florida back in February and spend a day with some very nice people I do not get to see enough. I hope you enjoy it." posted by Fizz at 12:23 PM PST - 51 comments
Is Some Homophobia Self-Phobia? Many have suspected but now the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology has published empirical research on the subject. In the study, 20% of self-identified "highly-straight" participants demonstrated some level of same-sex attraction in reaction time tests. These individuals were significantly more likely than any other group of participants to favor anti-gay policies. Also in NYTimes. posted by dave99 at 5:05 AM PST - 100 comments
The trend of mathematics and physics towards unification provides the physicist with a powerful new method of research into the foundations of his subject, a method which has not yet been applied successfully, but which I feel confident will prove its value in the future. The method is to begin by choosing that branch of mathematics which one thinks will form the basis of the new theory. One should be influenced very much in this choice by considerations of mathematical beauty.  [more inside] posted by smcg at 2:51 AM PST - 8 comments
What Did The Rebel Yell Sound Like? (video): 'From the early 1900's through the 1940's, Civil War veterans were filmed, recorded and interviewed at reunions, parades, and other patriotic events where, as the century advanced, they came increasingly to seem like ambulatory trophies from some distant age of heroes.' posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:45 PM PST - 50 comments
What you see here is a prime example of what happens to film that is neglected and improperly stored.
This is an original reel fromIt's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Worldthat is now untouchable. The film has turned acidic, sporting the strongest and most foul vinegar-like odor I have ever smelled. In fact,
Robert Harris told me a story of how his contact lenses were singed by the fumes the film produced, causing temporary retinal damage to his eye.[more inside] posted by Trurl at 3:09 PM PST - 37 comments
Like underwater microscopic creatures? The Secret Life of Plankton is a fascinating, fish-narrated (sort of) TED-talk video you might be interested in. Want something a little less educational with a lot more style? Then Micro Empire could be just your thing. posted by quin at 11:00 AM PST - 4 comments
Battle for Asciion [Flash] is an old school shoot 'em up in the vein of R-Type and Gradius, with an additional nod to ROFLcopter. Viewable in your choice of black-and-green, black-and-amber or black-and-white displays, along with a Textshot™ function for preserving those 1337 moments. posted by Smart Dalek at 8:59 AM PST - 8 comments
Buying a car with babysitting money Kathryn, at age 12, decided that she wanted a Pontiac Fiero for her 16th birthday. After convincing her parents, she bought it and has been restoring it from the ground up, including upholstery, motor rebuilding, welding, and more. posted by plinth at 8:36 AM PST - 58 comments
A couple years ago, we had our Choice of Dragons and of Broadsides. Since then, the authors have released Choice of the Vampire, in which your newly made vampire (potentially a Lestat type, but just as likely a Creole watchmaker or an illiterate backwoodsman) navigates the 19th Century American South; the fantasy diptych Choice of Romances and Choice of Intrigues, in which your initial choices determine the gender normativity of the game world as well as the temperament of your hero; and, most recently, Choice of Zombies, a fleet game that concentrates on action, relationships, and high-stakes decisions. posted by Iridic at 8:05 AM PST - 13 comments
A heroic leader of a cavalry charge at Gettysburg, a legendary newspaperman, twice famed co-inventor of the Wagon Lit train compartment --- and a real bastard’s bastard, a con man, a swindler, a quite-nearly-convicted blackmailer: all of these are one man. William d'Alton Mann. The pseudononymous writer of "The Saunterer" (and editor-in-chef Town Topics, the New York paper in which it was published from the 1880s until the 1930s) William d’Alton Mann was a pioneer of gossip who invented the blind item and --- entirely inadvertently --- gave the world Emily Post. [more inside] posted by Diablevert at 8:46 PM PST - 3 comments
Mexico passes ambitious climate change law to reduce carbon emissions by 30 percent below 2000 levels by 2020, and 50 percent below 2000 levels by 2050. The law also stipulates that 35 percent of Mexico's electricity should come from renewable sources by the year 2024. It joins the United Kingdom in having legally binding emissions goals aimed at stemming the effects of climate change. posted by stbalbach at 12:18 PM PST - 25 comments
Testing toilet flush performance naturally requires the replication of real-world loads. Striving for accuracy, a Texas A&M study (PDF) evaluated polypropylene balls and Play-Doh sheathed in condoms before settling on a test payload of two Water Wigglers per flush. In contrast, the Maximum Performance project (scroll down for photodocumentation of MaP testing procedures) recommends the use of 350-gram specimens of extruded soybean paste ("specimens that float shall not be used"). [more inside] posted by bassomatic at 11:23 AM PST - 32 comments
Archer (official genre: Global Espionage cartoon) creator Adam Reed talks through season 3 (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) about Archer’s Atlanta based and stream-lined creative process, its guiding aesthetics, eschewing writer rooms (“It’s like being in a staff meeting—a funny staff meeting.”), and Jessica Walter’s general classiness. [more inside] posted by stratastar at 11:14 AM PST - 22 comments
In The Geographic Flow of Music (arxiv), researchers Conrad Lee and Pádraig Cunningham propose a method to use data from the last.fm API to track the world's listening habits by location and time, showing where shifts in musical tastes have originated and subsequently migrated. Results show music trends originating in smaller cities and flowing outward in unexpected ways, contradicting some assumptions in social science about larger cities being more efficient engines of (cultural) invention. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:37 AM PST - 13 comments
You've probably heard of the General Strike called for May Day by Occupy Wall Street and affiliated groups. For those who want to know what the whole thing is about, or how to get involved, this link may answer some of your questions. [more inside] posted by eviemath at 8:22 AM PST - 229 comments
Last night, author and farmer Wendell Berry delivered a powerful lecture [video; full text here includes portions not delivered verbally] to a full house on the occasion of his accepting the National Endowment of the Humanities' Jefferson Award. The famous PC holdout has appeared previously in the blue, but this lecture is not to be missed. Here is soul nourishment for the long-time Berry follower, and for the newcomer a superb introduction to one of our time's greatest intellects. [more inside] posted by maniabug at 8:46 PM PST - 27 comments
This was filmed to show the passion and art of glowstringing and sticking, to show peace, love, unity and respect. Glowstringing is my passion and it's been an amazing experience learning this art. This was also filmed to showcase my good friend Blake Johnson's music, and whether he knows it or not his amazing filming skills. We are both blessed with an amazing talent, and we are proud to present this work of art.Glowstringing by Anna "Schlosser90". posted by lazaruslong at 6:16 PM PST - 23 comments
Cow Boy - the tale of Boyd Linney, a ten-year-old bounty hunter determined to round up his outlaw family. Or as Chris Sims puts it: "True Grit: The Animated Series". posted by Artw at 4:40 PM PST - 17 comments
What the hell happened to the Luna 23 probe? As part of the Soviet Union's Luna program, it was designed to collect a small sample of lunar regolith and return it to Earth. But despite landing, it failed to leave the moon. Two years later, Luna 24 landed nearby and managed to attain and return a sample, but its geological properties conflicted wildly with what was expected. What the hell happened with Luna 24? [more inside] posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:17 PM PST - 40 comments
The HemLoft is an egg-shaped treehouse that Joel Allen built over three years on an imposing hemlock tree he found on crown (government owned) land near Whistler, British Columbia. Until recently, Allen kept the beautiful, illegally-built structure secret, but now that it's been shared with the world, what will happen to it? posted by ocherdraco at 12:10 PM PST - 47 comments
Have you ever wondered what non-euclidean geometry actually looks like? This video uses a custom ray tracer for the Minecraft engine to give some examples. posted by codacorolla at 10:56 AM PST - 33 comments
With fans struggling to come to terms with David Bowie's musical hiatus and likely retirement, any new Bowie-related material has been eagerly pursued. Last year, the leak of the unreleased album Toy (previously) slaked the thirst of those needing a Bowie fix. Last week, an unauthorized preview of another Bowie project emerged— Bowie: Object. First announced in 2010, the book features 100 objects from Bowie's archive, with text written by the man himself. posted by kimdog at 10:45 AM PST - 12 comments
galton.org is an exhaustive website devoted to the life and works of the statistical pioneer and "father of eugenics" Francis Galton, inventor of the scatterplot, the correlation coefficient, fingerprint identification, and who knows what else. Almost all of Galton's books and papers are reproduced here, some in scanned form and some in searchable .pdf, from his major books to his letters to Pigeon Fancier's Journal. A short selection after the fold. [more inside] posted by escabeche at 8:54 AM PST - 11 comments
“Not only was the militarization of the border not a success,” Massey argues, “it backfired in the sense that it transformed what had been a circular migration of male workers to three states [California, Texas, and Illinois] into a much larger, settled population of families living in 50 states.” posted by caddis at 8:24 AM PST - 76 comments
Descriptive Camera, 2012"The Descriptive Camera works a lot like a regular camera—point it at subject and press the shutter button to capture the scene. However, instead of producing an image, this prototype outputs a text description of the scene."[more inside] posted by delmoi at 7:00 AM PST - 51 comments
"Using four photons, we can actively delay the choice of measurement on two of the photons into the time-like future of the registration of the other two photons. This effectively projects the two already registered photons onto one of two mutually exclusive quantum states in which the photons are either entangled (quantum correlations) or separable (classical correlations). This can also be viewed as ‘quantum steering into the past’." (arXiv, Nature Physics, Ars Technica) posted by jeffburdges at 12:47 AM PST - 80 comments
Since she is not truly an emergency patient, she is triaged to the back of the line, and other folks, those in immediate distress, get in for treatment ahead of her. She waits on a gurney in a cavernous green hallway.
The “chief complaint” on her chart at Grady Memorial Hospital, in Downtown Atlanta, might have set off a wave of nausea in a hospital at a white suburb or almost any place in the civilized world. It reads, “My breast has fallen off. Can you reattach it?” (via Boing Boing) [more inside] posted by Joe in Australia at 10:16 PM PST - 103 comments
Harvard’s annual cost for journals from these providers now approaches $3.75M. In 2010, the comparable amount accounted for more than 20% of all periodical subscription costs and just under 10% of all collection costs for everything the Library acquires. Some journals cost as much as $40,000 per year, others in the tens of thousands. Prices for online content from two providers have increased by about 145% over the past six years, which far exceeds not only the consumer price index, but also the higher education and the library price indices. These journals therefore claim an ever-increasing share of our overall collection budget. Even though scholarly output continues to grow and publishing can be expensive, profit margins of 35% and more suggest that the prices we must pay do not solely result from an increasing supply of new articles.Harvard's Faculty Advisory Council asks Harvard's faculty to change how they publish. [more inside] posted by Toekneesan at 3:53 PM PST - 80 comments
On April 20, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued a unanimous ruling for the plaintiffs in a lawsuit brought up by the Transgender Law Center on behalf of Mia Macy, who claimed she was denied a job as at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives after she announced she was transitioning from male to female. The decision allows for people who have been fired or prohibited from applying for a job based on their gender identity to bring federal lawsuits against their employers under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. [more inside] posted by zombieflanders at 1:54 PM PST - 36 comments
Tor/Forge, the Science Fiction and Fantasy subsidiary of Macmillan, has announced that it is going DRM free on all of its ebooks. Mefi's own Charles Stross shares a presentation he recently made to executives at Macmillan that may have partially influenced this decision. Stross had previously predicted that publishers would need to go DRM free to prevent Amazon from gaining too much power in the ebook market. posted by bove at 12:31 PM PST - 74 comments
The Lap of Luxury was a Big Brother-style reality tv show filmed for Spike TV in 2003. The format is familiar: 9 contestants living in a house together, all trying to win immunity, prevent themselves from being voted out and vying to win a $100,000 prize while facing down a smarmy host. Except... only one of them, a guy named Matt Kennedy Gould, was really a contestant. The rest were actors, playing stereotypical reality show roles. The series was scripted, heavily improvised and entirely created around Matt -- his very own Truman Show. Welcome to Joe Schmo. [more inside] posted by zarq at 11:28 AM PST - 55 comments
Today, Google launched Google Drive, their long-awaited cloud storage solution. Although it's seen by many as a direct answer to Dropbox, iCloud, and Skydrive, it also offers a few novel features of its own: integration with most Google web services, like Gmail, Docs, and Picasa. And perhaps most notably in the long run, it launched with an API encouraging third-party integration. 18 apps in the Chrome Web Store already implement Drive. posted by gilrain at 10:48 AM PST - 152 comments
Between 40 and 50 percent of female homicide victims are killed by their husbands, boyfriends, and exes. And, for about half of these victims, police had been alerted to previous incidents of abuse. There is, however, one exception to this grim trend: Maryland. Since 2007, domestic violence homicides in the state have fallen by a stunning 40 percent. What is Maryland doing that other states are not? The answer appears to lie with a former high school nurse, an ex-Washington, D.C., police lieutenant, and their ground-breaking efforts to protect the most vulnerable victims of abuse.
—Fighting Back is an article by Tim Stelloh about new method to identify and protect abused women, developed by a group of law enforcement officers and academics (Note: The article features graphic descriptions of domestic violence and murder). The article focuses especially on the work of Prof. Jacquelyn Campbell. You can watch an interview with her here. posted by Kattullus at 9:24 AM PST - 49 comments
If you want to hear the rock solidest, rock steadiest, rock of Gibralterist rock drumming that's ever been rocked in the history of rock, then you want to hear this. posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:02 AM PST - 57 comments
The first sighting of an all-white male orca (YouTube 1, 2) is reported by Eric Hoyt, Senior Fellow with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society, UK. posted by bardophile at 2:41 AM PST - 13 comments
Beginning in the 1910s, a combination of new ideas and technologies generated a proliferation of little magazines. These magazines made possible the revolutionary movement known as modernism.
Little magazines promoted artistic and political movements ranging from Imagism, Futurism, Cubism, Surrealism, and Dada, to Anarchism, Socialism, Communism, and Feminism. Little magazines provided a stage for modernist innovations ranging from New Art and the New Music, to the New Negro and the New Woman. Little magazines championed individual liberties ranging from free verse, to free speech, and free love.
Today, we are using the World Wide Web to produce a database dedicated to these important periodicals. posted by latkes at 7:06 PM PST - 11 comments
MyTube60 gives you an easy way to string together clips from videos on youtube. It allows you to pick your videos, put them in order, and choose start and end points within the video. Also gives you the ability to search power hours put together by others. posted by jermsplan at 4:58 PM PST - 10 comments
"...Pam agreed to die in order to save her life—and in the process had what is perhaps the most famous case of independent corroboration of out of body experience (OBE) perceptions on record...Pam later said, she felt herself “pop” out of her body and hover above it, watching as doctors worked on her body. Although she no longer had use of her eyes and ears, she described her observations in terms of her senses and perceptions...with considerable accuracy.
NDE studies [such as these] suggest that after physical death, mind and consciousness may continue in a transcendent level of reality that normally is not accessible to our senses and awareness."
In 1973 and 1975, two one-hour television documentaries aired in the US: In Search of Ancient Astronauts (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) and In Search of Ancient Mysteries (Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The same producers also put out The Outer Space Connection (Parts 1 and 2) in 1975. All were narrated by Twilight Zone's Rod Serling. In 1976 a series was developed. Since Serling had passed away in 1975, popular actor Leonard Nimoy was chosen as host. In Search of... ran for six seasons, from 1976 - 1982, and was devoted to discussing unusual mysteries and phenomena. All 144 episodes can be seen on YouTube. Playlists: Seasons 1 and 2. Seasons 3 and 4. Seasons 5 and 6. posted by zarq at 10:42 AM PST - 51 comments
Ever get that uncanny feeling of deja vu while walking down the street in some city that you've never been to before? Maybe you saw it in a movie some time ago. Maybe the combination of the scenery and the architecture and passersby being in the same places as the principal actors set it off. The Movie Mimic does this on purpose, and includes Google Maps of the sites in case you'd like to go there yourself and strike a pose. posted by Halloween Jack at 9:05 AM PST - 22 comments
Heavily influenced by samurai films from film makers such as Akira Kurosawa, French/Burkinabe filmmaker Cédric Ido produced a short award winning film, Hasaki Ya Suda (The Three Black Samurai) set in the future. Its synopsis reads:
It is 2100. In the world engulfed in chaos and war whose residents are consumed by terrible hunger, the last fertile land became the subject of fierce battles. Three warriors: noble Wurubenba (Jacky Ido), Shandaru (Cedric Ido), who wants to avenge his father’s death, and Kapkaru (Min Man Ma) craving for power, will face one another in a fight for life and death.
Watch the full 25-minute Hasaki Ya Suda short film (available only with French subtitles at the moment) or the 1 minute teaser. Interview with Cedric in English. posted by infini at 7:50 AM PST - 7 comments
Imaginary Landscapes (1989): a visually hypnotic and impressionistic portrait of musician Brian Eno, directed by Duncan Ward and Gabriella Cardazzo. (40 mins.) posted by Neilopolis at 10:24 PM PST - 20 comments
On January 13 and 14, 1972, ArethaFranklinsang during services at the Reverend James Cleveland's New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. The audio recordings released as Amazing Grace remain the largest-selling gospel album in history. However, of the 20 hours of 16mm film footage by Sydney Pollack - intended as a concert movie for tandem release - only a few snippets have ever been seen. (previously: 1, 2) posted by Trurl at 10:00 PM PST - 8 comments
Three months after file sharing site Megaupload was shut down (previously), and charged with criminal copyright violations by the DOJ, the judge has expressed doubt that the case will go to trial because the company has not been served with criminal papers. US-based lawyer for Megaupload Ira Rothken: "We don't believe Megaupload can be served in a criminal matter because it is not located within the jurisdiction of the United States." [more inside] posted by bigZLiLk at 6:36 PM PST - 43 comments
On April 20th, Etsy, which as many of you know is an online marketplace for handmade and vintage goods and craft materials only, featured seller Ecologica Malibu and posted an interview they’d conducted with its owner Mariana Schechter, who talked about the salvaged wood furniture she designs and builds, and about how she "always felt that there was magic in the trees and a mysterious energy in the ocean" and that "there is something personal and unique that occurs when you craft something with your hands". Oddly for a featured seller interview, there was no detail given about the process of how Schechter makes her furniture and no photos of her in her workshop making them. On April 21st, April Winchell posted to Regretsy about Schechter. She’d delved a little more deeply into the matter, and though she didn’t come up with any photos of Schechter making furniture in her workshop either, she had found Schechter’s "work" on Overstock.com and bills of lading for furniture shipped from factories in Bali to her office building in Malibu. [more inside] posted by orange swan at 6:26 PM PST - 246 comments
In the silence of connection, people are comforted by being in touch with a lot of people — carefully kept at bay. We can’t get enough of one another if we can use technology to keep one another at distances we can control: not too close, not too far, just right. The flight from conversation.
posted by cashman at 5:42 PM PST - 38 comments
As of today, Whole Foods will no longer sell red rated fish, and will sell only sustainable species. Some fishermen are fuming.
“It’s totally maddening,” Mr. Sanfilippo said. “They’re just doing it to make all the green people happy.” posted by Xurando at 4:44 PM PST - 118 comments
Who Killed Nancy is a documentary examining the lives and deaths of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. It features interviews with many of the people on the Punk scenes in both London and New York, including people who were in Sid and Nancy's Chelsea Hotel room on the night Nancy died. posted by marienbad at 12:05 PM PST - 23 comments
"Wal-Mart dispatched investigators to Mexico City, and within days they unearthed evidence of widespread bribery. They found a paper trail of hundreds of suspect payments totaling more than $24 million. They also found documents showing that Wal-Mart de Mexico’s top executives not only knew about the payments, but had taken steps to conceal them from Wal-Mart’s headquarters in Bentonville, Ark. [...] The lead investigator recommended that Wal-Mart expand the investigation. Instead, an examination by The New York Times found, Wal-Mart’s leaders shut it down." posted by reductiondesign at 4:39 AM PST - 46 comments
Eric Dolphy [auto-music] was a true original with his own distinctive styles on alto, flute, and bass clarinet. His music fell into the "avant-garde" category yet he did not discard chordal improvisation altogether (although the relationship of his notes to the chords was often pretty abstract). While most of the other "free jazz" players sounded very serious in their playing, Dolphy's solos often came across as ecstatic and exuberant. His improvisations utilized very wide intervals, a variety of nonmusical speechlike sounds, and its own logic. Although the alto was his main axe, Dolphy was the first flutist to move beyond bop (influencing James Newton) and he largely introduced the bass clarinet to jazz as a solo instrument. He was also one of the first (after Coleman Hawkins) to record unaccompanied horn solos, preceding Anthony Braxton by five years. - AllMusic (previously: 1, 2) posted by Trurl at 9:56 PM PST - 18 comments
Why book publishers will give up on Digital Rights Management. Short answer: because they are more afraid of Amazon becoming a monopsony than they are of consumer piracy. I don't know if he's right, but it's an interesting discussion of the immediate future in book publishing, and the way the Kindle has changed everything. posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:44 PM PST - 105 comments
"Systemsthinking (PDF) is the process of understanding how things influence one another within a whole...Systems Thinking has been defined as an approach to problem solving, by viewing 'problems' as parts of an overall system, rather than reacting to specific part, outcomes or events and potentially contributing to further development of unintended consequences." -Wikipedia [more inside] posted by JoeXIII007 at 5:10 PM PST - 25 comments
The Previous And Current Lives Of A World-Class Joke "At first, it was limited only to the Chinese-language Internet. More recently, it has appeared among foreign media. I just watched a clip of director James Cameron being interviewed on a talk show during which he said: "They were afraid that the Chinese men will reach out to touch the screen." When Cameron emphasized that "This is true," I knew that this is one of the most successful fake stories in recent years." [more inside] posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:57 AM PST - 19 comments
Larry Cohler-Esses from the Jewish Daily Forward interviews Abu Marzook, Hamas' deputy political director. The interview captures Hamas in a state of transition and includes a segment (with audio) of Cohler-Esses explaining to the confused Hamas leader that the 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion' is a Russian hoax. posted by the mad poster! at 11:54 AM PST - 18 comments
Whicker's World was a BBC documentary series that ran from 1959 to 1988, presented by Alan Whicker. In 1967, Whicker traveled to Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco to examine the phenomenon of hippies. Part One introduces us to The Love Generation. Part Two reveals that The Grateful Dead smoked marijuana. Part Three features freak-out dance performances and a hippy not on LSD. In Part Four, a woman in a hammock leads to teeny boppers violating the fuzz and the natural antagonism between the hippies and police. Part Five is on LSD. Part Six has many self-indulgent hippies. [more inside] posted by twoleftfeet at 12:40 AM PST - 25 comments
This video features a series of time lapse sequences photographed by the Expedition 30 crew aboard the International Space Station. Set to the song "Walking in the Air," by Howard Blake, the video takes viewers around the world, through auroras, and over dazzling lightning displays. posted by HuronBob at 10:20 PM PST - 11 comments
We shrugged when friends told us Prince's Sign "O" the Times was the greatest rock concert movie ever. There are limits to how great a rock concert movie can be, and we figured Jonathan Demme's--and Talking Heads'--Stop Making Sense had stretched them as far as they were liable to go. But even though Sign "O" the Times was directed by the artiste, whose previous cinematic exploits haven't exactly put him in Demme's class, Prince has come up with a contender. Where Demme goes for a sinuous, almost elegant clarity, Prince's movie is all murk, scuzz, steam, and, oh yeah, sex. With all due respect, which one sounds more like a real rock concert to you? - Robert Christgau[more inside] posted by Trurl at 9:47 PM PST - 31 comments
Alexander Sergeyevich Pushkin, great-grandson of African nobleman and military strategist Abram Petrovich Gannibal, is well known for the tremendous influence his writings have had on both Russian and American literature. What is somewhat less known is that Pushkin, a notorious firebrand, fought in a total of twenty-nine duels in his youth.
Have a seizure. The non-disabled can have a lot of trouble coming to grips with a friend's disability, especially if it's something that doesn't show up well from the outside. As the writer puts it, "... she knows I have MS, but she's never actually seen my disease, and there are miles between those two things." There are a whole host of bad ways for someone to react to seeing the disease. And then there are the good ones. posted by MShades at 6:25 PM PST - 23 comments
"SPARX is an effective resource for adolescents with depressive symptoms. It is at least as good as treatment as usual, would be cheaper and easier to disseminate, and could be used to increase access to therapy. It could provide access to treatment for young people who may be reluctant to have more conventional therapy."
And when the day comes that you, the American taxpayer, own this Bank, you will be ready to make it a Bank for America—one that brings benefits not to the privileged only, but to all of our customers, and to all of our stakeholders too. posted by Surfin' Bird at 3:53 PM PST - 15 comments
In the spring of 1977, a Lockheed Lodestar crashed into a lake in Yosemite National Park carrying six tons of Mexican marijuana. The US government recovered most of it. Camp Four got the rest. A true stoner fable by Kief Hillsbery. [more inside] posted by theodolite at 2:27 PM PST - 12 comments
FFF: MMMMMM is a flash game that takes the game mechanics of the indie hit VVVVVV and transforms them from a fast-twitch platform game to a puzzle platformer. [more inside] posted by lemuring at 11:57 AM PST - 7 comments
A new initiative recently proposed by the Royal Canadian Mint proposes to create the MintChip, a digital currency that’s similar (to BitCoin), but is backed by the Canadian government.
Aiming to become “the digital equivalent of the coins we use every day,” in the Canadian Mint’s own words, the MintChip will target micro- and nano-transactions conducted both online and offline, whether at the physical point of sale, on mobile devices, or among peers.Via posted by infini at 7:59 AM PST - 37 comments
Friends, why don'tcha take your boots off and jes' kick back for a coupla minutes while Willie Nelson, Jamey Johnson, Kris Kristofferson and Snoop Dogg lay down a little bit of up-tempo, feel-good country music? Go on, take a hit! It won't kill ya! Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die. posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:51 AM PST - 25 comments
Reading Markson Reading: ‘Exploring the mind, method and masterpieces of David Markson through the marginalia found on the pages of the books in his personal library.’ (previously: 1, 2) posted by misteraitch at 6:53 AM PST - 4 comments
"The Threat to Proust" by Roger Shattuck: When Proust’s novel fell into the public domain in 1987, three Paris publishing houses were ready with new editions that had been in preparation for several years. They all carry the same basic 3,000-page text with few variations. The differences lie in packaging and presentation. Laffont-Bouquins chose to publish three fat volumes prefaced by elaborate historical and biographical materials. Garnier-Flammarion produced ten pocket-sized volumes competently edited by Jean Milly. The new Pléiade edition, published by the original copyright holder, Gallimard, made the boldest, most ambitious, and most expensive bid to claim the market. In a combination of editorial, literary, and commercial decisions, Gallimard proposed to influence the way we read Proust and, to some degree, the way we approach all great literary works.[more inside] posted by Trurl at 9:45 PM PST - 32 comments
Collusion, vandalism and violence—all for something as banal as snowplowing. If you think it seems too extreme, you don’t understand how public contracting in Montreal works, said the former employee of the major company. The same tactics are used throughout the city, even in the tiniest industries; it’s a culture, a way of life. “I have seen a guy get threatened when he bid on a grass-mowing contract in Ville St. Laurent. They don’t care. It’s just about maintaining control over those areas,” he explained. “The people that talk about corruption in the construction industry don’t realize it’s not just construction. It’s everywhere in public works.” [Getting Plowed] posted by vidur at 9:17 PM PST - 15 comments
Limited Editions:Record Store Day 2012 is almost upon us. Started in 2008, this internationally celebrated day is observed the third Saturday of April each year. Its purpose is to celebrate the art of music with hundreds of recording artists participating in the day by making special appearances, performances, meet and greets with their fans, the holding of art exhibits, and the issuing of special vinyl.[more inside] posted by pelican at 5:25 PM PST - 31 comments
Coursera - free, online, introductory- to upper-undergraduate level classes in a wide variety of subjects, led by instructors from Princeton University, Stanford University, University of California, Berkeley, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, and the University of Pennsylvania posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:44 PM PST - 54 comments
On April 14th, a series of tornados swept through Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma (as discussed here in the blue). The exceptionally long lead-time for the forecast combined with a weekend date to bring a huge number of storm chasers out to the plains. In the last few days, several spectacularvideos have been released, showing dramatic views from outside the tornado. Then, there's this chase team who captured a different perspective from both their in-car cam (blurry video, but includes chaser commentary -- encounter starts just past the 29 minute mark) and an on-car GoPro (clear video, no commentary, encounter starts around 7 minutes in). [more inside] posted by penguinicity at 11:32 AM PST - 21 comments
The National Association of Afro-Swedes calls for the resignation of Culture Minister Lena Adelsohn Roth after photos and video surfaced of this "living" cake, which was part of a celebration of World Art Day. The cake's creator talks a bit about the cake. posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:30 AM PST - 164 comments
The Jig Is Up: Time to Get Past Facebook and Invent a New Future - After five years pursuing the social-local-mobile dream, we need a fresh paradigm for technology startups. "This isn't about startup incubators or policy positions. It's not about "innovation in America" or which tech blog loves startups the most. This is about how Internet technology used to feel like it was really going to change so many things about our lives. Now it has and we're all too stunned to figure out what's next. So we watch Lana Del Ray turn circles in a thousand animated gifs." posted by flex at 8:51 AM PST - 9 comments
"Take a dark journey into the forgotten, where time stands still. The paint has peeled off the walls and the only occupants are the souls of those left behind. This is the Asylum." An amazing time-lapse film exploring the ruins of an abandoned 1920s mental hospital. [more inside] posted by quin at 6:15 AM PST - 9 comments
"This masterpiece pushes the boundaries of music. We take the backseat of the car with these two ladies on their inner journey, and are shown a contemplative side of them through a series of deep and meaningful confessions." Via.Via.Via.Via.Via. posted by sweet mister at 4:16 AM PST - 54 comments
(NSFW) The contemporary meaning of Shibari describes an ancient Japanese artistic form of rope bondage.
Hikari Kesho aka Alberto Lisi is an Italian photographer, some of whose Shibari photography could be called sublime.
Fotofest 2012 Biennial – The Art of Contemporary Shibari Exhibit is currently running
with these artists, all of whom have links to their websites, some of which are more extreme than others. posted by adamvasco at 2:16 PM PST - 50 comments
"Geeks are not an oppressed minority. There are certainly many members of oppressed minorities who are geeks, but geeks are not an oppressed minority. The n in "N-word" does not stand for nerd, or neckbeard. You are not owed attention for the "real you", especially if you insist that a hard drive full of scanlated manga is the real you. Let us put an end to Geek Pride." [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 1:51 PM PST - 197 comments
It’s the Megatouch M.O.: Provide customers with short bursts of pleasure. The company makes games for people to play at bars when they’re bored. The empty calories of the gaming world. Ever seen a crowd gathered around a glowing screen trying to spot the differences between two almost-identical photos—or one guy sipping a Yuengling and trying to spot the differences between two shots of the same bare-chested woman? Those are probably Megatouch staples Photo Hunt and Erotic Photo Hunt (and that lone guy is probably a rad dude). posted by josher71 at 1:08 PM PST - 56 comments
Grant Snider is studying orthodontics at the University of Colorado-Denver and hoping that readers of his Incidental Comics are easier to entertain than teenagers with braces. posted by netbros at 12:54 PM PST - 8 comments
Shouldn't we credit the director, the one who decided to shoot 75 feet, for the success of the Tramp? Keystone didn't have writers in those days, but did the director of Mabel's Strange Predicament unleash the Tramp? Doesn't Sergio Leone deserve some credit for Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name? Doesn't the director dictate tempo and decide who gets the camera's attention? Isn't the director's job to seek out the hidden talents of his actors and make sure they end up on screen? Doesn't a good director jump on a happy accident like the Tramp and ride it with a prayer of gratitude?[more inside] posted by latkes at 12:34 PM PST - 23 comments
I Woke Up Gay (SLYT):In the small town of Ystrad Mynach, South Wales, seven years ago, a 19-stone rugby-playing ladies man and bank clerk Chris Birch snapped his neck while larking around doing somersaults and backflips with his friends. As the tabloids excitedly revealed a while ago, he suffered a massive stroke and woke up as a completely different person -- a person who happened to be gay.[more inside] posted by gertzedek at 10:53 AM PST - 105 comments
"I call it the destruction of shared prosperity hypothesis. ... [A]round 1980 the U.S. adopted a fundamentally flawed economic paradigm ... that abandoned full employment and severed the link between wages and productivity growth. ... Financial deregulation, regulatory forbearance, financial innovation, financial mania, and plain vanilla financial fraud kept the economy going by making ever more credit available, However, as the economy cannibalized itself by undercutting income distribution and accumulating debt, it needed ever larger speculative bubbles to grow. The house price bubble was simply the last and biggest bubble and was effectively the only way around the stagnation that would otherwise have developed in 2001." - an interview with Thomas Palley on the origins and prognosis for the crisis posted by crayz at 9:48 AM PST - 31 comments
Twitter will not weaponize your work (without your permission). According to an agreement it now makes with its engineers and inventors, Twitter does not have the right to use the patents of its employees offensively without their consent, and this limitation will apply to future purchasers of the Twitter patent portfolio.
The patent wars previously and previouslier on the blue. posted by gauche at 7:18 AM PST - 41 comments
Anti-piracy measures have made life difficult for those who actually pay for content, games, music, etc. DirecTV has blocked HBO (apparently at their request) over HDMI by use of HDCP. Suddenly, subscribers with older HD sets are not able to watch HBO and soon other premium channels. The solution? Use component cables or get a new TV. posted by juiceCake at 7:12 AM PST - 212 comments
By analysing millions of tweets, scientists from Bristol University claim to be able to predict the "mood of the nation" (the nation being the UK) - so much that they say they could have predicted last summer's riots in England. Right now, the angriest country in the UK is Wales, and the saddest is Northern Irleand. The Scots, obviously, are the most fearless. And there's not much joy in anyone's hearts. [more inside] posted by ComfySofa at 5:52 AM PST - 35 comments
In the seven years since its last appearance in the blue, Encyclopaedia Metallum has more than quadrupled in size - now containing 84,000+ bands and 65,000+ reviews of 30,000+ albums. posted by Trurl at 7:36 PM PST - 35 comments
"No forensic background, no problem." A journalism student pays her fee and gets credentialed by the AFCEI (American College of Forensic Examiners International).
"Wecht [the official spokesperson for the AFCEI] also dismissed the notion that the group’s use of “college” in its name could be misleading. “That’s a play on words,” he said. “Nobody believes for one moment that it is a real college.” ...
Under state and federal rules of evidence, judges decide whether prospective expert witnesses can testify, but they sometimes rely heavily on the titles and letters around someone’s name.
“Credentials are often appealing shortcuts,” Michigan circuit court judge Donald Shelton said. Fancy titles can have a disproportionate effect on juries, he added. “Jurors have no way of knowing that this certifying body, whether it’s this one or any other one, exacts scientific standards or is just a diploma mill.”" posted by sio42 at 11:10 AM PST - 47 comments
John Cage Unbound, A Living Archive is a multimedia exhibition created by the New York Public Library documenting their collection of videos, original notes and manuscripts of contemporary American composer and music theorist John Cage (1912-1992). "Cage believed that, following his detailed directions, anyone could make music from any kind of instrument" so the NYPL is asking visitors how they would bring his music to life, by submitting videos of their own interpretations of Cage’s work for possible inclusion in the archive. For more extensive collections of John Cage resources, see: WNYC: A John Cage Web Reliquary and Josh Rosen's fan page. [more inside] posted by zarq at 7:52 AM PST - 21 comments
A Charlie Rose discussion about the life and work of author Christopher Hitchens with his friends and fellow authors: Salman Rushdie, Martin Amis, James Fenton & Ian McEwan. Also featuring past Hitchens appearances on the show. (1 hr SLVideo) posted by beisny at 7:51 PM PST - 39 comments
Those Americans who are familiar with the name Claude Lanzmann most likely know him as the director of “Shoah,” his monumental 1985 documentary about the extermination of the European Jews in the Nazi gas chambers. As it turns out, though, the story of Lanzmann’s eventful life would have been well worth telling even if he had never come to direct “Shoah.” In addition to film director, Lanzmann’s roles have included those of journalist, editor, public intellectual, member of the French Resistance, long-term lover of Simone de Beauvoir and close friend of Jean-Paul Sartre, world traveler, political activist, ghostwriter for Jacques Cousteau — I could go on, but it’s a good deal more entertaining to hear Lanzmann himself go on, and thanks to the publication in English of his memoir, “The Patagonian Hare,” we now have the opportunity to do so. (previously) posted by Trurl at 7:28 PM PST - 6 comments
The Art of Pho by award-winning British illustrator and animator Julian Hanshaw is a moving and surreal story in interactive animation about a creature named Little Blue and his relationship with Ho Chi Minh City. In Vietnam's bustling capital Little Blue learns to master the art of making Pho - Vietnam's ubiquitous national noodle dish. [more inside] posted by netbros at 4:58 PM PST - 11 comments
Guess who won the 2012 Pulitzer for Fiction. Nobody.
Nominated as finalists in this category were: "Train Dreams," by Denis Johnson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), a novella about a day laborer in the old American West, bearing witness to terrors and glories with compassionate, heartbreaking calm; "Swamplandia!" by Karen Russell (Alfred A. Knopf), an adventure tale about an eccentric family adrift in its failing alligator-wrestling theme park, told by a 13-year-old heroine wise beyond her years; and "The Pale King," by the late David Foster Wallace (Little, Brown and Company), a posthumously completed novel, animated by grand ambition, that explores boredom and bureaucracy in the American workplace. posted by kenaldo at 1:58 PM PST - 85 comments
True Adventures in Better Homes - Here is a collision of two worlds: men’s adventure magazines or “sweats” meets Better Homes and Gardens. These photocollages are set against the backdrop of the McCarthy era, advertising, sexual repression, WWII and the Korean War. The cool, insular world of mid-century modern living glossed over all danger and darkness, which the heroic male fought off in every corner. posted by Artw at 9:37 AM PST - 44 comments
For centuries, ships navigated by the stars. Thousands of ships' logs representing hundreds of thousands of position readings were diligently recorded by sailors for a future use they never could have imagined: 100 years of ocean travel 1750 to 1850. posted by stbalbach at 9:43 PM PST - 42 comments
They say that necessity is the mother of invention. While the authorities of the Soviet Union decided they didn't want the people to hear Rock 'n' Roll, the people had other plans.
X-Ray Plans. posted by symbioid at 8:57 PM PST - 19 comments
"You, too, can get to the promised land. [...] Perhaps greater lies have been told in the past century, but they can be counted on one hand. Racial caste is alive and well in America." The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander posted by the young rope-rider at 5:49 AM PST - 90 comments
Homeless Paintings of the Italian Renaissance.
"A particularly important nucleus of the [Harvard] Photograph Archive's collection consists of a group of images of Renaissance Italian paintings that Berenson famously classified as “homeless,” that is, works that were documented by a photograph but whose current location was unknown to him....Berenson published some of his photographs of artworks “without homes” with the express invitation and hope that their owners, public or private, might come forward and claim them as their own...It is in this spirit.. that we have developed the project to catalog, digitize and make available online the Photograph Archive’s images of "homeless" paintings by Italian artists between the thirteenth and the sixteenth centuries. By the project’s end--scheduled for the summer/fall of 2012--we will have published on the Internet records and images, often rare or unique, of around thirteen thousand pictures." posted by vacapinta at 5:23 AM PST - 4 comments
Joseph O'Neill on the Dutch literary hero NescioNo one has written more feelingly and more beautifully than Nescio about the madness and sadness, courage and vulnerability of youth: its big plans and vague longings, not to mention the binges, crashes, and marathon walks and talks. No one, for that matter, has written with such pristine clarity about the radiating canals of Amsterdam and the cloud-swept landscape of the Netherlands.[more inside] posted by joost de vries at 2:45 AM PST - 13 comments
Meet Azawad, Africa’s Newest Country Azawad is an area about the size of Texas located in the northern half of Mali. On April 6 2012 National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), after they were able to force Mali forces out of the territory they now claim as an independent state. Whether they can remain an independent country is a question that time will tell. Also whether they will be a secular Berber, pro-Western nation or an Islamist Emirate is another question that has many watching the area. [more inside] posted by 2manyusernames at 1:47 PM PST - 30 comments
Tribes: Ascend is a class-based sci-fi first-person shooter, and the successor to the much-loved Tribes series of games. What makes it unique is that there are no hitscan weapons, and players are able to jetpack, and frictionlessly glide (ski) over terrain. It is free to download for Windows as of April 12th, and so far the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. posted by paradoxflow at 1:07 PM PST - 43 comments
It is really hard for me to make this post. For a while I stayed silent because I did not want to put myself in the range of fire. Everybody loves Kickstarter. They have, after all, revolutionized the economy. Kickstarter is the number one crowdfunding site in the world and the talk of the startup scene across the globe. Unfortunately Kickstarter recently banned me for circumstances beyond my control. - Is Kickstarter banning users for being the victim of stalking? posted by Artw at 10:32 AM PST - 164 comments
It looks like the speculation on a near-future market for wearable computers is already heating up. However, the first competitor to the recently-announced Google Glass project comes as a surprise to almost everyone: Valve, the gaming company renowned for Half Life, Portal, and many others, in addition to their digital distribution heavyweight Steam. This will be their first foray into hardware of any kind. posted by gilrain at 9:31 AM PST - 50 comments
A month ago, the Japanese TV show "Morning Bird" discussed the current state of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and specifically Unit 4, which is in terrible condition. During an interview with Dr. Hiroaki Koide, Research Associate at the Research Reactor Institute of Kyoto University, who explains the immense difficulty in moving the radioactive fuel rods - a process that will not even start until 2013 - the presenter asks what would happen if even a moderate earthquake struck near the plant before the fuel rods can be moved. Koide replies:
Mining is a dangerous industry, and Mining Mayhem is a blog that aims to be the definitive resource for photos of mine site incidents and accidents (mostly from Australian mine sites). [more inside] posted by barnacles at 6:53 AM PST - 12 comments
Moscow of 1931 is a collection of hand-tinted lantern slides by Branson DeCou, an American photographer and travelogue lecturer who traveled the world for 30 years before his death in 1941. You can view more of the DeCou corpus online at the Branson Decou Archive at the University of California, Santa Cruz where they've been attempting to sort, preserve, identify and digitize 10,000 DeCou slides received in 1971, a gift referred to the university chancellor by photographer Ansel Adams. [more inside] posted by taz at 3:32 AM PST - 16 comments
Vote Pirate! Notes from a Pirate Party conference. "I grew up on the Internet. … I sort of consider myself a citizen of the Internet. I'm very attached to it. I'm almost more from the Internet than I am from Massachusetts." [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:43 AM PST - 16 comments
One hundred years ago, a network of Marconi wireless operators documented history's most famous shipwreck. Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, the RMS Titanic's radio officers, were usually tasked with sending personal communications for first-class passengers. But on April 14, 1912, they turned their tapping fingers to the CQD distress signal (and, later in the evening, the relatively new SOS call), using the distinctive slang of their fellow operators to report the wreck, call for help, and indulge in a bit of gallows humor. [more inside] posted by mynameisluka at 8:19 PM PST - 43 comments
Each bite brought a delicate balance between pleasure and pain—deliciously peppery flavor, bought at the price of having your mouth feel like you’d swallowed fire. But the pain was a good pain, somehow. It forced you to slow down and experience each bite, and that’s a rare experience these days. No one mindlessly gobbles Sichuan hot pot, simply because it’s physically impossible to do so without powerful anesthetic. posted by Trurl at 7:20 PM PST - 42 comments
"I have found something very interesting in the Chicago River on the east side of the Kinzie Bridge. I see swirling water that looks like a giant drain... I would say it looks like the source of the water could be the river itself, and I am hearing reports that fish are swimming in the basement of the [Merchandise] Mart just feet from the swirl! I do not see any emergency crews near this spinning swirl, but I think they may want to take a look. In fact, I think someone should wake up the Mayor!"
A Timothy Leary for the Viral Video Age: Like Leary, Silva is an unabashed optimist; he sees humankind as a species on the brink of technology-enabled transcendence. Silva is an avid evangelist for the technological singularity---the idea that technology will soon bring about a greater-than-human intelligence. It's an idea that Ray Kurzweil has worked hard to popularize in tech circles, but Silva wants to push it out into the mainstream, and he wants to do it with the slickest, most efficient idea vehicle of our time: the viral video. He has spent the last three years making (really) short films that play like movie trailers for ideas; he compares them to shots of "philosophical espresso." posted by troll at 1:04 PM PST - 54 comments
Joe Eszterhas (writer of The Music Box, Basic Instinct, and many other films) has written a letter to Mel Gibson after the actor neglected to contact him regarding his screenplay for "the Jewish Braveheart," which Gibson had hired him to write. posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:09 AM PST - 99 comments
Wasteland 2 has become a certainty due to the massive outpouring of fan support. At this moment on Reddit, two of the big names in the project - Brian Fargo and Chris Avellone - are having a live QA session about the upcoming project, as well as the state of the game publishing industry in the Kickstarter era and similar subjects. posted by FatherDagon at 9:38 AM PST - 22 comments
"As a career patient, I’ve learned one thing at least: the importance of clinging to the rag-end of your sense of self, however you define it—intellect, sense of humor, generosity of spirit, a stoicism worthy of Seneca or Mr. Spock, or, in a writer’s case, the mind that makes sense of itself as a reflection in the mirror of language. In the M.A.S.H.-unit chaos of the E.R.; in the nowhere, notime of the hospital room; in the O.R., where the euphoria of oncoming anesthesia and the doting attentions of apparitions in scrubs make you understand, in an instant, the perverse seductions of Munchausen’s Syndrome as you ride into the stage-light radiance on your gurney like the Son of Heaven in his sedan chair, feeling for all the world like a pathological celebrity—in these moments of inescapable embodiment, I’ve learned to float free in my head, a thought balloon untethered from the body on the sickbed or the operating table."
Almost all the everyday complaints about cabs trace back to this regulatory cocktail. Drivers won’t take you to the outer reaches of your metropolitan area? The regulated fares won’t let them charge you more to recover the cost of dead-heading back without a return customer. Cabs are poorly maintained? Blame restricted competition, and the inability to charge for better quality. Cabbies drive like maniacs? With high fixed costs for cars and gas, and no way to increase their earnings except by finding another fare, is it any wonder that they try to get from place to place as fast as possible?
Uber makes its money at least in part by alleviating these inefficiencies. In most places, “black car” or livery services are regulated differently, and more lightly, than taxis are. Though Uber has good reason not to say so, it’s basically turning livery services into cabs. The company is one step further removed from regulation, because it doesn’t run cars itself; it funnels passengers to existing services. “We’re sort of like an efficient lead-generation system for limo companies,” says Kalanick, “but with math involved.”
- Megan McArdle analyses taxi regulation in the US and the taxi startup, Uber posted by beisny at 7:39 PM PST - 54 comments
Fuck You: A Magazine of the Arts was a literary magazine founded in 1962 by Ed Sanders, a poet later co-founded The Fugs. Its credo was "I'll print anything", and Sanders produced thirteen issues on a mimeograph machine from 1962 to 1965. Issues included works by Tuli Kupferberg, Charles Olson, Peter Orlovsky, Philip Whalen, Allen Ginsberg, Frank O'Hara, Julian Beck, Herbert Huncke, Norman Mailer, Gary Snyder, Diane DiPrima, William S. Burroughs, Leroi Jones, Gregory Corso, Robert Creeley, Michael McClure, Ted Berrigan, Joe Brainard, and Andy Warhol. - wikipedia. With a helpful index. [more inside] posted by latkes at 6:48 PM PST - 10 comments
The JOBS Act or "Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act" is not really about creating jobs but about loosening regulations on companies planning to IPO. SOX compliance and other financial regulations have made going public an expensive and time consuming process for young companies, and many are now staying private or getting acquired rather than going public. Fewer regulations encourages more IPOs, but what are the unintended consequences of "exempting [companies] from independent accounting requirements for up to five years after they first begin selling shares in the stock market"? posted by lubujackson at 12:34 PM PST - 85 comments
John Fithian, president of the National Association of Theatre Owners, drove the point home at the association's annual convention last year in Las Vegas. "Simply put," he said, "If you don't make the decision to get on the digital train soon, you will be making the decision to get out of the business."
"Every single person you meet, look at them like a golden million dollar baby." Last night, internet-famous oddball rapper and human meme Lil B gave a 90-minute lecture at NYU to a sold-out crowd. Speaking completely off the cuff, he touched upon radical positivity, empathy, how ant colonies are like human communities, and the dangers of hydraulic fracking, among many other things. Transcript and recording here. Pitchfork.tv will air the full video tomorrow. Nitsuh Abebe writes about what makes Lil B so great, and why it's hard to deal with some of his fans. [more inside] posted by naju at 10:33 AM PST - 51 comments
If you've ever worked with the command prompt on a Unix-based computer, you're likely familiar with SSH (Secure SHell), which is a program and a protocol that allows you (yes, you!) to securely access a remote system. While SSH has certainly earned the "Secure" portion of its namesake over the years, it's functionality as a shell has ironically received very little attention, and has begun to show signs of age and obsolescence: SSH doesn't work very well on mobile connections, and its support for Unicode is buggy and incomplete. A group of MIT researchers think they've found solutions to these problems, and have created Mosh as a potential successor to SSH, which fixes many of the old protocol's annoyances and shortcomings, while retaining all of SSH's security features. posted by schmod at 8:16 AM PST - 77 comments
This weekend, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will induct the Small Faces and the Faces. Though being inducted as a unit, they were very much two distinct bands—both of them central to British rock of the mid-1960s through the mid-1970s, and whose influence on music, fashion, and pop culture is still felt today. [more inside] posted by scody at 10:32 PM PST - 37 comments
The Most Dangerous Gamer The Atlantic profiles game developer Jon Blow, most famous for creating the acclaimed and philosophical Braid, now working on "puzzle-exploration" game The Witness. Blow aims to make The Witness a groundbreaking piece of interactive art—a sort of Citizen Kane of video games...“Things are pared down to the basic acts of movement and observation until those senses become refined,” he told me. “The further you go into the game, the more it’s not even about the thinking mind anymore—it becomes about the intuitive mind.” (previously, previously) posted by shivohum at 9:40 PM PST - 74 comments
The Reynoso Task Force has released its findings (pdf) on the UCDavis pepper spray incident: "There is little factual basis supporting Lt. Pike’s belief that he was trapped by the protesters or that his officers were prevented from leaving the Quad" ... "Further, there is little evidence that any protesters attempted to use violence against the police." [more inside] posted by oneirodynia at 3:55 PM PST - 79 comments
As we know, RMS Titanic was on her ill-fated maiden voyage a century ago this week. Less well-known: the tender ship to Titanic and her sister Olympic was the SS Nomadic. The ship was built on Slipway No. 1 of Harland and Wolff Shipyards alongside the liners (Olympic and Titanic were built on slipways 2 and 3, respectively). The massive liners -- each nearly nine hundred feet long and measuring some 45,000 tons -- were too large to dock at Cherbourg, so Nomadic was used to ferry mail, passengers and cargo aboard at Cherbourg, the liners' last port of call before crossing the Atlantic.
She saw service in both world wars, as a troop carrier in WWI and again as a troop transport, minelayer and coastal patrol vessel in WWII. After the second war, she returned to service as a tender for Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth.
Decommissioned in 1968, Nomadic was converted into a floating restaurant in Paris. When the business failed around the turn of the century, her superstructure was torn down so she could be towed out to Le Havre. After her owner's death in 2005, she seemed destined for the scrapyard until a group of maritime history enthusiasts began raising funds to buy and restore her. The Northern Ireland government's Department for Social Development purchased the ship and brought her home to Belfast on a bargeforrestoration at Harland and Wolff, a company now mostly devoted to offshore renewable energy.
And thus it is that century after Titanic and for almost certainly the last time ever, a White Star vessel is at the Harland and Wolff shipyards. [more inside] posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:22 PM PST - 23 comments
The editors of two college newspapers have stepped down after they released April Fool's Day editions that were not well-received by their respective campuses. Abby Spudich resigned as editor of the University of Missouri's Maneater (renamed the Carpeteater and filled with "highly offensive, sexist and crude" content for April Fool's) after writing an apology letter, and Chelsea Diana of the Boston University Daily Free Press was forced to resign after overseeing an ill-conceived April Fool's edition called the Disney Free Press, which included satirical articles about rape, prostitution and drug use. She also wrote an apology, as did the paper's board of directors. posted by Clustercuss at 11:33 AM PST - 85 comments
The two largest groups that provide ex-gay counseling are Exodus International, a nondenominational Christian organization, and NARTH, its secular counterpart. If Exodus is the spirit of the ex-gay movement, NARTH is the brain. The organizations share many members, and Exodus parrots the developmental theories about same-sex attractions espoused by NARTH. Together with the late Charles Socarides, a psychiatrist who led the opposition to declassifying homosexuality as a mental illness, Nicolosi formed NARTH in 1992 as a 'scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality.' By 1998, the group was holding an annual conference, publishing its own journal, and training hundreds of psychiatrists, psychologists, and counselors. Nicolosi remains NARTH’s most visible advocate.
[...] When I first reach Nicolosi on the phone, he says he remembers me well and that he is surprised that I 'went in the gay direction. You really seemed to get it.'
'My son got a very low mark': Writer Ian McEwan describes the odd experience of helping his son with an A-level essay about one of his novels, Enduring Love, and finding his son's teacher disagreed with his interpretation of the novel. This is an excerpt from Ian Katz's interview with McEwan at the Guardian's Open Weekend festival on 24 March 2012. [Full Interview] posted by Fizz at 9:46 AM PST - 80 comments
Lockerbie: Case Closed is a badly-titled* documentary following former police detective George Thompson and legal investigator John Ashton as they investigate and uncover new evidence in the Lockerbie bombing. Thompson was hired by Abdelbasset al-Magrahi's legal team to investigate the case.
Another film "Pan Am: The Lockerbie bomber"covers similar ground, but uncovers some other issues. Both have been aired on Al-Jazeera.
This evidence is the same evidence re-examined by the Scottish Criminal Cases Review Commission. Five years ago the SCCRC produced a still unreleased report saying there were 6 grounds for Magrahi to appeal his conviction, which he was planning to do before he was released on compassionate grounds. The report is so secret that even the Scottish Justice secretary has not been allowed to see the it. [more inside] posted by marienbad at 8:50 AM PST - 2 comments
Confessions Of A Recovering Environmentalist.We are environmentalists now in order to promote something called “sustainability.” What does this curious, plastic word mean? It does not mean defending the nonhuman world from the ever-expanding empire of Homo sapiens sapiens, though some of its adherents like to pretend it does, even to themselves. It means sustaining human civilization at the comfort level that the world’s rich people—us—feel is their right, without destroying the “natural capital” or the “resource base” that is needed to do so. Paul Kingsnorth (most recently of the Dark Mountain Project) in Orion Magazine on environmentalism, sustainability, and hope. [more inside] posted by jhandey at 8:34 AM PST - 125 comments
In his ongoing project, Imaginawesome, designer Garrett Miller takes children’s drawings and descriptions and turns them into wonderful illustrations. [more inside] posted by quin at 7:25 AM PST - 23 comments
In the main link in griphus' post this morning, there was this little aside: "In 1957...a physics student named Don Knuth built a program for the IBM 650 to help the 1958 Case Institute of Technology basketball team win the league championship."
Yes, THAT Don Knuth. Here's a young Don with the team and the IBM 650 (capable of making 50,000 calculations a minute!), and here he is talking about it. [more inside] posted by MtDewd at 7:09 PM PST - 16 comments
As brutally stylish as it is when the fists and baseball bats are flying, the underlying themes of family and perseverance are what makeThe Warriorsstand out from the rest of the "grim future" epics of the period. - Celluloid Dreams posted by Trurl at 6:49 PM PST - 49 comments
"Woodstock is their last refuge, the only old-age home in the world where hard drugs are not a taboo, a place intended for people who, in their early 50s, look as worn out as if they were in their 70s." A model project keeps aging drug users out of the streets of The Hague. [more inside] posted by Omnomnom at 3:46 PM PST - 73 comments
Gawker has posted i inaugural column of "The Fox Mole"—a long-standing, current employee of Fox News Channel "I work at Fox News Channel.
The final straw for me came last year. Oddly, it wasn't anything on TV that turned me rogue, though plenty of things on our air had pushed me in that direction over the years. But what finally broke me was a story on The Fox Nation. If you're not a frequenter of Fox Nation (and if you're reading Gawker, it's a pretty safe bet you're not) I can describe it for you — it's like an unholy mashup of the Drudge Report, the Huffington Post and a Klan meeting. Word around the office is that the site was actually the brainchild of Bill O'Reilly's chief stalker (and Gawker pal) Jesse Watters." posted by huckleberryhart at 3:23 PM PST - 144 comments
Alive Inside is an upcoming documentary exploring how listening to music can briefly return memories to patients who previously seemed completely lost to Alzheimer's. An excerpt can be seen here. posted by gilrain at 2:25 PM PST - 22 comments
"I can no longer responsibly recommend that you drop everything to try to become a food writer. Except for a very small group of people (some of whom are clinging to jobs at magazines that pay more than the magazines' business models can actually afford), it’s nearly impossible to make a living as a food writer, and I think it’s only going to get worse." Amanda Hesser, NYT cookbook author and co-founder of Food52, has some advice for aspiring food writers. posted by troika at 12:54 PM PST - 48 comments
It's time for a trip down the memory hole of the Internet. Investigative journalism still lives online, as Gawker penetrates the mystery behind the man who was Goatse.
(Surprisingly safe-for-work, though please heed the warnings in the actual article itself.) posted by stannate at 11:39 AM PST - 96 comments
The Camorra Never Sleeps: "The Camorra is not an organization like the Mafia that can be separated from society, disciplined in court, or even quite defined. It is an amorphous grouping in Naples and its hinterlands of more than 100 autonomous clans and perhaps 10,000 immediate associates, along with a much larger population of dependents, clients, and friends. It is an understanding, a way of justice, a means of creating wealth and spreading it around. It has been a part of life in Naples for centuries—far longer than the fragile construct called Italy has even existed. At its strongest it has grown in recent years into a complete parallel world and, in many people’s minds, an alternative to the Italian government, whatever that term may mean." [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:39 AM PST - 29 comments
Bedridden, bored as all hell, and finally surrounded by a rare quiet, [John Burgeson] thought about the IBM 1620, and how its algorithmic alacrity bordered on self-learning, and realized, maybe deliriously, that the machine had the capability of making a little baseball simulator.
Stanley Fish takes on the similarities and differences between scientific and religious evidence and gets a barrage of responses, to which he replies. Michael K. declares that “the equivalence between the methodological premises of scientific inquiry and those of religious doctrine is simply false.” I agree, but I do not assert it. Neither do I assert that because there are no “impersonal standards and impartial procedures … all standards and procedures are equivalent” (E.). What I do assert is that with respect to a single demand — the demand that the methodological procedures of an enterprise be tethered to the world of fact in a manner unmediated by assumptions — science and religion are in the same condition of not being able to meet it (as are history, anthropology, political science, sociology, psychology and all the rest). posted by shivohum at 7:21 AM PST - 259 comments
In 1994, after breaking up his group and going off to write a few modest film scores, Danny Elfman returned to working in the context of a rock band. Together with his longtime band and score collaborator Steve Bartek and other former (now renewed) band mates John Avila, Johnny "Vatos" Hernandez, and newcomer Warren Fitzgerald, they recorded what is considered the final studio record in the Oingo Boingo catalog, the eponymous album of the now newly-named group, Boingo.
In 1984, The Voyage of the Mimi set sail on PBS, exploring the ocean off the coast of Massachusetts to study humpback whales. The educational series was made up of thirteen episodes intended to teach middle schoolers about science and math. The first fifteen minutes of each episode were a fictional adventure starring a young Ben Affleck. The second 15 minutes were an "expedition documentary" that would explore the scientific concepts behind the show's plot points. A sequel with the same format, The Second Voyage of the Mimi aired in 1988, and featured the crew of the Mimi exploring Mayan ruins in Mexico. [more inside] posted by zarq at 9:40 PM PST - 36 comments
Microsoft has agreed to purchase a big chunk of AOL's intellectual property for a big chunk of cash. Left unremarked in most business news coverage is a little matter of history: A closure of sorts for the fiercest -- and possibly the most expensive -- tech rivalry of the dotcom era. Microsoft will own Netscape. [more inside] posted by ardgedee at 5:47 PM PST - 59 comments
"Above all, the New Aesthetic is telling the truth. There truly are many forms of imagery nowadays that are modern, and unique to this period. We’re surrounded by systems, devices and machineries generating heaps of raw graphic novelty. We built them, we programmed them, we set them loose for a variety of motives, but they do some unexpected and provocative things." Bruce Sterling (Previously) writes about the New Aesthetic movement in Wired magazine.[more inside] posted by codacorolla at 1:19 PM PST - 49 comments
The 158th Boat Race between Oxford University Boat Club & Cambridge University Boat Club last Saturday was perhaps the most eventful in the event's 183 year history. The race was stopped after a protestor, Trenton Oldfield, swam out out the course and was narrowly missed by Oxford's blades. After a 20 minute delay, the race was restarted. Thirty-five seconds in, the Oxford cox was warned for steering into Cambridge's line, and then initiated a blade-clash that broke one of Oxford's blades. Cambridge rowed on to win by four and a quarter lengths (Official race report). After finishing the race, Oxford's bowman collapsed, and was taken to hospital; the traditional presentation ceremony was abandoned. The OUBC medical officer stated: "The sudden and premature stopping of the Race when concentration and exertion were at their peak was bad enough, but when the Race had lost its equal footing for having lost an oar, the psychological response was to try even harder. Oxford drove themselves to the limit to try to contain the damage. Alex Woods rowing at Bow reached the finishing line and found he had expended all reserves of energy; in my view he had rendered himself hypoxic, and this was the cause of his collapse". He has returned home to recover. [more inside] posted by James Scott-Brown at 12:18 PM PST - 68 comments
Perhaps in some forgotten corner of a museum there sits — nay, there stands — Tommy Tucker, a little dusty, a little moth-eaten, but still the best-dressed squirrel in the world posted by boygeorge at 10:08 AM PST - 8 comments
In June of 1977, James Earl Ray, assassin of Martin Luther King, Jr., escaped from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee. 54.5 hours later, he was captured, "driven and exhausted, covered with mud and sand," (Large PDF) just five miles away. In 1986, accomplished ultrarunner Gary Cantrell (AKA Lazarus Lake) decided to hold an ultramarathon in neighboring Frozen Head State Park. The world's toughest 100 miler, the Barkley Marathon and Fun Run, was born. There have been 13 100-mile finishers since that time.
"This is day 86 on my full return South Pole Expedition 2011/2012. I'm quite hungry and about to pick up my last cache by my second pulk which I left on the way in. As a part of my motivational plan I have on purpose not made notes on what goodies I have left behind in the cache, and on this last one, I didn't expect very much." --Aleksander Gamme [more inside] posted by QuakerMel at 6:30 PM PST - 28 comments
"No one likes a stereotype, unless it’s about someone else — then it’s hilarious. Los Angeles? Celebrity-obsessed lipo-junkies. Portland? Hipster snobs. Boston? Sports fanatics who think that a win for the Sox somehow makes them winners, too. There’s nothing really wrong with these stereotypes — in fact, they give each city a unique cultural identity. How true they are is another matter."
But THIS – this is different. If this doesn’t work – if this is not a success – it’s there, forever….” I remember thinking to myself “oh my god, this guy does NOT get it….” And he said “I don’t want to be the guy that approved this and then it’s a flop and sitting out there in Vegas forever.”
The Pressure Cooker Makes A Comeback. "Pressure cookers are exploding—in a good way—into home and restaurant kitchens. I discovered the joys of pressure cooking last year while reviewing Modernist Cuisine, the 2,348-page encyclopedia of avant-garde cuisine by former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold. He argues that pressure cookers are the perfect vessel for making stock, and he's right. Pressure cooking extracts more flavors from the primary materials and keeps them in the pot, where they condense back into a rich, full-bodied liquid. I was blown away by the chicken stock I made the first time I used a pressure cooker. But I didn't stop there. I followed a few of Myhrvold's other suggestions and soon discovered that pressure cookers make superior, stir-free risotto—cooked through, but with a pleasant hint of resistance—after just five-and-a-half minutes at pressure. Braised short ribs are similarly sublime, fork tender without being mushy, and bathed in a broth with an intense, concentrated beef flavor. They went from being a Sunday afternoon project to a supper I could prepare after work on weeknights. Emboldened by success, I even went so far as to pressure cook a surprisingly moist lemon-mascarpone cheesecake." [more inside] posted by storybored at 10:46 AM PST - 94 comments
The Big Sleepis a film I have found a very intense love for. The rotating cast of shadowy crooks and deceptive dames coupled with the roller-coaster plotting makes this classic movie endlessly entertaining. Bogart and Bacall are electrifying together and the supporting cast is equally captivating. Considering it’s over 60 years old, The Big Sleep still works in a big bad way and feels fantastically modern. It’s as if the film is simply too fast and too entertaining to age. It was crafted by the hands of some of Hollywood’s finest artists at the time and oozes quality as a result. Most of all though, this movie is just pulpy, fearless, fun and really, really cool. - Pictures and Noise[more inside] posted by Trurl at 4:18 PM PST - 56 comments
One thing the historical record makes abundantly clear is that Adam Smith and his laissez-faire buddies were a bunch of closet-case statists who needed brutal government policies to whip the English peasantry into a good capitalistic workforce willing to accept wage slavery.
The Steampunk (Alpha Dominche): A Curious Coffee Contrapulation: "With just a few quick taps on the touch screen, the barista customizes the STEAMPUNK brewing process to optimize the flavor of each beverage. The anticipation then begins. The customer is treated to a dazzling theatrical presentation as the STEAMPUNK’s gleaming glass crucibles fill with swirling steam. The barista then places the ground coffee on the piston and plunges it into the crucible. The grinds whirl and dance as they’re agitated and aerated by the millions of tiny bubbles. At the barista’s command, the liquid coffee is pulled by vacuum through a specially designed ultrafine photo-milled metal filter, and the dark brown elixir streams gracefully into the awaiting cup." [Via] [Alpha Dominche] posted by Fizz at 8:03 AM PST - 56 comments
"To cajole me through tough evening sessions like this, Arnie told and retold stories of famous Bostons. I loved listening to them--until this night when I snapped and said, "Oh, let's quit talking about the Boston Marathon and run the damn thing!"
"No woman can run the Boston Marathon," Arnie fired back.
"Why not? I'm running 10 miles a night!"
Arnie insisted the distance was too long for fragile women to run and exploded when I said that Roberta Gibb had jumped into the race and finished it the previous April." [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:19 AM PST - 29 comments
From one of Stanley Kubrick's notebooks comes a list of potential titles for the 1964 movie that was eventually named, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Interestingly, that particular title doesn't feature on this page. posted by jadayne at 11:20 PM PST - 25 comments
The files of the God of Gamblers case can be read as a string of accidents, good and bad: Siu’s run at the baccarat table; Wong’s luck to be assigned an assassin with a conscience; Adelson’s misfortune that reporters noticed an obscure murder plot involving his casino. But the tale, viewed another way, depends as little on luck as a casino does. It is, rather, about the fierce collision of self-interests. If Las Vegas is a burlesque of America—the “ethos of our time run amok,” as Hal Rothman, the historian, put it—then Macau is a caricature of China’s boom, its opportunities and rackets, its erratic sorting of winners and losers.
The etiology of Autism remains a mystery. However, three research teams have for the first time linked a gene to certain forms of autism. This is a great step in the search of what causes this disease. posted by dov3 at 1:39 PM PST - 42 comments
Whoever claims to be on a perpetual polyphasic schedule must be either suffering from a sleep disorder, or be a liar, a mutant, or a person with a mulishly stubborn iron-will that lets him plod through the daily torture of sleep deprivation
Seat Assignments: "While in the lavatory on a domestic flight in March 2010, I spontaneously put a tissue paper toilet cover seat cover over my head and took a picture in the mirror. The image evoked 15th-century Flemish portraiture." Seat Assignments will be on view in San Franscisco's Catharine Clark Gallery from April 14th through May 26th. posted by Greg Nog at 10:33 AM PST - 52 comments
The SAFETY PIN REVIEW is a new, weekly literary magazine featuring fiction of less than 30 words, with a major D.I.Y. twist: in addition to being published online, each story is hand-painted onto a cloth back patch, which is attached (via safety pins) to one of our operatives—a collective network of authors, punks, thieves and anarchists—who wear it everywhere they go for a week.[more inside] posted by Sailormom at 7:36 AM PST - 23 comments
Timelapse Intersection Articulée à Montréal In October, 2011, the Contemporary Museum of Monteral presented "Intersection Articulée", an interactive installation from Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. It was composed of 18 projectors of 10k watts each, visible from ~9 miles (15km) away. Here's some time lapse video results, with music. posted by Goofyy at 3:06 AM PST - 5 comments
It has been no secret that Hillary Clinton has been a ferociously dedicated Secretary of State, visiting 95 countries and keeping mum about both the 2012 elections and her prospects after 2013. But when a photo of her checking her BlackBerry (still popular in DC!) while wearing Chanel-style sunglasses suddenly went viral, a Tumblr was born. posted by psoas at 12:13 PM PST - 166 comments
"In October of 1973, Bruce Severy — a 26-year-old English teacher at Drake High School, North Dakota — decided to use Kurt Vonnegut's novel, Slaughterhouse-Five, as a teaching aid in his classroom. The next month, on November 7th, the head of the school board, Charles McCarthy, demanded that all 32 copies be burned in the school's furnace as a result of its "obscene language." Other books soon met with the same fate.
On the 16th of November, Kurt Vonnegut sent McCarthy the following letter. He didn't receive a reply." posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:45 AM PST - 50 comments
A Message from a Republican on Climate Change: I'm going to tell you something that my Republican friends are loath to admit out loud: climate change is real. I'm a moderate Republican, fiscally conservative; a fan of small government, accountability, self-empowerment and sound science. I am not a climate scientist. I'm a Penn State meteorologist, and the weather maps I'm staring at are making me very uncomfortable. posted by spacewaitress at 10:09 AM PST - 120 comments
Life on the Edge is a series by Detroit based photographer Dennis Maitland, in which he documents himself hanging out in some vertigo-inducing locations. [more inside] posted by quin at 9:42 AM PST - 13 comments
On a recent Monday night, a gaggle of 20-somethings crammed into a former Curves fitness center along the industrial edge of Carroll Gardens in Brooklyn. The storefront gym had been carved into two classrooms... It was just another school night at [Metafilter's* own] Brooklyn Brainery, a hipster schoolhouse started by a pair of underemployed polymaths, where students can learn abstruse subjects like the secret lives of bacteria, taught by teachers with few teaching credentials. Tuition is $5 to $30, enrollment takes place online and PayPal is accepted. [more inside] posted by dersins at 8:14 AM PST - 57 comments
Notch, the creator of Minecraft has announced his new game: 0x10c.
The unique thing about this space simulator is that each player will have a fully functioning emulated 16 bit CPU that can be used to control your entire ship, or just to play games on while waiting for a large mining operation to finish.
You can find all the latest information about the game at the Unofficial FAQ posted by Cloud King at 8:05 AM PST - 134 comments
Scott Harrison, the founder of charitywater.org, was in many ways "uniquely qualified" [his words] to set a life goal for global clean water with 100% of the donations to this charity transparently and deliberately accounted for via GPS photos and the random live stream of a well-digging! Interview
[Warning: Kevin Rose inside] [more inside] posted by TangerineGurl at 12:54 AM PST - 11 comments
Dirty Pictures [1h30m] is a documentary (trailer [1m30s]) about Alexander Shulgin, his life, his family, the drugs he has developed, the people he has affected, the boundaries of experience he has explored, the effects he has had on society, and the understanding of the mind and the psychedelic experience which have resulted from his experiments and chemical creations. posted by hippybear at 10:15 PM PST - 23 comments
"their purposes are entirely opaque to me, as are the purposes of so many others" was the first (eerily self-descriptive) 'card' I got in Strategies, a bot in the tradition of Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies but with most content fed from horse_ebooks. Although, I think that is a quote from a terrifying Cronenberg student film, Crimes of the Future. The 'purpose' of this bot, according to the description is "for use when you're lacking inspiration, or make your own game of it." posted by aretesophist at 12:10 PM PST - 25 comments
If “The Marriage Plot,” by Jeffrey Eugenides, had been written by a woman yet still had the same title and wedding ring on its cover, would it have received a great deal of serious literary attention? Or would this novel (which I loved) have been relegated to “Women’s Fiction,” that close-quartered lower shelf where books emphasizing relationships and the interior lives of women are often relegated? Certainly “The Marriage Plot,” Eugenides’s first novel since his Pulitzer Prize-winning “Middlesex,” was poised to receive tremendous literary interest regardless of subject matter, but the presence of a female protagonist, the gracefulness, the sometimes nostalgic tone and the relationship-heavy nature of the book only highlight the fact that many first-rate books by women and about women’s lives never find a way to escape “Women’s Fiction” and make the leap onto the upper shelf where certain books, most of them written by men (and, yes, some women — more about them later), are prominently displayed and admired.
A new study conducted by Dr. Eric Braverman, president of the nonprofit Path Foundation in New York City, and Dr. Nirav Shah, New York State’s Commissioner of Health suggests that the Body Mass Index significantly underestimates the rate of obesity in America, especially for women. Based on BMI, about one-third of Americans are considered obese, but when other methods of measuring obesity are used, that number may be closer to 60%. [more inside] posted by 2bucksplus at 9:04 AM PST - 118 comments
Feral swine (aka feral hogs, wild pigs) incur an estimated $1 billion (US) in property damage and control costs, according to the USDA (.pdf). They rip up crops, root up native plans, injure and kill other wildlife and carry disease. As of April 1, 2012, Michigan's Department of Natural Resources has outlawed them, permitting "any licensed hunter [to] shoot feral swine on sight." The relevant Invasive Species Order (.pdf), and its convoluted implementation, has a number of hog farmers up in arms over the state's new ability to slaughter farm-raised pigs that meet the state DNR's description of "feral swine." [more inside] posted by MonkeyToes at 7:24 AM PST - 44 comments
How America Is Making the Whole World Fat and UnhealthyIt is hardly news that the United States faces epidemic health problems linked to poor diets. Nearly two out of every five Americans are obese. But according to a press release from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, "The West is now exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets. By 2030, more than 5 million people will die each year before the age of 60 from non-communicable diseases linked to diets."
De Schutter, whose work usually focuses on ending hunger, just published a new report saying, "The right to food cannot be reduced to a right not to starve. It is an inclusive right to an adequate diet providing all the nutritional elements an individual requires to live a healthy and active life, and the means to access them." posted by infini at 7:17 AM PST - 59 comments
The Seattle Times has just published a largely unfavorable four-part series about Seattle-based Amazon.com. In Part 1, the newspaper questions how much Amazon is doing for the local community. Part 2 suggests that Amazon is damaging the publishing industry. Part 3 asks if Amazon's tax-free status gives it an unfair advantage. And Part 4 wonders whether Amazon is bad for its own workers. posted by twoleftfeet at 10:56 PM PST - 145 comments
OMG SPACE aims to illustrate the scale and the grandeur of our solar system, as well as illustrate through the use of infographics our work in the exploration of our solar system with various spacecraft. [more inside] posted by zamboni at 9:09 PM PST - 19 comments
This film Was nominated (and won) the Oscar for best animated short feature. If you love books and words then this silent 15 minute piece is worth your time. Here is the backstory. posted by Michael_H at 1:41 PM PST - 27 comments
On May 19, 1984, an unemployed ice cream truck driver named Michael Larson went on Press Your Luck and over the course of two episodes, took home more money than had ever been won in the history of television: $110,237 -- to the shock of the show’s producers and host, the late Peter Tomarken. How did he do it? The show’s game board had only 5 patterns of 18 squares, and Mr. Larson had memorized them all. After the show, CBS tried to disqualify him but couldn’t, because Larson hadn’t done anything illegal. But they did refuse to allow those episodes to be aired in syndication. So, they didn’t re-air until 2003, when the Game Show Network produced a Tomarken-hosted documentary about Mr. Larson’s incredible win: Big Bucks: The Press Your Luck Scandal. [more inside] posted by zarq at 11:25 AM PST - 42 comments
Economies of Scale is a free, web-based multiplayer business/commerce simulation game under development by Scott Rubyton (aka Ratan Joyce). Players use starting capital to build production/wholesale/retail businesses from the ground up in a basic economic model, competing for market share while collaborating through business-to-business trading of goods and materials. It's more fun than getting an MBA! Also much less expensive. [more inside] posted by cortex at 11:07 AM PST - 60 comments
Closed Frontier: Is rock over? "Rock ’n’ roll is to 21st-century America what the Wild West was to 20th-century America: a closed frontier, ripe for mass mythology....Exciting new music still thrives in the subgenres, but modern musicians draw increasing amounts of inspiration from tradition, not originality. The sexagenarian Rolling Stones do serial victory laps around the world, just as an aging Buffalo Bill toured America and Europe in the 1880s and 90s, performing rope and horse tricks alongside Annie Oakley and Sitting Bull." posted by Sticherbeast at 8:15 AM PST - 193 comments
Antipsychotics: "The magnitude of publication bias found for antipsychotics was less than that found previously for antidepressants, possibly because antipsychotics demonstrate superiority to placebo more consistently."
Antidepressants: "We found a bias toward the publication of positive results. Not only were positive results more likely to be published, but studies that were not positive, in our opinion, were often published in a way that conveyed a positive outcome. [...] Using both approaches, we found that the efficacy of this drug class is less than would be gleaned from an examination of the published literature alone. According to the published literature, the results of nearly all of the trials of antidepressants were positive. In contrast, FDA analysis of the trial data showed that roughly half of the trials had positive results."
Previously[more inside] posted by OmieWise at 5:47 AM PST - 34 comments
We report a non-detection, to a limiting magnitude of V = 18.4, of the elusive entity commonly described as the Tooth Fairy. We review various physical models and conclude that follow-up observations must precede an interpretation of our result.
The Incentive Bubble (ungated pdf) - "The fraying of the compact of American capitalism by rising income inequality and repeated governance crises is disturbing. But misallocations of financial, real, and human capital arising from the financial-incentive bubble are much more worrisome to those concerned with the competitiveness of the American economy." [more inside] posted by kliuless at 4:32 AM PST - 54 comments
In 2010, the top 500 U.S. corporations - the Fortune 500 – generated $10.7 trillion in sales, reaped a whopping $702 billion in profits, and employed 24.9 million people around the globe. Historically, when these corporations have invested in the productive capabilities of their American employees, we’ve had lots of well-paid and stable jobs.
That was the case a half century ago. posted by marienbad at 2:12 AM PST - 35 comments
Bands often don't seem to be able to play on stage the way they did on their album; and we accept that for a lot of reasons having to do with the conditions, the production facilities and the sheer number of takes that were probably involved. But for a whole generation of hit music, there was often a more basic reason: it wasn't them playing on the album in the first place.
For nearly a decade, if you were an L.A. producer and you wanted to record a hit single, you'd call in The Wrecking Crew. Members of The Byrds, The Beach Boys, and The Mamas and the Papas would step aside as The Wrecking Crew laid down the instrumental tracks. Then, the members of the main band would come back to add the vocals on top.
One of the more conservative of the Fed's regional banks, the Dallas Federal Reserve, says "too-big-to-fail" banks must be broken up. Now. An interesting and important essay(pdf) from a most unlikely source.(via) posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:48 PM PST - 13 comments
In admitting that they have no expertise in running a corrections system, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that officers have unfettered authority to conduct full strip searches of any arrested individual, even for the most minor of offenses and in situations where officers lack any suspicion of contraband. The ruling comes days after the NY Times ran an analysis suggesting that the current supreme court is the most conservative court in modern history. posted by GnomeChompsky at 8:36 PM PST - 78 comments
Daily Science Fiction: Original Science Fiction and Fantasy every weekday. Welcome to Daily Science Fiction, an online magazine of science fiction short stories. We publish "science fiction" in the broad sense of the word: This includes sci-fi, fantasy, slipstream—whatever you'd likely find in the science fiction section of your local bookstore. Our stories are mostly short short fiction each Monday through Thursday, hopefully the right length to read on a coffee break, over lunch, or as a bedtime tale. Friday's weekend stories are longer. posted by Fizz at 10:31 AM PST - 18 comments
Curveball comes clean: "My main purpose was to topple the tyrant in Iraq because the longer this dictator remains in power, the more the Iraqi people will suffer from this regime's oppression." ... When it is put to him "we went to war in Iraq on a lie. And that lie was your lie", he simply replies: "Yes." posted by unSane at 9:04 AM PST - 82 comments
The U.S. National Archives today released the returns from the 1940 national census, providing an invaluable resource to historians and genealogists. At the moment, you'll need to know the particular address you want to see--the records are not yet searchable by name. A companion project seeks to fix that by enlisting your help in a crowdsourced project to index the census data. However, if you're looking for a New York address, you can use this clever site from the New York Public Library to look someone up in the 1940 phone book. (FYI, the site seems to be running a bit sluggishly under first-day load, so you may need to be patient.) posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:51 AM PST - 31 comments
The New Priesthood - "The hapless economist uses the same tools as acclaimed physicists and astronomers. She has trained for years to speak precisely the same language as them, to understand the same advanced mathematics, to deploy most complex statistical methods which are an essential part of the scientific toolbox. It is, understandably, incredibly difficult to accept that her work is a form of higherordersuperstition; a religion couched in the language of mathematics and statistics. Tragically, this is precisely what it is." [more inside] posted by kliuless at 4:20 AM PST - 169 comments
The Dodgers tax. 'The group that paid an astronomical sum for the' The Dodgers baseball 'team will seek big money for broadcast rights. That cost will end up on your pay-TV bill, even if you don't watch sports. But how long can TV services expect the millions of' Americans 'who aren't sports aficionados to pay a premium for channels they don't watch? The demands from sports networks are outsize versions of the increases obtained by other channels; together, they've driven up the average monthly cable bill from $40 to nearly $80 over the last decade. That's far faster than the rate of inflation. This trend seems impossible to sustain.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 11:11 AM PST - 104 comments
DeLorean goes electric: Due to hit the market in early 2013, the company says the DMC-EV will cost $90,000 (£57,000) and is aiming for a first production run of 300 vehicles. posted by marienbad at 9:22 AM PST - 64 comments
Earth, 2147. The legacy of the Metal Wars, where man fought machines—and machines won. Bio-Dreads — monstrous creations that hunt down human survivors... and digitize them!
In 1987, before he created Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski was a writer for Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, a live-action sci-fi show for kids. 24 episodes were produced. Straczynski wrote or co-wrote 14 of them, including multi-episode plot arcs. A line of interactivetoys brought the battle into kids’ living rooms, and Captain Power was also one of the very first shows on television to feature computer animation in every episode. But in an attempt to appeal to both children and the adults who watched with them, the campy show included some concepts and scenes critics deemed too violent for children and lasted only a single season in syndication. The full run of the show has now been uploaded to Youtube.[more inside] posted by zarq at 8:37 AM PST - 28 comments