The European Union welcomes 10 new members! As I write this, the celebrations have started as Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia become members of the EU today.
While some folks are gonna party like crazy, others are warning of doom and gloom.
What do you think? Will this have significant effects on global culture, politics, and economics - or will it merely represent a paper change within the rarefied world of European diplomats, with little other than localized effects on day to day life? posted by MidasMulligan at 5:26 PM PST - 43 comments
Lightcycle deathmatch! If you've been looking for an excuse to parade around in your Tron underroos or are just plain sick and tired of that little room you've been locked into, hop on a lightcycle in SWRON and play some chicken. single and multiplayer posted by roboto at 4:19 PM PST - 7 comments
'Laser vision' offers new insights Directly spraying light onto the retina, basically a heads-up display on your eye. And it's a step closer to the sunglasses Chevette stole in VirtualLight. Said glasses being wired up to display metadata about the world around you -- if you have a gardener set you walk through and look at the plants and everything has little labels with the common names and names in Latin. posted by artlung at 2:06 PM PST - 5 comments
The Battle of Antietam is the single bloodiest single day battle American history. Historically told in words, the battle illustrated in pictures [SVG required] shows jostling strategies that resulted in a loss of over 20,000 troops in 13 hours. posted by pedantic at 12:26 PM PST - 7 comments
In reversing the lower court decision, presiding Judge Toshinobu Akiyama of the high court said it was technically possible for Yanagi to snatch a bullet from a plastic bag placed on a table as evidence, when the two interrogators were not looking.
And yet, there might actually be an argument here. As seen in the Fark thread that followed their initial posting of this Japanese case, Alexander Jason (a forensic analyst) completed a rather detailed analysis and found the scene at least not incompatible with the suicide theory. This Alexander guy's quite interesting -- have to respect a guy whose home page opens up with a gun pointing at a mannequin's head (full research paper here, not entirely safe on a full stomach). posted by effugas at 12:22 PM PST - 5 comments
The oddest bit of Friday flash that I've yet seen. It's apparently an ad for Kikkoman soy sauce... but it's the most bizarre ad I've ever seen. A caped superhero type guy with a whole fish for a head rides on a motorcycle, pours soy sauce on people, apparently drives a cute little kitten to suicide, then goes to bed with the condiment-based superhero world's answer to Sailor Moon. Deeply weird. posted by Shoeburyness at 11:45 AM PST - 23 comments
Vending Machines of Japan PhotoMann recently decided to 'collect' images of unique vending machines found in Japan. They are everywhere. Estimates suggest there are 5.6 million vending machines which works out to be one for every 20 people in Japan. Sales from vending machines in 2000 totaled $56 billion! The most common are drink and cigarette machines followed by machines with pornography posted by Postroad at 9:14 AM PST - 19 comments
I'd like my left bollock to go to Julie and my right one to Children in Need. Quoth Davy Saville. Don't ever die, it's horrible is Øystein Runde's chosen epitaph. Greg Derrick would like to be disposed of as follows ...chucked in the water float for weeks as my corpse rots. Only to wash up on a beach in the coasta del sol. I want my Dad barred from my funeral. The mans a cun*... says Mark Reed mydeath.net is a site which allows people to specify the arrangements after their death. From food and dress code to disposal and famous last words. Read or contribute your own. [Contribution
requires quick registration] posted by kenaman at 12:45 AM PST - 6 comments
The Slack AlbumThe Slack Album is the latest (for the next ten minutes) in a slew of Jay-Z Black Album remixes and mash-ups. In this case, the Black Album is melded track-for-track with samples taken from Pavement's 1991 lo-fi / indie classic Slanted and Enchanted. posted by mcsweetie at 9:39 PM PST - 16 comments
You decide is a webpage that walks you through both sides of an issue. Interesting and well done way of not only seeing where you stand but appreciating the other side of the debate. posted by jragon at 6:54 PM PST - 29 comments
Are you a typoholic? It starts so innocently. One day you're mildly interested in the difference between display and text typefaces. Soon you can distinguish between teardrop and beak terminals. Suddenly you're annoying everyone in the movie theater by yelling out the names of all the fonts used in the credits. What's so scary is that you never saw it coming. You, my friend, are a type freak. posted by ColdChef at 5:18 PM PST - 36 comments
Apple iTunes 4.5 was released yesterday, bringing with it several nice new features, such as a live-updating "Party Shuffle" playlist — as well as not-so-nice features like attaching Music Store links to every artist and album in your library (I turned this off immediately). As for the iTunes Music Store itself, Apple has integrated its QuickTime features of music videos and movie trailers (this is related to music how?), shopper-created "iMixes" and for this month, a new "Free Track of the Day," a questionable asset being that today's artist is Avril Lavigne. ...Perhaps you'd rather have an album sung entirely with "meows". posted by Down10 at 2:39 PM PST - 39 comments
Buying biometrically into big brother? Privium is an IBM-backed pay service at Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport that allows passengers to identify themselves by iris recognition and thus speed their way through security checks. This being the privacy-respecting Netherlands, the biometric information is not stored in a central database, but only on a card you carry with you; other countries may not be so enlightened. This could well become a standard form of identification. In the meantime, could the failure to buy this service qualify someone as a security or insurance risk? posted by liam at 1:30 PM PST - 6 comments
I'm not a fan of followup posts, but this is cool enough to mention. Remember the challenging question of how to turn $14 into $1,000? BirdD0g has taken that noodle-scratcher of a problem and turned it into his personal challenge, and he's taking everyone along for the ride at 14bucks.com. He's got until April 15, 2005 to turn it over into a grand, which sounds like plenty of time, but that's a lot of profit to turn over (7000% return on investment). Who wants to take my $14 bet it doesn't happen? posted by mathowie at 1:08 PM PST - 38 comments
Claims vs. Facts Database "Conservatives have spent the last 20 years distorting reality and getting away with it. That is about to change. The Center for American Progress has launched this new database project to chart the dishonesty and lies of conservatives – and compare them with the truth. In this database, each conservative quote will be matched against well-documented facts. And we need your help." posted by mapalm at 11:31 AM PST - 29 comments
One Iraqi prisoner was told to stand on a box with his head covered, wires attached to his hands. He was told that if he fell off the box, he would be electrocuted.
Torture by Saddam? No, torture by American soldiers in Saddam's most notorious prison. After an Army investigation, courtmartials are likely, and a brigadier general may be forced to resign in disgrace. posted by hipnerd at 9:31 AM PST - 81 comments
The mind of the fundamentalist (streaming RealAudio) is an hour-long radio show featuring excerpts from talks given at a psychoanalytic psychotherapy conference in Sydney. Three speakers discuss experiences with fundamentalists, and driving factors behind their beliefs. It includes an amazing first-hand account of fundamentalist terrorism by a journalist whos plane was hijacked, and who later tracked down the hijacker and attempted to understand what drove him. The RealAudio-squeamish can find a transcript here. posted by Jimbob at 3:40 AM PST - 20 comments
Think Again: Al Qaeda - "The mere mention of al Qaeda conjures images of an efficient terrorist network guided by a powerful criminal mastermind. Yet al Qaeda is more lethal as an ideology than as an organization. 'Al Qaedaism' will continue to attract supporters in the years to come—whether Osama bin Laden is around to lead them or not." Foreign Policy, May/June 2004. posted by pitchblende at 12:17 AM PST - 10 comments
A futuristic robot polices the chaotic streets of a developing nation in this [creepy] spec commercial/corporate video." Quicktime is involved. Also, people who are scared of robots might not want to watch, because there is a robot in this video. posted by Hildago at 11:40 PM PST - 31 comments
Apparent terrorism threat to Los Angeles West Side. According to KNBC News 4 in LA, Federal authorities in Westwood have received a threat of terrorism against a local shopping mall somewhere on the West Side, to take place sometime tomorrow, Thursday April 29. Though unsubstantiated, the threat is being taken seriously enough that all local police forces have been notified and at least partially mobilized. I don't know about you, but I won't be shopping tomorrow.... are any other places in the US getting local threats like this, either now or recently? posted by zoogleplex at 11:13 PM PST - 39 comments
Supermodel Personals. "Nervous short girl into fantasy novels and The Simpsons seeks quiet, sensitive guy to while away the hours with me in my library of cocaine." (NSFW) posted by PrinceValium at 11:05 PM PST - 24 comments
The University of Minnesota is allowing students to create their own Movable Type blog with just one step. Just give your blog a name and a tag line, hit submit, and your MT blog is all set to go. posted by MrAnonymous at 10:54 PM PST - 5 comments
Grin And Bear It, Woman! Think Of England! Caesarean births in the U.K. should be severely curtailed, say the medical mandarins. Germaine Greer says, in a cracking column, that the new guidelines are misogyny pure and simple. Is it just my impression (think of American Pie-type teenage movies; advertising; "guy lit") or are hatred of women and beery, bozo celebrations of indifference to the feminine sex on the up and up? posted by MiguelCardoso at 9:51 PM PST - 64 comments
One of the finest poets in English, Thom Gunn, has died. Along with Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes, Gunn became famous as a young poet in England in the 1950s as part of "The Movement," writing fine poems in rhyme and meter. But then he fell in love with an American soldier, Mike Kitay, and followed him to San Francisco, where he crafted one of the most daringly original voices in the 20th century, handling taboo subjects like LSD, orgiastic sex, and his 50-year relationship with Kitay with the precision of a diamond cutter. Gunn lived in my neighborhood, and was a dapper, subtle, sexy and hilariously witty man until the end. Ten years ago, when I asked him what music he was listening to he replied, "Oh, Nirvana and Social Distortion. I'm a flighty teenager that way." posted by digaman at 11:22 AM PST - 24 comments
The Blissful Life in Utopia SUGAR LAND, Tex. -- This is the home of Britton Stein, who describes George W. Bush as "a man, a man's man, a manly man," and Al Gore as "a ranting and raving little whiny baby."
Forty-nine years old, Stein is a husband, a father, a landscaper and a Republican. He lives in a house that has six guns in the closets and 21 crosses in the main hallway.
Diary of a Freeper. Fascinating read. Insightful. posted by nofundy at 8:58 AM PST - 130 comments
Note: this link comes from a rather conspiratorial website [another source], but claims to be a report from a reporter with White House access. [/caveat] Via Easybakecoven. posted by moonbird at 8:30 AM PST - 28 comments
online creativity self-assessment test The questionnaire contains only 40 questions Your personal score will be compared with the global average score The test takes no longer than 10 minutes of your time Do you feel ingenuous? Well, do ya, punk?? Macromedia Flash player is required to take the scan. posted by y2karl at 7:46 PM PST - 81 comments
Given that green tea provides a more effective and environmentally-friendly method of preparing computer hard disks, pulsars are used to study gravitational waves with great precision, solar cells made from nanocrystals are found to be much more efficient, and scientists have discovered evidence for the earliest known wildfire in Earth's history, 443 to 417 million years ago, it would be hard to make the case that what we are living in is not, in fact, a Dreamworld. posted by mcgraw at 1:11 PM PST - 29 comments
Becoming Evil : Boston WTKK-FM radio's Jay Severin advocates genocide of American-Muslims - this is the advocacy of domestic terrorism. And not the mere targeting of civilians but the murder of over three million men, women, and children. Why shouldn't Jay Severin be arrested and charged, under the Patriot Act, with aiding and abetting US domestic terrorist groups which advocate such violence? [Scroll down towards the bottom of the Globe story for a transcript of the quote in context.] James Waller has studied the process by which individuals and society come to commit mass atrocities , and says of his theories: "...[the] explanation simply allows us to understand the conditions under which many of us could be transformed into killing machines. When we understand the ordinariness of extraordinary evil, we will be less surprised by evil, less likely to be unwitting contributors to evil, and perhaps better equipped to forestall evil." Hesiod Lists some of WTTK's advertisers : Purina, Hilton Resorts, 99 Restaurant and Pub, A.T. & T. Wireless. Still, Orcinus is my favorite "rise of extremist terrorist hate speech in America" news source. Germany has laws against such hate speech - which it believes to be so dangerous as to override free speech considerations - But we've got the USA PATRIOT Act, right? posted by troutfishing at 12:46 PM PST - 104 comments
Now that the terrorists are all caught, it's time to go back to attacking the real problem in America: Ravers.
"The Ecstasy Awareness Act (H.R. 2962) would throw anyone in jail who "profits monetarily from a rave or similar electronic dance event knowing or having reason to know" some event-goers may use drugs at the event. Similarly, Section 305 of the CLEAN-UP Act (H.R. 834) makes it a federal crime - punishable by up to nine years in prison - to promote "any rave, dance, music, or other entertainment event, that takes place under circumstances where the promoter knows or reasonably ought to know that a controlled substance will be used or distributed."
ProtectLiveMusic.org has been setup to combat these proposed laws. The idea of busting anyone that promotes a concert where drugs might show up in the jackets of attendees sounds like a good safe law that would never be abused, right? On the bright side, we're now one bill away from Phish and the Dead never touring ever again. :) [via furdlog] posted by mathowie at 9:35 AM PST - 49 comments
This site has a real cool slide show of a bunch of graffitied Rudy Guiliani tv movie posters in NYC subway stations (under 'Other'). Some other good stuff by this artist to check out, too (Flash required). posted by Miyagi at 8:39 AM PST - 11 comments
My Life as Ralph Nader's Flunkie Ralph Nader believes an independent candidacy should "generate more understandings and support for major new directions for our country." His website says these new directions include "repeal of laws that obstruct trade union organization by millions of workers mired in poverty by wages that cannot meet their minimum family livelihoods." The site prescribes "a living wage for tens of millions of workers making under $10 an hour." But the perennial leftist candidate, whose name will appear on the presidential ballot for the third consecutive time this November, has not played by the same rules he strives to make binding for corporations and private businesses. posted by Postroad at 8:34 AM PST - 19 comments
A Picture's Worth :: a slightly different kind of photo blog -- a single (often excellent) photo, accompanied by a short (often poignant) essay which explains the emotions, memories or thoughts that the photograph triggers for the photographer. posted by anastasiav at 8:18 AM PST - 1 comments
The grays, the mantises, the snake-skins, and the hybrids are just some of the aliens drawn by children at Aliens and Children. To note: thought screen hats will successfully prevent abduction by the mantis-like aliens, the servants of the mantis-like aliens, the snake-skinned aliens, and the Meek-Moks. posted by iconomy at 5:02 AM PST - 24 comments
Doomed to failure in the Middle East. 52 former senior British diplomats, probably the most experienced people on Middle East issues in Britain, sent a letter to Tony Blair, telling him he is very close to fucking up big time. Tony is trying to pass this as just «right of opinion». What next? Are we going to see foreign office people demonstrating outside Downing street? posted by acrobat at 3:58 AM PST - 64 comments
Much of what went wrong was avoidable. Focused on winning the political battle to start a war, the Bush administration failed to anticipate the postwar chaos in Iraq. Administration strategy seems to have been based on a hope that Iraq's bureaucrats and police would simply transfer their loyalty to the new authorities, and the country's administration would continue to function. All experience in Iraq suggested that the collapse of civil authority was the most likely outcome, but there was no credible planning for this contingency. In fact, the US effort to remake Iraq never recovered from its confused start when it failed to prevent the looting of Baghdad in the early days of the occupation. posted by y2karl at 7:35 PM PST - 108 comments
After all the hoopla about increasing security, it seems that the requirement for biometric data to be included in passports of those entering the US from visa waiver countries will need to be extended for two years to allow other countries to catch up with the technology, as it seems most countries are unable to meet the deadline. Some countries have put on hold the new technology, while others seem committed to going ahead with it, despite doubts about the readiness of the technology. Of course, if civil liberties groups get their way, the biometric passports may never see the light of day. Specific religious issues complicate the matter to some extent, also.
Given that, if the technology to produce biometric passports is available, will it really be that hard for forged passports to be created? Unless a massive world-wide database containing the biometric details of every person was used for data-matching, it is hard to see how these new measures will really make much difference to anyone apart from the companies selling the technology. posted by dg at 6:05 PM PST - 4 comments
Prosser High School teacher sees 15 year old student's war artwork depicting President Bush as a devil and another decapitated. Captions include calling an end to the war, and support for Ralph Nadar. Teacher hands artwork over to school administrators, who in turn bring in the Secret Service. Because that's what you do when you've handed out an assignment to kids "to keep a notebook of drawings depicting the war in Iraq". posted by Feisty at 4:32 PM PST - 58 comments
""....an attempt to interdict the enemy's rear area, to stop the flow of supplies and reinforcements, to establish a redoubt in the enemy's rear and disrupt his lines," says Douglas Johnson, research professor at the U.S. Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute. "The enemy could then be lured into a killing ground."....Hoping to draw Ho Chi Minh's guerrillas into a classic battle, the French began to build up their garrison at Dien Bien Phu..."General Giap - who led the Vietcong forces in that battle, prefers "Vallee De La Morte". Such games are played with large multicolored paper maps broken up into hexagonal grids, with cardboard pieces representing military units. The rules can be quitecomplex and some wargames ( such as Drang Nach Osten) have thousands of pieces and take thousands of hours to play (sometimes longer than the actual wars they simulate). More on wargaming. posted by troutfishing at 10:31 AM PST - 26 comments
Militants in Europe Openly Call for Jihad and the Rule of Islam The call to jihad is rising in the streets of Europe, and is being answered, counterterrorism officials say.
In this former industrial town north of London, a small group of young Britons whose parents emigrated from Pakistan after World War II have turned against their families' new home. They say they would like to see Prime Minister Tony Blair dead or deposed and an Islamic flag hanging outside No. 10 Downing Street. posted by Postroad at 6:55 AM PST - 52 comments
City-Data has a lot of statistics on about every city, town and village in the US. While there is nothing new about this service, I enjoyed being able to compare cities and towns of interest. What inspired me to post it here though, are the pages of random pictures submitted to the site from all over the country. Basically, you get a diverse collage of how people see their own locals. Here's a nice example. posted by Recockulous at 8:52 PM PST - 9 comments
My Secret LIfe as a Prostitute - A diary about my hidden life as an independent escort, erotic provider, prostitute, whore, call girl, hooker ... whatever you wish to call me.
Updated practically daily.
A truly fascinating read, probably NSFW, but no pictures save for the artistic one at the top and very little in the way of nasty sex-type words. posted by ashbury at 8:03 PM PST - 39 comments
Aid world rethinks role in Iraq -- As aid agencies continue to evaluate their work in Iraq, many are coming to the uncomfortable conclusion that their decision to deploy was driven more by politics than local needs. posted by amberglow at 7:38 PM PST - 2 comments
A New Typeface for YaleThe Yale typeface is available to Yale employees, students, and authorized contractors for use in Yale publications and communications. It may not be used for personal or business purposes, and it may not be distributed to non-Yale personnel. posted by ColdChef at 5:33 PM PST - 38 comments
London Booted - A tribute to the Clash. In the vein of the Grey Album, here is an album of mash-ups in tribute to London Calling. Especially good is the mix of The Clash's Spanish Bombs and Outkast's Bombs over Baghdad. After reading the background (and hopefully donating to one of the worthwhile sponsors), get your download on. posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:34 PM PST - 8 comments
what is it about web games? they start as if-thens and then they become alive. i've been following this game for a while; just out of beta now, free to play. any other games of this sort out there? (perhaps not detective, but same click-per-page web app style) posted by folktrash at 4:46 PM PST - 10 comments
Time to pull out the giant salt shaker - Evidence supporting Abrupt Climate Change theory builds (from a new study published in Nature Magazine, April 22 2004) : "Rate of Ocean Circulation Directly Linked to Abrupt Climate Change - A new study strengthens evidence that the oceans and climate are linked in an intricate dance, and that rapid climate change may be related to how vigorously ocean currents transport heat from low to high latitudes....(From the ever superb NASA Earth Observatory) posted by troutfishing at 7:16 AM PST - 41 comments
A new study (in a biggish PDF) from PRI states that most environmental indicators in the United States have improved dramatically since the 1970's regardless of the political party that controls the White House. Notably: "CO (Carbon monoxide) levels were the lowest recorded during the past 20 years" (EPA, 2002, pg 48), ambient lead levels have fallen 98% between 1976 and 2002 (pg 46), and sulfur dioxide has fallen 70% since 1976 (pg 44). (Mostly) Happy Earth Week, right?
(Via Easterblogg) posted by loquax at 11:10 PM PST - 26 comments
After 25 years away, I've recently moved back to the metropolis of my birth, Houston, Texas, and have been reminded that a lot of my favorite buildings here are from the Modern Movement in architecture. However, many of these buildings--much less than a century old!--are now giving way to newer ones, and many unique residences fast being replaced with McMansions. Even the Astrodome's fate is in the air. HoustonMod is trying to preserve these buildings and their place in history. More power to 'em. posted by WolfDaddy at 3:11 PM PST - 21 comments
Israeli Border Police use Palestinian kid as human shield. According to Rabbi Arik Ascherman: “The boy, crying, shaking from fear and eventually cold, was sat on the hood of a jeep and tied to the bars protecting the glass. The other three arrestees were bound and placed in front of a second jeep as human shields, to deter protestors from throwing stones at the jeep”. posted by Ty Webb at 2:12 PM PST - 72 comments
Blender Magazine lists the 50 worst songs of all time. Wait. Before you click the link know the the geniuses over at Blender only post songs 50 (Celline Dion's "My Heart Will Go On") through 41 (Color Me Badd's “I Wanna Sex You Up.” Yeah, I'm going to go buy a copy just for this article, aren't you? Fortunately, MSN spares us the torment of not knowing what the worst song of all time might be. Ready? Starship's "We Built This City." Now recognizing that it's the job of critics to make choices, and this is an impossible one, surely we can do better than that, no? [via danieldrezner.com] posted by mojohand at 1:08 PM PST - 98 comments
There are goofy news items every day, but once in a while you have some story that transcends them all. Teacher accused of ordering student thrown from window is quite possibly the silliest story I've seen this year. It's beyond the Onion. Teacher enters class and takes photo of students, one student objects, teacher makes a disparaging remark about the way the student looks and student hits an emergency button, then the teacher orders two boys to throw her out the window (where she suffered injuries). Best line about the boys "they threw the girl out the window because they did not want to be written up for disobeying a teacher." posted by mathowie at 12:09 PM PST - 29 comments
sniggle.net :: calls itself a 'Culture Jammer's Encyclopedia' -- its a fabulous compendium of forgeries, fakes, hoaxes, counterfeiting, spoofs, pseudoscience, and just plain weird stuff. Perfect fodder for killing time on a Friday afternoon. posted by anastasiav at 10:45 AM PST - 6 comments
No Communion for Pro-Choice Politicians
Apparently they have some issue with women having control over their own bodies so they'll deny communion to pro-choice politicians.
Hey, isn't John Kerry a pro-choice Catholic? This couldn't have anything to do with him could it?
Isn't a divisive move like this more likely to result in more people leaving the "faith"? posted by fenriq at 9:36 AM PST - 70 comments
NFL player , who walked away from a $3.6 million contract in the aftermath of 9/11 to join his brother in the Special Forces, dies in Afganistan. Unselfishness personified. posted by treywhit at 9:12 AM PST - 46 comments
GUI Olympics! several corporate sponsors (ATI, nVidia, and others) are offering up $15,000 in prize money for the best GUI skin any designer can come up with for a few applications. while i think it's great to push for newer and better user interfaces, who do somany of the designs seem to be pushing complexity over useability? wouldn't a better use of a GUI design prize be to encourage people to improve on a design rather than make it unintelligible? maybe the people pushing the designs need to take this quiz. posted by caution live frogs at 8:48 AM PST - 18 comments
J. Robert Oppenheimer Centennial:It is telling that the first atomic test would be named in reference to a poem by John Donne ("Trinity") and the next series of tests would be labeled simply alphabetically according to military protocol ("Able," "Baker," "X-ray," "Yoke," and "Zebra"). It is indicative of the changing of hands of the bomb, moving from the responsibility of intellectual eclectics like Oppenheimer into the protocols of military rank and policy.
See also the Oppenheimer Affair.
Via Science NetWatch. posted by jjray at 8:17 AM PST - 4 comments
You'd think the return of the Japanese hostages from Iraq would be cause for celebration. Nope. "You got what you deserve!" read one hand-written sign at the airport where they landed. "You are Japan's shame," another wrote on the Web site of one of the former hostages. They had "caused trouble" for everybody. posted by gottabefunky at 7:43 AM PST - 29 comments
Designs on the White House -- an online design contest, judged by designers, celebrities, and activists. Winning designs will be available for resale on T-shirts and other products, and all proceeds after expenses will benefit the John Kerry Presidential campaign. Impressive list of judges, including (so far) Milton Glaser, Chip Kidd, Ed Schlossberg, Atrios, and Tom Tomorrow. Designs will be online throughout May, with your votes determining the finalists. (Kerry's official shirtsare lacking, imho) Maybe campaign memorabilia always has been? posted by amberglow at 8:02 PM PST - 9 comments
Although the current 2003-04 season of New York City's Metropolitan Opera is winding down, there were two provocative additions to the existing repertoire. Previously banned and restricted from the New York stage (as well as other opera houses throughout the world), the MET offered new productions of La Juive and Salome:
Last performed during the 1935-36 season, the MET reprised Jacques Fromental Halévy's 1835 opera La Juive (The Jewess) after a 68-year absence. Set in 15th-century Constance, the story concerns a Jewish jeweler and his daughter's forbidden romance with a Christian Emperor’s son. The implications of the libretto assert religious intolerance, betrayal, and persecution of Jews, where anti-semitism is the motivating force. Conflicting theories debate whether it was pulled in the 1930's to quell the conflagration of anti-semitism, or if trends were merely shifting away from French opera.
Also reprised was Salome, Richard Strauss's 1905 opera based on Oscar Wilde's 1891 play of the same name. During the performance, Salome performs the highly erotic Dance of the Seven Veils for her stepfather Herod, striping completely naked, and then molesting the severed head of St. John. During the 1907 premier at the MET, the production was so scandalous, that it was cancelled after the first performance. It was then permanently banned until 1934, and has only been reprised four times in past 70 years. The new production continues to reflect on past debates, flagging the licentious strip tease and immoral relationship between Herod and teenaged Salome. posted by naxosaxur at 3:54 PM PST - 17 comments
"The Conscientious Objector Policy Act" just passed the Michigan Assembly, and awaits voting in the state Senate. The bill legalizes the right for a doctor, or any health provider, to deny treatment based on "ethical, moral, or religious grounds." In addition to the obvious notion of restricting abortion, in the most extreme example the bill technically allows doctors to deny treatment to gays simply for believing that homosexuality is immoral. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 3:31 PM PST - 90 comments
Aimez-vous Godard? That Is, If You've Actually Seen One Of His Films. Gilberto Perez's view of Godard is strictly personal, as all opinions of his work must be. It does highlight, however, how neglected the restless author's films have lately been. For people of my generation, he was absolutely essential. The supreme cineaste, both with an accent on the "e" (as a film-maker) and without (as a film enthusiast). Whatever became of the Nouvelle Vague? It seems to me that the contemporary cinema could well do with another blast. posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:16 PM PST - 28 comments
A new report [complete PDF here] by the Center for Biological Diversity reports that 114 species have gone extinct in the first twenty years of the Endangered Species Act, mostly due to lack of enforcement and political ineptitude.
Reflections On Our Media of Communication. Traditional news media vs. the internet. Are people really abandoning TV, paper, and radio news? Does the 'net really offer the best in free-press? The ever lovable Fred thinks so, and he's not afraid to tell you why. posted by eas98 at 8:35 AM PST - 14 comments
Diaper Free!Natural Infant Hygiene and Elimination Communication are terms coined by author, Ingrid Bauer, to define an ancient, natural childcare practice for contemporary parents. They describe a gentle, compassionate and practical way to care for a baby's elimination needs from infancy, with or without diapers. posted by konolia at 8:32 AM PST - 32 comments
“They called me when I was ombudsman and said, ‘Look, you’ve got all these anonymous sources in here — why shouldn’t I assume that you made it up?’ And when I would speak to people like Woodward and others at the Post and say ‘This is a serious problem for us,’ they say ‘Oh you know people know they can trust me.’ Well, people don’t trust them.”
“Republicans and Democrats joke these days that they can’t understand each other, that they feel as though they live on different planets. It’s no joke. They do. One of the reasons American politics is so bitter is that Republicans and Democrats are less likely today to live in the same community than at any time in the last 55 years.”
Hot Abercrombie Chick? Maybe not, "Something was amiss, and I had to prove that Hot Abercrombie Chick was either a) a totally different girl, b) a guy or c) some team of people creating an identity. And I was devoted to outing this fraud." posted by cedar at 7:31 PM PST - 51 comments
Decrease your Erdös number!!! An Ann Arbor complex systems researcher is offering the opportunity to bid on math's equivalent of the Bacon number - the winner of this auction will, upon research collaboration, obtain an Erdös number of 5. The bidding is currently at $83.00. posted by transona5 at 5:29 PM PST - 37 comments
The September Project -- On 9/11, libraries big and small will host events where citizens can participate collectively and think creatively about our country, our government, our community, and encourage and support the well-informed voice of the American citizenry. A Day of and for Democracy. posted by amberglow at 4:38 PM PST - 8 comments
The Land Shark. Three wheels, three seats. 250 mph on land, 50 mph in the water. Yours for only £10-16,000, once they start building them. At least you can get a shirt now. posted by gottabefunky at 3:18 PM PST - 7 comments
A huge number of internships are illegal. So claims a labor lawyer in this USA Today story. Are unpaid internships a form of white collar exploitation we should crack down on? Just how much of the workforce is unpaid, or working on tiny stipends? And is it like this in other Western countries? posted by inksyndicate at 1:37 PM PST - 43 comments
Every culture can be kind of defined by what they drink in order to avoid dying of diarrhea. In China it's tea. In Africa it's milk or animal blood. In Europe it was wine and beer.Salon talks with Neal Stephenson. [premium/free day pass] posted by xmutex at 11:46 AM PST - 9 comments
10th anniversary of Mellow Gold, Beck's first major label release.
Marked by streaming of entire album. Over the next two weeks there will be more about the history and making of Mellow Gold, featuring interviews from those associated with Beck and the record.
[Registration required but they are quiet happy with a bogus email address]
Learn how to play along with Beck here and read lyrics to and story behind all his songs, including Loser'....I started the song by writing the verses, and attempting to rap like Chuck D [of Public Enemy]. When [Carl] played it back I thought, ‘Man, I’m the worst rapper in the world—I’m just a loser.’ posted by kenaman at 10:22 AM PST - 27 comments
Piri Reis Map I am a sucker for those books that hypothesize that Earth was visited by extra-terrestrials in the distant pass. One artifact that is brought up in nearly all of them is The Piri Reis Map, a document that seems to be a map includes parts of the world (such as Antarctica's ice-covered mountains) that were thought to be very recent discoveries. But, are they a hoax? posted by synecdoche at 1:13 AM PST - 14 comments
I don't bite....haaaaaard. Making the commuter train ride more interesting: Bluetoothing for anonymous sex. Called Toothing (message board, may be NSFW), randy Brits are using the wonders of technology to find themselves a bit o' fun after a long day's work. Just set your wireless device to discover other nearby devices, send out the 'standard greeting' and get ready to get bizzay. Why do it? Well, the Toothing FAQ says it all: "It's fun! And exciting! And you can meet some wonderful new people and make proper friends. " Well, of course! And don't think it's just a British thing, Toothing's goin' international! So, reach out... reach out and touch someone. Don't forget to floss! posted by tittergrrl at 4:25 PM PST - 20 comments
Can Spam Save the World?Mark Cuban, broadcast.com billionaire, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Donald Trump wannabe (though he says he's not) is set to host a new "reality" show called The Benefactor. The winner gets $1 million bucks.
This guy, who bought the terribly optimistic cubansmillion.com domain, claims he has a "well thought-out" 4-step plan to use the money to save the world.
It sounds to me like it was conceived by the underwear gnomes. He fails to explain just how sending 50 million spam emails a day "generates 250 million dollars annually for charitable causes . ($5 in annual earnings per member enrolled.)"
I'd be interested in hearing what others with experience in email marketing think. A viable idea or just crackpot self-promotion? posted by sixdifferentways at 3:28 PM PST - 14 comments
UNSCAM: The scandal surrounding the UN and their oil-for-food program with Iraq hasn't received a whole lot of media attention and hasn't, surprisingly, even been brought up on MeFi. It boils down to Saddam Hussein taking the money from oil sales and using it to give kickbacks to France, Russia, and the UN itself, while Saddam built palaces and such, rather than buying food and medicine. It's complicated, but could be the biggest public financial scandal in history. It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that Russia is trying to block any investigation into the matter. posted by MrAnonymous at 11:48 PM PST - 93 comments
The Pentagon as Global Slumlord -- by Urban Theorist Mike Davis (author of City of Quartz and Ecology of Fear): The battle of Fallujah, together with the conflicts unfolding in Shiia cities and Baghdad slums, are high-stakes tests, not just of U.S. policy in Iraq, but of Washington's ability to dominate what Pentagon planners consider the "key battlespace of the future" -- the Third World city.
His recent essay, Planet of Slums provides more on the ever-growing living- (and battle-?)spaces for hundreds of millions. posted by amberglow at 5:27 PM PST - 31 comments
What's on TV tonight? Nothing! That's right, it's the tenth annual TV turn-off week. I've actually done this in the past three years, though last year I cheated and just watched everything a week later on TiVo. posted by mathowie at 4:31 PM PST - 86 comments
There are numerous reasons proffered to drink juice. It's easier to drink a small serving of juice than to eat a large serving of fruits
and vegetables; that much is intuitive. An
oft-plagiarized article claims that juicing frees nutrients that
otherwise could not be absorbed, cites 1940s research that chlorophyll can aid in hemoglobin synthesis, and claims that 1 cup of carrot
juice has the nutritional content of 4 cups of chopped carrots (although crankingthenumbers [pdf] gives an answer closer to 2 cups.) Skeptics argue that
much of this talk is hype, correctly noting that juice is not a miracle disease cure as some hucksters claim, and that by juicing you are discarding beneficial fiber. But
absurd juicing claims aside, is there any reason needed beyond the great taste? [more inside] posted by quarantine at 3:57 PM PST - 18 comments
The Goldman Environmental Prize has been awarded to seven people. Sometimes considered the Nobel prize for the environment, it's given to people from six regions of the world, each winning $125,000. The winners include Margie Richard of Norco, Louisiana, and Rashida Bee and Champa Devi Shukla from Bhopal, India, who have respectively fought two of the world's largest chemical companies for justice following chemical plant leaks in their towns (the Bhopal accident killed 20,000 people.) posted by homunculus at 12:40 PM PST - 2 comments
Saudization is the process of hiring Saudi Arabian nationals to join the Saudi workforce and is an interesting counterpoint to the US phenomena of outsourcing. The goal of Saudization is to discourage reliance on foreign workers as well as to combat domestic unemployment, which is worsened by the rapidly swelling ranks of restive, undereducated youth. Unfortunately it's not as easy to put into practice as
itsounds. posted by rks404 at 12:24 PM PST - 3 comments
Batman and Robin have been spotted on the streets of Whitley england, saving damsels in distress, scaring wrongdoers and even chasing naked men from football fields. Other self-made superheroes making news range from the amusing to the disturbing. Even MTV and Stan Lee are jumping into the fray with a casting call for a reality TV show where contestants will compete against each other in a show designed to develop their superhero characters and test their mettle as defenders of justice. posted by Stuart_R at 9:28 AM PST - 14 comments
More clash from the right. Political Scientist Samuel Huntington has gone domestic with his “Clash of Civilizations” (previous MeFi links here and here). In his new article, “The Hispanic Challenge” (soon to be a book entitled “Who Are We”), he highlights the threat hispanics pose to what he has decided is "the Anglo-Protestant culture of America." posted by AwkwardPause at 3:02 AM PST - 165 comments
The Hospitality Club is a similar idea to CouchSurfing in that both sites provide a database of people offering free lodging to each other when visiting foreign countries. The Hospitality Club has been going for nearly three years and has over 12,500 members in 142 countries. The site has wiki-like features allowing members to edit travel guides for each country, region and city. posted by cbrody at 5:24 PM PST - 7 comments
Bedroom Music for Bedroom People A veritable treasure trove of hours and hours of mixes of fine abstract headphone-fodder of varying flavours, be it compelling hiphop or weirdo IDM or just etcetera. A fine way to pass a lazy Sunday away ... posted by syscom at 5:05 PM PST - 12 comments
Facewound is an excellent homebrew side-scrolling action game that's currently still in preview. It features zombies, bullet time, and a full arsenal of weaponry. It's not web based, but it does feature some nice special effects for those of you with good graphics cards (not required). Also, it's very friendly to custom maps and skins. Here is the download page for those who want to get right into it. All and all, a good way to waste a Saturday. posted by ODiV at 6:43 AM PST - 10 comments
Harvard's Institute of Politics has created a short test to measure where your political beliefs fit with college students across the country. You better sit down for this one: I am a Traditonal Liberal ! From Secular Centrist Matthew Yglesias. Take the test and see where you fall on the brightly colored chart. posted by y2karl at 6:56 PM PST - 66 comments
Cicadas best served sauteed in butter and parsley apparently, or if you want to go more upscale: "The soft-shelled cicada, it's done just like a soft-shelled crab," says executive chef Frank Belosic, describing how freshly molted cicadas should be rolled in flour, pan-fried in olive oil, and finished with a sauce of white wine, butter and shallots. posted by meehawl at 5:56 PM PST - 23 comments
Analogia - You upload your face and complex recognition software returns three celebrities you most resemble. Which are you? The software is surprisingly accurate! (Marginally NSFW: thumb nailed obscenity) posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 5:02 PM PST - 39 comments
"There is a great deal at stake for American higher education and academic freedom. If HR 3077 becomes law - the Senate will review the bill next - it will create a board that monitors how closely universities reflect government policy. Since the legislation assumes that any flaw lies 'with the experts, not the policy', the government could be given the power to introduce politically sympathetic voices into the academic mainstream and to reshape the boundaries of academic inquiry. Institutional resistance would presumably be punished by the withdrawal of funds, which would be extremely damaging to Middle East centres especially."
you didn't have reason to call your congressperson tomorrow? you do now. frightening.
I've run a marathon and it was hard. Then I learned about ultra marathoners doing 50 and 100 mile runs in one day. Then there are the marathons and ultra marathons in rough places, like Death Valley. Then there's the grand daddy of difficulty: The Marathon Des Sables. It's 6 days and 6 marathons long, run in a desert with temps topping 110F, you have to carry your week's gear and food, and you are limited to 9 liters of water a day. Here are some photos and blogger Ben Hammersley's current results are here. The event finishes tomorrow. [via jay allen] posted by mathowie at 4:19 PM PST - 18 comments
Two HIV Cases Put a Scare Into P9rn (LATimes) Several major adult movie companies — including the industry's largest, Vivid — have decided to stop filming for 60 days after two stars tested positive for HIV. But other companies dismissed the plea for a moratorium, calling it "paranoid" and "knee-jerk," and vowed to keep their cameras rolling. The industry, they said, was perfectly safe."I'm against any stop in production," said a producer "It will put a lot of people out of business. You'll have people who will start losing their apartments. It's just not fair."
When do adult movies (ahugelyprofitablebusiness where unprotected sex is often performed) end being sexy and start being "Russian Roulette on dvd" scary?
The two actors who have tested positive for the HIV virus are identified as Darren James and Lara Roxx. Roxx (who's 18 or 19) had only been in the adult industry for three months. 45 actors and actresses who subsequently either worked with James or the women he had sex with after contracting the virus, which is believed to have occurred in Brazil (where, incidentally, star and director John Stagliano -- not completely work-safe link -- says he caught AIDS in 1997), have been identified, too. warning: except the Stagliano link, all the others are work-safe. (more inside) posted by matteo at 2:01 PM PST - 72 comments
Yeti Sports. The creators of the infamous penguin bat flash game have opened an entire site featuring music, e-cards, and most important, two new games. Excuse me, I'm off to spend Flash Friday doing horrible things to flightless waterfowl. posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:56 AM PST - 6 comments
The Art Renewal Center is Very Upset. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts (MIA) has decided to sell a painting by artist William Bouguereau so they can acquire a painting by Albert Joseph Moore. The painting, Bohémienne was originally purchased for $3,500 by the MIA back in the early 1970's for the purpose of reselling it at some future date for a better work of art. Christie's expects it to sell for between $700,000 and $900,000. The sale of this painting has angered some who feel that a museum's role is to protect important artwork not risk losing it to private collection for a questionable gain. Does a museum have an ethical responsibility to prevent art from disappearing from public view? posted by Tenuki at 10:41 AM PST - 22 comments
And the apprentice is: Kwame Jackson!Trump fired Bill for how he ran a tournament at Trump National Golf Club and hired Kwame for the way he put together a Jessica Simpson concert at the Taj Mahal casino in Atlantic City. USA Today makes an ooopsie. posted by riffola at 9:41 AM PST - 38 comments
the sphereXPis a 3D desktop replacement for Microsoft Windows XP. Taking the known concept of three-dimensional desktops to its own level. It offers a new way to organize objects on the desktop such a icons and applications. posted by crunchland at 8:04 AM PST - 33 comments
A viilage to reinvent the world : Gaviotas"In 1965 Paulo Lugari was flying over the impoverished Llanos Orientales, the “eastern plains” that border Venezuela. The soil of the Llanos is tough and acidic, some of the worst in Colombia. Lugari mused that if people could live here they could live anywhere.....The following year Lugari and a group of scientists, artists, agronomists and engineers took the 15-hour journey along a tortuous route from Bogota to the Llanos Orientales to settle."
CIA Warned of Attack 6 Years Before 9-11 Six years before the Sept. 11 attacks, the CIA warned in a classified report that Islamic extremists likely would strike on U.S. soil at landmarks in Washington or New York, or through the airline industry, according to intelligence officials. posted by Postroad at 5:01 AM PST - 41 comments
Derelict London. A gently melancholy collection of photographs of abandoned shops, hospitals, housing estates, public lavatories, and much more. See also Britannia Moribundia, on the national obsession with dinginess and decay. This is where England most truly excels: in all the characterful shabbiness of its drizzled parks, soiled launderettes, frayed tailors, abject chemists .. and cowed solitary cafes. posted by verstegan at 4:13 AM PST - 13 comments
Sketchzilla - a public collaborative online community art project. (As with most public spaces, if you're easily offended, this may not be for you. It may be NSFW at any given moment.) posted by fatbobsmith at 10:25 PM PST - 3 comments
Teenage Angst Poetry: The Poetry of Adolescence. This has to be one of the best things I have read online in a long time. I’ll share mine if you share yours! (2nd link to CBC Radio 3 Flash site – click through the opening page and then click on the second article. Well worth it.) posted by Quartermass at 9:55 PM PST - 14 comments
Godsend Institute offers up this explanation of their cloning procedures.
Since Dolly, several scientists have cloned other animals, including cows and mice. Now, at Godsend, we have pioneered a technique that allows a cell nucleus from a recently deceased child to be implanted within a human egg, allowing a mother to carry that child to term again. posted by sciatica at 5:00 PM PST - 33 comments
Interested in QR codes? Make your own here.
This article, in Hypulp, describing how text and data can be coded into noiselike pixel patterns, was fascinating. It made me look for a way to generate these codes myself. Thanks gen for yesterday’s link to Hypulp. posted by Termite at 10:50 AM PST - 12 comments
FanPantsTo provide padding in the form of an oversized buttocks positioned in the seat of the pants. Talk about over-serving your target market... yeesh. [SFW - some flash - via Milk and Cookies] posted by scarabic at 10:48 AM PST - 3 comments
CNET's music.download.com, aka the new look mp3.com beta launches in a week or two. Artists are asked to submit music from now, however. (Previously on metafilter: exhibts A and B.) posted by nthdegx at 9:24 AM PST - 13 comments
"Which office do I go to to get my reputation back?" The US army has quashed convictions against a Muslim chaplain initially accused of spying at the US detention camp in Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. It means Captain James Yee - who spent 76 days in custody when the spying allegations were first made - now has a clean military record. posted by turbanhead at 9:20 AM PST - 9 comments
Jesus Christ: Choose your own savior.
Everyone claims their Jesus is the "real" one, the only authentic Christ unperverted by secular society or religious institutions... Nowadays, even nonbelievers assert a superior understanding of who the actual Jesus really was and what he stood for. posted by moonbird at 7:47 AM PST - 13 comments
TPM is becoming almost too widely-read to be postworthy, but Josh really puts things into perspective with this post.
For an example of what all this jingoistic gibberish can result in, see the post below it. posted by jpoulos at 7:40 AM PST - 63 comments
Documentography is a collective of young photographers dealing with documentary and photojournalism. They publish a quarterly magazine called Issue that has photos and stories by independent photographers. Greatpictures. posted by sciurus at 7:00 AM PST - 3 comments
A world wide panorama shoot. On Saturday, March 20, more than 170 photographers in 39 countries around the world celebrated the Equinox by creating VR panoramas. This site showcases the results of their efforts. (Quicktime needed) posted by Ljubljana at 3:56 AM PST - 6 comments
Cannon Films -- the notoriously schlocky independent studio that brought you such fare as Invasion USA, Masters of the Universe, and the Sylvester Stallone arm-wrestling movie Over the Top -- now have a fan-made blog devoted to their impossibly awful (yet addictive) movies. Your hosts Ink Syndicate give an informative and amusing history of Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus's peerless cinematic empire. Unknown Films provide an employee's-eye-view, interviewing Cannon advertising guy Jim Berteges. posted by pxe2000 at 7:08 PM PST - 6 comments
Help U.S. Marines Equip TV Stations in Iraq US Marines seek to equip seven (7) television stations serving local communities within Al Anbar Province, Iraq. The Province includes the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi. These stations will offer information that is more accurate and balanced than existing alternatives. The goal is to improve understanding between Americans and Iraqis, build trust and reduce tensions. posted by David Dark at 6:29 PM PST - 56 comments
Forget Fiction And Non-Fiction, Bud: Is The Book Liberal Or Conservative? The National Review's bestseller list (scroll down and click) is starkly divided into "Conservative Bestsellers" and "Liberal Bestsellers". Is this a quirky innovation and deliberate provocation or just plain stupid and sad? Does such a dichotomy in fact exist? How would the literature of the world fit into such a classification? (This isn't the end of the world as we know it, is it?) posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:22 PM PST - 50 comments
She's no Barbie To readers of Russian Fairy tales, the name Alyona conjures images of simple peasant girls who become princesses through modesty, hard work and intelligence. A modern day Alyona has surfaced in the cut-throat world of beauty pageants. posted by gesamtkunstwerk at 11:11 AM PST - 48 comments
Dial-A-Cheater"proved what I couldn't. After he answered the call I scheduled, I asked him who it was. He lied. I totally busted him out. He was cheating with my best friend!" Kill the illusion of joy with a cell phone (and $1.95 USD). posted by LinusMines at 9:08 AM PST - 18 comments
Lung cancer 'different in women' Rates of lung cancer in women have increased significantly in recent decades while those for men have remained stable. Female smokers have a greater chance of developing lung cancer, and a higher risk of developing adenocarcinoma, which is the most common form of the disease.
But women also have better survival rates, the researchers said. posted by mcgraw at 7:32 AM PST - 3 comments
Reality's ApprenticeReality TV may seem a world away from real life, but what happens when Donald Trump’s The Apprentice moves in upstairs? Worse, what happens when it seems to be a sham? Keith Hollihan reports with a fascinating account of his life’s surreal intrusions. posted by konolia at 9:13 PM PST - 25 comments
Buying Up the Right to Pollute. "Power companies that release more SO2 than their permits allow must attempt to buy more allowances at the auctions, or purchase them at a premium from companies that have allowances to spare. Those that can't gather enough allowances or that go beyond certain emissions limits in a given year face strict fines from the EPA." (from a 4/7 Wired article) You may have heard of these "allowances" before, but the Acid Rain Retirement Fund, a non-profit, is doing something about them: *buying* them and simply letting them expire. Search NetworkForGood for "ARRF" to make a donation. [via our own CTP's Recursive Irony] posted by scarabic at 7:54 PM PST - 12 comments
IM logging as illegal wiretap: We need to get beyond the technology itself and ask whether there are legitimate expectations of privacy that we seek to protect by either permitting or refusing to permit the creation of a permanent record of communications. posted by anathema at 3:03 PM PST - 8 comments
The robot should go in first. Between 50 and 100 Packbot [13MB wmv] unmanned ground vehicles (UGV) are currently being used for battlefield reconnaissance. One proved its worth last week when it uncovered a bomb and was destroyed in the process. Colin Angle, CEO of Packbot maker iRobot, doesn't rule out the eventual weaponizing of UGVs and quips "we're not using these robots to hand out flowers". posted by eddydamascene at 3:01 PM PST - 20 comments
Sometimes it takes the great Dustbuster of fate to clear the room of bullies and bad habits. Among a troop of savanna baboons in Kenya, a terrible outbreak of tuberculosis 20 years ago selectively killed off the biggest, nastiest and most despotic males... With that change in demographics came a cultural swing toward pacifism, a relaxing of the usually parlous baboon hierarchy, and a willingness to use affection and mutual grooming rather than threats, swipes and bites to foster a patriotic spirit. "And if baboons can do it, why not us? The bad news is that you might have to first knock out all the most aggressive males to get there." Wishful thinking from nerdy academics, or a harbinger of our future? posted by soyjoy at 2:09 PM PST - 15 comments
"We are now deep in the trackless swamps created by thoughtless, feckless UI design — full of glitz and GUI, signifying nothing." In The Luxury of Ignorance, Eric Raymond attempts to set up a network printer in Linux. posted by reklaw at 1:39 PM PST - 23 comments
Pfix Pfizer: Pfizer, maker of several drugs including Lipitor used to lower cholesterol, has launched a lawsuit against Canadian web sites selling its drugs or knock-offs at a lower cost to Americans. They claim that it's a matter of safety for their users, and that costs are for the insurance companies to quibble. However many Minnesota seniors have fired back that it's a matter of sales, and are seeking to 'pfix pfizer' as they are unable to afford some of these life-saving medications. [more inside] posted by FunkyHelix at 1:32 PM PST - 17 comments
The $700 Million Gyroscope. A spacecraft set to test Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is now on the launch pad, with the world's most accurate gyroscopes stowed away inside. The experiment will have cost $700 million when the data is in and finally analysed.
What practical benefits will the average American reap from this? posted by DWRoelands at 1:14 PM PST - 51 comments
North Korean Nuclear Devices. "Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani scientist who sold nuclear technology around the world, has told his interrogators that during a trip to North Korea five years ago he was taken to a secret underground nuclear plant and shown what he described as three nuclear devices." posted by homunculus at 11:45 AM PST - 5 comments
Ashcroft rejected counterterrorism funds on Sept. 10 "Yet the commission staff statement quotes a former FBI counterterrorism chief, Dale Watson, as saying he ``almost fell out of his chair'' when he saw a May 10 budget memo from Ashcroft listing seven priorities, including illegal drugs and gun violence, but not terrorism.
Additionally, on Sept. 10, Ashcroft rejected an appeal from Pickard for additional funding, the commission said." posted by specialk420 at 9:37 AM PST - 39 comments
The Jefferson Muzzles are awarded as a means to draw national attention to abridgments of free speech and press and, at the same time, foster an appreciation for those tenets of the First Amendment. posted by papercake at 9:25 AM PST - 8 comments
Where is Raed? Salam Pax's pal Raed Jarrar now has his own Blogspot site, Raed in the Middle, after some guest posts on Salam's blog. Foreboding political commentary (scroll down to "Three Smart Political Steps") on how AlSadr is making shrewd moves to unite Sunnis and Shi'as against American forces. In addition, Raed translates diary entries from his mother Faiza, who also Teaches you Arabic. posted by planetkyoto at 8:07 AM PST - 24 comments
On a budget a tiny fraction of those which American cities have at their disposal, how did Curitiba become the world's leading model for urban sustainability and quality of life ? - with possibly the world's most efficient and effective public transit system, a network of parks and greenery far beyond Olmsted's visionary parks, 70% trash recycling, innovative social welfare systems, trees everywhere, and "Lighthouses of Knowledge" with small libraries and free internet access as well, a low cost open university system.....and flowers!
Curitiba's pedestrian-only (no cars) city center is filled with gardens. posted by troutfishing at 7:41 AM PST - 34 comments
Low-Income Children At Risk"Low-income children are disproportionately exposed to a daunting array of adverse social and physical environmental conditions," according to Gary Evans of Cornell University. Evans reviewed almost 200 studies to document the environment of childhood poverty in the current issue of American Psychologist (Vol. 59:2, 77-92, 2004).Public policy also tends to consider just one "magic bullet" at a time, Evans says. "To make a difference, we need to take a broader perspective for intervention.”What public policy changes would you suggest to protect and enrich the lives of children in low-income communities? posted by mcgraw at 6:31 AM PST - 6 comments
Folk Songs For The 21st Century was recorded in the late '50s. Sheldon Allman wrote all the songs, and sings them in a strange, warped baritone voice. His tongue had to be firmly planted in his cheek when writing something like "Space Opera". Then again, maybe not... [via Buzz.] posted by mr.marx at 4:53 AM PST - 4 comments
Sure, we've all seen bad web design, but sometimes one finds a site that's really worth a second look, and this is certainly one. It's not so much bad web design as a veritable county fair of bad web design, complete with a ring-toss (try to click that link!), a booth extolling the modern wonder of air conditioning, another exhibit about the wonderful world of the future, and, of course, misguided hero worship. But wait, there's more, including a visit from famous basketballer Michel Jordan. Really, one could spend hours and hours exploring the many nooks and crannies of The Retreat's website, and still not find all of the many, many gems that it contains. Don't forget to ask about the monogamous weddings! posted by hoboynow at 6:15 PM PST - 21 comments
Recent images posted to Live Journal (probably NSFW at any given moment) sounds like an uninteresting feed from a community: it's just a constant stream of images uploaded to LJ. But the truth is that it's fascinating to watch, to see the whole community summarized into a dozen images of the moment. [more inside] posted by mathowie at 5:13 PM PST - 62 comments
Whizzkid develops Linux application for Windows [...]The significance of the development is that Linux and Windows are able to work in parallel on the same computer or server. To[sic] now, the computer world is divided into systems that operate either with Windows or with Linux. [...] posted by Postroad at 4:42 PM PST - 33 comments
Vitamin dosage is a much debated issue. Is there any real difference between the minimal and the optimal? There are the public standards, and then there are other perspectives. Given the potential impact on public health as new RDIs are adopted, what do you think we should take? posted by ewkpates at 10:52 AM PST - 7 comments
Where's the WE in itunes? Weedshare is a filesharing service/company that rewards users for sharing music files. Unfortunately, they're Windows only (and use DRM but with good reason), but still interesting... posted by dobbs at 10:04 AM PST - 8 comments
Taphophiles, Rejoice! Northstar Galleries offers a collection of grave images from around the world. Of particular interest is an essay and gallery on "Sensuality in Memorial Art." But if potentially NSFW stone nudes are not your thing, you can search the Farber Gravestone Collection's archive of over thirteen thousand image database of pre-1800 American gravestones, more than enough for a melancholy afternoon. posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:57 AM PST - 6 comments
NanochipsThe desire for boosting the number of transistors on a chip and for running it faster explains why the semiconductor industry, just as it crossed into the new millennium, shifted from manufacturing microchips to making nanochips. How it quietly passed this milestone, and how it continues to advance, is an amazing story of people overcoming some of the greatest engineering challenges of our time--challenges every bit as formidable as those encountered in building the first atomic bomb or sending a person to the moon. posted by mcgraw at 6:24 AM PST - 23 comments
I am down with Plato and Socrates, And I like to get busy with all the ladies.Grunt, grunt/
sumthin,' sumthin,' sumthin,'/
Up in ma shed, up in ma shed...
From Bubbles' first freestyle rap, to Mr. Lahey's ever-doomed attempts to keep control of Sunnyvale Trailer Park, to Randy's shirtless gut, to eight year old Trinity's nicotine patch, to J-ROC's genuine delusion that he is black: the brilliance of Trailer Park Boys rolls on. Season Four begins tonight in Canada on Showcase; and on April 15th Season One debuts on BBC America. Here's hoping that success won't change the best TV show ever to come out of Canada.
Previously discussed on Mefi last year , but I hope the new season merits a revist to Sunnyvale. Pass the pepperoni and the rum and coke. posted by jokeefe at 7:56 PM PST - 29 comments
A U.S. journalist's firsthand account from inside Fallujah. Rahul Mahajan, a U.S. citizen, author, and a contributor to papers such as USA Today and the Baltimore Sun, snuck inside Fallujah yesterday with a humanitarian convoy. He reports on a city under the gun of U.S. snipers, with intentional targeting of ambulances and the death of women and children. His conclusion? That Fallujah's fighters *ARE* supported and fully representative of the people there, and that "nothing could have been easier than gaining the good-will of the people of Fallujah had the Americans not been so brutal in their dealings. Now, a tipping-point has been reached. Fallujah cannot be "saved" from its mujaheddin unless it is destroyed." So, it's not Al-Jazeera reporting on this one -- will the mainstream media touch this story?! posted by insomnia_lj at 1:58 PM PST - 45 comments
"Whether it is an impressionist masterpiece, or just wallpaper, if you take the colour juxtapositions and their proportions from nature, you won't go far wrong." Choosing colours for web pages. posted by reklaw at 11:45 AM PST - 10 comments
The Great Mirror. "A collection of about five thousand photographs taken over the last 30 years by Bret Wallach, a geography professor at the University of Oklahoma. With few exceptions, the photos show cultural rather than physical landscapes and are intended to illuminate the people who have shaped these landscapes and are reflected in it." [Via wood s lot.] posted by homunculus at 10:55 AM PST - 3 comments
Everyday Apocalyptic Focusing on the epiphanic quality of apocalyptic insight, Dark draws on the wisdom of popular culture-including The Simpsons, Beck, and Coen brothers' films-to expose the "moral bankruptcy of our imaginations." I have no idea what any of this means. posted by ColdChef at 10:06 AM PST - 5 comments
Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US - The Presidential Daily Briefing Kevin Drum: Aside from that, what really struck me was that the whole thing was so short — considerably shorter than your average op-ed column, in fact — and written at about a high school level. This is an intelligence briefing prepared at the request of the president of the United States and he was apparently satisfied with it? Eleven paragraphs of pabulum considerably less authoritative than an average article in Foreign Affairs ? Sheesh. posted by y2karl at 5:31 PM PST - 128 comments
Insecula: L'encyclopédie des arts et de l'architecture is a French language art website containing images and descriptions of thousands of works of art from major museums and collections in France and elsewhere, including the Louvre, the Musée d'Orsay, the Palace of Versailles, the Centre Pompidou, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the MOMA.
The McCollough effect is a visual illusion somewhat similar to regular color aftereffects, but the working mechanism is different, and despite a wealthoftheories, not entirely explained. Once the effect is established, it does not seem to go away and can last for days or even weeks. Proceed at your own risk. posted by ikalliom at 10:51 AM PST - 22 comments
There's a lot of scammin', griftin', and chicanery going on in the world and Snopes has always been there, but they usually take some time to do their investigations. But for the quick hit, they've just launched a new daily scam page carrying just that day's latest scam news from around the country. It's really amazing how many major scams take place every day, and it helps to know how to spot a scam when you hear about it. posted by mathowie at 9:08 AM PST - 4 comments
DozenHoles.com will keep track of all the bets you make with friends, so you'll never have to remember why Johnny owes you a dozen donuts or why you owe Jimmy a box of tangerines. posted by mr.marx at 7:59 AM PST - 1 comments
Where Wealth Lives "The top 1% of families, as measured by net worth, receive about 15% of income but own 30% of the nation's assets -- including stocks and bonds, homes, and closely held businesses. That's according to the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances. The top 10% of families, as measured by net wealth, own 65% of assets, and the top 50% own a stunning 95% of assets..." posted by kliuless at 7:33 AM PST - 23 comments
Bush Was Warned of Possible Attack in U.S., Official Says "President Bush was told more than a month before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, that supporters of Osama bin Laden planned an attack within the United States with explosives and wanted to hijack airplanes, a government official said Friday.
The warning came in a secret briefing that Mr. Bush received at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., on Aug. 6, 2001. A report by a joint Congressional committee last year alluded to a "closely held intelligence report" that month about the threat of an attack by Al Qaeda, and the official confirmed an account by The Associated Press on Friday saying that the report was in fact part of the president's briefing in Crawford." Then again, he had more important things to deal with that Summer. posted by owillis at 12:25 AM PST - 62 comments
Happy Easter, everybody! Nothing like a natural abomination to ring in the season! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, those are real live baby chickens dyed in various pastel colors. How do they do this thing? They inject (non-toxic) dye right into the eggs. Who does this thing? These guys, a hatchery in Alaska (no information about the chicks on their web page). Amusing? Horrifying? Strangely delicious-looking? You make the call. posted by logovisual at 4:41 PM PST - 31 comments
PiHKAL - Phenethylamines I Have Known
And Loved: A Chemical Love Story, by Alexander and Ann Shulgin, is the online version of the book of the same name.
It contains personal accounts by the Shulgins detailing the chemical procedures used in the synthesis, and lengthy qualitative reports regarding the subsequent ingestion, of 179 different
types of Phenethylamines, the family of chemicals that
includes 2C-B, Mescaline - the active ingredient in
Peyote, and MDMA - better known as
ecstasy. See also the sequel TiHKAL -
Tryptamines I Have Known And Loved:
The Chemistry Continues, again by the Shulgins, whose highlights include DMT and LSD. posted by ChasFile at 2:38 PM PST - 16 comments
Valiant Comics are Back! After a brief surge in popularity and value at the start of 1991, Valiant comics soon died during the great comic crash of the mid nineties. Now it seems that valiant comics are worth their weight in gold with comics worth only a few dollars (or less) a few years ago, now bringing in 200 dollars. Is this surge in price a sign of a new comic book crash or are collectors finally finding value in Turock and Man-O-War? posted by drpartypoopercrankypantsesquire at 1:03 PM PST - 17 comments
Hourly Cruft -- created triptychs from images found on the NYTimes home page. At 15 minutes after each hour, a new one is generated. From Robert Spahr, who also makes premise cruft, which takes images and headlines from CNN once every 8 hours. see here for more posted by amberglow at 12:53 PM PST - 3 comments
And they're off! Apparently BBC3 plans to broadcast what it says is the first televised sperm race on April 15—on the educational show Lab Rats, naturally. The race will be filmed from inside two tiny glass tubes and relayed to a crowd watching at a pub. I wonder what the bookmakers have to say about the event? posted by terrapin at 12:47 PM PST - 2 comments
Yamadashi, the first part of the Onbashira Matsuri, a septennial shinto festival in the Nagano Prefecture, involves hauling a bunch of 200 year old fir trees out of the forest and then perilously riding them down the hillside (locals only, all you extreme sports nuts) in preparation for May's Satobiki. O-hanamithisisnot. posted by shoepal at 8:35 AM PST - 5 comments
Sky Ear will be a one-night event in which a glowing "cloud" of mobile phones and helium balloons is released into the air so that people can dial into the cloud and listen to the sounds of the sky.
The cloud will be made of one thousand large helium balloons each responding to the electromagnetic environment (created by distant storms, mobile phones, police and ambulance radios, television broadcasts, etc.) with coloured blue, red and yellow lights. posted by schoolgirl report at 7:20 AM PST - 22 comments
Maaawwidgge, dat Bwessed Ewent "I don't know what a guy has to do around here to get the marriage license. But I guess it's some consolation that I can get a meaningless one anytime I like, just so long as I bring along a woman I don't love and my $54. " posted by GernBlandston at 5:47 AM PST - 191 comments
$14 Steady-cam The camera operator may walk (or even jog), move through tight hallways and doorways, and even climb up and down stairs without shaking the camera. Unfortunately, professional steadycams cost around $1500. Even the cheap 3rd party ones cost $600+. Whether you are an aspiring filmmaker, a videographer, the family documentarian, or just want more utility out of your video camera, you'll appreciate a steadycam. Includes Video of steadycam working. (What is a steadycam?) posted by Keyser Soze at 3:50 AM PST - 25 comments
Chicagoans show off their kanji character tattoos. We Chicagoan's know our hot dogs. Kanji characters, not so well.
Japanese tattoos don't always mean what their wearers think they do. With the assistance of Mariko Sasaki, a researcher at the Consulate General of Japan in Chicago, we examined the tattoos of five Chicagoans. [via Chicago Tribune] Login: anonymous/anonymous posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:06 AM PST - 95 comments
"Most of us don't know what we'll be doing a year from now; why then should we care about what our descendents will be doing a thousand years from now? It's fun to speculate, sure; but envisioning the year 3000 may be more than an idle exercise or mere amusement."
[via Reality Carinval] posted by moonbird at 8:57 PM PST - 37 comments
Pancake Mountain presents Ian MacKaye performing "Vowel Movement" for the kiddies. As a friend said, this site has "pancakes and indie rock and bob mould as a corporate goon all in one package." [via sullivan] posted by ifjuly at 8:33 PM PST - 14 comments
Who wants the slice with the bloody lung? How to make a delicious cake that looks like the exposed human thoratic cavity, complete with a ribcage of white chocolate and organs that each secrete a different fruit-flavored sauce. (MNBSFW due to how unbelievably real the thing looks.) posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:05 PM PST - 18 comments
New Zealand critic blasts LOTR. Big budget movie special effects have overshadowed the timeless are of storytelling and character development. "..The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy is, as a work of cinematic art, ham-fisted, shallow, bombastic and laughably overrated.." [More Quotes inside] posted by stbalbach at 3:55 PM PST - 48 comments
To capitalize or not to capitalize a deity? As far as I know Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic and the modern descendants of Sanskrit use no capital letters, so for those languages the point is moot. I can’t speak for too many of the other language families, but I don’t know of any syllabaries or abugidas that use majuscules, so the question seems to be most relevant to the alphabetic languages that use capitals such as the Latin, Greek and Germanic families (including English). Some people even completely capitalize the name of their deity, apparently disdaining minuscules completely. posted by snarfodox at 10:08 AM PST - 6 comments
Indiana University has seen its fare share of problems when it comes to adult sites. The latest features a girl who has pictures of her on campus property. The problem is when the school newspaper covered the story (prev link) they linked her site on the front page of the paper. She couldn't purchase better advertising. Last link NSFW. posted by thebwit at 7:49 AM PST - 26 comments
9/11 Panel: Bush White House Withheld Papers The commission investigating the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks announced yesterday that it has identified 69 documents from the Clinton era that the Bush White House withheld from investigators and which include references to al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden and other issues relevant to the panel's work. posted by Postroad at 6:06 AM PST - 8 comments
Eurabia? WTF? An interesting article by the ultra-prolific Niall Ferguson obliquely raises the question: wouldn't Europe (and the world) be happier if Islam still had a hold on the West? Al-Qaeda's longings for Andalusia and the Algarve apart, the truth is that Southern Spain (until 1498) and Portugal (until 1297) were very happy under Muslim rule. Isn't it sad that the three great monotheistic religions, plus the great atheist belief, can't live together anymore? [ NYT registration required. Via Arts and Letters Daily.] posted by MiguelCardoso at 3:01 AM PST - 25 comments
J&H Productions will give the label a percentage of J & H Productions or a percent of the gate, either one. Because J & H Productions is getting ready to do shows and J & H Productions would like to hook up with the label industry pertaining to shows. posted by starkeffect at 1:21 AM PST - 5 comments
Punkvoter is about organizing the many diverse and regional movements into one voice of political change. Punkvoter is our way to educate today’s youth about what is really going on in Washington, DC and how we can collectively force change. This is our chance to be a strong voice against the serious flaws in the current political system. This is our way to talk about new laws and scenarios that could change our quality of life for years to come. Punkvoter is your organization. It will be run with the same energy and spirit of all punk efforts. With your help we will be a credible force to truly shape the future of our nation. (Flash intro features tunes, main site is here, an impressive membership list is here.
Citizens find Bush guilty of Afghan war crimes A citizens' tribunal Saturday in Tokyo found U.S. President George W. Bush guilty of war crimes for attacking civilians with indiscriminate weapons and other arms during the U.S.-led antiterrorism operations in Afghanistan in 2001. posted by jasenlee at 7:49 PM PST - 26 comments
William Hung, my american idol After being kicked off the popular "talent" show, the snaggle-toothed Cal math major's debut cd is ranked #3 in Amazon music sales after just two days of being released, despite not being able to sing, dance, or even speak well.
somewhere rob (or was it fab) from milli vanilli is doing the running man in his grave. posted by tsarfan at 4:03 PM PST - 30 comments
"But maybe it was the right policy after all." on the 10th aniversary of the genocide in Rwanda, Jay Bryant suggests that perhaps Clinton's policy of non-intervention was the "right policy after all". This comes a few days after another fellow right wing columnist suggests from her suburban home in south carolina that we should "nuke the Sunni Triangle" (and any innoncent who happens to live there) - apparently her entire family agrees. Do they utterly lack sensitivity and should be ignored? or are these valid opinions worth publishing? posted by specialk420 at 1:56 PM PST - 34 comments
The New York Press lists the 50 most loathsome New Yorkers. Time to get your hate on! Here's a sample to get you started:#18 Moby Musician
IT WAS BAD enough when Moby started singing;
now he's singing and talking at the same time. When not crooning school-girl poetry (see "We Are All Made of Stars") or desecrating classic punk songs between hissy fits on stage, the techno prophet cum vegan ethicist of the early 90s is schooling credulous fans on a wide range of contemporary issues. Between lessons in Nicaraguan history and tales of Rummy's early-80s holidays in Baghdad, Moby pontificates in prose that would make even DJ Spooky cringe ("We're so inherently locked into our temporal and corporeal selves that we're irrevocably locked into subjectivity") and Michael Stipe wince ("cos at the end of the day peace is better than war, right?"). We're thankful for "Go" and the car commercial songs on Play, but mister, please put your space helmet back on, get in your space ship and don't stop till you hit Pluto. posted by vito90 at 1:08 PM PST - 42 comments
The Serco Transarctic Expedition: Ben Saunders is attempting the first ever solo ski crossing of the Arctic Ocean -- from Russia to Canada via the geographic North Pole without kites or dogs and without replenishing supplies. He's now about 160 nautical miles into the trek, and making daily posts about the experience. posted by me3dia at 12:26 PM PST - 4 comments
Eyeball Jewelry This just caught my eye (Sorry!). It's jewelry that is implanted INTO your EYE! I think this is pretty cool and another milestone in body modding. Discuss how long until Georgia legislators ban this. posted by Fantt at 12:19 PM PST - 21 comments
Rwandans turn toward Islam. A NY Times story (reg. req.) describes how Islam has become the fastest-growing religion in Rwanda, partly because people are disgusted with the priests and nuns who helped with the killing ten years ago, partly because Muslims saved many people at that time.
Muslim leaders credit the gains to their ability during the 1994 massacres to shield most Muslims, and many other Rwandans, from certain death. "The Muslims handled themselves well in '94, and I wanted to be like them," said Alex Rutiririza, explaining why he converted to Islam last year.
I saw a feature on ESPN last night about Britt Gaston and Cliff Courtney, two Georgia teenagers who are indelibly linked to history as the kids who ran alongside Hank Aaron after the famous 715th home run. Then I googled around a bit and discovered Jim Leavelle, the former Dallas cop who will forever be known as the guy in the hat watching Ruby take care of Oswald in the precinct basement. And then there's Mary Ann Vecchio, a 14-year-old runaway who was photographed wailing over a dead body at Kent State in 1970. And, of course, there's Afghanistan Girl. Can anyone think of other bystanders to historical events whose faces we all know but identities remain anonymous? Is there anyone who has not yet been rediscovered? posted by PrinceValium at 12:08 PM PST - 25 comments
Identifont is an amazing, free, font identification tool. Ever seen some nice text in print or on the web, wanted to use it yourself, but couldn't work out what font they used? By answering a series of simple questions (Does the 'Q' tail cross the circle? What shape is the 'g'?), all presented with handy example pictures, Identifont can quickly identify the name of the font you're looking for. posted by chrismear at 10:54 AM PST - 13 comments
The Fast and the Frustrated. The city of Pleasanton, CA is about to install specially calibrated traffic lights which sense whether or not you are speeding. When speeding is detected, these traffic lights will change from green to yellow to red immediately, and will stay red for 10 to 30 seconds, all in an effort to stymie speeders. posted by mosspink at 10:51 AM PST - 36 comments
The PETA sinks to a new low. This time drawing parallels between the gruesome Pickton murders and the the slaughter of pigs for meat. Many of the human remains of Pickton's victims are still being found at the Pickton pig farm.
They were drugged and dragged across the room... Their struggles and cries went unanswered... They were slaughtered and their heads sawed off... Their body parts were refrigerated... Their bones were discarded. posted by PWA_BadBoy at 12:24 AM PST - 154 comments
Who Is That With Jeremy? Bill Clinton, Puff Daddy (or is that P. Diddy?), Kirsten Dunst, Spike Lee, the entire cast of Oz... Jeremy's dad has an obscene talent for getting his kid into famous arms for a snapshot. posted by headspace at 8:17 PM PST - 28 comments
What America Can Learn From Its Atheists -- by Leon Wieseltier. Taking the Supreme Court case being decided on the "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, he wonders what happens to God and religion when it's pressed into service and has all meaning bleached away. For the argument that a reference to God is not a reference to God is a sign that American religion is forgetting its reasons. The need of so many American believers to have government endorse their belief is thoroughly abject. How strong, and how wise, is a faith that needs to see God's name wherever it looks? posted by amberglow at 4:37 PM PST - 155 comments
Beatallica's sound is pretty simple: all Beatles cover songs, but done in the style of Metallica. Totally illegal, but available on many P2P networks for free download and via bittorrent. Blackened the USSR, indeed. posted by mathowie at 4:11 PM PST - 36 comments
Bay Area Link Up is a social/business networking site for professionals in the Bay Area. Some use it for business networking and getting freelance work. Others use it for other reasons. They've recently expanded to other regions (and also added a monthly fee). I like this model better than Yahoo Groups or Usenet, simply because people create events that you can sign up for if they interest you. What online networking groups do you like to use? posted by culberjo at 2:55 PM PST - 4 comments
Woman Performs Caesarean On Herself to Save Baby
Its thought to be the first case where both mother and child survived a self performed caesarean.
From the article, "...a mother's instinct to save her child can move a woman to perform extraordinary acts but said it would not have been necessary if adequate medical care had been available."
Contrast that story with the recent news: Chico Student Allegedly Kills Newborn and then leaves the body in a plastic bag in her dormroom.
An avoidable situation given California's Safe Haven Law that allows new mothers to safely surrender their newborns within three days of birth with no questions asked, no names taken and no repercusions, assuming the child isn't abused or neglected.
And she wouldn't be held on a million dollars bail awaiting trial for murder. posted by fenriq at 2:48 PM PST - 9 comments
Cigar Box Guitars.Welcome to the first museum dedicated to the humble cigar box guitar. We have gathered the facts & legends, pictures & players and stories that span over 150 years. posted by eastlakestandard at 7:24 AM PST - 9 comments
The battle the US wants to provoke Make no mistake: this is not the "civil war" that Washington has been predicting will break out between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds. Rather, it is a war provoked by the US occupation authority and waged by its forces against the growing number of Shia who support Moqtada al-Sadr (by Naomi Klein in Baghdad). posted by acrobat at 2:43 AM PST - 49 comments
Paul Kurtz on the Enlightenment. Unfortunately, there has been a massive retreat from Enlightenment ideals in recent years, a return to pre-modern mythologies. There has been a resurgence of fundamentalist religions
worldwide—Hinduism, Sikhism, Islam, Roman Catholicism, and Orthodox Judaism. Added to this are occult-paranormal claims, which allegedly transcend the existing scientific paradigm.
In the United States—the preeminent scientific-technological-military superpower in the world—significant numbers of Americans have embraced primitive forms of biblical religion. These focus on salvation, the Rapture, and the Second Coming of Jesus. Evangelical Protestant Christians have made alliances with conservative Roman Catholics and neo-conservative Jews, and they have captured political power—power they have used to oppose secular humanism and naturalism. via the council for secular humanism posted by skallas at 11:19 PM PST - 75 comments
For 36 years, Harold Gray has been on an extraordinary mission -- to recover what may be the most famous stolen coin collection in the United States. Since October 1967, when five hooded gunmen invaded the Coconut Grove estate of chemical empire heir Willis Harrington duPont, binding the family with silk neckties and stealing the valuable coin collection from duPont's safe, Gray has been on the case.
''We remain,'' he says today, ``in hot pursuit.'' posted by stbalbach at 8:53 PM PST - 4 comments
Clueless about HistoryBritain is a nation of history dunces with many even believing Adolf Hitler never existed, according to a new survey.
A quarter of those interviewed were not sure if the Battle of Trafalgar was a real historic event, while one in seven did not know the Battle of Hastings really took place. Sadly, it gets worse. Apparently the Battle of Endor actually happened in some people's minds. posted by Coop at 9:13 AM PST - 56 comments
Ten years gone. The unifinished story of Kurt Cobain. Hard to believe that it's been ten years since the unwelcome news was broadcast. As a Cobain contemporary/gen X'er/Seattle musican in the 90s, my own heart is still broken. posted by psmealey at 9:05 AM PST - 131 comments
Another Note On Peak Oil... That last question is at the center of a fierce debate. Adherents of the "peak oil" theory warn of a permanent oil shortage. In the next five or 10 years, they maintain, the world's capacity to produce oil will reach its geological limit and fall behind growing demand. posted by jasenlee at 5:57 AM PST - 30 comments
Eight U.S. Troops Killed in Shiite Uprising Occupation Forces Battle Cleric's Followers As Widespread Demonstrations Erupt in Iraq A Young Radical's Anti-U.S. Wrath Is Unleashed For months, as American occupation authorities have focused on a moderate Shiite leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, a radical young Shiite cleric named Moktada al-Sadr has been spewing invective and threatening a widespread insurrection. On Sunday, he unleashed it.
At his word, thousands of disciples, wearing green headbands and carrying automatic rifles, stormed into the streets of several cities and set off the most widespread mayhem of the occupation. Witnesses and occupation officials said the disciples occupied police stations, fired rocket-propelled grenades at American troops and overran government security in Kufa, the town in south central Iraq where Mr. Sadr lives. "The occupation is over!" many yelled. "We are now controlled by Sadr!" posted by y2karl at 10:03 PM PST - 166 comments
"Home of the Underdogs is a non-profit site dedicated to the preservation and promotion of underrated PC games (and a few non-PC games) of all ages: good games that deserve a second chance after dismal sales or critical reviews that we feel are unwarranted." posted by Hildago at 4:32 PM PST - 27 comments
The Drama TriangleHere's an example. Dad comes home from work to find mom coming down hard on Junior with, "Clean up your room or else" threats. He immediately comes to the rescue,"Mom" he might say,"give the boy a break". Any one of several possibilities might occur next. Perhaps Mom, feeling victimized by dad, turns on him, automatically moving him into a victim position. They might do a few quick trips around the triangle with Junior on the sidelines. Or maybe Junior joins dad in a persecutory "Let's gang up on mom" approach, and they could play it from that angle. Or Junior could turn-coat on dad, rescuing mom, with; "Mind your own business, dad . . . I don't need your help!" So it goes, with endless variations perhaps, but nonetheless, round and round the triangle. For many families, it's the only way they know how to communicate. posted by SpaceCadet at 3:14 PM PST - 11 comments
The Bushiad and The Idyossey. "Narrative epic poems of 24 chapters each, The Bushiad and The Idyossey use satire and irony to cover events during nine months from December 2002 through September 2003, and were inspired by events as they occurred. Homer would recognize the tale." But where's Hercubush? posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM PST - 8 comments
Asteroids marathon. Twenty-seven hours of game play and it's only good for fifth place. "In the history of recorded video game world records, no other record is as unique as that on the classic Atari game 'Asteroids' according to the Twin Galaxies Intergalactic Scoreboard. And the reason for that is simple. It is the oldest, unbeaten world record in our database, after more than 22 years of compiling and tracking world records on classic arcade, home console, pinball, hand-held and PC-based titles." posted by cedar at 12:58 PM PST - 17 comments
Urban Haute Couture "is about street art and street art only. Since a couple of years ago there's a boom in street art. To be clear we're not talking about graffiti. We're talking about street art that is spraypaint/marker template based, stickers, posters and combinations of those. This new breed of street art, except for using the urban landscape as a medium, has actually nothing to do with graffiti." Cities include Berlin, Amsterdam and the Romanian Stencil Archive. posted by vacapinta at 10:27 AM PST - 16 comments
The Floating Neutrinos have managed to cross the Atlantic in a raft made from recycled materials recovered from dumpsters and docks in New York city.
Their next project is an Orphanage Raft, "for street orphans from third world countries such as Brazil, African countries, and India. The children will be those who are living in and surviving on the streets, with literally no one looking out for them or taking responsibility for them. We will get to know them and their situation thoroughly before they ever come to the raft. We are not looking to pick up runaways or anyone who has responsible adults in their picture...Once onboard, if they choose to stay, they will be given a floating, travelling home, and an education." posted by john at 10:12 AM PST - 11 comments
Snark. In the newest issue of Bookforum, critic Sven Birkerts ruminates on what he considers to be the regrettable rise of the snarky book review, taking as his starting example Dale Peck's hatchet job on Rick Moody, written in 2002."Psychologically [the literary] landscape [is one that is] subtly demoralized by the slash-and-burn of bottom-line economics; the modernist/humanist assumption of art and social criticism marching forward, leading the way, has not recovered from the wholesale flight of academia into theory; the publishing world remains tyrannized in acquisition, marketing, and sales by the mentality of the blockbuster; the confident authority of print journalism has been challenged by the proliferation of online alternatives. [...] All of this leads, and not all that circuitously, to the question of snark, the spirit of negativity, the personal animus pushing ahead of the intellectual or critical agenda. Snark is, I believe, prompted by the terrible vacuum feeling of not mattering, not connecting, not being heard; it is fueled by rage at the same." posted by Prospero at 8:09 AM PST - 27 comments
LIFE IMITATES CABLE ACCESSThy Spy is actually a cut above cable access,
being a fairly well-executed mock documentary about an out of control Christian private eye which was shown at last year's Dallas Video Festival. The scary thing is that what seemed outrageous and over the top a year ago
is now becoming business as usual in this country. Watch the movie (it's about 15 minutes) then check out these recent news items: here and here. posted by sparky at 7:46 AM PST - 2 comments
Chasing Venus Transits of Venus occur every 130 years or so when Venus can be observed passing across the face of the sun. Chasing Venus is an online exhibition by Smithsonian Institution Libraries that tells the story of how the transit has been observed since the 17th century, with early observations in England, illustrated accounts of expeditions by 18th century astronomers to various parts of the world, and early uses of photography to record observations in the 19th century. Includes links to animations of transits reconstructed from Victorian photographs, and details of a lecture series on Thursdays in April and May (first one April 8). The first transit since 1882 is this year. posted by carter at 7:34 AM PST - 5 comments
In response to Justice Konrad von Finckenstein ruling that file sharing was legal in Canada (previously discussed here), Federal Heritage Minister Helene Scherrer has stated that "As minister of Canadian Heritage, I will, as quickly as possible, make changes to our copyright law".
The problem is that Canadian copyright law has been going through a slow and thoughtful reformation process. Since the unveiling of A Framework for Copyright Reform in 2001, a lot of progress has been made in updating the laws to reflect the needs and concerns of content producers, and the public domain.
Now, however, it seems that all of this work may be bulldozed by Helene Scherrer, who declared her intentions at the Juno Awards last night. posted by Jairus at 11:36 PM PST - 11 comments
"Orphans and babies as young as three months old have been used as guinea pigs in potentially dangerous medical experiments sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, an Observer investigation has revealed.
"British drug giant GlaxoSmithKline is embroiled in the scandal. The firm sponsored experiments on the children from Incarnation Children's Centre, a New York care home that specialises in treating HIV sufferers and is run by Catholic charities." [link] posted by The God Complex at 10:59 PM PST - 13 comments
Modern Mercenaries on the Iraqi FrontierIn his own way, Stevie is a modern soldier-of-fortune, paid by a private security firm to lead a 44-man unit that is protecting American officials in charge of rebuilding the infrastructure of Iraq. He left his native Glasgow, Scotland, to join the British army at 16, served for 24 years in conflicts around the globe, about half that time as a member of the special forces. In the shadowy tradition of his trade, he asked that only his first name be used and declined to say much about the wars he has fought. "That is one topic I'd rather not talk about," he said in his rich brogue, speaking by phone from the Baghdad villa run by Kroll Inc., the company that employs him. Some bloggers have gotten in trouble of late for using the M-word, but now a wider conversation on Kroll, Blackwater, and friends seems to be emerging. Is the presence of mercenaries --both nationals of coalition countries and foreign nationals-- in Iraq part of Rumsfeld's broader transformation policy? Is their presence in Iraq even legal in the first place? posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 10:01 PM PST - 30 comments
A 15 year old girl has been charged with several counts related to "child pornography" for sending out pictures of herself to several people she chatted with. As more and more teens use webcams for all sorts of things from keeping in touch with friends, getting strangers to buy them things from their wishlists and making some $$$ this has caused a little discussion. As she did not "force" herself, how does this intersect with recent attempts to criminalize "virtual" child porn as both situations have at their heart whether the primary issue is coercion/harm or the concepts images themselves. At the risk of "Newsfiltering", I am interested in opinions from a less histrionic group (thats you) than some others who are discussing it. posted by soulhuntre at 2:31 PM PST - 77 comments
Let's Make Enemies ...The CPA has also confirmed that after June 30, the $18.4 billion the US government is spending on reconstruction will be administered by the US Embassy in Iraq. The money will be spent over five years and will fundamentally redesign Iraq's most basic infrastructure, including its electricity, water, oil and communications sectors, as well as its courts and police. Iraq's future governments will have no say in the construction of these core sectors of Iraqi society. Retired Rear Adm. David Nash, who heads the Project Management Office, which administers the funds, describes the $18.4 billion as "a gift from the American people to the people of Iraq." He appears to have forgotten the part about gifts being something you actually give up. And in the same eventful week, US engineers began construction on fourteen "enduring bases" in Iraq, capable of housing the 110,000 soldiers who will be posted here for at least two more years. Even though the bases are being built with no mandate from an Iraqi government, Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, deputy chief of operations in Iraq, called them "a blueprint for how we could operate in the Middle East." ... posted by Postroad at 3:57 PM PST - 69 comments
Dictionary of the Scots Language. The two major historical dictionaries of the Scots language, the Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (DOST) and the Scottish National Dictionary (SND), have been combined into one searchable online edition:
Thus, information on the earliest uses of Scots words can be presented alongside examples of the later development and, in some cases, current usage of the same words. In this way, we hope that the DSL will allow users to appreciate the continuity and historical development of the Scots language. By making the DSL freely available on the Internet, we also aim to widen access to the source dictionaries and to open up these rich lexicographic resources to anyone with an interest in Scots language and culture.
Downloaders Pay Back Wilco Just-launched Justafan.org allows fans who downloaded copies of the new Wilco album to donate to the band-selected charity Doctors Without Borders. In less than a day online, with nothing more than word-of-mouth publicity, donations exceeded $1,500. posted by methree at 1:04 PM PST - 15 comments
U.S. job growth strongest in 4 years in March. Non-farm payrolls climbed 308,000 in March, the Labor Department said, the biggest gain since April 2000. However, the unemployment rate actually ticked upward from 5.6%, the two-year low seen in January and February, to 5.7% in March. Note in passing that this took place during the Bush administration! posted by msacheson at 11:45 AM PST - 67 comments
I feel safer already! A US requirement for foreign visitors to be fingerprinted and photographed is being expanded to include citizens from America's closest allies, starting September 30th. posted by johnnydark at 11:01 AM PST - 22 comments
Portable Zip Codes "Every year millions of Americans are on the go: People who must relocate for work or other reasons. Those people may have been quite attached to their original homes or an adopted town or city of residence. For them this innovative measure will serve as an umbilical cord to the place they love best." posted by cmicali at 8:53 AM PST - 13 comments
Who Would Have Thought? Sun and Microsoft just announced an historic 10 year collaboration agreement (an announcement that ended with Scott McNealy and Steve Ballmer actually shaking hands). What do you think? Ultimately beneficial ... or not? posted by MidasMulligan at 8:29 AM PST - 13 comments
The highest suicide rate in the world has been reported among young women in South India by a new study.The research is of major importance, according to the World Health Organization, as it brings to light Asia's suicide problem.
"I was surprised to find the rates were so staggeringly high," says paediatrician Anuradha Bose. “I wonder if it's just another manifestation of the gender bias." Stress factors… affect Indian women in particular, such as issues of marriage and dowry.How can the WHO address this unacceptable situation for young women in South India and elsewhere? The article notes that studies are under way in other countries where young women are under great social pressures, and more suicide prone, including China, Sri Lanka and Vietnam (and there are many others where this should be researched). posted by mcgraw at 8:26 AM PST - 9 comments
I found an American "Grand Prior Chevalier" Knight Templar
challenging Osama Bin Laden to a sword duel in the sand while I was trying to find the cool Mac / Neverwinter Nights project Open Knights. The whole thing seemed so much like an outtake from the wonderful
Foucault's Pendulum that I had to share. posted by freebird at 11:03 PM PST - 12 comments
State of the Media Report 2004 by journalism.org, which seeks to improve news coverage in a more neutral fashion than those who cry bias from the left and right. The group offers advice for average citizens and others. The report focuses mainly on US media and identifies eight trends.
The content analyses finds that newspapers have more lifestyle news than in the past, but less government and foreign affairs, even with wars abroad. More front page articles about issues, less on crime and disasters. Network news was heavy on foreign affairs, government, accidents, disaster, crime and health care. The cable networks had a lot of politics and Iraq stuff, but also a lot more celebrity/entertainment/lifestyle stuff than the big four. Local TV news treats crime as topic A.
The magazine audience is aging, and total pages are declining, but some, like The Economist and the New Yorker, have found success in niches. Internet journalism is "still largely material from old media rather than something original." And it's still text-y. But it is clearly the future of journalism. But don't pronounce the dinosaurs dead yet. Radio once ruled, and in a way it still does: 94 percent still tune in to radio news at least once a week. posted by Slagman at 11:01 PM PST - 7 comments
Takagism. This link was posted just a short while ago; so sorry for the sort of double post. However, the posted link was to the Crimson Room game, not the main site. It was Meta bombed so hard that I would bet that most people never got a chance to explore the main site. This guy is really creative. If you did get a chance to see it, I apologize for the double post. posted by caddis at 7:21 PM PST - 4 comments
From the Sign Of The Times Department: Gateway closes all of it's Country Stores, which once numbered over 300. 2,500 workers laid off.(Full disclosure: I worked at 3 different Country Store locations over the years, two of which closed down prior to this mass closing). It's hard to believe that it wasn't that long ago that they seemed like money factories. The boom is now not just dead, it's decaying and rotting. What a strange trip it was. posted by jonmc at 6:21 PM PST - 27 comments
With Ahmed Chalabi poised to take control of post-occupation Iraq--one year after the start of the war--Congress' General Accounting Office is beginning to ask questions about the operations of his Iraqi National Congress. A piece of evidence submitted by Chalabi was a list of 108 news items which were placed in mainstream media by INC-coordinated (and Pentagon-funded) defectors. Who are other Mefites' favorite fraudsters? posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 3:14 PM PST - 44 comments
East Coast Greenway is a community project to build a 2600 mile urban greenway from Canada to Key West. Bike, walk, rollerblade or Segway from Canada to Florida.. This "urban Appalachian trail" is twenty-percent trail complete now with %80 by 2010. Route Maps for each state. posted by stbalbach at 2:24 PM PST - 11 comments
Va. Man Claims $239 Million Jackpot Note in passing that this took place during the Bush administration!
"A retired truck driver claimed a $239 million Mega Millions jackpot Thursday, calling the second-largest lottery payout in history "no big thing to me." His wife vowed to "shop till I drop."" posted by Postroad at 11:44 AM PST - 27 comments
"The OSCE focuses only on establishment of democracy, the protection of human rights and the freedom of the press. I am now questioning these values." -Uzbek President Islam Karimov
Can we really wage an effective war on terrorism by aligning ourselves with villains? Does it strike anyone else as silly that we've justified our invasion of Iraq with the removal of Saddam while pairing with his Uzbek counterpart? Lack of political freedom and rampant poverty has tensions mounting in Uzbekistan(1234). posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 11:19 AM PST - 19 comments
Missile Defense- the biggest security lapse on 9/11. Condoleeza Rice was to deliver a speech regarding the White House's position on national security on September 11th, 2001. The speech contained no mention of al-Qaeda and stated missile defense as the central focus of security, implicating Bill Clinton for "not doing enough about the real threat - long-range missiles." An interesting revelation coming from the campaign claiming their opponents are "wrong on defense." posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:49 AM PST - 37 comments