May 2005 Archives

May 31

Buddhist photo documentaries and more.
posted by plep at 11:26 PM PST - 5 comments

Invest $50 million of a workers comp trust fund in rare coins and collectibles. Lose some of the coins in the mail. Havoc ensues. Prominent Ohio Republican fundraiser and Bush-Cheney 'pioneer' Thomas Noe is under state scrutiny for $10-12 million in missing funds and subject of a federal probe for potential illegal Bush campaign contributions. Oh, and did I mention his wife Bernadette was chair of the Lucas County Board of Elections during the 2004 election? Suddenly the once-popular donor finds himself a political pariah as heads begin to roll - could this be the tip of an iceberg that will unravel the red state infrastructure? Follow the Toledo Blade's stellar investigative journalism as this story unfolds. Maybe the national media can watch and learn.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:15 PM PST - 25 comments

Website claims the advent of the first news network devoted entirely to good news. Is it legitimate? That's indeterminate. But I like the idea.
posted by krysalist at 8:22 PM PST - 30 comments

The "I" Word: Ralph Nader calls for impeachment. In addition to Nader, various groups—including veterans—have announced a campaign to seek congressional help to investigate whether President Bush has committed impeachable offenses in connection with the Iraq war. Let's hope Nader and the others don't get tagged with the "T" Word (Treason). Again and again and again and again and again and again, strange things seem to happen to those who criticize the Bush admin's policies: What cost [Ret. Maj. Gen.] Riggs his star? Riggs was blunt and outspoken on a number of issues and publicly contradicted Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld by arguing that the Army was overstretched in Iraq and Afghanistan and needed more troops.
posted by jenleigh at 8:04 PM PST - 127 comments

Jeffrey Zeldman's site is now a decade old!
posted by riffola at 7:26 PM PST - 22 comments

Video games are stupid [Windows Media, nsfw audio]
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:29 PM PST - 59 comments


According to Stanley Fish , "Students can't write clean English sentences because they are not being taught what sentences are." The solution: make them invent their own language. After a generation that privileged content to the exclusion of form, is the pendulum swinging back the other way?
posted by myl at 4:30 PM PST - 134 comments

The Amnesty International Report 2005 was released recently, detailing both the abuses and positive changes for 149 countries, including the Americas. Meanwhile...
posted by exlotuseater at 4:26 PM PST - 11 comments

WSJ - "FedEx's newfound enthusiasm for a frontline role in the war on terror shows how the relationship between business and government has changed in the past few years. In some cases, these changes are blurring the division between private commerce and public law enforcement."

"FedEx... has granted customs inspectors access to the company's database of international shipments, which includes the name and address of a shipper, the package's origin and its final destination. The databases also include credit-card information and other payment details that the government is not entitled to solicit outside of a criminal investigation. "Our guys just love it," says one senior customs official overseeing inspections at international courier companies." [UPS, nor even the USPS will provide this much assistance to the DHS without a warrant.]

"Two years ago, after intense lobbying by FedEx of the Tennessee state legislature, the company was permitted to create a 10-man, state-recognized police force. FedEx police wear plain clothes and can investigate all types of crimes, request search warrants and make arrests on FedEx property."
posted by pwb503 at 3:40 PM PST - 39 comments

TELEVISIE FAVORIETEN! Download sound and watch video clips from your favorite dutch television programs!!
posted by onkelchrispy at 3:40 PM PST - 11 comments

A game of double bluff The UK and EU are keeping the poorer nations exactly where they want them: beholden to their patrons. (George Monbiot in the Guardian.) See also Oxfam's critique of the Doha round of WTO talks.
posted by adamvasco at 3:10 PM PST - 3 comments

Brudda Bu's Ukulele Heaven has excellent info on ukulele creation and history. If you want to play, you can learn all of your chords at Ukulele Strummers. If you are looking for some easy songs, try Ukulele Boogaloo for an eclectic songbook with tablature right on the page. Ukulele Beatles Fun provides strum-along Beatles tunes in a flash app. Finally, for the more advanced, Dominator provides beautiful transcriptions of songs (scroll down) by artists like Herb Ohta and Jake Shimabukuro.
posted by Roger Dodger at 1:51 PM PST - 5 comments

Tape Babies. The Tape Species are generally passive and although they regard themselves as art objects do enjoy human interface. They also enjoy climbing trees, tearing down signs and floating luminously through the air. [via]
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:58 AM PST - 14 comments

Clear Channel launches pirate radio station. Though the DJ braodcast his desire to see the defeat of corporate radio, WOXY, whose signal was bled into by this two-faced entity, discovered that the IP for the station's domain pointed to Clear Channel Communications.

Clear Channel even went so far as to ask for donations.
posted by Pinwheel at 10:35 AM PST - 40 comments

Jedi mind tricks:No. AI mind tricks: yes. You need to read this. Not that you will necessarily know when you need to be aware. From Wired.
posted by birdsquared at 10:24 AM PST - 23 comments

Paul Krugman and Daniel Okrent get into a pissing match. In his final column as New York Times ombudsman, Okrent stated that Krugman, the New York Times columnist, "has the disturbing habit of shaping, slicing and selectively citing numbers in a fashion that pleases his acolytes but leaves him open to substantive assaults." The paper gave the two of them some webspace to discuss the matter. The result is catty and entertaining, but the tone is certainly more vicious than I'd expected. They really don't seem to like each other very much.
posted by Tin Man at 9:43 AM PST - 70 comments

The best E3 wrapup I've read this year. Also the only E3 wrapup I've read this year. But there are pictures! And amusing musings! It's also by Our Boy Mefite kevspace.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:08 AM PST - 33 comments

Mark Felt is Deep Throat. W. Mark Felt, former assistant director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has agreed to come public in an upcoming article in Vanity Fair.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:53 AM PST - 158 comments

Seven Minutes of Deadwood [NSFW] - one episode worth of Deadwood profanity.
posted by srboisvert at 8:43 AM PST - 44 comments

Hey Timmie and Susie! Uncle Benjamin Franklin is here to explain the United States government to you. Yay for him! And when you're done, you can look at the official kid pages of the CIA and the Navy JAG!

Want more? Sure you do. The US government loves to help shape young minds! Here's the kid page that explains why outsourcing may be sad for daddy, but it's here to stay. Lynne Cheney (author, scholar and wife) tells you kids about the Constitution. And maybe the most important of all: the social security webpage that lets you know why social security is so gosh-darned important. That's all for now! Bye kids! Call us if mommie and daddie smoke pot or underreport quarterly returns, ok?
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 8:00 AM PST - 17 comments

Last Saturday afternoon, protesters used Nashville's public Musica statue (which features nine bronze nude dancing figures) as the backdrop for a protest against such disparate issues as abortion, strip clubs, and homosexuality. Calling themselves the Pure Life Revolution, the group describes itself as "a prayer and repentance movement on behalf of purity, justice, righteousness. We are a moral outcry for society." [MI]
posted by ChrisTN at 7:17 AM PST - 34 comments


May 30

With "freedom" as a goal of US policy, what are the real benefits of democracy? In the developing world, no democracy has ever had a famine as Nobel-winner Amartya Sen demonstrated, and citizens of democratic nations have equivalent economies, longer lifespans and better educations than autocracies. Unfortunately, it appears that democracies do go to war with each other (although less, statistically). On the other hand, high levels of political freedom decrease terrorism and prevent genocides. Obviously, democracies also do bad things, but is there a better form of government?
posted by blahblahblah at 11:10 PM PST - 29 comments

RIP Oscar Brown Jr. Truly one of the greats, a legendary singer, songwriter, playwright, poet and civil rights activist, the world of jazz has lost a major member of the family.
posted by bluedaniel at 10:38 PM PST - 7 comments

We kept changing the name. First it was the Total Quintessence Stomach Pumpers. Then the Temporal Worth High Steppers. Then The Motherfucker Creek Babyrapers. That was just a joke name. He was Rinky-Dink Steve the Tin Horn and I was Fast Lightning Cumquat. He was Teddy Boy Forever and I was Wild Blue Yonder. It kept changing names. Then it was the Total Modal Rounders. Then when we were stoned on pot and someone else, Steve Close maybe, said Holy Modal Rounders by mistake. We kept putting out different names and wait until someone starts calling us that then. When we got to Holy Modal Rounders, everyone decided by accumulation that we were the Holy Modal Rounders. That's the practical way to get named.
The Story Of The Holy Modal Rounders. In 1965, they used the psychedelic in a lyric and channeled Charlie Poole. From 1999, Green Man reviews their Too Much Fun!--& Ink 19's take as well. From No Depression comes Bohemian Rhapsody and from Richie Unterberger here's an interview with Peter Stampfel and the liner notes he wrote for the CD re-issue of cult classic The Moray Eels Eat The Holy Modal Rounders. In a related bonus, here you can find Charlie Poole singing Moving Day, a great song which I first heard by the Rounders.
posted by y2karl at 9:16 PM PST - 19 comments


"Brett Meisner has helped to put the 'rock' back into 'rock and roll' forever!" said Kurt Loder in 2003. Given Meisner's impact as a music critic and rock 'n' roll badboy, this is something of an understatement...
posted by ph00dz at 8:45 PM PST - 8 comments

Click-click-clickity-click-click-ckclclkckclckclck!!! Previously mentioned on MeFi nearly two years ago, the Corporate Fallout Detector made its public debut at the transmediale.05 festval in Berlin. Utilizing stored information from UPC barcode databases and corporate responsibility/pollution level websites, this "device" would allow consumers to know instantaneously the "socially irresponsible radiation level" of any product. Right now, it only seems to work on Smelly European Companies (but interestingly, American Apparel products, although not yet readable by the CFD, scored off the charts when using the nearby Corporate Model Hotness Detector. (via)
posted by ericbop at 7:46 PM PST - 18 comments

Bush: America Will Honor Fallen Soldiers ARLINGTON, Va. -- Quoting letters of the fallen from the war in Iraq, President Bush vowed Monday to a Memorial Day audience of military families and soldiers in uniform that the nation will honor its dead by striving for peace and democracy, no matter what the cost.

"We must honor them by completing the mission for which they gave their lives; by defeating the terrorists," the president told a supportive crowd of several thousand people at Arlington National Cemetery.
posted by Davenhill at 7:26 PM PST - 46 comments

Audio recordings of World Livestock Auctioneer Championship winners. mp3s of every champion from 1963 through 2004, with the exception of 1970. Strangely hypnotic. [Via the J-Walk Blog]
posted by LeeJay at 2:31 PM PST - 21 comments

Will the notion of the "West" soon be politically meaningless? A fascinating article by Brian Walden which raises questions about the direction Europe and the wider community is heading in C21. Some of the comments are particularly interesting.
posted by tommyc at 2:04 PM PST - 17 comments


Strand's roving gaze "My work grew out of a response, first, to trying to understand the new developments in painting; second, a desire to express certain feelings I had about New York where I lived; third...I wanted to see if I could photograph people without their being aware of the camera."
Three Roads Taken: The Photographs of Paul Strand. more inside.
posted by matteo at 11:57 AM PST - 5 comments

Whether its crocheted hyperbolic models or Lorenz manifolds, a lace pi shawl or knit Fibonacci socks, some math geeks find expression in the fiber arts.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:43 AM PST - 26 comments

An interesting interview with Varg Vikernes. Vikernes, as you may recall, is currently imprisoned for the 1993 murder of Øystein Aarseth (aka Euronymous), with whom he collaborated as bassist on Mayhem's incredible De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas (cheesy vocals notwithstanding). It is also widely believed that he was responsible for the burning of Norway's first stave church, which has since been rebuilt. It is arguable whether Vikernes is most notable for the murder, the arson, his band Burzum, his dedication to Ásatrú, or perhaps his fanatical racism. While I find many of his opinions to be reprehensible, his obvious intelligence and the strength of his convictions make him a fascinating, if frequently repugnant, person.

The story of Vikernes and the black metal scene he helped spawn is chronicled in Lords of Chaos, which is a phenomenal read and is recommended even to those who are not interested in the music it focuses on.
posted by baphomet at 11:37 AM PST - 55 comments

If you're not Cheney's friend, be careful what you sell overseas - While residing in Poland, British citizen Ali Manzarpour was arrested for the export of a Berkut 360, a small kit plane manufactured in the United States, to Iran. The issues surrounding this application of American law overseas on foreign nationals notwithstanding, the US Department of Justice Attorney's office could not explain what sensitive technologies were in the plane, which could motivate the arrest. Coincidentally, Halliburton's use of a Cayman Islands subsidiary to trade with Iran without restrictions remains unresolved, and, with the help of the Department of State, the United States remains the largest arms dealer in the world.
posted by AlexReynolds at 10:22 AM PST - 14 comments

Hey you on the couch! Isn't it time to cozy up to your favourite pitch battle? Yes, warm to such classics as "Birmingham vs. Wigan 94" or the great classic "Wolverhampton vs Luton 89". Yes, go back to a time when the game meant nothing and wearing ya Fila or Burberry was everything. & Who can forget those cheeky Tonge Moor Slashers, Mongoose Cuckoo Boys, and Billy Whiz Fan Club So, get out ya "Headhunters for life" pre-shrunk and free from animal testing tee, put the kids to bed, and relive those glory days of mindless violence from the comfort of your suburban semi-detached.
posted by Mr Bluesky at 10:14 AM PST - 15 comments

From Minnesota to Nigeria - Marty was born in the USA and adopted at three years old. In his late 30s he found his biological parents, a woman named Kathleen and a Chief from Nigeria, making him a Nigerian Prince. via Chookooloonks
posted by SuzySmith at 10:13 AM PST - 12 comments

The Royal de Luxe Parade in Nantes, celebrating Jules Verne from what I can gather. A staggeringly beautiful event, go see! I may weep. (via the greatwaxy.org)
posted by Scoo at 9:35 AM PST - 14 comments

Ah Ha Jazz! Photos of jazz greats.
posted by plep at 8:41 AM PST - 4 comments

Red State/Blue state France. Les résultats département par département. Remarkable that the U.S. isn't the only country that's split down the geographic middle. No translation, but the picture speaks for itself.
posted by jfuller at 7:38 AM PST - 22 comments

"I am Colonel Tom C. McKenney, You must know how to reach Bobby Garwood. I directed an official mission to assassinate him behind enemy lines, because I believed what they told me. Would you tell him that I will crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?"
posted by drakepool at 7:35 AM PST - 22 comments

Capitalism and other kids stuff Four UK based socialists produced this hour long documentary in which some of the problems of capitalism are presented in a simplified, kindergarten model. Tought provoking, incomplete but NOT derailing into bipartisan hate for a change ..an hour well spent IMHO. You can also DL it with Bittorrent program.. a good reason to install it (5 minutes ) and witness how a distributed cooperative program such as Bittorrent can do wonders.
posted by elpapacito at 7:02 AM PST - 25 comments

Sensacell Modular Sensor Surface. Make sure to check out the Quicktime movie. You can turn your entire home into the Michael Jackson "Billie Jean" video!
posted by ColdChef at 6:38 AM PST - 7 comments

Rummage Through The Crevices (Musical Curiosities, Obscurities and other Unearthed Treasures) is "a weekly community radio segment (Friday mornings, 2SER-FM, Sydney, Australia) devoted to offbeat and outsider music, less travelled paths of global pop, interesting re-issued treasures, music-sharing activists, notable and unusual online mp3 repositories, etc. This webloggy thing is its online companion."
posted by taz at 5:48 AM PST - 5 comments


Ultra scary puppets sing hymns of love Via Boing Boing, the scariest tv show that I have ever seen in my life. The poor puppetry, the references to God, the organ sound it all comes together to burn into your brain. Children subjected to this will remember it forever. I think I may even have cold sweats about it in the night. Its long but worth it. (Quicktime movie)
posted by ClanvidHorse at 2:59 AM PST - 56 comments

Soldiers of Christ : "Have you ever switched your toothpaste brand, just for the fun of it?" Pastor Ted asks. Admit it, he insists. All the way home, you felt a "secret little thrill," as excited questions ran through your mind: "Will it make my teeth whiter? My breath fresher?" In this sharp article from Harpers Magazine, Pastor Ted Haggard, head of New Life Church and the World Prayer Team, describes the delirious thrill of deciding upon which brand of worship is right for you. We also meet some of the members of his flock, including one lady with big, brown eyes, eyes with which she claims to have seen "gay sex demons." (A belief more common than you might think.)

Who is this Pastor Ted, who speaks with the White House weekly? He writes books about "free market theology," he oversees the World Prayer Center, and as head of the National Association of Evangelicals, he leads the most powerful religious lobbying group in the United States.
posted by JHarris at 2:39 AM PST - 36 comments

Fainting goats [wmv] and their mysterious origins.
posted by tellurian at 12:08 AM PST - 7 comments

Guerilla Girls... behaving badly? “I don’t know whether this is the kind of thing that happens with any kind of group as time passes. All I know is that people are very upset and sad.”
posted by semmi at 12:00 AM PST - 34 comments

May 29

"They [the bipartisan elite] have imposed a public morality that affords maximum sexual opportunity for themselves and guarantees maximum domestic chaos for those lower down." While a lot of people (okay, maybe just me) have criticized David Brooks' column as an only-infrequently-successful attempt to channel Malcom Gladwell for the McCain-Specter set, I think he may have stumbled onto a provocative insight here.
posted by MattD at 7:49 PM PST - 62 comments

Exotic Spotter "The beauty of an exotic is felt most when they are spotted on the streets, side-by-side with regular cars. . .Unfortunately, spotting an exotic is a rare occurrence. That's why this site brings together hundreds of exotic sightings from all over the world." [via mediareport posting on metachat]
posted by mlis at 7:24 PM PST - 46 comments

Oceanic Air cancels all its flights after the disappearance of Flight 815. Another website related to the Lost television series, similar to Drive Shaft or the classic What Badgers Eat.
posted by drezdn at 6:58 PM PST - 28 comments


Analysis of hit records using sonograms. (Here, for example, are Fleetwood Mac's Rumors, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and Michael Jackson's Thriller.) Also from the same site: a study of RIAA record sales over the entire history of platinum albums; a look at the noise present in vinyl records; and a discussion of slew rates, a type of audio distortion present on compact discs. I'm not an audiophile but I found these articles fascinating.
posted by jdroth at 4:34 PM PST - 14 comments

Update to previous posts on Microsoft and erstwhile consultant Ralph Reed: As discussed here, here and here, Microsoft had been paying conservative consultant Ralph Reed a princely monthly sum.
posted by Morrigan at 4:14 PM PST - 8 comments

A small exporter of premium vodka markets to the motherland with an original and eye-catching campaign for everyone
posted by isol at 4:02 PM PST - 19 comments

Poetry magazines. This online resource has material from numerous poetry magazines published in the UK. There are lots of interesting poems available through a uniform interface. Also present are editorials and illustrations. Well worth a look.
posted by mokey at 2:02 PM PST - 6 comments

Non (en anglais)
posted by Turtle at 1:05 PM PST - 73 comments

Sweeping out the Plains: "The great wave of population, which swept homesteaders onto the Northern Great Plains with the promise of free land and hope for a bright future around the turn of the last century, is sweeping back out again at the beginning of this one." This map of counties with 10% or more population loss in the last 20 years really highlights the phenomenon. A shorter version of this piece published in todays KC Star. (See also Endangered Historic Places: Prairie Churches.)
posted by LarryC at 1:00 PM PST - 37 comments

Darth Vader reads your mind.
posted by Justin Case at 11:28 AM PST - 79 comments

Arthur Miles [mp3], the throat-singing cowboy, singing about the lonesome cowboy. Types of throat-singing, with tips, brought to you by the International Association for Harmonic Singing.
posted by kenko at 11:27 AM PST - 12 comments

Pigeons. Some people love them, others loathe them. Although the passenger pigeon went the way of the dodo, our rock dove friends continue to endure and prosper. First introduced to America's shores by french guests in 1606, the rats with wings are great sources of amusement, childish delights, mathematical theorem, and even spiritual inspiration, defying all efforts to wipe the little poop factories out. Plus they're tasty!
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 9:20 AM PST - 16 comments

We're getting married. Aren't you happy for us? "We would rather sell ourselves to a meat packing plant than acknowledge the union of you and this gold-digging hussy. In fact, we already have." A fun little creative writing site that will let you unleash your inner, bitter socialite.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:26 AM PST - 14 comments

Largely overlooked this past week, the House debated the role of women in frontline combat situations. The watered down version of the Hunter-McHugh amendment will now go to conference. The Christian Science Monitor takes a look at the roles of women in the past and currently, while Human Events comes down firmly in support of the original amendment.
posted by Captaintripps at 7:15 AM PST - 22 comments


Chutney Music :"For these people, Chutney was more than just music (.asf files), it was their life, it was their culture. For a people twice removed from their native land, Chutney was their connection to the traditions they might have otherwise never known." [via]
posted by dhruva at 2:40 AM PST - 6 comments

Cool Keys Radio. A true labor of electric piano love that will undoubtedly sate the taste of even the most ardent lover of the instrument.
posted by melissa may at 2:28 AM PST - 6 comments

After 35 years behind bars and 25 failed requests for parole, Junior Allen will be set free.
posted by ori at 1:06 AM PST - 44 comments

May 28

Creating A Climate for Cross Burnings --the recent reappearance of this horrifying relic of the bad old days of the South, supposedly gone, have many wondering. Now where do you think small-change bigots would get the idea that public expressions of racism and intolerance are ok?
posted by amberglow at 10:11 PM PST - 105 comments

Sellafield nuclear leak unreported for three months - The Cumbria, UK nuclear waste processing facility has been a constant source of worry and pollution since its inception. Security procedures were called "a bit of a joke" by safety technician Ron Hanas, who was fired for blowing the whistle on the accounting loss of over 30 kg of weapons-grade plutonium, noting as an aside that a section of a uranium fuel rod was found in a worker's desk drawer. Higher levels of plutonium are found in children's teeth as they live in closer proximity to the plant. It makes one think about the current energy policy being written behind closed doors, when the industry can't put basic safety systems in place.
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:51 PM PST - 24 comments

Onancock Some towns just have bad names.
posted by longsleeves at 2:58 PM PST - 97 comments

Internet Explorer - We discovered the web. Check out this humorous parody site created for Microsoft's browser Internet Explorer. Something tells me this won't be up for too much longer though.
posted by sjvilla79 at 2:04 PM PST - 37 comments

RIP Eddie Albert. As Mr. Kimball might have said, he was an actor . Well, not really an actor, but a war hero. He was awarded a Bronze star...well, it wasn't really bronze, more like a...anyway, for his efforts at Tarawa. But maybe he was more of an environmentalist...oh, anyway, dig into some hotscakes and remember Mr. Douglas.
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:34 PM PST - 20 comments

Think you're in full control of your computer? Think again. Intel has just quietly added one of the necessary components of Microsoft's (and the TCG/TCPA's) DRM technology, Palladium, to the PC platform. Some say this is a move against rampant Chinese software piracy, others think it's a power grab by the content producers. Left unchecked, content and software producers will have the final say in how you use your computer, fair use be damned.
posted by id at 1:27 PM PST - 55 comments

Darknet Blog - Interesting articles about what is shaping technology today, and how the industry is playing nice with the government to legislate drm into our lives.
posted by sourbrew at 12:01 PM PST - 4 comments

The 10 year long civil war in West Africa's Sierra Leone may have concluded in the last couple of years but rehabilitation of the country is painfully slow. War crime trials are under way but are underfunded and there's only scant attention paid by the western press. Naturally, the most vulnerable are at greatest risk. Pep Bonet has photographed children at the hospital for the blind, a war amputees soccer team and the rather disturbing conditions at Kissy mental hospital in Freetown. There is only space for about 150 of the estimated 50,000 people left psychotically disturbed by the war. These lucky ones are held in chains by way of treatment control. (via) [aid]
posted by peacay at 11:13 AM PST - 19 comments

Dirty goings-on in the magic kingdom. (QuickTime) Amateur movies shot by Disney's professional furries in Disneyworld show what happens on the grounds while Mickey isn't looking.
"...Many of the videos, I found out, were created for unofficial annual character banquets, where screening funny skits is part of a tradition of subtle acts of subversion among the members of Disney’s undercompensated and overregulated workforce."
Probably sorta safe for work, but don't show it to Pooh aficionados.
[via Radar magazine via defamer]
posted by Silky Slim at 9:28 AM PST - 29 comments


Uniforms. Eye candy from a themed LJ community.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:32 AM PST - 10 comments

How do you say "aunt"? There was a spirited thread a couple of years ago on the pop/soda/Coke division in our nation, but this survey is on the actual pronunciation of words. Ant? Ahnt? Aint? (My father used to say "bum" for "bomb" and "my-o-naiz" for "mayonnaise," and it drove me nuts. I also wondered why I didn't say it the same way.)
posted by ancientgower at 5:12 AM PST - 73 comments

Hillary Clinton? The progressive side of the blogsphere is a twitter with news that 53% of the public would vote for Hillary. What do you think?
posted by delmoi at 2:26 AM PST - 86 comments

The Crazy Frog / Axel F Song (previously mentioned on the Blue) is about to make history by being the first ringtone / pop music crossover to successfully invade the British charts. How successful? A little band named Coldplay also have a new single out; as it stands, Crazy Frog is outselling their effort by a factor of 4 to 1. People, this is serious. Prepare for some major league irritation to descend upon us. The success of this single will only spawn a legion of imitators, and that can only lead to the dark side. As Malcolm McLaren, ex Sex Pistols manager puts it: "Listen to this song and you can hear the death knell of the traditional music industry."
posted by LondonYank at 2:19 AM PST - 40 comments

Lust Films is like a witty indie movie with full-on sex -- the hardcore video equivalent to Nerve, Fleshbot, and Sex in the City. Porn plots have never been so...watchable! Extremely NSFW, especially the trailers.
posted by NickDouglas at 1:07 AM PST - 33 comments

Scattered Leaves In the early decades of the 20th century, a Cleveland book collector named Otto Ege removed the pages from 50 medieval manuscript books, divided the pages among 40 boxes, and sold the boxes around the world. Now the University of Saskatchewan plans to digitally remake the book.
posted by dhruva at 12:18 AM PST - 32 comments

May 27

The Collier Classification System for Very Small Objects. By the Collier taxonomy, this bugger, which I just pulled from my heel, would be an onlipart shosolattach tanpointisharpanilik. [via]
posted by Tufa at 11:24 PM PST - 15 comments

Mexican Pictures and many others as well. The photos of Raul Gutierrez (more inside).
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:18 PM PST - 2 comments

We were invited, we didn't invade. Recent white house daily press release where Scott McClellan avoids answering direct questions. Is this history re-written before our eyes?
posted by Balisong at 10:12 PM PST - 72 comments

Stereotypes
posted by anastasiav at 9:34 PM PST - 24 comments

Symbol fun. Happy Friday.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 9:02 PM PST - 13 comments

Sexuality, politics, and memory in Twentieth-Century Germany. The introductory chapter of Dagmar Herzog's brilliant, deeply researched, and beautifully written book, and an informative review by Thomas Laqueur. (via nextbook)
posted by semmi at 8:32 PM PST - 7 comments


Orson Scott Card on The Riots of The Faithful: So Newsweek prints an uncorroborated allegation about American interrogators flushing Qurans down the toilet in order to get fanatical Muslim prisoners to talk, and there's rioting and death all over the Muslim world. There are several lessons to be learned from this incident, some trivial, some quite important...
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 6:28 PM PST - 103 comments

Yoda/gigolo a little flash friday fun
posted by hortense at 6:00 PM PST - 16 comments

Technophobia? or ignorance? or mendacity? A Minnesota appeals court has ruled that the presence of encryption software on a computer may be viewed as evidence of criminal intent. The specific crime here aside, why is encryption - and by extension privacy - viewed as something seedy?
posted by Smedleyman at 5:47 PM PST - 10 comments

You got owned ... an entertaining study of life's little mishaps on video. Some you've seen, some you may not have. (wmv)
posted by crunchland at 5:18 PM PST - 33 comments

Time Mag's 100 All Time Best Flicks Compiled by their OWN critics, of course. Hence no Kevin Smith masterpieces mentioned. The List also fails to mention some of the most popular movies of all time. It can't be right if it doesn't include the Wizard of Oz.
posted by PrincessLara at 4:48 PM PST - 35 comments

The mystery of the beeping house is haunting me. I've been following this thread on the "General Chit Chat" section of the TiVo Community for two weeks now and no one has been able to figure out WHAT is beeping in this guy's house. We have the some of the greatest minds on the internet offering theories and so far nothing has panned out. He's pulled the power on the place. He's checked every smoke and CO2 detector... all to no avail. And this dude's house has been beeping every minute, every day, for ONE YEAR. His neighborhood had a blackout, and the beep persisted.

ONE YEAR!

It's gotten so absurd that at least 8 of the people in the discussion are planning to GO to the dude's house this weekend and annihilate the beep, once and for all. They've even bought "beep finding" equipment. They are the "beepbusters."
posted by neilkod at 4:03 PM PST - 58 comments

Star Wars Easter Eggs (via Forever Geek)
posted by oissubke at 3:46 PM PST - 17 comments

Two-thirds agreement, friend or foe? Condoleezza Rice had an informal interview with an NPR reporter this week. During the talk the interviewer brought up U.S. pop culture. He stated that some of the reasons why Bin Laden attacked the U.S. was because of its (our) Pornographic culture, children being out of control, women having too much power. Condi seemed to only protest the complaint of women having too much power. What does she believe in? The way the question was responded to makes me unsettled more about this administration, as impossible as I thought this was possible. The portion is 3:35 minutes in.
posted by MrLint at 3:35 PM PST - 17 comments

Window Standpoint. If you've ever wondered what international sound artists see and hear when they're at home, staring out of their pokey apartment windows and watching the world go by, then this is the site for you.
posted by nylon at 2:03 PM PST - 7 comments

Sex Advice from Accordion Players! Because sex advice is too important to be trusted to guitarists.
posted by AccordionGuy at 12:56 PM PST - 11 comments

The end of the British slasher film? [Article on NYT which needs account.] Love the phrase (with reference) "Once resistance from clothing and skin is overcome, little extra force is required to injure vital organs, increasing the chance of a fatality (likened to cutting into a ripe melon)."
posted by birdsquared at 12:49 PM PST - 17 comments

Today is my 30th birthday.
posted by Capn at 10:40 AM PST - 83 comments

The US Postal Service has issued a series of postage stamps honoring great American scientists including: Josiah Willard Gibbs, thermodynamicist best known for the Gibbs Phase Rule; Barbara McClintock, geneticist who showed genes could transpose within chromosomes; John von Neumann, mathematician who made significant contributions in game theory and computer science; and Richard Feynman, infamous physicist best remembered for his work on quantum electrodynamics, the Manhattan Project, Feynman Diagrams, and his testimony at the Space Shuttle Challenger hearings.
posted by chicken nuglet at 10:08 AM PST - 15 comments

(As any Mets geek might say when talking to Mike & the Mad Dog: First time [MeFi] poster, long time reader)
Underestimating the Fog...No, not crochety ol' McNamara's take on the situation in Iraq. Rather, it's an astonishing (if only partial) recanting [.pdf] by the patron saint of statheads, seamheads, and rotogeeks everywhere, Bill James. Like his namesake, James is a radical empiricist, the Jedi master who defined sabermetrics (his coinage) as "the search for objective knowledge about baseball." Over the past several decades, James' influence has been enormous. After Michael Lewis famously detailed the saber-success of Billy Beane's Oakland A's, Sabermetric-leaning analysts have made their way into the scouting ranks and GM's offices of a growing number of major league ballclubs. From the halls of academia [.pdf] to newspapers and Cable personalities, even the NFL and NBA are on board!
posted by ericbop at 10:01 AM PST - 22 comments

On-On! I had never heard of the Hash House Harriers ("the drinking club with a running problem") until a friend clued me in. Now I don't know how I had missed them! They're certainly very visible -- and audible. Here's how it works. Their origins are in the British expat community in Kuala Lumpur, but nowadays they are everywhere!
One of their key ingredients is a bit problematic in this post-9/11 world, but they are adaptable.
posted by gurple at 9:50 AM PST - 15 comments

A Canadian Love Story Your husband is a serial rapist. You are a veterinary clinic worker who wants to give him something special for Christmas. How about giving your younger sister as a rape toy? [more inside]
posted by RockCorpse at 9:44 AM PST - 87 comments


Chris Sickels (aka Red Nose Studio) makes beautiful images with various bits of wire, cardboard, fabric, paint, found objects, and most importantly, puppets.
posted by crumbly at 9:29 AM PST - 9 comments

"And the 'Soldier Kicking Asshat of the Month' award goes to..." Rep. Duncan Hunter (R - San Diego), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, who stripped a bipartisan-approved amendment out of the defense budget which would have given America's 1.1 million reservists the ability to pay $75 a month / $233 per family for healthcare insurance. Hunter claimed that the extra cost would blow the DoD's budget. The cost? About $770 million a year over five years... approximately .0018% of the yearly defense budget, or about 2/3rds the cost of a single stealth bomber.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:41 AM PST - 31 comments

Your mother was right. You can go blind from doing that. Federal health officials are examining rare reports of blindness among some men using the impotence drugs Viagra and Cialis. Since it doesn't actually do anything, Enzyte should still be safe.
posted by hipnerd at 8:33 AM PST - 20 comments

While some squabble over who is the “Father of Podcasting” (see “Bickering among the 'Pod Squad’ : Who is the 'Podfather"? And who cares?”), Seth Godin suggests that now is the time to start podcasting: “If your goal is to be an A list podcaster, today's the day to start. And invest. And persist.”

On his blog at MSNBC
Will Femia states: “Speaking of shark jumping, ABC News kicks off the mainstreaming of podcasting.”

Is podcasting a “fad”, or likely a future mainstay in modern media?
posted by ericb at 7:48 AM PST - 53 comments

The U.S. removes the nuclear brakes Under the cloak of secrecy imparted by use of military code names, the American administration has been taking a big - and dangerous - step that will lead to the transformation of the nuclear bomb into a legitimate weapon for waging war. Ever since the terror attack of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration has gradually done away with all the nuclear brakes that characterized American policy during the Cold War. No longer are nuclear bombs considered "the weapon of last resort." No longer is the nuclear bomb the ultimate means of deterrence against nuclear powers, which the United States would never be the first to employ. In the era of a single, ruthless superpower, whose leadership intends to shape the world according to its own forceful world view, nuclear weapons have become a attractive instrument for waging wars, even against enemies that do not possess nuclear arms.
posted by mk1gti at 7:25 AM PST - 96 comments

The worst Superhero costumes ever? "It's not every day that we see a hipster ape grabbing a dude's ass." So True.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:04 AM PST - 39 comments

Friday Flash Fun: More point 'n' click adventure games than you can shake a stick at. [Most have sound, and a very small percentage may be NSFW.]
posted by Sibrax at 6:30 AM PST - 8 comments

AskGod.com Forget Jeeves. For $25 a month, you can soon call a googling "angel" from your mobile phone with questions. According to the press release (pdf): "Soon, with the coming of Ask God, the prayers of all the data-starved will be answered and the prophecy of information on-demand will be fulfilled." In a country caught in the grips of religious mania, is this smart marketing or tone deaf? And with the web increasingly on our phones already, who's going to pay for this?
posted by CunningLinguist at 4:45 AM PST - 87 comments

A new Harper's article by Jeff Sharlet , author of the also-must-read Jesus Plus Nothing. To win a war, you must have an elaborate strategy...
posted by deusdiabolus at 3:47 AM PST - 24 comments

At first glance Annette Messager's work (mentioned en passant here can seem cute. But the MOMA web-pages dedicated to her work reveal there's more to it. From stuffed starlings through babies with their eyes scratched out on to the floppy phalluses of 'Piques', she glides from light to shade and from cradle to grave - or, as she adds in this interview, from bedroom to dining room. Or is it the other way round? I took in her installation at Les Cordeliers recently - un grand voile noir mû par le vent - I wish you could have seen it.
posted by TimothyMason at 3:20 AM PST - 5 comments

Marshmallow baby Jesus? Check. Kitchen timer baby Jesus? Absolutely. Giant inflatable baby Jesus that lights up? You betcha. All this and more at the Cavalcade of Bad Nativities. Once you're finished beholding him in all his cheesy infant glory, meditate upon the rest of his (badly rendered) life and works at The Passion of the Tchotchke.
posted by LeeJay at 12:26 AM PST - 14 comments

May 26

Guilty until proven innocent. I guess no one should have been confident of her being found not guilty. At approximately 1:45pm today, Shapelle Corby of Australia was sentenced to 20 years in prison for importing narcotics into Indonesia - $4000 worth of weed that would have sold for $40,000 in Australia. $4000 worth of weed that was never fingerprinted nor tested. Her main line of defence, that the dope was the result of a bungled drug smuggling operation in Australia, backed up by the Australian Government by a letter to the Indonesian Government was not enough. Previous discussion here.
posted by Jase_B at 11:30 PM PST - 74 comments

What is Torture? Slate does an in-depth primer on American interrogation, with the chain of command, legal memos, a taxonomy of torture tactics "listed in order from least to most severe" (which roughly corresponds to the Human Rights Watch Table of Interrogation Techniques Recommended/Approved by U.S. Officials), and military reports.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:30 PM PST - 15 comments

Hundreds of twins in group photos from a Twin Festival. Twins Days in Twinsburg, Ohio claims to be the world's largest annual gathering of twins. Sarah Small's Photographs Twin Festivals
posted by growabrain at 10:23 PM PST - 27 comments

Wood burning jet engine Lots more fun from the folks at Nye Thermodynamics
posted by warbaby at 10:04 PM PST - 13 comments

Foreign Exchange TV with Fareed Zakaria - I'd heard about it, but thought it was only showing on OPB; checked again and lo and behold all the episodes are online! Watched a couple episodes so far; they're pretty good, esp if you're into foreign policy and stuff :D
posted by kliuless at 7:37 PM PST - 4 comments

Micromovie awards 2005 - the mission: produce a 90-second movie filmed entirely on a mobile phone (dubbing of better quality audio permitted). Dozens of films are available here for viewing. Sponsored, or course, by a major phone manufacturer. Don't let that distract you from the cute little films, though)
posted by Jimbob at 7:31 PM PST - 3 comments

I just want to spread the immense joy of Winamp TV, which is a route to all kinds of Filipino servers playing all your favourite copyrighted television material commercial-free 24/7 but it's OK because I'm not linking to those servers directly no sir.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:27 PM PST - 87 comments

11 Steps to a Better Brain Funny, reading MeFi is not on the list.
posted by peacay at 2:25 PM PST - 25 comments

Anybody into smoked beer? It's called Rauchbier and it's a new one on me, but it's been around since the 1500s. (I'm apparently a little behind the curve). Here's a recipe if you are into homebrewing. (Which reminds me, did you see the article: How to Brew Beer in a Coffee Pot ???)
posted by spock at 2:23 PM PST - 33 comments

Composite Drawings of suspects wanted by the Michigan State Police. With photos of the suspect if they are captured, for comparison. Via.
posted by Divine_Wino at 1:08 PM PST - 49 comments

WCBS reporter Arthur Chi'en fired the same day for saying the F-word on air in response to two Opie and Anthony hecklers behind him. Should this man be fired for doing something any new yorker would do? WCBS seems to think so.Some are trying to "save" him. I say Let the Revolution begin.
posted by supertremendus at 12:57 PM PST - 46 comments

Despite efforts to stop phishing and pharming, they have continued to become more pervasive. While some tools, organizations and lawmakers are helping combat the problem, they have done little to curb these activities. Cellphones, Yahoo IM and AIM were all recently hit by new types of attacks. The AIM attack was more sophisticated than previous versions and combined phishing with a worm that installed software that allows the attacker to potentially take over the comprimised machine. To complicate problems further, a vast majority of these scams take place in locations that make it difficult if not impossible to prosecute the operators.

Because of this, I was delighted to read about hackers that are defacing phishing sites. While this is not legal either, it was some what satisfying to find out these asshats were getting a taste of there own medicine. Do any of you think a penny should be wasted persuing these hackers? If not, what are the legal implications in allowing hackers to attack some sites and not others?
posted by Mr_Zero at 12:06 PM PST - 17 comments

Thomas Jones and Tammie Bristol, both Wiccans, divorced in 2004. Likely they disagree about much, but not which religion they wish to teach their son. Too bad for them, then, that a Marion County Superior Court judge included a provision in their divorce decree which bans them from exposing their child to "non-mainstream religious beliefs and rituals". Neither parent requested this; in fact, both vehemently objected, yet the judge refused to remove it. I guess them there activist judges are a threat to freedom of religion after all - but I doubt that the Judeo-Christian Council for Constitutional Restoration will be going after this guy. Funny; he's right up their alley.
posted by tzikeh at 11:52 AM PST - 46 comments

Rip Taylor on the web! For those who need a little confetti in their life.
posted by adrober at 11:06 AM PST - 23 comments

MLB's All Porn Mustache Team
Cue: Funky bassline and Wa-Wa guitar.
Is it just me or does Jeff Kent's 'stache (bottom of the page in the honorable mentions section) look like more peach fuzz than manly man style?
Who did they miss?
posted by fenriq at 10:07 AM PST - 30 comments


The Choirboy. Lawrence Lessig takes onto an other battle.
posted by NewBornHippy at 9:09 AM PST - 16 comments

Abusing Amazon images. And you thought URL manipulation was a lost art.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 6:49 AM PST - 27 comments

Canadian suicide hotline stops its 24 hour service and adopts a 9-to-5 format. Apparently, people only feel like killing themselves at work. Located via Fark.
posted by deusdiabolus at 2:57 AM PST - 40 comments

Dracula Blogged: Bram Stoker's vampire novel, published by its own calendar. According to the site description:

Individual pieces of the novel will appear on the calendar dates indicated in the text, starting with Jonathan Harker's May 3rd Bistriz journal entry, and finishing up with November 6 and the final Note.

Be sure to check the comments, which are full of interesting tidbits about the novel, Stoker, Transylvania and historical accuracy (or innacuracy, as the case may be).
posted by LeeJay at 12:04 AM PST - 14 comments

May 25

DETAINEES 3878-3881 Summary of FBI interview of detainee at Guantanamo Bay 08/01/02 Notes that '[p]rior to his capture, REDACTED had no information against the United States. Personally, he has nothing against the United States. The guards in the detention facility do not treat him well. Their behavior is bad. About five months ago, the guards beat the detainees. They flushed a Koran in the toilet. The guards dance around when the detainees are trying to pray. The guards still do these things.' American Civil Liberties Union: Guantánamo Prisoners Told FBI of Koran Desecration in 2002, New Documents Reveal. See also Amnesty International Report 2005: United States of America, Iraq, Afghanistan.... U.S. 'Thumbs Its Nose' at Rights, Amnesty Says
posted by y2karl at 10:02 PM PST - 58 comments

Nature starts a weblog about the flu pandemic.
Now the virus is in coastal cities on both sides of South America. It hit Europe two weeks ago, ripping through Paris in just 11 days. In the French capital alone, there were 2.5 million cases and 50,000 dead. That's par for the course — infection rate 25% and mortality 2%, similar to the 1918 pandemic. Extrapolate these numbers, and we're going to have over 30 million dead worldwide. In poor and densely populated countries like India, it could be worse.

Where's next, I asked. Based on passenger data — which had to be prised from the airlines — one epidemiologist was willing to make a guess. "Within two weeks, there." He traced his finger from San Diego to Los Angeles, up to San Francisco. Within another three to four weeks, it'll be the turn of the conurbations along the eastern seaboard.


It's fiction but it might become reality soon.
posted by kika at 8:02 PM PST - 38 comments

Why "Intelligent Design" Isn't. The New Yorker takes an informative look at the "factual" basis for so-called "Intelligent Design" theory, while an all too infrequent victory is won in Georgia.
posted by scrim at 7:20 PM PST - 196 comments

The Secret Way to War: The New York Review of Books does a close reading of the Downing Street memo. Comparison of public statements by the Bush Adminstration vs. the memo's timeline.
posted by kirkaracha at 7:09 PM PST - 16 comments

Hip-Hop Legends Digable Planets Reunite! Word, and they're touring.
posted by sudama at 6:29 PM PST - 29 comments

Last year, Pitchforkmedia.com published a nauseatingly smug review in smarmy, supercilious prose by Amanda Petrusich of the David Cross album It's Not Funny. This year, regardless of their opinion of David and/or his act, they asked him for his Top Ten List®. Here then, are the "Top Ten CD's That [He] Just Made Up (and accompanying made-up review excerpts) to listen to while skimming through some of the overwrought reviews on Pitchforkmedia.com"
Pitchfork discussed here, here, here and here. David Cross here and here.
posted by airguitar at 6:07 PM PST - 97 comments

The Phallic Logo Awards. (NSFW, unless you work at one of these companies, I guess)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:36 PM PST - 19 comments

I feel like a hamburger today. Oh and maybe a slice.
posted by gilgamix at 3:36 PM PST - 30 comments


The Empire Strikes Back. Want that bittorrent of the new Star Wars movie? You won't find it on elitetorrents.org, the site where the file first appeared.
posted by nyterrant at 3:00 PM PST - 91 comments

oooooh-wheeee-ooooh-eeeeeeee-whooooo
Love that Doctor Who theme? After listening to the wide range of remixes, make your own with a little bit of not-Friday Flash Fun.
posted by Katemonkey at 2:45 PM PST - 14 comments

The BTC Pipeline opened today after more than 10 years and $4B (US) in development. It runs from the Caspian Sea across Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey, through the Caucasus mountain range to the Mediterranean. The project is so large and far-reaching some have called it Pipelineistan. The UK Independent calls it The Pipeline That Will Change The World. It travels through some of the most politically unstable regions in Central Asia, but is of such strategic importance political leaders have been replaced and the U.S. is willing to risk the wrath of neighbors Russia (with a competing pipeline of its own) and Iran to place permanent U.S. military bases along its path. It even merits personal visits from the U.S. Energy Secretary and President. Its opening may very well mark the return of the Great Game.
posted by fubar at 1:32 PM PST - 22 comments

We really want you in the Army. Not all citizen journalism happens in blogs, folks. A 15-year-old with a couple of cameras and a sister caught the Army willing to bend both laws and ethics in order to get him enlisted. (Military recruitment previously discussed here, as well as other places that I'm too lazy to search for).
posted by klangklangston at 12:43 PM PST - 45 comments


Unidentified Titan Object Saturn's moon Titan shows an unusual bright spot that has scientists mystified. The spot, approximately the size and shape of West Virginia, is just southeast of the bright region called Xanadu and is visible to multiple instruments on the Cassini spacecraft.
posted by Diamornte at 12:26 PM PST - 32 comments

Unusual Cards
posted by sciurus at 11:20 AM PST - 15 comments

"I can't tell you where I am, but I can tell you I love free wireless internet. I know some of you like those fools, but they were trying to front and I can't let that lie." The BBC News article declares, Message Board Argument Ends In Murder, describing how an argument on a San Diego web forum prompted one member to shoot two others. Except the "message board argument" isn't over. The BBC piece linked directly to the thread where the fight began, so the moderator removed the original posts and started a new one to talk about the murders. Now the alleged shooter, still on the run, is apparenly back on the board, taunting his shocked former friends. It's been a weird week on the Internet.
posted by pzarquon at 10:45 AM PST - 62 comments

The Amnesty International 2005 report is hot off the press. This annual report describes the current human rights situation in each country around the world. The BBC cover it well with a special PDF enabling you to look up the report on any country. CNN give more limited coverage, without including a link to the full report. The overall picture is that freedom is spreading, thanks to the US government - freedom to torture, enslave, and kill with impunity.
posted by cleardawn at 8:19 AM PST - 28 comments

The Virginia Watchdog "Don't you think if I can get Tom DeLay's Social Security number . . . that some guy in an Internet cafe in Pakistan can, too?" Virginia activist Betty (BJ) Ostergren puts the Social Security numbers of politicians such as Colin Powell, Porter Goss, Jeb Bush and Tom Delay on her website to show how anyone can become a victim of identity theft.
posted by mlis at 8:18 AM PST - 29 comments

download your mind Realistically by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine, so when you die it's not a major career problem,' Pearson told The Observer. 'If you're rich enough then by 2050 it's feasible. If you're poor you'll probably have to wait until 2075 or 2080 when it's routine. We are very serious about it. That's how fast this technology is moving
posted by robbyrobs at 8:05 AM PST - 81 comments

A Spreading Treason The vagaries of U.S. involvement in the Middle East were surely brought home to First Lady Laura Bush on her recent trip to Israel, on a tour of Jerusalem's holiest sites. At the Wailing Wall, where she placed a note in the Western Wall – as is the custom – she faced surly throngs of protesters shouting "Free Pollard Now!" The Pollardites also showed up earlier that morning, as Mrs. Bush paid a visit to the home of Israeli President Moshe Katsav: "Pollard, the people are with you!" they chanted.
posted by mk1gti at 7:43 AM PST - 23 comments

Kamal Tabrizi, Iranian director of "Marmoulak" (The Lizard), has been hired by to make a campaign ad for presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani.
posted by 445supermag at 7:38 AM PST - 6 comments

Rocker Jeff Baxter Moves and Shakes in National Security • "Jeff Baxter played psychedelic music with Ultimate Spinach, jazz-rock with Steely Dan and funky pop with the Doobie Brothers. But in the last few years he has made an even bigger transition: Mr. Baxter, who goes by the nickname "Skunk," has become one of the national-security world's well-known counterterrorism experts."
posted by dhoyt at 7:31 AM PST - 27 comments

When beefcake and robots collide. (QT clips, NSFW)
posted by madamjujujive at 6:17 AM PST - 25 comments

Thurl Ravenscroft, voice of Tony the Tiger, one of the singing busts in Walt Disney's Haunted Mansion, and the inimitable vocalist behind "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," has passed away at the age of 91.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:53 AM PST - 28 comments

Freedom Fries to French Fries: "Sorry dear. It was a momentary lapse of reason. It was a combination of God's hand and a constituent's request. I wish it had never happened.
posted by acrobat at 3:38 AM PST - 72 comments

MeroMero Radio If you are interested in Japanese culture and especially that jolly Japanese pop music, then you might enjoy this podcast radio program made in Sweden. Nine one-hour-sessions has been made so far and each one focuses on a special artist or theme, and includes (at times) interviews with the artists themselves. The show's in English. The podcasts (ep. 7-9) in MP3 are available here. The radio programs (ep. 1-7) are also available here for RealAudio Streaming.
posted by iwanttobuild at 12:36 AM PST - 4 comments

May 24

Action Squad – Urban Adventurers
"In a nutshell, Action Squad explores. This generally occurs late at night, to aid in avoiding other people, particularly those with badges and funny blue uniforms. We climb buildings, sneak into factories, crawl through all kinds of tunnels, spelunk old brewery caves, poke around abandoned buildings, and run across the rooftops."
Missions of the Action Squad are fully documented with descriptions, photographs (historical & intraoperative) and sometimes maps but always with a sense of wonder at the urban flotsam they enjoy exploring.
This is my particular favourite but poke around, there's a fair bit in this gem of a site worth exploring from the armchair. [via]
posted by peacay at 8:45 PM PST - 27 comments

Do you know your rhetoric? You can hear how it is used in the top 100 American speeches of all time, 63 of which have the original audio recordings! (prev.) The list has some odd omissions, such as the Gettysburg Address (and here in convenient presentation form) and non-American speakers like Churchill, so this shorter international list may be useful. While the slow decline in the quality of presidential addresses is much lamented, scriptwriters are stepping up, see for example, top movie speeches of all time ("Smells like victory" beats "You can't handle the truth"). So, MeFiers, do any of these still inspire, or is rhetoric dead?
posted by blahblahblah at 8:35 PM PST - 31 comments

Promoting Freedom or Fueling Conflict? U.S. Military Aid and Arms Transfers Since September 11--from the World Policy Institute, a report on whether we put our money where our mouth is. Statements like "Freedom will be the future of every nation and every people on Earth" might sound nice and even inspiring, but why is our own government funding overwhelmingly anti-democratic and abusive governments? ... When countries designated by the State Department’s Human Rights Report to have poor human rights records or serious patterns of abuse are factored in, 20 of the top 25 U.S. arms clients in the developing world in 2003 -- a full 80% -- were either undemocratic regimes or governments with records of major human rights abuses. ...
posted by amberglow at 7:02 PM PST - 51 comments

Christian Video Games set to make comeback? Tired of destroying the same old cliched monsters, day in day out? Want to engross yourself in a more morally sound, Religious video game experience? Well if the Christian gaming community has their way, we'll soon all be playing them (or at least a few % of gamers): "As believers in Christ, we pray that God will be glorified through our work and that each of us draw nearer to him as we develop and grow as a business," the Christian game company says
posted by 0bvious at 6:55 PM PST - 57 comments

Mandelbrot explorer 20th century Dutch mathemeticians are cool. http://www.ddewey.net/mandelbrot/
posted by longsleeves at 5:16 PM PST - 21 comments

The Handbook - The left and the right hand, single hand, hand on face and head, hand on object, hand touching another hand ...
posted by none at 5:07 PM PST - 11 comments

Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn A collaboration between 17 nations (3 space agencies). The atmosphere shows wavelike cloud structures, Saturn's rings display Waves and Small Particles. First image of a small moon orbiting within the Keeler gap.
Previous Missions, 2005 tour dates.
posted by Lanark at 4:39 PM PST - 11 comments

What is it about planning a wedding that turns normal women into bridezillas? Please shut up about your fucking wedding.
posted by chicken nuglet at 2:23 PM PST - 101 comments

"It shows nipples. It shows the clear outline of genitals." Fact: airport security is not effective against a determined terrorist. Response: "backscatter" imaging. Your trip through security will look like this. The security personnel will see something like this. It's safe! It's effective! Except for fat terrorists ("a weapon or explosives pack could be tucked into flabby body folds that won't be penetrated by the scanner") and people with guns in their body cavities.
posted by Gordon Smith at 1:50 PM PST - 102 comments


Bogart not the OSS Open Source is cool. Not only is it free-for-you, but you're also entitled to commercialize it as long as you follow some fairly simple rules. Software company Maui X-Stream seems to have run afoul of not just one OSS project but many, cobbling together entire product lines out of free software and branding them as their own -- and then heartily denying it. (More Inside)
posted by Ogre Lawless at 12:09 PM PST - 12 comments

The History of the Batmobile "Batman first appeared in May of 1939 in Detective Comics #27, and although the first true Batmobile did not appear for another two years, it has become one of the Dark Knight's best known weapons." (via)
posted by boymilo at 11:04 AM PST - 12 comments

Jim Abbott probably shouldn't have been a professional athlete. Born without a right hand, he defied the odds and grew up to be a major league pitcher. In 1991 he won 18 games for the Angels while posting a 2.89 ERA, in 1992 he pitched a no-hitter against Cleveland, and in 23 career at-bats, he amazingly got two hits (while playing for the Brewers). But Abbott (now a motivational speaker) wasn't the first handicapped professional baseball player. Pete Gray lost his entire right arm in a childhood truck accident and, due to the shortage of major league players during WWII, became an outfielder with the St. Louis Browns. His fielding, naturally, was unorthodox: After catching a fly ball, Gray would tuck his thinly padded glove under his stump, roll the ball across his chest, and throw, all in one fluid motion. But if those guys don't impress you, then what about Bert Shepard, who had his right leg amputated after his fighter plane crashed in Germany? The gutsy left-hander from Dana, Indiana taught himself to walk and then to pitch with an artificial leg -- all within the confines of a POW camp in Germany. The length of his major league career consisted of pitching five innings in one game for the Washington Senators. Then of course there was Lou Brissie, the only survivor of his WWII infantry unit, which was wiped out in battle. An exploding shell shattered Brissie's left leg, causing him to wear a brace during his pitching career. The 6'4" southpaw went 16-11 in 1949 for the Athletics and helped himself by batting .267. So...who's your favorite handicapped ballplayer? Eddie Gaedel?
posted by billysumday at 10:31 AM PST - 31 comments

The Nuclear Option has been avoided. A handfull of senators have reached an agreement killing the nuclear option, and limiting the future Filibuster to "extraordinary circumstances".
posted by delmoi at 10:16 AM PST - 79 comments

Zombie attack in small-town NH. As I live nearby, I have begun the laborious task of barricading the doors and nailing boards across every window. My cats are furious with me. Oh, and this comment from my friend, who once had the accused zombie as a student: "Travis Saulnier was a student here. At the time of 6th grade, he was already over 6ft and looked well on his way to being the next Leatherface. Not surprised."
posted by ktoad at 9:55 AM PST - 30 comments

iPod Coffee Table created by a Toronto design student
posted by haasim at 9:47 AM PST - 30 comments

An examination of Iraqi public opinion data and interviews suggests that coalition military activity may be substantially contributing to Iraqi discontent and opposition. A 'vicious circle' is indicated, whereby actions to curtail the insurgency feed the insurgency. Public discontent is the water in which the insurgents swim. Polls show that a large majority of Iraqis have little faith in coalition troops and view them as occupiers, not liberators. There is significant support for attacks on foreign troops and a large majority of Iraqis want them to leave within a year.
Vicious Circle: The Dynamics of Occupation and Resistance in Iraq. For example--Marine-led offensive killed friends and foreign fighters, Iraqi leaders say. So, Is the US Recruiting for the Insurgency? See also Guantánamo Comes to Define U.S. to Muslims. Consider, too, The rising economic cost of the Iraq war--a war, which is, according to more than one, A War That Cannot Be Won ...
posted by y2karl at 9:23 AM PST - 87 comments

Bob Mould has got folks talking sanely about music piracy and artists' livelihoods, again. After discovering his unreleased album was already available for illegal download, Bob and his fans exchange thoughts on the temptation of filesharing. Try to do the right thing, whatever that is these days. (legal free tune)
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:24 AM PST - 76 comments

Irshad Manji, self-described "Muslim Refusenik", urges moderation after the Newsweek-Quran scandal. Earlier this month, Manji launched a public campaign for Ijtihad ("independent thinking") with a claim for Islamic pluralism and "the aim of setting up a foundation for young, reform-minded Muslims to explore and challenge their faith."
posted by jenleigh at 7:47 AM PST - 46 comments

More Mac Mockery

Simple short Switch parody ads from oldeenglish.org, both funny and unlikely to cause a PFM*.

*Platform Flame War
posted by zardoz at 7:10 AM PST - 25 comments

BMW meets Nelson Mandela. Mandela, the once jailed, former President of South Africa, has autographed "The Democracy Car," ten BMW 325i Sedans to be raffled off as a fundraiser for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. The fund is an organization founded to help, "Developing partnerships and initiating programs that empower and improve the well-being of children and youth; Promoting the rights of children and youth through the influence of public policy and social awareness; and, Sustaining these initiatives through the development of a sound financial and knowledge support base, and being oriented towards achieving measurable results." You can enter the raffle by making a donation of any size--or not at all.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 7:06 AM PST - 6 comments

Who caught Zacarias Moussaoui? Clancy Prevost smiles at the absurdity of his story. We are just a few miles down the road from the Eagan flight school where, one month before the September 11th attacks, he tried to teach Zacarias Moussaoui how to fly a Boeing 747.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:38 AM PST - 9 comments

There is a line we walk, a line between good and evil, between what is real and what is unreal, between sanity and madness and between life and dreams, a place we call...The Edge of Reality

There's something of the Ed Wood about Jeff Kirkendall and his buddies, and I find it really refreshing to see people just making films for themselves rather than thinking it's a stepping stone to a career in hollywood.

While it might not have the unsettling nature of Coven, a word I still pronounce like woven thanks to that film, there's no denying that The temptress and the edge of reality have a certain something. I have to admit I laughed at the trailer, but it seems that others see something I missed.
posted by ciderwoman at 6:13 AM PST - 8 comments

The Spice Girls reunite. No, this is not a joke. It's more like an advisory.
posted by deusdiabolus at 3:06 AM PST - 95 comments

May 23

Remember that Citroen Transformer breakdancing? Sure, some of us love it because it was a sweet ride and deep down inside, we all want to be sporting an Autobot. Of course this begs the question "who could actually afford one?"
Well now thanks to consumers driving down prices, there is an alternative.
posted by Hands of Manos at 10:43 PM PST - 21 comments

MS Paint like you've never seen it before. Says the artist: "A drawing that I used mspaint to draw with a little photophop bluring [sic], it is more than 500 hours work." It seems he saw the picture in a calendar and wanted to make a digital painting out of it. Since he didn't know how to use any graphics program he decided MS Paint would have to do. This is the amazing result. [via Boing Boing]
posted by LeeJay at 10:40 PM PST - 56 comments

Submitted for your disapproval, Lady Yevette's (shudder) toenail gallery. Not to get up in yo grill or anything, but this to me is even ickier than the bling-teeth posted earlier today...
posted by Lynsey at 10:03 PM PST - 37 comments

CG Challenges - the largest online art contests of their kind, where artists are challenged to create outstanding artworks based upon set themes, while working under restrictions. For CG students, an additional bonus is the view of the creation process.
posted by Gyan at 7:45 PM PST - 8 comments

Mary, quite contrary The Christianity Today weblog offers a fabulously dense post (pegged to this recent UK news story) about the Protestant embrace of Mary. Lots of fascinating links - including one from the blog of the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - will bring you up to speed on "the 'Protestants and Mary' deluge of the last three years." Hours of provocative reading for anyone interested in Christian sects.
posted by mediareport at 6:00 PM PST - 25 comments

Molluscan Glossary Do mollusks have feet ? Build your own molluscan expressions - "the fluviatile, equivalved ciliated mollusks of the circumboreal...." Get your fill of molluscan terminology now, before a Leviticus-based juggernaut bans your briny joy.
posted by troutfishing at 5:16 PM PST - 4 comments

The largest and most powerful laser facility ever designed is currently being constructed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, CA. I had an opportunity to tour this facility earlier this year, and the sheer magnitude of this engineering project is staggering. The precision required for ignition has been compared to "trying to hit the strike zone with a baseball from 350 miles away". Although the scientists and politicians responsible for the National Ignition Facility claim it will help lessen the danger of nuclear weapons, many critics argue it is merely an attempt to work around certain non-proliferation treaties.
posted by muddgirl at 3:24 PM PST - 31 comments

VGMix is a site that hosts MP3s made by video game afficionados who have remixed the tunes from their favorite video games, old and new alike. Check out the releases page and try out a few songs. You can also search for songs by a particular game system, genre, specific game, etc. (Unfortunately, search seems broken for me right now, but it usually works!) The users generally provide extensive reviews that will help you sort out the great from the mediocre before downloading.
posted by knave at 3:22 PM PST - 11 comments

Could I interest you in a Chocolate Collon? And would you like a cool can of Plussy to wash it down? If you're looking for a fun book to read, or anything else, Engrish has it in stock.
posted by Citizen Premier at 2:55 PM PST - 11 comments

Dozens of MeFi posts finally explained. How can I replace the batteries when I don't even have a meter?
posted by bashos_frog at 2:20 PM PST - 48 comments

Excellent deodorant commercial - "Stunt City" (QT)
by Czech director Ivan Zacharias.
A little background here.
Shot in Australia (I think), post-prod UK - UK/Europe release April. via
posted by peacay at 1:49 PM PST - 30 comments

A while ago, Cockeyed asked its visitors for ideas on creative and innovative ways that terrorists could launch attacks.

The resulting list is both funny and, at times, quite worrying if you actually think about it. My favourite? Terrorists might start pencil-poking!
posted by Nugget at 1:42 PM PST - 48 comments

A clever satirical video (Windows media) made by Norwegian peacekeepers in Kosovo triggers an international incident.
"Somalia, Grenada, or rescuing Kuwait-a... We screwed ya, Rwanda. Wish we coulda helped ya... Iraqi embargo. That's where we got hustled... Down in Kosovo, we'll kick some ass and then we'll see how it goes. And then we really don't know... Good luck to Kosovo"
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:42 PM PST - 28 comments

spinning gold & diamond teeth to match your spinning hubcaps
posted by tarantula at 12:34 PM PST - 50 comments

Plumber2. Some flash fun
posted by srboisvert at 11:52 AM PST - 13 comments


A Gamers' Manifesto
posted by Tlogmer at 11:34 AM PST - 40 comments

"...but trust me on the sunscreen." That memorable, always-infallible commencement advice (not from Kurt Vonnegut) takes a hit as scientists now propose that we all need to get more direct sunlight, in order to... wait for it... fight cancer!
posted by soyjoy at 11:11 AM PST - 32 comments

Blogebrity "Isn't it about time that someone talked about bloggers?" - so reads the tagline for a new magazine, "Blogebrity". The website provides the A-, B-, and C-lists. Read the acoompanying blog. Is this real, or is it satire? Some say hoax!
posted by ericb at 8:56 AM PST - 35 comments

Hufu, the vegetarian alternative to human flesh. With a name thought up by Milla Jovovitch, you know it's gotta be good.
posted by qDot at 8:50 AM PST - 47 comments

We hadn’t seen bedbugs in New York in sixty years. Then, all of a sudden, bingo. Cockroach-colored, and when full grown about the size of an apple seed, a bedbug sucks blood through a mosquito-like proboscis after injecting an anesthetic that keeps the sleeping victim from reacting before the meal gets under way.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:42 AM PST - 40 comments

Step Aside Ben Hur ! [video and audio, prob SFW] Welcome the American Chariot. Unlike the evil Segway, whose self-balancing ability smells of sulfur, the Chariot obeys the laws of gravity and delivers a powerful commanding post for the discerning officer.
posted by elpapacito at 5:15 AM PST - 32 comments

BigPharma investigates the profitable possibilities of the vampire
[flash, fake powerpoint presentation, long, you'll cease being productive for a while].
posted by moonbird at 5:15 AM PST - 9 comments

Steven Levy and Mark Pesce on the future of television. Oh and Conan O'brien! :D [via]
posted by kliuless at 4:17 AM PST - 6 comments

May 22

Leftover Lunch is an exploration of lunches way past their due date.
posted by arkine at 10:47 PM PST - 8 comments

Who were the Puritans? Being a life-long Christian who is deeply dissatisfied with the image of my faith presented by these kinds of people, I found myself thinking about what happens when one version of belief gains dominance in a particular political context... and thought perhaps there might be interesting things to learn in studying this group of politically radical Protestants... particularly considering that they are arguably the religious precursors of modern fundamentalism. The search is leading me to learning a great deal more about the early history of Christianity in the United States. You might be surprised by the depth of complexity and history represented by a word that is now largely just a one-dimensional perjorative
posted by nanojath at 9:39 PM PST - 52 comments

Rainbow Brite's fans are apparently more legion than I had known. Don't miss the fanfic or the gallery! With the help of her sidekick Twink, Rainbow Brite struggles on to defend Colorland from the forces of darkness.
posted by mwhybark at 9:35 PM PST - 15 comments

Leaving the left. "I departed with new clarity about the brilliance of liberal democracy and the value system it entails; the quest for freedom as an intrinsically human affair; and the dangers of demands for conformity and adherence to any point of view through silence, fear, or coercion." Keith Thompson
posted by semmi at 6:38 PM PST - 184 comments

Chautauquas, and (as early as the 1830's) Lyceums, were perhaps America's first experiments in a truly Mass Culture. Everyone from this guy to this guy took the stage.
These days? Budweiser and Home Depot continue this fine American tradition.
Hey, at least its not a Medicine Show.
posted by gilgamix at 4:55 PM PST - 9 comments


Roadcasting is an idea bandied about for ages: create ad-hoc low power FM networks that let you share the mp3 music you're hearing in your car with those driving around you. It's basically a blueprint for shared pirate radio as you drive, surfing the dial for a variety of music from nearby motorists. They've got screenshots and source code and it looks just like the system imagined in Cory Doctorow's books. I can't wait to see where this project is headed. [via unmediated]
posted by mathowie at 1:42 PM PST - 37 comments

Czech and Armenian lacework [big PDFs]. From an amazing Digital Archive of books about lace, weaving, and textiles.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:58 AM PST - 3 comments

Fig-leaf-eating Velociraptor Scandal! Look, I've got nothing against religion but if you believe a word of it you are, in the words of Robert Burns, "a dumbass fuck".
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:57 AM PST - 181 comments

How far do we go? Is there a place in "civilized" society for torture?
posted by leftcoastbob at 10:25 AM PST - 76 comments

It's exactly one week to The Referendum. Will there be a Europe this year or won't there? The European Union was more France's project than anyone else's; if the French suddenly say Non there's going to be lots of polyglot arm-waving and excitement. The media are all a-twitter, all the European ministers are breathing heavily, Libération, in the person of Jean Baudrillard, sees state fascism approaching (but then Libération always sees fascism approaching, it's their gig.) My magic 8 ball points to Oui. Oh wait, it changed its mind, now it says "reply hazy, ask again later."
posted by jfuller at 10:22 AM PST - 30 comments


Browstoner renovations. Watch a brownstown be renovated blog post by blog post.
posted by srboisvert at 6:18 AM PST - 9 comments

Sexy hard glistening hot miners bringing us clean coal technologies and liberating us from our friends in the mid-east. GE greenwashing at its best.
posted by tarantula at 6:12 AM PST - 28 comments

Paul Ricoeur dies. A sketch of his life's work can be found here. (Warning, somewhat dense, NSF-sunday mornings). Here's a little on phenomenology, Ricoeur's philosophical paradigm.
posted by blindsam at 6:07 AM PST - 6 comments

Rats fed GM corn develop abnormalities A new study reveals that rats fed on a diet rich in genetically modified corn develop abnormalities to internal organs and changes to their blood, raising fears that human health could be affected by eating GM food.
posted by Lanark at 2:09 AM PST - 73 comments

May 21

Spore: Recursive-algorithmic-genetic art. More. With some nice videos, too. Fractal Flames. Also see: Electric Sheep, a distributed-parallel-computing genetic-algorithm eye-candy screen-saver thing. More screen-savers. Yum. (via MoFi and peacay)
posted by loquacious at 11:46 PM PST - 10 comments

WarIsReal Amazing reading from a fellow millitary blogger who is currently undergoing some high stress as a result of PTSD and is blogging his prescriptions and counseling sessions.
posted by JJBotter at 5:52 PM PST - 33 comments

Mamie Van Doren's Blog.
posted by Silky Slim at 3:40 PM PST - 29 comments

Will Xbox 360 games run on Mac OS X w/ a G5? (via Slashdot) Looks like Xbox 360 games run natively on the G5. Macs, for a long time, have not been considered a platform that companies have been anxious to develop their games for. Looks like this is gonna change.
posted by Livewire Confusion at 3:34 PM PST - 46 comments

eXtreme Democracy : While at the Rocking Personal Democracy Forum last Monday ( what is Personal Democracy ? scroll down ), I ran into none other than Adam Greenfield, at a PDF breakout session on "Extreme Democracy". The conference was notable but the book is a really great read on - well - the future of democracy. Edited by Jon Lebkowsky and Mitch Ratcliffe.
posted by troutfishing at 3:16 PM PST - 8 comments

The New York Review of Magazines "For Magazine Junkies & Recreational Users" From Columbia Journalism News.
posted by mlis at 12:04 PM PST - 7 comments

The Simpsons as read by WGBH. WFMU's Station Manager Ken discovers an extra audio track on the Simpsons that describes the visuals for blind people. He even provides a 21 MB, 23 minute MP3 of a recent episode that is surprisingly listenable. Sure it's missing all the sex and drugs, but your iPod is a handy way to take the Simpsons with you. Are podcasts of TV show audio tracks next? Will we be listening to Family Guy and the Daily Show during our commutes?
posted by revgeorge at 10:15 AM PST - 22 comments

Au fond de l'épicerie, un trésor de Kabylie. Lost photographs, found again.
posted by TimothyMason at 8:42 AM PST - 13 comments

If nobody will pay, then there's no more handjobs... On the heels of the tres ridiculous RIAA antipiracy trailers come a few new ones. Explore the hidden world of the very destruction you create: zombies, writers and fluffers explain it all -- if you prick us, do we not bleed? (some movies NSFW)
posted by yonation at 7:43 AM PST - 33 comments

The Google Factory Tour (if you have a few hours to kill); video for RealPlayer or Windows Media.
posted by indices at 6:33 AM PST - 6 comments

Bunny: About 260 installments of a simple, and amusing (to my mind) web comic. Just a little something for the weekend if it is rainy where yer at.
posted by edgeways at 2:23 AM PST - 42 comments


May 20

The Apprentice: The Musical. This is not a joke.
posted by adrober at 11:46 PM PST - 21 comments

Substrate: one of the more striking uses of Processing I've seen so far. And quite urban-like, no? via Computing for Emergent Architecture.
posted by signal at 10:37 PM PST - 9 comments

When you're in Iraq and have a bit of free time on your hand there's really only one thing you can do. Shame it crashed the Ministry of Defense computers.
posted by movilla at 8:05 PM PST - 31 comments

Tired of wearing your tin foil hat (or should I say "Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie") around the house? The obvious cure is to cover your whole house.
posted by 445supermag at 7:22 PM PST - 24 comments


Just another broken treaty? Rumors persist that the W-76 and W-88 warheads may have been designed with “limited” usability guidelines, and short life spans. Replacement of warheads designed for a first strike with more reliable and long life deterrents seems like a good idea. However, the Bush administration has a love affair with a controversial program, and there could be immense new pressure to “drive before we buy”.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 7:15 PM PST - 20 comments

How I Became a Black American "I became a black American long before I acquired American citizenship. . . . I was not eager, upon my arrival to the United States, to assert a black American identity. My parents had taught me "better" than that. But I became a black American anyway. Before I freely embraced that identity it was ascribed to me. This ascription is part of a broader social practice wherein all of us are made intelligible via racial categorization."
posted by caddis at 5:59 PM PST - 81 comments

It's time to play "Friend or Foe" --from RawStoryQ. We’ve covered over the lettering on five newsphotos. We’ll give you four possible answers (2 friend, 2 foe). Look at the photo and then click on the link below the photo that matches what you think we’ve hidden in the picture. Really hard, and there's a lesson in there somewhere, too.
posted by amberglow at 4:46 PM PST - 27 comments

Guess I'm a creationist now. As a heterosexual Italian male, this issue has my full attention. Dr. Elisabeth A. Lloyd argues in the book, "The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution," has no evolutionary function at all. When I was a kid trying to learn how to play a musical instrument and get girls a wise old man told me women go out with trumpet players, but they go home with harmonica players. Perhaps I'll start a blues band in Polynesia. Friday fun perhaps?
posted by Smedleyman at 2:51 PM PST - 69 comments

Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities is so called because it asserts that what makes up a city is not so much its physical structure but the impression it imparts upon its visitors, the way its inhabitants move within, something unseen that hums between the cracks. This, however, has in no way dissuaded people from attempting to give form to his works. One such example is the Hotel Tressants, a building in Menorca, Spain containing 8 rooms named after and inspired by various cities from the novel. Meanwhile, artists offer illustrations1,2,3, installations 1,2,3,4,5, music1,2,3,4,5,6 and dance, hypertexts1,2, computer programs and animations, even View-Master slides, while intellectuals offer readings and commentary1,2, lectures1,2, and critical texts1,2,3 sparked by the man and his writings. It has been dubbed "The Calvino Effect". Do you know of any more?
posted by Lush at 2:28 PM PST - 37 comments

Chess, as a political metaphor and ideological weapon.
posted by semmi at 1:53 PM PST - 8 comments

Smashup Derby performs mash-ups live. As in, an actual band plays one song while a singer sings another.
For example, here's their rendition of "Smells Like Billie Jean."
posted by me3dia at 1:23 PM PST - 29 comments


KRISTOFFERSON!! Born in Texas to an Air Force General, Kris Kristofferson was a Golden Gloves boxing champ who studied writing at Pomona College. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford (students of Merton College later voted that the college should erect a statue of Kristofferson, naked astride a motorcycle of his choice, in Front Quad but funds were never made available) and had two short stories published in the Atlantic Monthly. After Oxford, he joined the military where he trained as a Ranger and learned to fly helicopters. Turning down an invitation to teach at West Point, he packed his bags and left for Nashville, taking a job as a janitor at Columbia Records' recording studio and following his dream to be a songwriter. He flew helicopters to offshore oil rigs in his spare time, until he became too frustrated and, as legend has it, got drunk, flew his helicopter onto Johnny Cash’s backyard, and handed him his demo tapes. A week later Cash sang Kris’ song “Sunday Morning Coming Down” on The Johnny Cash Show, four months later it sat atop the country music charts, and later that year it won the CMA for best song of the year. (more inside)
posted by billysumday at 11:56 AM PST - 59 comments

Happy Birthday Morphine!
As of tomorrow, Morphine celebrates 200 years of mellow. [via medgadget.com]
posted by lilboo at 11:29 AM PST - 22 comments

Saddam in his Underwear. No, this isn't a flash cartoon.
posted by ackeber at 11:11 AM PST - 84 comments

Well today is the opening day of one of the most popular baseball leagues in the county. A big part of the league is the The Goldklang Group, (which is partly owned by Bill Murrary.) The president and owner of the Saints is marketing genius Mike Veeck, son of the late Bill Veeck. Smell the hotdogs and taste the beer but not in that order. (More peanuts and Crackerjacks await inside)
posted by wheelieman at 11:05 AM PST - 14 comments

Scientists have declared that red outfits give otherwise evenly matched athletes an advantage. Could this explain the history of success of the Red Wings, or last year's World Series victory of the Red Sox, or the 1970s dominance of the Reds? Uhh, most likely not. The nameless red-shirted Star Trek crewmembers could not be reached for comments.
posted by goatdog at 10:54 AM PST - 30 comments

Yes, they deserved to die! I hope they burn in hell! Entertainment Weekly looks back at the many filmic deaths of Samuel L. Jackson. Spoilers, of course, abound.
posted by mkultra at 9:59 AM PST - 28 comments

Learn to dance with Napoleon Dynamite. [flash, embedded video, much rocking]
posted by nyterrant at 9:01 AM PST - 33 comments

Friday brain candy.
posted by Specklet at 8:55 AM PST - 7 comments

The Washington Salon of 1896, and the images purchased from the exhibit for the Smithsonian, started the National Collection of photographs at the Museum of American History. These photographs are luminous and very beautiful.
A more extensive set of old landscapes, and who knows what else, is available in Scotland as part of the Visual Evidence project, which is digitizing photos from Aberdeen, Dundee and St. Andrew's Universities. The interface is a bit unwieldy still (the three databases are not yet integrated), but once you search for something like "Castles" you'll see beautiful pictures. The indexes (1, 2, 3) are a good place to start; and reveal that cataloging is not all it could be: Antelope Unclassified indeed! All three found through the Image Banks link of Artifact.
posted by OmieWise at 8:47 AM PST - 2 comments

The ransack of Italy is finally becoming big news. The Getty had a reputation for buying Italian antiquities of "uncertain provenance". It recently returned some treasures, but has remained in the market; it also kept the Morgantina Aphrodite. But, perhaps, not for much longer. Marion True, a senior curator there, has just been indicted by the Italian authorities "on criminal charges involving the acquisition of precious antiquities".
posted by andrew cooke at 8:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Metafilter has discussed the tsunami this year, and the dreadful aftermath, especially on childrenbefore, and we have discussed the various forms relief efforts can take. Old Skool web journaler turned author (book 1)(book 2) (book 3) organizes book drives every year for libraries. This year, she is organizing donors to supply basic school supplies for children in areas hit hard by the tsunami. The Kancheepuram District she is targeting for help has a large child labour problem, so giving these children what they need for an education is more than just books and pencils - it is a way to help them avoid the fate of so many of their peers, and to transition from 'child labourer' to 'child'. Pam is partnering with Asha for education. Her readers donated enough to hit the first two goals (approx $7000.00 so far), and the goal now is to supply every child in the region - $11,428 in total.

It costs $4.61 USD to supply one child with an educational kit.
posted by kristin at 8:40 AM PST - 3 comments

Cleveland bloggers are organizing against a giant suburban-style shopping plaza called Steelyard Commons (to be built on the site of the city's historic steel factories), which will include an immense Wal-Mart at its core. After City Council passed legislation in February to prevent Wal-Mart from adding a grocery store (causing the Bensonville bullies to "pull out" and scuttle the project), the developer was aided and abetted behind closed doors by Cleveland's mayor, Queen Jane. Despite the mayor's proclamation of "no public money" or tax abatements for the project, there's plenty of evidence to the contrary.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:28 AM PST - 16 comments


From the folks who brought you Abu Ghraib, new information from Afghanistan. More torture of "terrorists," more deaths of prisoners, more untrained interrogators pummeling instead of interrogating—facts direct from a leaked Army investigation.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:42 AM PST - 83 comments

A Yankee soldier stole North Carolina's copy of the Bill of Rights during the closing days of the Civil War in 1865. In March, 2003 the FBI seized the stolen copy in a sting operation. A court battle ensued, and one of the "investors" has not released his claim to the document. Recent developments make it look like it may be some time before this is settled. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 6:02 AM PST - 20 comments

Kitten War! May the cutest kitten win! Friday Flash Fun!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:49 AM PST - 33 comments

We recognize the inherent right of all human beings to an intact body. "The prepuce of the male infant should be left in its natural state". Not everyone would agree with that. Ritual circumcision is found amongst many African peoples, but also elsewhere and is of considerable antiquity. Ashley Montagu wanted you to sign a petition against it. But what is it all about? A form of phallic worship? Or a snake divinity? Or just another form of body art? What discoveries did Ishmael make when Queequeg jumped into his bed?
posted by TimothyMason at 5:47 AM PST - 129 comments

So you're sitting there thinking to yourself, "Square dancing is for grandma", aren't you? You're as wrong as wrong can be you whippersnapper.

Origins start in England, dosado through France, and promenade west to the states. Callers can get carried away,dancers need engineering degrees, sometimes the dances break out into gang wars with bunting, and there are whispers of dark conspiracies across our great land. Square dancing is so much fun, drag queens on tractors and our pals tehgayz even have their own half sashay families. Now box that gnat and promenade home.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 4:39 AM PST - 14 comments

Crying, while eating.
posted by Tlogmer at 2:34 AM PST - 39 comments

Jim Morrison...alive and well and living in Oregon?
"Rodeos West Motion Pictures Presents James Douglas Morrison Formally of the Doors Musical Group. Now an American Cowboy". A documentary filmmaker claims his rodeo friend is Jim Morrison.
Watch a comparison video (asf file) and judge for yourself.
posted by zardoz at 1:59 AM PST - 24 comments

On being sane in insane places [via]
posted by dhruva at 12:57 AM PST - 16 comments

May 19

International Red Cross confirms Gitmo Koran desecration claims. After Bush administration denials and attempts to smear/pressure Newsweek, the International Red Cross has revealed that as early as 2002, they repeatedly reported numerous researched, credible allegations of Koran maltreatment and desecration at Guantanamo.
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:58 PM PST - 60 comments

Will Wright's SPORE site online. [note: flash] (Previously discussed here.)
posted by crunchland at 10:28 PM PST - 10 comments

Raiders of the Lost Ark Dr. Vendyl Jones, the famed archaeologist, the inspiration for the “Indiana Jones” movie series, has spent most of his life searching for the Ark of the Covenant. The ark was the resting place of the Ten Commandments, given to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai, and was hidden just before the destruction of the First Temple. The Talmud says the Ark is hidden in a secret passage under the Temple Mount. Dr. Vendyl Jones says that the tunnel actually continues 18 miles southward, and that the Ark was brought through the tunnel to its current resting place in the Judean Desert. Apparently he is about to find it this summer.
posted by Coop at 6:57 PM PST - 67 comments

Yoga Death Match - "I've just finished making a video about the similarities between the ancient Hindu art of spiritual discipline and the rather more modern art of online gaming." {a short mov by Jim Monroe}
posted by dobbs at 6:41 PM PST - 12 comments

Evolution, social harmony between those of different colors, and rodent roofies: "He used to smear a tree behind his Silver Spring home with a mixture of peanut butter and Valium and then tattoo the squirrels that he found passed out below."

All this and more in the story of the ongoing displacement of the grey squirrel by the black squirrel in the Washington, D.C. region.
posted by NortonDC at 6:11 PM PST - 22 comments

Half-Life 2 Panoramics - "Generally, before releasing games, publishers and developers give game portals some screenshots where you can see the graphic features of the in-development game, and perhaps some game action. I wanted to go further and highlight the architectural and photographic aspects of the game, which I'll demonstrate with QTVR images shot during game play, the first time (that I'm aware of) that this has been done." Read the full article. (via)
posted by lemonfridge at 5:32 PM PST - 34 comments

AutoBlogger is a new tool that helps us busy bloggers by using our own content and a "sophisticated Artificial Intelligence algorithm" to automatically create and post content to a weblog.
posted by gen at 4:59 PM PST - 13 comments

Custom stem cells. South Korea produces a significant gain in stem cell research. Experts have suggested that the new technique may sidestep some of the ethical concerns that have hampered research in the US.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 3:59 PM PST - 24 comments

Google Labs announces a radical departure from the traditionally sparse Google home page - Personalize Your Google Homepage! Why? It includes: latest Gmail messages, headlines from Google News and other top news sources, weather forecasts, stock quotes, and movie showtimes, Quote of the Day and Word of the Day, driving directions from Google Maps.

Awesome.
posted by nervestaple at 3:55 PM PST - 75 comments

As Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were honouring four fallen RCMP officers today, a nation turned its attention to The House of Commons in Ottawa. A vote was held on whether to ratify a coalition budget with the NDP, or to effectively dissolve Parliament and call an early election. Days ago, a young rookie MP crossed the floor and joined the governing Liberals, leaving the Conservatives. With all MP’s towing party lines it came down to three Independents. [more inside]
posted by futureproof at 3:50 PM PST - 27 comments

Wall of Stain Fascinating pictures representing the truest form of Americana.
posted by AMWKE at 1:46 PM PST - 21 comments

The Baburnama Although Andijan has lately been in the news (NY Times, reg. required) as the site of riots against the US-backed government of Uzbekistan, its lasting claim to fame is that of the birthplace of Babur, the first Moghul Emperor.

Babur authored the Baburnama, often credited as the first Muslim autobiography and an endlessly entertaining read. The book's bloody-mindedness (Amazon's statistically improbably phrases include girth dagger, Uncle the Khan, and turn over the fortress) is leavened by a remarkably humane voice. A must.
posted by since1968 at 1:28 PM PST - 8 comments


Chicagocrime.org takes the Chicago Police Department's Citizen ICAM and puts it into an easily searchable -- by crime type, street, date, district or location type -- format, along with a Google Map. Who knew police station parking lots were so dangerous?
posted by me3dia at 1:13 PM PST - 10 comments

Dear Prudence , a weekly advice column appearing in Slate, is written by Margo Howard, the daughter of the late, great Ann Landers. This you may well already know. But for the past year, a Frayster named Isonomist has been publishing her own wicked, brilliant and pointed versions of the Prudie column, Isolutions. Here's today's serving, along with a personal favorite.
posted by Sully6 at 1:00 PM PST - 7 comments

Live Aid redux planning underway. Goal this time is raising awareness, not money. Sweet, unquantifiable awareness.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:00 PM PST - 2 comments

How to run Fedora Core 4 on a Mac Mini... RedHat's Colin Charles explains how to install the free Fedora next to Mac OS X Tiger on the inexpensive Mac Mini. Linux doesn't get much easier or stylish than this.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:55 PM PST - 11 comments

Generals Offer Sober Outlook on Iraqi War From the What Do These Guys Know Department: "American military commanders in Baghdad and Washington gave a sobering new assessment on Wednesday of the war in Iraq, adding to the mood of anxiety that prompted Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to come to Baghdad last weekend to consult with the new government. In interviews and briefings this week, some of the generals pulled back from recent suggestions, some by the same officers, that positive trends in Iraq could allow a major drawdown in the 138,000 American troops late this year or early in 2006. One officer suggested Wednesday that American military involvement could last "many years.""
posted by Postroad at 12:54 PM PST - 24 comments

Poop on Ryan Seacrest! TV Squad has a story about a guy who is having a contest. Be the first to take a dump on Ryan Seacrest's walk of fame star and win $50. Personally I think it should be more cash, considering you could get arrested.
posted by braun_richard at 12:39 PM PST - 25 comments

The Bookscans Database. A large collection of vintage paperback covers. (via Things Magazine)
posted by mania at 11:40 AM PST - 7 comments

Bob Saget Immortalized in Song "The illest muthaf*cker in a cardigan sweater."
posted by Mroz at 10:41 AM PST - 17 comments

Smart Shoes. "Run Billy, RUN! Only 5,800 more steps and you can watch American Idol!"
posted by miss lynnster at 10:39 AM PST - 18 comments

Cornwall's Minack theatre. Perched on the cliffs at the SouthWestern tip of the UK, the Minack offers the chance to see classic theatre with a spectacular natural backdrop. The open-air theatre was originally conceived by Rowena Cade in the 1930s, and she was also personally responsible for much of the construction of the facilities that still exist. The pictures and 360 panoramas available here should give you some idea of the place. A few more here.
posted by biffa at 10:27 AM PST - 5 comments

Yesterday marked the 25 anniversary of the Mt. St. Helens eruption. NewsDesigner posted a great wrap-up of the front pages of major papers on that very day. Poking around the USGS site, I found a shot of Mt. St. Helens from the day before the blast, and a couple days after. The fallout was extensive and the images unforgettable.
posted by mathowie at 10:20 AM PST - 31 comments

The Queen of Sheba was a legendary beauty from the 10th century BC. She travelled to see Israel's King Solomon, bearing his son, Menelik (said to have transported the Ark of the Covenant to Auxum, Ethiopia), is mentioned in the Bible and Koran, is a muse to poets and artists through the ages and is "viewed as the embodiment of Divine Wisdom and a foreteller of the cult of the Holy Cross". Little is known about her origins although stories are common through Persian, Ethiopian, Arabian & Israeli traditions. Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia claimed direct descent from her. She is said to have possibly lived in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan or Somalia. But recent archaeological work suggests she may be from further away than the legends describe.
via [much, much more here]
posted by peacay at 10:15 AM PST - 11 comments

Official 2005 Hurricane season is almost upon us. This years predictions from US National Weather Centre. Easy tracking showing the first hurricane of this season is already up and running and a Caribbean site with observers sending in local reports; Be sure to check some of the island reports 2004.
posted by adamvasco at 9:55 AM PST - 4 comments

In Technology Review, Lawrence Lessig and Richard Epstein are debating intellectual property, free software, and digital rights management. Shamelessly lifted, verbatim, from a post by Reason's Jesse Walker
posted by Kwantsar at 8:18 AM PST - 14 comments

At a time such as this, it is important to remember what true Sci-Fi moviemaking talent LOOKS like. "When [studio] bosses finally got to see what they'd put their money into . . . they couldn't figure out if they were looking at the biggest disaster in [studio] history or at one of the greatest movies ever made." The year was 1968, one year prior to man's landing on the moon. <Gawd, I miss Omni magazine>
posted by spock at 7:44 AM PST - 116 comments

Recent events have shown that media can kill. Sometimes it's couched as propaganda, and other times it's just bad reporting. But what happens when media breaks the public trust? Is the New York Times Chickensh*t? According to one reporter from the New York Observer, the Times fell asleep in safeguarding the public interest over the sale of a major painting to the Wal-Mart heiress.
posted by Mme. Robot at 7:42 AM PST - 44 comments

Grokker. It's powered by Yahoo! search, but the results are presented in a very different way, a visual map [example]. There's a few tools to refine the output. It's different, a bit slower than a "normal" search and requires a bit of patience. There's an affiliated weblog, with an entry explaining their philosophy, "Moving Beyond the Algorithm."
posted by gsb at 4:19 AM PST - 31 comments

May 18

Winning the war on terror! International fundamentalist terror groups must surely be on the run if the FBI now lists animal rights groups as the top domestic terrorist threat facing the US
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:40 PM PST - 87 comments

Horse trading North of the border. With the vote of non-confidence looming today, Canada may find itself facing another election this summer. Today's vote is result of the Liberal's weak position and the still continuing Gomery commission - charged with investigating the Liberal Party's sponsorship scandal. This last month, every action coming out of the PMO has been seen as being inherently realpolitik. With each side being close to holding the crucial 150 odd votes needed, this week's defection of Belinda Stronach has also caused broken hearts, harsh criticisms and created a hero. Canadian politics hasn't been this exciting since it saw the fall of one of Canada's youngest pm. What will happen this afternoon is anyone's guess.
posted by phyrewerx at 10:11 PM PST - 47 comments

Two great tastes that taste great together. Are you a scat fan? Well, Congress will soon vote on a bipartisan measure that would block the EPA from allowing sewage blending. Scientists & environmentalists gave BushCo some flak on this, but notice how bipartisan the bill is: it's sponsored by Bart Stupak (D-MI) as well as Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) The whitehouse site yielded inconclusive results (searched for sewage blending) This issue first caught my attention on another site (rhymes with 'bark') and I discovered it matters, at least to me, because people crap in my drinking water all the time and apparently the municipal waste treatment systems aren't handling it.
posted by Smedleyman at 9:44 PM PST - 11 comments

GeoBloggers
The natural extension of Google and Flickr so that personalized maps are created of geotagged photos. Add "geo:lat=xx.xxxx", "geo:lon=xx.xxxx" and "geotagged" to your Flickr tags and they go into the system. The possibilities are pretty wide open.
Ain't technology grand?
posted by fenriq at 9:39 PM PST - 20 comments

Acceptable risk

(from these guys again).
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:16 PM PST - 17 comments

Elections in Iran Iran Scan is an English-language blog covering the election in Iran. One of my favorite lines... "As the Iranian elections begin to look more and more like California's recent gubernatorial elections, one wonders whether these elections will similarly be more about the candidates persona as opposed to their policy."
posted by halekon at 8:38 PM PST - 7 comments

Why is it that sequels always suck? I guess this would be the next logical step in the series. I, for one, welcome our new Oversight Overlords. Please don't use my own tax dollars to persecute me.
posted by Balisong at 8:04 PM PST - 22 comments

Movie review of the month. Anthony Lane writes in the New Yorker, "No, the one who gets me is Yoda. May I take the opportunity to enter a brief plea in favor of his extermination? Any educated moviegoer would know what to do, having watched that helpful sequence in “Gremlins” when a small, sage-colored beastie is fed into an electric blender."
posted by mert at 7:52 PM PST - 116 comments

Okay, so why do they drive funny overseas? Blame it on swords , of course, but also on Pope Boniface (can this really be true?), and, of course, on the French. At least we all can agree on boats.
posted by IndigoJones at 5:27 PM PST - 11 comments

Chromasia - a photo blog
posted by Gyan at 5:13 PM PST - 25 comments

Meet Priscilla Owen, 2-time nominee for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, Senate nuclear option trigger, and "activist judge" who White House Counsel Gonzales himself criticized ...for "an unconscionable act of judicial activism" in seeking to restrict a minor's right to an abortion. ...

This PDF from People for the American Way goes case-by-case to paint a damning picture: It focuses not only on the evidence from Justice Owen’s dissenting opinions that she is a right wing judicial activist, but also on the fact that this conclusion is established by the criticism often leveled at her by her conservative colleagues on the Court, particularly including Alberto Gonzales. Indeed, during the relatively brief time that they served together on the Court, Gonzales wrote or joined numerous opinions sharply criticizing opinions written or joined by Owen. This report also addresses Justice Owen’s failure at her confirmation hearing to dispel the serious concerns that had been raised about her record. For the reasons we discuss below, the Judiciary Committee made the correct decision in refusing to confirm Priscilla Owen to the Fifth Circuit. It should make the same decision again.
posted by amberglow at 4:21 PM PST - 30 comments

Your Knife Sucks - "The only difference between your knife and my knife is my knife's in my hand and your knife's in your pocket." {Real Video ram} {via Kottke via Clive}
posted by dobbs at 3:37 PM PST - 91 comments

Two new pieces from the San Diego Union-Tribune chronicle the dire conditions in North Korea, the last worst place on Earth: "The suffering of the North Korean people does not benefit from the drama that attends well-publicized human rights crises such as Iraq and Darfur. Even when hunger and starvation killed as many as 2 million North Koreans in the mid-1990s, the world took little notice. And the greater toll is the continuing long-term day-to-day grinding down of the hearts, minds and souls of all North Korean people."
posted by jenleigh at 2:15 PM PST - 21 comments

Rants. (Quicktime movies.) Meet Bob. He's pissed. I'm partial to his takes on the Cookie Monster, Vegas ads, the filthy media, Paris Hilton and lo carb OJ.
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:08 PM PST - 33 comments


An education served on a paper plate. "Paper Plate Education is an initiative to reduce complex notions to simple paper plate explanations. It promotes innovative hands-on Activities that you can experience across a range of interests."
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 1:10 PM PST - 6 comments

"Maybe this world is another planet's hell". Photographer Antonin Kratochvil's new book, "Vanishing" is a collection of 16 photo essays taken over 16 years by one of the world's most acclaimed photojournalists. It is a tour through endangered life forms and ruined environments, human catastrophes and destruction -- resulting in vanishing cultures. "Vanishing speaks on behalf of life, despite man's ever-threatening presence. This body of work offers nothing in the way of answers, neither is it a sermon in hopes of brighter days
posted by matteo at 12:49 PM PST - 13 comments

Screw "serenity now." I want Utopia Today!
posted by *burp* at 12:38 PM PST - 19 comments

Armenian Genocide Plagues Ankara 90 Years On This weekend, Armenians commemorated the 90th anniversary of the genocide of 1915. But Turkey has yet to recognize the crime -- the first genocide of the 20th century. By refusing to use the word "genocide," Turkey could complicate its efforts to join the European Union.
posted by Postroad at 12:36 PM PST - 11 comments

Man Claims Firing Over Drinking Wrong Beer He works for one mega-beer brand and, on his own time, partook of a competitor's.
posted by alumshubby at 12:19 PM PST - 72 comments

Star Wars knock-off stuff. Because your brain surely isn't saturated enough with Star Wars coverage this week! [in part via]
posted by brain_drain at 12:09 PM PST - 9 comments

Actor/impressionist Frank Gorshin, aka The Riddler of the Batman TV series, has died at age 72.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 12:04 PM PST - 53 comments

Neon signs along Wilshire Boulevard (and other places in Los Angeles). A collection of photographs, part of a larger website dedicated to public art in LA. (Also: MONA, the Museum of Neon Art.)
posted by bradlands at 8:48 AM PST - 16 comments

Plogress.com is a new project to provide current information on what Senators and Representatives are currently doing in Congress. It consists of a separate blog--with feeds--for each US Senator and Representative, listing bills that he or she is sponsor of or cosponsor. Plans are in the works to add votes and committee activities.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:06 AM PST - 20 comments

ALL THE BARCODES. Awesome, pointless geekery.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:50 AM PST - 23 comments

Stories from a prison in South Korea, told by an English teacher imprisoned for teaching without a license. Punishment: deportation. But if a prisoner can't collect wages due, then the prisoner can't buy a plane ticket and stays jailed, where the prisoner can't make money, until such time as the prisoner can afford a plane ticket, ad infinitum. Part one. "The massive Mongolian sings beautifully. A sad falsetto—I imagine it to be about missing a faraway homeland of vast, green pastures, endless fertile grasslands, deserts and broad skies." Part two. "He should really go to a hospital outside of the detention center, but…he would have to pay for any medical treatment outside.…If he spends any money on medical bills he would have less money for buying his airplane ticket home. So he must go untreated."
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:35 AM PST - 16 comments

Georgia grenade was real and threat to Bush - FBI ... the grenade, thrown while Bush made a keynote speech in Tbilisi's Freedom Square on May 10, had been live and landed within 30 metres (100 feet) of the president.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:00 AM PST - 74 comments

Iran murderess given stoning verdict for adultery Death by stoning for adultery is still a possibility in Iran. (I'm guessing "Desperate Housewives" doesn't have an Iranian TV equivalent.)
posted by kmtharakan at 5:31 AM PST - 47 comments

Captain Cornelius is a superhero and is also an ear of corn. He's probably destined to fall for Zea Mays, who is also corn, and encourages children to invent things.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:18 AM PST - 5 comments

How to destroy an American soldier. Imagine you're a Marine, just two months back from your first tour of duty in Iraq. Imagine you've gone through a hellish experience that left you isolated, profoundly depressed, and struggling with addiction. The Marine Corps knows you have an untreated mental disorder, but you're still supposed to go back to Iraq next year for a second tour of duty. Now imagine that you have just discovered you may have to go back to Iraq again this year, too. "If I do get chosen that'll mean by 2007 (assuming I'm still alive ha ha) I'll have made 3 fucking trips to that country. Which in return will end up making me a bitter angry salty fucker. . . If I have to go I'm gonna fuck some shit up . . . your whole mentality just shifts cause of that fear. I wish you all who don't have to deal with a life like that could jump into my head for a second you'd wanna go fucking nuts too! ha ha ha ha LET'S GO EAT SOME BABIES AND SHOOT SOME ROO'S"
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:45 AM PST - 120 comments

May 17

Buzztracker : world news, mapped. That's pretty cool. [via]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:13 PM PST - 24 comments

Coal-burning utility Cinergy includes 35 pages on global warming in its annual report. Letter from the CEO, interviews with investors and other stakeholders. Via Robert F. Kennedy Jr.
posted by russilwvong at 11:00 PM PST - 8 comments

Buying Rare Race Records in the South. Music That Americans Loved 100 Years Ago. The Cheney Talking Machine. Just three among dozens of amazing articles about early recording machines and American popular music at the astonishingly detailed site of Tim Gracyk, author of Popular American Recording Pioneers: 1895-1925. Scroll down for bios of forgotten stars, including Nora Bayes - who performed in the Follies of 1907, before Flo Ziegfeld's name became part of the title, George W. Johnson - "the most important African-American recording artist of the 1890s," and piano player Zez Confrey, whose sheet music for the 1921 hit "Kitten on the Keys" sold over a million copies and became "the third most-frequently recorded rag in history."
posted by mediareport at 9:55 PM PST - 39 comments

Air Force Seeks Bush's Approval for Space Arms (nytimes.com). The US Air Force seeks to develop several frightening weapons,including one called "Rods from God," which would fire metal rods at a target from the edge of space, striking with the force of a small nuclear weapon. With a presidential directive expected in the weeks to come, what consequences could an approval have on the global community?
posted by Tlahtolli at 9:28 PM PST - 53 comments


Dick "Two Ton" Baker is a Chicago legend who had a long career in radio, records, and children's television. He was a child prodigy, a beloved radio host, and looked upon with favor by none other than Duke Ellington. He also made some really terrifically funny music. Check out mp3 versions of "I Like Stinky Cheese," "Civilization" (a hit for Danny Kaye), the classic "I'm a Little Weenie," and many others, all sung in Two Ton's terrifically expressive baritone. Go easy on this site's bandwidth, though. Check out also the collection of press clippings and articles about Two Ton, a lovingly compiled discography (.PDF), and then, because you know you want 'em, buy some CDs of the great man's music. Oh, and did I mention that it's Two Ton's voice you hear on the classic piece of Cold War "let's make nuclear annihilation palatable to the kiddies!" Americana "Duck and Cover"? Well, it is!
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:25 PM PST - 7 comments

Adrift 500 Feet Down, a Minute Was an Eternity. A chain of error brings the U.S. Navy close to its own Kursk tragedy.
posted by stonerose at 7:44 PM PST - 21 comments

If listening to sound of different languages is something you may be interested in, visit the multimedia language project website hosted by the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg. It features the sound files of a small blurb from Saint-Exupéry's The Little Prince read outloud in a 100 different languages. The blurbs are also textually transcribed. [See more inside]
posted by gregb1007 at 7:01 PM PST - 22 comments

Is he or isn't he? Slashdot member claims to be an Apple employee and posts detailed commentary on Apple's strategy and product plans, including information about unreleased products. He speaks with authority and seems to know what he's talking about. Apple does not sue Slashdot or fire any of its employees. Slashdot members debate the implications.
posted by alms at 5:18 PM PST - 29 comments

Best laid schemes? Back in 1945 the Bruce Plan [click on images for video footage] was a radical proposal to knock down, and then rebuild, the Victorian centre of the city of Glasgow. The city’s slums* would be cleared; new towns* would be established; Glasgow would rise again, triumphant, once again the second city of the Empire*. In 1971*, there were grand visions of the Glasgow of the future; the Glasgow of tomorrow would be a bright, shining new city, and the Clyde* would once again be something to be proud of. A fascinating film archive of the Glasgow of the 20th century. *All links contain embedded video goodness.
posted by Len at 5:03 PM PST - 13 comments

A high school senior has been denied valedictorian status because she wasn't enrolled in the high school on the 20th day of her junior year. Why? Because she was in a treatment center receiving help for anorexia. Only in Texas...
posted by C17H19NO3 at 4:43 PM PST - 94 comments

The BBC TV weather forecasts haven't changed much over the years - until now. (RealVideo) But some people aren't too happy with the changes.
posted by Mwongozi at 4:04 PM PST - 22 comments

Bugtime Adventures (bypass Flash, sort of). Shades of Bibleman! Another peek into the strange world of Christian kids' shows. And don't worry, one of television's most enduring actors is indeed involved.
posted by sninky-chan at 2:25 PM PST - 16 comments

In response to allegations of kickbacks, George Galloway gets to tell the American Senate just what he thinks. Skip the article and watch the film. Your 50 minutes of fun video footage are here. [realMedia] (That'll be fun in a "Controversial British MP vs American NeoCon Senator" sort of way)
posted by seanyboy at 1:01 PM PST - 244 comments

“This is not a costumed event.” A writer for Twitch Films was invited to attend a marketing preview of Tim Burton's new film 'Charlie and the Chocolate Factory', but was turned away because the friends he had with him were goths. Don't they know Mr Burton's audience? It's all very ironic considering how Johnny Depp looks in the film.
posted by feelinglistless at 12:57 PM PST - 140 comments

15 of 19 were Saudis. And now, continuing a trend from the Kingdom, most of the suicide bombers in Iraq are known to be Saudi Arabian.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 12:36 PM PST - 42 comments

Lion Mutilates 42 Midgets in Cambodian Ring-Fight is just about the wackiest story I've heard from Cambodia. Then I noticed the URL. Used to settle a bet between friends (successfully tricking one friend), the lions vs. midgets website has the full backstory on this spoof.
posted by mathowie at 11:58 AM PST - 38 comments


Corporate anthems as a musical genre and a marketing tool. There are lots to listen to here, including the Open Source Song.
posted by joaovc at 8:26 AM PST - 12 comments

Machine as romantic object. The short film “Deere John” explores how narrative archetype can humanize the inanimate (and is funny).
posted by stacyhall1 at 8:13 AM PST - 10 comments

Channel 4's 100 Greatest War Films as voted for by their (generally more clued-up than average) viewership has plenty for you to disagree with, but much to recommend. Filmsite.org has a history of war films (as does Berkeley) for the completists among you. There are more war films from and about Vietnam and Indochina than you can shake a bayonet at (see also the 1999 NYT article, Apocalypse Then: Vietnam Marketing War Films to learn a little about the Vietnamese government's 1960s and 70s archive of war film). The [British] national archives have archived film from pre-WWI to the Cold War.
posted by nthdegx at 6:53 AM PST - 74 comments

Gumby turns 50! As a kid, I loved the show, but I'm not sure why. Maybe it was the claymation, which I still love. But I was a loyal Gumby fan. I even liked Eddie Murphy's version (but I didn't know that SNL "reversed" Gumby's head to avoid copyright infringment) - I'm Gumby, dammit! No, not a Gumby Dammit.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 6:48 AM PST - 10 comments

US 'backed illegal Iraqi oil deals' The United States administration turned a blind eye to extensive sanctions-busting in the prewar sale of Iraqi oil, according to a new Senate investigation. A report released last night by Democratic staff on a Senate investigations committee presents documentary evidence that the Bush administration was made aware of illegal oil sales and kickbacks paid to the Saddam Hussein regime but did nothing to stop them. The scale of the shipments involved dwarfs those previously alleged by the Senate committee against UN staff and European politicians like the British MP, George Galloway, and the former French minister, Charles Pasqua.
posted by Postroad at 5:55 AM PST - 124 comments

The New York Times plans for pay-only content [subscription required]
posted by nyterrant at 5:18 AM PST - 61 comments

Remember Long Term Capital Management? The hedge fund whose collapse threatened “a systemic crisis in the world financial system”? Most people in the investment industry claim that they have learned the lessons of LTCM, but what about the rise of synthetic CDOs, “complex structures that employ wads of credit derivatives to build leverage on top of leverage-what some skeptics call "imaginary" structures?" Investments in these financial instruments has exploded from under 1 trillion USD in 2001 to more than 5 trillion at the end of last year. Are problems with synthetic CDOs behind the recent rumors of "hedge fund frailty?" largely stolen from The Agonist
posted by afu at 3:44 AM PST - 24 comments

The Best Shows on TV. Fake reality tv. Clips from an upcoming series on VH1.
posted by Kattullus at 12:20 AM PST - 21 comments

May 16

Chomskytorrents.org provides a gathering place for torrents with progressive and radical content. As for now, it preserves a special place for the work of American dissident Noam Chomsky.
posted by crunchland at 10:18 PM PST - 99 comments

Being caught between a tornado and softball sized hail is probably not something you should try at home, but it does make for some rather incredible video, as this storm chaser's video from May 12 in Texas demonstrates. A lot of really good chasers and even storm tour companies were caught completely off guard by this storm. I'm sure the auto glass companies near the caprock in Texas were thrilled. WARNING: Perhaps understandably, this clip contains some very strong language.
posted by chakalakasp at 8:29 PM PST - 26 comments

Sunday the National Conference on Media Reform featured the first public speech by Bill Moyers since he left PBS. "I always knew Nixon would be back, again and again. I just didn’t know that this time he would ask to be Chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting."
posted by john at 8:27 PM PST - 41 comments

The Thirty Years War: A timeline of the anti-gay movement. From "Holy War," the latest Intelligence Report to come out of the very lefty Southern Poverty Law Center. Includes an interview with former Falwell speechwriter Mel White, a look at 12 major groups in the "Mighty Army" and a slideshow of fascinating quotes from famous figures. [Previous Intelligence Reports: Easy Prey, Age of Rage.]
posted by mediareport at 7:27 PM PST - 16 comments

Dr. Kevin Kavanaugh, ENT, is an ear, nose, and throat doctor. He likes to take educational pictures and videos of mucus, fungus, and ear maggots among other things so we can observe, learn, and go ewwww. (wmv req for vids) ((ear maggots are pretty nauseating))
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 6:30 PM PST - 25 comments

"My main interests are sex and death, with romance and violence the obvious runners up. I'm trying to be as cliche, sentimental, and decorative as possible." The Stained Glass Artwork of Judith Schaechter
posted by deafmute at 5:46 PM PST - 15 comments

The Playstation3... Theres a few images out, and so far its all looking official. Full specs here, and Engadget has coverage.
posted by lemonfridge at 5:14 PM PST - 54 comments

I know that some of you are familiar with the sculptor Charlie White, but how about Patricia Piccinini's equally disturbing work? (via BoingBoing)
posted by Specklet at 3:37 PM PST - 13 comments

The star who never was. Part rock and roll history and part cautionary tale, the story of Marcus is too compelling to ignore. Well.... maybe not, but it's worth the read.
posted by elwoodwiles at 3:12 PM PST - 11 comments

Q & A with former Israeli Mossad chief Efraim Halevy. Halevy fields questions from readers around the world. See also his article "The coming Pax Americana".
posted by ori at 3:04 PM PST - 19 comments

When Government Writes History [The New Republic, registration required], a behind-the-scenes memoir of the 9/11 Commission Report, by commission historian Ernest May. [Related reading: Richard Posner's The 9/11 Report: A Dissent in the New York Times and Elizabeth Drew's Pinning the Blame in the New York Review of Books.]
posted by kirkaracha at 2:48 PM PST - 9 comments

Man on death row wants to donate liver to dying sister. I think this opens up many questions and mucks up the waters if you are both pro life(viva Terri), and also support the death penalty. (first fpp)
posted by MrMulan at 2:27 PM PST - 115 comments

Hoodies, Baseball Caps and Ganja, Oh My Fresh from his accountability moment, Tony Blair is tackling some of the thorniest issues facing British society: criminalising "hoodies" and baseball caps while keeping marijuana decriminalised (despite a "get tough" pre-election stance). In the midst of a moral panic, Blair recently came out in support of moves to ban the wearing of hooded leisure tops in public, especially when coupled with the nefariously potent symbol of evil: the baseball cap. Meanwhile, the committe whose recommendation resulted in the Commons reclassification of cannabis in Britain to a Class C drug (a misdemeanour equivalent to possessing a prescription medication without a valid prescription) says it sees no reason to reverse its decision, even as Olympians are tarred and feathered. Meanwhile, sales of verboten hoodies can only increase, while cannabis becomes distinctly less cool.
posted by meehawl at 1:01 PM PST - 43 comments

Raise a glass! Today the Supreme Court struck down laws in Michigan and New York (and by extension, probably those of 22 other states) that forbid interstate sales of wine. The ruling is based on the Commerce Clause, which allows only congress to regulate interstate trade, and which today is held to trump the 21st Amendment. Though some allege that online sales make it easier for minors to buy liquor, the majority found little evidence that this is a major problem. Will protectionist liquor sales laws be felled by this ruling, too? Time (and further litigation) will tell. [MI]
posted by rkent at 11:23 AM PST - 30 comments

The Bluth's will be back -- Fox order's another full season of "Arrested Development."
posted by JPowers at 10:33 AM PST - 70 comments

"I am an American, so that is why I make films about America. America is sitting on our world, I am making films that have to do with America (because) 60% of my life is America. So I am in fact an American, but I can't go there to vote, I can't change anything. We are a nation under influence and under a very bad influence… because Mr. Bush is an asshole and doing very idiotic things."
Lars Von Trier introduces his new film at the Cannes Film Festival: «Manderlay» picks up where «Dogville» left off, with the character originated by Nicole Kidman -- now played by Bryce Dallas Howard -- stumbling onto a plantation that time forgot, where slavery still operates in the 1930s. The film (5 MB .pdf file, official pressbook) ends, as Dogville did, with David Bowie’s Young Americans played over a photomontage of images that range from a Ku Klux Klan meeting to the Rodney King beating, George Bush at prayer and Martin Luther King at his final rest, American soldiers in Vietnam and the Gulf, the Twin Towers. More inside.
posted by matteo at 10:30 AM PST - 69 comments

Radley Balko fisks the DEA's Karen Tandy 'So which is it? Are doctors a "very small part of the problem," or are they "the primary sources of diverted pharmaceuticals available on the illicit market?" ...I guess it depends on whether the agency is trumpeting its victories to Congress, or defending its tactics from critics in newspaper op-eds.'
posted by Kwantsar at 8:07 AM PST - 34 comments

Inward Technology - Directed Evolution of Humans (W.Post - reg.)
"The next frontier..is our own selves"
"We should not just accept but embrace the new technologies"
"But the promise of mastery is flawed. It threatens to banish our appreciation of life as a gift.."
the author, the book via via
posted by peacay at 7:38 AM PST - 12 comments

By the end of 2008, will religious social conservatives be rode hard and put up wet or will they get their Christian Theocracy? Is the American Taliban set to shred our secular government? Some think so. Others however point out that those in power may be simply exploiting their religious base and have no intention of furthering theocracy in any meaningful way. After all we have a president who doesn’t go to church, and a gay-friendly vice president (who we shouldn’t rule for a 2008 run.) Oh and the Faith Based Initiative? It’s simply an effort to get blacks to vote Republican, duh. And if it’s conspiracy theories that interest you then what about Bush’s abortion, or gays in the Whitehouse?
posted by wfrgms at 7:24 AM PST - 45 comments

32 Jackson Pollock drip paintings discovered. (3 images - click on "Jackson Pollock") Alex Matter's parents, the photographer Herbert Matter, and the painter Mercedes Matter, were friends with Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner. Alex apparently discovered the small paintings while sorting through his father's archives. Believed to be studies for the large drip paintings, they have been estimated to be worth upwards of 40 million dollars, if real. The Pollock-Krasner Foundation, however, is "reserving judgement" on the authenticity of the paintings.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:22 AM PST - 17 comments

"Defending America's Most Vulnerable" - a new bill, introduced in the House by the Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Among other provisions, 10-year mandatory minimum sentence for a first-time conviction of distributing a small amount of marijuana to a person under 18 years of age; virtually every drug crime committed in urban areas subject to "drug free zone" penalties that carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence; a 2-year sentence for those who witness or learn about drug distribution near colleges and do not report it to authorities within 24 hours and do not provide full assistance investigating, apprehending, and prosecuting the offender.
posted by daksya at 7:18 AM PST - 45 comments

Do you know this man? The identity of a man found wandering on a beach in Sheppey, Kent, wearing an evening suit and who will not talk but who expertly plays piano concertos for hours is baffling the police.
posted by mr.marx at 6:12 AM PST - 75 comments

Protesting church policy by wearing rainbow-colored sashes resulted in more than 100 people being denied communion in a Catholic church in St. Paul.
posted by leftcoastbob at 4:18 AM PST - 61 comments

Design Observer and the New York Times (reg. req'd) on modernism.
posted by Tlogmer at 3:43 AM PST - 4 comments

May 15

Le Sigh - ShunTv joins the ranks. I found this through metafilter users.... would like to lament shun with metafilter users. As MPAA expands into prosecuting tv viewers.
posted by sourbrew at 6:54 PM PST - 46 comments

Frida Kahlo has a show opening at the Tate Modern in Britain. The Mexican artist was married to famous muralist Diego Rivera. Frida learned how to paint after suffering a horrible accident and attended her first and only opening in Mexico in her bed after years of pain. Pain and suffering are common themes in her work, which is widely known and largely focused on self-portraiture.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:39 PM PST - 8 comments

Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds: A group of internet-based electronic musicians are celebrating the anniversary of the release of the classic Beach Boys album ‘Pet Sounds’ by remixing it for the 21st Century. The album, titled ‘Hippocamp Ruins Pet Sounds’, comes from contributors to acclaimed net label Hippocamp.net. Each track from the original album has been reconstructed by a different artist, creating an album as diverse and inventive as the original. (Torrent Here) I've been listening to this all morning. It's fantastic. Get it while you can?
posted by cathodeheart at 4:17 PM PST - 36 comments

There is nothing flaky about this. There is nothing New Age about this. These people are practical. They love the Earth, and they want to live their values

What the hell is a Cultural Creative? According to this book, there are already 50 million Cultural Creativists in the US, many of whom may not know it yet. Are you one?
But is this really a social movement, or just another manufactured demographic marketing term, like "metrosexual"?
Could CC give the left a language with which to discuss spirituality? or is this all just hype?
posted by es_de_bah at 2:58 PM PST - 56 comments

Circuit Bending : The art of taking (usually consumer-grade children's toys) electronics and short circuiting them for audio effects previously not intended by the manufacturer. The simple directions are to probe around the insides of a vivisected toy to find the connections that cause distortion, repitition, pitch change etc. After that all you have to do is solder wires to an on/off switch, dial or button.

Maybe a little like the Frankenstein monster projects like this can be pretty inexpensive. All you need is a bunch of wires, switchs, knobs and a soldering iron. Not to mention hours of trial and error. Any subjects for experimentation can be found at your local thrift store. Too lazy to shop around for victims? Trouble findng switches for under 5$ each? You can always buy one ready-made.
posted by Napierzaza at 9:48 AM PST - 17 comments

Earthly Empires: How evangelical churches are borrowing from the business playbook - "The triumph of evangelical Christianity is profoundly reshaping many aspects of American politics and society... This year, the 16.4 million-member Southern Baptist Convention plans to 'plant' 1,800 new churches using by-the-book niche-marketing tactics. 'We have cowboy churches for people working on ranches, country music churches, even several motorcycle churches aimed at bikers', says Martin King, a spokesman for the Southern Baptists' North American Mission Board... Many of today's evangelicals hope to expand their clout even further. They're also gaining by taking their views into Corporate America. Exhibit A: the recent clash at software giant Microsoft."
posted by kliuless at 9:46 AM PST - 35 comments

Rebecca's Revival. Rebecca Protten, born a slave in 1718, gained her freedom and joined a group of proselytizers from the Moravian Church. She embarked on an itinerant mission, preaching to hundreds of the enslaved Africans of St. Thomas, West Indies. Weathering persecution from hostile planters, Protten and other black preachers created the earliest African Protestant congregation in the Americas. University of Florida historian Jon Sensbach has written a book about Protten's life -- the interracial marriage, the trial on charges of blasphemy and inciting of slaves, the travels to Germany and West Africa. Later in her life, after she moved to Germany, Rebecca was ordained as a deaconess: "a former slave now administered Communion and practiced other claims to spiritual authority over white women, including European aristocrats." More inside.
posted by matteo at 9:46 AM PST - 4 comments

GreenCar.com Useful info on hybrid technology, electric vehicles, hydrogen and biodiesel. Features include Carroll Shelby on alternative fuel, Dr. Gerhard Schmidt (Vice President Ford motor co.), Ray Bradbury on Women Drivers.
posted by Lanark at 9:17 AM PST - 7 comments

1970 shootings at Jackson State were successfully covered up at the time. They remain a footnote to the Kent State shootings to this day. Memorials are rare. And news coverage is limited to a brief almanac item.
posted by warbaby at 7:35 AM PST - 14 comments

Class Mobility within America - The mythology surrounding Horatio Alger is a powerful force within American culture: the idea that anyone can pull oneself up by the bootstraps to become financially successful. Surprising research by statistician Miles Corak shows that Americans have no more income mobility than Europeans — contradicting cultural presumptions of egalitarianism — and even less than Scandinavian countries, despite their heavy taxation. Marketing slowly meets reality in the American Dream...
posted by AlexReynolds at 7:13 AM PST - 83 comments

Blogs are bad, essays good. Yet another priesthood is taking defensive action, this time essayists. In this piece, the author argues, without much thought or precision, that the throughtful, precise essay is much, much better than those dirty blogs. With apologies to Bill Maher, NEW RULE: If you think Matt Drudge is a blogger and cite him as such, you've already lost the argument.
posted by baltimore at 6:06 AM PST - 20 comments

Tired of virtual dictatorships? Maybe we'll soon have a proper Metaverse (def.) instead.
posted by Tlogmer at 3:29 AM PST - 11 comments

Nicotine Vaccine Shows Promise. Smokers may have some help kicking the habit from an inoculation being tested by several companies.
posted by sjvilla79 at 12:40 AM PST - 18 comments

Elections BC (Source: CBC) is having a tough time keeping up with all the bloggers "publishing partisan messages during the current election campaign.". Under current law they are asking all bloggers to register as advertisers, while also going on record as being open to changing the law.
posted by futureproof at 12:36 AM PST - 14 comments

May 14

Manhole Cover Photography. Photos of manhole covers from around the world.
posted by greasy_skillet at 7:12 PM PST - 23 comments

The Perfect Sideburns in just five minutes? Can it really be that easy? Why, this is a product fit for a king!
posted by Robot Johnny at 6:52 PM PST - 29 comments

Meiji architecture The Meiji Mura is an open-air museum with many examples of Japanese Meiji-period architecture from between the mid 19th century and the early decades of the 20th. The buildings, often rescued from the threat of demolition, show how Japan developed its own distinctive modern architectural style during this period.
posted by carter at 5:37 PM PST - 7 comments

Inhabitat - "source on the future of design". Great finds like Tetris shelves, the Slumber Light, a transformer apartment, and Favela Chairs. (via the saucydwellings LJ community)
posted by Melinika at 12:14 PM PST - 43 comments

Spengler of the Asia Times. Right-headed, wrong-headed, at times off-headed, but always interesting. You can spend a lot of time wading through the archives. The fellow, anonymous for whatever reason, has written on US/China trade, Ratzinger as a dark age theologian, the American empire , how Europe might be re-Christianized, US vs Islam, religion vs philosphy, Tolkien vs Wagner, internet stocks , and anti-semitism. A bit of something for everyone. Also runs a lively little forum.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:00 AM PST - 20 comments

The Science of Gender Science. A debate by Pinker vs. Spelke on the research on mind, brain, and behavior that may be relevant to gender disparities in the sciences, including the studies of bias, discrimination and innate and acquired difference between the sexes. (via Edge)
posted by semmi at 8:48 AM PST - 25 comments

AOPs on ASBOs - for non-Brits, that's Grouchy Old Nuisances. For instance, Roger Trotman, who feels like me about people who park their cars carelessly, or Alexander Muat, who just wanted a little peace and quiet, or John Kirkpatrick, who'd heard his neighbour warbling 'Jumping Jack Flash' just one time too many. It's enough to drive you to do a little 'Happy Slapping'
posted by TimothyMason at 6:38 AM PST - 38 comments

The NYC Midnight Run is happening right now! Today, dozens of teams are hard at work writing, scripting, recording, and editing a film which must be complete twentifour hours from the time they were given the subject and genre. But we in Greater New York are not alone. There are 24 hour film festivals cropping up all over. Why?

(Disclosure: Though I will be participating in the festival, I am not in any way an organizer or affiliated with the organization itself. This should be viewed as the equivalent of someone who uses a search engine pointing out a cool point about search engines).
posted by Eideteker at 5:43 AM PST - 12 comments

   "Whoever controls Highway 19 controls the Highlands,
and whoever controls the Highlands controls Vietnam."
The French learned this lesson when Groupement Mobile 100, a brigade-sized mobile security column was slaughtered by the Viet Minh in an epic fight (pdf) on this road in 1954. Thirteen years later, with the Americans deploying deeper and deeper into the Central Highlands to flush out the NVA from their remote upland base camps, the 100 miles of road between the coastal port of Qui Nhon and the US cantonments near Pleiku became "Ambush Alley", until the Guntruck was devised to counter the ambush parties head-on. (more inside)
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 5:12 AM PST - 22 comments

Images from the first International Polar Year (paradoxically 1881 to 1884).
Some are lovely, some bleak, some surreal.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:15 AM PST - 8 comments

Anakin Dynamite.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:33 AM PST - 32 comments

May 13

Hey kids! Time to go to Ted Nugent's Kamp for Kids! Whee!!! (You might want to take the handy on-line test first though.)
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 10:02 PM PST - 56 comments

Icaro Doria is a Brazilian artist who uses flags to make a point.
posted by mcsweetie at 8:37 PM PST - 36 comments

A different approach to political commentary.
posted by iron chef morimoto at 8:22 PM PST - 33 comments


Do You Live Near a Brothel? It turns out that I do, and they're at Sacramento State's Art Department, the local office of NOW, and the Sacramento Film Commission, among others. Dubya, as it turns out, lives near a bunch of them as well, including the Center for Public Integrity and the local branch of the DC Public Library. You can find out the houses of ill repute near you, too, by simply entering your zip code and the word "brothels" in the Google Maps search box. It's supposed to be returning destinations for that type of local business. Oops. Google has no comment.
posted by robhuddles at 8:01 PM PST - 52 comments

... I told the judge that the war violates the United Nations Charter, which forbids the use of force, unless carried out in self-defense or with the approval of the Security Council, neither of which obtained before Bush invaded Iraq. ...--testimony of Marjorie Cohn, professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in the case of Petty Officer 3rd Class Pablo Paredes, on trial for court-martial--he refused to board his ship bound for the Gulf.
"I think that the government has successfully proved that any service member has reasonable cause to believe that the wars in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq were illegal."
--the presiding officer at the court-martial, Lt. Cmdr. Robert Klant
The sentence? Reduction to the lowest rank. Two months' restriction to the 32nd Street Naval Station. Three months of hard labor, but no jail time. Court adjourned.
posted by amberglow at 7:58 PM PST - 27 comments

Haute Voltage stunt flight (Direct .mpg. Bonus if you read Russian)
posted by growabrain at 7:37 PM PST - 10 comments


The Ariel Atom is a pretty nifty car. No doors, no screen, no roof. Just a frame and the bare minimum to get you from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds. This video review of the Atom is worth it just to see the driver's face get distorted a little more than three minutes into it.
posted by furtive at 7:02 PM PST - 38 comments

Girl in Disney abuse photos found safe Previously discussed on Metafilter here and here. Maybe it sounds crazy but I was really relieved that she's ok.
posted by billysumday at 5:48 PM PST - 51 comments

Blogpoly What? No Mefi! Jerks.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 5:43 PM PST - 24 comments

Planning a vacation or going on a business trip this summer? Why not try one of the world's most dangerous destinations for the trip of a lifetime? Just make sure you have Worldcue® PRO loaded on your laptop and fill out some forms and you'll be ready for death departure.
posted by Guerilla at 12:42 PM PST - 2 comments


Shatner [QuickTime]
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:56 AM PST - 24 comments

Geek Fantasies : No nudity, but moderately NSFW. Happy friday, yall.
posted by gnutron at 10:10 AM PST - 40 comments

"Family Values, My Ass!" That article in the Lexington Herald-Leader inspired me to look up the Nation article it referred to. Now I'm beginning to see why many women won't go to "evangelical Christian" MDs: this guy Hager (previously brought up on MetaFilter in 2003, in fact twice, and then again in 2004) is strongly anti-abortion -- so pro-conception that he tried to keep the "morning-after pill" known as "Plan B" away from women -- but he's apparently pro- sodomy and pro-rape. It almost sounds like fiction.
posted by davy at 8:46 AM PST - 86 comments

Western societies seem intent on maintaining standards of living with unsustainable consumption rates. The resultant world ecological debt has caused climate changes that arguably have greatest impact on the world's poorest nations. World Wildlife Fund-UK reviews the prospects for sustainable consumption while a Canadian academic group releases a paper identifying the top 10 areas in nanotechnology that could help reduce 3rd world poverty.[MI] previous
posted by peacay at 8:00 AM PST - 49 comments

After an American car company recreates its legendary 1960's Ferrari-beating race car, the first $150,000 2005 production car sells at a charity event for $400,000 over sticker price, (to a Microsoft-enriched individual, of course) and many months later, dealers are still asking up to $200,000 over sticker, or at least $150,000 over sticker. The "experts" at Edmunds say the car is selling for about $100,000 over sticker (seeing their "True Market Value" requires a few clicks from this page), and the widespread belief is that these admittedly amazing cars are virtually impossible to find and all selling for at least $100,000 over sticker. But using publicly available data, including completed eBay auctions and public documents, this non-commercial site shows the truth to be very different than the hype.
posted by escorter at 7:46 AM PST - 32 comments

My first impression of Marcel Dzama was in Toronto over two years ago at the Power Plant Gallery. Shortly after getting back from Toronto I came across this little Gem. Two years go by I move, and I forgot completely about this amazing artist. When BAM! he is featured on BECK's new album Guero.
One of the many reasons I love Marcel Dzama is because of the unique characters he has in his work. Also the fact that he uses root beer to paint his subtle earthy browns. If you are interested in his work then it is not too late to grab an original it will only set you back about $1500-1800. With his work on Beck's album and people like Drew Carey, Nicholas Cage, and Jim Carey snatching it up, It won't be long before it becomes unattainable.
posted by jackdirt at 7:33 AM PST - 16 comments

"Joseph McCarthy must be smiling admirably in Hades" -- British MP George Galloway, on Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN) We've previously discussed Galloway here, but I thought that pan had flashed and I'd never hear his name again. This is transAtlantic Politifilter for your Friday Morning. (via Minneapolis Star-Tribune, it may ask for reg.)
posted by indiebass at 7:14 AM PST - 50 comments

A federal court puts an end to Nebraska's ban on gay unions Although it doesn't mean that gay partners can start marrying each other, the court's ruling opens the doors to their appeals. Also, at the NY Times.
posted by Jon-o at 5:32 AM PST - 46 comments

bigempty: Beautiful photos, beautifully presented.
posted by taz at 4:36 AM PST - 12 comments

They animate their graffiti in Latvia. (warning: ominous music)
posted by bunglin jones at 3:02 AM PST - 10 comments


May 12


Crazy Frog - Axel F. Keeping alive the tradition of Friday Flash Fun...
posted by ehintz at 9:36 PM PST - 53 comments

TiddlyWiki A wiki-style personal organizer, perfect for the obsessively organized. (via lifehacker)
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:01 PM PST - 15 comments

The number of children with flattened heads (aka positional plagiocephaly) is on the rise. The cause? "Back to Sleep," the government program that urged parents to prevent SIDS by putting their babies to sleep on their backs. The condition can be treated through surgery, the use of an orthotic helmet, or just letting the kid be, in the hopes of growing out of it.

According to this article, though, the medical establishment has been less than willing to acknowledge the problem and deal with it proactively.
posted by greatgefilte at 6:37 PM PST - 39 comments

What's wrong with dating? everything. And those two hellbound teens look so happy, too.
posted by longsleeves at 5:33 PM PST - 114 comments

Midlothian mom looking to raise money for the school band discovers the local TXI cement plant is draining millions from the Texas school system. This while getting paid burning hazardous waste in their back yard. When she seeks to right these wrongs she finds that the environmental regulators include lobbyist for TXI, and their House representative, Joe Barton, cares more about "economic development" than her kids.
posted by betaray at 5:25 PM PST - 29 comments

mp3 blogs galore Need some fresh new mp3s? John over at Tofu Hut has compiled what he thinks is "the most comprehensive list of musicbloggers yet available." There's dozens upon dozens of (vaguely) categorised mp3 blogs, which should keep you and your high-speed internet connection merrily ticking over for weeks... Happy listening.
posted by noizyboy at 3:51 PM PST - 26 comments

Join the Army for just fifteen months! Visit exciting foriegn lands! Now with "ultra-lite" benefits!
(Warning: Requires an additional two years of service in the Army Reserve / National Guard, may contain additional deployments overseas, stop-loss, 4 1/2 years in the inactive reserve, and possible devil's bargains.)
posted by insomnia_lj at 3:33 PM PST - 113 comments

Robots that can fold origami has been an open research problem -- the holy grail of manipulator dexterity. This Carnegie Mellon Ph.D. candidate came up with a pretty elegant methodology.
posted by stacyhall1 at 3:05 PM PST - 12 comments

One Egg At A Time, Please, Just One Egg At A Time!

Representative Lonnie Napier has a great idea! IVF requires eggs to be harvested from a woman, combined with a man's sperm outside of the woman's body, then putting several embryos back in hopes of getting one to implant and grow, resulting in a baby. Rep. Napier, being strongly pro-life and opposed to IVF, thinks the way to solve this is to fertilize only one egg at a time. And to violate this new law would be a class D felony in Kentucky, punishable with 1-5 years in prison.

Via And I Wasted All That Birth Control...
posted by OhPuhLeez at 2:40 PM PST - 71 comments

"The most significant recording Sean Ryder has done in 15 years" In honour of Sean Ryder's forthcoming collaboration with the Gorillaz and DangerMouse, I present this Link to "DARE". Some more information on Sean Ryder , Sean Ryder and finally , Sean Ryder.Taste that Pepsi Blue and Step On !
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:34 PM PST - 22 comments

David Lynch's secret movie (site with annoying, loud sound, sorry) "It's about a woman in trouble, and it's a mystery, and that's about all I want to say about it". Titled "INLAND EMPIRE" (all caps, though Lynch doesn't explain why), it stars Laura Dern, Justin Theroux, Harry Dean Stanton, Jeremy Irons. Lynch has shot much of his latest film in Poland, after making friends with the organizers of the Camerimage festival in Lodz. He's now back shooting in and around Los Angeles. Even at this relatively advanced stage of production, Lynch is cagey about when it will be finished. It was shot entirely in DV: "I started working in DV for my Web site, and I fell in love with the medium. For me, there's no way back to film. I'm done with it".
posted by matteo at 2:10 PM PST - 36 comments

May 13, 1985: Police drop bomb on occupied Philadelphia rowhouse. On the morning of May 13, 1985, police commissioner Gregore Sambor spoke thusly through a bullhorn: "Attention MOVE, this is America!" A furious 90 minutes gun battle ensued, in which police fired an estimated 1,000 rounds. After a long stalemate, the decision was made to drop a bomb from a borrowed Pennsylvania State Police helicopter. The bomb did not dislodge the rooftop bunker as it was designed to do. instead, it started a fire that killed 11 people, including five children and destroyed 61 row homes leaving 250 people homeless.
posted by fixedgear at 1:55 PM PST - 33 comments

Mormons versus Indians. Once upon a time, Mormons and Shoshone didn't get along particularly well. Mormon cattle ate Shoshone grass. Shoshone took Mormon cattle as rent. Both sides were poor and sometimes barely able to feed themselves. Help was needed.

Chief Sagwich's Northwestern Band of Shoshone had their world shattered on January 23, 1863 when the US Army's 3rd California Volunteers under the leadership of a bitterly xenophobic Patrick E Connor, killed 250 of the 450 tribal members at the behest of Utah territorial officials to have the tribe disciplined. This slaughter, known as the Bear River Massacre, was the largest such mass killing of natives (even surpassing Wounded Knee) and the only official Civil War battle that took place in what is now Idaho.

The good chief survived along with about 90 of his tribe and, ten years later, converted to Mormonism along with all of his people. The tribe survives.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 1:24 PM PST - 8 comments

Bicycle enthusiast Brano Meres constructed this bike frame from bamboo. I'm not sure how well it would hold up, but it looks pretty sweet. [via coolhunting]
posted by btwillig at 1:09 PM PST - 15 comments

Judge, we're finished. As the retrial of the Gwen Araujo murder case begins, a juror in last year's mistrial explains why he thinks the retrial may also result in a hung jury. It didn't help that "the star witness turned out to be the biggest liar of all."
posted by kirkaracha at 12:46 PM PST - 3 comments

The God Light was previously discussed here. Once known as the Angel Light, it has been modified and now cures cancer, parkinsons, fibrocystic disease etc. As a side-effect of its healing powers, the device no longer allows one to see through walls.
posted by jb5dogs at 11:45 AM PST - 35 comments

Lawless Iraq is 'key drug route' Drug smugglers exploiting internal chaos in Iraq have turned the country into a transit route for Afghan heroin, an influential drug agency says.
posted by Postroad at 10:58 AM PST - 32 comments

The Encyclopedia of Chicago is now online and free, less than a year after being released in book form.
posted by me3dia at 9:58 AM PST - 19 comments

Ed Viesturs summits all 14 mountains over 8000m After 16 years of trying, Ed Viesturs has become the first American to summit all mountains over 8000m (the "Eight-thousanders"). This, in itself, is an amazing achievement; however, even more remarkably, all of Viesturs climbs were done without supplemental oxygen (facilitated, in part, by his genetic abnormalities).

The Eight-thousanders were first climbed in 1986 by Reinhold Messner. Since then, only 12 other people have accomplished the same.
posted by Elpoca at 9:36 AM PST - 27 comments

Internet Movie Script Database - It's not new, but it's blowing up recently, perhaps because of the Revenge of the Sith screenplay? (*SPOILERS*) Is it for real? Is it legal? Some scripts say "For educational purposes only." Hmm.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:24 AM PST - 29 comments

What your Congress is doing while you sleep... Tacking riders on to military spending bills is nothing new and an easy way to get legislation passed. With the recently passed Real ID Act, however, post-9/11 America takes a decidely fascist left turn: §102(c) "No court shall have jurisdiction to hear any cause or claim arising from any action undertaken, or any decision made, by the Secretary of Homeland Security, or order compensatory, declaratory, injunctive, equitable, or any other relief for damage alleged to arise from any such action or decision." This new legislation dramatically — if quietly — usurps the separation of powers established over 200 years ago, and the consequences are absolutely chilling, allowing the Department of Homeland Security to commit any criminal behavior it sees fit, without having to answer to existing state and federal laws. All the way from checking IDs on request, to detaining political undesirables, to South American-style "disappearances". And where are our so-called liberal media outlets to report on this amazing and unprecedented transfer of power?
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:21 AM PST - 117 comments

What do you mean, I can't make my PC run completely silent?
posted by NekulturnY at 8:29 AM PST - 41 comments

Goodbye, DC Bullet. Hello, DC Spin. Branding is very important for business, even when that business is comic books. So this week, DC Comics announced their first new logo in 29 years. Why? Ask DC's President Paul Levitz: "The hope always, for a brand like ours, is that somehow you can have a logo that somehow acknowledges all the wonderful things that have happened in the past, and looks forward with a sense of 'We’re as cool as tomorrow.'" Compelling, but Senior VP and Creative Director Richard Bruning has a more practical explanation: "[A]s we moved into other areas, and got into things like manufacturing toys or action figures or statues, the physical construction of the bullet, the little hairlines that are built around all the letter shapes, made it very difficult to reproduce on any other medium or form than large and on paper." Another good point ... but can a spinning baby blue swoosh really replace that classic Milton Glaser logo?
posted by grabbingsand at 7:04 AM PST - 33 comments

Fundable.org. Bringing together buyers and buyers and buyers and buyers and buyers and buyers and buyers and sellers.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:02 AM PST - 14 comments

Thirty years ago today, on May 12, 1975, less than two weeks after the fall of Saigon, the U.S. flagged container ship Mayaguez was seized by the Cambodian Khmer Rouge who took the crew hostage. Late that night the ship was located, anchored off a tiny island called Koh Tang in the Gulf of Siam. U.S. President Gerald Ford ordered the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea, the guided missile destroyer USS Henry B. Wilson and the frigate USS Holt to the area of seizure. He also ordered a battalion of Marines to assault the island and rescue the crew. The rescue was bungled. 41 US servicemen were killed. The crew of 39 was released.
posted by three blind mice at 6:44 AM PST - 12 comments

Richard Feynman wrote letters to all kinds of people. Here are some of them.
posted by TimothyMason at 6:39 AM PST - 26 comments

Missing workers? Darth has them. "Next Thursday, the Force will be with Obi Wan Kenobi and Yoda — the North American work force, that is. Worker absenteeism on the Thursday and Friday opening of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith could cost U.S. employers a whopping $627-million (U.S.) in the two days, according to one report." Are you going to be playing hooky from work to go see the film? If so, don't bother with phony excuses, get a fail-safe May 19th excuse note!
posted by debralee at 4:22 AM PST - 66 comments

A video clip (direct link: approx 10 MB WMV, streaming) of two clever performers on stage, aired on a Netherlands television channel.
posted by hypersloth at 3:25 AM PST - 51 comments

May 11

Jesus Dress Up!
posted by drezdn at 11:35 PM PST - 23 comments

Understanding elections beyond the red and blue axis. Since 1987, the Pew Research center has been conducting a political survey that divides voters into various typologies based on core beliefs-- upbeats and disaffected, enterprisers and bystanders -- and tracking political opinions and votes. The biggest trends have been the rise of disadvantaged pro-government conservatives and the shift of the middle to the right. Fortunately, there is a survey that will determine your type. Where does the typical MeFi visitor fit? (Hint from the typology: "Liberals- Affluent and highly secular...ideologically consistent on social issues, foreign policy and the role of government..nearly four-in-10 cite the Internet as their main source of news.")
posted by blahblahblah at 10:02 PM PST - 41 comments

If you could change the college mascot, what would you choose? Part II Revenge of the Warriors. Part One. Now before we suggest the popular, but offensive Warriors, it has already been shot down. Gold is now dead after about a week. Suggestions welcome, but seeing how a lamer mascot took the place of a lame mascost, with no warning, the new mascot is sure to be far worse.
posted by brent at 9:03 PM PST - 30 comments

Be afraid: The national threat-alert level today is yellow or "elevated," with "significant risk of terrorist attacks," says the Department of Homeland Security. In fact, the alert level has been elevated since December of 2003, when it was raised from orange. During the election season, the Fox News network flashed the terror alert level in their "crawl" as if there was breaking news -- the sort of thing that prompted some liberal wags to ridicule the entire system. Now former DHS secretary Tom Ridge says that the Bush administration was "really aggressive" about raising the threat-alert level during his tenure, even when the agency felt that the intelligence didn't warrant it.
posted by digaman at 8:49 PM PST - 24 comments

UAL (United Airlines) dumps four pension plans[optional audio interview with Businessweek expert] ; bankruptcy court authorizes shifting of USD 5 billions (allegedly largest pension default in U.S. history) in pension obligations to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. As a result the burden of private failure and incompetency will be shared by all taxpayers (whose taxes finance PBGC which is already operating on a 23 Billion deficit) and by beneficiaries of the pension plans who will see their pension severely cut : pilots from 100K to 30K pensions but also less privileged workers will be hit. For instance Mrs Tamuk, spokeswoman from Association of Flight Attendants said her pension will be reduced from $1,700 a month to $800 a month.
posted by elpapacito at 5:33 PM PST - 94 comments

Gawker bucks vs journalists' bucks. The idea of bloggers going pro, though a relatively new one, has been discussed for a few years now. With blogging being discussed in the same breath as mainstream journalism, especially since last year's election in which the two activities seemed to clash in a very public way, is it time to ask ourselves if blogging is or can be just another form of journalism with its own professional personalities and success-based pay rates?
posted by clevershark at 3:37 PM PST - 13 comments

Double Guitars? Try Two; at the Same Time! Justin King just humbled my sorry guitar-playing self. Also check out the amazing slap-style acoustic stylings.
posted by Dark Messiah at 3:26 PM PST - 54 comments

Click the colour. A Stroop effect game [flash with music]
posted by srboisvert at 3:07 PM PST - 34 comments


john bolton and group sex
do these revelations make him more or less qualified to serve as the united states ambassador to the UN?
posted by specialk420 at 1:31 PM PST - 90 comments

Home From Iraq: photojournalist Molly Bingham was detained in 2003 by Iraqi security forces and held in Abu Ghraib prison from March 25 to April 2, 2003. Eighteen days after her release, she returned to Iraq to pursue stories for The New York Times, The Guardian of London and others. Taking a short break during the summer of 2003, Bingham had the idea of working on a story to explore who was involved in the nascent resistance that was becoming apparent throughout Iraq. In August 2003, Bingham returned with British journalist Steve Connors and spent the next 10 months reporting the story of the Iraqi resistance. Her account was published in Vanity Fair magazine in July 2004; Connors shot a documentary film on the subject. This experience has led Bingham to seriously question the values and responsibilities of the press.
posted by stenseng at 12:11 PM PST - 65 comments

Secret Wall Tattoos "I like to think it's like panties, there's something better behind the mystery, the uncovering that's even more mesmerizing." -josh homme my fav
posted by gren at 11:51 AM PST - 25 comments

blacks and whites agree: black people are scary! Scientists measured the amygdala response in white and african-american subjects when shown expressionless white and black faces. Interestingly, when paired with the words "African American" the response didn't register.
posted by delmoi at 11:49 AM PST - 20 comments

Hell House: The Ghosts of Maryland Many say the place is haunted. Others used talk of satanic altars or drug labs hidden within the cavernous old building. And... people sacrificing goats? Well, not really. These are just rumors surrounding the old St. Mary's College in Ilchester, stories passed around among teenagers from all over the region. The students have a different name for the old seminary too: "Hell House."
posted by Shanachie at 11:36 AM PST - 12 comments

M. Scott Peck: I'm a prophet, not a saint M. Scott Peck, author of the ultimate self-help manual, has Parkinson’s and his wife of 43 years has walked out. Interesting profile of M. Scott Peck, the best-selling self-help author who preached self-discipline and delayed gratification despite being a smoker, a drinker, and an adulterer. Via Bookslut. (Possibly nsfw drawing of nude woman.)
posted by callmejay at 11:11 AM PST - 18 comments

Jim Campbell, artist, works with extremely low resolution LED images. Try the ”Ambiguous icons”, some of them animated. I can't explain why this attracts me, but I've posted some pics inside.
posted by Termite at 10:59 AM PST - 12 comments

The PHENIX (Pioneering High Energy Nuclear Interaction eXperiment) collaboration hopes to study a new state of matter, the quark-gluon plasma, which they think was present in the first microseconds after the Big Bang. And they have games!
posted by goatdog at 10:53 AM PST - 3 comments

How To Get Ahead. "In this, the high summer of the great conservative revolt, no one, whatever his past political aberrations, can remain unaffected. I am not. Accordingly, I am here offering, also in a great conservative tradition, advice and counsel to the young—advice and counsel on how to get ahead in an ideologically restructured world. I propose to tell you, graduates of the class of [...], how now to proceed if you wish the acclaim and goodwill as well as the income of your fellow men. The advice I offer I do not find wholly acceptable for myself. But that too is in a great tradition of advice to the young".
John Kenneth Galbraith, from an Address to the Yale Graduating Class, 1979. (more inside)
posted by matteo at 10:44 AM PST - 16 comments



Five years ago, Robert Lilly, a distinguished American sociologist, prepared a book based on military archives. Taken by Force is a study of the rapes committed by American soldiers in Europe between 1942 and 1945. He submitted his manuscript in 2001. But after September 11, its US publisher suppressed it, and it first appeared in 2003 in a French translation. We know from Anthony Beevor about the sexual violence unleashed by the Red Army, but we prefer not to know about mass rape committed by American and British troops. Lilly suggests a minimum of 10,000 American rapes. Contemporaries described a much wider scale of unpunished sex crime. Time Magazine reported in September 1945: "Our own army and the British army along with ours have done their share of looting and raping ... we too are considered an army of rapists."
An Ethical Blank Cheque... So, How Good Was The Good War ? And from the Eastern Front: Uncensored Memories
From Alfredo Perez's Political Theory Daily Review
posted by y2karl at 8:59 AM PST - 104 comments

Brian Eno has a new vocal album coming out soon on Ryodisk. He's also been busy agitating for the Liberal Democrats in the recent UK elections, planning an upcoming collaboration with Paul Simon, and chatting amiably with a comic warlock.
posted by yakcat01 at 8:38 AM PST - 15 comments

Remix the Beeb. Backstage is the BBC's new developer network, in beta (via boing boing).
posted by liam at 7:56 AM PST - 4 comments

Use of human embryonic stem cells gives (probably real) reason for hope in spinal cord injuries. Professor Hans Keirstead from the The Reeve-Irvine Research Center (yes, that Reeve) at the University of California publishes his findings today in which early treatment with the stem cells produces demonstrably positive results (yes, rats). [stem cell basics] previous threads and particularly this.
posted by peacay at 4:59 AM PST - 49 comments

World War Two Songs. CBS World News audio from World War II. Also, vintage audio and songs from the World War I era.
posted by jasonspaceman at 4:57 AM PST - 8 comments

Nothing to see...yet! (Some sites may contain Flash and/or be annoying) The movie hasn’t come out yet but yet the studio knows people will be looking to see if there is official skinny. Some are simple, some complex, some are already taken by someone else with a different motivation (I think). But they all have a something to say (well, not always.)
posted by Dagobert at 2:14 AM PST - 23 comments

The Hidden Messages in Water? Masaru Emoto claims that water has the ability "to absorb, hold, and even retransmit human feelings and emotions. Using high-speed photography, he found that crystals formed in frozen water reveal changes when specific, concentrated thoughts are directed toward it. Music, visual images, words written on paper, and photographs also have an impact on the crystal structure." The theory may be suspect, but the photos are beautiful.
posted by taz at 1:51 AM PST - 115 comments

Verizon trains its employees to accept gays?! What are those mad future robots thinking? (via Wonkette)
posted by shoppingforsanity at 12:24 AM PST - 45 comments


May 10

Synergy is a fantastic little bit of open source software that allows two or more networked computers (Mac, Windows, Linux, or any combination) to share a mouse and keyboard (and clipboard!). It's perfect for the iBook you've got next to your Dell Box, or the Win/Linux duo you've got at work. The mouse cursor simply slides from one screen to the other. Neat! Free!
posted by scarabic at 11:53 PM PST - 23 comments

JAPAN IS SO COOOOOL AND SO KAWAII . . .! Is the highlight of this website a hair product or a marketing campaign gone horribly, hilariously wrong? Feel the Manga power and judge for yourself!
posted by schroedinger at 8:58 PM PST - 31 comments

The puzzle that ate the world?! It's called Su Doku. It came from Japan. It's deceptively simple, but a brief tutorial reveals hidden depths. It's spreading like gangbusters through the puzzle-obsessed British public, where it is making major news and being rapidly added to the country's newspapers. Fortunately, archived puzzles and free software are out there to provide puzzle addicts their latest fix. C'mon... give it a try. It's only *one* little puzzle. (Heh, heh.)
posted by insomnia_lj at 7:11 PM PST - 30 comments

"This is a form of undercover journalism that, thankfully, went out of vogue in the early 1980's." This is one reason newspapers suck in the early 2000's.
posted by wendell at 5:49 PM PST - 56 comments


Marines recall faulty body armor. In yet another blow to the struggle to supply soldiers with adequate armor, 5,277 defective vests were recalled today from troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In response to the armor shortages, new Oklahoma legislation would create "Patriot Plates," a $35 license plate of which $20 would go to supply body armor for Oklahoma soldiers. Soldiers have been lacking this armor for months now. According to an April GAO report: (PDF)
Because of the shortages, many individuals bought body armor with personal funds. The Congressional Budget Office estimated (1) that as many as 10,000 personnel purchased vests, (2) as many as 20,000 purchased plates with personal funds, and (3) the total cost to reimburse them would be $16 million in 2005. (P. 78)
Another continuing problem is a lack of adequately armored HMMWVs. "Current HMMWVs are protected only by canvas tops and have no additional armor protection." (P. 122) In this case, for protection from ambushes and roadside bombs, an add-on armor kit is required. However, "as of September 2004, the Army supplied 8,771 of the 13,872 Add-on Armor kits required by CENTCOM but still needed 5,101 additional kits to meet all requirements." (P. 121) Attacks on vehicles have accounted for as many as 40 percent of the 1,037 deaths attributed to hostile action.

But at least we can sleep soundly knowing that manufacturers are seeing record profits from all of this.
posted by ScottMorris at 5:17 PM PST - 31 comments


No confidence vote in the Canadian house of commons passes, 153 to 150. [mi]
posted by shepd at 4:47 PM PST - 84 comments

"Set your irony meters on maximum." All this week, a three-member subcommittee of the Kansas State Board of Education is holding hearings on how to teach science. [background] Creationists, er, advocates of "intelligent design," are using it to bootstrap their claim that evolution through natural selection and creationism are two sides of a story. While many scientists are boycotting what one newspaper is calling "Barnum on steroids," IDers have brought out the big guns -- including one Mustafa Akyol, a Turkish, Muslim, newspaper columnist with a Masters in history and a close associaton with a group that presents evolution "as a conspiracy of the Jewish and American imperialists to promote new world order and fascist motives." Get your official scorecard to the Scopes Trial II here!
posted by docgonzo at 2:48 PM PST - 125 comments



The Still Unsolved Stoffel Affair: How Is Known – but Not Who or Why Iraqi guerrillas calling themselves Rafidan – the Political Committee of the Mujahideen Central Command – have recently woken up and begun releasing a series of communiqués claiming to shed new light on the still unsolved deaths on December 8, 2004, of two Americans, Dale C. Stoffel, 43, whom they describe as “a CIA shadow manager in Iraq, close friend of George Bush,” and his associate Joseph J. Wemple, also 43.
posted by Postroad at 12:53 PM PST - 8 comments

All Ur Pics R Belong 2 Us? Over the last three weeks there's been a storm of protest after Thomas Knoll (of Adobe Photoshop fame) revealed that Nikon are encrypting the White Balance data (used to ensure correct colour) in the RAW files generated by their latest cameras and that Adobe are unwilling to break the encryption in their Camera RAW software thanks to fears they could be prosecuted under the DCMA. Whilst others appear to have no such worries, many are calling for the camera manufacturers to document their proprietary formats so images will not be lost over time. So have Nikon just taken a shot of their own foot?
posted by arc at 11:59 AM PST - 23 comments

Eye Color calculator.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:58 AM PST - 20 comments

That, as previously reported, a newly deciphered fragment of the Book of Revelations shows 616 is the true Number of the Beast, rather than the popular 666, is nothing new in the world of those obsessed with codes in the Bible. However, one Bible code in particular -- Theomatics -- has sparked debate among believers and non-believers alike.
posted by me3dia at 11:50 AM PST - 25 comments

Peta Kills Animals
posted by konolia at 11:49 AM PST - 137 comments

Meet Deborah Hobbs. Having lived in direct disregard for North Carolina general statute 14-184 for years, she is only now beginning to feel the heat. The law prohibits unmarried couples from lewdly and lasciviously associating, bedding and cohabiting together. The law is catching up with her thanks to her former boss, Sheriff Carson Smith, who told her to get married, move out or find another job. In Sherriff Smith's defence though, he does try to avoid hiring people who openly live together, but says he doesn't send out deputies to enforce the law. Of course, this archaic law rarely gets inforced; between 1997 and 2004 only three dozen charges were filed in the state.
posted by jikel_morten at 10:48 AM PST - 72 comments

Dog-riding monkeys in professional rodeo. Only in America can a guy like this or this character make a living by having monkeys ride dogs in rodeos (Realvideo). Now they've gotten news coverage in the past, but what I would give for them to come to my part of the world. And more photos please! Wow. Sometimes I love this country.
posted by AspectRatio at 10:41 AM PST - 8 comments

LA Deputies: 100+ rounds, two wounded. After firing nearly 120 rounds, some Los Angeles County Sherriff's Department deputies manage to wound the driver of an SUV they'd been pursuing, one of their own number, and punch lots of 9mm holes in a Compton neighborhood. Report says no weapon in the suspect's vehicle.
posted by alumshubby at 10:39 AM PST - 50 comments

Duff Duff. Dirty Muskee. Gas mask. An encyclopedia of sex, for the children.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 8:59 AM PST - 25 comments

Different scent attraction for men, women, and homosexuals Interesting report about homosexual men responding differently to pheromones as heterosexual men but very similar to women. (NYT)
posted by dov3 at 8:49 AM PST - 53 comments


The Found Footage Festival is a live comedy event and screening featuring odd and hilarious clips from videotapes found at thrift stores and garage sales and in warehouses and dumpsters throughout the country. [note: quicktime, profanity, accidental mutilation, bad advertising, burger joint rap music, mullets] main page
posted by crunchland at 7:30 AM PST - 21 comments

"We're at a tipping point where energy efficiency and emission reductions also equal profitability," The world's largest company announces a massive commitment to the environment. Though not everyone agrees, both consumers (as suggested by this modern-day protest song) and market conditions are making "greener" companies the winners, even in the largest industries. Is the market the solution to environmental problems?
posted by blahblahblah at 7:10 AM PST - 29 comments

The Pill - 45 years ago this month, the contraceptive pill was approved by the FDA for U.S. public release, a watershed point for women, providing a prescription for equality. However, it was illegal for single women to use the pill until the 1972 Supreme Court decision of Eisenstadt v. Baird. Ex-boxer Bill Baird was an unlikely contraceptive crusader. His efforts earned imprisonment, death threats, and the enmity of many feminists. He continues his crusade today because, unfortunately, the right to contraceptives is still not a freedom we can take for granted. - more -
posted by madamjujujive at 5:05 AM PST - 46 comments

The History of Sampling
posted by srboisvert at 4:19 AM PST - 18 comments

Things That Don't Exist is a list of things which presumably don't exist. Varies from an Amish newscaster to a man who can fart lasers. My personal favorite : a career that will support me after I graduate from art school.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:51 AM PST - 14 comments

Did Frank Zappa invent the iTunes music store?
from zappa.com:
"Every major record company has vaults full of (and perpetual rights to) great recording by major artists in many categories which might still provide enjoyment to music consumers if they were made available in the right way. MUSIC CONSUMERS LIKE TO CONSUME MUSIC . . . NOT PIECES OF VINYL WRAPPED IN PIECES OF CARDBOARD."
posted by Silky Slim at 3:36 AM PST - 29 comments

Junk Science. George Monbiot has a critical look at some the claims put forward by "climate change" deniers. There's lots of interesting refutation, with some amusement: "But there was still one mystery to clear up. While Bellamy’s source claimed that 55% of 625 glaciers are advancing, Bellamy claimed that 555 of them – or 89% – are advancing. This figure appears to exist nowhere else. But on the standard English keyboard, 5 and % occupy the same key. If you try to hit %, but fail to press shift, you get 555, instead of 55%. This is the only explanation I can produce for his figure. When I challenged him, he admitted that there had been “a glitch of the electronics”."
posted by gsb at 2:14 AM PST - 35 comments

The web gets mashed up.
posted by Tlogmer at 12:59 AM PST - 49 comments

A cool idea, and a fun allegory: Bird and butterfly collages made with old bank notes (two pages, horizontal scrolling). Click the images to view larger versions and see the notes that were used (scroll down). More here without the note source info.
posted by taz at 12:44 AM PST - 4 comments

Mirecle33 (mir-i-kel) Creativity Patch: What Creatives Crave "It's totally here. Our progressive times allow you to sport a patch on your body to maintain your hormone levels, curb your appetite(s), and cover your boo-boos. Now, thanks to Dunmire Labs, there's no good reason you can't have a slow, steady stream of creativity delivered into your system through the Mirecle33 Creativity Patch. Try the Mirecle33 Creativity Patch today and see how much it 'miraculously' improves your creative output!"
posted by azul at 12:12 AM PST - 5 comments

May 9

A heap of MP3 interviews from JJJ -- Australian radio. Artists include Caribou*, McLusky*, Antony and the Johnsons*, The Arcade Fire*, Architecture in Helsinki*, Bright Eyes*, The Decemberists*, Sharon Jones*, Black Mountain*, TV On the Radio*, Black Keys*, Black Dice*, Mercury Rev*, The Dears*, Four Tet*, Fiery Furnaces*, Jolie Holland*, and many more. * MP3 song of the artist -- not interview!
posted by dobbs at 11:18 PM PST - 15 comments

Alien planet "The drama takes place on Darwin IV, a fictional planet 6.5 light-years from Earth, with two suns and 60 percent gravity. Having identified Darwin as a world that could support life, Earth sends a pilot mission consisting of the mothership and three probes." Discovery channel feature, Flash heavy site, via Pharyngula.
posted by dhruva at 10:41 PM PST - 20 comments

If it comes to civil war, the disintegration of Iraq will be extremely bloody. "The breakup of Iraq would be nearly as bad as the breakup of India in 1947," says David Mack, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state with wide experience in the Arab world. "The Kurds can't count on us to come in and save their bacon. Do they think we are going to mount an air bridge on their behalf?" Israel might support the Kurds, but Iran would intervene heavily in support of the Shiites with men, arms and money, while Arab countries would back their fellow Sunnis. "You'd see Jordan, Saudi Arabia, even Egypt intervening with everything they've got -- tanks, heavy weapons, lots of money, even troops," says White, the former State Department official.

The Quagmire
posted by y2karl at 9:35 PM PST - 112 comments

Stitch n' Bitch Chicago gets a nastygram. The phrase, the original of which is unknown (to me) refers to the art of getting together with friends for some knitting and chatting. It was popularized by a couple of books and is used by knitting groups the world over. One of those groups, the Chicago SnB, had a Cafepress store selling items with the phrase "stitch 'n bitch." Then the Sew Fast/Sew Easy folks came along and told Cafepress they hold the trademark (reg. #2596818). Cafepress requested that the Chicago SnB remove the phrase from their items. Predictably, this got people all riled up and posting not-so-nice things on SFSE's "Stitch and Bitch Cafe." Those posts were promptly deleted. Now the call is out for free lawyerly help. If any of you IP types want to offer advice, you might join the Chicago SnB Yahoo group. I'm sure they'd appreciate it.
posted by schoolgirl report at 4:28 PM PST - 28 comments

De-Animator [flash, creepy] — You are Herbert West. You have a revolver. Destroy your unholy creations before they give you a fate worse than death.
posted by neckro23 at 4:19 PM PST - 32 comments

Pity the parents of adolescent boys. Such creatures are horrible human beings -- unsocialized, inarticulate, sometimes savage little jerks with raging hormones and no judgment.
posted by Count Ziggurat at 3:43 PM PST - 45 comments

Senator James Jeffords (I-VT) has decided not to run for re-election in 2006 and Bernie Sanders will run for the Senate seat. Major General Martha Rainville (adjutant general of the Vermont Army National Guard) is thinking of making a run as a Republican.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 2:53 PM PST - 19 comments

Take action and FAX your Senators (for free!) in opposition to the RealID bill up for voting tommorow on May 10th. Do it now, don't wait. Bury your Senators in protest of this terrible legislation. (via BoingBoing, Slashdot, IM, and more. Spread the word.)
posted by loquacious at 2:16 PM PST - 103 comments

MenuVista (Quicktime req), the thesis project of ITP (NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program) student Chia-wei Chang, gives restaurant customers a preview of their orders by projecting photos of the meal on their empty plates. The system also allows them to modify their orders by using a projected menu with a touch sensor interface which includes menu text and food images. More ITP thesis presentations from last week »
posted by jenleigh at 1:59 PM PST - 6 comments

The Cri-Cri is the world's smallest twin-engined aircraft. Designed by Michel Colomban in the '70s, it also is quite capable of aerobatics, and follows a proud tradition of ridiculously small French kit planes. And now there's even a jet-engined Cri-Cri!
posted by Skeptic at 1:51 PM PST - 10 comments

The Uses of Canaries--and what canaries need to do --...Why go to all that trouble when we have reduced the homosexual, himself, to nothing more than a body part? Remove the homo -- he's just a diseased body part, after all -- and the problem is solved. Of course there will always be those so pathologically sex-panicked that they have to rely on their Think Pieces to get their pornography fix. Not worth worrying about, generally. But when United States Senators start in with the Depravity Fillip, and the DF starts showing up in the campaign literature of various groups... well, you want to keep your eye on that sort of thing. You maybe want to start thinking about that famous canary in the mine-shaft. ...
posted by amberglow at 1:15 PM PST - 51 comments

A thin, white garment embroidered with flowers. This was the only possession of Lola Rein as she hid for seven months in a hole in the ground to escape the Nazis, and the only connection to the mother who had made it for her.
posted by scody at 12:55 PM PST - 20 comments

Articles of Faith "By inviting articles that covered different sides of disputed issues, Father Reese helped make America Magazine a forum for intelligent discussion of questions facing the Catholic Church and the country today." Thomas J. Reese's policy -- to present both sides of the discussion -- apparentlly "did not sit well with Vatican authorities". Reese, a Jesuit and a political scientist, had made a point of publishing both sides of the debate on a range of subjects, some of them quite delicate for a Catholic magazine -- gay priests, stem-cell research, the responsibility of Catholic politicians confronting laws on abortion and same-sex unions and a Vatican document (the Dominus Iesus declaration) which outlined the idea that divine truth is most fully revealed in Christianity and the Catholic Church in particular.
Reese, who had described last month the Vatican as behaving like the cranky owner of a good restaurant, resigned yesterday as editor of the magazine. More inside.
posted by matteo at 12:51 PM PST - 17 comments

Photostream of Hal Bergman. Updated daily with some absolutely gorgeous photos of Los Angeles.
posted by Brockstar at 11:32 AM PST - 12 comments

Every now and again, a story or scandal falls off the newswire that reminds you good guys and bad guys don't happen in real life. The fantastic original expose and ongoing coverage of the Dick Dasen case in Montana is one of them. The testimony of dozens or hundreds of women Dick Dasen, a wealthy Christian pillar-of-the-community businessman type, has paid for sex (or sometimes nothing at all) over several years are bringing the Flathead Valley meth scene to light, and thanks to what I personally think is some excellent local reporting by the New West, you can read along as it happens.
posted by saysthis at 11:11 AM PST - 38 comments

"Well, of course, we do mules down on the farm in Georgia. It's the natural swing of things, you naive lefty you." Neal Horsley is certainly one of the more interesting right-wing hypocrites living in these interesting times. [via Wonkette]
posted by If I Had An Anus at 10:42 AM PST - 39 comments

Move Over Darwin!
Do you believe God belongs in government?
Do you believe President Bush is doing The Lord's Work?
If so, then show your love for God & the USA!
posted by nofundy at 10:39 AM PST - 67 comments

Whole: A Documentary Currently airing on the Sundance Channel, Whole is a documentary about people who either have or want to become voluntary amputees (concept previously discussed here.) Director Melody Gilbert examines the condition and its implications in interviews with doctors, amputees and "wannabes" like Baz, who froze his own leg with dry ice to make himself feel whole. Gilbert also directed the documentary about even crazier people: people who want to get married at the Mall of America.
posted by dios at 9:41 AM PST - 43 comments

Greg's Digital Portfolio Here's the way to make everybody unhappy with their own life. With Photoshop and other imaging tools, the advertising industry has implanted images of such impossible perfection that the things we encounter in our lives seem somehow tawdry and inqdequate. Greg is a "digital pre-press" artist that manipulates images to make them prettier, smoother, and more appealing--he makes the imperfect look perfect. On one hand, I am in awe of the command he has of his craft. But just as waxed apples make real apples seem uhealthy and crappy, what do such images of digitally mediated reality do for our relationship with the real world?
posted by curtm at 9:25 AM PST - 41 comments

In 30 years of going to Cannes, Roger Ebert has witnessed Francis Ford Coppola suffering from post-Apocolypse insanity and learned Jerry Lewis's secret for preventing riots--but the most interesting character he ever met there was a loudmouthed, fast-talking Texan named Silver Dollar Baxter with an uncanny gift for bluffing...
posted by yankeefog at 9:08 AM PST - 5 comments

The newist book from the world of Jim Henson about the man who spoke through puppets, I mean muppets.
posted by Viomeda at 8:33 AM PST - 13 comments

Tired of your friends and family telling you to get a girlfriend? With an Imaginary Girlfriend, you can carry on a completely fictitious, yet authentic looking relationship with the girl of your choice.*
* By "choice," I mean "Erica."
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:09 AM PST - 37 comments

Todd Solondz interview. Writer/director Solondz, and Elvis Mitchell, (ex)NYTimes film critic, in a beautiful discussion of Solondz's films, the universality of Dawn Wiener, and Solondz's new film "Palindromes". From Mitchell's radio show " The Treatment".
posted by R. Mutt at 6:48 AM PST - 21 comments

HandShadowGraphy - Welcome to the exquisite world of shadows (scroll down for video of performance)

It's interesting to watch, but the real fun is in trying it yourself...
posted by Stauf at 5:52 AM PST - 7 comments

World statistics as they happen.
Fascinating info. Be sure to check out lightning strikes and CO2 emissions. How many more people are there in the world today? (it surprised me). Nice to know bicycle production outpaces automobile production.
posted by zardoz at 5:49 AM PST - 12 comments

Vulnerable SUVs? William Cottrell gets sentenced to 8 years for vandalising SUVs, while this guy originally got just 18 months? Wow.
posted by Duug at 2:31 AM PST - 70 comments

It's a blog, it's a news wire, it's...The Huffington Post. Launched today, the site lives up to low expectations with thin commentary by celebrities and underwhelming design. Dying to hear what Brad Hall (Julia Louis-Dreyfus' husband) has to say about gay marriage? How about David Mamet's take on this computer thing? Or just looking for fresh news bites like the "real, inside" story on Jeff Gannon or the fact that models are often re-touched?
posted by jasonsmall at 2:00 AM PST - 63 comments

I found this and wanted to share. It reminds me of Hardware Wars from the late seventies (mentioned here). Check out the organic trade association for more for-real information.
posted by PossumCowboy at 1:15 AM PST - 13 comments

The shame in spain - thought provoking article about racism in la Liga.
posted by triv at 12:58 AM PST - 15 comments

May 8

Fred Burks: Conscientious whistle-blower or American traitor? Fred Burks was a State Department interpreter in Indonesian for almost two decades. After resigning his contract when asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, he suddenly appeared as a defence witness in the case of Abu Bakar Ba'asyir who masterminded the Bali bombing. His testimony was instrumental in Ba'asyir's acquittal on terror charges. In court, he divulged the details of a secret meeting between Indonesian President Megawati and CIA and NSA operatives who demanded Megawati arrest Ba'asyir and hand him over which put pressure on the Indonesian court to give Ba'asyir a wrist slap. Fred Burks: Conscientious whistle-blower or American traitor? You decide.
posted by timyang at 10:14 PM PST - 12 comments

Barris Motor Car Collection Auction. You can buy a General Lee, Stephen King's Christine, The Bev. Hillbilly's Swamp Rat, KITT, The Bandit, a power ranger strato cycle, the bat cycle, grease lightning and more.
posted by srboisvert at 7:23 PM PST - 16 comments

michael jackson takes the stand!! (flash - rather suggestive)
posted by pyramid termite at 5:16 PM PST - 19 comments

How colourblindness affects the viewing of web pages. Colour blindness affects approximately 8% of males and 1% of females, commonly by being unable to distinguish between red and green. Here is an interesting web tool for designers to check their sites.
posted by growli at 5:01 PM PST - 40 comments

"Expertise is a very good thing, but it is not the same thing as sound judgment regarding strategy and policy. George W. Bush has more insight, because of his knowledge of human beings and his sense of history, about the motive force, the craving for freedom and participation in self-rule, than do many of the language experts and history experts and culture experts." -- From a fascinating profile of Douglas Feith, undersecretary of Defense, and one of the main architects of the war in Iraq. From the New Yorker.
posted by digaman at 12:50 PM PST - 64 comments

A widget of mass destruction (warning: clicking this link will install a widget) may be the answer to all those who have been fervently wishing or imagining that Mac users will soon experience the joys of viruses and worms... if, that is, you have taken the leap of faith to upgrade to OS X Tiger and can't get enough of Dashboard (last 2 are Quicktime video links). Konfabulator was the precursor -- there is a Windows version available (shareware).
posted by indices at 9:28 AM PST - 49 comments

Sri Lankan Maids Pay Dearly for Perilous Jobs Overseas The teacher held up an electric cake mixer and told the class of wide-eyed women before her to clean it properly. If it smells, "Mama," as the aspiring maids were instructed to call their female employers, "will be angry and she will hammer and beat you." Sriyantha Walpola for The New York Times More than a million Sri Lankans - roughly 1 in every 19 citizens - now work abroad, and nearly 600,000 are housemaids. Sriyantha Walpola for The New York Times Some maids being trained in Kegalla, Sri Lanka, will find brutal work conditions in the Middle East. "This is where you go wrong," the teacher continued. "That is how Mama beats you and burns you - when you do anything wrong."
posted by kmtharakan at 7:39 AM PST - 27 comments

Expressionless girl. [loud music, flash]
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 6:35 AM PST - 43 comments

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (link to trailer) is due out from Disney on December 9, 2005. The book by CS Lewis has already been made into a movie by the BBC, however, the old films can not match the epic promised by director Andrew Adamson. (Previously discussed here.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:38 AM PST - 79 comments

“What I remember of him is he used to make the coffee and do the photocopying.” A flattering portrait of 'Bin Laden general' Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the 4th Al-Qaida #3 man captured so far.
posted by greatgefilte at 12:25 AM PST - 42 comments

May 7

Interactive archaeology "We bring the excavations to you!" (via plep)
posted by dhruva at 10:07 PM PST - 3 comments

A history of the GUI from the 1930s through the 90s. Also see Vannevar Bush's visionary 1945 essay As we May Think, which helped to set the wheels in motion. (Check out the Ars Technica discussion for good related links and commentary.) (via The Sideshow)
posted by madamjujujive at 9:09 PM PST - 15 comments

KXLY News 4 Mayor Jim West of Spokane Washington has been accused of sexual abuse of a male child. Mayor West announced in the local Spokesman Review newpaper that he plans on staying on as Mayor.
posted by Ignition at 8:59 PM PST - 43 comments

scratch around my ears or..... my Cat's name is Juicyface and he likes deli turkey breast and roast beef.
posted by longsleeves at 8:56 PM PST - 20 comments

AT&T Text to Spech put out by AT&T labs is interesting to play around with. Select your language and accent and then go wild. You can even translate if you select the right accent.
posted by tozturk at 7:18 PM PST - 34 comments

An amazing piece of animation made all the better by its magical subject: the lovely architecture of Persia and its storybook capital for some 200 years, Isfahan. Cristobal Vila, principle of Eterea Studios, shares behind the scenes information... and you can even purchase a print from the movie, if you're so inclined. Be sure to check out his other works. Via Times & Seasons.
posted by silusGROK at 5:55 PM PST - 15 comments

Nobel winner GÜNTER GRASS about Germany on the anniversary of the end of WWII (NYT).
posted by semmi at 4:37 PM PST - 28 comments

Smell The Brimstone --Have you ever asked yourself, "Self, what if the folks at JibJab made another political cartoon, but before doing so were to remove their souls, morals, intellect, decency, and common sense?"--Good as You's review of this little flash piece, from the GodHatesFags crew (Phelps). I think it's so poorly done and insane, it's actually funny, but NSFW and offensive.
posted by amberglow at 3:43 PM PST - 75 comments


California Dreaming: A True Story of Computers, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll (Reg. req'd) Engineers can be so cute. In the early 1960's, Myron Stolaroff, an employee of the tape recorder manufacturer Ampex, decided to prove the value of consuming LSD. So he set up the International Foundation for Advanced Study and went about his project in classic methodical fashion.

But John Markoff, a senior writer for The New York Times who covers technology, makes a convincing case that for the swarming ubergeeks assembling in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1960's, approaching drugs as they might any other potentially helpful tool or device - from a soldering iron to a computer chip - was only natural. The goals were broad in the 60's: the world would be remade, the natural order of things reconfigured, human potential amplified to infinity. Anything that could help was to be cherished, studied and improved.

Judging by the record presented in What the Dormouse Said, it is indisputable that many of the engineers and programmers who contributed to the birth of personal computing were fans of LSD, draft resisters, commune sympathizers and, to put it bluntly, long-haired hippie freaks.
posted by gleenyc at 1:40 PM PST - 32 comments

Saladin (Salah-ad-Din) is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the latest less than great Hollywood historical epic. A leader who seems to have viewed war as the means to a more perfect peace, his namesake now belongs to the Iraqi provence containing Tikrit, his birthplace and a city now all too familiar to us. The modern context of his story is important and obvious.
posted by fatllama at 1:00 PM PST - 27 comments

Nike doesn't want poor people to buy its shoes. Funny, you'd think K-Mart and Nike would have a lot in common.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:15 AM PST - 60 comments

Blogger Mobile. Blogger introduces mobile-phone-to-weblog posting. Send an MMS/email message from your cellphone to the specified email address, and Go.Blogger auto-generates a new random blogspot URL hooked to your contact information. (The URL can be changed or merged with your existing weblogs when you "claim" your number on login.) More from Blogger Buzz (with jingle), Blogger Help, Bizstone, and Youngpup. What do you think of this compared to "moblogging" via Flickr?
posted by brownpau at 10:54 AM PST - 15 comments

Today is World Centennial Haiku Day 05/07/05
Rejoice good citizens, today is Haiku Day.
We're all well familiar with rape haiku (and grape haiku from the Mefi thread) but did you know about Scifaiku (science fiction haiku)?
Unless you don't follow the Gregorian Calendar, such as those following the Hebrew, Persian, Islamic , Chinese, or Hindu calendars. To them its just another day, I guess.
posted by fenriq at 10:18 AM PST - 31 comments

Leaked BBC Memo from 2002 shows that Bush asked UK to find some justification for going to war with Iraq. Despite a "WMD capability [that] was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran". The memo says they need "a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would help with the legal justification for the use of force." In other words, all those people who said the US/UK were just making it up to go to war were right. Anyone surprised this isn't getting any US news coverage?
posted by Brockstar at 10:08 AM PST - 93 comments

Vote For The Worst American Idol contestant and be a foot solider against cornball programming. In the battle between an Internet movement and television producers, so far the rouge site has the lead. But as we get closer to the show's finale, can the contrarians keep the worst contestants in the mix?
posted by herc at 9:19 AM PST - 23 comments

Mike Doughty's got a good blog. You may well already know Doughty, the genius from Soul Coughing. His blog is updated regularly, it seems, and features some nice photographs. He seems to have a new record coming out soon, which is very good news for fans of his bizarrely excellent music.
posted by mokey at 7:16 AM PST - 29 comments

Learn Brit-Speak British Airways wants to help Americans understand "Brit-Speak". Of course you've always wanted to know what pants, snog, squiz and lurgy mean, but as a marketing strategy? annoying flash interface, but all 72 items inside
posted by quiet at 4:47 AM PST - 81 comments

Consider the tuba and its player. Maligned by flautists and other snigglers, ignored by second-rate composers, the tuba is a musical instrument with a deep history. From serpents to ophecleides to sousaphones, the tuba is truly God's voice box (although some would say it is closer to Satan's).

Tubas represent love. Tubas bring joy. Humor. And beer. Rising above the petty stereotyping of fat men and oom-pah bands, the tuba is inarguably the most important musical instrument that exists today.
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 3:32 AM PST - 29 comments

HySpace! Dodongo's Interests:
General: NOT SMOKE
Music: NOT THE SMOKING PIPES
Movies: NOT CHEECH AND CHONG'S UP IN SMOKE
Books: Dodongo... not read much... BUT HEY IF TITLE OF BOOK IS HAVING THE WORD SMOKE, DODONGO PROBABLY NOT LIKE VERY MUCH, SEE WHERE DODONGO WITH GOING IS YOU?
posted by StopMakingSense at 2:20 AM PST - 39 comments

The songs at the top of the world Unbelievable music from the land of the gods, Tibet - Haunting eerie and warming. I have no more words for this music.
posted by Elim at 1:33 AM PST - 18 comments

May 6

UpdateFilter: Microsoft bows to pressure, supports gay rights after all.
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 5:40 PM PST - 39 comments

Working Title Animation of Steven Hill's 3186 movie title screens. (via Waxy via B3ta)
posted by fungible at 4:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Total chaos, no way to see the race, not even the track...nobody cares. Big lines at the outdoor betting windows, then stand back to watch winning numbers flash on the big board, like a giant bingo game.

Old blacks arguing about bets; "Hold on there, I'll handle this" (waving pint of whiskey, fistful of dollar bills); girl riding piggyback, T-shirt says, "Stolen from Fort Lauderdale Jail." Thousands of teen-agers, group singing "Let the Sun Shine In," ten soldiers guarding the American flag and a huge fat drunk wearing a blue football jersey (No. 80) reeling around with quart of beer in hand.

No booze sold out here, too dangerous...no bathrooms either. Muscle Beach...Woodstock...many cops with riot sticks, but no sign of a riot. Far across the track the clubhouse looks like a postcard from the Kentucky Derby.

posted by airguitar at 4:10 PM PST - 25 comments

How "Real ID" Act will affect you [CNET]
Starting three years from now, if you live or work in the United States, you'll need a federally approved ID card to travel on an airplane, open a bank account, collect Social Security payments, or take advantage of nearly any government service.
posted by dand at 1:28 PM PST - 94 comments

Islamic finance --doing business according to Shari'a. ...Pious Muslims are not allowed to invest in industries that have ties to tobacco, alcohol, weapons, pornography or pork products. Since the law prohibits banks from charging or paying interest, Noriba and other Islamic Financial Institutions (ifis) instead make money by using a system based on the sharing of capital gains or losses. But even with post-Sept. 11 suspicions that Islamic banks may fund terrorist organizations, demand for the services of ifis is on the rise from the towers of Bahrain to the streets of London. Indeed, they represent one of banking's hottest sectors. ... more here
Socially-conscious investing of a different sort?
posted by amberglow at 1:07 PM PST - 15 comments

Who is the real Bob Saget? • "In comedy circles, there’s a famous Saget story about the night his first daughter was born. After a very difficult birth, during which Sherri Saget and her baby almost died, a friend showed up to find Mr. Saget looking utterly destroyed, unshaven, unrecognizable, but holding his newborn. Oh my God, Bob, she’s beautiful, the friend said. For a dollar, you can finger her, Mr. Saget replied." Saget guests in the upcoming Aristocrats documentary discussed here.
posted by dhoyt at 12:03 PM PST - 55 comments

According to the developmental spiral we are heading towards an unfathomable point in time known as singularity. Could the futurists and science fiction writers such as Vernon Vinge be right?
posted by ttopher at 11:48 AM PST - 57 comments

Aspen - The Multimedia Magazine In A Box On The Web. Produced from 1965 to 1971 as an alternative to a bound magazine, Aspen came as a box filled with booklets, phonograph recordings, posters and postcards by a stellar array of contributors.
posted by liam at 11:12 AM PST - 5 comments

Mars Polar Lander found? The Mars Polar Lander was lost while attempting to land on Mars in December 1999. An initial search for the lander was fruitless. But now Michael Malin of Malin Space Science Systems thinks he may have found the lander's parachute and crashed remains. Meanwhile, some scientists are worried about landers and crashed vehicles contaminating Mars; others think it's not a problem. [via Slashdot]
posted by flug at 11:11 AM PST - 4 comments

Robert Sheckley, the science fiction author, has been taken ill in a hospital in Kiev. Here is an interview, an appreciation by James Sallis of the Boston Globe and a few short stories from the SciFiction archives: The Prize of Peril, Protection, Cordle to Onion to Carrot, Bad Medicine and A Wind Is Rising.
posted by Kattullus at 11:08 AM PST - 12 comments

Call the SOBs. Having a hard time remembering the toll-free number for the US Capitol Switchboard? Forget no more...it's 877-SOB-U-SOB. Honestly.
posted by diastematic at 10:00 AM PST - 12 comments

Col. David Hackworth, who billed himself as America's most decorated living soldier (he had eight Purple Hearts and ten Silver Stars), died in Mexico this week at age 74. Hackworth saw combat in World War II (having joined the Army at 15), Korea, and Vietnam; in 1967 he and Gen. Samuel Marshall wrote the Vietnam Primer, a "lessons learned" document prepared for the Army to explain how not to fight a guerilla war. In 1971, after years in-country, Hackworth turned publically against the war, telling ABC News that it could not be won and moving to Australia, where his anti-nuclear efforts earned him a United Nations Medal for Peace. Hackworth was a distinguished war correspondent, a self-appointed advocate for the average soldier who used his website as a soapbox, a best-selling author, a critic of American tactics in the Iraq War, and possibly the only figure respected by both WorldNetDaily and Common Dreams.
posted by snarkout at 9:34 AM PST - 33 comments

From the followup department: Global dimming? It stopped. "We see the dimming is no longer there," said Dr. Martin Wild, a climatologist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich and the lead author of one of three papers analyzing sunlight that appear in today's issue of the journal Science. "If anything, there is a brightening." As always, use bugmenot to bypass registration.
posted by darukaru at 8:54 AM PST - 9 comments

Honest With Me: Musical Stories on Bob Dylan "KEXP [Seattle] presents a series of stories on the musical life of Bob Dylan. Told by Dylan’s friends, scholars and fans, 'Honest With Me' features firsthand accounts from Joan Baez, Al Kooper, Izzy Young and the Band’s Robbie Robertson." And they're all pretty great, even if you've heard some of the stories a hundred times.
posted by ericost at 8:45 AM PST - 8 comments

$11.5 Trillion Lost In Bermuda Triangle In case you've ever wondered just how much money the mega rich keep nice and tax free in off shore shelters, it's $11.5 trillion.
posted by expriest at 8:36 AM PST - 46 comments

"And what do I have to say in rebuttal? Not a g-----n thing." Ajai Raj, the UT-Austin student arrested for saying a naughty word to Ann Coulter, offers his "Open Letter to Anyone Who Gives a Sh*t About Justice." As unabashed and blunt as- well- Ann Coulter, but still admirably less juvenile than other recent commentaries.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:37 AM PST - 80 comments


Highlight of the election coverage: George Galloway is the leader of Respect and won a historic and unexpected victory against the Blairite Oona King, on an anti-war ticket. He was then interviewed by Jeremy Paxman, an increasingly controversial interviewer well known for asking questions absurd numbers of times until they get answered - a technique which arguably backfires here. You might want to watch Galloway's acceptance speech first. [Windows Media. My two cents: Paxman is an egregious cock, more interested in getting his eternally righteous indignation across than any issues.]
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:18 AM PST - 75 comments

Everything's Coming up Rosie Just further proof that Ms. O'Donnell is one of the finest actresses of this generation, nay, of this millennium.
posted by rokabiri at 6:10 AM PST - 38 comments

You'll love the chubby babies and thrill to the Heroes and Villains. You'll like the heroines as well. The rest of Stefan Landsberg's Chinese Propaganda Poster site is fairly nifty as well. There are more here, and here. The Taschen volume is always on the table chez nous. (Note : I posted the site link the day before yesterday on the inside, and someone suggested that it should go on the front page, so here it is).
posted by TimothyMason at 5:37 AM PST - 12 comments

Michael Hutchings' rope trick and Dylan Thurston's two-handed knot-drawing sk1llz. Did you need to kill some time practicing pointless skills today?
posted by Wolfdog at 5:18 AM PST - 12 comments

42. I had always wondered why Jim Henson did The Muppet Show in England, after years of successful collaboration with The Children's Television Network in NYC. As a then 9-year old, I felt a kind of betrayal that I couldn't exactly put my finger on. As some little punk kid, what did I know about the financing of entertainment?

This analysis of The Jim Henson Co. as a globe-trotting band of gypsies goes a long way to explain the oddness of The Muppet Show and the change in tone that resulted when the puppets moved from Sesame Street to Lew Grade's London soundstages.
posted by vhsiv at 4:20 AM PST - 26 comments

The International Children's Digital Library has over 600 illustrated children's books entirely viewable online. Included are the amazing 1900 illustrated edition of "A is for Apple", and the 1885 color illustrated "Baseball ABC". Also online are the 1905 and 1916 editions of the illustrated "Alice in Wonderland". Searchable, with books representing 28 languages, including English, Japanese, Farsi, Niuean, Yiddish, Khmer, Tongan, German, Arabic .... (though most contemporary, copyrighted western books are, of course, not here).
posted by R. Mutt at 4:18 AM PST - 12 comments

Prosecutors say they are confident of Corby guilt. But they've got to be joking right? Prosecutors are claiming that because Corby was caught 'red handed' this warrants jailing her for life. Isn't this just a little barbaric though? I mean this poor woman has already been through a totally life changing ordeal that will probably leave her mentally scarred for life (I've refrained from saying f__ked up but that's what I mean). The latest news reports state that she has even found God over the past week or so and recently was baptised to proclaim her faith. I find this behaviour very interesting. Is it a clear indication she is reaching out because she feels totally helpless? Most likely. But good for her anyway. Hey, perhaps a belief in a higher power might have helped the guy who testified at her trial a few weeks ago about Corby being a victim of an Australian drug smuggling ring. Of course being a rat (especially while still in jail) can be hazardous to your health, though. So in conclusion, stupid Mr Rat and poor Miss Corby. She still shouldn't go to prison, though. Related: The 'Bali nine'.
posted by sjvilla79 at 3:58 AM PST - 24 comments

The Khronos Projector interactive art installation allows users to send parts of a filmed projection forwards or backwards in time. Neat temporal waving follows.
posted by peacay at 3:50 AM PST - 6 comments

Google Globetrotting. Play armchair traveler or spot-the-anomaly with thousands of Google Maps satellite photos!
posted by Lush at 3:11 AM PST - 9 comments

A Polite Winter is an eye-catching 'conversation' in 34 images, between the graphic artists James Jean and Kenichi Hoshine. (via)
posted by misteraitch at 1:18 AM PST - 3 comments

May 5

FDA to ban sperm donations from homosexuals. Claims the rate of HIV among gay men is statistically high enough to warrant the exclusion. Gay community suggests discrimination. See also: Gay blood ban (in effect since 1985).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:34 PM PST - 204 comments

Best Logo of All Time? No question. I tip my cap to the graphic designer that came up with this one. via Boing Boing
posted by spock at 10:21 PM PST - 57 comments

Blair wins third term in UK overcoming public outcry against his handling of the war in Iraq. His Labour party was elected despite attracting votes from only 22% of those eligible to do so.
posted by drewlondon at 9:58 PM PST - 74 comments

No Longer Lonely -- Online Dating For the Mentally Ill Membership is reserved solely for those with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, personality disorder, post-traumatic disorder, or disassociative disorder, or eating disorder. If you ARE unsure if you qualify please contact the webmaster.

Some groovy benefits they tout:
* Never have to worry again about disclosure of your condition
* No need to hide those pill bottles
* Never again have to explain your erratic work experience
* No more stigma-induced disappointments
* Finding someone who can really understand your struggles and accomplishments

Since JDate is not just for Jews any more, perhaps (despite the requests not to) there will be a run on this site for those aren't part of the mental illness community.
I'm sure all of us have an ex that we might politely term "mentally ill"- we could find more like 'em on a site like this, or avoid 'em in future if we knew they were dating amongst themselves? Maybe there should be an enabler category?
My 2nd FPP and my 2nd about unusual online dating. I don't know why that is.
posted by stevil at 5:44 PM PST - 22 comments


Subsystence.net A virtual cornucopia of thought-provoking writing, art, and music - subsystence is one of my favorite e-zines. Now in its fifth issue, with outstanding features such as a series of paintings by Chicago artist Nick Butcher and music by Detalles.
posted by chrisege at 4:12 PM PST - 2 comments

WHOOO.... How Stuff works tackles a biggie....its all about lightsabers! "The big advantage of using a lightsaber, of course, is that you can both cut and toast the bagel in one stroke." via /.
posted by ShawnString at 2:20 PM PST - 29 comments

Shrunken heads! (Heads on coins that is).
posted by of strange foe at 2:12 PM PST - 9 comments

Turtles, monks, money, and magic "Secretary of State for the Ministry of Cults and Religions, Chhorn Iem, said he had lost count of the number of fraudulent monks and gods that came to his ministry's attention....Police said the turtle was confiscated from the elderly woman, whom they did not name, and taken into protective custody....The monk was released with a caution" - A monk and an old woman tussle over a magic turtle.
posted by troutfishing at 1:47 PM PST - 10 comments

ESPN's Baseball Tonight has a blog - sort of. Featuring such gems as Pay Rickey, words from Barry Bonds' knee fluid, and Mike Piazza addressing the evils of the filibuster.
posted by xmutex at 12:55 PM PST - 11 comments

Can blogging ever become big business? Some people appear to be making a good living at blogging. There is even a blog devoted to the business of blogging. Jason is trying it.
posted by caddis at 12:41 PM PST - 24 comments

What's the matter with Liberals? An article by Thomas Frank, author of What's the Matter With Kansas, and previously linked here. Well researched, and worth arguing over. via MoFi
posted by klangklangston at 12:21 PM PST - 48 comments

Psephologists rejoice! The Guardian will be blogging the UK election as it happens, and there's already some comments and links to other online discussions. As the UK polls close at 10:00 pm, this means that early results and exit polls will be in late afternoon for US poll-watchers.
posted by carter at 11:41 AM PST - 223 comments

Looking hate in the faceWashington Blade blogger Chris Crain describes a vicious beating he suffered while touring the Netherlands, "arguably the 'gay-friendliest' place on the planet. "By almost any measure, the equality movement in the Netherlands was won years ago. There are laws protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation, there are hate crime laws, and Holland is one of only a handful of countries where gay couples can legally marry."
posted by dhoyt at 11:28 AM PST - 46 comments

The Bootleg Browser. Links to live shows from almost 350 artists.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:15 AM PST - 18 comments

"Unintelligible at any speed." No, not Ralph Nader mumbling, but the lyrics to "Louie Louie," in the FBI's humble assessment more than 40 years ago. Nevertheless, this week a Michigan school superintendent banned a middle school marching band from playing the song... even without anyone singing the lyrics.
posted by twsf at 10:27 AM PST - 47 comments

George Will's column today (WaPo; reg. req'd) sounds a theme that's becoming common among "traditional" conservatives: A growing wariness of the Christian conservative movement. Andrew Sullivan has been discussing this at length (as has MeFi here), but more and more conservative commentators are beginning to allude to it, if only indirectly. And wasn't Laura Bush's comedy routine at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner specifically designed to distance the president from the movement?
posted by kgasmart at 10:06 AM PST - 56 comments

Guggenheim lecture on John Baldessari in his own words: "People shaking hands, you know: congratulating each other, what have you in a standard shot. I really always found them objectionable and then I realized that these were people making decisions about my life while I was in my studio so there was a kind of uneasiness on my part and one day after carrying these photographs around I had some circular price stickers and I put them on their faces. And I really felt that leveled the playing field somehow."
posted by Mme. Robot at 8:52 AM PST - 9 comments

A Dutch court refuses to arrest George W. Bush when he arrives there on Saturday. the demands "could have far-reaching consequences for US-Dutch relations"
posted by Count Ziggurat at 8:49 AM PST - 76 comments

When this passes for dissent, perhaps we see valid reasons for screening people at public lectures who want to attend for no other reason than to disrupt. People typically attend lectures to hear out and consider the ideas of the designated speaker, not to see attempted assault or to have a riot incited.
posted by dios at 8:15 AM PST - 140 comments

1.7 million deaths in the U.S. and 180-360 million dead globally. That's the estimate of the impact of the next influenza pandemic from Michael Osterholm, published in today's New England Journal of Medicine. He warns that almost every public health response to the inevitable emergence of pandemic influenza A strain is unplanned or inadequate: A vaccine would take minimum six months (and millions of fertilized chicken eggs); there are no plans to setup and staff the temporary isolation wards or replace dead health-care workers; nor are there detailed plans for handling the number of dead bodies. Given the deeply interconnected nature of the global economy a pandemic would be impossible to stop and wreak havoc in every nation. "Frankly the crisis could for all we know have started last night in some village in Southeast Asia," said Dr. Paul Gully, Canada's deputy chief public health officer. "We don't have any time to waste and even if we did have some time, the kinds of things we need to do will take years. Right now, the best we can do is try to survive it. We need a Manhattan Project yesterday."
posted by docgonzo at 7:38 AM PST - 75 comments


Paul Shirley's blog returns for the NBA playoffs. Shirley is the last player in the depth chart on the potential NBA champion Phoenix Suns. As ESPN's Bill Simmons wrote about his original blog, "we could finally have an answer to the question, 'What would it be like if one our friends was an NBA player and sent us e-mails about his life every few days?'"
posted by casu marzu at 7:17 AM PST - 10 comments

Steven Soderbergh's radical plan could change the whole movie industry.
posted by debralee at 7:13 AM PST - 24 comments

It's a blog, a wiki, a todo list, a calendar. It's a place to keep and share your photographs and files. It's "Backpack" from 37 signals.
posted by seanyboy at 6:39 AM PST - 33 comments


From Pitch to Premiere LA-based radio show The Business decided to track a film project from its earliest stages. Host Claude Brodesser began with an interview with the producer, the original screenwriter, and her agent, just after they had sold the project as a pitch.(RealAudio stream; interview starts at 11:08) Then he followed up with them as they were beginning their hunt for a director (RealAudio stream; interview starts at 2:51). And when they found a director, the director did an interview as well (RealAudio stream; interview starts at 9:20). It's an interesting look into how movies actually get made. (Via John August, who is the current writer on the project.)
posted by yankeefog at 4:51 AM PST - 2 comments

Hell Money "the Chinese believed Hell was the English term for the Afterlife. The word was incorporated and printed on the traditional Chinese Afterlife Monetary Offerings, otherwise known as Hell Bank Notes."
posted by dhruva at 2:26 AM PST - 21 comments

Simon Schama compares UK and US elections and discovers that the most beautiful women in the world can be rather hairy.
posted by TimothyMason at 2:07 AM PST - 22 comments

May 4

When the president talks to God [8MB wmv, also mov] Are the conservations brief or long? Suprisingly blunt protest song (lyrics) performed by Bright Eyes last night on The Tonight Show. (The single is available as a free download from the iTunes Music Store.)
posted by kirkaracha at 11:10 PM PST - 65 comments

The most prominent feature is the cow skill mounted on the hood. When art cars go out to pasture.
posted by drezdn at 10:40 PM PST - 9 comments

If we don't ban the sexy cheerleaders, the terrorists will have won.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:39 PM PST - 67 comments

Polish Circus Posters
posted by growabrain at 10:38 PM PST - 10 comments


Britney's Smear. Staff at Hot 89.9 Morning Hot Tub team spent two weeks touting what they claim is the First Response home pregnancy test Britney Spears used to determine she was carrying husband Kevin Federline's baby. GoldenPalace.com, an online casino known for its aggressive marketing, beat out 800 other hopefuls with a bid of $5,001.
posted by fandango_matt at 9:19 PM PST - 15 comments

Say it ain't so, Dave! Production on the new season of Chappelle's Show is suddenly on hold.
posted by LilBucner at 8:39 PM PST - 27 comments

Google thinks your internet connection is too slow. They want to make it faster.
posted by kickingtheground at 8:22 PM PST - 55 comments

How to detect a housing bubble. (Via Seeing the Forest.)
posted by alms at 7:49 PM PST - 51 comments

"The onslaught of destruction wrought upon the thylacine by the early settlers of Tasmania came about largely as a result of fear, ignorance, and misunderstanding." An extinct carnivorous marsupial.
posted by interrobang at 6:35 PM PST - 16 comments

If you could change the college mascot, what would you choose? Warriors? Too offensive. Golden Eagles? Boring, common, weak. Gold? What?!?
posted by brent at 6:34 PM PST - 52 comments

I can't find any major news outlets mentioning that today is the 35th anniversary of the Kent State killings, when national guardsmen troops fired a fusillade of live bullets at unarmed students protesting the invasion of Cambodia. Not everyone has forgotten. A new documentary, "Fire in the Heartland: A History of Dissent at Kent State University 1960-1980" was screened on campus today.
posted by tizzie at 6:34 PM PST - 23 comments

Do you have a vanity/special license plate? What if you were required by the state to have a certain plate because of your past?
posted by robbyrobs at 5:12 PM PST - 60 comments

May 3

Once upon a time, in the early eighties, one of the northern CBC Radio stations was vacated due to a strike. Vacated, except for one Inuit janitor and his friends...
posted by myopicman at 10:14 PM PST - 14 comments

The Filibuster and Fortas The republicans have been saying for weeks (or is it months?) that the "nuclear option" is justified because democrats did the unprecedented and threatened to filibuster judicial nominees. For weeks (or is it months?) many journalists and bloggers and average folks like myself have accepted the premise of this argument, while disaggreeing with its conclusion. Trouble is, it's just not true. (And there's video too, if I you want it...) Here's the wiki on Abe Fortas, a man I personally knew too little about before this. A man who resigned from the Supreme Court in scandal. He was also the same man who picked up Gideon's Trumpet.
posted by jann at 10:05 PM PST - 11 comments

I'm amused by today's Editorial in The Sun. It starts off with how a protest vote against Labour may mean 'you could be signing a young person's death warrant' due to the Liberal Democrat party's drugs policy.

The second half of the newspaper's editorial is a tribute to Anthony Wakefield... whose death came, of course, as part of the Blair government's war in Iraq... a basic irony that the newspaper has failed to pick up on. [via Bloggerheads]

For those who don't know, The Sun - which backs Blair, though not like this - is the UK's biggest selling newspaper and is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
posted by tapeguy at 10:04 PM PST - 32 comments

Cellphedia is a thesis project created by Limor Garcia (NYU). It's a cell phone application that allows to send and receive encyclopedia-type inquiries through Text messaging. A user will be able to get all the information they need – from “how old is the queen of England?” to “how many miles is the Brooklyn Bridge?” – through a real-time social network, while walking in the street.
posted by stbalbach at 9:21 PM PST - 6 comments

The women's petition against coffee "the Excessive use of that Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor called COFFEE, which Riffling Nature of her Choicest Treasures, and Drying up the Radical Moisture, has so Eunucht our Husbands, and Crippled our more kind Gallants, that they are become as Impotent, as Age, and as unfruitful as those Desarts whence that unhappy Berry is said to be brought." (via)
posted by dhruva at 7:23 PM PST - 43 comments

Human Towers. An old custom of Catalan, Castellers build human towers several stories tall. Via the Cellar's IOTD. Site is in spanish, click on links with foto and video.
posted by Mitheral at 6:19 PM PST - 15 comments

A review of the current state of gender based brain research shows that women and men differ both in the way their brains are constructed and in how they function.
..correlation between brain region size in adults and sex steroid action in utero suggests that at least some sex differences in cognitive function do not result from cultural influences or the hormonal changes associated with puberty--they are there from birth.
Treatment for such things as schizophrenia and depression will likely have gender specific variations in the future. Previously, brain research that examined gender differences was considered controversial because it was argued that the results might give rise to more sex discrimination against women. That view may be changing.posted by peacay at 6:18 PM PST - 33 comments


Simpsons shorts from The Tracey Ullman Show, 1987-1989. [(Low-quality RealMedia I'm afraid.]
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:46 PM PST - 20 comments

Page 35 - a Da Vinci scholar finds himself the victim of a dastardly murder (the fourth of his kind to do so). Before he dies, he leaves a message in his own blood on his own body for our hero to find, leading our protagonist (and his heroine, complete with "flashing green eyes" and cleverly hidden links to previously wronged goddess figures) on a quest to find an explosive secret that could shake the foundations of the Catholic Church. Paintings, puzzles, keys that aren't keys, safe-deposit boxes in Zurich, stalking assassins and parchments that should be linen abound. Sound familiar? You bet your sweet bippy it does.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:29 PM PST - 41 comments

The Vepsa are a distinct ethnic people who live in the Russian territory of Karelia, on the border with Finland. They are also scattered throughout the Leningrad and Vologda regions of Russia. Before many were assimiliated to Russian, the Vepsa spoke their own distinct variant of Finno-Ugric. [See more inside]
posted by gregb1007 at 3:57 PM PST - 14 comments

"Censorship does not keep us from doing evil—it just blocks us from seeing it." A (to many, probably surprising) Christian perspective on smut-removing DVD players and other forms of censorship.
posted by ubernostrum at 3:46 PM PST - 36 comments

"The Best Of The Web"?
posted by liam at 3:34 PM PST - 22 comments

Hungry? A restaraunt in Pennsylvania is offering a 15-pound burger for only $30
posted by C17H19NO3 at 3:19 PM PST - 60 comments

"Recruiting has always been a difficult job, and some say the scandals that have periodically surfaced are inevitable. But the temptation to cut corners is particularly strong today..."
posted by furtive at 3:08 PM PST - 20 comments

Not just for hard rockers, apparently . . . They're everywhere, damn worshippers of satan. Some you'd figure right away, some you wouldn't. Ever been to a rock concert? Yep, you're probably damned, too.
posted by John of Michigan at 2:11 PM PST - 36 comments



Where I'm Likely To Find It is a new short story by Japanese author Haruki Murakami (previously discussed here and here). The story is similar in feel to his latest novel, Kafka on the Shore which was released in English this year.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:13 PM PST - 11 comments

Phoning It In From 30 Years Ago. Parts of Marlon Brando's "Jor-El" scenes, cut from the old Superman II, may be resurrected in Superman Returns. (possible spoilers)
posted by brownpau at 12:43 PM PST - 19 comments

Illicit downloading is now tantamount to domestic terrorism. I wonder if "CleanPlay" will still censor my illegally downloaded DVDs.
posted by thanatogenous at 11:44 AM PST - 47 comments

Eating Chinese
posted by casu marzu at 11:35 AM PST - 19 comments

Joe Valentine has Two Mommies --..."It's no different than having a mother and father," he said. "These are the two women who raised me, and they are wonderful people. It's just not a big deal to me. Why should it be?" In an enlightened world, it shouldn't. But major league baseball is to enlightenment what Pauly Shore is to career longevity. ... Meet the Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher--"...a baseball player who was raised by two wonderful, loving mothers. How can anyone criticize that?"
posted by amberglow at 11:22 AM PST - 41 comments

Being the tale of a lad, and his quest for a beard. I've got visible vellus hair on my back (I got a couple of mirrors and checked). I've got shoulder hair. I've got bizarre hair high up on my cheeks. I've got some chest hair. I've got increased @#%$ hair (growing farther upward than it used to).
I had no idea some guys took facial hair this seriously. And then, while I was "combing" Metafilter for a duplicate post, I found this.
posted by malaprohibita at 10:41 AM PST - 9 comments

Are evolution's advocates giving fire to creationists? So says Michael Ruse, "philosopher of biology (especially Darwinism)", who claims that outspoken evolutionists (e.g. Richard Dawkins) should do more to make evolution compatible with religion, rather than touting it as a worldview of its own.

Tell that to Nosson Slifkin (NYTimes, login required), an Orthodox rabbi whose books were banned by a number of eminent rabbis for "seek[ing] to reconcile, rather than to contrast, sacred texts with modern knowledge of the natural world."

That said, will those like Slifkin and Rev. Dr. Arthur Peacocke be able to make a difference, or will they be ignored and scorned?
posted by greatgefilte at 10:29 AM PST - 82 comments

Got a title but no song? Like an Exploding Dog for music, Request-a-Song.com takes submitted titles and composes songs around them, with some surprisingly good results.
posted by o2b at 10:23 AM PST - 6 comments

The National Academies have finally released suggested guidelines for research with embryonic stem cells and chimeras.
posted by homunculus at 10:14 AM PST - 3 comments


May 2

A fascinating interview with Dr. Tadatoshi Akiba, mayor of Hiroshima and president of Mayors for Peace. Dr. Akiba is New York for the UN conference on the Nuclear Nonproliferation treaty, and he took the time for some eloquent straight talk about the nuclear weapons and international politics. (First link is to a real audio file.)
posted by fingers_of_fire at 7:23 PM PST - 5 comments

Echoes of DaVinci code? A scholar in Wales found (rediscovered?) a 400+ year old folio at Llandovery College in Wales that may shed light further light on the genealogy of Christ. Whether a hoax or not, 'tis always interesting what you may find hiding in the stacks when you're just perusing things. [via original article at Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter]
posted by PeteyStock at 6:25 PM PST - 16 comments

"His authority was extraordinary. He was always polite and charming." Erna Flegal, Adolf Hitler's nurse in the bunker during the last days of World War II, breaks 60 years of silence in this interview. She was also interviewed by US intelligence officers in 1945.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:48 PM PST - 12 comments

BookFactory At BookFactory we understand the importance of documenting your work, research and inventions. Through innovation and technology we provide the highest quality books at economical prices without requiring large runs. We specialize in making custom Laboratory Notebooks, Engineering Notebooks, Journals, and Log Books with custom page designs, company logos, book numbers, and more, for less than you pay today.
posted by ColdChef at 5:15 PM PST - 16 comments

We are hosting the first and only Time Traveler Convention at MIT in one week, and WE NEED YOUR HELP! Anyone plan to attend?
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 3:11 PM PST - 64 comments


Wonderful Town... Director Ryan McFaul (whose music video for Gay Boyfriend was previously seen in this MeFi thread ) is back with a dizzying MGM-meets-digital-compositing advert for a Broadway production of Wonderful Town. (Slightly less dazzling, but still worth seeing, is his ad for a San Francisco production of White Christmas.) Somebody give this man a feature film!
posted by yankeefog at 10:46 AM PST - 5 comments

Apparently, what it boils down to is this: V-day is "empowering" while P-day is "subversive," "harrassing," or just plain wrong. More tales of PC run amok, this time from Roger Williams University in Providence, RI. [warning: the P-Day link is NSFW, if it's NSFW to look at a mascot costume of a penis.]
posted by LilBucner at 10:19 AM PST - 159 comments

Ogopogo is Canada's most famous water monster. This bashful monster (Win Media clip) resides in British Columbia's Lake Okanagan and recorded sightings date back as far as 1872. If you're thinking about heading out to Lake Okanagan to try and catch a glimpse (Windows Media clip) of Ogopogo for yourself, remember these helpful tips.
posted by debralee at 9:59 AM PST - 10 comments

"When George saw 21-87, a lightbulb went off".
"21-87" is an experimental film made in 1964 by Canadian avant-garde director Arthur Lipsett ,who committed suicide in 1986. "George" is George Lucas, who was obsessed by underground movies until "a little movie called Star Wars lured him to the dark side". (more inside)
posted by matteo at 8:47 AM PST - 25 comments

Add one part Icelandic Aerobics Champion, one part Child Broadway actress, add some synthpop music, CGI green screen work, and some latex puppets and prosthetics, and what do you have? Lazytown! Comes complete with music videos guaranteed to give you earworms.
posted by willmize at 8:31 AM PST - 16 comments

NASA is funding a research project that looks into a new and much faster way of getting astronauts to Mars.
posted by C17H19NO3 at 8:13 AM PST - 24 comments

Good luck, blessings, positive thoughts, and an early mazel tov to Mathowie, Kay, and Fiona!
posted by digaman at 7:30 AM PST - 92 comments

Student Attacks Against Teachers: The Revolution of 1966 At the Middle School attached to Beijing Teacher's College, Yu Ruifen, a female biology teacher, was knocked to the ground and beaten in her office. In broad daylight, she was dragged by her legs through the front door and down the steps, her head bumping against the cement; a barrel of boiling water was poured on her. Though she died after approximately two hours of torture, it did not satisfy the students. All other teachers in the "ox-ghost and snake-demon team" were forced to stand around Yu's corpse and take turns beating her.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:52 AM PST - 41 comments


Kevin Smith reviews Revenge of the Sith [BIG spoilers] and goes head over heels for it, saying it rights all the wrongs of the previous two movies. We all know Smith is a diehard Star Wars fan who was just as disappointed by the prequels as the rest of us - viz his recent conversation with Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright for Empire magazine. But do we still trust him after Jersey Girl?
posted by LondonYank at 6:17 AM PST - 60 comments

The Ultimate Beer Bong. "The basic idea, simultaneously tap two beer sources being either a sankey Keg, or a 5-gallon party ball, push it with a replenishing air compressor to either a faucet, or up to a 4-gallon upper holding tank with four hoses leading off into four mouths racing to finish their hose." Something in the deep core of my hindbrain went all tingly when I saw this. They go on: "I have submitted this device as 'The largest Beer funnel in the world' to Guinness World Records, and is currently under review. I am also awaiting a call from the Idaho Alcohol Beverage Control to ascertain this device's legality."
posted by gsb at 6:08 AM PST - 23 comments

"I'm a sucker for serial killers." - Teller (of Penn and Teller) wrote something way back in 1994 about Jeffrey Dahmer that is still interesting, though short, after all this time. "One day when he was driving home, Dahmer gave a lift to a hitchhiker. I've done that. He saw beauty and wanted it in his power, utterly, as only a well-placed blow to the head can deliver. OK, I confess, I've wanted that as well -- but I chose not to pick up a sawed-off baseball bat and make my wish come true. That's why I can drive to the beach whenever I feel like it, while Dahmer has to live in a prison and talk to Stone Phillips. "
posted by soulhuntre at 5:04 AM PST - 28 comments

PBS: crosshaired? NYTimes link. Previously, related. Hmm. No mention of David Brooks!
posted by yoga at 4:09 AM PST - 26 comments

May 1

Razor clams are the most delicious clam in the entire world. On the coast of Washington and Oregon, there are acres of clams. The Washington beaches are opening for 48 hours next weekend. Grab your clam gun. If you can’t go digging, follow the action on the clam cam. This may interfere with the Seattle meetup. But above all, Keep Clam.
posted by warbaby at 9:49 PM PST - 21 comments

So I illustrated Gravity's Rainbow -- nobody asked me to, but I did it anyway. Previous Thomas Pynchon/Gravity's Rainbow related post.
posted by arse_hat at 9:10 PM PST - 30 comments

Mad Physics dot com has experiments and demonstrations that teach physics principles in strange and more interesting ways. Examples: demonstating Hooke's law with a 13 year-old kid and explaining efficient light emission with Glowsticks! Great for geeks.
posted by afrooz at 8:52 PM PST - 8 comments

Web Waves: Tsunami Blogs Respond to Disaster Four months after one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history, Searcher reports on tsunami-related blogs.
posted by mlis at 8:20 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Most people want to have group sex, but more or less conscious mental barriers stop them. Help them. (no images or anything, but may not be safe for work if your boss doesn't want you organizing an orgy. your co-workers, on the other hand...)
posted by exlotuseater at 6:48 PM PST - 54 comments

Has anyone ever accused you of not knowing Jack Schitt? Well fret no more. Now, you have knowledge of his entire genealogy.
posted by snack at 5:31 PM PST - 26 comments

So far the Return to Flight has been a bumpy ride for NASA. Apparently things over there are run like a bureaucracy and agency officials are worried about ice or foam insulation coming off the space shuttle again.

Will private companies eventually dominate space exploration and make NASA a thing of the past?
posted by Guerilla at 3:23 PM PST - 28 comments


The Aboriginal Peoples of Australia make pictures on bark, on rock, in the sand, on canvas, on their bodies. Some of them make videos, and some of them write poetry. They're pretty much like everyone.
posted by TimothyMason at 1:56 PM PST - 14 comments

Damning leak for Blair / Bush! A leaked transcript of a senior British government meeting indicates that the Bush administration viewed war with Iraq as "inevitable" as of July 2002, even though the rationale for war was "thin" and that "Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran." It further states that the desire to bring about regime change was "not a legal base for military action", and that the only legitimate reason to declare war was with UNSCOM approval. Most disturbingly, it indicates that there were "strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change."
posted by insomnia_lj at 1:21 PM PST - 139 comments

Naughty, Naughty I read these Wonkette excerpts of Laura Bush's speech at the WH correspondence dinner last night and I thought it was satire. But I just saw the tape and it's for real: "I am married to the President of the United States and here is our typical evening. Nine o'clock, Mr. Excitement here is sound asleep, and I am watching Desperate Housewives. With Lynne Cheney. Ladies and gentleman, I am a desperate housewife. I mean if those women on that show think they're desperate, they ought to be with George. One night after George went to bed, Lynne Cheney, Condi Rice, Karen Hughes and I went to Chippendales....I won't tell you what happened, but Lynne's Secret Service code name is now Dollar Bill."
posted by Postroad at 12:13 PM PST - 88 comments

Sure, you could defend the country, but Houston needs a good defense even more! Say, do you want to shirk your commitment to the armed forces but flat-out desertion is too controversial? Become a pro athlete instead! West Point is revising its rules to stipulate that student athletes who join professional sports teams can avoid active duty. The taxpayer-funded military academy will now allow student athletes to reduce their active duty time if faced with the unbearable burden of being offered multi-million dollar pro contracts.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:23 AM PST - 33 comments

Sita Sings the Blues. Nina Paley's animated retelling of Sita's story from the Ramayana, with vocals by Annette Hanshaw (torrents here, via Boing Boing).
posted by homunculus at 9:46 AM PST - 14 comments

Interesting followup on this story previously posted here concerning the killing of an italian senior intelligence agent by U.S. Forces during an hostage rescue mission (a.k.a. the Sgregna Case). Yesterday the italian public received this PDF file containing an extremely detailed U.S. military report on the alleged accident. Many lines in the report were "blacked out" as the author probably considered them unclassified, yet sensible information (like the name who the guy who shot the car). It turns out the author don't know jack about pdf and here is the unblackened report[DOC Format] in all its details, most probably exposed by some computer savy guy in italian media.
posted by elpapacito at 9:35 AM PST - 49 comments

The Fed's New Clothes: Stephen Roach, Chief Economist at Morgan Stanley, on the Maestro's historic drive to devalue income and savings and push speculation. The ownership society lurks in the background. Via Cunning Realist.
posted by alms at 9:27 AM PST - 12 comments

Creative Commons decides to partner with BzzAgent. Some aren't too happy. Maybe Matt can comment?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:01 AM PST - 61 comments

Runaway bride pulls kidnapping hoax -- She was "scared and concerned about her impending marriage and decided she needed some time alone," Albuquerque Police Chief Ray Schultz said. "She's obviously very concerned about the stress that she's been through, the stress that's been placed on her family."
posted by NickDouglas at 7:05 AM PST - 59 comments

Happy May Day one and all. It's a holiday that's largely ignored here in the USA except in Minneapolis This event is massive with puppets, Music , and zaniness . The parade is simular to the Fremont Soltice Parade with more of a story and less nudity. If you are in the Twin Cities, get out and see it. More here. Happy May Day!!
posted by wheelieman at 6:21 AM PST - 24 comments

Mysterious Mr. Moto. Severo Moto Nsa, Equatorial Guinea's exiled opposition leader reappeared in Madrid yesterday, after a strange episode in which he first was presumed abducted (or worse), and then, from an undisclosed location in Croatia, had accused the Spanish government of trying to kill him. He already made international headlines last year, with the most bizarre, incompetent coup attempt in a while. Not that the dictator he's trying to topple is a nice character (even if his predecessor and uncle, Francisco Macías Nguema, was even worse). And, of course, there's oil involved. Lots of it.
posted by Skeptic at 3:07 AM PST - 11 comments