A lovely recollection of pop-culture mentors, and finding culture pre-internet. "Uncle Mike didn’t play D&D; paintball battles in the Everglades were more his thing. But for the next few years he kept passing along books he’d finished, including 1984’s Dragons Of Autumn Twilight. The first installment of the D&D-based Dragonlance series by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman, it’s by no means a classic in the genre. But it helped solidify my devotion to what would eventually be called geek culture. Back then, the term would have been meaningless to me. And it would have made my macho Uncle Mike laugh his ass off." posted by ThatFuzzyBastard at 3:51 PM PST - 17 comments
The Vampires, a secret federation of thieves and killers, rule the Paris underworld through intimidation, murder, and a certain diabolic je ne sais quoi. After the headless body of the police inspector in charge of the Vampire investigation turns up in a swamp, dauntless reporter Philipe Guérande steps up his efforts to bring the gang to justice. But is he equal to the schemes of the protean Grand Vampire and his lieutenant, the cat burglar, assassin, and sometime torch singer called IrmaVep? And can anyone hope to prevail against the rogue criminal Moréno and the unearthly power of his gaze?
"[Peer Steinbrück, the chancellor-candidate] is a good man, with quite a bold programme for ‘social justice’. Tax increases for the better-off, a proper minimum wage, dual citizenship for immigrants, less elbowing individualism and more solidarity in a society where das Wir entscheidet – ‘it’s the we that counts.’ The German public, surprisingly, mostly agree that increasing taxes is a sound idea. What they resent is that the idea comes from the SPD. In the same way, the Augsburg programme is widely thought to make sense, but the voters don’t fancy Peer Steinbrück. They are pissed off with Angela Merkel’s governing coalition, but reluctant to let go of Mutti’s hand. In short, the public are in one of those sullen, unreasonable moods which make politicians despair." The LRB reports from Germany. [via] posted by rollick at 12:53 PM PST - 20 comments
"Ariane Kambu Mbenza grew up with her uncle in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When she was seven years old, he asked her to be in charge of preparing food. Sure, Uncle. No problem. She had grown up watching her mother cook and played kitchen plenty of times. "In Africa, you know how to cook automatically." Now a mother herself, Ariane showed me how to make what in Congo would be called, " Riz aux legumes avec poisson grillé avec la sauce tomate à l'ail."Text Via followed by Congolese mini Waffles as seen in the photo in the linked newspaper. posted by infini at 9:09 AM PST - 16 comments
"Recent statistics from the Office for National Statistics suggest residents of this city have the lowest household disposable income of anywhere in the UK.
The average income per individual householder after tax, but including benefits, is £16,034 a year. In Nottingham it is £10,834.
That may be only one measure of poverty, but at a time when there has been a sustained assault on living standards for everyone it is surely a difficult extreme. "
[via BBC] posted by marienbad at 7:55 AM PST - 15 comments
Today is the last day in session for the Illinois House before the summer break, and LGBT advocates are hoping that when they convene at 10:30am, they will address and vote on SB10, legislation already passed by the state Senate to enact marriage equality in the state of Illinois. [more inside] posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:35 AM PST - 99 comments
The Guardian Food blog's How to Eat series finally gives into the regular demands of their fans* from below-the-line and delves deep into how to eat boiled eggs. [*YMMV] posted by halcyonday at 1:49 AM PST - 52 comments
"40 years ago, in millions of living room across the British Isles, a strange alien creature was beamed on to our television screens. With bright red hair and multicolored spacesuit, his unearthly appearance shocked the nation. But for many teenagers who experienced this televisual visitation, he would change their lives forever." Jarvis Cocker narrates the BBC Four documentary, David Bowie -- The Story of Ziggy Stardust. posted by Room 641-A at 9:02 PM PST - 18 comments
The Chicago Sun-Times has laid off its entire photography staff, reports the Chicago Tribune. The Sun-Times plans to use freelance photographers and reporters to shoot photos and video going forward. The Chicago Newspaper Guild, the union that represents the photographers, immediately said it would consider taking action against the company over the cuts. [more inside] posted by The Girl Who Ate Boston at 1:23 PM PST - 122 comments
Psychological Science, “the highest ranked empirical journal in psychology", recently published two controversial journal articles. One claims that ovulation might change women's political and religious views (PDF warning). The other tries to link physical strength with political conservatism. Some people disagree and find serious flaws in the methodology. [more inside] posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:34 AM PST - 65 comments
In the 19th century, in Roermond, The Netherlands, lived a man who was Colonel of Cavalry, and a Protestant. He married a Catholic noblewoman (likely quite a scandal in a country which was heavily segregated along religious lines at the time). The husband died in 1880 and was buried on the Protestant side of the cemetery. When his wife died eight years later, she could not be buried next to him, as a wall separated the Catholic and Protestant sides. A novel, and rather touching, solution was found. posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 7:30 AM PST - 20 comments
"On Sunday, Joseph S Blatter attended a ceremony on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius to celebrate the renaming of the country's FA headquarters in his honour.
The Fifa president would perhaps say it was a fitting tribute, given his promotion of African football and the amount of "development" money poured into the continent over recent decades. His critics would say it was typical of his egomania and note the importance of African votes in keeping him atop world football for 15 years." [more inside] posted by marienbad at 5:43 AM PST - 9 comments
But the "selling out" thing isn't about whether the work is any good, so much as the question of "artistic integrity." Which assumes a simple model in which the artist has a "vision," that forms perfectly in her head, and she then executes that vision with perfect precision — unless she pauses to think about how best to attract an audience of paying customers, in which case the vision becomes compromised and, I guess, blurry. That business, of having a vision and executing it, describes none of the actual process of creating something from scratch, unless you're some kind of minimalist who writes a six-word story or just paints a big dot on a canvas.
The bones had been boiled, the skins salted and soaked in formalin, the hoofs and horns measured and labeled, and the disassembled parts crated and shipped to the Upper West Side. There, on Akeley’s production line, the remains were reassembled and processed into a perfect likeness of what had once been, a “real” copy of reality. The animal had become an “animal."
Do you turn off Old Yeller before the end so you can pretend that he lived a long and happy life? Did a cute pet on a movie poster make you think it would be a fun comedy but it turned out to be a pet-with-a-terminal-illness tearjerker instead? Are you unable to enjoy the human body count in a horror movie because you're wondering whether the dog's going to kick the bucket? Have you ever Googled "Does the [dog/cat/horse/Klingon targ] die in [movie title]?"
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, then welcome - DoestheDogDie.com is here for you! [more inside] posted by jedicus at 8:40 PM PST - 142 comments
Jason Anderson, the singer who's "equal parts Bruce Springsteen and Van Morrison" has remastered and rereleased his classic EP 'Omaha' and is offering it for free from his website. You can read an interview with him here, which talks about meeting Calvin Johnson and his days as Wolf Colonel. posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 6:17 PM PST - 7 comments
Hasbro's TV channel The Hub has premiered what it hope will be its next breakout hit after My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic... SheZow. The premise: a 12-year-old boy finds the magic ring that transformed his late aunt into a superhero. He tries it, and gains superpowers... and a girl-hero pink costume, pink lightsaber and a pink batmobile. The Daily Dot covers the inevitable mixed (and mixed-up) reaction. Transgender? Transvestite? Trans-silly? SheZow's creator Obie Scott Wade (a dude) who's on Twitter, explains simply "It's Tootsie with super powers." (Rated Y-7) posted by oneswellfoop at 3:40 PM PST - 74 comments
“While we are alive we should sit among colored lights and taste good wines, and discuss our adventures in far places; when we are dead, the opportunity is past.”
― Jack Vance (1916-2013) [more inside] posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:45 PM PST - 109 comments
During the decade 2000-10 in the USA, for the first time the number of poor people in major metropolitan suburbs surpassed the number in cities. Between 2000 and 2011, the poor population in suburbs grew by 64% — more than twice the rate of growth in cities (29%). By 2011, almost 16.4 million residents in suburbia lived below the poverty line, outstripping the poor population in cities by almost 3 million people.
These are some of the grim findings of ‘Confronting Suburban Poverty in America’, a report by the Brookings Institution, and the implications of this report and its contents are that much more significant for Brookings is conservative in its outlook and advocacy.via posted by infini at 12:20 PM PST - 58 comments
An Alternative History of 11 American Female Doctors: "A new producer, Glen A. Larsons, changed up almost everything fans knew about Doctor Who. Gone was the constant traveling, and in its place Jennifer Jones' Doctor was now a scientist working exclusively for the United States military in exile on Earth. The comedic style that had always been a tremendous part of the show was left behind in order to capitalize on the drama skills of the Academy Award-winning actress." [more inside] posted by feelinglistless at 11:28 AM PST - 40 comments
Controversial US Representative Michelle Bachmann (R-MN), announced on her website today she will not seek re-election in 2014 (NYT). Bachmann, whose 2012 campaign is currently under investigation by the FBI for alleged financial improprieties by top officials, was first elected to statewide office in 2000, defeating long term Republican (18 years) incumbent Gary Laidig in the primary and winning Minnesota's (state) Senate District 56. Two years later she defeated another incumbent, Jane Krentz (DFL) in the newly redrawn district 52. Her term in the MN Senate was marked by a series of cultural conservative initiatives and positions, including repeated attempts to introduce a MN Constitutional Gay Marriage ban (2003) (2005), as well as an attempt to insert creationism into the science curriculum in MN in 2003. [more inside] posted by edgeways at 8:26 AM PST - 158 comments
"Idiosyncratic Terrorist Breaks Out on His Own in Sahara Bloodbath"International terrorist Moktar Belmoktar, responded the way talented employees with bruised egos have in corporations the world over: He quit and formed his own competing group. And within months, he carried out two lethal operations that killed 101 people in all: one of the largest hostage-takings in history at a BP-operated gas plant in Algeria in January, and simultaneous bombings at a military base and a French uranium mine in Niger just last week. posted by artof.mulata at 10:04 PM PST - 37 comments
Shut Up and Listen is a radio show by and for artists and DJs with learning disabilities aired on five stations in the UK. Produced by the Brighton-based charity Carousel, the organizers also run Blue Camel Club, England's largest music night for learning disabled artists and their fans in the UK with regular attendance of more than 600 people. posted by parmanparman at 9:53 AM PST - 2 comments
As part of the Affordable Care Act, The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released data that show significantvariation
across the country and within communities in what hospitals charge for common inpatient services. (via) [more inside] posted by dubusadus at 6:52 AM PST - 69 comments
"Jobbik is one of the most politically successful far-righ parties in Europe. The Hungarian party is anti-EU, anti-semitic and anti-roma, and have thrived since the financial crisis."SLYT (Channel 4 report from Budapest, Hungary.)
NYT Editorial Filter -- "Now African-Americans make up about a fifth of the military. The idea that today we ask any of these soldiers to serve at a place named for a defender of a racist slavocracy is deplorable; the thought that today we ask any American soldier to serve at a base named for someone who killed United States Army troops is beyond absurd. Would we have a Fort Rommel? A Camp Cornwallis?"[more inside] posted by bardic at 10:41 PM PST - 767 comments
The WeiboScope - Displays the most widely reposted posts on Weibo with pictures within a 10K user sample with 10,000 or more followers. Combine it with Google Translate and you get an insight into what's being talked about on Weibo! (from the good people at University of Hong Kong's Journalism & Media Studies Centre) posted by awfurby at 4:40 PM PST - 8 comments
The annual cheese-rolling event, now unofficial and unsanctioned, has taken place at Cooper's Hill. 3,000 people attended this year, watching several races down the steep Gloucestershire hill. After a police warning to the 86 year old maker of previous cheeses concerning legal liabilities, a foam disc was used as a stand-in cheese. Despite failing to raise funding for a inspirational documentary, Kenny Rackers, an American cheese racer, attended and won the first race. [more inside] posted by Wordshore at 1:37 PM PST - 26 comments
The folks at Mellow Pages, a community-run library/salon in Brooklyn (recently profiled in the NYT), have put together a how-to guide for building a similar kind of space in your neighborhood: short version here, long version (and Google Doc) here. posted by Cash4Lead at 11:08 AM PST - 12 comments
There have been countless words written about Stanley Kubrick’s visionary masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey — some good, some bad — but after 45 years, this superb book remains the only one you’ll ever really need. It is such a shame that this book is out-of-print. It is filled with everything you ever wanted to know about 2001. It leads off with Arthur C. Clarke’s short story “The Sentinel” and closes with a complete reprint of Stanley Kubrick’s interview with Playboy magazine. In between are profiles, interviews with technical advisors, effects secrets revealed, letters to Stanley from the moviegoing public, as well as reviews of the film, both good and bad. A fascinating snapshot of a moment in history when the world was caught off guard by a motion picture. Search your local used book stores, like I did. If you’re a Kubrick fan, it’s worth the effort.
On May 24th, 1813, Jane Austen visited a blockbuster art exhibition--the first major retrospective of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the premier English portraitist of the 18th century. Debuting 200 years to the day later, What Jane Saw is a room-by-room virtual recreation of the exhibition, based on the original catalog of the paintings and contemporary depictions of the building where it was held. posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:38 AM PST - 8 comments
On January 4th, 2013, in the midst of a national heat wave, Tasmania experienced some of the most extreme weather on record, with Hobart recording a record temperature of 41.8°C in the afternoon. Fires blazed around the state, covering almost 50,000 acres, claiming hundreds of properties, and destroying the town of Dunalley. The Tasman peninsula was cut off by the fires, necessitating a sea rescue of over 2,000 people. An image of a family clinging to a jetty in the water to escape from the fire captured the attention of the world. With the launch of their Australian edition, The Guardian have produced a frightening and fascinating multimedia article exploring the human side of the inferno. posted by Jimbob at 8:58 PM PST - 46 comments
Do you have Gephyrophobia? Are you afraid to cross that scary bridge? Now there's a service to help you get across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge instead of going miles out of your way to go around. "Some people go miles out of their way to avoid crossing the George Washington Bridge — for example, driving to Upper Manhattan from Teaneck, N.J., by way of the Lincoln Tunnel, a detour that can stretch a 19-minute jog into a three-quarter-hour ordeal. Other bridge phobics recite baby names or play the radio loudly as they ease onto a nerve-jangling span — anything to focus the mind. Still others take a mild tranquilizer an hour before buckling up to cross a bridge." posted by Xurando at 6:22 PM PST - 66 comments
Quincy, M.E. + Inception + St. Peter + Reservoir Dogs II + a cameo appearance by Snake 'n' Bacon + some other stuff = Michael Kupperman's new online comic book thingy (because Houghton Mifflin decided publishing this story would be too legally risky) "Quinception"[more inside] posted by oneswellfoop at 5:27 PM PST - 9 comments
You've probably never heard anything quite like the musical documentary More About Henry. Remixing interviews with musical interpretation, composer Adam Goddard has woven a unique work of art from the stories of his grandfather, Henry Robert Tindale Haws, who spent a half-century farming in rural Ontario. More About Henry first aired on CBC Radio's Ideas. [more inside] posted by oulipian at 10:48 AM PST - 1 comments
A culmination of a series of unanticipated circumstances — and, finally, a most unfortunate programming bug — has over the last few weeks produced a new and unforeseen dimension of hellishness within Diablo 3: hyperinflation. [via] posted by Pyrogenesis at 6:09 AM PST - 95 comments
You may remember the 7.5 hour documentary released in 2009 which allowed you to travel the journey between Bergen to Oslo from the comfort of your home.
If your wanderlust was fired up watching that video, then you may enjoy some of the other trips you can take.
Craig Ferguson seems to have a special liking for conversation with Stephen Fry. Previously. On Wednesday night, Stephen was back on the Late Late Show as the only guest. The naturally wide-ranging discussion includes Arthur Conan Doyle, America, mortality, religion, philosophy, science, homosexuality, Wagner, and more. Enjoy.[more inside] posted by lazaruslong at 8:05 AM PST - 93 comments
Whether you love him for his role as the Sweet Transvestite in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the Lord of Darkness in Ridley Scott's Legend, Pennywise the clown in the TV adaptation of Stephen King's It, Wadsworth the butler in Clue, Long John Silver in Muppet Treasure Island, his voice work for scads of cartoons, his countless theater performances, his many unforgettable, wonderfully strange guest spots on various TV shows, his absolutely amazing voice, or for (quite possibly) all of these things at once, the fact is, you love Tim Curry.
Spare a thought tonight for this acclaimed, ubiquitous character actor, singer, dancer, and odd-looking, sexy little man. Tim Curry, 67, has had a major stroke at his home in Los Angeles. Early reports said that he was left unable to speak, but his agent now tells the Daily Mail that he's "doing great (...) He absolutely can speak and is recovering at this time and in great humor." posted by Ursula Hitler at 11:05 PM PST - 88 comments
In 1997, Last Unicorn gave Zug the chance at recreating Frank Herbert's 'Dune' through a new trading card series. He was originally told to base his work off of David Lynch's film, but after complications with licensing, "they told me to avoid similarity to Lynch's visuals" says Mark Zug.Mark Zug's Dune trading cards. posted by Artw at 9:12 AM PST - 49 comments
A rare disease is defined as any condition affecting fewer than 200,000 patients in the United States. More than 7,000 such diseases exist, afflicting a total of 25 million to 30 million Americans..
One of them, fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva (FOP), might be approaching a cure. [more inside] posted by dmd at 7:01 AM PST - 21 comments
You might have heard at one time or another a 60s band called Canned Heat, who made a wee bit of a splash way back when with a little number called Going Up the Country. The song featured a simple but very catchy little flute riff between verses. If you ever wondered where that riff came from (not to mention the melodic contour of the tune itself) you need look no further than a 1928 recording by Henry Thomas, who played the flute melody on his quills, or, panpipes. The song was called Bull Doze Blues. [more inside] posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:14 AM PST - 37 comments
“We’ve seen the price of food become more expensive than ever three times in five years. Normally we’d see three price spikes in a century,” said Kaufman. “And part of the reason is this new kind of commodity speculation in food markets.”
In an article published Oct. 24 in Nature[subscription required], Kaufman describes what he calls “Wall Street’s thirst for water” — the push to turn water into a commodity like food, with the same instruments that produced the mortgage-backed security collapse and 2008 financial crisis.
Ask Strax! The famed warrior from the Sontaran Empire answers questions from miniature humans for Monster Day Out. "The last time a human called me a 'Potato Head' I simply turned and walked away calm and collected ... once I had crushed him to a pulp him with my monster fists!!" posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 4:06 PM PST - 46 comments
Next to a beautiful, elegant woman, between the silky spirals of her train, on the back of a chair, in a dark angle in the background, he accurately painted, although almost invisible, the animal that recalled the face of the protagonist. He thus had a series of ladies and gentlemen from the squirrel, from the lizard, from the sea horse, etc.
Magic Hat Brewery is facing a ban in several Lexington, Kentucky establishments after a recent lawsuit against local business West Sixth Brewery. Many are dubious about the claims being made regarding copyright infringement. The Consumerist offers a visual guide to some of the potential similarities between the designs. West Sixth claims that they are experiencing corporate bullying and have asked the community to sign a petition and stop drinking Magic Hat, while Magic Hat argues that West Sixth has been less than straightforward with the public. West Sixth responds with further claims of corporate chicanery. posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:52 AM PST - 165 comments
While national media coverage of state politics has focused on hot-button topics like gun control and gay rights, a storm has been quietly brewing in Raleigh, NC, where the NAACP has organized protests calling attention to the regressive agenda of the Republican governor and NC General Assembly. Known as "Moral Mondays," these protests have resulted in nearly 160 arrests -- and they're getting bigger each week. With the GA taking a break for Memorial Day, the next showdown is set for June 3. posted by Shoggoth at 9:16 AM PST - 75 comments
The series of Project Mathematics tapes regularly brought the
house down at the annual SIGGRAPH video show; these mathematical animations were glowing jewels among the over-produced, techy-commercial animations usually shown at SIGGRAPH. -- Edward Tufte via edwardtufte.com
The female artists who shaped the American Dream Girl (mildly NSFW) "...according to pin-up art expert Louis K. Meisel, three of the most talented pin-up painters from the Golden Age, roughly the 1920s to the early 1960s, were women. “Pearl Frush, Joyce Ballantyne, and Zoë Mozert were terrific, as good as any of the men—in fact, better than many of them,” Meisel says." A fascinating look at three very interesting women and their work in an area of art that is overwhelmingly known for its male artists. [more inside] posted by halcyonday at 3:06 AM PST - 13 comments
The fact is, nobody knows what art is or why people make it. This is blatantly disturbing. Some say the function of art is to generate conversation—an unpleasant thought. I’m not sure we want to put art in the same category as skin disease and Carl Winslow: things to talk about on the internet.
This is why so many of us have a bad time at galleries: we try to make art Interesting when we should just let it be weird. Art should never be Interesting.
At just after 2:20pm this afternoon, two men exited a crashed vehicle in Woolwich, South East London, close to the Royal Artillery Barracks near the corner of John Wilson St and Artillery Place. Armed with a knives, they proceeded to attack young male pedestrian. [more inside] posted by hydatius at 4:41 PM PST - 454 comments
Which country has the highest gambling losses as a percentage of GDP? Which US states have the most skewed gender ratios among single adults? Which countries have the highest minimum wage to median wage ratio? How many hours per day does the average American full-time worker spend sleeping and working? Which US state's residents spent the most on lottery tickets as a percentage of their personal income? Which US state had the highest percentage of seniors with no natural teeth? Answers to all these questions and more at Bloomberg Best & Worst. posted by pravit at 4:06 PM PST - 13 comments
Triple conjunction. The long-awaited sunset sky show of May 2013 is beginning. In only a few days, Venus, Jupiter and Mercury will form a tight triangle in the western sky, visible to the unaided eye around the world. posted by Long Way To Go at 3:07 PM PST - 23 comments
A new wave of female sexual desire drugs may soon be on their way to market. Still entrenched in the rigors of the FDA’s approval process, two drugs, Lybrido and Lybridos, should be available by 2016 if they pass their tests. But talking reasonably about these drugs—their risks and benefits and what societal shifts, if any, could stem from them—means thinking about them in the right way.
(Link is to summary article in Smithsonian News; full in-depth article in New York Times Magazine posted by SweetTeaAndABiscuit at 1:03 PM PST - 176 comments
Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt’s Dark SideFor every three or four ounces of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey. It’s a thin, runny waste product that can’t simply be dumped. Not only would that be illegal, but whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers.... And as the nation’s hunger grows for strained yogurt, which produces more byproduct than traditional varieties, the issue of its acid runoff becomes more pressing. Greek yogurt companies, food scientists, and state government officials are scrambling not just to figure out uses for whey, but how to make a profit off of it. posted by Cash4Lead at 10:26 AM PST - 228 comments
Why we're not allowed to work less. Machinery offers us an opportunity to work less, an opportunity that as a society we have chosen not to take -- by 2000 the average couple with kids worked 500 hours a year more than in 1979. This is the story of how the a few companies like Kellogg's at first bucked the trend, and the massive propaganda campaign against shorter hours that's nearly won it's battle to make capitalism synonymous with the “American Way.” posted by blankdawn at 9:36 AM PST - 137 comments
"Soon, however, with the strength of eight men, Pépée became an uncontrollable tyrant who would strip guests – including once a government prefect and wife – of their clothes and valuables, bite others who failed to accede to its whims and once stole a baby, which it took to the roof despite Leo waving a toy pistol at it and shouting: "Daddy's not happy. Daddy's going to shoot." posted by unSane at 5:48 AM PST - 40 comments
"Toby Hockley was on the 100-mile Boudicca Sportive ride in Norfolk when he says he was struck by a car and flung into a hedge. The driver didn't stop. Hockley emerged from the hedge, sore but intact.
It sounds like a run-of-the-mill depressing incident from the UK's roads. But the shocking part came later.
A young woman tweeted: "Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier. I have right of way - he doesn't even pay road tax! #Bloodycyclists."" [more inside] posted by marienbad at 4:53 AM PST - 311 comments
The case was so serious, authorities said, that they charged the woman, Colleen LaRose, with crimes that could keep her in prison for the rest of her life. Now, as she awaits sentencing, a months-long Reuters review of confidential documents and interviews with sources in Europe and the United States -- including the first and only interview with Jihad Jane herself -- reveals a far less menacing and, in some ways, more preposterous undertaking than what the U.S. government asserted.
"That a woman of color on a major network show should have a character this focal and active without any romantic angle is a rare bird. It's also deliberate." --- But -- "Remember the time Sherlock and Watson looked up a clue on a sponsored computer product while he sat on the toilet? I sure do! Bing me!" -- However -- "We have, at last, a true partnership for Holmes and Watson, couched in that particular soulmate simpatico of 221-b, and moving distinctly forward without losing sight of the canon." -- Why Elementary is the bestest if flawed modern Holmes television adaptation, according to sf/fantasy author Genevieve Valentine. Some spoilers. posted by MartinWisse at 1:37 PM PST - 195 comments
Private Ceremonies."Most women don’t talk about their abortions and miscarriages. Virtually none go through the experience with a loved one at their side. The greatest gift an abortion counselor can give is to bear witness, to be with a woman as she goes through this private journey, to witness her strength and weakness, her grief, her relief, her pain." A first person essay from a former abortion counselor. posted by zarq at 10:45 AM PST - 34 comments
Every parent wants his or her kid to be great at something. That's only natural. But it's also natural to read Word Freak and hear John Williams talk about the assorted cast of rogues who populate the grownup tournament and worry that your kid will love Scrabble TOO much, that they'll end up consumed by a game, one day fleeing to Iceland and writing anti-Semitic screeds on rolls of toilet paper.Inside the 2013 National School Scrabble Championship. posted by Chrysostom at 9:42 AM PST - 26 comments
Voodoo, also titled Mini-Me, is a stop animation short created by Wonky Films featuring two knitted characters named Knit and Purl. Wonky Films has also produced two more films featuring the same knitted characters: Stuffing Up and Tickle. These knitted little guys have won the Bablegum film festival's Jury Runner Up Award and appeared on BBC Big Screens across the U.K. to help promote Children in Need. posted by orange swan at 6:39 AM PST - 3 comments
A few handwritten pages with poems and photographs from
The road is wider than long
During July and August 1938, as Europe prepared for war, Roland Penrose and Lee Miller (slideshow) drove from Greece through the Balkans.
This was his record of the journey and declaration of love for her. LEAVE YOUR TONGUE STUCK TO THE BARK
This will avoid all danger
of not meeting next year.
(Previous Lee Miller). posted by adamvasco at 3:23 AM PST - 7 comments
io9: "After making a mere $84 million at the U.S. box office, Star Trek Into Darkness is considered by some to be a disappointment. Perhaps the problem is that it was a touch confusing. To help our readers better understand it, we've compiled and answered these Frequently Asked Questions about the movie." (Maximum Possible Spoiler Warning) posted by davidjmcgee at 12:27 AM PST - 450 comments
For the past three months, the Art Institute of Chicago has been putting their Launchpad videos, designed to provide more context of museum-goers at the Institutes, on YouTube. The short videos include modern artists recreating art using ancient, medieval, and newer techniques in mosaics, glassblowing, pottery, painting, silversmithing, marquetry, and coin production plus conservation of art. There are also a few videos focusing on individual pieces in the collection. posted by julen at 10:05 PM PST - 7 comments
At age 14, Zach Sobiech (previously) was diagnosed with bone cancer. Given months to live, he turned to music to say goodbye. Zach's song "Clouds" received 3 million hits, and inspired a celebrity cover video featuring dozens of actors and musicians. Zach died today at his home in Minnesota. He was 18. posted by Sfving at 9:18 PM PST - 13 comments
It's not a pretty formula, but it works. With 600 offices and a workforce of 400,000—more employees than Target or Home Depot—Labor Ready is the undisputed king of the blue-collar temp industry. Specializing in "tough-to-fill, high-turnover positions," the company dispatches people to dig ditches, demolish buildings, remove debris, stock giant fulfillment warehouses—jobs that take their toll on a body.
Tumblr's $1.1 Billion price-tag instinctively seems very high to most of us, but without context, numbers this huge are often literally unfathomable to the masses. To help readers gain perspective on the huge numbers commonly tossed around by the media, researcher Glen Chiacchieri has createdDictionary of Numbers, a Google Chrome extension that automatically adds context to huge numbers printed in the web pages that you read. [more inside] posted by schmod at 7:57 AM PST - 51 comments
Daniel Dennett's seven rules for thinking. "A deepity (a term coined by the daughter of my late friend, computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum) is a proposition that seems both important and true – and profound – but that achieves this effect by being ambiguous. On one reading, it is manifestly false, but it would be earth-shaking if it were true; on the other reading, it is true but trivial. The unwary listener picks up the glimmer of truth from the second reading, and the devastating importance from the first reading, and thinks, Wow! That's a deepity." posted by Sebmojo at 5:56 PM PST - 148 comments
"My intentions here are simple: avoid discussions about what exactly constitutes Chinese photography, evade overwhelming information, and instead visually examine the role that such photographs play in shaping China’s image"
(English, French, Chinese). Some whimsical — Alain Delorme Totems, others moving — Song Chao Miners, Migrant workers and Hold. posted by unliteral at 4:52 PM PST - 5 comments
On June 6th, 2013, Mel Brooks will be presented with the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award, but this post is about his Tomato and Onion Omelette. Bon Appétit talks cooking, coffee, and career with Mel Brooks, Omelette King. posted by Room 641-A at 2:19 PM PST - 23 comments
The thrill and rush of possibly winning started to wear off after about the twentieth losing ticket. Each card had a couple of “Life” symbols on them, and every time you got a second you just dreamed of seeing the third one under the remaining graphite. However it never appeared and never will and it just kind of turned depressing. How could people put themselves through this humiliation and teasing every day of their lives?
The classic criticism of the lottery is that the people who play are the ones who can least afford to lose; that the lottery is a sink of money, draining wealth from those who most need it. Some lottery advocates . . . have tried to defend lottery-ticket buying as a rational purchase of fantasy—paying a dollar for a day's worth of pleasant anticipation, imagining yourself as a millionaire. But consider exactly what this implies. It would mean that you're occupying your valuable brain with a fantasy whose real probability is nearly zero—a tiny line of likelihood which you, yourself, can do nothing to realize. . . . Which makes the lottery another kind of sink: a sink of emotional energy. [via]
Each event has a different theme, revolving around a past era. Previously, Steam Garden did a Meiji-themed party — a fascinating time when Japan was opening its doors to the West, and fusing Victorian fashion with traditional kimonos and obis. This time, the code word was Celtic Fantasy. Luke describes it as “a blend of industry, fantasy, and epic adventure set to a soundtrack of exciting tribal and Celtic music.” - Japanese Steampunk, complete with bagpipes, medieval food, fire dancers and wood elves. posted by Artw at 3:45 PM PST - 7 comments
Rome2Rio is a handy travel search engine site where you put in the place you want to start and where you want to go. It shows you the map, the cost of the ticket (air, rail, coach, ferry and mass transit routes), duration of the journey, etc. posted by nickyskye at 1:00 PM PST - 16 comments
Running in the The Times Educational Supplement (1), between 1971 and 1972 the comic strip Wokker featured a strange wooden bird who commentates sarcastically on the world, and who can talk to animals, inanimate objects and readers alike.
Here are some galleries and a short history by the co-creator Tony Earnshaw, also a painter and maker of boxes.
His funeral in 2001 was slightly unconventional. posted by adamvasco at 6:36 AM PST - 4 comments
The project centers on nine women in the feminist lesbian porn industry who are recorded for a 24-hour period, with 10-second blips of their everyday lives playing out in five-minute intervals. What’s revealed is an intimate portrait of a marginalized community opening up about sex, gender politics, depression, and their daily grind in a way that’s downright real. posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 AM PST - 4 comments
Pro photographer Corey Ann explains, with examples, what causes her so many problems in getting the wedding photographs her clients have paid her for: their guests.
Pushing in front of her, standing in the frame of posed photos, flooding pictures with flash, and above all assuming that their invitation entitles them to take precedence over a photographer who is being expected to get a perfect record of the couple's perfect day.
Her proposal: politely, but firmly, ask your guests to enjoy the highlights of the wedding themselves, and leave taking photographs of those parts to the photographer. posted by Major Clanger at 4:33 AM PST - 96 comments
On March 26th, 1827 Ludwig Van Beethoven died in Vienna. The day after, a twelve year old boy took a lock of his hair as a souvenir. 167 years later the hair was sold at an auction in London. Its new owners were two Americans, Ira Brilliant and Che Guevera. Between those dates the lock of hair undertook an extraordinary historical odyssey. From hand to hand, from country to country, and from century to century. This is the story of that journey. [more inside] posted by 23 at 12:34 AM PST - 15 comments
But as clergy and good clinicians have listened to more stories like these, they have heard a new narrative, one that signals changes to the brain along with what in less spiritually challenged times might be called a shadow on the soul. It is the tale of disintegrating vets, but also of seemingly squared-away former soldiers and spit-shined generals shuttling between two worlds: ours, where thou shalt not kill is chiseled into everyday life, and another, where thou better kill, be killed, or suffer the shame of not trying. There is no more hellish commute.
Photographer Arne Svenson has sparked a bit of controversy with his recent show "The Neighbors," about which he says, "I turned to the residents of a glass-walled apartment building across the street from my NYC studio. The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed; I carefully shoot from the shadows of my home into theirs. I am not unlike the birder, quietly waiting for hours, watching for the flutter of a hand or the movement of a curtain as an indication that there is life within." [more inside] posted by taz at 10:42 AM PST - 323 comments
Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives.
(copied from description on TED website). [more inside] posted by myriad gantry at 7:32 AM PST - 124 comments
Milada Horáková, a member of a Czech resistance movement, was arrested by the Gestapo in 1940 and imprisoned until the U.S. Army liberated her in May of 1945. Elected as a member of the Czechoslovak postwar parliament, she resigned after the communist coup in 1948. She remained politically active with groups opposed to the communist regime and was arrested again, this time by the communists, on September 27, 1949. After a televised show trial (she was tried with 12 others), she was executed on June 27, 1950.
Translations of Horáková's poignant final letters to her mother-in-law, husband, and daughter are available here. A brief excerpt from her show trial, with english subtitles that can be turned on, is available here. The prosecutor's closing argument is here. Pages from an english-language comic book released in 1950 in the United States about Horáková can be seen here.
In addition to being an opponent of both the Nazi and Communist regimes, Horáková was a feminist involved in the Czechoslovakian and International womens' movement. Biographical information is available here and here. posted by Area Man at 7:21 AM PST - 9 comments
I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses. “Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said. posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:49 AM PST - 30 comments
What won the war? The weather helped. For while the Allies had access to all the Atlantic meteorology, the Axis couldn't easily predict what systems were rolling in from the West - and with the Battle of the Atlantic the one thing that Churchill said kept him awake at night, knowing which way the wind blew certainly needed a weatherman. Or Britain would never be starved into submission.
The Weather War was complex and engaging, [more inside] posted by Devonian at 5:46 AM PST - 16 comments
The Untitled Black Lesbian Elder Project is an amazing Tumblr with photos, quotations, film excerpts, and ephemera that accompanies a feature-length documentary, now in production, that "will highlight interviews with black lesbian elders in their 60s, 70s and 80s from across the United States and situate them in a range of black historical movements, spanning the decades between the 1930s and 1980s." posted by liketitanic at 1:50 PM PST - 8 comments
The New Elitism of Internships "Now we have fresh evidence, straight from the highest halls of power, that the world of internships is a morally bankrupt free-for-all, a new glass ceiling in the making: the Tories have been auctioning them off at a recent fundraiser, as reported in the Mail on Sunday and called out by Jackie Ashley on Comment is Free. The Mail reported that prestigious internship positions in a range of industries (finance, hedge-fund work, fashion, media and so on) recently raised more than £20,000 for the Conservatives at the exclusive Black and White party." [more inside] posted by marienbad at 10:31 AM PST - 38 comments
The goal of Red Letter Christians is simple: To take Jesus seriously by endeavoring to live out His radical, counter-cultural teachings as set forth in Scripture, and especially embracing the lifestyle prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount. [more inside] posted by No Robots at 9:27 AM PST - 362 comments
UBC psych prof Dr. J. Kiley Hamlin: "Across two experiments with combined samples of more than 200 infant participants, we found that 9- and 14-month-old infants prefer individuals who treat similar others well and treat dissimilar others poorly." Popularization at The Atlantic. Full paper (Psychological Science, paywall). Researcher profile. posted by seanmpuckett at 7:47 AM PST - 17 comments
It was a tiny town of farmers, a village where everyone knew everyone and nearly all struggled to make ends meet. But then, a few days before Christmas, they won the largest lottery in the history of Spain. The entire town. All of them. (Well, almost all of them.) Instantly, Sodeto became known as the luckiest place on earth. Michael Paterniti visits the town that fortune smiled upon and finds that the people there—now flush—are still uncertain of just how lucky they really are. posted by empath at 2:14 AM PST - 26 comments
For nearly 30 years, Dave Meltzer has published the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, featuring weekly behind the locker room door insight into the business of professional wrestling.
How far reaching has Meltzer's impact been? In one famous incident, Hulk Hogan, frustrated by what he perceived as consistently negative coverage in the publication, burned a copy of the newsletter during a live Pay-Per-View event. posted by The Gooch at 10:21 PM PST - 14 comments
Many languages have "high" and "low" layers of vocabulary. But in most other languages, the two sets are drawn from the same source. By contrast, contact between Old English and French, Dravidian languages and Sanskrit, Japanese and Chinese, Persian and Arabic, and other pairings around the world have created fascinatingly hybrid languages. These mixed lexicons are, for linguistic and social historians, akin to the layers of fossils that teach paleontologists and archaeologists so much about eras gone by.
Some people even think English is descended from Latin, or Kannada from Sanskrit. That’s frustrating not only because it’s wrong, but also because the reality is far more interesting. - The Economist, Unlikely parallels (via) posted by beisny at 4:55 PM PST - 31 comments
Ever wondered what the view at the very top of the Washington Monument is like? Construction workers erecting scaffolding (for repairs needed after the 2011 earthquake) donned helmet cams on the day they reached the tip of the monument, so you need wonder no longer. posted by EvaDestruction at 12:03 PM PST - 42 comments
A confluence of factors has pushed me to post the following missive from one Benjamin Franklin–a noted American humorist who also did some other stuff. If from an overindulgence in rich and fatty foods on Fat Tuesday, you find yourself surfeit with internal pressure, follow the advice of a founding father… posted by Blasdelb at 10:29 AM PST - 27 comments
Today The New Yorker unveiled Strongbox, a service that allows sources to share information with TNY journalists securely and anonymously. As explained in this infographic, Strongbox relies on the Tor network, a dedicated server, PGP encryption, VPNs, and multiple laptops and thumb drives to prevent files from being intercepted or traced. The codebase, which is open source, was designed by the late Aaron Swartz (Previously). Kevin Poulsen, one of the organizers of the project, chronicles how Swartz developed the code and how the project managed to carry on after his death. TNY hopes that Strongbox will help the magazine continue its long tradition of investigative journalism. posted by Cash4Lead at 8:46 AM PST - 34 comments
The Department of Homeland Security has apparently seized Mt.Gox's Dwolla account, a key US mobile payments account associated with the largest Bitcoin exchange. Mt.Gox has confirmed that their Dwolla account is disabled, but have not been party to the court order themselves. [more inside] posted by ArkhanJG at 12:54 AM PST - 160 comments
Kings and Sharks Dance Offs started when both teams first met in the playoffs. It took over the series talk thread and Game Day Threads until it got it's own thread. Since then, it has become a tradition. posted by blob at 9:19 PM PST - 18 comments
MOOOOOOM, WE'RE BOOOORED
Didn't I buy you that Mario Kart game for your Wii, like, two years ago? Five?
YEAH, BUT WE'RE BOOOOOORED
But kids, didn't it include something like thirty tracks?
YEAH, BUT WE'RE TIIIIIRED OF THOOOOOSE
Well, I didn't want to do this so early in the year, but I've got a Christmas present for you that I've been holding on to. You know how you've been saying how you wanted 184 new tracks for Mario Kart Wii?
YEAH! WE WERE REALLY SPECIFIC ABOUT THAT NUMBER
Well, bust out that Mario Kart Wii disc and an SD card, because Merry Christmas, kids! posted by DoctorFedora at 5:10 PM PST - 30 comments
In 1985, Houston was preparing for a party: 1986 marked the city's 150th birthday, the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Texas, and 25 years since the opening of NASA's Johnson Space Center, the hub around which the city's aerospace industry blossomed. In comes French synthesizer pioneer Jean Michel Jarre, the "composer of the future", known for his spectacular 1979 Bastille Day show that attracted a million people to Place de la Concorde, and for being the first Western musician to play China in 1981. With the Space Shuttle Challenger due to take off on mission STS-51-L in January, Jarre penned a piece for Mission Specialist and saxophonist Ron McNair to record in space. The nation watched as McNair and his crewmates prepared for their journeyand waved goodbye, only to perish in a haunting and iconic explosion. As Houston mourned the loss of the seven crew, who called the city home during their preparation for spaceflight, Jarre wasn't sure if the upcoming festivities should be held, but was convinced by astronaut Bruce McCandless that the show must go on.
On April 5, 1986, 1.5 million people gathered downtown to witness Rendez-vous Houston, a massive tribute to America's pioneering spirit that used the city as its backdrop. [more inside] posted by avocet at 4:29 PM PST - 19 comments
"The Sound of Stigma: An essay by Mark S. King—an AIDS advocate, an author and a blogger living with HIV since 1985—on why HIV stigma among gay men persists." posted by andoatnp at 9:50 AM PST - 148 comments
"'If you can't do the time, don't do the crime.' So goes the old saying. Yet conditions in some American facilities are so obscene that they amount to a form of extrajudicial punishment."Mother Jones is profiling "America's 10 Worst Prisons." Facilities were chosen for the list based on "...three years of research, correspondence with prisoners, and interviews with reform advocates." [more inside] posted by zarq at 9:15 AM PST - 88 comments
Jason Richwine has resigned from the Heritage Foundation. Richwine is the author of a the Heritage report, "The Fiscal Cost of Unlawful Immigrants and Amnesty to the U.S. Taxpayer." In 2009, Richwine earned his doctorate from Harvard University, and his dissertation was titled "IQ and Immigration Policy", which argued that Hispanic immigrants have lower IQ than white native immigrants. [more inside] posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:46 AM PST - 139 comments
"WNYC and The Record asked, separately, for documentation of NJ Transit’s hurricane preparedness plans. Both news organizations received the same reply: a three-and-a-half page document with the words “New Jersey Rail Operations Hurricane Plan” atop the first page. Everything else was blacked out." [more inside] posted by 1970s Antihero at 7:33 AM PST - 37 comments
The New Yorker takes on the MOOC: “One of the edX people said, ‘This is being sponsored by Harvard and M.I.T. They wouldn’t do anything to harm higher education!’ What came to my mind was some cautious financial analysts saying, about some of the financial instruments that were being rolled out in the late nineties or early two-thousands, ‘This is risky stuff, isn’t it?’ And being told, ‘Goldman Sachs is doing it; Lehman Brothers is doing it.’ ” Previously posted by oinopaponton at 9:07 PM PST - 149 comments
Cat Imagery in the Suffrage Movement: Cats were a common symbol in suffragette imagery. Cats represented the domestic sphere, and anti-suffrage postcards often used them to reference female activists. The intent was to portray suffragettes as silly, infantile, incompetent, and ill-suited to political engagement.[more inside] posted by not_the_water at 6:35 PM PST - 25 comments
A Logic Named Joe is a short science-fiction story by Murray Leinster. Published in 1946, the story depicts data-mining, massively networked computers, search engines, privacy/censorship filters and internet porn. Read it here. posted by The Whelk at 1:34 PM PST - 35 comments
The original discotheque DJs of the 70s weren’t restricted by genre – they mixed up soul, funk, rock and experimental music to create the nascent disco sound. The Sofrito sound starts from the same point but draws from the tropics - combining bassline soukous, cosmic highlife, stripped-down drum edits, raw carnival rhythms, Manding vibes, scratchy calypso and modern productions that continue in the grand tradition of the discotheque, from Abidjan to Detroit via London, Paris and beyond... posted by Tom-B at 9:21 AM PST - 11 comments
Today, at noon (central daylight time) the Minnesota Senate will begin debate on a bill to legalize same sex marriages. The bill already passed the Minnesota House. As Reuters reports, the Senate will likely pass the bill, and Governor Mark Dayton has promised to sign it into law. [more inside] posted by Area Man at 6:30 AM PST - 711 comments
One of the most astonishing secrets in biology is this: every plant you see makes two different plants from the same genome. And, scientists recently reported, a single gene from an ancient, powerful lineage can make the difference.
Maria Yudina (1899-1970) born Jewish, devout Christian, staunchly anti-Soviet, and one of the greatest Russian pianists. "Yet she was hidden behind Soviet Russia's iron curtain during her lifetime and was unknown to what is now a rapidly growing and wildly enthusiastic international audience." [more inside] posted by snaparapans at 3:25 PM PST - 4 comments
What Terrence Malick was doing for those 20 years. "The thing that really, really bothers me about the perception of Terrence Malick is the idea that he made Days of Heaven and then sat with his thumb up his butt for twenty years. That’s not what happened; he never stopped working. Terrence Malick is not a recluse. A recluse is Howard Hughes holed up in a hotel pissing into a milk bottle." posted by goatdog at 1:44 PM PST - 30 comments
"There's nothing ergonomic about being a parent." Writer Shawnee Barton talks about the non-Hallmark, less discussed aspects of being a mother: the physical changes that come from pregnancy and giving birth.
"Turns out, we are all mama soldiers returning from the battlefields of life-creation. And like most stories from the frontlines, the physical scars inevitably stir genuine emotions and sentimentality that those greeting cards fall far short of replicating." posted by ichomp at 12:47 AM PST - 84 comments
Did my wife's cosmetics give her breast cancer?During her first round of chemo in 2009, some volunteers at the hospital came calling with a little red bag [from the Look Good Feel Better program] that contained products from Clinique, Estée Lauder, and Del Laboratories. Upon reviewing the contents of her bag, she realized that several of the products contained parabens — chemicals that mimic estrogen and that according to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics are linked to cancer. (previously, previouslier, previousliest in AskMe) posted by spamandkimchi at 3:11 PM PST - 38 comments
Now married and father to two, Kevin Berthia's life has changed dramatically in the 8 years since he climbed over the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge to take his own life. He probably would not have had that opportunity had it not been for the dedication of California Highway Patrolman Kevin Briggs, "The Guardian of the Golden Gate Bridge". Following the overwhelming response to the short documentary on Briggs' efforts to reach out--sometimes literally--to would-be jumpers, he got the opportunity to meet the young man whose life he saved in 2005. [more inside] posted by drlith at 10:14 AM PST - 20 comments
"For the vast majority of people who have done this work, it has been the hardest job they have ever done, and also the best job they have ever had. but if this work is not for you — if you consider it dull or drudgery or just too hard cuz you would rather watch TV or text someone, then please don't reply because you will have a miserable summer." - A Kennedy Seeks A Deck Hand ....on Cragslist. posted by The Whelk at 9:16 AM PST - 62 comments
Hello. DJ Flula (who's commentary on English idioms was discussed previously on MeFi) has discarded the conventional wisdom that the best place to make your recordings is the bathroom, choosing instead to record in cars. [more inside] posted by radwolf76 at 7:57 AM PST - 13 comments
Don't make fun of renowned author Dan Brown. "Renowned author Dan Brown hated the critics. Ever since he had become one of the world’s top renowned authors they had made fun of him. They had mocked bestselling book The Da Vinci Code, successful novel Digital Fortress, popular tome Deception Point, money-spinning volume Angels & Demons and chart-topping work of narrative fiction The Lost Symbol." posted by zoo at 5:22 AM PST - 176 comments
With Rifle and Bibliography. "In late 2003 a colleague of General James Mattis wrote to him asking for a few words on the importance of reading and military history for the officer, even where it might seem that one was “too busy to read.”"
His letter is found about 1/3 down in the linked page, also pasted the entire first letter after the jump. [more inside] posted by amitai at 8:53 PM PST - 15 comments
Former Great Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Il was a noted cinephile with a personal video library of over 20,000 movies. In 1970, he said "The motion picture industry, when dealing with the socialist reality, has not yet reached the standard set by our Party." To help it reach the standard, the Dear Leader wrote a treatise On the Art of the Cinema (PDF), took an interest in minute details of film production (as recounted by film stars), revamped the Taedongmun Cinema House, and kidnapped a director (previously 1, 2.)
But did this lead to better movies?.... [more inside] posted by twoleftfeet at 3:28 PM PST - 11 comments
Claire Messud: “A woman’s rant” [National Post] "Over the last week, discussion surrounding Claire Messud’s new novel, The Woman Upstairs, has shifted from the book to an interview its author recently gave to Publishers Weekly, in which Messud took issue with the following question: “I wouldn’t want to be friends with Nora, would you? Her outlook is almost unbearably grim.” [more inside] posted by Fizz at 2:55 PM PST - 23 comments
Artists Peter de Seve and Carter Goodrich share similar career arcs. Both began their illustration careers in early 80's New York, drawing many businessmen and computers for trade magazines. Both became New Yorker cover artists. As the print market became challenged, both artists found new demand for the talents in emerging media, creating the look of the characters in animated films. Goodrich worked on Ratatouille, Despicable Me, and Brave. De Seve is responsible for all the characters in the Ice Age films. [more inside] posted by TimTypeZed at 2:28 PM PST - 1 comments
In 1998, Bruce Myren bought a portable GPS unit, and began a project he had been dreaming of since 1991: photographing each of the whole longitudinal degree intersections along the 40th parallel using an 8"x10" camera.
In June, 2012, he ran a successful Kickstarter campaign to raise money to finish the project.
He completed it last December, 21 years after conception: The Fortieth Parallel[more inside] posted by 1367 at 12:22 PM PST - 44 comments
Teenage Diaries RevisitedBeginning in 1996, Radio Diaries gave tape recorders to teenagers around the country to create audio diaries about their lives. NPR’s All Things Considered aired intimate portraits of five of these teens: Amanda, Juan, Frankie, Josh and Melissa. They're now in their 30s. Over this past year, the same group has been recording new stories about where life has led them for our series, Teenage Diaries Revisited. - The conversation at the end of the 2013 update on Josh is a complete gut-punch - it left me speechless and unable to breathe. posted by Slap*Happy at 11:19 AM PST - 10 comments
Greenboy: Prescription for Death is a purported lost Dragnet episode made by writers from Mr Show and Mystery Science Theater. It uses technology first seen in Forest Gump to digitally add actors into the psychedelic "Blueboy" episode of Dragnet 1967. The result is a hilarious story of bad cops chasing after Greenboy, the pusher of a dangerous strain of medical marijuana called Larry in the Sky with Diamonds. (NSFW due to language). posted by Blingo at 8:17 AM PST - 27 comments
Scientific American reports: "An isolated population of Arctic foxes that dines only on marine animals seems to be slowly succumbing to mercury poisoning." Though a definitive causal link is difficult to establish, an isolated population of arctic foxes on Russia's Mednyi Island is believed to be collapsing due to mercury contamination as a result of its seafood-heavy diet. Where does all that mercury in the environment come from anyway? Why, it's another biproduct of burning fossil fuels, of course, and predictably, rates of mercury pollution are only expected to increase. In some places in the US, even rainwater is showing high levels of contamination. [more inside] posted by saulgoodman at 8:07 AM PST - 25 comments
While we are still recovering from the trauma that finance capital has inflicted on our public world, a late-capitalist fairy tale manages the pain in the more private and intimate reaches of the sexual daydream. In one version of the story, a wide-eyed mermaid cleverly disguises her essential self in order to win the heart of a prince (The Little Mermaid). In another, a hooker with a heart of gold navigates her way to a happy ending by offering some happy endings of her own (Pretty Woman). Or there’s the sassy secretary who shakes her moneymaker all the way to the corner office (Working Girl). Fifty Shades of Grey follows this long history of class ascendancy via feminine wiles, but does so cleverly disguised as an edgy modern bodice-ripper. [NSFW image]
Vim Adventures . Have you always wanted to learn vim but were too intimidated by its vimness? Then give vim adventures a shot! Combining fantasy adventure with learning an archaic terminal program, this game is so nerdy you'll surely alienate friends and family. But who cares, you'll know vim! [more inside] posted by Alex404 at 1:48 AM PST - 42 comments
Big tech is saying we need to issue more temporary visas so high-skill STEM workers can enter the US, because there's a shortage of Americans who can do the work. But according to this essay in the Columbia Journalism Review, there might be plenty of US citizens available, in fact maybe even a glut, and immigration reform proposals might just be a way to keep STEM labor costs down for corporations and universities. [more inside] posted by tommyD at 3:03 PM PST - 134 comments
Exercise or pay 20% higher health insurance premiums. 'It was a controversial move when a health insurer began requiring people who were obese to literally pay the price of not doing anything about their weight – but it worked, a new study finds.' 'Faced with a choice between higher insurance prices or exercising, people who were obese enrolled in and stuck with Internet-tracked walking program for a year.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 2:24 PM PST - 101 comments
On November 5, 1622, the poet and clergymanJohn Donne continued the tradition begun by Lancelot Andrewes of delivering a Gunpower Day sermon before the monarch. What would it have been like to hear a sermon like this delivered outdoors at St. Paul's Cross? The Virtual Paul's Cross Website tries to answer that question. Drawing on contemporary evidence from paintings, written records, and Donne's own manuscripts, the site offers both visual and audio reconstructions of the site (including a fly-through of the model), the sermon, and how the sermon might have sounded from multiple vantage points. posted by thomas j wise at 2:14 PM PST - 7 comments
For all of you time crunched people: you can get fit doing these scientifically studied exercises (NYT). All you need are yourself, a floor, a chair, and time to do a 7 minute set 2 to 3 times. Caveat: it's a painful 7 minutes, and some say that you should already be at a decent fitness level, and may need to warm-up beforehand.
Here's the academic journal article. posted by JiffyQ at 2:04 PM PST - 66 comments
Last night in Cleveland, the visiting Oakland A's were down by one run with two outs in the ninth inning. A's shortstop Adam Rosales hit a ball that struck somewhere on the center field fence and was either a double or a home run. A home run would tie the game. To make sure they got the call right the umpires went to the instant replay. [more inside] posted by dirtdirt at 11:39 AM PST - 63 comments
"The memory is stil with me - the most sickly and sweetish smell of rancid gasoline combined with rotten water melons, with undertones of stale sweat, pig carcass, a hint of garlic, moldy oranges, russian-made aftershave and a cheap household air freshener… its a whole package, and rather sweet one – like isonitriles or cyclopentadiene but magnified thousand times. A whiff of that thing and you feel that your nose just suffered a stroke and will hopefully die and peal off so that you never smell that thing again." A young lab tech, whose absent-mindedness in the lab gets him nicknamed "“Bořivoj” (”the one who tears down the places”), meets PhePHMe, the worst-smelling compound in the world. Things happen. posted by escabeche at 5:47 AM PST - 36 comments
A blog discussion of Charles Palliser's intriguing novel, The Quincunx, began in 2003, and is still going. Despite a wealth of theories, the participants are still no nearer solving the book's key mystery - who is the hero's father? posted by low_horrible_immoral at 5:14 AM PST - 25 comments
"But something happened. Once industrial music had fully transitioned from avant-garde venues into nightclubs, the stench of Axe body spray began to dominate the subculture as a certain douchey, bro-tastic vibe emerged. Where the goth/industrial scene had once existed as a safe haven for artists, weirdos, outcasts, geeks, dreamers and rebels, a disturbing trend of sexism, racism and anti-intellectualism is driving people out." posted by cthuljew at 1:53 AM PST - 94 comments
"Most dreams of writers aren’t about dead people or writing, and—like everyone else’s dreams—they aren’t very memorable. They just seem to be the products of a psychic garburator chewing through the potato peels and coffee grounds of the day and burping them up to you as mush."
"There is that story that these two met in Las Vegas at the Old Adobe Hotel on July 26, 1879, and during a card game Jesse asked Billy to join his gang..........Henry Hoyt and Migeul Otero say so in their books, and that they witnessed it..............But Jesse James did stay at the Old Adobe Hotel from July 26 through July 29 in the summer of 1879, according to an announcement in the Las Vegas Optic printed weeks later. The owner of the Old Adobe Hotel, W. Scott Moore, was from Clay County, Missouri, Jesse's home turf, and was a childhood friend of his. Hoyt recalled Jesse's missing finger and his alias, Mr. Howard. And Jesse was on the run, so New Mexico is possible."
Marie-Laure Noailles was a direct descendant of the Maquis de Sade, himself a Surrealist muse.
Together with her husband Charles she was their patron, possibly one of the greatest Art Patrons of the Twentieth Century. The couple spent much of the year at their villa in the South of France.
Charles preferred his gardens and his gym instuctor, and she embarked on a of a series of affairs, notably Jean Cocteau whose film Blood of a Poet was financed by them. They also financed Man Ray's Les Mystères du Château de Dé and Bunuel and Dali's L'Age d'Or (a scene in the garden) and Biceps et Bijoux for Jacques Manuel. Dali also painted her portrait as did Balthus another of her protégés.
Apart from film and art they also commisiones Francis Poulenc's Aubade.
Marie-Laure was photographed by Man Ray and her good friend Dora Maar. (Previous some links dead ).
Charles and her Marie-Laure although living seperate lives stayed the best of friends for the rest of their lives often phoning each other several times a day. [more inside] posted by adamvasco at 10:45 AM PST - 6 comments
In Reluctant Defense of the Curmudgeon Malcontents. A Baltimore-area attorney explains how online marketing is hurting the legal profession: There is for the conscientious ethical attorney a balance between eremitic life in a Byzantine-era monastery and nonsense online carney barking, but none of these non-attorney folks deserve a seat at the table in that discussion. And the more you see of the online marketing nonsense that's out there, the more sympathetic you become to people with poor home training who reject that nonsense in language you wouldn't want uttered aloud in your grandmother’s house of worship. posted by Cash4Lead at 8:48 AM PST - 22 comments
A pair of Peregrine Falcons, which have successfully nested on the roof of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst for the past 11 years, have a live webcam. posted by ennui.bz at 6:10 AM PST - 38 comments
The year is 2071. Humanity has spread across the solar system and the Space Police have reinstated the bounty system of the Old West: catch wanted fugitives alive, deliver them to the cops and get paid. Cowboy Bebop chronicles the adventures (and misadventures) of a group of bounty hunters as they try to catch bad guys and make a living. [more inside] posted by zarq at 10:02 PM PST - 153 comments
100 websites: "To mark the beginning of an ambitious attempt to archive the entire British internet, librarians from across Britain put their heads together to select the most seminal websites of the twenty-teens. Experts from the British Library, the National Library of Scotland, the National Library of Wales, Bodleian Libraries, Cambridge University Library and Trinity College Dublin chose high-street stores, hyper-hyper-hyper local blogs and niche interest webpages as must-reads for tomorrow's children."
via The Register, which points out that the list includes the Unst bus shelter website, Shit London, Chavtowns, Transport for London, a page for young Welsh farmers, as well as the predictable choices like BBC, Facebook, the NHS and the Old Baily online. posted by fredludd at 6:37 PM PST - 10 comments
The greatest car commercial ever !! Old Spock (Nimoy) and New Spock (Quinto) come together (and battle it out) in what is likely the best car commercial that you ever saw (or will see). Chock full of Star Trek references there's even a scene with Nimoy humming along to "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" . Awesomeness follows ... posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 12:17 PM PST - 108 comments
What Is Going on With the Accents in Game of Thrones? Gawker beanplates the accents used on-screen by the actors in Game of Thrones.Like most fantasy television shows, Game of Thrones is largely populated by English actors speaking with English accents. This is because Americans are still unconvinced that England is a real country, and associate English speech patterns with kings and magic and sorcery and frequent stabbings.[more inside] posted by snuffleupagus at 11:14 AM PST - 267 comments
No, if we thought there might perhaps, just maybe, be even a little safe psuedo-subversion of the straightironing with a secondary character, if we thought there might be some hints of homosexual dalliance on the side, or at least a little homoerotic tension to be shipped or slashed with a flighty sprite, a Renaissance Robin to his Batman, that avenue is closed off pretty quickly. NO! shouts the Slash Nazi. NO SLASH FOR YOU! NO SLASH FOR YOU! -- Hal Duncan is not impressed by the way Leonardo Da Vinci's sexuality is handled in the new Starz/BBC Da Vinci's Demons television series and is impressively rude in saying so. [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 10:17 AM PST - 19 comments
The moment you've been waiting for... I give you the winners of the talent contest held under the auspices if the Westchester County Recreation Commission... The Continentals! Click for the music, stay for the dancin'! [more inside] posted by ecorrocio at 9:06 AM PST - 14 comments
There are a small number of novels I return to again and again: Middlemarch, The Portrait of a Lady, Pride and Prejudice, maybe a half-dozen others. But Gatsby is in a class by itself. It is the only book I have read so often despite failing—in the face of real effort and sincere intentions—to derive almost any pleasure at all from the experience. posted by Chrysostom at 7:59 AM PST - 181 comments
Researchers in Britain have identified twenty-three words from a postulated “proto-Eurasiatic” language spoken before the end of the last Ice Age. [Washington Post report; original paper] [more inside] posted by Joe in Australia at 7:10 AM PST - 49 comments
In 1965 guitar legend Jimi Hendrix was doing the chitlin circuit with R&B acts, where he honed some of the guitar artistry as well as the showman skills that would soon set the world on fire. Here's a taste of that pre-rock star Jimi, as a member of the Buddy and Stacy revue, doing the Junior Walker classic Shotgun. If you want more pre-rock star Jimi, well, there's... [more inside] posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:27 PM PST - 38 comments
DC Blacklists the Outhouse. DC has been upset at the comics news site for running satirical articles about them (as well as other publishers), and has informed them that they are revoking access to their creators for interviews, according to Christian "Bluestreak" Hoffer. [more inside] posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 9:14 PM PST - 17 comments
Division of labor in child care: A game-theoretic approach The analysis shows that it is difficult to achieve the equilibrium of equal sharing of child care, even when this is the preference of the parents. This leads to a discussion of alterations and meta-strategies for couples who want to share care equally. Gender differences between parents are also modeled, including the impact these have on outcomes and equilibria.Full text PDF posted by bq at 9:10 PM PST - 14 comments
Utilizing video locations including Isle Royale National Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Headlands Intl Dark Sky Park, North Country Trail, Hiawatha National Forest, Marquette Michigan, Copper Harbor and Eagle Harbor MI, Shawn Malone has created North Country Dreams, a time lapse video that explains why some of us will never leave Michigan.
(I encourage you to watch this in full screen and HD) posted by HuronBob at 7:49 PM PST - 11 comments
On May 6th, 1937 the famous German Airship, The Hindenburg, was engulfed in flames as it docked in New York City. Newly available archival footage shows the great zeppelin at its end and on more successful voyages. posted by humanfont at 4:21 PM PST - 46 comments
Coverflip is a one day Twitter project created by author Maureen Johnson. There are only three rules: 1. Take a well-known book. (It’s up to you to define well-known.) 2. Imagine that book was written by an author of the OPPOSITE GENDER. 3. Now, COVERFLIP! Make the new cover and put it online. Tweet or Tumbl it with the tag #coverflip. posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:34 PM PST - 29 comments
Her encampment is 'an old patio umbrella draped in a white plastic sheet secured with binder clips. It is flanked by two large boards with messages in capital letters: BAN ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS OR HAVE A NICE DOOMSDAY and LIVE BY THE BOMB, DIE BY THE BOMB. This rudimentary shelter has been positioned outside the White House for more than three decades. It is a monument itself now, widely considered the longest-running act of political protest in the United States, and this woman, Concepcion Picciotto — Connie, as she’s known to many — is its longest-running caretaker.'[more inside] posted by zarq at 1:29 PM PST - 7 comments
"[...] in the next scene, she is wearing a pair of crocheted leggings, which allow her deformed limbs to slide smoothly across the wood floor. She moves easily, as though she doesn't know there's anything wrong with her legs at all." posted by batmonkey at 12:41 PM PST - 8 comments
Only for Children: [via: DIY Photography]" The ANAR Foundation is a Spanish organization which helps kids in risk. They Operate a unique phone number - 116 111 - where minors at risk can get aid and consultation.
Anar did a campaign advertizing the number, but were facing a problem where they did not want potential aggressors to see that a kid was even looking at the ad.
The solution was using Lenticular printing [wiki] on street signs." [more inside] posted by Fizz at 11:40 AM PST - 13 comments
Mau Mau to Midnapore: Confronting the brutality of empireThere are certainly some Britons, including academics, journalists and human rights lawyers, who are aware of the realities of colonialism. However, in the society as a whole and in the media in the UK there are still far too many who seem strangely reluctant, even after so many decades after the end of the British empire, to come to terms with the true nature of colonialism or learn from the perspective of former subjects who had rebelled against it. posted by infini at 10:42 AM PST - 17 comments
In Defense of Betty. "I’ve always thought that the whole point is that Betty is a victim of her time and circumstances, of the very narrow, constricted gender roles (remember the ill-fitting dress she’s holding up against herself as she contemplates being a political wife) that she and women like her were forced — expected, if that seems less loaded — to assume. Those roles were deforming, and, sure enough, they’ve deformed Betty." [more inside] posted by sweetkid at 10:15 AM PST - 2427 comments
The voyage of the MOBRO. "It was 1987. A small town businessman had what seemed like a promising idea, to transport New York trash by barge to a landfill in North Carolina, where it would be converted into methane to heat homes." posted by Xurando at 8:10 AM PST - 16 comments
Will Allen's Growing Power operates urban farms. His first Milwaukee farm is three urban acres where he grows enough food to feed 10,000 people. An interview by the Splendid Table's Lynne Rossetto Kasper in support of his new book. Previously. posted by shothotbot at 7:06 AM PST - 39 comments
Until a few weeks ago, David Stein was known mainly as a maker of documentaries on the Holocaust for schools and as the man behind Republican Party Animals, a social club for conservatives in film and television. Then it was revealed that Stein is actually David Cole, who achieved notoriety in the 1990s for arguing that the Holocaust wasn't as horrible as it is claimed to have been. Moreover, while Stein's documentaries have reflected the consensus position on the Holocaust, he says he still has doubts: "The best guess is yes, there were gas chambers. But there is still a lot of murkiness about the camps." His former associates, meanwhile, are distancing themselves from him as fast as possible: "The reason we were all so pissed at him," according to one of them, "is it plays into every horrible stereotype about the right." posted by Cash4Lead at 6:39 AM PST - 93 comments
"By the time Cathy began, the sexual revolution had ended, so the strip stands as a perfect artifact of a moment when the cultural understanding of coercion changed completely—a moment when, one could argue, second-wave feminism basically died. With its baby-boomer characters, Cathy dramatizes the aftermath: the ’60s ended when it became clear that a revolutionary movement toward a just society wasn’t happening; the ’70s ended up being about trying to navigate the wreckage of the ’60s. The ’80s were largely about looking for strategies to accept injustice and inequality, and to construe that acceptance itself as a positive value.
"One might think that, once we know something is computable, how efficiently it can be computed is a practical question with little further philosophical importance. In this essay, I offer a detailed case that one would be wrong. In particular, I argue that computational complexity theory---the field that studies the resources (such as time, space, and randomness) needed to solve computational problems---leads to new perspectives on the nature of mathematical knowledge, the strong AI debate, computationalism, the problem of logical omniscience, Hume's problem of induction, Goodman's grue riddle, the foundations of quantum mechanics, economic rationality, closed timelike curves, and several other topics of philosophical interest. I end by discussing aspects of complexity theory itself that could benefit from philosophical analysis."
"I have no patience for contemporary handlebar mustaches. They anger me. They look indulgent and ridiculous. If you have a handlebar mustache, that is pretty much all you are. You are a delivery system for a handlebar mustache." Marc Maron goes shopping for denim. posted by four panels at 5:23 PM PST - 206 comments
'The Great Gatsby' Still Gets Flappers Wrong “The Flapper awoke from her lethargy of sub-deb-ism, bobbed her hair, put on her choicest pair of earrings and a great deal of audacity and rouge and went into the battle. She flirted because it was fun to flirt and wore a one-piece bathing suit because she had a good figure, she covered her face with powder and paint because she didn’t need it and she refused to be bored chiefly because she wasn’t boring. She was conscious that the things she did were the things she had always wanted to do. Mothers disapproved of their sons taking the Flapper to dances, to teas, to swim and most of all to heart. She had mostly masculine friends, but youth does not need friends—it needs only crowds.” posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:12 PM PST - 83 comments
"Waffle House lost a loyal customer on April 30, 2013. Antonia W. "Toni" Larroux died after a battle with multiple illnesses: lupus, rickets, scurvy, kidney disease and feline leukemia."
The obituary goes on to make fun of four generations of family (from her father to her grandchildren), the Hancock County Library Foundation and the clergyman presiding at her memorial service, closing with the statement that "Anyone wearing black will not be admitted to the memorial." via Miss Cellania of Neatorama posted by oneswellfoop at 4:18 PM PST - 62 comments
William Prince's short Click is very simple little horror film about a bunch of kids, an abandoned building, and a light switch that you'd better watch before it gets dark. The short was a finalist in Popcorn Horror's Blood Games short film competition. You can view the other five finalists here. posted by orange swan at 2:44 PM PST - 17 comments
sasakure.UK is a Japanese songwriter/artist who often produces songs using Vocaloid, a singing voice synthesizer program (previously on Mefi).
Some examples of his works are below. WARNING: videos may contain high-fructose levels of cuteness, high pitched voices, english subtitles, retro video games, and rather depressing - even triggering - content (such death, suicide). Watch at your own risk.
Alaska is home to two small villages of Russian Orthodox "Old Believers," whose ancestors left the church and their home in Siberia in 1666 in the face of state-issued church reforms. They have traveled more than 20,000 miles over five centuries in the search for the perfect place to protect their traditions from outside influences. Now, assimilation into American culture is slowly overtaking them. (Via) [more inside] posted by zarq at 11:04 AM PST - 49 comments
"One can almost hear the anticipatory echoes of something like Yelp in the context of José Ortega y Gasset’s The Revolt of the Masses (1930). The multitude, he wrote, once “scattered about the world in small groups,” now appears “as an agglomeration.” It has “suddenly become visible, installing itself in the preferential positions in society. Before, if it existed, it passed unnoticed, occupying the background of the social stage; now it has advanced to the footlights and is the principal character.” The disgruntled diner, now able to make or break a restaurant through sheer collective will. Against this leveling of critical power, the old guard fulminates. Ruth Reichl, the former editor of Gourmet, recently harrumphed that “anybody who believes Yelp is an idiot. Most people on Yelp have no idea what they’re talking about.”"—Star Wars, by Tom Vanderbilt, in The Wilson Quarterly[more inside] posted by Toekneesan at 5:32 AM PST - 38 comments
Hubbard suggested turning Social Security and Medicare into smaller programs that help “the least well off among us.” With smaller social-insurance programs, the government can prevent tax increases and shrink the debt burden. That, he said, would lead to broad economic growth.
In the beginning there was Windows 2.0 its screen, and it was either on or off, but never was it "saved." The developers at Dynamic Karma said "let's make some pretty graphics while your computer is idle" or something of that sort, and lo, they made Magic, and it was good. The people rejoiced, and asked, "why for are you giving this away, when we would happily pay for it?" And then they united with software engineers at the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and they brought forth Flying Toasters, after figuring out how to build the screen saver structure on the Mac. [more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 2:46 PM PST - 57 comments
Predicting Google Shutdowns. "In the following essay, I collect data on 350 Google products and look for predictive variables. I find some while modeling shutdown patterns, and make some predictions about future shutdowns. Hopefully the results are interesting, useful, or both." Gwern exhaustively analyzes Google products past and present with an eye to establishing what's not long for the bitverse. tl;dr? Results. posted by mwhybark at 9:25 AM PST - 89 comments
The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, an outgrowth of Oregon's 2008 lottery to allocate Medicaid slots to eligible residents, has released their second year of results (Previous discussions on the lottery and the experiment). The gist of the results are that they found statisitically significant reductions in catastrophic health care expenditures, improvements in the incidences of depression, and increased use of health care services. They found minimal (and not statistically significant) improvements in the rates of physical health indicators (diabetes and hypertension) they tracked. Because of ethical concerns, there are no other randomized controlled tests on this scale that study the effects of Medicaid and few on the effects of health insurance in general (the only significant one being a RAND study released 30 years ago). Because of the small amount of information available on the topic and the impending Medicaid expansion offered by Affordable Care Act, this study has drawn a lot of attention from political commentators. This will presumably be the last year these results will be published, as the state of Oregon was able to find extra money in 2010 in order cover the rest of its Medicaid-eligible population. [more inside] posted by Weebot at 1:49 PM PST - 20 comments
Many of you are perhaps familiar with the berimbau, a musical bow with a calabash resonator, best known as an instrument for accompanying the Brazilian dance/martial art known as capoeira. But the roots of the instrument lie, as you might guess, in Africa. Still, it's not often we get a chance to hear the original African version of the instrument being played. This video, though, in which one Chris Haambwiila of Zambia conjures up an intricate, bewitching groove, is one that will be of interest to those who enjoy elemental and unadulterated human rhythmic expression. And the two little boys getting down to the sound will win your heart, for sure. posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:45 AM PST - 22 comments
One of the stranger methods used in World War II to undermine nazi morale was to get enemy workers and soldiers to pull a sickie. One way to do this was to simulate tuberculosis, which had its challenges. [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 4:03 AM PST - 13 comments
Why the American political system is so dysfunctional today "But what is most striking is that in a presidential system, the legislators, especially when they represent cohesive, disciplined parties that offer clear ideological and political alternatives, can also claim democratic legitimacy. This claim is thrown into high relief when a majority of the legislature represents a political option opposed to the one the president represents. Under such circumstances, who has the stronger claim to speak on behalf of the people: the president or the legislative majority that opposes his policies? Since both derive their power from the votes of the people in a free competition among well-defined alternatives, a conflict is always possible and at times may erupt dramatically. There is no democratic principle on the basis of which it can be resolved, and the mechanisms the constitution might provide are likely to prove too complicated and aridly legalistic to be of much force in the eyes of the electorate." [more inside] posted by bookman117 at 9:50 PM PST - 93 comments
Consumer Reports recently advised against eating too much rice. Is this a new fad diet? Not exactly. Instead, limiting intake of rice will help cut back on that nasty habit of eating arsenic. posted by mark7570 at 1:18 PM PST - 58 comments
What Do Philosophers Believe? David Bourget and David Chalmers, co-directors of Philpapers.com, have written an article based on the PhilPapers Survey of professional philosophers. It covers the popularity of various views, correlations with age, gender, and geography, a factor analysis that tries to isolate important underlying factors; and discussion of the results of the Metasurvey, bringing out just how surprising some of the survey results are. The article is forthcoming in Philosophical Studies. [more inside] posted by Golden Eternity at 11:31 AM PST - 65 comments
As reports have surfaced of possible use of sarin gas in the Syrian civil war, calls by long-time proponents of U.S. intervention on behalf of the anti-Assad rebels have grown to a fever pitch. These same voices, both at home and abroad, have evoked the administration’s previously stated “red line” on use of chemical weapons. But even assuming that reports of WMD usage in Syria turn out to be true, the Obama Administration’s position may be far more nuanced than previously thought.
"Your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia. Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists. Using only the documents provided by travelers and the Ministry of Admission's primitive inspect, search, and fingerprint systems you must decide who can enter Arstotzka and who will be turned away or arrested."
Legends Never DieTwo decades after a low-budget film turned Washington Square skaters into international celebrities, the kids from "Kids" struggle with lost lives, distant friendships, and the fine art of growing up.Caroline Rothstein writes about the cast of the Harmony Korine / Larry Clark film twenty years on for narrative.ly. posted by mwhybark at 9:02 AM PST - 19 comments
"This is video of an aurora australis taken at the geographic south pole! I'm not absolutely sure, but it might actually be the first true video of an aurora australis here, as opposed to a timelapse of longer exposures. Sorry about the swearing - if you were there seeing it you'd probably swear too." posted by showbiz_liz at 5:45 AM PST - 15 comments
"More than a million people with interest-only mortgages face a financial crunch when they have to pay them off, a watchdog is warning.
Some 2.6 million UK householders have the mortgages but the Financial Conduct Authority said estimates suggested that nearly half would not have savings or other funds to cover the final bill.
The average shortfall is £71,000, according to FCA research."
Gruaniad version. posted by marienbad at 5:19 AM PST - 28 comments
Kyaraben (or charaben) is a style of elaborately arranged bento which features food decorated to look like people, characters from popular media, animals, and plants. Mari Miyazowa (previously) creates stop-action animated shorts featuring her bento box creations. Waking Up is the latest from the lunchbox auteur. [more inside] posted by Room 641-A at 8:40 PM PST - 10 comments
Bloomerg compiles a list of the 250 highest CEO-to-employee-pay ratios, estimated based on publicly available information. They also publish any rebuttals issued by those companies. posted by Freon at 7:04 PM PST - 65 comments
Over at the Freedom to Tinker blog, Steve Schultze posts about a recent ruling against Craigslist in their suit against PadMapper an online service that helps users of craigslist via mapping, and 3Taps, a platform that documents and stores historical transaction information...
Craigslist responded by filing 17 claims... [more inside] posted by symbioid at 5:52 PM PST - 28 comments
"It's a been a year now since I 'surfed the web' or 'checked my email' or 'liked' anything with a figurative rather than literal thumbs up. I've managed to stay disconnected, just like I planned. I'm internet free. And now I'm supposed to tell you how it solved all my problems. I'm supposed to be enlightened. I'm supposed to be more 'real,' now. More perfect." Paul Miller is back on the Internet after spending a year offline. (previously) posted by desjardins at 5:12 PM PST - 60 comments
Imagine you’ve clicked on your computer screen to accept a contract to purchase a good or service—a contract, you only realize later, that’s straight out of Kafka. The widget you’ve bought turns out to be a nightmare. You take to Yelp.com to complain about your experience—but lo, according to the contract you have given up your free speech rights to criticize the product. Let’s also say, in a fit of responsibility, (a bit fantastic, I know) you happened to have printed out this contract before you “signed” it, though you certainly hadn’t read through the thing, which is written, literally, on a “twenty-seventh grade” reading level. Well, you read it now (perhaps with the help of a friend who’s completed the twenty-seventh grade). And you see that there was nothing in the contract limiting your right to free speech at the moment you signed it. That part was added later. Your friend with the twenty-seventh-grade education points to the clause in the contract in which you’ve granted this vendor-from-hell the right to modify the terms of the contract, unilaterally, at any time into the vast limitless future.
“For more than 150 years, logging techniques remained the same. Men cut trees by hand and loaded them on horse-drawn sleds to be hauled over snow to the river. Skilled river drivers maneuvered the logs downstream, risking their limbs and lives every day. [From Stump To Ship] survives as a record of the long log business. Highly detailed scenes, filmed year-round, are uniquely enhanced by the original script, written to be read with the silent footage in the 1930s. The soundtrack is brought to life by Tim Sample, narrator and renowned Maine humorist, in the role of the filmmaker, Alfred Ames.” [more inside] posted by zamboni at 9:49 AM PST - 9 comments
Unsounded is an ongoing fantasy webcomic by Ashley Cope. Updates are Monday-Wednesday-Friday, the scope of the story is apparently enormous, the writing is great, the world is complex, well-planned, and full of fistfights, magic-fights, political intrigue, zombies, giant dogs as beasts of burden, diverse characters, and smoke eels from the great beyond.
Chapter 1 begins here. posted by little cow make small moo at 7:37 AM PST - 15 comments
Imaging The Arctic: "In Spring 2013, based out of the small settlements of Niaqornat and Kullorsuaq, expeditionary artist Maria Coryell-Martin will accompany scientist Dr. Kristin Laidre onto the pack ice of Baffin Bay." They are keeping an online field journal detailing Dr. Laidre's study of the effects of sea-ice loss on narwhals and polar bears, with Maria Coryell-Martin's illustrations accompanying field notes. posted by ChuraChura at 6:30 AM PST - 1 comments
Shake Hands With Danger is not just your ordinary, terrifically entertaining, 70s-era heavy machinery safety film. Oh, no! It also features some badass country-rock riffery and very, uh... site-specific lyric content that propels it into a whole other league of entertainment. posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:54 AM PST - 34 comments
The Guantánamo Memoirs of Mohamedou Ould Slahi For nearly 11 years, Mohamedou Ould Slahi has been a prisoner in Guantánamo. In 2005, he began to write his memoirs of his time in captivity. His handwritten 466-page manuscript is a harrowing account of his detention, interrogation, and abuse. Although his abuse has been corroborated by U.S. government officials, declassified documents, and independent investigators, Slahi tells his story with the detail and perspective that could only be known by himself and the people who have kept him captive. It is impossible for us to meet with him or independently verify his account. Until now, it has been impossible for him to tell his story. [ht homunculus] posted by jaduncan at 3:04 AM PST - 16 comments
The Austerity Delusion: Why a Bad Idea Won Over the West. "Austerity is a seductive idea because of the simplicity of its core claim -- that you can’t cure debt with more debt. This is true as far as it goes, but it does not go far enough. Three less obvious factors undermine the simple argument that countries in the red need to stop spending.
The first factor is distributional, since the effects of austerity are felt differently across different levels of society. The second factor is compositional; everybody cannot cut their way to growth at the same time. The third factor is logical; the notion that slashing government spending boosts investor confidence does not stand up to scrutiny." posted by spamandkimchi at 1:40 AM PST - 153 comments