Nabokov in Berlin. 'Vladimir Nabokov was starting his career as a writer when he found himself in Berlin. "It is clear, for one thing, that while a man is writing, he is situated in some definite place; he is not simply a kind of spirit, hovering over the page...Something or other is going on around him." The short 1934 novel Despair from which this quote comes is already heavily self-ironising compared with the stories of the previous decade. But like them it is studded with incidental Berlin experiences, from the shape of the city's S-Bahn train line on the map to the comedy of a German misspeaking English. "I suppose only the pest. The chief thing by me is optimismus." If Nabokov's Berlin was in his head, it was nevertheless not invented.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 9:09 PM PST - 6 comments
The Impossible Music Sessions are evenings of an American band covering the music of foreign band which is cannot appear for political reasons - they are not allowed to travel by their government for example. The first band to be covered is Iran's The Plastic Wave (their website is down, but for reference it is here. Myspace. You Tube.)
The second band is Guinea Bissau's Baloberos Crew which Impossible Music describes as "a group of hip hop artists who have faced intimidation by the military police because their lyrics are critical of the government." (limited information on the Impossible Music site here)
Via All Things Considered. posted by shothotbot at 6:49 PM PST - 3 comments
An attempt at a collaborative translation of Plato’s Protagoras. Every day for a few months, Dhananjay Jagannathan will post roughly a page of the dialogue, side by side in Greek, in his own translation, and in Jowett’s classic 1871 translation. He's invited readers to comment and offer suggestions to improve the translation. Jagannathan's goal is to communicate Plato in English the way readers of his would have interpreted his Greek. posted by unliteral at 6:20 PM PST - 11 comments
Is Rupert Grint the new Leonardo DiCaprio? Martin Scorsese thinks that Rupert Grint is the real star of the Harry Potter films and would like to direct him in a 'badass' role. Is he right?
Growing up has been eventful for the Harry Potter stars. Daniel Radcliffe has trod the boards naked. Only this weekend the paparazzi chased Emma Watson around the Glastonbury festival. Yet, according to Martin Scorsese, public attention has been focused on the wrong actor – for the celebrated auteur, it's all about Rupert Grint. [more inside] posted by Fizz at 4:49 PM PST - 75 comments
Prior to the G20 last weekend in Toronto, the Government of Ontario met in a closed session. Police Chief Bill Blair announced on Friday June 25th that, in this session, a law was passed giving police new powers to demand identification from -- and conduct unwarranted searches of -- anyone approaching within 5 metres of the security fence that had been erected around the downtown core. This law was enforced all weekend; there were more than 900 arrests. Now that the G20 has passed and the proceedings of the closed government session are coming to light, it's become apparent that the law never existed at all. Bill Blair has now acknowledged that he made the whole thing up to "keep the criminals out."[more inside] posted by 256 at 12:32 PM PST - 101 comments
Klout.com attempts to measure influence on Twitter. Recognizing that follower count does not measure influence, Klout considers 25 factors to determine how engaged you are with your network, how widely your tweets are read, and how likely your tweets are to drive action (retweets, replies, clicks). [more inside] posted by Faust Gray at 9:44 AM PST - 48 comments
"Sixteen-year-old Sabera, with a pretty yellow head scarf, frets that she is missing school. 'I was about to get engaged, and the boy came to ask me himself, before sending his parents. A lady in our neighbourhood saw us, and called the police,' she explains. She was sentenced to three years but, in an act of mercy, it was shortened to 18 months . . ." The BBC reports from an Afghan women's prison.[more inside] posted by Jaltcoh at 4:29 AM PST - 57 comments
ACLU launches "Spyfiles" to track domestic surveillance. "The American Civil Liberties Union launched a new website Tuesday to track incidents of domestic political surveillance by the government along with a report (PDF) claiming such incidents have increased steadily since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. According to the report there have been 111 incidents of illegal domestic political surveillance since 9/11 in 33 states and the District of Columbia. The website, Spyfiles, will serve as the ACLU's online home for all news and reports of domestic spying." posted by homunculus at 6:02 PM PST - 12 comments
Let's say that you're Lenny Kravitz and you're relaxing on a balcony in New Orleans when you hear someone singing one of your songs. What do you do? Well, you could always join in. (SLYT) posted by ColdChef at 3:44 PM PST - 95 comments
The Karzai government is crumbling before our eyes, and if we delude ourselves that this is not the case, we could yet face a replay of 1842.Why the Taliban is winning in Afghanistan - William Dalrymple. (1)
A long in- depth article with historical overtones, which leads to the question: Why Are We in Afghanistan? (2006);(2008); (2010) posted by adamvasco at 1:52 PM PST - 86 comments
Popular internet streaming service, Hulu has announced its long-anticipated premium offering, which will allow users to stream shows to their TVs and iOS devices. The catch? You still have to watch the ads. posted by schmod at 12:58 PM PST - 102 comments
In the months preceding the release of The Empire Strikes Back, a telephone hotline was set up to allow callers to dial in and hear teasers for the movie. In the years since the Bantha Tracks story, fans savvy to the existence of the "Empire Hotline" have sought out recordings of the messages, performed exclusively for the hotline by actors Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker), Carrie Fisher (Princess Leia), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), and James Earl Jones (voice of Darth Vader). Thanks to Craig Miller, Lucasfilm's first director of fan relations, these long-lost recordings can now be heard and enjoyed for the first time in 30 years. [more inside] posted by albrecht at 11:17 AM PST - 55 comments
"For many riders, a Ninja 250 is the bottom rung of a sport bike ladder, a necessary first step in pursuit of high horsepower race replicas. I can’t begin to recount the myriad times I’ve been asked about getting a bigger bike, generally with the suggestion, express or implied, that I’m ready for a 600cc super sport. With over 17,000 miles behind the bars of my mighty 250, I’ve no apprehensions about moving up." - A blog documenting and occasionally rhapsodizing about day to day living with a bike that is usually looked down on as a underpowered, beginner's bike. posted by 1f2frfbf at 9:58 AM PST - 95 comments
Say you're a Chinese company wishing to appear more global and well-to-do without all the messy hubbub of hiring a foreigner. What do you do? Drop $44 and rent awhite guy. posted by griphus at 8:59 AM PST - 90 comments
Imagine this:'This evening we are going to hear the 2nd Symphony by Claude Debussy, the Austrian première of Insect Life by the Finnish opera composer Kalevi Aho, and the 2nd Symphony by Bela Bartók.’ What is a symphony? What does the concept mean nowadays? And what does it mean, to compose symphonically? posted by Wolfdog at 5:58 AM PST - 45 comments
Historypin uses Google Maps and Street View technology and hopes to become the largest user-generated archive of the world's historical images and stories. Historypin lets you layer old images onto modern Street View scenes, giving a series of peaks into the past. Upload and pin your own old photos, as well as the stories behind them, onto the map. posted by dobbs at 5:46 AM PST - 20 comments
Window to Dell Decline: The "Dell Model" became synonymous with efficiency, outsourcing and tight inventories, and was taught at the Harvard Business School and other top-notch management schools as a paragon of business smarts and outthinking the competition. For the last seven years, the company has been plagued by serious problems, including misreading the desires of its customers, poor customer service, suspect product quality and improper accounting. Documents recently unsealed in a three-year-old lawsuit And Reported In The NYTimes show Dell employees went out of their way to conceal serious hardware problems. "They were fixing bad computers with bad computers and were misleading customers at the same time..." posted by Blake at 4:17 AM PST - 268 comments
Three months from today, Gaile [Part I] Owens [Part 2] will be dead in Tennessee after 25 years on death row. The mother of two boys went to the rough side of Nashville to find a hitman to kill her abusive and cheating husband. Due to a series of events, the jury never heard of or believed the abuse. She pleaded guilty in exchange for a life sentence, but will die on September 28. [more inside] posted by daninnj at 6:41 PM PST - 38 comments
There is a before and an after André Markowicz. In the early 1990s the translator, born to a Russian mother and French father, began translating the complete works of Dostoyevsky for Babel / Actes Sud. By the time he finished the mammoth undertaking in 2002 he had proved something: what people had been reading by Dostoyevsky wasn’t Dostoyevsky. - an interview with André Marcowicz, writer and translator. [more inside] posted by Monday, stony Monday at 5:32 PM PST - 12 comments
Ever wanted to mix your own tunes? SoundationStudio is "a powerful online sequencer with 11 real time effects, 3 synthesizers, a drum machine and a fully integrated Sound Shop." Want more? "Use Aviary's music creator to simulate dozens of musical instruments including piano, guitars and drums. Create music loops and patterns for use in Aviary's audio editor (Myna) or as ring tones." posted by Hildegarde at 4:39 PM PST - 16 comments
If William Wesley says LeBron James is going to play for the Chicago Bulls next year, it is probably true. Known as World Wide Wes, insiders call him the most powerful man in the NBA. And nobody really knows what he does. “I don’t have any clue what he does or how financially he benefits from this. I don’t know. But he’s just there. He’s around. He knows all the pro guys, their agents, the sneaker people, the coaches, general managers, media people. There’s no one he doesn’t know." [more inside] posted by swellingitchingbrain at 3:13 PM PST - 48 comments
Rodolfo Torre Cantu, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) candidate for the governorship of the border state of Tamaulipas, was assassinated in an ambush yesterday. He was presumed to be the virtual winner of next sundays election (no opposition candidate has ever governed the state). posted by Omon Ra at 10:50 AM PST - 28 comments
Sebastian Pruiti offers the sort of analysis many of us like to see from the sports media. Instead of manufacturing controversy, his blog teaches us have a fuller appreciation of the game on the court. For example, instead of obsessing on Cousins' personality, we get a look at his sophisticated post game. [more inside] posted by Jagz-Mario at 9:46 AM PST - 2 comments
Today, June 28, 2010, marks the last day of the 2009-10 session of the Supreme Court of the United States. This day will mark a number of historical events, not only in terms of the cases to be handed down. [more inside] posted by valkyryn at 7:33 AM PST - 193 comments
“There is one line in ‘Zero Hour!’ where a stewardess says, completely seriously, ‘The life of everyone on board depends upon just one thing: finding someone back there who can not only fly this plane, but who didn’t have fish for dinner,’ ” Mr. Abrahams said. “That was the essence of the movie. We just repeated the line. We didn’t have to change a thing.”
Robert Byrd, Respected Voice of the Senate, Dies at 92 Robert C. Byrd, who used his record tenure as a United States senator to fight for the primacy of the legislative branch of government and to build a modern West Virginia with vast amounts of federal money, died early on Monday. He was 92. He was the longest-serving Senator as well as the longest-serving member in congressional history. In his younger days he joined the Ku Klux Klan when he was 24 in 1942. posted by Blake at 3:30 AM PST - 137 comments
A Minute and 100 Metres Down the Road.The soldier outside the station had one hand on the barrel and the other on the butt of his shotgun. There were two military trucks by the bus stop and two soldiers in the back-right seats of every bus leaving Urumqi station... I arrived via long-haul train, 40 hours and just under 4000km in a hard-seat, from Beijing, where rumours were circulating about the extent of the military presence, needle attacks, Uighur and Han street gangs, and the validity of the reports coming out of Xinjiang. After four days I left with more doubts about why ethnic tensions in Urumqi arose and how they could be resolved.[more inside] posted by KokuRyu at 9:31 PM PST - 2 comments
What counts as sex? A group of researchers at the University of Kentucky-Lexington, thinks that Bill Clinton’s famous assertion that he “did not have sexual relations” with Monica Lewinsky may be the reason so many young people today don’t consider oral sex to count as doing the deed.
The study "Sex Redefined: The Reclassification Of Oral-Genital Contact"PDFwhich was conducted in 2007 and published this month in the journal Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, surveyed 477 students enrolled in a human sexuality course at a large state university about their views on sex. What they found was that only 20 percent of those students considered oral-genital contact to be sex, compared with nearly 40 percent of a similar group of students surveyed in 1991. posted by Fizz at 3:23 PM PST - 96 comments
Experts are little help in the constant struggle in this conversation to separate myth from reality, because they have the same difficulty, and routinely demonstrate it by talking past each other. Respected scientists warn of imminent energy shortages as geologic fuel supplies run out. Wall Street executives dismiss their predictions as myths and call for more drilling. Environmentalists describe the destruction to the earth from burning coal, oil, and natural gas. Economists ignore them and describe the danger to the earth of failing to burn coal, oil, and natural gas. Geology researchers report fresh findings about what the earth was like millions of years ago. Creationist researchers report fresh findings that the earth didn’t exist millions of years ago. The only way not to get lost in this awful swamp is to review the basics and decide for yourself what you believe and what you don’t.[more inside] posted by infinite intimation at 11:48 AM PST - 31 comments
As translation contretemps go, the one surrounding French philosopher Simone de Beauvoir (1908-86) and her foundational work of modern feminism, Le Deuxième Sexe, first published in two volumes in French in 1949, remains one of the most tempestuous and fascinating. For decades, Beauvoir scholars in the English-speaking world bemoaned, attacked, and sought to replace the widely used 1953 translation by H.M. Parshley (1884-1953), a zoologist at Smith College who knew little philosophy or existentialism, had never translated a book from French, and relied mainly on his undergraduate grasp of the language. A few years back, they succeeded in getting the rights holders [...] to commission a new translation. [... But] Norwegian Beauvoir scholar Toril Moi, a professor at Duke and one of the foremost critics of Parshley's translation, savaged the new version in the London Review of Books. [...] How everyone involved got from vituperative discontent to hopeful triumph and back to discontent makes an instructive tale in itself and offers some lessons for what matters and doesn't in the evolution of a classic. posted by No-sword at 12:35 AM PST - 38 comments
Parties haven't changed since the '70's when Phil Ochs recorded this. If you're sitting home, reading Metafilter, with no place to go... here's a party for you...you'll recognize all the guests... posted by HuronBob at 9:11 PM PST - 22 comments
Last year, high school science teacher Ron Dantowitz of Brookline, Mass., played a clever trick on three of his best students. He asked them to plan a hypothetical mission to fly onboard a NASA DC-8 aircraft and observe a spacecraft disintegrate as it came screaming into Earth's atmosphere. For 6 months, they worked hard on their assignment, never suspecting the surprise Dantowitz had in store.
On March 12th, he stunned them with the news: "The mission is real, and you're going along for the ride."
Postcards From Hell — For the last half-decade, the Fund for Peace, working with Foreign Policy, has been putting together the Failed States Index (the 2010 version is out), using a battery of indicators to determine how stable—or unstable—a country is. But as the photos here demonstrate, sometimes the best test is the simplest one: You'll only know a failed state when you see it. [more inside] posted by netbros at 2:18 PM PST - 16 comments
Let the best fruit win, and when it does, we'll know how to ask for it. 'The European Community requires that grapes, oranges, apples and pears be identified by variety at the point of sale, and the practice is common there for other fruits too.' 'Until 2006, the California Tree Fruit Agreement, the organization that sets standards for the state's shippers of peaches, nectarines and plums, required the specific variety to be identified on the carton. But some growers and shippers found that they could not readily market certain varieties perceived by buyers as inferior, and so the CTFA now allows fruit to be shipped under generic designations such as "yellow peach."''When inferior varieties are marketed generically, producers of inferior varieties piggyback on producers of better varieties. In a pomological version of Gresham's law, bad fruit drives out good.''All too often today, new varieties are bred to appeal to the lowest common denominator, to be inoffensive to the greatest number of people, so it suits the industrial distribution system when fruit is marketed anonymously. When fruit quality is homogenized, variety is less significant; in turn, anonymity deprives consumers of their main weapon to resist homogenization.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 10:28 AM PST - 137 comments
"That stainless steel band that runs around is the primary structural element of the phone. And there are these three slits in it. It turns out, this is part of some brilliant engineering which actually uses the stainless steel band as part of the antenna system... it's never been done before. And it's really cool engineering!"
Hygiene. Flexibility. Safety (SLYT) Another spoof on the Jobs presentation, but with a real company, product and serious effort behind it. It's odd because it's super-real, injokey and the viral ambition is ambiguous. Moneyshot at 7m40s.
As a sidenote, would Apple be able to stomp on this if they wanted to? I mean, this is so tongue in cheek I can't really see the tongue. posted by monocultured at 8:29 AM PST - 10 comments
Like many fans of Terry Pratchett, I've heard him lecture several times. He toured regularly, so most of us got to hear him before he fell ill. I remember him waxing cynical about the people who optioned his early works for film, and I remember the elation that I felt when his works finally made it onto the screen. The animated adaptations of Wyrd Sisters and Soul Music were fan fodder, but the later live action version of Hogfarther was popularly successful and was soon followed by another, The Colour of Magic. The latest film based on his work, Going Postal, ends with a cameo by Pratchett and the final words "well, that's a bit of an embuggerance". posted by teppic at 7:14 AM PST - 35 comments
Critical Past Claiming 57k historic videos and 7MM photos free to browse (pay to download). Single-link-dig-through-it-yourself-and-let-us-know-if-you-find-anything-great, okay? posted by Ufez Jones at 9:52 PM PST - 29 comments
The whistle has blown in Port Elizabeth. Stoppage time in Pretoria, and three men run into the box. Altidore flicks the ball across, but Dempsey walks it straight into the goalkeeper. On the rebound, Donovan puts it in the net. The world reacts. [more inside] posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:52 PM PST - 194 comments
My wife of 12 years packed up her belongings last year and moved out of our home. After her car was loaded I couldn't help but notice that a single item remained in her section of our closet, her wedding dress.
"You forgot something" I told her.
She replied "And what's that?".
"Your wedding dress", I said.
"Yeah, I am not taking that" was her response.
"What do you expect me to do with it?" I asked.
And to that she replied, "Whatever the $%^@# you want".
And this is what I did..... posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:19 PM PST - 105 comments
"I don't see any future for whale species except extinction." A report (pdf) released Thursday by Ocean Alliance noted high levels of cadmium, aluminum, chromium, lead, silver, mercury and titanium in tissue samples taken by dart gun from nearly 1,000 whales over five years. Concentrations of chromium found in some whales was several times higher than the level required to kill healthy cells in a Petri dish. Mercury in some whales was 16 times higher than a typical shark or swordfish, both known for their high mercury levels. Beyond whales, "You could make a fairly tight argument to say that it is the single greatest health threat that has ever faced the human species." posted by stbalbach at 2:57 PM PST - 68 comments
Toothed female condom unveiled in South Africa. South African Dr. Sonnet Ehlers was on call one night four decades ago when a devastated rape victim walked in. Her eyes were lifeless; she was like a breathing corpse.
"She looked at me and said, 'If only I had teeth down there,'" recalled Ehlers, who was a 20-year-old medical researcher at the time. "I promised her I'd do something to help people like her one day."[more inside] posted by sio42 at 1:06 PM PST - 186 comments
'They blow each other up by mistake. They bungle even simple schemes. They get intimate with cows and donkeys. Our terrorist enemies trade on the perception that they’re well trained and religiously devout, but in fact, many are fools and perverts who are far less organized and sophisticated than we imagine. Can being more realistic about who our foes actually are help us stop the truly dangerous ones?' The Case for Calling Them Nitwits. posted by shakespeherian at 7:46 AM PST - 108 comments
The Thriller Diaries: Michael Jackson’s 1983 “Thriller” remains the most popular music video of all time: a 14-minute horror spoof that changed the business. Behind the scenes it gave its star a temporary home with director John Landis, sparked a near romance with actress Ola Ray, and revealed how damaged the young pop idol already was. posted by reenum at 7:42 AM PST - 33 comments
"Puncture Kit was brought to life after sitting in London's Green Park with my new bicycle not long after arriving from Australia in June 2008... no car, no drums, and a need to create beats. With my bike turned upside down, a sketchbook and no desire to be tubing a drum kit around underground, I started dreaming of ways to use my bike as my transport and drum kit ."
The Sunshine Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to government transparency & accountability, has obtained Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's emails from her time in the Clinton White House & made them available in a handy web application. Browse, read, search & mark those you find interesting for others to read. posted by scalefree at 6:50 PM PST - 26 comments
"Having vaulted from the fringes of pop culture into the mainstream after a newly atomic America became obsessed with films about mutants and aliens, SF literature matured and flowered throughout the '60s and beyond, just as rock 'n' roll did the same. It was inevitable that the two would mix." posted by gman at 3:17 PM PST - 47 comments
Alex, I'll take "Kickass Text Analysis Algorithms" for a thousand, please."Over the rest of the day [at IBM labs] Watson went on a tear, winning four of six games. It displayed remarkable facility with cultural trivia (“This action flick starring Roy Scheider in a high-tech police helicopter was also briefly a TV series” — “What is ‘Blue Thunder’?”), science (“The greyhound originated more than 5,000 years ago in this African country, where it was used to hunt gazelles” — “What is Egypt?”) and sophisticated wordplay (“Classic candy bar that’s a female Supreme Court justice” — “What is Baby Ruth Ginsburg?”)." Next up, a live match up against human winners of Jeopardy. But of course the real question is how good are you? Can you beat Watson? posted by storybored at 2:26 PM PST - 89 comments
News from the world of ultramarathon cycling: 1. Peter Heal recently rode the ~15,000-km perimeter of Australia in 48 days, 23 hours, 37 minutes; 2. The 3005-mile Race Across America recently concluded, with veteran Jure Robic winning the men's solo in 9 days, 1 hour, 1 minute, and Barbara Buatois winning the women's solo in 11 days, 19 hours, 48 minutes. [more inside] posted by adamrice at 8:30 AM PST - 17 comments
"'Jewish people don't own the Holocaust." ...at least according to Yann Martel. via the Guardian. "The inescapable fact about the book, Martel's long-awaited follow-up to Life of Pi, is that it has not been very well received. In the US the reviews were what one politely calls "mixed"; in the UK they have been uniformly hostile. The general view is that pretty well all fictional treatments of the Holocaust are doomed, and that this one – about a blocked writer who meets a taxidermist writing a play about "the horrors" who is probably a former Nazi seeking some sort of catharsis – is more doomed than most." posted by Fizz at 7:05 AM PST - 138 comments
As reported a few hours ago in The Australian, the right wing faction of the Australian Labor Party rolls on Rudd and a caucus meeting is scheduled for 9 tomorrow morning, where it's predicted that he'll lose the ballot. One senior party source said: "This crypto-facist made no effort to build a base within the party and now his only faction - Newspoll - has deserted him. He is gone." posted by unliteral at 6:09 AM PST - 59 comments
In the dawn of the Space Age, NASA undertook to find and assemble the very best images of the Moon it could find. In a project led by the late Gerard Kuiper of the University of Chicago (later of the University of Arizona), the best telescopic plates from observatories around the world were assembled into one compilation, the Photographic Lunar Atlas (Kuiper et al., 1960, University of Chicago Press). This atlas consisted of loose-leaf, printed (lithographed) sheets of telescopic plates of the Moon, showing the surface at a variety of illumination conditions. Widely distributed, this atlas served as the basis for many early photographic studies of the Moon.
Ever notice how people texting at night have that eerie blue glow? Or wake up ready to write down the Next Great Idea, and get blinded by your computer screen? During the day, computer screens look good—they're designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn't be looking at the sun.
F.lux fixes this: it makes the color of your computer's display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day. It's even possible that you're staying up too late because of your computer. You could use f.lux because it makes you sleep better, or you could just use it just because it makes your computer look better. [more inside] posted by crunchland at 3:38 PM PST - 65 comments
rialtoscuro n. disorientation when you step outside a movie theater into unexpected darkness, a twinge of jet lag from two hours of escapist fun which only diverts you from making the sequel to your youth—an old cult classic with wild shifts in tone, dropped subplots, major characters that appear out of nowhere only to vanish without explanation, and an ambiguous ending—but this time, it’s personal.
The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows posted by xod at 11:24 AM PST - 25 comments
The Bowler "Meet Rocky Salemmo. He’s a ramblin’ gamblin’ man. For the majority of his adult life Rocky has hustled bowling for a living." A short documentary by Sean Dunne. (NSFW language) [more inside] posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:00 AM PST - 6 comments
General Stanley McChrystal is in hot water over a Rolling Stone article (pdf) where he and his staff are quoted criticizing Obama, Biden, and senior administration officials. (Previously on McChrystal's appointment.) posted by Forktine at 8:07 AM PST - 353 comments
There are several conventional explanations for why so much corporate money has flooded into Washington over the last three or four decades. Large corporations have much more market power, which translates into more political power. Politicians have become more corrupt or rapacious. The Republican Party has been ever more effective at raising money. The increasing size and scope of the federal government have required that corporations spend more in order to protect themselves. Corporations have greater need to confront the countervailing power of unions.
All of these explanations are wrong.Everyday Corruption by Robert Reich. posted by wittgenstein at 7:06 AM PST - 25 comments
Ever since the famed Lucy skeleton was discovered in Ethiopia in 1974, there have been some unanswered questions. She was very tiny, and some researchers claimed it was unlikely that she (and, by extension, Australopithecus afarensis) could walk. Although other specimens were found throughout the 70s, none were more than bone fragments. Recently, researchers announced that they found another partial skeleton, and they believe it proves that afarensis was bipedal. posted by Plutor at 6:43 AM PST - 7 comments
Toon Hertz: digital creations or mixed illustrations of children and films of monsters, dark culture and surrealism. Toon Hertz was born in 1967 in Liege in Belgium. These remind me of The Corpse Bride and a little of Edward Scissorhands. posted by bwg at 5:44 PM PST - 3 comments
In 20 Years ... Upload a photo of yourself and the site produces a predictive illustration of what you'll look like in 20 or 30 years. And as an added bonus, you can toggle whether you're a drug addict or not. [more inside] posted by crunchland at 2:52 PM PST - 115 comments
Today is the first day of summer, and for many Americans that means taking a road trip with the family. For Barry Stiefer, it means visiting all 50 states (48 by car), while only taking one week of vacation time. [more inside] posted by 2bucksplus at 12:21 PM PST - 69 comments
Ethanol Industry Takes Advantage of Gulf oil spill.The blowout of BP's Macondo well has given the corn-ethanol industry yet another opportunity to push its fuel adulterant on the American consumer. And unfortunately, the Obama administration appears ready and willing to foist yet more of the corrosive, environmentally destructive, low-heat-energy fuel on motorists.[more inside] posted by storybored at 9:36 AM PST - 52 comments
Last week, before Jack McDonald died, he told his son, Toronto Blue Jays utility infielder John McDonald (14 home runs in a 12 year professional career), to hit a home run for him when he went back to the team. "They're not that easy to hit," John said.
What US Health Care NeedsMedical doctor and writer Atul Gawande gave the commencement address recently at Stanford's School of Medicine. In it he lays out very precisely and in a nonpartisan way what is wrong with the institution of medical care in the US — why it is both so expensive and so ineffective at delivering quality care uniformly across the board. (via) posted by kliuless at 6:00 AM PST - 43 comments
The president of Penguin Canada has been fired and is facing a sexual harrassment suit. Oh, and a second woman has alleged harrassment as well. There's some criticism of Penguin also for trying to cover up the facts at first. And there's a portrait of the "artist" as a young man. Sounds like it would make a good book ... posted by anothermug at 5:42 PM PST - 12 comments
Time's comprehensive archives allow us to see how the magazine's discussions of homosexuality have evolved from pathologizing and stereotyping . . . to awkward attempts to view gays humanely while continuing to refer to their sexual orientation as a disease . . . to a gradual acceptance of gays as upstanding members of society who are struggling for equal rights. Articles from 1956, 1966, 1969, 1975, and 1979 inside. [more inside] posted by Jaltcoh at 3:41 PM PST - 27 comments
Wajahat Ali, a solo practitioner from California, takes on Wells Fargo in an attempt to get his clients' home loan modified. Lots of ball dropping and passing of the buck ensues. He describes the Kafka-esque nature of the experience. posted by reenum at 2:48 PM PST - 41 comments
Lessons In Fatherhood, From the Dads of YouTube: "Home movies have evolved since the days of Panama hat-wearing patriarchs milling about the backyard, holding a Super 8 or shoulder-mounted camcorder, shouting at the children to "wave to the camera!" (only to have those images disappear into a closet to gather dust for decades). Now, with the help of YouTube, these moments can go from minivan to majorly viral in 30 minutes or less." [more inside] posted by ericb at 11:18 AM PST - 21 comments
Dude. Articles on the failed musical Dude by Hair cocreator Gerome Ragni. Where to start? Well, there is this summary of the disaster by the New York Times, which is just mind-boggling: "He also made demands, phoning Adela Holzer at 2 A.M. to say he wanted a hundred butterflies let loose into the audience before each performance. No? Well then what about having a couple of oinking pigs and chickens run down the aisle at intermission?" [more inside] posted by Astro Zombie at 8:30 AM PST - 27 comments
"...Arctic sea ice – frozen seawater that floats on the ocean surface – is now at its lowest physical extent ever recorded for the time of year, suggesting that it is on course to break the previous record low set in 2007.
Earth has been 0.65C warmer over the past 12 months than during the 1951 to 1980 mean, and that the global temperature for 2010 will exceed the 2005 record."
Utah Attorney General Announces Execution on Twitter. Today marked an evolution of sorts for Twitter. It’s no longer just for following your favorite celebrity rants or for informing your followers you’re having a ham sandwich or just took a shower.
And self-promotion on Twitter seems so yesterday. Consider Friday’s tweets from Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff. Around midnight, he tweeted that he’d given “the go ahead” to execute condemned inmate Ronnie Gardner. posted by Fizz at 7:16 AM PST - 84 comments
“People talk a little more of the war, but very little. As always hitherto, it is impossible to overhear any comments on it in the pubs, etc. Last night, E[ileen] and I went to the pub to hear the 9 o’c news. The barmaid was not going to have it on if we had not asked her, and to all appearances nobody listened.”
Shodo 'Arabi. "An appreciation of calligraphy is a lifelong interest for many Japanese, and for some, acquiring proficiency at it is a lifelong study. Yet, over the past two decades, a few have quietly put down their fude and picked up a bamboo qalam to try their hand at calligraphy in Arabic, which, they often find, is not as alien as they had thought." posted by chunking express at 11:55 AM PST - 6 comments
"Tone-Quester" is generally a musician (more than likely a guitarist) who purchases/modifies amps/pedals/cabinets in search of a certain sound. They fiercely pride themselves on being able to distinquish the differences between pickups, tube amps vs. transistor amps. With this in mind, Wolfe McCloud, a pickup designer, decided to challenge My Les Paul forum members. [more inside] posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:35 AM PST - 34 comments
The High Budgetary Cost of Incaceration (Full pdf) "The United States currently incarcerates a higher share of its population than any other country in the world. We calculate that a reduction in incarceration rates just to the level we had in 1993 (which was already high by historical standards) would lower correctional expenditures by $16.9 billion per year, with the large majority of these savings accruing to financially squeezed state and local governments. As a group, state governments could save $7.6 billion, while local governments could save $7.2 billion." posted by OmieWise at 7:40 AM PST - 64 comments
My Playground is a Danish documentary film by Kaspar Astrup Schröder about movement in urban space. The film explores the way Parkour and Freerunning is changing the perception of urban space and how the space is changing the traceurs and freerunners. [more inside] posted by Lezzles at 7:01 AM PST - 5 comments
She's been called "the greatest posthumous success story in music history." But when she died of melanoma at age 33, few people outside of the Washington DC-area had heard of EvaMarieCassidy. [more inside] posted by zarq at 9:55 PM PST - 62 comments
I don't usually learn strange and disturbing things from the mouth of dinosaurs, but there's always a first time for everything. The fact that it's true makes it even worse. [more inside] posted by Cobalt at 9:24 PM PST - 58 comments
A doctor at Cornell and his research team have been performing clitoroplasties on female infants and little girls who show "gender ambiguity." This involves cutting away the shaft of the clitoris on girls whose clitorises are deemed too large . [more inside] posted by ms.codex at 6:53 PM PST - 253 comments
It's well-known at this point that Valve Software hired the team of Digipen students who made Narbacular Drop to turn their student project into Portal. But even people who drooled over the new mechanics in the Portal 2 E3 videos may not be aware that Valve has hired another team out of Digipen for that. If you're looking for a preview, you should probably download and play Tag, the game the new mechanics are based on, in which you explore a grey, cell-shaded world by spraying paint on it. posted by Pope Guilty at 4:39 PM PST - 28 comments
At 9am on Monday the 21st June, 60 pianos will be distributed and then unveiled across New York City by Sing for Hope. Located in public parks, streets and plazas the pianos will be available until 5th July for any member of the public to play and engage with.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously against a fourth amendment claim of a right against an employer search of texts on a work pager. The decision, City of Ontario v. Quon, rejected the claims, by the officer and by others who texted him on the device, that the employer city and the city's service provider violated their rights by reviewing transcripts of the text messages. Justice Kennedy's decision assumed the officer had a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, he said, the city’s search was not unduly intrusive. There was a “legitimate work-related purpose” for the audit, Justice Kennedy wrote. The city “had a legitimate interest in ensuring that employees were not being forced to pay out of their own pockets for work-related expenses, or on the other hand that the city was not paying for extensive personal communications.” Interestingly, the officer's direct supervisor had told him that he could use the pager for personal messages, as long as he paid their cost. Kennedy nonetheless opined for the Court that he likely only had a "limited privacy interest." The Court did not reach the question of whether there is an employee privacy interest in email on work servers, or conversations on work telephones. posted by bearwife at 12:45 PM PST - 58 comments
"The most complete and up-to-date illustrated Candy Teacher that is out on the market, with complete instructions in the manufacture of all the different classes of candy made for the wholesale and retail trade." (Charles Apell, 1921) [more inside] posted by gman at 9:25 AM PST - 19 comments
The Atlas of True Names reveals the etymological roots, or original meanings, of the familiar terms on today's maps of the World, Europe, the British Isles and the United States. For example, Britain = Great Land of the Tattooed, New Jersey = New Island of Spears, and Chicago = Stink Onion. There's now an iPhone app. However, at least one linguistic historian takes issue with some of their methodology. Mefi's own languagehat responds. posted by desjardins at 6:35 AM PST - 67 comments
The Quran says to eat what is good and wholesome (tayyib), and what is halâl. Therefore, if any food is not tayyib, the Qur'ân does not encourage us to eat it. TheworldofMuslimvegetarians. posted by Xurando at 8:31 PM PST - 46 comments
Animator OrinCreed said I Dream In Retro is "based heavily on a dream I had that was caused by a long day of playing NES, SNES, and Genesis. In the dream I was moving through different levels from many games. In each level the music was wrong and my sprite (while fitting the bit style) didn't quite work with the game. During the dream I was abusing a cheat ability to use different weapons from pretty much any game I wanted at any time. The game itself behaved as it should, with my actions being the only aberration." The result was this loving tribute and mash-up of video game titles. posted by ShawnStruck at 8:25 PM PST - 21 comments
End Love, the latest music video endeavor from rock group OK Go, was choreographed and filmed at widely-varying framerates, producing a hypnotic viewing experience. [SLYT] [more inside] posted by knave at 4:52 PM PST - 90 comments
'Why Pakistan's Ahmadi community is officially detested. When a Pakistani Muslim applies for a passport or national ID card, they are asked to sign an oath that no Muslim anywhere in the world is asked to sign. The oath goes like this: "I consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad an impostor prophet. And also consider his followers, whether belonging to the Lahori or Qadiani group, to be non-Muslims."'Last month" "more than 90 Ahmadis were massacred in two mosques in Lahore". But Ahmadis are persecuted in many other countries. In Bangladesh 'Ahmadiyyas have become a persecuted group, targeted via protests and acts of violence.' Even in Indonesia, "religious conservatives put pressure on the government to monitor, and harass the Ahmadiyya community". [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 2:16 PM PST - 19 comments
I stopped there, in a sort of awe. here's the new Choir teacher, (way too flamboyant for a small town in the 70's and fired the next year), sitting in his office with an ES175 and a small amp just wailing some kind of jazz I had never heard, I played guitar, but was still on a CSNY diet. He just sits up, looks at me, and says...
"What!? You telling me never heard of Joe Pass?" [more inside] posted by timsteil at 1:59 PM PST - 16 comments
"So you want to keep your lover or your employee close. Bound to you, even. You have a few options. You could be the best lover they've ever had, kind, charming, thoughtful, competent, witty, and a tiger in bed. You could be the best workplace they've ever had, with challenging work, rewards for talent, initiative, and professional development, an excellent work/life balance, and good pay. But both of those options demand a lot from you. Besides, your lover (or employee) will stay only as long as she wants to under those systems, and you want to keep her even when she doesn't want to stay. How do you pin her to your side, irrevocably, permanently, and perfectly legally?
The Carnegie Institution for Science reports "a much higher water content in the Moon’s interior than previous studies." For decades, the moon's water content was estimated at less than 1 part per billion; the new estimates range from 64 ppb to 5 parts per million. A scientist at Washington University said, "We can now finally begin to consider the implications—and the origin—of water in the interior of the Moon.”
There's more at NASA and the BBC, and the full paper is available at PNAS (PDF). posted by Stan Carey at 5:39 AM PST - 21 comments
Finding Nighthawks: Nearly seventy years after Edward Hopper finished what would become one of the icons of American art, Jeremiah Moss went in search of the diner that inspired it. posted by scody at 12:16 AM PST - 21 comments
The backstory to The Beulah Show. "After Beulah was cancelled, the three networks and independent television producers, fearful of being accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes, stopped casting Blacks in their shows almost entirely for the next fifteen years." posted by unliteral at 8:11 PM PST - 15 comments
One of the modern world's favorite stories of ancient Egypt is the religious upheaval and family drama of Akhenaten, the "Heretic Pharaoh," and his queen Nefertiti. (Previously.) Since the regime's history was deliberately obliterated by later pharaohs, archaeologists have had to reconstruct the whole story, leaving many open questions. No one has even been able to say how exactly the members of the royal family were related, particularly whether Akhenaten was the father of Tutankhamun, everyone's favorite boy-king (previously). This February, leading scientists published an article in JAMA [abstract with paywall] regarding the results of the King Tutankhamun Family Project -- DNA analysis on the mummies of royal family members, some never identified. It may be that the question of the pharaoh's descent and relations has been answered at last, and that we now can identify an unnamed skeleton, hidden in a woman's tomb, to be the remains of Akhenaten. However, the data is not definitive, and since "leading scientists," in Egypt, are always led by the colorful and dictatorial Dr. Zahi Hawass, there is bound to be someargument.[more inside] posted by Countess Elena at 7:31 PM PST - 15 comments
Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame, and also an Eagle Scout) offers this advice to newly minted Eagle Scouts: Don't Be A Human Form Letter.
He expands on it as he explains to the Scouts in a letter why earning the Eagle Scout rank isn't quite the ticket to success that they may think it is, and why they can't sit on their past achievements while they wait for the world to recognize their greatness.
He follows up with an email exchange with a Scout who was offended by Mike's attitude about the Eagle Scout badge.
Don’t be that guy. Don’t wait for the world to acknowledge your accomplishments. By all means, take pride in what you’ve done, but don’t let it go to your head. When you’re finished with Scouting, donate your uniform to The Salvation Army. Fold up your sash and stow it away somewhere private, with all the other tokens of what you’ve done so far. Then, roll up your sleeves, get out in the world, and put what you’ve learned to use.
Given that we are in the high season of high schools and colleges pumping out newly minted graduates that may have an over-inflated sense of the value of their accomplishments, this seemed interesting, and something that might strike a chord. posted by COD at 4:20 PM PST - 72 comments
Some kind soul recently uploaded, in five parts, a 1991 BBC Omnibus television documentary about Peter Greenaway, who never ceases to inspire me in his dedication to push film into new, richly interesting places, to liberate it from its addiction to stale 19th-century psychological narrative and to open it up to accept and incorporate all manner of artistic information it's usually denied. Cleverly titled Anatomy of a Filmmaker — Greenaway is an enthusiast of the nude human figure, which he sees as the single constant of art — it covers the filmmaker's career from his earliest shorts up through Prospero's Books. There are bits about the time he spent honing his skills cutting together British propaganda, his experience with painting and his longtime collaboration with Sacha Vierny. It also presents subsections on Greenaway's own inspirational creators, including John Cage and the increasingly-intriguing-to-me R.B. Kitaj. posted by colinmarshall at 12:53 PM PST - 16 comments
Fake Eyes "To small tropical birds foraging on the rainforest floor, those two scowling eyes peering back at them from between the leaves could be a predator. But they also could belong to one of the hundreds of caterpillar species that have evolved eyelike spots and patterns to trick feasting birds." posted by dhruva at 12:35 PM PST - 43 comments
“There is no scientist shortage,” declares Harvard economics professor Richard Freeman, a pre-eminent authority on the scientific work force. Michael Teitelbaum of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, a leading demographer who is also a national authority on science training, cites the “profound irony” of crying shortage — as have many business leaders, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates — while scores of thousands of young Ph.D.s labor in the nation’s university labs as low-paid, temporary workers, ostensibly training for permanent faculty positions that will never exist.
The structure functions as a living and working environment, solar powered, and able to support 3 people for up to 40 days. Avowedly utopian in its objectives, the insulation/isolation strategy aims to achieve total independence from social conditions in order to create a reflective space. [more inside] posted by circular at 11:48 AM PST - 3 comments
[T]he media who, after constantly treating me as an amusing quantity who, despite the zillions of print articles I have written, is still a blogger, while they, who are now blogging, because they crashed their whole goddamn field, are somehow not bloggers except for how maybe they are running blogs, want to tell me what to do.... You link wrong. You’re not funny.... You think posts are something you “pitch.” [...] You think other bloggers should respond to other bloggers, preferably in chin-stroking ways like “I appreciate your thoughts, Gwendolyn, yet I….” You want headlines maximized for SEO.... Worse, you seem to take blogging as some amusing shift you’ve been asked to do that is entirely within your powers. You are a fancy important journalist! You are an actual writer. OK, maybe you are. But you are sure as hell not a blogger any more than that dude with the novel in the drawer is a novelist.
The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.
The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe. posted by scalefree at 8:17 PM PST - 156 comments
First came love, then came marriage, then came a ridiculously long and complicated endeavor to get pregnant after a diagnosis of oligoastenoteratozoospermia requiring in vitro fertilization to conceive. This birthed the blog that attacked infertility with humor and snark. And, when she finally got pregnant, then came fourunbelievabledays of labor and a spectacular failure of pretty much everyone who was supposed to help. Don't worry, it all worked out justfine. posted by Leezie at 7:30 PM PST - 72 comments
Offering up a bass track, a guitar track, and a drum track as the common fodder, Wired.com invites remixes from its readers and runs a crowdsourced music experiment.
Note for those producing solo in their hovels/studies/caves/garrets/cubicles, and those looking for new sports through which to sell concert tickets and t-shirts: the artists of the future are inclined to organize into teams. posted by darth_tedious at 6:16 PM PST - 11 comments
"Does Professor Quality Matter? Evidence from Random Assignment of Students to Professors" by Scott Carrell and James West is the title of an interesting new study in this month's Journal of Political Economy, a leading journal in economics. (For a summary of the paper, see this review. An ungated version, too). The authors are interested in determining the role of "professor quality" in student learning. They do this by exploiting an unusual institutional feature of the Air Force Academy whereby all undergraduates are randomly assigned their professors, and all professors use the same syllabus. The authors also have the professor's student evaluations, as well each student's subsequent performance in the follow-up classes. To keep it simple, they focus only on Calculus I and the follow-up courses in Calculus (which are mandatory), though they note that an earlier study that looked at Chemistry and Physics found similar things. [more inside] posted by scunning at 8:58 AM PST - 44 comments
Restoring JournalismMaureen Tkacik talks about her life as a journalist, the nothing-based economy, and the future of journalism. She suggests abandoning authority and productively channeling narcissism. (via 2p & dd) [more inside] posted by kliuless at 5:55 AM PST - 18 comments
Mendeley is a cross-platform research management tool which features article databasing, PDF annotation, online backup, private, shared and public collections, metadata lookup on Google Scholar, direct exporting of multiple citation styles to Word, OpenOffice and BibTex, the ability to add documents directly from a web browser, and social networking with other members in your field of study. Like Zotero (previously), but out of the browser and with note-taking abilities. For Windows, Mac and Linux. posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:30 PM PST - 27 comments
Massive Justice Through the Ages mural is in need of a new home. Outdoor mural by the late renowned Central City artist Angelo di Benedetto, has graced the ceiling of the open-air first floor of the building since 1978. One of my personal favorites in a city filled with outdoor art.
The smartest guys in the room have found a solution. posted by shockingbluamp at 5:29 PM PST - 7 comments
Photograms are photographs achieved without cameras; shadow-pictures made by placing objects upon or in front of photo-sensitive surfaces, and then exposing them to light. [more inside] posted by misteraitch at 3:32 PM PST - 20 comments
CNN.com's 'Home and Away' initiative honors the lives of U.S. and coalition troops who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The extensive data visualization project tells the story of where and how the lives of these troops began and ended. The project is a sobering look at the human cost of two wars in the Middle East, and as such is restrained with a sober palette of blacks, whites and greys. [via] [more inside] posted by netbros at 2:52 PM PST - 32 comments
In 1796, members of the largely black Portsmouth-Norfolk Baptist Church in Virginia decided that they wanted to participate in the Portsmouth Association conference, which oversaw Baptist churches in their region of the state. Soon after, however, they changed their minds. “The black people…soon repented and came and told the Deacons they were afraid that matters might turn up disagreeably to them and dishonoring to God, and said they would be subordinate to the white brethren.” [more inside] posted by pecknpah at 2:33 PM PST - 12 comments
Twirdie allows you to play golf via twitter. Type a word and swing: the strength of your shot is proportional to the number of times the word has been tweeted in the last 20 seconds. A project of Twitter game outfit Local No. 12, whose SXSW presentation "Playing with 140 characters" is available here. (Via the just-concluded 2010 Games, Learning and Society conference here in Madison.) posted by escabeche at 1:48 PM PST - 20 comments
"I went and saw Iron Man 2 today, pretty good, I read Anathem too, yeah, not bad, I think, and I finally managed to work though those last two seasons of The Wire": few personal cultural blogs are interesting. with hidden noise is different. The blog of Dan Visel of the Institute for the Future of the Book, it covers, regularly and in depth, reading material that's genuinely fascinating and often surprising — and he actually cares, seriously, about culture.
Some of the books covered include Nicholson Baker's U and I, Aeschylus' The Oresteia, Jean-Philippe Toussaint's Self-Portrait Abroad and Donald Barthelme's Paradise. (Also, his immortal review of ulillillia's The Legend of the Ten Elemental Masters, though it's not on this particular blog cannot be missed.) posted by colinmarshall at 11:43 AM PST - 24 comments
This past Spring, Duke University hosted concurrent exhibits that featured curated images of satirical political cartoons. Fortunately, the exhibits are free to enjoy from the comfort of your bed/couch/desk chair. From the Nasher Museum of Art, there is Lines of Attack: Conflicts in Caricature, comparing pieces from as early as 19th Century France to post 9/11 US. From the Perkins Library, we get Abusing Power: Satirical Journals, an exhibit of 19th and early 20th Century pieces from around the world. posted by Ufez Jones at 8:35 PM PST - 3 comments
The End of Men , in The Atlantic. An article about the rise of women (now over 50% of the U.S. workforce), and implications of the attendant changes for both women and men. [more inside] posted by marble at 2:16 PM PST - 161 comments
Healthy competition can advance technology, and motorsports is a good example of this. The Isle of Man TT has been a motorcycle proving ground since 1907, with a bike earning its mettle by doing ton-up on the 38 mile course. Enter Michael Czysz and his MotoCzysz E1pc. After disastrous failure at the Isle of Man TT the previous year, his company redesigned their electric sport bike from the ground up. The results could have wider implications for electric vehicles as a whole. Previously. [more inside] posted by The Power Nap at 12:19 PM PST - 29 comments
"We caught up with the legendary Peter Hook to interview him about the good old days." Peter Hook's Extraordinary Stories. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9) (MLYT) posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:35 AM PST - 14 comments
The Politically Incorrect Guide to Ending PovertyIn the 1990s, Paul Romer revolutionized economics. In the Aughts, he became rich as a software entrepreneur. Now he's trying to help the poorest countries grow rich—by convincing them to establish foreign-run "charter cities" within their borders. Romer's idea is unconventional, even neo-colonial—the best analogy is Britain's historic lease of Hong Kong. And against all odds, he just might make it happen. (via cc) [more inside] posted by kliuless at 7:28 AM PST - 92 comments
A great advance in computer engineering: introducing the "Doubleton"!!!!! A fascinating example of the intersection of uncritical thinking, mediocre implementation, and a solution in search of a problem resume padding. [more inside] posted by orthogonality at 3:14 AM PST - 65 comments
"In this land of Viking lore, men are at the heart of the gender-equality debate." "From trendy central Stockholm to this village in the rugged forest south of the Arctic Circle, 85 percent of Swedish fathers take parental leave. Those who don’t face questions from family, friends and colleagues. As other countries still tinker with maternity leave and women’s rights, Sweden may be a glimpse of the future." "“Society is a mirror of the family,” Mr. Westerberg said. “The only way to achieve equality in society is to achieve equality in the home. Getting fathers to share the parental leave is an essential part of that.”" [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 7:56 PM PST - 42 comments
[Martha] Argerich brings to bear qualities that are seldom contained in one person: she is a pianist of brainteasing technical agility; she is a charismatic woman with an enigmatic reputation; she is an unaffected interpreter whose native language is music. This last may be the quality that sets her apart. A lot of pianists play huge double octaves; a lot of pianists photograph well. But few have the unerring naturalness of phrasing that allows them to embody the music rather than interpret it. - Alex Ross, "Madame X". The New Yorker - November 12, 2001 posted by Joe Beese at 7:40 PM PST - 12 comments
In 1964, a group of men were bored,in their dressing room waiting for several hours between the dress rehearsal and recording of "The Jack Paar Program". Noticing a collection of odd steam pipes, their leader suggested they decorate the pipes to pass the time. Painting them and attaching fur and googly eyes, they signed the piece "With Love, From the Muppets".[more inside] posted by inturnaround at 6:38 PM PST - 33 comments
Abortion Drugs Given in Iowa via Video Link. "The situation has played out hundreds of times. From his office here, a doctor asks a woman on the computer screen before him one final question: Are you ready to take your pill? Then, with a click of his mouse, a modified cash register drawer pops open in front of the woman seated next to a nurse in a clinic — perhaps 100 miles from this city — with mifepristone, the medicine formerly known as RU-486, that is meant to end her pregnancy." [Via] posted by homunculus at 5:45 PM PST - 46 comments
16 year old Yonlu made
music that ranged from bossa nova to 8-bit music from the sounds of desktop printers, never knowing that he would someday make the pages of Paste, eMusic, and Rolling Stone Brasil. He posted It's Not Another
King Kong (later titled A Boy and the Tiger) to a gaming forum, where it was
met with praise. More songs soon followed, which included English songs (I Know What It's Like, Humiliation), and also Portuguese songs (Estrela, Luana). Perhaps suffering from depression, Yonlu took his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning in 2006, just a few weeks before his 17th birthday. His
parents only learnt of his songwriting from a CD he left behind for them, with a note telling
them to listen to the CD "whenever they felt sad". posted by Xere at 4:12 PM PST - 17 comments
Did you install a Windows patch Tuesday? Listen, and understand. That mystery update is in there. It can't be uninstalled. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are assimilated. posted by pjern at 3:37 PM PST - 55 comments
A story of moose snouts, tenement animal husbandry and Crisco - the Lower East Side. RAZ: Now, you describe the markets in this part of the Lower East Side, around the Bowery that Mr. Glockner's wife would often go to to find fresh produce, I was amazed to read about what you could get in New York City in the 1860s. I mean, there were a lot of choices.
Ms. ZIEGELMAN: You could buy bear. You could buy moose. And not only moose, you could buy moose snout. This was considered a particular delicacy.
RAZ: By whom?
Ms. ZIEGELMAN: That I don't know.[more inside] posted by caddis at 2:14 PM PST - 11 comments
Everybody's heard about the "secret" launch of the military's newest spacedrone the X-37, and everybody's heard about the other "secret" launch on the same day. The military has launched another type of spacedrone. This one looks a lot less like this and more like this. Unfortunately they've hit a snag. (previously)
It's all part of the the U.S. military's prompt globalstrike doctrine. Some people think this may be a bad idea. [more inside] posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:36 AM PST - 74 comments
The rumours are increasing that there will be a merger between the two left-leaning political parties in Canada, the hapless Liberals under the wooden Michael Ignatieff, and the perennial almost-show New Democrats under the magnificently mustached Jack Layton. Denials all 'round, of course, but as separate parties they have not managed to take down Stephen Harper and his wiley Conservatives. posted by anothermug at 9:11 PM PST - 117 comments
London Lives 12 London archives – digitised, marked up and tagged – to "create a comprehensive electronic edition of primary sources on criminal justice and the provision of poor relief and medical care in eighteenth-century London".
The Lives page is a good place to start browsing. [related] posted by unliteral at 7:33 PM PST - 8 comments
Stadiums in South Africa are currently resounding with the riotous blare of the vuvuzela. And while most of the folks making their joyous noise in the stadiums will be doing so in a basically random fashion, this vuvuzela ensemble is demonstrating the funky hocketing technique that is a feature of certain strains of traditional African music, played for centuries on horns very much like these modern-day plastic versions. Well, anyway, like the shoe ads almost say, just blowit. posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:22 PM PST - 49 comments
Misreading Tehran: Leading Iranian-American writers revisit a year of dreams and discouragement. "With a full 12 months now between us and the election, the time is ripe to start revisiting the hype and hope in a year of writing: which stories were overblown, what stories were missed entirely, and what can be gleaned about Iran's annus horribilis from a more thorough understanding. FP asked seven prominent Iranian-Americans, deeply immersed in both the English- and Persian-language media, to look through the fog of journalism at what actually happened in Tehran -- and why so many of us got it so wrong." [Via] posted by homunculus at 5:00 PM PST - 29 comments
Last year, Yang Youde learned that his land had been requisitioned. Since the compensation terms for breaking the contract had not been settled, he has refused to move out. "The evictors said many times that they will move on me." Earlier this year, Yang took measures to protect himself. He took a hand-truck and removed the front. Then he put in a set of rockets for use as an artillery battery. posted by Artw at 11:25 AM PST - 34 comments
Hydorah is a delicious shump inspired by the likes of "Gradius, Castlevania or R-Type, but also from other classics treated worse by the time: Turrican, Enforcer, Space Manbow, Hellfire, Guardian, Hydefos, Armalyte and many others...". Also, "There is a single dificulty level, based on the 80's standards." Translation: try not to cry on your keyboard. [Windows] [via Destructoid] posted by threetoed at 11:53 PM PST - 35 comments
We've had excerpts before, but this is the full performance. Nixon in China, with music by John Adams, libretto by Alice Goodman and choreography by Mark Morris. Directed by Peter Sellars, conducted by John DeMain, and presented by Walter Chronkite. Houston Grand Opera, 1987. Parts 234567891011121314151617 posted by Navelgazer at 6:20 PM PST - 17 comments
The Martians And Us a BBC documentary series on the history of British science fiction.
Part 1 - 'From Apes To Aliens' (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Part 2 - 'Trouble In Paradise' (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Part 3 - The End Of The World As We Know It (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6) [more inside] posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:44 AM PST - 7 comments
Wired reports a US Intelligence Analyst has been arrested in connection with the "Collateral Murder" video released by Wikileaks. According to the article, SPC Bradley Manning was turned in by former hacker Adrian Lamo based on concerns about Manning's threat to leak an additional 260,000 classified embassy cables. posted by uaudio at 7:41 AM PST - 80 comments
"The impression that Ars Magica requires a Ph.d in medieval history to play was not helped by several supplements for the fourth edition that were in fact written by Ph.d’s in medieval history." Don't let that stop you, though; you can download the fourth edition for free. [more inside] posted by kaibutsu at 7:24 AM PST - 19 comments
Robert Earl Davis Jr., better known by his stage name DJ Screw, died almost ten years ago, on the 16th of November, 2000. He is widely credited as the originator of one of Texan hip-hop's unique stylistic quirks - the slowing of a track to create a blurry, psychedelic take on the original. So profound is the association between DJ Screw and this style that it is usually named after him. An 11-part documentary on YT explores Screw's life and music. Part 1, with the rest below the fold. [more inside] posted by Dim Siawns at 6:53 AM PST - 12 comments
The YouTube clip, set to the tune of the 1985 charity single We Are the World, features Israelis dressed as Arabs and activists, waving weapons while singing: "We con the world, we con the people. We'll make them all believe the IDF (Israel Defence Force) is Jack the Ripper."
The Wipers were a tight and catchy post-punk band founded in Portland in 1977. Today they're best known for covers by The Vivian Girls and Nirvana (Return of the Rat, and esp. D7 - studio, live 1234). But the originals are pretty interesting too. John Peel said of their first album "Is It Real": " 'It is one of punk's great albums by perhaps the most unappreciated band of all time'." [more inside] posted by msalt at 9:20 PM PST - 23 comments
If not otherwise specifically mentioned, do characters in epoch-shaping novels have birth dates, nativities? Did the author, for whatever literary reasons, or just for the fun of it (“mindless pleasures”), create the protagonist of the novel based on the astrological implications of some pre-imagined nativity, if not actually a definite birth date, time, and place?! Could the scholarly, serious, or curious reader benefit from knowing the horoscope of the character in question? Paperware to Vaporware, The Nativity of Tyrone Slothrop Hand-drawn Tyrone Slothrop Birth Chart posted by carsonb at 8:34 PM PST - 11 comments
So your parents gave you a puppy when you were 10 years old. Now you are graduating and feel condemned to going to a local school and spending the next four years living with your parents because you can't leave Lassie behind. Thinkagain. Colleges are are going beyond the traditional use of dogs as mascots. posted by Xurando at 2:59 PM PST - 35 comments
AbandonedDetroit Public Schools "People tend to have a visceral reaction to the sight of books piled ten feet high and left to rot in a windowless warehouse or strewn about a classroom floor. They seem to have more sympathy for books than for the children who’ll never have the chance to use them. Half of Detroiters cannot even read. Unemployment is above 20 percent and our streets are filled with hopeless people. When I see schools left like this, I know exactly what waits for many of these kids. I see it every day on the streets." [more inside] posted by mippy at 6:59 AM PST - 75 comments
"I do math all day at Wal-Mart." From the Washington Post: "Under a program announced Thursday, employees of Wal-Mart and Sam's Club will be able to receive college credit for performing their jobs, including such tasks as loading trucks and ringing up purchases." Dilution of the meaning of higher education, or laudable way to spread credentials to people without the opportunity to attend traditional college? Or both? posted by escabeche at 5:24 AM PST - 103 comments
Bob Kearney, an out-of-work electrician, and his partner, Travis Funneman, have turned the former Pioneer Elementary School at Zike's Corner, east of Neoga, Illinois, into a strip club. [more inside] posted by kipmanley at 4:18 PM PST - 56 comments
Sikhs in America "The Sikh community is an important part of northern Californias cultural tapestry, yet the Sikh religion and cultural traditions are not widely understood. This documentary captures Sikh social and family life, spiritual life, and economic and work life. Witness a beautiful Sunday service at a gurdwara, a Sikh wedding, the tying of a Sikh turban, and a look at the game Kabbadi." (PBS, 26mins) posted by puny human at 3:38 PM PST - 27 comments
For Neda. "For Neda reveals the true story of Neda Agha-Soltan, who became another tragic casualty of Iran's violent crackdown on post-election protests on June 20, 2009. Unlike many unknown victims, however, she instantly became an international symbol of the struggle: Within hours of Agha-Soltan's death, cell phone photographs of her blood-stained face were held aloft by crowds protesting in Tehran and across the world. With exclusive access to her family inside Iran, the documentary goes to the heart of who Neda was and what she stood for, illuminating the larger Iranian struggle for democratic freedoms through her powerful story." [more inside] posted by homunculus at 3:35 PM PST - 7 comments
Afraid that Jobs' wild spending and Woz's recurrent "flights of fancy" would cause Apple to flop, Wayne decided to abdicate his role as adult-in-chief and bailed out after 12 days. Terrified to be the only one of the three founders with assets that creditors could seize, he sold back his shares for $800.An interview with Apple Computer co-founder Ron Wayne (he also designed Apple's first logo). Had he held out, his shares today would be worth $22 billion. posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 2:26 PM PST - 49 comments
The UK Government has published extracts from COINS, the Combined Online Information System used by the Treasury to track all public spending by the Government. Together, the files constitute about 11Gb of data in delimited text format containing consolidated financial information for each department and account type. [more inside] posted by Electric Dragon at 1:32 PM PST - 3 comments
Pure by Jacob Bricca.A meditation on genre, a commentary on visual cliches, and a celebration of the visceral pleasures of cinema. Music by The Jesus Lizard. Please play full screen at top volume!
posted by lazaruslong at 12:32 PM PST - 15 comments
Friday Flash Fun: Mamono Sweeper is Minesweeper with role-playing elements. A number of monsters with levels from 1 to 5 are hidden in the grid. Your task is to kill them all. When you click on a square with a monster, you battle against that monster until you or the monster is dead. If the monster is your level or below, you take no damage, but if it is of a higher level, you will get hurt, and possibly die. Empty squares show the sum of the levels of the monsters in all adjacent squares. You start out at level 1 with 10 hit points, and each monster you kill gives you experience points towards the next level. You cannot recover lost hit points. Use the A and D keys to mark squares. Good luck! [more inside] posted by Tau Wedel at 11:10 AM PST - 22 comments
". . . all of us bright young hotshot UPA stars absolutely hated the Howdy Doody show, and felt that the puppet itself was gross—a ten on a kitsch scale of one to ten. We determined to “improve” the Howdy Doody character to the level of our hallowed UPA design standard. After all, we were already the toast of New York animation, raking in the prizes and publicity. We simply couldn’t lower ourselves to something so crude, even if the client was paying us to do just that. So we just blithely went ahead with transforming Howdy Doody in our own image." [more inside] posted by Think_Long at 10:30 AM PST - 27 comments
Early this morning, local time, two amateur astronomers independently captured images of something colliding with Jupiter. Anthony Wesley (cache) in Broken Hill, Australia noticed it first. Wesley spread the word and Christopher Go (cache) in Cebu City, Philippines also found that he'd documented the event, which occurred at 20:31 June 3, Universal Time. [more inside] posted by Songdog at 7:27 AM PST - 57 comments
#5 in a series, Coolzey's recent video (4:01) features a beat from the late producer DJ PRZM, who died from heart problems in 2007. The music is set to a mix of video from the U.S. Department of Defense's animated 'Man and Safety' series and features cartoon translucent figures, a mermaid, an anteater, experiments and multiple elephants. [more inside] posted by cashman at 5:21 AM PST - 3 comments
"A skirmish between a junior high school principal and one of his students is yet again playing out publicly after a video of the incident was posted online. Ken Fells, a 15-year employee of the Halifax Regional School Board, was removed from his post at Graham Creighton Junior High School in Cherry Brook, N.S., after an altercation with a student on March 3." [more inside] posted by bwg at 1:40 AM PST - 258 comments
LA Times: "When UC Berkeley officials came up with the idea of asking all new students to volunteer a DNA swab as part of an unusual fall orientation program, they expected to stimulate discussion. They weren't quite prepared for how much."
Inside Higher Ed: "Unwinding Berkeley's DNA Test" posted by andoatnp at 1:32 AM PST - 29 comments
John Waters has published a memoir. John Waters, the cult auteur perhaps best known for his revolting epic Pink Flamingos and for the 1988 film Hairspray (which served as the basis for the hugely successful stage musical), names his role models in his new memoir, the aptly-titled Role Models. Gothamist calls the book "a slowly revealing look at what, or rather who, made him the film icon he is today, through a series of bitingly witty profiles of the people who hold his awe." [more inside] posted by Houyhnhnm at 3:03 PM PST - 38 comments
"Of the four strokes swum in competition, butterfly is almost universally regarded as more exhausting than freestyle, breaststroke or backstroke. And therein lies its allure.
In an age of ultramarathons, Ironman triathlons and crowds chugging up Mount Everest, long-distance butterfly swimming is becoming a new and less-crowded frontier for fitness fanatics." [more inside] posted by emilyd22222 at 1:08 PM PST - 37 comments
A functional self-replicator has been designed for Conway's game of life. The deceptively simple automata 'Conway's game of life' is a model system that illustrates how simple 'physics' can give rise to incredibly complex phenomena. Although a menagerie of existing patterns have been discovered/engineered that display a variety of interesting behavior (eg here), there are also many unanswered questions about what is possible within the simulation. Recently, life-enthusiast mscibing succeeded in designing a universal constructor pattern that is capable of building a functional copy of itself. Its execution can be viewed directly (though it takes a while!) using Golly, a sweet, open-source app for viewing life simulations, as well as other cellular automata. posted by armheadarmlegleg at 1:04 PM PST - 137 comments
Stadium Status by the Internets Celebrities (previously 1, 2) is a (short) documentary which examines the rush of new sports stadiums in NYC as the latest example of an obscene national trend. New stadiums are built every year and the private businesses that own them benefit from huge sums of public money for their creation. Are we getting our money's worth? posted by unsupervised at 11:04 AM PST - 37 comments
Early 1900s in COLOUR (a sampling). "In the early part of the 20th century French-Jewish capitalist Albert Kahn set about to collect a photographic record of the world, the images were held in an 'Archive of the Planet'. Before the 1929 stock market crash he was able to amass a collection of 180,000 metres of b/w film and more than 72,000 autochrome plates, the first industrial process for true colour photography." The whole enchilada. posted by spock at 5:56 AM PST - 35 comments
Once Upon a Time in Afghanistan. "It is important to know that disorder, terrorism, and violence against schools that educate girls are not inevitable. I want to show Afghanistan's youth of today how their parents and grandparents really lived." posted by availablelight at 3:49 AM PST - 8 comments
Because they have their own minor-league spelling bee circuit. Having a qualifying spelling bee league that is, at times, tougher than the actual competition is what results in the extreme over-representation of Indian kids (1% in population, 11% in the spelling bee) at the national-level Scripps spelling bee. Where else have you seen such a phenomenon? posted by vidur at 7:10 PM PST - 15 comments
Busk is a search engine dedicated to items which are in the news. It gathers the results from thousands of sites and many of them contain full content including pictures, videos, and podcasts. [more inside] posted by gman at 2:50 PM PST - 15 comments
This species was around seventy-six million years ago, when dinosaurs roamed the earth and the continents were splitting. The impact of a colossal space rock wiped out the dinosaurs but did not finish them off, even though their habitat was close to 'ground zero'. They survived the super-hot "greenhouse Earth" of the Eocene, major changes in global ecosystems, and the Ice Age (take that, Scrat). They have grooved teeth which inject venom into their prey; very strong limbs which end in long sharp claws. They have only three native predators. However this 'living fossil' called the Solenodon could soon be wiped out by mongoose, people and wild dogs. [more inside] posted by Hardcore Poser at 1:13 PM PST - 9 comments
HELLO WORLD (SLYT) "Lego felt tip 110" printer connected to an Apple Mac. This is not a kit you can buy and does not use mindstorms. I designed/built/coded it all from scratch including analog motor electronics, sensors and printer driver, the USB interface uses a "wiring" board. posted by grumblebee at 7:49 AM PST - 42 comments
We've seen lots of crazy skydiving, BASE jumping, wingsuit flying and so on. Now watch Taïg Khris jump from the Eiffel Tower wearing rollerblades. SLYT [turn speakers down if you don't like loud crowds]. posted by bwg at 4:55 AM PST - 59 comments
Yukio Hatoyama, Prime Minister of Japan, will resign. Also stepping down is Ichiro Ozawa. After a series of misscues, calls for Hatoyama's resignation started popping up. Among the issues dogging Hatoyama were questions about a sizeable amount of money he received from his mother (possibly disguised as campaign contributions to keep him from looking like a weak candidate who couldn't raise funds), reneging on a promise to move the US Marine bases out of Okinawa, and this shirt. [more inside] posted by Ghidorah at 8:40 PM PST - 55 comments
Take a stand for permanent paper. "Eight years ago we started to notice the shift in buying patterns from free-sheet Permanent Paper to groundwood paper for hardcover books. Groundwood is the type of paper used in newspapers and mass market paperbacks, and its production is such that it is much lower-quality and degrades more quickly than traditional book publishing paper." What makes a book permanent?[more inside] posted by stbalbach at 8:25 PM PST - 56 comments
How to Save the News. "Everyone knows that Google is killing the news business. Few people know how hard Google is trying to bring it back to life, or why the company now considers journalism’s survival crucial to its own prospects." posted by chunking express at 11:58 AM PST - 64 comments
As undeniably great as the golden age Motown studio musicians were, and as indisputably funky and creative as the arrangements were, you still have to think that maybe it would've been a good idea to release some of The Temptations amazing vocal group artistry in unaccompanied form. Maybe as B-sides or something. Well, that never happened back in the day, as far as I know, but we are extremely fortunate now to be able to hear a capella versions of many of the Tempts biggest hits, in stunningly impressive and thoroughly enjoyable unaccompanied renditions: Runaway Child Running Wild, Just My Imagination, Papa Was a Rolling Stone, Ball of Confusion, Get Ready and Cloud Nine . And folks, there's more a capella from the Tempts and other Motown acts floating around on the Tubes out there, so feel free to link to them in the thread, cause, you know, I Ain't Too Proud To Beg. posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:09 AM PST - 39 comments