Obamacare: One Less Reason to Get Married. Erin Gloria Ryan of Jezebel writes: Insurance Marriages had become to the 21st century what shotgun weddings were to jokes about hillbillies. Back in 2004, the LA Times wrote about couples that married for insurance, couples who for varying reasons had not wanted to marry, but who had been driven to marriage by financial necessity. ABC News posted its own roundup of With This Policy, I Thee Wed-style couples in 2008, as did the New York Times. In 2008, 7% of couples who married reported doing so primarily for the insurance benefits.[more inside] posted by Cash4Lead at 11:01 AM PST - 61 comments
"Is online dating a different experience for men than it is for women? To find out, I conducted a 4-month experiment in the US and UK using 10 dummy dating profiles. Here's what happened..." posted by surenoproblem at 2:28 AM PST - 165 comments
"I still buy books faster than I can read them. But this feels completely normal. How weird it would be to have around you only as many books as you have time to read in the rest of your life." Julian Barnes reflects on his life as a bibliophile, the disappearance of secondhand bookshops and the precarious survival of the physical book. posted by verstegan at 1:25 AM PST - 89 comments
The Department of Defense staff has reviewed your application for permission to utilize your newly-developed Time Machine (US Patent #4004-BC-10100036, applied for but not processed) in order to, as you put it, "go back and kill Hitler". posted by mightygodking at 8:25 PM PST - 50 comments
DocFuture (previously) is a video artist who creates bizarre and insightful (NSFW audio, also previously) Dadaist pastiches of pop-culture. His latest video (NSFW) is a confusing and relentless satire of YouTube culture that is equal parts ambitious and absurd. Yes, even more ambitious than a comprehensive playthrough of a Sonic the Hedgehog game that doesn't technically exist posted by Shadax at 7:00 PM PST - 10 comments
"I had these clubs when I was a young bachelor, hair down to my shoulders, tearing up the town in a 1990 Volvo 740 SEL with the sunroof open and the road before me like some great American Dream ready to be snatched, the way candy is from a baby, or a kiss from an easy and drunk woman."
FF Chartwell is a typeface for creating simple editable graphs and charts, designed by Travis Kochel. Driven by the frustration of creating graphs within design applications and inspired by typefaces such as FF Beowolf and FF PicLig, Travis saw an opportunity to take advantage of OpenType technology to simplify the process. Using OpenType features, simple strings of numbers are automatically transformed into charts. The visualized data remains editable, allowing for hassle-free updates and styling. Watch the demo video. Buy a license. posted by heatherann at 11:57 AM PST - 19 comments
Would you like to get an anonymous phone call from a stranger who is diametrically opposed to your own political views? Sure, we all do. Now, Political Screaming Match Dot Com is here to help, and can solve this age-old problem in 15 minutes or less. posted by schmod at 10:35 AM PST - 57 comments
A perceptive audio interview with biographer David Maraniss on the life of Barack Obama, including detailed research on his friends and relatives.
Pulitzer-prize winning biographer and associate editor of the Washington Post David Maraniss ...collected so much detailed information about the life of Barack Obama and his forbears that when he submitted his introduction and chapter titles to the White House to request an interview, the President himself was intrigued and surprised. posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:58 AM PST - 19 comments
I, pet goat II - 'A story about the fire at the heart of suffering. Bringing together dancers, musicians, visual artists and 3d animators, the film takes a critical look at the events of the past decade that have shaped our world.' (SLVimeo, parts may be NSFW) posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:03 AM PST - 21 comments
A wall with large buttons that trigger voices, mellotron-style; An Indonesian gamelan xylophone orchestra played with a arcade game-like control panel; A leslie speaker that amplifies whatever a stethoscope touches. These are just a few of the instruments built into a unique New Orleans musical architecture installation called Dithyrambalina, or simply, The Music Box. [more inside] posted by umbú at 8:31 AM PST - 8 comments
Depressed Copywriter [SLTumblr] "Every time I see an example of corporate happiness I can only see the reality of life. I can’t help myself anymore. I can’t stop rearranging their copy." posted by Fizz at 8:28 AM PST - 28 comments
"There are approximately 250 species of catnip and this figure doesn't include hybrids. But all of these substances have one thing in common. The active ingredient, nepetalactone cycloalkane." (slyt) posted by RobotHero at 8:16 AM PST - 48 comments
Nobody does this to men in the industry. Nobody says Cliff Bleszinski is wearing such a tight shirt today, and oooh I'd love to rub my hands all over him. At least not to the point where he's uncomfortable at tradeshows. Likewise nobody sexualizes male characters. Some may argue that Kratos represents an unrealistic image of a male, but there aren't massive forum threads dedicated to whether and how people would like to have sex with him. Kratos, Marcus Fenix, and their ilk, are the object of power fantasies, not sexual fantasies. There is a huge difference there. You want to be as cool and powerful as Kratos. Again, nobody wants to be Lara Croft all the time.
If you've ever wanted to know the history of each of Toronto's streetcar lines, how to identify different TTC subway trains, the chronology of Toronto's Christmas-painted buses, or really anything else you can think of (and more) about Toronto's transit system: Transit Toronto is an unofficial but fantastically detailed site about the TTC. [more inside] posted by andrewesque at 8:19 PM PST - 30 comments
Atari, the first successful arcade video game company, would have been 40 years old today. The blog Arcade Heroes takes the opportunity to look back over 40 years of arcade gaming (from Atari and other companies) with flyers and video. Part 1 (1970s & 80s) - Part 2 (1990s to present). (WARNING: huge pages ahead with lots of flash videos.) posted by JHarris at 12:50 PM PST - 24 comments
TED (Transformations, Emotional Deconstruction) is a large, wall-based installation created by Sean Hathaway, consisting of an array of 80 Teddy Ruxpin dolls that speak emotional content gathered from the web via synthetic speech with animated mouths. posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:32 AM PST - 31 comments
Central Park Elmo is not a fan of the Jews, to the extent that he was carried away for psychiatric assessment yesterday. Today the NYT has an interview with Adam Sandler, the man behind anti-Semitic Elmo. posted by Cosine at 9:30 AM PST - 142 comments
"Legend of Grimrock is a party-based dungeon-crawler RPG made by a crack team of four experienced Finns in just ten months. It is also one of the finest, best thought-out games I’ve played in a long time. Here is a game defined by limitations – small budget, small team, goofy 2D tile-based movement – and yet it is a stunning success because it respects those limits and uses them to do more with less. There is a lesson here for studios both starving and bloated. " An article on how The Legend of Grimrock (released in April of this year, previously on Metafilter) takes a simplified set of rules and turns them in to a finely crafted machine. posted by codacorolla at 9:11 AM PST - 22 comments
Namibian Fairy Circles "By comparing photos taken over a 4-year period, Walter Tschinkel confirmed something other scientists had suspected: The circles were alive—or at least they were dynamic. A number of circles appeared and disappeared over this time period. Extrapolating from the data, Tschinkel calculated that most smaller circles arise and vanish every 24 years, whereas larger circles last up to 75 years. Overall, the lifespan averaged 41 years." posted by dhruva at 8:44 AM PST - 16 comments
The Second Second Coming As The Stone Roses prepare to open their series of 3 homecoming concerts tomorrow at Manchester's Heaton Park, a timely look at the band, their influences and their (Tron) legacy. Look out for Metafilter favourite Peter Serafinowicz as Morrissey and Simon Cowell. (slyt) posted by jontyjago at 8:23 AM PST - 21 comments
“[...] it took more than a dozen calls to work out the details of her zombie contagion. “After about the 17th time,” says McGuire, “I called and said, ‘If I did this, this, this, this, this, this and this, could I raise the dead?’ And got, ‘Don’t … don’t do that.’ And at that point, I knew I had a viable virus.” posted by batmonkey at 9:07 AM PST - 70 comments
The Technological Apocalypse is Coming (Straight to DVD)Over the last 15 years a brilliant and charismatic self-made man has been campaigning across the United States, describing a near-future event that will deliver human salvation, immortality, and unlimited creative potential. After this event, he claims, the trappings of earthly life will no longer plague us: we will no longer age or get sick; we will be able to create our own worlds to our exact preferences; and we will no longer be restricted to our current physical forms. This man’s vision has become the center of a growing movement that already has tens of thousands of adherents, dozens of shared texts, and its own non-profit school that aims to “assemble, educate, and inspire a cadre of leaders” to one day “address humanity’s grand challenges.”. Coming soon, the movie![more inside] posted by jhandey at 8:54 AM PST - 56 comments
In May, YouTube announcedthey would behosting a lineup of original video channels, in a possible attempt to compete with network and cable television. Among the new offerings was WIGS, the (NSFW) brainchild of director/producer/writers Jon Avnet and Rodrigo Garcia, of original, scripted dramatic series and short films exploring female characters. [more inside] posted by zarq at 8:00 AM PST - 14 comments
Following junior Treasury minister Chloe Smith's disastrous performance on Newsnight regarding the Chancellor's u-turn on fuel duty, the New Statesmen presents the top five ten worst political interviews. posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:40 AM PST - 41 comments
スターウルフ, "Star Wolf," was a half-hour sci-fi TV show produced and aired in Japan in 1978. (TV Tropes page -- addiction warning) It had somewhat cheesy special effects, understandable being a TV series made just one year after Star Wars, but it made up for it with style, energy, and ACTIONPACKEDMUSIC.
American viewers will know it best as the show ripped apart and reassembled into two Fugitive Alien movies by Sandy Frank Productions, then shown on two memorable episodes of Mystery Science Theater 3000. (Episodes on YouTube: Fugitive Alien, its sequel.) Although the Japanese show got at least two seasons (the second under the title Space Hero Star Wolf), only the first four episodes appear to exist on the internet. Here they are: One - Two - Three - Four. (There are no subtitles, but you should be able to figure out what is going on if you've seen the MST episode.) [more inside] posted by JHarris at 3:43 AM PST - 26 comments
The Big Picture: Hollywood's creative talent wants to be on cable. 'A decade ago, a host of studios and specialty divisions were making and buying movies, but only a handful of cable and pay TV outlets commissioned original programming. But today there's a huge array of cable TV outlets making shows. In film, many specialty divisions have disappeared, and independents have merged, so the number of studio buyers has shrunk dramatically.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 11:01 PM PST - 51 comments
Worried about the widespread use of antibiotics used in the raising of steer, pigs and poultry, and fearing the rise of antibiotic-resistant illness, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration began the process of withdrawing its approval for the non-medical use of penicillin and tetracyclines (scribd, posted by Wired magazine's Maryn McKenna in conjunction with one of her posts on this issue).
That was in 1977. The FDA stopped pursuing the process, and antibiotics have continued to be given in feed. But a recent court order may allow the FDA to oversee a major change to the system. [more inside] posted by MonkeyToes at 7:32 PM PST - 32 comments
Sponge-Fraud!: 'Artist Todd White seemingly had it all. With a multi-million-dollar art brand, collectors and clients ranging from Sylvester Stallone to Coca-Cola, and a burgeoning reputation in art-mad Britain, his days as lead character designer of SpongeBob SquarePants were but a distant memory. But, as David Kushner reports, when his confidante and gallerist Peggy Howell reported a burglary of his paintings at the hand of ninjas, things took a turn for the even stranger.' [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:08 PM PST - 23 comments
"The early death of I-Roy and dozens of other great reggae personalities is first and foremost – directly as well as indirectly – a legacy of the colonial power structures which still dominate the third world and cripple its inhabitants...We who survive due to the same structures must honour those who did not – and incidentally also whose who are still out there – by listening carefully to their music."
An entreaty from a Norwegian gal on a an epic journey learn about early reggae music. posted by Jibuzaemon at 1:16 PM PST - 5 comments
Forty-five years ago yesterday, various countries and networks (coordinated by the BBC) presented the first live, international satellite broadcast - "Our World", which was seen by an estimated 400 million people. The world's most popular band came up with a new song just for the occasion, which they debuted with a live performance. If you missed it at the time, here's exactly how that song was presented. [more inside] posted by Curious Artificer at 12:36 PM PST - 32 comments
“This documentary is a humble exploration of the world of print, as it scratches the surface of its future. It is built upon interviews with individuals who are active in the Toronto print community and question whether or not they expect to see the disappearance of the physical book within our lifetime. The act of reading a “tangible tome” has devolved from being a popular and common pastime to one that no longer is. I hope for the film to stir thought and elicit discussion about the immersive reading experience and the lost craft of the book arts, from the people who are still passionate about reading on paper.” — Hannah Ryu Chung, the filmaker [more inside] posted by Toekneesan at 9:29 AM PST - 20 comments
"A pod of orcas, or killer whales, cooperate to wash a Weddell seal off an ice floe. This sequence, filmed for Frozen Planet, marks the first complete filming of killer whale "wave washing" behavior." [more inside] posted by vidur at 4:45 AM PST - 73 comments
Sound-Word Index — Emotions and their sound can invade our digital messages. Our words become flexible and vibrate according to the volume of our voices, transforming their written form into an expressive and resonating language. Without the help of body language, words can sometimes fall short in our digital conversations. However, sound, volume and rhythm can influence the spelling of our words, helping to translate our emotions hidden behind our screens. posted by netbros at 3:12 PM PST - 1 comments
Obama evolved. The NAACP evolved. The NCLR has evolved. How do you get your friends and family to evolve into support for LGBT rights?
The Movement Advancement Project's excellent Talking About LGBT Issues series gives research-driven rhetorical and messaging frameworks that work best for meeting reluctant folks where they are. They include warnings about civil rights framings, how to hit emotional marks that emphasize commonality and cover things like adoption, marriage, transgender etiquette and employment protections. posted by klangklangston at 2:57 PM PST - 17 comments
Last year, Wired reported that 'The FBI is teaching
its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”' (previously)
The FBI pledged reform, but the materials appeared to be deeply embedded. After the President ordered a review, the FBI 'purged' the documents from training materials.
Earlier this year Wired reported that 'U.S. Military Taught Officers: Use ‘Hiroshima’ Tactics for ‘Total War’ on Islam.' [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:51 PM PST - 42 comments
Rather than trying to tame wild stallions, fearless Costa Rican fisherman Chito preferred a playful wrestle in the water with his best pal Pocho - a deadly 17ft crocodile. For several years, the 52-year-old daredevil drew gasps of amazement from onlookers by wading chest-deep into the water, then whistling for his 980lb buddy - and giving him an affectionate hug. Crazy Chito said: "Poncho is my best friend. This is a very dangerous routine but we have a good relationship. He will look me in the eye and not attack me. It is too dangerous for anyone else to come in the water. It is only ever the two of us.
Sadly Pocho died last October, at the age of 50. But his fame lives on. posted by unSane at 10:23 AM PST - 38 comments
The prime minister has suggested that people under the age of 25 could lose the right to housing benefit, as part of moves to cut the welfare bill.
Scrapping the benefit for that age group would save almost £2bn a year.
via BBC News. Comments sortable and worth reading. [more inside] posted by marienbad at 3:13 PM PST - 127 comments
'Since signing with the Allen Wranglers, Terrell Owens hasn't exactly been excited to talk to reporters. Back in his Philadelphia days, in the prime of his career, he used to hold press conferences all the time, sometimes in his own driveway. He couldn't wait to be on camera. He would tell reporters what questions to ask. He never shied away from a microphone: not in a locker room, not in a studio, and certainly not on his own reality show. But now that he's been relegated to the lowest rung of professional football, with no team in the NFL even interested in watching him work out, Owens hasn't been so loquacious.
In yet another attempt to bring order and usefulness to the comments section of a high traffic news site, Gawker has implemented a new comment system. They are borrowing the basic concept from Slashdot that most comments will never be seen, and thus the focus is to find the interesting conversations that do occur under the article, and promote them with no regard for chronological order . The system shows some promise, although it clearly has a ways to go as a recent article failed to highlight replies in the comments from the subject of the article.
Also of note, the photo of Nick Denton used in the article is by MeFi's own mathowie. posted by COD at 8:33 AM PST - 56 comments
The Hunt For The Perfect Mattress. 'Technology in bedding is becoming as advanced as that of running shoes or rockets, with an explosion of gels, foams, latex and assorted materials harvested from organic rubber plantations and rare sheep around the globe, being molded, refined and patented by innovators and entrepreneurs to provide night after night of perfect, deep sleep.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 2:14 PM PST - 69 comments
Clearing the Bar Is the Easy Part: [NYTimes] "Mark Hollis is a pole-vaulter, and while he and his competitors here feel significant pressure as they compete for a place on the Olympic team, the anxiety they experience just trying to get their equipment to meets is sometimes even more excruciating." posted by Fizz at 8:36 AM PST - 35 comments
The Power of Crowd Sourcing. When Fox News provided a list of ten pranks to help your marriage (as we all know, that junior high locker room horse play was really preparation for a healthy and loving monogamous relationship), the Internet rose as one to say, "These are fantastic, but we need more!" Sorting the comments by Popular/ Best shows you how normal people, people just like you and me, added a little butter and salt to this Paula Deen-esque confection of an article. posted by yerfatma at 6:51 AM PST - 140 comments
Kirsty Mitchell's late mother Maureen was an English teacher who spent her life inspiring generations of children with imaginative stories and plays. Following Maureen's death from a brain tumour in 2008, Kirsty channelled her grief into her passion for photography.
She retreated behind the lens of her camera and created Wonderland, an ethereal fantasy world. posted by Arbac at 3:29 PM PST - 13 comments
GDP since Jesus.That headline is a big promise. But here it is: The economic history of the world going back to Year 1 showing the major powers' share of world GDP, from a research letter written by Michael Cembalest, chairman of market and investment strategy at JP Morgan.everything to the left of 1800 is an approximation of population distribution around the world and everything to the right of 1800 is a demonstration of productivity divergences around the world.[more inside] posted by Golden Eternity at 11:54 AM PST - 79 comments
"Book TV's After Words features the author of a recently published hardback non-fiction book interviewed by a guest host with some knowledge, background, or connection to the subject matter of the book." There's also a podcast version (link goes to XML feed), for those who'd rather listen. Many more non-fiction author interviews can be found at Booknotes (transcripts and streaming video). If your tastes run to interviews with authors of fiction, check out the BBC's Modern Writers archive. (BookTV (but not specifically After Words) previously, Booknotes (but before the series ended) previously.) posted by cog_nate at 11:05 AM PST - 7 comments
The female bandmembers of Chairlift, Au Revoir Simone, Class Actress, and This Frontier Needs Heroes get together with "an essentially revolving cast of indie Brooklyn sirens, twice a year in a living room in Greenpoint to cover a single, classic song that they learn and arrange right before they perform. Calling themselves Girl Crisis, the group covers a classic (mostly a capella) from a male artist each Winter and a female artist each Summer. The performances are are filmed with a Super 8 camera, are not open to the public and exist only online. Their latest: Leonard Cohen's "Dance Me To The End of Love". (Via)[more inside] posted by zarq at 10:43 AM PST - 44 comments
Have foodpouches become the mainstay of the eating culture of young American children? "Mr. Grimmer believes the pouch’s popularity can be attributed to the emergence of a new way of relating to our children. He calls it “free-range parenting.”Parents, he explained, want to be as flexible as modern life demands. And when it comes to eating, that means doing away with structured mealtimes in favor of a less structured alternative that happens not at set times, but whenever a child is hungry." Some people haveconcerns about the trend. posted by Xurando at 9:02 AM PST - 206 comments
Wellcome Image Awards 2012 "Wellcome Images is the world's leading source of images of medicine and its history, from ancient civilisation and social history to contemporary healthcare, biomedical science and clinical medicine. More than 180 000 images ranging from manuscripts, rare books, archives and paintings to X-rays, clinical photography and scanning electron micrographs are available on the Wellcome Images website." (Previously & Previously) [cortex, is that you?] posted by OmieWise at 5:46 AM PST - 2 comments
In Praise of Leisure - "Imagine a world in which most people worked only 15 hours a week. They would be paid as much as, or even more than, they now are, because the fruits of their labor would be distributed more evenly across society. Leisure would occupy far more of their waking hours than work. It was exactly this prospect that John Maynard Keynes conjured up in a little essay published in 1930 called 'Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren.' Its thesis was simple. As technological progress made possible an increase in the output of goods per hour worked, people would have to work less and less to satisfy their needs, until in the end they would have to work hardly at all... He thought this condition might be reached in about 100 years — that is, by 2030." (via) [more inside] posted by kliuless at 5:43 AM PST - 117 comments
A gay-straight marriage story from a member of the LDS church. "About a year after my divorce, I was chatting with my new bishop, who I had known for several years prior to that. He asked me, "So, Ashley, why did you and Matt get divorced?"
I replied, "Matt is a homosexual."
I just looked him in the eye after I said this and waited a few seconds while he absorbed it.
Then he asked, "Well, was there another problem as well? Like drinking? Or gambling?"
I looked him in the eye a second time and replied, "Nope. Just that."
He was genuinely confused." posted by Dynex at 10:11 PM PST - 62 comments
"Dwarfing even the $2 trillion borrowed for the Railway Ministry’s high-speed networks since 2008, and the thousands of kilometres of 4–6 lane toll roads with barely a vehicle on them, China’s building binge is the most striking example of what Prime Minister Wen Jiabao famously, but impotently, denounced in 2007 as the country’s “unbalanced, unstable, uncoordinated and unsustainable” model of economic development. Now, with house prices and sales sagging in response to government restrictions aimed at deflating history’s biggest ever property bubble, and with local governments as deep in bad debt as the developers, I asked the businessman what was to prevent the bubble actually bursting, in a spectacular financial explosion? " posted by vidur at 9:19 PM PST - 46 comments
Fjögur Píanó [NSFW, nudity] is the first released video from an upcoming project titled "Mystery Film Experiment," which is a collection of music videos for Sigur Rós' latest album, Valtari. Each video is being made by different ﬁlmmakers. "With the ﬁlms, we have literally no idea what the directors are going to come back with. None of them know what the others are doing, so it could be interesting." [more inside] posted by lubujackson at 8:13 PM PST - 24 comments
After an inquisitive prison inmate challenged his notions of poverty and its solutions, Earl Shorris embarked on a project to share the humanities with poor students in New York City. In this article for Harper's Magazine, he remembers his struggles and triumphs with funding, material, and the students. As income inequality in the US continues to rise, other well known figures have different ideas. Shorris died recently this year, and obituaries appeared in The New York Times, The Daily News and The Nation. A full archive of his articles for Harper's can be found here. posted by sophist at 5:07 PM PST - 10 comments
Uruguay looking to sell marijuana to combat cocaine. 'The unusual idea, announced Wednesday by Uruguayan officials, would be one of the boldest steps yet among Latin American leaders to alter a war on drugs driven solely by prohibition, which increasingly is resisted in the Americas as a failed strategy.' 'Under the plan backed by President Jose Mujica’s leftist administration, only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana and only to adults who register on a government database, letting officials keep track of their purchases over time. Profits would reportedly go toward rehabilitating drug addicts.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 1:21 PM PST - 46 comments
"I had always assumed that if I could get a foreign-policy job in the State Department or the White House while my party was in power, I would stay the course as long as I had the opportunity to do work I loved. But in January 2011, when my two-year public-service leave from Princeton University was up, I hurried home as fast as I could."Anne Marie Slaughter, the former policy director for the State Department and professor at Princeton University, has written a nuanced essay for this month's Atlantic Monthly, about the feminist generation gap and work-life balance at the top levels of government and academia: Why Women Still Can't Have It All.[more inside] posted by lunasol at 9:49 AM PST - 125 comments
What is Cyndi Lauper doing to follow up her brilliant, well-received (and award winning) 2010 album Memphis Blues? Why, she's writing a musical! A stage adaptation of the charming UK film Kinky Boots which will be opening in Chicago later this year, with an anticipated move to Broadway in 2013. Eager for a preview? EW is hosting a sneak peek of the track The Sex Is In The Heel (scroll down for player), and the track will be available for free download at the musical's website starting tomorrow. Lauper will also be performing the track live at the NYC Pride Parade this weekend, where she will be Grand Marshall. posted by hippybear at 8:58 AM PST - 31 comments
'Often, we try to repair broken things in such a way as to conceal the repair and make it “good as new.” But the alternative “better than new” aesthetic—that a conspicuous, artful repair actually adds value' - on kintsugi, the art of beautiful repair. [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:28 AM PST - 30 comments
Residents of the Liucunbu village on the outskirts of the capital of the Shaanxi province say they came across a strange fungi-like object as they hit bedrock while drilling a new well. The perplexed villagers decided to call up their local TV station for help, which sent intrepid reporter Ye Yunfeng to their sleepy little hamlet to get down to the bottom of things. Reporter Ye then begins to describe the curious object as the camera pans in on it. "As we can all see, this looks like a type of fungus, on both ends of which you'll find mushroom heads."
"On this side, you can see what looks like a pair of lips," she adds. "And on that side, there is a tiny hole which extends all the way back to this side. The object looks very shiny, and it feels really fleshy and meaty too."
Caroline John who played Liz Shaw, the Third Doctor's companion in the Earth-bound 1970 season of Doctor Who has died. Hers was the first of the Doctor's companions who could be seen as anything like an equal and inspired many of us to follow her into the science profession. posted by feelinglistless at 5:47 AM PST - 41 comments
On Bronies - With all the discussions about gender it's good to see something that doesn't point at guys doing 'non-guy' things and use the word 'freak'. Even if there are plenty of people out there doing exactly that[more inside] posted by lith at 2:16 AM PST - 180 comments
'At Angola Prison in Louisiana, model inmates or "trustees" are encouraged to participate in "hobby craft" as a part of their rehabilitation. Hobby craft is an arts program that involves painting, wood & leather working, taxidermy, furniture building, and many other disciplines.In many cases, they are given special workshops, tools and even private studios to work in.The goods are sold to the public at the prison’s annual rodeo and art fair. The money raised is then split mainly between inmates' families and prison administration, with the inmates themselves receiving only a small amount to buy more materials for the next fair. A sad irony is that this rehabilitation will rarely benefit the prisoners in the outside world because 90% of them have life sentences, and will end up being laid to rest at "The Farm."' A photographic essay. posted by I love to count at 11:56 PM PST - 34 comments
"McPhee describes two things: how Switzerland requires military service from every able-bodied male Swiss citizen—a model later emulated and expanded by Israel—and how the Swiss military has, in effect, wired the entire country to blow in the event of foreign invasion. To keep enemy armies out, bridges will be dynamited and, whenever possible, deliberately collapsed onto other roads and bridges below; hills have been weaponized to be activated as valley-sweeping artificial landslides; mountain tunnels will be sealed from within to act as nuclear-proof air raid shelters; and much more." (via) posted by vidur at 9:00 PM PST - 100 comments
"What facts about the United States do foreigners not believe until they come to America? In the episode "True Urban Legends" [originally aired 4.23.2010] of This American Life, Mary Wiltenburg asks refugees to share the rumors they'd heard about America but didn't think were true, only to discover on arrival that they were. Examples include homelessness and Christmas lights." Quora members weigh in. [more inside] posted by ericb at 3:05 PM PST - 472 comments
That is the structure of scientific revolutions: normal science with a paradigm and a dedication to solving puzzles; followed by serious anomalies, which lead to a crisis; and finally resolution of the crisis by a new paradigm. Another famous word does not occur in the section titles: incommensurability. This is the idea that, in the course of a revolution and paradigm shift, the new ideas and assertions cannot be strictly compared to the old ones. Even if the same words are in use, their very meaning has changed. That in turn led to the idea that a new theory was not chosen to replace an old one, because it was true but more because of a change in world view. The book ends with the disconcerting thought that progress in science is not a simple line leading to the truth. It is more progress away from less adequate conceptions of, and interactions with, the world.via 3quarksdaily posted by cgc373 at 2:02 PM PST - 37 comments
The 2012 Tour Divide kicked off on the 8th of June. This grand tour takes self-supported cyclists from Banff, AB CA to Antelope Wells, NM, USA along the North American Continental Divide. Riders must endure 4418 km (2745 miles) of dirt and gravel, with over 60,000 meters (200,000 ft) of climbing. If you want to win - plan on riding 16+ hours a day. Participants are now spread across the route, with the leader approaching the Colorado border. posted by aganders3 at 11:18 AM PST - 13 comments
Julian Assange has breached his bail conditions in London and is currently petitioning for asylum in the Ecuadorean Embassy. It is uncertain whether asylum will be granted, though Assange has a personal friendship with Rafael Correa, the president of Ecuador. If his asylum bid is successful however, it is unclear how he would get from the safe haven of the six room embassy office to Ecuador without being arrested by British authorities. Such stalemates have happened before. Cardinal József Mindszenty was unable to leave the US Embassy building in Budapest for fifteen years after being granted asylum. The Siberian Seven were a group of seven political refugees who lived in a twelve foot by twenty foot room in the basement of the US embassy in Moscow for five years after being granted asylum in 1978. And in 1989, Chinese scientist and political activist Fang Lizhi was granted asylum at the US embassy in Beijing following the Tiananmen Square Massacre. He lived in the office for thirteen months before being allowed safe passage to Britain. [more inside] posted by 256 at 11:05 AM PST - 402 comments
In the late 1970s the UK's Anglia Television ran a respected weekly documentary series: Science Report. But when the show was cancelled in 1977, the producers decided to channel Orson Welles in their final episode. The result was Alternative 3. Over the course of the hour, the audience would learn that a Science Report investigation into the UK "brain drain" had uncovered shocking revelations: man-made pollution had resulted in catastrophic climate change, the Earth would soon be rendered uninhabitable, and a secret American / Soviet joint plan was in place to establish colonies on the Moon and Mars. The show ended with footage of a US/Soviet Mars landing from May 22, 1962. After Alternative 3 aired, thousands of panicked viewers phoned the production company and demanded to know how long they had left to change planets.[more inside] posted by zarq at 10:28 AM PST - 22 comments
Brian Vander Lee remains on life support, after being hit in the head at a restaurant on Sunday, by Minneapoiis police sergeant David Clifford. Although Vander Lee is expected to live, many do not. One punch homicides are more common than you might think.
"At 9 a.m. the next day, Tuomisto called police and turned himself in."When will I get to tell my story?" he asked from the back of the squad car.
"Fucking one punch," he said. "I don't know how this happened." posted by Xurando at 6:37 AM PST - 126 comments
"The world of entertainment still, all too often, values women only as objects of beauty to be placed on screen and ogled. [...] [T]he world is full of other women who have profound, intelligent, often hilarious things to say, and Dunham is very quietly making a space for those voices on TV, in a way that’s revolutionary both in terms of the show’s gender politics and in terms of its presentation. - AVClub critic TodVanDerWerff on "how [the HBO show] Girls challenges the masculine expectations of 'good TV.'"[more inside] posted by coraline at 12:51 AM PST - 155 comments
Fatman on Batman, Kevin Smith's new podcast on all things Batman, so far featuring excellent interviews with Batman: The Animated Series alumni Paul Dini and Mark Hamill. (WARNING: Contains Kevin Smith. But he is knowlegable about the subject, asks goods questions and shuts up and listens to the answers. Yes I am as suprised as you are. Also you probably want to mash forwards hard for the ads at the begining. Also maybe some stuff at the end of his conversation with Paul Dini... shudder. And dear god! That picture! What the hell? Is he... is he? I don't want to think about it. But seriously, very good.) posted by Artw at 11:35 PM PST - 30 comments
A few months after he buried his son, Francisco Reynoso began getting notices in the mail. Then the debt collectors came calling. Now, he's suffering a Kafkaesque ordeal in which he's hounded to repay loans that funded an education his son will never get to use — loans that he has little hope of ever paying off. Despite the help of a lawyer, Reynoso has not been able to determine exactly how much he owes, or even what company holds his loans. posted by unSane at 6:31 PM PST - 59 comments
Adam Sandler's House of CrueltyNow in his forties, Sandler is still remaking the same undemanding goofball comedies he's been churning out since he was in his twenties, about crude, infantile characters who behave like crude, infantile characters who are much younger -- which is the essence of the have-it-both-ways regression that has been his career hallmark. posted by Christ, what an asshole at 10:43 AM PST - 179 comments
"The Big Train" and other classic 1950s and 60s publicity reels from the New York Central Railroad. Lots of footage of trains, railroad infrastructure, well-dressed office minions, teletypes, punchcard machines, men in white lab coats, bubbling beakers, and even an "atomic signal light." [more inside] posted by Kadin2048 at 8:51 AM PST - 10 comments
"A single pair of these gleaming mollusks sold at a Puget Sound dock could pay for an upscale Seattle dinner for two. A half-dozen sold in a Hong Kong grocery could fetch nearly enough cash to make a four-figure mortgage payment. Three milk crates of these shellfish purchased at a Shanghai restaurant could pay for a year of undergraduate tuition at the University of Washington." The Seattle Times investigates undocumented clams, and Business Week explores the impact on Native Americans. [more inside] posted by HMSSM at 12:11 AM PST - 43 comments
My Son’s Zelda Nursery: "This is what has been keeping me busy for the past 3 months. As soon as I found out we were having a boy I knew I wanted his room to inspire adventure, creativity, and exploration. Having a place to like that to grow up in would be amazing!" [via] [more inside] posted by Fizz at 3:05 PM PST - 56 comments
The Comedy Carpet is an enormous public typographic artwork in Blackpool, England, for decades a waystation for every stand-up comedian and comedy troupe in the country. This giant expanse of typography – like a football field of flat concrete you can read and walk on – displays every punchline and catchphrase of 20th-century British comedy, up to and including the entire Monty Python “Parrot Sketch.” Designer Andy Altmann gives a talk (direct Vimeo version) describing the immense design, computation, and construction work that went into fitting all those letters together. [more inside] posted by joeclark at 11:54 AM PST - 11 comments
Silent march by thousands protest NYPD's stop-and-frisk tactics. 'Nearly 300 civil rights groups were represented in the 30-block walk, from elected officials and labor union members to New York residents angry about how they're being treated when they walk the streets. Critics say the NYPD's practice of stopping, questioning and searching people who police consider suspicious is illegal and humiliating to hundreds of thousands of law-abiding blacks and Hispanics. Last year, the NYPD stopped close to 700,000 people, up from more than 90,000 a decade ago.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 11:31 AM PST - 55 comments
Nissan's BatmobilelikeDeltaWing in collaboration with Dan Gurney's All American Racers and others is car initially made to be the new IndyCar but ultimately made to contest the 24 Hours of Le Mans and possibly American Le Mans using half the amount of tyres and fuel as any car. It managed to run for 6 of the 24 hours before being taken out in the race. posted by juiceCake at 9:11 AM PST - 37 comments
The wonderful, and fairly rare, 13-part documentary series from 1980 - Hollywood: A Celebration of the American Silent Film - is narrated by James Mason for Thames Television. Episode One - The Pioneers - [52 mins] [the rest are linked inside] shows:-
"the evolution of film from penny arcade curiosity to art form, from what was considered the first plot driven film, The Great Train Robbery, through to The Birth of a Nation, films showing the power of the medium. Early Technicolor footage, along with other color technologies, are also featured. Interviews include Lillian Gish, Jackie Coogan and King Vidor.*"
One Minute Vacation is a short video of a two month trip to Asia cut together from one-second-per-day segments which creates a fantastic context-free moving snapshot of the locations and people. [slyt] [via] posted by quin at 6:16 AM PST - 14 comments
Raising the Dead:'At the bottom of the biggest underwater cave in the world, diving deeper than almost anyone had ever gone, Dave Shaw found the body of a young man who had disappeared ten years earlier. What happened after Shaw promised to go back is nearly unbelievable—unless you believe in ghosts.' posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:47 PM PST - 68 comments
When divorced mother Jean Hilliker was discovered murdered under lurid circumstances in 1958, it came as no surprise that her young son James grew up a bit disturbed. Sent to live with his alcoholic accountant father, a man with "a 12 (to 16) inch schvantz " who had purportedly once "poured the pork to Rita Hayworth", James Ellroy became obsessed with his mother's murder. Some of this obsession was transferred to police procedure, detective novels and especially the spectacularly grisly murder case of Elizabeth Short, also known as the Black Dahlia. [more inside] posted by jake1 at 3:24 PM PST - 86 comments
Upgrade Your Nintendo 3DS’s Sound. [SLYT] "Of the variety of things one might find to complain about in regards to the Nintendo 3DS, the sound doesn’t immediately come to mind. It’s not great sound, mind, but there are a litany of things that are more obvious. Thanks to one intrepid inventor, however, you are now just a series of tubes, clips and metal funnels away from awesome sound. Now, in order to figure out the exact combination of these things you’ll need to translate the instructions from Japanese." [Via]. posted by Fizz at 2:59 PM PST - 14 comments
Isle of Spagg... On the other side of the Vertic Sea where things are distinctly fishier, lives the proud fisherman Inger and his half-mermaid (but not the half you'd expect) daughter Herring. When the least respected old character on the island dies, conflict ensues and a favorite garment is ruined. Meanwhile two haberdashers with a checkered past deal with their own loss. Can Dr. Beez or one of the Oracles help? Can the Isle's 15 minstrels make music to make things better? And what about little Claude? It all happens in a 30 minute cartoon from the Brothers McLeod, Greg and Myles, who have also animated (scroll down for video clips) Fuggy Fuggy for MTV, Pablo and Frankensheep and Quiff and Boot for the BBC, Billy for the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Existential Pleading of the Inner Heart for anybody who wants it and other very random stuff. posted by oneswellfoop at 2:02 AM PST - 4 comments
"You are in a spooky cave. Lying on the floor you can see a skull covered with cobwebs and there are rats scurrying through the shadows bent on who knows what acts of unhygiene.
You shudder and clutch your terrapin to you for comfort. You review the poor life choices that led you to this unwholesome spot. On a walking holiday in the hinterlands, you foolishly walked off the designated walking path and struck out on your own. In a deep scary forest you saw the cave entrance and in a moment of rash curiosity ventured in. Little did you suspect what was about to befall...
Now in your dismal predicament you deplore the neglect and slovenliness around you and prepare to leave. But just then there comes the faint sound of singing drifting out of the depths of the cavern. It seems... somehow familiar...
Curiously, you venture in that direction, descending deeper and deeper into the bowels of the earth as sinister stalactites drip around you and evil bats wheel overhead and shriek like your ex-wife when you had suggested playing certain harmless dressing-up games with her.
At the end of the tunnel you come to a rotting oak door with rusty iron hinges. The handle is in the shape of a skull! From behind it you hear a vaulting tenor voice singing forlornly...
It's queen Elizabeth II's official birthday today and she celebrated by making Grant Morrison, writer of St Swithins Day, in which the protagonist sets out to kill Maggie Thatcher, as well as The New Adventures of Hitler, depicting Hitlers adventures in Liverpool being serenaded by Morrisey, a member of the Order of the British Empire. [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 7:34 AM PST - 104 comments
In 1989 the Japanese Government passed the Media Betterment Act, permitting censorship of any media deemed to be harmful to society. On the basis of the imperative for libraries to resist any attempts at suppression of free speech, local governments created an armed resistance force to combat censorship. The conflict between the government and library forces continues to 2019, where the story of Library War begins. [more inside] posted by 23 at 11:07 PM PST - 12 comments
Voyager I is now leaving the heliosphere, and is entering interstellar space. "With absolutely no attempt at hyperbole at all, it is fair to say that this is one of - if not the - biggest achievement of the human race. For, as we speak, an object conceived in the human mind, and built by our tools, and launched from our planet, is sailing out of the further depths of our solar system - and will be the first object made by man to sail out into interstellar space." posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:38 PM PST - 113 comments
Conan O'Brian, at the end of 4 days of broadcasting from Chicago, sends "the nicest, most polite person we know"--Jack McBrayer, who plays the rube Kenneth on 30 Rock--to The Wiener's Circle, notorious as much for the vulgar insults served up by its hostile staff as for its hot dogs. When things don't go so well for meek Jack, he calls in some backup. posted by drlith at 4:58 PM PST - 78 comments
Isle Royale is a 206 square mile island in Lake Superior, over 15 miles from the mainland. Most years, it is isolated from the mainland. The moose and wolf populations of Isle Royale are isolated, and wholly interconnected with each other.
In the last decade there has been a decline in the wolf population on Isle Royale. Recent evidence shows that the wolf population has collapsed. [more inside] posted by Elly Vortex at 8:37 AM PST - 33 comments
"Thefight for same-sex marriage rights in Illinois took an unprecedented turn Thursday as Cook County State's Attorney Anita Alvarez conceded that the state's ban on gay marriage violates the Illinois Constitution, essentially agreeing with a pair of lawsuits her office was expected to oppose. It marks the first time a state has refused to contest a lawsuit questioning the constitutionality of a gay marriage ban. The Illinois attorney general's office, which would be next in line to defend the state's constitution, already had announced plans to file a brief in support of the lawsuits brought by Lambda Legal and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois." posted by nooneyouknow at 8:14 AM PST - 79 comments
"Adrian Owen still gets animated when he talks about patient 23. The patient was only 24 years old when his life was devastated by a car accident. Alive but unresponsive, he had been languishing in what neurologists refer to as a vegetative state for five years, when Owen, a neuro-scientist then at the University of Cambridge, UK, and his colleagues at the University of Liège in Belgium, put him into a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machine and started asking him questions. Incredibly, he provided answers." posted by jquinby at 7:33 AM PST - 31 comments
“I’m the president of a videogame company (www.valvesoftware.com).”
I thought to myself: Oh, not another “business proposal” from a crackpot… However, something in my head stopped my finger from pressing DEL while my eyes pondered the next line:
“We are running into a bunch of problems as we scale up our virtual economies, and as we link economies together. Would you be interested in consulting with us?”
Our Man in Great Neck: 'In June 1982, my grandparents, Murray and Helene Cohen, traveled to the Soviet Union as part of a secret mission headed by the Great Neck chapter of the long island Committee for Soviet Jewry in order to pass information and contraband goods to Jews attempting to leave Russia.' posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:55 PM PST - 1 comments
An op-ed in today's New York Times promotes replacing public loans for university students with private equity contracts, wherein funding firms would receive a percentage of graduates' earnings. [more inside] posted by junco at 2:45 PM PST - 262 comments
In addition to removing the duty to retreat when outside the home, Florida's 2005 "Stand Your Ground" law removed the civil liability to offenders who had acted within the law and added a presumption of reasonable belief of imminent harm necessitating a lethal response. These three elements were present in over 20 other state laws similar to Florida's. The following NBER working paper by two Texas A&M economists provides new statistical evidence that these laws caused a 7 to 9 percent increase in homicides and non-negligent manslaughter. Consider this post a companion to this previously, as well as this previously. [more inside] posted by scunning at 11:29 AM PST - 40 comments
Expedition 31 Flight Engineer Don Pettit relayed some information about photographic techniques used to achieve the images: “My star trail images are made by taking a time exposure of about 10 to 15 minutes. However, with modern digital cameras, 30 seconds is about the longest exposure possible, due to electronic detector noise effectively snowing out the image. To achieve the longer exposures I do what many amateur astronomers do. I take multiple 30-second exposures, then ‘stack’ them using imaging software, thus producing the longer exposure.” posted by xod at 10:15 AM PST - 16 comments
Sin Titulo (to page 1) is a webcomic by Cameron Stewart. Mentioned and recommended previously on Metafilter a few times in the comments, it is now being updated regularly after a long hiatus, which makes right now a promising time to start following the story. It is a mystery thriller and it contains occasional depictions of violence, so it is not suitable for all audiences. [more inside] posted by tykky at 8:01 AM PST - 10 comments
Some great retro images of George Best during his time with the L.A. Aztecs in 1976. Includes this wonderful image of Best and Pele - whats not to like about it? As the article writer says: "George Best. The NASL. adidas retro kit. Pelé in a coral suit.......To be honest, you could probably shoot us now..." posted by marienbad at 7:13 PM PST - 11 comments
5 Pillars of the Abandoned World is a tour through lost landscapes and shrugged off citadels. From the Gothic, Disney villainness ominousness of Miranda Castle to the distant splendor (photo by Cédric Mayence) of the abandoned Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Don't feel left out, North Americans: the US has plenty of holy, holey structures to sweep you off your feet. Fan favorite for urbane decrepitude, Detroit has lots to see. The St. Agnes Catholic Church is the place to be for the religiously inclined ramshackle rambler. Need a place to put up your feet? The Book-Cadillac offers a cozy spot to spread out your tour guide and relax. When you're ready to move on, just head over to MichiganCentralStation and hop on the last train to forever.
The world's an awfully big stage. There's a lot to take in, but don't worry about a thing. Just enjoy the show. There's no hurry; what's already gone isn't going anywhere. [more inside] posted by byanyothername at 12:06 PM PST - 6 comments
"Euphoria", which won the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest (previously), is a #1 in several countries, including Ireland, Austria, and Switzerland Of course, it's not the only song charting internationally that you might never hear on US radio. It should come as no surprise that one can readily find international hits online.
For instance -
Sweden, #4: Panetoz - Dansa Pausa
Sweden, #9: Mange Makers - Drick Den
This doesn't purport to be an exhaustive list, but rather a jumping-off point. [more inside] posted by LSK at 11:14 AM PST - 25 comments
Isaac Chotiner reviews Jonah Lehrer's Imagine: How Creativity Works.Imagine is really a pop-science book, which these days usually means that it is an exercise in laboratory-approved self-help. Like Malcolm Gladwell and David Brooks, Lehrer writes self-help for people who would be embarrassed to be seen reading it. For this reason, their chestnuts must be roasted in “studies” and given a scientific gloss. The surrender to brain science is particularly zeitgeisty. posted by shivohum at 7:38 AM PST - 29 comments
Cats: fluffy balls of love or evil manipulative bastards?
Science says yes!
The purring of a happy cat is one of nature's simple pleasures, but science has discovered a disturbing signal buried within the purr. posted by Mezentian at 4:39 AM PST - 91 comments
Star Wars Relativity V2 created by 16-year-old Paul Vermeesch, is a 1 foot cube Lego model of M.C. Escher's print Relativity, that also re-enacts the original Star Wars trilogy. posted by roofus at 3:18 AM PST - 19 comments
Factum Arte in Madrid has made an animation film based on Giovanni Battista Piranesi's Carceri d'Invenzione prints; and have also built many of his pieces which shows the workings of his imagination, merging his architectural ambitions with his obsessive interest in antiquity.
Giovanni Battista Piranesi was a source of inspiration for, among others, Goya, Poe, Escher, Max Ernst, De Chirico. [more inside] posted by adamvasco at 1:37 AM PST - 4 comments
From 1968 to 1975, Rochdale College existed as co-op housing and as an experimental college, affiliated with the University of Toronto. Before it closed, it was the largest free university in North America. [more inside] posted by frimble at 9:01 PM PST - 13 comments
"Robert Browning Sosman, a physical chemist who died in 1967 at the age of 86, packed many careers into one lifetime. He wrote the definitive book on the chemical compound silica; was the seventh person to hike the entire Appalachian Trail; and, at home in New Jersey, kept a 3,500-strong map collection. He also made a 'significant contribution to the New York dining scene:" his Gustavademecum[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:28 PM PST - 3 comments
When her boyfriend tried to kill the woman with a hammer, her fearless Great Dane jumped in the way, laying over her body and taking most of the blows until the man threw both of them out of a second story window. The dog suffered multiple broken bones in the attack, sparing his owner’s life in the process. [more inside] posted by Lou Stuells at 7:19 PM PST - 58 comments
Gin and Tonic, A Love Story It's summertime, and the sipping is easy. Time for an ode to the magical, malarial-fighting mixture of mother's ruin and tonic. "The final product looked like a box of Crayolas: thin curls of lemon and lime peel, floating pebbles of pink peppercorns, a wedge of star anise, and a few fresh mint leaves, lightly crushed between Andrés’ fingers at the last second. It was everything a gin and tonic hadn’t been before: complex, bracing, a world of sweets and sours and bitters to be discovered in every sip." Bonus: Recipes for making your own tonic water. posted by cyndigo at 3:25 PM PST - 77 comments
With "limp and waxy" needles giving the tree the appearance of a "a glow-in-the-dark star you might find in a kid's bedroom", AlbinoRedwoods lack chlorophyll and grow as a parasite grafted onto another tree. These rarities still manage to grow up to 80 feet tall, and are of interest to those studying the redwood genome. posted by Talkie Toaster at 2:08 PM PST - 16 comments
[This] "is a pre release version of david byrnes first solo album, which was given me by david, when i stayed at his place in alfabet city, in 1981 [...] anyway, the final release differed a lot from this tape, because he used quotes from the quoran in this version, which he had to replace later. i dont know if this version was ever released in any way, shape or form." My Life in the Bush Of Ghosts, David Byrne and Brian Eno posted by xod at 8:48 AM PST - 93 comments
When we got to the gym , there was this balcony [overlooking] the gym, so we didn't walk right in. It was almost, like, suspenseful. We look down and we see Barkley dunking. We see Michael stealing from somebody and doing one of his things where he takes off from outside the lane and double-pumps under the rim. We're like, "Wow, they do this in practice, too?"
Some great insights to the original Dream Team in '92. [more inside] posted by chitown at 7:30 AM PST - 45 comments
Poor potato crop leaves processors short of spuds Canada is facing a potato shortage, mainly because of poor growing conditions last summer. That has sent wholesale prices for some spuds soaring and forced processors such as Toronto-based McCain Foods Ltd. to temporarily close some plants. posted by Blake at 6:51 AM PST - 23 comments
"Blood and Fire" is an episode written by David Gerrold for possible use on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The script was commissioned and written, but never actually filmed because certain studio executives had a negative reaction to its positive depiction of an openly gay couple. It was eventually adapted by Gerrold into a standalone novel.
With Gerrold's permission, Carlos Pedraza rewrote Blood and Fire for the fan series Star Trek: New Voyages. Gerrold did a final draft polish and also directed the episode.
The entire two part episode is available on You Tube: Part 1, Part 2[more inside] posted by wittgenstein at 3:52 AM PST - 10 comments
In 1999, 23-year-old singer-songwriter Bree Sharp recorded "David Duchovny," a fangirl ode to the male star of The X-Files. After the demo tape proved popular in Duchovny's trailer, two X-Files assistants created a celebrity-filled music video as a gag for the show Christmas party. A grainy bootleg of the video quickly went pre-Youtube-viral among X-Philes. Twelve years later, a high-definition version of the "David Duchovny" video sees daylight for the first time. [more inside] posted by nicebookrack at 10:20 PM PST - 67 comments
"There is a mountain towering over us, the engulfing light at its peak drawing closer with each step. But this mountain need not be a spectre. It can instead be a warden — a lighthouse guiding us home, waiting patiently for our return. We soar up its slopes, our hearts glad. We are tiny, we are empty, we know nothing — and how very beautiful that ultimate truth is."
Over the Precipice - an essay on Playstation 3 game Journey. posted by Sebmojo at 4:26 PM PST - 19 comments
The Les Paul Estate is up for auction Browse through the Les Paul Estate auction catalog and see the historic collection of guitars, recording equipment, and personal memorabilia owned by Les Paul. Sorry, you cannot bid on these items, the auction finished yesterday. News of the auction results are just coming in now. The auction brought in a total of $5 Million, with the proceeds going to the Les Paul Foundation in support of music education and medical research. [more inside] posted by charlie don't surf at 10:57 AM PST - 40 comments
My father-in-law Jerry is great at word puzzles. Over the holidays, I showed him SpellTower on my iPad. By the time I took my iPad back at the end of the trip, he had already broken the SpellTower “Puzzle Mode” record on the Game Center leader board by almost 100,000 points. So I asked Jerry if he would share his strategy posted by growabrain at 7:28 AM PST - 17 comments
Tails of the Unexpected: "Normality has been an accepted wisdom in economics and finance for a century or more. Yet in real-world systems, nothing could be less normal than normality. Tails should not be unexpected, for they are the rule." An eminently human-readable explanation of why normal models fail to describe the uncertainties of our abnormal world. [more inside] posted by ecmendenhall at 3:06 PM PST - 19 comments
401(k) fees could reduce average nest egg by 30%, study says. 'The average U.S. couple could pay nearly $155,000 in fees for their 401(k) plans over their careers, according to the analysis by Demos, a nonpartisan research organization. Rather than the hypothetical $510,000 that a dual-earner couple could have at retirement with no fees, they would be left with only $355,000. The fees include explicit charges and indirect expenses, such as the cost that mutual funds incur to trade stocks.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:00 PM PST - 86 comments
Minitel bows out It was France's first glimpse of an online future. But now, 30 years after it was invented, the wired experiment that foreshadowed the World Wide Web is about to lose its connection once and for all. posted by Wolof at 6:53 AM PST - 42 comments
The need for speedThis article contrasts two very different timeframes in the 'social life' of the plant stimulant miraa--known elsewhere as khat--in Kenya and beyond. One, the heritage and cultural associations around the age of the trees themselves and the other, the impact of the perishability of the product even as demand for it grows on continents halfway around the world, thus the "need for speed". (Previously) (Previously) posted by infini at 5:35 AM PST - 6 comments
The Flame Challenge: The Center For Communicating Science asked scientists to answer the question, "What is a flame?," in a way that 11-year-olds would understand. Ben Ames won. In addition to his winning video, you can see the runners-up. posted by OmieWise at 12:23 PM PST - 56 comments
Malcolm Gladwell says that he got into journalism by accident, that his real dream was to work for an ad agency. “I decided I wanted to be in advertising. I applied to eighteen advertising agencies in the city of Toronto and received eighteen rejection letters, which I taped in a row on my wall,” he wrote in his What the Dog Saw. If true, then Gladwell didn’t fail at all. Rather, he has achieved his dream of becoming an ad man beyond all expectation.
A chance of a lifetime for aspiring filmmakers: Kevin Spacey stars in three scripts from the Jameson-sponsored First Shot contest. In the phenomenal The Ventriloquist a ventriloquist and his dummy are having a hard time relating to each other and humanity; in The Envelope, a Russian man's hobby fulfills his purpose; and in Spirit of a Denture a mild-mannered dentist faces off with a difficult patient. posted by jocelmeow at 7:50 AM PST - 18 comments
Contrary to what your u9 soccer trophy suggests, your glowing seventh grade report card, despite every assurance of a certain corpulent purple dinosaur, that nice Mister Rogers and your batty Aunt Sylvia, no matter how often your maternal caped crusader has swooped in to save you... you’re nothing special.
In a few weeks, Peter Molyneux (Fable, Black & White) will launch the first of 22 gaming/social media experiments. Curiosity will have one winner, with DLC available for up to £50,000. posted by yellowbinder at 7:27 PM PST - 30 comments
"Despite the challenges it faces, the Digital Public Library of America has an enthusiastic corps of volunteers and some generous contributors. It seems likely that by this time next year, it will have reached its first milestone and begun operating a metadata exchange of some sort. But what happens after that? Will the library be able to extend the scope of its collection beyond the early years of the last century? Will it be able to offer services that spark the interest of the public? If the DPLA is nothing more than plumbing, the project will have failed to live up to its grand name and its even grander promise." posted by davidjmcgee at 10:42 AM PST - 10 comments
Brother Brain is an artist who makes colorful, vibrant, seamlessly looping animations from classic video games. Click on an image for a larger version, and an annotation of the game that the image comes from. posted by codacorolla at 8:43 AM PST - 17 comments
When the Penn State scandal came out last year, I kept getting tangled in the questions everyone else was getting tangled in: How does an institutional culture arise to condone, or at least ignore, something that, individually, every member knows is wrong? An alumnus of Horace Mann School writes a shocking expose (NYT) of a culture of sexual abuse at the elite prep school, some at the hands of teachers who were allowed to remain for years after accusations were first made. posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:45 PM PST - 34 comments
Because MF Global wouldn't technically own the bonds during their term—they'd be given to the lender as collateral until they matured, when MF Global would repurchase them—it wouldn't have to publicly report swings in the bonds' value.
But here's what was really appealing about this arrangement: Under accounting rules, MF Global could book the anticipated profits from the entire transaction up front, boosting its quarterly earnings. If the trades were big enough, they could make MF Global profitable. And they wouldn't even appear on the firm's balance sheet as debt.
The Feynman Files. For the first time, FBI records for Dr Richard Feynman have been released to the public. They document the Bureau's apparent obsession in the 1950's with outing him as a communist sympathizer, and include notations from several background checks as well as interviews with his colleagues, friends and acquaintances. posted by zarq at 2:55 PM PST - 43 comments
Microsoft at E3. "Microsoft’s new strategy is to pump and smear, like someone squeezing ketchup onto a hamburger bun. They plan to pump the Xbox full of more television, more movies, more music—and then smear all of that content around, across multiple devices. But Microsoft isn’t thinking about “why.” It’s pumping and smearing, pumping and smearing, in the deranged hope that the result will be a delicious hamburger, rather than a soggy mess." posted by Sebmojo at 2:29 PM PST - 77 comments
The death of Palm. Palm once defined the PDA market and created the first smarphones. And then it all fell apart. The Verge has a post-mortem on the last days of the once-proud Palm. The former head of webOS developer relations responds. posted by bitmage at 2:19 PM PST - 68 comments
For his 2008 novel The Museum of Innocence, about a man who obsessively collects objects associated with his beloved and eventually creates a museum of those objects in his beloved's old house, Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk has built a museum in a house in Istanbul containing the objects mentioned in the novel, including a half-eaten ice cream cone (made of plastic) and 4,213 cigarette stubs, complete with lipstick and ice cream stains. Elif Batuman reports on how the museum, which opened in April, came to be. posted by Cash4Lead at 6:25 AM PST - 5 comments
The Faggots And Their Friends Between Revolutions is a 1977 book by Larry Mitchell and Ned Asta. Part manifesto, part allegory, perhaps prophetic at times, certainly inspirational to groups such as the Radical Faeries, a copy long out-of-print book can demand quite a hefty price tag, if one can be found for sale at all. But, finally, the book is available in PDF format (3.8MB, right click to download). If there was ever a "homosexual agenda" in the mid-1970s, this would probably be it. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 8:16 PM PST - 25 comments
. This holds true above all in America, where conglomerate publishing has reached its most advanced state, and different genres of writing are the brainchildren of marketing geniuses and corporate analysts, creating a worthless product as far as literary values are concerned. Why is this phenomenon not being scrutinized to the degree it needs to be? Why is the lack of quality not more transparent? posted by deathpanels at 8:05 PM PST - 41 comments
"You are a junior spelling champion. Your parents have been teaching you at home since you were four." Bee: a choose-your-own-bittersweet-coming-of-age novella by Emily Short. [more inside] posted by Iridic at 2:24 PM PST - 36 comments
Today, the 9th Circuit said a majority of its 26 actively serving judges has voted not to revisit a three-judge panel's 2-1 decision declaring the voter-approved ban to be a violation of the civil rights of gays and lesbians in California. Now that en banc rehearing was denied, the proponents have 90 days to file a petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court, seeking review of the decision striking down Proposition 8. Oral argument would follow a few months later, and then a final decision would be issued by June or July 2013. posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:48 AM PST - 84 comments
The more I tried to conjure the sound in my mind, the more I couldn’t. I wanted to hear what it had to say. Why not? If by evolutionary design an animal’s primary defense is a singular, infamous noise, such an animal must be able to teach us something about listening, right? And all of this comes from a rattle and a spasm. Hundreds of snake tails banging out a primordial choral arrangement inspired by one unmistakable sentiment: "Fuck off." I wanted to hear it. And then I would try to catch one, and maybe, just maybe, I would touch it.
Sadly, a great and little known columnist from Salida, Colorado, has just passed away. His work remains online. His small-town values were the best of small-town values. His political views were well-considered, but not always doctrinaire. Check out his final column for an example of his wit and common sense. I will miss him immensely. (Another Denver columnist I love just checked out - of work, not life, and not voluntarily - Tina Griego: this is her goodbye column.) Our newspaper grows thinner and shriller. posted by kozad at 10:12 PM PST - 12 comments
"My case illustrates how success is always rationalized. People really don’t like to hear success explained away as luck—especially successful people. As they age, and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don’t want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There is a reason for this: the world does not want to acknowledge it either." Michael Lewis's address to the Princeton Class of 2012. posted by vidur at 9:42 PM PST - 58 comments
Although she's not a household name, Marva Whitney is fondly remembered by funk devotees as one of the rawest, brassiest, most powerful divas the music ever produced. Along with fellow funk belters Lyn Collins and Vicki Anderson, Whitney made her name singing with the James Brown Revue for a few years, and her limited, much-sampled recordings for Brown-associated labels now fetch astronomical sums on the collector's market. - AllMusic posted by Trurl at 8:20 PM PST - 8 comments
"If you go into a Web browser and type the full city-nickname combination and add a .com, 27 of those URLs will take you to the official team page." Not so for CharlotteBobcats.com. (autoplaying audio) posted by reenum at 3:52 PM PST - 40 comments
A recent article in the Chronicle of Higher Education tells the story of The Education of Dasmine Cathey, a 23-year-old football player for the University of Memphis. Writer Brad Wolverton met Cathey, who taught himself to read his second year of college, while doing research on student-athletes with severe reading, writing, and learning problems. posted by naturalog at 1:14 PM PST - 43 comments
The United States Department of Defense has generously "decided to give NASA two telescopes as big as, and even more powerful than, the Hubble Space Telescope." They apparently had some antiquated spy satellite hardware sitting around unused and unwanted. NASA still needs to find money to outfit them with recording instruments and pay a team to manage them, which may take 8 years posted by crayz at 12:55 PM PST - 69 comments
Both novels are ridiculously long. Both were largely ignored by the literary and educational establishments, due to their unmistakable whiff of madness (This fear of insanity is, of course, why the literary and educational establishments always miss out on all the good stuff.) They have both, however, found a devoted readership, been hailed as life changing, and have remained in print since publication. Between them, they explain much of our current twenty-first century world, from the underground anarchism of Anonymous and the shift from hierarchies to networks, to the Tea Party and neo-conservative hijack of American politics and the massive shift in wealth distribution towards the super rich. posted by philip-random at 10:39 AM PST - 126 comments
New analysis of archived radio signals have led researchers to what may have been Amelia Earhart's final landing site. Artifacts previously recovered from the site support conclusion. posted by Stagger Lee at 8:04 AM PST - 62 comments
The long and rather surprising history of The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, penned in 1957 by British singer/songwriter Ewan MacColl, has just taken another bold and dramatic turn with Erykah Badu and the Flaming Lips' starkly powerful cover of the song. Oh, and in the accompanying video, they've most certainly upped the ante as far as edgy eroticism in pop music goes, with Badu's sister Nayrok pushing the envelope into the stratosphere. Nota bene: explicit nudity. [NSFW] posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:19 AM PST - 82 comments
...it's true that the progressive passive first appeared in the English language in the second half of the 18th century, replacing what historians of English grammar call the passival.
via Slate posted by ancillary at 11:32 PM PST - 18 comments
Hot Potato Style is a video by New Orleans rapper Nicky Da B made with a little help from Jean Luc Picard, Pee Wee Herman, John Stamos, and Charlie Chaplin (among others). Lyrics are probably slightly not safe for work. posted by codacorolla at 4:59 PM PST - 35 comments
Some critics have noted that there is no indication that those who had what Dr. Bouchard is calling an adverse response to exercise actually had more heart attacks or other bad health outcomes. But Dr. Bouchard said if people wanted to use changes in risk factors to infer that those who exercise are healthier, they could not then turn around and say there is no evidence of harm when the risk factor changes go in the wrong direction. "You can’t have it both ways," Dr. Bouchard said. (SLNYT) posted by Nomyte at 1:44 PM PST - 61 comments
This is Argyrol! (here's their Facebook page (12 people like it!)) A colloidal silver topical anti-microbial ointment, it was used extensively in the first half of the 20th century, mostly for the treatment of gonorrhea. It also bankrolled one of the finest art collections of the 20th century. [more inside] posted by From Bklyn at 1:43 PM PST - 21 comments
“Sexual orientation does make you poor,” says Manohar Elavarthi, a community organizer with Sangama in Bangalore. “Poverty is not just economic – you miss access to so many things: ration cards, inheritance rights, voter ID cards.” In several South Asian countries, there are reports that LGBT people have even been denied access to disaster relief. And homophobia is intricately connected with other divisions in South Asian societies, particularly around gender but also religion and caste.
Yet I saw many signs of hope and change in both India and Nepal. Those transgender sex workers in Chennai have organized a coalition, called V-CAN, of every single community-based organization in the state of Tamil Nadu that serves homosexual or transgender people. Working with the NGO Praxis, they have been able to gain access to some public benefits, such as pensions and registering as “third gender” on government ID cards. Activists in Nepal’s Blue Diamond Society have achieved similar results and more. ~ World Bank blog post posted by infini at 10:55 AM PST - 9 comments
"Such are the exquisite sensitivities that surround every detail in the creation of the National September 11 Memorial Museum, which is being built on land that many revere as hallowed ground. During eight years of planning, every step has been muddied with contention. There have been bitter fights over the museum’s financing, which have delayed its opening until at least next year, as well as continuing arguments over its location, seven stories below ground; which relics should be exhibited; and where unidentified human remains should rest. Even the souvenir key chains to be sold in the gift shop have become a focus of rancor. But nothing has been more fraught than figuring out how to tell the story." posted by davidjmcgee at 9:27 AM PST - 120 comments
For more than two years, scholars and imaging scientists have been using advanced scanning techniques to recover the mostly illegible contents of an 1871 field diary kept by the British explorer David Livingstone in Africa. Low on paper and ink, the explorer had resorted to writing on newspaper sheets, with ink made from berries, and over time the original document had become almost impossible to read. Now the team has unveiled an online “multispectral critical edition” with images, transcriptions, and relevant notes, making Livingstone’s first-person account accessible again. They’ve also created a “Livingstone Spectral Images Archive” to give anyone who wants it direct access to the images, transcriptions, and metadata the project has created, no strings attached. Almost everything in both the edition and the archive comes with a Creative Commons license that allows the contents to be reused with attribution.[more inside] posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:41 AM PST - 11 comments
Pete Cosey dead at 68. Though he had a career as a session guitarist prior to and had some important appearances after, Cosey is most well known for his brief time playing with Miles Davis (1973 - 1975) during an era of Miles' that has at times confounded critics*. Cosey appeared on Get Up with It, Dark Magus, Agharta and Pangaea with Miles. [more inside] posted by safetyfork at 7:52 AM PST - 14 comments
FaceTracker is an example of a complex technique that builds on top of a series of computer vision, image processing, and machine learning functions in order to achieve its result. Here's an interview with Kyle McDonald, artist and researcher in New York with a background in computer science and philosophy. He released FaceOSC, a tool for prototyping face-based interaction. Kyle has a growing body of work that uses face tracking in an artistic context, notably Face Substitution. posted by netbros at 9:22 PM PST - 12 comments
The US has lost a quarter of its high-tech jobs since 2000, the number declining by 687,000. A veteran headhunter opines on the causes: The technical jobs in Silicon Valley are hard to fill with Americans...I get email every day from new grads, asking for help finding jobs, but honestly, most are Indian or Chinese, not many Americans. He cites a NYT article which claims that the reason iPhone manufacturing doesn't happen in the US is that Apple’s executives believe the vast scale of overseas factories as well as the flexibility, diligence and industrial skills of foreign workers have so outpaced their American counterparts that “Made in the U.S.A.” is no longer a viable option for most Apple products. posted by shivohum at 3:13 PM PST - 107 comments
The Costa Concordia ran onto rocks and capsized last year. It's been sitting there ever since. A consortium of Titan Salvage and Mericoperi have just gotten approval for a plan to refloat it and take it to an Italian port to be scrapped. The project is just beginning and it's expected to be finished in about a year. [more inside] posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:48 PM PST - 21 comments
At least the South Africans acknowledged the ownership of 400,000 square miles of South Africa by the original native inhabitants. We would regard [Ian Smith, the then Prime Minister of Rhodesia] as going entirely berserk in Rhodesia if he acknowledged no native land rights at all. But the position in Australia is that we acknowledge no native land rights whatever. We took the lot with our proclamations of sovereignty.
The photograph of 9 year old Phan Thi Kim Phuc (often referred to as the "napalm girl"), taken nearly 40 years ago on June 8th in 1972 by press photographer Nick Ut, won a Pulitzer Prize at the time and became one of the most important images from the Vietnam War era. [more inside] posted by HuronBob at 6:41 AM PST - 39 comments
It all comes down to race. Michael Tesler, expanding upon the research of his mentor David Sears, has found racial bias to be a strong indicator of people's opinions on a myriad of political and other issues. The effect extended even to issues that normally would be the most stable and to opinions that would seem divorced from politics. [more inside] posted by caddis at 4:58 AM PST - 34 comments
After a year without Mubarak, Egypt is about to get a much longer reprieve: the 84-year-old former president has been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the deaths of protestors during last year's popular uprising. The former Interior Minister—though not his aides—will also be cooling his heels in a Cairo jail. The effects of this news on national elections, with runoffs to be held in just a few weeks, remains to be seen. posted by whitewall at 2:33 AM PST - 10 comments
The Indian Memory Project "is an online, curated, visual and oral-history based archive that traces a personal history of the Indian Subcontinent, its people, cultures, professions, cities, development, traditions, circumstances and their consequences." See for example, Sarees, or Migration. posted by dhruva at 7:21 PM PST - 4 comments
While reading an e-book copy of War and Peace on his Nook, North Carolina blogger Philip noticed a minor glitch in the text: "It was as if a light had been Nookd in a carved and painted lantern." He ignored it and moved on, but then encountered a similar error shortly thereafter. As it turned out, the word "kindle" had been systematically replaced by "Nook" throughout the whole book. [more inside] posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:34 PM PST - 67 comments
"The judge in the George Zimmerman [who is accused of killing teenager Trayvon Martin] second-degree murder trial revoked his bond today and ordered him to surrender himself in 48 hours. Prosecutors had filed a motion today seeking to revoke his bond and accusing Zimmerman of 'deceiving' the court about his finances and his possession of a second passport, which he apparently acquired two weeks after the shooting....In conversations Zimmerman and his wife speak in code -- reducing the amounts in their financial accounts by a factor of 1,000. Prosecutors said the couple knew that their jailhouse conversations were likely being recorded. The new documents show that Zimmerman had $135,000 in his bank account the day before his bail hearing -- in which he declared himself financially indigent." Zimmerman has 48 hours to turn himself in. posted by ericb at 11:55 AM PST - 640 comments
In the 1950s, Maurice Stokes was a superstar basketball player for the Rochester (later Cincinnati) Royals. Stokes was Rookie of the Year and an NBA All-Star in each of his three seasons, trailing only Bill Russell and Oscar Robertson in scoring. But at age 24, a brain injury sustained in the last game of the 1958 season left him almost completely paralyzed. With his teammate alone in an unfamiliar city, Jack Twyman became his guardian and advocate. Stokes died in 1970, after years of care and friendship with the Twyman family; Jack Twyman [NYT] died yesterday.[more inside] posted by Madamina at 10:31 AM PST - 10 comments
Missed the transit of Venus in 2004? Want to know if you'll be able to see the transit on June 5/6 from your location? Want a free badge-of-geekhood app for your iPhone? It's all right here![more inside] posted by Quietgal at 8:45 AM PST - 27 comments
Up There (Vimeo). Ever seen those hand-painted high-rise advertisements, and wondered at the people behind them? This 12min documentary is a fascinating glimpse into the work of the painters, where apprentices spend years learning from their teachers before being allowed to paint. posted by Petrot at 4:03 AM PST - 9 comments