The Mormon church's plaza walkway runs through the heart of downtown Salt Lake. It was originally a public sidewalk, and is still used as such by the city's downtown residents. It is common to see couples holding hands and walking arm in arm as they stroll. This hasn't been a problem, until recently. The church claims the couple was necking and groping. Video obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune doesn't show this., but it does show Mormon security in action. Charges were dropped, and the city's gay community is weighing in with a series of "kiss-ins." posted by Crotalus at 5:41 PM PST - 46 comments
Friday Flash Fun: William and Sly is a relaxing and fun side-scoller, reminiscent of Knytt and other recent "atmospheric" flash games. You play as Sly, the pet fox of William, and the game involves exploring the mountains and forests around William's house. posted by i less than three nsima at 1:49 PM PST - 10 comments
Friday Frivolity. We use only the finest baby frogs, dew-picked and flown from Iraq, cleansed in the finest quality spring water, lightly killed, and then sealed in a succulent Swiss quintuple smooth treble cream milk chocolate envelope, and lovingly frosted with glucose. A recipe for the infamous Crunchy Frog. No frogs were killed in the making of this recipe. (via Neatorama) posted by caddis at 12:37 PM PST - 35 comments
Symbolic Gestures. How, exactly, does a simple picture go about telling you, "Be careful here. It's cold, and sometimes ice forms on the roof, and it can fall off, and it can be sharp, and that can hurt you"? Inspired by the upcoming Ken Burns documentary, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, Jesse Smith of The Smart Set examines the pictograph designs that convey important information to park visitors. [more inside] posted by amyms at 9:12 AM PST - 35 comments
Peter Morville is widely recognized as a father of the information architecture field, and he serves as an advocate for the critical roles that search and findability play in defining web user experience. His recent project titled Search Patterns, is a sandbox for collecting search examples, patterns, and anti-patterns; for example spime search, the ability to query objects in motion and find things in the real world. Morville is also on the editorial board of the new Journal of Information Architecture. posted by netbros at 8:06 AM PST - 4 comments
Apologies in advance for yet another reddit link, but I thought these were worthy enough to post for the uninitiated. Reddit, a link aggregator site, is often dismissed as another digg, 4chan, or fark, perhaps justifiably so. Users, however, know there's some excellent subreddits (among the thousands) lurking beneath the main page... [more inside] posted by thisperon at 12:48 AM PST - 61 comments
Fox have offocially announced that Ridley Scott has officially signed on to direct the new 'Alien' prequel. He certainly did a great job on the original but can he match his previous truimph? Given the number of projects he has in gestation (heh) maybe any celebration is premature... posted by Mintyblonde at 12:31 AM PST - 166 comments
Michael Savage unplugged. Behind the scenes. "This year, Savage is celebrating the fifteenth anniversary of his radio career. On the air one day, he marked the occasion in typically perverse fashion: by thinking of all the listeners who stuck around, and all the ones who didn’t. “Some were fifteen, they’re now thirty,” he said. “Some were five, they’re now twenty. They grew up on me. Their fathers are dead; the guys who had it playing in the car are gone. They’re still here, they can’t believe it. I’m their voice of freedom. I’m the last hope. I’m the beacon. I’m the Statue of Liberty. I’m Michael Savage. I’ll be back."” posted by Xurando at 6:08 PM PST - 94 comments
Improving the Density of Jammed Disordered Packings using Ellipsoids "We suggest that the higher density is directly related to the higher number of degrees of free- dom per particle and thus the larger number of particle contacts required to mechanically stabilize the packing... Our results have implications for a broad range of scientific disciplines, ranging from the properties of granular media and ceramics to glass formation and discrete geometry." posted by ShadePlant at 6:01 PM PST - 17 comments
Epic Mickey: a dystopian, steampunk version of the Disney world and characters we all know and love (we love them, right?) from Junction Point Studios. [more inside] posted by pixlboi at 11:55 AM PST - 51 comments
Need fabric? Not sure where to start? MoreCloth will help you out. Each colour bar will link you to swatches, then onto where to purchase on etsy. [more inside] posted by mippy at 9:24 AM PST - 13 comments
Twilight of the Neandertals - "Some 28,000 years ago in what is now the British territory of Gibraltar, a group of Neandertals eked out a living along the rocky Mediterranean coast. They were quite possibly the last of their kind [meanwhile] around 30,000 years ago, the number of modern humans who lived to be old enough to be grandparents began to skyrocket." (via) [more inside] posted by kliuless at 5:54 AM PST - 44 comments
Colonel Muammar al-Gadaffi, Leader and Guide of the Revolution, has been consulting with two US-based PR / lobbying companies—The Livingston Group (Sourcewatch) and Monitor (Sourcewatch)—to effect the rebranding of Gadaffi's Libya as a desirable and trustworthy ally of the United States. Confidential documents from these consultations have been obtained and posted online by a Libyan opposition group called NCLO. They include fee quotes, progress reports, and mission plans, as well as a personal tutorial curriculum for Gaddafi's son. Via LRBlog[more inside] posted by stammer at 7:38 PM PST - 27 comments
If you’re into crafting, you’ve probably stumbled upon Craftster, a crafting community web log within which members can post pictures and documentation of their own crafts and processes, share information and tutorials, and get feedback. The crafts tend to be off-beat and original and many involve upcycling – this is not a site where one would proudly post pictures of a completed paint-by-numbers or rug hooking kit project. The Craftster esprit de corps is nicely expressed by its slogans, which include, “No tea cosies without irony”, “Knit fast. Die Warm”, “Measure twice, cut once. Meh. Just start cutting”, and “Cheaper than therapy”. Craftster was launched in 2003, has 700,000 visitors a month, and, besides posting and discussion boards for every possible subset of crafting, its features include a calendar of forthcoming crafting events, member-created city guides to craft resources in your area, and staff-written articles. But I especially wanted to draw your attention to the Craftster Craft Challenges, the first one of which was announced on April 28, 2005. If you’re competitive and crafty, you have just enough time to whip up something for the 41st crafting challenge, which is to create an “edible craft” (the entry posting window is August 1st to August 5th). For inspiration, check out the 40 previous Craft Challenges. [more inside] posted by orange swan at 2:16 PM PST - 21 comments
Used as postcards and for advertising, phono postcards were a single-sided phonograph record stuck on a card with a hole punched through. The Weco cards stand out with their use of photography (with the clothes sometimes painted on) and see-through vinyl. posted by tellurian at 12:23 PM PST - 12 comments
Scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center have been testing the possibility that a blue food dye found in Gatorade and blue M&Ms could assist in healing spinal cord injuries, and oh who cares OMG blue rats look! posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:16 AM PST - 51 comments
I know from playing the video games of that era that tiny sprites can be very powerful. Maybe it’s because we can project a lot of emotion onto them, or maybe because they’re small and they have big eyes and big heads like children. I don’t know.The Adventures of Ledo & Ix, along with an interview with the filmmaker. (via) posted by The Devil Tesla at 9:00 PM PST - 16 comments
When whales die: Yesterday, a 20-30 foot whale washed up a shore in New Jersey. Officials are going to deal with it by cutting it up into small parts and burying it. In previous incidents, officials tried to explode it into bits that were meant to fall in the ocean and get eaten by seagulls, but that didn't work out [YT] so well, especially for nearby spectators. Even if you want to let it decompose naturally, you have to be careful for spontaneous explosions due to gassy buildup. Especially when transporting it in busy city streets. Oops. When whales die in the ocean, on the other hand, their bodies eventually fall to the sea floor and can start mini ecosystems, where female pink glowstick-like sea worms that harbor the male pink glowstick sea worms inside their bodies live, eat whale bones, and propagate. (Previously on Metafilter: Taiwan explosion) posted by Salamandrous at 2:56 PM PST - 46 comments
Tariq Ali writes in the LRB: -
This is now Obama’s war. He campaigned to send more troops into Afghanistan and to extend the war, if necessary, into Pakistan. These pledges are now being fulfilled. On the day he publicly expressed his sadness at the death of a young Iranian woman caught up in the repression in Tehran, US drones killed 60 people in Pakistan.
Tariq Ali discusses the views of Graham Fuller an ex CIA Kabul station chief who thinks
Obama's Policies are Making the Situation Worse in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
The further view from Asia is that Pakistan wields a double-edged sword and that although the
Pakistan-US plan are falling into place the militants, too, have their mechanisms in place, and they don't plan to deviate. A mighty collision is inevitable.
Meanwhile Kalashnikov demand soars. posted by adamvasco at 1:12 PM PST - 91 comments
Researchers have found that beautiful women have more children than their plainer counterparts and that a higher proportion of those children are female. Those daughters, once adult, also tend to be attractive and so repeat the pattern. posted by monospace at 1:00 PM PST - 111 comments
Astronaut Michael Collins – "I really believe that if the political leaders of the world could see their planet from a distance of 100,000 miles their outlook could be fundamentally changed. That all-important border would be invisible, that noisy argument silenced. The tiny globe would continue to turn, serenely ignoring its subdivisions, presenting a unified façade that would cry out for unified understanding, for homogeneous treatment. The earth must become as it appears: blue and white, not capitalist or Communist; blue and white, not rich or poor; blue and white, not envious or envied." posted by miss lynnster at 10:10 AM PST - 60 comments
The "BonusBeats" tracks on 12" singles were used by DJ's to either extend the mix of the main track, or sometimes played within a dj mix on their own. One DJ mourns their passing. [more inside] posted by analogue at 9:33 AM PST - 15 comments
"For a lot of comics, it's OK to talk about raping women now. That's the new black on the comedy circuit." "One false move, and I'm Jim Davidson." "Don't go thinking I'm the new Bernard Manning. I'm being postmodern and ironic. I understand that what I'm saying is unacceptable." The new offenders of standup comedy. posted by permafrost at 9:12 AM PST - 168 comments
Recently, there have been a host of websites that delight in exposing the inanity and stupidity of our society. There is the granddaddy, Overheard in New York, which recounts silly conversations heard in the Big Apple, as well as a hostofsimilar sites.
There are now a variety of such websites, dedicated to different aspects of our society. [more inside] posted by reenum at 6:53 AM PST - 51 comments
"I once proposed a solution somewhat tongue in cheek to the problem of pensions: turn retirement upside down ... people would be supported by society up to the age of 30. During that period they would study, travel, prepare for a profession, reproduce and give full-time care to their young ... After 30, they would work until they dropped dead or became incapacitated." Letter from physicist Cylon Gonçalves da Silva to The Economist in response to this original article on the problems of an ageing global population. posted by rongorongo at 6:28 AM PST - 32 comments
CSI Myths: The Shaky Science Behind Forensics Forensic science was not developed by scientists. It was mostly created by cops, who were guided by little more than common sense. And as hundreds of criminal cases begin to unravel, many established forensic practices are coming under fire. posted by Pragmatica at 11:21 AM PST - 125 comments
Bradley R. Smith and Mark Weber are at the center of the U.S. Holocaust-revisionism movement. Now they’re feuding with each other. A sensitive and interesting investigative report by Mark Oppenheimer. Via the Daily Dish. posted by shothotbot at 6:03 AM PST - 39 comments
Caijing (财经) is an independent, Beijing-based magazine devoted to reporting on business in China. The publication's title means "Finance and Economics." [more inside] posted by KokuRyu at 8:39 PM PST - 6 comments
An American Sadhu - A seeking of holiness, resulting in disillusionment and abandonment. A very good read about one man's experience meeting a guru and his disciple, and ultimately coming full circle to "you get the guru you deserve". posted by Kickstart70 at 5:58 PM PST - 11 comments
The bike racing world has a tradition of attention-getting designs, but some spectators at this year's Tours of California or France might have done double-takes at some of the art on Lance Armstrong's rides. As it turns out, Trek and Nike have commissioned custom designs promoting Livestrong, and as I write this Lance is cycling into Paris on a bike covered with butterfly wings, courtesy of Damien Hirst. [more inside] posted by ardgedee at 8:01 AM PST - 50 comments
Beijing's underground:"Five years ago, none of my students at Tsinghua or Beida had any interest in what we would call countercultural stuff," says Michael Pettis, a finance professor at Beida's -- that is, Peking University's -- Guanghua School of Management who owns D-22 and the Maybe Mars label. Today Mr. Pettis estimates that a quarter of his students have been to rock clubs and maybe 5% to 10% "are really knowledgeable and sophisticated." posted by kliuless at 7:59 AM PST - 27 comments
Impressed and alarmed by advances in artificial intelligence, a group of computer scientists is debating whether there should be limits on research that might lead to loss of human control over computer-based systems that carry a growing share of society’s workload, from waging war to chatting with customers on the phone. From the NYT: Scientists Worry Machines May Outsmart Man. posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:46 AM PST - 116 comments
Bill Moyers' discussion with two expert analysts of health care, Trudy Lieberman, director of the health and medical reporting program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and Marcia Angell, senior lecturer in social medicine at Harvard Medical School and former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. posted by semmi at 11:36 PM PST - 100 comments
Forgotten Bookmarks. "I work at a used and rare bookstore, and I buy books from people every day. These are the personal, funny, heartbreaking and weird things I find in those books. " posted by milquetoast at 9:33 PM PST - 48 comments
Children Full of Life - grade 4 students in Kanazawa, Japan learn deep life lessons from their incredible teacher and from each other. I strongly recommend this as awesome, but one caveat: keep tissues handy. (5 parts, 40 minutes total, English) posted by madamjujujive at 5:21 PM PST - 48 comments
Exit wounds: - It is the poet's obligation, wrote Plato, to bear witness.
With the official inquiry into Iraq imminent and the war in Afghanistan returning dead teenagers; Carol Duffy, recently elected UK Poet Laureate invited a range of her fellow poets to bear witness, each in their own way, to these matters of war.
More about the poets inside: [more inside] posted by adamvasco at 12:31 PM PST - 13 comments
There's an old saying favoured by combat engineers, motorcyclists and technicians everywhere: If it moves and it shouldn't, gaffer-tape it. If it doesn't move and it should, WD-40 it. This week, John Barry, the guy who invented WD-40 on his 40th try (hence the name; Water Displacement, formula 40) met his demise. posted by SharQ at 12:12 PM PST - 54 comments
"Prisoners of Gravity was the most thoughtful and creative television program ever produced anywhere in the world about the literature of science fiction, and it was a substantial Canadian success story. In first-run, it was one of the most popular series on its originating network, TVOntario, lasting for five seasons and 139 installments." Here are a few of them, with more being added every now and then. [more inside] posted by aldurtregi at 8:01 AM PST - 31 comments
Electronic Arts, the video game publisher that is no stranger to either controversy, is sponsoring a contest for its upcoming release of Dante's Inferno (Previously). The contest, taking place at this weekend's Comic-Con, requires entrants to "commit acts of lust" and take a photo of said act with an EA (or other company's) booth babes, post the photos on Twitter or Facebook, and repeat the process as many times as possible for additional chances to win. The prize is listed in part as "Dinner and a sinful night with two hot girls". [more inside] posted by cmgonzalez at 3:08 PM PST - 136 comments
Talking Points Memo has put together an excellent resource for keeping up with happenings in Washington. Whatever else Twitter might be, we've found it a good way to keep tabs on politicos and reporters, what they're doing, saying and so forth. Pols make unguarded or revealing statements, sometimes just helpful heads-ups on events or statements; reporters give early tips on stories. And just atmospherically you can get a feel for what certain groups of people are thinking and talking about.
Summer Mix Series is the soundtrack to your summer. Created by yewknee.com, this collection of user submitted mix CDs encourages submissions to have unique, specific themes, giving many of these mixes a more cohesive edge than "Bill's Favorite Tunes June 2009". Listen to summer, 48 CDs and counting! [more inside] posted by CharlesV42 at 5:11 AM PST - 17 comments
Peripetics is a short video by Zeitguised that "entails six imaginations of disoriented systems that take a catastrophic turn, including the evolution of educational plant-body-machine models and liquid building materials." [more inside] posted by mhjb at 7:12 PM PST - 16 comments
Suing for libel, UK newspaper proprietor Richard Desmond made a point of denying that he exerts any influence over stories appearing in his papers. He lost his case today, but reading his paper's website, you'd be forgiven for thinking he'd actually won it! [more inside] posted by salo at 3:27 PM PST - 44 comments
Pitcher Mark Buehrle of the Chicago White Sox has thrown a perfect game. A tremendous sporting achievement; this has happened only 19 times in the history of major league baseball. Buehrle is the 17th pitcher in the modern era (since 1900) and the first since Randy Johnson in 2004. posted by uaudio at 1:23 PM PST - 176 comments
The Neuroscience of McGriddles: Evolutionary biology offers hypotheses about why we enjoy eating. "When you eat at McDonald's, a big part of the pleasure comes from the fact that the food is sustenance, fuel, energy. Even mediocre food is a little rewarding." posted by silby at 11:35 AM PST - 82 comments
"Nisan didn’t mean to fall in love with Nemutan. Their first encounter -- at a comic-book convention that Nisan’s gaming friends dragged him to in Tokyo -- was serendipitous. Nisan was wandering aimlessly around the crowded exhibition hall when he suddenly found himself staring into Nemutan’s bright blue eyes... 'I’ve experienced so many amazing things because of her,' Nisan told me, rubbing Nemutan’s leg warmly. 'She has really changed my life.' Nemutan doesn’t really have a leg. She’s a stuffed pillowcase — a 2-D depiction of a character, Nemu, from an X-rated version of a PC video game called Da Capo." The New York Times' Lisa Katayama on "2-D lovers" in Japan, the latest outgrowth of otaku subculture. posted by digaman at 10:53 AM PST - 166 comments
Canadian actor Les Lye, who played many characters on the TV show You Can't Do That on Television, among other roles, has passed away.
Perhaps Mr. Lye's most famous character was Barth, the cafeteria chef on the show.
Someone pour out a bottle of green slime for the man. posted by elder18 at 9:00 AM PST - 95 comments
"This day may be celebrated in a variety of ways. Pause and give thought to the role that the number pi has played in your life. Imagine a world without pi. Attempt to memorise pi to as many decimal places as you can. If you're feeling creative, devise alternative values for pi. Go to a party (I will). Or just celebrate in the time-honoured fashion of ignoring Pi Approximation Day altogether."
Bob Bogash's diatribe spells out the saga of a corporate trainwreck regarding the Boeing 787 widebody project, his readers responding with a slew of theories. Bob, incidentally, was a manager at Boeing's commercial group. The Boeing 787 rollout was celebrated in 2007 right here on MeFi when the prototype was rolled out. Two years later the plane remains grounded with development costs approaching $10 billion, and Boeing announced further setbacks in a conference call yesterday.
The hobbyists and pros and the press weigh in on the news. Bob's site not only addresses the 787 program but raises larger questions about oblique technical and management dichotomies in America's Fortune 500 board rooms. posted by crapmatic at 1:15 AM PST - 44 comments
The Carol Syndrome "Carol's perception that she scares men away is not a delusion after all. … It is not a matter of bad luck but a collateral effect of interactive rationality. A paradoxical consequence is that Carol's attractiveness acts as a repellent." Game theory (mis?)applied to dating. [more inside] posted by Kadin2048 at 9:57 PM PST - 73 comments
Back when he was younger, Jay-Z was a merciless, ruthless killer in the "beefs" which define hip hop politics. [...] As Jay-Z got older and more powerful, the marginal benefits of such battles declined and the costs increased even as the number of would-be rivals escalated. Just as the U.S. attracts resentment and rhetorical anti-Americanism simply by virtue of being on top, so did Jay-Z attract a disproportionate number of attackers.
100 Things Your Kids May Never Know About a rather comprehensive list, ranging from the gone-and-forgotten (22: Using jumpers to set IRQs) to the not-yet-extinct-but going-there (41: Phone books and Yellow Pages). But missing a few like 101: wired.com not being a nostalgia site and 102: getting punished for calling your dad a geek. posted by wendell at 4:51 PM PST - 92 comments
An Outsider's View "Over the past fifty years, factions of biologists have had a complex relationship. Some scientists have continued to carry out relatively traditional natural history work, with little need to delve into molecular (or computational) biology. Others have given little attention to natural history, focusing their efforts instead on deciphering the complexities of a membrane channel, or building new algorithms for identifying open reading frames. In some cases, biologists have bridged this divide, and the result has been a fruitful collaboration. But in other cases—such as the DNA studies on whales and hippos—one group moves into the other's traditional territory, sparking new conflict."[via] posted by dhruva at 3:18 PM PST - 12 comments
BBC iPlayer: As the American phenomenon of the children's beauty pageant hits the UK, this documentary uncovers a surreal new world where nine-year-olds get fake tans and seven-year-olds wear contact lenses. [more inside] posted by nam3d at 8:41 AM PST - 41 comments
The Manhattan Airport Foundation. From the About Us:It doesn’t take long to realize Central Park squanders 843 acres of the most valuable real estate in the world. From the FAQ: To date, nearly 100 investors have signed on to provide approximately $130M in equity with another $80M from the bond market making Manhattan Airport the most ambitious privately-funded airport development project in US history. Apparently this is for reals. posted by allkindsoftime at 6:33 AM PST - 77 comments
This is a firsthand and frantic video of a group of people coming together to rescue a mother and two children who were trapped in an overturned and burning SUV. posted by SpacemanStix at 10:04 PM PST - 73 comments
Hello its me, this is gonna be hard for you to read but I write this knowing every time you thinks shits got to much for you to handle (so don't cry on it MUM!!) you can read this and hopefully it will help you all get through.
For a start SHIT I got hit!! .... As Im writing this letter I can see you all crying and mornin my death but if I could have one wish in an "after life" it would be to stop your crying and continueing your dreams (as I did) because if I were watching only that would brake my heart.
The Present Sound of London -- "I’ve been lured to London by money at the hottest, stickiest time of year. Every time I visit, I’m struck by the noises—not necessarily their volume, but their strangeness and variety in comparison to the quiet humdrum of the provincial town where I live. So this time I’m equipped with an audio recorder." By Giles Turnbull. posted by nthdegx at 4:13 AM PST - 8 comments
"Many banks were concerned about business-sensitive information and requested confidentiality of individual survey responses. Accordingly, pursuant to our legal obligations, SIGTARP is unable in this report to attribute any results or comments to a specific institution. However, SIGTARP is in the process of evaluating recipients’ claims of confidentiality and will provide copies of the individual responses that will include information provided by the banks to the maximum permitted by law. SIGTARP plans to post the responses, redacted as necessary, on its website within 30 days." TARP special inspector general Neil Barofsky posted by RoseyD at 2:25 AM PST - 12 comments
David Rees's comic strip Get Your War On (and video), has been appropriated by Jamba Juice into an animated Flash video. Rees, of course, built Get Your War On using clip art, which makes matters a little trickier. Is Jamba Juice's ad a case of fair use? Or are there enough factors being used here for Rees to have a casus belli? Will we see more advertisements pilfering along these lines? posted by ed at 5:42 PM PST - 71 comments
The research, literary, and copy editors of Vanity Fair go to town on Sarah Palin's resignation speech.
seeing as nearly everyone I talked to at the 10th meetup was an editor of some kind, you'll all get a kick out of this posted by Jon_Evil at 4:57 PM PST - 79 comments
Jimmy Carter leaves the Southern Baptist Church[M]y decision to sever my ties with the Southern Baptist Convention, after six decades, was painful and difficult. It was, however, an unavoidable decision when the convention's leaders, quoting a few carefully selected Bible verses and claiming that Eve was created second to Adam and was responsible for original sin, ordained that women must be "subservient" to their husbands and prohibited from serving as deacons, pastors or chaplains in the military service. This was in conflict with my belief - confirmed in the holy scriptures - that we are all equal in the eyes of God. posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:32 PM PST - 157 comments
The New York Times discusses some of the nation's most atrocious bands in the context of the Vans Warped Tour. We've seen some of these bands on the blue before, but never before has there been this much atrocity in one place. [more inside] posted by LSK at 8:26 AM PST - 170 comments
There's just something about being read to out loud, even if it's over the radio. Wisconsin Public Radio presents Chapter a Day, in which listeners are treated to daily doses of literature (both fiction and non-fiction). The program presents one book at a time, giving listeners the chance to follow stories from beginning to end over a period of weeks. posted by sarabeth at 8:05 PM PST - 25 comments
Time Gentlemen, Please! is a point-n-click adventure game with a style that harks back to LucasArts/ScummVM games like Sam and Max and Maniac Mansion. The game follows two guys as they travel through time, making wise-cracks while trying to save the universe and rollback their contribution to Hitler's rise to power (which happened in Ben There, Dan That, a game that was the JayIsGames Best of 2008) by un-inventing the coat hanger. (note: you don't need to have played the first game - I didn't). [more inside] posted by tybeet at 5:07 PM PST - 21 comments
Wow, what a great discovery I made tonight! You may have heard of "Oblique Strategies" (previously mentioned on MeFi). Subtitled "over one hundred worthwhile dilemmas," it is a deck of cards first created in 1975 by Brian Eno and Peter Schmidt to help jump start creative thinking by having the users draw, read and react to a card bearing an abstruse aphorism. There are by now plenty of online versions (easily googled!) as well as an iPhone app. (More info available at the Oblique Strategies fan page!) I just discovered today, however, that "Oblique Strategies" was not the first in its genre, but rather was following in the very footsteps of Marshall McLuhan! [more inside] posted by Misciel at 4:09 PM PST - 16 comments
Recently, a man's sight was returned to him after losing it for 12 years. How did he do it? Surgeons drilled a hole through one of his canines, put a lens in it, and implanted the construct in his eye. [more inside] posted by scrutiny at 10:21 PM PST - 65 comments
Kommunalka - communal apartments - were begun by the Bolsheviks in Russia at the end of the Russian Revolution to address overcrowding in cities - and also to punish the bourgeoisie who had previously lived in comfort. Kommunalka were an enduring social experiment, where multiple families were assigned by the state to live together in close quarters with no expectation of privacy. It was not uncommon for tenants to spy on each other. Though communism ended in Russia almost two decades ago, Kommunalka stillexist today. posted by contessa at 9:58 PM PST - 18 comments
Ctrl is an NBC webseries starring Tony Hale (Arrested Development's Buster, Chuck's Emmett Milbarge) as an office drone who suddenly finds that, thus far, CTRL-Z lets him undo recent events in his own life, and CTRL-B emboldens him to stand up to his boss and confess his love to the source of his crush. It was based on a short film, Ctrl-Z, starring Hale's Chuck co-star Zachary Levi as the boss. Not exactly a new concept, but nonetheless well-executed by a fairly good comic team ... [more inside] posted by WCityMike at 8:14 PM PST - 38 comments
The simulated brain - "The scientists behind Blue Brain hope to have a virtual human brain functioning in ten years... Dr. Markram began by collecting detailed information about the rat's NCC, down to the level of genes, proteins, molecules and the electrical signals that connect one neuron to another. These complex relationships were then turned into millions of equations, written in software. He then recorded real-world data -- the strength and path of each electrical signal -- directly from rat brains to test the accuracy of the software." Is it possible to digitally simulate a brain accurately? Can it only be analog? And are there quantum effects to be considered? (previously 1234) [more inside] posted by kliuless at 12:21 PM PST - 251 comments
"On the evening of July 5th, several hundred Uighur youths went on a bloody rampage [in Urumqi, Xinjiang] following a peaceful demonstration over a separate incident of ethnic violence at a Guangdong toy factory. . . . In the days that followed, bands of roving Han vigilantes armed with kitchen knives, hammers, metal pipes and other improvised weapons sought to mete out revenge in the Uighur suburbs of the city. . . . Caught in-between these increasingly polarized and agitated ethnic communities is the Chinese state, which, rather than orchestrating the brutal oppression of the non-Han minorities, finds itself increasingly powerless to stop the spiralling circle of ethnic hatred which its policies helped to foster in the first place." [more inside] posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:14 AM PST - 45 comments
Social Skydiving. An introverted programmer and student decides to overcome his social inhibitions by attempting a conversation with a stranger everyday for thirty days and (obligatorily) blogging the results. posted by norabarnacl3 at 8:43 PM PST - 29 comments
"I don't see where there's a story, I'm not the only one that does it." Such is the excuse of patriotic Atwater City (CA) Councilman (and Mayor Pre Tem) Gary Frago for sending out "at least a half-dozen e-mails to city staff and other prominent community members containing racist jokes aimed at President Barack Obama, his wife and black people in general." Frago received some of the e-mail jokes from ex-city worker Bob Rieger and forwarded them on "to various community leaders, 'including a county supervisor, a former police chief, a city manager, a former city council member, a former president of a veterans group, a former grand knight of the Knights of Columbus, among others.'" Rieger said the jokes he sent had no racial meaning. "As far as I'm concerned the e-mails need no explanation," he said. "I sent them out, I'm not concerned with it," he said. [more inside] posted by ericb at 4:10 PM PST - 90 comments
"Immediately, Ike's rumor mill went into a frenzy. Wired magazine posted the criminal complaint against Stancl on its Web site, and kids downloaded the document, which identified the victims by their initials and dates of birth. Then the kids went to Facebook and searched the Eisenhower network by plugging in birth dates. Within minutes they had a full list of the names of the alleged victims, which made the story even more incredible. These were not wayward, damaged boys. They were athletes. Leaders. Popular, college-bound, bright-futured kids. Boys so unimpeachably straight that there was no way you could imagine them doing the things they were supposed to have done with Tony Stancl." posted by Saucy Intruder at 1:15 PM PST - 116 comments
Janey Thomson's Marathon Any longtime fan of 80s arcade game Track & Field and fan of old gaming lore around Desert Bus will no doubt fall in love with this new classic game written in the perfect style of early 80s Konami combined with brutally long punishment games. I gave up after a few minutes but damn did I want to keep going and see the finish. [via mefi projects] posted by mathowie at 11:33 AM PST - 56 comments
Emily Loizeau's Je Suis Jalouse was for me the kind of song that immediately makes you want more. Emily's debut album L'autre bout du monde (The Other Side of the World) was released in 2006. She began studying piano at the age of 5, and cites Georges Brassens, Bob Dylan, and The Beatles as her primary influences. Listen to more wonderfulness with Sister, Je Ne Sais Pas Choisir, or the title track from her debut album. More listening if you are at last.fm posted by lazaruslong at 10:06 AM PST - 5 comments
Crocs face bankruptcy! They sold over 100 million pairs of their practical, stylish yet affordable shoes to George W Bush, Steven Tyler and my overweight aunt amongst others, so where did it all go wrong? One bright note: boxed, early models are already selling on Ebay for big money. posted by johnny novak at 1:05 AM PST - 226 comments
Australian scientists have found the world's oldestpenis. Published Monday in the online version of Nature, the discovery of the 400 million-year-old clasper in an ancient fish specimen shows that animals were gettin' it on earlier than previously thought. Says one study author, "We were surprised because it's so big. We were expecting something smaller." SFW posted by Dilemma at 10:00 PM PST - 34 comments
DNA Not The Same In Every Cell Of Body. "...calls into question one of the most basic assumptions of human genetics: that when it comes to DNA, every cell in the body is essentially identical to every other cell... if it turns out that blood and tissue cells do not match genetically, these ambitious and expensive genome-wide association studies may prove to have been essentially flawed from the outset" posted by GuyZero at 4:13 PM PST - 49 comments
Galactic Arms Race is a new game developed by the Evolutionary Complexity Research Group (EPlex) at the University of Central Florida. The game is a fairly basic 3D space shooter with an interesting angle: all weapons are genetically evolved, not designed by the game's creators. (Windows only, requires XNA installation before play) posted by mkb at 1:39 PM PST - 14 comments
How to win in Afghanistan? Peter Bergen looks at the capability of the Taliban insurgents, NATO troops, and the Afghan army and police, compares the current conflict to the Soviet invasion, and weighs the dangers of civilian casualties and popular support. He concludes that renewed American effort in the fight will "produce a relatively stable and prosperous Central Asian state." (via Matthew Yglesias) posted by Pants! at 11:15 AM PST - 45 comments
Do you let your small children run around naked? "The sexual component of nudity — and a fear of pedophiles — is what makes some adults object entirely to letting children be naked. Jenny Louie said her husband is so uncomfortable when their 4-year-old daughter, Rebecca, is naked that, even if she is alone in her bedroom, in Los Angeles, he will immediately close her shutters." posted by Xurando at 6:13 AM PST - 190 comments
NYU recently invited a Law Professor from Singapore, Thio Li-Ann to teach "Human Rights in Asia".
Thio, also a former Member of Parliament, is infamous for having strong views against homosexuality.
As expected, she is not warmly welcomed by NYU students. [more inside] posted by merv at 6:50 PM PST - 75 comments
Amusing NPR interview with Ms. Case From the NPR show "Not My Job", a rambling and entertaining interview with alt-country, loud singing, red-haired songstress Neko Case. On an unrelated note, I know she's American, but we Canucks like to claim her as our own, what with her Canadian Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and her collaborations with Canadian bands. posted by dbarefoot at 2:40 PM PST - 46 comments
"I can see the audience tonight, so I can see also from the size of it that there must many of you here who are not thoroughly familiar with physics, and also a number that are not too versed in mathematics- and I don't doubt that there are some who know neither physics nor mathematics very well.
That puts a considerable challenge on a speaker who is going to speak on the relation of physics and mathematics- a challenge which I, however, will not accept: I published the title of the talk in clear and precise language, and didn't make it sound like it was something it wasn't- it's the relation of physics and mathematics - and if you find that in some spots it assumes some minor knowledge of physics or mathematics, I cannot help it. It was named."
The Feynman Messenger series at Cornell has been made available online for the first time thanks to Bill Gates. posted by hindmost at 1:21 PM PST - 125 comments
Audio archive from Small's Jazz Club, searchable by instrument, then performer, then date, starting with September 27, 2007.
Hours and hours and hours and hours of the some of the best jazz from New York's downtown scene. Stream and snap your fingers, man. posted by klangklangston at 12:48 PM PST - 19 comments
Scratch is a programming language designed for kids. Programs are created by hooking together jigsaw-puzzle pieces, which are keyed in such a way that it is impossible to create a syntactically incorrect program. [more inside] posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:56 AM PST - 37 comments
UAE phone company pushes BlackBerry update with embedded spyware. The United Arab Emirates phone company Etisalat recently sent out a firmware update to its BlackBerry-using customers, billed as a “performance enhancement patch”. After customers reported the patch degrading their handsets' performance and draining their batteries more rapidly, a programmer examined it and found that it contained spyware from a US company, which could be remotely activated to forward all emails and text messages to a third-party server. [more inside] posted by acb at 7:55 AM PST - 31 comments
Everybody knows about the Google Van now, some love it, some hate it, but it has become an assumed condition now that, if you're near a street, Google Maps might have your picture (I'm at work!). Living further off the path might seem like a solution to avoid detection, but Google has stepped off the roadway and into more scenic routes with the Google Tricycle. Being unpowered and smaller allows Google to get their 360° photographs from vantage points other than the curb in front of your house. Google Street Views won't just include streets anymore: they plan to cover national parks, bicycle paths, college campuses, theme parks, any any other public place which isn't exactly van-friendly. posted by AzraelBrown at 6:17 AM PST - 58 comments
"Working in art film or commercial cinema is like dancing through a mine field, and every broadcaster is now racing down market in a desperate attempt to survive. But what is happening at the BBC is the real scandal: it is bigger than all the rest combined, it is free from direct commercial pressure and its public service obligations carry cultural responsibilities. There are no excuses." Veteran producer Tony Garnett, has launched a blistering attack on the current process of drama commissioning at the BBC posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:43 AM PST - 17 comments
His photographs recorded life along the ScotswoodRoad, the working class district in the West End of Newcastle made famous in Geordie song. James (Jimmy) Forsyth had come to make his home there having volunteered for war work as a fitter in one of the local factories, moving up to Newcastle from his native South Wales. In 1954, aware that change was coming and no longer working having lost an eye in an industrial accident, Forsyth began to document his community and surroundings. A self-taught photographer, Jimmy "picked up a cheap folding camera in one of the pawn shops. There wasn’t much to adjust, just as well, because I’ve never known what to do...I’m just an amateur...just capturing what I knew was going to disappear." Jimmy died last Saturday, aged 95. posted by Abiezer at 8:17 PM PST - 11 comments
Cat-Scan.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their scanners, or why. posted by anotherpanacea at 7:13 AM PST - 568 comments
PingWire is an (almost) live feed of images being posted to Twitpic. Clicking on a thumbnail will take you to the full sized photo.
As it's a live, unfiltered picture feed, you can expect some inappropriate content will make its way on there as well. Best considered NSFW. posted by jim.christian at 11:38 PM PST - 36 comments
Where have you gone, Delino DeShields? Seven years ago, Delino DeShields was released by the Chicago Cubs, ending a 13-year, 5-team journey through Major League Baseball during which he earned almost $29 million. He's now the hitting coach for the Billings Mustangs in the rookie-level Pioneer League, making as much money for the season as he used to make per game. The Washington Post goes to Montana to find out why. [more inside] posted by escabeche at 8:37 PM PST - 17 comments
Today began Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Senate confirmation hearings, with opening remarks from the Senators on the Judiciary Committee, introductions from NY Senators Schumer and Gillibrand, and an opening statement from Judge Sotomayor herself. Among the shouted protests from pro-life advocates in the gallery, highlights included Sen. Lindsay Graham's statement about what he thinks the advise-and-consent function of the senate should entail, and Sen. Al Franken's first real moment in the U.S. Congress. posted by Navelgazer at 6:40 PM PST - 86 comments
Auto-Tune the News #6. I know the Autotune folks aren't exactly new to Metafilter, but, damn, this one's pretty catchy, and it's about the only time I've loved what came out of Rep. Boehner's mouth. posted by WCityMike at 6:26 PM PST - 71 comments
Americans like science. But they think much less highly of American scientists than American scientists themselves do. Most scientists also rate media coverage of science as only fair or poor. Yet public knowledge of some scientific facts is .... not that bad (Section 7). A Pew Research Report reveals all. posted by binturong at 5:44 PM PST - 38 comments
Monday Flash Fun Puzzle: A Short Walk is a fairly simple flash game where you navigate your character from one point to another. You are a human that has been abducted and a progressively more difficult series of tests are administered. posted by schyler523 at 1:59 PM PST - 15 comments
I see what yer doin' there From the "I already knew this but someone did formal research on it" department: Research indicates cats have a "manipulative" purr which differs from normal/pleasure purring. The manipulative purr is specifically used to get food and attention. posted by ShadePlant at 12:12 PM PST - 84 comments
Holdover is a difficult but compelling exploration platform game. Marie must escape from an abandoned scientific research installation, with no assistance other than recordings left by her father decades ago. Makes extensive and very good use of the "hold your breath" mechanics found in many such games. Available both in Japanese and bad English. A more reasonable English translation can be downloaded from the IndieGames weblog and dropped into the game's folder. [more inside] posted by CrunchyFrog at 11:53 PM PST - 10 comments
From these various anthropological approaches, a basic dichotomy has emerged between two types of societies from very different ecosystems: societies born in rain forests and those that thrive in deserts.... Begin with religious beliefs. A striking proportion of rain forest dwellers are polytheistic, worshipping an array of spirits and gods.... But desert dwellers... are usually monotheistic. Of course, despite allegiances to a single deity, other supernatural beings may be involved, like angels and djinns and Satan. But the hierarchy is notable, with minor deities subservient to the Omnipotent One. This division makes ecological sense.... Desert societies, with their far-flung members tending goats and camels, are classic spawning grounds for warrior classes and the accessories of militarism.... Rain forest cultures also are less likely to harbor beliefs about the inferiority of women; you won’t be likely to find rain forest men giving thanks in prayer that they were not created female, as is the case in at least one notable desert-derived religion.... (Previously, previously, previously) posted by orthogonality at 10:26 PM PST - 73 comments
A quiet revolution is taking place in the multiple sclerosis community. Long thought of as purely an autoimmune disease, possibly secondary to Epstein-Barr virus infection or even an STI, MS has never been pinned down to a single cause. Now things are changing, in a big and bloody way: MS appears to be related to abnormalities in veins. [more inside] posted by greatgefilte at 7:34 PM PST - 48 comments
From 1864 to 1904, the Russian Empire tried to quelch the nationalism of Lithuanians by ordering all Lithuanian texts to be printed with Cyrillic characters instead of in the Latin-derived Lithuanian or Polish alphabets. But they didn't count on the Knygnešiai - the Booksmugglers. [more inside] posted by mdonley at 12:17 PM PST - 18 comments
Question Boxes "bring information to people who cannot or do not access the Internet directly. Question Boxes leap over illiteracy, computer illiteracy, lack of networks, and language barriers.... Question Box users can use their mobile phones to call our call centers, or they can use the physical Question Box Units to call for free." The program was started by Rose Shuman, a young American entrepreneur. You can see the questions here. posted by languagehat at 8:59 AM PST - 24 comments
The Art & Life of Annie Truxell [via mefi projects]: Annie Truxell is a well known painter who has lived a long and fascinating life. Her adventures have been legendary, encompassing Greenwich Village in the 50s, London in the 60s and India in the 70s. She was friends with Franz Klein, Bill de Kooning, Truman Capote, Terry Southern, Mati Klarwein & many other wild & woolly people. posted by The Whelk at 7:38 AM PST - 11 comments
Ever wonder what it would be like if you showed up to your freshman year of college...and your roommate was a 7'2" Division 1 basketball player from Holland? The author of sports blog Basketbawful is currently publishing a series of stories describing that exact experience. These chronicles vacillate between hilarious, shocking, depressing, and disgusting, but all are extremely entertaining. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3. Part 4. Part 5. Part 6. Part 7. posted by emd3737 at 6:32 AM PST - 70 comments
Marwa el-Sherbini testified in court against a neighbor who had called her a "terrorist" because she wore the hijab. As she spoke, the man she had accused walked across the courtroom and stabbed her 18 times. In the Muslim world, she is now being referred to as "the headscarf martyr."[more inside] posted by melissam at 5:47 AM PST - 144 comments
Iran: The Rooftop Project. "This is meant to be the most complete possible collection of recordings of nighttime protest in Iran since the beginning of the uprising. Its goal is to locate and profile at least one video for each night primarily focusing on the nightly chanting of Allah-o-Akbar from the rooftops, whenever that footage is available. Some of these videos have not been widely seen until now." [Via] posted by homunculus at 11:36 AM PST - 24 comments
Fried Gibson. I've always thought you were safe in a house from lightning storms as long as you were off the land-line or computer. A Mississippi man's Gibson Les Paul got positively roasted while sitting in his home, in its case, leaning against a wall. That's a powerful bolt. Lots of gory photos here and in the auction linked above including a nice shot of some of the parts that exploded off of the guitar, some shooting like bullets through the case.
Awesome! And it still held quite a bit of its value.
Via[more inside] posted by JBennett at 10:16 AM PST - 49 comments
CIA Chief Panette ends "very serious" program hidden during Bush years from Congress CIA Director Leon Panetta has terminated a "very serious" covert program the spy agency kept secret from Congress for eight years, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, a House Intelligence subcommittee chairwoman, said Friday.
Schakowsky is pressing for an immediate committee investigation of the classified program, which has not been described publicly. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has said he is considering an investigation.
"The program is a very, very serious program and certainly deserved a serious debate at the time and through the years," Schakowsky told The Associated Press in an interview. "But now it's over." posted by pallen123 at 10:15 AM PST - 179 comments
Recently, John Michael Greer has been exploring a little known idea of the deceased economist E.F. Schumacher (a student of the oft-discussed Keynes). "Schumacher drew a hard distinction between primary goods and secondary goods. The latter of these includes everything dealt with by conventional economics: the goods and services produced by human labor and exchanged among human beings. The former includes all those things necessary for human life and economic activity that are produced not by human beings, but by nature. Schumacher pointed out that primary goods, as the phrase implies, need to come first in any economic analysis because they supply the preconditions for the production of secondary goods. Renewable resources, he proposed, form the equivalent of income in the primary economy, while nonrenewable resources are the equivalent of capital; to insist that an economic system is sound when it is burning through nonrenewable resources at a rate that will lead to rapid depletion is thus as silly as claiming that a business is breaking even if it’s covering up huge losses by drawing down its bank accounts."[more inside] posted by symbollocks at 10:15 AM PST - 14 comments
Gary, I dropped off the key with Mike earlier today. Do you have any other reasons for holding on to my security deposit?
Let me know,
Gabe [more inside] posted by jabberjaw at 11:16 PM PST - 78 comments
A year before his passing at the age of 102, LSD discoverer Albert Hofmann pens a letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs (who had remarked publicly about his own use of the hallucinogenic as a creative factor) asking for Jobs' support for further research into the use of LSD in psychotherapy. In the remainder of the article, Ryan Grim touches briefly on the use of LSD by scientists and computer programmers who have transformed the world through novel discoveries and inventions. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:53 AM PST - 64 comments
The 10 smartest and stupidest iPhone apps , according to British technology website The Register. The smartest apps include things like personal databases, information tools and music streaming and identification apps. The stupid section is a morass of farts, poop, pickup lines and badly rendered, vaguely creepy pictures of girls. Idiocracy, it seems, has come early to the App Store. posted by acb at 9:48 AM PST - 54 comments
Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices. "An increasing number of neural implantable devices will become available in the near future due to advances in neural engineering. This discipline holds the potential to improve many patients' lives dramatically by offering improved—and in some cases entirely new—forms of rehabilitation for conditions ranging from missing limbs to degenerative cognitive diseases. The use of standard engineering practices, medical trials, and neuroethical evaluations during the design process can create systems that are safe and that follow ethical guidelines; unfortunately, none of these disciplines currently ensure that neural devices are robust against adversarial entities trying to exploit these devices to alter, block, or eavesdrop on neural signals. The authors define 'neurosecurity'—a version of computer science security principles and methods applied to neural engineering—and discuss why neurosecurity should be a critical consideration in the design of future neural devices." [Via Mind Hacks] posted by homunculus at 8:29 PM PST - 22 comments
bonus level is a new flash gaming portal.
Games include Captain Dan V Zombie Plan, reminiscent of Berzerk,
Push, an unusual platformer that combines level manipulation with quick-reflex timing and jumping,
Jump Gear, an acrobatic timed racer and a ton more I haven't even tried yet.
What sets bonus level apart from other gaming portals is that it's headed by three great names in game development, Wouter Visser (Wouter), Tõnu Paldra (tonypa) and Jean-Philippe Sarda (JP). Part of their philosophy is allowing anyone who registers to make and share levels for their games, as well as giving budding designers access to the flash APIs used to create all of bonus level's games. posted by boo_radley at 3:26 PM PST - 7 comments
The 2009 Super Mario Marathon will kick off this Friday as three gamers from Lafayette, Indiana jump their way through 25 years of Mario games to benefit the Child's Play Charity. The marathon will be broadcast live online and you can track their level progress at the site. Viewers of the event will have the opportunity to win some Mario-themed prizes. If old-school RPGs are more your thing, the Final Fantasy Marathon, also live online, also with prizes, will be kicking off July 17 to benefit ACT Today. posted by Otis at 8:09 AM PST - 12 comments
Stelae for 7/7. The London 7/7 Memorial consists of “52 pillars (or ‘stelae’), cast in rough textured stainless steel, each representing one of the victims” of the 2005 terrorist bombing attack. Typographer Phil Baines (profile) explains the development of the rough-hewn yet “British” typeface, based on “the 19th-century, untutored signmakers’ sansserif you see on buildings around the city,” that is moulded into the living steel. posted by joeclark at 5:23 AM PST - 15 comments
Google Chrome OS: Google says it will release a new operating system, built around its Chrome browser, which will be open source and will initially be targeted at netbooks. Shipment is expected second half of 2010. No response yet from Microsoft. [more inside] posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:10 PM PST - 227 comments
I understand that MeFites don't really do American Idol, but if you're the rare one who does, then you will probably appreciate the combination of fandom and geekery that produced What Not To Sing. They look at reviews of AI performances from all over the web, and distill them to provide numerical and star ratings for each AI performance. Every one. EVER. They have a listing of the top and bottom 40 performances across all 8 seasons, which makes for interesting YouTube searching. If you're curious about all performances of Michael Jackson songs on the show or just wish to confirm that Sanjaya sucked, they can help with that as well. The feature currently amusing me is this season's Camp Should-A-Been, where they judge contestants solely on performance rating, with the lowest rated performer leaving. posted by booksherpa at 6:33 PM PST - 23 comments
The Great Rock n Roll Swindler has died. Allen Klein, who once managed both the Rolling Stones and The Beatles, died in New York on Saturday, aged 77, after battling Alzheimer's disease. [more inside] posted by punkfloyd at 11:14 AM PST - 26 comments
Sometimes music really is a weapon. Big surprise, United Airlines messed up some luggage and refused to do anything about it. But I have to give props to this guy for taking a bad situation and making something positive out of it. Bonus points for the song being pretty catchy. I wonder what would happen if that song was so popular that the record label wanted it on the in flight music station... posted by theichibun at 10:15 AM PST - 70 comments
By popular demand, your new resident marine biology nerd has compiled some cool information about the Giant Pacific Octopus.The Giant Pacific Octopus (Octopus dofleini) is one of the strangest animals in the sea- and one of the smartest. Though it is commonly believed that vertebrates are always "smarter" than invertebrates, these guys defy that convention. As this video shows, they are able to easily open jars and retrieve food from inside. They are also, as the "Giant" implies, enormous- the biggest one on record was 30 feet across (according to National Geographic) [more inside] posted by WhySharksMatter at 6:57 PM PST - 140 comments
Researchers have found that it is possible to guess many -- if not all -- of the nine digits in an individual's Social Security number using publicly available information, a finding they say compromises the security of one of the most widely used consumer identifiers in the United States.
Many numbers could be guessed at by simply knowing a person's birth data, the researchers from Carnegie Mellon University said.
Perhaps it was bound to happen eventually, but it seems Michael Jackson's ghost is already haunting the halls of Neverland Ranch. Whether or not the spirt was moonwalking is currently inconclusive. [more inside] posted by zardoz at 4:43 PM PST - 61 comments
Introducing Our New Ant Overlords.Argentine Ants (Linepithema humile) have spread to every continent aside from Antarctica, forming Supercolonies such as stretching 3,700 miles (6,000km) of the Mediterranean. Once thought to be independent of one another, scientists now have cause to believe that the disparate Supercolonies in fact make up one global Mega-Colony. They are highly invasive, attack native animals, thrive in fast-growing, high-density colonies, and have an increased capability for cooperation. "The enormous extent of this population is paralleled only by human society," the researchers claim... posted by Navelgazer at 4:04 PM PST - 61 comments
Bicycle Snobbery - whether "mustache handlebars", silly tattoos, "mankinis" or other male cycling fashion statements, brass knuckle bicycle grips or celebrity brokeback pie-plates, NYC's Bike Snob casts judgment on all he surveys from one high gear posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:20 PM PST - 43 comments
Abraham Lincoln: A Life is a 2000 page, two volume, ten pound biography of America's sixteenth president. The original manuscript was edited for length and the only documentation included was for direct quotes (again, due to length considerations). If you still want more after reading it, the full-length manuscript and all the accompanying footnotes for Volume 1 are available online. Volume 2 to follow.
The book is a culmination of author Michael Burlingame's career, much of it spent editing volumes of primary documents by Lincoln's contemporaries. posted by marxchivist at 12:54 PM PST - 17 comments
"... [M]any of us who were raised in the 1950s, '60s and '70s are survivors. We were tiny daredevils: sun-blasted, pocket-knife-carrying, bottom-spanked, cow eaters. We ran the streets armed with BB guns, boxing gloves and bottle rockets, wholly unprotected by bike helmets, sunscreen or Amber Alerts. Our houses were filled with the blue cigarette smoke of our cocktail-drinking parents and we believed it wasn’t supper without a mountain of red meat." [more inside] posted by ericb at 12:36 PM PST - 157 comments
There's nothing like the husky growl of an automobile engine. Of course to some people its just noise.
But what if cars were quiet? That's right .... we'd complain they were too quiet. Then we'd have to fix that. posted by ElvisJesus at 11:06 AM PST - 62 comments
The Early Days of Blogging - Presented at the 2009 HyperText conference, this paper is an extensively cited and well-researched narrative of the blogosphere's formative period. It delves deep into the involvement of Jorn Barger, Dave Winer, and other A-list luminaries. posted by SpecialK at 8:29 AM PST - 36 comments
Merge Records, the independent record label founded by Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance of Superchunk, turns 20 this year. All Things Considered focuses on how they stand out from other labels by turning profits in these trying economic times. They are throwing a four-day festival this month, XX Merge, in North Carolina where it all began. Stand-out acts for the festival include M. Ward, The Magnetic Fields, The Clientele, Superchunk, and the biggest act promoted by the label, Spoon. posted by educatedslacker at 5:30 PM PST - 43 comments
Prattville, Alabama, is home to the Cross Garden of W. C. Rice. Pour yourself a cold drink and take a tour through this Flickr gallery. Make that drink ice water, as YOU WILL DIE, YOU DO NOTHING TO GO TO HELL, and TO LATE IN HELL FIRE WATER. posted by Legomancer at 4:45 PM PST - 60 comments
1/3 of open ocean shark species faces extinction, according to the IUCN. A recent report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Shark Specialist group shows that nearly 1/3 of open ocean shark species face extinction. These sharks are essential to keeping ocean ecosystems in balance, and we've already seen some of the devastating effects of catastrophically decreased shark populations. Shark advocate Wolfgang Leander offers his thoughts on this crisis, and also provides the full text of an article about this IUCN report. posted by WhySharksMatter at 1:33 PM PST - 42 comments
A well-designed flag The US flag is made up of two distinct elements: Stars and Stripes. On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress passed its Flag Resolution which described the flag only in general terms. "Resolved that the flag of the United States be 13 stripes alternate red and white, that the union be 13 stars white in a blue field representing a new constellation." Nothing in the resolution dictated how the stars and stripes were to be arranged, resulting in some interesting designs. [more inside] posted by jazon at 9:33 AM PST - 42 comments
Early this morning, Two monorail trains collided at Walt Disney World, causing the death of one of the drivers. The Walt Disney World Monorail System first opened in 1971 with two routes servicing The Magic Kingdom, and then expanded to a third line servicing Epcot in 1982. This is the first incident resulting in a fatality in 38 years of operation. The most serious incident previously was a fire in 1985 caused by tire failure in which two cars were burned badly, but there were no injuries. The monorail trains have numerous safety features, including a "Moving-blocklight anti-collision system", referred to as MAPO (the term was coined by Walt Disney himself, who formed a new company to deal with Disneyland's transportation system directly from the profits made by Mary Poppins). As of this morning, the monorail system at Walt Disney World is out of service pending investigation. posted by Lokheed at 7:02 AM PST - 66 comments
Russia's Gazprom and Nigeria's oil company NNPC are forming a joint venture. Hmmmm...what do you call such a thing? GazGeria? Nah, Nigeria should come first. How 'bout NIGAZ? Perhaps unsurprisingly, some people have aproblemwiththis. posted by codswallop at 2:26 PM PST - 44 comments
Ten years ago today, Mark Sandman died on stage during a Morphine concert at the Giardini del Principe in Palestrina, Italy. His music and its impact has not always received the type of attention normally given to rock stars tragically struck down in their prime, let alone one this brilliant. [more inside] posted by allen.spaulding at 6:35 AM PST - 51 comments
When Money Buys Happiness. List the ten most expensive things (products, services or experiences) that you have ever paid for (including houses, cars, university degrees, marriage ceremonies, divorce settlements and taxes). Then, list the ten items that you have ever bought that gave you the most happiness. Count how many items appear on both lists.[more inside] posted by zinfandel at 3:32 PM PST - 82 comments
The Death of Macho - "The axis of global conflict in this century will not be warring ideologies, or competing geopolitics, or clashing civilizations. It won’t be race or ethnicity. It will be gender. We have no precedent for a world after the death of macho. But we can expect the transition to be wrenching, uneven, and possibly very violent." posted by waitangi at 3:20 PM PST - 61 comments
The sequel to Warfare 1917 (previously) has been released: Warfare 1944. I was going to save this for tomorrow, but it seems that we've had a Flash Thursday today. posted by Hactar at 2:12 PM PST - 18 comments
Sptnk.org : The Observatory for the Study of Contemporary Culture. Sputnik is an NY organization that seeks to document, promote, and foster discussion around current trends in culture (I think Sptnk is more a "loose confederation" than an organization, but I can't seem to find much more about them. Here's one of the founder's tongue-in-cheek Linked In page). They just launched a new website which ties together sets of interviews from thinkers and doers in lots of fields. They are organized nicely into "paths", "conversations", and transmissions (presentations). Jonathan Harris (he blogs at number27.org) did the design of the site, which is top notch. The production values are not up to ted.com levels, but the weaving of stories and conversations that is emerging may prove useful. Happy culture hunting! posted by zpousman at 11:16 AM PST - 18 comments
Upgrade Complete is an engrossing Flash game that marries classic shoot-em-up gameplay to unprecedented flexibility in ship design and an innovative UI re-skinning system. Drawing from the same well as previously discussed game Achievement Unlocked, this arcade shooter maximizes familiar game design tropes to keep the player occupied for literally minutes. Do you have what it takes to get through 100% progress and unlock the (spoiler alert!) secret best ending? [more inside] posted by Nelson at 10:19 AM PST - 47 comments
Just released: Saddam Hussein Talks to the FBI. FBI special agents carried out 20 formal interviews and at least 5 "casual conversations" with former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after his capture by U.S. troops in December 2003, according to secret FBI reports released as the result of Freedom of Information Act requests by the National Security Archive. Via this Washington Post article. posted by amyms at 8:38 AM PST - 25 comments
(Still) Declassified. "In January 2009, I had an idea; photograph people in their homes that have placed a wide variety of personal advertisements. Although I imagined most people wouldn’t want to give up their anonymity, I rightly imagined some would be willing to. " [more inside] posted by availablelight at 8:02 AM PST - 52 comments
Thomas Jefferson's cipher message from Robert PattersonFor more than 200 years, buried deep within Thomas Jefferson's correspondence and papers, there lay a mysterious cipher -- a coded message that appears to have remained unsolved. Until now.... To Mr. Patterson's view, a perfect code had four properties: It should be adaptable to all languages; it should be simple to learn and memorize; it should be easy to write and to read; and most important of all, "it should be absolutely inscrutable to all unacquainted with the particular key or secret for decyphering."[more inside] posted by caddis at 7:43 AM PST - 22 comments
It's nearly state fair time and you know what that means - ButterSculptures! Yes, year after year several fairs contract with artists to sculpt meltable works of art. Perhaps the most famous is the Iowa State Butter Cow, carved year after year since the early 1900s. Of course, with butter art comes rivalry. Not to be outdone, state fairs in Minnesota, Texas,New York...oh, the list is long...each display these chilled masterpieces. However, this year Iowa has taken the rivalry to a new level and not without controversy -
The Iowa State Fair has decided that this year they will do a Butter Michael Jackson. posted by Muddler at 7:06 AM PST - 23 comments
One of the hardest things for people to understand about the universe is just how big it is. There are three approaches typically used in describing its size. The first, the song, was pioneered by Monty Python (NSFWish, wireframe of naked woman) and then done just as masterfully by the Animaniacs. The second, the zoom method has been featured twicebefore here on the blue. The third method is the comparison method (skip to 1:30, unless you like looking at a image of the solar system with terrible distorted orbits), yielding some truly beautiful videos (this one found via the fantastic Bad Astronomy blog). These videos go, at most, as far as looking at the local cluster or the Virgo Supercluster. There are two videos that attempt to show the size of the entire universe, one unsuccessfully (although with great music) and one successfully. (Warning, all links except the first one, are to YT videos). [more inside] posted by Hactar at 2:06 PM PST - 74 comments
"The only chance we have as a country have right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States [...] only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them [...] with as much violence as necessary."
On 200 mg a day of baclofen, in an important meeting with several associate deans of my college and three new department chairs (I was made chair of my philosophy department just a few weeks before I tried to commit suicide), I fell asleep with my head on the conference room table and, for 40 minutes, everyone was too embarrassed to wake me. Somnolence is the most obvious and inconvenient side effect of baclofen. I reduced my dosage to 100 mg a day, and started taking it only at bedtime. A few days later, a colleague asked if I had changed my medicine. ‘Yes,’ I told her. ‘Why do you ask?’ She is German, an analytic philosopher, and therefore very direct: ‘You are drooling less than you were.’
When The Birth of a Nation was released in 1915, it sought to recast the Civil War and the pains of Reconstruction as being fundamentally caused by African-Americans. It also served as a landmark in American cinema, and is hailed as a masterpiece today.
In response, DJ Spooky has "remixed" the movie and released it on DVD under the title "Rebirth of a Nation." posted by elder18 at 8:41 AM PST - 28 comments
We just like George Plimpton. Not personally, we never actually knew him. But we like everything we know about him. His intelligence. His good humor. His spirit.
We enjoy the way he attacked life with gusto and grace.
We appreciate how he proved that a funny upper crust accent and a rather fancy vocabulary doesn't make you any less of a real man. (If nothing else, Plimpton's life proves that once upon a time a man walked the earth who could both read poetry and throw a football.)
We admire the way he embodied everything a man of letters is supposed to be; curious and articulate, brave and wise.
We are thankful to the way he ceaselessly promoted other writers and artists and how, through his own writings and publications, became a teacher, guide and inspiration to countless others (even those he never met, life, for instance, us).
And, finally, we believe a life such as his is worth continued celebration. Because here was a man who threw himself tirelessly into the gaping maw of life, fighting onward, ever smiling, like the truest of gentleman.
ALSO, George Plimpton digs Intellivision and thinks its far superior to Atari. posted by Fizz at 5:34 AM PST - 35 comments