James Salter's A Sport and a Pastimeis one of those very rare novels that seems not so much to have been written as discovered. At its heart is a love story, an encounter, that transforms its relatively ordinary protagonists into beings around whom the entire cosmos shapes itself. The love story is delicate and ephemeral, put together out of bits and pieces, like a bird's nest. The vulnerable lovers tremble, in the most mundane circumstances, on the edge of catastrophe. Simply the way one of them moves across the room to meet the other seems miraculous and hazardous. Were they to become aware of themselves everything would be lost. But there is no danger of that. Oblivious, they tiptoe on a precipice. They do not and cannot know that their innocence cloaks them in a kind of divinity and infallibility. Actions and attitudes we expect to bring them down don't. They do things that seem so perfect, so poignant, without knowing they are doing anything at all. They arc beautifully across our path, and then vanish. - Michael Doliner (previously) [more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 7:04 PM PST - 8 comments
A whole new level of Cosplay From the shut-up and take my money division of way kool comes this fan boy wet dream.
With water driven rockets and a BB spittig Gatling gun this is sure to spice up the next Con you attend. Price (if you have to ask). I love Japan! YouTube Link with sound posted by pdxpogo at 12:16 PM PST - 25 comments
Both inside and outside the walls of Facebook, the story of social games has become one of dead geese and golden eggs, flatlined growth, formulaic games and shady practises. Many warned that the sector was slowing down, but sometimes giants need to fall. It needs to get bad enough before people start to really consider what's next...So what comes next? posted by Artw at 11:54 AM PST - 61 comments
BuzzFeed's strategy . Jonah Peretti, a co-founder of the Huffington Post, later went on to found BuzzFeed, famous for it's linkbait lists. He recently wrote a company-wide memo touting the company's success and plans for the future. posted by gwint at 11:17 AM PST - 20 comments
Here's a nifty realtime Olympic medal tracker that allows you to sort by rank, country, total, gold, silver, and bronze medals. Too obvious for you? There are plenty of alternatives: medals per capita ; medals by GDP per capita; number of athletes and billions of dollars GDP per medal (2008); and a discussion of alternative rankings with a sortable rankings table. There is also a booming business in predictions that take into account GDP per capita, population size, and other factors: FT; BBC. [more inside] posted by googly at 8:32 AM PST - 23 comments
The Mythical Rise of Asian AmericansThe model minority myth perpetuated by the Pew research is misleading. At its core, it contains a highly objectionable assumption that other minorities do not work hard enough to succeed. In addition, as others have eloquently argued, the topline numbers and statistics hide wide variance within the Asian American community itself. Finally, insistence on holding up Asian Americans’ “success” often serves as an excuse to overlook the very real challenges that they face. posted by infini at 4:47 AM PST - 110 comments
Simple Desks: A frequently updated collection of beautifully minimal desks and workspaces, interspersed with occasional musings on minimalism, productivity, design and technology posted by Egg Shen at 7:01 PM PST - 48 comments
By late May, more than ten million copies of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy, an erotic romance series about the sexual exploits of a domineering billionaire and an inexperienced coed, had been sold in the United States, all within six weeks of the books’ publication here. This apparently unprecedented achievement occurred without the benefit of a publicity campaign, formal reviews, or Oprah’s blessing, owing to a reputation established, as one industry analyst put it, “totally through word of mouth.” [Grey Area: How ‘Fifty Shades’ Dominated the Market] posted by vidur at 6:46 PM PST - 101 comments
"The Heretic: For decades, the U.S. government banned medical studies of the effects of LSD. But for one longtime, elite researcher, the promise of mind-blowing revelations was just too tempting." [more inside] posted by andoatnp at 3:31 PM PST - 113 comments
Like many other great American folk songs, She’ll be Comin’ Round the Mountain reaches us through the filter of both religious and secular movements. The music underneath the words has its original genesis in a spiritual sung originally by slaves and later popularized in the black churches of the south; the lyrics we know today – the version which came into the larger cultural vernacular and which spawned various children’s versions – was, originally, a protest song. [more inside] posted by luriete at 12:54 PM PST - 36 comments
Yesterday, July 29, 2012, saw a massive antinuclear protest, attended by young and old alike, in Tokyo. This video, and this one, too, (both well-edited and featuring English subtitles) bring you right into the center of the action, to get a feel for the energy that the movement is steadily gaining. posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:25 PM PST - 112 comments
Five months ago, she vowed to find him. It wasn’t the RCMP who could help, or even a Canadian. Instead, Ms. Smith turned to Gene and Sandy Ralston, an Idaho couple who zig-zag North America in their 32-foot motor home, helping recover bodies from lakes and rivers when authorities can’t, or won’t. They don't get paid, and in some years rack up nearly 50,000 kilometres. They do it simply because people ask. posted by emcat8 at 7:34 PM PST - 25 comments
The ruins of empire: Asia's emergence from western imperialismMoreover, a narcissistic history – one obsessed with western ideals, achievements, failures and challenges – can only retard a useful understanding of the world today. For most people in Europe and America, the history of the present is still largely defined by victories in the second world war and the long standoff with Soviet communism, even though the central event of the modern era, for a majority of the world's population, is the intellectual and political awakening of Asia and its emergence, still incomplete, from the ruins of both Asian and European empires. The much-heralded shift of power from the west to the east may or may not happen. But only neo-imperialist dead-enders will deny that we have edged closer to the cosmopolitan future the first generation of modern Asian thinkers, writers and leaders dreamed of – in which people from different parts of the world meet as equals rather than as masters and slaves, and no one needs to shoot elephants to confirm their supremacy. posted by infini at 12:17 PM PST - 19 comments
NBC is being heavily criticized for its handling so far of the 2012 Summer Olympics. From delaying the broadcast of the opening ceremonies by four hours (and then having to endure terrible commentary) while the rest of world watched live, to cutting out a tribute to terror victims everywhere to not showing Michael Phelps' first medal attempt live (and then spoiling it on a news broadcast before the race actually aired). This is in addition to online viewers not being able to access live video online unless they have a cable subscription as well as problems with the actual stream. [more inside] posted by triggerfinger at 10:41 AM PST - 301 comments
This is powerful writing. "This isn't an essay or simply a woe-is-we narrative about how hard it is to be a black boy in America. This is a lame attempt at remembering the contours of slow death and life in America for one black American teenager under Central Mississippi skies. I wish I could get my Yoda on right now and surmise all this shit into a clean sociopolitical pull-quote that shows supreme knowledge and absolute emotional transformation, but I don't want to lie."—A piece by Kiese Laymon, an Associate Professor of English and co-director of Africana Studies at Vassar College. [more inside] posted by Moody834 at 10:17 PM PST - 57 comments
[TRIGGERS]"Reddit's had a few threads about sexual assault victims, but are there any redditors from the other side of the story? What were your motivations? Do you regret it?" A thoughtful article on Jezebel with some excerpts from the thread and some excellent comments. posted by the young rope-rider at 6:58 AM PST - 186 comments
"From the beginning of this present phase of the race problem in the South, I have been on record as opposing the forces in my native country which would keep the condition out of which this present evil and trouble has grown. Now I must go on record as opposing the forces outside the South which would use legal or police compulsion to eradicate that evil overnight. I was against compulsory segregation. I am just as strongly against compulsory integration."
One man's trash is another man's treasure — we've all heard the old adage, but Nelson Molina, a longtime sanitation worker in Manhattan, takes the saying to an entirely new level: a self-curated, full-fledged art gallery — from other people's trash.
The New York Times toured Mr. Molina's gallery recently, getting a rare peek into the collection that contains everything from a Masters of Business Administration diploma (from Harvard!) to a portrait of Winston Churchill.Via posted by infini at 10:20 AM PST - 11 comments
The History of Byzantium is a podcast that picks up where The History of Rome left off, detailing happened to the eastern half of the Roman Empire after the last Western Emperor was dethroned. The podcaster, Robin Pierson, does a good job explaining the often, ahem, byzantine politics and thorny theology of Byzantium. So far there are five episodes, taking us from the chaotic years following the decline and fall of the West into the reign of Anastasius (491-518). [iTunes link] posted by Kattullus at 10:16 AM PST - 38 comments
Hula-Hoop comedy show Annabel Carberry performs "A Glass of Red". This is a hilarious hula-hoop/dance routine about frustration, hula-hoop talent, keping your skirt down and control of a roudy audience. posted by naight at 7:42 AM PST - 18 comments
"Among all who read Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories during the ‘40s and ‘50s, there was one common term for the unknown artist who drew the Donald Duck stories. Comics readers and comics fans all over the U.S. independently applied the same term to him. To fans in Ohio, California, Arkansas and Pennsylvania, he was 'The Good Artist.' His name was never signed to his work, and his publishers—until the early ‘60s—never revealed his name to his public, though many of us wrote (unforwarded) fan letters. His name, as we finally learned, is Carl Barks." How two determined fans found out who the Good Duck Artist was. posted by MartinWisse at 7:23 AM PST - 40 comments
"It is a familiar complaint from those of a certain age: today’s pop music is louder and all the songs sound the same. It turns out they are right. Research shows that modern recordings are louder than those of those of the 1950s and 60s. They are also blander, with less variety in terms of chords and melodies." [more inside] posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:46 AM PST - 152 comments
As you turn eyes to London to watch this year's Olympics, you might be surprised to find out that the City of London has a population of about 11,000 and is only one square mile. [more inside] posted by eye of newt at 11:28 PM PST - 65 comments
28 years ago this summer, Leo Arnaud's "Bugler's Dream" suddenly found it had competition for the title of The Olympic Theme. Composer John Williams was commissioned to create a new fanfare, and "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" was the result, with the Fanfare portion being played at every medal ceremony in the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. But that wasn't the only music created for those Olympic Games... [more inside] posted by hippybear at 9:26 PM PST - 24 comments
Microsoft’s low-octane swan song was nothing if not symbolic of more than a decade littered with errors, missed opportunities, and the devolution of one of the industry’s innovators into a “me too” purveyor of other companies’ consumer products. ... How did this jaw-dropping role reversal happen? How could a company that stands among the most cash-rich in the world, the onetime icon of cool that broke IBM’s iron grip on the computer industry, have stumbled so badly in a race it was winning?[more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 6:45 PM PST - 124 comments
Just how many applications does a company recruiting on Craigslist have to wade through? It turns out that in 24 hours, for a basic full time job with benefits, the answer can be as high as 653. posted by ChrisR at 3:43 PM PST - 71 comments
Five guys take same photo for 30 years. 'When five teenagers sat down and posed for a picture at Copco Lake in 1982, they didn't plan on making it a tradition. But that's what it became. Every five years for the past three decades, John Wardlaw, John Dickson, Mark Rumer, Dallas Burney and John Molony have been meeting at the California lake and taking the same photo.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:55 PM PST - 120 comments
I fantasize about academic sharecroppers organizing with contingent workers across industries, a category (taxi drivers, seasonal workers in agriculture and tourism, truckers, office temps, construction temps...) that has exploded over the last twenty years. Together their power would overturn cities. But for that to happen, academic sharecroppers will have to tear their allegiance from the people who love what they love, that is, they will need to understand that my job is funded by their oppression, that there are more of them than there are of me, that they are the shaky foundation on which people like me totteringly stand. There are more and more of them and fewer and fewer of me.Adjuncts as sharecroppers. There's a reason it's #14.[more inside] posted by gerryblog at 11:09 AM PST - 67 comments
"MathB.in is a website meant for sharing snippets of mathematical text with others on the web. This is a pastebin for mathematics… The post can be composed in a mixture of plain text, LaTeX and HTML." posted by grouse at 11:05 AM PST - 5 comments
The Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts has ruled for the first time that a civil union must be treated as equivalent to marriage. The full decision is here. posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:55 AM PST - 26 comments
Finding it hard to get excited about the Olympics? Feel like the broadcasters aren't giving you enough back-story or form guides to the sports you want to watch but haven't seen for 3 years and 51 weeks? You need the Olympics Prospectus. [more inside] posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 9:03 AM PST - 30 comments
A critique of Sir James Frazer's The Golden Bough by Colin Dickey.
"For all its erudition and analysis, The Golden Bough has for more than a century helped cement the idea that magic is inappropriate, wrongheaded thought. Yet what separates magic from religion or science is not its methodology—Frazer himself notes that it 'is therefore a truism, almost a tautology, to say that all magic is necessarily false and barren; for were it ever to become true and fruitful, it would no longer be magic but science'—it’s that ordinary people can do it, transforming their lives with the ambitious power of everyday thought."
Via Lapham's Quarterly's Magic Shows issue. posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:29 AM PST - 62 comments
"For Iron Man 2, there was a massive set built for the Stark Expo. It was the largest blue screen ever used in a film. It was so funny being there and having Jon explaining that to me, realizing we had done the same thing years before." A comprehensive behind the scenes interview with the creators of Nick Arcade. (Previously) posted by yellowbinder at 7:39 AM PST - 9 comments
Let's Have A Kiki Videodrome Discothèque turn a Scissor Sisters song into a truly epic camp collage. (SLYT; N, as you might expect, entirely SFW) Vimeo for if you're on mobile. posted by Diablevert at 4:50 AM PST - 13 comments
Mary Tamm, best known as the first Romana from Doctor Who's Key To Time series between 1978–1979,
She left the show after just one year feeling that her role had devolved into the "typical assistant" trope, and went to to have a varied career on stage and screen in the UK, including a three-year stint on Brookside.
She had been suffering from cancer for 18 months. posted by Mezentian at 4:30 AM PST - 56 comments
WalesOnline reported earlier this week on a UK government funded experiment in which kittens had their eyes stitched shut in an examination of how the brain reacts to sensory deprivation. In a related poll, nearly 11,000 Mirror readers were nearly split in their support for the experiment.
The University of Cardiff has vigorously defended the experiment, saying the study will lead medical researchers to an "improved understanding of the brain to treat older children or adults, whose amblyopia has been missed or not treated adequately in time." posted by GnomeChompsky at 8:45 PM PST - 70 comments
This points to that quality of improvisation with the work you’re doing. In a traditional crime show, like “CSI,” if it were a big band, it’s a big band working off charts. The arrangements are very tightly controlled. And what I sense with “Breaking Bad” is a sense of, I don’t know, “John Coltrane on acid.” You have this sense of improvisation where you go with things you know, where you tell the story the length it needs to be told. You’re inspired collectively by a moment and you decide to go deeper into that moment. You’re in essence leading a parallel life with your characters and letting those characters take you where they want to go — not necessarily where the dictates of commercial convention say they have to go.
Last Saturday Anaheim police shot Manuel Diaz as he fled from questioning. Neighborhood residents approached the police and recorded the scene of the shooting. As tempers rose, the police attempted to control the situation. This did not go well. On Sunday, many people joined a protest at the Anaheim police department held weekly since 2010. On the same day, Anaheim police shot and killed Joel Acevedo, during an arrest for a stolen car. Further protests at the Anaheim City Council meeting on Tuesday turned violent with some protestors throwing rocks and smashing windows. [more inside] posted by eurypteris at 4:15 PM PST - 76 comments
Education, Income, and Fertility in America, and What They Mean for the Future of the Country "Since the average American woman has 2.1 children, you might think we aren't experiencing a national fertility crisis. Unlike some European countries whose futures are threatened by low birth rates, Americans, on average, produce just the right number of future workers, soldiers, and taxpayers to keep our society humming... Two new studies bring the contrasting reproductive profiles of rich and poor women into sharp relief. One, from the Guttmacher Institute, shows that the rates of unplanned pregnancies and births among poor women now dwarf the fertility rates of wealthier women, and finds that the gap between the two groups has widened significantly over the past five years. The other, by the Center for Work-Life Policy, documents rates of childlessness among corporate professional women that are higher than the childlessness rates of some European countries experiencing fertility crises." posted by bookman117 at 2:37 PM PST - 102 comments
A headline rivalling “Batman to leave Gotham”: “Maupin to leave San Francisco.” But before the Tales of the City author (previously) moves to Santa Fe with his husband, you can pick up Armistead Maupin’s house for a mere $1,198,000. (28 Barbary Lane is not for sale.) posted by joeclark at 12:51 PM PST - 32 comments
The Improper Bostonian: "In a town rightfully famous for its trailblazing female chefs, where Julia Child helped introduce American families to fresh vegetables and unprocessed foods, and Lydia Shire fine-tuned the buttery possibilities of French cooking, women have hardly disappeared from the dining scene. They can be found in other kitchens. But where and why are subject to debate, depending on whom you ask." posted by hypotheticole at 8:48 AM PST - 20 comments
The Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem houses the Aleppo Codex, considered the oldest and most authoritative text of the Hebrew Bible. Written in the 10th century AD and annotated by Maimonides himself, it was safeguarded by the Jewish diaspora and revered for its linguistic precision and its beauty. "The story of how some 200 pages of the codex went missing — and to this day remain the object of searches carried out around the globe by biblical scholars, private investigators, shadowy businessmen and the Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency — is one of the great mysteries in Jewish history." [more inside] posted by zarq at 7:52 AM PST - 36 comments
Superhero Typographic Classifications: "The most distinguishing factor of any font is its characters. Hidden beneath these characters, each typeface also has character—its own unique characteristics. However classified this information may seem, when used correctly, typefaces often speak to us more powerfully than the words that are written with them." posted by Fizz at 7:10 AM PST - 23 comments
The Scottish Government has announced that it intends to legalise same-sex marriage, and will produce a draft bill for public consultation within the year. [more inside] posted by Dim Siawns at 4:15 AM PST - 69 comments
Steve Wozniak explains his rules of the road.My best habits include use of blinkers and not blocking others. I keep a good distance behind the car in front of me. I never tailgate. Also, I buy and study the large DMV handbooks from the first page to the last. I would never lie in traffic court. Once I was asked if I could have been going 75 mph and I told the truth, that I didn't know because I hadn't looked at my speedometer. I lost on that one. Steve Wozniak (Mefi's own-ish) fills in for San Jose Mercury News columnist Mr. Roadshow. posted by purpleclover at 9:06 PM PST - 32 comments
Sugar's catalog has been remastered and reissued: "Mould laid down the roots of modern indie rock in the ’80s with his band Hüsker Dü. The fiery dirty punk torch Hüsker Dü ignited was passed to Nirvana, among other newly anointed grunge bands that flamed bright in the early ’90s musical revolution. Nirvana then passed the torch right back to Mould who infused his new band, Sugar, with a grunge-inflected pop punk sound scarcely heard before 1992, the year that Copper Blue was initially unleashed on the public." [more inside] posted by bardic at 8:06 PM PST - 85 comments
Parlez-vous war criminal? Leopold Munyakazi and Goucher college Sanford H. Ungar, journalist and current President of Goucher, a small liberal-arts college near Baltimore writes about his experience hiring - unbeknownst to him - a Rwandan war criminal (Leopold Munyakazi) to teach French as a visiting scholar, and the aftermath for him personally. He examines the sometimes problematic desire from liberal arts colleges, or at least Goucher in this instance, to hire somebody controversial, and delves in to the blurry world of apportioning blame in the Rwandan genocide. [more inside] posted by thetarium at 7:50 PM PST - 24 comments
Rumor has it that Bob Dylan's upcoming album Tempest will feature a 14-minute song about the sinking of the Titanic, which seems pretty plausible, right? The guy has written about the Titanic before, and he likes to tell long, repetitive stories, not unlike your very talented Grandpa. Well, Tim Heidecker (of Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!) has decided to try and anticipate Mr. Dylan's song, creating his own epic that encompasses not only the amazing, historically accurate tale of the ill-fated ship, but also the adventures of a movie pirate named James Cameron. posted by porn in the woods at 6:53 PM PST - 37 comments
"The Western observer tends to split the Russian press into two camps: evil statists and martyrs. But for their part, members of the Russian press are convinced of their superiority over their Western colleagues, at least when it comes to Syria. Russian journalists aren’t under the illusion that they are more objective than their Western counterparts, but they are convinced of their ability to convey a more realistic, complex picture of the events in Syria." - The New Republic: In Russia, Even Putin’s Critics Are OK With His Syria Policy posted by beisny at 12:08 PM PST - 34 comments
PSY (Park Jae Sang) is a Korean singer, previously graduating from Boston University and Berklee College of Music. His latest, Gangnam Style, parodies K-pop videos and features several singers from that genre, plus Korean tv stars. Gangnam itself is a wealthy region of Seoul. The lyrics are perhaps standard for pop songs, while reactions to the video  show that a visually engaging video and a catchy tune are often fun the world over, irrespective of the language. posted by Wordshore at 11:19 AM PST - 44 comments
The Checkpoint. An essay which looks inside the conflicted mind of an Israeli soldier, stationed at a West Bank checkpoint. By Oded Na'aman, currently a student in the Philosophy PhD program at Harvard University, who served in the Israeli Defense Forces from November 2000 to October 2003. Mr. Na'aman is also a member of Breaking the Silence, a website that gathers and publishes anonymous testimonials from IDF soldiers -- combat veterans -- about their experiences and the realities of life in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza. posted by zarq at 7:32 AM PST - 6 comments
Two remastered episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation were shown theatrically on Monday in the US, Canada, and Australia, to tie in with today's release of season 1 on Blu-ray. If you caught the screening, missed it, or never had a chance, I thought it would be a good time to present this April 2012 cast reunion at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo. All the regulars were there, including demi-godish Patrick Stewart (previously), Denise Crosby, and Wil Wheaton. Diana Muldaur fans will be disappointed. Seeing these videos may result in an anomalous time loss of several hours, but you may as well get it out of the way before the Olympics. [more inside] posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:06 AM PST - 80 comments
Sally Ride has died of pancreatic cancer at age 61. NPR blog. She was an inspiration to many. I saw her speak years ago when I took my daughters to a women in science program at the University of Michigan and both they and I came away impressed with her intelligence and commitment - the world is a richer place for her having been in it. posted by leslies at 3:02 PM PST - 214 comments
Wisdom, Age, and Society in America and Japan "ONE stereotype of wisdom is a wizened Zen-master smiling benevolently at the antics of his pupils, while referring to them as little grasshoppers or some such affectation, safe in the knowledge that one day they, too, will have been set on the path that leads to wizened masterhood. But is it true that age brings wisdom? A study two years ago in North America, by Igor Grossmann of the University of Waterloo, in Canada, suggested that it is. In as much as it is possible to quantify wisdom, Dr Grossmann found that elderly Americans had more of it than youngsters. He has, however, now extended his investigation to Asia—the land of the wizened Zen-master—and, in particular, to Japan. There, he found, in contrast to the West, that the grasshoppers are their masters' equals almost from the beginning.... Japanese have higher scores than Americans for the sort of interpersonal wisdom you might think would be useful in an individualistic society. Americans, by contrast—at least in the maturity of old age—have more intergroup wisdom than the purportedly collectivist Japanese. Perhaps, then, you need individual skills when society is collective, and social ones when it is individualistic." posted by bookman117 at 2:54 PM PST - 31 comments
False Positive is a a short story, webcomic anthology, which author and illustrator Mike Walton likes to call a stew, cooked from the gut, made with "a scoop of horror, a pinch of science-fiction, a dash of fantasy, and a bit of (To Be Determined)." Mike says the language could be rated PG-13, and the visuals feature a varying degrees of comic book violence and gore. There are 10 stand-alone "chapters" posted now, and new posts are made every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mike also made a short trailer to further pique your interest. [more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 2:28 PM PST - 10 comments
Russia’s Top Cyber Sleuth Foils US Spies, Helps Kremlin Pals. 'Between 2009 and 2010, according to Forbes, retail sales of Kaspersky antivirus software increased 177 percent, reaching almost 4.5 million a year—nearly as much as its rivals Symantec and McAfee combined. Worldwide, 50 million people are now members of the Kaspersky Security Network, sending data to the company’s Moscow headquarters every time they download an application to their desktop. Microsoft, Cisco, and Juniper Networks all embed Kaspersky code in their products—effectively giving the company 300 million users.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 1:14 PM PST - 34 comments
Elizabeth Warren has been one of few public figures famously willing to put actual rhetorical force behind the notion that behind every American success story lies a web of civic and personal support, and probably a million small kindnesses as well. John Scalzi takes this notion and runs with it: he's written a thorough and eloquent accounting of how he's gotten to where he is, from a very humble background, and how that made the duty to pay it forward obvious and inescapable. posted by tempythethird at 12:29 PM PST - 248 comments
Eater DC's monthly interview series, 'The Gatekeepers' talks to the hosts and hostesses at some of the city's most prestigious restaurants, discussing hard-hitting topics such as securing lucrative reservations, choosing the best table, and the favorite dishes of the famous dignitaries that pass through Washington. Their most recent interview, however, went a bit differently, perhaps revealing a bit more than intended about the world of fine dining -- a world where bribes are de rigeur, black customers are not seated next to each other, and well-dressed patrons are given preferential service. Though few in the industry will admit to it, bribing the hostappears to bethe fastest way to get a table (unless you're a tourist, or the Maitre d' happens to be the CEO of Groupon). HuffPo and the City Paper react. posted by schmod at 10:25 AM PST - 53 comments
Caterpillar, after record profits, squeezes its union for a six-year wage and pension freeze and increased insurance contributions - not because it has to, but because it can. As the machinists' union enters its fourth month on strike, the company says it's getting along just fine with temps and union workers who have crossed the picket line. Private-sector union membership is now at an all-time low of 6.9%. Even as calls to remedy America's income inequality grow from Occupy and other movements, nobody in power is helping. The Democratic Party's ship has longsince sailed. (previously) posted by moammargaret at 9:29 AM PST - 292 comments
Big Data On Campus (NYTimes)“We don’t want to turn into just eHarmony,” says Michael Zimmer, assistant professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, where he studies ethical dimensions of new technology. “I’m worried that we’re taking both the richness and the serendipitous aspect of courses and professors and majors — and all the things that are supposed to be university life — and instead translating it into 18 variables that spit out, ‘This is your best fit. So go over here.’ ” posted by OmieWise at 9:25 AM PST - 23 comments
Yesterday I had the dubious pleasure of watching Oprah’s Next Chapter: India on TLC. The name of the programme is pretty self-explanatory. And I’d already heard of her series, Oprah’s Next Chapter in the US where she “steps outside of the studio for enlightening conversations with newsmakers, celebrities, thought leaders and real-life families”. I’ve never been a great fan of Oprah’s – and the fact that she truly follows and believes everything that Deepak Chopra and Dr Phil say has nothing to do with it. I do think though, that she’s a good interviewer, she’s well-informed, an easy conversationalist and is well-travelled. But all that has changed after watching Oprah’s Next Chapter: India.
Myopic, unaware, ignorant and gauche. This was Middle America at its best worst. posted by infini at 8:44 AM PST - 132 comments
"People prefer music that deviates from perfection in a natural way." Researchers into rhythm are trying to figure out the nature of these deviations, and what implications this has for audio engineering and neuroscience. posted by EvaDestruction at 7:35 AM PST - 50 comments
Penn State Fined $60 Million, Paterno Wins Vacated Since 1998: For its attempts to cover up a serial child molester in its coaching ranks, the NCAA has hit Penn State with a $60 million sanction, a four-year football postseason ban, four-year loss of 10 scholarships, and the removal of all wins dating to 1998, taking away the late coach Joe Paterno's status as the winningest coach in college football's highest level.
hat tip to Sportsfilter posted by leotrotsky at 6:46 AM PST - 439 comments
"Assassination and targeted killings have always been in the repertoires of military planners, but never in the history of warfare have they been so cheap and easy. The relatively low number of troop casualties for a military that has turned to drones means that there is relatively little domestic blowback against these wars. The United States and its allies have created the material conditions whereby these wars can carry on indefinitely. The non-combatant casualty rates in populations that are attacked by drones are slow and steady, but they add up. That the casualty rates are relatively low by historical standards — this is no Dresden — is undoubtedly a good thing, but it may allow the international media to overlook pesky little facts like the slow accretion of foreign casualties." -NYT Opinionator: The Moral Hazard of Drones posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 AM PST - 271 comments
In case you needed another reason to love/fear them:
With a tone that sometimes rings condescending or conspiratorial but always wonderfully flippant, the best minds of cracked.com discuss the grandest extremities of modern physics. posted by es_de_bah at 5:16 PM PST - 8 comments
What is the fair market value of an object that cannot be sold?
When art dealer Ileana Sonnabend passed away in 2007 at the age of 92, she left her children an art collection estimated to be worth $1,000,000,000. Over a forty year career, Sonnabend, along with her first husband and business partner Leo Castelli, worked with many of contemporary art world's best known artists, including Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg & Andy Warhol.
One of the inherited paintings, Robert Rauschenberg's Canyon has become the center of a dispute between the Sonnabend's children and the I.R.S. posted by R. Mutt at 10:20 AM PST - 91 comments
The Library of America recently started an online companion to their 1950s Science Fiction Golden Era collection which includes cover art, interviews with authors and articles by writers on the genre.
Previous link on LOA posted by Isadorady at 10:13 AM PST - 7 comments
'Who's on First', the ASL version (vimeo). A little more on this from NPR, including link to MLB.com video of Jerry Seinfeld's comments on the original skit. posted by found missing at 9:23 AM PST - 6 comments
In downtown Vienna under the Nazis, two members of the SA had decided to humiliate an old woman. A crowd gathered and jeered as the stormtroopers hung a sign bearing the words "I'm a dirty Jew" around the woman's neck. Suddenly, a tall man with a high forehead and thick mustache pushed his way angrily through the mob and freed the woman. "There was a scuffle with two stormtroopers, I hit them and was arrested immediately," the man later said in a matter-of-fact statement.
Despite this open act of rebellion, the man was released immediately. He only had to say his name: Albert Göring, brother of Hermann Göring, the commander of the German air force and Hitler's closest confidant.
"In a genre of its own—Live-Action Graphic Novel—The Intergalactic Nemesis saga is a hilarious, uplifting adventure of heroes-by-circumstance overcoming impossible odds. But the telling is what makes the experience of The Intergalactic Nemesis so incredibly unique: while three actors, one Foley artist, and one keyboardist perform all the voices, sound effects and music, more than 1,250 hand-drawn, full-color, hi-res, blow-your-mind comic-book images blast from the screen, all performed live." [more inside] posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 6:23 AM PST - 9 comments
The Dealers is a new Israeli crime comedy, released here this weekend. The poster features the film's central players sitting around a table loaded with booze, weed, bongs, joints and other drug paraphernalia. For the stricter populace of Jerusalem, a modified version of the poster was prepared, one which removes all trace of...
You guessed it: Women.
The pot and booze? Untouched. [more inside] posted by Silky Slim at 4:24 AM PST - 47 comments
He turns to the girl. "It would be really nice," he says, "to have a cigarette now."
"Yeah," she says without looking at him.
"Do you think the shop is open?"
The girl laughs and Adrian laughs, and then they laugh about their water-wrinkled fingers and the cabaret scheduled for tomorrow night that probably won't happen, and they keep laughing, because there is nothing else to do until someone finally gets them off Utøya.
— Sean Flynn writes the story of what happened on July 22nd a year ago [single page] when Anders Behring Breivik carried out a bomb attack and massacre in Norway that killed seventy seven people, and how those who survived and those who lost loved ones have dealt with the trauma. [Warning: It's not the easiest read, emotionally] posted by Kattullus at 11:30 PM PST - 42 comments
How Humankind's Theory of Mind Could Have Produced God "As a direct consequence of the evolution of the human social brain, and owing to the importance of our theory-of-mind skills in that process, we sometimes can't help but see intentions, desires, and beliefs in things that haven't even a smidgeon of a neural system... More than a few of us have kicked our broken-down vehicles in the sides and verbally abused our incompetent computers.... So it would appear that having a theory of mind was so useful for our ancestors in explaining and predicting other people's behaviors that it has completely flooded our evolved social brains. As a result, today we overshoot our mental-state attributions to things that are, in reality, completely mindless. And all of this leads us, rather inevitably, to a very important question: What if I were to tell you that God's mental states, too, were all in your mind?" [more inside] posted by bookman117 at 8:17 PM PST - 218 comments
While the world ponders the impact of superheroes on the population in the wake of this weekend's tragic (and still unfolding) events in Colorado, and some ponder what a return to the bad of days of comics might mean, Warner Brothers has released two slightly different trailers for their attempt at latest updating Superman for the modern era: The Man of Steel, in Pa Kent or Jor El flavours.
Via i09. posted by Mezentian at 7:02 PM PST - 101 comments
On Friday, Baron Sebastian Coe, the conservative politician, former athlete, and Nike board member who
is chair of LOCOG (the London Organizing Committee) for the 2012 games, ignited a furor
when he said anyone wearing a Pepsi T-shirt is likely to be "booted out" because it would
upset Coca-Cola, who is an official sponsor. [more inside] posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 3:47 PM PST - 79 comments
Anemia drugs made billions, but with what benefit and at what cost? 'For years, a trio of anemia drugs known as Epogen, Procrit and Aranesp ranked among the best-selling prescription drugs in the United States, generating more than $8 billion a year for two companies, Amgen and Johnson & Johnson. Even compared with other pharmaceutical successes, they were superstars. For several years, Epogen ranked as the single costliest medicine under Medicare: U.S. taxpayers put up as much as $3 billion a year for the drugs.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 1:29 PM PST - 18 comments
Heavy Breeding. "In 1920, the brothers Lutz and Heinz Heck, directors of the Berlin and Munich zoos, respectively, began a two-decade breeding experiment. Working with domestic cattle sought out for their 'primitive' characteristics, they attempted to recreate 'in appearance and behavior' the living likeness of the animals’ extinct wild ancestor: the aurochs. 'Once found everywhere in Germany,' according to Lutz Heck, by the end of the Middle Ages the aurochs had largely succumbed to climate change, overhunting, and competition from domestic breeds." [more inside] posted by homunculus at 10:50 AM PST - 31 comments
Morton and Vicary on the Categorified Heisenberg Algebra - "In quantum mechanics, position times momentum does not equal momentum times position! This sounds weird, but it's connected to a very simple fact. Suppose you have a box with some balls in it, and you have the magical ability to create and annihilate balls. Then there's one more way to create a ball and then annihilate one, than to annihilate one and then create one. Huh? Yes: if there are, say, 3 balls in the box to start with, there are 4 balls you can choose to annihilate after you've created one but only 3 before you create one..." [more inside] posted by kliuless at 9:42 AM PST - 78 comments
Woody Allen's 2011 movie Midnight in Paris tells the story of a modern-day character repeatedly finding himself in the 1920s, in a kind of temporary time travel. As it turns out, this is a real-life phenomenon known as a time slip. Perhaps the most famous documented case was from 1901, at the Palace of Versailles. [more inside] posted by mark7570 at 8:13 AM PST - 73 comments
He is unknown. No name, no profession, no identifying details, but he looks out with the calm sternness of one who knows his place in the world. And because of this calmness, this sternness—the skeptical gaze and tight lips—we suspect it might be an image of the artist himself.Why Is This Man Wearing A Turban?, by TejuCole. posted by timshel at 6:38 AM PST - 20 comments
"I’m off. It’s been a while since I haven’t travelled alone. Last time was in 2008, I’ve been travelling in Sweden for a week after I put an end to my trip throught Europe. I had understood then that travelling by one’s own is something unlike anything, that this is a true and healthy experience, exiting, insperating. I’m on this train leading me to the unknown, and this feeling of being off on a adventure again is already exciting me. I’m off to spend ten days in Minsk, capital of Belarus." posted by maxwelton at 11:41 PM PST - 17 comments
Sumo, the Japanese martial art that doesn't have a class at your local gym! Perhaps better known from Freakonomics than ESPN 5, the sport continues to draw crowds and contenders, an odd number of whom are from Eastern Europe, and one of whom is just barely over 200 pounds. Never seen it before? [more inside] posted by Make Way for Ducklings! at 10:44 PM PST - 24 comments
SS Gairsoppa was a merchant ship working for the British in 1941. On her final voyage she was part of convoy SL-64, moving cargo from India to the UK. Gairsoppa carried tea, pig iron, and silver ingots worth £600,000 (in 1941). She ran short of coal and had to leave the convoy, hoping to reach a port in Galway. She got spotted by a German airplane, and was torpedoed by U-101. Gairsoppa sank in 4700 meters of water SW of Ireland. On Wednesday, Oddyssey Marine Exploration announced that they had recovered 48 tons (1203 bars, 1.4 million troy ounces) of silver from the wreck. (gallery) This is the heaviest and deepest recovery of precious metal in history, but it may be only 20% of the silver carried by the ship. [more inside] posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:52 PM PST - 20 comments
This is just the top 30, what I consider to be the most likely candidates for actual new programming jargon based on community upvotes, not just "funny thing that another programmer typed on a webpage and I felt compelled to upvote for hilarity". Because that would be Reddit. Coding Horror presents the top 30 Stack Overflow New Programming Jargon entries. posted by Artw at 5:50 PM PST - 66 comments
Ooh I Love you Rakeem, and The Wu-Tang Marketing Plan One of the most important singles in hip-hop history wasn’t great, or even particularly good. In fact, it was terrible. Even the most die-hard hip-hop fans probably haven’t heard “Ooh I Love You Rakeem,” the title track of Prince Rakeem’s 1991 debut EP, and there’s a reason for that.
Prince Rakeem, a cartoonish, vaguely international ladies’ man, was a character foisted on rapper Robert Diggs by his record label. The Prince had just one concern. Women loved him too much, and he rapped about it. When the EP flopped, Prince Rakeem effectively died. But it wasn’t in vain—his demise gave birth to hip-hop’s greatest supergroup: The Wu-Tang Clan. posted by grippycat at 4:29 PM PST - 39 comments
ChiZine Publications (CZP) is an independent Toronto-based book publisher that is single-handedly changing the face of genre fiction in Canada. Though CZP was founded just four years ago and put out just twelve books per year, they are responsible for four of the six nominees for the the 2012 Best Novel Prix Aurora (Canada's highest honour in genre fiction). CZP grew out of the self-styled "dark fiction" 'zine The Chiaroscuro which has been publishing free genre fiction online since 1997. Their most recent release is David Nickle's tale of cold war psionic operatives gone rogue, Rasputin's Bastards. posted by 256 at 3:21 PM PST - 6 comments
Just as the 19th Annual International AIDS Conference is set to convene in Washington DC (the first IAC in the United States since 1987, when a travel ban was instituted and not lifted until 2009), President Obama has announced that his administration has invested $80 million in new grants for HIV/AIDS services, essentially eliminating the AIDS Drug Assistance Program waiting lists, which currently hold the names of 2,030 Americans waiting for access to HIV-related health care. posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:08 PM PST - 11 comments
"Two days ago I purchased one of only two Nintendo PowerFest 94 cartridges known to exist. The purchase took 74 emails, 27 months, 6 phone calls, 5 failed meeting attempts, 1 sack of cash, and some additional twists and turns to finally complete." posted by gilrain at 1:43 PM PST - 42 comments
Why Polygamy is Bad for Society "A new study out of the University of British Columbia documents how societies have systematically evolved away from polygamy because of the social problems it causes. The Canadian researchers are really talking about polygyny, which is the term for one man with multiple wives, and which is by far the most common expression of polygamy. Women are usually thought of as the primary victims of polygynous marriages, but as cultural anthropologist Joe Henrich documents, the institution also causes problems for the young, low-status males denied wives by older, wealthy men who have hoarded all the women. And those young men create problems for everybody." posted by bookman117 at 1:07 PM PST - 190 comments
Bikers Against Child Abuse is an international non-profit with an annual budget of $200,000 and more than 160 chapters in 36 states and five countries.
But it started with just one frightened 8-year-old boy in a therapist's office in Utah. posted by Molesome at 9:22 AM PST - 70 comments
Graffiti from Pompeii is a collection of inscriptions found in Pompeii and published in the Corpus Inscriptionum Latinarum. Much of it is not unlike what you might find scrawled in a toilet stall or on a wall in present day - declarations of love, friendship, and sexual prowess; complaints about careless defecators; philosophical musings about love, life, and death; and meta discussions about the act of graffiti itself. posted by catch as catch can at 4:42 AM PST - 47 comments
In an interview published yesterday, Dan Cathy, president of Chick-Fil-A, tells the Baptist Press that Chick-Fil-A is "very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit." Also this week, Cathy told radio host Ken Coleman "I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say 'we know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage." This is a change in Chick-Fil-A's corporate position; in 2011, responding to criticism that the company and its charitable arm, the WinShape Foundation, support organizations that work against LGBT rights and marriage equality, Cathy stated that the company "will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family." Chick-Fil-A is a fast food chain of franchises that operates in 39 US states; in 2011, annual sales exceeded $4 billion USD. The company is privately held. posted by catlet at 6:48 PM PST - 212 comments
My name is Paul Drye and False Steps is my project blog for a history book of the same name which looks at the Space Race as it might have been. Beginning with what I think to be the very prehistoric beginning of manned space travel (the so-called Magdeburg rocket of 1932) I aim to trace the ways in which people tried to travel to space and came close to accomplishing, all the way through Nazi German rocketry, the post-WWII fallow period, the crazy times of Sputnik through Apollo, the second down time of the 1970s, and the gradual revival of human space programs from then into the present day.
"This technology cannot simply substitute for the great libraries of the present. After all, libraries are not just repositories of books. They are communities, sources of expertise, and homes to lovingly compiled collections that amount to far more than the sum of their individual printed parts. Their physical spaces, especially in grand temples of learning like the NYPL, subtly influence the way that reading and writing takes place in them. And yet it is foolish to think that libraries can remain the same with the new technology on the scene. The Bookless Library, by David Bell (print ready version). [more inside] posted by codacorolla at 2:07 PM PST - 13 comments
NPR show us and tells the story of five men who agreed to stand directly below and observe a nuclear explosion.
On July 19, 1957, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood together on a patch of ground about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They'd marked the spot 'Ground Zero. Population 5' on a hand-lettered sign hammered into the soft ground right next to them.
Everyone talks about the cost of living, but how does your city or town stack up? EarDex is a crowdsourced database that offers an unofficial guide to the cost of living in cities and towns and even includes estimated daily budgets for tourists and backpackers. [more inside] posted by Deathalicious at 11:23 AM PST - 39 comments
AV Club Interview with Nick Offerman Articulate and often profound, this excellent AV Club interview with MeFi favorite Nick Offerman (previously 1, 2, 3) discusses his role as Parks and Recreation's Ron Swanson, the modern concept of masculinity portrayed by Hollywood, the importance of being yourself, and prosthetic penises. Second page of interview NSFW. [more inside] posted by dobie at 11:21 AM PST - 13 comments
"The amorphous concept of ‘creativity’ has become the unquestioned MacGuffin of our times, and anyone who doesn’t demonstrate it – or at least a willingness to cultivate it – is in danger of being labeled a conservative desk-monkey unfit for the creative rigours of our fecund social media world."
Public Service Broadcasting are a British banjo and synth duo who construct music based on samples from public information and propaganda films. Their objective is to 'teach the lessons of the past through the music of the future'.
Darlings of BBC Radio's 6Music they have just released their War Room EP constructed around archive wartime material from the BFI.
Each track has an accompanying, excellently edited film on the Youtube[more inside] posted by brilliantmistake at 9:01 AM PST - 9 comments
Back in the far distant past of the internet (round about 1993, it seems), back when Usenet was actually a bunch of popular discussion groups, the newsgroup alt.gothic had a simple post made by one Yohaun, a short list of translations of the phrase "Oh my god! There's an axe in my head!". Responses contributed translations in more languages. Now, nearly 20 years later, this list continues to exist and grow. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 10:22 PM PST - 54 comments
The Right Honourable Mr. Burke: "The right wing trumpets Burke, who excoriated the murderous rebellion in France; the left wing salutes Burke, who excoriated his imperial colleagues for their overweening and rapacious greed in India and America; Christians celebrate Burke, who considered religion a crucial and indispensable pillar of civic life; the Irish savor a native son who became, as Hazlitt noted, “the chief boast and ornament of the English House of Commons”; the English honor the writer and orator of “transcendant greatness,” as Coleridge wrote, with his usual casual attention to spelling. … Everyone claims Edmund Burke, except me. I merely savor and celebrate him…" posted by the mad poster! at 4:41 PM PST - 21 comments
The dining room was jammed to the fleur-de-lis wallpaper with red-faced white guys in blue suits and harried looking waiters in penguin costumes. Not my crowd. I remember hearing a muffled “linguine Alfredo” and the clinking of glasses at another table, and then the film snaps. This, as I’ve come to think of it, was the moment my first life stopped, where the film broke and the reel spun around and around, flogging itself.
"The French Book Trade in Enlightenment Europe project uses database technology to map the trade of the Société Typographique de Neuchâtel (STN), a celebrated Swiss publishing house that operated between 1769 and 1794. As the STN sold the works of other publishers alongside its own editions, their archives can be considered a representative source for studying the history of the book trade and dissemination of ideas in the late Enlightenment." [more inside] posted by Marauding Ennui at 9:59 AM PST - 5 comments
"Mr. Lukashenko has steadily turned Belarus into something akin to a prison colony. The possibility of ending up in prison is a constant risk for millions, and a check on even their most mundane daily routines." - Europe’s Last Dictatorship (SLNYTIMES) posted by beisny at 8:09 AM PST - 21 comments
Back in the first half of the eighties, when the Soviet leadership was old, dementing and increasingly paranoid and president Reagan spoke of a winnable nuclear war and set in motion the Star Wars project to make it so, the nuclear holocaust was on many people's minds. It not only featured frequently in popular culture, but several films were made as explicit warnings of what a nuclear war would really be like. Of these movies, Threads (1984) was the most realistic and scary. The full movie is now available on Youtube for your "enjoyment". Warning: not very nice, sort of depressing. [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 12:12 AM PST - 165 comments
The Gates Foundation's Leveraged Philanthropy: Corporate Profit Versus Humanity
Part I on the Gates Foundation's international aid projects and II on Gates' domestic education projects. [more inside] posted by latkes at 11:43 PM PST - 18 comments
In light of today's news that one of two Shell ships slated to drill exploratory oil wells in the Arctic waters of Alaska's Chukchi and Beaufort Seas had slipped its moorings and was headed towards Dutch Harbor, in Alaska's Aleutian Islands... check out a collaboration between the Yes Men and Greenpeace that's been online since June: arcticready.com (Twitter) -- an elaborate site spoofing Royal Dutch Shell Plc, who have uh... promised not to sue. posted by zarq at 3:06 PM PST - 15 comments
October 14, 2010: A breach at a bauxite processing plant spilled a million cubic meters of red sludge across the countryside near Ajka, Hungary, killing nine people. Six months later, photographer Palíndromo Mészáros took photos of the disaster site, abandoned save for The Red Line. (via) [more inside] posted by googly at 1:49 PM PST - 20 comments
“The first household assemblage we analyzed, of Family 27, resulted in a tally of 2,260 visible possessions in the first three rooms coded (two bedrooms and the living room),” and that didn’t include “untold numbers of items tucked into dresser drawers, boxes and cabinets or items positioned behind other items.”
The Advocate has compiled a list of all of the openly LGBT athletes who will be competing in the 2012 Olympics. Considering that 10,500 competitors will be traveling to London this summer, it's a very short list. (Warning: gratuitous pagination) posted by schmod at 12:45 PM PST - 32 comments
"Institutions of learning should be devoted to the cultivation of curiosity and the less they are deflected by considerations of immediacy of application, the more likely they are to contribute not only to human welfare but to the equally important satisfaction of intellectual interest which may indeed be said to have become the ruling passion of intellectual life in modern times." -Abraham Flexner, in his 1939 Harper's Article "The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge" (available at Harper's for money or in PDF from the IAS for free) posted by BlackLeotardFront at 10:55 AM PST - 7 comments
In "Friends of a Certain Age," the New York Times Style Section examines how life stages affect friendship, citing the college years as America's prime friendship-making time. Why? Because as we get older and "external conditions change, it becomes tougher to meet the three conditions that sociologists since the 1950s have considered crucial to making close friends: proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions; and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down and confide in each other." [more inside] posted by Violet Blue at 1:44 AM PST - 67 comments
Banksters this story stretches far beyond Britain. Barclays is the first bank in the spotlight because it offered to co-operate fully with regulators. It will not be the last. Investigations into the fixing of LIBOR and other rates are also under way in America, Canada and the EU. Between them, these probes cover many of the biggest names in finance: the likes of Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, UBS, Deutsche Bank and HSBC. Employees, from New York to Tokyo, are implicated. The rotten heart of finance. A scandal over key interest rates is about to go global.
Naomi Wolf: The media's 'bad apple' thesis no longer works.
This global financial fraud and its gatekeepers. posted by adamvasco at 9:44 PM PST - 127 comments
"As the story goes, [George] Daynor was a former gold prospector who’d lost his fortune in the Wall Street crash of 1929. Hitchhiking through Alaska, he was visited by an angel who told him to make his way to New Jersey without further delay. Divine providence had dictated that Daynor was to wait out the Great Depression there, building a castle with his bare hands. Daynor had only four dollars in his pocket when he arrived in Vineland, NJ.... For years he slept in an abandoned car on the mosquito-infested property, living off a steady diet of frogs, fish and squirrels while he built his elaborate eighteen-spired, pastel-hued Palace of Depression out of auto parts and mud. His primary objective? To encourage his downtrodden countrymen to hold onto their hope and stay resourceful, no matter what." [more inside] posted by jessamyn at 8:45 PM PST - 20 comments
The latest record from Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Americana (released June 5, 2012), is a surprising collection of grungy covers of classic American folk songs, many of which are better known for their contemporary use as children's songs or camp songs. Of the record, Neil Young said:
Every one of these songs has verses that have been ignored. And those are the key verses, those are the things that make these songs live. They’re a little heavy for kindergarteners to be singing. The originals are much darker, there’s more protest in them...[cite]
Nevertheless, many of NY&CH's renditions skip some of the juicier bits from the history of these songs' performance. Read on for a listing of tracks with some of their darkest verses. [more inside] posted by yourcelf at 3:54 PM PST - 30 comments
Pussy Riot is a free-floating (except when jailed) band of punk rockers and activists in Russia. Their punk protest issues include LGBT and gender rights, as well as opposition to Putin and the government. They’re usually anonymous, and they change their assumed and actual names and personnel on a whim. They perform in balaclavas that hide their features, and wear bright-colored tights and plain, skimpy dresses, so anyone can easily don Pussy Riot gear. Hair, makeup, even gender — doesn’t matter. This is not rock star territory. Men can be members of Pussy Riot; so can anyone on the spectrum. They do not perform in clubs or theaters or at music events. Every performance is a guerrilla one.Vice interviews Pussy Riot (before the arrests). Salon reports on the recent detention of three members. Amnesty International page. posted by infini at 3:42 PM PST - 28 comments
Before Kristina från Duvemåla, before Chess, certainly long before Mamma Mia, Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA were experimenting with storytelling through music. As part of their 1977 world tour, ABBA closed out their shows with the mini-musical The Girl With The Golden Hair [~25m, illustrative video (not a live filming), 1977 bootleg-quality audio] (full lyrics). [more inside] posted by hippybear at 7:45 AM PST - 7 comments
35 full-length Viennese Actionist films 1957-1969.*NSFW* (Extreme graphic & scatological situations.) "The term Viennese Actionism describes a short and violent movement in 20th century art that can be regarded as part of the many independent efforts of the 1960s to develop 'action art' (Fluxus, Happening, Performance, Body Art, etc.)." Previously: 1, 2.[more inside] posted by Skygazer at 3:36 AM PST - 29 comments
Lucas Foglia's new book, A Natural Order, is a collection of photographs he took in off the grid communities in Appalachia. Foglia is the son of "back to the earth" parents who farmed, and continue to farm,on Long Island. But the communities he pictures are a step beyond that. You can view some of the beautiful, yet occasionally disturbing, photographs here. Note-a few show nudity.
It is also worth looking at his other collection,Front Country, which shows communities where change is occurring in the ranching and mining areas of the American West. posted by Isadorady at 8:06 PM PST - 28 comments
Notes From The Only Man To Die Of Trench Foot In The Media War by Douglas Haddow"If you want to be a freelance writer and maintain a marginally civilized lifestyle, it’s best to keep cozy with anyone who can facilitate the transfer of funds into your wallet. Part-time prostitution is a good gig if you can pick your clients and fetch a decent rate, otherwise, it pays dividends to maintain copywriting credentials and occasionally dip your pen in the company ink." posted by hoodrich at 4:26 PM PST - 13 comments
Guardian "I took secret photos of my abortion to empower and educate women: Thisismyabortion.com shows that the reality of abortion is far from the vile and grotesque images used by the pro-life lobby"
French photographer Benoit Cezard, who has lived in Wuhan, Hubei province for six years, suddenly rose to fame on the Internet, after he orchestrated a series of photos in which Caucasians pose as migrant workers in China.
Benoit Cezard is convinced that by 2050, China will overtake the United States as the world’s No.1 economy, and as the result, foreigners will come to China for manual and low-paid jobs, such as street vendors and sanitation workers, most of which are currently held by low-cost workers from rural China. text Via Ministry of Tofu shares photos along with Chinese netizen's reactions to the series. posted by infini at 1:37 PM PST - 17 comments
During the presentation of tough new austerity measures at the Spanish parliament, and more specifically of a cut in unemployment benefits (with unemployment currently standing at 24%), and as her fellow conservative MPs clapped, Andrea Fabra yelled "Fuck 'em all!". Hilarity has predictably ensued... [more inside] posted by Skeptic at 10:31 AM PST - 50 comments
Gabriel García Márquez has dementia and can no longer write. According to his brother, Jaime, the Nobel laureate author of One Hundred Years of Solitude and Love in the Time of Cholera is suffering side effects from treatment for lymphatic cancer that have accelerated the onset of dementia, which runs in his family. García Márquez has not written anything since his last novel, Memoirs of My Melancholy Whores, in 2007. Among the works left uncompleted will be the second half of his autobiography Living to Tell the Tale. posted by Cash4Lead at 10:02 AM PST - 40 comments
...But most of all, I am emerging from this drama with a renewed appreciation for the value of my taxpayer-supported public services. The Berkeley Fire Department did right by me — not only by saving most of my house from burning to the ground, but also by demonstrating real human kindness and connection in the middle of fire and chaos. In the rubble, I found magic. And in a strange way, I feel like I deserved it. In Berkeley, we are addicted to high taxes — in the 25 years I’ve lived here, I can’t even count how many times I and my fellow citizens have said a resounding yes to yet another tax hike or bond measure. Two weeks ago, I got my money’s worth. [more inside] posted by latkes at 7:55 AM PST - 86 comments
"Though now almost forgotten, the case of “the Chickens and the Bulls” as the NYPD called it (or “Operation Homex,” to the FBI), still stands as the most far-flung, most organized, and most brazen example of homosexual extortion in the nation’s history. And while the Stonewall riot in June 1969 is considered by many to be the pivotal moment in gay civil rights, this case represents an important crux too, marking the first time that the law enforcement establishment actually worked on behalf of victimized gay men, instead of locking them up or shrugging." [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 12:12 AM PST - 19 comments
What’s eating Appalachia? 'Democrats in the region seem to hate their president. Keith Judd, a convict serving a 17-year sentence for extortion in a Texan jail' 'won 58% of the vote in Hardy County to Barack Obama’s 42%. Mr Judd’s victory was not a freak result: Democrats in a further nine counties in West Virginia judged a resident of the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana a better standard-bearer for their party than the current occupant of the White House.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 5:36 PM PST - 76 comments
"Truman told Jack that he was frankly surprised that anyone who knew him well did not immediately recognize the inspiration behind Holly Golightly. And yet, everyone seems to agree that the true identity of Holly Golightly, nee Lula Mae Barnes, is a great mystery, and that her true inspiration can never be known. Well, that was yesterday, this is today. I’m here to clear that up. Spoiler: it was Truman’s mom. Mystery solved. Let’s break this down and find all the parallels between the two, if their virtually identical birth names were not enough." Lillie Mae Faulk – The Real Holly Golightly, from The Gloss's Shelved Dolls series. [more inside] posted by taz at 11:02 AM PST - 27 comments
"You really learn to look..and suddenly you begin to see wonderful things in your daily life... its one of the most wonderful presents you get in an art education: to enjoy seeing." -Inge Druckrey: Teaching to See. Brought to you by Edward Tufte. (single link vimeo) posted by AceRock at 6:02 AM PST - 4 comments
Viacom pulls free Daily Show and Colbert Report from the web. The move comes after satellite broadcaster DirecTV stopped carrying Viacom's cable channels Tuesday night.
One of DirecTV's issues with Viacom is the amount of content the cable programmer puts online for free. DirecTV and other distributors fear that giving programs away online undermines the pay-TV business model.
As if sitting through hundreds of this was not price enough to pay. posted by Danf at 4:52 PM PST - 112 comments
A line-by-line legal analysis of verse 2 of Jay-Z's 99 Problems [PDF], published in the law review of St. Louis University, is a surprisingly enlightening take on Fourth Amendment rights during a traffic stop. Jay-Z is right in submitting to a show of authority and refusing to consent to a search, but he is wrong in assuming that a warrant is needed to search a locked trunk or glovebox. However, Jay-Z would probably be able to suppress evidence of the drugs in his car, even if they are found, because he had to wait while the K-9 comes. He's got 99 problems but a female sniffer dog isn't one. Hit me. posted by blahblahblah at 4:48 PM PST - 58 comments
Back in December American Conservative talked about The Changing state of War stating: One of the most discouraging aspects of the current Republican presidential candidate debates is the discussion of drone warfare, or rather the fact that it is not being discussed at all except to approve of the practice.
Tom Junod of Esquire now discusses in a long article the targeted killing of an American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. [more inside] posted by adamvasco at 4:07 PM PST - 154 comments
Leading up to the first anniversary of the Netflix meltdown, CNET interviewed former and current Netflix employees to find out how a series of missteps turned into a lost year, and whether it has rebounded from those self-inflicted wounds.
Why You’re Not Friends With Your Neighbors. 'After building neighborhood social networks in more than 3,000 communities across the U.S., Nirav Tolia has learned just how many different things neighbors can accomplish. Using Nextdoor, the site built by Tolia and his team, neighbors get burglars arrested, investigate possible water poisoning, and stop the installation of parking meters. They lend one another ladders and grills, recommend babysitters, and upload videos of locals. But the one thing they’re not looking to do is make friends.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 12:14 PM PST - 76 comments
Classic movies in miniature style.It all started 2 years ago with an experiment to blend traditional ‘oriental’ (Ottoman) motifs and contemporary ‘western’ cinema. After a positive response to "Ottoman Star Wars", I decided to take the theme further, and developed more film posters using the same technique. posted by shakespeherian at 7:41 AM PST - 19 comments
Bullying & Goodreads: "Little more than a week ago, a website aimed at naming and shaming so-called Goodreads [A kind of facebook for bibliophiles.] ‘bullies’ suddenly appeared online – called, appropriately enough, Stop the GR Bullies. Run by four concerned ‘readers and bloggers’ writing anonymously under the handles Athena, Peter Pan, Johnny Be Good and Stitch, the site thus far seems bent on punishing the creators of snide, snarky and negative book reviews by posting their handles, real names, locations and photos in one place, together with a warning about their supposed ‘level of toxicity’ and some (ironically) snide, snarky and negative commentary about them as people. There’s a lot here to unpack, but before I get started on why this is a horrifically bad idea, let’s start with some basic context." posted by Fizz at 6:19 AM PST - 178 comments
First Class was a titanic "electronic" tea time BBC general knowledge quiz show in the late 1980s, presented by heartthrob Debbie Greenwood (now a regular on QVC UK) with the aid of a BBC Micro called Eugene. Two teams of teenagers represented their schools as they battled for supremacy playing a random selection of arcade games like skateboarder 720 degrees and Hypersports, the ultimate prize an Acorn Archimedes. Now, the nail-biting encounter between Armthorpe School in Sheffield and Montagu School of Kettering is on YouTube [parts 1, 2 & 3] posted by feelinglistless at 3:35 AM PST - 16 comments
March 21, 1927, Marble Arch Pavilion, London. Fritz Lang's Metropolis receives its British premiere, and the audience was handed programs on their way into the auditorium. Today, only three copies are known to survive. Fortunately for us, the entire program is available to read online. posted by hippybear at 9:44 PM PST - 11 comments
"It's the 21ist century--why are we working so much?" In which Owen Hatherley exhumes the humiliated, expired idea that the reduction of work is a worthwhile goal. "If there's one thing practically all futurologists once agreed on, it's that in the 21st century there would be a lot less work. What would they have thought, if they had known that in 2012, the 9-5 working day had in the UK become something more like 7am to 7pm? They would surely have looked around and seen technology take over in many professions which previously needed heavy manpower, they would have looked at the increase in automation and mass production, and wondered – why are they spending 12 hours a day on menial tasks?" [more inside] posted by byanyothername at 5:28 PM PST - 106 comments
Inklewriter allows you to create and share branching, interactive stories online; complete with a light smattering of conditionals, counters and other tools to keep it interesting. posted by Sparx at 5:16 PM PST - 3 comments
THE VANISHING: 'In the stunning and remote wilderness along northern British Columbia’s Highway 16, at least 18 women—by some estimates, many more—have gone missing over the past four decades. After years of investigation, authorities still don’t know if it’s the work of a serial killer or multiple offenders. BOB FRIEL drives into the darkness for answers.' [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:34 PM PST - 33 comments
Guerrilla art group hacks dozens of Astral info pillars. The city's new, redesigned info pillars that have been rapidly popping up around Toronto have made plenty of enemies: road users claim the large, flat sides block sight lines, pedestrians say their positioning blocks sidewalks, and many others are concerned about the large amount of space given over to advertisers. A team of artists, cARTographyTO, hacked into roughly 35 of the signs' ad spaces over the weekend and installed maps, artwork and other visual displays. posted by netbros at 1:43 PM PST - 50 comments
SSL vs. The UniverseA few concessions were made in the creation and visualization of these materials. The Big Bang shown is simply an artistic interpretation of the event. Most experts agree that there was no giant “explosion” at the start of time.The math. posted by OmieWise at 11:51 AM PST - 47 comments
It's been a big week for high speed rail proponents and infrastructure hawks. This week, the California Legislature approved startup funds for the $68 billion high-speed line linking San Diego to San Francisco and Sacramento and points in between. Today, Amtrak unvelied its $151 billion plan (PDF) for the Northeast Corridor. Both will take decades to complete. Detractors worry about exploding costs and operating losses, while supporters stress jobs, mobility, and international competitiveness. Europe and Japan have lapped us a few times over. However, those who want to do this quickly and cheaply might want to take a lesson from once-ambitious China. posted by moammargaret at 8:06 AM PST - 245 comments
"About six weeks ago at a zoo in Sochi, Russia, an Amur tiger - one of the rarest tigers on the planet - gave birth to a pair of cubs. The zoo, of course, was thrilled, but its joy soon faded - the mother wouldn't feed her babies. Fortunately, the zoo found a woman, Yekaterina Khodakova, whose Shar Pei Cleopatra had recently had a litter of puppies. Cleopatra immediately accepted the tiger cubs as her own, and began nursing them. Now the Amur cubs, dubbed Clyopa and Plyusha, think they're dogs." posted by davidjmcgee at 5:52 AM PST - 116 comments
Neal Stephenson's Kickstarter project for a realistic sword-fighting video game has just been funded successfully. Clang is meant to be played with a motion controller and aims to represent certain historical fighting styles as accurately as possible. [more inside] posted by tykky at 11:48 PM PST - 44 comments
Photographer Ann Marsden passed away last night. Much of Marsden's work depicted the theater and arts in the twin cities of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota.
Her best friend, Lisa Nebenzahl, was documenting Marsden's losing battle with cervical cancer with photographs. Those simple and powerful photos are posted here. posted by HuronBob at 8:03 PM PST - 9 comments
Alex Jansen is a lieutenant in the US Army currently deployed in Afghanistan. He is embedded as a liaison officer working with and training the Afghan National Army. He's been taking photos of his experiences and posting them on the Pentax forums, offering a different view of the life of soldiers in Afghanistan. Forum posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10[more inside] posted by jontyjago at 5:47 PM PST - 44 comments
"Maintaining this level of surveillance is very burdensome for companies. According to the letters, AT&T has more than 100 full time employees assigned just to handle law enforcement requests, Verizon has 70, and Sprint has a whopping 226. That’s a lot of people power devoted solely to surveillance." Mobile Phone Surveillance by the Numbers. posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:25 PM PST - 38 comments
"Shut Up and Dance’s 1991 hardcore LP ‘Dance Before the Police Come’ was released at a time when the UK authorities were struggling to contain the massive explosion of raves. Thousands of people each weekend were playing a cat and mouse game with the police to party in fields and warehouses, and if the state was often outwitted by meeting points in motorway service stations and convoys of cars, it tried to keep the lid on the phenomenon by staging high profile raids." Dance before the police come: a social history, covering UK (and US) raves, queer activism, morality police (both figurative and literal) and racial discrimination. [more inside] posted by Len at 11:48 AM PST - 14 comments
The New Elitists (NYT) - "...omnivores seem highly distinct and their tastes appear to be a matter of personal expression. Instead of liking things like opera because that’s what people of your class are supposed to like, the omnivore likes what he likes because it is an expression of a distinct self. Perhaps liking a range of things explains why elites are elite, and not the other way around. By contrast, those who have exclusive tastes today — middle-class and poorer Americans — are subject to disdain. If the world is open and you don’t take advantage of it, then you’re simply limited and closed-minded. Perhaps it’s these attributes that explain your incapacity to succeed." [more inside] posted by flex at 9:14 AM PST - 128 comments
As reported in this article in the Guardian, a US appeals court recently ruled that confidential oral history interviews given by former members of Northern Irish paramilitary groups to researchers from Boston College are not confidential. [more inside] posted by naturalog at 6:47 AM PST - 69 comments
Chagas' disease can cast a silent, lifelong shadow. 'Chagas is a potentially fatal parasitic disease most often found in Latin American immigrants. There had been little awareness of it in the U.S., but' it is slowly making its way into the United States. 'Chagas affects an estimated 300,000 people in this country and about 13 million worldwide, chiefly in Latin America, where it is a leading cause of heart failure.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 10:45 PM PST - 30 comments
After leading several expeditions into Tunisia to visit the filming locations for Tatooine landmarks, tour guide Mark Dermul was dismayed by the state of the Owen Lars homestead. A joke about restoring it turned into serious thought which led to fundraising and planning and delays due to social unrest, and finally in June, the "Igloo" was restored to its former glory. posted by hippybear at 9:42 PM PST - 40 comments
"At PSFK Conference NYC, Vikram Gandhi spoke about his latest movie Kumaré - The True Story of A False Prophet. While he was born in New Jersey, the film director spoke about how he had been noticing how the Indian-heritage culture he had experienced as he grew up, was being used by Americans and other Westerners to help solve their emotional and spiritual issues. To explore this idea further he dressed up as a guru, created a backstory with YouTube video and website, spoke like his grandmother and recruited followers in Arizona. What's unique is that throughout the film is that he tells everyone he was an illusion and asks his followers to look in a mirror to solve their own problems." [more inside] posted by vidur at 5:15 PM PST - 42 comments
In Canada an active duty RCMP officer is under investigation for posting sexually explicit photos on the private Fetlife service. Further details of the alleged photos seem to describe a relatively hardcore but completely consensual male/female bondage scenario. [more inside] posted by thewalrus at 4:23 PM PST - 86 comments
"Local marine experts believed the problem could be solved only if it could be determined why the sharks were venturing so close to the beaches. This meant finding someone with the knowledge, expertise, and courage to spend an extended period of time in the water with the animals themselves, unraveling the mystery. They called Belgian Fred Buyle, the world's foremost shark tagger, a gifted free-diver able to hold his breath for seven minutes and swim to depths below 300 feet." Meet The Shark Whisperer[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:10 PM PST - 13 comments
But it is already too late. CNN has been carefully orchestrating its transformation into a shockingly efficient news distribution company. They have been planning to saturate every screen in reach with this story as fast as possible, and the producer’s initial go-ahead pulled the trigger. On the air, Wolf Blitzer is sending the coverage to the Courthouse steps. And as planned the reporter is putting her phone down to go on the air, which cuts herself off from the only CNN employee with access to the opinion.We’re getting wildly differing assessments: SCOTUSblog compiles first-hand accounts of the minutes between 10:06 and 10:15am on June 28, when CNN and FOX misreported and retracted that the mandate had been struck down. posted by youarenothere at 11:44 AM PST - 75 comments
"Kansas City gets the All-Star Game, and it’s likely that this will be the last time Kansas City will be in the national sports spotlight for a long time." Joe Posnanski on the downfall and charm of Kansas City, which "used to be in the spotlight with regularity. There have been 10 Final Fours here, more than any other city. The NCAA was based here. There were two World Series here, a Davis Cup semifinal, numerous NFL playoff games including the Christmas Day game that is one of the best ever played. Tom Watson stayed here, so did George Brett ... But times have changed. Unless something dramatic changes -- and it almost certainly won’t -- there won’t ever be a Super Bowl here, a U.S. Open here, another Final Four here. There’s a beautiful arena downtown that was built largely for an NBA or NHL team that almost certainly won’t ever come. Another World Series seems as distant as anything. The All-Star Game won’t come back for a long time." posted by geoff. at 11:05 AM PST - 17 comments
Given how little thought India’s contribution to the World Wars gets in our collective historical memory, it is almost strange to think that in the First World War India made the largest contribution to the war effort out of all of Britain’s colonies and dominions. Close to 1,700,000 Indians – combatants and non-combatants – participated in WWI. My own area of interest is India’s role in the Mesopotamian theatre.[more inside] posted by infini at 10:55 AM PST - 7 comments
"Now we have three former NSA officials confirming the basic facts. Neither the Constitution nor federal law allow the government to collect massive amounts of communications and data of innocent Americans and fish around in it in case it might find something interesting. This kind of power is too easily abused. We're extremely pleased that more whistleblowers have come forward to help end this massive spying program." - the EFF announces that three former employees of the NSA have come forward to testify in their lawsuit against the NSA over the domestic spying program. posted by crayz at 10:40 AM PST - 31 comments
Apple’s mobile design direction is in conflict with the intended direction of the standard. Specifically, the standard lays out particular requirements for product “disassemble-ability,” a very important consideration for recycling: “External enclosures, chassis, and electronic subassemblies shall be removable with commonly available tools or by hand.” Electronics recyclers need to take out hazardous components such as batteries before sending computers through their shredders, because batteries can catch fire when punctured.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor at The Atlantic, recently touched on a couple of interesting aspects of the American Civil War. First, Racism Against White People briefly looked at how Southern intellectuals argued that Northern whites were of a different race. Then a subthread in the comments on that post spawned an investigation of American Exceptionalism in History and the notion of preserving democracy in the context of the American Civil War. After all, "if a government can be sundered simply because the minority doesn't like the results of an election, can it even call itself a government?" Definitely check out the comments of both posts. posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:57 AM PST - 49 comments
To Use and Use Not: [NYTimes.com] "In an interview in The Paris Review in 1958 Ernest Hemingway made an admission that has inspired frustrated novelists ever since: The final words of “A Farewell to Arms,” his wartime masterpiece, were rewritten “39 times before I was satisfied.” A new edition of “A Farewell to Arms,” which was originally published in 1929, will be released next week, including all the alternate endings, along with early drafts of other passages in the book." posted by Fizz at 5:24 AM PST - 19 comments
Is America the Most Philosophical Society on the Planet? "For the surprising little secret of our ardently capitalist, famously materialist, heavily iPodded, iPadded and iPhoned society is that America in the early 21st century towers as the most philosophical culture in the history of the world, an unprecedented marketplace of truth and argument that far surpasses ancient Greece, 19th-century Germany or any other place. The openness of its dialogue, the quantity of its arguments, the diversity of its viewpoints, the cockiness with which its citizens express their opinions, the vastness of its First Amendment freedoms, the intensity of its hunt for evidence and information, the widespread rejection of truths imposed by authority or tradition alone, the resistance to false claims of justification and legitimacy, the embrace of Web communication with an alacrity that intimidates the world: All corroborate that fact." [more inside] posted by bookman117 at 10:19 PM PST - 86 comments
A liquor store in Amsterdam.A veteran in Bagdad.A family in Rome.A WWII veterans memorial in Berlin.A house in Oxford.Edouard Levé photographed towns in the United States that shared names with famous cities. He photographed fully-clothed actors reenacting scenes from rugby and pornography [nsfw]. He also wrote some novels, influenced by Oulipo. Autoportrait, describes his life in 120 pages of unordered vignettes and brief, declarative sentences—"The girl whom I loved the most left me. [...] I am uneasy in rooms with small windows." and so on. His fourth novel, Suicide, is a one-sided conversation between an anonymous narrator ("I") and his friend ("you"), who committed suicide twenty years ago. It's a painfully intimate meditation on the act and its fallout on its own merits—"Your life was hypothesis. Those who die old are made of the past. Thinking of them, one thinks of what they have done. Thinking of you, one thinks of what you could have become. You were, and you will remain, made up of possibilities."—but few will read Suicide unburdened with the knowledge that Edouard Levé killed himself several days after completing it, at the age of 47. [more inside] posted by spanishbombs at 6:52 PM PST - 7 comments
The Shuttle Launches, all 135 of them, playing simultaneously.
Edited by McLean Fahnestock.
If you're looking for the Challenger video, it is in the second row from the top, the 6th frame from the right. posted by HuronBob at 3:44 PM PST - 32 comments
Iran confronts its alcohol problem. 'After years of denying the prevalence of illegal alcohol in Iran, officials are addressing the issue, while continuing to treat drinking as a sin and a crime.' 'Recently, two men in a northeastern province were given rare death sentences for drinking, as part of the country's three-strikes law. Each man had been convicted of drinking twice before.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 11:22 AM PST - 19 comments
In 1891 author and lecturer ”Max O’Rell” (being the pen name of one Léon Paul Blouet) published an amusing account of his travels through the States and Eastern Canada - "A Frenchman In America" - that, along with the charming illustrations, reflect on then popular national stereotypes and character and is presented on Project Gutenberg in its entirely. (via) posted by The Whelk at 9:36 AM PST - 16 comments
What can be done to prevent another financial meltdown? While some cry for armed revolution, others are whispering for incremental changes that could have a substantial impact on how high finance works – or doesn't.
John Coates, a former Wall Street derivatives trader and now a neuroscientist at the University of Cambridge, has done novel research on how testosterone skews the thinking – and thus the behavior – of traders, inspiring them to take on more risk than benefits society. His research is now available in a book.
Would programs that encourage more women to enter – and/or climb the ranks of – trading groups make finance more responsible?
(If this strikes you as biological determinism, there are other lines of inquiry that may be headed in the same direction: how managers exploit subordinates in ways that shape overall behavior and could be modified via both incentives and regulation; how cheating happens and the best ways to prevent it.) posted by noway at 7:47 AM PST - 45 comments
In November of 2001, Chunklet Magazine published Fred Weaver's tour diary chronicling the The Final Dark Days of Don Caballero (14 scanned JPGs). The final tour documented in this article marked the end of the collaboration between Damon Che and Ian Williams, the original creative machine behind the notable math rock band. [more inside] posted by bwilms at 7:38 AM PST - 6 comments
PANTONE® Guides are a system of classification of colors represented by an alphanumeric code, allowing accurate recreation in any medium. Humanae is a project from Spanish artist Angelica Dass that applies the alphanumerical classification of the PANTONE® coloring system to human skin tone, communicated through a photographed portraiture series. The exact shade is extracted from a sample of 11x11 pixels from the face of the people portrayed. The ongoing aim is to record and catalog human skin tones through scientific measurement. posted by netbros at 2:06 PM PST - 35 comments
3... 2... 1... fontBomb! Detonate your favourite websites in stylish fashion with this experimental bookmarklet by Philippe-Antoine Lehoux. [more inside] posted by oulipian at 10:17 AM PST - 10 comments
Julia Kristeva wrote about the horror of Abjection, when the body that formally was considered a unified whole is disturbing to see/touch when the parts are separated. Or it can be really funny, as can be seen when this gentleman pranks (YT) his friends by making a wig of his own hair. via reddit posted by saucysault at 9:23 AM PST - 46 comments
"None of us are gods, evil, good, or any other kind of god. We are mortal. If I am cut, I bleed. If you are cut, you bleed. We are all flesh and blood. We are born. We live. We die. The only thing that makes us different is that we are a new kind of human being , One day everyone in the world will be like us. We are Tomorrow People, Hsui Tai, and you are one of us!"[more inside] posted by Mezentian at 5:20 AM PST - 32 comments
Mangajin was created in the early 90's as a monthly English publication for students of the Japanese language. Unlike most text books that focused solely on teaching people Japanese through boring text, Mangajin was different in that it focused on showing readers a page of manga and then a page of English translations. As great of an idea that this sounds today, it didn't catch on in the 90's and Mangajin ended in 1996. Now manga in America is as popular as ever, which is why I have decided to put Mangajin onto this web site. Fans of Japanese manga and who are looking to learn Japanese will undoubtedly find Mangajin very useful! posted by KokuRyu at 10:04 PM PST - 32 comments
James Mollison's Disciples project. Over three years I photographed fans outside different concerts. I was fascinated by the different tribes of people that attended them, and how people emulated celebrity to form their identity. posted by ignignokt at 4:55 PM PST - 36 comments
Rock band Def Leppard has decided upon a unique solution to the problem of making their music available for electronic distribution despite conflicts with Universal Music Group: Re-record their entire back catalog as accurately as possible. They're calling the songs 'forgeries.' posted by LastOfHisKind at 3:35 PM PST - 150 comments
Researchers found [.pdf], after a series of four studies that "husbands embedded in traditional and neo-traditional marriages (relative to husbands embedded in modern ones) exhibit attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that undermine the role of women in the workplace." The potential resistors focused on are husbands embedded in marriages that structurally mirror the 1950s ideal American family portrayed in the “Adventures of Ozzzie and Harriet” sitcom. [more inside] posted by ambrosia at 2:32 PM PST - 56 comments
The Boston Symphony Orchestra is one of the handful of orchestras for which musicians the world over will drop everything to scramble for a job, and the audition ranks among the world’s toughest job interviews. Mike Tetreault has spent an entire year preparing obsessively for this moment. He's put in 20-hour workdays, practiced endlessly and shut down his personal life. Now the percussionist has 10 minutes to impress a selection committee and stand out among a lineup of other world-class musicians. A single mistake and it's over. A flawless performance and he could join one of the world's most renowned and financially well-endowed orchestras at a salary of more than $100,000 a year. The Audition. [more inside] posted by zarq at 12:28 PM PST - 90 comments
"I'll break down to you exactly what happened, a play-by-play account. I came home, unbelievably intoxicated, I mean beyond drunk. I couldn't even, let's say, upload a video to Youtube. Then I walked upstairs and spotted in the hallway a video camera atop a tripod, pointed toward the floor. I had no choice. The only viable move was for me to start singing Kiss From a Rose to my cat, who I am very clearly abusing physically." posted by yellowbinder at 12:10 PM PST - 52 comments
How to replace an Imax Screen. London's BFI, after 13 years, needed a new screen. Not the simplest of jobs, given the screen is 85 feet x 65 feet in size. Luckily, when they did change it this week, they brought a camera along to take some pictures. posted by ewan at 10:11 AM PST - 24 comments
"The ... Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant accident was the result of collusion between the government, the regulators and Tepco, and the lack of governance by said parties." posted by mondo dentro at 8:44 AM PST - 127 comments
The IRL Fetish
"If the hardware has spread virally within physical space, the software is even more insidious. Thoughts, ideas, locations, photos, identities, friendships, memories, politics, and almost everything else are finding their way to social media. The power of “social” is not just a matter of the time we’re spending checking apps, nor is it the data that for-profit media companies are gathering; it’s also that the logic of the sites has burrowed far into our consciousness." posted by stoneweaver at 8:00 AM PST - 57 comments
The curious case of the eroding eikaiwa salary. Now fraught with job insecurity and low pay, there was a time when the work was steady and salaries were high for those who taught English in Japan. Around the turn of the millennium, salaries and work conditions for English teachers in Japan began a downward trend — one that has now spilled into the '10s and shows no signs of slowing, let alone reversing. posted by KokuRyu at 7:59 AM PST - 49 comments
What began with one man in a patent office and the insight that mass and energy are the same has culminated at the largest particle collider ever built, employing 2400 full-time employees and 10,000 visiting scientists: CERN has announced the discovery of the Higgs boson, a major vindication for the Standard Model of particle physics. [more inside] posted by Eyebrows McGee at 5:05 AM PST - 97 comments
"An English project I did that people at my school really thought was funny." Max Sánchez-Kollegger (Waluiginumberone) hams it up, reviewing Scott Westerfield's Leviathan and it's sequel Behemoth on youtube. posted by Omnomnom at 4:47 AM PST - 7 comments
"By the time I realized I was in love, it was malignant. It was hopeless. There was no escaping, no negotiating with the feeling. No choice. It was my first love, it changed my life. Back then, my mind would wander to the women I had been with, the ones I cared for and thought I was in love with. I reminisced about the sentimental songs I enjoyed when I was a teenager.. the ones I played when I experienced a girlfriend for the first time. I realized they were written in a language I did not yet speak." --Frank Ocean comes out. [more inside] posted by acidic at 12:27 AM PST - 56 comments
"Had I ever given a compliment that made someone feel worse? Or that had no effect at all? I decided to learn how to deliver good ones. I devised a plan in which I would give a lot of them in a short time and work to figure out exactly how the best compliments worked, and why." posted by vidur at 8:41 PM PST - 52 comments
Recent technologies developed at American universities are making communication easier for the sight and hearing impaired. Last summer a Stanford undergrad developed a touchscreen Braille writer that stands to revolutionize how the blind negotiate an unseen world by replacing devices costing up to 10 times more. Thanks to a group of University of Houston students, the hearing impaired may soon have an easier time communicating with those who do not understand sign language. During the past semester, students in UH’s engineering technology and industrial design programs teamed up to develop the concept and prototype for MyVoice, a device that reads sign language and translates its motions into audible words, and vice versa. posted by netbros at 5:10 PM PST - 4 comments
For a time, MaxLinder was considered the greatest of film comedians. Star of over 500 films (examples, 1, 2), inventor of the mirror gag, he was arguably the first film star. His life changed forever when he fought on the front lines in World War I, surviving three serious wounds, including a gas attack. Thereafter, he began bouts of depression. In 1925, he talked his new bride into a suicide pact, dying on Halloween. [more inside] posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:26 PM PST - 11 comments
These cards, produced in 1938 by Philadelphia-based Gum, Inc. (later Bowman), produced a political furor unlike any other. The idea for these cards was introduced by George Moll, a Sunday-school teacher and Gum, Inc.'s advertising counsel. Warren Bowman, owner of Gum, Inc., claimed that he wanted to "teach peace by exposing the horrors of war." [link is to an archive of trading cards featuring cartoonish racism/violence/godknowswhat] [more inside] posted by Think_Long at 12:21 PM PST - 9 comments
"So, one night I can remember sitting up in bed telling my mother (Connie Rosen) that I couldn't sleep because I was sure I was going to fail. She brought me some hot milk with brown sugar in it and told me that I mustn't tell anyone but I couldn't fail. She said that actually the whole thing was really decided by the headteacher. He or she did a 'recommendation'. If anyone failed who the headteacher thought should have passed, the schools found a way for that person to go to grammar school." -- Michael Rosen on his experiences growing up going to school in 1950ties Britain, with the Eleven Plus and the start choice of Grammar School or Secondary Modern. [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 9:19 AM PST - 25 comments
How Money Makes People Act Less Human: Earlier this year, [Paul] Piff, who is 30, published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that made him semi-famous. Titled “Higher Social Class Predicts Increased Unethical Behavior,” it showed through quizzes, online games, questionnaires, in-lab manipulations, and field studies that living high on the socioeconomic ladder can, colloquially speaking, dehumanize people. It can make them less ethical, more selfish, more insular, and less compassionate than other people. It can make them more likely, as Piff demonstrated in one of his experiments, to take candy from a bowl of sweets designated for children. “While having money doesn’t necessarily make anybody anything,” Piff says, “the rich are way more likely to prioritize their own self-interests above the interests of other people. It makes them more likely to exhibit characteristics that we would stereotypically associate with, say, assholes.” posted by Mooski at 7:03 AM PST - 70 comments
The Hollow Crown is a season of 4 of Shakespeare's history plays being broadcast by the BBC. Avoiding past mistakes these are made for a television audience and set on location. [more inside] posted by epo at 3:26 AM PST - 46 comments
Shelagh was here - an ordinary, magical life: The Toronto Star dedicated unprecedented coverage to the funeral of 55-year-old Shelagh Gordon – interviewing more than 100 of her friends and family – to show how a modest life can have a huge impact. "She didn’t have a great job, she wasn’t married and never had children, so she wasn’t successful in either the traditional male or female sense, Ms. Porter said. But people would keep telling stories about her kindness. 'She had a lot of magic in her life, and that’s reassuring... That you can live a full, interesting, ordinary life.'" The link includes an extensive interactive photograph of stories from those at Shelagh's funeral, and a video with clips from the memorial as well. Via the NYT: Redefining Success and Celebrating the Unremarkable. (previously: you are not special) posted by flex at 1:06 AM PST - 17 comments
"Indeed, in this year when the United States is engaged in a ferocious campaign for the presidency, the question that ought to be asked is: How does the U.S. electoral system compare to Mexico's? I undertook a comprehensive study of the electoral systems in North America, and the good news is that the United States came in third. The bad news is that there are only three countries in North America." ___With Mexico in the aftermath of yesterday's federal and state elections, Robert A. Pastor observes 8 things the U.S. election system could learn from Mexico's. posted by CrazyLemonade at 6:49 PM PST - 43 comments
Iconic Portraits Formed by Clusters of Tiny People. Starting his creative career as a street artist, Craig Alan developed his portraiture skills while earning a living to further fund his artistic pursuits. Since that point, the artist has been honing in on his craft and creating something more than your average portrait. He represents people as an amalgam of other people. The artist's portfolio boasts a series of inventive portraits of iconic figures whose visage appears to be composed of tiny pixels. Upon closer inspection, the spectator can see that the pixels are, in fact, people. [more inside] posted by netbros at 5:01 PM PST - 14 comments
Southern Values Revived: How Our Elites Have Become Worse "It’s been said that the rich are different than you and me. What most Americans don’t know is that they’re also quite different from each other, and that which faction is currently running the show ultimately makes a vast difference in the kind of country we are. Right now, a lot of our problems stem directly from the fact that the wrong sort has finally gotten the upper hand; a particularly brutal and anti-democratic strain of American aristocrat that the other elites have mostly managed to keep away from the levers of power since the Revolution. Worse: this bunch has set a very ugly tone that’s corrupted how people with power and money behave in every corner of our culture. Here’s what happened, and how it happened, and what it means for America now." [more inside] posted by bookman117 at 1:49 PM PST - 131 comments
For many years I have asked myself, Why do you spend time with other people? but I never really attempted to come up with an answer. I always believed I was asking myself a rhetorical question, but recently I’ve wanted to find an answer, because a question you ask yourself a thousand times eventually deserves to be answered.
"He would sit in this most incredible bath that had a swan-necked mythological figure with a with a lady of his choice, not with water in it, but with champagne in it, and I guess they would both sit there and listen to the sound of his father spinning in his grave.” - on King Edward VII and his voracious appetites, and his favorite mistress, Daisy Warwick. [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 AM PST - 48 comments
Amnesty International’s 'Security with Human Rights' campaign has just released a short film called Hooded. It is a powerful reminder that torture is barbaric and never justifiable. Just two minutes long, this film uses a unique approach by marrying abstract images with intense sound design to convey the auditory and visual experiences associated with torture. It's a disturbing but gripping film that demonstrates the shocking effects of torture techniques such as water boarding and "hooding". posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:22 AM PST - 4 comments
I am not busy. I am the laziest ambitious person I know. Like most writers, I feel like a reprobate who does not deserve to live on any day that I do not write, but I also feel that four or five hours is enough to earn my stay on the planet for one more day. On the best ordinary days of my life, I write in the morning, go for a long bike ride and run errands in the afternoon, and in the evening I see friends, read or watch a movie. This, it seems to me, is a sane and pleasant pace for a day.
Recently we learned about Erdos-Bacon-Sabbath numbers. Continuing in this vein, forum members at Select Button have been compiling Williams numbers, being characters in video games who can be linked to Nina Williams from the Tekken series of fighting games. [NSFW forum images]
Mikhail Gorbachev is easy, he has a Williams number of only 2. Adolph Hitler has a Williams number of 3. Also, the guy from Doom, Voltron, Barack Obama and Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law. God has a Williams number of 4. So does T. E. Lawrence and Tron. The Burger King has a Williams number of 5 as well as Sarah Palin, Sigmund Freud, Avatar Aang and H.P. Lovecraft. Homestar Runner has a Williams number of 7. [more inside] posted by JHarris at 4:28 AM PST - 27 comments
You may have seen these small little triangular shaped cars riding around on the bicycle paths in Holland. Called Cantas, these are sold exclusively to people with disabilities, though there is a lively secondhand market in them as more people turn away from cars to much cheaper scooter mobiles. Only Cantas are legally allowed to ride on bicycle paths or pavements though and only Cantas have had a ballet designed for them. [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 3:35 AM PST - 27 comments