Snark is the universal solvent of cultural conversation. Someone mentions Hemingway; you mention cross-dressing, drinking, and short choppy sentences. Not only did you not have to read Hemingway, you have one-upped the other person by not having read it; you know more about it than they do because you know the important thing, that Hemingway doesn't need to be read. Star Wars has a plot straight out of a comic book, the indescribable beauty of an athlete's best moment is just ritualized combat, any given religion is a collection of three or fewer especially silly-sounding superstitions, all academic subjects are useless hazing intended to keep the wrong people from being hired, all peace protestors are just trying to get on television and soldiers are all unemployed hillbillies whose masculinity feels threatened so they've enlisted for a chance to commit war crimes. Occupy Wall Street is rebels without a clue (itself a plagiarized phrase), the Tea Party is scared old people, and nothing in the wide world matters compared to the general wonderfulness of the observer. [Some 3700 words from a science fiction writer deriding and analyzing the emptiness of snark as a rhetorical mode. Might need to click through Blogger's NSFW warning, though it's just text.] posted by cgc373 at 11:09 PM PST - 114 comments
"Over the years in animation, there have been a lot of great animators. Ub Iwerks was one of those people. We know his work, but we don't necessarily know the man." The Hand Behind the Mouse: The Ub Iwerks Story (in 5 parts on DailyMotion: 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5) tells of the life of Ubbe Eert Iwerks, from the formation of the friendship with Walt Disney when they met at advertisement studio in Kansas City, their artistic collaborations and Ub's 20 years of animation, to Iwerk's technical creations that kept Disney animated pictures ahead of other studios. [more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 11:00 PM PST - 14 comments
When is a private space a public space? When it's a Privately Owned Public Space (POPS). In accordance with the planning codes of some cities, owners or builders of buildings are mandated to provide members of the general public access to spaces which include rooftop gardens, courtyards, and plazas. [more inside] posted by larrybob at 6:31 PM PST - 23 comments
Phone Trips - an audio archive of the Phone Phreaking community. Phone phreaking was the practice of hacking into phone systems and networks in order to explore these networks and their connections . Many people first heard about the phenomenon in a 1971 Esquire article, Secrets of the Little Blue Box, which included input from Captain Crunch. Crunch discovered that you could access telephone networks by blowing a 2600 Hz tone, from a whistle given away free in cereal boxes, into telephone handsets. "Have you ever heard eight tandems stacked up?" asked Crunch in the interview. Well, now we can, thanks to a large audio archive of phone phreaking. [more inside] posted by carter at 5:39 AM PST - 29 comments
"Little girls are AWED by a princess. A woman in a big, sparkly, puffy dress is a thing of power and glory to them. They will stand and stare, or scream themselves hoarse in excitement, or become paralyzed in wonder by A Princess. Some little girls start hyperventilating. Some just sit down on the floor, their knees giving out from under them. They run up to touch your dress with the same crazed look of a Twilight fan trying to touch that Edward Cullen guy at a movie premiere. It's so different from seeing a face character at Disney World because to them, Disney World is a far-off fantasy place full of strangeness and unreal scenes. But this is A Princess, in the real world, in their own home." [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 4:55 AM PST - 148 comments
Attention all GIS afficionados and fans of old-school maps! Report for duty and watch the U.S. Army's 1973 half-hour training film TF5-4523 in order to educate yourself in the process of cartography: part 1, part 2, part 3. The videos cover everything from surveying to printing, and all the steps in-between. posted by barnacles at 7:40 PM PST - 9 comments
"Although best-known for its restoration of feature films, UCLA Film & Television Archive has been preserving animated films for more than three decades, with over one hundred titles to its credit. The short subjects, trailers, and promotional films presented here provide a representative sampling of that work. They have been preserved from best-surviving and sole-surviving 35mm nitrate and 16mm prints, showcasing many forms of animation spanning the entire silent film era." The UCLA Preserved Silent Animation project, one of over 80 collections made available through the UCLA Digital Library Program. posted by cog_nate at 7:18 PM PST - 4 comments
824,273 disabled veterans are currently awaiting a response on claims from the US Department of Veterans Affairs. On average, it takes the government 257 days to respond, and there has been a 7.2% growth in claims over the last 1.3 years -- so the delays are growing. While they wait, veterans often cannot access health care from the agency or receive disability compensation. Plus, the backlog on claim appeals is at least 3.5 years. So how can veterans avoid the backlog? A special investigation by the Bay Area Citizen shows that processing speed is a matter of geographic location: veterans in sparsely populated areas have their claims filled faster than those living in urban centers. Interactive Map: Where is Worst Backlog? Related video and transcript. posted by zarq at 5:05 PM PST - 33 comments
Bill Brent was the publisher of the zine Black Sheets and the alternative sexuality directory The Black Book and the author of the book How To Make a Zine (recently republished in a revised edition) as well as a lot of erotica writing. He was very active in the San Francisco Bay Area sexuality, kink, and zine scenes from the early 90s onward. Unfortunately, he committed suicide in August 2012; Liz Highleyman penned an in-depth obituary of Bill. posted by larrybob at 4:03 PM PST - 13 comments
While Quebec’s status as the only primarily French-speaking province in Canada has resulted in a distinct cultural industry—particularly with regard to film and music—the province still enjoys many cultural products from English Canada. While movies and TV shows are often subtitled or dubbed into French, it is rare that the same is true of music. A notable exception is the music of Toronto-based Big Sugar. [more inside] posted by asnider at 1:37 PM PST - 19 comments
A cold autumn day was dawning as the German soldiers of the Altenwalde Versuchskommando prepared their V2 rocket for launch. They'd done this a hundred times before, but when the V2 finally roared up into the sky over the North Sea, the men of the AVKO couldn't help but smile and cheer. Soon the rest of the soldiers and officers around the launchpad were cheering as well. British officers and soldiers. Because this was Operation Backfire, the beginning of something that most people don't even know existed - the British Space Programme. [more inside] posted by garius at 10:41 AM PST - 42 comments
Actual fascists in actual black shirts are actually marching around Athens waving swastikas and burning torches, and maiming and murdering ethnic minorities, and world governments appear frighteningly relaxed about it as long as the Greek people continue to pay off the debts of the European elite. When the lessons of history are taught by rote, they can be easy to miss when most needed. This time, Europe must remember that the price of fostering fascism is crueller and costlier by far than any national debt. - Laurie Penney: It's not rhetoric to draw parallels with Nazism posted by Happy Dave at 9:48 AM PST - 112 comments
Suppose I could offer you a choice of two technologies for watching TV online. Behind Door Number One sits a free-to-watch service that uses off-the-shelf technology and that buffers just enough of each show to put the live stream on the Internet. Behind Door Number Two lies a subscription service that requires custom-designed hardware and makes dozens of copies of each show. Which sounds easier to build—and to use? More importantly, which is more likely to be legal?
If you went with Door Number One, then you are a sane person, untainted by the depravity of modern copyright law. But you are also wrong. The company behind Door Number One, iCraveTV, was enjoined out of existence a decade ago. The company behind Door Number Two, Aereo, just survived its first round in court and is still going strong.Why Johnny can't stream: How video copyright went insane by MeFi's own James Grimmelmann. posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:37 AM PST - 18 comments
In the early 1930s, William Valentiner thought the Roman Baroque courtyard at the Detroit Institute of Arts needed to be spruced up. With a commission from Edsel Ford, he hired Diego Rivera to paint two large murals of "some motif suggesting the development of industry."
The end result was the Detroit Industry Murals. [more inside] posted by Turkey Glue at 6:01 PM PST - 21 comments
Sound on Sound magazine's "Classic Tracks" series provides technical and personal details behind the recording of, uh, classic tracks. [Not to be confused with Mix magazine's own "Classic Tracks" series, which was featured previously.] [more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 4:15 PM PST - 21 comments
The alternative to admitting that it simply sucks when an Apple TV is bricked or phone shatters, Geniuses are taught to employ the "Three Fs: Feel, Felt, and Found. This works especially well when the customer is mistaken or has bad information…"
Customer: This Mac is just too expensive.
Genius: I can see how you'd feel this way. I felt the price was a little high, but I found it's a real value because of all the built-in software and capabilities…
The maneuver is brilliant. The Genius has switched places with the customer. He is she and she is he, and maybe that laptop isn't too expensive after all. He Found it wasn't, at least.
Perez Hamilton reports on American history from the 1400's through the 1700's, in the style of gossip blog Perez Hilton. Contents may be offensive. Archive view. posted by zarq at 1:27 PM PST - 8 comments
David Leonard Weather Service: "These real-weather descriptions are, of course, tweets, and part of the David Leonard Weather Service, which its eponymous proprietor explains—and he finds himself explaining often—as “a network of correspondents posting the weather they see right now. Real-time, crowd-sourced [Toronto, Ontario Canada] weather." #DLWS@davidpleonard posted by Fizz at 12:51 PM PST - 3 comments
The Anternet is always up.On the surface, ants and the Internet don't seem to have much in common. But two Stanford researchers have discovered that a species of harvester ants determine how many foragers to send out of the nest in much the same way that Internet protocols discover how much bandwidth is available for the transfer of data.[more inside] posted by jquinby at 12:41 PM PST - 19 comments
"I replied to ads people had posted to the casual encounters section of craigslist. I asked if I could photograph them in visual representations of their ads. Some said yes." [NSFW: naked people.] posted by davidstandaford at 11:46 AM PST - 61 comments
It’s a given: Everyone hates spoilers. Except when they don’t. Two researchers in the psychology department of the University of California at San Diego recently decided to test whether we really hate spoilers, or just like to say we do. What they found surprised them: The majority of people apparently like having a story spoiled for them. In fact, we may enjoy spoiled stories even more than the unspoiled versions. Is it true? Do we secretly crave predigested plots the way some foodies sneak Big Macs when no one’s looking?"
Pdf link to study.[more inside] posted by nooneyouknow at 11:08 AM PST - 171 comments
Working on a shareware game in Hypercard but just can't find the right image for your About box? Give your photographs the System 6 treatment with Gáspár Körtesi's in-browser drag-and-drop dither tool. posted by theodolite at 10:56 AM PST - 44 comments
If you haven't heard much about how takeover deals like Dunkin' and KB Toys work, that's because Mitt Romney and his private equity brethren don't want you to. The new owners of American industry are the polar opposites of the Milton Hersheys and Andrew Carnegies who built this country, commercial titans who longed to leave visible legacies of their accomplishments, erecting hospitals and schools and libraries, sometimes leaving behind thriving towns that bore their names.
The men of the private equity generation want no such thing.
Atos Healthcare is a French company that's a contractor to the UK department for Work and Pensions, hired to test disabled benefits claimants on whether they're fit to work. If they are, they'll lose their disability benefits and are back on normal unemployment benefits. It is a controversial company, as its standards for declaring people fit to work are very low, as The Daily Mirror has been showing. By design or through incompetence, quite a few people who are clearly incapable of work are declared fit for work anyway, lose their benefits and some of them even die because of it, either through suicide or through the stress and healthcare problems caused by losing their benefits. (previously.) [more inside] posted by MartinWisse at 10:01 AM PST - 35 comments
The mystery that's been set up for us in the first act is collapsing; at this point the movie shifts focus, prefiguring the bifurcated structure of later Lynch films like Lost Highway and Mulholland Dr., both neo-noirs that rupture and reconstitute themselves halfway through.
The Way They Were (SLYT... 1:07:45 'The tape fails there!')... an old Granada / Channel 4 program that was a compilation of Tony Wilson's So It Goes a show that featured performances from some of the best British Punk and New Wave bands of the time. posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:29 AM PST - 12 comments
“The music and lyrics of punk rock provoke among the young fits of aimless rage, vandalism, and the urge to destroy everything they get their hands on. No matter how carefully they try to clean it up, it will remain the most reactionary offspring of the bourgeoisie mass culture.” Pravda
Photographs and video of pre-Perestroika/Glasnost punks in the Soviet Union. [Some site images possibly NSFW] posted by Isadorady at 11:08 PM PST - 21 comments
When we started Diaspora two years ago, the project kicked off with amazing reception and support from people that believed in our ultimate goal: giving users ownership over their data. ... Today, the network has grown into thousands of people using our software in hundreds of installations across the web. There are hundreds of pods that have been created by community members, and it has become one of the biggest Github projects to date. ... Today, we are giving control of Diaspora to the community.
Have you ever wondered what the water temperature off the Kamchatka Peninsula is? What about the wind speed in the Andaman Sea? Or maybe you’re losing sleep over the chlorophyll levels in the South Pacific. Fortunately, all of that information –- and 450 million other data points collected from oceanographic instruments around the world –- is freely and easily accessible thanks to the Marinexplore project.[more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 4:13 PM PST - 3 comments
Are there as many odd numbers as there are all numbers? Can one infinity be bigger than another? TED Ed and Minute Physics both take a look at some of the mind boggling realities of Infinity. posted by quin at 5:26 AM PST - 148 comments
Tunneling in any dense urban environment is an expensive proposition, but the $5 billion price tag for just the first two miles of the Second Avenue subway cannot be explained by engineering difficulties. The segment runs mainly beneath a single broad avenue, unimpeded by rivers, super-tall skyscraper foundations or other subway lines.
American taxpayers will shell out many times what their counterparts in developed cities in Europe and Asia would pay. In the case of the Second Avenue line and other new rail infrastructure in New York City, they may have to pay five times as much.
Amtrak is just as bad. Its $151 billion master plan for basic high-speed rail service in the Northeast corridor is more expensive than Japan’s planned magnetic levitating train line between Tokyo and Osaka, most of which is to be buried deep underground, with tunnels through the Japan Alps and beneath its densest cities. - U.S. Taxpayers Are Gouged on Mass Transit Costs posted by beisny at 2:35 AM PST - 104 comments
English that looks like Chinese. "At first glance, Square Word Calligraphy appears to be nothing more unusual than Chinese characters, but in fact it is a new way of rendering English words in the format of a square so they resemble Chinese characters. Chinese viewers expect to be able to read Square Word Calligraphy but cannot. Western viewers, however are surprised to find they can read it. Delight erupts when meaning is unexpectedly revealed." (Britta Erickson, The Art of Xu Bing.) [more inside] posted by jef at 9:56 PM PST - 66 comments
Small business owner and candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Delaware Sher Valenzuela is slated to speak at the Republican National Convention on Tuesday as part of a platform meant to suggest business owners build businesses on their own with no assistance from government. The problem is that Valenzuela received millions of dollars in taxpayer funds as business loans from the US government, along with other government assistance. One Reddit user noticed the url for the full name of Valenzuela's First State Manufacturing business was unregistered, and remedied that with full details.[more inside] posted by cashman at 8:20 PM PST - 84 comments
"I chose the meditation style known as Vipassana for several reasons. It's wholly nondenominational. No gods are prayed to, no mantras chanted, all religious iconography is prohibited. If you typically wear, say, a crucifix, you must remove it for the duration of the course. Also, there is no need for prior meditation experience – in fact, I was told, a neophyte is the ideal student because you won't have any bad habits to avoid – which suited me perfectly, as I'd never meditated before." [The Quiet Hell of Extreme Meditation] posted by vidur at 8:16 PM PST - 60 comments
"I guess it started for me when, as a young sci-fi movie fan, I did a fanzine at age 12 to 15... that’s when I learned how relatively cheap and easy it was to self-publish, at least for a small circle of weirdos. Later, after comics went up to 50¢, I started collecting stuff equally weird but much cheaper than comic books: kook literature." - Rev. Ivan Stang
You may know of the Church of the SubGenius, that parody religion that worships the almighty "Bob" and was a fixture of MTV and Night Flights back in the day. But do you know of its SECRET ORIGINS? Co-founder Ivan Stang corresponded with hundreds of "mad prophets, crackpots, kooks & true visionaries," from sincere cults to winking charlatans to utter nutjobs to hate groups to independent artists and musicians, with some respected names thrown in, and synthesized them into a half-joking, half-serious celebration of the kook spirit. These days of course the forward-thinking crackpot looking for sheep goes directly to the internet. But while it lasted Stang and co-authors Mike Gunderloy, Waver Forest and Mark Johnston collaborated to document this vanished scene in the legendary book HIGH WEIRDNESS BY MAIL. (All links within may quickly lead someplace NSFW by the nature of the beast.) [more inside] posted by JHarris at 3:05 PM PST - 133 comments
NewScientist is reporting new way of processing wood pulp making new wonder construction material. [snip]
To ramp up production, the US opened its first NCC factory in Madison, Wisconsin, on 26 July, marking the rise of what the US National Science Foundation predicts will become a $600 billion industry by 2020.
So why all the fuss? Well, not only is NCC transparent but it is made from a tightly packed array of needle-like crystals which have a strength-to-weight ratio that is eight times better than stainless steel. Even better, it's incredibly cheap. posted by aleph at 2:01 PM PST - 98 comments
Nina Bawden, writer of novels for adults and children, born in 1925, died on 22nd August 2012. “As a child, Nina said, she had felt wicked because the children in the books she read were all so good, and she was one of the first writers for children to create characters who could be jealous, selfish and bad-tempered” (Guardian obituary). [more inside] posted by paduasoy at 12:59 PM PST - 10 comments
Tarot decks used for occult purposes usually have 78 cards: the Major Arcana of twenty-two plus the Minor Arcana, four suits of fourteen cards each. In the last few years, though, some otherwise traditional decks have been printed with 79 cards. The new inclusion is to the Major Arcana: number XXIII, the Happy Squirrel. [more inside] posted by daisyk at 10:08 AM PST - 80 comments
From Bible-Belt Pastor to Atheist Leader. Jerry DeWitt is a former Pentecostal pastor in the evangelical parish of DeRidder, Louisiana who slowly lost his religious faith. Last Fall, he went public with his atheism, committing what he calls "identity suicide," and instantly becoming "the most disliked person in town." Since then, Mr. DeWitt's lost his job, his wife, his community and may be losing his house, but is still persevering and working to help others who find themselves in similar circumstances. [more inside] posted by zarq at 9:47 AM PST - 163 comments
"Tool use in animals is rare, and bespeaks a level of intelligence that most of us are unaccustomed to associating with non-humans. That's what makes this video of a Green Heron using bread to lure fish to their doom so remarkable. One would be hard pressed to argue that this bird is not thinking critically about the technique it is employing to catch its prey. Not only is it demonstrating logic and reason in its capacity to understand that a piece of bread can be used as bait, it's also passing up the chance to eat the bread in favor of a better meal, actively weighing cost and benefit, pitting immediate gratification against delayed satisfaction. It's a stunning display of animal intelligence." posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:56 AM PST - 68 comments
Is autism an autoimmune disorder? "The prevalence of inflammatory diseases in general has increased significantly in the past 60 years. As a group, they include asthma, now estimated to affect 1 in 10 children — at least double the prevalence of 1980 — and autoimmune disorders, which afflict 1 in 20.
Both are linked to autism, especially in the mother. One large Danish study, which included nearly 700,000 births over a decade, found that a mother’s rheumatoid arthritis, a degenerative disease of the joints, elevated a child’s risk of autism by 80 percent. Her celiac disease, an inflammatory disease prompted by proteins in wheat and other grains, increased it 350 percent. Genetic studies tell a similar tale. Gene variants associated with autoimmune disease — genes of the immune system — also increase the risk of autism, especially when they occur in the mother." [more inside] posted by bookman117 at 1:46 AM PST - 44 comments
But now, Bic has saved me! With these easy-to-manage lady pens, I too can record my grocery lists and the agenda for my weekly sewing circle! Yes, that's right; due to these pens' soft grips and lightweight build, even my useless, made-from-porcelain hands can manage to wield them. And what's more, their sweet and rosy color palette is soft on my frail lady eyes! It really is a dream come true! posted by the young rope-rider at 9:32 PM PST - 93 comments
In the year 1612 John Webster began what would be his greatest work, The Tragedy of the Dutchesse of Malfy. A shocking work of madness, brutally corrupt power struggle and incest, it continues to challenge audiences.
YouTube has the 1972 BBC production in full.              posted by winna at 9:01 PM PST - 7 comments
"... [T]he character hypothesis: the notion that noncognitive skills, like persistence, self-control, curiosity, conscientiousness, grit and self-confidence, are more crucial than sheer brainpower to achieving success .... Character is created by encountering and overcoming failure .... The offspring of affluent parents are insulated from adversity ... while poor children face no end of challenges ... there is often little support to help them turn these omnipresent obstacles into character-enhancing triumphs." A review of 'How Children Succeed,' by Paul Tough. posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 7:18 PM PST - 55 comments
These kids from Chapel Hill, N.C. rap against bullying. They give and want RESPECT in return. They advise kids to BREATHE and take a break before resorting to violence. posted by snsranch at 6:28 PM PST - 5 comments
In 2011, in front of a sell-out theatre at the BFI in London, Charlie Kaufman delivered the final lecture in BAFTA's Screenwriters' Lecture Series. Eliot Rausch took snippets of the lecture and set them to apposite visual clips and produced this video: What I Have to Offer (single link vimeo). [via] posted by AceRock at 4:43 PM PST - 10 comments
Ramamba Haru Mamburu! Inhabiting a world somewhere between the desperate raunchy excesses of early Devo (NSFW), the playfully morbid obsessions of TMBG, and the puerile falsettos of Sparks, the Russian novelty/comedy/geek rockers Nogu Svelo! (English site) have been contributing earworms to Russian pop culture for, oh, some twenty years now. [more inside] posted by Nomyte at 4:05 PM PST - 4 comments
" all the game’s content is winner-generated. That means that the game starts out barren. One class for players to play, one monster to fight, and one item to use. But every round, the top two scoring players use a tool built into the game to make a monster, item or class and then that object is automatically inserted into everyone’s game, and players fight for new high scores in an entirely different game every round."
"Floss was OK with it?" An answer to the eternal question concerning the aftermath of the plums eaten that were being saved for breakfast. An entry in the Allen Ginsberg Project blog relates a conversation between Ginsberg and a student about William Carlos Williams' poem, Ginsberg's metaphysical critique and Floss's (the owner of the plums) feelings about the matter, at least as related from Williams to Ginsberg.
"So you have their sexual relationship, actually, set up in that little thing." posted by readery at 12:37 PM PST - 19 comments
Along with the endless myriad of remixes, Frankie Goes To Hollywood was known for their b-sides. Beginning with Ferry 'Cross The Mersey, a b-side to the single Relax (snippets of which are included on the Welcome To The Pleasuredome album), they consistently showed their humor and talent through non-album tracks. [more inside] posted by hippybear at 11:12 AM PST - 41 comments
The Saawan So Far: In Hindi, as it is in other Indian languages, they are simply the Nairutya Marut, the Winds from the South West. "Bursting" every year at about June for the last sixty million years, the Monsoons are the pre-eminent weather formation for the lands south of the Himalayas; over a period of three months, they travel all over the sub-continent in a north-easterly direction. They are India's meteorological tryst with destiny; as a past Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor once said, "If it rains everything is well on earth and cordial in heaven[...] I am once again hostage to monsoon;[...i]f it rains, the monetary policy works. [...] I want you to realise that all of us are 'Chasing the Monsoon'": [more inside] posted by the cydonian at 10:17 AM PST - 5 comments
Decompressed is a podcast in which comics writer and former Rock Paper Shotgun journalist Kieron Gillen (X-Men, Thor, Phonogram) talks to artists and writers about the process involved in writing a single issue of a comic. Decompressed 6 broke format and is instead a discussion with Mark Waid and Matt Fraction about scripting comics using the "Marvel Method", or "plot first" - in which the artist draws the comic from a story outline and dialogue is added later, rather than the writer supplying a panel by panel script. For a while out of favour even at Marvel, the method is seeing a resurgance. The podcast page contains visual aids, and embedded version of the podcast, the script of DEFENDERS #9 complete with B&W art and additional links, including links to Warren Ellis’ 3-part tutorial on writing comics (1, 2, 3). Jamie McKelvie and a vultue put in guest appearances. Further example comicbook scripts are available at the Comic Book Script Archive (previously). posted by Artw at 9:42 AM PST - 29 comments
The Beauty of Engraving is the name of a site that Neenah Paper has devoted to the ancient practice of engraved printing, with a focus on its CRANE Papers line. Check out the video to see modern engraving in action. While the site's history of engraving and also of CRANE are interesting, the highlight is a gallery of user-submitted engraved work. posted by netbros at 5:43 PM PST - 6 comments
Once Upon A Time In America [auto-play audio] is the last of a string of films about the past and future of a country [Sergio Leone] knew first and best from the B-movies and yellowing paperbacks America sent abroad. For this 1984 swan song, Leone broke a directing hiatus that stretched back a decade, and turned away from Westerns toward another quintessentially American genre. His fantasia of gangland themes and images barely works by the standards of a gangster film, but succeeds brilliantly by those of epic poetry. - Keith Phipps [all links may contain spoilers] [more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 4:03 PM PST - 19 comments
BEOWULF: A new translationMany modern Beowulf translations, while excellent in their own ways, suffer from what Kathleen Biddick might call “melancholy” for an oral and aural way of poetic making… The sense of loss or nostalgia for the old form seems a necessary and ever-present shadow over modern Beowulfs. What happens, however, when a contemporary poet, quite simply, doesn’t bother with any such nostalgia? Michael Davidson: "Tom Meyer’s Beowulf reenacts the dark grandeur of a poem that is as much a story of vengeance as it is of courage and loyalty. Meyer brings the poem’s alliterative, inflected line in concert with post-Poundian lineation to give the reader a vivid sense of our oldest poem’s modernity." Free download from independent publisher Punctum Books. [more inside] posted by the mad poster! at 2:42 PM PST - 47 comments
STAR WARS DETOURS™ Trailer [SLYT] "Star Wars Detours™ is an animated comedy that explores what daily life is like in a galaxy far, far away. There are no Empires striking back or attacking clones here. Instead, Star Wars Detours focuses on the universe's regular folks and their everyday problems... which, to be fair, do frequently involve famous bounty hunters, crazed Ewoks, and even a Dark Lord of the Sith." posted by Fizz at 10:44 AM PST - 85 comments
RPG Maker 2000 did exactly what its name suggested: it allowed non-programmers to design turn-based RPGs. Translated to English by Don Miguel, who included his tutorial game Don's Adventures with the program, it and its subsequent versions are still available for download. While in recent years the engine has been used for a number of noteworthytitles, back in the day it resulted in a number of charmingly amateur titles — one of which was the legendary A Blurred Line, by Lysander86. Part of what made ABL special was its story, which was crude but compelling; partly it was the gameplay, which was impressively varied and offered a number of branching story paths based on player choice. A Blurred Line was never finished; there's a Windows download that includes the first chapters, A Blurred Line and The Line Narrows, but the finale, The Line's End, was never released. Lys86 has claimed he is still working on the game, most recently in 2010, but it's been over a decade since its original release, and hope for that final release is slim-to-nonexistent. posted by Rory Marinich at 6:51 AM PST - 8 comments
The Human Bible is a podcast by Robert M. Price, professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and author of a number of books on theology. Though an atheist -- and skeptical of the very existence of the Jesus portrayed in the Gospels -- Price's great knowledge of (and love for) the Scriptures is evident throughout. No matter what you believe, you won't regret listening to these podcasts. posted by Pararrayos at 6:40 PM PST - 15 comments
The Northern Cities Vowel Shift is radically changing the sound of English: Despite fears that the growth of TV and radio would homogenize English dialects in the US, the Great Lakes region (from Syracuse to Milwaukee) has been in fact diverging with respect to how people there pronounce English words. Rob Mifsud writes: Consider the three-letter words that begin with b and end in t: bat, bet, bit, bot, and but. All five of those words contain short vowel sounds. Their long-vowel equivalents—bate, beet, bite, boat, boot, and bout—arrived at their modern pronunciations as a result of the Great Vowel Shift that began around 1400 and established the basic contours of today’s English. But those short vowels have remained pretty much constant since the eighth century—in other words, for more than a thousand years. Until now.[more inside] posted by Cash4Lead at 7:05 AM PST - 123 comments
"... with the break-up of the Soviet Union, Baikonour, now part of Kazakhstan, had to be leased by Russia from the Kazakh government, and suddenly looks less and less like a long term solution to the future of space exploration." posted by barnacles at 10:17 PM PST - 7 comments
Les Mis + political parody = One term more Soon Election Day will dawn,
We were meant to hold this seat!
At the ballot box of freedom,
Unemployment's in retreat!
Now the battle lines are drawn,
And Detroit's back on its feet!
Will you take your place with me!
The time is NOW the vote is NEAR!
One Term More! posted by badego at 9:25 PM PST - 14 comments
Hubble's hidden treasures "Hubble has made over a million observations since launch, but only a small proportion are attractive images ... but the vast amount of data in the archive means that there are still many hundreds of beautiful images scattered among the valuable, but visually unattractive, scientific data that have never been enjoyed by the public. We call these pictures Hubble’s hidden treasures, and a few months ago, we invited the public to look through Hubble’s science archive to help us find them." posted by dhruva at 7:21 PM PST - 21 comments
"It's true that my background is a bit convoluted, but let me try my luck at clarifying these matters once and for all. I was born in Oslo, Norway, the son of a Volvo factory worker and part-time ice-fisherman."
—Between Barack and a Hard Place: My First Hundred Days by Baroque Yo' Mama
Fear of a Black President.'As a candidate, Barack Obama said we needed to reckon with race and with America’s original sin, slavery. But as our first black president, he has avoided mention of race almost entirely. In having to be “twice as good” and “half as black,” Obama reveals the false promise and double standard of integration.' An article by Ta-Nehisi Coates. posted by Spinneret at 11:33 AM PST - 134 comments
In Siberia, several frozen human burials dating to 2,500 years ago have intact skin with elaborate tattoos. Warning: link contains graphic pictures of dead people. posted by Rumple at 10:36 AM PST - 36 comments
"Gawker has obtained a large cache of confidential internal financial documents from more than 20 secretive hedge funds and other investment vehicles in which Mitt Romney has stashed his considerable wealth."
Ongoing attempts to digest and analyze the dense contents are here. posted by mkultra at 10:09 AM PST - 153 comments
A girl upon the shore did ask a favour of the sea; "Return my blue eyed sailor boy safely back to me. Forgive me if I ask too much, I will not ask for more, but I shall weep until he sleeps safe upon the shore."
Crisis on Infinite Earthswas a 12-issue comic book maxi-series published in 1985 and 1986 in which DC Comics condensed their multiverse into a single universe, thus "simplifying" and "improving" it. Whether they succeeded in that goal is a good question, and one I shan't address. Crisis is, however, incredibly important to understanding DC continuity, as well as being possibly the most significant crossover series of all time. posted by Egg Shen at 3:51 PM PST - 121 comments
Art restoration is probably best left to the professionals, as vividly demonstrated by an elderly Spanish woman's unauthorized attempt to repair a damaged fresco, “Ecce Homo,” by painter Elias Garcia Martinez. The results speak for themselves. posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:37 PM PST - 111 comments
32,000 years ago, a squirrel buried some fruits from a flower related to the narrow-leafed campion in a riverbank in Russia. Either the squirrel forgot, or got eaten itself, and the buried cache of fruits stayed, preserved by the permafrost. This year, Russian scientists discovered the cache, recovered the fruit, and thawed it out to see if they could recover the seeds. Some of the seeds did indeed germinate - and this winter, millennia after first growing on their parent plant, those seeds bloomed. posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:16 AM PST - 69 comments
LunchBook won the 1st prize in the competition “Expopack” for the design of a paper lunch box for Expo Milan 2015, which is dedicated to food and sustainability. LunchBook is a recipe book made of paper dishes showing recipes from all over the world. The user can taste the food while walking among the Expo 2015 stands. Once a dish gets dirty, he can remove it and use the following dish. (via book patrol) [more inside] posted by Marauding Ennui at 9:04 AM PST - 8 comments
"America may well be in a fateful decline. But given that the country has survived a civil war, two world wars, the Great Depression, 9/11, and the quagmires of Vietnam and Iraq, is our current crisis proportionate to the doomsday hysteria—or have we lost perspective?"
Frank Rich, columnist for New York Magazine, explores the recurring phenomenon of declinist panic and our national tendency to burnish the past in "Mayberry R.I.P." posted by shiu mai baby at 6:49 AM PST - 89 comments
Over the past few weeks, I, along with ten of my closest friends, have taken turns saying our goodbyes to our college bound kids. For some of us, this was a virgin voyage; for others, it was the beginning of an empty nest. [more inside] posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:05 PM PST - 44 comments
The drawings of Ron Franciere circa 1962-1988 — "Ron Franciere was something of a mystery to me. Ran into many dead ends trying to find information on him. I posted some images on my website Bighappyfunhouse. I received emails that held a few stories of Ron and his life - but nothing ever lead me to contacting Ron Franciere. Then, I received an anonymous comment on my website." posted by unliteral at 6:08 PM PST - 7 comments
Sergey Petrovich Kapitsa (1928-2012) , scientist, television personality, pacifist. The son of a Nobel Prize in Physics laureate, Kapitsa's research drifted from physics into demography and mathematical population modeling, having spoken alongside Sagan in the Club of Rome. Kapitsa is better known, however, as the host of Evident, but incredible, which catapulted him into the figure of a public ambassador of science and eventually the longest-running television host in the history of Russia. Kapitsa also left a minor mark as a filmmaker, with his "Sea of Japan" arriving second to Jacques Cousteau in Cannes. posted by syntaxfree at 4:28 PM PST - 2 comments
The Art of Vogue Covers details the illustrated covers of British Vogue from 1909 through 1940, including the entire collection of covers between 1920-1930. Most of the work showcased is by seasoned Vogue illustrators Helen Dryden, Georges Lepap, Harriett Maserol, George Plank and Eduardo Benito amongst others. Look for continuing additions at the Flickr set. This is literally just the tip of the iceberg. posted by netbros at 9:49 AM PST - 11 comments
Though I grew up in America, I have been visiting my family in Poland since I was a child. But it is only recently, since the great debate began two years ago between [Jan] Gross and [Timothy] Snyder over the causes and extent of Polish co-operation with the Nazis during the Holocaust, that I thought to ask the old people of my family village about what happened during the war. My grandparents mentioned bits and pieces of our family’s World War II history over the years, but it often seemed too painful for them to recall, or as though they wanted the memories to simply be forgotten. When I finally decided to broach the topic with them, my grandmother repeated that she didn’t understand why I cared to dig so deep into the past, why I cared so much about Wladyslaw and his story.
Cynthia Ozick on Henry James: The Lesson of the Master:...in earlier days I felt I had been betrayed by Henry James. I was like the youthful writer in “The Lesson of the Master” who believed in the Master’s call to live immaculately, unspoiled by what we mean when we say “life”—relationship, family mess, distraction, exhaustion, anxiety, above all disappointment. posted by shivohum at 8:43 AM PST - 7 comments
If you only have three minutes to spend on this post, listen to this song.
The Yummy Fur was an unfairly obscure Scottish art-rock group active from 1992-1999. The group is best known for having two band members who currently comprise half of Franz Ferdinand, but that says little about the Yummy Fur proper. The group has a low-fi, angular, sound with mostly-spoken lyrics - the most familiar analogue might be the verses from Pavement's "Stereo" [more inside] posted by LSK at 8:39 PM PST - 12 comments
Radio contact ceased. Temperatures in the cockpit were rising precipitously; aluminum fixtures began to melt. It's possible that one of the pilots, or both, simply caught fire. At air-traffic control in Moncton, the green hexagon flickered off the screen. There was silence. They knew what was coming: the huge fuck, the something terrible. God save them. One controller began trembling, another wept.
It was falling.
Six minutes later, SR111 plunged into the dark sea. posted by barnacles at 6:55 PM PST - 64 comments
Akhmatova's work ranges from short lyric poems to intricately structured cycles, such as Requiem (1935–40), her tragic masterpiece about the Stalinist terror. Her style, characterised by its economy and emotional restraint, was strikingly original and distinctive to her contemporaries. The strong and clear leading female voice struck a new chord in Russian poetry. Her writing can be said to fall into two periods – the early work (1912–25) and her later work (from around 1936 until her death), divided by a decade of reduced literary output. Her work was condemned and censored by Stalinist authorities and she is notable for choosing not to emigrate, and remaining in Russia, acting as witness to the atrocities around her.[more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 3:17 PM PST - 11 comments
There's kids farmed through juvenile detention centers for profit, oppressive corporate barons, and young people striking and occupying New York City to protest social injustice. The corporate overlords try to use the NYPD and private goons to break up the movement, but they can't stop the Tony-winning choreography. Wait, what? Newsies is a record breaking Disney musical based on the flop-turned-cult favorite 1992 film starring a young Christian Bale. [more inside] posted by kmz at 3:10 PM PST - 32 comments
"Waking up married after a drunken Vegas weekend used to be an adventure reserved for one man and one woman. But thanks to a new law, athlete Brady Kelly and actor Cheeks find themselves unexpectedly and legally wed. Unwilling to undermine the hard-fought battle with a public quicky divorce, these two decide to make a go of it. They were doing okay when they were dating. But how will it work out, now that they are HUSBANDS?"
The hilarious web-series by Jane Espenson and Brad Bell enters its second season, with cameos by pretty much everyone you love. posted by jph at 10:04 AM PST - 34 comments
Leading a struggling Kickstarter campaign is not a fate I would wish upon my worst enemy. Theproject consumes your every waking moment (and dreams) with a constant whine of stress. [...] There's nothing worse than when your Kickstarter dries up like that. People avoid making eye contact with you. [...] It's a time of quiet reflection and common questions: "Are you guys going to be okay?" "Think you'll try again?" and "I hear Zynga is hiring."
The benefits of fasting have been coveredbefore on Metafilter, but a new BBC documentary (discussed by the presenter Dr Michael Mosley in the Telegraph here) looking at the science behind fasting seems to show that the evidence supporting fasting’s general health benefits beyond weight loss are growing. posted by MighstAllCruckingFighty at 3:07 AM PST - 97 comments
How to Eat a Watermelon Tutorial (SLYT) was made by Tom Willett, a 74 year old semi-retired comedian, musician, and actor. Willett's personal website, Comedy Parade, includes style and character-building tips for budding comedians, interspersed with tributes to comedians he admires. This recent interview with Willett comes off the heels of the watermelon eating tutorial video's viral success.
When asked why he continues to film videos of his skits, comedic news broadcasts and songs instead of “retiring,” he said it‘s because he hasn’t changed from the 14 year old who decided to throw all of his ambition into being an entertainer.
“I’m basically the same person I was when I was 14 — inside. I haven‘t changed what I like and I never do what you’re supposed to do. I do what feels right.”
Tony Scott, younger brother of Ridley Scott, is perhaps best known for directing True Romance, but he had a long career making action films that had verve and a pulse, including an ongoing collaboration with Denzel Washington. His last film, Unstoppable, was one of his biggest critical and commercial hits, earning him widespreadpraise as the consummate mainstream Hollywood stylist. He committed suicide today at age 68. posted by eugenen at 9:30 PM PST - 171 comments
Two short documentaries about voguing - 1989 and 2011. An evolution of a dance form and a subculture.
Voguing: The Message traces the roots of this gay, Black and Latino dance form, which appropriates and plays with poses and images from mainstream fashion. Voguing competitions parody fashion shows and rate the contestants on the basis of movement, appearance and costume. This tape is a pre-Madonna primer that raises questions about race, sex and subcultural style. [Dir. Jack Walworth, David Bronstein & Dorothy Low 1989 13 min.]
... Buckaroo Banzaiis paradoxically decades ahead of its time and yet completely of its time; it’s profoundly a movie by, for, and of geeks and nerds at a time before geek/nerd culture was mainstreamed, and a movie whose pre-CG special effects and pre-Computer Age production design were an essential part of its good-natured enthusiasm. What at the time was a hip, modern take on classic SF is now, almost thirty years later, almost indistinguishable from the SF cinema that inspired it in terms of the appeal to modern viewers: the charmingly old-fashioned special effects, and the comparatively innocent earnestness of its tone. - Danny Bowes[more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 3:11 PM PST - 119 comments
From Ryan Armand, author of the beautiful watercolor comic Minus, comes the story of a man who decides one day to be GREAT. Involves ramen, romance, gang warfare. Highly recommended. posted by Rory Marinich at 1:07 PM PST - 6 comments
“When Jim first came to me with this idea of putting two guys inside a giant alien queen suit,” Winston admitted, “I thought, ‘This man is out of his mind.’ Nothing like that had been done before. But in the next moment, I realized that if he had imagined it, we could probably do it.” - How Stan Winston and Jim Cameron built the Alien Queen. Original creature creature H.R. Giger was disapointed not to be involved, leading to this letter from Cameron. posted by Artw at 11:41 AM PST - 43 comments
New York based AutoSalvage put out one album in 1968, and then disappeared. The instrumentation on the brilliant self titled album included krummhorn, recorder, banjo and dulcimer.
The band, which first formed in 1966, was "discovered" by Frank Zappa when the Mothers of Invention toured the East Coast in 1967. He liked their song "AutoSalvage" and encouraged them to use the title as their band name. They were signed by RCA Victor and put out one single followed by their album. The record was recorded at the RCA studio on the new 1' 8 Track machine.They disbanded after a mere year and a half, a great psychedelic band on the wrong coast,
Members included RickTurner, now a well-known luthier. Other cuts from the album include Land of Their Dreams and the psychjangle Medley: The Great Brain Robbery, Glimpses Of The Next World's World posted by Isadorady at 5:03 AM PST - 5 comments
If we took as a baseline that Europeans have an average of 3.5 percent Neandertal, Ötzi would have around 5.5 percent (again, the actual percentage would be highly model-dependent). He has substantially greater sharing with Neandertals than any other recent person we have ever examined.
Electronic Arts allegedly in talks to sell to private equity; would "do a deal for $20 a share". [NYP] [Int. Business Times]. The markets appear to think there's at least some substance to the rumour, as EA shares jumped more than 7% to $14 in early trades on Thursday morning and have remained at around $13.75. [Google Finance chart] posted by jaduncan at 11:09 AM PST - 40 comments
Twiplomacy is the first-ever global study of world leaders on Twitter. The governments of almost two-thirds of the 193 UN member countries have a presence on Twitter: 45% of the 264 accounts analysed are personal accounts of heads of state and government, but just 30 world leaders tweet themselves and very few on a regular basis.
This study shows that while the social network invites direct interaction between users, few world leaders take advantage of this opportunity to develop connections. posted by infini at 10:09 AM PST - 16 comments
First Evidence Found for Photosynthesis in Insects: [nature.com] "The biology of aphids is bizarre: they can be born pregnant and males sometimes lack mouths, causing them to die not long after mating. In an addition to their list of anomalies, work published this week indicates that they may also capture sunlight and use the energy for metabolic purposes." posted by Fizz at 7:36 AM PST - 26 comments
"Reagan's president elect...." 30+ years ago Heaven 17 released their first single, (WE DON'T NEED THIS) FASCIST GROOVE THANG. Stop your good time dancing, 'cause here they are three decades later (still) performing it at Abbey Road studio and sounding pretty fine. Turn volume up before playing. posted by Dean358 at 5:58 AM PST - 22 comments
On June 13, 1994, blond-haired, blue-eyed Nicholas Barclay was reported missing from his home near San Antonio, Texas. He was 13 years old. In October 1997, the family received a call from a man in Spain informing them their son had been found after having escaped from a child prostitution ring.
Nicholas' half-sister immediately boarded a flight to Spain, where she was reunited with her brother and brought him back with her to Texas. There were a few things though, that seemed a bit off... [more inside] posted by triggerfinger at 10:06 PM PST - 53 comments
Last year, The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's Law School released a report (pdf) detailing new, more restrictive state laws that affect voting rights and are likely to impact the outcome of the 2012 elections. The restrictions "fall most heavily on young, minority, and low-income voters, as well as on voters with disabilities." On August 3rd, 2012, they updated their analysis with a pdf of passed and pending State government legislation. Their conclusion: after a century in which the United States "expanded the franchise and knocked down myriad barriers to full electoral participation... that momentum [has] abruptly shifted." [more inside] posted by zarq at 9:36 PM PST - 47 comments
I just stumbled upon some Thai music performed on an instrument I hadn't heard of until just now. But the curious machine-gun rhythm patterns are kinda rocking my world. It was uploaded to YT yesterday, and at the moment has a big FIVE views. And I think two of those are mine. Anyway, here it is: เดี่ยวจะเข้ [ Jakae solo ] : ครูทองดี สุจริตกุล [ Khru Thong-dee Sucharitkul ]. Now, here's another, apparently by the same lady. She's got a seriously percussive, take-no-prisoners approach to the instrument. But in neither of those clips do we see the instrument being played. So I looked around some more, and found this one, and though this guy's style is not quite as, um, *punk*, it's still pretty badass, and you get the visual idea of what the instrument is all about, not to mention the all-important twin-percussion backing. Hope you enjoy this little glimpse into the world of the Thaijakae. posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:49 PM PST - 26 comments
"Bronzer was offered up to me in make-up stores when I started painting my face for fun, as consultants tutted over my unfortunate foundation match: invariably ’00’, ‘porcelain’, or some other snide euphemism for melaninically challenged."Memoirs of a Ghost; or, being pale in a world where only tanned is beautiful. [more inside] posted by mippy at 3:44 PM PST - 101 comments
On Halloween night 1992, a skinny, gravel-voiced man in a blue dress and horn-rim glasses took the stage at a tiny Atlanta dive bar/strip club along with his band, The Opal Foxx Quartet (which was not a four-piece; around a dozen people crowded the dark, low-ceilinged space). This would be their final show, and it's a barn-burner. [more inside] posted by BoringPostcards at 3:03 PM PST - 20 comments
Erik and his co-host Maja D'Aoust have a weekly internet radio interview show which might be described as psychedelically eclectic covering a variety of fringe subculture topics including drugs, mysticism, music, literature, Burning Man, comic books. Amongst their more recognizable guests have been: Alan Moore (on his ties to America's founding fathers), Christof Koch (on consciousness, neuroscience, and paramecium sex), Elliot Wolfson (on dreams and Kabbalah), Lee Gilmore (on his Burning Man book Theater in a Crowded Fire), and Gary Lachman (on mystic Jung, playing in Blondie, and getting thrown out of David Bowie's apartment). [more inside] posted by bukvich at 9:44 AM PST - 10 comments
Hurry Hurry (YouTube) is the single on Boston band Air Traffic Controller's (Official Site) new album NORDO (SoundCloud). It's an insistent, catchy, exuberant anthem to all those who feel like no matter how fast they run, life runs faster. It absolutely nails the sensation of pushing oneself to the point of destruction while simultaneously feeling as though one is falling farther and farther behind. It will also lodge itself deep inside your brain and refuse to stop playing, so be warned. [more inside] posted by Scientist at 9:22 AM PST - 20 comments
Cul de Sac, (previously) generally considered the best newspaper comic strip of recent years (and which may be the last great newspaper comic strip) will end next month, due to the worsening Parkinson's of creator Richard Thompson. His illness had previously motivated an impressive artistic show of support from all kinds of comics artists (newspaper strips, editorial cartoons, magazine illustrations, webcomics and one guy who hadn't done much lately) (previously) I, for one, hope he gets to spend some time hanging out with Bill W. posted by oneswellfoop at 9:07 AM PST - 23 comments
Nearly a decade ago, Sun Jifa lost his hands in a fishing-related explosion (he was building a bomb for blast-fishing). He soon realized that he couldn't afford the prosthetic hands recommended by the hospital. Undeterred, he decided to build his own bionic hands. Eightyearslater... posted by unSane at 8:42 AM PST - 46 comments
"On March 14, 1992, Shaun Sperling read from the Torah and became a Bar Mitzvah in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The theme Shaun chose to signify the religious celebration of him becoming a man was 'Madonna'. " [more inside] posted by the young rope-rider at 6:55 AM PST - 41 comments
'By most accounts, Bill Walton stands well over seven feet tall. But during his NBA career, Walton always insisted that he was 6'11" because he didn't want to be considered a freak. When I read that fun fact in David Halberstam's The Breaks of the Game, it hit a chord. I've been doing the exact same thing as Walton for my entire adult life. I'm not as tall as Walton. I'm not even one of the less-than-70 seven-footers in my age bracket in the U.S. But I'm close. Another quarter-inch, and I'd pass the seven-foot barrier. But anytime anyone asks my height, I say that I'm 6'11". I don't mention the extra three quarters of an inch. People don't need to know about that.
In any case, I'm still pretty fucking tall. And being pretty fucking tall is a weird thing to wrap your head around.'[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:45 AM PST - 121 comments
"I stood staring at the enemy's trophy, the familiar impotent rage rising. But the impulse to fall to my knees, gnash my teeth, and howl at the gods was stayed this time by a resolution I'd made earlier that spring. The squirrels may take my tomatoes and spit them back, but they would not go unanswered. The time had come to close the circle of life." (via) posted by vidur at 8:59 PM PST - 59 comments
Have you ever wondered why you don't see motion blur when your eyes flick to a new position? Why, if you sit in front of a mirror and watch yourself, you never see your eyes move? That is saccadic masking, one of the lies your brain tells to avoid confusing you.
Have you noticed that the first tick after glancing at a clock with a second hand can take more than one second? No, it's not just you! That's a related phenomenon called chronostasis, or more commonly the stopped clock illusion. posted by gilrain at 2:50 PM PST - 46 comments
Charles Philippe Hippolyte de Thierry lead a storied life, and many of those stories are ones he made up. His family was associated with the French court, though there is doubt to his claims of noble lineage. In England, he met two Maori chiefs and an English missionary from New Zealand, and attempted to purchase a northern portion of New Zealand in 1820. He then sought to turn this land into a colony first for Britain in 1822, then the Dutch government in 1824 when the English offer fell through. The Dutch, too, turned him down, so in 1825 de Thierry made the same offer to the French government, and was similarly refused. Fleeing creditors, he left for America. In 1834, he traveled south, where he was granted concession for cutting the Panama Canal. That, too, fell through, and he sailed west, reaching Tahiti in June 1835, where he elected himself king of Nuka Hiva. The kingdom was never his, and so he continued west and south, arriving at his plot in New Zealand in 1837, where again he offered land up to France for a colony. His efforts to claim a colony and a kingdom came to an end in 1840, with the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, sealing a deal between the British Crown and the Māori. [more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 2:30 PM PST - 7 comments
Dog House Diaries — we know that web-comics are where all the money and fame is at and we want a piece. It was obvious that in order to be successful in this biz, you need to be good with humor, drawing, math and computers. Well we kick some serious butt at drawing and math so we figured 2 out of 3 wasn’t bad. posted by netbros at 11:09 AM PST - 24 comments
August 5th marked the sixty-third anniversary of the Mann Gulch fire.
PDF heavy, significant use of title text. Mobile users, and folks who just want the links, check the comments. [more inside] posted by zamboni at 10:48 AM PST - 15 comments
"The Most Important Gay Porn Film Ever Made?" [NSFW Warning: Pictures of a naked guy, no sex or penis shown.]
"Dawson's 20 Load Weekend redefined bareback porn and the men who appear in such porn. It influenced subsequent videos and expanded the availability of bareback films. It depicted a prevailing truth about gay sexual behavior "post-AIDS" and arguably encouraged risky sexual adventure-seeking. It led to the saturation of bareback porn online, making unprotected sex normative to whomever might be watching. To dismiss this film, to minimize its social and cultural impact, would be to demonstrate a profound misunderstanding of gay sexuality today." posted by andoatnp at 10:34 AM PST - 54 comments
Two brothers' joyful reunion: The nine-year-old Alf and 13-year-old Kesho were recently rejoined at a new Gorilla Colony at Longleat Safari Park, Wiltshire, after having been separated for almost three years (alternative BBC gallery). Born in the Dublin Zoo's lowland gorilla troop, they were split up when Kesho was transferred to London Zoo for their breeding program, where he matured into a silverback. "The keepers from Dublin weren't entirely sure the brothers would even know each other," said their new keeper. "But the moment they met you could just see the recognition in their eyes." Related, previously posted by Doktor Zed at 10:12 AM PST - 18 comments
"The convent would have been seen as a way for women to gain status. Nuns had a particular mystique and attraction about them. There was one in particular, and I would in hindsight say I definitely had a crush on her." Former nun Mary Skelley on coming out. [Vimeo] posted by DarlingBri at 5:46 AM PST - 6 comments
'While they never met, they had some things in common. Both were Army captains, engaged in important work for the nation, their costly educations paid for by U.S. taxpayers. Ian Morrison, 26, returned to Fort Hood, Texas, last December after nine months flying 70 combat missions over Iraq. Dr. Michael McCaddon, 37, was an ob-gyn resident at Hawaii’s Tripler Army Medical Center. The pilot and the doctor shared one other thing: they found themselves in a darkening, soul-sucking funnel that has trapped some 2,500 military personnel since 9/11. Like them, each died, at his own hand, on March 21, nearly 4,000 miles apart.' [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:54 AM PST - 27 comments
The year 2009 began a disturbing new trend: the criminalization of whistleblowing. The Obama administration has pursued a quiet but relentless campaign against the news media and their sources. This Article focuses on the sources who, more often than not, are whistleblowers. A spate of “leak” prosecutions brought under the Espionage Act has shaken the world of whistleblower attorneys, goodgovernment groups, transparency organizations, and civil liberties advocates. The Obama administration has prosecuted ﬁve criminal cases under the Espionage Act, which is more than all other presidential administrations combined.[more inside] posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:01 PM PST - 32 comments
Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners has pitched the Major League's 24th23rd perfect game, in a 12-strikeout, 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. You can watch an abbreviated video showing all 27 outs in succession at mlb.com here (6:08). [more inside] posted by hincandenza at 7:16 PM PST - 64 comments
Layla, written by Eric Clapton and Jim Gordon has survived over 40 years (wiki), and matured nicely.
For your listening pleasure "Layla" - 1970 Derek and the Dominoes, 1992 MTV Unplugged, 2011 Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wynton Marsalis. posted by HuronBob at 7:04 PM PST - 79 comments
Using spare chemicals, a laser bought on eBay and angst from a late-night argument, physicists have got the world's first room-temperature microwave laser working. [more inside] posted by ancillary at 5:33 PM PST - 49 comments
Lisa Kristine, a photographer, gives a thoughtful and very moving talk on the extent of modern day slavery in this TEDx talk. The photos she shows are absolutely beautiful and the bare-bones stories behind them are exceptionally hard to hear at times. The group she is working with, Free the Slaves, seems to be doing a lot of good work and working on real solutions for the people involved (such as the one example she gives where the slaves that were freed carried on doing the same work, the only work they had ever known, but rent the quarry themselves and are now the recipients of the profits etc). She has published a book with these photos as well and it's available on her website. posted by HopStopDon'tShop at 11:16 AM PST - 4 comments
Her name was Wu Zetian, and in the seventh century A.D. she became the only woman in more than 3,000 years of Chinese history to rule in her own right.
[more inside] posted by Chrysostom at 9:44 AM PST - 35 comments
"Last week, I graduated from the 2012 Clarion Writer’s Workshop. And everything people tell you about it is true—it’s incredible, it’s transformative, it will make you into the writer you were meant to be, it builds unbreakable bonds with a ton of other brilliant writers. AND you’ll be devastated when it’s over. As I attempt to process my grief at Clarion’s end, I thought I would transcribe the copious notes that I took during the course of those six weeks." Clarion 2012: Every Brilliant Piece of Writing Advice (via jscalzi) posted by Artw at 6:30 PM PST - 98 comments
SuperMarioBros.Special occupies a strange place in Mario history. It's one of the few Mario games produced for a system other than Nintendo's own, licensed by Hudson Soft for the Japanese PC-8801 computer system. The system was fairly weak compared to an NES, so it didn't scroll; when Mario gets to the edge of the screen, it flips to the next. The game wasn't always designed with that in mind however, leading to a lot of blind jumps. You can play a hacked version of the original Super Mario Bros. designed to recreate this game using the patch found here. And here's a video playthrough of the whole game: World 1, World 2, World 3, World 4, World 5, World 6, World 7, World 8, Last level & ending. And here's a trap room in World 4. posted by JHarris at 12:00 PM PST - 45 comments
The Reproducibility Initiative "Here’s how it is supposed to work. Let’s say you have found a drug that shrinks tumors. You write up your results, which are sexy enough to get into Nature or some other big-name journal. You also send the Reproducibility Initiative the details of your experiment and request that someone reproduce it. A board of advisers matches you up with a company with the experience and technology to do the job. You pay them to do the job...and they report back whether they got the same results." posted by dhruva at 11:40 AM PST - 69 comments
Computer-based musicians have a wealth of free VST (Windows) and Audio Units (Mac) plugins to use in their favorite DAW software. Here are some of my favorites (primarily Mac, though most are available for Windows as well). If you share my passion for this stuff, you are likely already a fan of the excellent website KVR Audio, the ultimate resource for plugins of all stripes. [more inside] posted by dbiedny at 9:19 AM PST - 54 comments
“'Funding for public universities comes from, as the term suggests, the state and federal government. Yet starting in the early 1980s, shifting state priorities forced public universities to increasingly rely on other sources of revenue. For example, in the University of Washington school system, state funding for schools decreased as a percentage of total public education budgets from 82% in 1989 to 51% in 2011.' That’s a loss of more than 1/3 of its public funding. But why this shift in priorities?" How The American University was Killed, in 5 Easy Steps. posted by Larus at 9:13 AM PST - 48 comments
'textbook definition of surrealism' In his epic new bio of James Brown, "The One"--an account of not just the man's life and music, but a panoramic view of African-American, southern and American political and cultural history of the 20th Century--author R.J. Smith briefly discusses "Future Shock," a dance show that Brown hosted in the mid-1970s. It aired on a pioneering Atlanta station, WTCG, a Ted Turner-owned UHF station that would become a satellite channel by the end of 1976. Along with the pay-only HBO (started in '75 in select markets), WTCG paved the way for a cable TV revolution. Its name would be changed to WTBS (otherwise known as Superstation WTBS) in 1979. [more inside] posted by raysmj at 8:57 AM PST - 13 comments
"You are a monarch, like your parents before you, a ruler of a small pleasant kingdom of rivers and evergreens. Unlike your parents, however, you have hopes and dreams! You want a bigger and more pleasant kingdom, with more rivers and a wider variety of trees. You want a Dominion!" Dominion is an award winning game that combines the staples of Eurogaming with the addictive nature of collectable card games. [more inside] posted by codacorolla at 8:51 AM PST - 153 comments
Citizen science refers to science conducted by average persons, e.g., people who are not full- or part-time professional scientists but nevertheless have a keen interest in scientific inquiry. Citizen Science Center is a resource for books, papers, discussions, and project listings related to citizen science that aims to convince you to get your hands dirty and do science now. posted by netbros at 7:50 AM PST - 11 comments
A new way to deal with disturbing voices offers hope for those with other forms of psychosis.
Hans used to be overwhelmed by the voices. He heard them for hours, yelling at him, cursing him, telling him he should be dragged off into the forest and tortured and left to die. The most difficult things to grasp about the voices people with psychotic illness hear are how loud and insistent they are, and how hard it is to function in a world where no one else can hear them. It’s not like wearing an iPod. It’s like being surrounded by a gang of bullies. You feel horrible, crazy, because the voices are real to no one else, yet also strangely special, and they wrap you like a cocoon. Hans found it impossible to concentrate on everyday things. He sat in his room and hid. But then the voices went away for good.
THE FULLER MAPThis document is a study of the comprehensive designer Buckminster Fuller, an outstanding character of the 20th century, and a kind of practical visionary. [...] This presentation of his ideas is not intended as a slavish devotional exercise, nor a piece of cynical criticism. Part of the plan here is to investigate the logic of synergetics. At this stage the account is verbal, not visual, but what is important in geometry is the logic rather than the pictures. The text is a work-in-progress, begun in August 1991, and originally written to meet the structural requirements of John Wood's IDEAbase system. It was compiled and edited as an experimental, dynamic, interactive, screen-based document. It was not, therefore, intended as a completed linear text to be printed onto paper or other static medium. posted by infini at 4:16 AM PST - 2 comments
"Some date the crisis to August 9 2007, the day it became clear that Europe’s banks were up to their necks in US housing debt. The ECB flooded markets with €95bn of liquidity. It seemed a lot of money then. The term “trillion” was still banned by the Telegraph style book in those innocent days. We have since learned to swing with the modern dance music from central banks." [Five years on, the Great Recession is turning into a life sentence] posted by vidur at 7:42 PM PST - 101 comments
In my unending search for just the right vintage images for our articles, I have looked through thousands of photographs of men from the last century or so. One of the things that I have found most fascinating about many of these images, is the ease, familiarity, and intimacy, which men used to exhibit in photographs with their friends and compadres.Male Affection: A Photographic History Tour posted by byanyothername at 6:33 PM PST - 41 comments
The USPS issued new stamps commemorating four American dancers, including Isadora Duncan, for Dance Day last week. A group of Duncan dancers gave an impromptu performance at Dupont Circle In DC in honor of the event. The 135 anniversary of Duncan's birth and the 85th anniversary of her death are both being commemorated this year. Although Isadora has been called the Mother of Modern Dance, she is often remembered for her unconventional life and death as much as her art. [more inside] posted by Isadorady at 2:11 PM PST - 6 comments
Yesteryear's Tools is an Internet Magazine that concentrates on hand tools, the toolmakers and the tool distributors that operated mostly between the mid-1800s and mid to late-1900s. Particular attention centers upon the markings and labels of such makers and distributors, specifically those that can be classified as manufacturers and/or major distributors. [more inside] posted by zamboni at 12:09 PM PST - 16 comments
A Yarn of Olympic Proportions "Residents of Saltburn, in North Yorkshire, are scratching their heads today after a mysterious 'yarnbomber' wrapped the town's pier with a 50-yard scarf stretching out along the railings.
The impressive garment features woollen athletes competing in various Olympic events, from synchronised swimmers to rowers and cyclists, and has delighted young and old alike as the town discusses the good yarn." [more inside] posted by zizzle at 11:22 AM PST - 40 comments
The highest possible resolution images — about 100,000 dots per inch — have been achieved, and in full-colour, with a printing method that uses tiny pillars a few tens of nanometres tall. The method, described today in Nature Nanotechnology, could be used to print tiny watermarks or secret messages for security purposes, and to make high-density data-storage discs.[more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 10:09 AM PST - 22 comments
James Fallows, in a series ofinterestingblogposts, questions the typical English pronunciation of China's capital city arguing that "the "jing" in Beijing is pronounced basically like the "jing" in Jingle Bells. It's essentially the normal English j- sound. What it's not like is the Frenchified zh- sound you hear in "azure" or "leisure," or at the end of "sabotage."" One reader suggests, "My working theory about "Beijing/bay-zhing" is that at some deep, unconscious level, English speakers secretly believe that all foreign languages are French and should be pronounced as such in the absence of instructions to the contrary." Another reader argues, "Major cities and countries have historically had different names in different languages, and these names serve a good purpose by being easy to pronounce and identify in the languages where they are used. There is really no more reason to say "Beijing" in English than "München" or "Moskva.""[more inside] posted by beisny at 9:42 AM PST - 301 comments
"We worry. Nearly one in five Americans suffer from anxiety. For many, it is not a disorder, but a part of the human condition. This series explores how we navigate the worried mind, through essay, art and memoir."
The New York Times is running a series of short memoirs written by sufferers of anxiety disorder. From the ways anxiety affects daily life to what happens when it's part of a marriage, many different angles are explored.
(Previously) posted by deathpanels at 7:23 AM PST - 77 comments
If everyone had kept quiet, it could have been the most valuable parking spot on earth. Convenient only to the careworn clothing stores clustered in the southern end of downtown Nogales, Ariz., it offered little to shoppers, and mile-long Union Pacific trains sometimes cut it off from much of the city for 20 minutes at a time. But the location was perfect: In the middle of the short stretch of East International Street, overshadowed by the blank walls of quiet commercial property, the space was less than 50 feet from the international border with Mexico. posted by Chrysostom at 6:13 AM PST - 25 comments
Mugshot Yourself: Meet 1864's greatest rogues, then become one yourself. Try your face on different mugshots, and add the best of them to Copper's growing collection of New York's most notorious. Con men, petty thieves, prostitutes...Oh, and you.(via BBCAmerica) posted by ColdChef at 6:19 PM PST - 21 comments
Researchers sneak up on sleeping sperm whales (.mpg video, hosted by Current Biology.)
Matt Kaplan, writing in Nature, summarizes a 2008 article in Current Biology:
"An accidental encounter with a pod of sleeping sperm whales has opened researchers’ eyes to some unknown sleep behaviours of these giant sea creatures . . . A team led by Luke Rendell at the University of St Andrew’s, UK, were monitoring calls and behaviour in sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) off the northern Chile coast when they accidentally drifted into the middle of a pod of whales hanging vertically in the water, their noses poking out of the surface. At least two of the whales were facing the boat, but not a single animal responded." [more inside] posted by spitbull at 4:24 PM PST - 44 comments
Nodogdo.com is here for you [in Britian] to post your video clips of those dog owners (and let’s be fair, there is only a small minority of them) that don’t pick up after their dogs.[more inside] posted by obscurator at 1:53 PM PST - 35 comments
Gotye makes a mashup/remix of youtube covers of his hit single - "Reluctant as I am to add to the mountain of interpretations of Somebody That I Used To Know seemingly taking over their own area of the internet, I couldn't resist the massive remixability that such a large, varied yet connected bundle of source material offered. " [SLYT] posted by radiosilents at 11:46 AM PST - 93 comments
"Peter Aaslestad is both a free-lance photographer and an internationally recognized historic preservation consultant specializing in the use of architectural photogrammetry to document existing buildings." [more inside] posted by Namlit at 6:55 AM PST - 4 comments
Food writing’s shameful secret, wrote John Thorne his seminal essay, “Cuisine Mécanique”, is its intellectual poverty. John himself is a notable exception. He is one of those rare authors who have the gift of transporting us into a world of their own creation which we are happy to occupy for a while in preference to any other. They are Virgils to our Dante, showing us around the territory and introducing us to the natives. In these magic realms, strangers speak to us immediately as old friends; arriving unexpectedly at dinner time, we find a place already set for us.[more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 7:45 PM PST - 26 comments
Daniel Amen and the use of SPECT imaging in clinical psychiatry. Daniel Amen's clinics grossed $20 million last year, using SPECT imaging to tailor psychiatric treatments to individuals. The psychiatric establishment is skeptical: "'In my opinion, what he's doing is the modern equivalent of phrenology,' says Jeffrey Lieberman, APA president-elect, author of the textbook “Psychiatry” and chairman of Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons." posted by OmieWise at 12:58 PM PST - 42 comments
Racetrack is a game with very simple rules which nonetheless does a surprisingly good job of simulating the acceleration, braking, and handling of a race car. It can teach not only about inertia and kinematics, but also about optimal racing lines. Racetrack can be played with nothing more than a piece of graph paper and a pen, but there is also an online implementation called Vector Racer. posted by 256 at 8:05 AM PST - 42 comments
How the individualist, rights-based message in Beasts of the Southern Wild reflects the society America is today "While the film centers on Hushpuppy’s struggle to survive the degradation that surrounds her — primarily through imagination and her incipient art — this "You’ve got to fight for your right to party" ethos is also a central theme. Viewers are asked to interpret a lack of work discipline, schooling, or steady institution building of any kind — the primary building blocks of any civilization — as the height of liberation. “Choice,” even the choice to live in squalor, is raised to the level of a categorical imperative. There is no inkling of the economic and social history of the region that had limited these “choices.” We are left with a libertarian sandbox, with a rights-based life philosophy gone rancid... In his new book The Age of Fracture, Princeton historian Daniel Rodgers suggests that post-World War II American history has seen a “disaggregation of the social,” where the broad social contract that had brought more and more Americans into the domain of full economic and political citizenship has dramatically shrunk. We are left with smaller and smaller visions of “community,” often being reduced to the level of a single "rights-holding self." In a sad way, the characters in the Bathtub are an artistic reflection of this fragmented world." posted by bookman117 at 11:57 PM PST - 34 comments
The man likely to be Australia's next Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has used a lunchtime speech to the conservative think-tank the Institute of Public Affairs to call for Australia's racial vilification laws to be wound back.
Section 18C makes race hate speech unlawful, but not illegal.
Abbott's calls come in the same week that Facebook has been in the firing-line over hosting the controversial "Aboriginal Memes" page. [more inside] posted by Mezentian at 9:27 PM PST - 121 comments
"Nothing is in a grocery store is where it is by accident. Every item on a shelf has been planned." Theatrically lit fruits and veggies? Limbic system-triggering flowers up front? Subtle manipulation of the shopping path? Meet Paco Underhill, master of the science of shopping, author, and founder of a consulting firm that specializes in advising companies on how small changes in retail environments can add up to increased sales. Think of him as a tour guide (YT, from his firm) who explains how these spaces are designed and why we fall for it. [more inside] posted by MonkeyToes at 8:19 PM PST - 42 comments
Could use an editor ... Oh wait. The Oxford American magazine often described as a literary publication but something more along the lines of a New Yorker-style, general interest glossy with a literary bent (albeit a stranger beast), has been in a wee bit of turmoil lately. The founding and longtime editor of the multiple-National Magazine Award-winning publication, Marc Smirnoff, was ousted in mid-July by the magazine's board in connection with charges of sexual harassment and serving alcohol to traditional college-age students, under 21. [more inside] posted by raysmj at 4:05 PM PST - 37 comments
Picture a tiny Italian woman gesturing continuously as she uncorks a full brain dump (from a very, very creative mind) on all of the little things that many people never think of when photographing others.
"... the first time I had to photograph someone that wasn’t myself, I spent the night before puking, and it was half a disaster. Ten years later, these are the things I wish someone had told me back then."
Christine Granville was, at least apocryphally, Winston Churchill's favourite spy. Born Maria Krystyna Janina Skarbek, daughter of a charming but dissolute Polish aristocrat and a Jewish banking heiress, she was described in 1939 as "a flaming Polish patriot … expert skier and great adventuress". So she was. posted by Chrysostom at 12:18 PM PST - 7 comments
Modern day mainland Chinese society is focused on one object: money and the acquisition thereof. The politically correct term in China is “economic benefit.” The country and its people, on average, are far wealthier than they were 25 years ago. Traditional family culture, thanks to 60 years of self-serving socialism followed by another 30 of the “one child policy,” has become a “me” culture. Except where there is economic benefit to be had, communities do not act together, and when they do it is only to ensure equal financial compensation for the pollution, or the government-sponsored illegal land grab, or the poisoned children. Social status, so important in Chinese culture and more so thanks to those 60 years of communism, is defined by the display of wealth.
The transportation reporter for the New York Times, Scott Flegenheimer, outs himself. “Hey, one boss said to another after my ill-advised confession. Did you know our transportation reporter can’t ride a bike? He knew then, of course, and now you do, too. I cannot ride a bike." He is notalone. Adultbicyclinglessonsareofferedeverywhere. posted by Xurando at 9:42 AM PST - 42 comments
After months of rumors and frustration, it appears that Dwight Howard has been traded to the Los Angeles Lakers in a four-team trade. Here is Bill Simmons rapid reaction. posted by Cloud King at 7:48 AM PST - 47 comments
Curious about the colored tape athletes[1, 2, 3] are wearing in the Olympics? Its Kinesio tape, developed by a Japanese chiropractor and acupuncturist. Practice seems to be running ahead of science: 12. posted by shothotbot at 5:37 AM PST - 68 comments
“The beast sets me riddles every evening, and when I fail to guess them, it kicks and bites me. It is like a small leopard and in other circumstances I should say it looked quite charming. So far I haven't solved a single one of these riddles…”—MichalAjvaz. [more inside] posted by misteraitch at 4:19 AM PST - 19 comments
In December of 1997, a Michigan man received a letter from the Department of Environmental Quality informing him that he was prohibited from the 'Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files show that no permits have been issued. .... The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially failed during a recent rain event, causing debris dams and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all unauthorized activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the strewn channel.'
He replied: 'Regarding Your Dam Complaint.'[more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:59 PM PST - 38 comments
[NSFW, TW] Sex House is an Onion webseries about six sexy Americans locked in a house for a reality show about getting nasty, but by the end of the first night things start to get terrible. Think No Exit meets Black Mirror (previously), it's a scathing satire of American sexual attitudes that's also amazingly suspenseful. posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:48 PM PST - 97 comments
We are so steeped in the tradition of railways as a single line cutting through the wilderness. But [...] there is a tradition you can tap into that completely inverts what has become the cliché, and focuses instead on branching lines, on sidings, on reversibility and on the breaching of timetables—and you end up with a notion of rails that can be an ineffable symbol of potentiality. I liked the idea of trying to honour that alternative tradition.
But that's all post-facto to the basic gag—and it is a gag—of someone shouting "there she blows!" and it's a mole, not a whale.
Yesterday, I went to the American Idol for startups. It made me want to die. "But, oh, my God, the terrible things these people do to words. It’s like watching some sadist work over a baby lamb with a rusty crowbar and a broken gin bottle. The names of these startups sound like the products of an aggressive brain tumor on the frontal lobe. Crowdegy, Placeling, Kouply, QuoteRobot, Appthwack, Makegood, Onthego, Nickler, Kahal, Tanzio, Taskk. They’re all whimsical and unique in exactly the same way." posted by Rory Marinich at 3:30 PM PST - 93 comments
The Groundbreaking Japanese Electronic band, Yellow Magic Orchestra, has been mentioned on the Blue before, and, not too long ago, the band’s most famous album, Solid State Survivor, was noticed as something every science fiction fan should listen to(#98 on list).
But if one really wants forward looking and innovative it is worth taking a closer look at the career of YMO’s most prolific member, Ryuichi Sakamoto. [more inside] posted by sendai sleep master at 3:23 PM PST - 18 comments
Thank Heaven, I remained but a short time in this distressed situation. I was relieved from it by the humane hand of Mr. DAVID RUGGLES. [...] Mr. Ruggles was then very deeply engaged in the memorable Darg case, as well as attending to a number of other fugitive slaves, devising ways and means for their successful escape; and, though watched and hemmed in on almost every side, he seemed to be more than a match for his enemies.
Financial Markets, Politics and the New Reality: "Louis M. Bacon is the head of Moore Capital Management, one of the largest and most influential hedge funds in the world. Last week, he announced that he was returning one quarter of his largest fund, about $2 billion, to his investors, [saying] it is impossible to make money when there is heavy political involvement, because political involvement introduces unpredictability in the market… Adam Smith and David Ricardo, who modern investors so admire, [never] used the term "economics" by itself, but only in conjunction with politics; they called it political economy… The investors' problem is that they mistake the period between 1991 and 2008 as the norm and keep waiting for it to return." posted by the mad poster! at 1:01 PM PST - 36 comments
"I now have mixed feelings about this trial. On the one hand, we now expect a guilty verdict. Compared to the judicial machine, we are nobodies, and we have lost. On the other hand, we have won. Now the whole world sees that the criminal case against us has been fabricated. The system cannot conceal the repressive nature of this trial. Once again, Russia looks different in the eyes of the world from the way Putin tries to present it at daily international meetings. All the steps toward a state governed by the rule of law that he promised have obviously not been made. And his statement that the court in our case will be objective and make a fair decision is another deception of the entire country and the international community. That is all. Thank you." - Yekaterina Samutsevich: Closing Statement at the Pussy Riot Trial posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:39 AM PST - 66 comments
Readymag is a new interactive publishing platform which allows you to create, publish and discover truly amazing webzines. Be sure to play with the demo for a look at the bleeding edge of web interactivity. It's not quite a sci-fi future yet, but it's getting closer. posted by nosila at 6:42 AM PST - 27 comments
The Internet Archive is now offering over 1,000,000 torrents including our live music concerts, the Prelinger movie collection, the librivox audio book collection, feature films, old time radio, lots and lots of books, and all new uploads from our patrons into Community collections (with more to follow). ... BitTorrent is the now fastest way to download items from the Archive, because the BitTorrent client downloads simultaneously from two different Archive servers located in two different datacenters, and from other Archive users who have downloaded these Torrents already. The distributed nature of BitTorrent swarms and their ability to retrieve Torrents from local peers may be of particular value to patrons with slower access to the Archive, for example those outside the United States or inside institutions with slow connections. (previously) [more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 7:31 PM PST - 41 comments
Your change, with thanks — Among the refinements of middle-class Victorian shopping was the giving of change not directly from hand to hand but in paper packets. The envelope, known as a ‘change packet,’ measured some 60 mm (2 ½ in) square and was printed with the legend ‘The change, with thanks’, often in a decorative roundel or other device. [more inside] posted by netbros at 5:43 PM PST - 14 comments
Two things about working in coffee shops. First, don't assume everyone else in there is a hipster. Second, don't assume that the elderly person who befriends you is a crazy old man telling tall tales. Else you may miss out on the meeting experience of a lifetime. posted by Wordshore at 5:30 PM PST - 71 comments
Steam to sell productivity software [main link]. Gabe's dislike of the Windows 8 app store [BBC] may be explained. It's particularly interesting given that Steam is about to launch on Linux [Valve] [previously on Mefi]; it's one app store across all three platforms. [more inside] posted by jaduncan at 5:24 PM PST - 29 comments
These days, it's easy to take visualizations of biological molecules for granted, what with the easyavailability of an ever-increasing supply of high-resolution X-ray and neutron crystallography data, as well as freelyavailablesoftware that render them into beautiful and useful images that help us understand how life works. The lack of computers and computer networks in the mid-1950s made creating these illustrations a painstaking collaboration, requiring an artist's craftsmanship and aesthetic sense, as well as, most importantly, the critical ability to visualize the concepts that scientists wish to communicate. One such scientific artist was Irving Geis, who painted the first biological macromolecule obtained through X-ray data: an iconic watercolor representation of the structure of sperm whale myoglobin, as seen in the third slide of this slideshow of selected pieces. His first effort was a revolutionary work of informatics, including coloring and shading effects that emphasized important structural and functional features of the myoglobin protein, simultaneously moving the less-important aspects into the background, all while stressing simplicity and beauty throughout. The techniques that Geis developed in this and subsequentworks influenced the standards for basic 2D protein visualization that are used today. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:31 PM PST - 6 comments
Throughout the west, prospectors and settlers clashed with native people, diminishing the populations of tribes greatly reduced by disease. By the 1850s, it was believed that all Native Americans were "civilized," before those in the young field of anthropology were able to record first-hand accounts of native people in their own elements. In 1853, a lone native woman was found on a remote island off the coast of southern California, but she contracted dysentery and died after she had been on the mainland for only seven weeks. Then in 1911, a bedragled native man was found in a farmer's slaughter house corral in rural Northern California. He was the last of his people, and he lived to share a glimpse of an ancient way of life, in his five years spent living amongst anthropologists, doctors, and linguists. He was Ishi, the last Yahi (Snagfilm; also on Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Instant). [more inside] posted by filthy light thief at 12:27 PM PST - 20 comments
Sam Harris- 'Wrestling The Troll' "Topics like torture, recreational drug use, and wealth inequality can provoke outrage and misunderstanding in many audiences. But discussing them online sets your reputation wandering like a child across a battlefield—perpetually. Anything can and will be said at your expense—or falsely attributed to you—today, tomorrow, and years hence. Needless to say, the urge to respond to this malevolence and obfuscation can become irresistible. " posted by herbplarfegan at 11:26 AM PST - 47 comments
Be wary of talk about privatizing the post office. 'A recent default by the U.S. Postal Service has revived talk about privatizing the post office, but the U.S. mail hasn't come close to outliving its usefulness.' The Constitution, Article I, Section 8, gives the federal government responsibility for postal service. 'Yet, in some quarters, talk of privatizing the post office never seems to ebb. That talk is experiencing another surge just now, because the U.S. Postal Service is in the process of defaulting on a payment of more than $5 billion owed to the Treasury.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 11:06 AM PST - 96 comments
Beating the system: The Boston Globe reports how a group of MIT students beat the Massachusetts state lottery by working out that you were almost guaranteed to get a return on the game Cash Win Fall at certain times, and only buying tickets at that point. It's reckoned that they made $48m on a $40m stake over several years, that other syndicates were also involved, and the state 'bent and broke' the rules by allowing them to buy tickets in bulk. The game was closed down after the Globe started to investigate. [more inside] posted by DanCall at 5:28 AM PST - 45 comments
"Garrett Reid, the oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid, was found dead Sunday morning in his room at training camp at Lehigh University."
Garrett's legaltroubles and struggle with addiction were widely publicized over the years due to his high profile father. After leaving prison he fought hard to change this legacy and was employed as a trainer with the team at the time of his death.
"Garrett’s road through life was not always an easy one. He faced tremendous personal challenges with bravery and spirit. As a family, we stood by him and were inspired as he worked to overcome those challenges. Even though he lost the battle that has been ongoing for the last eight years, we will always remember him as a fighter who had a huge, loving heart."
[more inside] posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:59 PM PST - 17 comments
If you're a fan of William Burroughs' work, a complete reading of Junkie, by William Burroughs himself, has recently appeared online, for free. Junkie (alternately titled Junky) is a 1953 semi-autobiographical novel by William S. Burroughs, published initially under the pseudonym "William Lee". It was his first published novel and has come to be considered a seminal text on the lifestyle of heroin addicts in the early 1950s. Also some Burroughs movies, which include The Cut-Up Films, interviews, Burroughs The Movie and Shotgun Paintings. posted by nickyskye at 8:51 PM PST - 18 comments
TGS's Zelda / Western mash-up, FISTFUL OF RUPEES, is a three-part web miniseries starring TJ Smith, Lisa Foiles, and Rawn, with guest appearances by Dodger and Jesse Cox. posted by jrking at 3:32 PM PST - 7 comments
On July 22, 2012, Herb Vogel passed away. Herb worked his entire life for the US Postal Service, while his wife Dorothy worked for the Brooklyn Public Library. In spite of their humble backgrounds, the couple were renowned in art circles for amassing over the course of decades a deeply personal collection of over 2500 pieces of 20th C. contemporary American art, a collection so vast that it could not be housed in the National Gallery of Art. A traveling exhibition entitled Fifty Works in Fifty States was set up to share the Vogel's treasures with the American public in museums across the country, as well as online. The wonderful story of the deep love that the Vogels shared for each other and their passion for art, beauty and human creativity was told in the eponymous documentary Herb and Dorothy. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:20 PM PST - 21 comments
"As a climber goes up even higher in altitude, into the so-called death zone, the dangerously thin air above 26,000 feet, there is so little oxygen available that the body makes a desperate decision: it cuts off the digestive system. The body can no longer afford to direct oxygen to the stomach to help digest food because that would divert what precious little oxygen is available away from the brain. The body will retch back up anything the climber tries to eat, even if it’s as small as an M&M."
-Excerpt from To the Last Breath: A Journey of Going to Extremes posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:00 PM PST - 39 comments
The Kitty Cam Project: Sponsored by the University of Georgia and National Georgraphic, The Kitty Cam Project is not what you might think. For one year, researchers followed the activities of owned, free-roaming cats in Athens, GA by equipping them with cameras. They found that cats do more killing than previously thought. posted by dortmunder at 12:56 PM PST - 184 comments
Panhandling in Arcata tests the city's tolerance. 'Long known as the "Berkeley of the North," Arcata traditionally has welcomed the downtrodden, embraced the leftist fringe and fostered a live-and-let-live ethos.' 'But balancing the comfort of the haves with tolerance for the have-nots has come down to a complex question of just who is worthy of help.' 'Councilwoman Susan Ornelas reflected the community's torn conscience: "While we're a progressive town and we're very open-hearted," she said, "we have limits on our tolerance."' 'A report last fall by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty found that slightly more than half of 234 cities surveyed had bans on aggressive panhandling, the same proportion had outlawed it in specific areas, and one-fourth forbade begging citywide.' [more inside] posted by VikingSword at 10:16 AM PST - 162 comments
iPhone Caused “Crisis of Design” at Samsung (Memo)“Influential figures outside the company come across the iPhone, and they point out that ‘Samsung is dozing off.’ All this time we’ve been paying all our attention to Nokia, and concentrated our efforts on things like Folder, Bar, Slide,” Shin wrote. “Yet when our UX is compared to the unexpected competitor Apple’s iPhone, the difference is truly that of Heaven and Earth. It’s a crisis of design.”Complete text of the internal memo submitted in the Apple vs Samsung case.
Those are the more ugly points of the memo, which seems to bolster Apple’s lawsuit stating that Samsung infringed upon a number of Apple’s patents. Apple asserts that Samsung has “slavishly copied” Apple’s iPad and iPhone devices, and is seeking $2.5 billion in damages. So any more ammunition that Apple can get to make it look like Samsung attempted to actively rip off Apple’s products is only a good thing for Apple’s case.
And the memo is rife with ammunition. posted by infini at 8:49 AM PST - 403 comments
Vailima, a German-style lager, has been brewed just outside the capital of Independent Samoa since 1978. There are two versions to choose from, the normal 4.9% strength and the the export-only 6.7%. But, unless you're somewhere near Samoa, you probably won't be able to find it. So, enjoy the commercials, instead! [more inside] posted by barnacles at 8:30 AM PST - 9 comments
Le Miroir is the story of a life as reflected in the bathroom mirror. It's a lovely contemplation on staying in place while traveling through the experience of growing older. [via] [direct video link] posted by quin at 6:54 AM PST - 11 comments
Marina Akhmedova amongst the crocodile addicts of Yekaterinburg - published and censored in Russia, translated and mirrored on opendemocracy. "They check intently who is getting how much, and count out the eyedrops. If I ran right now into the middle of the kitchen and bellowed at the top of my voice, they would not turn round. Their world extends only a few metres and has the cooker and its hood at its centre. It is not a world within the world: it is their entire world, a world as narrow as a coffin, but all-encompassing for those who live in it, a world which follows its own laws. In it there are neither saints nor sinners, no thieves or benefactors, only the harsh laws of survival. There is no truth, no certainty about anything, not even that the sun will rise tomorrow. It is a world which arises when people are dicing with death. A supreme, inexorable law instantly appears, an axis around which their universe revolves: it is the right of those as yet still human to play a game they have chosen for themselves." posted by jcrcarter at 5:49 AM PST - 25 comments
DontGetScrewedOver.com features a video called "What it Feels Like to be a Freelancer." They also provide tips on how not to get screwed over, for freelancers, clients, and subletters alike. The site and video were brainchild of Docracy- aimed at offering free, open-source legal documents that are edited and fine-tuned by the community that uses them. They range from a variety of subjects, from personal [subletting, wills] to business [freelancers, consulting]. posted by FirstMateKate at 8:18 PM PST - 25 comments
"It’s a long, long time from now, and machines have developed into sentient beings. Starting with the high-tech space stuff, a whole new set of different mechanistic species have come into existence. The machines are not only sentient; they are alive in other ways as well. They even produce offspring and evolve.
At first, it was just the super high-tech orbiting stuff that achieved self-awareness, but soon more terrestrial devices gained intelligence. Unfortunately the machines loathed each other, and war broke out between orbiting and earthly devices. Humankind had already moved out into space, but at the discovery that our original home world was in a crisis situation, we returned.
By the time we reached Earth again, all the original machines had been destroyed. The descendants of those original devices were still battling, trying to obliterate each other, an ancient blood feud where one planetary region wasn’t big enough for the two mechanical clans.
The future humans had to make a decision that would end the war. But it was clear that humankind had been in space too long as there was no sympathy for the terrestrial machines. And that’s when we found ourselves backing the satellite kin." [more inside] posted by 256 at 4:13 PM PST - 62 comments
In preparation for his then upcoming retrospective Transe Forme, Fondation Cartier recorded Moebius doing a series of digital drawings. Recorded in late 2010, these are some of, if not, the last recordings of Moebius drawing that we are likely to see. - Moebius Drawing posted by Artw at 1:15 PM PST - 18 comments
The Touch-point Collective: Crowd Contouring on the Casino Floor -
'Historically, casinos have been eager adopters of technologies that help them to gather knowledge about their customers. The knowledge-gathering repertoire of the modern casino has shifted from telephone surveys, focus groups, and rudimentary datasets to complex feats of reconnaissance and analysis enabled by player tracking systems, data visualization tools, and behavioral intelligence software suites. Many surveillance techniques first applied in casinos were only later adapted to other domains—airports, financial trading floors, shopping malls, banks, and government agencies.' There are some large, embedded .avi files in the page, be careful. [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:57 AM PST - 13 comments
Have you ever wanted to sort a particular Amazon's reviewer's reviews by their number of stars? Amazon has never added this feature to its user profile pages, but here's a workaround. Or perhaps you need a tool that lets you see ratings, dates of reviews, helpful and unhelpful votes, and number of comments, all in a helpful sortable list. Maybe you need to download and install the Amazon Reviewer Analysis Tool. posted by shivohum at 8:30 AM PST - 9 comments
ComedianTig Notaro has had extreme highs and extreme lows. She is moving to New York to work on Amy Schumer’s new television show, and she was recently on This American Life. But then she had a debilitating bacterial infection in her digestive tract for which she was hospitalized. Days after being released from the hospital, her young mother died suddenly and tragically, then she and her girlfriend broke up. Now she has cancer, in both breasts. Last Friday, Tig performed a stand-up set at LA's Largo at the Coronet where she talked all of this. Everyone laughed and wept. Louis CK said, "In 27 years doing this, I've seen a handful of truly great, masterful standup sets. One was Tig Notaro last night at Largo." posted by alzi at 8:10 AM PST - 45 comments
ASCIIvania, is a metroidvania game where you collect letters in order to complete words and make obstacles disappear so that you can continue exploring. The game ends when you find every letter. [more inside] posted by ersatz at 9:12 AM PST - 30 comments
The current system of corporate governance is bunk. Capitalist corporations are on the way to certain extinction. Replete with hierarchies that are exceedingly wasteful of human talent and energies, intertwined with toxic finance, co-dependent with political structures that are losing democratic legitimacy fast, a form of post-capitalist, decentralised corporation will, sooner or later, emerge.
Coming soon to a red planet near you, it's the Mars Science Laboratory! On
Monday, August 6 at 05:31 UTC (other times around the world), NASA's
Curiosity rover is expected to land on Mars in search of conditions suited to
past or present Martian life. Live coverage begins on NASA TV at 03:30 UTC.
But this mission has been years in the making, so if you have a little catching up to do... [more inside] posted by ddbeck at 9:11 PM PST - 139 comments
So what has become of the Athens Olympic venue, which cost nearly nine billion Euros? Most of it is abandoned and covered with weeds and graffiti. And the same thing is happening in Beijing. posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:35 PM PST - 67 comments
A Confederacy of Bachelors [NYT]Meet the brotherhood of Fortress Astoria: Danaher Dempsey, Luke Crane, Rick Brown and Shyaporn Theerakulstit, best friends and artists.
They have no children, no linear career histories, no readily disposable savings. The four men, all heterosexual, approaching 40 and never married, have lived together for 18 years, give or take a revolving guest roommate, cohabitating in spaces like an East Village walk-up, a Chelsea loft and, now, a converted office space in Queens.[more inside] posted by modernnomad at 2:10 PM PST - 115 comments
"James Cameron narrates this documentary on the classic film 2001. It includes archival footage of the late Arthur C. Clarke in the 1960s touring spacecraft manufacturing facilities, footage of designers putting together models, snippets of archival footage of Kubrick, interviews with various luminaries, and various other amazing stuff I’ve never seen. It also features interviews with Doug Trumbull and others who did special effects for the film. If you’re a 2001 fan, this is 43 minutes of candy.
Skip to 7:00 to find out how they did the floating-pen trick — including an interview with the actress who played the “Space Hostess” who grabbed the pen seemingly from midair. Skip to around 11:00 to meet the guys who played the apes ... . Around 13:45, Clarke explains how the monolith originally was to have a movie screen on it ... ." posted by SpacemanStix at 11:54 AM PST - 34 comments
David Simon: "He enjoyed acting, and showed some poise, but the jobs that offered the chance at a real career — the behind-the-camera production work, the path to union wages and benefits — those couldn’t hold him."
"What is a cult film? A cult film is one that has a passionate following, but does not appeal to everyone. James Bond movies are not cult films, but chainsaw movies are. Just because a film has become a cult movie does not automatically guarantee quality. Some are very bad; others are very, very good. Some make an awful lot of money at the box office; others make no money at all. Some are considered quality films; others are exploitation movies. One thing cult movies do have in common is that they are all genre films - for example gangster films or westerns. They also have a tendency to slosh over from one genre into another, so that a science fiction film might also be a detective movie, or vice versa. They share common themes as well, themes that are found in all drama: love, murder and greed." - of the British TV film slots accompanied by an introduction perhaps the most celebrated is Moviedrome, running between 1988 and 2000 and presented first by Repo Man director Alex Cox and then film critic Mark Cousins. [more inside] posted by Artw at 11:40 PM PST - 88 comments
Comedian/podcaster Ari Shaffir interviews comedian Ralphie May on the realities of being morbidly obese, including very frank, often touching, sometimes hilarious discussions of health issues (including his near-death experience), social acceptance, fashion, personal demons, sex, comedy, and cannabis use.
From Vanity Fair, The Murder Hustle: In 1988, 'When businessman Gene Hanson died in a California doctor's office, his partner, John Hawkins, a former Studio 54 bartender, got $1 million in insurance. Nine months later, Hanson was caught in Texas with a new face and a new name, Wolfgang Von Snowden. He and the doctor are awaiting trial for murder. Hawkins, a scam artist and sex addict, has disappeared with the money. Ann Louise Bardach investigates three double lives in the business community of Columbus, Ohio, the Genet underground of West Hollywood, and the luxury condos of Miami's Biscayne Bay.'
Part 1. [more inside] posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:19 AM PST - 18 comments
Just when you thought summer movies couldn't get any dumber... here comes HEIGLR, a series of almost plausible films starring professional Hollywood casualty Katherine Heigl. posted by hermitosis at 7:02 AM PST - 118 comments
Two-year-old Emma wanted to play with blocks, but a condition called arthrogryposis meant she couldn't move her arms. So researchers at a Delaware hospital 3D printed a durable custom exoskeleton with the tiny, lightweight parts she needed. posted by Foci for Analysis at 5:03 AM PST - 24 comments
Japan Turns Masturbation into an Art "The days when the sex industry believed only women were in desperate need of self-pleasuring aids appear to be long gone. Nowadays, when one walks into a sex shop, aisles offering male masturbation tools are just as bountiful as those catering to women. At least in Japan. Seven years after Koichi Matsumoto left his car salesmen job to start 'something that hasn’t been done before' and launched Tenga 'New Adult Concept,' his company has sold over 15 million male masturbation units worldwide." posted by bookman117 at 8:37 PM PST - 85 comments
The rock era saw a few white female singers, like Janis Joplin, show they could sing the blues. But one who could outshine them all -- Jo Ann Kelly -- seemed to slip through the cracks, mostly because she favored the acoustic, Delta style rather than rocking out with a heavy band behind her. But with a huge voice, and a strong guitar style influenced by Memphis Minnie and Charley Patton, she was the queen. - AllMusic[more inside] posted by Egg Shen at 7:13 PM PST - 13 comments
"I was upset because the political consultants and staff were talking about voter suppression and keeping blacks from voting. It had been one of those days,'' - Jim Greer, former state party chair of the Florida G.O.P, in a deposition for his lawsuit against the party. Scott Horton at Harper's covers the NYT's pox-on-both-your-houses story on vote suppression posted by crayz at 12:31 PM PST - 50 comments
It's just past 6am in the United Kingdom, and that means the trailer for Series 7(a) of the New Doctor Who has been released to the Internet.
It follows this striking desktop image featuring many, many older model Daleks, including the Special Weapons Dalek (not seen since 1988). posted by Mezentian at 12:17 AM PST - 340 comments
A recent trend in the ultra-fashion-conscious world of Tokyo teen girls: B-Style, or "black lifestyle", that is, emulating the black women in rap videos. In the video you will see Japanese girls with weaves and incredibly dark tans to mimic black skin. Rebellious rejection of convention, or weird sideways racism (one girl says: "when we do it it looks vulgar, but not on the black women")? posted by DecemberBoy at 10:41 PM PST - 132 comments
"Ryan Holiday is not an expert in barefoot running, investing, vinyl records, or insomnia. But he is a liar. With a little creative use of the internet, he’s been quoted in news sources from small blogs to the most reputable outlets in the country talking about all of those things." [more inside] posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:06 PM PST - 30 comments
Yeasayer: We have received a message that we are on the verge of embargoed information being leaked through the cracks of the digital universe. Once again an attempt to tell the story before our mouths can spit. In order to have the edge we have created PSCYVOTV standing for PREEMPTIVE SELF-COMMISSIONED YEASAYER VORSTELLUNG or TRACK VISUALIZER.[more inside] posted by carsonb at 7:55 PM PST - 22 comments
Prototypes are usually the missing links in the evolution of human technology, the dead-ends of ideas that give way to the refinement of the final physical product. Prototypes aren't just for Darth Vader. While the legal back and forth between Apple and Samsung continues, a treasure trove of prototypedesigns for Apple devices has been released to the public, showing insights into various design approaches and feature enhancements, including larger form-factor iPads with and without kickstands and landscape ports and iPhones that parody the Sony logo, show a different layout for camera elements, and look remarkably like fourth-generation models, as far back as 2005. On the other hand, some have made prototypes into the end goal itself, such as the folks at Dangerous Prototypes, a site which features a new open-source electronic hardware project each month. Some are just gratuitous fun, while others are a bit more practical, such as one project that recycles old Nokia displays and another that provides access to infrared signal, useful for hacking together remote controls for all sorts of IR-based devices. Other prototypes of tomorrow's technology are less concerned with shrinking down the guts of the invention itself, to make it disappear, but rather on how we interact with and integrate physical representations of these ideas into our daily lives. Above all else, prototypes are always forward-looking and are therefore inherently optimistic expressions of human creativity: Even children are getting into imagining the world of tomorrow. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:03 PM PST - 14 comments
"[T]he corrupting influence of money is the first problem facing this nation. That unless we solve this problem, we won’t solve anything else...The Framers, Lessig says, had just one kind of dependence in mind for members of Congress: a dependence on the people. He quotes The Federalist (the then-anonymous essays by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay that are often used as a contemporary account of the Framers’ intentions) to make this point: number 52 describes the House of Representatives as that “branch of the federal government which ought to be dependent on the people alone” (emphasis added).
But in the last two decades, Lessig writes, members of Congress have developed a fearsome dependency: campaign cash. The total amount spent on campaigns by all candidates for Congress in 2010 was $1.8 billion. Fundraising has become a way of life..." (via 3 Quarks Daily) posted by caddis at 11:57 AM PST - 48 comments
London Mayor and favourite for next Tory leader Boris Johnson has thrown himself into the Olympic spirit. This doesn't always go entirely to plan, leaving the blond mop-head hanging around for a while this afternoon. Fortunately, the Internet knows exactly what to do. From standing start to a country laughing its socks off - there's a #dangleboris hashtag - mere hours have passed.
Will it damage Boris' chances of taking over from the gaffe-prone David Cameron? Probably quite the opposite. posted by Devonian at 9:03 AM PST - 72 comments
The Olympics are never without controversy and 2012 is no different. South Korea's Shin A Lam was held in the throes of perhaps the longest second ever of épée sudden death, as the clock was improperly reset with one full second remaining allowing her opponent to register a hit and knock her out of gold medal contention. Now the Badminton World Federation has accused four pairs of Olympic doubles players with "not using one's best efforts to win a match": essentially throwing their games to secure a better draw. [more inside] posted by disillusioned at 2:12 AM PST - 156 comments