"Through the quarter-century in which China has been opening to world trade, Chinese leaders have deliberately held down living standards for their own people and propped them up in the United States. This is the real meaning of the vast trade surplus—$1.4 trillion and counting, going up by about $1 billion per day—that the Chinese government has mostly parked in U.S. Treasury notes. In effect, every person in the (rich) United States has over the past 10 years or so borrowed about $4,000 from someone in the (poor) People’s Republic of China." James Fallows on how the trade deficit between China and America works and what it means for the future. posted by afu at 12:30 PM PST - 41 comments
A most unusual panorama: a proof of concept combining 180 degree panorama photography along with camera movement.
The camera mounted with a fish-eye lens is placed on a trolley traveling in a circle. posted by bluedaniel at 9:31 AM PST - 33 comments
"The Quake-Catching Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world's largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers." The Economist's writeup notes that, since network communications are (sometimes) faster than the speed of sound in the earth's crust, a distributed network's observations of a temblor might reach a warning network before the quake itself reaches a traditional seismometer. [more inside] posted by fantabulous timewaster at 8:31 AM PST - 8 comments
"In the limit of an infinite economy, the number of initial downgrades is Poisson distributed. This captures the idea that the shock initially affects only a small number of firms.
Nonetheless, the distribution of the total number of defaults has slowly decaying tails ... A firm might well be able to absorb its shock, but it might not be able to absorb both the shock and the resulting deterioration in the average rating. The initial downgrades may thus trigger additional defaults that, in turn, further deteriorate the average rating, and so on. In
a large economy, this cascade can be described by a branching process." Ulrich Horst, Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2007. (Internet supplement!) [more inside] posted by geoff. at 8:14 AM PST - 8 comments
Tired of the current web? Have all the cool domain names already been registered? The second web bills itself as geocities 2.0 with a web browser-esque interface stuck on top of it"a completely new World Wide Web. A new Web Browser, a new domain name system and completely new websites." posted by slater at 12:10 AM PST - 46 comments
When Judges Make Foreign Policy. "In a globalized, post-9/11 age, decisions made by the Supreme Court are increasingly shaping America's international relations. When the next justice is appointed, our place in the world may well hang in the balance." posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM PST - 11 comments
"In Denver there were vendors nearby when we ate breakfast. Stretch limos outfitted with powerful communications technology stalled in murderous crosstown traffic. Helicopters shine searchlights down at the buildings, the crowd. Chanted rhymes emerge like a collective tribal memory. Allegations are advanced concerning faked pregnancies. "This is one of those moments." There is a meet-and-greet with the guy from the Doobie Brothers.
The Congress for the New Urbanism has just released Freeways Without Future, their top-10 list of aging highways that should be demolished in favor of city-friendly boulevards. "There's a whole generation of elevated highways in cities that are at the end of their design life,"says John Norquist, head of the Congress for the New Urbanism. "Instead of rebuilding them at enormous expense, cities have an opportunity to undo what proved to be major urban-planning blunder." Take that, RobertMoses. posted by Afroblanco at 10:02 AM PST - 54 comments
Is This a 'Victory'? "We hear again and again from Washington that we have turned a corner in Iraq and are on the path to victory. If so, it is a strange victory." posted by homunculus at 10:00 AM PST - 52 comments
The Casio F91W is a cheap, common digital watch which, as described by Casio themselves, has a "tried and true style great for casual wear". It has a fairly unremarkable set of features: water resistance, a light, an alarm and a calendar. There is, however, one undocumented feature that makes this particular watch special – it can be used as evidence that you're a terrorist. More info at Wikipedia. posted by HaloMan at 9:42 AM PST - 43 comments
Sami al-Haj, The TV cameraman, 38, was never charged with any crime, nor was he put on trial; his testimony makes it clear that he was held in three prisons for six-and-a-half years – repeatedly beaten and force-fed – not because he was a suspected "terrorist" but because he refused to become an American spy. There is the worrying fact of medical complicity in his torture. (previously 1, 2) [more inside] posted by adamvasco at 12:55 PM PST - 72 comments
Survive the Outbreak: Interactive zombie movie. At certain points of the movie you will be prompted to make a choice.
What would you do?
You'll most certainly die, but at least you get to come back and try again.
*NSFW due to profanity. posted by bwg at 5:18 AM PST - 48 comments
The Wars of John McCain. "John McCain believes the Vietnam War was winnable. Now he argues that an Obama administration would accept defeat in Iraq, with grave costs to American honor and national security. Is McCain’s quest for victory a reflection of an antiquated pre-Vietnam mind-set? Or of a commitment to principles we abandon at our peril? Is there any war McCain thinks can’t be won?" posted by homunculus at 7:30 PM PST - 93 comments
In January, 2002, Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl disappeared in Karachi, Pakistan while seeking to meet with shadowy figures he believed to be connected with Richard Reid, the "shoe bomber." Before long, it became clear he had been kidnapped, and then that his captors had murdered him. His family responded by setting up a foundation with the mission "to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music, and innovative communications." Among the events and programs sponsored by the foundation: [more inside] posted by beagle at 5:51 PM PST - 3 comments
Diesel's SFW XXX viral will have you looking at pinball machines in a whole different light. And harmonica playing. And the maracas. And corn on a cob. The list goes on. posted by neblina_matinal at 10:43 AM PST - 31 comments
There are still some smart people left on Wall St. Hedge fund manager, John Paulson, made a cool $15B for his fund as the housing market imploded. His cut? $3-4B. Not too shabby for a year's worth of work. [more inside] posted by blahblah at 10:16 AM PST - 45 comments
Safe Haven laws have been around for almost a decade. Not wanting to be left out, Nebraska passed their own this past year, with some possible unintended consequences. posted by docpops at 4:58 PM PST - 43 comments
Every trade has a history, a culture and secrets, all most vividly expressed in the special terms used by its workers. The circus is, of course, no different as this handy dictionary of circus slang shows. It contains entries for both American and European circuses, and has a handy list of vaudeville slang words as well. These unique words used on the carnival lot around the world demonstrate a language that defines a world of wonders, and now you can use them to impress your friends and insult your enemies! posted by Effigy2000 at 3:47 PM PST - 14 comments
Finally I can show you what I see in my head when I have a Visual Migraine. I get these a couple times a year, but only recently found this site with the amazingly-accurate flash animation. posted by centerpunch at 6:52 AM PST - 69 comments
“In the condition I was in, it assumed at the time the quality of a beacon, a light on the far shores of the murk; what's more, it was proof that there was something left to express artistically besides nihilism and destruction.” Lester Bangs on the topic of Van Morrison'sAstral Weeks which began recording exactly 40 years ago today in Century Sound Studios NYC. [more inside] posted by philip-random at 12:04 AM PST - 36 comments
In the early days of the occupation of Iraq, a "gathering of antagonists to capital and empire" known as the Retort Collective published Afflicted Powers, a contentious analysis of September 11th and its aftermath grounded in the Situationist concepts developed by Guy Debord in The Society of the Spectacle. Two lengthy excerpts can be read online: an introduction to the war as a "struggle for mastery in the realm of the image", and a critique of the "Blood for Oil" argument. [more inside] posted by stammer at 9:00 PM PST - 26 comments
The realistic style is easy to abuse: from haste, from lack of awareness, from inability to bridge the chasm that lies between what a writer would like to be able to say and what he actually knows how to say. It is easy to fake; brutality is not strength, flipness is not wit, edge-of-the-chair writing can be as boring as flat writing; dalliance with promiscuous blondes can be very dull stuff when described by goaty young men with no other purpose in mind than to describe dalliance with promiscuous blondes. There has been so much of this sort of thing that if a character in a detective story says, "Yeah," the author is automatically a Hammett imitator.
Raymond Chandler, "The Simple Art of Murder" (1950) posted by Navelgazer at 8:46 PM PST - 8 comments
Reenacting slavery at Chickamauga National Military Park. When a reenactor put his knapsack on the ground, the person portraying his slave picked up his knapsack and "moved it before I could say a word. I instantly knew that I had an opportunity to demonstrate the institution's cruelty here, and so I did not acknowledge his act, did not thank him for it, did not make eye contact, did not stop my talk. My own cruelty -- even to make a teaching point to the audience -- made me shudder inside." [more inside] posted by marxchivist at 3:10 PM PST - 34 comments
McCain calls time! John McCain has asked that the first presidential debate be postponed and he will suspend his campaign so he can focus on the economy. No response from Obama yet. But it may be due to his approval rating, The latest FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll shows Obama has taken a 45-39 percent lead. posted by parmanparman at 12:25 PM PST - 1584 comments
On September 19th, the Westboro Baptist Church planned a protest outside the National Conference of Editorial Writers, claiming that they were "responsible for the satanic milieu in this evil land" and for assisting the "satanic agendas" of "baby-killers and fags."
But September 19th also happened to be International Talk Like a Pirate Day. And thus, a group of local residents were inspired to stage an effective, and entertaining, counterprotest. posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:58 AM PST - 31 comments
"So, that’s my long and winding history of a little postcard from the Upper West Side of Manhattan!" Suzanne Vega writes about writing the hit song Tom's Diner, coping with its numerous remixes, and its part in the birth of the MP3 music compression format. posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:04 AM PST - 34 comments
It was 17 years ago today, September 24, 1991, Nevermind hit the shelves and changed popular music forever. The story of Spencer Elden, whom you may know as the little baby floating toward a dollar bill on the cover was covered on NPR recently. Butch Vig produced Nevermind, Andy Wallace mixed it. You can watch Vig talk about recroding Nevermind, "Polly" "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and many of the other songs. posted by Blake at 3:42 AM PST - 212 comments
Maybe America needs Barack more than Barack needs America... It's got to be tough being Barack Obama these days. Just managing to hang onto a slim lead in the polls against a truly horrifying Republican ticket - after eight years in which a Republican administration has all but destroyed the nation. Having to explain to people over and over again that no, he's really not a Muslim, and people still don't believe him. Sarah Palin. Maybe America isn't worth Barack's trouble. Maybe there's other fish in the sea, America. Maybe you ought to think about that a little and stop being this way. Canada has an election coming up too, and given what they've got to work with, more and more Canadians are starting to take a hard look south of the border. posted by Naberius at 10:54 PM PST - 78 comments
Michael Moore's newest movie Slacker Uprising is available for free download, the "first major major film to be released in such a way," according to the Associated Press. "This film, really isn't for anybody other than the choir," said Moore. "But that's because I believe the choir needs a song to sing every now and then." [more inside] posted by stbalbach at 2:17 PM PST - 42 comments
Remote control Toronto's City Hall by iPhone during Octobre 4th Nuit blanche. Project Blinkenlights will again transform a huge building into a computer display. This time 960 windows of Toronto's City Hall. Everybody can submit animations to be shown and there will be client programms for iPhone and OSX to receive the signal and interact with the installation. Watch the previous installations in Berlin [Mefi thread] and Paris [Mefi thread] on Google Video. posted by meikel at 11:20 AM PST - 16 comments
Happy Bicentenemail. Strongbad answers his 200th email in this installment of the long-running Homestarrunner.com web site. Featuring a musical intro by They Might Be Giants. posted by justkevin at 10:45 AM PST - 43 comments
One hundred years ago today, September 23, 1908, the Chicago Cubs played the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds. In one of the best seasons in baseball history, the two teams were in a hot pennant race - separated by one game with two weeks left in the season. What happened next is one of the most famous blunders (if it even was a blunder) in baseball history. [more inside] posted by AgentRocket at 8:53 AM PST - 30 comments
Soviet Music "You are browsing a resource which is devoted first of all to the history and culture of the Soviet Union, the country which the West for a long time usually named as "The Empire of Evil", the country to which some people in the West perceive as "something big and snowy".
I offer you to try to look outside the frames of usual stereotypes, to try to understand life of a unique country, with its interesting history, beautiful culture and miraculous relations between people.
The music submitted on this site - is an evident sample of a totally new culture, which completely differs from all that, with what Hollywood and MTV supply us so much. This culture, being free from the cult of money, platitude, violence and sex, was urged to not indulge low bents of a human soul but to help the person to become culturally enriched and to grow above himself." [more inside] posted by tellurian at 8:38 AM PST - 16 comments
When the Rolling tones recorded an old blues tune called You Gotta Move on Sticky Fingers back in 1971, it was another instance of a tune by an old black man, known only to blues aficionados, suddenly becoming part of the consciousness of a gazillion people who probably never would've heard it otherwise. But let's pay a little visit to the man who originally wrote and recorded the song, MississippiFredMcDowell, shall we? Here's a jumping version of Shake 'em On Down, his haunting Going Down to the River, the gospel blues of When I Lay My Burden Down, Highway 61, My Babe (you'll note the similarity to "This Train"), Louise, and his version of the American folk/blues standard John Henry. And don't miss the beautiful 1969 documentary featuring McDowell at Internet Archive, Blues Maker, which features some superlative acoustic performances, and footage of the people and environment of the Mississippi delta country. posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:00 AM PST - 40 comments
Buy My Sh*t Pile, Henry! With our economy in crisis, the US Government is scrambling to rescue our banks by purchasing their "distressed assets", i.e., assets that no one else wants to buy from them. We figured that instead of protesting this plan, we'd give regular Americans the same opportunity to sell their bad assets to the government... posted by jim in austin at 5:05 AM PST - 47 comments
Have you ever wondered what the national anthem of Bolivia, Nepal or The Republic of Seychelles sounded like? Well wonder no more because NationalAnthems.info has got you covered! It claims to have the national anthem for every country in the world in MIDI format, along with downloadable lyrics and sheet music so you can sing and play along. But if the MIDI format isn't doing it for you, there's also other sites that you can visit that have downloadable MP3s of pretty much every national anthem this planet and its inhabitants have to offer, such as this one or this one, which is notable in that the anthems featured there were performed by the US Navy Band. And finally, for your further reading and listening pleasure, check out this forum which contains background information on and even more links to downloadable national anthems. posted by Effigy2000 at 4:38 PM PST - 14 comments
"MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Rainey Johnson, sporting a yellow shirt, yellow socks and yellow paint smeared on his face, darted across the freshman quad.
Other students, in capes, ran after him clutching brooms between their legs and grasping in vain for a tennis ball stuffed in a sock hanging out of his yellow shorts." [more inside] posted by rtha at 11:51 AM PST - 43 comments
Give us your secrets.The Chinese government plans order foreign manufacturers to reveal information about their digital products, a Japanese newspaper reported on Friday. It will introduce rules requiring foreign firms to disclose secret information about digital household appliances and other products from May next year, the Yomiuri Shimbun said, citing unnamed sources. If a company refuses to disclose information, China would ban it from exporting the product to the Chinese market or producing or selling it in China, the paper said.[more inside] posted by caddis at 11:12 AM PST - 38 comments
We put together Bringatrailer.combecause finding great vintage cars online has become too much of a hassle. There is no need to keep sifting through hundreds of hopeless projects or overpriced dealer inventories to find that one car you’ve been looking for. We pick the winners and save you the trouble… the best bargains, the best dream cars, and the best rarities. posted by machaus at 10:24 AM PST - 27 comments
The Times Online: Dictionary compilers at Collins have decided that the word list for the forthcoming edition of its largest volume is embrangled with words so obscure that they are linguistic recrement. Such words, they say, must be exuviated abstergently to make room for modern additions that will act as a roborant for the book. [more inside] posted by Sailormom at 9:39 AM PST - 47 comments
But these techniques are the tried and the true. As both assets under management and market turmoil have grown significantly, hedge funds are rapidly branching out into domains far, far detached from finance: art, litigation funding and now even poker. posted by Mutant at 2:40 AM PST - 44 comments
Still considering your options in the Canadian federal election? Try The Undecided, a web site that compares platform planks from the five major parties and gives you the ability to compare your opinions and prioritize the issues. When you are done, you get an assessment of which party you are most closely aligned with.
Of course if you are STILL undecided, there is always the Undecided Party.. posted by salishsea at 11:48 PM PST - 38 comments
Postcard.fm Send audio postcards to your friends. Free. Upload any photo of yours or image off the web and any MP3 you choose in a single upload process, then enter your email address and that of the person to whom you wish to send the mix. Done— it’s simple. p.s. postcard does not sell, spam, or share the email addresses of senders or recipients.via posted by nickyskye at 6:06 PM PST - 10 comments
Z-Rox is a flash game based on determining what object is being shown in one dimension. Answers can be anything, letters, numbers, shapes, symbols, objects. All answers are in English, type the answers when you know what you're seeing. This game is hard, have fun! posted by schyler523 at 5:26 PM PST - 32 comments
With all thistalk of Sandy Smith (epilepsy warning on that last link), his greatestproject still wants for submissions. Smith: In May 2007 I commissioned an essay from a supplier of tailor-made academic essays. I requested a 1500 word essay that was to "prove that Junior... is the best film ever made." This essay was to make reference to various writers including Freud, Barthes, Baudrillard and Jameson in proving it's case. Yes, that Junior.[more inside] posted by nímwunnan at 5:08 PM PST - 9 comments
One of the most beautiful and disturbing places in Denver. It a quiet place and quite the place to see. A movie was made about a house and the fellow who rented it one day...adjacent to the park. Scared me to death as a little kid. posted by shockingbluamp at 1:31 AM PST - 16 comments
BBC: Hadron Collider forced to halt. An underground tunnel fault released one ton of liquid helium, which had been acting as coolant, into the tunnels of the Large Hadron Collider, causing 100 supercooled magnets to heat up by an extra 100°C and then fail. Vacuum was lost as well. posted by WCityMike at 7:46 PM PST - 50 comments
Universal Algorithm of Experience: Rev. Luke Anthony Murphy has produced four books of graphs over the past five years: Relationships, Spiritual Matters, Money, and Problems. These graphs are attempts to give shape to the conditions that produce the internal environment of anxiety. Recently a group of these were presented in a show called Wilderness at Bernadette Salvage Fine Arts in conjunction with 7hours in Brooklyn.
Rev. Luke Anthony Murphy is a painter and shows this work as well as his digitally produced drawings and photos in New York, Toronto, and Berlin. He currently lives in East Harlem, New York, and works for CBS.com. posted by Fizz at 4:57 PM PST - 16 comments
"'It is terrifying, it is meant to be,' said John Taylor, the creator and funder of an extraordinary new clock to be unveiled tomorrow by Stephen Hawking at Corpus Christi College in Cambridge. 'Basically I view time as not on your side....'" The Corpus Clock. (via) posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:15 AM PST - 97 comments
Like others before him Benjamin Rosenbaum is making his debut short story collection, The Ant King And Other Stories, available from his publishers, Small Beer, as a free download. More than this though, he is holding a competition to find the best derivative work inspired by it. These include "translations, plays, movies, radio plays, audiobooks, flashmob happenings, horticultural installations, visual artworks, slash fanfic epics, robot operas, sequels, webcomics, ASCII art, text adventure games, roleplaying campaigns, knitting projects, handmade shoes, or anything else you feel like." [more inside] posted by ninebelow at 7:13 AM PST - 19 comments
sandbag.org.uk is a not-for-profit website that allows members to buy up surplus "permits to pollute" that form the currency of the European Union's emissions trading scheme (or EU ETSs). Members can then "retire" them so that they cannot continue to be traded between the industrial polluters - cement, steel and car manufacturers etc - forced by EU regulation to operate within the system. "I suppose it's a bit like burning money in front of someone so they can't spend it on something bad," says the founder, Bryony Worthington, to the Guardian. [more inside] posted by lucia__is__dada at 4:08 AM PST - 52 comments
Fun lovin' prankster and b3ta user godspants edited the wikipedia page on Cypriot soccer team AC Omonia to include the "facts" that the fans are referred to as "the zany ones", wear hats made of shoes and sing a song about a little potato.
Yesterday there was a match between Omonia and British club Manchester City. British Tabloid the Daily Mirror used the wikipedia "facts" in their build-uparticle. Daily Mirror obviously doesn't realise their journalist has been guilty of incredibly lazy research, despite the prankster emailing them, and the Mirror refers to the "Zany ones" in their post-match article the next day. posted by hnnrs at 2:07 AM PST - 43 comments
Flash so good it couldn't wait till Friday: Loops of Zen is a puzzle game where you reconcile all the loose ends so there is no beginning or end. Deceptively simple, yet very relaxing. [more inside] posted by schyler523 at 4:34 PM PST - 47 comments
"At least once in your life you should read the Bible all the way through because it does not say what you expect it to say, no matter what you expect it to say. Here is the translation of the Bible you want to read: The Message. This new street-wise paraphrase is looser than a translation and so irks purists. But it is storming Christian campuses and youth groups with its boldness, readability, and strong vernacular. Translated by one amazingguy, it's as far from old King James as one can imagine. For those who find the Bible warmed-over old news, The Message is like reading it for the first time. --KK" (full text)[more inside] posted by vronsky at 3:54 PM PST - 160 comments
The ALICE Collaboration is building a dedicated heavy-ion detector to exploit the unique physics potential of nucleus-nucleus interactions at LHC energies. The aim is to study the physics of strongly interacting matter at extreme energy densities, where the formation of a new phase of matter, the quark-gluon plasma, is expected. This website aims both at introducing non-initiates to the field of physics covered by ALICE and at providing regular information on the evolution of the experiment, with detailed reports of its results and analysis. posted by netbros at 3:33 AM PST - 18 comments
Wildman of the Loire, Didier Dagueneau RIP Didier Dagueneau, iconoclastic motorcycle driving beard-sporting winegrower of France's Loire valley, died today in a private plane crash. Dagueneau pushed winemaking in his region to a new level; his Silex (100 percent sauvignon blanc), farmed biodynamically on flinty soil, is a profound wine. I recently tasted the '99 Silex, one word: incroyable. A wine that redefines sauvignon blanc and makes you happy to be alive. Dagueneau also pushed younger colleagues like the cidermaker Eric Bordelet to pursue their craft at a higher level: the result is Bordelet's Granit pear cider, from 300 year old biodynamically farmed pear trees. posted by Izzy at 7:52 PM PST - 45 comments
PMSbuddy.com is a free service created with a single goal in mind: to keep you aware of when your wife, girlfriend, mother[!], sister, daughter, or any other women in your life are closing in on "that time of the month" - when things can get intense for what may seem to be no reason at all. posted by ColdChef at 7:08 PM PST - 161 comments
GetBodySmart.com is a wonderful and remarkably complete resource to learn about the systems that keep our body running, including the skeletal , nervous and even urinary systems. What's more amazing is that it's all created by one man in his spare time and for no gain of his own. Read his mission statement here. posted by ignorantguru at 3:56 PM PST - 19 comments
R.I.P. Ian Hibell. Bikes rarely let him down. Escaping once from spear-throwing Turkana in northern Kenya, he felt the chain come off, but managed to coast downhill to safety. He crossed China from north to south—in 2006, at 72—with just three brake-block changes, one jammed rear-brake cable and a change of tape on the handlebars. In his book, “Into the Remote Places” (1984), he described his bike as a companion, a crutch and a friend. Setting off in the morning light with “the quiet hum of the wheels, the creak of strap against load, the clink of something in the pannier”, was “delicious”. [more inside] posted by chinston at 10:33 AM PST - 22 comments
Yogi Bear may have been smarter than the average, but Ranger Smith had it right. Don't feed the bears. As a Montana game warden put it: human feeding "can lead to problems later and ultimately mean the animal has to be put down." A similar event had a Utah ranger upset, saying: "when you have a bear that becomes unafraid of humans, that's not a good thing." posted by SeeAych4 at 10:27 PM PST - 45 comments
Anarkon is a corporate collective comprised of the nations most innovative and forward thinking businesses, known internally as Affiliates. Our primary objective is to sell a long overdue revolution to the American public through an innovative branding and advertising campaign which will benefit today’s large corporations, the American economy and the consumer alike. posted by streetdreams at 9:15 PM PST - 29 comments
THE FOURTH QUADRANT: A MAP OF THE LIMITS OF STATISTICS by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. "In the following Edge original essay, Taleb continues his examination of Black Swans, the highly improbable and unpredictable events that have massive impact. He claims that those who are putting society at risk are "no true statisticians", merely people using statistics either without understanding them, or in a self-serving manner. posted by vronsky at 2:56 PM PST - 41 comments
Generations of Hope is a non-profit set up to bring kids out of foster care and into extended families with grandparents. The community of Hope Meadows was repurposed from housing on a closed Air Force base in Illinois. (The NYT article erroneously refers to the community by the non-profit's name. No matter. The story is still inspirational.) [more inside] posted by yiftach at 12:53 PM PST - 5 comments
Weather History Offers Insight Into Global Warming.Weather History Offers Insight Into Global Warming. The problems that often haunt other weather records — the station is moved, buildings are constructed nearby or observers record data inconsistently — have not arisen here because so much of this place has been frozen in time. The weather has been taken (at Mohonk House, [map] ) in exactly the same place, in precisely the same way, by just a handful of the same dedicated people since Grover Cleveland was president... That extremely limited number of observers greatly enhances the reliability, and therefore the value, of the data.[more inside] posted by KokuRyu at 10:29 AM PST - 11 comments
All pregnancies are now recommended to be screened for Down Syndrome. 90% of those tested positive have opted for an abortion, while some in support groups discourage this to avoid becoming a vanishing minority with less funding. Now that campaign promises are being made to those with special needs, while vowing to outlaw abortion, a parent or voter might want to know more details. The costs used in this analysis were $146 for first-trimester screening, $66 for the second-trimester Triple Screen, and $86 for a second-trimester Quad Screen. A consultation with a genetic counselor is estimated at $68, and if a diagnostic procedure is also done, the total cost is $1,308. Terminations of pregnancy done in the first and second trimester are $648 and $1,146, respectively. The societal cost of raising and caring for an individual with Down syndrome is $762,748. Previously on Metafilter. posted by Brian B. at 7:31 PM PST - 274 comments
Time Capsule: the internet and E-democracy. “Peoples’ lives now are as dependent on the Internet as they are on the basics like roads, energy supplies and running water. We can no longer take that for granted and we must advocate for the Internet politically, and support its vitality personally.” - Susan Crawford, University of Michigan School of Law.
In recognition and memory of the beginning and continuation of the political internet, they have organized a Time Capsule of e-democracy's beginnings - everything from using e-mail to plead your friends to vote to flash animations that set the web alight. It is to be sealed on September 22. Help tell the story of internet politics. posted by parmanparman at 12:39 PM PST - 2 comments
"I love Chinglish: it constantly surprises and delights me. It refreshes our view of language, and reminds native English speakers of our own deficiencies in other languages. It also sometimes defines a wonderful characteristic of Chinese matter-of-fact-ness". posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:44 AM PST - 41 comments
Stack Overflow is now out of beta. Designed as a question and answer forum for programmers, it's been made to fill the gap currently filled by sites like the much hated and oft mispronounced Expertsexchange. If you're sick of having to scroll to the bottom, and you write code, then this could be for you. The site has been made by a team headed by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky. These are two uber-bloggers who've made a name for themselves talking about how to code. Of course, for haters of Stack Overflow, there are already a couple of sites to pamper to your anger. Finally, if you're wondering what a stack overflow is, then wikipedia has the answer. posted by seanyboy at 3:28 AM PST - 51 comments
"I can clearly remember people shouting: 'What the hell is that?' I got to a console and people were loudly telling me to look to the east of Salisbury Plain. Twenty miles east of the eastern extremity was a series of returns, or radar blips, which were appearing in that position. There were five of them initially. Then six and then seven all following the same track." Wing Commander Alan Turner MBE was sworn to secrecy after he tracked a series of unidentified objects soaring over southern England at incredible speeds. This is Wing Commanders Turner's account of what he personally observed at RAF Sopley in the summer of l971. posted by three blind mice at 2:15 AM PST - 78 comments
The Autonomous NanoTechnology Swarm (ANTS) "...is a
generic mission architecture consisting of miniaturized, autonomous, self-similar, reconfigurable, addressable components
forming structures. The components/structures have wide spatial distribution and multi-level organization. This ‘swarm’
behavior is inspired by the success of social insect colonies...."
ANTS may one day teem through the solar
system.... (last two links large QT files) [more inside] posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:22 PM PST - 14 comments
"Charles Darwin: 200 years from your birth, the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still." The comments are included on a Church of England website promoting the views of Charles Darwin to be launched on Monday. posted by finite at 4:20 PM PST - 41 comments
Bitone are full of love. : Björk's song "All Is Full Of Love" is covered by Ugandan children and youths on an album by a organization called Bitone (meaning "talent"). Their mission is to restore the lives and hopes of children between 8 and 18 years old in Uganda, whom have been traumatized by the death of their parents or loss of their home due to disease, war, or economic hardship. [via] posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:29 AM PST - 16 comments
"We're having him do what our 13-year-olds do. But Bernie was doing things the rest of us shudder to imagine when he was 13." Holocaust survivor Bernie Marks is preparing for his bar mitzvah, 65 years late. posted by amyms at 12:13 AM PST - 13 comments
The Eco Zoo - some amazing Japanese 3D Flash. If you take a close look at the animals there... you might be able to get some tips to live in a more environmentally friendly way! posted by Artw at 11:58 PM PST - 13 comments
This, like many clichés, so lame and unexciting on the surface, actually expresses a great and terrible truth. It is not the least bit coincidental that adults who commit suicide with firearms almost always shoot themselves in: the head. They shoot the terrible master. And the truth is that most of these suicides are actually dead long before they pull the trigger.
And I submit that this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out. That may sound like hyperbole, or abstract nonsense. Let's get concrete. The plain fact is that you graduating seniors do not yet have any clue what "day in day out" really means. There happen to be whole, large parts of adult American life that nobody talks about in commencement speeches. One such part involves boredom, routine, and petty frustration. The parents and older folks here will know all too well what I'm talking about.
First reported by an anonymous tip to a blog, the Los Angeles Times has confirmed that David Foster Wallace has hung himself. posted by gerryblog at 5:34 PM PST - 483 comments
Sabrina Guzzanti, an Italian comedienne who said that Pope Benedict XVI would go to Hell and be tormented by homosexual demons is facing a prison term of up to five years, according to the provisions of the Lateran treaty. [more inside] posted by ersatz at 5:05 PM PST - 21 comments
Some are calling it the "Kindle Killer". (Demo launch video at engadget.) Plastic Logic's new e-reader, expected to be out in the first half of 2009, does promise to offer a lot that Kindle and most other other popular e-readers don't, like a larger display, big enough to provide a newspaper or magazine layout; touch-based markup and annotation; the ability to read standard documents and other file types without conversion; (promised) Wi-Fi connectivity (including the ability to transfer documents between readers); and last but not least, a screen display that you can hit with a shoe, and isn't that something we've all been waiting for during these tense times? [more inside] posted by taz at 7:16 AM PST - 85 comments
GEORGE PUTNAM (all caps, because that's the way he said everything), Los Angeles Television/Radio Legend, has died at the age of 94. A protege of Walter Winchell who came to L.A. in 1951 to restart a stalled career as a news anchor, he was famous for his dramatic style and extremely UNobjective reporting. Retrospective of his colorful career: Part One, Part Two. Best known on the Web as the "outstanding news reporter" who narrated the '50s alarmist documentary "Perversion for Profit", he was also acknowledged as the model for the Mary Tyler Moore show's bombastic newsman character Ted Baxter (seen here sitting in on a real newscast). Not restricting his editorializing to his daily "One Reporter's Opinion" segment, he is credited/blamed for the election of Sam Yorty as mayor of Los Angeles. And when TV News outgrew him, he found a home for the next 30 years doing Talk Radio (where some of us believe Rush Limbaugh also modeled his style after him). And that’s the up-to-the-minute obitfilter; up to the minute, that’s all the obitfilter. [more inside] posted by wendell at 5:54 AM PST - 13 comments
Piximilar searches through large image collections to instantly retrieve visually similar images, based on color, shape, texture, luminosity, etcetera. [more inside] posted by Dave Faris at 10:32 PM PST - 5 comments
"I asked [Bono] why, in his opinion, [Tony] Stark couldn’t be content with charitable work à la Bill Gates, shaping the world with his billions. "You have to understand these guys," was Bono's one-line reply. "Bill's software. Stark's all hardware."Vanity Fair profiles a year in the life of Tony Stark, and asks what the literal and figurative ascent of the inventor/playboy/superhero means for 21st Century geopolitics. Is Iron Man "the embodiment of an outdated American fantasy -- a self-made, unilateral, technological solution to hopelessly complex problems"? Or is he merely the improbable but logical outgrowth of one young man's vast wealth, careless hedonism, prodigious intellect, and strained familial and mentor relationships? Christine Everhart examines the political implications and personal motives of Stark's quest to beat swords into plowshares -- while profiting from the retrofits. [more inside] posted by Asparagirl at 4:44 PM PST - 19 comments
"We don't vote for them, we don't even know their names and we're not quite sure what they do. But they wield enormous influence. They are the power behind the power. They are The Hollowmen." You can watch the Australian Broadcasting Company's new political satire The Hollowmen [warning: sound] on the web. Or you can find it via Bittorrent. (Or if you live down under I suppose you could watch it on ABC 1 Wednesdays at 9pm or ABC 2 Thursdays at 8:30pm.) It's worth a look because it may be the funniest new satire on any English-language network. [more inside] posted by sdodd at 1:07 PM PST - 18 comments
A new whale anti-collision system "A remarkable feature of Andre's system is its ability to single out and track an individual whale among all its “family” members in the same area – a breakthrough made with the help of a West African musician. In attempting to unravel the chaotic rhythms of the sperm whale clicks, he was struck by the similarity between his underwater recordings and African tribal music. A Senegalese griot (drummer) confirmed the likeness and – amazingly – was able to pick individual whales from André’s recordings through their distinctive rhythmic structures."[via] posted by dhruva at 9:43 AM PST - 11 comments
Was there anything he had never been asked? He paused for a few moments and answered, “Well, that I’m gay.” "Maurice Sendak’s 80th year — which ended with his birthday earlier this summer and is being celebrated on Monday night with a benefit at the 92nd Street Y — was a tough one. He has been gripped by grief since the death of his longtime partner; a recent triple-bypass has temporarily left him too weak to work or take long walks with his dog; and he is plagued by Norman Rockwell.
Or, to be more accurate, he is plagued by the question that has repeatedly been asked about Norman Rockwell: was he a great artist or a mere illustrator?" posted by Astro Zombie at 7:52 AM PST - 48 comments
Those who judge hurricane risk merely by their Saffir-Simpson category number (1-5) are not getting the entire picture. Another (coincidentally-named) IKE (Intergrated Kinetic Energy) proposes an improved method of classifying hurricanes, one that takes into account their size and separates the danger components of sea surge (which kills 9 out of 10 hurricane victims) and wind. By that measure, Hurricane Ike is the most dangerous storm in 40 years. Ike's path reminds many of the greatest natural disaster in U.S. History, the Great Hurricane of 1900 (91 minute History Channel video on Google) which killed thousands due mainly to the great sea surge. After that the 17' Galveston sea wall was built and it has never been topped since by hurricane waves. Hurricane Ike may change that as current wave heights (WVHT) being reported by buoy data in the vicinity of Ike are well over 20 feet. A computer-simulated "Hurricane Carly" shows the results of various sea surges for the Galveston area (with graphicgraphics): Play with real-time data and forecasts for the western gulf with the experimental nowCoast. posted by spock at 6:55 AM PST - 84 comments
Flash Friday Fun: Maze Stopper 2, help your character reach the flag first by placing obstacles for your opponent(s). You are scored by how much faster you are than your opponent. There is a "Freeze" tool to make placing obstacles easier. There is a walkthrough for when you get stuck, and if you're anything like me you will. posted by schyler523 at 7:11 PM PST - 11 comments
Imagine if you were the only person on earth; if no one else could understand you except yourself. No matter how hard you tried, you could never make contact with the outside world, not for long at least. This is the life of a Schizophrenic. Here, in a simulation created to understand what a typical trip to the pharmacy is for a patient suffering from Schizophrenia [previously], you will experience for a few minutes what life is all about for people afflicted with this disease. (via) [more inside] posted by hadjiboy at 6:55 PM PST - 53 comments
Did you grow up anticipating sports where death would be likely, if not certain? Almost certainly played by convicts, possibly with robot limbs? And which would be even more likely to have chainsaws and flamethrowers not usually found in the sports of today? Those We Left Behind’s look at Future-sports of the past, in videogames, movies and comics is for you! posted by Artw at 1:43 PM PST - 41 comments
LHC Webcams. There's been a lot of LHC news lately but a less-publicized series of Compact Muon Solenoid proton collision tests is scheduled for today, and CERN has been kind enough to set up a live streaming webcam to watch the CMS in action. (There's also a view of the parking lot but I think that's more so underground-bunkered LHC staff can see the weather.) It's fairly dull viewing but if you're interested in the science of it all, it's great nerdy fun. Maybe you'll even see a black hole or two. ;) posted by brownpau at 11:44 AM PST - 22 comments
According to a recent international survey, there remains no global consensus regarding who was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. "On average, 46 percent of those surveyed said al Qaeda was responsible, 15 percent said the U.S. government, 7 percent said Israel and 7 percent said some other perpetrator... The U.S. government was to blame, according to 23 percent of Germans and 15 percent of Italians." The poll was collected by World Public Opinion, a neat website filled with various polls about interesting topics. posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:18 AM PST - 131 comments
Depending on how you want to think about it, it was funny or inevitable or symbolic that the robotic takeover did not start at MIT, NASA, Microsoft or Ford. It started at a Burger-G restaurant in Cary, NC on May 17, 2010....
Teapot Dome 2008 -- "The report also detailed cozy relationships between energy companies and other officials in the royalty-in-kind program office. Some 19 officials — a third of the staff — took gifts from oil and gas executives, some with “prodigious frequency,” it said." [more inside] posted by vhsiv at 11:16 PM PST - 27 comments
What makes people vote Republican? Why in particular do working class and rural Americans usually vote for pro-business Republicans when their economic interests would seem better served by Democratic policies? We psychologists have been examining the origins of ideology ever since Hitler sent us Germany's best psychologists, and we long ago reported that strict parenting and a variety of personal insecurities work together to turn people against liberalism, diversity, and progress. posted by bjork24 at 5:57 PM PST - 266 comments
The military surge in Iraq is failing. Sure, violence in the country is down significantly, but that's as much due to the SunniAwakening, which began significantly before the surge got going in 2007. Unfortunately, everyone, particularly the McCain campaign, seems to have forgotten that the goal of the surge was to provide political stability, and it totally hasn't. [more inside] posted by Caduceus at 2:52 PM PST - 32 comments
World Names Profiler is a pretty amazing Flash tool, that allows you to see where other people with your last name are distributed across the world, in frequency per million, right down to the city and regional level. Fun to pair with the NameVoyager. posted by dgaicun at 12:38 PM PST - 93 comments
The 'Dirty Thirties' saw farmers hit with the double-whammy of the Great Depression and the ecological disaster of the Dust bowl years.
"In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered 203 families from the hardest-hit areas of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan the chance to start fresh in a new land, in a fertile Alaskan valley with the melodic name Matanuska.""It was heady, fine-sounding stuff on paper. Picked from relief rolls in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, the prospective colonists knew their Promised Land was a wilderness, but the Government was going to turn the wilderness overnight into an Eden with running water, radios, a cinema. It was going to set each family up on fine 40-acre farms with every necessity, many a luxury, 30 years to pay." It didn't quite work out as well as they'd hoped.thirties' saw many farmers in the United States [more inside] posted by merelyglib at 6:47 AM PST - 33 comments
"Fog of War" cited by United States Ambassador to the United Nations Zalmay Khalilzad. He was speaking to journalists to clarify reports concerning his unauthorised contacts with foreign government officials, among them Asif Ali Zardari; a then contender to succeed Pervez Musharraf as president of Pakistan.
Earlier this year he was being touted as a possible successor to Hamid Karzai as President of Afghanistan as seen in these two articles.
So who is Zalmay Khalilzad? Neo con and oil businessman. [more inside] posted by adamvasco at 2:18 AM PST - 8 comments
I’ve never wanted to be that guy that just talked about going out and doing things. So last year I decided to leave my home and my job and I set out to accomplish some of those things I had never done but kept telling myself it would be cool to do someday.Amtrekker has spent the past 433 days doing just that. He only has two rules: he can't go home until he does all 50, and he can't spend any money on lodging. To date, he has crossed 44 off his list. (via PodCacher) [more inside] posted by genefinder at 6:27 AM PST - 22 comments
A bottom for banking? Buying or selling shares in a company one manages - insider trading - is legal in The United States, provided the relevant forms are filed with The SEC. This information is then made available to the general public via EDGAR, Sec Form 4, or high level aggregators. Investors scour web sites for such filings, as purchases or sales of a companies shares by insiders are public evidence of managements private opinions regarding the future prospects of the firm they are running.
Why are classical music concerts so serious? A fascinating history of how and why classic music concerts evolved to become so stuffy: silent formal audience, ridged schedule, and a canonical play-list of the same dead artists over and over - they used to be more fun and spontaneous, until the gatecrashers showed up.. posted by stbalbach at 10:25 PM PST - 84 comments
Presidential Crimes: Moving on is not an option. "In deciding about legal redress, we need to be clear about the large stakes in our decision. The very multiplicity of the apparent crimes, the sheer array of arguably broken laws, is dizzying. But that multiplicity must be faced, for in it we will see that what got in President Bush’s way was not any one law but the rule of law itself. It is the rule of law that has been put in jeopardy by a project of executive domination; it is the rule of law that will continue to be in peril; and it is only, therefore, by addressing the crimes through legal instruments—through a formal, legal arena, and not simply through the electoral repudiation of bad policy—that the grave and widespread damage stands a chance of being repaired." posted by homunculus at 2:55 PM PST - 96 comments
Umbrella Today? tells you if you'll need an umbrella today. It will also text message your phone in the morning and warn you when you should bring an umbrella. (America only currently.) posted by scottreynen at 2:04 PM PST - 47 comments
Above Enemy Lines (youtube 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) is a BBC Documentary about a RAF Chinook crew on their tour of duty in Afghanistan. Part 4 and 5 of the film deal with the crew attempting to rescue a wounded 19 year-old soldier from a combat zone. posted by krautland at 12:05 PM PST - 7 comments
Will Wright's PC game Spore was released yesterday. The 'Sim Everything' game from the creator of Sim City and The Sims takes the player from cellular growth to space colonization with several stages in between. Reviews are in, and the consensus is that it's good but not as legendary as its scope (and multi-year development cycle) would suggest. The game's 'draconian' DRM has sparked controversy, causing Amazon users to bomb it with one-star reviews. posted by mattholomew at 11:45 AM PST - 144 comments
An article by Johann Hari (a remarkable columnist) in today's Independent about the substantial Heavy Metal movement in the Muslim world inserted a flicker of hope into my normally gloomy outlook on the current situation.
I know that in my youth I used Heavy Metal (oldschool) as a hammer to tell my parents, my teachers and the world in general that I was different from them and did not accept their rules, judgements and values.
If that is happening in Tehran, Morocco, Egypt and Pakistan then I'm with the kids.
Go Metalheads! Rock the Mullahs!Tarantist look and sound the part but the listing on their YouTube page of 'Home town - Tehran/Los Angeles' is a bit worrying. How the hell do they work that gig? [more inside] posted by surfdad at 11:38 AM PST - 18 comments
Welcome to Harpeau Crapeau University. Sing along now: Dear, dear ol' HCU,
We're filled with gratitude.
Swami and trusted friend.
Our guide through the world of Maya,
Wit and wisdom, "Hi, howaya?"
Misguided A-Souls should try-ya!
A Promise Kept: "When two medical flight helicopters collided near a Flagstaff, Ariz., hospital June 29, a promise died. It was a sacred promise from a Red Sox-loving father to his three young sons. On his 37th birthday in August, they would make the 2,100-mile pilgrimage to see the Red Sox play in Fenway Park." [more inside] posted by dirtdirt at 9:20 AM PST - 21 comments
Twelve Canoes - a beautiful & media-rich site presenting the stories, art and environment of the Yolngu people who live around the Arafura swamp in north-eastern Arnhem Land, Australia. [more inside] posted by UbuRoivas at 7:09 AM PST - 5 comments
The tech business world has forever hyped the idea of "virtual communities," but it appears that the internet is actually making us more connected. Back in 1967, Stanley Milgram (of Milgram Experiment fame), proposed that we are all connected, on average, by six degrees of separation. The idea rapidly entered the popular consciousness, spawning a parlor game, and a hit play (and subsequent movie.) [more inside] posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:20 PM PST - 10 comments
Are you simply not getting enough drama in your life? Do you often get the urge to listen to other peoples relationship problems? Do you like to judge random people and find Relationshipfilter to be insufficient? Well, now there's SideTaker ("Let The World Decide Who's At Fault"), a site where couples give their sides of an issue and let others decide who's rightorwrong. Via. posted by Foci for Analysis at 7:06 AM PST - 41 comments
Most gamers have never heard of Braunstein. Sad but true. In the hierarchy of self-awareness you’ll find the circle of gamers who know what D&D is (a very, very large circle), then inside of that is the circle of gamers who know what Greyhawk is (large but smaller), and inside that the circle who knows what Blackmoor is (smaller still). And then in the very center, vanishingly small, are the people who’ve heard of Braunstein. Which is a pity, because Braunstein is the granddaddy of them all.
'There are two Americas - separate, unequal, and no longer even acknowledging each other except on the barest cultural terms. In the one nation, new millionaires are minted every day. In the other, human beings no longer necessary to our economy, to our society, are being devalued and destroyed' David Simon on The Escalating Breakdown Of Urban Society Across The US posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:51 PM PST - 52 comments
Apparently whenever US movies were released in Soviet-era Poland, the posters were discarded and replaced by new versions by Polish artists. Alternately disturbing and frickin' awesome, and often containing political comments of varying subtlety.
Previously. posted by genghis at 10:11 AM PST - 60 comments
Right at the Edge. "The Taliban and Al Qaeda have established a haven in Pakistan’s tribal areas along the Afghan border. This is where the war on terror wil be fought – and possibly lost." posted by homunculus at 10:45 PM PST - 62 comments
I know what you're thinking. What could be better than a below-low-budget sci-fi/horror hypersexualized movie based off of a musical, with a playwright who also decided to star in both stage and screen adaptations? Well, then, what if we up the ante! It's also a socially-conscious cyberpunk movie musical, written, directed, scored and costumed by people in 2008 who have decided that 1996 is as far as the future goes, thanks... so it's also a goth/raver socially conscious cyberpunk movie musical, complete with blue-streaked hair, muppet-fur and clunky vinyl boots! No? We need to aim higher to do better? Well, here comes the kicker, the one element that will immortalize this film: Starring Paris Hilton. Singing. In S&M gear. And a wig. Doing drugs. Lo, I bring you REPO! The Genetic Opera!(The film.) NSFW or self respect. posted by Slap*Happy at 10:26 PM PST - 53 comments
It's not often that a freeware game can truly be called a masterpiece but Daniel Remar has finally released Iji, an action platformer with touches of RPG, in which you control a female heroine with a whole lot of engineered superhuman abilities. What makes this game so good is the sheer of polish that has been put into the production and the large amount of choices there are to make. You can choose what abilities to level up with, whether or not to bother killing enemies and the path you take through each sprawling area, which can effect the outcome of the unfolding story. posted by pancreas at 10:02 PM PST - 25 comments
"Her work revolves around a cluster of issues chief among which are sexuality, death, identity, abjection, the monstrous feminine and loss. Despite the universal importance of these issues her work remains firmly grounded in the specifics of her individual experience." NSFW [more inside] posted by sluglicker at 9:37 PM PST - 3 comments
"Smugopedia is a collection of slightly controversial opinions about a variety of subjects. We offer you the chance to buy a fleeting sense of self-satisfaction at the small cost of alienating your friends and loved ones." posted by PM at 3:10 PM PST - 28 comments
Who you are is what you listen to: Prof. Adrian North of Edinburgh's Heriot-Watt University recently published results of what the Beeb calls "the largest study of its kind" linking music listening habits to personality characteristics. His breakthrough conclusions? Heavy metal listeners, contrary to public perception, are not a "suicidally depressed" or a "danger to themselves and society in general. But they are quite delicate things." [more inside] posted by beelzbubba at 12:05 PM PST - 65 comments
Genome Quilts "The quilts are visually pleasing, with their strong colors and seemingly traditional design, but they hide and reveal an entirely other construct of information." [via] posted by dhruva at 8:08 AM PST - 8 comments
Russell Tongay cheerfully dropped his preschoolers into the Mississippi River. Two-year-old Kathy made it five miles before he pulled her out. Her five-year-old brother Bubba finally staggered to shore after 22 miles. Merely a warmup, their beaming father told the media gathered on the St. Louis riverbank, for what would be his children's crowning achievement: to swim the English Channel, England to France, a crossing that in 1950 had been completed only four times.
And so began the short, sad celebrity of the Aquatots, another chapter in America's morbid fascination with children pushed by parents and coaches beyond overachievement into the realm of abuse and endangerment. [more inside] posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:36 AM PST - 30 comments
Virtual Vaudeville [shockwave] Watch a 3D simulation of legendary comedian Frank Bush in a vaudeville performance from a variety of perspectives. Switch between any of eight perspectives at any time and read the extensive hypermedia notes to gain a richer understanding of the performance in its historical context. posted by tellurian at 8:46 PM PST - 11 comments
The Sleep Medicine Home Page: A comprehensive links and resources one-pager for both professionals and sufferers, resources regarding all aspects of sleep including, the physiology of sleep, clinical sleep medicine, sleep research, federal and state information, patient information, and business-related groups. posted by nickyskye at 4:01 PM PST - 11 comments
This is a long-awaited update to the previous Palin thread. A LOT has happened since then, which I think deserves additional discussion. The last time Palin's Travels was linked to was 2004 and his most recent book that you could view on the site was Sahara. But now you can read the full texts of two more books in Michael Palin's wonderful travel/adventure series: Himalaya and New Europe. There are also loads of pictures, video (Quicktime req.) and audio clips. posted by ND¢ at 1:34 PM PST - 75 comments
New Scientist reports today that inhabitants of the former Roman Empire have much lower levels of a gene variant that protects against the virus that causes AIDS - CCR5-Delta32 to be exact. Previously, this genetic mutation had been attributed to the spread of the Black Death. posted by Lizc at 12:46 PM PST - 16 comments
The Gulf Coast has just witnessed what's being called the "the largest evacuation in US history", but let's hear from those hardy souls who stuck around NOLA to ride it out, shall we? Hey, where else are you gonna see National Guardsmen (charged with the task of enforcing curfew) put down their rifles and take the stage at a local bar for a little blues jam? And be sure to watch the video that accompanies the article: immensely entertaining! posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:53 PM PST - 16 comments
Bruce McDonald, respected Canadian indie director, announced his plans last week to make not one, not two, but three sequels to his low-budget 1996 cult favorite Hard Core Logo, essentially turning it into a franchise.
Hard core fans will no doubt hope that the films are either great enough to live up to the original, or that it's all a publicity stunt timed for the TIFF premiere of his new film Pontypool, a horror flick about zombies who spread infection through conversation. [more inside] posted by mannequito at 1:11 PM PST - 26 comments
September 2, 1885, Rock Springs, Wyoming (horrible music warning). A mining town on the frontier, the Rock Springs of 1885 was consumed with race and labor tensions, and witnessed an unparalleled event during the history of Chinese-Americans in the U.S. west. The little known Rock Springs Massacre, was perpetuated by white miners on Chinese miners and left at least 28 of the latter dead and dismembered. [more inside] posted by IvoShandor at 7:52 AM PST - 11 comments
Privacy is dead - get over it [part 2] is a talk by private investigator Steve Rambam. It's a talk he has been giving for a number of years where he shows how privacy is being taken away, not by sinister plots but because people are giving it away. With people putting up everything and nothing on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and so on, as well as a growing quantity of data held in private databases, he shows how easy it is to find out enormous amounts of data on just about anyone. [more inside] posted by bjrn at 7:25 AM PST - 65 comments
The Future Generator at the London Transport Museum is a forecasting look at the effect of transport on climate change in London. But you can get a sense of history as well. The museum's collection originated in the 1920s, when the London General Omnibus Company decided to preserve two Victorian horse buses and an early motorbus for future generations. They moved to the present location in 1980. Londoners can take a trip back in time on the Metropolitan line and enjoy a special day out in Metro-land as two historic electric trains run special excursions on Sunday 14 September 2008. [more inside] posted by netbros at 7:01 AM PST - 4 comments
Forty years ago, Swinging London was yet to swing. Everything was in black and white and, in class-bound Britain, fashion photographers were trades-men – polite, smart, seen but not heard. A new breed of snappers changed all that – Terry O’Neill, Brian Duffy, David Bailey and Terence Donovan. Bailey and Donovan started their careers in the West End studio of the doyen of fashion photographers – John French.[more inside] posted by nickyskye at 2:29 PM PST - 11 comments
The legendary KenCampbellhas died. Interested in everything, apparantly. Just as excited to visit Damanhur as he was to go to CERN, just down the road. Fluent in Bislama, the creole of Vanuatu, into which he translated Macbeth. Founder of the Science Fiction Theatre of Liverpool, which performed epic productions of The Warp, Illuminatus! and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Not quite Doctor Who (he was beaten to the role by former protogé Sylvester McCoy). A fount of knowledge on the theatre, comedy, Fortean strangeness and science and anything else you care to mention, all of which he spun together with extensive flights of imagination into glorious, hilarious one-man shows. Totally irreplaceable, and devastating loss. [more inside] posted by Grangousier at 1:35 PM PST - 16 comments