The Lost Boys of the Sudan are a group of nearly 17,000 orphans whose parents were murdered and whose homes were destroyed by a government miltary turned against them. They marched on foot, without food or water, under attack from hungry predators & occasional strafing miltary fire for several years until settling in a squalid refugee camp in Kenya; nearly a decade later, the U.S. began a humanitarian policy of importing them, a few at a time, and resettling the lucky few in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, and even Fargo, N.D. (NYTimes, reg req'd) posted by jonson at 8:33 PM PST - 14 comments
Orion's Arm is "an interactive hard science space opera, a joint effort in science fiction worldbuilding and a forum for cutting edge science fiction ideas". posted by signal at 11:51 AM PST - 17 comments
Do you know this scream? Originally labeled in studio reels in 1951 as Man Being Eaten by Alligator, the sound effect now known as the Wilhelm has turned up in dozens of films; sound designers have made a game out of sneaking it past the director's notice. This NPR feature (includes link to RealAudio file) tells much of the story of the Wilhelm Scream. Or you could just watch the best of Wilhelm, compliled in this (27MB) video compilation (read the making-of here). (By the way -- an orc in The Two Towers lets out a Wilhelm as he falls to his death.) posted by argybarg at 11:24 AM PST - 45 comments
Inventing a new disease? Some experts are saying that the drug industry is trying lump women’s sexual problems under the term “female sexual dysfunction” to create a market for lucrative new Viagra-like drugs. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association [abstract] found sexual dysfunction is more prevalent for women (43%) than men (31%), but the jury is still out. posted by gottabefunky at 9:41 AM PST - 54 comments
Pin-holephotography is nothing new. 300 years before there was film people were using the idea of the CameraObscura to project images onto nearby surfaces. Using the process to capture the images onto film was a simple progression. But camera cases break, and leak light exposing the film to early.
Enter Thomas Hudson Reeve who folds his own one time only cameras with the very photo-paper he presents as his finished work. Only a simple brass plate pinhole shutter is reused and developing is done in the camera by pouring the chemicals directly in.
Go check out PaperCams for more.
posted by KnitWit at 9:10 AM PST - 12 comments
Prosthetic Artist Robert Barron creates new noses, eyes, ears and hands for people who have lost them to disease or injury, or who never had them in the first place. His talent and craftsmanship are staggering. As an artist, the "outrageous", self-congratulatory flavor-of-the-month trends in the contemporary art world leave me completely cold. Where talent and craftsman ship are eschewed in favor of concept and impossibly complex jargon, I find myself drawing inspiration more and more from work like this: useful, socially relevant, beautiful. posted by Scoo at 7:09 AM PST - 21 comments
Not old enough to drive a car? Get a minicar! It seems that Italy's teens have solved the problem of not having a license to drive until they are 18 years old, through the use of minicars.
Supposedly, they have a governor that holds them to around 30mph (though kids say they get souped up), and they can't be over 772lbs... But the key is you can drive them if you can't see well enough for a license, have your license revoked, or are as young as 14, you can drive one off the lot right now! Some links to manufacturers are at the bottom of the Washington Post's article. posted by djspicerack at 7:07 AM PST - 18 comments
NationStates.net allows you to create your own country, decide how it starts out by answering a short questionary, and then it gives you issues to solve (one per day, though you can set it to two per day). How you answer those issues determines how your country fares, the type of country it is, and many other things.
You can join the UN and elect a regional representative, create your own region that you and your friends can migrate to (all new nations start out in The Pacific, which is consequentially the largest region in NationStates, but you can move wherever you want). posted by sailoreagle at 2:59 AM PST - 51 comments
Should we think goat when it comes to saving important data?
As part of a modernisation campaign the UK Parliament may ditch vellum for computerised records. But what will last the longest? posted by quarsan at 1:02 AM PST - 20 comments