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January 5, 2012
"I noticed something on a lampshade. It was writing in Korean and when I asked the interpreter what it meant, he said it meant roughly, 'Live or Die.'"
On November 13, 1982, in an outdoor arena next to Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas, Ray "Boom Boom" Mancini beat Duk Koo Kim to retain his World Boxing Association lightweight championship title. It was a thrilling match, but its aftermath quickly turned into a nightmare, as Kim fell into a coma, and, a few days later, died. The bout's effects have rippled outward ever since. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 9:14 PM PST - 51 comments

Alan J. Pakula's "The Parallax View"
Welcome to the testing room of the Parallax Corporation's Division of Human Engineering. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 8:11 PM PST - 29 comments

Blame it on the beasts
Bugs and Beasts Before the Law - "Murderous pigs sent to the gallows, sparrows prosecuted for chattering in Church, a gang of thieving rats let off on a wholly technical acquittal – theoretical psychologist and author Nicholas Humphrey explores the strange world of medieval animal trials." More on the theme of barnyard scapegoats from the BBC podcast documentary: Animals on Trial.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:24 PM PST - 22 comments

How Many Stephen Colberts Are There?
How Many Stephen Colberts Are There? There used to be just two Stephen Colberts, and they were hard enough to distinguish... [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 6:21 PM PST - 84 comments

Contrarian.
Stephen Fry and Friends on Christopher Hitchens. Parts 2 3 4 [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 5:30 PM PST - 77 comments

Imagine there's no people
So you wake up tomorrow morning to find almost everyone on Earth missing. The Internet will continue to work for a few hours: what information could you download to ensure your survival and rebuild civilization? A few suggestions: The CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. Third Word Development (18 GB of information on agriculture, livestock, food processing, construction, water, sanitation, health and much more). The Global Village Construction Set (previously). Copies of Gray's Anatomy, Where There Is No Doctor, and The Ship Captain’s Medical Guide.

A few more that might be handy even in ordinary times: all of Wikipedia, or perhaps just a portion. (Ideally, of course, you’d already have a bound, printed copy), Offline Google Mail (Chrome) to save correspondence; SiteSucker to download sites you’d like to keep around while offline.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:52 PM PST - 90 comments

Women and men are different!
This just in ... Men are different from women. OK, scratch that. More different than researchers had previously thought.
posted by anothermug at 3:44 PM PST - 87 comments

...And you thought that you loved cat videos
A nightmarish Keyboard Cat from the 1950s children's program Andy's Gang. You might want to leave the lights on tonight.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 3:41 PM PST - 63 comments

J. Hoberman Fired by Village Voice
Yesterday, the Village Voice fired J. Hoberman, long-time champion of independent and experimental film (and its senior film critic of 24 years). Hoberman promises that there's a blog in his future. The Voice has an archive of his writing for them since 1998. Here are his Top 10 lists for the years 1977 to 2006, and here they are for 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. Here is a compilation of his advice for aspiring film critics. A critic who came of age in an era when the lines between "film critic" and "film scholar" were blurrier, Hoberman has also written books about American movies and the Cold War and the forgotton history of Yiddish cinema. Here are some interviews with him about his work.
posted by bubukaba at 3:09 PM PST - 42 comments

Billy Donovan's Secret Sorrow
Three basketball coaches share the experience of a single type of tragedy.
posted by reenum at 2:53 PM PST - 6 comments

So a Girl Sneaks Into a Russian Military Rocket Factory...
Lana Sator sneaked into a Russian military rocket factory, found no guards, and started taking pictures. Some of them are pretty amazing. [source]
posted by quin at 2:12 PM PST - 75 comments

Obama says no-go to Pro Forma sessions
Presidential appointments that require Senate confirmation can be made without confirmation by the President when the chamber is in recess: a so-called recess appointment, wherein the appointee is allowed to serve until the end of the next congressional session. During the Bush II administration, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid began holding pro forma sessions every three days—a local Senator gavels the session in and immediately back out—to ensure that the Senate never went into recess and as a result, Bush stopped confirming recess appointments. When the Obama administration took over, the Republicans began holding the same pro forma sessions to prevent Obama from appointing any positions in recess. This week, Obama made four appointments, including Richard Cordray to the newly created role of director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, despite the fact that the Senate is not in technical recess. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned at 2:01 PM PST - 116 comments

High, low, and in between
I did this interview with Townes Van Zandt in the spring of 1994, for a now-defunct west coast monthly. Townes was promoting a new album called Roadsongs, and over the course of two days in May, he spoke to me for several hours. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 2:00 PM PST - 24 comments

Obama unveils new strategy for 'leaner' US military
"As I made clear in Australia, we'll be strengthening our presence in the Asia-Pacific, and budget reductions will not come at the expense of this critical region," President Obama and Sustaining US Global Leadership (pdf) [more inside]
posted by Petrot at 1:30 PM PST - 29 comments

DON'T DRINK THE NECTAR OF PROPAGANDA UNTIL AFTER YOU'VE FINISHED WHAT'S ON YOUR PLATE
JENNY HOLZER, MOM [more inside]
posted by Chipmazing at 12:33 PM PST - 63 comments

Causes Are Hard
Trials and Errors. Jonah Lehrer's latest piece in Wired is a sort of sequel to his earlier article in the New Yorker on the decline effect (previously). Where that article focused on the institutional factors interfering with the accumulation of truth, this one focuses on the philosophical issues of causation and correlation in modern science. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 12:10 PM PST - 22 comments

Gillian Jacob's nickname is 'Walking NPR'
As fans of the television show Community wait through a Whitney induced hiatus of indeterminate length, they might be wondering what the cast and crew has been up to. At least one of those things was squaring off for a game of Trivial Pursuit hosted by Dan Harmon.
posted by codacorolla at 11:48 AM PST - 43 comments

I have no idea how these goths climbed up these trees, or why.
Goths up trees.
posted by LSK at 11:46 AM PST - 61 comments

EXT. PLAYGROUND - DAY
Recess Stories is a series of live-action, short films for kids, performed by kids and based on real-life events. The first season is available to watch online or download for free, and Season Two is coming soon.
posted by swift at 11:44 AM PST - 1 comments

"The game I play is a very interesting one. It's imagination, in a tight straitjacket."
From 1981 - 1993, documentary producer Christopher Sykes created three films about Dr. Richard Feynman. All are now available in their entirety on YouTube: Richard Feynman: No Ordinary Genius, The Pleasure of Finding Things Out and Last Journey of a Genius (previously). [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:31 AM PST - 14 comments

Photojournalist Eve Arnold dies at age 99
Eve Arnold was regarded as one of the finest photojournalists of the 20th century. Invited to join Magnum Photos in 1951 by Robert Capa, it was with Magnum that she travelled the world documenting areas of America, China, the Middle East and the United Kingdom. A master of both black & white and colour, Arnold thrived in the golden age of photojournalism, when publications gave photographers great resources and freedom to practice their art. A world-travelling photojournalist whose subjects ranged from the poor and dispossessed to Marilyn Monroe, she has died at age 99 : Her page at Magnum Photos. Images from a recent London exhibition. A 1987 audio interview, after the publication of her book of Marilyn Monroe images.
posted by spock at 11:25 AM PST - 12 comments

Coachbuilt, an encyclopedia of American Coachbuilders
Coachbuilt is an encyclopedia of American coachbuilders, from Adam Black & Sons, makers of commercial coaches and co-designers of the iconic UPS P-600 package delivery truck, to the York-Hoover Body Company, who started out as a prolific supplier of wooden depot hack and station wagon bodies for the Ford Model T, later catering to the funeral home/furniture store marketplace by offering a combination motorized funeral coach/furniture delivery car using a stretched Model T chassis.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:21 AM PST - 2 comments

The right to delirium
Eduardo Galeano reading The Right to Delirium. Via PULSE
posted by latkes at 11:04 AM PST - 4 comments

On a roll . . .
How the Dutch got their cycle paths (Youtube). How Paris decided to become a bicycle friendly city. How Copenhagen became a cycling city (PDF). How San Francisco became a cycling city. How London tried (and failed) to become a cycling city. How Sevilla, Spain is becoming a world-class bicycling city (more: Seville's lesson and Seville's remarkable transformation). How Ciclovia came to Bogotá (Streetfilms). How Portland plans to become the first world-class bike city in America; how expanding Portland's inexpensive bicycle network led to an exponentially expanding amount of bicycling (Streetfilms). How Janette Sadik-Khan is transforming New York City streets (Streetfilms). [more inside]
posted by flug at 10:55 AM PST - 33 comments

*Blink*
Stanley Kubrick animated gifs
posted by Artw at 10:46 AM PST - 49 comments

I'd put my horse in the back yard and love him with all my heart.
Vint Cerf, fellow at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Google's Chief Internet Evangelist, writes in a New York Times Op-Ed today that Internet Access Is Not a Human Right:
...technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself. There is a high bar for something to be considered a human right. Loosely put, it must be among the things we as humans need in order to lead healthy, meaningful lives, like freedom from torture or freedom of conscience. It is a mistake to place any particular technology in this exalted category, since over time we will end up valuing the wrong things. For example, at one time if you didn’t have a horse it was hard to make a living. But the important right in that case was the right to make a living, not the right to a horse. Today, if I were granted a right to have a horse, I’m not sure where I would put it.
[more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:32 AM PST - 65 comments

WebGL-only (no plugins!) 3D map
Nokia's 100% WebGL 3D map [SLBrowserToy]
posted by spitefulcrow at 10:06 AM PST - 26 comments

I never really cared for Kennigan, though.
Funny or Die has gone back to its archives and presents the FOD 1986 lineup. Among the eight shows available, genre fans are probably going to be most excited about getting a chance to see Malibu Days: Nights and Cop-Puter, but I was personally more excited at the fact they exhumed Buildings.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:00 AM PST - 26 comments

The mid-century will be about "old people in big cities who are afraid of the sky."
Bruce Sterling's State Of The World - 2012
posted by The Whelk at 9:02 AM PST - 115 comments

X-37B spaceplane spying on Chinese space station?
In March last year, the unmanned X-37B US military spaceplane launched from Cape Canaveral on mission USA-226, to "demonstrate various experiments", sensors and technology. Its original 270 day mission was extended in November "as circumstances allow" for "additional experimentation opportunities", but a dedicated group of optical tracking specialists in the US and Europe believe that the X-37B is in fact spying on the Chinese space station Tiangong-1. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 7:56 AM PST - 59 comments

War of the road bikes
Bicycle Goliath Specialized is suing their former employe's start up company Volagi over their innovative road bike design that includes disc brakes and a very interesting seat stay arrangement. Volagi's Facebook explanation. TV news report. [more inside]
posted by cccorlew at 7:49 AM PST - 58 comments

Pop a Scotch for me, will ya?
Scotch. In. A. Can. I have nothing more to add.
posted by cross_impact at 7:40 AM PST - 149 comments

(More Than) 500 Miles Away From Home
American Country Music legend Bobby Bare (76) will take part in the Norwegian finals in the Eurovision Song Contest. [more inside]
posted by iviken at 6:50 AM PST - 17 comments

Hoff crabs
Here are those hairy chested deep sea crabs you were asking about. We have named them "Hasselhoff Crabs" after David Hasselhof, because he is also known for his hairy chest.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:52 AM PST - 43 comments

A Man of Many Divas - Juan Pablo Echeverri
A Man of Many Divas - Juan Pablo Echeverri
posted by beshtya at 2:21 AM PST - 6 comments