January 7, 2008
Nearly 60,000* American children (mostly girls) are abducted by strangers each year. After seeing a security video documenting a young girl's abduction, 15-year-old Dallas Jessup convinced her Filipino street fighting instructor to work with her on a school project and together they developed a method intended to teach young girls how to avoid Carla Brucia's fate. The resulting 47 minute video, Just Yell Fire, is viewable free of charge and teaches easy self defense moves created to help a potential victim avoid abduction or date rape. If there's a girl you love and want to protect from harm, the tips in this video may just save her life someday. [more inside]
A recent article in the The New York Times depicts the violence in Iten, a village 18 miles outside of Elderot that has somehow managed to produce most of Kenya's best athletes. Famous for its high altitude, forgiving clay roads, and dirt track, elite runner Lorhah Kiplagat chose to base her charitable foundation for women and her training center here. The camp is now under siege. Fellow humanitarian and former world record holder in the marathon, Paul Tergat, is missing. Former Olympian Lucas Sang is dead, and countless others are injured or missing.
Most Likely You Will Go Your Way A remixed version of the Bob Dylan song from Bob Dylan TV on youtube (of course) [more inside]
How to wash a cat. Step #1: Dress for the occasion - a four-ply wet suit is suggested, with gloves and a face mask.
New Orleans after Katrina, as the world knows, is a bleak, desolate place, devoid of hope and perpetually awaiting the change that never arrives. Where better to stage Waiting for Godot? [more inside]
Love thy Neighbor Photographer and author Steven Hirsh has photographed the homes of registered New York State sex offenders. A wonderful writer and photographer, this work is chilling, alarming, beautiful. I get that Quentin Tarantino feeling of beauty and disgust. Look at me, nooooo look away. The series of 24 images are on Hirsch's website.
It's a grid. You play with it. (flash)
It's a grid. You play with it. (flash)
There's a slight chance that an asteroid could impact Mars at the end of this month. Usually, collisions between heavenly bodies have vanishingly small odds (a million to one, say), but the chances on this one have been steadily improving, from 350-to-1 to 75-to-1 to 25-to-1 (link to Washington Post). Scientists say that this could be comprable to the famous Tunguska blast in Siberia a hundred years ago (not to be confused with this other Tunguska blast). [more inside]
It smells like dirty socks, wet dog, oil, chemicals, gymnasiums, burning, vomit, and more. It induces blurred vision, disorientation, shaking and tremors, vertigo, seizures, loss of consciousness, respiratory failure, depression, sleep disorders, salivation, nausea and diarrhoea among other symptoms. Is "toxic airline syndrome" the new Gulf War Syndrome? [more inside]
Who bears the burden of a corporate income tax? Certainly not corporations. Instead, the incidence might fall largely on labor, according to a new survey of three recent empirical studies published by the U.S. Treasury Department's Office of Tax Analysis. [more inside]
Here's Looking At You. What do you think you look like? And what do others think of you? A film about first impressions from artists Lenka Clayton and James Price.
The Manners Manifesto For example: "(11) Talk to people at the check-out. You don't have to say much. God, even something inane like, "Busy in here, today, isn't it?" or "Not as busy as usual in here, today, is it?" might put us on the road to peace in the Middle East. Carrying on grumping around and spreading those grump vibes certainly isn't going to help."
DDR-Modell Autos.info meticulously catalogs radio controlled and flywheel powered cars made by East German (DDR) toy makers such as Presu, Elmes, MSW, Anker, Piko, Gevo, Plasticart and Sommermeyer.
Today at CES, Taser International unveiled a "handy new holster that holds not only your stun gun but a music player too." "The TASER MPH (Music Player Holster) is a combination MP3 player and TASER C2 holster."* The C2 Personal Protector is available to consumers "in four designer colors," including leopard print, red-hot red and fashion pink. It's what they call "Fashion with a Bite."
No Tourists, No Artists. Tourists at Atlanta's Underground didn't realize they were working with an real live artist, but they were. Tom Richmond, Caricaturist Of The Year for 1998 and 1999, recipient of a Reuben Award in 2003 , one-time comic book creator, and frequent artistic contributor to Mad Magazine (movie parodies, mostly), supported his freelance work for almost 18 years by doing cartoons-for-hire in historic Underground Atlanta. Despite many efforts to "save" it, Underground continues to fade in popularity and the tourist traffic just dwindles on down, leaving folks like Tom no choice but to pack up their paints and leave. Tom's story makes for interesting insight into a job that most of us might take for tourist-trapping huckstery. (via Radical Georgia Moderate)
Trial by Transplant. "Most transplant recipients are grateful beyond measure. Amy Silverstein's view, after nearly two decades with a donated heart, is more conflicted and often bleak. Much of her life, as described in Sick Girl, has revolved around nauseating drugs, ongoing fatigue, painful tests, ER visits and hospitalizations without end—and the constant fear that the next heartbeat could be her last. At low ebb, she has teetered on the edge of giving up."
She has made at least one indie music lover reconsider his antipathy for her music. She may be partially responsible for Obama's recent electoral successes. She is an international force for good. (For certain values of the word "good"). What else can you say? Céline Dion is amazing!. (That last YouTube link has a bit of NSFW language. I can't tell you whether or not Céline herself is NSF anything around you. Your call.)
Nicole Gastonguay is an artist who creates one-of-a-kind crocheted art, with anthropomorphic food and drink as a recurring theme: sandwich, tin of sardines, cheeseburger, bottle of hooch, hotdog, TV dinner. Oh, and something for Tony Soprano. Via.
In a quite funny video, Bill Gates looks for the next big thing after retirement with help from Jon Stewart, Jay Z, Bono, George Clooney, and others; while Letterman earlier gave his own tribute. Gates is retiring to spend more time on his massive charity, which is already helping push child mortality to an all-time low, despite some controversy with its for-profit investments.
Living in a big box store: Comedian Mark Malkoff gave the world Li'l Gn'R, he took the Starbucks challenge, and today, he moves into IKEA in Paramus, N.J., for one week. (This is also news in Sweden.) [more inside]
The 50 greatest British writers since 1945. A few interesting choices here... the 'novelist's poet' at #1 seems fair enough, but this one, this one and this one?
"Australians must not use whales to justify the racist ideology" The Australian government's [proto] stance on Japanese whaling in the Southern Ocean has drawn a strong response by an anonymous youtube poster, citing racism as the core reason the Australian Government is taking a stand on the Japanese Whale Research Programme [caution, gruesome video and yet more racist youtube comments]. It seems Steve and Terri Irwin are trying to stop them.
Most of the news stories about the release of failed assassin Sara Jane Moore mention that her attempt at President Ford was foiled by Oliver Sipple (wikipedia), who is generally described as "a disabled Vietnam Veteran/Marine". The current news stories don't mention that he was gay, but neither did most of the press accounts at the time, except for San Francisco's legendary columnist Herb Caen. An infamous, and ultimately tragic, 'outing'.
Wildlife rehabilitators take care of wounded or orphaned animals, nursing them back to health and preparing them for a life back in the wild. This leads to a lot of cute baby animal videos. (Roll over for descriptions.) [more inside]