January 9, 2011
Ever since open source drivers were written for the Microsoft Kinect (previously), we've seen countless innovative uses of the hardware from puppet shows to air guitar to realtime 3d data capture. The most profound and far reaching hack so far, however, is no doubt the ability to import giant 3d statues into minecraft. More info on the project can be found here. (via reddit)
"Kicking Away the Ladder: How the Economic and Intellectual Histories of Capitalism Have Been Re-Written to Justify Neo-Liberal Capitalism"
"Contrary to the conventional wisdom, the historical fact is that the rich countries did not develop on the basis of the policies and the institutions that they now recommend ..." [more inside]
FRACT is an atmospheric adventure game set in an abstract forgotten world of analog sounds, samples and glitches by Richard E Flanagan. (Mac & Windows downloads, vimeo trailer, RockPaperShotgun post)
Tea party in the Sonora: For the future of G.O.P. governance, look to Arizona. An article by Ken Silverstein, from the July 2010 issue of Harpers.
NPR looks at why we can't walk in a straight line. More info (and radio broadcast) is available on NPR's main page.
Future shock? Welcome to the new Middle Ages - The 21st century will resemble nothing more than the 12th [more inside]
Debbie Friedman passed away today. She was the most well known and influential composer of Jewish music and litergy in the United States. The Jerusalem Post says that "Friedman’s music is performed in synagogues around the world more than that of any other modern composer." Her most well known song is a setting of Mi Shebeirach, a prayer for healing.
She is a bit deaf but she still hunts mice in the garden. Her name is Lucy. Her family says she is 39 years old, and is the oldest cat in the world. She does look a bit saggy. How long will your cat live?
Valero Doval created a marvelous image for an Oliver Sacks' article about neuroplasticity, the brain’s capacity to create new pathways. The artist's other collages are also excellent: Aerofauna | Wonderful World | EnigmaticCities | Portraits. [more inside]
Interesting profile of a unique person who somehow negotiated a life that fitted them in this world.
In 1989, Milton Bradley debuted HeroQuest, a board game in the style of Dungeons and Dragons. Not to be bested at their own game, D&D's parent company TSR released Dragon Strike (reviewed here by Angry Video Game Nerd's James Rolfe.) Packaged with the board game was a low-budget fantasy short film meant to simultaneously set the mood, demonstrate a potential adventure and explain the rules.
On Friday evening, Trent Reznor sat down with Jon Pareles (music critic for the NYT) for a lengthy, candid interview about his work on The Social Network soundtrack, Nine Inch Nails, How To Destroy Angels, and his creative process. The interview runs 1h15m, and is available for download in both video and audio versions. [more inside]
The 50 best (American) comicbook covers of 2010 - as selected by Robot 6 (previously), who also have links to the best of the years best lists (The 5 worst comics of 2010 being a particular favourite.)
The Romanian government has changed its labour laws, and in doing so has added a number of professions which weren't previously recognised but which are now subject to tax. Car valets, embalmers and driving instructors are unhappy to be added, but their protests aren't likely to be as scary as those of the...witches. [more inside]
"A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it." [more inside]
Steve Dorner (old Times coverage), creator of E-mail software Eudora, has cancer. Treatment is going reasonably well. (Via)
The Chase through digital reality. It's an intel ad.
Paul Bilger's Flickr stream is full of beautiful, otherworldly photos, many created with ink in water and long or multiple exposures. They range from curved and abstract to fractal-like. Also, there are some pretty trees.