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January 15, 2009
Extending the Mind
How Google Is Making Us Smarter: Humans are "natural-born cyborgs," and the Internet is our giant "extended mind."
posted by homunculus at 10:50 PM PST - 50 comments

The President-To-B-Baller
The Audacity of Hoops Alexander Wolff (Sports Illustrated) examines the importance of basketball in Barack Obama's life. [more inside]
posted by Poolio at 9:43 PM PST - 30 comments

Tips for Tech Users, Designers, Bloggers
Hongkiat.com is a treasure trove from a Malaysian designer, developer that features Photoshop tutorials, icons, Wordpress tips and tricks, tools for everything from sound to Flickr, inspirations, graphics and templates, stunning wallpapers including for Windows 7, Leopard, and iPhone, and finally a library of how-to's to make your everyday internet simpler.
posted by netbros at 9:07 PM PST - 2 comments

Future Imperfect
Future Imperfect. David Friedman gives a wonderfully discursive talk on future technology and the law at Google.
posted by empath at 9:01 PM PST - 3 comments

The Sling Shot Man and Other Non-famous Carolinians
The Sling Shot Man is Rufus Hussey, a man who's awesome with a beanshooter. This is a segment from 1985 of Down Home with the Carolina Camera which is a long-running part of Charlotte's WBTV's Top o' the Day variety show. There are a total of 22 videos on the YouTube channel which all feature interesting but non-famous Carolinians. Here are some other stories I liked: The Dulcimer School, Alligator Catchers, The Checker Players, The Gourdman of Angier and Backwards Man.
posted by Kattullus at 8:57 PM PST - 18 comments

Australian Soldier in Afghanistan Awarded VC
An Australian soldier has been awarded the Victoria Cross for his involvement in an action in Afghanistan.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 8:06 PM PST - 59 comments

A blame game of language and depth-first search.
"It's all {Greek -> Chinese -> Heavenly Script} to me." Mark Liberman, on Language Log, recently did some quick research on how other languages would say "It's Greek to me." And created a directed graph of his findings, which were then supplemented with reader comments.
posted by shadytrees at 6:22 PM PST - 49 comments

80 Million Tiny Images
A visualization of all the nouns in the English language arranged by semantic meaning. [NSFW words included!] [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 5:46 PM PST - 40 comments

Baby, Please Don't Do Drugs
President-Elect Obama has shown he can make the hard decisions when it comes to appointments, but one job remains to be filled: Drug Czar. A tough job requires a tough man, and one such man is asking for the chance. Ted Nugent for Drug Czar. [more inside]
posted by theroadahead at 5:35 PM PST - 89 comments

Fixing the Financial System
“There has been a failure of risk management to a point that is mind boggling." Obama advisor Paul Volker and the Group of 30 have issued a deceptively simple framework for fixing our financial problems.
posted by up in the old hotel at 2:34 PM PST - 29 comments

When you care enough to boycott...
"It is against the fiber of God's Law and against all of Christianity, that a company who makes religious worship cards, religious holiday cards and Christian greeting cards, would stoop to the lowly depths and ok the Homo Sexual wedding cards. WILL NOT STAND IT!" [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 2:29 PM PST - 109 comments

If You Walk Through the Garden, Better Watch Your Back
Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon has been indicted with 12 counts of felony theft, perjury, fraud and misconduct in office, becoming the city's first sitting mayor to be criminally indicted. Included in the charges against her is the accusation that she accepted illegal gifts during her time as mayor and City Council president, including travel, fur coats and gift cards intended for the poor that she allegedly used instead for a holiday shopping spree. One city housing official has already been convicted of stealing those donations. Her legal defense claims that there has been no conflict of interest, as the list of companies said to have done business with the city fails to meet technical requirements laid out in city ethics laws. The Baltimore Sun's editorial staff weighs in with the accusations.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:23 PM PST - 34 comments

Birdstrike in the Hudson
US Airways Flight 1549 has crashed into the Hudson. Fortunately, it appears that everyone has survived. The culprit appears to be a bird strike from a flock of geese (as opposed to a single bird, which airplane engines are built to withstand). [more inside]
posted by kdar at 1:56 PM PST - 176 comments

But have you really put any thought into that list?
Top 10 Science Fiction Flicks For The Thinking Man (beerandscifi version) - The Portland based blog (with a very admirable focus) takes on the Rotten Tomatoes list with a less dull alternative. (via)
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM PST - 105 comments

JOE 2008 examines changes/trends in the geopolitical and military landscape
"Authored by the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), the Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008, pdf) outlines a strategic framework and forecasts possible threats and opportunities that will challenge the future joint force." One portion picked out by the media: Mexico and Pakistan are the two countries most likely to undergo "sudden collapse". [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 1:39 PM PST - 7 comments

Delta Project on Postsecondary Education Costs
The Delta Project recently released a new report on Trends in College Spending. The NYTimes summarizes.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 1:07 PM PST - 16 comments

Party Train
Don't miss the party train!
posted by vronsky at 12:51 PM PST - 25 comments

This week's cover of The Nation features Obama with more than 60 civil rights icons.
When Obama takes the oath of office, he won't be standing alone. This week's cover of The Nation features a portrait of an Obama inauguration presided over by Thurgood Marshall and attended by more than 60 civil rights icons. [more inside]
posted by harperpitt at 12:49 PM PST - 43 comments

Everyone else has more friends than me, AHHOoooooo
Everyone else is on Facebook, why aren't you? Not knowing the rules is not an excuse.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:24 PM PST - 251 comments

Plastic Bags May Sue You
Plastic bags are bad for the environment, right? Not according to the Plastic Bag Coalition, which created savetheplasticbag.com in order to help stop the demonization of the supermarket staple. Taking a firm stance, they have recently threatened to sue the city of Santa Monica for passing an ordnance banning plastic bags. This isn't the first time they've sued. [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw at 12:15 PM PST - 55 comments

More than meets the eye
The Domestic Transformer: sliding walls and yellow light, a local architect's solution to the problem of scant living-space in Hong Kong. [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 10:59 AM PST - 31 comments

Sock it to me, eco-crafters!
What can be done with worn, outgrown or single socks? Well, if you want to wear those favourite socks awhile longer, you can darn them. If your baby’s feet are no longer so tiny, make a baby sock purse or sachet, baby sock reindeer, or baby sock corsage or bouquet decorations for a friend’s baby shower. You can make a hat out of your child’s outgrown socks, or your kids can make Barbie clothes. You can use single socks to make a foot massager, potholders, slippers, a dog rug, a snowman, sock puppets or cute critters. Or sock art installations. See these articles for more pedestrian ways to use socks.
posted by orange swan at 10:51 AM PST - 18 comments

U.N. DECLARATION FOR GAY RIGHTS OPPOSED
Alone among major Western nations, the United States refused to sign a United Nations declaration calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality. The U.S. was joined by China, Russia, the Roman Catholic Church, and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in rejecting the declaration. In 2004, the Vatican and Islamic Conference had lobbied vehemently and successfully to prevent the U.N. Human Rights Commission from outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. [more inside]
posted by terranova at 10:27 AM PST - 98 comments

Presidential Transition Resources
GSA and NARA hope that this online directory will introduce you to the operation of the Federal government and the resources available to help you begin your service in the new Administration. Are you a nominee? Your survival guide can be found here. Just an appointee? Your orientation begins here. And be sure to make sure you have a good understanding of the Org Chart.
posted by dchase at 10:17 AM PST - 1 comments

Created beyond space and time.
As you may know, acoustic treatment of your listening room is very important. But many people want to use their space for both music listening and entertaining guests. Quite often large and effective bass traps can rob your space of its grace and majesty and make your guests feel weird and uncomfortable.
posted by Brocktoon at 10:01 AM PST - 37 comments

The Spanish Missions of San Antonio
Everyone knows about The Alamo, (previously) but perhaps you didn't know that San Antonio has the largest concentration of Spanish Missions in the United States. Known collectively as "The San Antonio Missions," they are now part of the National Park System (map). The other four south of the Alamo are respectively, Mission Concepción, (which stands as it was built in 1755 and is the oldest unrestored church in America) and the restored Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission Espada, (warning: some of QTVR links will resize browser) as well as a length of the Acacia system that is still used for irrigation today. The four churches also house active parishes which operate independently from the NPS. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:05 AM PST - 22 comments

Star Wars -- Sort Of.
Star Wars: Retold (by someone who hasn't seen it).
posted by chunking express at 8:18 AM PST - 170 comments

A literal underground economy
About those tunnels The media here had led me to believe that those tunnels were crude things that were used to smuggle rockets and explosives, but this photo essay from Foreign Policy, gives another take on what its been about
posted by donfactor at 5:39 AM PST - 113 comments

We're Coming to You Tube!
Welcome to Congress, YouTube. Check out House Hub and Senate Hub for a state by state directory of YouTube videos created by House Representatives and Senators for the purpose of, among other things, "increasing transparency." [more inside]
posted by lunit at 5:27 AM PST - 14 comments

Has life on Mars been confirmed?
A British tabloid claims that NASA will today announce the probable presence of life on Mars. Planetary and atmospheric scientists from NASA's Mars program will address a press conference at 2PM EST, apparently about concentrated methane plumes that bloom and dissipate [pdf]. There was a false alarm about a similar briefing a few months ago; is this the real deal?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:41 AM PST - 129 comments

Growing Up In Guantánamo.
"Six days after the inauguration of President Obama, the U.S. is scheduled to begin the first trial of a child soldier accused of war crimes since World War II." via ACLU [more inside]
posted by ageispolis at 12:14 AM PST - 35 comments