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January 16, 2009
What's going on at Circuit City?
Circuit City: Founded in 1949 as the Wards Company, Circuit City is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. At the time of the liquidation announcement (January 16, 2009), the company operated 567 stores in 153 media. Ok bai.
posted by hypersloth at 11:39 PM PST - 72 comments

Are we still the world?
From A-lister to Aid worker: Does celebrity diplomacy really work? Rock stars," asked Homer Simpson, with his customary sagacity, "is there anything they don't know?" Only these days, of course, it's not just rockers but movie stars and businessmen – and indeed anyone with an above-average public profile – who, for one reason or another, are intent on telling the rest of us how the world should be changed for the better. Or at least, that's how it seems. So much so that a conference of eminent professors of international relations assembled recently in The Hague to explore the modern phenomenon of what they call "celebrity diplomacy", amid fears that it has reached the point where superstar lobbyists are damaging the traditional workings of international diplomacy and global politics.
posted by infini at 11:02 PM PST - 16 comments

Is it the mother or her milk that matters more to her baby?
If Breast is Best, Why Are Women Bottling Their Milk? Jill Lepore's article in the New Yorker explores the rise in the popularity of breast pumps. [more inside]
posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:08 PM PST - 40 comments

Brought Men to Their Knees
"Well behaved women rarely make history," said Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Scandalous Women brings you the lives, loves, and sexual adventures of some of the most fascinating women who rocked the world. Like Olimpia Maidalchini who managed to achieve something that no woman ever has, for the 11 years of her brother-in-law Innocent X's reign as pope, Olimpia was the real power at the Vatican; or Elizabeth Armistead, wife of a cabinet minister, courtesan to many. Read the bios and follow the tales of nearly a hundred women of scandalous pursuit from Mata Hari to Typhoid Mary.
posted by netbros at 10:04 PM PST - 14 comments

Screen Literacy
People of the Screen : "Digital literacy’s advocates increasingly speak of replacing, rather than supplementing, print literacy. What is “reading” anyway, they ask, in a multimedia world like ours? We are increasingly distractible, impatient, and convenience-obsessed—and the paper book just can’t keep up. Shouldn’t we simply acknowledge that we are becoming people of the screen, not people of the book?"
posted by dhruva at 9:22 PM PST - 36 comments

Pete Souza
"[I] accepted the offer today after...reaching an agreement that the primary function of the White House photography office will be to document Obama's presidency for the sake of history."

Last week, Obama named Pete Souza the official White House photographer. Souza has been following Obama as he rose to the presidency, and since being hired has published the first official portrait of Obama.
posted by ztdavis at 9:00 PM PST - 43 comments

Fly me to the Moon
At the time of its production, it was the most expensive British TV series ever made. In addition to highly regarded special effects, it had one of all-time great theme songs.(previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 8:37 PM PST - 45 comments

Look around.
"The Mass Observation movement was founded by a group of 1930s' British intellectuals who believed the most revealing way to document an event was to document the peripheral activities surrounding it. The Mass Observers carried out their greatest project on May 12th, 1937, when they dispatched more than 200 observers throughout London to monitor the coronation of King George VI." This coming Tuesday, the folks at Januarythe20th.com are attempting to create a day of Mass Observation in the United States.
posted by TheWash at 8:02 PM PST - 18 comments

The Haunted World of Ed Wood Jr.
The Haunted World of Ed Wood Jr. [1hr 52mn. From YouTube Movies. Previously] [more inside]
posted by McLir at 8:01 PM PST - 6 comments

Walking On The Moon
Australian Duncan Chessell (autoloading video) plans to spend four months trekking across Antarctica's frozen wasteland to reach the South Pole. Currently, he's leading a team of seven to the peak of Mt Vinson, Antarctica's highest point. He intends to make his trip to the pole 100 years after a similar feat was attempted by the great British explorer Robert Falcon Scott (previously). Meanwhile, another team aims to "become the youngest, fastest team in the world to reach the South Pole unsupported and unguided."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:25 PM PST - 16 comments

1950's Bungalow
Frozen in 1955 This awesome 50's bungalow, located on a quiet, cul-de-sac street on the Hill neighborhood in St. Louis Missouri, has seriously never been lived in... at least on the main level. This ONE-OWNER home was resided only in the lower level during their stay here, so the main level has been frozen in time and perfectly preserved.
posted by robbyrobs at 6:45 PM PST - 64 comments

Reporting on the world of early and silent cinema.
The Bioscope is dedicated to the subject of early and silent cinema. It is designed to be a news and information resource on all aspects of the motion picture before sound. It covers news, publications, events, discoveries, documents, critical theory, filmmakers, performers, audiences and technology, and aims to encompass film production, distribution and exhibition in the silent era, as well as ‘pre-cinema’, chronophotography, optical toys, and related media, across the world. [more inside]
posted by jokeefe at 6:21 PM PST - 4 comments

BECAUSE NO ONE BOTHERED TO MAKE AN UNOFFICIAL ONE
Keith Powell, the guy who played a nerdy writer on 30 Rock, has an enjoyable website. Especially the bio. [more inside]
posted by jragon at 6:06 PM PST - 25 comments

Sometimes it is; Sometimes it isn't.
Willy Pete - Now It’s a Chemical Weapon, Now It’s Not; was used by US forces in the siege of Fallujah. Now Haaretz has questioned if White Phosphoros is being used against Gaza. Here is apparent video proof. Willy Pete has a strange legality; but whether legal or not is certainly one of the nastiest chemicals used in warfare.
posted by adamvasco at 4:32 PM PST - 62 comments

Nerdbots
I have fallen in love with the Nerdbots. Under their cold, hard exteriors, they're really quite loveable.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:24 PM PST - 24 comments

They're Grrrrrrrreat!
Cereal commercials over the decades, starting with Rice Krispies in 1939. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 2:49 PM PST - 32 comments

whoa, that's a big cobra
The big biggest cobra and Austin Stevens. Snake Bite TV: Austin Stevens getting bitten by cobra.
posted by nickyskye at 2:25 PM PST - 31 comments

An Inconvenient Historical Event
"Millions of people will be glued to the TV next week when President-elect Barack Obama takes his oath of office. But in Federal Way, students will need to get permission from their parents to watch the historical inauguration in school... Federal Way is the same district that put a moratorium on Al Gore's Oscar winning film about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, while the board investigated whether a screening adhered to district policies."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:17 PM PST - 68 comments

Popaganda
Ron English Interview "How come you're allowed to have private property on public space?" A great nine minute interview with Ron English talking about art, advertising, and censorship and creating work that includes footage of English in action. (via Juxtapoz)
posted by Stephen Elliott at 1:55 PM PST - 7 comments

Ibuprofen: serious business
In 2003 a school official ordered that a student be searched for the substance known as 2-[4-(2-methylpropyl)phenyl]propanoic acid. The case has now made its way to the United States Supreme Court. [more inside]
posted by mullingitover at 1:28 PM PST - 99 comments

Rick Steves' Iran
With many stations showing it over the next couple of days it may not be too late for you to catch Rick Steves' Iran. For a TV guy, Steves online documentation isn't bad either: read his compiled blog entries or peep his slideshow. We've discussed the fact that he's a man with an agenda before and that's certainly the case here as well.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:09 PM PST - 15 comments

A New Creation Resurrected from Obscurity
The New Creation was born in 1970 when Chris Towers, an unknown guitarist from Vancouver, decided to form a Christian rock group with his mother Lorna as lead singer and their neighbor Janet Tiessen on drums. Scared by reports of the hippie excesses of the Manson/Altamont era, Lorna Towers wrote doom-laden, apocalyptic lyrics for the New Creation's aptly titled album, Troubled. The band was unpolished, yet somehow captured a unique lo-fi sound comparable to a hybrid of the Velvet Underground and the Shaggs. The group might be totally forgotten today, if an aging hippie record dealer named Ty Scammel hadn't rescued a copy from a $1 bargain bin, leading to the album's rediscovery by collectors of Christian rock and outsider music. [more inside]
posted by jonp72 at 12:46 PM PST - 23 comments

Prescription for Disaster
Prescription for Disaster: The dangers of teens using prescription pain killers and other doctor-prescribed drugs.
posted by jacobw at 12:14 PM PST - 51 comments

Rumors of the death of physical media
Hard Format celebrates the art of record and CD packaging.
posted by box at 11:57 AM PST - 13 comments

Luna City Arcade
Luna City Arcade is Peter Hirschberg's home / barn video arcade, with about 60 vintage machines all set up to eat quarters. WaPo story about Peter's dream. You can come around to Peter's Virginia home for Game Day every couple months. [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 11:37 AM PST - 35 comments

The Selby
The Selby Artists & c. at home and in their studios. Click through for more pictures.
posted by OmieWise at 11:25 AM PST - 7 comments

"Saruman's velocity is 69.5 m/s (155.5 mph) as he hits the spike."
Phriday Physics Phun! What is the force Superman exerts to stop a plane from crashing into the ground, or the speed and mass of Vince Vaughn's winning Dodgeball shot? What's the force exerted by a Dominique Wilkins windmill slam dunk, or the speed of a retired Charles Barkley? What's the frequency of a cat's purr? ...the mass of a snowflake? ...the pressure inside a can of soda? ..the reaction time of the human fingertip? The Physics Factbook, via hypertextbook.com, is "an encyclopedia of scientific essays written by high school students that can be used by anybody," containing over 800 entries and special topics. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 11:16 AM PST - 28 comments

"The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog."
"We could all do worse than to write like Saul Bellow. And when I say write like Saul Bellow, I mean be Saul Bellow. And when I say be Saul Bellow, I mean unzip the skin from his body and wear it as a sort of Saul Bellow suit so that we can get cozy in it and truly inhabit it and understand the Old Macher." [more inside]
posted by zoomorphic at 10:09 AM PST - 65 comments

Long live the the Village Green - and the Mellotron
The Mellotron features prominently on the 1968 album, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, more commonly referred to as The Village Green Preservation Society. The weird, eerie quality of this electronic keyboard, which uses pre-recorded tapes of individual sounds such as strings and woodwind instruments, worked well with singer/songwriter Ray Davies' nostalgic, backwards looking sensibility. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:55 AM PST - 26 comments

44 Presidents Coming.
44 Presidents Coming is either the perfect antidote or the perfect complement to all the Inaugural excitement. Though not complete yet, it will continue to be updated until all 44 presidents are....there. I'm particularly partial to Teddy.
posted by sleevener at 9:30 AM PST - 35 comments

above us only sky
The end of white America is a cultural and demographic inevitability. "At the moment, we can call this the triumph of multiculturalism, or post-racialism. But just as whiteness has no inherent meaning—it is a vessel we fill with our hopes and anxieties—these terms may prove equally empty in the long run. Does being post-racial mean that we are past race completely, or merely that race is no longer essential to how we identify ourselves?"
posted by plexi at 9:05 AM PST - 69 comments

OldBenFilter: What if Obi-Wan went Sith
Star Wars Battlefront III: a preview of a recently canceled game that apparently had plans to turn our good ol' ghost-ey friend Old Ben Kenobi into a Dark Jedi. [more inside]
posted by azarbayejani at 9:00 AM PST - 43 comments

Hot Glazed Roe Nuts.
Anti-choice group up in arms over Krispy Kreme's "abortion doughnuts" [sic] and [blech]. At least they're not supporting terrorists.

In related news, other giveaways on Inauguration Day include free waffles in Portland, free coffee (Oren's "Beans You Can Believe IN") in Manhattan, and a free Berry Obama frozen yogurt in Chicago. A scoop of Ben & Jerry's Yes Pecan will still cost you full price.
posted by ericbop at 8:42 AM PST - 123 comments

Sustainable Development or Green Menace?
Apparently some members of the far-right have figured it out! Environmentalists are communists! Being green is tantamount to an attack on "Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions". Think this is just an American phenomenon? Think again...
posted by JVA at 8:16 AM PST - 29 comments

What do you say to THAT, Mr. Gore?
If Global Warming Is Real, Then Why Is It Cold?
posted by flatluigi at 6:54 AM PST - 140 comments

Andrew Wyeth has died
Painter Andrew Wyeth has died at the age of 91. The son of beloved illustrator N.C. Wyeth, Andrew enjoyed mass popularity for paintings such as Christina's World and his Helga paintings. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 6:52 AM PST - 53 comments

Let's Go To Pommeroy's And Have Toast To Rumpole
John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey died today.
posted by Xurando at 6:50 AM PST - 26 comments

How To Make A Rocket.
A Gaza journalist shows us how homemade rockets are made. More from Zouheir Alnajjar.
posted by gman at 6:42 AM PST - 46 comments

The Other Eastenders
Kamal Chunchie charts the history of the black and Asian community in Canning Town, east London, in the 1920s and 1930s. It tells the story of the Coloured Men's Institute and its founder, Kamal Chunchie, a man who can rightly be called east London's first black and Asian community leader. One of the many excellent East London history projects at Hidden Histories.
posted by Abiezer at 4:16 AM PST - 2 comments

AIDS woo
Yet more AIDS woo in Africa. First, Thabo Mbeki's AIDS policy lead to an estimated 300 000 additional deaths in South Africa. Now, magic water peddler Jeremy Sherr proposes testing homeopathic remedies for AIDS with two groups, one group on ARV and one on homeopathy, as "Placebo treatment is considered unethical in AIDS" (note: archived link from here via here) . [more inside]
posted by fatfrank at 3:24 AM PST - 28 comments

The Depraved of India
India--the country of the Taj Mehal--known for it's love. But wait, there's more sadly, a lot more.
posted by hadjiboy at 3:21 AM PST - 22 comments

The Beast
Apparently, the president-elect is getting a new limousine. Details are sparse, but one thing is certain: it's damned ugly. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:45 AM PST - 90 comments