January 21, 2012
Ayn Rand has a fantasy in Atlas Shrugged of striking ‘creative’ capitalists, a fantasy that finds its perverted realisation in today’s strikes, most of which are held by a ‘salaried bourgeoisie’ driven by fear of losing their surplus wage. These are not proletarian protests, but protests against the threat of being reduced to proletarians.The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie in the London Review of Books.
In 2009, Roxana Altamirano made her first post to Nerd Boyfriend (previously), a style blog that finds clothing similar to those worn by iconic male figures. Now, almost three years later, there is a Nerd Girlfriend. [more inside]
The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has begun releasing Security-Enhanced Android patches and tools, which port their Security-Enhanced Linux tools to Android devices. SEAndroid and SELinux provide mandatory access control designed to limit the amount of damage that rogue or exploited software can do. [more inside]
The Truck They Couldn't Drown Watch agog as this Rasputin of Russian trucks conspicuously fails to give up the ghost crossing a Siberian river.
Today Dutch sailor Laura Dekker returned to St. Maarten, completing her yearlong solo voyage around the world aboard her sailboat, “Guppy.” (Previously)
Lists of Note is a new site from Shaun Usher, proprietor of Letters of Note. It posts interesting lists, running the gamut from funny to poignant, mostly by famous people, though other sources crop up. Here's a sampling of lists: Johnny Cash, Walt Whitman, Eero Saarinen, Don Carman, Marilyn Monroe and F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Comedian Bert Kreischer was named the "top partier" at Florida State University in a 1997 Rolling Stone article. The 2002 movie "Van Wilder" was inspired by his life. Bert Kreischer is THE MACHINE (animated version). Bert Kreischer hangs out with Tracy Morgan. NSFW (language).
Horace Walpole's Strawberry Hill Collection provides visitors with the opportunity to view a virtual reconstruction of Walpole's extensive collections--everything from armor to wall hangings--housed in his custom-built Gothic villa, Strawberry Hill. (For video tours and discussions of its ornamentation, ongoing restoration &c., check out the Strawberry Hill Youtube Channel.) Objects can be viewed according to maker, type, or room; there's also a virtual tour, based on contemporary paintings and sketches. For more about Walpole, plus links to e-texts of his fiction (most famously, the pioneering Gothic novel The Castle of Otranto), visit The Literary Gothic.
Perfected by the old masters, this age old tradition has been imitated, innovated and passed on to the next generation. The question remains, what made them hate those guitars so much? (MLYT)
Emil Johansson is attempting to build a Family Tree that holds all of the characters in Middle Earth. As of today, there are 646 entries.
There's been a lot of great photography of Yosemite National Park. National Geographic has done some excellent work and there's plenty of photos that provide a great historical view of the area. More recently there was a fantastic zoomable 17 gigapixel project (previously). But this HD time-lapse day & night video of several locations around Yosemite Park provides perhaps the most amazing view of the area yet. More info on the making of the video at Project Yosemite.
Mapping out whiskey. Start here, swimming in Drunkards Channel: Map On Temperance, 1846. [more inside]
In honor of Squirrel Appreciation Day 2012, I present the Albino Squirrel Preservation Society. Start a chapter in your area! (Previously on MeFi)
Evgeny Grinko is a Russian musician who recently posted two gorgeous, minimal instrumentals to YouTube. He also has a free EP called Winter Sunshine. [more inside]
A Florida roofing crew is surprised when they disrupt a bat home. For maximum fun, there's also a longer version. (via Nothing to do with Arbroath)
Nearly three decades after Israel began airlifting Ethiopia's ancient Jewish community out of the Horn of Africa, Israel's rabbis are now working to phase out the community's white-turbaned clergy, the kessoch, whose unusual religious practices are at odds with the rabbinate's Orthodox Judaism. [more inside]
Speaking of Dub (the real kind), just over one year ago the music world lost one of its pioneers in the realm of dub and roots. Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson produced some of the most hard driving reggae ever released. RIP. [more inside]
“You need a thousand rubber gaskets? That’s the factory next door. You need a million screws? That factory is a block away. You need that screw made a little bit different? It will take three hours.” Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher of the NY Times give an in-depth report on Apple's migration of electronics manufacturing to Asia and its impact on middle class Americans.
Animatronic baby mechanism for anonymous job (SL Nightmare Fuel)
...Failed Simulations & the Surprising Psychology of Impressiveness: "Accomplishments that are hard to explain can be much more impressive than accomplishments that are simply hard to do", posits Cal Newport of Study Hacks ("Decoding Patterns of Success" - at work, at school). (via AskMeFi) Also from the blog: The Passion Trap ("How the Search for Your Life’s Work is Making Your Working Life Miserable") and Beyond Passion ("The Science of Loving What You Do"). [more inside]
Lifecycle - A bike in New York is locked to a pole and photographed everyday as it slowly disappears. [via]
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The Secret Document That Transformed China. Planet Money story about Xiaogang village in China that was hungry and desperate in 1978, and how the risk the farmers took ended up influencing the transformation of China.
A much anticipated birth is expected by many Chinese families after the New Moon on Monday, 23rd January ushers in the auspicious Year of the Dragon. The only mythological beast in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon as a symbol in China dates back to 3000 BC and stands for happiness, immortality, procreation, fertility and activity. This year's babies will be Black Water Dragons, considered to be calmer, more flexible and even more charismatic than other elements. In previous dragon years, countries such as China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore have all experienced baby booms, and preparations are in place for this year's influx of baby dragons.
Is a tent clothing? Is someone wearing a tent illegally squatting? Is the person recording it all very annoying? (SLYT) There are so many things to think about here. The guy in the background makes it hard to concentrate on those things, but they're there.