January 23, 2010
Sky burials are often practiced in the mountains of Tibet, both for religious and practical reasons. Basically, the corpse is placed on a mountain top and sliced open in various places, to attract the birds of prey circling above. They’d probably feast on it anyway, but an invitation like that doesn’t hurt.
As is well known by now, the opening spectacle of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing featured a young girl's performance of Ode to the Motherland which was later revealed to be a lip-synch. The talented original singer Yang Peiyi was considered not "cute" enough. As is perhaps not so well known, however, the resultant flap resulted in the creation of a strict anti-lip-synch law in China, and now two Chinese pop stars face a $12,000 lip-synching fine. Some Chinese rockers have eagerly supported the creation of the ban on lip-synch, and, interestingly, the practice of lip-synching in Chinese musical entertainment had been under discussion in Chinese government circles since at least 2005.
Dan Abnett, writer for 2000ad, DC Comics and some of the more well regarded Warhammer 40k novels, has been guest blogging this week at the Borders Sci-Fi blog Babel Clash. Topics have include working with other peoples characters and writing within the Warhammer 40k universe. Fellow Black Library writer Graham McNeill is now taking up the reigns.
Pioneers of Love - a three part documentary about relations between the Ngadjonji people of Far North Queensland, Australia & early white settlers. More about the Ngadjonji people can be found here, including early photos, language, traditional stories, ancient history & more. [previously]
SS-N-22 Sunburn is the NATO designation for a Russian-made anti-ship missile that the US Navy (it seems) currently has no defense against. [more inside]
New time lapse video [04:48] of the salvage of U.S. Airways Flight 1549 (aka 'Miracle on the Hudson'). The A320 is up for sale. It was put "on the online auction block by the insurance company Chartis...The sale attracted widespread attention within hours on Friday, and Chartis was apparently so inundated by curiosity or online bids that it removed the information from its Web site. Chartis identified the plane only by its registration number and its family name, A320, and yet it was instantly recognizable." [more inside]
"I put every dollar I have into this. I’ve spent over $1 million, almost $2 million, on this album [...] I think within the first week we will definitely make our money back. The songs will make an impact in pop history." Reality television star Heidi Montag released her debut album, entitled Superficial, this month, to record-breaking lows: The LP sold just 658 copies in the first week of its release. [more inside]
Maybe D&D has disappointed you. Too complicated*, too slow, too restrictive? Spirit of the Century (free version, blurbs/store) is a Fate game designed for fast-paced, pulpy adventures. And we should thank Fudge, too. [more inside]
10 executions that defined the 2000s. Ten executions that most palpably captured the decade’s Zeitgeist. Some clips may be NSFW.
How to make vaginas love a penis (SLYT). Apparently.
The show is loaded with intramural cracks, tedium, desperate looking guests reaching for laughs, mechanical dolls that wave their arms and drop their pants, additional tedium, and the apparent illusion that several million people want to watch 120 minutes of the scriptless life of a semi-educated, egocentric boor. The rise and fall of a late night TV talk show host. [more inside]