January 23, 2012

King Center Archive

The King Center archive launched a new web interface this year, featuring online access to thousands of historical documents relating to Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement.
posted by latkes at 10:16 PM PST - 9 comments

Animating Medicine

Bioanimation companies like XVIVO, Hybrid Medical (Previously), Random42, Biolucid, Argosy Medical, and BioDigital have been doing beautiful work for hire, freely available to watch. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 9:58 PM PST - 10 comments

Lo, in the twilight days of the second year of the second decade of the third millennium did a great darkness descend...

In Which I Fix My Girlfriend’s Grandparents’ WiFi and Am Hailed as a Conquering Hero.
posted by homunculus at 9:28 PM PST - 168 comments

Oxycontin - The Pill of Pain

OxyContin: Purdue Pharma's painful medicine. Among the sellers of opioids, none has been more successful -- or controversial -- than Purdue Pharma, maker of the No. 1 drug in the class: OxyContin, which generated $3.1 billion in revenue in 2010. Purdue and its marketing prowess are the biggest reasons such drugs are now widely prescribed for all sorts of pain, says Dhalla: "Purdue played a very large role in making physicians feel comfortable about opioids." And as we'll see, Purdue's past and present go a long way toward explaining how so many Americans came to be in the grip of potent painkillers.
posted by storybored at 8:53 PM PST - 63 comments

Chess Notes Archives

Chess Notes Archives
posted by Trurl at 7:54 PM PST - 16 comments

Barack Obama, Post-Partisan, Meets Washington Gridlock

Barack Obama, Post-Partisan, Meets Washington Gridlock. The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reviews major domestic policy decisions from the first two years of the Obama administration, based on internal White House memos. Some key decisions: [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 7:48 PM PST - 50 comments

A day in YouTube can be reduced to 345,600 nyans

One Hour Per Second - "In 1 minute 50 seconds of uploads to YouTube, an unlucky person falling through a bottomless pit travels 12,000 miles."
posted by Memo at 7:11 PM PST - 33 comments

Today's formulaic music.

Discover bytebeat. A new genre of algorithmic music has been developed by demoscene coder viznut, a.k.a. PwP. Sharing genes with chiptunes and facilitated by bitwise operators, bytebeats are decidedly non-traditional music created by short, programmatic formulas. Read about computationally minimal art, the aesthetic that spawned bytebeat. Try your hand at composing (some helpful examples). Read an explanation of how the formulas work. A few more pieces.
posted by I've wasted my life at 5:14 PM PST - 48 comments

Of Particular Interest to Mefites

A history of "pearl clutching." Apparently, it originated on In Living Color.
posted by mokin at 5:09 PM PST - 50 comments

My Royal Canadian Mint Coins

Taxali is not my original last name. It was changed 300 years ago to Taxali by a Maharaja in India. My ancestor invented a coin that was difficult to counterfeit and was subsequently knighted Taxali by the Maharaja.  It means, "Maker or Steward of The Mint".  How serendipitous!!  Here I am, 300 years later, honouring my ancestor's achievements and mine and my sister's family name. via [Drawn]
posted by unliteral at 4:41 PM PST - 20 comments

The Apple Factory Responds

In a move seemingly inspired by the This American Life episode Mr. Daisy and the Apple Factory (previously), Apple has released a list of its suppliers (PDF) around the world and is voluntarily allowing a third party to audit the working conditions at those factories and make the results available to the public. The third party will be the Fair Labor Association, who also monitor Nike, New Balance, and Adidas.
posted by gilrain at 4:19 PM PST - 34 comments

Five Square Centimetres

Dog Poop Insurance is a product that would potentially be available for a single-premium at the time of purchasing your new shoes.
posted by gman at 4:01 PM PST - 15 comments

United States v. Jones

In a unanimous decision [PDF], the Supreme Court has ruled on United States v. Jones and found that placement of a GPS tracker on a car by police is a violation of the fourth amendment—but is the ruling as clear-cut as it seems? [more inside]
posted by reductiondesign at 3:18 PM PST - 35 comments

Disco Inferno: The Five EPs

"We were so dumbfounded at the noise that was coming out of our instruments it took us a while to get a handle on what we were hearing, let alone thinking in terms of how any records would be structured." Music journalist Ned Raggett assembles the oral history of British experimental rock group Disco Inferno's five EPs.
posted by Houyhnhnm at 2:51 PM PST - 17 comments

Caution: Intense geekery inside

Pipe Logic "Suppose the null-byte is an electron. Then, /dev/zero provides an infinite supply of electrons and /dev/null has an infinite appetite for them..." Modeling transistors and logic gates using Unix pipes.
posted by bitmage at 1:55 PM PST - 22 comments

You got to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative...

What the Right Gets Right and What the Left Gets Right : An experiment in "transideological friendship." What liberals and conservatives think their ideological opposition does well.
posted by crunchland at 1:39 PM PST - 123 comments

Moving forward, coast to coast

On the same day that NJ governor Chris Christie announced that he has nominated an openly gay African-American Republican mayor to the state’s highest court, Washington state's legislature has announced that they have the votes to pass the same sex-marriage bill that the governor has already promised to sign. Washington will be the seventh state to have same sex marriages. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:24 PM PST - 70 comments

The SAR is not charmed

"Hong Kong people are dogs," mainland professor Kong Qingdong said (video in Mandarin with English subtitles; "dog" comments are around 1:06) in response to a widely-viewed video (Cantonese/Mandarin, no subtitles, but a English-subtitled news report is here) of mainland tourists eating on the Hong Kong subway, where eating is banned. This has incited an uproar in the former British colony, but is not the only flare-up between Hong Kong and the mainland recently. [more inside]
posted by andrewesque at 12:02 PM PST - 88 comments

Officially, they never flew together.

When they flew together, it was like holding hands in the air. Since reviews of Red Tails are focusing on its good intentions , one way to honor those intentions is to check out some real romance and some real related history. [more inside]
posted by TreeRooster at 11:52 AM PST - 24 comments

Coalition of the shilling

Focus on the User, Google! says a coalition of engineers from Facebook, Twitter and Myspace. They have created their own 'Don't be Evil' bookmarklet to rearrange Google's social search results to remove G+ bias, using Google's own APIs. Caution: Bookmarklet does not work with IE or in areas without Google's new social search features. May choke smaller ferrets.
posted by Sparx at 11:21 AM PST - 92 comments

Part of the D-Tour Collection

"Inspired by the iconic sleeve of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures album, this Waves Mickey Mouse Tee incorporates Mickey's image within the graphic of the pulse of a star. That's appropriate given few stars have made bigger waves than Mickey!"
posted by obscurator at 11:18 AM PST - 96 comments

Sea bros

Off the coast of Hawaii comes the first scientific evidence of cooperative play between a bottlenose dolphin and a humpback whale. In two separate incidents a dolphin rode on the head of a whale above the surface of the water. It is not, however, the only footage of dolphins and whales playing around and helping each other out. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 10:54 AM PST - 29 comments

Tentacular

Arthur C. Clarke Award director Tom Hunter (previously) on the importance of science fiction Awards in elevating geek culture and The Kitschies, the highly praised new genre fiction award from pornokitsch.
posted by Artw at 10:41 AM PST - 5 comments

[INSERT PRINCE REFERENCE HERE]

Irrational Games' creative director Ken Levine wants you to meet BioShock: Infinite's new difficulty: 1999 Mode.
posted by griphus at 10:35 AM PST - 85 comments

"It might have been designed to illustrate her love for the gaudy and unsettling."

A Portrait in Postcards. Twenty years after her death, Angela Carter's literary executor and friend, Susannah Clapp, remembers Carter through the cards she sent, "These cards make a paper trail, a zigzag path through the 80s. They are casually dispatched – some messages are barely more than a signature – but are often the more telling for that: they catch Angela on the wing, shooting her mouth off. She would have hated the idea of a soundbite, but she had a gift for a capsule phrase, for a story in a word. " The postcard gallery.
posted by gladly at 9:55 AM PST - 4 comments

Ghostery Research Graphs

Ghostery Research has compiled data on internet trackers from users who opted into GhostRank and allowed Ghostery to send information in.
Here are a couple of interesting graphs:
Presidential Candidates websites
Which trackers cause the most lag (load time).
They also have a new site which lists trackers and their ilk in the form of a periodic table . (They explain a little about it here).
posted by marienbad at 9:44 AM PST - 25 comments

"There are many rights for which we should fight, but the right to protection from offense is not one of them."

Hari Kunzru: Reading The Satanic Verses in Jaipur: Why the novelist read from Salman Rushdie’s banned book The Satanic Verses to protest against the cancellation of Rushdie’s visit to the Jaipur Literature Festival.
posted by Fizz at 9:10 AM PST - 8 comments

The end of direct download file sharing?

Four days after the shutdown of popular "cyber-locker" Megaupload, rival companies Filesonic and Fileserve have also disabled file sharing. The two companies also owned wupload, upload.to, and a number of other cyber-locker sites. Is this the end of direct download filesharing?
posted by reformedjerk at 9:08 AM PST - 108 comments

The Brand

David Grann of the New Yorker writes about the power of the Aryan Brotherhood inside America's federal prisons.
posted by reenum at 9:00 AM PST - 20 comments

Problem, Black Box, and Feedback

"I love stories. My chief hobby is reading. I was formally trained as a writer, not as a game designer (there wasn’t really any formal training for game design I got started, but that’s another story). I think most game stories are not very good. And I quite enjoy games with narrative threads pulling me through them. When I find a game with a good story, I frequently prefer the story to the actual game! So please keep that in mind as you read: I love story."
Narrative in a game is not a mechanic. It’s a form of a feedback, by Raph Koster
posted by codacorolla at 8:57 AM PST - 10 comments

"This was a game he never won, even when he was sober."

PodCastle is a free weekly fantasy podcast with 192 full-length episodes and 67 mini-episodes. Featured authors have included Elizabeth Bear, Hal Duncan, and MeFi's own Willow Fagan. [projects]
posted by 256 at 8:50 AM PST - 7 comments

Katniss?

Iza Privezenceva is a Russian girl who is astonishingly fast with a recurve bow.
posted by quin at 7:58 AM PST - 120 comments

City of Big Shoulders and Sans Serif

One designer's attempt to create a logo for each of Chicago's seventy-seven community areas, and a few of the more well-known neighborhoods in between. [more inside]
posted by dinty_moore at 7:41 AM PST - 33 comments

Peeling Back the Labels: Survey paints portrait of black women in America

Results of a new survey by the Washington post and Kaiser sheds some light on black women in America in a way that some others have failed to do. 2011 saw a record number of articles, books and shows dedicated to analyzing the "plight' of black women in America. Naturally, most of it devolved into popular tropes about black women being undesirable, ugly, angry, and lonely. This new survey shows that for some black women, the path to happiness doesn't necessarily have to be through companionship with a mate.
posted by RedShrek at 5:49 AM PST - 34 comments

"You might not be able to do all the things you wish to do, but at least try to do some of them."

In the course of his life, he stepped into the ring as a Golden Gloves boxer, marched alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington DC and even fell victim to southern racism. It would not be until decades later as a mechanic that a customer would ask Gordon Burt Jr to play a song on his guitar.

In addition to receiving a recording deal, Dr. G.B. Burt continues to live in Alabama, but also enjoys his dream of performing on stage - an ambition that stretched as far back as the 1950s.
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:41 AM PST - 7 comments

Forbidden Colors

"The observers of this unusual visual stimulus reported seeing the borders between the stripes gradually disappear, and the colors seem to flood into each other. Amazingly, the image seemed to override their eyes' opponency mechanism, and they said they perceived colors they'd never seen before."
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:07 AM PST - 30 comments