January 29, 2008
10 Universities Offering Free Writing Courses Online.
Toronto trustees have voted in favor of an 'Afrocentric' school. City staff endorsed the plan, while other groups in the city have not been so supportive.
Audio gold: David Lee Roth's vocal track from Runnin' With the Devil, without benefit of, you know, music.
According to the latest biweekly numbers released last Thursday by the Federal Reserve, for the two weeks that ended January 16th American banks had negative $1.3 billion in non-borrowed reserves. This is, historically, extremely unusual; just two months ago they had $30 billion (positive, of course) in non-borrowed reserves. The only reason some banks haven't been shut due to insufficient -- negative! -- reserve requirements is that the Federal Reserve is currently loaning them enough money through the brand new TAF (Term Auction Facility) program (also running in Canada and Europe) to make up their shortfalls. Today's TAF press release says that 52 American banks or institutions are currently receiving loans totaling ~$40 billion -- but the Fed refuses to name who they are. [more inside]
Wonderland is a series by Yeon Doo Jung which takes drawings done by children, and re-photographs them in the real world. The results of this interpretation are, um, hilarious. Use the green arrows for navigating from photo to photo. [more inside]
American audiences remember Akira Kurosawa as the genius of the samurai epic, a past master who used the form both to revise and revive Western classics - Shakespeare with Ran and Throne of Blood, Dostoevsky with Red Beard and The Idiot, Gorky with The Lower Depths - and to give splendid and ultimately immortal life to new archetypes, as in The Seven Samurai, Rashomon, Yojimbo. But Kurosawa also made films of his own time. His masterpiece, in fact, was the quiet story of a gray Japanese bureaucrat dying in post-war Tokyo, and of his attempt to do something of lasting good before he leaves. The film is Ikiru ("To Live"; 1952). [more inside]
Harbin Ice and Snow World 2007 "Welcome to... Beijing after an ice storm? No, this is “The Eighth Annual Harbin Ice and Snow World”, China’s premiere winter event." Previously on MeFi.
Tony Judt's acceptance speech for the 2007 Hannah Arendt Prize: "Let me suggest five difficulties that arise from our contemporary preoccupation with the Shoah, with what every schoolchild now calls 'the Holocaust.'"
Sculptor John Kearney of Chicago and Provincetown and his wife Lynn have been running Chicago's Contemporary Art Workshop in a former dairy for almost 60 years. Unlike their better-known contemporary the Hyde Park Art Center, (founded nearly the same year) the pair never let the gallery move beyond its original mission, to discover and support young artists, especially those with little or no exhibition background. The Workshop had early solo exhibitions for both artists who went on to fame, and those whose careers fizzled (full disclosure-that would be me) and has exhibited thousands in its 6 decades. Kearney, who worked with found objects from early in his career, is the best-known sculptor you never heard of, with his creative and amusing bumper sculptures all over Chicago. [more inside]
A recent poll (PDF) asked for reactions to the same model dressed in two different ways: in a plain shirt with her hair down, and in a blue head scarf of the style of some Islamic women. Perhaps understandably, the survey respondents felt the scarfed image was more traditional and more religious. But some of the other perceptions are less obviously predictable. (via crooked timber)
Did you hear about the BMW M5 crash that occurred in Ocala, Florida over the weekend? (video - with a car advertisement opening, ironically). The five teenagers in the car flew 200 feet off an airport runway, then hit a tree, splitting the car in half. What you may not have heard of was that the driver, Josh Ammirato, was an active member of m5board.com, an online BMW M5 forum community. AmericanM5, he was known by, had posted only a day before the crash, asking about rough shifts when exceeding 140MPH. The thread about his crash. Edmunds Inside Line has full details of story, including map of the accident.
The Fail Blog. New and Classic Fail pictures.
Is foreclosure right for you? Walking, a click away.
Yet another buzzword for the dustbin. Tipping Point. Exploitable phenomenon or total load of crap. [more inside]
The World at Night is a collection of astrophotography from around the world.
Some people hate cilantro. Some people hate shrimp. But Lee really, really hates Discovery Channel. (via)
A proposal for the monetization of the file sharing of music from the Songwriters and Recording Artists of Canada. "Most Canadians are aware that the Internet and mobile phone networks have become major sources of music. What they may not know is that songwriters and performers typically receive no compensation of any kind when their music is shared or illegally downloaded... We believe the time has come to put in place a reasonable and unobtrusive system of compensation for creators of music in regard to this popular and growing use of their work."
Popcards.fr is a collection of kitschy French postcards from the 50's, 60's and 70's. Kitschy barely does justice to this collection. Categories abound, including pets, humor (and I use the term loosely), lovers, cuisine and perhaps the two most interesting sections, guys and gals. [via I like via sit down man, you're a bloody tragedy]
The Crate Digger Death-Match. A couple of weeks ago, Drown Radio challenged 12 musicians to create a complete album in 12 hours while utilizing only $12 worth of materials purchased at thrift stores. Here are the results of round one, complete with MP3s.
What do you call capturing sound the way the human head hears it, that is, three-dimensionally? Nope, not stereo. Binaural recording. Holophonics. Dummy head (no, not you) recording. [more inside]
John Maynard Keynes kept two sex diaries. The second one is a bit mysterious. (via marginal revolution)
Would you vote for an articulate horizontal-thinking Canadian? Race and religion in America defined through obfuscation.
Virtual Morphologies - the dark surreal stylings of J. Karl Bogartte. "In 1973 I accidentally discovered that by moving things around on the ordinary copy machine (and in effect, subverting its intended purpose…), strange conjunctions revealed themselves. At the beginning of 2000, I just as suddenly abandoned this process and leaped into the 21st century, exploring the computer and the realms of digital surrealité."
Skip The Tuition: 100 Free Podcasts from the Best Colleges in the World
There are lots of people who post weight loss videos on Youtube. But none of them faced as many challenges as Jeremy did. Morbidly obese, and bedridden, we watched while he struggled to walk again and defeat obesity. Despite those that were rude to him, nobody seemed to have as much spirit and drive as Jeremy did. Even Jeremy's last video was filled with optimism. But even though so many of us struggle against obesity, some of us lose the fight. Even though Jeremy has passed, Roberta's videos dealing with his loss remind us how fortunate we really are.