February 3, 2008
Everybody on the dance floor for two of the high masterpieces of disco from 1979: Lipps Inc.'s Funkytown and Anita Ward's Ring My Bell. Hey, Funkytown even has its own comprehensive website! No doubt about it, 1979 was a very BIG year for disco. Not everyone back in '79, though, was ready to shake their booty. Oh well. Doooooooooooooooooooooooo [more inside]
It's hard to believe that, back before the Internet but after the first edition of Dungeons of Dragons, there was a time when we had no easy way to pool the world's knowledge of evolutionary biology, lizard genetics, Pern, and martians to answer that most pressing question: should male RPG fans draw female humanoids descended from dragons with ginormous racks, or without?
Crumbling Paper is a collection of old comics. And I mean old, some from the early years of the 20th Century. There are strips from artists such as George Herriman, Rube Goldberg, Basil Wolverton and Gustave Verbeek. It has such strips as Katzenjammer Kids, Little Orphan Annie and Count Screwloose. Warning: Some of these comics feature racial caricatures, as was the unfortunate norm when the strips were drawn. Here is the collector, Steven Stwalley, on Race and Ethnicity in the Early Comics. [via Eddie Campbell]
Remember Super Mario Frustration? Kaizo Mario World is another of those super-hard Mario level hacks, this one of Super Mario World. Someone played through its first level 134 times, with save states, recording all his deaths, then digitally composited them into one trip through the level. The result was Many-Worlds Mario. (For those interested, here's a video of a tool-assisted perfect run of much of the game. Here's the rest. Here's some more.)
Now that Super Bowl XLII is over, all that remains is for NFL Flims to tell the tale. Documenting the greatest moments of the game since 1962, NFL Films is known for its distinctive style, its stirring music, and, until his death in 1983, the "Voice of God" narration of John Facenda.
Meet Peter Wayne. Prolific literary writer, book reviewer, architectural correspondent, church organist, chronic recidivist, drug addict, released, homeless, back in prison
Chantix may not be so hot, after all. It appears that the smoking cessation drug varenicline may have significant psychiatric side effects. I have recommended the drug in several AskMe's about smoking and so feel it is important to get the word out that it may not be as benign as originally thought.
What happens in the shadow, in the grey regions, also interests us – all that is elusive and fugitive, all that can be said in those beautiful half tones, or in whispers, in deep shade.Here are some short films by Stephen and Timothy, the Brothers Quay. [more inside]
Photo albums of German soldiers. Fully scanned photos from the personal albums of German soldiers from the Second World War and the years preceding it. [more inside]
Want your genome on a hard drive but don't have the money? 23andMe can give you almost that: a scan of your SNPs, presented online and complete with analyses derived from up-to-date medical research (and a few educated guesses). Eight months ago, blogs were rife with speculation of who 23 could be and what the connection with Google could mean. [more inside]
Ayahuasca: A Strange Brew. "Can a psychotropic jungle potion cure the existential angst of the McMansion set?" Previously.
A new look at race through three lenses: History, human variation and lived experience. Be sure to check out some of the quizzes, notably White Men Can't Jump and other assumptions about sports and race. [via SpoFi] A product of the American Anthropological Association.
The other Milgram experiment had less than shocking results. In fact, the famous six degrees of separation appear to be more folklore than science. [more inside]
The Tata Nano (pic) is a car that costs less new than the amount I've spent on gas during single car trips, recently announced to the auto market in India. The Chery QQ ^, successful , widely exported, and recognized as the Hostage Taker's Vehicle of Choice by China Car Times, is the runner-up for the world's cheapest car but is still approximately twice as expensive. Yes indeed, the price of gas is not going to come back down. So much for my coast-to-coast road trips. [more inside]