February 3, 2009
Twitter Chatter During the Super Bowl An interactive link from the New York Times.
"In a dimly lit corner of a Paris bar a delighted young divorcée describes in a soft voice how she spent the day throwing snowballs for the first time in her life. That is not remarkable. This is: Nujood Ali is just 10 years old."
In the months leading up to the 2008 US presidential elections, quite a few pro-obama songs made the rounds of Youtube. Reggae great Cocoa Tea gives us the sorely-needed reggae perspective.
Look at This Cat! Not to be confused with look at this dog, look at this muppet (wat a donut...), robots and donuts, monkeys and robots, monkeys on stilts, twin monkeys, koala twins, or celebrities without makeup. [via mefi projects]
Hans Beck, the inventor of Playmobil has died. The guy who made a toy that so many people had so much fun with is gone.
"I don’t know for certain what big publishers are doing to make their prices so high, or what they think they’ll get out of it. I only know that I made a deliberate pricing decision to discourage Amazon and Kindle sales because I needed Amazon’s visibility but I didn’t want to lose my shirt, bra, AND panties." [some language may be NSFW] [more inside]
"Turkey is emerging as the crucial power in the Muslim world." But after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent walkout from a Davos panel discussion and his confrontational words to Israeli leader Shimon Peres, some wonder whether Turkey is forfeiting its role as a peace-broker, attempting to smoke-screen its own oppressive actions against press, intellectuals, and ex-military, and possibly hurting its chances for full EU membership.
Former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating provides some observations on the GFC, including suggestions that the USA could become a defaulter, and identifying a need for a new international settlement to replace Bretton Woods. [more inside]
Father takes a video of his 7 year old son after he had his tooth removed. SLYT
Right this minute, Stephen Fry is stuck in an elevator. Fortunately, he's twitting about it. Pix with comments: here and here.
"The biggest problem with the metal bikini, was that it wasn’t metal. ——Not that metal would’ve been an improvement over what it was actually made of, which was kind of a hard plastic. Whatever it was, it didn’t adhere to one’s skin. MY skin. My young, soon to be popular, unlucky skin. SO, when I was relaxing leisurely against Jabba the Hutt’s gigantic, albiet grotesque stomach, my hard, plastic bikini bottom……….well, it had the tendency to make my now not so private privates quite public. Especially for the actor standing behind Jabba playing Bobba Fett—–I believe his name was Jeremy—–from where Bobba/Jeremy stood, so straight and tall and severe behind his mask——to put it simply and weirdly, Jeremy could see beyond my yawning, plastic bikini bottoms all the way to Florida." - Carrie Fisher goes from writing the occasional book to daily blogging, from substance abuse to abusing punctuation
Passport RFIDs cloned wholesale by $250 eBay auction spree. "Using inexpensive off-the-shelf components, an information security expert has built a mobile platform that can clone large numbers of the unique electronic identifiers used in US passport cards and next generation drivers licenses. The $250 proof-of-concept device - which researcher Chris Paget built in his spare time - operates out of his vehicle and contains everything needed to sniff and then clone RFID, or radio frequency identification, tags. During a recent 20-minute drive in downtown San Francisco, it successfully copied the RFID tags of two passport cards without the knowledge of their owners." [Via]
Some gals like gay (male) porn [mildly NSFW]. But there's not much agreement on how or why. [more inside]
Playboy has hired Duff McKagan to write a weekly finance column. His mission? 1) To educate. 2) To bring down The Man. [via Fimoculous]
Comic book lettering has some grammatical and aesthetic traditions that are quite unique. What follows is a list that every letterer eventually commits to his/her own mental reference file.
The New Road. A photo essay by Rob Amberg on the building of I-26 through Madison County in the mountains of North Carolina. via
So, you may have heard about Christian Bale freaking out on Director of Photography Shane Hurlbut on the set of Terminator: Salvation. But have you heard the dance mix? None of this is even remotely safe for work.
Monumental projection projects video onto 3D architecture, incorporating the form and volume of the physical structure into a dynamic art presentation. Other notable examples include Pablo Valbuena's The Hague City Hall projection and AntiVJ's Nuit Blanche Bruxelles projection. [more inside]
I don't know if this is more troubling than any of the other anti-immigrant movements that have been cropping up in Europe, or whether it's just that Italy has Silvio Berlusconi (previously on MeFi), but with the fingerprinting of Roma, including their children, the destruction of Roma camps and the blase attitude towards two Roma girls found dead on an Italian beach, one wonders whether comparisons to the 1930's may become justified. Now, in an act that, while not violent, is perhaps even more indicative of the country's views on race the city of Lucca and the region of Lombardy have banned the opening of new "foreign" restaurants, as, one newspaper put it "a new Lombard Crusade against the Saracens." [more inside]
Introversy - 2 Many DJs (Soulwax) mixes the intros of 420 songs in 60 minutes. Ad-tastic direct mp3 download link.
Let's Talk About Sex. Challenging the convention that Americans are reluctant to have sexual health issues taught in school, the surveys show that most parents, along with educators and students themselves, would expand sexual education courses and curriculum. In the meantime, some churches are offering their own curriculum, based on guidelines developed by the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States.
In Chinese, Shanzhai (山寨) literally means "mountain stronghold" and connotes a place with limited accessibility -- i.e. beyond the reach of authorities. In the past couple of years, it has come to refer to the manufacture of illicit tech gadgets by unauthorized factories: show us your shan zhai ji! But shanzhai can be used more broadly to describe knockoff culture, cheeky brand subversion, grassroots industrial creativity, and a certain DIY ethos. The latter may be best exemplified in these videos of a "Shanzhai Glider" in action. Apologies if the Chinese sites are slow-loading or unreachable for Western audiences. Mouse over links for descriptions, if so inclined.
Hints to Travellers served as the Royal Geographical Societies unofficial bible, used by late 19th and early 20th century British explorers such as Shackleton, Scott, Richard Burton, Col. Perry Fawcett and other legends who carried it into the field as a practical state of the art manual of gentlemanly exploration. Indiana Jones no doubt has his own copy too. Don't leave home without it! [more inside]
I Lego NY is a nifty column about the plastic free-association possibilities in New York City. [more inside]