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February 5, 2009
1966 GE College Bowl: Agnes Scott vs. Princeton
In 1966, NBC broadcast a GE College Bowl match between a team from Princeton University (all male, of course—Princeton wouldn't go co-ed until three years later) and a team from Agnes Scott College, a small women's college in Decatur, Georgia. In one of the most exciting upsets in the history of the program, after trailing early, Agnes Scott came from behind to win, pushed over the edge by Karen Gearreald's final answer, with only one second left on the clock. "That young lady, by the way, was the only person in the theater who could not see the clock," the program's host, Robert Earle, later wrote. "She is blind." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 8:47 PM PST - 57 comments

POTUS profanity
Shit's gettin' way too complicated for me 1. Barack Obama puts some salty language (in quotations attributed to others) in his memoir Dreams of My Father. 2. Obama reads the audiobook himself. 3. Obama gets elected President. 4. Blogger posts remix-ready clips of POTUS profanity online. I can't wait to see what teh intertubes make of this.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 7:21 PM PST - 80 comments

om nom nom nom
Hamburger Bed!
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:37 PM PST - 60 comments

Learning to be Gay the Sesame Street Way
The Gay Alphabet. "This is an art project that explores what a recruitment campaign might look like..." [more inside]
posted by terranova at 2:12 PM PST - 52 comments

Next step: Cracked list countdowns on VH1?
CollegeHumor, which peddles fraternity pranks and workplace stunts to an online audience of millions, is making the move to television this Sunday. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:09 PM PST - 47 comments

"And maybe they’re hoping we’ll buy their bezzle."
The savings and loan’s decision not to settle the lawsuit made no economic sense for a solvent institution, but it made perfect sense if their principle objective was to maintain the false appearance of solvency for as long as possible. The savings and loan was undoubtedly inflating all of their assets, including my homely little lawsuit, to postpone the inevitable.
What reminded me of that incident from my late, unlamented law practice was the persistent failure of financial institutions to modify mortgages voluntarily. It makes perfect economic sense for a safe and sound institution to avoid the ruinous costs of foreclosure by agreeing to reduce the principal and monthly payment for homeowners who can pay a mortgage, but not the one they’ve got. But according to the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, fewer than ten percent of mortgage modifications in November reduced the principal. About half added late payments and penalties to the principal, and either increased monthly payments or added payments at the back end of the mortgage. If a borrower was in default already, what’s the chance the borrower can make a higher monthly payment?
Brad Miller, US Congressman for the Thirteenth District of North Carolina advances a possible motivation for the apparently illogical behavior of US banks.
posted by orthogonality at 11:25 AM PST - 75 comments

For all your infrastructure news needs
Infrastructurist. Although the blog is only a few days old, they've already debunked some of the myths of 24, interviewed Michael Dukakis, and grappled with Amtrak economics.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:34 AM PST - 28 comments

"The writer is the president of the United States."
In 2007, Dubya wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal. Obama has followed suit with an op-ed article in the Washington Post. Both sites mention that The writer "is the president of the United States." Have we entered a new era of the bully pulpit?
posted by JVA at 9:45 AM PST - 48 comments

Dr. Death has left the building.
Dr. Aribert Heim known to his friends as Dr. Death was the "Most Wanted" Nazi War Criminal whose whereabouts were unknown. He has been found, having lived in Cairo, and died there in 1992 after converting to Islam. Previously, he had been thought to be living in Chile. The long hunt for Heim and previous misinformation had led to some doubts from experts that the case is indeed, finally, closed.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:42 AM PST - 28 comments

Who Knew - The Armpit of America Smells Delicious.
Manhattan maple syrup smell mystery solved, finally.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:33 AM PST - 87 comments

Field Trippin'
A high school teacher's account of an LSD trip he didn't mean to take.
posted by gman at 8:46 AM PST - 201 comments

Dinner with a Stranger
If you got an email from a stranger who said they'd donate $200 to a charity of your choice if you would invite him and a friend over to your place for dinner, would you say yes? Toronto artist Franke James did, and now she now thinks it might be an interesting idea for fundraising.
posted by Staggering Jack at 8:37 AM PST - 35 comments

Abandon cynicism all ye who enter here
2 very moving stories about high school kids with heart.
posted by theora55 at 8:28 AM PST - 12 comments

All reet!
Thelonius Monk's advice to Steve Lacy (as transcribed by Lacy)
posted by ericbop at 8:20 AM PST - 24 comments

Diplo plays well with others
Diplo (Wesly Pentz) has a short interview/bio on The Guardian, including a guide to his best collaborations, spanning from Never Scared as Hollertronix (Diplo + Low Budget), to M.I.A.'s mixtape "Piracy Funds Terrorism" (it's true!), up to his forthcoming work with Switch as Major Lazer. But Diplo doesn't just spend his time with recording artists. He's sharing his style-mixing skills with kids in Australia, while a friend of his does the same in India.... [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:00 AM PST - 16 comments

False Etymologies
A false etymology is "an assumed or postulated etymology that current consensus among scholars of historical linguistics holds to be incorrect." The internet has provided a platform for the rapid spread of some false etymologies - Snopes has posts debunking Picnic / Handicap / Buck / Crowbar. On the other hand, a folk etymology can mean "the process by which a word or phrase, usually one of seemingly opaque formation, is arbitrarily reshaped so as to yield a form which is considered to be more transparent." Other interesting anomalies of etymology: backronyms and eggcorns.
posted by billysumday at 7:56 AM PST - 27 comments

Where feather colors come from.
"Unlike virtually every other feather color, no pigment turns feathers blue. We've known that for decades. Instead, it's long been thought that a layer of cells on blue birds' feathers reflected light at blue wavelengths, similar to the phenomenon that makes the sky blue." Now, however, scientists have another explanation. [more inside]
posted by metastability at 7:52 AM PST - 13 comments

What me, worry?
AP alleges copyright infringement of Obama image. Related. Also, see previously [1] [2] [3].
posted by humannaire at 7:51 AM PST - 75 comments

Pixel Inspiration
RGB Garden is a purely design based web design gallery and web designers community featuring beautiful CSS and Flash based websites. They also feature design related articles and downloads. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:27 AM PST - 1 comments

the small science collective
The Small Science Collective creates mini-zines about SCIENCE. Each zine downloads as a PDF. Learn about DNA computing, rediscover cephalopods, or host a bot fly. More information is available on the collective's accompanying blog. (via)
posted by Korou at 7:22 AM PST - 6 comments

Streets of fire, desire etc......
Amazing Archaeological Discovery! Hair-metal fans said to be stunned.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:07 AM PST - 44 comments

Peter Gowan, Crisis in the Heartland
"A striking feature of the New Wall Street System business model was its relentless drive to expand balance sheets, maximizing the asset and liabilities sides. The investment banks used their leverage ratio as the target to be achieved at all times rather than as an outer limit of risk to be reduced where possible by holding surplus capital ... One explanation is that they were doing this in line with the wishes of their shareholders (once they had turned themselves into limited liability companies) ... But there is also another possible explanation for borrowing to the leverage limit: the struggle for market share and for maximum pricing power in trading activities," Against mainstream accounts, Peter Gowan argues that the origins of the global financial crisis lie in the dynamics of the New Wall Street System that has emerged since the 1980s. Contours of the Atlantic model, and implications—geopolitical, ideological, economic—of its blow-out.
posted by geoff. at 5:28 AM PST - 21 comments

Gimme Me Some More Money
Spinal Tap reforms to record a new album. Entire planet quivers in anticipation.
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:45 AM PST - 42 comments

Wait. Wait some more. Turn around. Wait.
As Orwell said, "another English characteristic which is so much a part of us that we barely notice it,... is the addiction to hobbies and spare-time occupations". Of those, trainspotting must be the most misunderstood. But now you can try it yourself with the online trainspotting simulator and join in the fun!
posted by lucia__is__dada at 3:17 AM PST - 29 comments