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February 5, 2010
Two May Enter...
If you happen to be the sort of person who doesn't watch Fox News Channel—as if!—you may have missed Jon Stewart's appearance on The O'Reilly Factor. [more inside]
posted by Sys Rq at 10:33 PM PST - 132 comments

I believe in miracles! Where you from, you hexy thang?
A hexapod robot is a mechanical vehicle that walks on six legs. Since a robot can be statically stable on three or more legs, a hexapod robot has a great deal of flexibility in how it can move. And how it can move!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:28 PM PST - 38 comments

Vladimir Nabokov's Ada or Ardor: A Family Chronicle
The New York Times called it "a great work of art" (NYT login required). Martin Amis called it "a waterlogged corpse at the stage of maximal bloat". You can judge for yourself by reading an annotated, hyperlinked edition. This timeline and this geography might help. (For extra credit, here are texts mentioned in the story.)
posted by Joe Beese at 5:43 PM PST - 29 comments

$40bn and you get the Senate back unharmed
[A] seminal moment in the evolution of Republican obstructionism. [A] seminal moment in the history of Congress.
Senate Held Hostage. America Held Hostage.
Richard Shelby Shuts the Government Down. [more inside]
posted by jckll at 3:19 PM PST - 298 comments

Tweeting in a most peculiar way / And the stars look very different today
Since late January of 2010, the International Space Station was able to access the Internet for personal use, leading to the first tweet from space. The previous tweets were e-mailed to the ground where support personnel posted them to the astronaut's Twitter account. Currently there are 17 active NASA astronauts and 6 internatual'nauts tweeting from on high. If their words aren't enough, they're also posting pictures, primarily from Soichi Noguchi (@Astro_Soichi) and José Hernández (@Astro_Jose, whose socio-political messages were covered previously). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:44 PM PST - 28 comments

The Trauma Myth by Susan Clancy
What do you mean by the "trauma myth"?
The title refers to the fact that although sexual abuse is usually portrayed by professionals and the media as a traumatic experience for the victims when it happens — meaning frightening, overwhelming, painful — it rarely is. Most victims do not understand they are being victimized, because they are too young to understand sex, the perpetrators are almost always people they know and trust, and violence or penetration rarely occurs. "Confusion" is the most frequently reported word when victims are asked to describe what the experience was like. Confusion is a far cry from trauma.

NYTimes: "Abusing Not Only Children, but Also Science"
posted by andoatnp at 1:56 PM PST - 145 comments

Untrustworthy polls
2010 Top Ten "Dubious Polling" Awards from StinkyJournalism.org of the Art Science Research Laboratory's Media Ethics Project. Highlighting "the most risible and outrageous pronouncements by polling organizations". Fuzzy Math Award goes to Fox News Network, and the Fox in Sheep's Clothing Award to Scott Rasmussen ("Fox News’ favorite pollster"). Stonewalling/Coverup Award winners are Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Gilbert Burnham, over the Lancet 2006 survey of Iraqi deaths.
posted by internationalfeel at 11:41 AM PST - 33 comments

Roughly 1 in 4 Americans is employed to keep fellow citizens in line and protect private wealth
“Being willing to sit in a boring classroom for 12 years, and then sign up for four more years and then sign up for three or more years after that—well, that’s a pretty good measure of your willingness to essentially do what you’re told,” - The Santa Fe Reporter talks to Economist Samuel Bowles about New Mexico's income gap, welfare, social mobility, and a radical way to help. (Via)
posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM PST - 49 comments

MP-E 65mm On a 5D Mark II
Macro Kingdom — things that can be done with today's DSLRs and editing software by even you and me.
posted by netbros at 11:30 AM PST - 27 comments

The story of the girls behind the boys at Disney.
Coloring the Kingdom: the story of the all-female “finishing school” of hand-drawn animation that worked behind the scenes to create the first animated full-length Disney feature, Snow White. (via.)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 11:08 AM PST - 8 comments

It's all fun and games until someone gets voted out an airlock
On February 1, a new 24-hour internet-only reality show was launched by the same folks who brought us Apollo 13. Live Feed. Main site. Catch the action (from a distance). How the "set" was built. Cast interview (video). Official press release.
posted by zarq at 10:58 AM PST - 15 comments

Question Time
Demand Question Time is a cross-partisan attempt in the US to make sessions like the remarkable give and take between President Obama and House Republicans of January 29th, which DQT calls "riveting and educational... substantive, civil and candid" a regular feature of American political discourse, like its parliamentary counterpart. As the petition's profile grows, signer David Corn explains "Why Question Time Is Right for Obama, House GOPers and Washington," and Peggy Noonan counters that "Question Time Isn't the Answer."
posted by ocherdraco at 10:36 AM PST - 50 comments

Will you give me five?
While Pablo Picasso’s Tête de femme (Jacqueline) is clearly no L’Homme qui marche I, Tête de femme was recently sold to an anonymous telephone bidder for £8,105,250. Let's go to the videotape (5:53). And oh, for staying on top of things while jet-setting, there is indeed an app for that.
posted by R. Mutt at 10:33 AM PST - 8 comments

They've Got Trouble Of Some Kind, George
Amateur video footage of the Challenger explosion previously unknown, has now been found and, of course, posted to YouTube. A retired man named Jack Moss was taping the launch from his front yard when the explosion occurred moments into the launch. The tape was relegated to his basement and forgotten, and Moss died late last year. His pastor remembered a conversation about the video and found it among other old Betamax videotapes from the same period. It is believed to be the only amateur footage of the event.
posted by briank at 10:25 AM PST - 123 comments

Anders Loved Maria and Still Does
Anders Loves Maria, the funny, dramatic, romantic and quite NSFW webcomic, with its distinctive visuals, often frustrating characters and very Swedish attitude, has concluded after 3 years and 3 months (ending with a difficult delivery in more ways than one; the last 3 months were an excruciating wait for the last two extended chapters). A tale of semi-fidelity, baby birds, hitting the wrong hole and grown-up responsibility forced upon those who never grew up, A♥M was a favorite among other webcomic creators from day one, and, hey, they ought to know! If you never got into AndersMania, you can start at the beginning of the 250+ updates here.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:09 AM PST - 30 comments

My Life With Death.
My Life With Death : is the personal blog of a funeral home "first responder." It occurred to me this morning as I sat before my employer being lectured about my "availability" on my days off, that my life is singularly joyless. I have effectively traded in my own life for other people's deaths.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:09 AM PST - 32 comments

The last speaker of the Bo language has died
"The last speaker of an ancient language in India's Andaman Islands has died at the age of about 85." Boa Sr was the last person to speak the Bo language (or Aka-Bo), a part of the Great Andamanese language family, which is nearly extinct. For more on Andamanese languages here is Niclas Burenhult's paper Deep Linguistic Prehistory, with particular reference to Andamanese and Anvita Abbi's phenomenal Vanishing Voices of the Great Andamanese. Both Vanishing Voices and the BBC report have recordings of the Bo language.
posted by Kattullus at 9:41 AM PST - 17 comments

A Powerful 'First Dude'
Nearly 3,000 pages of e-mails that Todd Palin exchanged with Alaskan officials, which were released to msnbc.com and NBC News by the state under its public records law, draw a picture of a Palin administration where the governor's husband was intimately involved in governmental affairs. The 'Shadow Governor' (as some called him in Juneau) "got involved [among other state business] in a judicial appointment, monitored contract negotiations with public employee unions, received background checks on a corporate CEO, added his approval or disapproval to state board appointments and passed financial information marked 'confidential' from his oil company employer to a state attorney." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 8:12 AM PST - 148 comments

The Dark Crystal
In the 1980s, the creative team of Jim Henson and Brian Froud, together with Frank Oz and George Lucas, collaborated on two ambitious film projects: The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. While Labyrinth (incredibly exhaustive fan site here) was more lively and featured actors as well as puppets, The Dark Crystal embodied a darker vision and featured only puppets. Rumors have circulated in the last few years that a sequel to The Dark Crystal, entitled The Power of the Dark Crytal, is in production. While the status of the film is still up in the air, there is a blog for the project that contains a video of new concept art. [more inside]
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:04 AM PST - 79 comments

Blogging for dollars (and goodies, and freebies, and demo units, and...)
Much has been made of the ethics of bloggers who receive compensation -- usually in the form of demo units and trial versions of products -- in exchange for reviewing those products, often with the implicit understanding that the review is a positive one. These questions prompted an FTC investigation, and last fall the agency revised their formal guidelines governing endorsements and testimonials to include bloggers or other "word-of-mouth" marketers. The Interactive Agency Bureau maintains that the guidelines are unconstitutional, and is calling for the FTC to rescind the rules as they apply to bloggers and other online outlets. The latest casualty? An intern at TechCrunch asked for a MacBook Air in exchange for a post. In the wake of this revelation, TechCrunch fired the intern and issued a formal apology. To his credit, the intern has posted his own mea culpa.
posted by shiu mai baby at 8:02 AM PST - 69 comments

"I am looking for places that are good for hiding, where you feel secure and safe, where you can disappear or return home. Where you can be invisible."
The strange and wonderful paintings of Moki [more inside]
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:58 AM PST - 11 comments

Local Knowledge
In 2000, the Library of Congress celebrated its 200th birthday by inviting representatives and members of the public from each of the 50 American states to nominate folk traditions, local customs, and special places to a "century's-end time capsule" called the Local Legacies Project. A nice little introductory catalog to points of local pride, like Fountain Green, Utah's Lamb Day, Oakland, CA's Black Cowboy Parade, Kentucky's Bourbon tradition, and Binghamton, NY's Spiedie Fest, and plenty more. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 6:54 AM PST - 7 comments

Circle and Sans Serif Line
London Underground vs Toronto Transit typefaces
posted by mippy at 6:36 AM PST - 18 comments