February 8, 2010
Cubism for wartime
The Rhode Island School of Design has a set of beautiful designs for dazzle ship camouflage. Dazzle Camouflage was a way to confuse submarine operators as to the heading and speed of warships, so that they could not effectively fire torpedoes to sink them. Certainly a lot more colorful than today's camo! (previously)
posted by that girl at 10:28 PM PST - 35 comments

Hoppiness
Compare and Contrast: Dougal Wilson's video for Goldfrapp's "Happiness" vs. Norman McLaren's "Neighbours." (previously) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 10:01 PM PST - 27 comments

Colonel John Patrick "Jack" Murtha, Jr. (D) June 17, 1932 – February 8, 2010
Earlier today, the first Viet Nam veteran ever elected to congress, died. John Murtha (as of this past Saturday, Pennsylvania’s longest serving congressman) was the 19 term representative of Pennsylvania’s 12th district, most notably the home of Johnstown, and which for most of his service included Shanksville. He was a hawkish, conservative Democrat, infamous for his involvement in the Abscam controversy, and most recently the FBI’s inquiry into the lobbying firm PMA. He could be said to have been very representative, and certainly very supportive of his blue collar district—Pro-gun, anti-abortion, and at first a supporter of the invasion of Iraq, but eventually one of its greatest critics. But that criticism came at a price. John Murtha was 77. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan at 8:20 PM PST - 41 comments

Health Care: Who Knows 'Best'?
Health Care: Who Knows 'Best'? "...comparative research on effectiveness is only part of the strategy to improve care. A second science has captured the imagination of policymakers in the White House: behavioral economics. This field attempts to explain pitfalls in reasoning and judgment that cause people to make apparently wrong decisions; its adherents believe in policies that protect against unsound clinical choices. But there is a schism between presidential advisers in their thinking over whether legislation should be coercive, aggressively pushing doctors and patients to do what the government defines as best, or whether it should be respectful of their own autonomy in making decisions. The President and Congress appear to be of two minds. How this difference is resolved will profoundly shape the culture of health care in America." Interesting NY Review of Books article by Jerome Groopman.
posted by cog_nate at 7:08 PM PST - 29 comments

Superfabulous Dingulators
Charlie Nothing made guitars--
Dingulators--from American cars.
He'd play them and sing a song about wars or higher powers,
or how to keep from spending time behind bars.
His something-side wrote, and helped bees with the flowers.
Good-bye, Charlie Nothing, wherever you are.
posted by not_on_display at 5:49 PM PST - 5 comments

Timothy McSweeney RIP 2010
He was an enigma, a man looking for a home, producing writing that was cryptic and full of longing.... the McSweeneys insisted that the use of the name was acceptable, even appropriate, given Timothy's background as an artist and search for connection and meaning through the written word.
The real Timothy McSweeney, after whom Dave Eggers' website was named, has died. (hattip: Kottke)
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:29 PM PST - 12 comments

Pink
The singer Pink's recent performance at the Grammy's evoked this reaction from comedian Joe Rogan: Her performance was like Jimi Hendrix doing the star spangled banner while Michael Jackson moon walked and Susan Boyle sang back up. The song, "Glitter in the Air," is from Pink's 2008 album "Funhouse." Much of that album was Pink's reflections on the breakup of her marriage to motocross star Carey Hart. But the story between Pink and Hart doesn't end there... [more inside]
posted by bguest at 4:48 PM PST - 157 comments

What Would You Change About the NYC Taxi Cab?
"What Would You Change About the NYC Taxi Cab?" is one response to The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission's call for a new taxi cab design. [more inside]
posted by R. Mutt at 4:10 PM PST - 52 comments

The Battle of Brisbane
The United States and Australia have long shared a peaceful alliance, but it was not always so. In 1942, U.S servicemen and Australian soldiers fought openly and violently in what is known today as The Battle of Brisbane. [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:56 PM PST - 51 comments

Scalp the Zazous
"Imagine, amid the grey serge of wartime France, a tribe of youngsters with all the colourful decadence of punks or teddy boys. Wearing zoot suits cut off at the knee (the better to show off their brightly coloured socks), with hair sculpted into grand quiffs, and shoes with triple-height soles - looking like glam-rock footwear 30 years early - these were the kids who would lay the foundations of nightclubbing. Ladies and gentlemen, les Zazous." [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 3:50 PM PST - 15 comments

Found Functions
Found Functions. An elegant demonstration of beauty in mathematics (and landscape). Nikki Graziano is a math and photography student at Rochester Institute of Technology; some of her photographs were recently featured in Wired. Graziano "overlays graphs and their corresponding equations onto her carefully composed photos. ... Graziano doesn’t go out looking for a specific function but lets one find her instead. Once she’s got an image she likes, Graziano whips up the numbers and tweaks the function until the graph it describes aligns perfectly with the photograph."
posted by jokeefe at 3:49 PM PST - 32 comments

New at Amazon.
This Is a Test Product and Nothing Will Be Sent to You. Also available new and used but with the dust-cover missing from Mythic Pictograms who presumably think that it's a "no prize" [via].
posted by feelinglistless at 3:47 PM PST - 15 comments

Terrible things everyone saw
The strangely sexist ads of Super Bowl XLIV, beginning with the woman hating Dodge Charger ad that broke my mind. (via The A.V. Club's Super Bowl Ads roundup) [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:39 PM PST - 274 comments

No News
"...one of the most famous of all vaudeville tramps at the beginning of the 20th century was Nat Wills. He appeared on stage with a toothless grin, scruffy face, rough clothes, and oversized shoes, but he spoke like a gentleman and delighted audiences with his topical humor and observations on modern life. Released in 1909, his monologue, 'No News, or What Killed the Dog' took off like a wildfire and became one of the early recording industry's all-time biggest smash hits." // Collected Works of Nat M. Wills.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:38 PM PST - 10 comments

Screen Tests. Good, now 3/4 to the right. Full profile. Thank you.
The screen test offers a disorienting angle on 'behind the scenes' footage—straight through the camera. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 2:03 PM PST - 21 comments

What's the worst that can happen?
'As part of its budget for the next year [pdf], DARPA is investing $6 million into a project called BioDesign, with the goal of eliminating "the randomness of natural evolutionary advancement."' Via Futurismic [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 2:03 PM PST - 35 comments

The Voice of Darth Vader: Before James Earl Jones
Came across this video today and thought I'd share. The original track of Darth Vader's voice as performed by the British actor that played him, David Prowse. Imagine how different Star Wars would have been if they had left it like this. From the 2004 documentary Empire of Dreams: The Story of the Star Wars Trilogy.
posted by WhoseVoice at 1:18 PM PST - 56 comments

Jesus' Ham Streak hits 24 straight days. The man is a machine.
Hi, I'm Vincent "Vinny" Van Gogh...artist, mad man, dead guy. I live with James T Kirk and Jesus in the City of Industry--where we pretty much just watch TV all day. This is my blog about it.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:32 AM PST - 29 comments

By amfibus across the Clyde
Originally developed for military tasks, amphibious buses have found a niche running tourist services in various cities around the world. But now, Scotland is about to get the first timetabled amphibious bus passenger service, replacing a ferry route in Glasgow and extending it inland to a nearby town and a shopping centre. [more inside]
posted by acb at 10:26 AM PST - 49 comments

Online image blast from the past
Internet Archaeology is archiving the early graphics of the Internet. There are still graphics, animated ones, and complete websites. They also have a blog featuring select images. (via) Some images NSFW.
posted by Korou at 9:44 AM PST - 30 comments

I <3 Comfort Women and Robots' Runts!
Crescat Graffiti, Vita Excolatur. Being a Statistical Analysis of Graffiti Found at the University of Chicago Library. [more inside]
posted by GodricVT at 9:33 AM PST - 11 comments

The Desert is alive
The Qanat; a water management system from C7th BC still in use today;is one of the wonders of the world, and keeps the desert alive. This fascinating 17 min video from UNESCO is a good introduction to the subject.
Cooling provided by Qanat’s is still in use in Yazd, Iran.
Modern warfare scores a gigantic fail in the battle for hearts and minds. (wiki)
posted by adamvasco at 7:11 AM PST - 21 comments

Slackers.
Slacker is a unique film written and directed by Richard Linklater that follows the life of various characters in a Austin, Texas. Mind-numbingly boring or oddly captivating, Slacker provided an inspiration to other independent movies of the era and helped established the image of slacker as we see it today. Quoting Ebert, "We don't get a story, but we do get a feeling. " A Salon retrospective.
posted by mikepaco at 5:45 AM PST - 86 comments

This food - it glows?
Do not be alarmed! Salt substitute is radioactive, but it's ok to eat. It also helps keep the earth's core warm.
posted by bigmusic at 4:47 AM PST - 42 comments

My other car is a minimalist
Jeff Koons joins other modern artists Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Frank Stella in treating BMW cars as a canvas for art. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:52 AM PST - 34 comments

a glimpse of the joy and genius of contemporary Cuban culture
You dig this Canto para Shango? Well then, you might want to peruse more of the Cuban folkloric and popular music and dance on offer at Boogalu Productions. Check out the top video on their YouTube channel for a dizzying display of the varieties of musical expression emanating from today's Cuba.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:17 AM PST - 10 comments

I DIDN'T MEAN IT, GIDEON!
Either they are high as a kite, or tired and giddy from a long day of interviewing, but either way -- Jason Segal and Paul Rudd can barely hold it together in this promotional interview for "I Love You, Man."
posted by empath at 12:10 AM PST - 79 comments