February 14, 2012
An upstate NY man claims he has "decoded music". Using a decoder ring. And music authorities seem to agree. *Eastman School of Music, at 1:55 in the video
Last year, the day was commemorated by a parade through the Greenpoint neighborhood in Brooklyn. This year, the affair will be more intimate, as you will get to unburden "your own loves, heartbreaks, obsessions and degradations" in a confessional booth on Freeman Street. Yes, tomorrow is the sixth(!) anniversary of Phil Collins Day in Brooklyn.
Tonight Frontline aired the documentary film "The Interrupters", the video is available on Frontline's website. On WTTW, Chicago's major PBS affiliate, a special "Chicago Tonight" followed the presentation. It featured a panel discussion with Violence Interrupters Ameena Matthews, Eddie Bocanegra, and Cobe Williams, an interview with the filmakers and an interview with former Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis and CeaseFire Director Tio Hardiman. [more inside]
"Benedict says to me, 'You are very gifted, you are very practical, you've got a role to play in the life of the Church, and it's God's will that you should resign.'"
Marika Rökk - Mir ist so langweilig - 1958 - this video has everything, I tell you. Monkeys. Volcanoes. Spaceflight. Sequins.(via World of Wonder)
French artist Jacques Carelman created the Catalogue d’Objets Introuvables, in his words, "a criticism of our consumer society, to ridicule the necessity of the inhabitants of the big and rich western cities to buy things and shortly after to get rid of them again and so continue consuming." The collection was exhibited in Bilbao, Spain in September 2011 as part of International Art with Humor Week and has traveled around the world. Bilingual interview with Carelman, Q&A in French and English. Now, Carelman's objects, starting with the famous "Coffeepot for Masochists", are for sale.
Dwarf Fortress 2012 has been released! After DF2010 [mefi], Toady One had planned to keep up a regular schedule of smaller releases. But while adding 300+ animals from a fundraising drive, the feature set spiralled beyond expectation. [more inside]
The Yukon Quest is a 1000 mile dog sled race that stretches from Fairbanks, Alaksa, to Whitehorse, Yukon. The 2012 race had the closest finish ever: the first and second place winners were separated by just 26 seconds. [more inside]
Your Brain in Love and Lust - This Valentine's Day, Scientific American traces the flow of chemicals in the brain during different phases of romance and describes surprising insights from the science of attraction.
"Technology presumes there's just one right way to do things and there never is." - Robert M. Pirsig
The Museum of RetroTechnology is a curated online collection of (mostly) obsolete inventions. The exhibitions include Gearwheels From Hell, the Dynosphere monowheel, Unusual Pedal Bicycles, Propeller-Driven Sleighs, Water Engines, Dog and Goat Engines, Acoustic Location and Sound Mirrors, Optical Telegraphs, and Combat Cutlery.
Romance fiction is widely reckoned to be a very low form of literature. Maybe the lowest, if we're not counting the writing at Groupon, or on Splenda packets. Romance fiction: probably the worst! An addictive, absurd, unintellectual literature, literature for nonreaders, literature for stupid people—literature for women!
Taking their position of status and responsibility into account, Germany's Constitutional Court has ruled that German university professors are underpaid. [more inside]
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, narrated in icons. By Wayne Dorrington (Previously). The Empire Strikes Back. Return of the Jedi.
She is gone. A Valentines story of love and loss.
Dance With Leroy (SLYT)
170 years ago, a gala ball was held in his honor on Valentine's Day. Flattered by New York City's elites, the author considered the occasion the finest moment of his life, particularly since he felt the United States was an ideal example of how Britain's class-bound society should live. But in the following weeks, when besieged by fawning groupies and actually meeting directly with the less than well-heeled folk of the New World, that his disposition turned sour. [more inside]
Today, across Canada, thousands of women March. The February 14th Annual Women’s Memorial March is held on Valentine’s Day each year to honour the memory of women from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside who have died due to the violence of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual abuse. [more inside]
"Lots of people write storytelling songs about trains and set it to acoustic music and do pretty harmonies, but First Aid Kit transcends that cliché. Their songs sound like they’ve gone away and seen too much and come back tired but still alive. Their music kind of has its own way of breathing: filled with tension for a little while until it goes over the edge and exhales while the instrumental parts just seem to grow. This part of every few songs of theirs is most thrilling in concert, when Klara plays guitar so intensely you’d think it’s her only way of communicating, while Johanna stands perfectly still and lets her voice carry out so that it seems kind of infinite, or like it’s been waiting to come out for forever, and I kind of can’t help imagining that it comes from under the ground up through her mouth, or that a little part of the sky exists in her diaphragm or something. They can sound like freaking angels, or like women demanding life’s answers and who can make Patti Smith cry." Tavi interviews First Aid Kit on Rookie [more inside]
Aereo is a new venture that is about to start streaming live, over-the-air TV signals in NYC to your computer, tablet or smart phone for $12 per month. How, you might ask, can they do this legally??? They have developed a ultra small TV antenna and they'll be deploying many thousands of them around NYC. Each subscriber then get's their own personal antenna, and they are therefore -- at least in theory -- protected by the 2008 ruling allowing Cablevision to offer DVR services from their head end. It's good they have Barry Diller behind them to cover their legal bills! Here's another article about this in today's NYT.
Yosimar Reyes, a champion slam poet has collaborated with artist Julio Salgado, who is "out and proud" as gay and undocumented, on a new set of works called "Five Tips for Queer Boys" (#1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and extra). [more inside]
Historian Michael Kazin says that we are witnessing the end of the Religious Right's influence in American politics. Peter Montgomery of Alternet says not to declare the Christian Right dead quite yet.
To expose a bookshelf is to compose a self. The Paris Review towards a history of bookshelves.
Hit men, click whores, and paid apologists: Welcome to the Silicon Cesspool, by Dan Lyons (aka Fake Steve Jobs) digs into the lying, collusion, and rotten dealings that surround tech journalism in the Valley. [more inside]
Winifred Gallagher argues that neophilia has always been the quintessential human survival skill, whether adapting to climate change on the ancestral African savanna or coping with the latest digital toy from Silicon Valley. “Nothing reveals your personality more succinctly than your characteristic emotional reaction to novelty and change over time and across many situations; [i]t’s also the most important behavioral difference among individuals.”[NYT] [more inside]
Rhodri Marsden, journalist and erstwhile member of Scritti Politti, decided to ask Twitter about their worst Valentine's Days. This was the result.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt, the Gregory Brothers and the ACLU have teamed up to bring attention to the issue photographer’s rights in public spaces, with an animated musical piece featuring the ghost of Benjamin Franklin. [via]
Originality is a relative concept in literature. As writers from T. S. Eliot to Harold Bloom have pointed out, ideas are doomed to be rehashed. This wasn’t always regarded as a problem [more inside]
NEW DELUXE TRANSIENT ROOMS WITH FREE ADULT MOVIES ... that's what the three-story-tall painted sign promised. It's faded and peeling now, but the sign's still there, though the Viceroy Hotel has been closed for nearly a decade. [more inside]