February 15, 2012
"I always knew that Sugar was Cheryl, and that the anonymity was just a temporary experience, and it wasn’t going to be really who Sugar was in the end. I revealed myself to you. I only withheld one piece of pretty meaningless information: my name. But I showed myself to you." Dear Sugar of The Rumpus is revealed to be author Cheryl Strayed. [more inside]
Hu's on First - an update of the classic Abbott and Costello routine, using names of (real) modern baseball players. [more inside]
Tetris plus Minesweeper = Tetrisweeper. A moves left, D moves right, W and E rotate, S drops. Click to uncover, shift-click to flag. (SLFlash)
Janet Flanner began her career at The New Yorker composing evocative and cogent dispatches from Europe, writing nearly seven hundred Letters from Paris under the nom de plume Genêt, from 1925 to 1975. In between these, she contributed Profiles, Reporter at Large dispatches, and other Letters from around the globe. In a Postscript published after she died, in 1978, editor-in-chief William Shawn wrote of his prolific correspondent: "Her eye never became jaded, her ardor for what was new and alive never diminished, and her language remained restless. She was a stylist who devoted her style, bedazzling and heady in itself, to the subtle task of conveying the spirit of a subtle people." [more inside]
Towards the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s the Madchester sound swept the UK. Spearheaded by The Stone Roses and the Happy Mondays Manchester became the dominant force in English music. One notable exception to this Northern domination were the boys from London's Camden Town known as Flowered Up. [more inside]
Between April 16th, 2006 and April 15th, 2007, Paleo, also known as David Strackany, wrote a song every day for a year and posted them on his website. These include a weekly 'Sunday Prayer,' featuring new lyrics sung to the same tune on the day of relative rest. At the end of the year, he received a letter of congratulations from Vice President Dick Cheney, who was in the midst of a (failed) campaign to convince the American people that he was not a robot alien overlord. Paleo kept up the site, with all the song-diary entries, and still posts occasional lyrics and a weekly Sunday Prayer. Here's a song I particularly like: The World's Tiniest Violin.
Do you like cats? Do you like fonts? Do you like cats... and fonts?
"As long as their brain stem is intact, the homeostatic functions of the chicken will continue to operate." It's the Matrix. For chickens.
Dear Esther was (re)released today. An 'interactive ghost story', Dear Esther began as a Source engine mod for Half-Life 2. (previously) It was given a wide-ranging graphical upgrade and commercially released today on Steam. PC game blog Rockpapershotgun has opinions here and here.
How to Feed and Grow Your Health Care System. A landmark study has established that patient satisfaction is correlated with mortality - in the wrong way. The more satisfied, the greater mortality. What accounts for this dynamic? And what are the implications for healthcare costs and available political options? 'One of the primary findings itself raises concern—a 26% mortality excess among the most satisfied patients, an effect size that far exceeds that for all other, more immediate, study outcomes (eg, a 12% excess in hospitalizations).' Brenda E. Sirovich, MD, MS wrote a response to the study. [more inside]
Vaccinate, or begone. Some pediatricians are refusing to see children whose parents refuse to allow vaccination.
Bret Victor (previously, previouslier) shows off some mindblowing tools he's created to demonstrate not only great insights in user experience, but also his philosophy: "Inventing on Principle"
It turns out that apes really enjoy looking in a mirror. Combine this with an iphone and you get a pretty entertaining video [more inside]
The number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on Earth by the end of 2012. (Never mind the phone chargers.) By 2016, there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita.
Confessions of a middle-aged Ecstasy eater. I believe that my coming to Ecstasy goes further than mere thrill-seeking. I believe it goes to the centre of my life at the time. It was a period of personal devastation. It began with my only child, a son - he was then my best friend, from time to time still is - and I did not see it coming and it culminated in Ecstasy, and to that I see no end. He was beautiful and sensitive and extraordinarily talented, talented enough that at 13 his poetry had won the notice of university professors and New York book editors alike. So when he undertook to destroy himself, he took his mother and father with him. That was not, nor is it, his fault.
About 13 km (8 miles) north of the US/Canada border is Spotted Lake (Google Maps/streetview), a endorheic basin, or terminal lake. In wetter times, the lake is full, but spots are visible. During the summer months, the water level drops, leaving spots of mineral-rich water. The waters have long been considered therapeutic, and one story cites a truce in a battle to allow both warring tribes to tend to their wounded in the lake. Though a sacred medicine lake of the Okanagan People, the lake and the land around it were privately owned for 40 years. Mineral-rich salts were harvested during World War I for munitions, and decades later, the land owners were looking to mine the mud to sell for use in therapeutic spas. In 2001, the land was finally purchased by the The Indian Affairs Department and the Okanagan Nation Alliance. kłlil'xw is property of the Okanagan Nation once more. [more inside]
Playfic is a community for writing, sharing, and playing interactive fiction games (aka “text adventures”) entirely from your browser. [more inside]
A tragic fire in Honduras has claimed the lives of hundreds of inmates as a "hellish scene" unfolded as hundreds of inmates were caught up in a prison fire in Comayagua. [more inside]
Canada's attempts to alter its Copyright bills over the past 7 years have all failed, often dying when an election is called. Attempts at implementing so called "Lawful Access" legislation have also previously died in the House of Commons. Yesterday, Bill c-30, "the Protecting Children from Internet Predators Act" was introduced by Vic Toews, Minster of Public Safety, accompanied by one of the harbringer states of the "Four Horsemen of the Infopocolypse", "[one] can either stand with us or with the child pornographers.". The interent has a history of responding poorly to politicians trying to limit online freedoms and didn't respond to nicely to Vic Toews wanting to know more about your life. Meet @Vikileaks30, a twitter account exposing portions of Vic Toews acrimonious divorce proceedings, adultery, and public accounts bills. [more inside]
You may have heard about the Michigan high schooler who made a game-winning basket and then died. Here's the rest of the story. [Alternative link]
Who Will Run the
Frog Hospital World Bank? Robert Zoellick has announced that he will step down from his role as World Bank President on June 30, at the end of his five-year term. Though the president has traditionally been selected by the President of the United States through an informal agreement with European powers, emerging powers including Brazil and India have argued for a change in policy. [more inside]
Is Webkit, the web browser engine used by Safari and Chrome, turning into IE6? Concern is growing that reliance on proprietry CSS features marked by vendor prefixes could be breaking the web.
Errant Signal is one man's blog about games, wherein he plumbs the nuances of game mechanics, bemoans the state of game journalism, and also offers incredibly insightful reviews of games. He tackles the intrinsic flaws of Deus Ex: Invisible War, broaches heresy by critiquing the Half-Life series, and combats cynicism by gushing about Bastion.
Look, if you want to tell your child that being verbally and/or physically abused is an acceptable sign of affection, i urge you to rethink your parenting strategy.
Blimp waterskiing! Ice tennis! Blindfolded boxing! Baby boxing! Extreme sports of the mid-20th century, from the vaults of British Pathé (previously).
Carrying you blissfully through hump day, here's Dustin Wong, formerly of Ecstatic Sunshine and Ponytail, serving up two live hour-long assaults of unrestrained guitar-pedal rapture that loops, and loops, and loops...
Women have known for years that the dress size on the label doesn't necessarily mean that the garment will be the same size as another shop's size X , nor that your modern size 14 will be the same as the size 14 you bought there in the past (Some blame vanity sizing.) What Size Am I allows you to input your measurements and see how you measure up to high-street stores' individual sizing charts. [more inside]
Born without legs, Vinod Thakur has excelled at breakdance and performed on India's Got Talent. [more inside]
Open Source for You, or "Your Day Job Sucks, Make Programming Fun Again". Stephen McDonald, creator of Mezzanine, shares his experience of "what it's like contributing to open source".
Golden Goal is a Norwegian sports talkshow, and in one of their segments, they play football in unusual ways. With three teams. On a hill. On the beach. Blindfolded. Not difficult enough for you? How about three-legged soccer? On hoppy balls? With binoculars? Inside plastic bubbles? Electroshock style?
Reported in Discover Magazine online, The Heartland Institute — a self-described "think tank" that actually serves in part as a way for climate change denialism to get funded — has a potentially embarrassing situation on their hands. Someone going by the handle "Heartland Insider" has anonymously released quite a few of what are claimed to be internal documents from Heartland, revealing the Institute’s strategies, funds, and much more. [more inside]
Peter Sellers enjoyed doing spoken word covers of songs by The Beatles as performed by different characters. These included “A Hard Day’s Night” done as Laurence Olivier’s Richard III, and “She Loves You” as an Irishman (mildly NSFW), a cockney, an upper class British twit, a possibly particular German, and most wonderfully; Dr Strangelove. [via]
MI6 intends to use the 1994 Intelligence Services Act to deny all application of UK law to extraordinary rendition. The case in question revolves around the forcible extradition of several Libyan dissidents back to Gaddafi's Libya and entirely predictable torture, including a pregnant woman. s.7 of the Act states that any intelligence agency action authorised on foreign soil by a Secretary of State is automatically exempt from legal action in any UK court. This could be said to conflict in some ways with the Human Rights Act 1998 and international law, especially since the HRA may be held to have implicitly repealed s.7 of the 1994 Act. [more inside]
The Death of the Cyberflâneur "While not deliberately concealing his identity, the flâneur preferred to stroll incognito. “The art that the flâneur masters is that of seeing without being caught looking,” the Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman once remarked. The flâneur was not asocial — he needed the crowds to thrive — but he did not blend in, preferring to savor his solitude. And he had all the time in the world: there were reports of flâneurs taking turtles for a walk." [more inside]