February 16, 2012
How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did (excerpt from How Companies Learn Your Secrets (single page))
Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Shadid has died on assignment. (NYTimes) Shadid, 43, died of an asthma attack while reporting in Syria. His colleague, photographer Tyler Hicks, carried his body over the border into Turkey. [more inside]
A retired grandfather receives his medical marijuana card. He's never smoked before, and is trying it because he feels he is taking too many pills to control his back pain, anxiety, rage, and more. His exploration of the logistics (especially the pipe lighting techniques) is really quite charming.
The Los Angeles band named X. The one that performed "Los Angeles" , "Your Phone's Off The Hook But You're Not", "Johnny Hit and Run Paulene", "We're Desperate", "White Girl", and "Breathless". The one with John Doe, Exene Cervenka, Billy Zoom, and D.J. Bonebrake in it. [more inside]
The 100 Best Nicholas Cage Quotes (NSFW-language). Makes Andy Samberg's SNL impersonation seem even more authentic.
Dahlia Lithwick: This week, the Virginia state Legislature passed a bill that would require women to have an ultrasound before they may have an abortion. Because the great majority of abortions occur during the first 12 weeks, that means most women will be forced to have a transvaginal procedure, in which a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced. Since a proposed amendment to the bill—a provision that would have had the patient consent to this bodily intrusion or allowed the physician to opt not to do the vaginal ultrasound—failed on 64-34 vote, the law provides that women seeking an abortion in Virginia will be forcibly penetrated for no medical reason. I am not the first person to note that under any other set of facts, that would constitute rape under state law. [more inside]
"Such laws would require gyms and health clubs to admit everybody, whether or not he or she pays a cent."
One Minnesota union's tongue-in-cheek response to a proposal to make Minnesota a so-called "Right to Work" State. [more inside]
"First Kill is a war documentary that explores the dark side of man and the psychology of soldiers at war. Vietnam veterans are interviewed about their experiences and what war does to the human mind and soul." [1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8]
Do you like water? Do you like tug-of-war? Can you do a Canadian accent? Then we might have found the man for you.
City of the Wildcats 1 2: A documentary about the urban kitties of Rome narrated by Sir David Attenborough.
Although many fine divas stamped their mark on early recording, it was the tenor voice of Caruso which was the defining voice of the early twentieth century. His reputation was due to the fact that people could not only hear him in their own homes, but that his success could actually be measured in record sales; he was the first global superstar of the gramophone era. Enrico Caruso was the first recording artist with a million-selling record ("Vesti la Giubba," from Pagliacci), and his recordings of 10 songs 'made the gramophone' in 1902. He went on to make about commercial 490 recordings, and there is even more unreleased material. [more inside]
The International Man: "My mission is very simple: To find the 'Rolls-Royces' of every category listed on this website on the Internet to help you avoid wasting your time and make it your useful and indispensable lifestyle and luxury resource." [more inside]
There was a time when we were one of the worst, if not THE worst prison systems in the country. How we got there was simple. It was money. “When I first drove up to the gate in the summer of 1971, my dog was with me in the car. I drove up to a little shack with a guard. The guard was wearing a pistol and I realized he was a prisoner. The only people I saw carrying guns were convicts.” - Photographer Bruce Jackson
"Rosetta Code is a programming chrestomathy site." Each page describes a programming concept or task, then lists how it's implemented in dozens of programming languages. Useful for learning a new programming language, especially if you're already familiar with how to do it in another language.
Boopatone is a compiled record of the digital art and computer graphics experiments of Erik Keller, who is a freelance CG artist living and working in Hollywood CA. In it he lays bare some of the sausage making behind high end 3D modeling. [more inside]
The Angel Problem. The Angel and the Devil play a game on an infinite chess board...
The 'Piggyback Bandit': SI.com What they were dealing with the night of Feb. 4 was the Piggyback Bandit - Sherwin Shayegan of Bothell, Wash., a 28-year-old man who ingratiates himself with high school sports teams, then hoists his 5-foot-8, 240-pound frame onto the backs of the student athletes.
The true name of the man most famously known as Lord George Gordon Gordon will likely never be known. His name, though false, will nevertheless live in history for pulling one of the great advance-fee cons of all time, swindling in 1872 over a million dollars out of Jay Gould, most unscrupulous of all the robber barons and no stranger himself to a long con. Gould's quest for revenge would nearly lead to a military invasion of Manitoba by the Minnesota state militia. [more inside]
A bunch of guys standing around trying to sound like a Kevin Smith movie but failing because they're not as clever
Last Sunday, Comic Book Men premiered on AMC, sliding right into the time slot right after the comic book-based Walking Dead series. It's a reality show masterminded by filmmaker and occasional comic book writer Kevin Smith that follows four employees at his New Jersey comic book shop, the Secret Stash, as they deal with the world of comics retail. If the intent is to show comic shop employees as anything other than obnoxious walking sterotypes, it's a complete failure. If, however, it's meant to be the most compelling argument I've ever seen for never setting foot in a comic book store, I have to admit that it's a smashing success. - Chris Sims reviews Comic Book Men. Remember, no chicks allowed.
The Help: The Musical (SLYT)
"rip lnu". So ends 13 months of the greatest pirate ebook site the world has ever known. [more inside]
L.E.D. Surfer William Hughes snowboards through darkness in a suit made with thousands of L.E.D. lights in a short film by Jacob Sutton.
2QWOP. Your favorite running game now supports two players. Extra keyboard support is included, or play on the same one for maximum fun.
Bent Objects is the creation of Terry Border, a photographer and sculptor with a flair for visual puns created using every day objects, clever lighting and twisted wire. [more inside]
"Readers who demand verifiable truth in nonfiction—who were upset about James Frey, for example—are unsophisticated and ignorant, D’Agata said, and he wants to change that." Dan Kois reviews The Lifespan of a Fact, the transcript of the editorial battle between author and fact-checker on John D'agata's piece in the Believer (excerpt; full article requires payment) on the suicide of Levi Presley, who killed himself by jumping off the observation deck of the Stratosphere in Las Vegas in 2002.
A fascinating look inside a disowned and ultra-rare early book by Martin Amis: a guide to video games.
Artist and film-maker, Hito Steyerl, asks us to stand shoulder to shoulder with our digital equivalents. Digital images are Things (like you and me) - a plethora of compressed, corrupted representations pushed and pulled through increasingly policed and capitalised information networks. If 80% of all internet traffic* is SPAM - a liberated excess withdrawn** from accepted channels of communication - perhaps it is in The Poor Image we find our closest kin? [more inside]
Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'. While this may not come as a surprise to many, the fact that apps such as Twitter and Instagram will take the addresses from your contacts list and store them, sometimes unencrypted, has become enough of a story that two members of the US congress have sent a letter to Apple about its apps and how they access personal data. [more inside]