February 19, 2008
Dean Kamen's Artificial "Luke" Arm - Segway inventor reinvents the prosthetic arm: "I've been able to do stuff with this that I haven't, seriously haven't, done in 26 years... uh, pick up a banana, peel a banana and eat it without it squishening... I can't wait to get one of these in a real environment, a home environment, and actually my wife can't either. She's going, oh yeah, I got lots of stuff for you to do."
Physicist Howard Wiseman has a hobby, history. On his website he has three history subsites, filled with lots of information: 1) Ruin and Conquest of Britain 2) 18 Centuries of Roman Empire 3) Twenty Centuries of "British" "Empires". Especially informative are his many maps. As he says himself: "Drawing historical maps of all sorts has been a hobby of mine since my mid teens. Now I can do it digitally, and inflict it upon the world!"
In trademark style, Lawrence Lessig today announced the creation of a congressional exploratory committee. If in the next few days he decides to officially enter the race, he'll be running in the special election on April 8th to fill the CA-12 seat recently vacated by the death of Tom Lantos. A run by Lessig would likely be seen as a new front the the technocratic, post-partisan movement Barack Obama is attempting to catalyze; Lessig was a colleague of Obama at the University of Chicago law school, helped to draft Obama's technology plan, and is describing his potential run (his first attempt at public office), and the larger Change Congress project he also announced today, as an attempt to save Congress as an institution from the corrupting influence of money. [more inside]
Fans of Futbol (Links to futbol vids) should enjoy this short vid of some amazing skillz. [more inside]
Having worked as a philosophy teacher in a Scottish primary school and a domestic and child abuse worker with Scottish Women's Aid, perhaps it comes as little surprise that Karine Polwart's music often dwells on the darker side of life. [more inside]
A History of Evil. A beautiful animation, from Zeus to Elvis to Bin Laden.
Bourdainfilter: Culinary curmudgeon Anthony Bourdain and writer Michael Ruhlman announce the nominees for the first annual Golden Clog Awards, honoring "The Best and Worst of the Year in Food." [via] [more inside]
The Wager: "I'll bet you that video games will never become a significant form of cultural discourse the way that novels and film have. I'll bet you that fifty years from now they'll be just as mature and well-respected as comic books are today," posits game designer Steve Gaynor. Responses and rebuttals. [more inside]
Encephalon: Briefing the Next US President on 24 Neuroscience and Psychology Issues. Encephalon, the neuroscience blog carnival has returned after a brief hiatus and is being hosted at Sharp Brains. [Via Mind Hacks, which will host the next edition.]
Texas Beyond History is a comprehensive web site covering the last 10,000 years of human occupation of (what is now called) Texas. A small section of the site was previously posted on Metafilter. via archaeolog.
ANSI art gets the respect it is due. On January 12th, 2008, ACiD Productions produced an art show of legendary MS-DOS artists Somms and Lord Jazz. Their digital art was turned into hangable pieces using home-brew scrollable LCD light boxes hung on the gallery walls. [more inside]
What Would Jesus Drink? -- “A rabbi, a priest and a minister walk into a bar. The bartender looks at them and says, ‘What is this, a joke?’ In one Pennsylvania bar, it's no laughing matter. On the last Friday of every month, teams of chaplains...set up camp in the Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, Penn. for a few hours to lend a sympathetic, non-judgmental ear to patrons looking for someone to listen to their tales of woe.” [more inside]
Arthur Ashe's words and legacy. Arthur Ashe (1943-1993) was the first (and only) black man to win Wimbledon, the Australian Open and the US Open tennis tournaments and a very vocal civil rights activist and leader. Last week on WNYC's Brian Lehrer Show, Brian had on Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe[embedded audio player] and they were remembering a moment on Martin Luther King Day 1993, when Arthur called into the show from his hospital room (he died three weeks later). His views from Martin Luther King, Malcom X, Muhammad Ali and the 1966 and 1992 Los Angeles riots are at once eloquent and riveting.
The American Gallery of Juror Art. Deliberations, a blog on juries and jury trials, solicits art made by folks while on jury duty. Some dude drew a sweet bike. Another had detailed notes on his fellow jurors, divided into "knuckleheads," "reasonable people," and "who knows." (Original here.) It's a small collection at the moment, but hopefully more to come.
"And I saw records made! Music literally written in wax!" RCA Victor takes you, step by step, through the records manufacturing process of 1942. A few years later, they brought us the cassette tape, though it wasn't exactly "compact" yet. And let's not forget that RCA "exclusive": Living Stereo! "You know, in this gimmicky world of ours, RCA has never lost sight of what they started out to do: to reproduce sound with so much clarity and fidelity that you could "close your eyes and think you're there."
"My name is Captain Doug MacNair, I coordinate the media embedding program from a desk here in Ottawa... I have embedded more than 250 journalists in our program, and no embed has given me more personal satisfaction than yours... Thanks for being handy with a pencil and a piece of paper. Thanks for writing so well about the things that are hard to draw. Thanks for leaving your family to do an important job. I know how that feels and it’s never easy. Most of all Richard, thanks for risking your life while you do all those things." Q&A with Richard Johnson. Via.
I've thought a lot over the last couple years about the problem of trolls. It's an old one, as old as forums, but we're still just learning what the causes are and how to address them.
Before Alex Steinweiss invented the album cover in 1938, at the age of 23, all albums came in plain brown wrappers. Steinweiss's idea to create a package that had something visual on the outside to lure the consumer was a huge success. A tribute show for the 90-year-old Steinweiss will be held at the Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica, California, until February 23, 2008. More about Steinweiss here and here. First link via.
Castro Retires. "I neither will aspire to nor will I accept -- I repeat -- I neither will aspire to nor will I accept, the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief," says Castro in Cuban newspaper Granma - where he regularly posts his thoughts on international news. [more inside]