February 19, 2009
Jared Tarbell is a computer artist whose Gallery of Computation has been previously featured on Metafilter . Several years ago he began working with the Epilog Mini 24 laser cutter, cutting out flat cardboard pieces and assembling them into complex geometric shapes. His Flickr set “lased” documents his work. Recently he made the transition to a more traditional artistic medium; oiled walnut , for his stunning piece 2222 holes.
Looking to boost your mad Photoshop skillz? Here's a trio of sites that offer the latest in PS tips and tricks. Best Photoshop Tutorials has vectors, icons, and free brushes. PShero works with effects and shapes, and Photoshop Girl features photograph enhancement. That should get you started.
Combat Outpost. "As US and the UK forces struggle for a way forward in Afghanistan, John D McHugh's unique film from one of the US military's most dangerous outposts shows just how western forces are losing ground to the Taliban." Where are Afghanistan's missing millions? "Clancy Chassay hears charges of corruption levelled against the UN and aid agencies after millions earmarked for a Kabul hospital disappear."
"President" replacing the N-Word (SLYT).
Australian auto website offers anatomy of a crash-- a point by point account of what happens during an accident, up to and including the moment you realize it's happening. [more inside]
The Congressional Oversight Panel, headed by Harvard Law professor Elizabeth Warren, notes in its third monthly report that for every $100 Treasury spent on its ten largest TARP deals, it received back only $66 worth of assets -- significantly less than for roughly comparable private parties.
Cinemaware produced games with one goal: a "strong commitment to movie-like quality." A laudable goal, and their tools were measured in bytes rather than megabytes. They made these games in the 80s. This one intro used an entire 880KB floppy disk! A number of Cinemaware's games are available for download as ROMs, and there's even a flash version of Defender of the Crown. Some of the original artists behind the games are still creating art and music. [more inside]
C-SPAN claims ownership of ALL domain names containing its service mark “C-SPAN” or any variation of it. What kind of pull does C-Span have that Walmart doesn't?
The Pac-Man Dossier is an extremely detailed description of the game logic of arcade Pac-Man. It explains why, once in a while, monsters will harmlessly pass through Pac-Man. It explains why they won't go up through the tunnels above the monster box. It explains why occasionally, after losing a life, monsters will refuse to leave the box. It explains when and why Blinky becomes Cruise Elroy, and why sometimes Pinky gets confused and loses track of Pac-Man. It even explains, as far as the player can continue to play, what to do on the kill screen. It is awesome. Previously....
In other news: prominent Iraq war supporter and atheist writer Christopher Hitchens caught in street brawl with Syrian nazis in Beirut, Lebanon, after defacing the group's poster with "No, no, Fuck You". The assault occurred on the eve of a lecture held by Mr. Hitchens at the American University of Beirut, on the subject of "Who are the revolutionaries in today's Middle East".
Do you still have some leftovers from Christmas hiding in the back of your fridge? Are you wondering if you should eat it? This is a site dedicated to that very important question. [more inside]
Noby Noby Boy is out! What is Noby Noby Boy? The creator speaks: "At this stage, it's too early for me to sum up this game in one word." Why was it made? "Seriously, I don’t know. When I figure it out, I’ll share it on this blog." A bit more cogent explanation follows: [more inside]
The Crisis of Credit by graduate design student Jonathan Jarvis is a thorough and visually appealing animation which explains the current credit crisis in clear terms. From the ever helpful NPR Planet Money.
With all the excitement in the air about Watchmen, let's take time to celebrate another team of heroes, a band of outcasts with unusual powers, brought together by a man in a wheelchair. Yes, of course, I'm talking about the Doom Patrol. [more inside]
Feeling the pinch? Ninety-something Clara Cannucciari can teach you how to survive the lean times. In a series of YouTube videos directed by her great grandson, Clara reminisces about the Great Depression ("I had to quit high school because I couldn't afford socks!"), and provides cooking tips on such Depression-era fare as Pasta with Peas (6:32), Egg Drop Soup (6:52), Poorman's Meal (6:50), Peppers and Eggs (Part 1, 5:41; Part 2, 5:47), Bread (4:08), and Depression Breakfast (6:13). [more inside]
Despite being a tobacco state, Virginia lawmakers passed a smoking ban today. Their ban covers most restaurants and bars, but permits smoking in private clubs and in establishments that construct separately ventilated enclosed smoking rooms for patrons. You can follow the journey of the bill here.
Radley Balko (mefi’s own), a journalist for reason magazine and writer of theagitator.com blog, published a startling story at reason online today (warning: disturbing photos and video) that convincingly suggests that the embattled doctors Steven Hayne and Michael West may have engaged in criminal evidence tampering that supported a capital murder conviction in the death of a 23 month old girl in Louisiana. Jimmie Duncan, the defendant, currently sits on death row. [more inside]
Cute Overload is so yesterday. Go see Zooborns.
via whedonesque.com: Vote for the name of node 3 of the ISS. Apparently Joss needs our help. "After Serenity made it to space last year, NASA want to know what to name part of the space station, and Serenity is on the list." [more inside]
It's time for a new tea party, and this time derivatives securities are getting the soak. CNBC's Rick Santelli, reporting from the Chicago trading floor, wants to know if you're willing to pay for your neighbour's mortgage. He suggests a national referendum to let Americans vote on the $275 billion dollar foreclosure prevention plan. The markets have already cast their vote.
In 1989 Rob Pike, Penn & Teller, and Dennis Ritchie (one of the creators of UNIX), prank Arno Penzias, with a funky speech recognition demo.
An editorial cartoon in the New York Post gets reactions from around the world about its possible racial depictions. [more inside]
While the clubs of London are rocking to Lady Gaga and Paul Van Dyk, the dancefloor sounds of the capital are shunned in the north-west of England. Why? Because a whole generation of dance music fans are putting a donk on it. This documentary aims to find out why this genre of fast MC-led hardcore is so popular in one corner of the country whilst being completely unknown in others. [more inside]
Be a hero on your own time (VIDEO) When McDonald's employee Nigel Haskett interceded to stop a man who was beating a woman in the restaurant, the assailant went outside, retrieved a gun from his car and shot Haskett – “multiple times,” as the employee stood at the door to keep the assailant from re-entering the restaurant. $300,000 in medical bills later, McDonald's insurance says no dice: "we have denied this claim in its entirety as it is our opinion that Mr. Haskett's injuries did not arise out of or within the course and scope of his employment."
Street Fighter II. It basically created the 2d-beat-em-up, and invented the combo, the special move, a wide roster of diverse, playable characters who people grew to love, and all the other things that gamers have taken for granted for years. It spawned a whole series, none of which ever quite captured the original's charm or had the same influence. This was a game that people obsessed over - bands were named after its special moves, rappers cited it in their lyrics, and even Premier League footballers weren't immune to its charms. Poor Raul Julia's final film was this masterpiece, and a new version's headed straight to DVD very soon. Now, 17 years later, Street Fighter 4 is about to be released in Europe and the nostalgia machine is going into overdrive. The game's producer's been talking about its links to Street Fighter II, reviewers are getting misty-eyed , and even musicians are getting in on the act with Akira the Don making his very own Street Fighter-themed track. Apparently it's pretty good. Hadouken!
Racism in Austria is a problem that has been well documented for quite some time. With the recent rise of the far right political parties, however, things seem to be getting worse. The recent case involving an African American teacher who was mistaken for a drug dealer and beaten by the police however has the potential to bring some changes to the country.
Boxee is a free media-center program (currently only for Mac and Linux), that, in addition to playing most multimedia formats, provides a portal for many popular internet streaming channels. Its interface enabled folks who used Apple Tv, or who had connected their computer to their television, to browse and watch this content much like they would a regular television broadcast. But yesterday, NBC's popular (in the US) Hulu announced that it would be pulling its programs from Boxee at the request of its content providers. While the move puzzled and angered many Boxee users, who pointed out that they still saw the same advertisements that they would see on Hulu's site, some speculate that the large media companies saw Boxee as a threat to the cable delivery system. In other words, Hulu is for laptops, not for televisions, an auxiliary instead of an alternative to traditional tv.
Dr. Aric Sigman has told us that TV is literally killing us, that it makes children pregnant, that Batman makes our kids violent and that multitasking ruins children's attention span. Now he says that social networking can cause cancer, strokes, and dementia. (PDF of press release)
He predicted a losing season for the White Sox in 2007 and foresaw that the Tampa Bay Rays would be the best team in the American League in 2008, although he wrongly predicted that the Rays would win the World Series. He also predicted Obama's 6-point victory over McCain. Now the stats guru Nate Silver is picking the Oscar winners and predicting an upset win for Taraji P. Henson in the Best Supporting Actress category.
Tiny Art Director Bill Zeman’s daughter is the Tiny Art Director. She tells him what to draw and then tells him just exactly how much she hates it. Bill has been recording her comments and posting them with his art since she was two and a half. via
The Commodore 64 In Pictures. Tom's Hardware, a respected authority on all that is cutting-edge in modern PC components, takes a break from reviewing the latest video cards to bring us a lovely trip down (8-bit) memory lane. If this well-annotated slide show isn't enough to satiate your nostalgic appetite, there's more to remember at rival fansites Lemon 64 and C64.com. [more inside]
You Say You Want a Revolution -- "Despite some bravado, I myself was a cautious person looking to break the shackles of bourgeois detachment. I felt real relief in seemingly giving my all. But at the same time, I was terrified. Such existential 'acting out' does not ordinarily lead to political good sense. The importance of demonstrating revolutionary credentials or moral purity gets in the way of clear thinking about how to strengthen the movement or take advantage of political opportunities." Howard Machtinger, a founding member of the Weather Underground, provides a contemporary critique of his group's actions. [via]
Is the police blotter dying? Not so. In other parts of the world, the blotters are a little weird and violent. (nsfw)