February 19, 2010
Health and safety issues at an 'investment casting' (AKA 'lost wax') factory near Ningbo. Seventh in a series of photo essays (1 2 3 4 5 6) by Hong Kong-based independent photographer Alex Hofford, looking at life and work in the factories of southern China where the world's stuff gets made.
Star Trek’s Warp Speed would kill According to a recent presentation and paper by William A. Edelstein, Ph.D., it would nearly impossible for humans to travel at near light speed (warp speed) due to intense radiation. So intense, it would kill humans and render electronic equipment useless in seconds. Some Star Trek fans are not happy... [more inside]
Due to a rewording of the rules Science Fiction podcast StarShipSofa (previously, previously, previously) could be eligible for a Hugo award. Meanwhile the current episode features The Gambler (text version here), a story by Paolo Bacigalupi - best known as the author of The Windup Girl, one of TIME Magazine's ten books of the year ("Not just science fiction, mind, but fiction, generally") and almost certainly a favorite for the Hugo's best novel category.
At first, it seemed the Azeris would win the Olympic Pants War handily, but then Norway, with its argyle advantage (in crazy and crazier varieties), seemed to have taken the lead. Now, US snowboard cross racer Nate Holland (competing, of course, in this wonderful outfit) is stepping in to set the pants rules for his own sport. But in the end, no matter what country they're competing for, it's the figure skaters who have won. As history has shown us, they always have the best pants of them all.
So you own a hotel and think it's a good idea to woo the US curling community. So you borrow some regulation size stones, lay down some synthetic ice sheets in the ballroom, and... (wait. what? synthetic ice? Cool!) Anyway free curling expo starting tonight at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown DC.
Scott Walker's BBC TV program, simply titled Scott, ran for just six weeks in 1969. While footage has yet to surface (the 2006 Walker documentary 30 Century Man was unable to unearth anything), the audio portion of the two half-hour pilot episodes from 1968 has been made available [ep1-Aug 6] [ep2-Dec. 30], along with a thoughtful article. Scott performs some fine covers, including Jacques Brel's "Matilda" and "If You Go Away" in the August episode. (guest star: Kiki Dee)
“For me, augmented reality has to be the future for 2020, together with it's close cousin the internet of things... It will become commonplace to be able to overlay reviews of a product simply by pointing a screen at it, or check the weather forecast by pointing your phone at the sky.” The Pew Research Center releases its The Future of the Internet IV report, an online survey of 895 technology stakeholders’ and critics’ expectations of social, political and economic change by 2020. [more inside]
Will marry for health insurance. "They're not going to pass health-care reform, so what are my options? Friends and I were joking, and one friend said,'Well, you could always marry some guy who has a good policy.' And I thought, You know what. That's crazy. That's unbelievable, but it's my only option." [more inside]
See the trailer for Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields, a documentary ten years in the making that's debuting at SXSW next month. Watch Merritt write a song. Listen to a one-hour concert of songs from 69 Love Songs. Read Merritt's thoughts on writing love songs.
Argentine folklore composer, pianist and director Ariel Ramírez died last night after a long illness. Those who know of him abroad probably do so for his Misa Criolla. This is just the (deservedly famous) tip of a giant iceberg of Argentine music, as he was teacher to many, collaborator to a lot more, cataloguer and promoter of traditional folk music and dances, and defender of local composers rights since his early years of fame. [more inside]
As Dieter Zimmer’s online exhibit "Covering Lolita" shows, it started with a plain green jacket. [Note: Some links include images which may be NSFW.] [more inside]
Friday Flash Fun: Did you enjoy Cyclomaniacs? Enjoying the Winter Olympics? You might enjoy Ski Maniacs! Ski Maniacs uses similar controls and physics. Do tricks and complete timetrials to complete the game and unlock additional characters.
Star Wars Urban Photography Click "Work" then "The Dark Lens (Star Wars)" (It's a flash gallery, non-flash view of artist's photos) via)