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February 20, 2011
Tis but a flesh wound!
Malaysian cyclist Azizulhasni Awang is recovering in hospital after a 9-inch splinter went through his lower left leg after crashing his track bike at the cycling world cup in Manchester, England. But he still managed to finish the race in bronze medal position after remounting his bike and staggering over the finish line. [Linked pictures and video very very NSF the squeamish]. [more inside]
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 11:57 PM PST - 23 comments

"Music is a visible thing. Close your eyes. You will see."
"You Can Shine" is a video advertisement from Thailand for Pantene Chrysalis shampoo, which tells the story of a deaf and mute girl who longs to play the violin. Via
posted by zarq at 9:57 PM PST - 52 comments

Superintendent Sends Alamo-like Letter
The superintendent of tiny Perrin-Whitt school district in Texas recently sent this letter to state legislators who are threatening to slash funding for public schools. Modeled after the famous letter from the Alamo by William Barret Travis, Superintendent Kuhn appeals to Texas legislators to make education a priority.
posted by tamitang at 9:25 PM PST - 25 comments

Vintage household hacks
Home Kinks, part 1 and part 2 - for years, Popular Mechanics Press published a series of tips, many from readers, in a special edition format they called "Household Kinks." Scanning Around With Gene has posted a collection from 1940s and '50s editions.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:07 PM PST - 40 comments

High on a Mountain, Wind Blowing Free
Ola Belle Reed came down from the mountains and carried that old-timey sound with her. Her voice and her banjo took her from family sing-alongs to rubbing elbows with some of America's best-known country and bluegrass musicians. Radio stations played her work, and with a little help from friends like Marty Stuart and Del McCoury, her musical legacy lives. Or, as Reed herself sang, "I've worked for the rich, I've lived with the poor; Lord, I've seen many a heartache, there'll be many more; I've lived, loved and sorrowed, been to success's door; I've endured, I've endured." [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:56 PM PST - 7 comments

What Do Conservatives Want?
Democrats help radical conservatives by accepting the deficit frame and arguing about what to cut. Even arguing against specific "cuts" is working within the conservative frame. What is the alternative? Pointing out what conservatives really want. Point out that there is plenty of money in America, and in Wisconsin. It is at the top. George Lakoff, professor of linguistics at UC, Berkeley, analyzes the metaphors conservatives use to frame issues and exposes what they really want. (Previously), (previously), (more previously), etc.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:51 PM PST - 125 comments

Give the player (and AI) options
Basics of effective FPS encounter design (via F.E.A.R. and F.E.A.R. 2) is a detailed analysis of how to create engaging encounters in first person shooters.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:48 PM PST - 21 comments

banning smoking advertising
Australia, already a leader in tobacco sales restrictions, is seeking plain packaging for all cigarette packaging, forcing a fight with Big Tobacco. Other governments around the world watch interestedly, as arguments revolve around intellectual property rights and spill-over effects. An astro-turf group has been formed to protest "on behalf of retailers". Meanwhile, the Federal Opposition maintains it's links to the tobacco industry. (previously)
posted by wilful at 5:31 PM PST - 66 comments

Amon Tobin: a classical composer of the hip-hop age
Happy belated 39th birthday, Amon Adonai Santos de Araújo Tobin, or as most folks call you, simply Amon Tobin. The Brazilian-born producer first released music as Cujo, and has since moved on to his own name, with five albums and a slew of EPs and singles released since 1997, plus two video game soundtracks, and a film soundtrack. He also has an EP of collaborations, side projects with Joe "Doubleclick" Chapman as 60hz and Two Fingers. And that's the overview ... (music samples a-plenty inside, or you could skip the chatter and listen to much of Amon Tobin's discography streaming on his website). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:31 PM PST - 29 comments

The REAL Death of the Music Industry
In his analysis The REAL Death of the Music Industry, BI author Michael DeGusta denounces inaccuracies in a recently circulating chart (source). A further analysis of the situation is provided: the music industry is actually doing much worse than the Bain chart implies. [more inside]
posted by knz at 3:31 PM PST - 79 comments

Talking Union
In 1941, Pete Seeger, Lee Hayes, Josh White and Millard Lampell [otherwise known as the Almanac Singers] recorded an album of union songs. (Pete Seeger discusses The Almanac Singers with Tim Robbins.[13m45s]) The six songs they chose were a mix of original compositions and legacy songs, all aimed at helping bolster organized labor. The album, Talking Union and Other Union Songs, would be re-released 14 years later in an expanded version on Smithsonian Folkways. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 2:55 PM PST - 29 comments

Unrest in Libya
2210 GMT: Libya's 2nd Secretary in its Embassy in China, Hussein Sadiq Al Misrati, has just quit in an on-air interview with Al Jazeera, saying he is not honored to represent a regime that kills its own people. Al Misrati asked other diplomats to follow his action and called on the army not to attack protesters. And the diplomat claimed that Muammar Qaddafi's son Saif Al Islam, who was supposed to speak on State TV tonight, will not do so --- he was shot by his brother Mutasam in a fight for control. Libya is spinning out of control and appears to be on the verge of either collapse or civil war. Here is a relatively comprehensive (but by no means exhaustive) link to the unrest of the past week. Unlike Egypt, which saw the downfall of a regime played out on television and the internet, communication in and out of Libya is extremely restrictive, making it very difficult for the media and outside observers to understand just what, exactly, is going on in the country. Hundreds of protesters have so far died (many in the second-largest city of Benghazi), and rumors abound that some in the military have decided to turn against the regime.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:44 PM PST - 1140 comments

Is Science Saturated with Sexism?
In “Understanding Current Causes of Women’s Underrepresentation in Science,” Cornell professors Stephen Ceci and Wendy Williams provide a thorough analysis and discussion of 20 years of data. [more inside]
posted by Tanizaki at 1:10 PM PST - 103 comments

Dishwasher? No!
This kid and his bird make some amusing videos about videogames.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:00 PM PST - 14 comments

Plastic fantastic?
Plastic fantastic? An unpublished United Kingdom Environment Agency research report apparently shows that plastic bags, which are banned in more than 25% of the world may actually be less harmful than those made of cotton or paper. [more inside]
posted by jonesor at 12:53 PM PST - 68 comments

The Cleverlys
Bluegrass covers of popular songs, by The Cleverlys: The Bangles' Walk Like an Egyptian, Beyoncé's Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It), Shaggy's Angel, The Black Eyed Peas' I Gotta Feeling, Yes' Owner of a Lonely Heart, Fergie's Clumsy, Stevie Wonder's Superstition, Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl
posted by finite at 12:28 PM PST - 33 comments

"Yeah. That was a good moment."
The North Face of the Eiger has claimed the lives of at least 64 climbers attempting it since 1935. The first succesful attempt in 1938 took a team of four 3 and a half days. The first succesful solo climb in 1963 took 18 hours. In 2008, Swiss Climber Ueli Steck broke his own record by 1hr7, soloing the face in 2hr47.33. Watch him.
posted by protorp at 12:19 PM PST - 46 comments

Manipulation. Disintegration. Reflection.
Chris Jordan’s “Running The Numbers” series and its sequel, along with “Intolerable Beauty”, places collections of objects in arrays and forms to visualize consumer consumption and its effects: a globular cluster of lightbulbs showing electrical waste in the United States; a landscape of empty plastic bottles (two million, the number used every five minutes), an array of tiny Barbies graphing breast augmentations; Pollockesque designs of contrails and handguns representing flights and deaths. More information at Jordan’s TED presentation; he’s also noted for his post-Katrina photographs of New Orleans.

Related: Todd McLellan (Flash) photographs disassembled vintage objects, some in patterns, others caught mid-explosion. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:35 AM PST - 7 comments

Anonymous warns Westboro Baptist Church, ‘stop now, or else’
This past week, in an open letter to Fred Phelps and his controversial Westboro Baptist Church, the hacker activist group Anonymous issued an ultimatum: "... we give you a warning: Cease & desist your protest campaign in the year 2011, return to your homes in Kansas, & close your public Web sites. Should you ignore this warning, you will meet with the vicious retaliatory arm of ANONYMOUS." Yesterday, the Westboro Baptist Church took up the gauntlet, telling Anonymous, "Bring It!" [flyer]. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 10:01 AM PST - 254 comments

Intelligent Dance Music Dancing
London Boys vs Autechre [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:43 AM PST - 7 comments

Where Have All The Good Men Gone?
"Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This "pre-adulthood" has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it's time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn't bring out the best in men." [more inside]
posted by edguardo at 9:13 AM PST - 180 comments

Danny & Annie
"Danny and Annie Perasa tell the story of their twenty-seven-year romance. From their first date to Danny’s final days with terminal cancer, this is an intimate and heartbreaking look at true love."
posted by SkylitDrawl at 9:03 AM PST - 19 comments

Dirty Weekend
Michael Winner spent most of last week thinking about my breasts. If I were posting this on Twitter, I would add the hashtag #SentencesINeverExpectedToWrite. - Victoria Coren on her Twitter battle with Michael Winner.
posted by Artw at 9:01 AM PST - 49 comments

Because you're not going to watch Cats And Dogs 2: Revenge Of Kitty Galore
Why watch a movie when you can just watch the titles? Browse title sequences by designer and read interesting backstory and discussion on the art of making a title sequence.
posted by The Whelk at 8:46 AM PST - 6 comments

Does The New Yorker have girl problems?
Anne Hays wrote an open letter to The New Yorker, and posted it on Facebook, complaining about the gender imbalance in bylines. The Village Voice and two bloggers respond. The CBC spent an hour on it this morning.
posted by kneecapped at 7:56 AM PST - 54 comments

Highway to the danger zone
So here's what's on tap two summers from now: an adaptation of a comic book. A reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a sequel to an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a TV show. A sequel to a sequel to a reboot of an adaptation of a comic book. A sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a cartoon. A sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a sequel to a movie based on a young-adult novel. And soon after: Stretch Armstrong. How did Hollywood get here? There's no overarching theory, no readily identifiable villain, no single moment to which the current combination of caution, despair, and underachievement that defines studio thinking can be traced. But let's pick one anyway: Top Gun.

The Day the Movies Died. (via)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:22 AM PST - 146 comments

Con brio
Violinist plays the music and sound effects of NES games. Donkey Kong. Dragon Quest III. Super Mario Bros 3. [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 5:13 AM PST - 14 comments

because as soon as the Valentine's Day candies leave the Easter ones come out
Peep jousting is a game in which two marshmallow Peeps armed with toothpicks face each other in microwave combat. Its much more deadly variation, Peep fighting, involves a toaster oven. Molly Lewis (previously 1, 2) wrote a metal song called PEEP FIGHT. Smithsonian Magazine checked if stale or fresh peeps made better jousters. Creepy off-brand Peeps are also effective knights.
posted by NoraReed at 4:19 AM PST - 12 comments

Davids can take down Goliaths
Philly Homeowner Declares He's 'Foreclosed' on Wells Fargo, and how he has their full attention. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 3:42 AM PST - 34 comments

Mysterious Lifeboat in the Middle of Nowhere
We have previously explored Bouvet Island, an ideal location for your evil-supergenius lair (especially if you're a masochist and enjoy the company of elephant seals). But let us ponder how a lifeboat, devoid of markings, was discovered there in 1964 with no trace of crew beyond a pair of oars, a 44-gallon drum and flattened buoyancy tank.
posted by maxwelton at 12:03 AM PST - 19 comments