"The thing that distinguishes brainstorming from other types of group activity is the absence of criticism and negative feedback. If people were worried that their ideas might be ridiculed by the group, the process would fail." According to the technique's originator, Alex Osborn, "“Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom while discouragement often nips it in the bud.'" Brainstorming seems like a marvellous, feel-good way of creative problem-solving. But it doesn’t work.[more inside] posted by storybored at 10:00 PM PST - 63 comments
Newt Gingrich said in a political campaign speech that one could not put a gun rack in a Chevy Volt, speaking against President Obama's to raise subsidies for electric cars. One Georgia engineer took that challenge to heart and showed that you can put a gunrack in a Volt, showing that even in the Deep South, there are innovative, forward thinking people (who like to hunt). posted by patheral at 7:39 PM PST - 86 comments
Polltopia (625 kb zip file) "It's a treasure trove for researchers that I'm sure is unmatched in the world of modern polling: [Daily Kos has] assembled all the raw data for every single Daily Kos/SEIU poll conducted in 2011 into a single file. That's 46 polls, including questionnaires ... in a nifty 623 KB package. No one else releases information this granular, so if you've ever wanted to take a deep, deep dive into raw polling data, this is your chance." posted by crunchland at 7:01 PM PST - 22 comments
Gary Webster is the general manager for the Toronto Transit Commission. Last year, Mayor Rob Ford (previously), after cancelling the Transit City light rail expansion in favour of a subway into Toronto's east end (also previously), asked Webster to prepare a report on the viability of such a subway line. Webster did so, and gave his honest opinion, which was that the Sheppard subway was not economically viable. Ford buried the report, and after the Toronto Star discovered its existence, Ford then requested that Webster speak to City Council about the pros and cons of subways and light rail. Webster advised against subways as City Council overruled Ford and reinstated a light rail-based transit plan. Ford's allies on the Toronto Transit Commission then petitioned for a special meeting to fire Webster (despite severance clauses that could cost the city more than a million dollars).
They voted 5-4 to fire Gary Webster this afternoon. (Torontoist's liveblog of the meeting.) posted by mightygodking at 3:20 PM PST - 89 comments
"This is an attempt at recovery. This Essay hopes to call attention to then-Professor Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 1972 merits brief in Struck v. Secretary of Defense. The brief has been underappreciated in part because the Supreme Court of the United States eventually declined to decide the case.” On the 40th anniversary of the brief's submission, read Reva Siegel's compelling essay [pdf] on this overlooked brief in which “Ginsburg and the women’s movement talked about pregnancy discrimination in a way that ties together pregnancy discrimination and women’s equality, and women’s equality and reproductive freedom, before the Court split them apart,” and imagine what might have been had the Supreme Court decided Struck v. Secretary of Defense in 1972. posted by ocherdraco at 2:34 PM PST - 3 comments
If you’ve spent much time in museums—or even leafing through art books—you’ve probably come across something that leaves you scratching your head. You’re not alone. The very funny, if occasionally puerile blog WTF Art History was created, according to the anonymous art historian who writes it, for “everyone who loves art history but has a sense of humor to know that even great masters create things that leave us asking, WTF?” [via] [prev] posted by netbros at 1:16 PM PST - 24 comments
The Boy who Played with Fusion. At age four, [Taylor Wilson] donned a fluorescent orange vest and hard hat and stood in front of the house, directing traffic. For his fifth birthday, he said, he wanted a crane. But when his parents brought him to a toy store, the boy saw it as an act of provocation. “No,” he yelled, stomping his foot. “I want a real one.”[more inside] posted by obscurator at 8:37 AM PST - 18 comments
"Birdcloud met in Murfreesboro and
immediately didn’t like eachother. At a party in 2009 they had some
whiskeys and became friends and started dicking around on guitar,
writing their first song, a song about going down on your best friend,
now lost to the sands of time. Despite a lukewarm reception at
Nashville’s Bluebird Cafe, they have been sitting on eachother’s faces
ever since, showing eachother their bruises and generally doing
whatever they want when it works out that way." Songs on the inside NSFW if you can't tell. [more inside] posted by cmoj at 8:10 AM PST - 14 comments
Once Upon a Time in Bombay "It is said that Bombay is the Alexandria of India. Its geographical position and commercial relations bear evidently some resemblance to the great eastern entrepot of the Mediterranean. As the swampy Rhakotis, a mere fishing village which Alexander the Great transformed into the splendid city of Alexandria, the desolate islet of the Bombay Koli fishermen was changed into the present capital of Western India." -- J. Gershon da Cunha in Origin of Bombay (google book) [more inside] posted by bluefly at 7:11 AM PST - 8 comments
...this stubborn idea he had about maintaining his sanity took a couple of hard hits when:
1. He presented the shoes that government agents had supposedly melted...which simply looked like worn out running shoes.
2. The government's psychologist and one of Friedman's choosing both concurred that he was totally schizophrenic.
Still, Friedman pressed on, demanding better counsel for himself and filing a second Freedom of Information Act (he was not satisfied with the first) for:
"all documents pertaining to the microwave auditory effect, microwave hearing effect, Frey effect, artificial telepathy, and/or any device/weapon which uses and/or causes such effect; and any covert or undisclosed use of hypnosis"
Surfing took a baby step or the first dip at the first India Surf Festival in Puri this month. Indian surfers, from states along India's long coastline, came together for the first time, in one place. From fishermen's sons to professional surfing instructors, they do not fit the classic, global image of surfers we have. They are uniquely Indian.