February 23, 2010
Lakers beat writer obliterates the myth that Wilt Chamberlain slept with 20,000 women. [more inside]
Superman The Musical! A flop on Broadway about the Man Of Steel was made for TV once in 1975 and never again with Leslie Anne Warren, David Wilson, and Loretta Swit (but you can find it on amazon.)
The team described the mammals' injuries as "perhaps the worst example of inter-specific aggression any of us had ever seen. This young female had literally had the life beaten out of her."
A graphic code uncovered by researchers at the University of Victoria suggests that written communication may have started 30,000 years ago. At least 19 of the symbols were used frequently in far-flung caves over thousands of years, which suggests they represent abstract ideas such as life, love, higher power and death. It also suggests that Ice Age humans – who fall in the range of modern humans – agreed on some common meaning for the code. [more inside]
About 8 years ago, U.S. Representative James Traficant (D-Ohio) was sentenced to 8 years in jail for kickbacks, fraud, bribery, and racketeering. He was tightly connected with the Youngstown Ohio Mafia. At the time, he was only the second Congressman since the Civil War to be expelled by his peers from the institution in a vote of 420:1. The fascinating story of the Youngstown Mafia - and Traficant's rise and fall - is told by David Grann (of Lost City of Z and The New Yorker) in a 2000 article called "Crimetown, U.S.A.". Traficant was released from prison on September 2, 2009 to a hometown hero welcome. On February 23, 2010, Traficant announced he will running for Congress as an Independent.
From the bloody civil wars in Africa to the rag-tag insurgencies in Southeast Asia, 33 conflicts are raging around the world today, and it’s often innocent civilians who suffer the most. [more inside]
Ten Word Wiki is an Encyclopedia for the ADD generation.
We describe everything in ten words exactly. Here's the Index.
We describe everything in ten words exactly. Here's the Index.
Though President Obama has signed no laws since taking office that prohibit gun purchases and ownership, that hasn't stopped permit applications and weapons sales in the United States from rising through the roof and worried state legislators from passing laws they wouldn't otherwise pass, which greatly ease access and allow carrying weapons in, among other public areas, city, state and national parks. Schools may have to get their kids prepared.
In the UK, a government-lead evidence check by the Science and Technology Select Committee has lead to MPs calling for a end to funding of homeopathic remedies on the NHS. [more inside]
Currently gearing up for their first new album in 20 years (previously), Devo are making their new single "Fresh" available for free download for the next 24 hours. [more inside]
One spring afternoon more than 70 years ago, an East Texas teacher turned on an electric sander. The subsequent explosion caused the New London School to lift into the air and then smash into the ground, ultimately leaving some 300 students and teachers dead in the rubble. It remains the worst school disaster in American history. [more inside]
Apartment Therapy, the multi-city shelter blog, generally seems to have an audience that's more Martha Stewart Living than Make. But their Home Hacks 2010 collects lots of little HOWTOs that are totally geek friendly, from "How to Build an Indoor Fort" and "How to Deduct Your Electronic Gear from Your Taxes" to "How to Clean Your Jeans Without Water." (Sure, that last one is meant for designer jeans, but who says you can't use it for your Levi's?)
Art by Riccardo Arena Ok so the site navigation is a bit of a pain, but this guy's stuff is IMHO worthy of any 'talent deserving of wider recognition' gong that might be going begging...
Bjørn Lomborg is well known as the author of Cool It and The Skeptical Environmentalist, books which challenge the scientific consensus on climate change and global warming. Howard Friel, previously known for his book The Record of the Paper, a critical look at the New York Times' coverage of American foreign policy, has a book coming out in March which asserts that Lomborg's Cool It lies constantly, citing sources which contradict or are irrelevant to his points. Lomborg, in response, has posted a rebuttal to Friel (PDF).
It's true! IHOP is serving FREE PANCAKES TODAY to celebrate International Pancake Day. But wait... aren't they a week late? Who cares - I'll be glad to celebrate this day twice. [Previously: 2009 2008 2007 2006 . . . MetaFilter loves pancakes amirite?]
Auto-Tune the News #10. The Auto-Tune folks come out with their next tune, and, like most of their ouevre so far, darn if they don't make Congress sound catchy. Sing about that turtle fence, Hoekstra baby!
"What if the boy didn’t stop? Would you spank him forever, or would you stop when it bordered on abuse, in which case the child would win?" On February 6, seven-year-old Lydia Schatz was murdered by her parents. Her eleven-year-old sister Zariah was hospitalized for kidney failure, among other injuries. Both girls had repeatedly been beaten with quarter-inch plastic plumbing supply line, a punishment instrument recommended by Michael and Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy ministries. [more inside]
"Forget everything you did today. Clear your schedule and spend the next half hour watching this video. It’s a presentation by Jesse Schell, founder of Schell Games and former creative director of the Disney Imagineering Virtual Reality Studio. A veteran game designer, he is also on the faculty of the Entertainment Technology Center at Carnegie Mellon University. In a talk at the DICE 2010 conference held last week in Las Vegas, he gave a presentation called Design Outside the Box. It is the most mind-blowing thing I’ve seen in a long, long time. And while this presentation was about the future of games, Schell could very well be talking about the future of technology."
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled unanimously that a corporation's principal place of business is where the executive's work (HQ), not where the company does business. The practical effect of this ruling is that it will be harder to sue corporations in state courts, which are often more plaintiff-friendly than federal courts. For example, in this case Hertz employees sued the company in California, where they worked, for unpaid overtime and vacation wages. The company tried to move the case to federal court, but it was returned to state court on the basis that most of the company's business was done in California. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. Justice Breyer, writing for the court, reversed. The Court's decision (pdf format) essentially holds that a company's headquarters is where it is located. [more inside]
In 1902, Francisco Tárrega wrote a very nice waltz. Little did he realize that 91 years later, a few bars in the middle would be plucked from obscurity to become the most-frequently heard tune in the world. And now, the beguilingly irksome Nokia Tune has begotten its own subgenre of pieces - some silly, some lovely - that take its theme as a starting point. Fugues! Improvisations! Orchestrations! Parodies! And perhaps my favourite: A whole new waltz. [more inside]
Obsessed with xkcd's Movie Narrative Charts? (previously) So was Vadim Ogievetsky. For his final project in a Data Visualization course at Stanford, he developed a tool to generate his own, including the Star Wars Original Trilogy and Pulp Fiction. Now he offers the webapp online for you to take a stab at it. [more inside]
Toyota executives are currently testifying before Congress about the safety issues that have led to the recall of millions of vehicles. They insist that "We are confident that no problems exist with the electronic throttle control system in our vehicles." Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) says "I would not consider... of value" their report in support of this claim.
Saw on Gizmodo today a DIY 3D Printer, based on an open source design, that prints ceramic structures ready for firing. 3D printing has been around for years, but the low-end of this technology fascinates me. Once these machines get more widely into the hands of non-engineers, how many Bathsheba Grossmans out there will emerge with ready-to-print designs for craftsmen around the world to tweak and innovate? Twinkling of a peer-to-peer manufacturing revolution?
8 Ways to Make Beatles Rock Band More Appealing to 14 Year Old Boys Quick recommendations to make the next edition of Beatles Rock Band more appealing to fourteen year old boys, based on the findings of my investigation.
How to explain video games to a medievalist, or at least, the sub-set of medievalists who are not also video game geeks (who I think are a larger group than Got Medieval does).
There are many ways to eat your own head. You could start from the inside out, then maybe wrap your face around your neck. Or you could try a more convoluted approach with an elaborate use of the tongue. You could eat your own head one piece at a time. Whether or not you have a natural talent for self-cannibalism, do your very best with your face.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the amazing voice of Luc Arbogast. Here's another video of his impressive singing, if you can manage to ignore the dodgy camera work and annoying tourists. [more inside]
Yummy avocados. So delicious...so contentious...and at times...so expensive. Why have prices in the U.S., particularly California, been so high? And why have they dropped? Weather and a bad crop? Or are the causes often more insidious? A one act play sums up one perspective on the situation. [more inside]