March 22, 2010
ACORN, the low-income community grassroots organisation, is set to close by April 1st, citing "a series of well-orchestrated, relentless, well-funded, right-wing attacks that are unprecedented since the McCarthy era". Meanwhile the New York Times has issued a correction on the stories which led to the 87-3 vote to remove ACORN's Federal funding (previously), admiting that "while footage shot away from the offices shows one activist, James O'Keefe, in a flamboyant pimp costume, there is no indication that he was wearing the costume while talking to the Acorn workers."
MoMA has acquired the @ symbol into its collection, and provides a short history on @ to accompany the announcement. [more inside]
Young Me / Now Me (slzf)
The Story of Bottled Water (direct YT link) - Annie Leonard (Colbert Nation; previously) narrates a new video about bottled water. World Water Day is March 22.
The NHS Behind the Headlines site gives the scientific facts behind the medical stories making the news.
Google vs. China, Round 2! Starting today, Google has redirected google.cn to their other Chinese search engine, google.com.hk. Will China be forced to block access to their own domains? Will Hong Kong, home to widespread political protest, be further segregated from the mainland? For the benefit of Western audiences, Google has made a page for us see what's getting blocked. (previously/2)
A new study suggests that humanity's sense of fair play and kindness towards strangers is determined by culture, not genetics. Speculation: the finding may be directly related to the rise of religion in human history, as well as more complex economies. (Via). [more inside]
The League of Moveable Type offers a growing collection of high-quality, open-source fonts to help make the web a bit nicer to look at.
Is Vitamin C worth taking or not? Does Echinacea kill colds? Am I missing out not drinking litres of Goji juice, wheatgrass extract and flaxseed oil every day? A generative data-visualisation of all the scientific evidence for popular health supplements by David McCandless and Andy Perkins. (Still Image) (data) [via] [more inside]
Two-part video of interviews with residents of a home for elderly prostitutes in Mexico's senior-citizen sex-worker capital. (via)
Fine Structure: Ching raises one hand ahead of him and delivers a series of complex commands to the fabric of reality. [more inside]
Playing basketball from the closet. From Dime Magazine's post - Secret Life of the Gay American Basketball Player. [more inside]
Advanced Squad Leader is a tactical-level board wargame, originally marketed by Avalon Hill Games, that simulates actions of approximately company or battalion size in World War II. ... Despite the price tag and the expensive lists of prerequisites for each new module, the game system caught on and new modules continued to be produced twenty years after the original release - a feat unheard of in the board wargaming industry, especially with the decline in sales due to rising popularity of console and PC games. [more inside]
When a tree falls in the forest, but nobody comes along for 45,000 years, can you still hear it? Recipe for 'preserved wood' (not 'petrified' wood): take one dead tree, cover with enough mud or freezing water to keep oxygen out, wait. How long? Perhaps only 45 years, in the case of the Suriname hardwoods being harvested with underwater robot saws. Or maybe around 100 years, for the millions of logs that sank in Lake Superior during logging operations, now being brought to the surface. But the carbon dating of 45,000 years on the Kauri wood being 'logged' in New Zealand swamps and turned into furniture has these beat.
Back in the 1920s, when Warren "Baby" Dodds was busy inventing jazz drumming in the company of pioneers like King Oliver, Jelly Roll Morton and Louis Armstrong, to "give the drummer some" usually never meant more than a couple of bars fill every now and again. Fortunately, though, come 1946, when Dodds was already an older man but still in fine playing form, someone had the wherewithal to record this seminal percussion stylist in a series of extended drum solos, displaying his exuberant rhythmic stylings as well as his lending of superbly playful swing to the the rudiments. But let's jump back to the 20's again, and hear drummer Dodds, with the aforementioned King Oliver, take what's gotta be the killingest slide whistle solo in all of jazz history. [more inside]
Tom Bissell recounts how he was addicted to video games and cocaine and how beautiful he finds computer games. Tom Bissell, who was profiled by Poets & Writers three years ago when his writing career seemed like it could only go up, has written books and articles for such magazines as The New Yorker, Harper's, Esquire, The Believer, among others. For the last three years he's spent his writing time on Grand Theft Auto IV and other games. The Observer convened a number of games journalists and industry folk to converse about video games in connection to Bissell's essay. Earthworm Jim designer Dave Perry gave a TED talk a few years ago about the increasing aesthetic value of games which included a video by a college student Michael Highland called As Real as Your Life, which presents his thoughts about what it's like to have grown up on computer games. [Tom Bissell previously on MeFi]