April 2, 2009
Who has the longest necks (on their duttars, that is) and the tallest hats in the music biz? Why the Uighurs, of course. [more inside]
What can jump 4 feet straight up, births identical quadruplet pups nearly every time, can curl itself into an armor-plated ball, walk underwater for up to six minutes and can swallow air until it bloats to double its size to float? [more inside]
Felix's Machines look like someone took a sledgehammer to a player piano. They thump and plink out electronic compositions, embodying Felix Thorn's concept of musical performance without a performer. Perforations is a free album of machine performances put together by Eileen Simpson and Ben White of the Open Music Archive, based on out-of-copyright piano rolls. (also available)
Wafa Younis is an Arab Israeli musician who organised a youth orchestra in the Jenin refugee camp. She recently brought her orchestra to play for Holocaust survivors at an Israeli old age home. The performance was strongly criticised by Palestinians as a hostile political act. Now the orchestra has been disbanded, its performance space sealed, and Ms Younis has been expelled from the West Bank. [more inside]
Soup Over Bethlehem - The mloukhieh in the soup bowl represents the shared national heritage and the meal itself becomes a gastronomic anchoring of a Palestinian identity in eternal flux. [via]
Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt
Trailer for Brüno, the upcoming film by Sacha Baron Cohen, formerly known for his characters Ali G and Borat.
Remember Chitty Chitty Bang Bang? You might enjoy this documentary about the movie. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: After They Were Famous part 1 [more inside]
Via The A.V. Club (which was in turn via Jezebel): Actress Keira Knightley stars in a (graphic) domestic violence PSA for the UK charity Women's Aid. Probably SFW, but may be very upsetting to watch.
Julian Baggini, British philosopher and author of Atheism: A Very Short Introduction, on the destructiveness of the New Atheist movement.
Moleskine nerds of the world, rejoice! You can now easily design and print your own custom pages. (Moleskine geekery here, and elsewhere.)
Like eating brains? I know you do. Why not add some new dishes to your collection of recipes that use the "fifth quarter?" [more inside]
A new university of Melbourne study finds that surfing the web at work can actually boost rather than hurt productivity, even when the content is not work related. Finally I have an excuse for why I am "always looking at that blue site."
No, to us what the fraud Bernard Madoff is to individual investors, AIG is to the global financial community. [via] [more inside]
Everybody knows that the newspaper industry is hurting (auto-play video). Suggestions are floating around to save them. But this Northern California weekly, which regained independence last year from the Village Voice Media goliath and is still struggling to survive, is sure it has the answer... and wrote a musical about it.
For a New Green Society Manifestos on bright green environmentalism. Bright green environmentalism, which is comparable to technogaianism, stands in contrast to light green environmentalism, which focuses on lifestyle changes, and dark green environmentalism, which focuses on political changes; sustainable technology. [via mefi projects]
With red pop! Yeah, I'm not eating that.
Apparently there's at least a 51% chance of God's existence. It starts out 50/50, like with pets. You have, say, either a dog or a cat. It's a 50/50 chance that it's one or the other, just like it's 50/50 that there's a God or not. Well, we exist. You exist. The earth exists. That nudges it up to 51%. If I understand this youtube gentleman. Hilarious exercise in smug delivery of ironclad logic.
StarshipSofa has podcasted all of the Nebula Best Short Story Nominees for 2008, following on from podcasting all but one of the 2008 BSFA short story nominees. Previous StarshipSofa.
In 1988, the hip hop came to the Mormons, thanks to The Walter & Hays Band and their Mormon Rap (lyrics video). Though mocked by some, others take it seriously. Annoyed that there's only a version with guys singing? Morgan made a girl version. [more inside]
Robert Beck was a pimp. "I got out of it because I was old. I did not want to be teased, tormented and brutalized by young whores." While working as an insecticide salesman, one of his customers suggested he write an autobiography. "Iceberg Slim" wrote Pimp: The Story Of My Life in 3 months. It was the beginning of a literary career that made him one of the largest selling African-American authors of all time. He died on April 30, 1992 - one day after the start of the Los Angeles riots. (previously)
Seattle bus riders rejoice! From the Univ. of WA comes One Bus Away which answers the eternal public transit question "where the hell is my freaking bus??" With six flavors of awesome, you can get real-time bus arrival info. via phone, website, SMS, an iPhone-optimized webpage, or for those us still rocking the un-smart phones there's even a text-only webpage available.
The Uprising Of The Ants: "Alexandra Achenbach and Susanne Foitzik from Ludwig Maximillians Universty in Munich found that some of the kidnapped workers don't bow to the whims of their new queen. Once they have matured, they start killing the pupae of their captors, destroying as many as two-thirds of the colony's brood. "