April 5, 2008

Charlton Heston dead at 84

Charlton Heston has died at age 84.
posted by cerebus19 at 9:51 PM PST - 264 comments

"I find myself looking for catharsis."

The Boneyard. I’ve come to bear witness to American folly, to rest my eyes on the flying machines that flattened the forests of Southeast Asia, poisoned its people, and changed my life. A personal essay about the long-reaching effects of Agent Orange. [more inside]
posted by amyms at 7:35 PM PST - 14 comments

Maybe James Brown was TOO funky

James Brown was known as the hardest working man in show business. Most people concentrate on his musical legacy while others see him as a central figure in the civil rights movement. And while there are many who view Mr. Brown as a "moral conscience for black people" those inside his his private world seem to have viewed him as a drug fueled maniac who grew up in a whore house and had little regard for women. via
posted by aburd at 4:27 PM PST - 46 comments

If it looks too good to be true...

After just eleven months of operation, Skybus has ceased operations and declared bankruptcy. It's the third American airline to do so in the past week. That, plus the fact that the FAA is coming under fire for its failure to spot missed inspections, makes this a pretty ugly week in American aviation.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:05 PM PST - 71 comments

Database of free speculative fiction online

Free Speculative Fiction Online is a database of free science fiction and fantasy stories online by published authors (no fan-fiction or stories by unpublished writers). Among the authors that FSFO links to are Paul Di Filippo (14 stories), James Tiptree, Jr. (4 stories), Connie Willis (3 stories), Eleanor Arnason (3 stories), Bruce Sterling (5 stories), Robert Heinlein (7 stories), Ursula K. LeGuin (3 stories), Jonathan Lethem (5 stories), Michael Moorcock (6 stories), Chine Miéville (2 stories), Samuel R. Delany (3 stories), Robert Sheckley (8 stories), MeFite Charles Stross (33 stories) and hundreds of other authors. If you don't know where to start, there's a list of recommended stories.
posted by Kattullus at 1:52 PM PST - 34 comments

A Guide To Recognizing Your Setts

For those of you who are celebrating Tartan Day on April 6, a little primer on tartans. Tartans began in Scotland as woven wool patterns used as district identifiers, created using locally popular patterns and, originally, different natural wool colors. The word tartan originally just meant the style of weaving -- take the yarn over two cross strands, then under two, then repeat. Eventually the meaning changed to what we now accept, the patterns of colors in the weave, also called the sett. [more inside]
posted by Shotgun Shakespeare at 12:56 PM PST - 31 comments

Kung-Fu Bear

Behold Claude, the Kung-Fu Bear. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:15 AM PST - 40 comments

Sin Cities.

The show Sin Cities hosted by Ashley Hames is NSFW or most other places.
Episodes include:

Human Furniture
Pig Man Fetish
and
Puppy Play Fetish
posted by gman at 11:10 AM PST - 20 comments

World Governments & Accountability

Social Watch monitors the progress of efforts, articulated in numerous international agreements (1 2 3), to end poverty and increase equality worldwide. By coordinating the reports of a network of citizens' organizations, Social Watch aims to keep tabs on progress toward specific initiatives in each country, lobbying national governments as appropriate. Search by country for a snapshot of social and economic progress. Browse various measures of stability and meaningful development. Lots more, including meaty, well-documented reports and statistics, and holy crapola, nice graphics.
posted by Rykey at 11:05 AM PST - 6 comments

A Hungry Man is an Angry Man

Land turned to biofuels in the US alone in the last two years would have fed nearly 250 million people with average grain needs. Prices of all staple food has risen 80% in three years. 33 countries face unrest because of these price rises. Subsidiziation of Biofuel is driving the poor to starvation. In Bangladesh Biofuel production hits food security. Half of Pakistan population at the risk of food insecurity, warns WFP. Cost of food increases hunger in Nepal. wiki
posted by adamvasco at 9:19 AM PST - 81 comments

Happy Birthday Bette!

How many times have you heard this before. Who else can you imagine voicing that line except for the indomitable Ruth Elizabeth Davis. A screen icon for more than six decades, Miss Davis (as she preferred to be called) was in a league all by herself. The first woman recipient of the American Film Institutes Life Time Achievement Award, she minced no words and inspired the next generation of actresses to come. (If you'd like, you can tune into TCM and watch some of her most memorable performances that are being telecast this month, or if you're lucky enough to be in Britain, you can probably catch it at a cinema near you.) Until then, here's the immortal Bette Davis Eyes sung by Kim Carnes, which Bette Davis herself was a fan of, and a clip of the Academy Awards Radio Broadcast featuring Miss Davis for her role in Jezebel. In the end, she did do it the hard way.
posted by hadjiboy at 3:57 AM PST - 16 comments

Waits for applause...not a sausage

The Goon Show was a popular and influential radio comedy produced by the BBC from 1951 - 1960, starring Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Harry Secombe. Here, you can listen to it whenever you like. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio at 3:04 AM PST - 37 comments

That ain't Greek. Nuh-uh.

The Olympic torch is being welcomed this weekend in the UK as a symbol of the sporting spirit, uniting people around the world in peaceful competition. But the idea of lighting the torch at the ancient Olympian site in Greece and then running it through different countries has much darker origins. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:24 AM PST - 37 comments

"[P]ropaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state...."

Need money? Have a blog? Well, your troubles may be over: "Hiring a block of bloggers to verbally attack a specific person or promote a specific message may be worth considering." Of course, if you don't want to play along, there are other ways to make your blog useful:
Hacking the site and subtly changing the messages and data—merely a few words or phrases—may be sufficient to begin destroying the blogger’s credibility with the audience.... If the messages are subtly tweaked and the data corrupted in the right way, the enemy may reason that the blogger in question has betrayed them and... take down the site (and the blogger) themselves....
Who might you be interested in "clandestinely recruiting or hiring prominent bloggers"? Oh, the US military.
posted by orthogonality at 2:19 AM PST - 20 comments