April 10, 2011

Villians spotted at Melbourne University!

The annual Melbourne University Puzzle Hunt is back - and this time they need your help fending off villians with your puzzle-solving abilities. Anyone from anywhere in the world can compete in teams of 1 to 10 people (or you can see the puzzles for yourself and play at home). [more inside]
posted by divabat at 10:42 PM PST - 7 comments

A Story of Love, War and Science

"This is the story of Walter and Ina…" "It begins before they met, when he was taking aerial photographs of occupied France from a Sopwith A2, and she was looking for work in rural Texas and worrying about the boys “over there.” They continued on separate paths until 1924." I'm a sucker for a good love story, and one that elicits nostalgia through historical documents is even better. Here is one such story. Although I have only just now begun to read the correspondence myself, I immediately thought that MeFi was a good place to share it. The curator of these letters is Dr. Alan Dove, a virologist and podcaster. Walter and Ina were his grandparents.
posted by Moody834 at 7:37 PM PST - 4 comments

Not for old fogies.

“The flapper movement is not a craze, but something that will stay,” the author maintained. “Many of the phrases now employed by members of this order will eventually find a way into common usage and be accepted as good English.” [more inside]
posted by timory at 6:05 PM PST - 83 comments

"I don't know if I should be photographing that or not"

On filming desperately graphic war footage. Aussie photojournalist was 5 metres away when a 12 year old suicide bomber detonated a bomb.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 5:39 PM PST - 96 comments

It's time to share memories.

WWII German soldiers speak about their experiences. 'The myth that the Nazi-era German armed forces, the Wehrmacht, was not involved in war crimes persisted for decades after the war. Now two German researchers have destroyed it once and for all. Newly published conversations between German prisoners of war, secretly recorded by the Allies, reveal horrifying details of violence against civilians, rape and genocide.''What already seems hardly feasible for current military operations like the war in Afghanistan is nearly impossible when it comes to an event that happened so long ago as World War II. Nevertheless, two German historians have managed to produce precisely such a documentary of perceptions of the war using live historical recordings.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 5:25 PM PST - 44 comments

"They asked us who we were, and we told them we were civilians from Kijran district."

A Tragedy of Errors. On Feb. 21, 2010, a convoy of vehicles carrying civilians headed down a mountain in central Afghanistan and American eyes in the sky were watching. "The Americans were using some of the most sophisticated tools in the history of war, technological marvels of surveillance and intelligence gathering that allowed them to see into once-inaccessible corners of the battlefield. But the high-tech wizardry would fail in its most elemental purpose: to tell the difference between friend and foe." FOIA-obtained transcripts of US cockpit and radio conversations and an interactive feature provide a more in-depth understanding of what happened.
posted by zarq at 4:23 PM PST - 60 comments

tl;dr

Jörg Piringer presents all displayable characters in the unicode range 0 - 65536 (49571 characters). one character per frame.
posted by juv3nal at 3:43 PM PST - 82 comments

As Michael Cera said in that movie about Twitter, “We don’t even know what this is yet.”

Have you ever gotten lost in the Myst-inspired architecture of Anthology Film Archives’ website, or struggled awkwardly with the Chinese puzzle box-construction of BAMcinematek’s calendars? Have you ever circled the block at Lincoln Plaza in search of the secret entrance to the fabled Walter Reade Theater? (Hint: look behind the waterfall.) Have you found yourself asking time and again, “What the fuck is Union Docs?”
The brainchild of critic Paul Brunick, Alt Screen is a new site billed as "a comprehensive digital resource covering film exhibitions and related special events in the New York City area." The contributing editors include blogger Jim Emerson, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky [previously] and Nathan Lee (apparently coming out of retirement).
posted by alexoscar at 3:30 PM PST - 8 comments

Picma Squared

Picma Squared (flash, game) "You got your Picross in my Minesweeper!" "You got your Minesweeper in my Picross!" [more inside]
posted by Ufez Jones at 3:29 PM PST - 8 comments

"Art is an invention of aesthetics, which in turn is an invention of philosophers.... What we call art is a game."

What If Your Favorite Album Was a Book? Rock classics from from Arcade Fire to Zeppelin, reimagined as book covers. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 3:13 PM PST - 33 comments

Luis Posada Carilles Acquitted

Luis Posada Carilles Acquitted. [more inside]
posted by lalochezia at 2:55 PM PST - 8 comments

Trees and Young Trees of different bones

A lion taxidermied by a taxidermist who had never seen a lion. - more info here in Swedish (translation). More daft taxidermy.
posted by Artw at 2:02 PM PST - 47 comments

It even comes with an extra long twisty tie! Let's keep it safe.

Remember, only you can prevent unboxing videos. (SLYT)
posted by yellowbinder at 1:07 PM PST - 78 comments

Are We There Yet?

Zerosomethings are adorable: angst-free, energetic, usually related to me. They will grab onto one my legs to get a free ride, and I will always give it to them. A precocious twentysomething's artful musings on the series of life-stages most of us have passed, are passing, or will pass through in the course of ordinary survival. Reading "-Somethings" I am reminded of Gail Sheehy's classic Passages: Predictable Crises of Adult Life (read a portion here), a thought-provoking and somewhat more academic investigation of how we change over time.
posted by fernabelle at 12:47 PM PST - 30 comments

From #elxn40 to #elxn41: Mapping Canada's last most recent federal election

Cédric Sam has released an updated version of his 2008 Google Maps and Google Earth layers showing Canada's 2008 federal election data in every riding across the country, accessible down to the polling district level. A great GIS data visualization tool for understanding how your riding or district may vote on May 2.
posted by HLD at 12:10 PM PST - 5 comments

Putzmeister pumps & Fukushima exclusion-zone road trip

Putzmeister pumps Fukushima up. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 11:54 AM PST - 15 comments

What Is to Be Done?

What Is to Be Done? Tim Kreider of The Pain muses about the future of cartooning as a payable profession
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:30 AM PST - 41 comments

My name is Modus Tollens, and I help you spot cheaters.

Subjects don't need formal logic training. They don't need math or philosophy. Fewer than 10 percent of the participants got it right when Peter Cathcart Wason performed his 1966 study, the Wason Selection Task. But according to an essay by Bruce Schneier referencing the work of evolutionary psychologists Leda Cosmides and John Tooby, that number improves, by 65 to 80 percent "...when the rule has to do with cheating and privilege."
posted by fartknocker at 9:40 AM PST - 35 comments

Evan Brewer and two basses.

Sunday Morning Music (at least in PST): Evan Brewer plays a melancholy little piece on two six-string basses (SLYT).
posted by Existential Dread at 9:30 AM PST - 1 comments

Schwinn Sting-ray

The Classic Schwinn Sting-ray: A Lucky Boy's First Fast Wheels
posted by puny human at 8:54 AM PST - 40 comments

"It's ironic that Ikea looks on the U.S. and Danville the way that most people in the U.S. look at Mexico."

Ikea's U.S. factory churns out unhappy workers. A union-organizing battle hangs over the Ikea plant in Virginia. Workers complain of eliminated raises, a frenzied pace, mandatory overtime and racial discrimination.
posted by hippybear at 8:27 AM PST - 109 comments

The Well of Death

Ladies and Gentlemen, presenting Maut ka Kuan, a.k.a. Death Pit or Well of Death, a inverted cone of wooden planks assembled for the express purpose of driving motorcycles and cars in circles at speeds that make them stick to the walls. The drivers can collect a little cash along the way.
posted by bwg at 6:30 AM PST - 42 comments

What's the continent-wide frequency, phase angle and voltage, Kenneth?

FNET is a low-cost, GPS-synchronized wide-area power system frequency measurement network. Highly accurate Frequency Disturbance Recorders (FDRs) [...] measure the frequency, phase angle, and voltage of the power signal found at ordinary 120-V electrical outlets. Animated map. [via]
posted by slater at 4:34 AM PST - 26 comments

Statue of an angel with mobile phone and laptop on 16th century cathedral

A statue of an angel holding a mobile phone has been unveiled at St John’s Cathedral in the southern Dutch city of 's-Hertogenbosch. The cathedral features a lot of statues. Among them gargoyle like statuettes on the flying buttresses. [more inside]
posted by joost de vries at 1:54 AM PST - 74 comments