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April 11, 2011
Recording engineer Roger Nichols has died
The veteran recording engineer and seven-time grammy winner Roger Nichols lost his battle with pancreatic cancer and passed away April 9th at age 66. Though not a household name, you've undoubtedly heard at least one album he did the sound for. Some of the artists he engineered recordings for were Stevie Wonder, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Frank Zappa, Donald Fagen, John Denver, the Beach Boys, Crosby Stills & Nash, Al Di Meola, Roy Orbison, Andy Laverne, Plácido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, Rickie Lee Jones, Kenny Loggins, Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, and Toots Thielemans, among others. He also invented the first functional drum sampling machine WENDL (.pdf file), first used on the 1979 "Gaucho" album. He is likely best known for the amazing pristine sound he achieved for every album done by Mssrs. Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, aka Steely Dan. He was a giant in his field, a real innovator, and it is a sad loss for the industry.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:45 PM PST - 28 comments

Confidential!
Derailing a train isn't as easy as you might think. [1944] (Declassified WW2 OSS training video.) [more inside]
posted by crunchland at 9:49 PM PST - 55 comments

It's not the spectacles and pagaentry.....
The mayor of Washington DC has been arrested, along with 6 of the 12 members of its city council, during a protest today near a US Senate office building, objecting to the city's use as a bargaining chip while negotiating the 7th Continuing Resolution to avoid a government shutdown last Friday. The bill prohibits the District of Columbia from locally funding abortion services, and imposes a locally-unpopular school voucher program. Had the government shutdown taken place, the DC government would have also had to suspend most of its operations including trash pickup. For those of you keeping track, Vince Gray is the 3rd (of 6) DC mayor to be arrested while in office. [more inside]
posted by schmod at 6:50 PM PST - 93 comments

It's Bond, James Bond - I'm here for my doctor's appointment!
For most of his 81 years, Sir Roger Moore has played invincible leading men. "But behind the scenes he has cheerfully hidden a list of real (and imagined) ailments.You are late,’ says Sir Roger Moore in a deep growl. I apologise. I had thought the interview was at nine o’clock. ‘I am just off to the funeral parlour,’ he continues." [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 5:33 PM PST - 94 comments

Oh Beautiful, for Super Skies
With Marvel Comics hinting that Black Panther will become "American Panther", a typical storm of controversy and speculation has occurred over the supposed Americanization of an African character. The artists over at The Temple of Cartoon Mojo on the other hand, wondered what would happen if MORE iconic characters were made patriotic. The results range from the silly, to the utterly awesome.
posted by happyroach at 5:29 PM PST - 79 comments

What Yuri Gagarin Saw
First Orbit. "On 12th April 2011 it will be 50 years to the day since Yuri Gagarin climbed into his space ship and was launched into space. It took him just 108 minutes to orbit Earth and he returned as the World's very first space man. To mark this historic flight we have teamed up with the astronauts onboard the International Space Station to film a new view of what Yuri would have seen as he travelled around the planet. Weaving these new views together with historic voice recordings from Yuri's flight and an original score by composer Philip Sheppard, we have created a spellbinding film to share with people around the World on this historic anniversary." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 5:07 PM PST - 32 comments

Everything's made up, and the points don't matter
Years after its final broadcast, the award-winning, pond-hopping, cult comedy hit Whose Line is it Anyway? is returning to television! Sort of! Tonight in just a few minutes, Drew Carey's Improv-A-Ganza (promo, sample segment) makes its debut on GSN, reuniting Carey with popular "Whosers" Ryan Stiles, Colin Mochrie, Greg Proops, Brad Sherwood, Wayne Brady, and many more. Though the show will air every weekday, you don't have to wait around for new episodes to get your improv fix -- in spite of the lack of DVD box sets, there's a veritable treasure trove of past content available free from multiple online sources, including the complete run of the American Whose Line on both YouTube and fansite WatchWLIIA along with every episode of the original UK run from Channel4's official YouTube channel and their streaming video site 4oD. Too much content? Look inside for selections of the show's most hilarious moments as sampled from the show's burgeoning TVTropes entry. See also: Fan guide - American episode guide (UK version) - List of game types [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 5:00 PM PST - 49 comments

If Asians in Asia bring about apocalypse or head up the new world order, Asian Americans will suffer the worst.
The Yellow Plague: Asians and Asian Americans in Post-Apocalyptic and Zombie Fictions
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:43 PM PST - 35 comments

Waiting For Manny
The recently retired Manny Ramirez was one of the most inscrutable players in recent history. Ben McGrath of the New Yorker attempted to figure out Ramirez's motivations in this 2007 piece.
posted by reenum at 4:34 PM PST - 32 comments

Free Darko goes dark.
Free Darko calls it quits. Contributors to the irreverent basketball writing site that Brian Philips describes as "a vintage record shop that radiation turned into a grad student" talk about what Free Darko meant to them. Also, an interview with Free Darko writer and illustrator Bethlehem Shoals and Jacob Weinstein.
posted by AceRock at 4:24 PM PST - 19 comments

Head Tracking for iPad: Glasses-Free 3D Display
Head Tracking for iPad: Glasses-Free 3D Display - Jeremie Francone and Laurence Nigay of the Grenoble Informatics Laboratory track the user's head using an iPad's front facing camera, using the positional data to create the impression of depth without the use of specialized glasses [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:22 PM PST - 24 comments

Finger painting
Adobe announces Photoshop Touch SDK plus three Photoshop iPad apps
posted by Artw at 3:45 PM PST - 30 comments

| | | | | |
/ / R | | P \ \ for the recently departed John McCracken (1934 – 2011), a West Coast artist who brought a New Age openness to Minimalist sculpture, along with a vocabulary of bright, sleek slabs, blocks and columns that balanced teasingly between painting and sculpture. [more inside]
posted by wcfields at 3:43 PM PST - 5 comments

Happy surprise at 40000 feet
Photographer Nate Bolt, on a overnight San Francisco to Paris flight, set up a time lapse camera to record the journey (with permission), and found midflight that he was shooting an aurora borealis. [more inside]
posted by ZeusHumms at 3:32 PM PST - 16 comments

Maps Of U.S. Population Change, 2000-2010
The Death of Downtown Chicago and 20 More Maps Of U.S. Population Change, 2000-2010 [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange at 2:52 PM PST - 42 comments

vintage Japan and Hong Kong
Old Hong Kong/Macau clips 1949-1989 by Michael Rogge, now 81, who was stationed in Hong Kong and Japan. He documented his life in photos and 16mm film, clips on YT | his YouTube channel | Old Japan in 1870 Engravings. Taken from a Dutch magazine 'De aarde en haar volken' of 1875. Engravings done by French artists. | Old JAPAN in 1869 in engravings French engravings, part of a travelogue, picture a weird Japan. Pictures appeared in Dutch magazine 'De Aarde en haar Volken' of 1869 and were engraved by French artists. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 2:10 PM PST - 5 comments

I shall call it... NAWNCO.
A logic puzzle called NAWNCO.
posted by lemuring at 1:39 PM PST - 63 comments

$100,000 on a gazebo an hour's drive away.
"The Harper government misinformed Parliament to win approval for a $50-million G8 fund that lavished money on dubious projects in a Conservative riding, the auditor general has concluded." Or maybe not - the final report won't be released until Parliament is sitting again. Or, maybe not - John Baird says the Conservative party would agree to a release of the final report.
posted by joannemerriam at 12:59 PM PST - 97 comments

A critical moment in statistics
Statistical hypothesis testing with a p-value of less than 0.05 is often used as a gold standard in science, and is required by peer reviewers and journals when stating results. Some statisticians argue that this indicates a cult of significance testing using a frequentist statistical framework that is counterintuitive and misunderstood by many scientists. Biostatisticians have argued that the (over)use of p-vaues come from "the mistaken idea that a single number can capture both the long-run outcomes of an experiment and the evidential meaning of a single result" and identify several other problems with significance testing. XKCD demonstrates how misunderstandings of the nature of the p-value, failure to adjust for multiple comparisons, and the file drawer problem result in likely spurious conclusions being published in the scientific literature and then being distorted further in the popular press. You can simulate a similar situation yourself. John Ioannidis uses problems with significance testing and other statistical concerns to argue, controversially, that "most published research findings are false." Will the use of Bayes factors replace classical hypothesis testing and p-values? Will something else?
posted by grouse at 12:56 PM PST - 45 comments

The US Pot describes the Chinese Kettle, and the Kettle replies in kind
Recently, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton released the 35th annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, covering the legal status of human rights in more than 190 countries and territories around the world. This year, Clinton had tough words for China, amid crackdowns on dissent. In response, China provides a profile of the US, pointing out actions related to Wikileaks, civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the prisoner abuse scandals related to counterterrorism initiatives. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:46 PM PST - 49 comments

Make Model, Make Model
Photos of Auto Buds. "Auto Buds are two cars of the same make, model, color, or as identical as possible, that are parked right next to each other or in close proximity."
posted by geoff. at 12:18 PM PST - 73 comments

Does what it says on the tin
An exegesis of sexual subtext in "Predator" [more inside]
posted by jtron at 11:45 AM PST - 94 comments

The Periodic Table of Storytelling.
The Periodic Table of Storytelling. via
posted by Rumple at 11:23 AM PST - 32 comments

"This house believes that the world would be better off without nuclear power."
The Economist is holding an online debate on nuclear power. These debates provide a great opportunity to get an overview of the different perspectives on an issue. If f you are so inclined, you can share your own views on the topic too. Today's discussions focus on a contribution by Amory Lovins.
posted by philipy at 11:08 AM PST - 70 comments

Your wise men don't know how it feels
Thick As A Brick (Google Video, YouTube) is Jethro Tull's 1972 album/song of epic proportions. The lyrics are lengthy and confusing. But they are not incomprehensible! You can learn to play the whole thing. It also had very extensive packaging. [presented here in nice clickable-article format]
posted by hippybear at 10:27 AM PST - 56 comments

Tama River
Tama River Film: Tama River by Anders Edström & Karen Langley. Music: Yoko Ono, Let’s Go On Flying. Model: Ai Tominaga
posted by puny human at 9:10 AM PST - 8 comments

So Easy, Even Kirk Could Do It
George Takei and Patty Duke filmed a series of Star Trek themed spots promoting the Social Security Administration's website.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 7:50 AM PST - 43 comments

A girl and her room.
A girl and her room. Photographer Rania Matar has taken dozens of pictures of teenage girls in their bedrooms, in both the US and the Middle East. (Slightly NSFW) (via)
posted by shakespeherian at 7:48 AM PST - 105 comments

Are you stronger than a 5th grader?
9-year-old Naomi Kutin squats 187 at a bodyweight of 88 lbs. This breaks the 100% Raw record for the 97 lb class, held for a number of years by a woman in her late 20's. [more inside]
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 7:42 AM PST - 62 comments

A Huge, Incredible Scam
The reality of For Profit Educatation in Infographic form. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 7:41 AM PST - 60 comments

Watson has begun selecting targets
Google launches a trivia game where Googling is not cheating, but encouraged
posted by ConstantineXVI at 6:49 AM PST - 25 comments

Some disassembly required
After completing it's final mission in March, Space Shuttle Discovery has been returned to the Kennedy Space Center's Orbiter Processing Facility, where it is being dissembled for cleaning and decommissioning. Spaceflight Now has pictures of the process.
posted by helloknitty at 6:34 AM PST - 49 comments

Hello everybody out there using minix
I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones.

With these words, an unknown hacker named Linus Torvalds released Linux into the world, 20 years ago this year. [more inside]
posted by DU at 5:11 AM PST - 237 comments

Conflict of interest? What?
Swedish "Pirate" MEP Christian Engström has announced that today or tomorrow Europe will be voting on extending copyrights for recorded music from 50 years to 95 years.

Recently, Engström and Dutch liberal party D66 MEP Marietje Schaake have submitted a formal question to the European Commission on the conflict of interest arising from their appointment of Maria Martin-Prat. Martin-Prat has spent years directing 'global legal policy' for IFPI, the global recording industry's London-based trade group, but will now be overseeing IPRED and the ongoing ACTA proposals (previously).

On the other side of the pond, Judge Beryl Howell has overturned restrictions established by lower courts on the issuing mass subpoenas to ISPs during her first week on the U.S. D.C. District Court (previously, known results). Beryl Howell was recently employed as an RIAA lobbyist and Executive Managing Director and General Counsel at the pirate chasing company Stroz Friedberg.
posted by jeffburdges at 3:17 AM PST - 211 comments

Full veil banned for Muslim women in France.
A law has come into force in France which makes it an offence for a Muslim woman to conceal her face behind a veil when in public. [more inside]
posted by dubold at 2:51 AM PST - 445 comments