April 15, 2008
Statistics compiled by State Senator Eliot Shapleigh in the state's annual ranking, entitled "Texas on the Brink" report dreary news in just about all categories used to characterize standards of living, from education to health to enfranchisement. [more inside]
This invisible germ of life in the grain of wheat can thus pass unimpaired through three thousand resurrections...
Some of the world's biggest grain exporters barred their farmers from selling in global markets yesterday, exacerbating the food price crisis for poorer nations that import their food and highlighting the failure of governments to nurture stronger rules for agricultural trade. Google news on restrictions on grain exports... Previously on MetaFilter. [more inside]
... I served my time I can speak on it. Fuck this War. American soldiers' latrine graffiti in Kuwait and Afghanistan. A photo essay. [Note: most text and one drawing NSFW]
tiny ghosts "is not supposed to be funny. It isn't a comic. It's about what it feels like to be a monster/ghost/robot/toy/etc. but not the scary kind."
Oscillating beads... now with damping, tension, and loose or fixed ends!
Sick Around the World, the newest documentary piece produced by PBS's Frontline asks: "Can the U.S. learn anything from the rest of the world about how to run a health care system?" Having previously shared a Pulitzer Prize with The New York Times, and produced such quality programs as Bush's War, this should be well worth a mere hour of your time.
The Confederacy of Dunces. The Village Voice's comprehensive election-season guide to right-wing political bloggers, by Roy Edroso of alicublog.
One nation under God. The "bold conservative" GOP Congressman Paul Broun from Georgia is intent upon removing a vexing comma from that phrase in the Pledge of Allegiance, which was amended in 1954 when President Eisenhower was moved by a sermon by one Reverend George M. Docherty on the need to defend America from the "militantly atheistic communism that has already enslaved 800 million of the peoples of the earth, and now menaces the rest of the free world."
Dear Monster Lawyers, Let me begin by stating, without equivocation, that I have no interest whatsoever in infringing upon any intellectual property belonging to Monster Cable. Indeed, the less my customers think my products resemble Monster's, in form or in function, the better.
Guillermo Habacuc Vargas, Bienarte, Maltratador de Animales. Costa Rican artist Guillermo Habacuc Vargas' exhibit El Perrito Vive has drawn a number of criticisms from concerned animal rights activists after he allegedly starved and deprived a dog named Natividad as an installation piece. [more inside]
What happens when a US President declares war on a concept? In 1964, Canadian photojournalist Hugh O'Connor traveled to eastern Kentucky to document the battlefields of Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty and was shot for trespassing. The incident is the subject of a wonderful documentary, Stranger with a Camera by filmmaker Elizabeth Barrett, produced by Appalshop, a non-profit organization in Whitesburg, Kentucky, that works with local artists to promote self-representation in media and the expediency of culture to counteract a stagnating local economy. Makes you think twice about nostalgic representations of poor Appalachian coal miners plucking their banjo strings in the hollers, doesn't it?
Birthday Girl is a catchy song/video from The Roots and Patrick Stump which stars Sasha Grey, an adult film star. It is an amusing literal portrayal of the relationship between internet pervs and weirdos everywhere and the online personalities that humor them.
After breaking the ice with his video message to all Americans, His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI arrives in Washington, D.C. this afternoon for the initial part of his first Papal visit to the United States of America. Watch it all live. [more inside]
Whatever the market will bear. Did you know that Amazon.com charges you different prices for the same goods depending on who you are (and what your browser cookie shows?) This was news to me, but the WaPo and CNN reported it in 2005. [more inside]
Riffing on the 1970s as the "Me Generation," Esquire Magazine once referred to the 1980s as the "Re Generation," making the case that all of our popular music, fashion, etc was being recycled from previous decades. They had no idea. Since then, the flood of entertainment has deposited many more sedimentary layers of pop culture. Today, musicians and music videos mine these condensed strata of modern media as raw materials, producing works of hyper-compressed cultural references. Case in point: The Scissor Sisters' "Comfortably Numb", Justice's "DVNO", and The Darkness' "I Believe in a Thing Called Love." [more inside]
The Kanzius Machine: A Cancer Cure? 60 minutes (12:38) investigates an amateurs garage technology that some are saying "in 20 years of research this is the most exciting thing that I’ve encountered" and one Nobel Prize winner said it "will change medicine forever." The nanotechnology-based cancer therapy without side effects is nearing trials.
The stark, modal banjo and achingly poignant, weathered voice of the great Dock Boggs [previous] are the perfect aural accompaniment to a slideshow of William Gedney's [previous] powerfully intimate photographs: Kentucky, 1964. [more inside]
The last of Disney's Nine Old Men, Ollie Johnston, has passed away at the age of 95. His work at Disney on several classic features and his books with Frank Thomas (The Illusion of Life in particular), have long been inspiring to animators like myself. He was one of the great ones, and will be missed.