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April 28, 2011
Physics tricks could create one-way soundproofing
Physics tricks could create one-way soundproofing. Materials that genuinely discriminate between the direction of light or sound might be possible, according to a new study. That could make for true one-way mirrors or for directional soundproofing—imagine, for instance, a wall through which sound can enter but not escape.
posted by Leisure_Muffin at 10:11 PM PST - 35 comments

How I Wrote
How I Wrote is a series of videos from The Guardian where musicians perform a song after talking about it a little bit. Among the artists who've taken part are Rufus Wainwright, Kristin Hersh, Corinne Bailey Rae, Laura Marling, Keren Ann, Patrick Wolf, Elbow, Gruff Rhys, Warpaint, Cee Lo Green, Antony and the Johnsons, P. J. Harvey and Emmy the Great, who sings a song about the Royal Wedding, appropriately enough for today (though I suppose the Cee Lo Green song is appropriate too).
posted by Kattullus at 8:42 PM PST - 27 comments

I guess you could always dust off that Britannica set ...
"Let's pretend it's an alternate world, or maybe sometime in the future, and there is no free search. You have to pay for your Google, or Bing, or whatever. How much would you be willing to pay?"
posted by bayani at 6:56 PM PST - 119 comments

Beware the cobweb-draped hand of the motherland.
Australian comedy troupe The Chaser (best known for breaking into the APEC summit in 2007) have been banned from reporting on the Royal Wedding by the Royal Family. The Chaser respond. [more inside]
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 5:53 PM PST - 168 comments

"Neo-classi-cosmoidal-cosmetic, in a nutshell."
Split Enz were to New Zealand what the Beatles were to the UK, and like the fabs their legacy is impressive: an endlessly entertaining back-catalogue and some inspiring solo and band offshoots. One of these, Crowded House, captured more of the world's attention, but few in New Zealand would question the priority of the Enz. Which must be why, in 2007, Radio New Zealand made an eight-hour documentary series split over ten podcasts about their fascinating journey from art-folk-classical-prog to New Wave pop mastery: Enzology is essential listening for any Split Enz fan, featuring "excerpts from all the hits and numerous album tracks, plus previously unreleased demos, live recordings and studio out-takes gathered from the band members' personal archives and elsewhere". [more inside]
posted by rory at 5:16 PM PST - 63 comments

NFL Draft and Lockout
The Carolina Panthers have drafted Cam Newton with the top pick in tonight's NFL Draft (watch the 1st round live here). The draft is taking place against the uncertainty of an intense battle between the owners and players (previously on mefi). On Monday, District Judge Susan Nelson issued her opinion ending the lockout of the players, who will be reporting back to work by next week, although at least one team was not allowed to enter facilities today. Although the league asked for a stay of the ruling, Judge Nelson denied the request yesterday, lifting fans' hopes that the 2011 season will be played.
posted by ofthestrait at 5:11 PM PST - 27 comments

The Cyclopean Terror of Sex Ed
Late Bloomer (SLYT, NSF4th graders)
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:30 PM PST - 41 comments

Tidy Your CSS
ProCSSor is a powerful (and wholly free) CSS prettifier that lets you format CSS in the exact way you want. Turn your CSS into something that is visually more compelling and readable with a minimum of effort.
posted by netbros at 3:58 PM PST - 27 comments

My Drunk Kitchen
What goes better than alcohol and cooking? My Drunk Kitchen brings you important recipes for when you're boozed, like grilled cheese, mac & cheese, omelettes, and everyone's favorite: cookies! [more inside]
posted by whitneyarner at 3:29 PM PST - 55 comments

Truth, Justice, and the International Way
In the landmark 900th issue of Action Comics, Superman has renounced his American citizenship. [more inside]
posted by MegoSteve at 3:28 PM PST - 117 comments

The Tortoise And The Hare And The Hare And The Tortoise
Apple's revenues and net earnings for the first calendar quarter of 2011 both beat the reported sales and profits of its rival Microsoft for the first time in recent history. It's been an epic rivalry between these two computer tech giants. Apple had an early lead, was overtaken by Microsoft in a rather spectacular fashion. And then, slowly, like a guerilla campaign from distant provinces, Apple came back. At least by one measure - earnings - a measure that seemed destined to always be in Microsoft's favor, Apple has now taken the lead. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 3:23 PM PST - 336 comments

Apartheid Economy
Towards an Apartheid Economy? A 1996 Harvard Business Review article on rising inequality, by Richard Freeman. [more inside]
posted by russilwvong at 2:13 PM PST - 34 comments

Jorge Borges
Jorge Luis Borges delivers the Norton lectures at Harvard, 1968: The Riddle of Poetry :: The Metaphor :: A Poet's Creed
posted by puny human at 1:47 PM PST - 17 comments

Brooklyn Fields.
Almost Amis. [more inside]
posted by TheWash at 1:23 PM PST - 16 comments

Im in ur base, killing ur doodz
West Censoring East: The Use of Western Technologies by Middle East Censors, 2010-2011.
Meanwhile a British firm has been found to have offered spying software to the Egyptian regime – Gamma International's Finfisher program would have enabled government spies to monitor activists and censor websites.
posted by adamvasco at 1:11 PM PST - 6 comments

sometimes things go up, sometimes things go down
Go figure: How to succeed in business by doing nothing Article about variability in business and why it is sometimes better to do nothing. "You're a dynamic business leader. Let's say you make widgets - though you might equally make big-budget Hollywood movies. Your widgets, or your movies, vary. Some widgets are perfect, some a tad too long. Some movies make mega-bucks at the box office, some bomb. So what do you do? Well, you're dynamic, so you react, of course. Something must be done. " [SLBBC]
posted by marienbad at 1:06 PM PST - 16 comments

Cybersecurity is an Exaggerated Risk
Jerry Brito and Tate Watkins of George Mason University published a new paper "Loving the Cyber Bomb? The Dangers of Threat Inflation in Cybersecurity Policy" examining the parallels with the US military's other recent exaggerations. "Cybersecurity is an important policy issue, but the alarmist rhetoric coming out of Washington that focuses on worst-case scenarios is unhelpful and dangerous. Aspects of current cyber policy discourse parallel the run-up to the Iraq War and pose the same dangers. Pre-war threat inflation and conflation of threats led us into war on shaky evidence. By focusing on doomsday scenarios and conflating cyber threats, government officials threaten to legislate, regulate, or spend in the name of cybersecurity based largely on fear, misplaced rhetoric, conflated threats, and credulous reporting. The public should have access to classified evidence of cyber threats, and further examination of the risks posed by those threats, before sound policies can be proposed, let alone enacted. ... No one wants a “cyber Katrina” or a “digital Pearl Harbor.” But honestly assessing cyber threats and appropriate responses does not mean that we have to learn to stop worrying and love the cyber bomb."
posted by RSaunders at 12:43 PM PST - 17 comments

The Steely Dan Infographic Project
In which the folks at the Barryfest blog attempt to create a chart, diagram, graph or other visual aid inspired by each and every Steely Dan song
posted by mintcake! at 12:25 PM PST - 48 comments

'These children don’t recognize the flags of their home countries, but they can all sing "Jesus Loves Me."'
The Evangelical Adoption Crusade [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:08 PM PST - 137 comments

The Lockerbie Deal
How Britain's largest corporations helped engineer the release of Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, the Lockerbie bomber.
posted by reenum at 11:49 AM PST - 10 comments

Anyone Feel Like a Slow Jam?
The Comic Stylings of Brian Williams. How’s an anchor to cope when network newscasts keep losing ground? Having a second career helps.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 11:32 AM PST - 62 comments

A hundred years of British cinema
Reflections: a hundred years of British cinema (six-minute film). Via the Projected Picture Trust.
posted by paduasoy at 11:23 AM PST - 5 comments

Spontaneous Speech Cannot be Faked
Achievement Metrics claims that a player's speech can predict how he'll perform in the NFL.
posted by beisny at 10:12 AM PST - 37 comments

A thumb on the nozzle of the internet firehose
Storify is a new social media platform that makes it easy to assemble and winnow Flickr photos, tweets, Facebook posts, Google search results and URLS into a coherent story. It went into public beta on April 25th. [more inside]
posted by msalt at 10:11 AM PST - 17 comments

Brothers On Vacation in Hawaii Meet....for the First Time
Rick Hill was vacationing in Hawaii. So was Joe Parker. The two lived within one town of each other in Massachusetts, but discovered on that Hawaiian beach, when Joe offered to take a picture of Rick with his fiancee, that they have the same father.
posted by zizzle at 9:58 AM PST - 32 comments

Green Flash on a Red Moon
The green flash isn't quite the light show that some might imagine, but is still impressive. But sunsets aren't alone in producing the green flash - the flash can also appear above the moon. Up on Cerro Paranal in northern Chile, ESO Photo Ambassador Gerhard Hüdepohl has captured a very clear example of the a green flash above the moon. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:19 AM PST - 18 comments

Writing advice from George Saunders
Writing advice from George Saunders. [via]
posted by AceRock at 8:04 AM PST - 30 comments

The 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout and our energy future
The 2010 Gulf of Mexico Oil Well Blowout: A Little Hindsight by Carl Safina.
posted by jjray at 7:51 AM PST - 5 comments

"I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way." ~ Mark Twain
Eponym, Nym Words, A Dictionary of Medical Eponyms, American Proprietary Eponyms, & Other Proprietary Eponyms.
posted by Fizz at 7:43 AM PST - 16 comments

When are Krugman and Mankiw just going to make out already, jeez
Keynes v. Hayek Rap Battle: Round 2 (SLYT, about 10 mins) EconStories revives the econ beef to end all beefs. Previously. [more inside]
posted by dismas at 7:15 AM PST - 32 comments

Unnatural selection
The largest single cause of death of large mammals in North America: hunting
posted by londonmark at 5:53 AM PST - 243 comments

Schrodinger's Smartphone
A new paper by William J. Bruno of the Theoretical Biology & Biophysics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory argues that past arguments about the impossibility of biological tissue damage from cellphone signals have failed to consider a quantum effect whereby multiple photons in a small volume can have constructive interference, and that such an effect likely does occur in practice. Synopsis here. (previously) [more inside]
posted by crayz at 5:33 AM PST - 40 comments