April 29, 2009
"The ability to convey the depths of despair, the heights of jubilation and the serenity of an abiding faith are all that is required to be known as “The Voice.” Unfortunately, very few possess the ability to do all that and what’s more unfortunate, we lost one of those few–possibly the best of those few–with the death of Vern Gosdin at the age of 74." [more inside]
Microworld by Licht. More of Paul's macro droplet shots can be seen at his Flickr gallery and others' macro droplet shots in the Refractions in Liquid Drops group pool.
Cool Antarctica is a site dedicated to all things Antarctic. There are pictures (penguins), videos (including, among much else, an old documentary about Edmund Hillary's and Vivian Fuchs' Transantarctic Expedition), a history section focusing on the famous explorers (e.g. Amundsen, Scott, Shackleton, Charcot and de Gerlache) and a fact file, which includes what may be my favorite section, an Antarctic slang dictionary (degomble: removing snow that's stuck to clothing before going inside - monk-on: a term for being in a bad, usually introspective mood, "he's got a monk-on" - poppy: alcoholic beverage that is chilled with natural Antarctic ice). All this is but a taster of what's on the website.
Gather 'Round the Cadaver! : A new "coffee-table" book, Dissection: Photographs of a Rite of Passage in American Medicine is a new collection of photographs documenting what happened when bored medical students of the early 1900s met the camera.
Chroma Circuit a color matching game for you to enjoy. Each level has you matching facets on squares or triangles, playing against a par move. The rules are simple, but complexity ramps up fast.
The wait is over! Random House will publish Vladimir Nabokov's unfinished novel, The Original of Laura: (Dying Is Fun), on November 3, 2009, with "removable facsimiles of the index cards" on which the novel was written. As previously discussed on MetaFilter, Dmitri Nabokov's decision to publish the unfinished novel against his father's wishes has been controversial, but the BBC has already called it the "literary event of 2009".
Logicomix: An Epic Search for Truth by Apostolos Doxiadis, Christos H. Papadimitriou, Alecos Papadatos, and Annie Di Donna. Covering a span of sixty years, the graphic novel Logicomix was inspired by the epic story of the quest for the Foundations of Mathematics. This is another kind of epic battle that does not quite lead where the characters thought it would take them. Featuring Bertrand Russell as narrator and the awesome might of the villain (of sorts) Incompleteness. Themes include the high personal price paid for knowledge.
On April 23, 2009 Natalia Rybczynski, Mary R. Dawson, and Richard H. Tedford published their paper "A semi-aquatic Arctic mammalian carnivore from the Miocene epoch and origin of Pinnipedia" in the journal, Nature, detailing their 2007 discovery of the species they have named Puijila darwini. The carnivorous marine mammal, which lived about 21 to 24 million years ago, was discovered practically by accident, but as a "transitional fossil" is re-writing our understanding of pinniped evolution. It could also be noted that it was most likely cute as all get out, and is already the star of it's own mini documentary.
"It's not about hate, it's about love. Love of white people. That's the message in songs, speeches and casual conversation during a weekend retreat in Zinc, Ark., sponsored by the Christian Revival Center and the Knights Party, an offshoot of the Ku Klux Klan. There's no overt threat of violence here. No cross burnings (or "lightings," as the KKK prefers to call them). The only fire at the grassy compound, located at the end of a long, rocky road circled by turkey vultures, is a bonfire for the Knights youth corps to roast their s'mores. The kids draw pictures of white-hooded Klanspeople and sing songs about the oppressed Aryan race; rousing sermons are read from Bibles decorated with Confederate flags. Aryan souvenirs are for sale, including baseball caps proclaiming IT'S LOVE, NOT HATE and advertising THE ORIGINAL BOYZ IN THE HOOD."
The World Health Organization, which had recently warned of the danger of swine flu, has now raised the pandemic threat level to 5, indicating a pandemic is "imminent". The WHO chief was quoted as saying "all of humanity" is threatened by the virus
Frankie Manning, as seen previously, passed away, but his 95th birthday party will go on as scheduled which will feature a Battle of the 'Bones with the Wycliffe Gordon Quartet.> [more inside]
"Wookiees and Bea Arthur? Luke Skywalker and Harvey Korman? Singing and dancing and storm troopers? If George Lucas had his way, no one would remember, but yes, Virginia, there was a Star Wars Holiday Special."Indeed there was (Google video). [Holiday Special previously on metafilter: 1, 2] Bonus Star Wars audition footage below the fold. [more inside]
A game developer resigns in style [possibly autoplaying music]
Fyrdility has been busy with useful web building tools. First, he has a jQuery plug-in to provide support for the CSS Template Layout Module. Template layout demos using the plug-in here. Then, there's the When can I use... browser compatibility tables that let you know when you can start using the latest web technologies, like CSS3, HTML5, SVG, etc.
In the town of Wilson, North Carolina, an ISP battle is underway that could have implications across the entire United States. When Greenlight began offering cheaper and faster internet service to the town's residents, Embarq and Time Warner couldn't compete. So they responded by sponsoring legislation that "would effectively either cripple or ban the service all together", and backing this up by phoning local residents to urge their support. The city of Wilson has responded: "[Embarq and Time Warner] don't want to level the playing field. They want to be the only team on the field." Time Warner defends the legislation, saying in part that, "Cities can cross-subsidize their service, using income from water or electric service fees to pay for the system. We can’t solict door to door. They can." (Via)
In a landmark defeat for the UK Government, the House of Commons has voted to allow all former and existing Ghurkas the right to live in the UK. [more inside]
Once dismissed as "the Anna Kournikova of chess" for marketing her glamour, Alexandra Kosteniuk is now the Women's World Champion. (previously) [more inside]
Last year, best-selling biologist Jared Diamond (prev) published an article in the New Yorker describing a cycle of revenge in Papua New Guinea, contrasting the conflicting human needs for vengeance and for justice. (Mefi discussion). Now, the subjects of Diamond's article are seeking their own revenge, suing the publishers for $10 million, claiming Diamond's story amounts to false accusations of serious criminal activity, including murder. [more inside]
The Happy Hacker offers you the secrets and tools to become an Überhacker and Cyberwarrior, and even how to build a railgun. But who is this Happy Hacker? Though other folks are now involved with the website, Carolyn P. Meinel is the primary face of The Happy Hacker. She is a long-time computer hacker, going back to getting unapproved access to the PLATO system (previously). She started Happy Hacker because "all sorts of guys were begging me, 'teach me how to hack'." Her webpage gained attention, getting mentioned in The Happy Mutant Handbook, and being invited to speak at Defcon. But there are people who doubt her credentials, and others who are a lot more harsh. Regardless of the backlash, and the appearance that the peak of The Happy Hacker has passed, her articles are still being published.
Anna Skladmann's Little Adults. Photographs of the children of the ultra-rich in Russia.
Everybody knows that high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is unhealthy, unnatural, and unappetizing. Or is it?
If you're in the mood for some of that juicy, satisfying, blues-inflected and soulful-as-hell organ jazz served up Jimmy Smith-style, check out these 1964 BBC TV appearances from Smith and his trio: The Sermon, Wagon Wheels, Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf, Uptempo Blues and Theme from Mondo Cane. [more inside]
OCD or amazing? Or both?
The Dark Knight - On Sir Allen Stanford