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May 5, 2010
And we're off...
Polls open in the UK General Election. This has been one of the closest election campaigns in decades, with all three major parties polling within a few points of each other. [more inside]
posted by ArkhanJG at 11:15 PM PST - 593 comments

The Linux Gene Network
Yale scientists analogize the Linux call graph with the E. coli gene regulatory network in an open access PNAS article. Carl Zimmer explores the implications of network design versus evolution, suggesting that a more modular architecture in bacteria leads to a rugged (i.e. robust) system that does not "crash" like a computer.
posted by jjray at 9:19 PM PST - 26 comments

The Year of the Drone
The Year of the Drone: An Analysis of U.S. Drone Strikes in Pakistan, 2004-2010 (PDF). "Our study shows that the 114 reported drone strikes in northwest Pakistan from 2004 to the present have killed between 830 and 1,210 individuals, of whom around 550 to 850 were described as militants in reliable press accounts, about two-thirds of the total on average. Thus, the true civilian fatality rate since 2004 according to our analysis is approximately 32 percent." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 8:55 PM PST - 115 comments

It's Friday already in Europe, time for flash fun.
Educational gamesmaker Preloaded has recently made two strategy games for English TV station Channel 4. 1066 is a mix of tactics, insult-typing, bowmanship, rhythm-game and narration by Ian Holm. Trafalgar Origins is all Napoleonic high seas derringdo all the time, as you sail your English ship in real time against the damnable French and Spanish. Whether you want to hoist the sails or call your opponent a stench weasel, they are fun little games which have the added bonus of teaching you about British history. Both games can be played solo or multiplayer. [via Rock Paper Shotgun, where they like those games quite a lot]
posted by Kattullus at 7:12 PM PST - 14 comments

Pipes and Cogs. And lots of heart.
Bulgaria is not what you'd call a wealthy country. It has a smaller population than New York City. But Bulgaria utterly dominates the sport of Olympic Weightlifting. A full explanation of this prowess is beyond the scope of a simple blog post, but I will share with you this six-minute video about a man who built a nationally-ranked team training his athletes with barbells made of pipes and cogs and assorted industrial junk. I hope this goes at least a little way towards explaining their remarkable accomplishments.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:44 PM PST - 17 comments

Unnecessary backflip! Hiyaaah!
The Youtube channel called Baddest Fight Scenes EVER! has enough b-movie fights to last you till the end of the weekend. And when it comes to this kind of movies, "baddest" is a compliment. I suggest you start with Revenge of the Ninja. [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 4:05 PM PST - 30 comments

From the "Damn, why didn't I think of that?" file...
Tim Schwartz messes around with art, culture, and technology. Tim Schwartz makes cool stuff. He is getting some attention for unusual ideas ranging from hummer humping [previously] to comparative celebrity analysis. And he's got a really big monitor.
posted by crazylegs at 3:06 PM PST - 4 comments

Interview with David Foster Wallace
An Interview with David Foster Wallace 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.
posted by phrontist at 2:45 PM PST - 31 comments

Stationed at the abandoned drive-in
Cult Radio A-Go-Go. "Our radio crew, including your hosts Terry & Tiffany, Cragg our drive-in movie gargoyle and Wicked Kitty, welcomes you to our world of exploration into the very bizarre genre of ultra rare B - pop culture in comedy, parody. horror, sci-fi, exploitation, sexploitation, T.V., Old Time Radio & drive-in movies! We are stationed at the abandoned drive-in near death valley where we are broadcasting our pirate internet radio signal to you, for the audio pop culture junkies needing a fix!" [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses at 2:45 PM PST - 1 comments

"The most intact, the largest, and the most ambitious tiki bar ever created in San Francisco."
Save The Tonga Room. The beloved Tonga Room in San Francisco, long threatened with extinction, may soon be a City historical resource, giving it a fighting chance at preservation.
posted by xowie at 2:17 PM PST - 21 comments

Nirvana Baby Has a Posse
Spencer Elden now works for Shepard Fairey – or, to put it another way, the Nirvana Nevermind baby now works for the Obama Hope guy. Or, to quote Kottke, "Yo dawg, I herd you like pop culture, so I put some pop culture in your pop culture so your brain can fucking explode from all the popular you've cultured."
posted by WCityMike at 2:16 PM PST - 22 comments

The house always wins
Antoine Walker starred on arguably the greatest college basketball team of all time- the 1996 National Champion Kentucky Wildcats and went on to earn over $110 million dollars as a 3-time NBA All-Star with the Boston Celtics. In 2010, Walker is broke and eyeing an NBA comeback to pay off his creditors, including 2 Vegas casinos owed more than $900,000. [more inside]
posted by T.D. Strange at 1:47 PM PST - 79 comments

48 Hour Magazine
Can thousands of contributors have a baby in a month make a magazine in 2 days? 48 Hours Magazine will announce a topic and start accepting submissions on Friday, and will ship to the printer on Sunday. Joel Johnson interviewed the crack editorial staff.
posted by domnit at 1:34 PM PST - 56 comments

American Able
'American Able' intends to, through spoof, reveal the ways in which women with disabilities are invisibilized in advertising and mass media. I chose American Apparel not just for their notable style, but also for their claims that many of their models are just ‘every day’ women who are employees, friends and fans of the company. However, these women fit particular body types. Their campaigns are highly sexualized and feature women who are generally thin, and who appear to be able-bodied. Women with disabilities go unrepresented, not only in American Apparel advertising, but also in most of popular culture. Rarely, if ever, are women with disabilities portrayed in anything other than an asexual manner, for ‘disabled’ bodies are largely perceived as ‘undesirable.’ In a society where sexuality is created and performed over and over within popular culture, the invisibility of women with disabilities in many ways denies them the right to sexuality, particularly within a public context. [more inside]
posted by heatherann at 1:02 PM PST - 103 comments

Life in Kodachrome
Michael Williams, the guy behind A Continuous Lean, buys Kodachrome slides from the 50's and 60's at flea markets, estate sales, and other sources. Then he posts his finds online: Part I, II, III, and IV. [more inside]
posted by defenestration at 12:53 PM PST - 26 comments

Truffaut/Hitchcock
The complete series of interviews of Alfred Hitchcock by François Truffaut (with interpreter Helen Scott) which were used to create the classic book, with some nice photos and commentary.
posted by serazin at 12:04 PM PST - 19 comments

Has de aprender a hacer que cada acto cuente, porque los actos tienen PODER.
¡Feliz Cinco de Mayo! In honor of the hottest, wildest and trippiest section of América del Norte, how about some classic los ACIDA ROCKA? Starting with clips from the 1971 movie "Bikinis y Rock!" El Ritual! Peace And Love!! Bandido!!! ... Now how about some live footage from the Mexican Woodstock: Festival Rock y Ruedas de Avándaro-- Part 1 Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6 [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:55 AM PST - 8 comments

‘Ouch’: BBC talk show covers life as a “crip”
“Vegetable, Vegetable or Vegetable” is an “intrusive and unpleasant game” featured on Ouch, the hour-long monthly BBC podcast talk show on disability. In it, the show’s hosts must figure out a caller’s disability by asking “fiendish” questions, to which the caller may answer only yes or no. (When it’s all over, Daleks holler out the answer.) This is only one of the many scabrous, puckish, and unskittish ways in which Ouch covers life as a “crip,” a term the show uses unabashedly.
posted by joeclark at 11:01 AM PST - 40 comments

Crazy Mike's Discount Legislative Emporium
ComEd/Exelon is offering to buy a profit guarantee from the state of Illinois for $500 million, at a time when lawmakers are struggling to produce a budget in the face of revenue shortfalls. [more inside]
posted by enn at 10:20 AM PST - 54 comments

A general theory of individuality
We Need a General Theory of Individuality : "One of the unspoken secrets in basic scientific research, from anthropology to zoology (with intervening stops at physiology, political science, psychology, psychiatry, and sociology) is that, nearly always, individuals turn out to be different from one another, and that—to an extent rarely admitted and virtually never pursued—scientific generalizations tend to hush up those differences"
posted by dhruva at 10:05 AM PST - 75 comments

Stanley, I was raised in a tiny Canadian town where I could get away with it
Kaitlin Fontana goes to New York to write for a magazine. Then she goes back to Canada and tells us about her experience. [more inside]
posted by hydrobatidae at 9:50 AM PST - 63 comments

A Cinco De Mayo message to Arizona
Robert Rodriguez's Machete, starring the great character actor Danny Trejo, started as a joke trailer in the movie Grindhouse. Now it's a real movie with a (NSFW) trailer of its own. Enjoy.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:14 AM PST - 115 comments

Names and the Generation Gap
The Generational Sweet Spot, or Why Your Parents Have Such Bad Taste. Laura Wattenberg, naming guru, on names and generations.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:55 AM PST - 297 comments

Foreshadowing an organic end to a green revolution?
Genetically engineered crops lead to genetically adapted weeds. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 7:44 AM PST - 73 comments

The BIG Lebowski
The porn industry has a long (no pun intended) history of making videos by messing with Hollywood film titles. And "A XXX Parody" has released its version of a MeFi favourite, which they didn't even bother to rename: The Big Lebowski (trailer: NSFW). Sacrilege!
posted by bwg at 7:40 AM PST - 94 comments

Wanna come back to my iPad?
Cupidtino is a "new social dating website exclusively for Apple fans" which launches in June. If your Cupidtino Appleationship works out, you could have a magical Apple Store Wedding! Via "Oh God No." [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:26 AM PST - 52 comments

Space race I am
Forty-nine years ago, Alan Shepard literally got his 15 minutes of fame by becoming the second person and first American to go into space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:50 AM PST - 23 comments

"The Twisted Monk goes beyond just providing some string to fool around with. "
Kinktrepeneur, former evangelical missionary, and “Rent-a-meanie” the Twisted Monk: "I guess is some ways, I’m finally fulfilling the calling I had when I was a kid and being that evangelist, changing the world one bedroom at a time." ... [most links contain no nudity but might be NSFW anyway] [more inside]
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 6:42 AM PST - 16 comments

FRAUDONOMICS
-Confessions of a Wall St. Nihilist: Forget About Goldman Sachs, Our Entire Economy Is Built on Fraud by Mark Ames (note: polemic)
-The Feds vs. Goldman by Matt Taibbi (note: vampire squid reprise)
-The Goldman Casino: Do investment banks do anything that helps America anymore? by Eliot Spitzer (cf. Robert Rubin, oh and Dick Fuld)
-William Black on Fraud interviewed by Bill Moyers (note: Moyers' penultimate PBS show) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:28 AM PST - 57 comments

My Movie Has a First Name, It's O-S-C-A-R...
Don't like those commercials that run before the movies in the theaters? Well, this weekend, Kraft Foods is introducing something new to screens across the U.S., "two- to three-minute branded-entertainment vignettes" that promise NOT to "knock you over the head with a bat as a brand commercial", but instead they... well... here's an example: Lunchables kids' meals present: Alien Field Trip* (Warning: more artificially cheesy than Cheez Whiz). Kraft and other big advertisers are betting that long-form ads will be "the Wave of the Future", and the perfect audience for them will be the folks who have already paid to see "Iron Man 2", "Sex and the City 2" or "Toy Story 3". What could possibly go wrong? [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:59 AM PST - 77 comments

I LOVE YOU VIRUS 10 Years Out
10 years ago yesterday, The ILOVEYOU or LOVELETTER computer worm successfully attacked tens of millions of Windows computers in 2000 when it was sent as an attachment to an email message with the text "ILOVEYOU" in the subject line. Mefi Was There that day when Onel De Guzman released a virus that he had proposed creating as part of his undergraduate thesis. The BBC Looks Back. The key part of the virus was not any technical trick but the wording of the subject line - ILOVEYOU - and its attachment LOVE-LETTER-FOR-YOU.
posted by Blake at 3:34 AM PST - 28 comments

Sean Young's super-8 footage of the making of Dune
Dune, the motion picture was made in Mexico City, Mexico during the spring of 1983. I was there to witness David Lynch as the director and here's what really happened! (via)
posted by The Mouthchew at 12:12 AM PST - 57 comments