May 9, 2011
Canadian photographer Jonathan Hobin's In the Playroom series depicts children reenacting infamous tragedies, such as 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, Princess Diana's death, and the Jonestown massacre. [more inside]
Man Receives 1st US face transplant. - Dallas Wiens, whose face was burnt off after his head hit a power line in 2008, appeared in public for the first time since the surgery on Monday.
The dreaded SLYT: Kitten vs an Extremely Horrible Thing
"Day by day we pass by vacant lots downtown ... Neighbourhoods that, although having a huge potential, have more and more unused spaces ... Sometimes, the tourists are the ones who open our eyes by mentioning or questioning whether this situation is normal. On other occasions, we pay attention to it for a moment only because the secondary problems that those spaces imply affect us directly. But in most of the cases, they are only a part of our way."Habit Makes Us Blind is a series of colorful images by Spanish studio Espai MGR that seeks to draw attention to the problem of wasted space in urban environments (specifically, in the city of Valencia) -- by building conceptual LEGO structures in them. [via]
365 Days of Astronomy is a 5-minute podcast where each episode is written and recorded by volunteers. Monthly night sky surveys; the early universe; seeing far– these podcasts are made by volunteers, and more are needed.
Wesley Yang writes a really angry article about being Asian-American, with the tagline, "What happens to all the Asian-American overachievers when the test-taking ends?"
Behold the Manul! Otherwise known as Pallas's cat, it was one of the first two modern cats to evolve. (Via The Ark In Space, an amazing compendium of creatures.)
At a Toronto show on May 7, Paul Simon offered his guitar to a fan, inviting her onstage to sing. [more inside]
Homeowners are using a little known loophole in the bankruptcy laws to shed their second mortgages.
The Guardian speaks to suffers of Morgellons, a disorder that, depending on whom you ask,is a delusional psychosis, an epidemic that's whitewashed out of medical research, or for conspiracists, alien nanotechnology. (Previously.)
NationStates is a free political simulation game founded by author Max Barry back in 2002 (previously). Loosely based on his dystopian corporate thriller Jennifer Government, the game starts by asking players to provide some national trappings and answer a few civics questions, then generates a virtual country with a matching political outlook. Periodic policy decisions like mining rights and compulsory voting allow players to further modify their country along axes of social, political, and economic freedom, arriving at one of twenty-seven colorful government types like Tyranny By Majority or Scandinavian Liberal Paradise. There's also a healthy roleplaying community -- players can discuss current events in the General forum, practice wargaming in International Incidents, form cooperative Regions to debate internal affairs (many of which form their own communities), and elect Delegates to send to the World Assembly (so renamed after an amusing cease-and-desist from the real-world U.N.). Their collective history is thoroughly recorded in the 35,000-article NSWiki, which provides a detailed legislative record, gameplay guide, and profiles on many of the 90,000 active nations, 8,000 player regions, and countless characters that currently make up the game world.
Miami Vice and early '80s musical montages. Did any show ever do it better? Devo - Going Under :: Afrika Bambaataa - Renegades of Funk with Shaba Doo from "Electric Boogaloo" poppin' and lockin' all up in Crockett's face :: Kate Bush - Hello Earth :: Godley and Creme - Cry with Ted Nugent :: The Damned - In Dulce Decorum with Laurence Fishburne :: Iggy Pop - Real Wild Child :: Steve Jones - Mercy :: Red 7 - Heartbeat :: Pete Townshend - Face The Face :: The Who - Baba O'Riley :: David Johansen - King of Babylon :: Public Image Ltd - Order Of Death :: Etta James - You Want More :: and of course Phil Collins - In The Air Tonight :: Phil went on guest star in an episode, as did Leonard Cohen and Frank Zappa.
Leningrad - Dr. House (slyt)
Battle Brews Over FBI’s Warrantless GPS Tracking. How to Check Your Car for a GPS Tracker. FBI Vehicle-Tracking Device: The Teardown. Video: The Dissection of an FBI Bumper-Beeper. Previously.
Once upon a time, Van Morrison had a record contract with Bing Records which he wanted to escape. Since the contract required him to produce thirty-six original songs, Van Morrison sat in the studio for a single session and recorded a series of nonsensical non-tunes that are still in his distinctive style. Three of them are available here.
Why is the Planet Fitness chain of health clubs trying to alienate people who love to work out? [Via Slate.com] "Maybe you've seen the one where a greased up Schwarzenegger-type swaggers through the gym repeating the mantra, "I pick things up and put them down." Or the one where another "lunk"—that's what Planet Fitness calls these sorts of people—struggles to tie his shoes. A third shows a screaming gym buffoon as he fills out a membership application, flexing and making sound effects as if he's maxing out on the squat rack. "Not his planet, yours," reads the tag line."
♪ "So kiss me and smile for me. Tell me that you'll wait for me. Hold me like you'll never let me go..." ♫
Inspired by Andrew Sullivan's recent post on views outside airplane windows, BuzzFeed compiled a collection of "100 incredible airplane window views" from Flickr. (bandwidth-heavy single page version.) Click through slideshow at Business Insider.
Econblogger Tyler Cowen asked his readers What is the most neglected and underrated *accessible* pop music album? 154 and counting answers range from Animal Collective's Merriweather Post Pavilion to the 1960s band Honeybus and everything in between. One comment points to an interesting possible answer [Previously on mefi] to why a good album never catches on. "Short answer might be that we are social animals and don’t make these decisions independently and as a result, even tiny, random fluctuations can blow up, generating potentially enormous long-run differences among even indistinguishable competitors" [more inside]
From Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, and Robert Lopez, of Avenue Q, comes the new Broadway show "The Book of Mormon." The show "tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda" while gently (and no so gently) lampooning organized religion and traditional musical theatre. The entire show is now streaming on NPR. Songs are extremely Not Safe For Work.
Artist Al Farrow uses ammunition, parts from firearms, and selected other materials to build miniature churches, synagogues, and mosques.
“It was a computer-science problem, but it was also a big, crazy typography problem,” An algorithm for the names at the 9/11 memorial.
tonalist (aka composer Pavel Karmanov) is a YouTube user who has uploaded numerous videos featuring performances of contemporary/classical music from the former Soviet Union... [more inside]
Contrary to the liberalism many read in a highly-publicized DOJ memo in 2009, federal authorities are cracking down on medical marijuana establishments that exist in the gray area between state and national statutes.