May 22, 2008

RIP Robert Asprin

Not another fine myth. I've read Robert Asprin's Myth books from the beginning, and still re-read them every couple of years. You may also know him for co-creating the Thieves' World shared universe books. RIP Mr. Asprin, Skeeve, Aahz, Tananda, and the rest of the gang. (Now I have to go and dig up the graphic novels he did with Phil Foglio.)
posted by wenat at 10:12 PM PST - 66 comments

Nintendo DS: Is that a music production studio in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

Looking for a new musical toy to supplement your current studio setup? You may already have a MIDI-via-WiFi-enabled* sequencer (1, 2)/drum-and-bass groovebox/audio sampler & scratcher/Mod Tracker in your pocket!
*a wired version is also available. [more inside]
posted by lekvar at 8:20 PM PST - 14 comments

Urban Tentacles

Interzone interchanges: Can GPS get a driver off of, or keep a driver off of...these things? (via)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:08 PM PST - 19 comments

McMafia: The World's Shadow Economy

In EU and NATO member Bulgaria, the state is a part of the Mafia. The world's "shadow economy" accounts for 10 trillion dollars each year. Chechen mobsters bent on revenge kill a young woman in London in a case of mistaken identity. Welcome to the global pillage following the fall of Communism and the 'liberalization' of trade. Misha Glenny travels through the underworld.
posted by lukemeister at 7:24 PM PST - 28 comments

Not Pixies After All

"It is definitely not a UFO thing, crop circles, tree-killing fungus or meteors falling from the sky," Hamilton laughs. He does admit, though, that forest rings have "a million mysteries." For example, the electrical field found inside the forest rings is a puzzle that needs to be solved.
posted by joannemerriam at 7:05 PM PST - 13 comments

Chanson française

Fancy a whirlwind tour of Popular Chanson? A broad term referring to contemporary French popular music, "chanson" applies to a startling array of stuff. Just how broad do I mean? Let's start with Grand Corps Malade, sublime slam poet/lyricist. Les voyages en train. Quatre saisons. [more inside]
posted by nonmerci at 5:50 PM PST - 13 comments

Polaroid Packaging, the Apple of its Day

The Branding of Polaroid 1957-1977: How we beat Eastman Kodak and its little yellow boxes at point of purchase despite a clunky product and an irrelevant corporate name. Graphic designer Paul Giambarba blogs about his experience creating Polaroid's iconic corporate identity, product packaging and print advertising while freelancing for Polaroid through the company's rise and fall.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 5:38 PM PST - 7 comments

Myoelectric Music

Experimental artist Daito Manabe makes music with his muscles. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 5:24 PM PST - 5 comments

What does your father do?

Join the Iraqi Police. [more inside]
posted by absalom at 5:13 PM PST - 11 comments

Pigs can fly?

A Pig's Tale uncovers the history of one of rock's most famous flying props.
posted by msaleem at 5:04 PM PST - 13 comments

Conceptually speaking...

...with the sun still high in the sky and his heart full of joy, Brian O’Doherty attended his own wake." The artist's alter ego was so named as a gesture of protest over the events of Bloody Sunday. Satisfied with the prospect of peace, he laid Patrick Ireland to rest. Slideshow of the wake.. Doctor, poet, novelist, art critic, journalist, film and television writer/director, pioneer in conceptual art, and author of the influential essays collected as 'Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space.' What will be the next chapter in Brian O’Doherty's prolific career?
posted by desuetude at 4:38 PM PST - 7 comments

Ibn Rushid Psychiatric Hospital

Decline of an Iraqi Hospital: War Takes Toll on Baghdad Psychiatric Hospital. [Via Mind Hacks]
posted by homunculus at 4:32 PM PST - 6 comments

The Arrival of Energy Positive Buildings

A positive energy building is one that produces more power than it consumes (yes they have been around for a while). The Masdar Headquarters in Abu Dhabi – due for completion in 2010 claims that it will be the first to do this on a substantial scale (mainly thanks to use of solar energy). David Fisher's spectacular Dynamic Architecture” building in Dubai will aim to achieve the same goal using wind. Scaling up on the ambition stakes France has pledged all of its new housing will fit into this category by 2020.
posted by rongorongo at 4:06 PM PST - 20 comments

Blistering barnacles!

But is it art? Apparently so - A page of original Tintin artwork by Belgian artist Hergé becomes part of the Pompidou Centre's permanent collection of Modern Art, the first comics artwork to do so despite Frances vibrant comics culture.
posted by Artw at 3:44 PM PST - 19 comments

Theremin cats

Kitties [heart] mini theremins. [more inside]
posted by piratebowling at 3:19 PM PST - 29 comments

where's the old lady?

If these three can do it, there must be hope for the middle east. Sorry for the single video post, but it's just too awesome.(via bb)
posted by Large Marge at 2:29 PM PST - 33 comments

Uh, what the hell Twitter?

Twitter refuses to uphold own Terms of Service. After being shown the very definition of harassment, Twitter alters its terms of service rather than protect one of its users from behavior that its own TOS prohibits.
posted by o2b at 2:25 PM PST - 97 comments

a description of everyday life

In the 17th century Dutch painters began to create informal paintings that focused on the features and/or expressions of anonymous people. These were called tronies. Although a tronie showed a person’s face, it wasn’t considered a portrait. [...] In 1995 Dutch photographer Hendrik Kerstens began a series of tronies featuring his daughter Paula. some images NSFW
posted by xod at 1:24 PM PST - 35 comments

Slugging to Work

In a few areas, like Washington, D.C. and the East Bay, lone motorists can pick up anonymous "slugs" to take advantage of carpool lanes. Ettiquete and rules have evolved to keep the peace between you and your anonymous carpooler.
posted by jaimev at 1:17 PM PST - 36 comments

"The fact that I was a girl never damaged my ambitions to be a pope or an emperor..."

The Willa Cather Archive is an incredible resource provided by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, including biographies, letters, photos, and even full (often annotated) text of much of her writing, including scholarly editions of two of her greatest (and most famous) works, My Antonia and O Pioneers. About the archive.
posted by dersins at 11:23 AM PST - 8 comments

Marco! Polo! Fish out of water!

Fly high, little fish!
posted by Burhanistan at 9:53 AM PST - 48 comments

End Nigh?

After a comprehensive study of 400 oil fields, the International Energy Agency has concluded that, barring a substantial decrease in demand, the world faces an oil supply shortfall of 12.5 million barrels a day by 2015--15% of current production. [via]
posted by nasreddin at 9:11 AM PST - 138 comments

Re-Pet, LLC

BestFriendsAgain.com The Best Friends Again program, sponsored by BioArts International, is a limited commercial dog cloning program. BioArts is the only entity in the world with both the know-how and the legal right to practice commercial dog and cat cloning. We are auctioning off 5 dog cloning service slots to the general public. We may or may not perform any additional commercial dog cloning services after this auction.
posted by psmealey at 8:18 AM PST - 53 comments

Soup, stew, broth, and stock

Make your own stock. Make your own broth. Argue about the difference! Use your stock to make French onion soup. Or Beef Bourguignon. But whatever you do, don't use the storebought stuff unless you have to.
posted by sotonohito at 7:43 AM PST - 43 comments

Play with a Curta

I first learned about them when they featured prominently in a Gibson book (Pattern Recognition). When I looked on eBay, I was stunned at the prices they fetch. Now I can at least play with a virtual Curta mechanical calculator.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:24 AM PST - 36 comments

Ham Radio and Antennas

It's no secret that amateur radio operators, or hams, often build their own equipment. Especially with the aid of antenna tuners, most anything can be used as an antenna. One group of hams took this to the extreme, using ladders and shopping carts as antennas as they started an annual competition that would eventually see trucks, train tracks, a tree, and even a pair of exercise machines and a football stadium used. I stumbled across the site last night, and it turns out that this year's competition is this weekend! Ham radio, by the way, no longer requires a Morse code exam, just a set of questions on electrical and operations theory. Those curious can take practice tests online, since the FCC releases the question pools.
posted by fogster at 7:23 AM PST - 23 comments

Baddest eggs revealed

The "a few bad eggs" theory crushed - ACLU summarizes the Justice Department Inspector General's report. "This new report should become exhibit A at the next congressional hearing on the Bush administration's use of torture," said Christopher Anders, Senior Legislative Counsel to the ACLU. ... "The questions are who did what and what crimes were committed. This Justice Department report helps answer both questions." [more inside]
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:00 AM PST - 32 comments

Too much TMI?

Living the life observed, or the life exposed? Emily Gould (formerly of Gawker) writes about the impact her blogging, and exposure on the internet, has had on her life. (NYTimes, registration or use of bugmenot possibly required.)
posted by Forktine at 6:57 AM PST - 102 comments

Tag Galaxy

Tag Galaxy is pretty cool. [Flickr, tags, photos, fun for all]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:26 AM PST - 13 comments

Hitting a high note.

Reefer Man - Heroin - Cokane In My Brain - Sister Morphine - Purple Haze - Don't Bogart Me - The Pusher. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:20 AM PST - 165 comments

Poor people drive our economy, okay? Poor people ... with checks.

"America's most valuable resource is poor people." The award-winning Internets Celebrities (Dallas Penn, Rafi Kam and director Casimir Nozkowski) take on check cashing joints with a short documentary called Checkmate. Don't know the IC? Educate yourself with Bodega, Cereal Is Dope and the incredibly informative Urine Nation. (via Hip-Hop is Read)
posted by grabbingsand at 4:43 AM PST - 23 comments

WiiFit vs. WiiFat

"You don't tell kids that they're overweight ... This can have such a negative effect on young girls especially, that they can focus on eating and develop eating disorders." A professor of nutrition takes on WiiFit. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 4:42 AM PST - 74 comments

We Have a Nutcase

His Excellency Alhagi Dr. Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, President of the Gambia and American Biographical Institute 2000 Millennium Medal of Honour, has reportedly called for the murder of all homosexuals. But it's all good, because he can cure AIDS (or so he says).
posted by Skeptic at 4:19 AM PST - 31 comments