June 28, 2012
"It's time for us to drive excessive grunting out of the game [of Tennis] for future generations," WTA chairman and chief executive Stacey Allaster said. Sexist? Or not?
If you've ever wanted to know the history of each of Toronto's streetcar lines, how to identify different TTC subway trains, the chronology of Toronto's Christmas-painted buses, or really anything else you can think of (and more) about Toronto's transit system: Transit Toronto is an unofficial but fantastically detailed site about the TTC. [more inside]
The Okapi Wildlife Reserve, a UN World Heritage Site, is home to approximately 5,000 of the estimated 30,000 okapi remaining in the wild. Last week, it was also home to a tragedy. [more inside]
Signs of cooperation between China and the US on promising new energy technology Beijing-based CAS is a state group overseeing about 100 research institutes. It and the DOE have established what CAS calls the “CAS and DOE Nuclear Energy Cooperation Memorandum of Understanding.” [more inside]
Last year the CEO of Barclays Bank, Bob Diamond, told MPs that “There was a period of remorse and apology for banks. I think that period needs to be over.” Yesterday, Barclays was fined £290M by UK and US regulators for manipulating the key LIBOR lending rate. [more inside]
"I recently came across this video: Mathematically correct breakfast, which shows how a bagel can be neatly sliced into two identical linked halves."
The surreal self-portraits of Kyle Thompson. Kyle Thompson is a 20 yr old self taught photographer from the suburbs of Chicago. Here is his flickr stream, his tumblr.
Atari, the first successful arcade video game company, would have been 40 years old today. The blog Arcade Heroes takes the opportunity to look back over 40 years of arcade gaming (from Atari and other companies) with flyers and video. Part 1 (1970s & 80s) - Part 2 (1990s to present). (WARNING: huge pages ahead with lots of flash videos.)
The Google I/O Conference, currently streaming live, has highlighted a diverse series of technological achievements: the full launch of Google Music (currently limited to US residents) Yeoman, a client-side web development stack, Chrome (profiled in a charming video) now running on iPhone and iPad, and a demo of Google Glass while skydiving. The conference has also updated this excellent interactive visual deep dive of the history of the web and browser technologies.
TED (Transformations, Emotional Deconstruction) is a large, wall-based installation created by Sean Hathaway, consisting of an array of 80 Teddy Ruxpin dolls that speak emotional content gathered from the web via synthetic speech with animated mouths.
Back in March, Samuel Smith wondered "Will 2012 be the summer when Colorado finally burns to the ground?" A perfect combination of record high heat, record low snow pack, low humidity and high levels of underbrush made Colorado (and elsewhere) a tinderbox ready to blow. Unfortunately, that is now playing out. The Denver post says the fires are "shaping up as one of the biggest disasters in Colorado history." Some of the best sources for following the fires.. [more inside]
"The future of gull cuisine in Totnes is optimistic. We hope to see further exploration in developing exciting and innovative dishes."
Central Park Elmo is not a fan of the Jews, to the extent that he was carried away for psychiatric assessment yesterday. Today the NYT has an interview with Adam Sandler, the man behind anti-Semitic Elmo.
"Legend of Grimrock is a party-based dungeon-crawler RPG made by a crack team of four experienced Finns in just ten months. It is also one of the finest, best thought-out games I’ve played in a long time. Here is a game defined by limitations – small budget, small team, goofy 2D tile-based movement – and yet it is a stunning success because it respects those limits and uses them to do more with less. There is a lesson here for studios both starving and bloated. " An article on how The Legend of Grimrock (released in April of this year, previously on Metafilter) takes a simplified set of rules and turns them in to a finely crafted machine.
Namibian Fairy Circles "By comparing photos taken over a 4-year period, Walter Tschinkel confirmed something other scientists had suspected: The circles were alive—or at least they were dynamic. A number of circles appeared and disappeared over this time period. Extrapolating from the data, Tschinkel calculated that most smaller circles arise and vanish every 24 years, whereas larger circles last up to 75 years. Overall, the lifespan averaged 41 years."
The Second Second Coming As The Stone Roses prepare to open their series of 3 homecoming concerts tomorrow at Manchester's Heaton Park, a timely look at the band, their influences and their (Tron) legacy. Look out for Metafilter favourite Peter Serafinowicz as Morrissey and Simon Cowell. (slyt)
Points in Space is a lovely stop-motion timelapse piece done on the streets of Melbourne. [more inside]
In less than an hour, the Supreme Court will hand down its final judgment in what has become one of the most crucial legal battles of our time: the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark health care reform law. The product of a strict party line vote following a
year century of debate, disinformation, and tense legislative wrangling, the Affordable Care Act would (among other popular reforms) require all Americans to buy insurance coverage by 2014, broadening the risk pool for the benefit of those with pre-existing conditions.
The fate of this "individual mandate," bitterly opposed by Republicans despite its similarity to past plans touted by conservatives (including presidential contender Mitt Romney) is the central question facing the justices today. If the conservative majority takes the dramatic step of striking down the mandate, the law will be toothless, and in danger of wholesale reversal, rendering millions uninsured, dealing a crippling blow to the president's re-election hopes, and possibly endangering the federal regulatory state.
But despite the pessimism of bettors, some believe the Court will demur, wary of damaging its already-fragile reputation with another partisan 5-4 decision. But those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know. Watch the SCOTUSblog liveblog for updates, Q&A, and analysis as the truth finally comes out shortly after 10 a.m. EST.