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July 19, 2010
If you don't mind installing Steam
and are running a version of Windows, you can download and play Alien Swarm
for free. It's a top-down shooter with four-player co-op of you and your friends against the aliens.
posted by demiurge at 8:24 PM PST - 82 comments
Conrad Black has been granted bail
. Some are saying that he might be free as early as this week, and that he might not end up back in jail again -- instead, being sentenced to time served. He gave up his Canadian citizenship in 2001
so that he could serve in the British House of Lords: where, oh where, will the poor guy live? Here
he is either packing, or removing boxes that helped get him into trouble in the first place.
posted by anothermug at 6:41 PM PST - 16 comments
"Since the late 19th century through the 1990s, hand-painted photographic portraits were a common feature in homes in the rural areas of the northeastern Brazilian states. At a time when black-and-white photographs were not considered dramatic enough, the retratos pintados
(“painted portraits”) glamorized and idealized their subjects. Black-and-white family photos were enlarged and painted, conferring status on members of the family and portraying them as icons or saints. Using oil washes and other techniques specific to the region, local artisans embellished clothing with pattern and color, smoothed wrinkles, added jewelry or resurrected deceased relatives, illustrating the fantasies and desires of their customers."
posted by puny human at 4:38 PM PST - 7 comments
"All three of the 'Appeal' segments make fun of those pre-movie trailers where celebrities used to ask you to donate money. It's a little shocking to see them using Christopher Reeve begging for money for medical research until you remember this was written years before his accident. Spooky. More celebrities interrupt Chris, arguing over what the point of the Walter Sternberg Foundation is, all of them asking for money, but none of them agreeing on why. Charlton Heston, Robert Vaughn, Clint Eastwood, Mary Tyler Moore, and others show up to argue. They return later to yell at the audience for not giving enough money, accusing them of not caring. Finally, in the third appeal, Chris Reeve just snaps and loses it, furious at the audience. 'I don't know what to say. Words cannot express my contempt for you people. You sit there stuffing your faces in your Reeboks and your Levis 501s. You don't care about the children. You just want to beat the crowd out of the parking lot at the end of the movie. Well, as far as I'm concerned, you can all go f*** yourselves.' Then for the rest of the film, Reeve just randomly shows up in the background of scenes, glaring at the audience with naked disgust." From the never-filmed The Saturday Night Live Movie
, written in 1990 by Greg Daniels, James Downey, George Meyer, Tom Davis, Al Franken, Conan O’Brien, and Robert Smigel.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 4:12 PM PST - 17 comments
You know about TED
, but do you know about the WGBH Forum Network
? A project of the venerable Boston public TV station
, the Forum is a web platform which aggregates lectures from cultural institutions, museums, libraries, bookstores, and colleges across the US - everything from current research in social science and hard science to author and poet talks. Presentations vary in topic, length, format, and level of eggheadiness, but if you love ideas, you'll find some good stuff here. Streams on demand, downloads often available if you register.
posted by Miko at 9:09 AM PST - 11 comments
"I wasn't sued, I was never fired, and I survived it. That's my great achievement." Idiosyncratic auteur Todd Solondz speaks
about his newest film Life During Wartime
, which will finally get a (limited) theatrical release on Friday. The film, originally titled Forgiveness
, is ostensibly a sequel to his acclaimed 1998 film Happiness
; however, every role has been recast and some details have been consciously ignored. For example, Philip Seymour Hoffman's character Allen
[NSFW] is now played by black actor Michael K. Williams of The Wire
fame, a tactic Solondz also employed in Palindromes
, his divisive
fairy tale about abortion. This is the Welcome to the Dollhouse
director's fifth feature (he disowned his first one) and his first in six years
posted by Houyhnhnm at 8:06 AM PST - 42 comments
, my last request: everything that can be found in my posthumous papers
(thus in boxes
, cupboards, desks, at home
and in the office, or wherever else they may be that you come upon them) of diaries, manuscripts, letters, my own and those written to me
, sketches and so on, should be burned unread and without remnant, even all the written or drawn things that you or others have
, that you might have asked for in my name. If there are letters that people will not turn over to you
, at least they should promise to burn them themselves
posted by griphus at 6:51 AM PST - 37 comments
Top Secret America:
The top-secret world the government created in response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, has become so large, so unwieldy and so secretive that no one knows how much money it costs, how many people it employs, how many programs exist within it or exactly how many agencies do the same work. [more inside]
posted by ryoshu at 6:29 AM PST - 113 comments
Lasers 4, UAVs 0.
It's easier to hit things at the speed of light. Raytheon tests a naval anti-aircraft laser, and you can watch it go at the link.
posted by Ella Fynoe at 3:48 AM PST - 59 comments