August 16, 2011
The Phantom Menace of Sleep Deprived Doctors: Young doctors are no longer working long, stupor-inducing hours. So why aren’t hospitals any safer?
'"People say 'It's all about the story,'"' Walt Disney Animation Studios chief technical officer Andy Hendrickson, said in a talk at the recent Siggraph conference. '"When you're making tentpole films, bullshit." Hendrickson showed a chart of the top 12 all-time domestic grossers, and noted every one is a spectacle film. Of his own studio's "Alice in Wonderland," which is on the list, he said: "The story isn't very good, but visual spectacle brought people in droves. And Johnny Depp didn't hurt."'
Singer, knob twiddler and bass player MNDR has had a great year, especially considering that she hasn’t even finished her first full-length solo recording yet. MNDR is best known in the pop world so far for her collaboration with Mark Ronson and Q-tip on Bang Bang Bang, a song that plays with the french children’s song alouette with a double entendre squeezed out of the consonants in “plucking feathers.” [more inside]
iTex2Img converts LaTeX equations into images online.
Straight outta Cleveland. Rapper Machine Gun Kelly headlined the Village Voice's music section last week ahead of a show in New York last weekend and after inking a deal with Bad Boy records earlier this month. [more inside]
Rick Rypien and the crisis of faith on hockey fighting Rypien's death on Monday marked the second time this year someone has arrived at the home of a young NHL player who fought his way into the profession — literally and figuratively — to find that player had suddenly died. [more inside]
The Sexperience 1000 is a neat interactive journey / visualization through the sexual experiences and preferences of British individuals. [more inside]
Alex Reads Creation. From the same guy who made going to Walmart fun, and making fun of Twilight entertainment: a different take on Genesis.
Meet Karl Welzien. He lives in Grand Blanc, Michigan. He is recently divorced from Ann, and lives with his buddy Dave. He loves drinking cold ones, driving his Sebring, maxing out some karaoke, and knocking back some Chili's hot wings because they have big bold flavor. He's a big fan of Guy Fieri, and loves the occasional "toilet nap" during his workday. Karl is a fictional character that exists only on Twitter, @DadBoner. [more inside]
The Elusive Big Idea "It is no secret, especially here in America, that we live in a post-Enlightenment age in which rationality, science, evidence, logical argument and debate have lost the battle in many sectors, and perhaps even in society generally, to superstition, faith, opinion and orthodoxy. While we continue to make giant technological advances, we may be the first generation to have turned back the epochal clock — to have gone backward intellectually from advanced modes of thinking into old modes of belief."
Möbius: A collaborative stop motion sculpture "Twenty-one large triangles animated by Melbourne, throughout Federation Square. MÖBIUS is a sculpture that can be configured into many cyclical patterns and behave as though it is eating itself, whilst sinking into the ground." (by Ducroz)
Poverty may be miserable. But being able to feel a bit better-off than someone else makes it a bit more bearable. Economists from the National Bureau of Economic Research suggest that people near the bottom end of financial inequity are less likely to be in favour of programs that will help increase their income if those programs will also help those lower on the scale than they are.
...the authors of the new paper argue that people don’t like to be at the bottom. One paradoxical consequence of this “last-place aversion” is that some poor people may be vociferously opposed to the kinds of policies that would actually raise their own income a bit but that might also push those who are poorer than them into comparable or higher positions. The authors ran a series of experiments where students were randomly allotted sums of money, separated by $1, and informed about the “income distribution” that resulted. They were then given another $2, which they could give either to the person directly above or below them in the distribution. The people who were a spot away from the bottom were the most likely to give the money to the person above them..This may also explain why Warren Buffet's cry to stop coddling the rich (previously) will continue to fall on deaf ears.
Science fiction always uses it in varying degrees. Some believe it will bring about a perfect Technological Utopia:Heaven on Earth. Some believe it will herald a dark and dystopian future. Perhaps it will elevate man to a being that is more than human; Human+ and permanently and irrevocably transform the human condition, and still others believe that too much involvement in it will void your existence. Some religions totally depend on it and others find it harder to deal with: The list of emerging technologies.
"Reading every word of this disjointed, strange monster of a manuscript would make even an Adderall addict bleary." Anita Dalton of I Read Odd Books reviews 2083: A European Declaration of Independence by Anders Behring Breivik.
Roger Ebert has posted the intro of his memoirs, Life Itself, to his blog, which particularly talks about how therapeutic his blog has been, giving him a voice when he can no longer speak. Originally dismissive of online media, he's gone on to embrace it (for example, with his twitter feed), in a manner matched by few other celebrities.
Did you inherit your parents stress? Your grandparents stress? What about their environmental enrichment? Current research in rats is exploring possible mechanisms through which stressful and positive environments could affect our future children and grandchildren. Also something to consider in tandem: many of the genes associated with addiction and mental illness are also associated with resiliency. [more inside]
A year after spending some time in Edinburgh, and subsequently finding his way home across Scotland, Danny MacAskill unexpectedly finds himself in an abandoned ironworks. A zen-like state of bicycling ensues. [via kottke]
"Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and their former editor Andy Coulson all face embarrassing new allegations of dishonesty and cover-up after the publication of an explosive letter written by the News of the World's disgraced royal correspondent, Clive Goodman. In the letter, which was written four years ago but published only on Tuesday, Goodman claims that phone hacking was "widely discussed" at editorial meetings at the paper until Coulson himself banned further references to it; that Coulson offered to let him keep his job if he agreed not to implicate the paper in hacking when he came to court; and that his own hacking was carried out with "the full knowledge and support" of other senior journalists, whom he named." (Most recent previously.)