September 13, 2012
August was one of the deadliest months in Afghanistan, for both civilians and soldiers. The death toll was increased by so-called 'green-on-blue' attacks by members of the Afghan National Army and police forces on ISAF and US forces. [more inside]
let's automate them
let's automate them
"The world's first colour moving pictures dating from 1902 have been found by the National Media Museum in Bradford after lying forgotten in a tin for 110 years." [more inside]
It's the turn of the 90s and you're back in the USSR, sitting on the Persian carpet that covers every inch of your Soviet living room and facing the old Rubin-714 set. As the clock strikes nine, you hear those familiar strains… [more inside]
There's been little discussion about the problem of poverty in the current Presidential election, the conventions pretty much ignored it. "The Circle of Protection, composed of Christian leaders from across the religious spectrum, released President Barack Obama's and GOP nominee Mitt Romney's video responses today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C." Both candidates responded.
Kalamazoo Promise has come up in discussion a couple of times. The program, funded by anonymous donors, covers tuition and fees for all graduates of Kalamazoo public high schools. [more inside]
Recently, it was announced that Zoe Saldana has been cast to play Nina Simone in an upcoming biopic. Objections to this casting decision include references to Simone's own embrace of her own dark-skinned appearance and have brought up colorism, which has been noted in other recent films, such as Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, where Harriet Tubman was depicted by Jacqueline Fleming, a biracial actress. Colorism is more than the warped preferences of the Hollywood star system, but an issue that affects the daily lives of black American women. Highlighting the effects of colorism is a short documentary film made by a teenage girl in 2007, "A Girl Like Me," which features different girls' takes on, among other social issues relating to black women, the role of skin tone in beauty standards. Simone herself touched on this issue in her song, "Four Women." [more inside]
American public transportation commercials? Boring. Belgian De Lijn commercials? Amusing. Danish? Exciting!
How to help increase the number of participating women in STEM conferences As a woman who got steered firmly away from a STEM career many, many years ago, I find this incredibly heartening.
Empire State of Pen — 80 second timelapse video of artist Patrick Vale drawing the view of the Manhattan skyline from the Empire State Building.
Rock diva and Kickstarter heroine Amanda Palmer asks local musicians/fans to come on stage to perform a few songs with her. But professional musicians are outraged at this blatant act of exploitation. [more inside]
Dr. Ruth, Shmuley Boteach, Mayim Bialik, Shalom Auslander, and 23 more on ensuring a meaningful year. [more inside]
"Always remember that beautiful experiences and massive amounts of love are on their way. If you are able to feel pain and sadness this profoundly, more than most people can ever imagine, remind yourself that you can feel happiness and joy and love this profoundly as well, and that’s our little reward as depressed people. We feel things harder than other people do, and when those things are negative they are complete and total torture. But while we feel pain harder than other people have to, we feel beauty and joy and love harder than anyone else gets to, and that’s the victory that’s waiting on the other side of this pain for you. Hang on. Be tough. Better times are coming. Beautiful things and loving people are already out there, and when this cloud passes you get to experience them all so, so deeply." -Comedian Chris Gethard addresses an anonymous fan contemplating suicide (Trigger warning: discussion of suicide) [more inside]
Ninety years ago today, the all-time weather temperature record (58° C, 136.4° F) was recorded at Al Azizia, Libya. Today, that record has been officially thrown out following research by extreme weather specialist, Christopher Burt. The video of how it all un-happened. [more inside]
In honor of the ZERO1 Biennial ISHKY has the first thousand digits of Pi written in the sky over San Francisco
Springsteen in the USA: 40 years of Touring as a Study in Spatial Diffusion "As a geographer, 1500+ shows over 40 years is an opportunity to map...how phenomenons such as innovation, fashion, or disease spread geographically. Except in this case the contagion is rock ‘n roll."
20% of Anorexics Are Men. And that number is reportedly rising. "Diagnosis is hard. Finding treatment is even harder. Many residential centers don't admit men, out of a belief that treatment should be sex-specific." Article contains images and descriptions that may be disturbing to those with eating disorders. Single page version here.
Beth Lesser, perhaps best known for her photography of the Jamaican music scene, has made her book "Rub-a-Dub Style: The Roots of Modern Dancehall" (pdf) free to download on her website. [more inside]
According to the Guardian, Google has added Bacon Number functionality to its search engine. Simply type in 'Bacon number [other actor name]', and the Bacon Number, with all the steps linking the two actors, is given. Previously and previously.
After the initial proposal, a contentious public hearing, examination in the media, and the big vote, NYC Mayor Bloomberg's Large Soda Ban has been approved by the health board and "unless blocked by a judge, will take effect in six months." The Mayor's office is yet to issue an official statement but here's something to hold you over.
The Alfa [bicycle] weighs 20lbs, yet supports riders up to 24 times its weight. It’s mostly cardboard and 100% recycled materials, yet uses a belt-driven pedal system that makes it maintenance free. And, maybe best of all, it’s project designed to be manufactured at about $9 to $12 per unit (and just $5 for a kids version.
Good Fighter, Can’t Cheerlead Worth A Damn. The War Nerd writes an insightful piece on why Obama doesn't get much credit for military successes.
Steganographic information (account ID, a timestamp and the IP address of the current realm) is secretly embedded in World of Warcraft screen shots. Via Schneier.
Icky face-pooping flesh mites are only the tip of the iceberg. You've heard that your gut bacteria are necessary to help you digest, meaning not all germs are bad. Without them, we couldn't digest healthily. But stop and look at how far our interconnectedness with other forms of life goes: 1. Human DNA itself is at least 8.3% ancient viruses; without one of these viruses you could never have been born. 2. Mitochondria in human cells originated when the same type of bacteria that causes typhus disease raided one of our cellular ancestors and instead of hijacking it was pressed into service. (The same origin as chloroplasts in plants from cyanobacteria). 3. Far more of the cells in your body are non-human microorganisms than actual human cells. This relationship is not just interconnectedness. This is integration. [more inside]