Join 3,424 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

October 4, 2010
RIP Norman Wisdom
Sir Norman Wisdom - Charlie Chaplin's 'favourite clown' - has died, aged 95. For some reason YouTube isn't playing sound for me right now, so I'm finding it hard to collate clips for y'all, so maybe the hive can help me out here. But Sir Norman was a complete childhood hero to me and, I would imagine, many other English (and Albanian!) MeFites, and I'd hate to see his passing go un-noticed.
posted by unSane at 9:21 PM PST - 25 comments

My childhood image of Steve slowly melted as I listened to this.
Steve Burns of Blue's Clues fame goes on-stage and talks about being Fameish.
posted by Taft at 9:20 PM PST - 38 comments

iron tesla
Iron Man on electric guitar with tesla coils. [VIDEO]
posted by philip-random at 7:15 PM PST - 46 comments

The fights are so vicious because the stakes are so low.
Sabotage in the lab. "As the problems mounted, Ames was getting agitated. She was certain that someone was monkeying with her experiments, but she had no proof and no suspect. Her close friends suggested that she was being paranoid." Scientific research collides with human nature.
posted by bitmage at 6:21 PM PST - 64 comments

Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
"I don't agree with those who say you should learn from your successes and mostly ignore your failures...I'm hoping that by writing this all out I can offload it from my head and hopefully help inform other people who try to start companies in the future."

One of the founders of Wesabe talks about why he thinks they lost out to Mint in the battle of the personal finance organisers. Related: 25 Best Startup Failure Post-Mortems of All Time.
posted by Hartster at 4:37 PM PST - 48 comments

visualizing.org
visualizing.org, Making sense of complex issues through data and design. About. Visualizing is a place to showcase your work, get feedback, ensure that your work is seen by lots of people and gets used by teachers, journalists, and conference organizers to help educate the public about various world issues.
posted by nickyskye at 3:47 PM PST - 6 comments

Bad Photoshop work + movie posters = crazy delicious!
Two of Metafilter's favourite topics, dismal Photoshop work and movie posters collide in Empire Online's Ultimate Collection Of Badly Photoshopped Movie Posters. This collection of 37 (Why 37? Why not?) generally second-tier movies from the past decade and a bit -- listed semi-alphabetically for your convenience -- is a buffet of bad lighting, terrible crop work and grim airbrushing. So, enjoy! As a bonus, each poster has a follow-up link or two showing attempted later fixes: some passably salvaged, some even more dreadful, and more than a few WTF. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 3:29 PM PST - 53 comments

We don't need you to type at all
"With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches," [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] said. "We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it." The Atlantic's editor James Bennet discusses with Schmidt how lobbyists write America's laws, how America's research universities are the best in the world, how the Chinese are going all-out in investing in their infrastructure, how the US should have allowed automakers to fail, and ultimately Google's evolving role in an technologically-augmented society in this broad, interesting and scary interview (~25 min Flash video) [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:06 PM PST - 55 comments

Art History in HD
Haltadefinizione is a gallery of extremely high resolution pictures of some of the greatest art treasures.
posted by gman at 2:43 PM PST - 22 comments

Jobs & Myths
Who Creates Jobs? Robert Samuelson at the Washington Post discusses a paper "Who Creates Jobs? Small vs. Large vs. Young" (behind paywall, pre-publication PDF). The thesis is that long term job growth really comes from new start-ups. [more inside]
posted by Long Way To Go at 2:29 PM PST - 21 comments

After Muybridge
After Muybridge "is a loop made from 12 stock photographs that are sequenced to re-create the locomotion of a galloping horse. The animation was modeled after one of Eadweard Muybridge's most famous motion studies called "Daisy". I sifted through over 5,000 digital images to find 12 that matched his original photos." More from artist Cassandra Jones: Animation, Installation, Composition.
posted by puny human at 2:02 PM PST - 9 comments

The Scope-Severity Paradox
In an ideal world, you’d imagine that someone who harmed more people would deserve a harsher treatment: a new paper by Loran F. Nordgren and Mary McDonnell, The Scope-Severity Paradox, suggests people find crime with fewer victims more severe than those with more victims. [PDF link] [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 1:12 PM PST - 47 comments

BiblioPulp
BiblioPulp
posted by Joe Beese at 1:00 PM PST - 2 comments

Play Dough Circuitry
Squishy Circuits: recipes for making insulating and conductive modeling doughs, for fun electronics projects (via)
posted by Ery at 12:56 PM PST - 7 comments

It's a Hawaiian Good Luck Sign
Flipping Off the North Koreans, 1968. The crew deduced that the North Koreans didn’t know what the finger meant. In the subsequent propaganda photos of the crew, their middle fingers were firmly extended to the cameraman. When the North Koreans questioned, the crew described it as the “Hawaiian good luck sign.” (via Andrew Sullivan.)
posted by LarryC at 12:54 PM PST - 33 comments

One Song to the Tune of Another
One Song to the Tune of Another is just what it sounds like. A selection of greatest hits from BBC Radio's I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. (SLYT)
posted by CrunchyFrog at 11:44 AM PST - 45 comments

Gay USA
Gay USA [slow-loading link, Wikipedia entry] is a long running weekly news show covering GLBT issues, hosted by Andy Humm and Ann Northrop. It can be found on Manhattan public access television, Free Speech TV [DISH Network channel 9145, DirecTV channel 348, local cable affiliates], via rss feed [individual episodes and subscribe link], and now as an iTunes podcast [iTunes link]. It is a valuable capsule summary for any who seek to stay on top of GLBT related politics, issues, and entertainment. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:03 AM PST - 4 comments

Journalism in the Age of Data
Journalism in the Age of Data: a documentary about data visualization as a storytelling medium. (Total running time: 54 minutes; annotated with links and related information).
posted by brundlefly at 10:50 AM PST - 6 comments

The Tories' favourite Lib Dem
Good news for Nick Clegg, deputy Prime Minister of the UK and leader of the Liberal Democrats: he's more popular than the Tory Prime Minister, David Cameron. Perhaps not so good news for the Liberal Democrats' image: that's with Tory party activists. Meanwhile, Cameron has professed his love of Macs and iPads in an interview, undoubtedly causing Apple to become instantly uncool in much the way The Smiths and Paul Weller did a few years ago.
posted by acb at 10:40 AM PST - 54 comments

As potent as any megalithic stone circle yet repellent to the New Age idiot
Northumbrian Storyteller, No-age Musician and Ante-Folk singer Sedayne performs his own Primal Myth Reinvention of The Holly and the Ivy to the tune of Searching for Lambs. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:55 AM PST - 11 comments

HMV
His Masters Voice by Hannu Rajaniemi, the Edinburgh based Finnish physicist currently causing a big stir in Hard SF - also features doggies and kitties. Audio version and interview at StarShipSofa. Review of The Quantum Thief at Locus. Bonus story: Elegy for a Young Elk.
posted by Artw at 9:51 AM PST - 44 comments

Nom nom nom!
Elmo cupcakes, Poo/halloween cupcakes, monkey cupcakes, sheep cupcakes, pink butterfly cupcakes, and, oh yeah, fetus cupcakes. (via)
posted by cjorgensen at 9:27 AM PST - 37 comments

Europe, now in convenient digital format
Europeana, a portal that brings together digitized items from scores of museums and libraries from across the continent, has launched its first online exhibition, Art Nouveau. (Click on the object, then "View object in Europeana" for high-res images.) And be sure to check out the massive new exhibition Reading Europe at sister site The European Library.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:03 AM PST - 7 comments

Kermit Needs Work
Homeless Man Under Pressure (SLYT)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:53 AM PST - 46 comments

Later.
"Each morning for over eight months [George Akerlof] woke up and decided that the next morning would be the day to send the Stiglitz box." James Surowiecki reviews The Thief of Time, a collection of essays about procrastination. His house is now as tidy as it ever has been. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty at 8:43 AM PST - 33 comments

The Fire Department is not a right; it is a privilege
"Anybody that's not in the city of South Fulton, it's a service we offer, either they accept it or they don't." In Obion County, Tennessee, the services of the South Fulton Fire Department are provided only to those customers who wish to pay their $75 annual fee. If you don't feel like subscribing, and your house catches fire, the firefighters will at least keep you company as you watch it burn to the ground.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:40 AM PST - 380 comments

What's wrong with classical music?
"What's wrong with classical music?" That article (1) diagnoses why classical music -- both old and contemporary -- has lost its cultural vitality and (2) looks at some proposals for reviving it. [more inside]
posted by John Cohen at 7:07 AM PST - 186 comments

New survey of sexual practices
A major new survey of sexual practices in the US reveals that the kids are staying safe, but boomers overwhelmingly refusing to wear condoms. [more inside]
posted by Forktine at 6:41 AM PST - 50 comments

Balzac, Eco, Chekov, Virgil: unnecessary
The State University of New York at Albany's motto is "the world within reach." But language faculty members are questioning the university's commitment to such a vision after being told Friday that the university was ending all admissions to programs in French, Italian, Russian and classics, leaving only Spanish left in the language department once current students graduate.
posted by Stewriffic at 4:00 AM PST - 68 comments

"I wanted to get it over with, get home, and get some sleep."
Why do people confess to crimes they don't commit? UVA Law Professor Brandon Garrett has been researching the contamination effect in interrogation. Modern interrogation practices are informed by the (copyrighted) Reid Technique. John R. Reid and Associates, Inc. responds to critics.
posted by availablelight at 12:27 AM PST - 87 comments