October 5, 2007
Too Hot To Hear. Fifty years ago today, a San Francisco Municipal Court judge ruled that Allen Ginsberg's Beat-era poem "Howl" was not obscene. Yet today, a New York public broadcasting station decided not to air the poem, fearing that the Federal Communications Commission will find it indecent and crush the network with crippling fines. More on Allen Ginsberg here. Via.
Are Zebras black with white stripes, or white with black stripes? Find the answer to this, plus many other fun zebra facts and many great zebra pictures and photos for your desktop at the appropriately titled Fun Zebra Pictures & Facts website. [more inside]
Why Democracy? "In October 2007, ten one-hour films focused on contemporary democracy will be broadcast in the world's largest ever factual media event. More than 40 broadcasters on all continents are participating, with an estimated audience of 300 million viewers. Each of the broadcasters - an A-Z which includes everyone from Al Arabiya to ZDF - will be producing a locally-based seasons of film, radio, debate and discussion to tie in with the global broadcast of the Why Democracy? films."
TelevangelistFilter: No matter how many times we do this, it's still so very satisfying. Richard Roberts, President of Oral Roberts University, son of its founder, and that guy who's always on TV, denies a lawsuit alleging political corruption, misappropriation of funds, scores of text messages to underage males coming from the cellphone of his glassy-eyed wife (also always on TV).
Mad About the Boys "Until he fled the country in January, accused of embezzling more than $300 million, Lou Pearlman was famous as the impresario behind the Backstreet Boys and 'NSync. Turns out his investors weren't the only victims, colleagues reveal: Pearlman's passion for boy bands was also a passion for boys."
Frustrated with perceived inefficacy of local law enforcement and government, residents of Calle de la Montera have started posting video of criminal behaviour (mainly prostitution) on their street to YouTube. The Data Protection Agency (tasked with privacy enforcement) is not amused (in Spanish; machine translation), but the neighbourhood watch group maintains it is not breaking the law (m.t.).
The Philosophy and Neuroscience Movement (PDF). A paper by Andrew Brook and Pete Mandik on the relationship between neuroscience and philosophy. [Via MindHacks.] [more inside]
Up for consideration is the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which has been written to provide a comprehensive Federal prohibition of employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Last week, Barney Frank released a Statement saying that it is a mistake to continue seeking inclusion of "gender identity" as part of the Act. Or to put it in other words, there'd be protections for only the "GLB" part of the larger "GLBT community". [more inside]
Shipping container architecture. A comprehensive repository of information, links, photos, and videos of shipping containers used as buildings or parts of buildings. More. Even more.
"Last night false charges were filed against me and I just got out of prison, upon which I discovered that I had been locked out of administrative sections of all the servers as well as being totally locked out of BME." (Google cache, copy available here) Shannon Larratt, founder of the Body Modification E-Zine has seemingly been the victim of a hostile takeover. [more inside]
I love coupon codes, but I hate having to dig through all the ad pages with broken ones to find one that works. Behold: RetailMeNot.com, a site that ranks codes by success rate.
Ellsworth Kelley, Bill Blass, Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. and a host of lesser known but equally talented painters, designers, sound engineers and actors served together during World War II in the Ghost Army – the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, a unit whose existence remained an official secret until 1996. German soldiers referred to them as the "Phantom Army," because one moment they were in one place, and the next, they were attacking their flanks or from the rear. Together, they made rubber tanks and fake Jeeps; their changing unit insignia were designed to fool spies and allied units alike. They recorded the sounds of Allied units building bridges or moving troops and broadcast them from special sound trucks, leading the Germans to conclude that the U.S. Army had more troops in more places than it did. "Guys drew, or painted, all the time," documenting their lives, the lives of their fellow soldiers, and that of the local populations in wartime Europe.
Before testosterone coursed through their bodies and caused corruption they were The Sopranos. Frankie, Bobby 'MoFoChild' Breen, Frankienoinfo, Graham 'Freeda' Payn, Donnie 'Alleluja, Jackie [sans kilt], Master Joe Peterson and Joselito was a cutie too.
Friday Fun Filter: Test your cereal knowledge.
Construction of the World's Highest Bridge, Millau Viaduct in France, which is slightly higher than the Eiffel Tower. It is now included in a list of Google Earth extremes. World's most interesting bridges. Gallery of beautiful world bridges. [more inside]
"Not associated with Blackwater USA." "Blackwater USA is not responsible for this site." "This is an independent site and is not affiliated with Blackwater USA." There's a new trend in the blogosphere, of anonymous people putting significant effort into creating blogs defending military contractor Blackwater USA. Just another bunch of passionate amateur fans showing Old Media how to report a story, or a calculated Astroturf campaign by a well-heeled PR firm? Maybe these guys know.