October 10, 2007
Brandon Hardesty [wiki, previously] is a comic actor who is best known for his movie re-enactments and his appearance on a Geico commercial (for which he was well compensated). He asked his thousands of YouTube fans for scene requests. He has now (despite a recent bout with mono) completed performances of the top five five winners: 5: Clerks, 4: Fight Club, 3: Full Metal Jacket, 2: Reservoir Dogs and 1: Pulp Fiction. [YouTube unless otherwise noted] [more inside]
Carbonated watermelon. Gelatin spheres with liquid centers. Broths and sauces whipped into foams. When the world's best chefs want something that defies the laws of physics, they come to one man: Dave Arnold, the DIY guru of high-tech cooking. Want to turn your kitchen into a science lab? Check out 25 extreme kitchen gadgets. Related, previously on Mefi: molecular gastronomy.
"Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights," Carter said
Jimmy Carter speaking out today with statements "The United States tortures in violation of international law, former President Carter said Wednesday. "I don't think it. I know it," Carter told CNN's Wolf Blitzer. "Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights," Carter said.
The confluence of neoliberalism and neoconservatism allows white students one last chance to party like it’s 1899.
Although not a new phenomenon, it seems that over the last year “ghetto,” “gangsta,” “south of the border” and “taco and tequila” parties have become college chic and cool. Parties at more than a dozen colleges and universities received national coverage in the past year, with countless others going unnoticed save for the pictures posted to sundry websites. It is tempting to interpret such events as clichéd racist expressions. They are, after all, contemporary minstrel theaters that allow middle- and upper-class white Americans to cross moral and social boundaries by racial crossdressing. But such easy explanations keep us from fully appreciating the circumstances on today’s college campus that make minstrel parties pleasing and powerful for so many.
In 1967, before "Monty Python", before "The Goodies", and before "Marty", John Cleese, Graham Chapman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Marty Feldman teamed up to create a groundbreaking show that influenced (and provided sketch material and dialog for) much of what we know today as British Comedy. Most of the material was erased when its owner, Rediffusion London, disappeared in England's 1967 TV franchise reshuffle. Here is almost all of what survives of "At Last, the 1948 Show".
Design Patterns, Reuse, recycle, but don’t reinvent the wheel unless necessary. This collection captures findings of consistent, unique or interesting interfaces and design flows from across the web. One of the many tools, tutorials etc. from Smashing Magazine's list, Best of September 2007. [more inside]
Fort Hunt's Quiet Men Break Silence on WWII. After 60 years of silence, the World War II veterans who interrogated Nazi prisoners of war at Fort Hunt are telling their story. [Via The Reality-Based Community.] [more inside]
The "Nuclear Nav." On March 11, 1958, Captain Bruce Kulka was the navigator on an Air Force B-47 Stratojet carrying nuclear bombs to an airfield in North Africa. Somewhere over the southeastern US, the captain sent him to back the bomb bay to check on a cockpit warning light. As he climbed through the narrow space around the Mark 6 nuclear bomb, Kulka grabbed the emergency release pin by mistake. [more inside]
A month ago Randall Munroe of XKCD drew a comic lamenting the internet's lack of pictures of women playing electric guitar in the shower. He registered wetriffs.com and soon the submissions started pouring in. The gallery is now up. [nsfw]
Why We Curse. An article by Steven Pinker, exploring the roots of modern "dirty words" and the psychohistory of how and why we use the expletives we use. [more inside]
"This blog is intended to document our experience in creating a “green” home in the city of Chicago. We hope to share our experience, good and bad, in creating a place to live ecologically, happily and with minimal impact upon our world." [more inside]
Rehearsing the next terror attack. before 911, the government paid little attention to the role of media and public communications in its national exercises. In 2003, Ogilvy PR was asked by the Department of Homeland Security to develop and manage a full-scale, sophisticated media element in support of TOPOFF 3, its most comprehensive terrorism response exercise ever. The result was a simulated yet eerily realistic news broadcast via the Virtual News Network. The TOPOFF 4 exercise is scheduled to take place October 15-19, 2007.
David McCallum's Warbike, which chimes away as it passes by (and detects) stray wifi signals. Torontonians can ride the Warbike for free until the beginning of December as part of Interaccess. [more inside]
No Ideas But In Things is a photoblog of dials, buttons, knobs, levers, handles, switches, and other pieces of user interface design.
Spot the Five Differences. It is fun. [flash]
Twenty hard-boiled pulp stories from a revived Black Mask Magazine. (Unfortunately, stories are mostly in PDF form.)
Control, the biopic covering the the life and untimely death of Joy Division's singer Ian Curtis, opens in the US today (on a limited release) [ trailer | fan site | on set interview ]. This is director Anton Corbijn's debut full length film [ interview ] and was co-produced by Tony Wilson (a giant in the Manchester and UK music scene, sadly missed. Check out 24 Hour Party People [trailer | clip]) . Control opened in the UK several days ago and the reviews are largely positive [ Guardian | Times Online | Independent | Channel 4 | Time Out | Manchester Evening News ]. [more inside]
According to the ESA, the average gamer is "33 years old and has been playing for twelve years" and the average buyer of video games is 38. So then, why do members of the mainstream media, as well as politicians (more here and here) continue to reference gaming as something akin to a child's toy? In the wake of the British Board of Film Classification again banning the controversial Manhunt 2, despite edits to tone down the game from its publisher, Newsweek's N'Gai Croal takes a look at "The Problem (and the Danger) of the continued Infantilization of Videogames".
I do not plan on voting for or against any US legislation not directly related to Texas Independence
Texan Larry Kilgore is running for a seat in the US Senate. Agree or disagree with the man, he certainly has the courage of his convictions.
On Friday, October 5th, a group of self proclaimed "National Socialists" burst into the Kulturen Gallery in Sweden and destroyed nearly half of Andres Serrano's exhibit "The History of Sex". They videotaped themselves in the act (alternate youtube link, with stunning comments), set it to a heavy metal soundtrack and released it on the internet. (WARNING: Assume all links are NSFW). [more inside]
Why is anonymous group suicide so popular in Japan? From 2003 through 2005, 180 people died in 61 reported cases of Internet-assisted group suicide in Japan . . . All but two of these cases have proceeded according to a common blueprint: The victims meet online, using anonymous screen names, and then take sleeping pills and use briquettes, charcoal burners, and tape to turn a car or van into a mobile gas chamber.
NYC woman files lawsuit after bouncer confuses her for a man and ejects her from women's bathroom. A woman is held in the men's jail after being mistaken for a man. Activists look for solutions.
Other artists have made holes in gallery floors, including Richard Wilson, and Einstürzende Neubauten. None so big as Doris Salcedo's Shibboleth though. How does one go about making a 548ft crack in the floor of the Tate Modern?
The quicker you succeed the better. Declassified documents show Secretary of State Kissenger gave a green light to the Argentine Junta, whilest Rev. Christián González aka Christián von Wernich, also leant a hand, showing that The Catholic Church's involvement with fascism and the Dirty War was far from dead. The Vatican was instrumental in witholding detail. The Desaparecidos probably exceeded 12,000.
Revolution in Jesusland: a new blog, written for secular progressives about the currently building movement within conservative evangelical christianity of people who are passionate about and working towards many of the same goals: "eliminating poverty, saving the environment, promoting justice and equality along racial, gender and class lines and for immigrants—and even separation of church and state." If you want a place to start, the about page is here. [more inside]
Josie's Lalaland (embedded QT) is a delicate and ethereal short CG/animation film by Yibi Hu. It is his response to a couple of real world events. [more inside]
The full-on, amped-up sanza sounds of Konono No. 1 have been celebrated here at MeFi not once but twice, and they are indeed wonderful. Björk's been working with them a bit lately, too. But let's go back a few decades, and take a listen to the unplugged version of this type of music: mesdames et messiurs, Papa Kourand, the grand old man of the sanza! [more inside]