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October 25, 2009
The crying of x^2 + xy + y^2 = 49
"Pynchon, postmodern author, is commonly said to have a non-linear narrative style. No one seems to have taken seriously the possibility, to be explored in this essay, that his narrative style might in fact be quadratic." Number theorist Michael Harris on Pynchon and conic sections.
posted by escabeche at 10:00 PM PST - 60 comments

My scraper bike go hard / I don't need no car
"There's people from literally across the world making these bikes, from Portland, Oregon, to Japan to Australia to Jamaica." The "Scraper Bike King" talks about the DIY community-oriented movement (YT), which started in Oakland was popularized with this video and covered by NPR.
posted by aniola at 6:28 PM PST - 35 comments

Be seeing you
iWatch PSA. The LAPD recently launched a new program named iWatch which encourages and establishes guidelines for citizen reporting of suspicious activity. There's also a 7 minute action movie playing out a fictional case study of the program. [more inside]
posted by sloe at 6:12 PM PST - 32 comments

Anatomy of Japanese folk monsters
Yōkai Daizukai is an illustrated guide to yōkai authored by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 5:12 PM PST - 15 comments

"Everything is pessimistic. Your grandma stocks up on washing-up liquid in case there’s another Holocaust."
Marc Isaacs is a British documentary maker with a talent for making poignant, revealing films about people. You can watch his new film Men In The City ‒ an affecting and beautifully shot profile of four very different London workers ‒ on the iPlayer, following its broadcast on the BBC yesterday. You also shouldn't miss his BAFTA-nominated short film Lift, filmed entirely from within an elevator inside a block of flats, and All White In Barking, a study from an English town with high immigration and strong BNP support ( pertinently ). Another interview with Marc.
posted by sleepcrime at 4:48 PM PST - 6 comments

I'm addicted to intravenous injections of corned beef. Ponkapoag, Massachusetts, hello!
A chance meeting between Kevin Pollak and Jason Calacanis at a poker game gave birth to Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, a weekly, web-based interview program. Episode 29, with guest Weird Al Yankovic, will be streaming live at 8PM ET/5PM PT. While you're waiting, check out previous episodes with guests like Eddie Izzard, Hank Azaria, and John Hamm. Or try your hand at the Larry King Game.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:24 PM PST - 25 comments

How can one evict the homeless?
After a spate of recent deaths, efforts to rehabilitate homeless chronic inebriates in Anchorage now include involuntary confinement. Other city-wide efforts include a mayoral decree that established homeless camps should be scattered. [more inside]
posted by stinker at 2:01 PM PST - 59 comments

Street Lit
"It's urban, it's real, but is this literature? Controversy rages over a new genre whose sales are headed off the charts"
[more inside]
posted by trojanhorse at 12:33 PM PST - 157 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Part II
Practical gene therapy treatment emerges. Prosthetics that feel. Circumventing paralysis with brain implants.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 12:14 PM PST - 15 comments

Do you realize that robot can hum like Pink Floyd?
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was (originally) a radio series, broadcast on BBC Radio during March and April 1978. It was a success. Since then it has spawned a 5-book trilogy, additional radio broadcasts, a television adaptation, a computer game, a comic book series, a movie, and at least one minor holiday. However, subsequent releases of the original radio series were edited (in part for copyright reasons), and the original broadcasts have been unavailable, until now. A software engineer and H2G2 fan has now tracked down the recordings of the original broadcasts, analyzed the differences between them and the official CD releases, and provided patches and instructions to update the CD release to match the original broadcast. Not only that, but he has written software to automate the process.
posted by fogovonslack at 12:00 PM PST - 30 comments

Richard Pryor gets pensive in a gun shop
A contemplative sketch with Richard Pryor in a gun shop. SLYT.
posted by Not Supplied at 9:25 AM PST - 37 comments

WKBW halloween night 1973
WKBW aired a night of Halloween Goodies on Halloween Night 1973. Its quite worth the listen,especially the intro to the entire night. More within..... [more inside]
posted by wheelieman at 6:44 AM PST - 14 comments

It's rap, old chap.
Mr B the gentleman rhymer introduces chap rap. (SLYT)
posted by handee at 6:30 AM PST - 32 comments

Economic mess gets messier?
Looks like Paul Volker is attempting to bring some sanity back to the U.S. banking industry, as adviser to the Obama administration. But is anybody listening?
posted by GreyFoxVT at 5:33 AM PST - 30 comments

"ïn the midst of a fabulous array of historically unprecedented and utterly mind-boggling stimuli ... Whatever."
"They were all continually trying to figure out where we are, where we might be going, and the possible downsides and dangers of new technologies so we can use the new technologies to serve human purposes. In other words, it was my kind of crowd". Michael Wesch presents; The Machine is (Changing) Us: YouTube, and the Politics of Authenticity to the 2009 Personal Democracy Forum at Jazz at Lincoln Center (fittingly SLYT) [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 12:21 AM PST - 18 comments