November 10, 2009
A LOVE LETTER FOR YOU is a series of 29 murals visible along the westbound El in Philadelphia. [more inside]
Interesting article at Slate, In Defense of Jaywalking, where the author describes how the media and others often slant coverage of pedestrian vs auto accidents--examples include San Francisco Chronicle, Boston Globe , and New York Post columns. Police, who are typically car-bound, are often biased in favor of other drivers. Not unexpectedly the Federal Highway Administration has curious language regarding walkers--"Still, almost no one can avoid occasional pedestrian status". Even the term jaywalking is commonly misused. Solutions? More money towards safer walking (including a reversal of funding policies that favor cars), better places to walk, pedestrian-friendly engineering, lower urban speed limits, harsher penalties for drivers that violate pedestrian's rights, and critical reading of the often selective and sensationalized media coverage of traffic crashes.
The Australian Capital Territory, the home of the Australian capital of Canberra, has passed a bill allowing same-sex civil unions. As marriage is a federal matter in Australia, this is the highest recognition of same sex unions that is constitutionally allowed in a state or territory of Australia. However, it does give political momentum to the movement looking towards the repeal of the "one man and one woman" Marriage Amendment Act of 2004.
As I write this, I realize I am about to do something that, for the most part, is never done. I am going to criticize a critic. Filmmakers are never supposed to respond to a critic about their work. It's an unspoken rule of engagement. But in this case, I feel compelled. [more inside]
In 1996, the Ocoee Whitewater Center challenged the paddlers in the '96 Olympics. The dam controlled Ocoee river remains popular with rafters, kayakers and leaf-lookers. Today, the mountain reclaimed a bit the Ocoee gorge.
We love our maps here, so how about a map quiz thanks to our friends at The Morning News. Warning: the answer underneath each map is a simple link, and the URL sometimes gives away the answer.
Destructoid has posted a full video play-through of the controversial "No Russian" level from the newly released Modern Warfare 2 (warning: possibly disturbing). The level, in which the player is asked to infiltrate a Russian terrorist group and, as a result, take part in a terrorist attack on civilians, has divided gamers and journalists. [more inside]
Dismal economy got you down? Chin up, sport - it's possible to save money and eat like a king at one of America's abundant all-you-can-eat buffet restaurants. Before you and your dining companion are whisked off this culinary land of plenty, take note of the definitive strategy guide to maximize both your dollar and your waistline. Fill up on tips such as: Wear items with intricate patterns or designs that will disguise spills and stains. As you get your game plan together, here's your anthem.
How to make a baby. (SFW)
When the Chrysler car company released its new model Dodge Coronet in 1967, the theme of its ad campaign was the "White Hat Special," with some ads featuring the "Dodge Girl" in her signature white Stetson, saying that "Only the good guys could put together a deal like this." These ads didn't need any elaboration. Madison Avenue knew the potential buyers had all been raised on film and TV Westerns, and knew the symbolism of white hats. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, the Lone Ranger — cinematic heroes wore white hats, and bad guys wore black. It was all very simple. The colors white and black have carried layers of moral meaning since long before American infatuation with cowboys and automobiles, and some scientists believe that those associations may be automatic and universal and ancient (abstract). [more inside]
"From the moment the first kitty made shadow birds on the walls of a prehistoric cave, we have had theater." Claw Theater presents Sleeping Beauty, Aladdin and the Magic Lamp, Robin Hood, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Peter Pan, and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. [more inside]
Many kids read The Education of Little Tree in school, but the author of the book, Forrest Carter, was actually Asa Carter, a staunch racist and charlatan.
When the Toronto Star announced that they were outsourcing in-house editing jobs, the union wasn't too happy. Neither was this disgruntled editor.
The Survey of American Jewish Language and Identity reports on the results of an online survey of 25,179 American Jews and 4,874 American Gentiles. Non-Jews say "klutz" but not "schmutz." The more Orthodox you are, the more likely you are to say "Good Shabbos" instead of "Shabbat Shalom." And so much more you'll plotz.
Imagine an alternate world, where the idea for "The Matrix" had been pitched to Charlie Chaplin. Behold.
Sunday night 60 Minutes aired a segment on the state of cyber crime & cyber terror which included the extraordinary claim that unknown hackers were behind massive power outages in Brazil in 2005 & 2007. Now Wired Magazine's Threat Level blog says that's just not true. According to two studies (PDF, Portuguese) by the Brazilian government it was buildup of soot on insulators that caused the blackouts, not super-hackers demonstrating their abilities. Is the US Intelligence Community passing around false information to justify its relevance?
Music video for Snake featuring giant stompy robots invading Uruguay. Short film sans band. Behind the scenes.
Armin Gessert, the creator of the classic Giana Sisters game and more recently a remake on Nintendo DS no less, passed away (German) on Sunday Nov 9, 2009. Giana has quite the fan following, and has been ported to pc, 32k among others. Also, previously 1. [more inside]
Re-inhabited Circle Ks - an exhibit of identical storefronts abandoned by a national chain of convenience stores and re-purposed by new businesses. [more inside]