November 10, 2011

Simply Beautiful

Simply Beautiful (slv)
posted by astapasta24 at 9:53 PM PST - 44 comments

Parachuting with Hawks

Parachuting with hawks (slyt)
posted by Pants! at 8:25 PM PST - 31 comments

Why the Female Sexual Submissive Scares Us

"As someone who [...] advocates against violence against women and for rape survivors' rights, I never really felt I was allowed to participate in the fantasy of my own violation."
posted by zeek321 at 7:47 PM PST - 98 comments

Brothers of chimpanzees, cousins of rats

You have certainly seen a Tree of Life at some point (not the movie; the diagram of the evolution of species). Originally conceived of by Lamarck (though there is some interesting debate on this), it was Darwin himself who popularized the concept, first in his notebook, and next as the only image in The Origin of the Species. Though they have inspired beautiful illustrations, and a large and fascinating web project to map the tree, trees of life remain problematic since taxonomy can be complicated. One truly stunning way of redrawing the tree is the Hillis Plot, which maps 3,000 species by genetic similarity. You can print out the amazing illustration here, but, even though the Plot only contains 0.18% of named species, it needs to be 1.5 meters square to be legible. The Hillis Plot has been appearing in art, notably (and meta-rifficly) this one carved into an English oak, and, of course, tattoos.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:44 PM PST - 19 comments

Hell, Grover can't kill ya. He can't burn down your house.

In November 2002, at a meeting in the White House, the president and his top economic advisers packed tightly around a mahogany table in the Roosevelt Room. With the administration's own forecasts showing that the economy had already regained its footing, one after another of Bush's deputies sounded the alarm about the dangers of a new tax cut. "This burns a big hole in the budget," deputy chief of staff Josh Bolten told the president. "The budget hole is getting deeper," added Daniels, "and we are projecting deficits all the way to the end of your second term." O'Neill warned the president that a "tax cut that benefits mostly wealthy investors" could imperil the budding prosperity. "With the economy already improving, this could cause an unnecessary boost," he said. "That's how you get a bubble." Entertaining the chorus of doubters, Bush himself voiced qualms about more cuts for the rich. "Won't the top-rate people benefit the most?" he asked. "Didn't we already give them a break at the top?" But Cheney was having none of it. When O'Neill warned Bush that America was headed for a "fiscal crisis," the vice president, sitting at the Treasury secretary's right elbow, dismissed him midsentence by citing the ultimate champion of Republican tax cuts: "Ronald Reagan proved that deficits don't matter, Paul." Rolling Stone's Tom Dickinson on how the GOP became the party of the rich.
posted by therewolf at 6:20 PM PST - 71 comments

Lydia Nibley's "Two Spirits"

Fred Martinez was nádleehí, a male-bodied person with a feminine nature, a special gift according to his ancient Navajo culture. He was one of the youngest hate-crime victims in modern history when he was brutally murdered at 16. Two Spirits explores the life and death of this boy who was also a girl, and the essentially spiritual nature of gender. (previously)
posted by Trurl at 5:25 PM PST - 15 comments

Purity tests - just how pure are you?

Purity tests! From the olden days of Usenet: A purity test attempts to gauge how "pure" you are within some realm of experience by having you answer a list of questions regarding which acts, etc. associated with the subject you have engaged in. Generally, for each "yes" answer you lose a purity point. The result is scaled to tell you what percentage of purity you still retain. [more inside]
posted by marble at 5:24 PM PST - 75 comments

Stress free thanksgiving

Food Lab Filter: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt presents the "Complete Guide to a Stress-Free Thanksgiving"
posted by AceRock at 5:15 PM PST - 30 comments

Confidence Game

The Future of journalsim.
posted by sf9719 at 5:02 PM PST - 18 comments

The Great War

It's the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month where I am right now, so I present to you Europeana, a project collecting memorabilia and stories from the period of the Great War (1914-1918).
posted by unliteral at 4:00 PM PST - 35 comments

Space Station Reboost

Physics! (SLYT via)
posted by curious nu at 3:40 PM PST - 38 comments

Words of the last 100 years

Dave Wilton of wordorigins.org (prev) has been compiling etymological snapshots for each year of the past 100 years, based on words that first appeared in English that year. As of now, he is up to 1941. The 1911 entry gives a good overview of his goals and parameters. (via) [more inside]
posted by kmz at 3:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Who's a Pretty Bird?

This parrot enjoys dressing up. His owner reviews these fashion choices in adorably broken English. Sorry, ladies, he's taken.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 2:03 PM PST - 34 comments

Is the 2011-2012 Sitcom Schedule the Worst in a Decade?

Splitsider asks "Is the 2011-2012 Sitcom Schedule the Worst in a Decade?"
posted by reenum at 1:55 PM PST - 163 comments

Watch the closing doors!

NYC Subway skating.
posted by Obscure Reference at 1:51 PM PST - 69 comments

Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors

Bundled, Buried & Behind Closed Doors. "Lower Manhattan’s 60 Hudson Street is one of the world’s most concentrated hubs of Internet connectivity. This short documentary peeks inside, offering a glimpse of the massive material infrastructure that makes the Internet possible."
posted by twirlip at 1:41 PM PST - 18 comments

Shape Type

Shape Type is a letter shaping game, created by the same people that made Kern Type (previously).
posted by Memo at 1:39 PM PST - 15 comments

Color in motion: spray payin artwork made in minutes

If you think that airbrushed sci-fi landscapes like like this have been rendered obsolete by time-saving computer graphics, let Brandon McConnell prove otherwise. You can watch him make similar art in five minutes with a few cans of spray paint, magazines and the lid for a pot. Don't have enough time for that? How about a one minute sci-fi landscape? OK, let's go faster: here's a 45 second painting, and faster yet: a 39 second painting. But it's not all pyramids and planets, there are also quickly created nature scenes, and tutorial clips, within the collection of 184 videos uploaded to YouTube.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:33 PM PST - 26 comments

R-via-REST

OpenCPU provides a RESTful interface to the popular open-source statistical package R, enabling the user to perform calculations and create publication-quality or web-embeddable visualizations via standard web requests.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:09 PM PST - 17 comments

Science!

An illustration of two dimensional vibration. A really cool illustration of two dimensional vibration.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:57 AM PST - 22 comments

Have you seen this Gordon?

In 1969, Sesame Street put together an unaired pilot to test in front of children. The pilot contained the appearance of an actor playing Gordon different from the other three actors who subsequently played that character. Sesame Workshop has no idea who this actor was and has exhausted all leads. Do you know who the mystery Gordon is?
posted by mightygodking at 11:46 AM PST - 91 comments

Local NPR Reporter Eats Guatemalan Insanity Pepper

Marshall Terry, a reporter for WFAE in Charlotte, NC eats a pepper that is being submitted to Guiness as the world's hottest. Caution: there is hurling and hallucinating.
posted by zzazazz at 11:05 AM PST - 155 comments

Before the Occupy movement, there were tent cities.

"Imagine if you had never been homeless before and you'd just lost your job and you lost your home. What would you do? Would you immediately go begging or knocking on a door? No, you would downsize, move into cheaper accommodations, if that did not work you'd move in with friends or relatives and then you'd move into a cheap motel and then ... where would you want to go before winding up at a shelter door? You would much prefer to live at a park with your family and your dog." ... "In just about every major city, there are tent cities. Unfortunately, we're in a growth industry and the numbers are going to continue." -- Michael Stoop, a community organizer for the National Coalition for the Homeless, explaining that the surge in American tent city shantytowns, first highlighted on MeFi in 2008/09: 1, 2, 3, has not slowed. The Great Recession: Life in Tent City, Lakewood NJ / Photo Gallery / Video. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:23 AM PST - 40 comments

Stories made from: microspores, fog maps, infected bass samples, mathematics, patterns of decay, broken machines, blood, code bugs…

Sparkletown, the twitter stories of Jeff Noon.
posted by Artw at 10:14 AM PST - 19 comments

Corporate Espionage

One month ago, Électricité de France S.A. (EDF), one Europe's biggest power producers, went on trial for allegedly hiring a security firm to hack into Greenpeace's computers. Today, the sentence has come down and the security firm, EDF, and its executives (and in a separate sentence of the broader hacking trial, disgraced bicyclist Floyd Landis), will be seeing fines and jail time. Greenpeace responds.
posted by griphus at 10:06 AM PST - 20 comments

“If I have a little money I buy books; and if any is left, I buy food and clothes.”

Books seen in new ways: the Book Drum World Map (popular books mapped to their locations, and more). The Infinite Helical Bookcase. CodexCloud (store, search and share your eBooks online). Also: galleries and blogs of unique bookshelves, Bookshelf Porn and BookPorn. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:28 AM PST - 5 comments

...and I endorse this message.

Honestly, Abe? (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by caution live frogs at 8:14 AM PST - 16 comments

very tough love

Many listeners have written to us since our episode about Georgia Judge Amanda Williams, asking what ever happened to her. Did she face any consequences for the things we documented on our program? Yesterday, Georgia’s Judicial Qualifications Commission filed formal charges [PDF] against her. The twelve counts include a number of things reported in our episode: sending away inmates for indefinite detention, jailing Charlie McCullough for 14 days for exercising his right to contest a drug screen, and using “rude, abusive, or insulting language” with individuals appearing before her. Local reporting from the Altanta Journal-Constitution. Previously.
posted by gerryblog at 8:09 AM PST - 43 comments

and battery

The assault on Los Alamos National Laboratory: A drama in three acts
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 7:53 AM PST - 30 comments

It's called 'A Salute to All Nations, But Mostly America'

Why the Muppets Need to Host the Oscars.
posted by veedubya at 7:36 AM PST - 76 comments

Jefferson County goes to war

Larry Langford was sentenced to 15 years in a federal prison in 2010 for his role in it. "It’s unclear how much Langford actually understood. Later he told the Securities and Exchange Commission that he wouldn’t know a swap advisor from a rubber band."

Yesterday, Jefferson County in Alabama declared bankruptcy, the largest municipality to do so. "The filing means the county has declared war on its creditors. " [more inside]
posted by dig_duggler at 6:47 AM PST - 49 comments

Joe Paterno, Graham Spanier fired

Joe Paterno, Head Coach of the Penn State football team, and Graham Spanier, Penn State President, have been fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees amid allegations that they did little to address the (alleged) sexual molestation of children at the hands of Jerry Sandusky, the ex-defensive coach of the team. And as day follows night, Penn State students rioted, overturning a news van, shattering car windows, and tearing down street signs. Previously
posted by sutt at 5:15 AM PST - 826 comments

"We should forget about small efficiencies, say about 97% of the time: premature optimization is the root of all evil." ~C.A.R. Hoare, quoted by Donald Knuth

Save the Scrollbar! [slate.com] Why are Apple, Google, and Facebook eradicating a linchpin of user interface design?
posted by Fizz at 5:09 AM PST - 82 comments

How Toronto Lost its Groove

An analysis of urban planning and investment, or lack thereof, with Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area as examples A to Zed.
posted by jb at 5:02 AM PST - 32 comments

Crashed Spitfire machine guns fired after 70 years buried in Ireland

Machine guns still firing, 70 years later. The BBC's Dan Snow joins in an dig in Ireland to uncover a Spitfire mk2, hoping to find one o the machine guns in reasonable conditions. They find six, and then it's time to see if they still work. Okay so they stripped the six to rebuild just one good one, and used modern .303 calibre ammo as opposed to the ammo in the ground, but hey. 70 years and still spitting fire. Of course the WWII in me will point out that the mk V's Hispano cannons were far more effective, but hey, that's not romantic enough for a modern news bulletin.
posted by ewan at 2:27 AM PST - 20 comments

Surf's Way Up

Garrett McNamara surfs a 90-foot wave in Nazare, Portugal -- a world record.
posted by chavenet at 2:21 AM PST - 11 comments

Scoops, Swoops, and Perry's "Oops."

Texas Governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry is booked on all the major morning shows tomorrow, and with good reason. After two months of gaffes, impolitic stands, and bizarre speeches that quickly waned his once-strong odds of winning the Republican nomination, Perry went into Wednesday's CNBC debate sorely needing a win... only to deliver a tortuous, cringingly forgetful attempt [video] to recall just which three cabinet departments he'd vowed to abolish, a stunning failure political scientist Larry Sabato deemed "the most devastating moment of any modern primary debate" in his memory. While Perry's slow-motion flameout has boosted the fortunes of dark horse candidate Herman Cain, the unlikely challenger is facing troubles of his own in a volley of sexual harassment claims -- an oddly ineffective scandal Cain is doing his best to (somewhat dubiously) disavow. If Cain collapses, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich may reap the benefits, but his moribund campaign has issues of its own. Pawlenty, Bachmann, Perry, Christie, Cain, Gingrich... the base is loathe to rally round him, but after so many failed, flawed, or forfeited challenges, can anyone topple Mitt Romney?
posted by Rhaomi at 12:54 AM PST - 210 comments