November 11, 2008
Charley Fox, two-time recipient of the Distinguished Cross, died on October 18th in a car accident. Another WWII veteran gone, and as with many, an interesting tale exists in his past. Credited with injuring Rommel (although he didn't know it at the time and it was denied by Germany), it's often thought that the loss of Rommel from Hitler's strategy team helped sway the war for the Allies (though it's wondered if has Rommel lived the July 20 plot against Hitler might have succeeded). After the war, Charley was an advocate for veterans and trained many. He died wearing his uniform.
The Stone of Folly is a wonderful stop motion animation released in 2002. Luckily, for those of us who don't own a copy, it was shown on the Canadian short film show Bravo!Fact Presents. Their website contains a treasure trove of Canadian short film (check the linked video).
What killed Sgt. Gray? "He survived the war only to die at home. An exploration of his death and his combat unit's activities reveals what can happen to soldiers who feel the freedom -- or the pressure -- to do things in war they can't live with later." -- An American Radioworks documentary.
You know, sometimes, you want to read about an upcoming economic nightmare, sometimes, you want to read about Obama's transition team, sometimes, you want to read about the Rifleman's Creed, and sometimes, you just want to see squirrels dance to Michael Jackson (SLYT).
Newspaper Website Design: Trends And Examples. News websites can be intriguing to examine from a design perspective. Regardless of what type of news they cover, they all face the challenge of displaying a huge amount of content on the home page, which creates plenty of layout, usability and navigational challenges for the designer. The lessons that can be learned from examining how news websites address these challenges can be valuable for designers who work with other types of websites, including ones with blog theme designs.
Now: The Rest of the Genome. "Only 1 percent of the genome is made up of classic genes. Scientists are exploring the other 99 percent and uncovering new secrets and new questions."
The Science of Scent. An entertaining and enlightening TED talk by biophysicist Luca Turin.
The "blind watchmaker" may not be as blind as we thought. A team of scientists at Princeton University discovers that organisms are not only evolving, they're evolving to evolve better, using a set of proteins to "steer the process of evolution toward improved fitness" by making tiny course corrections.
China Film Journal "a bilingual website dedicated to Chinese-language cinema from around the world."
The Archive of American Television "produces extensive video oral history interviews with television legends of all professions and makes them available online. To date, the Archive has completed over 2000 hours of videotaped conversations with over 570 Actors, Producers, Writers, Newscasters, Executives, Directors, Craftspersons, and more. ... The interviews are conducted by reviewing the subject's life and career chronologically. They discuss their childhood, early influences, how their career began, and thoroughly cover their television careers, ending with their thoughts on the industry and legacy."*
My Mom is a FOB: Moms from Asia say the darndest things.
The End of the Wall Street Era. “We always asked the same question,” says Eisman. “Where are the rating agencies in all of this? And I’d always get the same reaction. It was a smirk.” He called Standard & Poor’s and asked what would happen to default rates if real estate prices fell. The man at S&P couldn’t say; its model for home prices had no ability to accept a negative number.
The author of Liar's Poker on the collapse of the subprime industry.
The author of Liar's Poker on the collapse of the subprime industry.
Google Flu Trends brings us epidemiology through search analytics. The prevalence of certain search terms seems to be a good predictor of CDC flu reports a couple of weeks later. The New York Times has a story on this project.
Sometimes, especially in winter, Kenneth Westhues can hear a flock of crows tormenting a great horned owl outside his study in Waterloo, Ontario. It is a fitting soundtrack for his work. Mr. Westhues has made a career out of the study of mobbing. Since the late 1990s, he has written or edited five volumes on the topic. However, the mobbers that most captivate him are not sparrows, fieldfares, or jackdaws. They are modern-day college professors. [more inside]
"Their idea is, in broad outline, straightforward. Dr. Crespi and Dr. Badcock propose that an evolutionary tug of war between genes from the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg can, in effect, tip brain development in one of two ways. A strong bias toward the father pushes a developing brain along the autistic spectrum, toward a fascination with objects, patterns, mechanical systems, at the expense of social development. A bias toward the mother moves the growing brain along what the researchers call the psychotic spectrum, toward hypersensitivity to mood, their own and others’. This, according to the theory, increases a child’s risk of developing schizophrenia later on, as well as mood problems like bipolar disorder and depression."
According to political scientist Wayne Parent, “The South has moved from being the center of the political universe to being an outside player in presidential politics.” Are we finally seeing the end of Nixon's infamous Southern Strategy? For years Republicans have depended on the region to win elections. Some now argue that the G.O.P. has "transformed itself from the Party of Lincoln into the Party of the Old Confederacy." In any case, playing to racism and resentment [PDF] isn't as effective as it used to be. Furthermore, many Republicans have publicly disowned such tactics.
11:11. Just in case you haven't already heard about it, people all over the world have been experiencing the most amazing phenomenon in the history of our planet. I suggest that you click on The Rainbow Chamber link to continue.
This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I master my life. My rifle, without me, is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than any enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will... My rifle and myself know that what counts in this war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit... My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weakness, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. We will become part of each other. We will.... Before God I swear this creed. My rifle and myself are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but Peace. [more inside]
Men Can Stop Rape is part of a growing movement to stop rape, sexual assault, and sexual violence by focusing on educating men. There are efforts to change the climate on college campuses and curriculum at Haverford, Tulane, Kansas State, Idaho State, University of Wisconsin, University of Texas, University of Minnesota, University of Maine, Portland State, Harvard, University of Rochester, University of Delaware, Franklin and Marshall, and Colorado State, to name a few. Want to start your own? Here's how. Not in college? There's [more inside]
The Online Annotated Power Moby-Dick explains the more obscure seafaring and whaling terms, 19th Century slang and topical jokes in Melville's epic. Hey, didja know there's a fart joke right there in Chapter 1? [more inside]
Fashion meets classic children's fantasy: Vogue UK has photographed some amazing scenes inspired by the poems and other works of Roald Dahl, and featuring Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter. For more, see Annie Leibovitz's fashion-filled take on the Wizard of Oz with Kieira Knightley as Dorothy. Also Vogue does Alice in Wonderland, also by Annie Leibovitz with many of the odder characters played by fashion designers. And, in a slightly more sweet vein, the same photographer uses many famous faces to illustrate Disney fairytales. Finally, and a bit darker, are these takes on fairy tales.
Bill Viola's video game, The Night Journey, is inspired by "the lives and writings of great historical figures including: Rumi, the 13th century Islamic poet and mystic; Ryokan, the 18th century Zen Buddhist poet; St. John of the Cross, the 16th century Spanish mystic and poet; and Plotinus, the 3rd century philosopher" and "attempts to evoke in the player's mind a sense of the archetypal journey of enlightenment through the "mechanics" of the game experience". [more inside]
Further proof (as if you needed it) that some people have too much time on their hands: someone has taken full advantage of the many tools available on Google Maps to create a map of the events in Cloverfield. The narrative at each point is stonerific.
At One Minute Languages you can learn greetings, talking about names, counting, and more in Catalan, Danish, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Luxembourgish, Mandarin, Norwegian, Polish, Romanian, and Russian.
Street With a view On May 3rd 2008, artists Robin Hewlett and Ben Kinsley invited the Google Inc. Street View team and residents of Pittsburgh’s Northside to collaborate on a series of tableaux along Sampsonia Way. Neighbors, and other participants from around the city, staged scenes ranging from a parade and a marathon, to a garage band practice, a seventeenth century sword fight, a heroic rescue and much more... Street View technicians captured 360-degree photographs of the street with the scenes in action and integrated the images into the Street View mapping platform. This first-ever artistic intervention in Google Street View made its debut on the web in November of 2008.