November 15, 2010
Andrew Goodman was a classmate and friend of Paul Simon. During the Freedom Summer of 1964, Andrew, Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney were arrested in Mississippi for speeding, and, after being released and encouraged to leave town, were shot by the KKK. The song is attributed to Paul Kane (AKA Paul Simon).
While in Kosovo, singer James Blunt refused an order to attack Russian troops, "preventing World War III."
Thinking of not flying to avoid being scanned? Better not drive either: A breakthrough in X-ray detection technology, AS&E's Z Backscatter Van™ (ZBV) is a low-cost, extremely maneuverable screening system built into a commercially available delivery van. The ZBV allows for immediate deployment in response to security threats, and its high throughput capability facilitates rapid inspections. The system's unique "drive-by" capability allows one or two operators to conduct X-ray imaging of suspect vehicles and objects while the ZBV drives past. [more inside]
Democratic Republic of Congo: Lubumbashi to Kinshasa. We made the decision to tackle this part of Democratic Republic of Congo when we were in Egypt. It would take us about 4 months to drive from Cairo down to the Zambia/DRC border. We immediately started our quest for information. It would soon become clear that very little information was available. We did not know of a single traveler that did this in the last 20 years. We knew of two who tried (both on motorbikes) in recent years. One crashed after a few days and got evacuated. The other got arrested and deported. Both didn't get very far. So we had to be creative and think of other sources of information. If there is one thing you can find anywhere in the world it is Coca-Cola. They should know how to get their goods in the country. We had no response via email, so we called them up. Their answer was pretty short: They do not have a distribution network outside the major cities in Congo. And it proved to be true, Congo is the first country we have visited were Coca-cola is hard to get once you leave the major cities. The moral of the story was: nobody knew anything about the road conditions.
Dead Homer Society is a Simpsons related blog that reviews the latest episodes of the show, provides quotes of the day, and perhaps most notably compares and contrasts segments between what the author terms "the Simpsons" and "Zombie Simpsons". [more inside]
A recent report (pdf) from the Kauffman foundation on Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) has suggested that these investment vehicles may be contributing to a number of problems in the stock market (summary, video). [more inside]
Privilege Denying Dude is an Advice Dog/Courage Wolf/Pokeparents style meme that has enraptured Sady Doyle. Make your own on memegenerator.
'60s medley from French elecro-synth band Magazine 60, probably most famous for their 1985 hit Don Quichotte.
Yet for some reason the machines always produce a beverage almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea
Japan is home to a lot of vending machines, some estimations placing one machine for every 23 people, and they're getting "smarter." In 2008, some cigarette vending machines had a digital camera with equipment to judge the age of the cigarette buyer, though relatively small magazine pictures could fool most of these new machines. In the last few months, JR East Water Business Co, a subsidiary of train operator East Japan Railway, has started to roll out high-tech vending machines that recommend a drink based on the users age and gender, using facial recognition technology and drink-preference data. [more inside]
Tolia Demidov presents browser experiments, illusions, puzzles, and... fun.
Professor Brian Cox: "If there were an afterlife I would have to reconsider the engineering design of fridges with a very critical eye" The field of cessation thermodynamics considers how the hereafter might be powered - probably without 21 grams of human soul - and whether this may mean hell will freeze over. [more inside]
Elizabeth Warren on setting up the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection - lecture starts here, but really starts getting good here: "I feel like this is a boring speech." stay for the Q&A.
To the public in the wide world, she may be known mostly from two short scenes (1,2) in Pulp Fiction. Maria de Medeiros, however, has also played in a number of American, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian, Portuguese, British, French and Austrian movies, and is a critically acclaimed director. Oh, and she sings. Rather well.
The "Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act" (COICA) is back on the Judiciary Committee's schedule. This bill would create two blacklists (without due process) of domains which ISPs (in the USofA) would be forced to block, based on alleged copyright infringement. [more inside]
Two and a half million Muslims went on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca on Nov 14, 2010. The day after Hajj is celebrated as Eid-ul-Azha by Muslims all over the world. This year, in light of the flood aftermath in Pakistan, the Pakistan Animal Welfare Society is suggesting a substitute for the traditional animal sacrifice on Eid. [more inside]
A glimpse into the business relationship between restaurants and Open Table. It is not the glowing review you were possibly imagining. This will probably make you think twice next time you go to use it.
"Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is an exhibit of photographs by Jeff Sheng that is currently on tour in the US. A sharp contrast to his previous work: Fearless, which highlighted young Canadian and US athletes who openly identify as gay, lesbian or transgendered, this new exhibition shows gay American servicemen who cannot, so they have been photographed in uniform with their faces hidden or outside the photo's frame to protect their anonymity. Flash Galleries: DADT 1, DADT 2. [more inside]
Hgiyiyi (hgjhjh, hjhk) by JJJJ and JJJJJ, has been praised by reviewers as "more majestic than Aslan, more intoxicating than Rappaccini's daughter, and more magical than Abcar." But there has been some controversy about the translation, and some critics are angry: "Jjjj can just vdb off." [more inside]
Days of Our PepsiBlue. Product placement in daytime TV makes the satire in Wayne's World look subtle. Also, it makes the regular dialogue in daytime soaps sound relatively natural and not at all scripted.
Microsoft Kinect (née Project Natal) is sure to be a monster hit this season, and no surprise: Microsoft hopes to disthrone Nintendo's Wii and are supporting the platform with a $500 million marketing budget, larger than the marketing budget for the launch of the original Xbox. However, privacy experts are raising concerns over recent comments made by Xbox CFO Dennis Durkin at at an investors' conference:
“We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are,” Durkin said. “How many people are in the room when an ad is shown? How many people are in the room when a game is being played? When you add this sort of device to a living room, there’s a bunch of business opportunities that come with that.”One example given was that the Kinect could identify sports jersey worn by players and deliver ads specific to their team. The Kinect platform works with its array of video- and infrared cameras, 3D depth sensors, and stereo microphones, all attached to a motorized platform which can follow players' movements. [more inside]
A Mountain I'm Willing To Die On A letter of a mother to her child about religion, love, and acceptance of who you are.
Dubbing over dialoge is a necessary evil for any network that wants to play a movie within their standards and practices. But it can often turn a crass, but cogent line into something outright bizarre. The Big Lebowski. Snakes on a Plane. Pulp Fiction. Die Hard 2.
In 1885, Christiaan Snouck Hurgronje took rare sepia-tinted photographs and sound recordings of Mecca. The exhibition will be on display at The Empty Quarter Gallery in Dubai.
Istanbul Photos If you love Istanbul like I do, and can't visit often enough, this is a fine place to get a virtual glimpse of all of it.
Is wind power bad? Many people think so. Americans are by far the largest energy user in the world, so why all the backlash ?