November 16, 2011
Mark Ames explains how EU financiers and defense contractors purchased a bloodless coup in Greece, and installed a club-carrying fascist to head its new austerity regime.
Depressed? Has all the negativity in the media got you down? Can't take one more awful news story? Me too. Maybe what you need is a new #1 news source for
breaking news and investigative journalism fluffy animals! [more inside]
US President Barack Obama is in Australia today. The main policy announcement is a new, permanent US Marine Corps presence on Australian soil. This is interpreted unambiguously as a 'containment strategy' for China and other Asian nations, with Australia playing the loyal deputy Sheriff. Most Australians don't think we should be forced to choose.
"I live next door to a house owned by Bank of America, and they are the worst neighbors I’ve ever had. The previous owner, Mike, was a good guy; he occasionally had loud parties, but we were always invited and the food was great. Then he was killed on the job. He had been single and had no will, so his house swiftly defaulted to the lender. More than three years later, that house is still empty." An essay on trying to fight off suburban decay, and the changing face of the margins of American society.
Mr. Rockefeller has not squandered his income. He has applied it for thirty-five years to accumulating not only oil property but real estate — railroad stock, iron mines, copper mines, anything and everything which could be bought cheap by temporary depressing and made to yield rich by his able management. For thirty-five years he has worked for special privileges giving him advantages over competitors, for thirty-five years he has patiently laid net-works around property he wanted, until he had it surely corralled and could seize it; for thirty-five years he has depreciated values when necessary to get his prey. And to-day he still is busy. In almost every great financial manoeuvre [sic] in the country is felt his supple, smooth hand with its grip of steel, and while he directs that which is big, nothing is too small for him to grasp. [more inside]
The goal of the new site Audiofiles is to be the Longreads of public radio, providing an easy-to-use, well-cataloged guide to the best radio stories ever told. Some background.
The Miami Marlins have a new logo. Reaction is less than favorable. But the new identity pales in comparison to the homerun feature that will play in the stadium. Reaction.
Afflicted with writer's block? Need an extra dose of motivation? Written? Kitten! rewards you with a brand new kitty for every hundred words you write.
In 1887, a glacial geologist named George Frederick Wright was hiking across the Muir Glacier in southeast Alaska when something strange caught his eye. Just as the daylight began to fade, the previously uninterrupted expanse of white snow around him began to develop what appeared to be a five o’clock shadow....
For the last two years Scott Toepfer have been taking still photographs for a personal project entitled ‘It’s Better In The Wind,’ all the while collecting video footage from each ride as friends traveled around the Western United States together. Toepfer has been slowly editing the footage into a visual scrapbook of sorts for those who partook, and those who followed them via the web. No preaching the triumphs and failures of the motorcycle industry, no divisive commentary between manufacturers and styles…just a collection of imagery that will hopefully inspire more people to take to the road and discover what there is outside of our respective communities. [via]
The Metaphysics of Morrowind: an essay series that looks at the deceptively deep lore that surrounds one of the best-loved open world games ever made, and incorporates not only the plot elements of the game world, and the supplementary books scattered for the player to find, but also the meta-narrative of the gameplay itself, including the player character and the construction kit. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4.
Despite pioneering the use of wikis in instruction back in 1997, this week Georgia Tech deleted all course wikis, out of concern that they were in violation of FERPA. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act was enacted in 1974 and prohibited federal funding of educational institutions that denied the rights of students and parents to review "educational records" or that did not protect the privacy of "educational records." A lot of people are rightfully concerned about the negative educational effects of "schools interpreting these pieces of legislation to restrict students’ communication and access online, right at the time when the Web has such great potential for teaching and learning." The thing is, what if Georgia Tech is right? [more inside]
Blind Photography "Taking a picture is so easy, you just need a camera, decide at which moment to shoot, press the button and you have your picture. Why can't the blind do this?" (Previously 1, 2)
"If you have never been stared down by eight expectant, spray-tanned children in liquid eyeliner and ornate hairpieces, you have not seen what I have seen."
Rich Juzwiak judges a beauty pageant. [more inside]
Rich Juzwiak judges a beauty pageant. [more inside]
Atheists in U.S. military seek official recognition. A small but growing movement complains of religious bias and seeks the same status as Christians, Jews and Muslims. 'Religion — specifically Christianity — is embedded in military culture. The Chaplain Corps traces its origins to the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Until the 1970s, the service academies required cadets to attend chapel services. Nightly prayers still are broadcast throughout Navy ships at sea. Fewer than 10,000 of the 1.4 million active-duty members of the armed forces identify themselves as atheists or agnostics. Atheists say many more are hidden among the 285,000 who say they have no religious preference.' [more inside]
Portland Nights is a series of structured motion controlled time-lapse clips taken in and around downtown Portland, Oregon at night over the course of several months.
Caution: Disturbing, potentially triggering and possibly NSFW content: The Meth Project, known for their gritty, confrontational and disturbing online and print ads, which graphically depict the effects of methamphetamine drug use, launched a new, interactive website last week. The revamped site gives visitors an opportunity to share their own stories. They've also premiered four new 30-second television PSA's by the director of Black Swan and Requiem for a Dream, Darren Aronofsky: E.R., Deep End, Losing Control and Desperate. (Via) [more inside]
"Things didn’t happen as I imagined. On the one hand, with the situation in Tehran, I expected the police to arrest me. I also thought that the resulting dress wouldn’t be aesthetically pleasing to the eye. But it turned out to be more homogenous than I envisaged. Most of the passengers wanted to communicate with me and participate in the project. And I enjoyed this attention and collaboration. The point wasn’t their understanding of the project. I didn’t want anything to be imposed on the audience or participants. I wanted ordinary people to encounter their own personalities without any preconceptions about contemporary art. More than anything, I wanted something to emerge that is shared — between me and everyday metro passengers." The story of fashion student Shirin Abedinirad who conceived and carried out an unusual (and unusually bold) performance art experiment by asking Tehran metro passengers to donate their rubbish to pin on her dress. [more inside]
Standing up for the little guy. Robert Reich spoke last night on the steps of Sproul Hall at UC Berkeley -- the epicenter of recent violence -- as the speaker for the Mario Savio memorial lecture. Reich has been making the rounds, both within corporations, in the media, and at Occupy events, has been lecturing on the dangers of inequality well before the current income/opportunity disparity crisis. "There is going to come a time when the (inequality) trends we are seeing are going to cause something to snap... There are two kinds of snaps... one is the snap back... and the other is the snap break."
"Tarantino is on record as saying that this movie is his “bunch-of- guys-on-a-mission film”—which would mean that it’s a version of the Dirty Dozen or The Guns of Navaron'e. Like almost everything else that Tarantino says in interviews, I think that sentence is a lie." -- The film within the film that is Inglorious Basterds. [more inside]