November 20, 2008
Attorney General Michael Mukasey was giving a speech tonight at the Federalist Society meeting tonight when he collapsed on stage. Talking Points Memo has a report from an eyewitness. [more inside]
We had a tale of time travel getting a man out of a speeding ticket. (Previously) Now we have a man trying to pay a bill with a spider drawing --not a speeding ticket this time. (He mentions time travel as well.) [more inside]
The Outsider: The story of Harry Partch. BBC Documentary. "...a documentary about the composer Harry Partch who invented his own compositional method using a 43-tone scale and many instruments that he built by hand."
Meet Braddish Billings, the first settler in Gloucester Township, and his family, including the famed palentologist Elkanah Billings. Learn about the Bridge Braddish built, and the community that grew around it. Learn about the way the Billings travelled, occupied their free time, got educated, and tons of other stuff. All thanks to the Billings Estate National Historic Site of the City of Ottawa. [more inside]
Influential billionaires like Carl, Thomas, Kirk, and Warren have been losing their shirts. And it's being felt around the world. [more inside]
Theatre of the New Ear. Two radio plays: one by Charlie Kaufman, the other by the Coen Brothers, recorded live and starring Steve Buscemi, John Goodman, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep. [more inside]
Polly wants a Prozac. Fred the Parrot tries to bite his neck off after his owner dies, vets prescribe bird-friendly anti-depressants.
Oh, it's a big, pretty white plane with red stripes, curtains in the windows and wheels; why, it looks like a big Tylenol!
Mark takes us on the A380 (warning: image heavy) from Dubai to New York with meticulous photographic detail. For $7300 you can fly the A380 with access to amenities like showers and a full-service bar, and stroll down to see the plebs in steerage. Arguably the last time a flying hotel was tried in earnest was the post-WWII Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, a staple of Pacific routes until jet-powered 707s appeared on the scene.
Like a little serenity? "Ambient sound environments at your desktop for relaxation, privacy and solitude". Soothe yourself with the sound of purring or some birdsong , rainforest, storm, sounds of the beach to go with your tea and contemplation. You might pretend you're taking a train trip, on a plane, visiting NYC. Or for fun you could mix them up, pencil writing and windchimes. Each soundscape has a visual to accompany it as well.
Lady Dottie's a "sixty-something blues queen with body pillows for boobs and more swagger than Space Ghost." Her band, The Diamonds, is a bunch of young hard-rockers. (Think Kings of Leon or the MC5 backing up Etta James.) Their new record kicks all kinds of ass - as do their live shows.
There have been precious few times that a restaurant review had me laughing out loud, even on page 2.
Yugo (now Zastava), the icon of Soviet-era automaking, rolled out its last car on November 11th, 2008, a victim of the global financial crisis. The Kragujevac plant, having endured political crises and NATO bombs, has finally been sold to Fiat. Previously.
Then, all of sudden, I saw a hand holding a piece of chalk and writing on a black-board something like a mathematical formula. The vision was very clear, but it stayed only for few seconds and disappeared again. The Internet is abound with a new, simple technique for at-home DIY multimodal (vision, sound) Ganzfeld Hallucinations (previously). [more inside]
How do you ask a stranger (not necessarily fluent in English) to recall and describe their private emotions? A research project visually displays anger, joy, fear, sadness, and love.
The latest dance craze to inspire YouTube dance fiends is Beyonce's "Single Ladies (Put a Ring On It)". There's a Big Girl Remix, a Single Man version (the original became so popular that the Single Man did a version with a more modest outfit at the request of BET), and lots of other individual interpretations. Beyonce has said her video was inspired by another YouTube video - a mashup of a Fosse dance routine performed by Gwen Verdon and the hip-hop song "Walk It Out" (the original Fosse routine with the original music). Videos might be NSFW.
Ten years ago Valve released Half Life, to the delight of gamers, modders, critics and people who hate cut scenes. Marc Laidlaw, writer for Valve, talks about the genesis of scientist turned crowbar wielding survivor, Gordon Freeman. Somehow avoided playing it in all these years? You can buy it on Steam for less than a dollar until midnight November 21st.
"Can Facebook defeat terrorism?" wonders Matt Armstrong. A conference of both web and social entrepreneurs, policy wonks, and activists will convene to create a how-to guide for changing the world through social networking tools. Jared "Children of Jihad" Cohen was a driving force behind the initiative. We've seen social networking impact an election, while others are already trying to change the world with it. This conference, while exciting and important, raises a few questions. Just look at the list who's convening it: "Facebook, Google, YouTube, MTV, Howcast, Columbia Law School and the U.S. Department of State Convene the Alliance of Youth Movements Summit." [more inside]
Smoke if you got 'em. Today is the Great American Smokeout, a time to reflect on how great people look when smoking, and the terrible things (NSFW) the additives do to you.
Europeana is the new EU digital library. It gives multilingual access to two million digitized books and other items of cultural and historical significance held in over 1,000 institutions in the 27 EU states. There will be 10 million by 2010. Soon after its launch the website froze, its servers overwhelmed by over "10 million hits an hour".
Tangible evidence of deflation? The prices of commodities, houses and a wide range of consumer goods have collapsed, with observers predicting continued declines. While many point back to The Great Depression as an example of damaging deflation, the recession of 1920-1921, a frequently overlooked period in economic history, is perhaps the best example we've got of a deflationary wave similar to what might now taking place. [more inside]
100 Movie Spoilers in 5 Minutes. (Single Link College Humor Post). "It was all a dream but check this movie out anyways because it's got a chick with three boobs in it."
The Long Tail wags no more - Chris Anderson, Wired editor and populariser of the Long Tail concept admits that "radical inequality is increasingly the norm as markets get more networked", though it may still persist in some industries. [more inside]