November 22, 2007
During the 70s and 80s a new phenomenon appeared. Television Hijacking. It started in 1977 when a man in England hijacked the sound broadcast of a newscast. In 1986, a hijacker known as Captain Midnight hijacked HBO in response to their scrambling of television signals. The year after (20 years ago as of today), a character disguised as Max Headroom (a television character) infiltrated two Chicago television studios in one night. First the man infiltrated Channel 9 (WGN) for a few seconds with no sound, and then moved on to attack another Chicago station, this time with sound. After the Max Headroom incident, television hacking incidents were rare in the United States except for this one in Wyoming.
In addition to his work on the design of the 200-inch Hale telescope, amateur astronomer Russell W. Porter (1871-1949) designed and produced a remarkable, bronze-cast garden telescope in the 1920s. Fewer than 60 of these unusual Newtonian reflectors were ever made, and they're even harder to find now: earlier this year, one went for $18,000 at auction. But a reproduction of the Porter Garden Telescope is now available, for a mere $59,000 (it's cast bronze on a marble pedestal); a local cable station has a profile of the people behind it. Via Sky and Telescope.
Imagine you're a pilot trying to control a jet when your skull has been smashed with a hammer and your co-workers are trying to subdue a madman with a speargun. [more inside]
The birth of a gadget. [Wired]
Since the passing of Art Buchwald (previously on MeFi), we're looking for something to replace his traditional Thanksgiving Humor Piece (seen here), with varying success. MeFi's Own rstevens has a collection of LOLGRIMS, MeFi's own Lore offers some catering services for the 21st Century (featuring the next step in Turducken evolution). Formerly MeFi's Own Lileks has a cheap video on how to make a cheap Thanksgiving dinner. A faux-conservative blogger (who's no Colbert) suggests renaming the holiday. The "Creatures in My Head" guy has his own disturbing version of a turkey. A video game site has games that (kinda) fit the holiday. A semi-NSFW site for dudes has the Worst Thanksgiving Dishes (not sexist, but PETA-ist and NPR-ist) But the most obvious Thanksgiving tradition (via YouTube) is the WKRP Turkey Drop (and aftermath). [more inside]
So one of the biggest musical acts in the world schedules a concert in your city, and the reception is not quite as enthusiastic as expected. One phony excuse and one real reason later, the lesson is learned. [more inside]
Unlocking America [pdf]: Why and How to Reduce America's Prison Population. From the JFA Institute: a criminal justice think tank.
Shame on him for saying it, and shame on us for tolerating it. In an article in Monday's Guardian, the writer Ronan Bennett argued that the lack of a popular outcry against Martin Amis' remarks about Islam (covered previously) represents a cultural failure that ought to shame us. Yesterday, Christopher Hitchens and Ian McEwan wrote attacking Bennett and defending Amis. Perhaps they ought to have deployed a slideshow.
Hello Chococat, Oh No! Doom, Sludge, Noise(warning: ewwtube): the music of Monarch (warning:murdochSpace); they're from Bayonne.
Happy Thanksgiving to all. (YT. Click on bottom corner for full screen)
Chew On This. Take a deep breath, swallow hard, and follow the food you eat on its day-long journey through the digestive system.
Trigger Happier "Trigger Happy is a book about the aesthetics of videogames — what they share with cinema, the history of painting, or literature; and what makes them different, in terms of form, psychology and semiotics. It’s offered under a CC license, for a limited time only. I’m not sure how limited that time will be, so grab it while it’s hot." [drm-free pdf]
On Nov 22, 1968, exactly 39 years ago, on a reasonably clear, uneventful day, a new JAL DC-8 descended toward the SFO airport. The landing was so well executed that no one was hurt when the pilot landed the plane into the San Francisco Bay, several miles from the airport. What explanation did 15 year veteran pilot Captain Kohei Asoh give for his botched landing? It was so unusual (especially in this day and age), so refreshingly honest, that it came to be known as the Asoh Defense. Amazingly, the plane was recovered, refurbished, and was in service for another 35 years.