November 23, 2010
New Zealand Police announced this afternoon that they believe that all 29 miners missing at Pike River are now presumed dead. After several days of raised and dashed hopes, a second explosion at the coal mine has devasted hopes that the miners could possibly be alive.
I played with them like most boys, but I had no idea there are formal gaming rules for plastic army men.
Rock historian Joseph Burns makes a case for why Arthur Big Boy Crudup's "That's All Right Mama" should be regarded as rock & roll's first song. Not everyone agrees - clips to some of the other contenders inside. Or explore Google's Rock & Roll Timeline. [more inside]
Ever wonder how you could could do everything wrong all at once? Wonder no more gentle reader I present you with the "Easy Mint Julep"
The International Center of Photography is exhibiting photographs online from the Mexican Suitcase, a cache of photographs taken during the Spanish Civil War, hidden, and rediscovered in 2008.
Salon plays a game of recasting classic (and a few less-than-classic) movies with contemporary actors.
"From the deck of a cruise ship along the coast of Brazil, a retiree named Bob Hulse snapped some high-resolution photographs of something unusual leaping from the sea: what appears to be dozens of squid propelling themselves through the air -- quite possibly the first time the impressive display has been caught on film."
The Royal House I knew I had seen one of the pictures before somewhere before, and understood instantly what the surrounding pictures all had in common. A familiar symbol caught my eye, glinting gold. It was the mark of the Imperial House of Japan.
Airport-security cartoons from The New Yorker’s archives (1938 - present).
During the second quarter of fiscal 2009, NVIDIA recorded a $196 million charge against cost of revenue to cover anticipated customer warranty, repair, return, replacement and associated costs arising from a weak die/packaging material set in certain versions of our previous generation MCP and GPU products used in notebook systems. "The plaintiffs are seeking class-action status and want the graphics firm to pay “unspecified damages” as well as replace the faulty chips. Interestingly, those behind the lawsuit all had an HP, Dell, or Apple laptop". Mar 1, 2007 this problem was made known.
The complete organ works of J.S. Bach, as recorded by Dr. James Kibbie on several baroque organs. (via)
Two classic contentious discussions featuring the great Mark E Smith: discussing Situationism [wiki] with Tony Wilson, Stewart Home, and Jon King, 1996; discussing Nietzsche, acid house, and other topics with Nick Cave and Shane McGowan, 1989. [more inside]
Pulp Fiction is an exhibition of (mostly) Australian pulp novel and magazine covers from the University of Otago Special Collections Library. (NSFW)
A YouTube cellphone video is making the rounds today of a woman fearlessly confronting a flasher on a New York City subway car. [more inside]
Miriam Moskowitz is one of the last survivors of the McCarthy era trials. She was sent to prison after being convicted of obstruction of justice in a trial that Roy Cohn said was a "dry run" for the Rosenberg case. Indeed, Miriam was in jail with Ethel Rosenberg. Her newly published book, "Phantom Spies, Phantom Justice" is one of the only books on the period to write about Ethel as a woman not as a symbol. The gripping memoir of Miriam's trial, her imprisonment and its aftermath, is also the first thing Miriam has ever written. At 94, that's quite an achievement. The Talk of the Town section of the New Yorker has a piece on Miriam. Click on the link to read it.
Tabletop roleplaying has always had a long history of self publishing. The internet has certainly made it easy for people to share their games for free, though admittedly presentation is improving. Beyond the free models, a number of publishers have started coming up with alternative for-profit business models - The Shadow of Yesterday followed the Cory Doctorow model, releasing the whole game for free online, while charging for hardcopies. John Wick's Houses of the Blooded sells very cheap PDFs and full price books. Greg Stolze has led the charge in Ransom Model rpg sales. Following the "Whatever Price You Like" model of World of Goo and other videogames, Bliss Stage & Polaris are doing the same with PDFs. Shock: Human Contact has already pulled in over $7,000 on Kickstarter, before the game has even been published.
An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine online edition today announced study results that the use daily of antiretroviral medicine reduced rate the acquisition of HIV infection. The New York Times coverage highlighted the result that the preexposure prophylaxis protected more than 90% of study participants who took the medicine every day, as prescribed. An editorial in the NEJM noted, however, that compliance was problematic, with only 44%of study participants protected overall. [more inside]
Robert F. Gallagher served in the United States Army's 815th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Battalion (Third Army) in the European Theater during WWII. He has posted his memoir online: "Scratch One Messerschmitt," told from numerous photos he took during the war and the detailed notes he made shortly afterwards. [more inside]
This week, the world will finally get its first look at Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark. But the most expensive musical in Broadway history has already had an epic run—battling bankruptcy, broken wrists, unruly technology, and one comic villain disguised as a Post columnist. And at the center of it all, perched over her “God mike,” is the relentless and inventive Julie Taymor. (previously)
The Vigilant Citizen (Previously) presents an Analysis of the Occult Symbols Found on the Bank of America Murals
There were few more important bands in the 1970’s than Free, and even fewer whose significance has been so underestimated or misunderstood by posterity. Lyrically utterly conventional, sonically they were revolutionary. [more inside]
Salon.com's War Room is listing the worst columnists and cable news commentators America has to offer. The Hack 30 presents thirty of the most predictable, dishonest and just plain stupid pundits in the American media. Notables so far include: David Brooks Tucker Carlson Howard Kurtz and Bill Kristol.
Is it wise to negotiate with the Taliban? Probably not without first checking credentials. Apparently the "Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour," very senior commander in the Taliban movement, who has been engaged in talks to end the Afghanistan war, is no such person. Whoever he was, and whoever sent him, he also walked away with "a lot of money." (SLNYT)
Artillery rounds are being fired across maritime borders between the Koreas. At least one soldier is dead. In what appears to be a response for South Korean military exercises (accompanying commentary from a blog which to be run by North Korea is here), the North Korean army has fired numerous (at least 200, according to CNN) artillery rounds on an island in South Korean territory, resulting in one South Korean marine dead and 15 wounded. The South Korean army has responded by returning artillery fire and deploying fighter jets but is seeking to limit the scope of the conflict. At the same time, there have been signals that South Korea was seeking redeployment of US nuclear weapons on its soil. This just one day after revelations about North Korea's uranium enrichment facilities.