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November 28, 2008
Social Networking, Mobile Phones, and Crisis Communication
Can social networking be used to effect positive social change? Ushahidi (meaning "testimony" in Swahili) is one such project that harnesses mobile technology to empower local citizens to report on crucial and crisis situations in their area. [more inside]
posted by divabat at 11:12 PM PST - 19 comments

It’s 1929 again
Can China Adjust to the US Adjustment? Prof. Michael Pettis of Beijing University on the macroeconomic parallels between the present crisis and that of the 1930s, with China playing the role today that the US played back then.
posted by Abiezer at 10:47 PM PST - 23 comments

Keg Beer 101
It's party season and a good time to start thinking about topping last year's lame office party. It may have been a few years and maybe you have forgotten some critical lessons from college. Thankfully, there is a science to keg beer. Think it all through and make some plans. You could also hide the vodka and tonic for you and your close buds and be a dick to everyone else. Have fun!
posted by shockingbluamp at 9:55 PM PST - 6 comments

Better Run Run Run
Nostalgic for a time when robots tried to kill you while being condescending? Well, Hunted Forever isn't Portal, but if you're jonesing for some Flash Friday, it might be right up your alley.
posted by 235w103 at 7:15 PM PST - 15 comments

You be the [election] judge
You be the [election] judge. View and vote on six hundred challenged Minnesota ballots. Each is accompanied by a link to a PDF of the full ballot with the name of the challenging candidate and the reason for the challenge. (registration required) via fivethirtyeight.com
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:53 PM PST - 24 comments

Got Milk?
Thirty years ago yesterday (November 27, 1978) San Francisco Board of Supervisor Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by Dan White, another city supervisor. Milk was the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the U.S. Prior to his death he championed a movement against a California proposition (Proposition 6, dubbed the Briggs Initiative) which sought to ban gays and lesbians, and anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California's public schools. In the midst of a national right-wing, conservative, religious movement heralded by folks like Anita Bryant the proposition was soundly defeated. Fast forward to today. A new film "Milk" [trailer] (starring Sean Penn in the title role) is garnering critical acclaim and is relevant to current events. "Harvey came up against a lot of obstacles, which I think is the case for any gay man now," says Brolin, who plays Dan White [in the film]. "The irony is that Prop 8 is now what Prop 6 was then."
posted by ericb at 5:58 PM PST - 60 comments

A New Way to Stimulate the Economy.
100 artists from around the world designed credit cards for a Japanese bank and Visa. [more inside]
posted by gman at 3:42 PM PST - 33 comments

Frost
10 Abstract Masterpieces of Frost.
posted by homunculus at 3:30 PM PST - 13 comments

The name of this post is Talking Heads.
The Waseda Talker has been turning heads (har har) lately. It's a mechanical simulation of the human vocal tract, from the motion of its synthetic lips down to the hypnotic undulation of its rubbery vocal folds (compare the genuine article here). Think this is new? Well, these days we do most of this stuff electronically — but talking simulacra have a long and weird history, starting back when electronic synthesizers were just a pipe dream. Here's a talking pair of bellows from 1791, and a head you can play like a trumpet as recently as 1937. The granddaddy of 'em all are the Kratzenstein resonators (not Frankenstein, Kratzenstein!) from 1779. Make your own with pipe insulation and a duck call.
posted by nebulawindphone at 3:19 PM PST - 12 comments

Dagny *hearts* Collateralized Debt Obligations
"She let out a rich, powerful moan, like the sound of a passing diesel train in the night." Jeremiah Tucker updates Ayn Rand's objectivist novel for the current financial crisis. [more inside]
posted by LMGM at 1:45 PM PST - 47 comments

The Rainbow Bomb
Nukes In Space: The Rainbow Bomb (52 minutes Google Video) [more inside]
posted by acro at 1:25 PM PST - 13 comments

I believe we must speak our conscience in moments that demand it, even if we are but one voice.
Previously on Metafilter, a lively discussion followed news that Attorney General Mukasey collapsed during his speech last week to the Federalist Society in which he was defending the Bush administration against "the casual assumption among many in media, political, and legal circles that the Administration’s counterterrorism policies have come at the expense of the rule of law." Just before his collapse, however, an unknown heckler yelled "tyrant!" at him. After some speculation, that person has been identified. [more inside]
posted by Doktor Zed at 1:09 PM PST - 21 comments

haven't had a dream in a long time
'You loser!" screamed Katie, aiming a vase at her husband. "You've destroyed my life,'' she continued, hurling it. "Just look at my hair, look at my nails! You loser, you jerk, you nobody."

Katie's husband, Jack, whose property portfolio disintegrated in the financial crash, had just told his wife that she would have to cut back on her thrice-weekly visits to Nicky Clarke, the nail salon in Harvey Nichols, and the oxygen facials, chemical peels and seaweed wraps at Space NK.
posted by plexi at 12:57 PM PST - 91 comments

Violence, the RPG
Violence, the RPG. In 1999, Greg Costikyan, designer of Toon, Paranoia, and the Star Wars RPG, released this satirical and profane take on violence in games anonymously. It's now available as a free download. [more inside]
posted by empath at 12:39 PM PST - 10 comments

He's Just Pining For The Fjords
Batman is dead, joining the ranks of Martian Manhunter (in the DCU) and Captain America in Marvel Universe. Are there no other ways to generate comic book sales without killing off characters or blowing up the universe every year?
posted by hrbrmstr at 11:53 AM PST - 57 comments

A Terrifying Narrative Experience
Night of the Cephalopods Shoot eldritch floating squid monsters with a shotgun as a horrified narrator describes your every move. Requires download, and is Windows only, I'm afraid. via
posted by Caduceus at 10:41 AM PST - 10 comments

The greatest histories are always written in the toughest times
Je ne comprends pas anglais, Former Canadian PM Jean Chrétien forgets his second language as he and former NDP leader Ed Broadbent use their elder statesmen status to discuss bringing down the six week old Conservative government in Canada after the promised economic stimulus turned into cutting travel expenses, cancelling pay equity and the right to strike for federal workers, and changing the party funding law in favour of the ruling Conservatives under PM Stephen Harper. The opposition still vow to topple the government even though the funding change appears to have been dropped. But the largest opposition party is effectively leaderless and they need the Bloc Quebecois support. Could the next Prime Minister of Canada be Gilles Duceppe?
posted by saucysault at 9:43 AM PST - 297 comments

You're in Deep Poo now!
Post-Thanksgiving Friday Flash Fun: Damn Birds is a point and shoot game with a humorous twist. You are a statue sick and tired of bird crap and have decided to defend your honor. [more inside]
posted by schyler523 at 8:50 AM PST - 9 comments

"So I lost the baby, but I totally got the last Wii."
SighFilter: In light of other Black Friday tales of horror or posts urging a more sober consumerism, now comes this story of a worker trampled to death at Wal-Mart and a woman who miscarried in a stampede. They ought to have read FEMA's Black Friday Advisory.
posted by resurrexit at 7:45 AM PST - 135 comments

Urban exploration Japan: abandoned mining town
Urban exploration Japan: abandoned mining town. Step into the doctor's office for a dose of creepy. Three-part photo essay. [more inside]
posted by planetkyoto at 6:34 AM PST - 19 comments

Just three old blues tunes, that's all.
Ramblin' Thomas: No Job Blues (1928), J.D. Short: Lonesome Swamp Rattlesnake (1930), Bo Carter: My Baby (1940). [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:00 AM PST - 3 comments

Retail therapy
Apropos on Black Friday, Charles, Prince of Wales addresses the Foreign Press Association with a comprehensive lecture on the dangers of unchecked consumerism and the need for an increasingly holistic worldview in light of the global social, economic and environmental challenges. The credit crisis is a side effect of a throwaway society and consumerism is no cure for depression, he says, and we need to question the concepts of "Modernity" and "Economic Growth" we take for granted.
posted by infini at 4:27 AM PST - 102 comments

"With his black eyepatch and empty sleeve, Carton De Wiart looked like an elegant pirate, and became a figure of legend."
Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present to you Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO, thought to be the inspiration for the Ben "Richie" Hook character in Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour" trilogy. A soldier and a hero, resplendent in his eye patch, de Wiart is the shining embodiment of the phrase "they just don't make 'em like that any more"
posted by fatfrank at 3:55 AM PST - 10 comments