In a room near Maida Vale, a journalist for The Nation wrote around 1914, an unfortunate creature is strapped to the table of an unlicensed vivisector. When the subject is pinched with a pair of forceps, it winces. It is so strapped that its electric shudder of pain pulls the long arm of a very delicate lever that actuates a tiny mirror. This casts a beam of light on the frieze at the other end of the room, and thus enormously exaggerates the tremor of the creature. A pinch near the right-hand tube sends the beam 7 or 8 feet to the right, and a stab near the other wire sends it as far to the left. "Thus," the journalist concluded, "can science reveal the feelings of even so stolid a vegetable as the carrot." posted by vidur at 10:26 PM PST - 29 comments
It's Good to be Tim Tebow. "Tim Tebow’s completion percentage is 44.8 percent. Take away his magical fourth quarters and the number is closer to 30 percent. This kind of awful is in the 'Shaq free-throw percentage, Mario Mendoza batting average' sports hall of fame. But he’s not awful in the turgid unwatchable way that, say, a Kate Hudson movie is awful. He’s fascinating/awful." posted by sweetkid at 9:05 PM PST - 221 comments
Webcam is a short film which explores the concept (and apparent reality) of "webcam hacking." Straight link Vimeo. Warning: Vimeo comments contain spoilers. posted by kkrvgz at 8:19 PM PST - 37 comments
Growing up, she was a beloved celebrity in her home country. Thousands of girls were named after her. So was a bestselling perfume. But Josef Stalin's "Little Sparrow," his only daughter, (born Svetlana Stalina) defected to the United States in 1967. Upon arriving in New York, she promptly held a pressconference that surprised the world, denouncing her father's regime. Svetlana became a naturalized US citizen, moved to Taliesin West, married an American, changed her name to Lana Peters, then returned to the Soviet Union in 1984, declaring that she had not been free "for one single day" in the U.S., only to once again return to America in 1986. She lived out her remaining days in a small town in Wisconsin. Mrs. Peters passed away from colon cancer on November 22nd, at the age of 85.[more inside] posted by zarq at 2:16 PM PST - 39 comments
"Because of our mutant powers of obsession, it’s my guess that a lot of nerds suffer from addiction. Nerds get caught up in minutiae, because there is a tremendous and fulfilling sense of control in understanding every single detail of a thing more than any other living creature. But we also tend to have a very active internal monologue (in some cases, dialog). These are some delightful ingredients—mixed with a bit of genetic predisposition—for overdoing things that make us feel good in the moment." Chris Hardwick offers "self-help for nerds." posted by jbickers at 1:58 PM PST - 23 comments
MotherBoard TV: The Thorium DreamIf, like many of the world's leaders, you are eager for a dependable and cheap energy source that doesn't spew toxins and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere -- and that doesn't result in terrible, billion dollar accidents -- you can end your search now.
At least, that's the news from a tight-knit collective of energy blogs, dedicated to a common but relatively unknown metal called thorium.
In the right kind of nuclear reactor, they say, thorium could power the world forever -- and without the problems that come with the nuclear energy we use today, from Fukushima-like meltdowns to the difficult by-products of plutonium that leave behind radioactive waste and weapons material.
The idea certainly sounds like the stuff of fringe internet conspiracists, but it was actually born in the U.S. government's major atomic lab in the 1960s under the auspices of one of the country's most respected nuclear scientists, and the inventor of today's most common kind of nuclear technology, the light water reactor. - Thorium: World's Greatest Energy Breakthrough?[more inside] posted by ninjew at 1:08 PM PST - 58 comments
Teddy Bear does not believe in caring and sharing when it comes to corn on the cob. Snickers pretty much feels the same way. (Sorry, no dubstep remix -- yet.) posted by maudlin at 11:36 AM PST - 32 comments
Japanese artist Namio Harukawa (NSFW) has a singular vision/obsession: women in charge. In virtually all of his paintings and drawings, women radiate the bemusement of the Mona Lisa as they are sexually serviced by men who appear to be little more than appendages of the women’s sexual organs. Astride the faces of hapless males, the women are magnificent in their utterly cruel detachment.
This past weekend was Canadian Football League (CFL)'s title game -- for the Grey Cup. But almost as much as the game itself, a sideshow eruption of an old feud took centre stage this year. 48 years ago, Hamilton Ti-Cats' Angelo Mosca was widely ripped for having levelled BC Lions' running back Willie Fleming with a "questionable" hit in the 1963 title match that took Fleming out of the game. Hamilton went on to win and BC's quarterback at the time, Joe Kapp, has apparently been fuming about the hit ever since. When he and Mosca appeared on stage together at this year's CFL Alumni Luncheon, it was game on all over again. (Some coverage has since suggested it was staged but a viewing of the video, which has since gone viral, leaves that an open question. Mosca, who followed his football career with several years on the pro wrestling circuit, swings a mean cane, while Kapp appears to have kept his right cross in form.) posted by Mike D at 7:11 AM PST - 36 comments
A radical new idea is turning schools upside down. 'Flip the Classroom' is based on a simple concept: kids watch podcast video presentations of lecture material on their own time - at home. They then do the 'homework' at school, in an environment where the teachers can guide and support them, instructing on specific points as required. Colorado teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams have been pioneering the technique, and their Learning4Mastery website is a fount of information on it. [more inside] posted by woodblock100 at 5:23 AM PST - 65 comments
It has long been noted that style manuals and other usage advice frequently contain unintended examples of the usage they condemn. (This is sometimes referred to as Hartman's law or Muphry's law - an intentional misspelling of Murphy.)
Starting from this observation, Joseph Williams' paper The Phenomenology of Error offers an examination of our selective attention to different types of grammatical and usage errors that goes beyond the descriptivism-prescriptivism debate. (alternate pdf link for "The Phenomenology of Error") [more inside] posted by nangar at 5:23 AM PST - 17 comments