November 30, 2010
The-what-would-have-been-if-what-is-hadn't-happened.
Still hyped by his local press as a "neglected rock-and-roll genius" Ralph F. Gean is an old rockabilly guy who almost "made it" back in the early 1960sbut didn’t… and then sort of did after all. [more inside]
posted by slumberfiend at 11:30 PM PST - 5 comments

That's right: The left-hand return goes in the right office. The right-hand return goes in the left office! Very good!
"You know, a lot of people ask me—well, some people ask me—two people asked me once—'What is facilities management, again?' Let me clarify this: facilities management is a very specialized function that is evolving in Corporate America, which takes care of the management of facilities for said corporations. Is that a lot clearer?"

The Juggler explains facilities management. (single link Google video) [more inside]
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 10:38 PM PST - 15 comments

15-Year-Old Who Held Classroom Hostage Dies
Sam Hengel, a 15-year-old student at Marinette High School in Wisconsin, held a classroom of 23 students and a teacher hostage on Monday, November 28th. Without making any demands from police, Hengel released the hostages and shot himself. Early Tuesday morning, Hengel died in the hospital. (1, 2) [more inside]
posted by MHPlost at 10:06 PM PST - 101 comments

The beautiful, broken song of Leonard Cohen
Hallelujah, by Leonard Cohen may hold the pop music record for highest ratio of covers to initial popular success. Why? theories abound, but in an essay in America Magazine Thomas G. Casey, S.J., director of the Cardinal Bea Center for Judaic Studies in Rome and professor of philosophy at the Gregorian University, offers an interesting and compelling argument why this is a song for our time. It also provides a framework for understanding the difference between the good, the bad and the meh.
posted by TheShadowKnows at 8:33 PM PST - 99 comments

Weapons of the 21st Century?
In June 2010, a bit of malware of unprecedented ability was discovered by a Belarussian security firm. Stuxnet had remained undetected for over a year. Security researchers have gradually learned more about this worm, which has led to much speculation about its origins and purposes. Though questions remain, it is clear that it is extremely advanced, and that it was designed to find a very specific hardware/software system and disrupt the operation of centrifuges, causing some to assert that it was built to sabotage Iran's nuclear facilities. Recently, Iran confirmed that its nuclear facilities had been seriously affected by Stuxnet. Some experts say that a worm of this level of sophistication could only have been designed by a nation-state. Previously.
posted by entropone at 8:07 PM PST - 83 comments

Research, exchange, and online portal
The Africa Portal is an online knowledge resource for policy-related issues on Africa. An undertaking by the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Makerere University (MAK), and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), the Africa Portal offers open access to a suite of features including an online library collection; a resource for opinion and analysis; an experts directory; an international events calendar; and a mobile technology component—all aimed to equip users with research and information on Africa’s current policy issues. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 7:47 PM PST - 8 comments

the real blues deal
A sweet pair of vintage clips from blues greats, both born on this day: Robert Nighthawk playing on a Maxwell Street stoop, c. 1964; and Brownie McGhee playing with his partner Sonny Terry at Newport Folk Festival, 1963. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 7:02 PM PST - 11 comments

cuddling an elephant seal
How to get a seal to hug you; filmed on the island of South Georgia.
posted by nickyskye at 6:39 PM PST - 39 comments

The Ayn Rand School for Tots
The pictures show a lovely celebration. A crowd of 100 or so is seated on a well-groomed lawn in front of a trim orchestra and a grand old plantation house. A retired astronaut has been flown in to address the group. Late in the day, two hot-air balloons skim the dusky sky. That fall day in 2007 seemed an auspicious start for a college with only five professors and 10 students. But as the year wore on, the students, professors, and staff members became convinced that it was a sign of something else entirely: an elaborate facade.

The brief rise and rapid fall of Founders College, an experiment in Randian education.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:09 PM PST - 83 comments

The Ship of Foolishness
"The project was the brainchild of three good friends of mine. One was an astronaut, one was a communications genius who used to work with Walter Cronkite and the third was a highly respected scientist, and the one thing I won’t tell you about them is their names. You see, the three of them collectively cooked up one of the very best ideas I have ever heard, and they overcame all obstacles to make it come to pass. But then they messed up one tiny, inconsequential little detail. That turned the whole enterprise into a catastrophic confusion which gave great pleasure to some but cost others, including one of its principle intended beneficiaries of the idea, the Holland America cruise ship line, a ton of money." - Frederik Pohl [previously] [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 4:03 PM PST - 47 comments

what did they look like? ships? motorcycles?
To whet all of our appetites, here is a 21-minute Tron Legacy soundtrack medley. (SLM_)
posted by luvcraft at 3:42 PM PST - 35 comments

Imagine Later
The Sci Fi/SyFy rebrand (previously) - was it a success? Yes and No.
posted by Artw at 3:33 PM PST - 74 comments

The Keene Act And You
Is Batman a State Actor? Could you pass a Mutant Registation Act? Law And The Multiverse considers legal matters in a world of capes, supes, and alternate dimensions. (via Mefiprojects)
posted by The Whelk at 2:50 PM PST - 34 comments

Defining Wealth
SEED Magazine: Wealth of Nations: "Shared natural resources underpin the global economy, but our current economic system does not acknowledge their worth. Can a major new effort to assess the costs of biodiversity loss force a paradigm shift in what we value?" [more inside]
posted by zarq at 2:17 PM PST - 10 comments

And the Articles of this confederation shall be inviolably observed by every State, and the union shall be perpetual...
“It’s time to return America to the common sense conservative principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual responsibility. The Repeal Amendment would provide a check on the ever-expanding federal government, protect against Congressional overreach, and get the government working for the people again, not the other way around. In order to return America to opportunity, responsibility, and success, we must reverse course and the Repeal Amendment is a step in that direction.” —incoming House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), on a proposed amendment allowing a 2/3 vote by the state governments to overturn any federal law or regulation. [more inside]
posted by kipmanley at 2:04 PM PST - 134 comments

Classified X
Melvin Van Peebles made a documentary called Classified X in 1998, about the portrayal of black people throughout the history of American cinema. You can see it on YT in six parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Apologies for the low video quality.
posted by Dim Siawns at 1:46 PM PST - 19 comments

counter-counterintuitive
Just Give Money to the Poor: bypass governments and NGOs and let the poor decide how to use their money? Should recipients be asked to satisfy conditions? Does it only work well in rural areas of developing countries? Found via this socialist rag; mentioned here first by this puny human.
posted by vertriebskonzept at 1:09 PM PST - 30 comments

Commuting: Now in technicolor
Chromaroma launched its public beta today. The site takes Oyster and Cycle Hire data and turns it into a city-wide game, with teams capturing stations, accepting missions and having good, old fashioned, public transport based fun. Commuting has never been this enjoyable. [more inside]
posted by muthecow at 12:51 PM PST - 17 comments

Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"
Slightly ahead of schedule, the Pentagon has released its Report of the Comprehensive Review of the Issues Associated with a Repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (PDF).
posted by Joe Beese at 11:35 AM PST - 136 comments

Good-bye to Dubai
The once shining beacon of capitalism in the Persian Gulf has lost a lot of its luster since the global financial crisis in 2008. But is it too soon to declare Dubai dead? [more inside]
posted by reenum at 11:28 AM PST - 43 comments

Google Trees + Amazon Drought
We've discussed the "once in a century" Amazon Drought of 2005-06. Five years later and we are seeing another once in a century drought in the Amazon. How serious are the effects of these droughts for global climate? The science appears to be mixed. Helping monitor is the newly released Google Earth 6.0, which can track individual trees within a section of the Amazonian forest, and 80 million other trees in 7 cities around the world (video).
posted by stbalbach at 11:13 AM PST - 10 comments

Pleasure from Your Submission
Is anti-TSA outrage right wing "catnip"? The Nation called the activism Koch-funded astroturfing, than apologized. Radley Balko finds the magazine hypocritical. At least one politician has gone catnip crazy: Eugene Delgaudio, who claims in an email sent by the activist that patdowns are part of a "homosexual agenda" to get "pleasure from your submission."
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 10:54 AM PST - 108 comments

Fashion From Old People
Artists Vera Brosgol (previously) and Emily Carroll (also previously) have made a project out "Interpreting photos of outfits into drawings of outfits." [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:44 AM PST - 12 comments

The Iranian revolution in its singularity
Foucault in Iran: Revolution, Entropy and Equality By way of introduction to the Wu Ming Foundation's (previously) re-vamped blog, one of their more substantive essays re-assessing Foucault's notorious enthusiasm for the Iranian revolution.
posted by Abiezer at 9:48 AM PST - 11 comments

Bear: the other dark meat
So it turns out that bear can be quite tasty - whether as a roast, boeuf bourguignon, dumpling fillings, or a myriad of other ways. [more inside]
posted by r_nebblesworthII at 8:55 AM PST - 54 comments

Fan-Fiction, Fully Rendered.
Anyone can write Star Trek fan-fiction, but few can render it in 3-D. Since 2006, Brandon Bridges has been writing, directing and producing a work of full-length Star Trek fan fiction entitled Star Trek: Specter of the Past. ST:SOTP "follows the crew of the USS Fitzgerald, an Entente-class starship commanded by newly promoted Captain Gaius Reyf." Last month, Bridges released his Director's Edition to the web. It should be noted that Bridges plans to re-release the film with a full voice cast. Parts 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. (Multi-link YouTube Post) [more inside]
posted by grabbingsand at 8:45 AM PST - 45 comments

Rio's Drug War
The Boston Globe displays some pretty spectacular pictures of the drug war in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. There's not a whole ton of context available within the article, but the pictures speak for themselves.
posted by TomMelee at 8:21 AM PST - 64 comments

Sandwiches Around the World
Beyond PB&J - Sandwiches From Around the World. And since they left it out, here is the Buenos Nachos Burger. Basically it's a Whopper with nachos on it; currently only available in the Netherlands.
posted by morganannie at 8:19 AM PST - 60 comments

I once went clubbing fifteen nights in a row. I've seen almost every high-class club in this area, but somehow I always end up at CLUB BACARDI.
Welcome to CLUB BACARDI™, the hottest cyber club around. Try your luck at Cyber BlackJack in the Martini Casino. Show off your sleuthing skills in the Martini Mystery Game. Or just hobnob with the BACARDI Limón VIP Room regulars. I hear J.C. just broke up with her boyfriend. [more inside]
posted by 256 at 6:36 AM PST - 64 comments

Professional
"Metal-fabricator Neil Youngberg never planned on taking over his grandfather's business and is now faced with passing on his legacy." A short film.
posted by maxwelton at 1:05 AM PST - 34 comments