December 1, 2008
CLLCT - The Collective Family An online community of indipendent musicians who have made their music free to download. No, it's not myspace. [more inside]
The lost art of palm reading., brought to you by The Illustrated Textbook of Psychodiagnostic Chirology. [more inside]
Synthetic CDO's are complex little known financial instruments (insurance contracts) that are on the brink of triggering "the most colossal rights issue in the history of the world, all at once .. mandatory." If, out of a list of several hundred major companies, any nine go bankrupt, the CDO's are in default, which would mean a mass transfer of cash (real money) from unsuspecting investors around the world goes into the banking system. How much? Nobody knows, but it’s many trillions. Banks will be flush with cash, perhaps ending the credit crisis, while many investors (individuals, charities, municipalities) will be wiped out. Alternatively, the triggering of default on the trillions of synthetic CDOs could be a disaster that tips the world from recession into depression. Nobody knows, but it won’t be a small event. Thus far the count is six: three Icelandic banks, Countrywide, Lehman and Bear Stearns.
"There is no saving the internet. There is only postponing the inevitable." Wired Magazine looks at the history of DNS and the Kaminsky attack. [more inside]
How the Honeycrisp apple went from being nearly discarded to one of the tastiest best-named apples of all time -- NYTimes says "the iPod of apples" -- and more about the patenting and branding of apples. [more inside]
i made this. you play this. we are enemies - A new game by Jason Nelson (previously). Featuring Metafilter's own, uh, everything!
Pope Benedict XVI, speaking at the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Rome, which was badly damaged by Allied bombing in July 1943, again praised Pius XII, a pope seen by Jewish leaders and other critics as having turned a blind eye to the Holocaust, and who is nonetheless on his way towards beatification, a step towards sainthood. The Vatican contends that Pius XII worked behind the scenes to help many escape the Holocaust, although many Catholics question the beatification.
When I was a kid Meat Puppets were a band. When I was an adolescent a meat puppet was a cool concept in a cool science fiction book. Now that I am an adult I have no idea what this is: Pete The Meat Puppet (maybe NSFW). [more inside]
"The thing that kills me about education is that it's so touchy-feely...if the children don't know how to read, I don't care how creative you are. You're not doing your job". Michelle Rhee is polarizing, inexperienced, abrasive, and young - and with urban school systems all over the country watching, she is trying to rebuild DC's famously troubled public school system (link to full series). [more inside]
Remember the Eliot Spitzer take-down thread here on the blue?It turns out that Spitzer's character assassination may have been more Bush Administration sock puppetry -- back on Valentine's Day, Spitzer wrote an editorial in the WaPo demonizing the lack of consumer protections and was about to file a lawsuit against several Wall Street firms for predatory lending, but the Justice Department caught him with his fly undone and the papers didn't get filed. [more inside]
A new 'prose translation' of Milton's classic poem has been written by Prof Dennis Danielson in an effort to help make it available to a wider audience, if they find the original language too difficult. Apparently he wasn't the first to think of it, but considers his a translation rather than a retelling, and it is printed as a dual edition / parallel text. [more inside]
An orphaned deer and a wild rabbit quickly become best friends. [original page, auf Deutsch] [more inside]
What Girls Want - A series of vampire novels illuminates the complexities of female adolescent desire. (via) [more inside]
The Compleat ÜberNerd: a fascinating series of blog entries detailing the nitty-gritty behind the mortgage industry by Calculated Risk's "Tanta." If you're curious about automated underwriting systems or the ins and outs of mortgage servicing or if you just enjoy some Mortgage Pig Excel art, Tanta was the blogger for you. Tanta, otherwise known as Doris Dungey, passed away on Sunday morning (NYT obit, CR obit).
Roadrunner Records, home to Slipknot and other chunky, hairy male metal bands has declared singer Amanda Palmer (of Dresden Dolls fame) uncommercial, refusing to promote her latest single, video and album. One reason why? Her belly is too fat in her latest video. [more inside]
"For the first time on record, the rate of new cancer cases and the cancer death rate are both falling in America. There appear to be several reasons why this is happening, but perhaps the most important is also the simplest: Over the past several decades, men started smoking less." But is obesity the tobacco of the 21st century? Well, Hollywood has tobacco's back. How to lower smoking rates? Taxing cigarettes is the single-most effective way to lower smoking rates, particularly among youth. Check out the correlation on this map.
With the advent of December comes the annual ranking of the book industry's over-saturated market. Along with the garden variety Best Books of 2008 lists, niche critics weigh in on the best cookbooks (baking and regular), most trustworthy business publications, best children's book illustrations, safest bets for literary holiday gifts, and, of course, the prettiest book covers.
Chris Goodall, author of Ten Technologies to Save the Planet, talks about the ten big green energy myths.
They were originally created to maintain consistency in color, greyscale, and fleshtones. Lab technicians posed them, projectionists collected them, and the general public wasn't supposed to see them. After they were consigned to obsolescence by digital technology, they became a found object for artists and filmmakers. What no one can agree on is how they got their names. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you China Girls.
Mountain of Snakes: Sean Penn interviews Hugo Chávez and Raúl Castro. (Part ii of the interview, and an excerpt, for those of you pressed for time.)
The debate over wine in Tennessee grocery stores rages on! Both sides have reasonable arguments. We've all heard that wine is good for us, but won't anyone think of the children? Popular opinion seems to favor the bill but there has been a lot of back and forth already.
Where did all the acorns go? With reports of acornless oaks coming in from all over the U.S., what is a squirrel to do? [more inside]
Architectural critic and writer Reyner Banham loved Los Angeles. (Last link is a BBC documentary, circa 1972, 52 minutes -- NSFW at 47 minute mark) [more inside]
"Reality mining is just like data mining... except instead of being applied to text and web pages... we're trying to find patterns in real life." MIT students "swap their privacy for smartphones that generate digital trails." [more inside]
Artist Julián Dorado puts together typographical creatures. The alphabet can be a little scary.... Typefaces. (via) [more inside]