December 2, 2009
The Smithsonian Libraries hark back to the ideas of Mr. James Smithson, the benefactor after whom the Smithsonian is named. Mr. Smithson, an English scientist, never set foot in this country, but was enamored of our nation’s independence and the way science and discovery were becoming part of our national ethic, particularly through the work of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. During his lifetime, Mr. Smithson built up a large collection of books and documents and obviously appreciated the value of libraries. He left his fortune and his book and document collection to our nation to create an institution for the “diffusion and increase of learning” in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian was authorized by Congress in 1846 and from its outset it made provisions for a library to hold its growing collection of documents and books.
- From the Keynote Remarks: An Age of Discovery: Distinctive Collections in the Digital Age G. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
recently the ARL (Association of Research Libraries) and the CNI (Coalition for Networked Information) had their fall forum. [more inside]
After more than 25 years, Clash of the Titans has been remade. Here is the original 1981 Clash of the Titans trailer. [more inside]
"Just when we thought we had done it all, along comes an awesome video game, where millions of people around the world can interact with us, and our music. How cool is that?" says Kevin Cronin, lead singer of REO Speedwagon. (via)
Digitalfilms, a blog by video/film editor Oliver Peters, serves primarily as a repository for his product reviews pertaining to nonlinear editing systems - including, but not limited to, Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro... [more inside]
Retro Renovation celebrates an era of post-war American housing that's being slowly eroded by the likes of HGTV. [more inside]
"Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright."
In order to promote their upcoming remake of The Wolf Man, Universal has launched Universal Monster Legacy (Flash with auto-playing audio), featuring music, posters, video clips and still galleries from the classic Universal Monster films. (via)
HM was the subject of many landmark studies in neuroscience. After his hippocampus was removed to control epileptic seizures, he was unable to form long-term memories. University of California - San Diego's Brain Observatory is shaving his brain now, sliver after sliver, and posting the live camera feed on the web. [more inside]
Cheng Chui Ping came to the US like many others from the Fujian province in China. Through hard work and determination, she rose in the ranks of New York City's Chinatown business community. But, "Sister Ping" was not one to follow laws if it didn't suit her. Among the snakeheads who engaged in human trafficking, none were better than her. [more inside]
Metafilter knows that texting can be problematic (previously: "Sexting", texting while driving). The New York Times is worried about it, too. No fear! James Lipton (and his beard) are out there with this message for teenagers: Before you text, give it a ponder.
News is breaking that the New York Senate will pass marriage equality legislation today, despite media reports that the legislative push was "stalled" from as late as last week. (The State Assembly repassed the same bill shortly after midnight last night to facilitate the Senate's vote today.) This has all happened largely under the radar—though Markos "Daily Kos" Moulitsas was apparently in the know, hinting at this "big news" in his Twitter feed on Monday night. Today he writes: "So by the end of the week, gay marriage should be legal in New York. And there are no citizen initiatives in NY to overturn it."
Izza Kizza - I'm The Izza Kizza (lyrics nsfw) by Yoram Benz of Decon Media (YouTube channel). [more inside]
VECTORTRONIC An abstract long-exposure animation drawn and photographed by a Lego robot set to music by Gil Trythall [via mefi projects]
Todd Fisher's Kissing Series. Photographs of people kissing. His other photographs are quite good as well. [more inside]
Tim Quirk of Too Much Joy blogs about the royalty statement he received from Warner Bros. detailing their income from online sales, totalling $62.47. Via.
"1,000,000 to join, my dad john mellencamp will quit smoking" Of course, country rock crooner John Mellencamp isn't MY dad. Rather, John's youngest son Speck (geez) has issued a challenge to facebook -- if 1M people join this facebook group, John Mellencamp will quit smoking. It's legit, unlike that time when you forwarded an email to all of your friends wanting Bill Gates to give you money.
The Ugandan government is considering a law that would criminalize homosexuality, advocacy for gay rights, or even failing to report homosexuals to the govenment. And death for HIV+ gays. And who is behind this? An American group with purported ties to the administration called the Family. [more inside]