December 3, 2009
Hello, and welcome to Granny O’Grimm’s website. My website I mean. I’m Granny. And I have a website. While you’re here, why not have a look at the short film ‘Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty’, starring me?
Ediface Wrecks: A Greek Tragicomedy About the Fall of Man's Handiwork #1 (With Apologies to Sophocles.)
“Uhh,” he stuttered, “wait. Are you delivering… coal? To… uhh, us?” “Well, yeah! Twenty-eight thousand tons of the good ol’ black gold!” The workman sarcastically furrowed his brow adding, “I mean, we did get the right address, har har. This is Æxecor? And this is Pier 53? And you are Brad, the fella who ordered it, right?” It was that moment that Brad’s palm almost immediately made contact with his forehead. He realized that something must have really gone awry: instead of virtually trading 28,000 tons of coal, Brad had somehow ended up with 28,000 tons of real coal.
This Christmas: 6 ways you're not saving money (when you think you are) and 39 ways you could be (that you're not doing).
Blackwater (now known as Xe) has had a rough few years. The company, and its former CEO Erik Prince, have been the subject of allegations including murder, arms smuggling, child prostitution and wholesale massacre. Erik Prince has told Vanity Fair that he was a CIA operative and that someone has turned against him and "thrown him under a bus" by leaking his CIA associations to the public. He even compared his public outing to that of Valerie Plame. Mr. Prince has also been an outspoken and generous contributor to mostly-Republican political candidates. Previously on MeFi: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and many more.
Holidays on Display, currently on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, offers an image-rich online exhibit as well, detailing the way businesses learned to capitalize on one of the country's largest celebrations. Peer into the artistry of holiday window design as well. [more inside]
Getting something permanently inked upon your body is not to be taken lightly, especially if it is a rare type of fungus. [more inside]
Secrecy Jurisdictions: Mapping the Faultlines highlights research on 'the jurisdictions and mechanisms used to facilitate illicit financial flows worldwide, including especially flows from developing countries. Those flows, from developing countries alone, are estimated at $850 billion - US$1 trillion per year. At the core of this project is the biggest survey of tax havens, or secrecy jurisdictions as we prefer to call them, that has probably ever been undertaken.' A project of the Tax Justice Network.
A nine-month investigation by the Center for Public Integrity reveals that student victims of sexual assaults "face a depressing litany of barriers that often either assure their silence or leave them feeling victimized a second time." [more inside]
Today, the State of Washington becomes the first state in the history of the United States to pass a law supporting the equality of same-sex partners by popular vote. [more inside]
Why Dollhouse failed. Lengthy interview with Joss Whedon at the Chicago Tribune's TV blog. May contain light spoilers for the last few episodes of the show. [more inside]
People who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome may have an answer as to why Nobody knows what causes CFS and fibromyalgia, for many years doctors poo-poohed the patient and sent them home with anti-anxiety drugs, but studies now show that there is a link to this retrovirus and these disorders. It's not in your head. Some studies earlier showed a link between prostate cancer and this virus, but the jury is still out on this. It's thought to be sexually transmitted via the blood, and actually binds with human DNA.
Tokyo Blues is a photography book about taking a closer look at the ordinary, in this case an omnipresent blue construction tarp which shows up just about everywhere in Tokyo. This is the first book in an apparently planned series by Do Projects. The book is available for sale or as a free PDF under the CC license.
First they wanted socialism. Now they want capitalism back. Rescued from bankruptcy by UK taxpayers, the directors of the Royal Bank of Scotland are threatening a mass resignation unless they are permitted to share £1.5 billion in bonuses. Some people have asked why we have to share the bad times but not the good.
Facebook Profiles Capture True Personality Online social networks such as Facebook are being used to express and communicate real personality, instead of an idealized virtual identity, according to new research from psychologist Sam Gosling at The University of Texas at Austin. [more inside]
Optimizing Your Brain at Work is a pretty fascinating talk at Google by David Rock about managing your brain's internal states and attention, as well as threat responses with the goal of optimizing information processing. It is a Youtube link, and fairly long (~55min). He also mentions The Neuroscience of Mindfulness during the talk, so here is a convenient link to that.
Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal have been detained by the Iranian government for more than four months now, despite numerous calls for their release.
The Dallas News has a bold new strategy for "becoming the most comprehensive and trusted partner for local businesses in attracting and retaining customers and continuing to generate important, relevant content for our consumers": Making it's editors report directly to advertising sales managers
Dutch artist Zeger Reyers has created some ponderous and messy installations in the past. However, his latest one, Eating the Universe, definitely needs to be cleaned up. [more inside]
The A.V. Club's Best of the Decade: Films. Performances. Scenes. Bad Movies. Books. Short Story Collections. Comics. Video Games Music. Metal. Electronic Music. Comedy Albums. Television Series. Television Episodes. Reality Series/Competitions. Made-For-TV Movies/Miniseries. Late-Night Comedy/Talk Shows. One-Season Wonders. And the orphans.
This man makes the user interfaces you see in films. (Video)
Bonus: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
Bonus: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
8 Million Reasons for Real Surveillance Oversight. "Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers."
Asian Carp update: since 2003(previously), the inexorable advance of Asian Carp up the Mississippi delta has brought them to within 6 miles of Lake Michigan. These invasive "100-pound Zebra Mussels" suck rivers clean and starve native fish. Asian Carp are now 97% of the fish biomass in the Mississippi delta. The "electric fence" across the canal didn't stop them. The poisoning of the canal won't stop them. Closing the Chicago sewage canal locks is the only way to be sure. But the Army Corps of Engineers have the jurisdiction. Feel safe? [more inside]
Box 5-1438: Report of a structure fire at 266 Franklin St. 10 years ago this evening in Worcester, MA, the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Fire started when two people living in the abandoned building, Julie Barnes and Thomas Levesque, knocked over a candle during an argument and then fled. Upon arrival at the quickly growing fire, reports were received about two people living in the building, and firefighters entered the building to rescue them. During the primary search, Rescue 1 firefighters Paul Brotherton and Jeremiah Lucey were the first to report trouble. They were lost on the 4th floor and running out of air. Soon after, a four man rescue crew of Lt. Thomas Spencer (Ladder 2), firefighter Timothy Jackson (Ladder 2), Lt. James Lyons (Engine 3), and firefighter Joseph McGuirk (Engine 3) reports that they have also become disoriented while searching the 5th floor. All six men died that night, they are known as the Worcester Six or W6. [more inside]
"In just a few days, a verdict is expected in the trial of Amanda Knox, the 22-year-old Seattle exchange student on trial in Italy for the throat-slashing murder of her British roommate two years ago. ... The trial in the Umbrian college town of Perugia has dragged on just short of a year. As this week’s closing arguments showed once again, the case has very little to do with actual evidence and much to do with the ancient Italian code of saving face. ... What century is this? Didn’t Joan of Arc, the Inquisition and our own American Salem witch trials teach civilized nations a thing or two about contrived sexual hysteria with a devil twist?" - Timothy Egan, New York Times. [previously] [more inside]
25 years on, the industrial disaster at Bhopal's Union Carbide insecticide plant is still poisoning, maiming and killing people [YT]. [more inside]
Oh, so that's how that works. I never got the whole 'Mars in Retrograde' thing. This really helped. More than this description by Dr.Feynman of the elliptical orbit of the planets, and definitely more than this song-and-dance description of, well, the Universe.
Some 10,000 people descended on the Knock Shrine a few months ago to see a Marian Apparition, promised by "clairvoyant" Joe Coleman to appear in the sun. Mary Kenny of the Irish Independent asks "What harm if people derive comfort from what they believe to be a spiritual experience?" while an Irish opthalmic surgeon now reports that he has treated no fewer than five people already, claiming it "monstrous" to mislead people into thinking that altered vision and effects, such as seeing the sun dance, were a religious apparition when they were classic symptoms of solar retinopathy. [more inside]
HDR photography seems to be polarizing. People either love it, or hate it, including here on MeFi. For those who enjoy exploring the possibilities HDR presents, a good place to start is Stuck In Customs. Trey Ratcliff has the first HDR photo ever to hang in the Smithsonian. He offers a comprehensive, six-step HDR tutorial if you want to try it yourself. A sampling of his HDR travel photography is here, and throughout the site, and he is also experimenting with HDR video technology. [more inside]