December 6, 2010

They Are All Failed States

The City As Dominant Agent... Parag Khanna of the New America Foundation on the probable fall of the nation-state and the rise of the City, the obstacles facing it, the futures it could embrace, and what examples are out there. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata at 11:22 PM PST - 21 comments

Listen...you drive carefully, alright?

The heist from Inception in Real-Time [more inside]
posted by mysterpigg at 8:34 PM PST - 63 comments

Betty Is Basically A Supervillian

Mad Men D&D Character Alignments from the venerable mightygodking
posted by The Whelk at 7:26 PM PST - 194 comments

Rocket Stoves

As winter rolls around, my thoughts turn to warming myself. And I can't think of a more efficient way to do it than with a rocket stove. [more inside]
posted by psycho-alchemy at 5:47 PM PST - 28 comments

An overload of Mystery Science Theater musical moments

During the show's history Mystery Science Theater did many musical bits. Topless Robot recently linked to the "13 best" Mystery Science Theater 3000 songs. It's not a bad list, although there are some notable exclusions. About those, click through.... [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 5:22 PM PST - 62 comments

"Thought of You" animation

Amazing dance animation. Ryan Woodward submitted this to Sundance Film Festival. Sad that they didn't accept it because it really is beautiful.
posted by chrisp18938 at 4:35 PM PST - 27 comments

Writing is jumping...the shark.

From Mefi's own him, How to write badly well: Live on Stage. [more inside]
posted by Taft at 4:15 PM PST - 15 comments

Well, uhhhh...

When did you choose to be straight?
posted by boo_radley at 3:58 PM PST - 139 comments

The Hidden Beauty of Flight

Paths of Flight [more inside]
posted by bwg at 3:33 PM PST - 13 comments

They made the Sixties what they are today, and we hope we have helped make them that again.

As The Rutles are to The Beatles, so is LUNCH to The Beatles' LOVE. This is a tribute...to 2 bands at once. As George Harrison once said, "It's all part of the soup."
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:49 PM PST - 12 comments

The fundamental problem is that terrorism is innovative while TSA policy is reactive

A Nude Awakening - The TSA and Privacy. An insightful article about the TSA and fundamental freedoms from the Oklahoma Daily Student newspaper. via
posted by blue_beetle at 2:48 PM PST - 50 comments

This is Citytv. Everywhere.

One of the most distinctive voices in Canadian broadcasting has been silenced. Mark Dailey, longtime announcer, on-air reporter and anchor for Toronto's Citytv, died today at the age of 57. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:33 PM PST - 44 comments

"We are all children of Byzantium."

Byzantine Blog is what it says on the tin, a blog about Byzantium. It is written by Tom and Kim Sawford, with the occasional guest post by Laura Diaz-Arnesto. The blog has been going for over a year and a half now, and so has an extensive backlog of posts on a wide variety of subjects, for example: Byzantine holy relics in Siena in Tuscany, Princess Theophano who married Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, photos of mosaics and other art, the horrific realities of prostitution, the islands of Thasos and Lemnos and a couple of posts on Byzantine medicine, mandrake and wolfsbane. Besides essays and photos the blog also links to various sites, articles, podcasts et cetera that dwell on Byzantine matters.
posted by Kattullus at 2:14 PM PST - 20 comments

KORUS FTA

The Republic of Korea-United States Free Trade Agreement is the United States' first Free Trade Agreement with a major Asian economy, and its largest trade deal since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in 1993. It has supporters and detractors.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:22 PM PST - 49 comments

Asian of the year, humble and generous vegetable vendor, Chen Shu-chu

Chen has a daily routine—waking up at 3am, she makes her way to the vegetable wholesaler and sets up her stall, which she tends till seven or eight in the evening. The first to arrive in the dark, damp market and the last to leave, other stall-owners have fondly nicknamed her ‘market manager.’ Chen holds the stall her father left her dearly. Yuan-Jin Vegetables is her everything. Selling at “a bundle for 30 dollars*, three bundles for 50,” Chen earns only marginal profits. Yet, her frugality has allowed her to donate about NT$10 million (nearly Rs1.5 crore) [approx. US$330,000] towards various charitable causes, including helping schools, orphanages and poor children.
posted by nickyskye at 1:20 PM PST - 17 comments

"Toity poiple boids / Sittin on da koib / A-choipin an’ a-boipin / An’ eatin doity woims."

"Toity poiple boids / Sittin on da koib / A-choipin an’ a-boipin / An’ eatin doity woims." From Atlantic Avenue to Zerega Avenue (map), the kinds of New York City accents made famous by the likes of Archie Bunker, Jimmy Breslin and Travis Bickle are disappearing. But though you may not often hear “foath floah” for "fourth floor" in Manhattan anymore, documentary filmmaker Heather Quinlan knows you can still hear strains of the old mellifluous tones in Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island, and the Bronx, and that's exactly what she's setting out to document in her film If These Knishes Could Talk.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:05 PM PST - 51 comments

"Aircraft is flying safely and we'll get back to you very shortly with further information. Thank you for your patience."

On Friday, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau released their preliminary report regarding the Qantas Flight 32 in-flight engine failure. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 12:37 PM PST - 30 comments

What makes a chef great?

Why Are There No Great Women Chefs? In 2007 Michelin awarded French chef Anne-Sophie Pic three stars, making her only the fourth woman in her country’s history to receive that honor (fifty years had passed since the last of her sex had garnered that third sparkler).2 The following year, in the United Kingdom, it was considered breaking news when ten female chefs won any Michelin stars at all...[For] the 2009 James Beard Awards gala... “Women in Food” was the chosen motif, but since only sixteen of the evening’s ninety-six nominees were, in fact, women, it seemed like a cruel joke. In the end, only two of those sixteen went home victorious, out of nineteen winners total...[I]n Bravo tv’s Top Chef Masters competition, a paltry three out of twenty-four American “Masters” were women. [via 3 Quarks Daily]
posted by caddis at 12:27 PM PST - 133 comments

A good comic... good enough.

Frank Miller is titan of comics, whose noirish take on superheroes in the 80s has been hugely influencial. But back in 70s Miller was just an aspiring artist showing off his portfolio to Neal Adams, who proceeded to rip him him a new one.
posted by Artw at 12:24 PM PST - 76 comments

how abhorred in my imagination it is!

A diagram of nearly all the characters in David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, with connections and relations shown thereamong.
posted by gwint at 12:20 PM PST - 27 comments

Who can say cunt to millions and get away with it?

The naughtiest word in English? In an unbelievable coincidence, first a prime time Radio broadcaster [on the serious BBC Radio 4 station], then the well known political correspondent & broadcaster Andrew Marr on the same station, then Nick Herbert MP in the House of Commons, all managed to Spoonerise the name of a government minister with his position. His name? Jeremy Hunt. His department? Culture. All started by... James Naughtie. See what he did there?
posted by dash_slot- at 12:06 PM PST - 58 comments

Charles Manson, in conversation.

My Friendship with Charles Manson. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:00 AM PST - 39 comments

The most exciting C-Span proceedings… ever?

C-SPAN airs Prop 8 appellate trial live. Prop 8 was the ballot measure that removed the right to marry from same-sex couples. Covered previously, previously, ZOMG PREVIOUSLY. Expect fun arguments about standing!
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 AM PST - 139 comments

Specialization is for Insects

Ever wish you could learn to weave cloth, forge a knife, sew a corset, or build a Tudor mansion?
posted by DU at 10:25 AM PST - 22 comments

When Drug Trials Go Horribly Wrong

In 2004, Minnesota student Dan Markingson committed suicide while participating in a clinical drug trial for various mood disorders. Trial sponsors the University of Minnesota and AstraZeneca were cleared of blame by the FDA in 2005. Last week, a group of faculty members at the university wrote an open letter to the university's Board of Regents requesting further investigation due to "troubling questions" that remain unanswered and a concern over "conflicts of interest" in the Academic Health Center.
posted by modernnomad at 9:38 AM PST - 21 comments

Google eBookstore

Google eBooks, the new Google eBooks store that will compete with Amazon on price and selection. Introducing Google eBooks (video). Launch USA only. NPR: "..independent booksellers will get a cut of the revenue when people buy e-books on their local seller's website instead of directly from Google."
posted by stbalbach at 9:19 AM PST - 85 comments

Esperanto? Lojban? Quenya? Bah, make you own!

If you've ever wanted to created your own conlang, or are simply interested in how languages work, the Language Construction Kit might be a good place to start. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 9:00 AM PST - 10 comments

Beyond the scary Christmas list

The cost of raising a child from cradle to 18 has risen to $222,000. Chiefly among the reasons is parents' desire to "cultivate" their children.
posted by reenum at 8:55 AM PST - 122 comments

Let's Get Visual

Pinterest is a social catalog service. Think of it as a virtual pinboard — a place where you can post collections of things you love, and "follow" collections created by people with great taste.
posted by Jodio at 8:01 AM PST - 35 comments

How Hou Yi Shot The Suns

In the time of the Chou Dynasty it was believed there existed Ten Celestial Suns. Each day, one sun would be harnessed to a jade dragon and drawn across the heavens, bringing life and light to the world. It was their duty, all they had known - but in their hearts a cold and secret fire grew... [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:08 AM PST - 22 comments

X-plane-o-rama

The X-37B OTV has landed. (previously) and (previously) Launched in late April the space plane was tracked by amateur astronomers and sky watchers during its 7-month stay in orbit. The X-37 has he capability to maneuver changing orbit, track, and altitude. This led to a cat and mouse game with the earthbound skygazers. The X-37B is one of the latest in a series of experimental aircraft known as the X-planes. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 12:29 AM PST - 46 comments

The good, the bad and the prolific moderator.

At the Bartos Theater, in conversation with Henry Jenkins, these speakers [Yochai Benkler and Cass Sunstein] don’t so much square off as share their hopes and fears for the emergence of online democracy. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 12:16 AM PST - 7 comments