December 6, 2011

Good sports

At the 1964 Tokyo Olympics, a yacht race was taking the world's teams through dangerous waters at breakneck speeds. Stig Käll and his brother Lars were in the running to win when, behind them, the Australian team capsized and slipped below the deadly waves. Making a split-second decision, the Källs turned their boat around and rescued the Australians, losing the race and vanishing from the pages of Olympic history, but winning recognition from the Japanese press, who awarded them the headline "Gold Medal of Humanity". The Käll brothers were the first to receive recognition from the International Fair Play Committee, a group that now gives awards and recognition to people who display unusual sportsmanship, such as: [more inside]
posted by shii at 11:32 PM PST - 41 comments

Wisdom of the Aged.

Back in October, NYT columnist David Brooks asked his older readers (aged 70+) to send him "life reports." He wanted them to appraise their lives, in an effort to glean some life lessons for all of us to learn by. After receiving thousands of replies, he published his assessment of them a couple weeks ago, in two columns (Part 1: Nov 24, 2011; Part 2: Nov 28, 2011). He's also selected specific ones and published them on his blog. [more inside]
posted by crunchland at 9:46 PM PST - 64 comments

"I heard a noise, faint, monotonous, white."

Getting babies to sleep is a topic of great interest to all parents (see previously). One trick that has been shown to work is white noise. Although many opt for a white noise machine, other parents swear by radio static, vacuum cleaners, dryers, or a running faucet. Now, of course, you can send your cutie to slumberland without wasting nearly so much electricity or water, all thanks to youtube. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 9:42 PM PST - 89 comments

"the cardinal rule of war reportage: don't die"

We got through the basics—how I’d arrived in Libya, why I was there—in civil tones. Then the Inspector asked, “If you were a professor at Harvard, why did you quit your job to come risk your life in Libya?” I explained as best I could that I had not been a professor but a graduate student, and part of my training was teaching undergraduates. The academic job market was tough and demoralizing, and the rigidity of the academic lifestyle had never appealed to me that much anyway. I had suspected for a few years that I’d be temperamentally better suited to working as a reporter. “Why you work journalist? You don’t study journalism, you study history!”
What I Lost in Libya by Clare Morgana Gillis, a journalist who was captured by Gadhafi forces.
posted by Kattullus at 7:41 PM PST - 12 comments

“We try and illustrate a “universe-next-door” where the new product is the only novelty. Where there is still tea, and the traffic is still miserable.”

Future Drama is a tumblr devoted to that particular kind of futurism - corporate prediction demos of how their products will change the world - See The Mother Of All Demos from 1968 introducing the mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing - Apple in 1987 - Philco-Ford The Future Now!
posted by The Whelk at 5:24 PM PST - 23 comments

Are The Packers made of common stock?

The Green Bay Packers are not unique solely for being undefeated this season. The Financial Times' blog reports on the only publicly owned and essentially non-profit NFL team, the shares of which cannot appreciate, do not pay dividends or capital gains, are non-transferable, and cannot be concentrated in the hands of any single owner. Beginning today, the defending world champs opened their fifth common stock offering, with shares priced at $250.
posted by airing nerdy laundry at 5:04 PM PST - 114 comments

Justin Bieber is on DEF JAM?? But isn't that Slayer's label?

A perfect storm of terrible, two sharks trying to jump each other - Justin Bieber's steampunk version of 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town'.
posted by FatherDagon at 4:58 PM PST - 115 comments

Look Out Below

Google Earth is a program where you can look at the Earth through aerial photos. At Google Earth Cool Places (GECplaces) you can find and share weird, cool, and beautiful places. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:54 PM PST - 5 comments

"Scenes reflect what has not yet happened, scenes anticipate what has already happened."

In the Cut: Piecing Together the Action Sequence. A video essay in three parts by Jim Emerson. posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:21 PM PST - 46 comments

"Weasel Wednesday" comes a day early

Keeping wildlife, an amphibious rodent, for uh, domestic, you know, within the city — that ain't legal, either. But in the outskirts of Calgary, that's just adorable.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:19 PM PST - 39 comments

"Android graphics true facts"

The day before last, Dianne Hackborn, a software engineer from Google, posted a lengthy essay on Google+ about Android UI rendering also touching on the hardware accelerated UI debacle. Not to let sleeping dogs lie, one of the previous Android interns, Andrew Munn, posted a reply regarding other areas where Android needs to improve. Both posts provide an absolutely fascinating first-hand look into how the Android UI works.
posted by Talez at 2:33 PM PST - 57 comments

a bit of a trickster

Amalgamation, an animation by Micaël Reynaud based on an animated gif of photos by Michael Jang from his series "Summer Weather" with Music by Memory Tapes. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:27 PM PST - 6 comments

Christmas Classics: Horrible Misogyny or Social Commentary?

"Baby It's Cold Outside" is known as the Christmas Date Rape Song. Bitch Magazine wonders: does She & Him's gender-reversed version make it less creepy and less rape-y? Meanwhile, Persephone Magazine's "Listening While Feminist" has an alternative take on the holiday classic.
posted by asnider at 2:11 PM PST - 385 comments

Assuredly, many acclaimed poets are no match to Shakespeare.

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove edited The Penguin Anthology of 20th Century American Poetry, released in October. Harvard professor and critic Helen Vendler objects to Dove's choices; Dove reacts (and Vendler, succinctly, replies, "I have written the review and I stand by it.") and so do other critics, with charges of racism and, relatedly, too narrow a view of poetic traditions. [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam at 12:56 PM PST - 78 comments

" I've always been acutely aware of how much society hates me because I'm disabled"

"The other day I was having a conversation with a Tory who accused me of using "strong language" when I pointed out that welfare reform is forcing disabled people to commit suicide. He felt there's no forcing going on. I had to explain that one needs money to live in this world, if you deny people money they have no way of carrying on." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 11:45 AM PST - 121 comments

Death and Life in Berkeley Pit

The Berkeley Pit in Butte, Montana started as an open pit copper mine in 1955, and was closed in 1982. At that time, groundwater pumping ceased and the pit started to flood, leading to what is now one of the largest Superfund sites. The water body was considered uninhabitable, with high concentrations of copper, cadmium, arsenic, aluminum, manganese and zinc and of pH of 2.5 (as acidic as a lemon), but in 1995, a small clump of green slime was noticed floating on the water's surface. Since then, the algae blooms have been studied as a possible method of remediation for the toxic waters. That same year, a migratory flock of snow geese landed in the pit lake. Stormy weather kept the flock on the lake, and when the weather cleared, 342 birds were dead. A Migratory Bird Protection Plan was then put in place, to prevent such occurrences from happening again. In the spring of 1996, a surprising discovery was made: yeast, which shouldn't grown in those pH levels, was surviving, and absorbing eighty-seven percent of the metals in the water. Furthermore, Andrea and Donald Stierle, professors who have been studying the pit lake since 1995, have found 70 compounds that might be medically useful. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:05 AM PST - 36 comments

The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth

After his presidency, Thomas Jefferson took on the task of re-editing the New Testament by literally cutting and pasting a new version of the text, shorn of Jesus's miracles and the Resurrection. Titled The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth (but known more commonly today as the Jefferson Bible), the handmade book had begun to crumble after nearly two centuries. Now, after a painstaking conservation process, the Jefferson Bible has been digitized, and will be on exhibition at the Smithsonian though May 2012. (Previously)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:38 AM PST - 65 comments

Day by day, the daimon offered him the hemlock. So he took it.

Sócrates is dead. It’s hard to see how anyone could be surprised. Run of Play on the death of Sócrates. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 10:27 AM PST - 14 comments

Cats 1, Kids 0

"You can raise money to help your sick cat, for example, but not poor people." Paypal vs. Regretsy: Cats 1, Kids 0.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:08 AM PST - 103 comments

England's answer to Crazy Horse Mountain

Northumberlandia is coming. "A mile away, I stand at the base of Northumberlandia’s head which, at this distance, looks just like a mountain of mud. We drive up hillside tracks to her hip and one of her breasts (the other one has yet to take shape) and then wind our way up to her face. Even now, as bulldozers comb her hair and steamrollers flatten her skin, it is easy to make out her feminine contours."
posted by Paul Slade at 9:49 AM PST - 13 comments

Feel the Newtmentum.

Is Newt really going to be the nominee? As Romney collapses and Newt surges in the polls, the party establishment is worried. Libertarians are panicking. Can the establishment stop him? What about Ron Paul? Can Huntsman save the party from catastrophe?
posted by empath at 9:29 AM PST - 400 comments

Occupied America?

For the past 48 years the U.S. Congress has passed a version of The National Defense Authorization Act. The purpose of the act is to set the budget and expenditures of the Department of Defense. This year's act has some controversial provisions. President Obama has threatened a veto. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:13 AM PST - 128 comments

Googly Eye-based street mischief

Eye Bombing. More Eye Bombing.
posted by The Discredited Ape at 9:11 AM PST - 27 comments

Messy. Crazy. Brilliant. Insane. Reporter.

How Do You Explain Gene Weingarten? (Via). [more inside]
posted by zarq at 8:41 AM PST - 26 comments

"Mr. Hammond, after careful consideration, I've decided not to endorse your park."

"God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs." [Discovery.com] Within five years, a woolly mammoth will likely be cloned, according to scientists who have just recovered well-preserved bone marrow in a mammoth thigh bone. Japan's Kyodo News first reported the find. You can see photos of the thigh bone at this Kyodo page.
posted by Fizz at 8:18 AM PST - 111 comments

Creating the Deathly Hallows animation

A short interview with Sequence supervisor Dale Newton describing how the animated sequence in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part I was created.

The scene was directed by Swiss animator Ben Hibon, creator of Codehunters and other work.

Bonus: sketches and preliminary artwork for the scene by various artists.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:05 AM PST - 14 comments

The physical toll of being a goon

The NYT has published a three-part series on the life of late hockey enforcer Derek Boogaard, who died earlier this year at age 28 of a drug and alcohol overdose. [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg at 6:29 AM PST - 112 comments

Ríu Ríu Chíu

The Monkees Sing Ríu Ríu Chíu -- a traditional Spanish Christmas Carol. (SLYT)
posted by swift at 6:16 AM PST - 21 comments

On John Lennon and Yoko Ono

In Which John Lennon is Split in Two
posted by Cloud King at 6:06 AM PST - 55 comments

Depressives unite!

"What was really most healing, for me, besides the drugs, was meeting my own people, my tribe. When you meet each other the relief of knowing you’re not alone and that you both feel like the walking dead. It’s such a relief to be with someone who will never say, “Perk up.” Black Dog Tribes is a (beta) social platform for people with depression created by Ruby Wax.
posted by lucia__is__dada at 5:35 AM PST - 17 comments

Sibylle Baier

This song was recorded at home in the 1970s by German actress Sibylle Baier. Her son collected her recordings and created an album to share with family, and in 2006 the Colour Green was released by label Orange Twin. [more inside]
posted by KingoftheWhales at 1:06 AM PST - 11 comments

There's always room for Cello

Star Wars medly for two cellos. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by ShutterBun at 12:17 AM PST - 21 comments

Suddenly, eight years later

Here is the hilarious comics and popular culture blog Mike Sterling's Progressive Ruin, which just turned eight years old!  Features include The End of Civilization, where he riffs on the embarassing pictures in the Diamond Previews catalog, Sluggo Saturdays, which is just what it sounds like, and he's also kind of a fan of Swamp Thing. [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 12:16 AM PST - 15 comments