December 8, 2010
An opinion piece in Slate argues that the scientific agenda would benefit from increasing the paltry six percent of American scientists who identify as Republican. (This statistic previously on Metafilter.) Knight Science Journalism Tracker offers peer review of this point.
“When I was a kid growing up I was obsessed with animals and monsters… I’d draw them everyday, and when I grew up I either wanted to be a zoologist or a monster hunter… When I got a bit older I realized that being a zoologist was less exciting than I had imagined, and that ‘monster hunter’ isn’t even a real job, so I just kept drawing. I pretty much do the exact same thing at 29 years old that I did when I was 9 years old.” Nicholas Di Genova weaves organisms together in pen and ink. [more inside]
Loving father. Caring husband. Secret octopus. Octodad! "Master mundane tasks with his unwieldy boneless tentacles while simultaneously keeping his cephalopodian nature a secret from his human family."
Olga Kotelko is 91, and she has probably set more athletic world records—and will continue to set more—than most of us will in our lives. We all age, but she is aging differently. Scientists are trying to figure out why...but she is just trying to find someone who can keep up.
Taxi III Stand Up and Cry Like a Man - a short but powerful clip in which taxi drivers talk about their experiences in the Troubles of Northern Ireland. [more inside]
Invasive amniocentesis and chorionic villi sampling (CVS) tests are commonly used to determine the chromosomal, structural and genetic abnormalities in fetuses. But could they eventually become obsolete? A Chinese study has found that a complete copy of the fetal genome exists in the mother's blood, suggesting many prenatal diagnoses could potentially be performed noninvasively. [more inside]
2010 Has seen its share of one-hit-wonder hip hop acts. Standing out from the crowd is a collective of creative youngsters (ages 16-19) from Los Angeles known as OFWGKTA (Odd Future/Wolf Gang/Kill Them All). [more inside]
This week the BBC broadcast a Panorama special (UK only link, YouTube links here and here) on what it presented as the alarming rise of game addiction. Thoughtful responses from Rock, Paper, Shotgun and EDGE, both of whom point out a number of problems with it.
True American Dog is where I go for my silliness these days. It's a single panel photoshop comic about animals. And what animals! There's Kooly the Bear, Eagle, Dog and many more. It's about as silly as it gets, in a good way.
The American Century, proclaimed so triumphantly at the start of World War II, will be tattered and fading by 2025, its eighth decade, and could be history by 2030.
Freeman Davis, better known as Brother Bones, was a whistler and player of the bones. As his story goes, he started in Montgomery, Alabama, hearing his mother whistle. He made his way to Long Beach, California, where he was a shoe-shining entertainer called Whistling Sam. Somewhere along the way, he gained popularity with the bones as Brother Bones, leading a group called Brother Bones and His Shadows, as heard here in Rosetta and Listen To The Mockingbird. Their 1948 instrumental version of the 1920s jazz standard Sweet Georgia Brown was chosen as the theme song for the Harlem Globetrotters. Brother Bones was also featured in the blackface minstrel show movie, Yes Sir, Mr. Bones. Freeman Davis died in 1970, and in 2002 he was paid tribute at the Rhythm Bones Society's Bones Fest 6, honoring the 100th anniversary of his birth. [more inside]
During the first world war, thousands of horses were drafted into the War Effort and sent to the Front. Faced with a horse shortage, the Thomas Ward steelworks in Sheffield acquired an elephant and her handler from a passing circus. Lizzie Ward worked at Thomas Ward's for a number of years, getting up to various pranks before she retired with sore feet.
A hot carbon-rich gas giant exoplanet, WASP-12b, has been discovered. As the lead author of the paper being published today, Nikku Madhusudhan, says: ""This planet reveals the astounding diversity of worlds out there". In particular, the discovery supports theories that there are likely to be planets made of diamond and graphite out there.
In his easily digested and insightful summary of America's long term outlook, Bill Gross writes that we're all living in Billy Joel's Allentown now and that the easy solutions, as is often the case, aren't necessarily the right ones.
The University of Washington's Vienna: 1900 collects a number of pieces from the height of Austrian café society. [more inside]
This is a tool assisted speed run of the 1997 PSX game Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. In it arukAdo (the author) abuses glitches in the engine to destroy the basic rules of the game world. Some highlights (though it's worth watching all the way through for fans of the game): The player character, Alucard, moves like a Trueblood vampire, warps through space to obtain items earlier than normal, blinks in and out of existence, and destroys the very fabric of reality. He explores areas outside the normal bounds of the game, hovers myseriously in place, and annihilates the prince of darkness in seconds. [more inside]
The last interview ever granted by John Lennon will be released tomorrow to mark the 30th anniversary of his death. You can hear excerpts from the interview today. Yoko Ono remembers John, as do millions of fans in Liverpool and New York. ((°J°))
"Fantastic Journal is a blog about architecture, design and other things too," written by Charles Holland, a director of London-based FAT. [more inside]
2019: A Future Imagined - A short film were Syd Mead, designer and concept artist (probably most notable for for his work on Blade Runner, Aliens and Tron) “reflects upon the nature of creativity and how it drives the future.” (SLVimeo)
MeFi's own Jacob Appelbaum visits Iraq, offers a hand after Katrina, exposes security holes, creates spaces for learning and sharing, represents for Wikileaks and Tor and is generally superhero like.