December 11, 2009

Turn around, bright lights

Starlight - (late) Friday Flash Fun.
posted by Eideteker at 7:56 PM PST - 26 comments

Everything you know about U.S. involvement in Iran is wrong

The Great Satan Myth. We have discussed the US supported coup of 1953 on MeFi before. Now, Abbas Milani, provides some more context to the complex relationship of the two countries.
posted by lenny70 at 6:54 PM PST - 13 comments

The Future Gets Closer, Again

Interesting developments in med-tech: gene testing machines for doctors, a plan to engineer stem cells to kill HIV, a new way to repair damaged nerves, the next generation of retinal implants, and the first bionic fingers up for sale. (Bonus for those uninterested in medicine: the newest take on a Minority Report-style interface, courtesy of MIT.)
posted by StrikeTheViol at 6:39 PM PST - 2 comments

Detroit: Worst Test Score Ever

The results of the recent National Assessment of Education Progress (NEAP) tests are in. Detroit students posted the worst math scores ever in the history of the test. [more inside]
posted by Acromion at 4:49 PM PST - 72 comments

He'll never be the head of a major corporation

Snapshots of Mike the Headless Chicken (NSFW, NSFV, previously)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:05 PM PST - 55 comments

Stop! Don't pass up this thread! The Flash's life depends on it!

The top 75 Iconic DC covers of all-time
posted by Artw at 4:03 PM PST - 67 comments

Who can argue with the fibre?

Alien Vs. Cereal: a rather loquacious alien expounds upon the wonders of Raisin Bran Crunch. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 3:40 PM PST - 10 comments

That is the question... yeah!

Actor Brian Cox gives an acting masterclass on Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy to a young student (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:09 PM PST - 23 comments

Better Smile When You Cross That Border.

Peter Watts Arrested and Beaten at the US Border. Author of the Rifters Trilogy, and that neat little vampire Powerpoint, he's been busted for "assaulting a border guard", and is looking at prison time. You can find more details here. His account of the matter is on his blog, here. [more inside]
posted by darth_tedious at 2:14 PM PST - 208 comments

India's Traditional Knowledge Digital Library

Fed up with foreign companies patenting traditional medicine from India, the country's top scientific body is compiling a giant database of everything from yoga positions to medicinal fruit juice. [more inside]
posted by kanewai at 2:01 PM PST - 13 comments

Why is life worth living?

"Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Well, there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Um, for me... oh, I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... and Willie Mays, and... the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and... Louis Armstrong's recording of Potatohead Blues... Swedish Movies, naturally... Sentimental Education by Flaubert... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne... the crabs at Sam Wo's... Tracy's face..."
posted by vronsky at 1:27 PM PST - 73 comments

Conflict of Interests

The feud between renegade Sheriff Joe Arpaio prev 1 2 3 and local officals is exploding. He has now indicted one judge who ruled against him (for obstruction of justice), and got a warrant to search the office and home of another. [more inside]
posted by msalt at 1:02 PM PST - 110 comments

The future's a bummer.

What Was Popular Mechanics Thinking? from Woot.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:24 PM PST - 63 comments

Only the super-rich can save us!

SLJaredDiamondOp-Ed: As part of my board work, I have been asked to assess the environments in oil fields, and have had frank discussions with oil company employees at all levels. I’ve also worked with executives of mining, retail, logging and financial services companies. I’ve discovered that while some businesses are indeed as destructive as many suspect, others are among the world’s strongest positive forces for environmental sustainability. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog at 12:19 PM PST - 52 comments

Religion à la Carte – Threat or Menace?*

A major survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that most Americans have a non-dogmatic approach to faith. A strong majority of those who are affiliated with a religion, including majorities of nearly every religious tradition, do not believe their religion is the only way to salvation. And almost the same number believes that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion. The survey finds that constant movement characterizes the American religious marketplace, as every major religious group is simultaneously gaining and losing adherents. (.pdf of full report (268 pages) or watch the video of Pew Forum Director Luis Lugo giving an overview of the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey and talking about some of its key findings.) [more inside]
posted by ServSci at 11:44 AM PST - 40 comments

FridayFlashFilter: Nostalgia with Gorillas and Nibbles

Let's take a jaunt back, to the early days of DOS, from the early 1980s to early 1990s. Way back to IBM PC DOS 1.00 and 1.10. Back when Bill Gates wrote code. This was the time of avoiding donkeys on the road (gameplay), gorillas lobbing explosive bananas over skyscrapers (gameplay) and a hungry line named Nibbles [a variant of the older Snake game] (gameplay). So have at it! Gorillas recreated in Flash | Flash tribute to Gorillas, with updated graphics | Snake | two-player Nibbles | Radical Snake (now with curves) | Snake (like Radical Snake, but with landscape obstacles) | Nibblets (All 10 original levels from the QBasic game Nibbles, but with a new control system) | Snake/Nibbles for Vim (download) | Donkey (QBasic source code)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:36 AM PST - 22 comments

Bro, check it out - seriously huge rave on Zombie Island tonight!

WTF Comcast is "proof that whoever writes the Comcast OnDemand descriptions is drunk."
posted by jbickers at 11:35 AM PST - 51 comments

Alleyn and company

The papers of Edward Alleyn, the Elizabethan actor-manager, are now available online in a digital edition. Most of what we know about the London theatre in the age of Shakespeare comes from this archive; highlights include the only surviving example of a 'part' or script written out for an actor in an Elizabethan play (image) and the contract for building the Fortune playhouse in 1600, just a year after the building of the Globe. Sadly, the archive doesn't include any manuscripts relating to Shakespeare, because Alleyn worked for the Admiral's Men, one of the two main theatre companies in London, whereas Shakespeare worked for the competition (the Lord Chamberlain's Men), though that didn't stop the nineteenth-century forger John Payne Collier from faking a few documents of his own to fill the gap.
posted by verstegan at 10:32 AM PST - 6 comments

Leaning tower of South Padre Island

Colorful drive-by commentary on the $125 million boondoggle that is the leaning tower of South Padre Island.
posted by Albryhno at 9:32 AM PST - 47 comments

Airbus A400M takes maiden flight

Airbus A400M took its maiden flight today. video 1, video 2, video 3. cockpit
posted by JohnR at 9:30 AM PST - 38 comments

Mozilla exec recommends you Bing it from now on

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." (SLYT) Because of this statement, made by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Mozilla's director of community development Asa Dotzler has informed readers of his personal blog how to change Firefox's default search engine from Google to Bing. This is a pretty interesting stance coming from someone who works for a company that not only directly competes with Microsoft (the owners of Bing), but also derives a huge amount of its revenue from support from Google. (via)
posted by Nyarlathotep at 9:06 AM PST - 77 comments

If you wouldn't like living that way (in the lowest status slot in the pecking order), you're doing it wrong.

Metafilter's Own Charlie Stross asks the question; " You, and a quarter of a million other folks, have embarked on a 1000-year voyage aboard a hollowed-out asteroid. What sort of governance and society do you think would be most comfortable, not to mention likely to survive the trip without civil war, famine, and reigns of terror?" engrossing commentary follows. (via)
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 AM PST - 158 comments

The Confessions of an NBA Scorekeeper

The Confessions of an NBA Scorekeeper Gawker's Tommy Craggs talks with an ex-scorekeeper for the Vancouver Grizzlies, and reveals the subjectivity of stat keeping in the NBA. This guy once gave Nick Van Exel 23 assists just because he felt like it.
posted by reenum at 8:33 AM PST - 12 comments

Filed under "Stuff Lyndon B Johnson never did"

11 Presidents. 1 Queen.
posted by seanyboy at 8:24 AM PST - 80 comments

FADE IN: INT. THE BLUE -- DAY

PDF screenplays of most of the scripts that will probably pick up Oscar nods this year. And the Public Enemies and Funny People scripts, too.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:16 AM PST - 3 comments

I Saw Three Hummers

Merry Christmas From Juniper Creek's Prophet and sister-wives. Video and free album from the cast of HBO's Big Love.
posted by hermitosis at 7:56 AM PST - 11 comments

it will

The classical guitar will make you feel
posted by past at 7:33 AM PST - 25 comments

I blow up the dharma like what

The Sickest Buddhist - Arj Barker from The Flight of the Conchords does a rap skewering of materialism in Western Buddhism. (via) Brad Warner offers a more serious critique of "satori porn" (sfw) Beliefnet talks about the branding of Buddhism, where it's used to market everything from mp3 players to perfume to bars to ... toilet paper holders?
posted by desjardins at 7:06 AM PST - 61 comments

Captain Forever!

Ship designation: Nemesis. Captain: Forever. (Flash, audio, outer space shoot-em-up fun.) [more inside]
posted by steef at 6:59 AM PST - 32 comments

viewers control its lighting

Radical Friend makes interactive music videos for Black Moth Super Rainbow and Yeasayer. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:59 AM PST - 11 comments

Masters of Pen and Ink Art

Masters of Pen and Ink: Franklin Booth, Joseph Clement Coll, Michael Kaluta, Roy Krenkel, Norman Lindsay, Howard Pyle, J. Allen St. John, and Bernie Wrightson. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 6:07 AM PST - 17 comments

PayPal should not exist

Might the consumer banking revolution be coming? "Yodlee is the engine behind the online banking operations of most banks in America — and, for that matter, of mint.com... and it's now going to open up that database to software developers around the world." With mobile internet adoption soaring, the birth of iBanking may not be that far behind. An upgrade of payment and financial information systems could be closer than you think. [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:44 AM PST - 34 comments

No fair! You got more than me!

Way to overthink a plate of beans pizza. [more inside]
posted by jonathanstrange at 2:30 AM PST - 58 comments

Did you remember to turn off the gas?

If there's one genre you have to read before you die it's the travel book
Standard guidebook: "Should you be caught up in a frenzied riot during your time in Jakarta, make your way immediately to your country's embassy. Once inside, relax with one of the native beverages, and think about what a great story you'll have to tell Andy and Rhona on your return."
Hip guidebook:"Should you be caught up in a frenzied riot during your time in Jakarta, consider yourself fortunate to witness the valid cultural expression of a wonderfully passionate race. Feel free to hurl a Molotov cocktail at the riot squad."
(via Jorn>
posted by caddis at 12:21 AM PST - 27 comments