December 13, 2011

If you play it backwards it spells suiboM

Möbius Music Box [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:18 PM PST - 13 comments

SpaceShipTwo

The team that won the X-Prize in partnership with SpaceX, goes orbital
posted by Long Way To Go at 10:52 PM PST - 29 comments

West Coast Port Blockade

On Monday, the Occupy Wall Street movement disrupted ports in its West Coast Port Blockade. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 10:30 PM PST - 213 comments

"Bob Shuter, suburban vigilante. Driven by rage to wage a one-man war on the underworld of Kent, Bob Shuter is... The Reprisalizer."

"You're going nowhere, son. Just you, me ad the walls. So wipe that bloody grin off before it's shot off, and don't slouch. You toe rag. You bin. Pay attention when I break you. And break you I will, boy. You're in my manor, now." Buck up! It's Terry Finch's THE REPRISALIZER! Follow Bob Shuter, whose mission of reprisal against his brother's killers, their families, associates, progeny and property takes him across the desolate wasteland of 70s Britain, primarily Kent AKA FINCHLAND. Finch, writer of The Reprisalizer and DRAW!, the cowboy whose name means death, is soon to be the subject of a major motion picture from Matthew Holness, creator of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
posted by Artw at 9:50 PM PST - 15 comments

Australia's school for killers

More than 35 violent deaths have been linked to men who attended an abusive boys' home in regional Australia, the Tamworth Institution for Boys.
posted by puffl at 9:49 PM PST - 7 comments

It’s vital ’cause our survival could depend on a video going viral

In response to ongoing police brutality, particularly aimed at the non-violent Occupy Movement, B. Dolan (w/ Sage Francis, Toki Wright, and Jasiri X) have turned NWA's classic "Fuck The Police" into a call to citizen journalists to stand up and FILM THE POLICE!
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 9:35 PM PST - 61 comments

Observations From 20 Years of Iowa Life

“Those who stay in rural Iowa are often the elderly waiting to die, those too timid (or lacking in educated) to peer around the bend for better opportunities, an assortment of waste-toids and meth addicts with pale skin and rotted teeth, or those who quixotically believe, like Little Orphan Annie, that ‘The sun’ll come out tomorrow.’”

Just ahead of the Iowa Caucus, New Jersey native turned University of Iowa Professor Stephen Bloom has published a piece in The Atlantic that has caused quite a stir in the heartland. The piece, which is very critical of the Hawkeye State and her inhabitants, has a lot of Iowans on the defensive, with one article calling Bloom the "Michelangelo of hick-punching." Stephens has said the "feedback has been frightening," but he stands by his story. Perhaps a 1971 Harper's piece on Iowa captures the state with a bit more nuance.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:04 PM PST - 137 comments

His thesis was about bacon. It was delicious.

One day at breakfast, a man's soul bursts out of his eyeball. While the soul roams the earth eating everything in sight, two wild deer bathe and dress the man's catatonic body. It's Dr. Breakfast.
posted by schmod at 9:00 PM PST - 10 comments

Elias Canetti

Elias Canetti is regarded by many as one of the century’s most distinguished writers. At least since he was awarded the Nobel Prize, in 1981, he has been regularly compared, if not to Proust or Joyce or Mann, then certainly to his Viennese brethren Robert Musil and Hermann Broch. Yet one suspects that, in America at leasts Canetti’s works have been rather more respected than read. This is particularly true in the case of the two long and difficult books upon which his reputation mainly rests: Auto-da-Fé (1935), his first and only novel, and Crowds and Power (1960), the meticulously idiosyncratic contribution to social theory that he considers his major work. - Roger Kimball [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 8:14 PM PST - 14 comments

Holiday Humble Bundle

Just in time for the gift-giving season, Humble Indie Bundle 4 has been released. Available for MacOS, Windows, and Linux on a pay-what-you-want scheme, this release (currently) includes Jamestown, Bit.Trip Runner, Super Meat Boy, Shank, and Nightsky HD. Pay more than the average donation and get Gratuitous Space Battles and Cave Story+ included in your Bundle. When purchasing, you can choose how your money will be allocated between developers, charities (Child's Play Charity and American Red Cross), and a tip to the Humble team. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:50 PM PST - 43 comments

Live Well With Less

Tiny origami apartment in Manhattan unfolds into 4 rooms. Making the most out of 450 square feet.
posted by crunchland at 7:49 PM PST - 75 comments

A grassroots initiative to clean up the streets of India

The Ugly Indian: Ordinary people trying to clean up India's streets, starting with the city of Bangalore. Associated Facebook page. BBC coverage of the initiative.
posted by peacheater at 7:49 PM PST - 6 comments

The Single Lane Superhighway

The Single Lane Superhighway is a simple website that lets you draw a car and join the parade of other drawn cars already on the road. Simple, yet sweetly engaging. Another interesting art project from Aaron Koblin, who has done several other notable social/data art projects (some of this, some of that, and some other things). Via waxy.
posted by lubujackson at 7:34 PM PST - 39 comments

Boiling like a pot

Dramatic and unprecedented plumes of methane have been have been seen bubbling to the surface of the Arctic Ocean. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:55 PM PST - 260 comments

City of Fear

Prisoners in Brazil's prisons formed their own rules for governance, setting up a system much more effective than the government.
posted by reenum at 5:19 PM PST - 18 comments

Grade distribution by course and section at UW-Madison

The grade distribution for all courses at UW-Madison is available going back to the spring 2004 semester. Unlike studies of aggregate grades that document grade inflation with time, this site provides grade distributions for each individual course and section. The data clearly shows that students in STEM courses at Madison receive markedly lower grades than students in education courses. Cornell recently stopped posting similar data because it believes access to this information causes grade inflation because students select courses with higher medium grade averages. This recent article addresses the question of grade inflation more generally and the efforts at UNC to fight it. Meanwhile, this student editorial in the Bowdoin newspaper argues that faculty at selective schools must continue to inflate grades so that students can maintain a competitive advantage. Also, see this previous post.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 3:43 PM PST - 91 comments

Tortoises all the way down

"Richard Lewis is director of Durrell's Madagascar programme. Here he speaks about how the team and the local villagers are working to protect the world's rarest tortoise. This includes the drastic measure of "defacing" the beautiful shells in order to make the animals worthless on the black market."
posted by vidur at 3:39 PM PST - 6 comments

Let's Make a Deal

Slate's Negotiation Academy: a series of podcasts that teach you how to haggle with (among others) jerks & liars, the opposite sex, real estate agents and kids.
posted by gottabefunky at 3:35 PM PST - 6 comments

In which a young girl creates a giant radish spaceship, becomes its captain, then returns two years later in a bunny outfit with super powers.

Here is the opening anime from the 20th Japan Science Fiction Convention, Daicon III (1981). And here is the follow-up anime for the 22nd convention, Daicon IV (1983). Both are loaded with pop culture references, and are (I hear) famous among Japanese anime fans. Here's some more information on them. The student animators of these shorts went on to found the anime studio GAINAX, which you may have heard of. GAINAX previously: one two
posted by JHarris at 3:18 PM PST - 22 comments

Bfxr: make sound effects

Bfxr is a web app for creating sound effects for your game or own amusement. Use the Randomize button to get started.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:59 PM PST - 24 comments

Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum

"If I Were A Poor Black Kid" by Gene Marks. "If I Were The Middle Class White Guy Gene Marks" by Kelly Virella
posted by griphus at 1:49 PM PST - 204 comments

Transatlantic Amateur Balloon

The CNSP-11 balloon from the California Near Space Project, launched from the west coast of the U.S., is now approaching the coast of Africa at 110,000 feet and 152 miles per hour. You can also follow the project on Twitter. [more inside]
posted by exogenous at 1:49 PM PST - 7 comments

Nerd Wallet: credit card comparison made easier

Nerd Wallet is a credit card comparison site that helps you filter cards based on select criteria. You can also limit your search to credit cards from credit unions. See also: the Nerd Wallet blog, with credit card industry and rewards news, and an interview with Tim Chen, founder of Nerd Wallet.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:42 PM PST - 9 comments

“Easy read” should not mean “easy write.”

One of the delights of the books and the blog is the authors’ willingness to play with ideas and consider alternative explanations. But unquestioning trust in friends and colleagues combined with the desire to be counterintuitive appear in several cases to have undermined their work. They—and anyone who wishes to convey economics and statistics to a popular audience—just need to take the next step and avoid, in any given example, privileging one story over all other possibilities.
Freakonomics: What Went Wrong?
posted by RogerB at 1:07 PM PST - 52 comments

Warning: May Contain Learning

All-American Muslim is a reality show on TLC which takes a look at life in Dearborn, Michigan--home to the largest mosque in the United States--through the lens of five Muslim American families. The participants are depicted dealing with lives far more familiar than extreme. But some are unhappy with the very existence of the series. Citing pressure from far-right wing groups, the home improvement chain Lowe’s has pulled its advertising from the show. Online, boycotts of the store, and other methods of protest, are multiplying. Meanwhile the controversy has put the show, as well as the little known group that takes credit for the Lowes advertising pull (the Florida Family Association), on the national media map.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:57 AM PST - 205 comments

Auto safety: Better Red than Dead

The Stop Sign Wasn’t Always Red. Yellow signs were used before there was a way produce a reflective material in red that would last. We have the Mississippi Valley Association of State Highway Departments to thank for the stop sign’s iconic shape. In 1923, the association developed an influential set of recommendations about street-sign shapes whose impact is still felt today. The recommendations were based on a simple, albeit not exactly intuitive, idea: the more sides a sign has, the higher the danger level it invokes. [more inside]
posted by Obscure Reference at 10:46 AM PST - 109 comments

Where Sibelius fell silent

“Our souls are worn down through continuous contact with one another,” Sibelius wrote in his diary. And: “I am building a studio for myself—at least one. Next to me are all the children whose babbling and pranks ruin everything.” But he never did build himself a studio; instead, he relocated his study upstairs and forbade the noise of any instrument while he was in the house. The children had to wait until he had gone for his daily walk to do their music practice. [more inside]
posted by smcg at 10:40 AM PST - 16 comments

NSFW: Xenomorph nerdery, along with a walk on the kinky side

Do they have odor? Is there a difference between warrior and drone aliens? How could they survive in the same form for such a long time (thousand years?) when actually they are changing their genetic code with every new host?

These are just a few of the posts on the website Alien Experience, which covers everything about the Alien and Predator creatures and movies.

But maybe you're looking for something a little different for your Xenomorph interest, something kinkier? Then read below the fold, where all links should be considered NSFW. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:37 AM PST - 24 comments

"By no means am I saying that these shows aren’t compelling. They are."

What Reality TV Does To Girls - referencing Jennifer Pozner's book and a new Girl Scout Research Institute national survey, this piece discusses "how did we get here?" and "how does this affect the viewer?" Jennifer Pozner talks about her work in Maclean's in much more depth.
posted by flex at 10:34 AM PST - 27 comments

Sending messages before texting/SMS

Teenage bicycle messengers carried messages around American cities in the early 20th century, including red light districts. Social reformer and photographer Lewis Hine documented their lives in image and text.
posted by brianogilvie at 10:06 AM PST - 20 comments

Fighting the TRUE menace

George Takei wants Star Wars and Star Trek fans to unite against the REAL enemy: Twilight. (slyt)
posted by antifuse at 8:37 AM PST - 159 comments

Abandoned Disneyland in Beijing

As you leave Beijing traveling north on the road to visit the Great Wall of China you pass by this (map). It's unguarded, and various people have explored it, reporting back. There are two theories of its demise, local farmers, or Disney.
posted by stbalbach at 7:39 AM PST - 12 comments

The Speed of Light, Caught on Film

Capturing light in motion at a trillionth of a second. MIT, using a new technique called Femto Photography, consisting of femtosecond laser illumination, picosecond-accurate detectors and mathematical reconstruction techniques, has captured the movement of pulses of light.
posted by quin at 7:31 AM PST - 32 comments

Forever Analytical

Pop song analysis, English teacher style (SLYT)
posted by litnerd at 7:28 AM PST - 39 comments

Fermented Fruits and Vegetables: a Global Perspective

Fermented Fruits and Vegetables: a Global Perspective. A comprehensive guide to pickled and fermented foods from around the world.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:13 AM PST - 39 comments

Class War: Low Wages and Beggar Thy Neighbor

A presentation by Dr. Heiner Flassbeck, a former deputy secretary in the German Ministry of Finance and currently chief economist the UN agency for World Trade and Development in Geneva. He talks about EMU and interest rates, and then links it all to class war and America.
posted by marienbad at 6:07 AM PST - 8 comments

Stan Wojenny

On December 13, 1981, Poland awoke to an announcement by Premier Wojciech Jaruzelski declaring a "state of war" (stan wojenny). Martial law would last until July 22, 1983. [more inside]
posted by orrnyereg at 5:54 AM PST - 15 comments

Wherefore art thou (probably), Higgs?

CERN has begun webcasting a public seminar in which there may or may not be some announcement regarding the significance or otherwise of recent observations regarding the possible existence of something that might be the Higgs boson. I am not a nuclear physicist, so I will try and keep up but will mainly be trying to catch the significance of the observations they have collected so far. In case these are talked about in terms of sigmas (there's scuttlebutt going around that this is a 3.5 sigma event), here's a table of sigma and probability. [more inside]
posted by carter at 4:40 AM PST - 85 comments

"Correlation may not imply causation, but it sure can help us insinuate it."

Correlation or Causation? Statistics are easy: All you need are two graphs and a leading question.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 4:09 AM PST - 29 comments

Come and see for yourself ...

On Monday, Google released Memories for the Future, a website that allows you to "... walk the scarred coastline [after the Japanese tsunami] virtually". "... it is possible to see the full extent of the damage by finding an image in Street View and then clicking the “Before” and “After” links at the top to see how the earthquake and tsunami impacted that area." The Japan Real Time blog has a good introduction and writeup.
posted by woodblock100 at 1:09 AM PST - 10 comments