December 15, 2010
Let's add some spice to this boring roller drama.
Please enjoy a bit of the (somewhat negative) oeuvre of The Misfits, chief rivals of Jem & The Holograms. Were their songs truly better? You be the judge. [more inside]
posted by mintcake! at 11:53 PM PST - 30 comments

The not so far, yet neither so near, past.
A lawfirm perusing the New York Times archives has examined how physician W. J. Mayo, famed industrialist Henry Ford, anatomist and anthropologist Arthur Keith, physicist and Nobel laureate Arthur Compton, chemist Willis R. Whitney, physicist and Nobel laureate Robert Millikan, physicist and chemist Michael Pupin, and sociologist William F. Ogburn foresaw the year 2011 from the year 1931, with commentary. [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:46 PM PST - 13 comments

School's Out For Sweet Caroline, While the Devil's Down In The Hole at the Right Place, but the Wrong Time.
MusicNewsFilter: This year's inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame are: Alice Cooper, Neil Diamond, Darlene Love, Dr. John, and Tom Waits. Among those who will have to wait until next year: Bon Jovi (in the first year he was eligible), the J. Geils Band, the Beastie Boys and Donna Summer.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:54 PM PST - 114 comments

Don't Be Vague!
Election night, Kenya, 2007. The votes roll in, and at some time around 11pm, as victory seemed imminent for the opposition candidate, all televisions in the country went black. When broadcasts resumed in the morning, the incumbent had materialized enough votes to soundly win the election. In the aftermath, a wave of violence broke out in which some 1,300 people were killed. In opposition to a domestic investigation of the violence, Kenyan MP's chanted 'Don't be vague; go to the Hague!' Now, three years later, some officials are a bit less enthusiastic. A series of articles on the ICC investigation of political violence in Kenya: I II III IV [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 6:27 PM PST - 5 comments

Trick My Brick
The Brick House is a design blog by Morgan Satterfield. The subject? "It's pretty simple: just focus on not spending over $100 on any one item."
posted by bhamrick at 5:12 PM PST - 62 comments

Have a spectrum-quantized merry Christmas
Augmented reality for the color blind. [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 5:06 PM PST - 68 comments

Fold point A to meet point B, crease.
Armor Games has just released another entry into the launch genre (Penguin Sports, Hedgehog Launch, IntoSpace, etc.) called, simply enough, Flight.
The game is wrapped around a storyline told with cutscenes, starting with a girl who wants her mother home for Christmas. Folding the letter into a paper airplane, she launches it out the window, where it travels around the world, with others adding their wishes to it. As with other launch variants, boosters keep you aloft, and you can purchase upgrades adding to - and replacing - your plane. [more inside]
posted by Old'n'Busted at 4:58 PM PST - 28 comments

"In a mass marketing culture a revolutionary song is any song you choose to sing yourself." - Utah Phillips
Full Utah Phillips concert from 2007: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. If you don't know who Utah Phillips is, be prepared to meet one of the great performers of our age, telling funny stories and cracking jokes, singing great songs, and generally being a world treasure. If you want to know more about this great singer, songwriter, and peace and labor activist, you can watch an hour long documentary on him from Democracy Now that was made after he passed away in 2008. [previously]
posted by Kattullus at 4:45 PM PST - 26 comments

Papal gymnasticis
Papal gymnastics. Just your typical day at the Vatican. Topless muscle-bound gymnasts perform for the Pope, appreciative cardinals and waving nuns. Make your own jokes.
posted by illy at 4:42 PM PST - 48 comments

Does the language we speak shape our thoughts? - An online debate
Does the language we speak shape our thoughts? The Economist is hosting an interactive online debate running all this week. Lena Boroditsky, a Stanford psychologist, supports the motion that it does, while Mark Liberman, a linguist from the Univ of Pennsylvania opposes it. Elsewhere you can read a WSJ article in which among other things Boroditsky argues that Japanese and Spanish speakers have a different sense of blame, and listen to a lively in-depth seminar at the Long Now Foundation. All her articles and papers are available in PDF online.
posted by philipy at 4:35 PM PST - 72 comments

Get Out of the Van!
Better Than the Van - free places to stay for bands on tour. Sorta like Couchsurfing, but for travelling musicians.
posted by dobbs at 3:41 PM PST - 16 comments

Harriers fly into the sunset
The Harrier Jump Jet makes its final flight over England. The venerable Jump Jet, famous for its hovering capability, is to be decommissioned - along with the aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal - as part of Britain's cost-cutting measures. It will be replaced by the F35 Joint Strike Fighter. Another story w/video. Is this "the beginning of the end of plane-making in Britain"? [more inside]
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:13 PM PST - 41 comments

"Take a step or two forward, lads. It will be easier that way."
Robert Erskine Childers was the creator of the modern spy novel, a loyal son of Empire, a fierce exponent of Irish Home Rule, an excellent sailor, a gunrunner, an Anti-Treaty partisan. He died by firing squad in 1922.
posted by Iridic at 2:56 PM PST - 11 comments

still not pornography
The music video (SLYT) for the New Pornographers' single "Sweet Talk, Sweet Talk" turns the cheerful, bouncy pop tune into an elegy for the ravaged Gulf Coast. (The NPs previously.)
posted by eugenen at 2:19 PM PST - 23 comments

Irreducible Human Dignity
Need a little political philosophy? Why not try this conversation on economics, the human person and democracy between conservative Catholic legal scholar Robert George and the always fascinating African-American studies professor and philosopher Cornel West? [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:52 PM PST - 8 comments

bolo'bolo
bolo`bolo is a book about an anarchist utopia, the name of the utopia itself and the plural of that utopia's organizational unit - the bolo. ... Bolo`bolo is also a plan for a transformation from our current state, the planetary work-machine, to another social organization mode based on local organization and a microclimate of cultures that form the unit of social cohesion.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:17 PM PST - 100 comments

Meanwhile, on the Internet...
Today the Internet affords you the opportunity to watch a ladybug play with sprinkles!! (SYTL)
posted by SkylitDrawl at 12:20 PM PST - 79 comments

Where we are. Who we are.
The New York Times presents an interactive map of America's population separated by race, income, and education, according to census data from 2005 to 2009. One dot for every 50 people. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by schmod at 12:08 PM PST - 81 comments

The dignity and gravitas of zoo animals
Menagerie is a an exhibition of black-and-white portraits of of zoo animals by Anne Berry. Ms. Berry uncovers a deep gravitas in her animal subjects hauntingly reminiscent of Civil War daugeurrotypes (like this rhinocerous) or the breezier portraits of Margaret Cameron (like this deer). (Whatever you do, don't miss the gorilla.)
posted by Faze at 12:07 PM PST - 10 comments

Sweden: police, rules and how to pass your time in winter
Not in the headlines: Swedish parlor philosophy of fair play, law and order, slooowly explained by police chief John Lind. [more inside]
posted by Namlit at 11:33 AM PST - 10 comments

It's about the conceptual effects of masturbation and I need $4000 to fund it
United States Artists is a new Kickstarter-style funding network specifically for artists. USArtists is partially funded by Mark Bradford. Bradford's involving site is here, but be aware that it autoplays chill-out music and is FLASH INTENSIVE.
posted by klangklangston at 11:30 AM PST - 9 comments

Universal instant transcription
The Speakularity is coming. So says (MeFi's own) Matt Thompson of NPR, posting at NiemanLab as part of its series, Predictions for Journalism 2011. Constant social feedback plus machine learning could improve automatic speech transcription to the point where it’s finally ready for prime time. And when it does, the default expectation for recorded speech will be that it’s searchable and readable, nearly in the instant. I know this sounds totally retrograde, but I think it’s something like the future.
posted by beagle at 10:51 AM PST - 21 comments

What They've Learned
For their January 2011 "Meaning of Life" issue, Esquire has relaunched their "What I've Learned" online archive featuring "wisdom and damn good advice from more than a dozen years" of 300+ celebrity interviews. Plus a video starring Daniella Ruah, of the show NCIS: Los Angeles, lip-synching advice from the archive: The Greatest Things Ever Said. (Video) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:44 AM PST - 18 comments

A strange social fact that stands in need of explanation
The death penalty in America is “a strange social fact that stands in need of explanation.” John Paul Stevens served as Associate Supreme Court Justice from 1975 to 2010 and became a beacon for progressive and liberals. Here he writes on the death penalty, reviewing David Garland’s new book Peculiar Institution: America’s Death Penalty in an Age of Abolition.
posted by JL Sadstone at 10:19 AM PST - 55 comments

Keep It Short And Descriptive
The Bra Mask. The Youth Condom. The Train That Never Stops. The Meat Dress. The New York Times' unveils The 10th Annual Year In Ideas. (Including The Megalobster!)
posted by Scoop at 10:02 AM PST - 39 comments

Time's 2010 Person of the Year
"For connecting more than half a billion people and mapping the social relations among them; for creating a new system of exchanging information; and for changing how we all live our lives, Mark Elliot Zuckerberg is TIME's 2010 Person of the Year."
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:44 AM PST - 254 comments

Twitter Round Up
Twitter Year in Review. The 10 Most Retweeted tweets of 2010. And The 10 Most Powerful tweets of 2010. [Via]
posted by morganannie at 7:36 AM PST - 67 comments

Besides the extended ranges, the railgun also improves safety.
The railgun is a long-range, high-energy gun launch system that uses electricity rather than gunpowder or rocket motors to launch projectiles capable of striking a target at a range of more than 200 nautical miles with Mach 7 velocity. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice at 7:00 AM PST - 126 comments

Casinos: not the fortresses they pretend to be
After hearing of a recent heist in which a bandit wearing a motorcycle helmet robbed the Bellagio of $1.5 million in chips (the 10th Vegas casino robbery this year), I remembered the scene from Ocean's 11 where Reuben expounds upon why it is nigh impossible to steal from a Las Vegas casino. But that simply isn't true. Granted, no one has infiltrated a casino for a massive $160 million haul, but sizable losses have occurred over the years: 18 Casino Heists: The Strange, The Surgical, and The Stupid; 5 Most Famous Casino Heists in History, Top 10: Epic Las Vegas Heists; 13 Real Heists from Around the World (there is duplication of mentioned events on these sites, as well as non-casino-related crimes). Casino Security (Wiki) may be high tech (Google .pdf quickview), but it's not unbeatable (Casino insider tells (almost) all about security). Of course, there are other ways to steal from a casino, but you might still get caught. And it's hard to find much lore about successful robberies, mostly because casinos don't want that kind of publicity. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 6:53 AM PST - 37 comments

And a little child will lead them
Do you use Boy Words or Girl Words? My point is that kids get it. That this world is changing and that kids GET it. There are kids being raised to simply ask about gender if they are uncertain. Have you ever heard a person refrain from using a pronoun for an entire conversation instead of asking? It’s one of the most awkward things ever. Kids aren’t OK with that nonsense. They just ask. Via.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:45 AM PST - 188 comments

The Christmas Gig
(American Big Box Retailer) Target's recent holiday TV spots feature original music from several indie music acts, including Guster, Bishop Allen, and Blackalicious. They've collected the songs from the ads, plus several more, into a free-to-download album. [Direct Download if you're squicky about visting Target's site] [more inside]
posted by snapped at 6:40 AM PST - 38 comments

Hanging around longer than you might have thought
In 2002, the Hartlepool United F.C mascot, H'Angus the Monkey (so named because local fishermen once hanged a monkey in the mistaken belief it was a Napoleonic spy), was elected to the office of Mayor of Hartlepool with promises of free bananas for schoolchildren. In 2010, the man behind the monkey suit, Stuart Drummond, was elected for his third term and has been voted among the ten best mayors in the world. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 4:29 AM PST - 16 comments

Around and around and around we go.
Anémic Cinéma is the only film that Marcel Duchamp is credited with directing.
It's a short, just over six minutes, and was made using rotoreliefs.
You can play with some here and here.
Optical illusions present images which are "true" but inconsistent.
Inconsistency, Anemic Cinema, and the Rotoreliefs - Michael Betancourt. (Duchamp previously 1; 2;)
posted by adamvasco at 4:09 AM PST - 4 comments

Huge email database hacked
Silverpop Systems Inc, an email marketing firm with 105 customers has had its database systems hacked last week. [more inside]
posted by ArkhanJG at 12:45 AM PST - 49 comments