December 21, 2010
The UConn Women's basketball team just won 89 games in a row. Doing this broke a 36 year old NCAA record. [more inside]
Getting to advanced reading level content. As pioneered by Adrien Chen of Gawker, by far the most interesting application of the tool is its ability to rate the overall level of material on any given site, simply by dropping site: [domain.com] into the search box.
Extra, by Ken Ishii. [NSFW]
Vanishing Act. Paul Collins tells the story of Barbara Newhall Follett. The daughter of authors Wilson Follett and Helen Follett, Barbara began writing at the age of 4. As she grew older, she developed a private language of her own, evolved from her view of the world of nature. Her first book, The House Without Windows, was published when she was twelve. In December 1939 Barbara walked out of her apartment and was never seen again. "Some prodigies flourish, some disappear. But Barbara did leave one last comment to the world about writing—a brief piece in a 1933 issue of Horn Book that earnestly recommends that parents give their own children typewriters. 'Perhaps there would simply be a terrific wholesale destruction of typewriters,' she admits. 'An effort would have to be made to impress upon children that a typewriter is magic.'" The entirety of her known writings now resides in six boxes at the Columbia University Rare Book & Manuscript Library. (via longreads)
DANCING ALONE TO PONY (somewhat NSFW due to solitary bumping and grinding)
When you see a song from 1924 called "Keep My Skillet Good and Greasy", you just wanna hear it, right? Then, maybe, read some contemporary observations on it. [more inside]
"This page shows a scale model of the solar system, shrunken down to the point where the Sun, normally more than eight hundred thousand miles across, is the size you see it here. The planets are shown in corresponding scale." [more inside]
A space wardrobe - images of the National Air and Space Museum’s collection of spacesuits from throughout the history of American space exploration.
Neal Fegan, of the Montana Transit Authority, designs custom-built, one-of-a-kind velocipedes with an 8-point steering system. [more inside]
"The Star Wars Christmas Special" by Gamervision finally rights the wrong that was "The Star Wars Holiday Special" (which is available on YouTube, should you want to go there: Part 1, Part 2, & Part 3).
"And she was like 'oh my gosh I'm going to have the son of God'. And then she was like 'no I can't, I'm not married and stuff.'" The Christmas story, told by Kiwi kids.
The fitness enthusiast. The pundits. The blogger. The celebutante. —Webcomicker Dylan Meconis (of Portland's own Periscope Studio) has been dragging the Danse Macabre into the new millennium, one day at a time.
The anti-gay donations that Target apologized for? They never stopped.
1884: Yesterday's Future. A story of outstanding heroism in the face of deception, subterfuge and treachery. Conjuring up the belief that it was made forty years before film was even invented, 1884: Yesterdays Future tells of a future that might have been but never was. Directed by Tim Ollive, the film is a mix of animation, puppetry and two dimensional and three dimensional computer generated imagery (CGI) set against backgrounds created using stunning artwork, model sets and period photographs from the Hulton Picture Library division of Getty Images. [more inside]
Welcome to the Hunger Games. Some call this trilogy the next Twilight, though others beg to differ. Either way, Stephenie Meyer is a fan (as is Stephen King) and the upcoming movie is generating all kinds of buzz, even two-plus years before its scheduled debut. [more inside]
30 Years of BAD National Geographic Pictures - Some of the highlights of Bruce Dale's 30 year career at National Geographic including 10 trips to China beginning in the late 1970's, the hologram cover for the 100th anniversary edition, and mounting a camera on the tail of a jumbo jet for in-flight photographs.
(NSFW) In the 1980's, a brilliant university student named Issei Sagawa went ahead and killed and, uhm, ate one of his fellow classmates. VBS TV interviews Issei Sagawa, who became a celebrity in Japan after walking free, having been deemed "sane, but evil" by a team of psychologists in France. "Was Sagawa suffering from a mental disorder? Was he really a sexual psychopath? Probably both. By his own admission, Issei Sagawa says that he had to possess a caucasian woman completely, and the only way this overwhelming need could be truly satisfied was by eating her." [more inside]
In 1933, a mysterious benefactor posted an ad in the local Canton, Ohio paper, offering some Christmas funds to people who might otherwise shy away from asking for aid, even in those tough times. That Anonymous Giver went by the pseudonym "Mr. B. Virdot," and ended up giving some money to 150 families and people in town who wrote in with their personal stories. The unknown person's identity was never revealed, and his true identity was not even known to his grandson, until the mysterious benefactor's daughter gave her son, Ted Gup, a battered suitcase full of letters and checks signed by "Mr. B. Virdot". The mysterious man was Samuel J. Stone, a Jewish man whose family had fled Romania when he was young. Stone had done well in the United States, and owned a small chain of clothing stores in 1933. The story of the mysterious gifts hasn't faded from Canton, and on November 5 of this year, Stone's grandson, Gup, gave a public talk to the community and decedents of the original recipients of Virdot's gifts. And now, Canton residents are bringing back the spirit of Virdot. [more inside]
Amazing 450 page presentation created in Google Docs. From Google Demo Slam: three animators took three days to create a presentation that would make Powerpoint and Keynote cry. via Engadget
Sherman's March and America is a digital representation of historian Anne Sarah Rubin's project on how Americans have remembered General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea in 1864. The funnest part are the interactive maps. Clicking on the yellow-highlighted pins opens up a video exploring the significance of that spot on the map. Each map represents a different genre of memories of the march (civilian, soldiers, fiction, etc). My favorite is the narrative of the events in Milledgeville, Georgia on the Soldiers Map, featuring plastic toy soldiers and burning cardboard buildings.
The final data for the 2010 Census has just been released, showing the last decade's trends in population, growth and diversity. [more inside]
Brian Burke is tormented by how much terror you can squeeze into ten seconds. Ten seconds in a car careening into oncoming traffic on a stretch of Indiana highway just shy of the Ohio border. Ten seconds sailing sideways through sheets of falling snow, straight at a reinforced truck. Ten seconds with the same unthinkable ending every time. [more inside]
Idris Elba was cast to portray Heimdall in the upcoming Thor movie. This has got the Council of Conservative Citizens (an American white nationalist group) all in a tizzy, since traditionally the Norse gods were all white, since Norsemen were, well... just about all white. Gabe raises the point - can a racist clock be right twice a day? via
The space given to Jafar Panahi in Tehran's Museum of Cinema is much larger than his cell in prison.
Jafar Panahi is back in prison. The acclaimed Iranian director, one of the leading figures in the Iranian New Wave, was jailed this week for six years — and banned from filmmaking for 20 years — after his prosecution for allegedly working on a film about the disputed Iranian presidential election of 2009. (The New Republic recently trumpeted his status as "the filmmaker laureate of The Green Movement.") Another filmmaker, Muhammad Rasoulof, received a six-year sentence on similar charges. "This is a catastrophe for Iran's cinema," Columbia University professor Hamid Dabashi told the Guardian. [more inside]
Baltimore scandal! Denise Whiting, the owner of Cafe Hon and originator of "Hon Fest" has stirred up controversy in Charm City by trademarking "Hon". People are really, really, up in arms, including the editorial writers of the Baltimore Sun and another business down the street. Denise Whiting responds. More of her defense here.
"I can sense stars, and their whispers amid the roaring of our own Sun." So goes one poetic status of the Voyager 2 twitterfeed, which appeals to my sense of wonder like nothing else on the internet. Interstellar space probes and microblogging go hand in hand in the 21st Century.
Thought to be first entered in April 2009 by a team of British explorers, Hang Son Doong is now believed to be the world's largest cave. Interactive map.
It's crazy how a simple mirror filter can transform a video into something else. (via.) [more inside]
Dsankt (previously, previously-er) explored the Paris Metro for quite some time, and came back with great photos and a series of posts on what's down there. [more inside]