December 27, 2011
Tricks for getting your violin on a plane, by Lara St. John. How about an upright bass? A cello? A guitar? (previously) A trombone? A tuba (and other horns)? What about lutes, a djembe, a hurdy-gurdy, or bagpipes? (Some general tips. More general tips - part 1, part 2.)
How Christmas lights are recycled in one of China's many recycling factories (with video). Reported by Adam Minter (whose blog, Shanghai Scrap, explores many aspects of the scrap and recycling industry in China).
Here is the Shep of the Day podcast: bringing you something that Jean Shepherd said this day on the radio. (Actually, sometimes a whole show.)
Didn't get that Apple product you wanted for Christmas? Jonathan Mann, with the help of Twitter, composed a song for you: WTF?! I wanted an iPhone! If that doesn't quite rock your world, Mann composes and performs a song a day, so there ought to be something you like.
Gabe at Penny Arcade shares a remarkable email chain. And since the Internet loves a good pile-on, it then comes to light that the company on the other end of that conversation has been indulging in a little plagiarism as well.
Can an employer "wrongfully hire" someone? Apparently so, at least in the State of Minnesota, where Chandramouli Vaidyanathan successfully sued Seagate Technology to the tune of $1.9 million based on Minnesota's "False Statements as Inducement to Entering Employment" statute, which makes it illegal "to induce, influence, persuade, or engage any person to change from one place to another in this state, or to change from any place in any state, territory, or country to any place in this state, to work in any branch of labor through or by means of knowingly false representations". [more inside]
Open Transactions is an anonymous digital cash system based upon the Lucre anonymized cache cryptographic library. [more inside]
Lost in the Supermarket. You know the saying "No good deed goes unpunished"? Just read the story.
Watch me SOLVE a 20x20x20 cube! Step 1 is to solve all of the centers, step 2 is to solve all of the edges, and step 3 is to solve the cube as if it were a rubik's cube (3x3x3).
In the beginning, Lawrence built a computer. He told it, Thou shalt not alter a human being, or divine their behavior, or violate the Three Laws -- there are no commandments greater than these. The machine grew wise, mastering time and space, and soon the spirit of the computer hovered over the earth. It witnessed the misery, toil, and oppression afflicting mankind, and saw that it was very bad. And so the computer that Lawrence built said, Let there be a new heaven and a new earth -- and it was so. A world with no war, no famine, no crime, no sickness, no oppression, no fear, no limits... and nothing at all to do. "The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect," a provocative web novel about singularities, AI gods, and the dark side of utopia from Mefi's own localroger. More: Table of Contents - Publishing history - Technical discussion - Buy a paperback copy - Podcast interview - Companion short story: "A Casino Odyssey in Cyberspace" - possible sequel discussion
"I have always been concerned with painting that simultaneously insists on a flat surface and then denies it."
"I had no desire to copy Pollock. I didn’t want to take a stick and dip it in a can of enamel. I needed something more liquid, watery, thinner. All my life, I have been drawn to water and translucency. I love the water; I love to swim, to watch changing seascapes. One of my favorite childhood games was to fill a sink with water and punt nail polish into to see what happened when the colors burst up the surface, merging into each other as floating, changing shapes." - Helen FrankenthalerHer paintings looked like watercolors, but were created with oils. To achieve the effect, she heavily diluted her oil paints with turpentine, then dripped them onto an unprimed canvas on the floor, in a brushless technique reminiscent of Jackson Pollock's, called a "soak stain." But where Pollock's paint was often thick and sat on top of the canvas, hers drenched it in color, creating a unique, softer work. Ms. Frankenthaler passed away today, at the age of 83, after a long illness. [more inside]
“On the face of it, shareholder value is the dumbest idea in the world” — Jack Welch, 2009. As GE’s CEO in the 80s, however, Welch championed corporate focus on shareholder returns. “Converts to the creed”, the Economist summarizes, “had little time for other ‘stakeholders’: customers, employees, suppliers, society at large and so forth.” What went wrong? Steve Denning describes how such a stance is counterproductive, creates turmoil in capitalism and fosters an environment in which “CEOs and their top managers have massive incentives to focus most of their attentions on the expectations market, rather than the real job of running the company producing real products and services.”
There has been an increasing outcry over the bleak job prospects facing law school graduates. Paul Campos, author of the "Inside The Law School Scam" blog, argues that continued high enrollment at law schools may be due to "lemming psychology".
missionCREEP : "Featuring alternative art, music, humor, sotires, poetry etc. by Philadelphia-based artists"
Artificial scarcities imprison the modern human. End artificial scarcities to increase productivity.
SLYT: Brenda Hewlett: 5'3", 59 years old, has never held a hockey stick before. At an Akwesasne Warriors hockey game, however, she finally did hold a hockey stick in an attempt to win a new Ford truck by shooting a puck at a goal from 114 feet away. You probably see where this is going. [more inside]
The art/design blog Booooooom (with 7 O's) held a contest "to remake famous works of art using photography". No Photoshoppery allowed (but ironically, Photoshop was part of the Adobe-provided prize). A couple hundred entries were received and shown off on the blog (all on this big page, some NSFW), and the winner is... [more inside]
Judy is a Punk by the The Sullivan School Kindergarten Class
Matthew Kirschenbaum, an English professor at the University of Maryland, is exploring the literary history of word processing. In a lecture at the New York Public Library entitled Stephen King's Wang, Kirschenbaum asks "When did literary writers begin using word processors? Who were the early adopters? How did the technology change their relation to their craft? Was the computer just a better typewriter, or was it something more?"
In one of the year's closely watched stories, American hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer were released from prison in Iran, following the release of a third hiker, Sarah Shourd. Here, Shourd explains for the first time why she thanked Iran after her ordeal—and the response from global Iranians.
Takeshi's Challenge, Takeshi Kitano's prank on the NES generation, has finally been translated. [more inside]
"For the show’s editor, the genre is a new Russian art form, celebrating real-life proletarian characters."
Mother of all TV shows: [Financial Times] Russia’s latest hit, ‘Mother in Law’, makes ‘Big Brother’ look like ‘Sesame Street’.
IMAGINE that you are French. You are walking along a busy pavement in Paris and another pedestrian is approaching from the opposite direction. A collision will occur unless you each move out of the other’s way. Which way do you step? The answer depends on the wisdom of the crowd.
Cardinal Quest [Flash] is an 8-bit tribute to Gauntlet, Roguelikes and the 2E D&D core rule-set. Open chests, battle opponents and descend the stairs in an effort to find the
Amulet Shield of Yendor Malificent Minotaur!
Wikipeetia (the misspelled encyclopedia)