December 29, 2008
Where did Venus’s water go? Water may have once been as abundant on Venus as it is on Earth. New data from the Venus Express suggests that the planet's lack of a magnetic field has allowed water in the atmosphere to be stripped apart and carried into space by the solar wind.
The Hellstrom Chronicle "The film posits a theory any science fiction buff would glom onto in a second—that dominion over the world will come down to a battle between two classes of Kingdom Animalia, Man and insects, and that insects will win." Watch on youtube, 11 parts.
Adi Da (one of the most extreme of the 20th century God-men) died on Thanksgiving. This may be a little late, and of little interest to most of you. (He had many names: Da Free John is probably the most recognizable to many of us.) He lived in luxury in Fiji, with many beautiful "consorts." There is a very extensive discussion about him and his work here. Info about his "cult" here.
The Wired Vaporware Awards, an institution since 1999 has taken some heavy hits this year, and has had to resort to some pretty naked padding to make a list (products in late beta whose release date has merely slipped? come on) – however, if there is anything that remains constant in these uncertain times we live in it is that one game rules the list, debuting in the No 2. slot in 2000, it then latched on to the top spot, with only editorial edict able to to shift it. Ladies and gentlemen, Duke Nukem - FOREVER.
Ellie Nesler, "Vigilante Mom", dead at 56. From her arrest in April 1993 to her conviction on manslaughter charges six months later, Nesler's image morphed from avenger and victim to talk-show trophy and movie-of-the-week heroine, and finally to meth-head and motorcycle mama. The movie-of-the-week earned bad reviews. Her long, strange story is over, but the son she declared she was protecting grew up to commit murder himself. In prison for 25-to-life, he has a myspace page.
TARP, SSFIP, EESA, CPP, TALF, MMIFF... Are you feeling overwhelmed by all the new acronyms coming out of the US Treasury Department lately? Here's a handy PDF reference guide to untangling the US government efforts to rescue banks, financial corporations, and other companies.
"At an age at which I should be putting on a wedding dress, I am asking for someone's eyes to be dripped with acid,"
Four years ago, a spurned suitor poured a bucket of sulfuric acid over [Ameneh Bahrami's] head, leaving her blind and disfigured. Late last month, an Iranian court ordered that five drops of the same chemical be placed in each of her attacker's eyes, acceding to Bahrami's demand that he be punished according to a principle in Islamic jurisprudence that allows a victim to seek retribution for a crime. The sentence has not yet been carried out.[more inside]
In defense of suburbs: "Revolutionary Road," based on Richard Yates's 1961 novel of the same name, is the latest entry in a long stream of art that portrays the American suburbs as the physical correlative to spiritual and mental death.
In a time of top 10 lists, there are those who aim higher: They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? maintains an annually updated list of the 1,000 greatest films ever made, as well as the 250 greatest of the 21st century. Kevin B. Lee wants to see them all. How many have you seen? (via)
Ann Savage, the femme fatale star of Edgar G. Ulmer's legendary noir Detour, died on Christmas day after a series of strokes. [more inside]
Mutton pie. An Orange organisation. A portrait size. A delicious confection Desired the world over. The true meat of this post – Inns and taverns of old London. [PDF]
We've talked about gold on Metafilter before (1 2 3), and while the price of gold as a commodity rising to record levels again, nobody is talking about the real price of gold. Unfortunately, small-scale mining is sometimes crucial to the livelihood of communities, for example in Suriname (1 2). Although there are attemps to make mining cleaner, the way growth in demand is outpacing supply, combined with the belief that it is a perceived safe-haven store of wealth, it is likely the negative effects will be with us for many decades.
Death and Life: Madison New Life Band bid farewell to Bishop Daddy Madison in Washington, D.C. Stooges Brass Band plays in New Orleans [second line].
A retro set of cocktail napkins showing Eisenhower-era damsels and drunkards, with captions by The Bard. via