December 31, 2012

Dark Ecology

If you think you can magic us out of the progress trap with new ideas or new technologies, you are wasting your time. If you think that the usual “campaigning” behavior is going to work today where it didn’t work yesterday, you will be wasting your time. If you think the machine can be reformed, tamed, or defanged, you will be wasting your time. If you draw up a great big plan for a better world based on science and rational argument, you will be wasting your time. If you try to live in the past, you will be wasting your time. If you romanticize hunting and gathering or send bombs to computer store owners, you will be wasting your time. And so I ask myself: what, at this moment in history, would not be a waste of my time?
posted by latkes at 11:16 PM PST - 149 comments

2013 real estate and economy predictions

Garth Turner, the former politician and now cranky (but funny and more or less accurate) blogger opines on real estate and the economy for 2013.
posted by anothermug at 5:27 PM PST - 26 comments

Not so much play through as muddle through

Raynoth and Zelanna are buddies, play videogames together (badly), then make Youtube videos out of them. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 4:39 PM PST - 1 comments

Guess My Word!

Guess My Word!I'm thinking of an uncapitalized English word, which you can try to guess. I'll tell you if my word is before or after your guess in alphabetical order. My word can be of any length from 1 to 15 letters. If my word starts with your word (e.g. my word is "cottage" and you guess "cot"), then it is considered to be after your word. You can only guess English words. The goal is to guess my word in as short a time as possible, or in as few guesses as possible, or whatever else you want to set as your goal. For leaderboard purposes, your time (starting when you make your first guess) and number of guesses will be tracked, but entering your name on the leaderboard is optional. There will be a new word every day.FAQ
posted by not_on_display at 4:05 PM PST - 195 comments

The Ultimate List of Gawker Media Longreads

The Ultimate List of Gawker Media Longreads for 2012
posted by reenum at 3:39 PM PST - 15 comments

Damn fine year for outer space achievements and photos

The year in space, according to NASA and the ESA, along with the best space photos of 2012.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:57 PM PST - 8 comments

Samsāra or The Ever Turning Wheel of Life

It's the end of the year again - a new end and a new beginning - but just one bit of Samsāra, a word that means "the ever turning wheel of life" in Sanskrit and that's also the name of the ...spiritual documentary maybe? (trailer) recently released by the makers of Baraka (previously) and Chronos. Visually excitable people will pop their eyes with pleasure at the 4K shooting, but there's (a lot, lot) more than meets the eyes. It's presently screening in the U.S. and other countries and I can't help recommending it to anybody. Happy 2013!
posted by elpapacito at 2:09 PM PST - 13 comments

Michael Buerk Attacks BBC, the media, the privately educated, and inequality

Michael Buerk: ""The arts, low and high, are dominated by them. The BBC is a private-school old boys' and girls' association. They edit most newspapers, even the Leftish Daily Mirror and the Guardian", he wrote."

Buerk also criticised the BBC's coverage of the Jubilee : "saying it was "cringingly inept" and had left him ashamed."

Michael Buerk rants about the BBC, the media and the UK.
posted by marienbad at 1:25 PM PST - 54 comments

Fiscal Cliff Notes

One of those inevitable year-end traditions is Lake Superior State University's List of Banished Words, led this year by the currently ubiquitous "Fiscal Cliff", followed by the related political/economic shorthand "Kick the Can Down the Road". Of course, "YOLO" is on the list (as I predicted), along with "Double Down" (surprisingly NOT in reference to the KFC menu item), "Job Creators", "Spoiler Alert", "Bucket List", "Guru" (didn't Mike Myers kill that word in 2008?), the marketing-speak "Superfood", the twitter-driven verbed noun "Trending", the oxymoronic "Boneless Wings" and this year's pick for 'word that has lost all meaning': "Passionate". Of course, Your Mileage May Vary (YMMV, an acronym not yet banned, but give it time...)
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:16 PM PST - 70 comments

Not like the other bands

Teeth of the Sea are a quartet of clean-cut young men from North London. They work in shops. Together, they make a near indescribable noise, a bit like Sketches of Spain-era Miles Davis recordings reimagined by slightly scary, 30-something metalheads with a thing for Euro-sleaze cinema, cheap lager, philosophy and noise rock. They are, genuinely, not like other bands. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 12:24 PM PST - 9 comments

Perfect timing

People taking photos :
9:03AM 9/11.
The 2004 Tsunami.
This was taken a second before a lightning strike the hikers. The kid on the left died.
6 bolts hitting the water at the same time.
Diet Coke & Mentos (click on pix to see the second candy).
Bored.
Gray squirrel leaping between two trees. 8 lives left.
Throw ups: A baby, a seaman, a group photo.
Fencing.
…I took a picture w/ no flash at the same time someone took a picture w/ flash[more inside]
posted by growabrain at 12:07 PM PST - 44 comments

Because because because

Why electronic devices are dangerous on planes.
posted by Artw at 11:40 AM PST - 167 comments

The Lives They Lived

The New York Times Magazine's latest issue, The Lives They Lived, is a tribute to cultural icons that have died in 2012. Adam Yauch, a.k.a MCA of the Beastie Boys, is featured on the cover. [more inside]
posted by danny the boy at 11:34 AM PST - 19 comments

Twelve Missives from the Roi des Belges

Perched high up above the Thames in downtown London every month this past year a different writer has spent four days living in a replica of the Roi des Belges, the boat Marlow travels up the Congo in Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness. Each author would write a short text during their stay "which explores London, rivers, the work of Joseph Conrad, or even all three." They would be visited on the last day by a journalist from The Guardian who recorded them reading their essay, poem or short story. Among the poets, historians and novelists were Adonis, Jeanette Winterson, Teju Cole, Michael Ondaatje and Kamila Shamsie. These recordings, each prefaced by a short interview, are all available on the Guardian website, to stream or download. Below the cut there is a link to each recording, with a short description. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 10:25 AM PST - 7 comments

Artistic SeaSnails build other shells into their shells SL

Artistic SeaSnails build other shells into their shells SL
posted by maiamaia at 8:52 AM PST - 28 comments

Bye Bye Netbook Bye Bye

2012: The year that netbooks Died. A five-year lifespan turned out to be all that netbooks got. Acer and Asus are stopping manufacture from 1 January 2013 - ending what once looked like the future of computing.
posted by adamvasco at 8:44 AM PST - 197 comments

Clever Critters

Trickmousing: mice doing tricks, being awesome. [more inside]
posted by quin at 7:17 AM PST - 29 comments

“So your wallet is in your pocket?”

Apollo Robbins is a spectacular pickpocket whose work extends to neuroscience, the military and magic.
posted by xowie at 7:12 AM PST - 27 comments

What do a cake, a runner, a rainbow and a kalashnikov have in common

10 Contested African Images of 2012
posted by litleozy at 3:47 AM PST - 33 comments

On freezing to death.

The cold hard facts of freezing to death. "The cold remains a mystery, more prone to fell men than women, more lethal to the thin and well muscled than to those with avoirdupois, and least forgiving to the arrogant and the unaware"
posted by zoo at 3:40 AM PST - 86 comments

La Madonna Inn E Mobile

Aria was an art movie/promotional stunt put out by Virgin Media in 1987 with famous directors providing a music-video take on various opera pieces. ( A full review by That Opera Chick). Of particular note is Julien Temple's (Of Earth Girls Are Easy fame) adaptation of Verdi's Rigoletto as a zany, cartoonish, ecstasy-fueled and very 80s farce set at the infamous Madonna Inn. Watch the whole delirious sequence here.
posted by The Whelk at 3:32 AM PST - 14 comments

Sounds like a mountain range in love

Mike Auldridge, the influential dobro player has died. While he played with many people over the years (Emmylou Harris, Vince Gill, etc.), he was a long standing member of bluegrass band The Seldom Scene (caution, autoplay music). Here is The Seldom Scene playing 'Rider,' Mike takes a solo at about 6:40. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise at 3:20 AM PST - 10 comments

Gregor MacGregor the Cacique of Poyais

In 1820 Gregor MacGregor, chieftain of the Central American principality of Poyais arrived in London and explained his problem: his principality had a fine climate, friendly natives, and a democratic government, but it needed investors and settlers to help develop it and exploit its abundant natural resources. To this end his government was to issue a £200,000 bond which would pay off at a generous 6%, as well as land rights for a modest 3 shillings an acre. MacGregor would eventually raise funds worth £3.2 billion -at today's prices- for the entirely fictional principality; this makes him arguably the most successful con-men of all time. [more inside]
posted by rongorongo at 1:11 AM PST - 16 comments