Rails-to-Trails Essentially Told To Take A Hike
"For all I know, there is some right of way that goes through people's houses, you know," Justice Stephen Breyer said, "and all of a sudden, they are going to be living in their house and suddenly a bicycle will run through it."
The Supreme Court struck a decisive (8-1) blow against rails-to-trails programs today with its ruling on Marvin Brandt Revocable Trust v. United States
. [more inside]
posted by entropicamericana at 12:37 PM - 19 comments
The Waboba ("WAter BOuncing BAll")
, has attracted all sorts of fans since it went into production over five years ago. Now it can count one more: The U.S. Navy
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 12:02 PM - 3 comments
"Armed with Science,"
is a new science-focused TV show developed by two of the Department of Defense's in-house research laboratories and the Pentagon. They have always developed some crazy tech work, like perception tests on their robots
. If Skynet is going to be real, I think these are the agencies that will put the terminators online.
posted by nealrodriguez at 8:59 AM - 4 comments
Photojournal of Spain's new squatters: families, young professionals, degree-holders, single mothers, the elderly. "I have grandchildren," she says. "When I die I would like to be able to say to myself that they will have jobs, homes and a happy life. The corralas are important. They set an example to people who are struggling. They show that we can help ourselves and each other. I don't know what the future will hold for any of us, but one way or another I believe that this will be a successful fight. I have to, otherwise I wouldn't be able to sleep at night." [more inside]
posted by alona at 8:48 AM - 5 comments
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of the classic Infocom text adventure based on "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy."
To celebrate, BBC has put up a "spit and polish" refresh of the game, playable in your browser
. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 6:43 AM - 56 comments
Pour out a little Chinaco
The godfather of liberal bloggers, Terry R. Coppage, aka Bartcop, passed away
Bartcop was a snarky, no-holds barred, riotous – at times mean-spirited, but never untruthful – oasis of hilarity and vitriol, where politicians and a compliant media were called out for their bullshit. Along with Media Whores Online (‘The Horse”), no journalist was ever again safe from having their stories fact-checked online and then held up to ridicule.
Bartcop was the brainchild of Terry R. Coppage, based out of his beloved and sometimes mocked Tulsa, Oklahoma home. Terry was fearless in a way that other media critics couldn’t be for a simple reason: he wasn’t angling to move up the fawning beltway food chain with a guest spot at The Washington Post. He didn’t pull punches and he called bullshit for what it was: “bullshit.”
The site was crude, the graphics sometimes even cruder (I have a special place in my heart for his animated gif of Tim Russert repeating “Clinton’s cock” over and over and over again), but most importantly it dispensed with the niceties with a wicked grin with a well-placed deflating shiv between the ribs.
posted by sensate at 5:26 AM - 19 comments
The fascinating thing about the sexist Dutch slur kenau
-- aimed at women deemed too aggressive or bossy -- is that it originated as the given name of a heroine of the Eighty Years War, Kenau Simonsdochter Hasselaer
who during the 1573 Siege of Haarlem led a monstrous regiment of women in defence of her home town
against the Spanish oppressor. Last week a movie was released retelling her legend
, which prompted the Haarlem Frans Hals Museum to create a short documentary about her, Kenau: heroine or harridan
, looking at the historical truth of Kenau Hasselaer's life, which has been subtitled in English.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:36 AM - 13 comments
“The good news is that there are solutions. The weakness of mass surveillance is that it can very easily be made much more expensive through changes in technical standards: pervasive end-to-end encryption can quickly make indiscriminate surveillance impossible on a cost-effective basis. The result is that governments are likely to fall back to traditional, targeted surveillance founded upon an individualized suspicion. Governments cannot risk the discovery of their exploits by simply throwing attacks at every “endpoint,” or computer processor on the end of a network connection, in the world. Mass surveillance, passive surveillance, relies upon unencrypted or weakly encrypted communications at the global network level.
Edward Snowden submits written testimony to an EU committee investigating mass surveillance, and answers questions.
The testimony takes place 3 days ahead of his highly anticipated SXSW appearance, to take place later today. Snowden is expected to speak about privacy, security, mass surveillance programs, free speech and whistle-blowing in a rare remote video appearance before a live audience.
Kansas Congressman Mike Pompeo finds this “deeply troubling” in a letter he's sent to the organizers of the conference.
Meanwhile, people who wish to #asksnowden questions can use the hashtag on Twitter. The talk is to take place at 12pm PT, today.
posted by fantodstic at 3:32 AM - 45 comments
Postal History Corner: Canadian Postal and Philatelic History
is chock full of fascinating information and high quality images and has been doing so for four years. [more inside]
posted by Mizu at 3:10 AM - 4 comments
Adam Lanza's father, Peter Lanza, speaks with the New Yorker
, his first interview since the Sandy Hook shootings.
posted by skycrashesdown at 9:36 PM - 67 comments
Charlene deGuzman and Miles Crawford settle that age-old question, "What should we eat?" With drums.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 8:41 PM - 10 comments
A catalog of places that used to be a Pizza Hut.
The iconic "Red Roof" design was the subject of a recent episode
of 99% Invisible (previously
posted by Cash4Lead at 7:21 PM - 64 comments
So, your boat - the MS Pride of Calais
or Ostend Spirit - is off to be scrapped. How do you park it at the scrap yard; delicately and gently? Maybe not
posted by Wordshore at 6:49 PM - 31 comments
Inside The One-Man Intelligence Unit That Exposed The Secrets And Atrocities Of Syria's War
He had no formal intelligence training or security clearance that gave him access to classified documents. He could not speak or read Arabic. He had never set foot in the Middle East, unless you count the time he changed planes in Dubai en route to Manila, or his trip to visit his in-laws in Turkey.
Yet in the 18 months since Higgins had begun blogging about Syria, his barebones site, Brown Moses [previously], had become the foremost source of information on the weapons used in Syria's deadly war. Using nothing more sophisticated than an Asus laptop, he had uncovered evidence of weapons imported into Syria from Iran. He had been the first person to identify widely-banned cluster bombs deployed by Syrian forces. By The New York Times' own admission, his findings had offered a key tip that helped the newspaper prove that Saudi Arabia had funneled arms to opposition fighters in Syria. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:05 PM - 10 comments
Milk products and production relationships.
An elaborate, color-coded Wikipedia diagram showing both common pathways such as raw milk
, and more esoteric pathways to products such as quark
, pasta filata
, and schmand
posted by grouse at 3:46 PM - 26 comments
"In 1986, Californian legislators created the State Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility... [Its] final report became a the foundational works of the self-esteem movement. It concluded that:
"Self-esteem is the likeliest candidate for a social vaccine, something that empowers us to live responsibly and that inoculates us against the lures of crime, violence, substance abuse, teen pregnancy, child abuse, chronic welfare dependency and educational failure. The lack of self-esteem is central to most personal and social ills plaguing our state and nation as we approach the end of the 20th century."
Is the relentless pursuit of self-esteem really all cracked up to be? The man who destroyed America's ego
tells the story of social psychologist Roy Baumeister, and how his efforts have shed light on some of the core tenets of the self-esteem movement. (via
) [more inside]
posted by tybeet at 3:33 PM - 43 comments
Are you a fan of inventive, black-humored sci-fi/fantasy animation? Desperate to fill the Futurama-shaped hole in your heart? Look no further than Rick and Morty
, the superb new Adult Swim series from animator Justin "Lemongrab" Roiland and Community darling Dan Harmon
. Inspired by a (terrible and very NSFW) Back To The Future knock-off
, the show pairs a naïve young teen (Morty) with his cynical, alcoholic, mad scientist grandfather (Rick), each episode exploring a trope -- dreams, aliens, innerspace, parallel universes, virtual reality -- and turning it inside-out with intricate plotting
, eye-catching art
, and dark, whipsmart humor
(with plenty of improvisation
along the way). A ratings hit
already secured for a second season
, the show returns from an Olympics-induced hiatus tomorrow -- in the meantime, why not sample the six episodes aired so far: Pilot
- Lawnmower Dog
- Anatomy Park
- M. Night Shaym-Aliens!
- Meeseeks and Destroy
- Rick Potion #9
. Want more? Promo/highlight reel
- AV Club reviews
- Rick & Morty ComicCon panel
- Storyboard Test
- Soundtrack samples
- Play the "Rushed Licensed Adventure" point-and-click game
posted by Rhaomi at 2:20 PM - 41 comments
Finite time blowup for an averaged three-dimensional Navier-Stokes equation
- "[Terence Tao
] has shown that in an alternative abstract universe closely related to the one described by the Navier-Stokes
equations, it is possible for a body of fluid to form a sort of computer, which can build a self-replicating fluid robot that, like the Cat in the Hat
, keeps transferring its energy to smaller and smaller copies of itself until the fluid 'blows up
.' " [1
posted by kliuless at 1:49 PM - 13 comments
on the blue. Raphael Pirker, a.k.a. "Trappy" was the first person ever to to fined by the FAA for the commercial operation of a drone. However, instead of paying up, Pirker decided to contest the ruling with a little pro bono legal help
. Last Thursday evening, the judge issued his ruling
. The judge dismissed the FAA's case
, agreeing with the defense that since the FAA never created any legally binding rules for small drones to begin with, they cannot now apply rules that would be used for a pilot flying a full size manned aircraft to drone operators.
For now, the ruling means that commercial operation of SUAS
in the United States is, basically
, legal. Within 24 hours of the ruling, the FAA appealed
the case to entire board of the NTSB.
SUAS experimenters who have been waiting in the wings are pleased with the ruling
posted by smoothvirus at 1:42 PM - 10 comments
Cultural production of ignorance provides rich field for study.
'Proctor, a professor of the history of science at Stanford, is one of the world's leading experts in agnotology
, a neologism signifying the study of the cultural production of ignorance. It's a rich field, especially today when whole industries devote themselves to sowing public misinformation and doubt about their products and activities.' [LATimes link, use privacy setting in browser for access] [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:59 PM - 19 comments
David Wasting Paper
queries 200+ illustrators
, comic book
, and editorial
cartoonists on their trade, tools, favorite things, and more in his compulsively readable Cartoonist Survey
) [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:59 AM - 3 comments
After the success of releasing the television pilot for Battlestar Galactica
in movie theaters (in Sensurround
) in 1978, Universal Pictures decided on a theatrical release for it's other
science fiction TV series: Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
. The film version of the pilot was essentially the same as what later appeared on NBC... except with a very different style of opening credits
and theme song
posted by jca at 9:14 AM - 77 comments
The Sun's page 3
has been featuring nude women since the 1970s. Last week the British newspaper teamed up with CoppaFeel
, a young charity for breast cancer awareness, to inspire women to touch their own breasts. The headline reads "Page 3 v breast cancer", next to a model in a pair of underpants who barely covers her breasts. Readers are encouraged to ‘Check ‘Em Tuesday’ and post pics on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #checkemtuesday.
While some applaud
the newspaper for putting an important women’s health issue on the front page, others are against the sexist representation of women
and concerned it could trivialize breast cancer
Not only due to the titillating images on page 3, The Sun's readership is still mostly male. So does this campaign exist for women?
posted by travelwithcats at 8:29 AM - 52 comments
Each week for a year, the folks in the special collections library at the University of St. Andrews are taking a how-to book from the collection and following its instructions for a project, in order to get a clearer sense of what life was like a century or two ago. Thus far in 52 Weeks of Historical How-Tos
, they've learned how to make shoe polish like an 1825 footman
, bake mince pie from 10 different recipes dating from 1710-1862
, perform parlour tricks to amaze your friends
, and take photographs via the wet collodion process
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:57 AM - 9 comments
Behind the scenes of Cuba Gooding's 1996 Oscar acceptance speech
As the director calls the shots from inside the TV truck, Cuba corpses. Cue music. And then...
posted by sweet mister at 5:43 AM - 59 comments
is an animated, charming look at how mortality personalities learn to do what they do.
posted by mikurski at 10:25 PM - 13 comments
Chris Lilley is an Australian comedian, television producer, actor, musician and writer
, who got his major start as the drama teacher, Mr. G.
, in the sketch comedy series Big Bite
. The series ended after one season, and Lilley went on to create four subsequent mocumentary-style series, We Can Be Heroes: Finding the Australian of the Year
, Summer Heights High
, Angry Boys
, and most recently Ja'mie: Private School Girl
. Each show consists of primary characters all played by Lilley, ranging from a 47 year old woman with skeletal dysplasia
, a 13-year-old school boy with a Tongan accent
(NSFW language), a 24 year-old African American rap artist from Los Angeles
(NSFW language), and a 16 year old girl from a grammar school
, to name a few. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:34 PM - 31 comments
You may be familiar with the 'business cat' memes I Should Buy A Boat Cat
(aka Sophisticated Cat
) and Business Cat
). And perhaps you followed Matthew Inman's workplace adventures of the Bobcats
at The Oatmeal. More recently, Tom Fonder at Happy Jar
has been developing a subset of comics centered on his own version of a cat who also happens to be a CEO. So far: Coffee
; Pay Rise
; and Fight and Flight
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 8:04 PM - 35 comments
Jamestown Baloos (1957) [SLYT]
by Robert Breer [PDF]
) "is a frenetic, three-part stop-motion animation that features an army of everyday forms and figures — geometric shapes, a piece of string, newspaper clips, a pin-up girl, even Napoleon Bonaparte — flashing across the screen. Placed in increasingly compromised situations and choreographed to a jingoistic tune, the figures essentially become puppets of their former selves. Such unrelenting visuals recall not only Fernand Léger’s early experimental film, Ballet Mécanique
(1924), as Breer himself has mentioned, but also early twentieth-century Dadaist collage. Dada artists like Kurt Schwitters and Hannah Höch created witty, unapologetic works that reflected the chaos and violence of modern existence. Jamestown Baloos
serves, as their works did, as a pointed indictment on the absurdity of war."
posted by Room 641-A at 7:23 PM - 2 comments
In Defense of Talking Funny:
an examination of dialects and how people deal with them.
posted by flatluigi at 6:41 PM - 60 comments
Yeah, it sucks that we're losing an hour tonight. But it could be worse. We could be losing eleven days
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 6:26 PM - 28 comments
The Identity Project
"seeks to explore the labels we choose to identify with when defining our gender and sexuality." Accompanying each portrait are words the subjects prefer to use to describe themselves -- "Boi," "Provocateur Lesbian Dandy," "Queer Femme Beefcake," "Gold Star Gay Wife," "Gay Masculine of Center," "Lezzer Queer Bossy Mama," "Inbetweener," "Legally Married." By San Francisco photographer Sarah Deragon. [more inside]
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:31 PM - 58 comments
We can't create Jurassic Park era (yet) but there is a place on Earth lost to time
, a modern proxy
of the Pleistocene (35,000 to 12,000 years ago). Other than the mammoth and a few other species, the flora and fauna remain largely unchanged, even the climate is similar to the last ice age (cold and dry). There are wild horses, reindeer, saiga antelopes, argali sheep, wolverines and snow leopards. The Altai and Sayan mountains of western Mongolia and southern Russia (map
)... [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 5:12 PM - 2 comments
is a floating black sphere that follows people around and plays back ambient sounds it has recorded. It was designed
by Francesco Tacchini
, Will Yates-Johnson and Julinka Ebhardt.
posted by Kattullus at 4:05 PM - 37 comments
Today, March 8, is International Women's Day, a day to celebrate the social, political and economic achievements of women, and focus attention on areas still needing action. In the run-up to the event, Reuters photographers in countries around the globe took a series of portraits
of women and their daughters. They asked each mother what her profession was, at what age she had finished education, and what she wanted her daughter to become when she grew up. They also asked each daughter at what age she would finish education and what she wanted to do in the future. (SLAtlantic)
posted by capricorn at 1:52 PM - 11 comments
Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie
- "The lettuce, peppers, and broccoli—plus a melon and an onion, with a watermelon soon to follow—aren't genetically modified at all. Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops
for millennia. That doesn't mean they are low tech, exactly. Stark's division is drawing on Monsanto's accumulated scientific know-how to create vegetables that have all the advantages of genetically modified organisms without any of the Frankenfoods ick factor." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:34 PM - 51 comments
The Men of Atalissa
collaborates with the New York Times
on a 35-minute documentary about the intellectually disabled men exploited for thirty-five years by Henry's Turkey Service in Atalissa, Iowa. (The documentary at the NYT
or embedded in a Q&A with the journalists at PBS's POV
.) [more inside]
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:11 PM - 11 comments
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