In the deep stillness of a forest in winter, the sound of footsteps on a carpet of leaves died away. Peter Wohlleben had found what he was looking for: a pair of towering beeches. “These trees are friends,” he said, craning his neck to look at the leafless crowns, black against a gray sky. “You see how the thick branches point away from each other? That’s so they don’t block their buddy’s light."
With the highly-anticipated release of two King Hu masterpieces on home video by the Masters of Cinema organization, as well as the critical success of Hou Hsiao-hsien’s The Assassin last year, it seems like the wuxia film is making some inroads into the Western critical consciousness. So I thought I’d put together a guide to some of the essential films of the genre. - 30 Essential Wuxia Films
"I changed the quotes in my AOL Instant Messenger profile almost daily, and fretted over the right combinations of font and color to make my IM voice look as bright and edgy as I wanted to be in real life. I started conversations with acquaintances who made me feel shy in person. I imagined I had inner beauty and wit, and that in chatrooms and AIM was where I could shine until that outer beauty showed up. And slowly, the IRL me started to become more like the me I allowed myself to be online... Matt and I built our relationship over AIM. We used AIM because it was our most practical option; like many teenagers in the year 2001, we didn't have cell phones. We did have computers in our respective bedrooms, though, and parents who weren't expecting phone calls after dinner hours."
They do not just behave like Flipper Dolphins are clever and sociable, but they also have a dark side that will make your hair stand on end
"Violence and nurturance are two sides of the same coin. I struggle to understand this even as I write it." From Nora Samaran, author of Dating Tips for the Feminist Man (previously).
An algorithmic education, despite all the promises made by ed-tech entrepreneurs for “revolution” and “disruption,” is likely to re-inscribe the power relations that are already in place in school and in society. Whether it's annotating the scholarly web, creating connected copies through wikity or domain of one's own, alternatives to algorithmic education are offered by the indie edtech movement.
Why I had to become a snail farmer According to a site dedicated to looking at France through data, Snails production in France is limited to 191 farms. Don't miss all the gory details of snail farming. [more inside]
"Patients assume doctors are omnipotent and they know everything there is to know about the universe."
If asked to think of the lasting legacies of Ronald Reagan, you might conjure up the long shadow of US military intervention in Central America or the coordinated attack on organized labor and public-sector programs. Probably few of us would think about the spectacle of Shrek hawking Twinkies. But one lasting consequence of Reagan’s reign is felt by every parent in the country every day: As president, Reagan opened the floodgates to targeted junk food marketing to children and teens.What Ronald Reagan has to do with Dora on your Popsicle package: the backstory behind Shrek hawking Twinkies (and everything else) [more inside]
Rick Rubin: My Life in 21 Songs
The 4.5-foot-tall, 185-pound chimpanzee is built like a high school wrestling coach with a gray beard and a small bald spot just above his brow. Keepers have called him ugly, but he doesn't care. He's come a long way since hanging on Michael Jackson's hip. Bubbles' moonwalking days are over. [more inside]
Anchor, which seems to be to audio what Twitter is to writing or Instagram to photography, launched a few days ago as a new "truly public" radio where everyone can contribute and comment. [more inside]
During the course of a project to produce a detailed 3D model of the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, we were able to observe and record some hand-written notes and markings in areas of the spacecraft that have been hidden from view for more than 40 years.[more inside]
PUP - DVP (Official Video) (SLVimeo)
For the moment, the fate of the Clean Power Plan — and the question of just how capable the United States is of self-governance — remains uncertain. The Supreme Court ordered the Plan to be temporarily halted, most likely until the Court hands down an opinion on the legality of the Plan in June of 2017. If the Plan survives the next presidential election, and if it is ultimately upheld by the Court, then Tuesday’s order will only succeed in delaying the new rules. If the Court ultimately strikes down the Plan, however, the United States could be left impotent in the face of a looming catastrophe — and not just with respect to this particular catastrophe. The states challenging the Clean Power Plan call for sweeping changes to the balance of power between the regulator and the regulated. Indeed, if some of their most aggressive arguments succeed, it’s unclear that the federal government is permitted to do much of anything at all.-Ian Millhiser for ThinkProgress, "Inside The Most Important Supreme Court Case In Human History"
How Video Games Are Changing The Action Movie - "It’s evidence in the case that videogames have started showing a strong influence on cinematography beyond goofier incarnations such as CGI, tie-ins, or critically derided adaptations. Instead, the movies leading this charge across mediums are rooted in physicality and often adored by cineastes."
"Pretty please, with a cherry on top." The Curzon is one of the best cinemas in London, but it's under threat from plans to redevelop its Soho home. In its bid to survive, the cinema has produced this original, inventive (and very sweary) video (SLYT).
SoundCloud has lost more than $70 million over the last two years. Recently released financial statements paint a grim future for the streaming service, as despite an increase in investment they still struggle to capitalize on a userbase close to 200 million. FACT presents five reasons why.
This short film follows a diver on a search below the ice (SLNYT video). [more inside]
The New York Times has obtained and published a video of a first grade teacher at the Success Academy, a charter school in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, berating and ripping up the paper of a six year old after the child could not explain to the class how she solved a math problem. [more inside]
Death Cab For Yeezy (SLSoundcloud. Does what it says on the tin)
In the short hush right after, I think about something Chris said: "It is such an emotional journey to train for your first fight, even if you are a totally stereotypical dude." I am surprised to find myself so overwhelmed with gratitude that I tear up... And then they call my name.
"Why Men Fight" — a beautiful longform story about manhood, trauma and amateur boxing, by Thomas Page McBee.
"Why Men Fight" — a beautiful longform story about manhood, trauma and amateur boxing, by Thomas Page McBee.
Hardcore Henry trailer (NSFW)
Starting in 2017, city residents will be able to contribute to local candidates without spending a dime of their own money. Instead, the government will send each registered voter four $25 vouchers that they can give to candidates of their choice. No cutting a check. No minimum contribution. Candidates can opt out, but those who participate will have to abide by strict limits on spending and on receiving private donations. [more inside]
Hingle McCringleberry and Kimble Mathias of the Portland Tigers are known for their unique endzone dances, often taking them too far.
Inside the Eye: Nature’s Most Exquisite Creation "If you ask people what animal eyes are used for, they’ll say: same thing as human eyes. But that’s not true. It’s not true at all" [more inside]
These People Were Told Their Dog Would Never Make Noises Like A Panicking Terrified Human. What Happened Next Will Amaze You.
More women are killed by intimate partners in the United States than by any other group of people. It's not strangers, friends or acquaintances who pose the biggest threat to women's lives: It's the men they date and marry.
Behold, the World's Fastest Log Car [Road and Track]
"THE FIRST TIME YOU SEE IT, your brain almost short circuits—nope, uh-uh, that's not real. But it is, and it is exactly what it looks like: a tree car. More specifically, it is a car made out of a western red cedar log with a concave mouth for a "grille", a wooden roll bar and wooden fenders, and a pair of turbines protruding from its rear. The thing looks ludicrous, like something a crazed Woody the Woodpecker would drive, or maybe a George Barris creation if he had ever gotten lost in the Pacific Northwest with an axe and a flask of whiskey. It gets better: The log car is rear-wheel drive, uses the mechanicals from a Mazda RX-7, and is powered by eight lithium-ion batteries. More than 500 pounds of them. Why? Why would someone do this, you might ask. And who? Who in the world would devote time to such a project? Also, what? What were they smoking? Must've been some potent stuff."
Robert Egger of Specialized Bicycles thinks UCI racing regulations are stifling bike design: His latest prototype, the fUCI, is both a protest and a design experiment. This ultimate go-fast bike features an in-frame motor (previously), aerodynamic windshield, integrated trunk, oversized wheel, and smartphone dock. [more inside]
"Oh he who looks upon this tomb! I am already consumed inside it, and dust has settled on my eyes. On my couch in my abode there is nothing but tears, and what is to happen at my resurrection when I shall appear before my Creator?" [more inside]
What I’ve Learned by Going from College Student to Class B Celebrity to Nobody to Kinda Sorta Getting Famous Again…
The Story Behind New Kids on the Block’s Insane (and Preempted) 1991 Halftime Show (SL Playboy) NSFW
In the wake of the sequencing of the human genome in the early 2000s, genome pioneers and social scientists alike called for an end to the use of race as a variable in genetic research. Unfortunately, by some measures, the use of race as a biological category has increased in the postgenomic age. Although inconsistent definition and use has been a chief problem with the race concept, it has historically been used as a taxonomic categorization based on common hereditary traits (such as skin color) to elucidate the relationship between our ancestry and our genes. We believe the use of biological concepts of race in human genetic research—so disputed and so mired in confusion—is problematic at best and harmful at worst. It is time for biologists to find a better way. - An editorial in Science exploring the conundrum facing genomic researchers where race is both fundamentally flawed as a scientific model and violently dangerous but still the only consistent lens through which study participants understand the information they have about their own connection to human diversity [more inside]
If you like relatively obscure teenage superheroes and Joan Jett-style rocking out, block out six minutes to watch this fan film of Marvel's New Mutants at a Lila Cheney concert, by Greasy Pig Studios. [more inside]
Still not having enlightened you to the extent of your plight, Cave Story teases bits and pieces of its plot to remind you that you're not just a player jumping and shooting enemies. You're a character, venturing forth in an unknown world for unknown reasons, and it's up to you to unravel the story. Cave Story recognizes the importance of narrative, and utilizes this storytelling experience to enhance the game's design while simultaneously guiding you through the mysterious island and its inhabitants.
Aaron Sorkin's adaptation of the 1960 novel To Kill a Mockingbird is coming to Broadway. Producer Scott Rudin told the New York Times that while no casting decisions have been made, “The Atticus we do is going to be the Atticus in 'To Kill a Mockingbird.'" [more inside]
Charlie Brooker versus 2015 The creator of Black Mirror and some friends look back at 2015. (SLY)
"[E]ver since noticing a beautifully wrinkled and mysteriously sensual older French woman at a friend’s party, and, having inquired if she was the wife of the frizzy-haired, balding older man with the huge, horn-rimmed glasses next to her, and being informed that, “Nooo, she’s his mistress. They’ve been lovers for many years,” I’d decided that loverhood was what I aspired to." "The Magic Trick," by Carolita Johnson. (SLTheHairpin) [more inside]
‘I am a radicalised goat hell-bent on jihad’ – the FBI’s new anti-Isis video game: “As the title suggests, there are more metaphors to unmangle here: a wooden mannequin bound by strings, for example, which you can free by visiting all the site’s sections. These are rendered as rooms of a confusing family home, which appears to contain a dingy, windowless lecture room and a serial-killer basement.” (SLGuardian)
If you are alive to the need of making every minute count in this modern, high speed age, you will often have occasion to avail yourself of the facilities of the highly organized institutions which have succeeded the old time operator bent over his telegraph key in the little dingy telegraph office of a few generations ago.So said one Nelson E. Ross in his Small Booklet entitled "How to Write Telegrams Properly" in 1928. [more inside]
The images for JPL’s Visions Of The Future 2016 Calendar, which was an internal gift to JPL and NASA staff along with scientists, engineers, government and university staff, have been put online. "As you look through these images of imaginative travel destinations, remember that you can be an architect of the future." [via] [more inside]
Portfolio Visualizer is a website that lets you backtest asset allocations, conduct Fama-French Factor Regression Analysis, look at Asset Correlations, run Monte Carlo simulations, find the efficient frontier, or test market timing models against historical data. [more inside]