How to choose a watermelon? Do you go by shape, colour, or spotting? Thump or not? Red or yellow? Seeded or seedless? Square? Grilled? Champion watermelons. App for your iPhone? Are you still confused, watch this instructional video?
As the City of Cleveland reacts badly to the end result of a long, drawn out process, Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert takes matters into his own hands, flipping out on the his team's website, penning his screed in everyone's favorite font. [more inside]
GodBlock is a web filter that blocks religious content. It is targeted at parents and schools who wish to protect their kids from the often violent, sexual, and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts, and from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions. When installed properly, GodBlock will test each page that your child visits before it is loaded, looking for passages from holy texts, names of religious figures, and other signs of religious propaganda. If none are found, then your child is allowed to browse freely.
A summary of two papers on newly-discovered antibodies that can neutralize 91% of HIV strains: "Structural Basis for Broad and Potent Neutralization of HIV-1 by Antibody VRC01" and "Rational Design of Envelope Identifies Broadly Neutralizing Human Monoclonal Antibodies to HIV-1"
A short story of traffic tickets, goldfish, and love starring David Tennant and Sophie Hunter
"The Interview was not a happy invention.... In the first place, the interviewer is the reverse of an inspiration, because you are afraid of him." An epic rant by Mark Twain, published for the first time this week. [more inside]
Metal Couture design by Manuel Albarran. Some of his latest works are fantastic (also NSFW). [Via] [more inside]
Stanford's library was running out of space for printed books and journals, so they've built a new space ... with even less room for printed titles and issues. It's hastening the move to a digital library. NPR reports.
CityLights interview with Pauline Kael -- 1::2::3::4 (approx. 40 mins, NSI, 1982) Topics include Cecil B. Demille, Robert Preston, John Boorman’s Zardoz, Sean Connery, Roger Moore, James Bond films, and Lorenzo Semple Jr. More interviews from the National Screen Institute and Brian Linehan here, including John Candy, Eugene Levy, Christopher Plummer, and Ian McKellen
The federal Defense of Marriage Act has been ruled unconstitutional by Judge Joseph Tauro of the District Court of Massachusetts.
Now! 75 Chart Medley. Brett Domino (wikipedia, official site) and Steven Peavis perform a medley of hits from 2010, using: soft drink cans, iPod Touch (using DigiDrummer app), Accordion, Roland E-36 Keyboard, Korg Digital Piano, Stylophone Beatbox, Theremin, Ukulele, Egg Shaker, Roland AX-Synth Keytar, Recorders, Glockenspiel, Kazoos, and Stylophones (previously). Via the excellent and hilarious Graham Clark of Stop Podcasting Yourself. [more inside]
Year: 2025. Mission: Save Moonbase Alpha after critical systems were damaged by a meteor strike. A free Steam-powered 3D-immersive game from NASA. Windows only.
Yesterday, the Spanish national football squad won its first World Cup semifinal. A distinguished supporter insisted on personally congratulating them in the locker room. (SLYT, but priceless. Watch in particular the hero of the match enter the frame around 1:16).
Today Minnesota finalizes a $44 million deal to conserve approximately 188,000 acres of forest, wetlands, and shoreline through what is known as a conservation easement. In addition to private funds from entities such as the Blandin Foundation, the easement is being paid for through the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to Minneosta's state constitution, which just over a year ago created permanent funding for natural resource, arts, and cultural projects through a 0.375% state sales tax. UPM-Blandin Paper Co., will continue to own the land and be allowed to harvest wood, but the land cannot be developed or subdivided and the public must have access to the land. [more inside]
A lack of federal rules has made the nation the dumping ground for cheap, adulterated and even dangerous oils. With many consumers in the U.S. becoming ill after consuming "olive oil", the USDA is finally moving to create standards defining what is "virgin olive oil". These are supposed to come out in the fall. Except 'the new rules are voluntary — not mandatory — so the prospect of more slick shenanigans continues'. Meanwhile, the FDA 'which oversees most food-label accuracy issues, said the agency does not regularly test olive oils for adulteration, and that it relies on tips about problems from the public, trade groups and others'. [more inside]
Canada's next Governor-General will be David Johnston, currently President of the University of Waterloo in Ontario, a tech-oriented school. Johnston is a legal scholar specializing in securities regulation, corporation law, public policy, and IT law. Here's his CV [pdf]. Why Johnston, instead of a journalist or public figure as has been the trend? For one, a legal scholar will be better able to navigate potential constitutional issues during minority governments. Johnston has pledged to be "a stalwart defender of our Canadian heritage, of Canadian institutions, and of the Canadian people".
When "Proto-Pop" artist Larry Rivers' died in 2002, he left behind extensive archives of his letters, paperwork, photographs and film documenting the New York artistic and literary scene from the 1940s through the 1980s. They chronicle his friendships and relationships with dozens of artists, musicians and writers, from Willem de Kooning and Andy Warhol to Frank O’Hara. Also included: films and videos of his two adolescent daughters, naked or topless, being interviewed by their father about their developing breasts. Now, one daughter, who says she was pressured to participate beginning when she was 11, is demanding that material be removed from the archive and returned to her and her sister. [more inside]
Greetings from the Twine Ball, wish you were here: "But you can't see out of the side of the car, because the windows are completely covered with the decals of all the places where we've already been: there's Elvis-O-Rama, the Tupperware Museum, the Boll Weevil Monument, and Cranberry World, the Shuffleboard Hall Of Fame, Poodle Dog Rock, and the Mecca of Albino Squirrels. We've been to ghost towns, theme parks, wax museums, and a place where you can drive through the middle of a tree ... " [more inside]
Denha is a synthesizer enthusiast who also builds very small and fairly complex marble runs out of brass wire, carved wood, and 9/32" ball bearings. [more inside]
Swedish-Cherokee artist America Meredith shows you how to be a Cherokee beatnik (or just talk like one). [more inside]
What are the things that will help create more Nimble Cities? (This post is heavy with slate-related links.) Slate asks readers to help make transportation in and between cities more efficient, safe, and pleasant. "While we're certainly not opposed to your most forward-looking proposals: Let's fire up Chicago's once sprawling pneumatic tube network; let's not let those zeppelin masts go to waste!--what we're most interested in are things in the here and now, things that are already making (or will soon be making) a difference in your city." Should cities install moving sidewalks? How about eliminating parking spaces or bicycle highways? [more inside]
July 6 (or maybe July 7) marked the 130th anniversary of the birth of Otto Frederick Rohwedder, the inventor of sliced bread. [more inside]
It seems cosmically appropriate that the Spider-man theme song (as recorded by Michael Bublé) should be used by swing dancers as well as solo performers. Here's a live rendition by the Russian group Mad Swing in Vladivostok, and (just for something different) here's a chronicle of Spider-Man's adventures set to Swing Swing by the eponysterical All-American Rejects. Previously and previouslier.
Shatner stole my bicycle (SLYT)
He's no Trent Reznor or Radiohead, but Volker Kahl is pushing from the bottom of the sales charts, making his post-Beefcake work (under the nom-de-sampler Kattoo) available online. [more inside]
Oakland, California, is bracing for a possible repeat of the 2009 riot [previously] once a verdict in the trial of former BART cop Johannes Mehserle for the 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant [previously] comes in. [more inside]
63 years ago little green men landed in the desert, or did they? I've lived in New Mexico for large parts of my life, and if there is anywhere aliens would land, it probably would be there. If they didn't land there afterall, maybe they will soon with the installation of the new spaceport.
Meet the Mac note taking app Notational Velocity: An attempt to loosen the mental blockages to recording information and to scrape away the tartar of convention that handicaps its retrieval. [more inside]
One of the most rhythmically solid, tastefully understated and (all too often) criminally underrated drummers in the history of rock music turned 70 today, and you'll forgive me if I couldn't let the day pass without a nod in his direction. You've probably heard of him. [more inside]
Octavia Nasr Canned at CNN. CNN's Chief Middle East correspondent for 20 years, Octavia Nasr tweeted “Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah... One of Hezbollah’s giants I respect a lot.” She was fired by CNN shortly afterward because they believed "her credibility in her position as senior editor for Middle Eastern affairs has been compromised going forward".
As suburbs become home to more poor people, immigrants, minorities, senior citizens and households with no children and we face what may be the end of suburbia, planners are wondering what do we do with suburbs? [more inside]
The Toronto Star looks into the shambles that Canada's guest worker program finds itself in. [more inside]
In jail? Post bail. No matter your crime, interest, or affiliation, there's a bail bond agent for you. Suspect in Snow White's demise? Grumpy's (video auto-starts); Mob? No prob. Goodfellas, Godfather's? Godfather's! [more inside]
Hippie Crack -- The Village Voice profiles the "Nitrous Oxide Mafia" that follows the jam band circuit selling balloons in parking lots.
As the internet works to decode the US Cyber Command logo, it is worth pondering the bizarre world of military patches and logos. The most awesomely bad has been selected by popular vote, but there is a serious reason behind that flippant patch. Then there are the strange and nerdy patches of classified projects [prev.] NASA has its own strange and awesome mission patches, but, as Space Review discovered, there are also secret patches for classified missions which give clues to their purpose. And then there was the military logo that was so outlandishly ominous it helped lead to the project's shutdown.
U.S. Patent 1732708 "...relates to street torches, such as are commonly used for illuminating road obstructions." Starting in 1929, The Toledo Pressed Steel Co. manufactured millions of small, round kerosene-burning torches (sometimes called smudge pots) that look like cartoon bombs. [more inside]
What would happen if the earth stopped spinning? ArcGIS was used to perform complex raster analysis and volumetric computations and generate maps that visualize these results.
Science Blogs is a confederation of, as it says on the tin, blogs about science. They host such sites as Pharyngula, Good Math, Bad Math, and The Primate Diaries, among many others. Now they host Food Frontiers, a blog about nutrition -- written by PepsiCo. Many folks there are not happy. Overreaction to a single site with, at the moment, only one actual post? Or legitimate concern over scientific ethics? Why not have a refreshing ice-cold beverage while you ponder it?
Man, they said we better accentuate the positive... eliminate the negative... latch on to the affirmative....
Microsoft introduces "an amazingly obvious tweak to battery tech that should save us some headaches, as well as several trillion hours of head-scratching and peering into dark holes." The innovation, called "Instaload" is a simple, low-tech battery contact design that allows cylindrical batteries (disposable and rechargeable) to be inserted in either direction, so users don't have to worry about which end is positive or negative. How? It puts a set of positive and negative contacts at both ends of a battery compartment. (From Microsoft: Press Release / Overview / Technology Brochure (pdf)) [more inside]
How to Make an American Job Before It's Too Late. Andy Grove, from Intel, writes about America's lost manufacturing sector. [more inside]
"His fiancee smiled and commented, 'Isn't that cute. They have the spirit of giving.' That really set me off, as my regular readers can imagine. 'No!' I exclaimed [...] 'They're giving away their parents' things [...] It's not theirs to give.' I pushed the button to roll down the window and stuck my head out to set them straight. 'You must charge something for the lemonade.'"