Can you name a firth in Scotland where the dolphins have individual names
? The destination of Haiti's Kita Nago parade
? A Sami Village in Lapland where tourists go to see the Northern Lights
? A former "city of pirates" on the Adriatic Coast
? Every weekday, listeners of PRI
's international-news radio show The World
are treated to the serendipity of a brief journey to a distant point on the globe. It's part of the daily GeoQuiz
, a challenging geographical trivia game enhanced with ambient audio, imagery
, and revealing details of history and landscape. You can play along via Twitter
or subscribe to the podcast
- either way, this 5 minute vacation will make you a little bit smarter about this incredible planet.
posted by Miko at 8:59 PM - 6 comments
In two weeks of blood and fire, one of the greatest intellectual
and cultural legacies
the world had ever seen came to an end. Crushed under the hooves of a mighty foe (in one case literally
), a dynasty
, an empire
, a city
, and a library
all disappeared. It was perhaps the swiftest and most complete collapse of a civilization ever, still felt to this day
. Now, how about for some context? [more inside]
posted by cthuljew at 2:45 PM - 39 comments
"Oh, show us the way, to the next whiskey-bar. Oh, don't ask why, oh, don't ask why." And so opens the Alabama Song
(Google books preview) by Bertholt Brecht and Brecht's close collaborator, Elisabeth Hauptmann
(Gbp), first published in 1927. Brecht set it to music and performed it on stages all over Berlin, but the better known version was scored by classical composer Kurt Weill, who was impressed with Brecht’s poetry and wanted to break away from the constraints of his previous work
. It was this version, first performed by Lotte Lenya
, that was made famous by The Doors
and their use of a Marxophone
). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:47 PM - 24 comments
The Lead Masks Case
is the name given to a bizarre incident in August of 1966 in which two Brazilian television repairmen were found dead of unknown causes, wearing radiation-proof lead eye masks and raincoats, on a hilltop just outside the city of of Niterói in Rio de Janeiro. Along with a bizarre note
left by one of the men which reads (in English), "16:30 (04:30 PM) be at the agreed place. 18:30 (06:30 PM) swallow capsules, after effect, protect metals, wait for mask signal," the unusual circumstances have prompted decades of speculation. [more inside]
posted by kewb at 1:12 PM - 40 comments
The revelation that the median grade at Harvard is an A- prompted lots of discussion, especially among Ivy-league educated journalists. Some speculated high grades reflect intelligence. Others say professors just want their students to get jobs, or, selfishly, they want favorable teaching evaluations. As a teaching assistant in the economics department at Columbia, I too inflated student grades, but for none of those reasons. I just didn’t want to deal with all the complaining.
posted by latkes at 12:50 PM - 164 comments
Our Drone Future
— A short film by Alex Cornell. "Created with DJI Phantom Drones, After Effects, Premier, Logic, GoPro, and a liberal interpretation of FAA regulations". If not actually the future of domestically deployed drones, it's probably the future of sub-$2K filmmaking hardware (if you don't include the software licenses and, um, FAA fines).
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:44 AM - 31 comments
Have you dreamed
a money bin
a la Scrooge McDuck?
Your dreams can now become a reality
posted by reenum at 11:28 AM - 33 comments
Please enjoy this smattering of Word of the Day sites and pages: OED
, The Free Dictionary
), Urban Dictionary
(RSS), NY Times Learning Network Blog
), Easy Speak (Toastmasters)
, Wiktionary "Foreign"
, all in OLDO
), and Sesame Street
(not daily, unfortunately).
posted by cog_nate at 9:26 AM - 11 comments
Vice magazine attempts to get to the bottom of the mystery of the creepiest television hack
(moderately NSFW). Previously.
posted by carrienation at 9:21 AM - 33 comments
, over 35,000 people amassed in NYC
to participate in SantaCon, a New York City tradition since 1994, SantaCon is a pub-crawl where people dress up like Santa.
In the past few years, it has been associated, however, with public drunkenness
, mob like behavior
, and even sexual assault. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:02 AM - 102 comments
We analysed 5,483,841 research papers and review articles with 27,329,915 authorships.
We find that in the most productive countries, all articles with women in dominant author positions receive fewer citations than those with men in the same positions. And this citation disadvantage is accentuated by the fact that women's publication portfolios are more domestic than their male colleagues — they profit less from the extra citations that international collaborations accrue. Given that citations now play a central part in the evaluation of researchers, this situation can only worsen gender disparities.
The data are also used to make a really cool interactive map
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:34 AM - 53 comments
Let's sing some Christmas carols! We'll start with the great "Reno Erat Rudolphus,"
then we can move on to favorites like "Frigus Vir Nivis," "Avia renone calcabatur,"
and of course, "Tinnitus, tinnitus."
Then let's read that classic Dr. Seuss story, Quomodo Invidiosulus Nomine Grinchus Christi Natalem Abrogaverit
)! As they say, Hoc mirandis est temporis anni
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:10 AM - 11 comments
A furious 18-minute rant
posted Wednesday has drawn attention to YouTube's new automatic content ID system, implemented in earnest this week.
VentureBeat: YouTube suddenly begins flagging hundreds of game-related videos for copyright violations
Ars Technica: YouTube goes nuts flagging game-related content as violating copyright
Any copyright claim against a video immediately results in the removal of ad revenue at the moment the claim is made, even if 1) that content is clearly fair use, 2) the game companies who own the content say they're not making a claim
(like Deep Silver, which posted a statement
assuring reviewers they "will not be alone in this"), or 3) the claim comes from an odd third party who doesn't appear to have a clear ownership interest.
Kotaku has good quotes
from gamers who strongly disagree with YouTube's claim that "channel owners can easily dispute Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid." Earlier today, Angry Joe posted a calmer, more detailed 31-minute video: Whats Broken & How to Fix it
posted by mediareport at 6:56 AM - 72 comments
Special Report: BEARS! [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:27 AM - 31 comments
"These are not trophies to have on one’s mantel; they are truly sacred works for the Native Americans. They do not belong in auction houses or private collections."
by the US Embassy
on behalf of the Hopi
and San Carlos Apache
, a Paris auction house continued with the sale of twenty-five katsinam
, the US based Annenberg Foundation
bought twenty-four of them for $530,000 to return
to the tribes. (Previously on a similar auction
posted by Deflagro at 6:19 AM - 74 comments
The Soweto Gospel Choir pays beautiful tribute to Nelson Mandela by staging a flash mob event
in a Woolworths in South Africa.
posted by orange swan at 6:16 AM - 16 comments
Ursula K. Le Guin, The Art of Fiction
Interview at The Paris Review: "It’s like working in any form—in poetry, for example. When you work in form, be it a sonnet or villanelle or whatever, the form is there and you have to fill it. And you have to find how to make that form say what you want to say. But what you find, always—I think any poet who’s worked in form will agree with me—is that the form leads you to what you want to say. It is wonderful and mysterious."
posted by dhruva at 5:16 AM - 22 comments
Apocalypse, New Jersey
Matt Taibi looks at the sad story of Camden, N.J.
posted by angrycat at 1:53 AM - 68 comments
of freshwater lie
beneath the ocean floor
. There is mounting evidence
. "The volume of this water resource is a hundred times greater than the amount we've extracted from the Earth's sub-surface in the past century since 1900".
posted by stbalbach at 12:44 AM - 49 comments
Christian Stefansen has made Amiga Workbench 1.3 available in Chrome via the Portable Native Client.
For those of you rode on the third wheel of the 16-bit operating system wars, this is quite a treat, in addition to being a nifty proof-of-concept. More info on the technology here
posted by grumpybear69 at 9:03 PM - 18 comments
On the Air
: "While mixing the sound for an episode of the second season of Twin Peaks, Lynch was hit with a sudden inspiration. 'It just came into my head, the idea of people trying to do something successful and having it all go wrong.' Following the initial success of Twin Peaks, David Lynch and Mark Frost were hot properties in Television. When they approached ABC with the idea for 'On the Air,' the network was eager to take them up on the offer. The show itself was a half-hour absurdist comedy featuring many of the cast and crew from Twin Peaks. The pilot tested very well, and six more episodes were ordered. However, by the time it came to scheduling the On the Air, things with Twin Peaks had already fallen apart, and the network was no longer eager to work with Lynch." On the Air was received so poorly (due, in part, to being premeired in the summer on a Saturday timeslot) that only three episodes were ever aired in the states. However, the entirety of the program was aired overseas. In Episode 1 the misfit crew of the Zablotnick Broadcasting Corporation struggles to put together the first episode of the Lester Guy Show. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 8:49 PM - 22 comments
Think you're an alcoholic?
Not by the standards of great artists and writers! "As for Balzac, he was definitely a coffee kind of guy – he sank 60 cups a day. Samuel Beckett slurped red wine every night til 5am. Pablo Picasso liked opium (he claimed opium has the “least stupid smell in the world”). Across Paris, Jean Paul Sartre guzzled four pints of Burgundy for lunch, liked his barbiturates, and was addicted to Corydrane, a mix of aspirin and amphetamine. The recommended dose of this now-prohibited tablet was 1 a day, Sartre took 20."
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:17 PM - 71 comments
Inspired by the Massimo Vignelli NYC subway map and the upcoming Super Bowl at the Meadowlands, NJ Transit unveils a new Regional Transit Diagram
(pdf) to help people take public transit between New York and New Jersey. [more inside]
posted by fings at 7:06 PM - 28 comments
Modeltalker has been around since at least the early 90s ...
Modeltalker is a company that, for free, provides people with a synthetic version of their own voice and the software that lets users convert any text they want into that voice. It is continually updating it's software and in beta stages. But for people with onset neurological diseases that threaten to rob them of the ability to speak, Modeltalker will provide them with an 1800 word list to read. From that list, it will deliver a software program that contains their voice, the software and the tools to adjust the voice to make it as natural as possible. At some point, the company will make it product public. There are many synthetic voice programs, but only Modeltalker can make a synthetic voice out of your voice. For now, people can get a free version.
posted by CollectiveMind at 3:43 PM - 13 comments
Congressmen Call For Declassification Of 9/11 Files
Discussing Hijacker Links To Saudi Government.
Last week, Reps. Walter B. Jones, R-N.C., and Stephen Lynch, D-Mass introduced a resolution that urges President Obama to declassify the 28 redacted pages of the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry (JICI) of 9/11
issued in late 2002, which have been thought to hold some answers about the Saudi connection to the attack and were originally classified by President George W. Bush.
Official declassified documents
about the September 11 attacks.
(Previous 1; 2
posted by adamvasco at 3:37 PM - 40 comments
photos of the fog that enveloped
posted by Mistress at 3:05 PM - 17 comments
In March 2007, retired FBI agent Robert Levinson flew to Kish Island, an Iranian resort awash with tourists, smugglers and organized crime figures.
Days later, after an arranged meeting with an admitted killer, he checked out of his hotel, slipped into a taxi and vanished. For years, the U.S. has publicly described him as a private citizen who traveled to the tiny Persian Gulf island on private business. But that was just a cover story. An Associated Press investigation reveals that Levinson was working for the CIA. In an extraordinary breach of the most basic CIA rules, a team of analysts — with no authority to run spy operations — paid Levinson to gather intelligence from some of the world's darkest corners. He vanished while investigating the Iranian government for the U.S. [more inside]
posted by dsfan at 3:04 PM - 19 comments
Undercover of helping immigrant agricultural workers who have long needed a break
in America, the American technology sector - lead by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg - has seen fit to heavily lobby Congress to increase H1-B and other worker visa permits, vastly increasing H1-B visas at a time when very good research shows that there is no shortage of tech workers in America. Zuckerberg has so far succeeded, in the Senate. What is motivating the claim for more H1-B visas and what's at stake? [more inside]
posted by Vibrissae at 2:20 PM - 129 comments
But I learned to deal with the pain, the instability, the imbalance, just like every other NFL player does. My story is not unique. Every other football-playing man deals with the same cycle of injury and rehab, separated by periods of relative health. Some bodies are better suited to the demands of the game than others. They stay healthy longer, play more, smash more skulls, die younger. I should see my inability to stay healthy as a blessing in the long run, because it spared my brain the extra punishment. The fact is, no one remembers any NFL game I ever played in but me. My Injury File: How I Shot, Smoked, And Screwed My Way Through The NFL
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:25 PM - 12 comments
'90's Video Game Hallucination has Spawned Massive Remix Possibilities, Here is One!
A tiny Vitamin K for a musical diet, continue to scream and dance, oh...I guess driving is involved? Don't drive, please...don't drive.
posted by breadbox at 1:05 PM - 4 comments
2013 Hater's Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog.
The Miele Rotary Iron is a machine as old as the hills and used to be called a mangle
. A mangle. For what it did to your fingers. I know, because I inherited one from my grandmother. [more inside]
posted by Sophie1 at 12:57 PM - 123 comments
“I am going to put you on a bit of morphine,” I said, like I was used to saying such things, announcing to dying patients that I was going to put them on a drug named for Morpheus, the god of sleep, descended from Thanatos, the god of death." A doctor reflects on the art of dying in 21st century America.
posted by sonika at 12:47 PM - 9 comments
Animated gifs of high energy
posted by Chrysostom at 12:43 PM - 17 comments
The map of US military installations
by artist Josh Begley
uses the US military's list of bases
(plus a few other sources) to provide satellite image maps of hundreds of military sites around the world
. For similar efforts, see Radical Cartography
and the always-amazing work of Trevor Paglen
posted by blahblahblah at 12:22 PM - 10 comments
"Can we talk about Susan’s fabulous adventures after Narnia
? The ones where she wears nylons and elegant blouses when she wants to, and short skirts and bright lipstick when she wants to, and hiking boots and tough jeans and big men’s plaid shirts when she feels like backpacking out into the mountains and remembering what it was to be lost in a world full of terrific beauty— I know her siblings say she stops talking about it, that Susan walks away from the memories of Narnia, but I don’t think she ever really forgot."
posted by MartinWisse at 11:10 AM - 193 comments
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