When was the last time you read Maya Angelou's 1993 Inaugural Poem "On The Pulse Of The Morning"? It might be time to experience that inspirational poem [6m25s] again. [more inside]
In 1969 a young danish girl had been given permission to travel the countryside alone (on foot), which apparently was considered highly unusual at the time. She even had a document with a stamp from the local police chief. In this video a reporter asks what she would do to protect herself if harrassed. [speaking only]
Folding Ideas is a Youtube channel that analyzes movies and video games. By popular demand, the latest video is on Triumph of the Will and how it reflects fascist ideology and the historical context in which it was made.
Cloudflare CDN has been dumping uninitialized memory from its reverse proxies, including all sorts of things that are supposed to be under HTTPS. Like passwords and private messages from dating sites and cookies and online password manager data. [more inside]
For societies with writing systems, hereditary leadership is documented as one of the hallmarks of early political complexity and governance. In contrast, it is unknown whether hereditary succession played a role in the early formation of prehistoric complex societies that lacked writing. Here we use an archaeogenomic approach to identify an elite matriline that persisted between 800 and 1130 CE in Chaco Canyon, the centre of an expansive prehistoric complex society in the Southwestern United States. We show that nine individuals buried in an elite crypt at Pueblo Bonito, the largest structure in the canyon, have identical mitochondrial genomes. Analyses of nuclear genome data from six samples with the highest DNA preservation demonstrate mother–daughter and grandmother–grandson relationships, evidence for a multigenerational matrilineal descent group. Together, these results demonstrate the persistence of an elite matriline in Chaco for ∼330 years. (fulltext)
Anonymous Sources, Pharmacy Pills, and Gang Wars: Inconsistencies raise questions about "Pill City," a Baltimore tale of drugs and murder. [City Paper] “But there are inconsistencies that raise questions about the veracity of "Pill City." After The Sun's Justin Fenton reported neither local nor federal officials could confirm many claims in the book, Deutsch responded in a post on Medium. "Until last week, I never knew what it felt like to be on the other end of reporters' barbed — and biased — questions," he wrote. Then he goes on to call out: Fenton; David Simon, who said the book is "by and large, a wholesale fabrication" on Twitter; and Baltimore City Paper, whose story, which you are reading, had not yet been published.”
Hi-Phi Nation is a new podcast that uses narrative storytelling to explore ideas in philosophy, featuring thoughtful interviews with philosophers and nuanced storytelling, created by philosopher Barry Lam. [more inside]
From Google, Perspective API for scoring comments Perspective is an API that makes it easier to host better conversations. The API uses machine learning models to score the perceived impact a comment might have on a conversation. [...] We’ll be releasing more machine learning models later in the year, but our first model identifies whether a comment could be perceived as “toxic" to a discussion. [more inside]
Urasawa Naoki no Manben is a NHK documentary series in which mangaka Urasawa Naoki (20th Century Boys, Yawara, Master Keaton) goes around talking to and filming other cartoonists at work. [more inside]
“Get Out” Lets Black Men Be Scared Instead Of Scary: "Not until films like the Purge trilogy and Peele’s Get Out have black men been allowed access to the countryside, and depicted as vulnerable — a privilege they are rarely afforded in real life — rather than caricatured by the associations usually attached to their mythic bodies or the rumors of their sexual prowess. These films grant black men a rare aura of grace precisely by staging their moments of vulnerability in a suburban landscape, traditionally depicted as pristine and white." [more inside]
How to make a wooden bucket. 6th generation cooper George Smithwick charmingly discusses his craft as me makes a bucket. [more inside]
The Washington Post brings us a tool to check which of your local bridges might be "structurally deficient" or "functionally obsolete". [more inside]
Slate is publishing short stories that "imagine the dystopian future of Trump's America" in the Trump Story Project. Direct links plus a bonus below the fold. [more inside]
Enjoy these 80s-drenched low-budget ads from Okanagan television station CHBC-TV (now a Global affiliate). You can spend an hour watching the whole series, but here's some prime cuts: Spaniard hair • Rad Doctors • Magical Savings • Gift Rap • O.K. Welders (Of Course) • And finally, the Downtown! Trilogy: 1, 2, 3.
Boer has never put a mouse in the armor, but he has put one of his cats inside and has "the scars to prove it."
Hamilton in Sunnydale: Buffy the Vampire Slayer screencaps with Hamilton lyrics.
It's Constituent Work Week, a time when, traditionally, members of Congress return to their districts and hold in-person townhall meetings. This year, however, more than 200 Republicans are skipping townhalls, despite calls from their constituents to hold them. [more inside]
Night In The Woods (yt trailer) is a story-focused adventure/exploration game about the adventures of Mae Borowski after she drops out of college and returns home to the crumbling former mining town of Possum Springs. It is the creation Infinite Fall a development team consisting of Alec Holowka (Aquaria), Scott Benson (Late Night Work Club, But I'm A Nice Guy), and Bethany Hockenberry with a game-within-a-game rogue-like by Adam Saltzman (Canabalt). [more inside]
Much of Radiohead’s music is undeniably sad, and this post catalogs my journey to quantify that sadness, concluding in a data-driven determination of their most depressing song. Spotify’s Web API provides detailed audio statistics for each song in their library. One of these metrics, “valence”, measures a song’s positivity. ... So valence provides a measure of how sad a song sounds from a musical perspective. Another key component of a song’s sentiment is its lyrics, and it just so happens that Genius Lyrics also has an API to pull track-level data. To see how sadness evolved across all nine albums, I calculated the average gloom index per album and plotted each song by album release date.
This is Coffee, Comforting video for uneasy times.
The scourge of ticket bots and the immorality of the shady ticket scalpers using them is conventional wisdom that's so ingrained in the public consciousness and so politically safe that a law to ban ticket bots passed both houses of Congress unanimously late last year. But no one actually involved in the ticket scalping industry thinks that banning bots will do much to slow down the secondary market.
David Armand gained fame with his "interpretive dance" of "Torn", which gained further fame when Natalie Imbruglia joined joined him, giving us this wonderful moment. While covered on Mefi before, his recurring appearances on Fast and Loose and Trust Us With Your Life have given us a rich treasure trove of new performances. The collected works of David Armand ("Austrian interpretive dance artist Johann Lippowitz"): Holding Out for a Hero, I Will Survive, You Can't Hurry Love, Careless Whisper, Baby One More Time, Don't Stop Me Now, Love is All Around, We are the Champions, Eye of the Tiger, Fame, Folsom Prison Blues, Human, Eternal Flame, Man in the Mirror, That's My Home, Your Song, Wherever I Lay My Hat, and You're So Vain.
At no time in history have more people with less knowledge, and greater outrage, opined on the subject of Russia’s president [...] And what does Putinology tell us? It turns out that it has produced seven distinct hypotheses about Putin. None of them is entirely wrong, but then none of them is entirely right (apart from No 7). Taken together, they tell us as much about ourselves as about Putin. They paint a portrait of an intellectual class – our own – on the brink of a nervous breakdown.Killer, kleptocrat, genius, spy: the many myths of Vladimir Putin
Astronomers have never seen anything like this before: Seven Earth-size alien worlds orbit the same tiny, dim star, and all of them may be capable of supporting life as we know it, a new study reports. The exoplanets circle the star TRAPPIST-1, which lies just 39 light-years from Earth — a mere stone's throw in the cosmic scheme of things. So speculation about the alien worlds' life-hosting potential should soon be informed by hard data, study team members said. Major Discovery! 7 Earth-Size Alien Planets Circle Nearby Star [more inside]
In June, the Academy released a list of six hundred and eighty-three new members—a record number; forty-six per cent of them were female and forty-one per cent were nonwhite, representing fifty-nine different countries. They included the actors John Boyega, America Ferrera, Ice Cube, Idris Elba, Daniel Dae Kim, and Gabrielle Union; the directors Ryan Coogler (“Creed”), Marjane Satrapi, and the Wachowski siblings; and three Wayans brothers, Damon, Marlon, and Keenen. “I think they were just, like, ‘Man, there are six thousand members. We’ve got to put at least two Wayanses in!’ ” Marlon told me. “You want diversity, just go to the Wayans tribe.” Led by Cheryl Boone Isaacs, its first black president, the Academy tries to solve its diversity problem.
Malware lets a drone steal data by watching a computer’s blinking LED The pinpoint flickers, emitting from the LED hard drive indicator that lights up intermittently on practically every modern Windows machine, would hardly arouse the suspicions of anyone working in the office after hours. But in fact, that LED was silently winking out an optical stream of the computer’s secrets to the camera floating outside. [more inside]
Laydeez! Wish you had more options to deal with your period? Mensez can help! A Kansas chiropractor has invented a product that is an adhesive in lipstick (get it? lip-stick?) form that is "used to seal the vagina during menstruation until the woman goes to urinate". [more inside]
Revel in the mad piping errrr... foot stompin' rock of The Darkest of the Hillside Thickets' newest opus, "The Dukes of Alhazred". The Lovecraftian-inspired jam-masters have been at it for aeons now (25 years in linear time), and this is their first full length release since 2007's "The Shadow out of Tim". [more inside]
An Iowa senate bill would require candidates for professor positions to disclose their political party registrations, and would prohibit state universities from hiring professors who would skew the "partisan balance" of the faculty by more than 10 percent in either direction. [more inside]
"In one occupational boogeyman, Bangaloreans can see their future and their fears." IT worker as hated yet envied figure in India. Is this about class divides, cultural gaps, ecological stress, spousal abuse, or something else? (SLBloomberg)
Derek Lowe on the first synthesis of triangulene by a team of researchers at IBM Zürich using a scanning tunneling microscope:
This is a molecule that we’ve known for a long time could exist, but no chemist had ever seen it or been able to make it. Now we can reach in and tug on individual atoms, though, and that does the trick – just the thought of direct mechanical synthesis being the way to make an elusive species like this is enough for me.[more inside]
Netflix has announced a release date for the new MST3k. AVClub also did a cool interview with Joel and some of the new cast. (previous mst3k)
Programa Instrumental SESC Brasil is an on-going series of videos (each ca. 50-55 minutes long) on YouTube of live performances of Brazilian instrumental music, much of it more-or-less jazz-tinged. See for example: veteran percussionist Wilson das Neves leading a 14-piece band; or accordionist Renato Borghetti (with Arthur Bonilla on guitar), a virtuoso exponent of gaucho music; or Drummer Vera Figueiredo & her trio, joined part-way through their set by the trombonist Bocato; or guitarist Renata Montanari & her quartet; or São Paulo pianist Louise Woolley & 12-piece band; or the funk outfit Black Mantra… but that merely scratches the surface: there are dozens of other fine performances to be found. [more inside]
One of them had to die, so the other could live a normal life. They did everything together, until one, or the other, wrote "We have become fatal enemies in each other's eyes. We feel the irritating deadly rays come out of our bodies, stinging each other's skin. " [more inside]
Check out the elegant original version (the dog is not stressed or angry; dogs do this). Here's the Drum'n'Bass edit. Finally, Trololo. [all videos contain growling and music] [more inside]
Canadian Inventor of Hawaiian Pizza Defends Pineapple After Iceland's President Disses Fruit Topping [CBC.ca] “The president of Iceland has made a bold, shocking statement about a Canadian invention. President Guoni Johannesson recently told a group of high school students during a Q&A that he was fundamentally opposed to pineapple on pizza — and that's not all. He went on to say if he could, he would ban pineapple as a pizza topping. We demanded an interview with the president.” [more inside]
UN Women Egypt commissioned some adorable 'Where's Wally'-style illustrations of three workplaces, representing technology, science, and politics. There are some women hidden in the pictures, and finding them neatly demonstrates the unbalanced ratio.
An oldie but a goodie: All 25 of the G.I. Joe PSA parodies, made by Eric Fensler circa 2003, Remastered in HD and Compiled in one youtube video (previously, previouslier)
pix2pix-tensorflow uses machine learning to allow you to draw an outline and get back an image, constructed by mashing up pieces from a database of thousands of stock photos. In other words, you draw a outline of a cat, and you get back an image of a cat. Output ranges from the fairly straightforward to the horrifyingly twisted to the terrible mistake. The algorithm has also been turned loose on building facades, shoes, and handbags.
There’s a lot of speculation on how robots taking over people’s jobs could impact the economy. After all, if nearly half of American jobs are automated in the next 20 years, what will people do? And while automation does include losses of jobs, it could also change what we value when it comes to skill sets. For example, care-related work, like nursing and education, will likely remain human. Jerry Kaplan, a futurist and professor at Stanford University, thinks that automation could place a premium on the type of work that women tend to be good at, like person-to-person interaction, reading human emotion, collaboration, and creativity.
Going on a safari affords you the chance to see amazing animals out in their natural habitat. It's thrilling, but there's also an underlying sense of nervousness. These tourists on a safari ride through Kruger National Park in South Africa fully realized this when an elephant decided to chase after their vehicle for several miles. What started out as an awe-filled sighting quickly became more of a edgy slow-speed chase. "He's coming! He's coming!" one of the tourists says. "Oh my god, please go!"
Ikea's Space10 lab has released open source plans for the Growroom, a 2.8 x 2.5 meter spherical garden.
Those edit boys at Auralnauts (of whom previously, previously, pre— oh just do a bloody search) are at it again, with an edited dub of Star Wars: A New Hope in which R2-D2 has a speaking voice. (Specifically, that of voice actor Scheiffer Bates.)
In Strange Horizons, Na'amen Gobert Tilahun reviews Colson Whitehead's The Underground Railroad and Ben H. Winters's Underground Airlines, two recent novels that integrate speculative fiction and fictional slave narratives. His critique includes an interlude asking (and answering), "How can you tell if a narrative is meant for a white audience?"
In the 84th minute of his team's 0-2 loss to Arsenal yesterday, Sutton United's reserve keeper Wayne Shaw was shown eating a pie on the bench. With all of Sutton's substitutes used and the non-league side happy just to be in the fifth round, it seemed to be, as Shaw would later describe it, "a bit of fun". It wasn't. [more inside]