A Life-Or-Death Situation. "As a bioethicist, Margaret "Peggy" Pabst Battin fought for the right of people to end their own lives. After her husband’s cycling accident, her field of study turned unbearably personal." Via
A photo essay on the Allen Gilbert School of Undressing
, as featured in the 15 Feb 1937 issue of LIFE
Magazine (now LIFE.com). Burlesque empresario Allen Gilbert wanted to help save American marriages from the evils of ... sloppy undressing on the part of the wife. His answer? A specialized school to teach women to improve their "disrobing methodology."
At least, that's what Gilbert claimed; in reality, the school -- and the LIFE spread (you should pardon the phrasing) -- were elaborate promotions for his new burlesque revue, "Sex Rears Its Ugly Head."
"Joke or no joke, however, one thing is as true today as it was three-quarters of a century ago: whether one wants to make a buck publishing magazines, staging burlesque shows or fostering adult education, sex sells."
"This is a story, a picture story, of two very lucky people before whom was spread out the greatest of treasures, the planet Earth.
We traveled aboard a magic carpet, the one with the yellow borders, National Geographic magazine. During four decades we wandered over all the continents and left wakes across the seven seas." [more inside]
On Wednesday, William Van Poyck was executed
by the state of Florida for murdering a prison guard during a botched 1987 attempt to free an imprisoned friend. Poyck spent 25 years in solitary confinement on death row, during which time he wrote to his sister about his life in prison. Since 2005 she has published those letters to a blog called Death Row Diary
. 'Poyck used to write about everything from the novels and history books he was reading and shows he watched on PBS to the state of the world and his own philosophy of life – punctuated by news of the deaths of those around him, from illness, suicide, and execution.' Excerpts
. His final letter.
The Olympus Microscopy Resource Center digital video gallery
, with: live cells
, pond life
About 200 indigenous people on the Xingu, Tapajós and Teles Pires rivers began an occupation of the largest construction site of the Belo Monte Dam, demanding the withdrawal of troops from their land and the suspension of dam construction. Powerful and searing, this statement from a people pushed to the brink by their own state, Brazil, and who have begun an indefinite protest at the main construction site of the Belo Monte Dam, which is in the Xingu and Tapajós river basins
Her encampment is 'an old patio umbrella draped in a white plastic sheet secured with binder clips. It is flanked by two large boards with messages in capital letters: BAN ALL NUCLEAR WEAPONS OR HAVE A NICE DOOMSDAY and LIVE BY THE BOMB, DIE BY THE BOMB. This rudimentary shelter has been positioned outside the White House for more than three decades. It is a monument itself now, widely considered the longest-running act of political protest in the United States, and this woman, Concepcion Picciotto — Connie, as she’s known to many — is its longest-running caretaker.' [more inside]
Stephen Wolfram used the data provided by Facebook users
to do some demographic analysis.
This past September, Jessica Ann Lum
won a "Best Feature" award in the student-journalist category from the Online News Association, for her Master's project: "Slab City Stories
." Less than four months later, on January 13, 2013, she passed away
. She was 25. "Jessica loved to tell people’s stories. This is hers." [more inside]
The Cambridge University Library houses the world's largest collection of Charles Darwin's letters: more than 9,000 of the 15,000 letters he is known to have written and received in his lifetime. They've been posting them online since 2007 (previously on MeFi)
, in the Darwin Correspondence Project
, where we can now read and search the full texts of more than 7,500 letters, and ﬁnd information on 7,500 more -- all for free. This weekend, they added nearly all of the Darwin-Hooker letters
: Over 1400 pieces of correspondence between Darwin and his closest friend, botanist Joseph Hooker. [more inside]
The county where no one's gay.
The 2010 Census of Franklin County Mississippi shows no same sex couples. (pdf)
. CNN videographer Brandon Ancil and human rights columnist John D. Sutter tried to determine if the census was wrong, and see if they could find gay men and women willing to speak about "what keeps them hidden." Video
The last King of Rwanda, Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, lives on public assistance in low-income housing, at a dead end between US Route 66 and State Route 655 in Oakton, Virginia.
'He ruled Rwanda for just nine months in the 1960's before fleeing a revolt and has spent the last half century in exile, powerless to stop the violence that ripped through his country. He is 76 years old now, his tottering seven-foot-two-inch frame stooped by age and the vagaries of fate.'
Defense contractor takes break from F-35 JSF, finds a way to eliminate 99% of the energy cost of desalination.
Lockheed-Martin has developed a way to craft sheets of carbon a single atom thick, which can filter the salt (and just about anything else) from water with a tiny fraction of the energy required by current processes. "Lockheed officials see other applications for Perforene as well, from dialysis in healthcare to cleaning chemicals from the water used in hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking," of oil and gas wells." Previously
- "Bringing the World's Best Biology To You" [more inside]
The Old Man at Burning Man. "When I mentioned to friends that I was going to Burning Man with my 69-year-old father, 'Good idea' were the words out of no one's mouth."
A day before her 32nd birthday, Jill Brzezinski-Conley was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a double mastectomy. She's now 35, and her cancer has metastasized to terminal, stage-4. Sue Bryce won Australian Portrait Photographer of the Year in both 2011 and 2012, and last year's prize was a one-person trip to Paris. After hearing her story, Bryce took Brzezinski-Conley with her to the City of Light for a photo shoot and brought along a videographer. The resulting short film: "The Light That Shines
." (Also on Vimeo
. (click the open magazine at the top of the page)
. The video and photos both show a topless Ms. Brzezinski-Conley, and may be nsfw
. [more inside]
Over a thousand monks and laymen are revered in Tibetan Buddhism as the incarnations of past teachers who convey enlightenment to their followers from one lifetime to the next. Some of the most respected are known by the honorific "rinpoche." For eight centuries, rinpoches were traditionally identified by other monks and then locked inside monasteries ringed by mountains, far from worldly distractions. Their reincarnation lineages were easily tracked across successive lives. Then the Chinese Red Army invaded Tibet in 1950 and drove the religion's adherents into exile. Now, the younger rinpoches of the Tibetan diaspora are being exposed to all of the twenty-first century’s dazzling temptations. So, even as Tibetan Buddhism is gaining more followers around the world, an increasing number of rinpoches are abandoning their monastic vows. Reincarnation in Exile. [more inside]
is a bit of a hit. Although it lost out to "Modern Family" at the Emmy Awards, it continues to receive significant attention as the 2nd season gets underway. [more inside]
"Most American high schools are almost sadistically unhealthy places to send adolescents."
Does the "worst of adult America looks like high school because it’s populated by people who went to high school in America?" [more inside]
Vietnam - Looking Into the Past.
Vietnamese photographer Khánh Hmoong takes pictures of Vietnamese landscapes and buildings, then superimposes a photograph from the past over the modern day setting. His work is similar to FILMography (previously on MeFi)
, Russian photographer Sergey Larenkov's World War II gallery: Link to the Past
, and Ben Heine's Pencil Versus Camera
The most-watched show in the history of the National Geographic Channel
or even the longest-running documentary series on cable tv: Explorer
. It's Doomsday Preppers
, a show that documents the "lives of otherwise ordinary Americans" as they prepare for the end of the world. [more inside]
A five-part series on the ultimate limit on technology, and how that limit could help us find other civilizations: 1 2 3 4 5 [via]
American paratrooper Arthur Boorman suffered debilitating injuries during the first Gulf War. Doctors told him he'd never walk unassisted again. 15 years later.... [more inside]
Well now, this is an interesting discovery...
Reexamination of data collect through HARPS
has resulted in finding three additional planets bringing the total to six
. One of which
is safely within the goldilocks zone
of its star.
Ephemeral New York
'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
is a continuous version of John Conway's Game of Life
. When you tire of watching the hypnotic video you can read a technical description of SmoothLife on the arXiv
. Then you can watch more videos of SmoothLife
In 2005, the Discovery Channel aired Alien Worlds
, a fictional documentary based on Wayne Douglas Barlowe's graphic novel, Expedition: Being an Account in Words and Artwork of the 2358 A.D. Voyage to Darwin IV
." Depicting mankind's first robotic mission to an extrasolar planet that could support life, the show drew from NASA's Origins Program
, the NASA/JPL PlanetQuest Mission
, and ESA's Darwin Project
. It was primarily presented through CGI, but included interviews from a variety of NASA scientists and other experts, including Stephen Hawking, Michio Kaku, John Craig Venter and Jack Horner. Oh, and George Lucas, too. Official site
. Previously on MeFi. [more inside]
Alfonso Calza created this video
from photographs he took of the streets, desert, ocean, mountains, and ruins of Morocco.
"My case illustrates how success is always rationalized. People really don’t like to hear success explained away as luck—especially successful people. As they age, and succeed, people feel their success was somehow inevitable. They don’t want to acknowledge the role played by accident in their lives. There is a reason for this: the world does not want to acknowledge it either." Michael Lewis's address to the Princeton Class of 2012