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The Traveling Rings of Santa Monica Beach

The Traveling Rings At Santa Monica Beach
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 5, 2007 - 12 comments

 

Dead Animal Art

Still lifes of dead animals.
posted by dios on Apr 4, 2007 - 39 comments

US Soldiers speak .

Voices of the Fallen: the war in the words of the dead-- In letters and journals and e-mails, the war dead live on, their words—urgent, honest, unself-conscious—testament to the realities of combat. What do they have to say to us? ... The result is a window on Iraq we have not had before: the bravery, the fear and the chaos of war, and the loves and hates and dreams and nightmares of the warriors. Things are incredibly busy, then they are not. The Iraqis are welcoming, then they are not. The war is going well, then it is not. The mission makes sense, then it does not. ... (video, audio, email, and text)
posted by amberglow on Mar 30, 2007 - 14 comments

A Soldier's Thoughts.

While there have been many posts on Mefi of blogs written by those affected by the Iraq War, I have not seen this one posted. No matter your stance on the war, your opinion of American soldiers, or the amount of other Iraq war blogs you've read, all I ask is that you at least read these few entries. I've used too many words already, when the journal does more than enough to speak for itself. A Soldier's Thoughts. (via) [more inside]
posted by wander on Feb 7, 2007 - 13 comments

The Up Series.

Back in 1964, a documentary was commissioned by Granada Television called Seven Up!, which aimed to test the old Jesuit maxim “Give me the child until he is seven and I will give you the man” by studying the lives of a group of children from various backgrounds to see how their lives would develop. Every seven years thereafter, director Michael Apted has returned to see where their lives have taken them, in a series of films known as The Up Series. You can read a great overview of the series here. Some have followed the path expected of them. Others have moved halfway across the world. Some have even set up their own webpage! And others still, like Neil, have found that getting to what may be your calling in life often requires you to take a signifcant detour, as this video from the latest edition, 49 Up, shows.
posted by Effigy2000 on Feb 1, 2007 - 79 comments

Forget second life, get a first life

A one-pager light hearted satire of the second life. Get a first life before you get a secondlife.
posted by jacob hauser on Jan 23, 2007 - 17 comments

"To get threat from unknown side whether al Jehad battalion or others!"

“Oh, I took the roofs road" --just one of the fascinating things at a new Iraq blog--Inside Iraq-- daily life in a war zone through the words of Iraqi journalists in McClatchy's Baghdad Bureau as they risk so much each day to survive. These are unedited first hand accounts of their experiences. Their complete names have been withheld for security reasons.
posted by amberglow on Jan 17, 2007 - 9 comments

Cancer Cure Patented

Cancer Cure Patented A group of researchers claim that they are patenting a possible cure for cancer involving nothing more than sugar and short-chain fatty acid combination.
posted by TravisJeffery on Jan 4, 2007 - 26 comments

Obesity and Diabetes

Obesity and Diabetes - another free supplement by Nature
posted by Gyan on Dec 15, 2006 - 17 comments

how's your pulse?

it, it, it's alive! social networking sites have a pulse. "The form of the monster on whom I had bestowed existence was forever before my eyes, and I raved incessantly concerning him."
posted by localhuman on Nov 24, 2006 - 32 comments

Crime and Punishment, Online Style

Crime and Punishment, Online Style Long a bastion of metaverse fantasies, avatars competing for style, and commercial dreams, Second Life has become a phenomenon. Lately, though, things are going a bit awry. Hacking attempts have been common, with the latest shutting things down only a few days ago. To address this crime, the SL crew is looking into creating a virtual FBI. Dibs on the Scully avatar.
posted by PreacherTom on Nov 21, 2006 - 8 comments

Life Drawing class as Burlesque show

"Two years of twisting my back for 15 bucks an hour as an artist's model convinced me that modern sketch classes weren't nearly as sexy as they were cracked up to be."

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, hosted in Brooklyn and with branches around the World , gives artists the chance to draw burlesque performers like The World Famous *BOB* , Dirty martini , and Amber Ray , and make real pretty pictures . A return to glory days? Or just another tired trend?

Oh, and there is a book.

(Possibly NSFW if your job doesn't like pasties. )
posted by juliarothbort on Oct 29, 2006 - 39 comments

Starving to live

Julian Dibbell, the same journalist that lived off virtual cash for a year, gives Calorie Restriction a 9-week test drive and tells all about it in this long New York Mag piece. Sure preliminary evidence says you could lengthen your life by 50 years, but is 150 years of starving yourself worth it?
posted by mathowie on Oct 24, 2006 - 59 comments

"There has never really been any modernity, never any real progress, never any assured liberation."

Meditations on: the poetic and profane; on silence; death; catastrophe; Cage — and yet more strangeness and beauty from David Ralph Lichtensteiger's travels within the world of 20th C. avant garde music and postmodernism.
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 17, 2006 - 2 comments

The D-Day Photographs of Robert Capa

The D-Day Photographs of Robert Capa (via Plep)
posted by jack_mo on Sep 4, 2006 - 7 comments

Bounce a Check to save your life?

Would YOU lie to save your life? The Doctor said that I needed a keyhole operation called a coronary angioplasty to clear the blockages, but the waiting list on the NHS was nine months. I couldn’t believe my ears. I knew that I would struggle to survive the next nine days, so nine months seemed an impossibility. What the doctor had just handed me was a virtual death sentence. He must have seen the look of horror. He said that if I paid for the operation, he could fit me in for the angioplasty within the week. The cost privately, he told me, would be around £8,500. I looked at him, my head a whirl as I tried to make sense of what he was telling me. As far as I could see, the choice was clear — if I paid I would live, if I didn’t I would probably die. I’m a pensioner living on £150 a week. And no bank would have given me a loan. But in that split second my survival instinct kicked in and I realised I had to convince the doctor that I had the money. ‘Well, you can’t take it with you,’ I said cheerily. ‘I’ll go private.’ The following morning, I gave the administrator the cheque before I was discharged from the hospital. Some people would say this was fraud, because I knew it would bounce. But there was nothing else I could do — I wanted to live.
posted by Izzmeister on Aug 21, 2006 - 163 comments

Tacoholic- MS Paint Gallery

Beauty in bitmaps- Some artists work in watercolors, some oils, and some with clay. The 'artists' at tacoholic express themselves in the universally accessible medium of really bad MS Paint drawings. Its public so you can submit your own masterworks.
posted by AVandalay on Aug 18, 2006 - 7 comments

What's Your Perfect Hometown?

Lists of the best places in the United States assume their expert can choose the absolute best place to live, or to work, or to raise a family—for everyone. Wouldn't a better way to find great places to live in America be based on your unique priorities and preferences?
posted by CodeBaloo on Aug 15, 2006 - 42 comments

Imagine a troubled gay teenager contemplating suicide...and getting James Dobson on the other end.

1-800-SUICIDE loses govt. funding: Despite the fact that almost 2 million callers have reached help and hope over the last 8 years, and a government funded evaluation stating the benefits of 1-800-SUICIDE, the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Service Administration (SAMHSA), a division of Health & Human Services, has decided to create their own government run system where they would have direct access to confidential data on individuals in crisis. (SAMHSA has already scrubbed their websites of any and all LGBT information, and gay youth are 2-3 times more likely to commit suicide.) Save 1-800-SUICIDE website here.
posted by amberglow on Jul 28, 2006 - 68 comments

Two Sisters

Daniel Raeburn's story about his daughter's still birth is one of the most depressing things I've read in a while. Thankfully, there is a much happier update to the story. (via Kottke)
posted by chunking express on Jul 11, 2006 - 90 comments

Stem Cells in nature

Nature has a somewhat technical but free supplement on stem cells (alongwith a podcast and related blog).
posted by Gyan on Jul 2, 2006 - 6 comments

Never work.

Never wanna work/Always wanna play/Pleasure, pleasure every day. What happens when the jobs go away and don't return? Should we take the surpluses generated and pay people not to work? What happens to the assumption of scarcity when nanotechology allows us to generate potentially anything we want from grass clippings? Maybe Marx had it wrong all along. Maybe, instead of fetishizing work and the authoritarian mindset that it generates, we should have been reading Paul Lafargue instead. Just as a thought experiment, what would you do if your job category disappeared? How would you spend your time? Would you invest more time and energy in friendships and other relationships? Hobbies? If you were your employer, what technologies would you use to get rid of your position and save money?
posted by jason's_planet on Jun 25, 2006 - 43 comments

a facinating collection of life stories

Gulfport High School class of '61 a facinating collection of life stories. check out the Our Classmates page. David sailed across the atlantic. Babs died when katrina hit the gulf coast. jane has 17 grand-children. C. H. Locklin was a chaplin working at the pentagon on 911.
posted by ronenosity on Jun 23, 2006 - 8 comments

GATTACA

The Promise and Perils of Synthetic Biology
posted by Gyan on Jun 16, 2006 - 14 comments

Get a Life, Zacarias

No Death Sentence for '20th Skyjacker' Moussaoui (he Newsfiltered), and as he was led from the courtroom, the defendant, who had looked for the last few weeks like he was campaigning for martyrdom, clapped his hands and said “America, you lost. I won.” (I had severely underestimated this character's skill at Political Theater) In spite of the final spit-in-the-face-of-the-US, MSNBC.com's Unscientific Instapoll has 51% saying it was the right decision, while CNN.com's Poll says 63%, and Foxnews.com's poll... is about tax cuts. Disclaimer: Yes, I do some writing for the Entertainment section at MSNBC.com, but the News department does not know I exist and doesn't want to. And newssite instapolls are so-o-o Web 1.0, I know, but still, what's with the non-outrage?
posted by wendell on May 3, 2006 - 76 comments

What did one ghost say to the other?

Get A-Life - an interesting read on artificial life and evolutionary computation, from the game of life (playable applet), through core wars, tierra and on to genetic programming. This approach has recently borne fruit to genetic programming pioneer and inventor of the scratchcard, John Koza, who last year patented his invention machine, actually a 1000 machine beowulf cluster running his software, which has itself created several inventions which have been granted patents. [See also: BBC Biotopia artificial life experiment, another odd BBC evolution game, Artificial Life Possibilities: A Star Trek Perspective]
posted by MetaMonkey on May 3, 2006 - 14 comments

The Saddest Thing I Own

Sad -- such a sweet-looking kid, the smile on the face of a future suicide. Sad -- "If she only knew then how things would turn out…" Sad -- "I chose to kill her." Sad -- "You could see her personality break through the coma." Life is dukkha, said the Buddha -- a Pali term that means something like "suffering" or "the incapability of satisfaction." (Or as Mick Jagger put it, "I can't get no...") Here's the tangible evidence.
posted by digaman on May 3, 2006 - 39 comments

Monkeys

The meaning of life.
posted by bobbyelliott on Apr 23, 2006 - 103 comments

Johnny, Don't Eat Your Vegetables!

Eat less, live more - maybe.
posted by daksya on Apr 21, 2006 - 14 comments

Vrba told the world, but for some it didn't help

Rudolf Vrba-RIP --he escaped from Auschwitz with another guy, Wetzler, in April 1944 and got to Slovakia and Hungary, telling the world of the atrocities in the Auschwitz Protocol. Some Hungarian community leaders, however (Hungary was the only country that hadn't had its Jewish population deported yet), were busy making deals with Eichmann for safe passage away. In any case, the result was that about 1,700 Hungarian Jewish leaders, with their families and friends, ended up in Switzerland, while almost half a million unsuspecting Hungarian Jews ended up dead in Auschwitz. Vrba's report first alerted the world (including the Vatican, Red Cross, and US and British authorities) to exactly what was going on, and helped prosecute some who were tried later. ...Knowing perfectly well that it was the secrecy surrounding their actions that allowed the Nazis to herd unsuspecting Jews and transport them like sheep to slaughter, Vrba and Wetzler — as soon as they got in touch with Jewish community representatives in their native Slovakia — compiled a detailed report. They wrote about Auschwitz and what awaited Hungarian Jews once they arrived: immediate death by gassing.
posted by amberglow on Apr 11, 2006 - 17 comments

Who's Poor?

The Measurement of Poverty
posted by Gyan on Mar 29, 2006 - 6 comments

The Simulacrisation of Technology into Life

As the Pentagon ousts plans to turn insects into cyber war machines you'd be forgiven for asking the question: Where does the real digital end and the faked life begin? Are we simulating life synthetically? or just speeding up an entirely natural process? Technologically engineered life is here to stay. Its not far fetched to speculate that simulacra may become all there is.
posted by 0bvious on Mar 15, 2006 - 13 comments

His weapon was a camera....

A true pioneer has left us. Gordon Parks dead at 93. His ground-breaking work as a still photographer of color during the civil rights movement was enough to garner him a place in history but he strove for excellence throughout his life. His first movie, the Learning Tree is a classic and of course he also gave us Shaft. He was a bonafide renaissance man excelling in music and painting and even wrote a ballet based on Martin Luther King. He was truly one-of-a-kind.
posted by photoslob on Mar 7, 2006 - 26 comments

what you need right now isn't the righteous anger the rest of the blogosphere will give you. You need more.

For the women of South Dakota: an abortion manual --building on the history and expertise of Jane, , an underground referral and abortion-providing group in Chicago in the 60s, Molly provides the vital info women in South Dakota (and maybe elsewhere soon) need.
posted by amberglow on Feb 26, 2006 - 133 comments

Time spent on the internet and uses of

How much time do you spend online? The internet is taking over our lives. Worldwide it is changing the way we live. Everything from complete wastes of time to complex profit schemes to finding love, an entire lifetime can be spent online. But is it really the same?
posted by Addiction on Feb 1, 2006 - 42 comments

"People don't want to know the Marlboro Man has PTSD"

It was an instant icon, with Dan Rather calling it "the best war photograph in recent years." About 100 newspapers ran the photo, dubbing the anonymous warrior the "Marlboro Man." The photograph hit the world on Nov. 10, 2004: a close-cropped shot of a U.S. Marine in Iraq, his face smeared with blood and dirt, a cigarette dangling from his lips, smoke curling across weary eyes. He's quieter now -- easier to anger. He turns to fight at the sound of a backfire, can't look at fireworks without thinking of fire raining down on a city. He has trouble sleeping, and when he does, his fingers twitch on invisible triggers. The diagnosis: post-traumatic stress disorder. The man in the photograph is James Blake Miller, now 21, and he is an icon, although in ways Rather probably never imagined.

Previously mentioned briefly here
posted by stenseng on Jan 29, 2006 - 27 comments

Too much of a good thing

The ashes of the recently deceased contains high amounts of nutrient rich phosphates, just perfect for sprucing up that garden of yours. On the iconic peaks of Scotland though Mountaineers have decided that enough is enough.
posted by 0bvious on Jan 25, 2006 - 33 comments

...respecting and defending the life and dignity of every human being...

Roe v. Wade, 33 years old today. With abortion back in the news due to the Supreme Court nomination of Alito, will the Ideological Rumble over the issue ever be settled or are we doomed to see questionable declarations like today's recognition of "National Sanctity of Human Life Day, 2006"? ...creating a society where every life has meaning...-- every life? Really?
posted by amberglow on Jan 22, 2006 - 200 comments

39 Pounds of Love - a short film

39 Pounds of Love "is the inspirational and humorous non-fiction account of Ami Ankilewitz, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare and often fatal form of SMA/2 that severely limits his physical growth and movement yet at 34 years of age, he continues to outlive a doctor's prediction of life expectancy by 28 years and counting. Ami, who weighs only 39 pounds, works in Israel as a 3D animator and creates his art despite the fact that his bodily motion is limited to a single finger on his left hand."
posted by Gyan on Dec 9, 2005 - 14 comments

Crime & Abortion

Economist Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, has long posited a controversial thesis that legalized abortion help reduced crime, by reducing unwanted children, prone to crime. However, a new paper argues that Levitt (& Donohue) made serious errors in their research. Properly analysed, abortion has no significant effect on crime. Levitt disagrees, of course.
posted by daksya on Dec 4, 2005 - 46 comments

Life in the Undergrowth

Mating Leopard Slugs entwine - one of the untold wonders of the animal kingdom captured on video.... The BBC gets up close and personal with Life in the Undergrowth in their new wildlife documentary. A must see for any animal, insect or David Attenborough fan... (If the main vid link doesn't work for you try it from here - realplayer needed)
posted by 0bvious on Nov 23, 2005 - 32 comments

MegaFeeders

Obesity: Epidemic or Myth?
posted by Gyan on Nov 16, 2005 - 54 comments

Design Your Life

Design your life. Design as a way to think about life.
posted by OmieWise on Nov 8, 2005 - 13 comments

The origin of life?!

The origin of life?! I heard from an authority in molecular biology today that a group of researchers funded by the Carnegie Institution and NASA believe they've discovered the origin of RNA, and with that, the origin of life. This new discovery grew out of NASA's Deep Impact mission to study the composition of comets. Specifically, they started investigating a kind of carbon that forms in layers, with each layer slighly offset from the previous one in a helix shape. Significantly, the thickness of these carbon layers corresponds with the thickness of each twist in a strand of RNA. It turns out that the individual building blocks of RNA are capable of bonding to this layered carbon when exposed to UV radiation. Once this has happened, apparently formaldehyde can then bond to the building blocks of RNA on the carbon "pattern", allowing the bonded RNA to slough off into the primordial soup. Over time, some of these RNA strands could fold and bond to themselves, forming DNA. Formaldehyde, the initial bonding material, would eventually be replaced by a more chemically sophisticated substance, creating the chemical bond that we observe today in DNA. Expect a paper on it to be released in approximately three months with all the details.
posted by insomnia_lj on Nov 6, 2005 - 66 comments

Death as we know it will die.

Death as we know it will die. If you wish to be a prophet, first you must dress the part. No more silk ties or tasseled loafers. Instead, throw on a wrinkled T-shirt, frayed jeans, and dirty sneakers. You should appear somewhat unkempt, as if combs and showers were only for the unenlightened. When you encounter critics, as all prophets do, dismiss them as idiots. Make sure to pepper your conversation with grandiose predictions and remind others of your genius often, lest they forget. Oh, and if possible, grow a very long beard. By these measures, Aubrey de Grey is indeed a prophet. The 42-year-old English biogerontologist has made his name by claiming that some people alive right now could live for 1,000 years or longer. Maybe much longer. Growing old is not, in his view, an inevitable consequence of the human condition; rather, it is the result of accumulated damage at the cellular and molecular levels that medical advances will soon be able to prevent — or even reverse — allowing people to go on living pretty much indefinitely.
posted by sharksandwich on Oct 30, 2005 - 43 comments

List of endangered species

The 2004 International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' Red List of Threatened Species.
posted by Gyan on Oct 20, 2005 - 6 comments

Ernest Becker

The real world is simply too terrible to admit; it tells man that he is a small, trembling animal who will decay and die." “The defenses that form a person’s character support a grand illusion, and when we grasp this we can understand the full drivenness of man. He is driven away from himself, from self-knowledge, self-reflection. He is driven toward things that support the lie of his character.” Words of Ernest Becker, here summarizing Gestalt therapy and his own existential perspectives in Growing Up Rugged.
posted by semmi on Oct 4, 2005 - 26 comments

Choices

A slice of contemporary reality.
posted by semmi on Sep 23, 2005 - 10 comments

Italo Calvino, 1923-1985

"If time has to end, it can be described, instant by instant," Mr. Palomar thinks, "and each instant, when described, expands so that its end can no longer be seen." He decides that he will set himself to describing every instant of his life, and until he has described them all he will no longer think of being dead. At that moment he dies.
In memoriam of Italo Calvino, who died exactly 20 years ago.
"Calvino's novels" by his friend Gore Vidal. Calvino's obituary by Vidal, il maestro William Weaver's essay on Calvino's cities, Jeanette Winterson on Calvino's dream of being invisible, and Stefano Franchi's philosophical study on Palomar's doctrine of the void. More inside.
posted by matteo on Sep 18, 2005 - 18 comments

Imitate Jesus and Socrates

Temperance. Silence. Order. Resolution. Frugality. Industry. Sincerity. Justice. Moderation. Cleanliness. Chastity. Tranquility. Humility. Benjamin Franklin's 13 virtues. "He committed to giving strict attention to one virtue each week so after 13 weeks he moved through all 13. After 13 weeks he would start the process over again so in one year he would complete the course a total of 4 times."
posted by nthdegx on Sep 10, 2005 - 32 comments

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