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 -
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 -
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
posted by Effigy2000
on Feb 1, 2007 -
“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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
has a somewhat technical but free supplement
on stem cells (alongwith a podcast and related blog
posted by Gyan
on Jul 2, 2006 -
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 -
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 -
- an interesting read on artificial life
and evolutionary computation
, from the game of life
), through core wars
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 -
-- 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 -
--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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
The 2004 International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources' Red List
of Threatened Species.
posted by Gyan
on Oct 20, 2005 -
“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 -
"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
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 -
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 -