Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World - "With interviewees ranging from Elon Musk to a gaming addict, Werner Herzog presents the web in all its wildness and utopian potential in this dizzying documentary." (via)
"To live one's life openly as a transgender woman, let alone one as a black trans woman, simply wasn't done. The only option, really, was to 'pass' in straight society. But Norman wanted to do more than pass — she wanted to excel in the most scrutinized realm of femininity." The story of Tracey "Africa" Norman.
Italian artist Angelo Musco constructs complex compositions of naked models into feathers, nests and other shapes. Kind of a second-generation Spencer Tunick. (NSFW)
The Deep Mind of Demis Hassabis - "The big thing is what we call transfer learning. You've mastered one domain of things, how do you abstract that into something that's almost like a library of knowledge that you can now usefully apply in a new domain? That's the key to general knowledge. At the moment, we are good at processing perceptual information and then picking an action based on that. But when it goes to the next level, the concept level, nobody has been able to do that." (previously: 1,2) [more inside]
Mario AI - "Mario's inner emotive states cause behavior-determining drives. For example, Mario will collect coins if he is hungry. Whereas, when he is curious, he will explore his environment and autonomously gather knowledge about items he does not know about yet."
Bijin&Co. are a modeling agency with a unique solution to the two-pronged need of attracting new models and figuring out which ones are the most popular with the public: put a pretty lady clock on the Internet. [more inside]
Postcards From Google Earth: "I collect Google Earth images. I discovered them by accident, these particularly strange snapshots, where the illusion of a seamless and accurate representation of the Earth’s surface seems to break down. I was Google Earth-ing, when I noticed that a striking number of buildings looked like they were upside down." [more inside]
Donald Trump trumpets the integrity of the Miss USA pageant. The truth is a bit different.
Every film Pixar has produced has landed in the top fifty highest-grossing animated films of all time. What's their secret? Mathematics. Oh, and 22 Rules of Storytelling. [more inside]
72 year-old Liu Xianping becomes an internet sensation after modeling his granddaughter's teen clothing line on her Tmall website.
On Kate Moss, and Taking One for the Team: "So, earlier this week Vanity Fair published a rare interview with Moss, in which the model, who is well-known for her circumspection, is unusually frank about the early years of her career. Moss was still a skinny, gangly teenager when she was plucked from mediocrity in Croydon and catapulted to superstardom. She was barely an adult, almost still a child, when she did her first topless photo shoot, with Corinne Day for The Face. In the interview, she talks about how uncomfortable this made her... This isn't the only the only revelation Moss made during the interview. It also turns out that the famous Calvin Klein campaign she did in 1992 with Mark Wahlberg gave her a nervous breakdown... Conveniently ignoring the fact that when the pictures were taken, Moss wasn't 'the face of the '90s', but a skinny teenage girl who cried because she was made to take her clothes off, Needham continues by saying that Moss' skinny frame 'seemed to encapsulate the euphoria of those long-distant times.'" [more inside]
Even if you don't have a fondness for building-sized, stomping war machines, you might find this detailed interview and pictorial about the process of designing, from concept to texturing, a mech interesting.
Peter Turchin is a Professor of Mathematics, and of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Connecticut. For the last nine years, he's been taking the mathematical techniques that once allowed him to track predator–prey cycles in forest ecosystems, and using them to model human history -- a pattern identification process he calls Cliodynamics. The goal of cliodynamics (or cliometrics) is to turn history into a predictive, analytic science. By analysing some of the broad social forces that shape transformative events in US society: historical records on economic activity, demographic trends and outbursts of violence, he has come to the conclusion that a new wave of internal strife is already on its way, and should peak around 2020. [more inside]
I See What You Did There: Software Uses Video to Infer Game Rules and Achieve Victory Conditions. A French computer scientist has constructed a system that successfully divines the rules to simple games just by using video input of human players at work.
Observations, stories and photographs by and of art model, sometime dancer, Alex B. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) (NSFW)
Wired called it 'A Robot Scientist.' H+ Magazine asked, 'Signs Of The Singularity?' Even the more pedestrian Science News titled their article 'Software Scientist.' So what is Eureqa? [more inside]
Roger Guimera Manrique and Marta Sales-Pardo have shown that "U.S. Supreme Court justice votes are more predictable than one would expect from an ideal court composed of perfectly independent justices." [more inside]
"Broken Doll" - an article by DIS Magazine that heralds a new generation of Broken Doll pose aspirants.
Frederik and Gerrit Braun, energetic twin brothers with no shortage of dreams, have just finished construction of the world’s largest model airport. With 40,000 lights, 15,000 figurines, 500 cars, 10,000 trees, 50 trains, 1000 wagons, 100 signals, 200 switches, 300 buildings and 40 planes, Knuffingen Airport is both a wonder to behold as well as a technological tour de force. The best part of Knuffingen is that it’s alive. Forty planes and 90 vehicles move about autonomously.
Behold the Moebius Gear. Includes a description of the entire process from modeling to fabrication for your reading pleasure.
Squishy Circuits: recipes for making insulating and conductive modeling doughs, for fun electronics projects (via)
"Only trust yourself. People who say they'll take care of you are the very ones who will hurt you the most."
The shady, predatory side of the modeling industry is the one former model Sara Ziff wanted to portray in her new film “Picture Me: A Model’s Diary”, which chronicles five years in the lives of a group of models, following them backstage and beneath the makeup." An interview with Ziff regarding her then-upcoming film appeared on MeFi in June, 2009. The documentary opens today in NYC. Official Site. Trailer. At New York Magazine's Website: Webisode 1 / Webisode 2. [more inside]
Three newly approved 'in vitro' toxicity tests using artificial human skin are reducing the need for animal testing of cosmetics and chemicals. [more inside]
Figure 3. Basic model outbreak scenario. Susceptibles are quickly eradicated and zombies take over, infecting everyone.
The scholarly literature forms a vast network of academic papers connected to one another by citations in bibliographies and footnotes. The structure of this network reflects millions of decisions by individual scholars about which papers are important and relevant to their own work. Therefore within the structure of this network is a wealth of information about the relative influence of individual journals, and also about the patterns of relations among academic disciplines. Our aim at eigenfactor.org is develop ways of extracting this information. [more inside]
The total value of all your mines, mills, money bins, and so fourth is one multiplujillion, nine obsquatumatillion, six hundred and twenty-three dollars and sixty-two cents!
A miniature of Scrooge McDuck's money bin. (in the words of the model maker) This is a set of images documenting a model of the world's richest duck's money bin, built by me, using blueprints created by the great Don Rosa and Dan Shane.And remember Carl Barks - the mind behind the idea of a man storing all his money in a giant concrete bin.
Beethoven stretches out and relaxes. Gorillas belch to let others know where they are. Fish sing the body electric (.mov, 12 MB) for food and safety. How has your own perception shaped your worldview?
How many group photographs do you have to take to get one in which nobody is blinking? Nic Svenson and Dr Piers Barnes work it out.
Google Releases Sketchup for All. Google has released a free version of SketchUp (video and tutorials), quite possibly the coolest and most intuitive 3D authoring tool. An added bonus of SketchUp is it's integration into Google Earth. Google has also provided a 3D Warehouse for the posting of your models, which can be downloaded into either application (SketchUp for editing, Earth for displaying). Kind of gives you some insight into their plans for using Google Earth as an Automotive (Honda and Volkswagen) GPS service. (Sidenote: how long until this is seen as a threat to national security?)
Kartenfalthelme. Work getting you down? Feel assaulted by schedules, bosses, unreasonable demands? In an imperialist mood? Order your KuK Atelier cardmodel helmets today! Für Vergrößerung klicken! [All content in German, but don't let that stop you!]
Um... can someone explain to me how a parent could do this to their child? Check out some accompanying links and tell me how this isn't child porn and why these parents aren't in prison right now.
For those who like to build things, I enjoyed Build Your Own Boba Fett and Build Your Own Tom Servo, especially the Servo. I have most of the parts, so I'll probably have my very own Servo by Christmas.