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He's smiling cause he's full of vodka.

What if you performed clay forensic facial reconstruction on a bottle of Crystal Skull Vodka?
posted by The Whelk on Feb 17, 2014 - 45 comments

Dreaming Reconstructions

With the advent of Flickr, Picasa, Instagram, i.e. massive databases of images, researchers have devised tools like simple markers like SIFT,  in order to reduce image information to bits.  As it turns out, many people think this degraded information can only be used for simple operation on images such as comparison, etc... Hérvé Jégou and other researchers have shown in some vivid manner that one can reconstruct images from these "information degraded" markers. As an extension of the original  paper, Hérvé Jégou has produced a wide variety of reconstructions from photos taken while on vacation. The result: stunning dream-like, artistic-like rendering of the original scenes. And while it may raise all kinds of privacy issues, one cannot escape the similarity between these renderings and the scenes reconstructed from MRI readings.
posted by IgorCarron on Jan 20, 2014 - 18 comments

There's still a war going on

August was one of the deadliest months in Afghanistan, for both civilians and soldiers. The death toll was increased by so-called 'green-on-blue' attacks by members of the Afghan National Army and police forces on ISAF and US forces. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 13, 2012 - 67 comments

We Who Are ABout To Bug Out Salute You

We Who Are About to Bug Out Salute You
Rutherford B. Hayes.... brought the troops home and ended Reconstruction, with the almost unanimous support of the nation’s liberal establishment. They too fought politically against slavery before the Civil War, risked their lives to emancipate its victims, and, too soon, couldn’t wait to bug out of the South.

posted by Joe in Australia on May 7, 2012 - 73 comments

I now have 100 skulls in my room!

My name is Jake and I am a bone collector. This is his room, where he keeps his more than 100 skulls (a contender for the years most awesome cataloguing and archiving effort [look at that organization!]). How Jake cleans up animal bones [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation on Dec 25, 2011 - 12 comments

Crashed Spitfire machine guns fired after 70 years buried in Ireland

Machine guns still firing, 70 years later. The BBC's Dan Snow joins in an dig in Ireland to uncover a Spitfire mk2, hoping to find one o the machine guns in reasonable conditions. They find six, and then it's time to see if they still work. Okay so they stripped the six to rebuild just one good one, and used modern .303 calibre ammo as opposed to the ammo in the ground, but hey. 70 years and still spitting fire. Of course the WWII in me will point out that the mk V's Hispano cannons were far more effective, but hey, that's not romantic enough for a modern news bulletin.
posted by ewan on Nov 10, 2011 - 19 comments

The Welikia Project

The Welikia Project goes beyond Mannahatta to encompass the entire city, discover its original ecology and compare it what we have today.
posted by Trurl on Jun 22, 2011 - 6 comments

Taking Affirmative Action Against Crime and For Economic Reconstruction

The black backs by and on which the fortunes of the New South were built:
On March 30, 1908, Green Cottenham was arrested by the sheriff of Shelby County, Alabama, and charged with “vagrancy.”... Cottenham’s offense was blackness.... [After a brief trial] Cottenham... was sold. Under a standing arrangement between the county and a vast subsidiary of the industrial titan of the North — U.S. Steel Corporation — the sheriff turned the young man over to the company for the duration of his sentence.... he was chained inside a long wooden barrack at night and required to spend nearly every waking hour digging and loading coal. His required daily “task” was to remove eight tons of coal from the mine. Cottenham was subject to the whip for failure to dig the requisite amount, at risk of physical torture for disobedience, and vulnerable to the sexual predations of other miners.... Forty-five years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation freeing American slaves, Green Cottenham and more than a thousand other black men toiled under the lash at Slope 12.
— from the Introduction to Slavery by Another Name: The Re-Enslavement of Black People in America from the Civil War to World War II. The book's website includes reviews of the book, an excerpt of the Introduction, and an extensive photo gallery that includes disturbing images of enslaved and tortured prisoners. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality on Jun 21, 2008 - 94 comments

Reportret: what did historical figures physically look like

Reportret: What did they really look like? Charlemagne "..was a large man, with light coloured hair, a long nose, a thick neck, and a quite prominent belly."
posted by stbalbach on May 17, 2008 - 8 comments

Faces of Battle

As Armistice Day approaches an exhibition reveals a hidden side to the horror of World War I. It contains previously unseen images of British servicemen who suffered terrible facial injuries in the conflict. The exhibition also tells the story of one surgeon - Harold Gillies – who through his efforts to help them became known as the father of modern plastic surgery. WARNING: Some of the following images are of a very graphic nature.
posted by infini on Nov 3, 2007 - 8 comments

"How do the tacos help gumbo?"

"How do the tacos help gumbo?" Hold the tacos, New Orleans says. In yet another pig-ignorant move in Post-Katrina New Orleans, local politicians have decided to destroy the booming taco-truck business that is feeding the workers (and plenty of the locals) who are rebuilding the city. Blame racism, blame taxes, blame immigration politics: A hundred years ago this line of reasoning would have banned the muffulettas and poor-boys that those invading hordes of Sicilians were using to corrupt our youth.
posted by ColdChef on Jul 16, 2007 - 93 comments

Dr. Noori ... stayed home the day of the strike to prevent his workers from finding out that he knew many of the soldiers.

"I thought, 'Why don't we just raid the place?' " --the newest and only currently viable way to check up on how the billions and billions we're spending on reconstruction in Iraq is being spent--fake raids by the US military, making it seem like the recipients aren't receiving aid from us, and in fact are being targeted by us.
posted by amberglow on Mar 23, 2007 - 35 comments

In Their Own Image

"I'm not here for the Iraqis. I'm here for George Bush." How the reconstruction of Iraq was bungled by inexperienced staffers and officials who passed the GOP's loyalty test -- including their views on Roe v. Wade. A WashPost excerpt from Rajiv Chandrasekaran's new exposé Imperial Life in the Emerald City. (Corruption in Iraq previously discussed here.)
posted by digaman on Sep 16, 2006 - 57 comments

A reappraisal of that guy in Grant's Tomb

President Ulysses S. Grant: Civil Rights Hero. A reappraisal of a president considered ineffective and mired in scandal.
posted by pandaharma on Jul 4, 2006 - 17 comments

Wake Nicodemus

NIcodemus, Kansas is the only remaining western community established by African Americans after the Civil War. The promise of freedom and land in the state of John Brown. Though prosperous in the 1880's, it began to fade. Its post office closed in 1953. It is now home to only 27 residents, with an average age of 80, but the "Promise Land" has hope. Wake Nicodemus, wake.
posted by ozomatli on Feb 6, 2006 - 23 comments

Massive fraud, theft, corruption in Iraq rebuilding

Massive fraud, theft, corruption in Iraq rebuilding ...Iraqi money gambled away in the Philippines...spent on a swimming pool that was never used...US$700,000 in cash in an unlocked footlocker...millions to companies that never submitted required competitive bids or that were paid for unfinished work...paid US$14,000 on four separate occasions for the same job...US$1.3 million wasted on overpriced or duplicate construction or equipment not delivered..."needlessly disbursed more than US$1.8 million" of the estimated US$2.3 million spent for renovating the library...from new auditor reports from the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.
posted by Kickstart70 on Jan 30, 2006 - 48 comments

Cut and Run

Bush is cutting the reconstruction funds for Iraq. After wasting 20 billion in reconstruction money with little to show for it Bush is going to "cut and run." The worst part is that Bush now wants the coalition of the willing suckers to pick up the bill. Even though Bush promised to make the infrastructure the "best in the region" and has said in recent speeches that "On the economic side, we will continue reconstruction efforts and help Iraq's new government implement difficult reforms that are necessary to build a modern economy and a better life." So we went to war on false intelligence, and now that we have bombed the country into the ground, we are not even going to try and rebuild it? Guess the national debt is just getting a bit too large for Bush and Co to handle. Or maybe, just maybe, we never cared that much, and it was all lies.
posted by stilgar on Jan 20, 2006 - 109 comments

Fables of the reconstruction.

Fables of the reconstruction. The Bush administration does not intend to seek any further funding for Iraqi reconstruction, leaving only $3.5 billion left to spend out of the $18.4 billion the US budgeted. Approximately half of all reconstruction costs spent so far -- $7.5 billion -- have been eaten up by increased costs due to the insurgency. All remaining reconstruction costs will depend entirely upon foriegn contributions and Iraq's oil industry. But will foriegn aid come through if its too dangerous to work there? Can Iraq's oil industry pay for reconstruction when its output has been in a tailspin for well over a year, falling from 2.8 million barrels a day in May 2004, to 1.82 million barrels per day in January 2005, to 1.2 million barrels a day by November. and ending the year with a low of 1.1 million barrels a day in December? As for the Iraqi infrastructure left to be rebuilt, water and sanitation is still poor in most areas, and electricity production, which looked promising last summer after imports from Iran and Turkey, has deteriorated again, falling to only 3700 megawatts in November 2005, essentially at the same level produced in May 2004.
posted by insomnia_lj on Jan 2, 2006 - 26 comments

Is the West robbing the Iraqi people?

Crude Designs: The Rip-Off of Iraq’s Oil Wealth Detailed argument from the Global Policy Foundation, et al, that the use of Production Sharing Agreements - "quite common in countries with small oil reserves and/or high extraction costs" - is inappropriate for Iraq and effectively robs the Iraqi people by ignoring other, more equitable options.
posted by mediareport on Nov 22, 2005 - 22 comments

Facts without agendas

The Iraq Index is a statistical compilation of economic, public opinion, and security data. An extensive collection by the Brookings Institue of indicators outlining the security situation, the economy and quality of life, as well as polling and politics data. (One downside is that it is a pdf file). Also from the same source is a comparable compilation for Afghanistan
posted by forforf on Aug 5, 2005 - 2 comments

...shock therapy on countries in various states of shock for at least three decades...

The Rise of Disaster Capitalism --...Although hotels and industry have already started reconstructing on the coast, in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Indonesia and India, governments have passed laws preventing families from rebuilding their oceanfront homes. Hundreds of thousands of people are being forcibly relocated inland, to military style barracks in Aceh and prefab concrete boxes in Thailand. The coast is not being rebuilt as it was--dotted with fishing villages and beaches strewn with handmade nets. Instead, governments, corporations and foreign donors are teaming up to rebuild it as they would like it to be: the beaches as playgrounds for tourists, the oceans as watery mines for corporate fishing fleets, both serviced by privatized airports and highways built on borrowed money....
Naomi Klein on "reconstruction" money after natural disasters--and who benefits. (Makes Wolfowitz seem like a less unlikely choice to head the World Bank after reading, too.)
posted by amberglow on Apr 17, 2005 - 36 comments

Urban Gentrification and Eugenics

The connections between post-war urban reconstruction, demographics, social engineering, and eugenics are explored in this treasure trove of links, from things magazine.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Dec 10, 2004 - 4 comments

Post-War Reconstruction

Foreign Affiars magazine is running an account of post-war Germany. It's written by Allen Dulles, who served in the OSS in World War II and later as head of the CIA. A long but interesting read in light of the events in Iraq.
posted by MrAnonymous on Dec 20, 2003 - 16 comments

Iraq: An Eyewitness Political Analysis & A Political Nightmare

Buying up Iraq and Moving Targets
sample paragraph from the first article:
Trying to rebuild a country, when you are policing its civilians and fighting an escalating guerilla war, is a daunting task at best but the United States has boxed itself into an impossible position. Having justified its war on Iraq as measure that would bring liberation and Western-style democracy to Iraq, it needs Iraq to conduct elections as a fig-leaf to justify its occupation and allow it to step away from the impossible task of governing what may now have become an ungovernable country. And, the Bush Administration wants the Iraqi elections to be held before the American presidential ones. But, the Iraqi political scene contains several irresolvable contradictions.
sample paragraph from the second article (within)
posted by y2karl on Dec 11, 2003 - 6 comments

Schooldays, Schooldays...

Now children, time for spelling--B is for: Bechtel? Schools have been highlighted as an under-reported success story of the new Iraq: “We want young Iraqis to learn skills and to grow and hope, instead of being fed a steady diet of propaganda and hatred," says the pres, but...."The first time they came here, they went from classroom to classroom with guns dangling over their shoulders, asking the terrified children whom they loved more, Saddam Hussein or George Bush," says a principal. (more inside)
posted by amberglow on Dec 3, 2003 - 29 comments

Spoils of War

Spoils of War This op-ed piece in The New York Times (free reg req'd) follows the path of money into who is getting what now that the reconstruction phase is about to begin. Might have called this piece: More than Oil.
posted by Postroad on Apr 10, 2003 - 20 comments

halliburton

Halliburton out of the running for the $600 billion contract to rebuild Iraqs infrastructure. Andrew Natsios, director of the USAID, which is handing out most of the postwar contracts, is keen to counter any allegations of favoritism or political influence. "If I got a phone call from anybody putting any political pressure on me, I would report it immediately". Halliburton is the company formerly run by Dick Cheney, VP of the United States.
posted by stbalbach on Mar 28, 2003 - 19 comments

Lower Manattan Redevelopment

WTC Redevelopment Today at 1pm EST, the 7 proposed new plans for redevelopment of the former World Trade Center site will be revealed. Currently, they're carrying the announcements of the new proposals (with architect descriptions of their projects) live on wnyc.org on the Brian Lehrer Show.
posted by callicles on Dec 18, 2002 - 30 comments

KONSTRUKTOR

New Plans for the World Trade Center. Call Frank Gehry, and keep Eric Owen Moss far, far away.
posted by four panels on Nov 20, 2002 - 41 comments

The Villa Rustica in Hechingen-Stein.

The Villa Rustica in Hechingen-Stein. Take a stroll through the remains of a 1st to 3rd Century Roman villa in southwestern Germany. Includes a 3D reconstruction and panoramas. I was especially impressed by the heating system.
posted by homunculus on May 21, 2002 - 1 comment

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