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For all your ghost town needs

Do you like obsessively cataloged information? Do you like abandoned, semi-abandoned, and/or semi-repopulated ghost towns? Do you like amazingly poor web design? Then you will love ghosttowns.com, an exhaustive collection of thousands of ghost towns in the US and Canada. Find out how to visit ghost towns, and then click on the map to find one near you!
posted by showbiz_liz on Dec 10, 2013 - 24 comments

And now, conducting the 'The Marriage of Figaro'....

Last week, Improv Everywhere set up the ACJW Ensemble Orchestra (of Carnegie Hall and The Juilliard School) in Herald Square in New York City and placed an empty podium in front of the musicians with a sign that read, "Conduct Us." [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 30, 2013 - 41 comments

Criticism of Criticism of Criticism

"One can almost hear the anticipatory echoes of something like Yelp in the context of José Ortega y Gasset’s The Revolt of the Masses (1930). The multitude, he wrote, once “scattered about the world in small groups,” now appears “as an agglomeration.” It has “suddenly become visible, installing itself in the preferential positions in society. Before, if it existed, it passed unnoticed, occupying the background of the social stage; now it has advanced to the footlights and is the principal character.” The disgruntled diner, now able to make or break a restaurant through sheer collective will. Against this leveling of critical power, the old guard fulminates. Ruth Reichl, the former editor of Gourmet, recently harrumphed that “anybody who believes Yelp is an idiot. Most people on Yelp have no idea what they’re talking about.”"—Star Wars, by Tom Vanderbilt, in The Wilson Quarterly [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on May 5, 2013 - 38 comments

"Tell me, Jigglypuff, when did you last let your heart decide?"

Professor Oak and Jigglypuff sing "A Whole New World" from Aladdin. [SLYT] CAUTION: amateur voice acting, general silliness ahead
posted by Rory Marinich on Dec 5, 2012 - 22 comments

Something fishy with the math

Why did one newspaper, in a story copied by several other UK newspapers, somewhat underestimate the number of adult cod in the North Sea by a factor of...
posted by Wordshore on Sep 29, 2012 - 66 comments

Dreamin' Wild

On an empty plot of the family farm, [the father] built a state-of-the-art $100,000 recording studio. And in that studio, the boys recorded the newly reissued "Dreamin' Wild"... [more inside]
posted by absqua on Aug 3, 2012 - 18 comments

You Are Not a Photographer

Just because you own a camera, you are not a photographer. Have you noticed how 50 girls you went to school with have set up shop as a "professional" photographer? [more inside]
posted by lily_bart on Aug 13, 2011 - 130 comments

3...2...1...

Remember those crazy Danes? Turns out they've had some problems. But they're trying again today! Cecil, meanwhile, is uncharacteristically uninformed. (Previously)
posted by rikschell on Jun 3, 2011 - 28 comments

♪ "So kiss me and smile for me. Tell me that you'll wait for me. Hold me like you'll never let me go..." ♫

Inspired by Andrew Sullivan's recent post on views outside airplane windows, BuzzFeed compiled a collection of "100 incredible airplane window views" from Flickr. (bandwidth-heavy single page version.) Click through slideshow at Business Insider.
posted by zarq on May 9, 2011 - 56 comments

Brown And Also Blue

VE and VJ Day, in London. In Colour.
posted by The Whelk on May 8, 2011 - 14 comments

I hope he's still reaching for those rainbows

The Accrington Michael Jackson: Part One Part Two [more inside]
posted by mippy on Mar 7, 2011 - 9 comments

space, from the ground

Passage of the International Space Station and Discovery, taken on February 28th 2011 at 17:58UT from the area of Weimar, Germany. The shooting equipment is described in detail in this page. (Flash 10 required)
posted by DU on Mar 3, 2011 - 22 comments

From Wong Fu with love

"Agents of Secret Stuff" [more inside]
posted by boo_radley on Dec 2, 2010 - 8 comments

danyk's Electromagnetic Shenanigans

(MLYT) Danyk666 and his microwave oven, danyk and his unshielded Source, danyk's little jacob's ladder, danyk heats water, zaps a CD, uses wrong AC power. Also hairspray high-volt abuse, his flyback transformer no workee (wait for it), carbon scoring on your droids? And danyk's small shaded-pole motor ...OF DEATH!!! [more inside]
posted by billb on Aug 25, 2010 - 35 comments

RIP, Mr. Horkheimer. We'll keep looking up!

Jack Horkheimer, host of "Star Gazer" (formerly known as "Star Hustler") has died. See this excellent post on Horkheimer's work.
posted by achmorrison on Aug 20, 2010 - 106 comments

TREEOSAUR.com

"Like many paleontologists, I believe that T. rex was a hunter: a forest hunter. More specifically, I believe that T. rex used the very same hunting strategy that millions of forest hunters practice today: stand hunting from a tree."
posted by brundlefly on Jul 12, 2010 - 66 comments

Jupiter is a Large Target

Early this morning, local time, two amateur astronomers independently captured images of something colliding with Jupiter. Anthony Wesley (cache) in Broken Hill, Australia noticed it first. Wesley spread the word and Christopher Go (cache) in Cebu City, Philippines also found that he'd documented the event, which occurred at 20:31 June 3, Universal Time. [more inside]
posted by Songdog on Jun 4, 2010 - 57 comments

Photojournalism in the age of digital reproduction

“The quality of licensed imagery is virtually indistinguishable now from the quality of images they might commission,” Mr. Klein said. Yet “the price point that the client, or customer, is charged is a fraction of the price point which they would pay for a professional image.” The NYT on the demise of news photography in the age of the long tail.
posted by sagwalla on Mar 31, 2010 - 38 comments

Karaoke Rage

"After a day of barbering, Rodolfo Gregorio went to his neighborhood karaoke bar still smelling of talcum powder. Putting aside his glass of Red Horse Extra Strong beer, he grasped a microphone with a habitué’s self-assuredness and [...] belted out crowd-pleasers by Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. But Mr. Gregorio, 63, a witness to countless fistfights and occasional stabbings erupting from disputes over karaoke singing, did not dare choose one beloved classic: Frank Sinatra’s version of “My Way.” “I used to like ‘My Way,’ but after all the trouble, I stopped singing it,” he said. “You can get killed." [more inside]
posted by applemeat on Feb 7, 2010 - 55 comments

The Insiders

"I began bringing a camera along to work, photographing my surroundings. And as this project progressed and I slowly learned my craft, I became increasingly fascinated with other photographers who had been in a similar situation, those who had found themselves recording their own jobs: The Insiders [A tiny bit NSFW] ."
posted by chunking express on Nov 24, 2009 - 22 comments

And so you're back, from outer space ...

Not literate analysis. Not a fresh insight into a perennial problem ransacking the world. Not an obituary. But ... well ... Chewbacca dancing with a Jawa to "Footloose", Leia singing to Padme that "mommy dear, girls just want to have fun" (with a Gamorrean Guard with a red-haired fright wig), and were I to tell you the third ... [more inside]
posted by WCityMike on Jul 9, 2008 - 16 comments

Ham Radio and Antennas

It's no secret that amateur radio operators, or hams, often build their own equipment. Especially with the aid of antenna tuners, most anything can be used as an antenna. One group of hams took this to the extreme, using ladders and shopping carts as antennas as they started an annual competition that would eventually see trucks, train tracks, a tree, and even a pair of exercise machines and a football stadium used. I stumbled across the site last night, and it turns out that this year's competition is this weekend! Ham radio, by the way, no longer requires a Morse code exam, just a set of questions on electrical and operations theory. Those curious can take practice tests online, since the FCC releases the question pools.
posted by fogster on May 22, 2008 - 23 comments

I'll be Bill Murray... and you be everyone else!

Top Ten Fan-Made "Sweded" Films Featuring: Predator, Star Wars, Blade Runner, Die Hard, Back to the Future, Goldfinger, Total Recall, Jurassic Park, Armageddon, Lord of the Rings and Terminator 2.
posted by miss lynnster on Mar 20, 2008 - 24 comments

HobbySpace

HobbySpace hosts an exhaustive collection of information and links about space-related hobbies, including amateur astronomy, satellite design, and rocketry for both beginners and experts.
posted by Upton O'Good on Dec 2, 2007 - 3 comments

Pencils down, please

National Novel Writing Month (seen before) starts Nov. 1. The goal: complete a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, Nov. 30. If you'd like to start, or are otherwise working on a novel, Sean Lindsay and others would like you to please stop. [more inside]
posted by kurumi on Oct 31, 2007 - 42 comments

A Vernacular Web

Vernacular Web 2: Two years ago I wrote an article titled "A Vernacular Web", in which I tried to collect, classify and describe the most important elements of the early Web – visual as well as acoustic – and the habits of first Web users, their ideas of harmony and order. I’m talking about everything that became a subject of mockery by the end of the last century when professional designers arrived, everything that fell out of use and turns up every now and again as the elements of “retro” look in site design or in the works of artists exploring the theme of “digital folklore”: the “Under Construction” signs, outer space backgrounds, MIDI-files, collections of animated web graphics and so on.
posted by Armitage Shanks on Sep 4, 2007 - 38 comments

Balloons for the hell of it

The latest launch of the amateur enthusiast group Southern Alberta Balloon Launch Experiments was a success.
posted by Burhanistan on Aug 30, 2007 - 31 comments

Teen goes nuclear

Teen goes nuclear (but in a good way).
Thiago's mom, Natalice Olson, initially was leery of the project, even though the only real danger from the fusion machine is the high voltage and small amount of X-rays emitted through a glass window in the vacuum chamber -- through which Olson videotapes the fusion in action.

posted by spock on Nov 21, 2006 - 31 comments

Draw This Pirate & Start Your New Career

DrawSpace is a collection of dozens of highly detailed (multi-page) online drawing tutorials & downloadable PDFs for anyone who wishes they could draw a little bit better than they can. Probably not very useful if you're already a good artist, although the tutorials do range from beginner to advanced.
posted by jonson on Oct 23, 2006 - 4 comments

Sing out Louis!

Can a young kid sing the Queen of the Night's aira, stay in tune and hit the notes? This one should probably steer clear of opera fans carrying sharp knives until he passes puberty.
posted by BlueMetal on Mar 13, 2006 - 27 comments

SLOOH - Access a high powered telescope from your desktop

Play with the big boys of astronomy by accessing a high powered telescope online.
posted by Fozzie on Jun 21, 2005 - 2 comments

Licenced to.........sing???

Fitness to Practice is a collection of songs written and performed by Amateur Transplants, two practicing doctors from the UK. The album consists of original songs as well as witty parodies of songs originally performed by among others Tom Lehrer and The Jam (mp3 links). The lyrics contain a lot of medical in-jokes, but the humour is broad enough to appeal to everyone.
posted by bap98189 on Mar 31, 2005 - 9 comments

Through the eyes of the soldiers

What do the soldiers see? We've been saturated with images from Iraq - from the media and from other sources. Under Mars has images from a different perspective - they were all taken by soldiers in Iraq. Some are wistful, some are painful, and some are just plain great photographs. There are a few that are kind of funny, too.
posted by bedhead on Dec 15, 2004 - 25 comments

Crispy New Freestyle

Crispy New Freestyle (warning .wmv file)....but it's funny....strong language also.
posted by oliver_crunk on Sep 17, 2003 - 14 comments

Amateur Scientists

Amateurs, Mere Amateurs still make significant contributions to astronomy [The Canadian Laval group's website is typically enthusiastic] and may yet make a difference in other sciences, according to Freeman J. Dyson in this review of Steve Guttenberg lookalike Timothy Ferris's latest book [Here's an enticing glimpse of his home-made Rocky Hill Observatory.]. I wonder just how much easier it's becoming for amateurs to contribute to specific areas of scientific knowledge? Or is it, in fact, increasingly more difficult? And would it still be strictly limited to the observational sciences?
posted by MiguelCardoso on Nov 15, 2002 - 8 comments

Who the heck is Shooby Taylor?

Who the heck is Shooby Taylor? By all accounts, he is (or rather, was...it appears he's dead) a musical outsider, but one blessed with a truly bizarre style. Just take one listen to his...unique version of "Lift Every Voice and Sing"(warning: MP3 file, hilarious)... it's pure gold. And there's plenty more where that came from...
posted by 40 Watt on Jul 11, 2002 - 17 comments

Amateur DVD commentary.

Amateur DVD commentary. The site is a little rough around the edges, but it is a fascinating exercise in voracious fandom nonetheless. Roger Ebert is heralded as giving the idea to the masses [NYT article], but as always, there seems to be prior art. ;)
posted by pedantic on May 20, 2002 - 7 comments

Making Memories?

Making Memories?
If you've ever been dissapointed with the results of your "hey, we have a video camera - let's make a private movie" attempts, Live Acts Video offers a three camera setup, a videographer, and a fantasy themed room for around $500 an hour.
I'm ready for my closeup, Mr. DeMille.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe on Jan 9, 2002 - 9 comments

You too can play with U2.

You too can play with U2. With a little forethought and practice, a guy named Glen Goland lived every amateur guitarist's wet dream last night in Boston. Have you done anything to make your wildest dream come true? Or, like me, are you just letting it all ride on dumb luck?
posted by dchase on Jun 8, 2001 - 19 comments

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