"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.”
, by Tom Vanderbilt, in The Wilson Quarterly [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan
on May 5, 2013 -
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 -
"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 -
Early this morning, local time, two amateur astronomers independently captured images of something colliding with Jupiter. Anthony Wesley
) in Broken Hill, Australia noticed it first. Wesley spread the word and Christopher Go
) 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 -
“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 -
"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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -