California-based Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been central to the US missile and rocket development and operations for decades, and from the beginning that technology's success rested on a corps of expert mathematicians, people known as computers. And from the beginning they were all women, in a time when such opportunities were few and far between. You can find pictures of them, but names have not been well-recorded ... until now. Nathalia Holt found many of those women and wrote about their experiences in her book, Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled Us, from Missiles to the Moon to Mars. [more inside]
Norwegian legends and fairy tales are full of references to subterranean or supernatural beings, many of which have the fiddle as a symbolic attribute.... Even today, some people believe that anyone hoping to become a real fiddler must be apprenticed to Fossegrimen.... The Hardanger fiddle is inextricably linked to such legends, and it is the folk tunes which have kept them alive.And Targjei Augundsson is at the crossroads of legends and folk tunes, whose skill with the fiddle is said to have come at the price of his soul from a deal with Fossegrimen, making him something of the Norwegian predecessor to Robert Johnson. [more inside]
Last April, motivated by rumors of a Chinese paper published the next month that physically demonstrated the technical feasibility of editing human germline DNA with CRISPR by successfully modifying human embryos, a coalition of well regarded scientists assembled to address this fundamentally new ability and they called for an international summit. It was to be billed as a new Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA for a new age in order to lead a new global conversation on questions of whether and how to control human inheritance, which could only be dreamed of 40 years ago. This is a fundamental departure from the non-inheritable gene engineering with CRISPR covered on the blue recently. Thus, from December 1-3, the International Summit on Human Gene Editing, held as a collaborative effort between U.S. National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Medicine, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and The Royal Society, met to discuss the future of this technology and has come out with a clear consensus statement. [more inside]
SABMiller may have rejected Anheuser-Busch InBev's latest offer, but some analysts think an eventual merger is inevitable. [more inside]
The Great Authorial Hookup Chart (larger image), or how to connect Bram Stoker to Arthur Miller in 12 connections, and from Oscar Wilde to Roald Dahl in 12 romances (or how to make distracted students pay attention to English and History), from Black Balloon Publishing's Airship Daily blog. [more inside]
Margaret Perry's review of Women in Pants provides an interesting overview of those women (in the Western world) who chose to wore pants in the 19th and early 20th centuries when the standard gender norm dictated dresses for girls and women. R.S. Fleming has a great collection of Victorian women-in-pants images, particularly in non-American military garb. See also: Welsh pit miners, women fighting in the US Civil War (and support-staff), this cattle thief/gunfighter, some cowgirls, and Dr. Mary Walker - here she is in more traditionally masculine dress (second picture). In France, the artist Rosa Bonheur had to get permission from the police to wear pants (picture) while sketching in public (her license), while adventurer/archaeologist Jane Dieulafoy got a lifetime exemption to wear pants from France. [more inside]
The Photographic History of the Civil War (10 vols.; 1911) offered context for thousands of striking images from the American Civil War: 1 - The Opening Battles; 2 - Two Years of Grim War; 3 - The Decisive Battles; 4 - The Cavalry; 5 - Forts and Artillery; 6 - The Navies; 7 - Prisons and Hospitals; 8 - Soldier Life / Secret Service; 9 - Poetry and Eloquence of Blue and Gray; 10 - Armies and Leaders. It was also a capstone in the intriguing career of a little-known popular historian and silent era filmmaker. [more inside]
The Old 97's are a country rock band formed in 1993. A part of the country-punk genre designated as No Depression in the early 90s (named after Uncle Tupelo's first album), they later added a more brit pop feel to their songs. In twenty good years of about twenty-five they've made their mark on the American landscape. Their newest album, Most Messed Up, is a return to their country-punk roots, where raw feelings overpower courtesy. Their lead singer, Rhett Miller, did an AMA on reddit to talk about it. The new album can be streamed here. It debuted on the Billboard 200 chart at #30, the highest debut in their history.
Bonding over Bond: Superego’s Matt Gourley and Matt Mira of The Nerdist Podcast love James Bond so much they decided to make a podcast about it. Each episode they invite a guest to take a serious — and seriously funny! — deep dive into “the greatest film franchise known to man.” Oh, and it's called James Bonding! (Of course there are Paul F. Tompkins epsiodes, why do you ask?) [more inside]
I am The Whistler, and I know many things, for I walk by night. I know many strange tales, hidden in the hearts of men and women who have stepped into the shadows. Yes... I know the nameless terrors of which they dare not speak. So tonight, I tell you this story.... If you lived near a west coast CBS radio affiliate between May 16, 1942 and September 22, 1955, you probably heard The Whistler, or at least knew of the radio mystery series that was somewhat in the style of the better-known franchise, The Shadow. If you missed it, you can catch up on Archive.org, with selections from 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951 and '52, or browse through a collection of 502 episodes. [more inside]
The Music Scene is a television series aired by ABC as part of its Fall 1969 lineup. The show featured performances from the top musicians of the week as compiled by “Billboard Magazine” and had a number of hosts, including David Steinberg and Lily Tomlin. Many huge names of the era, including The Beatles, James Brown, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Three Dog Night, Tom Jones on the initial program and Janis Joplin, Bobby Sherman, The Miracles, Sly & the Family Stone, Isaac Hayes, Stevie Wonder, Bo Diddley and Mama Cass Elliot, (who co-hosted as well as performed) among many others, appearing on subsequent shows. [more inside]
This August, Washington state's Fish and Wildlife Commission banned giant Pacific octopus hunting (recreational harvesting) across seven popular scuba sites in the Puget Sound -- not because the species is endangered, but simply because the sea creature is revered by the Seattle community. The law went into effect on October 6. What triggered the ban? Therein lies a story. [more inside]
The God of ‘SNL’ Will See You Now. "How do you please Lorne Michaels? Twenty-two ‘Saturday Night Live’ cast members – and one who came close – share tales of the audition that can make or break a career." Also, extended interviews with Kristin Wiig, Will Ferrel, Chevy Chase, Dana Carvey, Jimmy Fallon and Molly Shannon, on what it took to get hired for 'SNL.' Check out audition tapes from: Phil Hartman, Andy Kaufman, John Belushi, Jimmy Fallon, Dana Carvey: 1 & 2, and Dan Aykroyd. [more inside]
The cosmos is also within us, we're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos, to know itself.
Cosmos: A Personal Voyage is a thirteen-part television series of one hour shows written by Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Steven Soter, that was aired at the tail end of 1980 and was - at the time - the most widely watched series in the history of American public television. It is best introduced by an audio excerpt of one of his books, The Pale Blue Dot. Inside is a complete annotated collection of the series. [more inside]
"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Today the Supreme Court announced their 5-4 decision for Miller v. Alabama and found that mandatory life without parole sentences for juveniles who commit murder are unconstitutional. [more inside]
It ran for 8 seasons, from 1975 to 1982. Took home three Emmys out of 32 nominations. The Captain's badge (#233451) is on display at the Smithsonian Museum. Dennis Farina, who worked as a Chicago policeman before turning to acting, reportedly once called it the most realistic cop show ever seen on television. But unlike other cop shows, there were no car chases or shootouts, and the show rarely left the precinct. Out of the 170 episodes of Barney Miller that were produced, 68 from the first four seasons can be seen in their entirety on Crackle's YouTube channel*. Take a seat, have a brownie and check out some classic television. [more inside]
The Male Mystique of Henry Miller by Jeanette Winterson.
As an evangelical Christian, Rachel Held Evans often heard about the importance of practicing "biblical womanhood," but she didn't quite know what that meant. Everyone she asked seemed to have a different definition. Evans decided to embark on a quest to figure out how to be a woman by the Bible's standards. For one year, she has followed every rule in the Old and New Testaments. (FAQ) Her project is set to end today. [more inside]
Web artifact made of solid gold CELEBRITY LECTURES SERIES from Michigan State University. Ten years worth of lectures were posted in 1998. They are all still there-- awaiting your return. Edward Albee ,Isabel Allende, Maya Angelou, Margaret Atwood, Pat Conroy, Jacques d'Amboise, E.L. Doctorow, Richard Ford, Carlos Fuentes, David Halberstam, Joseph Heller, John Irving, Judith Jamison, William Kennedy, Norman Mailer, David McCullough, Terry McMillan, Arthur Miller, Joyce Carol Oates, Philip Roth, Jane Smiley, Susan Sontag, Amy Tan, Paul Theroux, John Updike,Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Derek Walcott, Garry Wills, August Wilson and Tom Wolfe. I listened to the Vonnegut lecture. Imagine-- a whole hour and a half (Well, I skipped the first 9 minutes of introductions.) with my favorite author wheezing and sputtering. How refreshing to hear him declaim in his own voice and reveal the happiest day of his life and his own favorite from among his works -"The Sirens of Titan".
According to the majority of critics who have seen it so far, Frank Miller horrifically butchered Will Eisner's legendary comic The Spirit with his upcoming Sin City-esque film adaptation opening next week. In order to make the pain about a thousand times worse, here's an in-depth story about how there was almost a chance two decades earlier for Brad Bird, director of The Iron Giant and The Incredibles, to have done an animated version with the help of future founder of Pixar John Lasseter.
Some kind soul has uploaded an exhaustive collection of Professor Julius Sumner Miller's Science Demonstrations to YouTube. This is my playlist, I thought the other fans of JSM on Metafilter might enjoy it.
Gene2Music: "We assigned a chord to each amino acid," said Rie Takahashi, a UCLA research assistant and an award-winning, classically trained piano player. "We want to see if we can hear patterns within the music, as opposed to looking at the letters of an amino acid or protein sequence. We can listen to a protein, as opposed to just looking at it."
Employees of Miller turn to youtube to express their concerns about pension benefits. [link via Church of the Customer]
300 opened today. Slate's reviewer didn't like it -- "No one involved ... seems to have noticed that we're in the middle of an actual war. With actual Persians." Some people took him/her to task over it. Still others asked the director, "Is George Bush Leonidas, or Xerxes?" Obviously, the Frank Miller fanboys love it. And one of the guys from AintitCool says, "Just ass kicking that kicks ass that, while said ass is getting kicked, is kicking yet more ass that’s hitting someone’s balls with a hammer made of ice but the ice is frozen whiskey." But who knew the trailer's catch phrase "Then we shall fight in the shade" is actually lifted from Herodotus?
Judith Miller Released from Jail and will testify before the grand jury tomorrow after getting a waiver from her source, Scooter Libby. Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has assured Ms. Miller's attorney that "he intended to limit his grand jury interrogation so that it would not implicate other sources of hers." (More from Editor & Publisher and New York Times; statements by Miller and the Times publisher and executive editor.)
Moveon ads aren't the only things the networks won't allow, Miller has had beer ads pulled after Anheuser-Busch complained that the ads "went beyond the substantiation and communicated taste superiority and/or preference." So the ads were pulled. Oddly enough, AB is the company consumers demanded stop their current ad campaign.
Philip Morris sells Miller unit to South African firm for $5.6 billion, creating the world's No. 2 brewer.
Philip Morris sells Miller unit to South African firm for $5.6 billion, creating the world's No. 2 brewer. Does this mean I'll be able to get Castle Lager here in the U.S. when I have a braai?
MillerTime.com is a site run by the Miller family of San Carlos, CA since 1995. The site serves as a place for projects and code built and maintained by the family. They run their own non-profit group to help schools use technology, but their domain name, which they aren't interesting in selling has run afoul of Phillip J. Morris aka Miller Brewing Company, and is being shut down. They've filed suit against being labelled cybersquatters, but the domain is getting taken offline as we speak.
Mystery Solved?! "Big Band" leader Glen Miller was most likely killed by friendly fire says documentary.
Mystery Solved?! "Big Band" leader Glen Miller was most likely killed by friendly fire says documentary. "Documentary-makers believe that a fleet of 139 Lancaster bombers returning on the fateful night from an abortive mission over Nazi Germany dumped their payload into the English Channel -- and right onto Miller's plane."