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Wilderness Women

Every year, women come from all over North America to prove themselves in Alaska's wildest competition [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 14, 2014 - 4 comments

 

The First Botnet, 25 Years Ago Today

How a grad student trying to build the first botnet brought the Internet to its knees. via
posted by nevercalm on Nov 3, 2013 - 7 comments

Back in the day, man, people edited their sites by hand.

Jason Kottke turned 40 today. Some of his friends threw a party on his blog. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 27, 2013 - 27 comments

Dick Raaijmakers, 1930-2013.

Pioneering Dutch electronic/tape composer Dick Raaijmakers has died. Raaijmakers was an early adopter of electronic technology for music production, and his work in the field expanded far beyond the laboratory to include film, theater, installations and visual art, and literature. He wrote for orchestras, percussion ensembles, educational and industrial films, Satie-inspired ambient and background environments, and unorthodox "musical" objects such as tractors and bicycles. He was also a noted essayist and author on new concepts and applications related to sound. [more inside]
posted by mykescipark on Sep 6, 2013 - 5 comments

Farewell to the "schoolmarm who drinks and smokes."

Dawn Clark Netsch dies at 86. Dawn Clark Netsch was a woman of many firsts: she integrated the dorms of Northwestern University in 1949, graduated first in her class from Northwestern's School of Law (as the only female graduate), joined the Law School faculty in 1965 as the first woman law professor in the United States, elected Comptroller as the first woman to a state-wide office in Illinois in 1972, and was the first woman to run for governor in Illinois. [more inside]
posted by zooropa on Mar 5, 2013 - 11 comments

Bill Hill, digital typography and e-book pioneer, died Wednesday.

Bill Hill, digital typography and e-book pioneer, died Wednesday. A pioneer in using science to explain how our brains let us read, he was at Microsoft in the 1990s, and was one the inventors of ClearType, a technology for improving online reading on Windows. His passionate and entertaining lectures include Homo Sapiens 1.0 (transcript) which advocated that programmers need to learn as much about how their user's brains work rather than just OSes and programming languages, Why you only need one space after a period and the section of that talk on Why underlining hurts your brain. He died Wednesday from a heart attack.
posted by Berkun on Oct 20, 2012 - 42 comments

Build your own Gossamer Condor

The first human-powered aircraft to achieve sustained and controlled flight, the Gossamer Condor (6.3 MB PDF), now belongs to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (2.2 MB JPG). So you'll need to build your own. (previously)
posted by Egg Shen on Aug 31, 2012 - 10 comments

The "Unstoppable Gay Jew"

In 1971, "decades before any state had seriously considered legalizing gay marriage, long before anyone had thought of creating—never mind repealing—a policy called “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell,” before Reagan, before AIDS, before the American Psychiatric Association determined that homosexuality was not a mental illness, and before half the people currently living in America were even born, a man named John Singer stepped into the King County marriage license office in Seattle." Meet Faygele ben Miriam, the radical activist who pioneered the fight for same-sex marriage in Washington State, 41 years ago. Via.
posted by zarq on Jun 7, 2012 - 16 comments

Gay helpline pioneer Rose Robertson has passed.

Before the Second World War, Rose Robertson did secretarial work. During the war, as part of her work for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in the UK, Robertson parachuted into occupied France to spy on German troop deployments and act as a courier. Her acquaintance there with a gay couple in the French Resistance, and, after the war, friendship with gay lodgers, led her to found Parents Enquiry, Britain's first helpline to support parents and their lesbian, gay and bisexual children, an organization which she operated for many years. [more inside]
posted by Morrigan on Nov 7, 2011 - 37 comments

Drinks are good

In the 1940s, he fought Nazis. In the 1950s, he fought the U.S. Civil Service. He's battled the Pentagon, the FBI, the medical establishment, the police, and so on. Generally, he wins. And when he's won, so has the entire gay community.... He coined the phrase ''Gay is Good'' in 1968, when the distance between homosexuality and shame was a very short trip.
He co-founded the Mattachine Society of Washington in 1961, one of the nation’s earliest gay rights groups, picketed the White House, and became the first openly gay Congressional candidate when he ran for DC’s House seat in 1971.
Kameny finally got an apology from the government that fired him for being gay. But he didn't get his pension back. And now, "while his mind is sharp, he has difficulty managing his finances. To be brief, one of our greatest heroes needs help." So maybe you'd like to Buy Frank A Drink. (previously, previously)
posted by orthogonality on May 11, 2011 - 13 comments

Reflections on Pioneer

As they leave the solar system, the Pioneer spacecraft have anomalously decelerated, pointing to a possible gap in our understanding of gravity. Now, a computer graphics technique known as Phong shading predicts that the Pioneer anomaly is just a side effect of how the shape of the spacecraft reflects sunlight.
posted by jjray on Mar 31, 2011 - 57 comments

DEAR COMRADE!

Soviet Music "You are browsing a resource which is devoted first of all to the history and culture of the Soviet Union, the country which the West for a long time usually named as "The Empire of Evil", the country to which some people in the West perceive as "something big and snowy". I offer you to try to look outside the frames of usual stereotypes, to try to understand life of a unique country, with its interesting history, beautiful culture and miraculous relations between people. The music submitted on this site - is an evident sample of a totally new culture, which completely differs from all that, with what Hollywood and MTV supply us so much. This culture, being free from the cult of money, platitude, violence and sex, was urged to not indulge low bents of a human soul but to help the person to become culturally enriched and to grow above himself." [more inside]
posted by tellurian on Sep 23, 2008 - 16 comments

Obitfilter: Del Martin

Del Martin, with her partner Phyllis Lyon, were pioneers in so many fields that it's hard to do justice to all of it in one post. [more inside]
posted by gingerbeer on Aug 27, 2008 - 78 comments

The Pioneer Effect

NASA is baffled by unexplained discrepancies in the velocities of some of its spacecraft. Dubbed the Pioneer Effect, it has been observed before but has now been discovered in more probes. Many theories have been put forward, many disproved, and some are wondering if our understanding of gravity is correct. [more inside]
posted by blue shadows on Mar 22, 2008 - 50 comments

"You just heard the drums. It seemed like he kept them going forever."

Mixed With Love: The Musical World Of Walter Gibbons: "This tale begins with a skinny white DJ mixing between the breaks of obscure Motown records with the ambidextrous intensity of an octopus on speed. It closes with the same man, sick with Aids and all but blind, fumbling for gospel records as he spins up eternal hope in a fading dusk. In between, Walter Gibbons transformed the art of DJing and marked out the future co-ordinates of remixology." [more inside]
posted by Len on Feb 7, 2008 - 6 comments

Pretty much devolved by this point.

It's 1984. Let's spend 32 curious minutes with Devo as they convince us to purchase a Pioneer Laserdisc system.
posted by item on Oct 7, 2007 - 49 comments

by sitting she stood up.

Rosa Parks, RIP
posted by amberglow on Oct 24, 2005 - 194 comments

Worlds Within Worlds

Basil Kirchin, 1927-2005

Who he? Kirchin began, aged 14, as a drummer in his father Ivor's jazz band. By the mid-1950s, he and his father were co-leading the most acclaimed jazz band in Britain. They backed Ruby Murray (whose name lives on as cockney rhyming slang for curry), and the great Sarah Vaughan wouldn't tour the UK without them; neither would Billy Eckstine. After disbanding the Kirchin band at the height of their fame, Basil set off around the world, a trip which ended disastrously, when Kirchin's tapes of his band's best moments (obsessively recorded, thanks to the fact that the Kirchin band was one of the first to travel with their own PA system) were accidentally dropped into Sydney Harbour. [more inside]
posted by Len on Jul 1, 2005 - 6 comments

Pioneer Anomaly

The Pioneer Anomaly. Something's up in deep space: the Pioneer spacecraft, now out of contact, have shown an unexplained Doppler drift, indicating sunward acceleration, effectively decelerating the probes cumulatively. The effect may be be nongravitational, and could be explained by any number of factors: an undiscovered twist in Newtonian physics, localized cosmological contraction issues, or just venting gas. Other deep space probes may have experienced the anomaly as well, and a new mission could explore the puzzle; but for now, all we have is past Pioneer data, and that's stored on old 9 track tape which can only be read by antique readers. What's to be done? (Also see Pioneer Odyssey for a nostalgic romp through those early days of deep space exploration. And NASA, bring back the original Pioneer home page plz, kthx.)
posted by brownpau on Jun 13, 2005 - 21 comments

No longer Lost in Space.

No longer Lost in Space. But I wonder: how much longer before a Romulan warship collides with it?
posted by legibility on Apr 30, 2001 - 17 comments

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