It's 1963. You're in a cold war with Russia. You want to keep up communication capabilities globally. Communication satellites haven't come into their own. The ionosphere is fickle and jammable. What do you do? You fire 480 million tiny copper wires into space to create an artificial dipole antenna belt around the earth. You call it Project West Ford
. It works. [more inside]
posted by cortex
on Aug 27, 2013 -
How Things Fell Apart
, By Chinua Achebe - 'In an excerpt from his long-awaited memoir, the inventor of the post-colonial African novel in English discusses his origins as a writer and the seeds of revolt against the British Empire.'
I can say that my whole artistic career was probably sparked by this tension between the Christian religion of my parents, which we followed in our home, and the retreating, older religion of my ancestors, which fortunately for me was still active outside my home. I still had access to a number of relatives who had not converted to Christianity and were called heathens by the new converts. When my parents were not watching I would often sneak off in the evenings to visit some of these relatives. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Oct 25, 2012 -
Sadly, a great and little known columnist from Salida, Colorado, has just passed away
. His work remains online.
His small-town values were the best of small-town values. His political views were well-considered, but not always doctrinaire. Check out his final column
for an example of his wit and common sense. I will miss him immensely. (Another Denver columnist I love just checked out - of work, not life, and not voluntarily - Tina Griego: this
is her goodbye column.) Our newspaper grows thinner and shriller.
posted by kozad
on Jun 4, 2012 -
"It’s been nearly 6 years since the series finale of The West Wing, and more than 12 since the one-hour drama, which [Aaron] Sorkin created and largely wrote, first walked and talked its way through NBC’s Wednesday-night lineup; and yet you might think the series never ended, given the currency it still seems to enjoy in Washington, the frequency with which it comes up in D.C. conversations and is quoted or referenced on political blogs. In part this is because the smart, nerdy—they might prefer “precocious”—kids who grew up in the early part of the last decade worshipping the cool, technocratic charm of Sorkin’s characters have today matured into the young policy prodigies and press operatives who advise, brief, and excuse the behavior of the most powerful people in the country.
posted by zarq
on Mar 11, 2012 -
I'm so sorry, Metafilter, really I am. I don't know what's come over me, but I am posting one of the dopiest, most embarrassing celebrity novelty tunes ever recorded. It's by the fellow who played Batman in the 60s TV series, Adam West, in a breathtakingly stupid recording of an utterly ridiculous song called Miranda
. I pray that you'll forgive me for my indiscretion, and I promise I will post some inspiring and worthwhile music next time around.
posted by flapjax at midnite
on Aug 30, 2011 -
, as she is today, was carved out
of British India
, in 1947 when the left and right hand sides of the country became the new nation of Pakistan (East
) respectively. While the history of Islamic influence and subsequent tolerance and intolerance
goes back centuries to the first advent of the Mughal invasion
, it has been said that the post Independence troubles
of the modern nations of India and Pakistan stem from this
sundering. In 1971, war
brought forth Bangladesh
from the former East Pakistan on India's eastern border.
, as this holocaust is known, embedded
in current day Indian
, culture, movies
, TV serials
and music, was an unimaginable
horror of slaughter
and bloodshed. This separation was not in the plans of the Mahatma
, and it is said he was assassinated by Hindu fundamentalists
for letting it happen. What future awaits
the Hindus and Muslims who have lived side by side
for hundreds of years?
posted by infini
on Nov 26, 2008 -
in the case of the West Memphis 3
claims that "there was no DNA from the three defendants found at the scene, the mutilation was actually the work of animals and at least one person other than the defendants may have been present at the crime scene." [previous thread]
posted by billysumday
on Oct 30, 2007 -
The Third View project
is a fascinating presentation of "rephotographs" of over 100 historic landscape sites in the American West that presents original 19th-century survey photographs, photographed again in the 1970s, then once again in the '90s - from the original vantage points, under similar lighting conditions, at (roughly) the same time of day and year. [Flash, and you'll probably need to allow pop-ups; a little more info inside...]
posted by taz
on Jun 15, 2007 -
When Everybody Called Me Gah-bay-bi-nayss
- an ethnographic biography of Paul Peter Buffalo, son of Ojibwa medicine woman and grandson of the great chief Pezeke. Buffalo died in 1977, but spent his last dozen years chronicling his heritage and the things the elders told him. Be sure to check out the entry on John Smith, a wonderful character more popularly known as Wrinkle Meat
posted by madamjujujive
on Nov 16, 2006 -
Alex Ramsey's journal
gives an account of his journey westward to join the 1849 Gold Rush, a laborious trek of no more than twenty-five miles a day which ended in illness and disappointment. "I am now convinced that I done very wrong in coming here with the hope of bettering my pecuniary condition alone and I now declare and humbly ask God to enable me to perform my promise that if I am again permitted to return to a land of peace and quietude, that I will strive to be content." From the Wyoming State Archives' Document Photo Gallery
posted by Miko
on Sep 14, 2006 -
Out along old Route 66 in Northern
is Canyon Diablo. Best known for its large meteor crater
canyon and its surroundings contain another fantastic story. It begins in the mid 1870’s with a
Apache raid on the Navajo that ended in the gruesome death
of some 50 Apaches trapped in what is now called “The Apache Death
The story picks up about 10 years later in 1880 when the Atlantic
and Pacific railroad ran out of money at the
canyon’s edge. Unable to progress any further a make shift boom
town grew up over night
. Said to be more dangerous than Tombstone
and Dodge City
combined, the first sheriff appointed at 3pm was dead by 8pm that same night.
The city of Canyon Diablo
lasted 10 grizzly years, ending only when the US Army was dispatched to gain
control over the murder, theft and prostitution that ran rampant. The story
continues in 1920 at the inception of Route 66.
, opens up one of
the first and what would become one of the most elaborate Route 66 trading posts/gas
station/curio shop/ tourist attractions.
Named Two Guns
, it was
complete with Hopi
made buildings, a gas station,
a well-lit “Death Cave
, a “zoo”
of filled with the local fauna. and lots of colorful characters
In a short time, the roadside stop began to take on what many by that time
calling the curse of Canyon Diablo.
Shady business deals, fires,
maimings, and murder abounded. After several attempts thru the 50’s and
60’s to rebuild ,all that is left is a crumbling,
posted by BrodieShadeTree
on Feb 21, 2006 -
Kanye West gets twitchy on Red Cross Benefit
Oh goodness. The young prankster in me loves this kind of thing. The boring matured realist version of me finds this divisive bumper-stickerism toxic to our modern political dialogue. And worse still I see the following scenario unfold:
Kanye West: "George Bush doesn't care about black people".
Cut to: My mother-in-law in front of the tv, slowly putting her checkbook back into her purse.
posted by glenwood
on Sep 2, 2005 -
is quite possibly the best television show ever produced. Not only is it amazingly gripping stuff, it's also meticulously researched. (Pretty easy to do when the entire city
is a registered historic landmark
Sure, we all know that Wild Bill
and Calamity Jane
were real people. As it turns out, though, almost every
main character in the show (and many minor ones) had a real life counterpart, as did many of the events
Deadwood notables EB Farnum
, Reverend H W Smith
, Seth Bullock
and his partner Sol Star
, Colorado Charlie Utter
, Al Swerengen
with his Gem Saloon, and the crosseyed gambler Jack McCall
all lived and breathed in one of America's most storied cities.
posted by absalom
on Dec 10, 2004 -
Black, White & Brown.
A great 9-part video feature on the NYT site (registration required) featuring a discussing between Cornel West and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education.
posted by adrober
on May 16, 2004 -
Muslim states hate us because their culture is backwards and corrupt,
according to a Wall Street Journal editorial. The writer, tired of America-bashing, explores the inferiority complex of the Arab world: "Like Third World Marxists of the 1960s, who put blame for their own self-inflicted misery upon corporations, colonialism and racism--anything other than the absence of real markets and a free society--the Islamic intelligentsia recognizes the Muslim world's inferiority vis-à-vis the West, but it then seeks to fault others for its own self-created fiasco. Government spokesmen in the Middle East should ignore the nonsense of the cultural relativists and discredited Marxists and have the courage to say that they are poor because their populations are nearly half illiterate, that their governments are not free, that their economies are not open, and that their fundamentalists impede scientific inquiry, unpopular expression and cultural exchange." via kuro5hin
posted by swift
on Feb 26, 2002 -
Looking the World in the Eye
Huntington, a Harvard prof., lays out his vision for the future of the clash of civilizations in an article in The Atlantic Monthly. The main points are-
• The fact that the world is modernizing does not mean that it is Westernizing. The impact of urbanization and mass communications, coupled with poverty and ethnic divisions, will not lead to peoples' everywhere thinking as we do.
• Asia, despite its ups and downs, is expanding militarily and economically. Islam is exploding demographically. The West may be declining in relative influence.
• Culture-consciousness is getting stronger, not weaker, and states or peoples may band together because of cul tural similarities rather than because of ideological ones, as in the past.
• The Western belief that parliamentary democracy and free markets are suitable for everyone will bring the West into conflict with civilizations—notably, Islam and the Chinese— that think differently.
• In a multi-polar world based loosely on civilizations rather than on ideologies, Americans must reaffirm their Western identity.
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy
on Nov 28, 2001 -
an interesting take on the whole western ideals v eastern ideals idea. The collapse of the Soviet Union as harbinger of the collapse of the west? Well, maybe not from the perspective of your average neo-libertarian. From the perspective of someone who didn't buy into the Enlightenment, from where springs both liberal democracy and marxism, then it may just look like one process. Interesting article from the 'Other Side of the Hill'
posted by vbfg
on Sep 17, 2001 -
West steps up threats against Yugoslavia
-- "The Democratic Opposition of Serbia has signed up to the platform of the G17, a think-tank of market economists again funded by National Endowment for Democracy [an adjunct to the CIA]. This economic blueprint calls for the adoption of the German mark as the main currency for all of FRY, following in the footsteps of the Montenegrin republic last year. Other proposals include reduction of public spending, ending subsidies on food and other forms of social protection. The continuation of US and European economic sanctions on the FRY is being cynically exploited to bludgeon the population into accepting these terms as the condition for ending their economic isolation...." [more...]
posted by johnb
on Sep 25, 2000 -