Paula Fairfield is the sound designer behind the more fantastical elements in Game of Thrones. She’s given a voice to dragons, direwolves, white walkers, and more. But the story behind these voices goes much deeper than you might think. Hear how Paula’s personal journey played a part in creating some of the most iconic fantasy sounds of the day, and how Game of Thrones helped restore her spirit.
What multilingual nuns can tell us about dementia A strong ability in languages may help reduce the risk of developing dementia, says a new study. The research examined the health outcomes of 325 Roman Catholic nuns who were members of the Sisters of Notre Dame in the United States. The data was drawn from a larger, internationally recognized study examining the Sisters, known as the Nun Study. [more inside]
They’re very pretty. But that’s not all. They’re a great example of how much scientists have learned about birds and how many questions remain unanswered. There’s a lot of information in the chemical composition and color of those pretty feathers. Their bright wing and tail patterns seem to be useful for startling and flushing insects. Studies in other species indicate it’s an effective technique. First-year males have coloration more like females. Why? Maybe to cut down on attacks from older males. Or maybe not. Like most birds, redstarts are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, with about 40% of nestlings fathered by a bird outside the pair. Why do birds want multiple partners? A lot of thought and research has gone into answering that question.
What a Waste! Frozen Poop Knives Are Crappy Cutters, Scientists Find (Live Science): An anthropologist reported in the 1990s that there was "a well-known account" of a stranded Inuit man crafting a knife from his own, frozen excrement that was sharp enough to kill and butcher a dog. [...] A team of researchers in a laboratory that reverse-engineers ancient tools was intrigued by the story and decided to put it to the test. In the name of science, the lab's co-directors generated the experiments' raw materials and then crafted their own frozen poop knives, describing the process — and the disappointing outcome — in a new study (Science Direct). [more inside]
Inspired by Rahaf Mohammed, sisters Dua and Dalal fled their family while in Turkey. They've been trying to obtain asylum for months now, all while hiding from Saudi intelligence. (The Saudi consulate in Istanbul is of course where Jamal Kashoggi was killed, so the threat is very real.) The women report being beaten and abused by their family, who tried to marry them off to older men. That Dua is gay caused even more problems. Despite help from a British human rights lawyer and a Saudi activist, they remain at risk.
UAW workers on strike. 46,000 workers at the nation’s largest auto manufacturer walked out after negotiations collapsed Sunday. CNN Live updates. Workers pour out of GM plant in Rochester. (Twitter) Working People Podcast interviews people on the massive layoffs and cutbacks that lead to the strike conditions and the need for international solidarity 1, 2, 3, 4 (Patreon) Grocery workers ready to walk in 3 states . Oregon University Workers set to cast strike vote. Kaiser healthcare workers plan for nation's largest strike since 1997. How To Support The Global Climate Strike Sept 20-27th. [more inside]
The two marquee college sports - football and men's basketball - see major revenues created on the labor of a significant population of black athletes - revenue that then goes to colleges that are predominantly white. Jemele Hill, writing in The Atlantic, argues that black athletes should be making the decision to play for historically black colleges and universities, bringing that money and exposure back to the black community. (SLAtlantic) [more inside]
In 1975, Gulf Oil held a series of seminars to educate the Nigerian public on the benefits of the crude Gulf was lifting from that nation’s Delta Region. For comic relief, out came Mr. Emmanuel Omatshola’s Magic Barrel, a magician who produced an endless bounty from a steel drum: gasoline, kerosene, insecticides, nylon socks, rubber shoes, lipstick & rouge, paint for houses, cellophane to wrap fish and meat.[more inside]
Australia's social website to track aggressive swooping magpies in your area. If you are a cyclist, walker, runner or maybe a concerned member of the public then help protect others and share swooping magpie attacks: Australia's Magpie Swooping Map 2019! [more inside]
The Georgia Film Tax Credit brings hundreds of productions—and billions of dollars—to the state each year. But this past spring, a new anti-abortion law (previously) inspired a number of protests, and major Hollywood studios threatened to move their filming elsewhere. Will a boycott happen? Would it have any political effect? And what would it mean for the people who live and work in Georgia? Can Hollywood Change Georgia? Or Has It Already? Max Blau writes for The Ringer, recapping how Georgia became the "3rd coast" for movie and TV production, Hollywood's apparent indifference to other instances of weakened or lacking laws in Georgia or elsewhere, and how pro-choice states are targeting Georgia’s $10 billion film business (Bloomberg; Newsmax mirror/ copy)
Tetris crossed with Threes in a browser game that is beautifully frustrating.
Eye of the tiger? Russian hay cart? Chicken chasing? Which one’s really going to get you ready to go a few rounds with the Italian Stallion?
Breaking Bad but they're synthesizing insulin: Walter White, a 40-year-old teacher with limited health insurance can't afford to pay for his diabetic son's insulin... (continues). Not a joke: Biohackers with diabetes are making their own insulin – it’s the Open Insulin Project, "a team of Bay Area biohackers working on newer, simpler, less expensive ways to make insulin", and "who believe that insulin should be freely available to anybody who needs it". [more inside]
The Fed is going to revamp how Americans pay for things. Big banks aren't happy. "America's central bank plans to build its own real-time payment system, much to the chagrin of big commercial banks. The news: The Federal Reserve has announced that it will create 'FedNow', a system that will allow real-time bank-to-bank payments, all day every day."[1,2,3,4] [more inside]
"Preference of kittens for scratchers" in Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, Vol 21, Issue 8, 2019.
Two-choice preference tests were conducted to compare scratchers and preferred scratchers with or without additives (ie, catnip, catnip oil, cat hair) in six studies. Kittens (n = 40, <8 weeks old) had access to two scratchers on the floor of a simulated living room for 20 mins and interactions were video-recorded.[more inside]
Photographer Vincent J. Musi (Instagram) chose almost two years ago to end his years of travel for National Geographic assignments to be home with his wife, Callie, and his then 16-year-old son, Hunter. He built "The Unleashed Studio" in the back of a pet food store and began making extraordinary portraits of our furry best friends in Charleston, S.C. (WaPo)
RIP Ric Ocasek: For all the road trips in all the states and all the dancing in the seat. [more inside]
Charlottesville Confederate Statue Defender Sues Paper, Prof, for Reporting His Family’s Slaveholding History (SL Daily Beast)
"Cave and Bat-Inspired Recorded Music and Spoken Word (An International Discographical Database 1905 – 2005)" [more inside]
River City Girls Is Like River City Ransom But With Girls [Kotaku] “For decades, old-school beat-em up fans have been following the adventures of River City Ransom heroes Kunio and Riki, a pair of high school tough guys with a knack for rescuing their girlfriends from thugs. Wayforward’s River City Girls turns that tired formula on its head. It’s an utterly charming old-school brawler where the girlfriends get to rescue the boys, and lord have mercy on anyone who gets in their way. [...] It’s mainly River City Girl’s style that sets it apart from its progenitors. This River City is bright, colorful, and modern, peppered with fashion plate background characters deftly dodging errant attacks. Boss battles are introduced with gorgeous animated cutscenes, while flashbacks are presented as black and white manga volumes.” [YouTube][Game Trailer] [more inside]
ButterChurn is a version of Winamp's famous Milkdrop 2 visualizer that runs directly in your browser. Play a song or set from Soundcloud or upload your own!
The case for universal US healthcare is made by eliminating employee wellness programs. Employee wellness programs are increasingly draconian and punitive. Unsurprisingly, employers prize cost-cutting benefits over actual health benefits. [more inside]
"Please, please, I’ll tell you anything I can, but I can’t afford to be on the outs with Harvard!" There's been renewed focus on Emily Dickinson, with fictionalized treatments of her life in last year's Wild Nights with Emily and in the upcoming Dickinson series. But the real-life drama over control of Dickinson's writings -- including "theft, adulterous affairs, a land deal gone wrong, a feud between families, two elite colleges, and some of the most famous poems in American literature" -- could go toe to toe with either of them.
In Mexico's cartel country, a murderer who kills for "good" tells his story. The reality of vigilante justice is a lot different than it looks from the comic books. "Capache" describes being conscripted into the cartels as a teenager, the brutal training and initiation he went through, and how he switched "sides" to "protect" the people who can't protect themselves.
YOU PROBABLY DIDN’T KNOW YOU NEEDED TO SEE PIX OF FLEXING VICTORIAN BABES BUT YOU DID (Twitter | Threadreader). See also: Charmion's Trapeze Striptease (SFW) [more inside]
I stumbled across this interesting site, covering the old Simpsons House giveaway from
a couple many years ago. Here's what the house looks looked like, I wonder if the neighborhood allowed the owners to keep it looking that way. [Update: it was re-painted, but hints of its cartoony past remain]
said Jon Christensen, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of California at Los Angeles who has written extensively on the use and misuse of dystopian environmental scenarios. It’s important, he said, to provide people with potential solutions and reasons to be hopeful: “There’s definitely a danger of people taking dire measures when they feel there’s no way out of it.”" [more inside]
The machine. The full doll-making process from 1968 (this valley, it is uncanny), from 1963 (very similar). Anna from Frozen gets hair. Barbie gets hair. Large-scale Barbie gets two-tone hair. Another small-scale fashion doll gets hair.
On a freezing day in January, 1944, after my family and I had been confined at Terezín for six months, my mother was arrested by the S.S. and placed in a basement cell in the dreaded prison at their camp headquarters. Not even her lover, who was a member of the Terezín Aeltestenrat, or Council of Elders—the Jewish governing body—could get her released. I was twelve years old, and I was afraid that I would never see her again. But on February 21, 1944, all I wrote in my diary was “Mommy was away from us.” What is most striking to me today about the diary I kept in the camp, seventy-five years ago, is what I left out. [SLNewYorker]
The Original Super Mario Bros. Launched On NES 34 Years Ago [Nintendo Life] “The original Super Mario Bros., one of the most celebrated and adored video games in history, was first released 34 years ago
today, on 13th September 1985.It was on this day that the game launched for Nintendo's Famicom console in Japan, a system which would soon go on to release as the NES or 'Nintendo Entertainment System' across North America, Europe, and more with a copy of Mario never far behind. You likely don't need us to tell you, but it went on to be the best-selling game for the console, selling an estimated 40.24 million copies worldwide.” [YouTube][Super Mario Bros. Retrospective by Jeremy Parish]
As of Saturday September 14, 2019, MoviePass has moviepassed on. The not-quite-all-you-can-watch film screening subscription service shut down at the age of 8, after a long battle with theater chains, competitors, customers, and itself.
"The way luxury has been defined in New York City has changed drastically over time. And I think that's really reflected in the spaces we looked at today"- Architect Michael Wyetzner breaks down NYC luxury homes as they appears in 'Mr. Deeds,' 'Gossip Girl,' 'Billions,' 'Cruel Intentions,' 'Rosemary's Baby' and 'Big.'
"America", an 18 karat gold working toilet and conceptual sculpture has been stolen. The work, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, had been on display at Blenheim Palace.
here’s a story about changelings. Mary was a beautiful baby, sweet and affectionate, but by the time she’s three she’s turned difficult and strange, with fey moods and a stubborn mouth that screams and bites but never says mama. But her mother’s well-used to hard work with little thanks, and when the village gossips wag their tongues she just shrugs, and pulls her difficult child away from their precious, perfect blossoms, before the bites draw blood...
In October 2018, Polar, a U.S.-based company that tracks heart rates, monitored chess players during a tournament and found that 21-year-old Russian grandmaster Mikhail Antipov had burned 560 calories in two hours of sitting and playing chess -- or roughly what Roger Federer would burn in an hour of singles tennis.
Late Late Show host James Corden responds to Bill Maher’s claim that fat shaming “needs to make a comeback.” (single link YouTube)
Economist Piketty's latest book a 1,200 page tome about abolishing billionaires - "The new book, called 'Capitalism and Ideology', tops 1,200 pages and delves into the political ideologies behind income inequality, while providing radical solutions for reversing the world's wealth disparities." (previously) [more inside]
Steve Burns – the first host of Blue's Clues – has a rather rich indie rock and musical career that many people don't know about, as well as a rather fun catalog of shorts that he put on the Web in pre-YouTube days and that still exist. Why deep dive into He of the Green Stripes? I went to college with the guy, he's always been a cool dude, and I want to share some of his cool stuff with you. Plus, it seems timely enough given his recent re-appearance as the character for Steve and Joe's handoff to the new host of Blue's Clues & You. Much, much more under the fold. [more inside]
The 2019 Ig Nobel Prizes (previously) are here. The winner attracting the most media attention this year was a study about the testicles of French postmen, but there are many other unworthy winners.
Union Maids: Women Activists Share their Experiences (1976, 52 min) "This is the story of three women who were part of the rank and file labor movement during the tumultuous 1930s. Their lives were like many other young working women. But all three rose to the demands of their time and became militant organizers for their class." [more inside]
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year finalists have been announced, as have the finalists for Comedy Wildlife Photography. (Wildlife photography previously)
Earlier this week a Cambridge University scholar announced an astonishing literary discovery: John Milton's annotated copy of Shakespeare's First Folio, hiding in plain sight in the Free Library of Philadelphia. If the identification is confirmed (and the scholarly reaction on Twitter, initially cautious, is now becoming increasingly positive), it will be only the tenth book (or eleventh, if you count his family Bible) known to survive from Milton's personal library.
An answer to the question: "what is ISIS's economic policy?" discusses the Salafi view on capitalism, Zakat (a wealth tax to fund welfare programs) and Jizyah (a tax punishing non-Muslims), the prohibition of Riba (interest), anti-trust laws, women in the workplace, labor unions, and more. (Single Tumblr link, found via thetransintransgenic)
Twenty-five years ago, Friends anticipated a time that would both romanticize and mistrust the culture of work. "Chandler Bing entered his profession in that most relatable of ways: He got a job because he had to, and he failed to get a better one, and that failure extended over a period of years, and soon enough, through inertia’s bland inevitabilities, Chandler’s job became his career."
A full minute of Alex Trebek saying "genre", assembled by Jeopardy! champion Alex Jacob, because he hates everything and everyone.
A survey of one hundred and thirty-nine editors who invented, developed, fine-tuned and revolutionized the art of film editing (via Criterion).
Surprisingly Turing-Complete: A catalogue of software constructs, languages, or APIs which are unexpectedly Turing-complete; implications for security and reliability