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
Medical assistance in dying (MAID), known elsewhere and previously as physician-assisted death, assisted suicide, and voluntary euthanasia, has been legal in Canada since 2016, following the historic Supreme Court decision in Carter v. Canada, in which two women, Gloria Taylor and Kay Carter (represented by her family posthumously), successfully challenged the government's restriction on MAID. But that was not the end of the story. [more inside]
Inside The Ghosting, Racism, And Exploitation At Game Publisher Nicalis by Jason Schreier [Kotaku] “For this story, Kotaku spoke to four external developers who worked with Nicalis and seven former Nicalis employees, most of whom requested anonymity because they were afraid the company would retaliate against them. (Some of those employees left the company out of frustration; others were let go.) Some shared anecdotes about the company ignoring them for months on end. All described Nicalis’s founder and president Tyrone Rodriguez as a friendly but often difficult boss, prone to behavior that some called controlling and exploitative. Multiple former Nicalis employees said Rodriguez pressured them to drink heavily, made racist jokes in the workplace, and would oscillate between berating them and ignoring them. A few shared Skype logs of Rodriguez using racial and ableist slurs, racist jokes, and antisemitic comments during work conversations. (We’ve included some of those logs later in the piece.)” [Nicalis Founder Tyrone Rodriguez Responds to Investigation into His Racism and Mistreatment of Employees] [more inside]
A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked. "The notion that our brains make choices before we are even aware of them... pop[s] up in cocktail-party conversation or in a review of Black Mirror. It’s covered by mainstream journalism outlets, including This American Life, Radiolab, and this magazine. Libet’s work is frequently brought up by popular intellectuals such as Sam Harris and Yuval Noah Harari to argue that science has proved humans are not the authors of their actions." .... [more inside]
Sri Lanka is home to a new[ly discovered] species of tarantula—and its females are fuzzy, turquoise-tinged, and big enough to comfortably hug a donut (National Geographic), as recently reported in the British Tarantula Society Journal, with more pictures of Chilobrachys jonitriantisvansicklei. [more inside]
Albums I Wish Existed A web site jam packed with albums that could have been made, perhaps should have been made, and now they are made, by a man who just seems to be doing what he can to make the world a better place for those of us who love music. [more inside]
Venturing beyond the first page of search results for a term (like
webobjects) can result in felicitous finds. “WebObjects offers every benefit for … Internet applications” quotes Steve Bogart’s blog post for August 11, 1999. Yes, Now This is one of the original weblogs. (Just ask the Chicago Tribune in their September 7, 1999 article.) [more inside]
Dune is a massively influential novel that also had many influences. Khalid Baheyeldin maps the Arabic and Islamic themes and the etymologies of words. Some words have shifts in meaning or spelling, some probably intentional, others surprising. Why is a Kindjal - a dagger - spelled like that? Baheyeldin locates this spelling on the Indian subcontinent, but then there's this article by Will Collins about Dune and The Sabres of Paradise, "a half-forgotten masterpiece of narrative history recounting a mid-19th century Islamic holy war against Russian imperialism in the Caucasus." Herbert borrowed liberally from the book's language and its description of fierce people fighting in unforgiving lands.
He Just Likes to Win. Schwarzenegger may be in his 70s, but as he proves fighting costar Gabriel Luna in fall’s hot movie Terminator: Dark Fate, he’s as driven as ever. A lengthier than you might imagine profile in Arnold from Men's Health [Where else?] but I read it to the end.
Neonicotinoid pesticides have been shown to threaten bees and other pollinators, but a new study shows they can also harm seed-eating birds.
Ten candidates will appear tonight at the third Democratic primary debate in Houston as the US Presidential campaign continues. [more inside]
Thousands of property managers in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom are enforcing dog poop surveillance programs to ensure tenants clean up after their dogs or face a stiff fine. This seemingly-trivial practice brings up a larger question: what else will these services be used for? (Sarah Emerson, Medium OneZero) [more inside]
If Computers Are So Smart, How Come They Can’t Read? This is an accessible presentation of the inherent lack of understanding in artificial "intelligence." It's amazing how much mileage the field has gotten out of pattern matching and probabilistic models, but the authors argue that it's time for an "entirely new approach."
A history of the Pyramids of Giza and the people who explored them. Jimmy Maher (The Digital Antiquarian) with an extensive history on the Pyramids at Giza and the people who explored them.
From MIT Tech Review, a new Space Elevator called "Spaceline". The difference is this elevator has its anchor point not on the earth but on the moon. And it just dangles "close" to earth. [more inside]
The ancient Greek story of a school massacre is a lesson we need to learn. “We labor in part with the misunderstanding of what the word hero means. And there is dangerous beneath that cornerstone of every college myth class, “the heroic pattern”, perhaps most well-known popularly in the form of Joseph Campbell’s monomyth, the heroic journey. The “heroic pattern” is a crass oversimplification of narrative myth and a naive perpetuation of its limitations.” A long, critical read. [more inside]