January 6, 2010

Victoria's secret, uncovered by science

Body by Victoria. It started with an invisible handbag. Photoshop Disasters mocked Victoria's Secret for running a shot of a dress model clutching the straps of a digitally wiped-out purse. Then Neal Krawetz at Hacker Factor got into the act, analyzing the image to show that the photo editors had not only swiped the model's purse, they'd toned her arms, enlarged her breasts, and lightened her skin. In the comments, and in this follow-up post, tons of excellent nerdery about how to tell the photofaked from the real, by science.
posted by escabeche at 8:51 PM PST - 97 comments

The Obama Jacket

Barack Obama as celebrity spokeperson.
posted by mrducts at 7:58 PM PST - 46 comments

Bruce Sterling's 2010 State of the World

Acclaimed writer Bruce Sterling is back for his annual State of the World interview in The WELL's inkwell conference. It's a must-read. The first question comes from Cory Doctorow who asks him to help him plan for the future now that Cory has a kid, etc. Sterling's answer is hilarious, biting, and brilliant all at the same time. And that's only the beginning...
posted by brianstorms at 6:16 PM PST - 136 comments

Snow Sculptures

Winter is here in the northern hemisphere and there is snow in many places, including China. In Beijing, heavy snows can stop the city but can’t stop the fun, as this snowman and snow sculpture collection shows.
posted by netbros at 5:52 PM PST - 20 comments

Willie Mitchell, RIP

The man behind the classic sound of Al Green, Memphis producer and soulmeister supreme Willie Mitchell has passed on. Many of the Al Green sides are legendary, of course, and very well known (as is the fantastic "I Can't Stand the Rain, by Ann Peebles), but be sure and head over to the excellent Funky 16 Corners where you can hear three of his lesser-known but deeply grooving productions. Fat stuff. So long, Willie Mitchell, and thanks for the wonderful music.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:14 PM PST - 24 comments

De Facto Pedophile

In Illinois, a political ad is airing on the radio. In it, former Republican Party candidate Andy Martin says current Illinois congressman Mark Kirk is a homosexual. Another ad claims Kirk is a "de facto pedophile." Jack Roeser, an Illinois businessman, is quoted in one ad as saying there is a "solid rumor" regarding Mark's sexuality. What says Roeser about Martin? "I have nothing to do with that SOB."
posted by d1rge at 4:46 PM PST - 77 comments

100 varieties of awesome

100 Cupcakes. 100 Games. How many have you played?
posted by jacquilynne at 4:25 PM PST - 36 comments

A decaying Biosphere 2

Photographer Noah Sheldon documents the collapsing biosphere 2. In case you don't remember it, Biosphere 2 was a terrible disaster - or not. Here's one of the former residents. First link via BLDG BLOG.
posted by serazin at 2:59 PM PST - 37 comments

Full Plectrum Domination

Harpsichords sound pretty. Look pretty too. You can build your own. Even from Lego. (previously) But don't make it your trade.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:57 PM PST - 17 comments

The Axe is Falling

Loran C will cease operation in 2010. Loran C is "a terrestrial radio navigation system using low frequency radio transmitters that uses multiple transmitters (multilateration) to determine the location and speed of the receiver." It is currently used as a backup to GPS for navigational and timing purposes.
posted by vansly at 1:53 PM PST - 54 comments

Goodnight Sticks. And Goodnight Sick

Goodnight Keith Moon
posted by Rumple at 1:10 PM PST - 39 comments

"I am a former child,'' she said, ''and I haven't forgotten a thing.''

Ursula Nordstrom—the "Maxwell Perkins of the Tot Department"—was, from 1940 to 1973, head of the Department of Books for Boys and Girls at the New York publisher Harper & Row, and until 1979 had her own imprint there, Ursula Nordstrom Books. A legendary editor known to her authors as UN, she published the books of Laura Ingalls Wilder, Margaret Wise Brown, Shel Silverstein, Maurice Sendak (whom she is credited with discovering) and, to not a little controversy, E. B. White (previously). One of "the last generation of devoted letter writers," she wrote nearly 100,000 during her five decade career at Harper, of which 300 of the most amusing, acerbic, and illuminating are collected in Dear Genius by Leonard S. Marcus, the first hundred pages of which can be read at the Harper website. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 12:35 PM PST - 8 comments

From Bass to Brother

A poster on Talk Bass wanted to get a cool, old, down-on-his luck bassist a bass to play again. And in the course of doing so, reunited him with his long lost brother. [more inside]
posted by zizzle at 12:16 PM PST - 21 comments

"Pick any suit. Armani? What size?"

Lennart Green is an exceptional magician. [31 mins - but worth every one]
posted by Acey at 12:01 PM PST - 23 comments

Calvin & Hobbes on a Stamp

Calvin & Hobbes will be put on a U.S. postage stamp, honoring "Sunday Funnies," along with Garfield, Beetle Bailey, Dennis the Menace, and Archie. Although there has been no end to the homages and unlicensed materials regarding his beloved characters, creator Bill Watterson, "the only cartoonist who resented the popularity of his own strip," has expressed his disapproval of third-party appropriation in detail:
A wordy, multiple-panel strip with extended conversation and developed personalities does not condense to a coffee mug illustration without great violation to the strip's spirit. The subtleties of a multi-dimensional strip are sacrificed for the one-dimensional needs of the product.
Even if Watterson hasn't approved, nothing in the USPS committee's selection criteria requires artist approval. [more inside]
posted by jabberjaw at 11:59 AM PST - 101 comments

a very long article

How America Can Rise Again by James Fallows
Is America going to hell? After a year of economic calamity that many fear has sent us into irreversible decline, the author finds reassurance in the peculiarly American cycle of crisis and renewal, and in the continuing strength of the forces that have made the country great: our university system, our receptiveness to immigration, our culture of innovation. In most significant ways, the U.S. remains the envy of the world. But here's the alarming problem: our governing system is old and broken and dysfunctional. Fixing it—without resorting to a constitutional convention or a coup—is the key to securing the nation's future. (via|previously)
posted by kliuless at 11:42 AM PST - 61 comments

Keith and The Girl!

Keith and the Girl is a free comedy podcast hosted by stand-up comedian Keith Malley and singer-songwriter Chemda Khalili. (please assume all links in this post to be NSFW) [more inside]
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:37 AM PST - 7 comments

Nude hockey player cast in bronze for Vancouver Winter Olympics

Hot nude bronze gay hockey action. Do you associate the Winter Olympics with middle-aged curlers in warm-up jackets, Lycra-clad former linebackers sardined into a bobsled, and sparkly figure skaters’ outfits (and whatever the girls are wearing)? Oh, you’re so last century! For Vancouver 2010, the Olympics’ first-ever Pride House for gay athletes will feature a bronze sculpture (by Edmund Haakonson) of a hockey player. It’s a dude, and he’s naked save for skates, helmet, and gloves. Of course he’s carrying a big stick.
posted by joeclark at 11:35 AM PST - 44 comments

Tsutomu Yamaguchi dies at age 93.

Japan's only officially known survivor of both Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings dies. In his later years, Yamaguchi gave talks about his experiences as an atomic bomb survivor and often expressed his hope that such weapons would be abolished.
posted by Lobster Garden at 11:28 AM PST - 49 comments

Movies with Grandma Joy

Movies With Grandma Joy: Dawn and her grandma review and re-enact the movies they see together. SPOILER: She wasn't a fan of "There Will Be Blood".
posted by hermitosis at 11:13 AM PST - 8 comments

Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blog

Let me introduce you to Pappy's Golden Age Comics Blog. To start,, I recommend some Ghost Patrol stories from Flash Comics. Or, perhaps some Spacehawk or Powerhouse Pepper by Basil Wolverton is more to your liking. No? How about some Stuntman by Jack Kirby? Maybe Golden Age Flash stories? Maybe some John Stanley? or Fletcher Hanks? Well, look around, I'm sure you will find something you'll like. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 10:08 AM PST - 5 comments


From late January through late May 1974, a wave of "streaking"—roughly defined as running naked in public—occurred in the United States, primarily on college and university campuses; the brief phenomenon eventually spread around the world. Although the exact number of streaks during this time is unknown, one group of researchers gathered data on over 1000 incidents on U.S. college campuses alone (Aguirre et al. 569). Streaking generated significant press coverage and spawned a plethora of streaker-related consumer items including coffee mugs, t-shirts, necklace pendants, "Keep On Streaking" patches, "Streak Freak" buttons, a "Nixon Streaking" wristwatch, pink underwear embroidered with "Too shy to streak," and two dozen novelty singles (one of which, Ray Stevens’ The Streak, became a major hit). ... The important point is that the campus politics that were being contained in the spring of 1974 were precisely the ones that most threatened to consolidate and advance the gains of the previous decade in terms of opportunities for women and people of color. While many Americans were longing for the Age of Innocence of the (white, patriarchal) 1950s, the university continued to lead the way in altering the gendered and racialized relations of power on campus and in American society at large. And it was at precisely this socio-historical juncture that young white men began stripping off their clothes and running in public. << Perhaps the best academic paper you'll ever read about streaking.
posted by billysumday at 9:48 AM PST - 64 comments

'I don't want to do high-budget films'

Neill Blomkamp talks to the LA Times Hero Complex blog about what's next after District 9, making science fiction films and why he is turning down big budgets to make better movies: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3
posted by Artw at 9:45 AM PST - 41 comments

Everybody wins!

It all started innocently enough with yet another decade retrospective, this time from AfterElton.com, about the gay and bisexual male celebs of the 2000s. At the end was a poll to pick your own favorite. Things start out quietly, but after it's noted that John Barrowman and Neil Patrick Harris were neck and neck in the voting, both NPH and Barrowman made appeals on their Twitters for votes. Soon, celebrity associates of both were putting in their own two cents. Things snowball from there. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 9:41 AM PST - 84 comments

Can I get a standard pleasure model?

Google's new phone has raised the ire of Philip K. Dick's Estate. [more inside]
posted by dortmunder at 8:39 AM PST - 165 comments

I used to be the future, and now I'm the past

Notice some best of the year or best of the decade lists? I guess you could do that, if you are into the retro thing. Forward thinking websites bring you the best of the year to come. From The Millions we have books and from io9 science fiction books. (Io9 is also worried about a few things in the coming year.) From The Onion AV culb we have media, broadly defined. Rotten Tomatoes lists the most anticipated Sundance films. You want games? We got games from BoingBoing, MTVu and Kotaku. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot at 8:09 AM PST - 15 comments

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