January 11, 2006

Ancient cities of Iraq

Iraq is full of fabled ancient ruins, many in bad shape, but which still fire the imagination. Some highlights: Ur, birthplace of Abraham, still contained many beautiful artifacts when it was last excavated in the 1920s. Then there is vanished Cunaxa, near Baghdad's airport, where the Ten Thousand, a group of Greek mercenaries, fought their way back to Greece in a 1,000 mile, two-year-long retreat described by Xenophon in the Anabasis (and which served as the inspiration for cult films/games and bad science fiction alike). The ruins of the city of Nineveh were discovered in the 19th century just across the river from Mosul, containing art confirming elements of the Biblical account of the conquests of King Sennacherib. Most famously, the ruins of Babylon (not much to look at, the best bit being in Berlin) have seen much abuse, from Saddam's awful rebuilding of the palace of Nebuchadnezzar to reports of recent damage by coalition troops.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:22 PM PST - 15 comments

It's Like Rollerball, but with chicks and no motorcycles!

It's Roller Derby, and it's back in a big way. Especially appreciated: Their literary tastes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:58 PM PST - 55 comments

Polution hobillion; Earth 1

So with global warming being linked to all sorts of bad things lately, and our illustrious leaders doing nothing about the problem because they don't want to slow down the economy, its good to see someone doing something about the problem, Whole Foods is the first fortune 500 company to go 100% green. And I for one am happy as a clam. This just goes to show you that you can have a wonderful, profitable business, without raping the earth, your customers, or your employees.
posted by stilgar at 8:39 PM PST - 54 comments

Country Boys

Country Boys is Donald Sutherland's latest film documentary being hosted by PBS. Like his previous film on PBS, this one too is a tough but real story of American life. It focuses on the coming of age of two boys in rural Kentucky. You can watch the full program online (the third part will be released tomorrow).
posted by allkindsoftime at 7:48 PM PST - 53 comments

Kennerly: The Lighter Side of Rummy

"On the day Memoirs of a Geisha premiers in London, a flashback to January 1974 when Donald Rumsfeld, then President Gerald Ford's Chief of Staff, entertained a geisha during an official visit to Kyoto." More candid shots of the occasion courtesy of Pulitzer Prize winning photographer David Hume Kennerly.
posted by milquetoast at 6:35 PM PST - 26 comments

US Army counterinsurgency

Writing in the most recent Military Review, British Army Brigadier Nigel Aylwin-Foster very politely points out some observed cultural difficulties inherent in the US Army, such as rigid heirarchies, "institutional racism" and destructive aggression.
posted by wilful at 5:51 PM PST - 46 comments

Something different at 1550 AM

"Open Source Radio" was what I found at 1550 AM when I was tuning around on the radio.
It didn't sound at all like AM radio, and it wasn't a pirate.
It's Infinity Broadcasting/CBS Radio/VIACOM, but it's also klezmer weddings, motivational spam, Rhino Records, current Japanese music, self promotion, unsigned bands, and things that I can't identify.
posted by the Real Dan at 3:38 PM PST - 23 comments

What if Canada's ruling party was ousted because of copyright reform?

What if Canada's ruling party was ousted because of copyright reform? Sarmite Bulte, Canadian MP and incumbent in the January 23 election, has been getting a lot of press in the "blogosphere" as of late - too bad it's all negative. Ms. Bulte, the primary backer of Bill C-60, a copyright reform bill, is accused of taking a lot of money from industry lobbyists. She may not be Tom Delay, but in a minority government where every seat counts, Bulte's loss could swing the minority government from the Liberals to the Conservatives - based on an issue that has hardly any newspaper coverage.
posted by GuyZero at 3:22 PM PST - 257 comments

Space Nerds Rejoice!

Stardust@home. The Stardust spacecraft (discussed recently here) should land in Utah early Saturday, carrying in its hold a sprinkling of grains of interstellar dust. Researchers are seeking the public's help in pinpointing the submicroscopic bits of dust. Participants will sift through the hundreds of thousands of pictures of the roughly square-foot collector plate.
posted by ND¢ at 1:26 PM PST - 21 comments

Ooo es muy macho?

Ooo es muy macho libertariadadista? (Ricardo Mantelban es muy macho! Pero es libertariadadista? Yo no se. Quién sabe? ) El Presidente Bushista esay: “Queiro preguntas muy macho” Quein es ooo preforma en la supportidad de la guerra en terror?Diez preguntas.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:37 PM PST - 55 comments


In the early 1990s Mark Weiser at Xerox PARC coined the term ubiquitous computing or "ubicomp" to describe the way he thought computing ought to look in the post-PC era: computers would be invisible, "in the woodwork everywhere around us." Ubicomp has been discussed here a few times before (in fact a MeFite went on to write a book about it)...but with a flood of manufacturers racing to offer up their versions of the so-called digital home, is Weiser's vision moving closer to reality?
posted by Shanachie at 11:41 AM PST - 23 comments


Readers who bought A Million Little Pieces from Random House get refunded. In what is called an "unprecedented" move, the publisher of the controversial memoir is refunding the book in full. Does this mean that Random House will be suing Frey for damages? Is this truly unprecedented or has this happened before? Catch Frey on TV tonight, if you're interested, as he'll be appearing on Larry King Live.
posted by billysumday at 11:36 AM PST - 171 comments


Newsfilter: Remember how Pat Robertson said god struck down Ariel Sharon because he divided Israel? Remember how Pat Robertson was going to build a $50 million dollar theme park in Israel with a Christian theme? Yeah. Not so much anymore.
posted by delmoi at 11:35 AM PST - 58 comments

The Jets. The Sharks. The Gaylords.

The Almighty Gaylords "...To our first time visitors or people with little understanding of street gangs in general, the web site probably appears a little weird or creepy at first glance..." Gang violence - Chicago Gaylord style...
posted by longbaugh at 10:23 AM PST - 42 comments

Look up in the sky! It's a Bert! It's a Plane!

The aerodynamic qualities of Bert's head. G-cluster rockets constructed out of vintage Muppet toys compete for glory in the semi-annual Evil Bert Rocket Race. (Video available from 2002, 2004, and 2005) And of course, when you're ready for it, you can make your own. (via PuppetVision)
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:45 AM PST - 11 comments


folder. [QT 7] An animated video with paper cut-out characters and falling y-fronts, by Pete Circuitt aka bitstate. [via tween]
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:29 AM PST - 13 comments

Song Tapper

Song Tapper lets you to use your space bar as an instrument. Tap in a song rhythm and Song Tapper will identify it for you with its internety black magic.
posted by Zosia Blue at 9:05 AM PST - 47 comments

Cool old time music

Uncle Neptune's Song Factory is a treasure trove of old time music preformed by Mr. Neptune himself with his ukulele. The blog also sometimes features mp3s of the original 78s. From the Uncle's introduction "I have only to offer to you the songs that help make my world more sweet, and it is my hope that it may do so for you."
posted by wheelieman at 7:54 AM PST - 8 comments

[six + fish] [man] [rings] [head of a cow?]

The Indus Script Mystery: The ancient people of the Indus Valley left behind a mystery in their trash heaps -- the Indus script: a set of stylized characters (possibly a logophonetic script), which may or may not have been recently deciphered. (Probably not.) Some now believe (.pdf file) it is not even a written 'language' as we understand the term.
posted by anastasiav at 7:23 AM PST - 12 comments


FRVADE Is this really the hardest game on the internets? (via Grow-a-Brain)
posted by caddis at 7:09 AM PST - 38 comments

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