January 11, 2012
I want to see it all catch fire. I want to pour gasoline in the ducts and light a long fuse, and watch from the street as it burns and burns and burns. A Gizmodo blogger confronts his demons … at CES.
The entire QI (Quite Interesting) series 8 (or is that H) is available on YouTube at this user's account. Some episodes are complete in one video, some episodes are in their regular and XL versions, some are chopped up into segments. Scroll to the bottom of the page to find part 1 of s08e01. [more inside]
MMA Fan Made is a tumblr that features submitted Mixed Martial Arts artwork and photography. Check out the archive for easy browsing.
In the news media and on the Internet, there was a great deal of speculation about the rhyme and reason behind the crime spree, with observers often reaching the conclusion that there wasn't any. [more inside]
Here is a very good 8-part documentary about the making of The Flaming Lips' album The Soft Bulletin. Some time after their appearance on Beverly Hills: 90210, some time before releasing new music embedded in edible gummy material of various shapes (and flavors), the album was released to near-unanimous critical acclaim. The FLips, previously on MeFi.
I walk up to "2 Broke Girls" co-creator Michael Patrick King, offer my hand and say, "Mr. King, I'm sorry things got so ugly there, but I wanted to say that it came from a place where a lot of us in the room like the parts of your show involving Kat and Beth, and want the rest of the show to live up to that." King, stone-faced, silently turns and walks off the stage.
"To really love Joan Didion—to have been blown over by things like the smell of jasmine and the packing list she kept by her suitcase—you have to be female. … Women who encountered Joan Didion when they were young received from her a way of being female and being writers that no one else could give them. She was our Hunter Thompson, and Slouching Towards Bethlehem was our Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He gave the boys twisted pig-fuckers and quarts of tequila; she gave us quiet days in Malibu and flowers in our hair. … Ultimately Joan Didion’s crime—artistic and personal—is the one of which all of us will eventually be convicted: she got old. Her writing got old, her perspective got old, her bag of tricks didn’t work anymore."
They Might Be Giants' new video for "When Will You Die?" in which they build a giant paper monster hearse.
Astronomers using data from NASA's Kepler mission have discovered the three smallest planets yet detected orbiting a star beyond our sun. The planets orbit a single star, called KOI-961, and are 0.78, 0.73 and 0.57 times the radius of Earth. The smallest is about the size of Mars.
Wilco, Nick Lowe, and Mavis Staples rehearse "The Weight" backstage at the Civic Opera House in Chicago in December 2011.
Boycott Girl Scout cookies says a young Girl Scout due to Girl Scouts accepting transgender scouts and not discriminating against them. Troops in LA have disbanded in protest of the GSUSA policy of inclusion. Girl Scout cookie sales provide a large portion of the GSUSA funds. Honest Girl Scouts is the site behind this video.
Check out some of the new improvements that defense contractor Raytheon is adding to LAPD police cars. [previously]
Swissted New York graphic designer Mike Joyce takes vintage flyers from punk, hardcore and indie rock shows and redesigns them "into international typographic style posters. Each poster is sized to the standard swiss kiosk dimensions of 35.5 inches wide by 50 inches high and set in berthold akzidenz grotesk medium, all lowercase. Every single one of these shows actually happened."
Busy people in need of a boost in the bars are now relying on professional wingpersons.
"You should view the world as a conspiracy run by a very closely-knit group of nearly omnipotent people, and you should think of those people as yourself and your friends." On this day 5 years ago Robert Anton Wilson died. Maybe. [more inside]
Light marijuana use doesn't harm lung function, study found: "Smoking a joint once a week or a bit more apparently doesn't harm the lungs, suggests a 20-year study that bolsters evidence that marijuana doesn't do the kind of damage tobacco does."
A recent XKCD comic charted the difficulty of various games for computers, from Tic Tac Toe and Nim being solved for all positions, to computers mastering the physical game of Beirut and mental game of chess (the 2006 Deep Fritz vs Vladimir Kramnikin games, previously). There are other games that are basic on the face, but whose potentials for move combinations is so vast as to be beyond the scope of computers. Marion Tinsley was the last great human checkers player, matching off against Chinook in the last 6 games of his life, each ending in a draw (previously). Checkers was finally solved in 2007 (Google quickview; original PDF), and is largest game that has been solved to date, at 8x8. Solving Othello might be possible, if the decision tree were truncated, as the 10x10 board game tree complexity is very huge. The 19x19 Go board is is often noted as one of the primary reasons why a strong program is hard to create, though some programs are getting better at optimizing move evaluations. More: computerized gaming solutions previously, and the Wikipedia page for solved games.
Wu-Tang Clan's Ol' Dirty Bastard (Russell Tyrone Jones) was "heavily involved" in "murder, car-jackings … and the sale of drugs [and] illegal guns", according to a newly released FBI report. The FBI's 93-page file on ODB, revealed in a Freedom of Information request, connects Mr. The Bastard with a litany of serious crimes in the late 80s and 90s.
"I ran the phonetics of east, west, and north, but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as South Detroit," he says. "The syntax just sounded right. I fell in love with the line. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve learned that there is no South Detroit. But it doesn’t matter." One of rock's greatest mysteries, finally solved.
In a first-person tale of woe, a beleaguered New Yorker stranded in the Land of Lard related his struggle to find adequate vegetarian options [NYT link, featuring obligatory pic of sullen, obese Midwesterners]. Reactions came swiftly, albeit indirectly [also NYT] since, curiously, the article itself lacks a comment section. Best comment: the one touting the multiple and tasty options, including veggie dogs and veggie chili on coney dogs, at the dive bar just across the street from the KC Star. Despite an apparent unfamiliarity with such staples as grilled cheese sandwiches, the cub reporter's failure probably won't keep him down for long. [more inside]
Elbridge Colby and Austin Long lay out a case for the US not attacking Iran. As the news of the assassination of a scientists who works on Iran's purported nuclear programs sinks in and the pressure ramps up to attack Iran, Elbridge Colby and Austin Long present a compelling case for why the US should eschew an attack on Iran and follow a containment agenda instead.
NumberADay - Every working day, we post a number and offer a selection of that number’s properties.
An incessantly ringing iPhone in the front row prompted NY Philharmonic conductor Alan Gilbert to halt last night's concert. [more inside]
Act One of this week's This American Life finds Mike Daisey, self-described worshipper in the Cult of Mac, visiting Foxconn, where many of their products are manufactured. It's an incredibly well told and heartbreaking story. [more inside]
Stepping Into the Fire is a documentary about transformation, healing and the Amazons....Ayahuasca, shamanism, human future and a long lost science from ancient civilizations. [more inside]