January 28, 2009
An inanimate object comes to life: The interactive staging of the thousand year old runic stone Mejlbystenen. [more inside]
The FT's Davos blog offers a range of informed comment as our leaders gather in Switzerland to consider the economic mess we're in. But will the ongoing spat between the US and China over the renminbi exchange rate overshadow all else at the World Economic Forum?
Lunatic Magazine is a bi-annual online photo magazine presenting new work of photographers from around the world. Lunatic offers the opportunity to photographers to promote original stories, images, and photojournalism. (Issue1, Issue2, Issue3)
Recent work by Yichao Wu, Judy Lieberman, and Deborah Palliser has led to a topical treatment that knocks out the herpes virus in testing with mice by way of RNA interference (RNAi). Notably, it works when applied prior to or after sexual contact and holds promise for human usage. (RNAi is a very recent (1998) discovery that garnered the 2006 Nobel prize [MetaFilter thread] for Fire and Mello.) You can read more about the intravaginal application of siRNAs in the January issue of Cell Host & Microbe.
Andreas Aronsson makes interesting impossible figures, documents the process, and philosophizes. Via lines and colors and Neatorama, where Aronsson shows up to call himself "an Oscar Reutersvärd ripoff." Reutersvärd is often credited as the founder of the impossible figure. [more inside]
Johnny Rico, lead character in the hit movie Starship Troopers, is suiting up once again to fight back against the evils of the galaxy. Hollywood actor Casper Van Dien has reprised the combat savvy character for Childhelp to talk about fighting a different war – the war against child abuse. (via Ain't It Cool News, embarrassingly enough.) [more inside]
Texas is sticky; Wyoming is not. Arizona is a magnet, but New York, surprisingly, isn’t. Nevada is both a magnet but not sticky. A Pew Center report examines “Who Moves? Who Stays Put? Where's Home?” (previous Pew Center reports on who’s in jail, and who can identify Dick Cheney, among others.)
"Civilization is Just a Thin Veneer. In the absence of law and order, men quickly revert to savagery. As was illustrated by the rioting and looting that accompanied disasters in the past three decades, the transition from tranquility to absolute barbarism can occur overnight. People expect tomorrow to be just like today, and they act accordingly. But then comes a unpredictable disaster that catches the vast majority unprepared. The average American family has four days worth of food on hand. When that food is gone, we'll soon see the thin veneer stripped away." [more inside]
Dave Chalmers has just launched PhilPapers, a directory of nearly 200,000 online papers in philosophy. This is a jawdropping and amazing resource for philosophical research. For evidence of the scope of this project and the care that has been given to it, see the taxonomy of philosophy that was developed for the site.
Newspapers rush to deliver news online. A look at the future from 1981.
Two guys in a hotel room. Then in another hotel room. Photographer Richard Renaldi (blog) documents the global travels he and his partner Seth have made over the years. His organizing device? Hotel rooms (and motel rooms and wicker shanties). (Some nudity and sexuality; some photos NSFW.) [more inside]
Vince Offer, better known as the ShamWow guy or the SlapChop guy, isn't just a salesman. He's also a filmmaker, and he's battling the Church of Scientology.
The Vocaloids,1 anime-like characters created for the singing synthasizer program by the Yamaha Corporation, have been capturing the imaginations of Japanese fans for more than a year. They've inspired and starred in a large body of fan-produced songs and animated videos,2 ranging from macabre to sorrowful to dramatic to humorous. [Massive MLYTP] [more inside]
In yet another case of possible criminality within The Company ranks, the CIA's station chief in Algeria is facing investigation for sexual assualt, accused of having drugged and sexually assaulted at least two Algerian women. Though recent events have raised doubts about the prosecution of other possible crimes at the CIA, this case may actually lead to an eventual conviction. After all, he made tapes.
The Consultative Group on the Past released its long awaited report today, discussing strategies to build trust and dialogue between communities and heal wounds in Northern Ireland. Part of the strategy was compensation and inquiries to be funded jointly by the British and Irish governments, to the tune of £300K. The report's presentation was interrupted by deeply angry protesters. Some were upset at the idea of financial compensation for the loss of human life. Some were incensed that families of paramilitary members killed in the Troubles were to receive equal compensation to bystanders caught in the crossfire. Some comments on the report from public figures, and from the Program Director of Amnesty International's NI office.
Bats sleep upside down. They hang by their feet. They have little claws. They use echolocation to catch bugs. They are the only mammals that fly. They sleep during the day. They are dying. [more inside]
Supervisions is a body of work by photographer Andreas Gefeller examining the world as seen from above.
Dating A Banker Anonymous Are you or someone you love dating a banker? If so, we are here to support you through these difficult times. Dating A Banker Anonymous (DABA) is a safe place where women can come together – free from the scrutiny of feminists– and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships. Via
1983 Macintosh Dating Game starring Steve Jobs & Bill Gates [slyt].
If you ever watched Star Trek: The Next Generation or Reading Rainbow, you know Levar Burton. And for years, all you've wanted is his signature. Well, if you have a child in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade, now you can. Every entrant to the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustraters Contest receives a signed certificate from Levar Burton, whether their work is terrible or awesome. Get your kids writing now, deadline is in March. But you don't have to take my word for it... Previously
How will Alzheimer's researchers ever reconcile this study and this study? Pardon me while I go find something to munch on while I ponder my options. [more inside]
It's almost as good as being at John Ashbery's home (bio) and there's more, including a preliminary inventory of his library* (search for "inventories" or scroll down). Ashbery's poetry is still very much invested in the reader's pleasure—more so than many supposedly "approachable" poets. You can hear him read his poems (more), watch him (here's -transcript- a brief taste and a half-hour video) or read a few of his poems. [more inside]
The Canadian Medical Association Journal's archive of humorous medical articles. See, for example, why Pooh needs help, why Tintin needs a dose of HGH, and an exhortation to abolish the law of gravity.
Andrew Huang is an Artist/Director of Short Films, Commercials, and Music Videos. Doll Face is really intriguing. The Gloaming (featuring Randall Rickert) is freaky cool!