February 17, 2011
Previously, On The X-Files... Using nine seasons of dialogue, some Markov chains, and an image generator, cortex created a site that creates somewhat thematic dialogues between X-Files characters. This results in some pretty funny dialogue. I want to believe. [via mefi projects]
For me, Bertrand Russell's remarks seem prescient and as relevant today as they did in 1959. Lessons from BR's life in summary: 1) Be unremittingly evidence-based. 2) Embrace love. 3) Reject hatred. 4) Tolerate difference. I came across an edited version of this clip in BBC4's The Culture Show. Available on iPlayer from UK DNS addresses and likely to turn up on UK Nova sooner or later if you live elsewhere. [more inside]
The Last Minecart (SLYT, pixelated violence)
It can't be bargained with. It can't be reasoned with. It doesn't feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.
Nerf gun props. Seven-year-old you just pooped a little. You're welcome.
How to Hack the Dictatorship. "Gene Sharp is an American intellectual whose ideas can be fatal to the world's despots. For decades, Mr. Sharp's practical writings on nonviolent revolution — most notably “From Dictatorship to Democracy,” a 93-page guide to toppling autocrats, available for download in 24 languages — have inspired dissidents around the world, including in Burma, Bosnia, Estonia and Zimbabwe, and now Tunisia and Egypt." His fame is spreading.
I Am Here is an ultra-low budget sci-fi/religious film directed by real estate agent Neil Breen. It's already drawing comparisons to cult classic The Room and has the same no-money style as Birdemic and the films of Damon Packard. Is I Am Here set to follow Larry Clark's God Told Me To in the pantheon of alien-Jesus films?
A female has won a match for the first time at the prestigious Iowa State Wrestling Tournament . . . by default. Her opponent stated, “I have a tremendous amount of respect for Cassy and Megan (Black, the tournament’s other female entrant) and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner. It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most of the high school sports in Iowa.” [more inside]
TV writer (!) and memoirist Tracy McMillan breaks it down for the single ladies: Why You're Not Married. And in a particularly cruel twist, it runs the day before Valentine's Day. Some folks don't appreciate her advice; others mind it a lot less than they expected to. Oddly, Jezebel apparently has nothing to say on the matter.
Firefly is back...ish. The Science Channel has secured the rights to our sly cult favourite, putting the cast and crew back into Serenity and High Definition beginning March 6. Shiny! [more inside]
Having shot to fame as the star of OK Go's video "End Love" (previously), Maria the Goose now faces possible eviction from Echo Park Lake.
Brooklyn natives Atomic Tom cover "Don't You Want Me" in a video filled with celeb cameos and '80's references: Vimeo / Youtube (from the Take Me Home Tonight soundtrack.)
On October 8, 2010, art student Emilie Gossiaux was struck by a semi-truck while riding her bike in Brooklyn. Left functionally blind, deaf, unable to communicate, and showing few signs of cognitive activity, Emilie was judged to be too mentally impaired to undergo rehabilitation. Then her boyfriend, Alan Lundgard, found a way to reach her. [more inside]
Studio Gainax, most famous in the USA for Neon Genesis Evangelion (previously) has produced anime in a wide variety of genres. It is responsible for serious science fiction, both classic and deconstructed giant robots, slice of life comedy and drama, and productions that exist for little reason but sexual innuendo and obsessively animated jiggling breasts. With the last sometimes randomly appearing in otherwise serious productions. [more inside]
Before the Infocom text parser allowed computer games to understand complex sentences, and long before Watson was coded to parse and comprehend natural language, adventure gamers had to solve every problem presented to them with just two words: a verb followed by a noun. The father of the text adventure game was Scott Adams (no, not that one), and his games, which were published by his company Adventure International, are freely playable on a number of different sites and devices - and many of them are fiendishly challenging to this day.
After Nokia announced its strategic partnership with Microsoft (here), howls of protest came from various directions, with the one getting the most attention being 'nine young investors' proposing a 'Plan B'. But wait... [more inside]
"Everyone is going to keep drinking, it's probably going to kill them, and no one's going to talk them out of it"
The men at this St. Paul 'wet house' don't want your help, or your hope. And they won't get better. It's a place where the most hopeless of alcoholics can drink away their final days at less risk and cost to the public. [via] [more inside]
This week Al Jazeera's excellent roundtable series Empire tackles the issue of social networks and the blogosphere after Egypt. (SLYT) Featuring guests Amy Goodman, Clay Shirky, and Carl Bernstein (of Woodward and Bernstein fame), among others. Previously. [more inside]
The American Festivals Project takes you along on two guys' National Geographic-funded 2008 tour of the "small, hidden, and bizarre" festivals celebrated all over the United States. Through photos, video, and a blog, discover Rattlesnake Roundup, Okie noodling, an American Fasnacht, the Idiotarod, and plenty more. [more inside]
"Dom DeLuise,the comedian, was implicated in the following unseemly acts in my mind’s eye: He hocked a fat globule of spittle on Albert Einstein’s thick white mane and delivered a devastating karate kick to the groin of Pope Benedict XVI. Michael Jackson engaged in behavior bizarre even for him. He defecated on a salmon burger and captured his flatulence in a balloon." How Joshua Foer trained his brain and became a world-class memory athlete. [more inside]
Protests have erupted in Madison, Wisconsin where the Republican-controlled state legislature seems poised to pass a bill championed by the newly elected Governor Scott Walker that would strip collective bargaining rights (that is, unions) from public employees in order to combat the state's 137 million dollar budget deficit. [more inside]
Today in 1966, Brian Wilson starting laying down instrumental tracks for "#1 Untitled." Eight months, 90 hours of tape, and $50,000 later, he released his "pocket symphony." [more inside]
This man really likes eating hamburgers. So much so that the hamburgers felt they had to stage an uprising. Or Olympic games. It all becomes a little confusing. (Music video for Rotten Sound's "Hollow")
Imagine Van Lennon. [SLYT]
Lee County, Alabama officials arrested Harvey Updike, a retired State Trooper, in connection with the poisioning of historic 130 year old oak trees in Auburn's Toomer's Corner. How did they know that the trees were poisoned? Someone named "Al" from Dadeville called in to Paul Finebaum's Sports radio show and bragged about doing just that - ending the call with "Roll Tide". Is Harvey the "Al" from the show? Is "AL" in an AL jail? There's a live announcement at 10:30 CST today. Or you can watch Toomers Corner live.
AP photographer Kevin Frayer moved to New Delhi in 2009. Here he captures a community of coal scavengers who live and collect coal illegally for a few dollars a day in the village of Bokapahari, India
IBM's Watson computer destroys human competition in Jeopardy (prev). Gets welcomed by Ken (via). Celebrates by getting smashed on Conan.