March 17, 2010

Open Library has a new site

Open Library has a new collaborative open source website that aims to catalog every book ever published. About the project. The vision is one Wiki page for every edition of every work with description details.
posted by stbalbach at 9:24 PM PST - 14 comments

"My friend from Michigan says if you pushed all the Great Lakes together they'd be as big as the Mediterranean. I say, why bother?"

Scans of all three issues of Army Man Magazine, the legendary late 80s humor zine put together by future Simpsons' writer George Meyer (an excellent New Yorker profile of Meyer) which also included material from Jack Handey, John Swartzwelder, Bob Odenkirk, among many others. Another contributor, Ian Frazier, talks about Army Man in a Believer Interview. Sadly the scans are small (but the jokes are still big) and of poor quality. For a non-eyestraining introduction, Maud Newton transcribed a good bit of material and posted it at the end of an appreciation of Army Man on her blog.
posted by Kattullus at 8:19 PM PST - 25 comments

Gone, baby, gone

Twenty years ago tonight, thieves posing as Boston police talked their way into the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and left with thirteen works of art now valued at half a billion dollars, including a Vermeer and three Rembrandts. Neither those responsible for history's greatest art theft, nor the missing works of art, have ever been located. (Previously, including a comment from a MeFite who had been working security at the musuem, but not that night.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:28 PM PST - 73 comments

Obedience is as basic an element in the structure of social life as one can point to.

A French, state-run TV channel appears to be stirring controversy by airing a documentary about a fake game show in which contestants torture eachother, called "Game of Death." Based on the well-known Stanley Milgram experiments of the 1960's that, in the wake of Nazi Germany, sought out to measure man's willingness to obey orders. [more inside]
posted by phaedon at 7:27 PM PST - 33 comments

Alex Chilton dies at 59

Memphis music legend Alex Chilton dead at 59 Deep-voiced 60s boy singer and leader of "one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock and roll." Alex Chilton died today at age 59. Cause of death believed to be a heart attack.
posted by mediareport at 6:46 PM PST - 193 comments

Spain 1840 – 1970

A large gallery of contributed images from Spain including what looks to be an entertainer with a prosthetic nose and ear; a hand tinted baby in a bow and school photo; young tough guys and not so tough guys; plus old Semana Santa scenes, as posted previously. [more inside]
posted by tellurian at 6:45 PM PST - 6 comments

Original "Alice" posted online

The original version of Alice in Wonderland, handwritten and hand-drawn by Lewis Carroll, has been posted online. The illustrations are a treat in themselves. [more inside]
posted by emilyd22222 at 6:08 PM PST - 26 comments


The Day My Arse Died Two men against the hottest curry known.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:47 PM PST - 91 comments

Never Bring a Dance to a Laser Fight

Hot Chip - I Feel Better
posted by stresstwig at 4:44 PM PST - 65 comments


Strippers and pr0n stars (and others) play D&D in web series I Hit It With My Axe at The Escapist. Interview with participant Satine Phoenix. Surprisingly pretty much SFW so far (no nudity but, as they say, salty language)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:15 PM PST - 53 comments

Grade Compression Appears to be Inflating

Stuart Rojstaczer wrote an article in the Washington Post in 2003 detailing his experience as a professor with grade inflation at Duke. He has set up a website where he has aggregated data from the grades of two million undergraduates tracking the phenomenon. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 3:45 PM PST - 61 comments

Dust off your frying pan and hide your wallet!

Eating healthy on a budget isn't just for hipsters on food stamps. While some have called Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman's ideas about cooking and eating "elitist," there are many cooks who are smart enough to know that cooking at home is the only way to eat healthy on a budget. While Jamie Oliver pledges to give all school children "10 recipes that will save their lives," almost anyone on any budget can change the way they shop for, prepare, and think about food. [more inside]
posted by sararah at 3:35 PM PST - 80 comments

Been down so long it looks like up to me

Depression's upside. Could depression be an evolutionary gift? Could kindness? Charles Darwin himself had a history of ailments that may help to illustrate the idea.
posted by stinkycheese at 3:24 PM PST - 41 comments

Culture Jamming

Culture Jam: Hijacking Corporate Culture [39m CBC Short Cuts version on Google Video] is an overview of "culture jamming". [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 2:40 PM PST - 24 comments

Insurer targeted HIV patients to drop coverage.

"In May, 2002, Jerome Mitchell, a 17-year old college freshman from rural South Carolina, learned he had contracted HIV. The news, of course, was devastating, but Mitchell believed that he had one thing going for him: On his own initiative, in anticipation of his first year in college, he had purchased his own health insurance. Shortly after his diagnosis, however, his insurance company, Fortis [now Assurant Health], revoked his policy. Mitchell was told that without further treatment his HIV would become full-blown AIDS within a year or two and he would most likely die within two years after that." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 2:03 PM PST - 139 comments

Kim Jong-il's European bank accounts

Kim Jong-il, the Supreme Leader of North Korea, has a $4 billion (£2.6 billion) “emergency fund” hidden in secret accounts in European banks that he will use to continue his lavish way of life if he is forced to flee the country.
posted by Tlery at 1:59 PM PST - 37 comments

2010 Paralympics

Live online broadcast of the 2010 Paralympic Games (Silverlight required). The Paralympics are back, this time in Vancouver. Sledge hockey, alpine & cross-country skiing, biathalon and curling. You can watch every event live or recorded on or see some photos at The Big Picture.
posted by GuyZero at 1:31 PM PST - 11 comments

Defying the FDA, Doctors in Colorado Offer Stem Cell Therapies for Joint Diseases

The FDA has yet to approve stem cell therapies for general use in medicine, but that hasn’t stopped doctors in Colorado from providing them anyway. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:25 AM PST - 53 comments

An Open and Shud Case

If you'd like something to work on today other than your pint of Guinness, why not take a crack at "one of Australia's most profound mysteries," a sixty-two-year-old unsolved murder known as the Taman Shud case? [more inside]
posted by sallybrown at 8:45 AM PST - 75 comments

It was, after all, merely an album of bagpipe music.

I like bagpipes. And I'm not afraid to admit it. They can be traditional, rock, or cross-cultural. They may have been around since ancient Rome. It's the instrument everyone claims to hate, but who can really hate a good drone?
posted by rusty at 8:40 AM PST - 81 comments

To Infinity and Beyond!

Sure, big numbers are fine. But infinity (in the set theoretic sense) is where the fun really starts. Developed almost entirely by one man in the late 19th century, set theory now forms the foundation of modern mathematics. Cantor showed that not all infinite sets are the same size. Notably, while there are just as many integers as rational numbers, there are more real numbers than integers. These results, along with others that soon followed like the axiom of choice, led to several fascinating consequences: [more inside]
posted by kmz at 6:24 AM PST - 161 comments

Regular Expressions Can Be Simple and Fast

Russel Cox, one of the people behind Google's new programming language Go, has written a three part series on regular expressions. It's a nice mix of computer science theory, programming, and history: Regular Expression Matching Can Be Simple And Fast, Regular Expression Matching: the Virtual Machine Approach, and Regular Expression Matching in the Wild.
posted by chunking express at 5:55 AM PST - 57 comments

Uncut Vinyl

"Chris Supranowitz is a researcher at The Insitute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Along with a number of other spectacular studies (such as quantum optics, trapping of atoms, dark states and entanglement), Chris has decided to look at the relatively boring grooves of a vinyl record using the institute’s electron microscope." More complete study here.
posted by gman at 4:24 AM PST - 37 comments

It was twenty years ago today...

With all props to wearers of the green, also note it was twenty years ago today bassist Rick Grech found his way home. [more inside]
posted by timsteil at 4:24 AM PST - 4 comments

Senators and Congressmen and Presidents, oh my!

CSPAN has has just put their entire video archive online.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:55 AM PST - 17 comments

This American Infographic

This American Infographic. This American Infographic is a web site where the goal is to make an infographic on every This American Life ever made.
posted by filmgeek at 3:51 AM PST - 25 comments

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