March 18, 2013
where the wild things are
Wilder Mann - photos of traditional animal costumes of Europe, by Charles Freger. Also in National Geographic, and in the New York Times' Lens Blog:
“These traditions come from Neolithic times — from shamanism — and they have never stopped,” said Mr. Fréger, 38. “For a few nights you can behave like a goat, drink a lot and forget about being civilized. You can be a wild animal for three days and then you go back to controlling your wildness.”
Today would be an important day.
Come on down to Noise Park and meet some friends of mine.
sea & sky
seaQuest: what if we could learn to live on/underneath the oceans (or in orbit)? [previously(er)] [more inside]
Rusty Fire Hydrant Planets
The only poll that matters...
Antony Green's Election Calculator Compare your own predictions with Antony Green’s. Handy list of recent past polls to see just what sort of caning the Gillard government might be in for. Probably more fun for coalition voters than Labor voters.
Give us this day our daily inflammation
The Dietary Intake of Wheat and other Cereal Grains and Their Role in Inflammation (full text PDF at site) [more inside]
Dr Crusher And The Curious Case of the Pen
Gates McFadden, who played Dr. Beverly Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation, has a Tumblr where she posts pictures of a Dr. Crusher action figure in darkly comic situations.
Doing What We Could Because We Can.
Wayside Creations: the studio that produced the surprisingly high-budget fallout Fan series: Nuka Break (with Dougie Jones!) (previously, previously) have turned their attention to the office politics of our favorite hive of mad science: Aperture R&D.
China is engineering genius babies
I just attended a debate in New York a few weeks ago about whether or not we should outlaw genetic engineering in babies and the audience was pretty split. In China, 95 percent of an audience would say, “Obviously you should make babies genetically healthier, happier, and brighter!”
For that boss-level werewolf, you don't want any old silver bullet...
Long before the Blue Man Group, there was the Blue Man. Captain Fred Walters of the British Army contracted argyria after taking silver nitrate to treat locomotor ataxia. He took more deliberately to deepen the blue tone, and became a sideshow performer with Barnum and Bailey. In 1924, suffering from shortness of breath, he checked into Bellevue in New York City, where he died. His autopsy revealed that the cause of death was pneumonia, and that his muscles, internal organs, and brain were all tinted blue. By extracting the silver from different parts of his body, city toxicologist Alexander Gettler extrapolated that Walters had 3.5 oz. of silver in his body. His co-workers had a bullet cast from the extracted silver, presenting it to Gettler "just in case he ever had to analyze a vampire." [more inside]
Thieves Identified In Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist
"In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990 – as the city was preoccupied with Saint Patrick's Day celebrations – a pair of thieves disguised themselves as Boston police officers, gained entry to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and stole thirteen works of art."* "The stolen works have a total estimated worth of around $500 million, making the robbery the largest property theft ever"* and "considered the greatest art theft in history."* Today the FBI announced that they have identified the people who stole the masterworks. They also said they had determined where the artworks had traveled in the years after the robbery. The FBI said they did not know where they were now and were appealing to the public for their help in finding them. The Gardner Museum is offering a reward of $5 million for information leading to the recovery of these works.
The Feminist Housewife
Kelly calls herself “a flaming liberal” and a feminist, too. “I want my daughter to be able to do anything she wants,” she says. “But I also want to say, ‘Have a career that you can walk away from at the drop of a hat.’ ” And she is not alone. Via.
All this energy calling me, back where it comes from....
The Cleveland Memory Project is an archive of photos, postcards, videos, recordings, clippings, ebooks, personal papers, maps and other historical "goodies" about the city. "It's a collaborative endeavor of many local historical societies, public libraries and government agencies who have mounted their own local history." On Flickr. [more inside]
Was the destruction of the Death Star an inside job?
Watch Luke's Change and join the realm of real truthers. (SLYT)
"If there is a third intifada, we want to be the ones who started it."
"Is This Where the Third Intifada Will Start?"
"One village in the West Bank tests the limits of unarmed resistance."
"One village in the West Bank tests the limits of unarmed resistance."
Oswald & Margaret
Mama here comes midnight...
“People never expect a youth to challenge the government".
The Manitoba government's Bill C-18 compels all publicly-funded schools to accommodate students who want to form gay-straigt alliances. This bill has been met with resistance by religious schools, federal ministers and local clergy. Despite the furor, Education Minister Nancy Allan is not backing down, nor is sixteen-year old activist Evan Wiens.
Stop! Or My Mom Will Be Encouraging
Real tough guys don't need guns, they just need a positive, can-do attitude.
Thirty Years Later: The last self-help book.
Percy and Sagan in the Cosmos: On the 30th anniversary of "The Last Self-Help Book." "Lost in the Cosmos is the most peculiar book of Percy's career, and in my judgment his finest achievement. I read it when it first appeared, and if you had asked me at the time whether I expected the book to be relevant in 30 years, I probably would have said no. It seemed so topical, so of its moment; and how long could that moment last? But re-reading it in preparation for this essay I saw how little it matters that many people today will know nothing or nearly nothing about Phil Donahue or Carl Sagan. Their immediate heirs are with us every day when we turn on the TV." [more inside]
Inventions of the Monsters
"It was John Polidori's misfortune to be comic without having a sense of humor, to wish to be a great writer but to be a terrible one, to be unusually bright but surrounded for one summer by people who were titanically brighter, and to have just enough of an awareness of all of this to make him perpetually uneasy. Also, he couldn't jump."
Knock, knock. Who's there? Banana. Banana who?
"While playing around with the Nmap Scripting Engine (NSE) we discovered an amazing number of open embedded devices on the Internet. " After completing the scan of roughly one hundred thousand IP addresses, we realized the number of insecure devices must be at least one hundred thousand. Starting with one device and assuming a scan speed of ten IP addresses per second, it should find the next open device within one hour. The scan rate would be doubled if we deployed a scanner to the newly found device. After doubling the scan rate in this way about 16.5 times, all unprotected devices would be found; this would take only 16.5 hours. Additionally, with one hundred thousand devices scanning at ten probes per second we would have a distributed port scanner to port scan the entire IPv4 Internet within one hour. [more inside]
A Long Walk
John Cline writes book reviews for The Los Angeles Review of Books, and has co-edited two anthologies on grindhouse cinema. Last May he was awarded his PhD in American Studies and like so many others in the humanities was unable to find a job in his field. So he decided to go for a walk. Inspired by his hometown poet and drawing on his longtime interest in American music and history, John decided to follow the path of The Great Migration up the Mississippi, recording and blogging his experience. This would not be a test of endurance, but an sociological/anthropological immersion, a document about the land, history and people of the Mississippi River valley. With some help from Kickstarter John arranged to walk from New Orleans to Memphis, to work river boats from Memphis to St Louis and finally to travel by train the last leg to Chicago. Having started on Ash Wednesday, he has already visited Angola Prison, encountered a down on his luck former Rodeo Star and discovered the joys of walking fifteen plus miles with a fifty pound pack on his back. Most importantly he is sharing what he has learned of our modern lifestyle and the nature of human kindness.
Letters From A Private
Letters From A Private: "...[19 year-old Pvt. D. Bruce Hirshorn] was in the Army in 1944 and 1945. He wrote home almost every single day.... Today, Uncle Bruce is the same upbeat, funny guy. He’s 87 and he loves syrup and ships!" [more inside]
The American Mind
Some People Say, “Republicans Don’t Care"
The Republican National Committee released its "autopsy" report [PDF] today, analyzing what's wrong with the Grand Old Party after two presidential defeats, with recommendations.
Gone in 60 Seconds: The Impact of the Megaupload Shutdown on Movie Sales
In this paper we analyze how one such anti-piracy intervention, the shutdown of the popular Megaupload site, affected the digital sales of movies for two major studios. Our analysis across 12 countries suggests that, in the 18 weeks following the shutdown, digital revenues for these two studio’s movies were 6-10% higher than they would have been if not for the shutdown. Thus our findings show that the closing of a major online piracy site can increase digital media sales, and by extension we provide evidence that Internet movie piracy displaces digital film sales. (via IP Finance.)
How African Feminism Changed the World
'Feminism' has often been seen as a Western concept, but African women are increasingly redefining it to suit their own purposes. This, in turn, is influencing the rest of the world.
Foster parents: not freaking saints
"We hate being told we must be saints or angels, because we’re doing something really ordinary and normal – that is, taking care of kids in need. If some children showed up dirty and hungry and needing a safe place on your doorstep, you’d care for them too – we just signed up to be the doorstep they arrive at. The idea of sainthood makes it impossible for ordinary people to do this – and the truth is the world needs more ordinary, human foster parents. This also stinks because if we’re saints and angels, we can’t ever be jerks or human or need help, and that’s bad, because sometimes this is hard." -- What foster parents wish other people knew.
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