March 20, 2007

deliciously vertiginous and grand

The Grand Canyon Skywalk, supposedly the highest man made structure in the world, opens this week. While the official website has been up and down, the skywalk has already made it into Snopes and drummed up its share of controversy. Former astronauts John Herrington and Buzz Aldrin joined members of the Hualapai tribe today in the first walk across the structure designed by Mark Johnson of MRJ Architects (slideshow, youtube). For more about all things Grand Canyonesque, you might like Polishing the Jewel: An Administrative History of Grand Canyon National Park. [previously]
posted by jessamyn at 10:39 PM PST - 80 comments

AT&T Unity Plan FREE calling to 100 million customers.

AT&T and Verizon obey FBI emergency requests, even if they're of dubious legality, and they get paid for it. But AT&T can't be sued, they say, because that would endanger national security.
posted by homunculus at 10:23 PM PST - 42 comments

To Protest. To Question. To Disprove.

Are You Generic? "Giving Brand-America the finger since 2001." The folks at Are You Generic have a few basic demands: "natural, unprocessed foods; ad-free space; trustworthy news sources; a healthy body image; promotion of the independents; and the spread of knowledge." They're getting their message across by means of "culture jams." Their first target was Starbucks in 2002. Some more recent actions are listed here, including Confessions of a Generic Magazine. But they have stuff for sale, so some might argue that they're not that much different than those they mock. Either way, their site does have a great collection of international street art.
posted by amyms at 9:24 PM PST - 63 comments

Or maybe this is just something nobody in San Diego knows about...

You think you've seen it all and then you see Snow Donuts
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:14 PM PST - 23 comments

Nikki Finke: Semi-batshitinsane.

Los Angeles Magazine asks, "Can the LA Times be saved?" One suggestion is to hire Nikki Finke, Hollywood's ultimate contrarian reporter. Finke was canned in 2002 by the New York Post over a series of articles critical of Disney. [1 2] She sued in response.

Shortly afterwards, she landed at the LA Weekly, where she boasts an incredible archive of weekly columns - recent entries include a quasi-defense of Mel Gibson, coverage of Cruise versus Redstone, and Michael Ovitz's gay problem. On the side, she likes to bite people's heads off, and reminisce about a New York that's now gone. She now gets to let it all out on her own blog, Deadline Hollywood Daily. [previously mentioned 1 2 3 4]
posted by phaedon at 9:14 PM PST - 15 comments

Y can't Georgie read? (sorry, I'm weak.)

Nearly 36 percent of adults in Washington D.C. are functionally illiterate, compared with a 21% national average. More and more American adults are lacking basic reading and writing skills. Meanwhile, among some groups, adolescent illiteracy is estimated to be as high as 50%. (Is text messaging to blame? Looks like maybe not.)
posted by miss lynnster at 8:43 PM PST - 70 comments

The Icarus Project

The space between brilliance and madness
posted by serazin at 8:31 PM PST - 14 comments

Can America Survive Suburbia?

The National Automobile Slum: I propose that we now identify the human ecology of America precisely for what it really has become: the national automobile slum.-- James Howard Kunstler “Can America Survive Suburbia?”
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:58 PM PST - 46 comments

How I (wish I) spent my summer vacation

Eyes on the Nations is a web site by a young man from North Carolina named Jordan Hill. He's working in various corners of the world to help with community development as a part of a soft christian missionary approach for the University of the Nations and Youth With a Mission. He's also a talented and curious photographer with an eye for people, places and critters. (Warnings: NSFW if you haven't ever seen old issues of the National Geographic. Worse, some of this is Xanga)
posted by mmahaffie at 7:53 PM PST - 5 comments

Take THAT, Viacom!

A YouTube Manifesto. A YouTube fan speaks truth to power. And then he shows us teen girls removing clothes! (Believe it or not neither is NSFW.)
posted by davy at 7:26 PM PST - 32 comments

The Most Beautiful Book in the World

Irma Boom designs some of the largest, brightest, most colorful, and interesting looking books in print today. In this 2001 interview, Irma talks about her unique work. This Friday she'll be awarded the gold medal at the Leipzig Book Fair for this, "The Most Beautiful Book in the World."
posted by inconsequentialist at 5:16 PM PST - 13 comments

Office Space; Now with extra violence!

An office worker loses it one day, jumps over the table and mercilessly beats his co-worker. The action is spectacular, but is it real or staged? You decide.
posted by Second Account For Making Jokey Comments at 4:51 PM PST - 69 comments

Now that Premiere's Gone

Cashiers du Cinemart. Film Threat's Dave Williams: "a thin, primitive hobby publication with an obvious ax to grind; making it far less interesting than you think it is, and compelling me to conclude it's impossible for you to ever get your shit together...killing one more tree for your pointless, directionless, self-aggrandizing 'zine with nothing to offer is a sad, selfish waste." Best known for the Anti-Tarantino saga, one man's quest to get a director to acknowledge his influences, Cashiers is a great '90s 'zine with archives online.
posted by klangklangston at 4:44 PM PST - 15 comments

Real doctors don't use guns.

Lucid TV: A webcomic about doctors.
posted by Snyder at 3:52 PM PST - 29 comments

Porcelain Shrine.

A Mountain of Broken Toilets (1250kb jpg). Brought to you by the relentless Recycle Guy (home of undiscovered literary gem The Brown Sheet. Previously
posted by squalor at 3:43 PM PST - 21 comments

The Fireladders of Soho

The Fireladders of Soho. (New York, that is.) [via]
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:21 PM PST - 26 comments

Just Say No

Some say alcohol prohibition was a failure. Some say it worked. Alcohol abuse costs society billions. Groups seek to add a new flavor to regulation. Citizens are even taking up the cause.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 2:37 PM PST - 115 comments

"Kur-heiny?" "Teip!!"

New York University's Tamiment Library, one of the world's foremost centers of learning on labour history and the Left, has been given the archives of the Communist Party USA. (alternate non-NYT link) The donation includes 20,000 books, journals and pamphlets and a million photographs from The Daily Worker’s archives. Highlights include the original, hand-written will of Joe Hill.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:58 PM PST - 13 comments


A snoezelen room is a multi-sensory environment that provides comfort for people with severe mental disabilities. They tend to incorporate a combination of visual, aural, and tactile stimulii, but can take many different forms. The rooms generally offer soothing, non-directive therapy, but the effects are hard to quantify. While mostly used with children, some think the snoezelen can help those with alzheimer's or dementia.
posted by jtajta at 1:49 PM PST - 16 comments

Let's build...

Let's build...Blarney Castle, a model building to test on an earthquake simulator, Thoreau's cabin, a stirling engine, the NYC transit system, a model bridge, Galileo spacecraft, the Mars Polar Lander, a flying Martin XB-51, Aliens universe papercraft, a train layout under your bed, a stereoscope, a flying saucer. Or we could let The Swell Maps do it: Let's Build a Car. And don't forget, "Your country needs scale model planes for the emergency."
posted by OmieWise at 1:25 PM PST - 7 comments

Franklin Foer on College Republicans and dirty tricks

Swimming with Sharks. How do College Republicans learn to use dirty tricks? They practice on each other. TNR's Franklin Foer describes the summer 2005 race for College Republican National Committee chair. Via Paul Krugman. Previously.
posted by russilwvong at 12:40 PM PST - 48 comments

Chris Ware + This American Life

Chris Ware animates a segment of an episode of the new This American Life television show. [previously: Chris Ware, This American Life on TV, Chris Ware on This American Life’s radio program]
posted by ijoshua at 12:23 PM PST - 32 comments

Let Them Photograph Your Soul

Seeing Beyond Sight: Photographs by Blind Teenagers is the product of Sound Shadows, a literacy-through-photography class taught by Tony Deifell, Shirley Hand, Dan Partridge and Jessica Toal from 1992 to 1997 at the Governor Morehead School for the Blind.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:22 AM PST - 12 comments

Premiere Magazine Folds

Premiere Magazine, "The Movie Magazine", one of the first mainstream magazines to cover the moviemaking business, is shuttering after twenty years and 200+ issues. The current issue (with Will Ferrell on the cover), on newsstands now, will be its last. will stay in business. I was a subscriber for most of the 1990s, until I began to notice a shift from news and features about movies to a celebration of Hollywood celebrities. I let my subscription lapse in 2001, when Premiere re-launched itself with a more celebrity-friendly slant, and celebrity It Girl Penelope Cruz on the cover. Reminisce about the golden years with Premiere's Cover Gallery.
posted by Lord Kinbote at 10:42 AM PST - 42 comments

Baghdad: Mapping the violence

Baghdad: Mapping the violence. Interactive flash based bomb data navigator from the bbc.
posted by srboisvert at 9:45 AM PST - 20 comments

listen:there’s a hell / of a good universe next door;let’s go

The Codex Seraphinianus, that rare and amazing volume, has been scanned in high-res glory and posted to Flickr. If you are lucky enough to afford it, copies are available. Previously.
posted by suckerpunch at 9:17 AM PST - 59 comments

"Clean tap water is something you take for granted."

Tap Project. What if every glass of water you drank quenched someone else's thirst? Looks like its only official in NYC restaurants this Thursday, but hopefully it will expand to other cities.
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:56 AM PST - 20 comments

Back to Jerusalem

Chinese Christians in House Churches throughout the country have heard "a call from God for the Chinese Church to preach the Gospel and establish fellowships of believers in all the countries, cities, towns, and ethnic groups between China and Jerusalem. This vision is no small task, for within those nations lay the three largest spiritual strongholds in the world today that have yet to be conquered by the Gospel: the giants of Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism." They call this movement Back to Jerusalem.
posted by afu at 8:50 AM PST - 80 comments

Earth Album

Earth Album is primarily a Google Maps/Flickr mashup with lots of lovely photos. They also offer a YouTube mashup (focused on local music). Both are somewhat hard to use, because it's difficult to see where you're clicking. Fortunately, they also have Earth Album USA and Earth Album Japan.
posted by owhydididoit at 8:10 AM PST - 8 comments

Luminous Lint photography exhibits

The destruction of the Paris Commune. African-American photo postcards. War models. Luminous Lint offers pages and pages of exhibits of vintage and modern photography and all sorts of related stuff. [via the excellent Bouphonia]
posted by mediareport at 6:42 AM PST - 6 comments

Narcissism 2.0

How MySpace creates born-again Christians. The link between MySpace, nacissism and religious fundamentalism.
posted by bobbyelliott at 6:06 AM PST - 109 comments

data landscapes

Map of Science. Science is the most interconnected of all human activities and requires a series of maps to chart its changing landscape. Scientific method: relationships among scientific paradigms.
posted by nickyskye at 5:55 AM PST - 15 comments

On-line guitar tools

So you wanna be a rock and roll star. Here's a place to start. GOSK, or the guitarist's online survival kit, is a very handy guide to both scales and modes as well as all chords in all positions on the neck. In order to put it all together, and map modes to chord progressions and really start jamming, this little php widget is pretty helpful. Though in all things, even if you want to learn from the masters, you should never forget the basics. However, if you decide that using these online utilities to improve your performance is too much, you can always go back to school, or else forego training entirely and emulate rock star attitude and style in real life situations.
posted by psmealey at 5:15 AM PST - 18 comments

Ira Glass mentors the internet

Ira Glass sits at a soundboard and schools us on the art of storytelling.
posted by bigmusic at 3:31 AM PST - 75 comments

What the grownups are talking about

"Did you see the politics? It made me angry." Conversations by Grownups As Imagined By Kids.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 2:09 AM PST - 36 comments

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