June 10, 2011
Xenophon is called the original horse whisperer. He wrote one of the earliest works on hunting, and training dogs. He helped lead ten thousand Greek warriors and their camp followers out of Persia back to the Black Sea; his account, Anabasis, inspired The Warriors and countless other creative works. He is one of only two sources of information about the most famous philosopher of all time. He inspired Machiavelli. Xenophon at wikipedia, wikisource, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Project Gutenberg, famous quotes, In Our Time.
Internet K-Hole is an image blog consisting mostly of anonymous snapshots and Polaroids from the 1970s through the 1990s presented at random without description or context that go on for ever and ever and ever. (Some images NSFW.)
The Rutt-Etra-Izer is a WebGL emulation of the classic Rutt-Etra video synthesizer created by Felix Turner. It requires a recent version of Chrome or Firefox. If you can't get the synthesizer to work, there is a video of the audioreactive version made with Processing in the author's announcement. YMMV. Do not taunt Rutt-Etra-Izer.
Peter Greenaway (wikipedia, previously 1, 2, 3, 4) talks about Second Life Machinima (also, Vimeo of a talk from 2010).
"It's a bit like having a problem in your street, and your mum lives in the next street, so you go and visit your mum for a bit." - - Reem Haddad, Spokesperson for Syrian Information Ministry explaining that refugees are 'not fleeing to Turkey' [more inside]
Voters Have Up to Five Times More Influence in Early Primaries. 'Voters in states with early primary races such as Iowa and New Hampshire have up to five times the influence of voters in later states in selecting presidential candidates, according to research by Brown University economist Brian Knight. The paper, the first to quantify the effects of early victories in the race for the presidential nomination, is co-authored by Nathan Schiff and published in The Journal of Political Economy."Evidence that early voters have a disproportionate influence over the selection of candidates violates 'one person-one vote' -- a democratic ideal on which our nation is based."' [more inside]
Writer, traveler, and kidnapper of Nazi generals, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor -- Paddy to friends and fans -- is dead at 96. A silver lining: his biographer Artemis Cooper reports that the long-awaited final installment of his trilogy recounting a year-long walk across Europe as a young man in the 1930s, "has existed for some time, and will be published in due course."
We've met Ween before, so I don't need to provide further introduction to this 25 minute long sampling of a 3 hour concert in Australia. It's from 2008, but recently put online courtesy of BTFishing. Wait, who? Yes, it's Dean Ween gone fishing. Mickey Melchiondo Jr. (aka Dean Ween) previously shared his love of fishing in the Brownie Troop Fishing Show. He now runs Mike's Guide service, sometimes going directly from shows to go fishing. See also: Dean Wean's Tips For Amateur Anglers, and an article on the Brownie Troop Fishing Show.
My mama told me I should never venture into space.A multisource fanvid by Charmax, music by Imagined Village. [more inside]
But I did, I did, I did.
She said no Terran girl could trust the Martian race.
But I did, I did, I did.
A rocket pilot asked me on a voyage to go.
And I was so romantic I couldn't say no.
That he was just a servo robot how was I to know?
So I did, I did, I did.
"Do you think Jem cares about the Misfits? Jem don't care, she just takes what she wants." (slyt) (previously)
"This week I’d like to start with a little audience participation. (...) Not every sufferer feels constrained to 'decorate the pavement.'" Jonathon Green, author of Green's Dictionary of Slang is Taking Slang Seriously. Also rounded up in The Vomitorium. [more inside]
George Mason Green Machine athletic band plays Killing In The Name Of... Welcome To The Jungle played on two cellos. One by Apocalyptica. The Ukulele Orchestra Of Great Britain plays the theme from Shaft.
The Washington Post asks: Can Mutants And Humans Really Co-Exist? Metafilter's own Mightygodking responds.
Snowpack in the northern Rocky Mountains has declined over the past 30 years more than at any other time in a least 1,000 years (30-year decline is old news, 1000 year perspective is new). Snowmelt from the Rockies provide water for at least 70 million people. Snow is also melting weeks earlier in the American West. Some consequences of earlier snowmelt (of less snow) are drier forests, more wildfires and less water for people in a West heating up and drying out.
Toronto's new alt-weekly The Grid has kicked up a storm of controversy this week with their cover story Dawn of a New Gay, which focuses on a new breed of "post-mos" who sneer at the traditional trappings of homosexuality and gay activism. Torontoist responds, and one of the subjects of the article has denounced his involvement in the piece.
"I performed to MADONNA's "VOGUE" in the summer of 1991 when my parents took me to Hampton Beach Casino in Hampton Beach, New Hampshire. A business in the casino at the time gave tourists the chance to lip-synch to their favorite pop songs in front of a blue screen background, and I was lucky enough to partake that summer."
"Mother Jones [and, later, other media outlets] requested [Sarah] Palin's gubernatorial emails during the 2008 election. Almost three years later, the wait is over. ... Today, at [1:00 pm ET] in Juneau, the state of Alaska is scheduled to release 24,199 pages of emails Sarah Palin sent and received during her half-term as governor of the Last Frontier. State workers will distribute six-box sets and hand trucks (which must be returned) to representatives of a dozen or so media outfits" "Volunteers from the League of Women Voters and the Retired Public Employees of Alaska will be at Juneau's Centennial Hall convention center ... look[ing] for any significant or interesting emails, stick a post-it note on the page, and pass them to journalists, who also will be reading through the 24,000 pages. Exact copies of the best of those emails will be posted online immediately. ... In the same room ... a second set of the documents will be scanned for msnbc.com by Crivella West, an analytics and investigative-research company from Pittsburgh, returning the records to their original electronic form, allowing anyone anywhere to join in the crowdsourcing. That free, public, searchable archive will go online, sometime later on Friday, at http://palinemail.msnbc.msn.com." "The Washington Post is looking for '100 organized and diligent readers' to work with reporters to 'analyze, contextualize, and research the emails.' The New York Times is employing a similar system.'"* [more inside]
A Mismeasured Mismeaurement of Man. Stephen Jay Gould's classic The Mismeasure of Man argues that 19th century scientist Samuel George Morton inflicted his own racial biases on his data to demonstrate that Caucasians had larger brains than other races. A new paper in the Public Library of Science: Biology debunks Gould's account by remeasuring the same skulls Morton used. Whatever biases Morton may have had, they are not reflected in the data.
"Milton Babbitt definitely cared if you listen, but according to Noah S. Weber, Emily Howell definitely does not since it is not possible for Emily Howell to care about anything. However, David Cope, Emily Howell's creator, sees it somewhat differently." -- Frank J. Oteri
Democratic and Republican professors grade differently according to a recent study. Here is a link to a PDF of the published study, minus the critical data tables and figures.
In the early 1990s, Adam West starred in two short-lived television series: Lookwell and The Clinic. Lookwell, created by Conan O'Brien and Robert Smigel, centered around West's character, Ty Lockwell, a washed up actor whose previous gig as a TV detective led him to believe that he was capable of solving crimes. Owner of an honorary detective badge, Lookwell ropes his acting students into playing various characters as he tracks down leads. Only the pilot episode ever aired. The other show, The Clinic, was a short-lived soap opera spoof that aired briefly (five episodes) on Comedy Central. It featured West as the overly dramatic Dr. Horton Van Hoon, an alcoholic in charge of a failing health clinic. The Clinic also featured radio cult personality Joe Frank in one of his very few acting roles.
"Over the past few decades, 160 million women have vanished from East and South Asia — or, to be more accurate, they were never born at all. Throughout the region, the practice of sex selection — prenatal sex screening followed by selective termination of pregnancies — has yielded a generation packed with boys. From a normal level of 105 boys to 100 girls, the ratio has shifted to 120, 150, and, in some cases, nearly 200 boys born for every 100 girls. In some countries, like South Korea, ratios spiked and are now returning to normal. But sex selection is on the rise in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East." American journalist Mara Hvistendahl's new book: "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men," examines and tries to predict the actual and potential effects of unequal sex ratios on men, women and the social economies of the affected regions, including the recent spike in sex trafficking and bride-buying across Asia. More. [more inside]
Jeremy Kyle, the morning UK talk-show described by a judge as 'the human equivalent of bear baiting', is, like its closest US equivalent Jerry Springer, famous for featuring 'white trash'/'chav'* storylines and aggressive moralizing. But while Jerry Springer saw his latter-day career turned into an opera, Kyle has been given a rather more urban treatment. [more inside]
The A. V. Club has an exhaustive and revealing four-part interview with Dan Harmon, creator of Community, in which he discusses the conception and production behind every episode of the show's ambitious and flawed second season.
What to do about Pakistan? The Economist urges the west to focus on the Kashmir issue in order to help stabilize the region. Christopher Hitches urges the US to stand more firmly behind India.