June 30, 2010
Homemade submarines up the drug smuggling ante - CNN recaps a Vice story from 2009 where reporters toured a narco-sub seizure facility in Colombia [full video - 27:48]. [more inside]
Nabokov in Berlin. 'Vladimir Nabokov was starting his career as a writer when he found himself in Berlin. "It is clear, for one thing, that while a man is writing, he is situated in some definite place; he is not simply a kind of spirit, hovering over the page...Something or other is going on around him." The short 1934 novel Despair from which this quote comes is already heavily self-ironising compared with the stories of the previous decade. But like them it is studded with incidental Berlin experiences, from the shape of the city's S-Bahn train line on the map to the comedy of a German misspeaking English. "I suppose only the pest. The chief thing by me is optimismus." If Nabokov's Berlin was in his head, it was nevertheless not invented.' [more inside]
"At this point, his 16-year-old son Joseph Kane comes out shooting with an AK-47." A dashcam video from a police SUV shows a teenager opening fire on two West Memphis police officers before taking off in a van with his father. Subsequent helicopter footage reveals a third occupant of the van escaping unharmed. The Game and Fish Officer who rammed his truck into the van most likely saved the lives of two wounded officers. Full Text. [more inside]
Campus A Low Hum is an independent, 3-day, DIY music festival, held in a disused agricultural college in New Zealand. Conceived as a "campaign against crap festivals", Campus performances are intimate, stages are multiple, parties erupt spontaneously, school-like group activities are participated in with gusto – and it's happening again next year! [more inside]
Dr. Jay Kennedy, a philosopher from Manchester University, claims to have uncovered a series of secret messages hidden in some of the most influential and celebrating writings of the Ancient World,"--that is, in the dialogs of Plato. His findings have been published in the most recent issue of Apeiron, a well-respected journal of philosophy. [more inside]
The Impossible Music Sessions are evenings of an American band covering the music of foreign band which is cannot appear for political reasons - they are not allowed to travel by their government for example. The first band to be covered is Iran's The Plastic Wave (their website is down, but for reference it is here. Myspace. You Tube.) The second band is Guinea Bissau's Baloberos Crew which Impossible Music describes as "a group of hip hop artists who have faced intimidation by the military police because their lyrics are critical of the government." (limited information on the Impossible Music site here) Via All Things Considered.
An attempt at a collaborative translation of Plato’s Protagoras. Every day for a few months, Dhananjay Jagannathan will post roughly a page of the dialogue, side by side in Greek, in his own translation, and in Jowett’s classic 1871 translation. He's invited readers to comment and offer suggestions to improve the translation. Jagannathan's goal is to communicate Plato in English the way readers of his would have interpreted his Greek.
Is Rupert Grint the new Leonardo DiCaprio? Martin Scorsese thinks that Rupert Grint is the real star of the Harry Potter films and would like to direct him in a 'badass' role. Is he right? Growing up has been eventful for the Harry Potter stars. Daniel Radcliffe has trod the boards naked. Only this weekend the paparazzi chased Emma Watson around the Glastonbury festival. Yet, according to Martin Scorsese, public attention has been focused on the wrong actor – for the celebrated auteur, it's all about Rupert Grint. [more inside]
First, there was colossal miscalculation. Something so bad it could make parable a four-letter word. Didn't faze him. His next was "bizarrely compelling... Slower than watching a train wreck," but yet invoking, "that same level of disbelief." It was also like swallowing spiky clusters of manure. Maybe he had lost his mind? But yet he rose again... Or should we say he blew? No really, it was the wind this time . A feeble gust of an environmental horror story. "You feel like you're not watching the end of the world but the end of a career." Alas, like the undead, you cannot stop him. His latest, sitting at a paltry 0%* on the Tomatometer, is whitewashed, and offers an experience that's a headache-inducing, joyless, soulless, husk that Roger Ebert called "agonizing... in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented." It enchantingly makes, "Jake Lloyd’s performance in The Phantom Menace look studied." And, "the Golden Compass... look like a four-star classic." With $150 million spent on production, and $130 million on marketing alone, has this "auteur" finally created his masterpiece? Or will it be the Last Straw® (in 3d!)? [more inside]
The 2010 Bulwer-Lytton Winners. That is all.
Today's woot: Woot.
“Gender-related behaviors, namely childhood play, peer association, career and leisure time preferences in adolescence and adulthood, maternalism, aggression, and sexual orientation become masculinized in 46,XX girls and women with 21OHD deficiency [CAH]. These abnormalities have been attributed to the effects of excessive prenatal androgen levels on the sexual differentiation of the brain and later on behavior.” Nimkarn and New continue: “We anticipate that prenatal dexamethasone therapy will reduce the well-documented behavioral masculinization…” [more inside]
Filmmaker Rob Spence was blinded in his right eye, so he replaced it with a wireless video camera. He is building a video feed so people can see the world through his eye.
In 1978, "Bruce Wayne" (probably not his real name) worked as a set dresser on The Muppet Movie. Here are some photos he took on the set. (via Muppet Central)
Prior to the G20 last weekend in Toronto, the Government of Ontario met in a closed session. Police Chief Bill Blair announced on Friday June 25th that, in this session, a law was passed giving police new powers to demand identification from -- and conduct unwarranted searches of -- anyone approaching within 5 metres of the security fence that had been erected around the downtown core. This law was enforced all weekend; there were more than 900 arrests. Now that the G20 has passed and the proceedings of the closed government session are coming to light, it's become apparent that the law never existed at all. Bill Blair has now acknowledged that he made the whole thing up to "keep the criminals out." [more inside]
The 100 Cheesiest Movie Quotes of All Time. The 100 Greatest Movie Insults of All Time. [more inside]
In a fundamental re-think of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, a research team lead by Arizona State University's Doug Kenrick has replaced the personal need to achieve status and respect, culminating in self-actualization, with the biological imperative to find a mate and reproduce, culminating in parenting. Kenrick also replaces Maslow's strict design, in which needs replace one another, with a design in which needs overlap over the course of a lifetime. [more inside]
Vuvuzela Chorale from Brahm's First Symphony. [single link vuvuzela]
Klout.com attempts to measure influence on Twitter. Recognizing that follower count does not measure influence, Klout considers 25 factors to determine how engaged you are with your network, how widely your tweets are read, and how likely your tweets are to drive action (retweets, replies, clicks). [more inside]
Motorcycle modification means something entirely different across the developing world. You can deliver cold drinks, cargo, one person, three or even more with a special sidecar. You can cook hot food and sell it. Or critically, you can quickly transport someone in need of emergency medical care when roads are bad and facilities remote. They're supported by roadside repair shops, tyre shacks, petrol pumps and more. Bonus FTW
Theatre composer Jason Robert Brown (bio) tries to explain to a young fan why it’s wrong to download sheet music from the Internet for free. Via.
A Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Double Feature. 1967 Oscar winning animated short by John & Faith Hubley. (SLYT)
After America Speaks gave 3500 people the opportunity to address the budget deficit, the CEPR has invented its own play-at-home version, the Deficit Calculator. [more inside]
"Sixteen-year-old Sabera, with a pretty yellow head scarf, frets that she is missing school. 'I was about to get engaged, and the boy came to ask me himself, before sending his parents. A lady in our neighbourhood saw us, and called the police,' she explains. She was sentenced to three years but, in an act of mercy, it was shortened to 18 months . . ." The BBC reports from an Afghan women's prison. [more inside]
Following the goal that wasn't a goal in the England vs Germany match and the illegal offsides goal in the Argentina vs Mexico match, FIFA President Sepp Blatter has apologized to the eliminated teams and said that goal line detection technology will be considered for future matches. [more inside]