August 1, 2010

High-speed lightning videos

Tom A. Warner makes high-speed videos of lightning strikes at up to 9,000 fps.
posted by Termite at 9:32 PM PST - 36 comments

Comme D'Habitude

The original version of "My Way" ("Comme d'Habitude", Frank Sinatra's version was a cover) was written by Claude Francois, AKA "CloClo". Somewhere between a French Wayne Newton and Elvis, he died when he was taking a bath, saw a lightbulb had gone out, and tried to replace it while standing in water, completing the circuit. Some of his hit songs include: Belinda, Belles Belles Belles (cover of "Girls Girls Girls"), Si J'avais un Marteau (if I had a Hammer), Sale Bonhomme (French country, cover of Johnny Cash's "Dirty Dan"), Le Disco est Francais His scantily clad female backup dancers, called the "Claudettes" or Clodettes, were the inspiration for the Solid Gold dancers and had their own short-lived solo spinoff career where they tried to cash in on the kung-fu + disco craze.
posted by destro at 9:05 PM PST - 27 comments

Shelf life

I'm like a character in a dystopian science-fiction novel, holed up in a cave full of cultural artefacts, waiting for the young Jenny Agutter to arrive in a tinfoil miniskirt, fleeing a poisonous cloud on the surface, to check out my stash and ask me: "Who exactly was the Quicksilver Messenger Service? Who was this Virginia Woolf? What kind of man was Jonah Hex?" - Stewart Lee on comics, books, CDs and shelves. Many, many feet of shelves.
posted by Artw at 8:22 PM PST - 26 comments

John Boorman's "Point Blank"

What makes Point Blank so extraordinary, however, is not its departures from genre conventions, but Boorman's virtuoso use of such unconventional avant-garde stylistics to saturate the proceedings with a classical noir mood of existential torpor and romanticized fatalism. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 7:52 PM PST - 25 comments

The Ghost of González

After a 5-year hiatus following 2005's Black Refuge EP, José González's band Junip offers up a new free EP download in anticipation of their coming full-length debut.
posted by mannequito at 6:27 PM PST - 17 comments

13 Most Beautiful...

13 Most Beautiful... Songs for Andy Warhol's Screen Tests: Edie Sedgwick - It Dont Rain in Beverly Hills :: Crying Girl :: Ingrid Superstar - Eyes In My Smoke :: Lou Reed - I'm Not A Young Man Anymore :: by Dean and Britta
posted by puny human at 3:36 PM PST - 12 comments

Rumors of its death were greatly exaggerated.

Jailbreakme.com is back after three years. Jailbreak even an iPhone 4 without a computer. The server is getting pounded right now so cut it some slack.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:22 PM PST - 82 comments

Sunday Satire by Mark Fiore.

Mark Fiore is a political cartoonist. Mark Fiore won a Pulitzer Prize this year. Mark Fiore hasn't been featured on the Blue since 2006 (previously). Mark Fiore has animated some amusing cartoons about recent events: Wikileaks, Conflict Minerals, Gaza Flotilla, BP (2) (3), War on Drugs, Climate Gate, Guantanamo, Haiti, and more!.
posted by tybeet at 3:03 PM PST - 17 comments

U-S-A! U-S-A! Sample #1:"U", Sample #2:"S", (record scratching), Sample #3:"A"!

DJ/musician Mr. Fab and RIAA (no, not them) have released USA, a four-hour-long mix album with 335 different sources, many of them fairly unusual and most of them previously unused. It's ... fairly brilliant. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 2:39 PM PST - 16 comments

Particularly catching on in the prison population

The Sovereign Citizen Movement (or Redemption Movement) in the US is based on a theory that the federal government has pledged each and every American citizen, as a fictitious "straw-man" corporate person, for collateral, and that you have the right to assert your "sovereign citizenship," free yourself from liens and taxes, and claim hundreds of thousands of dollars lent to the government in your very own name. This is accomplished by a number of pseudo-legal filings, mailings and renderings of your own name, intended to make you a Free Man on the Land. Although not yet mainstream, believers are becoming more active and visible, from the recent violent deaths of movement leaders Jerry and Joseph Kane (previously) to the rather less threatening Basil Marceaux (dot com), who pledges to get rid of the "gold-fringe flag" (previously). [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 12:41 PM PST - 80 comments

Why did Chuck Norris destroy the periodic table? ... because he only believes in the element of Suprise!

Blogging the Periodic Table: Wild, weird, wonderful stories about the elements that make up our universe. All month at slate, Sam Kean has been blogging about the periodic table, in conjunction with his new book, The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World From the Periodic Table of the Elements. Elements covered so far include: Antimony: It might have killed mozart. Hydrogen: Where it all started. Selenium: Is It To Blame for Custer's Defeat at Little Bighorn? Vanadium: Sperm, beware. Copernicium: How elements get their names. Nitrogen and Phosphorus: The Future of Toilet Design Hangs in the Balance. Lithium: Why It Makes Such Great Batteries. Rare Earths: They're Neither Rare nor Earths. But They Could Save the Planet. Ytterby: The Tiny Swedish Island That Gave the Periodic Table Four Different Elements. Strontium: Element Tourists, Sodium Partiers, and Other Periodic Table Eccentrics. Gallium: It Proved That Dmitri Mendeleev, Father of the Periodic Table, Wasn't a Crackpot. The Noble Gases: What a Bunch of Snobs. Promethium: Uranium Stole Its Fire. Thorium: The Nuclear Fuel of the Future? Palladium: The Cold Fusion Fanatics Can't Get Enough of the Stuff. Cobalt: It Makes the Dirtiest of Dirty Bombs. Hafnium: Building the Doomsday Device of Tomorrow. Radium: Cures Gout! (Warning: Also Causes Cancer.). Aluminum: It Used To Be More Precious Than Gold.
posted by Fizz at 11:52 AM PST - 33 comments

Critters online genre fiction workshop

Are you an aspiring writer of genre fiction? Would you like to workshop your stuff before submitting it to magazines and publishers, but you don't happen to have a group of local friends that you can workshop with? Critters.org is an online, highly automated fiction workshop. You submit your manuscript, it waits in a queue until its time comes up, and then it gets sent out to all the active subscribers, some of whom will hopefully send you some helpful feedback! Make sure to critique at least one story every week, though, or you lose your privileges to post your own stories to the queue. [more inside]
posted by kavasa at 11:35 AM PST - 19 comments

We're so bad, you know we're good.

With the 25th anniversary of the Super Bowl Shuffle rapidly approaching, perhaps the time has come to take a look at its inimitable legacy - one of state-of-the-art video editing, fluid rhymes, stunning choreography and brain-breaking pastels. Will either sports or music ever reach these dizzying heights again? Hopefully not. [MLYT]
posted by Toby Dammit X at 10:51 AM PST - 26 comments

Modesty: To Know a Veil

"We're not telling you what to wear -- we're just telling you what we, as guys, have to guard against." What 1600 teenage Christian boys think girls shouldn't be wearing.
posted by hermitosis at 9:48 AM PST - 236 comments

A Reflection of Civil Disobedience

A Unitarian Universalist Seminarian reflects on a night in jail after being arrested protesting SB1070.
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 9:38 AM PST - 29 comments

99 Names of Allah and the Glassmaker

Andrew Kosorok, a sculpture professor, has embarked on a project to create 100 glass sculptures inspired by the 99 Names of Allah. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 8:23 AM PST - 26 comments

THE PHOTO ISSUE 2010

Still Lifes
"Supposedly the still life came to the fore when religion and the state became replaced by the middle class. Do you know when that was. The world began to be run by people who just wanted a lot of shit. And would go anywhere to get it. The Dutch who invented our own dear New York and this is why it is this wayfull of people who want stuffthey were the stars of this moment, collecting shit from around the world and putting big piles of it on shelves, in boats, taking it somewhere else. And making paintings of it. And really this moment never ended. They would paint marketplaces, and the thing that's funny is that if you were a painter and you weren't being paid to paint someone rich you would just probably paint some stuff and sell it in the market and so the place where all this was happening of course got painted too—it's dizzying." (via dd)
posted by kliuless at 7:56 AM PST - 30 comments

Wagashi - Japanese confectionery art

"Wagashi are traditional Japanese confections that evolved into an art form in the ancient Imperial capital, Kyoto." Wagashi fall into the following categories: namagashi, yokan, monaka, manju, and higashi. Playful and inventive examples of confectionery art abound within those categories. [more inside]
posted by needled at 7:53 AM PST - 18 comments

"Democracy is stronger than this."

The Anti-Defamation League has been tracking religious extremism for several decades, including anti-Islamic violence in the United States after 9/11. Nonetheless, the organization joined right-wing opposition earlier this week to the construction of Cordoba House, a 13-story Muslim community center and mosque that may be built two blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center. The ADL's alignment with calls for "refudiation" by Republican celebrities Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich, along with other members of the GOP who are ramping up angry sentiments in voters during an election year, have puzzled and angered religious, political and cultural figures of various stripes, particularly within New York City itself. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:27 AM PST - 456 comments

Sculling across the seas

Saturday, a four man rowing crew (pictures) broke the 114 year old record for rowing across the Atlantic. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 12:25 AM PST - 28 comments

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