September 12, 2013
Soccer Euphoria The Olympic Stadium in Kabul has not seen this big a crowd since the Taliban used the place for public executions. No coercion was needed on Thursday to bring tens of thousands of delirious fans here to greet their national soccer team on its return from winning its first international championship. The underdog team stunned India, the defending South Asian champions, in a 2-0 victory in Katmandu, Nepal.
With the Great Pacific Garbage Patch increasing in size, coming up with a viable solution seems like a pretty important thing to do. Enter Boyan Slat, the 19-year-old with a plan that could clean up 7,250,000,000kg of plastic from the world's oceans - within about five years. [more inside]
The only Liberal Party MP to lose her seat in the 2013 Australian Federal Election... Like many people around Australia, a group of Indi locals watched the past three years of politics – one of the ugliest and most negative in the country’s history – in despair. Feeling alienated from what they saw in Canberra, and from their own MP's part in it, they began meeting quietly at the Wangaratta Library. So constrained was political discourse in the area – and so strong was Sophie Mirabella's grip on the seat – that these meetings began with a distinctly clandestine edge.... The unseating of Liberal maverick Sophie Mirabella.
In 1987, alongside another popular first-run syndicated show (perhaps you've heard of it?), a horror anthology series premiered, and together they spearheaded a massive wave of first-run syndication genre shows including, but by no means limited to, "War of the Worlds", "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys", "Xena: Warrior Princess", "Forever Knight", and "Babylon 5". [more inside]
Martyn Ashton, one of the fathers of trials riding, sustained "life changing" injuries on September 1st. [more inside]
Zachary R. Mider writes about how the Waltons avoid paying the estate tax. There is a follow-up interview at Bloomberg TV.
Chipotle's new ad for a mobile game is haunting, dark, and beautiful. It strikes a pretty serious chord for a fast food chain trying to launch a game that ends with a free burrito. If you were wondering how in the hell it got made, there's a behind the scenes video with the creators, designers, and animators that came up with it on their website.
After a fight with a former friend, reportedly over a "boyfriend situation", Rebecca Sedwick was suspended. When Rebecca reported she was being bullied, the school worked with Tricia, Rebecca's mother, to change Rebecca's schedule. Tricia had her daughter close her Facebook account, too. [more inside]
An update to Into the Wild.
The Year Of Wallace (who wasn't Darwin) is pretty well-covered on MeFi. But there's news, history keeps evolving: First, a 17-year-old pupil rediscovered Wallace's butterfly collection at the Oxford University Museum. Second, a new book details how evolution was discovered. [samples here and here | both links link to .pdf files, the second one a biggie] And finally, The Darwin-Wallace mystery solved.
Loved by some but often ignored, passed on by Spielberg, peppered with famous poker player cameos, the boldly painted, logorrheic portrait of real gambling life, California Split might be the quintessential Altman film. [more inside]
Rocket frog takes a flying
What if, rather than fight supervillians, the students and teachers of Xavier's School For Gifted Youngsters decided to run an ad agency?
The Ugly Animal Preservation Society has named the blobfish world's ugliest animal & society mascot.
Susie Sie is a film artist who eschews computer effects and 3D modeling for capturing the dreamlike beauty of real objects. CYMATICS is her latest work, using lycopodium powder, a speaker, and macro photography. Other works include SILK, BLACK, Ampersand and EMERGENCE. Recommended with headphones and in full-screen mode.
On Tuesday, a court in India convicted four men of "rape, unnatural sex, murder, conspiracy and destruction of evidence" after they brutally gang-raped a woman on a bus in Delhi last December. The woman died two weeks later in a Singapore hospital. When news broke, it sparked protests (previously) and raised awareness worldwide about the plight of many women in India. Now that the verdict is in, the Guardian analyzes the incident to see how "the nation's surge to superpower status has left millions behind struggling on the margins." (Links in this post contain descriptions of rape and assault which some may find disturbing.) [more inside]
Bill de Blasio’s win in New York’s Democratic primary isn’t a local story. It’s part of a vast shift that could upend three decades of American political thinking.
What do you get when you put a band together out of ten, far too young, Australian hipsters? You get the groovy, funky, instrumental sound of The Cactus Channel, that's what.
The Vatican’s new secretary of state has said that priestly celibacy is not church dogma and therefore open to discussion, marking a significant change in approach towards one of the thorniest issues facing the Roman Catholic Church.
No matter what time period you are referring to, no matter what country or region of the world you are referencing, there is a single claim that you can make that will always be true and will never be challenged, not even by Malcolm Gladwell himself: the middle class is always in the process of emerging.
"Gentlemen: I have a story that may be of interest to you. It is not widely known who invented the circuitry concept for the automatic sequential performance of musical pitches - now well known as a sequencer. I, however, do know who the inventor was - for it was I who first conceived and built the sequencer." This is the opening to an undated, unaddressed letter, found in Raymond Scott's personal papers (yes, the same fellow whose kooky soundtracks scored everything from Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies to Ren & Stimpy, The Simpson, and Animaniacs). You can read the rest of Scott's letter, along with Bob Moog's recollections of visiting Raymond's electronics laboratory in the mid-1950s. Or you could jump ahead to the mid-1960s, when Jim Henson was in his late 20s to early 30s, and he was working on a variety of odd projects after a successful run with Sam and Friends, but before he it it big with Sesame Street. It was at this point that he teamed up with Scott on a few short, experimental films. [more inside]
"So I just remove their faces to have close look at what's inside. In some way I explore and make them uglier to give them some human beauty." The stunning gifs of Milos "Sholim" Rajkovic. [more inside]
If the NSA is able to break through banks' computer security, does that mean it solved the prime factorization problem? The New York Times reported recently that “the agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems.” Since banks' encryption codes rely on the fact that nobody knows how to find the prime factors of really large numbers, it could mean that the NSA has found a way to do that. Or it could mean that the NSA has simply gotten lots of banks to give up their information, or found other ways around their encryption. But if they've cracked this long-standing math problem, might the secret leak? What would be the effects?
While abridged series are nothing new – take a TV series, usually anime, and edit it down to an eighth of its length, usually with ample snark added – Team Four Star's Dragonball Z Abridged is a notably excellent one. Watch a group of idiotic superheroes combat endless waves of aliens, androids, and genocide! Season 1 started off somewhat roughly, but their Season 2 is great throughout – you probably want to start here – and Season 3 (not-completed) has been their funniest work yet. Don't worry if you've never had the stomach for DBZ—the plot is covered comprehensively enough that you can follow along as if you had watched all of the 130 episodes that DBZA currently covers! [Warning: The series' humor is off-color and far from PC.]
How to Advertise on a Porn Website. Startup Eat24 explains how they advertise on porn sites and the advantages in doing so.
Coming soon to children's television near you if you live in Portugal: Mourinho and the Special Ones
Do you remember this? And this? A group of activist engineers based in Amsterdam do, and they decided to do something about it. The result is the world's first fair-trade, environmentally audited smart phone, the Fairphone.
After 500 years, the government of David Cameron has announced the unthinkable: from as early as today a majority stake in the Royal Mail of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be put up for sale into private hands. Some are not happy. The sale is expected to fetch between US$3-4.7 billion. But what does it mean? Should you invest? And what does it mean for other postal systems in, say, Australia or the USA? Postal services have been benefiting from the rise in online shopping, even as traditional mail declines.