September 22, 2009

Journalism - ethics + activism = propaganda

Mark Bowden tells us "The Story Behind the Story" in the October issue of The Atlantic: "With journalists being laid off in droves, ideologues have stepped forward to provide the “reporting” that feeds the 24-hour news cycle. The collapse of journalism means that the quest for information has been superseded by the quest for ammunition. A case-study of our post-journalistic age." [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 11:21 PM PST - 62 comments

Homelessness in Sydney

"I always had this picture in my head a homeless person is they're got torn dirty clothes, they're not shaven, they're, they're sort of sitting in the corner you know waiting for a handout and that was my and to think that - I'm not in that category - but I don't have a home for my family."
A report from Australia's Four Corners documentary TV show looking into homeless families in Western Sydney. Link has video and a transcript, plus background info.
posted by bystander at 10:38 PM PST - 31 comments

True Love

The True Love Project — People are exhorted to "say cheese" for the camera so their faces will approximate a happy look. Other emotional states, such as love, are far more complex and not easily photographed. Love is intimate and deeply personal, and its expression may be hard to share in a staged setting. Hypnosis opens a pathway into the unconscious, the neurological realm of emotional memory. In TRUE LOVE a group of volunteers worked with a professional hypnotist to reach, in trance, a point where they were able to visualize the camera as a beloved person. The resulting images captured people who were actually in love with the camera.
posted by netbros at 9:14 PM PST - 42 comments

Life on Mars

Amazing photos of the currently raging Sydney dust storm.
posted by togdon at 8:20 PM PST - 78 comments

Top shelf Lego

CUBEDUDES...dig into Pixar Animator Angus Maclane's Lego figurine photostream.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:40 PM PST - 16 comments

Green Flash, not lantern

Green flash at sunset, last day of summer. They occur every night, but are too fast and/or faint for us to see. They also don't just occur over water. There are apparently 2 main types. Sometimes they're one big blob, sometimes on the edge & sometimes a hovering blob over the sun. Previously. [via]
posted by yoga at 5:59 PM PST - 21 comments

Bernie Fuchs, Illustrator

Bernie Fuchs, one of the all-time greats of American illustration, has passed away. [more inside]
posted by Bron at 5:11 PM PST - 15 comments

The fascinating world of conservation

Biohistorical researchWax engravingThe Thinker after the bombAlfred Stieglitz's palladium photographsTibetan bronzes with interior contentsThe examination and treatment of a pair of boots from the Aleutian Islands — A small sample of the articles available from the Journal of the American Institute for Conservation (JAIC).
posted by tellurian at 4:31 PM PST - 8 comments

Jean Renoir

Parle De Son Art "Jean Renoir Interviewed by French New Wave director - Jaques Rivette - about the technical progress in art. The dangers of realism and perfectionism related to the the technical advances in cinema." In this short interview (15mins.) Renoir considers such questions as "What if our tendency to imitate nature is simply a tendency towards ugliness?" and "Why is it that when technique is primitive everything is beautiful, and when technique is perfected almost everything is ugly?" In French with subtitles.
posted by vronsky at 3:25 PM PST - 12 comments

Super chilly and super tough 2D flash biking game

Icycle is a flash game about a naked man, a bicycle, and the end of the world. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 3:15 PM PST - 46 comments

Relationship violence as art

Apache (a-POSH) dancing (French, not Native American), popular in Paris in the early parts of the 20th century, pitted a male and a female dancer against each other in over-the-top--and sometimes hawt--mock violence. [more inside]
posted by gillyflower at 2:24 PM PST - 24 comments

Sex, bribes and videotape

FBI whistleblower, Sibel Edmonds, has gone on record with her allegations of government corruption and treason. (previously)
posted by ryoshu at 2:01 PM PST - 113 comments


Mountain Light is the latest beautiful time-lapse video from Tom at Timescapes. A little behind the scenes showing his dolly and camera setup in action. Check out his other videos, or follow him on Twitter.
posted by knave at 12:36 PM PST - 18 comments

Shakespeare in music

Amazing to see how differently Shakespeare's work has been dealt with in music: there is Jerry Lee Lewis doing a blues on Othello. David Gilmour, former Pink Floyd lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, turned Sonnet 18 into a touchingly beautiful ballad. The Metal Shakespeare Company wrote a heavy metal song about Hamlet (III/1), "To bleed or not to bleed". And yes, there is Shakespeare rap, too: William Shatner (the very same!) raps about Caesar and British rapper Akala thinks he is a reincarnation of the bard. Last but not least, the Beatles tried their luck at Shakespeare, too (no music this time): they did a skit on the famous Pyramus and Thisbe scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream (very rare footage!).
posted by Matthias Rascher at 12:25 PM PST - 37 comments

mp3s' rotten fidelity - the proof

Researcher John Meyer has devised an objective index demonstrating that mp3s offer far lower fidelity than either vinyl LPs or standard CDs. And yet this eight-year study at Stanford University shows that prolonged exposure to mp3s leads young listeners to prefer the format. No wonder record producers are despairing.
posted by Paul Slade at 12:03 PM PST - 99 comments

Torture Produces False Memories and Bad Intel

Torturing the brain (PDF). Extreme pain and stress can actually impair a person's ability to tell the truth. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:52 AM PST - 28 comments

We are, yeah I said it, we are

Comedian Affion Crockett, most remembered for appearing on MTV's "Wild 'n Out"and for his impressions of Jay-Z, manages to play Jay, Kanye and Chris Brown in a spoof of Jay-Z's song with Rihanna, "Run This Town".
posted by cashman at 11:28 AM PST - 15 comments

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest on Youtube

Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest on Youtube. Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest had a short run (38 episodes) in the mid '60s, but it included many great folk artists. If you love folk, just click here and start sampling. Where else will you find Kim Loy Wong & the Hi-Landers Steel Band performing "When the Saints Go Marching In", or the Mamou Cajun Band, or Paul Draper's surreal dance improvisation to "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around", or Theodore Bikel and Rashid Hussain singing "Peace"?
posted by shetterly at 10:40 AM PST - 9 comments

'1976 Taxi Driver came out. Got Cunted'

Nick Love and Danny Dyer Outlaw commentary highlights. (NSFW swearfest) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:20 AM PST - 18 comments

Get your Saturday morning on

Saturday morning cartoons were once a staple of American television, but by the year 2000 they had all but disappeared. Of course, the Internet never forgets. Case in point: Cartoon Network Video -- a free, searchable, ad-supported service that provides hundreds of full-length episodes of classic shows like Dexter's Laboratory, Cow and Chicken, Courage the Cowardly Dog, Johnny Bravo, Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, and The Powerpuff Girls, as well as current offerings and scads of shorter material. Too recent for you? Then give Kids WB Video a whirl -- it does the same thing with the same interface, but for older programs like Looney Tunes, Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, The Jetsons, The Smurfs, Scooby-Doo, Thundercats, and the original Space Ghost. If you're in the mood to learn (and don't mind some live-action), PBS Kids Video has educational fare such as Arthur, Wishbone, and Zoom. And don't forget about Sesame Street, The Electric Company, Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, The Magic Schoolbus and Schoolhouse Rock! Now if only we had some Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs...
posted by Rhaomi at 9:27 AM PST - 160 comments

Are Peace Negotiations in the Cards?

Are Peace Negotiations hosted by Russia and France in the cards? Today, President Obama is meeting with Israeli PM Netanyahu and the Palestian Authority's Abbas and then hosting a three-way meeting with both leaders. Officially all parties claim they have "low expectations." [more inside]
posted by Ironmouth at 9:18 AM PST - 38 comments

Long Form Journalism on Secret London, Murder Ballads, and other topics of interest

What do Cliff Edwards (1928), Lloyd Price (circa 1959), The Rulers (1967), R.L. Burnside (late 1980s/ early 1990s), Grateful Dead (live in 1993), and Nick Cave (live in 1996) have in common? If nothing else, they all sang some variation of the crime of Lee Shelton, also known as Stack O'Lee, Stagolee, Stack-a-Lee , Stackerlee, Stagger Lee and other names, with as many variations in the details of that fateful night. Join MeFite Paul Slade with his journalistic narrations of murder ballads, tales of Secret London (previously), and other works of long-form journalism (which may or may not be ideal for the web, previously). [via mefi projects; more clips and bits inside] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:17 AM PST - 31 comments

She Don't Want To Change The World

British pop star Lily Allen recently posted a Myspace blog entry explaining her view that file sharing is a disaster as it is making it harder and harder for new acts to emerge. [more inside]
posted by motty at 9:07 AM PST - 362 comments

Nuts are we

After a career lasting almost four decades, Chas and Dave - the musical act who made a surprisingly long chart career out of naff reversionings of cockney pub songs, even playing Glastonbury in 2007 - have split. Please enjoy: Snooker Loopy. Gertcha. Rabbit. And for extra fun, the glitchcore remix of Snooker Loopy
posted by mippy at 8:39 AM PST - 21 comments

Fou to You

Fou Magazine's panda-themed third issue ("Best not viewed with IE. Best viewed with bamboo."), released Monday, combines gorgeous web-design with equally gorgeous poetry. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 6:50 AM PST - 7 comments

"The world's most famous missing person."

"The unburied come back to haunt us." On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan took off from Lae, Papua New Guinea (map) in their Lockheed Electra en route to Howland Island (map). They were never seen again. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 6:11 AM PST - 27 comments

MacArthur grants announced

$500,000. Five years. No strings attached. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has announced the 24 recipients of its 2009 "genius grants."
posted by oinopaponton at 6:10 AM PST - 64 comments

Job Voyager

Job Voyager: a data visualization tool for US occupations as a percentage of the labor pool, 1850-2000. (Stream graphs previously)
posted by OmieWise at 5:37 AM PST - 17 comments

Hyperinflation in Zimbabwe wasn't all it appeared to be

First Zimbabwe formally abandoned their currency, then received assistance from The IMF, and now now we're seeing inflation in that nation easing to an acceptable rate of 0.04% per month. So it's fair to ask, is hyperinflation in Zimbabwe is a thing of the past? [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 4:58 AM PST - 23 comments

Netflix gives up $1M software prize

The winners of the prize - for software 10% better at recommending movies than Netflix own Cinemax - were a team described here back in June. They beat another team by getting their results in 20 minutes earlier. Netflix was happy: “You look at the cumulative hours and you’re getting Ph.D.’s for a dollar an hour.” - so happy they're offering two new $half-million prizes.

No mention yet whether there's been any progress on the "Napolean Dynamite problem" ... the movies it's hard to predict your reaction to.
When Bertoni showed me a list of his 25 most-difficult-to-predict movies, I noticed they were all similar in some way to “Napoleon Dynamite” — culturally or politically polarizing and hard to classify, including “I Heart Huckabees,” “Lost in Translation,” “Fahrenheit 9/11,” “The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou,” “Kill Bill: Volume 1” and “Sideways.”
posted by Twang at 2:32 AM PST - 97 comments

The Meta punk/mech/noiac/poli/naut/phage/droid/bot/blade/tron/nancer/War/not Filter

The Electro-Plasmic Hydrocephalic Genre-Fiction Generator is the latest inspired creation of Wondermark's David Malki! (exclamation mark his), a slight departure from his usual victorian clip-art comedy (previously) to a wordier bit of satire/inspiration/wackiness/wit/archetyping/talking fish.

Speaking of webcomics and formulas, the "young woman inexplicably transported to a totally weird alternate universe" scenario is being used differently - but successfully masterfully - by THREE different artists: Ramon Perez's Kukuburi, Eldon Cowgur's Astray3 and Michael Lee Lunsford's Supernormal Step (links to the beginnings of the stories... because you gotta). I'm rather surprised the Pirannhamoose has not yet appeared in any of these, especially since Astray3 has featured every other creature you can imagine (or have nightmares about) in its first year. [more inside]
posted by wendell at 1:57 AM PST - 8 comments

kiss kiss

a collection of kisses.
posted by lalex at 12:04 AM PST - 18 comments

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