October 6, 2002

A Fruit Has Been Built. A unique architectural piece that pokes your senses in creative ways, is also good-humouredly called the "Durians" by local Singaporeans. Durians, or otherwise titled King of fruits, are beloved by millions of South East Asians. The spiky building, officially known as "Esplanade-theatres on the bay", started construction in 1996 and will open (flash) to the world on the 12th October 2002.
posted by taratan at 11:51 PM PST - 12 comments

Arts & Letters Daily closes the door.

Arts & Letters Daily closes the door. "Arts & Letters Daily has been kept afloat by the goodwill of its editors, Tran Huu Dung and Denis Dutton, and it is now time for them to move on. " Lame! I don't read this site everyday but today it was live one minute and gone the next.
posted by Brilliantcrank at 11:12 PM PST - 47 comments

Josemaria Escriva de Balaguer, the founder of the Opus Dei movement, was canonized today. Opus Dei is a conservative movement within the catholic church, and counts many powerful people among its adherents - the current pope among them. However, it is not without its detractors and opponents. Some of the most important people in the Franco dictatorship were part of the group, as were several of the participants in the Venezuelan coup earlier this year. Should we keep an eye on these guys? They are certainly secretive and aggressive, but are they just a group of concerned, pious Catholics, or a power-hungry fraternity? I'm half-catholic myself, and certainly curious to hear if any Catholic MeFiers have thoughts on this subject. Even better, an Opus Dei member to clarify some of these misunderstandings...
posted by charlesv at 12:39 PM PST - 24 comments

As the Alberta government ratchets up its campaign against the Kyoto Protocol (and the Canadian government's support thereof), two environmental groups release a report that argues that Canadians could cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent and save $30 billion a year in the process by 2030 (PDFs of the report summary and full report). And, if reducing emissions starts at home, you can apparently cut your own energy bills and emissions in half simply by stopping leaks and drafts in your house.
posted by mcwetboy at 11:19 AM PST - 11 comments

I'm currently doing a course in photography which, being an evening course, is going to require mastering the art of night time photography. I found a few sites on the subject and seeing as there seems to be a fair photography contingent here, I thought I'd share them. Note that these sites all offer interesting tips for creating night time photos.
posted by chill at 10:43 AM PST - 27 comments

How would it be to be a bee? Einstein has been quoted as saying that if the bee were to suddenly disappear, mankind would survive only another four years. So, make a bow to your insect overlords, and visit this site by a neuroscientist researching bee vision to experience first-hand how a bee sees. The B-EYE software allows you to set various parameters to see how a bee would view selected images, including Einstein himself. Or test your bee communication skills at Nova's "Dances with Bees" page, where you watch the dance of a hive mate and then try to locate the nectar source that he's mapping out. If you're still not impressed, consider that bees possess higher cognitive functions, including the ability for abstract thought. Finally, find out why nice bees don't always finish last in a look at the guerrilla tactics wielded against the dreaded "killer bee" by mild-mannered Cape honeybees.
posted by taz at 10:32 AM PST - 17 comments

So you want to join the circus.

So you want to join the circus. Well, it helps to have a speciality. Learn how to swallow swords, twist balloon animals, crack a bullwhip, ride a unicycle, spin plates, breathe fire, go to circus school, throw knives, or get started by street performing. You may make it to the big time, but beware of the consequences, and careers gone awry.
posted by Stan Chin at 10:19 AM PST - 10 comments

Islamic saints.

Islamic saints. The linked article, while a bit disapproving ("There can be little doubt that Muhammad would be displeased if he could see what passes for Islam in much of the Muslim world today"), gives a good description of the cult of saints and their tombs in popular Islam. [More inside.]
posted by languagehat at 10:14 AM PST - 8 comments

More mischief in Florida: Jeb's "devious plans"

More mischief in Florida: Jeb's "devious plans" Unaware that a reporter with a tape recorder was present, Jeb Bush told Florida lawmakers last wednesday about his "couple of devious plans" to thwart the will of Florida voters. And that's not all....
posted by troutfishing at 10:11 AM PST - 21 comments


Reliquaries are containers built to hold objects of special religious significance, such as the foot of a saint, or the skull of a king. The art of European reliquary making reached it's zenith in the Middle Ages when craftsman created fantastic objets d'art for cathedrals and monasteries in the form of caskets, bodily appendages, and freestanding holders built to visually display occasionally gruesome bits of the venerated individual. The layperson had access to reliquaries as well, typically in the form of small lead crosses worn around the neck, containing pieces of bone or one of the ubiquitous fragments of the True Cross. Reliquaries are not unique to the Christianity, but can also be found in Buddhist and Islamic tradition.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:52 AM PST - 27 comments

Today is the day when massive war protests are scheduled to appear throughout the U.S. Are you going? Are you completely against them? Was the one near you bigger/smaller than expected? And remember, MetaFilter is fun, but like the war or hate it, this is your last chance to register to make your opinion really count if you haven't already. The election is officially 30 days away. The war.... we'll get back to you on that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:39 AM PST - 65 comments

Next Generation Movies and Games

Next Generation Movies and Games Based on realtime emotion interaction. Mindsurfing?
posted by ginz at 5:35 AM PST - 4 comments

Conflict resolution: Western and Islamic Mediation approaches.
posted by semmi at 12:02 AM PST - 6 comments

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