October 8, 2009
When Northern Illinois University entered the national spotlight it was for tragic reasons. One of the university's public faces during the tragedy was University Police Department Chief Donald Grady. Now, the university is conducting a performance review of the chief after he spent three hours berating, yelling at, and trying to bribe a student journalist with a job at the university in exchange for favorable coverage. [more inside]
Conquerors 2009 “There are many underhanded ways of making your conker harder. The best is to pass it through a pig." World Conker Champion – Charlie Bray. The World Conker Championships are on this weekend. All the action from last year. previously   In other news, a cure for bleeding canker has been found, with a welcome side effect, leaf miners don't like having garlic breath.
1,000,000FPS video of bullet impacts. Stay tuned for the glass, ballistics gel, and bullets impacting each other in the air. [more inside]
From 1988-1994 game designer Richard Garriott ran one of the most elaborate, interactive 'haunted houses in the world from his own house, a sprawling mansion custom built in part to house the event. After 1994 there was a break for Garriott's new house to be built (with more customization just for haunt use). Many had lost hope, but now 15 years later it's back.
A better way to get kids to learn to ride - a single training wheel. The folks at bikecommuters.com liked it too. Available December 1.
A former employee speaks out about what goes on at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. Namely, the alleged treatment surrounding one of their most famous members on his way into the cryonic chamber. He has a book. They have a statement.
Ben Ali, co-founder (with his wife Virginia) of Ben's Chili Bowl, died yesterday. Ben's is a favorite spot of politicians, actors, sports figures, and everyday people of all backgrounds. Back story on Ben's and some video of Obama at the bowl. [more inside]
Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Robert H. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, discusses the biochemical properties of fructose and makes the case for why it should be considered, essentially, a poison. [Youtube, 1.5 hours] [more inside]
"Magellan" by Stephen Crowley may be my favorite superhero comic on the web. The art seems to owe more to Tintin than Marvel or DC. The dialogue and plots are fun. The cast is huge, but the characters are distinctive, and generally charming. If you like Paul Grist's Jack Staff, give this a try. To start at the beginning: here.
Poet Robert Pinsky presents an appreciation (and reading) of the most famous section of Christopher Smart's "Jubilate Agno" (1759-1763) -- the (epic) fragment devoted to the spiritual consideration of the institutionalized Smart's sole constant companion for the years of his confinement: Jeoffry (his cat). [more inside]
Australian television show "Hey Hey It's Saturday" is currently back on the air after a few decades, running a series of reunion shows, and the other night a group that had been on the show in the 80s came back with the same act, in blackface. [more inside]
"Demon's Souls, an Atlus-published action-RPG out this week on the PS3, is way too hard for you. We say this without knowing a thing about your skills and with no equivocation." Demon's Souls was released this week in North America, and its reviewers are coming to terms with its staggering difficulty level. [more inside]
On July 31 of this year, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) introduced H.R. 3501, a bill aimed at granting tax deductions to owners of companion animals. Known as the HAPPY Act — Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years — it would create a deduction of up to $3,500 on federal tax returns for the care of "qualified" pets, defined as "legally owned, domesticated, and live animals." As of yet, there are no co-sponsors. So did McCotter introduce the bill due to being a genuine supporter of animal protections, or is this one Republican's way of trying to ensure taxpayers get to keep more of their money? Either way, the ASPCA approves, as do actors Leo Grillo and Robert Davi. via
Family Guy Corn Maze. Walk among the rows with Brian and Stewie.
You can blame Gilbert Gottfried, or you can blame Fark, but either way a website was born that pissed Glenn Beck off enough that he sicced his lawyers on Isaac Eiland-Hall. The First Amendment protects Eiland-Hall, so Beck's lawyers are trying an end run on the Constitution by petitioning the ICANN to give rights to the website glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com to Beck. Eiland-Hall's lawyer Marc J. Randazza responds in a well-written and hilarious brief. (via) (previously) [more inside]
"I wanted that kid to lose sleep that night," a grinning Xinos says Wednesday, as he invites me for a nearly two-hour interview in his Mercedes-Benz in the gated Oak Brook community where he lives. "This is the real world and the lesson, you folks who brought your kids here, is if you want something, pay for it." [more inside]
From the Prints & Photographs Division Library of Congress - browse through more than 1900 World War I posters. You can also search or look by subject heading. [via] [more inside]
Where am I now? Travelin' 1.18km/s(2646mph). 70,289km from the Moon. 19 hrs! RU Excited? I am! #lcross
On October 9th, NASA spacecraft will run into the moon, and on purpose. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and its rocket's Centaur upper stage will impact the moon, with the goal of sending some of the (possibly present) ice above the lunar surface. Once out of the eternal shade of the moon's south pole, sunlight will break the ice up into H+ and OH- molecules, which can be detected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The initial impact site was the crater Cabeus A, but the target was later changed to Cabeus (proper), selected for highest hydrogen concentrations with the greatest level of certainty, and for the high-contrast back drop to detect ejecta and vapor measurements. NASA has provided guides for amateur observations of the impact, a facebook group, and a Twitter feed so you don't miss the moment.
Douglas Crockford, who oversaw the porting of Maniac Mansion to the NES, would like for you to know how the game changed in the porting process and why.
I Just Made Love shows on the map of the world places where people just made love.
"It's big, like people were back in the 70s... Big when you get that way because you're just real damn strong." Brought to you from the Wichita Falls Athletic Club, 70sbig.com will teach you how to eat, how to train, and how to style your moustache so that you can get 70s big. Not interested in becoming 70s big? Then stop by and observe the amazing feats of those who were, like weightlifter Anatoly Pisarenko, who cleaned and jerked 583 pounds, or powerlifter Doug Young, who deadlifted 711 pounds in competition despite three broken ribs. The site also feature a series of cheeky interviews with Mark Rippetoe, owner of WFAC and author of books like Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training and Practical Programming for Strength Training.
An 18-year-old outlaw in Washington State had been a police target for years. He's now really into stealing and crashing planes, and of course has a Facebook Fan Page. He evades the police by disappearing into the woods, Robin Hood-style.
Vincent van Gogh's letters have been published online before, but never like this. In facsimile, when wanted. And accompanied by images of the drawings and paintings he was writing about. Sided by a weblog too. [more inside]
132 keys, two strip controllers and a breath pipe. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Eigenharp, instrument of the future.
Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced.
"It is a scene etched in film history. ...the drowning of the little girl in Frankenstein was a truly transgressive moment in a film already overloaded with gruesome happenings. Actor Boris Karloff protested, as did audiences and critics when the film previewed. The scene was jettisoned, cutting off suddenly as The Monster reaches for the child." John Cox went looking for the spot where this scene was shot, join him in The Return to Malibou Lake. [more inside]
David Hockney's iPhone passion. Audio slide show commentary by critic Lawrence Weschler to accompany his article in the New York Review of Books about Hockney's iPhone paintings using the Brushes feature. Weschler talks more about Hockney's artistic project in this NYRB podcast.
The End of Fish - maybe it's finally time for an environmental accounting, cuz the 'bill' is coming due; stocks and flows, folks.
This year's Nobel Laureate in Literature is Romanian born author Herta Müller, who writes in German, as predicted yesterday by M. A. Orthofer of The Complete Review and Literary Saloon. Here's an interview with Herta Müller and a short bio.
The Times Higher Education Supplement's World University Rankings for 2009 are out.