November 16, 2002

Leonid Meteor Storm 2002

They're back--and promise to as brighter or brighter than last year:
NASA scientists' predictions for the 2002 Leonid meteor storm.

Such meteor storms rarely happen in consecutive years, but 2001 and 2002 are exceptions. Experts have just released their predictions: Depending on where you live (Europe and the Americas are favored) Leonid meteor rates in 2002 should equal or exceed 2001 levels.

That's the good news. The bad news is that the Moon will be full when the storm begins on Nov. 19th. Glaring moonlight will completely overwhelm many faint shooting stars. Indeed, I often hear that the Moon is going to "ruin the show."

We shall see.
posted by y2karl at 11:35 PM PST - 22 comments

Art by Natalie Merchant

Artwork by Natalie Merchant. [Really nice site also.]
posted by JohnR at 9:49 PM PST - 21 comments

The New York Times on Meta

This Is a Headline For an Essay About Meta (NY Times Magazine). A multi-aspect discussion of our favorite prefix, with a few appropriately cheeky observations. "The more high-minded it is, apparently, the easier it is for meta to annoy."
posted by werty at 9:20 PM PST - 26 comments

Yale Grad Students Expose Their University's Connection to Slavery

Yale Grad Students Expose Their University's Connection to Slavery A furor has developed at Yale University over a report indicting Yale funders and alumni from the 17th to 19th centuries for owning slaves or supporting the institution of slavery. The authors of the report even show that nine out of ten residential colleges at Yale are named after known slaveowners or pro-slavery advocates. The university points out that the report was union-funded, accusing the union of trying to make Yale look bad during labor negotiations. Yes, but does that make it any less true?
posted by jonp72 at 3:46 PM PST - 26 comments

Baring our, er, souls, for peace.

Peace protest really takes off. I live in West Marin, where some people take their peace protests fairly seriously, and this has been the topic of conversation pretty much in every little town that the Point Reyes Light covers since Thursday's issue of the paper came out. I can just see the White House staff and Dubya's dad when they get a load of this. "See, those people in Marin County are all nuts, just like John Walker Lindh!"
posted by Lynsey at 3:19 PM PST - 19 comments

Extensive documentation on the Initiation Cycle of Venda girls

Venda Girls' Initiation Schools is a fascinating collection of material from the observation of the Initiation of Venda girls in South Africa in the 1950's by ethnomusicologist John Blacking. Included are songs, virtual divination dice, video, and mostly collected descriptions and local interpretations of the various stages and rituals of the schools with a primary emphasis on music in this context. Quite a bit here for a mostly linear navigation architecture, but it's the results of some very interesting work available on the web just the same.
posted by mblandi at 2:54 PM PST - 1 comments

Sierra Adventure Games live on!

Kings Quest 9, Leisure Suit Larry 8, and Space Quest 7. Sierra's legendary Adventure Gaming francises are stuck in vaporware purgatory. No new Larry according to Al Lowe, but KS9 goes on developed by fans without Roberta Williams, and Scott Murphy's (of The Two Guys from Andromeda) attempt at SQ7 got cancelled. No word from Jane Jenson on a new Gabriel Knight, Police Quest still lives on, although no longer in adventure format. Of course what I was REALLY researching for was the possiblity of a sequel to The Adventures of Willy Beamish. Oh well, at least you can still rock out to all the old Sierra Tunes. Overall, not a bad legacy for a company whose first adventure game was Softporn.
posted by Stan Chin at 2:02 PM PST - 31 comments

For lucky best wash, use Mr. Sparkle!

Forgive being a day late on the Friday Flash tradition, but WHAT THE HELL? (.swf link) Link via Tom Tomorrow.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:12 PM PST - 42 comments


Indecent proposal? "People usually find love and marriage in the traditional way. You meet, fall in love and tie the knot...What if there's a better way? MARRIED BY AMERICA (tentative title) is a groundbreaking reality-based show that invites the viewing audience to be your personal matchmaker." How else would you expect beautiful people to meet?
posted by boost ventilator at 12:07 PM PST - 7 comments

Poets Reading Poems

But...But Wallace Stevens Sounds So...English! Here's an extraordinary wealth of poets' voices from The Factory School Digital Audio Archive. Natural curiosity, of course, kicks in with the prosaic question of what your favourite poets sound like. Some are unexpectedly pompous; others are a bit Beverly Hillbillies; a few are steeped in real gravitas. But why does reading a particular poet, in years and years of silence, make one suppose he or she hasn't a living voice like the rest of us? Wallace Stevens and Anne Sexton, for instance, surprised me immensely... [Via wood's lot; requiring Real; a few links broken.]
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:26 AM PST - 17 comments

Literature of fact

'Literature of fact' The high wall which seperates fact and fiction has a small door in it through which people can step. A piece which discusses how someone writing a supposed eyewitness account of an event always tends to fictionalise, even unconciously, in order to make the subject interesting, the idea being that just because a book is in that section, it might not actually be completely non-fiction.
posted by feelinglistless at 8:50 AM PST - 12 comments

The New MediaNews

Jim Romenesko gets a facelift. So far, the feedback for the site's new look has been overwhelmingly negative. Blech, says one AP reporter. It will get better, says a New York Post columnist. What say you?
posted by Ljubljana at 8:40 AM PST - 24 comments

Letters from kids to Einstein

Letters from kids to Einstein - NYT article. I love the simple outlook kids have. The few replies from Einstein included seem to have the same simple flavor. We could use more Einsteins, not just brain but conscience.
posted by yoga at 7:52 AM PST - 9 comments


GeoNative. Placenames in minority and indigenous languages.
posted by plep at 7:13 AM PST - 7 comments

genetic spill

Biological Incident Even the food industry is concerned when medicinally-modified crops spread their genes to food crops. How can accidental or intentional contamination be stopped? Is even the USDA's power to quarantine and destroy enough?
posted by kablam at 7:04 AM PST - 2 comments

optimal web design

criteria for optimal web design. i found this site very useful, if you're into web design and development; although it seems focused to the beginner (because of the Q&A layout), it has very useful information
posted by trismegisto at 6:38 AM PST - 12 comments

'QUAKE' / Friends Screen Shots

Rachel: "Look, she is breastfeeding. Look!" [Phoebe was pummelled by Wizard_cev]
"These images were recorded by the performers during our visit to the "Hulk" server. Note the yellow text at the top of the screen shots which are dialogue from the performance. The blue speakers bubbles represent our characters typing their lines. The other gamers depicted are constantly killing us. Scroll to the right to view additional images."
Conceptual artist Joseph DeLappe and his mates hybridize The Ultimate Shoot-'em-Up with the Acme of Sit-Com: now the teen boys and the teen girls can play together!
posted by dash_slot- at 4:10 AM PST - 21 comments

The Ossian Hoax

Goethe's Werther exclaims "Ossian has, in heart, supplanted Homer" (more at ex-classics)
Napoleon carried a copy of Ossian with him and even commissioned a painting by Ingres. Ossian, son of Fingal, was a Gaelic Bard from the 3rd century A.D. and the author of an epic text discovered and translated in the 18th century by one James Macpherson. His works enthralled the artistic elite. Schubert set them to music. Goethe assisted in the German translation. Others, including Samuel Johnson were more skeptical and, in the end, were proven right - Ossian was a (well-constructed) hoax.
posted by Winterfell at 2:31 AM PST - 11 comments

Movie piracy 'like terrorism'

Movie piracy 'like terrorism' The drive to protect movie copyright needed to be "as concentrated an international event as the war on terrorism", according to Star Wars producer Rick McCallum.
posted by helloboys at 12:59 AM PST - 32 comments

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