November 28, 2007

Afghanistan on the brink

Stumbling into chaos: Afghanistan on the brink. A report from the Senlis Council think tank claims that the Taliban has a permanent presence in more than half of Afghan territory and the country is in serious danger of falling back into their hands. The Canadian and British governments disagree.
posted by homunculus at 11:31 PM PST - 23 comments

Logic puzzles

A virtually unlimited supply of randomly-generated logic puzzles, in a variety of sizes and difficulties: Nonograms. Slither Link. Nurikabe. Bridges. Light Up.
posted by Upton O'Good at 9:52 PM PST - 18 comments

Some like it, some don't

Massachusetts lawmakers are debating a bill that would ban parents from spanking their children. Meanwhile, Corpun (previously)would like to remind you that it's not just for kids, but hey, we already knew that.
posted by mullingitover at 8:54 PM PST - 158 comments

Global Development By The Numbers

The new UN Human Development Report is out. Lots of interesting stuff on climate change. But for me, nothing beats the Human Development Index, a number that means different things to different people.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 7:26 PM PST - 8 comments

Let the Eagle Soak

John Ashcroft stands up to prove waterboarding isn't torture, by offering to lie down for his own waterboarding. Well, that is, he offers he'd do it if it were necessary, and if he could survive the torture. Is that a brave offer, an admission that US has resulted in deaths, or both? Daniel Levin, one of Ashcroft's subordinates at the Department of Justice, went further, actually undergoing waterboarding himself. He survived it -- but his career didn't, after he he concluded torture was "abhorrent". [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 7:09 PM PST - 43 comments

Personally, I've always found Santa Cruz kind of creepy.

From 1999 to 2004, a slew of bands, either unknown, faintly famous, or about to go on to larger levels of exposure played in the clubs and houses of the Santa Cruz independent "rock" scene, and were recorded for anthropological purposes. [more inside]
posted by Minus215Cee at 6:55 PM PST - 23 comments

The Economist: The World in 2008

In 2008, China will fail to ride the Olympics wave and improve its worldwide image, the US will vote mainly on health (barring a terrorist attack or a recession), usher in a period of pragmatic caution and toast to it over a nice Merlot, the culture wars will go global, Israel may decide that it must act alone against Iran, African gangs will prosper, UK politics will be re-established as a spectator sport, we will finally quit oil - and want yet more of it, the potato will make a comeback, an island will be moved for the sake of the Euro, we will rush to give for free what others charge for, U will HAV CASH, robots will explore the seas of Earth, which is round, by the way, pigs will fly, and we will like totally love it (don't we?).

The Economist: The World in 2008. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:46 PM PST - 35 comments

Chromatron - a game about reflections

Chromatron 1, 2, 3 and 4 just became freeware. In these little standalone puzzle games for PC and Mac, you align splitters, benders, and mirrors to direct colored laserbeams into like-colored targets. Enjoyably difficult, and an example of great game design. [more inside]
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:28 PM PST - 20 comments

If at first (or second) you don't succeed...

Operation PLIERS. An internal CIA memorandum has been obtained by Venezuelan counterintelligence from the US Embassy in Caracas that reveals a plan to destabilize Venezuela during the upcoming constitutional referendum. The plan, titled "OPERATION PLIERS" was authored by CIA Officer Michael Middleton Steere and was addressed to CIA Director General Michael Hayden in Washington. The full text of the memo will be released soon for verification purposes. Many previously.
posted by scalefree at 5:27 PM PST - 42 comments

Your favorite book sucks, and is un-American

So, whatcha readin? The John Ashcroft Alberto Gonzales Michael Mukasey Book Club wants to discuss your latest reads. Amazon thinks it's none of their business. So does your librarian. While it may seem that your reading list is safe, fact is you're actually just one National Security Letter or subpoena away from full disclosure. Want to change that? One step in the right direction would be to contact your Senator about getting S.2088 out of Committee and on to the floor. Oh, and tell them to vote for it. And then to override the veto.
posted by Toekneesan at 5:20 PM PST - 19 comments

60 elements remain.

How many HTML elements can you name in five minutes?
posted by divabat at 5:06 PM PST - 69 comments

Passionate Housewives Desperate for God

Ladies, submit and enjoy! What does the 21st century biblical model for an adult daughter look like? Have you ever wondered about the damage feminism has visited upon our civilization? Prepare to be enlightened...
posted by zany pita at 4:56 PM PST - 77 comments

Cherry Chocolate Rain

Cherry Chocolate Rain
posted by chrismear at 4:56 PM PST - 42 comments

Jason Whitlock and the Black KKK

Jason Whitlock again raises the specter of a "Black KKK", some take issue with his ideas, and Jason levels his response.
posted by mikoroshi at 4:40 PM PST - 29 comments

Inside outside

Exploring nature ("Trees" by Myoung Ho Lee) and structure (installations by Esther Stocker).
posted by klangklangston at 3:07 PM PST - 12 comments

You Ain't Seen Nathan Yet

Rudy Giuliani is no saint. It's no secret that his marital infidelity and his subsequent divorce were two factors in the scuttling of his 2000 Senate bid, but the image of strength he tries so hard to project has (for the most part) allowed people to overlook his moderate stances on social issues. However, as with his good friend Bernard Kerik, his real problem might not be his infidelity as much as the abuse of public funds that accompanied it.
posted by Bromius at 2:25 PM PST - 69 comments

E-books, Credit Card Theft and Equifax

"Chris Jupin never thought he'd create a firestorm when he wrote on his personal blog in September about a bogus $4.95 charge that appeared on his debit card. But traffic to his blog increased sharply, and hundreds of Web users chimed in saying, 'me too.' About half of them had something in common: They had recently purchased credit services from credit bureau Equifax." The charges -- mostly single ones for $10 or less -- are for "e-books" or other "online downloads." The Equifax connection -- coincidental and casual? Comments in response to yesterday's MSNBC "Red Tape Chronicle" post offer up experiences of others in the same boat.
posted by ericb at 2:24 PM PST - 25 comments

Urban Exploring

Urban Exploring. Recently: Sanatorio Popolare Cantonale di Piotta. Sinteranlage, Duisburg. Atomschutz Kurfürstendamm, Berlin (flash). (Previously.)
posted by Soup at 1:59 PM PST - 4 comments

Union Jack to be redesigned?

A British government minister has promised to "consider" a redesign of the Union Jack Apparently, the Welsh aren't happy because their country isn't represented in the current design. So they want to put a dragon on it. Yep, a dragon.
posted by alexanderj at 1:53 PM PST - 90 comments

Setec Astronomy

Trevor Paglen, the "underground geographer," documents the Black World, offering brief glimpses into the most secret programs and installations of the US military. He has uncovered the ominous and geeky patches used by classified projects, taken long-range photos of secret military installations, traced the mysterious Janet flights of unmarked aircraft that shuttle workers to hidden bases, as well as documenting many other fascinating and hidden things such as the secret rendition programs of the CIA, as discussed previously.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:23 PM PST - 37 comments

"Report a la bug. (That's French for bug report)." Halo 3 Linkorama.

Halo 3: Easter eggs, including the excellent Red Vs Blue in-game dialog easter egg; the RvB Halo 3 beta initiation; 3D images and how-to (dig out your glasses); achievements, ranks, armor, skulls, and campaign scoring explained; Bungie's favorites (videos, pics, maps, game variants to download to your 360)... and that grenade stick.
posted by nthdegx at 11:55 AM PST - 22 comments

Battle of the Flashlight Museums!

There are two-- two-- awesome flashlight museums on the web. One of them is on geocities; the other is not. One of them has a page of art deco purse lights and a page of interesting and unusual lights; the other has bullet flashlights and the Dukes of Hazzard signal flash. I love them both.
posted by dersins at 10:57 AM PST - 19 comments

Tumbleweed required!

First post, deep breath, here goes nuffin. Judith Bingham is a multitalented British born classical singer, composer and musician. Driving home in the dark on Halloween listening to Radio Three (I'll let someone else out there explain Radio Three to our overseas cousins), I was particularly taken by her atmospheric choral setting of 'Ghost towns of the American West' a poem by Vesta Pierce Crawford, a Mormon Utah poet associated with the University. Despite delving much further into Mormon websites than I would usually care to venture I have not been able to find the text of the poem, if anyone out there can give a hand I'd be grateful. Judith Bingham also wrote an opera based on the life of Errol Flynn! Now that I would like to see. [more inside]
posted by surfdad at 10:46 AM PST - 10 comments

Tase! or "Youtube Justice"

"Officer, I don't know why you're doing what you're doing."
Refusing to sign a speeding citation in Vernal, Utah? That's a tasing. Requesting an investigation of the incident? That sounds like a job for YouTube. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 9:21 AM PST - 325 comments

Whale Naming Competition

Mister Splashy Pants needs your vote. Even though Mister Splashy Pants is enjoying a comfortable lead, we must continue working to get the vote out.

Oh, also, whaling is bad and Greenpeace is good.
posted by ba at 8:59 AM PST - 40 comments

Make your own attack ad

Make your own attack ad. The Democratic party is uploading all its "tracker" videos of the top Republican candidates out on the campaign trail, for use by anyone for anything. "The party hopes that thousands of eyes might find something the mainstream media has missed, or that a new way of juxtaposing the video with something else will be revealing about the candidates," says the NYT. Gimmick or political sea change?
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:46 AM PST - 61 comments

Entrapping a Good Samaritan or Two

If you see an unattended bag in New York this holiday shopping season, you better just leave it alone. If you pick it up and don't immediately report it, it could net you a class E felony. The NYPD is planting the bags themselves and this isn't the first time. Operation Lucky Bag first started in 2006, but now they're intentionally loading the bags with credit cards to increase the crime (or non-crime) from a misdemeanor to a felony.
posted by yeti at 7:39 AM PST - 111 comments

Out in the Country

Walking the Dog "All photos in this gallery were taken within a radius of about 3 miles of our home in the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, mostly one handed while hanging on to an impatient dog with the other hand."
posted by adamvasco at 7:15 AM PST - 20 comments

Oh, so that's what that thing on my sink is called!

Visual Dictionary Online - diagrams of everyday objects (and ones not so ordinary) for the visual thinkers among us. (via)
posted by desjardins at 5:58 AM PST - 15 comments

Mass Effect

Mass Effect has been released. So why should you give a damn? Developed by Bioware as the spiritual successor to KOTOR, Mass Effect has received many positive reviews, has a unique and widely touted conversation system, features omnipresent videogame voiceover actor and "that guy" Keith David, and was briefly banned in Singapore due to a human female/monogendered species sex scene.
posted by aerotive at 5:26 AM PST - 78 comments

So much that you tremble in pain

Have you ever loved a woman? Compare and contrast. [more inside]
posted by landis at 3:39 AM PST - 50 comments

Shun the nonbeliever! Shuuuunnnnn!

Charlie The Unicorn: 16 million hits, not ever on MeFi as far as I can tell, and UNICORNS! Don't we all LOVE THEM SO MUCH?! (Where's the interrobang when you really need it?) [more inside]
posted by exlotuseater at 3:27 AM PST - 54 comments

The Blind Boy Who Sees

The Blind Boy Who Sees. After losing his eyes to cancer Ben Underwood discovered that he could "see" the physical world around him using the technique of human echolocation. He is not the only one.
posted by I-baLL at 12:58 AM PST - 17 comments


The Psychedelic 60's: Literary Tradition and Social Change
posted by mlis at 12:13 AM PST - 26 comments

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