November 28, 2011
A new perspective on crime scenes. (warning: panoramics are of crime scenes, and some include victims of violent crime.) [more inside]
In a room near Maida Vale, a journalist for The Nation wrote around 1914, an unfortunate creature is strapped to the table of an unlicensed vivisector. When the subject is pinched with a pair of forceps, it winces. It is so strapped that its electric shudder of pain pulls the long arm of a very delicate lever that actuates a tiny mirror. This casts a beam of light on the frieze at the other end of the room, and thus enormously exaggerates the tremor of the creature. A pinch near the right-hand tube sends the beam 7 or 8 feet to the right, and a stab near the other wire sends it as far to the left. "Thus," the journalist concluded, "can science reveal the feelings of even so stolid a vegetable as the carrot."
It's Good to be Tim Tebow. "Tim Tebow’s completion percentage is 44.8 percent. Take away his magical fourth quarters and the number is closer to 30 percent. This kind of awful is in the 'Shaq free-throw percentage, Mario Mendoza batting average' sports hall of fame. But he’s not awful in the turgid unwatchable way that, say, a Kate Hudson movie is awful. He’s fascinating/awful."
Webcam is a short film which explores the concept (and apparent reality) of "webcam hacking." Straight link Vimeo. Warning: Vimeo comments contain spoilers.
Hi. Here's Stephen Colbert (out of character) and astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson having an 85 minute conversation about science, physics, and the universe.
YaCy is an open source fully decentralized peer-to-peer search engine designed prevent any single entity from exercising power over search results. [more inside]
The Nation's William Deresiewicz looks at Ann Beattie's evolution as a writer.
And Fear & Superstition Would Have Gotten Away With It, If It Wasn't For Those Meddling Kids . . . And Their Dog!
An innocuous question in Comics Alliance's weekly Ask Chris column about whether Chris Sims (previously) prefers the monsters in Scooby Doo to be real or people in costumes results in a stunning defense of secular humanism and the importance of the search for truth in order to expose lies perpetuated by Authority through the use of fear & superstition.
Denver Post cartoonist Mike Keefe took a buyout after 35 years. On the way out the door, he's asked about digital media. He says, "Someone has to crack the code concerning online profits. Till that time, it will be a forum for the dedicated and passionate cartoonist who also works at Starbucks." Which may come as a surprise to an online cartoonist that's been profitable for more than 10 years, and those other profitable guys with the charity that just broke $1 million in donations earlier than ever.
Cassell first heard about the "diablos rojos," or red devils, in 1995, from some Mexican fishermen as he was filming gray whales for German public television in Baja's Laguna San Ignacio. Intrigued, he made his way to La Paz, near the southern tip of Baja, to dive under the squid-fishing fleet. It was baptism by tentacle. Humboldts—mostly five-footers—swarmed around him. [more inside]
Growing up, she was a beloved celebrity in her home country. Thousands of girls were named after her. So was a bestselling perfume. But Josef Stalin's "Little Sparrow," his only daughter, (born Svetlana Stalina) defected to the United States in 1967. Upon arriving in New York, she promptly held a press conference that surprised the world, denouncing her father's regime. Svetlana became a naturalized US citizen, moved to Taliesin West, married an American, changed her name to Lana Peters, then returned to the Soviet Union in 1984, declaring that she had not been free "for one single day" in the U.S., only to once again return to America in 1986. She lived out her remaining days in a small town in Wisconsin. Mrs. Peters passed away from colon cancer on November 22nd, at the age of 85. [more inside]
Dorkly Bits is an ongoing collection of short skits based around classic and contemporary videogames. The collection includes: Mistaken Hero Identities, Tails Can't Die, The Diablo Townspeople Should Move, Noob Saibot is a Noob, Yoshi Hates Mario, and many more.
"A simple mantra has guided me through the darkest bouts of autocerebral asphyxiation: You don’t have to believe everything you think."
"Because of our mutant powers of obsession, it’s my guess that a lot of nerds suffer from addiction. Nerds get caught up in minutiae, because there is a tremendous and fulfilling sense of control in understanding every single detail of a thing more than any other living creature. But we also tend to have a very active internal monologue (in some cases, dialog). These are some delightful ingredients—mixed with a bit of genetic predisposition—for overdoing things that make us feel good in the moment." Chris Hardwick offers "self-help for nerds."
MotherBoard TV: The Thorium Dream If, like many of the world's leaders, you are eager for a dependable and cheap energy source that doesn't spew toxins and greenhouse gases into the atmosphere -- and that doesn't result in terrible, billion dollar accidents -- you can end your search now. At least, that's the news from a tight-knit collective of energy blogs, dedicated to a common but relatively unknown metal called thorium. In the right kind of nuclear reactor, they say, thorium could power the world forever -- and without the problems that come with the nuclear energy we use today, from Fukushima-like meltdowns to the difficult by-products of plutonium that leave behind radioactive waste and weapons material. The idea certainly sounds like the stuff of fringe internet conspiracists, but it was actually born in the U.S. government's major atomic lab in the 1960s under the auspices of one of the country's most respected nuclear scientists, and the inventor of today's most common kind of nuclear technology, the light water reactor. - Thorium: World's Greatest Energy Breakthrough? [more inside]
"The political elite have actually no interest in explaining to the people that important decisions are made in Strasbourg; they are only afraid of losing their own power." Jürgen Habermas on the crisis of the European project and how it could be overcome.
Peter Kornbluh, of the National Security Archive, has written an article about Iran-Contra coinciding with the release of the Reagan/Bush 'criminal liability' evaluations(contains video of Reagan's testimony). Confused about what exactly the Iran-Contra affair was? Here you go. [more inside]
Teddy Bear does not believe in caring and sharing when it comes to corn on the cob. Snickers pretty much feels the same way. (Sorry, no dubstep remix -- yet.)
Do you like men's clothes but don't like sweatshops / department stores / spending too much money? The Internet is here to help! Well Spent categorizes "honestly made" stylish men's clothes of all kinds. Their holiday gift guide might be helpful. Did you want to look at some pretty ties? Check out The Knottery. A belt? Narragansett Leathers makes belts of all sorts. Need some inspiration? My Grandfather's Ties or Evolving Style might help. Alternatively, just dress like Carl Sagan.
"The blonde hadn't showed. She was smarter than I thought. I went outside to poison myself, with cigarettes and whisky."
Reader, I marinated it. [independent.co.uk] What if Virginia Woolf, Geoffrey Chaucer or Raymond Chandler had turned their talents to food writing? Mark Crick imagines the contents of the celebrity cookbooks of yesteryear.
The Burzynski Clinic (selling an unproven cure for cancer) has started to threaten those who talk about them with legal action. Even going as far as trying to intimidate young blogger Rhys Morgan by sending him pictures of his own house (very, 'I know where you live...') and threatening another blogger's family.
"I believe in the things I make. The fact that God doesn’t want me to make them is beside the point."
"The thing is, some really good scripts come my way, but there’s nothing in them for me to come to grips with, they are complete in themselves ... There’s no uncertainty. I don’t look for answers; I look for questions. I like when people leave the cinema and feel like the world has been altered for them somewhat." Terry Gilliam: The Heir of Fellini and the Enemy of God. (Also, recently on the blue.) [more inside]
David Hill is a gambler. Each column will tell the story of a single bet that he made and examine what that bet reveals about life in America. The most recent is $5 Chess Game, Best of 3, Zuccotti Park.
Bangladesh is an elite country in both cricket and kabaddi, but neither of those sports hold Olympic status.
Lots of countries have never won an Olympic medal. And they aren't all micro-states, either. [more inside]
RIP Ken Russell enfant terrible of British cinema, director of Women in Love, The Devils, Tommy, Altered States and The Lair Of The White Worm. [more inside]
Japanese artist Namio Harukawa (NSFW) has a singular vision/obsession: women in charge. In virtually all of his paintings and drawings, women radiate the bemusement of the Mona Lisa as they are sexually serviced by men who appear to be little more than appendages of the women’s sexual organs. Astride the faces of hapless males, the women are magnificent in their utterly cruel detachment.
- The Erotic Art of Namio Harukawa
- The Erotic Art of Namio Harukawa
What happens when you stop time in a cartoon universe? You get animation smears. (single-serving Tumblr)
This past weekend was Canadian Football League (CFL)'s title game -- for the Grey Cup. But almost as much as the game itself, a sideshow eruption of an old feud took centre stage this year. 48 years ago, Hamilton Ti-Cats' Angelo Mosca was widely ripped for having levelled BC Lions' running back Willie Fleming with a "questionable" hit in the 1963 title match that took Fleming out of the game. Hamilton went on to win and BC's quarterback at the time, Joe Kapp, has apparently been fuming about the hit ever since. When he and Mosca appeared on stage together at this year's CFL Alumni Luncheon, it was game on all over again. (Some coverage has since suggested it was staged but a viewing of the video, which has since gone viral, leaves that an open question. Mosca, who followed his football career with several years on the pro wrestling circuit, swings a mean cane, while Kapp appears to have kept his right cross in form.)
The term never event describes when something happens in a medical setting that should never occur. The list of never events (formally called "Serious Reportable Events) released by the NQF includes mistakes such as performing surgery on the wrong body part (or the wrong patient!), or patient suicide while under care. Despite their moniker, "never" events do happen. [more inside]
The Candy Critic This candy catalog shows (almost) everything from Ramen candy to Kit Kat apple vinegar, reviewed.
Video: An Italian pilot flies a glider through the Alps for eleven hours (video highly condensed, obviously) at times coming agonizingly close to the mountains, not because he's reckless, but because that's what's keeping him aloft. Fullscreen viewing recommended.
A radical new idea is turning schools upside down. 'Flip the Classroom' is based on a simple concept: kids watch podcast video presentations of lecture material on their own time - at home. They then do the 'homework' at school, in an environment where the teachers can guide and support them, instructing on specific points as required. Colorado teachers Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams have been pioneering the technique, and their Learning4Mastery website is a fount of information on it. [more inside]
It has long been noted that style manuals and other usage advice frequently contain unintended examples of the usage they condemn. (This is sometimes referred to as Hartman's law or Muphry's law - an intentional misspelling of Murphy.) Starting from this observation, Joseph Williams' paper The Phenomenology of Error offers an examination of our selective attention to different types of grammatical and usage errors that goes beyond the descriptivism-prescriptivism debate. (alternate pdf link for "The Phenomenology of Error") [more inside]