December 3, 2002

Earth as Art

Planet Earth as abstract art Hot on the heels of Geology from Space and Earth Erotica comes this exhibit honoring the 30th anniversary of the Landsat satellite progam. 41 images from space - chosen for "artistic appeal" over scientific significance - include glaciers, deserts and Karman vortices. Some are even poignant.
posted by mediareport at 9:42 PM PST - 16 comments

Bearpath Gated Community.

Bearpath is a gated community in Minnesota. It's not all that special, except for the fact that it's the only gated community in the state. With membership fees to the golf club topping $10,000, it's obvious they want to keep out people who aren't filthy rich, or knows someone who is. Places like Florida, California, or Texas have many more. What causes people to want to move out to the sticks and put up a giant fence around their property, with tightly controlled access to the neighborhood? Is fear of crime a legitimate reason for digging in behind a fence with armed security guards? Or is it just to get away from people? Why is the thought of somebody isolating themselves this much from a community so fascinating?
posted by manero at 9:25 PM PST - 55 comments

Dead Grandmother Syndrome

In England it is called the "Graveyard Grannies'' problem, in France the "Chere Grand'mere," while in Bulgaria it is inexplicably known as "The Toadstool Waxing Plan".

Next week, college students around the world will be taking final exams. Their grandmothers will be dropping like flies."
posted by Wet Spot at 8:29 PM PST - 15 comments

"Oh, mighty city of New York, you are wonderful to behold-- Your buildings are magnificent-- the truth be it told-- They were the only thing that seemed to arrest my eye, Because many of them are thirteen storeys high; And as for Central Park, it is lovely to be seen-- Especially in the summer season when its shrubberies are green And the Burns Statue is there to be seen, Surrounded by trees on the beautiful sward so green; Also Shakespeare and the immortal Sir Walter Scott, Which by Scotchmen and Englishmen will never be forgot. " The collected poems of William Topaz McGonagall
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:42 PM PST - 18 comments

Henry Makow

Henry Makow is the inventor of the board game Scruples, and the author of A Long Way to go for a Date. He received his Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Toronto and taught at the University of Winnipeg. He now publishes his prolific writings online. He is also completely, utterly, deliciously insane.
posted by son_of_minya at 5:32 PM PST - 17 comments

Fresh light on how humans colonised the Americas?

[A]nother race may have pre-dated native Americans.
....Dr Gonzalez told BBC News Online: "We believe that the older race may have come from what is now Japan, via the Pacific islands and perhaps the California coast....this discovery, although it is very significant, raises more questions than it solves." This seems like real news to me: the 'Bering Straits' route is still the dominant theory of pre-Colombian migration, is it not? Yet clearly, for anthropologists, it hasn't that simple for quite some time. Are we on the verge of a new consensus about human expansion across the globe? Or is this doomed to fail, like previous speculation? [Kon-Tiki, anyone?]
posted by dash_slot- at 3:37 PM PST - 42 comments

Long Riders Guild

The Long Riders' Guild is an association of equestrian explorers who have ridden more than 1,000 continuous miles on a single equestrian journey.
posted by signal at 1:53 PM PST - 4 comments

A post about a nice movie.

Boom! Atomic Cocktail! Released in 1982, and made up of propaganda footage, newsreels and civil defense films, The Atomic Cafe has been released on DVD. Here are some sound clips from the film (warning: noise), and here's a tiny bit of information about one of the director's other films, Feed.
posted by interrobang at 1:06 PM PST - 12 comments

Former Head of Faith-Based Programs Says Bush White House Not Interested in Policy

In a long letter to Esquire magazine, the former head of Bush's Office of Faith-Based Programs blasts the White House as having practically no interest or expertise in making sound social policy: "[O]n social policy and related issues, the lack of even basic policy knowledge, and the only casual interest in knowing more, was somewhat breathtaking." DiIulio may have a bit of an ax to grind here, but it is still a fascinating look inside the Bush policy-making apparatus. (The letter was the basis for an article by Ron Suskind in Esquire which is not available online [press release here]. The saga leading to the publication of the letter is recounted in today's Tapped)
posted by boltman at 1:02 PM PST - 22 comments

Tarkovsky-derived video game? Yup.

Tarkovsky's Stalker coming as video game in 2003. I always wondered how long it would take for a more artistically-informed bunch to come to the $18B/year video game market (bigger than Hollywood). Will our generation have its video-game counterparts to Faulkner and Fitzgerald? A David Foster Wallace or Don Delillo authored game? Are there other video games that can stand up as "Art?"
posted by minnesotaj at 1:02 PM PST - 65 comments

House of the Future

Where will you be living in the future? Las Vegas' metro area is the fastest growing community in the nation, but we still build houses the old fashion way. MIT looks at what the homes of the future will provide and also gives an interesting review of what the homes of the future were like in the past, including my favorite future house of the past. What do you want in your next home?
posted by IndigoSkye at 12:42 PM PST - 12 comments

The other one in Weird Science

The other one in Weird Science What was it like to be a 15-year-old boy kissing 30-year-old Kelly LeBrock? Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) tells all about his childhood acting days. He did not turn to a life of drugs, but to a life of academia. Is it "healthy and important for us to see that the guy who played Wyatt is a real person"? I'm not sure about that, but it was an interesting interview, and, of course, a great movie.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 12:25 PM PST - 13 comments

Every 30 years (ish) America gets itself into war. Time's up!

Take a peek at this military timeline. And let's figure that the time from when Johnny, sergeant, age 25, gets home from fighting the war and tells 5 year old Junior about the experience to when Junior, Major/Lt.Col, grows up and wants to CAUSE a war, averages 30 years.

Now let's do some math...starting with the French and Indian War, 1754-1763. Add 30-ish years (21). American Revolution, 1775-1783. Add 30-ish years (38). War of 1812, 1812-1814. Add 30-ish years, numerous Indian wars. Add 30-ish years. American Civil War, 1861-1865. Add 30-ish years (37). Spanish-American War, 1898. Add 30-ish years (19). America in World War I, 1917-1918. Add 30-ish years (25). America in World War II, 1942-1945. Add 30-ish years (20). Vietnam War, 1964-1973. Add 30-ish years, and it's the turn of the's now.

We haven't learned from 250 years of this cycle, and there's no reason to think we've learned anything since. I didn't count the Gulf War cause it wasn't much of anything, and I know the numbers are a bit forced...but I think this trend is worth discussing.
posted by taumeson at 11:44 AM PST - 44 comments

Drunk Santa

Sober Santa. Too much politics today, not enough Christmas fun. Here's a drunk Santa game from b3ta. Pretty tough once you get going.
posted by Stan Chin at 11:17 AM PST - 14 comments

tom tomorrow

Total Information Awareness v. Holden Caulfield. Great Tom Tomorrow cartoon on our new "permanent records" under Ashcroft's plan. What books did you check out of the library as a teenage "malcontent" that might arouse suspicion today?
posted by serafinapekkala at 11:10 AM PST - 23 comments


ABC lets Koppel do his thing. Have you watched "Up Close", Ted Koppel's in-depth interview segment? NYTimes does a good job describing how Ted has chosen to be himself (i.e., high-brow and ministerial) with scant disregard to ratings. Is this type of program the antidote to the media's obsessive and corruptive focus on ratings?
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy at 8:59 AM PST - 19 comments

corporate chickens

some strong words about "corporate chickens" thoughts about giving government contracts to companies that have bolted offshore to tax havens - and who might have slipped this defeat of the wellstone amendment into the "homeland security bill"?
posted by specialk420 at 8:45 AM PST - 34 comments

Midnight Oil calls it quits

"They kissed no bum and tugged no forelock." Aussie politi-rockers Midnight Oil have hung it up with the departure of their lead singer, Peter Garrett.
posted by scottandrew at 8:32 AM PST - 26 comments

Campaign Law Set for Big Test

McCain-Feingold doomed (NYT reg req) The law enforcing the soft money ban goes to court tomorrow. Opponents of the law will be led by Kenneth Starr (!), while the defenders of the law will eventually be led by Bush's solicitor general, Theodore Olson, the guy who argued the case that made George W. Bush president. Gee, that sounds fair --- everyone's an arch conservative. This law is toast. Back to the trough!
posted by fungible at 8:30 AM PST - 28 comments

Singing Horses [Flash]

Singing Horses [Flash]
posted by grumblebee at 8:12 AM PST - 8 comments

It's futuristic, it's retro, it's ... futuretro?

How I love Mutant Storm [demos available for Windows, Linux and, yes, Mac!]. It's amazing the dross that the big players can come up with while games like this aren't even available in the shops. Yay for the web, I say.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:15 AM PST - 9 comments

hats made of balloons

Addi Somekh and Charlie Eckert travel around the world, photographing people wearing their spur-of-the-moment, whimsical balloon hats. It's hard not to smile when you have an inflatable, multi-colored crown on your head. Via obsessive Magnificent Obsessions.
posted by iconomy at 5:23 AM PST - 21 comments

Hunger Out West

Hunger rates highest in rural West. "Unemployment and prevalence of seasonal labor go hand-in-hand with hunger, experts say. Oregon, Washington and Alaska rank high in both jobless and hunger rates. Across the West, the agriculture industry relies on seasonal labor to harvest everything from mushrooms to apples. Families that work in the summer often can't make ends meet in the winter."
posted by crasspastor at 2:14 AM PST - 6 comments

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