December 7, 2011

The Orchestra

Zbigniew Rybczyński's pioneering 1990 HDTV production, The Orchestra (58m), a study in layered images and classical music, a commentary on man in the 20th century. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:56 PM PST - 19 comments

If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere

Make Magazine has released its Ultimate Kit Guide which rates 175 DIY kits. Kits like the: 6-in-1 Solar Robot Kit, the Infrared Jammer Kit, the KaraKuri Somersault Doll kit, the Loud Objects Noise Toy Kit. But best of all you will find the astounding MakerBot Thing-O-Matic 3D printer. "The Thing-O-Matic is a breakthrough in 3D printing technology. The Thing-O-Matic prints thing after thing, it's completely automated! You hit print and the machine does all the work. Want to print 100 butterflies? Easy. Want to print an entire chess set? No problem. Buy it, assemble it, and enjoy being the first on your block to live in the cutting-edge personal manufacturing future of tomorrow!" [more inside]
posted by storybored at 7:52 PM PST - 37 comments

The Sweet side of fantasy art... farewell

The fantasy artist of Xanth, Robert Jordan and many, many more...... If you read fantasy novels in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and beyond, up to ... well, just recently... you know his work. Please raise a . to... Darrel K. Sweet
posted by The otter lady at 7:29 PM PST - 56 comments

Leisure Suit Larry

Leisure Suit Larry is a series of adventure games written by Al Lowe and published by Sierra from 1987 to 2009. The main character, whose full name is Larry Laffer, is a balding, dorky, double entendre-speaking, leisure suit-wearing (but still somewhat lovable) "loser" in his 40s. The games follow him as he spends much of his life trying (usually unsuccessfully) to seduce attractive women. [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 6:43 PM PST - 68 comments

History of Half-Mast

"The earliest record we have of the lowering of a flag to signify a death was an occasion in 1612, when the Master of the 'Hearts Ease', William Hall, was murdered by Eskimos while taking part in an expedition in search of the North West Passage. On rejoining her consort, the vessel's flag was flown trailing over the stern as a mark of mourning. On her return to London, the 'Hearts Ease' again flew her flag over the stern and it was recognised as an appropriate gesture of mourning." [more inside]
posted by Deflagro at 6:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Beyond Good and Evil

  • [A Descent Into the Heart of Darkness]
  • [A Descent Into the Heart of Darkness] Wrap-Up w/o Shane Smith
  • [more inside]
    posted by lemuring at 6:23 PM PST - 11 comments

    Degenerate Art

    Franz Sedlacek (1891 – 1945) was an Austrian painter who belonged to the tradition known as "New Objectivity" ("neue Sachlichkeit"), an artistic movement similar to Magical Realism. At the end of the Second World War he "disappeared" as a soldier of the Wehrmacht somewhere in Poland.
    posted by The Whelk at 5:32 PM PST - 4 comments

    Does what it says on the tin, though not how you may expect.

    The Best Pole Dance Ever. SLYT. Banish your preconceived notions and prepare to be amazed.
    posted by Devika at 4:09 PM PST - 152 comments

    25 to Life, A Documentary

    25 to Life: William "Reds" Brawner In 1980 after being burned as an infant, William Brawner received a blood transfusion with HIV tainted blood. Learning of his illness five years later, his family decided to keep his status a secret. [more inside]
    posted by Silo004 at 4:07 PM PST - 31 comments

    Murray Close, Interviewed

    Take 210,000 colour transparencies – plus or minus a thousand or two. Examine them one by one by one, carefully and closely. Study – and think about – the framing, lighting and colour balance. Check for any blurring or closed eyes. Think about how they’ll look blown up to billboard size. Take your time. You’ll need to. Now make an initial pick – 100 shots, say. Then cut your choices down to 30 – ‘the brown bag’ in movie jargon, the selection which will go to the studio executives. Then trim that down to six transparencies. And finally, to just one image – the iconic one.

    That is the process by which Stanley Kubrick’s 1975 film The Shining came to be known by that one, terrifying moment of Jack Nicholson’s wild, unshaven, grinning face – eyes sharp left – emerging through an axe-smashed door. And it’s how Murray Close learned to take a photograph.
    posted by beaucoupkevin at 3:20 PM PST - 6 comments

    Wingsuit B.A.S.E. jump fail.

    This B.A.S.E. jump went very, very wrong. For reasons unknown, after a good exit from a 450 meter cliff this jumper's wingsuit did not inflate on one side, causing him to go completely unstable. Out of desperation he deployed his canopy which, as you might expect, opened with massive line twists. Yet somehow he managed to walk away unscratched! Watching this = drinking 3 cups of coffee! SLTY
    posted by Dean358 at 2:59 PM PST - 53 comments

    What really happened aboard Air France 447?

    What really happened aboard Air France 447? With the discovery of the cockpit voice recorders comes a tale of Air France 447's final moments. Previously and previously
    posted by thewumpusisdead at 2:29 PM PST - 144 comments

    Beers, Jocks, and Queers

    We call hot wings 'sassy' here,” he explains. “'Cause, you know, we're gay.” Gay sports bars are no longer an oxymoron. But are they part of the death of gay culture?
    posted by Diablevert at 2:08 PM PST - 94 comments

    The year in film....

    The 2011 Portfolio (slyt.) Clips from 166 of this year's films, combined into one video trailer. How many can you name? (Via)
    posted by zarq at 1:53 PM PST - 8 comments

    Serialized eBooks

    Despite the popularity of long-arc, serialized TV shows, no one really wants to read serialized fiction, apparently. That's not stopped anyone from trying, though, like say Stephen King with The Green Mile and The Plant, semi-successful efforts from a mega-successful author. That was before the current rise of the ebook, though, and a few authors (also here and here and here) are betting technology will turn serialized novels into the next big thing, that we're in "the perfect environment for a resurgence."
    posted by nospecialfx at 1:36 PM PST - 44 comments

    WM3 four months later

    When a prosecutor argues a bullshit case to a jury, he typically does so for one of two reasons: Either he is not terribly bright or he is cravenly amoral. [West Memphis Three Prosecutor] Fogleman would not speak to me on the record, which means I cannot report what he said. But my impressions are fair game. John Fogleman is pleasant, charming, and oddly forthcoming. He is also perfectly bright.

    Life after prison and the machinations behind the Alford Plea taken by the West Memphis Three.
    posted by mudpuppie at 1:32 PM PST - 24 comments

    Much More Than Props

    I am Iron Man. I am Aquaman (and you can be too). I am Flynn (possibly NSFW). I'm Batman. We are Boba Fett. [more inside]
    posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:55 PM PST - 11 comments

    Like a manpage for the web

    Over the past several years, Mozilla's collection of developer documentation for its own web browsers has turned into a wiki-editable reference of web standards for developers working with all browsers, hosting a comprehensive, no-nonsense reference of HTML, HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, the DOM, and more. If you find yourself turning to this reference frequently, dochub provides instant access to Mozilla's documentation for any HTML, CSS, JavaScript, or DOM-related topic. If you're worried that a fancy new standard might not work in an older browser, canIuse will tell you exactly how many browsers will support that new standard. Still want to use that shiny new standard? Modernizr and yepnope will let you detect missing features, and load tiny bits of code to make old browsers support the latest HTML5 hotness.
    [via the carefully-curated selections of JavaScript and HTML5 Weekly, run by MetaFilter's own wackybrit]
    posted by schmod at 12:11 PM PST - 25 comments

    The forgotten gentleman lawer turned privateer who founded Jamestown

    In 1602, he became the first Englishman to sail directly to New England across the ill-charted waters of the North Atlantic (Google books; alt: He is credited with setting up a fort on Cuttyhunk Island, and naming both Martha's Vineyard and Cape Cod in that voyage. A few months later, he then returned to England, where he planned the first English settlement to take hold in the new world. He returned in 1607, but only survived 13 weeks in Jamestown (Gb). Who was this founding father of the first English colony take hold in North America? Bartholomew Gosnold. [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief at 11:59 AM PST - 12 comments


    Get your sht together and get going with a fcking Fortran based music visualisation to replace HTML5 games and hook into NewsCloud via YouTube and Google Blog Search
    posted by sgt.serenity at 11:58 AM PST - 20 comments

    Now what am I going to do with all these signs

    After almost 30 years of appeals and legal maneuvering, Philadelphia prosecutors have abandoned attempts to impose the death penalty on Mumia Abu-Jamal for killing police office Daniel Faulkner in December 1981. Background, previously.
    posted by anigbrowl at 11:45 AM PST - 58 comments

    How Knitting Behind Bars Transformed Maryland Convicts

    After she retired, Lynn Zwerling decided to teach knitting to prisoners. The program has seen some success.
    posted by reenum at 11:24 AM PST - 19 comments

    The Rights that were Left.

    On December 6th, 2011, International Human Rights Day, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered a speech in front of the United Nations proclaiming freedom and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons (transcript included). [more inside]
    posted by seanmpuckett at 11:03 AM PST - 71 comments

    The Woodstock Show

    On August 19, 1969, the (prime time ABC version of the) Dick Cavett show featured several popular musicians. pt 1 - pt 2 - pt 3 - pt 4 - pt 5 The Jefferson Airplane, David Crosby and Stephen Stills had rushed back from a show they did at a festival. Jimi Hendrix couldn't get back in time, but appeared later. The third guest, Joni Mitchell, skipped Woodstock to make sure she was on time for this broadcast, but a month later she wrote a cool song based on what she saw on TV and heard from friends. [more inside]
    posted by msalt at 10:48 AM PST - 17 comments

    The wayward sons of Mother Earth

    Founded in 1990, Skyclad is considered to be one of the first bands in the "folk metal" genre. Until his departure in 2001, the lyrics came from the pen of band leader Martin Walkyier, who wrote some of the most poetic and sharply socio-political lyrics in metal (and had a wicked way with a pun, to boot). [more inside]
    posted by jbickers at 10:39 AM PST - 18 comments

    The unique looks of Drive and Bellflower

    Drive and Bellflower are both movies with fast cars and distinctive looks but one had a budget 765x the other. Drive was captured to Betamax's grandchild, Bellflower to a Mac Book Pro. [more inside]
    posted by morganw at 10:21 AM PST - 21 comments


    Random Cat Gifs + Random Music = Procatinator
    posted by Del Far at 9:57 AM PST - 48 comments

    You put too much SWOOSH, in the T!

    Harry Morgan, best remembered at Officer Bill Gannon, and Colonel Sherman T. Potter, has closed his last case, and ridden off, into the sunset.
    posted by timsteil at 9:30 AM PST - 129 comments

    A Reluctant Enemy

    "What a strange position I find myself in," [Yamamoto] wrote a friend, "having been assigned the mission diametrically opposed to my own personal opinion, with no choice but to push full speed in pursuance of that mission. Alas, is that fate?"

    A brief account of how one of the biggest critics of Japan's war policy became the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attacks. (SLNYT)
    posted by swift at 8:12 AM PST - 44 comments

    Something went boom in the night. (SLYT)

    Mythbusters misfire maligns members of Dublin, CA. MSNBC, CNET. Did Grant let NASA do his maths?
    posted by TomMelee at 8:08 AM PST - 252 comments

    Zagat's for Revolutionaries?

    Diner's Guide to the Working Conditions of American Restaurants [PDF] published by labor advocates at Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.
    posted by Miko at 7:34 AM PST - 68 comments

    Cocozza - he's a naughty man

    Television Ads at Christmas - featuring Adam Buxton and John Lewis, Littlewoods and The X-Factor.
    posted by mippy at 6:22 AM PST - 21 comments

    No escapism here; all dark corners are revealed

    Laurie Lipton studied 17th century Dutch masters to develop her own unique style of pencil drawing. (First bought to our attention by misteraitch)
    posted by adamvasco at 4:33 AM PST - 27 comments

    Open source online board game engine with over 1,000 modules

    Here is VASSAL, an open-source engine for playing board games online, by email, on forums or on a single machine. Which board games? These. (Requires Java.)
    posted by JHarris at 1:31 AM PST - 41 comments

    More Evidence Found for Quantum Physics in Photosynthesis

    Previous experiments have hinted at the connection... Physicists have found the strongest evidence yet of quantum effects fueling photosynthesis. Multiple experiments in recent years have suggested as much, but it’s been hard to be sure. Quantum effects were clearly present in the light-harvesting antenna proteins of plant cells, but their precise role in processing incoming photons remained unclear. In an experiment published Dec. 6 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a connection between coherence — far-flung molecules interacting as one, separated by space but not time — and energy flow is established. “There was a smoking gun before,” said study co-author Greg Engel of the University of Chicago. “Here we can watch the relationship between coherence and energy transfer. This is the first paper showing that coherence affects the probability of transport. It really does change the chemical dynamics.”
    posted by aleph at 12:01 AM PST - 64 comments

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