December 10, 2009

Obama's Big Sellout

Taibbi-filter: Obama's Big Sellout [more inside]
posted by moorooka at 9:36 PM PST - 156 comments

I got twenty questions, but "Animal, vegetable, or mineral?" ain't one

Akinator is an online twenty-questions game: if you can stump the identity-guessing genie, you add to its database and make it smarter. How to efficiently store a twenty-questions database. How to play twenty questions against a liar. Another paper about how to play twenty questions against a liar. How to play twenty questions against a procrastinator.
posted by escabeche at 9:11 PM PST - 186 comments

Maps of Zombie-infested Alternative Histories

Mapmaking + Alternative History + Zombies: The Scourge of 1866. The Great Golem Uprising of 1848. Essex County Cricket (& Zombie Eradication) Club. [more inside]
posted by cowbellemoo at 8:34 PM PST - 19 comments

Picturing Climate Change

Ahead of the global climate talks, nine photographers from the photo agency NOOR photographed climate stories from around the world. Their goal: to document some of the causes and consequences, from deforestation to changing sea levels, as well as the people whose lives and jobs are part of that carbon culture. Warming threatens lifestyle of Russian herders | Refugees flee drought, war in East Africa | Greenland’s shrinking ice hurts natives [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:54 PM PST - 3 comments


Oceansize is a short monster movie created by four animation students. Here's a version with English subtitles (although it's hardly necessary). [via]
posted by brundlefly at 5:42 PM PST - 11 comments

Has the Supreme Court Become Too Catholic

Has the Supreme Court become too Catholic?
posted by jefficator at 5:23 PM PST - 123 comments

"It's not hard to find gifts created for and by people of color this holiday season"

The New York Times is offering a gift guide this season...specifically for people of colour. In case you were wondering what to get your friends of colour - henna or a gospel cruise may be what you have been looking for!
posted by hepta at 4:57 PM PST - 67 comments

Elevators and Elevator Accessories

This post is for elevator enthusiasts.
posted by Taft at 4:45 PM PST - 27 comments

The Ultimate Dr. Sir Warrior

Forty years ago, just after the Biafran War, Nigeria was home to a cultural boom that paralleled its skyrocketing oil revenues. These heady days not only produced afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, but also, in the genre of music called highlife, created a star known as the Ultimate Dr. Sir Warrior (born Christogonus Ezebuiro Obinna) a member of the nebulous Oriental Brothers International Band. Listen to the music of Dr. Sir Warrior and the Oriental Brothers International Band. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 4:37 PM PST - 15 comments

Cute kid sings a song on the ukulele

Is this kid even singing words? Does it even matter?. It's I'm Yours by Jason Meraz sung by a cute kid playing the ukulele. (via)
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:28 PM PST - 32 comments


Michael Jackson heals the world
posted by Artw at 3:59 PM PST - 41 comments

"The truth about cave men."

Dr Kent Hovind (seen here previously) claims to hold a doctorate, but both he and its awarding institution (Patriot Bible University) have refused to publish his dissertation in any form. The WikiLeaks site has obtained a scanned copy; highlights include "the truth about cave men", the co-existence of humans and dinosaurs, and a null reference list.
posted by gene_machine at 3:32 PM PST - 102 comments

I live in a van down by the river

Want to avoid debt in grad school? You could follow the example of this guy and live in a van.
posted by bove at 3:18 PM PST - 63 comments

Possibly the most controversial National Film Board film of all time.

Norman McLaren's 1952 short film [Youtube version] Neighbours uses live actors in a stop-motion film, to great effect.
McLaren created the soundtrack by scratching the edge of the film, which was then read by the projector.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:06 PM PST - 19 comments

The Dry Valleys

Michael Becker is spending three months in a tent in an Antarctic desert. And he is blogging about the experience. Previously about Antarctica.
posted by jefeweiss at 2:41 PM PST - 15 comments

The MagiCIAn

When the CIA tried its hand at magic A top-secret 1950s training manual for CIA field agents, based on the knowledge of famous magician John Mulholland, has been made available to the public. Via
posted by Abiezer at 2:02 PM PST - 31 comments

Ideas for Thought

The Year in Ideas from the New York Times Magazine.
posted by exogenous at 1:47 PM PST - 13 comments

Texas Gulf Coast Disasters: Digital Media Collections

The Texas Gulf Coast is no stranger to disaster - both natural and man-made. The 1900 Storm (previously). The Texas City Disaster (previously). Hurricane Ike (previously). Tropical Storm Allison (previously). New digital media collections, made available through the the University of Houston, shed light on previously overlooked events such as the Hurricane of 1915, and allow a fresh look at well-known disasters such as the Texas City Disaster. A digital slideshow of images and information about The 1900 Storm is also available through the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, Texas. [Please note that some links include images of the deceased which may be NSFW or unsuitable for some audiences.]
posted by greekphilosophy at 12:58 PM PST - 9 comments

Metal on Metal "BASTARD"

Metal on Metal (sl-vimeo) - may be considered NSFW for some.
posted by h0p3y at 12:22 PM PST - 43 comments

Your favorite decade sucks

Rolling Stone's Top 100 Albums/Songs of the decade
posted by Brodiggitty at 12:10 PM PST - 142 comments

A $100m Tempest in a 5.2mi² Teapot

Vernon, California, a tiny city in Los Angeles county, was the personal fiefdom of one family for over 100 years. That all came to an end with the conviction of the town's long-serving mayor, and his wife, for voter fraud. [more inside]
posted by anazgnos at 11:55 AM PST - 31 comments

Q2 is coming out to show them.

Maximum Reich is Q2's first multiplatform, multimedia-rich festival celebrating the iconic composer, Steve Reich. Complete with archival interviews stretching back 30 years, live concerts, an Eight Days of Steve blog, hosted segments with Nadia Sirota, an exclusive download of Dance Patterns, and Steve Reich himself, it promises to be quite the ride. For the next week, Q2, the new music stream from WQXR, is celebrating the life and work of Steve Reich.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:47 AM PST - 10 comments

"Samurai spirit-a!"

Quentin Tarantino is the latest American celebrity to be featured in a TV commercial for SoftBank Mobile Corp, a Japanese telecommunications and media company. Tarantino stars as “Uncle Tara-chan” in the bizarre and very popular “White family” commercial series. The Whites consist of the "Mom", the daughter “Me” (a Softbank shop saleswoman played by popular singer/actress Aya Ueto), the "Older Brother" (played by African American actor Dante Carter), and the father, Otosan, who happens to be a white Hokkaido-ken dog named Kaikun.
posted by mrducts at 11:45 AM PST - 28 comments

Title IX Months

Pregnant Texan honors student Mackenzie McCollum was barred from playing on her school's volleyball team specifically because of her pregnancy. After the school allowed her back on the team, McCollum's coach cut her playing time and disclosed the pregnancy to all her teammates. The US Department of Education is now investigating the school for Title IX violations, and both McCollum and her family are on the receiving end of some pretty nasty invective. (ESPN video profile, ESPN comments)
posted by at 11:14 AM PST - 204 comments

Manhattan Bridge Timelapse

Timelapse of the Manhattan Bridge shows the bridge flexing up and down as trains pass over it (SLYT). via
posted by carter at 10:07 AM PST - 42 comments

Final edition: Twilight of the American newspaper

Final edition: Twilight of the American newspaper. "Newspapers have become deadweight commodities linked to other media commodities in chains that are coupled or uncoupled by accountants and lawyers and executive vice presidents and boards of directors in offices thousands of miles from where the man bit the dog and drew ink."
posted by chunking express at 8:26 AM PST - 91 comments

Obama's Peace Prize Lecture

Obama's Nobel Peace Prize lecture
posted by Dumsnill at 7:58 AM PST - 155 comments

April is the cruelest month

Using Google to research how Google works, a univerisity student gave a presentation on PidgeonRank, unaware that this was actually a hoax created by Google for April Fool's Day, 2002 (previously). How did this happen in 2009? Michael Zimmer responds: He trusted Google.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:44 AM PST - 80 comments

"I definitely play more games I don't enjoy than games I do."

"She bought Jumper: Griffin's Story - one of the worst reviewed games ever in Xbox 360 history. The day Modern Warfare 2 was released, she spent all her time on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. American Idol? She put the microphone in front of a speaker and played songs into it to ace the performances that much faster." The story of Kristen and her gamerscore addiction. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 7:27 AM PST - 88 comments

Bye, Bye Butterstick.

Tai Shan the panda more commonly known as Butterstick is being deported to China. His parents will be joining him at the end of 2010.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:25 AM PST - 19 comments

Careless Women Never Appeal To Gentlemen

Tips For Single Ladies: Helpful hints on dating and romance from 1938, with photos. (via)
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 AM PST - 45 comments

Real or Photoshop? It's real! (mostly ...)

If you have kids, you almost certainly have at least one of the 'I Spy' books, or something from the 'Can You See What I See?' series on your home bookshelf. Created by artist/photographer Walter Wick, the books have page after page of images filled with astonishing amounts of detail, including any number of objects for the kids to find. Wick's website has dozens of pages taking us behind the scenes, showing us how many of these wonderful photos were created, many involving the construction of incredibly detailed models that are used for just a single shot. The Impossible Columns is perhaps my favourite.
posted by woodblock100 at 6:34 AM PST - 17 comments

PEZ Advertising

Sex sells PEZ. A visual survey of the "PEZgirl," as used in PEZ advertising. Slightly NSFW, as one image at the bottom of the page shows bare breasts. That's right, PEZ ran topless advertisements. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise at 5:21 AM PST - 28 comments

Disney Org Chart

Oh hai here's a flow chart showing the creative/organizational process of a (Walt) Disney film. Stay away from the morgue.
posted by billysumday at 5:20 AM PST - 23 comments

All you need is a little bit of faith.

Indian Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Association. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy at 4:57 AM PST - 4 comments

Why doesn't the government have its own shoe stores as well?

Have you ever wondered why you can't get what you want, but, if you try sometimes, etc.? Mark Hicken, a British Colombian lawyer, is a great source of information on the state(s) of Canadian liquor regulations. Sure, a little localised and dry, but that's the terroir, man. Also, he does point out some inanities that have a relatively universal appeal.
posted by converge at 2:13 AM PST - 27 comments

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