December 11, 2008
What happens when a NYC Library Closes. Sad story of the NYC Donnell Library that closed to make room for a luxury hotel. The blog post is written by one of the workers who was rushing to scan information for the Internet Archive. He took photos on the last day. Coral Cache of the images via boingboing [more inside]
Public Radio Podcasts : NPR is a treasure trove of great audio content but most of it is not accessible via a podcast feed. This site uses the NPR API to construct proper podcast feeds for their shows that don't current have feeds (e.g. Morning Edition, All Things Considered) as well as per reporter and topic based feeds. Enjoy! [via mefi projects]
Photograph of Jesus is a short film by Laurie Hill illustrating the strange requests photography archivists at the vast Hulton Archive sometimes get, such as for photographs of Jesus, the Yeti, Jack the Ripper, Neil Armstrong with 11 other people on the moon and the like. This film won Getty Images' Short and Sweet Film Challenge. The three other shortlisted films were Big Red Button's gambling tale Perrington Stud, Jasmin Jodry's science fiction fantasy Star Games and Ian Mackinnon's sports story Long Jump.
"If I am remembered today, it is because you, the reader, see something in me that I never saw in myself."
Pinup icon Betty Page has died at age 85. A complex figure, Page is best remembered for the cheesecake photographs taken of her during the late 40s and 50s (NSFW). [more inside]
Although the movie Tron was groundbreaking due to its unprecedented and extensive use of CGI in 1982, after pre-production, it only took four months to shoot and nine months to complete all of the special effects. From Computer Animation Primer published in 1984, we learn a bit about the technical process, which seems amusingly tedious by today's animation standards. [more inside]
From the makers of Velociraptor Safari (previously) comes Minotaur China Shop, a game of entrepreneurship ... and crippling rage
Unscrambling an army of colours, reports The Guardian on the BBC's forthcoming screening of a colour-restored episode of the WWII sitcom Dad's Army. Not seen for 40 years and lost in its original PAL video colour format, it existed only as an archive on 16mm b&w film. However, the Colour Recovery Working Group found a way to recover the colour information from "chroma dots": pattern artefacts on the b&w representing unfiltered colour signal. Techie details here and here.
A team of researchers at the ATR Computational Neuroscience Laboratories in Kyoto have managed to reconstruct black-and-white visual images from an fMRI scan of a test subject's brain. Some more examples of the recovered data. The organization responsible claims that the technology to record thoughts and dreams is just around the corner. [more inside]
FreshBrain: Online tech training (animation, video editing, graphic editing, application creation, etc) for youth - nonprofit and totally free. Featuring activities and contests
The CSS Text Wrapper allows you to easily make HTML text wrap in shapes other than just a rectangle. You can make text wrap around curves, zig-zags, or whatever you want. All you have to do is draw the left and right edges, then copy the generated code to your web site. From the folks at The Idea Shower who brought us Read It Later.
Video and audio from a camera mounted on one of the side solid rocket boosters during the launch of STS-124. As the camera is initially facing the main booster, there's not that much to see (except water vapor collecting on the lens and interesting-looking changes in the main booster's surface) until around 1:50, when the booster rocket is jettisoned. After that, enjoy the ride from space to splashdown, but watch out for flying debris! Here's the view from the other booster, without sound. More onboard STS cameras, previously. [N.B. -- Adjust volume accordingly, it gets loud! Looks even better in high-quality and full-screen modes.]
They may take our lives, but they’ll never take our Independence Day! 40 motivational movie speeches in 2 minutes.
Radio Shack catalog archives. Revisit your geeky youth.
This single link youtube post singing about assassination in cartoon form cheered me up. (via itslikespiders.com)
Yaddocast is a multimedia podcast series exploring the history, culture, and artistic achievements of Yaddo and Yaddo artists. [more inside]
What's the worst part about the holidays? The consumerism? The awkward office parties? Belligerent relatives and needy offspring? No, its holiday music, especially those involving former heroes [NSFOP]. This year, give the gift of non-suckage.
Watch the skull “explode” and reconstruct! Zoom and spin the torso to expose a little or reveal everything! Get a grasp of the inner workings of the human shoulder! Get inside this head! Interactive three dimensional views of various anatomical structures.
Smoke and Mirrors: The Subversion of the EPA. "This four-part series details how the Bush administration weakened the EPA. It installed a pliant agency chief, Stephen L. Johnson. Under him, the EPA created pro-industry regulations later thrown out by the courts. It promoted a flawed voluntary program to fight climate change. It bypassed air pollution recommendations from its own scientists to satisfy the White House." [Via Reality Base]
Richard Dawkins releases his uncut interview with Derren Brown (50 mins +), originally conducted for the Enemies of Reason show - available in six parts on YouTube.
Australian poet Dorothy Porter passed away December 10th Dorothy Porter dead at 54. [more inside]
Yes, 'tis the season once again, and back in the day that meant the reappearance of the beloved Christmas carol in the comic pages, more specifically in the late, lamented Pogo. [more inside]
Aliens vs Predator: Whoever wins, you lose - MeFi's own jscalzi talks about the worst Sci-Fi film of the year. Meanwhile Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott suggest making another alien movie - with Ripley but without any aliens. It's may not be all bad news for xenomorphs though - 2009 will see the release of Aliens: Colonial Marines is still just around the corner, hopefully.
The recent passing of Studs Terkel sparked a renewed interest in his interview projects, like Working, Race, and Hard Times. But Studs was not just a broadcaster who liked people; he was a practitioner of oral history, a method of gathering information about the past through preserving individual recollections. It's a subfield of history, with its own ethics, techniques, professional literature, uses, and limitations. Learn how to collect and share oral histories yourself, from interviewing to recording and getting clearances to preserving and disseminating. Oral histories have been preserved as text transcripts for decades; now digital media isreinvigorating the form, bringing new ease to recording and wider opportunities for the public to see and hear the content. Explore oral history projects on the web with stories of veterans, suffragists, Tibetans, jazz cats, Nevada nuclear test site witnesses, Basque Americans, rodeo cowboys and cowgirls, musicians, Katrina survivors, ACT UP activists, Cambodians under the Khmer Rouge, Native Americans, women whose lives were affected by the Pill, survivors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire,women in World War II, Hawai'ians, workers in Paterson, NJ....
Just Like The Movies. Michal Kosakowski reconstructs the morning of 9/11/01 completely through clips from Hollywood movies released before 9/11. More of Kosakowski's short films are available here. [more inside]
Necessary Angels. They are not doctors. They are not nurses. They are illiterate women from India's Untouchable castes. Yet as trained village health workers, they are delivering babies, curing disease, and saving lives—including their own. Photo Gallery. Video.
Recently a puppy webcam became so incredibly popular online that it caught the attention of the mainstream media. There was a This American Life story a few years ago about a guy (Bob FitzSimons) who had an idea for a 24-hour all-puppies-all-the-time tv channel that was short-lived on cable and just didn't work out. The story of his idea doesn't end there though. The Puppy Channel is now online. [more inside]
Silent Night in English, German, Irish, Arapaho, Czech, Italian, Finnish, Russian, Hungarian, Swedish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Japanese, French, Spanish and another 120 languages. The official song of the Christmas truce. [more inside]
So, for about two years now, Will Chapman of BrickArms has been creating a wide variety of custom Lego minifigures, ranging from World War II soldiers (both Axis and Allies) to a certain copyrighted British Secret Service agent. One of Chapman's more popular creations is "Mr. White," a "bandit" brimming with weapons (including an AK-47 and RPG) and grenades. This week, the Sun ran a story. Then Fox News ran another. [more inside]