December 23, 2008

"I think Isaac Newton is doing most of the driving now."

Forty Years Ago Today The first humans to leave earth orbit, Frank Borman, James A. Lovell, and William A. Anders, and their Christmas message. [more inside]
posted by Snyder at 11:07 PM PST - 71 comments

メリー・クリスマス with ふろしき

The Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP), a not-for-profit company sponsored by the UK government, urges you to cut down on waste paper this holiday season and wrap your presents with furoshiki, the traditional Japanese wrapping cloth. [more inside]
posted by armage at 8:53 PM PST - 19 comments

A Day In the Life of Barracka and Nyemo

The LiveJournal community A Day In My Life is a glimpse via photos into a life of posters around the world. Compare and contrast the routines and pastimes, more is similar than different. But posts by a volunteer at a center for the blind in Tanzania show something far more enriching. His photos document an average day in the life of two of the village's seven-year-olds: a boy, Barracka and a girl, Nyemo.
posted by five_dollars at 8:45 PM PST - 6 comments

“Every man dies - Not every man really lives.” --William Ross Wallace

Sir William Ormerod, CBE, actor, philanthropist and molecular engineer, (and cousin of Major William Martin, Royal Marines), granted, in recognition of his varied accomplishments, an honorary citizenship by Neutral Moresnet, has died. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 6:26 PM PST - 17 comments

Character isn't something you were born with and can't change, like your fingerprints.

Mark Twain was the first to talk about using fingerprinting in criminal cases. His 'Life on the Mississippi', published in 1883, contains a collection of essays and short stories. One such story concerns a man who had attempted to catch the killers of his wife and child by using fingerprint evidence. Mark Twain was evidently greatly interested in the subject. He had made a study of finger and hand marks. Fingerprinting wasn't commonly used to identify criminals in the U.S. until around 1903.
posted by flipyourwig at 5:05 PM PST - 16 comments

Grooming Gone Wrong.

Creative Grooming Awards by Sandy Paws Grooming Shop.
posted by gman at 4:33 PM PST - 33 comments

Hard Work and Practice

Tech publisher O'Reilly editors discuss the role of hard work and practice in programming and learning in general. "One aspect of learning programming that often eludes both students and teachers alike is the importance of practice, of actually working through all of these formal structures we teach. Most of our books, in a way, offer a promise of learning that avoids the slow repetition of practice."
posted by needled at 2:57 PM PST - 71 comments

King Billy 2008

The 104th General Knowledge Quiz from King William's College on the Isle of Man. Previously linked each year on MeFi.(2007, 2006, 2005, 2004 , 2003, 2002) Sometimes people share answers, sometimes they play alone. Last year's quiz.
posted by CCBC at 12:41 PM PST - 189 comments

Jon and Vangelis

State of Independence + He is Sailing
posted by vronsky at 12:33 PM PST - 6 comments

Views from the 18th and Early 19th Centuries

Some really beautiful, unusual visuals and reading: The Art of the Pochoir Book. The University of Cincinatti Rare Book archive has some cool stuff, like Leviathan: Watercolors of Whales from William Jardine’s The Naturalist’s Library l 4 pages of a newspaper called The Colored Citizen from November 7th 1863 (awesome to read knowing Obama is elected) l Travel and Exploration in the 18th and Early 19th Centuries: A View of the World through the Art of the Explorers. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 12:16 PM PST - 2 comments

Whitewashing Avatar

M. Night Shyamalan has decided to cast white actors in the main roles of the upcoming motion picture based on the TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender. The problem: Avatar featured an Asian world with Asian characters, including Aang, the titular character, and his friends Sokka and Katara. [more inside]
posted by lunit at 11:56 AM PST - 256 comments

Snowzilla Rises from the Dead

Snowzilla: A 16 foot tall snowman in Anchorage, Alaska, has risen from the dead! Snowzilla, recently slain by code enforcement officer - "Giant snowman deemed a public nuisance, safety hazard" - has risen from the dead this morning.
A few images of the Beast. Long Live Snowzilla!
posted by Fuzzy Dog at 11:35 AM PST - 24 comments


British scientists discover hundreds of new species in a remote forest in Mozambique using Google Earth. The pictures are the best part.
posted by auralcoral at 10:43 AM PST - 37 comments

Penguins in Santa outfits playing in the snow!

Penguins in Santa outfits playing in the snow!
posted by hermitosis at 10:39 AM PST - 18 comments

Giles Deacon says "hi!"

Is the new feminism lipstick and fashion? “I think the proper reaction to a beauty pageant these days is to be bored by it. I would have thought that old version of feminism, which was violently opposed to lipstick and high heels, had died out by now. It’s an extinct image of feminism — that you can’t be both frivolous and serious or care about clothes and read books at the same time. And, in a way, it’s sort of depressing that these same old-fashioned battles keep on being recycled.”
posted by four panels at 10:20 AM PST - 142 comments

"So, Madmen is a show about people in their early sixties?"

Newest episode of "Between Two Ferns with Zach Galifianakis" this time with guest star Jon Hamm of AMC's Madmen. For those unfamiliar, Zach Galifianakis is a comedian who's shown up in a few movies, but is most endeared for his casually abrasive stand-up; a beloved figure to and product of the Los Angeles Indie comedy scene. [Episode has a little NSFWish language, but mostly fine] Here is episode 1 of between two ferns (with Michael Cera) and episode 2 (with Jimmy Kimmel... who's a little too in on the joke)
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 10:02 AM PST - 36 comments

"...we see on the ground a number of spots of light, scattered irregularly, some large, some small..."

The Nature of Light and Color in the Open Air "Moreover, this book is written for all those who love Nature; for the young people going out into the wide world and gathering together round the camp-fire; for the painter who admires but does not understand the light and colour of the landscape; for those living in the country; for all who delight in travelling; and also for town-dwellers, for whom, even in the noise and clamour of our dark streets, the manifestations of Nature remain." - Marcel Minnaert [more inside]
posted by jquinby at 8:26 AM PST - 18 comments

Gammadion vacation

It seems that the swastika's continued popularity among certain non-Western cultures has led to some interesting travel resources. Then there are places that should know better. Some of these are unintentionally funny, but is it still too soon for some?
posted by ericbop at 8:20 AM PST - 130 comments

5 Best Data Visualization Projects of the Year

5 Best Data Visualization Projects of the Year from FlowingData. Perhaps related, a new advertisement for MINI that uses augmented reality (AR).
posted by stbalbach at 7:21 AM PST - 10 comments

I walk across High Holborn and think of you with nothing on

Eight years nearly to the day after I read about Adrian Henri's death on the Formica table of a service-station cafeteria, another of my favourite poets has left us. Adrian Mitchell, left-wing poet and romantic, 1932 - 2008. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 7:19 AM PST - 8 comments

Go Grease Your Friends

Need a side of bacon on your web site? Everything is better with a little bacon added to it. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:11 AM PST - 28 comments

Tiny Zombie Flashlight Fun

Left 4K Dead. Just you, in a dark corridor, with a torch, and a gun. And zombies. So many zombies.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:47 AM PST - 33 comments

The Not Rape Epidemic

My friends and I confided in each other, swapping stories, sharing out pain, while keeping it all hidden from the adults in our lives. After all, who could we tell? This wasn’t rape - it didn’t fit the definitions. This was Not rape. We should have known better. We were the ones who would take the blame. We would be punished, and no one wanted that. So, these actions went on, aided by a cloak of silence. From Racialicious.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:41 AM PST - 349 comments

A short history of anatomical maps

A short history of anatomical maps provides an overview of the evolution of anatomical knowledge and the visual documentation that accompanied it.
posted by zeoslap at 6:24 AM PST - 11 comments

Just how long can that tail be?

10 out of 13 million tracks available for purchase online didn't sell a single copy. Jut how Long can that Tail be, after all? Is the length of the tail mentioned in the article down to piracy or the state of the music industry as a whole? Is it possible to make a profit or break even on a niche website based on sales alone, and not on advertising revenue?
posted by Grrlscout at 4:50 AM PST - 56 comments

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