December 28, 2010
Denis Dutton (Wiki) has died. Denis founded and edited the website "Arts & Letters Daily", gained notoriety, admiration and respect for his strongly held views on Art, Philosophy and Science. He taught at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand from 1984 until his death. He was a founding member of New Zealand Sceptics, a former voice over artist (a skill he would often use to great effect lampooning hollywood) often a provocateur, and was named by Time Magazine in 2004 as "one of the worlds most influential media personalities." 9 February 1944 – 28 December 2010 RIP. [more inside]
Don't Stop the Pop: the mashup of the year's top 25 songs, from DJ Earworm! (Previously on Mefi: 2007, 2008, 2009. ) [more inside]
The List. After losing his wife Meghan to breast cancer, Adam Warner has set out to complete his wife's to-do list, which has already taken him in a train across Canada and on pilgrimage to India. From the (newly revived) Chicago Public Media program Love & Radio. [more inside]
My younger brother recommended me this incredibly awful educational movie. It's called Rock Odyssey, but I can't find anything about it. Parts 1, 2, 3 (linked above because it's the one with the song), 4, 5.
You may know Mefi's own Lore from Lore Brand Comics (Related but with Monsters Previously) but did you know he is pushing the limits of free avatar creators at Hall Of Lores? Now you do.
40,000-year-old rock paintings are alive. "These organisms are alive and could have replenished themselves over endless millennia to explain the freshness of the paintings' appearance," Professor Pettigrew told BBC News.
Google's sheer size and power is staggering - and of course a little disconcerting. But ultimately are they ensuring the internet remains open and user friendly? CBC Radio had a great piece on the Algorithm That Changed World on how Google has helped keep the internet useful and spammers at bay. As a user, I have not found any other search engine that come close in giving me useful results. Intelligent Life's take on Apple vs Google, shows how this open system vs closed system philosophical differences plays itself out with product strategy. Of course, Google's user-centric world can suck if you have ever written a book.
Jayaben Desai passes away. Ms. Desai came to national prominence in the UK for her leading role in the 1976-78 strike at Grunwick Processing's photo processing labs in North London, a dispute that shattered stereotypes about south Asian women workers in Britain, in the face of police violence, the antics of the McWhirter brothers and ambiguous support from the official trade union movement. [more inside]
Smiling Victorians is a collection of photos of smiling Victorian (and Edwardian!) people. And one photo of the Victorianest smile of all!
The 4th Amendment Underclothes are a way to send a message to the TSA. Next time you undergo an X-ray body scan, wear these and let the law enforcers know you won't be scanned without at least reminding them what they violate when they do so.
"Sticks and Stones." Jonsi (of Sigur Rós) did a song for How to Train Your Dragon. Now there's an official music video featuring scenes from the movie. [more inside]
An oldie, but a goodie: Michael Lewis goes to Columbia's School of Journalism to see what such schools actually do to prepare their students.
The long take, an uncut, uninterrupted shot in film, is seen by some as the counter to CGI, the last great field for cinematic art. The linked page features six clips from 1990 on, plus the opening shot from Orson Welles' 1958 film, Touch of Evil. Alfred Hitchcock's film from a decade earlier, Rope, took the long cut further, with the whole film shot in eight takes of up to 10 minutes each, a decision shaped by the limit of the physical recording media. With digital media, the long take could be pushed further, as with Russian Ark, from 2002. The movie was shot in one long take, with the narrative working through the history of Russia, set within The State Hermitage Museum, and captured in one day on the 4th take. If the long takes are a tad long for you, try the "short" long takes that are one-shot music videos [videos inside] [more inside]
Last week, UConn's women's basketball team beat Florida State to win an unprecedented 89 games in a row. Here's the halftime show from that game. [more inside]
Paul Copansky, a.k.a. Paul from the Diamond Center, reminisces about Ed "Hi Kids!" Barbara, Steven "Top of the Hill Daly City" Matthew David, and Harvard E. "Pete" Palmer, Jr., the adman who put these characters on the San Francisco/Bay Area's UHF band in the 1970's and 1980's. [more inside]
Wikileaks may have been the big news, but there were numerous other data breaches in 2010. [more inside]
"In many places the concentration [of convicted residents] is so dense that states are spending in excess of a million dollars a year to incarcerate the residents of single city blocks."
Using rarely accessible data from the criminal justice system, the Spatial Information Design Lab and the Justice Mapping Center have created maps of these “million dollar blocks” and of the city-prison-city-prison migration flow for five of the nation’s cities. The maps suggest that the criminal justice system has become the predominant government institution in these communities and that public investment in this system has resulted in significant costs to other elements of our civic infrastructure — education, housing, health, and family. Prisons and jails form the distant exostructure of many American cities today.See the several linked pdfs.
A classical music riot is violent, disorderly behavior that usually occurs during the premiere of a controversial piece of music. Here are some famous examples: [more inside]
I'm still not sure why it's the list for 2011 when we're still not out of 2010 yet, but here's the latest from Project Censored of 25 under-reported stories.
Oakland County man faces 5 years in prison for hacking his wife's email. So, is email snooping a crime?
Metroidvania flash game with backtracking? Check. Antagonistic motherly narrator? Check. Wonky camera effects? check. Go play K.O.L.M. (via JIG) [more inside]
Toru Takemitsu (1930-1996) was an avante-garde Japanese composer who took influences from jazz, pop music, and traditional Japanese music. In his lifetime he composed over 100 film scores, and 130 concert pieces. Just last week, there was a tribute to his work at Carnegie Hall as part of their JapanNYC Festival. A documentary about his work is available on Veoh (requires Veoh plugin) and on Youtube (1 2 3 4 5 6). [more inside]