December 6, 2012
Franz Kafka's hallucinatory A Country Doctor anime by Kōji Yamamura. The original text is very short.
Some catfish have learnt a new trick [original paper] since being introduced to a French river around 30 years ago: they can beach themselves to hunt pigeons along the river bank. These catfish were around 90-150 cm (about three to five feet) long, but there are many species, some of which can be much larger. But you're probably safe from these. [previously]
What do you get a parrot that has everything except a little car to drive around? You get it... a little car to drive around.
The European Commission is resisting pressure from US firms and public bodies designed to derail its privacy proposals, which include a limited 'right to be forgotten' that would allow users to demand their data be removed from Internet sites. Facebook claims it would actually harm privacy by requiring social media sites to perform extra tracking to remove data which has been copied to other sites. Google says it's unworkable. Others say it would be a threat to the American right to free speech. Big Data hates the idea because privacy is bad. Meanwhile, advertising may soon follow you from one device to the next -- privately. (Via) [more inside]
The NFL is again thinking of getting rid of kick offs. Recently kickoffs were moved from the 30 to the 35 yard line in an effort to create more touch backs (and thus fewer returns of kicks) and reduce injuries. Now they're considering getting rid of kick offs altogether. [more inside]
Researchers found that the pattern of murder in Newark, NJ is very similar in pattern to the spread of an infectious disease. Could this research show law enforcement a new way to predict where murders will occur?
Some evil bastard has stuffed a bag of dope into a hole behind my house and turned my life into the backdrop of a James Ellroy noir.
The Stopped Dead: a 1200x18000 pixel infographic cataloging The Walking Dead's 347 on-screen zombie deaths by season, character, and weapon. [spoilers]
Paul Harris is the head of the Marriage License Department for Clark County, in the American state of Washington. Today, after 40 years with the same man, he can finally apply for his own marriage license. [more inside]
Real actors read Yelp reviews: Chris Kipiniak #1, Chris Kipiniak #2, Therese Plummer, Brian O'Neill, Greg Hildreth, Brian Hutchinson, Amanda Leigh Cobb, Ashlie Atkinson, Danny Deferrari, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Darren Goldstein, and Tina Sloan.
"Honey laundering is a complex exercise that involves several players in the honey chain from apiary to wholesaler to retailer. In the case against ALW, evidence was presented to show the use of fake country-of-origin documents for shipments, replacement of labels on Chinese containers with fraudulent ones, switching of honey containers in a third country, and even the blending of Chinese honey with glucose syrup or honey from another country."
Airing before the Saturday morning cartoons on Detroit's WDIV, Kidbits (Optical illusions pt. 2, pt. 3) delivered snappy science from the Detroit Science Center, along with a handy venue for PSAs and goofy local ads. [more inside]
Bomb Sight is an interactive map of every bomb dropped on London during the Blitz.
"For some time after Tony Scott tragically, mysteriously took his life earlier this year we tried to think of some way to honor his work and explore it on the Notebook. A proper response was found by filmmaker, editor and Notebook contributor Gina Telaroli, who suggested a kind of critical exquisite corpse, and in this manner forge a way—or an attempt—to fit the forms of Tony Scott's oeuvre to the content critics would contribute."
Four of the five songs nominated for the 2013 Grammy for Best Dance Recording are international hits. The fifth is so obscure it has raised questions about how it got there. I Can't Live Without You by Al Walser is one of the five nominees for Best Dance Recording. Walser's lack of popularity on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube when the nominations were announced, along with his previously claims to be a voting member of the Recording Acedemy, has led to accusations of foul play or vote manipulation. The music press is now asking, "Who the hell is Al Walser?"
How do you pack your bag for a seven-year, 22,000 mile international reporting assignment? Pulitzer winning foreign correspondent Paul Salopek is preparing to walk from Africa to South America and document the whole journey. [more inside]
TransLAtions! Get your free lit-e-rary transLAtions here! Ya want Ovid? Ya got Ovid! Ya got all your classic French poets, your Germans, your Italians, your Russians! Ya got a verse rendering of Zorilla's Don Juan Tenorio with parallel Spanish text! Ya got a rare translation of Vazha-Pshavela's Georgian epic Host and Guest! Everything downloadable in every major format! All edited by A.S. Kline!
Nassim Nicholas Taleb's book, Antifragile, was release at the end of November. His previous books centered on describing the problems of prediction. The new book is a conversational, sometimes diatribe, about, "How to live in a world we don't understand". [more inside]
This is a video of a game which replicates Portal's physics system in 2 dimensions on the TI-83 graphic calculator. The game was developed by a 20 year old student studying game design. A download link is available here.
120 years ago, in Paris, Blaise Bontems made a mechanism for reproducing birdsong. More recently, Michael Start restored it to working condition and recorded a video. [more inside]
Every Thursday, Film School Rejects posts things "learned from the commentary tracks of an iconic movie": Commentary Commentary [more inside]
"Please help a dear friend, Sarah Kirsch, an important figure and driving force in the ’90s Bay Area punk scene and beyond. She continues to be an important part of our community, our culture, our music scene, and many of our lives. Even if you don’t recognize this name, you probably know Sarah. She has been a huge part of the punk/radical community for decades as Mike Kirsch (Fuel,Sawhorse, Pinhead Gunpowder, John Henry West,Torches To Rome, Bread And Circuits, Please Inform The Captain This Is A Hijack, Baader Brains, Mothercountry Motherfuckers, etc.). She not too long ago came out as a proud trans-woman, and almost immediately was confronted with these terrible health problems." Sarah Kirsch has died of Fanconi Anemia. [more inside]
Spectacular jets powered by the gravitational energy of a supermassive black hole in the core of the elliptical galaxy Hercules A (pdf) illustrate the combined imaging power of two of astronomy's cutting-edge tools, the Hubble Space Telescope's Wide Field Camera 3, and the recently upgraded Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope in west-central New Mexico.
"From the beginning, we thought that everything about the show should be painfully, painstakingly real."
My friends and I weren’t popular in high school, we weren’t dating all the time, and we were just trying to get through our lives. It was important to me to show that side. I wanted to leave a chronicle—to make people who had gone through it laugh, but also as a primer for kids going in, to say, “Here’s what you can expect. It’s horrifying but all you should really care about is getting through it. Get your friends, have your support group. And learn to be able to laugh at it.”The Oral History of Freaks and Geeks [more inside]
Women's rights are for men? Arguments for expanding women's rights on the basis that men will benefit have a long history. Two well-known examples from the US: During the struggle for women's suffrage in the US, one of the arguments put forth was that
women deserved the vote because they were different from men. They could make their domesticity into a political virtue, using the franchise to create a purer, more moral "maternal commonwealth." This argument served many political agendas: Temperance advocates, for instance, wanted women to have the vote because they thought it would mobilize an enormous voting bloc on behalf of their cause, and many middle-class white people were swayed once again by the argument that the enfranchisement of white women would "ensure immediate and durable white supremacy, honestly attained."A similar argument crops up in debates over coeducation at formerly all-male liberal arts colleges history of coeducation at US colleges, where "[s]upporters of coeducation often argued that the presence of women would have a civilizing effect on male students," and the decision by administrators to admit women was often based on largely economic concerns. [more inside]
“Commitment vows are very powerful, even in a cynical era when people aren't afraid of getting divorced,”
Families in Flux:"As household arrangements take new directions, scientists attempt to sort out the social effects" [more inside]
Have you experienced the sublimely calm and gorgeously unfolding melodic beauty of Djivan Gasparyan's music? Here's Shepherd's Song, A Cool Wind Is Blowing, I Will Not Be Sad In This World, Ojakhum and Eshkhemed. [more inside]
Tim Cook's Freshman Year: The Apple CEO Speaks Prior to his death on Oct. 5, 2011, Steve Jobs made sure that the elevation of Tim Cook—his longtime head of operations and trusted deputy—to Apple chief executive officer would be drama-free. “He goes, ‘I never want you to ask what I would have done,’” recalls Cook. “‘Just do what’s right.’ He was very clear.” ... In his most wide-ranging interview as CEO, Cook explains how Apple works now, talks about the perception that he’s “robotic,” and announces the return of Apple manufacturing to the U.S.
What it's like trying to crack into the National Football League.
The winners and runners-up in the second annual Shit London photography awards, celebrating the city's ugliest buildings, worst shop names and most depressing views (Guardian.co.uk)
The last survivor of the 1917 Halifax Explosion is believed to have died in 2010. Today, on the 95th anniversary of the accident, those who came after share how the legacy of history's largest detonation of conventional explosives has affected their lives. [previously]
NASA has released an updated set of Earth at Night images, obtained via the Suomi NPP satellite's Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS). A set of images is available on Flickr. [more inside]
"HS Dent, an economic forecasting firm, compiled Census data [PDF] on spending behavior and presented them as a series of demand curves... The curves measure average annual expenditure for a given product over the age of the consumer." [more inside]
"For a few months in 1922, throngs of America’s youth — from schoolkids to shopgirls — were swept up in a leaderless pyramid scheme that promised “something for nothing” and encouraged promiscuous flirtation. These were the “Shifters.” This is their (brief) story." (NYTimes link) Previously on the flappers and flapper slang: 1, 2.
The only two things missing in Bach’s music are randomness and sex. This book review was written by Jeremy Denk, who has a blog where you can find more good writing about music.
The times of The Times of India - world's largest broadsheet English daily
The École Polytechnique Massacre, also known as the Montreal Massacre, occurred on December 6, 1989 at the École Polytechnique in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. A man armed with a knife and (legal) gun shot twenty-eight people before killing himself. Claiming he was "fighting feminism," he killed fourteen women and wounded ten women and four men before killing himself. [more inside]