December 6, 2015
"She was a revered religious leader who led a nonviolent movement against European proto-colonialism and was the founding abbess of her own monastery, which still exists today. She led an amazing life: a woman who was born to an adoring father, lost three children in infancy, left her abusive husband, started a movement, defeated a wicked king, faced enraged hippos and lions, avoided lustful jailors, founded seven religious communities, routed male religious leaders, gathered many men and women around her, and guided her flock subject to no man, being the outright head of her community and even appointing abbots, who followed her orders. Her name is Walatta Petros (which means Daughter-of [Saint] Peter, a compound name that cannot be shortened) and she lived from 1592 to 1642." Now the story of her life is available in English in a new translation by Wendy Laura Belcher and Michael Kleiner, "The Life and Struggles of Our Mother Walatta Petros: A Seventeenth-Century African Biography of an Ethiopian Woman". [more inside]
“Robots are transitioning from something that’s part of a technological environment to something that’s a feature of our social environment,” she says, “always teetering on this boundary of being really creepy and really likeable. That’s something we need to understand.”
Why do old sports photos often have a blue haze? Hint: it has nothing to do with film speed or color temperature.
The Last Message Received. This is a Tumblr chronicling people's final communications with one another, for reasons mundane, mysterious, dramatic or tragic. It may make you a bit misty.
If Christmas creep has got you down, try keeping it weird with holiday music posts from WFMU's Beware of the Blog: [more inside]
A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is not your average vampire flick. For one, it features a who's who of Iranian actors (all speaking Persian), with various bits of the [Inland/]Southern California landscape serving as stand-ins for Iran. Plus, there's the stripped-down storytelling and the fusion of styles. It's been billed as the first "Iranian vampire Western."Join director Ana Lily Amirpour for Q&A on Iranian vampires and weird SoCal towns and learn more about her feminist horror film that turns horror film (and every day) tropes on their heads. [more inside]
Although kids love Elmo for understandable reasons, adults almost all agree that Elmo ruined Sesame Street. [more inside]
The Economics of Neko Atsume -- Nicole Dieker meditates on a cat-gathering future for The Billfold in a story tagged NEKO ATSUME, ONLINE GAMES THAT SUGGEST HORRIBLE DYSTOPIAN FUTURES, SERIOUSLY NEKO ATSUME IS THE CUTEST GAME I HAVE FED SO MANY CATS. If you're looking for hard economic analysis of the sardine-to-gold exchange rate, move on: this is a slice of life story in a world where gathering cats is all that matters. (And if adding a layer of "horrible dystopia" would negatively affect your gathering of cats, you might want to skip this one.) [more inside]
Ireland is having a spot of weather, as Teresa Mannion reports. Her coverage of storm Desmond went instantly viral, earneding a remix from Super Céilí as well as numerous homages. Skip to 1:30 on the main link if you like, but I kind of enjoy the slow burn of it.
The second annual College Football Playoff teams have been announced, and there are no surprises: Clemson vs. Oklahoma, Alabama vs. Michigan State. [more inside]
Other times, it actually takes on solidity and mass in the form of oddly skewed, diagonal slashes of houses. The buildings that fill it look more like scar tissue, bubbling up to cover a void left behind by something else's absence.
The real old mold gold at oldmolds.com, where old molds are sold, is the photo collection in the People section, which raises the question: why was it ever a thing to eat chocolate children in pooping stances? [more inside]
Robert Loggia, Rugged but Versatile Character Actor, Dies at 85 [New York Times]
Robert Loggia, an Oscar-nominated actor who had a durable career in television and movies, notably in Brian De Palma’s gangster film “Scarface” and Penny Marshall’s comedy “Big,” died on Friday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 85. His wife, Audrey Loggia, said the cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease. “He struggled with Alzheimer’s disease for five years,” she said. “It just took its natural progression.”
"There's an intimacy to live performance that's removed through the medium of television, and in-studio audiences help restore it. After soaring, cathartic numbers, we need applause breaks. The collective gasp of appreciation when an impressive set piece dazzles, or the murmur of amazement when a section of choreography transfixes are parts of the lived language of musical theater. If you want to make a movie, make a movie. If you want to put on a show, don't play to an empty house." [more inside]
The belly bump ball was developed for anger management. It's fun to wear. It lets you bump into things. And it looks like a raspberry.
“I think the post-war turn towards social responsibility in science and engineering was less a turn than a sideways glance. .. If researchers like us were actually supposed to know or care about this stuff in any operationally significant way, well, I think we didn't get the memo. So let me retransmit it.” - Phillip Rogaway. The Moral Character of Cryptographic Work. [more inside]
The Canadian Pacific Christmas Train is a rolling holiday party for a cause. Two beautifully lit trains - on a US Route and a Canada route - cruise through the Midwest, stopping in 150 towns along the way to present live music and light shows while bringing donations of cash and food to local food banks.