April 8, 2011

Four billion years ago a star left its legacy as it met its physically inevitable demise

A gamma ray burst nicknamed GRB 110328A (i.e. detected 3/28/2011) appears to be the legacy of a star being torn apart by a supermassive black hole, leaving a peak brightness one trillion times the sun's brightness as it met its ancient inevitable end.
posted by jjray at 8:10 PM PST - 51 comments

Werner Herzog and Cormac McCarthy

On NPR Science Friday (1-hour audio), Werner Herzog and Cormac McCarthy discuss science, art and the abyss of humanity.
posted by stbalbach at 7:55 PM PST - 34 comments

Commodore Returns!!!

Anybody want to buy a brand newC-64? How about a VIC Pro? An Amiga 1000? Commodore USA has risen from the grave. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:31 PM PST - 72 comments

Namazu-e: Earthquake catfish prints

"In November 1855, the Great Ansei Earthquake struck the city of Edo (now Tokyo), claiming 7,000 lives and inflicting widespread damage. Within days, a new type of color woodblock print known as namazu-e (lit. "catfish pictures") became popular among the residents of the shaken city. These prints featured depictions of mythical giant catfish (namazu) who, according to popular legend, caused earthquakes by thrashing about in their underground lairs. In addition to providing humor and social commentary, many prints claimed to offer protection from future earthquakes."
posted by madamjujujive at 5:19 PM PST - 19 comments

Whenever you feel unhappy / all you have to do is call me.

Too much bad news and worry lately? Maybe a quick dose of the jubilant new song "Sydney (I'll Come Running)" by Brett Dennen will help. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 4:49 PM PST - 20 comments

"I now support full marriage equality."

Louis Marinelli, activist for the National Organization for Marriage and founder of their 2010 "Summer of Marriage" bus tour, has announced today that he now supports full marriage equality. Gay rights blog Good As You has a detailed rundown of the story, including a spotlight on NOM's immediate efforts to discredit Marinelli's involvement in their organization.
posted by palomar at 4:08 PM PST - 81 comments

So funny I forgot to pay

The Village Voice released its Comics Issue on April 6. Its editorial "If Cartoons Are So Big, Why Don't They Pay?" focused on the financial straits many influential and popular cartoonists find themselves in even in the midst of wide-spread popularity and new respect. Although interesting in itself, the editorial created a splash in comics communities for a different reason. Its decision to not pay the artists whose work was featured in that issue. The Voice had intended to offer only attribution, but no money. It has since recanted.
posted by gilrain at 3:43 PM PST - 30 comments

'A Thousand Pictures Fill My Head'

Featuring 2052 performers from 58 countries, I give you Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir 2.0 performing Sleep. [SLYT]
posted by Lutoslawski at 2:25 PM PST - 35 comments

Progesterone Gel Helps Prevent Preemies

One in every 8 babies born in the US is premature. A new study (pdf/via) published online Wednesday in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology indicates that vaginal progesterone gel can help women who are pregnant for the first time and at risk of premature birth extend their pregnancies, reduce potential complications and boost the health of their newborns. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 2:12 PM PST - 18 comments

Fake Plastic Crowds

Does your movie have a large crowd scene? Extras and CGI are expensive! Why not go with an Inflatable Crowd? [more inside]
posted by yellowbinder at 1:45 PM PST - 56 comments

You're driving me to drink!

Good Results of Bad Habits? Research Explains Paradox. There's a lot of research that shows the deleterious health effects of stress. So shouldn't alleviating stress be a net positive for your health? Why, yes, of course. But what if you relieve stress by a lot of bad habits which themselves have bad health effects? Apparently, you still benefit by reducing stress. Advances in psychosomatic medicine have highlighted the link between your mental state and your physical health, but for all of history, human beings have self-medicated their mental health with "bad habits" at the cost of physical health. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 1:43 PM PST - 38 comments

20 Even Stranger and More Wonderful Books

20 Even Stranger and More Wonderful Books. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 11:54 AM PST - 57 comments

You given me something to live for in the middle of the galaxy in the middle of nowhere

Disasteradio-Visions [SLYT]
posted by The Power Nap at 11:21 AM PST - 13 comments

Google Exodus

What the Exodus from Egypt would have looked like if Moses had a laptop, Google Maps and Facebook. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 11:01 AM PST - 36 comments

A Look at RadioLab

Rob Walker, who writes the "Consumed" column for the New York Times Magazine, talks with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich about the whys and wherefores of their popular WNYC science radio show and podcast, RadioLab.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:59 AM PST - 67 comments

"Have friends who are atheists? Agnostics? Into Wicca? Or New Age?"

Dare 2 Share Ministries offers profiles and tips on how to "share your faith" with fourteen different types of friends a teen Christian might have, such as Andy the Atheist, Marty the Mormon, Jenna the Jew, Sid the Satanist, Mo the Muslim and Willow the Wiccan. If none of those strategies work, they also offer articles on how to "use the buzz in current teen culture to initiate God-talk with your friends" by "sharing your faith" through Indiana Jones, Halo 3, Brokeback Mountain, Kung Fu Panda and The X Files.
posted by jardinier at 8:47 AM PST - 300 comments

S that D. Shut it down.

Will there be a government shutdown? Everything seems to hang on GOP riders. But it affects more than the federal employees and contractors. For example, National Parks will close. And so will DC services. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton tells Congress off, while DC residents wonder what are we going do with all our trash?
posted by troika at 7:14 AM PST - 813 comments

Take 598 ...

Best of a Normal Day; SLYT, 2.00.
posted by bwg at 6:28 AM PST - 14 comments

Who On Earth is Rob Granito?

Meet Rob Granito, Professional Comic Book Con Artist. Sure, his art is perhaps a little similar to other work, and yeah, his claims of industry contacts are pretty much made up, and he's been banned as a fraud from multiple conventions, but hey, a playa's got to get paid, right?
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:16 AM PST - 59 comments

Who's the kid?

Archived Baseball photos from 1917-1956 Today, the Boston Public Library will publish on the Internet the first 100 of a trove of nearly 3,000 rarely seen baseball photographs taken by Leslie Jones, who worked for the Boston Herald and the Boston Traveler from 1917 to 1956. Moments preserved by the shutter and squirreled away in his Dorchester basement, where he kept tens of thousands of images. The Boston Globe has a selection published here. The first batch of snapshots was released to coincide with today’s Opening Day at Fenway Park. Library staff plan to upload several dozen more images each week until all 2,881 photos are online. The project is part of a broader initiative by the library to give the public unfettered access to Jones’s entire archive of tens of thousands of images. He photographed car wrecks and ice-crusted fishing trawlers; shot luminaries like Albert Einstein and Amelia Earhart; and the people of Boston.
posted by Gungho at 6:11 AM PST - 18 comments

Yes, Military Comission For You

NYC mayor: Military trial appropriate in 9/11 case. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will be tried at a military tribunal in Guantanamo. US Lawmakers Say Politics Played Role in Military Trial Decision. Attorney General Eric Holder blames congress for forcing his hand on this. Slate blasts the Obama administration as "Cowardly, Stupid, and Tragically Wrong". Previously, the opposite.
posted by rodmandirect at 5:35 AM PST - 43 comments

12:31

In 1981, 27-year-old Joseph Paul Jernigan shot and stabbed the man who discovered him stealing a microwave oven. Jernigan was sentenced to death, and a prison chaplain convinced him to donate his body to science. Thirty years on, 1871 slices of his body are animated on a laptop screen and photographed on a long exposure in various dark locations, reconstructing Jernigan as the subject of a haunting new project.
posted by creeky at 4:25 AM PST - 48 comments

I might repeat to myself slowly and soothingly, a list of blood and gore from minds profound

Geoff Barrow of Portishead calls "Top Post-Punk Artists as Determined by RYM Ratings" an "amazing musical journey." But that's far from the most interesting list Rate Your Music user Goregirl has created. [more inside]
posted by waitingtoderail at 3:26 AM PST - 44 comments

The Gathering's Storm

MinchinFilter: Storm, the Animated Film, from Tim's 'beat poem' about his confrontation with a credulous fool. (About)
Related: "If You Open Your Mind Too Much Your Brain Will Fall Out"
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:49 AM PST - 40 comments

...his Christian Brother carers competed to become the first to rape him 100 times.

Oranges and Sunshine is a film by Jim Loach, son of Ken, telling the story of Margaret Humphreys, a social worker who helped uncover a British Stolen Generation, children taken from often-living parents and shipped overseas. The Guardian interviews Harold Haig, one of the victims of the policy:
She was the first to raise the possibility that Haig had been told a terrible untruth – that he might not be an orphan after all. "I didn't think anyone would be so cruel to tell you that sort of a lie," he says. [His mother] had died just a year before he first visited Britain.
posted by rodgerd at 12:42 AM PST - 10 comments

Attack of The Birds and the Bees

Julia Sweeney answers her 8-year-old daughter's questions about sex. [via]
posted by spiderskull at 12:19 AM PST - 67 comments

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