May 14, 2009
If you've ever heard the song Aquarela do Brasil (often called simply "Brazil" -- here's my favourite cover), then you'll probably enjoy this classic 1942 animation which first made it famous. The clip is the finale from the feature Saludos Amigos (hello friends), created during a US government-funded goodwill tour of South America aimed at strengthening Pan-American relations, which some argue may have helped bring South America onto the side of the Allies in World War II. [more inside]
Andrew Gelman recently posted this strange trend in baby naming originally posted on Laura Wattenberg's blog in 2007. Why do so many boys' names now end with the letter "n"?
Back in 2002, 4 interns pulled off an unusual heist: they stole a quarter tonne of moon rocks under NASA's nose, which reads like a surreal pulp. [via jwz] [more inside]
The Internet as Imagined in 1969. A cute video replete with sexist overtones.
My Personal Credit Crisis. By Edmund Andrews, economics reporter for the New York Times. I felt foolish, ashamed and angry.... Why had I been trying to live a lifestyle that I couldn’t afford? Why had I tried to keep up the image of a conventional suburban family man, when nothing about my situation was conventional? How could I have glossed over the fact that we had been spending about $3,000 more than we were earning, month after month after month? How could a person who wrote about economics for a living fall into the kind of credit-card trap that consumer groups had warned about for years? Via Brad DeLong.
Some revolutions are about hate. Others are about revenge. But there was at least one that was about hope and music. The Singing Revolution is the story of how hope and music saved a nation. [more inside]
If you have been charged with multiple crimes and not convicted on all charges, the judge may increase your sentence based on 'acquitted conduct', the crimes for which you were not convicted. This policy is beginning to get a lot more attention due to Jim Caron, writing to a U.S. District Court judge as 'Juror No. 6' and recently highlighted by articles in the Washington Post and the Washington Times. His offense at the idea that his work as a juror had been nullified by this policy has opened a can of worms with all sorts of people who view this "in terms of defendant's rights versus government interests." Too late for Mr. Caron, a distinguished agricultural economist with the USDA, who died suddenly last year.
Go to Spain, breathe, get high Scientists have recently discovered that there is a small amount of cocaine and LSD in the air of the Spanish cities Madrid and Barcelona.
No reaction allowed is the rule in Mr. Rubin's forensic science class at New Rochelle High School. Many high schools around the country are offering forensics science, including Eagle High, which will be starting next year. John F. Kennedy High School's forensic science class has their own blog.
The winners of the 2009 Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest. And past years. (ante)
The Five Families were established by Charlie "Lucky" Luciano in the wake of the Castellammarese War (1929 - September 10, 1931), a gang war in New York between partisans of Joe "The Boss" Masseria and those of Salvatore Maranzano. The arrangement, under the administration of The Commission, was created to divide the city among the gangs with mutual interests, and prevent the continuous grab for more territory. Of course, the arrangement has been anything but peaceful, and the Five Families have all gone through periods of prosperity and decline. So who are they, and how are they doing now? [more inside]
Acting on criticisms and pressure from law enforcement, Craigslist has announced it will shut down its "erotic services" category in the U.S. Reaction is mixed and some are suggesting that online prostitution will simply find a new name.
Darkseid tries to join the Legion of Superheroes, Batman wrestles the serpent in the garden of Eden, Clarke Kent shoots Abraham (Brainiac) Lincoln... Hall of Silver Age Elseworlds first pages - from DC Silver Age Elseworld stories that never happened, from the Elseworlds 80-Page Giant collection, which was pulped after controversy surrounding Letitia Lerner, Superman's Babysitter - which later became the only story in the collection to see print again.
This is Bridget . Three things happened to Bridget in February : 1. She got an agent for her young adult novel. 2. She got married. 3. She found out she has Stage Four colon cancer. [more inside]
Mapping sound at the British Library. The British Library has organized several of its archival sound collections on Google Maps. The results include Accents and Dialects, wildlife and soundscape recordings from Britain, music from India and Uganda, and a whole mess of noisy frogs. [more inside]
Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese (Myanmar) activist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, was arrested after her home was invaded by Vietnam War veteran and Mormon evangelist. John William Yettaw swam to her compound May 3 and was arrested two days later on his way back. Suu Kyi has spent 13 of the last 20 years under house arrest, and she was supposed to finally be freed May 27. She will go on trial for the illegal visitor on Monday; if convicted, she could face up to five years in prison.
Without much fanfare, the Global War on Terror has ended. The new name for these military interventions is the Overseas Contingency Operation. Press Q&A. Some Republican representatives discuss. (SPOILER: They are not pleased.) Military blogs discuss. Similarly, the War on Drugs also looks to be on the way out, though no new name for the project has been announced at this time.
John Banville's most recent essay on Samuel Beckett: The Word-Stormer. Banville has previously written insightful essays thinly disguised as book reviews on The Painful Comedy of Samuel Beckett, the influence of painting on Beckett's writing, and Beckett on the couch.
The Memory Palace is a short podcast about history. Ben Franklin's death ray! Franklin Pierce, the saddest president! The hollow earth!
I was never able to relate to FML, but I recently found a website that is much more accessible for the average person. It's decent, I guess. MLIA.
Rules for Time Travelers [Spoiler? alert.]
The 9/11 Commission suspected that critical information it used in its landmark report was the product of harsh interrogations of al-Qaida operatives - interrogations that many critics have labeled torture. Yet, commission staffers never questioned the agency about the interrogation techniques and in fact ordered a second round of interrogations specifically to ask additional questions of the same operative... [more inside]
TC Electronic Voice Live Vocal Effects FX Processor Pure cheese? or a genius tool for modern day sports bar minstrels? :49 See girl sound like all the Dixie Chicks 3:58 See Girl do cute Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation
Shuttlecock burqas to fetish wear. Some snapshots of Pakistan's struggles with its sexual identities. [more inside]
Spam by Elliott Burford. An ongoing project illustrating the titles of emails found in your spam/junk box.
NPR Backstory is an automated Twitter feed providing helpful links to news items from the past 14 years that might be relevant to current events. For example, when masses of people started googling medical information after a news item about 200,000 patients' medical histories being accidentally exposed, NPRbackstory linked to an April 2008 analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of storing patient records online. [more inside]
When you were 12 or 13, did you like to draw scary monsters? Well, so did Michelangelo. [more inside]
The National Film Board of Canada's 5th annual online short film competition "Internet votes will decide the best film, and the winner will be announced at Cannes on May 21." NFB previously. [via Drawn!]
Tonight in Tempe, a forgiving, but not quite forgetful, President Obama gave the commencement address at Arizona State University. [more inside]