May 15, 2015
DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, sponsor of self-driving car competitions (one of the winning teams now works on Google's self driving car project) is now sponsoring robotics competitions.
Here are this year's contestants. [more inside]
Here are this year's contestants. [more inside]
Reporting, Reviewing, and Responding to Harassment on Twitter [via mefi projects] For three weeks last November, Women, Action, and the Media (WAM!) accepted harassment reports that they escalated to Twitter, collecting data on the experience of harassment and the process of reporting it. A team of academics published a comprehensive report on what they found, with a focus on the people reporting and receiving harassment, the kinds of harassment that were reported, Twitter's response to harassment reports, the process of reviewing harassment reports, and challenges for reporting processes. [more inside]
This past year, artist Lucy Gafford developed an intriguing new medium. It's well suited to evocative sketches of simple subjects -- a portrait of Mom, a still life of avocados, a cat, a feeding pig. Please enjoy her hashtag exhibition, #ShowerHairMasterpiece.
The Intercept investigates the Mexican government's account of the September 26, 2014 disappearance of 43 students of the Escuela Normal Rural Raúl Isidro Burgos, also known as the Ayotzinapa Normal School. Part One. Part Two. [more inside]
As it turns out, the name has never changed. They have always been the Berenstain Bears. Every physical book I had ever seen had said "Berenstain Bears". I have always been wrong. Every scrap of physical evidence proves me wrong. [more inside]
The Walt Disney Animation Studios have a history of recycling hand drawn cells to save money. YouTube channel Movie Munchies has just posted an expertly cut montage showing a selection of what cells were borrowed and from where.
This is not a typical blog post. It has far too many words–many of which are jargony– no images, and formal citations where readers would expect/prefer hyperlinks. Rather, this is a literature review.[more inside]
The Robots Are Winning! [New York Review of Books] Daniel Mendelsohn reviews Spike Jonze's Her & Alex Garland's Ex Machina.
PDF: 25 Communication Barriers and How to Repair Concrete tips written for couples, but applicable to many other arenas of communication. (Just don't try to solve coworker Aloofness by means of Positive Physical Touch!) [more inside]
The Last Day of Her Life. When Cornell psychology professor Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when? [more inside]
"With jukeboxes now Internet-enabled and app-accessible to vast song libraries, it’s possible to create a visual map of the tunes New Yorkers seek out, by location."
More than 15 million people in the U.S. and over 300 million worldwide don’t see normal colors. As one of those 300 million, Atlantic writer Oliver Morrison engages with different perspectives around colorblindness. Some are held by disability-rights activists who advocate for awareness as well as social approaches to mitigate the effects, others are those of scientists who have discovered medical treatments. Morrison also tries out a wearable solution offered by a US company. [more inside]
May 16 is officially Denise Levertov Day in Seattle. On the eve of this celebration of her life and work, Paul Constant covers the personal, artistic transformations of Levertov by asking, "How do you immortalize a willfully uncategorizable poet?" Jan Wallace writes of remembering and bearing witness. Emily Warn traces nature and spirituality in Levertov's work.
In this NPR story on diversity in publishing, one of the things that leaped out at me was a quote from an editor citing a PEW study that revealed that African-American women “are the largest group of readers in the country.” (Which you’d never know from the lack of diversity in protagonists, cover models, and so on.) Why did publishers have to rely on PEW for that data? Because they have very little research into the habits of individual readers. They’ve never needed it; they’ve always done business with chain sales reps.Stephanie Leary: How publishers could get more of my money (and make me happy to give it).
With the final episode of Mad Men about to air, Consumerist takes a look at 72 real-life brands featured on the show, how they were depicted, how they were really advertised then (and how some real ads were fictionally credited to Don Draper) and how their advertising (and ownership OR existence) has changed in 5 decades...
What would your name be if your parents gave you the name that was as popular now as your name was when you were born? Data from the Social Security Name site (2014 data just released).
The Seduction Of Normalcy - Diana Arterian reviews poet Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts
The most radical thing about The Argonauts is not Maggie Nelson’s love affair with her genderfluid partner, Harry Dodge, or the fact that she mentions ass fucking and Wittgensteinian paradoxes on the first page. It’s true: Nelson is more than willing to give us searingly intelligent musings on philosophy, scenes of love, raunchy sex, her thoughts on queerness—and does so, often. But while these topics are hugely important, requiring continual probing from the world’s radical citizens, they are rarely as ghettoized as motherhood, procreation, children, and family are in the creative world and academia. Where most writers would hold back, Nelson lopes forward: “I was ashamed, but undaunted (my epithet?).”[more inside]
Sharks are trying to kill your cat gifs and other facts about the Internet's undersea cables.
By all appearances, Bob Valenti is your average upwardly mobile suburbanite. The 40-something father of two has a couple of advanced degrees and a high-paying job at a high-flying technology company. He has an aggressive retirement plan and plenty socked away in college funds for his kids. As of last year, he also has a plan for surviving the end of the world as we know it.
Legendary Blues Musician B.B. King died last night at Age 89. He was a member of the Rock-n-Roll Hall of Fame, was widely considered one of the greatest guitarists ever, and owned the most famous guitar ever played. He will be missed.
"I have a day job in Washington, D.C., as a food critic. I’ve done it for ten years. During that time, the city has become bigger and more cosmopolitan, the restaurant scene has evolved from that of a steak & potatoes town to that of a vibrant metropolis, and people now talk excitedly about going out to eat. But what no one talks about is the almost total absence of black faces in that scene." Todd Kliman's "Coding and Decoding Dinner" explores the racial divide in D.C. dining for the Oxford American.
After months of undercover work, Williams and Moon had information on more than 40 suspects, but the department realized it didn’t have the funds or the manpower to round them all up. So it had to come up with clever ideas. “Cops used to offer parolees free tickets to the Detroit Lions, then arrest them,” recalls Peggy Lawrence, a Flint historian. On one occasion, Moon quietly arrested and locked up stolen property dealer, announced his death in the newspaper, and arrested gang members who showed up at his fake funeral. “Sometimes you gotta do things that are simply funny,” Moon later told a television reporter. “People gotta go to jail, but it don’t always have to be sad.” In 1990, the department planned a particularly elaborate operation: Officers would throw a fake wedding, invite all the suspects, and arrest them.