July 23, 2011

Cheapass As In Free

Did you know that popular, absurdly inexpensive board game producer James Ernest's Cheapass Games has released some of their most popular games as free PDFs? Among them Deadwood, Devil Bunny Needs A Ham, The Big Cheese, FALLING and Unexploded Cow? [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 6:07 PM PST - 34 comments

We Could've Had The Moon

Tim Kreider writes a little essay comparing the Moon and Afghanistan.
posted by The Whelk at 5:41 PM PST - 50 comments

Drums, bass, guitar, synth...

Alt-rockers MUTEMATH's new song lets you futz around with its individual tracks. Cool bonus: it alters both the audio track and an accompanying video of the part being played. Takes some time to load, but it's worth it to unleash your inner producer.
posted by Askiba at 4:36 PM PST - 7 comments

A Whack of Mousetraps

2D Photography Rube Goldberg. SLYT. 4.13 [more inside]
posted by bwg at 4:13 PM PST - 16 comments

Tour de Firsts

After weeks of crashes, injuries, and withdrawls (previously), the 2011 Tour de France will come to a close tomorrow with the largely ceremonial ride into the Champs-Elysees. Barring something highly unusual, this year's winner will be Cadel Evans of BMC, whose time trial performance today vaulted him over Andy and Frank Schleck and makes him the first Australian to win the Tour. [more inside]
posted by Dr.Enormous at 2:10 PM PST - 99 comments

Toma!

In 1875, the Portuguese cartoonist and caricaturist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro invented an “everyman” to express the opinion of “Zé Povinho” – “ José of the People”, or “John Doe". His most famous “opinion” is the “manguito”, a universally-recognizable symbolic affront to the status quo, with the slogan “Toma!”, or “take that!” In the wake of the downgrade of Portugal’s sovereign debt to “junk” by Moody’s, the Portuguese were outraged. They reportedly jammed up the Moody's site. Zé Povinho responded with his usual aplomb. The figurines are made by hand and the anti-Moodys one went on sale this week. [Last link in Portuguese; some NSFW language and rude gestures in some of the links]
posted by chavenet at 1:58 PM PST - 5 comments

Land Of A Thousand YouTube Videos

Na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na naaaaaa
posted by jason's_planet at 1:56 PM PST - 59 comments

Before Doctor Who, there was Professor Quartermass

British manned space flights; an insidious threat from outer space; a man mutating into an evil alien, his human consciousness being eaten away; and a scientist - utterly anti-Establishment, courageous and cerebral - the only man who can fight it. No, not Doctor Who, but his highly distinguished predecessor, Prof Bernard Quatermass. A decade before Doctor Who first aired, the The Quartermass Experiment was the first science-fiction TV serial produced for adults, and a live-to-viewers BBC production, to boot. The show ran for six episodes in 1953, of which only the first two episodes are known survive. The short sci-fi series spun off three original sequels and a radio drama-documentary, along with movie re-makes of the first three series by Hammer Films. BBC brought back live TV with a 2005 adaptation of the original 1953 series. You can watch the various series on online (in parts on Daily Motion), thanks to fans of The British Rocket Group. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:01 PM PST - 21 comments

Baby got BRAC

The U.S. Army's Umatilla Chemical Weapons Depot is is set to shut down this fall. But the question of who should decide the future of the northeast Oregon depot reached the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday. The bill that won approval would keep that authority in the hands of a local commission rather than a federal agency. Oregon's Democratic U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley co-sponsored the measure. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 12:07 PM PST - 9 comments

"I don't care if it's a white cat or a black cat. It's a good cat so long as it catches mice."

Two Chinese bullet trains have collided with two coaches falling off a bridge after a lightning strike disabled the first train and signaling failed to alert the second in time. A few months previously the railways ministry expressed and subsequently retracted concerns that builders had ignored safety standards to complete construction more quickly. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 11:21 AM PST - 44 comments

Vikings? More like Valkyrie, amirite?

It turns out that a bunch of the bodies in Viking burial sites that were categorized as male because they were buried with swords, etc, are actually female if you look at the bones. More details.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:10 AM PST - 52 comments

Baffled at a Bookcase

Alan Bennett returns to the library.
I have always been happy in libraries, though without ever being entirely at ease there. A scene that seems to crop up regularly in plays that I have written has a character, often a young man, standing in front of a bookcase feeling baffled.
posted by adamvasco at 10:52 AM PST - 3 comments

Epic doesn't begin to describe it.

Minecraft: Middle Earth - A tour of a nearly full scale recreation of Middle Earth in Minecraft.
posted by empath at 10:46 AM PST - 25 comments

Amy Winehouse (1983-2011)

Amy Jade Winehouse was found dead in her London home at the age of 27. CNN and BBC are providing breaking coverage of the story. The powerful British soul and R & B singer had a history of struggling with drugs and alcohol. [more inside]
posted by KillaSeal at 10:45 AM PST - 334 comments

So You Think You Can Solve The Kennedy Assassination

Want to (dis)prove who killed JFK? Start with the 5 million pages of material in the National Archives' Assassination Records Collection1. Better review the 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits published by the Warren Commission. And each frame of the Zapruder film2. And just to be on the safe side, the operating manual for his then top-of-the-line Bell & Howell 414PD camera. (1: previously, but with outdated link. 2: related) [more inside]
posted by Trurl at 9:37 AM PST - 80 comments

As I demonstrate in the body of this post, valuable information is contained therein.

"In this column I want to look at a not uncommon way of writing and structuring books. This approach, I will argue, involves the writer announcing at the outset what he or she will be doing in the pages that follow."
posted by shivohum at 7:34 AM PST - 60 comments

Dew Point Records During Current Heat Wave

The latest heat wave set dew point records at Minneapolis-St. Paul, where the dew point reached 82 degrees on July 19th. Similar dew points in the low 80's were observed at numerous east coast locations on July 22. The highest dew point ever recorded was 95 on July 23, 2003, along the Persian Gulf at Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. You will hear people claim on the most torrid days that the temperature is 100 degrees and the humidity is 100%. That has never happened in the USA as it would require a dew point of 100 degrees. Learn more about the difference between dew point and relative humidity here and here. And this table shows the relationship between air temperature, dew point, and relative humidity. [more inside]
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:28 AM PST - 114 comments

Anatomy of Norbiton

There is no paradigm for this kind of place. Accidental Norbiton is contingent, marginal, superfluous, an ugly necessity; it is like the wires coiled under your desk, behind your bookcases; it is like the suitcases gathering dust under your bed, on top of your wardrobe; an adjunct to living, part of the logistics, the bureaucracy, never what you might call life itself, the movement and centre and focus of which seem to prevail elsewhere. Perfect, then, for a life of accidental failure. Welcome to Norbiton. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 6:20 AM PST - 16 comments

For me, it's Godzilla 1985...

How do you make someone cry for science? A Smithsonian magazine talks about a 2-minute 45-second clip from The Champ, starring a young Rick(y) Schroeder. [more inside]
posted by Katemonkey at 5:48 AM PST - 30 comments

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