Favorites from grumblebee
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The Economist wants to know: Are four new translations of Homer’s “Iliad” a bit much? After nearly 3,000 years, does the “Iliad” really need translating again?
My wife has been in New York City this week, and bought an unlimited weekly MetroCard. She's leaving NY tonight, and I'm arriving about 2 hours after she leaves (i.e. we won't be able to meet). Is there some clever way she can hand the card off to me?
Over 143 episodes of audio, Mike Duncan has covered the founding of Rome through the Crisis of the Third Century in his History of Rome podcast [previously], having now reached the last pagan Emperor, Julian The Apostate. Enlivened by drawing on comparisons to popular culture, from The Empire Strikes Back (when Hannibal makes his appearance) to The Godfather (as a metaphor for Rome's social client system), Mr Duncan's work makes for fun, informative 25-minute sessions with the greatest empire of the ancient western world. If you're interested in more, the podcasts could be handily supplemented with...
How can I add more mystery to everyday life?
How do I stop saying, "D'oh" when I do something wrong?
Science fiction - filter: I used to read and love Dick, Farmer, LeGuin, and others who coupled great writing with directly confronting sex, violence, and societal change. What contemporary authors might I like?
Please help me rename ~1300 image files in bash, en masse.
I want to listen to a good, persuasive argument. I'm looking for nonfiction audio books in which the author makes strong factual arguments for or against a certain point of view. Particulars inside.
I have an internet radio, a good pair of ears, and nostalgia. Help me NPR enthusiasts.
Podcasts have replaced TV as my relaxation method of choice and I need something to keep my eyes and hands occupied while I listen to them. I usually play tetris which works ok but I can't help thinking there must be something more interesting or creative I could be doing. It would have to require minimal concentration and be somewhat relaxing and it would be nice if I had a new skill to show for it. I've tried drawing but I'm a graphics student so it feels like work. My sister suggested knitting which doesn't interest me but it seems to have the right mix of creativity and repetitiveness.
I'm almost finished with the audiobook version of A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century, and I'm not ready for it to be over. I want to learn more about the Middle Ages and Renaissance. What should I listen to next?
I want to turn my iPhone into a broadcast quality voice recorder (for radio). What's the ideal setup?
What are the classics of interactive fiction--the canon, if there is one?
My wife and I love to read books in bed, just before going to sleep. I usually use my iPhone 4 Kindle app. Lately, however, the biomechanics of semi sitting up in bed have been taking there toll on my already somewhat debilitated spine (mild degeneration). I would like to be able to lie flat and read by staring straight up (or at least give this a try). Unless you've tried it, you may not know that simply holding the device or book overhead with your arms simply doesn't work. Some kind of holder is needed. I am looking for anyone's suggestions on what might work, perhaps those who are, or know someone who is, quadriplegic, or otherwise disabled might have some good ideas.I'm not so much looking for something I could kludge together, but more interested in something that is already available; I'm not firm on this, however. All suggestions are welcome, though!
For the life of me I cant find the This American Life tenth anniversary show on the TAL website where Ira Glass replays and comments on the first ever TAL, and google fails me. Any ideas?
Is there a good reason that we use (in the U.S.) porcelain toilets almost exclusively instead of another material, particularly stainless steel? Stainless steel is lighter than porcelain, isn't it? So I would think it would be cheaper to ship and easier to clean, making it a no-brainer green solution.
Tell me the most counterintuitive or surprising fact from your field or hobby.
History and mystery wonderfully blended. Although doubtless well-known to UK Mefites, I was only recently directed to this marvelous and engaging TV series featuring Michael Kitchen as Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle. It's a refreshing change from American fare, entirely adult, with crisp dialogue and meticulous attention to detail and historic accuracy. Speaking as a Yank weary of plasticity, it's also wonderful to see actors with real faces. The series can be seen on Youtube in pieces that can be viewed fairly seamlessly: Series One: The German Woman, The White Feather, Lesson in Murder, Eagle Day. Series Two: Fifty Ships, Among the Few, War Games, The Funk Hole. Series Three: The French Drop, Enemy Fire, They Fought in the Fields, War of Nerves. Series Four: Invasion, Bad Blood. Series Five: Bleak Midwinter, Casualties of War. Series Six: Plan of Attack, Broken Souls, All Clear.
Who came up with the "backpack metaphor" for writing fiction?
I'm looking for the chemistry version of A Brief History of Time. Does it exist?
Please recommend any heist/con artist books.
I'm looking for video sites like TED or Big Think that has researchers talking about their projects and areas of expertise. Any other similar sites out there you've liked? Preferably in the area of psychology/human nature
I was relieved to hear that they found the Chilean miners alive, and amazed that they will be trapped for four months until rescue. It also reminded me that I like reading books about people who are isolated somewhere for a long time. (I hope this doesn't sound morbid.) I'm not so much interested in tragedy and death; I'm more interested in the psychology and group dynamics of people who are forced to live closely together. Space station? Submarine? Post-apocalyptic abandoned museum?
I'm getting crankier in my old age and I'd love to bust a gut and laugh so hard that I cry. Recommendations for short video clips that have made you go "HA!" aloud. Laugh-aloud stuff for me looks like the David Brent dance from "The Office," and Harvard Sailing Team. My kids and students thank you in advance.
I find that Mutant's profile is full of useful information, about himself and his areas of expertise. Do you guys know of any other profiles with useful and interesting information, particularly about specialty subjects?
I just read Sex at Dawn. It's a book that, as I understand it, questions an assumption that has held sway for most of recorded history. What other books or ideas question assumptions that span millennia? I'm looking for more well-argued cases that rock my reality and cause me to question and recontextualize, well, everything.
I like to ask my kids interesting, but age appropriate, ethical and epistemological questions while we sit around the dinner table. Help me think of some more.
Looking for enchanting, obscure works of classical music.
I recently read The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York and I realized how much I enjoy a certain subset of historical nonfiction -- basically, narratives set at a particular moment in a specific city as a way of exploring broader social-cultural history.
I'm looking for books (or lengthy articles/blog posts) that fully explain a certain topic in a way that is interesting, easily digestible, and not too dry.
Cellist Zoë Keating describes her music as "the fusion of information architecture and classical music," and uses a traditional French cello and a foot-controlled MacBook to create lush, multi-layered cello music. From 2002 to 2006 she was a member of Rasputina, and more recently she played with Amanda Palmer. Keating has prospered online through iTunes and her website; her new album, Into the Trees, is streaming free and can be purchased on her website, and you can watch her perform some older pieces on her Youtube channel. [Via]
How should I safely sell my iPhone?
A gallery of scanned German children's books from the 18th and 19th centuries. Sounds dry, but the plates are high-resolution and gorgeous. Fans of old-school engraving, illustration, and Bibliodyssey-esque curiosities will not be disappointed. Highly extensive and bandwidth-intensive.
I need to email a file that is too big for Gmail. Can you recommend a way to send it?
The Pee wee's Playhouse theme song...as performed by Cyndi Lauper (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pee-wee's_Playhouse#Soundtracks)...Cyndi's voice in that, to me, harkens back to music of the 20s. Is there a name for this sort of cutesy style of female singing? Is this a genre that I can actually seek out?
What young adult novels (or chapter books for kids) are written in particularly elegant prose styles? (Bonus points if the story and characterization are good, of course, but I'm especially looking for books where the writing style itself is beautiful.) Examples include The Graveyard Book, Haroun & The Sea of Stories, and When You Reach Me.
What music will make me dance about like a pirate?
I'm tired of bars. What things in New York can I do after work?
What are the best word-related games for the iPhone?
You guys know about BBC Radio 4's In Our Time, right? Each week, the broadcaster Melvyn Bragg hosts a 45-minute discussion on some aspect of culture, history, philosophy, religion or science. His guests are always three academics with expert knowledge of the chosen subject, and the tone is serious and detailed but never inaccessible. By respecting his audience's intelligence, Bragg delivers a programme of unrivaled interest, depth and educational value. The topics covered this year alone include The Frankfurt School, The Glencoe Massacre, Silas Marner and Ibn Khaldun. Eclectic, yes, but never less than fascinating. The good news is that the programme has just redesigned its website, making all 440 episodes to date available for your listening pleasure in its eminently browsable archive. In the dumbed-down 21st Century, it's a miracle that a programme like this still exists, so let's all make the most of it while we can.
My daughter is looking for some plays to read. I'm looking for suggestions of plays that are interesting to an avid reader, but still appropriate for her age level (8 years old).