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For gentle enjoyment of our impending decay: the Virginia Museum of Natural History's dermestid flesh-eating beetle live cam. More details here. "When the colony is really active, they can be given a mouse whole - without skinning or gutting the specimen - and finish it in a single day."
posted on Oct-4-18 at 7:10 AM

Welcome to Centrism.biz We oppose extremists on the right who want to murder all non-whites, ground their bones into dust and build a perfect Aryan union fueled by a hatred unimaginably pure. We also oppose equally extreme movements on the left who want a higher tax rate on incomes over $200,000.
posted on Sep-21-17 at 4:50 AM

From the stately (and infamous) Little Rock Central High to the Art Deco stylings of Will Rogers High, Architectural Digest picks The Most Beautiful Public High School in Every State in America.
posted on Sep-13-17 at 1:52 PM

Let's talk about this whole Moon vs. Mars thing for human spaceflight Jason Davis at the Planetary Society explores the differences in landing, mining and survival technologies required for the very different conditions space travelers would encounter on the two celestial bodies.
posted on Feb-3-17 at 4:31 AM

Mission Juno Tonight, Earth species Homo sapiens sapiens, with ongoing support from photosynthesizing relatives in the Plant kingdom, will attempt the delicate task of inserting a large machine into polar orbit around the highly radioactive gas giant Jupiter. After using a slingshot maneuver around Earth and Jupiter's tremendous gravitational pull to become "one of the fastest human-made objects ever built," it is hoped Juno will collect data for 20 months, shedding light on the composition of the planet and what it can tell us about the origin of the Sol system 4.6 billion years ago.
posted on Jul-4-16 at 5:25 AM

In December, grad student and occasional NYT music writer Will Robin asked on Twitter, "What are the best large-scale orchestral works of this century?" He Storified the responses, with links for listening, and then on Tuesday, streamed the result: Symphomania, a 24-hour marathon of sixty 21st-century orchestral works by sixty different composers, on Q2 Music at WQXR in New York. Starting tonight at midnight, WQXR is repeating the stream.
posted on Mar-27-15 at 7:17 AM

"If Americans and Europeans are eating this fish, they should remember us," said Hlaing Min, 30, a runaway slave from Benjina. "There must be a mountain of bones under the sea. ... The bones of the people could be an island, it's that many."

Are slaves catching the fish you buy? A year-long AP investigation into the use of slaves to catch fish that end up in supply chains going to Kroger, Wal-Mart and Sysco, the U.S.' biggest food distributor.
posted on Mar-25-15 at 6:22 AM

This video plays the opening and closing shots of 55 films side-by-side. Some of the opening shots are strikingly similar to the final shots, while others are vastly different--both serving a purpose in communicating various themes. Some show progress, some show decline, and some are simply impactful images used to begin and end a film. [Obvious spoilers for the final shots of the 55 movies listed in the video's description]
posted on Mar-19-15 at 8:32 PM

"Re-homing" is the largely unregulated practice by which parents of adopted children in the U.S. hand over those children to new families, with little or no government oversight. While some states started cracking down last year, the issue has gained new attention with the story of Arkansas Representative Justin Harris and his wife. They adopted a pair of girls, 3 and 6, who proved more troublesome than they seemed. Harris and his wife gave the girls to a worker in the religious school he owned, who subsequently raped the 6-year-old. The girls' previous foster family has now raised questions about Harris' story. [Previously, a 2013 Reuters investigation: The Child Exchange - Inside America's underground market for adopted children]
posted on Mar-9-15 at 8:41 AM

“I guess I don’t hate superheroes. I just hate the kind of superhero books that are usually out." The death and rebirth of Valiant Entertainment, superhero comics' strangest success story.
posted on Jan-4-15 at 8:09 AM

If the Supreme Court tackles the NSA in 2015, it’ll be one of these five cases. Detailed, thoughtful piece with lots of links from Ars Technica.
posted on Jan-3-15 at 4:43 AM

Administrator Hiring Drove 28% Boom in Higher-Ed Work Force, Report Says The report, "Labor Intensive or Labor Expensive: Changing Staffing and Compensation Patterns in Higher Education," says that new administrative positions—particularly in student services—drove a 28-percent expansion of the higher-ed work force from 2000 to 2012...What’s more, the report says, the number of full-time faculty and staff members per professional or managerial administrator has declined 40 percent, to around 2.5 to 1. Full-time faculty members also lost ground to part-time instructors (who now compose half of the instructional staff at most types of colleges)...And the kicker: You can’t blame faculty salaries for the rise in tuition. Faculty salaries were "essentially flat" from 2000 to 2012, the report says. And "we didn't see the savings that we would have expected from the shift to part-time faculty," said Donna M. Desrochers, an author of the report.
posted on Mar-6-14 at 7:16 AM

Film preservation 2.0 Unless the unique challenges of digital preservation are met, we run the risk of a future in which a film from 1894 printed on card stock has a better chance of surviving than a digital film from 2014.
posted on Mar-2-14 at 10:33 AM

The argument against Scarlett Johansson doing Super Bowl ads for SodaStream [pdf] This report provides an extensive analysis of SodaStream (Soda Club), a manufacturer of home carbonating devices whose main factory is in the industrial park of Mishor Edomim in the West Bank, territory occupied by Israel. Using SodaStream as a case study for corporate activity in the illegal settlements, the report explores the concept of industrial production in settlements....Examining the performance of this company is important in order to understand how its success is based, at least in part, on the structural advantages that production in Israeli settlements enjoys. Settlement production benefits from low rent, special tax incentives, lax enforcement of environmental and labor protection laws, as well as additional governmental support. Summary: Scarlett Johansson’s Super Bowl Ad Becomes An International Controversy. More, from Baltimore Jewish Life: SodaStream Boss Admits West Bank Plant Is 'a Pain.'
posted on Feb-2-14 at 8:48 AM

Twenty game developers you don't know, but should
posted on Dec-27-13 at 9:35 AM

A furious 18-minute rant posted Wednesday has drawn attention to YouTube's new automatic content ID system, implemented in earnest this week.

VentureBeat: YouTube suddenly begins flagging hundreds of game-related videos for copyright violations
Ars Technica: YouTube goes nuts flagging game-related content as violating copyright

Any copyright claim against a video immediately results in the removal of ad revenue at the moment the claim is made, even if 1) that content is clearly fair use, 2) the game companies who own the content say they're not making a claim (like Deep Silver, which posted a statement assuring reviewers they "will not be alone in this"), or 3) the claim comes from an odd third party who doesn't appear to have a clear ownership interest. Kotaku has good quotes from gamers who strongly disagree with YouTube's claim that "channel owners can easily dispute Content ID claims if they believe those claims are invalid." Earlier today, Angry Joe posted a calmer, more detailed 31-minute video: Whats Broken & How to Fix it.
posted on Dec-13-13 at 6:56 AM

2013 Science Journalism Award winners from the American Association for the Advancement of Science: [via Romenesko]
posted on Nov-6-13 at 9:30 PM

The Prophet: Meet Dave Ramsey, the most important personal finance guru in America. There's probably no better way to learn about the financial lives of individual Americans than to spend a few hours listening to The Dave Ramsey Show, which airs in every major media market in the United States...Listen long enough and you realize you are hearing the raw, unfiltered tragedy of the economic plagues facing 21st-century America. [via]
posted on Nov-1-13 at 8:36 AM

I Do Not Want To Jack Guys Off Is there anything more ludicrous than a woman giving a man a hand job?
posted on Sep-23-13 at 6:57 PM

The 25 Best Websites for Literature Lovers might include a few you don't already visit.
posted on Aug-6-13 at 8:57 PM

The American Historical Association just released a statement that "strongly encourages graduate programs and university libraries to adopt a policy that allows the embargoing of completed history PhD dissertations in digital form for as many as six years." The statement is aimed at publishers who are disinclined to consider books based on dissertations that have been made freely available in open access databases. Some responses cite a 2011 survey, "Do Open Access Electronic Theses and Dissertations Diminish Publishing Opportunities in the Social Sciences and Humanities?," that found most publishers self-reported they would indeed consider publishing such dissertations, but also suggested university libraries are refusing to buy books based on dissertations that have previously been available online. "The Road From Dissertation to Book Has a New Pothole: the Internet," a 2011 article from the Chronicle of Higher Education, quotes editors who are wary of publishing such books, and discusses the process by which students can restrict access to their work at companies like ProQuest, "the electronic publisher with which the vast majority of U.S. universities contract to house digital copies of dissertations."
posted on Jul-23-13 at 8:20 PM

Since the end of March, the Wall Street Journal's new Middle East Real Time blog has written about Turkey's "unstoppable" export boom in soap operas, Saudi Arabia's "life after jihad" rehab program, the persistence of obviously fraudulent bomb detectors across Iraq, YouTube branding discussions among Syrian rebel factions, a rising media star Sunni cleric in Lebanon, a post-revolutionary Cairo arts festival, and attempts to overcome conservative objections and change the Saudi Thursday-Friday weekend to match the rest of the business world. Previous non-paywalled WSJ Real Time blogs include Korea, China, Canada, India, Brussels, Emerging Europe, Japan.
posted on May-9-13 at 8:47 PM

How stores spy on you: Many retailers are snooping more than ever Gaze trackers are hidden in tiny holes in the shelving and detect which brands you’re looking at and how long for each. There are even mannequins whose eyes are cameras...Cisco is testing a system [that] automatically detects your mobile device and connects you to the retailer’s free Wi-Fi network. "Once the customer gets on the network, he has opted in, and the privacy concerns are allayed..." [via]
posted on Mar-28-13 at 7:13 AM

Folks who love and/or hate modernist architecture: the functionmag tumblr might be fun. Via things.
posted on Mar-24-13 at 8:23 AM

The Nielsen Family Is Dead. Nielsen Now Tracks (Almost) Everything You Buy: Credit, Debit and Bank Data Now Combined With TV, Online Viewing. Nielsen Offers Focus on ‘Zero-TV’ Homes. Nielsen Agrees to Expand Definition of TV Viewing. The 23,000 U.S. homes Nielsen currently samples are going to see some changes this year.
posted on Mar-20-13 at 9:23 PM

Stop Using Small Font Sizes "I'm calling you out. All of you. The hackers, the designers, the code monkeys, the word-smiths, the editors, the CSS gurus, and everyone else who works on content management systems and style sheets for news sites. Stop using small font sizes."
posted on Mar-12-13 at 8:53 AM

The NYT Book Review just named it one of the 5 best fiction books of the year. The AV Club helpfully posted a video to show you what happens when you open it. Actually, lots of folks posted videos to show you what happens when you open it. Other folks raved in print about the author and his career. The Comics Journal asked a dozen critics of the author's work to send in reviews; this one focuses on the role of disability in the narrative. This one notes the book "is in a very primary sense a comic about women and the private lives they lead, and it investigates more fully than any other comic I have ever read the way they age, fall in love, explore their sexuality, come to terms with compromises they’ve had to make as they’ve grown, accept their limitations, confront squandered ability, have children (or choose not to have children), marry (or stay single), and make sense of the world around them." You might find Chris Ware's Building Stories worth a look or two. Or fourteen.
posted on Dec-19-12 at 9:35 PM

Starting with a bracket for every letter of the alphabet, a bracket suggested by readers and a "Fuck" play-in bracket, blogger Ted McCagg just finished a contest for the Best Word Ever. In the running were Umpteen, Eke, Isthmus, Skedaddle and Akimbo. The Final Four. The finals. The champion. [Via The Paris Review & Kottke.]
posted on Sep-25-12 at 8:54 AM

"The Republicans’ dominance in races throughout the country in the 2010 elections eviscerated the Democrats’ farm teams in state after state." Former Bill Clinton political director Doug Sosnik offers an 8-page analysis of the U.S. election that discusses the likelihood of an Obama win, the chances of a complete Republican takeover of Congress, continued Republican dominance of governorships and state legislatures for the rest of the decade, and more. There's also a related slideshow.
posted on Sep-17-12 at 12:57 AM

The Flick Chick - 11 Days of Garbo: "I recently bought the Greta Garbo Signature Collection...I've been enjoying the collection so much that I've decided to dedicate the next 11 days to looking at the 11 films included in the collection: three silents, the pre-code films which helped establish her as a star who could continue into the sound age, the films made towards the end of her film career for which she is perhaps best known, and a documentary feature produced by Turner Classic Movies."
posted on Sep-5-12 at 9:23 PM

"Parting with treasure easier said than done: Churchgoers give far less than they think" is the latest feature article from the Association of Religion Data Archives, which "strives to democratize access to the best data on religion." The site includes a browsable archive of religious survey data, a quick statistical roundup, international religious profiles, feature articles on topics like the rise of Mormons, Muslims and nondenominational churches in the USA ("nondenominational and independent churches may now be considered the third largest religious group in the country...Only the Catholic Church and the Southern Baptist Convention are larger"), links to sources like the 2010 U.S. Religious Census, a Religion Research Hub (with tutorials and helpful advice on best practices when theorizing, conceptualizing and measuring religious behavior) and lots more.
posted on Aug-30-12 at 8:15 PM

The scarily honest animated facts of life for teens A disturbingly blunt and beautifully animated short film about the horrifying changes brought about by puberty. Part of the "Teen Facts" exhibit at the NEMO Science Center in Amsterdam. (via everlasting blort)
posted on Aug-21-12 at 4:55 AM

Brad Pitt's Zombie Nightmare: Inside the Troubled 'World War Z' Production The Hollywood Reporter sorts through the problems causing the release of the film version of Max Brooks' post-apocalyptic UN report to be delayed until next June. Via the A.V. Club, which adds links to previous stories about the filming.
posted on Jun-13-12 at 9:26 PM

SSS is a 1988 experimental film featuring rapid-fire clips of dancers on the streets and junkyards of New York's East Village, "painstaking synched" to improvised music by Tom Cora (cello), Christian Marclay (turntables), and Zeena Parkins (harp). It's by filmmaker Henry Hills, whose official site is here. More collage films here, including Radio Adios, the quick cut-up KINO DA!, Money ("a manic collage film from the mid-80s when it still seemed that Reaganism of the soul could be defeated," with appearances by John Zorn, Fred Frith, Arto Lindsay, Ron Silliman among others), and Gotham, one of three films Hills made for Zorn's Naked City project.
posted on May-25-12 at 5:55 AM

New Google+ Study Reveals Minimal Social Activity, Weak User Engagement Fast Company summarizes a new study from RJMetrics that looks at public posts, +1s, replies and reshares on Google+. It concludes "the average post on Google+ has less than one +1, less than one reply, and less than one re-share." Google replies that public posts are a poor metric of user activity; Fast Company replies that "Google has refused to provide clear figures and metrics for its social network's active user base" and links to Danny Sullivan's "brilliant rundown of Google's lack of transparency on the subject" - If Google’s Really Proud Of Google+, It Should Share Some Real User Figures.
There was also Wil Wheaton's recent angry "Oh, go fuck yourself, Google" rant in response to a recent experiment replacing YouTube's "like" button with a Google+ button for a small number of users, thus requiring them to sign up for Google+ before they can 'like' a YouTube video. Is Google Forcing Google+ Down People’s Throats?
posted on May-21-12 at 7:53 PM

A Transparent Attempt to Explain the Economics Behind Running a Pop-Culture Website and the Need to Run Intrusive Advertising The thing about display ads is that you are paid for about what they are worth, which is to say: $.30 per 1,000 impressions. Most people barely even notice them, so advertisers are not willing to pay you very much to run them...Instead, we have to use intrusive ads which are paid on a much larger scale, approximately $7.00 per 1,000 impressions. So, if a site like ours generates 100,000 impressions, that should be $700 a day. Awesome. We should be rich, right? Not so much. Pajiba previously. [via Slashfilm]
posted on Apr-22-12 at 10:24 PM

Beautiful HD video of whirlpools flowing around rocks, courtesy of NASA and neatorama.
posted on Mar-25-12 at 6:51 AM

American illustrator Coles Phillips became famous in 1908 for his "Fade-Away Girl" magazine covers, which caught the eye and saved money on color printing. He was a leader in creating "more modern, active and athletic images of women" after the prim poise of the Gibson Girl era. His later work became more overtly sexual, making him one of the first artists whose beautifully designed ads were "torn out of magazines and swiped out of store windows to become pin-ups on college dormitory walls." Some were considered scandalous. He died in 1927. Two long pages of Coles Phillips images. Six pages. Bio. Tumblr tag. More ads.
posted on Mar-4-12 at 8:25 AM

"What's that buzzing sound?" Foreign Policy's third annual War Issue focuses on what it calls "Barack Obama's Secret Wars," including My Drone War, in which a Pakistani journalist for Newsday and the NYT describes what drone warfare looks and sounds like from the ground; The Obama Doctrine, which argues drone warfare is a failing strategy in both Yemen and Pakistan; The Evolution of Drone Warfare: A Photo History, 1917-2010, and more. The package also includes two takes on cyberwar - Cyberwar is still more hype than hazard and Cyberwar Is Already Upon Us - along with a lot of interesting links.
posted on Feb-29-12 at 7:41 PM

"Most of the filmmakers surveyed...were not aware of the perishable nature of digital content or how short its unmanaged lifespan is." After the Motion Picture Academy's release last month of "The Digital Dilemma 2," a warning aimed at independent filmmakers and nonprofit archives, cinematographer John Bailey talks with one of the report's authors about the perils of data migration ("It’s not unreasonable to say that the term "digital preservation" is an oxymoron") and the need to educate filmmakers who are so "enamored with the perceived benefits of digital image capture and workflow" that they fail to realize preservation concerns start to appear almost immediately after their work is completed. Film professor David Bordwell covers the report in a detailed post about preserving "born-digital" films, sixth in his "Pandora's Digital Box" series about the worldwide conversion to digital projection, with lots of good links at the bottom.
posted on Feb-20-12 at 8:38 PM

The Surveillance Catalog: Where Governments Get Their Spying Tools The Wall Street Journal has obtained a "trove" of documents from the secretive retail market in surveillance technology sold to world governments, and has created a searchable database for your enjoyment. "Among the most controversial technologies on display at the conference were essentially computer-hacking tools to enable government agents to break into people's computers and cellphones, log their keystrokes and access their data..." E.g., FinFisher installs malware by sending fake software updates for Blackberry and other devices; VUPEN's Exploits for Law Enforcement Agencies "aim to deliver exclusive exploit codes for undisclosed vulnerabilities" in software from Microsoft, Apple and others.
posted on Nov-20-11 at 9:45 AM

"I decided I wanted to buy the Dorsey Brothers’ mambo record. However, I did not have the required 39 cents." Over at The Comics Journal, cartoonist Kim Deitch (previously), son of animator Gene Deitch (previously), has been posting a wonderful, rambling memoir about the music in his life.
Part 1: The Dorseys and Beyond "Watch for Russ Columbo playing some hot violin in this one."
Part 2: An Early Education - Jazz, folk and the ’40s - Alan Lomax, Jelly Roll Morton and jazz fandom
Part 3: Our hero stumbles on the birth of television, specifically, music on television
Part 4: Rock ‘n Roll - "For a lot of Americans it was like the whole damn African jungle had landed in the middle of Ed Sullivan’s stage"
Part 5: Rocking Forward
posted on Aug-7-11 at 11:44 AM

Transformers 3 scene from The Island. SlashFilm passes along the news that Michael Bay recycled shots from his 2005 film The Island in his new film Transformers: Dark of the Moon, saving costs by adding different CGI to the same car chase scenes. "I’m not sure how often this kind of thing happens, but my guess is that it happens probably more than you would think."
posted on Jul-1-11 at 9:10 PM

What is Bird Poop? What Do Nesting Birds Do With All That Poop? Poop From The Front End. The Poop Wars of 1879. Poop Week has just concluded at 10,000 Birds, with stories, dirty science and beautiful photos at "the intersection of poop and birding, a fertile precinct if there ever was one." [via The Agonist]
posted on Jun-26-11 at 7:27 AM

"It's completely unethical for doctors to force their patients to sign away their rights in order to get medical care." Ars Technica dissects doctor "privacy" agreements that seek to limit patients' ability to post online reviews by making them sign the copyright of any future reviews over to the doctor, in exchange for vague (and possibly illusory) extra privacy protection. Doctored Reviews offers info and tools for fighting "anti-review contracts," whose language comes primarily from an "anti-defamation protection program" sold by a company called Medical Justice. Sources quoted in the article express doubts that this kind of "privacy blackmail" would hold up in court, with some wondering if Medical Justice is actively deceiving doctors by selling them a product that won't work as advertised.
posted on May-24-11 at 6:16 PM

I am an artist who by a stroke of good fortune met a brave American lawyer who represents several hundred Iraqi detainees in the US federal courts....the Iraqis I interviewed, released by the American military after many months or years of detention, were never formally accused of a crime, brought to a trial or given legal representation. Daniel Heyman paints and draws while sitting in on interviews between former Abu Ghraib detainees and their lawyer Susan Burke. Interview (including Heyman's thoughts about Errol Morris' documentary Standard Operating Procedure). Review. Another gallery. Related: The Detainee Project. Via zunguzungu.
posted on Apr-24-11 at 9:22 AM

Fukushima Dai-ichi status and potential outcomes The Oil Drum has begun posting daily threads about the Japanese nuclear plant event. As during the last energy crisis, the comments there tend to have a good signal-to-noise ratio.
posted on Mar-17-11 at 4:10 PM

"I am someone who has never taken an art class in my life...I didn't think I had an artistic bone in my body and never thought of myself as creative." Neat book art made with folds and an exacto knife from Isaac Salazar, who, according to his Flickr bio, is an accountant in New Mexico. [Via boingboing and Core77]
posted on Feb-13-11 at 7:32 AM

Why I Hate the Avant-Garde or, Why Laurie Anderson is less Avant-Garde than DJ Kool Herc. A rant with videos. Via The Front Section.
posted on Jan-17-11 at 10:34 AM

The Royal Society's lost women scientists. Women published in the Royal Society, 1890-1930. Most influential British women in the history of science. Women at the Royal Observatory Greenwich. Heroines of Science. Women Biochemists, 1906-1939. Women in Science. Previously: The Women of ENIAC.
posted on Jan-12-11 at 7:31 PM

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