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"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

In the wake of Glenn Greenwald's post about the inhumane conditions of Bradley Manning's detention ("For 23 out of 24 hours every day -- for seven straight months and counting -- he sits completely alone in his cell"), Jeralyn at the criminal justice blog Talkleft offers a detailed argument that both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and relevant case law suggest that "Bradley Manning should not be in maximum security or solitary confinement." As the Justice Department tries to build a case against Julian Assange based on his contacts with Manning, what do we really know about the 22-year-old queer intelligence analyst being held at Quantico who says he leaked the Collateral Murder video and all those diplomatic cables?
posted on Dec-17-10 at 5:49 AM

Is Netflix Streaming Its Way Towards Disaster? In the wake of last month's price hike, Edward Epstein (author of The Big Picture and The Hollywood Economist) explores a few issues with Netflix's turn toward streaming video. The licensing deals Netflix cobbled together before studios fully grokked the value of streaming are expiring in the next year or two, outlets like Amazon and HBO are starting their own streaming services, and the right of first sale, which allows Netflix to buy DVDs and then rent them over and over, doesn't apply to streamed content. Via this post from Slashfilm, which adds more links and info.
posted on Dec-9-10 at 5:45 AM

Beg, Steal, or Borrow: New Beats From Moscow Nice look at some brokenbeat/glitch/electronica/hiphop musicians in Russia, with embedded songs, a couple of mixtapes and links to lots of free listening.
posted on Nov-8-10 at 5:07 PM

The Cornucopia Institute's Organic Egg Scorecard ranks egg producers on a scale from 1 to 5 eggs, using criteria like outdoor access, indoor space per bird, ownership structure, beak trimming and other factors [pdf]. The scorecard is part of the Institute's new report, Scrambled Eggs: Separating Factory Farm Egg Production from Authentic Organic Agriculture. The executive summary [pdf] provides some political context.

"Whole Foods, Walmart, A&P, Costco, Meijer, Safeway, and Trader Joe's store-brand eggs all received the lowest possible rating in Cornucopia's study."
posted on Oct-5-10 at 5:11 PM

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein was born in Wisconsin on July 31, 1910. He lived in a small house in Milwaukee with his wife Marie, and he worked in a bakery. Between 1954 and 1963 he used his fingers, combs, quills and bakery tools to create hundreds of explosively colorful semi-abstract landscapes that evoke primordial soup biology, Lovecraftian horror, scifi weirdness and hellish alien beauty ('Full-Screen View' and its zoomable interface increase the pleasure dramatically). The 12 galleries of paintings at his memorial site are all available for free hi-res download, you can hear him talking about drugs, brain chemistry and visions at the 'Listen' link, and there's currently an exhibit honoring the centennial of his birth at the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore.
posted on Aug-25-10 at 8:10 PM

Over the course of four months earlier this year, Dave at Goodfella's Movie Blog posted 100 (!) sharply written analyses of a wide range of classic Noir films. The top position was a bit of a surprise amid the obvious standards, but the real meat is in his informative takes on dozens of lesser-known gems.
posted on Aug-19-10 at 5:43 AM

Coal Ash: the other energy spill. A five-part investigative series from the Institute for Southern Studies about the toxic residue left after coal is burned.
1. Coal's Dirty Secret Coal ash is "the second-largest industrial waste stream in the U.S." but is not regulated by the federal government
2. Disaster in East Tennessee Effects of the December 2008 rupture of a dike releasing "a billion gallons of muddy, gray coal ash loaded with arsenic, lead and other contaminants" are still being felt
3. Power Politics Coal ash was given a special exemption from hazardous waste regulation in 1980; attempts since then to tighten the exemption have failed
4. Dumpsites in Disguise Toxic coal ash is increasingly being recycled into building materials and other uses, again largely unregulated
5. What's Next for Coal Ash? The EPA has offered two proposals; one treats coal ash like hazardous waste, the other like "ordinary solid waste."
posted on Jun-17-10 at 5:20 AM

"I'm trying, of course, to give a sense of objects moving through and being supported by or buffeted by, the wind or water" - sculptor Brad Story [via MeFi Projects]
posted on Mar-23-10 at 6:27 AM

Memphis music legend Alex Chilton dead at 59 Deep-voiced 60s boy singer and leader of "one of the most mythic and influential cult acts in all of rock and roll." Alex Chilton died today at age 59. Cause of death believed to be a heart attack.
posted on Mar-17-10 at 6:46 PM

Ralph Steadman’s Alice in Wonderland. Salvador Dali’s Alice In Wonderland.
posted on Mar-9-10 at 9:02 PM

The Art of Fontana Modern Masters James Pardey, the mind behind The Art of Penguin Science Fiction, has just put up another site telling the story of the cover art on the Frank Kermode-edited "Modern Masters" Fontana Books series, inspired by the Op Art of Victor Vasarely and the cut-ups of Brion Gysin and William Burroughs. [via, via]
posted on Jan-5-10 at 4:42 PM

A Hierarchy of Classic Horror Monsters: Regular vampires are shit. They can only beat Zombies, Witches, assorted Poltergeists, and Mr. Hyde. That is BARELY BETTER THAN A REGULAR PERSON. Shut the fuck up about vampires.
posted on Oct-28-09 at 10:03 PM

The Pekar Project started a couple of months ago from Smith Magazine; it posts new webcomics every other week by Harvey Pekar and one of four artists, like "Pekar and Crumb: Talkin' 'bout Art, plus occasional extras. They just posted a tribute to Harvey's 70th birthday. [Smith Mag's webcomics previously, including Pekar's The Next-Door Neighbor I Don't Know] [via]
posted on Oct-12-09 at 9:22 AM

OVER THE EDGE: An Oral History of the Greatest Teen Rebellion Movie of All Time Vice Magazine gets Matt Dillon (it was his first movie) and a bunch of other cast and crew together for a detailed oral history of Kurt Cobain's favorite flick and "the Apocalypse Now of teen films." Buried by Orion on its original 1979 release, in part because of violence in theaters which had just shown The Warriors, it found a big cult following among kids with HBO in the early 80s. Co-writer Tim Hunter would later go on to direct River's Edge.
posted on Sep-23-09 at 9:26 PM

Beautifully designed, quirky, colorful late 19th-century "artistic" and "gaslight" printing at Dick Sheaff's ephemera pages. [via, via]
posted on Jun-8-09 at 8:41 PM

Pinhole Photography by Incarcerated Girls at Remann Hall, Washington State. Prison Baseball. Guantanamo: Directory of Photographic and Visual Resources. Painted photographs of forgotten incarcerated Russian youth. 19th century prison ships. Pete Brook's Prison Photography blog links to lots of great stuff.
posted on Jun-4-09 at 6:31 AM

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!]
posted on May-14-09 at 5:59 AM

Is it "a momentary blip on the inevitable decline of a dying format" or "the onset of an extended revival that will see the record outlive its arch-nemesis the CD?" Last year more people bought vinyl LPs than in any year since Nielsen started keeping track in 1991, nearly doubling sales from the year before. Turntable sales rebounded sharply in 2006. This Saturday, coordinated with the 2nd international Record Store Day, dozens of artists and labels are releasing exclusive vinyl versions of unreleased tracks, rare 7" reissues, remasters and new songs, solely to participating stores. Here's the full list (most with cover art here).
posted on Apr-16-09 at 6:31 AM

Reproduction Cycle Among Unicellular Life Forms Under the Rocks Of Mars A 9-minute claymation exploration of the various reproductive stages of the Martian peenworm, so crucial to our nuclear beer and the Martian war. [Some monster nudity, simulated stop-motion sex] [via]
posted on Mar-2-09 at 9:18 AM

The complete works of Peter Paul Rubens. [warning: site contains lots of breasts] [via Plep]
posted on Feb-18-09 at 8:10 PM

Near-psychedelic mandalas made of lace - the newest exhibit at Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles. Previous exhibits include an impressive variety of styles of lace, historical fashions and related equipment.
posted on Feb-4-09 at 8:43 PM

Andreas Aronsson makes interesting impossible figures, documents the process, and philosophizes. Via lines and colors and Neatorama, where Aronsson shows up to call himself "an Oscar Reutersvärd ripoff." Reutersvärd is often credited as the founder of the impossible figure.
posted on Jan-28-09 at 9:17 PM

A curated collection of web comics over at Greylock Arts, with creator interviews and lots of links to strips like Underwire, Persimmon Cup, Truth Serum, Wondermark, The Process, Amazing Facts...and Beyond!, Phil McAndrew and more, including a few previously featured on the blue. [via Bookslut]
posted on Jan-26-09 at 9:04 AM

Visual Poetry Today collects various forms of visual poetry, today. It includes Peter Ciccariello, who wraps text around computer-modeled landscapes.
posted on Jan-20-09 at 5:53 PM

Just some cool dark fantasy art by John Jude Palencar, including covers for Lovecraft, de Lint, Tolkien and other popular books.
posted on Dec-25-08 at 6:04 PM

Early Female Authors of Hard-Boiled Fiction. Chester Himes and Early African-American Detective Novelists. The Detective's Code. The Femme Fatale. Just a few of the many fascinating offerings at detnovel.com.
posted on Dec-8-08 at 9:56 PM

Director Peter Watkins' web site describes the filming, distribution and critical reaction to each of his controversial films, including Punishment Park, the rock star satire Privilege, The War Game, La Commune and more. He also offers a 10-part critique of "the media crisis" that marginalizes non-mainstream ideas via the Hollywood monoform and the Universal Clock, a style he claims structures almost all of the messages delivered to the public, but which sharply limits the range of relationships possible between media producers and audiences.
posted on Nov-3-08 at 9:29 AM

Ghosts, apparitions, angels, spiritual visitations and views of the future "The relationship between photography and the spirit world of ghosts, apparitions and angels during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a blending of popular belief and scientific fraud. The lack of sophistication in the public in an age of deeply held religious values and the generally accepted belief that the camera recorded truth allowed the unscrupulous to exploit the situation for financial gain...This online exhibition explores the diverse interactions between mortals and the spiritual world..." [via Bouphonia]
posted on Oct-31-08 at 8:19 PM

Richard McMahan's Mini Museum For the past 18 years, artist/art historian Richard McMahan has been making tiny replicas of the world's masterpieces, from ancient Egyptian tombs and Lascaux cave paintings to Joseph Cornell and Marcel Duchamp. Charleston's Halsey Institute of Contemporary art has an online exhibit and 8-minute mini documentary. A short interview.
posted on Sep-15-08 at 6:41 PM

The Gerd Arntz Web Archive collects graphics from the career of the man who - in creating over 4000 Isotypes for social scientist Otto Neurath in 1930s Red Vienna - can make a serious claim to be the inventor of the modern stick figure. He attacked the corruption of German society as the Nazis rose to power, then joined Neurath in an attempt to create a transnational visual language that bore later fruit in Otl Aicher's 1972 Olympic pictograms and the AIGA passenger/pedestrian symbol signs. [via Mark Larson and Austin Kleon]
posted on Jul-7-08 at 4:35 PM

Animal Rights History collects quotes and original source documents from historical figures concerned with animal welfare, animal rights and vegetarianism throughout history, including John Locke on kids' cruelty to animals, Voltaire on vivisecting dogs, the author of history's first protected species list, lots about Pythagoras, timelines, a survey of anti-cruelty laws and more.
posted on May-12-08 at 7:23 AM

NYTimes Crossword Drawings. Emily Jo Cureton creates an illustration for every Times crossword, using a handful of clues to create odd little scenes. [via]
posted on May-6-08 at 5:45 PM

The Modernist Journals Project collects literary arts journals from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including both issues of Wyndham Lewis' Vorticist manifesto Blast, the first ten years of Poetry magazine (with Amy Lowell, T.S. Eliot, G.K. Chesterton and foreign correspondent Ezra Pound), topical essays, the Virginia Woolf-inspired December 1910 Project, the amazing proto-dada zine Le Petit Journal des Réfusées and a searchable biographical database of famous and not so famous artists and writers.
posted on Apr-28-08 at 9:50 AM

Sports Business Journal has a detailed look behind the buzz over "The Emperor’s New Clothes: How ESPN’s Multi-Platform Strategy Hasn’t Improved Ratings," a sharply critical PowerPoint presentation making the rounds of sports league offices and advertising buyers in recent months. A good read for folks interested in the business of sports, decreasing TV ratings for many leagues, the blurriness of the ad/news line and the difficulty of measuring eyeballs across media. [via Romenesko]
posted on Mar-17-08 at 9:46 PM

Tetrapod Zoology just celebrated Ankylosaur Week. Days 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, and 1.
posted on Feb-25-08 at 6:52 AM

Harvard's Faculty of Arts & Sciences voted unanimously last week to mandate "Open Access" to published articles - a first at a U.S. university, though the dean will apparently grant a waiver to anyone who wants to opt out. More to follow? Peter Suber's Open Access News is tracking reactions.
posted on Feb-17-08 at 8:49 AM

Doodles, Drafts and Designs: Industrial Drawings from the Smithsonian. Including crayon tests, the original telescoping shopping cart and more. [via the horse's neck]
posted on Feb-11-08 at 6:08 PM

Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas, the Black Panther Party's Minister of Culture from 1967 to 1979. Douglas is still alive and making posters for the cause, in this case the San Francisco 8, who were arrested earlier this year for the murder of a police officer in 1971 -- despite the fact that evidence was thrown out of federal court in 1976 because "officers stripped the men, blindfolded them, beat them and covered them in blankets soaked in boiling water," and "used electric prods on their genitals." The SF Weekly published a detailed 5-page story about the case in November 2006.
posted on Dec-14-07 at 7:26 PM

The Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae A collection of over 900 zoomable print engravings, organized around the work of Antonio Lafreri and other Italian publishers, whose documentation of Roman ruins and statues helped fuel the Renaissance. The itineraries are a good place to start for detailed discussion, or just browse away. [via the wonderful Bouphonia]
posted on Dec-10-07 at 7:29 AM

Child-bearing machines, net café refugees and bottom-biting bugs: Top 60 Japanese buzzwords of 2007.
posted on Nov-19-07 at 9:47 PM

British diplomat William Hamilton (whose 2nd wife Emma is perhaps best known for having a scandalous public affair with Horatio Nelson) loved volcanoes. His 1776 book Campi Flegrei: Observations on the volcanoes of the two Sicilies* used stunning hand-coloured illustrations by Peter Fabris to demonstrate to the scientific world that volcanic processes can be beautifully creative as well as horribly destructive. [via this post at the nonist, which, in case you hadn't noticed, has been really great lately]
posted on Nov-4-07 at 7:45 PM

Covering Photography "A web-based archive and resource for the study of the relationship between the history of photography and book cover design," with lots of ways to discover photographers like Arthur Tress.
posted on Oct-4-07 at 7:33 PM

"While we live, let us LIVE." A History of Social Dance in America, complete with vintage cheat sheets, a look at the perils of crinoline and lots of other period detail. Naturally, there were those who objected to this scandalous practice. See also the Library of Congress' An American Ballroom Companion: Dance Instruction Manuals 1490-1920, especially here and here. [via BibliOdyssey]
posted on Sep-25-07 at 11:03 PM

Viñetas is a prolific blog from Spain focusing on illustration, vintage comics (sometimes wordless), advertising, humor magazines and other beautiful ephemera, curated by the editor-in-chief of a Spanish comics company. [via Journalista]
posted on Sep-21-07 at 7:59 AM

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