Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Until I see this for sale in the back of a comic book, I'm not going to believe it's real.

This robot music sounds kind of robot-y
The comic blundering and ineptitude of the Bush Administration (or willful and premeditated subversion of justice, depending on how you look at it) apparently extends to its IT department. How they "lost" 5,000,000 emails.

The Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project
BBC's Stephen Fry's 6-part Documentary on Gutenberg
Idiot security guard uses authority and a father gets his kid taken away from him at a ballgame after he mistakenly orders him a 'hard' lemonade.
And so what had begun as an outing to the ballpark ended with Leo crying himself to sleep in front of a television inside the Child Protective Services building, and Ratte and his wife standing on the sidewalk outside, wondering when they'd see their little boy again.
(detroit free press)

Monday, April 28, 2008

"We are in the midst of a financial crisis the likes of which we haven't seen since the Great Depression."
George Soros on the bangup job we're doing with our economy.
Vint Cerf's "What I've Learned" at 64 (Esquire)

Friday, April 25, 2008

People are becoming immune to street art (youtube)

6 stools from a cube
Toshiba Household Nuke
Toshiba has developed a new class of micro size Nuclear Reactors that is designed to power individual apartment buildings or city blocks. The new reactor, which is only 20 feet by 6 feet, could change everything for small remote communities, small businesses or even a group of neighbors who are fed up with the power companies and want more control over their energy needs.

Monday, April 21, 2008

More Bush Administration subversion of the free press in to an echoplex of pro-war talking points. (nytimes)

Hidden behind that appearance of objectivity, though, is a Pentagon information apparatus that has used those analysts in a campaign to generate favorable news coverage of the administration’s wartime performance, an examination by The New York Times has found. The effort, which began with the buildup to the Iraq war and continues to this day, has sought to exploit ideological and military allegiances, and also a powerful financial dynamic: Most of the analysts have ties to military contractors vested in the very war policies they are asked to assess on air. Those business relationships are hardly ever disclosed to the viewers, and sometimes not even to the networks themselves. But collectively, the men on the plane and several dozen other military analysts represent more than 150 military contractors either as lobbyists, senior executives, board members or consultants. The companies include defense heavyweights, but also scores of smaller companies, all part of a vast assemblage of contractors scrambling for hundreds of billions in military business generated by the administration’s war on terror. It is a furious competition, one in which inside information and easy access to senior officials are highly prized.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Fake-ass pop music just got fake-asser

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Kewpie Pasta Sauce Invasion!
(via coudal)

Art of the Title Sequence
Somebody make this stop.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The FBI Lied to increase its powers under the PATRIOT act.

The strange episode is recounted in newly declassified documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents shed new light on how senior FBI officials' determination to gain independence from judicial oversight slowed its own investigation, and led the bureau's director to offer inaccurate testimony to Congress. The revelations are likely to play a key role in Capitol Hill hearings Tuesday and Wednesday on the FBI's use of so-called national security letters, or NSLs

Monday, April 14, 2008

Papal Skateboard Design Contest, sponsored by the Archdiocese of New York in honor of the Pope's upcoming visit.
On not understanding the context of our present: "What Have We Learned, If Anything" (nybooks)
War was not just a catastrophe in its own right; it brought other horrors in its wake. World War I led to an unprecedented militarization of society, the worship of violence, and a cult of death that long outlasted the war itself and prepared the ground for the political disasters that followed. States and societies seized during and after World War II by Hitler or Stalin (or by both, in sequence) experienced not just occupation and exploitation but degradation and corrosion of the laws and norms of civil society. The very structures of civilized life—regulations, laws, teachers, policemen, judges— disappeared or else took on sinister significance: far from guaranteeing security, the state itself became the leading source of insecurity. Reciprocity and trust, whether in neighbors, colleagues, community, or leaders, collapsed. Behavior that would be aberrant in conventional circumstances— theft, dishonesty, dissemblance, indifference to the misfortune of others, and the opportunistic exploitation of their suffering—became not just normal but sometimes the only way to save your family and yourself. Dissent or opposition was stifled by universal fear.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Hey! My major is finally getting some respect.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Next American City's "Respect for the Human Scale"
I don’t think we’re going to have to make a whole lot of further accommodations to the automobile. I’m serenely convinced that the automobile is going to be a diminishing presence in our lives. We’re not going to come up with any “miracle” or “rescue remedy” for the petroleum scarcity problem.

I think you’re going to see an interesting political problem arise, where motoring simply becomes an elite activity again and will be greatly resented by the masses of Americans.

Purdue Rube Goldberg contraption winner: 156-step hamburger maker
Local cost of the Iraq War: FY 2008
See what W's senseless bloodbath is costing your town/county this year!

King Khan and BBQ Show - Waddlin' Around

Monday, April 07, 2008

Wanderlust - 2d

Bjork - Wanderlust (2d), with 3d version to come later this month. Making-of video is here
"What are the most important problems in your field? Are you working on one of them? Why not?"
"You and Your Research" (pdf)
A transcript of an excellent talk given by Richard Hamming given at Bell Labs in 1986 on what makes great science.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Amygdala links a bunch of awesomely bad military patches
On restaurant logos...
In the U.K., they REALLY don't want you not watching TV!
Going for Broke (NewYorker)
In recent months, a lot of people have been handed financial get-out-of-jail-free cards. C.E.O.s who presided over billions in losses have walked away with tens of millions in compensation. The Federal Reserve has showered cheap money on banks and brokerages. Even Bear Stearns caught a break when, last week, J. P. Morgan agreed to quintuple the price it will pay to take over the firm. But there’s one group for whom forgiveness has not been forthcoming: ordinary consumers struggling with piles of credit-card debt. For them, escaping the burden of their bad decisions and their bad luck has become much harder.
The Green Light (Vanity Fair)
As the first anniversary of 9/11 approached, and a prized Guantánamo detainee wouldn’t talk, the Bush administration’s highest-ranking lawyers argued for extreme interrogation techniques, circumventing international law, the Geneva Conventions, and the army’s own Field Manual. The attorneys would even fly to Guantánamo to ratchet up the pressure—then blame abuses on the military. Philippe Sands follows the torture trail, and holds out the possibility of war crimes charges.
Solve Difficult Domino Problem; Win Solid Gold Domino

Paper Tea House

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

USA 2008: The Great Depression

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The music industry's latest extortion scheme: preemptive, presumptive taxation
The plan—the boldest move yet to keep the wounded entertainment industry giants afloat—is simple: Consumers will pay a monthly fee, bundled into an internet-service bill in exchange for unfettered access to a database of all known music.

There are so many problems with this that I don't even know where to begin. What about those that don't want Warner's crap product? What about deaf/hearing impaired customers? Why should I pay for the failed business model for an industry that I hate? What precedent does this set for other failed campaign contributors? Am I supposed to pay a Ford tax because they make garbage cars that nobody wants anymore? This is utter bullshit. Let the music industry die the slow, painful death it so rightfully deserves.
Virgle: The Virgin/Google Mars Mission: Apply
While you're at it, bend time.