Håkan Dahlström got this delightful shot of one of San Francisco's steeper hills, turning his camera so that the road (and not the houses) were at level to convey the extent of the slope.
Crazy hills of San Francisco (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Crazy hills of San Francisco (Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
Long, drawn out negotiations between Walt Disney World and the Services Trade Council have not resulted in a contract for the 20,000 cast-members the STC represents. In this video, the affected cast-members explain how their wages have failed to keep pace with inflation, meaning a de-facto paycut that has some of them visiting local food-banks to stay fed. Disney's cast-members are some of the most remarkable people I've ever met; as a visitor to Walt Disney World, I want them to receive a living wage.
In this remarkable performance at the US naval academy, the Kings Firecrackers jump-rope team conduct a high-intensity, skip-rope-fuelled close-order drill that seriously agogified me.
Long before the laptop or the mainframe, writers, reporters, and bureaucrats alike relied on the typewriter to get the word out. Today, only a few companies make typewriters--but thousands of classic Remingtons, Underwoods, and Olivettis are still around, waiting to be dusted off. Just as vinyl records have held their mojo in a digital world, these miniature printing presses are attracting a new group of fans, many half the age of the typewriters they've lovingly restored.A pleasant afternoon of manual typewriting?
They'll be gathering to clack out letters, poetry, perhaps the beginnings of their next novel at the Type-IN, an off-beat gathering of manual typewriter users coming to Bridgewater's Pub at 30th Street Station. Typewriter aficionados will enter a typing competition, buy and sell at a typewriter swap meet, and consult with an experienced typewriter technician, who'll offer tips to keep that vintage machine cranking out words smoothly.
They're great books, too, donated by generous publishers. Among the three dozen choices are P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast's HOUSE OF NIGHT series and Alyson Noël's SHADOWLAND.rgz and First Book Partner for A Novel Gift! Over 125,000 free books to low-income teens (Thanks, Lorie Ann, via Submitterator!)
We need your help getting the word out about the A Novel Gift campaign. Right now! Right now! As in, now!
Rooster Teeth, creators of the brilliant Red vs Blue machinima series, produced this chortle-inducing short about the essential and creepy incoherence of the security theory that says aviation safety is improved by allowing the TSA to see and touch our junk.
Last week, as Kent Brewster was leaving his hotel room in the morning, he found a small piece of crumpled paper on the floor of his room; he realized that this had been used to plug up the peephole in the door, which had been doctored to allow people in the hallway to spy on the goings-on in the room. Says Kent: " The hotel manager took care of me--and was just as freaked as I was, and instantly sent housekeeping to check every room--so I don't want to call them out by name ... but still ... brrr! Creepy!"
Update, April 14, 2014: Reader K.F. Carmen writes in:
Hello from Canada! Just thought I'd fill you in on what I've recently ascertained in regards to that cool painting in New Orleans. I was there a couple weeks ago with my wife and we actually stayed at the "Le Richelieu" where it has hung since the 60's or at least the early 70's.
In the bar of this quaint hotel on the edge of "The French Quarter", there is a framed photo of Paul and Linda McCartney standing in front of the eerie painting. I was thrilled by this right off because I'm a huge fan plus I loved the painting. So, I asked the girl at the front desk and she gave me some info which I forgot half of soon after. I thought I recalled her saying "John MacKenzie crossing the Mississippi to sign something very important.
I'm no historian by any means, so I got it mixed up with John A. McDonald and then I was totally confused. Weird picture nonetheless! I actually took a nice snap of it ( which I'll include ), you see, I've been obsessed with freaky paintings before. After reading Rose Madder, by Stephen King, I was driving along and came upon a black velvet painting of a mean-looking bandito. It was sitting out back of someone's house with some other junk. For some reason, I decided I had to have it. I knocked on the door to see if they were tossing it out or whatever. No-one home. I was gonna grab it but there were neighbors around. I left and came back a few times but never ended up getting it. I do remember being overly obsessed with it though. Anyway, sorry to drag you through all that. The point is that, when I got home, I made a desk-top background out of the painting ( looks great ) and it got me to thinking: Who is this guy? Why the cat? So I went on google, queried: who is the man crossing the Mississippi in a canoe with a black cat in a painting in New Orleans?
That brought up a few pages but I immediately saw the image on one site. I clicked, sure enough it was there. This is where I saw your name. I thought: Why does this guy want to know so much about such a weird picture? I noticed there were some responses so I read them. Most of the early posts didn't seem to know anything but finally some guy nailed it. It was John McDonagh going to sign something important. Here's the weird part: There was another image a few over of another painting identical except a different guy sitting in the middle of the canoe. Same boat, background,cat,black man, everything. I clicked on that image and some other info came up. Missouri, 1845, fur-traders and all that. Did someone copy it? Was someone selling portraits to all the river-crossers that day? Like, what gives here? That's all I know or care to know at this stage
From the cover of the May 28, 1954 issue of Colliers. Now that, ladies and gentlemen, is an illustration. Just lovely.
Paleo-Future blogger Matt Novak (whose presence in the Twin Cities is sorely missed) says this cover story is just the tip of a very big iceberg. Controlling the weather was right up there with flying cars in mid-century dreams of the Future.
Don't tell the Double-Rainbow guy, but all those beautiful colors really can have a deeper meaning. That's because different chemicals reflect and absorb different wavelengths of light, leaving tell-tale patterns in the rainbow. If you know what colors specific chemicals absorb, you can look at the light reflected off a sample and use the rainbow to figure out what you've got. That's basically what a spectrometer does. And blogger Charles Soeder made his own.
The light source is an LED flashlight. The light shines through the sample (in this case a vial of chlorophyll) and gets broken up by a diffraction grating. This produces a spectrum which gets projected onto the photosensor. I pulled the sensor out of an automatic night light. It is mounted on a stand, which is taped to a TI89 which is taped to the table- so I can slide the sensor back and forth along the spectrum to get readings at different frequencies. I measured the frequency of light hitting the detector by noting where its shadow falls on the ruler in the background. The resistance of the sensor changes depending on how much light falls on it (which is an indication of how much light gets absorbed by the sample); I measure this with a multimeter.
There's more photos of all the different parts in his set-up. My favorite features the helpful caption, "This is where the rainbow goes."
(Thanks to Kevin Zelnio!)
Fear is like hot porridge. Too much is bad. Not enough is bad. You want that balance to be just right. The amygdala is the part of the brain tasked with job of playing Goldilocks. If it's overactive, you'll end up a quivering ball of uselessness. If it's missing, you'll be an action-movie badass—right up until the point where you get yourself killed.
At least, that's how it worked in rats when researchers at the University of Washington put a terrifying, snappy-jawed LEGO robot between the rats and their food.
Faced with that threat, healthy rats quickly learned to snatch food that was just out of the robot's reach—while leaving the robot-guarded food alone. But amygdala-less rats just didn't care. They went after all the food, getting close enough to the Predator-Bot that they'd have likely been eaten had it been a Killer Predator-Bot. Meanwhile, rats with too much activity in their amygdala gave up on the food entirely, rather than get anywhere near the robot's toothy jaws.
Can't we do a census every six months?
Kelsey C., a master’s student at the University of Colorado-Boulder, sent in this image from Calculated Risk showing the percent of jobs lost in each recession since 1948, relative to the peak of the pre-recession job market. In terms of the percent of jobs lost, the current recession is by far the worst we’ve seen since World War IIGraph of jobs lost in recessions since 1948
So last night, while attempting to explain the plot of Smokey and the Bandit to my husband, it occurred to me that I didn't really understand the back story that spawned this, one of my favorite childhood films. Why did Bandit and Snowman (and Fred) have a long way to go and a short time to get there? There was beer in most parts of Georgia by the 1970s. And even if you were trying to get booze to a dry county, why start in Texas and only give yourself 28 hours?
Thanks to Wikipedia and the very helpful Stephan Zielinski, I discovered the awful truth—Smokey and the Bandit is centered around America's brief love affair with Coors Banquet Beer.
All that work, for Coors? It's true. Wikipedia explained that the beer wasn't available East of Oklahoma at the time. But I didn't get the full extent of what was really going on until I read a 1974 Time magazine article sent to me by Zielinski. If, like me, you didn't begin drinking until the late 1990s, this is going to come as a shock, but, once upon a time, Coors was apparently the best American breweries had to offer.
Read the rest
Kevin Poulsen at Wired News: "The international police organization Interpol has issued a Red Notice for the arrest of WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange, in connection with a sex crime investigation in Sweden." A copy of the Interpol notice is here. The timing, just a couple of days after the largest leak ever, is interesting. Certainly sounds simpler than arresting him for the leaks.
The FBI report shows that industry and local officials are taking countermeasures to help address the scrapper problem, but apparently much more needs to be done. For example, while a variety of physical and technological security measures have been taken there are limited resources available to enforce these laws, and a very small percentage of perpetrators are arrested and convicted. Additionally, as copper thefts are typically addressed as misdemeanors, those individuals convicted pay relatively low fines and serve short prison terms.AT&T goes after copper wire thieves (via /.)
Atlanta isn't the only place seeing copper theft problems. In this report, Appalachian Power said more than 100 miles of copper wire has been stolen from the company's southern West Virginia facilities alone. Replacing stolen wire can cost up to $1 million a year, the utility stated. Other thefts have been reported all across the country in recent days. One location in New Jersey has been hit three times in the last two months seeing some $13,000 worth of copper stolen. A utility in the same state this week reported a $75,000 theft of the metal.
An exclusive preview of the new photography book, Portraits of the Mind: Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century by Carl Schoonover, foreword by Jonah Lehrer.
Published by Abrams
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The late ’80s, early ’90s, was the heyday of balloon-tire bike collecting. That’s when Schwinn went crazy. This was before the bankruptcy and everything, and they were trying to create a museum in Chicago. Schwinn had warehouses full of its turn-of-the-century bikes, but they had failed to keep any of their balloon-tire stuff. So they hired James Hurd as a curator for their museum, and he started selling off all these turn-of-the-century bikes to enable for them to acquire balloon-tire ones."Mike Wolfe On His Love Affair With Vintage Bikes"
I’d find a bike for $50, sell it for $500, take that $500 and do it again.
Guys like me were out there looking for balloon-tire stuff to feed that flame. In return, we were getting early turn-of-the-century bikes from the Schwinn collection. They had a big sale in downtown Chicago. Wood-rim bikes were stacked like cordwood in these warehouses.
Around that time I restored a bike called a Sterling. It was a turn-of-the-century, shaft-drive, wood-rim bike with rear suspension–there was a shock absorber up by the seat stays. I found the bike in pretty rough shape, but I just went full on with it and redid all the nickel and disassembled the bike and found a pair of new-old-stock wood rims. That was my prized possession for many years.