The WELL, the online community which started out life more than 20 years ago as the Whole Earth Lectronic Link, has been sold to a company founded by some of its long-time users. It has had many owners in its storied history, but its most recent owner, Salon, is the first public company to own the WELL, which raised numerous questions about whether Salon could legally sell the site to the users without trying to realize greater value for its shareholders, including through the sale of the well.com domain name.
Many WELL users have pledged money for a user buyout, and a group of them negotiated with Salon to make the purchase.
I have been a WELL user since the early 1990s, and have enormous affection and respect for the community there. Though I don't often use it actively any longer, my experiences there were formative to my understanding of the online world. Congratulations to the Well Group folks for navigating these waters. Below the jump I've included the press-release.
Read the rest
YouTube user Dfriel1 and a pal went out for a Sunday bike ride on a road east of Longmont, CO, when a driver in a Ford Explorer (license plate Colorado 893 EKG) pulled up behind them and rode their tails for five minutes*, blaring his horn and holding up the traffic behind them. Despite their having pulled into single file, and despite the ample room for passing, the driver appeared to either want to express a general displeasure for cyclists, or believed that cyclists should actually pull off the road in the presence of cars. They Colorado State Police have received a report, and Dfriel1 says he's located other cyclists who've had run ins with this driver.
As a Founder of TrainingPeaks.com I encourage everyone to get out and ride bikes as part of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone no matter what their age or where they may live should have the right to feel safe when riding whether it be for health, fitness or simply commuting to work.
Insane Driver who obviously doesn't like people on bikes
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
*Only two minutes are recorded here; in the narration, Dfriel reports that his camera ran out of memory at that point.
Read the rest
Autostraddle's Riese has collected an astounding gallery of photos of American lesbians, spanning 150 years, from 1850 to 2000.
I really threw myself into Herstory Month, in June, eating every accessible herstory archive on the internet and spending hours in the library, accumulating massive stacks of borrowed books which I stored at the foot of my bed. My girlfriend was not a big fan of the stacks of books at the foot of the bed.
I was looking for words but eventually, also, for pictures. Honestly before tumblr it was difficult to find very much lesbian imagery at all online — it was always the same ten or twelve stock photos — let alone pictures of lesbians taken prior to 2000. I wanted to see an evolution of our community, how we'd grown and changed over the years — and not just in a montage of famous out actresses and models, but pictures of actual people, pictures of women who were active in the community — regular human beings, writers and social activists.
Epic Gallery: 150 Years Of Lesbians And Other Lady-Loving-Ladies
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
(Images: Top, "1880s"; right, "Evelyn “Jackie” Bross (left) and Catherine Barscz (right) at the Racine Avenue Police Station, Chicago, June 5, 1943. They had been arrested for violating the cross-dressing ordinance.")
Read the rest
[Video Link] I enjoyed this video created by PBS's Off Book, called The Art of Web Design. The "8-bit style" soundtrack is a treat, too.
There are many forms of art –- still life, abstract, landscape, digital, cubism, marine, aviation, splatter, modern, photography etc but chances are, few people know what "paleoart" is. Well, simply put, it is the illustration of prehistoric life. Its practitioners combine an understanding of such broad disciplines as anatomy, geology and botany to open windows onto the ancient past, bringing to life as best they can organisms from across the planet’s four billion-year history. Everything from jellyfish to trilobites to mammoths to the first single-celled organisms – and, of course, dinosaurs.
Dinosaur Art is a collection -- and celebration -- of some the finest purveyors of paleoart. My primary reason in assembling this host of talent was to give them a voice. Generally their work is seen in books running the gamete from children’s to the most serious academic volume; from National Geographic’s website to illustrating a report on a BBC News feature. However, I couldn’t help but notice they rarely got to talk about themselves and their art. I hoped to rectify that and in doing so bring together a collection of amazing art that you don’t need to be a dinosaur enthusiast to enjoy -- although that helps!
Here’s a selection of some of my favorite images, from the book. -- Steve White, editor of Dinosaur Art
I love the lighting on this. What filmmakers call ‘the Magic Hour’ – beautiful twilight colours. It is also preludes the event that heralded the demise of the dinosaurs (and untold other species) – the impact of a massive object, in this case illustrated as an asteroid but possibly a comet or meteor, that slammed into the area of what is now Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, unleashing a global catastrophe. Read the rest
"No on 37" is a campaign to defeat "California Proposition 37, Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food," which is up for a vote in the November election. I ran across the ad shown here on the LA Times' website and didn't find it particularly persuasive.
When I visited the site I was impressed by processed food conglomerates' desperation to defeat this bill. Monsanto is one of the corporations spending money to defeat 37 (According to Yes on 37, Monsanto, DuPont, Bayer, Dow, BASF and Syngenta have donated $19 million to No on 37). Why does it care? Could it be because a peer-reviewed health study revealed massive tumors in rats fed Monsanto’s genetically engineered corn? (UPDATE: Thanks to the commenters who linked to articles critical of the study. The study sounds very problematic, I mainly thought the ad was dumb.)
Here's a list of companies in favor of Prop 37. Read the rest
A husband who wanted to "train" his wife to lose her fear of heights got his wish granted when a Knott's Berry Farm ride stranded riders for the second time this month.
"The first half an hour was pretty rough on me. I have a fear of heights,” rider Donna Garrison told KABC-TV. “I was on it because my husband wanted to train me to get over my fear of heights.
“By the end,” she added, “I was."
Knott's WindSeeker shut down after passengers left hanging in air Read the rest
Discussion with Mrs. Beschizza about Ted conjured up fond memories of Sam J. Jones's post-10 epic role as Flash Gordon in the 1980 British-American film adaptation of the classic comic strip. Yes, the one with the brilliantly bombastic Queen soundtrack. Adds Mr. Beschizza, "Flash Gordon is why America should get to make a Doctor Who movie." Read the rest
This post is sponsored by eBay. From the new to the hard to find, when it’s on your mind, it’s on eBay.
There are those who are dedicated to the fruits of Cupertino and those who, well, aren't. As we saw previously, there are plenty of Apple deals to be had at eBay. Three of the latest-and-greatest Android devices are available at discounts that may surprise you. The Samsung Galaxy S III is listed for various carriers and in both white and blue. If the S III is out of your budget, try the HTC EVO 4G at half the price. And if it's a non-iPad tablet you're after, the Google Nexus 7 won't leave you wanting. Check eBay for all your Android needs. Read the rest
The cost of genome sequencing is starting to sink into the affordable range. (In comparison to its previous cost. We're talking "within reach" the same way Design Within Reach uses the phrase.)
Companies are starting to claim that a $1000 personal genome sequence is on the horizon. But what does that mean for you? Should you save up and get one? Can it really tell you anything meaningful at all? Who is going to sift through all the information your genome represents — and how will they do it?
Tonight, starting at 7:00 Eastern, Science Online New York City is hosting a round-table to discuss these issues, especially the problems associated with collecting, making sense of, and protecting a massive new stream of personal data. The live event is sold out, but you can watch whole thing streaming online.
Panelists: Ronald Crystal, the Chairman of the Department of Genetic Medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical College, who has had his genome sequenced and analyzed it himself. Virginia Hughes, a freelance author who has written about her experience with the 23andMe genotyping service. Manish Ponda of Rockefeller University, who has experimented with other -omic type analyses.
SoNYC's livestream feed
Via Lou Woodley Read the rest
The Martin Howard Typewriter Collection has a new treasure to show off: a Munson typewriter, with horizontal rods that control a hammer that strikes the page from behind:
The Munson typewriter is a remarkable piece of engineering, with a complex and original mechanical design packed into a small frame. Its inner workings are largely exposed, so the machine comes to life with moving rods and levers when being used.
The Munson does not have type-bars but uses a horizontal type-cylinder (about the size of ones finger) that slides from side-to-side and rotates to have the correct character move into place. Then a hammer strikes the paper from behind, pushing the paper against the ribbon and type-cylinder. Type-cylinders with different fonts were available.
With two shift keys, uppercase and figures, only three rows of keys are required.
The Munson was introduced in 1890 and did quite well on the market; however, today it is hard to find. The Munson became the Chicago in 1898 when the enterprise was bought and the typewriters were manufactured by The Chicago Writing Machine Co.
Read the rest
Phil Plait — who writes the Bad Astronomy blog — still has not been paid for his contributions to the Great Global Warming Conspiracy
. For such an organized cabal, you think they would have a better accounting department. Read the rest
In an update to Xeni's post yesterday about Amanda Fucking Palmer asking her musician-fans to play on stage during her tour. Palmer has written a long, thoughtful note about the non-monetary ways in which musicians compensate one another, replied to critics, reshuffled her project budget and freed money to pay the musicians who came out to her gigs.
for better or for worse, this whole kerfuffle has meant i’ve spent the past week thinking hard about this, listening to what everyone was saying and discussing. i hear you. i see your points. me and my band have discussed it at length. and we have decided we should pay all of our guest musicians. we have the power to do it, and we’re going to do it. (in fact, we started doing it three shows ago.)
my management team tweaked and reconfigured financials, pulling money from this and that other budget (mostly video) and moving it to the tour budget.
all of the money we took out of those budgets is going to the crowd-sourced musicians fund. we are going to pay the volunteer musicians every night. even though they volunteered their time for beer, hugs, merch, free tickets, and love: we’ll now also hand them cash.
i hope this does two things: i hope it makes the volunteers surprised and happy (they’ll be getting some dough they had no idea was coming) and i also hope it makes our family circle feel good about speaking out.
when we handed the musicians their surprise cash backstage in new orleans the other last night, they laughed like mad and said “after ALL THAT, you’re going PAY US??!!”
Palmer also includes the welcome news that her single Theatre is Evil is #10 on the Billboard chart. Read the rest
This review is cross-posted on DownloadTheUniverse, a group blog that reviews science-related ebooks and discusses the future of the written word.
An illustration from the The Royal Bestiary, depicting a unicorn laying its head on the lap of a lady. Presumably, the illustrator had never seen a unicorn, nor (one suspects) a lady.
A Medeival Bestiary is just not that into me.
We should have gone so well together. It was a scanned copy of The Royal Bestiary, a 13th century manuscript stored in the British Library, enhanced for the iPad with text and audio interpretation on every page. I was a giant nerd. Clearly, a match made in heaven.
But I don't think it's going to work out.
It's not that the book is terrible. In fact, parts of it are, objectively, pretty damn cool. We are, after all, talking about an opportunity to virtually thumb through the pages of a very old book. And the scans are excellent. You can see stains on the vellum, and the margin lines drawn by the scribe or illustrator to make certain that text and images were put into just the right place on every page. You can zoom in on the beautiful, colored and gilded drawings of bees and eagles, lions and centuars. On every page, there is, indeed, a little tab that you can tap to learn more about the animals you see in the pictures – especially helpful for the book's many imaginary animals, such as the leucrota. Read the rest
I want to applaud the efforts of BuzzFeed's Ben Rosen for taking the time and doing the research for this very special and important thing: all 32 quarterbacks in the National Football League if they were Muppets. This is brilliant, and you have to look at it. That's right, Tom "Pepe the Prawn" Brady, you lobster wannabe. (via BuzzFeed
) Read the rest