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The Silence of the Lambs, behind-the-scenes

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Behind-the-scenes photos from Jonathan Demme's "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991). Several others below and still more over at Dangerous Minds.

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Students raise money, give away 300 copies of book banned in their school

Jaimie sez, "My bookstore helped a high school student distribute almost 300 free copies of "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie, a book that has been challenged and removed from the Meridian (Idaho) School District curriculum." Funds were raised by two Washington students." They're going to give away another 350 copies that the publisher donated next week. Go kids! (Thanks, Jamie!) Cory 0

3-D printed portable wheelchair ramps

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Thingiverse user Nanonan 3D-printed small wheelchair ramps to carry in his bag as he rolls around Berlin. Simple and effective! Download the files here.

Shadows from NYC supertowers are a bummer

Untitled

Some New Yorkers are upset about the shadows cast by the new supertower skyscrapers near Central Park and other public hang-outs. Above, the shadow of One57, an 85-story skyscraper currently under construction, on Central Park. At a community meeting on the issue, the president of Extell Development, the firm behind One57, responded that "the shadows cast by tall, slender buildings, which is what most of the buildings going up are, are very brief — maybe they're 10 minutes in any one place — and cause no negative effect on the flora or fauna of the park." According to City Councilman Corey Johnson, the apartments in the superpowers "are being sold to foreign investors, who have tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars, who are not making this their primary home." Central Park receives 40 million visitors annually. "New Yorkers Protest Long Shadows Cast By New Skyscrapers" (NPR)

This Day in Blogging History: Security-corporate complex owns America; Lawyers on why everyone hates DRM; Open letter to crackhead

One year ago today
The takeover of the US by the security-corporate complex: Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States. ... An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.

Five years ago today
Lawyer podcast on "Everyone Hates DRM": The Intellectual Property Colloquium, a podcast for lawyers, has a one-hour show up about the reasons that DRM is the most reviled consumer technology in the market today.

Ten years ago today
Open letter to crackhead: They explained to me that "people" - I use the term loosely here - like you break off the tops of spark plugs and use the porcelain tubes to smoke crack. As an engineer and former MacGyver fan, in a way I think this is kind of cool. But then I remember that I just paid $100 for YOUR crackpipes, and I get angry again.

Defiant rancher in Nevada beloved by militia groups is a horrible racist, surprising approximately nobody


Rancher Cliven Bundy at his home in Bunkerville, Nevada. (Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Ladies and gentlemen, meet American hero Cliven Bundy:

“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

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The internet is a CIA project, says Vladimir Putin


Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin holds a cup, 2010. REUTERS/Ria Novosti/Alexei Druzhinin.

Speaking today at a media forum in St. Petersburg, Russian president Vladimir Putin said the Internet began as a "CIA project," and that "is still developing as such." Russia must "fight for its interests" online, to resist US political and military control. From AP:

A Russian blogger complained to Putin that foreign websites and Yandex, the web search engine which is bigger in Russia than Google, are storing information on servers abroad, which could be undermining Russia's security. In his reply, Putin mentioned unspecified pressure that was exerted on Yandex in its early years and chided the company for its registration in the Netherlands "not only for tax reasons but for other considerations, too."

Great Moments in Pedantry: Fact-checking "Don't Fear the Reaper"

Valentine is done
Here, but now they're gone
Romeo and Juliet
Are together in eternity (Romeo and Juliet)
Forty-thousand men and women every day (Like Romeo and Juliet)
Forty-thousand men and women every day (Redefine happiness)
Another forty-thousand coming every day (We can be like they are)
Come on, baby (Don't fear the reaper)

Yesterday, on the way to the airport, I heard this on the radio and thought, "Huh. I wonder if Blue Oyster Cult actually looked up the daily global death rate when they were writing this?"

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Drunk 18 year old girl rushed to hospital from Canadian PM Stephen Harper's residence

An unnamed, drunk 18-year-old girl was taken to the hospital by ambulance from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper's official residence. The RCMP confirmed the basic facts of the story and stated that she was not a member of the Harper family. PM Harper has two teenage children, including a son who is nearly 18. The Harper regime has refused to comment on the story at all, prompting criticism from reporters about the PM's unwillingness to "address an issue every parent of teens struggle with" and instead going "into information lockdown." Glen McGregor from the Ottawa Citizen has lots more about this, including the allegation that the drunk teen had been swimming in the PM's pool.

‘Intoxicated’ 18-year-old girl reportedly rushed to hospital from Prime Minister Harper’s residence (via Reddit)

A chat with Henry Smith, Spaceteam Game Designer (New Disruptors 72)

Henry Smith is a games app developer, and the evil genius behind the addictive multi-player app Spaceteam. Spaceteam won oodles of awards, and it has the added benefit (or problem) of being free. Henry has an active Kickstarter to fund future development of free work over the next year.

The New Disruptors: RSS | iTunes | Download this episode | Listen on Stitcher

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Lost Warhol originals extracted from decaying Amiga floppies

Golan Levin writes, "My lab (in collaboration with Cory Arcangel, the CMU Computer Club, The Andy Warhol Museum, and the Carnegie Museum of Art) has announced a major dead-media discovery. We have recovered previously unknown, pure-digital artworks by Andy Warhol -- extracted from decaying Amiga floppy disks from 1985."

Warhol created the works with Graphicraft, and the disks needed a lot of love and coaxing to get the files off them (to my mind, the story of the technical heroics is a lot more interesting than the pictures, but I'm not much of a Warhol fan). A documentary film about the file recovery called "Trapped" will premiere on May 10 at the Carnegie Library Lecture Hall in Pittsburgh.

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NZ Greens unveil Internet Rights and Freedoms bill

Andrew writes, "The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand has launched their Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill. The Bill was launched on a crowdsourced platform where members of the public are given the opportunity to shape these emerging rights and freedoms. This is the first time a Bill has been crowdsourced by a political party in New Zealand. The Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill proposes:"

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#Mynypd hashtag attracts photos of police violence and abuse

When the NYPD's Twitter account asked people to tweet photos of their interactions with NYPD and tag them Mynypd, the outcome was pretty predictable: people who feel that the NYPD stands for unchecked brutality, mass-scale stop-and-frisk racism, and the violent defense of the ultra-rich combined with official impunity flooded the tag with photos of NYPD violence.

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FCC planning new Internet rules that will gut Net Neutrality. Get ready to pay more for the stuff you love online.


Tom Wheeler, head of the US Federal Communication Commission. (REUTERS/JASON REED)

The Wall Street Journal was first to report that The Federal Communications Commission will propose new open Internet rules this Thursday that will allow content companies to pay Internet service providers "for special access to consumers."

Under the new rules, service providers may not block or discriminate against specific websites, but they can charge certain sites or services for preferential traffic treatment if the ISPs' discrimination is "commercially reasonable."

Bye-bye, Net Neutrality, and the internet as we know it. Hello, greater connectivity gap between rich and poor in America.

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Electric car maker Tesla said to be planning new factory in California


The Tesla Model S.

Tesla Motors reps won't tell the Los Angeles Times, but city officials in the small California town of Lathrop told a reporter that "work is underway converting a 431,000-square-foot facility that once housed a Chrysler-Daimler distribution center into a Tesla factory." More: Is Tesla planning another electric car factory in California? [latimes.com]