Two days ago, a truck carrying a container of radioactive cobalt-60 (enough to make a dirty bomb) was stolen by carjackers off a highway near Tijuana. Today, authorities found the truck. The thieves probably aren't terrorists
, just some guys who wanted a truck with a crane attached to it. But, at some point, they opened the container of cobalt-60 and will now almost certainly die from radiation exposure. — Maggie
Robyn Miller is one of the most interesting people I know. I first learned of Robyn in 1993 when I was an editor at Wired and I received an early review copy of a spooky and beautiful puzzle adventure game called Myst, which Robyn and his brother Rand created (Robyn also created all the ethereal music for Myst and its follow-up title, Riven). Myst subsequently became the best-selling adventure game of all time. (Read Jon Carroll's 2004 Wired article, "Guerrillas in the Myst," about Rand and Robyn, and check out Rand's successful Kickstarter for Rand's new adventure game Obduction.)
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Photo: Nelson Mandela Foundation
The BBC reports that Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, died today at 95. Mandela, who spent 27 years in jail before leading the country out of apartheid, served from 1994-1999 after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.
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Pure, 24-karat class—cheaper than Vertu, too! [Gold Genie via Uncrate]
Photo: Nottinghamshire County Council
The Daily Mirror asks, "Is this the ghost of White Lady of Rufford?"
Alberta College of Art and Design student Mary, AKA Thoughts Up North, created these fantastical characters based on the planets of our solar system: "The colors are all based off the planets’ true colors, and the designs are a mix of the names’ mythos and Holst’s “The Planets” suite. They get progressively less human the further they are from the Sun, which I thought was fun."
Pictured above are Mercury, Venus and Earth; Mars is gonna be everyone's favorite. Pluto fans will be delighted at its inclusion--maybe. [via Metafilter]
DJ Chris Holmes, who works with Paul McCartney and often performs deejay sets as an opening act for "Macca's" live shows, shares a real gem with us: a Soundcloud mix to beat them all. Chris says:
I finally had some time to put together a mix for all of you who've been asking over the years of my beatles/mccartney stuff for tour. It's about 2hrs long. I hope you enjoy. I've had the best time in the history of the world making the tracks and putting it together.
It starts off at 88bpm and speeds up until it loops around at 176 (88bpm) completing the cycle.
It's the first time I've shared this stuff in bulk, I hope you all enjoy it.
Here is four years of my Beatles/macca mixes.
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I had the above-reproduced SMS exchange with a bot from my horrible mobile phone carrier, Orange UK (now called "EE" after the high-pitched noise my incipient aneurysm makes whenever I have to deal with them, and because vowels) today. They have "good news" -- I have been subscribed to "special offers" from "great brands" via SMS. And I can opt out. Except, surprise, it takes three weeks to process these opt-outs.
Not sure what I should do apropos of any "great brands" who pay Orange to spam me in the runup to Christmas: maybe just name-and-shame them here? Any other ideas?
One year ago today
Printing press made from IKEA drawers: Jenny and Charles are making their own wedding program, and to do so, they made their own printing press. From a set of IKEA drawers. Because they are awesome.
Five years ago today
1957 letter for "designated key personnel" to escape mass destruction: The "letter serves as notification that you have been selected as a member of this group which is to be evacuated" to get the biological weapons program up and running again.
Ten years ago today
The mother lode of omnivorous trees: Here's the site of a guy so obsessed with "gluttonous trees" that he has a collection of pictures of them and a book, to boot.
A September report from the Library of Congress's National Film Preservation Board called The Survival of American Silent Feature Films: 1912–1929 [PDF] paints a dismal picture of the archival record of silent movies. In all, "14% of the 10,919 silent films released by major studios exist in their original 35mm or other format," although some of the missing items are extant in lesser transfers and foreign editions. But in all, "we have lost 75% of the creative record from the era that brought American movies to the pinnacle of world cinematic achievement in the 20th century."
It's a sobering reminder of the fragility of even relatively recent media, and the need for preservation. An appreciable slice of the missing archival materials are still in copyright, with attending difficulties in clearing them for the purpose of striking and circulating new prints. As we close in on 2018, the date at which materials from 1928 onward will begin entering the public domain again, this is an important reminder of what can happen if we let the profitability of a tiny slice of commercially viable ancient materials trump the preservation of the vast bulk of cultural materials.
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Nemo, who is much happier these days. Photo: Jason Weisberger.
My dog Nemo came to me from the adoption organization Great Pyrenees Rescue of Northern California. He had rescue-itis.
He was a young pup who had a slew of health issues during his rescue and rehabilitation. Nemo had never been away from the rest of his 7 pup litter. He really didn't understand the idea of being alone at all when he was torn away from his brothers and sisters and brought to me, where a whole world of new sounds, smells, and hardwood floors confused him.
His answer? Cry all night.
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Chinese developers are vying to build a massive China-themed retail center and casino in New York's Catskills. The 600-acre project is called "China City of America" and, surprise, it's highly controversial. I think it might do better in the hometown of hyperreality, Las Vegas! You can see the pitch at the China City of America site and read about it below:
"Developers pitch bringing a piece of China to Sullivan County" (YNN)
"Mysterious China-themed 'city' proposed in New York’s Catskills" (Fox News, thanks Bob Pescovitz!)