Shared posts

19 Dec 22:50

Ferguson Prosecutor: I Knew Witnesses Lied To The Grand Jury

by Brendan James
Russian Sledges

fuck this guy

St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch told a St. Louis radio station on Friday that he knew some of the witnesses who testified before the Ferguson grand jury were lying.

Read More →
18 Dec 18:52

'Serial' Podcast's $2,500 Phone Bill And The Prison Pay Phone Racket

Russian Sledges

via firehose

More than 1.5 million prisoners were held in state and federal prisons in 2013, and Global Tel-Link provided phone service to more of them than any other business. And while the prison telecom creates the backdrop for “Serial,” it’s at the center of a very different drama of its own. Prisoners and their families have long complained about the exorbitant rates for phone service. Now, after years of inaction, the federal government is getting serious about reform.
20 Dec 03:16


Russian Sledges

via firehose

19 Dec 15:00

One Nobel Recipient Accepted Her Prize Wearing A Gown Covered In Neurons That She Discovered

by Victoria McNally
Russian Sledges


Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 5.09.07 PM

As much as we don’t want the fashion choices of the world’s incredibly influential and important scientists to necessarily overshadow their scientific achievements—seriously, despite what you might think, we promise we don’t—you’ve got to admit that wearing a dress decked out in sequined examples of the very neurons you helped to discover is ridiculously awesome. It’s like May-Britt Moser is a real-life Ms. Frizzle, except she uses her time and talent to help everyone, rather than send a bunch of ungrateful kids on impossible field trips.

I kid, of course: Ms. Frizzle is a saint. But she’s also fictional, so let’s ignore her for now in favor of a real life woman who kicked so much science ass that she won a Nobel for it. Founder of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and Centre for the Biology of Memory at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), May-Britt Moser is a pioneer in researching the spatial reasoning powers of the human brain, particularly related to memory; it’s her work in identifying the grid cells that make up the brain’s positioning system that won her the 2014 prize for Physiology and Medicine, along with her husband Edward Moser and their colleague John O’Keefe.  

Also, they look kind of like this (the neurons, not the Mosers):

 the red dots indicate each neuron's firing field, and the equal distance at which they're all spaced from one another creates a triangular tessellation.

The red dots indicate each neuron’s firing field, and the equal distance at which they’re all spaced from one another creates a triangular tessellation. (via Wikimedia Commons)

It’s these recently discovered neurons that inspired Matthew Hubble, a London designer who specializes in science-inspired clothing for women, to create an outfit for Moser to wear to the award ceremony last week in Oslo. Well, that and he thinks that scientists should be as celebrated as movie stars are, so why shouldn’t they have designers fawning all over them when they attend formal events? Can’t argue with that logic, if you ask me.

Anyway, by turning the above tessellation into a gridlike dress pattern adorned with silver sequins, he manage to take Moser’s amazing work on grid cells and give it the stunning visual interpretation that it deserves—and one that also fit the Nobel Prize’s dress code for women, which requires attendees to wear evening gown.

Here’s Moser modeling the end result:


“The neurons has to be an accurate representation,” Hubble noted on his website, where he outlined the dress-making process that he and his business partner Maria went through. “We used a mixture of sequins and beads for the cyton, and created the beautiful synapses similarly, but the myelin sheath on the axons we just couldn’t make look beautiful and so decided a splash of artistic license is allowed after all.” Just don’t tell your myelin sheaths that, I expect. No sense in making them feel bad.

“A good designer has a lot in common with a good researcher,” he also told the Scientific American blog. “Both hunt for excellence and perfection. And you have to really focus on the details, and you don’t really know what the final result will be before you have it.”

Hubble also has an entire collection of science-themed couture available on his site, including a set of scarves also adorned with the same grid cell pattern on Moser’s dress. They’re a bit expensive, so if you want one without breaking the bank, guess you’ll have to go into a field of important scientific study and win a prestigious award that will inspire someone to make you some clothing. Such a terrible burden, that.

To learn more about May-Bitt Moser’s amazing work, you can read her bio and check out some of  her many published scientific papers at the NTNU website.

(via Startorialist, image via Geir Mogen [photographer] and NTNU)

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

19 Dec 16:59

David Tennant Dropped A Doctor Who Easter Egg In Gracepoint That Will Make You Cry - It's raining on my face oh gosh

by Sam Maggs

[Right way up now!] Genuine #Gracepoint props from David Tennant’s desk: phone messages for Detective Carver.

— Chris Chibnall (@ChrisChibnall) November 13, 2014

Gracepoint creator (and Who writer) Chris Chibnall tweeted a photo of star David Tennant’s original props from set – and we weren’t prepared for the feels involved.

Apparently, over the course of the show, Tennant scribbled his own phone messages whenever his character, Carver, would receive a “call.” Keeping in mind that Tennant is the ultimate Doctor Who fanboy, the messages read as follows:

From: Martha Jones
Message: Has information about Sally Sparrow

From: D. Noble
Message: Information regarding the library

From: R. Tyler
Message: Something regarding a wolf?




[Update: The intrepid Susan Hewitt of David Tennant News let me know that David didn't physically write the memos himself, but rather took the photo! Thanks, Susan!]

(via Tumblr)

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

19 Dec 13:00

Startups fighting over the word 'zen’

by By Kristen V. Brown
Russian Sledges

“It’s just a beautiful, small word,” said David Placek, founder of the naming company Lexicon Branding. “It has great structure, it’s easy to pronounce and it easily communicates a great metaphor, especially when you’re talking about companies that do things like payroll or accounting.”

The 7-year-old San Francisco company has filed nearly three dozen proceedings with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to block other tech companies from using the word “zen.” The tech world is known for its bizarre naming trends — as affordable URLs and untrademarked names have dwindled in supply, dropped vowels (Tumblr), odd suffixes (Storify) and bizarre compound words (Pinterest) have proliferated. “It’s just a beautiful, small word,” said David Placek, founder of the naming company Lexicon Branding. Joshua Reeves, the CEO of ZenPayroll, said that the company was looking for a name that communicated the company’s goals of making payroll a simple, “peaceful” process for small businesses, rather than the headache it more often is. “Our philosophy was to be elegant and bring peace of mind to customer support in an enlightened way,” he wrote. Longtime NBA coach and executive Phil Jackson is often referred to by his nickname, the “Zen Master.” Nancy Friedman, a branding consultant who chronicles zen company names on Pinterest, pointed out that business jargon is filled with religious language, like the word “brand evangelist.” There are presently 724 live trademarks containing the word “zen” registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. For Zendesk, ideas associated with zen are now deeply ingrained in the company’s culture and branding. The company mascot is a laughing Buddha, dubbed “The Mentor,” who wears a telephone headset. In its old Market Street headquarters, Asian-inspired green lotus leaves hung over employees’ desks. Zendesk claims that it only seeks to obstruct other companies from adding zen to their name when it could “create a genuine likelihood of confusion with our well-known brand.” Mark Lemley, a trademark expert at Stanford Law School, said that as a business-to-business company, Zendesk could have a hard time proving its customers might genuinely accidentally purchase ZenPayroll’s software for payroll instead of its own customer service software. In some cases, the companies Zendesk has sought to block have just given up, like the startup Zenbillings, which renamed itself Simplero because it lacked funding to pay trademark attorneys to plead its case.
19 Dec 03:05

Instagram makes teens and celebrities angry by killing millions of spambots

by Rich McCormick
Russian Sledges

via firehose

A crackdown on spam Instagram accounts has triggered a cataclysm in the world of low-grade social media celebrities. The event began today as the photo-sharing service made good on its promise to start deleting millions of fake accounts. The "Instagram Rapture," as it's come to be hashtagged, has seen the follower counts of apparently popular Instagrammers ravaged. Jenni Farley, maybe better known as Jersey Shore's JWoww, saw her followers drop from 2.6 million to 115,000, while rapper Ma$e committed Instagram's version of seppuku, deleting his account after freefalling from 1.6 million followers to around 100,000.

Some users have revelled in the spam massacre, suggesting that those who have seen the biggest drops are guilty of having purchased fake followers to boost their numbers, while others have railed against the crackdown, begging Instagram to bring the spam accounts back to reinflate their follower counts. Instagram told Business Insider that the users it was removing were either already deactivated spam accounts, or violated the service's guidelines.



Web developer Zach Allia has collated the figures into a handy graph, showing the number of followers Instagram's top 100 accounts lost in a single day. Major celebrities like Beyoncé had their follower counts dented in the cull — poor Justin Bieber's figure dropped by 3,538,228 — but the process hit some less well-known names harder. "Smack That" singer Akon shed some 56 percent of his followers in the space of a few hours, while Allia's figures show a user named chiragchirag78 who plumetted from more than 3 million followers to exactly eight. Chiragchirag78's Instagram account no longer exists.

Ironically, it was Instagram itself that lost the most followers in the "Rapture." The photo service, owned by Facebook, has lost almost a third of its followers, dropping 18 million users in a single day. The vast majority of the missing likely never existed, but given how vociferously users are venting their annoyance at losing their imaginary fans, it's safe to bet that real people are behind a good proportion of the unfollows

19 Dec 17:45

Massachusetts Town to Punish Residents for Snowy Sidewalks Using Actual Scarlet Letters - So a literal slippery slope.

by Carolyn Cox
Russian Sledges

via firehose

ultimate #villeashell


The small town of Somerville, Massachusetts is deeply concerned about the safety hazard posed by unshoveled sidewalks. So concerned, in fact, that city officials are unironically reverting back to some tried-and-true methods of public shaming! According to the Somerville Journal,

With the changes, property owners or tenants have until 10 a.m. to clear snow and ice from the sidewalk in front of their home if the snow stops before sunrise – or 10 p.m. if the snow stops before sunset. Another change will double fines for the first offense from $25 to $50 for owners of single, two, or three-family homes. Fines for second offenses are being raised from $50 to $100 and third offense fines are increasing from $100 to $200.

[Mary Jo Rossetti] said at the meeting inspectional services will put “large, strikingly colored door markers on the properties of offenders,” she said. “[The markers] will not only bring attention to the property owner but will make the neighbors aware of the citation that are being serviced to such properties.”

Alderman At Large Jack Connolly told the Journal Friday marking the doors is “The Scarlet Letter approach to let people know the property has been tagged.”

The city promises it will hire teens to help shovel the properties of residents with mobility issues (see, high schoolers! That mad boring book you’re probably suffering through in English right now is still sorta relevant!).

Should the “Scarlet Letter” approach fail to deliver optimate ostracization, perhaps residents should be encouraged to report offenders? I saw Goody Osburn failing in her civic duty*!

*With the devil.

(Via Uproxx)

Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

19 Dec 18:05

Why Stephen Colbert Closed His Final Show With "Holland, 1945"

by Jay Hathaway
Russian Sledges

wasn't expecting that

Why Stephen Colbert Closed His Final Show With "Holland, 1945"

After the star-studded "We'll Meet Again" singalong and the sleigh ride into eternity with Santa, the Colbert Report rolled credits for the final time with Neutral Milk Hotel's "Holland, 1945" playing in the background. It may have seemed a strange choice, but it's one with personal significance to Stephen Colbert.


19 Dec 15:14

Viking women were most certainly not stay-at-home moms

by The Conversation
Russian Sledges

via firehose

The traditional picture of Vikings is one of boatloads of hairy men pillaging their way along the coasts of Europe. Though true to some degree, this stereotype has more recently been tempered with the appreciation of Vikings as explorers and settlers, founding colonies from the Black Sea to Canada.

Left out of this picture are Viking women, but with the results of state-of-the-art DNA sequencing techniques, geneticists from Norway and Sweden have provided a picture of the Viking world that reveals women traveled to settle in far-off places. This appears to be true of born-and-bred Norsewomen as well as those from the lands where vikings traveled.

Handed down the maternal line

The study, published by the Royal Society, sequenced DNA from 45 Viking-age skeletons. This was mitochondrial or mtDNA which, unlike most DNA, is passed down from mother to child with no input from the father. Unless there's a mutation, children have identical mtDNA to their mothers, their mother’s mothers, and so on. If you go back far enough, every person who has ever lived falls somewhere on a single, branching, maternal family tree.

Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

19 Dec 12:57

Duet turned my old iPad into a fast MacBook display

by Thomas Ricker
Russian Sledges

via firehose


I just spent $10 on Duet Display to turn my aging iPad into a secondary MacBook display. That’s about 5 times more than I’d normally consider prudent for an app, but it was worth every penny.

I’ve been a daily ipad-as-secondary-display user for years. My goto app had always been Air Display (and then Air Display 2). That just changed. For the same price as Air Display 2 I’m able to ditch the unstable Wi-Fi connection typical to these remote display apps and extend my workspace over an old 30-pin USB cable. That's given new life to my three-year-old MacBook Air and three-year-old iPad 2. No stutters, no lag, and it's surprisingly robust enough to support video playback. Duet says its app was developed by a team of ex-Apple engineers and it definitely seems to benefit from this expertise.

After getting past the price, setting up Duet was painless. I was up and running in 5 minutes after first downloading the app from the iOS App Store and then installing the free companion app on my MacBook Air (and rebooting). Duet found the iPad just as soon as I connected the USB cable. The company claims it can deliver a retina display at 60 frames per second with no lag. That might be true, but I’m running in energy saving mode at 30FPS and I’m still able to watch Kim Jong-un’s head explode with glorious fluidity while working from this cafe. Sure, my setup is nerdy as hell but any embarrassment is offset by my increased productivity, so the choice is a real no-brainer.

19 Nov 05:20

via kremlint: i got the russian spacecraft simulator...

Russian Sledges

via firehose via Dmitry Krasnoukhov

via kremlint:

i got the russian spacecraft simulator working

More information

"Spacecrafts use software to provide an interface to the astronauts. There’s a training version of this very software which simulates a flight. It’s what you see in the OP pic. It looks like some 1337 haX0r software since it’s been develeoped in the 60ies until at least 2002."

18 Dec 21:41

Library of Congress Will Preserve The Big Lebowski as a Historical Piece of American Culture

by Adam Epstein, Quartz
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

The National Film Preservation Board selected the Coen brothers’ film for preservation.
18 Dec 20:59

Video Scar: Did someone really steal Hallelujah The Hills’ Boston Music Award?

by Michael Marotta

Just when the controversy surrounding the 2014 Boston Music Awards has died down to an annoying whisper, a new one has sprouted up: it looks…

The post Video Scar: Did someone really steal Hallelujah The Hills’ Boston Music Award? appeared first on Vanyaland.

16 Dec 21:13

usfspecialcollections: How’s this for holiday cheer? A secret...


How’s this for holiday cheer? A secret society featuring duels by members wearing tiger costumes.

Montgomery, Richard R. (1907) The seven tigers of the mountains, or, All for love and glory. New York: Frank Tousey.

From the Dime Novel Collection, University of South Florida.

11 Dec 15:01

Fore-edge paintingof Werdenberg, Switzerland from: Tschudi,...

Russian Sledges

I bought a whole book about fore-edge decoration

Fore-edge paintingof Werdenberg, Switzerland from: Tschudi, Friedrich von, 1820-1886.
Le monde des Alpes, ou Description pittoresque des montagnes de la Suisse, 1871.

WKR 9.3.17

Houghton Library, Harvard University

18 Dec 04:00


Russian Sledges

via rosalind

12 Dec 14:00

Symphysiotomy – Ireland’s brutal alternative to caesareans

by Homa Khaleeli
Russian Sledges

holy fuck this is terrible

Symphysiotomy is a controversial procedure that has left many Irish mothers with catastrophic long-term health problems. A compensation scheme has now begun, but questions remain over why the operation was used, and where the blame lies

When Mary discovered she was pregnant, she was more than delighted: she was relieved. It was 1981 and although she was just 23 years old, she had wanted a family since she had married three years earlier.

“Expecting our first child was the best thing ever,” Mary (not her real name) tells me from her home in Ireland, her voice softening at the memory. “It was what I had always dreamed of.” Her friends and her three sisters, already mothers themselves, reassured her giving birth was just “aches and pains”, she says. But for Mary – now a lively, funny healthcare worker – it was the beginning of a devastating experience that still affects her 30 years later. And the problems weren’t the natural complications that can trouble any pregnancy. They were the result of a doctor’s intervention.

Continue reading...
17 Dec 03:30

Springfield City Councilor Bud Williams clarifies his 'Jesus is the reason for the season' remark at menorah-lighting ceremony

by Conor Berry |
Russian Sledges

"I thought it added something to the service, it didn't take away," Williams said Tuesday night.

The city councilor said he referenced Jesus Christ, whose birth is celebrated every Dec. 25 by Christians worldwide but not by Jews, after participants in the ceremony mentioned "the bright light" of 2,000 years ago – an allusion to Christ, according to Williams.

"They said it," Williams said.

"I thought I was being very positive," said Williams, clarifying his "Jesus is the reason for the season" remark at a Hanukkah event in downtown Springfield.
18 Dec 01:04


17 Dec 23:10

studiosaraeileen: Paolo Sebastian, F/W 2015 Get on me, blue...

Russian Sledges

via willowbl00


Paolo Sebastian, F/W 2015

Get on me, blue things.

17 Dec 21:35

Benedict Cumberbatch

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges

a friend's new ringtone

A 3-year-old likes the sound of someone's name
17 Dec 21:28

Cuban Rum Is Now Slightly More Within Americans' Reach

by Erin DeJesus

As the U.S. resumes diplomatic relations with Cuba, travelers can bring back $100 worth of booze.

Today, the Obama administration announced a historic new agreement with the Cuban government, easing travel and banking restrictions that had been in place since 1961. And in good news for booze fans, this means more Cuban rum might be hitting American shores — sort of. The Wall Street Journal reports the new diplomatic regulation will allow American travelers to bring up to $400 worth of Cuban goods back to the U.S., including cigars and rum, although only $100 of the allotment can be used on booze or tobacco.

Cuba's famous Havana Club-brand rum has already had a fraught history in the United States, with mega-distillery Bacardi fighting for the right to sell its own version of the Havana Club recipe in the U.S. (According to Bacardi, its own assets in Cuba were confiscated by the government in the 1960s.)  But don't expect to see Cuban bottles hitting the back bar at your favorite watering hole. Not just anyone can take a trip to Cuba: Tourism is still restricted to those with family members living in Cuba or those with work-related projects in the country. And as the Washington Post points out, cigars and alcohol privately brought back to the United States will not legally be available for resale.

17 Dec 07:24

How we restored Harvard’s Rothko murals – without touching them

by Rachael Perkins Arenstein

Senior conservation scientist Narayan Khandekar demonstrates how a perfectly aligned compensation image is projected onto Rothko’s faded murals to restore them to their original colors. Artwork: © 2014 Kate Rothko Prizel and Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Peter Vanderwarker, © President and Fellows of Harvard College

This headline certainly grabbed my attention.  Read the account of Narayan Khandekar, Senior Conservation Scientist at Harvard University, who worked on the restoration of Harvard’s Rothko murals using lighting to recreate the original appearance.  His description of the project in The Conversation, December 16, 2014  seems like it could be part of a future wave of non-invasive “treatment”.   But does it count as treatment?

17 Dec 07:32

iwriteaboutfeminism: (photos and article by Mariah Stewart) Two...

Russian Sledges

via Rosalind


(photos and article by Mariah Stewart)

Two Prominent Ferguson Protesters Get Engaged

“You are looking at two people that stood shoulder to shoulder, faced rubber bullets, tear gas and discrimination. … To be a black woman in America is an unfathomably deep struggle to go through day in and day out. And being a lesbian black woman in America — you just see how each level compounds,” Spann said. “These two women represent the idea of freedom. They represent the idea of love and that black lives matter and have power and passion. It comes full circle; it’s like watching poetry write itself.”


16 Dec 17:01

thisishellhere: mydrunkkitchen sooo true 😂

Russian Sledges

via rosalind

attn otters: rose of versailles fan art


mydrunkkitchen sooo true 😂

16 Dec 20:00

Pizza Hut done it again. “Maria sama ga miteru” pizza box review. - GIGAZINE

by villeashell
Russian Sledges

via otters: homoromantic pizza

16 Dec 20:08

Hell Yeah We Fuck Die: The Most Used Words In Pop Song Titles By Decade

by Rhett Jones
Russian Sledges

via bernot

Hell Yeah We Fuck Die: The Most Used Words In Pop Song Titles By Decade

The decline of western civilization continues! Some intrepid data-crunchers over at Proofreader went through the pop charts from Billboard, going all the way back to the 1890s to determine the most common words in song titles by their uniqueness to the decade. For example, no one in the 1920s said disco, because disco has always been dead. Just kidding, no one knew what the hell disco was. Narrowing it down to a top five for each decade, the results might surprise you.

In the Leave It To Beaver era of the 1950s, people liked Christmas. The actual words “Christmas” and “Rednosed” make it into the top five. Timewarp all the way to the 2010s and things aren’t so sugar-and-spice-with-everything-nice. HELL YEAH WE FUCK DIE. Those are our words. Seriously. That really could be the rallying cry of our generation.

Other random thoughts from the results:

“Uncle” was a really popular word for two decades. What’s up with that?

In the 2010s we may want to Hell Yeah Fuck Die, but “we” makes its first appearance after two decades of “U” and “You.” Does that mean we are coming together? Or are just inserting ourselves into the equation more often?

Genres of music pop up in titles often throughout the decades: Rock, Polka, Disco, Mambo, Rag all show up. But for the last 30 years, genres have been absent. We have to start using music genres as verbs; it’s the only solution. I think Trap music lends itself most readily. We need Nicki Minaj to make song called Trapped In The Club.

If you like nerdy data you can see how it was processed here.


(Photo: Proofreader)


The post Hell Yeah We Fuck Die: The Most Used Words In Pop Song Titles By Decade appeared first on ANIMAL.

14 Dec 16:06

Oh My God, There's A Cat In Russia That Wears A Bow Tie And Works As A Librarian

by russiansledges
Russian Sledges


15 Dec 21:14

Edward Green Galway, Chestnut Utah

by Leffot
Russian Sledges

via multitask suicide

The Galway is a most classic English Country Boot, yet quite urbane by today’s standards. This pair is made in Edward Green’s new Utah leather, which is a printed version of their supple Delapre, and has Dainite soles and a smart tapered round toe.

These boots glide easily between dress and casual occasions. Wear them with a suit when the morning weather is sub-par or on a snowy Saturday stroll. Boots don’t have to be rugged to get the job done, but they do need to be well made, and Edward Green makes them as good as they get.

82 Last, Chestnut Utah, Dainite Soles

Edward Green Galway, Chestnut Utah Edward Green Galway, Chestnut Utah Edward Green Galway, Chestnut Utah Edward Green Galway, Chestnut Utah