Shared posts

06 Mar 19:41

Excellent, cheap monitor stand

by Mark Frauenfelder

The AmazonBasics Metal Monitor Stand ($15) was just what I needed to give my monitor a 4.25 inch boost. My laptop fits under the monitor, too, freeing up desk space.

06 Mar 19:39

Here's how Texas' bathroom bill could impact Houston's tourism industry

by Joe Martin
The proposed "bathroom bill" is currently the cause of heated debate in Austin, but local leaders say Senate Bill 6 could play a role in Houston's ability to draw in new conventions and trade shows. SB-6 is a bill requiring transgender people to use public restrooms according to their biological sex. Proposed by four Texas Republicans, the bathroom bill has been a legislative priority for Lt. Governor Dan Patrick despite state and local business groups arguing the bill could have an adverse impact…
06 Mar 19:38

Where Disaster Strikes

by Jonathan Crowe

Where Disaster Strikes: Modern Space and the Visualization of Destruction, an exhibition of disaster maps, is taking place now until 19 April at Harvard’s Pusey Library.

Floods, fires, earthquakes, volcanoes, bombings, droughts, and even alien invasions: disaster can take many forms. And, although disasters are always felt dramatically, a disaster’s form and location impacts who records its effects and what forms those records take. “Where Disaster Strikes” investigates the intertwined categories of modern space and disaster through the Harvard Map Collection’s maps of large destructive events from the London Fire to the present.

Open to the public. The exhibition also has a substantial online presence.

06 Mar 19:38

Cartographers’ Stories

by Jonathan Crowe

Daniel Huffman and John Nelson have launched A Cartographer’s Story, a website that collects personal essays from mapmakers.

While our community has a rich culture of sharing project walkthroughs and clever tricks, our colleagues also need to hear about the personal and emotional relationships we have with our maps. We invest ourselves in creating works that are meant to stir the hearts and imaginations of others—and in return our works invest in us. What are your stories? How has mapping moved you or changed you? Did it encourage you through a tough time? Teach you something about yourself? Represent a significant relationship in your life?

Seven stories posted so far; they’re looking for more.

06 Mar 19:38

John Blake’s Sea Chart Books

by Jonathan Crowe

Two books by John Blake on nautical maps that had heretofore escaped my attention: The Sea Chart, the second edition of which came out last May; and Sea Charts of the British Isles, a 2008 book that is getting a paperback edition in April. [WMS]

06 Mar 19:37

Powerful Video Shows Why Ghost In The Shell Whitewashing Has Real Consequences

by Beth Elderkin

It can be easy to dismiss issues of representation in the abstract. Casting Scarlett Johansson as the lead in Ghost In The Shell was portrayed as part of the business, and many who criticized it as whitewashing were told they were over-reacting. After all, “it’s just a movie.” But as one video shows, there’s nothing…

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06 Mar 19:26

You May Want to Marry My Husband

by S. Abbas Raza

Amy Krouse Rosenthal in the New York Times:

05LOVE-master768I have been trying to write this for a while, but the morphine and lack of juicy cheeseburgers (what has it been now, five weeks without real food?) have drained my energy and interfered with whatever prose prowess remains. Additionally, the intermittent micronaps that keep whisking me away midsentence are clearly not propelling my work forward as quickly as I would like. But they are, admittedly, a bit of trippy fun.

Still, I have to stick with it, because I’m facing a deadline, in this case, a pressing one. I need to say this (and say it right) while I have a) your attention, and b) a pulse.

I have been married to the most extraordinary man for 26 years. I was planning on at least another 26 together.

Want to hear a sick joke? A husband and wife walk into the emergency room in the late evening on Sept. 5, 2015. A few hours and tests later, the doctor clarifies that the unusual pain the wife is feeling on her right side isn’t the no-biggie appendicitis they suspected but rather ovarian cancer.

As the couple head home in the early morning of Sept. 6, somehow through the foggy shock of it all, they make the connection that today, the day they learned what had been festering, is also the day they would have officially kicked off their empty-nestering. The youngest of their three children had just left for college.

More here.

06 Mar 19:25

Things We Saw Today: The Metal-as-Hell Cellist Behind the Wonder Woman Theme

by Marykate Jasper

Tina-Guo-Wonder-Woman

Tina Guo, the classically trained musician who provided the badass cello riffs on Wonder Woman’s theme from Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, shared a video of her making the song even more metal. She told io9 that the video below is in preparation for her personal work, rather than a new song for Wonder Woman, but she is recording something for Wonder Woman. Either way, we can still enjoy (a) her talent (b) her use of the hashtag #PizzaPower.

  • Amy Jo Johnson, the original Pink Ranger, pranked the cast of the new Power Rangers movie by pretending to be a reporter at their press junket. (via Nerdist)
  • ScreenCrush shared an amazing look at all the visual effects work that went into Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Even though I wasn’t a fan of the movie overall, I still found the amount of work and artistry that goes into creating these scenes astounding. It’s worth checking out.
  • Remezcla and NPR’s Latino USA released a story about the fascinating, super-secret process of creating the Spanish-language dub of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The secrecy around the film was just absurd. As described by io9, translator Katya Ojeda “had to translate from a rotoscoped version of the film. The entire screen was in black, and when the actors talked, little ‘bubbles’ would open up so she could observe the lip movements.” (via io9)
  • Danny Rand will not wear a costume in the first season of Iron Fist, so fans of navel-deep plunging necklines will have to wait. (via CBR)
  • Disney has posted the first five minutes of their Disney Channel Original Movie, Tangled: Before Ever After. The movie is a sort of extended pilot for Tangled: The Series. (via /Film)

(image via screengrab from Guo’s video)

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06 Mar 19:23

The Man Who Made Apple Famous On The Danger Of Frothy Startup Narratives

by Rick Tetzeli

Regis McKenna, Silicon Valley's cultural shaman, explains why many startups (*cough* Uber) find it hard to live up to their brand stories.

Regis McKenna, Silicon Valley's cultural shaman, explains why many startups (*cough* Uber) find it hard to live up to their brand stories.

Regis McKenna is Silicon Valley's original storyteller, the closest thing it has ever had to a shaman-in-residence. McKenna, 77, had a notable hand in shaping the strategy and marketing of some of tech's biggest companies, including National Semiconductor, Intel, Genentech, Electronic Arts, and perhaps most notably, Apple. All are companies that started small, grew big, and had to wrestle painfully with their own identity along the way. McKenna consults occasionally, often for startups, and knows every step of the Silicon Valley corporate assembly line, from university innovation competitions to the corner office of tech behemoths. He recently spoke with editor-at-large Rick Tetzeli about corporate narratives in Silicon Valley:

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06 Mar 18:48

Doctor Who Is Bringing Back the Original, Hellishly Creepy Cybermen From the '60s

by James Whitbrook

Sure, the Cybermen have been “back” in the revived era of Doctor Who for a while. Hell, they’ve even been turned into Iron Man, basically. But these Cybermen never were actually the original monsters from the classic series—they were parallel world knockoffs. And now, the grandaddies of all Cybermen are finally back.

Read more...

03 Mar 19:53

William Dalrymple: Indian history is much like the Game Of Thrones

by S. Abbas Raza

Debarati S. Seni in the Times of India:

ScreenHunter_2615 Mar. 03 15.30Thirty-three years ago, on a cold winter night in Delhi, when everyone was swathed up in their blankets, braving the chill, 18-year-old William Dalrymple, landed in India. He wasn't interested in this country back then, but over the years that changed and how — thanks to his many books about the rich Indian history. If you are someone who finds history boring, then you are among those who haven't read Dalrymple. The prominent historian, author, broadcaster and critic, has many awards to his credit, has an innate knack with words, as he showcases bygone, ancient tales to you in a fascinating way.In an exclusive chat with Bombay Times, William tells us about how enthralling history really is with sagas of loot, murder, torture, violence, deceit and colonial greed and more...

Do you think non-fiction has finally found its feet in India?

India has seen an enormous growth in non-fiction. They are actually selling more than fiction now, which was impossible to imagine a decade ago. There are amazing non-fiction writers in India — Suketu Mehta, his book on Mumbai, I think is a masterpiece of my generation of writers. At a recent literature festival, I must have had around 250 writers and at least 50 Indian non-fiction writers.
I agree that narrative history is only beginning to find its feet now with works of people like Ram Guha and Sunil Khilnani. And up to now, since the 50s, the history of India has been preserved in academic writings in prose, more about social economic history, peasant history and worker history, than readable tales of romping Mughals.

More here.

21 Feb 18:09

Mapping the Past

by Jonathan Crowe

Another book I missed at the time of its publication: Charles Drazen’s Mapping the Past: A Search for Five Brothers at the Edge of Empire (William Henemann, August 2016). It’s a family history: Drazin’s grandfather and brothers were military surveyors from rural Ireland “who travelled around the world as officers in the Royal Engineer Corps—surveying, exploring, mapmaking, fighting— in the twilight years of the British Empire.” [WMS]

21 Feb 18:09

xkcd’s Time Zone Map

by Jonathan Crowe
Randall Munroe, “Bad Map Projection: Time Zones,” 15 February 2017. xkcd.

Randall Munroe is a bad man who is back with another bad map projection to make our eyes bleed. (If he does this often enough he’ll have enough for a book. Heaven forfend.) This one is, like his other maps, fiendishly subtle: it stretches and compresses countries to fit where their time zones ought to be, longitudinally speaking.

21 Feb 18:06

Open Letter to Governor Hickenlooper

by Alex

I sent this to the governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper today, after seeing the AP story about a Trump administration draft memo regarding mobilization of the National Guard to be used to round up undocumented immigrants. Yes, I am aware that we’re talking a draft, but I find it seriously horrifying that this is even being talked about as an option, however off-handedly or unseriously. This is not a thing you fucking joke about.

Anyway, that prompted me to write and send the following message today. I’m sharing it in the hope that others will feel encouraged to send similar messages.

#

Dear Governor Hickenlooper:

Per the Associated Press today, a draft memo from the Trump Administration showed they’re thinking about using the National Guard to round up undocumented immigrants. Considering the absolutely tragic and shameful history of our own state when it comes to the National Guard being mobilized against our citizens and residents (i.e.: the Ludlow Massacre), this calls on us all to speak firmly against this notion before it can gather steam.

Beyond that, undocumented immigrants are a vital part of Colorado society. It would be far better if they could have a path to legal citizenship or permanent residency, but lack of national will does not change the enormous contributions they make to Colorado daily. We should be respecting and protecting all of our residents, whether they have papers or not.

I urge you to speak out in strong support of undocumented Coloradans, and do everything in your power to keep their families from being torn apart by these unfair and racist policies we keep seeing from Washington DC. Make us a sanctuary state; while I know we can’t stop ICE, we can refuse to aide and abet the destruction of families and the victimization of innocent people who are integral to the fabric of Colorado.

With a lack of national will, it falls to us to step up and show our strength of spirit and compassion. I know Colorado is better than what our national government is currently trying to become.

Thank you.

21 Feb 18:03

A.V. Club Live: What is the worst movie the Mystery Science Theater guys have ever seen?

by Erik Adams

The answer may surprise you—and give new meaning to the phrase “Sophie’s choice.”

Watch the full interview here.

21 Feb 18:03

Houston Jewish Community Center Among 11 to Receive Bomb Threats Across Country (UPDATED)

A Houston Jewish community center became the latest target of slew of coordinated bomb threats across the country, which have come in waves on a regular basis since January. Around 10 a.m. Monday, the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center received an anonymous call from a person threatening to blow up...
21 Feb 18:03

University Offers Course To Help Sniff Out and Refute 'Bullshit'

by msmash
An anonymous reader shares an Engadget report: There's now a course at the University of Washington, "Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data" that helps you find bad information and show others why it's bad. The instructors, Professors Jevin D. West and Carl T. Bergstrom, jokingly write that "we will be astonished if these skills do not turn out to be among the most useful ... that you acquire during the course of your college education." They add that the intention is not to be political, as "both sides of the aisle have proven themselves facile at creating and spreading bullshit." The intention, then, is to arm students (and the public if they want) with the tools to combat a scourge of misinformation that's aided and abetted by social media.

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09 Feb 21:47

10 Samurai Jack Episodes You Need to Rewatch During Its Massive Online Marathon

by James Whitbrook

Excellent news: Samurai Jack is back next month! Even excellenter news: To celebrate, Adult Swim is streaming all 52 episodes of the show on loop, available for free online with no ads, right goddamn now. You should watch all of it, of course, but here are 10 episodes you just can’t miss before the new season returns…

Read more...

09 Feb 21:46

"Objects in mirror are on the dark side" Star Wars sideview stickers

by Jason Weisberger

My Lyft driver had these on his Toyota Camry today. I laughed.

Objects in Mirror Are on the Dark Side - Decals Stickers via Amazon

08 Feb 18:51

Tech Still Doesn’t Get Diversity. Here’s How to Fix It

by Michael Connor
Tech Still Doesn’t Get Diversity. Here’s How to Fix It
Opinion: By failing to hire more women and people of color, tech companies do themselves---and their shareholders---a disservice. The post Tech Still Doesn’t Get Diversity. Here’s How to Fix It appeared first on WIRED.
08 Feb 18:42

Introduction to Political Philosophy: A Free Yale Course

by Dan Colman

Democracy is not a given. The Greeks experimented with it. Then it faded into oblivion, only to return many centuries later. Nowadays, democracy structures much of our modern world. But could it do a disappearing act again? If there’s enough complaceny and duplicity, you can’t rule it out.

All of this is to say, it’s a good time to think about democracy and its alternatives. And to do that, you can spend time with Yale University’s free course, Introduction to Political Philosophy. Taught by professor Steven B. Smith, the course covers the following ground:

This course is intended as an introduction to political philosophy as seen through an examination of some of the major texts and thinkers of the Western political tradition. Three broad themes that are central to understanding political life are focused upon: the polis experience (Plato, Aristotle), the sovereign state (Machiavelli, Hobbes), constitutional government (Locke), and democracy (Rousseau, Tocqueville). The way in which different political philosophies have given expression to various forms of political institutions and our ways of life are examined throughout the course.

You can watch the 24 lectures from the course above, or find them on YouTube and iTunes. To get more information on the course, including the syllabus, visit this Yale website.

The main texts used in this course include the following. You can find them in our collection of Free eBooks, or purchase copies online.

Introduction to Political Philosophy will be added to our collection, 1200 Free Online Courses from Top Universities. There you can find a specialized list of Free Online Philosophy Courses.

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07 Feb 23:46

Myst's Robyn Miller talks about his favorite music-making tools

by Mark Frauenfelder

My guest on the Cool Tools Show week is Robyn Miller. Robyn co-founded Cyan Worlds in the late 1980s, where he designed and directed the landmark video games Myst and its sequel Riven. In 2010, he co-founded Zoo Break Gun Club LLC, with producer/filmmaker Mischa Jakupcak. ZBGC has produced several films and has projects in development for film, television and virtual reality. (more…)

07 Feb 19:29

Why Setting Goals Can Actually Make You Less Successful

by Stephanie Vozza

Sometimes goal setting can lead to a narrow focus that may lead you to limit yourself and miss opportunities. Just ask cab drivers.

Sometimes goal setting can lead to a narrow focus that may lead you to limit yourself and miss opportunities. Just ask cab drivers.

It may seem that planning out your goals in weekly, monthly, and yearly increments would be a blueprint for success. But could a more haphazard approach actually be better?

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07 Feb 19:21

Anti-Defamation League Reports Striking Uptick in "Hate-Related Incidents" in Houston

Swastikas spray-painted on fences and signs in Sienna Plantation. Students saluting Adolf Hitler during Cypress-Ranch High School's senior class picture day. Racist and anti-Semitic  fliers distributed at universities and in neighborhoods across Harris, Fort Bend and Montgomery counties. All of that happened in just one week, leading the Anti-Defamation League's...
07 Feb 18:49

I Am Not Your Negro Clip Destroys the “I Have a Black Friend Therefore Am Not Racist” Myth

by Keisha Hatchett

After watching Ava DuVernay’s 13th, a deep dive into America’s broken prison system and how it’s a new form of slavery, you should definitely check out the documentary I Am Not Your Negro. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson, the film is based on activist James Baldwin’s unfinished book Remember This House, and it explores racism in America through his recollection of civil rights leaders Malcolm X, Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The clip above, titled “Segregation,” perfectly explains how a white person who has black friends or is really nice to their black maid doesn’t automatically mean they’re not racist. As he recalls in the video, his friends would invite him other to their house but never came to his. They were segregated not just in school, but in life because that white friend doesn’t know his experience outside of their limited interactions. “I’m sure they have nothing against Negroes [but] that’s really not the question,” Baldwin says. “The question is really a kind of apathy and ignorance.”

Basically, just because one isn’t burning crosses on their black friend’s lawn doesn’t mean they can’t be racist. For those with a black friend who refuse to visit that person’s neighborhood or are uninterested in hearing about their experiences, the question to ask yourself is why.

(image via screencap)

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03 Feb 18:21

'To Live Your Best Life, Do Mathematics'

by msmash
Excerpts from an article on Quanta Magazine, rearranged for clarity and space: Math conferences don't usually feature standing ovations, but Francis Su received one last month in Atlanta. In his talk he framed mathematics as a pursuit uniquely suited to the achievement of human flourishing, a concept the ancient Greeks called eudaimonia, or a life composed of all the highest goods. Su talked of five basic human desires that are met through the pursuit of mathematics: play, beauty, truth, justice and love. Su opened his talk with the story of Christopher, an inmate serving a long sentence for armed robbery who had begun to teach himself math from textbooks he had ordered. After seven years in prison, during which he studied algebra, trigonometry, geometry and calculus, he wrote to Su asking for advice on how to continue his work. After Su told this story, he asked the packed ballroom at the Marriott Marquis, his voice breaking: "When you think of who does mathematics, do you think of Christopher?" If mathematics is a medium for human flourishing, it stands to reason that everyone should have a chance to participate in it. But in his talk Su identified what he views as structural barriers in the mathematical community that dictate who gets the opportunity to succeed in the field -- from the requirements attached to graduate school admissions to implicit assumptions about who looks the part of a budding mathematician. When Su finished his talk, the audience rose to its feet and applauded, and many of his fellow mathematicians came up to him afterward to say he had made them cry. [...] Mathematics builds skills that allow people to do things they might otherwise not have been able to do or experience. If I learn mathematics and I become a better thinker, I develop perseverance, because I know what it's like to wrestle with a hard problem, and I develop hopefulness that I will actually solve these problems. And some people experience a kind of transcendent wonder that they're seeing something true about the universe. That's a source of joy and flourishing.

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03 Feb 16:40

William Smith’s Geological Maps Online

by Jonathan Crowe

Screenshot

William Smith’s 19th-century geological maps of Britain are now available online via an interactive map interface. [Maps Mania]

03 Feb 16:39

List: Trump Cocktails for Every Occasion

The Harvey Wallbuilder

Vodka, orange juice, and Galliano L’Autentico, garnished with an IOU from Mexico.

Twittertini

140 ounces of all caps, exclamation points, and petty complaints. Best served at 3 AM with typos.

A Shot of Bannon

Mix pure evil, bad skin, rheumy eyes, and domestic abuse with white nationalism and fascism. Stir until you develop Cirrhosis of the Soul.

Muslims Go! Mojito

Create the most delicious, welcoming drink 200 years ago. Then decide in 2017 that it’s for Christians only. Sorry!

Gin and Panic

Gin consumed directly from bottle while sitting in a dark closet reading news alerts on iPhone.

Bloody Mary Bleeding Out of Her Wherever

Tomato juice and vodka, served with a jumbo tampon that was not procured at a local Planned Parenthood office.

Omarosa Mimosa

Bitter orange juice mixed with the only black liqueur the orange juice has ever tolerated.

Grab the Pussy on the Beach

A short-fingered pour.

Pre-existing Condition on the Rocks

Crushed Tylenol dropped into a large glass of whiskey. This is also now your Primary Care physician.

Alternate Factarita

Lime juice, with enough tequila to make you forget that you lost the popular vote and then declared yourself Bartender of the World.

St. Petersburg Ice Tea

Send email to your mother on a private server asking for recipe. Answer will be sent to you from a “Mrs. Nice Lady American Person Who Is Not Spy.”

The Kellyanne Cosmo

Vodka, Triple Sec, and not even a splash of compassion or morality. Prepare while wearing a garish red, white, and blue Teddy Bear costume.

White Russian Election Rigger

Coffee-flavored liquor and ice. Sip while simultaneously giving Putin his massage and Assange his foot rub.

The Really Really Old Fashioned

Bourbon on the rocks. Add a splash of Jeff Sessions bitters, then enjoy while the women are in the kitchen barefoot and pregnant.

Hot Toddy Planet

Whisky, honey, and enough hot water to melt all the glaciers that aren’t really melting because climate change is a myth, you liberal moron.

Nuclear Sunrise

Tell dancing fool/Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to put tequila, OJ, and grenadine syrup in a blender, then accidentally push the red button for the nuclear arsenal instead of the mix button. You’ll never know what hit you!

03 Feb 16:38

How Madden Got So Silly Good at Predicting Super Bowl Winners

by Julie Muncy
How Madden Got So Silly Good at Predicting Super Bowl Winners
EA Sports' 'Madden' games have correctly predicted the Super Bowl's outcome nine out of 13 times. How? Data. The post How Madden Got So Silly Good at Predicting Super Bowl Winners appeared first on WIRED.
03 Feb 16:35

Newswire: Depeche Mode releases “Where’s The Revolution” from upcoming album Spirit

by David Anthony

In a lengthy Rolling Stone feature, Depeche Mode announced its new album Spirit, which is coming March 17, and released the record’s first single “Where’s The Revolution?” In the interview Depeche Mode vocalist David Gahan says Spirit isn’t expressly political, but that theme seems to appear time and again. “I don’t listen to music in a political way,” said Gahan, “But it’s definitely about humanity, and our place in that.” Those humanist and quasi-social themes are evident on “Where’s The Revolution?,” a song that Gahan claims was written by the band’s chief songwriter Martin Gore in “a very sarcastic, English way.” That can be seen in the song’s chorus which reads, well, a little odd. Gahan sings, “Where’s the revolution? / Come on people, you’re letting me down” at a time when people in America are regularly organizing and activating, but ...