follow us in feedly
Nearly 1000 Injured in Meteor Explosion over Russia
02.15.2013
06:43 am

Topics:
Current Events
Environment
Science/Tech

Tags:

image
 
Fragments from a meteor explosion over the Chelyabinsk region of Russia, approximately 920 miles to the east of Moscow, injured up to 500 1000 people, as windows were shattered, tiles fell, and the roof of factory collapsed.

The meteor has been estimated to have weighed around 10 tons and its explosion lit-up the sky with a massive flash of light, leaving an enormous plume of smoke.

According to the first news reports, Vadim Kolesnikov, a spokesperson for the Russian Interior Ministry, said 102 people had called emergency services for medical assistance following the incident—mostly for multiple injuries caused by broken glass and falling objects. This figure has now risen to over 520 1000, and includes dozens of children, and 2 that are currently in intensive care.

Footage of the explosion has been variously captured by cell phones, CCTV and on-board car cameras.

View a selection of photographs at the Guardian.
 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
What comes into YOUR mind when you hear the word ‘Republican’?

image
 
There is a long (10 pages) story that The New York Times Magazine published on its website today (Can the Republicans Be Saved From Obsolescence? by Robert Draper) that performs a highly informative—and often highly amusing—autopsy on just how badly the GOP fucked up the 2012 election.

There are LOL gems throughout the piece, but there’s one section that stood out for me when the author attends some focus groups in Columbus, Ohio with media-saavy G.O.P. pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson:

About an hour into the session, Anderson walked up to a whiteboard and took out a magic marker. “I’m going to write down a word, and you guys free-associate with whatever comes to mind,” she said. The first word she wrote was “Democrat.”

“Young people,” one woman called out.

“Liberal,” another said. Followed by: “Diverse.” “Bill Clinton.”“Change.”“Open-minded.”“Spending.”“Handouts.”“Green.”“More science-based.”

When Anderson then wrote “Republican,” the outburst was immediate and vehement: “Corporate greed.”“Old.”“Middle-aged white men.” “Rich.” “Religious.” “Conservative.” “Hypocritical.” “Military retirees.” “Narrow-minded.” “Rigid.” “Not progressive.” “Polarizing.” “Stuck in their ways.” “Farmers.”

That was what an all-female focus group told her. The young males in Anderson’s focus groups used terms of endearment like “racist,” “out of touch” and “hateful” to describe the Grand Old (and getting older by the day) Party.

Later that evening at a hotel bar, Anderson pored over her notes. She seemed morbidly entranced, like a homicide detective gazing into a pool of freshly spilled blood. In the previous few days, the pollster interviewed Latino voters in San Diego and young entrepreneurs in Orlando. The findings were virtually unanimous. No one could understand the G.O.P.’s hot-blooded opposition to gay marriage or its perceived affinity for invading foreign countries. Every group believed that the first place to cut spending was the defense budget. During the whiteboard drill, every focus group described Democrats as “open-minded” and Republicans as “rigid.

“There is a brand,” the 28-year-old pollster concluded of her party with clinical finality. “And it’s that we’re not in the 21st century.”

 
image
 
Now contrast Kristen Soltis Anderson’s angle on the GOP’s problems with that of conservative Republican chucklehead House Judiciary Chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas. Smith is the guy who was pushing the “Keep Our Communities Safe Act” in 2011, something that if signed into law would have authorized the government to lock up certain illegal aliens indefinitely.

Now Smith, a longtime DREAM act opponent who is about as dumb as a bag of wet hair, is warning Republicans that “immigration is exactly the wrong subject to use to attract Hispanic support” in an editorial he penned for Politico yesterday (”5 reasons GOP should avoid immigration trap”) urging the GOP to oppose immigration reform because it would give Democrats “millions of votes”:

Does anyone really think Republicans are going to outbid Democrats on giving benefits to illegal immigrants?

And fifth, you have to be a little suspicious when liberal Democrats tell Republicans they have to support amnesty to win elections. Do Republicans really think they have the best interests of the GOP at heart?

Immigration is the field Democrats want to lure Republicans to play on. Why? Because Democrats know they’ll win.

Democrats have done the math and realize that legalization inevitably would give them millions of votes, meaning more victories in congressional and presidential elections.

No shit, dumbass. Why didn’t the GOP figure this out a long time ago? Were the results of the US census too “liberal” for their liking?

The Stupid Party strikes again. But immigration isn’t the only pile of, uh, “trap” that the Republicans have stepped in: I can’t wait to see the Republicans tie themselves tightly up in knots trying to defeat a measly increase in the minimum wage! (That was one of the sneakiest things Obama pulled on the GOP during the State of the Union address—there were several—and they fell for it hook, line and sinker).
 
image
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dog Food: Little-known live Iggy Pop footage from 1979
02.14.2013
03:30 pm

Topics:
Music
Punk

Tags:

image
 
Iggy Pop performing “Dog Food,” “Real Cool Time” and “Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell” at The Longhorn Saloon in Minneapolis, Minnesota on November 20, 1979. From a program called Wild Tyme (where that vintage tattoo convention clip I posted earlier today also came from).

Some great interview footage with Iggy explaining why he HATES rock music (he’d rather buy drugs than records) and the self-financed New Values tour he was engaged in at the time. There’s also a record signing for fans.

This is primo Iggy. Only 68 views on YouTube? What’s that about?

Below, the actual handbill from the gig, a part of the Minnesota Historical Society’s collection:
 
image
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Physics of Mosh Pits
02.14.2013
02:39 pm

Topics:
Science/Tech

Tags:

image
image
 
Jesse Silverberg, a graduate student at Cornell University in Ithaca, and two physics professors at Cornell are researching the science behind “what makes a crowd of people with independent decision-making powers behave like a random gas?”

Yep! According to the research by these physicists, people in mosh pits act like atoms in a gas. Apparently the studies could help architects design buildings “that ease the flow of chaotic crowds in an emergency.”

From New Scientist:

They found that the dancers’ speeds had the same statistical distribution as the speeds of particles in a gas. Such particles move around freely, interacting only when they bounce off one another.

“This presented a bit of a mystery,” Silverberg says. What makes a crowd of people with independent decision-making powers behave like a random gas?

Snip—

To investigate, the team simulated a mosh pit with a few basic rules: the virtual moshers bounce off each other when they collide (instead of sticking or sliding through each other); they can move independently; and they can flock, or follow each other, to varying degrees. Finally, the team added a certain amount of statistical noise to the simulated moshers’ movements – “to mimic the effects of the inebriants that the participants typically use”, says co-author Matthew Bierbaum.

They found that by tweaking their model parameters – decreasing noise or increasing the tendency to flock, for instance – they could make the pit shift between the random-gas-like moshing and a circular vortex called a circle pit, which is exactly what they saw in the YouTube videos of real mosh pits. Their simulation is available online.

“These are collective behaviours that you wouldn’t have predicted based on the previous literature on collective motion in humans,” Silverberg says. “That work was geared at pedestrians, but what we’re seeing is fundamentally different.”

“The fact that human beings are very complex creatures, and yet we can develop a lifeless computer simulation that mimics their behaviour, really tells us that we’re understanding something new about the behaviour of crowds that we didn’t understand before,” says co-author James Sethna.

Below, watch humans act like random atoms at the 1:38 mark.

 
Via Nerdcore

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Lizard Love: Get sensual with the classy films of Henry Lizardlover
02.14.2013
02:36 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Art

Tags:

image
 
And I mean classy! None of that tawdry lizard erotica—this is art.

Henry Lizardlover, born March 27, 1954 as Henry Schifberg, is a herpetoculturist, writer, and photographer who has lived with as many as 60 lizards in his home. He poses his lizards in human positions on little lizard-size lounge chairs and they remain statue-still.

See also:
Henry Lizardlover Says Lizards Are ‘Chick Magnets’
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Invasion of the Flesh Etchers: Vintage TV report of Minnesota tattoo convention, 1978
02.14.2013
02:18 pm

Topics:
Art
History
Pop Culture

Tags:

image
 
Fascinating footage of a tattooing convention that was held in St Paul Minnesota in 1978. This was shot a good ten years before getting tattoos became such a common, fashionable thing to do (Believe it or not, giving someone a tattoo was illegal in New York until 1997). How times have changed.

In 1991, I did a piece for Showtime—very similar to this one—at what was then the very first “Inkslinger’s Ball” in Los Angeles (over 9000 attendees) and the topic was even then still considered somewhat “edgy.” (I even interviewed some of the same people. One of them, I won’t say who, was significantly worse for wear a decade later.)

At that time, the main reason people told me that they wanted to get heavily tattooed was to indelibly mark themselves as not being of mainstream society. One woman compared her tats to the warning markings on a black widow spider, letting people know to “back off,” which I thought was a good way of putting it.

Point is, even as recently as 22 years ago, tattooing was really only then entering the “acceptable” mainstream. Over and over again during the day I shot at the Inkslinger’s Ball, I kept hearing some variation on the theme of “tattooing is finally becoming socially acceptable,” the very same thing that was being said in 1978.

These days people seem to get tattoos, I think, for largely the opposite reasons as they did then: less to cordon themselves off from the rest of society, and more like “I want to be different, like everybody else.”
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
‘Madame Sex and L’Ame Erotique’: Anne Pigalle releases new album on Valentine’s Day
02.14.2013
01:31 pm

Topics:
Feminism
Heroes
Music

Tags:

image
 
Legendary chanteuse, Anne Pigalle has released her latest 11-track album Madame Sex and L’Ame Erotique right on time to celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Madame Sex and L’Ame Erotique is an excellent collection, which is available to download here.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
 

 

 

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Leave a comment
‘Flatter his masculine ego’: Mary Weiss of The Shangri-Las with some sound dating advice
02.14.2013
12:03 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:

image
That bad girl in the leather pants up front can wrangle up some ladylike behavior when she feels like it!
 
Looking for some etiquette tips for your big Valentine’s Day date tonight? Check out this short little radio spot from Shangri-La Mary Weiss—surprisingly conservative advice from a girl who fell for “The Leader of the Pack”!

“Don’t barge on ahead like a baby elephant.”

 

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Babymetal: The cutest lil’ teenage J-Pop death metal group in Japan!
02.14.2013
12:03 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:

image
 
Wondering what’s “big in Japan” these days?

Babymetal are three teenage Japanese idol singers, “graduates” of the Sakura Gakuin (さくら学院, or “Cherry Blossom Academy”). Think of it as an “idol school” including “class presidents” and stuff like that. Basically there are a bunch of different groups under the Sakura Gakuim banner, new members join, some move (“graduate”) into other group configurations, when they start to get “too old” they get pushed out, etc.

The main thing the girls have in common is their management, the Amuse talent agency, and that the various configuration of the Sakura Gakuin groups are all signed to Universal Music Japan.
 
image
 
But Babymetal, as the name implies, is something a bit different in the Sakura Gakuin idol stable: A marriage of the cutesy, catchy J-Pop sound with death metal! Hell kitties, not Hello Kitty, as you will see.

It’s the sort of thing that could only happen in Japan and we are all far better off for it.
 
image
 
Trust me, this WILL be the best thing you see all day… I find their videos a gazillion times more interesting than anything Matthew Barney has ever done. Especially this first one…

ヘドバンギャー!(“Headbangeeeeerrrrr!!!!!”)
 

 
More Babymetal after the jump…

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Glenn Danzig Valentine’s Day cards
02.14.2013
11:52 am

Topics:
Amusing

Tags:

image
 
Nothing says “I love you” like a Glenn Danzig Valentine’s Day card.

Nothing whatsoever…

There are more here and here.
 
image
 
Via Cherrybombed

 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Page 937 of 2116 ‹ First  < 935 936 937 938 939 >  Last ›