The legendary George Takei responds in the best way possible to the protesters who gathered during March Prop 8/DOMA hearings outside the Supreme Court. I went there to ask them to express their opinions on a pad of paper; now George is weighing in.
Go look at the pictures.
German photographer Michael Wolf captures the aging high-rise culture of Hong Kong, which has more buildings over five hundred feet tall than any other city in the world. The results are so stunning, you’ll swear they’re somehow faked.
The modern face of Hong Kong was formed, like New York and Chicago, by a fire. In 1953, as refugees from mainland China surged into Hong Kong, one of the city’s largest slums burned to the ground, tens of thousands homeless. The British governor at the time, Alexander Grantham, saw a solution in an emerging form of modern architecture: the prefabricated concrete tower.
Wolf moved to Hong Kong in 1994, three years before the official handover from England to China. But as his photos attest, Grantham’s fingerprint endures, in the towers that make up the bulk of the city’s low-income housing stock. In Wolf’s new book, The Architecture of Density, he collects some of his most staggering architectural photos of the city’s supertalls. We’ve seen the city fromabove and below, but straight on is somehow more dramatic, right?
You’re probably wondering how much doctoring these photos received. The answer? Surprisingly little. There’s not much Photoshop trickery here, just a few adjustments to remove things like the horizon line and any errant patches of sky. The buildings themselves actually exist as they’re shown: a repetitive network of floor plates and windows, which often bear a hint at the lives inside thanks to errant hanging laundry and souped up a/c units.
Low-income housing in Hong Kong, a geographic aberration hemmed in by tropical forest and ocean on all sides, is a problem without an answer—just like it was in Grantham’s day. But according to BLDGBLOG post from 2012, the city has found a way to fit new infrastructure into the existing city: a network of artificial underground caves. Let’s just hope the same concept never extends to people. [The Architecture of Density]
Quoted from a network security mailing-list I am subscribed to:
Last time [we] sent out a warning email along the lines of:
We never ask for your username and password. If you get an email that looks like:
"There is an issue with your account. Please reply with your username and password and we will rectify it"
You should never reply to these messages with your details.
50 people replied with their usernames and passwords.
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Stevie Wonder – Drums
Jimi Hendrix – Guitar
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has made it clear that his company supports same-sex marriage, and at the coffee titan’s annual meeting in Seattle, he had a heated exchange with a shareholder who criticized that stance, Gabriel Spitzer at KPLU reported.
Shareholder Tom Strobhar, who, according to The Huffington Post, is the founder of the anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage Corporate Morality Action Center, was not happy about the boycott.
He said that it affected Starbucks’ bottom line.
Schultz reportedly bristled, and said that it was about respecting diversity, not the bottom line.
“It is not an economic decision,” he said. “The lens in which we are making that decision is through the lens of our people. We employ over 200,000 people in this company, and we want to embrace diversity.”
The crowd cheered and applauded.
Then, the CEO fired a broadside.
“If you feel, respectfully, that you can get a higher return than the 38 percent you got last year, it’s a free country. You can sell your shares of Starbucks and buy shares in another company. Thank you very much,” said Schultz.
Make sure you watch it to the end:
“So I decided I was gonna go see Billy Joel right when we found out he was coming, and as a childhood idol of mine, right away I knew what I wanted to do when we went there. My roommate and I decided that we would try and find a way to get a question to be asked, and see if we could get on stage. And the day came, I put together a question, and I was raising my hand, and my friends to the right of me kept pointing to me, and finally after a few questions he picked on me and I hesitantly said how “New York State of Mind” was my favorite song, and how I had performed it with his saxophonist Richie Cannata in the past and wondered if I could go up and play it with him. And then he thought for a little — he took a second — and then he just said “Okay.” Which wasn’t quite convincing, but it was good enough. I walked up, we spoke about the arrangement for about 15 seconds — he just went through what he wanted me to play — and then from there, it was just … foggy. It’s hard to remember. I just started playing. I had practiced it a little bit thinking maybe I’d get the chance to go up … I kind of lost myself playing. Then afterward he said to me … he said that I was great, where are you from … and I said, “I’m a Long Islander just like you.” He was like, “Cool.” Then I walked off, and that was it … It was probably the greatest moment of my life, up to date.
A moment of adorable: two year old Kayla can’t reach the moon, but that doesn’t lessen her interest in it. Kayla’s dad shared the video on Reddit, where he got a lot of suggestions for books and items to appease her lunacy, and was invited to tour the NASA facilities in California.
Tremblay is a lecturer at Centre NAD, a technology university in Montreal, where he’s been teaching a video-effects class since 1992. In October, he challenged his students — as he did the previous two semesters — to make a viral hoax video. If it got more than 100,000 views, then congratulations, you got an A.
Four of Tremblay’s most industrious students, Normand Archambault, Félix Marquis-Poulin, Loïc Mireault, and Antoine Seigle, created a video called “Golden Eagle Snatches Kid” — 17 million views within a day, just shy of 42 million views in total, 14 million minutes in viewing time in the U.S. alone, embedded on major news websites worldwide, broadcast on morning talk shows, and linked from countless message boards — which proved this in historically impressive style.
They got an A.
Like many others, I was absolutely astounded by the meteor strike over Chelyabinsk when I woke on Friday morning. One silver lining to our self-surveilling society is that an event of this magnitude is certain to get caught on the myriad of always-on dash- and webcams. I for one could not get enough of the videos.
Might it be possible to use this viral footage with Google Earth to have an initial go at mapping the meteorite’s trajectory?
I can’t just pick one favourite, so go check them all out!
Scientists analyzing how magicians Penn & Teller perform one of the oldest known illusions now reveal that some aspects of the magic trick are even more effective at manipulating audiences than the magicians predicted.
These findings not only shed light on basic processes such as cognition, but could help advance the art of magic, researchers suggested.
In recent years, neuroscientists have increasingly been analyzing magicians’ performances to gain insights on the human mind.
“We realized that magicians were among the best people at manipulating attention and awareness, far better than scientists,” said cognitive neuroscientist Stephen Macknik, director of the laboratory of behavioral neurobiology at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, Ariz. “So we’ve been poaching their techniques, bringing them back to the labs to increase our rate of discovery.”
The latest magic trick Macknik and his colleagues investigated is the classic cups and balls illusion.
For perhaps the first time ever, a person yelling indiscriminately at strangers while pacing angrily along a public walkway has made a cogent, well-reasoned political argument. In video footage captured at an anti-immigration rally in Arizona, an unnamed Native American man aptly scolds the protesters for their hypocrisy:
This video from the Glenn Research Center highlights in stunning, behind-the-scenes imagery the launches of three space shuttle missions: STS-114, STS-117, and STS-124. NASA engineers provide commentary as footage from the ground and from the orbiters themselves document in detail the first phase of a mission.
The Overview Effect, first described by author Frank White in 1987, is an experience that transforms astronauts’ perspective of the planet and mankind’s place upon it. Common features of the experience are a feeling of awe for the planet, a profound understanding of the interconnection of all life, and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of the environment.
IBM hit a snag when it was trying to train its Watson supercomputer to understand Internet slang.
Eric Brown, a research scientist with IBM says the key to get a computer to pass the Turing test will be to make sure it can understand the subtlety of slang. In an interview with Fortune magazine Brown said he tried to teach Watson the Urban Dictionary which included Internet abbreviations.
The problem was that Watson couldn’t distinguish between polite language and swearing. Apparently it picked up some bad habits from reading Wikipedia and started using terms like “bullshit” in an answer to a researcher’s query.
Brown developed a filter to keep Watson from swearing but had to scrape the Urban Dictionary from the computer’s memory.
Today, January 8th 2013, marks the 20th anniversary of my house burning down, so I decided to write a comic about it. It was a terrible thing and I’ve found the best way to deal with terrible things is to tell funny stories about them later.
Maps are an easy path to the heart for several geeks I know, but I haven’t seen enough of them that pertain to the Star Wars universe. Artist Andrew DeGraff created a series of them, but instead of showing you the galaxy, they take you on the path of the films in the original trilogy.