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August 1, 2010
[health] On Being Sane In Insane Places … long disturbing report on a now classic experiment where a number of mentally healthy people pretend to have mental ilness to enter a psychiatric hospital and once they are in return to their normal behaviour and then report on how they are treated …

One tacit characteristic of psychiatric diagnosis is that it locates the sources of aberration within the individual and only rarely within the complex of stimuli that surrounds him. Consequently, behaviors that are stimulated by the environment are commonly misattributed to the patient’s disorder. For example, one kindly nurse found a pseudopatient pacing the long hospital corridors. “Nervous, Mr. X?” she asked. “No, bored,” he said.

August 2, 2010
[disasters] The Crash of EgyptAir 990 … fascinating report on the last flight of a Boeing 767 in 1999 which was probably deliberately brought down by one of it’s pilots in an act of suicide … ‘The pilots were left to the darkness of the sky, whether to work together or to fight. I’ve often wondered what happened between those two men during the 114 seconds that remained of their lives. We’ll never know. Radar reconstruction showed that the 767 recovered from the dive at 16,000 feet and, like a great wounded glider, soared steeply back to 24,000 feet, turned to the southeast while beginning to break apart, and shed its useless left engine and some of its skin before giving up for good and diving to its death at high speed.’
August 3, 2010
[fake] Go Look: Photo Tampering Throughout History‘Photography lost its innocence many years ago. In as early as the 1860s, photographs were already being manipulated, only a few decades after Niepce created the first photograph in 1814.’
August 4, 2010
[life] He Took a Polaroid Every Day, Until the Day He Died‘By May 4, 1997, it’s clear that he has cancer…’
[comics] What is Doctor Strange’s birthdate? .. The internet’s resident Doctor Strange expert Neilalien on the rumour that Alan Moore and Doctor Strange share a birthday on 17th November … ‘From Doctor Strange #176’s cover, we get November. The tombstone is oh-so-conveniently cracked where the year should be.’
August 5, 2010
[tech] On Tablets …some thoughts on iPads, magazines and tablets computers from Lee Maguire‘That was my first thought: This seems ideal for my technophobic mother. She refuses, point blank, to touch keyboards. When, as a kid, I got my first computer she asked me if I knew what all the buttons did. “That’s not an answerable question,” I told her, “the function of the keys is contextually dependant. Any key can potentially do anything.” Whoops, turns out that sort of revelation is not an effective way to cure the older generation’s fear of computers.’
[movies] Inception Music Comparison … (slight spoilers) … (more…)
August 6, 2010
Go Look: 69 alternatives to the default Facebook profile picture

Some Alternative Facebook Default Profile Pics

[comics] The Complete D.R. & Quinch … a review of one of Alan Moore’s early works from 2000AD … ‘It’d be hard today to convey the level and nature of the excitement readers felt in 1984 when a fresh new talent — an author — blew into the company town, overhauling a run-of-the-mill commercial comic, revitalizing it completely and, in the process, making it utterly his own. Who was this guy? Where had he learned to write like that?’
August 7, 2010
[funny] Go Look: Maslow’s Hierarchy of Robot Needs‘Self-Actualization: Destroy Humans’
August 8, 2010
[space] Lutetia: The Largest Asteroid … fascinating comparison of the size of the largest asteroids so far visited by spacecraft (from Astronomy Picture of the Day).
[brains] Brain Drain … the New Yorker takes a look “neuroenhancing” drugs …

Alex remains enthusiastic about Adderall, but he also has a slightly jaundiced critique of it. “It only works as a cognitive enhancer insofar as you are dedicated to accomplishing the task at hand,” he said. “The number of times I’ve taken Adderall late at night and decided that, rather than starting my paper, hey, I’ll organize my entire music library! I’ve seen people obsessively cleaning their rooms on it.”

August 9, 2010
[ants] Invasion … Tom Junod on ants and what it’s like to live on top of a colony of Argentine ants

…what an ant colony possesses is a kind of accumulated intelligence, the result of individual ants carrying out specialized tasks and giving one another constant feedback about what they find as they do so. Well, once they start accumulating in your house in sufficient numbers, you get a chance to see that accumulated intelligence at work. You get a chance to find out what it wants. And what you find out — what the accumulated intelligence of the colony eventually tells you — is that it wants what you want. You find out that you, an organism, are competing for your house with a superorganism that knows how to do nothing but compete. You are not only competing in the most basic evolutionary sense; you are competing with a purely adaptive intelligence, and so you are competing with the force of evolution itself.

[lifeblog] It’s not a lorry with a crane – it’s a Urban Grabloader Concept.
August 10, 2010
[comics] Name Five Extended Moments In Comics History You Wish Had Been Documented On Film As They Were Happening … some intriguing choices from readers of The Comics Reporter‘Dave Sim’s life from issues 1 to 300 of Cerebus’
[funny] Go Look: Rocket Propelled Chainsaw … for when you absolutely, positively need to kill every zombie in the room.
August 11, 2010
[comics] Barely Seeing Daylight … a stop motion video of comic artist D’Israeli drawing comics for one day compressed into forty-three seconds. (more…)
[tv] Jon Ronson:

True fact. The That’s Life researcher who found and filmed the dog that says sausages is Adam Curtis.Tue Aug 10 21:40:07 via Echofon


August 12, 2010
[quote] ‘Think of it like a movie. The Torah is the first one, and the New Testament the sequel. Then the Qu’ran comes out, and it retcons the last one like it never happened. There’s still Jesus, but he’s not the main character anymore, and the messiah hasn’t shown up yet. Jews like the first movie but ignored the sequels. Christians think you need to watch the first two, but the third movie doesn’t count. The Muslims think the third one was the best, and Mormons liked the second one so much, they started writing fanfiction that doesn’t fit with ANY of the series canon.’Think Of It Like A Movie
August 13, 2010
[space] Go Look: Thirty Five Images of Space Helmet Reflections. [via David McCandless]
[iphones] 10 Unlikely iPhone Insurance Claims‘Juice from a defrosting piece of meat leaked into it ‘
August 15, 2010
[internet] What’s the carbon footprint of… the internet?‘If we decided (somewhat arbitrarily) that half of the emissions from all these laptop and desktop machines were down to internet-based activity, and then add on the emissions from the data centres that make all this online activity possible, then the internet would clock in at around 1% of all the CO2 emissions released from burning fossil fuels. Put another way, the internet releases around 300m tonnes of CO2 – as much as all the coal, oil and gas burned in Turkey or Poland in one year, or more than half of those burned in the UK.’
August 16, 2010
[funny] Go Look: How The Male Angler Fish Gets Completely Screwed‘Oh God, what the shit is this?!!!’
[kubrick] Photo of Stanley Kubrick on the set of A Clockwork Orange‘It’s unusual to have someone’s feet so prominent, but it doesn’t take away from his expression. He was the least lazy of men, but there’s something very relaxed about the pose.’
August 17, 2010
[tech] 1975: The First Digital Camera‘This is a prototype digital camera Kodak produced way back in 1975. The “toaster-sized” system relied on a cassette tape for recording data. The digitized images took 23 seconds to record to tape which then had to be played back using a specialized system…’
[funny] Go Look: For Sale – Cobra MK III ’86‘Spent 525 credits on a fuel scoop…’
[food] Food Bloggers visit an Aberdeen Angus Steak House‘Foul, expensive food, served incompetently in dreadful surroundings, Aberdeen Angus is a restaurant with no redeeming features. But then I imagine most of you suspected that already; the really nasty surprise on Friday was just how bad, not just passively mediocre but actively wicked their modus operandi is, and just how successful they are at exploiting naive tourists…’
August 18, 2010
[tumblr] Go Look: Crap At My Parents House‘The goal of Crap At My Parents House is to pay homage to all of the weird crap that everyone’s parents have…’
[comics] Go Look: Joe Sacco’s Portrait Of The Cartoonist As A Dog Owner

Joe Sacco On His Dog...

August 19, 2010
[funny] Hyperbole and a Half: This is Why I’ll Never be an Adult‘I did three things yesterday! Now I’m supposed to keep doing things? It’s like the things never end!’ (more…)
August 20, 2010
[internet] Human-flesh Search Engines in China … fascinating look at online vigilantes in China who use the internet to track down perceived wrong-doers and punish them … ‘Chali was moved by the powerful feeling that Wang shouldn’t be allowed to escape censure for his role in his wife’s suicide. “I want to know what is going to happen if I get married and have a similar experience,” Chali says. “I want to know if the law or something could protect me and give me some kind of security.” It struck me as an unusual wish — that the law could guard her from heartbreak.’ [via Sore Eyes]
August 21, 2010
[movies] Is Christopher Nolan the new Stanley Kubrick?‘Kubrick made films about paedophilia, military justice, atomic obliteration, urban violence and the Vietnam war; his emigration to England was partly fuelled by the desire to avoid controlling Hollywood types. Nolan is – at present, anyhow – a confirmed establishment figure; nothing he’s done has caused the smallest ripple of disquiet. This may change, but with another Batman film in the works I can’t see it happening just yet.’
August 22, 2010
[funny] If Historical Events had Facebook Statuses

Newton's Facebook Status

[people] Jackal novelist blames NSA for wife’s laptop hack‘Novelist Frederick Forsyth has accused heavy handed US cyber-spies of destroying his wife’s computer in an attempt to tap into copy he was filling for the Daily Express from West Africa.’
August 23, 2010
[comics] The Top 10 Most Awesome Moments of Luke Cage: Power Man‘That is the greatest panel in the history of Luke Cage. It might be the greatest panel in the history of Dr. Doom, and I’d go so far as to say that there’s a good chance it’s the best panel in Marvel Comics history.’ [the panel]
Random Facebook Status Generator‘Darren… Subscribes to the tenets of irrelevant herrings.’
August 24, 2010
[kubrick] Don’t Open The Elevator … Metafilter discuss the trailer for The Shining … ‘Now I’m imagining the reverse shot, which would be the blood patiently sitting in the elevator, listening to Elevator music, until there’s a *ping* and the doors open and it rushes out.’
[blogs] World War II Today … blogging World War II one post at a time.
[comics] Go Look: nana nana nana nana BATJESUS!
August 25, 2010
[tv] These are Their Stories … nicely done cartoons based on one line summaries of Law and Order episodes from a TV Guide … Lawyer is Secretly a Stripper / Goren Takes on a Chess Master / A Pedophile Uses the Internet.
[movies] Kubrick … long, must-read profile of Stanley Kubrick by Michael Herr

‘He went to the computer that he was using to write the script. He typed, marked, cut, pasted, while I faked interest. When he was finished with the routine, Christiane phoned to say that dinner was ready. As we left, I reminded him that he hadn’t turned the computers off.

“They like to be left on,” he said ironically, factually, tenderly.

[comics] I’m the Goddamn Batman … [original] …

I'm The Goddamn Batman!

August 26, 2010
[internet] The Acceleration of Addictiveness … Paul Graham on internet addiction (amongst other things) … ‘Several people have told me they like the iPad because it lets them bring the Internet into situations where a laptop would be too conspicuous. In other words, it’s a hip flask.’
[life] Placebo Buttons‘In many offices and cubicle farms, the thermostat on the wall isn’t connected to anything. Landlords, engineers and HVAC specialists have installed dummy thermostats for decades to keep people from costing companies money by constantly adjusting the temperature. ‘ [via As Above]
August 27, 2010
[funny] Hungover Owls“Give me…give me like…five…five minutes. Jesus.” [via qwghlm]
[bb] Top Ten Big Brother housemates no-one remembers … George (BB7): ‘…was less a wannabe, more a neverwas. The self-confessed mummy’s boy walked on Day 13, claiming probable post-BB fame would be too much for him. More likely the prospect of eleven weeks in the company of Nikki Grahame filled him with terror.’ [via Feeling Listless]
August 28, 2010
[comics] Alan Moore Gets Psychogeographical With Unearthing … Wired Interviews Alan Moore … ‘If you are brought up in a neighborhood that resembles a rat trap, pretty soon you are going to come to the conclusion that you are probably a rat. If on the other hand you have got to the tool of psychogeography — or poetry, to give it a less trendy and more accessible name — then you can look at the ordinary world around you with the eye of a poet. Finding events which rhyme with other events, what little coincidences or connections can be drawn to these places and people. You can put them into an arrangement that says something new about them.’
August 29, 2010
[war] Colonel Kicked Out of Afghanistan for Anti-PowerPoint Rant‘He gave his superiors a briefing on “proven organizational methodologies” to streamline IJC, but it went nowhere. “It was only my rant that everyone read,” he says. “My hope is that after they stop being angry at me, maybe they will take a serious look at how they operate.” The irony? His briefing was a five-slide PowerPoint. ‘
August 30, 2010
[blog] Reflections of Fidel … Fidel Castro has a blog!! … On Kennedy: ‘I confess that many times I have meditated on the dramatic story of John F. Kennedy…’ [via Kottke]
August 31, 2010
[comics] A life in drawing … an interview with Posy Simmonds (the film adaptation of Tamara Drewe is out this week) …

Posy – initially Rosemary – Simmonds was born in Cookham, Berkshire in August 1945, the middle of five children brought up on a prosperous dairy farm. She was precociously good at drawing and at an early age learned “that if I drew a fairy very well people would say it was good. But if I then made her smoke a cigarette people would laugh”. Early inspiration came from bound editions of Punch, running back to the late 19th-century, that she could reach off the lower shelves of a bookcase. “The smell of those old magazines which had drawings of Hitler is still for me the smell of war. And it was always completely normal that drawings could have words attached.”