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A penny for your thoughts? OK, make it a nickle...

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 9:33pm
Across Canada a beloved and familiar face is silently disappearing. Everyday transactions in shopping centers and banks are slowly feeding a systematized extinction unnoticed by most. The object of destruction: the Canadian penny. -- via PBS NewsHour
Categories: news

Hurt Locker: The Musical

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 9:04pm
Neil Patrick Harris is getting glowing reviews for his turn in the title role in Hedwig And The Angry Inch, now playing on Broadway. But wait, why is "internationally ignored song stylist" Hedwig even playing Broadway in the first place? Because the Belasco Theater was suddenly available because Hurt Locker: The Musical opened and closed on the same night. In fact, the floor of the theater is found to be littered with discarded Playbill magazines for the failed production.

One page from Playbill asks, "How Many Have You Seen?"
Categories: news

sudo mknod /dev/netcat c 245 0; cat /dev/netcat | ogg123 -

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 8:12pm
netcat are a Seattle based free improvisation group that have released their album, Cycles Per Instruction as a Linux kernel module.

... also available on bandcamp.
Categories: news

former plantations that have been turned into bed-and-breakfast resorts

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 7:57pm
Why Aren't Stories Like '12 Years a Slave' Told at Southern Plantation Museums? Evil is not a word you hear, though, when you visit one of the hundreds of plantation-house museums dotting the South. Instead, these historic sites usually lure tourists with their stunning architecture and wealth of antiques, as the privileged members of the planter-class denied themselves nothing. They had the finest china and silver of the 18th and 19th centuries; European-made furniture like settees and tea caddies; the most expensive rugs, drapes, linens, and clothing that money could buy. Even the toys and kitchen utensils offer a glimpse into the privileged life in the antebellum period, and tours play this aspect up, connecting these objects emotionally to the stories of the white planters. Many of these museums let visitors walk away without considering that all of these exquisite things were accumulated through the violence and forced labor of slavery.

An Introduction to the WPA Slave Narratives
Slave Narratives:
John W. Fields: It was the law that if a white man was caught trying to educate a negro slave, he was liable to prosecution entailing a fine of fifty dollars and a jail sentence. We were never allowed to go to town and it was not until after I ran away that I knew that they sold anything but slaves, tobacco, and wiskey. Our ignorance was the greatest hold the South had on us. We knew we could run away, but what then? Sarah Frances Shaw Graves "Allotments made a lot of grief for the slaves," Aunt Sally asserted. "We left my papa in Kentucky, 'cause he was allotted to another man. My papa never knew where my mama went, an' my mama never knew where papa went." Aunt Sally paused a moment, then went on bitterly. "They never wanted mama to know, 'cause they knowed she would never marry so long she knew where he was. Our master wanted her to marry again and raise more children to be slaves. They never wanted mama to know where papa was, an' she never did," sighed Aunt Sally. Sarah Gudger I 'membahs de time when mah mammy wah alive, I wah a small chile, afoah dey tuck huh t' Rims Crick. All us chillens wah playin' in de ya'd one night. Jes' arunnin' an' aplayin' lak chillun will. All a sudden mammy cum to de do' all a'sited. "Cum in heah dis minnit," she say. "Jes look up at what is ahappenin'," and bless yo' life, honey, da sta's wah fallin' jes' lak rain. Charley Williams, James Cape, Tempie Cummins, William Moore, Walter Rimm

Narratives by State

PBS has links to sites with more information, like the Ohio Historical Society and the University of Virginia, and Mississippi.
Slavery And Emancipation In The Mountain South: Evidence, Sources and Methods - Slave Narratives
Unchained Memories: Readings From The Slave Narratives [PDF], a documentary by HBO, now on youtube.

Categories: news

Flying RC Aircraft Carrier

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 7:46pm
Flying RC Aircraft Carrier , Last year we saw the first launch of an RC Aircraft from an RC Carrier. Now we have the first launch AND landing of an RC Aircraft on a Flying RC Carrier.
Categories: news

The behavior of a tethered helium balloon in a forward-moving van

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 2:29pm
The van goes forward, the balloon goes--wait a second. But truly, the cool balloon physics is the least terrific thing about this video. From Smarter Every Day. [slyt | via] Previously and previouslier
Categories: news


Tue, 04/22/2014 - 1:56pm
So you can get 4096 in 2048, and you're an old hand at Flappy Bird, but can you beat... Flappy48? (requires unity)
Categories: news

Racial and gender biases in faculty mentoring

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 1:07pm
"Faculty at private schools were significantly more likely to discriminate against women and minorities than faculty at public schools. And faculty in fields that were very lucrative were also more likely to discriminate. So there was very little discrimination in the humanities. There was more discrimination among faculty at the natural sciences. And there was a lot of discrimination among the faculty at business schools." (link to NPR story). Katherine Milkman and colleagues conducted a field experiment in which professors were contacted by fictional prospective doctoral students and found that "faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from White males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions."
Categories: news

InBloom wilts under privacy heat

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 12:57pm
Controversial education tech company InBloom has shut down over student data privacy concerns. Backed with $100 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, InBloom quickly announced nine states (CO, DE, GA, IL, KY, LA, MA, NC, NY) as partners, with more than 2.7 million students enrolled, with the goal of using big data to direct education emphasis and other decisions. With a recent decision by New York state to halt participation in any project involving storing student data in the way InBloom had planned (and the deletion of any such data already stored), all nine states had either put data sharing plans with InBloom on hold, made them voluntary, or pulled out completely.

Parents and advocacy groups decried data collection efforts that pulled as many as 400 data points per student, including personally identifiable information such as social security numbers and intimate details about family relationships and reasons for enrollment changes. Futhur, despite assurances that "the company was designed as a non-profit from the beginning to keep special interests at bay, in order to create a tool that is data, platform and user agnostic", activists, parents and educators lead by Leonie Haimson of Class Size Matters expressed concerns that there were no guarantees that data would be secure, or that it would not be shared with third party vendors (a claim InBloom denied).

In a final message on the Inbloom website, CEO Iwan Streichenberger blamed the failure on "mischaracterization" and "misdirected criticism", even as he praised the InBlood team and the promise of data-driven education.

At a conference earlier this week, U.S. Department of Education office of technology Director Richard Culatta said that private companies need to do a better job explaining privacy policies to students and parents: "It's time to say it in plain English," Culatta said. "It's time to say it in ways that teachers and parents can understand." Streichenberger, also at the conference, remained optimistic "we've come to realize that public acceptance of what inBloom does will take a long time."
Categories: news

America's Everyday Black-Market Economy

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:12am
Categories: news

Orson Wells' 1955 Podcast

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:01am
The BBC put together a series of television commentaries from Orson Welles, "Orson Wells' Sketchbook" none of which need more than his then slightly unfamiliar face (without, he underscores, the usual false nose he wears for roles), his unmistakable voice, and his illustrations — taken, literally, from his sketchbook. In these six fifteen-minute broadcasts, which originally aired in 1955, Welles talks about not just the inauspicious beginnings of his illustrious working life but his experiences with the critics, the police, John Barrymore and Harry Houdini, the infamous radio production of War of the Worlds , and bullfighting Playlist here.
Categories: news

George & Jonathan are done explaining.

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:59am
George & Jonathan are an electronic music duo. They make nice songs with many bleeps and bloops. Here is the website where you can listen to and watch their new album, III. [WebGL required, i.e., use Chrome. It's worth it, honest.]
Categories: news

Vinum et musica laetificant cor

Tue, 04/22/2014 - 9:53am
YouTube user Frank Huang posts full live sets of metal/grindcore, many from Brooklyn's St. Vitus bar, including: Pig Destroyer, Kylesa (@ Santos), Whores., KEN MODE, Sleep (@ Hellfest), Pelican, Deafheaven, Cobalt, and naturally Saint Vitus.
Categories: news