headline of the day

Couple caught trying to blow up car with flaming TAMPONS

from the comments

Joel Bernstein:

Best Pickup Line Ever.

Place the medieval techniques alongside those laid out in modern handbooks, such as Human Intelligence Collector Operations, the U.S. Army interrogation manual, and the inquisitors’ practices seem very up-to-date

The inquisitors were shrewd students of human nature. Like Gui, Eymerich was well aware that those being questioned would employ a range of stratagems to deflect the interrogator. In his manual, he lays out 10 ways in which heretics seek to “hide their errors.” They include “equivocation,” “redirecting the question,” “feigning astonishment,” “twisting the meaning of words,” “changing the subject,” “feigning illness,” and “feigning stupidity.” For its part, the Army interrogation manual provides a “Source and Information Reliability Matrix” to assess the same kinds of behavior. It warns interrogators to be wary of subjects who show signs of “reporting information that is self-serving,” who give “repeated answers with exact wording and details,” and who demonstrate a “failure to answer the question asked.”

A history of torture and interrogation in the Middle Ages, and how it compares to the standards applied in “The Global War on Terror”.

from the comments

Carole Corlew:

My brother was four years older but still I fought with him, physically, like an idiot. I took quite a bit of punishment before I learned to fight dirty and run, climb a tree where he couldn’t follow, barricade myself somewhere. Sometimes I had to wait for a while but I didn’t care. He knew I would die of thirst, starve to death, if I had to. So he would give up and go away.

Captain Beefheart’s Ten Commandments of Guitar Playing

4. Walk with the devil

Old Delta blues players referred to guitar amplifiers as the “devil box.” And they were right. You have to be an equal opportunity employer in terms of who you’re bringing over from the other side. Electricity attracts devils and demons. Other instruments attract other spirits. An acoustic guitar attracts Casper. A mandolin attracts Wendy. But an electric guitar attracts Beelzebub.

(From WFMU’s Beware of the Blog. Via Brian Beatty.)

headline of the day

PayPal hates violins

Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction

Occupy Portland stumbled on a way to use the tactical superiority of the local police department, and by extension, the fluidity of the crowd, against them.

On December 3rd, we took a park and were driven out of it by riot police; that much made the news. What the media didn’t report is that we re-took the park later that same evening, and the police realized that it would be senseless to attempt to clear it again, so they packed up their military weaponry and left. Occupy Portland has developed a tactic to keep a park when the police decide to enforce an eviction.

The tactical evolution that evolved relies on two military tactics that are thousands of years old — the tactical superiority of light infantry over heavy infantry, and the tactical superiority of the retreat over the advance.

The whole article is worth a read, and nicely summarizes Occupy Portland’s serendipitous tactical breakthrough.

(thanks, Joel)

from the comments

Casey Cichowicz:

Did I ever tell you about the time I blew up our own mailbox with fireworks? I was a lousy prankster.

Go Bury Money, Like Now

I’m sharing a New Year’s tradition aimed at drawing wealth to you. I have no idea about its origins.

Take a bill or some coins and put the money in a plastic bag. The amount does not matter. Bury it outside your front door while saying, “I am burying my poverty.” Mark it with a stone or something you can find the next day. Seriously, people have not been able to find their buried money the next day. Do this on New Year’s Eve, before midnight. Then, on January 1, dig up the money while saying, “I am uncovering my wealth.” Do this anytime during the 24-hour period on New Year’s Day.

If you don’t have ground outside your door, not to worry, take a pot and bury your money there and place it outside your door or on the balcony. If that doesn’t work, take a bowl and cover the money with a wash cloth and put it beside the door. This is about symbolism and intent. Do not spend the money, ever. Put it away. Some say that if you spend the buried money, you’ll lose money.

If you follow these instructions, unexpected money will show up for you in the next year. Maybe because I believe, this always happens for me. Always. At least in the years the Iowan has not found, and spent, my buried money. I have heard about people who eventually have taken stacks of buried money and donated it to a good cause. For instance, they have donated it to a church or favorite charity and report all is well.

Or you could leave it tucked away in its individual sandwich bags in a hope chest or drawer. And laugh to think about what your heirs will think to find it.

What is the proper way to dispose of the American flag?

Found. December 31, 2011.

12 Indicted On Hate Crimes Charges For Hair Cutting Assaults Led By Break-Off Amish Group

I think this is my favorite story of 2011.

How to Pronounce Stieg Larsson

And other pronunciation guides from Pronunciation Manual.

(thanks, Dave)

headline of the day

Bottom line: Doc explains mysteriously massive buttocks

from the comments

Josh Weichhand:

My favorite part of that interview was when Tom was discussing the vinyl popping noise he had added to a couple tracks to make them sound more dated — when it was actually just a recording of chicken on the barbecue.

Phil Ochs: “I’m Going to Say It Now”

Achingly brief clip of Ochs in performance. Said to have been filmed at a Free Speech rally held in the spring of 1965 on The Oval at The Ohio State University campus in Columbus, Ohio.

from the comments

Kathy Hilen-Smith:

I’m a dick grabber. Ask anyone.

from the comments

Rick Neece:

Casey, the stub at the end of my full-windsors is a little bigger than tiny. I share your neck size.

Casey Cichowicz:

Thanks Rick. I often have trouble getting the stub into the keeper. Especially after a few drinks.

Khoi Vinh on Grids

If you remove all the subjectivity then you get some essential truth.

An interview with Khoi Vinh at The Color Machine:

We sat down with Khoi Vinh, former Design Director of NYTimes.com to discuss the subject that has made his work most noteworthy: the grid. The result is an illuminating conversation about Khoi’s plans for the future, first interest in the field of design, and even the grid’s complex relationship with emotion.

Previously on clusterflock.

(via daring fireball)

2 Years & +200,000 Jelly Beans

All in-camera, zero green screen. How it was made:

(via +DeWitt Clinton, PetaPixel)

Peter Jackson’s video blog while filming The Hobbit

At ten minutes, I was surprised how quickly this went, and how much I enjoyed it. Jackson talks about filming The Hobbit in 3-D, and shows how he and his team are doing it. It’s fascinating both from a technical (he has custom built rigs that incorporate 48 Red Epic cameras) and a story-telling (he has two artists sketch identical scenes in red and blue that render in 3-D to give the cinematographers an exact representation of key moments in the film) perspective. I’m looking forward to seeing the films that will come from this.

The Wingman

As a few of you know, my wife is the packaging engineer for Leatherman Tools. They just released this entertaining video to promote their new tool, the Wingman:

A few weeks ago, she found this sitting on her desk in the morning.

You’re built like a car (You got a hubcap diamond-star halo)

Europeans have all the fun: lower drinking ages, funner beaches, easier lifestyles and . . . dinosaur skeletons having sex in their museums. This exhibit, which clearly shows two T-Rexes “mating”, is located in the Jurassic Museum of Asturias in Spain.

Via @leatherarchives.

Little is known about the details . . .

(yeah, right), but for the past week I have been enraptured with your Octopoteuthis deletron.

These squid just don’t care about the sex of other squid they bump into.

Little is known about the details but it seems that the male ejaculates a packet of sperm at the mating partner, and the packet turns inside out, essentially shooting the sperm contained in a membrane into the flesh of the partner, where they stay embedded until the female (if the shooter has been lucky) is ready to fertilize its eggs. If males are the recipient of these rocket sperm, they are just stuck with them.

I was up late one night last week looking for video. I was over at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute site. Because who wouldn’t want to see “a tentacled invertebrate that shoots sperm into its mate’s flesh”? Sperm in a packet that turns inside out! That’s like something out of a Cronenberg film.

(Thanks to Ju Ju Pongo for this and for indirectly keeping me up all night.)

Robottke — building a Kottke-bot

From an article at Slate about an attempt to automize Jason Kottke:

How does it work? We began by crawling all the sources that Jason Kottke is likely to look at every day—we look at all the sites he links to, and all the stuff that people he follows on Twitter are sharing. The hard part is choosing the best, most Kottke-like links from Robottke’s collection. It’s helpful that the human Kottke meticulously tags all of his posts with keywords. When Robottke finds a link, it searches for topics that it knows Kottke likes—the more it finds, the higher the article ranks.

(via @jkottke, of course)


“Originally when I thought of the idea I quickly realized it’s impossible to even scratch the surface: the forces that shape the city, the challenges, the solutions, the people and their different roles. I knew I was going to fail from the get-go,” says Hustwit. “So the question became how to fail as little as possible.”

From a review of Gary Hustwit’s Urbanized from The Atlantic Cities.

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