LIA, software art pioneer and the fluidity of code | CLOT Magazine
Austrian artist LIA is considered one of the pioneers of digital art and has been producing works since 1995. She is one of the very few women pioneers in software and net art. Her practice spans across video, performance, software, installation, sculpture, projections, and digital applications.
art  digital  internet 
7 minutes ago
Cy Kuckenbaker's time collapse videos let you see daily life as you've never seen it before
His "time collapse” videos stemmed from a desire to get to know the city in which he lives with the same vigor he brought to bear as a Peace Corps volunteer in his 20s, exploring Iraq, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

This impulse might lead others to join a club, take a class, or check out restaurants in an unfamiliar neighborhood.

For Kuckenbaker, it means setting up his camera for a fixed shot, uncertain if his experiment will even work, then spending hours and hours in the editing room, removing the time between events without altering the speed of his subjects.
video  time  transport 
11 hours ago
GCSE results: further decline in arts and technical subjects
This is a story echoed elsewhere, in the decline in arts GCSE and A-levels and the steady but steep decline in BTEC vocationally related qualifications. And it seems to blame for these changes is the arrival of the English Baccalaureate (Ebacc) – a set of subjects at GCSE that are said to keep “young people’s options open for further study and future careers” – but which appears to do the opposite.
schools  children  exams  standards  ebacc 
12 hours ago
World piano playing record broken by 88 schoolchildren
The team created an enormous, multi-stringed instrument which allowed 88 children, aged six to 14 years old, to play at the same time. The record previously stood at 21 pianists.

The project began in 2018 when engineers from University of Cambridge decided to try and break that record, to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Leonardo Da Vinci.
music  classical  piano  instruments  children  video 
12 hours ago
Pupils 'refusing to sit GCSE exams in new tougher format'
“Making exams harder doesn’t make kids smarter or more employable. It does make them more stressed, anxious and depressed – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds,” one senior teacher told ASCL.

Another said it was “soul-destroying” to see well-prepared students struggle to cope: “The difficulty of reformed GCSEs places undue stresses upon students and staff. The sheer volume of examinations in such a short space of time leads to tired and weary students.”
schools  education  exams  standards 
13 hours ago
Why we need better, bigger data to help combat food waste
One-fifth of the trash in our landfills is wasted food. But better understanding of how our food system works is starting to make a dent in how much we throw away.
environment  food 
17 Landmark Clocks Worth Making Time For - Atlas Obscura
Shepard’s Gate Clock
Greenwich, United Kingdom
“Not stunning to look at, but the Shepherd’s Gate Clock at the Royal Observatory, Greenwich is nifty because it IS what time it is.”
Fax machines
William Gibson, the ​novelist who gave us the word cyberspace, first saw a fax machine in the home of Akira creator Katsuhiro Otomo, and went on to regularly communicate with his Japanese artist friends via “yards, and yards of slippery, oddly photosensitive paper.” In 1994, asked what the most important recent technological breakthroughs were, Gibson said the Walkman and the fax machine. “We live in a very different world because of [the fax]: instantaneous written communication everywhere. It is also a very political technology, as the Tiananmen Square events told us,” Gibson said.
Paper Straws Won't Stop Climate Change
They’re a single-use, disposable consumer item—a greener option, but not a green one.
Keanu Reeves set to return for The Matrix 4
“Many of the ideas Lilly and I explored 20 years ago about our reality are even more relevant now,” Wachowski said in a statement. “I’m very happy to have these characters back in my life and grateful for another chance to work with my brilliant friends.”
Poorer pupils twice as likely to fail key GCSEs
Russell Hobby, the chief executive of the education charity Teach First, which carried out the research, said: “A child’s postcode should never determine how well they do at school, yet today we’ve found huge disparities based on just that. Low attainment at GCSE is a real cause for concern as it can shut doors to future success and holds young people back from meeting their aspirations.”
schools  children  exams  standards 
Ronnie van Hout: Quasi
His work explores the freak, the outsider, the reject. His public sculpture Quasi is a partial self-portrait. The giant hybrid face-hand is based on scans of the artist’s own body parts. It’s as if ‘the hand of the artist’ has developed a monstrous life of its own.
art  sculpture  hand 
New Zealand's giant hand sculpture is the stuff of nightmares
You’ve got to hand it to New Zealand artist Ronnie van Hout. His public sculpture Quasi is part self-portrait, part oversized Thing from The Addams Family, and completely terrifying. Perched atop City Gallery Wellington in the Kiwi capital, the 16-foot-tall hand-face statue looks like something out of Salvador Dalí’s nightmares.
sculpture  newzealand  hand  art 
Casio G-SHOCK unveils ‘Akira’-inspired ‘Neo Tokyo’ line
Casio G-SHOCK unveiled a a new series of timepieces inspired by the colors and look of classic anime films from the 1980s, such as 'Akira.'
watches  akira  movies  japan 
2 days ago
Someone left old TVs outside 50 homes in Virginia while wearing a TV on his head. No one knows why.
“Everyone started coming out of their houses, walking around the neighborhood looking at the TVs there on the doorstep,” said Jeanne Brooksbank, one of the recipients, who lives in the Hampshire neighborhood. “It was very 'Twilight Zone.’ ”
television  crime 
3 days ago
Major breach found in biometrics system used by banks, UK police and defence firms
The fingerprints of over 1 million people, as well as facial recognition information, unencrypted usernames and passwords, and personal information of employees, was discovered on a publicly accessible database for a company used by the likes of the UK Metropolitan police, defence contractors and banks.
security  dataprotection 
3 days ago
'Deeply concerned' UK privacy watchdog thrusts probe into King's Cross face-recognizing snoop cam brouhaha
"I remain deeply concerned about the growing use of facial recognition technology in public spaces, not only by law enforcement agencies but also increasingly by the private sector," said Information Commissioner Elizabeth Denham in a statement on Thursday.

"We have launched an investigation following concerns reported in the media regarding the use of live facial recognition in the King's Cross area of central London, which thousands of people pass through every day."
surveillance  privacy  dataprotection 
3 days ago
Adversarial fashion designed to trick automated license plate readers
When hacker and fashion designer Kate Rose learned – through a conversation with Dave Maass, a researcher with the Electronic Frontier Foundation – that the plate readers kind of suck at their jobs, she got an idea. Her new line “Adversarial Fashion” is the result. Unveiled at the DefCon cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas last week, the garments spell out the words of the fourth amendment of the US constitution, which protects Americans from “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
design  clothing  surveillance 
4 days ago
11 years of top-selling book covers, arranged by visual similarity
An interactive map of over 5,000 book covers, organized by machine learning.
books  design 
4 days ago
New York Public Library shores up its marble lions
To finance the project, the library appealed to readers across the city for donations in a “Restore the Roar” campaign, and hundreds responded, the institution says. The effort is also being underwritten by a grant from the New York Life Foundation.


Garrett Bergen, the library's associate director of facilities management, said that work would begin the first week of September and continue until the end of October. Each sculpture, carved from Tennessee pink marble, will be surrounded by a plywood enclosure and undergo a laser cleaning by conservators, he says. Cracks will be filled in on both lions, he adds, and each will undergo Dutchman repairs identified by engineers in which small sections are replaced by the same material. “The appearance of the lions should not change dramatically,” he says.
restoration  sculpture  library 
5 days ago
The hard work of being ‘lazy’
In such states of mind, we’re rapidly liable to be stigmatized as profoundly (and incorrigibly) ‘lazy’ by friends or – more painfully – by our own conscience. Laziness feels like a sin against the bustling activity of modernity; it seems to bar us from living successfully or from thinking in any way well of ourselves. But, to consider the matter from another perspective, it might be that at points the real threat to our happiness and self-development lies not in our failure to be busy, but in the very opposite scenario: in our inability to be ‘lazy’ enough.
5 days ago
Art Spiegelman: golden age superheroes were shaped by the rise of fascism
I turned the essay in at the end of June, substantially the same as what appears here. A regretful Folio Society editor told me that Marvel Comics (evidently the co-publisher of the book) is trying to now stay “apolitical”, and is not allowing its publications to take a political stance. I was asked to alter or remove the sentence that refers to the Red Skull or the intro could not be published. I didn’t think of myself as especially political compared with some of my fellow travellers, but when asked to kill a relatively anodyne reference to an Orange Skull I realised that perhaps it had been irresponsible to be playful about the dire existential threat we now live with, and I withdrew my introduction.
politics  comics  trump 
5 days ago
Art Spiegelman's Marvel essay 'refused publication for Orange Skull Trump dig'
Tracing how “the young Jewish creators of the first superheroes conjured up mythic – almost godlike – secular saviours” to address political issues such as the Great Depression and the second world war, Spiegelman finishes his essay by saying: “In today’s all too real world, Captain America’s most nefarious villain, the Red Skull, is alive on screen and an Orange Skull haunts America.”

After submitting the essay in June, Spiegelman says he was told by the Folio Society that Marvel Comics was trying to stay apolitical, “and is not allowing its publications to take a political stance”. Neither publisher responded to requests for comment from the Guardian, but Spiegelman claims he was asked to remove the sentence referring to the Red Skull or his introduction would not be published. He pulled the essay, placing it instead with the Guardian.
trump  comics 
5 days ago
'Always ask if there’s coffee in it': Mormon church stands by rule with new advice
The warnings come as Starbucks announced plans to open its first stand-alone shop near the church-owned Brigham Young University in the heavily Mormon city of Provo, Utah. A 2016 survey found that four in 10 active church members under age 51 had drank coffee during the previous six months.
religion  coffee 
5 days ago
The Earth rotating beneath a stationary Milky Way
What’s actually happening is that our tiny little speck of dirt is twirling amid a galactic tapestry that is nearly stationary. And in the video above, you see just that…the Earth rotating as the camera lens stays locked on a motionless Milky Way.
space  video 
5 days ago
28 jokes to celebrate National Tell A Joke Day
Statistically five in every one people are Russian Dolls.
jokes  humour 
5 days ago
b3ta.com qotw
What's the difference between USA and USB? One has a white lead and never seems to be the correct way round, the other is an industry standard that was developed to define cables.
jokes  humour 
5 days ago
Robotic contact lens that allows users to zoom in by blinking eyes revealed by scientists | The Independent
The lens is made from polymers that expand when electric current is applied. It is controlled using five electrodes surrounding the eye which act like muscles. When the polymer becomes more convex the lens effectively zooms in.
eyes  science  future  robots  robot  robotics 
5 days ago
The best of Movie Poster of the Day: part 21
The latest round-up of the most popular posters on Movie Poster of the Day on Instagram.
movies  posters  design 
5 days ago
Our ideas about what early movies looked like are all wrong
During the first film screenings in the 1890s, viewers marvelled at moving images that had an unprecedented power to transport them to faraway places in an instant. At first, these shorts – which included glimpses of everything from Niagara Falls to elephants in India – had no narrative structure. Audiences flocked to theatres simply for the novel experience of seeing people and places, some familiar and others deeply strange, rendered lifelike and immediate before their eyes. And, as the film curator Dave Kehr explains in this video from New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the images were hardly the grainy and frantically paced footage that has become synonymous with ‘old film’ today. Rather, viewed in their original form on large screens and prior to decades of degradation, these movies were vivid and realistic. In particular, early 68mm film, which was less practical than 35mm film and thus used less frequently, delivered startlingly lifelike impressions of distant realities to early moviegoers.
movies  history  cinema 
6 days ago
#OnThisDay 1977: Thanks for the Memory - The Viewer's View asked people what they thought about television.
This woman was likely approached for a snappy vox pop, but ended up delivering something closer to a dramatic monologue. Fantastic stuff.
television  twitter  archive  history  historyoftechnology 
6 days ago
PIN the blame on us, says Monzo in mondo security blunder: Bank card codes stored in log files as plain text
Trendy online-only Brit bank Monzo is telling hundreds of thousands of its customers to pick a new PIN – after it discovered it was storing their codes effectively as plain-text in log files. As a result, 480,000 folks, a fifth of the bank's customers, now have to go to a cash machine, and reset their PINs.
security  dataprotection  banks 
6 days ago
A-level results: a minority of students achieve predicted marks, so yes the system should be reformed
Only 16% of predicted grades are accurate and the current system penalises disadvantaged students and those from minority backgrounds.
education  schools  qualifications  standards  universities 
6 days ago
Why 'no problem' presents a conversational problem
In his newly rebooted series Language Files the impressively linguistically educated Tom Scott talks about phatic expressions – those brief, conversational responses used in everyday life. While these expressions are the equivalent of verbal handshakes, they always changing causing some phatic expressions to not translate properly through generational gaps.
language  video 
6 days ago
Action Man: Battlefield Casualties | Projects | Darren Cullen
Three short films made in collaboration with Veterans for Peace UK to draw attention to Britain's policy of recruiting 16 and 17 year olds into the armed forces and targeting children with recruitment propaganda.
video  television  war  military  satire 
6 days ago
A New Trial Of An Ancient Rhetorical Trick Finds It Can Make You Wiser – Research Digest
If I was considering an argument that I’d had with a friend, for instance, I may start by silently thinking to myself “David felt frustrated that…” The idea is that this small change in perspective can clear your emotional fog, allowing you to see past your biases.

A bulk of research has already shown that this kind of third-person thinking can temporarily improve decision making. Now a preprint at PsyArxiv finds that it can also bring long-term benefits to thinking and emotional regulation. It is, according to the authors, “the first evidence that wisdom-related cognitive and affective processes can be trained in daily life and of how to do so.”


Grossmann’s aim is to build a strong experimental footing for the study of wisdom, which had long been considered too nebulous for scientific inquiry. In one his earlier experiments, he established that it’s possible to measure wise reasoning and that, as with IQ, people’s scores matter. He did this by asking participants to discuss out-loud a personal or political dilemma, which he then scored on various elements of thinking long-considered crucial to wisdom, including: intellectual humility; taking the perspective of others; recognising uncertainty; and having the capacity to search for a compromise. Grossmann found that these wise-reasoning scores were far better than intelligence tests at predicting emotional well-being, and relationship satisfaction – supporting the idea that wisdom, as defined by these qualities, constitutes a unique construct that determines how we navigate life challenges.
selfhelp  psychology  research 
6 days ago
Why speaking to yourself in the third person makes you wiser
If I was considering an argument that I’d had with a friend, for instance, I might start by silently thinking to myself: ‘David felt frustrated that…’ The idea is that this small change in perspective can clear your emotional fog, allowing you to see past your biases.

A bulk of research has already shown that this kind of third-person thinking can temporarily improve decision making. Now a preprint at PsyArxiv finds that it can also bring long-term benefits to thinking and emotional regulation. The researchers said this was ‘the first evidence that wisdom-related cognitive and affective processes can be trained in daily life, and of how to do so’.


Grossmann’s aim is to build a strong experimental footing for the study of wisdom, which had long been considered too nebulous for scientific enquiry. In one of his earlier experiments, he established that it’s possible to measure wise reasoning and that, as with IQ, people’s scores matter. He did this by asking participants to discuss out-loud a personal or political dilemma, which he then scored on various elements of thinking long-considered crucial to wisdom, including: intellectual humility; taking the perspective of others; recognising uncertainty; and having the capacity to search for a compromise. Grossmann found that these wise-reasoning scores were far better than intelligence tests at predicting emotional wellbeing, and relationship satisfaction – supporting the idea that wisdom, as defined by these qualities, constitutes a unique construct that determines how we navigate life challenges.
psychology  selfhelp 
6 days ago
The unbelievable story of Caarin showing up…
Yesterday I met Caarin. She is 53 soon to be 54 years old, born on October 9, 1965. She looks quite a bit like my sister did at around her age. I studied her face, and saw that her lips are shaped like my sister’s, and her high forehead and hairline reminded me of my sister. The way she moved, her ankles, her legs, the way she placed her hands on her lap, the way she tilted her head. I am this woman’s biological aunt. How did she find me? She told me she had read my blog. Said a doctor had referred her to it. WHAT????!!!!!!
mentalhealth  blog 
6 days ago
bbbreaking news
monitoring when journalists request permission to broadcast videos from twitter
twitter  socialmedia  news 
7 days ago
The earliest Archive.org snapshot of every UK Government domain · GitHub
The list below is every UK Government website sorted by the first time the Internet Archive saved a copy.

The links go to the archived version of the site at that time. Expect to get nostalgic.
design  webdesign  internet  archives 
7 days ago
Landscapes by Jason Anderson blend precise pixelation and hazy abstraction
U.K.-based artist Jason Anderson creates abstract urban landscapes using pixelated patches of pastel-toned oil paint. Each work on linen has a single focal point of bright yellow usually representing the rising or setting sun, though in the painting above the illumination comes from an approach train. Anderson balances the natural and manmade by primarily featuring infrastructure—ships, marinas, trains, buildings—that appears small and distant within each pastel haze.
art  painting 
7 days ago
PwC’s data practices rejected in GDPR rebuke
With enforcement of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) still in its infancy, companies may be floating trial balloons to see which arguments resonate with authorities. PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) recently tested the air currents in Greece, but was shot down by the Hellenic Data Protection Authority in a case involving the processing of employee data.
europe  gdpr  dataprotection  greece 
7 days ago
PwC will have to work to rebuild trust after shock GDPR fine
The Greek representative of PwC is the first of the “Big 4” to be fined under the GDPR. Moreover, it’s the first consultancy that has actually helped many of its clients with GDPR compliance over the last year. It seems astounding that a company of PwC’s size and reputation that’s making a lot of money on giving advice on the GDPR has been burned by the very fire they help clients to avoid on a daily basis.
europe  gdpr  dataprotection  greece 
7 days ago
Leave your phone at home this holiday and you'll feel better (after you feel worse)
Our participants overcame the initial emotions and then started to enjoy the digital-free experience. They found themselves more immersed in the destination, created more valuable moments with their travel companions, and had many more memorable and authentic encounters with locals.
technology  phones  smartphone  holidays  society 
8 days ago
Chart-Like composite photographs by Dan Marker-Moore show the progression of the 2019 solar eclipse
Los Angeles-based photographer Dan Marker-Moore (previously) flew south to document the solar eclipse that occurred in Chile on July 2, 2019. While many professional photographers also documented the event, most images capture the singular moment in one image. Marker-Moore decided to break out the progression in orderly chart-like designs.
moon  photography  charts  design 
8 days ago
Most EU cookie ‘consent’ notices are meaningless or manipulative, study finds
This is an important finding because GDPR is unambiguous in stating that if an Internet service is relying on consent as a legal basis to process visitors’ personal data it must obtain consent before processing data (so before a tracking cookie is dropped) — and that consent must be specific, informed and freely given.

Yet, as the study confirms, it really doesn’t take much clicking around the regional Internet to find a gaslighting cookie notice that pops up with a mocking message saying by using this website you’re consenting to your data being processed how the site sees fit — with just a single ‘Ok’ button to affirm your lack of say in the matter.
internet  webdesign  dataprotection  gdpr 
8 days ago
Dr. John Kellogg invented cereal. Some of his other wellness ideas were much weirder
Kellogg’s interest in the therapeutic powers of electricity didn’t end with light baths. With a device he cobbled together from telephone parts, he began to administer mild doses of electrical current directly to his patients’ skin. Kellogg claimed these “sinusoidal current” treatments were painless and wrote that he’d tested them in “many thousands of therapeutic applications.” While electrical stimulation is used to this day for certain medical purposes, the ever-optimistic Kellogg maintained that it could treat lead poisoning, tuberculosis, obesity and, when applied directly to the patient’s eyeballs, a variety of vision disorders.
science  medicine  wellbeing  history 
8 days ago
1: Ideal number of pages that a checklist should have, according to Gawande

2: Types of checklists Gawande describes: DO-CONFIRM, in which you complete the tasks from memory and then read over the checklist to make sure you haven’t missed anything; and READ-DO, in which you perform the tasks on the checklist step by step

37%: Scotland’s decline in surgical mortality rates since the WHO checklist was implemented in 2008

100: Hours each Apollo 11 astronaut logged familiarizing themselves with their checklists

113: Pages in Apollo 11’s Launch Operations checklist

$1 million: Cost to develop the Fisher Space Pen, which can check off checklists in zero gravity and underwater
8 days ago
Apple has strange, entrancing ASMR videos on its YouTube channel that have nothing to do with Apple
Apple suggests listening and watching the videos with headphones, which is typically recommended when listening to ASMR audio. ... There's nothing directly about Apple itself or its products in the videos. Perhaps Apple just wants all of us to chill out? Or perhaps it's advertising that its iPhones can capture great ASMR videos.
apple  video  asmr 
8 days ago
D A Pennebaker transformed documentary filmmaking. This is his first film
With its frenetic pace, early morning hues, avant-garde touches, and playful use of shapes and patterns, Pennebaker’s first short, Daybreak Express (1953), made for a precocious debut. The sounds of an eponymous Duke Ellington composition form the film’s clattering backbone, as Pennebaker crafts an urban mosaic from Manhattan’s soon-to-be demolished Third Avenue elevated train line. While more experimental than much of the work he would be celebrated for later, Pennebaker’s career-long knack for kinetic editing, adventurous storytelling and skilfully marrying music and images still permeates nearly every frame.
documentary  video  transport  newyork  jazz  trains 
8 days ago
Why I'm obsessed with people who respond ‘don’t know’ to really obvious YouGov questions
Scrolling through the results of similar polls over subsequent days, weeks and months, I found a country that is deeply confused on a lot of seemingly straightforward issues. Two per cent of Brits don’t know whether they’ve lived in London before. Five per cent don’t know whether they’ve been attacked by a seagull or not. A staggering one in 20 residents of this fine isle don’t know whether or not they pick their nose.
9 days ago
We’re no longer in Brave New World. We’re back in 1984.
This article says the reaction to Trump’s comments this past week, of people chanting “Send Her Back”, is similar to the concept of Two Minutes Hate in George Orwell’s 1984.
trump  politics  literature  books  orwell 
9 days ago
U.S. Democrats and Republicans can’t even agree on the weather
The divergence shows how years of political squabbling over global warming - including disputes over its existence - have grown deep roots, distorting the way Americans view the world around them. The divide will play into the 2020 election as Democratic hopefuls seek to sell aggressive proposals to reduce or even end fossil fuel consumption by drawing links between climate change and recent floods, storms and wildfires.
usa  politics  environment  climate  weather 
9 days ago
Should I have let my daughter marry our robot?
Some people think robots will need a slight jolt of spontaneous irrationality programmed in their behavior if they are to be partially unpredictable like humans often behave. This is scary for me, but in the end, to get robots similar and compatible with humans, we will need to create them so they are not always rational — just like ourselves. Otherwise, it’s unlikely we will have share true empathy with them — even if humans start to marry them.
future  technology  robots  ai 
9 days ago
Interactive sculptures mirror visitors’ movements in shimmering fabrics and cracked clay
In his recent piece Cracked Mud (2019), a mound of clay pieces undulate and upturn in response to visitors’ movements below a low-hanging orb. The suspended light mimics the sun, hovering over the manipulated and cracked earth below. Another piece, Fabric Mirror (2019), uses a digital camera and 400 motors to capture the movements of those who walk past, imitating their gestures in twisting gold and red fabric. Both works allude to how the sun interacts with our bodies and the earth, the former representing a barren future, while the later explores our reflection bathed in shimmering gold.
art  interactivity  sculpture 
9 days ago
An interactive ‘fur’ mirror by Daniel Rozin
As part of an exhibition of new artworks at bitforms in New York, artist Daniel Rozin (previously) designed the PomPom Mirror. The device relies on motion sensors and 928 faux fur pom poms manipulated by 464 motors to create a mirror reflection of the viewer in real-time.
art  interactivity  sculpture 
9 days ago
An interactive mirror built from 450 rotating penguins by Daniel Rozin
The Penguins Mirror is an interactive mirror constructed with 450 stuffed penguins atop rotating motors. If you think the idea sounds ludicrous, it is. Ludicrously amazing. As with many of his other kinetic mirrors, Rozin makes use of the black and white color tones found on the stuffed animals to generate moving silhouettes in response to movements captured by video cameras.
art  interactivity  sculpture 
9 days ago
Futuristic shapes mirror human movement in a responsive animation by Universal Everything
Future You presents a non-human animated figure that wiggles, shifts, and bends in tandem with the user, presenting up to 47,000 possible variations in appearance. The animation also evolves alongside the user, becoming more agile as it learns movements specific to the visitor’s body.
animation  art  interactivity 
9 days ago
The practice may be winding down in Spain—60% of Spaniards say they never siesta, perhaps because high unemployment means workers want to show their bosses that they’re pulling long hours. But other countries still participate, including Greece, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Nigeria, Italy, and China, where “heads down” time after lunch is considered a constitutional right.
sleep  society 
10 days ago
Standard Ebooks: Free and liberated ebooks, carefully produced for the true book lover.
Ebook projects like Project Gutenberg transcribe ebooks and make them available for the widest number of reading devices. Standard Ebooks takes ebooks from sources like Project Gutenberg, formats and typesets them using a carefully designed and professional-grade style manual, fully proofreads and corrects them, and then builds them to create a new edition that takes advantage of state-of-the-art ereader and browser technology.
books  e-books 
10 days ago
The worst sales promotion in history: Hoover's free flight fiasco
In late 1992, the UK branch of the vacuum manufacturer, Hoover, offered an impossibly sweet promotion: If a customer bought any product worth £100, he’d get two free round-trip flights to the United States. For the 84-year-old electronics brand, it was meant to be an eye-catching way to boost dwindling sales, escape the gloom of a recession, and shrug off increased competition. Instead, it led to the destruction of the company — a precipitous downfall that saw multimillion-dollar losses and customer revolts.
10 days ago
Was e-mail a mistake?
Digital messaging was supposed to make our work lives easier and more efficient, but the mathematics of distributed systems suggests that meetings might be better.
productivity  communication  e-mail 
10 days ago
The technology of kindness
People’s ability to connect is the glue that holds our culture together. By thinning out our interactions and splintering our media landscape, the Internet has taken away the common ground we need to understand one another. Each of us is becoming more confident about our own world just as it drifts farther from the worlds of others.
society  socialmedia  internet 
11 days ago
1984 thoughtcrime? Does it matter that George Orwell pinched the plot?
Orwell's novel is consistently acclaimed as one of the finest of the last 100 years – two years ago Guardian readers voted it the 20th century's "definitive" book – and it remains a consistent bestseller. Should it alter our respect for it that Orwell borrowed much of his plot, the outlines of three of his central figures, and the progress of the book's dramatic arc from an earlier work?
books  orwell  politics 
12 days ago
America’s mass shootings are a political choice
Empirically, the US is an outlier on gun violence because it is an outlier on gun access. Americans have easier access not just to guns, but specifically to military-designed semi-automatic weapons with large magazines that are able to murder with efficiency.
usa  politics  crime 
12 days ago
‘No way to prevent this,’ says only nation where this regularly happens
From the headline on down, the piece is designed to skewer the tragic truth of contemporary America: we consider ourselves a civilized country but also accept without any real action that 10 or more people are going be executed in public every once in awhile while gathering to dance, to worship, to learn. Each successive posting of the article underscores that point with a clever cruelty: it happened here again and nowhere else.
crime  politics  satire  usa 
12 days ago
The forbidden images of the Chinese internet
Some removed images are unsurprising: depictions of state-sanctioned violence, cartoons disparaging government leaders, and aerial shots of protests. But many of them appear innocuous at first glance. All images—even harmless ones—of top Chinese political leaders are banned, except on official websites and approved blogs. For other content, moderators tend to err on the side of caution since private companies, rather than the government, are responsible for complying with state guidelines. After President Xi Jinping eliminated term limits, for example, censors temporarily banned the letter “n,” which was likely a reference to the math symbol and was used to poke fun at the undefined length of his tenure.
china  politics  art  photography  internet  censorship 
12 days ago
The Centrifuge Brain Project
The Centrifuge Brain Project is a 2011 German short mockumentary fantasy film written and directed by Till Nowak. The film incorporates computer-generated imagery to create seven real-seeming fictional amusement park rides used in a faux documentary film about the construction of physics-defying rides intended for use in research efforts to improve human cognitive function.
video  animation  documentary  humour 
12 days ago
Till Nowak makes impossible possible
“There are actually still people, especially if they see it on the internet, that really think everything is real. To me that is super interesting because the film is also about our reception of media, how we believe everything, how media can manipulate us. I had never expected that a lot of people would believe the whole film. I thought okay, maybe the first half, but then… For me as a filmmaker and my filmmaker friends, it is very obvious. But people who are not working with the media, it is very surprising for me, how much they believe. Sometimes it is a bit shocking – but also an honor and a compliment because it means that the film was convincing,” Nowak comments.
video  animation  documentary 
12 days ago
An amusement park-themed animated short by Fernando Livschitz goes off the rails
The fate of riders on roller coasters and ferris wheels takes an unexpected turn in “Beautiful Chaos”, a new short from Fernando Livschitz of Black Sheep Films.
video  animation 
13 days ago
People Boris Johnson resembles
The obviously drunk lead in a regional dinner-theatre production of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”

• Midas, two seconds after he realizes that maybe the turning-everything-into-gold thing wasn’t the greatest idea

• One of those large, lumpy heads of garlic with a bunch of surprisingly tough sprouts growing out of the top
politics  humour  conservatives 
16 days ago
‘No way to prevent this,’ says only nation where this regularly happens
DAYTON, OH—In the hours following a violent rampage in Ohio in which a lone attacker killed 10 individuals and injured 27 others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Sunday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place.
politics  satire  usa  crime  from twitter_favs
17 days ago
‘No way to prevent this,’ says only nation where this regularly happens
EL PASO, TX—In the hours following a violent rampage in Texas in which a lone attacker killed 20 individuals and injured 26 others, citizens living in the only country where this kind of mass killing routinely occurs reportedly concluded Sunday that there was no way to prevent the massacre from taking place.
politics  satire  usa  crime  from twitter_favs
17 days ago
The British government’s majority falls to one
The Tories, who hold power thanks to an agreement with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, have now lost six MPs to by-elections and defections in 2019, the highest rate of attrition in decades. Theoretically, the government could fall if a single rebel Tory MP should turn against their party in a “no-confidence vote”.
politics  charts  conservatives 
18 days ago
How the weird, unfiltered internet became a media goldmine
This is the Lonely Web. It lives in the murky space between the mainstream and the deep webs. The content is public and indexed by search engines, but broadcast to a tiny audience, algorithmically filtered out, and/or difficult to find using traditional search techniques.
internet  culture  youtube 
19 days ago
One man, eight years, nearly 20,000 cat videos, and not a single viral hit
Despite their apparent mundanity, the videos remain enthralling. Because they involve cute animals, sure, but there’s more to it than that. Acts of care and maintenance are rare to witness, online and off. It’s heartwarming to see such acts carried out on a daily basis, with such intensity, without any apparent ulterior motive. It’s just a guy helping cats.

Cat Man’s videos exist in a large ocean of unwatched online content (what I’ve previously referred to as “the lonely web”), a lot of it untitled, with default filenames. Though they range in substance and style, the pervading mood is similar to those of the cat videos. They’re amateurish, charming, and oddly sad.
japan  cats  video  youtube  internet 
19 days ago
It’s time to get rid of the lottery
A 2019 survey conducted by a customer intelligence firm Vision Critical found that 75 percent of lottery players believe that they will win and 71 percent of players said that if they did win, they would use the money to pay off their debt. A 2006 survey ​found that one in five Americans believe that winning the lottery “represents the most practical way for them to accumulate several hundred thousand dollars.” This number jumps to one in three Americans for those with incomes below $25,000. Lottery players budget to account for lottery tickets in the hope that this investment will offer a reward in the form of savings or debt relief. This, in turn, only makes America’s poorest even poorer.


The lottery is a narrative of false potential, pacifying the ever more precarious masses by dangling in front of us a better, shinier life. Instead of asking how the system is rigged against you, you ask how you can win. My mother, like many lotto players, developed a strategy: she decided that computer-generated QuickPicks were luckier than choosing your own numbers. But in 2016, the multi-state Powerball QuickPick tickets were revealed to be a scam, with machines generating roughly 200 million identical tickets to different players. (I have told her this, though she still buys the QuickPicks.) The ability to choose how the game of the lottery is played — manually selected or computer generated — is a way to deceive the player into believing that they have some agency in their success. The outcome of the state lottery becomes a deflection of responsibility: it directs players’ frustration away from the state for its failures — to provide sufficient welfare, to fund its public school system without relying on those in poverty, to provide a livable minimum wage — and transfigures the state into a potential fairy godmother.
society  money 
19 days ago
On Chinese Wikipedia, a bitter battle rages to define the Hong Kong protests
Even technicalities like the title of a section have proved contentious: The decision to detail China’s response to the protest under the title of “international reactions” – the implication being that China is a foreign power – was deemed “inappropriate” by a mainland user called Chan9487, who suggested renaming the section “Responses outside of Hong Kong,” sparking a debate about the international community’s recognition of Hong Kong’s autonomy.
hongkong  china  politics 
19 days ago
The vexed question of samples and songwriting credits - Sounds familiar
With only 12 notes in a chromatic octave, the quest to find new ways to construct melodies in pop songs has become ever harder. And new songs are studied ever more closely for their resemblance to records of the past, even when they don’t rely on samples.
music  law  copyright 
20 days ago
Postcodes - A lottery for us all?
Postcodes are designed to support the delivery of mail and although their adoption for other use cases can often achieve good results there are issues with scope and coverage, as well as a myriad of edge-cases and oddities, which cause problems. There are limits to the value that can be driven from repurposed data and a failure to take account of this can have real world consequences.
data  geography  standards 
20 days ago
Tokyo subway’s humble duct-tape typographer
Walk the bowels of these stations long enough and you may come across Shuetsu Sato 佐藤修悦. Sixty-five year old Sato san wears a crisp canary yellow uniform, reflective vest and polished white helmet. His job is to guide rush hour commuters through confusing and hazardous construction areas. When Sato san realised he needed more than his megaphone to perform this duty, he took it upon himself to make some temporary signage. With a few rolls of of duct tape and a craft knife, he has elevated the humble worksite sign to an art form.
japan  tokyo  typography  design 
20 days ago
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