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Trigonometry Revisited

from PHYS.ORG

Mathematical mystery of ancient Babylonian clay tablet solved

UNSW Sydney scientists have discovered the purpose of a famous 3700-year old Babylonian clay tablet, revealing it is the world’s oldest and most accurate trigonometric table, possibly used by ancient mathematical scribes to calculate how to construct palaces and temples and build canals.

The new research shows the Babylonians beat the Greeks to the invention of trigonometry – the study of triangles – by more than 1000 years, and reveals an ancient mathematical sophistication that had been hidden until now.

Known as Plimpton 322, the small tablet was discovered in the early 1900s in what is now southern Iraq by archaeologist, academic, diplomat and antiquities dealer Edgar Banks, the person on whom the fictional character Indiana Jones was based.

It has four columns and 15 rows of numbers written on it in the cuneiform script of the time using a base 60, or sexagesimal, system.

“Plimpton 322 has puzzled mathematicians for more than 70 years, since it was realised it contains a special pattern of numbers called Pythagorean triples,” says Dr Daniel Mansfield of the School of Mathematics and Statistics in the UNSW Faculty of Science.

“The huge mystery, until now, was its purpose – why the ancient scribes carried out the complex task of generating and sorting the numbers on the tablet.

“Our research reveals that Plimpton 322 describes the shapes of right-angle triangles using a novel kind of trigonometry based on ratios, not angles and circles. It is a fascinating mathematical work that demonstrates undoubted genius.

“The tablet not only contains the world’s oldest trigonometric table; it is also the only completely accurate trigonometric table, because of the very different Babylonian approach to arithmetic and geometry.

[ click to continue reading at PHYS.ORG ]

Posted on September 16, 2017 by Editor

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Jim Carrey Awesome

Posted on September 15, 2017 by Editor

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The What?

from KCET

The 5, the 101, the 405: Why Southern Californians Love Saying ‘the’ Before Freeway Numbers

by Nathan Masters

1939_parkway_plan_1920.jpgThis 1939 plan, developed by the city of Los Angeles, refers to its proposed freeways by name rather than number. Priority parkways are highlighted in color in this 1943 reprinting of the plan from “Freeways for the Region.” Courtesy of the Metro Transportation Library and Archive.

Southern Californians have a distinctive – “Saturday Night Live’s” Fred Armisen and Kristen Wiig might say funny – way of giving directions. To get from Santa Monica to Hollywood, take the 10 to the 110 to the 101. Burbank to San Diego? The 134 to the 5. And, if you can, always avoid the 405.

Why the definite articles? After all, a resident of the Bay Area enjoys coastal drives along “101” or takes “80 east” to Sacramento. Most of North America, in fact, omits the “the” before route numbers.

The answer begins with the region’s early embrace of the freeway. Long before the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act of 1956 gave most U.S. cities their first freeways, Los Angeles had built several. These weren’t simply extensions of federal interstate highways through the city; they were local routes, engineered to carry local traffic and (partly) paid for by local funds. It only made sense that, as they opened one by one, they’d get local names, ones that succinctly denoted their route or destination. The freeway through the Cahuenga Pass thus became the Cahuenga Pass Freeway, and Angelenos knew the freeway to San Bernardino as the San Bernardino Freeway.

State highway officials did affix route numbers to these freeways. But clarity dictated that Southern Californians continue to use their descriptive names. In their early years, most Los Angeles-area freeways bore signs for multiple numbered highway routes. The Pasadena Freeway, for example, was Route 6, 66, and 99, all at once. The Harbor Freeway carried both Route 6 and Route 11. The Hollywood, Route 66 and 101. Who wouldn’t prefer the simplicity of a name over a confusing array of numbers?

[ click to continue reading at KCET ]

Posted on September 14, 2017 by Editor

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Puppies Or Kitties?

Posted on September 13, 2017 by Editor

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Creepy.

from The Telegraph

‘Inspirational’ robots to begin replacing teachers within 10 years

by Henry Bodkin

Robots will begin replacing teachers in the classroom within the next ten years as part of a revolution in one-to-one learning, a leading educationalist has predicted.

Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham, said intelligent machines that adapt to suit the learning styles of individual children will soon render traditional academic teaching all but redundant.

The former Master of Wellington College said programmes currently being developed in Silicon Valley will learn to read the brains and facial expressions of pupils, adapting the method of communication to what works best for them.

Automated teaching machines would be “extraordinarily inspirational”, Sir Anthony said.

“You’ll still have the humans there walking around during school time, but in fact the inspiration in terms of intellectual excitement will come from the lighting-up of the brain which the machines will be superbly well-geared for.

“The machines will know what it is that most excites you and gives you a natural level of challenge that is not too hard or too easy, but just right for you.”

He expected the National Union of Teachers to be “very alarmed” by the prospect.

[ click to read full article at The Telegraph ]

 

Posted on September 12, 2017 by Editor

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Still Unbelievable To Know This Day Actually Happened

Posted on September 11, 2017 by Editor

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Don Ohlmeyer Gone

from DEADLINE

Don Ohlmeyer Dies: ‘Monday Night Football’ Producer, Former NBC West Coast President Was 72

by Dino-Ray Ramos

Don Ohlmeyer, former NBC West Coast president and the man who transformed Monday Night Football into a pop culture phenomenon, died today at age 72. Sportscaster Al Michaels announced the news during the telecast of the Giants-Cowboys game on NBC’s Sunday Night Football.

Ohlmeyer was born in New Orleans on February 3, 1945 and grew up in Chicago. He began his career with ABC Sports, working on Wide World Of Sports, and was the first producer of Monday Night Football. He also produced Olympics broadcasts.

In 1977, he went to NBC where he worked as the executive producer of the network’s sports division through 1982. He served as EP of NBC’s coverage of the Super Bowl and World Series and created many series including SportsWorld, Games People Play, and produced the made-for-television movie The Golden Moment: An Olympic Love Story. He expanded sports coverage, introduced innovative production techniques including a 1980 NFL telecast with no announcers.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on September 10, 2017 by Editor

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Despicable.

from The New York Times

‘Uncontacted’ Amazon Tribe Members Reported Killed in Brazil

By

Members of an uncontacted tribe in Brazil in 2008. Indigenous groups in the Amazon are under increasing threat. CreditFunai/Associated Press

SÃO PAULO, Brazil — They were members of an uncontacted tribe gathering eggs along the river in a remote part of the Amazon. Then, it appears, they had the bad luck of running into gold miners.

Now, federal prosecutors in Brazil have opened an investigation into the reported massacre of about 10 members of the tribe, the latest evidence that threats to endangered indigenous groups are on the rise in the country.

The Brazilian agency on indigenous affairs, Funai, said it had lodged a complaint with the prosecutor’s office in the state of Amazonas after the gold miners went to a bar near the border with Colombia, and bragged about the killings. They brandished a hand-carved paddle that they said had come from the tribe, the agency said.

“It was crude bar talk,” said Leila Silvia Burger Sotto-Maior, Funai’s coordinator for uncontacted and recently contacted tribes. “They even bragged about cutting up the bodies and throwing them in the river.”

The miners, she said, claimed that “they had to kill them or be killed.”

[ click to continue reading at NYT ]

Posted on September 9, 2017 by Editor

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Pierre Bergé Gone

from Architectural Digest

Remembering Pierre Bergé

The multitalented creative died today at age 86

Pierre Bergé at his retreat in Normandy. / Photo: Pascal Chevalier

Pierre Bergé had no nickname that I know of, but the pugnacious industrialist—a cofounder and longtime pilot, professional and personal, of fashion god Yves Saint Laurent—could have been dubbed Il Magnifico.

Few people juggled so much so well (give or a take a few upsets) as Bergé, who died today, age 86, at his home in Provence. He was a magazine publisher and a restaurateur (I can’t resist his Caviar Prunier outlets). A dynamo since his adventuresome youth—when he was the lover and successful promoter of French artist Bernard Buffet before defecting to Saint Laurent in a coup-de-foudre passion—he founded museums, ran opera houses, chaired foundations, and agitated French politics as an unrepentant Socialist with about as much tact as a hand grenade. He was a literary lion, had his own publishing company, and launched an auction house. He was a pioneering force in AIDS research and treatment in France, and a major figure in combating racism and discrimination. In short, Bergé was a whirlwind, a magician, a man who built mountains as easily as he moved or demolished them.

[ click to continue reading at AD ]

Posted on September 8, 2017 by Editor

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Don’t Mess With The Bell

from CBS Pittsburgh

Police: Taco Bell Employees Fatally Shoot Armed Robber

Stock image (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (AP) – Police say three employees of a Cleveland Taco Bell opened fire on two armed robbers, killing one.

Police have said two masked robbers entered the restaurant early Wednesday and ordered three employees to lie on the floor. Police say three other employees pulled out handguns and opened fire, shooting one of the suspects six times. The other suspect ran off.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office on Thursday said the man killed was 24-year-old De’Carlo Jackson.

[ click to continue reading at CBS Pittsburgh ]

Posted on September 7, 2017 by Editor

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Oral Marley

from the Los Angeles Post-Examiner

Safeguarding Bob Marley with “So Much Things to Say”

BY STEPHEN COOPER

In reviewing Roger Steffens’s latest book, So Much Things to Say: The Oral History of Bob Marley, Hua Hsu asserts in The New Yorker that Steffens’s contribution to the Marley canon is his “nerdish monomania.” But Steffens, who invited me to tour his overstuffed “Reggae Archives” in L.A., epitomizes cool – as does his magnum opus on Marley – right down to its subtle red, green, and gold binding. Moreover, it is Steffens’s avidity and accuracy that allow readers to “really know the man” as Steffens did when he toured with Marley, subsequently devoting his life to safeguarding his legacy. Jamaican poet laureate Linton Kwesi Johnson writes in his introduction to Steffens’s oeuvre, that Steffens shows “how serious Marley was about his art: his single-mindedness and his consummate professionalism.” Steffens’s book exudes those same qualities.

On July 29, 2017, Steffens blessed me with a return invitation to the Reggae Archives to interview him. The topics we discussed included what got him interested in reggae; how his passion for the music developed; The New Yorker’sreview of his new book; the book’s main dramas and themes; and finally, Steffens’s hopes for “So Much Things to Say”’s enduring legacy. What follows is a transcription of our discussion modified only slightly for clarity and space considerations.

[ click to continue reading at LA Post-Examiner ]

Posted on September 6, 2017 by Editor

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The Most Revolting Recipe Ever

Posted on September 5, 2017 by Editor

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Ass-smoke

from Gizmodo

“Blowing Smoke Up Your Ass” Used to Be Literal

by Terynn Boulton

When someone is “blowing smoke up your arse” today, it is a figure of speech that means that one person is complimenting another, insincerely most of the time, in order to inflate the ego of the individual being flattered.

Back in the late 1700s, however, doctors literally blew smoke up people’s rectums. Believe it or not, it was a general mainstream medical procedure used to, among many other things, resuscitate people who were otherwise presumed dead. In fact, it was such a commonly used resuscitation method for drowning victims particularly, that the equipment used in this procedure was hung alongside certain major waterways, such as along the River Thames (equipment courtesy of the Royal Humane Society). People frequenting waterways were expected to know the location of this equipment similar to modern times concerning the location of defibrillators.

Smoke was blown up the rectum by inserting a tube. This tube was connected to a fumigator and a bellows which when compressed forced smoke into the rectum. Sometimes a more direct route to the lungs was taken by forcing the smoke into the nose and mouth, but most physicians felt the rectal method was more effective. The nicotine in the tobacco was thought to stimulate the heart to beat stronger and faster, thus encouraging respiration. The smoke was also thought to warm the victim and dry out the person’s insides, removing excessive moisture.

[ click to continue reading at Gizmodo ]

Posted on September 4, 2017 by Editor

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Blainef†ckery

Posted on September 3, 2017 by Editor

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Money Moon

from Nautilus

The Moon Is Full of Money

Capitalism in space.

BY POPE BROCK / ILLUSTRATIONS BY VEDANTI SIKKA

Brock_BREAKER

I was slung in my favorite deck chair, drink in hand, having a gawk at the night sky. Andromeda, Pisces … I trawled the constellations, mind abandoned, still aware in some curve at the back of my brain that the world is coming apart at the seams and we’re all fucked, and enjoying the gentle paradox of it, the clink of the ice in my glass and the slumber of the dog.

By and by I found my gaze resting on the moon. There it was, the great provider: breeder of wonder, werewolves, and all those songs. The place where beauty meets philosophy, where hope and despair alike are lost.

Gnawing through the romance though was a little something I’d read not long before. An astrophysicist had claimed that the moon could save our planet. Not immediately: This would be in about 4.5 billion years when the sun explodes and roasts us in wrath and fire unless we get out of the way.

Frankly, the notion of Earth making a break for it seemed implausible to me, but this Canadian professor said we could do it by shooting off an army of rockets on the far side of the moon. Slammed out of its orbit by the collective blast, the moon would sail off with Earth, yoked by gravity, trailing behind it. A thousand years’ travel and we’re out of harm’s way—albeit dark and freezing unless we initiate phase two of the plan. As the sun receded in the distance, we would replace its rays with a trillion lunar argon arc lamps. A flip of the switch and the moon would become the sun: blue sky, puffy clouds, everything just as before.

[ click to continue reading at Nautilus ]

Posted on September 2, 2017 by Editor

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Help me, Obi X Kenobi. You’re my only hope.

from Vanity Fair

Why Generation X Might Be Our Last, Best Hope

Caught between vast, self-regarding waves of boomers and millennials, Generation X is steeped in irony, detachment, and a sense of dread. One of their rank argues that this attitude makes it the best suited to preserve American tradition in these dark new days.

by RICH COHEN

Collage of movie posters, album covers, photographs, books, and logos.Some of Generation X’s enduring cultural artifacts.

Demographics are destiny. We grew up in the world and mind of the baby-boomers simply because there were so many of them. They were the biggest, easiest, most free-spending market the planet had ever known. What they wanted filled the shelves and what fills the shelves is our history. They wanted to dance so we had rock ‘n’ roll. They wanted to open their minds so we had LSD. They did not want to go to war so that was it for the draft. We will grow old in the world and mind of the millennials because there are even more of them. Because they don’t know what they want, the culture will be scrambled and the screens a never-ending scroll. They are not literally the children of the baby-boomers but might as well be—because here you have two vast generations, linking arms over our heads, akin in the certainty that what they want they will have, and that what they have is right and good.

The members of the in-between generation have moved through life squeezed fore and aft, with these tremendous populations pressing on either side, demanding we grow up and move away, or grow old and die—get out, delete your account, kill yourself. But it’s become clear to me that if this nation has any chance of survival, of carrying its traditions deep into the 21st century, it will in no small part depend on members of my generation, Generation X, the last Americans schooled in the old manner, the last Americans that know how to fold a newspaper, take a joke, and listen to a dirty story without losing their minds.

[ click to continue reading at Vanity Fair ]

Posted on September 1, 2017 by Editor

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Hyatt’s Gone

from WHAM

40-year-old East Rochester video store to close its doors

by Carlet Cleare

East Rochester, N.Y. – One of the largest and last local video stores in this digital era is closing.

Walking into Hyatt’s Classic Video on West Commercial Street feels a bit nostalgic, with its extensive collection of VHS tapes, DVDs, cassette tapes and VCRs.

Technology has run through Bob Hyatt’s veins since the 1960s, when he started selling home theater equipment out of his house.

“When a lot of the chain stores like Norman Brothers and Century started selling components through catalogs,” Hyatt said, “we saw the handwriting on the wall and we went into video.”

The 85-year-old owned and operated the family video store in East Rochester for 40 years. His four children were also raised in the business.

“We moved into this building on the night of the Ice Storm in 1991,” he said.

Hyatt worked through the struggles of big box competitors and, now, streaming, keeping afloat through converting content on VHS tapes onto DVDs.

At one time, they had 35,000 titles. Now, the Hyatts are closing.

[ click to continue reading at WHAM ]

Posted on August 31, 2017 by Editor

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The Biggest In A Century

from PHYS.ORG

Largest asteroid in a century to whiz by Sept 1

The largest asteroid in more than a century will whiz safely past Earth on September 1 at a safe but unusually close distance ofThe largest asteroid in more than a century will whiz safely past Earth on September 1 at a safe but unusually close distance of about 4.4 million miles (7 million kilometers), NASA said

The largest asteroid in more than a century will whiz safely past Earth on September 1 at a safe but unusually close distance of about 4.4 million miles (7 million kilometers), NASA said.

The asteroid was discovered in 1981, and is named Florence after the famed 19th century founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale.

“Florence is the largest asteroid to pass this close to our planet since the first near-Earth asteroid was discovered over a century ago,” said a US space agency statement.

It is one of the biggest asteroids in the Earth’s vicinity, and measures about 2.7 miles (4.4 kilometers) wide—or about the size of 30 Egyptian pyramids stuck together.

“While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence will on September 1, all of those were estimated to be smaller,” said Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies.

[ click to continue reading at PHYS.ORG ]

Posted on August 30, 2017 by Editor

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Party At The Tower!

from KOTA

Devil’s Tower UFO Rendezvous aims to attract all the UFO enthusiasts

HULETT, WYO. (KOTA TV) – Something out of this world is coming to Hulett, Wyo., and the Devil’s Tower Area, so if you’re a UFO enthusiast you better save the dates.

September 14-16th, 2017, will be the 1st Annual Devil’s Tower UFO Rendezvous.

The convention will last all three days and does require registration fees for activities like field investigation training and attending any of the featured keynote speakers.

On the last day there will be a festival with many free activities throughout Hulett, including a UFO alien themed parade, costume contest with a small fee, a close encounters tower building contest, a barbecue cook-off and live music. Cash prizes will be awarded to the best parade float and costume.

[ click to continue reading at KOTA ]

Posted on August 29, 2017 by Editor

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Lost Languages Found

from The Times of India

Scientists discover lost languages at Egyptian monastery

by Tom Whipple, Science Editor

The library at Saint Catherine’s monastery has been in continuous use for 1,500 yearsThe library at Saint Catherine’s monastery has been in continuous use for 1,500 years / KHALED ELFIQI

Ancient works not read by humans since the Dark Ages have been found at an Egyptian monastery, using a technique that allows researchers to reconstruct documents long ago scrubbed off parchment.

The finds at Saint Catherine’s monastery on the Sinai peninsula hailed a “new golden age of discovery”, according to the scientists behind the research, who believe that the methods could reveal many other lost texts.

They have been chronicling the monastery’s library, which has been in continuous use for 1,500 years, but which is today threatened by growing Islamic fundamentalism and attacks on Christians in the region.

Among the discoveries were three ancient Greek medical texts that were previously unknown to scholars, as well as the earliest copies of some from Hippocrates.

[ click to continue reading at The Times of India ]

Posted on August 28, 2017 by Editor

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Tobe Hooper Gone

from DEADLINE

‘Texas Chain Saw Massacre’ Director Tobe Hooper Dies At 74

by Mike Fleming Jr

Tobe Hooper, one of the pioneers of the horror genre, died Saturday at age 74. He passed in Sherman Oaks. Hooper made two of the most distinguished films in the fright genre. His low budget 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which gave a glimpse of the frightful potential of a power tool, and became a favorite on the drive in theater circuit. Made at a cost of $300,000, the film grossed over $30 million at the domestic box office. He also directed Poltergeist.

Tobe Hooper, one of the pioneers of the horror genre, died Saturday at age 74. He passed in Sherman Oaks. Hooper made two of the most distinguished films in the fright genre. His low budget 1974 film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, which gave a glimpse of the frightful potential of a power tool, and became a favorite on the drive in theater circuit. Made at a cost of $300,000, the film grossed over $30 million at the domestic box office. He also directed Poltergeist.

[ click to continue reading at DEADLINE ]

Posted on August 27, 2017 by Editor

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Trans-Thrillers

from The Atlantic

Why Men Pretend to Be Women to Sell Thrillers

Over the last decade, female writers have come to dominate crime fiction, a genre traditionally associated with men. But their appeal goes beyond the byline.

by SOPHIE GILBERT

Rafael Marchante / Reuters

Almost 10 years ago, Martyn Waites, a British crime writer, was having coffee with his editor. Waites, who was at something of a loose end project-wise, was looking for new ideas. His editor, though, was looking for a woman. Or, more specifically, a high-concept female thriller writer who could be the U.K.’s Karin Slaughter or Tess Gerritsen.

“I said I could do it,” Waites recalls. His editor was skeptical. But then Waites outlined an idea for a book based on a news story he’d once read, about a serial killer targeting pregnant women and cutting out their fetuses. The concept, he admits somewhat bashfully, was a gruesome one.

“That’s exactly what we’re looking for,” was his editor’s response.

That idea became The Surrogate, a crime thriller published in 2009, and Waites simultaneously became Tania Carver, his female alter ego. Before he started writing, he embarked on a period of research, reading novels by popular female crime writers, and made “copious notes” about their various heroes and villains. Waites was an actor before he was a writer, and “Martyn” and “Tania” soon became different personas in his head, almost like characters. He’d sit down to write as Tania and then realize the concept was much better suited to Martyn. Martyn books, he explains, “were more complex, more metaphorical. The kind of things I like in writing.” Tania books were simpler: mainstream commercial thrillers aimed at a female audience. And they rapidly became more successful than any of Waites’s previous books had been.

The case of a male author using a female pseudonym to write fiction was relatively unheard of when Tania Carver emerged, but the explosion of female-oriented crime fiction in the last five years has led to an increasing number of male authors adopting gender-neutral names to publish their work. Last month, The Wall Street Journal’s Ellen Gamerman considered the phenomenon, interviewing a number of writers who fessed up to being men: Riley Sager (Todd Ritter), A.J. Finn (Daniel Mallory), S.J. Watson (Steve Watson), J.P. Delaney (Tony Strong), S.K. Tremayne (Sean Thomas). The trend is ironic, Gamerman pointed out, because the history of fiction is littered with women writers adopting male or gender-neutral pseudonyms to get their work published, from the Brontë sisters to J.K. Rowling.

[ click to continue reading at The Atlantic ]

Posted on August 26, 2017 by Editor

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Aphex Technical Equipment Supply

from NPR

How A Small Town Record Store Quietly Released An Exclusive Aphex Twin Record

Working away from a cultural capital comes with significant upsides.

by SCOTT STERLING

Well beyond the obvious tropes of Motown, techno and hip-hop icons, evidence of metropolitan Detroit’s reputation as a music city could historically be found within the confines of its record stores. Legendary and sadly long-gone record shops in and around the city were often nearly as important and influential as the music sold in them.

Today, a new crop of budding independent record stores is taking the torch for new and innovative music in southeastern Michigan, none more interestingly than Technical Equipment Supply, which recently made its home in an unlikely place.

Ypsilanti, Mich., is a small Midwestern town of less than 23,000 residents, 36 miles from Detroit and situated just a few miles east of Ann Arbor. “Ypsi” still retains much of it’s mid-20th century charm, and has yet to get caught up in the waves of gentrification sweeping cities across America, primarily in what’s known — both positively and derisively, depending on who’s doing the talking — as “New” Detroit.

[ click to read full article at NPR ]

Posted on August 25, 2017 by Editor

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James Cameron – Disturbing

from The Village Voice

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” Is Still a Deeply Upsetting Blockbuster

“It’s in your nature to destroy yourselves”

by BILGE EBIRI

Say what you will about James Cameron, but the man commits. Stories of the director’s perfectionism, his control-freak mania, and his sheer drive are legion, but I’m talking about something more fundamental to the work itself. Whereas most action filmmakers are content to let emotion and morality play second fiddle to the more immediate, commercial elements of their movies, Cameron refuses to relegate such things to the background. The love story in Titanic isn’t just an excuse to stage an extravagant disaster flick; it becomes the picture’s raison d’être (and, not coincidentally, a key factor in its success). The environmental and anti-colonial overtones of Avatar aren’t there merely to provide some character shading; they practically take over. And now, back in theaters and converted to 3-D, is Cameron’s classic sequel Terminator 2: Judgment Day — not just a movie about fighting to prevent nuclear apocalypse, but a movie obsessed with nuclear apocalypse.

Maybe that wasn’t so clear back in 1991, when it originally came out. The Iron Curtain had recently fallen, effectively ending the Cold War and seemingly lifting the nuclear threat. I distinctly remember Sarah Connor’s occasional ruminations on the fate of the human race eliciting chuckles in my theater at the time. Today, however, the overwhelming despair of T2 is impossible to ignore. This is one of the most upsetting blockbusters ever.

In 1984, Cameron’s original Terminator played a key role in turning Arnold Schwarzenegger into a massive global star, and it was a nasty, brutish little beast of a movie — an R-rated horror flick posing as a sci-fi thriller. But it worked (and became a hit) because, playing a killer super-robot sent from the future by our machine overlords to murder the young woman (Linda Hamilton) who would give birth to the leader of the human resistance, Schwarzenegger used his considerable limitations as an actor to his advantage. Thus did Arnold become an icon of Reaganite, muscles-and-guns spectacle: a terse, emotionless robot racking up an insane body count with an assortment of heavy weaponry.

[ click to continue reading at The Village Voice ]

Posted on August 24, 2017 by Editor

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Reggae Healing

from The Saudi Gazette

Reggae helps heal mental wounds of torture for migrants in Italy

Ibrahim Jalloh of Sierra Leone sings during a performance of the Medu Music Band in Rome, Italy. – Reuters

ROME – In a tiny makeshift rehearsal studio in a residential neighborhood of Rome, Nigerian asylum seeker Sylvester Ezeala let slip a smile as he drummed a pair of claves to the mesmeric beat of African reggae.

“I love music. Music is life. It makes you relax and calms your nerves,” said Ezeala, 28, who credits music for obliterating the feelings of loneliness and loss that had brought him to the verge of suicide just a few months earlier.

Ezeala is a member of a band set up by medical charity Doctors for Human Rights (MEDU) to help migrants who experienced torture and extreme violence before fleeing to a new life.

For an increasing number of migrants arriving in Italy bear mental as well as physical scars due to abuse experienced in their country of origin or on their way to Europe, mainly in Libya, according to the Rome-based non-government organization.

MEDU coordinator Alberto Barbieri said most suffer from depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, which can cause nightmares, flashbacks, insomnia, guilt and isolation.

“All together these symptoms seriously impair people’s social, work, affective and interpersonal life and … increase isolation,” said Barbieri.

[ click to continue reading at The Saudi Gazette ]

Posted on August 23, 2017 by Editor

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The Village Voice Gone

from The Hollywood Reporter

End of an Era: Village Voice Will No Longer Be in Print

by Jeremy Barr

The Village Voice’s Aug. 16-22, 2017 issue

The alt-weekly changed ownership in 2015.

Peter Barbey, who purchased The Village Voice in 2015, has decided to no longer produce a print edition of the alt-weekly. The publication, which was once considered an important voice and platform, has long been distributed for free around New York City.

“For more than 60 years, The Village Voice brand has played an outsized role in American journalism, politics, and culture,” Barbey said Tuesday in a prepared statement. “It has been a beacon for progress and a literal voice for thousands of people whose identities, opinions, and ideas might otherwise have been unheard. I expect it to continue to be that and much, much more.”

The Village Voice, like most historically print-focused publications, has struggled with the shift to less-remunerative digital advertising. The paper was once reliant largely on classified advertising.

“That business has moved online — and so has the Voice’s audience, which expects us to do what we do not just once a week, but every day, across a range of media, from words and pictures to podcasts, video, and even other forms of print publishing,” Barbey said.

[ click to continue reading at THR ]

Posted on August 22, 2017 by Editor

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Don’t Look At The Fireball

from TIME

How to Watch the Solar Eclipse Like a 1960s School Kid

by Eliza Berman

Caption from LIFE. Fifth-graders at the Emerson School in Maywood, Ill. line up with backs to the sun and their eclipse / Francis Miller—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images

If you are one of the lucky Americans in position to see Monday’s total solar eclipse —which will touch 14 states as it crosses the country from coast to coast — you’d do well to take a tip from 1963’s fifth grade class of the Emerson School in Maywood, Illinois. Wielding cardboard boxes and knives that today would surely get a kid suspended, the kids demonstrated for LIFE’s readers how to safely look at an eclipse.

During the solar eclipse of 1960, hundreds of people had suffered permanent eye damage from looking directly at the sun. With help from the Illinois Society for the Prevention of Blindness, Emerson students avoided the same fate by building Sunscopes, pinhole camera-like contraptions that indirectly project an image of the sun. The magazine offered instructions for those desiring to replicate the project at home:

[ click to continue reading at TIME ]

Posted on August 21, 2017 by Editor

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She Got Legs

from The Onion

ZZ Top Reveals Meaning Behind Classic Song ‘Legs’

HOUSTON—More than three decades after the song was a chart-topping smash and became an instant classic-rock staple, ZZ Top finally revealed to fans Tuesday the meaning behind its iconic hit “Legs.” “People have been coming up with all these crazy interpretations for 30 years, so we’ve finally decided to just come out and say that the song’s about a woman’s sexy legs and how much they make us want her sexually,” said lead vocalist Billy Gibbons, acknowledging that spelling out the meaning of “Legs” might take away from its longstanding mystique.

[ click to continue reading at The Onion ]

Posted on August 20, 2017 by Editor

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Mosaic Studio

from The Observer 

1,200-Year-Old Mosaic Studio Reveals a ‘Snapshot’ of Ancient Construction Methods

By Alanna Martinez

Photogrammetric composite image of the ‘House of the Tessarae’, trench P. The numbers relate to different archaeological features. © The Danish-German Jerash Northwest Quarter Project

The eruption of Mount Vesuvius at Pompeii in 79 A.D. isn’t the only example of life in the ancient world being preserved by the aftermath of a natural disaster. An article in the August 2017 issue of the scientific journal Antiquity reveals how a set of recently uncovered residential buildings in the city of Jerash, Jordan, abandoned after an earthquake in 749 A.D., are shedding new light into the little-known organization of Roman, Byzantine and Early Islamic-era mosaic workshops.

For the first time, according to the article’s authors Achim Lichtenberger and Rubina Raja, scientists have found evidence of what appears to be a mobile mosaicist workshop, confirming previous theories that artisans of the era worked in situ to create tile murals and flooring.

[ click to continue reading at The Observer ]

Posted on August 19, 2017 by Editor

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Another one…

from labroots

Huge Asteroid to Pass Closely to Earth on September 1st, 2017

BY: Anthony Bouchard

An artist's impression of a large asteroid passing by the Earth.An artist’s impression of a large asteroid passing by the Earth. Image Credit: Marcelo6366/Pixabay

Don’t panic, but a massive asteroid more than 2.7 miles across is about to get up-close and personal with the Earth.

While it sounds alarming when we put it that way, NASA assures all of us that the asteroid will harmlessly pass the Earth on September 1st.

The asteroid goes by the name Florence, and it’s one of the largest near-Earth asteroids that come within hair-raising distances of our planet every so often.

“While many known asteroids have passed by closer to Earth than Florence will on September 1, all of those were estimated to be smaller,” said the manager of NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS), Paul Chodas.

“Florence is the largest asteroid to pass by our planet this close since the NASA program to detect and track near-Earth asteroids began.”

[ click to continue reading at labroots ]

Posted on August 18, 2017 by Editor

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Bots Win Again

from CNN

A bot just defeated one of the world’s best video gamers

by Jackie Wattles

An artificial intelligence program just annihilated its human competition at a world championship video game contest.

The AI win stunned the gaming community, because bots are generally considered inferior to expert human players.

This one from Open AI — a nonprofit artificial intelligence research firm known mainly for its backing by serial entrepreneur Elon Musk, of Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX fame — is a different story, and possibly a cautionary one.

Open AI says its mission is to promote “responsible” AI development.

Or, as Musk puts it, to ensure that AI doesn’t grow unchecked and become the death of humanity.

Musk said Saturday via Twitter that AI is “more [of a] risk than North Korea.”

To test out some harmless uses for AI, one Open AI team taught a bot to play Dota 2.

Dota 2, for those unfamiliar, is an online multi-player battle game. It works kind of like a complex virtual version of capture the flag. Teams of players use powerful characters, called “heroes,” to battle each other. The game ends when one team has taken down a structure, called an “Ancient,” in the opposing team’s home base.

[ click to continue reading at CNN ]

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Editor

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No drones L.A.!

from The Los Angeles Times

Should the LAPD use drones? Here’s what’s behind the heated debate

by Kate Mather

For more than three years, a pair of drones donated to the Los Angeles Police Department was locked away, collecting dust after a public outcry over the idea of police using the controversial technology.

Seattle police saw a similar backlash when they wanted to use the devices, grounding their drone program before it even took off. And recently, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s use of a drone has been criticized by activists as well as civilian oversight commissioners who want the agency to stop.

On Tuesday, the LAPD again waded into the heated debate, saying the department wanted to test the use of drones in a one-year pilot program.

Drones have been hailed by law enforcement across the country as a valuable technology that could help find missing hikers or monitor armed suspects without jeopardizing the safety of officers. But efforts to deploy the unmanned aircraft have frequently drawn fierce criticism from privacy advocates or police critics for whom the devices stir Orwellian visions of inappropriate — or illegal — surveillance and fears of military-grade, weaponized drones patrolling the skies.

The LAPD saw that resistance Tuesday even before department brass unveiled details of their proposal to the Police Commission. About three dozen activists gathered before the board’s morning meeting to denounce any use of drones by the department. When the presentation ended, some of those activists leapt to their feet.

“Drone-free LAPD, no drones L.A.!” they chanted.

[ click to continue reading at LAT ]

Posted on August 16, 2017 by Editor

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Wish You Were Sad

Posted on August 15, 2017 by Editor

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