Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Plush Jon Snow and Ghost on sale

There's a little over one day left to bid on the Plush Jon Snow and Ghost (with White Walker hand) by Mick Minogue at ebay.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Link roundup

1.  New batch of Tiny Games, this time recommending activities for commercial breaks.  For example:
When the ad break starts, each player puts one finger somewhere on the screen and leaves it there. Whoever’s finger touches more people’s faces during the ad break wins.
2.  "Evil spirits may not exist, but there are phenomena in nature that act nearly the same… or worse."
The “evil wind” in question is well-known invisible killer: carbon dioxide. Emitted by volcanic vents in active regions of Africa, the gas can settle in low-lying areas such as ditches, producing an unseen toxic area that can incapacitate and kill humans who wander within. It is estimated that 100 people die every year in the region around Lake Kivu from such Mazukus, which can be especially dangerous at night, when people sleep close to the ground.
3. "How To Make A Highlight Reel Without Any Highlights"
By now you've worked out that Tran, 18, isn't headed to a big-time college football program next season. But his self-produced highlight reel is infinitely more entertaining and honest than the thousands of "serious" videos recruits send to coaches across the country.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

15 more seconds of new Daft Punk

15 seconds from Daft Punk's Random Access Memories, which is listed at iTunes as a May 21 release.  Via.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Space station mission patch

By Shepard Fairey.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Monday, March 18, 2013

Women Warriors

Contributions by Richie Pope and  Rachel Morris's contribution to a women warriors zine.

Link roundup

1.  Studying roller derby for science:
The authors used a tournament happening at Eugene, Oregon with the Emerald City Roller Girls (the host, from Eugene), DC Roller Girls (Washington, DC) and Silicon Valley Roller Girls (San Jose, CA). They were able to test a few conditions: the teams’ microbial communities before playing, after playing one bout, and after playing two bouts, to see change over time and over contact with different team microbial communities. They sampled from the upper arm, because it’s probably the body part with the most universal exposure across players.
2.  Hollywood Reporter:
The Associated Press is being sued by the documentary makers of the film Hart Island: An American Cemetery, about a small potter's field island in New York City where prison laborers bury the region's unclaimed mass dead in mass graves. The film features four individuals and their six-year struggle to navigate city bureaucracy to locate a body mistakenly buried and properly grieve. 
The reason why footage of Hart Island is so valuable is that NYC's Department of Corrections prohibits filming there.
3.  Seems like just a few weeks ago that ESPN had a long article about praising undersized white athletes for their grit instead of trying to calculate how valuable they actually were to their team.  Here's a new ESPN article about college basketball player Aaron Craft, filled with anecdotes like this:
This is the way he's always been. When Craft was 3 years old, he stuck his father's keys into an electrical outlet while John ran a basketball practice. The shock knocked him off his feet, but the toddler refused to cry.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

"How does La Paz feel? Like someone crushed up a xanax and put it in your vodka martini"

Visiting a hot new restaurant in Bolivia:
The Altitude: Still want to go to La Paz? Better check your altitude tolerance. Football player, who are usually in pretty good shape, often complain about competing in Denver, which is 1,6000 meters (one mile) above sea level. Then there’s Machu Pichu in Peru, where fainting from altitude sickness is not uncommon amid the 2,430 meter elevation. Then finally we have La Paz, Bolivia, which hovers around 3,600 meters, and hits 4,000 at the airport. It is the highest capital city in the world.

How does La Paz feel? Like someone crushed up a xanax and put it in your vodka martini. Everything is in slow motion for the first few hours. Took me 30 seconds to put an iPad into a shopping bag due to loss of dexterity. It’s so high that Major League Soccer briefly banned play here in 2007. After about eight hours, I didn’t seem to mind the elevation, though I should disclose that I accidentally banged my head into various objects about 4-5 times that first day and a half. So yeah.

Movie poster for The East

Japanese poster for Fargo.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fionna and Cake

By Matt Taylor.

Young Avengers #6 cover

By Jamie McKelvie.

Link roundup

1.  Google Reader to end July 1.

2.  "The following is a very cool step by step Sticker Tutorial on how to create some custom Clear Vinyl Laptop Stickers, that will glow when placed on your laptop."

3.  BBC:
A Brazilian doctor faces charges of fraud after being caught on camera using silicone fingers to sign in for work for absent colleagues, police say. Thaune Nunes Ferreira, 29, was arrested on Sunday for using prosthetic fingers to fool the biometric employee attendance device used at the hospital where she works near Sao Paulo.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Watch the first elimination challenge on Penny Arcade's Strip Search

In this first elimination episode of Strip Search, the two artists compete to impress Jerry and Mike with a comic strip created in 90 minutes.

Link roundup

1.  Eater:
Good news for caviar lovers in Las Vegas. Back in February, the Bellagio introduced an all-you-can-eat caviar station to its buffet. According to the Las Vegas Sun, these past few weeks have been a test, and now the Bellagio's bottomless (yes, bottomless) caviar program is now officially a permanent fixture of the $37.99 Gourmet Dinner experience.
2.  io9:
Back in the early 19th Century, an Irish adventurer and smuggler named Tom Johnson hatched a plot to rescue the exiled Napoleon from his island prison on St. Helena. But to do so he would need to approach the heavily guarded island with extreme caution. That’s when he decided to design his very own submarine — decades before the invention of the first practical underwater vessel.
3.  WSJ:
If a typical electric car is driven 50,000 miles over its lifetime, the huge initial emissions from its manufacture means the car will actually have put more carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere than a similar-size gasoline-powered car driven the same number of miles. Similarly, if the energy used to recharge the electric car comes mostly from coal-fired power plants, it will be responsible for the emission of almost 15 ounces of carbon-dioxide for every one of the 50,000 miles it is driven—three ounces more than a similar gas-powered car.
4. Star Wars: First Assault, yet another Lucas project apparently canceled.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Link roundup

1.  io9:
In 1833, a boat loaded with ice came into Calcutta. It was the product of nearly thirty years of one of the most expensive series of experiments ever done. It was also the triumph of one of the strangest businesses ever conceived, by a man called the "Ice King."
2. "At the IAmAFiction subreddit, you can actually take your fictional character out into the world–interacting with readers and answering questions in character to help your writing process."

3.  Destructoid:
Half of Destructoid's readers block our ads. Now what?

Uncanny X-Force #6 cover

By Kris Anka.


By Hye Jin Chung.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"their wealth had to be in land that could be confiscated"

The Best Defense:
the role of aristocracy was to provide loyal, competent, honest service to the crown. Thus their wealth had to be in land that could be confiscated. An aristo who invested in industry was no longer hostage to the crown, and so could no longer be trusted entirely. Hence the creation of strong disincentives to pursuing other forms of wealth, one reason that the ruling class in England tended to sit out the Industrial Revolution.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Link roundup

1.  LA Times:
City officials are building a small park in Harbor Gateway with the main purpose of forcing 33 registered sex offenders to move out of a nearby apartment building.

State law prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park or school. By building the park, officials said, they would effectively force the sex offenders to leave the neighborhood.
2.  Another good article in the latest ESPN magazine, about the baseball player evaluation statistic WAR:
WAR tells a new story about baseball. Better, WAR shows that new story, because it embeds every part of the game within its formula. Consider shortstop David Eckstein. The mainstream story about Eckstein -- he's small and not technically very good, but boy does he have grit -- was told through adjectives, not facts. At the media-criticism site Fire Joe Morgan, there was a David Eckstein category comprising 20 separate posts on Eckstein hagiographies. That's nearly 12,000 (hysterical) words mocking the reporters who celebrated the plucky Eckstein despite his weak arm, punchless bat and general failure to be athletic.

Now, here's the twist: David Eckstein was actually very valuable, and it had nothing to do with the adjectives. In 2002 Eckstein (WAR of 4.4, according to analytics-based website FanGraphs) was almost as good as Miguel Tejada (WAR of 4.7), who won the AL MVP award that year. Tejada hit 34 home runs and drove in 131. But Eckstein was nearly his equal while driving in 63 and taking a running start every time he threw to first. How? WAR, and the components that it comprises, tells us:

1. Eckstein let himself get hit by 27 pitches, giving him a better OBP than Tejada and blunting Tejada's power advantage. 2 . Eckstein hit into a third as many double plays. 3. Eckstein was actually a good defensive shortstop with more range than Tejada and more success turning double plays.

A writer who wanted to praise Eckstein, then, could have made some assumptions about Eckstein based on his height, weight and skin color (white), collected some flattering athlete-cliche quotes from Eckstein's teammates and flipped through his thesaurus looking for new words -- thaumaturgical! leptosome! -- to describe the little guy. Or he could have started with WAR and explained how David Eckstein, ballplayer, was good at playing ball.
3.   From ESPN's lengthy profile of Michael Jordan:
In the late '80s, Jordan looked in Whitfield's closet and saw that half of it was filled with Nike and the other half filled with Puma. Jordan bundled the Puma gear in his arms, tossing it onto the living room floor. He took a knife from the kitchen and cut it to shreds. Call Howard White, his contact at Nike, he told Fred, and tell him to replace it all. Same thing happened with George. He bought a pair of New Balance shoes he loved, and Jordan saw them one day and insisted he hand them over. Call Howard White at Nike.
In case anyone in the inner circle forgets who's in charge, they only have to recall the code names given to them by the private security team assigned to overseas trips. Estee is Venom. George is Butler. Yvette is Harmony. Jordan is called Yahweh -- a Hebrew word for God. 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Link roundup

1.  BoingBoing:
You may have heard that Amazon is selling a "KEEP CALM AND RAPE A LOT" t-shirt. How did such a thing come to pass? Well, as Pete Ashton explains, this is a weird outcome of an automated algorithm that just tries random variations on "KEEP CALM AND," offering them for sale in Amazon's third-party marketplace and printing them on demand if any of them manage to find a buyer.
2.  LA Times:
Nurse refused to give CPR to elderly woman who later died
3. "The DRM on This Chair Makes It Melt Down After Eight Uses."