Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Seriously weird

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Does not look like ice cream

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Good Grief

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Good Grief

Hackaday: FlowPaw, the Bear Paw of Electronics Education


If the astonishing success of littleBits is any indication, there’s a huge market for ‘intro to electronics’ products that are much more capable than the classic Radio Shack ‘springs and components stuck to cardboard’ kits or even the very successful littleBits. FlowPaw is the latest entry in this space, combining the sensor module paradigm of littleBits with a largish microcontroller, digital and analog pins, and a great programming interface.

The big innovation in the FlowPaw is the FlowStone programming language. It’s a graphical programming language that allows young creators to connect blocks, modules, and functions together with virtual wires, but also allows the editing of different modules with Ruby. Best of both worlds, there.

The FlowPaw kickstarter includes rewards for just the FlowStone software, or the FlowPaw electronics board with a bunch of modules. Already, the team has LED, relay, accelerometer, buzzer, and capacitive touch sensors, along with a Bluetooth and speech recognition module. They’re working on a few more advanced modules for GPS, pressure, DC motor control, and RFID as well.

Filed under: Crowd Funding AnyEvent-HTTPD-ExtDirect-3.02

RPC::ExtDirect gateway for AnyEvent::HTTPD Crypt-Image-0.04

Interface to hide text into an image. Inline-CPP-0.67

Write Perl subroutines and classes in C++.

Potz!Blitz!Szpilman!: Tan Shen

Tan Shen, KFC, 2014

Recent additions: Randometer

Added by So8res, Sat Oct 25 03:28:56 UTC 2014.

Randomness intuition trainer

Slashdot: OwnCloud Dev Requests Removal From Ubuntu Repos Over Security Holes

operator_error notes a report that ownCloud developer Lukas Reschke has emailed the Ubuntu Devel mailing list to request that ownCloud (server) be removed from the Ubuntu repositories because it contains "multiple critical security bugs for which no fixes have been backported," through which an attacker could "gain complete control [of] the web server process." From the article: However, packages can't be removed from the Ubuntu repositories for an Ubuntu version that was already released, that's why the package was removed from Ubuntu 14.10 (2 days before its release) but it's still available in the Ubuntu 14.04 and 12.04 repositories (ownCloud 6.0.1 for Ubuntu 14.04 and ownCloud 5.0.4 for Ubuntu 12.04, while the latest ownCloud version is 7.0.2). Furthermore, the ownCloud package is in the universe repository and software in this repository "WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu security team" (you should see this if you take a look at your /etc/apt/sources.list file) so it's up to someone from the Ubuntu community to step up and fix it. "If nobody does that, then it unfortunately stays the way it is", says Marc Deslauriers, Security Tech Lead at Canonical. You can follow the discussion @ Ubuntu Devel mailing list. So, until (if) someone fixes this, if you're using ownCloud from the Ubuntu repositories, you should either remove it or upgrade to the latest ownCloud from its official repository, hosted by the openSUSE Build Service."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Recent additions: hans

Added by TrevorElliott, Sat Oct 25 03:01:36 UTC 2014.

IPv4 Network Stack

Instructables: exploring - featured: Rolltop Waterproof Backpack

how hard is it to make a backpack? it's just a big rectangle with some straps and some other pockets, right? But when you're looking for a backpack, it's somehow impossible to find a backpack which is fully waterproof, visible, easy to see, and just the size you want. So here is a backpack I made, ...
By: abigail-nicole

Continue Reading » Juju-2.001_1

Perl bindings for Juju

MetaFilter: Do you like vintage training/educational fims? Meet Jeff Quitney.

Jeff Quitney has curated hundreds and hundreds* of YouTube playlists with thousands and thousands of vintage educational, training and institutional films and documentaries. If you hate multi-link posts you can jump right in because the playlists aren't organized. In addition to including extensive background information and links to other resources in the video descriptions, he has restored or improved the video and audio in most of the films. Space, the military, and biology are well represented, but so are pets, food, and outdoor recreation and survival. Armchair travelers will be able to travel around the world, but you can also stay at home and watch cartoons. Travel back in time for the latest breaking newsreels, and add your own weather reports from vintage USAF meteorology films. And if you like women's tennis, then you've just hit the motherlode.*I stopped counting at 480

Here's a very, very, very brief overview: *I stopped counting at 480

(There's obviously a lot of problematic stuff in here, especially in the mysogny department, so I tried not to link to anything that appeared to be overtly awful. In other words, there's a ton of "homemaking" type of videos that aren't represented in this post that are interesting and worth watching.)

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Noob Question - How do you package a program for people to use?

To try and explain what I'm asking, I'll give an example. I'm writing a program in C# that does something, then someone wants to try it out. Rather than send them the folder with my source code, debug folders, etc. along with my .exe, how would I package everything so that someone could download it and then just click on the program icon and run it?

I have some experience with C++, C#, XAML, SQL, Java, PLC programming, assembly, but I still haven't learned anything about packaging programs so far.. >.<Which sort of makes me feel like a moron. Hopefully this was the correct place to post this question, thanks in advance.

submitted by shadok92
[link] [2 comments]

Recent additions: colchis

Added by DanielDiazCarrete, Sat Oct 25 02:34:35 UTC 2014.

Rudimentary JSON-RPC 2.0 client over raw TCP.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Computer Science in two different departments?

The university I'm considering has 2 different campuses that offer Computer Science but one lists it in the Math department and the other in Natural Sciences. Should I expect any notable differences?

submitted by Zwolfer
[link] [6 comments]

Hackaday: Using Excel to Watch Movies at Work


The Excel subreddit exploded earlier this week when redditor [AyrA_ch] shared his custom spreadsheet that allowed him to play video files on a locked-down work computer. How locked down? With no access to Windows Media Player and IE7 as the only browser (all plugins disabled, no HTML5), Excel became the unlikely hero to cure a 3-hour boredom stint.

Behind the cascade of rectangles and in the land of the Excel macro, [AyrA_ch] took advantage of the program’s VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) functions to circumvent the computer’s restrictions. Although VBA typically serves the more-complex-than-usual macro, it can also invoke some Windows API commands, one of which calls Windows Media Player. The Excel file includes a working playlist and some rudimentary controls: play, pause, stop, etc. as well as an inspired pie chart countdown timer.

As clever as this hack is, the best feature is much more subtle: tricking in-house big brother. [AyrA_ch]‘s computer ran an application to monitor process usage, but any videos played through the spreadsheet were attributed to Excel, ensuring the process usage stayed on target. You can download it for yourself over on GitHub.

Filed under: security hacks, software hacks, video hacks

MetaFilter: Non non non

Unless you are a monomaniacal specialist of the 80s, there is very little chance that Cha Cha Guitry will ring any bell. And yet this band, buried away in Saint-Etienne – at the very heart of France – could have rivalled easily with Elli & Jacno or Telex. Emblematic of that French touch which tinged new-wave with a bit of sunshine, their electro, retro-futuristic songs have that slight sweet and sour flavour between casualness and sophistication.

programming: Programmer’s dilemma

submitted by ReallyMatriX
[link] [53 comments] Perinci-CmdLine-Lite-0.39

A lightweight Rinci/Riap-based command-line application framework

Perlsphere: Use a computed label with loop controllers

Not sure which loop you want to break out of? Perl v5.18 makes that easy with computed labels. The value you give next, last, and redo no longer has to be a literal. You could already do this with goto, but now you can give the loop controllers an expression.

Here’s a contrived example. While reading lines of input and breaking the lines into words, this program might encounter either skipword or skipline, in which case the program should do just that. The problem is that those strings refer to different loops. That’s not a problem, though:

use v5.18;

LINE: while( <DATA> ) {
	WORD: foreach my $word ( split ) {
		next uc($1) if $word  =~ m/\Askip(.*)/;
		say $word;

one two 
three four
five skipword six
seven eight
nine skipline forty Buster
ten eleven

In the output, you don’t see skipword, or skipline and anything that comes after it:

% perl5.18.1

You can do this without much more work without this feature, but you have to hardcode the labels:

my $code_ref = sub {
	print "I'm in the anonymous sub!\n";
sub named_sub {
	print "I'm in a named subroutine!\n";
sub main {
	LINE: while(  ) {
		goto 'LINE' if $_ eq 'skipline';

		goto $code_ref if $_ eq 'coderef';
		goto \&named_sub if $_ eq 'named_sub';
		print "$_\n";


this is line 1
here's line 2
and the third line
fourth line

Once you goto a subroutine reference, however, you don’t come back to the loop. The program doesn’t resume the while after it reads the coderef line:

$ perl5.8.9
this is line 1
here's line 2
and the third line
I'm in the anonymous sub!

Recent additions: DifferenceLogic

Added by dillonhuff, Sat Oct 25 00:55:06 UTC 2014.

A theory solver for conjunctions of literals in difference logic

Slashdot: Microsoft Now Makes Money From Surface Line, Q1 Sales Reach Almost $1 Billion

SmartAboutThings writes Microsoft has recently published its Q1 fiscal 2015 earnings report, disclosing that it has made $4.5 billion in net income on $23.20 billion in revenue. According to the report, revenue has increased by $4.67 billion, compared to $18.53 billion from the same period last year. However, net income has decreased 14 percent compared to last year's $5.24 billion mainly because of the $1.14 billion cost associated with the integration and restructuring expenses related to the Nokia acquisition. But what's finally good news for the company is that the Surface gross margin was positive this quarter, which means the company finally starts making money on Surface sales. Microsoft didn't yet reveal Surface sales, but we know that Surface revenue was $908 million this quarter, up a massive 127 percent from the $400 million this time last year. However, if we assume that the average spent amount on the purchase of this year's Surface Pro 3 was around $1000, then we have less than 1 million units sold, which isn't that impressive, but it's a good start.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Recent additions: aeson-t 0.0.2

Added by begriffs, Fri Oct 24 23:50:31 UTC 2014.

Transform JSON

Planet Haskell: The GHC Team: GHC Weekly News - 2014/10/24

Hi *,

Welcome to the weekly GHC news. This one will be short this week, as the preceding one occurred only on Monday - but we'll be going with Fridays from now on, so next week we'll hopefully see a longer list.

  • GHC 7.8.4 tickets have been in waiting, and the RC will be soon after Austin finishes some final merges and tests on his branch. We have not committed a time for the release after the RC, yet we would like people to please seriously test and immediately report any major showstoppers - or alert us of ones we missed.
  • For the GHC 7.10 release, one of the major features we planned to try and merge was DWARF debugging information. This is actually a small component of larger ongoing work, including adding stack traces to Haskell executables. While, unfortunately, not all the work can be merged, we talked with Peter, and made a plan: our hope is to get Phab:D169 merged, which lays all the groundwork, followed by DWARF debugging information in the code generators. This will allow tools like gdb or other extensible debuggers to analyze C-- IR accurately for compiled executables. Peter has written up a wiki page, available at SourceNotes, describing the design. We hope to land all the core infrastructure in Phab:D169 soon, followed by DWARF information for the Native Code Generator, all for 7.10.1
  • This past week, a discussion sort of organically started on the #ghc IRC channel about the future of the LLVM backend. GHC's backend is buggy, has no control over LLVM versions, and breaks frequently with new versions. This all significantly impacts users, and relegates the backend to a second class citizen. After some discussion, Austin wrote up a proposal for a improved backend, and wrangled several other people to help. The current plan is to try an execute this by GHC 7.12, with the goal of making the LLVM backend Tier 1 for major supported platforms.
  • You may notice is now responds slightly faster in some cases - we've activated a caching layer (CloudFlare) on the site, so hopefully things should be a little more smooth.

Closed tickets this week: #9684, #9692, #9038, #9679, #9537, #1473.

Slashdot: Days After Shooting, Canada Proposes New Restrictions On and Offline

New submitter o_ferguson writes As Slashdot reported earlier this week, a lone shooter attacked the war memorial and parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada on Wednesday. As many comments predicted, the national government has seized this as an opportunity to roll out considerable new regressive legislation, including measures designed to* increase data access for domestic intelligence services, institute a new form of extra-judicial detention, and, perhaps most troubling, criminalize some forms of religious and political speech online. As an example of the type of speech that could, in future, be grounds for prosecution, the article mentions that the killer's website featured "a black ISIS flag and rejoiced that 'disbelievers' will be consigned to the fires of Hell for eternity." A government MP offers the scant assurance that this legislation is not "trauma tainted," as it was drafted well prior to this week's instigating incidents. Needless to say, some internet observes remain, as always, highly skeptical of the manner in which events are being portrayed. (Please note that some articles may be partially paywalled unless opened in a private/incognito browser window.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: If AVL/Red-black trees are O(log n) for all operations then are they used in pretty much everything?

submitted by wopadindin
[link] [19 comments]

MetaFilter: I love tortoises, and I love to crochet.

Katie Bradley loves tortises: "At this point, I have made well over 1500 turtle cozies."

Hackaday: STEAM Carnival Hacker Preview Day

Carney For LifeLast week we wrote about the guys over at TwoBitCircus and their upcoming STEAM Carnival. This Thursday we managed to make it down to the Hacker Preview day where they showed us all the toys and games that will be exhibited over the weekend.

The preview day went pretty well until the evening, when unexpected power problems occurred and the site lost power for a little while. But this is why you have a preview day right? Organizer [Brent Bushnell] even commented that he should have put a BETA badge on the ticket. Thankfully the outage coincided with the food truck arriving so everyone stopped for a burger.

Sadly all the fire based pieces were not active on the preview day since they didn’t have the appropriate safety measures in place yet, but they did get to show us most of their games. My personal favorites were the Hobby Horse Racing, and the Laser Foosball.

Here’s a quick run down of some of the stand out pieces.

Hobby Horse Racing

Hobby Horse Racing

This consisted of 5 hobby horses made from old saw horses! Each horse contained an accelerometer on a microcontroller board, connected to a PC over USB. There was a simple push button on the right rear side of each horse so you could spur your mare on to a win!

The use of saw horses really made this for me.

Human MeteorsHuman Meteors

The name threw me for a minute, but this is actually a giant game of Asteroids projected on the floor using a laser projector.

There’s a Wiimote strapped to the front of the chair which is used for detecting movement and acts as your fire button.


Laser FoosballLaser Foosball

This was produced by one of TwoBitCircus’s intrepid interns. The idea is simple and genius at the same time. You rotate the mirrors to redirect laser beams to make it into your opponent’s goal. Some of the mirrors have blocking panels on them enabling you to play defence, but obviously this impacts your offense too.

Giant HexacadeGiant Hexacade

This six player game involves moving giant trackballs around to control your characters in a number of different video games projected onto the floor. Each controller is a 30″ exercise ball on 3 rollers, with an inverted optical mouse below.


Treadmill SynthesizerTreadmill Synthesizer

A scrolling felt score lets you add velcro backed dots to play notes in a constantly rolling player piano style synthesizer. OpenCV and a webcam are used to track the position and color of the notes which is then converted into output by the synthesizer.

IMG_3009Punching Bag?

We didn’t catch the official name for this, but we had fun with it anyway. It takes a snapshot of you when you punch the dummy.

This makes for an awful lot of weird and amusing faces.



Laser BurstLaser Burst

In this game you would throw balls at the laser projected bubbles on the display. A Microsoft Kinect would track the balls and then award you points appropriately. Using a Kinect meant you could actually track multiple balls at a time. This went down incredibly well with the kids.


There were a lot more interactives at the event. Some were non-operational for the evening, like the Reubens Tube hooked up to a theremin, the Immolation Dunk Tank and the Laser Maze. Others were working but we just got distracted by other shiny things, like the re-imagining of Musical Chairs, Giant Wacky Wire and the Intel Edison based game of tag!

If you’re in the LA area this weekend (25th-26th October) then I highly recommend you checkout the STEAM Carnival. Use the code HACKADAY for a $5 discount! If LA is too far for you then stay tuned to TwoBitCircus since they’re hoping to bring this digital circus on a tour of the USA soon.

Pedal powered fine dining. Giant trackball marble maze Sculptures from cut up steel bars Really pretty metalwork IMG_2915 The Hexacade popular as ever Morph into a celebrity Twister crossed with whackamole Airsoft cannon! An interesting sequencer Laser Burst Hobby Horse Racing Giant Wacky Wire! This thing was scary A cross between tempest and whackamole Intel Edison based Tag controllers NAO robot from Aldebaran Close up of your eye anyone? Treadmill Synthesizer Strobe frozen water Collaborative giant PinBall! Not sure what this was Musical Chairs Pendulums!
Filed under: misc hacks

Instructables: exploring - featured: Light show in a 3D printed model

Now that 3D printing in transparent materials is widely available, we really can start having fun with models playing with light. There's also super convenient ways to use high numbers of RGB LEDs with the Arduino, using Adafruit's Neopixels which only need one digital pin for example.This Instructa...
By: naimo

Continue Reading »

MetaFilter: Disrupting Healthcare

'We Are Going For Change': A Conversation With 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki. 'After spending seven months in the Food & Drug Administration's penalty box, the consumer genetics testing firm 23andMe recently submitted a new health-related test for FDA approval.' 'It was a significant step following last November's FDA slapdown of 23andMe's genetic tests, which included health reports outlining customers' chances of getting a wide variety of diseases from celiac to melanoma. In a sharply worded warning letter, the FDA said the $99 tests, analyzed from a vial of customers' saliva, constituted a medical device under its regulations, and the company needed to get explicit approval for providing risks of getting specific diseases.'

'Q: Some doctors and regulators think people need a doctor or a geneticist as a middleman to interpret genetic tests, but you have been opposed to requiring that, right?

A: We want to give you the option to talk to a doctor or genetic counselor, but making it mandatory is antithetical to my philosophy. There was also a time period when physicians felt you should not tell somebody is they had a cancer diagnosis. There was a time period when people felt women should not have an at-home pregnancy test because they might do something radical.

Q: Do you ever regret trying to be a pioneer in healthcare, which is about as establishment as you can imagine? Did you ever anticipate it would be this much of a challenge?

A: The only thing I regret is I'd like to have more time with my children. For me, it would either doing 23andMe or doing nothing. I'm driving for change. On a weekly basis, people come up to me and talk about how I've saved their life. So I can't get a better job.'

Slashdot: AT&amp;T Locks Apple SIM Cards On New iPads

As reported by MacRumors, the unlocked, carrier-switchable SIM cards built into the newest iPads aren't necessarily so -- at least if you buy them from an AT&T store. Though the card comes from Apple with the ability to support (and be switched among with software, if a change is necessary) all major carriers, "AT&T is not supporting this interchangeability and is locking the SIM included with cellular models of the iPad Air 2 and Retina iPad mini 3 after it is used with an AT&T plan. ... AT&T appears to be the only participating carrier that is locking the Apple SIM to its network. T-Mobile's John Legere has indicated that T-Mobile's process does not lock a customer in to T-Mobile, which appears to be confirmed by Apple's support document, and Sprint's process also seems to leave the Apple SIM unlocked and able to be used with other carrier plans. Verizon, the fourth major carrier in the United States, did not opt to allow the Apple SIM to work with its network." The iPad itself can still be activated and used on other networks, but only after the installation of a new SIM.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Instructables: exploring - featured: Slender Man and Woodland Shadow Creatures Cookies

Hello again,I'm back with another simple yet eerie treat for you guys. I'm going to a pre halloween party tonight and there will be a candy buffet and I figured it would be nice to bring something that was fairly easy to make and wouldn't cost me a fortune, so i gathered my ingredients and the whole...
By: bretinc

Continue Reading »

Slashdot: Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

An anonymous reader writes: Sophos has a blog post up saying, "attempts to get users to choose passwords that will resist offline guessing, e.g., by composition policies, advice and strength meters, must largely be judged failures." They say a password must withstand 1,000,000 guesses to survive an online attack but 100,000,000,000,000 to have any hope against an offline one. "Not only is the difference between those two numbers mind-bogglingly large, there is no middle ground." "Passwords falling between the two thresholds offer no improvement in real-world security, they're just harder to remember." System administrators "should stop worrying about getting users to create strong passwords and should focus instead on properly securing password databases and detecting leaks when they happen."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: What's the name for Sorting Algorithms that utilize probability?

Say for instance you know that you're going to be sorting numbers within a certain interval and you know something about their distribution (uniform, gaussian...what have you) and you use that to your advantage when inserting numbers into a list. What are these algorithms referred to and how efficient are they? Thanks a bunch!

submitted by Syntaximus
[link] [2 comments]

s mazuk: umuad: why does this sound familiar


why does this sound familiar

MetaFilter: Anarchy in the Pre-K

Martha Stewart Living inspires parents to throw a Punk Rock Inspired Party for their children. Instead of advising parents to hijack the school's photocopier and use ransom-note letters from shoplifted magazines for invites; to get their child's mohawk ready to withstand the "nosh pit" with a fresh shave and white glue; perhaps piercing their cherubic cheeks with a safety pins; or even offering lessons in gobbing on the entertainment, the author suggests serving Spinach Ricotta Skulls and printing the sheet music of your favourite punk song on fondant-covered cupcakes. It's no wonder that the real party is in the comments.

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Wheels up

BROKE modified

A GreaterFool rule oft mentioned is this: buy what appreciates, rent what depreciates. Hence, it’s okay to buy a house if at the right price, in the right place. But it’s almost always dumb to cash-buy a new car.

You’d think most people would figure this out. Instead of shoveling over thirty grand for a soul-sucking minivan, they’d be far better of stuffing that money into their TFSA and investing it, and letting the dealer or the bank give them the car. After all, in ten years the TFSA money should double to $60,000. The minivan will be worth (maybe) ten thousand.

Well, seems this is academic for most folks, anyway, since they don’t have any money. Car loans have exploded, and it’s no coincidence this has happened concurrently with a housing boom and a crappy job market. Real estate continues to skim off huge hunks of household cash flow, leaving precious little for wheels, investing, or a Plan B.

Moody’s Investor Service has just tallied this. Ugly. Seven years ago car loans totaled $16.2 billion, which is a giant pile of money. Today that pile is $64 billion – an increase of 300%, or 20% a year. But it gets worse.

As you know, these loans now have terms of eight or nine years, which exceeds most marriages and is longer than the lifespan of most Great Danes and almost all Kias. And despite a stuttering economy, the combination of cheap rates and ridiculously-long pay-back periods has created a boom in car sales. The dealers are having a banner year. Plus, says Moody’s, this also has people buying more expensive rides, so they can roll around and look like rockstar realtors.

So, record car sales. Record car debt. Oh, and record car loan delinquencies.

They jumped more than 13% last year, compared to a drop in missed payments on credit cards and lines of credit. “Credit losses have been low, but could rise quickly in an adverse scenario of unemployment increases or rapidly rising interest rates,” says the rating agency. “If the economy takes a turn for the worst, we could see these loans becoming problematic for the banks.”

Well, let’s turn to jobs for a minute. There must be a correlation between the labour market and an unprecedented demand for consumer credit. A constant run-up in debt would suggest most families are not bringing in enough income to sate their spending habits, which would support the Bank of Canada’s warning that household finances suck (a technical monetary term).

This is a thesis Randall Bartlett is proving. He’s a senior economist at TD Bank which has unveiled a new measure of the job market. Finally. The StatsCan monthly employment roller-coaster has turned into a bit of a joke among the biker-economists I hang with. The swings are so wild as to cast doubt on the validity of the data, with abysmal losses being replaced by flowery gains in a matter of weeks.

So the bank’s launched a Labour Market Indicator to try and get a truer picture on who’s working, and (as importantly) the nature of unemployment. If this is a better tool, we’re a little more screwed than we all thought. Says the bank:

  • “The Canadian labour market is currently experiencing more weakness than is implied by … the headline unemployment rate alone, and has been for nearly two years.”
  • About 20% of all the people out of work these days have been that way for at least six months – the long-term unemployed.
  • The bank says the numbers of people in this group jumped during the GFC, which is to be expected – but that levels have not come down since 2009.
  • Meanwhile the number of working-age Canadians (between 25 and 54) in the workforce is on the decline, down 2% in two years. This, says TD, “is a characteristic of a weak labour market.”
  • So while the official jobless rates is 6.8%, the bank says it’s actually about 7.2%. In the US, by the way, unemployment is now 5.9%.

And Bartlett confirms what this pathetic blog has started for a couple of years – incomes have flatlined. Wage growth of about 2% is running a little below the inflation mark, which means most families are spending more and actually making less. That’s supported by the Canadian Payroll Association, which claims over 50% of us could not last a week past one missed paycheque.

This is what you get when a country opts for a condo economy. Massive spending on housing and consumer goods, supported by an historic increase in debt because a weak jobs market and zero income growth mean Joe Frontporch is treading water. Our manufacturing base has shrunk and a quarter of the economy is now centred on real estate. Were it not for low rates that allow so many to meet their gargantuan monthlies, we’d be pooched. And none of this is coincidental.

Tell me how it works out well.

Colossal: A Spider Fixing a Leaf

A Spider Fixing a Leaf spiders macro leaves

A Spider Fixing a Leaf spiders macro leaves

OK, so the spider isn’t fixing the leaf, but that doesn’t make it any less amazing (and no, it’s not Photoshop). Paris-based photographer Bertrand Kulik stumbled onto this tiny spider who managed to construct its web inside a leaf with a giant hole and snapped these photos at just the right angle. (thnx, Alex!)

programming: Bayesian Testing of Conversion Rate

submitted by gedrap
[link] [comment]

programming: Performance Optimization

submitted by sbahra
[link] [5 comments]

Hackaday: Dottie the Flip Dot Clock


What is it that we like so much about inefficient, noisy clocks made with inappropriate technology? Answer the question for yourself by watching the video (below) that [David Henshaw] sent us of Dottie, the flip-dot clock.

But besides the piece itself, we really like the progression in the build log, from “how am I going to do this?” to a boxed-up, finished project.

Another stunning aspect of this build is just how nice an acrylic case and a raft of cleverly written software can make a project look. You’d never guess from the front that the back-side was an (incredible) rat’s nest of breadboards and Ethernet wires. Those random switching patterns make you forget all the wiring.

And the servo-steered, solenoid-driven chimes are simply sweet. We’re sure that we’d love to hear them in real life.

We tracked down the referenced electronics.stackexchange post with the circuit diagram, and we’re guessing that the diodes actually allow a simplification of the driver circuit. Perhaps our readers will be up for the challenge. Not that we’d be in any hurry to even touch those breadboards…

Filed under: clock hacks

Perlsphere: Module of the month October 2014: Role::Tiny

Every month we award a module our ought-to-be-coveted Module of the Month award, for being particularly useful for our jobs as developers at Nestoria.

And the winner is… Role::Tiny, by Matt S. Trout and contributors. Like any Tiny module, it does one job and only one job, with minimal dependencies. It implements roles, an alternative to object inheritance, without requiring Moose or Moo. We only started using it recently, but it fit the bill for our refactoring job perfectly. What more is there to say?

So congratulations to Matt S. Trout, and accept our donation of 1$/week for a year on Gratipay.

Ramshackle Day Parade: Jung People with Pigeon Breeders and Slow Girl Walking // Oct 26 @ Wunderbar



Founded in late 2010 by childhood friends Bryan Buss and Jordan Bassi after attending the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, CA. Although instrumental, their idealisms and morals regarding Animal Liberation and Social Awareness are displayed heavily into their album art, song titles, T-shirt designs and online presence. Despite the bands inherent punk-rock spirit, the music plays in contrast with its melodic and positive nature.

By 2013 Jung People had played 90+ gigs across Canada and opened for artists such as Crystal Castles, Olafur Arnolds, BRAIDS, Rene Hell and Pick A Piper along with playing 2013’s SXSW Austin, TX and Canadian Music Week in Toronto, CA.

Jung People have recently recorded their first full length studio album entitled ‘Gold Bristle’ produced by Howard Bilerman (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Arcade Fire)

Gold Bristle is the golden pig of the Norse god Freyr, and is one of the only moments in history where a pig has been glorified in good deed.

This story follows a carousal of pigs through their journey of innocence and their unknown fate. Breathing fact into the lungs of legend, a golden pig is born, who sings the hiding gospel of certainty, and liberates his friends and family into wilderness, the original home.


Pigeon Breeders are an experimental trio that formed in 2011. Noted as being “one of the more meditative crown-jewels of Edmonton’s experimental/free-improv scene” (Weird Canada), their performances have been described as “gently unsettling washes of sound … intelligent, beautiful sonic art” (Oliver Arditi).

The group’s live collaborators include Jung People, Connor O’Brien (Flint, ex-Fuck the Tundra), Brooklyn-based avant-trumpteter Nate Wooley, and local filmmaker Lyndsay McIntyre. To date, they have put out six releases, four of which are on the local Ramshackle Day Parade experimental music label.


An exciting new group with fresh shoegaze vibes. Featuring members of Diamond Mind and Gender Poutine.


Quiet Earth: Greatest Movie Deaths as Picked by ABCs of DEATH Directors [NSFW]

The directors behind the 26 short films in ABCs OF DEATH 2 have undertaken an epic project to determine "The Greatest Movie Deaths of All Time" -- using no accepted scientific method and zero statistical analysis the filmmakers have each selected their favorite scene, arriving at a definitive list of shocking, tragic, funny and frightening deaths for the Halloween season.

The selections are as widely diverse as you'd expect with a global roster of filmmakers that hail from Austria, Brazil, Canada, Cuba, France, Israel, Japan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Philippines, the UK and the US.

A great challenge is to try and identify all of the deaths depicted in this supercut!

[Continued ...]

Penny Arcade: News Post: Child&#8217;s Play Strip: MegaCynics

Tycho: As is our way, we have delivered the most recently donated Child’s Play Strip at or near the buzzer.  I think the buzzer might already have gone off actually, but we ended up doing it for people who are as busy as we are, if not busier.  It ended up being a crossover with a comic they also do in addition to everything else.  Here’s theirs, and here’s ours.  Many thanks to Steve and Ash for letting us play around with their toys. I love Dragon Age; one of my favorite “work for hire” projects was making an item for the sequel.  Which ended…

new shelton wet/dry: Every day, the same, again

Alabama man gets $1,000 in police settlement, his lawyers get $459,000 For $100,000, You Can Clone Your Dog Conman who pretended to be in COMA for two years is caught walking around Tesco Researchers have shown that exposing people to pictures of money, or to money-related words, reduces their emotional expressivity and makes them more sensitive to other [...]

the waxing machine: Photo

Twitch: Morelia 2014 Interview: WHITE GOD Director Kornél Mundruczó

On Thursday, October 23, Morelia hosted the Mexican premiere of the Cannes selection White God, a terrific Hungarian film about a little girl and her lost dog Hagen. Directed by Kornél Mundruczó, White God shows the rotten side of humanity, with many different aspects of the (cruel) reality that dogs - and animals in general - have to face every day not just in Budapest, where the movie is set, but in the whole world. The film plays like a revenge fantasy, but it is really clever and never feels gratuitous. Plus, it's definitely a technical masterwork, a very ambitious project that demanded a whole lot of work and deservedly got the Palm Dog Award. After its successful first screening in Morelia, I had the honor...

[Read the whole post on]

programming: Akumuli - time-series database

submitted by chaotic-kotik
[link] [13 comments]

OCaml Planet: Jane Street: Interviewing At Jane Street

Welcome to our version of the seemingly obligatory post about technical interviews. This topic has been covered by a lot of people already, so I'm going to do my best to not repeat all of the copious advice already out there.

Like many companies, we are looking for extremely talented technical people, and we have a challenging interview process that we think does a good job of selecting people who will do well here.

That said, we know that we miss lots of good people too. Some of that is because of the awkwardness of the interview process itself: time is short, the questions are weirdly artificial, and, of course, people get nervous. It's made even worse by the fact that programming on a whiteboard, a web browser, or even just on a computer that isn't yours is a bit like playing classical guitar with mittens on. It can put even an accomplished person off their game.

Missing out on good people makes us sad.

That's what this post is for. We hope that by talking a bit about what we're looking for, the ways people do poorly, and how we think you might be able to prepare, that we'll reduce the mitten handicap - at least a bit.

What Are We Looking For?

From our perspective, the main thing we want to figure out when we interview someone is: are they someone we want to work with?

That seems obvious enough, but it's a point that can get lost in the puzzles and whiteboard coding of an interview. Really, we think of our interviews as little simulations of what it's like to work together with the candidate. And while at the time, it may seem to the candidate that the interview is all about solving the problem, it's really not. We're much more interested in learning about how you work than we are in whether you actually finish whatever problem we put in front of you.

It's not that technical skill is irrelevant --- far from it. But it's only part of the story. Just as important to us is whether we can have a productive and fun discussion with the candidate.

To that end, we try to avoid algorithm bingo and puzzles with clever "aha" solutions. We prefer more open-ended problems that have no single right answer, since they give us more freedom to work together, and to see how the candidates' thinking plays out.

That sounds nice enough, but it's a bit high-level and hand-wavy. So here's a more concrete list of suggestions that follow from our overall approach.

Be nice

The smartest, best person in the world won't get hired at Jane Street if they aren't courteous and pleasant to talk to most of the time. Almost nothing will end your interview faster than being rude, pushy, or obnoxious.

Remember, we are looking for someone to work with, not just someone who can win an argument.

Be clear

And by clear, we mean simple and to the point. Use words and examples that get the core idea across to the widest technical audience possible.

Avoid showy, highly technical or deeply obscure terms of art, especially if you don't fully understand them. In the best case we'll likely just ask exactly what you meant by "hylomorphism", which wastes precious time. In the worst case it will become clear that you should have said "metamorphism" instead, which is just embarrassing for everyone involved.

Know what you don't know

Naturally we like it when candidates are good at solving the problems we put in front of them. But just as important, perhaps more important, is their ability to think reasonably about their own level of understanding.

In other words, we really like people who can express appropriate levels of confidence: admitting ignorance when they're unsure, and speaking confidently when they have the basis to do so. At a basic level this means being willing to say, "I don't know" rather than guessing and hoping when we ask you about something you aren't familiar with.

Know your language

Code is a wonderful language for communicating complex ideas because it provides a clear, concise and unambiguous way of expressing them. But, like any foreign language, it takes a lot of time and practice to get really comfortable.

We need you to be comfortable with it, because we communicate ideas in code a lot.

Now, comfortable doesn't mean that you have to be the world's best coder, or that you need to have memorized your favorite algorithms book. It means that you should be able to read and write code in at least one language without constant access to reference materials for common things, such as:

  • Standard control structures (loops/if-then/etc.)
  • Function, module, class, type, etc. definitions
  • Common data types like arrays, lists, hash tables/maps/dictionaries
  • Exceptions and other error handling techniques

Also, pick coding tools you understand well. Don't pick a functional language to make us happy. We'd much prefer you use a language that you know well. Similarly, when picking which features of the language to use, pick the ones you understand best. We're not going to be impressed with your elegant use of Python decorators if you don't really understand the details of what they do.

In other words, pick a simple, clunky solution that you understand over a fancy, elegant one that you don't.

Remember CS 101

We've hired plenty of successful people who didn't have a traditional college background in CS, and we certainly don't require a masters or a PhD. That said, we need you to have a solid working knowledge of core computer science concepts, including:

  • Abstraction layers like functions, objects, and modules

  • Basic algorithms and data structures, including binary search, sorting, hashing, breadth/depth first search, hashtables, binary trees and heaps.

  • Techniques for estimating CPU and memory costs, including big-O notation.

So if you can't for the life of you recall what amortized analysis is, and you can't nimbly bang out the code for a depth-first search it's probably worth reviewing some of this material.

Think about real computers

Depending on your point of view it's either a sad or beautiful fact that the most elegant code can only run on top of the giant, complex, odd stack of parts and abstractions that is a real computer. Since we need programs to actually run, we need people who understand the inner workings of that behemoth.

Now, this doesn't mean that we quiz every candidate about deep kernel internals, or the differences between SDRAM vs SGRAM. But for some jobs in systems development we do expect a fair amount of detailed knowledge, and in general it's a big plus if in your thinking you can take into account things like cache effects, IO patterns, memory representations, and the capabilities of real CPUs.

What We Don't Look For

  • Perfection. Our questions are often designed to be open ended enough that even the best people we've seen couldn't answer them fully in the time alloted. We want to keep the conversation going to learn everything we can, and we don't expect that you'll answer everything 100% perfectly.

  • We don't ask developers mental math, or math olympiad questions despite what you might have read online. Dev interviews are about programming.

  • We don't ask developers logic puzzles about pirates, people who only tell the truth, or which door the tiger is behind. Dev interviews are about programming.

How do people do poorly?

The most common issue is, of course, that some candidates just don't have the background for the job they are applying for. The solution to that is to learn more, and practice more. But there are few other less obvious reasons that interviews with otherwise technically good people can go awry.

They're careless

One of the most common pieces of negative feedback from our interviewers is that the candidate was careless. This usually doesn't mean that the candidate didn't make progress, or didn't have good insights. It means that the candidate didn't think carefully and systematically about how their program might go wrong.

We care that you make progress, but we are rarely concerned about finishing a problem. In fact, many of the problems are designed to go on for far longer than the average interview length. It's better to step back and check your work carefully before you claim that it is finished then to rush.

They talk more than they code

Some candidates do a good job of talking through the problem and explaining their thinking, but never quite get around to concretely answering the question. We want to hear your ideas, but we also want to see you produce concrete solutions, which almost always involves writing code. There are lots of things that we can't learn about a candidate without seeing their code and talking through the details.

Take some time at the beginning to think about the solution and to talk about your plans, but make sure you start writing code - even if it isn't the code you would write if you had more time.

They don't generalize

We try to keep our interviews interactive, and we'll often stop candidates to ask about something they have just done, or to point out something that we think might be confusing or incorrect. We understand that we've seen these problems over and over again, and that you are coming to them fresh, so you shouldn't worry just because we've found a problem with your solution.

What you should do is generalize the advice. If we point out that you missed a case, consider other cases you might have missed. If we remind you of an invariant you forgot, find a way to protect yourself from making the mistake in other places in your code.

They say one thing and do another

We love it when a plan comes together, but it's extra hard to watch when a good plan falls apart on execution. If you hear a question, and discuss a plan of attack with your interviewer, do what you claim you will do. Don't change the plan in the middle, or drop it entirely in favor of a better idea without some discussion. You have a very limited amount of time to describe your solution in code, and executing a decent plan well is better than producing a Frankenstein's monster of 3 different plans that doesn't quite come to life.

If you do get partway through and start to lose faith step back and talk about it. Explain exactly why you are concerned, and whether you think it might be fatally flawed at the core, or just not ideal. If there really is a fatal flaw and you've seen it, we'll help you get out of the jam, and we'll appreciate that you articulated it. If it's just not quite perfect we'll likely encourage you to continue.

So, what can you do to prepare?

This part is short and sweet. Build something - from scratch - in a language you like. Don't stop short. Build the whole thing.

Now, show it to the smartest people you know, get feedback, tear it down and build it again with what you've learned.

Repeat with a new problem.

We are looking for people to build real things with us, and practice really does make perfect.

All Content: Thumbnails 10/24/14



"The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed": A fantastic report from Wired's Adrian Chen.

“Companies like Facebook and Twitter rely on an army of workers employed to soak up the worst of humanity in order to protect the rest of us. And there are legions of them—a vast, invisible pool of human labor. Hemanshu Nigam, the former chief security officer of MySpace who now runs online safety consultancy SSP Blue, estimates that the number of content moderators scrubbing the world’s social media sites, mobile apps, and cloud storage services runs to ‘well over 100,000’—that is, about twice the total head count of Google and nearly 14 times that of Facebook. This work is increasingly done in the Philippines. A former US colony, the Philippines has maintained close cultural ties to the United States, which content moderation companies say helps Filipinos determine what Americans find offensive. And moderators in the Philippines can be hired for a fraction of American wages. Ryan Cardeno, a former contractor for Microsoft in the Philippines, told me that he made $500 per month by the end of his three-and-a-half-year tenure with outsourcing firm Sykes. Last year, Cardeno was offered $312 per month by another firm to moderate content for Facebook, paltry even by industry standards.”


"Why 'Mulholland Drive' is a Great Horror Film": Vulture's Bilge Ebiri pens a sublime love letter to David Lynch's crowning achievement, one of the greatest films ever made. 

“One could argue that without that extra element of bitterness, of real-life disillusionment to mirror the film’s fictional despair, ‘Mulholland Drive’ would never have truly come into its own. When I asked Lynch about it earlier this year, he told me, in his usual aw-shucks tone, ‘It was never destined to be a pilot. Whether it started out that way or not, all the things that happened just pointed it more and more toward being a feature.’ And amazingly, it seemed that he didn’t have a grand design for the story when it got canceled. ‘I always say I love the idea of an open-ended story,’ he said, ‘but I’d never gotten to that point where I was seeing scenarios. I liked the idea of the mystery of it. So it became a feature. And it was supposed to become a feature.’ So, where does that leave the genre issue? For the most part, it doesn’t matter. ‘Mulholland Drive’ is Lynchian — the creation of an artist so unique that his work can in no way be pigeonholed. And Lynch himself would probably not consider it a horror film either; he considers it more of a ‘love story.’ But my own nightmares suggest otherwise; no other film manages to give me bad dreams as consistently as this film does. That’s because, along with its genuinely impressive scares and its expertly mounting sense of dread, ‘Mulholland Drive,’ like the best horror films, gets at the most unsettling of existential fears — that the world we imagine ourselves living in is an illusion, and that we have no control over our fates.”


"The Only Thing I Have to Say About GamerGate": Felicia Day offers her take on the controversy. 

“I have been through a lot in my years on the internet. I have encountered a small fraction of the attacks from people like the ones who currently represent the worst of this “movement”. In the past, I worked through it alone because I felt shining a light on their words gave them exactly what they wanted: Attention and credibility. To say that their attacks and contempt didn’t set me back creatively would be a lie, but overall I got through the twists and turns, emotionally battered, but alright. My philosophy has always been, ‘Exist and represent yourself the way you want to exist as a woman who loves games, not as a reflection of what other people think or want of you. You will change minds by BEING. Show, don’t tell.’ The attacks I experienced over the years were NOTHING compared to people who are the victims of these attacks now, but I still thought early on during the Gamer Gate phenomenon, ‘These trolls will dissipate into the night like they always do, it will be fine.’ But they have not dissipated. And because of the frightening emotions and actions attached to what has happened over the last month, the events are sure to have a long-lasting affect on gaming as a culture. The fact that it has affected me, to the point where I decided to cross the street last weekend away from those gamers, was heartbreaking. Because I realized my silence on the issue was not motivated by some grand strategy, but out of fear that the issue has created about speaking out.”


"Holy Smokes! Possible $5m fine for Batman extra who leaked female Robin": The Guardian's Ben Child reveals the penalty for spoiling the top-secret role supposedly played by Jena Malone in Zack Snyder's upcoming blockbuster, "Batman v. Superman." 

“Studio Warner Bros has not yet made any public comment on the rumour. However, several US sites are reporting that the extra in question now faces a possible $5m fine for breaking a non-disclosure agreement. ‘Batman v Superman,’ the followup to Zack Snyder’s 2013 superhero epic Man of Steel, will feature Affleck taking on Henry Cavill’s Superman. The film already looks set to be a crowded affair, with a debut for Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and potential bows for Jason Momoa’s Aquaman and Ray Fisher’s Cyborg. Snyder is said to be riffing heavily on ‘The Dark Knight Returns,’which sees an older, jaded Batman coming into conflict with Superman after the latter is called in to take down an increasingly out-of-control dark knight.”


"Samuel Fuller's Life Was as Explosive as His Movies": LA Magazine's Lincoln Flynn interviews Samantha Fuller about the "unconventional documentary" she has made about her iconic father. 

“If you were to program a slate of movies to accompany your documentary, which of your father’s films would you pick? [Fuller:] I would select ‘Park Row,’ which is his ode to journalism. He really wanted to write his own newspaper. That was his dream. He just wound up in Hollywood. The second one would be ‘Shock Corridor.’ It may not come across as an autobiographical film, but if you look into it, the main character, Johnny Barrett, is actually my father. He commits himself to an insane asylum to cover a crime story and he doesn’t come out of it. I can relate that to my father enlisting himself in World War II to cover the biggest crime story of the century. He never came out of it the same man. [He] suffered from years of PTSD; it wasn’t known as PTSD at the time, but he definitely had it. The third would be ‘The Big Red One,’ since it’s about his experience in World War II.”

Image of the Day

David Edelstein and Bilge Ebiri rank The 25 Best Horror Movies Since 'The Shining' for Vulture, including Tobe Hooper's 1982 "Poltergeist."

Video of the Day

Vox's Todd VanDerWerff provides an essential list of "13 classic scenes that explain how horror movies work," illustrating such techniques as the "use of long takes in first-person horror."

Twitch: PK: Watch Aamir Khan's Wide-Eyed Wonder In First Trailer

In 2009, director Rajkumar Hirani and actor Aamir Khan made a film that rewrote the box office record books. 3 Idiots was a universally acclaimed comedy placing the 40-something Khan as a mercurial spectre of three friends' college past. In the five years since, Khan has gone on to make one critically acclaimed thriller in Talaash, and Bollywood's biggest grosser ever, Dhoom:3, in which he supplants the series' regulars with his villainous turn. Hirani, meanwhile, appears to have waited to get Khan back, and the result is PK.PK appears to be a film about a childlike, one might even say elfin, man who approaches the world with a sense of wonder. He finds a friend, and maybe more, in the always bubbly and enjoyable Anushka Sharma....

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Open Culture: Young Stanley Kubrick’s Noirish Pictures of Chicago, 1949

Men, probably commuters, walking along a platform next to a train

When Stanley Kubrick was a mere high school student in April 1945, just after FDR died, he snapped a picture of a news vendor framed on either side by posters announcing the president’s death. He was so excited by the picture that he skipped school to develop it and then marched right into the office of Look magazine. Photo editor Helen O’Brian offered to buy the photo for $25. Displaying his trademark cockiness, Kubrick told her that he wanted to see what price he could get from The New York Daily News. They only offered $10, so Kubrick went with Look. Within a few months, at the age of 17, Kubrick became a staff photographer for the publication.

Below you can see some photographs that Kubrick took in 1949 while on assignment in Chicago. Using the same noirish high-contrast, low-light look that marked his first three movies, he documented all different strata of society from floor traders, to lingerie models, to meat packers to impoverished African-American families. Click  on the images to view them in a larger format. Find a more extensive gallery of images here.

Men working the floor at the Chicago Board of Trade

Men working the floor at the Chicago Board of Trade

Lingerie model, wearing a girdle and strapless bra, smoking in an office; in the background a woman sits at a desk

Lingerie model, wearing a girdle and strapless bra, smoking in an office; in the background a woman sits at a desk

Butcher holding slab of beef in a meat locker

Butcher holding slab of beef in a meat locker

African American mother and her four children in their tenement apartment

African American mother and her four children in their tenement apartment

Overhead view of the “L” elevated railway

Overhead view of the "L" elevated railway in Chicago, Illinois

via Mashable

Related Content

Stanley Kubrick’s Very First Films: Three Short Documentaries

The Making of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange

James Cameron Revisits the Making of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey

Terry Gilliam: The Difference Between Kubrick (Great Filmmaker) and Spielberg (Less So)

Jonathan Crow is a Los Angeles-based writer and filmmaker whose work has appeared in Yahoo!, The Hollywood Reporter, and other publications. You can follow him at @jonccrow. And check out his blog Veeptopus, featuring lots of pictures of vice presidents with octopuses on their heads.  The Veeptopus store is here.

Young Stanley Kubrick’s Noirish Pictures of Chicago, 1949 is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Young Stanley Kubrick’s Noirish Pictures of Chicago, 1949 appeared first on Open Culture.

All Content: Low Down


"Low Down" is a very good jazz movie and a very good heroin movie, if indeed there's much practical difference between the two modes—and perhaps there isn't. From "The Man with the Golden Arm" through "Bird" and "Mo Better Blues," jazz has often been portrayed as a lifestyle that's bound up in addiction to heroin, gambling, sex, cocaine, alcohol, or some mix. When you watch films about the music and the people who perform it, you may start to wonder if jazz itself is an addictive pursuit: music as metaphor. There hasn't been much of a commercial percentage in playing jazz for many decades, at least not compared to hip-hop, rock, country or bubblegum pop (which are their own kinds of crap shoots, of course). Even in the 1950s—when jazz became more exploratory art than danceable entertainment, yet still spawned commercial hits like Miles Davis's "Kind of Blue" and become a signifier of sophistication (see Hefner, Hugh)—it filled what seemed, compared to other pop forms, like a niche market. So why play jazz ? For art's sake. For pleasure. For the rush. 

It sure  seems as though Joe Albany (John Hawkes), the real-life pianist and heroin addict at the center of "Low Down," plays jazz and shoots dope for all those reasons; well, those reasons, and the fact that he's a junkie hanging with other junkies, which isn't a situation that lends itself to sobriety. Directed by cinematographer Jeff Preiss, a jazz fan who shot the 1990 Chet Baker documentary "Let's Get Lost," the film is based on a memoir by Joe's daughter Amy (Elle Fanning), and unfolds mostly through her eyes, circa 1975 or so. They share a small apartment in downtown Los Angeles, in a building full of prostitutes and junkies. "I can't keep myself straight here," Joe confesses in a moment of clarity.

But Amy adores her dad and respects his artistry, and because she's lived her whole life in his chaotic world, she doesn't see her situation as dire. It's just her situation, and as long as dad's around, it's fine. The film's carefully maintained point-of-view explains why this objectively bleak tale feels mostly warm and gentle. I like to think that's why Priess shot "Low Down" in soft, grainy 16mm, favoring brown and russet and gold and creamy-white: we're seeing this world as Amy sees it, through hopeful, loving eyes.

There's plenty to love about Joe, but Amy's hope is misplaced, and in time she'll figure it out. I've described "Low Down" as a jazz movie and an addiction movie, but both  are folded into a coming-of-age film. It's about a young woman who's becoming a grownup and realizing that her father is an adult, too, but one whose lifestyle (as an artist as well as a junkie) gave him license to never grow up, at least not in the way that "square" parents must.

Joe lives from gig to gig, and blows a lot of the money he makes on dope. Like many addicts with kids, he genuinely loves his daughter, but expresses that love in the form of conversations and fleeting, spontaneous adventures rather than through the mundane day-to-day grunt work of parenting. (He's the kind of guy who can make it seem as though he's listening to you, even though his mind is elsewhere.) Amy and Joe don't go out much as father and daughter, and we rarely see them talking about Amy's schoolwork, her personal development, or the future. He brings her to gigs, and invites other musicians over to the apartment to jam while she listens, but that's not the same thing as fathering a child. Preiss lets the harsh reality of Joe's neglect enter the film subtly, as when Amy's grandmother, Gram (Glenn Close), has Amy over for dinner and exclaims, "Look at you, girl, you eat like a linebacker—I love it!" In another scene, a hungover Joe wakes Amy up and tells her to hurry to school, and she groans, "It's the weekend." A smile creeps across Joe's face. "It is, isn't it?" he says. "That's great news."

Amy's adoration of Joe is rooted in real love of his art. There's a wonderful moment where we see Amy finish listening to a tune on vinyl, then lift the needle up and place it at the start of the cut to hear it again. The rapt expression on Fanning's face during live musical performances is just  right (Hawkes, a guitarist, fakes Albany's acrobatic finger-work brilliantly, and Preiss rewards his diligence by showing us his hands in close-up). We get the impression that Amy was oblivious to Joe's cycles of addiction throughout most of her young life. Her dad seems functional most of the time, and charming, at times dashing—Hawkes moves his slender frame with a dancer's grace, and holds his cigarette with jaunty elegance—then he'll go on a binge, and reveal self-pitying, abrasive, neglectful sides. He'll disappoint her and make her cry. Then he'll smile at her in a certain way, or crack just the right joke, and she'll forgive him. You'd call Amy an enabler if she were mature enough to have any say in her life, but she's not. She's tall and beautiful and on the verge of adulthood, but she's a kid. She's starting to see through Joe now, though, and it's painful.

Much of her dawning awareness creeps in via encounters with secondary characters. Gram thinks her boy Joe hung the moon, comes to his aid when he's at his lowest, and sometimes behaves more like a starstruck groupie than a mother. "They're all touched by something wonderful," she says of jazz heroes, her eyes flashing. "They're touched by God." Alain ("Game of Thrones" costar Peter Dinklage), a sweet and charismatic artist neighbor, squats in an abandoned apartment in the building, and does a better job of hiding his addiction than Joe does, but not well enough to hide it from Amy. Joe's best friend Hobbs (Flea, a ringer for middle-aged Chet Baker) seems like a rock, but he's a junkie, too, and he romanticizes the connection between drugs and jazz by suggesting that God takes junkie musicians young "because they're so good." Amy's alcoholic mother, Sheila (Lena Headey, another "Game of Thrones" regular), at times seems jealous of her daughter, and verbally cuts her down as one might a romantic rival.

"Low Down" drives home the idea that whatever you experienced as a kid is "normal" to you, even if you grew up seeing things kids shouldn't see, and enduring things they shouldn't have to endure. One of the film's most quietly disturbing scenes, Amy sees a man knock on a neighbor woman's door, then keeps watching as the woman opens it, lets the man in, and tells her young son to wait out in the hall. A subsequent shot of Amy and the boy watching TV in the building's lobby captures the instant affinity that children of addicts feel. Fanning's performance in this mostly reactive role could scarcely be improved; we understand every tremor of feeling in Amy from watching her move and listen and have her heart broken. Preiss' film does a consistently excellent job of explaining the lure of jazz, and the psychology of addicts, their enablers and their children, without explaining anything. We just watch and understand.

explodingdog: dailydot: 'It's my birthday' by explodingdog Friday is comics...


'It's my birthday' by explodingdog

Friday is comics day

Colossal: Famous Album Covers Start Singing in New Music Video for Roy Kafri’s ‘Mayokero’

Famous Album Covers Start Singing in New Music Video for Roy Kafris Mayokero singing music video humor

Famous Album Covers Start Singing in New Music Video for Roy Kafris Mayokero singing music video humor

Famous Album Covers Start Singing in New Music Video for Roy Kafris Mayokero singing music video humor

In this superbly edited new music video for Roy Kafri’s ‘Mayokero,’ famous album covers including photos of Madonna, the Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Bob Dylan seemingly come to life and begin singing. The project is a collaboration between Roy Kafri and artist Vania Heymann who wrote and directed.

Hackaday: Hacklet 20 – Halloween Hacks


Hey, did you know that is continuously being updated and improved? One of the coolest features this week is the new LaTeX based equation editor. That’s right, you can now put symbols, equations, and all sorts of other LaTeX goodies into your posts. Check out [Brian Benchoff's] LaTeX demo project for more information.

Every holiday is a season for hacks, but Halloween has to be one of the best. From costumes to decorations, there are just tons of opportunities for great projects. We know that with an entire week left before the big day, most of you are still working on your projects. However a few early bird hackers already have Halloween themed projects up on We’re featuring them here – on the Hacklet!

pumpkin1[philmajestic] is in the Halloween spirit with his AVR Halloween Pumpkin. [Phil] created a motion activated Jack-o’-lantern with an ATmega328 as its brain. The AVR monitors a PIR motion sensor. When motion is detected, it flashes Jack’s LED eyes and plays spooky sound files from a WTV-020-16sd audio player. This is a great example of how a bit of work can create something cooler and infinitely more flexible than a store-bought decoration. Nice work [Phil]!

littlebitsPortraitThe littleBits crew have been working overtime on Halloween hacks this year. We definitely like their Halloween Creepy Portrait. A motion trigger, a servo, and a few glue bits are all it take to turn a regular portrait into a creepy one. When the motion detector is triggered, the servo moves a paper behind the portrait’s eyes. The replacement eyes look like some sort of demon or cat. Definitely enough to give us nightmares!

ironman[jeromekelty] helped his friend [Greg] build an incredible Animatronic Iron Man MKIII suit. The suit features RFID tags which trigger suit features. Since we’re talking about an Iron Man suit, “features” are things like shoulder rockets, boot thrusters, and a helmet that lifts up to reveal “Tony Stark”. No less than four Arduinos handle the various I/O’s. The suit even features an Adafruit WaveShield for authentic sounds! The electronics are just one piece of the puzzle here. [Greg] is a card-carrying member of the Replica Prop Forum. His MKIII suit is incredibly detailed. We especially like the weathering and battle damage!

tenticlesFinally, [Griff's] son is going to be wearing a Crochet Cthulhu Mask, with Arduino controlled tentacles for Halloween this year. [Griff] is an experienced crochet hobbiest. He’s mixing his love of needlework with his love of electronics to build the animated Cthulhu mask for his 4-year-old son. The mask is based on a free crochet pattern from ravelry, though [Griff] is making quite a few changes to support his application. The mask will be smaller to fit a 4-year-old, and will contain servos to move the tentacles. We haven’t heard from [Griff] in a while, so if you see him, tell him to post an update on the mask!

If you haven’t started working on your Halloween hacks, get busy! But don’t forget to upload them to! If we get enough, we’ll run a second Hacklet with even more great projects. Until then, you can check out our Halloween Projects List!

That’s about it for this frightful episode The Hacklet. As always, see you next week. Same hack time, same hack channel, bringing you the best of!

Filed under: Hackaday Columns

Twitch: Interview: Alex Ross Perry & Jason Schwartzman Talk LISTEN UP PHILIP And The Paradox Of Success

Alex Ross Perry makes no attempt to mask that the Philip of his new film Listen Up Philip, played to perfection by Jason Schwartzman, at least partly takes his inspiration from the daunted body of work of author, Philip Roth. Though Perry doesn't aim at any one Roth work in specific, he manages to evoke the tone of Roth's ideas far more effectively than other proper adaptations of his books. Schwartzman plays Philip, a young writer anticipating the release of his second novel. Early praise is in, allowing relief from the burden of sophomore pressure, and Philip is growing accustomed to being lauded as a genius. Philip makes new friends, like a personal hero of his, writer, Ike Zimmerman. The elder author takes Philip under...

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OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS: While airing grievances (and the most teenaged thing you'll hear all day)...

Twitch: Hey, Canada! Tickets For The Innoversity Creative Summit Are One Sale Now!

Okay, would-be film and television creators in Canada (and likely some who are already film and television creators who would just like to learn a thing or two), pencil October 28th and 29th into your calendar. Those are the dates of the Innoversity Creative Summit in Toronto and tickets are available now. We've posted a bit about their pitch competition but this is the full event with a variety of panels and speakers addressing issues right across the industry. Read the full announcement below and come on out ...Innoversity Summit October 28th and 29th.Sit and talk face to face with media giants, hear relevant panels.Creators, producers, writers, acquisitions, broadcasters from Bell Media, Vice Media, Shaw Media, eONE, Telefilm, Globe and Mail, Dr. Cabbie, William F...

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Computer Science: Theory and Application: RSS CompSci feeds

Can anybody recommend some CompSci/ technology RSS feeds? They are for a fairly general audience who are interested in CompSci but not experts, so nothing too niche.

submitted by lollipoplaura
[link] [2 comments]

Twitch: Get A Taste Of Can Evrenol's BASKIN With These Storyboard Images

It was just yesterday that we learned Turkish director Can Evrenolwas moving ahead with a feature length expansion of his acclaimed horror short Baskin and today we have a bit of a taste of what's in store with a gallery of storyboard art from Evrenol and artist Cem Özüduru. Take a look at the storyboards below along with the trailer for the short film.Four cops respond to a routine call and discover a Lovecraftian cult whose quarters hide the very horrors that should only belong in Hell!...

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The Rhizome Frontpage RSS: Rhizome Today

things magazine: Friday collection

DOS POP, the soundtrack to the games of your youth / CUMULUS is a new documentary about Imogen Heap / Spawn of Gerrymander: A Series, at Design Observer / Up Start is a student art competition / a bit more about the Balfron Tower, the latest chunk of concrete to be promised with physical and cultural rehabilitation / a big chunk of info (and fresh scans) on the Voynich Manuscript, everyone’s favourite visual mystery / be perverse, watch the new Sony 4k TV spot in 144px / Hatherley on the refurbished Imperial War Museum: ‘… narcissistic wallowing in fake poverty and barely coherent history as a way of avoiding any thought of how to drag ourselves out of our current, needless and far less egalitarian version of austerity’.

Open Culture: Hear Beowulf Read In the Original Old English: How Many Words Do You Recognize?

beowulf original
I was as surprised as most people are when I first heard the ancient language known as Old English. It’s nothing like Shakespeare, nor even Chaucer, who wrote in a late Middle English that sounds strange enough to modern ears. Old English, the English of Beowulf, is almost a foreign tongue; close kin to German, with Latin, Norse, and Celtic influence.

As you can hear in the Beowulf reading above from The Telegraph, it’s a thick, consonant-rich language that may put you in mind of J.R.R. Tolkien’s elvish. The language arrived in Briton—previously inhabited by Celtic speakers—sometime in the fifth century, though whether the Anglo-Saxon invasion was a hostile takeover by Germanic mercenaries or a slow population drift that introduced a new ethnicity is a matter of some dispute. Nevertheless it’s obvious from the reading above—and from texts in the language like this online edition of Beowulf in its original tongue—that we would no more be able to speak to the Anglo-Saxons than we would to the Picts and Scots they conquered.

So how is it that both the language we speak and its distant ancestor can both be called “English”? Well, that is what its speakers called it. As the author of this excellent Old English introductory textbook writes, speakers of “Old English,” “Middle English,” and “Modern English” are “themselves modern”; They “would have said, if asked, that the language they spoke was English.” The changes in the language “took place gradually, over the centuries, and there never was a time when people perceived their language as having broken radically with the language spoken a generation before.” And while “relatively few Modern English words come from Old English […] the words that do survive are some of the most common in the language, including almost all the ‘grammar words’ (articles, pronouns, prepositions) and a great many words for everyday concepts.” You may notice a few of those distant linguistic ancestors in the Beowulf passage accompanying the reading above.

Beowulf is, of course, the oldest epic poem in English, written sometime between the 8th and early 11th century. It draws, however, not from British sources but from Danish myth, and is in fact set in Scandinavia. The title character, a hero of the Geats—or ancient Swedes—travels to Denmark to offer his services to the king and defeat the monster Grendel (and his mother). The product of a warrior culture, the poem shares much in common with the epics of Homer with its code of honor and praise of fighting prowess. Just above, see vocalist, harpist, and medieval scholar Benjamin Bagby perform the opening lines of the poem as its contemporary audience would have experienced it—intoned by a bard with an Anglo-Saxon harp. The modern English subtitles are a boon, but close your eyes for a moment and just listen to the speech—see if you can pick out any words you recognize. Then, perhaps, you may wish to turn to Fordham University’s online translation and find out what all that big talk in the prologue is about.

And for a very short course on the history of English, see this concise page and this ten-minute animated video from Open University.

The image above comes from the sole surviving medieval manuscript of Beowulf, which now resides at the British Library.

Related Content:

Hear Homer’s Iliad Read in the Original Ancient Greek

What Ancient Greek Music Sounded Like: Hear a Reconstruction That is ‘100% Accurate’

Seamus Heaney Reads His Exquisite Translation of Beowulf

Read an Excerpt of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1926 Translation of Beowulf Before It’s Finally Published Next Month

What Shakespeare Sounded Like to Shakespeare: Reconstructing the Bard’s Original Pronunciation

Hear The Epic of Gilgamesh Read in the Original Akkadian, the Language of Mesopotamia

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

Hear Beowulf Read In the Original Old English: How Many Words Do You Recognize? is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Hear Beowulf Read In the Original Old English: How Many Words Do You Recognize? appeared first on Open Culture.

Michael Geist: About That Copyright Exception for Political Advertising. . .Never Mind

Earlier this month, a political storm hit in Canada when it was revealed that the government was considering including a new copyright exception for political advertising in its forthcoming omnibus budget bill. The reports sparked claims of fascism, censorship, expropriation, and more, yet as I argued, the commentary bore almost no relationship to reality. There were legitimate concerns about an exception made solely available to politicians and political parties as well as doubts about the need for such an exception given the breadth of the current fair dealing exception that already permits most uses of video clips.

Yesterday, the government tabled its omnibus budget bill, which contains changes to the Patent Act (to bring Canada into compliance with the Patent Law Treaty), effectively ban paper billing charges for telecom and broadcast services, and grant new enforcement powers to the CRTC. As for the copyright reform provision, perhaps the public outcry had an impact. It is nowhere to be found.

The post About That Copyright Exception for Political Advertising. . .Never Mind appeared first on Michael Geist.

All Content: More Than a Superstar: “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown”


It must be daunting to mount a documentary about someone as well-known, beloved and important as James Brown. Where do you start? While his on-stage persona is well-documented, not as much is known about his life away from the mic, so a personal approach would work. However, Brown’s larger-than-life performing style and how it impacted music and stage shows could provide enough material for a documentary of its own. And then you get to how much Brown meant to the civil rights movement and you probably call Ken Burns and see if he can get you in touch with someone at PBS to do a 6-hour piece. There’s so much to the Brown story that focus becomes an issue in a film like Alex Gibney’s “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown,” premiering Monday night on HBO. How do you capture the hardest working man in show business in just two hours?

Gibney makes the decision to rush the biographical aspects of Brown’s early years, providing almost all the family history of the man over still photos with on-screen text. The director is clearly more interested in Brown’s on-stage personality than what he did off stage. It’s called “Mr. Dynamite” for a reason. The rushed opening half-hour can be a bit too frenetic. Brown’s youth, an appearance on Dinah Shore, his work with Bobby Byrd—bam, bam, bam. The movie itself lacks a flow in these early scenes. I kept writing in my notes, “I want more of this, and This, and THIS.”

The anecdotes pile up fast and furious, told mostly by people who performed with Brown (back to that on-stage aspect of the film’s focus), but also by lifelong friend Al Sharpton and the film’s producer Mick Jagger. Brown would perform in clubs in the South where he’d have to get dressed on the bus because blacks weren’t allowed in the dressing room. He actually impersonated Little Richard for a few weeks because people didn’t know what LR looked like, and one can easily see how this impersonation impacted his stage show.

“Mr. Dynamite” finally takes its time when it gets to the legendary T.A.M.I. Show, a 1964 concert/film event that would prove to be the announcement of a major new talent in the world. Brown was well-known enough at this point to earn a spot on a bill that also included The Rolling Stones and The Beach Boys, but no one expected him to completely steal the show. The footage of Brown from that show is some of my favorite concert footage of all time. He’s shot out of a cannon, with a kind of manic energy that can’t be replicated (which could be one of the reasons most people didn’t connect with the biopic “Get On Up”…there’s only one James Brown). It’s the kind of performance that still feels electric 50 years later. One can only imagine what it must have been like to see it happen live. I’d love to see a whole doc about “The T.A.M.I. Show.”

Of course, there’s still a lot of ground to cover in “Mr. Dynamite” after that landmark show. While Gibney’s pace slows down a bit, it still feels haphazard. It’s a documentary of episodes more than something that builds, although that’s sometimes inherent in the biographical doc genre. It also arguably glosses over Brown’s violent side. Sharpton mentions the claims of domestic abuse, stating that Brown knew violence wasn’t the answer but that he couldn’t control that side of his personality. As with most things “Mr. Dynamite,” I just wish there was more of it.

And on a subject that one can’t really say enough about, “Mr. Dynamite” gets to the importance of James Brown to the civil rights movement. From the show he did to stop the riots sure to ensue on the night that MLK was shot to the international resonance of “I’m Black and I’m Proud,” Brown was more than a musician, he was a leader. Seeing Brown on national TV responding to a white critic obviously patronizing him with “My ears are open, have your eyes been open?” has cultural power decades later as the conversation about race could use a figure like James Brown in 2014. As Sharpton says, “He never saw himself as a hit artist. He always saw himself as a historic figure.” Nothing could hold James Brown back. It makes sense that one documentary just scratches the surface of his legacy.

All Content: Citizenfour


Though superlatives can mischaracterize any movie’s qualities, it is not an overstatement, I think, to call “Citizenfour,” Laura Poitras’ film about Edward Snowden, the movie of the century (to date).

That statement is meant, first off, to suggest certain things about its relation to our collective past, present and future. No film so boldly X-rays certain crucial changes wrought upon the world, and especially America and its government, by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. No film so demands to be seen by every sentient person who values his or her own freedom and privacy. No film so clearly implies actions that need to be taken to prevent the 21st century from turning into an Orwellian nightmare in which technologically-enabled tyranny is absolute and true political liberty, for all intents and purposes, nonexistent.

This is not to say that “Citizenfour” is a perfect film, if anyone believes that such a thing exists. On the contrary, perhaps more than any documentary in history, it invites endless questions about what Poitras chose to put in and leave out, to emphasize and to elide. But such debates are only a secondary–if very fascinating–aspect of a broader national and international discussion that the film deserves to start. They do nothing to diminish its colossal importance.

Indeed, no film has ever been historic in quite the way this one is, since it tells a story in which the filmmaker and her work play a crucial part. It’s as if Daniel Ellsberg had a friend with a movie camera who filmed his disclosure of the Pentagon Papers every step of the way. Or if the Watergate burglars had taken along a filmmaker who shot their crimes and the cover-up that followed. Except that the issues “Citizenfour” deals with are, arguably, a thousand times more potent than Vietnam or Watergate.

The part of the film that shows Edward Snowden being interviewed in Hong Kong in June of 2013 (doesn’t it seem longer ago?) occupies roughly an hour in the middle of its slightly less than two-hour length. The film begins, eerily, like a latter-day “Parallax View,” with shots from a car moving through a dark traffic tunnel (in Hong Kong, it turns out) as Poitras reads emails she received from the then-anonymous Snowden. One says that he didn’t choose her for the work she is going to do with him; she made the choice through the films she previously made. A title says that after 2006 (when her Iraq film “My Country, My Country” came out) she was placed on a secret government watch list and thereafter stopped and searched dozens of times as she tried to enter the U.S. This harassment, she notes, prompted her to move to Berlin.

Although she doesn’t say it, Poitras was at work on a film about government surveillance before she first heard from Snowden, and some of that footage comprises much of the first half-hour of “Citizenfour.” We see journalist Glenn Greenwald, who will become part of the Snowden story, working at his home in Rio de Janeiro in 2012. We see Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and Director of the National Security Agency (NSA) Keith Alexander both lying to Congress–presumably under oath–about the extent of the government’s spying on American citizens.

But perhaps the most important part of this de facto prologue concerns William Binney, a government intelligence analyst who turned whistleblower to protest abuses he saw taking place in the government’s actions after 9/11. For his troubles, Binney was raided by FBI agents who stormed into his house with guns drawn. The examples of Binney and others like him of course indicate the ridiculousness of the claim–made by President Obama and others in the government and media–that everything would have been fine if Snowden had gone through “proper channels” to make his revelations to the American public.

After contacting Poitras via encrypted email, and later asking her to involve Greenwald, the still nameless Snowden–“citizenfour” is the first alias he uses–asks the two to go to New York and await further instructions. He then tells them to meet him in Hong Kong (which he has chosen thinking it may be further from the eyes of U.S. intelligence than other places).

In my view, the film’s single biggest flaw lies in not saying at this point that Snowden sent Poitras and Greenwald massive numbers of secret files concerning government surveillance, which they were able to peruse before meeting him. In any case, these materials formed the basis of stories the two wrote from Hong Kong, Greenwald for The Guardian, Poitras for The Washington Post. (An account of what Snowden sent the journalists can be found in Greenwald’s book “No Place to Hide,” which deserves to be read in tandem with “Citizenfour.”)

We do not see Poitras and Greenwald meeting Snowden in the lobby of Hong Kong’s Mira Hotel (Greenwald recalled they were stunned at how young he was), but within minutes of arriving in Snowden’s room Poitras has set up here camera and begun filming. True to her cinema verite ethos, the filmmaker mostly remains unseen and unheard, leaving the questioning to Greenwald, and, beginning on the second day, another reporter from The Guardian, Ewan MacAskill.

The hour we spend with Snowden and company is matter-of-fact and in some ways undramatic, yet it is one of the most absorbing things I’ve ever seen in a film. (Having now watched the movie three times, I found this segment even more riveting on the third viewing than on the first.) What grabs you here is not, of course, the contents of Snowden’s revelations, which have been widely reported. Rather, it’s the sense of watching a small group of individuals embarked on an enterprise that they know is of tremendous historical import, yet also potentially dangerous and with no guaranteed outcome. In such a context, every small gesture, pause and decision can seem to take on great meaning, creating a constant sense of tension and discovery.

Then there is the presence of Snowden. In the early stories Greenwald begins filing from Hong Kong, which create an immediate international sensation, he doesn’t identify his source, in part because Snowden says he wants the attention to go to the explosive materials he’s providing rather than to himself. Yet the attention must soon enough shift to him because, as he made clear to Poitras early on, he intends to identify himself publicly and take whatever consequences may come, hoping he will thereby inspire others to do the same. So, a few days into their meetings, Poitras films a 12-minute interview with him, which is released to the media, and almost instantly Snowden’s face and name are known all over the globe.

Through all of this, the man himself remains a picture of remarkable calm, poise and good spirits. In his book Greenwald says he was so excited in Hong Kong that he couldn’t sleep more than two hours per night, and thus could only marvel at Snowden’s ability to turn in at 10 p.m. for exactly seven and a half hours of sleep.

Such details are significant because, in one sense, the real drama in “Citizenfour”–and it’s something no book could give us–lies in our observing Snowden and coming to our own conclusions about his character and motives. No doubt the movie will inspire various reactions. For myself, I take the guy at face value. He seems eminently sane and decent, a good guy, smart, articulate, good-humored and, given the circumstances he’s brought upon himself, incredibly courageous.

As for his motives, it befits his status as a millennial that he’s passionate about the potential of the Internet and the dangers of its abuse. Like Greenwald and Poitras, he is also alarmed at the power the government has accumulated to spy on its own citizenry virtually without limits or controls, and without the country’s knowledge. He says, in his usual rather formal way of speaking: “I am more willing to risk imprisonment, or any other negative outcome personally, than I am to risk the curtailment of my intellectual freedom and that of those around me, whom I care for equally as I do for myself.

After eight days, Snowden leaves the hotel with the help of Chinese human rights lawyers and decamps to a U.N. facility and then a safe house. We see him thereafter in only two scenes somewhat later in Moscow, whence he is spirited with the help of WikiLeaks, and where the government eventually grants him one year of political asylum.

In the film’s last half-hour, Poitras gives us an almost impressionistic chronicle of events flowing from Snowden’s revelations, including Greenwald in Brazil talking with reporters and government people about U.S. spying; William Binney and others testifying on the same subject in Europe; lawyers meeting pro bono to discuss legal strategy for Snowden; the bizarre detention of Greenwald’s partner in London and their reunion in Rio.

And then there’s the film’s final scene, in Moscow, where Snowden and Greenwald write notes on paper in order to avoid talking about another, newer whistle-blower. We can’t see what they’re talking about but Snowden’s astonishment speaks volumes. The scene is sure to cause puzzlement and perhaps controversy, yet I found it really wonderful, poetically mysterious yet also returning us to Snowden’s clearly stated desire to inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

No movie has ever been more justified in including “citizen” in its title, and I’m not speaking of just the acts of heroic citizenship by Snowden, which deserve to be studied and emulated for centuries. The bleakest implication of the film is that every government soon swallows up those who enter it and squelches the impulse for meaningful dissent. Why has no member of Congress risen to defend Snowden, who is a hero to much of the country and will be more so once this film is widely seen? Why have the governments of Germany and Brazil, two powerful nations outraged by Snowden’s revelations, not offered him asylum?

Changing such things, the film very clearly implies, will depend on citizens willing to challenge the power of their governments. Throughout their activities, Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras took a gamble on practicing exactly the kind of transparency and straightforwardness in their work that they want to see in the government. The idea being that the more in the public eye they were, the more protected from nefarious doings by the government. It has worked, obviously…but only to a point. Snowden’s revelations got out, but what has become of them? It is to be hoped that “Citizenfour”–as it rolls out into theaters in the next months, screens on HBO and goes to the Oscars–will reignite debate and action on all the appropriate fronts.

Paper Bits: My Day Interviewing For The Service Economy Startup From Hell

My Day Interviewing For The Service Economy Startup From Hell

CreativeApplications.Net: LUSTlab – Colouring-in the spatial organization in Schilderswijk

Binnen de Lijnen_08Created by LUSTlab in collaboration with The Mobile City, Binnen de Lijnen is part of an ongoing research project called Public Space - Public Matter from Trancity. Over 100 children took part in colouring the playground which visualised the spatial organization of Schilderswijk's social life.

All Content: Ouija


I played with a Ouija board exactly one time. More on that shortly. What amuses me about the game, and that amusement transfers over to the movie version, is that it proves that there is no such thing as bad publicity. People my age will remember campfire tales and urban legends about unlucky fools who were punished for choosing to contact the deceased using the spirit board trademarked by Hasbro, and if not, I’m sure you remember the 1986 movie “Witchboard,” if only for Tawny Kitaen appearing in it.

Regardless, whenever the Ouija board gets mentioned, something horrible is associated with it. No one ever tells a story about some schlub whose Ouija board told him the Mega Millions numbers, or some lucky lady who rocked the stock market based on tips from the afterworld. It’s always “she was messin’ with that Ouija board and a spirit KILLED her ass!” In all the stories I heard growing up, players wound up as dead as most of the cast of “Ouija.” And yet, people still bought the product. There’s probably even a Ouija app for your phone, so it can kill you before your Apple bill does.

I’m being facetious—sort of. The obvious allure of the Ouija board, and why the “based on the board game by Hasbro” credit appears prominently in this movie, is that these creepy stories are why people bought the product in the first place. In the current economy, Monopoly makes a more appropriate board game upon which to base a horror movie, but for what it is, “Ouija” is better than expected.

I like these kinds of kitchen-sink movies, films where, in an attempt to rattle you, they toss everything at you but the kitchen sink. “Ouija” gets a few extra points because it feels like the filmmakers were actually trying to tell a decent campfire story. The movie has a nice visual polish and a story that covers all the narrative bases of a good spooky bedtime story. Director Stiles White times its jump scares with the knowledge that jump scares are silly and predictable: A gas stove comes on with the sound of a jet engine, mirrors always have bad things reflected in them and a flashlight rolling away always stops rolling to illuminate something unfriendly.

This is a movie where the old reliable kitty cat flying out of the dark has been replaced by the goofy boyfriend. If they’d had a jump scare where the appearing-out-of-nowhere goofy boyfriend had a kitty cat jumping out of his arms, I’d have probably given more stars.

“Ouija” begins with a rather creepy opening murder. After a flashback showing a childhood Ouija game, Laine (Olivia Cooke) arrives to pick up her best friend Debby (Shelly Hennig). Debby has just violated both of the Ouija game rules her younger version revealed in that flashback: she’s played the game alone and she’s burned her copy of the game. Debby begs off going out and dies a gruesome death soon after. The coroner deems it a suicide, but we know better.

Laine becomes obsessed with why Debby would kill herself, so she decides to use the Ouija board to try and contact her. Finally, somebody is putting this thing to good use! In my one encounter with the Ouija board, my cousin asked it a question any living relative of my family could have answered. Laine, who was always the one kid scared enough to believe the Ouija was real, has a legitimate query one can’t get answered in this realm. She convinces her friends to play along, using the same game Debby tried burning earlier in the film.

They go to Debby’s house, which makes sense I guess, and before the spirit that comes through can spell out its entire name (it only gets to the D), everyone assumes it’s Debby. This is what years of autocorrect will do to your brain. Had they just been patient, they’d have seen that this was no Debby.

You know what happens next, and “Ouija” knows you know. Writers White and Juliet Snowden pump up the tale with murdered little girls, sewn-together mouths, good reasons never to floss, crazy, murderous mediums and an appearance by the always welcome Lin Shaye. Shaye gives her exposition-heavy role the right amount of lunacy, menace and charm. She fills in the blanks that help Laine and her friends understand who exactly they’ve reached out and touched through the Ouija board. Her last scene, filled with maniacal laughter, probably mimics the Universal executives’ response when they see this weekend’s box office grosses.

Though I admit 16-year old me enjoyed the hell out of “Witchboard,” I didn’t think I’d have fun at “Ouija.” But I did, and assisting me were actors who gave their paper thin teenage types a little humor and character, and the film’s look. Shot by veteran camera operator, David Emmerichs, “Ouija” is a glossy hoot, showing more flair than a throwback to the 80’s horror movie should. As a lifelong horror movie viewer, I wasn’t scared by the film, but I dug the many ways it tried to goose me.

By the way, the question my cousin asked Ouija was whether my devoutly Baptist aunt would whup us for playing the game in her house when she explicitly told us not to do so. The board said no. I wish she had asked “when is my mother coming home?” The answer might have spared me a sore behind.

TheSirensSound: Lowtronik

Lowtronik Profile

Lowtronik is a producer and sound designer who mainly works in the film industry. When not creating music for film, theater and advertisement he get down with personal tunes , then lean towards the trip-hop side of music. Electronic sounds, lo-fi beats, ethereal vocals, strange noises, cuts and samples are the main ingridients of Lowtronik’s new 12 track album. Long-time collaborators such as the voca-monsta Jennie Kapadai, the notorious Alexandra McKay, the unstoppable Yiorgos Kaloudis and the likes walked in the studio and helped Lowtronik to create some unique sounds on various tracks like “Thirty Minute Fish” and “In a Slow (tempo)”. The track “Day of Roses” is the result of studio-fooling-around with vocalist Doros Demosthenous, a well known jazz and rock voice, but a newbie in the world of electronic sounds.

“Cuts, Edit Versions” marks [ Lowtronik ] 01st full-length release, and represents a definitive attempt to create an Eco sound around his work. Over and above, the album itself implies some pretty momentous and meaningful themes. With song titles like “Thirty Minutes Old Fish”, “In A Slow (tempo) “, and “Underwater”, you immediately tend to focus your thought towards something very deep and an atmospheres filled with natural sound. This album is available for free on SoundCloud so you will have to download each track individually but it’s totally worthy though.


A new release from Lowtronik with five home-made tracks, featuring extra synths and homely beats. The EP includes a tasty cover of Tuxedomoon’s “In a Manner of Speaking” marinated with Yiorgos Zaharopo​u​lo​s’​​​ voice. Another interesting recip​e,​ “Θέλης”, calls for a shameless pouring of Argiris Bakirtzi​s’​ vocals in the mixer. Available on Bandcamp and Soundcloud.

Released 27 July 2014

All tracks written by Lowtronik
except ‘In a manner of speaking’
Written by Tuxedomoon, Vocals by Yiorgos Zaharaopoulos.

< < < < < [ [ .COM ] | [ FACEBOOK ] | [ SOUNDCLOUD ] ]. > > > > >

Lowtronik - The Home EP

Artist – Lowtronik
Album – The Home EP
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Ambient, Electro’, Electro-core, Experimental, Downtempo [ VERY NICE ]


1. Home 04:13
2. ThereIs 03:33
3. Three 03:21
4. Θέλης 02:47
5. In a Manner of Speaking 04:11
Lowtronik – The Home EP


Lowtronik - Cuts Edits Versions

Artist – Lowtronik
Album – Cuts, Edit Versions
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Ambient, Electro’, Electro-core, Experimental [ VERY NICE ]


01 – Interlude 128
02 – Thirty Minute Old Fish (ft Jennie Kapadai)
03 – Not bad
04 – Underwater (ft Alexandra McKay)
05 – Day of Roses (ft Doros Demosthenous)
06 – Three Days Hapiness (lowtronik’s half breaked version)
07 – Hungry (ft Jennie Kapadai) – album version
08 – I Feel
09 – Could You Be
10 – James
11 – Weekend Mellotron
12 – In a slow (tempo)
Lowtronik – Cuts, Edit Versions


BOOOOOOOM!: Juan Aballe


Photos by Madrid-based photographer Juan Aballe. More below.

View the whole post: Juan Aballe over on BOOOOOOOM!. Blog: ZERO plus, Prototype your IOT product in seconds!


Just plug in and start creating your IOT application in seconds.

ZERO+ is an open-source wifi module for smart devices development. it has powerful spec, various interfaces and its easy to code, all of which makes ZERO+ a highly flexible platform for smart devices development.

We believe ZERO+ can turn great ideas into reality because with ZERO+, you can develop your smart device including hardware, cloud service and user application within just one hour.

ZERO plus, Prototype your IOT product in seconds! - [Link] Blog: Sweat-analyzing skin patch could replace blood sampling


by Ben Coxworth @

Nobody likes having blood samples drawn. What’s more, such samples typically have to be analyzed in a lab before they’re able to tell us anything. But now scientists at the University of Cincinnati and the US Air Force Research Laboratory are developing a system in which a Band-Aid-like skin patch is able to gather and transmit medical data in almost real time, by analyzing the patient’s sweat … and you just need a smartphone to read it, no poking or prodding required.

Sweat-analyzing skin patch could replace blood sampling - [Link]

BOOOOOOOM!: Video of the Day: The Bots – “All I Really Want”


Madison Bullard has created a brilliant video for the band The Bots re-creating the experience of scrolling gifs on Buzzfeed, or in this case Botsfeed. It’s more entertaining than it sounds, and it just might be the most accurate depiction of Internet culture ever in a music video. Watch “All I Really Want” below, and make it full screen for the full effect.

View the whole post: Video of the Day: The Bots – “All I Really Want” over on BOOOOOOOM!. Blog: Hybrid Play: Turn any playground into a video game


Mix real and digital game worlds, play video games outside and create your own Hybrid Games!

Hybrid Play is a device for you and your children to experience and create new virtual adventures, and play them in playgrounds and parks. Play video games outside using the playground as a control interface. Hybrid Play promotes outdoor physical activity, verbal communication, and teamwork. Help us shape a new way to play!

Hybrid Play was designed for kids aged 6-12, and for parents who want to create with technology. It’s a fun, stimulating way to create and discover incredible video games, play outdoor, make exercise and communicate with other people.

Hybrid Play: Turn any playground into a video game - [Link] Blog: Introducing PCBWeb Designer

Introducing PCBWeb Designer, our new desktop schematic capture and layout tool that’s free and easy to use.  Create multi-sheet schematics, use the parts toolbar that includes the Digi-Key parts catalog, in a browsable and searchable database.  The PCB view is always in sync with your schematic, and includes all the tools you need to create a design with up to 12 layers.  Then you can keep your gerber files locally or send them off to one of our manufacturing partners for production from within the tool.  Download at

Introducing PCBWeb Designer - [Link]

BOOOOOOOM!: Best of Kickstarter: “The Sa” Innovative Origami-like Umbrella


Justin Nagelberg and Matthew Waldman have designed an umbrella called, The Sa, that does away with the inner skeleton that most umbrellas have. Its striking unibody design also allows for easy repair, and is made of environmentally conscious materials to make it highly recyclable.

Watch the video below!

View the whole post: Best of Kickstarter: “The Sa” Innovative Origami-like Umbrella over on BOOOOOOOM!.

CreativeApplications.Net: Damp – Experience of poetry through reading, clicking and scrolling

1Damp is an online experience of poetry through digital environments. Created through the marriage of content and context, story and book, poem and website, the poetic experience is as much in reading as it is in clicking and scrolling. Blog: Memwa – a C64 Emulated on a STM32



This project was made in the memory of my old computer that I played around with as a young boy. I have a lot to thank this machine for, among other things it made me understand what I wanted to do with my life. So in this project I created software and hardware to make it possible to play those wonderful games yet again.

Hardware is really fun! I enjoy doing PCB designs for projects like these. This is why I decided to create a board for this project to see if I could produce something that would suffice to run the emulation good enough. The SID chip was the crown jewel for this board, no doubt about it :)

The pich for the HW chip was sometimes below 0.5 which made soldering a bitch to be honest. But with some patience, sweat and alot of flux it was indeed possible.

Memwa – a C64 Emulated on a STM32 - [Link]

Open Culture: Isaac Asimov Explains the Origins of Good Ideas & Creativity in Never-Before-Published Essay


Where do ideas come from? The question has always had the potential to plague anyone trying to do anything worthwhile at any time in human history. But Isaac Asimov, the massively prolific and even more massively influential writer of science fiction and science fact, had an answer. He even, in one 1959 essay, laid out a method, though we, the general public, haven’t had the chance to read it until now. The MIT Technology Review has just published his essay on creativity in full, while providing a few contextualizing remarks from the author’s friend Arthur Obermayer, a scientist who invited Asimov on board an “out of the box” missile-defense research project at an MIT spinoff called Allied Research Associates.

“He expressed his willingness and came to a few meetings,” remembers Obermayer, but “he eventually decided not to continue, because he did not want to have access to any secret classified information; it would limit his freedom of expression. Before he left, however, he wrote this essay on creativity as his single formal input.” When Obermayer found it among his old files, he “recognized that its contents are as broadly relevant today as when [Asimov] wrote it” in 1959, describing as they do “not only the creative process and the nature of creative people but also the kind of environment that promotes creativity.” Whether you write sci-fi novels or do military research, make a web series, or work on curing Ebola, you can put Asimov’s methods to use.

Asimov first investigates the origin of ideas by looking to The Origin of Species. Or rather, he looks to what you find within it, “the theory of evolution by natural selection, independently created by Charles Darwin and Alfred Wallace,” two men who “both traveled to far places, observing strange species of plants and animals and the manner in which they varied from place to place,” both “keenly interested in finding an explanation for this,” and both of whom “failed until each happened to read Malthus’s ‘Essay on Population.'” He finds that “what is needed is not only people with a good background in a particular field, but also people capable of making a connection between item 1 and item 2 which might not ordinarily seem connected.” Evolutionary theory seems obvious only in retrospect, he continues, as

The history of human thought would make it seem that there is difficulty in thinking of an idea even when all the facts are on the table. Making the cross-connection requires a certain daring. It must, for any cross-connection that does not require daring is performed at once by many and develops not as a “new idea,” but as a mere “corollary of an old idea.”

It is only afterward that a new idea seems reasonable. To begin with, it usually seems unreasonable. It seems the height of unreason to suppose the earth was round instead of flat, or that it moved instead of the sun, or that objects required a force to stop them when in motion, instead of a force to keep them moving, and so on.

A person willing to fly in the face of reason, authority, and common sense must be a person of considerable self-assurance. Since he occurs only rarely, he must seem eccentric (in at least that respect) to the rest of us. A person eccentric in one respect is often eccentric in others.

Consequently, the person who is most likely to get new ideas is a person of good background in the field of interest and one who is unconventional in his habits. (To be a crackpot is not, however, enough in itself.)

Once you have the people you want, the next question is: Do you want to bring them together so that they may discuss the problem mutually, or should you inform each of the problem and allow them to work in isolation?

The essay puts forth an argument for isolation (“Creation is embarrassing. For every new good idea you have, there are a hundred, ten thousand foolish ones, which you naturally do not care to display”) and a set of best practices for group idea generation, as implementable in the Allied Research Associates of the 1950s as in any organization today. If you can’t trust Asimov on this subject, I don’t know who you can trust, but consider supplementing this newfound essay with Ze Frank’s thematically related video “Brain Crack” (linguistically NSFW, though you can watch the PG version instead), which deals, in an entirely different sensibility, with the question of where ideas come from:

via io9

Related Content:

David Lynch Explains How Meditation Enhances Our Creativity

Malcolm McLaren: The Quest for Authentic Creativity

Isaac Asimov Predicts in 1964 What the World Will Look Like Today — in 2014

John Cleese’s Philosophy of Creativity: Creating Oases for Childlike Play

Free: Isaac Asimov’s Epic Foundation Trilogy Dramatized in Classic Audio

Colin Marshall hosts and produces Notebook on Cities and Culture and writes essays on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

Isaac Asimov Explains the Origins of Good Ideas & Creativity in Never-Before-Published Essay is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Isaac Asimov Explains the Origins of Good Ideas & Creativity in Never-Before-Published Essay appeared first on Open Culture.

new shelton wet/dry: ‘Retenez ceci : il n’y a de bon, de vrai, de gai, de triste, d’aimable, de variable, de désirable, de potable, de chantable, de célébrable, d’idolâtrable, que le delta qui existe depuis la ceinture d’une femme jusqu’à ses jarretières.’ –George Sand & Alfred de Musset

Pham and Schackelford (2013) argued that men with more attractive partners are at a greater recurrent risk of sperm competition because other men are more likely to woo them into having affairs. Therefore, men with more attractive partners have more reason to be concerned about and more likely to engage in behaviour aimed to detect [...]

new shelton wet/dry: ‘Augurs and understood relations have by magot pies and choughs and rooks brought forth the secret’st man of blood.’ –Shakespeare

Red blood cells carry oxygen to all the cells and tissues in our body. If we lose a lot of blood in surgery or an accident, we need more of it – fast. Hence the hundreds of millions of people flowing through blood donation centres across the world, and the thousands of vehicles transporting bags [...]

Penny Arcade: Comic: Child&#8217;s Play Strip: MegaCynics

New Comic: Child’s Play Strip: MegaCynics

Open Culture: Louis CK Crashes Zach Galifianakis & Brad Pitt’s Very Awkward Interview

Apparently, the bad part about scoring an interview with the President is it kind of makes you blasé for sitting down with anybody else. Not that Zach Galifianakis of Between Two Ferns deserved his tete-a-tete with Obama, or for that matter Bart Pit … Bradley Pitts … Brad Pitt, star of 2013’s 12 Years a Salve (sic).

(The Onion’s fictional “Outside Scoop” entertainment columnist, Jackie Harvey, has nothing on the almost-as-fictional Galifianakis when it comes to murdering names)

Yes, this interviewer is petty, combative, and utterly lacking in grace, but his interviewee, the celebrity who turns stone-faced and sullen almost immediately is no prize either.

Everyone’s miserable, even comedian Louis CK, whom Galifianakis summons with a few bars of his popular sitcom’s theme song. Moods seem on the verge of lifting when Galifianakis brings up Pitts’ starring role in “Benjamin Buttons,” but it doesn’t last. Inevitably, there are references to Pitt’s famous wife, as well as his ex, an earlier Between Two Ferns guest. (She’s no Tila Tequila…)

This is a different dynamic than the one Borat shared with certain incredulous, intelligent subjects. It’s a given that Pitt’s in on the joke. And it would seem that both gentlemen have something they’d like to get across regarding the dirty business of celebrity interviews.

Journalist Janice Turner, took a similar position when she wrote of her nightmarish 2013 interview with actor Rhys Ifans for the London Times:

The game is you listen politely while they plug their film, bang on about their ‘method’, the brilliance of their co-stars and directors etc. Then in return you hope they will offer up — without you having to prod and pester like some celebrity stalker — the tiniest nugget of anecdote, a shard of light upon their real selves.

Because they hate the game too, and particularly since it is mainly conducted in hotel suites, you feel as if you’re engaged in an odd form of prostitution, one where it remains unclear who is the hooker and who the john.

Her perspective brings a certain purity to the Galifianakis-Pitt Ferns stand-off. Certainly, neither of them is playing the game.

If you want to learn how to conduct a horrible interview, watch Galifianakis.

If you want tips on how to make it worse, watch Pitt.

And if you want to be a movie star, seek ways to laugh at yourself without breaking character.

Related Content:

An Awkward/NSFW Interview with Nirvana Producer Steve Albini (Plus B-52 Frontman Fred Schneider)

Hear Bob Dylan’s Unedited & Bewildering Interview With Nat Hentoff for Playboy Magazine (1965)

The Surreal Short Films of Louis C.K., 1993-1999

Watch Frank Zappa Play Michael Nesmith on The Monkees (1967)

Ayun Halliday is the creator of The Mermaid’s Legs, a trauma-filled Hans Christian Andersen reboot playing this week in NYC. See it! And follow her @AyunHalliday

Louis CK Crashes Zach Galifianakis & Brad Pitt’s Very Awkward Interview is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post Louis CK Crashes Zach Galifianakis & Brad Pitt’s Very Awkward Interview appeared first on Open Culture.

programming: What is so bad about singletons?

submitted by adililhan
[link] [338 comments]

TheSirensSound: Benjamin Finger

Benjamin Finger Profile

Benjamin Finger is a composer, electronic music producer, DJ, photographer and film-maker based in Oslo, Norway. Since his 2009 debut solo album “Woods of Broccoli”, he has produced a prolific output of films and music with a healthy disregard for genres. Benjamin Finger was educated at Oslo Photo Art School before he started to study fiction film to become a director at the Film and TV Academy (NISS) in Oslo. Since then he has done several short films, music videos and participated at various photo exhibitions, besides working for television, NRK. He is now a freelancer (director/photographer) and have by accident been composing music WITH A HEALTHY DISREGARD FOR GENRES. His debut album “Woods of broccoli” was released on How Is Annie Records. The follow up “For you, sleepsleeper was released in 2010. In 2013 will see the light of a new album called “Listen to my nerves hum” and will be released on Time Released Sound. Besides his solo projects he also makes up one half of the electronica duo Beneva vs. Clark Nova.


Following up on his beautiful record earlier this year, “The Bet,” on Watery Starve Press, Benjamin Finger offers up the strange and beguiling “Mood Chaser.” Spirits dance through woozy rhythms that seem like it’s only a matter of seconds before they’ll veer off course. Finger makes music that sounds like an interpretation of Western styles via outer space. It’s familiar yet intriguingly incoherent. Mashing sounds like this together seems antithetical, but Finger always make it work in an interesting and challenging way.

Music written and composed by Frank Benjamin Finger
Cello by Elling Finnanger Snofugl
Vocals on track 4 by Inga-Lill Farstad
and 8 by Benjamin Finger
Mastered by Frank Benjamin Finger. Cassette and Digital
Art on record cover by Brad Rose | Digitalis Recordings (C) 2014

< < < < < [ [ SOUNDCLOUD ] | [ FACEBOOK ] ]. > > > > >

Benjamin Finger - Mood Chaser

Artist – Benjamin Finger
Album – Mood Chaser
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Ambient, Drone, Experimental, Instrumental, Dark-ambient [ VERY BEAUTIFUL ]


1 Dwarf Palms
2 Saguaro Cactus
3 Odd Infinitum
4 Nicotin Weather
5 Moonlight Coma
6 Elfin Geezer
7 Bong Puzzle
8 Poem for Skate Band
LINK EXPIRES ON THE 27th OCT Benjamin Finger – Mood Chaser

Artist – Benjamin Finger
Album – Woods of Broccoli
Release Date – 2009
Genre – Dreamy, Ambient, Folktronica, Experimental, Piano, [ VERY BEAUTIFUL ]


01 Woods of Broccoli 3:48
02 Little Sparkling Mist feat. Therese Aune 4:36
03 Unestablished Gossip 4:32
04 Failing Watermath 6:06
05 Dahoud Scratched His Head 0:58
06 Closely Digested Youth 3:22
07 Throat Travelled Yellow Hill 6:28
08 Cat Yowled Weak Jaws feat. Inga Lill 4:28
09 Watermelon Deserts 3:29
10 Howl (At the Buffalo Girls) feat. Therese Aune 5:02
Benjamin Finger – Woods of Broccoli
Benjamin Finger

TheSirensSound: Rádio Etiópia – Songs From From Blue Memory

By Appointment to Her Majesty the Queen and to Their Late Majesties King George VI, King Edward VII, King William IV, King George V, Queen Victoria, King George IV and to His Late Royal Higness The Prince of Wales ( 1921-1936)


TONY JUSTERINI and ANATOLY BROOKS are the co-founders of Rádio Etiópia. New episodes are posted every Monday set completed apart from the mainstream line of music.


Intro voice led by Ana Ribeiro


Special Guests:


< < < < < [ [ .COM ] | [ PODCAST ] | [ FACEBOOK ] | [ PHASE 108.1 ] ]. > > > > >




01. Foreign Fields – Fragile branches (0.00:07)
02. Foreign Fields – Little lover (0.03:23)
03. Goodbye Ivan – Last koruna (0.08:44)
04. Sleeping At Last – I’m gonna be (500 miles) (0.12:25)
05. Sharon Van Etten – Taking changes (live) (0.15:43)
06. Ólöf Arnalds – Han grete (0.19:50)
07. Panyolo – Hi to te ma (0.22:34)
08. Engineers – It rings so true (0.25:19)
09. Ryan Francesconi – Lost years (0.29:24)
10. Ramon Galvan – Grade by grade (0.33:25)
11. Tó Trips – The wind blows (0.35:58)
12. Robert Plant – A stolen kiss (0.38:45)
13. Lucy – Bank beach (0.43:50)
14. Brian Borcherdt – Steady hands (0.46:15)
15. Maps & Diagrams – Nothing inside something (0.48:42)
16. Gareth Dickson – Noon (0.51:24)
17. Callers – Valerie (0.55:51)
18. Chris Garneau – Halloween (0.57:16)
19. Ulf Wakenius – Ballad for E. (1.01:43)
20. Felix – Little biscuit (1.06:17)
21. Brian Borcherdt – Follows (1.09:56)
22. F. Durand – Los niños… (0.12:43) | 23. Fausto – Rosie (1.17:12)
Total Time: 01.19.50
A photo by Jennifer
Sultry voice of Radio Etiopia – Ana Ribeiro

TheSirensSound: Yellow6

Yellow6 has at times been described as post-rock, space-rock, electronica, shoegaze, ambient… the reality is that Yellow6 has some similarity with each of those genres but is not so easily definable, using aspects of drone, repetition, melody, harmony, noise and silence to create absorbing soundscapes to drift off into. Yellow6 was created out of necessity in the mid-90’s, the necessity to make guitar music not confined to rock song structures, and the necessity of circumstance to be a solo artist. Jon Attwood is a guitarist who grew up with punk in the London suburbs, playing in the early 80’s London punk scene with a number of bands.

Landing in the mid 90’s with no band Jon started to experiment with guitar sounds, drones, programmed beats and loops, resulting in a début single release in 1998 on Enraptured Records. This was followed by a number of single, compilation and EP releases on as many labels, with a debut album in 2000, also taking yellow6 into the live arena that year. Over the course of subsequent years, yellow6 has amassed over 50 releases on nearly as many labels across the globe, remixed or been remixed by many similar artists [ Charles Atlas, Tristeza, Rothko, maps&diagrams, Amp, Bauri, Portal, port-royal ] and played live shows in the UK, Europe and North America with [ Tarentel, Tristeza, This Is Your Captain Speaking, Televise, ISAN, Christ, Jessica Bailiff and Charles Atlas ].


A welcoming return to these pages of an old friend, Yellow6 has been part of the very fabric of these missives from their earliest days, emerging from the post rock / space rock / ambient scene Jon Atwood (nee Yellow6) has established himself as one of the foremost purveyors in the art of crafting mood moving widescreen soundscapes. Countless albums and compilation appearances totalling into three figures most mainly ridiculously limited in nature – have ensured him the noteworthy reputation of being every completest worst nightmare. With the obligatory year ending festive release ‘merry6mas’ almost upon us and expected shortly, Silber records have just released ‘closer to the sea without moving’.

Limited to just 150 copies this ten track suite was inspired by a trip to Norfolk, staying at the doomed Happisburgh Lighthouse, itself like some 200 year old silent guardian observing all around disappearing, this landmark site has all but given up and resigned itself to its coming fate with the seas around reclaiming the surrounding areas at an alarming rate, such is the rate of erosion that the area has been flagged up of major concern in the European communities. Jon and his family stayed at the lighthouse earlier this year, part holiday part research – tapping into the moods and observing the slow destruction and the victory of nature with most of the albums sketch notes completed whilst sitting on the steps of this monolith looking out to sea.

‘closer to the sea without moving’ is a study in reflection, traced in moments of beauty and dulled by sadness it presents a thoughtful and touching epitaph to this landmark monument drawing heavily on the loneliness of its 200 year old task and the sorrow of the once vibrant community built around it now lost and fallen silent whilst considering its own eventual demise and the nothingness beyond to come. Music wise as ever the string strokes exude a touch of finite serene elegance, opening track ‘looking back towards the sea’ providing a sketch map as to where we are, its thoughtful contours etching out a ‘true’ era Roy Montgomery canvas base from which to work. ‘lighthouse’ takes the perspective from the landmarks point of view, a sense of the calm before the storm sullies and steals it in a crushing mournful sadness.

The set though is dominated beautifully by the five part ‘closer to the sea’ suite, here Atwood comes into his own rifling through as where the lighthouse’s old memories, the centre point being the delicately harnessed ‘part 2’ – it’s here that Atwood’s mastery of intimacy and the channelling of moods comes into exacting focus, from the opining grace and carefree motifs that speckle its introduction to the storm lashed brutality of the conversation between the victim and perpetrator at 8.27 wherein the onset of feedback ruptures suddenly threaten with dooming consequence, between these polar extremes the lighthouse’s sense of pride, its solace and solitary watch are met in expressive detail with ‘part 3’ reminiscing upon happier safe times observing the ebb and flow of the passing day and the mournful end game recital that is ‘part 5’. All said we here are quite smitten by the demurring beauty of the Mancini meets Vini O’Reilly spectral detailing that dapples the fragile grooves of the mellowed ‘red candy’ which only falls into runners up spot at the emergence of the gorgeously serene Fahey schooled ‘sleet day’ – exquisite as you’d rightly expect. ___ [ The Sunday Experience ].

< < < < [ [ .COM ] | [ BANDCAMP ] | [ FACEBOOK ] ]. > > > >


Yellow6 - Closer To The Sea Without Moving

Artist – Yellow6
Album – Closer To The Sea Without Moving
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal, Drone


1. looking back towards the sea 03:14
2. lighthouse 06:49
3. closer to the sea (part one) 01:22
4. closer to the sea (part two) 11:34
5. closer to the sea (part three) 03:42
6. closer to the sea (part four) 01:47
7. closer to the sea (part five) 04:30
8. red candy 07:38
9. lighthouse (closer) 06:26 | 10. sleet day 10:08
Yellow6 – Closer To The Sea Without Moving


Yellow6 - Y6XV

Artist – Yellow6
Album – Y6XV
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal, Drone


01. bright skies 03:54
02. calling once more 03:18
03. calling (last call) 04:10
04. falcon one 09:19
05. sleep day 05:20
06. so far to the sea 04:13
07. not out 04:39
08. summershine 07:27
09. they look lost 04:56
10. two days previous 02:35
11. all fives 10:33
Yellow6 – Y6XV


Yellow6 - 5

Artist – Yellow5
Album – 5
Release Date – 2013
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal, Drone


Yellow6 – 5

Yellow6 - merry6mas2012

Artist – Yellow6
Album – Merry6Mas2012
Release Date – 2012
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal, Drone


01. filmusic1 01:55
02. filmusic2 03:59
03. filmusic3 06:33
04. filmusic4 02:32
05. filmusic5 06:11
06. filmusic6 06:44
07. filmusic7 02:17
08. filmusic8 02:45
09. filmusic9 06:33
10. filmusic10 02:24
Yellow6 – Merry6Mas2012


Artist – Yellow6 & Egsun
Album – Worth Wasting Time [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2012
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal, Drone [ Labradford Fans ]


1. Yellow6 – Concorde 12:56
2. Yellow6 – The Start Of Our Decline 07:08
3. Egsun – 38 Grey Days 04:16
4. Egsun – Aliska In Wonderland 06:07
5. Egsun – Long Soak 04:57
6. Egsun – The Ocean Near You 06:02
7. Egsun – Abracadabra 04:07
FileFactory ~ Yellow6 & Egsun – Worth Wasting Time
Norman Records ~ Yellow6 & Egsun – Worth Wasting Time

Artist – Yellow6
Album – Sounds and Moving Pictures [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2012
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal, Drone [ DON'T MISS IT ]


1. Yellow6 – 00:30 (live) 17:23
2. Plane Ari (live) 06:56
3. Norwest Passage (live) 09:42
4. Comatose With The Season (one) 04:56
5. Comatose With The Season (two) 05:59
6. Comatose With The Season (three) 03:54
7. Comatose With The Season (four) 12:11
8. Comatose With The Season (five) 04:58
9. Comatose With The Season (six) 04:48
Yellow6 – Sounds and Moving Pictures


Artist – Larkian & Yellow6
Album – Offtempo [ * * * * * ] X 10
Release Date – 2012
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal, Drone [ EXCELLENT COLLABORATION ]


1 Jazz F2B 4:48
2 Walz 7:44
3 Rita 5:11
4 Untitled3 6:55
5 Pool 7:16
6 E62 9:38
7 Séquences Inversées 17:26
Larkian & Yellow6

Artist – Yellow6
Album – Drifting For The Horizon [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal [ AWESOME ]


1. long sad #1 08:24
2. long sad #2 05:31
3. Yellow6 – a basis for continuum 09:28
4. Yellow6 – gone 07:43
5. Yellow6 – this is not a cloud 12:38
6. Yellow6 – rodent 06:26
7. Yellow6 – franklin 13:19
Yellow6 – Drifting For The Horizon


Artist – Yellow6
Album – Cut [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal [ AWESOME ]


1. cut 06:21
2. butterfly girl 08:21
3. if you see something, say something (third version) 10:18
4. cut#3 06:25
5. gift 10:25
6. cut/piano 04:19
7. diagnosis (one) 04:04
8. diagnosis (two) 10:21
9. cut#4 06:23
Yellow6 – Cut


Artist – Yellow6
Album – STHLM [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal [ AWESOME ]


1. Yellow6 – fyra 09:24
2. Kulturhuset 08:23
3. 3 Em 07:17
4. 8 Days 07:52
5. No Common Understanding 05:38
6. Kulturhuset (Schengen Remix) 04:24
Yellow6 – STHLM


Artist – Yellow6
Album – Orphan Songs [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Ambient, Instrumental, Post-rock, Minimal [ AWESOME ]


01. 3fold 04:24
02. marble#1 02:26
03. quinta essentia 04:28
04. silhouette 09:42
05. centraal 06:03
06. marble#2 02:53
07. august 26 03:43
08. quarantine 04:47
09. long saturday 04:57
10. you might as well be on the other side of the world 05:12
11. (I Wish I Could) Start Over 03:41
12. start over again 06:32
13. i know i shouldn’t but i do 07:50
14. RED 11:59
15. from here to when 06:36
16. winter 04:22
17. green 06:35
18. Encase 06:01
19. E1 08:11
20. L#2 04:49
21. day in pripyat 04:57
BANDCAMP ~ Yellow6 – Orphan Songs


Artist – Yellow6
Album – Painted Sky [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2007
Genre – Instrumental, Minimal, Ambient, Drone, Post-rock, Experimental [ BY ALL MEANS ]


01 I Know I Shouldn’t (But I Do) 7:45
02 I Loved You More Before I Knew You Loved Me 5:58
03 Common 7:22
04 Nye 2 2:56
05 Realisation 5:48
06 Pleasure/Pain 8:16
07 Eighteen Days 8:19
08 Requiem For Julian 5:07
09 Maré 5:34
10 Azure 6:47
SHOP [ Yellow6.COM ]
FILEFACTORY Yellow6 – Painted Sky

Artist – Yellow6
Album – When the Leaves Fall Like Snow
Release Date – 2008
Genre – Instrumental, Minimal, Ambient, Drone, Post-rock, Experimental [ GET IT ]

Disc 1: Fall

01 Still Water 12:07
02 Street 13:39
03 Katarinahissen 13:26
04 Två 10:40
05 Leaves Fall Like Snow 9:55
06 Street Writing 12:54

Disc 2: Further

01 All Space 6:29
02 Amateur 4:56
03 You Can’t Be Everywhere He Said 8:20
04 Everything Changes 7:25
05 Norwest Passage 8:00
06 Moderna 7:46
07 Mellan 8:26
08 Last Saturday 7:18
09 Magasin2 7:37
10 Tre 5:04
SHOP AT ~ [ Yellow6.COM ]
FILEFACTORY ~ Yellow6 – When the Leaves Fall Like Snow [ Fall ] and [ Further ]

The Half-Dipper: Teenager Tea

Disquiet: Disquiet Junto Project 0147: Slight Noise


Each Thursday in the Disquiet Junto group on and at, a new compositional challenge is set before the group’s members, who then have just over four days to upload a track in response to the assignment. Membership in the Junto is open: just join and participate.

This assignment was made in the evening, California time, on Thursday, October 23, with 11:59pm on the following Monday, October 27, 2014, as the deadline.

These are the instructions that went out to the group’s email list (at

Disquiet Junto Project 0147: Slight Noise
The Assignment: Record 8 seconds of white noise in your own personal style.

This week’s project:

Step 1: Record 8 seconds of white noise in your own personal style.

Step 2: Upload the finished track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud.

Step 3: Listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Length: Your finished work should be 8 seconds long.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and include a description of your process in planning, composing, and recording it. This description is an essential element of the communicative process inherent in the Disquiet Junto.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on, please include the term “disquiet0147-slightnoise″ in the title of your track, and as a tag for your track.

Download: It is preferable that your track is set as downloadable, and that it allows for attributed remixing (i.e., a Creative Commons license permitting non-commercial sharing with attribution).

Linking: When posting the track, please be sure to include this information:

More on this 147th Disquiet Junto project — “Record 8 seconds of white noise in your own personal style″ — at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

The Gutters: I Saw The Sign

gutters548 colours

So apparently, Tony Stark is goingto help out his pal Daredevil by restoring his sight.  Nice of Tony to start there instead of underprivileged kids, but I can let that slide.

What I find interesting about this is that it would obviously be a massive change to Daredevil as a character. Which is kind of an odd thing to do to a character who’s had a consistently decent-selling book for the last 4 or 5 years. Also, his visually impaired-ness is one of the defining characteristics of Daredevil.

Now, I’m not saying that taking away a hero’s powers or in this case, restoring something that they haven’t had in years, is necessarily a bad thing. It puts the hero in new situations that they may not know how to handle and can make for some interesting story fodder.

For a little while. Because what we’ll have to eventually endure is the re-blinding of Daredevil and I don’t know if that’s a story that I really want to read.

’tis the Circle of Comics though, I suppose.

Today’s page was deftly delivered by Gavin Smith:

Gavin Smith is a freelance artist who lives in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the artist on the comic books “The Accelerators” and “All Superheroes Must Die”. He created and self published his own comic book “Human City”. He is also a 2011 graduate of the Joe Kubert School. Past Clients/Work include: AT&T, New World Videos, Blue Juice Comics, The Gutters/Blind Ferret Entertainment, The Sound Magazine.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


Ideas from CBC Radio (Highlights): Lost Innocence, Part 3 - Children of the Holocaust

Livia Bittman-Jackson and Mariam Steiner were young girls when the Nazi's marched into their villages and deported them to concentration camps. They recall the horror of the Holocaust.

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal (updated daily): October 24, 2014

See you at BAHFest tomorrow!

Potz!Blitz!Szpilman!: Joel Strong

Joel Strong, My Day with Leo, 2014

BOOOOOOOM!: Design a Sticker for Booooooom! We’ll send you 500.


We’re teaming up with Stickerobot Custom Stickers to run a fun little project. They’ve been a supporter of Booooooom for a long time and have made us a ton of custom printed stickers over the years. We’ve made clear stickers and die cut ones but I’ve kept the actual designs really plain. This is where you guys come in.

This is a call to all you artists and illustrators out there to design us a 3″ x 3″ sticker. It can be whatever you want it just needs to have the word “Booooooom” somewhere in it. This doesn’t necessarily mean we just want you to draw a bunch of cool looking letters, you could though. But you could also draw a dinosaur playing a saxophone at sunset and then in really small letters at the bottom write the word Booooooom. Make whatever you want, in your own style.

You can submit your design by leaving a comment on this post and attaching a small JPG (less than 1 mb) image of your design. Keep a high resolution or vector version of your work handy in case yours is chosen.

We will pick 3 winners and each of you will get 500 stickers of your own design sent to you! We will also get these stickers made for us and the back print on the stickers will have information about you (your name, website, etc) so when we give them to people we will essentially be handing someone your business card! We will not be selling the stickers that you create, this is stuff that we want to be able to give away to people.

I’m excited to see what you guys come up with. Feel free to submit as many designs as you want. The submission period ends November 14th.




View the whole post: Design a Sticker for Booooooom! We’ll send you 500. over on BOOOOOOOM!. 10.24.2014

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic.

Planet Haskell: Danny Gratzer: Update on Old Projects

Posted on October 24, 2014
Tags: haskell, personal

All though most people I talk to know me for my blog, I do occasionally actually write software instead of just talking about it :)

Sadly, as a mercurial user most of my stuff has languished with on bitbucket. I’ve had a few people tell me that this is annoying for various reasons. Yesterday, I finally got around to fixing that!

As of yesterday, all of my interesting projects are mirrored on [github][my-github]. I’m still using mercurial but thanks to the lovely git-hg tool this is not an issue. You can fork, pull-request, or generally peek and poke as you please. From my end all of these actions look like nice mercurial changesets so I can continue to live under my rock where I don’t need to understand Git.

As a quick list of what haskell code is up there now

Which I think includes every project I’ve blogged about here as well as a few others. Sorry it took so long!

<script type="text/javascript"> /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'codeco'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + ''; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); </script> <noscript>Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.</noscript> comments powered by Disqus

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Updates: Hurry to Get Tix to THE BABADOOK Fri Oct 24 11.45pm Late Show!

Hurry, Tickets to THE BABADOOK Friday 11.45pm screening are selling fast! See the critically acclaimed scary movie sensation of the year for one night only, exclusively at Scotiabank Theatre, as part of Toronto After Dark Film Fest! Our 9.30pm show sold out in record time and tix to this added late show are also going fast! Need more convincing? Watch the scary trailer! Read the 95% Fresh Reviews at Rotten Tomatoes. But Hurry and Snap up tix at $13 in Advance before they’re all gone here: See You After Dark this Friday Night!

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: It works.

HOMES modified

The tale of two nations. Part deux. This is certainly getting interesting.

The average moist virginal homebuyer in Canada is 29 years old, just emerged pasty and blinking from his parents’ basement, and plans to spend $510,000 in Vancouver and over $400,000 in Toronto to buy real estate. Almost all of these buyers take high-ratio loans, since they lack a 20% downpayment, and end up paying CMHC insurance – which can add $15,000 to that Van price.

But despite the fact this amounts to an awesome debt loan, the home ownership rate among the twentysomething set (according to BeeMo) is 50%. That’s down from the past level of 55%, mostly because houses are so stupid expensive.

In Canada the average place costs more than $400,000, says CREA. In the States, the average is $176,500.

So, you’d imagine US kids would be swarming to real estate, since mortgage costs are roughly equal (thirty-year loans are 4% in the US, but tax-deductible), as are big-city incomes. But you’d be wrong. Home ownership among this group hit 40.6% as the housing boom was ending in 2007, then fell to 34% last year and is now just 29%. Of new-home purchasers, just 16% are first-timers.

What could possibly account for this huge gap between the Yanks and the Maples?

Well, many US kids saw their parents get their butts roasted in the housing correction that bottomed about four years ago. The US middle class was vacuumed for about $6 trillion, and millions of families found that having a one-asset investment strategy, leveraged over a mountain of debt, was a toxic idea. A whole nation of house-hornies discovered real estate does not always go up.

But that’s background. More salient reasons American millennials are renting are (a) student debt, (b) higher youth unemployment and (c) a lack of affordable properties. Sound familiar? So, we still don’t have an answer. Until we look at lending practices.

To get a mortgage in the States, you typically need a credit score of 750. Yikes. Not only that, but most lenders usually won’t dole out any funds unless a buyer can cough up a downpayment of 20%. Compare that with Canada, of course, where 5% is all you need, and the bank will give you at least half of that for showing up.

Of course we also have teaser-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages, which are now banned in the States. That’s how banks here sucker in people with 1.99% or 2.2% two-year terms. It’s also worth remembering the Canada Interest Act dictates all mortgage terms have to expire after five years, so you cannot lock into a 4% rate for the next three decades, as so many Americans are doing currently. (Refinancings have jumped 23% as bond yields fell.)

The result is obvious.

Half of our kids buy houses and the average price is $408,795. South of us, in a similar country, less than a third can buy – and homes cost $176,500.

This is no coincidence. Real estate doesn’t cost more here because it’s better-built, or since we have a larger population and a better climate, or because people in Seattle make half what Vancouverites earn. Prices are higher because houses are easy to buy, and debt flows.

It’s been deliberate. Pushing real estate’s been a key policy initiative of governments which are financially strapped, strangled by election cycles and bereft of other ideas. By pushing citizens into borrowing and spending massively, politicians don’t need to pare spending, enact stimulus programs or reform taxation, especially when the economy turns south. They just get the fool voters to do it. Simple. It works.

So we got forty-year amortizations and zero down payments, along with first-time homebuyer tax credits. This was layered over the Home Buyer’s Plan allowing RRSPs to be raided, and provincial grants to encourage newbies. Land transfer taxes are slashed or eliminated for the virgins and, of course, CMHC wipes away all lender risk for mortgages up to 95% of a property’s value. We now have an entire banking sector that’s grown fat on giving home loans to people who have been too challenged, lazy, undisciplined or juvenile to actually save any money.

The result?

Unaffordable houses and record debt.

Genius country, eh?

OCaml Planet: OCamlCore Forge News: Recent reboots explained: the forge has been compromised

Earlier today, I was connected while the Forge was under heavy load. This has often been the case before most of the recent reboot. This time I was able to identify the process causing the problem and stop it early. Unfortunately, an intruder was able to exploit shellshock through gitweb.cgi. This means that the attacker was able to run a process on the server as www-data for a few hours. I have studied the script used and it is a IRC server in Perl. I think the main goal of the server was to attack other computers. I am not sure that any files were compromised. The script has been removed and my security tool (rkhunter) cannot find any other problems. I have upgraded the system to squeeze-lts to fix the shellshock CVE. The following script can test the files, that have been uploaded to the forge, against what is currently on the server (see the link). AFAIK, none of my tarball have been changed. Please check your files as well and contact me if you find any problems. Sorry for the inconvenience Sylvain Le Gall Use this command to run the script: $> ocaml */dist/*.tar.gz

Quiet Earth: Trailer and Poster for Shane Abbess' INFINI!

It's been seven years since Shane Abbess impressed audiences with his his stylish, low-budget purgatory actioner Gabriel (review), but after some false starts on a few projects (including being attached to direct Source Code, which eventually went to Duncan Jones), the Australian director is back in good form with Infini a scifi thriller with a great atmosphere reminiscent of Event Horizon.

Set in the dark reaches of space, Infini is the story of a search and rescue team transported to a distant mining station to save Whit Charmicael (Daniel MacPherson) who is the lone survivor of a freak accident.

Using Slipstream technology the team must tran [Continued ...]

Colossal: Two Stunning Trailers for ‘Tant de Forets,’ an New Animated Short by Burcu Sakur and Geoffrey Godet

Two Stunning Trailers for Tant de Forets, an New Animated Short by Burcu Sakur and Geoffrey Godet  nature illustration animation

Two Stunning Trailers for Tant de Forets, an New Animated Short by Burcu Sakur and Geoffrey Godet  nature illustration animation

Tant de Forets is an animated short by french illustrators and animators, Burcu Sakur and Geoffrey Godet that was released on French TV earlier this year. According the the animators, the piece is based on a poem by Jacques Prévert by the same name that “speaks of the irony of the fact that newspapers warn us about deforestation although they are made of paper themselves.” The film’s illustrative style seen in the two trailers here is unlike anything I’ve seen before, with beautiful use of color, depth, and geometry that’s somewhat reminiscent of Charley Harper in parts but with a bit more depth. If you like this, here’s an entirely different experimental piece the duo created “just for fun.”

(via Stellar)

Free Electrons » Blog »: Free Electrons team back from ELCE and Linux Plumbers

As we announced in an earlier blog post, the entire Free Electrons engineering team was at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe and Linux Plumbers Conference last week in Düsseldorf.

Free Electrons engineering team at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2014

Free Electrons engineering team at the Embedded Linux Conference Europe 2014. From left to right, Grégory Clement, Alexandre Belloni, Maxime Ripard, Antoine Ténart, Thomas Petazzoni, Boris Brezillon and Michael Opdenacker.

In addition to attending many talks, meeting developers of the embedded Linux community and therefore keeping us up-to-date with the most recent developments in this domain, we also gave a number of talks, for which the slides are now available:

Boris Brezillon giving his DRM/KMS talk

Boris Brezillon giving his DRM/KMS talk

Maxime Ripard giving his Allwinner kernel talk

Maxime Ripard giving his Allwinner kernel talk

Thomas Petazzoni giving his Buildroot talk

Thomas Petazzoni giving his Buildroot talk

At the social event, from left to right: Grégory Clement (Free Electrons), Kevin Hilman (Linaro), Boris Brezillon (Free Electrons), Maxime Ripard (Free Electrons)

At the social event, from left to right: Grégory Clement (Free Electrons), Kevin Hilman (Linaro), Boris Brezillon (Free Electrons), Maxime Ripard (Free Electrons)

All the slides of the conference are also available on the event site of the Linux Foundation, and all talks have been video-recorded by the Linux Foundation so hopefully videos should become available in the near future.

TheSirensSound: I Spell It Nature

I Spell It Nature Profile

I Spell it Nature started out as an acoustic project by Jon Fortin and Greg Choo. After releasing two EPs, they decided it was time to go bigger. Korby Martin and Andrew Fishenden then joined the group. After only a few months, the band was ready to record their first in studio self-titled EP.

Jeremy Aaron,, March 2010. Trying to beat that Sunday morning hangover? Might I suggest giving I Spell It Nature a try? Their new self-titled EP could be just the cure you’re looking for. The Ottawa quartet’s brand of post-rock aims for the textures of the genre’s big names but with a little less focus on tension and catharsis and more on hypnotic beauty. The cost of getting these gorgeous, sweeping melodies to your ears?


2014 – North
2014 – Roots
2011 – A Story Of…
2010 – I Spell It Nature


Released 14 October 2014
Recorded at Audio Valley Recording Studio
Produced, Engineered and Mastered by Steve Foley
All music written by I Spell It Nature
Photography by Andrew Szeto (@szetoszeto)
Copyright 2014 ‘I Spell It Nature’ [ ]

< < < < < [ [ FACEBOOK ] | [ BANDCAMP ] ]. > > > > >

I Spell It Nature - North

Artist – I Spell It Nature
Album – North [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Instrumental, Post-rock, Ambient [ DO NOT SKIP ]


1. Title Shot 03:22
2. The Courage to Leave 05:32
3. Hands of Time 05:02
4. Roam 03:08
5. If Nothing Goes Right, Go Left 03:49
6. The View From Here 05:54
7. Rise and Fall 03:29
8. Explore the World 06:09
9. Arrivals 01:45
10. ‘of, relating to, or resembling a colossus’ 05:05
I Spell It Nature – North


I Spell It Nature - Roots

Artist – I Spell It Nature
Album – Roots [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2014
Genre – Instrumental, Post-rock, Ambient [ DO NOT SKIP ]


1. Roots 01:49
2. The Courage To Leave 04:46
3. Refreshing 01:28
4. Explore The World 05:10
5. S l e e p 02:10
I Spell It Nature – Roots


Artist – I Spell It Nature
Album – A Story Of… [ * * * * * ]
Release Date – 2011
Genre – Instrumental, Post-rock, Ambient [ DO NOT SKIP ]


1 Leaving Home To Find Hope 1:58
2 If Anything Matters, Then Everything Matters 5:19
3 Veni Vidi Vici 5:26
4 Empty Places, Smiling Faces 5:21
5 Turkey Dinner 4:56
6 The Sun in My Eyes 2:02
7 The Wind at My Back 7:21
8 Abandoned Hearts Club 7:02
BANDCAMP I Spell It Nature – A Story Of…
FILEFACTORY I Spell It Nature – A Story Of…


Artist – I spell It Nature
Album – I Spell It Nature
Release Date – 2010
Genre – Instrumental, Post-rock [ KILLER SOUND / GET IT ]


01 The Distance Between Where You Are and Where You Want To Be
02 Ducks Fly Together
03 This is Your Journey
04 ‘of, relating to, or resembling a colossus’
BANDCAMP I spell It Nature – I Spell It Nature
FILEFACTORY I spell It Nature – I Spell It Nature

I Spell It Nature

Open Culture: New Animated Web Series Makes the Theory of Evolution Easy to Understand

When it comes to matters of broad scientific consensus, I’m generally inclined to offer provisional assent. Like everyone else, I have to rely on the expertise of others in matters outside my ken, and in many cases, this rational appeal to authority is the best one can do without acquiring the relevant qualifications and years of experience in highly specialized scientific fields. In the case of evolution, I happen to find the evidence and explanations nearly all biologists proffer much more persuasive than the claims—and accusations—of their mostly unscientific critics. But as we know from recent survey data, a very large percentage of Americans reject the theory of evolution, at least when it comes to humans, though it’s likely a great many of them—like myself—do not know very much about it.

But as a layperson with an admittedly rudimentary science education, I’m always grateful for clear, simple explanations of complex ideas. This is precisely what we get in the video series Stated Clearly, which harnesses the power of web animation as an instructional tool to define what the theory of evolution is, and why it explains the observable facts better than anything else. Stated Clearly’s tagline is “science is for everyone,” and indeed, their mission “is simple”: “to promote the art of critical thinking by exposing people from all walks of life, to the simple beauty of science.” The video at the top gives us a broad overview of the theory of evolution. The animation just above presents the evidence for evolution, or some of it anyway, in clear, compelling terms, drawing from at least two of the many independent lines of evidence. And below, we have a Stated Clearly take on natural selection, an absolutely key concept of evolutionary biology, and one regularly misunderstood.

After watching these three shorts, you might agree that what is “often considered a complex and controversial topic” is “actually a very simple concept to understand.” In layman’s terms, at least. In fact, artist, narrator, and creator of the series, Jon Perry, admits that he himself has no formal scientific training. “He believed,” his bio states, “that if he could create just one good animation on his own, scientists and educators would realize the potential of this project and help him create more.” And indeed they have. Stated Clearly has a distinguished panel of science advisers and partners that include the Center for Chemical Evolution, Emory University, Georgia Tech, NASA, and the National Science Foundation. Learn much more about Stated Clearly’s goals and affiliations, or lack thereof, at their website. And below, see the fourth video of the series, “Does the Theory of Evolution Really Matter?,” which addresses the practical, real world implications of evolutionary theory, and scientific literacy.

Related Content:

Carl Sagan Explains Evolution in an Eight-Minute Animation

Watch Episode #2 of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Cosmos: Explains the Reality of Evolution (US Viewers)

Richard Dawkins Makes the Case for Evolution in the 1987 Documentary, The Blind Watchmaker

Josh Jones is a writer and musician based in Durham, NC. Follow him at @jdmagness

New Animated Web Series Makes the Theory of Evolution Easy to Understand is a post from: Open Culture. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus, or get our Daily Email. And don't miss our big collections of Free Online Courses, Free Online Movies, Free eBooksFree Audio Books, Free Foreign Language Lessons, and MOOCs.

The post New Animated Web Series Makes the Theory of Evolution Easy to Understand appeared first on Open Culture.

Re: Factor: cURL

The cURL project is a command-line tool and library for transferring data using URL syntax supporting many (many!) protocols. I recently contributed a simple wrapper for libcurl to Factor and wanted to show a little bit about how it was made.

We have a download-to word that uses our HTTP client to download resources from the web. I wanted to show how to build a similar word to download resources using libcurl.


We will use the alien vocabulary to interface with the libcurl C library, defining words to initialize, perform a request, and cleanup


FUNCTION: CURL* curl_easy_init ( ) ;

FUNCTION: int curl_easy_perform ( CURL* curl ) ;

FUNCTION: void curl_easy_cleanup ( CURL* curl ) ;

Before we perform the request, we will want to set various options to control what request is made, using function aliases to allow passing different types of values based on the numeric key:

FUNCTION-ALIAS: curl_easy_setopt_long
int curl_easy_setopt ( CURL* curl, int option, long value ) ;

FUNCTION-ALIAS: curl_easy_setopt_string
int curl_easy_setopt ( CURL* curl, int option, c-string value )

FUNCTION-ALIAS: curl_easy_setopt_pointer
int curl_easy_setopt ( CURL* curl, int option, void* value ) ;

TYPEDEF: int64_t curl_off_t

FUNCTION-ALIAS: curl_easy_setopt_curl_off_t
int curl_easy_setopt ( CURL* curl, int option, curl_off_t value ) ;

: curl_easy_setopt ( curl option value -- code )
over enum>number {
{ [ dup 30000 > ] [ drop curl_easy_setopt_curl_off_t ] }
{ [ dup 20000 > ] [ drop curl_easy_setopt_pointer ] }
{ [ dup 10000 > ] [ drop curl_easy_setopt_string ] }
[ drop curl_easy_setopt_long ]
} cond ;


We can then begin to use libcurl in a few simple Factor words that allow us to present a nice interface to the user. Starting with initializing the library, and registering a destructor the cleanup after we are done:

DESTRUCTOR: curl_easy_cleanup

: curl-init ( -- CURL )
curl_easy_init &curl_easy_cleanup ;

Some of the functions produce an error code that we should check.


: check-code ( code -- )
CURLE_OK assert= ;

We can set options using the curl_easy_setopt words we defined earlier:

: curl-set-opt ( CURL key value -- )
curl_easy_setopt check-code ;

Using these we can set file (opening and registering a destructor to close) and URL options:



: curl-set-file ( CURL path -- )
CURLOPT_FILE swap "wb" fopen &fclose curl-set-opt ;

: curl-set-url ( CURL url -- )
CURLOPT_URL swap present curl-set-opt ;

And a word to perform the "curl":

: curl-perform ( CURL -- )
curl_easy_perform check-code ;

Putting all of that together, we can finally download a URL to a specified local file path:

: curl-download-to ( url path -- )
[ swap curl-set-file ]
[ swap curl-set-url ]
[ curl-perform ] tri
] with-destructors ;

Using it is pretty simple:

IN: scratchpad "" "/tmp/factor.html"

Perlsphere: PBP: 051 Lexical Variables

Global Variables; Just Say No.  Well, the PBP’s a little more lenient than that, and actually easier to follow by suggesting, “Avoid using non-lexical variables.” and admitting there are some times you just need a package or global variable.

I agree with the book; don’t clutter your global namespace and invite action at a distance if you don’t have to.  Keep your variables contained and your namespace clean, and your code will work better and be happier.

This is another case where “use strict;” is your friend.

There is a pretty useful table in the book of ways to avoid messing with a bunch of the punctuation variables.  Most of those ways are pretty painless and make your code more explicit.  Avoiding $` and $’ are particularly helpful, as it keeps regexes everywhere in the program more efficient.

If you do have to use Perl’s globals, localize changes as much as you can.  (I do find perlcritic to be a little overly picky here.  Yes, I know I’m not localizing changes to %ENV.  The whole POINT of what I’m doing is to change the actual environment.  Localizing that too far is hardly useful.  This is a place where the engineer knows best, and you just shut off that error for that block.)

Quiet Earth: Killer First Look at Werewolf Horror LATE PHASES [Trailer]

Who doesn't love a good werewolf movie, especially one that relies entirely on practical effects? If you don't, you might as well move on but if that sentence excited you, get ready to have your hair blown back by the kick ass trailer for Late Phases.

Directed by Adrián García Bogliano (director of Here Comes the Devil among many others), Late Phases unfolds in a retirement community which has been suffering from a rash of deadly animal attacks…

When grizzled war veteran Ambrose McKinley (Nick Damici) is forced into moving there by his yuppie son Will (Ethan Embry), the residents immediately take offense to Ambrose's abrasive personality. But that take-no-prisoners attitude may be just what Ambrose needs to survive as it becomes clear t [Continued ...]

Quiet Earth: Horror Anthology DARKNET, Featuring Natali, Hoban & Gudino, Comes to Netflix!

In the year since we first posted about the Canadian trans-media anthology project Darknet, a lot has happened though surprisingly, very little of it to do with the project itself. Mostly, darknet has entered the general consciousness thanks to the latest season of "House of Lies." Now that people know, or think they know, what really goes on on darknet, it'll be interesting to see how and if that general public tunes into a show that has very clear horror tendencies.

Darknet aired on Super Channel earlier this year but with so few subscribers, the show came and went with little fanfare but worry not because come tomorrow, Netflix subscribers in Canad [Continued ...]

Penny Arcade: News Post: The Vault of Glass

Gabe: I play Destiny every day. This past weekend I even started an Alt character. Now I have my level 27 Hunter as well as a level 5 Titan. Whenever I have a bit of free time I am in there playing. Kids taking a bath? I can do a story mission. 30 minutes until I have to leave for work? I can knock out a bounty or two. The Seahawks are playing? I’ll just play Destiny on my Vita all afternoon while we watch the game. Playing games is my job and so kara sees this a lot. I’m always playing something but even she commented the other day that I seem a little obsessed with Destiny. I can’t deny it…

Colossal: New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

New Layered Glass Wave Sculptures by Ben Young sculpture ocean glass

Sculptor Ben Young (previously) just unveiled a collection of new glass sculptures prior to the Sculpture Objects Functional Art + Design (SOFA) Fair in Chicago next month. Young works with laminated clear float glass atop cast concrete bases to create cross-section views of ocean waves that look somewhat like patterns in topographical charts. The self-taught artist is currently based in Sydney but was raised in Waihi Beach, New Zealand, where the local landscape and surroundings greatly inspired his art. You can learn more about his sculptures over on Kirra Galleries, and follow him on Facebook.

Quiet Earth: It Has Arrived! The INSIDIOUS: CHAPTER 3 Trailer Is Here!

We've already seen a bit of footage from the teaser trailer and behind the scenes of Insidious: Chapter 3 and you can't really blame the studio for pushing this just in time for Halloween even tough the movie isn't due until next summer.

A prequel to the previous two films, this new chapter is written and directed by actor-turned-director Leigh Whannell and stars Lin Shaye as Elise Rainier, a woman who reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl (Stefanie Scott) who has been targeted by a dangerous ghost. Dermot Mulroney also stars.

The first [Continued ...]

Colossal: Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Located in a park near the center of Lede, Belgium, the Castle of Mesen dates back to the 17th century where it served as a home for various lords before a conversion to an industrial site. Throughout the 1800s the complex was used as a gin distillery, a tobacco factory, and a sugar refinery. In 1897 the castle was then sold to a religious order who constructed an impressive neo-gothic chapel and turned the entire facility into a boarding school.

Although it was still in use up until the 1960s, a tragic storm of abandonment, looting, and a failed attempt to designate the castle as a monument lead to a decision to demolish of the entire castle just a few years ago. Lucky for us, photographer Jan Stel of Past Glory managed to sneak inside and capture a few amazing shots before it disappears forever. The juxtaposition of the stained glass windows and decaying roof and sprawling foliage is especially striking. See more from this series here. (via Arch Atlas)

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Lost Castle: The Crumbling Ruins of the Castle of Mesen history churches Belgium architecture

Bad Science: My new book is out today. Here is the introduction. Hooray!

Tea Masters: The 7542 puerh standard and compound interest.

1995/96 Menghai Tea Factory '7542' cake
The compound interest formula is very useful to understand to the price of older 7542 cakes.
The calculation goes like this:
Price in Y years = Price now x (1+ rate of return)^Y

What's interesting with the Menghai 7542 cakes from 1975 to year 2000, is that these puerhs were made with the same recipe, similar know-how in the same factory while the Chinese market was a monopoly managed by the CNNP corporation. (See picture above for the full name). This means that these products are all quite similar and should follow similar aging and pricing patterns.

The second reason that makes the 7542 interesting for puerh drinkers is that the 1970s 7542 are now very highly regarded by collectors. Some see this cake as the next generation green label! (The other cake that enjoys a similar reputation is the 8582 from the mid 1980s: it is seen as the next generation red label). So, this recipe (before year 2000) is a good standard to understand how a raw puerh should taste after a certain time.
Menghai Tea Factory '7542' from 1995/96
The stability of this puerh helps us to calculate the rate of return. Since the cakes are similar, we can assume that the price of a 39 or 34 years old 7542 remains the same over time. (This assumes a 0% inflation rate, which is rather conservative).

- Case 1: for a 1975 '7542', the market price I heard is 10,000 USD.
Let's be conservative and assume that my latest selected 7542 is from 1996 (it could also be 1995). In 21 years, it will be as old as the 1975 '7542'. Now, its price is 399 USD. What will be its rate of return, its annual growth rate to reach the same price as a 7542 from 1975 in 21 years?
10,000 = 399 x (1 + R)^(1996-1975=21)
According to the above formula, this rate is approximately 16.6%!
We can use this rate to calculate backwards also:
Price of a 18 years old '7542' = 399 = Price of a new cake x (1+ rate of return = .166)^18
The answer is that the price of a new cake should be approximately 25 USD.
- Case 2: for a 1980 '7542', I found a recent auction where a tong was sold for 184,000 RMB. Converted to USD, this means that 1 cake costs approximately 4,380 USD. Another lot sold for 195,500 RMB, but let's use the lower figure.
What's the rate of return here if the price of a 34 years old puerh stays the same?
4,380 = 399 x (1 + R)^(1996-1980=16)
Here, the rate of return is approximately 16.1%. We are very close the rate calculated above.
1995/96 '7542' puerh
These rates of return are very similar to the rates I calculated about 80 years old cakes based on previous auctions. Such rates are very high and explain why so many investors are tempted to invest in puerh. As a former financial executive, it's fun to run these numbers to look at tea from a different, purely financial perspective. What's important to remember is that we are looking at the most respected cake (brand) from a certain time. Lesser known and lower quality puerhs don't reach the same prices. During the 1975-2000 era, there were fewer products since there were fewer producers and 1 monopoly that didn't encourage much innovation. The quality and branding issue will be more important for investors for newer puerhs. It's difficult to say now which new puerhs will still be sought after in 20 or 40 years.

The advantage of the 1995/96 '7542' and the 1999 '7542' is that they are most likely to follow the same evolution of the 1975-80 '7542' (also known as 73 qing bing). And I had the opportunity to taste such a 70s '7542' recently! I could feel that the character of this old puerh is similar to my 1990s '7542'. The energy is still superb and it feels so pure and light! The taste has continued to become more refined, while the scents have turned darker and intoxicating while preserving a fresh and energetic feeling. It's very, very good and very few leaves are sufficient to make a great cup.
1970s '7542'
A 40 years old puerh is like a taste of paradise. The astronomical price doesn't seem so far fetched if you are old and rich. Being in my mid 40s, I don't have the luxury to wait 40 years, but 20 years seem OK. That's why now is a good time to purchase this puerh standard before the compound interest prices it higher and higher.

Note: See more pictures of the 95/96 cake in my recent article (in French).

Perlsphere: Nominate Perl heroes for the 2014 White Camel Awards

We're looking for nominations for the 2014 White Camel Awards that recognize significant non-technical achievement in Perl and its community. Each year we recognize work in the broad categories of community, advocacy, and user groups.

01 - November - 2007 -- White Camel

To nominate someone, you can send me a name through any means you like. Reply here, post on Twitter (use the #whitecamelaward tag so I'll find it), send me email, hire planes to skywrite, or something more creative. Note, however, that the method of nomination does not factor into our decision!

Arduino Blog: Control your Halloween Props with Arduino


Jason from Make Magazine published a video tutorial on how to create an amazing choreography hacking your Halloween props using Arduino Uno:


BOOOOOOOM!: Chelsea Welsh


“Caught in the Days Unraveling”, photos by Cambridge, Massachusetts-based photographer Chelsea Welsh. More below.

View the whole post: Chelsea Welsh over on BOOOOOOOM!.

silk and spinach: Where is the database?

I have just watched an interesting conversation between Martin Fowler and Badri Janakiraman about #hexagonalrails, and in particular about the role of databases. The central question in the discussion is whether the database should be considered outside or inside the domain. While watching, I realised I had had similar thoughts in 2005!

In recent years I have considered databases to be always outside the domain. I can definitely see the attraction of an “always present” domain model, but I think it is conflating different points of view, and misunderstanding the point of Hexagonal Architecture. I was wrong in 2005 :)

The comments on the video are very interesting, particularly those by Alistair Cockburn. Specifically he makes two key points:

  1. [There is no] debate of whether the persistence is in or out in HA, it is out. So you should say you chose not to use that piece of HA, not that you used it but brought the db inside.
  2. the purpose of HA is the configurable link t0 db

By forcing ourselves to keep to database outside of the domain we respect the hexagonal symmetry , and this is the only way to guarantee complete separation of concerns. The choice of Active Record or Data Mapper then becomes a decision about how to implement the “configurable database” port/adapter.

Cowbirds in Love: Archive Dive

That’s the end of Philosophy Week! I hope you liked it. The first four comics are here: 1, 2, 3, 4.

We end with a loving homage to Zeno! What a wacky dude. I also heard he was super weird but I don’t know him so well so I don’t want to spread rumors.

If you are a new reader to Cowbirds in Love, feel free to ATTEMPT THE IMPOSSIBLE, and stay around. You can stop by every weekday, use weird RSS magic to stay current, or even hit me up on Twitter or Facebook or some such weirdness. You can also tie a string around your finger to remember to come back and read some comics. There are so many options.

And you don’t NEED to dive through the archives, but you can. There’s a few good jokes in there. But don’t let the ARCHIVE PANIC get you down.

Incidentally, I’m reading through Cat and Girl right now for the first time. It has archives back to 1999 and is enormous. There are jokes about George W. Bush getting elected. It’s really delightful.

Making fun of Rene Descartes for thinking the mind was in the pineal gland
The butterfly thing, as mentioned before
And this comic has the other three

I guess there really is nothing new under the sun.

Disquiet: How to Build a Girl

There have been many responses to the eight-second accidental hit of white noise attributed to pop star Taylor Swift. At, Megan Garber stitched together quotes from Don DeLillo’s novel White Noise to form a review (“It is the time of year, the time of day, for a small insistent sadness to pass into the texture of things. Dusk, silence, iron chill. Something lonely in the bone.”). At, Nate Jones drew a comparison to the late Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music. The white noise snippet was erroneously titled “Track 3,” so at, Ross Miller compared it to a silence inherent in the real third track on the record:

Swift’s actual track 3 (actual name TBD) does have actual lyrics, as teased on her Instagram account: I say “I heard that you’ve been out and about with some other girl” — all followed by an extended, anxiety-inducing, 29-dot ellipses.

And over at his account the Los Angeles–based Junk Rhythm went so far as to create white noise from scratch and post a how-to on YouTube:

s mazuk: things that have drawn my blood today

  • cheese grater
  • umbrella / 2014-10-25T06:09:34