Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Oh noes!!!!!

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

This is very nice indeed.

Bifurcated Rivets: From FB


Bifurcated Rivets: From FB

Map of Jazz

TwitchFilm: Santiago 2015 Review: LA MEMORIA DEL AGUA (The Memory Of Water) Packs A Dark Emotional Punch

Matias Bize has made films worthy of praise in his career, starting with his first feature Sabado, filmed in one shot with a camcorder for a little over an hour, about a wedding and a woman who tries to get it cancelled. Since then he has made other films that have maintained a directorial restriction, like having a movie just taking place in a bed, in one apartment, during the course of one night, etc. This latest film was the only one that had a story restriction: it had to be about a couple after the death of their child.Co-written with his usual collaborator, Julio Rojas, this film stars the Chilean actor Benjamin Vicuña and the Spanish actress Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In) as...

[Read the whole post on]

Electronics-Lab: Atmega8 Development Board


Atmega8 Development Board provides a very simple and cost effective platform for prototyping solution.  The compact design provides connection to all the pins of the microcontroller for the user.

  • Prototyping solution available for 28-pin ATmega series AVR microcontroller from ATMEL
  • All the three ports available to the user via standard 10 pin box header with supply of 5 VDC for interfacing circuits
  • Onboard reset switch for easy reset of the microcontroller
  • ISP (In circuit Serial Programming) connector available for chips with ISP support
  • 8 MHz crystal on board
  • UART level shifter circuit using MAX232 IC, on board for easy connection of the board to the RS232 devices

Atmega8 Development Board – [Link]

The post Atmega8 Development Board appeared first on Electronics-Lab.

Slashdot: New Cellphone Surveillance Safeguards Imposed On Federal Law Enforcement

Earthquake Retrofit writes: The NPR website has an interesting story that the Justice Department says it will beef up legal requirements for using cell-site simulators. It includes a rare picture of the device and refers to them as dirt boxes. From the story: "Under the new policy, federal investigators will be required to get a warrant from a judge demonstrating probable cause, in most domestic criminal probes. Agents will need to explain to judges how the technology is being used. And they'll be directed to destroy volumes of bystanders' data 'no less than once daily.' 'This policy is really designed to ... try to promote transparency, consistency and accountability, all while being mindful of the public's privacy interest,' said Deputy U.S. Attorney General Sally Yates."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Open Culture: New Research Shows How Music Lessons During Childhood Benefits the Brain for a Lifetime

As a sometime musician, it’s only natural that I want my four-year-old daughter to take an interest in music. Sure, it’s a fun bonding activity, and sure, there may be a bit of a stage dad lurking inside me at times. But I’m also convinced of the tangible benefits playing a musical instrument can have on one’s personal development. New science, it seems, backs up this intuition. The Washington Post reported last year on a recent study from Northwestern University which found that “Music training not only helps children develop fine motor skills, but aids emotional and behavioral maturation as well.”

This may not come as a surprise. And yet, the details of the study provide insights our intuitions about the power of musical education may lack. For one thing, as you can see in the CNN report above, the benefits of learning to play music as a child can last for decades, even if someone hasn’t picked up an instrument since those early lessons. As Dr. Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, explains, good musical timing is strongly correlated with reading skills and general mental acuity. According to a co-author of the study, James Hudziak, professor of psychiatry at the University of Vermont, early musical training was shown to have “accelerated cortical organization in attention skill, anxiety management and emotional control.” These brain changes can accompany us well into old age.

Another, Canadian study, published in February in the The Journal of Neuroscience, found that childhood music lessons boost the ability of older adults to hear speech, a skill that begins to weaken later in life. The study found “robust” evidence that “starting formal lessons on a musical instrument prior to age 14 and continuing intense training for up to a decade appears to enhance key areas in the brain that support speech recognition.” Even music lessons taken later life can help rehabilitate the brains of older adults. “The findings,” writes Science Daily, “underscore the importance of music instruction in schools and in rehabilitative programs for older adults.”

Music teachers certainly need this kind of evidence to bolster support for ailing programs in schools, and musically-inclined parents will cheer these findings as well. But before the stage parent in you begins enrolling your kid in every music lesson you can fit into the schedule, take heed. As Dr. Kraus discovered in the Northwestern study, forcing kids to show up and participate under duress won’t exercise their brains. Real, active engagement is key. “We like to say that ‘making music matters,’” says Kraus, “because it is only through the active generation and manipulation of sound that music can rewire the brain.” While musical training may be one particularly enjoyable way to strengthen cognition, it isn’t the only way. But even if they don’t stick with it, the kids willing to put in the hours (and yes, the longer the better) will experience positive change that lasts a lifetime.

Related Content:

Playing an Instrument Is a Great Workout For Your Brain: New Animation Explains Why

The Neuroscience of Drumming: Researchers Discover the Secrets of Drumming & The Human Brain

This is Your Brain on Jazz Improvisation: The Neuroscience of Creativity

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

%%POST_LINK%% 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.

Electronics-Lab: A Xively AMbient QUality MOnitor built on ATmega328


Davide Gironi has build an indoor ambient quality monitor that is able to measure temperature, humidity, noise and brightness and indicate the ambient quality using 4 bi-color LEDs. He writes:

The data it is logged to the platform, and displayed to the user through 4 bi-color leds.

It can be used to monitor you Office Ambient Quality over the parameters logged.

This project it is built upon the xively logger ATmega328 library:

A Xively AMbient QUality MOnitor built on ATmega328 – [Link]

The post A Xively AMbient QUality MOnitor built on ATmega328 appeared first on Electronics-Lab.

Hackaday: Experimental Theater Helps Field test Haptic Navigation Device

The “absorbed device user” meme, like someone following Google Maps on a smart phone so closely that they walk out into traffic, is becoming all too common. Not only can an interface that requires face time be a hazard to your health in traffic, it’s also not particularly useful to the visually impaired. Haptic interfaces can help the sighted and the visually impaired alike, but a smart phone really only has one haptic trick – vibration. But a Yale engineer has developed a 3D printed shape-shifting navigation tool that could be a haptics game changer.

Dubbed the Animotus by inventor [Ad Spiers], the device is a hand-held cube split into two layers. The upper layer can swivel left or right and extend or retract, giving the user both tactile and visual clues as to which direction to walk and how far to the goal. For a field test of the device, [Ad] teamed up with a London theater group in an interactive production of the play “Flatland”, the bulk of which was staged in an old church in total darkness. As you can see in the night-vision video after the break, audience members wearing tracking devices were each given an Animotus to allow them to navigate through the interactive sets. The tracking data indicated users quickly adapted to navigation in the dark while using the Animotus, and some became so attached to their device that they were upset by the ending of the play, which involved its mock confiscation and destruction.

Performing art applications aside, there’s plenty of potential for haptics with more than one degree of freedom. Imagine a Bluetooth interface to the aforementioned Google Maps, or an electronic seeing-eye dog that guides a user around obstacles using an Animotus and a camera. There’s still plenty of utility in traditional haptics, though, as this Hackaday Prize semi-finalist shows.

Filed under: 3d Printer hacks, misc hacks

Electronics-Lab: DIY Weather Station with Bluetooth


by Matej Blagšič @

Recently I attended a course in our University of Electrical Engineering and we were making ourselves a small weather station. It included learning about soldering, sensors and arduino. It was super fun making it with little kids and other high school kids my age. I will show you how you can build it yourself, what components do you need and explain you the code and how can you upgrade it with more sensors.

DIY Weather Station with Bluetooth – [Link]

The post DIY Weather Station with Bluetooth appeared first on Electronics-Lab. Unexpected-0.40.1

Localised exception classes composed from roles

Recent additions: composition-extra 1.2.0

Added by athanclark, Fri Sep 4 10:41:01 UTC 2015.

Combinators for unorthodox structure composition

Electronics-Lab: Generation of Sound Using Microcontroller

This project illustrates the use of a microcontroller(MCU) to generate different types of sound. The device uses SST89E54RDA-40-C-PIEMCU, an 8-bit 8051-compatible MCU with embedded SuperFlash memory.The device comes with 24/40KByte of on-chip flash EEPROM program memory which is partitioned into two independent program memory blocks. The primary block 0 occupies 16/32KByte of internal program memory space while the secondary block 1 occupies 8KByte of internal program memory space.

Sound is a function of frequency. This concept has been used to generate sound from the microcontroller. Varying the frequency can produce different types of sounds especially with the use of timer 1 of the MCU to produce different frequencies. Timer is used to produce exact delays and by toggling the output pin, it will generate the desired frequencies. These frequencies are then fed to pin 0 of port 1 which is connected to the speaker. By combining frequencies of different values, different tones will be produced.

The circuit is a basic sound generator that has wide applications such as used in cars that produce sound while reversing. In addition, it supports electronic piano to generate different tones, or in electronic toys to generate sounds. Thus, this device is an effective sound generator that produces an audible sound as preferred by the user.

Generation of Sound Using Microcontroller – [Link]

The post Generation of Sound Using Microcontroller appeared first on Electronics-Lab.

Recent additions: contravariant 1.3.3

Added by EdwardKmett, Fri Sep 4 10:33:21 UTC 2015.

Contravariant functors

Electronics-Lab: Orange Pi undercuts Raspberry Pi


by Martin Cooke @

Over the last few months the Asian manufacturer Shenzhen Xunlong Software has released a number of capable open-spec single board computers with the ‘Orange Pi’ label that are both Linux and Android-ready. Their latest offering is the Orange Pi PC which packs an Allwinner (Cortex-A7) quad-core H3 SoC running at 1.6 GHz, priced at just $15. That’s less than half the price of the latest Raspberry Pi board which uses the Broadcom processor based around the same quad cores but running at 900 MHz.

Orange Pi undercuts Raspberry Pi – [Link]

The post Orange Pi undercuts Raspberry Pi appeared first on Electronics-Lab.

Recent additions: smallcaps

Added by StefanBerthold, Fri Sep 4 10:22:29 UTC 2015.

Flatten camel case text in LaTeX files App-Multigit-0.08

Run commands on a bunch of git repositories without having to deal with git subrepositories. Business-KontoCheck-5.8

check german and austrian bank account numbers

Recent additions: mfsolve 0.2.0

Added by KristofBastiaensen, Fri Sep 4 09:48:20 UTC 2015.

Equation solver and calculator à la metafont

MetaFilter: "Google Glass: 2013-?"

Here are some useful websites from our pals at Google. Well actually, the websites and tools have all been killed, but their dev blogs helpfully remain!
Google Notebook - iGoogle - Google Desktop - Google Video - Orkut - Jaiku (Here's a hilarious-in-retrospect article from Venturebeat about Google buying Jaiku.) - Google Talk (semi-dead, hasn't updated since 2010) - Google Reader.
A good list of killed Google services can be found on Slate's Google Graveyard, unrelated to the one Joe Beese linked in 2010 which has, itself, died.

But hey, at least all those resources they instead poured into Google Plus were for a good cause, right? Anyway, there is more:

Recent additions: tasty-laws 0.2

Added by jdnavarro, Fri Sep 4 09:41:56 UTC 2015.

Test common laws APISchema-1.01

Schema for API

Slashdot: For Future Wearable Devices, the Network Could Be You

angry tapir writes: Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have found a way for wearable devices to communicate through a person's body instead of the air around it. Their work could lead to devices that last longer on smaller batteries and don't give away secrets as easily as today's systems do. From the Computerworld story: "A team led by Professor Patrick Mercier of the university's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering has discovered a way to use the body itself as the medium for data transmission. It uses magnetic fields and shows path loss that's 10 million times lower than what happens with Bluetooth. This could make the magnetic networks much more efficient, so devices don't have to work as hard to communicate and can have smaller batteries -- or get longer useful lives with the same size batteries. The team hasn't actually tested the system's energy use yet. They envision the technology being used for networks of health sensors that monitor many parts of the body."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

MetaFilter: President Obama is Having the Time of His F***ing Life in Alaska

President Obama recently made a somewhat historical visit to the State of Alaska. While there, he posted a travelogue, met an adorable husky puppy, talked about the very real threat of climate change, but mostly just got jiggy with it.

BOOOOOOOM!: An Interview with Photographer Ryan Schude

One of my favourite photographers working today, Los Angeles’ Ryan Schude, just released his new book “Schude” and it’s gorgeous. If you’re at all familiar with his work then you can imagine how overwhelming it is to look at 192 pages of it in one sitting. Good news for all of you, I’ve got two copies to give away!

If you’re looking for more inspiration after you read this little interview, you should take a peek at his Instagram @ryanschude and study the work on his website. If you wanna leave a comment below with some encouraging words for Ryan, next Friday we’ll hook two of you up with his book. This particular giveaway is open to anyone in North America.


ryan-schude02Portrait of Ryan Schude by Lauren Randolph

Jeff Hamada: If you’d never picked up photography as a hobby in school and continued onto business school like you planned, what sort of business would you be running now?

Ryan Schude: The mere speculation gives me anxiety but I do remember wanting to open a sandwich shop at some point and I could definitely see that as something I would enjoy.

JH: What would you call your sandwich shop?

RS: Schudinski’s.

JH: Are you an obsessive person? The detail in your work has a certain madness to it.

RS: During the planning and carrying out of a shoot, I can absolutely get a little obsessive. Overthinking things in general is sometimes an issue, for example, do we really need to discuss the pros and cons of 10 different restaurants before committing to dinner?


ryan-schude07Collaboration with Lauren Randolph – Summer Camp (2012)

JH: It must be hard to know when to stop. Your images must require a significant amount of post work, are the ones with lots of different people in them single photos or are they all composites of several different shots?

RS: They are setup in an attempt to get it all in one frame. Everybody is there at the same time and placed in a predetermined spot according to sketches designed before the shoot. There is a process of directing their action and shuffling back and forth between the monitor and the actors to see what is working and what isn’t. By the end, you have a handful of options for each character and are able to select the best of them to composite together. Many of the shots take place at golden hour so it is crucial to get as much as you can in as few frames as possible to ensure the lighting is seamless when you put it together in post production.

JH: What role do you play on the actual shoot days, are you hands on with the camera or are you more of a director instructing a crew?

RS: It really depends on scope of the shoot. Ideally, you have a solid crew in place you can direct, otherwise you end up running around trying to get a hand on everything which can detract from simply focusing on the story.


ryan-schude05Collaboration with Collins Schude, Callin Passero – The Promised Land (2010)

JH: Was it hard for you to build your team? I feel like finding the right people is the most crucial part of any project.

RS: The team is constantly fluctuating but I have been beyond fortunate to have worked with such amazing people thus far. This is one of the reasons I can’t imagine doing what I do in any other city in the world. Los Angeles is stuffed to the gills with people owning the best combination of open minds, creativity, and ambition.

JH: I feel like cinematic work like this inevitably gets compared to Gregory Crewdson’s, was it his work that influenced you to move away from documentary and more toward staging exactly what you wanted?

RS: I made a few short films in school before attempting to apply the same narrative techniques to a still photo. It was really a slow process from shooting editorial portraits and realizing I wanted to add a fictional element to them. It wasn’t until after I made Nog (2005), that a friend showed me Crewdson’s work and it was certainly encouraging to see what other people had done in that world.


ryan-schude04Nog (2005)

JH: How much of a story do you write for each of the characters in a scene? And what’s something you might say to an actor or model to get what you want for the scene?

RS: Usually the character’s roles are pretty straightforward and there is one specific action in mind. It can get fun when they get into the role and suggest things you didn’t think of beforehand and you have more options to play with after. In Red House (2012), the actors playing the parents began improvising an entire argument and stayed in character the whole time while we directed their children outside which added a significant amount of emotion to their expressions and body language.


ryan-schude06Collaboration with Justin Bettman – Red House (2012)

JH: I love that – do you play music at all on set?

RS: If there’s music it is probably an oldies radio station.

JH: Have you ever considered shooting moving picture of the actors holding their positions? Large video installations could be interesting.

RS: There was a very interesting concept built by an agency once around a car campaign which used my work as the inspiration for this exact output. The scale of the project ended up being too large for their budget but the possibilities presented were very exciting for both the agency and myself. Their idea involved an interactive website that zoomed in to each pocket of characters in a large tableau where you could scroll over the subjects to see an animated gif of their action. On a simpler level, I am currently looking into ways to shoot stylized video during the Them and Theirs shoots and have a narrative motion aspect to the portraits.


ryan-schude01Annie McCain Engman and her 1969 Buick Skylark Special Edition. (2015)

JH: What’s the thing (art related or not) that you’re most proud of so far in your life?

RS: The relationships with my family and friends which have been so integral in developing who I am and what I have experienced both personally and professionally. The fact that I am able to wake up each day and do exactly what I want is a testament to the encouragement of those who surround me.


ryan-schude08Ryan Schude’s new hardcover photo book “Schude”

Ryan Schude’s Website

Ryan Schude on Instagram

“Schude” book on Amazon

View the whole post: An Interview with Photographer Ryan Schude over on BOOOOOOOM!. WWW-Google-PageSpeedOnline-0.18

Interface to Google Page Speed Online API.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: How to decide what is the decision variant of some search/optimisation problem?

Consider the TSP: find a minimal hamiltonian circuit given some graph G.

Now the accepted decision variant seems to be: Does some circuit exist such that it is at least weight W? And we verify this by providing the verifier with certificate C and simply adding up the weight of the edges in C.

Now my question is, how did "they" decide that this is the decision variant of the problem and that it isn't: Given graph G, is certificate C the minimal circuit within G? This to me seems much more intuitive.

The accepted decision variant of TSP is just trivial and not very useful at all (since it is simply adding up edges).

Ofcourse, if the latter decision problem was the accepted self-reduction, then there wouldn't really be any obvious/known way to verify it in polytime, so then the problem would be in EXPTIME.

But if so, then why don't we just come up with trivial decision variants for actual EXPTIME-complete algorithms and just call it a day by saying that they are NP-complete? Or is one of the properties of EXPTIME problems that a trivial polytime verifier simply does not exist at all, no matter how much you "dumb it down"?

Sorry for the convoluted question, I am just really confused right now!

submitted by HoboAtUofT
[link] [3 comments]

Perlsphere: Please blog about YAPC::EU!

If you're at YAPC::EU, please blog about the conference and your experience, and preferably do that before the end of this weekend: (1) the thoughts are still fresh in your mind, and we'll get your raw unedited thoughts, and (2) you stand a better chance of getting a mention in PerlWeekly :-)

Once you've published your blog post, tweet about it with the #yapceu hashtag — that will increase your audience.

What should you write about? Here are some ideas.

  • What talks did you attend, and what did you think of them? (be respectful, please)
  • What things did you learn?
  • What things surprised or excited you? Were there any moments when you thought "hey, I never thought about that!"
  • Who stood out as great speakers, and why?
  • What things are you fired up to do as a result of going?
  • What about the people?
  • What was the Perl 6 vibe?
  • What non-Perl things did you see / hear? Should there more more or less non-perl stuff?
  • What's the one that that speakers could improve on?

Thinking about the conference itself:

  • Talk about the venue, the organisation, any side events, and general logistics
  • What things worked well?
  • What suggestions do you have for people running next year's YAPC::EU to make it even better?

If doesn't need to be long. Maybe you just write one or two paragraphs on the one talk that really inspired you.

Why bother?

  • For those of us unable to attend, reading your blog posts is a way to vicariously experience YAPC::EU.
  • You might encourage people to attend next year's conference.
  • It helps "make noise" about the conference, which may encourage sponsors.
  • Anything I've missed?

Hackaday: Tint your Epoxy Resin with Toner Powder

Epoxy resin is useful stuff. Whether for gluing stuff together or potting components, epoxy is a cheap and versatile polymer that finds its way into many hackish projects. But let’s face it – the stock color of most commercially available epoxies lacks a certain pizzazz. Luckily, [Rupert Hirst] at Tallman Labs shows us that epoxy is easily tinted with toner powder from a laser printer or copier.

Looking for a way to make his epoxy blend into a glue-up, [Rupert] also demonstrates that colored epoxy makes a professional looking potting compound. There’s just something about the silky, liquid look of a blob of cured black epoxy. [Rupert] harvested his toner powder from a depleted printer cartridge; only a smidgen is needed, so you should be able to recover plenty before recycling the cartridge. We’ve got to admit that seeing toner handled without gloves gives us the willies, though. And don’t forget that you can find cyan, magenta and yellow cartridges too if basic black isn’t your thing.

Sometimes it’s better to leave your epoxy somewhat clear, like when you’re potting an LED matrix for a pendant. But this neat trick might just spiff up your next project a bit.

[Thanks, Jake]

Filed under: how-to, misc hacks

MetaFilter: Basic Income: How to Fix a Broken Monetary Transmission Mechanism

FINLAND: New Government Commits to a Basic Income Experiment - "The Finnish government of Juha Sipilä is considering a pilot project that would give everyone of working age a basic income."[1,2,3] (via)
"If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world." — J. R. R. Tolkien, Keynesian
So there are a number of reasons why you might support a basic income,† not least of which is the moral case -- What's Your Purpose?* -- but why is it necessary now? Consider a basic income within the context of a pretty, er, basic economic framework...

Quick economics lesson in national income and product accounting: The economy as measured by GDP can be composed of all the consumer spending (or private consumption), business purchases ('investment'), government services (+public investment) and trade with the rest of the world (net exports) -- Y=C+I+G+NX -- done in a year, which also happens to equal all the income people make in a year within a given geographic boundary, GDI. Note that all this works, for the most part, because what's being counted are monetary transactions made commensurable under price theory. That is, apples and oranges can be added up because money (and "prices" can be attributed to stuff). Also note that GDP can be divided into a 'real' component (RGDP) and a 'price' component (P) as measured by the government's best efforts to gauge inflation. So, in a sense, real GDP is actually more "made up" than the 'nominal' GDP (NGDP) from which it's derived. In other words, RGDP = NGDPP, a sampling of price level changes.

All this exposition to set up a simpler, but profound, equation from a monetary economics perspective: MV=PY. In this case Y is RGDP (or quantity of output, estimated) and P is price (estimated); put them together and you're back to NGDP. The other side of the equation is where it gets interesting. All the monetary transactions that take place in an economy -- NGDP -- are equal to the amount of money provided by your friendly neighborhood central bank -- the money supply (M) -- combined with the frequency of all those transactions -- its velocity (V) -- that are conducted through the course of a year, thanks to all your hard work; good job everybody!

So how about giving ourselves a (collective) raise? Crucially, while the money supply can largely be controlled by central banks, its velocity is less determined, especially with interest rates around the world stuck near the 'zero lower bound'. What does velocity depend upon then? To a proximate degree, it's the quality with which the financial system interacts with the real economy. For example, how well have the stewards of capitalism done at allocating and managing capital resources (like your savings, or lack thereof) towards productive endeavours that raise the general welfare? While it may be a bit of a mystery, and by turns economists will wave their hands and point to 'confidence fairies' and 'animal spirits', they can also invoke 'exogenous variables' like population growth/demographics, (geo)politics and the rate of technological change or environmental degradation.

Hopefully you can start to see the outlines of how a basic income might help to remedy the situation. By putting money directly into the hands of its citizens, central banks (or a fiscal authority) could more directly control the velocity of money without having to rely on the vagaries and vicissitudes of the financial system. And moreover, if everyone's basic needs were met (and affordable with the income provided, that is, not too inflationary), the confidence fairies would be dancing. Instead of just for banks and owners of financial assets, a basic income would be a quantitative easing for the people.

Anyway, a basic income is just one of many ways people are thinking about raising velocity and fixing a broken monetary transmission mechanism. Here are some others:
  1. Wage subsidies
  2. 4% inflation
  3. -4% interest rates
  4. Safe asset issuance to finance infrastructure spending
  5. Money-financed fiscal stimulus/gov't expenditure (helicoptor money in general)*
  6. Or business as usual?
On that note and under current circumstances, China -- like Japan (and the US, Eurozone, etc.) -- provides a fascinating case study on the limits of fiscal-monetary policy.

also btw... ---
Robert Anton Wilson, fwiw, was a basic income proponent (reconceptualizing money as biosurvival tickets in Prometheus Rising ;) writing in 1980: "The National Dividend. This was invented by engineer C. H. Douglas and has been revived with some modifications by poet Ezra Pound and designer Buckminster Fuller. The basic idea (although Douglas, Pound, and Fuller differ on the details) is that every citizen should be declared a shareholder in the nation, and should receive dividends on the Gross National Product for the year. Estimates differ as to how much this would be for each citizen, but at the current level of the GNP it is conservative to say that a share would be worth several times as much, per year, as a welfare recipient receives -- at least five times more. Critics complain that this would be inflationary. Supporters of the National Dividend reply that it would only be inflationary if the dividends distributed were more than the GNP; and they are proposing only to issue dividends equal to the GNP."
"No religion or extant philosophy offers the guidance humans will need to fulfil our destiny in the next 200 years. We must improvise." --@azizonomics

"You know what's depressing? The Cthulhu mythos is actually a more accurate depiction of reality than most popular religions." --@Noahpinion

MetaFilter: Satan Put the Kettle On

If you've ever worried that we've solved all the mysteries of nature, fear not. Minnesota's Devil's Kettle Falls has been puzzling hikers and geologists for generations. At the falls, along Lake Superior's north shore, a river forks at a rock outcropping. While one side tumbles down a two-step stone embankment and continues on like a normal waterfall, the other side vanishes into a deep hole and disappears — apparently forever.
The Mystery of Devil's Kettle Falls

BOOOOOOOM!: Nostalgia of the Day: The Last Audio Cassette Factory


In the late 90s everyone was getting out of the audio cassette game. Everyone, that is, except for The National Audio Company. “Too stubborn to quit,” the Spingfield, MO-based manufacturer is now the last remaining source for audio cassettes in the country. And thanks to the growing retro movement, they’re producing more cassettes than ever before.1

Check out the video below! Besides sharing a great story, the short video has a great how-it’s-made vibe to it, reminiscent of old school Sesame Street. Enjoy!

View the whole post: Nostalgia of the Day: The Last Audio Cassette Factory over on BOOOOOOOM!.

Open Culture: The First Animated Feature Film: The Adventures of Prince Achmed by Lotte Reiniger (1926)

Earlier this week, we featured pioneering German animator Lotte Reiniger’s animated silhouette films, for which she adapted old European stories like “Cinderella,” “Thumbelina,” and “Hansel and Gretel” into a striking visual style — striking now, and even more striking in the 1920s — similar to traditional Indonesian shadow puppet theater. Her work draws plenty of material from folktales, but not just those from in and around her homeland (Germany). For her most ambitious work, for instance, Reiniger looked all the way to Arabia, adapting stories from no less venerable a source than One Thousand and One Nights. The 65-minute result, 1926’s The Adventures of Prince Achmed, stands as the earliest animated feature film. (See a nice clip above, or catch the film on Daily Motion.)

“For centuries Prince Achmed on his magic horse had lived a comfortable life as a well-loved fairy tale figure of the Arabian nights and was well contented with that,” Reiniger writes in her introduction to the picture. “But one day he was thrown out of his peaceful existence by a film company which wanted to employ him and many other characters of the same stories for an animated film.” And so, in 1923, it fell to her and a select group of collaborators to make that film. They labored for the better part of three years, not just because of the requirements of shooting each and every frame by hand but because of the experimental nature of animation itself. “We had to experiment and try out all sorts of inventions to make the story come alive. The more the shooting of Prince Achmed advanced the more ambitious he became.”

At that time, The Adventures of Prince Achmed did not, of course, even faintly resemble any feature yet made. “No theatre dared show it,” Reiniger writes, “for ‘it was not done.'” And so they did it themselves, screening the film just outside Berlin, which led to a show in Paris, then one in Berlin proper, by which point Prince Achmed and his magic horse were well on their way to a place in the animation history books. They nearly lost that place due to the 1945 battle of Berlin, when the film’s negative was lost amid the destruction, but the British Film Institute had made a negative of their own for a London screening, which eventually became the material for a restoration and revival. “The revival was done by the son of the banker who sponsored the film in 1923,” notes Reiniger. “He had assisted in its creation as a small boy. So it was granted to old Prince Achmed to have a happy resurrection after almost half a century” — and he continues to win new fans today.

Related Content:

The Groundbreaking Silhouette Animations of Lotte Reiniger: Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, and More

Sita Sings the Blues Now on YouTube

Early Japanese Animations: The Origins of Anime (1917-1931)

700 Free Movies Online: Great Classics, Indies, Noir, Westerns, etc.

Colin Marshall writes on cities, language, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Angeles, A Los Angeles Primer, and the video series The City in Cinema. Follow him on Twitter at @colinmarshall or on Facebook.

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Slashdot: Another Neurodegenerative Disease Linked To a Prion

MTorrice writes: A new study concludes that a brain protein causes the rare, Parkinson's-like disease called multiple systems atrophy (MSA) by acting like a prion, the misbehaving type of protein infamously linked to mad cow disease. The researchers say the results are the most definitive demonstration to date that proteins involved in many neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, exhibit prion-like behavior: They can misfold into shapes that then coax others to do the same, leading to protein aggregation that forms neurotoxic clumps. If these other diseases are caused by prion-like proteins, then scientists could develop treatments that slow or stop disease progression by designing molecules that block prion propagation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Penny Arcade: Comic: Biblicality

New Comic: Biblicality

MetaFilter: tiny robot rides a bike

tiny robot rides a bike

programming: How JetBrains Lost Years of Customer Loyalty in Just a Few Hours

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Open Culture: Albert Einstein​ & Sigmund Freud​ Exchange Letters and Debate How to Make the World Free from War (1932)

einstein freud

The problem of violence, perhaps the true root of all social ills, seems irresolvable. Yet, as most thoughtful people have realized after the wars of the twentieth century, the dangers human aggression pose have only increased exponentially along with globalization and technological development. And as Albert Einstein recognized after the nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki—which he partly helped to engineer with the Manhattan Project—the aggressive potential of nations in war had reached mass suicidal levels.

After Einstein’s involvement in the creation of the atomic bomb, he spent his life “working for disarmament and global government,” writes psychologist Mark Leith, “anguished by his impossible, Faustian decision.” Yet, as we discover in letters Einstein wrote to Sigmund Freud in 1932, he had been advocating for a global solution to war long before the start of World War II. Einstein and Freud’s correspondence took place under the auspices of the League of Nation’s newly-formed International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation, created to foster discussion between prominent public thinkers. Einstein enthusiastically chose Freud as his interlocutor.

In his first letter to the psychologist, he writes, “This is the problem: Is there any way of delivering mankind from the menace of war?” Well before the atomic age, Einstein alleges the urgency of the question is a matter of “common knowledge”—that “with the advance of modern science, this issue has come to mean a matter of life and death for Civilization as we know it.”

Einstein reveals himself as a sort of Platonist in politics, endorsing The Republic’s vision of rule by elite philosopher-kings. But unlike Socrates in that work, the physicist proposes not city-states, but an entire world government of intellectual elites, who hold sway over both religious leaders and the League of Nations. The consequence of such a polity, he writes, would be world peace—the price, likely, far too high for any world leader to pay:

The quest of international security involves the unconditional surrender by every nation, in a certain measure, of its liberty of action—its sovereignty that is to say—and it is clear beyond all doubt that no other road can lead to such security.

Einstein expresses his proposal in some sinister-sounding terms, asking how it might be possible for a “small clique to bend the will of the majority.” His final question to Freud: “Is it possible to control man’s mental evolution so as to make him proof against the psychosis of hate and destructiveness?”

Freud’s response to Einstein, dated September, 1932, sets up a fascinating dialectic between the physicist’s perhaps dangerously naïve optimism and the psychologist’s unsentimental appraisal of the human situation. Freud’s mode of analysis tends toward what we would now call evolutionary psychology, or what he calls a “’mythology’ of the instincts.” He gives a mostly speculative account of the prehistory of human conflict, in which “a path was traced that led away from violence to law”—itself maintained by organized violence.

Freud makes explicit reference to ancient sources, writing of the “Panhellenic conception, the Greeks’ awareness of superiority over their barbarian neighbors.” This kind of proto-nationalism “was strong enough to humanize the methods of warfare.” Like the Hellenistic model, Freud proposes for individuals a course of humanization through education and what he calls “identification” with “whatever leads men to share important interests,” thus creating a “community of feeling.” These means, he grants, may lead to peace. “From our ‘mythology’ of the instincts,” he writes, “we may easily deduce a formula for an indirect method of eliminating war.”

And yet, Freud concludes with ambivalence and a great deal of skepticism about the elimination of violent instincts and war. He contrasts ancient Greek politics with “the Bolshevist conceptions” that propose a future end of war and which are likely “under present conditions, doomed to fail.” Referring to his theory of the competing binary instincts he calls Eros and Thanatos—roughly love (or lust) and death drives—Freud arrives at what he calls a plausible “mythology” of human existence:

The upshot of these observations, as bearing on the subject in hand, is that there is no likelihood of our being able to suppress humanity’s aggressive tendencies. In some happy corners of the earth, they say, where nature brings forth abundantly whatever man desires, there flourish races whose lives go gently by; unknowing of aggression or constraint. This I can hardly credit; I would like further details about these happy folk.

Nonetheless, he says wearily and with more than a hint of resignation, “perhaps our hope” that war will end in the near future, “is not chimerical.” Freud’s letter offers no easy answers, and shies away from the kinds of idealistic political certainties of Einstein. For this, the physicist expressed gratitude, calling Freud’s lengthy response “a truly classic reply…. We cannot know what may grow from such seed.”

This exchange of letters, contends Humboldt State University philosophy professor John Powell, “has never been given the attention it deserves…. By the time the exchange between Einstein and Freud was published in 1933 under the title Why War?, Hitler, who was to drive both men into exile, was already in power, and the letters never achieved the wide circulation intended for them.” Their correspondence is now no less relevant, and the questions they address no less urgent and vexing. You can read the complete exchange at professor Powell’s site here.

Related Content:

Albert Einstein Reads ‘The Common Language of Science’ (1941)

Listen as Albert Einstein Calls for Peace and Social Justice in 1945

The Famous Letter Where Freud Breaks His Relationship with Jung (1913)

Sigmund Freud Appears in Rare, Surviving Video & Audio Recorded During the 1930s

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

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Jesse Moynihan: Tarot Size + Ratio

One last consideration before I really get going on this Tarot project is the is the dimensions I’m going to draw and the print the cards at. There’s a lot to consider here, and a lot of either conflicting thought or no thought at all in the world of Tarot scholarship. Once again Jodorowsky has […]

programming: How Google's new logo is just 305 bytes?

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Quiet Earth: ORION Director Talks Inspiration, Gut Instinct & How TV is Changing Movies [Interview]

You can now subscribe to Quiet Earth's podcast on iTunes or via RSS!

One of the most exciting premieres at this year's Fantasia had to be Orion, the follow-up feature from American director Asiel Norton who impressed us a few years ago with his debut Redland (review).

I loved Orion and Norton's somewhat magical approach to survival in the world after an apocalypse and when given the opportunity to pic [Continued ...]

Hackaday: Hackaday Prize Semifinalist: A Mobile Node

The future is the Internet of Things, or so we’re told, and with that comes the requirement for sensors attached to the Internet that also relay GPS and location data. [Camilo]’s MobileNodes do just that. He’s designed a single device that will listen to any sensor, upload that data to the Internet over GSM or GPRS, and push all that data to the cloud.

The MobileNode is a small circular (7cm) PCB with a standard ATMega32u4 microcontroller. Attached to this PCB are GSM/GPRS and GPS/GLONASS modules to receive GPS signals and relay all that data to the cloud. To this, just about any sensor can be added, including light sensors, PIR sensors, gas and temperature sensors, and just about anything else that can be measured electronically.

Of course the biggest problem with a bunch of sensors on an Internet of Things device is pulling the data from the Internet. For that, [Camilo] designed a web interface that shows sensor data directly on a Google Map. You can check out the project video below.

The 2015 Hackaday Prize is sponsored by:

Filed under: The Hackaday Prize, wireless hacks

TwitchFilm: Review: THE TRANSPORTER REFUELED, Still Out Of Gas

The newest model in the Transporter series is much the same as the previous versions, only with less wit and less cohesive action sequences. Not that the first three films were exactly paradigms of wit and cohesive action. Back in 2002, however, The Transporter felt relatively fresh, welding together Corey Yuen's action choreography with Luc Besson's European cool -- plus Shu Qi! Plus a befuddled François Berléand! -- to create a genuinely entertaining, international genre picture. As with many sequels, a downward trend became evident in subsequent installments, and the series appeared dead after it spawned a television spinoff. It's hard to find good getaway drivers, though, and the franchise has been reborn. With Jason Statham's exit, Ed Skrein (the erstwhile Daario Naharis from Game...

[Read the whole post on] Comic for 2015.09.04

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

Disquiet: Disquiet Junto Project 0192: Psycatdelic Loop

Two notes: (1) This project was initiated at the suggestion of Brian Biggs. (2) If you have the actual animated GIF for this, please pass it to me; at the moment, I only have this standalone 10-second MP4 file. Thanks.

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, September 3, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, September 7, 2015.

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

Disquiet Junto Project 0192: Psycatdelic Loop
Record a 10-second loop to accompany an insane cat GIF.

Step 1: You are going to compose 10 seconds of music. First, view the insane animated GIF at this page:

Step 2: Now record 10 seconds that sync to that animation. (Alternately, record an extended piece of music that is intended, every 10 seconds, to sync with the animation.)

Step 3: Upload your completed track to the Disquiet Junto group on SoundCloud. (Bonus points if you manage to sync the audio and animation and upload to a video service.)

Step 4: Then listen to and comment on tracks uploaded by your fellow Disquiet Junto participants.

Deadline: This assignment was made in the afternoon, California time, on Thursday, September 3, 2015, with a deadline of 11:59pm wherever you are on Monday, September 7, 2015.

Length: The length of your finished work will likely be 10 seconds, but could be longer depending on the choice you make in Step 2 above.

Upload: Please when posting your track on SoundCloud, only upload one track for this assignment, and be sure to 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. Photos, video, and lists of equipment are always appreciated.

Title/Tag: When adding your track to the Disquiet Junto group on, please include the term “disquiet0192-psycatdelicloop” 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, and link to (and identify) the two SoundCloud pages for the source audio you selected:

More on this 192nd Disquiet Junto project (“Record a 10-second loop to accompany an insane cat GIF”) at:

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

Source of the animated image associated with this project uncertain, but used at the suggestion of Brian Biggs.

Slashdot: Ada Lovelace and Her Legacy

nightcats writes: Nature has an extensive piece on the legacy of the "enchantress of abstraction," the extraordinary Victorian-era computer pioneer Ada Lovelace, daughter of the poet Lord Byron. Her monograph on the Babbage machine was described by Babbage himself as a creation of "that Enchantress who has thrown her magical spell around the most abstract of Sciences and has grasped it with a force that few masculine intellects (in our own country at least) could have exerted over it." Ada's remarkable merging of intellect and intuition — her capacity to analyze and capture the conceptual and functional foundations of the Babbage machine — is summarized with a historical context which reveals the precocious modernity of her scientific mind. "By 1841 Lovelace was developing a concept of 'Poetical Science', in which scientific logic would be driven by imagination, 'the Discovering faculty, pre-eminently. It is that which penetrates into the unseen worlds around us, the worlds of science.' She saw mathematics metaphysically, as 'the language of the unseen relations between things;' but added that to apply it, 'we must be able to fully appreciate, to feel, to seize, the unseen, the unconscious.' She also saw that Babbage's mathematics needed more imaginative presentation."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

All Content: Home Entertainment Consumer Guide: September 3, 2015


We're back with the last HECG before festival season drives us all crazy and the Oscar race heats up. And this is a good one, especially in the Blu-ray and DVD department, so that's where we'll start. Some of the best films of the last 12 months hit Blu-ray and DVD recently, including the 2015 Oscar winner for Best Documentary, one of our top ten films of 2014, and my personal pick for the best film of the year to date. There's also a new release for one of the hottest shows on television, and a couple of festival hits you may have missed. We have it all. Pick your favorites.


"Mad Max: Fury Road"

While I'm a huge fan of "Phoenix" and "Inside Out" and "The End of the Tour," there has not been a better film than George Miller's action masterpiece released since it hit theaters back in May, and I'm starting to wonder how long will it be before it's topped. In other words, this could end up being the best film of 2015. I'm amazed that there are still people who write off "Fury Road" under the "it's just action" banner as if well-done action doesn't require the filmmaking skill of shooting a dramatic conversation. They also ignore the fact that Miller makes action the substance of his piece. He conveys storytelling through movement. And, oh, what movement it is. "Fury Road" is exhilarating on every level, the kind of movie one can appreciate on repeat viewing over and over again. In other words, it's the kind of movie you BUY, you don't rent. Now, I wish the Blu-ray had a few more bells and whistles, including that rumored black & white version, but this movie is good enough to buy twice. Get it now just to play it on repeat and get the inevitable special edition when Miller releases a sequel, a lovely day that can't come soon enough.

Buy it here

Special Features
Drive full-throttle into the blood and gasoline world of Max, Furiosa and the Immortan, where only the mad survive! George Miller, Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron take you inside the grueling desert mayhem as they create some of the most high-velocity action ever put on film!

"Two Days, One Night" (Criterion)

The Dardennes Brothers are two of my favorite filmmakers of the last twenty years. In films like "The Kid with a Bike," "Rosetta" and last year's Oscar-nominated gem "Two Days, One Night," now in the Criterion collection, they ask viewers to question our place in society. They even ask what the word society means to us. But they don't do so through pat moral messages or obvious melodrama. Their latest tells the story of a woman forced to ask her former co-workers to give up their bonuses so that she can return to work. Would you do so? What if you were living check to check? Would you give up one of those checks for someone else? Marion Cotillard does arguably the best work of her career, and the Criterion disc is well-loaded with special features, including a 1979 documentary by the Dardennes and a new video essay by Kent Jones.

Buy it here

Special Features
New interviews with the Dardennes and actors Marion Cotillard and Fabrizio Rongione
"When Leon M.'s Boat Went Down the Meuse for the First Time" (1979), a forty-minute documentary by the Dardennes, featuring a new introduction by the directors
New tour of the film's key locations with the directors
"To Be an I", a new video essay by critic Kent Jones
Plus: An essay by critic Girish Shambu


One of the most terrifying films of the last several years is Laura Poitras' chronicle of the whistleblowing by Edward Snowden. Unlike a lot of documentarians who capture events after they happen, Poitras was there from the early days of Snowden's revelations that the NSA has not only been spying on practically everyone but has capabilities to do so that were only hinted at in the past. Working with Glenn Greenwald, Poitras and Snowden get deeper into the stories he has to tell, and her film gets more terrifying with each meeting. Poitras is brilliant in the way she allows many conversations to unfold in real time, without edits or statistical title cards. She realizes that Snowden's words are her greatest tool. By the end, when Snowden and Greenwald are writing things to each other on scraps of paper they then tear up, the idea that these are Americans fearful of a government spying on them that intensely should make anyone's stomach turn. This is powerful, important filmmaking.

Buy it here

Special Features
Deleted Scenes
"New York Times" Talk with Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden and David Carr
Film Society of Lincoln Center Q&A with Laura Poitras and Dennis Lim
"The Program" - A "New York Times" Op-Doc by Laura Poitras

"I'll See You in My Dreams"

Blythe Danner gives the best performance of her career in this Sundance hit, ably supported by great work from Martin Starr and Sam Elliott. After her dog dies, Carol finds herself a bit adrift, more interested in finding a companion than she may have been before. Two men enter her life: a cigar-chomping suitor played with suave perfection by Elliott, and a friendly pool boy played with grounded realism by Starr. This is a simple film, but it's magnificent in its insight into the human condition, and the need to have someone to talk to, whether it be a dog, a boyfriend, or the pool boy. Danner is marvelous, giving the kind of performance one hopes is recognized at the end of the year.

Buy it here

Special Features
A Look Inside "I'll See You in My Dreams"


Colin Schiffli's junkie drama didn't get the audience it deserved in theaters (and didn't even get a Blu-ray release from Oscilloscope), but I'm hoping word of mouth does it some favors on DVD. "Ant-Man" co-star David Dastmalchian is phenomenal here, capturing the co-dependency of drug-fueled relationships with the equally-genuine Kim Shaw. These are two people whose love lead them to believe that they can't live without one another, and yet it is their very co-dependency that could be their downfall. They're like two drowning people, each pulling the other one under. This is an excellent independent film, and I'm convinced Dastmalchian is right on the edge of stardom. See why in "Animals."

Buy it here

Special Features
"Getting to Know the World of 'Animals'": A behind the scenes look at the filming process
Deleted scenes compilation

"The Walking Dead: Season Five"

I'm always amazed that this show is as big a hit as it is for AMC given how slow it can sometimes be. Catching up on it recently with the Blu-ray of season five, I was stunned at how meandering this season could be, moving across similar, dull narratives as it separated much of its cast and played with flashbacks extensively. Every once in awhile, this show hints at what it could be and what I hope it will be next season, but this one doesn't really work for me. "The Walking Dead" feels like a show without an end point. There's no urgency. I wish the creators would define a final season (maybe 7) and then craft a narrative that works directly towards that finish line. As of now, it feels like they're often as lost as their characters.

Buy it here

Special Features
Inside "The Walking Dead"
The Making "Of The Walking Dead"
The Making Of Alexandria
Beth's Journey
Bob's Journey
Noah's Journey
Tyreese's Journey
A Day In The Life Of Michael Cudlitz
A Day In The Life Of Josh McDermitt
Rotters In The Flesh
Audio Commentaries
Deleted Scenes


Queen Latifah gives a fantastic, possibly Emmy-winning performance as the title character in this HBO Original Movie, directed by the great Dee Rees. The episodic approach to storytelling here ultimately frustrated me too much to love it overall, but Latifah has never been this good, and she's matched by an excellent supporting cast, including the always-great Michael K. Williams. I also like Rees' unapolegetic approach in that she doesn't fall into the traps of the biopic in which too many directors feel like they need to over-explain someone's popularity or over-emphasize their flaws for melodramatic value.

Buy it here

Special Features
"Bessie: A Creative Journey": An exclusive, in-depth look at the collaborative process in bringing "Bessie" to life on screen. Featuring interviews with Queen Latifah, Michael Kenneth Williams, Mo'Nique, Director/Co-Writer Dee Rees and cast and crew

"Good Kill"

Seeing this at the end of TIFF 2014 was a real let-down for me but I include it here because I seem to be in the minority, and Ethan Hawke always delivers, even in the films that don't work. This story of a drone pilot basically dealing with the horror of war from the United States has a fascinating concept: we are creating killing machines that never have to leave their hometown. People are remote piloting drones that kill people, often innocent casualties, and then going home to their kitchen table and eating family dinner. What does that do to a man? Sadly, I don't think Andrew Niccol's approach is the right one. It's too calculated and emotionally cold. See it for Hawke though. He's really reached a point his career where you should see everything he does.

Buy it here

Special Features
"Good Kill": Behind the Scenes


"Big Fish"
"Black or White"
"The Crucible"
"The Harvest"
"October Gale"
"Private Parts"
"Sleepy Hollow"
"Up in the Air"
"White God"


"7 Chinese Brothers"

"Digging For Fire"

"Dirty Weekend"

All Content: 2015 Fall Movie Preview


After a summer dominated by fidgety dinosaurs and peppy, yellow sidekicks, we now enter into the main event of the year, the fall season (AKA "Awards Season.") This upcoming fall roster is so massive that it offen offers two for the regular seasonal price; there are two Steve Jobs projects, two films from director Eli Roth, two biopics lead by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, two projects that were bumped by Warner Bros. from earlier in 2015 to the fall, and even two Tom Hardys as the case with Brian Helgeland's October release "Legend." If numbers are your thing too, be sure to keep track of how many movies Anthony Mackie's impeccable smile is bound to appear in (about 501 or so). 

Along with regularly-scheduled multiplex fare, this fall is the blockbuster time for non-fiction, in which numerous legacies and experiences get their cinematic sheer. Taking a glance at the list, I count around 20 films based on true events, from "Everest" to "Spotlight" to "Joy."

To brace you for this upcoming season that features golden hopefuls, intriguing indies, and some good ol' expensive tentpoles, has compiled this overview of the films that will be hitting theaters and VOD near you, with all dates subject to change, or in some cases, subject to quality-proving world premieres at an upcoming festival. Be sure to check back here for our coverage of each of these titles and more, as our team tackles these releases and preps you for the best (and worst) of the year. Many of these films will be covered over the next month in our Festivals & Awards section. Check there often.


A Walk in the Woods” (September 2): Robert Redford plays author Bill Bryson in this adaption of Bryson’s novel that finds him deciding out of the blue to traverse the Appalachian Trail. Nick Nolte joins him on the excursion. The film also stars Kristen Schaal, Emma Thompson, and Nick Offerman for one scene at an outdoors store. 

The Transporter Refueled” (Sept 4): With no Jason Statham on board, it's time for a new ruffian to drive impeccably in the face of danger. Ed Skrein is the guy, hoping along with this reboot's "Taken" producers to reignite a series that wore out its welcome not even ten years ago. 

Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine” (September 4): The first of two Steve Jobs films coming this fall, this one a documentary from prolific filmmaker Alex Gibney, who addresses his curiosity about the Apple phenomenon with a look into the Jobs philosophy, and the sacrifices he made to become a god of technology. 

The Perfect Guy” (September 11) Morris Chestnut and Michael Ealy star as two men fighting for the affection of a woman played by Sanaa Lathan. Both of them very handsome, but one of them apparently not to be trusted. Place your bets now. 

"The Visit" (September 11): Hot and sometimes extremely-cold M. Night Shyamalan returns with a found footage movie that played well to preview audiences at San Diego Comic Con, riding the somewhat-positive reviews of his new series “Wayward Pines.” Of all concepts for the subgenre, this one is about a trip to grandma's house. Kathryn Hahn stars.

"Goodnight Mommy" (September 11): Two boys experience an existential crisis when their mother returns home one day looking completely different. This one has weirded audiences out at various festivals, from Toronto to the Chicago Critics, and could make a great horror jaunt for the art house crowd. 

Sleeping with Other People” (September 11): This hilarious game-changer to the modern romantic comedy was first introduced at Sundance 2015, where audiences fell for two single friends played by Alison Brie and Jason Sudeikis who are compulsive cheaters, but want to maintain their own platonic relationship. The ensemble cast includes Brie, Sudeikis, Jason MantzoukasAdam Brody, Adam Scott, Natasha Lyonne, and Amanda Peet

Black Mass” (September 18): After playing Chicago’s own villain John Dillinger, costume-loving Johnny Depp now dons the accent and slicked back hair of another regional gangster. In director Scott Cooper’s new film, Depp takes on the infamy of Whitey Bulger, and the Boston legend's tenuous relationship with authorities. Benedict Cumberbatch, Dakota Johnson, Joel Edgerton, Corey Stoll, Kevin Bacon, Adam Scott, Juno Temple and more star. 

Captive” (September 18): A man (David Oyelowo) and a woman (Kate Mara) have a life-changing experience when he takes her hostage. Though a tempting pairing, we’ve seen this type of project turn sour, such as with the similarly-plotted "Labor Day" starring Kate WInslet and Josh Brolin, and that turned out to be a dud. 

The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials” (September 18): The second installment in the "Maze Runner" franchise has its rules changed, with the titular labyrinth now leading way to very dangerous open roads. I still haven't caught up with the first one, but it's been stated pretty firmly that these films won't split up its finale (looking at you, "Hunger Games," "Divergent," and "Twilight,"), so there's no way this franchise can be that bad. Dylan O'Brien stars in this young adult adventure that features Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Aidan Gillen, Patricia Clarkson, and Nathalie Emmanuel

Sicario” (September 18): Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio del Toro star in this morally-complicated drama centered around the war on drugs in Mexico. Worth noting is that this Cannes-premiered project is directed by Denis Villeneuve, previously of the disturbing missing child drama “Prisoners.”

Cooties” (September 18): Anyone who has ever dreamed of watching Eijah Wood and Rainn Wilson fight off a horde of infected elementary school children can breathe a sigh of relief with “Cooties.” Packing some promise for its bonkers scenario, the movie is armed with a list of funny supporting talent, including Jack McBrayer, Alison Pill, Nasim Pedrad, Jorge Garcia, and Leigh Whannell, the latter having a co-writing credit. 

Before I Wake” (September 25): Mike Flanigan is a quickly rising talent in the horror studio scene, having made mirrors scarier than long stares at one's self with his film “Oculus.” Now he's got a supernatural weird kid project, starring Kate Bosworth and Thomas Jane as parents whose adopted child is able to bring his nightmares and dreams to life. 

"Everest" (September 25): A true story that's primed for an IMAX experience, here's a survival tale with a massive ensemble and an even bigger snow storm. Included in this journey are Jason Clarke, Josh Brolin, John Hawkes, Robin Wright, Emily Watson, Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington, and Jake Gyllenhaal

"Hotel Transylvania 2" (September 25): Adam Sandler’s animated take on classic horror cartoons returns, this time with his patriarch Dracula becoming a grandfather. Zippy animated slapstick chaos is promised, especially delightful for anyone starved for Frankenstein, the Mummy, a werewolf, or an invisible creature to make a fart joke. 

The Intern” (September 25): Robert De Niro will apparently take any job, even if it's an internship at an online fashion magazine. Such is the case with this comedy from writer/director Nancy Meyers, where De Niro works under a young boss player by Anne Hathaway.

99 Homes” (September 25): After premiering during the 2014 festival circuit, the rest of the world finally gets to see this drama from EbertFest favorite Ramin Bahrani. Brian Tallerico saw the film when it played at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2014, and said that it’s his “most confidently made film. It doesn’t feel like there’s a beat, a shot, an angle that’s out of place or unconsidered.” 

Stonewall” (September 25): Roland Emmerich uses his directorial powers not to create a disaster movie per usual, but to recreate the historic events of the Stonewall riots, focusing his narrative around a young man's coming-of-age during the events. The cast includes Joey King, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Jeremy Irvine, Caleb Landry Jones, and Jonny Beauchamp. 

The Green Inferno” (September 25): After premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept 8, 2013, Eli Roth’s cannibal horror story disappeared due to financial issues with the distributor. The film went so far as having previews before it was put on indefinite hold. Now, Blumhouse’s own Jason Blum is releasing the film nearly two years after its original date. Lorenza Izzo, Ariel Levy, Aaron Burns, Kirby Bliss Blanton, and Magda Apanowicz star. 


"Legend" (October 2): Anyone that can't get enough of Tom Hardy when he's on-screen will have such appetite tested by seeing two Hardys, when he plays twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray, orchestrators of a massive crime ring in 1960s Britain. Along with this Hardy party, writer/director Brian Helgeland has assembled a cast that includes Emily Browning, Paul Bettany, Taron Egerton, Christopher Eccleston, and Chazz Palminteri

"The Martian" (October 2): An astronaut (played by Matt Damon) is stranded in space and tries to get back home in this project from Ridley Scott, adapted from the beloved novel by Andy Weir. Also appearing in the film are the likes of Kate Mara, Kristen Wiig, Jessica Chastain, Sebastian Stan, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Jeff Daniels, Donald Glover, and Naomi Scott

Freeheld” (October 2): In this intriguingly-cast drama from director Peter Sollett, Julianne Moore plays a New Jersey police lieutenant recently diagnosed with terminal cancer, who fights to get her pension benefits with her partner Stacie Andree (Ellen Page). Steve Carell, Josh Charles, and Michael Shannon also star in this timely drama that goes so far as using the equal sign from everyone’s Facebook profile picture for its promotional material. 

"He Named Me Malala" (October 2): The extraordinary life of Malala Yousafzai is the subject of this celebratory documentary from Davis Guggenheim, previously of films like "Waiting for 'Superman'" and "An Inconvenient Truth." A fact worthy of a documentary to explore it, Yousafzai is the youngest person to ever win the Nobel Prize, at the age of 17. 

"Big Stone Gap" (October 9): Author Adriana Trigiani joins a very small list of writers who have also adapted/directed their own book, this story focused on a woman going through a transitional period of her small Appalachian town. Ashley Judd stars, appearing opposite such names as Patrick Wilson, Jane Krakowski, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jenna Elfman

Pan” (October 9): “Atonement” director Joe Wright jumps into the unpredictable waters of “Peter Pan” film adaptations, supported by a cast that features Garrett Hedlund as Hook, Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, Rooney Mara as Tiger Lily, and newcomer Levi Miller as the title boy. The film was originally set for summer 2015, but got bumped closer to award season. Take that as you will. 

Steve Jobs” (October 9): Just as the world needed a movie about Facebook with “The Social Network,” so is our Apple fixation worthy of a cinematic treatment. After bouncing around between different actors (Christian Bale to Michael Fassbender) and directors (David Fincher to Danny Boyle), this script from Aaron Sorkin finally has a home, featuring Seth Rogen and Kate Winslet acting opposite Fassbender's portrayal of the tech god. 

"Knock Knock" (October 9): If one Eli Roth movie wasn't enough for you this fall, another one comes right behind it, trying to seduce you with Keanu Reeves playing a lame dad. A comedy horror about a husband who doesn't resist two strange women that appear on his doorstop one rainy night, “Knock Knock” is a certainly playful nightmare of the philosophy of "free pizza.” Here’s my 2015 Sundance interview with the stars and producers of the film, a little tease before Roth’s funny game is unleashed. 

"The Walk" (October 9): Director Robert Zemeckis applies his eye for the spectacular to the life of Philippe Petit, the tightrope walker previously celebrated in James Marsh's Oscar-winning documentary "Man on Wire." Bringing Petit to narrative feature light is Joseph Gordon-Levitt, acting opposite Ben Kingsley, James Badge Dale, Charotte Le Bon, and Ben Schwartz

Bridge of Spies” (October 16): Tom Hanks stars in this Cold War drama co-written by Joel and Ethan Coen, and directed by none other than Steven Spielberg. Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Austin Stowell, Mark Rylance, Sebastian Koch, and Eve Hewson also appear. The film is set to have its world premiere at the New York Film Festival. 

Crimson Peak” (October 16): After playing with big robots in 2013’s “Pacific Rim,” Guillermo del Toro ventures back to the world of horror with this haunted house tale starring Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam, Doug Jones, and Burn Gorman. Expect some master thrills, possible strong performances, and likely the scariest movie of the Halloween mini-season. 

Goosebumps” (October 16): Author R.L. Stine sees his monsters come to life (and he finally get a film adaptation), with this family adventure based around the popular book series. Stine is played by Jack Black, who acts opposite appears opposite Dylan Minnette and Halston Sage, playing two young folk who witness the monsters he’s unleashed in their Maryland town. 

Room” (October 16): Brie Larson plays a mother who raises her child in a single room in this drama from “Frank” director Lenny Abrahamson. Author Emma Donoghue adapts her own best-selling novel, in this production that features Joan Allen and William H. Macy

Beasts of No Nation” (October 16): Director Cary Fukuanga (“True Detective,” the good season) returns to filmmaking with a project that will play both the silver screen and your mobile device with its historic Netflix distribution deal. Fukuanga adapts a novel by Uzodinma Iweala about child soldiers in an unnamed African country, with Idris Elba playing highly influential Commandant character. 

Jem and the Holograms” (October 23): In this live-action adaptation of the glitzy '80s animated series, a band of young women from humble beginnings become set on becoming superstars, with a little fantasy thrown in the mix. Promotional material for the film doesn't provide much promise this will be like the original show, a truly outrageous artistic decision indeed. Jon M. Chu directs, bringing both his experience working with Justin Bieber feature projects and “G.I. Joe: Retaliation.”

The Last Witch Hunter” (October 23): Vin Diesel has quite the life source with the “Fast & Furious” movies, but his efforts to give life to other franchises have been far clumsier. It’s a lot of him pursuing things that no one is particularly begging for, like that past third Riddick movie, or the “xXx” sequel that he’s always threatened but will now officially start filming soon. Now, there's this weird thing. In Diesel’s savvy social media fashion, he’s already hyped up on his incomparable Facebook page that the studio wants a sequel. Elijah Wood, Rose Leslie, and Michael Caine co-star in this action-horror that is indeed about the last guy left to defeat some witches. 

Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension” (October 23): After five movies of filming mean-spirited supernatural forces bully people on candid camera, the sixth installment promises "Paranormal Activity" fans on its poster that we'll be able to peek behind the demonic curtain, so to speak. We'll believe it when we see it, but if this is the road the found footage series has been leading to with all of its bizarre third acts, a "Poltergeist"-like adventure from "Paranormal Activity" could prove a rewarding step forward. 

Rock the Kasbah” (October 23): Bill Murray plays a struggling music manager who discovers a young talent in Kabul, and tries to make the young woman a superstar in Afghanistan. From director Barry Levinson, this project also boasts the likes of Zooey Deschanel, Bruce Willis, Scott Caan, Kate Hudson, Taylor Kinney, Danny McBride, and Sarah Baker. It’s writer, Mitch Glazer, also co-wrote the upcoming Bill Murray Christmas special that will hit Netflix in December, “A Very Murray Christmas.” 

Tokyo Tribe” (October 23): Of the many directors given access to buckets of blood for a single day of shooting, few are as underrated as Sion Sono, an cinematic artist of narrative left-turns and the giddy spectacles of gore. This new project about warring Japanese gangs follows the bizarre likes of his slicing "Tag," or his raucous "Why Don’t You Play in Hell?", and promises to be just as impeccably unhinged. 

Suffragette” (October 23): Carey Mulligan, Helena Bonham Carter, Annie-Marie Duff, and Meryl Streep star in this story about the British women’s suffrage movement, as they overcame a sexist government system during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Directed by Sarah Gavron and from “The Iron Lady” scribe Abi Morgan, “Suffragette” has already made history by being the first film to be shot in the Houses of Parliament. 

"I Smile Back" (October 23): Sarah Silverman's performance as a frightening alcoholic in writer/director Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz" certified the comedian's dramatic promise, but she hasn't played a character like that since. Now, in this Sundance-introduced film from director Adam Salky (co-written by Amy Koppelman, adapting her novel, and Paige Dylan), Silverman plays a housewife with destructive impulses that start to take its toll on her family. Josh Charles, Tom Sadoski, and Mia Barron also appear in the film. 

Our Brand is Crisis” (October 30): Prolific, unpredictable director David Gordon Green adapts Rachel Boynton’s documentary of the same name to create a feature riff on the subject of American political campaign strategies, especially when brought abroad. Sandra Bullock stars in the film as “Calamity” Jane Bodine, opposite the talents of Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Zoe Kazan, Scoot McNairy, Ann Dowd, and more. 

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” (October 30): The yawning event of a zombie apocalypse gets a new spin with the addition of heroic scouts, played by actors like Patrick Schwarzenegger and Tye Sheridan. Surprisingly not based on a beloved quirky book or graphic novel, this is an original script that caught steam on the 2010 Blacklist, the roster of promising yet at-the-time unproduced scripts. 


Peanuts” (November 6): After decades and decades of failing to kick the cinematic football, Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang are finally getting their big screen adaptation, from the animators at Blue Sky Studios (“Ice Age,” “Rio”). Guiding this project as producer is none other than Paul Feig, who has experience with awkward blockheads and sweet moments from his days on the show “Freaks and Geeks,” among his own other films. 

Spectre” (November 6): Bond, James Bond returns to multiplexes with director Sam Mendes. No plot synopsis is worth digging up (unlike with many other films, a brief story synopsis doesn’t declare whether a Bond movie sounds good or not) but just as “Skyfall” did, this project will boast a very unique cinematographic talent behind the camera - Hoyte Van Hoytema, previously of “Her” and then “Interstellar.” 

Spotlight” (November 6): Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci are part of an ensemble in this newsroom drama about how the Boston Globe unveiled the disturbing history of sex abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston. A little underdog story also comes in tow with this project, as director Tom McCarthy will fight to erase all bad will he brought upon audiences that saw his previous film/abomination of any creative’s nightmares, “The Cobbler.”

Trumbo" (November 6): After years of playing supporting parts on the silver screen, or as a lead in “Breaking Bad,” Bryan Cranston gets his moment with this biopic from director Jay Roach about screenwriter Dalton Trumbo. Sharing the screen with him are the likes of Elle Fanning, Diane Lane, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Helen Mirren, Alan Tudyk, John Goodman, Louis C.K., and Michael Stuhlbarg

The 33” (November 13): The news headline phenomenon of the 33 miners who were trapped underground for 69 days gets its feature treatment, this time from Mexican director Patricia Riggen (“Under the Same Moon” and “Girl in Progress”). Featured in the cast are Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, Antonio Banderas, Gabriel Byrne, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Oscar Nuñez, and Cote de Pablo. 

By the Sea” (November 13): As a director, Angelina Jolie has displayed as fascination with pain through massive world conflicts (“In the Land of Blood and Honey” and last year’s “Unbroken”). Now, she places her camera, her screenwriting capabilities, and her on-screen presence into her original screenplay about a couple trying to save their marriage, acting opposite none other than her husband, Brad Pitt

Love the Coopers” (November 13): Taking the place of this holiday’s family reunion movie is “Love the Coopers” (not “Love, The Coopers”), whose cast make this ticking time bomb of dysfunction initially intriguing. Here are the names from the poster alone: Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Diane Keaton, Jake Lacy, Anthony Mackie, Amanda Seyfried, June Squibb, Marisa Tomei, and Olivia Wilde

Rings” (November 13): As if the original video tape from Gore Verbinski’s “The Ring” wasn’t killer enough, a second sequel to that film arrives, this time promising more than the original with by just its plural title alone. Aimee Teagarden and Johnny Galecki star in this sequel that boasts an Akiva Goldsman screenwriting credit, which is scary unto itself. 

Entertainment” (November 13): I’m not sure how to fairly talk about this movie without making it sound like it should be the awards season dark horse, but if you are going to see one movie this year about life as performance, it must be “Entertainment.” This Sundance film is going to be one of the trippier movies you’ll see this season; for what it’s worth, it’s miles ahead better than “Birdman.” Gregg Turkington stars in this pitch-black drama from director Rick Alverson that features Tye Sheridan, John C. Reilly, Amy Seimetz, and the most unexpected appearance from Michael Cera yet on film. 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2” (November 20): The dystopic young adult franchise finally comes to a close, after non-productively splitting up its finale. Now we get the last piece, which will include the revolution we were teased with in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.” Returning for this finish are the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Elizabeth Banks, Jena Malone, Julianne Moore, Sam Claflin, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman

Secret in Their Eyes” (November 20): Eduardo Sancheri’s novel that previously made for an Oscar-winning foreign language film (directed by Juan José Campanella) now gets the American treatment, this time from the acting talent of Chitwetel Ejiofor, Julia Roberts, and Nicole Kidman. They play a group of FBI investigators whose dynamic is ruined when one of their children is murdered. Not for nothing, the film is directed by “Captain Phillips” writer and “Breach” helmer Billy Ray, who has proven to know his way around a tight, dialogue-driven story. 

Carol” (November 20): Rooney Mara plays a department store clerk who falls in love with an older woman in this 1950s-set Todd Haynes film, adapted by Phyllis Nagy from the novel by Patricia Highsmith. To give an idea of the hype behind this movie, it’s already won two big kudos from the Cannes Film Festival - Mara tied with Emmanuelle Bercot for Best Actress, and Haynes won the Queer Palm. Expect to hear lots more about this project, especially as it begins to show up on the festival circuit. 

Criminal Activities” (November 20): Oscar-nominee Jackie Earle Haley makes his directorial debut with this crime drama about four men whose investment gets them caught up in the mob. Haley stars in the movie, alongside Dan Stevens, John Travolta, Michael Pitt, Christopher Abbott, Edi Gathegi, and Rob Brown

Creed” (Nov 25): Here’s the “Rocky” spin-off/sequel that we definitely want to see. “Creed” is a passion project from the very-promising “Fruitvale Station” director Ryan Coogler, who shifts the focus of Philadelphia fighters from Rocky Balboa to the son of his friend Apollo Creed, Adonis (played by Michael B. Jordan). Only a few morsels of the film’s trailer are needed to be fired up about this film, aptly taking us into the next generation of fighters. 

The Good Dinosaur” (November 25): Anyone who might have gotten some decent emotional exercise from this last summer’s “Inside Out” will be happy to know that there’s a second project coming this year from Pixar Animation Studios. This one, from director Peter Sohn, follows the unlikely friendship between a green dinosaur and a little human being, in a world where the asteroid never rendered the dinos extinct. 

The Night Before” (November 25): A holiday get-together too well-cast to resist - in “The Night Before,” Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Anthony Mackie play friends looking for the best Christmas party in New York City, especially as their tradition of getting together each year is set to change. Adding further comedy kudos to this project is its director, Jonathan Levine, who found a great balance between Rogen-brand comedy and real-life friendship drama with his cancer tale “50/50,” which also starred Gordon-Levitt. 

Victor Frankenstein” (November 25): If you can somehow yield your yawns, the saga of Frankenstein now presents itself from the perspective of his assistant Igor. At the very least, in a bout of casting more intriguing than its narrative shift, “Harry Potter” veteran Daniel Radcliffe will play Igor, while James McAvoy (with all of his “X-Men” credit) is the mad scientist himself. If director Paul McGuigan knows what’s right, he’ll at least give the actors’ fan base plenty of Tumblr-ready scenes of the two and their fantastical bromance.

The Danish Girl” (November 27): Fresh off his Oscar win for last year’s “The Theory of Everything,” actor Eddie Redmanye takes on the true-life story of Lili Elbe, a transgender woman who had a historical marriage in the 1900s to Gerda Wegene (played by Alicia Viklander). Tom Hooper (“The King’s Speech,” “Les Miserables”) directs this story highly-anticipated, really topical drama that also features Amber Heard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Ben Whishaw, and Emerald Fennell.  

I Saw the Light” (November 27): Tom Hiddleston throws a cowboy hat in the musical biopic game, trying to duplicate a very distinct country music presence - Hank Williams, the yodeling maestro of songs like “Lonesome Blues” or “Hey Good Lookin’”. Writer/director Marc Abraham adapts a biography by Colin Escott, working with a cast that also includes Elizabeth Olsen, David Krumholtz, and Bradley Whitford.


Krampus” (December 4): The mythology of the Krampus (a killer Santa Claus, so-to-speak) is rife for some VOD horror, but thankfully a studio pairing (Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures) is gonna give this potential jolly madness a little more oomph. Director Michael Dougherty utilizes the bizarre tale of the Krampus for this ensemble horror that looks primed to play in the “Sharknado” waters, but with a studio budget. Adam Scott, Toni Collette, Allison Tolman, and David Koechner star.  

Youth” (December 4): Harvey Keitel and Michael Caine play men of a certain age, at a certain part in their careers, in this story from writer/director Paolo Sorrentino (“This Must Be the Place,” “The Great Beauty.”) Viewing the film during its Cannes premiere this past May, writer Michał Oleszczyk stated that compared to its immediate contemporaries (“Quartet,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”), “the film radiates a kind of serenity in the face of death that most of the inspirational fare simply doesn’t have.”

Macbeth” (December 4): From Justin Kurzel, the director of the brutal “The Snowtown Murders,” comes this adaptation of the Shakespeare play, this time with Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard as the couple that muck up Scotland. Despite the hype behind the movie, our own Barbara Scharres was not a fan of the film when she saw it at Cannes, saying that it’s “astonishingly dull,” and that its tackling of Shakespeare’s dialogue is “strangely lacking in emphasis or variation.” 

In the Heart of the Sea” (December 11): Ron Howard’s whaling adventure was set for a spring release this year, but got pushed the awards season-friendly date of early December. What’s so special about this survival on the sea story, especially opening a week before “Star Wars”? On board for this story (adapted from Nathaniel Philbrick’s book “In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex”) are the likes of Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, Cillian Murphy, Michelle Fairely, Ben Whishaw, Benjamin Walker, Charlotte Riley, and Brendan Gleeson.  

Sisters” (December 18): Tina Fey and Amy Poelher star in this comedy about two sisters who want to have a final party before their parents sell the house they grew up in. This movie still hasn’t budged from its release date of you-know-what, and could unfortunately, but likely suffer the fate forgettable fate of that previous Fey & Poehler movie (I think it was called “Baby Mama”?) 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (December 18) It feels like forever since we’ve had a “Star Wars” movie in theaters, even though a casual IMDb glance proves it has only been ten years. Now, arriving with a Disney manufacturing label and likely modeled with the calculated nature of a Marvel movie, the “Star Wars” franchise is geared to dominate multiplexes, wallets, toy aisles, cereal box covers, the very economic infrastructure of the world stock market, attention spans, and everything in between. J.J. Abrams directs this new installment, continuing from the saga ended by “Return of the Jedi” (1983), featuring a massive cast: Oscar Isaac, Max von Sydow, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Simon Pegg, Gwendoline Christie, Domhnall Gleeson, and original members like Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, and Mark Hamill.  

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Road Chip” (December 23): You didn’t ask for it, but here it is, a fourth “Alvin and the Chipmunks” live-action/CGI film, where everyone’s favorite stylized yard rats venture on the road Kerouac-style to stop master Dave from proposing to someone, AKA ditching them, apparently. Consider this project karma for director Walt Becker, of the previously abysmal “Wild Hogs” and “Old Dogs.” 

Concussion” (December 25): Will Smith plays football legend Dr. Bennet Omalu, who changed the game off the field when he discovered brain trauma within professional players. Framed as a David vs. Goliath story, this project from Peter Landesman (2013’s JFK drama “Parkland”) has Smith starring opposite Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Alec Baldwin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Eddie Marsan, Stephen Moyer, Luke Wilson, Albert Brooks, and David Morse

Daddy’s Home” (December 25): Pairing Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell proved an inspired comedic choice with Adam McKay’s “The Other Guys,” the buddy cop parody from 2010. Now, they’re set as opposing father figures (Ferrell is the step dad, Wahlberg is the biological one) in a concept that only loses some of its promise because its from “That’s My Boy” helmer Sean Anders

Joy” (December 25): David O. Russell’s biopic about Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano turns out to have more initial narrative ambition than most other life stories found at this time of year - this one reportedly covers four generations of Mangano’s family, leading to the construction of their dynasty. Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Virginia Madsen, and Isabella Rossellini star. 

Point Break” (December 25): One of the worst parts of the “Fast & Furious” franchise is how it always inspires middling attempts to duplicate its gravity-defying magic; this remake of “Point Break” could very well be a part of that list, or if the thrills are done right, it could prove giddy genre counter-programming (although against a Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy? I’m not so sure). Extreme sports and robberies ensue, while the likes of Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Ray Winstone, and Édgar Ramirez try to legitimize this project. 

Snowden” (December 25): Joseph Gordon-Levitt doubles down on the biopic beat this season, following up his Phillipe Petit high-wire act with that of controversial subject Edward Snowden, in the latest project from Oliver Stone. Based on two different Snowden books, this could be the hot-topic foray that Stone (and a holiday-timed release) want it to be. Or, it could also be the exhausting final sigh of a season full of biopics. Shailene Woodley, Scott Eastwood, Timothy Olyphant, Melissa Leo, Tom Wilkinson, and Joely Richardson also appear. 

The Hateful Eight” (December 25): After that recent interview with Vulture in which he all but declared his presidency for 2020, Quentin Tarantino better put his writing/directing where his mouth is for this next venture, a western with an ensemble cast. No official word yet on what Tarantino has changed in this script after it was leaked during pre-production, or if a brutally-murdered character will be renamed to Gawker. Nonetheless, in Tarantino’s savvy way to keep his definition of cinema alive, or just to bribe cinephiles, “The Hateful Eight” will reportedly be shown on as many 70mm projectors as possible, as it was filmed in Ultra Panavision 70. 

The Revenant” (December 25): “Birdman” director Alejando González Iñárritu returns to awards season just a year later, now with a period wilderness drama in which Leonardo DiCaprio plays a frontiersman who is left for dead in the early 1800s. Aside from a cast that includes Tom Hardy and rising star Will Poulter, “The Revenant” also boasts the promise of cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki, who was reportedly one part of many elements in this film’s very specific, grueling production.

Slashdot: Pioneer Looks To Laserdisc Tech For Low-Cost LIDAR

itwbennett writes: Pioneer is developing a 3D LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensor for use in autonomous vehicles that could be a fraction of the cost of current systems (the company envisions a price point under $83). Key to this is technology related to optical pickups once used in laserdisc players, which Pioneer made for 30 years. From the ITWorld story: "The system would detect objects dozens of meters ahead, measure their distance and width and identify them based on their shape. Pioneer, which makes GPS navigation systems, is working on getting the LIDAR to automatically produce high-precision digital maps while using a minimum of data compared to the amount used for standard maps for car navigation."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hackaday: Sending Serial Data from… Excel?

When you think about serial communications, Microsoft Excel isn’t typically the first program that springs to mind. But this spreadsheet has a rather powerful scripting language hidden away inside it, which can, with a little coding, be used to send and receive data over your serial port. The scripting language is called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA), and it has been a part of Microsoft’s Office suite since 1993. Since then, it has evolved into a powerful (if sometimes frustrating) language that offers a subset of the features from Visual Basic.

It can be a useful tool. Imagine, for instance, that you are logging data from an instrument that has a serial port (or even an emulated one over USB). With a bit of VBA, you could create a spreadsheet that talks to the instrument directly, grabbing the data and processing it as required straight into the spreadsheet. It’s a handy trick that I have used myself several times, and [Maurizio] does a nice job of explaining how the code works, and how to integrate this code into Excel.

If you’re looking for other ways to leverage this Excel feature, consider watching movies at work or building a virtual machine inside of your sheets.

Filed under: software hacks

Instructables: exploring - featured: No Bake Microwave Cheesecake (Made in a Mug!)

Aaah, cheesecake, my old friend. How much do I love thee? A lot. That's how much. But have you ever noticed how difficult it is to just stop at one piece when you have a cheesecake sitting in your refrigerator? Yeah, exactly. Well, I've figured out a way around that. This single serving cheesecake i...
By: hellolana

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Instructables: exploring - featured: Ultimate Guide to Easy No-Churn Ice Cream - Infinite possibilities!

Nothing screams summer food more than ice cream! After returning from Italy, where I got addicted to gelato and ate it twice a day for two weeks, I must have gone into some sort of withdrawal period! Gelato and ice cream are the essence of summer life. For those of us who want some of the luscious, ...
By: ashervivi88

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Instructables: exploring - featured: BAKED ZUCCHINI WITH GARLIC OIL & MOZZARELLA

A quick and easy recipe that can be used as an appetizer, a side dish, or even an entree! INGREDIENTS (2 SERVINGS) ALL YOU NEED ISA couple of Medium sized Zucchini's, sliced into 1/2" rounds2 TBS of *Garlic Oil (I make my own)Mix together 1/4 teaspoon each of dried Basil, Oregano, Thyme, Crushed ...

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Planet Haskell: Douglas M. Auclair (geophf): 1Liners August 2015

  • August 20th, 2015: Okay this: \(a,b) -> foo a b c d e Somehow curry-i-tize the above expression (make a and b go away!) Is this Applicative?
    • JP @japesinator uncurry $ flip flip e . flip flip d . flip flip c . foo
    • Conor McBride @pigworker (|foo fst snd (|c|) (|d|) (|e|)|)
  • August 19th, 2015: points-free define unintify: unintify :: (Int, Int) -> (Float, Float) where unintify (a,b) = (fromIntegral a, fromIntegral b)
  • August 19th, 2015: points-free define timeser: timeser :: (Float, Float) -> (Float, Float) -> (Float, Float) where timeser (a,b) (c,d) = (a*c, b*d)
  • August 18th, 2015: foo :: (Float, Float) -> (Float, Float) -> Int -> (Float, Float) points-free if: foo (a,b) (c,d) e = ((c-a)/e, (d-b)/e) Arrows? Bimaps?

Planet Haskell: Douglas M. Auclair (geophf): 1Liners July 2015

  • July 29th, 2015: ... on a roll: Point-free-itize
    foo :: (a -> b, a -> b) -> (a, a) -> (b, b)
    foo (f,g) (x,y) = (f x, g y)
    • \[ c^3 \] @das_kube uncurry (***)
  • July 29th, 2015: I can't believe this wasn't a #1Liner already. Point-free-itize dup:
    dup :: a -> (a,a)
    dup x = (x,x)
    • Antonio Nikishaev @lelff join (,)
    • \[ c^3 \] @das_kube id &&& id
  • July 23rd, 2015: define pairsies so that, e.g.: pairsies [1,2,3] = {{1, 2}, {1, 3}, {2, 3}} pairsies :: [a] -> Set (Set a)
    • pairsies list = concat (list =>> (head &&& tail >>> sequence))
  • July 23rd, 2015: define both :: (a -> b) -> (a,a) -> (b,b)
    • Chris Copeland @chrisncopeland point-freer: both = uncurry . on (,)
    • Brian McKenna @puffnfresh both = join bimap
  • July 23rd, 2015: point-free-itize: gen :: Monad m => (m a, m b) -> m (a, b)
    • Bob Ippolito @etrepum gen = uncurry (liftM2 (,))
  • July 17th, 2015: You may have seen this before, but here we go. point-free-itize swap:
    swap :: (a,b) -> (b,a)

Planet Haskell: Douglas M. Auclair (geophf): 1Liners Pre-July 2015

  • Point-free define: foo :: (Ord a, Ord b) => [([a], [b])] -> (Set a, Set b)
    • Андреев Кирилл @nonaem00 foo = (Set.fromList . concat *** Set.fromList . concat) . unzip
  • point-free-itize computeTotalWithTax :: Num b => ((a, b), b) -> b computeTotalWithTax ((a, b), c) = b + c
  • point-free-itize foo (k,v) m = Map.insert k b m with obvs types for k, v, and m.
  • point-free-itize: shower :: forall a. forall b. Show a => [b -> a] -> b -> [a] shower fns thing = map (app . flip (,) thing) fns
  • row :: String -> (Item, (USD, Measure)) given csv :: String -> [String] and line is = "apple,$1.99 Lb" hint: words "a b" = ["a","b"] ... all types mentioned above are in today's @1HaskellADay problem at
  • For Read a, point-free-itize: f a list = read a:list (f is used in a foldr-expression)
    • Or you could just do: map read
  • point-free-itize f such that: f a b c = a + b + c

Hackaday: The Kraakdoos — Musical Abuser of an Ancient OpAmp

A friend from the newly founded Yeovil Hackerspace introduced me to a device known as “The Kraakdoos” or cracklebox.

The cracklebox is an early electronic instrument produced by STEIM in the 1970s. The instrument consists of a single PCB with a number of copper pads exposed on one side. The player touches the pads and the instrument emits… sounds which can perhaps best be described as squeeze and squeals.

While the cracklebox was original sold as a complete instrument, the device has been reverse engineered, and the schematic documented. What lies inside is quite fascinating.

The heart of the cracklebox is an ancient opamp, the LM709. The LM709 is the predecessor to the famous LM741. Unlike the 741 was 709 had no internal frequency compensation. Frequency compensation is used to intentionally limit the bandwidth of an opamp. As input frequency increases, the phase shift of the opamp also increases. This can result in undesirable oscillation, as the feedback network forms an unintentional phase-shift oscillator.

Most modern opamps have internal frequency compensation, but the 709 doesn’t. Let’s see how this is used in the cracklebox:

krackdoos_schRather than using the frequency compensation pins as intended the cracklebox just routes them out to pads. In fact the cracklebox routes almost all the pins on the opamp out to pads, including the inverting and non-inverting inputs. A single 1MOhm feedback resistor is used in a non-inverting configuration. However reports suggest the instrument can work without a feedback resistor at all!

The exact operational details of the instrument are therefore a slight mystery. However what’s clear is that without any frequency compensation the opamp is likely operating as a phase-shift oscillator. The output of the opamp goes to a push-pull output stage. This configuration is often used for efficiency. However as the transistors do not operate below 0.7 volts there is also a dead band, this results in a distorted signal in the cracklebox and also filters out low level background signals.

While it’s interesting to investigate the cracklebox design, it’s creation likely involved a lot of circuit bending, playing with component values and layout until the circuit sounded “cool” rather than adhering to any design rules. As such the cracklebox is an interesting confluence of circuit design as engineering and art.

Filed under: classic hacks, musical hacks

Jesse Moynihan: Ahura Mazda

Original Ahura Mazda design and color sketch featuring some notes from Kant at the top.

Paper Bits: "There’s room for all of us here,” Mixon said. “But there’s no middle ground between ‘We belong here’..."

““There’s room for all of us here,” Mixon said. “But there’s no middle ground between ‘We belong here’ and ‘No you don’t.’”

- Who Won Science Fiction’s Hugo Awards, and Why It Matters

Jesse Moynihan: Forming 197

Forming attempts to update every Monday and Friday

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Racing the rats

Booze modified

Next Wednesday morning at ten Stephen Poloz will visit the National Press Theatre in Ottawa and make a big interest rate announcement on behalf of the Bank of Canada. “No change,” he’ll say. And the prime minister will heave a sigh of relief.

After all, it’s been one kick in right-honourable teeth after another. StatsCan revealed the country slipped into recession, reminding voters of why they feel pissy. Then RBC said housing affordability has taken a big drop with hot Vancouver getting ‘risky’, reminding people they’re not getting ahead. Then a drowned Syrian child half a world away, epitomizing tragedy, was linked to a Canadian cabinet minister. During a federal election campaign, any one of these is tough to survive politically.

So at least the central bank won’t make it worse by saying the economy is so pooched it must make money even cheaper for the third time in a year. That’s the thinking right now among economists, most of whom believe the country is already starting to emerge from half a year of negative growth.

A lot depends on Friday morning and the latest jobs numbers – the best indication whether or not the US recovery’s still motoring ahead. If it is, if oil prices recover a bit and China doesn’t blow up, then an interesting scenario is likely to develop. The expectation as I write this is that America cranked out at least 213,000 more new hires last month, consistent with the past year. Add in that huge GDP number of a few days ago (3.7% growth) and it means the Fed can raise its key rate for the first time in a decade. That could happen September 17th, October 28th or December 16th. But it will happen by the end of the year.

Remember, the Bank of Canada has more than a 90% track record of following the Fed, and our bond market is even more closely correlated. In other words, everybody should expect five-year, fixed-rate mortgages to cost more this autumn. The fact the Bank of Canada will not be raising its rate next week – despite the crapstorm our economy has been in – should tell you something. This is it. Rates go down no more. They start to rise.

What have Canadians been doing to prepare?

Gorging themselves on new debt, of course! While inflation is running at just over 1% and wages in Toronto and Vancouver have actually slipped 2.8% in recent years, your friends and idiot relatives increased their borrowing by 4.9% in the last year, says RBC. Together we now owe $1.84 trillion (a trillion is a thousand times a billion).

The bank says we’ll shortly establish a new record for overall debt, at more than 164% of household income, as consumer spending continues to surge despite the oil crisis, lousy job creation, recession and Justin Bieber crying in shame at the VMAs. In short, cheap money’s done nothing but encourage more borrowing and more spending. People have not used it to pay off loans faster, just make them bigger.

“Canadians ‘spent’ their interest savings on mortgage debt, not consumption,” says a bank economist. So what Canadians saved on interest payments, they peed away on higher house prices and epic mortgages. And that brings me to Bonnie.

“I was hoping you could give me some advice on whether or not we should purchase a house now or hold off,” she writes me. (By the way, I do not make these letters up. I’m not that good.)

“We sold our home in the suburbs of Vancouver (Coquitlam) a few months ago for $720,000, after buying it in June, 2009 for $538,000 (we took your advice then about purchasing a home in a downward market). We sold within a few day thinking we could just upgrade to a new home with a purchase price of around $900,000.  But we did not realize how crazy the housing market was and had lost out on several homes due to a bidding war.”

Bonnie says they ended up in a rental house, “that we like a lot” which is costing $2,000 a month – no stretch on a household income of $155,000. “But I feel a bit desperate to get back into the housing market even though I know this is crazy.” Thus, Bonnie is considering a $700,000 mortgage with $200,000 down (if they find the right place) which she says will cost about $3,600 a month.

Of course, that’s just for the mortgage at current low rates. Add in the opportunity cost of the down payment, insurance, property tax and maintenance, and the monthly soars past $4,000. So why would a family double their housing costs at a time when interest rates are about to start a slow ascent, and real estate risk (especially in YVR) is through the roof?

“I guess I’m getting caught up in the rat race,” she says. And truer words were never spoken.

The big jump in house prices – even while sales levels are unimpressive – in Toronto and Vancouver last month has pushed those markets further into the red zone, making them outliers in Canada. For example, sales plunged 26% in Calgary last month, with similar misery across all of Alberta.

In Atlantic Canada listings are piling up on top of each other and asking prices are in a steady decline. And remember that runaway housing boom that flatlanders came here to crow about a couple of years ago? Pfft. Here’s the latest report from the Saskatoon realtors:

“August represented the eighth straight month with a year over year reduction in the number of home sales in Saskatoon. This, coupled with a continued elevation in inventory levels equates to a buyers’ market. Currently there are just over 2,000 residential listings on the market in Saskatoon, an increase of 26% from just 12 months ago. Considering that there were 329 sales in August, it would take 6 months to liquidate the current inventory of homes. Year to date 2,812 homes changed hands, a 12% reduction from last year. The sales to active listing ratio for August was 39% significantly lower than the five year average of 54%.

“This suggests that only four out of every ten homes placed on the market will result in a sale. Meanwhile the average home required 50 days to sell compared to the five year average of 41 days “The reality is that our market is feeling the effects of slower economic times” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “If someone is serious about selling their home they need to sharpen their pencil regarding price to ensure a successful sale.” he adds.

“The number of sales are down in nearly every price range but most notably between $450,000 and $500,000 and $750,000 and $900,000. This reduction has also impacted the new home market where the number of housing starts are down significantly over 2014. Year to date single family housing starts totaled 510 representing a 28% reduction from 2014 while multi-family starts increased by 10% to 798 units.”

Now, take out the word ‘Saskatoon’ and insert your city.

It’s coming.

Open Culture: The History of Cartography, the “Most Ambitious Overview of Map Making Ever,” Now Free Online

history of cartography2

Worth a quick mention: The University of Chicago Press has made available online — at no cost — the first three volumes of The History of Cartography. Or what Edward Rothstein, of The New York Times, called “the most ambitious overview of map making ever undertaken.” He continues:

People come to know the world the way they come to map it—through their perceptions of how its elements are connected and of how they should move among them. This is precisely what the series is attempting by situating the map at the heart of cultural life and revealing its relationship to society, science, and religion…. It is trying to define a new set of relationships between maps and the physical world that involve more than geometric correspondence. It is in essence a new map of human attempts to chart the world.

If you head over to this page, then look in the upper left, you will see links to three volumes (available in a free PDF format). My suggestion would be to look at the gallery of color illustrations for each book, links to which you’ll find below. The image above, appearing in Vol. 2, dates back to 1534. It was created by Oronce Fine, the first chair of mathematics in the Collège Royal (aka the Collège de France), and it features the world mapped in the shape of a heart. Pretty great.

Volume 1

Gallery of Color Illustrations

Volume 2: Part 1

Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 1–24)
Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 25–40)

Volume 2: Part 2

Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 1–16)
Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 17–40)

Volume 2: Part 3

Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 1–8)
Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 9 –24)

Volume 3: Part 1

Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 1–24)
Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 25–40)

Volume 3: Part 2

Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 41–56)
Gallery of Color Illustrations (Plates 57–80)

Note: If you buy Vol 1. on Amazon, it will run you $248. As beautiful as the book probably is, you’ll probably appreciate this free digital offering. The series will be added to our collection, 700 Free eBooks for iPad, Kindle & Other Devices.

Related Content:

A Wonderful Scientific Map of the Moon from 1679: Can You Spot the Secret Moon Maiden?

Galileo’s Moon Drawings, the First Realistic Depictions of the Moon in History (1609-1610)

New York Public Library Puts 20,000 Hi-Res Maps Online & Makes Them Free to Download and Use

%%POST_LINK%% 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.

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OCaml Planet: OCamlCore Forge Projects: ocaml-containers

A lightweight, modular standard library extension, string library, and interfaces to various libraries (bigarrays, unix, etc.) BSD license.

explodingdog: Photo

Paper Bits: "Even when I was on a psychiatric ward, I felt I was not really depressed – I was only simulating the..."

“Even when I was on a psychiatric ward, I felt I was not really depressed – I was only simulating the condition in order to avoid work, or in the infernally paradoxical logic of depression, I was simulating it in order to conceal the fact that I was not capable of working, and that there was no place at all for me in society.”

- Good For Nothing

Penny Arcade: News Post: Drawings!

Gabe: I took off yesterday and played Mad Max pretty much all day. It’s a fucking great game and I ended up sketching Max this morning to warm up. Also, while at PAX I was invited to the Nvidia booth to draw something in a program called Tiltbrush. I ended up drawing the Fruit fucker and it was super cool. It’s basically painting in 3D using the HTC Vive. Each brush stroke I made hung there in the air and I could walk all around it. It’s fucking bonkers. Here’s a video of the final result. This view is a person watching my painting replayed at super speed. In reality it…

TwitchFilm: THE LOBSTER: UK Trailer For Yorgos Lanthimos' Latest Is Silly And Weird

Riding off favorable buzz at this year's Cannes, Dogtooth director Yorgos Lanthimos' The Lobster is coming to the UK and Ireland on October 16. While the US currently doesn't have a release scheduled, the below trailer is our first real outside-of-festival look at Lanthimos' English language debut, which positions Collin Farrell in a dystopian future where if you can't find a mate in a set time you are turned into an animal forever more. Farrell's pick? Why a lobster, of course. The film also stars Rachel Weisz, John C. Reiley, Olivia Coleman, and Ben Whishaw....

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explodingdog: Photo

BOOOOOOOM!: Artist Spotlight: Johnny Abrahams


Incredibly precise and highly mesmerizing paintings by New York-based artist, Johnny Abrahams. More images below.

View the whole post: Artist Spotlight: Johnny Abrahams over on BOOOOOOOM!.

Instructables: exploring - featured: 17 Drought Hacks

Right now (September 2015) there are droughts going on in California, Puerto Rico, India, São Paulo, and North Korea, among other places, I'm sure.But whether you're in the middle of a drought or not, it's always smart to conserve water. It's a precious resource.Here are 17 Instructables that help y...
By: xxlauraxx

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Planet Haskell: Wolfgang Jeltsch: Constrained monads

There are Haskell types that have an associated monad structure, but cannot be made instances of the Monad class. The reason is typically that the return or the bind operation of such a type m has a constraint on the type parameter of m. As a result, all the nice library support for monads is unusable for such types. This problem is called the constrained-monad problem.

In my article The Constraint kind, I described a solution to this problem, which involved changing the Monad class. In this article, I present a solution that works with the standard Monad class. This solution has been developed by Neil Sculthorpe, Jan Bracker, George Giorgidze, and Andy Gill. It is described in their paper The Constrained-Monad Problem and implemented in the constrained-normal package.

This article is a write-up of a Theory Lunch talk I gave quite some time ago. As usual, the source of this article is a literate Haskell file, which you can download, load into GHCi, and play with.


We have to enable a couple of language extensions:

{-# LANGUAGE ConstraintKinds,
             Rank2Types #-}

Furthermore, we need to import some modules:

import Data.Set     hiding (fold, map)
import Data.Natural hiding (fold)

These imports require the packages containers and natural-numbers to be installed.

The set monad

The Set type has an associated monad structure, consisting of a return and a bind operation:

returnSet :: a -> Set a
returnSet = singleton

bindSet :: Ord b => Set a -> (a -> Set b) -> Set b
bindSet sa g = unions (map g (toList sa))

We cannot make Set an instance of Monad though, since bindSet has an Ord constraint on the element type of the result set, which is caused by the use of unions.

For a solution, let us first look at how monadic computations on sets would be expressed if Set was an instance of Monad. A monadic expression would be built from non-monadic expressions and applications of return and (>>=). For every such expression, there would be a normal form of the shape

s1 >>= \ x1 -> s2 >>= \ x2 -> -> sn >>= \ x_n -> return r

where the si would be non-monadic expressions of type Set. The existence of a normal form would follow from the monad laws.

We define a type UniSet of such normal forms:

data UniSet a where

    ReturnSet  :: a -> UniSet a

    AtmBindSet :: Set a -> (a -> UniSet b) -> UniSet b

We can make UniSet an instance of Monad where the monad operations build expressions and normalize them on the fly:

instance Monad UniSet where

    return a = ReturnSet a

    ReturnSet a     >>= f = f a
    AtmBindSet sa h >>= f = AtmBindSet sa h' where

        h' a = h a >>= f

Note that these monad operations are analogous to operations on lists, with return corresponding to singleton construction and (>>=) corresponding to concatenation. Normalization happens in (>>=) by applying the left-identity and the associativity law for monads.

We can use UniSet as an alternative set type, representing a set by a normal form that evaluates to this set. This way, we get a set type that is an instance of Monad. For this to be sane, we have to hide the data constructors of UniSet, so that different normal forms that evaluate to the same set cannot be distinguished.

Now we need functions that convert between Set and UniSet. Conversion from Set to UniSet is simple:

toUniSet :: Set a -> UniSet a
toUniSet sa = AtmBindSet sa ReturnSet

Conversion from UniSet to Set is expression evaluation:

fromUniSet :: Ord a => UniSet a -> Set a
fromUniSet (ReturnSet a)     = returnSet a
fromUniSet (AtmBindSet sa h) = bindSet sa g where

    g a = fromUniSet (h a)

The type of fromUniSet constrains the element type to be an instance of Ord. This single constraint is enough to make all invocations of bindSet throughout the conversion legal. The reason is our use of normal forms. Since normal forms are “right-leaning”, all applications of (>>=) in them have the same result type as the whole expression.

The multiset monad

Let us now look at a different monad, the multiset monad.

We represent a multiset as a function that maps each value of the element type to its multiplicity in the multiset, with a multiplicity of zero denoting absence of this value:

newtype MSet a = MSet { mult :: a -> Natural }

Now we define the return operation:

returnMSet :: Eq a => a -> MSet a
returnMSet a = MSet ma where

    ma b | a == b    = 1
         | otherwise = 0

For defining the bind operation, we need to define a class Finite of finite types whose sole method enumerates all the values of the respective type:

class Finite a where

    values :: [a]

The implementation of the bind operation is as follows:

bindMSet :: Finite a => MSet a -> (a -> MSet b) -> MSet b
bindMSet msa g = MSet mb where

    mb b = sum [mult msa a * mult (g a) b | a <- values]

Note that the multiset monad differs from the set monad in its use of constraints. The set monad imposes a constraint on the result element type of bind, while the multiset monad imposes a constraint on the first argument element type of bind and another constraint on the result element type of return.

Like in the case of sets, we define a type of monadic normal forms:

data UniMSet a where

    ReturnMSet  :: a -> UniMSet a

    AtmBindMSet :: Finite a =>
                   MSet a -> (a -> UniMSet b) -> UniMSet b

The key difference to UniSet is that UniMSet involves the constraint of the bind operation, so that normal forms must respect this constraint. Without this restriction, it would not be possible to evaluate normal forms later.

The MonadUniMSet instance declaration is analogous to the MonadUniSet instance declaration:

instance Monad UniMSet where

    return a = ReturnMSet a

    ReturnMSet a      >>= f = f a
    AtmBindMSet msa h >>= f = AtmBindMSet msa h' where

        h' a = h a >>= f

Now we define conversion from MSet to UniMSet:

toUniMSet :: Finite a => MSet a -> UniMSet a
toUniMSet msa = AtmBindMSet msa ReturnMSet

Note that we need to constrain the element type in order to fulfill the constraint incorporated into the UniMSet type.

Finally, we define conversion from UniMSet to MSet:

fromUniMSet :: Eq a => UniMSet a -> MSet a
fromUniMSet (ReturnMSet a)      = returnMSet a
fromUniMSet (AtmBindMSet msa h) = bindMSet msa g where

    g a = fromUniMSet (h a)

Here we need to impose an Eq constraint on the element type. Note that this single constraint is enough to make all invocations of returnMSet throughout the conversion legal. The reason is again our use of normal forms.

A generic solution

The solutions to the constrained-monad problem for sets and multisets are very similar. It is certainly not good if we have to write almost the same code for every new constrained monad that we want to make accessible via the Monad class. Therefore, we define a generic type that covers all such monads:

data UniMonad c t a where

    Return  :: a -> UniMonad c t a

    AtmBind :: c a =>
               t a -> (a -> UniMonad c t b) -> UniMonad c t b

The parameter t of UniMonad is the underlying data type, like Set or MSet, and the parameter c is the constraint that has to be imposed on the type parameter of the first argument of the bind operation.

For every c and t, we make UniMonad c t an instance of Monad:

instance Monad (UniMonad c t) where

    return a = Return a

    Return a     >>= f = f a
    AtmBind ta h >>= f = AtmBind ta h' where

        h' a = h a >>= f

We define a function lift that converts from the underlying data type to UniMonad and thus generalizes toUniSet and toUniMSet:

lift :: c a => t a -> UniMonad c t a
lift ta = AtmBind ta Return

Evaluation of normal forms is just folding with the return and bind operations of the underlying data type. Therefore, we implement a fold operator for UniMonad:

fold :: (a -> r)
     -> (forall a . c a => t a -> (a -> r) -> r)
     -> UniMonad c t a
     -> r
fold return _       (Return a)     = return a
fold return atmBind (AtmBind ta h) = atmBind ta g where

    g a = fold return atmBind (h a)

Note that fold does not need to deal with constraints, neither with constraints on the result type parameter of return (like Eq in the case of MSet), nor with constraints on the result type parameter of bind (like Ord in the case of Set). This is because fold works with any result type r.

Now let us implement Monad-compatible sets and multisets based on UniMonad.

In the case of sets, we face the problem that UniMonad takes a constraint for the type parameter of the first bind argument, but bindSet does not have such a constraint. To solve this issue, we introduce a type class Unconstrained of which every type is an instance:

class Unconstrained a

instance Unconstrained a

The implementation of Monad-compatible sets is now straightforward:

type UniMonadSet = UniMonad Unconstrained Set

toUniMonadSet :: Set a -> UniMonadSet a
toUniMonadSet = lift

fromUniMonadSet :: Ord a => UniMonadSet a -> Set a
fromUniMonadSet = fold returnSet bindSet

The implementation of Monad-compatible multisets does not need any utility definitions, but can be given right away:

type UniMonadMSet = UniMonad Finite MSet

toUniMonadMSet :: Finite a => MSet a -> UniMonadMSet a
toUniMonadMSet = lift

fromUniMonadMSet :: Eq a => UniMonadMSet a -> MSet a
fromUniMonadMSet = fold returnMSet bindMSet

Tagged: Andy Gill, constrained-normal (Haskell package), Constraint (kind), containers (Haskell package), functional programming, GADT, George Giorgidze, GHC, Haskell, Institute of Cybernetics, Jan Bracker, literate programming, monad, natural-numbers (Haskell package), Neil Sculthorpe, normal form, talk, Theory Lunch

TwitchFilm: Review: DRAGON BLADE, Thrilling Fights And Beautiful Shots, Yet Sentimental To A Fault

Daniel Lee's war drama suffers from too much naivety that cannot be counterbalanced by its technical qualities. Grossing more than $50 million only a few days after its release in local theaters, the Chinese blockbuster revolves around the "true" story of Roman and Chinese armies whose paths cross on the Silk Road during the Han dynasty. Although the encounter between Huo An (Jackie Chan) and Lucius (John Cusack) starts off on the wrong foot, both protagonists soon join forces to fight Tiberius (Adrien Brody) and his malicious plans, all the while trying to restore peace in the region. As I have not seen the Chinese theatrical cut, I wouldn't be able to make comparisons with the international version that screened [here]. What I did notice,...

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Paper Bits: "Depression is partly constituted by a sneering ‘inner’ voice which accuses you of self-indulgence –..."

“Depression is partly constituted by a sneering ‘inner’ voice which accuses you of self-indulgence – you aren’t depressed, you’re just feeling sorry for yourself, pull yourself together – and this voice is liable to be triggered by going public about the condition.”

- Good For Nothing

TwitchFilm: Fantastic Fest 2015: Behold, The Short Film Lineup!

Any regular reader knows that Fantastic Fest is boatloads of fun, chock full of great films. And many of those films are short films.Last year, I had such a blast with the slew of shorts programming I attended I can't help but expect this year's lineup will be just as good, if not better. Yes, I guarantee, you'll find a new favorite or two among these titles. They may include... my personal favorite Ryan Spindell with The Babysitter Murders, Man Without Direction from the filmmakers behind Sound Of Noise, and Portal To Hell, starring the late great Rowdy Roddy Piper. Then there's the time travel body horror romance FUCKKKYOUUU, and the Sundance winning World of Tomorrow. Take a gander at the full lineup below. Fantastic...

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explodingdog: Photo

Computer Science: Theory and Application: A New Design for Cryptography’s Black Box

submitted by scied17
[link] [comment]

Quiet Earth: Boba Fett's Back in STAR WARS: THE NEW REPUBLIC ANTHOLOGY Trailer

Director Eric Demeusy has released a pretty impressive fan-trailer for a Boba Fett movie he’s calling Star Wars: The New Republic Anthology. In this trailer, Fett escapes Jabba's Sarlacc Pit and makes his way back to Slave 1.

Of course, anyone who's read Tales from Jabba's Palace already knows the details of Fett's escape from the The Battle of the Great Pit of Carkoon, but it's crazy to think that we'll actually be getting a legitimate Boba Fett film sometime in the next decade.

After being trapped for 30 years in the Great Pit of Carkoon, infamous bounty hunter Boba Fett make [Continued ...]

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Practical Session Types in Rust: Developing safe communication protocols for real-world applications

submitted by ysangkok
[link] [comment]

All Content: The Transporter Refueled


Now that the 2015 summer movie derby is coming to an end this weekend, Jason Statham can be named one of its biggest winners. He entered the season riding high on the mammoth success of "Furious 7," the latest installment of the shockingly durable franchise in which he played the main bad guy. Later on, he appeared in the hit comedy "Spy" and scored many of its biggest laughs by deftly sending up his tough guy screen persona to hilarious effect. Now, with the arrival of "The Transporter Refueled," the latest installment of the action film series from one-man production slate Luc Besson, he seems likely to receive some of the best reviews of his entire career. Of course, he isn't actually in the film at all—the rumor is that he turned it down after being offered a lower salary than his previous go-arounds and no opportunity to read the script beforehand—but once people get a load of this listless retread, they will no doubt fall all over themselves in praising both the earlier ones and his significant contributions to them as a way of underscoring just how useless this one really is.

A brief recap for those of you who some how missed the previous entries and are worried about getting confused. They follow the adventures of Frank Martin, an ex-Special Forces soldier who now resides in the south of France and makes a ridiculously lucrative living as a top-notch getaway driver who is, naturally, the best at his job and, naturally, lives by a certain set of rules that he is always ready to pontificate about at the drop of a hat. (There are fewer rules regarding the care and feeding of the common Mogwai, but never mind.) Since most of his jobs seem to end up with him in the middle of high-speed and high-profile car chases resulting in millions of euros in property damage, one might argue that he is more lucky than skilled but that is a debate for another time.

As our story opens, Frank (now played by Ed Skrein) is about to spend some time with his recently retired father (Ray Stevenson) when he is hired by the super-sexy Anna (Loan Chabanol) to pick her and a couple of packages up outside of a bank. The "packages" turn out to be her equally glam cohorts Gina (Gabriella Wright) and Qiao (Wenxia Yu) and they have just robbed a Russian gangster of millions of dollars. It turns out that the three, along with additional babe Maria (Tatiana Pajkovic), are prostitutes who have decided to break free of Karasov (Radivoje Bukvic), the crime kingpin who has enslaved them since they were children, by stealing the ill-gotten gains of him and his associates through various elaborate means. To do this, they need Frank's help and to ensure his compliance, they take his old man hostage. One could argue that there are worse things that one could do than be taken hostage by a group of high-priced call girls in the south of France but as I would rather not get scolded over at Jezebel, let us table that discussion.

To be honest, this storyline is not noticeably stupider in theory than any of the other "Transporter" films—the characters are as black-and-white as can be, the narrative is little more than a laundry line to connect the action beats and the entire enterprise is noticeably less complicated than the underwear worn by the distaff members of the cast. Actually, I kind of liked those earlier installments, as I enjoy much of Luc Besson's oeuvre, because as cinematic eye candy went, they were of the gourmet variety—the action sequences moved with a combination of grace and giddiness that meshed well with Besson's fondness for salting the carnage with goofball humor. Besson may still have an interest in the franchise—he produced and co-wrote the screenplay—but his connection to the material seems tenuous at best. The story is as dopey as ever but this  installment is mostly bereft of the silly quirks that leavened the others—the story is so boilerplate that one could cook ramen noodles on the screenplay, the dialogue is absolutely terrible (if I started quoting it here, I would never stop) and with one exception  involving our heroes making their escape through an airport terminal, director Camille Delamarre presents all the chases and fights in the kind of overly edited fashion that never allows anyone to get a good look at what is happening for more than a few seconds.

The secret weapon of the previous "Transporter" films, though not always credited as such, was Jason Statham, who turned out to be the ideal center for the chaos surrounding him by giving his tough guy character just the right hint of dry wit to suggest that he knew just how cuckoo the whole enterprise really was. Just as important, his undeniable physical presence lent an extra edge to the fight scenes—here was the rare action star who looked as if he actually could do many of the moves his character was asked to make. I suspect that even he could not have made much of anything out of this film but he almost certainly would have done more with it than Skrein, the man who would be Frank. No matter what he is asked to do—throw punches, race through the streets, trade lines of dialogue—he is never convincing for a second and feels less like an action hero than a placeholder for one who is forthcoming. 

"The Transporter Refueled" is an unnecessary bore from start to finish, one that even the most devoted Luc Besson fanatics (and as someone who named "Lucy" as one of the 10 best films of 2014, I admit to falling into that category) will find difficult to defend. However, there is one part of it that I will cherish and that is the scene in which one of the hookers—it hardly matters which one—is shot during one of the escapades and is taken back to the abandoned warehouse with a bullet still lodged inside her. Since they cannot go to the hospital, Frank and his father save her with the use of such oddball elements as sugar, vodka, perfume, tweezers and cobwebs. I have no idea if any of this actually checks out but the next time there is a shootout during a Halloween-themed "Vogue" fashion shoot, it could prove to be a lifesaver. Beyond that, this is a retread of the dullest order—the marquee may say "Transporter" but viewers are likely to come away from it feeling "Taken" instead.

Open Culture: Woody Allen Tells a Classic Joke About Hemingway, Fitzgerald & Gertrude Stein in 1965: A Precursor to Midnight in Paris

The character we know as “Woody Allen,” the persona we see in his films, the stammering neurotic weighed down by existential angst and a desperate horniness laced with intellectuality, was created not in his movies, but in his stand-up, recordings of which have been in and out of circulation since 1964. (They’re now available here.)

The director is reportedly even more embarrassed of these recordings than his films–and anyone who has seen his sit-down with critic Mark Cousins can attest, he can’t even stand to watch his films–but maybe that’s about the performance itself, and not the material.

I say that because in the clip above, a routine that Allen loved enough that he often used it to end his sets in the 60s, we can see the nascent idea for his Oscar-winning 2011 film Midnight in Paris.

Riffing on The Lost Generation, he imagines himself back in time, carousing with Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, Picasso, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and famed Spanish bullfighter Manolete. It’s a one-two-three-and punchline joke we won’t ruin, but it’s interesting that consciously or subconsciously, this idea returned some five decades later to be fleshed out into one of Allen’s best late-period films. Was he always thinking of this routine as a someday film? In interviews from the time of the film’s release, he never mentions the stand-up bit.

Creating art is often like composting, and one never knows what might float to the top after years of influences and absorption. Listening to his stand-up, one can find the joke that he recycled for Annie Hall (“I was thrown out of NYU my freshman year, I cheated on my metaphysics final in college, I looked within the soul of the boy sitting next to me.”).

There’s also this routine about a scary subway ride:

The scene was later recreated in Bananas with a young Sylvester Stallone.

Allen’s pre-film career, when he was writing for television and his own stand-up, when his goals were to “write for Bob Hope and host the Oscars” makes for fascinating reading, and we’ll leave you with this history from WMFU. Nerdist has more thoughts on the relationship between The Lost Generation joke and Midnight in Paris here.

Related Content:

Woody Allen Lists the Greatest Films of All Time: Includes Classics by Bergman, Truffaut & Fellini

Woody Allen’s Typewriter, Scissors and Stapler: The Great Filmmaker Shows Us How He Writes

Watch an Exuberant, Young Woody Allen Do Live Stand Up on British TV (1965)

Ted Mills is a freelance writer on the arts who currently hosts the FunkZone Podcast. You can also follow him on Twitter at @tedmills, read his other arts writing at and/or watch his films here.

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Colossal: New Japanese Paper Notebooks Featuring Vintage Science Illustrations Merged with Hand-embroidery


Since we last checked out Athens-based Fabulous Cat Papers (previously) they’ve released a whole new series of notebooks that incorporate vintage science/medical illustrations printed on Japanese paper with hand-stitched embroidery. The notebooks come in a variety of sizes and options for blank, ruled, and graph papers.









All Content: Telluride 2015: A Preview, Believe It or Not


With a festival like Colorado's own Telluride, the concept of writing a "preview" is more or an anomaly compared to the likes of Toronto, Cannes, Venice, etc. For this delightfully sneaky cinema soiree, the films are planned as a surprise right up until game time, when the schedules are physically available. But a recently-released schedule proves any waiting has been worth it.

Showing at the festival this weekend will be "Steve Jobs," director Danny Boyle's take on the tech god, with Michael Fassbender donning the Apple guru's iconicblack turtleneck and jeans. The film will also be an occasion for a celebration of Boyle's work, as he will receive the Silver Medallion.

Also set to be presented with the festival's honor is Rooney Mara, whose latest project "Carol," the Cannes sensation directed by Todd Haynes, will play the fest. Documentarian Adam Curtis will also be presented with the award and a celebration of his career's work will follow.

Per a release just received, here's a sampling of the new films that are coming to Telluride: Charlie Kaufman's "Anomalisa," Cary Fukuanga's "Beasts of No Nation," Sarah Gavron's "Sufragette," Laszlo Nemes' "Son of Saul," Kent Jones' "Hitchcock/Truffaut," Grímur Hákonarson's "Rams," Lenny Abrahamson's "Room," Scott Cooper's "Black Mass," Tom McCarthy's "Spotlight," Adam Curtis' "Brick Lake," Jafar Panahi's "Taxi," Davis Guggenheim's "He Named Me Malala," Xavier Giannoli's "Marguerite," Andrew Haigh's "45 Years," and more. That list doesn't include the sneak previews, which remain a mystery.

Scheduled for the revivals by guest director Rachel Kushner are "Ted Kotcheff's "Wake in Fright," Jean Eustache's "Mes Petites Amoureuses" and "The Mother and the Whore," Robert Frank's "Cocksucker Blues," Franceso Rosi's "The Mattei Affair," and a two-fer bill of Jean Renoir's "A Day in the Country" and Agnés Varda's "Uncle Yanco."

The final schedule for this program, including shorts and special presentations, will reportedly bring the film total 75 titles, touching upon 27 different countries.

Yours truly will be covering the festival for In the marvel that is modern technology, I am writing this in the back of a shuttle van from the lovely Montrose, CO to the soon-to-be electrified Telluride. I originally thought about writing a preview piece for the festival without knowing what would for certain play; the title of "Preview for the 2015 Telluride Film Festival" a inside joke to anyone who knows how Telluride plays its rules differently, but still proves irresistible to people year after year who return to the land's high altitude.

And even when writing this preview, I have no idea what the first press screening will be tomorrow afternoon, and won't know an hour before showtime.

But a lot can change in a morsel of time, or a shuttle flight. When boarding a little shuttle plane to Montrose from Denver's mile-long airport, I had only speculation about the fest (and quarterback Tom Brady was still in hot water for the now-overruled Deflategate). An hour or so later, the world is a tiny bit different, but I can hear two festival attendees chattering. They don't know what's playing the fest, but they know that's how Telluride does Telluride. Sitting behind them, muting my gasps at this schedule, I get it. This is a festival for people who don't care primarily what the title is, although this fest has plenty. They just want to see some good movies. Now, time to enjoy some scenery.

The Telluride Film Festival runs from September 4-7.

Quiet Earth: THE PARTISAN Looks Like My New Favourite Movie [Trailer]

Holy. Crap. When the trailer for The Partisan dropped a couple of days ago I was obviously too quick to dismiss it as possibly about French politics or something. Because, oh baby, it is not. It's actually more like a gritty, dystpian-esque, psychological coming of age story with Vincent Cassel playing the patriarch of a hidden society.

The film, directed by Ariel Kleiman, is a Sundance award winner and I think you'll agree it looks equal parts tense and well crafted and has a killer score/soundtrack.

On the edge of a crumbling city, 11-year-old Alexander (Jeremy Chabriel) lives in a sequestered commune alongside other children, their mothers, and charismatic leader, Gregori (Vincent Cassel). Gregori teaches the children how to raise livestock, grow vegetabl [Continued ...]

CreativeApplications.Net: Fe₂O₃ Glyphs on Kickstarter

unnamed-5Created by multi-award winning typographer Craig Ward and experimental photographer Linden Gledhill, Fe₂O₃ Glyphs is a generative ornamental typeface accompanied by a series of unique letterpress prints in a mixture of ferrofluid and Pantone ink.

Tea Masters: Adapt your brewing to the tea

High Mountain Oolong
One of the great challenges of tea brewing is to obtain a cup that reflects the character of the leaves. Each tea necessitates this fine tuning of amount of leaves, which vessel, how to pour the boiling water, how long it should brew... Brewing parameters that work well with raw old arbor puerh won't work with Tie Guan Yin. This explains why it's hard to switch from a type of tea we brew often to one we brew seldom.

We encounter a similar problem when it's not the type of tea, but the age or the quality of the leaves that changes. This also requires some fine tuning. A better grade of tea often can be brewed longer without turning bitter. This means we can use fewer leaves and a longer brewing time. But the essential question to ponder is what is the character of the tea? What types of flavors do we expect in this tea? Fragrance or aftertaste, lightness or depth, freshness or aged scents? Are the leaves buds or mature or a mix? How strong is the roast?

I remember that when I first started to brew tea, before taking classes, all my fresh Oolongs tasted similar. It didn't matter if they came from lower altitude or high mountain, I always had a strong, but very rough taste of Oolong. I have now learned that with great tea, less is often more.
Shan Lin Xi Hung Shui Oolong
By the way, I would like to announce my Fall Specials: 20 high quality teas with nice discounts! Enjoy these good deals while inventories last.

Quiet Earth: Colin Farrell has 45 Days Until he Becomes THE LOBSTER [Trailer]

Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, whose stunning and controversial Dogtooth (review) was nominated for a Best Foreign Film Oscar, The Lobster stars Colin Farrell as a divorcee in a dystopian world who must find love within 45 days! If he doesn't he'll become a Lobster and released into the woods.

The Lobster premiered at Cannes 2015, where it won the jury prize.

Official Synopsis:
THE LOBSTER is a love story set in the near future where single people, according to the rules of The City, are arrested and transferred to The Hotel.

There they are obliged to find a matching mate in 45 days. If they fail, they are transformed into an animal of their choosing and released i [Continued ...]

All Content: Thumbnails 9/3/15



"Why Fan Theories Are Destroying Film Discourse": An essential essay from Movie Mezzanine's Josh Spiegel.

“It’s easy to imagine the counterargument from those in favor of fan theories: What’s the harm? ‘The Dark Knight’ doesn’t become better or worse because of a Reddit user’s theory about the Joker, as silly as that theory might sound. The ‘Toy Story’ films are still marvelous whether or not Andy’s mom is Jessie’s old owner. ‘Jurassic World’ is still a resounding disappointment, even if Chris Pratt wasn’t cosplaying as a less chunky version of some nasty little kid. The problem is that these theories, online, become as inextricable to a vast amount of readers as the actual movies themselves. Worse still, these fan theories are quickly replacing actual critical analysis, covered by a large amount of entertainment websites in part because the content beast must be fed, and in part because it takes the work out of the hands of the sites’ writers and into the hands of random commenters who have too much time on their hands.So what’s the difference between a fan theory and a deep-dive exploration into one aspect of a film? The former is the product of a person choosing to fantasize about what they would do if they had made the film they’re watching, and the latter is the product of a person paying attention to the movie they’re watching and responding in kind. Often, the fan theories that send the Internet—specifically its social-media avenues—into a tizzy rely heavily on the fact that they aren’t based directly on what’s present in the text. Take, for example, the notion that Owen Grady in ‘Jurassic World’ is the kid in the opening of ‘Jurassic Park.’ That certainly sounds cool, and would be a nice, if random, tie-in to the 1993 film. But what’s the evidence backing this theory? Well, see, the kid in ‘Jurassic Park’ is only credited as ‘Volunteer Boy.’ So his name could be Owen! Also, Chris Pratt is only a year older than the actor who played Volunteer Boy, so the timeline could fit! Also…um…hey, look, something shiny!”


"Elena Ferrante: Master of the Epic Anti-Epic": Literary Hub's Aaron Bady pens an excellent piece on the sexist diminishing of female authors.

“It’s all very predictably sexist, of course. There’s nothing surprising about a woman’s long serial narrative about women’s lives being compared to melodramatic soap opera, or being framed as pandering to consumers with its overdrawn theatricality. This is a very old story, both about women writers and about the women who read them. Men write serious Works of Literature—and even now, someone, somewhere, is debating whether Jonathan Franzen has just written The Great American Novel—while women’s writing is a cheap consumer product, fun, perhaps, but ultimately insubstantial. In this way, both writer and reader are demeaned: if the work is operatic, it’s only to sell domestic products (like soap) to housewives. But consuming them doesn’t satisfy. It only makes you hungry for more.It’s hard to overstate how far this kind of review misses the mark. If Ferrante ‘emerges’ this way, it’s because readers haven’t known what they’re looking for, or because they’ve been so sure of what they’ll find that they haven’t bothered to look. But reviews like this one—which is typical, if not quite representative—tell readers precisely what not to look for. These are not melodramatic novels: instead of flattened and exaggerated characters, wild plot twists, and lurid sensationalism, we get deeply sensitive and realistic depictions of human beings, with all their tragic flaws and petty nobilities. If melodrama is black and white, Ferrante is all shades of gray; if soap opera or Dickens have an incentive to drag things out, introducing new characters and new plotlines whenever necessary, Ferrante’s long story works the same characters, the same themes, and the same plot, from beginning to end.”


"Inside the Agent Raid That Changed Hollywood in One Day": A sprawling report from Maer Roshan at Details.

“The most daring raid in recent Hollywood history was carried out with military, even cinematic, precision—a perfectly choreographed sequence of events that culminated with an oversize bang. Early one morning in late March, five of the top agents at Los Angeles' powerful Creative Artists Agency rose for work as usual. But instead of heading to the sleek Century City headquarters of CAA, they made their way to the tranquil Beverly Hills compound of United Talent Agency, where a suite of well-appointed offices awaited them. By 10 o'clock, when the agents arrived at their new jobs, their assistants, some of whom had resigned from CAA the same morning, were settling into their new workspace, celebrating with bagels and coffee. Forty-five minutes earlier, as if on cue, messengers had descended on CAA, hand-delivering the five agents' letters of resignation. After making sure the letters had reached their destination, UTA's CEO, Jeremy Zimmer, sent out a brief e-mail welcoming the new hires and confirming the rumors that were circulating all over town. By Hollywood standards, it was a pretty tame announcement, largely free of the self-congratulatory chest-thumping that usually accompanies such missives. But the implications were unmistakable: UTA had just captured the most vital elements of its rival's powerhouse comedy team—and the battle had only just begun.”


"An entertainment power player: What it's like to be a 65-year-old woman in Hollywood": Commentary from NBCUniversal's Bonnie Hammer at Fortune.

“I celebrated my birthday last month, and for the first time in as long as I can remember, I was completely open about my age. To use a common phrase, I ‘manned up’ and embraced my 65th birthday, wrinkles and all. The very concept of ‘manning up’ has me thinking about what it means to be an aging woman, particularly in the workplace. In the American office lexicon, ‘aging’— and its close cousin ‘old’—are inconsistent modifiers. While older women are often labeled as ‘tired’ and ‘out of touch,’ aging men get to be ‘distinguished’ and ‘seasoned.’Nowhere has this been more evident than in the entertainment industry, where I work. While leading men have been celebrated for their timeless charm and weathered good looks, women my age have been barely visible on screen—or try to remain visible by remodeling what age has created. Bowing to societal pressures, they’ve lifted brows, tightened skin, filled laugh lines, and realigned proportions, all to stretch careers that would have otherwise been jeopardized by simply looking one’s age. But the struggle for relevance isn’t just a Hollywood story. Ask almost any woman in her 60s and she’ll tell you that while she may feel like 40—vital, vigorous and engaged—her valuation has changed. Experience is often dismissed, energy routinely ignored and, let’s face it, sex appeal all but laughed at. In racetrack jargon, we old mares are sent out to pasture while our male counterparts frolic in stud farms.”


"'The Mid-Size Studio Feature is Gone': Ken Kwapis on 'A Walk in the Woods'": One of our favorite interviewers, Jim Hemphill, chats with the director at Filmmaker Magazine.

“Redford and I met in late 2013. I think one of the reasons Redford approached me was because he enjoyed the way I balanced comedy and drama in my work. I know he was also appreciative of the environmental message in my last film, ‘Big Miracle.’ In that film the environment is severe, overpowering: northern Alaska, 40° below 0°. The Appalachian Trail is different, however. This is a story about two men who decide to walk over 2,000 miles, and neither of them are really suited for it. I loved the idea of trying to bring to life the experience of struggling on a trail day after day for weeks and months. One of the first things I was struck by is how much the story is really about the environment. The second thing I was struck by is how funny Bill Bryson’s memoir is. It’s rare to think of a piece of travel writing as laugh out loud, but Bryson’s book has many truly knee-slapping moments. I just felt really at home with that material, and I knew exactly the tone that I wanted to get in terms of the humor. Then, the last thing I was impressed by with the book is that it’s a travel memoir, but really, at heart, it’s a character piece. It’s an interior journey. In a way, it has a very classical aspect in the sense that it’s epic in scale but intimate, a very introspective story.”

Image of the Day

Jenny Zhang of My Modern Met reports on Chicago journalist Victoria Lautman's four-year crusade to document "India's crumbling subterranean stepwells before they disappear."

Video of the Day

Director Martin Stirling's viral ad for Save The Children is, quite frankly, one of the most astonishing short films I've ever seen.

programming: JetBrains Toolbox (monthly / yearly subscription for all JetBrains IDEs)

submitted by YaQson
[link] [624 comments]

programming: Scroll Down and Read This Comment About the PSD File Format

submitted by Gamzie1
[link] [131 comments]

Planet Haskell: Felipe Almeida Lessa: Using Caps Lock as Menu/Apps keys on Emacs

I’m an ergoemacs-mode user, a mode that changes most key bindings so that they put less strain on your hands.  For example, it uses Alt instead of Ctrl most of the time, which is easier to press: use your curled thumb instead of a karate chop.  Also, many commands are activated by first pressing the Menu/Apps key (that key near the Right Ctrl which usually opens the context menu).  For example, pressing Menu then T allows you to switch buffers.

However, the keyboard on my new notebook doesn’t have a dedicated Menu key.  Instead, one needs to press Fn+Right Ctrl, which is of course extremely painful.

Menu key hidden on the Right Ctrl.

I’ve found a workaround, though.  A very hackish workaround.

The ergoemacs-mode FAQ suggests using Caps Lock as a Menu/Apps key for Mac users.  Using xmodmap it’s trivial to make Caps Lock a Menu key:

$ xmodmap -e "keycode 66 = Menu"

However, using xmodmap properly with Gnome is nigh impossible.  It’s recommend to use xkb instead, but xkb doesn’t support mapping Caps Lock to the Menu key out-of-the-box (at least not yet).  At this point, having wandered through many documentation pages, I’ve decided to try using some of the xkb options that already exist.

At first I tried setting Caps Lock as the Hyper key.  However, by default the Hyper key gets the same modifier code as the Super key (which is usually the key with the Windows logo).  There’s a straightforward way of separating them, but I couldn’t find a way to make it play nice with Gnome.  And even if I could, it’s not clear to me if I could use the Hyper key as a substitute for the Menu key on emacs.

When ready to admit defeat, I’ve set the Caps Lock behavior to “Caps Lock is disabled” in preparation of trying a hack using xmodmap.  Much to my surprise, I accidentally discovered that emacs then began treating the disabled Caps Lock key as <VoidSymbol>! The gears started turning in my head, then I added the following line to my ~/.emacs file:

(define-key key-translation-map (kbd "<VoidSymbol>") (kbd "<menu>"))

Surprisingly, it worked!  Now pressing Caps Lock then T will switch buffers, for example.  As a bonus, pressing Caps Lock accidentally while on another application won’t do anything.

It’s not clear to me how fragile this hack really is.  I’ll update this blog post if I ever find some drawback to it.  But right now it seems to work quite nicely.

Colossal: Drummer Dario Rossi Uses Buckets, Pans, and Scrap Metal to Make Incredible Live ‘Techno’ Beats

When thinking about how to produce genres of music like techno, industrial, or trance, the first thing that comes to mind is giant sound systems, laptops, emulators and turntables. What doesn’t come to mind is old pots and pans, buckets, chains, and dangerous shards of rusty scrap metal. And yet these are the instruments of choice for musician Dario Rossi who produces some of the most intensely percussive music you could possibly imagine from the hands of a single person.

Born in 1988, Rossi studied at the Accademia Musicale di Ariccia in Rome from the age of 10 before he began to perform with local bands only two years later. He now teaches in Rome and tours frequently, bringing his supernatural drumming performances to public streets around Europe. If you like these three videos, there’s tons more here.




programming: PyParallel: An experimental, proof-of-concept fork of Python 3 designed to optimally exploit multiple CPU cores, SSDs, NUMA and 10Gb+ Ethernet networks.

submitted by trentnelson
[link] [70 comments]

Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - DORK

Hovertext: As of this year, knowing is 95 percent of the battle.

New comic!
Today's News:

 Augie and the Green Knight, the kids' book written by me and illustrated by Boulet is ON SALE NOW! Thank you for supporting this project, and for supporting independent media!

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Why the disparity of pi?

A colleague of mine recently pointed out to me that commonly in programming, pi is stored as a double with the following value:


However, when storing pi as a float, it is stored with the following value:


It's understandable that the approximation would be slightly off, a simple rounding may not do the trick, but why is it rounded so oddly? And furthermore, these both seem to be used interchangeably within codebases and projects, with no apparent reasoning as to why.

Any answers would be appreciated. We're interested in the why of the value as well as why you'd interchange them so much. Anyone have any experience development-side with this?

Edit: Thanks for all the replies, they were incredibly useful and helped us understand the various factors that come into play when dealing with this.

submitted by ZedsTed
[link] [33 comments]

CreativeApplications.Net: An Sich (The Thing Itself) – The significance of physical manifestation of information

An Sich_04Created by Schunck Dölker (Felix Dölker and Florian Schunck) and first shown at Unwrap (University for Applied Sciences Darmstadt), An Sich explores perception and processing of information in a time that is characterized by changes in the way information is consumed.

Computer Science: Theory and Application: Applicative Bidrectional Programming with Lenses

submitted by ysangkok
[link] [comment]

OCaml Planet: Github OCaml jobs: Full Time: Software Developer (Functional Programming) at Jane Street in New York, NY; London, UK; Hong Kong

Software Developer

Jane Street is a proprietary quantitative trading firm, focusing primarily on trading equities and equity derivatives. We use innovative technology, a scientific approach, and a deep understanding of markets to stay successful in our highly competitive field. We operate around the clock and around the globe, employing over 400 people in offices in New York, London and Hong Kong.

The markets in which we trade change rapidly, but our intellectual approach changes faster still. Every day, we have new problems to solve and new theories to test. Our entrepreneurial culture is driven by our talented team of traders and programmers. At Jane Street, we don't come to work wanting to leave. We come to work excited to test new theories, have thought-provoking discussions, and maybe sneak in a game of ping-pong or two. Keeping our culture casual and our employees happy is of paramount importance to us.

We are looking to hire great software developers with an interest in functional programming. OCaml, a statically typed functional programming language with similarities to Haskell, Scheme, Erlang, F# and SML, is our language of choice. We've got the largest team of OCaml developers in any industrial setting, and probably the world's largest OCaml codebase. We use OCaml for running our entire business, supporting everything from research to systems administration to trading systems. If you're interested in seeing how functional programming plays out in the real world, there's no better place.

The atmosphere is informal and intellectual. There is a focus on education, and people learn about software and trading, both through formal classes and on the job. The work is challenging, and you get to see the practical impact of your efforts in quick and dramatic terms. Jane Street is also small enough that people have the freedom to get involved in many different areas of the business. Compensation is highly competitive, and there's a lot of room for growth.

You can learn more about Jane Street and our technology from our main site, You can also look at a a talk given at CMU about why Jane Street uses functional programming (, and our programming blog (

We also have extensive benefits, including:

  • 90% book reimbursement for work-related books
  • 90% tuition reimbursement for continuing education
  • Excellent, zero-premium medical and dental insurance
  • Free lunch delivered daily from a selection of restaurants
  • Catered breakfasts and fresh brewed Peet's coffee
  • An on-site, private gym in New York with towel service
  • Kitchens fully stocked with a variety of snack choices
  • Full company 401(k) match up to 6% of salary, vests immediately
  • Three weeks of paid vacation for new hires in the US
  • 16 weeks fully paid maternity/paternity leave for primary caregivers, plus additional unpaid leave

More information at

BOOOOOOOM!: Booooooom Reader Submissions: September


Here is this month’s submission post! Thank you for all your amazing submission to the August Submissions post and as always, keep those encouraging comments to one another coming!

This is the best way to submit your work to be considered for a post on Booooooom. Thanks again to everyone for up-voting work you like, it really encourages artists in this community and helps me see what work you like. I encourage you to share your work here because these posts get a lot of traffic and even if your work is not a fit for Booooooom it still gets seen, and definitely sends traffic to your own websites.

Please share your work here this month. The comments allow images to be attached so make sure post an image along with a link to your website.

Submission guidelines:

1. Please don’t flood the comments with a dozen images, just post 1 image that represents your best work along with 1 link.

2. If you see good work posted by someone upvote it so it appears at the top. This is not just a nice thing to do, it helps me see what work you actually like.

3. You can/should also encourage people who are sharing good work here! Comment on their posts and let them know you like what they’re doing. I really want to foster a community here, and this is a simple way you can connect with other people making work.

4. Keep in mind your post may not show up right away because it has an image attached. It may need to be manually approved first so don’t freak out and post a million times, once is enough.



View the whole post: Booooooom Reader Submissions: September over on BOOOOOOOM!.

BOOOOOOOM!: Best of Kickstarter: Little Sun Charge

little-sun-charger01 little-sun-charger02

Artist Olafur Eliasson and engineer Frederik Ottesen have designed a high-performance solar phone charger and light called “Little Sun Charge”. Apparently you can fully charge a smart phone with 5 hours of sunlight. Watch the video below.

View the whole post: Best of Kickstarter: Little Sun Charge over on BOOOOOOOM!.

Cowbirds in Love: Can You Own A Tree?

If you paid money but they aren’t letting you cut down the tree, you obviously didn’t pay enough money. Comic for 2015.09.03

New Cyanide and Happiness Comic

Disquiet: Luong Hue Trinh’s Percussive Ambience


“Musick to Play in the Dark” is a mini-suite of shifting elements, from Vietnamese singing to antic percussion. It is by Luong Hue Trinh, a Vietnamese national who studied in Japan and has traveled widely. Opening with high-tension strings before the singing kicks in, it slowly becomes a majestic, maximalist work, heavy on hypnotically rhythmic percussion. The beat, heard as if from inside an old alarm clock, has a back and forth sway that creates intricate patterning, especially as it is set against distant pounding and sonic effects.

There’s also video of her performing an excerpt of the piece at the Onion Cellar in Hanoi, making it clear she’s working largely on a laptop from prerecorded field recordings and sampled music:

Track originally posted at Trinh is one of the nearly four dozen women represented on the Synthesis Vol. 1 compilation of international women doing work in sound, released in 2014 by the Urban Arts Berlin. She posts occasionally on her Facebook page. Follow the Onion Cellar at and

Perlsphere: Anonymous Classes With Private Data

A long while back (I’ll find the reference if I can) Stevan Little, author of Moose, commented that part of what he wanted for a p5mop was the ability to have truly private data in classes. Much in the way Perl 6 has $!data attributes that are simply private data, he wanted to just be able to use Perl’s regular variables in this same way.

I took this as a bit of a challenge and several iterations later, I had a working system. I then spent months trying to decide if I wanted to put it on CPAN. I kept weighing utility vs practicality. Though it is an interesting thought exercise, I have no idea if its a good idea.

A few things happened which made me soften my view. Most importantly, the great Damian Conway released Dios which does bring lots more of the Perl6 style classes to Perl5. This lead me to stop worrying that people would actually try to use my module for real heavy lifting; if you need that use Dios. Also Stevan gave a talk at YAPC::NA which showed an exciting and I think very promising reimagining of the p5mop project.

With these two projects out there mine can just be a curiosity. I kept finding myself showing it off and wondering. Finally, today Yanick Champoux found himself pondering blessed-subref-based objects and I reminded him of my module, which I had shown him at YAPC. I mentioned that I still was on the fence about releasing it to CPAN, he replied:

So I did.

I’m happy — and a little scared — to introduce Class:Anonymous to the CPAN. It may be the strangest thing I’ve put there yet.

The module itself is quite tiny and yet you get lots of cool features.

  • private data
  • no reliance on package name
  • no package at all if you have Package::Anon installed
  • no namespace cleaning necessary, import whatever functions you want, they aren’t part of your class
  • fully sub-classable (single) inheritance
  • declarative syntax for methods and method modifiers
  • customizable build-time initialization

No accessor generation yet but that may be possible.

Perhaps its time for an example:

use strict; 
use warnings;
use feature 'say';
use Class::Anonymous;
use Class::Anonymous::Utils ':all';

my $lifeform = class {
  my ($self, $name) = @_;
  method greeting => sub { "My name is $name" };

my $mortal = extend $lifeform => via {
  my ($self, $name, $age) = @_;
  around greeting => sub {
    my $orig = shift;
    $orig->() . " and I'm $age years old";

my $bob = $mortal->new('Bob', 40);
say $bob->greeting;
say 'Bob is mortal' if $bob->isa($mortal);
say 'Bob is a lifeform' if $bob->isa($lifeform);

Here $lifeform and $mortal are classes, where $mortal->isa($lifeform). $bob is an instance of $mortal and therefor isa $lifeform as well. His greeting reflects his mortality by telling you his age, since age is much more important to mortals after all.

Another example, from my fellow member Doug Bell (preaction), this is a read-only hash accessor class:

use strict;
use warnings;
use feature 'say';

use Class::Anonymous;
use Class::Anonymous::Utils 'method';

my $ro_hash = class {
  my ( $self, %hash ) = @_;
  for my $key ( keys %hash ) {
    method $key => sub { $hash{$key} };

my %hash = (
  foo => 'bar',
  baz => 'fuzz',
my $obj = $ro_hash->new( %hash );

say $obj->foo;
say $obj->baz;

The internals are especially fun but for now I think I’ve rambled on long enough. Perhaps I’ll dive in to those in some other post. For now, happy perling!

Oh and if you think its terrible, blame Yanick!

s mazuk: Photo

explodingdog: Nervous


Perlsphere: Journey to Neovim: MessagePack Decoder

Recap: I'm playing with a rewrite of Vim-X for neovim. For that to happen, I have to write an encoder and a decoder for MessagePack, the weirdo binary encoding its RPC API is using. Last time, I've dealt with the encoder. This time around, I'm tackling the decoder.

At its core, the decoding is not harder than the encoding -- it's merely the reverse operation. But there is one detail that brings some spice to the salsa: whereas for the encoding we have the struct we're operating on from the get go, for the decoding we're not so lucky, and we have to be prepared for a stream of bytes trickling in. And MessagePack encoding doesn't come with a header that tells us how many bytes the incoming structure will have, so we don't know when that stream will be done either.

Mind you, there are several ways to deal with such a streaming input. One way would be to accumulate the incoming data in a buffer and try to decode a struct each time a new byte is added to the head. If we succeed, hurray, if we don't we revert and repeat the process the next time new bytes come in. It'd work, but I'm sure you'll agree it lacks... style.

Sometime much cooler would be to analyse each byte as they come in, and adapt the reader such that it'll treat the next bytes in the right context. For example, if we get a first byte that tells us the structure is an array of 3 elements, then we want the reader to prepare itself for the arrival of 3 new structures, and then put them together in the final array. In effect, we want to implement a state machine. Well, I want, that is. By now, I suspect dread is slowly creeping up your spine, and what you want is to know how dark and deep down the rabbit hole this blog entry will go.

The answer, I'm afraid, is down, down, down all the way to higher function programming.

(that, by the way, is your clue to reach out for the bottle of aspirins, or run away. Your choice)

High level description

So, what do I mean by higher-function programming? I mean that I'll be using functions that, upon reading an upcoming byte, will generate a new function that takes in a subsequent byte, and will output, yes, yet another function that has the same behavior, et cetera until the glorious moment where a structure is finally decoded and will be returned.

Now, let's try to explain that again in a way that makes the room spin slightly less sharply.

Assume that we have a code ref pointing to a function that takes one byte.

my $gen_next = sub { ... };


Assuming that this sub is a reader function as described above, then the next time a byte comes in, we can do

my $subsequent_gen_next = $gen_next->($byte);


Now, if all it took was 2 bytes to get the full structure, $subsequent_gen_next will contain it. If we still need more, then we'll have to continue playing that game a third time:

my $subsubsequent_gen_next = $subsequent_gen_next->($byte);


Of course, we have loops to take care of this. Assuming that the reader functions always return a code ref when more bytes required to decode the structure, and the structure when it's done, then reading a stream amounts to:

use Data::Printer;

my $gen_next = $mysterious_original_sub;

while( my $byte = $stream->read_next ) {
    $gen_next = $gen_next->($byte);

    next if ref $gen_next eq 'CODE';

    say "GOT ONE STRUCT!";
    p $gen_next;
    $gen_next = $mysterious_original_sub;


See? That's not that bad. We just have to figure out what hides behind that $mysterious_original_sub....

Moose says 'High!'

Before diving into the generating functions, let's set the base for the decoder.

package Decoder;

use 5.22.0;

use warnings;

use Moose;

use List::AllUtils qw/ reduce /;
use List::Gather;

use experimental 'signatures';

has buffer => (
    is      => 'rw',
    traits  => [ 'Array' ],
    default => sub { [] },
    handles => {
        has_buffer    => 'count',
        next          => 'shift',
        all           => 'elements',
        add_to_buffer => 'push',

after all => sub($self) {

has gen_next => (
    is =>  'rw',
    clearer => 'clear_gen_next',
    default => sub { 


sub is_gen($val) { ref $val eq 'CODE' and $val }

sub read($self,@values) {

    $self->add_to_buffer( gather {
            reduce {
                my $g = $a->($b);
                is_gen($g) or do { take $$g; gen_new_value() }
            } $self->gen_next => map { ord } map { split '' } @values
    } );



The interface is pretty simple: bytes come in via read(), and as soon as a structure is decode, it get pushed into the buffer. The innards of read() might look scary, but it's just a funky variation on the loop we saw in the previous section. I swear.

Now, for that gen_new_value() function...

High expectations

Following what we said so far, gen_new_value() will generate the function that will process the first byte from a new structure. Which will mostly be "if the byte is in that range, what's coming is a fixed array, so use that piece of code, if the byte is in that other range, what's coming is a fixed integer, so use that other piece of code". Doesn't that sound familiar to what we did in the encoding process? It sure does, so let's use the same tactic here:

sub gen_new_value { 
    sub ($byte) { $MessagePackGenerator->assert_coerce($byte); } 


Fine. But we only delayed the inevitable. What about $MessagePackGenerator?


We'll use pretty much the same technique as in the previous blog entry. But since we know we'll be coercing from bytes, we can simplify a little bit the main type and only require it to be a ref (more specifically, a coderef or a ref to the data structure) instead of a class.

use Types::Standard qw/ Ref /;
use Type::Tiny;

use experimental 'postderef';

my $MessagePackGenerator  = Type::Tiny->new(
    parent => Ref,
    name   => 'MessagePackGenerator',

my @msgpack_types = (
      # name             # range         # generating function
    [ PositiveFixInt => [    0, 0x7f ], \&gen_positive_fixint ],
    [ FixArray       => [ 0x90, 0x9f ], \&gen_fixarray ],
    [ FixMap         => [ 0x80, 0x8f ], \&gen_fixmap ],

$MessagePackGenerator = $MessagePackGenerator->plus_coercions(
    map {
        my( $min, $max ) = $_->[1]->@*;
            parent     => Int,
            name       => $_->[0],
            constraint => sub { $_ >= $min and $_ <= $max },
        ) => $_->[2]  
    } @msgpack_types


Boom. Types are set up. But still, the generation functions are yet to be defined...

High time

Those generation functions are the hardest part of the puzzle. For some types, they are not too bad. For example, the positive fixed int is pretty easy:

sub gen_positive_fixint { \$_  }


(remember, we return a reference to the value instead of the value itself because we need variables of the $MessagePackGenerator type to be references.)

We it get funnier is for types like array:

sub gen_fixarray {
    gen_array( $_ - 0x90 );

sub gen_array($size) {

    return \[] unless $size;

    my @array;

    @array = map { gen_new_value() } 1..$size;

    sub($byte) {
        $_ = $_->($byte) for first { is_gen($_) } @array;

        ( any { is_gen($_) } @array ) ? __SUB__ : \[ map { $$_ } @array ];


The way I implemented gen_array() might be, ah, let's say different. But let me assure you, it's roughly equivalent to the more bening:

sub gen_array($size) {

    return \[] unless $size;

    my @array;
    my $gen = gen_new_value();

    sub($byte) {
        $gen = $gen->($byte);

        unless( is_gen($gen) ) {
            push @array, $gen;

            return \@array if @array == $size;

            $gen = gen_new_value;

        return __SUB__;


The good news is that with gen_array implemented, all other arrays and hashes are only a few lines on top of its core:

sub gen_fixmap {
    gen_map($_ - 0x80);

sub gen_map($size) {
    return \{} unless $size;

    my $gen = gen_array( 2*$size );

    sub($byte) {
        $gen = $gen->($byte);
        is_gen( $gen ) ? __SUB__ : \{ @$$gen };


High ho!

And, guess what, that's all the little pieces that we need.

my $decoder = Decoder->new;
$decoder->read( join '', map { chr } 0x83, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 );

use Data::Printer;
say $decoder->has_buffer;   # will print '1'
p $decoder->next;           # will print { 1 => 2, 3 => 4, 5 => 6} 


Paper Bits: videodante: Read them all here, I felt like this should be...


Read them all here, I felt like this should be remembered somewhere because it’s really good.

Paper Bits: The Predator’s Bargain — Bad Words

The Predator’s Bargain — Bad Words:

By me at @medium.

OCaml Planet: OCamlCore Forge Projects: OCaml Debian formats API

Library to manipulate various file formats used in Debian packaging: - debian/control - debian/changelog - debian/watch

Greater Fool - Authored by Garth Turner - The Troubled Future of Real Estate: Failure to launch

SWIMMER modified

When I married Dorothy, shortly after electricity was invented, eight of ten twentysomethings were like me. They went to university and left home. Forever. By 1981 almost a third of people that age were still living with their parents. A decade later it was 32%. These days the number is almost half – over 45% of adult children are in the basement with Mom washing their skivvies. It’s a social phenom.

Why? Beats me, actually. Couldn’t wait to get out and bite the world.

But I’m told there are two main reasons. Economically, fewer kidults are capable of being self-sustaining as they spend longer at school, chalk up fat educational debts, then graduate with high expectations into an environment of crappy entry-level jobs and insane living expenses. Second, they have copter parents who’d rather cling than launch. Protective and cloistering, they think junior can’t possibly leave until he has a condo and enough resources to protect him from all the potential hurt out there.

But there are costs. For the Millennials, this breeds dependence while shielding them for all the valuable things you learn from suffering, penury, loss and failure. For the parents, it’s a true economic cost – up to a decade more of picking up the overhead for an adult child. CIBC just did a survey on this, announcing the results Wednesday. The kids ain’t cheap, it seems.

So, 66% of parents say they’re feeling the financial impact of supporting their adult children. Of those shouldering the burden, 47% report this is hampering their ability to save money for themselves while a fifth say it’s delaying their retirement. About a quarter state they spend at least $500 a month supporting their spawn by paying for rent, groceries or cell bills.

Meanwhile, if this blog’s any indication, a mess of these Millennials have morphed into left-leaning, bitter, Boomer-hating, entitled baby socialists who come here to praise Mulcair, Norway and higher taxes. So, perchance their parents erred by not booting them out on their pliant, soft derrieres?

Or is such a generalization beneath me?

Jennifer believes so. In fact she probably thinks I suck. She emailed me two days ago. I responded, and have agreed to publish the following letter. If I do not, she threatens to drag me behind a speeding Vespa through a Pride parade wearing a Metallica shirt. So here it is:

“Hey Garth: I think it’s about time you got an actual Millennial perspective.  It’s very fun and trendy to bash us, our spending habits, our work ethic, how weirdly intense we are about our dogs, but I don’t think the generation wars are getting us anywhere.

“Literally just days ago, you advised an Vancouver Millennial about whether she should buy or rent.  She cited that she would have to spend $2.5k a month just to get a decent place close to work.  I guess I don’t really know how you can look at that figure, compounded with falling wages and higher debt and believe it’s the renter’s fault that prices are so out of whack.

“I own my own consulting business now, but before that I worked in corporate learning and development for 8 years.  All but one of my jobs (which was later outsourced) was a permanent job.  I have been on contract, no benefits, no job security for almost all of that time.  My husband has degrees in mechanical engineering and neuroscience.  He started his first professional job on Friday after a year of part-time employment as a waiter.  He sent out around 10-20 resumes ever day during that time for professional jobs. This new contracting job will pay around $30k a year.  My father, by contrast, a Boomer poster child, worked for the same crown corp for 27 years, collected a $1M+ public sector pension, has a basement full of toys and 3 SUVs in the suburban driveway, and has the nerve to say “Every time I hear a Liberal talk I hear a hand going in my pocket.”  Yeah, Dad, you do, TO PAY YOU AND YOUR PENSION.

“Every generation has challenges, I acknowledge that. But you can’t say that Millennials have a chance to make the investment guidelines you recommend for FI when more than half of our paycheque has to go just to keep a roof over our heads.  And you must know that rent is not the only cost that has increased exponentially. It’s increasingly difficult to find permanent work that is worth doing.  Not sure when your last foray into the private sector was at the peon level, but it’s just a fact that not all jobs are worthwhile, even to the company that hires for them. Companies have gutted their development and mentorship programs and management has been left wanting for many decades.  This leads to inefficiency and layoffs.  This doesn’t even include older working generations who cannot keep up with essential technological advances in the workplace.  Again, training programs have been gutted and outsourced. Maybe they are interpreting our “frustration that our managers fundamentally don’t understand the systems our business runs on” for “entitlement and laziness”? Just a thought.

“So I would ask, please, for a little consideration with regards to how “selfish and entitled” Millennials are.  Keep in mind you literally outline financial independence guidelines which, if trends continue in the direction outlined above, will always be out of our reach.  Are we wrong for just wanting enough to meet those guidelines?  If so, why recommend them?   Are we wrong for wanting use the technology that has been promised to improve our lives?  If so, why was it developed? Are we wrong for wanting to work towards a better future? If so, why did older generations want the same thing for us?

“Pensions, employee development, even permanent and paying (remember the rise of the unpaid internship in my lifetime) jobs are vanishing and not coming back.  I’m not going to say absolutely everyone my age is a winner, but that’s also true of any generation isn’t it?  I would ask to keep things in perspective. And as for the reason why we don’t vote, consider this: there is no major political party on the landscape now that will take on climate change in a meaningful way, take necessary steps to address income and wealth inequality in this country, ensure transparency in the media and bust the corporate monopolies which pervade most of the Canadian market.  Who speaks for us?  Not really anyone, so it’s difficult to see participation in elected democracy for anything other than what it is: gently nudging someone you don’t want out of office, rather than getting behind someone who really speaks for you.

“We have our problems, but it’s disingenuous to say that we’ve created all of them. It’s disingenuous to say we’re selfish for just wanting to do what you yourself recommend.  Many problems were inherited, but are now ours nonetheless.

“All the best, Jen.”

Quiet Earth: New DEATHGASM Trailer Brings Metal, Demons & Teen Awkwardness

"My friends are losers so we started a band."

Hearing that line in the newly minted trailer for the horror comedy Deathgasm, I couldn't help but wonder just how close to reality writer/director Jason Lei Howden gets with his movie. The summoning of demons with sheet music is likely far fetched but highschool existence of the "uncool?" Looks like he nailed that.

We have it on good authority that Deathgasm isn't only hilarious but chalk full of practical effects. Don't take my word for it, just read our review. If you're still not sold, just take a look at the latest trailer which expands not only the story but also gives a pretty great indication of the [Continued ...]

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

Police in North Dakota can now use drones armed with tasers A portable toilet with a woman inside was accidentally carried across a festival site by a forklift truck. “Asking drug dealers to turn in other drug dealers,” Sheriff Melton said. “It’s comical, and it’s working.” [NY Times] Researchers help identify neural basis of multitasking [...]

Toronto After Dark Film Festival Updates: Get a Sneak Peek of Toronto After Dark’s Film Fest 2015 at Fan Expo this Sep 3-6!

VISIT BOOTH # 5125 at Fan Expo, in the North Building, near the Autograph Line for Mads Mikkelson to get the scoop on this year’s Toronto After Dark Film Festival! SEE: An Exclusive Sneak Peek at the first 10 Horror, Sci-Fi, Action and Cult films to be Announced for the fest! GET: The Monsterific new Festival 10th Anniversary T-Shirt for just $15! ENTER TO WIN: A Festival All-Access Pass worth $149! MEET: Team After Dark TAKE A PHOTO: With TADDY Bear, the Festival Mascot! See You at the Expo!

Colossal: Remarkable High Speed Photos of Birds Catching Fish by Salah Baazizi

Double-crested Cormorant working on its catch, Bolsa Chica (CA)

Elegant Tern, Double Crested Cormorant and a fish.

Photographer Salah Baazizi has an amazing knack for photographing birds up close and personal as they pluck fish from the waters around Bolsa Chica in southern California. The split-second shots of terns, herons, and cormorants give the illusion Baazizi is sitting just inches away, practically sticking a camera down their beaks, but in reality he uses a 400mm super telephoto lens and positions himself at great distances. This is only the smallest fraction of the hobbyist photographer’s wildlife photos, you can explore hundreds of additional shots over on Flickr.

Elegant Tern, Bolsa Chica (CA)

Great Blue Heron working on its catch, Bolsa Chica (CA)

Elegant tern losing its fish, Bolsa Chica (CA)

Forster’s Tern doing the contortionist, Irvine (CA)

Great Blue Heron working on its catch, Bolsa Chica (CA)

Elegant Tern, Bolsa Chica (CA)

Elegant Tern, Bolsa Chica (CA)

Elegant Tern displaying its acrobatic aerial skills after a fish escaped from its beak.

The Axis of Eval: Grokking Reactive Demand Programming

TL;DR: RDP is an exciting declarative model of how computational processes (behaviors) are connected by continuously updating values (signals) to effect changes on storage and external state (resources).

I've come a bit closer to understanding David Barbour's Reactive Demand Programming model, and this has confirmed my previous hunch that RDP is one of the most interesting systems designs since Unix. If you're looking for new, better ways to structure dynamic, interactive applications, I strongly recommend checking out RDP.

I would call RDP an orchestration model, since it cares about how you connect and assemble components of your app, and gives you a lot of freedom in what these components do and how they interact. This also fits with David's description of an RDP application as "a complex symphony of signals and declarative effects orchestrated in space and time".

In terms of Unix, RDP's behaviors correspond to processes, signals correspond to pipes, and resources correspond to storage and other external, stateful things.

Signals (pipes, channels)

A signal continuously delivers a potentially changing value. The current implementation always updates the complete value, but RDP doesn't rule out diff/patch-based signal updates, to model e.g. a large set as a signal value.

In addition to these simple signals carrying a single value, there are also compound signals, such as (x :&: y) which represents the concurrent, asynchronous product of signals x and y, IOW a signal representing two independently updating signals. Analogously, (x :|: y) represents a disjoint sum of signals, with either x or y being active at any given point in time.

A signal is either active (carrying a value), or inactive (disrupted). Application-level errors have to be modelled as part of the value, there is no "stderr".

Behaviors (processes, computation)

A behavior won't do anything until you place a demand on it. You place a demand on a behavior by applying an input signal (the demand) to it; the behavior will produce an output signal for the duration of this application.

Multiple demands can be placed on a behavior at the same time. The behavior can either reply to each input signal with a different output signal, or with the same output signal, depending on the purpose of the behavior. For example, a "calculator" behavior may take N input signals with expressions like "1 + 2" and "3 * 5" and deliver a distinct output for each input; on the other hand, a "sum" behavior may take N input signals carrying a number and produce a total sum as the output signal, which would be the same for all inputs.

Behaviors can be composed into dataflow networks. A simple composition is the pipeline behavior, b1 >>> b2: the input signal of this pipeline behavior will be processed by the behavior b1; b1's output signal becomes the input signal for behavior b2; and finally, b2's output signal becomes the output of the whole pipeline behavior.

The Sirea Haskell implementation of RDP comes with other behaviors such as bdup, that copies a single signal into both branches of a :&: product, for creating more complex networks of signals and behaviors. There are also primitives like bfirst and bsecond for running different behaviors against the branches of product signals, and bfmap for applying ordinary Haskell functions to signals. (See Arrows.)

Resources (storage, external state)

RDP doesn't say anything about state, so it has to come from the outside. Access to stateful resources such as filesystems is abstracted through behaviors: to access a filesystem you use a behavior like readFile "foo.txt" that continuously delivers the contents of the file "foo.txt" as output signal.

Creating new resources in RDP is impossible, so resource discovery idioms are used: for example, to "create" a file, you use a UUID as its name, and it will be automatically created the first time you write to it.

I hope this has been helpful. For further reading, check out the extensive README of the Sirea RDP implementation, and David Barbour's blog.

Penny Arcade: News Post: Metal Gear Flaccid

Tycho: When precisely a PAX ends is a philosophical thing.  As I learned after the inaugural PAX South, for many attendees the show actually goes late into the night after the closing ceremony - and for Enforcers and Attendees, the show must be reduced to atoms and then transmitted to the next location.  For me, PAX has two culminations: one, after we honor the Enforcers at the afterparty, and two (as previously described) when my phone is provisioned on my home network.  Both things have come to pass.  The portal is closed. For my part, though, I am still ringing with it. …

explodingdog: you don’t know the human I’ve become

you don’t know the human I’ve become

explodingdog-pictures: "You don't know the human I've become" Explodingdog September 2nd 2015

you don't know the human I've become


Original Art

Exciting! One of a Kind!

OUR VALUED CUSTOMERS: With friends like these...

The Rhizome Frontpage RSS: A black market for people "consumed by the internet"

Interview responses translated from Japanese by Love Kindstrand.

"Welcome to [...] the Internet's next wave," Sue Halpern wrote in 2014, "the Internet of Things"—a harbinger of our gradual transition into "one of the things connected to and through the Internet." 

Yet, despite its sizeable implications for politics, capital, and consumers, the internet of things has not affected web-based art practices to the same degree. In fact, more and more contemporary internet artists are expressing interest in a somewhat opposing phenomenon, a trend that flips the logic of the Internet of Things on its head. From Paul Soulellis's Library of the Printed Web to Michael Mandiberg's Print Wikipedia, artists working on the internet and digital technologies seem less absorbed by the link between physical bodies and virtual networks than by the physical bodies of these networks—that is, by the matter of the web. As a result, what net art usually offers up is not so much the Internet of Things as the things of the internet.

The Internet Yami-Ichi is one gripping example of recent artistic experimentations with the materiality of the web. Created by the Japanese artist collectives IDPW (pronounced "i-pass") and Exonemo, the Yami-Ichi is a real-life counter-market for internet-related goods. Somewhere between "flea" and "black," the Yami-Ichi is at once both and neither: "In Japanese," Exonemo tells me, "the word 'yami' in 'yami-ichi' (black market) carries connotations not only of darkness, but also of 'sickness' and 'addiction,' in the sense of being too attached to something. More than just a market, we imagined the Yami-Ichi as a place where people consumed by the internet could come together."

The project's first installation was held in Tokyo on November 4, 2012 and attracted over 500 people interested in selling, buying, and trading truly unique internet objects. Since then, the Yami-Ichi has attracted much international attention, travelling to Berlin, Taichung, Seoul, Linz, Brussels, and Amsterdam. In the interview that follows, I ask Exonemo about the politics of their project, touching on the history of online consumer capitalism, Silk Road, the corporatization of Web 2.0, digital labor, and the meaning of liberty on the internet.

Tomoya Watanabe (aka Tomorrow Shark) in Back streets of the Internet (2013) produced by W+K 東京LAB.

LP: Right now I'm at the Rhizome office in the New Museum, less than a mile away from the federal courthouse on Pearl Street where the founder of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, was sentenced to life in prison on May 29, 2015. In a letter to Judge Katherine B. Forrest right before his sentencing, Ulbricht said he created Silk Road because he believed "people should have the right to buy and sell whatever they wanted so long as they weren't hurting anyone else." While you explicitly prohibit the exchange of dangerous and illegal goods, you also seem to frame the Internet Yami-Ichi as a project to "liberate" the web by promoting the freedoms of internet users in the form of consumers, producers, and merchants. Were you and Ulbricht responding to a similar problem, namely the lack of liberty on the internet, but in different ways? While Ulbricht's libertarian solution focused on individual liberties as market freedoms, your answer seems to be grounded in the idea of communal liberty as human interaction.

e: With Silk Road, you see one attempt to reclaim the liberty once inherent to the internet that has since been lost, by creating an unregulated space within the internet itself. In contrast, the Internet Yami-Ichi is a proposal to withdraw from the internet "for the time being." The Yami-Ichi takes "internet addiction" as one of its themes, specifically by enacting a collectivity of selves still very much enraptured by the internet, gathering in real life to show each other the many internets we've all imagined/conjured up. Rather than creating "a space for free exchange," what we imagined is what I'd call "a flock of grotesque creatures emerging from the internet, giggling at the sight of themselves interacting in the same grotesque manner in real life"—and as such it felt like an entirely new perspective.

At the first event in Tokyo, we mostly invited people from our respective communities, so there was a strong atmosphere of people sharing the same sense of reality coming together. But when we gathered for the third time in Berlin the concept just took shape in a way that convinced us that people all over the world share a similar awareness: while no doubt people felt differently in various places, the sense of the internet as "something new" shared almost simultaneously across the world is fascinating.

LP: From its inception, the internet has been intimately connected with the development of postindustrial capitalism (and vice-versa). E-commerce websites like eBay and Amazon have been leading internet marketplaces since 1995, the same year Mark Newmark started Craigslist as an email newsletter for promoting events around the Bay Area. By 1999, the Argentinean MercadoLibre had appropriated the concept of a "free" online market as the website's brand name. More recently, Etsy and DaWanda have combined the personalized and user-generated aspects of social media websites into their corporate interfaces, allowing users to create their own online stores and sell "unique," often handmade commodities. What would you say is the place of the Yami-Ichi in the history of online market capitalism? 

e: The biggest difference between eBay, Etsy and the other e-commerce sites you mention on one hand, and the Yami-Ichi on the other, is that the former seize on the convenience of the web in order to provide the most accessible service, while the Yami-Ichi does the complete opposite. The things that appear for sale at the Yami-Ichi are preliminary responses to our question of what constitutes an "internet-like" thing, but it's not as if the people selling them do so normally or try to make a livelihood out of doing so. The people who buy them, in turn, earn their own answers to the question of what an "internet-like" thing would actually mean, or perhaps they come with that in mind. In other words, the action of buying and selling in the Yami-Ichi is less an economic one, and rather entails a kind of media research that parodies the action of economic exchange. In an age where getting by without accessing the internet is becoming difficult or impossible, the nature or meaning of that thing we call "the internet" is seldom questioned. The Yami-Ichi constitutes a kind of meditation on that condition, with the actual act of exchange being more of an auxiliary thing, serving to reinforce that reality. Of course, this is nothing more than my personal thoughts on the matter, and presumably other people participate with different conceptions of what they are doing and why.

Poster for the Yami-Ichi in Amsterdam earlier this year

LP: Are market freedoms, as in the liberties afforded to consumers in a capitalist economy, an important aspect of being free in general, especially as this idea is conceived on the internet today? 

e: One reason for running the Yami-Ichi in Japan—and it might not be much different from other places in this regard—was as a challenge to the commonplace notion that "one does not pay for internet things." It wasn't long ago that you could find anything for free on the net, and online commerce suffered as a result. Recently things are changing somewhat, particularly due to increasingly aggressive strategies by major corporations, but there is a certain irony to paying actual money for things derived from internet culture at the Yami-Ichi that remains interesting. Few people in Japan, for example, will give money to a homeless person—even street musicians have a hard time. In light of this tendency to "only pay for what benefits" you directly, paying money for non-beneficiary, even useless things at the Yami-Ichi starts to appear as a critical act. At the Berlin event, some participants noticed that people were reluctant to get their wallets out, and in this way there are cultural connotations to simple acts of buying and selling. I'm really curious to see what happens when we open in New York City, where tipping for services and so on suggests an entirely different culture of money exchange. 

LP: Despite their dependence on the free digital labor of their users, corporate social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, brand themselves as service providers and social utility platforms. While this may very well be true, their self-understanding as service suppliers elides, quite deliberately of course, the identity of their users as producers of internet content, that is, as workers rather than customers. By allowing internet users to sell their online content as real products, by providing them the opportunity to be remunerated for their digital labor, do you think the Internet Yami-Ichi works to redress the injustices of free digital labor on the internet?

e: If you ask the participants selling things at the Yami-Ichi, they'll tell you how differently people communicate here compared to the exhibitions where they usually show their ideas and creations. Sell or no sell, the creator is immediately confronted with the question of how much their idea is worth, and the customer's response is immediate. With art, there is a certain anxiety in discussing the merits or demerits of a specific work in the conversation between artist and audience. At the Yami-Ichi, it is possible to talk about this in terms of an objective standard: is this worth five bucks or not? For the seller, it seems it's become an appreciated opportunity for casually questioning their own work.

LP: For the first Internet Yami-Ichi, you stipulated only one criteria for sellers: "to sell things that have something to do with the Internet." As a result a diverse mix of unique internet-based objects were on display, including the hand-crafted (and live recorded) ringtone, the "Real-World Re-Tweet," the "Spacer .gif," and a host of other fascinating historical and contemporary fragments of "web matter." While the majority of items on sale appeared to be born-digital goods or services morphed into a real-world format, one of the participants, Tomoya Watanabe (aka Tomorrow Shark), did the precise opposite of this. Watanabe sold real-life stones accompanied by a CD-ROM with their 3D scan data. In doing this, he took an organic object, digitized it, and sold both versions, the physical stone and its digitally-rendered image. So, in a way, the Yami-Ichi offers users not only the possibility to bring things from the web into the physical world, but also the prospect of adding real-life objects to the internet, "filling the internet with things that exist in the real world," as he put it. 

e: The novelty of Tomorrow Shark's "stone" lies, as you explain, not in the idea of bringing a thing from the internet into real space, but in tying a material object to its three-dimensional data, a presence that connects net and physical realities. There is something romantic in the encounter between the novel, still unstable entity that is "the internet," and the ordinary rock, present anywhere and everywhere as a symbol of universality. The fantasy of that same rock selling out simultaneously in every corner of the world is perhaps equally romantic...


* * *

LP: How did IDPW and the Internet Yami-Ichi come about?

e: After the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that occurred in Japan in 2011, the two of us in Exonemo left Tokyo for Fukuoka in Western Japan. Around that time, a lot of people were leaving the city for the countryside, or even going overseas. In Fukuoka, we rented a warehouse with the intent of starting something new. That's where the IDPW collective came together, as a way to gather all the fellow artists scattered across Japan in an extension of Exonemo's focus on "experiments that connect internet and reality."

The idea was to have the internet "descend" into reality around that actual space (genba), and around that concept we started, in different places and shapes, online and offline, irregularly and experimentally—and with a fair amount of stupidity—to organize the parties where the Internet Yami-Ichi first took shape.

LP: What were some of the most influential referents for the Yami-Ichi?

e: The primary referent for this kind of flea market event is Tokyo's Comic Market (or Comike). Since 1975 it has grown from a small subcultural gathering to an annual gathering of 500,000 enthusiasts. Beyond manga and anime-related works, you'll encounter countless items and ideas for sale that don't quite fit any category: a map of vending machines in Akihabara; homemade recipes; a bot that plays through pornographic computer games, and so on. It's stuff that's obviously useless for most people, and yet there is the provocation of coming face to face with that kind of pure creativity. In 2005, this inspired another community of enthusiasts called Dorkbot Tokyo, organized around "people doing strange things with electricity," who put together a flea market-style event that attracted serious attention. The combination of all these things eventually led to the Internet Yami-Ichi events.

LP: Given how the idea for the Yami-Ichi was born out of Apple's rejection of your proposed iPhone app, was your initial idea to host a web-based, as opposed to a physical, marketplace? Or, was the app meant to be a digital platform for organizing people only and then trade objects IRL?

e: Once we realized we couldn't sell on the App Store the silly idea of selling apps by connecting people's phones to our development PC came to mind—the ridiculousness of it fascinated us, I guess. So for the Yami-Ichi we didn't think about online sales at all. At the first two events we didn't even have wifi! Yet in that space entirely cut off from the internet, we were enveloped by an "internet-like" atmosphere—in turn prompting the question of whether this thing we call "the internet" has anything to do with being connected to the internet at all.

In the beginning, we knew we wanted to bring the internet into the flea market, but still couldn't imagine what kind of space would emerge from that encounter. That's when we came up with the idea of taking the app, that had already been rejected by Apple, and selling it by connecting a cable directly to people's phones. This lead to the realization that "perhaps the current internet is less free than the real world."

The early days of the internet were characterized by an understanding of its possibilities as that of a space completely separated from physical reality. More recently, the internet has become more convenient to use even as it falls under the control of global corporations, and as its use becomes more universal it has become a matter of public concern. With increasing privacy concerns we've come to feel the limits of online practice. Now, with the spread of smartphones the internet is no longer distinguishable from reality, the very distinction disappearing bit by bit as the problematics of online life encroach on reality itself. The present condition challenges us to take a step back from the internet, reappraise the way it has affected our sense of values and provided new concepts, and from there, consider the way we want technological innovation to proceed.

LP: In light of your project's success, do you think you'll submit a new proposal for an iPhone app to Apple in the future?

e: I don't know about the App Store—as an embryo of the idea that became the Internet Yami-Ichi, our rejected app has already made itself useful. We'll continue to release different apps and other works as exonemo in the future.

Fabien Mousse, Real Internet Art (2013)

LP: What is the most popular currency of exchange at the Yami-Ichi? Do people use bitcoins, instagram followers, tumblr accounts, gifs, image macros, etc. to buy/trade goods, or is mostly cash?

e: It's been mostly cash so far; people write price tags for "1 euro" or "1 bitcoin" as a joke, and it seems like participants trade their goods. In the US, there are plenty of convenient options for payment like Paypal, Square and Venmo, so that might change.

LP: What are your plans for the future of the Yami-Ichi?

e: This summer, we've held events in Taichung (Taiwan), Seoul, Linz (Austria), and will be in New York City on September 12; towards the end of the year, we're thinking of Scotland, São Paulo, and London as well as Indonesia and Mexico. Early on, IDPW was involved in organizing all events, but since the one held in Amsterdam last May we've pulled back a little bit, moving towards an open platform through which anyone can participate.

The question is how the internet, as a phenomenon unfolding in the present on a global scale, is acted upon differently in different parts of the world. There's a lot of work organizing these Yami-Ichi markets across the world, but for the moment it feels like a meaningful activity that I want to continue in the future.

The very notion of "the internet" will keep changing, now and in the future, as will the idea of what's considered "internet-like" or not. We're still at a point where drawing a line between "reality" and "the internet" allows us to understand something, but the line separating these two domains is disappearing. Soon, the Internet Yami-Ichi might look no different from an ordinary flea market! The Yami-Ichi event itself, I hope, already functions as a kind of barometer with which to gauge and comprehend our changing times.


The Internet Yami-Ichi is coming to New York on Saturday, September 12, 12pm-8pm at Knockdown Center, Queens (website / Facebook event).

Interview responses translated from Japanese by Love Kindstrand. Kindstrand is a doctoral student in anthropology at the University of Chicago, interested in intersections of anonymity and subjectivity in internet culture.

Colossal: EverBlock: Customize your Space With Oversized Modular Lego Bricks


Giant LEGOs for adults? Heck. Yes. EverBlock is a modular building system of giant plastic blocks that can be used to build anything from furniture, walls, shelving, bars, and even entire rooms. Obsessed with LEGO bricks as a child, EverBlock founder Arnon Rosan realized there might be a demand for a functional full-scale building system for personal and industrial purposes.

The bricks are available in three brick types that come in 15 different colors, and the good news is this isn’t just a concept, they’re available for purchase now. For interior designers or the spatially indecisive, this seems like a pretty great way to customize your space. (via Wired)









Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal: Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal - Unpaid Internship Loophole

Hovertext: Someone told me it was impossible to write new lawyer jokes, so I just stole a realllllly old one.

New comic!
Today's News:

Tea Masters: Alisace, du mont Ali à l'Alsace

Les parcelles de Changshuhu dans la région d'Alishan sont parmi mes préférées. Ce petit village est à l'écart de celles qui voient défiler des centaines de milliers de touristes Chinois au Parc National. On y trouve du Jinxuan et du Qingxin Oolong, 2 grands classiques. Mais certains petits cultivateurs expérimentent aussi avec des cultivars venus d'ailleurs comme ce Tie Guan Yin. C'est ce thé que je prépare ci-dessous dans un jardin alsacien cet été:
C'est une récolte d'hiver. Elle a beaucoup de finesse et de douceur, mais est un peu moins aromatique que celle de printemps. Ce qui surprend, c'est de retrouver les fragrances du Tie Guan Yin frais, mais bien plus épurés et fins qu'une récolte d'Anxi.
Ce thé prend le caractère de haute montagne, mais se distingue aussi par un goût plus épais qu'un Qingxin Oolong. Et comme c'est un Oolong de très bonne qualité, ses arômes continuent d'évoluer avec le temps. C'est dans ce jardin alsacien que je distingue pour la première fois ce qui devient maintenant une évdence: des fragrances de cannelle!
Une planche en bois sur le sol permet à mon chaxi d'être stable.
Les coupes chantantes en céladon clair font ressortir l'aspect fraicheur de cet Oolong de haute montagne. C'est l'un des nombreux détails qui contribuent à faire ressortir le caractère de ce thé.
Et tandis que le temps de la rentrée est souvent maussade et pluvieux, même à Taipei, ces photos où règnent les tons de vert et le soleil me remplissent de bonheur. Le souvenir des plantations de Changshuhu et de cette dégustation créent des échos de verdure. L'Alsace et Alishan deviennent l'Alisace et, dorénavant, cet Oolong m'évoque autant l'herbe verte de ma région natale que les théiers de ma région adoptive!
J'en profite aussi pour vous signaler une vingtaine de promotions de thé pour cette rentrée. Ce Tie Guan Yin d'Alishan en fait d'ailleurs parti.
 Bonne rentrée!

New Humanist Blog: Re-thinking the university

It's time to stop adopting an endless stream of top-down, homogeneous solutions. Could micro-universities be the answer?

Perlsphere: Maintaining the Perl 5 Core: Report for Month 22

Dave Mitchell writes:

I spent July mainly working on two things.

First, I continued to work on the whole issue of how subroutines are invoked and returned from, and especially how the various perl stacks are manipulated during this time, i.e. all the PUSHBLOCK/PUSHSUB stuff. I also started extending the work to other context types, such as loops.

I have mainly concentrated on removing unnecessary fields from the CXt_SUB context struct, and eliminating the ENTER / SAVE* .... / LEAVE that is normally wrapped around function calls, loops etc, instead storing the old save stack and tmps stack floors and old PL_comppad directly in new fields in the context struct. I've also streamlined the @_ processing and tweaked pp_entersub a lot.

The overall gain is that this code:

      sub f {}
    f(),f(),f(),f(),f(),f(),f(),f(),f(),f() for 1..5_000_000;

runs in about 2/3 of the previous time,

and this:

      sub f { my ($x,$y,$z) = @_; 1 }
    f(1,2,3),f(1,2,3),f(1,2,3),f(1,2,3),f(1,2,3) for 1..1_000_000;

in about 3/4 of the previous time - i.e. the overhead of calling a subroutine has been substantially reduced.

Timings confirmed with perf and dumbbench, and Porting/ confirms that instruction reads, data reads and writes, branches, etc, are all reduced by a roughly similar amount.

As well as being faster, it simplifies the code (this branch produces a -O2 object file with about 500 bytes smaller text segment). It also fixes some leaks and crashes caused by dying during stack unwinding.

The second thing I worked on this month was a diversion while working on the PUSHLOOP part of the context stuff. I realised that things could be simplified if it wasn't necessary to save the GPf_ALIASED_SV flag each time, which eventually led me to work on a scheme I first proposed 4 months ago:

which makes the 'common-variable' handling code of pp_aassign() (OPpASSIGN_COMMON flag set) more efficient and safe by, amongst other things, using a runtime mark and sweep stage to determine which (if any) RHS SVs need a mortal copy, rather than just blindly copying everything. It's still a work-in-progress, but already for something like ($a,$b) = ($b,$a), it only does one mortal copy rather than two, and is about 10% faster. And it's shown that the basic concept is sound,

The more I've looked into this, the more edge cases I spot. For example, you might think that something as simple as the following can be determined to be safe at compile time, and that it doesn't require any mortal copies made of the RHS:

  my ($x,$y) = @a;

Except that you'd be wrong; for example,

    my ($x,$y) = @a;
    print "($x,$y)\n";  # prints "(2,2)"
      sub f {
        ($x, $y) = (1,2);
        use feature 'refaliasing';
        \($a[0], $a[1]) = \($y,$x);

What with traditional aliasing (*x = ...; for $x (...)), the new refaliasing feature, and lvalue subs, there are many ways to fool OPpASSIGN_COMMON.

The approach I'm taking now is to mark more constructs as needing run-time handling, but to make the runtime checking and/or copying more efficient. In particular there will be three OPp* flags rather than just the one, that can signify whether:

  • scalars on the LHS can be checked for safety just by checking that their refcounts are 1;
  • there are scalars that need a full mark and sweep test for possible mortal copying;
  • there is an aggregate on the LHS which, if non-empty, requires any remaining elements on the RHS to be mortalized to avoid premature freeing.

By splitting the actions required into three flags, it usually makes the run-time penalty much lower. It also allows me to remove the PL_sawalias mechanism, which incurs a small run-time overhead for every pp_gv, pp_gvsv and pp_nextstate.


52:55 #124156: death during unwinding causes crash
2:20 B::Utils and B::OP::parent
0:30 [perl #125702] Garbage Collection Segv in 5.21.10+
8:20 process p5p mailbox
41:29 re-implement OPpASSIGN_COMMON

105:34 Total (HH::MM)

As of 2015/07/31: since the beginning of the grant:

93.7 weeks
1343.0 total hours
14.3 average hours per week

There are 257 hours left on the grant. / 2015-09-04T12:14:00