tagged w/ remanns recommends
A cover to a beautiful song; A majestic Performance!!!
Clip from Def Poetry Season 2 talking about the use of like and you know in today's society. Pretty funny.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCNIBV87wV4Clip from Def Poetry Season 2 talking about the use of like and you know in... more
Raleigh Lantham's fan-trailer for Captain America looks decent. But the "red band" version above takes that decent sentimentality, turns it over and then throws it face first into a pile of cocaine on top of Cap's shield.
That said, we dig it. Now go home.
Raleigh Lantham's fan-trailer for Captain America looks decent. But the... more
If your childhood was anything like mine, you were largely introduced to Robots and their implications on humanity through Issac Asimov and his incredible science fiction. A Russian born author, Asimov wrote literature in every genre, including non-fiction science books on physics and space. Phys.org explores the role Issac's work, particularly his three laws of robotics, continue to have on the field today as we navigate and increasingly machine driven world:
"Renowned author Isaac Asimov died 20 years ago this month. Although he wrote more than 500 books, the robot stories he began writing at age 19 are possibly his greatest accomplishment. They have become the starting point for any discussion about how smart robots will behave around humans.
"I didn't think a robot should be sympathetic just because it happened to be nice," he wrote in a 1980 essay. "It should be engineered to meet certain safety standards as any other machine should in any right-thinking technological society. I therefore began to write stories about robots that were not only sympathetic, but were sympathetic because they couldn't help it."
That idea infused Asimov's first robot stories. His editor, John Campbell of "Astounding Science-Fiction," wrote down a list of rules Asimov's robots obeyed. They became Asimov's Three Laws of Robotics:
• A robot must not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
• A robot must obey the orders given it by human beings except where those orders would conflict with the First Law.
• A robot must protect its own existence, except where such protection would conflict with the First or Second Law."
http://phys.org/news/2012-04-asimov-robots-twenty-years-death.htmlIf your childhood was anything like mine, you were largely introduced to Robots and... more
Vanguard correspondent Christof Putzel takes a behind the scenes look at the adult entertainment industry, examining its history and impact on the ever-changing face of new media.Vanguard correspondent Christof Putzel takes a behind the scenes look at the adult... more
A recently unearthed, strawberry-blond mammoth specimen from Siberia gives researchers new information about how humans and lions hunted.
After being frozen under Siberian ice for at least 10,000 years, well-preserved, recently discovered mammoth remains are providing clues about the past.
The details of how the massive mammal lived and died are still being interpreted by scientists. But it looks like hungry humans played a role in its demise.
"This is the first relatively complete mammoth carcass -- that is, a body with soft tissues preserved -- to show evidence of human association," Daniel Fisher, curator and director of the University of Michigan's Museum of Paleontology, told Discovery News.
(read more at link)A recently unearthed, strawberry-blond mammoth specimen from Siberia gives researchers... more
This is as powerful and reasoned a look at life in the GOP paradise as you're likely to read. It isn't pretty, though.
The poor: fuck ‘em.
Women: fuck ‘em.
Children: fuck ‘em.
The elderly: fuck ‘em.
The ill and infirm: fuck ‘em.
Brown people: fuck ‘em.
Teachers: fuck ‘em.
Students: fuck ‘em.
Workers: fuck ‘em.
With pictures.This is as powerful and reasoned a look at life in the GOP paradise as you're... more
For years, New York parents have been applying to preschools even before their youngsters are born. That's not new, but the approach one prestigious pre-school on the Upper West Side is.
At the Porsafillo Preschool Academy, all applicants must now submit a DNA analysis of their children.
The preschool is housed in a modern glass and steel building designed by IM Pei. It's situated in a leafy corner of the Upper West Side. On a recent afternoon, Headmaster Rebecca Unsinn showed off "Porsafillo Pre," as it's called.
"Over here, we have computer labs, C++ learning, which of course, as I'm sure you know, is a language of computers," she says. Wait, computer language? These preschoolers are learning C++?
"Oh, absolutely they are," Unsinn says. "And they're very good at it."
That's not the only language they're learning; all the children are also enrolled in a Mandarin Chinese immersion program.
More than 12,000 applications pour into Unsinn's office each fall. That's 12,000 hopefuls for just 32 spots a year. It makes Porsafillo Pre the most competitive preschool in the United States.
So in a bid to weed out the kids who have no chance, the school decided to require a DNA test for all applicants. Before she joined the school in 2009, Unsinn was a child neurologist. She was hired specifically to implement this new policy.
Her team is looking for genetic markers that indicate future excellence — things like intelligence, confidence and other leadership traits.
One expectant couple has gone to great lengths to get their future child a spot at Porsafillo.
At the New Amsterdam Memorial Hospital, Richard Tromper and Elizabeth Tauschen are ready for their test. Elizabeth is 24 weeks pregnant, and the couple is applying for admission to Porsafillo for the fall of 2015.
"I went to Princeton," Tromper says. "I was lucky, I mean, I got into Princeton, I worked hard. But if our child gets into this preschool, he or she IS going."
Porsafillo Pre is the express lane, the couple says, a one-way ticket to success.
From Tauschen's blood test, scientists will isolate her unborn baby's genetic makeup then pass their findings to the admissions office at Porsafillo. The school has an exclusive agreement with the hospital. Tauschen and Tromper are taken into a room beside the lab, the blood is drawn, and the vial is then escorted immediately into the lab. About a month later, results will be delivered to the school.
Some parents are already planning to take legal action against the school in the event their children are passed over for admission. A recent op-ed in the New York Times called the practice "ghoulish" and "unethical." Headmaster Unsinn dismisses the criticism.
"This is not unethical at all. If anything, it's extremely ethical. This is now no longer a subjective decision," she says. "This is a clinical test that can show us how a child will perform throughout its life."
The Porsafillo Academy will begin to accept applications under their new DNA policy today, April 1.
http://www.npr.org/2012/04/01/149804404/n-y-preschool-starts-dna-testing-for-admissionFor years, New York parents have been applying to preschools even before their... more
By Stephanie Whiteside / current.com
The American Legislative Exchange Council has made news recently as one of the driving forces behind Florida's "stand your ground" legislation that has come under scrutiny during the Trayvon Martin case.
ALEC's membership is comprised of legislators, who pay a minimal fee to join, and corporations, who pay significantly more for membership. In theory, ALEC allows legislators to work with experts to craft legislation on a broad range of topics; in practice, it gives corporations veto power over unpopular ideas and allows them to write their interests into model legislation.
This model legislation, effectively ghostwritten by corporate interests, is then spread across the country as state officials introduce bills based on the ALEC model. Spreading far and wide, ALEC is able to easily affect policy in states and push a cohesive agenda that favors the interests of corporations over those of the public.
Gun laws aren't the only item on ALEC's agenda. In fact, there are few areas untouched by ALEC's models, and we've rounded up five areas where ALEC has been heavily influencing public policy:By Stephanie Whiteside / current.com
The American Legislative Exchange Council has... more
Nah, maybe someone just sprayed it with Axe.
Remember that time you were so allegedly high on ecstasy that you tried to fuck a tree in front of everyone?
Apparently a girl in Miami at Ultra Music Fest 2012 last week got frisky with a tree as onlookers cheered, laughed, and put it on YouTube.
The video shows the girl gyrating against the tree, kissing it, and even seducing it by revealing her bikini bottom. She must have taken offense to something the tree said because at one point she backs away and appears to scold the tree before giving it a slap. But they soon make up and continue to kiss.
An onlooker can be heard saying: “she was at it for a good 30 minutes now.”
Luckily for her, two friends rush to save her from further embarrassment and carry her off.
The video has become a YouTube hit! Watch it after the jump!Nah, maybe someone just sprayed it with Axe.
Remember that time you were so... more
One of the deepest mysteries in quantum physics is the wave-particle duality: every quantum object has properties of both a wave and a particle. Nowhere is this effect more beautifully demonstrated than in the double-slit experiment: streams of particles (photons, electrons, whatever) are directed at a barrier with two narrow openings. While each particle shows up at the detector individually, the population as a whole creates an interference pattern as though they are waves. Neither a pure wave nor a pure particle description has proven successful in explaining these experiments.
Now researchers have successfully performed a quantum interference experiment with much larger and more massive molecules than ever before. Thomas Juffmann et al. fired molecules composed of over 100 atoms at a barrier with openings designed to minimize molecular interactions, and observed the build-up of an interference pattern. The experiment approaches the regime where macroscopic and quantum physics overlap, offering a possible way to study the transition that has frustrated many scientists for decades.
The interference of waves is determined in part by the wavelength. According to quantum physics, the wavelength of a massive particle is inversely proportional to its momentum: the mass multiplied by the particle's speed. In other words, the heavier the object, the shorter its wavelength at a given speed.
A kicked football (for example) has a very tiny wavelength compared to the size of the ball because it has a relatively large mass and a speed measured in meters per second (rather than nanometers or such). In contrast, an electron has a relatively large wavelength (though still microscopic) because it has a small mass. Longer wavelengths make it easier to generate interference so, while it isn't going to be possible to make two footballs interfere with each other (in the quantum sense!), it's comparatively straightforward to produce electron interference.
The relatively large phthalocyanine (C32H18N8) and derivative molecules (C48H26F24N8O8) have more mass than anything in which quantum interference has previously been observed. To have wavelengths that are relatively large compared to their sizes, the molecules need to move very slowly. Juffmann et al. achieved this by directing a blue diode laser onto a very thin film of molecules in a vacuum chamber, effectively boiling off individual molecules directly under the beam while leaving the rest unaffected.
After separation from the film, the molecules were sent through a collimator to ensure they formed a beam before reaching the barrier, which had a number of parallel slits to produce the actual interference pattern. To prevent excessive interactions (primarily van der Waals forces) between the molecules and the edges of the slits, the researchers used a specially-prepared grating coated in silicon nitride membranes. Without such preparation, the molecules are likely to be deflected by ordinary interactions with the hardware.
After passing through the slits, the molecules' positions were recorded using fluorescence microscopy, which has both sufficient spatial resolution and fast response to detect when and where the molecules arrive. The positions of individual spots were measured to 10 nanometer accuracy. Additionally, the molecules lodged in the fluorescent screen, meaning their positions could be independently verified in the form of build-up at the experiment's end.
The researchers observed the particle nature of the molecules in the form of individual light spots appearing singly in the fluorescent detector as they arrived. But, over time, these spots formed an interference pattern due to the molecules' wavelike character.
As the Juffmann et al. point out, no other explanation but quantum interference can account for the pattern that appears in the fluorescent detector. Since the phthalocyanine and phthalocyanine-derived molecules are relatively large and massive, their behavior approaches the limits at which macroscopic properties begin to exhibit themselves. Future experiments with even larger molecules may be able to examine the transition between everyday physics, in which quantum interference doesn't play a role, and the underlying quantum world.
http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2012/03/quantum-interference-with-big-molecules-approaches-the-macroscopic.ars?clicked=related_rightOne of the deepest mysteries in quantum physics is the wave-particle duality: every... more
Karl Marx never visited the United States, but he nevertheless understood the country, because he understood capitalism. As you know, there's no American ideology that's mightier than capitalism. Equality, justice and the rule of law are nice and all, but money talks.
In their 1846 book The German Ideology, Marx and co-author Frederick Engels took a look at human history and made a plain but controversial observation. In any given historical period, the ideas that people generally think are the best and most important ideas are usually the ideas of the people in charge. If you have a lot of money and own a lot of property, then you have the power to propagandise your worldview and you have incentive to avoid appearing as if you're propagandising your worldview. Or, as Marx and Engels would put it: The ruling ideas of every epoch are the ideas of the ruling class.
The ideas of the one per cent become the dominant ideas because the one per cent convinces the 99 per cent that its ideas are the only rational and universally valid ideas. Consider free-market capitalism. The idea says that growth provides prosperity to all, that government governs best when it governs least, so there's no need to discuss the redistribution of wealth. That's neoliberalism and that idea has been the only acceptable economic policy since the Clinton era. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan was its greatest champion. After the collapse of the housing market, he said he was dead wrong. Even so, the idea remains dominant. Why? Forgive me for pointing out the obvious, but the ruling class happens to make a lot of money from a free market.
Americans tend to look askance at Marx and I don't blame them. He was, after all, the father of socialism, as well as the guy associated with Josef Stalin, who was, you know, a homicidal totalitarian dictator. But as philosopher John Gray has noted, Marx got a lot wrong about Marxism but he got a lot right about capitalism. He understood that ideas don't exist in bubbles - they have a concrete material context and have a human cost.
The late Steve Jobs, for instance, was a man of ideas. He was widely considered a visionary and a prophet of technology, and Jobs took great pains to encourage that way of thinking. After his death, however, Mike Daisey, the acclaimed playwright and monologuist, revealed something about Jobs that should have been plain to see - Jobs' prophecies came at the expense of poor Chinese sweatshop workers who make iPads and other Apple products for middle-class Americans to buy at affordable prices. The Great Man theory of history is more like intellectual cover (or what Marx called the illusions of the ruling class), for the exploitation of labour.
It's hard to imagine a better illustration of Marx's theory of the ruling class than Citizens United, the 2010 case brought before the US Supreme Court in which the majority decided that political action committees (or PACs) cannot be subject to campaign finance laws. PACs do not formally represent candidates and instead, express their own political views. So the money they spend is more like free speech. Therefore, political money is speech protected by the US Constitution's First Amendment.
In theory, this is an egalitarian ruling. Any citizen can spend any amount of money to promote or attack any issue they want. But we don't live in an egalitarian society. As Gore Vidal has said, America is a very good place to live if you have money and property. Not so much if you don't.
Now we have 364 so-called super PACs dominating the national political dialogue as candidates compete for the Republican Party's presidential nomination. These organisations can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money as long as they don't explicitly endorse or challenge a specific candidate. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, they have raised more than $130m in 2012 and spent almost $75m on attack advertisements carried over broadcast, cable and radio. Of that total amount, 25 per cent comes from just five people.
What these ads say is less important than their results, one of which is the curious political phenomenon of the zombie candidate. Without a billionaire casino tycoon who keeps obligingly writing checks to a super PAC, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich would have quit a long time ago. Then there are candidates like Mitt Romney who need not be especially good at being candidates. Romney is preternaturally unable to ignite the party's base, yet he continues winning primaries because his backer, a super PAC called Restore Our Future, has spent $37m in two and a half months, more than any sum spent on any candidate in any election ever.
Some super PACs don't even support candidates, but instead attack incumbents. The Campaign for Primary Accountability is spending millions to oust representatives who'd otherwise be safe. Political activity, moreover, isn't restricted to super PACs. Americans for Prosperity, officially a "non-profit advocacy group", has supported Tea Party candidates and has launched propaganda campaigns in Wisconsin that touted Governor Scott Walker's austerity measures and newly passed anti-union laws. Americans for Prosperity is funded by libertarians Charles and David Koch, brothers whose combined worth is estimated to be about $50bn. Instead of targeting politicians vying for public office, the Kochs are taking aim at ordinary middle-class workers who might otherwise have reason to believe in the American Dream.
Columnist EJ Dionne of the Washington Post summed it up when he wrote:
Oh, yes, it works nicely for the wealthiest and most powerful people in the country, especially if they want to shroud their efforts to influence politics behind shell corporations. It just doesn't happen to work if you think we are a democracy and not a plutocracy.
And perhaps there's the real problem. If you believe the US is a democracy, if you believe in the rule of the many and not the rule of the few, then the Citizens United ruling could not be more troubling. But what if this is not a democracy? What if this, as Dionne suggests, is an oligarchy of billionaire capitalists? More horrible to ponder, what if democracy is yet more intellectual cover, another one of those illusions, for the exploitation of American workers?
Then the theory of the ruling class fits perfectly. Citizens United and the United States were made for each other.
John Stoehr is the editor of the New Haven Advocate and a lecturer at Yale.
http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/03/2012311123627435712.htmlKarl Marx never visited the United States, but he nevertheless understood the country,... more
Follow John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison and George Washington as they struggle to adjust in 2012 Chicago after being "time-napped" by a super PAC to serve as decoys for the 2012 election but were quickly left penny-less and abandoned.
This is just a glimpse of their wackiness. Modern women are so confusing.Follow John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, James... more
The amazing beach artist who starts every day with a new canvas (71 Pics)
1 year ago
Are you a conservative, or a Liberal? The true answer may not be what you think it is. Watch this video to discover a simple tool that will help you decide. Who knows? You might just be surprised by what you learn.Are you a conservative, or a Liberal? The true answer may not be what you think it is.... more
On March 10th, 2012, the world lost one of the great masters of comic book art, Jean Giraud, aka Moebius, at age 73 after a long struggle with cancer. The French artist is most widely known for his work on the comics Blueberry and Silver Surfer, his contributions to the sci-fi magazine Métal Hurlant (Heavy Metal), and his cinematic collaborations with likes of Alejandro Jodorowsky and Ridley Scott. Prolific, skillful, and highly respected, Giraud's artistic presence will be sorely missed.On March 10th, 2012, the world lost one of the great masters of comic book art, Jean... more