The Community Weblog. In byte-sized chunks.

The Word Will Out.

Building the future in the present in Rio de Janeiro favelas, which are getting active online.
Thanks to young community reporters people in Rio and all over the world are getting a more accurate, clearer picture of what's happening in the city's favelas.
In 2011 Augusto Paim & MauMau published a two part comic Inside the Favelas (see previously).
A couple of interviews with 19 year old Michel Silva of the online magazine Viva Rocinha ( and FB).

Oranges are not going to be able see my tweets.

I let Apple's QuickType keyboard take over my iPhone , Josh Lowensohn, the Verge, via Predictive poetry, Mark Liberman, Language Log.


This is Science Magazine; this is one of their featured front-page stories (date stamped 17 September 2014 8:00 am): "The top 50 science stars of Twitter", by Jia You. The list has 46 men and 4 women.

This is Laura Keeney (Twitter: @LauraKeeney, blog at The Denver Post). Her Twitter profile reads, "Biz reporter for @DenverPost. I cover tech, space, science and airlines. Fueled by The Clash, sci-fi and ALL the coffee. So Say We All.". And this is her tweeted response (date stamped 9:48 AM - 17 Sep 2014):

There are more than 4 awesome women
scientists on Twitter. Here's a list:
cc: @sciencemagazine
The link within the Tweet above leads to a user-created public list that other Twitter users can subscribe to, or become a member of; in this case, the "Women Tweet Science Too" public list, created by Laura Keeney.

More and more people started tweeting about this issue, using the hashtag, #WomenTweetScienceToo.

It's worth noting the survey method that Science Magazine used, as described in the piece:
The list of most followed scientists compiled here is far from scientific. To identify Twitter science stars, we began with celebrity scientists such as Tyson and checked out which scientists they followed. We also referenced online lists of scientists to follow on Twitter, such as this one by The Huffington Post. If we've missed someone who belongs on the top 50 list, do let us know in the comment section. Follower number is, of course, a very crude proxy of influence on Twitter, but it's the most accessible metric for the purpose of this story.

The question of who counts as a scientist is itself a matter of debate. As a general guideline, we included only those who have completed a Ph.D. degree and published at least one peer-reviewed paper in a peer-reviewed journal. As an exception to this rule, we excluded professional journalists who fit the above criteria.
Science Magazine Twitter account: @sciencemagazine ("The world's leading outlet for scientific news, commentary, and cutting-edge research.")
And their affiliated Twitter account, "News from Science": @NewsfromScience (the latest news in science)

Science Online News Staff (names and titles only); contact information page; Feedback page.

More about Science Magazine at Wikipedia.


In Response to the Top 50 Science List by Paige Brown Jarreau (SciLogs) discusses the original article and provides her own list of Twitter accounts to follow, and a compilation of other important related lists (blockquoted below):
More lists of women scientists on Twitter:

Discov/Her 10 Women Scientists You Should Follow on Twitter

Women Scientists on Twitter - a public Twitter list by Erika Check Hayden

And of course, many of these science bloggers are also scientists: Celebrating female science bloggers

Women (on Twitter) in Conservation

Women Tweet Science Too - a public Twitter list by Laura Keeney

Women in Astro/Physics - a public Twitter list by Katie Mack

Women in STEM, listed by number of Twitter followers - a public Twitter list by Laura Keeney

BLACKandSTEM - a public Twitter list by Spephani Page [sic - it's "Stephani Page" (@ThePurplePage - jcifa)]

And a growing list of female scientist tweeters can be found on Twitter #WomenTweetScienceToo

Please let me know if this list is missing someone who should really be on it. I'm happy to modify the list!
PZ Meyers (Wiki bio, previously) writes today on the blog, Pharyngula:
I do not blame the author. She was trying to track down a quantifiable measure and used the ones at hand, and was also trying to address a specific contrivance, the claim that high Twitter follower counts was somehow indicative of scientific failure. She didn't invent the Kardashian index, so don't blame her: blame Neil Hall, who came up with the K-index in the first place.

And now, of course, we get a useful backlash. People have started compiling lists of active Twitter users who also happen to be scientists and women. Here's one from Paige Brown Jarreau; one by Erica Check[Haden - jcifa]; another by Victoria Herridge. I also posted a list of women scientists on youtube a while back. It seems these are relatively easy to find. Instead of referring to arbitrary lists of people assembled by an arbitrary metric that has a built-in bias against certain kinds of people, you'll find that there are other lists built by advocates to counter those biases.
See also: POC STEM Professionals - a public list by DNLee (@DNLee5)

Previously: Where My Ladies At?, How to write about scientists who happen to be women, Picturing our scientific grandmothers

that's like adding three more Floridas, inhabited entirely by seniors.

From The Atlantic, "Why I Hope to Die at 75" and "What Happens When We All Live to 100?"

Big Dog, Small Person

Twenty two fantastic pictures of little kids with big dogs.

The twisted world of sexual organs

"'s a world so full of carnal conflicts of interest and deception that only now are biologists getting to grips with all of its ins and outs, including an understanding of why human sex may be about pleasure rather than pain."[via BBC]

Article contains link to this interesting article (only the abstract is available but it will do): Human sperm competition: ejaculate manipulation by females and a function for the female orgasm

Apple's canary is missing

Apple's "warrant canary" disappears, suggesting new Patriot Act demands

Needs a bottle feeder.

Yoga ball chair was too bouncy? Standing desk left you yearning for motion? Treadmill desk got you scrambling to keep up? Behold the latest in office fitness and productivity! The Hamster Wheel Standing Desk!

"Let me tell you something, Elvin."

Thirty years ago this month, NBC premiered "The Cosby Show" and changed the television landscape. And though people will rightly remember it as a groundbreaking show for African Americans (and sweaters), Slate's Jason Bailey argues that it was just as important in its feminism.

The Jack Kirby Of Porn: Celebrating The Happy Hunks Of Tom Of Finland

ComicsAlliance explores the work and legacy of Tom of Finland (mostly SFW), the legendary homoerotic artist whose work is now available in a limited edition stamp set

"Lovers of print are simply confusing the plate for the food."

International Read an E-Book Day:

The new holday -- "holiday"? -- is the brainchild of OverDrive, a major e-book distributor. OverDrive is the country's largest provider of e-books to libraries; it handles e-books from 5,000 publishers, including major Penguin Random House, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Perseus, Wiley, and Harlequin. If you've ever checked an e-book out from the L.A. Public Library, it was provided by OverDrive. To celebrate International Read an E-book Day, Overdrive will be giving away tablets and e-reading devices at the website and through social media. Readers are asked to "tell their story of what eBooks mean to them" and use the hashtag #eBookDay to be eligible.
via: L.A. Times

Chef Stories

Amy Glaze writes How To Talk Like A French Chef:

I'm not learning the kind of French I intended to. The other night on one of my days off, I ordered a cocktail at an upscale restaurant that I had never heard of before. It was a mixture of rum and spirits with fruit juice. It sounded interesting but a little too sweet for my taste. I asked the server if it was dégueulasse (deh-guh-lass), which I thought meant 'gross'.
and The Chocolate Chip Caper:
My hands are permanently blood stained (out out damn spot!) and no matter how much bleach or hydrogen pyroxide I use it won't go away. They are swollen from gutting hunted animals by hand and getting pricked by tiny bullet shattered bones – so much so, that I can't even get my engagement ring over my knuckle let alone make a tight fist. The scars on my hands, wrists and arms from cooking and accidents (like the time I tripped on a box left on the floor and landed hands first onto our massive hot plate stove burning the entire side of my hand and wrist) are obscene.

more Chef Stories

via "You Cannot Be Mommy": A Female Cook on Ratatouille

um... is that "blood" or "lipstick"?

Writer Creates "Color Thesaurus" To Help You Correctly Name Any Color Imaginable

"Y bien zapateao!" - Happy 18th of September!

Los Picantes sing a cueca about being an expatriate - La Cueca del Patiperro, including one paya dedicated to those flying the flag abroad, wherever you are!

For the more classical taste, some more cuecas you may recognize: These are two of my personal favorites: Los Lagos de Chile, (aka. Pirihueiii!, "The Lakes of Chile"), and Jaime Atria's La Consentida ("The Spoiled One").

Or how could we forget Violeta Parra's Cueca de los poetas ("The Poets' Cueca", with subtitles).

Tiquitiquití! Tiquitiquití! Y vueeeelta!

And if cueca is not your thing, and you're more of a highlands person anyway, here is a gorgeous diablada, Diablo rojo, diablo verde, played by the beautiful Pascuala Ilabaca and Fauna, her band.

Or how about this North-South, heartbreaking hybrid of a folk-love-song, Run Run se fue pal norte, in Violeta's original, and Inti-Illimani's later redition.

And since we're looking South, here's a bunch of chilote superhits featuring clever wives and sassy girls being courted: El Curanto ("Get up, you lazy fisherman!"), celebrating Chiloé Island's typical barbecue-in-a-hole. Then, there is a cheerful ode to La Tejedora, the wise women weaving the fisher's net. And next to last, but not least, La Trastrasera (here performed by the talented young dancers of Jardín Bambi, as it is performed every year in September, in every pre-school and kindergarden across the country.)

Finally, Jorge Yánez singing the sad waltz of a wool hat, its faded colors in the rain a metaphor for fading love.

We Are The Robots

The Vocoder, a short New Yorker video (11:30) about the military origins of the vocoder. The vocoder—the musical instrument that gave Kraftwerk its robotic sound—began as an early telecommunications device and a top-secret military encoding machine.

Cold calling

The Grandparent Scam

Every day, phones are ringing in homes across the country. Maybe yours. On the line: organized teams of con artists trying to bilk you out of thousands of dollars by impersonating your loved ones.

I was so tall. You were older then.

Can we talk about how much the gossipy young girls who cluster in the schoolyard must feel like children to her? And Susan has forgotten about being a child. She is the blessed, the chosen, the promised. Susan has decades on them, wars, loss and betrayal, victory and growing fields, the trust of her subjects. It was a visceral thing, to have all those lives under her protection and to know that her subjects slept safe, peacefully, on dark nights. Here, on this drab concrete, her people are untouchable, indefensible; her self is vanished, her kingdom gone; she can feel the loss like a wound. She has lost her power, but that trust, that responsibility remains. It circles her ankles, trips her in the school hallways.
Can we talk about Susan Pevensie for a moment? (A followup to this.)

Well, women are used to worrying over trifles.

Trifles is a powerful, brief, one-act play written by Susan Glaspell and published in 1916. It is for this play (and a short story version of it entitled "A Jury of Her Peers") that Glaspell is best known today, but she deserves to be better appreciated: "Her plays received better reviews than those of Eugene O'Neill, and in 1931 she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for her play Alison's House [pdf summary]. . . . Glaspell was the co-founder with her husband George Cram Cook of the Provincetown Players (1916-1922), the Little Theatre that did most to promote American dramatists, and her diplomacy and energy held the group together for seven years. It was largely thanks to Glaspell's intervention that O'Neill's first plays were performed, and she played a major role in stimulating and encouraging his writing in the following years."

It's now or never.

God bless Mike Brown and his family. This young man's murder has exposed corruption and evil and incompetence at every level in Missouri. Shaun King lays it all out on Ferguson. Previously, originally.

I.P. Freely

What happened to pay toilets in the USA? In the early 1900s, when railroads connected America's biggest cities with rural outposts, train stations were sometimes the only place in town with modern plumbing. To keep locals from freely using the bathrooms, railroad companies installed locks on the stall doors—only to be unlocked by railroad employees for ticketed passengers. Eventually, coin-operated locks were introduced, making the practice both more convenient and more profitable. Pay toilets then sprung up in the nation's airports, bus stations, and highway rest stops. By 1970, America had over 50,000 pay toilets. By 1980, there were almost none.

The anime of Makoto Shinkai: beautiful, somber, with moments of humor

"If I had been born 10 years earlier, I don't think I would be an animator," wrote Makoto Shinkai. Despite the fact that even his earliest animations were completed with a Mac and a tablet, his style is influenced by the works of prior Japanese animators, even earning him the title "the next Miyazaki," which he says is an honor, but overstating his skills. From his earliest short, Other Worlds, he set some of the tone and pacing featured in his subsequent works, which are discussed in the lead up to an interview Shinkai did with Tested.

Shinkai's second work, She and Her Cat, was another casually paced piece in black and white, but with much more detail in the animation and in the audio. He created the less than 5 minute long piece in the course of 5 months, doing everything except for the music himself, even recording his own vocals in his living room. It's a quiet story of a cat coming into the life of a lady, and their friendship, as told from the point of view of the cat.

The animation was improved from lessons learned at his day job at Nihon Falcom, where he worked on graphic design for the company and animation clips for their games, including Bittersweet Fools, Wind: A Breath of Heart, Footstep Of Spring, and Ef: A Fairy Tale of the Two.

The first of his longer works was Voices of a Distant Star (Japanese audio, Chinese subtitles; trailer with English subs; Wikipedia page with full plot). Created by himself, Shinkai even provided the voices for the first dub with his girlfriend at that time, though the final version featured professional voice actors. Though the film is broadly about a young girl who is recruited by the UN Space Army to fight aliens, at its core it is about how technology shapes relationships, another general theme to follow through his a number of works.

The Place Promised in Our Early Days (English dub) was the first feature-length film by Shinkai, who also had an animation team to work with him, resulting an a much more polished product. The story is again about strained efforts to communicate, this time between friends who are split by a war that divides Japan, in something of an alternate universe where the southern islands are occupied by U.S. forces and the north by the mysterious "Union," who build a giant tower for unknown reason(s).

5 Centimeters Per Second (Japanese audio, English subs) doesn't include any science fiction, but includes something of nostalgia for the recent past, starting in the time before widespread use of cell phones and email, and Shinkai focuses on the various implications of trains as a mode of transportation, something that can bring strangers together and as something that can create a barrier.

Children who Chase Lost Voices (trailer, Japanese audio, English subs; full film in English with Arabic subs) is a visually stunning meditation on death, love, and loneliness, this story of a girl's journey to a mystical underworld doesn't shy away from the harsh things encountered in life, and that review also likens the film to what might happen if there were a collaboration between Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata.

The Garden of Words (trailer, Japanese with English subs; full movie, dubbed in English) is designed to be an homage to the beauty of Tokyo, and Makoto Shinkai made the film shorter to be something that people could enjoy in their spare time for a bit of relaxation. The story is a simple one about love, with solitude and sadness as ingredients, which shouldn't surprise you by now, given Shinkai's past works.

But don't let this sound like Makoto Shinkai is a man to only make somber works. He has also produced shorter, lighter works, such as the music video for Hiromi Iwasaki's "Egao (The Smile)", the two shorts "A Gathering of Cats" and "Someone's Gaze," and "Z-Kai: Cross Road", a short commercial (all clips feature Japanese audio with English subtitles).

"remove line breaks? where have you been all my life!"

Welcome to! A suite of simple, single task, browser based, text manipulation tools.

Basic Text Tools:
Add Prefix/Suffix into Line - Insert a prefix and/or suffix into the content of each line.
Add/Remove Line Breaks - Add new line breaks and/or remove exisiting line breaks within your text's formatting.
Count Characters, Words, Lines - Count your text's characters, words, sentences, lines and word frequency.
Delimited Column Extractor - Extract a specific column of delimited text from each line of your input text.
Find and Replace Text - Find and replace text matching your search criteria.
Letter Case Converter - Convert your text's letter case to UPPER, lower, RaNdOM and more.
Merge Text (Line by Line) - Merge two sets of text line by line with the option of writing a prefix, divider or suffix into each merged line.
Remove Duplicate Lines - Remove/delete all duplicate lines within your text/list.
Remove Empty Lines - Remove/delete all empty lines within your text/list.
Remove Extra Spaces - Remove leading/trailing/extra/all whitespaces from your text.
Remove Letter Accents - Remove common letter accents from your text. (e.g. will convert into a)
Remove Lines Containing... - Remove lines containing or not containing your specified search text.
Sort Text Lines - Sort your text's lines in alphabetical, length, random or reverse order.

Obfuscation Tools:
ASCII, Hex, Unicode, Base64, Binary, Octal Converter - Encode/decode ascii, hex, unicode, base64, binary, octal.
Binary Code Translator - Obfuscate text by encoding it into the 0s and 1s of binary code. Very geeky!
Disemvowel Tool - Remove vowels "aeiou" or any other set of letters from text.
Encryption Generator - Encrypt/decrypt text via password using Tiny Encryption Algorithm (TEA) and base64.
Reverse Text Generator - Reverse text, flip text, reverse wording, flip wording, reverse each word's lettering, flip letters upside down.
ROT13 Caesar Cipher - Encrypt plaintext into ROT13 ciphertext or decrypt ROT13 ciphertext into plaintext.
Word Scrambler/Unscrambler - Scramble/unscramble each word's lettering within a body of text.

Randomization Tools:
Random Line Picker - Pick random lines from your input text/list. Lines can contain names, numbers, etc.
Random Number Generator - Generate random numbers from your entered low/high range with prefix, suffix and delimiter options.
Random String Generator - Generate random text string(s) from your entered input elements such as characters, words, sentences, etc.
String Randomizer - Randomize text strings with the option of a delimiter.

Combination / Permutation Tools:
Combination Generator - Make combination from text.
Line Combination Generator - Make combination from lines of text.
Permutation Generator - Make permutations from text. (Letters, numbers, symbols, words, sentences, etc.)

Numeration Tools:
Generate List of Numbers - Generate a list of sequential numbers from your selected low/high number range.
Number Each Line - Add a sequential number to each line of text. Enumerate items within a list.
Online Tally Counter - Count using multiple, indepently named tallies which are recorded into a printable list.

Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas

For those of you that haven't discovered her yet, I present Jessica Hernandez (and the Deltas). Demons, Sorry I Stole Your Man, Tired Oak, No Place Left to Hide, and Cry, Cry, Cry. (here's a handy Spotify playlist.)


This is not the stirring tale of macho crew cuts and heroic deeds from The Right Stuff that is now a fat chapter in every U.S. high school history book. This is a tale replete with fumbling, bumbling, bickering and at least one insane-sounding notion. To nuke the moon.

25 Of The Most Creative Sculptures And Statues From Around The World

Our cities are full of majestic monuments, stunning sculptures and artistic statues, each having a story to tell. Thousands of them have been made but only a few of them are really extraordinary and picture-worthy. That's why our readers set out to find the world's most creative statues and sculptures, which add color and emotion to the most boring areas of the cities. Brought to you by Bored Panda 25 Of The Most Creative Sculptures And Statues From Around The World