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The Community Weblog. In byte-sized chunks.

Australopithecus deyiremeda

Yesterday, Yohannes Haile-Selassie of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History and his colleagues reported finding a jaw in Ethiopia that belonged to an human relative that lived between 3.3 and 3.5 million years ago. Their article appears today in Nature.

How Brown should a Brown person be?

Adnan Khan: 'Our Brownness Does Not Belong Here'

#KeepMurvilQuaint

In this script, a 189,000-square-foot big-box store plays the role of "progress" and an old-fashioned, last-of-its-breed drive-in in plays the part of "nostalgia." Their conflict, like many in the movies, is perfectly framed to represent something greater: the struggle for the identity of a small town. What, in fact, does Maryville, TN want to be? How does "the peaceful side of the Smokies" grow while maintaining that identity — and connecting thousands of tourists to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park?

The War on Coal

The war on coal is not just political rhetoric, or a paranoid fantasy concocted by rapacious polluters. It's real and it's relentless. Over the past five years, it has killed a coal-fired power plant every 10 days. It has quietly transformed the U.S. electric grid and the global climate debate.

Japanese Farmer Finds an Enormous, Mutated Strawberry That Is Now Officially the Heaviest Ever Found [YouTube]

A farmer in Fukuoka, Japan found an enormous (by berry standards) strawberry that tipped the scale at a whopping 250 grams—that's a little over half a pound for metric system haters. The mutated beast of a berry now holds the Guinness World Record for the heaviest strawberry in the world. via: [Laughing Squid] [image 1] [image 2] [image 3]

"Some of them wear high heels..."

US vs. Nordic Policing How many shots are needed?

Funny or Racist?

A panel of comics in NYC discuss the intersection of comedy with race, gender, and sexuality. Thoughtfulness ensues.

Scroll down and click on Watch Again to watch.

The Better Angels of our Nature

An interactive look at the deaths of WWII and the relative peace that has followed Highlights include the sacrifices of the Soviet Union, the toll of past atrocities and a breakdown of holocaust deaths. Numbers are adjusted to world population at the end.

Questions about open source software, women, and fandom

Sumana Harihareswara, contributor to open source projects including Wikimedia and GNOME, asks a question: where are the women in the history of open source?

If you ask some people about the history of free software, you hear about Richard Stallman creating the GNU Public License and formulating the Four Freedoms...

Some people will tell you a bit about Stallman, and then discuss how Eric S. Raymond wrote "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" and articulated more pragmatic language for open source folks to use, and how permissive licenses helped popularize open source...

But in any case — where the fuck are the women?


And another question: What if free and open source software were more like fandom?"
Many of us are in open stuff (fanfic, FLOSS, and all the other nooks and crannies) because we like to make each other happy. And not just in an abstract altruistic way, but because sometimes we get to see someone accomplish something they couldn't have before, or we get comments full of happy squee when we make a vid that makes someone feel understood. It feels really good when someone notices that I've entered a room, remembers that they value me and what I've contributed, and greets me with genuine enthusiasm. We could do a lot better in FLOSS if we recognized the value of social grooming and praise — in our practices and in time-consuming conversations, not just in new technical features like a friction-free Thanks button.

Archaeology in the Classroom

Bobby Scotto, a fourth grader at the Children's Workshop School on 12th Street in the East Village, wants to be an archaeologist when he grows up, and he is already off to a good start. In the past few months he has excavated dozens of old coins, a toy watch and other artifacts, all from an unlikely dig site: his classroom's closet.

From 2 Tone to grime, youth cults showcase a vibrant history of Britain

Something about this country – the divisions, the class system, the general sense of distrust and dissatisfaction – seems to breed youth subcultures like no other place on Earth. The strange, stylish clans that this island incubates have been exported across the world, influencing everything from high street fashion to high art. From teddy boys to 2 Tone rudeboys, soulboys to Slipknot fans, grunge bands to grime crews, mods to mod revivalists, the history of these groups shows us a version of modern Britain that goes way beyond Diana and Blair.


Further reading:
Teddy Boy
2 Tone Rude Boys
Soulboys
Grime
Mods
Mod revivalists
Scooter Boys
Breakdance
Rave
UK Garage
Wavey Garms
Yung Lean (Sad Boys Entertainment)
Street, Style and Sound [tv series]

Previously:
Grime Int'l: a few of the current grime musicians from around the world
You don't need a drop in every track

It's a step of friendship and peace between two peoples.

Iceland district repeals decree allowing Basque sailors to be killed on sight. A memorial dedicated to the 32 Basque whalers who were killed in the West Fjords in 1615 in what's known as Iceland's only mass murder Spánverjavígin was unveiled in Hólmavík, the West Fjords, on April 22, the last day of winter. At the occasion, West Fjords district commissioner Jónas Guðmundsson revoked the order allowing Basque sailors to be killed on sight.

"The edict was issued in 1615 after a storm destroyed three Basque whaling vessels on an expedition in Iceland. Eighty members of the crew survived, said Gudmundsson, and were left stranded in the area. "They had nothing to eat, and there were accounts of them robbing people and farmers," he said.

The brewing conflict between locals and the whalers prompted then-sheriff Ari Magnússon to draw up a decree that allowed Basques to be killed with impunity in the district. In the weeks that followed, more than 30 Basques were killed in raids led by the sheriff and local farmers. "It's one of the darkest chapters of our history," said Gudmundsson, noting that the incident known as the Slaying of the Spaniards ranks among the country's bloodiest massacres."

RMS says Windows, OS X, iOS and Android are all malware

Should you trust an internet of proprietary software things? - "Richard Stallman, known for his instrumental role in the creation of Linux, has written an opinion piece arguing that nearly any operating system you might use today can be considered malware, and that goes for popular mobile platforms as well as desktop operating systems." (via; rms previously)

A world of handmade sound

If you like unusual musical instruments along the lines of those designed and built by microtonalist Harry Partch, or sound sculpture artist Jean Tinguely, for example, you might want to check out the Anarchestra.

Swords Into Plowshares: Military veterans turn to farming

What happens when veterans trade in their combat boots for muck boots? Sara Creech, a surgery nurse during the Iraq War, is part of a growing movement to help vets transition back into civilian life—and find a measure of peace—by going back to the land (NYT, mentions suicide).

The 2014 Farm Bill designates veterans "as a distinct class of beginning farmers within the U.S. Department of Agriculture," for the first time ever, according to NPR's blog, The Salt (linked above). "The status grants veterans access to low-interest-rate loans to buy animals and equipment. It also allows them to apply for grants to build onto their farm, and it can help them receive extra payments to implement conservation practices on their land." As part of its mission to connect vets and agriculture, the USDA has created the position of USDA Military Veteran Agriculture Liaison.

A growing number of military-to-farming organizations, as well as academic programs, have been working closer to the ground, including:

* Farmer Veteran Coalition (their Resources page)
* Organic Farming for Vets, from Delaware Valley College and Rodale Institute (Pennsylvania)
* Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots (Nebraska)
* Veteran Farmers Project
* Armed to Farm is Sustainable Agriculture Training for Military Veterans
* Archi's Acres (California)
* Veterans to Farmers (Colorado)
* More resources, by state
* More programs, national and international

Agriculture's transformative potential in the lives of veterans is also the subject of a recent film, "GROUND OPERATIONS: Battlefields to Farmfields" (trailer).

Fake Science Journalism

"Slim by Chocolate!" the headlines blared. I got a call in December last year from a German television reporter named Peter Onneken. He and his collaborator Diana Löbl were working on a documentary film about the junk-science diet industry. They wanted me to help demonstrate just how easy it is to turn bad science into the big headlines behind diet fads. And Onneken wanted to do it gonzo style: Reveal the corruption of the diet research-media complex by taking part.

Additional props are potato chips, pickles and olives

The New York Times has been around long enough to report on more or less everything, and its First Glimpses feature occasionally dives into the archives to see when some notable thing was mentioned for the very first time. This week, it's cheeseburgers.

The article from June 12th, 1938, also discusses "a burning hot dish called chili" and is more concerned with the strange shapes taken on by California eateries at the time (including the famed Brown Derby).

Other recent First Glimpses include a 1939 article lauding "Negro backfield ace" Jack Robinson of the UCLA football team (who would later be called Jackie and integrate Major League Baseball), Frisbees (which "are plastic disks sailed through the air in the manner of coffee can tops"), and basket ball, complete with a 1-0 score.

I'm 9 years old. And I'm an illegal alien.

Alan, Alien

♫ "Is he strong? Listen bud, he's got radioactive blood." ♪

"The Secret History of Ultimate Marvel, the Experiment That Changed Superheroes Forever"

Good evening. Please watch the following very, very carefully...

Every Alfred Hitchcock cameo ever in his own films.

Nebraska makes 19

Nebraska is the 19th U.S. state to repeal the death penalty.

Legislative Bill 268, abolishing the death penalty in Nebraska, passed the state legislature last week but was vetoed by Governor Pete Ricketts on Tuesday. The legislature has barely squeezed out a veto override, with a vote of 30-19. This makes Nebraska the 19th state in the U.S. to repeal the death penalty, and the first Republican-controlled state to do so since North Dakota in 1973.

Capital punishment has seen a slow decline in the U.S. in recent years, aided by recent repeals in Maryland (2013), Connecticut (2012), Illinois (2011), and New Mexico (2009). Public opinion, meanwhile, is slowly turning against the death penalty.

"But you did a great job of making me feel safe."

hey girl: you can use my shoulder as a rifle stand, as you're the better shot of the two of us. (feminist mad max tumblr)