The Community Weblog. In byte-sized chunks.

Nobody lives here.

Nik Freeman has created a map, based on census data, to illustrate the 47% of the United States where nobody lives.

Beats Unraveled

In Boiler Room's Beats Unraveled video series, Binkbeats (previously) performs live versions of electronic music songs that he loves.

  1. The Healer by Madlib and Erykah Badu (original, live)
  2. Getting There by Flying Lotus (original, live)
  3. Without You by Lapalux (original)
  4. Lost & Found by Amon Tobin (original, live)
  5. Lovely Bloodflow by Baths (original, live)
  6. A medley of songs by J Dilla
  7. Bowls by Caribou (original, live)
  8. Places by Shlohmo (original)
  9. Windowlicker by Aphex Twin (original, live)

Gorme xoloo noqoney? -- When did we become livestock?

In early April, hundreds of Somali speaking Kenyans were arrested in a supposed anti-terrorist sweep in Eastleigh, Nairobi after an alleged Al Shabaab attack left six dead. The people arrested were taken to a local football stadium and kept in cages, unless they could afford to bribe the police. For The New Inquiry Aaron Bady uses Kenyan and other news sources to explain the background to these razzias, why Somalis are often the victim of police extortion and how this impacts Kenya as a whole.

(A short primer: Kenya borders Somalia, has always had a minority of Somali speaking people within its borders, which has of course been swelled by refugees from the decades old civil wars in Somalia and because of its support for the Somali Federal Government of Somalia and involvement with the African Union Mission to Somalia has suffered terrorist attacks from the Al Shabaab militant Islamic organisation. Eastleigh is a predominantly Somali neighbourhood of Nairobi and is where both the terrorist attack and most of the police sweeps happened.)

Why and When is Easter?

Easter is the most famous movable feast in our calendar. Its date appears to change unpredictably from year to year, and different branches of Christianity disagree on when exactly it should be marked. In some years, like 2014, western Christians and the Eastern churches (such as the Greek and Russian communities) celebrate Easter on the same Sunday – but that is not always the case. [via BBC]

"We made it for the audience, and we're taking it straight to them."

"It's a very exciting night for us, because it's not just the première of the film, it is the worldwide release date." - Joss Whedon's new film, "In Your Eyes" celebrated its global premiere and release simultaneously tonight. The Dissolve weighs in on the release, mere days after the first few minutes of the film were previewed online. TheWrap has further coverage on the film and on the evolving nature of self-distribution in the arts world.

The film, which was written by Whedon and directed by Brin Hill tells the story of two folks who are connected through a metaphysical bond that allows them to experience each others' lives.

Everything is meaningless.

#PostModem [SLVimeo,nsfw:nudity] is "a comedic satirical sci-fi pop-musical based on the theories of Ray Kurzweil and other futurists. It's the story of two Miami girls and how they deal with the technological singularity, as told through as series of cinematic tweets."

#PostModem premiered at Sundance Film Festival and 2013 and went on to play SXSW, NYFF, Rotterdam, New Zealand, Winterthur, AFI, and the Filmmaker Magazine Retrospective at MoMA.

Mayer\Leyva is performance artist Jillian Mayer and retired playwright Lucas Leyva. Previously (contains a small clip from this short film)

Graeme Downes on Lorde

Graeme Downes of the Verlaines explains why "Royals" is such a great song.

Black and White and Code All Over

hiddenenigma is an Instagram account featuring daily monochrome experiments created with the Processing library, currently on day 110 and going for 365.

Starring Robin Williams as "Everyman". Nuff said.

When the 20th anniversary of Earth Day rolled around in 1990, there was a desire to mark the occasion in a big way in order to teach a new generation about the environment. The celebration went global with events in 141 countries. Oh, and a television special. An earnest, all star, incredibly cheesy television special.

Taking place on an interior, studio-built town square, it starts with Robin Williams' character doing a comedy routine about not caring for the environment until Mother Nature (Bette Midler) falls ill and there is a rush to save her. So while she is tended to by a trio of TV doctors (including Neil Patrick Harris as Doogie Howser), we witness the goings on in the square. A number of celebrities reprise famous characters (Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown and the late Harold Ramis as Egon, I mean Elon Spengler). Will Smith, Ice T, Queen Latifah and others rap about the planet. Kermit the Frog and Bugs Bunny show up. Carl Sagan talks about Global Warming. There's even a nice sketch between Williams and Dustin Hoffman (who probably were filming "Hook" together at about the same time this was shot). And on and on.

For those who want to get the full 1990 pop culture impact of this artifact, all 99 minutes of it are available on YouTube.

Going Fishing, In Suburban Baltimore

The hottest poker room in the US is at Maryland Live, a casino just Southwest of Baltimore. The reason is that the poker rooms are well stocked with fish, amateurs that regularly lose large sums at poker, but keep coming back to lose again. The sharks are enjoying the feast.

Sad Panda No More

After being separated from her long time companion, who was sent to another zoo in China, Sijia the panda started showing worrying signs of depression. So the staff at Yunnan Safari Park decided to make things a bit more fun for her, and built an amusement park in her enclosure, including a plasma television showing her feeds from other pandas around the world.

This is not the first time that pandas have been given access to awesome toys, which they seem to enjoy very much.


OMEGA - A Stop Motion Animated Short. "The mechanical life form Ohm inhabits a bleak and devastated planet. The thousands of mechanical creatures of this world share a single cycle of energy. In this cycle, Ohm is a rogue element. His nature is to devour and absorb others. When one day a gargantuan foreign object appears in the skies. Drawn in by mysterious creatures of light, the Ohm tracks them across the planet, changing the known order of matter, time and space." [Via]

Beating the Tinder Game

Blake Jamieson used his marketing background to game Tinder's system.

ref. Claude Lévi-Strauss

The trailer for the 2012 documentary The Raw and the Cooked stands alone as a work of art, by capturing perfectly the best scenes from this beautiful film. Created by German filmmaker Monika Treut. Background.

Jesse Winchester 1944-2014

Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester passed away at his Virginia home on April 11 after a battle with cancer. Born and raised in the US South, Winchester brought his incredible talents north to Quebec's Eastern Townships in 1967 as a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War. He wrote and sang about his choice in 1977's Nothing But a Breeze: "Me I want to live with my feet in Dixie and my head in the cool blue north."
Winchester boasted that he was the fifth cousin of Robert E. Lee and that his father served in the second World War but he chose instead to renounce his family's militaristic tradition and "spend his time gardening". Despite having been pardoned in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter, Jesse remained in his adopted home for many more years, before settling in Virginia in 2002.

More Jesse:
I Wave Bye-Bye
Brand New Tennessee Waltz
Black Dog

Artworks in The Goldfinch

A collection of every piece of art mentioned in Donna Tartt's "The Goldfinch", latest winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Mild spoilers in comments. [via mefi projects]

A Northern California Love Song

♫ ♫ Well, you came out of nowhere like a Berkeley pedestrian
You stole my heart just like a San Francisco crackhead stole my bike
You drive me crazy like those West Marin hippies
But you're the kind of Northern Californian that I like ♫ ♫

An affectionate look at the locals from New Yorker-turned-Californian Emily Yates.

Moisture Is The Essence Of Wetness

Architecture And Vision has used warka trees and towers made of bamboo and fabric to harvest 100+ litres of potable water from the air (video) per day.

whoooooosh-BOING!!! oooWEEEoooWEEEoooWEEE... SPLOP!! VRROOOOM--scrEEEEch!

Here's 42 minutes and 27 glorious seconds of audio sound effects from Warner Bros. cartoons. And, should you want more (and of course you do), here's one hour and 17 seconds worth from Hanna Barbera studios.