Category: Culture

Don’t Blink: Residential Schools, Carbon Emissions, Pussy Riot and Solar Sails

First I tried the Don’t Blink thing a few times a week, then changed it to News Dump. I’m told though that Don’t Blink is a better title. It describes the rapidity at which information comes at people. The goal, as always, is to provide a bunch of news in a short amount of space. So, I’m switching back to the Don’t Blink title but will do my best to keep them short and frequent.

So, some stories that caught my attention today:

  • The Canadian government has been ordered to turn over millions of documents related to residential schools.
  • US Carbon emissions have fallen to their lowest levels in almost two decades
  • Israeli warplanes flew over Lebanon today, signaling an increased likelihood of a conflict between Israel and Syria.
  • Australia has informed Japanese whalers that they are no longer welcome in Australian waters.
  • Nadezhda Tolokonnikova of Pussy Riot has been hospitalized at her Russian prison colony. French actor Gérard Depardieu says he doesn’t give a crap as long as it lowers his taxes.
  • Permanent structures on the moon may be created using 3D printing.
  • Japanese researchers have captured video of a thought forming in an animal brain.
  • and NASA is preparing to launch the largest solar sail ever, possibly as early as 2014.

News Dump: The NRA, the UN, Voter Fraud and Exoplanets

Some things that I read about today:

  • The UN has said that Israel must withdraw all of its settlements from the West Bank or face the International Criminal Court.
  • A former RIAA executive, responsible for their litigation heavy policies is now #2 at the US Copyright Office.
  • The sabre rattling between Syria and Israel is getting intense.
  • Mother Jones has debunked some of the NRA’s favorite gun “facts”.
  • The NRA of 2013 is having an argument with the NRA of 1999.
  • The Alberta Tories apparently took a whole lot of illegal donations.
  • Scientific American has a great map showing global water risks (flood and drought)
  • British Banks are in trouble again.
  • A US anti-voter fraud activist has been arrested for voter fraud.
  • The US Cancer death rate is down 20% since 1991.
  • An architecture student has designed a drone proof city.
  • Rush Limbaugh says Cubans, unlike Mexicans, are hard workers.
  • A Missouri high school has instituted mandatory hair-follicle drug testing.
  • We may soon be able to create detailed maps of distant exoplanets. 
  • Chances are that no one will ask secretary of defense nominee Chuch Hegel about that orphanage in Vietnam.

Free Online: The Alfred Hitchcock Classic You’ve Probably Never Seen

Alfred Hitchcok’s Charade should have been one of his best known films. The mystery thriller starred Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau, James Coburn, and George Kennedy, it was directed by Stanley Donen (On the Town, Singin’ in the Rain, Blame it on the Rain) with music by Henry Mancini (the Pink Panther, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Victor Victoria). Sound good? Unfortunately, due to a copyright error the film went into the public domain the moment it was released. The studio took two aspirin, had a stiff drink and wandered away from the project forever.

As Openculture explains it:

“It seems that pre-1978 United States copyright law absolutely required you to include some sort of mark on your work indicating your intent to claim copyright at all — ©, for instance — and in Charade‘s case, Universal Pictures seemed to have just sort of forgotten about it.”

You can watch it for free, right now and even download a copy if you like.

Free Searchable Archive of 350,000 News Broadcasts

As an internet user, Archive.org is your friend. The free archive of materials currently contains nearly 1 million movies, more than 130,000 live concert recordings, almost 1.4 million other recordings and 3.6 million texts, all of which are free to download and share – without any fear of being sued or harassed. Now the service has become even more valuable with the addition of 350,000 news broadcasts, collected over the last 3 years and updated daily. It’s unfortunate that it doesn’t go back farther than 2010, but what do you want for nothing?

The full statement can be found on the Archive.org blog or you can skip all of that and just start searching now.

On Edit: I also highly recommend NowRelevant.com a search service which only goes back two weeks, so that you can get only relatively new articles and information on a topic you are researching, without having to wade through older, outdated and irrelevant links.