Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Fan-funded Nazi UFO movie has raised $7.65 million

Fan-funded Nazi UFO movie has raised $7.65 million

You must have loved the trailer for that Nazi UFO movie we showed you last week, because thanks to fan donations, the project has already pulled in 90 percent of the feature-length project's $8.5 million budget.

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Tin can ukulele has a nice sound

Aaron Keim says: "Here is a tin can ukulele I made recently. It is walnut and mahogany with an italian espresso can." He plays in a band called Boulder Acoustic Society. (Thanks, Gary!)

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One reason humans are special and unique: We masturbate. A lot.

Sometimes, the title of a story I'm linking to just speaks for itself.

Interesting fact from the text, as pointed out by Richard Metzger:

Amongst the more interesting things discussed in the article--trust me, it's a great read--is the fact that most men basically need to spill their seed, drain the vein, etc, at minimum, every 72 hours. Pair that notion with studies that found women's bodies rejected sperm that had overstayed its welcome in the male testes (had not been flushed out) by 48 hours.

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UK bookies think Matt Smith is leaving Doctor Who

UK bookies think Matt Smith is leaving <i>Doctor Who</i>

Like Matt Smith as Doctor Who? Think he'll be back for a second season as the Time Lord?

If you answered yes to both questions, let's ask that question again—only this time, what would you say if you had some money riding on the correct answer?

We only ask because those who DO have a more mercenary interest in the outcome seem to have decided that we'll end up with a new actor in the role next season.

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Just look at this illustration of an ancient carnivorous whale


How do we get kids interested in science? How about more pictures like this in junior-high science textbooks. Just look at it. I'm having a hard time not making metal hands at my own computer screen.

The beast in question is called Leviathan melvillei, a name so awesome that it actually made me question whether this was a legitimate animal and not something made up as a joke. But Wired Science and Science News magazine tell that it was real. And spectacular.

The longest of Leviathan's teeth measure about 14 inches including the root, more than 40 percent longer than those of today's sperm whales. And, Lambert notes, the longest tooth of Sue, one of the largest Tyrannosaurus rex specimens yet found, measures only 10.6 inches from root to tip.

Modern sperm whales feed largely on invertebrates such as giant squid, but have been known to feed on fish and other creatures as well. The extremely robust, deeply-rooted structure of Leviathan's teeth strongly suggests that the creature fed on large, presumably struggling bony prey like sharks do.

But that doesn't mean the whale's diet was restricted in any way. "If you're big enough," Fitzgerald notes, "you can bloody well eat what you want."

Insert guitar solo here.

(Thanks, Nick Bohac, you giant nerd.)

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Here's the face of Spider-Man. Do you approve? (BOO!)

Here's the face of Spider-Man. Do you approve?

Word has been spreading today that 17-year-old actor Josh Hutcherson has been offered the role of Spider-Man in the Sony Pictures reboot scheduled for summer 2012. The Blue Sky Disney blog reported the news first, although it's important to note that there has been no official confirmation yet that Hutcherson has won the role.

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"Clouds and Rain" Kiridashi


A kiridashi is a kind of all-purpose Japanese utility knife, of minimalist styling, commonly without a separate handle. Hand-forged for $45 from bladesmith Scott A. Roush of Washburn, Wisconsin. Includes leather sheath, tassel, and naturally-shed horn

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ACLU: America is riddled with politically motivated surveillance

A new ACLU report, "Policing Free Speech: Police Surveillance and Obstruction of First Amendment-Protected Activity," documents recent cases of politically motivated surveillance across America -- cases in which people were put under surveillance "for doing little more than peacefully exercising their First Amendment rights."

At a California State University, Fresno lecture on veganism, six of the 60 in attendance were undercover officers from the local and campus police. The Oakland Police Department in California had infiltrated a police-brutality demonstration, and its undercover officers selected "the route of the march."

A vegetarian activist in Georgia was arrested for jotting down the license plate of a Department of Homeland Security agent who was snapping photos of a protest outside a Honey Baked Ham store. A Joint Terrorism Task Force in Illinois went on a three-day manhunt in Chicago searching for a Muslim man for his suspicious activity of using a hand counter on a bus. As it turned out, the man was counting his daily prayers.

A Kentucky minister was detained at Canadian border trying to enter the United States because he had purchased copies of the Koran on the internet following the 2001 terror attacks. A New York, Muslim-American student journalist was detained for taking pictures of Old Glory outside a Veterans Affairs building as part of a class project. The authorities deleted the pictures before releasing her an hour later.

ACLU Study Highlights U.S. Surveillance Society

ACLU: Policing Free Speech: Police Surveillance and Obstruction of First Amendment-Protected Activity (PDF)

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Apple Posts Job for Antenna Engineer

Apple is looking for some new engineers with a specialty in antennas. The company has three spots open for these workers and it needs them with the signal criticisms that the iPhone 4 has faced.

JayBird has released an app on the App Store that works with its line of Bluetooth headsets. The app lets the user control tracks on the iPhone using Bluetooth controls.

iMovie has been ported to the iPhone 3GS already. The app is supposed to only work with the iPhone 4, but one hacker has found a way to make it work on older OS' and on the iPhone 3GS with a few tweaks.

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The Joys of Campfire Cooking

I don't know anyone who doesn't like cooking (and eating!) around a campfire. The great thing about it is that you don't need a lot of skill or a lot of food. The easiest grub I know how to make (thanks to my dear friend Jennifer) are quesadillas. Thinly sliced apples, cheddar cheese and salsa sandwiched between two tortillas and warmed on hot rocks next to a campfire tastes great after a day of hiking.

If you're looking for something a little more ambitious ReadyMade has some great campfire cooking recipes here.

The cool, creative, outdoorsy folks at Cold Splinters (an awesome travel blog I love and admire) turned me on to a 1970s gem called Campground Cooking (pictured above). I immediately bought a used copy (for 4 bucks!) after reading this post about Lodge Dutch ovens and sourdough biscuits.

Here's a yummy recipe from the book you can cook up outdoors this weekend:

Kettle Baked Beans

3  One-pound cans of baked beans
1/3-cup molasses
2 tbs. prepared mustard
1 tbs. lemon juice
½-tsp. black pepper
2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
½-cup cook bacon, crumbled
¼-cup strong black coffee
¼-cup rum

Mix ingredients and bake at 350 deg. F. for one hour or over hot coals for 90 minutes. Leftovers can be reheated. Makes 6 to 8 servings

From "Canoe Kitchen," by Mike Michaelson
Campground Cooking, Edited by Charles and Kathy Farmer (Digest Books, 1974)

[All photos are from the book]

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The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: THIS is a saga? Really?

<i>The Twilight Saga: Eclipse</i>: THIS is a saga? Really?

Why bother reviewing The Twilight Saga: Eclipse? Those who wish to see it certainly will do so over and over again, and neither I nor their parents nor a phalanx of tanks and flamethrowers can stop them. And of those people who do not wish to see the film, nothing I could say would make them give it a shot.

Had Eclipse been good, I suppose I could have said something like, "David Slade, who wowed us half a decade ago with Hard Candy, has again mined the ids of fourteen-year-old girls and offered us a dark vision of death and sex," but indeed, Slade knows that he isn't making a movie here. Eclipse defies criticism because it isn't really a film—it's just the shared dream for fans of the novel series.

Or as one of the fans behind me at tonight's screening said as we waited to retrieve our impounded cell phones (studio's orders!), "I liked this one. Jasper had a bunch of lines this time."

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Design First Loves: The Swatch

Today I read the New York Times obituary of Nicolas Hayek—the chairman of the Swatch group who introduced the watch to the world—and went into a nostalgia tailspin of Swatches I have known.

In 1984 my family went to Los Angeles to visit relatives and watch "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena" run with the Olympic torch. My cousin Rachel was sporting a hair-do wherein almost everything was shaved to a tight military millimeter except for a hot pink shock of bangs that covered one eye in a sultry and jaded dismissal of quotidian aesthetics. I thought she was the coolest person I'd ever seen. Since I wasn't about to go back to grade school in middle Tennessee with neon hair, I coveted her attainable accessory—a Swatch watch.

On the plane ride home I brokered the biggest deal I'd ever laid on the table: I agreed to stop sucking my thumb if my parents would buy me a Swatch. It was the first object I would have done anything to have. My first industrial design love.

As it turned out, we all fell for the functional, stylish affordable Swiss timepiece. My parents have both sported a Swatch since 1984.

My first one was a charming 1980s design travesty in fluorescent yellow with intentionally ill-matched stripes on the face. The inscrutable face of a later "post modern" Swatch showed what appeared to be an abandoned house. (That one was lost at a high school soccer game. Rue the day!) Last year I optimistically gave my friend Ida her first Swatch for her third birthday. She calls it her clock and her teddy bear wears it most of the time.

Anyone out there have favorite Swatches of yore?

[Image from the Swatch website]

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Image of the Day: Amazing origami Yoda

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Why Sorcerer's Apprentice will be better than you think

Why <i>Sorcerer's Apprentice</i> will be better than you think

A kids movie trying to make a two hour action-adventure out of a Mickey Mouse short? Well, sure, when you put it that way, The Sorcerer's Apprentice sounds like a bad idea. But at least Jerry Bruckheimer produced it, so it has more explosions than the Fantasia segment it's based on.

Seriously though, they did put some thought into making a movie out of this classic, and some of their ideas are pretty good. The movie stars Nicolas Cage as the sorcerer Balthazar, who takes an apprentice (Jay Baruchel) in present day New York. Jon Turteltaub directs and made sure Cage got to play an unpredictable weirdo like he always does.

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Johnny Depp rumored to star in Doctor Who big-budget film

Johnny Depp rumored to star in Doctor Who big-budget film

Johnny Depp as a lizard with an identity crisis? That we can get behind. But Johnny Depp as a Time Lord ... that we're not so sure of.

And yet that's what we might be seeing on the big screen a few years from now if the info uncovered by is correct.

An article at pubarticles presented the project as fact, and reportedly passed on the following news:

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

For $35,000 you can buy a street-legal (working) Tron lightcycle

For $35,000 you can buy a street-legal (working) Tron lightcycle

Just in case watching Tron Legacy this December won't be enough for you, and you'd prefer to live the dream rather than just sit in a theater munching popcorn—AND you happen to have a spare $35,000 lying around—you can make that dream come true.

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"We Deserve To Know Why!", Screams Angry Idiot Over Mall Closure is broken and I feel just like this guy.

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Dallas Business Journal Reports Verizon to get iPhone in January 2011

Wireless giant Verizon may be getting the Apple iPhone as early as January 2011, ending AT&T's exclusive iPhone deal with Apple.

Bloomberg reported this information Tuesday, citing two people close to the situation.

Calls to sources at Verizon and Dallas-based AT&T were not immediately returned.

The Dallas Business Journal reported earlier this year that AT&T’s initial iPhone contract with Apple ended June 10, 2010, three years after it began. At the time, AT&T reportedly secured a six-month extension by cutting wireless prices for Apple’s new iPad.

- iPhone on the Road

Cloudy Helmers Building LEGO Movie

Heat Vision is reporting that Warner Bros. Pictures has hired Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs helmers Phil Lord and Chris Miller to write and direct the LEGO movie. Based on the popular building blocks, the movie will mix live action and animation. The studio is keeping the plot tightly under wraps, but it's described as an action adventure set in a LEGO world. Dan Lin and Roy Lee are producing and LEGO's Jill Wilfert is executive producing. The duo "prepared a presentation that not only had to pass muster with Warners brass but also with execs from Lego, which is extremely protective with its toys and brand and had a significant hand in the process," adds the trade. Lord and Miller are currently developing the 21 Jump Street movie and plan on doing...

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Brain-melting counterintuitive probability problem

Here's a mindbending statistics and probability quirk based on the classic "Two Children" problem, a famous puzzler that goes like this: "Suppose that Mr. Smith has two children, at least one of whom is a son. What is the probability both children are boys?" (the correct answer is usually held to be 1/3, but read on).

Keith Devlin, a mathematician at Stanford, examined a variant: "I have two children, one of whom is a son born on a Tuesday. What is the probability that I have two boys?" that arose at the Gathering 4 Gardner conference (held in honor of Martin Gardner) and its even more startling conclusion: 13/27 (!).

Devlin's gloss on the famous puzzler is this:

Everything depends, he points out, on why I decided to tell you about the Tuesday-birthday-boy. If I specifically selected him because he was a boy born on Tuesday (and if I would have kept quiet had neither of my children qualified), then the 13/27 probability is correct. But if I randomly chose one of my two children to describe and then reported the child's sex and birthday, and he just happened to be a boy born on Tuesday, then intuition prevails: The probability that the other child will be a boy will indeed be 1/2. The child's sex and birthday are just information offered after the selection is made, which doesn't affect the probability in the slightest.
When intuition and math probably look wrong (via /.)

(Image: [Two Smiling Children], a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from thomasfisherlibrary's photostream)

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invisibleSHIELD Dry AT&T exclusive, iPhone 4 overheating, iPhone 4 class action suit possibility

The ZAGG line of invisibleSHIELD films are great for protecting your iPhone from scratches. The new Dry version of the film for the iPhone 4 will be an AT&T store exclusive and is available now.

The infamous reception issues with the new iPhone 4 are causing problems for users and could lead to a problem for Apple too. Legal firm Kershaw, Cutter, and Ratinoff is reportedly investigating a possible class action suit over the issue.

Some users are reporting that their iPhone 4 smartphones are locking them out due to overheating even in cool rooms. The iPad had a similar issue if used in the sun.

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What kind of bird is Big Bird? A scientist explains

Mike sez, "When I was in the early stages of my PhD on the evolution of flightless birds, I was poking round in the storage cabinets of the Berlin Museum of Natural History one summer's day, and I had a revelation -- an original scientific insight. I realised what kind of bird Big Bird almost certainly is. Last month I presented my findings at the Christchurch, New Zealand, PechaKucha #8, and the audio and slides are now live. (A pecha-kucha is a talk in which 20 slides play for exactly 20 seconds each, and the speaker tries to keep up.) All the science is real, and no Big Birds were harmed in the course of this research."

What, if Anything, Is Big Bird? (Thanks, Mike!)

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Windows 8: A First Peek

We're still a year away from the first beta, but this week an astonishing amount of information about Windows 8 suddenly leaked online. Here's what we found out about the next Windows.

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Invest in an Heirloom Recipe Card Box

There are so many amazing recipes floating around, but sometimes it seems an impossible feat to keep track of them all. I personally have stacks of cards with family recipes from the Adriatic that I definitely want to make sure I hold on to. That is why I am absolutely loving the Heirloom Recipe Card Box from Rifle Paper Co. Each box is made with a different wood, whatever the makers can salvage, and there are two designs available for the top (see picture on the right). The box may be a bit of an investment (about $120), but considering each box is uniquely handcrafted in a three month process (a mill sources salvage wood, its sent to the workman's studio, and finally completed with a hand-rubbed finish), and will likely withstand generations, this beauty is definitely worthwhile for a home cook that wants to preserve the recipes they love.

[Image via The Kitchn]

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Charles Bukowski and the Secret to Immortal Writing

image of Charles Bukowski

Henry Charles Bukowski, Jr. was arguably the greatest American fiction writer of the last half of the 20th century.

Fortunately for his book sales, most think of him as the archetypal drunk, misanthropic male pig.

Don't let the hype fool you, though. Bukowski possessed the secret to something nearly every blogger wants: what makes truly immortal writing.

As I've only spent a few minutes with his now 16-year-old corpse lying in San Pedro (see photo above), I can't speak to his personal life. But the words, the lines, the books, they are evidence of a generous, staggeringly imperfect, stoic genius and lover of life. Sure, a stack of tangled contradictions, who isn't?

Before (and after) his relatively minor fame hit, Bukowski spent decades mailing his poems and stories to small press magazines, mimeographed booklet makers and the like. Thousands of pages, hundreds of thousands of words. Usually these would go out as originals, no carbon copies.

He once estimated that he'd lost hundreds of poems this way, the publisher usually wouldn't return the rejected work, and it was gone forever.

It forced him to move on, to work deliberately, to punch through again and again and again without sentiment.

The poetry business, in my opinion, is largely an inbred, favor-driven, audience-less racket. Most folks don't think about poetry until Terry Gross drags some poor, expressive soul into her studio for a literary interview. And when he or she begins to talk, most folks switch the channel.

Bukowski eventually acquired a raving audience despite this reality. An audience that continues to grow exponentially 16 years after his death. An audience that begs, borrows and steals to get his stuff. An audience that he famously never chased down. An audience that he, in fact, largely pushed away.

How did he do it? How did he go on to sell endless books of poetry and finally lay down in the dirt making an almost six-figure literary income? Several reasons of course, but try this one on for size …

The secret is in the line.

~ Charles Bukowski

Yeah, I know. Don't dismiss that. Read it again.

The secret is in the line.

~ Charles Bukowski

No 10 point PR plan.

No elaborate structure.

No budget.

No reader polls.

No blog.

The secret is in the line.

~ Charles Bukowski

Sure, Twitter wasn't around in 1980. And he eventually had John Martin at Black Sparrow Press backing him. But Bukowski himself attributed so much weight to the single line that it eclipsed all else in his philosophy of writing. If the single line was magnificent, the rest would take care of itself.

In a 60,000 word novel, the working focus was on the single line.

In the dirty stories sold to skin mags for money, the working focus was on the single line.

In a small poem that maybe 50 people would read, the working focus was on the single line.

Not easy. Not fast. But this must certainly be the path to immortal (and powerfully influential) writing.

If you can stomach it.

If not, there's always a place for you in the pedestrian lane.

About the Author: Robert Bruce is an American writer. And day job man. And beer drinker. And Presbyterian. All from the rain and fog of Portland, Ore. Get him on Twitter.

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9 awesome FX scenes from Ray Harryhausen movies

9 awesome FX scenes from Ray Harryhausen movies

The legendary pioneer of stop-motion animation Ray Harryhausen, who turns 90 today, is considered by many to be the greatest special-effects creator of all time. A prodigy of the pre-computer animation era, Harryhausen's devotion to his craft often meant spending months designing minutes-long battle scenes.

In honor of his 90th birthday today, we're taking a look at some of Harryhausen's most amazing cinematic monsters.

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Moby's classic rave mix

XLR8R asked Moby to spin a set of old-school rave tracks! Now where the hell is my glow stick? From XLR8R:
 Files Podcasts Thumbnails Moby-Podcast It's easy to throw around words like 'legend' and 'pioneer' when talking about electronic music, and let's face it, half the time people won't say boo about these labels, most likely because they don't know who they hell you're talking about. But when it comes to true-blue dance music heavy-hitters, the kinds of artists that even your mom has heard of, it's hard to top Moby. The man has changed a lot since getting his start making high-energy rave tunes in the early '90s, but even as his music has morphed, changed, and, yes, mellowed, it's always been clear that Moby still has a soft spot for that bygone era. Here at XLR8R, we've been itching for someone to do a classic rave mix, so we figured who better than Moby to put together a pumping session full of hyperactive synth stabs, feel-good piano melodies, whooshing hoover sounds, and endlessly pulsing beats. To our delight, he was up for the challenge, and the mix does not disappoint.
Podcast 148: Moby's Old-School Rave Mix

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What if sci-fi movie posters used honest review quotes

What if sci-fi movie posters used honest review quotes

Tired of all those movie posters that cherry-pick the raves from reviewers you've never heard of while ignoring the far more accurate tomatoes from critics you trust? Us, too.

And so is Wookie Johnson over at screenjunkies, who created a gallery of movie posters using quotes from actual reviews, delivering some truth in advertising no studio would ever allow.

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Female genital mutilation at Cornell? It's complicated.


By now, you've heard the story about Dix P. Poppas, a pediatric urologist at Cornell University who published research dealing with a new technique for cutting oversized clitorises off of baby girls—and who used repeated examinations with a vibrating device* to verify, as the girls grew, that their nether-region nerve endings still worked. Dan Savage brought the initial posting on the Hastings Center's Bioethics Forum to broader public attention. Jezebel focused in on the part about the vibrating device. And Slate tried, and mostly failed, to find a contrarian "this isn't as bad as it sounds" angle.

As I read up on the story, though, I realized that nobody was explaining what was really going on here. Not fully, anyway. See, Poppas wasn't just pulling this idea out of his rear. And his patients weren't just little girls with slightly larger-than-average clitorises. In fact, the children were born intersexed—genetically female, but with ambiguous genitalia caused by a hormone imbalance. For these girls—and other children born with a variety of intersex conditions—genital surgery in infancy is standard practice. It happens all over the United States every day. The only thing that makes Poppas different was his follow-up procedures (a whole problematic can of worms that the sources above cover very well.)

But just because Poppas was following standard practice doesn't mean there's nothing to question. Doctors recommend genital surgery for intersex babies on the assumption that it would be psychologically damaging to grow up with private parts that are so outside the norm—your parents wouldn't be able to handle it and would reject you, you'd be tormented by peers, etc. But the thing is, there's no evidence that this is true. We don't know that intersex people who've had the surgery lead happier lives than those who haven't. Nobody has ever systematically followed up with the patients to find out.

Here's what we need to be asking questions about: Why are we performing purely aesthetic surgeries that come loaded with a lifetime of possible side-effects—from incontinence to inability to orgasm—when patients are too young to consent and there's no evidence that the surgery offers them any benefits?

*NOT an actual dildo vibrator, as I understand it. Read the Slate piece for more detail.

You might think the idea that "people are freaked out by ambiguous genitalia and happier with normal" would just be common sense. But reality and common sense don't always align. There's been no research on outcomes for intersex adults, but there have been lots of intersex adults who've spoken up about being miserable with the results of childhood surgeries. Realistically, there are probably people who are happy with their surgeries, too. But, with the evidence we have, all we can say for sure is that there's no guarantee surgery is the right way to go, psychologically, for each individual. Meanwhile, the standard practice is to not offer individual choice.

I'm going to go out on a limb and call that wrong. But this isn't just oppressive to people who don't fit a neat gender binary. It's also not scientific medicine.

I love modern medicine. The skeptic movement has turned me into an advocate of evidence-based medicine—the simple idea that tradition, anecdote and common sense aren't good enough reasons to ask a patient to spend money and risk side-effects on a treatment. If there's no solid, scientific evidence, what you're doing isn't medicine. It's woo-woo magic.

But I think people often forget that this doesn't just put the smack down on things like homeopathy and chiropractic. Mainstream medical treatments have to be held to the same standard. And they don't always measure up, either.

Case in point: My lower back. Since I was 21, I've been privileged to enjoy periodic bouts of horrible searing pain shooting around my hips and down my legs. Doctors tended to prescribe me muscle relaxers and tell me that, at some point, I'd probably have to have surgery. But about a year and a half ago, I got a new doctor, Jonathan Tallman. And he was different. Instead of relying on anecdote and common sense, Dr. Tallman looked at the research. He told me that studies didn't really show evidence of success for muscle relaxants, or surgery, or chiropractic, or any number of expensive treatment options. In fact, he said, studies were often stopped because the control groups—who were just doing moderate, daily exercise—were the only ones who saw any reduction in back pain. "So, why don't you try exercise," he said. I haven't had any back pain since.

That's evidence-based medicine in action.

Dr. Poppas? That's what happens when well-meaning doctors stop practicing medicine and start practicing woo-woo magic. Poppas wanted to introduce a surgical technique that would preserve as much nerve tissue as possible. That would normally be laudable. But what he should have been doing was studying whether the surgery was necessary at all.

Research and follow-up studies could end up showing that intersex children do get psychological benefits from growing up with "nomalized" genitals. I don't know. Nobody does. But you can't just assume a treatment is successful because you think it ought to be. Until there's evidence, one way or the other, surgery on the genitals of intersex children shouldn't be any more legitimate than trying to fight off malaria with a sugar pill.

Image courtesy Flickr user ida_und_bent, via cc

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Do we play Farmville because we're polite?

Mental Floss clues us into an interesting article on MediaCommons about why we play Farmville — basically, because we've been trained to not be able to ignore social obligations.
The secret to Farmville's popularity is neither gameplay nor aesthetics. Farmville is popular because in entangles users in a web of social obligations. When users log into Facebook, they are reminded that their neighbors have sent them gifts, posted bonuses on their walls, and helped with each others' farms. In turn, they are obligated to return the courtesies. As the French sociologist Marcel Mauss tells us, gifts are never free: they bind the giver and receiver in a loop of reciprocity. It is rude to refuse a gift, and ruder still to not return the kindness.[11] We play Farmville, then, because we are trying to be good to one another. We play Farmville because we are polite, cultivated people.
I don't play Farmville, but I do keep my Facebook page pretty app-free because I fear getting entangled in such obligations.

Cultivated Play: Farmville

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Computer Stuff : Limited Edition Stealth Robot 2GB USB Drive

Stores your data - and is fun to play with. A mighty warrior, bent on justice. Its duty is to hold 2 GB of your information, protect it, and help save all humankind. Will it succeed? Who knows. But you want one, so buy it now. $39.99

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Finger Painting on Apple iPad

Amazing work from David Kassan. As much as I want pressure sensitivity, talented artists seem to have few problems lacking it. Now, there's a lot I don't like about the iPad. But whenever I read someone claim you can't create anything on it, the only thing I learn is what sort of creativity they value. Try and Tell the Difference Between This iPad Artwork and A Real Masterpiece [Gizmodo] [Thanks, Joel!]

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The drug policy expertise of Richard Nixon and Art Linkletter

Radley Balko pointed to this hilarious transcript of a conversation about drugs between Richard Nixon and Art Linkletter.
 Images Photography Portfolio-2-Famous 43.-Art-Linkleter 6A00D8341Bf68B53Ef01157165Cfa6970B-800Wi Linkletter: "There's a great difference between alcohol and marijuana."

Nixon replies: "What is it?" The president wants to know!

"When people smoke marijuana," Linkletter explains, "they smoke it to get high. In every case, when most people drink, they drink to be sociable."

"That's right, that's right," Nixon says. "A person does not drink to get drunk. . . . A person drinks to have fun."

Then Nixon turns to the global history of drinking and using drugs. "I have seen the countries of Asia and the Middle East, portions of Latin America, and I have seen what drugs have done to those countries," he says. "Everybody knows what it's done to the Chinese, the Indians are hopeless anyway, the Burmese. . . . they've all gone down."

Nixon continues, "Why the hell are those Communists so hard on drugs? Well why they're so hard on drugs is because, uh, they love to booze. I mean, the Russians, they drink pretty good. . . . but they don't allow any drugs."

"And look at the north countries," Nixon continued. "The Swedes drink too much, the Finns drink too much, the British have always been heavy boozers and all the rest, but uh, and the Irish of course the most, uh, but uh, on the other hand, they survive as strong races."

Linkletter says "That's right."

Nixon comes to his main point about the "drug societies:" they "inevitably come apart."

Linkletter adds, "They lose motivation. No discipline."

Nixon gets the last word: "At least with liquor, I don't lose motivation."

Presidents Say the Darnedest Things

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Rango trailer reveals what may be Johnny Depp's weirdest role yet

Rango trailer reveals what may be Johnny Depp's weirdest role yet

Edward Scissorhands. Jack Sparrow. Ichabod Crane. Willy Wonka.

Johnny Depp has such an extensive history of bizarre sci-fi roles behind him, you could almost call him a chameleon. So isn't it about time he actually played one?

Depp stars as the title character in Gore Verbinski's computer-animated film Rango as a household pet with an identity crisis, and we just got our first look at him in a new trailer.

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‘Back to the Future II’ Aging Was Way Off

You never know what you'll stumble upon out there in the internet when you're searching for news about the 25th Anniversary of the Back to the Future Trilogy which hits Blu-ray shelves on October 26th. Today, the stumbling involved this clever gem that shows the discrepancy between how Back to the Future II showed Marty McFly at age 49 and what Michael J. Fox actually looks like at age 47.


I imagine the reason that they made him look like he was in his 60s was a combination of the limitations of make-up at the time and the need to make him far, far different looking than his already-adult self in order to make the audience hyper aware that he was old.

As a bonus, I've thrown in what they made Elisabeth Shue look like and what she actually looks like now.

They were a bit off there, too.

And where's my hoverboard?

Related Reading:

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Monday, June 28, 2010

Brilliant homemade video shows a day in the life of a pet AT-AT

Brilliant homemade video shows a day in the life of a pet AT-AT

The Empire would be appalled, but we're charmed by this video that shows a day in the life of a pet AT-AT. It's the work of Iron Baby maker Patrick Boivin, who is far too talented for YouTube, in our opinion. Someone give this guy a major film already!

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New Romance and the Apple iPhone 4

This simple iPhone 4 comic made me laugh this morning. I guess, to some extent, it explains why we're all here. [explosm via TNW]

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Stephenie Meyer Burned Out on Vampires

Twilight SagaStephenie Meyer, author of the Twilight saga, stopped work on her fifth novel in the series when the unedited manuscript for Midnight Sun was leaked online. Stephenie Meyer says the material still feels too much like "homework" for her to finish it.
"I want to wait until I'm excited about the material again, and I'm excited about Edward, and that it's something that's motivating," she said. "Right now, it feels like homework. And when things feel like homework they go very, very slowly for me. So it's still not a 'It's not gonna happen!' I want to do it when I can do it right."
She may be tired of vampires, but her readers are craving more of them. She wrote The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner, but Twilight fans really want her to complete Midnight 

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Back to the Future Trilogy Hitting Blu-ray on Oct. 26

Universal Studios Home Entertainment has announced that the "Back to the Future" 25th Anniversary Trilogy is hitting Blu-ray and DVD on October 26. The newly restored movies will feature more than two hours of new bonus features. The full announcement: At 88 miles per hour, Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd took millions of spellbound viewers on a high-flying voyage across the space-time continuum in a trio of wildly inventive tales that broke box-office records around the world. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Academy Award®-winning cinematic franchise that generated nearly one billion dollars worldwide, the Back to the Future 25th Anniversary Trilogy will debut on Blu-ray™ on October 26, 2010 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The 25th...

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Silly Putty ingredient found in McNuggets

A recent CNN investigation found that the same chemicals found in Silly Putty can be found in McNuggets:
mcnuggy.pngAmerican McNuggets (190 calories, 12 grams of fat, 2 grams of saturated fat for 4 pieces) contain the chemical preservative tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product. They also contain dimethylpolysiloxane, "an anti-foaming agent" also used in Silly Putty.

All McNuggets not created equal [CNN's The Chart]

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Coupon-clipper eats for a month on $27.08

Darren sez, "This guy, some kind of coupon Jedi from what I can gather, ate reasonably healthfully for a month on one dollar a day. In fact, he only spent $27.08, and claims to have procured $597.96 in food (from the final day's entry). He even, it seems, donated a bunch of stuff to a local food bank. He obsessively documented the experience for those, uh, keen to repeat it."
Grocery Shopping Is A Game: Getting good deals while grocery shopping is a game. If you don't think that it is, you are simply unknowingly playing it and it's costing you. Most people don't understand the rules of this game and that is why they pay much more for food than they need to. It takes about a month to learn the rules of the game and how to play it to your advantage which makes it possible to get huge discounts on the food you buy.

You Can Eat More Than Junk Food On $1 A Day: Most people that I told I was going to be trying this challenge assumed that I was going to be eating a lot of macaroni & cheese and instant ramen. I actually was able to get fruit and vegetables into my diet on a daily basis. I only ate 100% whole wheat bread the entire month. While I could have made my diet healthier if I had more money, I believe that what I ate was better than what many people in the US eat without the strict financial limitations.

Eating Well On $1 A Day (Thanks, Darren!)

(Image: Drawer full of unfiled inserts & misc., a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike (2.0) image from bargainbriana's photostream)

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Devo frontman: "I smoked angel dust with Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol"

Paul Krassner once took acid with Groucho Marx. Similarly Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh recounts smoking PCP with Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol. From The Big Issue:
 152 348024199 605F444B7B O"The only time in my life I smoked angel dust was by accident and it was on a double date with Andy Warhol and Michael Jackson," laughs Mothersbaugh. "We all went to Studio 54 and people were passing drugs all over the place.

"Michael Jackson had just finished doing the movie The Wiz and still looked like Michael Jackson back then – he had an Afro and he was still black. He passed me a joint and I thought, well OK, we don't have marijuana in Ohio so I'll try it."

Minutes later Mothersbaugh found himself on the dancefloor as pillars of light were swirling around "like weedcutters" knocking people over and cutting them up. He turned to his date in horror, only to hear her say: "You didn't smoke any of that angel dust did you?"

Mark Mothersbaugh: "I smoked angel dust with Michael Jackson and Andy Warhol" (Via DoseNation)

Photo by Ingorrr. Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

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