Things tagged bestof:

The Last Day of Her Life

Robin Marantz Henig in The New York Times:

When Sandy Bem found out she had Alzheimer’s, she resolved that before the disease stole her mind, she would kill herself. The question was, when?



The Backwards Brain Bicycle



Surely you can’t be serious: An oral history of Airplane!

A.V. club:

We spoke with as many people involved in Airplane! as we possibly could—including the Zuckers, Jim Abrahams, and cast members Robert Hays, Frank Ashmore, Al White, Lee Bryant, Ross Harris, Jill Whelan, Maureen McGovern, David Leisure, Gregory Itzin, Marcy Goldman, and Jimmie Walker—and asked them to reflect on their experiences while making the film as well as their astonishment that audiences still love Airplane!



Teenagers Face Early Death, on Their Terms

Jan Hoffman in The New York Times:

Until recently, most clinical teams believed that adolescents would not understand the implications of end-of-life planning and that they might be psychologically harmed by such talk.

Sometimes when providers do make the attempt, parents or patients may abruptly change the subject, fearful that by joining in, they are signaling that they have abandoned hope.

Yet research shows that avoiding these talks exacerbates the teenage patient’s fear and sense of isolation. In a 2012 survey examining end-of-life attitudes among adolescent patients with H.I.V., 56 percent said that not being able to discuss their preferences was “a fate worse than death.”



Bay Area Hip Hop History: Veteran Dancers Reminisce About Local Styles




Man Finds Needle In Haystack

Two things; no this is not an Onion link. And how great is it that there is a news outlet called “modern farmer”, that reports on wonderful things like this?


Artist Sven Sachsalber has accomplished much in his career as a conceptual artist, from surviving a performance in which he ate poisonous mushrooms to spending 24 hours with a cow. But his latest is a non-metaphoric metaphoric triumph: he has found a needle in a haystack.



Allen & Alinea: One Man’s Odyssey Through an Iconic Cookbook




David Fincher - And the Other Way is Wrong

Tony Zhou Every Frame a Painting:

For sheer directorial craft, there are few people working today who can match David Fincher. And yet he describes his own process as “not what I do, but what I don’t do.” Join me today in answering the question: What does David Fincher not do?




Van Jacobson speaks on Content Centric Networking

Nerd out time. Gets really good towards end of part 3.

The Named Data Networking (NDN) project makes use of the CCN (Content-Centric Networking) architecture developed at the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC). In this presentation, Van Jacobson speaks on content-centric networking at the Future Internet Summer School (FISS 09) in Bremen, Germany in June 2009.



What Should Medicine Do When It Can’t Save You?

There are two things I care passionately about, and believe american culture (western culture generally) have wrong; education, and death. Here is a great piece on the latter. This is not something we can fix through legislation. (see: Death councils). It will have to be a cultural shift.

Atul Gawande in The New Yorker:

A few days before Thanksgiving, she had another CT scan, which showed that the pemetrexed—her third drug regimen—wasn’t working, either. The lung cancer had spread: from the left chest to the right; to the liver; to the lining of her abdomen; and to her spine. Time was running out.

This is the moment in Sara’s story that poses a fundamental question for everyone living in the era of modern medicine: What do we want Sara and her doctors to do now? Or, to put it another way, if you were the one who had metastatic cancer—or, for that matter, a similarly advanced case of emphysema or congestive heart failure—what would you want your doctors to do?

The issue has become pressing, in recent years, for reasons of expense. The soaring cost of health care is the greatest threat to the country’s long-term solvency, and the terminally ill account for a lot of it. Twenty-five per cent of all Medicare spending is for the five per cent of patients who are in their final year of life, and most of that money goes for care in their last couple of months which is of little apparent benefit.

And the hour long documentry on Frontline is here. Trailer for that:




Eric X. Li: A tale of two political systems

It’s a standard assumption in the West: As a society progresses, it eventually becomes a capitalist, multi-party democracy. Right? Eric X. Li, a Chinese investor and political scientist, begs to differ. In this provocative, boundary-pushing talk, he asks his audience to consider that there’s more than one way to run a succesful modern nation.




Biophilia: Continuing Human Evolution: Fallacies and Prospects

Where are we going, and where do we want to go, genetically speaking?

Of all the politically correct stances, the genetic unimprovability of humanity is perhaps the most inviolable. Even while we work daily, even feverishly, to improve other aspects of our material and cultural existence, our biology remains an ethical red zone, where nothing can be done and no infringement placed on individual replication. As a response to the abuse of eugenics in the 20th century, and to the deep philosophical problems involved, this is understandable. But it does not do justice to the underlying science.

Eugenics are a real issue, have been a real issue, and will continue to be a real issue. Genetic modification techniques will come to be applied on humans, and the rich will get it first. Looking away from these realities because they are uncomfortable is weakness.



Walking City

Winner of Golden Nica at Ars Electronica 2014

Referencing the utopian visions of 1960’s architecture practice Archigram, Walking City is a slowly evolving video sculpture. The language of materials and patterns seen in radical architecture transform as the nomadic city walks endlessly, adapting to the environments she encounters.




Study: Americans Less Fearful Of Storms Named After Women

Researchers at the University of Illinois and Arizona State looked at deaths caused by hurricanes between 1950 — when storms were first named — and 2012.

Even after tossing out Katrina and Audrey, particularly deadly storms that would have skewed their model, they found that hurricanes with female names caused an average of 45 deaths, compared with 23 deaths from storms with male names.

In order to back up their findings, the scientists surveyed hundreds of individuals and found that, even on paper, they were less fearful of storms they thought would hit like a girl.

“People imagining a ‘female’ hurricane were not as willing to seek shelter,” said study co-author Sharon Shavitt in a statement. “The stereotypes that underlie these judgments are subtle and not necessarily hostile toward women — they may involve viewing women as warmer and less aggressive than men.”



The solutions to all our problems may be buried in PDFs that nobody reads

Christopher Ingraham in the WaPo:

What if someone had already figured out the answers to the world’s most pressing policy problems, but those solutions were buried deep in a PDF, somewhere nobody will ever read them?

According to a recent report by the World Bank, that scenario is not so far-fetched. The bank is one of those high-minded organizations – Washington is full of them – that release hundreds, maybe thousands, of reports a year on policy issues big and small. Many of these reports are long and highly technical, and just about all of them get released to the world as a PDF report posted to the organization’s Web site.

The World Bank recently decided to ask an important question: Is anyone actually reading these things? They dug into their Web site traffic data and came to the following conclusions: Nearly one-third of their PDF reports had never been downloaded, not even once.



@securityhulk

I love @securityhulk. This ssl mess is making for some lols.

EASY TO RECOVER FROM SSL BUG. JUST REVOKE PRIVATE KEYS, AND ANY DATA SENT THAT EVER TRAVEL OVER SSL SINCE BUG INTRODUCED. EASY PEASY.



Slomo: The Man Who Skated Right Off the Grid


Article at the NYT



The great debate: Combating HFTs image

Absolutely amazing TV, William O’Brien of BATS gets into it with Brad Katsuyama of IEX live on the NYSE floor, traders stop trading, and start shouting at the TVs.

Backstory is here: The Wolf Hunters of Wall Street



24/192 Music Downloads are Very Silly Indeed

Audio nerds: 24-bit/192kHz distribution is better right? Nope:

Monty at xiph.org:

Articles last month revealed that musician Neil Young and Apple’s Steve Jobs discussed offering digital music downloads of ‘uncompromised studio quality’. Much of the press and user commentary was particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of uncompressed 24 bit 192kHz downloads. 24192 featured prominently in my own conversations with Mr. Young’s group several months ago.

Unfortunately, there is no point to distributing music in 24-bit/192kHz format. Its playback fidelity is slightly inferior to 1644.1 or 1648, and it takes up 6 times the space.

There are a few real problems with the audio quality and ‘experience’ of digitally distributed music today. 24192 solves none of them. While everyone fixates on 24192 as a magic bullet, we’re not going to see any actual improvement.

See this fantastic video for a walk through of why stair stepping is a total myth. (Yes you should still record and produce at 24-bit, due to headroom for not worrying about clipping. but mastering (a properly centered mix) to 16bit doesn’t lose anything).



Gender Swap - Experiment with The Machine to Be Another on Vimeo

Gender Swap is an experiment that uses themachinetobeanother.org/ system as a platform for embodiment experience (a neuroscience technique in which users can feel themselves like if they were in a different body). In order to create the brain ilusion we use the immersive Head Mounted Display Oculus Rift, and first-person cameras. To create this perception, both users have to synchronize their movements. If one does not correspond to the movement of the other, the embodiment experience does not work. It means that both users have to constantly agree on every movement they make. Through out this experiment, we aim to investigate issues like Gender Identity, Queer Theory, feminist technoscience, Intimacy and Mutual Respect.