Saturday, December 27, 2014

Archive: July, 2013

POSTED: Monday, July 29, 2013, 11:19 AM
(Image via NPR)

The Internet can be an awful place. With all of the trolling, cyberbullying, and venomous tweets from One Direction fangirls, Twitter can be an especially disheartening destination. But, every once in a while, a story comes along that makes us all tear up and explains that, maybe, if only periodically, all of that vitriol and mindless messaging is a price worth paying.

Right now, NPR's Scott Simon is that reminder. The 61-year-old host of Weekend Edition Saturday is in a Chicago hospital's ICU live-tweeting his mother's last moments. His feed is poetic and insightful and harrowing and humbling. Seriously, only read it if you're ready to cry.

Also, call your mother.


POSTED: Monday, July 29, 2013, 10:22 AM
(Image via Warner Bros.)

It's the future, which means it's time for football fans to start following the white rabbit on Sunday nights. NBC has announced that it will have 24 cameras fixated on the action in each of the endzones for every Sunday Night Football contest this season. What that means for fans is that the broadcasts will include 360-degree replay angles a la that infamous scene from The Matrix.



POSTED: Monday, July 29, 2013, 8:49 AM
(AP)

You probably remember Tim Allen as the cookie cutter, testosterone-filled suburban dad on Home Improvement. Or maybe you think of him as Santa Claus. Either way, you might want to escort any young and impressionable children away from the screen before skimming the actor's recent interview with the Tampa Bay Times because homeboy talks about the N-word... a lot.

Allen was in the middle of an interview when Paula Deen came up and, instead of punting like any rational famous person, Tim Allen decided to jump right on into the conversation.

"(The phrase) 'the n-word' is worse to me than n-----,' " said Allen, who spoke to me on a day when the controversy ignited over Paula Deen's admitted use of that slur in 1986.

POSTED: Monday, July 29, 2013, 8:21 AM
Researchers looked at 100 people with this type of vision loss and found that their reading speed increased by at least 42 words per minute when they used the iPad tablet on the 18-point font setting, compared with reading a print book or newspaper.

In Queensland, Australia, there was a guy who took his iPad to the gym. Now, that alone is an act worthy of banishment from his exercise establishment, but this butthead took things a step further by using said iPad to photograph other members while they worked out. Worse still, he posted one of those pictures along with a caption mocking another gym member for struggling to lift a weight.

“Here we see the amazing chicken man…His 2% bodyfat is admired by bodybuilders and bulimic teenage girls alike,” he wrote. "Unfortunately, he can't see where his elbow joint ends and his bicep begins. He one day aspires to out-bech[sic] the other dudes at the gym, but unfortunately, he can't can't lift the bar yet - let alone the weights."

Well, Internet justice is swift because someone posted a screenshot of the Facebook activity to Reddit and users rallied to get the gym owner to ban the jerk for good. Also, the guy's mom found out and is apparently less than thrilled about her son's actions.

POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013, 1:30 PM
(Image via Emperor of Ice Cream Cakes)

Patricia Lockwood is a poet previously best known for her work in the realm of sexting (seriously). She's been published in The New Yorker and a bunch of other publications that you'd be more familiar with had you majored in art history at Wesleyan. Lockwood also had a bunch of her poems published in a book, Balloon Pop Outlaw Black.

This week, though, Lockwood's getting noticed for a piece she published over at The Awl, the Internet destination for people looking to be less stupid. Her poem is called "Rape Joke" and it's worth a read. Especially in the midst of a year that's seen the culmination of the Steubenville rape trial and an ongoing debate about the merit of rape jokes in the comedy community.

At the very least, it might make you think twice before chuckling at some of the shock humor crap spilling out of Daniel Tosh's mouth.

POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013, 11:01 AM
(Image via John Cuneo, the New Yorker)

John Cuneo is an artist. Next week, you'll be able to pick up the latest issue of the New Yorker, which prominently features a new piece of Cuneo's work. It's a painting that has a cartoonish Carlos Danger Anthony Weiner climbing the Empire State Building and taking an inappropriate selfie while helicopters close in.

This is high art, people.

“Free association made me think of the Empire State Building, and then King Kong, the iconic image of him straddling it. And then Weiner sexting, his head tilted and looking a certain way—I just stumbled upon the image as I was sketching. But all I could think about while working on this piece was, ‘Will Weiner still be in the race by the time it runs?’” [The New Yorker]

POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013, 10:27 AM
This undated publicity photo released by Netflix shows David Cross, left, and Portia de Rossi in a scene from "Arrested Development," premiering May 26, 2013 on Netflix. The sitcom, also starring Jason Bateman and Will Arnett, was canceled by Fox in 2006 after three seasons. (AP)

p to this point, we've heard speculation from Netflix—and a desperate, borderline pathetic outcry from Arrested Development fans (myself included) jonesing for more of their favorite sitcom—that have stirred rumors that the recently resurrected show wouldn't fade into the abyss, yet again.

Now, thanks to a panel discussion at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal, we have assurance from Arrested Development creator Mitch Hurwitz. Hurwitz was asked if the show would return. His response? "Definitely."

Then, turning to Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, he said: ‘I don’t want to get into a whole negotiation right now... but I’ve got a family to feed.’

POSTED: Friday, July 26, 2013, 8:48 AM
Silverback gorilla Jabari enjoying a snack in the primate exhibit at the Philadelphia Zoo. Today was the first day Kira, a female gorilla, joined the family group in the exhibit in PECO Primate Conservation Center at the Philadelphia Zoo on Wednesday, July 7, 2013. She is part of the family group of gorillas including Honi (female) and the large silverback male, Jabari. ( ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER )
Stick a gorilla in an X-ray and almost no one notices
Sometimes, when people are doing something that demands their attention, they fail to 
notice obvious, but unexpected, things that come into their line of sight. Psychologists 
call it inattentional blindness and think it happens when people are just so overloaded 
with stimuli they can’t devote their attention to any more. 
To illustrate the phenomenon, researchers have done experiments where they ask people 
to watch a video of a basketball game. One team is wearing white shirts and the other is 
wearing black and the viewers need to keep count of how many passes the white team 
made. At one point during the game, a man in a gorilla suit walks onto the court, looks at 
the camera, thumps its chest and then leaves. 
Almost everyone things they would notice something like this, but most of the time the 
experiment is done, half the viewers are so engaged in counting that they completely miss 
the gorilla!
Now, Harvard researchers have taken the “invisible gorilla” a step further. Rather than
having people off the street watch a basketball game, they asked a group of experienced
radiologists to look at a series of chest X-ray and locate nodules in the lungs.
A gorilla, 48 times the size of the average nodule, was inserted in the last case
that was presented. Eighty-three percent of the radiologists did not see the gorilla. Eye 
tracking revealed that the majority of those who missed the gorilla looked directly at its 
location. 
The takeaway from this? Even people who train for years to look for small abnormalities 
in images can miss something right in front of their face. Also, if you get small gorillas 
stuck in your lungs, you’re screwed. [Psychological Science]

Sometimes, when people are doing something that demands their attention, they fail to notice that obvious, but unexpected, things have come into their line of sight. Psychologists call it inattentional blindness and think it happens when people are just so overloaded with stimuli they can’t devote their attention to any more.

To illustrate the phenomenon, researchers have done experiments where they ask people to watch a video of a basketball game. One team is wearing white shirts and the other is wearing black and the viewers need to keep count of how many passes the white team made. At one point during the game, a man in a gorilla suit walks onto the court, looks at the camera, thumps its chest and then leaves.

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