Sunday, 4 November 2012

Interesting, weird, fun: arachnophobes take care (it's the last item)

Straight Dice
via How-To Geek by Asian Angel
In this game you take your chances with a roll of the dice… maybe you will win, but then again maybe not. Do you feel lucky?
Follow Asian Angel’s walk-through here or take your luck in your hand and go straight to the game here.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
The world wars brought about mass slaughter, the destruction of entire cities, genocide, and a great flowering of Modernist architecture... more

Along the El: 1907
via Shorpy Historical Photo Archive - Vintage Fine Art Prints by Dave
Along the El: 1907
Chicago, Illinois, circa 1907
“Wabash Avenue and elevated tracks”
8x10 inch glass negative by Hans Behm, Detroit Publishing Company
View original post and see, in the comments, the same view as it is today

Snap goes the crocodile
via Eurozine articles by Marina Akhmedova
Marina Akhmedova spent four days in the company of drug users in Yekaterinburg, Russia, and was met with a picture of desperation, punctured by love, humanity and misplaced hope. Shortly after it was published, this harrowing piece of reportage journalism was banned in Russia.
Read it here but be aware that this is not light bedtime reading!

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
Does quantum physics undermine materialism? Ostensibly, yes. But it sort of depends. Can the mind transcend matter?... more

Advertising supplement from 1880: sweet typography
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow

Advertising supplements were a lot more fun to look at in 1880. Submitted as evidence: this issue of the Philadelphia Grocer.
If you have a thing for typography

How It’s Made: Vinyl Records
via How-To Geek by Jason Fitzpatrick

Fans of the analogue sound of vinyl records will definitely want to check out this fascinating look at how their favourite tunes go from the recording studio to the record player platter.

Arts & Letters Daily – ideas, criticism, debate
King of the body snatchers. Astley Cooper was unfathomably rich. He taught Keats, he severed limbs, he accused others of unmanliness... more

Five reasons to play D&D
via Boing Boing by Cory Doctorow
I thought Grimm Wisdom’s 5 reasons to play D&D was a great list – and it made me want to get my 4-y-o out of bed and have a go at the stripped-down version we play with random toys, polyhedral dice, and miniatures.
But I blogged it instead – here’s the first three, I’m gonna get the kid up:
  1. Dungeons and Dragons is about imagination. It is sitting at a table, with some books, paper and pencil (or their electronic equivalent, PDFs and spreadsheets), and using the power of your mind to throw yourself into a fantasy world. Everything that your characters do is something you decided for them to do. This is no video game designer laying out choices for you. In my 20-plus years of gaming, our characters have started wars, ended wars, rescued people, killed monsters, started towns, started criminal organizations, thrown parades, stopped parades, bought bars, built temples, in addition to countless other things.
  2. Dungeons and Dragons is structure. No creative endeavour, be it art, music, writing or performance, can exist without a framework of rules and boundaries. Our English language is built on 26 letters and our music 12 notes. It is the creative person’s mission to build something in the context of that structure that is worthwhile and maybe even entertaining.
  3. Dungeons and Dragons is social. You can’t play this game alone. It requires at least two people, and typically four to eight. Interacting with other people, especially face-to-face, is important. It just is.
5 reasons to play D&D (via Wil Wheaton) 

Watch a spider molt
via Boing Boing by Maggie Koerth-Baker

Spider molting from Karli Larson on Vimeo
Spiders don’t have an internal skeleton like we do. Instead, their muscles are anchored to an exoskeleton – a sort of hard, semi-flexible shell that encases a spider’s whole body. In order to grow bigger, spiders have to grow new exoskeletons and shed old ones.
Karli Larson found a spider on her window frame in the process of shedding its exoskeleton. Naturally, she filmed it and set the whole thing to music. She says:
The entire molting process took about 30 minutes to fully complete. This is the interesting part, sped up.
The camera is a little shakey, so if that bothers you, well, sorry. But I think this is still way fascinating.
Read more about spiders, their exoskeletons, and the molting process at HowStuffWorks
Thanks, Maggie Ryan Sandford!

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