Archive for September, 2009
In case you missed it, here’s Kseniya Simonova, the 2009 winner of Ukraine’s Got Talent.
The generous genius behind San Francisco’s best annual live music festival– Hardly, Strictly Bluegrass– is bringing his cash and his penchant for goodwill problem solving to the dilemma of how to fix local news in San Francisco. Warren Hellman is creating a nonprofit news organization in partnership with KQED, UC Berkeley journalism school and the New York Times.
The plan is to create a multi-media group that will link reporters and editors, KQED’s TV, radio and online capabilities, UC Berkeley’s journalism school’s expertise and the New York Times as the partnership’s “print distribution agent,”
–Noelle Leca, chair of KQED’s board of directors, told the San Francisco Business Times. The launch is set for early 2010.
If only for a day or two, horrible dust storms have given Sydney a J.M.W.Turner-meets-Mad-Max sky.
There’s a crazy faux-archeological dig going on in New York Harbor right now. Belgian artist Geert Hautekiet is curating a dig on Governors Island which includes artifacts from the former Belgian/French settlers’ collection of commercially unsuccessful snow globes, like one depicting a small boy being chased by two polar bears. Read a full report in the New York Times or go to Hautekiet’s site, The Archaeological Dig to read more. For pictures of the site, check out this photo slideshow.
The site also includes a number of sculpturelike apparatuses for scaring off birds, the result — according to what Mr. Hautekiet said the archaeologists have pieced together — of a troubling period in the town’s history in 1953 called the Plague of Birds. A monthslong infestation was apparently caused when the Spanish gas station owner, distraught that his wife had left him for a trucker, built hundreds of intricate and alluring bird houses and placed them around his business, where they can now be seen.
Veteran correspondent for The Washington Post, T.R. Reid has written an interesting new book on healthcare, The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. In the book Reid goes, suffering with his frozen shoulder, to 10 different countries to seek treatment. The journey seems to be a great comparison of the world’s healthcare systems and perspectives. Read the New York Times review or, even better, listen to his interview on Fresh Air. Reid was also on KQED’s Forum as well.
Google has just rolled out a preview of Fast Flip, a new visual way to browse the news. Once you sign in with your Google login, you can flip between readable cached images of news articles without having to wait for them to load. The experience is close to flipping pages in a magazine and over time the site will learn the sites you like. The fast flipping between stories also plays well with iPhones. One significant aspect is the partnership with the three dozen or so news sites and blogs that are partners in the site– the publishers will get a share of the revenue from ads shown near their content. Maybe this is the Hulu for newspapers. Read more and see video of the product introduction.
There’s growing evidence that going to a 4-day, 40-hour workweek has great benefits for workers and the environment. For the past year, more than 17,000 state employees in Utah have shifted to a Monday to Thursday schedule.
For those workplaces, there’s no longer a need to turn on the lights, elevators or computers on Fridays—nor do janitors need to clean vacant buildings. Electric bills have dropped even further during the summer, thanks to less air-conditioning: Friday’s midday hours have been replaced by cooler mornings and evenings on Monday through Thursday. As of May, the state had saved $1.8 million.
With less people commuting on Friday, the state estimates the new hours have reduced air pollution by an estimated 12,000 metric tons of CO2. And after surveying workers over the past year, there were other surprising findings: 30 percent surveyed said they exercised more, took fewer sickdays, and increased volunteerism.
Check how federal stimulus money is being spent in California in this great interactive map.
Great, short, visual documentary on the extravagant molecule-manipulating cuisine at the Chicago restaurant Alinea. Read the interesting New Yorker profile on Grant Achatz, the chef genuis behind Alinea. And see more beautiful photography of Achatz’s creations from Lara Kaster.
It’s endless. Bored American teenagers can get into anything. Apparently for many crunkcore gives them a rich and exciting life.
Ottawa-based company, DNA11, has come up with a great concept commercial art concept. For as little as $200 you can hang attractive representations of your actually DNA or fingerprints on the wall. After you order online and choose your color and style, you get a DNA collection kit, send by your sample and wait 4-6 weeks for the art.
Invasion of Poland began this morning. Warsaw bombed. For more than a year, the folks at the Orwell Prize and the Orwell Trust have been posthumously blogging George Orwell’s diary entries in real time, 70 years to the day since each entry was originally written. See images from the diary and follow along in a Google Maps travelogue.