Revolutionaries

Nick Pell from Red Star Times: While most people think that RJD came from the belfry of a castle in Anglia, his origins were far more mundane. He was born Ronald James…





Anyone who knows anything about Evergreen State College in Washington knows that there is nowhere in the world with a higher concentration of young hippies.  Apparently, the state police went for the…





From the Telegraph:

YouTube, the online video site, marks its fifth year this week. Here are some of the key staging posts in its history.

February 2005: YouTube founders, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim begin work on a video sharing site — they all met at PayPal.

April 2005: First video uploaded to YouTube — a video of Jawed at San Diego Zoo

November 2005: YouTube secures first round of funding with Sequoia Capital for $3.5m

December 2005: Official Launch (8m videos watched a day)

February 2006: 15m videos watched a day; 20,000 uploaded a day

May 2006: Mobile video uploads released

July 2006: 65,000 new videos uploaded every day, site passes 100m video views per day


From Fortean Times: Dominating the Freemasons’ Hall’s new exhibition, Freemasonry and the French Revolution, a giant chair, all puffed up with majesty and pomp, looms over the display cases — an effect…


From www.lifehack.org: Brilliant thinkers are very comfortable with ambiguity — they welcome it. Routine thinkers like clarity and simplicity; they dislike ambiguity. There is a tendency in our society to reduce complex…




Instead of “virtuosity” I would say “genius” … a very interesting article from Sean Michaels in the Guardian:

Was Jimi Hendrix’s ambidexterity the secret to his talent? This is the question explored in a new paper by psychologist Stephen Christman (via TwentyFourBit), who argues that Hendrix’s versatility informed not just his guitar-playing – but his lyrics too.

According to Christman, who is based at the University of Toledo, Hendrix was not strictly left-handed. Although he played his right-handed guitar upside down, and used his left hand to throw, comb his hair and hold cigarettes, Hendrix wrote, ate and held the telephone with his right hand. He was, Christman argues, “mixed-right-handed”. And this “mixed”-ness, signaling better interaction between the left and right hemispheres of the guitarist’s brain, suffused every part of his music.




What an incredible lifetime of work. Reports the AP via the NY Times:
Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn, an author, teacher and political activist whose book A People’s History of the United States became a million-selling leftist alternative to mainstream texts, died Wednesday in Santa Monica, Calif. He was 87 and lived in Auburndale, Mass. The cause was a heart attack, his daughter Myla Kabat-Zinn said.

Published in 1980 with little promotion and a first printing of 5,000, A People’s History was, fittingly, a people’s best-seller, attracting a wide audience through word of mouth and reaching 1 million sales in 2003. Although Professor Zinn was writing for a general readership, his book was taught in high schools and colleges throughout the country, and numerous companion editions were published, including Voices of a People’s History, a volume for young people and a graphic novel.

A People’s History told an openly left-wing story. Professor Zinn accused Christopher Columbus and other explorers of committing genocide, picked apart presidents from Andrew Jackson to Franklin D. Roosevelt and celebrated workers, feminists and war resisters.



Kevin Kelly writes in Cinematical:

The infamous street artist Banksy premiered Exit Through The Gift Shop at Sundance last night, which was part of Sundance’s “Secret Spotlight” series. In short, we enjoyed it, but there’s a lot to say about it this movie, so check back later for our review. The title itself refers to Disneyland and Disney World’s engineered design of having guests exit attractions right through the gift shop, so as to better serve all of their merchandising needs.

Banksy, whose real identity is an extremely well-kept secret, may or may not have been at the screening last night (how would we even know?), but he did send a letter which Sundance Director of Programming John Cooper read aloud to the audience. Read on for the full text of the mysterious letter, keep your eyes peeled for our reviews … and for more mysterious street art to appear.




From Reason.com: Police and politicians ignore the First Amendment when we need it the most. I’ve lived in the Washington, D.C., area for the better part of the last 10 years. So…



Amazing to consider what we didn’t know less than a hundred years ago. Via PBS:

On December 30, 1924, Hubble announced the discovery of a Cepheid, or variable star, in the Andromeda Nebulae. Since the work of Henrietta Leavitt had made it possible to calculate the distance to Cepheids, he calculated that this Cepheid was much further away than anyone had thought and that therefore the nebulae was not a gaseous cloud inside our galaxy, like so many nebulae, but in fact, a galaxy of stars just like the Milky Way. Only much further away. Until now, people believed that the only thing existing ouside the Milky Way were the Magellanic Clouds. The Universe was much bigger than had been previously presumed.

If you’re curious to see what the famous telescope named after him has been up to lately, check out: Hubble Sets an Eye on the Dawn of Time.

Here’s a video of Hubble’s work found on YouTube: