Saturday, November 20, 2010

Harry Potter-free links

---David Foster Wallace's archives

---if other directors made The Social Network

---an interview with Isabelle Huppert

---Kevin Patterson's "Diseases of Affluence":

"Here is our normal: 40 percent of North American adults have metabolic syndrome. The syndrome is caused by being fat, even at levels North Americans would not recognize as abnormal. Obesity prompts the receptors that insulin acts upon to become numb to its effects. As we grow fatter, and insulin resistance proceeds, higher and higher levels of insulin are necessary to get the sugar out of the blood. Eventually, overt diabetes may supervene, as it has for 8 percent of North American adults, a tenfold increase since the turn of the last century. But even prior to the development of diabetes, metabolic syndrome insidiously eats away at the bodies of those it affects.

Metabolic syndrome’s elevated insulin level is why we order a second Whopper; getting fatter, cruelly, stimulates our appetite. It is also why high blood pressure is more common among Westerners, too, and why our cholesterol panels are more alarming. Ultimately and especially, it is why heart attacks are almost unknown among traditional peoples like the Pashtun, while half of us will spend our last minutes with the impression that a large kitchen appliance is sitting on our chests."

---Duncan Jones' Source Code trailer

---the Brighton Rock trailer

---behind the scenes of Peeping Tom

---Google and money

---the dangers of teaching nowadays

---problems with Facebook messages (and Zuckerberg's take on the idea)

---A. O. Scott wonders why he goes to the movies

---the new data journalist:

"The open data movement campaigns for important information -- such as government spending, scientific information and maps -- to be made publicly available for the benefit of society both democratically and economically. The linked data movement (championed by the inventor of the Web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee) campaigns for that data to be made available in such a way that it can be linked to other sets of data.

That means, for instance, a computer can see that the director of a company named in a particular government contract is the same person who was paid as a consultant on a related government policy document. Advocates argue that this will also result in economic and social benefits.

Concrete results of both movements can be seen in the US and UK -- most visibly with the launch of government data repositories Data.gov andData.gov.uk in 2009 and 2010 respectively -- but also less publicised experiments such as "Where Does My Money Go?", which uses data to show how public expenditure is distributed, and "Mapumen-tal," which combines travel data, property prices and public ratings of 'scenicness' to help show at a glance which areas of a city might be the best place to live based on individual requirements.

But there are dozens, possibly hundreds, of similar examples in industries from health and science to culture and sport. We are experiencing an unprecedented release of data -- some have named it 'Big Data' -- and yet for the most part, media organisations have been slow to react.

That is about to change."

---molecular animation

---"This is your brain on metaphors" by Robert Sapolsky

---19 movies that double as movie criticism

---Sheila considers her eight years of blogging:

"I started the blog, randomly, on a day when I was home from work for some reason. I was living in this crazy apartment I shared with my good friend Jen in Hoboken, and we had moved into it on September 4, 2001. It was in a slum-like tenement building (seriously, the outside of it looked horrendous), and we were on the 5th floor, a walk-up. When our moving guys moved us in, I thought one of them was going to have a heart attack. I have 4,000 books and as my father always said, “Nothing heavier than a bunch of books.” I remember one heaving sweaty moving guy tromping up the stairs for the 50th time, holding the 25th box of books, saying to me in a warning tone, “There had better be some Stephen King in these boxes!” Best comment of the day. Thankfully, I could reassure him on that score.

The apartment was wall to wall white linoleum, even in our bedrooms. The ceiling looked like that of a grade school, and you could put push-pins into it if you wanted to have a Valentine’s Day party and have dangling red hearts everywhere (which we did). It had a big open living room and kitchen and two bedrooms. We were struggling actresses, with big school loans, so this was the apartment we could afford. Our bedrooms were both on the east side of the building. Jen’s was a better bedroom, with huge windows on two walls, but we were happy enough with our weird linoleum palace. We both could see the World Trade Center out of our bedroom windows, for the brief seven days we lived there before the 11th came."

---OK Go and the art of the viral video

---NYC timelapse

---the welcome return of Whit Stillman

---Angelina Jolie

---@CraigatPorlock reviews The Best American Noir of the Century

---Ted Koppel reflects on the death of real news

---lastly, Jasan Bellamy and Ed Howard consider An Autumn Afternoon

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