Links: July 18-24

Drone Pictures: Best Aerials Recognized in New Contest (National Geographic)

Netflix says ‘no rules’ would be better than FCC’s net neutrality proposal: Netflix filed a comment with the FCC yesterday strongly condemning the commission’s new net neutrality proposal, which would allow internet service providers to offer so-called “fast lanes” to companies that can afford them. “No rules would be better than rules legalizing discrimination on the internet,” Netflix writes in a lengthy reply to the FCC. Netflix argues that the new rules will turn the goal of an open internet “on its head,” making the internet look more like the convoluted and stagnating cable TV landscape than the innovative and quickly developing platform that we’ve come to see the internet as. (The Verge)

Yes, Facebook is sucking your soul: Once again, social science has done what it so often does: Proven that which we already knew deep in our souls.  In this case, it’s that Facebook is bad for us. (Marketplace)

Intimate Photos Of How People Eat In New York City: Photographer Miho Aikawa explores how the evening meal is evolving in two of the world’s biggest cities. (Fast Company/Co.Design)

The Downing of MH17: A New Precedent for the World’s Battlefields: What the crash of the Malaysia Airlines jet says about the military role of non-state actors (The Atlantic)

With jet crash, news media again weigh where to draw the line on graphic photos: As news about the Malaysia Airlines jet crash began breaking Thursday, the Reuters news service tweeted what it described as the first photo from the scene in Ukraine. The image was ghastly: It showed a man hosing down the shattered, still-smoldering remains of a plane that just moments before had carried 298 people. (Washington Post)

A guide to winning the customer service cancellation phone battle: If you want to cancel your account, you must prepare to be (occasionally) nasty. (Ars Technica) Note: I don’t necessarily agree with this, but it’s interesting nonetheless. As are some of the comments. 

Ars editor learns feds have his old IP addresses, full credit card numbers: FOIA request turns up 9 years of records, including plaintext credit card numbers.  (Ars Technica)

Japan’s vending machines: a shopping spree (engadget)

Riding the Juggernaut That Left Print Behind: Even if you aren’t one of those people worried about media consolidation — there are many in that number — the big bolt of lightning last week that pierced a summer of ennui in entertainment and publishing news was hard to resist. (New York Times)

Hong Kong: Hong Kong is an unbelievably beautiful city and it makes you willing to come back. People there are kind and responsive. You feel respected no matter if you are local or a foreigner. Moreover, the main thing for me is that I never get bored there. The rhythm of life is comparable to Moscow. However, unlike Moscow, Hong Kong only retained the best of it. (ontheroofs) Note: These pictures are truly amazing.

From On the Media:

The End of the Gun Report: The Gun Report was a New York Times blog that chronicled daily shootings across the country in an effort to highlight victims of gun violence between mass shootings.

The Kiss That Saved The Sims: The Sims is one of the most popular video games of all time. But the game came very close to never being released. Bob talks with journalist Simon Parkin about how an unplanned kiss between two Sims characters at a gamer conference created enough buzz to launch the game.

Gaymes: Only a handful of mainstream video games feature gay characters. Bob talks with Samantha Leigh Allen, a transgender writer and academic, about some of the commercially successful games to include LBGT identities.

From NPR:

The Opposite Of Schadenfreude: Vicarious Embarrassment: Guardian columnist Oliver Burkeman says he suffers from vicarious embarrassment, and can’t watch cringe-inducing viral videos.

Watch Out For That Butterfly: The Lure Of Literary Time Travel

People Share Moon Landing Memories On YouTube Channel: Sunday is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. NPR’s Scott Simon talks with Buzz Aldrin about his new YouTube channel, where anyone can share memories from the historic day.

 

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Links: July 3rd-11th

Tongues take a while to untie. (via Indexed by Jessica Hagy)

Tongues take a while to untie. (via Indexed by Jessica Hagy)

What a Woman’s Choice Means to the Supreme Court and Social Conservatives: A choice isn’t really a choice when you can’t find another job, or when it’s the end of the month and the checking account is empty and the morning-after pill costs $50 without insurance, or when the only approved birth control methods won’t work for you. For decades, activists have invoked a woman’s “right to choose” — choose when it’s the right time for her to have children and when it’s not, and to choose which contraceptive method to use in the meantime. In theory, women are still allowed to make these choices in America. In practice, though, to choose you must have options. Health insurance is one of the things that guarantees options and access. Freedom, as the conservatives say, isn’t free. For a choice to be a true choice and not a default, sometimes we have to subsidize it. (New York Magazine)

Back from the edge: In the 1990s China had one of the highest suicide rates in the world. Young rural women in particular were killing themselves at an alarming rate. In recent years, however, China’s suicides have declined to among the lowest rates in the world. In 2002 the Lancet, a British medical journal, said there were 23.2 suicides per 100,000 people annually from 1995 to 1999. This year a report by a group of researchers from the University of Hong Kong found that had declined to an average annual rate of 9.8 per 100,000 for the years 2009-11, a 58% drop. (Economist)

How not to say the wrong thing: Draw a circle. This is the center ring. In it, put the name of the person at the center of the current trauma. For Katie’s aneurysm, that’s Katie. Now draw a larger circle around the first one. In that ring put the name of the person next closest to the trauma. In the case of Katie’s aneurysm, that was Katie’s husband, Pat. Repeat the process as many times as you need to. In each larger ring put the next closest people. Parents and children before more distant relatives. Intimate friends in smaller rings, less intimate friends in larger ones. When you are done you have a Kvetching Order. (LA Times)

 A Job Seeker’s Desperate Choice: On the morning of March 20, Shanesha Taylor had a job interview. It was for a good job, one that could support her three children, unlike the many positions she’d applied for that paid only $10 an hour. The interview, at an insurance agency in Scottsdale, Ariz., went well. “Walking out of the office, you know that little skip thing people do?” she said, clicking her heels together in a corny expression of glee. “I wanted to do that.”But as she left the building and walked through the parking lot, she saw police officers surrounding her car, its doors flung open and a crime-scene van parked nearby. All the triumphant buoyancy of the moment vanished, replaced by a hard, sudden knot of panic. Hours later, Ms. Taylor was posing for a mug shot, her face somber and composed, a rivulet of tears falling from each eye. A subsequent headline in The Huffington Post said it all: “Shanesha Taylor, Homeless Single Mom, Arrested After Leaving Kids in Car While on Job Interview.” (New York Times)

What Pastel Hair Means For Women Of Color: Our latest obsession here at Refinery29 is probably pretty obvious to you by now: We can’t get enough of pastel hair. So, when Diana and Everdeen, two R29ers, approached us and expressed interest in taking the pastel plunge, we jumped at the chance to put them in touch with celebrity colorist Lena Ott of the salon Suite Caroline. Ott is known for creating vibrant, rainbow-inspired hair colors, making her the perfect person for the job. (R29)

More than rumors drive Central American youths toward U.S.: Some Central Americans feel encouraged by rumors that children who cross into the United States will be allowed to stay. But other fundamental reasons fueling migration have remained unchanged for decades: family unification, hometown violence, inescapable poverty and lack of opportunity. Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, the so-called Northern Triangle of Central America, are among the poorest and most dangerous countries in the hemisphere. Plagued by ruthless street gangs and a growing presence of Mexican drug traffickers, the countries have seen homicide rates grow by 99% over the last decade, with the current rate five times that of the United States, according to a new study by the British-based Action on Armed Violence. (LA Times)

 You Can Delete, but You Can’t Forget: I erased all of my mother’s emails after she died. I want them back. (The Atlantic)

These Park Benches Welcome The Homeless Instead Of Rejecting Them: Instead of being designed to thwart a good sleep, these park benches in Vancouver fold out into miniature shelters. (Fast Company/Co.Exist)

The Next Big Thing In Urban Planning? Backyard Cottages: As the days of suburban sprawl give way to those of urban density in U.S. metros–“smart growth,” most call it–providing sufficient housing remains a challenge. Decades of planning regulations and highway patterns support single-family homes built far outside a city center. Even in areas where big residential towers make sense, developing them takes a long time and costs a lot of money. Manhattan wasn’t built in a day (Fast Company/Co.Exist)

The Best And Worst Design Of The 2014 World Cup: From ugly stadiums to underwear slips to new and improved soccer balls (Fast Company/Co.Exist)

Friday Links

  • The Chinese artist Liu Bolin's latest project in Beijing is documented by Jason Lee from Reuters. Liu is known as the invisible man for using painted-on camouflage to blend into the background of his photographs (via The Guardian)

    The Chinese artist Liu Bolin’s latest project in Beijing is documented by Jason Lee from Reuters. Liu is known as the invisible man for using painted-on camouflage to blend into the background of his photographs
    (via The Guardian)

    I’ve been to a lot of concerts, but not ones where I spent the night. But apparently people leave unbelievable messes, as seen here after the Reading Festival (Daily Mail).

  • The Twitter of Tomorrow (New Yorker): Most people noticed that Twitter started connecting the different tweets that make up a given conversation with a blue line. I noticed this and it totally confused me — I don’t like it because I don’t like Twitter messing with chronological order and the lines are actually super annoying — I’d rather they did conversations differently. I don’t care about reading other people’s conversations on my timelines most of the time. Ugh. I know, I hate change, but come on.
  • Two stories from NPR:
    • Compensation Funds For Victims Of Tragedy A ‘Small Solace’  This was a really good story I heard Sunday morning. It’s an interview with a man who hands out compensation to victims — and he talks about some of his experiences and what kind of job it is (as well as how difficult it is for victims/survivors/their families as well as himself).
    • The Voice Of Rocky And Natasha Earns An Emmy: A much happier story. I’ve always been a big fan of Rocky & Bullwinkle and it was really fun to hear this short interview with June Foray. I watched the show on Netflix, but it’s no longer streaming on there, but it is on Hulu now, so I can get my fix. And in case you were wondering, my favorite part of the show is Peabody’s Improbable History.
  • I emailed this to a bunch of people, but I’ll share it again here. A touching and pretty awesome story about a boy from Mongolia who used the internet and ended up attending MIT: The Boy Genius of Ulan Bator (NYT)
  • A new study of the snow leopard’s habitat across the Tibetan plateau has found that Tibetan Buddhist monasteries may be better equipped than formal preservation programmes to protect the endangered cats from poaching, retaliatory killing by farmers and other deadly perils. The key is their ability to extend their influence across administrative boundaries and maintain safe space for the animals.  (Tibetan monks and endangered cats via The Economist)
  • A review of The Grandmaster (which stars my favorite actor, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, and that I own and have watched, twice):  The Grandmaster: Returning to the Roots of Kung Fu (Tea Leaf Nation) I haven’t seen enough kung fu movies to review it adequately, but it doesn’t quite seem as good as the other Wong Kar Wai movies I’ve watched, though it is good. H and I saw it in Chicago (and got to see Tony do a Q&A in the theater(!) after the film) and I did notice what was missing (about 10 minutes were cut from the original, which is the version that I own). If you’re looking for a lot of kung fu action, this isn’t the movie you want. That being said, it’s a decent existential look at kung fu, which is what WKW is good at. I think it’s a good movie, I just think there’s a better movie in there, somewhere.

I know, this got kind of long, but whatever, I found a lot of good links. As a final note, here’s a commercial from Thailand that will make you cry (and then you can read more about it here, via The Diplomat):