Chris Higgins is the author of The Blogger Abides and writes for This American Life, The Atlantic, Breakfast on Mars, and The Magazine. You can follow him at chrishiggins.com.
On April 22, NASA announced 20 years of Hubble Space Telescope pictures. Yes, our little buddy Hubble has been up there for 20 years, happily sending images back to us. NASA has collected videos, a Greatest Hits photo archive, and even a book showing Hubble's best work. Here's my favorite Hubble photo:
Orion... READ ON
On March 20th, Obscura Day was a worldwide celebration of "expeditions, back-room tours and hidden treasures in your hometown." 80 events took place in 20 countries, hosting more than 4,000 people -- with the general theme being really awesome stuff that happens to be in your neighborhood. The video below shows some highlights of what happened. If it piques your interest, check out more info on Obscura Day and mark your calendars for Obscura Day 2011!
Obscura Day 2010 from Dylan D. Thuras on... READ ON
Okay, so there's a US government website called newmoney.gov. That's the first problem. We need a whole website with its own domain name to talk about updated currency? The updated currency that isn't being released until February of 2011? Okay, I get it, everybody needs a website (although I thought the US Treasury already had one). But what I really don't get is that you can "Follow the $100 Note Unveiling on the U.S. Currency Social Media Pages [links to Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube]." What... READ ON
Twenty years ago last week, Twin Peaks made its TV debut. Often described as eerie, creepy, or just plain weird, Twin Peaks is now considered a landmark in TV history. I'm a huge fan of the music -- composed by Angelo Badalamenti, with lyrics by David Lynch and vocals by Julee Cruise -- it's atmosphere and haunting. If you're a Twin Peaks fan, the Julee Cruise album "Floating Into the Night" is a must-have. Anyway, here are some awesome Twin Peaks clips to weird out your evening.
"Just You and I"... READ ON
Last week the Library of Congress announced that it would archive all public tweets (Twitter messages). This led to some speculation about why in the world anyone would want to archive the ramblings of people on Twitter -- in other words, who cares that I got a new gizmo, or that I liked last night's episode of Lost? Well, today I bring you #Posterity, a great Slate article addressing this question -- author Christopher Beam talks to historians and details what makes this archive useful. Here's a... READ ON
Airing tonight as part of the PBS series Independent Lens, check out DIRT! The Movie, a documentary about dirt -- what it is, how it got there, and why it's important.
Dirt is very important stuff -- it contains a lot of microorganisms working together to maintain ecosystems. Dirt is critical of course to food and other plant growth, but it's also a critical part of the overall ecosystem -- it processes rainwater and has effects on climate. In DIRT! The Movie, we learn about what dirt actually is, how... READ ON
Roger Ebert made waves a while back when he claimed that video games can never be art. While I'm not touching that argument with a ten-foot pole, I thought you might enjoy the video below -- shot in 1993, it shows Ebert and his pal Gene Siskel playing Greatest Heavyweights of the Ring on a Sega Genesis, using the Sega Activator™ "Full Body Controller." This video game, and the resulting clip of the Siskel/Ebert bout, is certainly not art. Though it is brought to you by Jelly Belly, Lady Remington,... READ ON
Star Wars: Uncut is a web project in which 473 people each contribute 15 seconds of footage for a complete, shot-for-shot remake of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Participants' remakes range from cartoons to Lego stop-motion, and there's even a segment using only dogs. The producers have released roughly five minutes' worth of footage, and it's a real treat -- silly and charming, with a new style every fifteen seconds. Check it out:
Star Wars Uncut "The Escape" from Casey Pugh on Vimeo.
Full... READ ON
This happened Wednesday night. So two men are having a debate; they're vying to be the Democratic candidate for Governor of Oregon in the next election. The men are former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber and former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury. Video of the debate is streaming live on Bradbury's campaign website. In the middle of the debate, someone in the crowd yells: "Is there a doctor in the house?" Kitzhaber, who is a former E.R. doctor, jumps off the stage and runs into the crowd.... READ ON
Released in 1991, L.A. Story is my favorite Steve Martin movie -- yes, I like it even better than The Jerk. It's a little shocking to realize that the movie is nearly 20 years old now, as I distinctly remember watching it when it was released. I recall being completely obsessed with every character in this movie, and also kinda into Enya. Those were the days.
Anyway, L.A. Story is a strange love story, full of references to Shakespeare, spare footage from the film Koyaanisqatsi (seriously!), satire... READ ON
Pepsi-Cola was originally called “Brad’s Drink.”