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An artist's concept of what it would be like to stand on the surface of exoplanet TRAPPIST-1f. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (IPAC).

The photo shows "Stage 7" at the Warner Brothers lot in Burbank, Calif.—"known as Lucky Seven, according to tour guide John Kourounis. That's because three Warner Bros. best picture winners—The Life of Emile Zola, My Fair Lady, and Casablanca—and 10 best picture nominees were shot here."

NPR's Susan Stamberg takes a tour:

From the Rome Film Festival, Lois Patiño's lovely Mountain in Shadow.

We simply just experienced an election where the sexist and literally phallocentric subtext of American politics finally manifested as text...The cocks are both symbolic and real.  

Every anthropologist knows Clifford Geertz's "Notes on a Balinese Cockfight." A lot of them saw the election in light of Geertz's analysis as "a story we tell ourselves."
↩︎ Somatosphere
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Double-click to launch the Black Death (PC only).

Inspired by Pieter Bruegel the Elder's The Triumph Of Death (1562), descent.exe launches a swarm of rats that infests your desktop, overtaking an entire village and leaving scores of bodies in its wake.

Against the new male American Girl doll (as previously discussed, ghosting/Mumford et al).

Perhaps the most offensive thing about Logan (besides the fact that his fanfared debut implies these spunky, self-sufficient girls needed a boy in their lives) is that, like the other rootless dolls in American Girl’s bland “contemporary” lines, he is marketed as interesting not because of his historical connections, but because he is available for purchase.

Claims of a unique relationship to a unique landscape color Japanese ecology with conservatism.

Fascinating longread on the historical and intellectual holes in the tendency, by Japanese and Westerners, to think of the country as having a special relationship with nature, while obfuscating the industrial sources of environmental degradation.

"If the current global environmental crisis is to be taken seriously, what is needed is neither cultural exceptionalism masquerading as environmentalism nor vitalism."


I only realized it was serious when I got to prison.

Profiles of Syrian teenagers who inadvertently sparked the country's civil war with relatively innocuous political graffiti.
↩︎ The Globe and Mail

Since 2006, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has deported hundreds of thousands of immigrants on chartered planes, effectively running its own airline, ICE Air Operations

ICE Air Operations—with agency hubs in Louisiana, Arizona, Florida, and Texas—transported 930,435 detainees at an average of $8,419 per flight-hour for charters, including crew, fuel, and maintenance, said the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security in an audit of the program (pdf) conducted between October 2010 and March 2014. The agency paid $464 million for charter flights in that period.

Credit: Tony Hisgett.

After two years of poor endowment performance, schools are starting to shy away from hedge funds.

While the stock market rose last year, college endowments dropped by two percent—largely because of a bad year by the hedge funds that schools increasingly shackle themselves to in hopes of capturing the same huge gains seen by endowments at Ivies with their own in-house funds. 

Last year the University of California garnered attention for deciding to quit some hedge fund relationships. This came after news got out that the state had been paying billions in fees for average performance.

More Features at TMN