13-Year-Old Builds Haunted House For Good in Parents’ Driveway

on Thursday, Oct. 31st

Our sister site Youth Radio has produced this excellent video just in time for Halloween!

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Hitchhiking A Tech Shuttle

on Monday, Oct. 21st

KALW reporter Christina Loring has friends who work in technology, but that didn’t help her out much when she decided to see if she could hitch a ride on one of the private tech shuttles that seem to be ubiquitous on San Francisco streets these days.

She wanted to see what it was like to alight a cushy, air-conditioned, on-time bus — the privatized alternative to the city’s public transportation that makes it much more convenient for Silicon Valley workers to live and play in San Francisco. (more…)

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The Institute and Some Thoughts on Immersive Interactive Storytelling

Michella Rivera-Gravage on Friday, Oct. 11th

On Friday, I ignored my regular bedtime and met up with some talented, hilarious and foxy women to watch a 9:30PM screening at the Roxie of The Institute, a film about the Jejune Institute. If you are unfamiliar with Jejune, it was an alternate reality game (ARG) that took place in San Francisco from 2008 – 2011, designed by Nonchalance. It is centered around a cult-like new age-y organization and the group that wanted to take it down. I got to participate in the Jejune Institute ARG while it was still running, and it was quite a unique and other-worldly experience. (more…)

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The Fanatical Fantasies of Pro Wrestling Fans

Lissa Soep on Tuesday, Sep. 24th

This story also appeared on BoingBoing.net.

“Fantasy football meets Dungeons and Dragons.” That’s how Crystle Martin, a post-doc at UC Irvine, describes a pro-wrestling fan community she explored as part of her academic research. Martin used to study library sciences. Now she studies professional wrestling fandom. Crystle insists that it’s not that big of a leap. Though pro wrestling is easy to make light of, turns out the online communities young people form around this highly theatrical form of sports entertainment can be intellectual, rigorous, and obsessed with quality narrative.
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NPR’s CodeSwitch: Who’s Really Left Out Of The CrossFit Circle

on Monday, Sep. 16th

This is a story about what not to share on Facebook.

Recently the CrossFit HQ Facebook page posted what the page manager thought was a bit of satire about how African-Americans don’t like CrossFit, America’s latest fitness craze. Only it turned out to be something a lot worse.

But while the Stuff Black People Don’t Like blog post appeared to be satire — the blog’s name was a riff on the popular, defunct blog called Stuff White People Like, which was written by a white dude and poked fun of the fascinations of young, creative class of white folks like himself — SBDL is maintained by advocates of a school of thought called “race realism.” (Racial realists believe that race is a biological reality and that black folks are natively intellectually inferior and inclined to violence. David Duke, the former Klan member and presidential hopeful, is a “racial realist.” You see where we’re going with this.)

It didn’t take long before hundreds of CrossFit Headquarters’ Facebook followers hammered the company for sharing the SBDL post. Before long, CrossFit headquarters issued a textbook non-apology apology on the social networking site.

Gene Demby of NPR’s CodeSwitch goes inside the story, and shows how a corporate blunder started what might be a much needed conversation.

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The Next Wave in Photography – Drones

Asha DuMonthier on Tuesday, Aug. 13th

SAN FRANCISCO –While drones have played an increasingly prominent role in America’s military and surveillance operations – at home and abroad – lesser known is the growing use of this new technology in civilian life. Some of these applications are far less sinister than one might expect.

For Jason Lam, owner of San Francisco’s first personal drone shop, the aerial crafts could just be the latest and most exciting wave in the field of digital photography. (more…)

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DOMA Is Dead. Here Come The Memes.

on Wednesday, Jun. 26th

With the Defense of Marriage Act effectively being ruled unconstitutional today large swaths of the Internet have been celebrating the way they know how: memes. From the sublime Obi-Wan Meme via George Takei to the…

…well, to the Reddit (r/Advice Animals).

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If A Driverless Car Crashes, Who’s Liable?

NPR/Cory Turner on Friday, Mar. 8th

Some number of years from now, the technology may exist for cars to drive themselves. This could save thousands of lives a year (90 percent of fatal car accidents involve human error).

But getting the technology right won’t be enough. Governments and courts will have to figure out lots of new legal and regulatory issues. One key question: If a driverless car crashes, who’s liable? (more…)

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Image via 99% Invisible

99% Invisible: The Great Red Car Conspiracy

on Monday, Mar. 4th

99% Invisible is, as producer Roman Mars tells it, a “tiny radio show about design, architecture & the 99% invisible activity that shapes our world”. Don’t let the “tiny” fool you: there’s nothing small about the ideas Mars explores.

Everything you ever wanted to know about the bygone Red Cars– the Los Angeles Pacific Electric Railway– and the way that rail line reshaped the destiny of LA. A story of conspiracies, strange marriages, and bad urban planning! Check out the episode page, it’s got a host of great images and more. No, really, check it out.

Side note: Roman can snark about the LA freeways all he wants, but at least we don’t have to deal with the Bay Area’s bridges. -NN
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Hot List: Hijabi Rappers, Bjork’s Kickstarter Appeal

on Wednesday, Jan. 30th

Hip Hop Hijabis (Crowdfunding Campaign)

Billed as “two Muslim converts promoting women’s rights through music,” Hip Hop Hijabis is an in-progress film following two Jamaican-British rappers who converted to Islam eight years ago.  The women met at a teen talent show in Bristol and since their conversions, they use their music to highlight Islam’s instructions with regard to the elevated status of women, defying the prescriptions of chauvinists within and outside the religion. They’ve got about $14k left to raise before February 20th.  They’re running their campaign on Sponsume, which lets projects keep the money they’ve raised even if the project isn’t fully funded.  -Nishat Kurwa (more…)

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ifthey

The Good And Bad Memes In #Ferguson Race Conversations

A friend of mine launched a depressing conversation recently, and asked me how much I think he is worth.

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Amazon Joins Mobile Payment Game, But Have They Lost The Magic Touch?

Once upon a time it seemed that Amazon could have been destined to be that rare company that could do no wrong.

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Augmented Reality: German Firm Shows Off Touch Based UI

We seem to be on a collision course with wearable computing.

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Will VR’s Killer App Make You Sick?

Polygon’s Ben Kuchera has a close-in look at the design philosophy going into Eve: Valkyrie, the “killer app” for virtual reality systems.

Image: Rachel I. Berman (Alice); Publicity image by Darial Sneed for Then She Fell.

Immersive Cinema And The Age of Voxelpunk

In the wake of the Facebook acquisition of Oculus VR the issue of the future of virtual reality beyond games has stepped into the media spotlight.

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