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Gay Iconography: Bessie Smith’s Queer Blues

Bessie-Smith

When you think of pioneering queer musicians, folks like Elton John, David Bowie, and Sylvester might come to mind. But think further back. Much further. Before we even had rock ’n’ roll to speak of, blues artists were defying expectations (and often the law) to sing about their same-sex affairs.

Among the stars of the 1920s and 1930s, Bessie Smith is one of a few female blues singers that discussed lesbianism in her music. Nicknamed “The Empress of the Blues,” Smith was known for her big voice, hit records and a bit for her scandalous affairs. It was said she took male and female lovers while on tour, particularly during her tumultuous marriage to Jack Glee. She allegedly barked at one of these female lovers, Lillian Simpson, “I got twelve women on this show, and I can have one every night if I want it.”

Of the 160 recordings she made for Columbia throughout her career, three of her songs were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame for their historical significance, including “St. Louis Blues,” “Empty Bed Blues,” and her No. 1 hit “Downhearted Blues.” Her music included references to her tastes for both sexes, including the line in her 1930 track “The Boy In the Boat,” where she sings: “When you see two women walking hand in hand, just look ‘em over and try to understand: They’ll go to those parties—have the lights down low—only those parties where women can go.”

Get a bigger taste of Smith’s lasting legacy, AFTER THE JUMP

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Watch Derby The Dog Run On 3D Printed Front Legs - VIDEO

  Derby the Dog

Pioneering 3D printing company 3D Systems and Derby's foster mom Tara Anderson have come to the rescue of Derby, a dog born with deformed front legs by creating a set of 3D-printed prosthetic limbs.

Get a dose of the feels as Derby finds a dandy dog's life with the help of technology, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Towletech v.110: Roller Coasters, Drinkable Books, Prehistoric Bugs, Nintendo

Verruckt

BY KYLER GEOFFROY

A round-up of the best tech, science, and geek-related news from around the web.

Road (1) 5 new "record-breaking" theme park rides that will make you s**t your pants this summer. The 17-story Verrückt waterslide [pictured above] is taller than Niagara Falls and shoots raft-riders down at 65 mph. Verrückt, German for insane, seems like an apt name for the jaw-dropping plunge. 

Road (1)  FrankenSenator Al Franken has a new petition you can sign to help "save the internet" and net neutrality

Road (1) Google launches same-day delivery service for household items and non-perishable goods in New York City and Los Angeles.

Road (1) Speaking of Google, if it really only costs them $80 to make Google Glass, then its $1,500 price tag is quite the markup.

Road (1) The humanitarian org Water is Life has come up with a revolutionary new way to combat the 3.4 million worldwide deaths due to waterborne illness each year – The Drinkable Book. Basically, it's an educational manual for safe water habits that's also printed on technologically advanced filter paper designed to kill diseases like cholera, typhoid and E. coli. The paper costs only pennies to produce and each book is capable of providing someone with clean water for up to four years. 

 

Screen Shot 2014-05-05 at 8.53.09 PMRoad (1) Retro gamers who grew up with the Nintendo Entertainment System can now preorder the gorgeous Analogue Nt machine to play old NES games on your hi-def television. 

Road (1) Virtual reality company Oculus VR wants to build a billion person massive multiplayer online (MMO) experience with its new owner Facebook.

Road (1) Roku’s new Streaming Stick gives you access to your HBO, Hulu, and Netflix content on the go. 

Road (1) Cosmos takes a look at the terrifying and enormous insects of the past.

 

MicroRoad (1) What should consumers expect from 3D printing in the near future? “Beyond the hype, [current] consumer 3D printers can’t make anything your heart desires—they mostly make junk, and there are only so many synthetic orange dinosaurs in top hats one person can collect. While this argument is true, after a fashion, the field is continuously improving. And not so long ago, affordable consumer 3D printers didn’t exist at all. The selection of desktop machines is growing. Desktop printers are increasingly available for around $1,000 or less. And setup is easier. Whether the printer connects by WiFi or USB, more printers are nearing plug-and-play."

Road (1) Your cell phone can now alert you if you're near a store that sells items or products you've searched for online. So excuse me while I go delete my browser history...

PhonesoapRoad (1) And lets face it, your cell phone's screen is probably a dirtier surface than even your toilet seat. Just think about all the random door knobs and body parts you touch in-between your Candy Crush play sessions. Luckily, the folks over at Phonesoap have developed a combination sanitizer and charger that uses ultraviolet rays to zap all manner of gross bacteria. It's like a mini tanning bed for your phone!

Road (1) Scientists can now reprogram skin cells into sperm cells. The tricky question, however, remains whether or not they should.   
 


SXSW 2014 - Witness The Technology That Will Make Holodecks A Reality:VIDEO


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Sxsw_2014_bugWhile at the SXSW Gaming Expo, we spoke with Jordan Williams the President and CEO of Captured Dimensions, a company that uses image capturing technology to create three-dimensional figurines, holograms and computer images.

According to Williams, 3D imaging will inevitably lead to the creation of real-world virtual environments like the one seen on Star Trek’s holodeck. As the technology improves and becomes gains more video capability, it could also help render realistic 3D digital images of the human anatomy, complex costumes, archeological sites, famous sculptures, theatrical sets or even wholly artificial environments viewable through devices like the Oculus Rift.

See? We told you 3D imaging was the future

See the interview with Williams AFTER THE JUMP...

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SXSW 2014: The Robot Revolution is Coming and 3D Printing Is Leading the Way - VIDEO

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Sxsw_2014_bugSXSW - Austin's annual tech, film, and music festival - is currently underway and has brought in thousands of film buffs, tech geeks, actors, and musicians from across the globe to meet, mingle, and enjoy the coolest city in Texas. And with the Interactive portion of the festival drawing to a close, what better time to look back on the things we've learned at SXSW 2014 so far.

The Robot Revolution is Coming and 3D Printing is Leading the Way!

The machines took over SXSW in a big way this year, with numerous panels throughout the week dedicated to emerging technologies and the impact they will undoubtedly have on our culture, economy, and well-being.

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 1.35.12 AMMultiple panelists stressed that as technology becomes exponentially more sophisticated and incorporated into our everyday lives (a la Google Glass, self-driving cars, and 3D printers), the question we ask will switch from “What will tech of the future be able to do?” to “What won’t tech be able to do (and do better than humans) in the future?”

The answer, most panelists agreed, will likely be “not much.”

Continue reading "SXSW 2014: The Robot Revolution is Coming and 3D Printing Is Leading the Way - VIDEO" AFTER THE JUMP...

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Cut Copy’s 'We Are Explorers' Music Video Is a Do-It-Yourself 3D Printed Wonder: WATCH

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Australian synth-pop dance trio Cut Copy just released a new video for their song “We Are Explorers” off of last year’s Free Your Mind. The video, made entirely with 3D-printed figurines, tells the romantic story of two tiny glowing humanoids on a journey through the city. 

Gizmodo reports that the video required roughly 200 figurines printed out of UV reactive filament and was shot under black light flashlights to give the film its neon glow. The band is also making all the 3D printing files from the video available for download online, along with a guide on how to make the film again so that fans can remix the video for themselves. 

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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