Part of the mystery and terror of the Chernobyl disaster is the invisibility of the threat. The explosion at the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin nuclear power plant released more radiation than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, and one might never know they were being poisoned until months, even years later. Veteran photographer Gerd Ludwig’s spent 20 years photographing the area, chronicling the ongoing consequences of the radioactive release.

[MORE: 30 Years After Chernobyl’s Meltdown, Gripping Photos Expose the Human Fallout]

(Source: Wired)

Twitter just agreed to buy its long-time partner Gnip, a data company that anaylizes and sells Twitter data to a host of third parties companies. Gnip is the largest provider of social data in the world.

In its announcement, Twitter’s VP of Global Business Development and Platform Jana Messerschmidt writes:

Public Tweets can reveal a wide variety of insights — so much so that academic institutions, journalists, marketers, brands, politicians and developers regularly use aggregated Twitter data to spot trends, analyze sentiment, find breaking news, connect with customers and much more.

It is true that Twitter has become a powerful tool for social science researchers and journalists, but ultimately this move will help Twitter make its fire hose of data more palatable to Fortune 500 companies. The bottom line down the road is that Twitter needs to continue to find ways to monetize, and data about what we like, what shows we watch, where we are, how old we are, if we have dogs, what time we go to bed, etc. etc. is incredibly valuable to brands who want to target ads to us. They will pay handsomely for it. And now, they will pay Twitter directly.

[MORE]

(Source: Wired)

If ever your favorite Hollywood characters are in need of freelance work, they’re going to need a great business card, right?.

MORE.

(Source: Wired)

These stunning aerial photos reveal patterns in seemingly mundane things.

[MORE: The Intricate, Beautiful Patterns of Civilization Seen From Above]

(Source: Wired)

Stephen Colbert’s not the problem. We are.

[MORE: America Isn’t Ready for Colbert to Replace Letterman]

(Source: Wired)

theatlantic:

The Nun Who Got Addicted to Twitter

“My superior is a gamer.” Sister Helena Burns said, laughing. “You know you’re a media nun when your superior is a gamer.” 

You might not expect nuns to be experts on Twitter, Facebook, and multi-player video games, but Burns defies all expectations. With 13,790 Twitter followers and counting, the Daughter of St. Paul calls herself a “media nun”: A woman religious with a calling to communicate the word of Christ, in any way she can.

And yes, there is a gamer-superior in her convent.

“She has this souped-up computer,” Burns continued. “She gets her own little ministry out there. Once people get to know she’s a nun, they have questions, or they ask for prayers. But you do have to clean up your language when Sister Irene’s out there.”

I imagine Sister Irene sitting in front of a sleek desktop with neon LED backlights, wearing her bright yellow Grado headphones and concentrating intensely on a multi-player RPG. It’s a funny image—there’s such a symbolic disconnect between the stereotypical idea of a nun and a basement-dwelling teenager who loves World of Warcraft. That’s what’s so fascinating about these sisters and their order: They defy stereotypes about who participates in Internet culture, and how.

So how does a nun use social media?

Read more. [Image courtesy of Helena Burns]

New personal hero.

thefader:

CHECK OUT SELFEED

a hypnotizing, real-time stream of the #selfie tag on instagram

This is amazing / hysterical / too much to handle.

This guy spent over nine hours walking backwards through the streets of Tokyo.

Watch his surreal journey — in reverse!

(Source: Wired)

Aw, don’t fall off!

Dogs and cats are individuals. They’re our friends. Some of us even consider them family. They’ve come out of the wild and into our living rooms, an extraordinary evolutionary and sociological journey that now raises profound questions about what it means to be a person.

[MORE: Dogs and Cats Are Blurring the Lines Between Pets and People]

(Source: Wired)