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October 30

"It's Jim Crow all over again."

There are 6,951,484 names on the target list of the 28 states in the Crosscheck group; each of them represents a suspected double voter whose registration has now become subject to challenge and removal. According to a 2013 presentation by Kobach to the National Association of State Election Directors, the program is a highly sophisticated voter-fraud-detection system. The sample matches he showed his audience included the following criteria: first, last and middle name or initial; date of birth; suffixes; and Social Security number, or at least its last four digits.

That was the sales pitch. But the actual lists show that not only are middle names commonly mismatched and suffix discrepancies ignored, even birthdates don’t seem to have been taken into account. Moreover, Crosscheck deliberately ignores Social Security mismatches, in the few instances when the numbers are even collected. The Crosscheck instructions for county election officers state, “Social Security numbers are included for verification; the numbers might or might not match.”

In practice, all it takes to become a suspect is sharing a first and last name with a voter in another state.
[more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:48 AM - 1 comment

Gangster Life – And Death – in London's East End

"Mid-afternoon on a weekday is a good time for a discreet liaison at The Carpenters Arms – the pub that used to belong to the Krays in Cheshire St – especially if you are meeting a jewel thief." From Spitalfields Life: So Long Lenny Hamilton, Jewel Thief, "a tribute to one of the East End [of London]’s most celebrated rogues." Hamilton co-authored an account of "the Firm," "a criminal organization based on racketeering, fraud and vicious bloodshed" and ruled over by the Kray twins. [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:47 AM - 0 comments

Success is the thing that kills bands. We haven't had any success.

So there's this UK punk band. First wavers, '77. Cohorts of Gang of Four (whose pictures were inadvertently printed on the back of their first album). Rivals of The Clash, to whom their first single was an answer record. Their energy is so gregarious, their working-class politics so pointed but relatable, they make a mark for themselves despite the limitation of barely being able to play. They get to the part where they're supposed to break up or fade away. Instead, they learn to play, to play very well, even. They become an ever-shifting collective, picking up new members, people from The Rolling Stones, or people who'd played with The Buzzcocks, Elvis Costello, The Cure. They made roaring post-punk records, shimmering power pop, pint-raising Irish/British folk, and booze-saturated country records. They found a fascination with folk music, American country music in particular. Actually, they may have accidentally invented alt-country. Lester Bangs says they're "The most revolutionary group in the history of rock n' roll." Hyperbole? Nah. Hyperbole was when he called them "better than the Beatles." 37 years in, they're still making records that odds are, you either love dearly, or have never heard of at all. They're The Mekons, friend, and Joe Angio's new documentary looks at them in all of their shambling, lovable, raucous glory. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:42 AM - 3 comments

Goblins: how do they work?

Max Gladstone ponders goblins
posted by boo_radley at 10:21 AM - 22 comments

All the Pretty Colors

Generate Color Palletes on the fly. Here's a Halloween theme with MeFi colors to get you started.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:17 AM - 12 comments

The Pumpkin Menace

Trick or Treat? Anchor Brewing's Bob Brewer on pumpkin beers and why Anchor hasn't produced one.
Pumpkins, by themselves have very little – if any – real flavor that will survive brewing and fermentation. It’s sort of the “tofu” of the squash world in that it tastes like what you put on or into it. The flavor that everyone associates with pumpkins is pumpkin pie. What we are tasting in a pumpkin pie is actually the huge load of sugar dumped into it along with the allspice, cinnamon, clove, vanilla, ginger and other spices.
[more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 9:50 AM - 51 comments

IN ANY CONVERSATION YOU ARE ALSO DEALING WITH AN EMOTIONAL TRUTH

Film Crit Hulk is back with a long essay about more-than-gamergate. Building off his previous ethical criticism (especially his multipart James Bond series) Film Crit Hulk gives us his opinions on "THE VOID OF THIS PARTICULAR HOUR". [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 9:36 AM - 26 comments

Because you need more in life than love.

Love is not Enough is a fantastic breakdown why Love, as many people imagine it, is not all that is needed for a healthy relationship. It then provides realistic suggestions as to what you do need when choosing a partner. [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:29 AM - 15 comments

Tim Cook - I'm Proud to be Gay

Throughout my professional life, I’ve tried to maintain a basic level of privacy. I come from humble roots, and I don’t seek to draw attention to myself. . . . At the same time, I believe deeply in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, who said: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ ” . . . While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.
posted by kethonna at 8:00 AM - 85 comments

Safe at any speed -- until the ignition cuts out

Countless articles have been written about General Motors and its massive recalls earlier this year. What hasn’t been fully told is how GM might have gotten away with multiple counts of consumercide were it not for the efforts of three men: a Georgia lawyer, a Mississippi mechanic, and a Florida engineer.
How an unsafe ignition lock helped kill tens of people and the people who found out the truth about it.
posted by MartinWisse at 7:32 AM - 54 comments

You say H-O-R-S-E, I say S-K-A-T-E

A visual analysis of skateboarding's Battle at the Berrics.
posted by stp123 at 7:14 AM - 11 comments

The Secret Lives of the Mentally Ill

In a Slate Article by David Rosenberg, side-by-side images and descriptions illustrate the "dual lives" of those coping with mental illness.
posted by ourt at 7:07 AM - 17 comments

I cried and cried in my Mad Men dress.

Amy Poehler on What It Was Like to Tape Saturday Night Live While Pregnant (SLVulture)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:51 AM - 34 comments

If one has no vanity in this life of ours, there is no sufficient reason

Sofiya Tolstoy’s Defense [The New Yorker] In her own writings, Leo Tolstoy’s wife offered a rebuttal of the views that he set out in “The Kreutzer Sonata.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 6:35 AM - 14 comments

"I was just using it to sound different"

T-Pain performs without auto-tune for NPR's Tiny Desk Concert.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:28 AM - 77 comments

Rock and Rule.

"It just might be the most classically animated teeth-gnashing and hair-flipping metal you’ve seen in your lifetime." Master animator Juanjo Guarnido had a successful Kickstarter to assemble a killer crew to make a music video for the "face-meltingly awesome" Swedish metal band Freak Kitchen. The finished video Freak of the Week is a tour de force of Old Skool hand-drawn animation, and I believe it rocks pretty hard. [more inside]
posted by Erasmouse at 5:25 AM - 11 comments

Guide to the Races of Star Wars

georgelucasfan1 here. I was a little boy in 1979 when Episode 3 The New Home came out. These films and shows have been a big part of my life. And I would like to share with you my Star Warms knowledge. So step into my Millionaire Falcon, as we take a...... 'warp tour'... of these alien races that lived in this galaxy far, far ago.
Neil Cicierega's Guide to the Races of Star Wars
posted by rorgy at 5:11 AM - 30 comments

"I agreed to a scouted-out project!"

The Dissolve's "Movie of the Week" on this week leading to Halloween has been The Blair Witch Project, which it describes as "the most widely despised great horror movie". They discuss the legacy of the film fifteen years after its release and the future of the genre that it helped to create: found-footage horror. And where are the people who made it these days? Heather Donahue is growing pot. Josh Leonard is still acting (Michael C. Williams less so). And the directors Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez seem to want to catch that same lightning in a bottle, but with very underwhelming results.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:47 AM - 64 comments

Age ain't nothing but a number

One day in the fall of 1981, eight men in their 70s stepped out of a van in front of a converted monastery in New Hampshire. They shuffled forward, a few of them arthritically stooped, a couple with canes. Then they passed through the door and entered a time warp. Perry Como crooned on a vintage radio. Ed Sullivan welcomed guests on a black-and-white TV. Everything inside — including the books on the shelves and the magazines lying around — were designed to conjure 1959. This was to be the men’s home for five days as they participated in a radical experiment, cooked up by a young psychologist named Ellen Langer.
posted by ellieBOA at 4:46 AM - 12 comments

Butch Cannon, Bear Detective

In 2010, BEAR Magazine introduced an occasional single-page comic by Logan Kowalsky, Butch Cannon: The Bear Private Eye, full of pretty typical gay magazine comics tropes. [Entirely NSFW] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 1:48 AM - 8 comments

If everyone sees your dickpic hanging in a gallery except you is it art?

In light of Dries Verhoeven's public art of his Grindr interactions (since cancelled), Arne Svenson's show, "The Neighbors" (previously) and Future Femme's piece, Show Me More: A collection of DickPix, and amid questions of legality and ethics, the Guardian examines art, consent and privacy.
posted by frimble at 1:18 AM - 7 comments

October 29

Corpse pose

X-ray body in motion: Yoga edition
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:09 PM - 5 comments

Real Amazons wore pants

Forget the stories about cutting off breasts and murdering boy children. Also the ones about an all-female lesbian society. And definitely forget about the golden lasso and the invisible plane. Real Amazons were formidable warriors who wore trousers, rode horses, got tattoos, smoked cannabis, drank fermented mare's milk and were part of "a people notorious for strong, free women", according to Adrienne Mayor in her book The Amazons: Lives and Legends of Warrior Women across the Ancient World. [more inside]
posted by Athanassiel at 8:49 PM - 28 comments

Dunkin' Cronuts

Starting November 3, Dunkin' Donuts will introduce a limited edition "Croissant Donut" across the nation. Just don't call it a you-know-what. "Are we copying a specific bakery in New York? The answer is no," says John Costello, Dunkin's President of Global Marketing and Innovation. When asked about the similarities between Dunkin's product ($2.49 each) and the one trademarked by Chef Dominique Ansel ($5 each), Dunkin's Executive Chef Jeff Miller responded: "I've tried the product that you mention... I like ours better."
posted by Going To Maine at 8:29 PM - 60 comments

See my grotesque grin: I smile for YOOUU

The only song you need for Halloween: Skeletons by Inflatable Boy Clams. Play it over and over! [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 8:26 PM - 8 comments

The story behind an iconic photo of jazz-induced hysteria

In 1951, photographer Bob Willoughby took a now-iconic photo of jazz saxophonist Big Jay McNeely and some fans in the clutch of the music during a concert at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles. In 2009, Marc Myers of JazzWax contacted Willoughby to discover the story behind the photo. "You could taste the energy in that air. To this day I have never seen or heard anything to match it."
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 6:24 PM - 12 comments

Naked Scripture Vs. Geopolitical Influence

Berkeley Students Rally To Remove Bill Maher As Commencement Speaker following critical comments about Islam.
"Freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities, including homosexuals, these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for," Maher said, "but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what's lacking, then they get upset."
In what began as a debate over Islam between Maher, Sam Harris, and Ben Affleck on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher, tensions rose. [more inside]
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 4:22 PM - 150 comments

Indie Beef

Mark Kozelek aka Sun Kil Moon is a personality. Recently he played the Ottawa folk festival and there was sound bleed from another strage from the band The War on Drugs. This irritated Kozelek and he wrote a song about it. It had mixed results. Kozelek has apparently been watching the Internet for mention of him and The War on Drugs because the second diss track has been released based on the criticism Kozelek has received.
posted by josher71 at 4:15 PM - 32 comments

A Dispatch From The Future

Evgeny Morozov writes for the New Yorker: The Planning Machine, on Project Cybersyn (previously) and Big Data.
Greg Grandin in The Nation responds: The Anti-Socialist Origins of Big Data
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:29 PM - 41 comments

The new terror

Speaking of global memes... it started first in California, where a man dressed as a clown has been threatening people with an axe. And then it spread to France, where armed clowns have been assaulting people all over the country. Where will this horror strike next? (Me, I think they're space aliens.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:13 PM - 47 comments

Needs More John Carpenter

FACT magazine runs down the 100 greatest horror soundtracks (that's a lot of horror soundtracks). Also, there's a companion streamable YouTube playlist.
posted by saintjoe at 1:07 PM - 21 comments

Cookies!

Just in time for the new season, it's The NBA Fan’s Guide to Talking Trash During Pickup Basketball
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:28 PM - 20 comments

You were't planning on sleeping this week, were you?

Lauren Davis rounds up webcomics to give you thrills and chills on io9, calling out 18 specifically, then listing additional titles in some of the descriptions. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:15 PM - 20 comments

Please read the form again.

How My Employer Put the “FML” in FMLA
posted by capnsue at 11:38 AM - 98 comments

a man's home is his castle, a woman's body has never been wholly her own

"Trust Women" is a popular motto in the pro-choice movement. It sounds a little sentimental, doesn't it? Part of that old sisterhood-is-powerful feminism it is fashionable to mock today. But "Trust Women" doesn't mean that every woman is wise or good or has magical intuitive powers. It means that no one else can make a better decision, because no one else is living her life, and since she will have to live with that decision—not you, and not the state legislature or the Supreme Court—chances are she is doing her best in a tight spot.
How Pro-Choicers Can Take Back the Moral High Ground: an excerpt from essayist and poet Katha Pollitt's latest book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio at 11:23 AM - 34 comments

Goodbye

Galway Kinnell, poet, has died. He was 87. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 10:13 AM - 33 comments

Putin on the ritz

Most people in the English-speaking parts of the world missed Putin's speech at the Valdai conference in Sochi a few days ago, and, chances are, those of you who have heard of the speech didn't get a chance to read it, and missed its importance. (For your convenience, I am pasting in the full transcript of his speech below.) Western media did their best to ignore it or to twist its meaning. Regardless of what you think or don't think of Putin (like the sun and the moon, he does not exist for you to cultivate an opinion) this is probably the most important political speech since Churchill's “Iron Curtain” speech of March 5, 1946.
Via includes tl;dr of top 10 points
posted by infini at 9:40 AM - 141 comments

Scroll through the horror movie memories

Why not just quit your job and spend all of your savings on a horror-themed road trip where you visit the real locations of some iconic scary movies. If that sounds like too much effort, well we've done a Google-based trip ourselves.
Here's what we found... [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:07 AM - 24 comments

"Didn't Lady Gaga just donate a million dollars to you guys?"

The Red Cross' Secret Disaster — ProPublica and NPR report on the American Red Cross' poor responses to Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. [more inside]
posted by tonycpsu at 8:09 AM - 91 comments

Hollywood Ending

Hollywood Ending Near for Orson Welles's Last Film. The Other Side of the Wind due in theaters next year.
posted by goatdog at 7:22 AM - 26 comments

Joni Mitchell in colour

This isn’t the earliest TV footage that exists of Joni Mitchell, but it’s surely the earliest footage of her performing that’s in color. -- Joni Mitchell on Canadian television in 1966.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:30 AM - 8 comments

Verdingkinder

Switzerland's shame: The children used as cheap farm labour.
posted by misteraitch at 5:34 AM - 25 comments

"I bind you, Hollywood, from doing harm"

Halloween is almost here which to me means one thing: overanalyzing horror flicks for any feminist undertones! ... [N]o season has better metaphors for misogynistic fears and powerful female sexuality than the scary movies that permeate almost every channel and film festival throughout October.
At Autostraddle, Nina suggests nine horror films she likes in the "Blossoming-Teenage-Girl-Becoming-A-Woman" sub-genre. She is far from alone in her search for interesting feminist themes in horror cinema and literature. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 12:06 AM - 38 comments

October 28

"TRUE! — nervous — very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am..."

The Tell-Tale Heart by Annette Jung Ed hates the disgusting eye of his father and so he made up his mind to take the life of the old man to rid himself of the eye forever. Based upon the short story "The Tell-Tale Heart" by Edgar Allan Poe. [Previously]
posted by Fizz at 6:30 PM - 4 comments

Perhaps the 4 most intelligent things you can read about Ebola today.

The 4 most intelligent things you can read on Ebola today? 1) This week I received a "monograph" for review from an unlikely, politically removed scientist. It was plainly titled "Summary of Ebola Virus Disease," and written in exhaustive scientific detail. The author was Steven Hatfill. If the name rings a bell—I don’t want to dwell on this, but it's germane to the context of his perspective I'm sharing here—it’s because he was very publicly, very falsely accused of killing several people with anthrax in 2001... What he does know, at a depth that can rival any scientist’s knowledge, is Ebola. An interview, with Steven Hatfill and more: 21 Days. [more inside]
posted by spock at 5:51 PM - 73 comments

Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, c. 1858

Photos of Veterans of the Napoleonic Wars, c. 1858
posted by Nevin at 5:30 PM - 41 comments

Antares rocket explodes at the Wallops Flight Facility

An Antares rocket with the Orbital Sciences Corporation Cygnus CRS Orb-3 spacecraft bound for the International Space Station exploded today shortly after liftoff from the Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia. [more inside]
posted by Rob Rockets at 5:28 PM - 65 comments

Weapon of choice? 100% Cotton, poly-fill twin.

The Pillow Fight Prank demonstrates that many people are remarkably ready and more than happy to play suprise-pillow-fight. [slyt]
posted by quin at 5:00 PM - 19 comments

Crisis in Mexico: the government is killing students - again

Something happened the night of September 26th, 2014 near the town of Iguala, 100 miles from Acapulco, Mexico. According to The New Yorker: “Scores of uniformed municipal police and a handful of masked men dressed in black shot and killed six people, wounded more than twenty, and rounded up and detained forty-three students in a series of attacks carried out at multiple points and lasting more than three hours [...] The forty-three students taken into police custody are now ‘disappeared.” All 43 students, all young men who were studying to become rural teachers, are still missing, presumed dead. [more inside]
posted by omegar at 4:37 PM - 27 comments

From a Mefite, Announcing a Compendium of Letter Templates

The Art of Letter Writing investigates The New Century Standard Letter-Writer (1900), a collection of example letters for people to use as templates over the course of one's whole life," from A Clerk Apologizing to His Employers, and A Young Lady Desirous of Securing Farm-House Board, to A Gentleman to a Young Lady Friend of His about a Misunderstanding (from Wondermark)
posted by adrianhon at 3:12 PM - 16 comments

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