April 20

Why Zev Love X became MF Doom and put on that metal mask

In 1991, Daniel Dumile was part of KMD, a trio with his brother and another kid from their neighborhood, when they released their first album on Elektra, Mr. Hood (YT playlist). Dumile's next album wouldn't come out until 1999, and on an independent label. Operation: Doomsday was not released under the name he used with KMD, Zev Love X, but M(etal) F(ace) Doom, and he only appeared while wearing his metal mask. The transition from an upbeat youth to a cartoon villain was not clear at the time, unless you got your hands on the unreleased (except as a bootleg) second album of KMD, Black Bastards (full album on YT). Here is the story of that transition: KMD's Black Bastards and the Birth of MF Doom, a chapter from Brian Coleman's Check the Technique Volume 2, "more liner notes for hip-hop junkies." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:34 PM - 4 comments

a beguiling stream of unsullied strangeness

Kill Screen Daily has an interview with FM Towns Marty (NSFW), who posts images and gifs from otherwise inaccessible retro Japanese computer games. His images were controversially used in Jon Rafman's video for Oneohtrix Point Never's song Still Life (Betamale) (NSFW).
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 9:23 PM - 0 comments

Bitcoin done (or at least demo'd) Right

...MIT Media Lab announced the launch of the Digital Currency Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to bring together global experts in areas ranging from cryptography, to economics, to privacy, to distributed systems... previously previously-er more-previously more-er-previously oh-heck-kittens-in-boxes
posted by sammyo at 4:46 PM - 19 comments

A nude female corpse is allowable, of course.

Editorial guidelines from Spicy Detective magazine, 1935:
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:39 PM - 19 comments

Two Countries, Separated By A Common Tongue

How to Pronounce UK Place Names (SLYT) "Anglophenia's Siobhan Thompson teaches Science Friction's Rusty Ward—and the rest of America—how to pronounce difficult British place names."
posted by Michele in California at 3:45 PM - 99 comments

"I was doing fine until they started bunting."

Philadelphia — 1912. In a matter of hours, college student Allan Travers, 20, went from having never pitched a game in his life to starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. [more inside]
posted by starman at 12:57 PM - 19 comments

Day 1,825

1,825 days after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, Perrin Ireland (@experrinment) and the Natural Resources Defense Council ask: Where'd the oil go?
posted by ChuraChura at 12:31 PM - 22 comments

The Catastrophe

He had always wanted his suicide to be high drama , but in the end he said nothing to anyone; he simply disappeared from sight and silently returned to the sea. Oliver Sacks looks at the last years of monologuist Spalding Gray's life, and the accident that precipitated a decline before his death. (Previously.)
posted by maxsparber at 12:29 PM - 26 comments

Taco nights, competitive board games, group viewings of Game of Thrones

Moving to Mars. "The volunteers perched in the lava fields of Mauna Loa on the HI-SEAS (Hawai'i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation) mission are as close as Earthlings will get to Mars in the foreseeable future." [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:25 AM - 11 comments

Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned.

The Ghost of Cornel West. President Obama betrayed him. He's stopped publishing new work. He's alienated his closest friends and allies. What happened to America's most exciting black scholar?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 8:36 AM - 151 comments

"May you always know you are loved," I whispered.

"It's completely alone," I said. That baby, that poor baby. What had it done? "Nobody is coming for it."

Softly she asked, "Would it be OK if we called it 'her'?"

It was then as though my therapist's finger grew very long. It arced through the air, crossing the space between us, and touched my chest, the tip of it pressing into my heart, and my body collapsed around it, folded in on itself from pain, the worst pain I had ever felt because it had no source. I was the pain. I saw that baby on her back, alone, and I understood that she was me. In that moment I was flooded—intellectually, emotionally, physically—by the very knowledge I had so long barricaded myself against: that someone had given birth to me. And worse: that I had not been fit to keep.
A meditation on adoption, heartbreak, and healing, by Sarah Church Baldwin for The Rumpus: Build-A-Bear.
posted by divined by radio at 8:06 AM - 20 comments

Litigate, Don't Capitulate

Meet the lawyer taking on Uber and the rest of the on-demand economy. Shannon Liss-Riordan has filed lawsuits against five of the largest "sharing economy" start-ups (Uber, Lyft, Homejoy, Postmates, and Caviar), contending that they pay the people who supply the equipment and manpower that power their businesses like independent contractors, while burdening them with the work expectations of employees. Previously.
posted by exogenous at 7:59 AM - 144 comments

Payday at the Mill

A tax incentive in Maine is being used to funnel money from tax dollars directly into corporate pockets. [more inside]
posted by idiopath at 7:01 AM - 26 comments

Revisiting the Spandrels of San Marco: an interview

The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Programme” was written by Harvard biologists Stephen Jay Gould and Richard C. Lewontin and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London in 1979. Their critique of their own field of evolutionary biology spilled out of the Ivory Tower onto the pages of general intellectual forums such as the New York Review of Books. I talked by phone with Lewontin on March 2 2015. In his mid-eighties, he is still scientifically active and could recall his collaboration with Gould in detail. Our conversation is highly relevant to the “Just so story” critique that is frequently leveled against Evolutionary Psychology.
posted by sciatrix at 6:34 AM - 13 comments

Would you like fries with that triple bypass?

The Problem with Satisfied Patients
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:29 AM - 28 comments

It's like a dog meowing...

Once in awhile an unusual voice shows up on one of the many TV talents shows these day, a countertenor. Greg Pritchard first appeared on Britain’s got talent in 2007. Though he has disappeared from limelight, he brought the existence of Countertenors back onto the public radar. Since then every few years one pops up, causing confusion, disbelieve, then applause from the audience and judges.

Andrew De Leon Singing starts at 2:05.

Travis Pratt Singing starts at 1:05

Artur Vasiliev This version only shows the judges reactions.

Last but not least, the professionals.

Previously on the blue:
Machismo is basically a drag act
Deller on the Threshold
posted by KaizenSoze at 5:43 AM - 16 comments

Archie Andrews' 75th birthday

As Archie Andrews turns 75, Archie Comics releases a "new look" flagship series, Archie #1. Archie #1 will be released in 2015 from writer Mark Waid, known for his work for DC and Marvel comics, and artist Fiona Staples. The series will "reenergize the story of Archie and his friends, presenting for the first time ever the origins of everyone’s favorite redheaded teen and his friends while showcasing the beginnings of the historic love triangle between Archie, Betty and Veronica". [more inside]
posted by Ziggy500 at 4:20 AM - 56 comments

Bank of the Underworld

Liberty Reserve was like PayPal for the unbanked. Was it also a global money-laundering operation? By Jake Halpern at The Atlantic (previously).
posted by valkane at 3:39 AM - 3 comments

Life Lines

For an artist with amnesia, the world takes place through her pencil.
posted by ellieBOA at 3:37 AM - 1 comment

20 Years After the Oklahoma City Bombing...

...authorities have lost sight of domestic extremists and failed to prevent acts of terrorism, while the violence is metastasizing and the threat is growing. - Kansas City Star [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:41 AM - 33 comments

Who is ruining comics this week?

And I find it amusing that this “they’re fans of MOMENTS but won’t buy anything” complaint was being made at fans who were at a comic convention. Look, cons ain’t cheap. If someone’s spending their time and money to go to a con or make their own Captain Marvel costume or whatever, they clearly have some kind of passion and fondness for what they’re seeing. No one goes to a con just because they reblogged Unbeatable Squirrel Girl a couple times.
Is Tumblr fandom ruining comics because Tumblr fans "love the characters and love MOMENTS of stories, but don’t read the actual comics ever"? The answer may not surprise you.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:00 AM - 79 comments

April 19

That time when Toronto had Johnny Cash machines

Retrontario remembers Johnny Cash advertising for Canada Trust, along with several other advertisements from the 80s.
posted by frimble at 10:38 PM - 11 comments

So Outrageous, Like we're Fam--📵

The music video for Charlie XCX's "Famous", directed by Eric Wareheim, for the YouTube Music Awards. Previously
posted by Going To Maine at 7:58 PM - 28 comments

We put a chip in it!

It was just a dumb thing. Then we put a chip in it. Now it's a smart thing.
posted by koeselitz at 6:41 PM - 95 comments

How to fly a P51-C Mustang

Three YT's showing how to fly a P-51C Mustang.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:16 PM - 45 comments

Happy Bicycle Day!

On April 19, 1943, Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman took a momentous bicycle ride home. His discovery influenced pop culture, psychotherapy and even the CIA..
posted by sleepy psychonaut at 5:10 PM - 37 comments

“They were looking for a better life.”

Hundreds Feared Dead After Boat Filled With Migrants Capsizes in Mediterranean [New York Times]
"For the past several years, Europe has been confronted with hundreds of thousands of migrants arriving illegally from Africa and the Middle East, many of them fleeing war and poverty. Italy has been in the vanguard of rescue efforts, with its Navy and Coast Guard ships rescuing more than 130,000 people last year in a widely praised program known as Mare Nostrum."
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:43 PM - 29 comments

Opting out.

An estimated "40 percent of all Long Island [grade] 3-8 students refused to take last week’s ELA Common Core state tests. Numbers in some districts reached well over 70 percent, with at least one district exceeding 80 percent....It seems clear that the final 2015 tally will well exceed 200,000 students. New York State will likely not make the minimum 95 percent federal requirement for testing.... What will happen to New York schools then? " [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:36 PM - 125 comments

"Every instinct will persuade you that there should not be a Pakistan."

The Los Angeles Times in 1943 further declared that “Only an old-school Southerner who thinks Appomattox was a shocking bad show could go for Pakistan.” The Longest August: The Unflinching Rivalry Between India And Pakistan, the latest book by long-time Middle East observer Dilip Hiro, is a grim assessment of the current state of relations.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:28 PM - 15 comments

Poor internet for poor people

Why Facebook’s Internet.org amounts to economic racism. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 11:58 AM - 66 comments

Pay what you're paid

Lessthan100 is a traveling pop-up shop that sells artwork. Customers are charged a price that corresponds to the local gender pay gap.
posted by eotvos at 11:34 AM - 17 comments

Automation is coming, but how will labor adapt?

The Machines Are Coming by Zeynep Tufekci
Machines are getting better than humans at figuring out who to hire, who’s in a mood to pay a little more for that sweater, and who needs a coupon to nudge them toward a sale. In applications around the world, software is being used to predict whether people are lying, how they feel and whom they’ll vote for. To crack these cognitive and emotional puzzles, computers needed not only sophisticated, efficient algorithms, but also vast amounts of human-generated data, which can now be easily harvested from our digitized world. The results are dazzling. Most of what we think of as expertise, knowledge and intuition is being deconstructed and recreated as an algorithmic competency, fueled by big data. But computers do not just replace humans in the workplace. They shift the balance of power even more in favor of employers. Our normal response to technological innovation that threatens jobs is to encourage workers to acquire more skills, or to trust that the nuances of the human mind or human attention will always be superior in crucial ways. But when machines of this capacity enter the equation, employers have even more leverage, and our standard response is not sufficient for the looming crisis.
[more inside]
posted by p3on at 10:57 AM - 46 comments

"You're so very special"

Radiohead's Creep covered in a wonderful mid-20th century style by Haley Reinhart and the band Postmodern Jukebox. [previously | via]
posted by quin at 10:56 AM - 36 comments

Slip, sliding along

The Town That Creep Built
In Hollister, Calif., fault creep shows that no matter what we create the earth will keep on doing what it wants. If we're lucky, our concrete will serve to mark the changes we cannot stop.
posted by dame at 10:30 AM - 31 comments

YOU ARE WATCHING FISHCENTER LIVE

Have you been looking for a live, daily, marine-themed call-in show where the fish compete and the callers have questionable judgment? Tune into FishCenter Live weekdays at 4PM EST, with continuous replays until the next episode. Warning: very NSFC (not safe for crawfish). [more inside]
posted by edeezy at 9:21 AM - 5 comments

Fashion Shouldn't Take Your Breath Away

Vintage Gas Mask Carrier & Handbag Patterns
posted by bswinburn at 8:08 AM - 9 comments

The World's Future Megaprojects

A short documentary (30min) that introduces ten of the worlds most ambitious megaprojects currently under development and paints a picture of the astonishing scale and political landscape of ongoing globalisation (SLYT). [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 7:09 AM - 25 comments

The High Line's New Museum

A New Whitney It has been interesting to watch the High Line progress from nothing more than a dream to its current wonderful reality mixing green, gleam and grit. Jason's early unauthorized foray introduced many around these parts to the High Line. Now the Whitney moves in.
posted by caddis at 6:17 AM - 11 comments

You’ve sold 17 million albums and you want to pay me nothing?

A professional photographer for more than 20 years, and published in Q, Melody Maker and Rolling Stone, Pat Pope has worked with many of the biggest names in pop and rock music, including Oasis, David Bowie and Radiohead. One act with whom he has worked several times are 90s indie titans Garbage. Indeed, they admire Pope’s work so much that recently, as they put together a forthcoming self-published book, their management asked his permission to use one of his pictures of them. So far, so good... Pat Pope’s row with Garbage.
posted by michswiss at 1:58 AM - 91 comments

Occupation... Baby

Retrogaming blog VGJunk has just turned 5, and celebrated with a post about the gonzo Capcom beat em up classic Captain Commando. Over the last half-decade, VG Junk has uncovered a hidden Treasure with McDonalds, helped NSync get to their show and imagined what Re-Animator would look like on the NES. He's also investigated the national stereotypes that hide in fighting games, with his probing look at the fighters of Brazil, France, Germany, Russia, and Spain. So put on some Queen, watch out for Jack the Ripper, and enjoy a stroll down memory lane.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:50 AM - 15 comments

A Beautiful Question: Finding Nature's Deep Design

Frank Wilczek: Physics in 100 Years [pdf] - "Here I indulge in wide-ranging speculations on the shape of physics, and technology closely related to physics, over the next one hundred years. Themes include the many faces of unification, the re-imagining of quantum theory, and new forms of engineering on small, intermediate, and large scales." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:21 AM - 9 comments

April 18

I'm a man in a dress, and I'm not afraid to show that

Beautiful by Night is a short documentary by James Hosking about veteran drag queens in San Francisco. [more inside]
posted by frimble at 10:03 PM - 3 comments

This time, we are the aliens.

Over a mere 22 episodes between 1994 and 1995, a rag tag group of adventurers, thrown together by a shadowy government conspiracy explored a strange new world, ruled by an underground government and populated with strange new creatures. [more inside]
posted by Mezentian at 8:50 PM - 30 comments

The golden ratio has spawned a beautiful new curve: the Harriss spiral

is a new fractal discovered by mathematician Edmund Harriss.
posted by boo_radley at 7:46 PM - 29 comments

40 years ago, two men married for immigration benefits in the US

40 years ago, a clerk in Boulder, Colorado let 6 same sex couples get married. One of them was a couple with an Australian national facing deportation. This is their story. Imagine falling in love and then being told that no, your relationship isn't good enough to qualify to keep your partner with you. Now imagine that this takes place 40 years ago and you're a gay man. This actually happened, and the decision from immigration was effectively 'f***ots can't have a real marriage.'
posted by NotATailor at 7:27 PM - 12 comments

This is a wound I shall bear forever.

"I am in the depths of despair." Jonathan Crombie, the raven-haired actor best known to a generation of literature lovers as Gilbert Blythe in the classic Anne of Green Gables miniseries(es), has died at age 48 of an apparent brain hemorrhage.

Bridge scene (ending) in Anne of Green Gables: The Sequel [more inside]
posted by St. Hubbins at 7:13 PM - 31 comments

Director, Special Projects for the State of Eternity

The one work of art by James Hampton was the The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations' Millennium General Assembly. He built it when not working as a janitor for the General Services Administration. What does it mean? Good question. Everything Hampton ever wrote about it is in a single manuscript, St James: The Book of the 7 Dispensation... and it is in code.
posted by dfm500 at 7:02 PM - 11 comments

Lord of the Shadows

An Iraqi (intelligence) officer planned Islamic State's takeover in Syria and SPIEGEL has been given exclusive access to his papers. (by Christoph Reuter) [more inside]
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:33 PM - 12 comments

Who pays for the legal battle over same-sex marriage?

As a historic constitutional showdown over gay marriage looms this month at the U.S. Supreme Court, attorneys are fighting over another bitterly disputed issue: their fees. In some cases, the fee requests run well into seven figures and are submitted on behalf of powerful law firms that a Reuters examination found have outsized access to the Supreme Court. Individuals and advocacy groups that file lawsuits aimed at the high court sometimes retain big-firm lawyers who specialize in arguing in that forum and boast remarkable success rates in getting their cases heard.
posted by sciatrix at 6:31 PM - 14 comments

“One person’s putrid is another person’s pleasant...”

Would You Want to Smell BBQ All the Time? [New York Times]
"Over the years attempts by states and municipalities to regulate odor have led to a patchwork of legal guidelines subjectively enforced by inspectors who sniff the air and determine whether to make a stink about a stink. In the past the offenders were typically livestock operations and wastewater treatment plants, but more recently odor inspectors are getting calls about smells emanating from ethnic restaurants, coffee roasters and candle and bath shops."
posted by Fizz at 2:58 PM - 182 comments

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