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September 17

Rebuild the Universe an incremental game that starts with the smallest unit possible to end with the universe itself. Bonuses, special effects and more await you in this incremental game.
posted by boo_radley at 10:25 AM - 0 comments

Have you ever wondered who owns the largest private collection of artifacts related to the Alamo? Well, wonder no more. The answer is vocal mega-creep and platinum-selling recording artist Phil Collins.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:22 AM - 4 comments

You’re about as sexually attractive to me as a turtle: Coming out as asexual in a hypersexual culture

plus, more from the author: the author's tumblr, essays (on the inside, your reason, "playing devil’s advocate" with someone else’s identity, missing out, coming out as asexual, asexuality pre-and-post-transition), other writings and articles ("Enjoy Your Houseful of Cats": On Being an Asexual Woman), videos (introduction to asexuality, a talk @ UVA about asexual relationships, shit people say to asexuals), and a list of arguments she's had with other people on the internet (but, why be asexual?)
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 9:52 AM - 7 comments

Belgium Grants Jailed Rapist, Murderer Euthanasia
posted by davidstandaford at 9:34 AM - 21 comments

Breathtaking and epic warriors, monsters, and gods: The graphic art of Zhong Fengua.
posted by shivohum at 8:51 AM - 8 comments

Ten different blog title generators
posted by oceanjesse at 8:16 AM - 20 comments

The Online Legacy of a Suicide Cult and the Webmasters Who Stayed Behind. A short history of the Heaven's Gate Millenarian Cult and the (ex?) members who still keep the page running seventeen years after their last contact with the leader and members.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 8:15 AM - 10 comments

Fan stories, like midrash, give voice to characters who aren't front and center in narratives as we've received them. Rabbi Rachel Barenblat, who blogs at Velveteen Rabbi, has published an essay in Transformative Works and Cultures on the parallels between fan works that fill gaps in pop culture stories and midrash used to fill gaps in the Torah.
posted by emjaybee at 7:52 AM - 15 comments

I AM GROOT.
posted by plinth at 7:50 AM - 30 comments

Yes, we could more easily aim toward something considered more “objective” at this point, simply listing the facts as presented by the developer/publisher. But oh my goodness, what now? See – see where this notion of objectivity has so quickly taken us? Objectivity is now demanding that we parrot information given to us by the creator/publisher of the game, and not apply our own critical faculties – our own subjective expertise – to this.
-Some Subjective Thoughts On Objectivity [in Games Criticism]
posted by griphus at 7:30 AM - 30 comments

...the reality of ISIS and what this group seeks is opaque to the public, and to policymakers not clued into the private salons where the details of secrets can be discussed. Even among those policymakers, the compartmentalized national security establishment means that no one really grasps the whole picture. The attempt to get the US into a war in Syria a year ago was similarly opaque. The public cannot make well-informed decisions about national security choices because information critical to such choices is withheld from them. It is withheld from them at the source, through the classification-censorship process, then by obfuscations in the salons and think tanks of DC and New York, and then finally through the bottleneck of the mass media itself.
The Solution to ISIS Is the First Amendment by Matt Stoler [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz at 7:30 AM - 19 comments

Superdimensional: a side-scrolling game with a surprising mechanic. [more inside]
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:27 AM - 2 comments

Nairobi Noir is a beautiful collection of photographs taken at night on the streets of Nairobi. Sometimes chilling, sometimes grim, always evocative
posted by darsh at 7:15 AM - 2 comments

In This Horror Film, Blood Is All Too Real [New York Times] ‘Terror at the Mall’ on HBO documents an Attack in Kenya.
One year ago, gunmen from the Shabab militant group in Somalia laid siege to the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Armed with AK-47s and grenades, they stalked their victims from a gourmet burger restaurant at the entrance to the vegetable aisle of a grocery store at the back. The British filmmaker Dan Reed assembled thousands of hours of footage gleaned from more than 100 security cameras inside the mall, video from television crews and modest cellphones, as well as still photographs. Then he and his team tracked down more than 200 people and interviewed 82 of them on camera, many survivors or their rescuers.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 7:04 AM - 1 comment

In superheated London, where stratospheric land values beget accordingly bloated developments – authorities are allowing planning policies to be continually flouted, affordable housing quotas to be waived, height limits breached, the interests of residents endlessly trampled. Places are becoming ever meaner and more divided, as public assets are relentlessly sold off, entire council estates flattened to make room for silos of luxury safe-deposit boxes in the sky. We are replacing homes with investment units, to be sold overseas and never inhabited, substituting community for vacancy. The more we build, the more our cities are emptied, producing dead swathes of zombie town where the lights might never even be switched on.
The Guardian's architecture and design critic Oliver Wainright discusses housing development policy in London and the new city it is ushering in. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:09 AM - 17 comments

The importance of the culture-of-poverty approach is that it allows for recognition of the accumulated history of racism and inequality, but posits the ongoing effects of these as mediated through black cultural pathologies. It therefore permits American liberals to identify with opposition to racism while pushing them towards policy solutions geared towards the transformation of black people, and not American society.
With every crisis in Black America the same pathologies the Black community supposedly suffers from -- veneration of the criminal lifestyle, lack of proper family structures, abhorrence of education as acting white -- are trotted out as an explanation, by conservative commentators as that's just how those people are, by supposed liberals as the unfortunate end product of Black history in America. There's just one problem: they're lies. The culture of poverty does not exist.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:49 AM - 50 comments

Man races London Underground train between stops, gets back on the same train
posted by grahamparks at 1:02 AM - 37 comments

A heavily-illiustrated article on Jeff Wilson ("Professor Dumpster") and the evolution of his thirty-six square feet of open-air accommodation: Living Simply in a Dumpster
(previously)
posted by Joe in Australia at 12:32 AM - 37 comments

September 16

With successful tramways in Portland, London, Caracas, Constantine, Algeria, and many more, and with systems proposed for Seattle, New York City, The Golden Age Of Gondolas Might Just Be Around The Corner as Transit Planners Look to the Sky with Cable Cars, Gondolas. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:00 PM - 24 comments

Having a rough day? Need something to make you feel better? May I present you with A DEN OF KITTENS, a video where the roar of their purring is punctuated by the occasional "Meep" as one after another pops up to discover the camera.
posted by quin at 9:11 PM - 24 comments

Watch The Previously Untold True Story Of David Bowie, Brian Eno, and Tony Visconti Recording “Warszawa” A humorous cartoon documenting the recording of David Bowie's 1977 song Warszawa.
posted by marxchivist at 8:52 PM - 11 comments

A few days ago, the first race of the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA)'s new Formula E Championship ran with the Bejing ePrix . The race is not quite a simple variant of Formula 1 with electric cars, as the heavy battery packs don't provide enough energy for a complete 50 mile race, so a second car is used to finish the race, and each Formula E car receives 10 specially designed tires per race weekend, which are designed to last the full race, compared to the 52 tires that Formula One cars receive. Though this is a serious race with serious vehicles, as veteran open-wheel and sports car driver Katherine Legge explains in a first-hand account of what it's like to drive the all-electric Formula E car, it's also an effort to promote the potential of electric cars via social media. Saturday's race was the first of 10 races, which will wrap up in June 2015. The Wire has a wrap-up of various news stories, and that article includes a full video of the race in Beijing. More information from Wired, and on the official FIA Formula E website.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:46 PM - 28 comments

In “The Strange Tale of Graceland Too,” Richard Murff writes for The Bitter Southerner, “Among the King’s acolytes, it’s hard to seem crazier than the average Presleyhead. But Paul MacLeod went plumb overboard.”
posted by ob1quixote at 8:27 PM - 8 comments

A new book by journalist Dana Goldstein profiles the deeply controversial history of the teaching profession in the US. A write up in the New York Times and the New Inquiry.
posted by latkes at 8:14 PM - 20 comments

It's official, Boeing's CST-100 and Space X's Dragon have been chosen to launch astronauts to the International Space Station by 2017, ending Russia's dominance as the sole provider of rides to the ISS, which they haven't been shy about using for leverage. Meanwhile, develop of the Space Launch System, designed for travel beyond low earth orbit, continues for its maiden launch in 2018. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:11 PM - 33 comments

When the prices of the steel and (especially) gold Apple Watches are announced, I expect the tech press to have the biggest collective shit fit in the history of Apple-versus-the-standard-tech-industry shit fits. The utilitarian mindset that asks “Why would anyone waste money on a gold watch?” isn’t going to be able to come to grips with what Apple is doing here. Apple watcher and polarizing writer John Gruber offers a long meditation on Apple's philosophy, the (as yet unannounced) pricing tiers of the Apple watch, the "smartwatch" market versus the "watch" market, and the new frontiers of wearable technology.
posted by RedOrGreen at 6:55 PM - 123 comments

Binary stars are common in our galaxy. In fact, singleton star systems like ours make up only 15% of the systems in the Milky Way. In the 1970s, astronomers Kip Thorne and Anna Żytkow, imagined what might happen if a neutron star in a binary system merged with its partner, a red supergiant. Recently, a real example of this strange star-within-a-star, known as a Thorne–Żytkow object (TZO), appears to have been spotted. (Preprint.)
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:39 PM - 21 comments

The recovery of Salyut 7 In 1985, the Soviet Union's space station Salyut 7 was crippled by an total electrical failure. Reactivating it would require a manual docking and working in bitter cold, 130 miles above the planet.
posted by bitmage at 5:06 PM - 18 comments

Portland’s paradox is that it attracts so many of “the young and the restless,” as demographers call them, that it has become a city of the overeducated and underemployed — a place where young people are, in many cases, forced into their semiretirement.
posted by MoonOrb at 4:32 PM - 71 comments

Women Who Conquered the Comics World
Robbins knows something about the glass ceiling for women cartoonists because she first hit it herself in the early 1970s, when she tried to join the male-dominated “underground comix” movement based in San Francisco. After the men cartoonists shut her out, Robbins joined forces with other women cartoonists to create their own women’s-lib comic books. She went on to become a well-respected mainstream comic artist and writer, as well as a feminist comics critic who’s written myriad nonfiction books on the subject of great women cartoonists and the powerful female characters they created. Naturally, Robbins has spent some time hunting down the original cartoons from the women who paved the way for her career, and as luck would have it, she found the very first comic strip ever drawn by a woman, “The Old Subscriber Calls” by Rose O’Neill, practically in her backyard.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:17 PM - 15 comments

"We have all these 600 year old books on how to fight, so we thought wouldn't it be cool if we did this?" The New York Times video team visits the world of German longsword fighting, a variety of Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA).
posted by Diablevert at 3:06 PM - 25 comments

For the first time ever Sir Ken Robinson (of Do schools kill creativity? fame) attended a TEDx and it was in his home town of Liverpool. As well as presenting the second half, he was interviewed (part one, part two) and gave the epilogue.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:29 PM - 4 comments

Entertainment Weekly has declared 2014 the "Summer of Butts"
posted by ColdChef at 2:11 PM - 91 comments

Roxane Gay lists the rhetorical questions of TV chef Ina Garten
posted by The Whelk at 2:11 PM - 28 comments

If there is one thing we've learned from movies like Terminator and the Matrix, it's that an artificial robotic intelligence will one day force mankind into a seemingly hopeless battle for its survival. Now a new book by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom provides detailed arguments in support of your fears of Skynet, and ideas about we might protect ourselves from an A.I. Apocalypse: Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies. An excerpt at Slate discusses how intelligence could be related to goals: You Should Be Terrified of Superintelligent Machines. Ron Bailey reviews Bostrom at Reason Magazine. The Chronicle of Higher Education also has a new article that discusses more than Bostrom's book: Is Artificial Intelligence a Threat? [more inside]
posted by dgaicun at 2:06 PM - 84 comments

Bryan Cranston performs the entire MLB post-season. (SLYT)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:52 PM - 11 comments

College admissions officers attribute the organization’s success to the simplicity of its approach to students. It avoids mind-numbingly complex talk of financial-aid forms and formulas that scare away so many low-income families (and frustrate so many middle-income families, like my own when I was applying to college). QuestBridge instead gives students a simple message: If you get in, you can go. Yet the broader lessons of QuestBridge aren’t only about how to communicate with students. They’re also how our society spends the limited resource that is financial aid. The group’s founders, Michael and Ana Rowena McCullough, are now turning their attention to the estimated $3 billion in outside scholarships, from local Rotary Clubs, corporations and other groups, that are awarded every year to high school seniors. The McCulloughs see this money as a wasted opportunity, saying it comes too late to affect whether and where students go to college. It doesn’t help the many high-achieving, low-income strivers who don’t apply to top colleges — and often don’t graduate from any college. Continue reading the main story “Any private scholarship given at the end of senior year is intrinsically disconnected from the college application process,” Dr. McCullough said, “and it doesn’t have to be.” - The New York Times takes a look at Questbridge, "which has quietly become one of the biggest players in elite-college admissions." (SL NYTIMES)
posted by beisny at 1:51 PM - 26 comments

Relax on your pristine white couch and enjoy these realistic depictions of motherhood.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:23 AM - 69 comments

25 Famous Women on Childlessness
posted by stoneweaver at 11:03 AM - 136 comments

Meet Weesha, a fashion blogger who lives in Dubai. She likes Wednesday Addams dresses, coordinating pink clothes and accessories, and bold flats. She's also quite open about her insecurities and personal history. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:29 AM - 11 comments

Silicon Valley Has Officially Run Out of Ideas : The winner of this year's TechCrunch Disrupt Startup Award is Alfred Club, basically "Uber for servants"
posted by gwint at 10:14 AM - 192 comments

Between the Lines: tracing the controversial history and recent revival of Inuit facial tattoos.
posted by Rumple at 9:48 AM - 13 comments

The Power Broker is 40 years old today. To commemorate the occasion, the Daily Beast conducted a rare interview with Robert Caro, author of The Power Broker, master prose stylist, researcher, and typewriter enthusiast.
posted by ferret branca at 9:27 AM - 18 comments

PixelThis is the first incremental game (previously, more) to use the movement of the mouse as its gameplay input rather than clicking. But if you don't want to play it as a game, you can make one simple tweak to it and transform it into an oddly relaxing web toy. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 7:01 AM - 38 comments

Australian television raconteur and polymath critic (and tango enthusiast) Clive James, part of a small wave of intellectual exiles in the 1960s, and now lingeringly dying of leukemia and emphysema, has published a poem titled "Japanese Maple" by way of leave-taking.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:52 AM - 22 comments

Watch this little girl identify fonts.
posted by pjern at 6:37 AM - 49 comments

"Feminism Has Conquered the Culture. Now Comes the Hard Part: A debate on this unprecedented opportunity"
By Rebecca Traister and Judith Shulevitz
posted by davidstandaford at 6:33 AM - 44 comments

Ken Burns’ new film The Roosevelts is 14 hours long. Which hours should you watch? [vox.com]
Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns's latest PBS opus, The Roosevelts: An Intimate History. If you'd rather stream, the entirety of the miniseries will be available on PBS.com, PBS member sites, and various PBS digital platforms. (It leaves streaming Friday, Sept. 26, so hurry.) It will also be rerun frequently on PBS and comes out on DVD/BLURAY Tuesday. So that's a whole host of ways to watch. But should you? This sucker, like many of Burns's most famous films, including The Civil War, Baseball, and The War, is really, really long. It's seven installments, of roughly two hours each, so you'll be devoting around 14 hours of your life to this thing. If you really, really like the Roosevelts, that's great, because this is a terrific screen biography of the famous family. But what if you're more Roosevelt-curious?
posted by Fizz at 6:21 AM - 37 comments

"Imagine a job where about half of all the work is being done by people who are in training. That is, in fact, what happens in the world of biological and medical research." --- NPR reports [audio] on postdocs & the scientific workforce as part of a series on the funding crisis in biomedical research. The series also includes When Scientists Give Up [audio], and U.S. Science Suffering From Booms And Busts In Funding [audio].
posted by Westringia F. at 6:17 AM - 53 comments

What India Can Teach Silicon Valley About Its Gender Problem [more inside]
posted by infini at 4:22 AM - 27 comments

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