May 27

Global Urban History

Global and urban history has been converging in recent decades. My own interest is captured by the liminal space between culture and history and geography. Some favourites include Lagos: Mapping a Pre-Colonial West African City and the extremely well done the racism behind Kampala.
posted by infini at 12:16 PM - 0 comments

Bom Bom Boodely Bom Bom Boodely Bom Bom Boodely Bom!

Harvard Student Group Performs A Cappella Tribute to John Williams Durin
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:08 PM - 1 comment

The Tiny House of Your Dream is Actually a Nightmare

"I thought [living in an RV] would be a perfect Instagram scenario -- I'd be naked, wrapped in an American flag with my hair blowing in the wind, with people taking my photo" "Justin, who lives in a tiny house in Portland, OR (of course), talks frankly about what he has to do without. "I really miss having a washer/dryer. That kills me," he says. And since he and his girlfriend cook all the time, not having a dishwasher or a ton of counter space is a real problem. "I see tiny houses with mini-fridges and a two-burner stove top with no oven. And I think, 'what the hell do you cook?'" [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 11:00 AM - 29 comments

Shell game

In California, millions of dollars' worth of almonds, walnuts, and pistachios are disappearing. Farmers are perplexed, the cops are confused, and the crooks are getting richer. How? The product is easy to move, and the evidence is consumed. Nut theft previously.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 10:56 AM - 0 comments

They took the handcuffs from him and handcuffed me

When she was a scrawny 11-year-old, Sherry Johnson found out one day that she was about to be married to a 20-year-old member of her church who had raped her. [more inside]
posted by galaxy rise at 10:39 AM - 7 comments

Three weeks of pain decided in the last 30 minutes

With one stage left, Nairo Quintana wears the Maglia Rosa in the 2017 Giro d'Italia. Things have never looked this bad for him. [more inside]
posted by lmfsilva at 9:54 AM - 2 comments

Bamboo Architecture Biennale

Cutting-edge structures in a small Chinese village illustrate the beauty and strength of bamboo, just as China is moving away from this sustainable material.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:53 AM - 9 comments

How many megapixels does that have?

Photographer Joshua Paul shoots F1 auto races using a 1913 Graflex 4x5 film camera and the results are quite spectacular.
posted by octothorpe at 7:38 AM - 15 comments

This is my surprised face.

“an ideologically driven insurgency with a strong religious component”
A mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures.
posted by adamvasco at 5:59 AM - 8 comments

Why ISIS Declared War on Egypt’s Christians

It is unlikely that this strategy will succeed the way ISIS envisions in Egypt, but the attempt to implement it will leave a trail of destruction that will primarily devastate Egypt’s Christian minority. The group’s genocidal program may perhaps backfire as it did for their jihadi predecessors of the 1980s and 1990s, whose wanton killing of civilians dried up any base of popular support. But as the ISIS ideologue al-Harmasy hints, there is deep-rooted sectarianism in Egyptian society that has been fanned by Islamists for decades, to which government policies have also contributed.
-Mokhtar Awad is a research fellow at George Washington University’s Program on Extremism, here he examines reasons behind the latest strategies of ISIS in Egypt (alt) [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 4:49 AM - 3 comments

May 26

Tour Ancient Greece with the Classics: ToposText

"ToposText is an indexed collection of ancient texts and mapped places relevant the the history and mythology of the ancient Greeks from the Neolithic period up through the 2nd century CE. It was inspired by two decades of exploring Greece by car, foot, or bicycle, and by clumsy efforts to appreciate επί τόπου the relevant information from Pausanias or other primary sources. ... Selecting a site from either the list or the map opens up a table of two-line snippets from ancient authors ... . Selecting from this index list, which can be filtered by date, genre, and relevance, connects one to the full text of 240-odd works in English translation, some with the original Ancient Greek as well. [Y]ou can select and read the passages in ancient literature that give a place its historical and cultural meaning. While you are reading, the map alongside shows the location of the ancient places mentioned." Available for iOS, Android, and web.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:41 PM - 1 comment

there is nothing - absolutely nothing - half so much worth doing

The Remarkable Melonseed Skiff
We often fall in love with our eyes first, and it is pure romance and “love at first sight”. Later we attempt to justify our feelings by trying to become rational and objective, but it was usually that first flush of visual fantasy that started the adventure. And, like most of our romances, that’s how it usually is with boats too, and that’s how it was with the Melonseed Skiff.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:39 PM - 7 comments

"I've forgiven that little girl for being so frightened"

Julia. "In grade 8, Julia was bullied so badly by a group of girls that she changed schools without telling anyone. Soon after, the girls from her old school showed up at her house and rang her doorbell. She didn’t answer it. For the past 20 years, Julia’s been wondering what those girls wanted." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 8:09 PM - 26 comments

Algebra Bad Lunch and Infidelity...RIP Caitlin Bree

Lisa Spoonauer best known as Caitlin Bree in Kevin Smith's directorial debut Clerks has passed away at age 44 of unspecified causes. Tributes from Smith and others are online.
posted by jonmc at 7:28 PM - 21 comments

Music scholar Katya Deve explores the history and geography of hip-hop.

The Geography of Hip-Hop is an interactive map documenting the history and geography of hip-hop. The map (and accompanying essay) explore how hip-hop has spread around the world and how different cites have developed their own distinct sounds and styles of hip-hop. The interactive hip-hop map allows you to browse and listen to hip-hop music by location. The map features 955 songs, most of which you can listen to directly from the map. The size of the markers on the map reflects the number of artists featured from that location. In this way you can get a rough idea about the size of the hip-hop communities in these different urban locations. [via Maps Mania]
posted by Room 641-A at 6:27 PM - 7 comments

The Thoughts of a Spiderweb

Web thoughts Spiders appear to offload cognitive tasks to their webs, making them one of a number of species with a mind that isn’t fully confined within the head.
posted by dhruva at 6:23 PM - 8 comments

More like a DONK

In October 2014, one of the Narrow Angle Cameras observing the moon's surface aboard the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) recorded a wild, jittery image. The cause of this was determined to be vibrations from a collision with a micrometeoroid at approximately 7 km/s, which fortunately didn't damage the spacecraft or camera. Astronomer Dr. Alex Parker has processed the captured image to produced an audio reconstruction of the strike. SPANG.
posted by figurant at 4:55 PM - 19 comments

$20 in League of Legends vs $20 at the Dollar Store

What can you get for $20 in-game vs IRL? Polygon investigates.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:59 PM - 17 comments

Random Violins

infinitestringquartet.com - no bow necessary; just drag and drop the circles on the grid and see what happens.
tl;dr it makes music! [via jessamyn]
posted by not_on_display at 3:31 PM - 8 comments

Cooler than you think...

and he married Gilda Radner! George Edward "G. E." Smith -born 01/27/52--is an American guitarist. He was the lead guitarist in the band Hall & Oates and the musical director of Saturday Night Live. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 11:52 AM - 43 comments

“...we wanted the people that you meet in the world to be credible,”

Far Cry 5 asks you to kill thy neighbor [Polygon] Far Cry 5 [YouTube] takes place in the fictional Hope County in the very real state of Montana — a state that, even today, is wrestling with issues like gun control, religious tolerance and citizen’s access to public lands. Fight against religious fanatics hell-bent on taking over a piece of the American West [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 11:36 AM - 74 comments

C3P0 Throws Down ... and Many, Many Other Star Wars Oddities

STAR WARS NOTHING BUT STAR WARS MIXTAPE (Trailer)
posted by WCityMike at 10:26 AM - 2 comments

Ne Plus Ultraviolet

Spanish photographer Javier Torres writes about how to take fluorescent pictures. Also a lot of other nice stuff on photography basics and principles.
posted by cortex at 10:04 AM - 8 comments

Jennie Alexander, Musician and Greenwoodworker

The Lost Art Press blog has published a biography of Jennie Alexander, lawyer, jazz musician, and pioneer in modern greenwoodworking. More information is available at her website.
posted by jedicus at 9:26 AM - 4 comments

Paul Romer and the World Bank and "Bankspeak" and

Paul Romer is an economist whose academic contributions focus on how endogenous improvements in production contribute to long-run growth. Last July, he was appointed chief economist of the World Bank. This week, he was apparently removed from his managing duties after his staff rebelled against his management style, apparently in part for asking them to communicate more clearly. [more inside]
posted by dismas at 9:14 AM - 15 comments

"we were sure the bees would sense our goodwill"

The cost of keeping bees. By getting a few hives we could save the bees, and in return the bees could save our bank account. It would be a mutually beneficial relationship.
posted by threetwentytwo at 8:47 AM - 46 comments

UK, EU & WTO — a presentation

A look at the UK, EU and WTO with an eye on Brexit. Includes a brief explanation of the WTO system, and a taste of how negotiations work in the WTO
posted by infini at 7:51 AM - 3 comments

Do you still want to believe this?

The Nerdwriter examines the recent film Logan using popular culture critic John G. Cawelti's essay on Chinatown(PDF) as a jumping off point to see where it fits in the life-cycle of genre films. (Nerdwriter previously)
posted by octothorpe at 5:03 AM - 36 comments

"In 1967 we were counted. In 2017 we seek to be heard."

At a historic convention in the centre of Australia, indigenous leaders from across the country have outright rejected the idea of mere recognition in the constitution, instead calling for a representative body to be enshrined in the nation's founding document and a process established working towards treaties. The Uluru Statement from the Heart is the result of three days of deliberations during the national gathering. [more inside]
posted by valetta at 4:38 AM - 29 comments

A Typical Day in a Blockchain-Enabled World Circa 2030-FINTECH FUN

Let’s follow Crowley the Crocodile as he goes about his day in the year 2030, from the moment his bitcoin-powered bioalarm clock wakes him, until he eats his late night pizza ordered using a rating service that runs without human owners. - this exploration of FinTech first appeared at Blockchain Futures which explores uses and avenues for the blockchain and other FinTech forms [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 3:45 AM - 52 comments

We're Closer Than Ever

Cherry Lane Theater, November 1989: Lyricist Richard Maltby, Jr (Miss Saigon) and Composer Davie Shire (Saturday Night Fever) open their "bookless book musical" Closer Than Ever, a two act musical revue without dialogue that ran for 312 performances; a grown-up collection of song performances, each an individual story that all echo and reflect on each other. The original cast album is available to listen to on YouTube [23 tracks] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 3:42 AM - 3 comments

May 25

This is the one that will define the contours of this century

On food & climate change: "We can still act and it won’t be too late" (The Long Read - The Guardian) If people feel as if they don’t have control over their lives, or that their children don’t have a good future, then they will resist efforts to deal with climate change because right now they’re concerned about feeding their child. It’s a luxury to worry about climate change; you have to have enough to eat before you start worrying about what’s going to happen to the planet 30 years from now. If we do not pay attention to increasing inequality – and the fact that technology and globalisation are accelerating – there will be a backlash.
by Barack Obama
posted by CrystalDave at 11:49 PM - 53 comments

Goonfish is evolving!

The Australian Pokédex, by Paul Robertson [1-29][30-57][58-86][87-111][112-130][131-151] [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 9:02 PM - 18 comments

Energy Innovations: Geochemical, Sunlight, Oxygen, Flesh, Fire

Olivia P. Judson in Nature: "Over the course of Earth history, the harnessing of free energy by organisms has had a dramatic impact on the planetary environment. Yet the variety of free-energy sources available to living organisms has expanded over time. These expansions are consequences of events in the evolution of life, and they have mediated the transformation of the planet from an anoxic world that could support only microbial life, to one that boasts the rich geology and diversity of life present today. Here, I review these energy expansions, discuss how they map onto the biological and geological development of Earth, and consider what this could mean for the trajectories of life–planet systems elsewhere." [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:58 PM - 11 comments

Are you ready for some (flag) football?

The National Gay Flag Football League (NGFFL) is a 501(c)(3) sports organization that "seeks to promote the positive social and athletic enjoyment of American Flag Football." It's next championship team will be crowned in Gay Bowl XVII, October 5-8, 2017 in Boston, Massachusetts. However, this year's Gay Bowl will be unique: for the first time, it will count among its sponsors an NFL team: the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots.
posted by 4ster at 6:29 PM - 4 comments

Counting at $20 per second

Apple designer Marc Newson made a $12,000 hourglass filled with nanoballs.
posted by klausman at 5:41 PM - 112 comments

Windows is live on Git

Over the past 3 months, we have largely completed the rollout of Git/GVFS to the Windows team at Microsoft. [more inside]
posted by cgc373 at 3:42 PM - 47 comments

Joss Whedon's Planned Parenthood video

Joss Whedon, nerd icon, has a new video in support of Planned Parenthood. Joss Whedon, known throughout various demographics for Buffy, Dollhouse, The Avengers, Dr Horrible's Sing Along Blog, and the immortal Firefly, recently released a three minute video made for Planned Parenthood exploring some of the consequences of clinics closing. Whedon is also known for support of Equality Now.
posted by Jacen at 3:31 PM - 26 comments

Be fat. Be ugly. Don't be boring.

Spend an hour with New York City’s breathtaking, hilarious, inspiring burlesque diva, Fancy Feast, in this documentary from Leon Chase. Or just catch this quick 2 minute teaser. She’ll leave you hungry for more.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:43 AM - 7 comments

“An unknown force wants to destroy all we have created...”

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Official Trailer [YouTube] is an upcoming English-language French science fiction action-adventure film co-produced, written and directed by Luc Besson. [wiki]
posted by Fizz at 10:45 AM - 73 comments

Everyone has to type

Key Crazy: Inside the Wonderful World of Keyboard Fanatics A proud tradition of hackers going back decades gets another moment in the spotlight thanks to Gizmodo. If you're interested in building your own, you might be interested in Jesse Vincent's blog series from 2012,Building a Keyboard, or the venerable Key64 site.
posted by boo_radley at 10:31 AM - 37 comments

I don't know accounting, but I know what I like

The Mexican Pago en Especie program allows artists to pay their taxes with art instead of money. It started informally in the 1950s and was codified in the 1970s. The program includes a jury system to ensure that the country is getting a good value and has amassed a collection of more than 7,000 pieces of art. It even survived a recent bout of tax reform.
posted by Etrigan at 8:13 AM - 18 comments

The end of the "kinder, gentler," Reddit.

Imzy, the "kinder, gentler" Reddit alternative (previously), is shutting down on June 23rd. The site raised an $8 million Series A in October 2016, and opened its platform up to the public that same month. According to The Verge article on the shutdown, less-friendly Reddit clone Voat is also at risk of being shut down due to funding issues.
posted by SansPoint at 8:03 AM - 63 comments

Piano Smashing Contests

How many ways can you destroy a piano? Piano smashing contests were a UK fad in the 1960s, eventually crossing over to the US. Teams used sledgehammers to destroy an upright piano to the point where pieces of the piano could be passed through a 9-inch diameter hole. Infrequent piano smashing contests have been held in recent years although Guinness World Records has retired the category from active competition. Using sledgehammers is one thing, but composer Annea Lockwood has several creative ways to dispose of pianos.
posted by achmorrison at 7:35 AM - 36 comments

I like mine with a side of sliced choma and some sukuma wiki

The History of Porridge in Bantuphone Africa, with Words as Main Ingredients
posted by infini at 6:40 AM - 5 comments

Delicious liquid gold!

How to make Maple Syrup (slyt) I really enjoyed this video of a modern maple syrup farm. Lot's of tubes and filters and pumps. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 6:05 AM - 26 comments

When Corporations Make History

"The language repeatedly emphasizes consumer choice as particularly important. Residents “prefer to drive alone” and the car became “the option of choice.” But consumers can only choose among the options that are provided to them. The implication here is that people don’t want good public transit, they want GM cars." - Blight At The Museum, how corporate donations are taking control of American history at the Smithsonian.
posted by The Whelk at 4:53 AM - 34 comments

This isn’t gentrification, it’s another phenomenon entirely

Renting in London in 2017 is grim. While the city is in the middle of a record construction boom, almost all of that is luxury apartments for overseas investors. “Golden postcodes” such as Kensington, Highgate and Notting Hill are the preserve of the international “alpha elite”, displacing the local wealthy, and setting off a chain reaction. As rents go up, people on above-average incomes find themselves in “middle-class poverty”, having to move repeatedly and to make do with smaller spaces. As there is no regulation, any house that is not a hazard to health is legal, and it makes economic sense for landlords to evict tenants rather than carrying out repairs. Meanwhile, in outer boroughs, poor workers live in bunks in cramped, shared rooms in houses and sheds, preyed on by chains of “rent to rent” entrepreneurs sometimes shading into human trafficking rings. [more inside]
posted by acb at 4:51 AM - 95 comments

Baseball, bonding, and looking hot

Chicago Cubs' President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein's Class Day speech at this years's Yale graduation
posted by Mchelly at 4:26 AM - 1 comment

'Star Wars' Flashback: When No Theater Wanted to Show the Movie in 1977

40 years ago. Star Wars. May 25, 1977. It only opened on 42 screens. Basically everyone who tells you they were there on opening day are lying to you. Five veteran distribution execs who were there when George Lucas' first installment of the space saga was set to premiere look back on the challenges that came with being part of movie history.
posted by hippybear at 3:10 AM - 83 comments

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