February 27

Alt-hug, Inc.

So a Nazi walks into an iron bar: the Meyer Lansky story.
posted by BrotherCaine at 9:25 PM - 2 comments

Every kiss begins with Kay, but maybe ends in binding arbitration

Washington Post: Hundreds allege sex harassment, discrimination at Kay and Jared jewelry company. Declarations from roughly 250 women and men who worked at Sterling, filed as part of a private class-action arbitration case, allege that female employees at the company throughout the late 1990s and 2000s were routinely groped, demeaned and urged to sexually cater to their bosses to stay employed. Sterling disputes the allegations. The arbitration, first filed in 2008 and still unresolved, now includes 69,000 women. [more inside]
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:43 PM - 4 comments

Robot Cat (slyt)

is a very friendly machine/animal. but he doesn't like if somebody is unfriendly for animals. Beware of my ROAR! [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 8:15 PM - 6 comments

A pink fluffy reverse funnel

Timeless Vie is a parody-MLM turned blog aimed at exposing the issue within the MLM industry, and particularly in how it targets women. Starting out as a thread on Mumsnet, it aims to debunk claims and share stories.
posted by mippy at 2:58 PM - 32 comments

The Cloud is Listening (And Permeable)

Data from connected CloudPets teddy bears leaked and ransomed, exposing kids' voice messages [Parents] don't necessarily realise that every one of those recordings – those intimate, heartfelt, extremely personal recordings – between a parent and their child is stored as an audio file on the web. They certainly wouldn't realise that in CloudPets' case, that data was stored in a MongoDB that was in a publicly facing network segment without any authentication required and had been indexed by Shodan (a popular search engine for finding connected things). Unfortunately, things only went downhill from there.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:59 PM - 43 comments

In other words, please be true

SpaceX have announced the first space tourism mission to the Moon, launching next year. The two private citizens will be flying in the new Dragon 2 spacecraft and launched by the Falcon Heavy, which will undergo testing this summer. With the launch of a Falcon Heavy priced at $90 million, the mission as a whole will likely cost in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
posted by adrianhon at 1:54 PM - 86 comments

“The 'Great Deceiver' has returned to Middle-earth...”

Middle-earth: Shadow of War [Trailer] [YouTube] A new ring is forged in this sequel to Shadow of Mordor. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:37 PM - 57 comments

Did I mention I like his egg paintings

Scott Conary is an oil painter in Portland, Oregon. He paints eggs. Gorgeous, glowing eggs. Also other things, sure. Meat sometimes. But also eggs.
posted by cortex at 11:41 AM - 27 comments

Barcelona Is Really Serious About Its War On Tourism

A new strategic plan from Mayor Ada Colau to ease the swarm of tourists in the city will raise property taxes on short-term rentals and increase costs for day trippers.
posted by hippybear at 10:19 AM - 24 comments

From drug sniffing wasps to football playing bumblebees

The fact that bees and wasps can be trained to sniff out items is not news, and has thoroughly been researched. But the ability of bumblebees to learn from (and even improve upon) the example of others to perform more complex tasks for rewards is a more recent discovery. And because the research is from Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), the promotional demonstration video is all about the potential for bees to play soccer (YT video with captions and instrumental music). Abstract available from Science magazine, full article is paywalled.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:13 AM - 12 comments

Reddit is Being Manipulated By Big Financial Services Companies

Reddit is being regularly manipulated by large financial services companies with fake accounts and fake upvotes via seemingly ordinary internet marketing agencies. [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 10:11 AM - 52 comments

Love and Cheeseburgers (and Tacos)

Claire McNear of The Ringer takes a look at the weirdly burgeoning "fast-food wedding industrial complex".
posted by Etrigan at 10:00 AM - 13 comments

Shower Orange

Messy eater? Hot water getting your beer warm? Try the shower orange. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 9:20 AM - 43 comments

Make no mistake: Everything about Casablanca is indelible

The End of a Beautiful Friendship - Laura Miller reviews Noah Isenberg's We'll Always Have Casablanca and tracks the movie's recent loss of prestige among critics and fans.
posted by Think_Long at 7:53 AM - 88 comments

Yesterday's bureaucracy is today's curiosity.

Passports from countries that no longer exist. (Original site)
posted by ellieBOA at 7:25 AM - 8 comments

Top secret winner's envelope

"It was also the last Oscars ceremony for which the names of winners were released to the press, or anyone for that matter, before the onstage announcement.... The academy's official history lays blame on The [Los Angeles] Times for breaking an embargo and publishing the winners in the paper's evening edition before the ceremony was underway. Think of it as the era's equivalent of a tweet that scooped everyone else. " [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:57 AM - 131 comments

"Draw, podnuh!" Or not.

The iconic western image cultivated by TV and film includes one ubiquitous element. The large (.44 or .45) handgun carried on a belt made for the purpose, in a low slung holster strapped to the leg for fast draw. This means of carrying a firearm is called the "Buscadero Rig." We have all seen it worn by Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Gene Autrey, John Wayne, James Stewart, Henry Fonda, Clint Eastwood, the Magnificent Seven, Pallidin, and every member of the Cartwright family. It didn't exist in the 19th Century. [more inside]
posted by Repack Rider at 12:08 AM - 49 comments

“Behind the eyes, we feel ourselves shrink”

Airport security: Building a digital wall "We had already been through boarding pass checks, passport checks, scanners, and pat downs. At the gate, each passenger had already had their tickets scanned and we were all walking on the jet bridge to board. It’s at this point that most people assume that it is all done: finally we can enjoy some sense of normalcy..."
posted by beesbees at 12:01 AM - 88 comments

February 26

Record set February 25, 2017 in Finland

The people behind the Hydraulic Press Channel have peeled (and optionally sliced) an apple faster than anyone, ever. By a significant margin, probably.
posted by DoctorFedora at 8:32 PM - 45 comments

Hush, little Cyberdyne, don't you cry

Millenium FX is a U.K. special effects company that creates work for film, television, commercials, music promos, theatre and corporate projects. Also terrifying animatronic babies. [more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:48 PM - 13 comments

We are here to keep watch, not to keep.

When Things Go Missing is a wonderful essay on the habit and art of losing things. But it's more than just about a misplaced set of keys or a lost wallet (or even a truck). In this New Yorker piece, Kathryn Schulz lures us in with a lighthearted take on the everyday annoyance of misplaced objects (and practical tips to find them!), then invites us to ponder the cognitive process behind the lost-and-the-found. But then she surprises us by stepping candidly from there into more personal and touching territory. At the end, when losses threaten to erase all hope, she ends the essay with two powerful paragraphs that gives meaning to it all. [more inside]
posted by storybored at 2:02 PM - 28 comments

Coffee.

In which McDonalds in the UK advertise [alternative] [vimeo] their coffee via illustration of some aspects of purchasing coffee from contemporary gentrified, hipsterfied or otherwise artisanal establishments. The music is Madness by Prince Buster; the song, song title and artist were an inspiration for a future group.
posted by Wordshore at 12:02 PM - 100 comments

“Why don't you put her in charge?”

Bill Paxton, Actor Who Starred in Aliens and Titanic, Dies at 61 [The Guardian] “The actor Bill Paxton has died at the age of 61. The star of films including Aliens, Titanic and Apollo 13 died after complications from heart surgery, according to a statement released by his family. “It is with heavy hearts we share the news that Bill Paxton has passed away due to complications from surgery,” the statement said. “A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker. “Bill’s passion for the arts was felt by all who knew him, and his warmth and tireless energy were undeniable. We ask to please respect the family’s wish for privacy as they mourn the loss of their adored husband and father.””
posted by Fizz at 8:02 AM - 181 comments

I'm Poppy

I'm Poppy. [more inside]
posted by Pyrogenesis at 4:52 AM - 70 comments

The richly illustrated scenario of The Andromeda Strain

The scenario of the '71 movie The Andromeda Strain is marvelously illustrated. It uses sketches, diagrams, animations and multi-screen effects so as to better convey the complexity of the vision of Crichton’s novel. The article gives backgroud to the scenario and includes a full copy.
posted by jouke at 3:09 AM - 18 comments

outlay layout

yt-er kaptainkrisitan on Adapting the Unadaptable Watchmen.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:14 AM - 15 comments

February 25

The truly villainous font is the ubiquitous Times New Roman.

It turns out the ongoing joke about the idiocy of Comic Sans is ableist.
posted by Rumple at 9:34 PM - 119 comments

Safety Pins and Swastikas

The frameworks of liberal identity politics and “alt-right” white nationalism are proving curiously compatible. Jacobin's Shuja Haider explores the co-opting of progressive methods by the alt right.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:09 PM - 64 comments

High-def, close-up, like you're RIGHT THERE with the nachos

Are you bored staring at a blank wall all day? Stupid landlord won't let you hang pictures? Has life hidden your stud finder? It's okay, you don't need them anyway! Fall asleep beneath the disappointed gaze of this blue-eyed grey kitten. There's no way you *won't* lose weight with this fresh, hot pizza in a box placed strategically above your television. Nachos not for you? Enjoy your refined-palate lifestyle surrounded with locally-grown laughter and Pinterest-worthy paella decals . Still hungry? Not lactose intolerant? Jazz up your Wednesday dinner routine and impress your date with omnipresent cow's milk cheeses. And if that's not enough, you ungrateful monster, ruin your brain with this cloud of programming languages that may actually be used to create The Cloud OMG what is even real anymore.
posted by Munching Langolier at 5:41 PM - 47 comments

Call me, Ishmael.

Station 51000, a buoy, came unmoored in 2013. It's still reporting, and some Eddystone Light-hearted genius has hybridized the data with Moby Dick. ( Or possibly it isn't lost at all? NOAA still lists it with lat-long. )
posted by clew at 3:31 PM - 16 comments

"It’s imperative to make sure that these manuscripts are safe"

The monk who saves manuscripts from ISIS "Rescuing the world’s most precious antiquities from destruction is a painstaking project—and a Benedictine monk may seem like an unlikely person to lead the charge. But Father Columba Stewart is determined. Soft-spoken, dressed in flowing black robes, this 59-year-old American has spent the past 13 years roaming from the Balkans to the Middle East in an effort to save Christian and Islamic manuscripts threatened by wars, theft, weather—and, lately, the Islamic State."
posted by Hypatia at 3:28 PM - 5 comments

Dogs are like kids. Cats are like roommates.

Enjoy the smile-inducing spectacle of this dog buying his own treats. Now watch this cat trying to help with taxes. [both videos ambient sound only]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:17 PM - 25 comments

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship [SLNYT, will make you cry]

When Your Greatest Romance Is a Friendship [more inside]
posted by limeonaire at 2:07 PM - 15 comments

I Hate eBays

@ebaygarfield is a twitter account that posts eBay Garfields
posted by cortex at 2:06 PM - 18 comments

I accidentally bought a giant pig

The vet that said if Esther really was six months old, she was possibly a sick runt and would grow to about 200lb, the size of a very large dog. But by her first birthday she had blown past 250lb; she was on track to be at least 500lb.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:44 PM - 67 comments

Well, there never was a hat!

As Jake Gyllenhaal begins his stint as the lead in Sondheim's Sunday In The Park With George, he's posted on Facebook a video of him singing Finishing The Hat, filmed by Cary Fukunaga. [Ed note: I think he does a pretty good job!]
posted by hippybear at 11:19 AM - 21 comments

Doubling the RDA for Fruits and Veggies

New research indicates we should eat 10, not 5, fruits and veggies a day. Here are some real people who talk about how they manage it.
posted by Michele in California at 11:09 AM - 95 comments

Do a Pubmed search after talking to your doctor

When evidence says no, but your doctor says yes [more inside]
posted by peacheater at 10:41 AM - 27 comments

Turning electronic waste into tiny robot pendants

Romanian artist 11pixeli (Andreea Strete) turns electronic waste headed for the landfill into tiny robots you can wear around your neck. (You can see all the robots on a single page here.) Artist's Instagram.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 10:22 AM - 7 comments

Meet The Man Who Stopped Thousands Of People Becoming HIV-Positive

A few days before Christmas 2016, a phone call took place that no one could have predicted. One of the world’s most esteemed HIV doctors, Professor Sheena McCormack – whose life’s work as an epidemiologist has been to track and fight the virus – picked up the phone to deliver a message that would make headline news: In the space of 12 months, the number of gay men in London being diagnosed with HIV had dropped by 40%. The man McCormack credited with this unprecedented reduction in HIV transmissions was not a fellow doctor, nor the head of a charity, nor even a politician. Greg Owen is unemployed, a former sex worker, and homeless. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 9:08 AM - 50 comments

19 TripAdvisor User Who Are 100% Done with Scotland

Edinburgh Dungeon: "I don't like it. The actors have Scottish accents and its very hard to understand." [SLBF]
posted by DarlingBri at 4:58 AM - 65 comments

Online art community Deviantart bought by Wix.com for (reported) $36mill

Wix.com - primarily a WYSIWYG Web hosting company - buy DeviantArt Established in 2001, the art community / noticeboard DeviantArt (aka DA) has long been the place to see some of the best hobbyist, and professional fandom and original digital art. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams at 4:22 AM - 30 comments

February 24

blacks swans, the dragon king, and the power law

How Dragon Kings Could Trump Black Swans, MIT Technology Review, 4 AUG 2009.
Sornette goes on to identify a number of data sets showing power laws with outliers that he says are the result of positive feedback mechanisms that make them much larger than their peers. He calls these events dragon kings. What’s interesting about them is that they are entirely unaccounted for by a current understanding of power laws, from which Nassim Nicholas Taleb built the idea of black swans.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:35 PM - 10 comments

“...the dogs run on about ten acres of her family’s 142-acre farm.”

Our Lady of Strays [Outside] “The world's greatest dog sanctuary is on a small farm in Costa Rica, where hundreds of canines run wild over the land — eating huge piles of food and slobbering happily on Lya Battle and her small band of dedicated volunteers.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:17 PM - 8 comments

The Jobs Americans Do

Popular ideas about the working class are woefully out of date. Here are nine people who tell a truer story of what the American work force does today — and will do tomorrow. [slNYT]
posted by ellieBOA at 8:59 PM - 12 comments

Caesar, ironically, was born the usual way

C-sections are a boon for humans, who can have very complicated birth situations due to their big heads. But they're not the only mammals with C-sections! (Note: ALL VIDEOS ARE GROSS.) [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:37 PM - 14 comments

Democrats: Now what?

Which way, Democrats?
What Democrats should learn from 2016
The wrong way to rebuild the Democratic Party
posted by latkes at 4:11 PM - 511 comments

"The concept of being able to do literally anything is hard to grasp"

Arbitrary Code Execution Glitches in video games have allowed creators of Tool-Assisted Speedruns break open a game entirely, using nothing more than the controller inputs that are normally used to guide in-game actions.

Originally used just to skip to the end credits screens, since then ACE has been used to program games to run other games. One recent example by MrWint, begins as a demonstration of running Pokemon Gold from within Pokemon Yellow, and quickly escalates from there. [more inside]
posted by radwolf76 at 3:37 PM - 26 comments

April the Giraffe

April the Giraffe is due to give birth to her fourth giraffe baby at the age of 15. Zookeepers have set up a live stream of her pen in the days approaching its arrival. [more inside]
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 2:21 PM - 23 comments

The photography of Maria Svarbova

Maria Svarbova is a Slovakian photographer who specializes in white and pastel compositions with bright accents, featuring people in carefully static and sometimes eerily affectless poses. The Dining Room. Pool Without Water. Healthy Teeth, Good Mood.

Standing apart somewhat from the rest and visually remarkable in its own right is (n.b. nudity) God's Mirror.
posted by cortex at 1:59 PM - 7 comments

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