May 24

Constitutional Interpretation No. 748 (2017)

Taiwan's Constitutional Court finds restrictions against same-sex marriage unconstitutional. Taiwan, one of the most progressive states in Asia when it comes to LGBTQI equality, heard a case in March pushed in part by long-time activist CHI Chia-wei (祁家威) arguing for marriage equality. Today, with two dissents and one abstension, the Constitutional Court requires the national legislature, the Legislative Yuan, to amend the current Civil Code within two years--and if the legislature fails, same-sex couples will still be allowed to register their marriages with the government. [more inside]
posted by anem0ne at 11:38 AM - 3 comments

ASCII Art - a century before ASCII

In the days before widespread high-resolution graphics, many of us were familiar with ASCII Art, either on screen or printed out. But there were predecessors in the form of typewriter art. (Previously) And going through newspaper ads in old issues of the New York Times and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, Jacob Harris has found 19th-century examples of typeset images made of letters, as well as larger characters composed of smaller ones. [more inside]
posted by larrybob at 11:36 AM - 2 comments

"The greatest meeting of land and sea"

In a year of dramatic change and threat, An unprecendented 40-foot deep and 1/3 mile wide tongue of earth is newly jutting into the Pacific Ocean across the historic Roosevelt Highway portion of California’s Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur, at Mud Creek. [more inside]
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:32 AM - 2 comments

Damages for illegal Swedish registry of Roma citizens

"Today, the Chancellor of Justice announced that the Swedish state will not appeal the decision by the Svea Court of Appeal regarding the case of the police’s registration of Swedish Roma citizens. Damages will be paid to all persons included in the illegal registry. Civil Rights Defenders, which represented eleven of a total of about 4 700 people included in the registry, won the court case against the Swedish state in the Svea Court of Appeal on April 28, 2017. The state was found guilty of ethnic registration and discrimination, and ordered to pay 30 000 SEK in damages to each of the eleven Roma plaintiffs." [more inside]
posted by Bella Donna at 11:17 AM - 1 comment

All questions will be answered in Sovalo

In February 1975, the stars aligned in such a way that jazz saxophonist Cannonball Adderley and eclelctic singer-guitarist Jose Feliciano appeared together -- as actors and as a musical double-act -- on the influential eastern-western television series Kung Fu. [more inside]
posted by Herodios at 10:45 AM - 2 comments

“The great war is here.”

Game of Thrones: Season 7 Official Trailer [YouTube]
posted by Fizz at 10:35 AM - 15 comments

Rare footage of Raoul Wallenberg found

Author and historian Gellert Kovacs was watching a TV segment on cyber security, when he thought he recognized someone. [more inside]
posted by Ideefixe at 10:17 AM - 5 comments

Every Dog has his day

Not only do we have the recent announcement of Mega City One a planned television series set in the Judge Dredd universe (this guy is excited), the fan film Search / Destroy based on another of 2000AD's beloved stories, Strontium Dog, has appeared by the makers of the Judge Dredd fan film Judge Minty (previous) [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:50 AM - 1 comment

Anti-goatee qualities: At least one columnist has blazed it

"A Guide to Conservative Publications: Which ones are trolling you, and which ones are simply bad?" by Alex Nichols in The Outline.
How thoroughly do they embody the worst characteristics of conservative writing? How smug are they? How convinced are they of their own superior intellect? Are they painfully, seethingly horny? As many of the worst specimens delight in terrifying the world with poor grooming decisions, our measuring stick will be the goatee, here affixed to a tiny troll face. The longer the goatee, the more batshit insane the publication.
[more inside]
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:27 AM - 27 comments

What happens when a spouse dies in the middle of a divorce?

A terrible, little club. “It’s called disenfranchised grief. It’s also referred to as the grief that has no voice, because it’s a grief that our society typically does not recognize.”
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:23 AM - 13 comments

Every bit as fair as when you raced against your brother as kids.

Hot Wheels Stunt Race [more inside]
posted by jacquilynne at 9:16 AM - 5 comments

Niche Museums for Your Inner Weird

Toilet seat art? Currywurst? Mammal penises? A clickable list of 86 very specific museums around the world.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:20 AM - 14 comments

Avril, like Paul, yet lives

Teen Vogue covers the latest weird thing to go viral: Avril Lavigne died years ago and has been replaced by a doppelganger named Melissa. But they take the opportunity to educate as well as shrugging at the weirdos who spend too much time on this sort of thing:
It's a premise that assumes a lot about Avril's mental health based on, well, basically nothing, and that is problematic because we should never assume anything about anyone's mental health.
posted by Etrigan at 7:47 AM - 41 comments

A conversation on the state of Paganism

Paganism is dying. "Much of what once made Paganism radical is now widely accepted by those of all religions and none. It is no longer particularly progressive to believe in the central importance of the natural world, or in basic equality for all." It's eating its own. "We are beginning to see those fighting oppression using the tools of the oppressors upon one another." Maybe it deserves to die. "Institutions have a way of taking on a life of their own, so that people start asking how to save the institution, and forget to ask whether it should be saved." No, Paganism is evolving. "Even as parts of Paganism are dying, new parts are being born." It's just fine. "Just because groups like CUUPS or certain Druid orders might be losing members doesn’t mean that Paganism as a whole is headed down the same wormhole." The Pagan world is big and diverse. "So while I believe Paganism is fairly healthy, I could be wrong, but I trust my eyes when my contacts are in and things look pretty good from here."
posted by clawsoon at 7:00 AM - 27 comments

the Education Gig

"The idea that incorporating a gig economy structure to education would result in freedom and active employment of previously untapped talents is laughable. The charter school’s yearly contracts did nothing but create a toxic, anxious environment. As the end of every school year loomed, we would whisper in passing around the copy machines, counting off on our fingers all of those we knew were most disliked by the administration. Even if we hadn’t squared off with an administrator, there were always those who walked out of the office having been told their jobs were reduced to part time the following year. No one was ever safe, secure. Long-term plans were always at risk.

Substitute teaching with a third party contractor has turned me into a ghost."

--The Teaching Gig Economy. by @rebeccaheckyea
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:42 AM - 26 comments

Tragedy in Manchester

Twenty-two people were killed and sixty-four injured in suicide bombing at Manchester Arena on Monday night. Nine victims (including an eight-year-old girl) have been named so far. The bombing occurred after a concert by Ariana Grande that was attended by many children and teens. In response, the government has raised the threat level to Critical. The name of the attacker, who is thought to not have been acting alone, was released by police after it was first leaked by US officials. The leak of the attacker's identity has put a strain on US-UK intelligence sharing, since it may have hampered further investigations.
posted by klausness at 3:05 AM - 72 comments

Ancient battle-scarred feral cat meets tiny kittens

Mason is old and ill and grumpy. One day some new kittens came into his foster home. 2m40s to a better day.
posted by hippybear at 1:51 AM - 38 comments

May 23

"If you want to die, stay at the ranch"

"In this oral history, a former sheepherder describes the loneliness and medical hardship he experienced while tending sheep in California’s Central Valley. The stories of the more than 800,000 men, women, and children working in California’s fields—one third of the nation’s agricultural work force—are rarely heard. The new book Chasing the Harvest compiles the oral histories of some of these farmworkers." (via Longreads)
posted by primalux at 8:18 PM - 5 comments

Talk Obama To Me

Do you miss hearing President Obama? Try this Obama speech generator and hear him in your own words.
posted by roaring beast at 7:03 PM - 38 comments

Bigger on the outside

A gentle polemic from Grist against green consumerism, off-gridding, and individualism with respect to ecology.
posted by clew at 5:59 PM - 8 comments


Epic Grinds are... meat sculptures. SLTumblr.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:22 PM - 14 comments

The only sanity is a cup of tea. / The music is in minors.

Poems of Protest, Resistance, and Empowerment
Pithy and powerful, poetry is a popular art form at protests and rallies. From the civil rights and women’s liberation movements to Black Lives Matter, poetry is commanding enough to gather crowds in a city square and compact enough to demand attention on social media. Speaking truth to power remains a crucial role of the poet in the face of political and media rhetoric designed to obscure, manipulate, or worse.
[more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:43 PM - 10 comments

The Unchosen Ones

The Unchosen Ones is a project by R.J. Kern featuring photographs of non-winning sheep and their exhibitors from 2016 Minnesota county fairs. Project Statement.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:12 PM - 40 comments

Things cats don't like

This compilation reveals one of the many true natures of cats [ambient sounds, occasional music].
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 12:59 PM - 29 comments

The Trump Documents

The Onion has obtained 700 pages of leaked documents from the Trump Administration. "The Onion has done what no other news organization ever could: expose the Trump administration."
posted by zeusianfog at 11:13 AM - 42 comments

We Have To Be Careful Regarding The Use Of Our Resources

Maria Bamford delivered a sneakily practical commencement speech about the value of education, money, and valuing yourself at her Alma Mater, The University of Minnesota College of Liberal Arts.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:03 AM - 10 comments

Stay out of Boyle Heights, Lebowski!

The 'Artwashing' of America: The Battle For The Soul of Los Angeles Against GentrficationDefend Boyle Heights has targeted 10 new art galleries on South Anderson Street, a formerly industrial strip along the desolate eastern bank of the Los Angeles River. Activists say the galleries are a proxy for corporate interests, especially those of high-end real estate. After the galleries will come the coffee shops and bars, and after that, the restaurants that serve bacon in cocktails. After that, unkempt lots empty for decades will be boxed in construction plywood, and then there will be many hollow promises of affordable housing. And then it really will be time for “fucking Victorville.” [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 9:42 AM - 62 comments

Locate yourself

The Dave Rumsey Historical Map Collection. Over 76,000 maps and images online, housed physically at Stanford but available here for your browsing pleasure.
posted by PussKillian at 8:46 AM - 12 comments

Hot Damn! It's the Loveland Frog!

In 2016, amidst the Pokemon Go frenzy, a young couple wandered into the woods near Ohio's Little Miami River and glimpsed a four foot tall humanoid frog, known locally as the Loveland Frog. Several artists have tried to capture what the Loveland Frog must look like, with wildly varying results. The Wikipedia gives perhaps the most sobering idea of what a bipedal frog the height of a small child might look like lumbering over a highway guardrail. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 8:17 AM - 35 comments

The U.S. Air Force began preparing for war on May 23, 1967

On this day, another atomic war scare. "a colossal solar radio burst" (McMath Plage Region 8818) hit important high-altitude sensors, and was interpreted as Soviet radio jamming, which could have been part of an unfolding attack. Space weather forecasters, aided by Pioneer 7, saved the day. (Abstract)
posted by doctornemo at 8:15 AM - 7 comments

Yes, Sand is in Everything and Gets Everywhere

There are more types of sand than most of us know, and it can come from anywhere. For instance, normal beach sand isn't exactly right for volleyball, and horse-show sand is very specific. This article also discusses the destruction of the seabed to maintain the barrier islands of the US east coast. People have become very complacent about hurricanes and their effects on the sand of the barrier islands. Only two of the top 20 storms in Wilmington NC, for instance, have occurred since 2000.
posted by MovableBookLady at 8:00 AM - 12 comments

"There were conversations about his mustache."

Take a Look: An Oral History of Reading Rainbow
posted by Etrigan at 7:35 AM - 23 comments

“You can either grow old gracefully or begrudgingly. I chose both.”

Roger Moore – Saint, Persuader and the suavest James Bond – dies at 89. [The Guardian] “He was the epitome of the suave English gent, quipping sweatlessly in a bespoke three-piece suit, who enjoyed an acting career spanning eight decades. On Tuesday, Roger Moore’s children announced his death at the age of 89 in Switzerland, saying: “he passed away today ... after a short but brave battle with cancer”. Moore was best known for playing the third incarnation of James Bond as well as his roles in hit shows The Saint and The Persuaders. He also devoted a lot of his time to humanitarian work, becoming a Unicef goodwill ambassador in 1991.”
posted by Fizz at 7:03 AM - 94 comments

May 22

A Continuous Shape

Filmmakers Jack Webber and Tommaso Di Paola spent 3 weeks working alongside Anna Rubincam, a contemporary stone carver working in London, as she carved a portrait from start to finish. [more inside]
posted by not_the_water at 4:10 PM - 24 comments

The Hidden History of Gas Station Bathrooms, By a Man Who Cleans Them

My job involves mopping up the urine-soaked garbage holes that exhausted motorists take for granted. But in another era, the public took great pride in the glory of roadside restrooms. (SL Narratively)
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:41 PM - 48 comments

It's not you, it’s them.

According to the MTA’s own data, New York City subway delays were up some 332 percent between November 2012 and November 2016. The crisis points to larger, systematic and political upheaval, along with real technical issues like " aging cars and track equipment, new cars that struggle to perform as well as well as older ones, and an ancient signaling system, with parts dating back to Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency." Last Monday, the MTA introduced a 6 point plan that they think will help.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:05 PM - 36 comments

Pueblo Deco, started by the best known unknown architect, Mary J. Colter

The 1923 opening of the El Navajo Hotel in Gallup, N.M., created a sensation, with the event reported as far away as in the Washington Post. Its architect, Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter, had merged the bold Art Deco patterns with those created by native artists in the American Southwest to start a style called Pueblo Deco. This style was often seen inside and out on Harvey Hotels and restaurants, where she was exclusive employed from 1910 to 1948. Though a number of Harvey Hotels have been demolished, including El Navajo Hotel, you can still visit (Google maps street view) and stay at La Posada hotel in Winslow, Arizona and the Slaton Harvey House in Slaton, Texas (Google maps), which is currently a bed and breakfast, event hall and railroad museum. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:33 PM - 11 comments

"That's when McPherson’s door swung open, and a librarian came racing"

"As the library overdoses mounted, the soft-spoken Moore, whom the kids call Miss Judi, took actions, small and large." Mike Newall of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports on librarians at the Philadelphia McPherson Square Library dealing with the opioid crisis on their doorstep. [more inside]
posted by CMcG at 12:59 PM - 26 comments

Ask not what your wife can ask for you to do

Mental Load: why women still do most of the work at home.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:31 AM - 232 comments

Clearly, it has a thing for dinosaurs

"[A] group of researchers from New York University.... trained a recurrent neural network to predict and classify text based on the work of Chuck Tingle." (from The Register) [all links should be considered NSFW or very NSFW] [more inside]
posted by frimble at 11:26 AM - 17 comments

To Cite or to Steal

To Cite or to Steal? When a Scholarly Project Turns Up in a Gallery. Scholar Kevin Ferguson "use[s] public domain scientific image analysis software to create 'sums' of films, adding together the frames of a film to make one single abstract image." He was surprised when he learned about a gallery show of remarkably similar work by artist Jason Shulman. Includes a brief history of visual artists who have done similar work, and a tutorial on how to make your own.
posted by goatdog at 10:52 AM - 19 comments

I Have A Very Good Brain And I've Said A Lot Of Things

It's the 122nd day of the Trump Administration and his whirlwind diplomatic tour continues, moving on from the Middle East to … Israel? Israel, which, the President clarified, is definitely not a word that he said when meeting with Russian officials last week. Meanwhile, a sinkhole has formed in front of Trump's Mar-A-Lago resort which is almost certainly not a metaphor for his presidency. Unless it is. In which case, Vox makes the argument that there is no one to blame except Donald Trump.
posted by murphy slaw at 10:23 AM - 1098 comments

(Bootstraps Not Included)

What's Your American Dream Score?
A new project from GALEWiLL and funded by the Ford Foundation, called the Your American Dream Score, deflates that idea that success–or lack thereof–is purely one’s own doing. The calculator is a part of a larger initiative, Moving Up: The Truth About Getting Ahead In America, which comprehensively examines the factors that contribute to mobility in America, and why changing one’s circumstances is far more difficult than the folklore leads up to believe[…]The reasons are myriad: wide disparities in educational quality, access to resources like healthy food, and social and familial support are just a slice. But too often, McKinnon says, when someone “makes it out”–like him–the only reason offered up is: “He worked hard.” When someone doesn’t make it out, the reason is: “He didn’t work hard enough.”
[h/t MeFi's Own Miss Cellania]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:45 AM - 55 comments

"Everything that is beautiful is also tainted."

A German Life. Brunhilde Pomsel died on January 27 of this year, at the age of 106. Seventy-five years earlier, in 1942, she began work at the Reich Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, as a personal secretary to Joseph Goebbels. Before her death, she recorded 30 hours of interviews, which form the basis of the film A German Life (Trailer 1, Trailer 2, IMDB) [more inside]
posted by McCoy Pauley at 8:44 AM - 6 comments

Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001

Some sweaters were worn once and then never again, like the neon blue cardigan Rogers wore in episode 1497. Others, like his harvest gold sweaters, were part of Rogers’ regular rotation and then disappeared. And then there were the unusual batch of black and olive green sweaters Rogers wore exclusively while filming the “Dress-Up” episodes in 1991. To this day, members of the Neighborhood Archive message board claim those are the only sweaters Rogers wore that were store bought. The rest were hand knit by his mother. [Every Color Of Cardigan Mister Rogers Wore From 1979–2001 via The Awl]
posted by chavenet at 8:24 AM - 15 comments

"Designed to stoke our most primal browsing habits"

Investigating the content landfills that sit under the banner of "Related Content", "You May Also Like", or "Around the Web" [SLNYT]
posted by R a c h e l at 7:53 AM - 43 comments

One good thing about the engine: two of the gaskets are quite good.

Spend twelve soothingly critical minutes with English engine enthusiast Keith Appleton as he tears down, and explains the issues with, a small steam engine. Lots, lots more on his website,
posted by cortex at 7:30 AM - 8 comments

WTF Star goes all WTF again

A year and a half ago, F-class star KIC 8462852 (a.k.a. Tabby's Star or Boyajian's Star after Dr. Tabetha Boyajian) was noted to have strange emission patterns, kicking off a spate of stories about how the patterns are totally due to alien megastructures, such as a Dyson sphere. Now KIC 8462852 is at it again.
posted by Etrigan at 7:22 AM - 42 comments

The Lost Typefaces of W.A. Dwiggins

When I first started as a typesetter back in 1962, I knew almost nothing about its history. But I learned on the job from people who'd been in the trade and from books. One name that seldom came up was W.A. Dwiggins. I started in newspapers and Times Roman was the font, a more boring typeface has not been devised. Dwiggins' fonts weren't like that.
posted by MovableBookLady at 6:49 AM - 6 comments

"Babe, you're freaking out," Logan says, taking my hand. "Let's browse."

I implore you to set your better judgement aside, rationalize the fact that you have already clicked, and take my hand. We're going to the American Girl Store. [SLCracked; weirder than usual]
posted by automatic cabinet at 3:11 AM - 34 comments

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