July 29

Operation Vula

How the ANC sent encrypted messages to one another during the struggle against apartheid. Talking to Vula is a series of six articles by Tim Jenkins about the project from the ANC`s monthly journal Mayibuye from May 1995 to October 1995. (via Schneier) [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 1:31 AM - 1 comment

"We are the megadead."

In 1983, at the height of the Cold War, the National Film Board of Canada produced War with Gwynne Dyer, a seven part series in which the historian Gwynne Dyer traced the evolution of total warfare from its origins to the present day. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 12:44 AM - 0 comments

Famous Fluid Equations Are Incomplete

The Singular Mind of Terry Tao - "Imagine, he said, that someone awfully clever could construct a machine out of pure water. It would be built not of rods and gears but from a pattern of interacting currents." (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:34 AM - 1 comment

The Dark Knight Cringes

Activist Deray McKesson took this photo of an armored vehicle parked at the Waller County, TX jail. JPat Brown at Muckrock asked the Waller County Police Department for "[a]ny documentation (receipts, work orders, emails ) regarding customization of armored vehicles in the office's possession, specifically the application of the 'Batman/Dark Knight' logo. They were not amused. However, it's likely that the Chief Deputy is telling the truth, since companies like The Armored Group makes vehicles that are similar to the one spotted at the Waller County jail. This same company was mentioned in a October 2014 Mother Jones article about militarization of police forces across the country.
posted by snortasprocket at 12:04 AM - 5 comments

July 28

Last survivors of the Indianapolis

Warship's Last Survivors Recall Sinking in Shark-Infested Waters
posted by Artw at 11:23 PM - 1 comment

The Hijacking of Flight 102

About a month ago Motherboard posted about artist Jesse England looking for a lost Mac game that he played in his 7th grade social studies class. He knew it was about terrorism and an aircraft hijacking but not much else besides some images he remembered, which he drew out and shared in hopes someone would recognize it. Fortunately, he found it, and decided to share it with everyone. Let's Play: Research Paper Writer
posted by gucci mane at 8:15 PM - 10 comments

"I think we only use 10% of our hearts."

Peter Watts: No Brainer.
For decades now, I have been haunted by the grainy, black-and-white x-ray of a human skull. It is alive but empty, with a cavernous fluid-filled space where the brain should be. A thin layer of brain tissue lines that cavity like an amniotic sac. The image hails from a 1980 review article[PDF] in Science: Roger Lewin, the author, reports that the patient in question had “virtually no brain”. But that’s not what scared me; hydrocephalus is nothing new, and it takes more to creep out this ex-biologist than a picture of Ventricles Gone Wild. What scared me was the fact that this virtually brain-free patient had an IQ of 126.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:02 PM - 26 comments

Freddy Krueger vs. Spiderman? I'd buy that for a dollar.

An Illustrated Guide to Iconic Fictional Weapons.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 7:00 PM - 26 comments

Lydia, oh Lydia, say, have you met Lydia?

Isobel Varley had her first tattoo when she was 49, then went to become a Guinness Record holder for the most tattooed female pensioner. She died recently. Part of a Guardian photo series of "Aged Rebels"
posted by growabrain at 6:41 PM - 12 comments

Well, the ground return is Santa Monica Bay.

If you think finding a short in a light switch or lamp is your idea of fun, imagine having the time of your life with this little repair. You probably won't find much of the stuff you need at the Home Depot.
posted by pjern at 5:53 PM - 25 comments

"Well, here goes something into nothing."

In 2010, nearly fifty years after her death, and more than a hundred years after she became the first person to sing on the radio, the remains of Eugenia Farrar were finally laid to rest. Fittingly, her porcelain memorial urn has her own recording of that first song -- "I Love You Truly" -- etched into its surface using a lathe (similar to the process used for early cylinder recordings). Laura LaPlaca's thoughtful essay -- musing on the materiality of this final remaining artifact of a historic broadcast that otherwise left little trace -- describes this final resting place as Farrar's "ashen physical remains protected by the materialized solid form of her voice." [more inside]
posted by orthicon halo at 4:47 PM - 1 comment

Penises, though—well, that was a new one.

The Rocket Cat Café in Philadelphia has recently had to apologize for letting a naked guy walk around for an hour with the owner's permission. A misguided promotion for the Philly Naked Bike Ride, the naked man drew attention thanks to Sarah Grey (previously), who has written her side of the story. And if you're interested, there's also a (surprisingly not naughty) limerick.
posted by graymouser at 3:32 PM - 114 comments

D'ya get me, bruv?

A new London accent strikingly different from Cockney has emerged in the last few years. Linguists call it "Multicultural London English" (or MLE) and although it has obvious roots in the London black community it's now displacing Cockney to become a universal accent for working class London youth, regardless of race. Change is spreading so fast that London teens often have radically different accents from their own parents. [more inside]
posted by w0mbat at 3:05 PM - 46 comments

An anthem to the Rabbit

Macy Gray sings about her dear friend, Bob. He comes in all kinds of colors, but he had me at yellow. (SLYT, NSFW)
posted by schroedinger at 1:25 PM - 21 comments

I'm Getting Really Tired of Living In This Quaint English Village

I'm Getting Really Tired of Living In This Quaint English Village [YouTube] - Original published humor piece performed before a live audience by Mefi's own The Whelk [previously] via MetaFilter Projects. If you want to read the piece along with the performance, here it is as it appears in The Toast.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:18 PM - 19 comments

LAURA LIKES TO POP BUBBLES OH MY GOD

Local chameleon overwhelms public with cuteness
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:15 PM - 35 comments

Forcasting rapid growth

Proceedings of the Natural Institute of Science is an open-access scientific journal with a mandate to publish papers from academics and non-academics alike. Boasting a strong peer review process and a high impact factor, it's only partly serious. (Previously)
posted by bismol at 10:40 AM - 8 comments

Ronald Reagan and Reading Proust

"Maybe the story is the difference between the writers on the panels and the writers in the audience. That story is the creation of a celebrity class. That story is the fine line between jealousy and envy: I want everything you have versus I want everything I can have. Or is the story simply vanity?" Choire Sicha of the Awl reports on (and attempts to schmooze through) the two-day New Yorker literary festival
posted by The Whelk at 10:40 AM - 4 comments

Do you know what _this_ is?

Sure, Her Story is great and all, but what if you want a classic cheesy FMV murder mystery game, full of scenery chewing and dodgy programming? Then you're in luck! Created by a Tim Follin, a long time video game composer, Contradiction: Spot the Liar! has spawned a bit of a cult following on the video game site Giant Bomb after Giant Bomb East did a Quick Look and was then so engrossed they recorded a supplemental Quick Look and is now continuing their playthrough as a premium feature (paywalled). The actors and producers have noticed the attention and have responded in kind, recording thank you videos and vines. They even (with the help of community members) managed to prank the GBeast podcast. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 10:39 AM - 9 comments

The Worlds Leading Seller of Hugs

Herbalife is an MLM company that its detractors believe is nothing more than a pyramid scheme. But, John Hempton manager of Bronte Capital disagrees. In a long post he sets out why "it is the stock in the portfolio I am most proud to own. It is also the stock about whose long-term prospects I am most bullish."

20,000 words of economic analysis sounds a dry read. But think again, exploring the economics of this one peculiar company is a rabbit hole of fascinating portraits on globalisation, psychology and everyday life around the world.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 10:30 AM - 50 comments

Happy Birthday to All of Us

Copyright owners of the song "Happy Birthday" have built a stead yearly income of two million dollars a year by giving rights to use the song publicly for about $1500 per use. This copyright claim was fought in court recently, and a "smoking gun" was discovered in the process that places the public use of the song a number of years before the copyrighted work for hire, and as such, argue the plaintiff's lawyers, make the song conclusive in the public domain. Read more here. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:08 AM - 79 comments

the spirit is willing, but the flesh is so so tasty

The Rise of the Reducetarian (yup there's a word for that) Like tofurky? Thank a reducetarian. Part-time vegetarians are the ones driving vegan restaurants, vegetarian blogs and meat-free options at restaurants and grocery stores. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:04 AM - 117 comments

Managing Unconscious Bias

Facebook's bias training: "There are different forms of unconscious bias that can prevent us from cultivating an inclusive and innovative workplace. In these videos, we discuss four common types of biases: Performance Bias, Performance Attribution Bias, Competence/Likeability Trade-off Bias, and Maternal Bias."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:13 AM - 24 comments

If a thing is designed to kill you, it is, by definition, bad design.

Dear Design Student - In Praise of the AK-47 (NSFW language)
The AK-47 is often cited as a well-designed object. And this case is usually made by pointing out that the AK-47 is easy to use, maintain, take-apart, modify, and manufacture. It’s a model of simplicity. And the original design, introduced in 1948, is still in use, even as the AK family has continued evolving...
[more inside]
posted by SansPoint at 8:53 AM - 104 comments

Pfft! What kind of idiot lets their emotions control them?

'The Numskulls' is a comic strip that started way back in 1962 in the British comic The Beezer that is now published in The Beano. It may seem a bit familiar... what happens when the Numbskulls watch Inside Out?.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:36 AM - 7 comments

Pell Grants for Prisoners

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Monday that the White House will take advantage of a loophole in the 1994 law that banned incarcerated Americans from using Pell Grants to pay for college, "developing experimental sites that will make Pell grants available" to prisoners. [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:35 AM - 18 comments

“I wanted to run this movie over with my car, repeatedly.”

MovieBob Reviews: PIXELS [YouTube] [NSFW] [Adult Language]
posted by Fizz at 8:12 AM - 94 comments

Come get fisted right in the heart

Grindr: The Musical (somewhat NSFW) [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:04 AM - 13 comments

Your underwhelming UK holiday photographs

Spirit of the Nation. The Guardian has invited readers to submit their uninspiring holiday photos. That is all.
posted by glasseyes at 7:36 AM - 49 comments

...before he can tell her about his favourite bukowski quote

Feminist writer Anne Thériault of bad-date-tweeting fame posted a series of tweets about the deadly feminist animal in her natural habitat. Less than an hour later, voice actor D.C. Douglas transformed the static text into a David Attenborough-esque documentary narration.
posted by drlith at 7:29 AM - 12 comments

Sauna Mänual ov Finland Män

Sauna Mänual ov Finland Män – 7 Ruuls You Must Knou. Finland Män häv rispekt for thö Sauna. Thö wörld is kold, thö Sauna is worm. Tis is ofishöl Sauna Mänual ov Finland Män. [more inside]
posted by severiina at 7:05 AM - 32 comments

(Figuratively) METAL vs. (Literally) METAL

Metal band logo CAPTCHAs
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:44 AM - 25 comments

Not so quiet that I could feel my sanity slipping away

Inside the world's quietest rooms
posted by slogger at 6:20 AM - 14 comments

May I be excused?

"Using the Restroom: A Privilege—If You’re a Teacher" (SL Atlantic.com)
"Educators seldom have enough time to do their business. What’s that doing to the state of learning?" [more inside]
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 4:10 AM - 47 comments

Berlin Brandenburg has wrecked careers

How Berlin’s Futuristic Airport Became a $6 Billion Embarrassment. Inside Germany’s profligate (Greek-like!) fiasco called Berlin Brandenburg
On May 7, less than four weeks before the scheduled opening, Loge met with Schwarz for the first time. The airport, Schwarz conceded, would have to open using the army of human fire detectors. “Professor, let me understand this,” Loge said. “You are talking about having 800 people wearing orange vests, sitting on camping stools, holding thermoses filled with coffee, and shouting into their cell phones, ‘Open the fire door’?” Loge refused the airport an operating license. Schwarz stood up and walked out without another word. [more inside]
posted by moody cow at 2:58 AM - 31 comments

You May Know Me from Such Roles as Terrorist #4

As Sayed and Waleed and the others describe their various demises, it strikes me that the key to making a living in Hollywood if you're Muslim is to be good at dying. If you're a Middle Eastern actor and you can die with charisma, there is no shortage of work for you. Jon Ronson in GQ on the Muslim-American actors who earn virtually their entire livings pretending to hijack planes and slaughter infidels. [Via.]
posted by chavenet at 2:07 AM - 12 comments

Absence of Evidence of Absence

In a 2002 paper, history professor Richard Jensen claimed that Irish Americans had perpetuated a Myth of Victimization: "No Irish Need Apply" signs were "extremely rare or nonexistent" in the United States, and "Newspaper ads for men with NINA were exceedingly rare. " High school student Rebecca A. Fried recently debunked that argument in a paper of her own. Their debate continued in the comments of an Irish Central article.
posted by Knappster at 12:26 AM - 53 comments

July 27

What is thy name?

"Humans as Superorganisms: How Microbes, Viruses, Imprinted Genes and Other Selfish Entities Shape Our Behavior" by Peter Kramer and Paola Bressan discusses the idea that an individual homo sapiens is only one component of the human superorganism we call a person, focusing on the psychological and psychiatric ramifications thereof. (Paola Bressan previously.)
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 8:28 PM - 16 comments

Salty, sweet, sour, bitter, umami ... hearing?

Sonic Seasoning
“Sound is the forgotten flavour sense,” says experimental psychologist Charles Spence. In this episode of Gastropod, we discover how manipulating sound can transform our experience of food and drink, making stale crisps taste fresh, adding the sensation of cream to black coffee, or boosting the savory, peaty notes in whiskey.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:51 PM - 9 comments

Boy Scouts of America Amends Adult Leadership Policy

Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly: "...the National Executive Board ratified a resolution that removes the national restriction on openly gay adult leaders and employees. Of those present and voting, 79 percent voted in favor of the resolution. The resolution is effective immediately."" [more inside]
posted by jquinby at 6:23 PM - 71 comments

Sanctuary! Sanctuary!

"So you are in 13th century England and you’ve been accused of, or maybe have actually committed, a murder. To be taken into custody and tried would likely result in execution, so you need to go to ground, fast." What do you do? Run to a church and claim sanctuary! [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:13 PM - 32 comments

That much is true

We all need silly things in our lives, so courtesy of James Leyland Kirby (aka V/Vm), here's a classic tune reduced to its bare minimum: Workin' In A Cocktail Bar. [more inside]
posted by naju at 5:34 PM - 31 comments

Cargo cult of personality

The IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through blogs, tweets, forum posts, and more. Just enter a chunk of text with at least 100 recognized words and Watson will break down your (or Hitler's or Donald Trump's) personality compared to other participants. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 5:29 PM - 78 comments

"We never forget them, they're always with us."

Inside a Dog Retirement Home [more inside]
posted by poffin boffin at 4:05 PM - 27 comments

MOAR Supa Action!!!!

"Who Killed Captain Alex: Uganda's First Action Movie was produced, written, directed, shot, and edited by Nabwana IGG from his home in Wakaliga, Uganda. Made for under $200 - using real blood and a modified car jack for a tripod - the film became a sensation in the slums of Uganda while the trailer went viral in Europe, South America, and the US." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 3:22 PM - 7 comments

Forgive yourself for everything.

"What you want to avoid is panic. What you want to teach yourself is that you deserve better than lying alone in a dark room, imagining yourself buried." || Diana Spechler for NYT's Opinionator: 10 Things I'd Tell My Former (Medicated) Self, the final installment in Going Off, a series of essays recounting the challenges Spechler has faced in gradually discontinuing her regimen of psychiatric medications.
posted by divined by radio at 2:39 PM - 52 comments

USOC Drops Boston 2024

Earlier today, the US Olympic committee dropped the Boston 2024 bid. Local website Universal Hub provided extensive coverage of the ill-fated bid, from its beginnings to today's end. [more inside]
posted by pie ninja at 2:18 PM - 119 comments

The strange randomness of the world beguiled him

Dawson Tamatea was a teacher at the Palmerston North Boys' High School in New Zealand. When Mr. Tamatea's hearse arrived for the memorial service, the entire school performed the Haka for him.
posted by mattdidthat at 12:53 PM - 39 comments

[unicode symbol for inscribed pentagram]

The nine foot tall, 1 ton statue of Baphomet (discussed previously) has, at long last, been unveiled in Detroit! [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:16 PM - 122 comments

@ x 700

Do you like Roguelikes? (Yes, you do.) Then you are going to enjoy this collection of over 700 free or open source Roguelikes available by torrent, the full set of which is listed here. Since its a torrent, I should mention that while everything seems legitimate here (Rock Paper Shotgun likes it, and the poster is a moderator on r/games and runs a highly regarded Steam group) from both a rights and a malware perspective, nothing is guaranteed. Suggestions among the 7 GB within... [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah at 11:49 AM - 36 comments

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