May 23

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 - 0 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 - 0 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 - 17 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 - 1 comment

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 - 0 comments

"There were conversations about his mustache."

Take a Look: An Oral History of Reading Rainbow
posted by Etrigan at 7:35 AM - 8 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 - 49 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 - 21 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 - 41 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 - 32 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 - 10 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 - 22 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 - 151 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 - 15 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 - 572 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 - 49 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 - 5 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 - 14 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 - 7 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 - 38 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

May 21

DOTA and StarCraft

Polygon recently published a large series on video games in Cuba: Cuba: Where underground arcades, secret networks and piracy are a way of life [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:42 PM - 3 comments

Full cloud inversions in the Grand Canyon

Time-lapse video of clouds inside the Grand Canyon are very purty.
posted by clawsoon at 8:34 PM - 13 comments

"I'd love to turn you on..."

Deconstructing how The Beatles wrote "A Day in the Life" 50 years ago this month. How does a band go from "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in 1964 to "A Day in the Life" in 1967? [more inside]
posted by zooropa at 7:43 PM - 54 comments

There must be a word in [language] for that

"Welcome to the positive lexicography, an evolving index of 'untranslatable' words related to wellbeing from across the world's languages." Interactive version. .Pdf version. Via "The Glossary of Happiness," by Emily Anthes, for The New Yorker.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:48 PM - 12 comments

“That’s a really nice bag,” I said, taking a sip of my light bill.

If Every Day Is a Rainy Day, What Am I Saving For?
posted by BeBoth at 1:50 PM - 77 comments

Beep boop (Gb maj13 - Fm9)

8-bit Music Theory breaks down why Mario music sounds "fun", examines nonfunctional harmony in Chrono Trigger, investigates the history of Zelda overworld themes, and plenty more.
posted by theodolite at 10:48 AM - 22 comments

Laura Scudder, a woman before her time: Pioneer, Instigator, Doer

"Once a little old lady named Laura Scudder had a thing about potato chips" - an ad for Laura Scudder's Potato Chips, which really were made by Laura Scudder, a California entrepreneur who was the first to package potato chips in sealed bags to preserve their freshness, and was the first to add freshness dates to products. You can take the Laura Scudder Noise Abatement League Pledge, and view a short biographical recounting of Laura's life from Pauline Lemire, president of the Historical Society of Monterey Park. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:17 AM - 12 comments

“The objective is to normalize the discussion so it’s not otherworldly”

How the Wealthy Talk to Their Children About Money. In which the New York Times inadvertently makes a case for the estate tax.
posted by indubitable at 7:08 AM - 78 comments

Anne R. Dick, Memoirist, Muse 1927 - 2017

Above all, Ms. Dick shows up in female characters. She inspired Juliana, the heroine of “High Castle,” who has no trouble slashing a Nazi operative’s throat, as well as a number of shrill, carping, unhappy wives in other books. "I was a good — what do you call it? — muse,” Ms. Dick said in a recent interview....
Anne R. Dick, Memoirist and Writer’s Muse, Is Dead at 90
posted by y2karl at 7:03 AM - 13 comments

YouTube art channels

YouTube art channels - Since people always ask me where to find neat art tutorials, here's a comprehensive list of YouTube channels that teach art in one way or another.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:03 AM - 10 comments

May 20

Dogs versus…

stairs [sprightly music] and many other things. Also a puppy versus sleep [ambient noise].
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:23 PM - 18 comments

The toll on American kids

A lot of the fallout from opioid addiction, homelessness and gun violence falls on kids. These are a few stories I've read. Tyshaun's dad was killed across the street from his elementary school. [more inside]
posted by bendy at 10:32 PM - 8 comments

You're going to say I'm an idiot...

Lane Loomis: I Invited A Guy From Tinder Over, He Didn’t Look Like His Pics. [some graphic content]
posted by prismatic7 at 5:45 PM - 94 comments

Emojis are people, my friend.

Google’s 18-Month Quest To Redesign Its Terrible Emoji Google is notorious for having some of the worst emoji on the planet. Now it’s righting its wrongs–and taking on gender stereotypes, too. [...] It isn’t just a design overhaul of the (melting, yellow) elephant (dung) in the room, though. It also addresses deeper problems within Google’s emoji set: As Google has made its emoji people more realistic, the company had to completely rethink how–and why–it represents people the way it does. (😁 previously.)
posted by Room 641-A at 1:45 PM - 91 comments

“Also, there will be a ton of loot!”

Destiny 2 [YouTube] [Trailer] “Humanity’s last safe city has fallen to an overwhelming invasion force led by Ghaul, the imposing commander of the brutal Red Legion. He has stripped the city’s Guardians of their power, and forced the survivors to flee. You will venture to mysterious, unexplored worlds of our solar system to discover an arsenal of weapons and devastating new combat abilities. To defeat the Red Legion and confront Ghaul, you must reunite humanity’s scattered heroes, stand together, and fight back to reclaim our home.” [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 10:39 AM - 32 comments

Urban and Urbane Crows Are With Us

Crows, and all corvids actually, fascinate me. It seems as though a new facet of corvid behavior is discovered every week or so, and this article is a good summary of what's been learned so far and how the scientists go about learning and testing.
posted by MovableBookLady at 7:28 AM - 74 comments

Bernard Jay

You already know the work of BJ Leiderman. What you may not know is that he's released his first album [3m15s Sneek Peak video] after 30 years of aspiring toward the release. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:19 AM - 11 comments

Conflict becomes a battle of wits and bluffing

Ars Technica takes a look at Avalon Hill's legendary board game version of Dune.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:01 AM - 37 comments

May 19

Hammock or safety net?

Miniature goat vs. a hammock [ambient sounds]. Four minutes of adorable. Bonus: Baby donkey swinging in a hammock [loud non-English cooing]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:07 PM - 14 comments

Forget the toast, let's have a roast! A look back at Friars and roasts

If you were to define 'comedy roast' by the modern Comedy Central Roasts, you could get the impression that it's a chance to heap scorn on celebrities who are already the focus of some level of public disdain. "Who wouldn’t want to see a similar thrashing, leveled at, say, Lady Gaga or every one of the Kardashians," asked Punchline Mag, but then they looked back at the origins of roast, where "they were originally done in honor or respect — real respect not the contemporary feigned type." Let's look back at the original roasts at the Friars Club in New York City, where things were different from today's TV events, yet some crass elements remain. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:24 PM - 10 comments

Tinkerbelle is retired but still lives

On June 1, 1965 a mild mannered newspaper copy editor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer set off from Falmouth, Massachusetts in his 13.5 foot wooden sailboat Tinkerbelle and headed east. 78 days later, on August 17, he arrived in Falmouth, Cornwall, England. To his shock he was greeted by 50,000 people (Note: PDF) having become something of a celebrity while at sea. [more inside]
posted by LastOfHisKind at 9:14 PM - 15 comments

Urinating Rosé into a Wine Glass

Fashionable Flasks: Cosmo tests the latest in women's flasks. But not the tampon flask.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:57 PM - 24 comments

Putting the "Royal" in KLM Royal Dutch Airlines

The world was surprised and charmed this week to learn that King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has been moonlighting as a pilot for KLM twice a month for the past 21 years, flying commercial passenger flights. He is rarely recognized. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:37 PM - 36 comments

There's no reason to it, and there's a hundred reasons

[tw suicide] A rare glimpse into a struggling culture where Water is Salmon is Life: How a remote California tribe set out to save its river and stop a suicide epidemic - LA Times. Meanwhile, Berkeley linguists and tribal members are working to save the Yurok Language. [more inside]
posted by The Toad at 6:25 PM - 5 comments

It's all not hot dogs and beers...

A lot more. Matthew "Megatoad" Kai Stonie is an American competitive eater and is the number two ranked competitive eater in Major League Eating. Matt won the 2015 Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest. [more inside]
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:19 PM - 12 comments

"The witness becomes the writer. From the test comes the testimony."

On Missy's 2015 song "WTF (Where They From)," there is a sample of a young girl speaking. The voice belongs to Rachel Jeantel, the friend of Trayvon Martin who was on the phone with him when he was murdered. Missy doesn't bring this up, I do. She goes almost mute when I say that by sampling Jeantel's voice, Pharrell and she have done a remarkable thing that has reversed what usually happens to the words of girls who look like Rachel Jeantel.
From Elle's June edition cover story on Missy Elliott as interviewed by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:59 PM - 20 comments

« Older posts