August 2

Beyond fantasy monoculture

“As a black woman,” Jemisin tells me, “I have no particular interest in maintaining the status quo. Why would I? The status quo is harmful, the status quo is significantly racist and sexist and a whole bunch of other things that I think need to change. With epic fantasy there is a tendency for it to be quintessentially conservative, in that its job is to restore what is perceived to be out of whack.”

NK Jemisin on upending the fantasy literature status quo and getting beyond medieval fantasy Europe.
posted by Artw at 4:54 PM - 1 comment

The Big Uneasy

"Everyone in New Orleans knows that 911 is a lost cause." ‘‘What I’m doing now isn’t all that different from the trash thing,’’ Torres said. ‘‘It’s about seeing a need — an unfortunate need — and stepping up to fill it.’’
posted by bitmage at 4:11 PM - 13 comments

The road to pigmentocracy

It was ‘invisibilization’. The discourse was that we don’t have race in Brazil, so you don’t have race problems in Brazil...”
Brazil is combating many kinds of inequality. But one of the world’s most diverse nations is still just beginning to talk about race.
posted by adamvasco at 3:05 PM - 3 comments

Ex-palliative care nurse commits suicide

Healthy 75-year old commits assisted suicide in Switzerland. Gill Pharaoh's last blog post is here. She has written two books about carers.
posted by mgrrl at 2:58 PM - 12 comments

The Pig is full of Many, Many Cats

Wisdom from mistranslated shirts.
posted by Segundus at 2:41 PM - 34 comments

The Eviction Series

Paul Madonna (previously on MeFi) and his wife have been evicted from the home and workspace in which they've lived for ten years. In response, Paul is drawing and writing All Over Coffee: The Eviction Series about his life in San Francisco right now.
posted by mattdidthat at 12:52 PM - 14 comments

On the plus side, regular vegetables taste heavenly now.

Remember back in the halcyon days of about five weeks ago when griphus inflicted the Minnesota State Fair menu on us? Many of us sighed, thought Oh, if only..., then moved on to discussing the President on a podcast or marriage equality becoming the law of the land or some less important nonsense. But what if you really wanted to know what that stuff will do to you? Fortunately, the Cracked team is there for you (albeit at the Calgary Stampede rather than the Minnesota State Fair), with 10 Carnival Foods Invented By Crazy People (Taste Tested). [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 10:57 AM - 46 comments

The Tongueless Fish

"I’ve been infected by a parasite. I won’t tell you what because I don’t want you to search for it. By the time this reaches you it won’t matter much, anyway. In fact, I’m forbidding you right now from looking for anything or asking anyone. Apparently I have about twelve hours as myself. They won’t say what happens next, because it’s kind of unpredictable. There are lots of animals who’ve had it, but only two people. They won’t tell me." -- The Glad Hosts, a SF short story by Rebecca Campbell
posted by The Whelk at 9:55 AM - 39 comments

You can't fuck osmosis jones

you can't fuck osmosis jones. other things you can't fuck: ratigan, rats from secret of nimh, the alan rickman fish from help im a fish, the iron giant, the weed ghost from cartoon all stars to the rescue, mufasa's ghost, the horrible cgi dinosaurs from dinosaur, or many other cartoon things. The deets: on tumblr. on youtube (2m) (via @Monodi)
posted by JHarris at 9:44 AM - 22 comments

Delta Flight 191

30 years ago today (August 2nd, 1985), Delta Flight 191, a Lockheed L-1011 TriStar from Fort Lauderdale, bound for Los Angeles, crashed over a mile short of the runway at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The plane was caught in an unexpected weather event called a microburst, which causes a sudden downdraft of air. During the struggle to regain control, the plane careened across a highway north of the airport, struck a car, and skidded into two large water tanks, which broke it apart. (Flightpath/Crash diagram) The crash killed 136 of the 152 passengers and 11 crew on board, and the driver of the car. (Cabin seat diagram showing injuries and survivors) [more inside]
posted by agregoli at 7:49 AM - 25 comments

Meet Jane Marie Kroc

There has obviously been a great deal of gossip, rumors and questions about me the past few days. To put them to rest: yes, I am transgender/gender fluid. Janae Marie Kroc, in her own words, is a "Transgender/genderfluid Alpha male/girly girl Lesbian in a male body." She is also a powerlifter, bodybuilder, and strongman competitor who owns several records in the 220lb weight class. [more inside]
posted by mrbigmuscles at 7:47 AM - 25 comments

Don't worry, you probably won't be secretly murdered if you watch this.

In 1991, a documentary, intended to be the first of a series on celebrity businessmen, was completed. It was screened twice, but its subject prevented its release and it was clear that continuing the series wasn't worth the trouble. So why has that film been released almost a quarter of a century later? Because that same businessman is now running for president. Trump: What's the Deal? (trailer, direct Vimeo link to full film, unofficial YouTube mirror)
posted by BiggerJ at 6:05 AM - 64 comments

(Sixty(-Eight(Candles)))

After sixty-eight years, Cooch-Behar is no more. At midnight on Friday the almost-fractal boundary between India and Bangladesh was rationalised, erasing 162 enclaves and counter-enclaves, including Dahala-Khagrabari, the world's only counter-counter-enclave as well as what was, at one time, the world's only part-time enclave. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:04 AM - 10 comments

The quikk bronw foxjumps over teh laz ydog

It started because I was trying to tell my kids about how typewriters worked (because of course they've never seen one), and all the existing typewriter simulators that I could find on the web get one very basic thing wrong - when you press backspace, they erase the character you just typed, like a computer. On a real typewriter, backspace simply moves the carriage back one space, allowing you to overtype a previously typed character. Erasing requires Tipp-Ex or suchlike.
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:38 AM - 27 comments

You can't be funny in the moors.

Great Confrontations at the Oxford Union: That Englishmen are Funnier Than Americans was the third in a series of debates held at the Oxford Union debating hall in 1986, attempting to settle the debate over who is funnier, the Americans or the British. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 5:08 AM - 18 comments

I have a home I built for you, right here in monkey land.

"Old Weird America", you say? I got some right here for ya: Oh, My Pretty Monkey, by Kelly Harrell. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:20 AM - 10 comments

Featuring Spock on the space guitar

What you get if you put Shatner's version of "Common People" to clips of the original Star Trek series (Previously from 2008: The Animated Version.)
posted by MartinWisse at 3:57 AM - 19 comments

Hyperion Systems Activated

Disney's Practical Guide to Path Tracing (YouTube) Hyperion handles several million light rays at a time by sorting and bundling them together according to their directions. When the rays are grouped in this way, many of the rays in a bundle hit the same object in the same region of space. This similarity of ray hits allows us – and the computer – to optimize the calculations for the objects hit. [more inside]
posted by CrystalDave at 12:36 AM - 6 comments

August 1

You get disqualified if you don't have your hands behind your back.

American schoolkids had spelling bees, British schoolkids had Shakespeare competitions, Malaysian schoolkids had choral speaking: a Greek-theatre-inspired cross between spoken word and choir, commonly used to teach English. [more inside]
posted by divabat at 10:45 PM - 9 comments

The Imaginary Network

The Imaginary Network rounds up under categories the various subreddits for imaginary art such as Imaginary Cityscapes, Ebony, Architecture, Ruins, History, Science, Starships, Aww, Weather, Armored Women and more.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 9:18 PM - 11 comments

What to eat at 28 North American airports

What to eat at 28 North American airports
posted by escabeche at 8:38 PM - 43 comments

A Ribfest in Every Town

Ontario has hit peak ribfest. This is a distinctly heartland phenomenon: More than two-million people will visit one of the province’s 65 ribfests this summer. (There are only three dedicated ribfests in British Columbia; Alberta has two.)
The surprising politics of Ontario's growing ribfest industry.
posted by parudox at 7:02 PM - 25 comments

The Last Days of Oot and Aboot

Linguists are now finally alerting the Canadian and world public to the Great Canadian Vowel Shift which noone in general had really noticed before
posted by Bwithh at 5:17 PM - 81 comments

“There was art before him and art after him and they were not the same.”

Caravaggio [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] [Part 6] [Part 7] Art critic Robert Hughes reflects on the work of troubled Italian artist Caravaggio.
posted by Fizz at 5:02 PM - 7 comments

Charny's Questions

Geoffroi de Charny (c. 1300 – 19 September 1356) was a French knight and author of at least three works on chivalry. One of his works, Questions for the Joust, Tournaments and War consists of a series of open-ended questions regarding the law of tournaments and the proper conduct of war. The complete set of questions has been translated into English and made available online. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 5:01 PM - 13 comments

revolutionize

Are you someone who thought the Segway had too many wheels? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:44 PM - 106 comments

"The seed of death is the most bitter and beautiful of all."

The Last Days of Kathy Acker by Jason McBride. Mathias Viegener, the friend who stayed with the author during her final month, also wrote an account of her passing called Cannibal Acker. Shortly after her death, her friend Peter Wollen wrote an obituary, Death (and Life) of the Author.
posted by Kattullus at 3:17 PM - 6 comments

Tarkovsky on Tarkovsky

Shot between 1962 and 1986, Tarkovsky’s seven feature films often grapple with metaphysical and spiritual themes, using a distinctive cinematic style. Long takes, slow pacing and metaphorical imagery – they all figure into the archetypical Tarkovsky film (Note: free versions of these films have been here before, links have sadly died in the old posts). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 2:16 PM - 18 comments

You... you imbecile. You bloated idiot. You stupid fat-head you.

Adam Frost and Melanie Patrick of the British Film Institute take a look at film noir and what makes a film noir-ish.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:05 PM - 12 comments

The Thousand Year Journey

My best friend, Jedidiah, quit a job that he loved to ride his bicycle from Oregon to the southern tip of South America. I joined him for a month and a half to ask why.
posted by saul wright at 10:46 AM - 10 comments

Ten points to Gryffindor!

Simon Pegg as drunk Ron Weasley wishing Harry Potter a happy 35th Birthday. Weasley previously got smashed to celebrate the occasion back in 2013.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM - 30 comments

Annual Beer Float

Annual beer float in Helsinki, Finland. The event causes heartburn to bureaucrats as it doesn't have an organizer, no one applies for permits and it just kind of happens.
posted by zeikka at 9:34 AM - 18 comments

eating a maple bacon donut on a Citi Bike en route to Whole Foods, yoga

"Gentrifiers are people with medium or high incomes moving into low-income neighborhoods, attracting new business but raising rents, and often contributing to tensions between new and long-term residents. Sociologists coined the term, which alludes to the European gentry—and which has only become more loaded at a time of skyrocketing rents and profound demographic changes in American cities. But are you a gentrifier?" [SLSlate]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:02 AM - 132 comments

Gotta be KD

Kraft Mac and Cheese officially changes its Canadian name to KD Staple of children and dorm rooms everywhere, Kraft Dinner ("macaroni & cheese" to our friends down south) will now be officially branded as KD in Canada. [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg at 7:35 AM - 67 comments

“The life I’m living right now is just so much more fun.”

As the demand for tech labor grows, ambitious teenagers are flooding into San Francisco. There’s no official tally of the number of teens who work in tech, but Fontenot estimates that there are as many as a hundred recent high school dropouts working on startups in the city. Some were too distracted by programming projects and weekend hackathons to go to class. Others couldn’t pay for college and questioned why they should go into debt when there is easy money to be made. Still others had already launched successful apps or businesses and didn’t see why they should wait at home for their lives to start. In Facebook groups for young technologists, they saw an alternative: teens lounging in sunny Dolores Park (dolo, as they call it), teens leasing expansive South of Market office space, teens throwing parties whenever they want. And so they moved to San Francisco, many of them landing in houses like Mission Control. -- The Real Teens of Silicon Valley: Inside the almost-adult lives of the industry’s newest recruits
posted by Room 641-A at 6:49 AM - 39 comments

Complex Systems Break in Complex Ways

The RISKS Digest Turns 30: In February 1985 Adele Goldberg, the President of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), published a letter in the Communications of the ACM expressing concern with humanity’s “increasingly critical dependence on the use of computers” and the risks associated with complex computer and software systems. On August 1st 1985 Stanford Research Institute's Peter G. Neumann responded by creating RISKS@SRI-CRL. [more inside]
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:01 AM - 14 comments

"Have the arrow pointing in the direction of the flow of music."

Famed debunker James Randi (Wikipedia) teams up with Ars Technica to test the AudioQuest Vodka, a $340 Ethernet cable whose superiority to run-of-the-mill Cat 5 cables, as per a review by Audiostream.com, is as plain as day.
posted by Gordion Knott at 4:45 AM - 84 comments

U2 is the world’s foremost creator of Oh Man, So Deep faces

Probably this is the first time Bono has ever publicly baptized a long-dead wife-beater into postmortem Irishness at Ellis Island, but honestly I wouldn’t know, because I mostly ignore his activities in his role as The Living Incarnation Of Thirst. Mostly this is just the convenient, and conveniently ridiculous, news peg I am using as an excuse to point out that he is an annoying doofus who has been peddling emptily profoundish, nauseatingly wholesome, sexless Disney World theme music to milquetoast nice bros for longer than I have been alive, and I wish he would quit it.
Albert Burneko puts the boot into Bono and U2, along the way taking swipes at John Lennon and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. You might want to calibrate your outrage with his views on cats.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:13 AM - 106 comments

Auralnauts Star Wars: The Saga Continuums

Episode 1: Jedi Party. Episode 2: The Friend Zone. Episode 3: Revenge of Middle Management. And now, Episode 4: Laser Moon Awakens. See also: The smoking and youth biology PSAs. And, of course, this (previously).
posted by BiggerJ at 12:17 AM - 7 comments

July 31

Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

Desire. Metaphor. The problem of many (“As anyone who has flown out of a cloud knows, the boundaries of a cloud are a lot less sharp up close than they can appear on the ground”). Implicature ("the act of meaning or implying one thing by saying something else"). Implicit bias. Feminism and globalization. Justice and bad luck. The Human Genome Project. The pineal gland (“a tiny organ in the center of the brain that played an important role in Descartes' philosophy”). Humor (“As he approached the gallows, Thomas More asked the executioner, ‘Could you help me up? I'll be able to get down by myself’”). The “Great Cosmological Debate” of the 1930s and 40s. Voting methods. Zombies.

…Read about all this and more in the remarkable Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which has just celebrated its 20th birthday. [more inside]
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:55 PM - 15 comments

The Frontier of Biotech

The boom in mini stomachs, brains, breasts, kidneys and more
posted by StrikeTheViol at 8:23 PM - 7 comments

And the winner is...

Beijing has been voted as the host of the 2022 Winter Olympics, beating Almaty, Kazakhstan. It is the first city to host both the Summer and Winter games. [more inside]
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 6:39 PM - 70 comments

Spot the Drowning Child

A series of visual tests: can you see which kid is in trouble?
posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:02 PM - 73 comments

Hot Rod Comes to a Halt - Rowdy Roddy Piper, 1954-2015

Wrestling legend Rowdy Roddy Piper has died of a heart attack at the age of 61. Piper was one of the great "heels" (villains) of the 1980s wrestling boom, teaming with Paul Orndorff at the first WrestleMania in 1985 to take on Hulk Hogan and Mr. T. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 4:14 PM - 97 comments

A “highly curated community of like-minded individuals.”

The Millennial Commune
posted by overeducated_alligator at 2:23 PM - 52 comments

Finally, something everyone is sure to agree on

All 74 Led Zeppelin Songs, Ranked, A definitive, uncontroversial list from the fine folks at Vulture.
posted by Cookiebastard at 2:11 PM - 111 comments

“Art is the lie that enables us to realize the truth.”

A History of Art in Three Colours (BBC) [Part 1] [Gold] [Part 2] [Blue] [Part 3] [White] Dr James Fox explores how, in the hands of artists, the colours gold, blue and white have stirred our emotions, changed the way we behave and even altered the course of history.
posted by Fizz at 2:04 PM - 5 comments

There's enough Grace for everybody

Today's Penny Arcade comic is the last in a 1 2 3 4 5 6 part story that starts here. Set in the world of Nightlight where children's fears come alive and must be dealt with, Grace has to grow up and take her mother's place as protector of the family. Mike Kahulick (aka Gabe), the artist of PA, wrote a nice piece about his father seeing behind the curtain for the first time that discusses some of where this story comes from. [more inside]
posted by macrael at 1:35 PM - 43 comments

Build a Boat Out of a (Single) 2x4

One riot, one Ranger. One 2x4, one boat.
Launching the boat.
posted by OmieWise at 12:15 PM - 32 comments

"It's a liter of adventure!"

The Timmy Brothers: Water Makers (SLVimeo)
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:33 AM - 2 comments

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