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February 28

Urban Sketching: See the world one drawing at a time

The Urban Sketching Manifesto: 1. We draw on location, indoors or out, capturing what we see from direct observation. 2. Our drawings tell the story of our surroundings, the places we live and where we travel. 3. Our drawings are a record of time and place. 4. We are truthful to the scenes we witness. 5. We use any kind of media and cherish our individual styles. 6. We support each other and draw together. 7. We share our drawings online. 8. We show the world, one drawing at a time.
posted by MoonOrb at 9:44 PM - 0 comments

The final days of Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva

On Tsvetaeva, tragedy and the end of the tsarist era. There's a whole series of these articles about Russian poets told through their last days. A bit morbid, but quite appropriate tributes to the artists, as well as a good starting-point for those interested in Russian poetry.
posted by averysmallcat at 6:51 PM - 0 comments

Legendary Shark Lady Eugenie Clark Has Died at Age 92

Icthyologist, shark behaviorist, ocean explorer, and passionate conservationist, Dr. Eugenie Clark died on Wednesday from lung cancer. She was 92. [more inside]
posted by MissySedai at 6:46 PM - 10 comments

Brother From Another Planet

“I’m always surprised to see what I do,” Jean-Luc Godard admits at the beginning of a talk delivered, nearly four decades ago, at Concordia University in Montreal. Could the single most influential filmmaker of his generation, who is still a provocateur at age 84, possibly be as baffled as we? [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 3:36 PM - 2 comments

Tour Bus Confidential: Behind Music's Bumpy Road Show

Once invited to party with their employers, today's long-haul bus drivers are taken for granted and under threat of extinction as the the music industry continues to slash costs. DAVID PEISN
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:18 PM - 18 comments

“The world’s most fantastic, yet tender and pathetic love affair.”

Wings of Desire. "[There] stood the imposing figure of Tesla, wearing a crown of two pigeons on his head, his shoulders and arms festooned with a dozen more, their white or pale-blue bodies making strong contrast with his black suit and black hair, even in the dusk. On either of his outstretched hands was another bird, while seemingly hundreds more made a living carpet on the ground in front of him, hopping about and pecking at the bird seed he had been scattering. It was Behrend’s [the scout’s] impulse to rush in, shoo the birds away and, seizing the missing man, rush him back to the auditorium. Something caused him to halt. Such an abrupt action seemed almost sacrilegious. …" [Via]
posted by homunculus at 2:02 PM - 8 comments

Hyperreal Internet

David O'Reilly (previously), animator and creator of the indie game Mountain, and Kim Laughton, post-internet artist, have started the tumblr blog #HYPERREALCG. It's dedicated to "showcasing the world's most impressive & technical hyper-real 3d art." A number of tech outlets have picked up on the project, apparently (?) taking it at face value: Gizmodo, Huffington Post, Laughing Squid. A fun bit of trolling and perception for your Saturday afternoon.
posted by naju at 2:02 PM - 19 comments

LA's cultural and historical legacy: more than being able to turn right at a red light

HistoricPlacesLA is the first online information and management system specifically created to inventory, map, and help protect the City of Los Angeles' significant historic resources. It showcases the city's diversity of historic resources, including architecturally significant buildings and places of social importance as well as historic districts, bridges, parks, and streetscapes. You can search for specifics or try some popular seaches, and the map view let's you combine different overlays and base maps.
posted by Room 641-A at 2:00 PM - 4 comments

History Respawned

History Respawned is a show where historians consider historical video games - like Papers Please, Diablo III, Assassin's Creed Unity and Wolfenstein: The New Order - with host Bob Whitaker, a history PhD and professor from Dallas, Texas.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:26 PM - 9 comments

Right Place Art; Wrong Place Vandalism

Urban tagging is urban right?
There is a difference between graffiti tagging and street art.
Is urban graffiti a force for good or evil?
But what happens when it moves to the country?
Andre Saraiva aka Mr. Andre seems to have overstepped the mark.
Is Mr Andre tagging in Joshua Tree?
posted by adamvasco at 12:03 PM - 74 comments

When the Sun Briefly Turns Off the Power

Europe's Solar Power Industry Braces For Solar Eclipse On the morning of March 20, 2015, a solar eclipse will pass over all of Europe, visible from Turkey to Greenland. A decade ago, that probably wouldn't have mattered to anyone except people who love astronomy... But now, 3 percent of Europe's electricity grid comes from solar power... [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 10:47 AM - 47 comments

I've traveled over dried earth and floods

It's been 20 years since PJ Harvey emerged from a time of isolation and song writing that produced the album To Bring You My Love.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:35 AM - 18 comments

All You Wanted To Know About Chinese Dumplings

A Detailed Explanation of The Varieties of Chinese Dumplings plus a recipe for Vegan Steamed Or Pan-Fried Chinese Dumplings.
posted by purplesludge at 9:27 AM - 45 comments

dreams of being in The West Wing and in the West Wing have blended

Beyond Josh Lyman Politics: How The West Wing Miseducated My Political Generation
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:51 AM - 51 comments

Bringing a Daughter Back From the Brink with Poems

The most optimistic people often struggle the hardest. They can’t quite square what’s going on in the world with their beliefs, and the disparity is alarming. [slnyt]
posted by ellieBOA at 7:31 AM - 39 comments

Lorn's The Maze to Nowhere EPs, experimental, accessible and free

Lorn has never been one to shy away from the darkness in his music. However, where as his previous release, Ask the Dust (Grooveshark) was bleak and mechanical in it's struggle with its demons, The Maze to Nowhere (Bandcamp) is melodic, fuzzy and at times even warm. If you've listened to Lorn's previous releases, 'warm' is generally not a word associated with his tunes. Whereas his previous effort worked with the bleakness of empty space, we find him filling in those cracks on this album with static, fuzz and ambient effects. The resulting product is a much more organic sounding beast, and man, does it sound great.
From the Sputnik Music review of Lorn's first of ? parts in The Maze to Nowhere series of pay-what-you-want EPs on Bandcamp, which now includes Part 2 and Part 3, still with no end in sight. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:19 AM - 5 comments

Before Belleville, there was...

La Vieille Dame et les Pigeons (The Old Woman and the Pigeons) by Sylvain Chomet (SLYT)
posted by overeducated_alligator at 6:54 AM - 4 comments

"If I give up hope, you get another DC sniper"

As deep as my words moved people, if I’d not had him onstage with me I can’t promise you that I would have been strong enough to make it through in the way I did. I wouldn’t have been strong enough to resist the urge to compel people to do something bad, or approve of something violent. But that night, on that stage, a white man, the more privileged in American society, stood in solidarity, silently, stoically, quietly, staunchly, with his friend, as his friend neared physical breakdown because of the pain, and let him know: ‘I’m there.’ That’s a shining example of what I as a man should do for a woman, what I as a straight man should do for gay people, it’s what the tough kid should do to the kid who’s getting bullied around by the fuckass tough kid, you know what I mean?”
In The Guardian, Alexis Petridis interviews Killer Mike and El-P talking about Run the Jewels, their friendship and especially the show they did in Ferguson the night the grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson for the murder of Michael Brown.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:14 AM - 21 comments

February 27

Burn After Reading

The story of The Anarchist Cookbook and William Powell, regretful author.
posted by Artw at 6:42 PM - 68 comments

Iconic Images and their Photographers

Iconic Photographers Pose With Their Most Famous Photographs. [more inside]
posted by Deoridhe at 5:58 PM - 14 comments

Buried in-her-own-mind Treasure

Japanese woman comes to America to search for buried treasure- but it's the fictional buried treasure in the movie "Fargo". She's come to North Dakota's "Siberia" to end her own life and the language barrier and our perceptions of Japanese 'normal' get in the way. [more inside]
posted by naight at 5:02 PM - 15 comments

Hangover Producer Seeks to Repay His Debt to Society

Scott Budnick walked away from his position as head of the production company that made the Hangover movies to run a prison-reform advocacy group. Budnick volunteers as a writing teacher at various prisons, focusing on youthful offenders who went behind bars before the age of 18. He also uses his Hollywood connections and natural drive ("I’m ADD to the fullest. I like going and going and going and getting shit done.") to lobby for prison and justice reform, including Proposition 47, which reclassified many petty theft and drug crimes to misdemeanors.
posted by Etrigan at 4:21 PM - 18 comments

Is it an art gallery? A plantation tour? A museum?

Building the First Slavery Museum in America - David Amsden, The New York Times
"From their weathered cypress frames, a dusty path, lined with hulking iron kettles that were used by slaves to boil sugar cane, leads to a grassy clearing dominated by a slave jail — an approach designed so that a visitor’s most memorable glimpse of the white shutters and stately columns of the property’s 220-year-old 'Big House' will come through the rusted bars of the squat, rectangular cell. A number of memorials also dot the grounds, including a series of angled granite walls engraved with the names of the 107,000 slaves who spent their lives in Louisiana before 1820. Inspired by Maya Lin’s Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, the memorial lists the names nonalphabetically to mirror the confusion and chaos that defined a slave’s life."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:05 PM - 19 comments

While the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must

Putin's Russia: Like a gangster running a crime syndicate, Putin muscles opponents and assassinates critics. Nonetheless, his bid in Ukraine may be reactionary to NATO edging closer to Russia's borders. As Dan Carlin notes, it's as if Russia began training Mexican soldiers. Meanwhile, everyone needs a hero.
posted by four panels at 3:46 PM - 63 comments

Kathy Sierra draws parallels between skater culture and Silicon Valley

Kathy Sierra talks about the myth of meritocracy in tech and how skater culture broke her heart. You might know Sierra as the unfortunate victim of mega-troll weev, but her concise and touching analysis of her years as a promising skater shows an entirely new side of her.
posted by averysmallcat at 3:38 PM - 26 comments

From Grad School to The Atlantic: Public Discourse & Comment Sections

Anyone who writes articles on the web knows the maxim: "Don’t read the comments." Fortunately for Yoni Appelbaum, a recent Ph.D. in history from Brandeis University, the well-known writer Ta-Nehisi Coates routinely ignores that rule.
How a history Ph.D. who was on the tenure-track market ended up in with a pretty good gig in journalism, primarily because of the quality of his comments.
posted by Toekneesan at 2:48 PM - 8 comments

PLUR, eh?

A brief history of Toronto's rave scene
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 2:45 PM - 12 comments

"Activate Electra-Change!"

The 1970's Batman parody Electra Woman and Dyna Girl. is being rebooted (again) with YouTube stars Grace Helbig and Hannah "My Drunk Kitchen" Hart in the title roles. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 2:36 PM - 26 comments

Doc, note: I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod.

A short, interesting article on the palindromists of Bletchley Park. Via Mefi's own.
posted by Tsuga at 2:34 PM - 27 comments

FCC votes for Net Neutrality

When President Obama appointed Tom Wheeler (a former top telecom lobbyist) as chairman of the FCC, he got a lot of grief for selling out his '07 pledge to protect Net Neutrality -- the founding principle long prized by open web activists that ISPs cannot privilege certain data over others, without which dire visions of a tiered and pay-for-play internet loomed. Earlier, weaker attempts at net neutrality had failed in court, and the new chairman looked set to fold. But after an unprecedented outcry following last year's trial balloon for ISP "fast lanes" -- including a viral appeal by John Oliver, a public urging by the president, and perhaps Wheeler's own history with the pre-web NABU Network -- the FCC yesterday voted along party lines to enact the toughest net neutrality rules in history, classifying ISPs as common carriers and clearing the way for municipal broadband. ISPs reacted with (Morse) venom, while congressional Republicans are divided over what they called "Obamacare for the internet."
posted by Rhaomi at 2:28 PM - 119 comments

"Why Chopin?" and other questions

In 2010 Garrick Ohlsson, the first American to win The International Chopin Piano Competition (in 1970), delivered an insightful 80-minute lecture (plus Q&A) at UC Berkeley about what exactly makes Chopin's music so great. Highly recommended for anyone that likes seeing people who are really passionate about something explain their passion.
posted by MattMangels at 1:22 PM - 8 comments

William Wegman Presents the Hardly Boys in "Hardly Gold"

"A bottle of nerve manna, a disappearing golf ball and some rocks...it all adds up to the Hardly Boys' toughest case yet. The Hardly Boys have returned to Rangeley Lake for another relaxing summer at the Hardly Inn. Fishing, boating, tennis and their friend Chip Mason await them, but the boys soon find themselves enmeshed in a perplexing mystery that puts to the test their sleuthing skills and secret dog powers..." [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 10:40 AM - 6 comments

“Humans are the dominant race of Thedas,”

Dragon Age's Post-Racial (High) Fantasy
posted by Fizz at 10:01 AM - 42 comments

Modeling the maze from Kubrick's film 'The Shining'

How Adam Savage became obsessed with building a scale model of the maze from Kubrick's film The Shining. The Making Of and The Making Of The Making Of (both SLYT). [more inside]
posted by carter at 9:24 AM - 45 comments

Lived Long And Prospered

Poet, author, director, actor, cultural icon... Leonard Nimoy has passed away at age 83 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Rest well, Spock, you will be missed.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 AM - 588 comments

Water Jets cutting food

Bae: come over
Me: i cant im using a water jet to cut food
Bae: i am also doing this at my house
posted by Greg Nog at 8:25 AM - 86 comments

Music For Cats

The study, which has been accepted for publication in the journal Applied Animal Behavioral Science, adds to the growing body of evidence that many animals respond favorably to species-specific music. This is music that takes into account a particular animal's favorite sounds, hearing range, commonly used tones and other factors.
Introducing: Music For Cats [more inside]
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:13 AM - 50 comments

Consider The Clinkerbell, The Daggler, and The Shuckle

Robert Macfarlane says we are losing the best descriptive words for our landscape. This matters, he says, "because language deficit leads to attention deficit. As we deplete our ability to denote and figure particular aspects of our places, so our competence for understanding and imagining possible relationships with non-human nature is correspondingly depleted. To quote the American farmer and essayist Wendell Berry – a man who in my experience speaks the crash-tested truth – “people exploit what they have merely concluded to be of value, but they defend what they love, and to defend what we love we need a particularising language, for we love what we particularly know.”"
posted by purplesludge at 8:08 AM - 23 comments

Back to the Future 2 is real

Imagine you could invest in the stock market last week, with perfect knowledge of how it will move this week. 25 year old Frenchman Max-Hervé George does not need a Delorean, he is the beneficiary of a very unusual 8000 euro life insurance policy that lets him do just that. He could be a billionaire by the end of this decade and, by the end of the next, his contract would be worth more than the insurance company which stands behind it, Aviva France.
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 7:56 AM - 85 comments

"I'm just always chasing that face-falling moment. Chasing it forever."

Linda Holmes describes her favorite Survivor moment: Not Just Eating Bugs For Money! A Story Of 'Survivor' And Strategy. "This is a story of watching a couple of people who aren't very likable lose a million dollars, fair and square, because they got outfoxed."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:41 AM - 25 comments

Mars One colonists better off eating frozen pizza than local veggies

A graduate student at MIT has published an analysis of the Mars One colony plans. Turns out that surviving off local crops is a bad idea. [pdf] Mars One is an ambitious and highly publicized plan to start a colony on Mars by launching groups of astronauts on a one-way trip to the red planet. The Mars One foundation claims that all of this is feasible with current technology: Falcon heavy launchers, Dragon capsules, inflatable structures, and life support systems similar to the International Space Station. Sydney Do, a Ph.D candidate in MIT's Strategic Engineering Research Group disagrees. His detailed and impressive analysis of the Mars One architecture reveals a few surprising and counter-intuitive results: the astronauts are better off eating food delivered from Earth, and the need for spare parts to sustain life support system ends up dominating the materials required to keep the colony going.
posted by amy27 at 6:50 AM - 53 comments

No, really, how DO you avoid huge ships?

The Bookseller/Diagram Prize for Oddest Title of the Year (previously on Metafilter) has revealed its 2015 shortlist. [more inside]
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:57 AM - 33 comments

The perception is that it’s just one disgruntled soldier

NYMag profiles American military deserters in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.
Desertion is always a solitary choice, but it can be especially so for those who seek refuge in other countries. The deserter in exile is cut off from community, family, and country, knowing there may never be a safe way home. For the alienated troops who fled to Canada in the early years of the Iraq War, the decision seemed to offer solace. The northern border has always welcomed disaffected Americans, from the British Union Loyalists who opposed the Revolutionary War to the draft dodgers and deserters avoiding Vietnam. Between 1965 and 1975, roughly 50,000 U.S. citizens took shelter in Canada, where the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau quietly embraced them. In the first three years of the Iraq War, at least 200 new American troops joined them, believing they would find the same open arms. Most of the new deserters chose to live and work in cities like Toronto and Montreal without revealing their military past; only about two dozen stepped forward publicly to request political amnesty as “war resisters.”
posted by frimble at 2:51 AM - 13 comments

"Gender, blah, blah, blah"

It’s happened to me several times at a literary event — sometimes one at which I’m reading or speaking — that a kindly, affable chap, after regaling me with a long account of his next book, smiles generously and asks me what I do at Penguin, or how long I’ve been working for the venue. When I say, Oh, actually I’m a writer, a spasm of embarrassment comes over his face. As it should. Not, of course, because of any career’s merit over another’s, but because he’s revealed his inability to see me as a writer. A flustered flash of insight has taken place.
Katherine Angel on the problems of gender representation in literature. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 1:47 AM - 112 comments

short documentary: NYU psilocybin cancer anxiety research

Eddie Marritz, a cinematographer and photographer in remission from small-cell carcinoma, was a participant in one of NYU's Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety research studies. Marritz, and the researchers, take us through the experience. Magic Mushrooms and the Healing Trip. (7 min) [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 12:34 AM - 7 comments

February 26

"Gen vréman vre zonbi an Ayiti?"

"Bien sûr," Delzor said. He had even seen them: affectless men and women with a deathlike pallor, high nasal voices, and the characteristic drooping at the chin – men and women who he knew for a fact had died and been buried. "Ayiti, se repiblik zonbi," Delzor added. Haiti is the republic of zombies.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:01 PM - 8 comments

Elegance and an endless curiosity

The Question is the Question: Dilip D'Souza on the competitive sport of 'Quizzing' in India. "Quizzers branch out like fractals, into the minutiae, looking for questions in the interstices of knowledge.” [more inside]
posted by beijingbrown at 10:46 PM - 8 comments

Baby Woolley Rhinoceros Found in Siberia:

The Only Woolley Rhinoceros Calf Ever Found: Woolley Mammoths of all ages have been found. Adult Woolley Rhinoceros finds are so rare they can be counted on one hand. This is the first baby
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:56 PM - 26 comments

Brain breakage

What color is this dress? is a really strange phenomena currently seen taking over twitter, as people see a blue dress with black lace while others insist it is white with gold. So far, no one can tell why exactly it is happening, other than it is baffling for both sides.
posted by mathowie at 5:06 PM - 888 comments

Llamas on the llam

Two llamas enjoy several minutes of lliberty while evading the Keystone Cops Sun City llaw enforcement.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 4:53 PM - 52 comments

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