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August 1

Muckety maps "the connections of the rich and famous." [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:24 PM - 3 comments

In June of this year, POM Wonderful won "a round in a food fight with Coca-Cola" in the case about how a fruit juice blend is labeled. It's a case of commercial speech, to which John Oliver opined that "in Coke's defense, they only mislead us about what was in their juice. For years, POM Wonderful has mislead us about what is in pomegranates". Generally speaking, as long as the labeling isn't incorrect or harmful, it can make bold claims, to a point. For instance, you can't claim your cereal could improve kids' attentiveness and memory when it doesn't. Whatever you do, you shouldn't add new labeling to existing, even if it is to clarify that the product sucks less, or is asbestos-free. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 8:30 PM - 12 comments

"One of the most exhilarating cinematic works of the Czechoslovak New Wave is Vera Chytilová's 1966 film, Daisies, the story of two young women who declare the world is spoiled and rotten, and so make a pact that they will be too." -- Katarina Soukup, "Banquet of Profanities." "In a 1966 interview, Chytilová described Daisies as a 'philosophical documentary in the form of a farce,' a 'bizarre comedy with strands of satire and sarcasm.'" -- Bliss Cua Lim, "Dolls in Fragments." [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 7:52 PM - 4 comments

MIND MELD: Food in Science Fiction versus Fantasy
This week we asked about Food and Drink in SF. Food and Drink in science fiction sometimes seems limited to replicator requests for Earl Grey tea and Soylent green discs. Why doesn’t do as much food as Fantasy? Does Fantasy lend itself more to food than Science fiction? Why? This is what they had to say…
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 6:04 PM - 35 comments

A putter is a 'putter together of scissors.' This short documentary by Shaun Bloodworth follows the work of Cliff Denton, who works at Ernest Wright & Sons of Sheffield, one of the last remaining hand manufacturers of scissors. More from the BBC, with Eric Stones, the other Master Puttertogetherer at the factory.
posted by carter at 6:02 PM - 10 comments

"The protesters say they're opposed to abortion because they're Christian," Parker says. "It's hard for them to accept that I *do* abortions because I'm a Christian."
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 4:27 PM - 26 comments

A Digital Atlas of the Roman Empire is an OpenLayers map that uses a new geographical dataset constructed from the award-winning Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World (previously), along with several other sources. You can search for sites by place name or zoom in and click sites to get more information about them. It includes tagged data from virtually every known location in the ancient world, and was implemented in 2012 by Johan Åhlfeldt. The geographical dataset can also be used as a background layer with other maps - for example, here is a basic Google Maps version. Åhlfeldt has made the data freely available under the CC-BY license.
posted by koeselitz at 3:47 PM - 10 comments

My Cousin is Not a Hero: "But it’s not fiction, it’s real life. It’s the night of his dad’s funeral and we’re standing there together, and neither of us is a hero. Neither of us is on an epic journey... Our plot points are weird ones, and our stories don’t add up to some amazing narrative of personal growth and enlightenment — but they do matter, because they’re ours." [more inside]
posted by flex at 3:38 PM - 12 comments

There are thousands of things that can go wrong during a sky dive. Usually, Dave Hartsock packed his own parachute. He could just about do it with his eyes shut: straighten the lines, roll the canopy, fold in the outside, press out the excess air, then crease it into a package and carefully place the fabric in the deployment bag. [more inside]
posted by ApathyGirl at 3:37 PM - 16 comments

Vax: Gamifying Epidemic Prevention "Players are tasked to prepare for an outbreak by vaccinating a network that resembles human social networks. After distributing vaccines, an infectious outbreak begins to spread and the player is tasked to quell the epidemic by quarantining individuals at risk of becoming infected." [more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses at 2:49 PM - 12 comments

16 ways to feel like a kid again!
posted by The Whelk at 2:43 PM - 46 comments

For an old North Sea hand, 40-foot waves, the kind that would terrify most of us, were nothing out of the ordinary. But the emergence from nowhere of a single wave that was more than twice as high as the others was exceptional. Warwick had encountered a rogue wave. When Good Waves Go Rogue
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 2:29 PM - 12 comments

The Sci-Fi Writers' War. "A pro-Western, NATO-backed Ukrainian government faces a stubborn insurgency in the pro-Russian East. Fighting rages around Donetsk, with civilians dying in artillery fire and airstrikes, while Russian troops mass on the Ukrainian border. The latest headlines? No, a two-novel series by Russian-Ukrainian science-fiction writer Fedor Berezin: War 2010: The Ukrainian Front and War 2011: Against NATO. In a startling plot twist, Berezin, a 54-year-old former Soviet Army officer and Donetsk native, is now living inside a real-life version of his own story: He is deputy defense minister of the embattled 'Donetsk People’s Republic.'"
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:45 PM - 11 comments

Musician Charles Cohen (previously) hosts a workshop at Berlin's Schneidersladen, demonstrating the use of the rare and recently re-released Buchla Music Easel
posted by Mr. Six at 12:35 PM - 4 comments

In recognition of his tireless devotion to picking up litter in the countryside, local man David "Pig Pen" Sedaris is honored by the Horsham District Council by having a garbage truck named after him. [more inside]
posted by something something at 12:28 PM - 49 comments

This Letter to a Young Haskell Enthusiast is mostly not about Haskell, or about programming, but about being a good person in an online community.
posted by swift at 11:28 AM - 35 comments

Mysterious lake in Tunisian desert turns from turquoise to green sludge "The lake appeared in the Tunisian desert like a mirage; one minute there was nothing but scorching sand, the next a large expanse of turquoise water."
posted by dhruva at 11:10 AM - 26 comments

"No wonder we react so viscerally to the 'ching-chong, ching-chong' schoolyard taunt. To attack our language, our ability to sound 'normal,' is to attack our ability to be normal. It's to attack everything we've worked for." An essay by Arthur Chu on feigning a Chinese accent for work and ridding oneself of an accent for life. [more inside]
posted by Errant at 11:03 AM - 53 comments

Promise - Tori Amos, featuring (her daughter) Natashya Hawley
posted by nadawi at 9:09 AM - 38 comments

Two approachable visual presentations of simple neural networks: one showing how a soft activation function allows the successive layers of a neural network to distort the input until the different classes are separable, and the other showing how a hard step activation function can be represented as carving out polygons in the space of inputs. Don't be intimidated by the rather condensed summaries above- the actual articles are very readable.
posted by Jpfed at 9:06 AM - 4 comments

Early days, but if true => BIG change
posted by aleph at 8:41 AM - 182 comments

On July 22, The Ohio State University fired Marching Band director Jon Waters because he was allegedly aware of (or should have known) about an "environment conducive to sexual harassment within the Marching Band". The University's 23-page report details a wide range of incidents, including sexualized nicknames and staff supervision of an annual "Midnight Ramp" performed in underwear, and includes as exhibits a "rookie test" and a copy of the band's unofficial songbook. Perhaps most distressingly, during Waters' brief tenure as director, two band members were sexually assaulted. The Title IX complaint that prompted Waters' firing was filed by the parent of one of the assaulted band members. (After reporting the assault, the victim declined to rejoin the band for her senior year out of fear that she would be ostracized by some of the other band members.) Waters was also initially unsympathetic to a victim of a different sexual assault which occurred during the Athletic Band's trip to the Big Ten basketball tournament in March 2013. Some legal analysts suggest that Title IX law gave the University no choice but to fire Waters, given his knowledge of the culture issues within the Band. But Waters claims he was doing his best to fix the Band's culture, and submitted his own lengthy document listing the steps he's taken. [more inside]
posted by QuantumMeruit at 8:00 AM - 44 comments

J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, managing culinary director at food blog Serious Eats, recently took an extended trip to China and southeast Asia with his wife, Adri, after driving across the country during a move from New York to San Francisco. He documented his Asia trip on a personal blog set up to elude Chinese censors. [more inside]
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 7:54 AM - 13 comments

Advice on how to survive late capitalism: "Your life is sold to serve an economy that does not serve your life. You don’t seem to be entertained, Bank-robbin’; your white-hot rage festers. It probably doesn’t help that you live in Brooklyn—this place where in the last ten years rent has spiked 77 percent while real median income has dropped, where the rich (the top 10 percent of earners who, as is well known, control 80 percent of the wealth) and their children live right on top of some of the worst poverty known to this country, while 20 percent of Brooklynites survive somehow below the poverty level, such that the widening income and wealth gap becomes achingly visible here. I could advise you to leave Brooklyn. But I don’t want you to leave Brooklyn."
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:47 AM - 69 comments

The Wall Street Journal looks at Palna, an organization in Delhi that raises children who have been abandoned. Palna means "cradle"; most children who live there are left in a wicker basket outside the front door. Established in 1978, today, "these services reach over 2500 children daily and are provided virtually free of cost to them. ALL activities and policies of DCCW are colour / caste / community blind, and are based on secular principles." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:51 AM - 1 comment

The highway, however, is getting mighty crowded. Hundreds of different beers debut weekly, creating a scrum of session IPAs, spiced witbiers, and barrel-aged stouts scuffling for shelf space. For consumers, the situation is doubly confusing. How can you pick a pint on a 100-brew tap list? Moreover, beer shops are chockablock with pale this and imperial that, each one boasting a different hop pun.
America has too many craft brewers.
posted by MartinWisse at 6:46 AM - 229 comments

Don’t just say, ‘Oh, I need to work on that.’ Say, ‘I need to work on this element of that.’ Absolutely eat dessert first. The thing that you want to do the most, do that. Fast Company interviews Joss Whedon on how to get things done, part of a round-up of creative advice from Guillermo del Toro, Ron Howard, Chris Hardwick, Josh Fox, Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci, Robert Rodriguez, Matthew Weiner, and Ernest Greene aka Washed Out.
posted by shivohum at 6:14 AM - 12 comments

The Aesthetes - For the legendary expats of Tangier, a life devoted to beauty reaches full flower in this North African hothouse of history and hedonism.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:52 AM - 4 comments

I come from the future, and I’m here to tell you: transcending the limits of the flesh can be downright dull. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 5:19 AM - 15 comments

One of the more ubiquitous formats for "infographics" these days is the U.S.A. Map Comparing Individual States and promoting interstate rivalries. After all, wherever you live in the U.S. of A., you need bragging rights for something, right?

Recently, Business Insider featured "27 Maps That Explain America" including ones that compared each state's percentage of residents with passports, most overrepresented job in every state, percentage of each state's population with a 4-year degree, number of billionaires in each state, number of Starbucks locations in each state, states' stances on climate change (judged by Think Progress), fast food consumption and exercise frequency (detail in a weird format here and here), and cavities per capita.

But Business Insider is certainly not the only site 'mapping the states'... [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:51 AM - 28 comments

July 31

"DISCLAIMER TIME! 50 is a very small number. I make no claims to any of these lists being either comprehensive or some sort of objective analysis of the 'best' films directed by women. I make selections based on on what I've seen, what I like, and the position of the stars. One film per director. Ready? Let's go." [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:12 PM - 62 comments

[bump worthy] - A vast repository of Adult Swim bumps dating back to 2001, including audio and video downloads, live streaming, and musical artist information for each bump.
posted by not_on_display at 10:26 PM - 12 comments

British romance novelist Ida Cook (1904-1986) wrote over a hundred books for Mills & Boon under the name Mary Burchell, including the thirteen-book, opera-focused Warrender saga. The passion she and her sister, Louise Cook, shared for opera carried them across oceans and countries in the years prior to the outbreak of WWII, and when Ida took account of her writing career's financial success, she was by struck by a "terrible, moving and overwhelming thought--I could save life with it." So beginning in 1937, she and Louise helped save dozens of lives by entering Germany disguised as themselves: eccentric opera fanatics. Louise Carpenter's "Ida and Louise" looks into the lives of these two sisters, these "lives which swung dizzyingly between the purest fantasy and the utterly real." [more inside]
posted by mixedmetaphors at 10:21 PM - 6 comments

As a single woman, I received a lot of attention. ... It felt that I was either pissing people off with my bubbly attitude or breaking hearts. All that said, the most difficult part of all was having everyone think I was bad at Magic simply by looking at me—and them being right. This was by far what drove me the most.
There and Back Again: A Wizard's Tale — Feminist gamer/producer Tifa Robles writes candidly about her journey in, out, and around the world of competitive gaming. [more inside]
posted by annekate at 10:10 PM - 10 comments

Why are women so less self-assured and why are men so overconfident? The Atlantic takes on what they are calling the "confidence gap," the tendency of women to underplay their expertise to lack confidence in both their achievements and their potential. [more inside]
posted by amanda at 9:30 PM - 56 comments

Trade Tales and Tiny Trails: Glass Beads in the Kalahari Desert
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:17 PM - 4 comments

On July 29, 2014, the City of Chicago released to the public a set of documents long sought by journalists and civil rights lawyers. Here they are. [more inside]
posted by stinkfoot at 8:53 PM - 25 comments

Banco Espírito Santo, Portugal's second largest bank by assets held, was nationalized "through the back door" several days ago after the shocking revelations of money laundering and tax evasion by the bank's founding family which had become public over the past few months caused the bank to post a recordbreaking loss of 3.6 billion euros. [more inside]
posted by librarylis at 8:42 PM - 4 comments

"The difficult ... you're supposed to do right away. The impossible ... that'll take you a few days longer." Building your own town out near Tuscon, Arizona probably falls in the category of "the impossible," but Ed Keeylocko did that, a pickup truck of materials at a time. This is the story of Cowtown Keeylocko, built by an African-American with red hair and swamp green eyes, who was abandoned by his mother, a self-proclaimed minority of minorities. He served in Korea and Vietnam, and he returned to the US, where he took up ranching in Arizona. In December of 1974, he founded Cowtown Keeylocko, a western ranch that is "an odd mixture of the real and the fanciful." The ranch/town expanded by 1989 to have a mayor, citizens, its own zip code, fourty-six head of cattle, three ranch hands, 10,800 acres of land, and five buildings (Google books preview). The March/April 1996 issue of American Cowboy has a short article on Ed Keeylocko and his cowtown, and here's a more recent (but still dated) website on the mayor and trail boss of Cowtown Keeylocko, with stories from visitors and photos from a roundup.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:28 PM - 4 comments

You are a bear. You wake up in a dimly lit cave. [more inside]
posted by drlith at 7:03 PM - 44 comments

Disney Junior's Doc McStuffins is an animated children's show about 6-year-old Dottie McStuffins, who wants to be a doctor like her mother, and pretends to be a doctor to her toys. Doc McStuffins has done well as a TV show, but it's as a doll that Doc's success has been stratospheric, with over $500 million in sales last year. “'When little white girls embrace Doc McStuffins, for them Doc McStuffins is a girl, and Doc McStuffins is powerful,' Dr. [Margaret Beale] Spencer said. 'For a little black girl, it may be all of those things, but also that she’s black.'”
posted by ocherdraco at 5:22 PM - 37 comments

Women are more likely to be lied to at the negotiation table
Women are more likely to be lied to at the negotiation table, according to a recent study led by UC Berkeley researchers at the Haas School of Business. The study, published online July 14, determined that women are more likely to be lied to than men from a series of face-to-face negotiations among about 300 MBA students at Haas.…The cultural stereotype is that women are “too nice” to accuse someone of lying, but the study found that whether or not women were lied to was rooted in how their competence was perceived by their negotiating partner, [lead researcher] Kray said.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 5:19 PM - 22 comments

The Great War helped create the influenza pandemic of 1918, which eventually brought an early end to the Great War. "I had a little bird, Its name was Enza.  I opened the window, And in-flu-enza. ~ Children's Skipping Rhyme, 1918"
posted by Dashy at 4:30 PM - 14 comments

In case of cute emergency, here is a three-banded armadillo named Rollie playing with his favorite toy.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 3:43 PM - 26 comments

Cockblocked by Redistribution: A Pick-up Artist in Denmark [more inside]
posted by flex at 3:36 PM - 30 comments

Are you combing Netflix trying to find all the TV shows you missed the first time around? Or maybe you just want to take a nostalgia trip and revist all of the great television that is gone but not forgotten? So much good TV! Problem is, it's not like you can stand at the office watercooler chatting about that awesome episode you saw last night...especially if it first aired in 1994. So what do you do when you want to really mull over an episode you just watched? You listen to some great podcasts with fans discussing in depth your favorite shows, that's what. [more inside]
posted by BeBoth at 3:20 PM - 18 comments

Many types of quilt blocks can be built by stitching together simple geometric shapes. Then there’s paper (sometimes called foundation) piecing. [more inside]
posted by heyforfour at 2:11 PM - 12 comments

Who knew structural engineering could be so sweet? Justina Yang is the "paper engineer" behind Fiber Lab, a design studio located in her sunroom. She creates paper art, décor, bracelets, bowties, and lamp shades. In her short videos, she demonstrates how to make your very own dodecahedron; a whimsical carousel that produces beautiful waves and teaches you about wave interference; a mesmerizing interactive kinetic wave sculpture; a string art geometric love story; and a delicious-looking paper croissant.
posted by fundip at 1:48 PM - 4 comments

Behold the five Oscar-nominated Supporting Actresses of 1973: a "bitchin' babe" (Candy Clark), a pint-sized con-artist (Tatum O'Neal), a possessed teenager (Linda Blair), a selfish carnival dancer (Madeline Kahn), and a vinegary New York institution (Sylvia Sidney). A roundtable discussion at The Film Experience. [more inside]
posted by troika at 1:34 PM - 16 comments

Legendary experimental filmmaker Harun Farocki, whose films and installations critiqued institutions of power and explored complicated relationships with the image, passed away yesterday at the age of 70. [more inside]
posted by AtoBtoA at 12:51 PM - 4 comments

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