2017 has been a good year for robots, at least: three new world records for most robots dancing, fastest Rubik's Cube solving and First Robot Table Tennis Tutor. Below the fold I list alternate musical accompaniment for each story, from MeFite gmm. [more inside]
For families divided by the U.S./Mexico border, there is one place where they are allowed to come together - almost. [more inside]
This time of year everyone on youtube has a dumb back to school hack to sell you. Cristine of SimplyNailogical has responded.
"For the past 96 years, the annual Santa Fe Indian Market has been the largest cultural event in the Southwest, bringing together upwards of 1,100 Indigenous artists from the U.S. and Canada, and 150,000 visitors from around the world, more than doubling the New Mexican town’s typical population. Indian Market takes place the third weekend in August, and it has long been considered the most prestigious arts show in the Native community." (Smithsonian)
"A lie by omission may be a small one, but for a movement so vocally concerned with where things come from, the proprietors of craft culture often seem strangely uninterested in learning or conveying the stories of the people who first mastered those crafts." Lauren Michele Jackson examines The White Lies of Craft Culture. (slEater)
The faded advertisements on old brick buildings often go unnoticed, and they’re disappearing fast. Ghost signs have a special place in any city. Hand-painted signs were a popular form of advertising between the 1880s and the 1950s, before ads could be inexpensively mass produced, installed, and replaced. Their remnants offer a lens into a neighborhood’s past, reminding viewers about elements of commerce and life at certain points in history.
Research into a symbiosis between plants and fungi is challenging our ideas of consciousness and intelligence.
in the last few years there has been a explosion of interest in what is sometimes called plant "neurobiology." Plants and trees don't have brains and that's enough, in some quarters of the intellectual establishment, to settle in the negative the question of whether they sense, evaluate, think, learn, plan, act or feel. But that inference — from no brain, to no mind — may be too quick.[more inside]
Discussing a new divide: those who walk because they can and those who walk because they must. Why people walk now and where they walk illustrates a cultural chasm. At the end of this article is a corollary article "The Walking Poor" you can click on to get the other side of the chasm.
The Moon in Her Doorway. (Saturday flash fiction) "She didn't know why the moon had smashed into her house, trapping her inside. After working a double shift, she had walked home on tired feet under a night sky. The moon had hung large and low on the horizon, like a silver dollar. It balanced on the hill above her neighborhood. She remembered thinking, "It looks like it could roll into my arms."And then it did. Or almost. It was larger than it looked."
"A typical stolen base is over within four seconds; a typical single within eight; a typical triple within 12. The most elaborate and disorienting plays might get to 20 seconds. I have found a play that took 26 seconds, and one that took 29 seconds, but I have never seen a play that took longer." The Portsmouth High Patriots, though, once tried a trick play that ran two minutes and thirty two seconds.
BBC Radio 4: Misunderstanding Japan "What images come into your head when you think of Japan? Dr Christopher Harding explores how Western media representations of Japan, from the very first Victorian travellers through to Alan Whicker and Clive James, have revisited the same themes." [more inside]
In a reversal of the current trend towards automation in the service industry, Chuck E. Cheese [previously] is retiring its animatronic show. Father John Misty has written a touching farewell.
Long ago in "The Good Old Days", surfers ruled. It was bitchin'! That was before the threat of chemical pollution, nuclear waste and the horror of Buzzz Cola....And so opens Surf II (YT, trailer): The Nerds Strike Back (via), a 1980s teen gross-out surf parody with added nudity*, stocked with some notable actors, and a soundtrack suitable for a surf film from 1984. Currently placed somewhere between one of the worst movies ever (next to another 1980s "sex comedy," Lunch Wagon [nsfw trailer]) and on the other extreme, just as funny as Naked Gun [trailer]. The film is considered an acquired taste, but if it might be your taste, you can watch it on YouTube (disregard the title, there is no second part). [more inside]
Zero Gravity Canyon, San Rafael Swell, all kinds of swell times. The San Rafael Reef, or San Rafael Swell, is an easy drive from Salt Lake City, and holds many adventures. The Narrows of Little Wild Horse Canyon is a perennial favorite of families who take their kids into the slot canyons for the coolness of them. I had never heard of Zero Gravity Canyon until today, when I read this tale. [more inside]
James Hamblin (Atlantic) wonders if the eclipse is a conspiracy: "I am not saying the eclipse isn’t going to happen. I’m just saying there are two sides to every story." Meanwhile, Brian Hickey (PhillyVoice) reaches out to flat-Earthers for their opinions on the so-called eclipse.
A busy week for the President: a Nazi uprising in Charlottesville, resulting in one dead and several wounded, received a slow response and alarming equivocation from Trump regarding which “side” was worse. Widespread public backlash at his Nazi apologia - across the political spectrum - led to the resignation of several industry and public sector leaders from various advisory councils. Charities began canceling Mar-a-Lago events. One Congressman begin steps to introduce Impeachment. A week into the debacle, key advisor Steve Bannon “resigns”, with possibly more to be purged. Undaunted, Trump is planning another campaign rally in Phoenix, making noises about pardoning convicted criminal ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
"The story of the most flagrant mistake in the modern history of sports journalism begins with a 21-year-old editor. His name is Kris Freeman." [Deadspin] [language NSFW]
Bad break? KitKat maker accused of copying Atari Breakout game in ad. [The Guardian] “Nestlé has been accused of copying Atari’s classic 1970s video game Breakout [wiki] for a KitKat marketing campaign. In a complaint filed on Thursday in a federal court in San Francisco, Atari said Nestlé knowingly exploited the Breakout name, look and feel through social media and a video, hoping to leverage “the special place it holds among nostalgic baby boomers, Generation X, and even today’s millennial and post-millennial gamers”. Atari cited an ad titled KitKat: Breakout [Vimeo], in which adults and children sitting on a sofa used paddles to knock down KitKat bars.”
The Great British School Dinner has significantly changed over the decades, from porridge and bread and dripping, through to pea soup and chocolate concrete with mint custard. Here are 17 dishes from recent decades, what happened to Turkey Twizzlers, the perfect steamy spotted dick, some pink custard, a mention of spam fritters, and mince and dumplings in 1980. Tempted? You can go to a cafe and try some. Nowadays, the options are less stodgier; at "big school" meatballs or curry are sometimes on the menu. Oh, Vienetta. However, not all healthy options are popular. Payment is sometimes complicated and can lead to barm controversy. Though Friday is usually fish and chips day, there's Angel Delight at this school!
Socialism: As American As Apple Pie (Single link The Nib webcomic history essay)
RIP Bruce Forsyth, British showbiz legend and holder of the Guinness world record for longest career as a male TV entertainer. He had hit Saturday night shows in every decade from the 1950s until 2010s (his first television appearance was in 1939 at the age of 11) [more inside]
Three great minds consider what queer memes of a top shortage reveal about the racialized orders of desire and new directions for gay critique.
The Irish Passport is a newish podcast about about the culture, history and politics of Ireland, by Naomi O’Leary and Tim Mc Inerney. The newest episode is about The Brexit Irish - the people who have rushed to turn their notational Irishness into a physical passport post the Brexit referendum. [more inside]
Cold to the Touch is a synth-inflected summer single from Ralph, who released a self-titled EP, her first, earlier this year. [more inside]
This Twitter thread nails it: "White liberals spend more time denying reality to PoC than they do hearing reality from their white conservative family and friends." [more inside]
Antipodes map tells you what is precisely on the other side of the planet from any location you give it. In Australia the universal answer is water.
The Boozy Barrister, AKA Lawyers And Liquor, AKA @BoozyBadger, writes about his experience at Indy Fur Con: The End Result Of A Series Of Bad Decisions. [more inside]
Walking into the emergency room triage area at the Dryden Regional Health Centre in northwestern Ontario, visitors may notice a wall-mounted display case featuring a number of fishing hooks. What they may not know is those hooks have been pulled out of the bodies of anglers by physicians at the hospital. (SL CBC)
The alt-right is drunk on bad readings of Nietzsche. The Nazis were too. They don’t understand him. (SLVOX)
So, you want to nationalize the US oil industry? Bill Humphrey and Nate at Arsenal For Democracy provide a beginner's guide to a pragmatic government purchase of the US oil and gas industry to wind-down fossil fuel production rapidly in the global public interest (Audio, 51:00) Notes, outline, and sources. (PFD)
When my husband left me, everything began to taste like glue. The effect was so pronounced that I began to eat things that resembled glue in other ways: Kraft Mac in its bricky blue box, packaged meals with scores of industrial ingredients; raw ramen, crammed into my mouth over the sink, its perfect squiggles like a child’s drawing of the ocean; furtive deliveries from the all-night Chinese joint leaving sauce stains on my empty bed, in the new apartment, in the new room, in the new life I didn’t want, and wanted, increasingly, to exit.
Van driven into crowd in heavily populated area in Barcelona today. Catalonian police confirm a terrorist attack. Updates from Mossos, Guardian, and NYTimes. (Noted this was getting some discussion on the catch-all thread, so starting a separate one here. Mods, if inappropriate, feel free to remove).
Zagat—the almost 40-year old, Google-acquired institution would like to have a moment of your time to explain the error of your eating ways. Trust them—you have a lot of problems. Yes, you. [more inside]
“If The Witness is about anything —aside from, well, doing lots of puzzles —it's about spirituality and science, their parallels, their differences.” [Polygon] “The assumption is that a simple sequence of hundreds of maze puzzles can't be the next project from the creator of Braid, a game in which narrative was so essential that it was inextricable from the mechanics. Surely it can't be that simple. It is. Oh, don't mistake me: There's a beautiful, defiantly colorful world to explore, and plenty of little hints of how it came to be. The Witness is loaded with "plotmosphere," a useful if pat bit of neologism that would probably make Blow cringe. But, mechanically speaking: The Witness is maze puzzles. Full stop.” [YouTube] [Trailer] [more inside]
What if Alfonso Cuaron made pancakes? What if Wes Anderson made S'mores? What if Michael Bay made Waffles? What if Tarantino made Spaghetti & Meatballs? (mlyt)
Electronic musician Sanaya Ardeshir (aka Sandunes) performs a short set of her music for Resident Advisor magazine.
With one Member of Parliament not finding vermin amewsing and resorting to bringing her cats to work, the problem of effective pest control in the corridors of power worsens. Costs are rising - nearly £9k was spent on catching moths and £16k was spent on a hawk to control pigeons in 2016/17 - but rule-making officials remain unpurrsuaded and cats are banned. This is viewed as a negative catitude to felines, as nearby Whitehall has five cats: Larry the Number 10 cat, Palmerston the Foreign Office boss, Gladstone the Treasury puss and Evie and Ossie from the Cabinet office. Even a nearby cathedral has a cat with a book deal. Rat-infested politicans who have complained for years are holding out for some pawsitive news.
8 lessons from 20 years of Hype Cycles looks at how Gartner's predictions of upcoming tech panned out.
Previously on Metafilter, British tech company Nanosystems created VantaBlack, the world's darkest color. As a promotional push, they sold exclusive artistic rights to the material to renowned artist Anish Kapoor. This didn't sit well with painter Stuart Semple and his contemporaries. [more inside]
"Look at the continuing scandals that are pouring out of Wells Fargo, with the most recent headlines about their having sold car insurance to people without any rationale, whatsoever... Lanny Breuer’s articulation of 'too big to prosecute' goes down as, on the one hand, the most honest and also the most disturbing statement made by the head of the Criminal Division in the Justice Department." A two-part interview with former New York governor Eliot Spitzer about antitrust, economic concentration, and regulatory capture.
Dogs who think they're cats. Cats who think they're dogs (there are, like, entire breeds of those). IMHO, the cats have the right idea: dogs are indisputably better than cats, despite the propaganda from Big Cat.
....Itsy, Bitsy Polychaete Worms: "Leslie Harris, from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, is a taxonomist who specializes in polychaetes. She’s sharing her expertise with the Smithsonian MarineGEO bioblitz currently underway at the Hakai Institute’s Calvert Ecological Observatory." [more inside]
A Death Growl is the one of the hallmarks of Death Metal. Sometimes referred to as Cookie Monster Vocals. This isn't lost on metal bands. [more inside]
Just the vocals of "Wouldn't It Be Nice," showcasing the sophistication of Brian Wilson. There's a lot of info here about the actual construction of the song and the harmonies and the advanced musical methodology used. I've been listening to this song for 40 years or so and was astonished at this a capella version.
Cult actor John Saxon is perhaps best-known for his role as Donald Thompson in the first and third Nightmare on Elm Street films. But in 1987, Saxon also tried his hand as a screenwriter with a bizarre treatment for a prequel to the series in which it was to be revealed that Fred Krueger was an innocent man and the real killer was... The Manson Family? (via Bloody-Disgusting)