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October 20

life is short. fly to mars

i build rocket in my back garden for 10 year
i build rocket from spare car part and old nuclear facility
in month of march i buy 10,000 of my favourite protein bar
in month of april i launch rocket with me in it towards planet mars
now i am on mars

Evghenia is on Mars. She has enough water to survive for another two hundred and eighty days. In the meantime, she reminisces about her favorite and least favorite things on earth, comments on the space-speculation of poets Bowie and Elton, writes about her heroes, and criticizes Elon Musk and NASA and all the many people who have failed to be on Mars first. (She is understandably proud of her significant accomplishment.) She also writes about goatbot, who she built herself and who is her only friend, and occasionally tells jokes and sings songs and reminisces about her past and present. Definitely a Twitter account worth following.
posted by rorgy at 11:36 PM - 1 comment

The sound of space

like sitting on a back porch in Tennesse in mid-July Space is a vacuum, but there is still "sound" in the form of electromagnetic waves. These recordings, taken from various sources, capture the electromagnetic sounds from 20-20,000 HZ--the range of human hearing
posted by patrickdbyers at 10:34 PM - 2 comments

The Phantasmagoric Work of Mr. Gober

Robert Gober's 40-year survey "The Heart is Not a Metaphor" is now on view at the MoMA, and it's a fantastic freakin' spectacle to the eye.
posted by ourt at 9:07 PM - 2 comments

kafkarna

On Gottland
Gottland is not a novel, but that proves difficult to remember. The book, playfully subtitled Mostly True Stories from Half of Czechoslovakia, is technically a work of reportage, and its author, Mariusz Szczygieł, one of Poland’s best-known journalists. Most of Gottland’s tales, however, seem better suited to Soviet science fiction—or even Russian absurdism—than to actual European history. Szczygieł, aware of his essays’ incredibility, alludes to it not only in Gottland’s subtitle but also in a more blatant disclaimer to his readers: “From here on, most of what we know . . . should be labeled with the first sentence from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, which goes: ‘All this happened, more or less.’”
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:35 PM - 0 comments

When you meet a stranger, look at his shoes.

The Rise Of Men’s British-Made Shoes
The most famous Northampton technique is the 'Goodyear welted' shoe. Invented in 1869 by Charles Goodyear, Jr., the Goodyear welted process is the footwear equivalent of the off-side rule: until somebody sits you down and talks you through it, it’s quite hard to understand.

The process involves approximately 75 components and 200 separate operations. On average, the whole process, from start to finish, takes eight weeks to complete. The main benefit of footwear that is made using Goodyear welted construction is that it can be resoled repeatedly, giving the shoe a longer lifespan.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:15 PM - 42 comments

Sandtable

ARES is a new tabletop wargame technology by the US Army. STTC briefing. Article. A modern take on one of the oldest forms of simulation: drawing stuff in the ground with a stick. Gary Gygax had a sandtable in his basement when creating D&D in the 70s, here's some recent pics of it.
posted by stbalbach at 3:12 PM - 20 comments

Rick Was Here, a short film on the NYU dorm room where Def Jam started

30 years ago, Rick Rubin was a college student, living in NYU's Weinstein Residence Hall, room #712. It was there that Def Jam Records was formed, shifting the focus of hip-hop from the MCs to promote the DJs, too. Rubin and his label quickly outgrew the dorm, and he hasn't been back since. Recently he returned, and the adventure was captured and put into context by Rolling Stone Film's mini-documentary, Rick Was Here. New footage rolls alongside old, with some animations to bring a few audio-only stories to life. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:55 PM - 11 comments

It's time...

Gough Whitlam, the progressive Labor prime minister of Australia from 1972 to 1975, has died aged 98. [more inside]
posted by acb at 2:47 PM - 39 comments

Don't Let's Stop

Why is the world in love again?
Why are we marching hand in hand?
Why are the ocean levels rising up?
It's a brand new record
for nineteen-ninety,
They Might Be Giants' brand new album:
FLOOD (43m)
Or, if you'd rather meet James Ensor, there's John Henry (57m)! For something Fingertippy, there's Apollo 18 (43m)! More recent: Nanobots (45m) - Join Us (47m) - The Else (38m) (Official links from the band's YouTube channel! Oh, and they also have a podcast.) [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 2:33 PM - 33 comments

Tuck Me In

One minute horror film. By director Ignacio F. Rodó, based on this two sentence horror story from an AskReddit thread last year. Picohorror previously.
posted by sweetkid at 2:27 PM - 20 comments

I have no idea how these people got their cats wedged into their boedgas

Last Week, Buzzfeed posted "110 Reasons Why You Should Never Leave New York City," which is somehow even more vapid than you'd expect it to be. Today, Brooklyn Magazine reviewed the list, and offered some feedback.
posted by schmod at 2:13 PM - 100 comments

And the lunatics yelling at the moon!

In early March of this year, the New York City Philharmonic staged what initially seemed like a restrained concert of Stephen Sondheim's musical “Sweeney Todd.” Per the New York Times review : "The director, Lonny Price, started the evening with a wink toward the formalities of classical concertizing, as the cast of principals lined up in front of music stands at the lip of the stage, clad in tuxedos and staid dresses, binders in hand, as if they were about to sing a little Schubert. Oh dear." But then . . . [more inside]
posted by bibliowench at 1:57 PM - 40 comments

The best chime

Here's the reason why a 10-round rifle magazine isn't big enough. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 1:55 PM - 26 comments

"Their mothers were distant cousins long estranged..."

Exquisite Corpse [New York Times]
Taking their cue from the Surrealist parlor game, 15 renowned authors take turns contributing to an original short story.
[more inside]
posted by Fizz at 1:08 PM - 6 comments

You'll hear of a wife murdered before you hear another one come forward.

Whenever Dewan Smith-Williams sees Janay Rice on television, she feels like she's looking into a mirror. Smith-Williams, 44, remembers the denial, the secrecy, the sense of isolation, the shame. But most of all, she remembers the fear of ruining her husband's career as a National Football League player — the feeling that coming forth, or seeking justice, would destroy her four children's financial security. She understands that struggle not only because she, too, was a domestic-violence victim, but because she watched so many other NFL wives, many of them her friends, go through the same nightmare. For each of them, it began with their husbands' attacks and worsened with a culture that, they felt, compelled silence.
Simone Sebastian and Ines Bebea investigate for WaPo: For battered NFL wives, a message from the cops and the league: Keep quiet.

[TW: domestic violence] [more inside]
posted by divined by radio at 12:33 PM - 36 comments

I was like "I know a guy who can eat a whole grape."

Marcel the Shell is back. [more inside]
posted by lunasol at 12:31 PM - 22 comments

certainly not “95% unexplored”

Political geographer Phil Steinberg reacts to marine ecologist Jon Copley's piece on the new gravity model of the ocean floor from David Sandwell and others at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. "Instead of understanding the ocean as something to see through as one seeks to map the seabed, water is reframed as something to see with. Volume, rather than being understood as a barrier to vision, becomes a means for achieving that vision." Copley asks: "Philosophically, when it comes to exploring anywhere on our dynamic world, how and when do we decide that somewhere has 'been explored'?" (via)
posted by spamandkimchi at 11:26 AM - 11 comments

I know who you are and I saw what you did.

How secure is public wi-fi? A lot less than you probably imagine.
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:13 AM - 45 comments

I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees...

Whether you are a scholar looking for more knowledge and pleasure in life, a bluesman looking for more talent and success, or a 4th grade boy looking to make a quick buck, perhaps the time is right to leverage that one thing for which there was previously no market? The soultradingcompany.com is here to help!
posted by mosk at 10:24 AM - 13 comments

Two Ships That Pass In The Night

This is a picture of a comet heading for Mars. Mars is the big red thing and the comet, named C/2013 A1 ('Siding Spring'), is the green-tailed beast to the lower left. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss at 9:44 AM - 25 comments

With a Little Help From My Fwends

One week from today, The Flaming Lips will release their full album cover of The Beatles' iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. NPR is now streaming the entire record for preview. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:35 AM - 47 comments

Had NASA believed in merit

“I would give my life to fly in space. It’s hard for me to talk about it but I would. I would then, and I will now.” The terrible injustice of Jerrie Cobb, who deserved to be the first female astronaut, yet never made it to space at all.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:33 AM - 29 comments

Streaming Music Has Left Me Adrift

Like blasted pecs or a little rhinestone flag pin, esoteric taste in music is an indicator of values. Under the heel of the major-label system in the early ’90s, indie taste meant more than liking weird bands. To care about obscure bands was to reject the perceived conformity of popular culture, to demand a more nuanced reading of the human experience than Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby” and therefore to assert a certain kind of life. That assertion was central to my identity as a young adult, and I found that people who shared it were more likely to agree with me on seemingly unrelated issues. Like all aesthetics, taste in music is a worldview.
posted by josher71 at 7:53 AM - 128 comments

The Obama Legacy

The Obama Brief: The President considers his judicial legacy. (SL New Yorker)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:43 AM - 20 comments

She says I’m always “Apollo 13 this” and “Lunokhod that”

Tom Hanks, somewhat of an authority on going to the moon, wrote about it in The New Yorker. (You, too, can write like Tom Hanks!)
posted by emelenjr at 6:44 AM - 18 comments

Mayokero by Roy Kafri

In this amazing new music video, a bevy of music legends performs a human beat box ditty a-capella. It's part fun game of "recognize that album cover", and part heart-wrenching story of a man with great taste in music but awful taste in consumer electronics. And all in just over two minutes. (SLYT)
posted by Silky Slim at 6:03 AM - 9 comments

They are, once again, your Joey Ramone

On October 21, Sub-Pop will be releasing Get Up, a vinyl box set of remastered versions of Sleater-Kinney's discography. Included with the expected content was a 7" labeled 1/20/15 containing a new song. Titled "Bury Your Friends", it can be streamed at Consequence of Sound. Plugged into Shazam, the song gives you the cover art for an as-yet non-extant album, No Cities To Love. The band has officially let the cat out of the bag, and reunion tour dates are on their website.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:26 AM - 52 comments

Fake deaths, cheap resurrections, and dealing with real grief

William Hughes writes movingly about the death of his partner and how it has changed how he reacts to the portrayal of death and resurrection in media.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 5:24 AM - 14 comments

I also check my skeletons twice. You can never be too careful.

I waited silently for her to explain that the female pelvis is shaped slightly differently from the male’s, with a larger opening for childbearing. That part was the giveaway. The real purpose of the exercise was to make her prove her conjecture with measurements--to translate the theory to practice. I also wanted her to explain why this sexual dimorphism--that is, this sexually determined physical difference--is not nearly so pronounced in nonhuman primates, such as chimpanzees.

She spoke: Males have one fewer pair of ribs than females.
When teacher Robert S. Root-Bernstein got this answer to his question on how you should distinguish between male and female skeletons, he had to find a way to make her realise her error without disparaging her religion.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:12 AM - 254 comments

October 19

Cubist Reggae

Cubist Reggae. From the mind of Aaron Funk, aka Venetian Snares, comes an EP of sharply angular, yet weirdly chill, grooves, all in a variety of unusual time signatures (7/4, 5/4, 15/8, and 21/16).
posted by rorgy at 10:08 PM - 17 comments

The bitterer the betterer.

As a taster, it’s important to know that compared with sour or salty, bitterness is slow to affect our palates. The first two are very simple chemical phenomena and require only the simplest of cellular mechanisms to fire off their signals to the brain. Bitterness, like sweetness and umami, requires an intermediate molecule, something called a G-coupled protein. It takes a little longer to do its thing, and this time dimension of tasting is something that you always need to pay attention to.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:05 PM - 45 comments

An enthusiastic public reading journal.....

In Praise of Anne Rice's Amazon Reviews
posted by The Whelk at 3:37 PM - 30 comments

Super Intelligent Humans are Coming

...the implication is clear: If a human being could be engineered to have the positive version of each causal variant, they might exhibit cognitive ability which is roughly 100 standard deviations above average. This corresponds to more than 1,000 IQ points.
posted by latkes at 3:17 PM - 123 comments

The story of the Mamas and the Papas, as "an epic tone-poem"

Mama Cass opened a live performance of Creeque Alley with the following: "Everywhere we go, people ask us how we got together. We got tired of answering that question, because everybody does ask us*.... John has written an epic tone-poem of historical nature describing our very get-together, and so we'd like to sing it for you now. Cue the tape." If it's a bit too fast for you to catch all the references, Creeque Alley (dot com) spells it all out line by line, thanks to "painstaking research, some guesswork and a lot of help from many people," including Richard Campbell and his official Cass Elliot website. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:53 PM - 23 comments

And if the guest wants to stay at the house, the house is there…

On 27 June 2014, Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater of the Kīlauea Volcano in Hawaii started a new lava flow, beheading a previous flow. The flow headed northeast through the Puna district towards Pāhoa, passing right by the Kahoe Homesteads subdivision. At the moment the flow is stalled short of Apa`a Street in Pāhoa, but it could resume and ultimately cut the town in half. What to do? [more inside]
posted by metaquarry at 2:14 PM - 8 comments

"A master gambler and his high-stakes museum."

Walsh agreed to pay Boltanski for the right to film his studio, outside Paris, twenty-four hours a day, and to transmit the images live to Walsh, in Tasmania. But the payment was turned into a macabre bet: the agreed fee was to be divided by eight years, and Boltanski was to be paid a monthly stipend, calculated as a proportion of that period, until his death. Should Boltanski, who was sixty-five years old, live longer than eight years, Walsh will end up paying more than the work is worth, and will have lost the bet. But if Boltanski dies within eight years the gambler will have purchased the work at less than its agreed-upon value, and won. "He has assured me that I will die before the eight years is up, because he never loses. He’s probably right," Boltanski told Agence France-Presse in 2009. "I don’t look after myself very well. But I’m going to try to survive." He added, "Anyone who never loses or thinks he never loses must be the Devil."
Tasmanian Devil is the story of David Walsh and his Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania, as told by recent Man Booker winner Richard Flanagan.
posted by Kattullus at 1:35 PM - 13 comments

The author admits that he ought to know better

Nonsense Novels by Stephen Leacock. Hat tip to Kate Beaton's tumblr, where Nonsense Novels is also available as a pdf download from the NYRB, with an introduction by Daniel Handler. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 1:03 PM - 10 comments

"...to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out."

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace, BBC Documentary. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:50 PM - 5 comments

carne vera sacra

Venerated Members - Europe's History of Penis Worship [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:46 PM - 15 comments

Family Planning: The short, long and speculative issues

Some interesting recent links on family planning in the short, long and speculative senses.

- Catherine Rampell examines the "information gap" surrounding birth control and family planning amongst young people with lower levels of education.
- Sarah Perry examines the history of fertility transitions over the last 300 years.
- Carl Shulman and Nick Bostrom examine the potential effects of human genetic selection in the next 50 years. [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 11:30 AM - 6 comments

“Look! Sister Mary Lydia, look. There’s a fireball out there.”

"Only the pen of a Dante could do justice to the sights and sounds that occurred in the St. Clair-Norwood neighborhood that hellish afternoon." Tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the East Ohio Gas Explosion, “when fire rained down and streets literally collapsed." Three above ground tanks holding liquified natural gas leaked, caught fire, and exploded, leveling one square mile in Cleveland and killing 130 people. It also served the backdrop to local author Don Robertson's beloved novel The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread, which follows the adventures of a nine-year-old boy on that day.
posted by How the runs scored at 10:54 AM - 6 comments

Douchebag: The White Racial Slur We've All Been Waiting For

I am a white, middle class male professor at a big, public university, and every year I get up in front of a hundred and fifty to two hundred undergraduates in a class on the history of race in America and I ask them to shout white racial slurs at me. The results are usually disappointing. [more inside]
posted by 724A at 9:36 AM - 150 comments

Alzheimers Insiders

How a doctor, a trader, and the billionaire Steven A. Cohen got entangled in a vast financial scandal.
As Dr. Sid Gilman approached the stage, the hotel ballroom quieted with anticipation. It was July 29, 2008, and a thousand people had gathered in Chicago for the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. For decades, scientists had tried, and failed, to devise a cure for Alzheimer’s. But in recent years two pharmaceutical companies, Elan and Wyeth, had worked together on an experimental drug called bapineuzumab, which had shown promise in halting the cognitive decay caused by the disease. Tests on mice had proved successful, and in an initial clinical trial a small number of human patients appeared to improve... There would be huge demand for a drug that diminishes the effects of Alzheimer’s. As Elan and Wyeth spent hundreds of millions of dollars concocting and testing bapineuzumab, and issued hints about the possibility of a medical breakthrough, investors wondered whether bapi, as it became known, might be “the next Lipitor.” Several months before the Chicago conference, Barron’s published a cover story speculating that bapi could become “the biggest drug of all time."
[more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses at 9:25 AM - 22 comments

"Tell me if you hear the fence rattling..."

Life Academy of Health and Bioscience is a small public high school in Oakland, California. In 2011 a small group of student poets evolved, calling themselves "Rapid Fire" . "At a recent “spoken word” event, senior Monica Mendoza performed her poem "Faggot" . With steady determination backed up by thoughtful research, Mendoza explained why people should never use the word. Her crescendo invoked the names of young gay men who lost their lives because of their sexuality. “Every time you use the word faggot…tell me if you hear Bobby Griffith’s prayers begging for God to forgive him for being gay/ tell me if you heard the truck smash him to death…/ tell me if you hear the fence rattling after Matthew Shepard was tied and tortured." (The original article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Teaching Tolerance" project site)
posted by HuronBob at 7:40 AM - 2 comments

Nyeah nargh eeah fwa fwa

IT IS SO YUMMY
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:25 AM - 26 comments

Cursors

Cursors is a fascinating maze game where you have to cooperate with others with very limited ways of communicating.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:49 AM - 58 comments

October 18

On Sewing as a Universal Language

Cousu Main (which starts here) is an adaptation of The Great British Sewing Bee, and the blog of one of the participants features significant spoilers for this season. Although it's in French, the show is not hard for an English speaker to follow, just as Project Runway Vietnam (2013: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8), Project Runway Korea (2009: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ...), and Projeto Fashion from Brazil--among others--make some sense to those familiar with the English-language series Project Runway Australia, Project Runway Canada, Project Runway Malaysia (2007 finale: 1-5 and 6), Project Runway Philippines (2008: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15), and Mission Catwalk from Jamaica.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:02 PM - 11 comments

UnScientific American

Things happen. "Psychic" events mainly take place in dramatic and family-based situations. Not in a lab. Here is one example. [more inside]
posted by kozad at 8:59 PM - 219 comments

It's ALL THE RAGE with the HIP YOUTHS.

"Dadcore?" "Momcore?" What the heck are these trendy lingoes?
posted by ourt at 8:09 PM - 56 comments

Spinach dip and pork rinds for dinner? Heavy cream on everything? Yes.

The "Keto Diet" is deigned to keep your body in a constant state of ketosis. Originally designed to help people with sever epilepsy, it has become quite a popular way to lose a large amount of weight in a short period. [more inside]
posted by lattiboy at 5:11 PM - 124 comments

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