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December 22

How to knock over a 100 pound domino using a teeny tiny domino

If you had to knock over a 100 pound domino with a domino that is 5mm high and 1mm thick (and weighs a few ounces), how would you do it? Give it some thought, perhaps discuss it over a beer, and then enjoy an interesting physics demonstration here.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:32 AM - 28 comments

He was "simply unique"

Singer Joe Cocker has died at age 70, according to the BBC. Here's his iconic performance of "With a Little Help from my Friends".
posted by Gelatin at 11:22 AM - 46 comments

Birth in a Northern Nation

The majority of Nunavut’s children are born thousands of kilometres away from home. The territory is working to reverse that trend. Longform journalism by Katie May.
posted by Banknote of the year at 10:58 AM - 1 comment

Less Talk, More Monkey

Mendelssohn Concerto for Violin Four-Hands - a piece that violinists apparently like to monkey with
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:23 AM - 2 comments

I want to rock and roll all night, and I don't have time to brew coffee.

In 2000, Kiss frontman Paul Stanley (sans makeup) filmed a commercial for Folger's Instant Coffee. It never aired. Now you know why. [SLYT]
posted by Room 641-A at 9:20 AM - 74 comments

America loved Russert.

How David Gregory Lost His Job (SL longform)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:06 AM - 20 comments

A "distressed & unfriendly" seal has been rescued from a British field.

Experts believe the grey juvenile seal may have swam from a colony in Hilbre Island, in the Dee Estuary, and got lost.
A Merseyside Police spokesman said: "A report came in from dog walker at 9:39 AM of the animal on a farmers' field off Winwick Road in Newton-le-Willows."
The seal was put into the container and taken to a seal sanctuary, where it will be checked over before being returned to the sea.
Rachael Fraser, from [British Divers Marine Life Rescue Service], said: "It's very unusual."
posted by Going To Maine at 8:57 AM - 24 comments

Looking out the window, returning to Earth

This is what it's like to plummet through the atmosphere from space.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:47 AM - 8 comments

Not all doom and gloom

Ramez Naam says that 2014 Was a Good Year: Better Than You Remember.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:45 AM - 18 comments

We ran into a data set and there we got upshot

Flowing Data's kind-of annual entry into the "best of" season: Their picks for best data visualisations of 2014. [more inside]
posted by frimble at 8:38 AM - 0 comments

Prosecute Torturers and Their Bosses

“Mr. Obama has said multiple times that 'we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards,' as though the two were incompatible. They are not. The nation cannot move forward in any meaningful way without coming to terms, legally and morally, with the abhorrent acts that were authorized, given a false patina of legality, and committed by American men and women from the highest levels of government on down.” The New York Times Editorial Board calls for a criminal investigation into the Bush administration's architects of torture. (SLNYT)
posted by Anyamatopoeia at 8:34 AM - 36 comments

Fanny at Christmas

Fanny Cradock makes Mincemeat out of an Omelette [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:09 AM - 15 comments

We're BRATS, and we like it that way.

A couple of years ago a mother / daughter author team wrote a book for dependent kids with parents in the military, in which they decided to replace the traditional "Military Brat" identifier with "CHAMPS" ( Child Heroes Attached to Military Personnel). The book spawned a non-profit called Operation Champs, which provided support services to military dependents and their families. [more inside]
posted by COD at 8:05 AM - 41 comments

10 years of podcasting and it still sucks

Mathowie discusses what could be better about podcasting.
posted by garlic at 6:46 AM - 130 comments

So you're tired of sugar cookies for the Holidays, eh?

Step One: Go watch forty seconds of this sketch from the MST3k episode "The Mole People". Step Two: Go below the fold. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:49 AM - 24 comments

December 21

Writing "Good Omens"

Neil Gaiman talks about writing "Good Omens" - "Terry Pratchett and I met in February 1985, in a Chinese restaurant. I was a young journalist. He was a former journalist and Electricity Board PR, and a writer who had just published his second Discworld novel. I was the first journalist who had ever interviewed him."
posted by marienbad at 11:54 PM - 35 comments

YOU COME ACROSS A CANDIED VIOLET

inflorescence.city is a generative text/art project by Katie Rose Pipkin and Loren Schmidt
a bit more info about it here [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 11:38 PM - 1 comment

50 years of beeping

At 6 a.m. on Thanksgiving, James Galdo and his 22-year-old son made their annual trip to a Hess (HES) gas station on New York’s Long Island to buy the oil company’s latest holiday toy truck. It marked the end of an era for Galdo, who owns each retail toy truck Hess has produced since 1964, and the end of an almost 50-year family tradition. Come next year, the ritual of heading to a local Hess station will be replaced with a visit to Hess’s website. Hess’s toy truck business is moving online following the sale last spring of the New York-based energy company’s stations. [more inside]
posted by bq at 10:24 PM - 27 comments

In the arms of a stranger

In an emergency, would you hand your baby over to a stranger you had just met? This is the story of a mother who did just that.
posted by Admira at 8:36 PM - 41 comments

"it might warrant discussion from others."

Small Talk [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:04 PM - 14 comments

Freedom is the right of all sentient beings

An Argentina court has recognised an Orangutang as 'non-human person': “This opens the way not only for other Great Apes, but also for other sentient beings which are unfairly and arbitrarily deprived of their liberty in zoos, circuses, water parks and scientific laboratories.” - A similar case regarding a chimpanzee in New York was recently thrown out of court.
posted by Artw at 6:52 PM - 62 comments

Redditor does the research behind the Sony Pictures hacking scandal.

Redditor CSMastermind composes an epic timeline of the Sony information breach. Well sourced, and in laymans terms. [more inside]
posted by butterstick at 5:55 PM - 55 comments

CCR, 'Born on the Bayou', live at Woodstock

Creedence Clearwater Revival performing 'Born on the Bayou' at Woodstock, 1969. Frontman John Fogerty, dissatisfied with the group's performance, famously prevented it from being included in the subsequent film or soundtrack album. But this, the opening number of their set, is an electrifying performance. Fogerty, bassist Stu Cook and drummer Doug Clifford perform as if they are plugged in to the electricity supply.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:34 PM - 46 comments

"She placed an order on the spot – and not a conservative one."

"Though there were manufacturers in several parts of the United States, the great preponderance of commercially-made aluminum trees were created by the Aluminum Specialty Company of Manitowoc, Wisconsin. When their 'Evergleam' line debuted in 1959, many embraced the shiny trees as an expression of the new Atomic Age. The trees appealed to a Jetsons-style notion of modern living where life was clean, automated and easy; with an aluminum tree, needles never fell, it could be stored compactly and re-used every year, with none of the fuss of a real tree." Etsy: History Lesson: The Aluminum Christmas Tree, by Jeni Sandberg. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:21 PM - 40 comments

Litigation Value in The Office: priceless (That's What She Said)

"That's what she said" is not only a much-used catchphrase in The Office (US edition), but also a blog about episodes of the US edition of the show from the point of view of HR litigation, starting with season 3.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:09 PM - 11 comments

“Colour is too noisy; the eye doesn’t know where to rest"

Bye Bye Jane; RIP
Jane Bown died today aged 89. Her portrait of Beckett is legendary.
The Observer ( Guardian on Sunday )editor, John Mulholland, called her "part of the Observer’s DNA”.
Obituaries: Guardian and Telegraph.
A brief look at her life in photography.
She gave her archive to he Guardian where she worked for 65 years.
Known mainly for her portraits of the great and the good here is the unseen Jane Bown
For over 40 years she used an Olympus OM 1 released in 1973.
Earlier this year a BioPic was released 'Looking for Light: Jane Bown'
posted by adamvasco at 3:37 PM - 12 comments

No one had the slightest suspicion of what beautiful things she had seen

Jean Renoir's "The Little Match Girl" ("La petite marchande d'allumettes") with Catherine Hessling. 1928 (31 Minutes) Silent movie with music and translated intertitles. Original Hans Christian Andersen story included under the video.
posted by The Whelk at 12:01 PM - 16 comments

2D, 3D, Whatever

Glass - Apple - Res Illusio - Squirrel - and more from artist Alessandro Diddi. [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 11:42 AM - 5 comments

Panoply - Animating the Ancient World

What the Greek vasemakers would have done if they had had the technology [more inside]
posted by BWA at 11:40 AM - 6 comments

I'd just want to escape and keep wearing that.

5 YEAR OLD GIRL DISCUSSES PRINCESS LEIA'S SLAVE OUTFIT WITH DAD
posted by hippybear at 10:44 AM - 89 comments

Execution

For the first time since 2011, two NYPD officers have been killed in the line of duty; PO Wenjian Liu and PO Rafael Ramos were shot, execution style, while sitting in their patrol car yesterday afternoon in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. The suspect, who shot himself at a subway station nearby, had allegedly shot his girlfriend in Maryland yesterday morning, before posting on social media that he was going to kill cops in retaliation for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Pat Lynch, the president of the largest police union in New York City — the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association, has blamed Mayor de Blasio for the murders, and the New York City police officers, already angry with the mayor for his comments about police violence, last night turned their backs on the mayor as he entered the police press conference to address the shooting deaths of two officers in Brooklyn.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:03 AM - 339 comments

D-Day to Germany, 1944 color home movies

D-Day to Germany, 1944. Color home movies by Allied pool reporter Jack Lieb. There is little to no combat, it's all behind the lines offering a different perspective from total war. Some famous actors and writers appear. The best part is the narrator, Jack, who is giving a viewing in 1976. His spontaneous narration and smooth style is enchanting.
posted by stbalbach at 8:11 AM - 6 comments

"Beany" Burger - 20¢

Spend 8 minutes in the '50s, at Beany's Drive-in (and thru).
posted by HuronBob at 6:57 AM - 27 comments

Power of Art

Simon Schama's Power of Art is available in full. Part 1 Caravaggio. Part 2 Bernini. Part 3 Rembrandt. Part 4 David. Part 5 Turner. Part 6 Van Gogh. Part 7 Picasso. Part 8 Rothko. [more inside]
posted by cwest at 4:46 AM - 8 comments

The Legend of the Free Labour Market

The Legend of the Free Labour Market. From the excellent HR/Economics blog Flip Chart Fairy Tales.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 4:26 AM - 8 comments

“I know who they are. You don’t need to.”

I was surprised when I saw this photograph in a colour supplement a few days after the demonstration. It was captioned “A West End shopper argues with a protester”, but that’s not what happened at all: I was trying to calm him down. I wrote to tell them truth, and to my astonishment they published my letter.
The truth behind one of the more famous photos taken during the 1990 London Poll Tax Riot. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 4:18 AM - 15 comments

Christmas gifs

Christmas themed gifs by contemporary artists. Jake and Dinos Chapman, Judy Chicago, Jeremy Deller, Tony Oursler, Marc Quinn, Anri Sala (NSFW, strobe imagery)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:07 AM - 2 comments

What my dog does when I leave

So, my buddy got a GoPro. We decided to put it on my dog to see what he does when we leave.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:28 AM - 44 comments

The excess moisture will fly off when the platter starts to spin

How to fix a Samsung external m3 hard drive in under 5 minutes
posted by elgilito at 2:01 AM - 24 comments

December 20

It takes him five beers.

Poynter's List of the Best (and Worst) Corrections, Retractions and Apologies in Media in 2014 Previously. Previouslier.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:01 PM - 26 comments

Khuleg Baatar

Mongolian. Throat singing. Rap. [slyt]
posted by cthuljew at 7:03 PM - 31 comments

Albert Finney in a musical version of Scrooge - and it works.

"My next favorite film version of 'A Christmas Carol,' right after the Alastair Sim movie, is this one from 1970. Finney received the 1970 Golden Globe Award for best actor in musical or comedy. The film was also nominated for Academy Awards for art direction/ set decoration, costume designer, best song ('Thank You Very Much') and best song score/ adaptation. A musical retelling with memorable songs and dances, (the song 'December the 25th' is a favorite) and a lively cast, this film ranks high on my list of 'must watch' DVDs during the holiday season. Filmed in such a way as to suggest that the only light is ambient sources on the set, it adds a look to the production that is simultaneously realistic and dream-like." An affectionate look at director Ronald Neame's musical adaptation, Scrooge. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:54 PM - 33 comments

Inherent Vice and the Evolution of Stoner Noir

Stoner noir certainly replaces the unflappable, sardonic hero of the hardboiled detective novel with a type of fool– the pothead being an ideal modern archetype of the fool, a figure whose fraught relationship with the hardships and nuisances of everyday life we can all identity with to some extent. The Dude, as the Stranger observes, takes it easy for all us sinners – all us perhaps greater fools who are guilty of the sin of actually trying to stay up on the bucking bronco of life, rather than just kicking back and hoping its severer mood swings will just pass us by.
posted by batfish at 4:12 PM - 17 comments

Young Frankenstein at 40: not so young, but still Brooks' finest film

Director Mel Brooks spent a lot of money on white handkerchiefs while making his 1974 tour de farce, Young Frankenstein. "I gave everybody in the crew a white handkerchief," said the 88-year-old comedy legend during a recent phone interview. "I said, 'When you feel like laughing, put this in your mouth.' Every once in a while, I'd turn around and see a sea of white handkerchiefs, and I said, 'I got a hit.'"

Young Frankenstein was more than a hit. It is a comic masterpiece.
An interview with Mel Brooks on the 40th anniversary of Young Frankenstein, with an overview of the events that lead to what Mel Brooks calls 'by far the best movie I ever made.' [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 4:05 PM - 78 comments

I'm luvin' it

MacSabbath, the "kings of drive-thru metal" perform "Frying Pan" in full costume.
posted by mathowie at 3:17 PM - 10 comments

A Different View of Iran (18 Photos)

"20 years of news and photos from Iran have been fairly uniform: a woman in a burqa, public executions, demonstrations with burning flags and rumors of nuclear weapons. However, the reality of everyday life in this ancient country is more complex and diverse." A Different View of Iran: photos from award winning photographer Hossein Fatemi.
posted by DarlingBri at 10:03 AM - 34 comments

The Barbarous Years

The Shocking Savagery of America's Early History, a look at historian Bernard Bailyn's book.
Bailyn has not painted a pretty picture. Little wonder he calls it The Barbarous Years and spares us no details of the terror, desperation, degradation and widespread torture—do you really know what being “flayed alive” means? (The skin is torn from the face and head and the prisoner is disemboweled while still alive.) And yet somehow amid the merciless massacres were elements that gave birth to the rudiments of civilization—or in Bailyn’s evocative phrase, the fragile “integument of civility”—that would evolve 100 years later into a virtual Renaissance culture, a bustling string of self-governing, self-sufficient, defiantly expansionist colonies alive with an increasingly sophisticated and literate political and intellectual culture that would coalesce into the rationale for the birth of American independence. All the while shaping, and sometimes misshaping, the American character. It’s a grand drama in which the glimmers of enlightenment barely survive the savagery, what Yeats called “the blood-dimmed tide,” the brutal establishment of slavery, the race wars with the original inhabitants that Bailyn is not afraid to call “genocidal,” the full, horrifying details of which have virtually been erased.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 AM - 42 comments

NASA emails spanner to the ISS Space Station

"Astronauts on the International Space Station have used their 3-D printer to make a wrench from instructions sent up in an email. It is the first time hardware has been "emailed" to space. Nasa was responding to a request by ISS commander Barry Wilmore for a ratcheting socket wrench."
posted by marienbad at 9:41 AM - 51 comments

Miami, Miami, you've got style....

On August 21, a federal judge in Florida ruled that that the state's ban on same sex marriage was unconstitutional, but the ruling was stayed until January 5. Although the state Attorney General appealed the ruling and asked for a further stay, both the 11th circuit, and os of last night the Supreme Court have denied the appeal, and Florida will become the 36th marriage equality state on January 6th. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:16 AM - 36 comments

The Queen of Torture

"She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked." "But instead of being sanctioned, she was promoted."
posted by 445supermag at 7:12 AM - 59 comments

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