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December 18

Hot pictures of naked bikes

The 2014 Cycle EXIF Top Ten - it was a great year for absurdly pretty bikes.
posted by Invisible Green Time-Lapse Peloton at 5:46 PM - 8 comments

Steve Jobs: interview about buying music online

In April 2003, the day after Steve Jobs announced the iTunes store, Esquire's Andy Langer interviewed Jobs at Apple. Although Jobs cut the interview short after less than twenty minutes, it's nevertheless an interesting read, as is Langer's more recent recollection of the interview.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:01 PM - 2 comments

A cat is objectively valuable

Ayn Rand reviews children's movies. By Mallory Ortberg.
posted by Mchelly at 2:28 PM - 34 comments

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it: chip reviews

"To be frank, these chips taste exactly like they are named. Simply, nothing more, and nothing less. The relatively spicy Tapatío hot sauce burns, while the acidic, and citrusy lime flavor shocks the tongue. The classic combination of chile and lime is once again revealed, and executed. Probably the only thing we find a bit unsuspecting about these chips is that there is no cheese flavor at all. Each, and every one of the other Tapatío-FritoLay snacks, seemed to have an underlying cheese flavor among them. For good, or for bad, the cheese flavor was there in all the other; but with these, they simply delivered spicy hot chile and lime." Chip Review takes a look at Lay's "Tapatío and Lime" flavor. More reviews in the Tapatio category of chips. Lime/Limón reviews; salt-and-vinegar. These are general reviews, for their 2014 countdown, see below the fold. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:10 PM - 37 comments

What do we talk about when we talk about podcasting?

Nick Quah of Hot Pod briefly interviews Jesse Thorn about how the rest of the media world reports on podcasting. "The recent boom in podcast coverage that we’ve been seeing over the past few weeks, while wonderful, has also tended to gravitate around a few shows: Serial, Radiolab, Marc Maron, Comedy Bang Bang, etc. That coverage has also exhibited a tendency to frame podcasting as experiencing something of a renaissance, or revival. [But] this isn’t the case. Podcasts have been steadily and quietly growing for the past decade [...] So why has the revival narrative stuck?"
posted by ocherdraco at 1:30 PM - 44 comments

Fair and impartial justice for all Americans

The Department of Justice issued a memo today (pdf) stating that the litigation concerning gender identity employment discrimination regarding transgender Americans working in the federal government will be covered under the sex discrimination prohibition in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:07 PM - 25 comments

drowning in corn, buried in grain

drowning in corn - the story of one teenager's near-death experience inside the grain bin that killed his friends

npr has a series on grain entrapment (wiki): Buried in Grain alongside a database of grain entrapment deaths including teenagers as young as 13.

posted by and they trembled before her fury at 11:13 AM - 79 comments

When earworms attack!

Ever had a song stuck in your head?* Investigations into earworms, musical hallucination and memory are shedding some light on the link between music and memory. [more inside]
posted by asok at 11:13 AM - 39 comments

"...we are in the realm of beyond stupid with this."

"Now we get to the part that moves from jokes and silliness to serious, which is: This is not just now a case study in how not to react to cyber threats and a case study in how to not defend your networks, it's now also a case study in how not to respond to terrorism threats." Cybersecurity expert Peter W. Singer discusses the Sony's reaction to the "Guardians of Peace" hack. [more inside]
posted by quin at 11:05 AM - 130 comments

It's like eating with a bunch of animals

Sometimes getting together with family for the holidays feels like the entire event has gone to the dogs (and cat).
posted by hippybear at 10:38 AM - 8 comments

The Maccabees would approve of this Jurassic Menorah

Make your own dinosaur menorah.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:13 AM - 28 comments

This kind of thing could take up your whole day.

"From righteous fury to faux indignation, everything we got mad about in 2014—and how outrage has taken over our lives." The Year of Outrage (SLSlate)
posted by naju at 9:13 AM - 97 comments

Recommended for 6–12 (with time reduced for good behavior)

Conveniently, LEGO® vines growing on the outside of the museum provide handgrips the thieves can use in climbing up to the skylight.
[more inside]
posted by Etrigan at 9:12 AM - 21 comments

A makers gotta make, make, make, make, make

"It’s all about burn rate / Bout burn rate / slow spending" -- This years holiday video from First Round Capital, the venture capital firm that convinces dozens of its entrepreneurs to participate in parodies of the past year’s most popular songs.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:11 AM - 5 comments

Oh dearie me.

10 football (soccer) experiments that were doomed to failure.
posted by josher71 at 8:50 AM - 22 comments

#notall"pregnant"men

Although doctors have noticed that fathers-to-be can experience weight gain, morning vomiting, heartburn, and restlessness, as well as more random symptoms like toothaches and leg cramps, there hasn't been any agreement as to what causes it. Say hello to Couvade Syndrome aka 'Male Sympathetic Pregnancy'. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:46 AM - 18 comments

A sweary blog about swearing

Strong Language is a new blog about profanity, cusswords, vulgar fuckin' language. Started just a week ago by James Harbeck and (MeFi's own) Stan Carey after discovering their shared frustration at not having a place to talk (swearily) about swearing, it already has ten posts by various authors covering such topics as the phonology of cusswords, whether shit is a contronym, the effectiveness of swearing in John Carpenter's The Thing, and a post reviving the cult classic linguistics article "English sentences without overt grammatical subjects" (previously).
posted by narain at 8:29 AM - 35 comments

It's the 'Dark Side of the Moon’ of holiday favorites

Why you love the Charlie Brown Christmas special
posted by pjern at 7:20 AM - 66 comments

No single-payer healthcare for Vermont

Governor Shumlin announced he would not pursue single-payer healthcare for his state. Reasons include high costs, high complexity, and Shumlin barely eking out reelection.
posted by doctornemo at 7:03 AM - 45 comments

Deputizing the Hive Mind

In Serial withdrawal? Well, perhaps you can help the Toronto police out. Inspired by the success of the Serial podcast, Toronto police are tweeting out clues in the unsolved murder of Mike Pimentel.
posted by Mrs. Rattery at 6:48 AM - 22 comments

"A superhero can do anything to change that world."

India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger
She's a not a superhero in the comic book tradition. Her power is the power of persuasion and the power of an idea. She's riding the tiger all over India and creating a movement [to] deal with sexual violence.
posted by Librarypt at 5:49 AM - 6 comments

Run Derby Run!

Derby was born with very deformed front legs... With the aid of 3-D printing, the world is moving a lot faster for him. (article here)
posted by HuronBob at 3:09 AM - 20 comments

The Timber Joke

There was a lumberjack who chopped trees all day and would yell "TIMBER" just before each tree would fall… There are plenty of versions of the “Timber” joke on YouTube, many done as part of a beginning ASL course. Most of these retellings seem identical to on another. For a refreshing take on the joke, check out this over-the-top version in Pidgin Signed English. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 2:50 AM - 8 comments

Writers can now afford butter with their Toast

Contributors to The Toast are paid a flat, one-time fee of $50 on publication. No further compensation is due, even if The Toast re-publishes the contribution. The Toast also reserves the right to edit at will.
These aren't ideal provisions, but they're not uncommon. What is uncommon: contributors must hand over copyright and waive all moral rights (including the right of attribution).
MeFi favourite The Toast came under fire on Tuesday, as according to Writer Beware, it turned out they paid their contributors a flat $50 fee for all rights in perpetuity. This is not surprising behaviour for an internet content farm, but what may be surprising was the resolution. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 2:00 AM - 92 comments

"As such, Helen herself has a beauty rating of 1.186 helens"

in the iliad helen speaks the last lament for hector. the only man in troy who showed her kindness is slain—and now, helen says, πάντες δέ με πεφρίκασιν, all men shudder at me. she doesn't speak in the iliad again. homer isn’t cruel to helen; her story is cruel enough.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:33 AM - 27 comments

December 17

The Enduring Art of the Lowcountry Basket

Grass Roots: The Enduring Art of the Lowcountry Basket (video 27:21). Sweetgrass Baskets: "This basket-making tradition came to South Carolina in the 17th century by way of West African slaves who were brought to America to work on plantations." The Sweetgrass Basket Tradition: "Sweetgrass basketmaking has been part of the Charleston and Mt. Pleasant communities for more than 300 years." Sweetgrass Baskets: A History (pdf): "Coiled basketry, one of the oldest African crafts in America, appeared in South Carolina during the late 17th century." The South Carolina Lowcountry. Sweetgrass (Muhlenbergia filipes). [more inside]
posted by cwest at 11:38 PM - 8 comments

The rise of Bolivia's Aymara people, as seen in architecture and fashion

Bolivia has undergone a significant change under the three terms of President Evo Morales, the first president to come from the country's indigenous majority. Members of that majority have found prosperity, increasing the prestige of indigenous design and style, as seen in this seven minute segment on the new buildings and minor twists on old fashions adopted by Bolivia's indigenous bourgeoisie, from Financial Times' coverage of the displays of the Aymara people's new-found wealth. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:41 PM - 17 comments

PEOPLE! LEMME HEAR YUH! LET'S SEE SOME HANDS! LET'S MAKE SOME NOISE!!!!!

The Best of Paul Stanley's Epic Stage Raps - the video companion piece to "People, Let Me Get This Off My Chest" [previously]
posted by not_on_display at 9:21 PM - 14 comments

Spoiler: Schadenfreude

What happened When Marissa Mayer Tried to Be Steve Jobs
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:02 PM - 167 comments

Love before War

There's all this talk about a manned trip to Mars. But there's another planet to consider visiting before a trip to Mars - NASA is now studying how to send people to Venus.
posted by ShooBoo at 5:41 PM - 48 comments

Twitter Bots for My Real Friends, Real Bots for My Twitter Friends

Darius Kazemi, aka @tinysubversions, is a bot-maker extrordinaire. Known for his inspiring talk on creativity and the lottery at XOXO last year, Kazemi has founded NaNoGenMo and the Bot Summit, created such wonderful Twitter Bots as Olivia Taters, (actually by @robdubbin) For My Real Friends, Miraculous Pictures and Two Headlines. Today he posted about his process in creating Content Forever, a writeup which covers many angles in creating readable bot writing, including escaping phenomena as the Wikipedia philosophy phenomenon.
posted by dame at 3:03 PM - 15 comments

Behind the scenes at the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens

Are you interested in plants? The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew aren’t just a tourist attraction -- they also run one of the world's leading botanical research institutes. To show off how important and fascinating modern plant science can be, they've commissioned a series of snazzy short videos to showcase their work. Start with the award-winning Forgotten Home of Coffee (6:00) (based on this worrying Kew study from 2012), then come back for the rest. [more inside]
posted by rollick at 2:49 PM - 10 comments

((n - (r - 1)) ÷ n) × w

Best Ever Albums aggregates 17,000 "greatest album" charts to establish a statistical consensus on popular music rankings. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 2:46 PM - 73 comments

Changing climates of history

Neither Thucydides, Gibbon, von Ranke, nor Braudel ever cited a paper appearing in Geophysical Research Letters. They did not worry themselves about fluctuations in the Siberian High or the Southern Oscillation. The vast majority of more recent historians also remained untroubled by such concerns. However, in the past five years, a handful of highly distinguished historians have come out with new books that put climate at the center of historical explanation. What on Earth is going on? [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 2:07 PM - 16 comments

Black people don't have that luxury to be able to tap out...

"Too often, when I'm using my fiber-optic space to share, vent, rant, and process the realities of being Black in America, I'm faced with White people responding with comments and private messages that I'm attacking, disappointing, angering, or hurting them. Or, they use patronizing language like, 'Stacey, you're much smarter than this,' or 'I thought you were a more reasonable person.'

"How do I let them know that when I say things like 'White supremacy needs to be destroyed,' that I'm not talking about personally destroying them? How do I not become frustrated at those who jump in to debate and discredit what Black people are experiencing, in our own threads?" White Women, Please Don't Expect Me to Wipe Away Your Tears, by Stacey Patton at Dame Magazine. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:06 PM - 68 comments

Ceiling cat is watching you lift the table

ⓂⒺⓂⒺ ⒷⒶⓁⓁ - the Internet meme-themed pinball machine
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:46 PM - 27 comments

The Year Before

A fascinating BBC Radio Seven Four xtra audio documentary about life and events in the UK in the run up to World War One. Written and narrated by Michael Portillo, but don't let this put you off. Starts with "The long summer." If you are not in the UK, you may need to spoof your IP address to listen to them.
posted by marienbad at 12:35 PM - 4 comments

AMC testing subscription service for movie theaters

Alamo Drafthouse aside, not many movie theater chains have reported increased attendance in the past few years. Large chains have propped up revenues with ticket price hikes, premium concessions and drinks, but the specter of Netflix and other home viewing platforms looms ominously over the industry. Annual ticket sales in the U.S. have declined to 1995 levels from their high in 2002 (although revenues have grown 3.6% annually over the same period, well outpacing inflation). This January, AMC Theaters will begin testing a new business model in partnership with MoviePass, beginning in Denver and Boston. Subscribers can pay $30-45 a month for a membership good for one film per day at any AMC location. The move echoes a 2013 effort to reopen an independent theater in Oakhurst, CA using a member subscription model. Will it be enough to get more film aficionados off their couches and into a theater seat? The jury's still out.
posted by deludingmyself at 11:55 AM - 98 comments

2015: Flashpoints Abound

A Pessimist's Guide to the World in 2015. Skirmishes in the South China Sea lead to full-scale naval confrontation. Israel bombs Iran, setting off an escalation of violence across the Middle East. Nigeria crumbles as oil prices fall and radicals gain strength. Bloomberg News asked foreign policy analysts, military experts, economists and investors to identify the possible worst-case scenarios, based on current global conflicts, that concern them most heading into 2015. [Bleah interface; interesting content.]
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:41 AM - 32 comments

Inside Beijing's Airpocalypse

"If all the other schools have a dome, then we’ve got to have a dome." Inside Beijing's airpocalypse, a city made 'almost uninhabitable' by pollution
posted by gottabefunky at 10:47 AM - 60 comments

Congress ends federal government ban on medical marijuana

Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.
posted by joedan at 10:14 AM - 52 comments

"a new aesthetic of digital decay has started to emerge"

But if you look at a Shitpic, you can instantly tell the level of virality by how worn it looks, how legible its text is, how many watermarks adorn it. You can count them much like you would rings on a tree. A pristine-looking meme engenders skepticism—“This can’t be that funny, it hasn’t been imperfectly replicated enough.”
The Awl on the rise of the shitpic.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:05 AM - 58 comments

And you thought your apartment was nice

Inside Seguine Mansion, Staten Island's Eccentric Historic Home Burke lives in the Seguine Mansion on the southern tip of Staten Island, and unlike most [Historic Home caretakers] he has full access to the mansion, which is filled with his own collection of antique art and furniture. He throws three lavish parties each year: an all-white Spring garden party, a period-costume Fall BBQ, and a black tie Christmas party. His best friend, a doberman named Rusty, can sit on any piece of furniture he wants, from a 19th century French wingback sofa to the Chippendale dining set. Why can Burke do all that? The short answer: it’s his house. Or at least, it kind of is.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:44 AM - 14 comments

2014: The Year in Garbage

THIS YEAR STUNK. It’s possible all years are this bad, but we don’t think so. 2014 was simply a trashpile of world events and sewer people. The slop started piling up at the start and never slowed down. It reeks in here. Did anything good even happen? We can’t say with certainty.
posted by almostmanda at 9:08 AM - 85 comments

Master of Fear

Although he has already created several notable soundtracks for his films John Carpenter has just released his debut album Lost Themes. Interview.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:21 AM - 10 comments

U.S. and Cuba to Start Talks on Normalizing Relations

In an unexpected move, Alan Gross is being exchanged with the (remaining) Cuban Five and the US and Cuba plan to start talks on normalizing relations. [more inside]
posted by Noisy Pink Bubbles at 8:11 AM - 195 comments

Sealioning Explained by The Last Psychiatrist and Louie

When Was The Last Time You Got Your Ass Kicked? The viral Wondermark sealion strip confounds many by casting its villain as polite with ostensibly reasonable demands, but four years prior, Alone thoroughly explains the tenets summed up in the strip, and the mechanics of bullying in general, with some help from a scene from Louie. [more inside]
posted by deathmaven at 7:24 AM - 133 comments

Yuletide Whambience!

This is what happens when you slow Wham's "Last Christmas" down by a factor of 8.
posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 7:06 AM - 32 comments

The Lost World of British Tape Recording Clubs

A few years ago radio producer Mark Vernon bought a hoard of old reel-to-reel audio tapes in a car boot sale in Derby, as a job lot with an elderly and very heavy tape recorder. Coaxing the old machine back to life, he realised he had rescued the jettisoned archive of the Derby Tape Club—a group of amateurs who made, played and swapped recordings in the 1960s and 70s, when domestic tape-recording was in its infancy and before the audio cassette had conquered the world. A radiophonic elegy to an anonymous group of people and their forgotten enthusiasm: domestic tape recording and amateur radio in the 1960s and '70s.
Over the years, Vernon has acquired other archives and put together radio shows, oral histories, and a compilation CD. Listen to the lost sound-scapes of The Leicester tape recording club; the Nottingham Cooperative tape recording club; and the London tape recording club [Breakdown here]. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 7:05 AM - 5 comments

"In some respects, the wedding doesn't differ from most others."

The BBC's Ouch blog tells the story behind a 1940 Pathé newsreel showing a Deaf couple's wedding. [more inside]
posted by Catseye at 4:44 AM - 10 comments

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