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September 22

Dallas County, TX, considers banning live visits for jail inmates and switching to for-pay videoconferencing service. However, other communities have already installed the system by jail-telecom-for-profit experts, Securus. [more inside]
posted by Mike Mongo at 5:00 AM - 0 comments

What's that you say? You like to read movie and music related lists on the Internet? Well here you go: The Movies' 50 Greatest Pop Music Moments from the folks at The Dissolve.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:53 AM - 1 comment

Emma Watson, in her position as UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, has delivered an excellent speech on feminism to the United Nations. Part 1. Part 2.
posted by Quilford at 4:03 AM - 3 comments

This might explain why I have a special weakness for Cuban Sci-Fi in particular. Cuba is the only country in the Spanish-speaking word that has built itself—for better or worse—following a scientific model. My weakness, for the most part, has been nothing but a desire to find out if Cubans, during Fidel Castro’s half-century of control, have dreamed Sci-Fi dreams.
At BoingBoing, Ilan Stavans talks about his discovery of Cuban science fiction. In the comments, some pushback and links on the same subject as well as Spanish language science fiction in general.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:02 AM - 1 comment

September 21

Moving the Mexican Border
The whole point of setting the border between Mexico and the United States at the deepest channel of the Rio Grande was that the river was not supposed to move. That was the thinking in 1848 [...]
[more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 10:21 PM - 2 comments

In 2008, Outside the Wire, a theater company, began productions of Sophocles' Ajax and Philoctetes to audiences of soldiers and marines returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.
And whither must I go? What end, what purpose Could urge thee to it? I am nothing, lost And dead already. Wherefore- tell me, wherefore?- Am I not still the same detested burthen, Loathsome and lame? Again must Philoctetes Disturb your holy rites? If I am with you How can you make libations? That was once Your vile pretence for inhumanity. Oh! may you perish for the deed! The gods Will grant it sure, if justice be their care And that it is I know. You had not left Your native soil to seek a wretch like me Had not some impulse from the powers above, Spite of yourselves, ordained it. O my country! And you, O gods! who look upon this deed, Punish, in pity to me, punish all The guilty band! Could I behold them perish, My wounds were nothing; that would heal them all.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:42 PM - 7 comments

John Luther Adams is a classical composer living in Alaska. His piece Become Ocean won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music. It was commissioned by the Seattle Symphony and premiered there in mid-2013. Carnegie Hall hosted that same orchestra for a performance that Alex Ross from The New Yorker called "the loveliest apocalypse in musical history". WXQR has a full recording of that performance available. And now the official recording is being released and NPR has a limited-time preview online for listening. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:44 PM - 15 comments

"Why do so many poor people eat junk food, fail to budget properly, show no ambition? Linda Tirado knew exactly why… because she was one of them. [more inside]
posted by turbid dahlia at 6:39 PM - 63 comments

Fans of nonsense will be sad to learn that there are only three episodes in the web series Drunk Judge Judy. But what episodes they are! 1, 2 and 3.
posted by jbickers at 4:27 PM - 25 comments

When the champion of adult culture is portrayed, even by himself, as an old curmudgeon yelling at the kids to get off his lawn, it suggests that this adult culture is one of the unfortunate but necessary costs of coming into adulthood. We give up the pleasures of entertainment for the seriousness of art. I just don’t think that this is true. Christopher Beha on Henry James and the Great Young Adult Debate.
posted by shivohum at 3:11 PM - 35 comments

"It was always assumed that V-formation flight was learned from the adult birds. But these guys are all the same age and they learned to fly from a human in a microlight. They learned V-formation flying from each other. National Geographic reports on some of the fascinating intricacies of the V formation observed in migrating birds.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 3:02 PM - 23 comments

MALKOVICH, MALKOVICH, MALKOVICH: HOMAGE TO PHOTOGRAPHIC MASTERS by Sandro
posted by davidstandaford at 2:10 PM - 8 comments

Texting can be a real pain in the neck (and what to do about it)
posted by aniola at 1:35 PM - 7 comments

R.I.P., the Vincent Price of podcasts Lawrence Santoro (old but useful site), writer, director, and actor, passed this July. But he might be best known for his work as a podcaster, most notably through his Tales to Terrify. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 12:26 PM - 9 comments

Alex Ross on The Classical Cloud. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 12:20 PM - 20 comments

Sentenced in a Swedish court, Gottfrid Svartholm Warg gets extradited to Denmark to stand trial for another case of system intrusion.

Mefi's Own, Jacob Applebaum has some choice words after his testimony in the Danish court. [more inside]
posted by xcasex at 11:40 AM - 16 comments

SIMILO. "2065. The entire planet is hit by the effects of climate change. One of the few places that remain habitable is Antarctica, where corporations have built private cities. Hebe and Ciro get back together again. She is looking for love. He is searching for his own identity." [NSFW, Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:18 AM - 5 comments

"This country, when it was ever known on the global stage under the union, was associated with tragedy, in terrible events like Lockerbie and Dunblane; it's now synonymous with real people power. Forget Bannockburn or the Scottish Enlightenment, the Scots have just reinvented and re-established the idea of true democracy. This—one more—glorious failure might also, paradoxically, be their finest hour." Novelist Irvine Welsh on Scottish independence (SLGuardian) [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:05 AM - 15 comments

"Okay, the old man in the tavern tells you, 'Many years ago the powerful sage known as Mefi's own Lore collected much wisdom about the sundry monsters of which the elders taught of us in the Monster Manual. Lore's annotations to the work came in the form of the comic series Speak With Monsters. They were once thought lost forever with the fall of Bad Gods and following the trail the mighty JHarris blazed previously four winters past will lead only to woe. But Lore has shared them again in the distant library of Google Plus for seekers after wisdom and gold.' He then falls over with a knife in his back. What do you do?" [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:45 AM - 16 comments

9 conversations from a pop-up photo studio in San Diego
posted by Librarypt at 10:27 AM - 3 comments

On Friday, 32 guards who were employees of the Florida Department of Corrections were fired; all were accused of being associated with the deaths of inmates at four state prisons. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:03 AM - 31 comments

Ten years ago today saw the English launch of a quirky Japanese puzzler, a sleeper hit that would go down as one of the most endearing, original, and gleefully weird gaming stories of the 2000s: Katamari Damacy. Its fever-dream plot has the record-scratching, Freddie Mercury-esque King of All Cosmos destroy the stars in a drunken fugue, and you, the diminutive Prince, must restore them with the Katamari -- a magical sticky ball that snowballs through cluttered environments, rolling up paperclips, flowerpots, cows, buses, houses, skyscrapers, and continents into new constellations. It also boasts one of the most infectiously joyous soundtracks of all time -- an eccentric, richly produced, and incredibly catchy blend of funk, salsa, bossa nova, experimental electronica, J-Pop, swing, lounge, bamboo flute, hair metal, buoyant parade music, soaring children's choirs, Macintalk fanfares, and the finest theme song this side of Super Mario Bros. Called a consumerist critique by sculptor-turned-developer Keita Takahashi (who after one sequel moved on to Glitch, the supremely odd Noby Noby Boy, and playground design), the series has inspired much celebration and thought [2, 3] on its way from budget bin to MoMA exhibit. Look inside for essays, artwork, comics, lyrics, more music, hopes, dreams... my, the internet really is full of things. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 8:01 AM - 49 comments

One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.
Caruana started the tournament with a win, then another. Then another. And another. And another. At the halfway mark, when each player had faced all five of his opponents exactly once, Caruana was 5–0–0. To you and me, going unbeaten and undrawn in five straight tournament games sounds impressive. But to chess aficionados, Caruana’s performance is nigh on miraculous.
posted by Golden Eternity at 7:51 AM - 27 comments

A lot of folks are familiar with the "trouble right here in River City" refrain of the song, but when you look at this double echo of cultural fretting — 50 years plus 50 years on — it serves as an impressive reminder that nothing, nothing, is new about the raising of alarms about the decline and fall of culture.
Kids, Pants, Booze, Music: Trouble In River City And Always.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:48 AM - 43 comments

20 Fun Facts about Hex Grids!
posted by Sebmojo at 1:09 AM - 24 comments

The story of Dr Zhivago’s publication is, like the novel itself, a cat’s cradle, an eternal zigzag of plotlines, coincidences, inconsistencies and maddening disappearances. The book was always destined to become a ‘succès de scandale’, in Berlin’s words, but the machinations and competing energies that went into seeing it into print, on the one hand, and trying to stop it going to print, on the other, make it the perfect synecdoche for that feint, counterfeint round of pugilism we call the Cold War.
The Writer and the Valet by Frances Stonor Saunders tells the story of Isaiah Berlin's part in publishing Boris Pasternak's novel Dr. Zhivago while Michael Scammell details the CIA's role.
posted by Kattullus at 12:48 AM - 9 comments

September 20

ATARI JAGUAR INFOMERCIAL
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:34 PM - 44 comments

Bicycling took off in Cuba in the 1990s during a period of oil scarcity, and became an important means of business and daily travel. Since then motor vehicles have returned to prominence, and new bicycle parts are in short supply. A small network of mechanics trades used parts and applies their ingenuity to maintain Cuba's aging fleet.
posted by domnit at 6:02 PM - 5 comments

Go Bayside is a podcast wherein comedian April Richardson and a weekly guest watch every Saved By the Bell episode and discuss/critique them. She's almost done with the over 80 episodes (not including the larval form Good Morning, Miss Bliss or the College Years sequel), but you should probably start from the beginning. [more inside]
posted by likeatoaster at 5:15 PM - 13 comments

11 of the most accessible (and interesting!) ruins in NYC
posted by The Whelk at 1:52 PM - 28 comments

Legendary industrial music pioneers, KMFDM's 30th anniversary this year, saw the release of a live album and tour called "WE ARE". Sascha Konietzko took some time to provide insights about his friendship with Ministry's Al Jourgensen as well as the last thirty years, and his philosophy on making music. [more inside]
posted by quin at 1:01 PM - 34 comments

How Long Does It Take to Get to Tatooine? [The New Yorker] "We use much more brainpower on subjects that interest us."
posted by Fizz at 12:19 PM - 17 comments

"Longings and Desires", a Slate.com book review by Amanda Katz:
[Sarah] Waters, who was born in Wales in 1966, has carved out an unusual spot in fiction. Her six novels, beginning with Tipping the Velvet in 1998, could be called historical fiction, but that doesn’t begin to capture their appeal. It is closer to say that she is creating pitch-perfect popular fiction of an earlier time, but swapping out its original moral engine for a sensibility that is distinctly queer and contemporary, as if retrofitting a classic car.

Her books offer something like an alternate reality—a literary one, if not a historical one. There may have been lesbian male impersonators working the London music halls in the 1890s, as in Tipping the Velvet, but there were certainly not mainstream novels devoted to their inner lives and sexual exploits. Waters gives such characters their say in books that imitate earlier crowd-pleasers in their structure, slang, and atmosphere, but that are powered by queer longing, defiant identity politics, and lusty, occasionally downright kinky sex. (An exception is her last novel, The Little Stranger.) The most masterful of these books so far is Fingersmith, a Wilkie Collins-esque tale full of genuinely shocking twists (thieves, double-crossing, asylums, mistaken identity, just go read it). The saddest is The Night Watch, a tale told in reverse of a group of entwined characters during and after World War II. But among many readers she is still most beloved for Tipping the Velvet, a deliriously paced coming-of-age story that is impossible to read in public without blushing.
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:02 AM - 26 comments

My father was introduced to the Fashion District by his gay cousin, Napoleon Garcia, who would drag him to get yards of fabric at wholesale stores downtown. "Tito Nap," as I used to call him, was a fabulous man who was as fun as his colorful fashions.
posted by ellieBOA at 10:08 AM - 5 comments

Toward a Unified Theory of Kim Kardashian: Hollywood Kim Kardashian—and maybe Kim Kardashian alone—has figured out how to make a fortune on the countless hours of emotional labor most women are expected to perform for free: smiling, looking pretty, being accommodating, being charming, being a good hostess.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:52 AM - 41 comments

Indian classical music mourns the untimely death of a child prodigy who grew into a graceful maestro. Srinivas -- who introduced the mandolin to Indian classical music -- was one of the giants. Shockingly dead at 45, gone just far too young. The tributes are pouring in. [more inside]
posted by rahulrg at 9:20 AM - 7 comments

"At best, the lines for iPhones are undignified. This film by @CaseyNeistat shows they can be sad & creepy, too." SLYT via @ihnatko.
posted by eugenen at 8:41 AM - 104 comments

Disney’s Robin Hood: A Bit More Medieval Than You Might Think [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:28 AM - 49 comments

TOP 10 STUPID QUESTIONS OF THE MONTH
posted by threeants at 8:20 AM - 52 comments

Photographer Vanessa Ahlsborn's Machete Project "is an ongoing portrait and object archive that showcases the diversity of this blade style and the beauty of its users. Despite their fearsome reputation in western news media and popular culture, the machete is an extremely versatile and commonplace asset for many people across the world. By documenting the everyday user for whom the machete is an invaluable tool, the project seeks to question the viewer's assumptions about the machete, and by extension, the people who use it." [more inside]
posted by Dip Flash at 6:28 AM - 24 comments

Stanley Kubrick’s Photos of New York Life in the 40s.
posted by Room 641-A at 5:39 AM - 13 comments

Direct your eye-sight inward, and you'le find / A thousand regions in your mind / Yet undiscover'd. Travell them, and be / Expert in home Cosmographie. / This you may doe safe both from rocke and shelfe : / Man's a whole world within himselfe. - Habington, 1635
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:24 AM - 4 comments

Should Airplanes Be Flying Themselves? William Langewiesche examines the ways in which airplane automation, entrenched cockpit culture, and difficult flying conditions led to the 2009 crash of Air France Flight 447, resulting in 228 deaths. [more inside]
posted by Sheydem-tants at 5:16 AM - 62 comments

The secret ingredient in Geoff Beattie’s rich dark fruit cake. Need a heartwarming story? "Geoff Beattie had arrived. Show after show, city after city, state after state, word began to spread about the mysterious widowed dairy farmer who was toppling the greats of Australian show cooking." Might you or someone you know have had a similar experience?
posted by gusset at 3:19 AM - 40 comments

September 19

"Face It, Tiger" (the debut single!): your new favorite comicbook band is the Mary Janes. Vocals by Mary Jane Watson, drums by the amazing Gwen Stacy: Spider-Woman!
After building fan buzz for months with her striking costume, Spider-Gwen debuted this week in the comic Edge of Spider-Verse #2, which you can preview here. In this alternate universe, Gwen Stacy was the hero who gained superpowers from that fateful spider-bite. Spider-Gwen has drawn critical praise, while her debut comic has already sold to a second printing. Meanwhile, Edge of Spider-Verse is a miniseries prelude to Spider-Verse, Marvel's forthcoming Spider-Family Crossover comicbook-selling-event that vows to feature (almost) "every Spider-Man ever!" For more deeply nerdy spider-geekery, read on. [more inside]
posted by nicebookrack at 11:47 PM - 13 comments

World's Most Terrifying Traffic Intersection [more inside]
posted by Nevin at 9:09 PM - 46 comments

♫ Are Video Games Sexist? ♫ Auto-Tune Rebuttal. Jonathan Mann responds to a recent video by Christina Hoff Sommers on sexism in video games. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 7:21 PM - 64 comments

Al Jazeera has just finished running its series Rebel Architecture.
The six 25 min. films are now available online:
Guerrilla architect.
A traditional future.
The architecture of violence.
Working on water.
Greening the City
The pedreiro and the master planner.
posted by adamvasco at 5:50 PM - 9 comments

The final film in the Atlas Shrugged trilogy (previously) is now in theaters and the reaction has been a stupendous... meh. [more inside]
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:46 PM - 129 comments

Wasteland 2 (previously), brought to life by the love of gamers everywhere, officially released today. A direct sequel to Wasteland from 1988 and a spiritual sibling to Fallout 1, 2, 3, and Vegas, it was developed through a Kickstarter project started by Brian Fargo. With an initial Kickstarter goal of $900,000, it quickly raised $2.9 million instead. Reviews have been pretty good.
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:04 PM - 84 comments

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