April 28

"Currently hoping for a cold winter so I can ride across a frozen lake"

"The Explorer Max Square leaderboard has brought together a small but remarkably dedicated international community of riders taking in new roads and trails at every opportunity in order to increase their Explorer Max Square. What drives them to ride across frozen lakes, attempt to access military bases and buy opera tickets to tick off map squares? Let’s ask them!" [more inside]
posted by Stark at 12:17 PM - 1 comment

Who Killed Otzi?

Often called the Iceman, he is the world’s most perfectly preserved mummy, a Copper Age fellow who had been frozen inside a glacier along the northern Italian border with Austria until warming global temperatures melted the ice and two hikers discovered him in 1991. Now clues emerge about his death.
posted by infini at 11:25 AM - 6 comments

Fonts of wisdom

Ultimate Guide to Font Pairing.
posted by storybored at 11:18 AM - 5 comments

Joseph "Joey Bottles" Bonaparte, ex-King, New Jersey Art Collector

The National Gallery of Art special exhibit, "America Collects Eighteenth-Century French Painting," opens May 21. From the program notes: When Joseph Bonaparte, elder brother of Napoleon, arrived in the United States in 1815, he brought with him his exquisite collection of eighteenth-century French paintings. Put on public view, the works caused a sensation, and a new American taste for French art was born. [more inside]
posted by PandaMomentum at 10:28 AM - 5 comments

Code Name: The Puppy Episode

When Ellen Came Out, She Didn’t Just Change Lives. She Saved Them.
posted by Michele in California at 10:23 AM - 4 comments

His Minipops

I feel like this person has created a career for herself off the back of my work. She may no longer be actively copying my work, but she’s still ripping the style, and would never have got to that place had it not been for copying my work in the first place. It feels wrong. I’m not happy about it. And I wanna be that pebble in her shoe. Minipops, these tiny pixelly versions of famous people, are mine. I’m proud of them and the many hours I put into them. Artist Craig Robinson busts a plagiarist. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 10:20 AM - 15 comments

How ‘body positivity’ lost its true and radical meaning

'The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was snatching body positivity out of the hands of fat women and then convincing them it was never theirs in the first place.' Writing for Dazed, fatshion blogger Bethany Rutter dissects the ways in which the body positive movement has been 'co-opted by [Instagram] models and fashion labels to reject bodies it should celebrate'. [TW: discussion of fatphobia.] [more inside]
posted by thetarium at 9:49 AM - 39 comments

Fyre Festival

"The luxury party that turned into the Hunger Games." "Watching vapid, rich millennials livetweet the horrors of this thing brought me more joy than anything has in weeks." (from Twitter)
posted by My Dad at 8:37 AM - 119 comments

All This I Do for Glory

Saxophonist Colin Stetson has a new album out today, All This I Do for Glory. As is the norm for his solo work, Stetson builds an astonishingly deep and varied soundscape using only his bass saxophone and his voice. Even when the music videos for Spindrift and In the Clinches [epilepsy/migraine trigger warning for flashing light and dark] show intimate and close-up looks (like, inside the saxophone close) at just how he summons forth all that sound, it's difficult to believe it's all coming from one man, live, in a single take. Stetson cites early 90s electronica as an influence on this album, and he's engineered and mixed the album himself. [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 8:35 AM - 5 comments

Ride a monorail, see non-linear cinema, or relax at the Asbestos Plaza

Fifty years ago today, Expo 67 opened in Montreal. The Montreal Gazette and the Toronto Star look back. [more inside]
posted by oulipian at 8:07 AM - 8 comments

"Paul Revere" -- the American Nazi who worked for National Geographic

Douglas Chandler's 1937 feature on Berlin for National Geographic magazine painted a citizenry content under Nazi rule. He later collaborated with the Nazis, working as a radio propagandist.
Chandler was convicted of treason, but his sentence would be commuted by President Kennedy. He later tried to bill National Geographic for expenses. (h/t Neatorama)
posted by Etrigan at 7:53 AM - 6 comments

Classics of Japanese Animation Now Online

"The National Film Center in Tokyo is celebrating the centenary of Japanese animation this year...Thanks to funding from Japan’s Agency for Cultural Affairs as part of the National Project for the Sustainability of Born-Digital Cinema, the NFC has selected 64 works released between 1917 and 1941 and made them available for screening online complete with fresh subtitles by Dean Shimauchi (Rosemary Dean and Tetsuro Shimauchi)."
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:45 AM - 4 comments

Dictator lit

The author's goal is to subject himself to as much tyrant prose as he can bear, reporting back on his findings in this space, until the will to live deserts him. In 2009, Daniel Kalder began an occasional series of reviews of books written by dictators, starting with Hoxha's memoir on Stalin. He moved on to Brezhnev ("bathetic agitprop"), Rahmon ("it could be much worse"), Khomeini ("Open the door of the tavern and let us go there day and night"), Gaddafi ("surreal rants and bizarre streams of consciousness"), Kim Jong Il ("awful enough to kill infants if read aloud"), and Saddam Hussein ("a sudden eruption of interspecies lust"). Castro's Che memoir seems to have finally done him in in 2013.
posted by clawsoon at 7:21 AM - 9 comments

Danger is my middle name

'Austin Powers' at 20: Mike Myers, Jay Roach, More Spill Secrets in Shagadelic Oral History.
posted by sapagan at 7:20 AM - 28 comments

The Physics of Poo

The physics of poo, or why it takes you and an elephant the same amount of time. From the tiniest to the most massive of poos, physics predicts we should all spend the same amount of time on the john.
posted by gudrun at 6:35 AM - 16 comments

Some are pretty good

Garbage Nerd Pitches (slt)
It's an anime set in a quaint English village, but with BB-8 as the devil.
posted by postcommunism at 6:07 AM - 20 comments

The Culture Vs Earth

The State of The Art, By Iain M. Banks, Dramatised by Paul Cornell [audio]
posted by Artw at 5:04 AM - 24 comments

I don't cut up women. I don't eat women, either.

Inside the Insane Feud Between a Vegan Strip Club and the Steak House Next Door
posted by divabat at 4:44 AM - 34 comments

The tragic death of Ledell Lee

The US State of Arkansas killed a man convicted of murder, Ledell Lee, a few days ago even as considerable doubt remained about his guilt and the fairness of his trial and despite his own insistence that he was innocent of the crime. The reason the State of Arkansas was in such a hurry to execute him and three other people on death row? Their lethal injection drugs were close to the expiry date. Elizabeth Vartkessian talked to Leddel Lee and read his life story. [more inside]
posted by toycamera at 12:17 AM - 16 comments

Pig Out

An upcoming Netflix movie directed by Bong Joon Ho (of Snowpiercer fame) is being teased with a fake commercial for a not-yet-existing product. Yes, that is Tilda Swinton. (more conventional teaser here)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:07 AM - 19 comments

April 27

Snitches get Witness Protection

What happens when you enter Witness Protection? -- 12 facts about witness protection -- A top heroin dealer in 2007 -- Longform magazine piece about leaving a life behind in 1996 -- witness protection in the UK
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 9:21 PM - 7 comments

Someone who'll watch over me...

A Gershwin classic, Willie Nelson, Someone Who'll Watch Over me. A four minute, six second interlude from today's world. enjoy
posted by HuronBob at 8:00 PM - 17 comments

Men Who Have Sex With Men

20 stories of same-sex hookups from straight men.
posted by The Whelk at 7:17 PM - 26 comments

You think you know, but you have no idea

We spent months bracing and preparing for the death of our daughter. But guess what? We weren’t ready. Royce Young writes about his unborn daughter's anencephaly, and the journey of despair, purpose, and hope he and his wife undertook.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 4:58 PM - 25 comments


The Single Most Important Ingredient [The New York Times] “James Beard, the father of modern American cookery, once asked, “Where would we be without salt?” I know the answer: adrift in a sea of blandness. Salt has a greater impact on flavor than any other ingredient. Learn to use it well, and food will taste good. Salt’s relationship to flavor is multidimensional: It has its own particular taste, and it both balances and enhances the flavor of other ingredients. Imagine taking a bite of a rich espresso brownie sprinkled with flaky sea salt. The salt minimizes the espresso’s bitterness, intensifies the flavor of the chocolate and offers a savory contrast to the sugar’s sweetness. Does this mean you should simply use more salt? No. It means use salt better.”
posted by Fizz at 4:47 PM - 64 comments

Jeans represent democracy in fashion

If clear-knee jeans don't go far enough, TopShop now offers full clear jeans (or used to; perhaps they came to their senses). And Nordstrom takes virtue-signaling to new, er, heights with pre-mudcaked jeans. Baffled commentary at Consumerist.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:45 PM - 67 comments

"Car cries are like, extra cathartic. What's with that?"

Grief Is Weird (part 2, part 3) is a short comic by artist Sara Goetter about dealing with losing her mom. (Goetter previously.)
posted by cortex at 2:35 PM - 23 comments

Kung-Fu Flying

No wires are needed for these Shaolin monks to fly. This is the only video I found of it in use. It's short but exuberant. The wind tunnel seems to have come about by an accidental meeting of the Latvian architect and a representative of the Shaolin monastery.
posted by MovableBookLady at 2:17 PM - 7 comments

Real risks that Americans face when they get on the road

ClickHole: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe Is A Sobering Commentary On The Perils Of America’s Crumbling Infrastructure
posted by porn in the woods at 1:54 PM - 13 comments

Portly astronauts doing a moon walk underwater

Fiona the Hippo (previously) spending more time in deep water and occasionally napping in the shower. But she's not learning to swim; she is practicing her series of porpoise-like leaps and high prancing steps in service of an underwater gallop.
posted by ChuraChura at 1:21 PM - 15 comments

Here's Looking at You

Amazon's latest iteration of its popular Echo device, the Echo Look, will not only include the voice-activated Alexa personal assistant, but also a camera that can take full-length pictures and video of you, and a "Style Check" that uses "advanced machine learning algorithms and advice from fashion specialists" to give you suggestions on what to wear. What could possibly go wrong? [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:11 PM - 53 comments

Take a little trip, take a little trip, Take a little trip with me ♩ ♪ ♫

Cassidy the #MiracleKitten He was missing both back legs below the knee when Tiny Kittens HQ rescued him from a feral cat colony. There's no way he should have survived, but their little fighter refused to give up. TinyKittens HQ is located in Fort Langley, BC, and is operated by Shelly Roche. They trap-neuter-release (TNR) local feral cats and foster found pregnant feral moms and their kittens until they're adopted, live streaming their efforts since 2013.
posted by 80 Cats in a Dog Suit at 12:24 PM - 15 comments

Miss Lily Todd's Aeroplane, 1906-1910

"Miss Todd" (Vimeo, 13 minutes) is an award-winning short, stop-motion, musical animation inspired by the first woman to design and build an airplane, Emma Lilian Todd. The self-taught inventor wasn't permitted to pilot her craft, or she might have been the first female pilot, too, when her aircraft first took flight in 1910 (that title would go to the Baroness Raymonde de la Roche [previously]). Lily Todd wrote about her life and how she built her aeroplane in a 1909 article in Woman's Home Companion.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:20 PM - 2 comments

Full of sound and fury/ Signifying, umm, what?

This weekend the Trump Administrations will mark 100 days in office, with little of substance, but plenty of activity and noise, often breaking (or seriously bending) Trump's own promises in the process. Lots of goalpost-moving in just the last 24 hours, so shall we wade in? [more inside]
posted by martin q blank at 12:11 PM - 408 comments

Not a lot of green states, even in the red states

Agriculture is not the "number-one driver" of rural American economies, despite the claim made by Ray Starling, special assistant to the president on agriculture, trade, and food assistance, when discussing the big-ag focus of the White House's first initiative to tackle rural policy. The Daily Yonder's response includes an interesting map based on BEA and USDA data showing the dominant economic sector of all non-metro counties in the United States. Agriculture is green, and there's not a lot of it outside of the Great Plains. [more inside]
posted by xylothek at 11:39 AM - 24 comments

How to wash your hair.

Because you (if you're a woman) are probably doing it wrong wrong wrong.
posted by JanetLand at 11:36 AM - 65 comments

Robots, ceramics, bigfoot, and a mad scientist's lab

Opened in 2013, The Bailey Art Museum in Crockett, California (under the Carquinez bridge on the I-80 route between San Francisco to Sacramento) is run by artists Clayton and Betty Bailey. (2002 Previously.) It features robot sculptures made from salvaged metal, some of which have motion-activated electronics, rayguns, a mad scientist's lab, ceramics including face jugs, kinetic ceramics, and exploding clinker bottles. Clayton Bailey's associate Dr. Gladstone has also discovered a kaolithic skeleton of a Bigfoot and artifacts from the Pre-Credulous Era. [more inside]
posted by larrybob at 11:36 AM - 6 comments

Fantastic Spikes Through Balloon

"Yet in the last week of March 1997, with The Wallflowers' "One Headlight" topping Billboard's Modern Rock chart, Capitol Records quietly released one of the noisiest, most wired and willfully perverse major label debuts of the year from a band called Skeleton Key." With inspiration from the Jesus Lizard, Primus, Led Zep, and even Prince, Skeleton Key produced taut pop songs that sound "...like a clockwork junkyard." Members of the band would go on to produce macabre puppet shows, seed bands like Enon, and compose the music for Bob's Burgers. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 10:41 AM - 15 comments

Blowing Up St Helens

It took ten years of waiting for the right conditions, but on April 21, Aaron Sales made the 3,150-foot ascent to the rim of Mt. St Helens in a record-setting 35 minutes...using a kite. He also made a 200-foot, 40-second snow kite jump.
posted by gottabefunky at 9:51 AM - 6 comments

Can I get a Bisquick?

Naomi Watts, Laura Dern & Patricia Arquette Tell Stories About David Lynch. Spoiler: Lynch's nickname for Laura Dern is 'Tidbit'. Naomi Watts is 'Buttercup' and Patricia Arquette is 'Solid Gold'.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 8:20 AM - 9 comments

Pugs turn out to be small-dog catalysts

From the 80-kilogram Great Dane to the 1-kilogram tiny teacup poodle, there seems to be a dog for everyone. Now, the largest genetic analysis to date has figured out how those breeds came to be, which ones are really closely related, and what makes some dogs more susceptible to certain diseases.
posted by Etrigan at 7:14 AM - 16 comments

The full 360 degrees in all directions

What you are seeing when you look at a Termesphere® painting is an optical illusion. An inside-out view of the total physical world around you on the outside surface of a hanging and rotating sphere. If you were on the inside of this sphere, this painted image around you would seem normal, but it is read from the outside. [more inside]
posted by obscurator at 7:12 AM - 10 comments

A refund is due unto me

Shirleen goes to get her hair done and ends up with a pineapple. Shirleen is one of the characters played by the fantastic Christianee Porter, creator of The Christi Show.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 2:00 AM - 4 comments

April 26

Anne of Japan

Canadian World, a now-abandoned Canada-themed amusement park in Japan, prominently featured Anne of Green Gables, the subject of a new CBC miniseries (as well as the classic Megan Follows version). [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 10:53 PM - 32 comments

What bullets do to bodies

The gun debate would change in an instant if Americans witnessed the horrors that trauma surgeons confront every day.
24 hours with Dr. Amy Goldberg, Chair of Surgery at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia.
posted by Rumple at 7:47 PM - 65 comments

Conservative Party of Canada Leadership Race Finally Enters Final Stage

Who says Canadian political campaigns are short? For over a year, candidates have been vying to replace Stephen Harper as leader of the Conservative Party of Canada. There are 14 13 of them. The final official debate featured all 14 13 candidates earlier tonight in Toronto. Voting begins this Friday, with 259,010 party members registered. The new leader will be chosen on May 26-27, 2017 using a preferential ballot and per-riding points system. [more inside]
posted by clawsoon at 7:46 PM - 49 comments

The Shipping News: Containers (Podcast)

Oakland, California. The war in Vietnam. Global trade. Logistics, then and now. The thread that links them over time and space? Containers, the subject of an 8-part audio documentary hosted by Alexis Madrigal. "Throughout the documentary, Alexis uses a collection of anecdotes to explore how global trade has transformed the economy and ourselves. In doing so, he provides an insightful, in-depth perspective regarding the role that global trade has had in shaping capitalism, ushering in the world of commerce as we know it today."
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:18 PM - 21 comments

Cap being a Nazi can't help, but...

What the hell is wrong with Marvel Comics anyway? Marvel is in trouble. In February 2017, their best selling ongoing superhero title barely passed 60k. By contrast, DC has fifteen superhero comics selling 50k or more that same month. But why is the brand synonymous with superhero comics in the minds of the general public doing poorly? [more inside]
posted by misskaz at 4:34 PM - 100 comments

Flavor Text

New Scientist reports that scientists in Singapore found a new way to taste the rainbow, by electronically transmitting the flavor and color of lemonade to a tumbler of water. [more inside]
posted by prewar lemonade at 3:49 PM - 39 comments

You are actually looking at thirty-meter bushes

Everybody knows that mountains are giant piles of rock. What this video presupposes is, what if they're actually giant tree stumps?
posted by Chrysostom at 3:37 PM - 38 comments

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