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September 19

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 - 0 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 - 38 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 - 15 comments

Prison gangs are becoming the custodians of order behind bars and on the streets Books such as Christian Parenti's, Lockdown America, and David Skarbek's,The Social Order of the Underworld posit the idea that prison gangs such as the Aryan Nation, The Mexican Mafia, The Black Guerrilla Family, and others serve a useful function. Prison gangs in an effort to keep their business interests going want order. Multiple gangs keep the other gangs in check. With the US having one of, if not the highest rate of incarceration it may be impossible to maintain any semblance of order without the gangs.
posted by 2manyusernames at 4:19 PM - 21 comments

The political economy of a universal basic income: "your view of what is feasible should not be backwards looking. The normalization of gay marriage and legalization of marijuana seemed utopian and politically impossible until very recently. Yet in fact those developments are happening, and their expansion is almost inevitable given the demographics of ideology... UBI — defined precisely as periodic transfers of identical fixed dollar amounts to all citizens of the polity — is by far the most probable and politically achievable among policies that might effectively address problems of inequality, socioeconomic fragmentation, and economic stagnation." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 3:45 PM - 21 comments

The CIA Used to Have a Commute-by-Canoe Club.
posted by ShooBoo at 2:15 PM - 18 comments

So you want to make a Death Star? You want to destroy a planet like Alderan? There are several theories. But the latest hinges on a simple matter of "neutral antimatter."
posted by cross_impact at 12:03 PM - 25 comments

Mark Landis is an art forger who seems to be driven not by money, but by the desire to be a philanthropist. [more inside]
posted by PussKillian at 11:56 AM - 19 comments

After an aborted exclusive deal with the Daily Telegraph, The Guardian has published the new short story from Hilary Mantel. The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher – August 6th 1983
posted by figurant at 11:22 AM - 34 comments

Max Landis comments on 1987's Innerspace trailer. [SLYT] [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:59 AM - 19 comments

This morning, the New York Times published "Wrought in Their Creator’s Image", an article talking about the new network series “How to Get Away With Murder", produced by Shonda Rimes and starring Viola Davis. The articles claims about the beauty and character of Black women have created a discussion, from Rimes herself and others about the stereotype of the "angry Black woman" and whether Ms. Davis is, as the Times suggests #lessclassicallybeautiful than other women because of the age and color of her skin.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:35 AM - 46 comments

"The du Maurier sisters had, from their volatile, crowded childhood onward, formed this private country they could slip in and out of, where "menaces" and "Venetian tendencies" could be freely discussed. In other words, they found a way to use games of pretend to tell the absolute truth." - Carrie Frye on author Daphne du Maurier and her seminal gothic novel, Rebecca.
posted by The Whelk at 10:35 AM - 10 comments

Parks and Recreation's Aubrey Plaza has just been named as the voice of Grumpy Cat in the upcoming movie Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever. This is not the first time Plaza's acted in an Internet meme turned movie: she was in Safety Not Guaranteed (based on a personal ad hiring a time-travelling assistant) (prev) as well as CollegeHumour's fake Daria trailer (prev). Will it do better than The Slender Man or Snakes on a Plane?
posted by divabat at 10:32 AM - 50 comments

"This is a column about Katie Ledecky. It has a simple thesis. The thesis is that Katie Ledecky kicks ass."
posted by troika at 10:07 AM - 25 comments

Circular Confabulation: [Vimeo]
"A collection of diverse artifacts gathered in the forest, each one is representing a person who participated in the 2008 Bilderberg meeting at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia, United States. The topic at that specific meeting was cyber terrorism. It was recorded by an anonymous security guard and then encrypted."
posted by Fizz at 9:22 AM - 12 comments

Former President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili is now living in Williamsburg. When he's not plotting a return to power (charges of corruption and human rights violations in his home country notwithstanding), he is trying to live a "normal life" in the neighborhood synonymous with hipsters and Hasids. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 9:11 AM - 17 comments

Raw Power - Fuck Authority, DOA - Fucked Up Ronnie, MDC- John Wayne was a Nazi, Red Kross- Annette's Got the Hits, Black Flag- Police Story, [more inside]
posted by PHINC at 9:10 AM - 35 comments

One budding marketer discovered an innovative use for targeted Facebook ads: Tormenting his roomate
posted by Diablevert at 8:30 AM - 49 comments

Tricia Sullivan writes for Charles Stross's blog on fighting and depictions thereof: Martial Arts and the Cycle of Bullshit, Wag that Puppy, Who let the dogs out, Going to the source.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:09 AM - 43 comments

What do you do with a vintage synth keyboard collection but not enough ways to make use of them all? Well, if you're Graham Massey, and you stumbled across the forgotten history of Women's Organ Quartets who might have overwhelmed the senses of audiences with their weird electronic music, you put together a four-woman keyboard band, and you take up the drums. Read on, for the story of the Sisters of Transistors, "a tale which wanders between truth, history and myth, and involves panic in America, army issue organs, a Derbyshire pub and a member of 808 State!" [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 7:52 AM - 5 comments

Top Architects Design Cat Houses (SLHP)
posted by donajo at 7:33 AM - 29 comments

THE DIATOMIST is a short documentary about Klaus Kemp, master of the Victorian art of diatom arrangement. (via)
posted by stoneweaver at 7:26 AM - 3 comments

The assumption that synthetic biology makes it easy for anybody to “engineer biology” is not true. The underlying vision holds that well-characterized biological parts can be easily obtained from open-source online registries and then assembled, by people with no specialist training outside professional scientific institutions, into genetic circuits, devices and systems that will reliably perform desired functions in live organisms. This vision, however, does not even reflect current realities in academic or commercial science laboratories
posted by sammyo at 6:44 AM - 13 comments

Avast ye maties, it be Talk Like A Pirate Day! When ye be finished dressin up to get free donuts, take a look at this beauty of a link, where a man wonders 'bout the existence of black pirates!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:05 AM - 29 comments

The most feminist moments in sci-fi history -- from 1905 Indian feminist proto-sf to the rescue of Star Trek by female fans and beyond.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:58 AM - 14 comments

Strange Visitor: Philip Sherbourne interviews Aphex Twin for Pitchfork
posted by Going To Maine at 5:22 AM - 13 comments

How U.S. drug laws destroyed the McDonald's coffee stirring spoon.
posted by reenum at 4:40 AM - 66 comments

September 18

The dance of the peacock spider "With their ornately-colored bodies, rhythmic pulsations, and booty-shaking dance moves, male peacock spiders attract the attention of spectating females as well as researchers. One such animal behavior specialist, Madeline Girard, collected more than 30 different peacock spider species from the wilds of Australia and brought them back to her lab at UC Berkeley. Under controlled conditions, she recorded their unique dances in the hopes of deciphering what these displays actual say to a female spider and how standards differ between species.'
posted by dhruva at 8:12 PM - 21 comments

New global population predictions published in Science today says that world population stabilisation is unlikely this century, with an 80% probability that world population, now 7.2 billion, will increase to between 9.6 and 12.3 billion in 2100, greatly exceeding previous consensus figures that settled around 9 billion, and is expected to keep growing next century. More in the Guardian.
posted by wilful at 7:38 PM - 102 comments

BoJack Horseman Is the Funniest Show About Depression Ever
BoJack Horseman is a weird cartoon about a washed-up sitcom star (who's a horse), a snappy social criticism of the entertainment industry, and the kind of in-jokey cartoon designed to tickle the internet. It's also one of the most aggressive portraits of depression I think I've ever seen. Look past the anthropomorphic animal characters and the satire of toxic celebrity culture: This show is radically sad. I love it.
Netflix Original's animated series BoJack Horseman stars Will Arnett, Amy Sedaris, and Alison Brie. It co-stars Aaron Paul and Paul F. Tompkins and has a long and impressive list of guest stars. [more inside]
posted by Room 641-A at 7:03 PM - 101 comments

From humble beginnings as a tabletop game shop in London in the late 1970s with an exclusive contract to distribute Dungeons & Dragons in the United Kingdom, Games Workshop soon moved into producing its own games, most notably the wildly successful Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Warhammer 40,000. Over the years, the company has transformed itself into a slick marketing machine, dedicated to selling its own (expensive) products to an ever-younger demographic, while managing to live up to its reputation as the big bad corporation of tabletop gaming. For fans of the spirit and style of the Games Workshop of their youth that aren't interested in the company's products today, there’s Oldhammer: an Internet community dedicated to playing Warhammer as it existed in the 1980s. [more inside]
posted by yellowlightman at 6:47 PM - 28 comments

Baby sings the baby blues. In baby. "Flipo" is accompanied by his father, Flavio Rigatozzo, on guitar.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:54 PM - 11 comments

Wasabi is the most difficult plant to grow commercially. "The first thing to know about wasabi - or Wasabia japonica, as it's officially known - is that you have probably never tried the real thing. That light green paste nestled next to the pink ginger in your box of sushi? It is most likely a mix of mustard, European horseradish, and food colouring. In fact, by some estimates, only 5% of the wasabi served in Japanese restaurants around the world comes from the rhizome, or root, of a wasabi plant." "For nearly 30 years, Brian Oates has, in his words, "pig-headedly" devoted himself to a single pursuit: setting up the first commercial wasabi farm in North America." [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 2:05 PM - 69 comments

Building the future in the present in Rio de Janeiro favelas, which are getting active online.
Thanks to young community reporters people in Rio and all over the world are getting a more accurate, clearer picture of what's happening in the city's favelas.
In 2011 Augusto Paim & MauMau published a two part comic Inside the Favelas (see previously).
A couple of interviews with 19 year old Michel Silva of the online magazine Viva Rocinha ( and FB).
posted by adamvasco at 12:28 PM - 3 comments

I let Apple's QuickType keyboard take over my iPhone, Josh Lowensohn, the Verge, via Predictive poetry, Mark Liberman, Language Log.
posted by nangar at 11:44 AM - 68 comments

This is Science Magazine; this is one of their featured front-page stories (date stamped 17 September 2014 8:00 am): "The top 50 science stars of Twitter", by Jia You. The list has 46 men and 4 women. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:56 AM - 20 comments

From The Atlantic, “Why I Hope to Die at 75” and “What Happens When We All Live to 100?
posted by and they trembled before her fury at 10:35 AM - 113 comments

Twenty two fantastic pictures of little kids with big dogs.
posted by quin at 10:34 AM - 46 comments

"...it’s a world so full of carnal conflicts of interest and deception that only now are biologists getting to grips with all of its ins and outs, including an understanding of why human sex may be about pleasure rather than pain."[via BBC] [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 9:56 AM - 36 comments

Apple’s “warrant canary” disappears, suggesting new Patriot Act demands
posted by CitoyenK at 9:06 AM - 97 comments

Yoga ball chair was too bouncy? Standing desk left you yearning for motion? Treadmill desk got you scrambling to keep up? Behold the latest in office fitness and productivity! The Hamster Wheel Standing Desk!
posted by pashdown at 8:15 AM - 35 comments

Thirty years ago this month, NBC premiered "The Cosby Show" and changed the television landscape. And though people will rightly remember it as a groundbreaking show for African Americans (and sweaters), Slate's Jason Bailey argues that it was just as important in its feminism.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 8:02 AM - 69 comments

ComicsAlliance explores the work and legacy of Tom of Finland (mostly SFW), the legendary homoerotic artist whose work is now available in a limited edition stamp set
posted by Think_Long at 7:48 AM - 46 comments

International Read an E-Book Day:
The new holday -- "holiday"? -- is the brainchild of OverDrive, a major e-book distributor. OverDrive is the country's largest provider of e-books to libraries; it handles e-books from 5,000 publishers, including major Penguin Random House, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Perseus, Wiley, and Harlequin. If you've ever checked an e-book out from the L.A. Public Library, it was provided by OverDrive. To celebrate International Read an E-book Day, Overdrive will be giving away tablets and e-reading devices at the readanebookday.com website and through social media. Readers are asked to "tell their story of what eBooks mean to them" and use the hashtag #eBookDay to be eligible.
via: L.A. Times
posted by Fizz at 7:48 AM - 88 comments

Amy Glaze writes How To Talk Like A French Chef:
I’m not learning the kind of French I intended to. The other night on one of my days off, I ordered a cocktail at an upscale restaurant that I had never heard of before. It was a mixture of rum and spirits with fruit juice. It sounded interesting but a little too sweet for my taste. I asked the server if it was dégueulasse (deh-guh-lass), which I thought meant ‘gross’.
and The Chocolate Chip Caper:
My hands are permanently blood stained (out out damn spot!) and no matter how much bleach or hydrogen pyroxide I use it won’t go away. They are swollen from gutting hunted animals by hand and getting pricked by tiny bullet shattered bones – so much so, that I can’t even get my engagement ring over my knuckle let alone make a tight fist. The scars on my hands, wrists and arms from cooking and accidents (like the time I tripped on a box left on the floor and landed hands first onto our massive hot plate stove burning the entire side of my hand and wrist) are obscene.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:34 AM - 41 comments

Writer Creates “Color Thesaurus” To Help You Correctly Name Any Color Imaginable
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:04 AM - 36 comments

Los Picantes sing a cueca about being an expatriate - La Cueca del Patiperro, including one paya dedicated to those flying the flag abroad, wherever you are! [more inside]
posted by ipsative at 6:05 AM - 1 comment

The Vocoder, a short New Yorker video (11:30) about the military origins of the vocoder. The vocoder—the musical instrument that gave Kraftwerk its robotic sound—began as an early telecommunications device and a top-secret military encoding machine.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 5:52 AM - 14 comments

The Grandparent Scam
Every day, phones are ringing in homes across the country. Maybe yours. On the line: organized teams of con artists trying to bilk you out of thousands of dollars by impersonating your loved ones.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:21 AM - 80 comments

Can we talk about how much the gossipy young girls who cluster in the schoolyard must feel like children to her? And Susan has forgotten about being a child. She is the blessed, the chosen, the promised. Susan has decades on them, wars, loss and betrayal, victory and growing fields, the trust of her subjects. It was a visceral thing, to have all those lives under her protection and to know that her subjects slept safe, peacefully, on dark nights. Here, on this drab concrete, her people are untouchable, indefensible; her self is vanished, her kingdom gone; she can feel the loss like a wound. She has lost her power, but that trust, that responsibility remains. It circles her ankles, trips her in the school hallways.
Can we talk about Susan Pevensie for a moment? (A followup to this.)
posted by MartinWisse at 4:10 AM - 51 comments

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