April 25

Clever Technology Joins Old Technology

Tsunago is a pencil sharpener with a clever twist; it can take the stubs of pencils too short to easily use, and join them into a useful sized writing instrument again. [via]
posted by quin at 2:36 PM - 0 comments

Is passionate work a neoliberal delusion?

Angela McRobbie on the rise of the creative economy. Why are young people attracted to creative jobs with low pay, and how does this benefit the neoliberal project?
posted by winterportage at 1:44 PM - 3 comments

el chico de la espina

Heaven Knows I’m Mexican Now: Morrissey's Latino connection goes live “I would hate to see a cheesy Mexican tribute to Morrissey,” he says. “I knew I had to use well-known Mexican artists” – among others, the group features underground icon Chetes, trumpet player Alex Escobar and Cafe Tacuba’s violinist Alejandro Flores – “and to mix it with electronic elements and other non-Mexican elements. To just play these songs with mariachi trumpets would be touristic – we didn’t want to come and dress in ponchos.” [more inside]
posted by betweenthebars at 1:42 PM - 5 comments

Earthquake in Nepal

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 has hit Nepal, killing over 1,000 people. The epicenter was just outside Kathmandu, but the effects have been felt as far away as Tibet, Bangladesh, and India. Regular updates at The Guardian.
posted by lunasol at 11:15 AM - 36 comments

"I'm not one of those who will ever say to you 'No regrets.'"

Kate Mulgrew tells the Chicago Tribune's Heidi Stevens about giving her daughter up for adoption and reconnecting 20 years later (Video). [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:08 AM - 1 comment

Can't stay for long, just turn around and I'm gone again

An oral history of The Littlest Hobo, Canada's greatest TV show.
"My second episode was a few years later, as a DEA agent who was tracking some drug smuggling that was going on in a movie unit. So I was undercover as a vampire in this movie. And the dog was helping me unearth the bad guys."
posted by frimble at 10:40 AM - 18 comments

Texas True Crime

TWO PROMINENT DOCTORS. ONE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN LOOKING FOR ROMANCE. AND A LIKABLE MISFIT WHO SPUN TALL TALES. THEIR LIVES INTERSECTED AFTER AN INTENSE RELATIONSHIP TURNED SOUR, BUT NO ONE GUESSED THAT THE PATH TO LOVE WOULD LEAD TO MURDER. - Texas Monthly: "A Deadly Dance" By Skip Hollandsworth
posted by The Whelk at 10:18 AM - 5 comments

10 Minute Dosage of Engrossing Web Design

Form Follows Function is a beautifully designed collection of interactive mini-experiences, coded in HTML5, and designed to work as flawlessly on mobile as on the desktop.
posted by polywomp at 8:32 AM - 7 comments

Dave or Ed? The 2015 UK General Election

In just 12 days, the 2015 general election for the UK (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) takes place. On the surface, the math is simple: there are 650 seats, so winning 326 gives you a simple majority. In the previous parliament, governance was through a coalition of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. But this time, predicting who will be Prime Minister, or have the most seats, or what form the government will take, is ... complicated. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 8:18 AM - 48 comments

What sound does a coyote make when he takes a bottle of earthquake pills

"Usually the kind of sound effects you heard in the earliest cartoons were strictly sound effects produced by musical instruments. What happened with Treg Brown is entirely different; he would bring in sounds that were recorded in the library at Warner Bros. If someone came quick to a stop, he would bring in a car skid from a Jimmy Carney gangster movie that they had recorded. If somebody was hit on the head and flew out a window there'd be a thunderclap followed by the sound of a biplane in a spin recorded for Dawn Patrol. It was this imposition of realistic sounds into the fantasy world of the cartoons which gave them comic impact."

CRASH! BANG! BOOM! The Wild Sounds of Treg Brown, (Part 1 Part 2 [SLYT]) is a short documentary about legendary sound editor Treg Brown.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:54 AM - 5 comments

The Last Ride Of The Polo Shirt Bandit

"William Guess was his name - and it was prophetic. When he shot himself while surrounded by the police, he left unanswered the question that had stumped his pursuers: why did an ordinary middle-class Texan turn into the state's most prolific bank robber?"
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:39 AM - 2 comments

And Holland Has Tulips

What It’s Like to Have Down Syndrome—and Care for a Sister With Disabilities While the initial focus was to portray Alyssa as just another member of her family, the project changed slightly when Carly began to lose neurological ability. Although Carly’s condition is still undiagnosed, Lois needed to continue to work in order to keep everyone under the same roof. As a result, Alyssa became one of Carly’s primary caregivers. [more inside]
posted by magstheaxe at 6:57 AM - 9 comments

Where No Freak or Geek Has Gone Before

Other Space: A sci-fi workplace comedy created by Paul Feig. Featuring Milana Vayntraub (a.k.a. the lady from the AT&T ad), Karan Soni (a.k.a. the dude from the AT&T ad), and Joel Hodgson and Trace Beaulieu from MST3K.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:32 AM - 16 comments

Teaching evolution to Muslim students

Associate Professor Rana Dajani describes why she teaches evolution to Muslim students in Jordan.
posted by 1head2arms2legs at 4:58 AM - 16 comments

Why are you still here?

In Grimsby, the former fishing capital of England, sandpipers scurry across the tarmac of derelict streets. The sandpiper isn’t a creature of asphalt and paving. It’s a small white-breasted bird usually to be found foraging on British foreshores in groups of twenty or so, scuttling up and down sandy beaches as the foaming forward edge of the sea roars in and hisses back. I’d come to Grimsby to see why, after seventy years of voting Labour, the town was flirting with the United Kingdom Independence Party. After a while I began wondering what had happened to make Grimsby a wild and lonely enough place for the sandpiper to feel at home. It turns out the reason is the same. Someone, or something, abdicated power in Grimsby, leaving swathes of it to rot. But who, or what? And what will the succession be?
James Meek in the LRB provides an indepth look at the problems of one northern town, featuring the decline of the fisheries, the hopes resting on new offshore wind energy parks revitalising the town, the difference between Victorian local capitalism and contemporary pension fund driven global capitalism, the leftwing grassroots Ukip campaigners trying to end the dominance of Labour and their parachuted in candidate with a campaign manager engaged to the local candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, heardheaded Greens, the withdrawal of the State and the hollowing out of local control of everyday necessities needed for any town to flourish.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:58 AM - 17 comments

The Last Mechanical Monster

The Mechanical Monsters was the second in a series of Superman cartoons produced by Fleischer/Famous Studios in the early 1940s. The Last Mechanical Monster is a webcomic by Brian Fies* that is a sequel of sorts (starting here, with a recap of the cartoon here), set over 60 years later as the now-elderly inventor defeated by Superman is released from prison and returns to his old lair and his old tricks... reconstructing one of his 'monster' robots (and with no Man of Steel in sight).

It's nominated for an Eisner Award (previously) for Best Digital/Web Comic, competing with previous winner Bandette by Paul Tobin & Colleen Coover, Failing Sky by Dax Tran-Caffee, Nimona by Noelle Stephenson, and The Private Eye by Brian Vaughan & Marcos Martin. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:23 AM - 19 comments

videos: how to move a fridge by yourself

Part of Gershom Hyldreth's job involves moving fridges in his truck by himself. In these two short (and charming) instructional videos, he demonstrates how one person can load a fridge on and off a pickup truck with just a hand trolley, and how to secure a fridge with just a couple of straps.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 2:23 AM - 25 comments

Napoleon or Cleopatra

Slate's Reincarnation Machine identifies your previous lives. Actually it finds a consistent chain of people through history, each born when the preceding one died, and ending up with you.
posted by Segundus at 12:23 AM - 61 comments

April 24

In a Cheese and other cylindrical stories

360º cutout books by Yusuke Oono
posted by moonmilk at 7:45 PM - 5 comments

:P

dogs with tongue sticking out a little
posted by NoraReed at 6:02 PM - 58 comments

No Small Parts

Brandon Hardesty's [previously] web series, "No Small Parts," celebrates the careers of movie character actors. So far, we have five very touching short biographies of: Anne Ramsey (Throw Mama from the Train, Scrooged, The Goonies), Vincent Schiavelli (Ghost, Amadeus, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) Scatman Crothers (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Coonskin, The Shining), Warwick Davis (the Star Wars series, the Harry Potter series), and Michael Jeter (The Green Mile, Miller's Crossing, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas). Bring a hanky. These are love letters.
posted by McLir at 5:57 PM - 15 comments

Yup, Frank Miller goes Full Godwin on Superman

Holy fascist retrograde, Batman! DC Comics announces "The Dark Knight Rises: The Master Race". Because the comics universe apparently needs to have karmic balance for the progress of Bobby Drake (Previously on Mefi), which is why DC is making yet another Miller/Azzarello The Dark Knight comic book. Frank Miller, author of The Dark Knight, Sin City, The 300, and Holy Terror! shall once more be working with Brian Azzarello (100 Bullets, Wonder Woman). Various reactions at Polygon and at io9.
posted by LeRoienJaune at 5:51 PM - 67 comments

Christina in Red

A girl at the beach, one year before WWI. In 1913, Amateur photographer Mervyn O'Gorman took beautiful, vivid photos of his daughter using an early color photography process called autochrome. [more inside]
posted by Alexandra Michelle at 5:12 PM - 24 comments

Better charity through research.

You have $8 billion. You want to do as much good as possible. What do you do?
[Open Phil's] six full-time staffers have taken on the unenviable task of ranking every plausible way to make the world a much better place, and figuring out how much money to commit to the winners. It's the biggest test yet of GiveWell's heavily empirical approach to picking charities. If it works, it could change the face of philanthropy.

Previously: GiveWell in Metatalk.
posted by andoatnp at 4:56 PM - 62 comments

Believe It Or Not, I'm Not Home

If you happen to be in the right place at the right time, Jason Alexander will record a personalized version of his famous "Believe It Or Not, I'm Not Home" Seinfeld voicemail greeting just for you.
posted by Servo5678 at 4:43 PM - 19 comments

Lesser-Known Trolley Problem Variations

Lesser-Known Trolley Problem Variations There’s an out of control trolley speeding towards Immanuel Kant. You have the ability to pull a lever and change the trolley’s path so it hits Jeremy Bentham instead. Jeremy Bentham clutches the only existing copy of Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals. Kant holds the only existing copy of Bentham’s The Principles of Morals and Legislation. Both of them are shouting at you that they have recently started to reconsider their ethical stances. [more inside]
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:23 PM - 45 comments

"Man of Steel" has 99 problems, but he just solved one.

What if Man of Steel was in color? (SLYT)
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 3:57 PM - 59 comments

"This child’s name is William"

The archive of Leiden's Holy Spirit Orphanage holds a small collection of medieval name tags that were pinned to abandoned babies. Written in Middle Dutch on slim slips of paper, they still have visible holes from the pins that fixed the tags to the foundlings.
posted by pleasant_confusion at 2:00 PM - 18 comments

Bow ties are cool.

Men's Neckties: How-to tie necktie knots - from Mefi's own xingcat, posted from MeFi Projects. Selection: How to tie a bow tie.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 1:34 PM - 42 comments

Probably the first time Cromagnon has been mentioned in the NYT

Bernard Stollman, founder of the influential, otherworldly ESP-Disk label, has passed away this week at 85. New York Times obituary. The independent label was home to blazing, provocative recordings from avant-jazz greats like Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman, and Sun Ra, as well as underground rock outsiders like the Godz, the Holy Modal Rounders, and the Fugs. The label's discography is deep, strange, and still largely unexplored by everyone but hardcore music geeks (who tend to be highly passionate about it). From Stereogum: Remembering Bernard Stollman: 10 Essential ESP-Disk Albums.
posted by naju at 12:17 PM - 23 comments

The Iceman Cometh Out

Scans leaked from next week's issue of the Marvel Comic All-New X-Men have revealed that original member Bobby "Iceman" Drake is gay. While the character has been written as straight for the past fifty years, some readers have read otherwise between the panels. Director Brian Singer sees parallels in the movies. [more inside]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:49 AM - 142 comments

A Comprehensive List of Everything Karl Lagerfeld Hates

Why not just read every single Karl Lagerfeld interview ever and wear out both the "command" and "F" keys searching for every single instance in which he's literally uttered the word "hate"? (via)
posted by gladly at 8:28 AM - 81 comments

The Tyranny of Pew-Pew: How Fun Fantasy Violence Became Inescapable

1977 changed everything in Hollywood. "I'm not here to wonder whether Star Wars: Rebels is legacy pop culture — like DC and Marvel superheroes — that parents might be forcing on their kids the way white boomer dads evangelize Steely Dan. Instead, as the Avengers kick off another summer of mighty Marvel mook-blasting, I just want to ask: Why do we (mostly) agree, today, that this material is appropriate? And is something lost when pew-pew action/adventure follows the trajectory of soft drinks and fast food — going from occasional treat to everyday staple? In short, how did the decapitations of orcs and robots become the very center of our media culture?"
posted by tunewell at 8:27 AM - 105 comments

The Professor in the Cage

What a 39-year-old English adjunct learned by taking up cage fighting. [more inside]
posted by mrbigmuscles at 8:02 AM - 55 comments

To Build A Better Fire

Building a stove is simple. Building a good stove is hard. Building a good, cheap stove can drive an engineer crazy
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:32 AM - 23 comments

Nerd Prom Is a Mess

"For the sake of argument, here are the best and most reasonable ways to improve [the White House Correspondent's Dinner]." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:11 AM - 25 comments

Man Healthy

“It would be so affirming to just know that the man that I set out to be is somebody that people think is a good man,” Dowling says about possibly being on the cover of Men’s Health. “To break those stereotypes, but still be a man. Feel pride in masculinity, but not putting down femininity. That would be so important to me.”
--Meet Aydian Dowling, the Trans Hunk Aiming for a ‘Men’s Health’ Cover
posted by almostmanda at 6:34 AM - 44 comments

You Spin Me Round

Here's a neat browser toy where you can play with gravitation interaction and make planetary orbits...or horribly destabilize them.
posted by polywomp at 4:22 AM - 35 comments

Immediate Family

Sally Mann's Exposure An essay by Sally Mann about the publication, and subsequent reaction to, her second book of photographs, Immediate Family. [Many of the photographs featured naked images of her young children.]
posted by OmieWise at 3:24 AM - 41 comments

Pink Flamingos, Palm Trees, and Class Warfare

In light of the Lilly Pulitzer for Target frenzy, The Atlantic asks, "Why do people hate Lilly Pulitzer?" and postulates some less-than-peppy, preppy, charming answers. [more inside]
posted by ourt at 3:22 AM - 98 comments

Wander among fields once lost

You're at a crossroads in a shallow valley with fields of wild flowers on all sides. A large road goes north-south and a smaller road goes east-west. Although the gently rolling hills that surround you make it hard to see very far in any direction you can see a small, round hatch in the ground standing open nearby.
Before Adventure, before Colossal Cave, there was Peter Langston's Wander, a lost mainframe text adventure, lost no longer. More games may still await discovery locked inside mouldering computer tapes.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:23 AM - 17 comments

Sherlock's One Weird Trick

In 1923, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote his shortest Sherlock Holmes story and one that is considered "non-canon" or "self-parody": "How Watson Learned the Trick". [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:50 AM - 27 comments

April 23

Colleges and Universities: Non-Free Speech Zones

Free speech is so last century. Today’s students want the 'right to be comfortable' in British Universities. The New York Times chimes in on this side of the Atlantic. Popehat offers a possible explanation.
posted by meowzilla at 11:56 PM - 309 comments

I've got 96 tears in 96 eyes

In February of this year, Human Fly Alex de Laszlo's "lost" 1978 short film featuring The Cramps, was posted to Youtube. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio at 11:55 PM - 7 comments

the point is that he doesn’t want me to buy towels.

“Hey, I need you to hold the giraffe so I can reach the crystal chandelier.” [more inside]
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:25 PM - 19 comments

Richie Rich, I slowly realized, is a streamable hate crime.

A writer watches all 10 episodes of the live-action Richie Rich sitcom on Netflix so that you will never have to
posted by DoctorFedora at 10:20 PM - 43 comments

DC Super Hero Girls

DC is partnering with Mattel, Lego, Random House and others to launch DC Super Hero Girls universe for girls. Here's seven things CBR hopes they can acheive.
posted by Artw at 9:39 PM - 32 comments

Why Has ‘My Struggle’ Been Anointed a Literary Masterpiece?

William Deriesiwicz takes a contrarian point of view on Knausgaard's critically lauded series of novels: The term “hyperrealism” derives from the visual arts, where it refers to paintings that are designed to look like photographs. To call writing like Knausgaard’s hyperrealistic, to enthrone it as the apotheosis of realism, is to cede reality to the camera. It is to surrender everything that makes literature distinct from the photographic and the televisual: its ability to tell us what things look like, not to the eye, but to the mind, to the heart...How sad it is to imagine that some of our most prominent novelists look at My Struggle and think, That’s the book I wish I could have written. How depressing to suppose that just as modernism culminated in Joyce, Proust and Woolf, the literature of our own time has been leading up to… Knausgaard.
posted by shivohum at 8:46 PM - 40 comments

Probably not what Bryan Adams was singing about...

In 1963, a new volcanic island called Surtsey (previously) was born south of Iceland. In the summer of 1969, botanist Ágúst Bjarnason, who had been monitoring the progress of plant growth on the new island, made a discovery that he has kept secret until now.
"Once when I was in Reykjavík I received the message from Surtsey that a mysterious plant had been discovered in the lava. Those who discovered the plant, three or four foreign nature scientists and one Icelandic botanist, weren’t able to identify it..."
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 6:58 PM - 21 comments

Saving the day with new methods of rot

Corpses are no longer decaying in many German cemeteries. Instead, the deceased become waxen, an uncanny process that has become so rampant it can no longer be ignored. When bodies don't decompose, their graves can't be reused -- a common practice in Germany. Contrary to many other countries, where final resting places are traditionally maintained in perpetuity, Germany recycles cemetery plots after a period of 15 to 25 years. Experience has shown that the earthly remains of the deceased rot away almost entirely in this amount of time, but only under favorable soil conditions.
posted by sciatrix at 6:27 PM - 48 comments

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