January 15

Recent SF/F/H short fiction online

Tables of contents have been published for upcoming best SF, fantasy, and horror collections edited by Neil Clarke, Gardner Dozois, Paula Guran, Rich Horton, and Jonathan Strahan. The Nebula Award suggested reading lists (previously) for novella, novelette, and short story are well-populated. BestSF.net has selected its shortlist. At Strange Horizons, Rachel Swirsky has comments on her favorite short fiction of the year. And at r/Fantasy, the Stabby Award winners have been announced. Many stories suggested by these sources can be read for free. [more inside]
posted by Wobbuffet at 11:12 PM - 0 comments

God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves a̵̧͏n̶͢o͠t͞h͝e̸͢r̶̛

27 of the Best (and Most Hideous) Face Swaps of 2016. You have been warned.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:19 PM - 17 comments

History of the Turnspit Dog

The Best Kitchen Gadget of the 1600s Was a Small, Short-Legged Dog
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:05 PM - 27 comments

On Food and Cooking and Science

Dinner with Harold McGee
posted by Lycaste at 3:42 PM - 16 comments

The Greatest Show on Earth is Done

The Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus will have its last shows in May, after 146 years in the United States. It appears that many of the employees will be out of work and the animals will be going to shelters.
posted by pyramid termite at 1:37 PM - 102 comments

Mellbergs Customs: Swedish vintage custom cars

Leif Mellberg was a Swedish custom car designer during the 60s-90s. He mainly worked with Saab and Volvo cars, such as the gorgeous SAAB 900 turbo 16 EV-1 or Mayo P1. The site's in Swedish but the pictures say it all really.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:05 PM - 7 comments

Do Teens Know Music from the 90s?

Teenagers try to guess the song and artist from popular 1990s songs. Sample dialogue: "I wasn't even born yet!" (1990s music part 2, part 3. Related: Do college kids know 1980s music?)
posted by AFABulous at 10:35 AM - 137 comments

I give it 5 out of 5 Ellens! (Awesome musical instrument reviews)

Ellen Angelico is a multi-instrumentalist/"utility player" in Nashville TN. She also does hilarious reviews of musical instruments and vintage clothing for sale at Fanny's House of Music. For those who like music, musical instruments, quirky personalities, have shopped in a music store, worked in a music store, or even just looked at weird vintage stuff. [more inside]
posted by gorbichov at 9:41 AM - 9 comments

Ponzi Supernova

“At one point, he cornered the hot chocolate market,” Fishman told MarketWatch. “He bought up every package of Swiss Miss from the commissary and sold it for a profit in the prison yard. … He made it so that, if you wanted any, you had to go through Bernie" ... “He’s a star in prison. He stole more money than anyone in history, and to other thieves, this makes him a hero,” said Fishman, a journalist who spoke with Madoff extensively. Bernie Madoff manipulated the market for hot cocoa mix at his prison [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 8:58 AM - 34 comments

"You look out here and it's a second Rome"

Capitalism without opposition is left to its own devices, which do not include self-restraint. The capitalist pursuit of profit is open-ended, and cannot be otherwise. The idea that less could be more is not a principle a capitalist society could honour; it must be imposed upon it, or else there will be no end to its progress, self-consuming as it may ultimately be. At present, I claim, we are already in a position to observe capitalism passing away as a result of having destroyed its opposition—dying, as it were, from an overdose of itself.
Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End?, New Left Review, 87 (May–June 2014). [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 6:23 AM - 35 comments

January 14

The Great American Novel (Pick Only One)

LitHub suggests some top picks for "the" Great American Novel and offers rationales for each with links to articles arguing for them. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:04 PM - 113 comments

Found Sound + Producer = Music

Sponsored by The Netherlands’ Institute for Sound and Vision, the RE:VIVE Initiative brings together archives and artists to create new music out of and inspired by curated sets of archival material. While their workshops are only in The Netherlands, for everyone outside they provide free packs of audio samples collated from different libraries: Pack 1; Pack 2; Schipol Airport; Madagascar, Switzerland, Tahiti, China, and an accordion; Around The House; and The Music of Samoa.
RE:VIVE has collaborated with Fog Mountain Records to release two albums: Damrak, built on samples from Amsterdam; and 010, built on samples from Rotterdam. They have also collaborated with Lakker to provide samples for their Struggle & Emerge album. (A short documentary on the process.)
posted by Going To Maine at 10:19 PM - 2 comments

Gatherer and Fiddler: Alan Jabbour (1942–2017)

Alan Jabbour, who died today, was best known (to those who know of him at all) as a fiddler and a gatherer of fiddle tunes. His name and influence permeate American traditional music. If you like Old Crow Medicine Show, the Avett Brothers, Chris Thile, Carolina Chocolate Drops, SteelDrivers, etc., you are enjoying the results of Jabbour's life work. [more inside]
posted by underthehat at 9:59 PM - 7 comments

Chinese Whiskers

When Marcel Heijnen took a picture of cat hanging out in a shop in Hong Kong, he didn't know he had just uncovered his next project. He calls it "pure serendipity."

"[I moved to] an area that is rapidly gentrifying, with new cafés and galleries coming up left right and center, but it’s still rooted in tradition, as well — there’s loads of dried-seafood shops and traditional Chinese medicine halls," he said. "I noticed a cat sitting on the counter of one of those stores and photographed it on my iPhone. Then, another and another."
[more inside]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 8:52 PM - 27 comments

Kidnapped Newborn Found Alive...After 18 Years

In a story strikingly similar to the MTV show, Finding Carter, 18-year-old Kamiyah Mobley was allegedly taken by Gloria Williams, posing as a nurse, from a Jacksonville, FL hospital in 1998. Williams, who raised Kamiyah as Alexis Manigo, brought her up alongside her other two children. Williams had suffered a miscarriage a few weeks before the alleged kidnapping, so her family did not question the appearance of a newborn. It seems that the situation was discovered by Kamiyah, who suspected she had been kidnapped. Kamiyah's grandmother, Velma Aiken, "prayed she would see her granddaughter before the day she died. 'Everyone broke down in tears' during the conversation. 'We lost her for 18 years,' Velma said. 'We don't want to lose her again.'"
posted by guster4lovers at 3:34 PM - 70 comments

six seasons and a movie

Will 2017 be the year of the cape? Men, women, children, lawyers, masked men...
Perhaps we should all wear cloaks instead. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:09 PM - 64 comments

I'd knit so hard, bro

Further on the topic of ways that toxic masculinity harms men, an Independent article on feminine activities men would do if society didn't judge them so hard, from a Reddit thread on the same topic.
posted by bile and syntax at 10:26 AM - 227 comments

"So long, Old Bill."

William Peter Blatty, dead at 89. Author and moviemaker, best known for writing The Exorcist (1971).

Tweeted by William Friedkin and Stephen King.

The Exorcist, read by Blatty. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 10:11 AM - 28 comments

Unicycle Polo Match

It's a thing, people.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:24 AM - 15 comments

The Penultimate Week

In seven days, Donald J. Trump is due to be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States of America. What happens next? [more inside]
posted by snuffleupagus at 5:22 AM - 952 comments

January 13


Cleaning the knives was one of the daily, heavy, unpleasant household tasks through the long 19th century. [more inside]
posted by clew at 9:53 PM - 47 comments

Maybe Denis Villeneuve could tackle this after Dune

SCTV alum Dave Thomas' sci-fi opus 'Rocket Boy'. It hasn't aged a bit.
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 7:33 PM - 10 comments

The Secret Life of Dog

An investigative reporter follows a very.... plump dog to see how it's getting so plump. On the Japanese comedy show Knight Scoop, people write in with questions about a variety of topics (like this man who is scared of leaves), and a detective discovers the answers. Other episodes about dogs: My Dog Is a Misandrist, The Dog Who is Scared of Godzilla, The Mystery of the Escaping Dog. But there is much, much more (and weirder) to this show. Playlist. [All videos have English subtitles]
posted by AFABulous at 5:11 PM - 24 comments

more guinea pigs

"Occasionally I judge science fairs & while the scientific questions aren't always super novel, I get a kick out of kid scientist logic..."
posted by griphus at 3:03 PM - 44 comments

Compare and Contrast

Here's what dogs are thinking about. Here's what cats are doing.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:53 PM - 21 comments

Law Professor Challenges Traffic Camera Ticket, Hijinks Ensue

First of all, the city attorney wasn't sure if the case was civil or criminal. The professor definitely was not in his car when it was found to have been speeding, but he received a violation notice. He decides to challenge it and learns how little interest local attorneys for the city have in the law.
posted by BradyDale at 1:18 PM - 132 comments

Switch it up

Nintendo announces its new gaming console, the Switch. It's got crazy new controllers that join together or split into two separate controllers. It's got a new Super Mario game. It's got more or less the same Mario Cart. It's got 2D Sonic games. It's got a new Legenda of Zelda installment. A new splatoon and a new xenoblade! It's a portable as well as a home console. (and probably uses a Tegra X1). But is it enough to compete against the XBox One and PS4?
posted by GuyZero at 12:06 PM - 111 comments

A DIY Guide to Feminist Cybersecurity

Hack*Blossom: "You have a right to exist safely in digital spaces. Although we have to rely on outside parties for technology to access these spaces, there are tons of helpful tools and strategies that allow you to take greater control of your digital life and mitigate the risk of malicious threats. We’ll walk through common areas of digital life such as web browsing, private data, and smartphones to show you different ways that you can implement as much or little security as you’re comfortable with." [more inside]
posted by bluecore at 10:32 AM - 33 comments

Good Evening, All Current Art Is Fake

The first trailer for MANIFESTO, a feature length art firm made from a video installation by Julian Rosefeld staring Cate Blanchett and 13 manifestos.
posted by The Whelk at 10:19 AM - 9 comments

Archaeological Find Puts Humans in North America 10,000 Years Earlier

New evidence suggests human presence in a Yukon cave during the last ice age 24,000 years ago. A local (to me) science magazine has a story about evidence that humans arrived in North America years earlier than thought. Bluefish Caves in the Yukon contained some bone fragments and tools that is strong evidence of human settlement - years before it was thought to have happened. This institute and magazine is on an archaeological roll - The Hakai institute discovered the oldest footprints in North America, last summer, and is now working on cataloguing the data.
posted by joelf at 10:17 AM - 22 comments

Japan’s Rural Towns Are Luring Tax From Tokyo With Beef and Beer

In Japan, you can designate a "hometown" to send a portion of your taxes to. The program is intended "to help rural areas struggling with falling populations and shrinking revenues." Then someone realized that you don't have to designate your actual hometown, and that those rural areas can lure in tax money by rewarding people with local goods. Think of it as the NPR totebag of the Japanese tax system. Of course, that means that people's actual living spaces lose out on the tax revenue.
posted by Etrigan at 10:09 AM - 22 comments

Investigation of the Chicago Police Department

Today, the DOJ released their report on a year-long investigation (PDF) of the Chicago Police Department, finding "reasonable cause to believe that CPD has engaged in a pattern or practice of unreasonable force in violation of the Fourth Amendment and that the deficiencies in CPD’s training, supervision, accountability, and other systems have contributed to that pattern or practice. "
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:29 AM - 32 comments

"Preposterous and rococo cannibalism"

Slate reviews Bill Schutt's forthcoming book Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History. Guardian review here. Schutt is a Research Associate in Vertebrate Zoology and Mammalogy at the American Museum of Natural History. [more inside]
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:29 AM - 15 comments

America the Beautiful

Yesterday in a press release, the US Mint announced their plans for their upcoming 225th anniversary "Lady Liberty" gold coin, the first in a series of 24-karat gold coins that will feature designs which depict an allegorical Liberty in a variety of contemporary forms--including designs representing Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Indian-Americans among others--to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States. You can see the first proposed design here.
posted by phunniemee at 8:25 AM - 29 comments

Always look for the helpers

A rancher helps a frozen finch [SLYT] NB: the beginning might be a bit cringey, but nothing gruesome happens...
posted by stillmoving at 7:48 AM - 12 comments

We failed to overcome the chicken-and-egg issue

App.net to end. Would-be Twitter competitor App.net is closing up shop and open-sourcing its code. The project launched in 2012 through crowdfunding, and tried to make the pay-for-play model work in social media. It also wanted to be very friendly to developers, especially when Twitter wasn't. Other services appeared alongside the microbloggery, like a push notification tool and a crowdfunding function. (via HN) [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 6:32 AM - 44 comments

The fastest spinning object driven by human power

Introducing a human-powered centrifuge which separates blood into individual components in ninety seconds and costs 20 cents. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 6:00 AM - 13 comments

Murder on Union Hill Road

In April 2016, eight family members were slain in their homes in Ohio. Nine months later, the killer or killers are still on the loose, and the town has all but forgotten the crimes.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 5:18 AM - 89 comments

How to navigate the bullshit-rich modern environment.

The world is awash in bullshit. Politicians are unconstrained by facts. Science is conducted by press release. So-called higher education often rewards bullshit over analytic thought. Two University of Washington lecturers have designed a course to teach students about Bullshit. [more inside]
posted by Just this guy, y'know at 5:16 AM - 32 comments

BBC Sound Of 2017

Soul singer Ray BLK has topped the BBC's Sound Of 2017 list, which aims to predict the most exciting new music for the year ahead. It is the first time an unsigned artist has won the honour - which has previously gone to Adele and Sam Smith. [...] Four of the top five Sound of 2017 acts are black British women, reflecting a rise of female talent in grime and R&B.

Why the future of music is black, female, and British. [more inside]
posted by ellieBOA at 4:31 AM - 3 comments

Now you are about to join another rarified club

Malia and Sasha, eight years ago on a cold November day, we greeted you on the steps of the White House. We saw both the light and wariness in your eyes as you gazed at your new home. We left our jobs in Baltimore and New York early and traveled to Washington to show you around. To show you the Lincoln Bedroom, and the bedrooms that were once ours, to introduce you to all the people—the florists, the grounds-keepers and the butlers—who dedicate themselves to making this historic house a home.
George W. Bush's daughters Barbara Bush and Jenna Bush-Hager write an open letter to the Obama sisters.
posted by hippybear at 4:03 AM - 32 comments

January 12

Ward + Robes

The Starlight Children's Foundation of Canada teamed up with top designers in various fields (tattooing, fashion, embroidery, and so on), to create Ward + Robes, fashionable and functional hospital gowns for teens. The teens love it.
posted by divabat at 10:01 PM - 18 comments

Primates this week

Why Biologists Care About A Macaque And Deer Caught On Camera In Rare Interspecies Mating Act - "An unexpected pair has been caught in flagrante delicto and scientists got it all on tape. Primate researcher Marie Pelé and colleagues published a surprising note in the journal Primates this week—the second documented case of distantly related species attempting to mate with each other."
posted by kliuless at 9:06 PM - 53 comments

“I have never seen myself as a spokesman. I am a witness. ”

“Has the American Dream Been Achieved At the Expense of the American Negro?” [YouTube] Historic debate between James Baldwin v. William F. Buckley Jr. at Cambridge University. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 4:10 PM - 32 comments

Rimbaud at the food court

"When I went inside the venue, a marching band was playing Jimmy Eat World’s 'The Middle,' and the ceiling was covered with 'SAD AF' balloons. To my right, a pair of husky lurkers talked about the Promise Ring; to my right, three girls who appeared to be dressed for social media Snapchatted themselves singing along to 'Mr. Brightside,' the 2004 hit by the Killers, which was playing over the speakers. The Killers were not emo." The Rise of Emo Nostalgia, by Jia Tolentino for the New Yorker.
posted by naju at 2:33 PM - 45 comments

He did what he must because he can

Portal Ported to Apple II. Well, not so much ported as re-imagined in Basic on an Apple II. It's only the first and last levels and end credits, but it is playable and includes an Apple II version of "Still Alive." Complete with a play-through video, source code, and a link to an online emulator if you want to try it out without installing anything. [more inside]
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 1:59 PM - 21 comments

The Concussion Diaries

Zac Easter knew what was happening to him. He knew why. And he knew that it was only going to get worse. So he decided to write it all down—to let the world know what football had done to him, what he'd done to his body and his brain for the game he loved. And then he shot himself.
posted by bologna on wry at 1:19 PM - 64 comments

Whiskey wisdom

An Absurdly Complete Guide to Understanding Whiskey.
posted by storybored at 12:40 PM - 105 comments

How do we go on?

Lessons From Memphis. A comic that looks at history for inspiration to go forward.
posted by latkes at 12:38 PM - 5 comments

I Grew Up In The Rust Belt, But I’m Not In Any Of The Stories About It

It’s strange to see the media turn its attention to places like my hometown in coal-country Pennsylvania and find that my experience there, as part of the non-white working class, is still invisible. [more inside]
posted by cynical pinnacle at 12:23 PM - 29 comments

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