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November 23

Sunday Reading

On Sundays, The New Inquiry publishes Sunday Reading, a collection of links with minimal context and maximal depth [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:43 PM - 0 comments

16,000 amphetamine-fueled, stream-of-consciousness words

"It was the greatest piece of writing I ever saw, better'n anybody in America, or at least enough to make Melville, Twain, Dreiser, Wolfe, I dunno who, spin in their graves." After reading Neal Cassady's 16,000 word letter, Jack Kerouac threw out his draft of On the Road and started over, in the style he's now famous for. Ginsberg took the letter and lost it. Kerouac thought it had fallen over the side of a house boat. But now the Joan Anderson letter has been found. [more inside]
posted by alms at 9:05 PM - 5 comments

Get me off your fucking mailing list

"Get Me Off Your Fucking Mailing List" is an actual science paper accepted by a journal. Original Source.
posted by 445supermag at 8:23 PM - 17 comments

We're hurting innocent people...but we're helping the economy

"Black Friday", a new flick from the makers of "Daylight Saving"
posted by Renoroc at 8:03 PM - 8 comments

Magical Contamination

Seashells? Distant planets? Beautiful mold.
posted by FirstMateKate at 7:58 PM - 2 comments

Undelicious Donut Holes

Many people have discussed discussed the Bir Tawil trapezoid before, a piece of land unclaimed by either Sudan and Egypt, because both would rather possess the disputed (and more fertile) Hala'ib triangle. [more inside]
posted by ivan ivanych samovar at 7:21 PM - 9 comments

Turkey, Pie, Football, Costumes and Trick-or-Treat! Wait.

Halloween and Thanksgiving are two of the slipperiest holidays in the American tradition. Costumed masquerading and trick-or-treating used to happen on Thanksgiving, while Halloween was mostly devoted to vandalism. As Americans did they best to stamp out the vandalism, they also cleaned up the unruly traditions of Turkey Day, banishing the Thanksgiving Ragamuffins to October. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 6:17 PM - 8 comments

The caudate nucleus

What goes on in the brains of simultaneous interpreters. Miles told me about an agricultural meeting at which delegates discussed frozen bull’s semen; a French interpreter translated this as “matelot congelés”, or ‘deep-frozen sailors’. (via) [more inside]
posted by spamandkimchi at 2:06 PM - 9 comments

So many subtle ways to be human, and so many subtle ways to be wrong.

Tor.com presents Max Gladstone's A Kiss With Teeth, in which an ancient evil settles down and tries out middle-class married life.
posted by The Whelk at 1:29 PM - 22 comments

Shepherded, lovingly but firmly, away from harmful things like airlocks.

Tropical Islands is the mother of all water parks, built inside one of the world's largest buildings, with a separate play area for the kinder while the teens and adults discreetly down their pina coladas or Erdinger weissbiers in the thatch-roofed bars overlooking the beach. It's safe, and clean, and organized and curated and manicured to within an inch of its life. It's got that Malaysian high concept futurist vibe going, combined with German thoroughness and attention to detail, for an experience that's pretty much what you'd expect if Disneyworld opened a park in Singapore, only with fewer dire declarations of death to drug smugglers. It is in short thoroughly enjoyable if you're in Berlin and for some reason decide you want a relaxing tropical beach-side day out in an environment that's barely less artificial than an L5 space colony.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 12:49 PM - 15 comments

No Cure, No Pay

Marine salvage master Captain Nick Sloane is the man to call when your cruise ship or supertanker founders at sea. "Sloane had a six-man team. They found the Ikan Tanda lying broadside to the weather about two miles offshore. It was rolling heavily and was being swept by seas so large that the entire deck was going under, and waves were bursting over the top of the superstructure. The waves were running 14 seconds apart, an interval just large enough to allow each member of the team, in helmet and life vest, to be winched down onto the deck and take cover. They landed on one of the massive cargo hatches, unhooked from the harness, rolled to the edge, and dropped down to the side deck to crouch behind a coaming—the raised steel perimeter around a cargo hatch—just as the next wave swept across."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 12:20 PM - 16 comments

They tell us dragons can be beaten: continuing relevance of fairy tales

Neil Gaiman: Why Disney's Sleeping Beauty doesn't work (Gaby Wood for The Guardian):
"I feel like some kind of alchemist," Gaiman suggests. "I have to go to the cupboard and take one ounce of Snow White and two ounces of Sleeping Beauty, and heat the Sleeping Beauty and froth the Snow White and mix them together: it's kind of like fusion cuisine. It tastes like both of them but it's actually a new dish."

Are fairy tales back in fashion? Certainly, the recent success of Disney's films Frozen and Maleficent seems to point to something. But most of the fairy tales we know have come to us via 17th century France or 19th century Germany, and have since been subject to so many retellings and rebellions that trends are difficult to map.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 11:27 AM - 34 comments

Portraits of love and sex in the 21st century

Everybody Sexts is collection of nude images (re-imagined as illustrations) that people sent via their phone, accompanied by the story and reasons why such explicit photos were sent.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:05 AM - 47 comments

Man in black shirt is playing guitar

Deep Visual-Semantic Alignments for Generating Image Descriptions. A model that generates free-form natural language descriptions of image regions. Holy crap.
posted by signal at 10:53 AM - 32 comments

A picture is made of a thousand notes

"Cymatics is the science of visualizing audio frequencies." [more inside]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:31 AM - 5 comments

"I have decided you are in a goofy state of mind."

"Martha Gellhorn’s pen pals included Eleanor Roosevelt, Maxwell Perkins, H.G. Wells, her husband (later, ex-) Ernest Hemingway, and Peggy Schutze, my maternal grandmother." Author Amy Shearn shares some of the letters her grandmother received from legendary war correspondent Martha Gellhorn with the hope that, "if I studied Martha, the writer who wanted to be a mother, and Peggy, the mother who wanted to be a writer, some golden mean would eventually present itself."
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 9:14 AM - 5 comments

Unpublished Coffee Table Books

Over the years I have taken countless photos perhaps under the deluded belief that if I don’t visually document everything then those very things won’t exist because I have a magic camera and enchanted iPhone. Or maybe because I just like to take pictures. Either way, it has resulted in me having an untold number of images that I have time and time again organized into coffee table books that remain unpublished because of The Man (or because my own publisher wishes to remain profitable).
[more inside]
posted by Lexica at 8:43 AM - 21 comments

Shark Cats, portraits of terror

"It was a normal day when I grabbed my sketchpad and began to doodle. What came out was little scribbles of a horrible little creature: the Shark Cat. The initial design was based on the thresher shark. I found that the short face and extremely large eyes worked well with the cat aesthetic. However, as I kept sketching, I noticed that almost any shark species could be adapted." Shark Cats, portraits of terror, by concept artist/illustrator Brynn Metheney, who has more work on her Instagram account. (Not to be confused with the cat in a shark costume on a Roomba, previously).
posted by filthy light thief at 7:51 AM - 14 comments

Caring for monkeys pays better than caring for children

"Childcare providers’ wage growth was lower than the growth in wages paid to fast food workers. They were consistently in the bottom second or third percentile in salary rankings, sharing that status with parking lot attendants, laundry workers, fast food employees, and bartenders. Perhaps most strikingly, the people who care for our youngest children earn less than those who care for animals in zoos or homes."
posted by COD at 7:03 AM - 43 comments

Marion Barry, former contentious DC mayor, dies at 78.

Marion Barry, former 4-term mayor of Washington DC, has died at the age of 78.
posted by chainsofreedom at 6:35 AM - 50 comments

“I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations...”

A TALE OF MOMENTUM & INERTIA
posted by jenkinsEar at 5:29 AM - 13 comments

This Kid Just Died [VIDEO]

"Grief porn enters the Facebook era" "And, like regular pornography, the internet has transformed it. Freed from the already relaxed constraints of tabloid journalism, grief porn is no longer obligated to fake newsworthiness or importance. You don't need to die in a particularly tragic way; your death doesn't need to be the occasion for punishment or law-enactment. You just need to have produced consumable, shareable content before your untimely death. Rather than a news angle allowing a writer to smuggle grief porn into a paper, a grief-porn angle allows a content creator to smuggle a shareable unit onto Facebook." An interesting essay by Kelly Conaboy, ironically on Gawker.
posted by HuronBob at 4:10 AM - 62 comments

Dangerous days

For whom the bell tolls: accidental deaths in Tudor England
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:42 AM - 34 comments

Chocolate Smoke Persian Sugartump Supremo Disaronno

Hello. This year's Supreme Cat Show is taking place in Birmingham, England. The one-day show is one of the largest cat fancy competitions in Europe with over one thousand cats being exhibited. Observe Norwegian Forest Cat 'Kattjeules Tinkerbell', while Kirsty, who was at the event showing her Persian cat, said grooming the long-haired cat to get him show-ready was a lot of work and takes 20-30 minutes a day. In 2011 the process paid of for Mrs Murray and her moggie Mr Bojangles (whose show name is “Imperial Grand Premier & Supreme Kitten Isadoryou Mr Bojangles”) won the kitten category.
posted by Wordshore at 3:06 AM - 27 comments

Tenho que pegá-los todos!

There exists a trilogy of complete Portguese live-action Pokemon fanfilms. That is all. (Subtitles available, and not the automatically generated kind; click the Subtitles/CC button on the video's lower right.) Playlist links: The Mysterious Virus. Destiny of a Hero. The Light of Hope Part 1, Part 2. (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 12:08 AM - 2 comments

Migrating cerebral lesions indicate sparganosis

"The patient tested negative for HIV, tuberculosis, lime disease, syphilis, coccidioides, histoplasma and cryptococcus." After four years of MRIs, a person's mysterious headaches, seizures and altered sense of smell and memory are diagnosed as a tapeworm growing throughout his brain.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 12:00 AM - 48 comments

November 22

"Are we unable to live without a system of walls?"

Racing to Checkpoint Charlie – my memories of the Berlin Wall by Haruki Murakami [The Guardian] The Japanese novelist on why the fall of the Berlin wall has such resonance with his novels.
posted by Fizz at 8:56 PM - 9 comments

I'll pass on the stew, thanks

Girls Poop, Too! (SLYT)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:58 PM - 34 comments

They should've called themselves "West Wings" ...

President Josiah Bartlett, the First Lady, and Chief of Staff Leo McGarry sing "Wonderful Christmastime".
posted by WCityMike at 5:55 PM - 16 comments

Show the elephant, in the Bowery, with Mose the Fireboy

Mose the Fireboy, the Bowery B'hoy (and fireman) [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:38 PM - 4 comments

"I had no idea. You won't either."

Hey, Parents. What Minecraft Is Doing to Your Kids Is Kind of Surprising. - A comprehensive look at how Minecraft is enabling kids (and adults) to be more creative, collaborative, and aware of some harsh life-lessons. [more inside]
posted by quin at 5:36 PM - 42 comments

The best children's books of 2014

Maria Popova on the story, art, and universal truths of this year's best books for kids. [more inside]
posted by Banknote of the year at 4:59 PM - 5 comments

( ͡ಠ ʖ̯ ͡ಠ)

Professor Shyguy comes in like a wrecking ball. Awesome chiptune arrangement, great vocals, and a music video that's far funnier than it has any right to be.
posted by rorgy at 4:25 PM - 16 comments

Yeah, this isn't really a suitable bot for MetaFilter.

Have you ever wanted to pretend the mods are removing tweets from your timeline? Well, now you can! [via mefi projects]
posted by Going To Maine at 4:23 PM - 19 comments

NFL Concussion Settlement

How much is a brain worth to the NFL? FRONTLINE reporter Jason Breslow hosts a three minute video on the latest development between the NFL and former players. What's the monetary value of a human brain in this context? [more inside]
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:44 PM - 29 comments

Queer Birds

Birds, like quite a few other animals, can exhibit Gynandromorphism. Homosexual behavior in birds is also common. The phenomenon of avian spontaneous sex reversal has been well-documented, starting with Aristotle. Now modern researchers have uncovered yet another way in which birds are hacking sex roles: scientists think white-throated sparrows may actually be evolving a second pair of sex chromosomes.
posted by helpthebear at 2:31 PM - 14 comments

People think making art is easy ...

Sarah's Scribbles creatively balances several delightful influences. In an interview last winter, Sarah C. Andersen said her charming, silly, misanthropic, self-doubting, and relatable web comics (including her first "truly 'viral'" success, "Waking Up") have connections to Yotsuba (note: reads right to left) and Ponyo, plus Calvin and Hobbes (many previously). In comments this month associated with an FML, she added early Winnie the Pooh to the list and also mentioned where to find her illustrations in another style under another name. Her recent work for College Humor combines her comics with light essays. [more inside]
posted by Monsieur Caution at 11:44 AM - 5 comments

Where the rubber meets the road

Firestone operates one of the largest rubber plants in the world in Liberia. Firestone Liberia received a lot of positive press in the past few months after "stopping Ebola in its tracks" on its plantation in the country. But 22 years ago, Firestone Liberia played a different role in shaping Liberia's trajectory.
posted by ChuraChura at 11:10 AM - 5 comments

Feminism and Censorship

“The idea that in a free society absolutely everything should be open to debate has a detrimental effect on marginalized groups,” writes Niamh McIntyre on a proposed, protested, and then cancelled debate on abortion organized by Oxford Students for Life. The Oxford abortion controversy, argues Lizzie Crocker, is the latest example of an increasingly common instinct among certain feminists to argue that certain subjects and certain arguments are either off limits or simply not up for debate.
posted by shivohum at 11:04 AM - 107 comments

Tiny buildings. Make me happy.

Miniature buildings, beloved by many but collected by few. (SLNYT) Whatever your view of their intrinsic value (or lack thereof), it’s hard not to have an emotional reaction when confronted with the 1,200 or so small buildings on display here: the little churches with their soaring steeples, the quaint storefronts, the homespun bowling alleys, Art Deco theaters, Ferris wheels and farmhouses, all of them handmade and many dating to the late 19th century. [more inside]
posted by carmicha at 8:53 AM - 10 comments

Went to that rave, wish I'd gone to that one ... wait, or did I?

Rave flyers from all over the world, mid-1980's thru the early 2000's. Over 20,000 pieces of original Underground, Rave, Club, and Disco memorabilia (rave flyers, rave posters, laminates, tickets, etc.). My first massive rave, Toon Town's UFOs Are Real. Find a party you've been to and post in comments!
posted by King Sky Prawn at 8:10 AM - 26 comments

Slip Out the Back Jack; Make a New Plan Stan...

She Ate Combos: And 20 Other Surprising Relationship Last Straws Explained "Paul Simon crooned there are "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover," and Megan Rosati claims there are 52, but that's not even the tip of the iceberg when you're talking about reasons for dumping someone. " [cached version]
posted by 724A at 7:40 AM - 200 comments

"When I am an old woman I shall wear purple."

If you missed it when it first aired, you might want to check out the 2013 UK Channel 4 documentary Fabulous Fashionistas, which features six stylish, active women ranging in age from 73 to 91. If you're in the UK you can view the documentary here. If you live elsewhere, YouTube has some clips and Bust offers us a written overview. Michele Hanson has some pithy words on why she'd like to slap the Fabulous Fashionista commentator, and as a lovely little pendant on the topic of older women and style, here's a 2009 Guardian article by author Alison Lurie, "The Day I Threw Away Fashion".
posted by orange swan at 7:00 AM - 21 comments

We're all Huxtables

Wesley Morris & Rembert Browne over at Grantland have an amazing email discussion on the meaning of the Bill Cosby sexual assault revelations.
posted by jferg at 6:22 AM - 206 comments

"A good story is a good story, period."

Anyway, I had just finished reading a story I thought was really bad; I closed the book and said to myself, “I can do that.” I realized quite a bit later that I had given myself permission to write a bad story, but nevermind. I wrote a story in a notebook, the three-ringer lined paper kind, and I rented a typewriter. At least I knew it had to be typed double space, but that’s all I knew. I had never met a writer and there wasn’t a wealth of how-to books back then. I used the anthology for a clue about where to send the story and came up with Astounding Magazine. I sent off the story, and while I had the rented typewriter I wrote another story in the same notebook, copied it and this time sent it to Amazing. John Campbell at Astounding Magazine sent me a letter of acceptance along with a form to be notarized stating that it was an original story and I was the writer. I had no idea that that was not standard, and followed the instructions, and presently I received a check. I bought the typewriter with it.
For Amazing Stories, R.K. Troughton interviews should be a SFWA grandmaster already Kate Wilhelm, writer & novelist, co-creator of the Milford and Clarion Writing Workshops, designer of the Nebula Award. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 3:24 AM - 6 comments

November 21

Exciting New Developments in Slurping and Drooling and Hurrrr

For over sixteen years, the webcomic Jerkcity (previously over twelve years ago, wow) has provided beloved characters and (largely worksafe, except for maybe #191 and #5014 although they lack nudity) vulgarity. But more recently, the Jerkcity experience has been expanded by collaborative fan efforts that have been integrated into the main site (along with other site updates like tags and dialogue transcripts): redrawing project Jerkcity HD (some comics NSFW) and audio dramatization project Jerkcity Hi-Fi (if you're using headphones, you might want to turn them down a little when you listen). Too many details on these and other fan-efforts (and how people can contribute) inside. [more inside]
posted by BiggerJ at 11:11 PM - 21 comments

Sharon Isbin: Classical guitarist extraordinaire

Sharon Isbin is the Founder and Chair of the Guitar program at Julliard; she is widely heralded as one of the best classical guitarists on earth. To get you started, give a listen to the sublime nature of Isbin's gift as she plays the exquisite Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Francisco Tarrega [more inside]
posted by Vibrissae at 10:01 PM - 20 comments

ಠ_ಠ

DisapprovalLook.com, for all of your look of disapproval needs, plus numerous variations.
posted by jedicus at 9:01 PM - 45 comments

When My Mom Was an Astronaut

Jennifer Peepas (aka Captain Awkward) writes about infinite parallel universes from the perspective of an adopted child.
posted by automatic cabinet at 8:44 PM - 8 comments

The honest alternative to Kickstarter

Introducing WorkHarder, a “non-funding online platform for creative projects.” From Daily Show producer Jena Friedman, there's now a wonderful solution for all the artists out there who can't find enough friends to give them easy cash. [more inside]
posted by Catblack at 8:31 PM - 14 comments

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