Narrowly saved from the scrapyard just a few years earlier by then-mayor Dianne Feinstein, San Francisco's historic fireboat Phoenix
has been credited with saving the Marina District from a blaze in the wake of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Following this heroic feat, two anonymous residents donated $300,000 towards the purchase of a second fireboat, Guardian
, and a $50,000 gift from a Buddhist temple in the Marina funded her refurbishment. While Guardian
's 1,200-mile journey from Vancouver did not go entirely smoothly
, the crew arrived safely to a hero's welcome in San Francisco, including a water display
. Now, with a recent vote, city supervisors have approved funding to build the city's first new fireboat
in 60 years. [more inside]
posted by annekate at 3:11 AM - 0 comments
Unlike most murder ballads, The Long Black Veil
doesn't retell the story of an actual murder. Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkin borrowed bits of stories about Valentino and a murdered priest and a Red Foley chorus and crafted their own story in 1959 to create what he hoped would be a folk song for the ages. [more inside]
posted by julen at 1:39 AM - 4 comments
Pet Shop Boys, still going strong after over 30 years, and still as inventive as ever, debuted their "orchestral pop biography in eight parts for electronics, orchestra, choir, and narrator"
at the BBC Proms last night. A Man From The Future
[audio only, BBC3 recording, available for 4 weeks, 1h55m] is an exploration of the life of Alan Turing. The performance includes Chrissie Hynde performing classic PSB accompanied by a full orchestra in the first half, and the premiere of AMFTF as the second half.
posted by hippybear at 12:30 AM - 5 comments
In 1964, less than 7% of Mississippi’s African Americans were registered to vote, compared to between 50 and 70% in other southern states. In many rural counties, African Americans made up the majority of the population and the segregationist white establishment was prepared to use any means necessary to keep them away from the polls and out of elected office. As Mississippian William Winter recalls, “A lot of white people thought that African Americans in the South would literally take over and white people would have to move, would have to get out of the state.”
This summer fifty years ago well over a thousand volunteers went to Mississippi to help register as many African-Americans as possible to vote, in the Freedom Summer, which would end with at least seven people murdered for their support for the campaign. For PBS's American Experience series, director Stanley Nelson has created a movie about the campaign, which you can watch online
. A transcript
and other resources
are also available.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:29 PM - 3 comments
"The Soup" host Joel McHale takes a classic 1959 Ford Skyliner to new heights with "Veep" star Tony Hale. Comedians in Cars Getting Cocaine
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 6:16 PM - 20 comments
A Church Divided Over Marriage Equality
The Church’s rules against homosexuality have divided Methodists for forty years. Attempts to abolish or even soften these rules have failed at every General Conference, the quadrennial meeting of the denomination, since they were first added, in 1972, to the Book of Discipline, which contains the Church’s laws and doctrine.
"And They Will Know We Are Christians by Our Love
"Methodists should call meeting on gay divide, pastor says
"Ranks of defiant United Methodist clergy rise
"Defrocking of Minister Widens Split Over Gays
posted by davidstandaford at 4:56 PM - 16 comments
Why Silicon Valley Needs The Coder Grrrls Of Double Union, The Feminist Hacker Space
The lack of women in the tech world isn't just a pipeline problem--it's one of rampant sexism. Enter the haven of Double Union. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 4:44 PM - 47 comments
"Ancora Tu" is an Italian phrase roughly translating to "You Again". It's also the name of a classic 1976 pop song
by Lucio Battisti and Mogol. [more inside]
posted by rollick at 2:39 PM - 1 comment
Which sport are you physically most suited for? Find out with some help from the BBC!
posted by phunniemee at 1:56 PM - 121 comments
And the bartender's, like, "No kidding. You think I wished for a twelve-inch pianist
?" So the guy processes this.
(SLNewYorker) [more inside]
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:51 PM - 108 comments
"...it's social media that has helped build the public case against Russia
" in Ukraine. One example is liveuamap.com
, who "gather information from open sources and put it on the [Google] map" using familiar Google Maps markers for a Reds (Pro-Russian) vs Blues (Pro-Ukraine) theater map. Shaded regions indicate the Donetsk People's Republic
(DNR; Red), Lugansk People's Republic
(LNR; Purple), the MH17
crash site (Yellow), and the MH17 ceasefire zone
(green). The posts linked to by each marker include a link to the source via a chain icon at the bottom of the post.
posted by jwells at 12:55 PM - 5 comments
It's hardly breaking news, but more and more people are questioning the race to the Ivy League that in some cases begins as early as preschool. And in addition to perpetuating the increasingly-rigid class structure in the US, the Ivy League colleges are inadvertently creating and admitting students who have no idea how to really take advantage of the resources available to them. So writes William Deresiewicz in his article, "Don't Send Your Kid to the Ivy League
" from the New Republic:
So extreme are the admission standards now that kids who manage to get into elite colleges have, by definition, never experienced anything but success. The prospect of not being successful terrifies them, disorients them. The cost of falling short, even temporarily, becomes not merely practical, but existential. The result is a violent aversion to risk. You have no margin for error, so you avoid the possibility that you will ever make an error. Once, a student at Pomona told me that she’d love to have a chance to think about the things she’s studying, only she doesn’t have the time. I asked her if she had ever considered not trying to get an A in every class. She looked at me as if I had made an indecent suggestion.
See also Deresiewicz's earlier article, "The Disadvantages of an Elite Education"
from American Scholar, previously discussed on the blue
posted by math at 12:34 PM - 113 comments
All of The Baffler's
back issues are available online
, for free. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:30 AM - 26 comments
Look: it’s not that I’m a dick when it comes to this stuff. It’s that I like to think that I have standards based on exposure to the interdependent duo of lit and life. But if I decide not to wuss out and instead uphold my particular notion of standards, I’m a dick, and being a dick could lead to dickish reviews of my own stuff from Shane Jones, his friends, and friends of the publisher. George Saunders told us all to “err in the direction of kindness.” But is this essay/review I’m writing unkind? Is it selfish? Is it generous? Is a kindness policy maybe too simple?
Lee Klein worries about small-press book reviewing
in an ambivalent, lukewarm take on Shane Jones's new novel Crystal Eaters
) that others have, all the same, called cowardly and dickish.
posted by RogerB at 9:49 AM - 35 comments
Throwing a theme party? Need some background music whilst checking out your ex's facebook pics? Do you pine for times gone by? Step into the Nostalgia Machine!
posted by stinkfoot at 8:35 AM - 103 comments
A robot with a broken leg learns to walk again
posted by tocts at 8:28 AM - 16 comments
A "pulled-back subpoena was the most flagrant example of how the commission, established with great ceremony by Mr. Cuomo in July 2013, was hobbled almost from the outset by demands from the governor’s office.
" (SLNYT, ~6800 words)
posted by Chutzler at 7:57 AM - 32 comments
The History of Autocorrect
...some of the calls were quite tricky, and one of the trickiest involved the issue of obscenity. On one hand, Word didn't want to seem priggish; on the other, it couldn't very well go around recommending the correct spelling of mothrefukcer. Microsoft was sensitive to these issues. The solution lay in expanding one of spell-check's most special lists, bearing the understated title: “Words which should neither be flagged nor suggested.”
posted by frimble at 6:40 AM - 73 comments
NPR's Planet Money
explains the history of the sales tax in the United States by tracing what kinds of sandwiches get taxed and why: How the Burrito Became a Sandwich
. Bonus: In-N-Out Burger history in the podcast.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:19 PM - 152 comments
is a tumblr featuring furniture/clothing/etc. from the tv show Columbo
posted by Room 641-A at 8:34 PM - 31 comments
An animated interpretation of the strange life of Boston Corbett,
the man who killed John Wilkes Booth. It was animated in charcoal, pastels and crayon on the pages of 12 paperback books. [more inside]
posted by bq at 8:17 PM - 5 comments
Doing his best Orson Welles impression
, Ze Frank administers a Voight-Kampff Test to a Vancouver TED audience.
posted by kliuless at 8:08 PM - 26 comments
Sixteen-year-old Agnes Quill has inherited an ancient family curse, brought about by the loss of her parents. Several of our key scholars have accounted for and confirmed that she has the ability to see and communicate with spirits trapped between worlds. In several confidential journal entries, Agnes describes the events of her parents’ funeral, where the ghost of her Grandfather, Ages Quill, visited her. It was then that he explained the nature of specters and how he used his connections with them to great advantage throughout his career. Ms. Quill's stories
are written by Astronaut Academy
creator Dave Roman
, and illustrated by a growing collection of artists
. (via io9
posted by filthy light thief at 7:27 PM - 3 comments
"Saying "Hey, I like Kim" isn't as inspiring to people as us getting married. And anyone that's in a relationship knows that in order to get to the point to get married and then to be married and to then carry on, it needs that work put into it. Right now, people look at it and it's like, "Wow, that's inspiring." Meaning that love is infectious. You know, God is infectious—God flowing through us and us being little-baby creators and shit. But His energy and His love and what He wants us to have as people and the way He wants us to love each other, that is infectious. Like they said in Step Brothers
: Never lose your dinosaur.
This is the ultimate example of a person never losing his dinosaur. Meaning that even as I grew in cultural awareness and respect and was put higher in the class system in some way for being this musician, I never lost my dinosaur." GQ interviews Kanye West. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods at 7:08 PM - 34 comments
unreleased album with her band The Fates has been reissued by Finder's Keepers
on vinyl. You may know Una Baines as the first keyboard player in the Fall, as a founding member of Blue Orchids or from a short lived stint in Nico's backing band. The Fates were a "women's group"
operating at the intersection of post-punk, english mysticism, indie and folk. (Link goes to an interview at the defunct online Fall zine Reformation!) [more inside]
posted by kittensofthenight at 6:44 PM - 6 comments
Stories of Change: -
Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia.
An inside perspective from local visual storytellers on everyday life in North Africa.
posted by adamvasco at 4:54 PM - 3 comments
Small South Carolina town rallies for fired lesbian police chief
LATTA, S.C. (AP) -- When openly gay police chief Crystal Moore was fired by a mayor who condemned her lifestyle as "questionable," she feared her two decade career in law enforcement in this town was over. Then, this conservative, small town rebelled.
posted by Lexica at 4:43 PM - 59 comments
The people of Latta, who voted overwhelmingly for a state amendment banning gay marriage eight years ago, turned against the mayor, stripped him of his powers and the town council rehired Moore. They said her dedication to the town mattered more than her sexual orientation.
An Oral History of the 1989 Cleveland Indians.
It was 1989, and no one knew that the usually predictable world of Major League Baseball was about to get as topsy turvy as it could. Here's the story of a plucky band of misfits, fighting against the entrenched baseball establishment, to obtain success in their efforts against their playing opponents, and an evil owner bent on relocation. [more inside]
posted by LoRichTimes at 1:13 PM - 35 comments
Mallory Ortberg of The Toast continues the fine tradition of providing not-so-serious narration to very-serious art. This time, she tackles the Judgment of Paris
, a theme "based on a legend where three supremely powerful goddesses asked a worthless male mortal to rank them in order of attractiveness in order to win a sculpture of a fruit." [more inside]
posted by Ouverture at 1:03 PM - 55 comments
Only 15 million, riiiight.
A data experiment out of Florida State University maps the location of 1 million of the 15 million publicly available online images tagged with the word "cat." Using a supercomputer and the map coordinates imbedded in their metadata, I Know Where Your Cat Lives
shows where each image was taken, to within an estimated 7.8 meters accuracy. [more inside]
posted by gottabefunky at 12:19 PM - 72 comments
They grew up in America, were deported or returned to Mexico for other reasons and faced challenges and opportunities alike. A recently funded kickstarter
for a book called "Los Otros Dreamers" tells the struggles and hopes of the other DREAMers. Nancy Landa, a deported honors graduate of California State University, who has lived in Tijuana and London since her deportation in 2009, is about to begin a research project
collecting the experiences of voluntary and involuntary returns to Mexico after a long time in the U.S. To help in a country that is foreign to them the Mexican nonprofit Dream in Mexico
supports young people who just arrived in Mexico. The German Der Spiegel
interviewed three young deportees and how returning to Mexico after a lifetime in the U.S was both, a culture shock and an opportunity for a better life. [in German]
posted by travelwithcats at 11:55 AM - 3 comments
Why the modern bathroom is a wasteful, unhealthy design
"Piped water may be the greatest convenience ever known but our sewage systems and bathrooms are a disaster" [more inside]
posted by flex at 11:52 AM - 168 comments
What do you get when you subtract all the extraneous banter from an episode of "Family Feud"? About three minutes of actual game show. (SLYT).
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 11:39 AM - 69 comments
It's astonishing how many of the people conducting interviews and passing judgement on the careers of candidates have had no training at all on how to do it well. Aside from their own interviews, they may not have ever seen one. I'm all for learning on your own but at least when you write a program wrong it breaks. Without a natural feedback loop, interviewing mostly runs on myth and survivor bias. "Empirically", people who wear suits don't do well; therefore anyone in a suit is judged before they open their mouths. On my interview I remember we did thus & so, therefore I will always do thus & so. I'm awesome and I know X; therefore anyone who doesn't know X is an idiot. Exceptions, also known as opportunities for learning, are not allowed to occur. This completes the circle.
According to Carlos Bueno, Silicon Valley is not a meritocracy, it's a mirrortocracy
where startups hire the people that resemble them the most. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 11:35 AM - 61 comments
Musical proof that Scully Likes Science
posted by mudpuppie at 11:33 AM - 8 comments
The Daily Harassment of Women in the Game Industry.
"It’s telling that men in the gaming industry, or simply commentators, refuse to listen to the reality of these situations and try to help. They’d rather talk over women and convince themselves of a fictional reality that’s more comforting."
posted by Librarypt at 11:13 AM - 15 comments
Morph is a plasticine man
, star of many short animated films made for the BBC from the 1970s onwards by Aardman Animations
, who would later use the similar techniques for Wallace & Gromit.
A Kickstarter campaign
last year has paid for 12 new one minute episodes. [more inside]
posted by DanCall at 11:12 AM - 4 comments
Arizona’s Checkpoint Rebellion
Liberals, libertarians, retirees, and activists protest against immigration patrols far from the border.
DHS Checkpoint Refusals
Am I being detained? Am I free to go?
posted by davidstandaford at 10:57 AM - 39 comments
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