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October 20

I know who you are and I saw what you did.

How secure is public wi-fi? A lot less than you probably imagine.
posted by Obscure Reference at 11:13 AM - 2 comments

I went down to the crossroads, fell down on my knees...

Whether you are a scholar looking for more knowledge and pleasure in life, a bluesman looking for more talent and success, or a 4th grade boy looking to make a quick buck, perhaps the time is right to leverage that one thing for which there was previously no market? The soultradingcompany.com is here to help!
posted by mosk at 10:24 AM - 7 comments

Two Ships That Pass In The Night

This is a picture of a comet heading for Mars. Mars is the big red thing and the comet, named C/2013 A1 ('Siding Spring'), is the green-tailed beast to the lower left. [more inside]
posted by benito.strauss at 9:44 AM - 15 comments

With a Little Help From My Fwends

One week from today, The Flaming Lips will release their full album cover of The Beatles' iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. NPR is now streaming the entire record for preview. [more inside]
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:35 AM - 26 comments

Had NASA believed in merit

“I would give my life to fly in space. It’s hard for me to talk about it but I would. I would then, and I will now.” The terrible injustice of Jerrie Cobb, who deserved to be the first female astronaut, yet never made it to space at all.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:33 AM - 13 comments

Poetry in an unexpected place.

Testicles. Pericles was a Greek leader in 461 BC. Testicles too rule men, but in a different way. They slap between our legs when we move. They become sweaty. Their Leydig cells produce testosterone, which makes our muscles grow. Many men think about balls a lot. Still others write articles about their balls. Here are some. [more inside]
posted by rhombus at 9:18 AM - 3 comments

Streaming Music Has Left Me Adrift

Like blasted pecs or a little rhinestone flag pin, esoteric taste in music is an indicator of values. Under the heel of the major-label system in the early ’90s, indie taste meant more than liking weird bands. To care about obscure bands was to reject the perceived conformity of popular culture, to demand a more nuanced reading of the human experience than Amy Grant’s “Baby Baby” and therefore to assert a certain kind of life. That assertion was central to my identity as a young adult, and I found that people who shared it were more likely to agree with me on seemingly unrelated issues. Like all aesthetics, taste in music is a worldview.
posted by josher71 at 7:53 AM - 87 comments

The Obama Legacy

The Obama Brief: The President considers his judicial legacy. (SL New Yorker)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:43 AM - 10 comments

She says I’m always “Apollo 13 this” and “Lunokhod that”

Tom Hanks, somewhat of an authority on going to the moon, wrote about it in The New Yorker. (You, too, can write like Tom Hanks!)
posted by emelenjr at 6:44 AM - 15 comments

Mayokero by Roy Kafri

In this amazing new music video, a bevy of music legends performs a human beat box ditty a-capella. It's part fun game of "recognize that album cover", and part heart-wrenching story of a man with great taste in music but awful taste in consumer electronics. And all in just over two minutes. (SLYT)
posted by Silky Slim at 6:03 AM - 7 comments

They are, once again, your Joey Ramone

On October 21, Sub-Pop will be releasing Get Up, a vinyl box set of remastered versions of Sleater-Kinney's discography. Included with the expected content was a 7" labeled 1/20/15 containing a new song. Titled "Bury Your Friends", it can be streamed at Consequence of Sound. Plugged into Shazam, the song gives you the cover art for an as-yet non-extant album, No Cities To Love. The band has officially let the cat out of the bag, and reunion tour dates are on their website.
posted by Going To Maine at 5:26 AM - 42 comments

Fake deaths, cheap resurrections, and dealing with real grief

William Hughes writes movingly about the death of his partner and how it has changed how he reacts to the portrayal of death and resurrection in media.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 5:24 AM - 9 comments

I also check my skeletons twice. You can never be too careful.

I waited silently for her to explain that the female pelvis is shaped slightly differently from the male’s, with a larger opening for childbearing. That part was the giveaway. The real purpose of the exercise was to make her prove her conjecture with measurements--to translate the theory to practice. I also wanted her to explain why this sexual dimorphism--that is, this sexually determined physical difference--is not nearly so pronounced in nonhuman primates, such as chimpanzees.

She spoke: Males have one fewer pair of ribs than females.
When teacher Robert S. Root-Bernstein got this answer to his question on how you should distinguish between male and female skeletons, he had to find a way to make her realise her error without disparaging her religion.
posted by MartinWisse at 3:12 AM - 190 comments

October 19

Cubist Reggae

Cubist Reggae. From the mind of Aaron Funk, aka Venetian Snares, comes an EP of sharply angular, yet weirdly chill, grooves, all in a variety of unusual time signatures (7/4, 5/4, 15/8, and 21/16).
posted by rorgy at 10:08 PM - 14 comments

The bitterer the betterer.

As a taster, it’s important to know that compared with sour or salty, bitterness is slow to affect our palates. The first two are very simple chemical phenomena and require only the simplest of cellular mechanisms to fire off their signals to the brain. Bitterness, like sweetness and umami, requires an intermediate molecule, something called a G-coupled protein. It takes a little longer to do its thing, and this time dimension of tasting is something that you always need to pay attention to.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 5:05 PM - 36 comments

An enthusiastic public reading journal.....

In Praise of Anne Rice's Amazon Reviews
posted by The Whelk at 3:37 PM - 28 comments

Super Intelligent Humans are Coming

...the implication is clear: If a human being could be engineered to have the positive version of each causal variant, they might exhibit cognitive ability which is roughly 100 standard deviations above average. This corresponds to more than 1,000 IQ points.
posted by latkes at 3:17 PM - 117 comments

The story of the Mamas and the Papas, as "an epic tone-poem"

Mama Cass opened a live performance of Creeque Alley with the following: "Everywhere we go, people ask us how we got together. We got tired of answering that question, because everybody does ask us*.... John has written an epic tone-poem of historical nature describing our very get-together, and so we'd like to sing it for you now. Cue the tape." If it's a bit too fast for you to catch all the references, Creeque Alley (dot com) spells it all out line by line, thanks to "painstaking research, some guesswork and a lot of help from many people," including Richard Campbell and his official Cass Elliot website. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:53 PM - 19 comments

And if the guest wants to stay at the house, the house is there…

On 27 June 2014, Puʻu ʻŌʻō Crater of the Kīlauea Volcano in Hawaii started a new lava flow, beheading a previous flow. The flow headed northeast through the Puna district towards Pāhoa, passing right by the Kahoe Homesteads subdivision. At the moment the flow is stalled short of Apa`a Street in Pāhoa, but it could resume and ultimately cut the town in half. What to do? [more inside]
posted by metaquarry at 2:14 PM - 7 comments

"A master gambler and his high-stakes museum."

Walsh agreed to pay Boltanski for the right to film his studio, outside Paris, twenty-four hours a day, and to transmit the images live to Walsh, in Tasmania. But the payment was turned into a macabre bet: the agreed fee was to be divided by eight years, and Boltanski was to be paid a monthly stipend, calculated as a proportion of that period, until his death. Should Boltanski, who was sixty-five years old, live longer than eight years, Walsh will end up paying more than the work is worth, and will have lost the bet. But if Boltanski dies within eight years the gambler will have purchased the work at less than its agreed-upon value, and won. "He has assured me that I will die before the eight years is up, because he never loses. He’s probably right," Boltanski told Agence France-Presse in 2009. "I don’t look after myself very well. But I’m going to try to survive." He added, "Anyone who never loses or thinks he never loses must be the Devil."
Tasmanian Devil is the story of David Walsh and his Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart, Tasmania, as told by recent Man Booker winner Richard Flanagan.
posted by Kattullus at 1:35 PM - 11 comments

The author admits that he ought to know better

Nonsense Novels by Stephen Leacock. Hat tip to Kate Beaton's tumblr, where Nonsense Novels is also available as a pdf download from the NYRB, with an introduction by Daniel Handler. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia at 1:03 PM - 10 comments

"...to stay conscious and alive, day in and day out."

Endnotes: David Foster Wallace, BBC Documentary. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 12:50 PM - 5 comments

carne vera sacra

Venerated Members - Europe's History of Penis Worship [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:46 PM - 15 comments

Family Planning: The short, long and speculative issues

Some interesting recent links on family planning in the short, long and speculative senses.

- Catherine Rampell examines the "information gap" surrounding birth control and family planning amongst young people with lower levels of education.
- Sarah Perry examines the history of fertility transitions over the last 300 years.
- Carl Shulman and Nick Bostrom examine the potential effects of human genetic selection in the next 50 years. [more inside]
posted by Another Fine Product From The Nonsense Factory at 11:30 AM - 6 comments

“Look! Sister Mary Lydia, look. There’s a fireball out there.”

"Only the pen of a Dante could do justice to the sights and sounds that occurred in the St. Clair-Norwood neighborhood that hellish afternoon." Tomorrow marks the 70th anniversary of the East Ohio Gas Explosion, “when fire rained down and streets literally collapsed." Three above ground tanks holding liquified natural gas leaked, caught fire, and exploded, leveling one square mile in Cleveland and killing 130 people. It also served the backdrop to local author Don Robertson's beloved novel The Greatest Thing Since Sliced Bread, which follows the adventures of a nine-year-old boy on that day.
posted by How the runs scored at 10:54 AM - 6 comments

Douchebag: The White Racial Slur We've All Been Waiting For

I am a white, middle class male professor at a big, public university, and every year I get up in front of a hundred and fifty to two hundred undergraduates in a class on the history of race in America and I ask them to shout white racial slurs at me. The results are usually disappointing. [more inside]
posted by 724A at 9:36 AM - 144 comments

Alzheimers Insiders

How a doctor, a trader, and the billionaire Steven A. Cohen got entangled in a vast financial scandal.
As Dr. Sid Gilman approached the stage, the hotel ballroom quieted with anticipation. It was July 29, 2008, and a thousand people had gathered in Chicago for the International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease. For decades, scientists had tried, and failed, to devise a cure for Alzheimer’s. But in recent years two pharmaceutical companies, Elan and Wyeth, had worked together on an experimental drug called bapineuzumab, which had shown promise in halting the cognitive decay caused by the disease. Tests on mice had proved successful, and in an initial clinical trial a small number of human patients appeared to improve... There would be huge demand for a drug that diminishes the effects of Alzheimer’s. As Elan and Wyeth spent hundreds of millions of dollars concocting and testing bapineuzumab, and issued hints about the possibility of a medical breakthrough, investors wondered whether bapi, as it became known, might be “the next Lipitor.” Several months before the Chicago conference, Barron’s published a cover story speculating that bapi could become “the biggest drug of all time."
[more inside]
posted by GrammarMoses at 9:25 AM - 21 comments

"Tell me if you hear the fence rattling..."

Life Academy of Health and Bioscience is a small public high school in Oakland, California. In 2011 a small group of student poets evolved, calling themselves "Rapid Fire" . "At a recent “spoken word” event, senior Monica Mendoza performed her poem "Faggot" . With steady determination backed up by thoughtful research, Mendoza explained why people should never use the word. Her crescendo invoked the names of young gay men who lost their lives because of their sexuality. “Every time you use the word faggot…tell me if you hear Bobby Griffith’s prayers begging for God to forgive him for being gay/ tell me if you heard the truck smash him to death…/ tell me if you hear the fence rattling after Matthew Shepard was tied and tortured." (The original article in the Southern Poverty Law Center's "Teaching Tolerance" project site)
posted by HuronBob at 7:40 AM - 2 comments

Nyeah nargh eeah fwa fwa

IT IS SO YUMMY
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:25 AM - 26 comments

Cursors

Cursors is a fascinating maze game where you have to cooperate with others with very limited ways of communicating.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:49 AM - 57 comments

October 18

On Sewing as a Universal Language

Cousu Main (which starts here) is an adaptation of The Great British Sewing Bee, and the blog of one of the participants features significant spoilers for this season. Although it's in French, the show is not hard for an English speaker to follow, just as Project Runway Vietnam (2013: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8), Project Runway Korea (2009: 1 2 3 4 5 6 ...), and Projeto Fashion from Brazil--among others--make some sense to those familiar with the English-language series Project Runway Australia, Project Runway Canada, Project Runway Malaysia (2007 finale: 1-5 and 6), Project Runway Philippines (2008: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15), and Mission Catwalk from Jamaica.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:02 PM - 11 comments

UnScientific American

Things happen. "Psychic" events mainly take place in dramatic and family-based situations. Not in a lab. Here is one example. [more inside]
posted by kozad at 8:59 PM - 198 comments

It's ALL THE RAGE with the HIP YOUTHS.

"Dadcore?" "Momcore?" What the heck are these trendy lingoes?
posted by ourt at 8:09 PM - 56 comments

Spinach dip and pork rinds for dinner? Heavy cream on everything? Yes.

The "Keto Diet" is deigned to keep your body in a constant state of ketosis. Originally designed to help people with sever epilepsy, it has become quite a popular way to lose a large amount of weight in a short period. [more inside]
posted by lattiboy at 5:11 PM - 116 comments

With the Juice of This I'll Fill Her Vessyl

Introducing Carrot, set to disrupt lunchtime forever. Seamlessly deliver nutrients to your body!
posted by sleepy psychonaut at 3:20 PM - 41 comments

Paper shredders are fascinating

What It's Like To Work With Cats
posted by desjardins at 11:01 AM - 72 comments

"It just doesn't seem quite fair."

Is Sampling Tom Petty Like Plagiarizing from Moby-Dick? [SLYT] Mini-documentary on 'sampling' circa 1989.
posted by Fizz at 10:43 AM - 24 comments

Practice makes prefect

Álvaro Franca's Typewritten Portraits is a time-lapse video showing the artist using the typewriter to progressively, manually build portraits of favorite authors. Other works also deal with the idea of repetition in type, including calligraphy, a multilingual silkscreen and patterns of icons.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:36 AM - 3 comments

It takes a lot of listening. Good art isn’t obvious

Getting Out of the Woods: A Primer on Not Being a Music Hater
posted by josher71 at 9:39 AM - 140 comments

Success means doing X, Y and Z, just like {company} did!

In this video from the 2014 World Domination Summit Author Scott Berkun talks about narrative bias: our tendency to tell stories about, well, everything. He said Hollywood will keep making the same cheesy blockbuster action films with predictable plots simply because we like and recognize the story. He also applies this frame to entrepreneurship, writing, and art.
posted by 4midori at 9:13 AM - 6 comments

Always remember it is YOUR project and YOUR paper and YOUR thesis.

"As the academic year begins again, new PhD students across the country (and further) are slowly settling into their fresh surroundings. I stayed at the same university when I made the switch to postgraduate research but I still remember feeling quite lost at the start, not knowing what to do or where to be. I’m now entering the final year of my studies and have (I hope) picked up some useful knowledge along the way.

"So I’ll cut right to the point: below is a list of handy tips, tricks, general advice and things I wish I knew when I started my PhD. The list was put together from chats with other PhD friends of mine, but is by no means exhaustive (nor is it in any particular order, though it did get quite long…). Hopefully it will help somebody. Please share your comments at the bottom if you have things to add – the more the merrier." Things I wish I knew when I started my PhD… from Between a rock and a hard place.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 8:37 AM - 58 comments

'Am I being catfished?' An author confronts her number one online critic

When a bad review of her first novel appeared online, Kathleen Hale was warned not to respond. But she soon found herself wading in (The Guardian)
posted by Quilford at 7:35 AM - 105 comments

Who Wins The Scene

Who wins the scene.... Tony Zhou dissects the initial Clarice/Hannibal scene in Silence Of The Lambs. More of Zhou's work can be found on his website "Every Frame a Painting".
posted by HuronBob at 7:23 AM - 26 comments

We still have no idea what we are doing, but it keeps getting better

How to plan your own tour: using the Internet and your fans.
People started to demand, in tweets and comments, that we play in their city. And the most important thing we’ve ever done is reply to them with this: “sure. where?” That’s the important question. At first we would track down and e-mail these fans who were making the demands, asking for advice on venues. Once we had a mailing list, we used it to send targeted “please help us” emails... And then we created our holy grail: THE MAGICAL FORM OF TOUR PLANNING.
Angela Webber, of geek-folk sister duo The Doubleclicks (previously), provides a rundown of how the band plans its tours.
posted by Shmuel510 at 6:10 AM - 8 comments

I've fallen, and I can't get up!

Tiny little people charge enthusiastically into the breach. The tiny, shiny rectangular spinning breach. No tiny little people were harmed in the making of this video. I think.
posted by ardgedee at 4:25 AM - 52 comments

What The Hell Is All This Mess?

The most epic nerf war in history. RackaRacka are wannabe film-makers on a rampage. [more inside]
posted by h00py at 3:04 AM - 14 comments

FOR I HAVE ONE OF THESE THINGS IN COMMON: AND MY NAME IS TIGTONE!

The Begun of Tigtone! Gloriously indescribable cod-epic fantasy animation. [more inside]
posted by Sebmojo at 2:24 AM - 13 comments

October 17

Friends With Siri

How Apple’s Siri Became One Autistic Boy's B.F.F. [more inside]
posted by stp123 at 8:54 PM - 39 comments

What if The Decemberists put out an album where nobody died?

“Society Is Functioning Pretty Well (Here In The Past Where We Live)”. Shared by the band on facebook, both comment sections have (of course) extended the list far beyond the original.
posted by davey_darling at 8:45 PM - 29 comments

Buy now, pay forever

Continuing the exposure of how "being poor is expensive," the Washington Post takes a look at rent-to-own purchases in its article, Rental America: Why the poor pay $4,150 for a $1,500 sofa. [more inside]
posted by fireoyster at 7:22 PM - 115 comments

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