April 24

Soft skills, such as "grit" and "creativity," are being increasingly considered in school admissions and job recruiting while standardized test scores and knowledge are being de-emphasized. But can you measure what they're looking for, or even gauge it holistically? [more inside]
posted by ChuckRamone at 7:02 AM - 31 comments

Ken Tanaka and David Ury’s ‘Everybody Dies’. A book about death.
posted by josher71 at 6:27 AM - 6 comments

Chess Clock Jenga
posted by Jpfed at 6:22 AM - 13 comments

The 1998 hit "The Way" by Fastball was based on the real-life disappearance of an elderly couple in Texas: The song’s lyrics -- about an elderly couple who disappears from their home, finding immortality on the road -- seem sweet. That is, until "shadows" on the highway are referenced. The promises that the unnamed couple will never go home, grow old, or be hungry again seem a great deal less reassuring. Perhaps, the listener thinks, the "immortality" they found on the open road is purely allegorical.
posted by Cash4Lead at 6:08 AM - 13 comments

Defiant rancher and conservative hero Clive Bundy said in a NYTimes interview, “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro”. You'll totally believe what happens next. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:49 AM - 74 comments

Fox cub trapped in a can. SLYT. Adorableness RDA: 100%
posted by greenish at 5:08 AM - 13 comments

The New York City Rescue Mission set up a social experiment with a hidden camera to see if people would notice their loved ones posing as homeless people as they walked past. [more inside]
posted by gman at 5:04 AM - 17 comments

The Federal Communications Commission has announced that they would propose new rules allowing content providers to pay ISPs for priority "fast lanes," reversing their earlier position and effectively rejecting the principle of net neutrality held since the earliest days of the internet. The full set of proposed rules will be announced on May 15. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 3:38 AM - 88 comments

Can you ever be reasonably sure that something is random, in the same sense you can be reasonably sure something is not random (for example, because it consists of endless nines)? Even if a sequence looked random, how could you ever rule out the possibility that it had a hidden deterministic pattern? And what exactly do we mean by “random,” anyway?
posted by empath at 12:22 AM - 25 comments

April 23

Chaos Magazine brings together Papis Loveday and Shaun Ross for a photoshoot. Behind the scenes.
posted by divabat at 11:19 PM - 0 comments

The American Middle Class Is No Longer the World’s Richest. The American middle class, long the most affluent in the world, has lost that distinction. Comparing income by country. About the data.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:46 PM - 35 comments

The Root's ?uestlove on the invisibilizing of Black culture... "...you can point to this as proof of hip-hop’s success. The concept travels. But where has it traveled? The danger is that it has drifted into oblivion. The music originally evolved to paint portraits of real people and handle real problems at close range — social contract, anyone? — but these days, hip-hop mainly rearranges symbolic freight on the black starliner. Containers on the container ship are taken from here to there — and never mind the fact that they may be empty containers. Keep on pushin’ and all that, but what are you pushing against?" [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata at 9:31 PM - 20 comments

Building A Bigger Action Hero
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:36 PM - 43 comments

"These people want to believe in a false reality, they want to believe in conspiracy theories, they want to believe that their government is evil, they want to believe that the biblical Anti-Christ sits in the White House and that the so-called End Times are upon us, they want to believe that the President is plotting their demise because that justifies their hatred and bigotry and their miserable unhappiness." Jim Wright, retired naval officer, occasional military intelligence consultant, craftsman and blogger, illustrates the process by which the media exploits lazy critical thinking to create a false narrative that alienates us from one another.
posted by Lou Stuells at 7:24 PM - 43 comments

As part of its effort to combat insurgent forces interspersed within an indigenous population, the use of biometrics has become a central component of the U.S. war effort. Having expanded heavily since its introduction during the war in Iraq, biometric identification and tracking of individuals has become a core mission in Afghanistan with initiatives sponsored by the U.S. and Afghan governments seeking to obtain the biometric identifiers of nearly everyone in the country. [more inside]
posted by gorbweaver at 7:09 PM - 4 comments

Inside, please find a list of twenty-eight movies, TV episodes, and short subjects by Errol Morris and two movies about Errol Morris, all of which can be streamed, along with some short descriptions of their content. [more inside]
posted by Going To Maine at 6:32 PM - 23 comments

Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o has landed the cover of People's annual World's Most Beautiful issue. In February, she gave a moving speech (transcript) about how media depictions of "beauty" affected her. Why Lupita Nyong'o's 'People' Cover Is So Significant.
posted by lalex at 6:26 PM - 17 comments

UC OKs paying surgeon $10 million in whistleblower-retaliation case. 'The settlement ends a case brought by the ex-head of UCLA's orthopedic surgery department, who says the medical school allowed doctors to take industry payments that may have compromised patient care.' 'In 2012, the surgeon sued UCLA, the UC regents, fellow surgeons and senior university officials, alleging they failed to act on his complaints about widespread conflicts of interest and later retaliated against him for speaking up.'[SL LATimes, use privacy settings in browser] [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 4:35 PM - 14 comments

Made for French television to promote a map exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris Raúl Ruiz's (wiki imdb) Zig-Zag is a good place to begin one's trek through the Chilean artists work. [more inside]
posted by AtoBtoA at 4:31 PM - 1 comment

"We’ve run off at the mouth, said things we shouldn’t have said. We’ve run around like a peacock all over the platform. We have said things because we were playing to the home team, and they all liked our act. On this issue, nobody likes our act, except the redneck factor." That was Pastor Greg Belser speaking at the Southern Baptist Convention's first ever conference on human sexuality currently being held in Nashville. As promising as those remarks are, however, Slate notes that the SBC still has a long way to go.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 4:23 PM - 18 comments

Shakespeare Jest-Books: Reprints of the Early and Very Rare Jest-Books Supposed to Have Been Used by Shakespeare.
posted by Iridic at 1:10 PM - 15 comments

Published in 1910, William T. Cox's Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods, With a Few Desert and Mountain Beasts is one of the earliest written accounts describing fabulous beasts of lumberjack lore, together called "fearsome critters." Read of tales of the peculiar wapaloosie, the spiky, hairless hodag that swallows trees whole, and the bizarrely violent splinter cat, which smashes trees with its head until it finds food. When you've been there a spell, take a gander through Paul Bunyan's Natural History, in which the goofang fish swims backwards to keep water out of its eyes and the teakettler walks backwards, nostrils steaming. For more harrowing yarns on yesterday's monsters, thumb through Henry Tryon's Fearsome Critters, which closes with a tantalizing snipet about an eternally elusive bird.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:14 PM - 26 comments

Something strange is happening at farms in upstate New York. The cows are milking themselves. Rise of the Milkbots.
posted by cashman at 11:39 AM - 69 comments

Introducing Sociology: Tim Kreider's influential 1999 essay (previously) on how Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut uses sex and infidelity to cover up a story of greed and murder by the elite gets a brand new afterward by the author to introduce a new site for his non-fiction writing, TimKreider.com
posted by The Whelk at 10:47 AM - 44 comments

VHS Cover Junkie showcases examples of the now lost art of the home videotape cover. [SLTumbr]
posted by Chrysostom at 10:42 AM - 41 comments

Photographer Ami Vitale was allowed exclusive access into the Wolong National Nature Reserve managed by the China Conservation and Research Centre for the Giant Panda as it trains pandas to be released into the wild. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 10:39 AM - 6 comments

The Truman Show, a critically (yt) acclaimed movie from 1998, is set to become a TV series. [h/t to mwhybark, ahere.]
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:28 AM - 51 comments

Dirtbag Romeo and Juliet
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:15 AM - 29 comments

"Amazon and HBO on Wednesday announced a first-of-its-kind deal that will make HBO content available to Amazon Prime subscribers. ... Content covered in the new deal includes The Sopranos, Six Feet Under, The Wire, Eastbound & Down, Family Tree, Treme, Band of Brothers, John Adams, and early seasons of Boardwalk Empire and True Blood." No Game of Thrones yet, however. Read more here. And here.
posted by SpacemanStix at 8:55 AM - 146 comments

Dmitri Nabokov, Car Guy [Part One], Dmitri Nabokov, Car Guy [Part Two]: Dmitri Nabokov, son of Vladimir: his father’s work (Lolita, Pale Fire, Ada, etc.), and cars. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 8:51 AM - 7 comments

36 ventilators, 4.7m³ packing chips (SL video)
posted by Chrischris at 8:46 AM - 30 comments

Curiosity led me to cut my collection of golf balls in half to see what the cores looked like. To my surprise, what I found inside inspired me to consider that I could discover, in the unlikeliest of places, elegant formal qualities and surprising metaphorical possibilities.
posted by timshel at 8:07 AM - 33 comments

"If an NHS trust proposed today that it was going to introduce Viagra sales reps into men's genitourinary wards, or reps for walking aids to orthopaedic wards, the very least you'd expect would be some stout resistance. It is a measure of the strength of the association between "motherhood" and "buying stuff" that the presence of commercial representatives on maternity wards has been tolerated for so long."
[more inside]
posted by Catseye at 7:36 AM - 29 comments

The U.S. Supreme court has decided to uphold Michigan's ban on affirmative action. Here is a a brief summery of the history behind the case. The court has made their opinions available here. Also, how states with affirmative action bans have fared.
posted by Shouraku at 6:36 AM - 179 comments

It's simple. Just say Yes. Campbell Newman’s LNP government has asked the residents of Queensland to help balance their budget. Strong Choices is an online survey giving respondents the opportunity to suggest reduction targets by selecting taxation or reduction in services or benefits. Problem is, there doesn't seem to be much choice. If you’d like to play along, you’ll need a Queensland postcode. I chose Mooloolaba.
posted by michswiss at 6:32 AM - 22 comments

Denmark has a demographic problem. The birthrate is at a 27 year low and not enough babies are being born to support an aging population. ?It's a matter of some urgency then to get Danes to procreate more, but how? Send them on holiday to get it on.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:37 AM - 111 comments

Shakespeare is known for his brilliant use of language and rhetorical imagery. Now two antiquarian booksellers believe they have found his dictionary. The Bibliophagist has been keeping an updated survey of responses to the announcement.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:06 AM - 17 comments

Today is the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare's birth - "...The centenary of Shakespeare’s birth fell soon after the theatres reopened with the Restoration of the monarchy, following the period when the Puritans had closed them down for the duration of the Civil War. His plays formed a staple part of the repertoire, but those of Beaumont and John Fletcher were performed more frequently. Shakespeare only pulled ahead of the pack in the Georgian era. It was around his 200th anniversary, under the auspices of the great actor David Garrick, that he took on his status as National Poet and exemplar of artistic genius...." More here
posted by marienbad at 1:28 AM - 30 comments

"It’s like magnolia paint in rented accommodations. The tune is turgid. It’s like someone going 'la la la la la' in the shower. You don’t feel there’s a strong voice, and when I say voice, I don’t mean Chris De Burgh’s voice. I mean something that’s been lived. It’s like a soup from Walmart." Steve Coogan, on why he hates 'Lady in Red'.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED at 1:07 AM - 131 comments

UN Climate Report: We Must Focus On 'Decarbonization', and It Won't Wreck the Economy - "The basic message is simple: We share a planet. Let's start acting like it." [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 12:13 AM - 40 comments

April 22

Forrest Park Middle Schooler Melissa Bell reads her Ashton Kutcher fanfic for the Spring Talent Show. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by divabat at 11:04 PM - 8 comments

That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:33 PM - 34 comments

Like most people, my first thoughts upon hearing about Disney's EDM remix album "DCONSTRUCTED" was: "Oh dear God. This cannot end well."
posted by MechEng at 9:27 PM - 17 comments

Blue Sky Black Death are a duo of hip-hop/electronic producers from Seattle who took their group name from an old skydiving term for the yin/yang balance of a beautiful blue sky above and the possibility of death below. They have worked with a number of rappers (Cam'ron and P.A.P.I. (Nore), Hell Razah, Jean Grae, and Nacho Picasso [NSFW lyrics]), but they show that their music can stand on its own, "wringing strangely affecting emotional grandeur from the rudiments of sound ... [relying] less on glitch or drone and more on starry-eyed orchestral vastness," as heard in (the extended version of) Noir, and so much more of their discography that is on Bandcamp and their YouTube account.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:55 PM - 3 comments

Across Canada a beloved and familiar face is silently disappearing. Everyday transactions in shopping centers and banks are slowly feeding a systematized extinction unnoticed by most. The object of destruction: the Canadian penny. -- via PBS NewsHour
posted by jim in austin at 8:33 PM - 75 comments

Neil Patrick Harris is getting glowing reviews for his turn in the title role in Hedwig And The Angry Inch, now playing on Broadway. But wait, why is "internationally ignored song stylist" Hedwig even playing Broadway in the first place? Because the Belasco Theater was suddenly available because Hurt Locker: The Musical opened and closed on the same night. In fact, the floor of the theater is found to be littered with discarded Playbill magazines for the failed production. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 8:04 PM - 43 comments

netcat are a Seattle based free improvisation group that have released their album, Cycles Per Instruction as a Linux kernel module. [more inside]
posted by Poldo at 7:12 PM - 19 comments

Why Aren't Stories Like '12 Years a Slave' Told at Southern Plantation Museums?
Evil is not a word you hear, though, when you visit one of the hundreds of plantation-house museums dotting the South. Instead, these historic sites usually lure tourists with their stunning architecture and wealth of antiques, as the privileged members of the planter-class denied themselves nothing. They had the finest china and silver of the 18th and 19th centuries; European-made furniture like settees and tea caddies; the most expensive rugs, drapes, linens, and clothing that money could buy. Even the toys and kitchen utensils offer a glimpse into the privileged life in the antebellum period, and tours play this aspect up, connecting these objects emotionally to the stories of the white planters. Many of these museums let visitors walk away without considering that all of these exquisite things were accumulated through the violence and forced labor of slavery.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:57 PM - 88 comments

Flying RC Aircraft Carrier, Last year we saw the first launch of an RC Aircraft from an RC Carrier. Now we have the first launch AND landing of an RC Aircraft on a Flying RC Carrier.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:46 PM - 15 comments

100 NEW EMOJIS
posted by brundlefly at 4:37 PM - 50 comments

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