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February 27

The perception is that it’s just one disgruntled soldier

NYMag profiles American military deserters in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.
Desertion is always a solitary choice, but it can be especially so for those who seek refuge in other countries. The deserter in exile is cut off from community, family, and country, knowing there may never be a safe way home. For the alienated troops who fled to Canada in the early years of the Iraq War, the decision seemed to offer solace. The northern border has always welcomed disaffected Americans, from the British Union Loyalists who opposed the Revolutionary War to the draft dodgers and deserters avoiding Vietnam. Between 1965 and 1975, roughly 50,000 U.S. citizens took shelter in Canada, where the Liberal Party of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau quietly embraced them. In the first three years of the Iraq War, at least 200 new American troops joined them, believing they would find the same open arms. Most of the new deserters chose to live and work in cities like Toronto and Montreal without revealing their military past; only about two dozen stepped forward publicly to request political amnesty as “war resisters.”
posted by frimble at 2:51 AM - 0 comments

"Gender, blah, blah, blah"

It’s happened to me several times at a literary event — sometimes one at which I’m reading or speaking — that a kindly, affable chap, after regaling me with a long account of his next book, smiles generously and asks me what I do at Penguin, or how long I’ve been working for the venue. When I say, Oh, actually I’m a writer, a spasm of embarrassment comes over his face. As it should. Not, of course, because of any career’s merit over another’s, but because he’s revealed his inability to see me as a writer. A flustered flash of insight has taken place.
Katherine Angel on the problems of gender representation in literature. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 1:47 AM - 2 comments

short documentary: NYU psilocybin cancer anxiety research

Eddie Marritz, a cinematographer and photographer in remission from small-cell carcinoma, was a participant in one of NYU's Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety research studies. Marritz, and the researchers, take us through the experience. Magic Mushrooms and the Healing Trip. (7 min) [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 12:34 AM - 2 comments

February 26

"Gen vréman vre zonbi an Ayiti?"

"Bien sûr," Delzor said. He had even seen them: affectless men and women with a deathlike pallor, high nasal voices, and the characteristic drooping at the chin – men and women who he knew for a fact had died and been buried. "Ayiti, se repiblik zonbi," Delzor added. Haiti is the republic of zombies.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:01 PM - 3 comments

Elegance and an endless curiosity

The Question is the Question: Dilip D'Souza on the competitive sport of 'Quizzing' in India. "Quizzers branch out like fractals, into the minutiae, looking for questions in the interstices of knowledge.” [more inside]
posted by beijingbrown at 10:46 PM - 1 comment

Baby Woolley Rhinoceros Found in Siberia:

The Only Woolley Rhinoceros Calf Ever Found: Woolley Mammoths of all ages have been found. Adult Woolley Rhinoceros finds are so rare they can be counted on one hand. This is the first baby
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 6:56 PM - 20 comments

Brain breakage

What color is this dress? is a really strange phenomena currently seen taking over twitter, as people see a blue dress with black lace while others insist it is white with gold. So far, no one can tell why exactly it is happening, other than it is baffling for both sides.
posted by mathowie at 5:06 PM - 609 comments

Llamas on the llam

Two llamas enjoy several minutes of lliberty while evading the Keystone Cops Sun City llaw enforcement.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 4:53 PM - 40 comments

Do you take precautions or chance it?

"Fertile Ground" asks you to place yourself in the shoes of a young woman in South Dakota facing tough decisions in the wake of a one night stand. With a Choose Your Own Adventure format, you have to make the best choices you can. [more inside]
posted by Monochrome at 4:17 PM - 12 comments

Devo meets Dr. Evil meets the Oompa Loompas

The music video to the song Los Villanos, by a band called Poolpo, is pretty damn joyous. I like it and I hope you like it too.
posted by rorgy at 4:11 PM - 5 comments

Homoerotic Thursday (why wait for Friday?)

Pet Shop Boys - "Go West" video [YouTube] - more about the music video at Wikipedia. [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 3:56 PM - 49 comments

Something in the folks he treats, attracts bad press like no other dr

from NYMag: When the notorious cancer doctor Gil Lederman cadged an autograph from a dying George Harrison, the world was appalled. But as Lederman scrambles to salvage his reputation, the very nature of his experimental practice has come under attack.
posted by steinwald at 3:04 PM - 6 comments

Put Put Put

"Wladimir (Put Put Putin)" is the surprise winner of this year's Protestsongcontest. [more inside]
posted by Omnomnom at 2:48 PM - 7 comments

I will NOT be doing a Wes Anderson video essay

Now, never ask me about Wes Anderson again. Please. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast at 1:59 PM - 32 comments

First human head transplant could happen in two years

A radical plan for transplanting a head onto someone else’s body is set to be announced. But is such ethically sensitive surgery even feasible? (SLNewScientist)
posted by adept256 at 12:52 PM - 112 comments

TL;DR Minorities in Hollywood are underrepresented on every front

"We don't want them to see diversity as a burden or a moral obligation. We want them to see it as a business imperative."
UCLA’s Bunche Center for African American Studies has released its 2015 Hollywood Diversity Report: Flipping The Script [PDF]. The Hollywood Reporter has the exclusive story (with lots of sidebars.)
posted by Room 641-A at 12:47 PM - 3 comments

"Forget any assumptions about what women are like."

Oh No, She Didn’t: The Strong Female Character, Deconstructed by Ilana C. Myer
posted by Fizz at 9:55 AM - 67 comments

Sacred Trash

The Holy Junk Heap: In 1896, a cache of manuscripts -- mostly fragments -- was discovered in the storeroom ("genizah") at the Ben Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo. The collection outlines a 1,000-year continuum (870 CE to the 19th century) of Jewish Middle-Eastern and North African history and comprises the largest and most diverse collection of medieval manuscripts in the world, including Jewish religious texts such as Biblical, Talmudic and later Rabbinic works (some in the original hands of the authors), "letters, wills, bills of lading, prayers, marriage contracts and writs of divorce, Bibles, money orders, court depositions, business inventories, leases, magic charms and receipts" which give a detailed picture of the economic and cultural life of the North African and Eastern Mediterranean regions, especially during the 10th to 13th centuries. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:19 AM - 11 comments

“Do you have a Christmas album by Aryan Neville?”

How Your Pretentious Local Record Store Asshole Got That Way
posted by alby at 8:30 AM - 151 comments

Hey, Bruce Lee

"I tilted my head in cartoon-like confusion. Where had he picked that up? Bruce Lee? He knew nothing of martial arts nor had he ever watched Kung Fu Panda (this is where my brain went). So I asked Noah to repeat himself. Perhaps I’d misunderstood or heard it incorrectly."
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:18 AM - 38 comments

Nun with a Switchblade

As she and Plummer munched their respective fractions of peanut-butter bar, they recalled A Royal Christmas. “We played every awful hockey rink all the way from Canada to Florida,” Andrews said. “We had huge buses we could sleep in. It was with the London Philharmonic and the Westminster Choir and the Somebody Bell Ringers and the Something Ballet. And Chris and me doing our bit. It turned out to be great fun under awful circumstances, didn’t it?” “The bus was the most fun,” he said. “We had our own bar, so we couldn’t wait to get there.”
If you have not yet read this Vanity Fair article about Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, their lifelong cranky friendship, and the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music, doing so will probably make your day at least 50% better.
posted by Stacey at 5:29 AM - 32 comments

The Madness & the Depression

Football fans – and here I naturally include myself – act as if they are mentally ill. This is an article that is nominally about football, but is just as much about the pressures of modern life and the plight of men (in particular, but not exclusively). This is both a very personal account and an observation of how others behave. It is about being a football fan, but also the impact of social media on our appreciation of life (and sport), and how constantly striving for more can lead to increased unhappiness – even if you attain it.
posted by modernnomad at 5:19 AM - 31 comments

Crows Show The Love

A little girl started feeding the crows accidentally, decided to make it a habit, and now receives gifts in return. Apparently, this is a crow thing.
posted by purplesludge at 4:35 AM - 107 comments

February 25

So long, Wolfman, so long

Today we bid a sad farewell to the last of the old-school Mississippi Hill Country bluesmen: Mr. Robert Belfour was a purveyor or that gritty, driving, riff-based, often one-chord Hill Country style pioneered by people like Mississippi Fred McDowell, and in more recent years popularized by artists like RL Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and Jessie Mae Hemphill. Let's take a listen, then, as we pay our respects to the "Wolfman", to some of his rocking, soulful blues. Here's Black Mattie, I Got My Eyes On You, Hill Stomp, Go Ahead On, My Baby's Gone, Done Got Old and You Got Me Crying. And here's an hour-long recording from February 2013, via NPR: Robert Belfour: Live In Concert.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:59 PM - 13 comments

"all those decisions are always subjective, creative, and political"

Masha Tupitsyn interviewed by Keaton Ventura for Sex Magazine:
What sort of trouble? Mainly the reaction was, what is this? What are you doing? This isn’t a novel. This isn’t fiction. This isn’t straight criticism. It’s all mixed up. Or this criticism is too personal or too critical about the wrong things. But the minute I would call Beauty Talk nonfiction people would accept the terms that I using. So it was always about how I was categorizing that book. What I was calling it. That would determine how people would respond to the book and its ethos, which I always thought was absurd. If I called it nonfiction, if I called it essays, if I called it criticism, people accepted the book more. But if I said it was fiction, people would say, Well, this is not what fiction does. Fiction does this and criticism does this, and you have to keep these things separate and clear. But I am really not interested in keeping things separate. Not in my work and not in my life either. I’m interested in looking at them and putting them together because I think one of the problems with Western culture in general is that everything is reduced to binaries and categories because it keeps us from fundamentally being able to make valuable links. To connect the dots.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:57 PM - 2 comments

The Slurpee Waves of Nantucket

Dang! Have you ever seen waves get so cold they turn to slurpee? Get seawater cool enough, but not too cold; keep it agitated, and you get some beautiful waves.
posted by peripatetron errant at 7:51 PM - 36 comments

Hey Ceres? There's something on your surface!

There's an odd bright spot on the dwarf planet Ceres. Scratch that, there's actually two bright spots on the its surface. Cue speculation as the Dawn spacecraft prepares to orbit Ceres.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:47 PM - 50 comments

This Is Not Happening

This Is Not Happening is a series where comedians tell true stories. It was orginally greenlit by Comedy Central back in 2013 as web series. [more inside]
posted by joeyjoejoejr at 7:37 PM - 5 comments

you have probably heard of 'big data,' well get ready for Huge Data.

The DevOps League is your fast track to DevOps certification by the industry's leading Thought Lords. Supported by one manone stunning man – you will deep dive into such important concepts such as Dark Data, Data Beans and Terry the Data Goblin, to fully learn what DevOps really means. (But beware of the Realm of Dark Jon Hendren or 2014's Worst DevOps Article Headers.)
posted by slogger at 7:31 PM - 36 comments

Rural poverty and librarian-ing for small wages

The Rocky J. Adkins Public Library in Elliott County, Kentucky recently posted a job advertisement for a new director. The wage? US$7.25 per hour -- in other words, minimum wage. This garnered some immediate expressions of dismmay from librarians on social media. For others, it also reminded them of where they grew up. [more inside]
posted by metaquarry at 6:49 PM - 76 comments

Fan art, reviews, ads, games

Old Game Mags is a Tumblr that looks at the way game culture was disseminated before the widespread acceptance of the net: through specialty, hobbyist print magazines. It features snapshots from the past such as the obligatory fan art pages, covers, dev interviews, reviews, advertisements, and special features. The site has fairly regular updates, and features high quality scans.
posted by codacorolla at 5:56 PM - 10 comments

"You must be Eddie"

The day Chris Kyle died - an account of the fateful gun range encounter between the subject of the film "American Sniper" and fellow veteran Eddie Ray Routh. Routh has received a life sentence for killing Kyle and freind Chad Littlefield, with a jury finding his claims of PTSD to be "an excuse".
posted by Artw at 5:42 PM - 34 comments

Volumes, lines, shadows and light have to obey my will.

When the Bauhaus art school opened in 1919, more women applied than men.
One woman who attended in 1927 was Amercan born Florence Henri who in the 1920's had moved to Paris.
However it wan't until she returned from a course at the Bauhaus, where she lived in the same house as Moholy-Nagy and became a close friend of his first wife Lucia Moholy and also where she met her lifetime companion Margarete Schall; that she took up photography.
She met Man Ray, Germaine Krull and the photographer André Kertész, developlng a very personal work, by using mirrors and prisms.
Her style oscillates between Bauhaus, Dadaism and Surrealism.
Photos NSFW Still lifes, and Nudes and Portraits.
posted by adamvasco at 5:41 PM - 3 comments

Inside, not on, Top.

Carrot Top is known as a Comedian. That is a statement of fact. [more inside]
posted by Jessica Savitch's Coke Spoon at 5:06 PM - 67 comments

Gerbils may be the real rats of The Black Death

Gerbils, not rats, 'gave Europe the Black Death' BLACK rats might not be responsible for the plagues that killed millions of people across medieval Europe, research suggests. Instead scientists believe that repeated outbreaks of the Black Death may in fact be traced to gerbils arriving from Asia. [more inside]
posted by Michele in California at 4:28 PM - 18 comments

Suck a lemon, ASQ.

One mom's take on the Ages & Stages Questionnaire.
posted by Ruki at 4:27 PM - 22 comments

Brian Eno on the dangers of digital

Digital technology has enhanced music production, recording and distribution in ways unimaginable just a few decades ago, but are we losing something more essential in the process? Chris May (of The Vinyl Factory) talks to ambient pioneer and friend of technology Brian Eno about the dangers of digital dependence in modern music. “It doesn’t just apply with African recordings. It’s a problem everybody is having at the moment. Do I resist the temptation to perfect this thing? What do I lose by perfecting it?"
posted by misterbee at 2:40 PM - 50 comments

Baltimore Transit

How we saved Baltimore $600,000 in one day.
posted by josher71 at 1:29 PM - 77 comments

One Last Ride

How Parks and Recreation Took Aim at Silicon Valley​ (Laura Hudson at Wired): ​
"​Over the course of the season, Leslie remarks on how the character of the town has morphed since the arrival of Gryzzl, with juice bars, yoga studios, and pet hotels popping up across Pawnee. “Everything has changed. This town is going to be unrecognizable in 10 years,” she says wistfully. One episo​​de revolves entirely around trying to save their perennial waffle hangout J.J.’s Diner; thanks to the surging housing market, the property has been bought out by a perfume magnate who plans to flip it for profit.

​"​If that sounds reminiscent of the housing crisis that’s currently plaguing San Francisco—and displacing large numbers of long-time residents—it should. Rental prices in the tech hub city are currently in the highest the nation, with the median price of a one-bedroom apartment hovering at more than $3,400 a month. Meanwhile, local establishments like the Lexington Club (the J.J.’s Diner of lesbian bars) are getting ​​sold to new owners."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 12:46 PM - 36 comments

My basic beef with Kind of Blue

and yet it has somehow become the stand-alone representative of the form it is on the whole sardonically setting itself against: something about the way it’s been made — its constituent parts, its presentation — exactly and completely masks this subtly hostile aspect of it, to the extent that it’s instead become a kind of nice-to-hear-in-the-background chill-out classic, which in my opinion suggests a flaw in its conception or execution: that it can’t (or anyway doesn’t) draw the newbie into its darker heart
KIND OF BLEUGH, or seven better stand-alone ways into jazz in the early age of the long-playing disc (possibly).
posted by MartinWisse at 11:52 AM - 98 comments

http://#(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Put animated ASCII art in your browser's address bar
posted by Going To Maine at 11:49 AM - 22 comments

Call 999-1313 now for scores!

The rise and fall of Sports Phone, the place to get live sports scores before the internet.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:02 AM - 14 comments

Pass me the torch eh eh

Who is the most important rapper right now? A Grantland Survey.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:35 AM - 80 comments

"I love desolate landscapes."

My Saga, Part 1 By Karl Ove Knausgaard [New York Times] Following the trail of the first Europeans to set foot in America, the first of two parts. Previously. Previously. [more inside]
posted by Fizz at 9:19 AM - 22 comments

A grown-ass man replays Final Fantasy VII

A grown-ass man replays Final Fantasy VII. The unfortunate part about replaying Final Fantasy VII is realizing that it is terrible. I mean, not terrible terrible, but it’s bad the way, say, a very old sci-fi movie is bad. It is enjoyable exclusively with mountains of qualifiers, with context and air-quotes and, preferably, your own reminiscences filling it in, making its absurdities lovable.
posted by tybeet at 9:08 AM - 187 comments

How to Save Us

How to Save Us (trailer) is a low-budget horror film made by Jason Trost, creator of the cult hit The FP (previously). Jason Trost is a young filmmaker who continually puts out unique, sometimes satirical, but always creative films across all genres, pulling them together despite shoestring budgets derived mostly from crowdfunding that he manages himself. Jason Trost's films often draw negative reviews mostly centered around their lack of budget, however they are unique and odd enough that he has accumulated his fair share of loyal fans and supporters.
posted by Librarypt at 8:59 AM - 9 comments

Radios in museums

Do you like radios? And museums? Then you need the radiomuseum.org gazatteer of museums and historical places around the world where you can look at radios and associated technologies!
posted by carter at 8:57 AM - 8 comments

Stop calling for a Muslim Enlightenment

After every terror attack the call rings out for the Muslim world to become modern. Whenever jihadi groups carry out an atrocity, or – as is happening a lot these days, western foreign policy failures lead to large areas of the world coming under the sway of oafs who claim to be acting for God – the call goes up for a Muslim Enlightenment. The imputation of Védrine, the French schoolteachers, and thousands of other commentators is that various internal deficiencies have excluded Islam from this indispensable cultural and intellectual event, without which no culture can be considered modern. Such views cut across political borders; they would find sympathy at the BBC as well as in the editorial offices of the Sun. Islam needs to get with the programme. [more inside]
posted by standardasparagus at 8:38 AM - 70 comments

“Do you know what, David? You are my new favorite blond."

The private photo shoot that sparked a war within Van Halen. A session with photographer Helmut Newton exposed tensions within the band, revealing and exacerbating the rift between David Lee Roth and the Van Halen brothers. The article does not explore whether Sammy Hagar, sitting in a distant supervillain lair, tented his fingers and smiled in satisfaction as his sinister plan bore fruit.
posted by the phlegmatic king at 8:35 AM - 41 comments

Now THIS is pod racing!

It's 2015, so first-person-view quadcopter racing is a sport now. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 8:29 AM - 22 comments

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