April 23

"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 - 0 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 - 23 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 - 6 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 - 37 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 - 15 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 - 12 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 - 72 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 - 23 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 - 5 comments

That Time Cleveland Released 1.5 Million Balloons and Chaos Ensued
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:33 PM - 21 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 - 13 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 - 38 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 - 36 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 - 17 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 - 61 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 - 48 comments

The van goes forward, the balloon goes--wait a second. But truly, the cool balloon physics is the least terrific thing about this video. From Smarter Every Day. [slyt | via] Previously and previouslier
posted by jwhite1979 at 1:29 PM - 92 comments

So you can get 4096 in 2048, and you're an old hand at Flappy Bird, but can you beat... Flappy48? (requires unity)
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:56 PM - 29 comments

"Faculty at private schools were significantly more likely to discriminate against women and minorities than faculty at public schools. And faculty in fields that were very lucrative were also more likely to discriminate. So there was very little discrimination in the humanities. There was more discrimination among faculty at the natural sciences. And there was a lot of discrimination among the faculty at business schools." (link to NPR story). Katherine Milkman and colleagues conducted a field experiment in which professors were contacted by fictional prospective doctoral students and found that "faculty ignored requests from women and minorities at a higher rate than requests from White males, particularly in higher-paying disciplines and private institutions."
posted by needled at 12:07 PM - 80 comments

Controversial education tech company InBloom has shut down over student data privacy concerns. Backed with $100 million in grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Carnegie Corporation of New York, InBloom quickly announced nine states (CO, DE, GA, IL, KY, LA, MA, NC, NY) as partners, with more than 2.7 million students enrolled, with the goal of using big data to direct education emphasis and other decisions. With a recent decision by New York state to halt participation in any project involving storing student data in the way InBloom had planned (and the deletion of any such data already stored), all nine states had either put data sharing plans with InBloom on hold, made them voluntary, or pulled out completely. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:57 AM - 25 comments

Your Friendly Neighborhood Drug Dealer (SLThe Atlantic)
posted by box at 10:12 AM - 77 comments

What’s it like for the first living ex-pope in 600 years to watch from up close as the successor he enabled dismantles his legacy?
posted by Chrysostom at 10:06 AM - 90 comments

The BBC put together a series of television commentaries from Orson Welles, "Orson Wells' Sketchbook" none of which need more than his then slightly unfamiliar face (without, he underscores, the usual false nose he wears for roles), his unmistakable voice, and his illustrations — taken, literally, from his sketchbook. In these six fifteen-minute broadcasts, which originally aired in 1955, Welles talks about not just the inauspicious beginnings of his illustrious working life but his experiences with the critics, the police, John Barrymore and Harry Houdini, the infamous radio production of War of the Worlds , and bullfighting Playlist here.
posted by The Whelk at 10:01 AM - 3 comments

George & Jonathan are an electronic music duo. They make nice songs with many bleeps and bloops. Here is the website where you can listen to and watch their new album, III. [WebGL required, i.e., use Chrome. It's worth it, honest.]
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:59 AM - 17 comments

YouTube user Frank Huang posts full live sets of metal/grindcore, many from Brooklyn's St. Vitus bar, including: Pig Destroyer, Kylesa (@ Santos), Whores., KEN MODE, Sleep (@ Hellfest), Pelican, Deafheaven, Cobalt, and naturally Saint Vitus.
posted by gwint at 8:53 AM - 12 comments

How 38 year old Meb Keflezighi became the first American man in more than 30 years to win the Boston Marathon. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:44 AM - 85 comments

"I've talked to a bunch of fans about their lives and what MST3K means to them. I'm overwhelmed by how people took to that show. It really affected them. I thought, if enough people still love it, maybe we can bring it back." In today's WIRED article "The Definitive Oral History of a TV Masterpiece," Mystery Science Theater 3000 creator Joel Hodgson announced his intention to reboot the series online with a new host...this spring. (The lede is buried all the way at the end of the article.) [more inside]
posted by Z. Aurelius Fraught at 8:40 AM - 80 comments

"I often think about my long-ago friend, and I wonder what happened to her," wrote children's author Eric Carle in his book "Friends", published last year, inspired by his friendship, as a 3-year-old, with a young girl growing up in Syracuse, New York. He did not know her name, just that that she was the daughter of Italian immigrants. Last Sunday, over 80 years after he last saw her, he and his long-lost friend, Florence Ciani Trovato, reconnected.
posted by beryllium at 7:44 AM - 21 comments

The NBA season has ended, and the playoffs have begun, causing a figurative ton of internet ink to be spilled on predictions and power rankings. But one word in particular seems to keep popping up in articles to describe white players like Steve Novak, Cody Zeller, Mason Plumlee, Andrew Bogut, and Josh McRoberts: "Dorky." And the writers that use it are inevitably white. Triangle Offense's Khalid Saalam (previously) thinks they should probably cut that out.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:26 AM - 41 comments

Cobalt reunited and will be recording a new album. Who is Cobalt? Cobalt is a American black metal band consisting of Phil McSorley and Erik Wunder. They have only played live a dozen or so times, largely because McSorley is often abroad, where he serves as a Sergeant in the US Army. Not coincidentally, they refer to their form of metal as 'War Metal'. [more inside]
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 7:25 AM - 0 comments

A Browser Extension That Replaces "Literally" With "Figuratively". Built by a programmer named Mike Walker, it’s an extension for Google’s Chrome browser that replaces the word “literally” with “figuratively” on sites and articles across the Web, with deeply gratifying results. Previously.
posted by Fizz at 5:54 AM - 116 comments

"For most of my life my everyday choices were based on the assumption that I could not trust other people. I thought it was my job to foresee and prevent all harms from befalling me. [...] My life has been better since I've accepted two simple facts. ONE: everybody dies (sorry). TWO: I would like to live a little first." -- Don't let fear stop you from traveling, a cautionary comic by Natalie Nourigat, part of her webcomic/travel blog about living in France for a year. You may know Nourigat from her Oregon Book Award nominated autobio college comic Between Gears.
posted by MartinWisse at 5:09 AM - 53 comments

The Shirt on Your Back. Guardian writers trace the human cost of the Bangladeshi garments industry in video, pictures and words. (SL Guardian interactive documentary)
posted by Ziggy500 at 3:51 AM - 29 comments

April 21

blankonblank.org takes unheard interviews with famous musicians, innovators, authors, Hollywood stars and cultural icons and animates them. Interviews include everyone from Johnny Cash to Carol Burnett, Tupac Shakur to Farrah Fawcett, and Tim Gunn to Al Jaffee. blankonblank.org previously and previously. (Most interviews are ~5 minutes long.)
posted by Room 641-A at 8:30 PM - 9 comments

The Missing Borges "Seven years ago, a stolen first edition of Borges’s early poems was returned to Argentina’s National Library. But was it the right copy?"
posted by dhruva at 8:27 PM - 27 comments

Bonfire of the Humanities. "Nobody goes to Timbuktu, right? Patrick Symmes did, to discover what happened when jihadi rebels set out to burn one of the world’s finest collections of ancient manuscripts. Bouncing around by truck, boat, and boots, he got an intimate look at West ­Africa’s most mythic locale." [Via] [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 6:30 PM - 12 comments

American Football, the quintessential emo/math-rock band of the 90's, has announced their first two shows in 15 years. [more inside]
posted by gucci mane at 4:50 PM - 16 comments

VIPUKIRVES™ is a new Finnish axe, translates as "lever axe" in English.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:44 PM - 77 comments

That's right folks, Field of Dreams is 25 years old. W.P. Kinsella reflects on how his novel "Shoeless Joe" was adapted into the timeless baseball/father-son movie, including how he made peace with the studio changing the name of J.D. Salinger's character. [more inside]
posted by dry white toast at 3:38 PM - 68 comments

The Value of a Sherpa Life - Grayson Schaffer reports on Friday's Everest avalanche that claimed the lives of 16 Sherpas in an instant. "And, yes" he says, "there is something that needs to be done about it." In the wake of this devastating tragedy, many Sherpas are threatening a strike and the government is mulling total closure for the upcoming season, which has 335 permits in the queue. Footage of the avalanche. Previously, in The Disposable Man: A Western History of Sherpas on Everest, Scaheffer spoke of the high risks, low pay and shocking mortality rate: "... no service industry in the world so frequently kills and maims its workers for the benefit of paying clients." [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 3:36 PM - 64 comments

Life Sentences: The Grammar of Clickbait
posted by oceanjesse at 3:33 PM - 21 comments

The gutters in San Francisco's Buena Vista Park are made out of old headstones. Placed by the WPA program back in the late 1930s, the stones are said to be broken headstones and markers from unclaimed graves.
posted by flyingsquirrel at 3:22 PM - 19 comments

White Power and apocalyptic cults- Pro-DPRK Americans revealed: An in-depth examination by Nate Thayer of the history, ideologies and personalities of American pro-North Korea political organizations.
posted by a louis wain cat at 12:28 PM - 99 comments

A few miles off the coast of Japan lies "Battleship Island," or Gunkanjima (軍艦島), the Japanese nickname for Hashima Island, due to its resemblance to the Japanese Tosa battleship. The island was formerly a densely populated coal mining town, purchased by Mitsubishi in 1890, but by the 1960s the coal was running out, and in 1974 the island was quickly vacated as Mitsubishi offered residents jobs elsewhere. Now, the island is an urban explorer's dream, though the island is not completely open to the public for tours. Last year, Google trekker walked the island, providing a virtual tour of the island. And if the roughly 40 year old ruins aren't foreboding enough, Bryan James put together a Chrome experiment called Hashima Island: Forgotten World, based on the Google maps tour of the site.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:11 PM - 15 comments

Obsessive practice isn't the key to success. Spaced, interleaved, varied practice is.
posted by shivohum at 11:21 AM - 45 comments

[Fritz Lang's] Metropolis and the posters of Boris Bilinsky.
posted by griphus at 11:02 AM - 10 comments

Stofle the honey badger cannot be contained. [more inside]
posted by Sokka shot first at 9:50 AM - 58 comments

Comedians talk about psychedelic drugs:

00:10 - Doug Stanhope
05:07 - Joe Rogan
07:56 - Bill Hicks
13:22 - George Carlin
15:34 - Duncan Trussell
posted by gman at 9:04 AM - 31 comments

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