January 20

The Twentieth Day of January

Now, I never paid any attention to this. I had no interest in reading an obscure spy novel just because Trump liked it. But then over Christmas after the election, I was visiting family in Bozeman, Montana. And there it was, in a used bookstore: The Twentieth Day of January. THEORY OF EVERYTHING: And? Is it good? “JOSH GLENN”: No, it’s terrible. The plot is ridiculous. [more inside]
posted by cgc373 at 2:54 PM - 14 comments

Spoiler: Siddhant Gets Kicked Out of a Government Office

Siddhant Adlakha, writing at "Birth. Movies. Death", recounts an extremely perplexing interview with the Chairman of India's Central Board of Film Certification, nearly a year after first writing about that Board's erratic censorship practices here.
posted by Ipsifendus at 12:27 PM - 7 comments

Memorizing the following logarithm values is a good place to start

Physicist Enrico Fermi famously arrived at the approximate strength of the Trinity test explosion by dropping pieces of paper and watching how far they drifted. Estimates with little or no data are now called Fermi problems, including the famous "How many piano tuners are there in Chicago?" and the Drake equation. Fermi Questions has been an event in the Science Olympiad, a competition in American K-12 schools, where competitors must estimate amounts such as the number of playing cards it would take to equal the mass of Betelgeuse (2x10^34, or twenty decillion). Practice your wild estimates at FermiQuestions.com (tutorial here).
posted by Etrigan at 9:43 AM - 40 comments

Billy Eichner Is Trying to Talk to You

You think he just runs around screaming, randomly shoving a microphone into peoples' faces? Think again. Now in its fifth official season on truTV, the unique Billy on the Street is still one of the strangest shows on television — a delightful alchemy of pop culture, celebrity, performance art, and social anthropology. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:39 AM - 15 comments

L-L-Lock the doors tight - dive, turn, work.

A kiki is a party, for calming all your nerves. We're spilling tea and dishing just desserts one may deserve.
posted by Evilspork at 8:29 AM - 17 comments

What are the young animals of America learning today?

The United States of America has a wide variety of biomes, and in all of them today there are baby animals learning how to be animals.
Forest: Bobcats have to learn a lot of things, to climb and play and survive in the wild* but they don't have to learn manners. *Note video includes images of bobcat eating prey. [more inside]
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 8:28 AM - 4 comments

Everyone needs a sea dragon

Ruby Sea Dragon filmed in the wild for the first time (film of sea dragon itself starts at 1:11) [more inside]
posted by Catseye at 5:08 AM - 12 comments

At the Foot of the Big Old Tree That Dreams

Browser game developers Marek and Marcin Rudowski, creators of the beautifully illustrated Trader of Stories fantasy adventure games Bell's Heart and A Grain of Truth, have decided to treat those games as side stories for a proper series, starting where it all began (at least, all the protagonist can remember) in Chapter One.
posted by BiggerJ at 4:56 AM - 1 comment

Struggle over the library of a monastery of the Order of St. Bridget

The struggle between an international band of medievalists and the Catholic Church over the fate of a mostly unknown Birgittine convent library established in 1491 has the outlines of a Dan Brownian thriller. Add in Vicar General Monseigneur Peter Beer, prioress Sister Apollonia Buchinger, musicologist Viveca Servatius, and exclamations like "Altomünster is the holy grail", and you would be forgiven for assuming you're reading fiction. But this is all to real. After an academic conference at the Altomünster Abbey (blogpost about it by Bevin Butler) in late 2015, the Münich Diocese forbade access to the library. Medieval Histories has more, and Anita Sauckel of Mittelalter interviewed Prof. Volker Schier about his campaign to gain access to the library and preserve it intact.
posted by Kattullus at 4:31 AM - 20 comments

The McFrizz Files: A Podcast Tale Of Addiction and Bank Robbery

Mike Frizzell surrendered himself voluntarily to police in 1993. He confessed and served his time and refound himself. In 2009, he was interviewed for a Seattle radio show, telling his story. Those interviews have been newly expanded over a series of 5 epic episodes that include questions from friends and internet strangers, and interviews with key figures in the life of Drew McFrizz. If you like long form podcast storytelling, you can begin with The McFrizz Files, Part One: How It All Began [1h32m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 4:23 AM - 2 comments

Mark Fisher, Theorist, 1968-2017

Mark Fisher, blogger, editor, and cultural theorist, Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmith's, University of London, and author of Capitalist Realism (2009) died suddenly on 13 January 2017. He was 48 and leaves a wife and young son. [more inside]
posted by Sonny Jim at 4:17 AM - 14 comments

The inauguration of the 45th President of the United States of America

Assuming no last-minute surprises, while the White House transitions the son of a Leòdhas emigrant will take the Oath and become the next POTUS in Washington D.C. today (security gates open at 6am, ceremony begins at 11:30am), as part of the 58th Presidential Inauguration (events began yesterday). Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath; the Lincoln Bible and a family bible will be used. Clarence Thomas will administer the Oath of Office to Vice President-elect Mike Pence. Many Democratic lawmakers are boycotting the inauguration; security is tight, and selfie sticks, drones and drums are not permitted. Some artists are performing at the inauguration and after events. The day after, the Women's March takes place in D.C. and many other cities and towns. Channels showing the inauguration, the 2009 and 2013 ceremonies, and Obama's 2008 victory speech.
posted by Wordshore at 3:01 AM - 1284 comments

It certainly a-pier-s to be the same

London-based blogger Diamond Geezer was astonished by a painting by Bob Dylan of a pier in Norfolk, Virginia. Mostly because it seemed to be based on a photograph that he'd taken of Blackpool Pier. [more inside]
posted by Stark at 2:24 AM - 9 comments

January 19

"...early retirement EARNED."

Dr. McNinja, the comedy/action webcomic created, written and mostly drawn by Christopher Hastings, has come to the end of its 12½ year saga (previously here, soon after it started). In his adventures he has defeated an Evil Fast Food Clown, Dracula, and a dimension-hopping King from the Radical Lands, with his allies including his McNinja family, the clone of Ben Franklin, a gorilla, a velociraptor and a 12-year-old boy with an awesome mustache. Hastings is now busy writing dead-tree comics, including the Adventure Time series, The Unbelievable Gwenpool and other Marvel projects. And he doesn't hire night janitors either.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:38 PM - 14 comments

My sign-in sheet is as empty as my soul right now.

"A bird lands outside my window. I invite him in to learn about algebra. He declines and flies away. I hope a cat eats him. #Classwatch2017" A moment in the sad, lonely school day of Adam Heath Avitable (‏@avitable).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:54 PM - 6 comments

This is why we can't have nice things

"The Kingdom of speech" is a literary Sharknado of error and self-satisfaction, with borderline racism and anti-Semitism mixed in. In which E.J. Spode reviews Tom Wolfe's latest book, with special guest appearances by George Lyell and Ali G. (via)
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:47 PM - 23 comments

Inverted Aquariums

It's like a fish penthouse where your fish can get above your pond waterline. Some others. The Romaurie effect.
posted by adept256 at 7:44 PM - 32 comments

Listening for the country

Dr. Zandria Robinson writes in memory of her father. The article, a finalist for the National Magazine award, is part of her memoir-in-progress. Listen to Dr. Robinson read part of the work here.
posted by Cuke at 7:00 PM - 1 comment

America's Best Security Blanket: Meet the Woobie

"There have been some amazing military innovations over the years: freeze-dried food for MREs, jet aircraft, rail guns, and the soul-sucking website, Army Knowledge Online. But none of these compare to the simplest, most wonderful invention known to mankind: the poncho liner, affectionately known by all those who have felt its life-giving warmth as the 'woobie.'" [more inside]
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:28 PM - 34 comments

Character Actor Miguel Ferrer Has Died

"Ferrer was the son of top 1950s singer Rosemary Clooney and actor Jose Ferrer, and first cousin to George Clooney."
posted by guiseroom at 3:24 PM - 93 comments

The Complicated History of Headscarves

The headscarf has been banned, made mandatory, hailed as a symbol of religious virtue, accepted as a means of controlling female sexuality, and politicized by governments and colonizers across the world. Manipulated and misinterpreted, it is seen as both a sign of liberation and imprisonment, of progress and regression. It’s a source of friction both outside and inside the communities that wear it.
posted by insectosaurus at 1:44 PM - 19 comments

Impossibly Intricate Embroideries

"New Impossibly Intricate Embroideries by Chloe Giordano" Colossal: "We continue to be enthralled by the work of Chloe Giordano [...] who produces everything from tiny coin-sized depictions of woodland creatures to entire book covers typography and all. The Oxford-based illustrator is entirely self-taught, learning her craft “through a lot of trying things out and messing them up.” Each piece is deeply connected to her pencil drawings, as she works out many of the details on paper before turning to thread. Giordano frequently fields questions on her Tumblr and you can follow more of her progress on Instagram." [more inside]
posted by Celsius1414 at 11:19 AM - 35 comments

RIP, sir.

Nigerian synth-funk pioneer William Onyeabor died January 16, 2017.
Onyeabor previously on MF.
posted by OmieWise at 11:09 AM - 24 comments

Hoop Dreams for Safer Neighborhoods

"In North Lawndale, Chicago, a public basketball court is changing the way people relate to local police. Built just last October, it’s a half court built right next to the West 10th district police station, and it’s designed to get cops to shoot hoops with young men and women they might otherwise never meet."
posted by storybored at 10:25 AM - 21 comments

Purple mountain majesties

Conor Knighton is a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning. During the course of 2016, he visited all 59 U.S. national parks in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. At every park, he stopped and recorded himself singing “America The Beautiful,” and made this compilation video in which you can get a glimpse of them. (Instagram) [h/t Miss Cellania]
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:15 AM - 5 comments

An exceptional archive of paintings of children around the world

I Am A Child – Children in Art History, more than 3,100 artists and more than 30,000 paintings. A sampling of various artists' works from horrific depictions of children in war to gently sublime storybook illustrations. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 9:55 AM - 3 comments

"Those rules of thumb don’t apply to hard tech startups"

How to Build a Hard Tech Startup | CEO Jason Rosenthal deep-dives into the trials and tribulations surrounding the development of Lytro Cinema technology. [more inside]
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 9:30 AM - 22 comments

We wanted to come up with a different approach

The percentage of 15- and 16-year-olds who had been drunk in the previous month plummeted from 42 per cent in 1998 to 5 per cent in 2016. The percentage who have ever used cannabis is down from 17 per cent to 7 per cent. Those smoking cigarettes every day fell from 23 per cent to just 3 per cent. This is how Iceland did it and why the Icelandic strategy for preventing/reducing teen substance use may or may not work elsewhere.
posted by elgilito at 8:56 AM - 52 comments

"Well, maybe I can make a mansion out of a series of linked yurts"

The audiobook for George Saunders’s debut novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, will be narrated by Nick Offerman, Julianne Moore, Miranda July, Ben Stiller, Don Cheadle, Keegan Michael Key, David Sedaris, Susan Sarandon, Carrie Brownstein, a dozen other A-listers, top audiobook narrators, the author’s close friends and family, volunteers from Random House, and the author himself to form a 166 voice American chorale.

Penguin Random House Audio is applying for a Guinness World Record. Listen to a clip here. [more inside]
posted by little onion at 8:11 AM - 13 comments

"What an incredible place (heart-eyes emoji)"

Yolocaust re-contextualizes selfies taken at the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin. (Trigger warning: use of historical death camp photography.)
posted by mightygodking at 7:48 AM - 61 comments

Forum Drama. Forum Drama Everywhere.

The Alt-Right’s Meltdown Is Just Like Any Other Message Board Drama (single link Buzzfeed, by Katie Notopoulos)
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:43 AM - 100 comments

A Francesinha

When picturing a francesinha, imagine a croque monsieur — the delicious baked or grilled French ham and cheese sandwich — that got extremely angry, hulked out into a muscle-bound edible behemoth and was then doused by the attendant cook with a zesty beer-and-tomato sauce to prevent any further, monsterlike growth. [more inside]
posted by chavenet at 3:34 AM - 37 comments

Live From the Chase Bank Auditorium in Chicago...

Tom Hanks guest hosts on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, with panelists Luke Burbank, Paula Poundstone, and Faith Salie, and Simone Biles playing Not My Job. AV Club was there, and apparently it was an interesting night. Chicago Tribune was also there.
posted by hippybear at 3:04 AM - 46 comments

January 18

A short but excellent piece by the Southern Poverty Law Center

Google and the Miseducation of Dylann Roof - How did Dylann Roof go from being someone who was not raised in a racist home to someone so steeped in white supremacist propaganda that he murdered nine African Americans during a Bible study?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:08 PM - 67 comments

Tomato, dairy, cut of meat? Feuds started over less

In Search of Ragu - Matt Goulding (Roads & Kingdoms) The beauty of ragu is that it’s an idea as much as it is a recipe, a slow-simmered distillation of what means and circumstances have gifted you: If Zia Peppe’s ragu is made with nothing but pork scraps, that’s because her neighbor raises pigs. When Maria cooks her vegetables in a mix of oil and butter, it’s because her family comes from a long line of dairy farmers. When Nonna Anna’s slips a few laurel leaves into the pot, she plucks them from the tree outside her back door. There is no need for a decree from the Chamber of Commerce to tell these women what qualifies as the authentic ragu; what’s authentic is whatever is simmering under the lid.
posted by CrystalDave at 7:55 PM - 14 comments

Tight as a Boiled Owl

The English language has produced a staggering number of words and phrases for the state of being intoxicated by alcohol. The Drunktionary collects hundreds of them, from "A beat up tank" to "zozzled", all in glorious 2001 Tripod style. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 6:40 PM - 15 comments

"Honey, as far as reads go this is Infinite Jest."

Congresswoman Maxine Waters Will Read You Now (R. Eric Thomas, Elle Culture)
posted by moons in june at 5:29 PM - 47 comments

i lik the bred

A Reddit thread about health inspection violations has led to an unlikely yet delightful new meme: in response to a redditor's story about their stepdad's recreation of an 18th century French bakery, redditor Poem_for_your_sprog, also known as Sam Garland, offered the following summation in verse: my name is Cow / and wen its nite, / or wen the moon / is shiyning brite, / and all the men / haf gon to bed - / i stay up late. / i lik the bred. [more inside]
posted by yasaman at 4:02 PM - 128 comments

Rock, Pudge, and a Killer B

The results of the 2017 Major League Baseball Hall of Fame vote were announced this evening, and Tim Raines (in his last year of eligibility), Ivan Rodriguez (in his first year of eligibility), and Jeff Bagwell (in neither his first nor last year of eligibility) were elected. Close watchers anticipated both Bagwell and Raines's elections based on Ryan Thibs's ballot tracking spreadsheet which compiled over 240 votes (more than half of those cast) from public posted columns and a few given anonymously, but the it was still unclear until the announcement whether Rodriguez would have enough support from those who did not make their ballot public to clear the 75% mark required for election. [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 3:50 PM - 24 comments

The Creator of the Mirai Botnet Unmasked

Remember the Mirai botnet that took down Dyn and made most of the Internet unusable for a day back in October of 2016? Internet security expert (and also Mirai botnet victim) Brian Krebs, author of excellent blog Krebs on Security, has a massive, four-months-in-the-making investigation unmasking the creator of Mirai, and it reads like a really good thriller novel.
posted by Peemster at 3:20 PM - 25 comments

Missing an old friend....

Adam Sandler singing about Chris Farley NSFW Lyrics, poor video quality.
posted by dfm500 at 1:54 PM - 7 comments

Jamming With The Koopas

Nintendo Special Big Band [SLYT] Spend an hour listening to Nintendo's jazz band jamming away at musical hits from Super Mario, Kirby, Pokemon, Fire Emblem, Donkey Kong Country, and The Legend of Zelda. [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 at 12:29 PM - 6 comments

4.6 Billion Year Story

Released in 1992 (the same year as the much more complex Sim Life) and published by Enix, Almanic's E.V.O.: Search for Eden is a Super Nintendo game in which players evolve a custom-made organism across vast geologic epochs and numerous phylums by growing new jaws, fins, tails, wings, horns, lungs and assorted other body parts. A cult classic that predates the more widely recognized evolution-em-up Spore by 16 years, E.V.O. is actually the thematic followup to an obscure 1990 PC-98 evolution-themed RPG called 64 Okunen Monogatari: The Shinka Ron (4.6 Billion Year Story: The Theory of Evolution). For almost as many years, 46 Okunen Monogatari has remained an intriguing mystery for Western audiences, but now a full English translation patch has been released. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername at 12:06 PM - 14 comments

pepsee blue

pEPsi - "A tribute to Pepsi and Doritos, featuring remixes of some classic, re-imagined hits. Sorry in advance."
Sgt. Pepsi's Thirsty Hearts Club Brand - "Fourteen icy cold tracks to celebrate your white hot love for your favorite blue soft drink. It's Pepsi. Pepsi is blue." [more inside]
posted by jason_steakums at 12:00 PM - 10 comments

Superyacht Consumers No Longer Underserved By Housing Market

America's most expensive luxury home - complete with Dom Perignon-filled fire extinguishers, a candy wall, and the helicopter from Airwolf - can now be yours for a cool $250 million.
posted by Small Dollar at 11:29 AM - 138 comments

I wish it was my idea for him to eat Cheetos, but that was all him

Young Thug - 'Wyclef Jean' (no nudity, but possibly NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by naju at 11:21 AM - 29 comments

You Must Be This Tall To Enter the Void

"Miguel Marquez Outside" (aka Michael Pederson) takes Jeff Wysaski's "Obvious Plant" fake posters/flyers/shelf tags a step farther with site installations like the Gravity Gauge, the Vicarious Yelling Station and the Small Orange Cones for Minor Hazards.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:05 AM - 8 comments

BBC Radio 4 - The New World

BBC Radio 4 has served up five 45 minute programmes of high quality brain food. Where intelligent and informed people present shows exploring the topics of; Politics, Power, Population Demographics, Globalisation and Truthy-ness at the start of 2017. It's the Demography, Stupid!, David Willetts investigates how is population change transforming our world? (Wow! The problem with all those baby boomers.) Us Versus Them, John Harris examines the international rise of anti-elitist or 'populist' politics. (Including Trump and Farage.) [more inside]
posted by Dr Ew at 11:03 AM - 2 comments

James Earl Jones reads Walt Whitman

Actor James Earl Jones reads passages from Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself", recorded Oct 21, 1973 (via 92Y on Demand)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:43 AM - 16 comments

"The printed book is final and thus unchangeable"

Irma Boom’s Library, Where Pure Experimentalism Is on the Shelf (Joshua Barone, NYT) [via]
posted by Think_Long at 8:24 AM - 4 comments

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