January 2009 Archives

January 31

Metro Collective is an international coalition of independent photographers. This website is an ongoing compilation of features and portfolios that represent the individual visions of Metro photographers and their commitment to particular subjects. Their weblog features Metro news and single images, plus interesting outtake images, tearsheets, and behind the image commentary.
posted by netbros at 9:46 PM PST - 2 comments

I know you all love bacon. So if you're single, looking for a date, and want him to be edible... I present to you, bacon man. Step-by-step photos from NetDiva, his awesome creatrix.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:53 PM PST - 56 comments



Understanding comics - Scott McCloud recaps his comics theory work at TED. [more inside]
posted by Artw at 3:18 PM PST - 30 comments

So there is this guy named Jona Bechtolt and he is an electronic musician and multimedia artist who performs as YACHT. He recently described in an interview some audio software that he had illegally downloaded, adding "Does all this piracy make me a bad person?". The company that makes the software that he illegally downloaded apparently saw his comment and wrote a blog post where they linked to his interview and stated "We've put up with rampant idiocy from people that style themselves members of the creative community but are actually members of some kind of bullshit that doesn't have a name." Then Mr. Bechtolt commented on that blog post kind of apologizing, but also saying "I'm a musician and I haven't bought music in years, nor have almost all of my musician friends." Then the company wrote him an open letter explaining why they did not accept his apology. [via Pitchfork]
posted by ND¢ at 2:42 PM PST - 130 comments

Life at Ikea: Pretty much like life everywhere else.
posted by mrbula at 1:49 PM PST - 23 comments

US meddling in Kenyan elections:
An exit poll, if it had been released in a timely manner, could have altered the result of Kenya's presidential election in 2007 and prevented the deaths of many people there, say people involved in the U.S. backed effort.
It is suggested that Michael E. Ranneberger US ambassador to Kenya was meddling in Kenya's Elections, playing down the corruption of Mwai Kibaki's government.
More than 1,000 people died and 304,000 displaced.
Related Metafiler threads on the 2007 Kenya election . 1, 2, 3 , 4
posted by adamvasco at 1:05 PM PST - 11 comments


"Will Marion Cook is a name to reckon with in the history of black American music." Many of us have never heard of him, but with a recent recording of his work available, along with a new biography, now would be a good time to catch up and swing along.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 12:08 PM PST - 3 comments

Desperate Man Blues Edward Gillen's documentary about Joe Bussard, renowned collector of 25,000+ blues, folk and gospel 78rpm records from the 20s and 30s. It's about the hunt and the hunter, as much as what he found. One week only on Pitchfork TV [more inside]
posted by msalt at 11:55 AM PST - 15 comments


Launched with much fanfare in 2005, Pajamas Media planned to harness the distributed power of dedicated bloggers to challenge the traditional news media. On March 31st, their blogging network will shut down, along with the ad revenues it channeled to conservative commentators. With the collapse of the blog advertising market, they've decided to focus their energy on the PajamasTV video network and its exclusive correspondents.
posted by verb at 10:14 AM PST - 78 comments

The Fovant badges , "an historic and unique cluster of military badges cut into the chalk hills of Wiltshire", are one of many hill figure sites in the UK. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 10:09 AM PST - 4 comments


Coming Soon : Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (from the authors of such classics as Mansfield Park and The Big Book Of Porn).
posted by mannequito at 8:53 AM PST - 9 comments

John Updike died, have you read his books? Who has time where there are a 1000 novels to read yet! James Delingpole argues that it is impossible - and unnecessary - to grapple with every 'must read' of the literary canon. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 8:40 AM PST - 49 comments

“In 20 to 25 years, we could be extinct": lesbian separatist communes grapple with aging, irrelevance to younger lesbians, and survival in the twenty-first century. [more inside]
posted by Forktine at 6:03 AM PST - 354 comments

Star Trek TNG goes horribly wrong in a series of short, surreal and very zen mashups: Episode 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13
posted by loquacious at 4:54 AM PST - 102 comments

Children interview celebrities: Simon Cowell, Girls Aloud, David Attenborough, Richard Hammond and Quentin Blake. Audio slide show adding among others, David Cameron, Jacqueline Wilson and Jamie Oliver
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:23 AM PST - 16 comments

January 30

On October 1, 1993, Bill Hicks was scheduled to appear on The Late Show with David Letterman for the twelfth time, but his entire performance was removed from the broadcast -- the only occasion, up to that point, in which a comedian's entire routine had been cut after taping. It will be shown for the very first time on David Letterman tonight and Bill Hicks' mother will be the guest. Derbs. Your question has an answer.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:51 PM PST - 163 comments

b!k!n! machines
posted by vronsky at 5:07 PM PST - 48 comments

I am part of a Lost Generation, and I refuse to believe I can change the world. Very clever AARP-sponsored positive propaganda piece for the Millenial Generation. (SLYT, 1min44sec).
posted by Roach at 4:57 PM PST - 80 comments

For all which Treasons and Crimes, this Court doth adjudge that the said Charles Stuart, as a Tyrant, Traitor, Murtherer, and a public enemy, shall be put to death by the severing of his Head from his Body. On January 30, 1649, King Charles I was beheaded on a scaffold at Whitehall. [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:44 PM PST - 50 comments


Anti-Theft Lunch Bag.
posted by william_boot at 4:31 PM PST - 35 comments

The "I Can Read Movies" Series is a set of fake film novelizations, done in 1950's and 1960's illustration style. [via]
posted by piratebowling at 4:26 PM PST - 20 comments


On Truth and Reality. Despite several thousand years of failure to correctly understand physical reality (hence the current postmodern view that this is impossible) it is actually very simple to work out how matter exists and moves about in Space. The rules of Science (Occam's Razor / Simplicity) and Metaphysics (Dynamic Unity of Reality) require that reality be described from only one single source existing, as Leibniz wrote: "because of the interconnection of all things with one another." [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:05 PM PST - 46 comments

Paris manif. [more inside]
posted by pwedza at 3:51 PM PST - 13 comments


CERN Podcast - Lighthearted chats at the CERN laboratory with "a bit of particle physics thrown in". Featuring visits from British satirists and comedians, including Chris Morris and Kevin Eldon.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:05 PM PST - 5 comments

Old Jews telling jokes.
posted by gman at 3:02 PM PST - 26 comments

CH CH CH Chief?
posted by manosthf at 2:50 PM PST - 44 comments

It's been 50 years (on Tuesday) since Buddy Holly died. He still has some rabid fans who will be celebrating his life and work, but should the rest of us still care? [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:00 PM PST - 38 comments


"Borderline individuals are the psychological equivalent of third-degree burn patients." They have no emotional skin. Even the slightest touch can create immense suffering. The extreme oversensitivity and tendency to demonize/deify others may be due to faulty neural circuits or even genetic predisposition (but some debate this). Pharmacotherapy remains challenging. And those afflicted continue to fight stigma. "We have largely ignored this problem."
posted by terranova at 1:20 PM PST - 51 comments

Michael Steele, former Lt. Governor of Maryland and one of only a handful of semi-prominent African-American leaders in the Republican Party, has just been elected RNC Chair. He beat out Katon Dawson, Chair of the South Carolina GOP, who had recently resigned his membership from an all-white country club, by a vote of 91-77. Some argue that the RNC Chair race was all about race. [more inside]
posted by billysumday at 1:15 PM PST - 43 comments


One half of Telefon Tel Aviv has died. Charlie Cooper was part of the well respected electronic/IDM group that has been releasing music and remixing since 2001.
posted by plexi at 12:13 PM PST - 26 comments



Blueful. Web-dispersed storytelling reminiscent of the some of the stuff in We Tell Stories to promote the free interactive fiction game Blue Lacuna from Aaron A. Reed, the creator of the excellent interactive fiction title Whom the Telling Changed. Caveat: the ending is only available (afaik) on a (free) postcard so if you don't feel comfortable giving up a mailing address, you won't see the ending.
posted by juv3nal at 11:06 AM PST - 8 comments


"I don't think it's our job to tell them how many babies they're allowed to have." The woman who recently gave birth to octuplets already has six children. Multiple births increased 29% from 1995 to 2005. Why? What are the risks of multiple births? Despite the risks, some people WANT a multiple birth. If you are pregnant with more than one child, how should you prepare? How do you care for all those kids? What if you decide you don't want to have them all? A personal story of selective reduction. A personal story of having triplets.
posted by desjardins at 10:51 AM PST - 192 comments

Doing research for a BBQ restaurant website, I ran across these. The names alone kinda' make me salivate... There's Famous Dave's (my vote for best website), Bubba Lou's, Bodean's (BBQ in London?), Armadillo Willy's, BJ's, Big Joe's, Dallas BBQ (in NYC, go figure), Dickey's, McClard's (going with the pig theme...), Stubb's, Texas Pride... it's pretty much a never-ending, mouth-watering list. And it turns out to be torturous, because I'm in the Yucatan and there's no real BBQ for thousands of miles around.
posted by workinggringa at 10:21 AM PST - 98 comments

Molecular Movies features cell and molecular animations, along with animation tutorials. [more inside]
posted by Korou at 10:10 AM PST - 5 comments

Bruce Sterling, fresh from his online State of the World 2008 discussion (previously), delivers his succinct prognosis for the new year: 2009 Will Be a Year of Panic. At least it's an opportunity to say good-bye to the 20th century at last. (via)
posted by Doktor Zed at 9:51 AM PST - 37 comments

Songsmith has never made a lot of sense. How did this make it to retail? Why does it sound like bad MIDI? But shortly after it came out, it began to regurgitate our music. Now, Microsoft's master plan is clear: Wrongsmith explains all.
posted by lubujackson at 9:48 AM PST - 65 comments

I asked myself: If you purchased this cheering CD for yourself or for someone else, what would I want you or your friend to feel? The answer was easy. I'd want you to feel that you were known and that you were recognized. I'd want you to feel that you were valuable and deserving and that you are worthy. Worthy! Yes, you! You are unique, an original, one-of-a-kind! And you are not overlooked, you are not ignored,and you're not forgotten! "Don't stop now! You're almost there! We believe in you!" Another seemingly meant-to-be-taken-seriously gift from the makers of the Because of You CD, and "Piece of The Puzzle Affirmative Jewelry"
posted by kosem at 8:40 AM PST - 40 comments

Aino Kannisto 's beautifully composed photographs of intimate moments feel more like film stills than portraits. [via] [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:06 AM PST - 19 comments

Virginity at age 22. Two approaches: 1. Sell it. "It became apparent to me that idealized virginity is just a tool to keep women in their place. But then I realized something else: if virginity is considered that valuable, what’s to stop me from benefiting from that?" 2. Keep it. "It is puzzling and disturbing to me that regnant feminism has never acknowledged the empowering value of virginity."
posted by Pater Aletheias at 8:05 AM PST - 114 comments

What real-life bad habits has programming given you? "This has actually really happened to me. I was trying to hang a glass picture frame on the wall and accidentally dropped it. And in the shock of the moment, I loudly yelled 'Control Z!' Then the glass hit the floor and smashed."
posted by grumblebee at 6:47 AM PST - 170 comments

The latest episode of James Gunn's PG Porn is out (previously), and it comes with free kittens!
posted by mannequito at 5:19 AM PST - 18 comments

Maybe outsourcing is the answer. Canadian importers detected the salmonella tainted peanut products, and, prior to eight Americans dying from it, informed the US FDA. "The FDA failing to follow up after this incident, does that mean that products that are not good enough for a foreign country are still good enough for the USA? That's a double standard that has deadly consequences for our citizens." [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 4:30 AM PST - 49 comments

Henry Hey's new Bush Song. (SLYTP; previously; via waxy.) [more inside]
posted by progosk at 3:15 AM PST - 14 comments

Cops regularly perjure themselves - Blue Lies. Though few officers will confess to lying -- after all, it's a crime -- work by researchers and a 1990s commission appointed to examine police corruption shows there's a tacit agreement among many officers that lying about how evidence is seized keeps criminals off the street.... Criminal-justice researchers say it's difficult to quantify how often perjury is being committed. According to a 1992 survey, prosecutors, defense attorneys and judges in Chicago said they thought that, on average, perjury by police occurs 20% of the time in which defendants claim evidence was illegally seized. "It is an open secret long shared by prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges that perjury is widespread among law enforcement officers," though it's difficult to detect in specific cases, said Alex Kozinski, a federal appeals-court judge, in the 1990s. [more inside]
posted by caddis at 1:14 AM PST - 75 comments


January 29

"To pedal the 3700 kilometres of open water from Cape Verde off the west coast of Africa to Barbados in the Caribbean should take around 50 days..." Engineer and machinist Ted Ciamillo has built a human powered mini-submarine, designed around a larger version of his Lunocet carbon-fibre "tail" for divers, for an Atlantic Ocean crossing.... The "SubHuman project".
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:35 PM PST - 23 comments

A sweet little stop-motion SLYT, found on Lauging Squid.
posted by serazin at 9:48 PM PST - 22 comments

Save the Words. Do lost words still have meaning? Just because society has neglected them doesn't make them any less of a word. How do you get lost words back in the dictionary? With lexicographers scanning publications and other communication for words not currently housed in the dictionary, all you need do is use your adopted words as often as possible. Go, Adopt a Word. Like graocracy.* * - government by an old woman or women. [more inside]
posted by Tufa at 9:44 PM PST - 37 comments

Army reports highest rate of soldier suicides for three decades in 2008. [more inside]
posted by batmonkey at 9:21 PM PST - 20 comments

The P22 Music Text Composition Generator allows any text to be converted into a musical composition. This composition is displayed in musical notation and simultaneously generated as a midi file. The P22 Music Composition Font was proposed in 1997 to the John Cage Trust as an accompaniment to the John Cage text font based on the handwriting of the composer. The idea was basic and simple-every letter of the alphabet was assigned to a note on a scale. This would allow for any text to be converted into musical notation.
posted by Sailormom at 7:52 PM PST - 17 comments

Do you cheat? Do you have a car? Sorry.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:41 PM PST - 89 comments

Most wives are Mad at Dad. "We're mad that having children has turned our lives upside down much more than theirs. We're mad that these guys, who can manage businesses or keep track of thousands of pieces of sports trivia, can be clueless when it comes to what our kids are eating and what supplies they need for school. And more than anything else, we're mad that they get more time to themselves than we do."
posted by Xurando at 5:45 PM PST - 199 comments

Scientists from the University of Michigan and the University of Maryland have managed to teleport information from one isolated atom to another over a distance of one meter, without it ever crossing space. Here's how they did it. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:11 PM PST - 44 comments

I bang the worst dudes (Sorry Mom)
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:16 PM PST - 87 comments

Dear Deer by Kate Micucci [more inside]
posted by Del Far at 3:47 PM PST - 12 comments


One of the kings of nuclear proliferation has his own website. No mention of house arrest though.
posted by brookeb at 3:02 PM PST - 10 comments

Extreme pornography illegal in Britain since Monday, 26 January, thanks to the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008. Aside from changes to custodial sentencing guidelines (and early release guidelines to ease overcrowding), the most controversial aspect of the law relates to the legal definition of extreme pornography. An image is deemed to be extreme if it "is grossly offensive, disgusting or otherwise of an obscene character" and "it portrays in an explicit and realistic way, any of the following (a) an act which threatens a person’s life, (b) an act which results, or is likely to result, in serious injury to a person’s anus, breasts or genitals (c) an act which involves sexual interference with a human corpse (d) a person performing an act of intercourse or oral sex with an animal (whether dead or alive) BDSM groups, among others, have campaigned and protested against the law. Aside from concerns about the legality of kink, some have pointed out that some comics and graphic novels would also fall afoul of the new law.
posted by Grrlscout at 2:37 PM PST - 87 comments

While some may think him a sellout, others see folk hero. The good people of St. Paul, Minnesota? They're gonna knight him tonight. [more inside]
posted by GamblingBlues at 2:22 PM PST - 13 comments

Jiu-Jitsu legend Helio Gracie has died. From sickly child of a poor Brazilian family to a fighting legend, Helio Gracie (nicknamed Caxinguele or Squirrel by his family), inspired a paradigm shift in Martial Arts. He will be Missed.
posted by tkchrist at 1:38 PM PST - 46 comments

Man found dead [warning, graphic] in the former Detroit Public Schools Book Depository. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 12:49 PM PST - 86 comments

The Jesus Project, established by The Committee for the Scientific Examination of Religion, is "the first methodologically agnostic examination of the question of Jesus’ historical existence." The Project recently held its first conference, which included presentations from several individuals who argue against the historical existence of Jesus. R. Joseph Hoffmann, Chair of the CSER, writes, "I do not think we are dealing with a man who became god, but a god who was made man."
posted by No Robots at 12:47 PM PST - 63 comments

"The Department of Defense claimed in a dramatic press briefing on January 13 that “61 in all former Guantanamo detainees are confirmed or suspected of returning to the fight” of terrorism." ...troubling is the Defense Department’s listing of the released Uighurs, who were completely exonerated by an internal military hearing. They’ve done nothing wrong. However, one of them wrote an op-ed column for the New York Times proclaiming that “I was locked up and mistreated for being in the wrong place at the wrong time during America's war in Afghanistan.” He also said in the same editorial: “The United States [is] a country I deeply admire.” That’s “suspected of going back into the battlefield”? Only if you are delusional. [more inside]
posted by 445supermag at 12:45 PM PST - 33 comments

Every day we go on to the streets, dying at his defenders who thought about us. About us, that they were not destined to see. But we can remember!

And imagine that the horror that the people was to survive.

WWII era Photographs, I assume, of Leningrad combined with current photographs. This era has also recently been portrayed effectively by David Benioff in his novel City of Thieves. Found the pictures via Warren Ellis who thinks the photographer may be Sergei Larenkov.
posted by zzazazz at 12:42 PM PST - 16 comments

Lionel Rodia: Superfan
posted by JVA at 12:08 PM PST - 32 comments

Deadly Symbiosis: Rethinking race and imprisonment in twenty-first-century America.
posted by lunit at 11:59 AM PST - 16 comments

CAUTION! ZOMBIES! AHEAD!!! [more inside]
posted by butterstick at 11:50 AM PST - 50 comments

Enjoy a wide selection of free extreme sports shorts [flash] in the "Sweetspots" section of the Nike ACG website. Includes further ridiculousness shot in the same location as this previous post
posted by protorp at 11:23 AM PST - 4 comments

Vegetable farming! Boar breeding! All the maniac thrills of 17th century agriculture -- on your tabletop! Since its introduction two years ago, Agricola has grown from being a German hit to a runaway success worldwide -- at least among the niche market of serious board game fans. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 11:18 AM PST - 34 comments

RPS-101. All 5,050 gestures and outcomes; the interactive chart. [previously]
Direct descendant of RPS-25 [Flash Game] [previously]; RPS-15, -11, -9, and -7; evolved from RPSSL.
All of these are more complex forms of Rock, Paper, Scissors [previously]
What would the World RPS Society [previously 1 2 3 | documentary] think of this inflation?
(International versions also available via AskMetaFilter: Japanese, Korean)
posted by not_on_display at 11:16 AM PST - 16 comments

Interview with Jon Schindehette, senior art director at Wizards of the Coast for Dungeons and Dragons. See more fantasy art at his blog, ArtOrder.
posted by Artw at 10:26 AM PST - 24 comments


"OK, it's the 21st Century," you say. "Where's my jetpack?" Here you go!
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:16 AM PST - 48 comments

It's time to get ready for the Super Bowl... Ads! Adland has freely available archives of 37 years of commercials from the big game, over 2,800 ads - from 1969, when Winston, Salem, Camel, Tareyton, Pall Mall, and Silva Thins smoked up the Bowl *cough-cough*, all the way to 2008, when the best-liked ad was Bud's dalmation inspiration (how do we know it was best liked? SCIENCE!). Some highlights of the collection include: [more inside]
posted by taz at 10:11 AM PST - 40 comments

Work by more than 20 contemporary artists from the Middle East is being showcased at the Saatchi Gallery.

"Their art isn't (like so much western art) about consumerism or celebrity or art itself; it's about suicide bombers, religious police, unending war, and the denigration of women in Islamic societies."
posted by gman at 10:05 AM PST - 5 comments

Invasion of the Big Robots! Say what you will about the decline of Garfield, but he had his brighter moments, like the time he woke up in the wrong cartoon and had to fight the big robots. Garfield and Friends writer Mark Evanier tells the story behind this budget-busting episode. [Previously] [more inside]
posted by Servo5678 at 9:57 AM PST - 3 comments




Wanna test if your ISP (or company or university) is blocking or throttling BitTorrent traffic? Want some tools to diagnose network problems in your "last mile" connection? Google to the rescue: M-Lab! Predictably, with the recent announcement and publicity, the servers are now getting hammered. So post this? You can help: Host a Glasnost server (tests for BitTorrent). *Results so far. Coming soon are apps to "Determine whether an ISP is giving some traffic a lower priority than other traffic" and "Determine whether an ISP is degrading the performance of a certain subset of users, applications, or destinations". Power to the People, bay-bee!
posted by spock at 7:10 AM PST - 58 comments

A biased shadow of its former self, a waste of money dominated by champagne socialists, a victim of media fragmentation, a political pawn or still the trusted heart of the UK's (and, arguably, the world's) broadcasting world? As scandal after scandal threatens to undermine confidence in the BBC and the voices calling for the dissolution of the licence fee gain a more cohesive platform, can the BBC survive, - is it the solution or the problem, and can the British public really afford to let it die the death of a thousand cuts? On the day after the BBC announces it will put every UK publically owned oil painting online and the Director General talks about the BBC's "special responsibility" to culture in the UK, what should the role of the BBC be and, perhaps more importantly, what should it cost?
posted by MuffinMan at 6:27 AM PST - 50 comments

Perfect Balance If this is Flash Fun, then today must be Friday. [more inside]
posted by DU at 6:06 AM PST - 46 comments

Leaving office, President Bush claimed "that he took 'a deliberate and comprehensive approach' to preventing terrorism that combined military action overseas with strong defensive measures at home."
[As early as 2002] "We knew that the mortgage-brokerage industry was corrupt... Where we would have gotten a sense of what was really going on was the point where the mortgage was sold knowing that it was a piece of dung and it would be turned into a security. But the agents with the expertise had been diverted to counterterrorism."
[. . . . FBI Director Robert] "Mueller actually circumvented the Justice Department and the OMB to get resources. But he was shut down" by the [Bush A]dministration. [. . . . Testifying in October 2004, ] Chris Swecker, then assistant director of the criminal investigation division said ... "The potential impact of mortgage fraud on financial institutions in the stock market is clear. If fraudulent practices become systemic within the mortgage industry and mortgage fraud is allowed to become unrestrained, it will ultimately place financial institutions at risk and have adverse effects on the stock market."
posted by orthogonality at 4:09 AM PST - 71 comments

The video for Metronomy's A Thing For Me features a psychotic karaoke ball. Single Link Music Video.
posted by minifigs at 2:58 AM PST - 20 comments

TripAdvisor's 2009 Top Ten Dirtiest Hotels in the USA, Asia Pacific, UK, and elsewhere. Topping the list: the Hotel Carter, Times Square. [The Carter recently mentioned here.]
posted by milquetoast at 1:14 AM PST - 57 comments

January 28

An inanimate object comes to life: The interactive staging of the thousand year old runic stone Mejlbystenen. [more inside]
posted by sveskemus at 11:17 PM PST - 10 comments

The FT's Davos blog offers a range of informed comment as our leaders gather in Switzerland to consider the economic mess we're in. But will the ongoing spat between the US and China over the renminbi exchange rate overshadow all else at the World Economic Forum?
posted by Abiezer at 10:44 PM PST - 17 comments

Lunatic Magazine is a bi-annual online photo magazine presenting new work of photographers from around the world. Lunatic offers the opportunity to photographers to promote original stories, images, and photojournalism. (Issue1, Issue2, Issue3)
posted by netbros at 9:53 PM PST - 7 comments

Recent work by Yichao Wu, Judy Lieberman, and Deborah Palliser has led to a topical treatment that knocks out the herpes virus in testing with mice by way of RNA interference (RNAi). Notably, it works when applied prior to or after sexual contact and holds promise for human usage. (RNAi is a very recent (1998) discovery that garnered the 2006 Nobel prize [MetaFilter thread] for Fire and Mello.) You can read more about the intravaginal application of siRNAs in the January issue of Cell Host & Microbe.
posted by shadytrees at 9:37 PM PST - 9 comments


Andreas Aronsson makes interesting impossible figures, documents the process, and philosophizes. Via lines and colors and Neatorama, where Aronsson shows up to call himself "an Oscar Reutersvärd ripoff." Reutersvärd is often credited as the founder of the impossible figure. [more inside]
posted by mediareport at 9:17 PM PST - 12 comments

Johnny Rico, lead character in the hit movie Starship Troopers, is suiting up once again to fight back against the evils of the galaxy. Hollywood actor Casper Van Dien has reprised the combat savvy character for Childhelp to talk about fighting a different war – the war against child abuse. (via Ain't It Cool News, embarrassingly enough.) [more inside]
posted by incomple at 8:14 PM PST - 72 comments

Texas is sticky; Wyoming is not. Arizona is a magnet, but New York, surprisingly, isn’t. Nevada is both a magnet but not sticky. A Pew Center report examines “Who Moves? Who Stays Put? Where's Home?” (previous Pew Center reports on who’s in jail, and who can identify Dick Cheney, among others.)
posted by cogneuro at 7:35 PM PST - 39 comments

"Civilization is Just a Thin Veneer. In the absence of law and order, men quickly revert to savagery. As was illustrated by the rioting and looting that accompanied disasters in the past three decades, the transition from tranquility to absolute barbarism can occur overnight. People expect tomorrow to be just like today, and they act accordingly. But then comes a unpredictable disaster that catches the vast majority unprepared. The average American family has four days worth of food on hand. When that food is gone, we'll soon see the thin veneer stripped away." [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 6:21 PM PST - 179 comments

Dave Chalmers has just launched PhilPapers, a directory of nearly 200,000 online papers in philosophy. This is a jawdropping and amazing resource for philosophical research. For evidence of the scope of this project and the care that has been given to it, see the taxonomy of philosophy that was developed for the site.
posted by painquale at 5:19 PM PST - 28 comments

Newspapers rush to deliver news online. A look at the future from 1981.
posted by empath at 4:55 PM PST - 76 comments

Two guys in a hotel room. Then in another hotel room. Photographer Richard Renaldi (blog) documents the global travels he and his partner Seth have made over the years. His organizing device? Hotel rooms (and motel rooms and wicker shanties). (Some nudity and sexuality; some photos NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 1:56 PM PST - 63 comments

Vince Offer, better known as the ShamWow guy or the SlapChop guy, isn't just a salesman. He's also a filmmaker, and he's battling the Church of Scientology.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:47 PM PST - 118 comments

The Vocaloids,1 anime-like characters created for the singing synthasizer program by the Yamaha Corporation, have been capturing the imaginations of Japanese fans for more than a year. They've inspired and starred in a large body of fan-produced songs and animated videos,2 ranging from macabre to sorrowful to dramatic to humorous. [Massive MLYTP] [more inside]
posted by anthy at 1:44 PM PST - 7 comments

In yet another case of possible criminality within The Company ranks, the CIA's station chief in Algeria is facing investigation for sexual assualt, accused of having drugged and sexually assaulted at least two Algerian women. Though recent events have raised doubts about the prosecution of other possible crimes at the CIA, this case may actually lead to an eventual conviction. After all, he made tapes.
posted by saulgoodman at 12:46 PM PST - 30 comments

The True cost of credit. Via
posted by jourman2 at 12:44 PM PST - 58 comments

The Consultative Group on the Past released its long awaited report today, discussing strategies to build trust and dialogue between communities and heal wounds in Northern Ireland. Part of the strategy was compensation and inquiries to be funded jointly by the British and Irish governments, to the tune of £300K. The report's presentation was interrupted by deeply angry protesters. Some were upset at the idea of financial compensation for the loss of human life. Some were incensed that families of paramilitary members killed in the Troubles were to receive equal compensation to bystanders caught in the crossfire. Some comments on the report from public figures, and from the Program Director of Amnesty International's NI office.
posted by Grrlscout at 12:25 PM PST - 9 comments

Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell, dead of an apparent heart attack, was 56.
posted by VicNebulous at 12:08 PM PST - 21 comments

Bats sleep upside down. They hang by their feet. They have little claws. They use echolocation to catch bugs. They are the only mammals that fly. They sleep during the day. They are dying. [more inside]
posted by Mister_A at 10:50 AM PST - 86 comments

Supervisions is a body of work by photographer Andreas Gefeller examining the world as seen from above.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:38 AM PST - 7 comments

Dating A Banker Anonymous Are you or someone you love dating a banker? If so, we are here to support you through these difficult times. Dating A Banker Anonymous (DABA) is a safe place where women can come together – free from the scrutiny of feminists– and share their tearful tales of how the mortgage meltdown has affected their relationships. Via
posted by ColdChef at 9:54 AM PST - 167 comments

1983 Macintosh Dating Game starring Steve Jobs & Bill Gates [slyt].
posted by nickyskye at 9:49 AM PST - 18 comments

If you ever watched Star Trek: The Next Generation or Reading Rainbow, you know Levar Burton. And for years, all you've wanted is his signature. Well, if you have a child in kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade, now you can. Every entrant to the Reading Rainbow Young Writers and Illustraters Contest receives a signed certificate from Levar Burton, whether their work is terrible or awesome. Get your kids writing now, deadline is in March. But you don't have to take my word for it... Previously
posted by Deathalicious at 9:02 AM PST - 68 comments

How will Alzheimer's researchers ever reconcile this study and this study? Pardon me while I go find something to munch on while I ponder my options. [more inside]
posted by stonedcoldsober at 8:21 AM PST - 27 comments


It's almost as good as being at John Ashbery's home (bio) and there's more, including a preliminary inventory of his library* (search for "inventories" or scroll down). Ashbery's poetry is still very much invested in the reader's pleasure—more so than many supposedly "approachable" poets. You can hear him read his poems (more), watch him (here's -transcript- a brief taste and a half-hour video) or read a few of his poems. [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 7:59 AM PST - 20 comments


The Canadian Medical Association Journal's archive of humorous medical articles. See, for example, why Pooh needs help, why Tintin needs a dose of HGH, and an exhortation to abolish the law of gravity.
posted by kldickson at 5:53 AM PST - 15 comments

Andrew Huang is an Artist/Director of Short Films, Commercials, and Music Videos. Doll Face is really intriguing. The Gloaming (featuring Randall Rickert) is freaky cool!
posted by P.o.B. at 4:25 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

January 27

'Cello scrotum' is a hoax. So was 'guitar nipple'. Baroness Elaine Murphy, a physician, member of the House of Lords and contributor to the Lords of the Blog blog, fesses up after 34 years. But other instrumental infirmities appear to be real, as catalogued in the recent paper titled A symphony of maladies.
posted by grounded at 11:40 PM PST - 43 comments


Cross Cultural Marketing Blunders -- such as Panasonic's motto, "Touch Woody - the internet Pecker" [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:08 PM PST - 45 comments

Colour on the Thames is a 7 minute film shot in 1935 using Gasparcolor, one of the many early forms of tinting black and white film. Beside Colour on the Thames, which provides a wonderful view of 1930's England, the only film made in Gasparcolor I could find online was Colour Flight by New Zealand artist Len Lye, an abstract cartoon set to instrumental 1930's pop music. The story of Gasparcolor is in itself interesting, for instance touching on Nazis, Hungary between the wars and early color animation.
posted by Kattullus at 9:49 PM PST - 12 comments

David Lee Roth Assteroids. (Flash, URL may be NSFW) [via]
posted by eyeballkid at 9:47 PM PST - 25 comments

This used to be really hard with CSS. Fluid 960 Grid System: Up to 16-column grid design that is flexible and fluid. Created by Stephen Bau, based on the 960 Grid System by Nathan Smith. [previously]
posted by netbros at 8:49 PM PST - 56 comments

Exactly 101 years ago today, Oran Thadeus Page was born in Dallas. Hot Lips Page was one of the greatest jazz trumpet players to ever play, and a fine singer as well. That is all.
posted by ornate insect at 7:52 PM PST - 1 comments

First D-Nice turned heads with his raps. Then he resurfaced with his photography. Now he's producing the beautifully filmed video series True Hip-Hop Stories. He's already filmed rap legends like Masta Ace, Do It All from Lords of the Underground and Kwame. Yesterday he added great stories from the self appointed Erin Brockovich of Hip-Hop, Monie Love.
posted by cashman at 7:22 PM PST - 11 comments

Muxtape is back up! Kinda. Muxtape is back up with 12 artists currently signed up, and they plan to allow other bands to sign up in the near future. First on the blue here, and its demise noted here and juicy details over here [more inside]
posted by zenon at 7:18 PM PST - 19 comments

Portuguese carpenter Carlos Alberto is a wizard with wood. His modified Vespa Daniela is a thing of beauty, and the Mota is pretty damned cool as well. Would love to see him panel a Rolls Royce or a Bentley.
posted by bwg at 6:15 PM PST - 15 comments

WhoRunsGov (beta). A Washington Post project to profile political players. Public participation is planned. [more inside]
posted by phoque at 4:22 PM PST - 29 comments

Mingei is a transcultural word which combines the Japanese words for all people (Min) and art (Gei). The site has a flash interface and features over 5,000 high resolution, zoomable objects. More information on the Mingei Movement.
posted by tellurian at 3:54 PM PST - 13 comments

Korea's "Mr. Toilet" passed away. Founder of the World Toilet Association, Sim Jae-Duck promoted sanitation worldwide and built the first giant Toilet-Shaped House in Korea.
posted by jwakawaka at 3:39 PM PST - 27 comments


In 1982, the comedy team of Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker introduced Police Squad! to network TV viewers. It lasted six episodes before being cancelled. What, you missed it? You weren't even born? Here are episodes two, three, and four. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 12:05 PM PST - 84 comments

John Updike has died.
posted by OmieWise at 10:34 AM PST - 150 comments

It is the central, most eyecatching feature of the modern Oval Office. But for over a year, abandoned by a captain said to be harsh and venereal, it drifted slowly, its huge frame creaking, locked in ice, in the land of endless night. [more inside]
posted by felix at 9:56 AM PST - 123 comments

Works of Hungarian poet Endre Ady in English translation, and excellent readings and musical settings in Hungarian (particularly those by Latinovits). [more inside]
posted by Wolfdog at 8:36 AM PST - 6 comments

Basketball coach is fired b/c of 100-0 point game, his team won [more inside]
posted by BrnP84 at 8:18 AM PST - 287 comments

Footage from the 2009 No-Pants Subway ride in New York City. And, if you need more, footage from the 2008 excursion.
posted by jon_hansen at 8:08 AM PST - 28 comments

Snow day (in DC) flash fun: Closure. is a stark, imaginative, beautiful and a creepy platformer where the only light is the one you carry in your hands...
posted by oneironaut at 7:53 AM PST - 21 comments

I Hardly Know Her - is an "alternative way to view Flickr photostreams. It is designed to facilitate high quality viewing with minimal distractions." By Justin Ouellette, creator of Muxtape.
posted by nthdegx at 7:24 AM PST - 52 comments

Ben Burtt... heard the name? Well if you've ever watched a Star Wars film you've heard what he does. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:46 AM PST - 26 comments

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyonetrusted users can edit. If the MediaWiki FlaggedRevisions extension is enabled, the general public will see changes to articles only after approval by a trusted editor. Wikipedians conducted a poll on whether Wikipedia should enable the feature for a limited trial. Almost 60 percent of voting editors answered in the affirmative. Wikipedia founder Jimbo Wales's subsequent request to enable the feature anyway has been opposed by some, claiming that the margin of votes does not meet Wikipedia's consensus standard. While it might help avoid embarrassing incidents of vandalism, the proposed trial could lead to a big change in the Wikipedia way.
posted by grouse at 6:35 AM PST - 120 comments

Who watches the Watchmen? The New Frontiersman for one. A neat viral site for the upcoming movie. [more inside]
posted by P.o.B. at 2:04 AM PST - 30 comments

January 26

Kimiko Yoshida - Self-Portraits. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:25 PM PST - 8 comments

Behind The Rent Strike [YouTube playlist; six parts of 50ish min. documentary] Nick Broomfield's graduation piece, a documentary on the 14-month rent strike by the people of Kirkby New Town, near Liverpool, which began in late 1973 in response (it wasn't the only one) to the Heath government's Housing Finance Act. Broomfield gets plenty of insight from local people and examines the social conditions behind the events. Great viewing of good film-making and an opportunity for a bit of nostalgia if you're a viewer from round that way.
posted by Abiezer at 10:23 PM PST - 8 comments

Metafilter's Back Monday Flash Fun: Two Rooms is a logic game where you trigger switches to move barriers out of your way. [more inside]
posted by schyler523 at 8:13 PM PST - 9 comments

Now even your plants can twitter you. Awesome!
posted by miss lynnster at 7:45 PM PST - 34 comments

"George Bush was not a conservative, but rather a curious hybrid of reactionary and progressive." "The Obama presidency is not a revolution, but instead a restoration. The "values upon which our success depends", Obama reassures America, "these things are old. These things are true. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout history". He asks for a "return to these truths". Nothing new is needed, neither fresh ideas about the human condition's betterment nor utopias; merely a return to and vindication of the past."
posted by leotrotsky at 7:44 PM PST - 83 comments

The President's hero is a 68-year old preacher, fearless civil rights activist, and Congressman named John Lewis. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:30 PM PST - 24 comments

Art Museum for sale. Rocked by a budget crisis, Brandeis University will close its Rose Art Museum and sell off a 6,000-object collection that includes work by such contemporary masters as Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, and Nam June Paik. The LA Times makes the Madoff connection.
posted by R. Mutt at 7:30 PM PST - 29 comments

The perfect grooming tool. SLYT.
posted by emjaybee at 7:27 PM PST - 54 comments


Charlie's Angels. Simon & Simon. 21 Jump Street. Baywatch. The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. And of course, The X-Files. His filmography spans nearly 40 years, and his habit of using profanity onset was immortalized in the classic episode Jose Chung's From Outer Space (sorry, no video), but in the end, he really loved those guys, and they loved him. He was lured out of semi-retirement and back to Canada to executive-produce and direct Supernatural for the WB (later CW). Kim Manners died of lung cancer in LA on January 25, 2009.
posted by cereselle at 4:34 PM PST - 25 comments

What's the most exciting thing about flying? Right: inflight meals. There are whole websites and Flickr groups dedicated to their tinfoil-wrapped glory. But sometimes you just have a bad food-day, like the poor passenger who sent this hilarious complaint letter about the food on his flight from Mumbai to Heathrow to Sir Richard Branson, owner of Virgin Atlantic Airways.
posted by starzero at 2:35 PM PST - 104 comments

A June 2008 photo first published in Time shows various items President Obama carries or has carried in his pockets for good luck. There's more than just a Blackberry in there: you might find an odd Hanuman, a Miraculous Medal, a khata, and much more. [more inside]
posted by resurrexit at 2:33 PM PST - 42 comments

Perhaps the finest Doctor Who/Benny Hill/Eminem mashup ever produced. (Collegehumor.com, possible NSFW sidebar ads)
posted by EarBucket at 11:15 AM PST - 42 comments

The Day the Saucers Came was originally published in 2006, in the (now defunct) EZine Spider Words 1, no. 2. Neil Gaiman has read the story aloud, on occasion. In December 2008, the story was made into a poster by a Finnish artist. That poster was then transformed into a fancy Flash presentation on Microsoft's Infinite Canvas ("A Funky Side Project from Microsoft Live Labs"). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:59 AM PST - 15 comments

British Library warns of 'black hole' in history if websites and digital files are not preserved. "Historians of the future, citizens of the future, will find a black hole in the knowledge base of the 21st century." In addition to dead file formats and lost information from government websites, Lynne Brindley also points to the habits of individuals. "I call it personal digital disorder. Think of those thousands of digital photographs that lie hidden on our computers. Few store them, so those who come after us will not be able to look at them."
posted by cashman at 10:41 AM PST - 63 comments

A curated collection of web comics over at Greylock Arts, with creator interviews and lots of links to strips like Underwire, Persimmon Cup, Truth Serum, Wondermark, The Process, Amazing Facts...and Beyond!, Phil McAndrew and more, including a few previously featured on the blue. [via Bookslut]
posted by mediareport at 9:04 AM PST - 4 comments

A guide to regional pizza styles of the USA. Odds are you already know about New York-style and Chicago-style, but what about Old Forge pizza, St. Louis-style or the Indian pizza of San Francisco? [more inside]
posted by huskerdont at 8:43 AM PST - 173 comments

Change has come to Google Maps. The Cheney veil of pixels is gone from the Vice President's residence at the Naval Observatory. But don't look for sat photos to show you whatever it was that happened beneath the house.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:42 AM PST - 26 comments

William Kristol's last column. President Bush's last photographs (scroll down to the end of the article or search for "three versions").
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:36 AM PST - 109 comments

Here's a trio of art sites for your Monday perusal. Here Yesterday is sketches and recollections from surfing's back roads. Daily Doodle is a med student pulling out his sketch book when studying overwhelms him. Then, from the Institute of Modern Science, two VLC (very large collages).
posted by netbros at 8:34 AM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Alcatraz's American history began as the first US fort on the West coast, where it served as "an icon of US military power". Before it held these guys, it held these guys. This guy thinks The Rock would be a good place for these guys.
posted by JVA at 6:18 AM PST - 35 comments

Obesity can be “caught” as easily as a common cold from other people’s coughs, sneezes and dirty hands.... As many as one in three obese people may have become overweight after falling victim to the highly infectious cold-like virus, known as AD-36.
posted by caddis at 4:35 AM PST - 327 comments

Charlie Brooker cannot help saying out loud what many of us were thinking. He's already known to the Secret Service - and as having "the same mentality as Hitler" (previously on Metafilter)
posted by RegMcF at 12:06 AM PST - 67 comments

January 25

Robots at War: The New Battlefield. "It sounds like science fic­tion, but it is fact: On the battlefields of Iraq and Afghan­istan, robots are killing America’s ene­mies and sav­ing Ameri­can lives. But today’s Pack­Bots, Preda­tors, and Ravens are rela­tively prim­itive machines. The coming generation of 'war-bots' will be im­mensely more sophisti­cated, and their devel­op­ment raises troubling new questions about how and when we wage ­war." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:16 PM PST - 65 comments

Colm Tóibín reviews Edward Carpenter: A Life of Liberty and Love by Sheila Rowbotham a fine essay and good introduction to the life, thought and work of "the poet, socialist, free-thinker and sexual rebel" of high Victorian England, Edward Carpenter.
posted by Abiezer at 9:50 PM PST - 15 comments

Asian Horror Movies.com. 100's of free, streaming video, full movies, which have English subtitles. Index of titles updated regularly. Japanese, Korean, Thai. Includes a wide variety of films from an eccentric fantasy like 100% Wool to a psychological thriller like Angel Dust. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 9:25 PM PST - 52 comments

Leave Me Alone! a jazz opera by Harvey Pekar (libretto) and Dan Plonsey (music) will have its world premiere on January 31, 2009 at Oberlin College, presented in cooperation with Real Time Opera. The performance will also be streamed live. [more inside]
posted by Herodios at 9:23 PM PST - 10 comments

R.I.P., Silver Jews. And btw, my dad is the anti-christ. Oh, and come see our last show January 31st. In a cave. [more inside]
posted by bardic at 9:09 PM PST - 35 comments


Three browser-based shmups for channeling your internet rage: Blueshift, Arcanacra and Rapture Capture. Tips inside. [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:32 PM PST - 9 comments

The End of Solitude. In an age when many people are rarely alone, in near-constant contact with social networks composed of both friends and strangers, are we facing the end of solitude as we once knew it? Have we lost the ability to enjoy our own company, and learned to fear loneliness instead? William Deresiewicz seems to think so.
posted by sarabeth at 6:17 PM PST - 87 comments

Al Jazeera presents I Knew Khomeini (Part 1 2) and I Knew the Shah (Part 1 2).
posted by gman at 5:38 PM PST - 14 comments

A playfully meta video. for Ladyhawke's "From Dusk Till Dawn."
posted by Pronoiac at 5:30 PM PST - 20 comments

The Junior Christian Science Bible Lesson Show is easily the most terrifying "children's show" ever broadcast. [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 3:20 PM PST - 42 comments

Sunday Afternoon Flash Fun/Metafilter Convalescence Flash Fun: BubbleQuod. You have lived your entire life in a bubble. Now you want out. Burst your bubble.
posted by schyler523 at 2:27 PM PST - 7 comments

Golf course architecture goes back more than 100 years. Golf courses can be incredibly beautiful, very tough, or extreme. Which are the best golf courses? Of course, the golf course critics over at Golf Club Atlas might not agree. [more inside]
posted by Foci for Analysis at 1:52 PM PST - 32 comments

'Ten years ago, while working on The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg and I had a heated discussion on the pros and cons of film censorship. Broadly speaking, Melvyn was against it, while I, much to his surprise, was absolutely for it. He then dared me to write a script that I thought should be banned. I accepted the challenge and a month or so later sent him a short subject entitled A Kitten for Hitler. “Ken,” he said, “if ever you make this film and it is shown, you will be lynched.'
That film has been made. The story behind it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:21 PM PST - 69 comments

UK design studio The Designers Republic has apparently gone out of business after 23 years. [more inside]
posted by 40 Watt at 9:40 AM PST - 21 comments

Airlines Use Terrorism Law to Punish Unruly Passengers. Since 2003, more than 200 airline passengers have been convicted of felonies for violating terrorism laws, many for incidents only involving yelling, cursing, or behaving drunkenly. One such passenger, Tamera Jo Freeman, was arrested and convicted for "an act of terrorism under the Patriot Act," after she spanked her children for toppling tomato juice, cursed at the flight attendant who confronted her, and tossed the juice can on the floor.
posted by terranova at 9:37 AM PST - 91 comments

Australia song - Adam Buxton of the Adam and Joe show gives musical tribute to the epically long Baz Luhrmann movie. [more inside]
posted by Artw at 9:22 AM PST - 20 comments

Recipe Goldmine. There are thousands of great recipes, but what makes this site special are the hundreds of recipes from popular restaurants everywhere. Many are "copycat" recipes and many are the originals shared by the chefs themselves. From Ruth's Chris recipes to Taco Bell, you'll be able to easily make it at home. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 8:11 AM PST - 27 comments

Meet Eric, street poet. He's also a doctor of philosophy, but maybe that is the same thing? Sort of SLYTy, but goes to his blog. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
posted by figment of my conation at 5:19 AM PST - 18 comments

The Disasters' Emergency Committee is an umbrella organisation of 13 major British humanitarian NGOs: ActionAid, the British Red Cross, CAFOD, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tear Fund and World Vision. It was created to coordinate a rapid response to major disasters and to launch common appeals for donations to be broadcast in the British media. Since 1963, the DEC has previously successfully run appeals for the victims of a.o. the Asian Tsunami, the Darfur and Chad Crisis, the Congo Crisis, or the Burma and Bangladesh Cyclones. However, their latest appeal has been refused by the BBC. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 3:55 AM PST - 25 comments

Today is the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns, time to toast the haggis (youtube), or even make your own!
posted by Lanark at 3:31 AM PST - 27 comments

(Some links NSFW) Any down on their luck stoner is familiar with so called, "legal bud" Herbs of all kinds have been marketed online to the connectionless or legally restricted that offered a marijuana like high without the legal consequences. Everyone knows they are all scams. It might surprise you, that some were not. Commonly sold under the names Spice or Zohai, mixtures of herbs sprayed with synthetic cannabinoid substances such as HU-210 or JWH-018 have been available online for at least the past four years. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 AM PST - 53 comments

January 24

Herein lies a link to a JPG of LOLcats representing the famous Metallica lyrics. [more inside]
posted by juliplease at 11:13 PM PST - 25 comments

Ghosts of the Faithful Departed. Irish photographer David Creedon's pictures of dilapidated houses in rural Ireland abandoned during the mass emigration that took place between 1949 and 1989. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:11 PM PST - 13 comments

SumoPaint is an impressive little flash applet that mimics Photoshop in your browser, complete with layers and filters. See it in action.
posted by spiderskull at 10:56 PM PST - 18 comments

Periodic Tables and variations thereof are a long, proud tradition at MeFi, but here's one I think (I hope) we haven't seen before: The Table of Condiments That Periodically Go Bad [more inside]
posted by wendell at 10:53 PM PST - 22 comments

January 23

Comedian Chris Rock has a new documentary at Sundance Film Festival all about Good Hair. Oddly enough, the same subjects of expense, safety, and hair-race relations were discussed on the blue at about the same time he began work on the film. [more inside]
posted by Glibpaxman at 11:33 PM PST - 25 comments

Clayton Cubitt is a video artist. He does video portraits. They are disturbing, warholian, and weird
posted by The Whelk at 10:11 PM PST - 16 comments

Andrew Stantion, director of Wall-E, briefly talks about a sequel, why the female robot has a gun and the separation of animated and live action films.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:34 PM PST - 62 comments

Hawkman of the Himalayas. British falconer Scott Mason and friends have combined paragliding and falconry into the art of parahawking. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 7:47 PM PST - 7 comments

Decodeunicode.org has a useful and full-featured search for the names and glyphs for those Unicode characters that display as a plain box full of despair. It is presented by the Department of Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Mainz. Roll the dice and try it out. [more inside]
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 6:15 PM PST - 25 comments

It's National Pie Day! Whether we're in search of the best pies in the United States or have long been troubled by our personal quests to turn out the perfect pie, we should all agree: quiche is not pie. [more inside]
posted by jeeves at 5:32 PM PST - 44 comments

The death of cursive script handwriting continues to be predicted. [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 at 4:05 PM PST - 153 comments


What do women want? A post-feminist look at female desire.
posted by desjardins at 1:37 PM PST - 149 comments

Friday Flash Fun: Scriball [Kongregate] is a game where you want to get your ball to the goal area. Your cursor creates a line that you can use to guide the ball. Mouse button makes the ball jump. Have Fun.
posted by schyler523 at 1:32 PM PST - 10 comments

Heath was great but Robert Downey Jr. should win.
posted by JVA at 12:41 PM PST - 130 comments

The Italian Job: Problem Solved
posted by Artw at 12:11 PM PST - 43 comments

Wired: Obama Sides With Bush in Spy Case. "The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants."
posted by blue_beetle at 12:08 PM PST - 86 comments

The aluminum beer can just celebrated its 50th birthday. Beer cans, first marketed in the 1930s, were originally made of tin-plated steel. Though often frowned upon by beer snobs, aluminum cans are making a comeback among some microbreweries.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:06 PM PST - 25 comments

Friday Flash fun: GROW TOWER. [more inside]
posted by Rinku at 11:02 AM PST - 45 comments

This dad draws cool pictures on his kids' brown paper lunch bags. Every day.

A new bag each day for my kids. I'm the dad. I make these during my lunch break. His kids, Dylan and Dana are getting not only kickass sacks for their lunches, but also an awesome education in pop culture. Highlights include: Mugato, Toad from Super Mario Bros. video games, Red Ryder, characters from MTV's "Daria", and more vintage-y type stuff, such as V.I.N.Cent.
posted by Rudy Gerner at 10:53 AM PST - 67 comments

"It would be naïve to identify the Internet with the Enlightenment. It has the potential to diffuse knowledge beyond anything imagined by Jefferson; but while it was being constructed, link by hyperlink, commercial interests did not sit idly on the sidelines. They want to control the game, to take it over, to own it. They compete among themselves, of course, but so ferociously that they kill each other off. Their struggle for survival is leading toward an oligopoly; and whoever may win, the victory could mean a defeat for the public good. ...We could have created a National Digital Library—the twenty-first-century equivalent of the Library of Alexandria. It is too late now. Not only have we failed to realize that possibility, but, even worse, we are allowing a question of public policy—the control of access to information—to be determined by private lawsuit."—Robert Darnton on what the proposed Google Book Settlement could mean for the pursuit of knowledge—Google and the Future of Books
posted by Toekneesan at 9:48 AM PST - 44 comments

If you're wondering why whitehouse.gov hasn't been updated since Wednesday, it's because they're still working on bringing the Whitehouse into 2009 technologically. Will it have WiFi? Hopefully they can catch up quickly to what they were used to during the campaign.
posted by yoga at 9:16 AM PST - 83 comments

Request Comics: A reader submits a theme, and Ben Heaton makes a photocomic of it. For example, one reader requests, "A duck discovers an awful, metaphysic truth." Another asks, "Teach us how to count to 46." And so on. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 8:29 AM PST - 17 comments

iBank? 25 billion in cash and short-term securities. No long-term debt. Why Apple should get into the banking sector, pronto.
posted by leotrotsky at 7:38 AM PST - 49 comments

The occasionally updated The Celestial Monochord claims to be the "Journal of the Institute for Astrophysics and the Hillbilly Blues" [more inside]
posted by 1f2frfbf at 7:36 AM PST - 5 comments

The Dollar Dreadful Family Library offers gripping tales of scientific adventures in matrimony, mysterious Appalachian woodsmen, macabre travels in the ether, exotic travels in distant lands, itinerant prospectors, and cunning detectives who pose as genteel dressmakers. Assorted amusements are offered in the form of downloadable PDF booklets, perfect leisure literature for "the distinguished reader or the particularly wealthy dunder-head".
posted by sarabeth at 7:15 AM PST - 8 comments

Benjamin Gump - I was just thinking this, after watching the first half of BB..."Both movies were written by Eric Roth, a man who now owes me seventeen dollars." [more inside]
posted by mrblack at 6:38 AM PST - 87 comments

January 22

Israel + Palestine = Isratine? Or so it should be, Libyan leader Qaddafi argues, promoting the one-state solution. While he is not the first to raise the one-state solution, it is a bold proposal, particularly so soon after the widely-condemned Israeli atrocities in Gaza.
posted by Azaadistani at 11:04 PM PST - 135 comments

academia.edu is a project by Richard Price, who recently completed a Ph.D at Oxford on the philosophy of perception. In collaboration with a team of people from Stanford and Cambridge, he's launched this website, which "shows academics around the world structured in a 'tree' format, displayed according to their departmental and institutional affiliations" and "enables academics to see news on the latest research in their area - the latest people, papers and talks". [more inside]
posted by jokeefe at 10:30 PM PST - 26 comments

The Crystal Cube (parts 2, 3, and 4) [mlytp] [more inside]
posted by mrzarquon at 10:08 PM PST - 10 comments

The Nieman Journalism Lab is a collaborative attempt to figure out how quality journalism can survive and thrive in the Internet age. At Harvard they are working with the Business School on new business models, the Berkman Center for Internet and Society on understanding online life, and the Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations on one potential path for news organizations.
posted by netbros at 9:10 PM PST - 11 comments


The History of the Pussycat Theater Chain—When Cathouses ruled California A zany, photo-laden (mildly NSFW) story of the rise and fall of one of America's seminal theater chains.
posted by klangklangston at 5:43 PM PST - 24 comments

House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank gave a bank, whose capital ratio equaled only 1.88% of assets at the bank, versus a desired level of about 6%, TARP money after heavy lobbying. Frank inserted into the bill a provision to give special consideration to banks that had less than $1 billion of assets, had been well-capitalized as of June 30, served low- and moderate-income areas, and had taken a capital hit in the federal seizure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (WSJ link) [more inside]
posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:39 PM PST - 92 comments


Littlejohncomics Sketchbook : Thoughts can be funny. Illustrated thoughts can be funnier. Brought to you by Isaac Littlejohn Eddy. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:10 PM PST - 7 comments

Sam Adams, the recently elected openly gay mayor of Portland, Oregon, has come under fire for lying about a relationship he had with a teenage legislative intern in 2005 named Beau Breedlove. When first asked about the relationship in 2007 during the election campaign, Sam (then 42) claimed he was being a mentor to the young man. Sam recently cut short a trip to DC to return to Portland to publicly apologize and control damage over a new article in which he admits to having a sexual relationship with Beau. It's got the town divided over whether he should resign of if the whole thing is being blown out of proportion.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 2:27 PM PST - 116 comments

Choogle on!
posted by serazin at 2:18 PM PST - 25 comments

1000 novels worth reading [about], from the Guardian. Part of its ongoing 1000 series: 1000 albums, 1000 films, 1000 artworks. More than a list, it includes sub-articles and paragraph long write-ups of each.
posted by stbalbach at 1:57 PM PST - 45 comments

First Keith Olbermann and now Domino's? Take that, Subway!
posted by JVA at 12:33 PM PST - 94 comments

Obama Annotated. Marc Ambinder's play-by-play of the inauguration speech, courtesy of the Atlantic.
posted by puckish at 11:50 AM PST - 47 comments

Russell Tice, former NSA security analyst, just came on the Keith Olbermann show revealing that the NSA's domestic surveillance programs were not only far greater in scope than formerly thought, but also were specifically targeted at journalists.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:39 AM PST - 82 comments


After the Obama party, the Bush team continues to spin. "Whether Barack Obama is standing on the Capitol steps to be sworn in a second time depends on whether he succeeds in replicating Bush's achievement." "If Obama weakens any of the defenses Bush put in place and terrorists strike our country again, Americans will hold Obama responsible -- and the Democratic Party could find itself unelectable for a generation."
posted by Xurando at 11:13 AM PST - 129 comments


Oh those vaunted "first 100 days," they are finally upon us. Roosevelt's legendary time period has long been applied to new administrations, but never so emphatically or with such hope as to the Obama administration. And now you can follow them! For commentary, there's The First 100 Days, for mainstream media there's Obama's First 100 Days, for a comparison between old and new there 100 Days: Starting the Job, From FDR to Obama, for new media there's Obama's First 100 Days, and finally, for a government perspective there's First 100 Days. I smell an idea for an ironic t-shirt...
posted by Cochise at 10:39 AM PST - 13 comments

The Letter of Last Resort. At this very moment, miles beneath the surface of the ocean, there is a British nuclear submarine carrying powerful ICBMs ... there is a safe attached to a control room floor. Inside that, there is an inner safe. And inside that sits a letter. It is addressed to the submarine commander and it is from the Prime Minister. In that letter, Gordon Brown conveys the most awesome decision of his political career ... and none of us is ever likely to know what he decided.
posted by veedubya at 10:30 AM PST - 65 comments

Yarn Bombing. I guess it had to happen eventually. Graffiti with yarn some say. Keeping trees, benches and what have you warm and fuzzy.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 10:16 AM PST - 25 comments

And the nominees for the Razzies worse movie of 2008 are: Disaster Movie, The Happening, The Hottie and the Nottie, In the Name of the King - (Which was based off a video game), Meet the Spartans , and lastly..... (Drum roll) The Love Guru. Sadly enough I have seen most of these movies. (Previously) 2, 3 [more inside]
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:54 AM PST - 237 comments

In yet another strange marriage of media new and old, The Printed Blog launches next week. The paper will be distributed in Chicago (home of the once-great, now-bankrupt Chigago Tribune) and San Francisco, and it’s free. “Why hasn’t anyone tried to take the best content and bring it offline,” asks founder Josh Karp. What about people who don’t live in Chicago or SF? They can get the PDF … online.
posted by janet lynn at 6:46 AM PST - 30 comments

In 1948, Al Capp introduced the Shmoo to the cast of characters in his popular comic strip, Lil' Abner. What started out as a cute, tasty, malleable parable quickly morphed into a merchandising fad of giant proportions, even by today's standards. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 5:30 AM PST - 45 comments

The popular image of dinosaurs is probably wrong. Is the dinosaur related to the chicken? [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:51 AM PST - 77 comments

Mentioned here earlier in its beta form, Canada's National Film Board has released the bulk of its films online, for free, in the NFB Screening Room. With hundreds of films from the 1920s onwards, including groundbreaking work by animator Norman McLaren, documentaries, dramas, bizarre anti-smoking (or pro-smoking?) screeds and much, much more, it's a breathtaking trove of amazing film to be discovered from north of the 49th. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 3:21 AM PST - 53 comments

Super Useless Super Powers. A cute website with dinky cartoons and fun descriptions of those super powers which, if you were to be blessed with one, would be pretty much damn-near useless.
posted by benzo8 at 12:42 AM PST - 81 comments

January 21

Barack Obama: President, CTU Member, Jedi Knight, Samurai. [more inside]
posted by armage at 11:12 PM PST - 43 comments

Accompanied by Aphex Twin's classic Selected Ambient Works II, we have the rarely-seen experimental video Stakker (Westworld) in nine parts: Z Twig / Radiator | Rhubarb | Hankie | Grass | White Blur | Parallel Stripes | Z Twig / Lichen | Blur | Match Sticks [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:09 PM PST - 37 comments

The Obameter: Tracking Obama's Campaign Promises. PolitiFact has compiled about 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the campaign and is tracking their progress on their Obameter.
posted by Ljubljana at 11:04 PM PST - 66 comments

15 Photographs by 100 Photographers. A collective photo gallery and news.
posted by netbros at 8:03 PM PST - 5 comments



Pakistan in Peril. "The relative calm in Iraq in recent months, combined with the drama of the US elections, has managed to distract attention from the catastrophe that is rapidly overwhelming Western interests in the part of the world that always should have been the focus of America's response to September 11: the al-Qaeda and Taliban heartlands on either side of the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 5:30 PM PST - 30 comments

Ayn Rand and Phil Donahue. [more inside]
posted by absalom at 5:05 PM PST - 150 comments

The manuscripts of David Kaufmann, Jewish scholar extraordinaire. Wonderful illuminations, inventive typography and even a little bit of naughtiness.
posted by tellurian at 4:27 PM PST - 8 comments

In 1952, Bernard and François BASCHET reveal a new acoustic principle. They manage to amplify the internal vibration of metal, thus founding a new acoustic instrumental family : The Sound Structures [more inside]
posted by Grangousier at 4:24 PM PST - 4 comments

Easy access to the internet and simplified technology for recording songs and videos might do great things for the future of pop music. Or it might be like this. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:23 PM PST - 109 comments

Obama may just be able to keep that precious Blackberry after all for personal use. Although anything business related will be housed by this potential giant brick phone. The question is how secure and private will his emails be? How private should they be? Has Dick set a precedent that personal records stay personal?
posted by brinkzilla at 3:18 PM PST - 27 comments

The 'T-Mobile Dance' at London's Liverpool Street Station (January 15, 2009). [more inside]
posted by ericb at 3:10 PM PST - 39 comments

“It is going to be rough for us Top 20 publishers. It will be epic for anyone smaller. Lots of folks will vanish due to this, even some bigger guys.” - Hard times ahead for indie comics: Diamond Distribution, which has an effective monopoly on American comics distribution, will be raising it’s wholesale benchmark, meaning many of the comiocs currently available in comics stores will soon be dropped. In a further blow to the adult comics market Diamond will be dropping that section from the print version of Previews, in favour of a PDF only available to retailers. Comics are about to get a whole lot blander.
posted by Artw at 2:37 PM PST - 76 comments

Blandings is "a guide and companion to the books, stories, plays and musicals of P. G. Wodehouse, probably the finest craftsman of the English language in the 20th Century." It has lists of his works (and advice on collecting them), a miscellany (old English counties, money and words, JPs, younger sons, sport, public schools and much more), a gazetteer (with notes on real places and maps), and other amenities, but what really put a jaunty spring in my step was the detailed notes for the works. If you go, say, to the Something Fresh page and click on the Notes & Quotes tab, you will find, well, Notes and Quotes. The first thing your bright, expectant orb will encounter: "Arundell Street - no longer exists but it was close to Leicester Square and held both the Hotels Mathis and Previtali (also gone). See West End for a sketch map showing its location." It's a blooming marvel! (Via Wordorigins.org; Wodehouse previously on MetaFilter.)
posted by languagehat at 1:59 PM PST - 32 comments

DIY Portal Gun on flickr, with a few other pictures and build notes. You want of your own, you can either contact this guy or just ask Aperture about working at their test facilities.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:44 PM PST - 61 comments

Beastmaster Jr.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:26 PM PST - 34 comments

Protoncharging.com is here to meet all of your Ghostbusters-related needs.
posted by piratebowling at 12:05 PM PST - 43 comments

Ever see an awesome graphic or visualization in the New York Times and wonder who did it? Chances are it's either Amanda Cox or Megan Jaegerman. [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 11:02 AM PST - 15 comments

"This is the safest place these kids have," Mr. McMonigle explains. "No matter how crazy it gets here, no matter how bad the school is, it’s still better than what’s waiting for them out there when they leave. The irony is that after all the bitching and the moaning about how they don’t want to be here, at the end of the day you can’t get them to go home!" School of Hard Knocks is a heartbreaking 7-part series of articles about kids with behavioral problems in a Philadelpha high school. [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7] [via mefi projects]
posted by dersins at 10:59 AM PST - 33 comments

Shoot Different. Or, if you prefer, iSnipe.
posted by geos at 10:30 AM PST - 23 comments

Despite the oft-declared death of the Adventure Game, Nintendo's success has raised the genre's mainstream profile and quality to a level unseen since the 90s. The DS in particular has been an ideal platform for AGs, leading to the release of a number of popular Japanese titles in the American market. Professor Layton and the Curious Village is only the most recent to receive praise from western game rags - but it is the most consistently well-reviewed - making many short-lists of the best DS games of 2008. Featuring beautiful illustration, engrossing puzzles, and a charming story, Professor Layton topped Japanese software charts on its release (as did its sequel, Professor Layton and the Devil's Box, still unreleased in the US), though all indications are that its American sales have been underwhelming. [more inside]
posted by macross city flaneur at 9:17 AM PST - 62 comments

David Goo and the Variety Band have been gigging in London for a few years, but a recent appearance as a soundtrack to an advert could be what propels them to the big time. Merging ska, punk, indie and klezmer influences, read an interview with them here as they speculate on the concept of 'selling out'
posted by muggsy1079 at 9:03 AM PST - 9 comments

Top 10 Star Wars Sports Crossovers. Chewbacca throwing out the first pitch at Fenway is priceless.
posted by jon_hansen at 8:30 AM PST - 25 comments

Now that the fighting in Gaza is over for the time being, it's time for urban legends to arise out of the morass. One story now making the rounds on the Israeli side involves soldiers claiming the Biblical matriarch Rachel warned them of Hamas ambushes and guided them away from booby-trapped homes. Strangely, Rachel supposedly appeared as an Arabic-speaking older woman. Meanwhile, American soldiers during the second Iraq war spawned their own urban legends. But these stories are just the latest entries in a long tradition. [more inside]
posted by huskerdont at 7:16 AM PST - 27 comments

"It's like I used to enjoy firecrackers, but now it takes dynamite to get me high." Brit Eaton takes Outside magazine on a safari for vintage clothing in the wild west. (via)
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:02 AM PST - 19 comments

Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Naa (You don't know, and neither do I) = A guy who's in love with a girl falls in love with someone who he thinks is right for him, but he realizes his mistake, only after the girl has decided to marry her perfect match [or so she thinks]. Taree Zameen Par (Stars On The Ground) = A boy who has difficulty with school work gets put into a Hostel for boys where he discovers a teacher who understands him and is willing to fight for him. And Jab We Met (When we met) = A story about a guy and a girl, who meet on a train and get hitched to each other; the guy finds himself by the end of their travel but has to leave the girl because she's run away from home to marry a guy, only to find out that he doesn't want to marry her... three Hindi movies which I would suggest that everyone watch!
posted by hadjiboy at 5:07 AM PST - 12 comments

An unexpected corollary of the modern marketing-and-distribution model is that films no longer have time to find their audience; that audience has to be identified and solicited well in advance. The Cobra - The New Yorker on the art and science of movie marketing.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:44 AM PST - 36 comments

Right before the trials at Guantanamo were ordered to be halted, a military court was told that Maher Arar was in North America during the time he was supposedly in Afghanistan.
posted by gman at 4:33 AM PST - 92 comments


More than 20 years ago, Matt Pritchett, the son of a newspaper columnist, began his daily cartoon in the Daily Telegraph. Generally accepted as the best daily cartoonist working today on these shores, he actually wanted to become a cameraman originally but failed to find the work. Always wry, understated and pithy, Matt's cartoons typically summarise the absurd and the humdrum in modern day Britain, often at the same time. Here's his effort for today. Some of his classics here, here and here.
posted by MuffinMan at 2:04 AM PST - 19 comments


January 20

The sestina is an old poetic form invented by the troubadors; each of the thirty-nine lines ends with one of only six words, which gives the sestina a haunting, constricted feel. You might have read modern examples by Bishop or Auden, or the even more modern "WTF Sestina" by Meghann Marco. But you have probably never read a sestina which explains how to construct a sestina in the language of finite group theory. (.pdf link) Via excellent mathblog God Plays Dice.
posted by escabeche at 9:52 PM PST - 24 comments


The GeoEye-1 (aka "The Google Satellite") took pictures of the inauguration from 423 miles up. The crowds of over a million around the Capitol and spilling up the Mall and around the city are a sight, even from space. GeoEye also offers a gallery of other impressive high-resolution satellite shots, including themed sections ranging from world universities (featuring great shots of the Head of the Charles Regatta) to natural disasters.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:16 PM PST - 41 comments

Rundgren/Utopia Filter: Two Obscure Gems. Emergency Splashdown. Umbrella Man. [more inside]
posted by wittgenstein at 6:39 PM PST - 8 comments


Khoda :"What if you watch a film and whenever you pause it, you face a painting? This idea inspired Reza Dolatabadi to make Khoda. Over 6000 paintings were painstakingly produced during two years to create a five minutes film."
posted by dhruva at 5:45 PM PST - 41 comments

YouTube Street Fighter (single link interactive youtube game)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:56 PM PST - 33 comments

"Payments processor Heartland Payment Systems has learned it was the victim of a security breach within its processing system in 2008. Heartland believes the intrusion is contained." [more inside]
posted by Class Goat at 3:39 PM PST - 33 comments

Patti Lupone freaks out - mid-song - at someone taking pictures during a performance of "Gypsy." Audio clip on YouTube. Dished about at Gawker and The Village Voice. [more inside]
posted by greekphilosophy at 3:01 PM PST - 50 comments

185. "Revolution 9"

Shortly after recording "Revolution 9", John Lennon allegedly went around telling friends that his new song was the music of the future. Well, here we are, 40 years later, and I don’t see the pop charts filled with experimental song collages featuring recording engineers, chanting football crowds, mangled orchestras, and bizarre non-sequiturs. [...] [more inside]
posted by swift at 2:59 PM PST - 116 comments

On January 20, the HHS "Provider Conscience Rule" went into effect, allowing employees and volunteers at government-funded hospitals and clinics to deny patients access to a variety of medical services, based on moral objection. The Rule is one of the Bush Administration's parting midnight regulations. Ostensibly focusing on abortion and sterilization, it is considered by some to be written so vaguely that it might be applied to "contraception, fertility treatments, HIV/AIDS services, gender reassignment, end-of-life care, or any other medical practice to which someone might have a personal moral (not even religious) objection.” [more inside]
posted by terranova at 2:54 PM PST - 31 comments

Abandoned Amusement Parks in Asia - 1, 2, 3
posted by Artw at 2:31 PM PST - 30 comments

The undeniable 'bling' of the First Lady Michelle Obama's sparkly yellow dress underlines that she is full of surprises. Shades of yellow have symbolized renewal and hope since Elizabethan times, and besides, the shade really popped on Michelle Obama. Oh, it's also a "sartorial flag waved around the world", so it had to be a good 'un. Jackie O. references abound, what with the sheath dress styling. Keep your eye on Cuban-American designer Isabel Toledo. If you're into that sort of thing.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 2:10 PM PST - 70 comments

The real estate crisis has started to hit the fantasyland capital of real estate, Dubai. Projects are being abandoned and workers skipping town just the Dubai tower tops out at 818 meters. Pre-vi-ous-ly.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:15 PM PST - 18 comments

A clinic nurse first removed her intrauterine birth-control device without permission, says the patient in a federal action, then told her that "having the IUD come out was a good thing," because "I personally do not like IUDs. I feel they are a type of abortion. I don't know how you feel about abortion, but I am against them."
posted by tehloki at 12:31 PM PST - 119 comments

"The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian Religion." ~ George Washington / "I do not find in Christianity one redeeming feature." ~ Thomas Jefferson / "The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my religion." ~ Abraham Lincoln / "A just government has no need for the clergy or the church." ~ James Madison / "I believe in an America where religious intolerance will someday end... where every man has the same right to attend or not attend the church of his choice." ~ John F. Kennedy / "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus -- and nonbelievers." ~ Barack Obama
posted by 0bvious at 11:40 AM PST - 270 comments

What is race in the Obama age? Some blacks say there are two black races, one poor and one rich. Does that mean Obama is from the rich black race? Some wonder if he's black enough or too black. Or do we have to choose among four options: "a) black or b) white or c) half-black and half-white or d) an American and who-gives-a-damn about his ethnicity"? Or is he multiracial? All I know for sure is he's the president.
posted by shetterly at 11:16 AM PST - 47 comments

"The city is so cash-strapped that firefighters have to purchase their own toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Their aging bunker gear is coated in carbon, 'making them the equivalent of walking matchsticks.' The firehouses' brass poles have been removed and sold off by the city." - The City Where the Sirens Never Sleep by Matt Labash.
posted by chunking express at 11:07 AM PST - 38 comments


President Barack Obama The text of the Inaugural speech will be posted after it's completed. Change.gov is closing up shop; Change has come to Whitehouse.gov.
posted by theora55 at 9:19 AM PST - 660 comments

Covered: A new blog showcasing reinterpretations of classic comic covers. Jeffrey Brown covers Mike Zeck. Johnny Ryan covers Carl Barks. Fred Hembeck covers Pat Boyette (And many others).
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:48 AM PST - 4 comments


Explain This Image does pretty much what it says on the tin.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:55 AM PST - 36 comments

Despite some rather interesting biographical information, Iridius’s interest in typographical symbols is noteworthy, especially the section on alchemical ones.
posted by cthuljew at 6:24 AM PST - 6 comments

Inspired by NYC's Poster Boy and the hilarity of online celebrity photoshop disasters, Berlin's culture jamming F.T.W. crew recently organized a hit on Britney, Christina and Leona in an underground U-Bahn station. Note from the group's flickr sets that they were also recently responsible for a project based on John Carpenter's They Live.
posted by mannequito at 5:04 AM PST - 31 comments

The Guardian is knocked for six by American sport references in British media Creeping cultural imperialism? The effect of internet media from foreign news outlets? Or just Guardian handwringing about something no one else notices? Is British media alone in this trend?
posted by Grrlscout at 3:35 AM PST - 111 comments

Tommy Cooper (1921-1984) was one of Britain’s drunkest and most beloved comedians (but he could still mess you up). Staggering onstage in his iconic fez, his grandmother-friendly one-liners are the stuff of legend, his failed magic tricks spectacularly endearing, his small-screen charisma undeniable. He was also a mean-spirited philanderer, but still we loved him. And then he died. Just like that. (Previously, but I think he deserves a refresh.) [more inside]
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:43 AM PST - 20 comments


January 19

A site full of mesmerizing visual travel. It is distant. It is frozen. It is obscured, nostalgic and cavernous. Without bound and yet finite. But does it float?
posted by cashman at 11:41 PM PST - 8 comments


Strangemaps presents a unique map of the United Statements of America; it's a map of the USA with each state's motto (or a translation thereof) by artist Emily Wick. The strangemaps post includes an explanation of most of the mottoes below the image.
posted by Eideteker at 8:24 PM PST - 30 comments

ComixFilter | The First Post hosts the full versions of a few great graphic novels (some NSFW): Joe Matt's The Poor Bastard • Marisa Acocella Marchetto's Cancer Vixen • Rosalind B. Penfold's Dragonslippers • Rich Koslowski's The King • A slew of Tony Millionaire's Maakies strips • And, since it's his birthday, an adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's The Pit and the Pendulum
posted by not_on_display at 6:43 PM PST - 24 comments

Happy Birthday Dr. King. Today is Martin Luther King Day. He was born 80 years ago, on January 15th, 1929. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was just thirty-nine years old. Tomorrow, more than four decades after Dr. King’s death, Barack Obama will take his oath of office to become the 44th president of the United States and the first African American president in US history. The Reverend Joseph Lowery, a civil rights icon who co-founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference with Dr, King, will deliver the benediction at the inauguration ceremony. Obama accepted the Democratic party nomination on the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, arguably his most famous address. While Dr. King is primarily remembered as a civil rights leader, he also championed the cause of the poor and organized the Poor People"s Campaign to address issues of economic justice. Dr. King was also a fierce critic US foreign policy and the Vietnam War. [more inside]
posted by caddis at 6:40 PM PST - 30 comments

Progressive rock was kicked off American radio circa 1985 (not so much fired as pressured into resigning); today, there's virtually nothing on mainstream radio in an odd meter (5/4, 7/8, etc.). At Odd Time Obsessed, though, everything is. [more inside]
posted by kurumi at 5:27 PM PST - 73 comments

Walkie Tonky is a physics-based action game which puts you in the shoes of a giant robot invading Earth. Smash and kick your way forward using the robot's every limb to cause mayhem and clear the road ahead. (Download required, from a sort of funky filehosting site. Probably Windows only, but I'm not sure.) [more inside]
posted by Caduceus at 5:20 PM PST - 9 comments

A tempest in a Livejournal: It starts with author Elizabeth Bear's post Writing for The Other. Or maybe it started with Jay Lake's Thinking about the Other. It leads to a wide ranging, intense and angry debate on the portrayal of ethnicity in fiction, culture and the media. Avalon's Willow responds with an open letter on the racial content in one of her books, and relates it to media portrayals of ethnic peoples. Deepa D follows up with a post on, cultural appropriation. And then things get intense. [more inside]
posted by happyroach at 3:53 PM PST - 82 comments

Savage 2 is an innovative mix of first-person shooter, third-person action rpg, and real-time strategy. Teams consisting of 18 different classes, each with unique abilities, are divided in squads led by an officer, and under the direction of a single commander with a top down view of the action. Players must help their commander capture resources, advance their front line, and eventually destroy the enemy’s stronghold while accumulating experience and improving their abilities. Did I mention as of December 9th, it has become free to play? [more inside]
posted by paradoxflow at 3:18 PM PST - 10 comments

The Remnants. It seemed so promising at first. From the writer of GO and Big Fish, comes a pilot for a post-apocalyptic comedy unlike anything you've ever seen, starring, among others, the much celebrated Zefrank, Justin Bateman,and Ernie Hudson. But after six months of shopping it around the major networks, it seems the The Remnants might just die on the vine. But wait! what's this flurry of press coverage? Go put in your two cents (or hopefully a lot more) here!
posted by Parannoyed at 3:12 PM PST - 20 comments

Ensuring that at least someone gets his legacy right, Ex-President Bush has on his final day in office commissioned a series of Official Legacy Booklets with such unlikely titles as 100 Things Americans May Not Know About the Bush Administration Record. These weighty tomes inform us, for example, that "the Afghan economy has doubled since 2001"-- an accomplishment perhaps assisted by the arrival of American forces spending some $3 billion per month there. [more inside]
posted by shii at 2:28 PM PST - 64 comments


Economist Bryan Caplan is author of the best contemporary critique of democracy and democraticness (previously), and therefore the person I'd most like to visit Singapore and share his thoughts. He recently took a trip to this quasi-democracy lauded for both its pro-growth policies and its strong, competent government (and criticized for its repression and its draconian penal code). The trip to what is in some ways an economist's utopia allowed Caplan to think about the implications of his own writings, and the validity of Churchill's dictum on democracy. Here's what he had to say: [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 1:38 PM PST - 19 comments

Bill Ayers, arriving in Toronto to lecture on inner-city education, has been denied entry to Canada. [more inside]
posted by bicyclefish at 1:19 PM PST - 127 comments

UK MPs trying to block publishing their expenses - they're voting on Thursday to overturn last year's High Court ruling. TheyWorkForYou is emailing members to let them know that the UK government buried the news of this vote amongst last week's Heathrow runway anouncement. They are trying to reverse the 16 May 2008 High Court decision that MPs' expenses must, under the Freedom Of Information Act, be made public. What can you do about this mixture of Jo Moore and Krusty? [more inside]
posted by TheDonF at 11:22 AM PST - 58 comments

Today marks the 200th birthday of Edgar Alan Poe, and as happens every year the mysterious Poe Toaster marked the date by placing three red roses and a half-filled bottle of cognac at his Baltimore grave. The identity of the toaster isn't the only question surrounding Poe - his presence in Baltimore and the circumstances of his death remain a mystery. Some speculate that he may have had rabies, others that he may have been a victim of cooping. And while Baltimore embarks on a year long celebration of Poe some argue that his body shouldn't be there at all.
posted by Artw at 11:12 AM PST - 39 comments

Margot & the Nuclear So and So's (page auto-starts music, loads slowly) bid farewell to President Bush in music video form.
posted by !Jim at 11:07 AM PST - 16 comments

An American woman is showing off her amazing mouth on Japanese TV shows.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 8:38 AM PST - 90 comments


R.I.P. Bob May - better known as "The Robot" in the 60s T.V. series "Lost in Space." [more inside]
posted by Muddler at 8:00 AM PST - 17 comments

Velociraptor Roulette. Click the button, win a Velociraptor, or not. [via a very dramatic mefi projects thread]
posted by silby at 7:30 AM PST - 21 comments


"Then I started stripping and cleaning. I told myself it would help sell the flat. How could anyone think of buying it? But I also imagined that if I cleaned long enough and hard enough, the dull patina of dried blood that seemed to cling to every surface would finally go. I hoped that if I emptied the flat of its objects, and pared back its contents to nothing, I would uncover the place that I grew up in, before Ivor was the old man, before he was a legend. I couldn’t find that place, and I didn’t think I would find it in the boxes and among the papers either." David Goldblatt traces his murdered father's life through unpaid bills and unopened letters.
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 4:40 AM PST - 19 comments

The End of the Affair. Like many followers of Judaism around the world, Sir Gerald Kaufman, a British MP and friend of Golda Meir, has gone through an internal battle over their views regarding the State of Israel. Kaufman rejected the Sharon government and later made a remarkably prescient 2002 documentary (.ram) on Israel. Though he has been targeted by zionist webistes, and has repeatedly received death threats, hate mail, and has even been harassed during worship, Kaufman remains outspoken about Israel's attack on Gaza: "My grandmother was ill in bed when the Nazis came to her home town of Staszów. A German soldier shot her dead in her bed. Madam Deputy Speaker, My grandmother did not die to provide cover for Israeli soldiers murdering Palestinian grandmothers in Gaza . . . they're not simply war criminals, they're fools."
posted by markkraft at 1:44 AM PST - 181 comments

January 18

A shocking scene from the season premiere of Battlestar Galactica was paired with a rather unfortunate commercial. Warning: Big spoiler in the scene if you follow the show and have not caught up. Graphic violence. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:35 PM PST - 262 comments

"Because competent mating did not occur," the zoo statement said, veterinarians anesthetized both pandas on Saturday, collected semen from Tian Tian and inserted it into Mei Xiang's uterus. [previously 1 2 3]
posted by kliuless at 8:09 PM PST - 39 comments



Introducing the Gamelatron, "the world's first and only fully robotic gamelan". Brought to you by the Brooklyn-based League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots, affectionately known as LEMUR.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:07 PM PST - 29 comments

At the Palm Beach Ritz-Carlton last November, John C. Hope III, the chairman of Whitney National Bank in New Orleans, stood before a ballroom full of Wall Street analysts and explained how his bank intended to use its $300 million in federal bailout money.

“Make more loans?” Mr. Hope said. “We’re not going to change our business model or our credit policies to accommodate the needs of the public sector as they see it to have us make more loans.”

Personal stories from the front lines of the American bailout.
posted by plexi at 3:06 PM PST - 63 comments

Astronomer Tycho Brahe was one of the more colorful characters of the scientific Renaissance. He lost his nose in a duel; flouted the rules of Danish nobility and married a commoner; built, on the island of Hven, Uraniborg, the best astronomical observatory of his day; kept a beer-drinking pet moose; and amassed the data that would ultimately allow Johannes Kepler to derive the three laws of planetary motion. His chief sponsor had been Danish king Frederick II, but Frederick's heir, Christian IV, quarreled with Tycho and kicked him out of Hven. Insulted, Brahe left Denmark for Prague and the sponsorship of Rudolph II. New evidence has emerged suggesting that the offended king may have had Tycho assassinated. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 2:31 PM PST - 30 comments

We've all had some fun with Songsmith, Microsoft's new automated backing band. But other people have had some fun with it. Witness: Enter Songsmith and Intergalactic Songsmith. [more inside]
posted by CrunchyFrog at 2:07 PM PST - 58 comments

Have you ever wondered how Samus got all her powers? I mean, really, how does a simple back-planet girl learn to use this mysterious Chozo technology?
posted by cthuljew at 1:39 PM PST - 21 comments

Looking forward to Tuesday, here's a blast from the past. Videos of previous Presidential Inaugurations. The first recorded on video was McKinley's Second (March 4, 1901). [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:16 PM PST - 26 comments

Cerebus: A Diablog. Every week or so,Laura and Leigh read, review, and discuss an issue of Dave Sim's seminal comic series Cerebus.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:10 PM PST - 36 comments

The New Yorker has reprinted their articles about the Obamas over the years.
  • From a 1996 profile as part of a series about couples in America: MICHELLE OBAMA: There is a strong possibility that Barack will pursue a political career, although it’s unclear. There is a little tension with that. I’m very wary of politics. I think he’s too much of a good guy for the kind of brutality, the skepticism.
  • From a story about his Senate campaign: He was affable with everyone, smiling warmly, but in exchanges that lasted more than a few seconds it was possible to see him slipping subtly into the idiom of his interlocutor—the blushing, polysyllabic grad student, the hefty black church-pillar lady, the hip-hop autoshop guy. Black activists sometimes say that African-American kids need to become “bi-dialectic”—to speak both black English and standard English—to succeed. Obama, the biracial kid from Hawaii, speaks a full range of American vernaculars.

    There are others. Read in sequence, it's an interesting series of snapshots, with the guy slowly coming into focus.

  • posted by cogneuro at 10:20 AM PST - 35 comments

    "Thank you" in 465 languages Also, Hello! in 800 languages, I love you in 89, How much does that cost? in 93, I don't speak [this language] in 58 and Go fuck yourself in 20.
    posted by psmealey at 9:33 AM PST - 53 comments

    The Best Robots of 2008 (via)
    posted by Artw at 9:18 AM PST - 13 comments

    Sergeant Pen Farthing of the Royal Marines likes dogs. [more inside]
    posted by Dipsomaniac at 9:16 AM PST - 10 comments

    blog to the oldskool, collecting obscure & long forgotten 91-95 oldschool hardcore/jungle gems, live sets, and more oldies from the golden era of jungle .
    posted by geos at 9:00 AM PST - 43 comments

    Who Doesn't Like Soil Science? Well, OK, a lot of people. But there is a cool collection of 3-D models of significant compound in the field at the Virtual Museum of Minerals and Molecules. Hosted at the University of Wisconsin, it currenly has 26 exhibits ranging from simple (I like graphite) to complex (plastocyanin should please everyone with its useful copper-holding functions).You can rotate the models in all directions and emphasize particular substructures to get a better look at them. Fun for anyone who like soil, chemistry, or playing with 3-D molecule models.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 7:07 AM PST - 11 comments

    Presidential inaugurations often invoke higher powers. President Obama will swear in on the Lincoln Bible, though the appropriate verse is unknown. When Harry Truman took the oath of office he kissed the Bible. Theodore Roosevelt was the only President not sworn in on a Bible. More Presidential Inauguration Trivia.
    posted by twoleftfeet at 6:39 AM PST - 53 comments

    Tony Hart (wiki) has died. Clip.
    posted by MrMustard at 4:36 AM PST - 44 comments

    Lego Obama is inaugurated
    posted by sveskemus at 2:31 AM PST - 38 comments


    Woof Report has a litter of pup-perfect ideas, dog care tips, products, and more. Think of it as your daily dose of doggie delight. Woof Report works to promote awareness of animal welfare causes, pet adoption initiatives and charities.
    posted by netbros at 12:56 AM PST - 2 comments

    January 17

    They acquired Polaroid's old equipment, factory and now seek your support. "The Impossible mission is NOT to re-build Polaroid Integral film but to develop a new product with new characteristics, consisting of new optimized components, produced with a streamlined modern setup. An innovative and fresh analog material, sold under a new brand name." They have just 12 months. 7 Challenges (to come). Sign up to be informed and help. [kangol tip] [more inside]
    posted by cashman at 11:23 PM PST - 24 comments

    Carving a snuff bottle for painting. Types of snuff bottle painting: slide show. Step by step process of painting inside. A painting in its cultural setting. Some contemporary images: Tornado on the highway l aurora. With a special 90-degree-angle paintbrush used to paint inside glass or crystal objects, artists can achieve exquisitely unique paintings.Some of the painting tools used: the bamboo pen l writing brush l lily magnolia. [more inside]
    posted by nickyskye at 10:32 PM PST - 3 comments

    Journalism and complex public issues - a British newspaper editor's travails
    posted by Gyan at 10:21 PM PST - 8 comments

    Three psychology experiments that raise ethics questions because of the danger they posed to the research assistants. (via) [more inside]
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:24 PM PST - 38 comments

    Photos of shadows in the clouds over Austin. via bldgblog
    posted by signal at 8:21 PM PST - 24 comments

    "Developing a low-quality aesthetic is a sign of serious fine art." Hiroshi Sugimoto is a Japanese photographer most famous for blank seascapes and photos of empty theaters that aren't really empty. In a 2005 interview he talks about the relation of his work with Duchamp, Man Ray, and the mathematics faculty of Tokyo university. He won the 2001 Hasselblad prize and his photographs of plaster models of mathematical surfaces have appeared in the New York Times. But his work has never really broken out to a mass audience. Until now.
    posted by escabeche at 8:03 PM PST - 21 comments

    Nebraska-born musician Christiaan Virant was in Beijing performing drone-like ambient music with his Chinese collaborator Zhang Jian, under the name FM3 (mostly in Chinese); as pioneers of the electronic movement in China, most of their money came from sound installations at art galleries, which entailed wiring up rooms with sound equipment. Mulling a simpler and cheaper way of doing this, Virant was wandering around a Buddhist temple in southwest China when he spotted a little plastic box on the altar (one such possible example), piping out loops of the tinny, digitized chants played endlessly at such places. Intrigued, he found two of the devices in the temple gift shop and bought both. The idea of an instant sound installation was born. That was almost four years ago. [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief at 5:25 PM PST - 26 comments

    old comics and illustration (-v-)
    posted by vronsky at 5:20 PM PST - 14 comments

    Peanut butter recall - hundreds sick. Federal health authorities on Saturday urged consumers to avoid eating cookies, cakes, ice cream and other foods that contain peanut butter until authorities can learn more about a deadly outbreak of salmonella contamination. It appears that retail peanut butter in jars is safe. So far, more than 470 people have gotten sick in 43 states, and at least 90 had to be hospitalized. At least six deaths are being blamed on the outbreak which is believed to have started at a Blakely, Ga., facility owned by Peanut Corp. of America that ships peanut products to 85 food companies.
    posted by dejah420 at 4:51 PM PST - 73 comments

    I wear your shirt - The trifecta for Silly Saturday single link posts. [more inside]
    posted by bjork24 at 3:41 PM PST - 37 comments

    ULTIMATE GIRL AND CELIBRITY WOMAN -PAMELA ANDERSON - NETSCAPE 1.0 BABE Technology!
    posted by humannaire at 3:01 PM PST - 48 comments

    OMG (SLYT)
    posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 2:23 PM PST - 74 comments

    "Money" is a completely AWESOME music video of a track by N.A.S.A. (North America South America), a DJ collective featuring Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon plus many famous guest artists, including, on this track alone, David Byrne, Chuck D, Ras Congo, Seu Jorge, & Z-Trip. (Other tracks by N.A.S.A. feature the likes of Tom Waits, M.I.A., Gift of Gab and Kool Keith.) The video features the artwork of Shepard Fairey, who has been discussed previously here. The video was directed by Paul Griswold and Syd Garon (who also did this great video for DJ Qbert and this one for Dan the Automator, which features some nice Gilliamesque touches.)
    posted by slappy_pinchbottom at 2:08 PM PST - 15 comments

    With George W. Bush's presidency coming to a close David Letterman on last night's The Late Show bid farewell to his recurring segment "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches" with a video montage [4:00] of clips. Another compilation of clips [4:49].
    posted by ericb at 1:53 PM PST - 39 comments

    Larz Kristerz plays "Purple Rain". For some reason, Prince hasn't sued them. Yet. [more inside]
    posted by iviken at 1:46 PM PST - 25 comments

    Billionaires have more grandchildren through their sons than through their daughters, because the status advantage is more reproductively valuable to the sons. Therefore, it would be adaptive for the mothers of their children to bear more sons than daughters. But surely that can't be; mothers can't control the sex of their children. Oh but so it is: billionaires have 60% male children. [more inside]
    posted by grobstein at 1:21 PM PST - 69 comments

    Making decisions, as we all know, is hard. One way to get out of them is to let other people make them for you. [more inside]
    posted by wittgenstein at 12:55 PM PST - 45 comments

    John Thurlow's Web Sites for Kids & Teachers. The Thinking page of this treasure trove of kid-safe sites includes links that are also appropriate for adults who just like to play around, such as Funderstanding's Roller Coast Simulation, and Lightness Perception and Lightness Illusions. [more inside]
    posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:24 PM PST - 2 comments

    The Great Pyramid of Giza was a Pulse Pump. (.com) You know, for free energy. Inspired by the work of Ram Pump inventor and "Pharoh's Pump" author Edward J. Kunkel, The Pharoh's Pump Foundation is dedicated to general pyramid pump awareness and answers many relevant questions. For instance: Is this Pharaoh's Pump stuff hallucinations of a raving maniac? [more inside]
    posted by ph00dz at 12:13 PM PST - 25 comments

    On November 20th, the CTRC made a landmark ruling that defeated the CAIP's plea to stop Bell's conjuration of the Deep Packet Throttle Monster. However all was not lost, as consumers of Bell's copper pipes can take solace in three recent developments that aim to reclaim the pipes for We, the little guy. hooray! [more inside]
    posted by tybeet at 11:01 AM PST - 28 comments

    Division: Work it out! - these girls be spittin the math.
    posted by madamjujujive at 10:01 AM PST - 40 comments


    "The animals all think he's Margaret when he speaks. He loves ordering them around and commanding them – it's very surprising. He's not frightened or scared of them at all."
    "Parrot mimics owner's voice to boss around her other pets "
    posted by davidstandaford at 8:19 AM PST - 43 comments

    If the Government is running a larger than usual Ponzi scheme, then developing your own abilities to launder money cannot be far behind. So, how would I go about laundering money?
    posted by wallstreet1929 at 7:09 AM PST - 29 comments

    Known as Black Box in the UK, Survival in the Sky was a four-episode 1996 series about commercial aviation accidents and the investigation of their causes. (Two additional episodes were filmed in 1998.) Not currently available on DVD, five of the six episodes are available in their entirety on YouTube (links within). [more inside]
    posted by maxwelton at 1:16 AM PST - 12 comments

    A review of Thomas Friedman's latest book, Flat, Hot, and Crowded, by Matt Taibbi.
    posted by mr_roboto at 12:17 AM PST - 108 comments

    January 16

    Circuit City: Founded in 1949 as the Wards Company, Circuit City is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. At the time of the liquidation announcement (January 16, 2009), the company operated 567 stores in 153 media. Ok bai.
    posted by hypersloth at 11:39 PM PST - 72 comments

    From A-lister to Aid worker: Does celebrity diplomacy really work? Rock stars," asked Homer Simpson, with his customary sagacity, "is there anything they don't know?" Only these days, of course, it's not just rockers but movie stars and businessmen – and indeed anyone with an above-average public profile – who, for one reason or another, are intent on telling the rest of us how the world should be changed for the better. Or at least, that's how it seems. So much so that a conference of eminent professors of international relations assembled recently in The Hague to explore the modern phenomenon of what they call "celebrity diplomacy", amid fears that it has reached the point where superstar lobbyists are damaging the traditional workings of international diplomacy and global politics.
    posted by infini at 11:02 PM PST - 16 comments

    If Breast is Best, Why Are Women Bottling Their Milk? Jill Lepore's article in the New Yorker explores the rise in the popularity of breast pumps. [more inside]
    posted by otherwordlyglow at 10:08 PM PST - 39 comments

    "Well behaved women rarely make history," said Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Scandalous Women brings you the lives, loves, and sexual adventures of some of the most fascinating women who rocked the world. Like Olimpia Maidalchini who managed to achieve something that no woman ever has, for the 11 years of her brother-in-law Innocent X's reign as pope, Olimpia was the real power at the Vatican; or Elizabeth Armistead, wife of a cabinet minister, courtesan to many. Read the bios and follow the tales of nearly a hundred women of scandalous pursuit from Mata Hari to Typhoid Mary.
    posted by netbros at 10:04 PM PST - 14 comments

    People of the Screen : "Digital literacy’s advocates increasingly speak of replacing, rather than supplementing, print literacy. What is “reading” anyway, they ask, in a multimedia world like ours? We are increasingly distractible, impatient, and convenience-obsessed—and the paper book just can’t keep up. Shouldn’t we simply acknowledge that we are becoming people of the screen, not people of the book?"
    posted by dhruva at 9:22 PM PST - 31 comments

    "[I] accepted the offer today after...reaching an agreement that the primary function of the White House photography office will be to document Obama's presidency for the sake of history."

    Last week, Obama named Pete Souza the official White House photographer. Souza has been following Obama as he rose to the presidency, and since being hired has published the first official portrait of Obama.
    posted by ztdavis at 9:00 PM PST - 43 comments

    At the time of its production, it was the most expensive British TV series ever made. In addition to highly regarded special effects, it had one of all-time great theme songs.(previously)
    posted by Joe Beese at 8:37 PM PST - 45 comments

    "The Mass Observation movement was founded by a group of 1930s' British intellectuals who believed the most revealing way to document an event was to document the peripheral activities surrounding it. The Mass Observers carried out their greatest project on May 12th, 1937, when they dispatched more than 200 observers throughout London to monitor the coronation of King George VI." This coming Tuesday, the folks at Januarythe20th.com are attempting to create a day of Mass Observation in the United States.
    posted by TheWash at 8:02 PM PST - 18 comments


    Australian Duncan Chessell (autoloading video) plans to spend four months trekking across Antarctica's frozen wasteland to reach the South Pole. Currently, he's leading a team of seven to the peak of Mt Vinson, Antarctica's highest point. He intends to make his trip to the pole 100 years after a similar feat was attempted by the great British explorer Robert Falcon Scott (previously). Meanwhile, another team aims to "become the youngest, fastest team in the world to reach the South Pole unsupported and unguided."
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:25 PM PST - 16 comments

    Frozen in 1955 This awesome 50's bungalow, located on a quiet, cul-de-sac street on the Hill neighborhood in St. Louis Missouri, has seriously never been lived in... at least on the main level. This ONE-OWNER home was resided only in the lower level during their stay here, so the main level has been frozen in time and perfectly preserved.
    posted by robbyrobs at 6:45 PM PST - 64 comments

    The Bioscope is dedicated to the subject of early and silent cinema. It is designed to be a news and information resource on all aspects of the motion picture before sound. It covers news, publications, events, discoveries, documents, critical theory, filmmakers, performers, audiences and technology, and aims to encompass film production, distribution and exhibition in the silent era, as well as ‘pre-cinema’, chronophotography, optical toys, and related media, across the world. [more inside]
    posted by jokeefe at 6:21 PM PST - 4 comments

    Keith Powell, the guy who played a nerdy writer on 30 Rock, has an enjoyable website. Especially the bio. [more inside]
    posted by jragon at 6:06 PM PST - 25 comments

    Willy Pete - Now It’s a Chemical Weapon, Now It’s Not; was used by US forces in the siege of Fallujah. Now Haaretz has questioned if White Phosphoros is being used against Gaza. Here is apparent video proof. Willy Pete has a strange legality; but whether legal or not is certainly one of the nastiest chemicals used in warfare.
    posted by adamvasco at 4:32 PM PST - 62 comments

    I have fallen in love with the Nerdbots. Under their cold, hard exteriors, they're really quite loveable.
    posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:24 PM PST - 24 comments

    Cereal commercials over the decades, starting with Rice Krispies in 1939. [more inside]
    posted by mudpuppie at 2:49 PM PST - 32 comments


    "Millions of people will be glued to the TV next week when President-elect Barack Obama takes his oath of office. But in Federal Way, students will need to get permission from their parents to watch the historical inauguration in school... Federal Way is the same district that put a moratorium on Al Gore's Oscar winning film about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth, while the board investigated whether a screening adhered to district policies."
    posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:17 PM PST - 68 comments

    Ron English Interview "How come you're allowed to have private property on public space?" A great nine minute interview with Ron English talking about art, advertising, and censorship and creating work that includes footage of English in action. (via Juxtapoz)
    posted by Stephen Elliott at 1:55 PM PST - 7 comments

    In 2003 a school official ordered that a student be searched for the substance known as 2-[4-(2-methylpropyl)phenyl]propanoic acid. The case has now made its way to the United States Supreme Court. [more inside]
    posted by mullingitover at 1:28 PM PST - 99 comments

    With many stations showing it over the next couple of days it may not be too late for you to catch Rick Steves' Iran. For a TV guy, Steves online documentation isn't bad either: read his compiled blog entries or peep his slideshow. We've discussed the fact that he's a man with an agenda before and that's certainly the case here as well.
    posted by Ogre Lawless at 1:09 PM PST - 15 comments

    The New Creation was born in 1970 when Chris Towers, an unknown guitarist from Vancouver, decided to form a Christian rock group with his mother Lorna as lead singer and their neighbor Janet Tiessen on drums. Scared by reports of the hippie excesses of the Manson/Altamont era, Lorna Towers wrote doom-laden, apocalyptic lyrics for the New Creation's aptly titled album, Troubled. The band was unpolished, yet somehow captured a unique lo-fi sound comparable to a hybrid of the Velvet Underground and the Shaggs. The group might be totally forgotten today, if an aging hippie record dealer named Ty Scammel hadn't rescued a copy from a $1 bargain bin, leading to the album's rediscovery by collectors of Christian rock and outsider music. [more inside]
    posted by jonp72 at 12:46 PM PST - 23 comments

    Prescription for Disaster: The dangers of teens using prescription pain killers and other doctor-prescribed drugs.
    posted by jacobw at 12:14 PM PST - 51 comments

    Hard Format celebrates the art of record and CD packaging.
    posted by box at 11:57 AM PST - 13 comments

    Luna City Arcade is Peter Hirschberg's home / barn video arcade, with about 60 vintage machines all set up to eat quarters. WaPo story about Peter's dream. You can come around to Peter's Virginia home for Game Day every couple months. [more inside]
    posted by grobstein at 11:37 AM PST - 35 comments

    The Selby Artists & c. at home and in their studios. Click through for more pictures.
    posted by OmieWise at 11:25 AM PST - 7 comments



    The Mellotron features prominently on the 1968 album, The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society, more commonly referred to as The Village Green Preservation Society. The weird, eerie quality of this electronic keyboard, which uses pre-recorded tapes of individual sounds such as strings and woodwind instruments, worked well with singer/songwriter Ray Davies' nostalgic, backwards looking sensibility. [more inside]
    posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:55 AM PST - 26 comments

    44 Presidents Coming is either the perfect antidote or the perfect complement to all the Inaugural excitement. Though not complete yet, it will continue to be updated until all 44 presidents are....there. I'm particularly partial to Teddy.
    posted by sleevener at 9:30 AM PST - 35 comments

    The end of white America is a cultural and demographic inevitability. "At the moment, we can call this the triumph of multiculturalism, or post-racialism. But just as whiteness has no inherent meaning—it is a vessel we fill with our hopes and anxieties—these terms may prove equally empty in the long run. Does being post-racial mean that we are past race completely, or merely that race is no longer essential to how we identify ourselves?"
    posted by plexi at 9:05 AM PST - 69 comments

    Star Wars Battlefront III: a preview of a recently canceled game that apparently had plans to turn our good ol' ghost-ey friend Old Ben Kenobi into a Dark Jedi. [more inside]
    posted by azarbayejani at 9:00 AM PST - 43 comments

    Anti-choice group up in arms over Krispy Kreme's "abortion doughnuts" [sic] and [blech]. At least they're not supporting terrorists.

    In related news, other giveaways on Inauguration Day include free waffles in Portland, free coffee (Oren's "Beans You Can Believe IN") in Manhattan, and a free Berry Obama frozen yogurt in Chicago. A scoop of Ben & Jerry's Yes Pecan will still cost you full price.
    posted by ericbop at 8:42 AM PST - 123 comments

    Apparently some members of the far-right have figured it out! Environmentalists are communists! Being green is tantamount to an attack on "Western culture, and the Judeo-Christian and Islamic religions". Think this is just an American phenomenon? Think again...
    posted by JVA at 8:16 AM PST - 27 comments


    Painter Andrew Wyeth has died at the age of 91. The son of beloved illustrator N.C. Wyeth, Andrew enjoyed mass popularity for paintings such as Christina's World and his Helga paintings. [more inside]
    posted by marxchivist at 6:52 AM PST - 53 comments

    John Mortimer, creator of Rumpole of the Bailey died today.
    posted by Xurando at 6:50 AM PST - 26 comments

    A Gaza journalist shows us how homemade rockets are made. More from Zouheir Alnajjar.
    posted by gman at 6:42 AM PST - 46 comments

    Kamal Chunchie charts the history of the black and Asian community in Canning Town, east London, in the 1920s and 1930s. It tells the story of the Coloured Men's Institute and its founder, Kamal Chunchie, a man who can rightly be called east London's first black and Asian community leader. One of the many excellent East London history projects at Hidden Histories.
    posted by Abiezer at 4:16 AM PST - 2 comments

    Yet more AIDS woo in Africa. First, Thabo Mbeki's AIDS policy lead to an estimated 300 000 additional deaths in South Africa. Now, magic water peddler Jeremy Sherr proposes testing homeopathic remedies for AIDS with two groups, one group on ARV and one on homeopathy, as "Placebo treatment is considered unethical in AIDS" (note: archived link from here via here) . [more inside]
    posted by fatfrank at 3:24 AM PST - 28 comments

    India--the country of the Taj Mehal--known for it's love. But wait, there's more sadly, a lot more.
    posted by hadjiboy at 3:21 AM PST - 22 comments

    Apparently, the president-elect is getting a new limousine. Details are sparse, but one thing is certain: it's damned ugly. [more inside]
    posted by chuckdarwin at 1:45 AM PST - 90 comments

    January 15

    How Google Is Making Us Smarter: Humans are "natural-born cyborgs," and the Internet is our giant "extended mind."
    posted by homunculus at 10:50 PM PST - 50 comments

    The Audacity of Hoops Alexander Wolff (Sports Illustrated) examines the importance of basketball in Barack Obama's life. [more inside]
    posted by Poolio at 9:43 PM PST - 30 comments

    Hongkiat.com is a treasure trove from a Malaysian designer, developer that features Photoshop tutorials, icons, Wordpress tips and tricks, tools for everything from sound to Flickr, inspirations, graphics and templates, stunning wallpapers including for Windows 7, Leopard, and iPhone, and finally a library of how-to's to make your everyday internet simpler.
    posted by netbros at 9:07 PM PST - 2 comments

    Future Imperfect. David Friedman gives a wonderfully discursive talk on future technology and the law at Google.
    posted by empath at 9:01 PM PST - 3 comments

    The Sling Shot Man is Rufus Hussey, a man who's awesome with a beanshooter. This is a segment from 1985 of Down Home with the Carolina Camera which is a long-running part of Charlotte's WBTV's Top o' the Day variety show. There are a total of 22 videos on the YouTube channel which all feature interesting but non-famous Carolinians. Here are some other stories I liked: The Dulcimer School, Alligator Catchers, The Checker Players, The Gourdman of Angier and Backwards Man.
    posted by Kattullus at 8:57 PM PST - 18 comments


    "It's all {Greek -> Chinese -> Heavenly Script} to me." Mark Liberman, on Language Log, recently did some quick research on how other languages would say "It's Greek to me." And created a directed graph of his findings, which were then supplemented with reader comments.
    posted by shadytrees at 6:22 PM PST - 49 comments


    President-Elect Obama has shown he can make the hard decisions when it comes to appointments, but one job remains to be filled: Drug Czar. A tough job requires a tough man, and one such man is asking for the chance. Ted Nugent for Drug Czar. [more inside]
    posted by theroadahead at 5:35 PM PST - 89 comments


    "It is against the fiber of God's Law and against all of Christianity, that a company who makes religious worship cards, religious holiday cards and Christian greeting cards, would stoop to the lowly depths and ok the Homo Sexual wedding cards. WILL NOT STAND IT!" [more inside]
    posted by mudpuppie at 2:29 PM PST - 104 comments

    Baltimore mayor Sheila Dixon has been indicted with 12 counts of felony theft, perjury, fraud and misconduct in office, becoming the city's first sitting mayor to be criminally indicted. Included in the charges against her is the accusation that she accepted illegal gifts during her time as mayor and City Council president, including travel, fur coats and gift cards intended for the poor that she allegedly used instead for a holiday shopping spree. One city housing official has already been convicted of stealing those donations. Her legal defense claims that there has been no conflict of interest, as the list of companies said to have done business with the city fails to meet technical requirements laid out in city ethics laws. The Baltimore Sun's editorial staff weighs in with the accusations.
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:23 PM PST - 33 comments

    US Airways Flight 1549 has crashed into the Hudson. Fortunately, it appears that everyone has survived. The culprit appears to be a bird strike from a flock of geese (as opposed to a single bird, which airplane engines are built to withstand). [more inside]
    posted by kdar at 1:56 PM PST - 169 comments

    Top 10 Science Fiction Flicks For The Thinking Man (beerandscifi version) - The Portland based blog (with a very admirable focus) takes on the Rotten Tomatoes list with a less dull alternative. (via)
    posted by Artw at 1:45 PM PST - 102 comments

    "Authored by the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM), the Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008, pdf) outlines a strategic framework and forecasts possible threats and opportunities that will challenge the future joint force." One portion picked out by the media: Mexico and Pakistan are the two countries most likely to undergo "sudden collapse". [more inside]
    posted by 445supermag at 1:39 PM PST - 7 comments

    The Delta Project recently released a new report on Trends in College Spending. The NYTimes summarizes.
    posted by SeizeTheDay at 1:07 PM PST - 14 comments

    Don't miss the party train!
    posted by vronsky at 12:51 PM PST - 25 comments

    When Obama takes the oath of office, he won't be standing alone. This week's cover of The Nation features a portrait of an Obama inauguration presided over by Thurgood Marshall and attended by more than 60 civil rights icons. [more inside]
    posted by harperpitt at 12:49 PM PST - 43 comments


    Plastic bags are bad for the environment, right? Not according to the Plastic Bag Coalition, which created savetheplasticbag.com in order to help stop the demonization of the supermarket staple. Taking a firm stance, they have recently threatened to sue the city of Santa Monica for passing an ordnance banning plastic bags. This isn't the first time they've sued. [more inside]
    posted by jabberjaw at 12:15 PM PST - 52 comments

    The Domestic Transformer: sliding walls and yellow light, a local architect's solution to the problem of scant living-space in Hong Kong. [more inside]
    posted by grobstein at 10:59 AM PST - 31 comments

    What can be done with worn, outgrown or single socks? Well, if you want to wear those favourite socks awhile longer, you can darn them. If your baby’s feet are no longer so tiny, make a baby sock purse or sachet, baby sock reindeer, or baby sock corsage or bouquet decorations for a friend’s baby shower. You can make a hat out of your child’s outgrown socks, or your kids can make Barbie clothes. You can use single socks to make a foot massager, potholders, slippers, a dog rug, a snowman, sock puppets or cute critters. Or sock art installations. See these articles for more pedestrian ways to use socks.
    posted by orange swan at 10:51 AM PST - 18 comments

    Alone among major Western nations, the United States refused to sign a United Nations declaration calling for worldwide decriminalization of homosexuality. The U.S. was joined by China, Russia, the Roman Catholic Church, and members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference in rejecting the declaration. In 2004, the Vatican and Islamic Conference had lobbied vehemently and successfully to prevent the U.N. Human Rights Commission from outlawing discrimination based on sexual orientation. [more inside]
    posted by terranova at 10:27 AM PST - 98 comments

    GSA and NARA hope that this online directory will introduce you to the operation of the Federal government and the resources available to help you begin your service in the new Administration. Are you a nominee? Your survival guide can be found here. Just an appointee? Your orientation begins here. And be sure to make sure you have a good understanding of the Org Chart.
    posted by dchase at 10:17 AM PST - 1 comments

    As you may know, acoustic treatment of your listening room is very important. But many people want to use their space for both music listening and entertaining guests. Quite often large and effective bass traps can rob your space of its grace and majesty and make your guests feel weird and uncomfortable.
    posted by Brocktoon at 10:01 AM PST - 37 comments

    Everyone knows about The Alamo, (previously) but perhaps you didn't know that San Antonio has the largest concentration of Spanish Missions in the United States. Known collectively as "The San Antonio Missions," they are now part of the National Park System (map). The other four south of the Alamo are respectively, Mission Concepción, (which stands as it was built in 1755 and is the oldest unrestored church in America) and the restored Mission San Jose, Mission San Juan Capistrano and Mission Espada, (warning: some of QTVR links will resize browser) as well as a length of the Acacia system that is still used for irrigation today. The four churches also house active parishes which operate independently from the NPS. [more inside]
    posted by Devils Rancher at 9:05 AM PST - 22 comments


    About those tunnels The media here had led me to believe that those tunnels were crude things that were used to smuggle rockets and explosives, but this photo essay from Foreign Policy, gives another take on what its been about
    posted by donfactor at 5:39 AM PST - 111 comments

    Welcome to Congress, YouTube. Check out House Hub and Senate Hub for a state by state directory of YouTube videos created by House Representatives and Senators for the purpose of, among other things, "increasing transparency." [more inside]
    posted by lunit at 5:27 AM PST - 12 comments

    A British tabloid claims that NASA will today announce the probable presence of life on Mars. Planetary and atmospheric scientists from NASA's Mars program will address a press conference at 2PM EST, apparently about concentrated methane plumes that bloom and dissipate [pdf]. There was a false alarm about a similar briefing a few months ago; is this the real deal?
    posted by Joe in Australia at 1:41 AM PST - 129 comments


    January 14

    What DeLillo can tell us about Gilchrist Nicely-composed meditation on the parallels between the career of NZ political police tout Rob Gilchrist and the characters described in Don DeLillo's 1988 novel Libra.
    posted by Abiezer at 11:28 PM PST - 6 comments

    "It became an accessory of fashion. Status symbol like jewels, the fan had some additional advantages: you could hide behind, spy through tiny holes in the fan, swirl the fan coquettishly, or move the fan according to difficult fan language conventions, a kind of early telecommunication." [more inside]
    posted by nickyskye at 11:10 PM PST - 20 comments

    Earth, observed. Standout photographs from NASA's Earth Observatory website.
    posted by homunculus at 10:42 PM PST - 11 comments

    Pork and Beans II, now with twice the meme-fun. [more inside]
    posted by WCityMike at 10:31 PM PST - 37 comments

    Obama's People [full-screen slideshow]: one photographer; one background; fifty-two members of the incoming US administration. Oh, and one "significant item" per person. The kind of thing -- not just a political piece, but a photographic project -- that reminds you what the institutional clout of the New York Times can make possible.
    posted by holgate at 9:36 PM PST - 93 comments

    THE ELEMENTS OF SPAM (single link McSweeney's post)
    posted by bystander at 7:07 PM PST - 38 comments

    Timothy Geithner is an experienced financial leader (previously). He is President Obama's pick to run the Treasury Department, which includes the Internal Revenue Service. The problem is that Mr. Geithner did not pay more than $30,000 in taxes, even his employer reminded him to do so. Now his nomination may be in jeopardy. Is Mr. Geithner the new Zoe Baird?
    posted by Slap Factory at 6:28 PM PST - 63 comments

    Think traveling over the Yuletide season was bad? We're coming hard upon Chunyun, the Chinese "spring migration" when families reunite for the New Year. Enduring largest human migration in the world is a harrowing experience. One railway company has new ticketing strategies, which could turn tickets into collector's items.
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:29 PM PST - 8 comments

    If you're feeling guilty about that long flight from San Francisco to Berlin you can use EcoFonts (which is created by omitting parts of the letter) to assuage your carbon-heavy guilt.
    posted by plexi at 3:42 PM PST - 56 comments


    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Steve Jobs is taking a medical leave of absence until June, saying his health-related issues were "more complex than I originally thought."
    posted by mattholomew at 2:12 PM PST - 107 comments

    Little Big Star (free software, currently in beta - video) it's the first guitar rythm game with support for real instruments. In the next months two more products of the same kind should be released, Disney Star Guitar and Guitar Rising. [more inside]
    posted by darkripper at 1:52 PM PST - 16 comments

    It's the homemade PVC ice rink! (scroll down to comments for commenter's photos of barn loft rink and associated icicles.) [more inside]
    posted by hellboundforcheddar at 1:51 PM PST - 9 comments

    Smiles, everyone. Ricardo Montalban dies at 88. The actor may be best remembered for his roles as Mr. Roarke in Fantasy Island and as the malevolent Khan in Star Trek (and, to a younger generation, as the grandfather in Spy Kids, and, to teevee fans, as the hawker of the fine Corinthian leather of the Cordoba), but, after early years of playing Asians (!), the actor might be most important for gaving been one of the few Hispanic actors to get lead roles during the 1950s and 60s. Also, the actor introduced the song "Baby It's Cold Outside," which he never gets credit for.
    posted by Astro Zombie at 1:41 PM PST - 131 comments


    The value of limits, expressed through the process of a four-year-old making a painting. [more inside]
    posted by carbide at 1:06 PM PST - 14 comments


    The meat is almost ready to be boiled, except for one thing: Although its head, innards and three paws have been removed, it still has one. That’s the law. "They leave the paw on to prove it's not a cat or a dog,"
    posted by 445supermag at 11:20 AM PST - 105 comments

    Indecent Haiku is a selection of urban-themed musings in 5-7-5 haiku format. Previously.
    posted by Joey Michaels at 10:57 AM PST - 23 comments

    How to make a newspaper out of blog entries. Ben Terrett and Russell Davies explain how they turned their friends’ (and strangers’) blog posts, Twits, and Flickr photos into the thousand-copy broadsheet Things Our Friends Have Written on the Internet 2008.
    posted by joeclark at 10:03 AM PST - 23 comments

    Fact: In 1975, musician, producer, and all-around interesting guy Brian Eno (previously, pre-previously) co-created (with Peter Schmidt) the Oblique Strategies cards.
    Fact: In August 2008, Oblique_Chirps appeared via Twitter, providing Oblique Strategies-like aphorisms hourly. (via)
    Fact: Brian Eno has his own Twitter feed, featuring similarly cryptic updates (as well as differently cryptic updates and the odd political aside), dating back to Oct. 2008.
    Fact: Some of the entries are seemingly identical (down to the odd space inserted in the word "straight").
    Mystery: Is Eno aware of/involved with the Chirps feed?
    posted by yiftach at 9:52 AM PST - 30 comments

    Andrew Lloyd-Webber's Really Useful Group is looking to create a range of games based on his range of musical stage shows. The one video game company mentioned in the article is Electronic Arts. (via, by way of) [more inside]
    posted by filthy light thief at 9:50 AM PST - 32 comments

    Patrick McGoohan has died. The BBC and other news agencies are reporting the death of actor Patrick McGoohan, following a brief illness. He was 80 years old. McGoohan is best known as the star and co-producer of the 1960s cult classic TV series "The Prisoner", which we have discussed here many times, most recently last week when AMC announced that it would stream all of the original episodes on its website. AMC has also been producing a remake of the series starring Jim Caviezel (as Number 6) and Ian McKellen (as Number 2) for broadcast this fall. [more inside]
    posted by briank at 9:31 AM PST - 116 comments

    Perhaps something of an oddity in Chicago machine politics [I like to think in the spirit of Sean Tevis] Tom Geoghegan (pronounced "gay-gun") is running in a special election -- primary March 3rd and (hope me :) general April 7th -- for Rahm Emanuel's vacated 5th district Illinois seat. [more inside]
    posted by kliuless at 8:44 AM PST - 10 comments

    "Yes, We Tortured," says Susan Crawford, Convening Authority of The Guantanamo Military Commission. "I sympathize with the intelligence gatherers in those days after 9/11, not knowing what was coming next and trying to gain information to keep us safe," said Crawford, a lifelong Republican. "But there still has to be a line that we should not cross. And unfortunately what this has done, I think, has tainted everything going forward."
    posted by Xurando at 7:48 AM PST - 131 comments

    Google Earth moves to square centimeter resolution, when it comes to art at Madrid's Prado Museum. Zoom in on 14-gigapixel images (about 1400 times the detail of a standard 10-gigapixel camera) of some of the museum's masterpieces, via Google Earth or Google Maps (start here). It's like putting your nose right up to the painting. Some details at Google Blog. Be sure to watch the how-it-was-done video.
    posted by beagle at 5:38 AM PST - 40 comments

    SatiricalCzechArtFilter: A massive art installation at the European Council building in Brussels has raised hackles. Bulgaria, in particular, is not pleased at being represented as a "Turkish Toilet." [more inside]
    posted by LMGM at 4:05 AM PST - 37 comments

    January 13

    Lovecraft is Missing. If you like reading Lovecraft, you might enjoy this comic about his unexplained absence, as well. Make sure to check out the Lovecraft related links on the left.
    posted by Caduceus at 10:28 PM PST - 25 comments

    Palm is asking how to make the WebOS a hit. There are a lot of great comments here worth reading, and then, predictability, there's this one, which made me chuckle.
    posted by jragon at 10:12 PM PST - 44 comments

    Please don't choke on the ovaries.
    posted by MrChowWow at 10:12 PM PST - 32 comments

    Fire destroyed the office of the War Department and all its files in 1800, and for decades historians believed that the collection, and the window it provided into the workings of the early federal government, was lost forever. Thanks to a decade-long effort to retrieve copies of the files scattered in archives across the country, the collection has been reconstituted and is offered here as a fully-searchable digital database.
    posted by Knappster at 9:41 PM PST - 10 comments

    At nightfall youth gangs transform the streets of Kinshasa's townships into arenas of the fight. Although many of these boys and young men are trained in foreign fighting styles such as judo, jujitsu and karate, in the public clashes between the fighting groups, these boys and young men perform mukumbusu. This fighting style, inspired and based on the gorilla, was invented during the last decade of colonialism, and is an original mixture of a traditional Mongo wrestling practice, libanda, and Asian and Western fighting practices. An essay from Edinburgh University's Center of African Studies (PDF - or accessmylibrary link) [more inside]
    posted by Smedleyman at 9:35 PM PST - 15 comments

    Yes, it is that time of year again. When the ski's are filled with "Patang" and you have to do your best to keep yours up. [more inside]
    posted by hadjiboy at 8:31 PM PST - 15 comments

    Gettin' paid for being evil (until Eliot Spitzer shuts you down) Matt Knox wrote adware. Now he talks about why he did it, how adware got sneakier, and internet privacy generally, in a pretty interesting interview over at philosecurity
    posted by dismas at 8:14 PM PST - 72 comments

    Most video games are easy to learn, but hard to master. For those focused on single player, there are always speed runs. However, multiplayer competition can often be much more interesting to perfect. Of course, there are those who make gaming a career with games like Halo and other FPSes. There's Street Fighter II (as well as other editions and variations), which can lead to some incredible matches. There are some very intense StarCraft tournaments, as well as similar tournaments for a variety of other RTSes. Often, games can last so long beyond their shelf lives simply because of the fan base and multiplayer aspect.
    posted by cardern at 7:11 PM PST - 41 comments

    In a breathless, passionate, yet level-headed 15 part series, YouTube user, paleontologist, ex-Christian, and potential Space Coyote impersonator AronRa presents an uncommonly well-written and presented argument against what he identifies as the 14 "Fundamental Falsehoods of Creationism." [more inside]
    posted by Mr. Anthropomorphism at 6:24 PM PST - 57 comments

    When it went to war with Israel in 1967, the Egyptian Government blockaded the Suez Canal. A number of ships, with their crews, were stranded in the Great Bitter Lake for the eight years it was closed. Here are their stamps.
    posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:14 PM PST - 18 comments

    ObamiconMe. Remake your image in a style inspired by Shepard Fairey's election poster. [more inside]
    posted by zinfandel at 5:43 PM PST - 30 comments

    Current.com's Daily Fix has named their Top 5 Free MixTapes of 2008. At number five is Black Milk's Elec. Number four is Wale's mixtape about Seinfeld (seriously). Number three is The Hood Internet vs. Chicago. Number two is Charles Hamilton's Crash Landed. Number one is a tie between Lil Wayne's The Draught is Over Part Six and some Kanye remixes called Sky High. Bonus mixtape not from the list: Jaydiohead - JayZ and Radiohead... in the same songs... I like 'em all
    posted by pwally at 4:10 PM PST - 12 comments

    Cat wanders on stage during live weather broadcast. Judging from the reaction, this happens all the time in Germany.
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:17 PM PST - 80 comments




    Pretty Loaded is an archive of preloaders that preload other preloaders…which in turn reveal yet more preloaders. from design firm Big Spaceship, a strangely soothing site dedicated to the art of the Flash "loading..." animation. (Uhh, requires Flash.) [via]
    posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:00 PM PST - 16 comments


    Bartlomiej Dzik hosts a library of games to play in Excel, sorted by genre, along with a number of resources for those who wish to make their own.
    posted by Upton O'Good at 1:30 PM PST - 5 comments

    Was market speculation behind this year's rise in crude oil prices? Earlier this year, prices topped $100/bbl, the highest seen since the oil crisis of the late 70s/early 80s. By July 2008, the price of crude oil reached a record high of $144/bbl, costing US consumers between $4-$5 per gallon at the pump. [more inside]
    posted by elizardbits at 1:05 PM PST - 29 comments

    Prominent blogger Andrew Sullivan develops an unhealthy obsession over the (lack of) details surrounding the birth of Sarah Palin's youngest child. Sullivan really, really won't let it go. Persistent rumors lead the editor of the Alaska Daily News to, "finally decide, after watching this go on unabated for months, to let a reporter try to do a story about the 'conspiracy theory that would not die' and, possibly, report the facts of Trig's birth thoroughly enough to kill the nonsense once and for all." Palin releases press release slamming the paper. Editor of paper publishes email from Palin's office along with his response. Palin complains about "bored, anonymous, pathetic bloggers who lie," says episode is, "more indication of continued problems in the world of journalism." She also thinks Katie Couric is bad at journalism, not the center of everybody's universe, and is exploiting Palin. Mike Huckabee disagrees, says Couric was "extraordinarily gentle" with Palin. Political pundits and journalists are left scratching their heads - is she crazy? Or a crazy genius? 2012 is just around the corner.
    posted by billysumday at 12:49 PM PST - 188 comments

    “It would be completely unethical to give the drug to someone else,” he said, “but if you’re in a marriage and want to maintain that relationship, you might take a little booster shot yourself every now and then. Even now it’s not such a far-out possibility that you could use drugs in conjunction with marital therapy.”
    posted by badego at 11:59 AM PST - 42 comments

    The Bailout game! (Flash)
    posted by Class Goat at 11:57 AM PST - 16 comments

    Just imagine! Coming Super-Attractions features vintage DC comics in-house advertisements spanning the decades. Enjoy!
    posted by kimota at 11:30 AM PST - 4 comments

    Youngest Briton to climb Everest dies in Alps Last year, two British kids skied, sailed, and biked through North, Central, and South America, en route from the north pole to the south pole.  They made it the whole 180 degrees, but as you can read in the articles, they almost died several times.  You may enjoy reading an interview about that trip. They had already climbed to the top of Everest at 19 years of age. They were named Adventurers of the Year for 2008 by National Geographic. They died this weekend, January 10, 2009, climbing in the French Alps.
    posted by peter_meta_kbd at 11:22 AM PST - 31 comments

    The Tiling Database. Browse some random patterns. Or narrow down your search here.
    Looking for an ornament in the Alhambra? Or a spiral tiling? Or perhaps a Topkapi scroll?
    posted by vacapinta at 11:13 AM PST - 10 comments

    Special 3-page edition of Harper’s Index: A retrospective of the Bush era.
    posted by Non Prosequitur at 11:06 AM PST - 37 comments

    [Music + YouTubery + BornOnThisDay] = Mincing Up the Morning, an eclectic music video birthday blog that's about to celebrate its own birthday--it's been updated daily since January 15, 2008.
    posted by not_on_display at 10:21 AM PST - 6 comments

    A throwback to slavery? The Azalea Trail Maids began as a celebration of horticulture in Mobile, AL in 1929, and right now they're scrambling to raise funds so they can stroll in Obama's inagural procession. The President of Alabama 's NAACP, however, is determined to see that they stay home.
    posted by Julia F***ing Sugarbaker at 9:33 AM PST - 81 comments

    Autumn 1944, and London was under attack from space. Hitler's 'vengeance' rocket, the V-2, was the world's first ballistic missile, and the first man-made object to make a sub-orbital spaceflight. Over 1400 were launched at Britain, with more than 500 striking London. Each hit caused devastation. The 13 tonne rocket impacted at over 3000 miles per hour. There was no warning; the missile descended faster than the speed of sound and survivors would only hear the approach and sonic booms after the blast. via Londonist.
    posted by swift at 9:15 AM PST - 84 comments


    C. Brian Smith gets invited to dinner at a college friend's house. The father drinks "non beer" and scolds the dog for farting. Smith remembers that he has a joint in the cigarette box in his pocket. One of the sisters "severs the tension by asking her father how many words he screwed up" during a recent speech he gave. Just another family dinner at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
    posted by tractorfeed at 4:39 AM PST - 107 comments

    Charlie Corcoran, Bagman of the Morris Ring, believes that Morris dancing (previously) may be on the "brink of extinction". This is what the world would miss. Not everyone is that troubled by the news, however - as assistant librarian at the English Folk Dance and Song Society Elaine Bradtke argues, there are more obscure types of English folk dancing, including (but probably not limited to) Long Sword dancing (a serious-looking dance), Molly dancing (not a very serious dance at all), Rapper dancing (the Welsh miner kind, not the hip-hop kind), Step clog (which needs no introduction), and the English ceilidh (aka barn dancing).
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:16 AM PST - 46 comments

    January 12

    The Story of India : PBS HD
    posted by vronsky at 8:39 PM PST - 28 comments

    MrChiCity3 hilariously explains how to attract women with Snapple and Vitamin Water, how he dealt with finding a bug in his apartment, and what happened when he got a parking ticket. [NSFW and potentially offensive language, no nsfw images] [more inside]
    posted by desjardins at 8:26 PM PST - 56 comments

    Among fine manners and fine china one must pack tasteful heat.
    posted by Stephen Elliott at 3:25 PM PST - 39 comments


    To celebrate the Inauguration, Ben and Jerry's has issued a new ice cream flavor, Yes, PeCan, with profits donated to the Common Cause Education Fund. There's a Reddit thread for suggestions for flavors commemorating Bush/Cheney. [more inside]
    posted by theora55 at 1:16 PM PST - 114 comments

    A pilot who apparently faked a distress call and bailed out of his Piper Malibu is now on the run. The pilot and his company, Heritage Wealth Management, were recently sued. Is this another DB Cooper?
    posted by exogenous at 1:07 PM PST - 83 comments

    You might get lucky and find work from home but it won't be easy. You could try wading through the many sites offering advice and opinion on the dire job situation. The Wall Street Journal looks at short employment stints, employment test cheating and who's especially vulnerable to layoffs; Lindsey Pollak offers tips to students and others on tips landing a first job. There are lawyers to help older workers avert discriminatory layoffs and a job bank for people over 50. There are, of course, many job search sites, some better than others. Some are avoiding search engines and going directly to Facebook or Linked In to make connections with potential recruiters. [more inside]
    posted by etaoin at 12:48 PM PST - 27 comments

    Treehoppers (a flickr set)
    posted by dhruva at 10:31 AM PST - 20 comments

    Global Museum is sort of a daily paper for the museum world. The site, which marked its tenth year in 2008, aggregates museum news, job listings, and links from around the world, helping readers stay up-to-date on issues and events like artifact repatriation, art theft and trade, archaeological discoveries, innovative programs, unusual museums, threats to collections from war and natural disasters, and plenty of stuff just for fun. [more inside]
    posted by Miko at 10:24 AM PST - 4 comments

    Lasantha Wickrematunge's last editorial [via bb] as part of the Sri Lankan Sunday Leader. Lasantha was shot on the way to work, but seems to have had a piece ready for just this situation. In a country where the state boasts about bombing radio stations, two journalists were executed in 2008 and five in 2007 the fact that this killing took place in broad daylight after state media called the paper unpatriotic has led to accusations of governmental involvement.
    posted by jaduncan at 10:10 AM PST - 18 comments

    TCM Underground (warning: flash, sound) has been screening an excellent selection of Cult movies on late Friday nights that are worth staying up for. Upcoming films include: Terror of Tiny Town, The Swinger, Ladies and Gentlemen the Fabulous Stains, Willie Dynamite, Shack Out On 101, Two-Lane Blacktop, and The Legend of Hell House.
    posted by Otis at 8:24 AM PST - 34 comments

    The Best Job in the World. Would you like to be paid AUD$150,0000 to live for free in a three-bedroom villa on an island in the Great Barrier Reef for six months, simply in exchange for blogging about your experience? Yeah, so would I. Submit your application before February 22nd, and see if you make it through the other millions of people who are sure to apply. And no--it's not a joke.
    posted by schroedinger at 6:33 AM PST - 70 comments

    Hochbetrieb [Nuts & Bolts] is a 2003 short from Germany that utilizes live actors and computer-generated effects in tribute to influences ranging from silent comedies to Charles Ebbetts' images of construction crews atop the GE Building, along with a cat & mouse cartoon from MGM guest-starring a baby and a Warner Brothers piece about an amphibian.
    posted by Smart Dalek at 5:46 AM PST - 2 comments

    Old Timey Player Pianos! Gotta get one? No? 'Cause the music stinks, right? Not so fast, how about a roll of Creedence? Who doesn't love Creedence? Or Britney? You know, for the kids? Here's how they're made. QRS has the latest hits and oldies too, but better act fast 'cause they're closing up shop.
    posted by From Bklyn at 4:49 AM PST - 35 comments

    The State of the Web 2008 is a report from Web Directions that includes details and analysis of all the responses to over 50 questions covering technologies, techniques, philosophies and practices that today’s web professionals employ. The survey was open for just under 3 weeks, from December 1st to 20th 2008. In total, over 1200 designers and developers from around the world responded to the survey. Respondents were likely to be self-educating, “early adopters” who keep abreast of developments in their field. Here are the tabular results. [more inside]
    posted by netbros at 4:25 AM PST - 7 comments


    Gamarjobat: well-dressed, colored-mohawk-wearing Japanese mime-magic-comedy duo. They may even fight crime, too. 1, 2, 3, 4
    posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 12:11 AM PST - 9 comments

    40 fractals created with Apophysis, a freeware fractal flame generator. [more inside]
    posted by Upton O'Good at 12:03 AM PST - 18 comments

    January 11

    A small selection of parodic poetry inspired by the Illinois corruption mess. [more inside]
    posted by casarkos at 10:20 PM PST - 10 comments

    International House of Logorrhea, at The Phrontistry, a free online dictionary of weird and unusual words to help enhance your vocabulary. Generous language resources, 2 and 3 letter Scrabble words l The Compass DeRose Guide to Emotion Words l all kinds of glossaries for color terms, wisdom, love and attraction, scientific instruments, manias and obsessions, feeding and eating, carriages and chariots, dance styles and all kinds of fun word stuff. [more inside]
    posted by nickyskye at 9:33 PM PST - 12 comments

    Blind Spot Optical Illusions. Online seminar from McCormick Lab at Yale lets you find your own visual blind spots. After that, you can make Monet's sun, and Van Gogh's ear, disappear. [more inside]
    posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 8:54 PM PST - 15 comments

    Twenty-nine Tao te Chings, a line at a time. For Sunday evening, a spare, meditative post. The Tao-te-Ching in 29 translations, line by line and side by side. I'll leave you to investigate the writings on your own; here alone are just the words to consider. Suggested: Mitchell. [more inside]
    posted by Tufa at 7:14 PM PST - 99 comments

    Bringing Justice to the War on Terrorism. 3 views on how the incoming administration should deal with the legal legacy of Bush Administration policies like torture, surveillance, and extraordinary rendition. Charles Fried makes the case against criminal prosecutions, Dahlia Lithwick makes the case for investigations followed by prosecutions, and Jack Balkin argues for truth commissions. [Via]
    posted by homunculus at 6:54 PM PST - 80 comments

    2009 U.S. government wall calendar pdfs! We already hit the counterterrorism calendar, so let's look at the wall calendar pdfs for Biosecurity for Birds, Invasive Plants, Invasive Species, and Private Lands. We've got funky green and blue monochrome. There's a brief one from the CDC and one that overdoes it a tad from NOAA. Finally, one from the International Space Station and my favorite, the Overseas Security Advisory Council's A-OK Kids Safety Calendar (2.6 megs). A preview of March's drawing by 3rd grader Roxane Kokka with someone impaled on a tree will make sure you always ware your seat belt.
    posted by cashman at 6:48 PM PST - 7 comments

    The US Senate Sunday in an unusual session passed 66-12 the largest land protection bill in 25 years. It is an "omnibus" containing hundreds of bills that have been in the works for years. For a list of all the projects and new lands protected.. [more inside]
    posted by stbalbach at 6:46 PM PST - 18 comments

    General Laurent Nkunda is a Tutsi warlord in Katanga who was recently interviewed by the Huffington Post. The BBC believe he is nothing more than your standard African rebel with a long list of atrocities to his name. An opinion supported by the UN and some human rights groups. The War Nerd has come to his defense, however, suggesting that he's just angered the UN by refusing to disarm and allow the Hutu "refugees" from the Rwandan Genocide to terrorize the lands under his control. [more inside]
    posted by Pseudology at 5:35 PM PST - 8 comments

    A visit to Russian abandoned nuclear lighthouses.. Despite the hazards, there has been much vandalism of these sites. The IAEA has taken on the task of decommissioning these radioisotope thermoelectric generators (RTG's).
    posted by Xurando at 5:03 PM PST - 25 comments


    Revealed: the environmental impact of Google searches - "Physicist Alex Wissner-Gross says that performing two Google searches uses up as much energy as boiling the kettle for a cup of tea."
    posted by nthdegx at 3:39 PM PST - 74 comments


    Happy Birthday Tintin, whatever your sexuality! (maybe you're just confused)
    posted by Artw at 2:41 PM PST - 79 comments

    "Far more is known about...the activities of the secret service in Moscow...than what the England selectors said and did that night": Basil D'Oliveira was a Coloured South African all-round cricketer who moved to the UK to avoid the colour bar that prevented him representing South Africa; representing England with considerable credit, he created a crises for English and South African cricket, with Nazi sympathiser and South African Prime Minister Vorster ordering the British not to select him to tour South Africa. [more inside]
    posted by rodgerd at 2:33 PM PST - 8 comments

    Fridge magnets in seven scripts – Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Cyrillic, Korean, Arabic, Devanagari. [more inside]
    posted by joeclark at 1:47 PM PST - 12 comments

    Sparkleball
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:02 PM PST - 58 comments


    President Obama's plan for American Recovery and Reinvestment [pdf] might be thought of as TARP round two [1,2] -- instead of hiding the bodies, this one's preparing the ground for a big tent or the economic equivalent of war. There are critics and detractors (cramdown nation ;) left and right, natch, but also conservative supporters and progressive defenders to save or create three four million jobs; hooray! [more inside]
    posted by kliuless at 9:41 AM PST - 51 comments

    You’re a former diva who’s decided to eschew cosmetics and let your natural beauty speak for itself, or you just find yourself with drawers full of makeup that you’ll never use. What will you do with all these products? Well, you can consolidate your lipsticks, check out these five ways to use or recycle old makeup, or see the reader comments in these threads for more tips. You could make a snake out of your old fake nails, or take a look at this list of 20 things to do with old nail polish. When your mascara gets too old to be safely used on your eyes, you could sketch a tree with it, or Bette Davis. Here are some tips on how to use makeup as an art medium. And if you decide to paint with your old makeup, please start with the blue eyeshadow and mascara. Merci.
    posted by orange swan at 8:13 AM PST - 13 comments

    First came the Whatsit/Arrowplane (1936) ("Model T's of the air for the common man") and the Arrowbile Flying Auto, three of which were flown to the National Air Races in 1937. Both were creations of Waldo Waterman. Then came Molt Taylor's Aerocar (a great success), followed by the Waterman Aerobile (a spectacular failure). In 1945, Robert Fulton introduced the Airphibian, and the CIA ordered several. Flash forward to today. There have been many promising flying cars. Terrafugia is marketing a $194,000 "drivable plane" which it intends to release in late 2009. It hasn't yet been test-flown. So why is it being heralded by media outlets as the "World's First Flying Car"? [more inside]
    posted by terranova at 1:06 AM PST - 19 comments

    January 10

    Remember the Mario Marathon? Child's play. These guys are playing through every song available for the game Rock Band, in a row, without sleep. That's 539 songs. 48 hours in and they are only 347 tunes down. This isn't just pushing buttons, this is taking sticks to drumpads rapidly for days straight. At what point is this no longer a game, but an obsession?
    posted by mediamelt at 10:44 PM PST - 96 comments


    SFXR by Tomas Pettersson - Ever needed a skilled Foley artist and an audio lab for making sound effects? No, probably not, but even the most amateur game designer needs sound effects for his game. Now, thanks to Tomas Pettersson the long tradition of stealing sound effects from other games is finally over. It doesn't do much more than little 8-bit bleeps and bloops, but it sure feels nice to have original, royalty-free sound effects for your game, or just for fun. [previously]
    posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 10:04 PM PST - 15 comments

    Hungary may be the gloomiest country on earth. Believed by its people to be suffering from a centuries long curse, it's most famous modern musical export is probably the "Hungarian Suicide Song" - Gloomy Sunday. Originally popularized by Billie Holiday in the US (with an upbeat ending tacked onto the original lyrics), it's been covered dozens of times since then. Links to a few of my favorites inside: [more inside]
    posted by empath at 9:52 PM PST - 37 comments

    Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., M.P.H., first female director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is resigning her post effective January 20th. While subject to criticism for her management of the agency and failure to mollify the autism community over issues of vaccine safety, she was a straight (if silenced) shooter on global warming and her efforts to restructure the CDC as a prevention-oriented agency are to be commended.
    posted by The White Hat at 9:04 PM PST - 27 comments

    Possibly the most surreal children's video ever made. Dance, dream and cringe along with Creating Rem Lezar.
    posted by freshwater_pr0n at 6:08 PM PST - 26 comments

    Beep boop beep! If you wish to become a Touch Tone Genius, you must first practice the Telephone Keypad. Start with the standards -- sheet music and mp3 samples can be found at these two sites. Once you've mastered the easier songs, you can move on to the more challenging classical pieces, like Mozart's Turkish Rondo (K331) for Two Office Phones and Two Cellular Phones. Just don't dial any real phone numbers; that could be a violation of copyright.
    posted by not_on_display at 6:04 PM PST - 10 comments

    My Genome, My Self: Steven Pinker considers what we can expect from personal genomics. Searching for Intelligence in Our Genes: Carl Zimmer looks at the hunt to learn about the role of genes in intelligence.
    posted by homunculus at 5:48 PM PST - 6 comments

    I might be doing some more-serious-than-snapshot photography soon, so I figured I'd better read up on how to balance my whites. [more inside]
    posted by device55 at 5:44 PM PST - 22 comments

    Top Events USA lists their top 20 events across the USA, the top 10 events and festivals for each of the United States, and lists of the best annual events and festivals by category or theme. [more inside]
    posted by netbros at 4:49 PM PST - 7 comments

    Time lapse photography videos and pictures of the Aurora Borealis. From Astronomy North.
    posted by gman at 3:14 PM PST - 10 comments

    WTFJapanFilter: Artificial Virginity Hymen. Jezebel and Salon discuss.
    posted by crossoverman at 3:10 PM PST - 76 comments

    Electronic Masks and Calculated Movements are two early computer animation projects featured at EVLTube, the YouTube channel for UIC's Electronic Visualization Laboratory. In additon to the video archive, the EVL website also features a trove of interesting current EV projects like snstncntnrs and Unfolding Space, not to mention extensive notes on the fascinating research conducted and devices used at the facility. [more inside]
    posted by carsonb at 12:40 PM PST - 4 comments

    Ladies And Gentlemen… Dow 25,000! A few years ago, some financial wizards thought the good times would go on and on and on. The mega-market could bring Dow 30,000 or Dow 36,000. Maybe the real estate boom will not bust.
    posted by Yakuman at 12:14 PM PST - 52 comments

    Everybody has one -- that album that first made you a music-lover for life. It could be the first album you ever heard or bought with your own money. It could be one you didn't hear until later in life. But everybody has one, and we want to know about yours.
    posted by davebush at 11:37 AM PST - 212 comments


    Spacesuits ll LunarRover ll NavigationComputer ll LunarModule ll SaturnV First aired on Discovery channel as part of Space Week, Moon Machines tells the story of the over 400,000 engineers and technicians that made it possible for us to go to the moon. Lots of gorgeous Nasa archival footage throughout.
    posted by vronsky at 9:32 AM PST - 14 comments

    "The more we understand why we demonise certain scientific advances, the better we will be able to decide whether some areas of research are so sensitive they should always remain off limits to science." Is Science Out of Control?
    posted by tybeet at 8:37 AM PST - 60 comments

    The Tale of Genji turned 1000 years old sometime around now, and Japan is celebrating with parties and dressing up. This lengthy rambling narrative may be the world's first novel, although that depends on how you define "first" and "novel." For the person who is technophilic and literary, there is a very cool robot that reads it to you (in Japanese -- sorry). Sadly, it is only a prototype. There is a recent board game, however. More useful links previously.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 7:09 AM PST - 9 comments


    When the modern oil industry began 150 years ago, many speculators moved into Northwestern Pennsylvania. Among them was John Wilkes Booth, who walked off the stage and onto the oil fields in an attempt to increase his fortunes with the Dramatic Oil Company. [more inside]
    posted by hoppytoad at 6:48 AM PST - 4 comments

    Neale Donald Walsch, author of the best-selling series “Conversations With God,” recently posted a personal Christmas essay on the spiritual Web site Beliefnet about his son’s kindergarten winter pageant. During a dress rehearsal, he wrote, a group of children spelled out the title of a song, “Christmas Love,” with each child holding up a letter. One girl held the “m” upside down, so that it appeared as a “w,” and it looked as if the group was spelling “Christ Was Love.” It was a heartwarming Christmas story from a writer known for his spiritual teachings. Except it never happened — to him. [more inside]
    posted by tatnasty at 1:58 AM PST - 95 comments

    Polyvore is a website that lets you mix and match online images to make fashion sets and collages. While it has received favour from Web 2.0 pundits, fashion bloggers, and major craft blogs, it has also drawn massive ire from artists that claim copyright infringement and use of personal photos. The anti-Polyvore pressure mainly comes from Etsy sellers, with some support from artists on DeviantArt, Red Buddle, and independent artists - all coming together on Flickr. We Heart It and Ffffound! are also seen as suspect. While Polyvore tries to assuage copyright fears, amidst growing pressure to shut down, many of Polyvore's current users are counter-petitioning for the site to stay.
    posted by divabat at 1:42 AM PST - 16 comments

    The Justice Department - brought to you by the letters ORLY? The left gets to hate him because he "is the RIAA's favorite lawyer". (Note however, that the RIAA has still never actually won a judgement against a file sharer.) The right gets to hate him because he was the lawyer for Terry Schiavo's husband. Ladies and gentlemen, may I introduce Thomas J. Perrelli, Obama's selection for associate Attorney General. [more inside]
    posted by dejah420 at 12:31 AM PST - 32 comments

    January 9

    In only three years, IMDb commenter Fedor8 has written over 800 reviews, the majority of which are the most vitriolic comments ever put online. [more inside]
    posted by Down10 at 11:47 PM PST - 63 comments


    Rock Tots and other Lil Music Makers.

    Yes, because kids rock too.
    posted by swift at 9:16 PM PST - 9 comments

    Having a hard time taking over the Earth? Inefficient right hand men making a mockery of your efforts to wreak havoc? Could you use a tool that will help your evil team monitor the crises you create whilst you cackle out callous laughter? Well then the Henchman's Helper is just what you've been breaking into run-down laboratories for. [via mefi projects]
    posted by cashman at 8:43 PM PST - 18 comments



    Is this end for the Tamil Tigers? The Sri Lankan army have captured Elephant Pass, the latest in a string of victories against the guerrilla outfit. The army has pledged to avoid civilian casualties (which have caused India and other countries to intervene in the past) but there are still concerns with reports of artillery strikes on civilian centers in Tharmapuram [graphic], and serious human rights concerns. Though the military battle may be all but over the country is sure to face armed political struggle for some time.
    posted by Artw at 4:07 PM PST - 34 comments


    Friday fun: The revamped Globulos! [more inside]
    posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:33 PM PST - 3 comments

    George Bush's failings and follies inspired some of Vanity Fair’s illustrators' best work.
    posted by gman at 3:06 PM PST - 19 comments

    There is something indescribable about the Growing Up Star Wars (1977 - 1985) Flickr pool. I think it's the fact that the nostalgia for a commercial product actually is pretty moving. Okay, some are creepy, but in general I'm happy this exists. It's strange to see your childhood and realize how old it looks.
    posted by one_bean at 2:21 PM PST - 34 comments

    In December 2003, Brent Cambron gave himself his first injection of morphine. Save for the fact that he was sticking the needle into his own skin, the motion was familiar--almost rote. Over the course of the previous 17 months, as an anesthesia resident at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Cambron had given hundreds of injections.
    - Going Under by Jason Zengerle of The New Republic [print version] is heartbreaking article about the high rates of drug addiction among anesthesiologists. It tells the story of Brent Cambron and his spiral into addiction. His live was also sensitively chronicled in The Boston Globe by Keith O'Brien in Something, anything to stop the pain [print version]. [more inside]
    posted by Kattullus at 1:10 PM PST - 96 comments

    Friday Flash Fun: Evacuation is a puzzle game about explosive decompression. Save the crew! Eject the aliens into space by opening the spaceship's doors! The catch: doors of the same color all open together. [more inside]
    posted by Rinku at 1:01 PM PST - 17 comments

    Missed Connections by state A map showing missed connections for Craigslist, by state and gender breakdown, for approximately the last two weeks by Very Small Array.
    posted by ugf at 12:29 PM PST - 57 comments

    London-based videographer Jim Clark uses photographs and paintings to create wonderfully disturbing videos of celebrated poets posthumously reading their work.
    posted by youarenothere at 12:22 PM PST - 19 comments

    Weavings of War: Fabrics of Memory , an online exhibit of comtemporary textiles created (mostly) by women living in war zones.
    posted by Miko at 11:24 AM PST - 4 comments

    Gettysburg Daily features every day (and I mean every day) large photos and discussion of some minutiae of the Gettysburg battlefield. Topics covered include: Dinosaur footprints on the battlefield, artillery shells lodged in local buildings, battlefield panoramas, witness trees, and rampant development. Whoever does the site recently started an award program: "The Sickles," awarded for the dumbest thing done on the battlefield in the past year. The award is named after General Daniel Sickles. Previous Metafilter discussion of Sickles and his day at Gettysburg.
    posted by marxchivist at 10:39 AM PST - 15 comments

    Blagojevich impeached by State House. With only one dissenter Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was impeached by the Illinois House of Representatives while out jogging (video). This is the first step for removing the governor from power. Next the state senate puts Blaggo on trail, and that is scheduled to happen shortly after Obama's inauguration in a couple of weeks. Capital Fax Blog is reporting that Blaggo is not going to resign, and the governer has scheduled a press conference this afternoon with an official response to the vote. Previously on Mefi [more inside]
    posted by zenon at 10:38 AM PST - 78 comments

    Dave Dee, RIP. [more inside]
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:38 AM PST - 22 comments

    William Zantzinger, who inspired the Bob Dylan song "The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll," died January 3. He was 69 years old. [more inside]
    posted by Rangeboy at 9:48 AM PST - 25 comments

    Dirty Secrets of College Admissions Via The Daily Beast
    All of your worst suspicions confirmed. [more inside]
    posted by mecran01 at 9:10 AM PST - 155 comments

    Worried about antibiotics in your beef? Organic vegetables (and pirated honey) may be no better. 90% of animal antibiotics are excreted as dung which is then used as fertilizer. The amounts are smaller but cumulative, particularly in potatoes, lettuce.
    posted by stbalbach at 8:37 AM PST - 31 comments

    Do you ever wake up feeling like a cannon just went off inside your head? If so, you may have Exploding Head Syndrome. People affected by this parasomnia experience it as a loud bang coming from inside the head, while sleeping. Think exploding bomb, gunshots, cymbal crashes. Sometimes there's a muscle twitch, or even a bright flash of light. Doctors theorize that stress may be a factor. (Also, it's "The Internet's Newest and Most Exciting New Band!")
    posted by ivey at 8:14 AM PST - 59 comments

    Justin Quinnell takes pinhole photographs[pdf] with six month exposures, for example: Bristol from the Winter to the Summer solstice, if you like them, why not try it yourself?
    posted by nfg at 7:55 AM PST - 31 comments

    Burger King's (CP+B's) advertising campaigns have been featured on the blue before. But this one takes the cake burger friendship.
    posted by jckll at 6:51 AM PST - 86 comments


    Paula Loyd, a 36 year old anthropologist and US Army reservist, is the third social scientist to be killed within the last 8 months while working for the US Army's controversial Human Terrain System project in Afghanistan. [more inside]
    posted by fourcheesemac at 5:36 AM PST - 63 comments


    Gustave Caillebotte was a French impressionist who painted in a more photograph-like style than many of his friends. (Notice the reflections on the ground in some of his paintings) His Paris Street, Rainy Day (La Place de l'Europe, temps de pluie) was a painting done of an intersection on the Rive Droite of Paris. Can you find other street-view versions of famous cityscapes?
    posted by cmchap at 2:20 AM PST - 12 comments

    January 8

    Once every 27 years or so, the mysterious binary star system of Epsilon Aurigae undergoes an eclipse, lasting nearly two years. This gives this system the distinction of having both the longest eclipse and the longest period of any known binary system. However, it is not clear why the eclipses last so long, or even what the structure of the system actually looks like--the main star is a supergiant, with a radius as big as the distance from the earth to the sun, and yet its light is dimmed for two years by something yet bigger. The next eclipse is due to begin in August of 2009, and as part of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009, amateur astronomers are being called on to make their own observations of the changing brightness of Epsilon Aurigae. If you want to try it yourself, you can read the training guide to find out how to do your own observations and report them. In addition, the two scientists who organized observations of the previous eclipse both have webpages [1, 2] which are coordinating the organization for the upcoming observation. If you want to learn more about the science behind ε Aurigae, a good rundown with links to papers is available here.
    posted by Upton O'Good at 10:49 PM PST - 32 comments

    Eartheasy is about sustainable living. It offers information, activities and ideas which help us live more simply, efficiently and with less impact on the environment. [more inside]
    posted by netbros at 10:20 PM PST - 9 comments

    Three US veterans testify. (If the interrogator is too Christian for you, skip to the Vietnam vet.) Also, Shministim. Utah Phillips on pacifism. A First World War Christian Conscientious Objector Remembered. [more inside]
    posted by shetterly at 9:41 PM PST - 12 comments

    Here's to Ray Dennis Steckler, the independent filmmaker who wrote, starred (as Cash Flagg) and directed influential films including The Thrill Killers, Rat Pfink a Boo Boo, and his masterpice The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies. A visionary artist whose influnce is clearly seen in contemporary cinema, Steckler was prolific (producing movies from 1963 until last year), economical (his films were self-produced, shot on 16mm film and later Hi-8 video), and brilliant (as clearly evidenced in this dance sequence from Creatures, "The First Monster Musical"). It hasn't been widely reported yet, but fans are mourning his passing. He died in his sleep yesterday, January 7th, aged 70. [more inside]
    posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 7:53 PM PST - 26 comments

    Amazing Food Art by Carl Warner My mind was going to these places as I pushed my mashed potatoes around on my plate with my fork as a kid.
    posted by lottie at 6:45 PM PST - 9 comments

    Remember Palm? In the 1990s they created an industry and ate Apple's lunch when their smaller, nimbler Palm Pilot 1000 did the PDA right and blew the MessagePad away. Today they unveiled the Pre, a phone running their new "WebOS" and aimed straight at the iPhone's weaknesses. With one of the guys behind the iMac and iPod running the show, can they pull it off again?
    posted by bonaldi at 6:23 PM PST - 108 comments

    Microsoft has just announced Songsmith. What is it? I think it is some Karaoke / Garageband / Guitar-hero like thing.

    All I do know is: The promotional ad video for it is a trainwreck.
    posted by mrzarquon at 6:20 PM PST - 194 comments

    Wonderful Nintendo art! A deviantArt user has taken action shots from NES games and placed them in real world scenes. Just a few: SMB 3, Streetfighter, and Excitebike. But be sure to check out the whole gallery.
    posted by Rudy Gerner at 5:45 PM PST - 25 comments

    The Republic of Molossia today honors His Imperial Majesty Emperor Norton I. [more inside]
    posted by phoque at 4:13 PM PST - 15 comments

    The Recently Deflowered Girl. The Right Thing to Say on Every Dubious Occasion. Full text and illustrations of an etiquette parody from 1965, illustrated by Edward Gorey. via Jezebel
    posted by peep at 3:49 PM PST - 91 comments



    Songs to Make Dogs Happy. (Or your cat, or bird, or gorilla.) I'm not saying this is a good thing, but it's certainly a....thing that one can buy. Composers have used SCIENTIFICAL STUDIES to create a CD that dogs love. They had a scientist work with them and everything. From that study they perfected tunes like "Squeaky Deaky" and "Scratch my Back". Says one of the musicians, "It's actually a bit nauseating for humans, although people do get addicted to it," said Haynes. "Especially Squeaky Deakey." Doesn't work on everydog, apparently. I can't wait for the mash-ups & remixes.
    posted by Salmonberry at 3:28 PM PST - 31 comments

    There's dancing and syrup. Also: cheerleaders and rapping. And mullets.
    posted by urbanwhaleshark at 2:39 PM PST - 30 comments

    Title This is a cable-access game show "where art critics and celebrities compete to title Mark Kostabi's paintings for cash rewards." Kostabi hosts, and is sometimes featured playing piano with a jazz combo (e.g. here, with Ornette Coleman). Here's the episode with Mason Reese and Michel Gondry as guest panelists.
    posted by not_on_display at 2:25 PM PST - 6 comments


    Track Stars: The Unseen Heros of Movie Sound (1979) 10 min., 16mm, Terry Burke and Andy Malcolm. A split screen contains on one side an action thriller while on the other side two sound effects artist keep their eyes on the playback and work their tails off. [more inside]
    posted by Herodios at 1:09 PM PST - 25 comments

    If you’ve got a shabby old suitcase and want to give it a makeover, you could always découpage it. Or disguise it as a watermelon. If it doesn't have wheels, you can add some. If you aren’t traveling much these days, you could put a synthesizer in your suitcase. Or turn it into a pet bed, or a planter. Suitcases can be used as an end table, or turned into chairs and ottomans. The pockets from old suitcases make useful additions to bulletin boards. And if you have unused purses, here are some ideas on how to repurpose them. For info on getting rid of/transforming other types of baggage, see AskMe.
    posted by orange swan at 12:24 PM PST - 16 comments

    The Book Cover Archive presents "an archive of book cover designs and designers for the purpose of appreciation and categorization". via
    posted by Rumple at 12:16 PM PST - 9 comments

    Not quite a Marvel Team-up: Obama and Spider-Man.
    posted by Fuzzy Monster at 12:14 PM PST - 34 comments

    Although the evolution of the eye is often pointed to by evolution's skeptics as evidence of design, biologists have been quick to point out evidence to the contrary. Today, Julian Partridge of Bristol University's Ecology of Vision Research Unit has brought to light evidence of a Pacific fish that has evolved biological mirrors for navigating murky water.
    posted by Pants! at 12:09 PM PST - 14 comments

    You're Going to Die II: The always entertaining astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson discusses a few of the ways the cosmos could kill you, for City Arts & Lectures. [previously]
    posted by jamaro at 12:08 PM PST - 15 comments

    Rev. Richard John Neuhaus is dead. The founder and editor of the Catholic journal First Things, (I am a subscriber), and an inveterate gossip.
    posted by parmanparman at 12:04 PM PST - 12 comments


    Want to learn more about the sordid world of international honey production and distribution? The Seattle Post-Intelligencer tells... well, not all, but enough. The first story is my favorite, but there is something to alarm everyone.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 10:51 AM PST - 34 comments


    Getting married soon? Consider having an iPod wedding. Some things can go wrong. DJ's fight back.
    posted by Xurando at 10:24 AM PST - 118 comments

    Today Boeing completed the first test flight of a commercial jet-liner using a mix of conventional jet-fuel and a fuel created from algae and the african weed jatropha. Boeing hopes that biofueled flights will be common in just three years.
    posted by Artw at 10:21 AM PST - 28 comments

    Lewis Lapham, the former editor of Harper's, is giving up his Harper's column to start a blog. There's a lot of other interesting stuff in this post. Like the fact that Lapham's Quarterly, a print literary journal Lapham founded after he left Harper's in 2006, has reached a circulation of nearly 25,000. Lapham warns the audience full of scholars against compromising their interests and simplifying their ideas for the sake of expanding readership.
    posted by Stephen Elliott at 9:47 AM PST - 18 comments

    You're going to die.
    posted by loquacious at 9:40 AM PST - 101 comments

    DIY cereal. [more inside]
    posted by CunningLinguist at 8:54 AM PST - 46 comments

    2009 marks not only the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species* but the 200th anniversary of his birth as well. To celebrate, BBC Radio 4 presents a special series of Melvyn Bragg's In Our Time exploring Darwin's life and work: Episode 1 explores Darwin's unhappy childhood, his time at Cambridge University and his failure to become a priest, episode 2 focuses on Darwin's round the world voyage on the Beagle and the objects and the ideas he bought back, episode 3 looks at the publication of Darwin's masterpiece, On the Origin of Species, and the controversy it stirred, and episode 4 is set in Down House where Darwin lived out the final years of his life and which became both family home and experiment lab. [more inside]
    posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:39 AM PST - 14 comments

    "The National Counterterrorism Center is pleased to present the 2009 edition of the Counterterrorism (CT) Calendar. This edition... contains useful information across a wide range of terrorism-related topics: terrorist groups, wanted terrorists, and technical pages on various threat-related issues" such as recognizing the effects of an anthrax infection. "The Calendar marks dates according to the Gregorian and Islamic calendars, and contains significant dates in terrorism history, as well as dates that terrorists may believe are important when planning 'commemoration-style' attacks." Conveniently available in both online multimedia format (deep link to the timeline itself), as well as a printable version (63 MB PDF). [more inside]
    posted by grouse at 7:34 AM PST - 11 comments

    Pink is still the colour where little girls are concerned, no matter where they grow up - some think propensity for pink is hardwired into girls. For a stark depiction of how many pink things a five-year-old could possibly own, a Korean photographer photographed boys and girls with their possessions arranged according to colour.
    posted by mippy at 7:28 AM PST - 116 comments

    Fan of Simon Pegg? Robert Weide? Then DON'T buy the DVD of How to Lose Friends & Alienate People (at least if you are American) [more inside]
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:08 AM PST - 39 comments

    Today is Muharram, a holy day for all muslims. Why is it holy, whele, here, take a look for yourselves.
    posted by hadjiboy at 5:01 AM PST - 11 comments

    Congress must back sex! According to Larry, "Americans can do without cars and such", but it can't do without sex...and for an extra $5 billion US, he will help Americans do who ever, I mean what ever it takes to get people using porn. However, maybe, just maybe that the decline in sales is due to the free porn access on the net. Another article about it here
    posted by Prunedish at 2:35 AM PST - 46 comments

    I really didn't want to be the one to post this, but there are riots raging in Oakland.
    posted by MaxK at 1:10 AM PST - 362 comments

    As we anxiously/eagerly/fearfully await the premiere of the long-in-coming (previously) remake (previously) of that TV Cult Classic (previously) "The Prisoner" (previously), I am delighted that AMC has put all 17 full episodes of the original Patrick McGoohan series online for you to see, unedited, uninterrupted, also not pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed or debriefed but, yes, numbered.
    posted by wendell at 12:34 AM PST - 34 comments


    January 7

    A recent series of posts on the web site of First Things magazine looks at what could be described as a reactionary moment on the part of some folk and roots musicians in Québec and around the world... and we're not talking The Goldwaters (Wikipedia). [more inside]
    posted by Jahaza at 9:52 PM PST - 10 comments


    Newsfilter: It's that time of the year again, though now it seems to be more serious. Russia stopped all gas supply to Europe via Ukraine on Wednesday, January 7, 2009. The EU depends on Russia for about a quarter of its total gas supplies, some 80% of which is pumped through Ukraine. At least seventeen countries are affected, many of them severely as Russia is their primary or only source of gas. [more inside]
    posted by b. at 8:13 PM PST - 51 comments

    If you were a fan of late-nite horror movies in Northern California during the 1970's, you likely spent Saturday nights watching Bob Wilkins, the droll, cigar-smoking host of Creature Features. An unlikely horror-show host, Wilkins' deadpan delivery and apparent disdain for the show's films (he reguarly suggested his audience change the channel) made Creature Features a show not to be missed. Bob Wilkins passed away today after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.
    posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 7:20 PM PST - 24 comments

    Mantyhose, they are all the rage. Not sure where to get a pair of your own? Look no further. Once you have obtained your new pair of mantyhose, learn how to put them on.
    posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:18 PM PST - 100 comments

    Salon has an article up which is a pretty solid summary of why marijuana is illegal.
    posted by Pope Guilty at 6:34 PM PST - 116 comments

    Welcome to Lily Dale the largest spiritualist community in the world. Just an hour south of Buffalo, NY-- it boasts an extensive summer program of lectures, workshops as well as the world’s most powerful mediums. Stop by for a reading, hunt for ghosts and see the house where the Fox Sisters first got started. [more inside]
    posted by flipyourwig at 5:59 PM PST - 23 comments

    "So I found out yesterday that the soundstage for "The Wire" still existed. I wasted no time in visiting it and was there almost less than 24 hours [sic]. It's one of my favorite TV shows ever and I had to see this before everyone ruined it. The building is also scheduled for demolition and they are going to build a super market on it." NOTE: LINK CONTAINS SPOILERS [more inside]
    posted by dersins at 4:19 PM PST - 79 comments

    R. Stevie Moore likes to stay home and play himself some music. Having done so for over 42 years--that's over 2000 songs and 400 albums--he has become the undisputed grandfather of do-it-yourself psychedelic pop and punk. Tagged for decades as underground, an outsider and criminally ignored local genius, R. Stevie is now exploiting and exploding that myth, no short thanks to the internets. Here's where he has scattered his recordings; here are two places where he keeps his home-made videos. WFMU archives his pioneering appearances on their great radio station from 1978-1998. Finally, here are two complete albums' worth of his Greatest "Hits": Hobbies Galore (1973-2005) and Tra La La Phooey (1959-2003). Long Live R. Stevie!
    posted by not_on_display at 2:10 PM PST - 26 comments

    Proving that humor can be found in any tragedy, conservative website PajamasTV has named "Joe the Plumber" its "war correspondent" in Israel. Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher, who claimed that a vote for Obama was a vote for the death of Israel, has recently been writing an "insider" book critical of John McCain's campaign for the presidency.
    posted by orthogonality at 1:39 PM PST - 114 comments

    Flickr stream. "...[T]he 5′X10′ diorama is comprised of 60,000 Lego bricks. It cost creator Mark Borlase about $3,000 and four years of construction time to complete." Take note of his custom LEGO pieces. [via]
    posted by deborah at 12:31 PM PST - 46 comments

    RIP 1UP & EGM. [more inside]
    posted by juv3nal at 12:16 PM PST - 63 comments

    Enjoy the Travel Film Archive on YouTube. They have tons of videos from the 1900s through to the 1970s. For example, you can learn about that wonderful island South of India, Ceylon.
    posted by chunking express at 11:09 AM PST - 13 comments


    A Loft Filled with Dirt, the Man Who's Cared for it for 19 Years is a short film about Bill Dilworth, who has maintained Walter De Maria's installation, The New York Earth Room for the past 19 years. One of three "Earth Room" pieces De Maria made in the 1960's and 70's, the NY project is the only one still in existence.
    posted by R. Mutt at 10:42 AM PST - 26 comments

    The Washing Machine That Ate My Sari: Mistakes in Cross-Cultural Design is a fascinating article about making cross-culturally sensitive products for the Indian market. The title refers to how the Whirlpool company's introduction of the World Washer into India proved to be a financial disaster, because a millimeter gap between the washer's agitator and its drum ended up shredding most traditional Indian clothing. You can also read about how the Indian preference for warm milk at breakfast turned Kellogg's corn flakes into a big flop in India.
    posted by jonp72 at 10:03 AM PST - 43 comments

    I know how Mefi loves bacon. Here's a tasty-looking appetizer for all you crafty types who want to combine your love of pork with your weaving skills.
    posted by vytae at 9:01 AM PST - 68 comments

    Wayne Martin Belger is an artist who creates pinhole cameras out of some unusual materials... like human skulls, for example.
    posted by blaneyphoto at 8:58 AM PST - 23 comments

    Space elevator just broke? Wondering what's going to happen? Wonder no more!
    posted by Lord_Pall at 8:53 AM PST - 60 comments

    Scientists at the Auckland Museum will be performing a necropsy of a great white Shark between 11am and 1pm New Zealand time on Thursday. Though they will be examining the contents of its gut, they will also, among other things, look at its sex organs (female) and jaw. The necropsy will be viewable on the web from 2pm NZ time (when's that?). [more inside]
    posted by nthdegx at 8:44 AM PST - 18 comments

    A perfect space storm, which happens about every century, like the one that occurred in 1859, could cause "catastrophic social and economic disruptions", according to a new study by the National Academy of Sciences on behalf of NASA. "Potable water distribution affected within several hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; immediate or eventual loss of heating/air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, transportation, fuel resupply and so on," the report states. Outages could take months to fix, the researchers say. Banks might close, and trade with other countries might halt. The next peak in solar activity is expected around 2012.
    posted by stbalbach at 8:31 AM PST - 61 comments

    “You can’t roll a joint on an iPod” or how the iPod killed the music industry. First the music biz overlooked the computer CD rom when they put copy control on cd burners. Then they eliminated the single. Shortly after that "mp3" replaced "sex" as the most popular search term. Apple has become the largest music seller largely against the wishes of the music biz, but 99 cents beats free. Yesterday Apple announced they were eliminating DRM. The questions remains, who needs Universal Music Group, Sony BMG, Warner Music Group, and EMI, does Apple? When is Apple just going to replace them? There were rumors a year ago that they would launch a record label with Jay-Z but that does not appear to have come to fruition.
    posted by caddis at 8:18 AM PST - 105 comments

    Maximum Fraud: Ramalinga Raju, the Chairman of India's fourth largest exporter of IT services, Satyam Computer Services has admitted to falsifying records of at least five thousand crore rupees. Indian regulators are horrified, competitors shocked, chaos has ensued. [more inside]
    posted by the cydonian at 7:57 AM PST - 22 comments

    In these difficult economic times, what's a museum to do? Is an art collection a financial asset or a trust to be held in perpetuity? These questions are being raised by The National Academy in New York's recent sale (or "deaccessioning" in museum lingo) of two important paintings for $15 million to shore up its finances, first reported by Lee Rosenbaum's ArtsJournal blog. The museum's director told The New York Times that it was the only way for the 183-year-old academy, which runs a chronic operating deficit, to survive. The Association of Art Museum Directors censured the Academy and called on its members to suspend any loans of art to the institution. New York lawyer Donn Zaretzky's ArtLaw Blog has become ground zero for a fascinating debate involving art critics, museum directors, financial bloggers and others.
    posted by up in the old hotel at 7:00 AM PST - 40 comments

    Every year the Strategy Team at Saxo Bank, a Danish virtual bank, publishes a list of ten black swan class market events. Some of the more dramatic possibilities Saxo advance for 2009: crude trading down to $25 a barrel causing severe social unrest in Iran, the S&P 500 falling to 500, Chinese GDP approaching zero and several member states dropping the Euro. The complete 2009 list is here and for completeness their 2008 [ .pdf ] , 2007 [ .pdf ] and 2006 lists [ .pdf ] are also available. [more inside]
    posted by Mutant at 2:13 AM PST - 32 comments

    January 6


    A collection of sketches drawn on an iPhone using only fingers, by Stef Kardos, an art director for Disney. Rough, jewel-bright, entrancing, could induce further desire for an iPhone.
    posted by po at 11:34 PM PST - 34 comments

    How to blog, or counter-blog, for the US Air force, in handy flow chart form.
    posted by Artw at 10:44 PM PST - 40 comments

    The computer generated first-down line in American football is something we take for granted these days. However, the logistics required to make this work is pretty complex. At the very least, have you considered this: if it's computer generated on a moving image, how do they draw it under the people running around on the field, and not over them? And it gets a bit more complicated than this. "Here are some of the problems that have to be solved in order for this system to work: [more inside]
    posted by SpacemanStix at 9:50 PM PST - 52 comments

    Florian Schneider quits Kraftwerk. Posted here on 21 November but just making the news rounds now. Andy Gill remembers the Lennon and McCartney of Electropop. 39 years ago, it started like this.
    posted by grounded at 9:26 PM PST - 50 comments

    Tomas Schneider makes sculptures using basically ceramic, fur, mixed media, acrylic, wood and light.
    posted by Sailormom at 9:17 PM PST - 1 comments

    Large Commuter Collider The Ōhashi Junction is rad.

    Looking for all intents and purposes like a modern-day Coliseum, the Ōhashi Junction will be about the same size as the National Olympic Stadium when complete. It's really a marvel of modern engineering, and for those lucky enough to be in Tokyo, you can actually go walking through it for a limited time.

    I don't know why people don't fetishize junctions more.

    (I apologize for all the Japanese, just jump to the photos)
    posted by odasaku at 9:17 PM PST - 16 comments

    Virtually all the predictions about the death of old media have assumed a comfortingly long time frame for the end of print—the moment when, amid a panoply of flashing lights, press conferences, and elegiac reminiscences, the newspaper presses stop rolling and news goes entirely digital. Most of these scenarios assume a gradual crossing-over, almost like the migration of dunes, as behaviors change, paradigms shift, and the digital future heaves fully into view. But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a hurricane comes along and obliterates the dunes entirely? Specifically, what if The New York Times goes out of business—like, this May? [more inside]
    posted by netbros at 9:11 PM PST - 62 comments

    You know the trouble with Historically-Based Movies? Unless you're an uneducated, ignorant moran, you know how they're gonna end. At least that's the argument of this Premiere article on 10 Movie Endings Spoiled By History. Of course there are ways to avoid that problem, as Cracked.com's (yeah, them) 11 Movies Saved by Historical Inaccuracy declares. Books have been written about Historical Movies' accuracy or inaccuracy, and everybody has an opinion on what the Best Historical Movies are, but if you want your History purely entertaining, there's only one mandog you can count on: here are Mr. Peabody, Sherman and the original Wayback Machine dropping in on Cristopher Columbus, Pancho Villa and Francisco Pizarro and the Incas (sorry, no USA History episodes on YouTube). [more inside]
    posted by wendell at 7:44 PM PST - 36 comments

    A lot of people have nightmares about showing up to school or work naked. But hey, how about this one? Brrrrrrrrr. (nsfw)
    posted by miss lynnster at 6:30 PM PST - 77 comments

    The Great Chinese Art Revolution is a documentary exploring how Chinese art has become a sought-after commodity on the international market. Suppressed and co-opted by Mao, art in China was, for a long time, a subversive expression of discontent, starting with the Star(s) Group in 1979 and continuing with the "cynical realism" of the exiled artists of the 90s. [more inside]
    posted by chuckdarwin at 5:59 PM PST - 5 comments

    What if Akon (the rapper) was from the Middle East? How about 50 Cent? Maybe Britney, The Pussycat Dolls or Shakira?
    posted by Hands of Manos at 5:22 PM PST - 28 comments

    Who would have known that that the death of DRM would come in the form of a press release? While MP3 stores are nothing new, with iTunes moving to a 100% DRM free catalog by the 31st of March this now cements a de facto standard of DRM free music in the marketplace. As a side effect it's now a near certainty that AAC will become the successor of MP3.
    posted by Talez at 4:15 PM PST - 135 comments

    Photographer Jeffrey Silverthorne takes beautiful, quiet photos of disquieting subject matter. His early works included two series on morgues and transvestites. [nsfw, via]
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:40 PM PST - 14 comments

    We had a discussion a couple months ago about VW stock. Betting against VW cost Adolf Merckle hundreds of millions of dollars last year and eventually destroyed his business empire. Yesterday, it cost him his life.
    posted by joaquim at 3:20 PM PST - 64 comments

    History of the Internet is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from time-sharing to filesharing, from Arpanet to Internet.
    posted by Surfin' Bird at 3:07 PM PST - 17 comments

    Deep in the Heart of Jersey you'll find "Uncle Floyd" Vivino, roaming the streets of various towns and cities, kibbitzing with the locals. In Belleville. Nutley. Bloomfield Avenue and Ferry Street in Newark. Kearny. Cliffside Park. Main Street, Paterson. An abandoned lot in Paterson. What, you never heard of Uncle Floyd? [more inside]
    posted by not_on_display at 2:01 PM PST - 47 comments

    "Great Chefs is the oldest cooking/travel series on television and cable, and among the largest. The programs are seen around the world, and now they're available to you here." 80 videos, 3 chefs/recipes per episode. Ballottine of Sole Sauce Emeraude -- Chef Andre Soltner, Lutece l Corn Flan w/Smoked Salmon -- Chef David Burke, Park Avenue Cafe l Sweet and Sour Quail Peruvian Style -- Chef Stan Frankenthaler, East Coast Grill. (recipes from the entire series available for pdf download here)
    posted by vronsky at 2:00 PM PST - 14 comments

    Ron Asheton, influential guitarist and bassist for The Stooges and Destroy All Monsters, has passed away at age 60.
    posted by Dr-Baa at 11:17 AM PST - 58 comments


    In 1996 a man known only as "Bugs" rocked the cryptozoology world with the claim that during the 1970s he was part of a hunting party in the Texas panhandle that shot, killed & buried two adult Bigfoots. Bugs turned over a copy of his map to radio talk show host Art Bell & was never heard from again, despite pleas to step forward from prominent members of the Bigfoot community. All that changed a few days ago when somebody recognized Bugs's voice while listening to political muckraker Ed Hale's Internet radio show. Ed's current cause is uncovering documentary evidence that President-Elect Barack Obama is not a "natural born citizen" and therefore is ineligible for office. Currently Ed claims to be in possession of Obama's parents' divorce decree. Although Ed has not made an official comment on the matter, a commenter claiming to be Ed has posted a short defense that admits he was the infamous "Bugs". (via)
    posted by scalefree at 10:03 AM PST - 100 comments

    On December 4, 2008, at NYC's Symphony Space, NPR's Intelligence Squared program conducted an Oxford-style debate. As their future debate schedules in Australia, England, and America show, the propositions of such debates are routinely phrased strongly to provoke debate, and this was no exception. The motion that was put forward was: "Resolved, that Bush 43 is the worst President of the last 50 years." [mp3, 23 MB, 50 min.] What lifts this above the reams of media and multimedia already spent on this issue is that, moderated by ABC's John Donvan, this premise was debated — under formal debate guidelines — by Jacob Weisberg, Sir Simon Jenkins, Bill Kristol, and ... Karl Rove. [more inside]
    posted by WCityMike at 9:34 AM PST - 28 comments

    A nice photogallery, with descriptions, illustrating the progress of Moore's Law from a 1958 single-transistor Texas Instruments integrated circuit to the anticipated 2009 AMD Phenom II, with 758,000,000 transistors.
    posted by beagle at 9:15 AM PST - 14 comments

    A NEW FACEBOOK CONTROVERSY A NEW FACEBOOK CONTROVERSY has developed, this time over photos of women breastfeeding their babies. But Facebook is standing firm.. The protesters have also formed a Facebook group, of course, Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene. It's not the first controversy at the social networking site and this blog documents activities, rumors and news about Facebook. [more inside]
    posted by etaoin at 9:06 AM PST - 242 comments

    Each December, the United States National Film Preservation Board chooses up to 25 films they deem worthy of taking special action to preserve in the Library of Congress. It’s a new year, and that means 25 more films are welcomed in the vault of the National Film Registry. Three of the 2008 picks can be viewed on Internet Archive as well as nearly 40 picks from years past.
    posted by stbalbach at 7:46 AM PST - 57 comments

    I like old bicycles. High-wheelers, choppers, BMX bikes, mountain bikes and old ten-speeds. Especially personal bikes from personal collections. I like 'em all. Also Queen videos. (Previously.)
    posted by box at 7:36 AM PST - 20 comments

    If you've ever enjoyed Steve Reich's Different Trains, John Adams' Nixon in China or Harry Partch's The Bewitched, you probably have Betty Freeman to thank. Freeman supported the works of such composers as Philip Glass, John Cage and Witold Lutoslawski (and many, many more), often early in their careers. She was a photographer herself, and the subject of David Hockney's Beverly Hills Housewife. Freeman passed away at age 87.
    posted by NemesisVex at 7:01 AM PST - 10 comments

    A Guardian interview with Lynndie England (of Abu Ghraib notoriety).
    posted by nthdegx at 6:26 AM PST - 111 comments

    A new trojan is on the loose. It doesn't install any harmful adware/spyware, but does block both mininova and the Pirate Bay.
    posted by azarbayejani at 6:06 AM PST - 26 comments

    The historic inauguration of President-Elect Barack Obama is two weeks away, and vendors are making a mint selling memorabilia. But be warned: the commemorative coins you see being advertised are not official. A relatively new $1 coin series does feature US presidents in chronological order (previously), but getting Americans to use $1 coins hasn't been easy. Remember Susan B. Anthony, Columbus and Sacagawea? Native American $1 coins will be offered in tandem with the presidential series; if they continue to be issued, Obama's official $1 coin should be available in 2017.
    posted by woodway at 6:04 AM PST - 50 comments

    Is the death of Livejournal immanent? After being bought by a company in Russia just over a year ago, Livejournal may be on the rocks. They've just announced big , big layoff of tech folks at Livejournal. allegedly with no severance for or warning to the employees. [more inside]
    posted by rmd1023 at 5:50 AM PST - 64 comments

    Cats and noodles - what's not to like? Neko Rahmen has both, featuring Taishou, a cat who runs a ramen shop. Neko Rahmen was originally a comic strip, then a series of short animes (English-subtitled 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13), and now there's a live-action movie, featuring a cameo by a famous cat.
    posted by needled at 5:38 AM PST - 3 comments

    After a year of research spanning four continents and interviews with dozens of people across the internet, Dancing Ink Productions will release their findings from the Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds project on Thursday, January 29.
    posted by gman at 3:28 AM PST - 2 comments


    January 5

    Kure Kure Takora was a Toho produced, short form children's television show from the Japan in the early 1970's. Meet the Cast: Kure Kure Takora, aka Gimme Gimme Octopus; his closest friend, the coin vomiting squash Chonbo; jellyfish bully Tororo; Monro, the sexy walrus who gets around; Debura,the grizzled and world-weary badger; Biragon, lazy trust-fund iguana; and last but not least, the picked on, Sea Cucumber Gang. An exhaustive listing of videos for all 220 episodes, most with plot breakdowns. [more inside]
    posted by Lord_Pall at 11:35 PM PST - 18 comments

    Enter some text and see it written in all the fonts installed on your system
    posted by slater at 9:32 PM PST - 46 comments

    Bought a video game second hand and found it doesn’t have a manual? Or have you been thinking about that great manual that came with that copy of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past you owned years ago and wouldn't mind taking a look through it again? Well, help is at hand! Vimm offers you heaps of free pdf manuals from retro systems as old as the Atari 2600 and as recent as the N64! Meanwhile Meekeo does much the same, although it mostly looks after current generation systems (including the PC) only. Finally, if you own a Nintendo Wii, DS, Gamecube or Gameboy Advance, Nintendo is offering up full colour pdfs of games they publish(ed) for these systems, as well as manuals for some of their older games.
    posted by Effigy2000 at 9:24 PM PST - 15 comments

    Do you have something to say, but never had the chance to? Founded in late 1997 and originally published August 15th, 1998, So There has stood as a testament to your daily lives for over five years.
    posted by cjorgensen at 8:03 PM PST - 26 comments

    Paul and Storm have been discussed on MetaFilter before. Now they're trying to determine who should be named President Obama's Secretary of Geek Affairs. Vote in the Lobot bracket, and check out the results for the Jor-El, Bombadil, and Do'Urden regions.
    posted by EarBucket at 7:18 PM PST - 4 comments

    OMG! It's THE NEW MACBOOK WHEEL! Squeeee!
    posted by miss lynnster at 6:20 PM PST - 81 comments

    You loved David Lee Roth singing Running With the Devil unaccompanied, amirite? Well, then you're going to TOTALLY love the David Lee Roth Runnin' With the Devil Soundboard.
    posted by The Straightener at 5:24 PM PST - 42 comments


    This is the story of Lylah Clare. Overnight, she became a star. Over many nights, she became a legend. [more inside]
    posted by Joe Beese at 2:55 PM PST - 16 comments

    HIV/AIDS denialist Christine Maggiore has died. [more inside]
    posted by lalex at 2:52 PM PST - 206 comments

    What if The Huffington Post isn't worth $200 million, but say $2 million? There's a lot to love in this article, including key Nick Denton quotes on the Huffington Post's valuation.
    posted by Stephen Elliott at 2:44 PM PST - 41 comments

    Baby Elephants Eat Christmas Trees : in Germany, baby Elephants are put to work eating five fir trees apiece each day. [more inside]
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:43 PM PST - 26 comments

    A year and a half ago, a professor of underwater archeology at Northwestern Michigan University discovered a pattern of stones 40 feet below the waters of Lake Michigan. The story has been surprisingly under-reported, given that the Stonehenge-like structure is potentially estimated to be 10,000 years old. One of the stones even appears to have a mastodon carved on it.
    posted by jon_hansen at 1:42 PM PST - 42 comments


    Live from the Pink Couch: Punks, Girls, Boys, Warriors, Witches, Kids, Comptrollers, and your new favorite band Best Friends Forever! (boyzone comment flamewar included) [more inside]
    posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:16 PM PST - 16 comments

    Early on New Year's Day, Oscar Grant was involved in a scuffle with an older man he hadn't previously met. The fighting continued and when the train reached Fruitvale, BART police stopped the fight and took Grant and several others into custody. The officers were armed with stun guns as well as sidearms. Three BART officers then proceed to place Grant face down to handcuff him, then one of them stands up, draws his weapon and shoots him in the back. Graphic video of the incident.
    posted by Mr_Zero at 11:23 AM PST - 367 comments

    "Church was not part of my family life, and I don't think I ever expected to find myself being a Christian or, as I used to think of it, a 'religious nut.'" Sara Miles grew up an atheist. One day she went into a church, took communion and had a moment with God. She's now a Christian that has made it her mission in life to feed the homeless. She's started a food pantry in the slums of San Francisco that feeds over 450 hungry families every week. She's also a lesbian who is outspoken for gay marriage and considers herself a liberal but doesn't really care for liberal guilt.
    posted by Hands of Manos at 11:11 AM PST - 63 comments

    The Great British Sandwich is a 'collaborative web project' to build the world's tallest sandwich, one ingredient at a time. It began picking up inedible layers early (20th from the bottom is Cat Hair, 38th is an iPhone 3G) and is now almostover 400 layers including the Higgs Boson, Child's Tears and All the Turtles. via the Ridiculant
    posted by wendell at 10:56 AM PST - 19 comments

    Snarky indeed: An interesting review of New Yorker magazine writer David Denby's book, Snark: It’s Mean, It’s Personal, and It’s Ruining Our Conversation, from New York Magazine. MeFites might feel right at home.
    posted by Seekerofsplendor at 10:43 AM PST - 53 comments

    Story From North America. A boy learns to appreciate life in all its forms via song.
    posted by ludwig_van at 10:33 AM PST - 8 comments

    2008 Cliopatria Awards announced. These awards are given for the best History Blogs. Winners this year include: The Edge of the American West (best group blog), Wynken de Worde (best new blog), and Northwest History ( best individual blog) by mefi's own LarryC. [more inside]
    posted by marxchivist at 9:26 AM PST - 7 comments

    New Yorker fiction 2008. Annotated list of short fiction from the past year. "As perhaps the most high-profile venue for short fiction in the world, taking stock of the New Yorker's year in fiction is a worthwhile exercise for writers and readers alike."
    posted by stbalbach at 7:38 AM PST - 24 comments

    An escaped beaver has been felling trees in Devon. The large (six-stone) male escaped an animal sanctuary along with two females when an electric fence was shorted by flooding. His owner thinks he went in search of a mate."We've got traps being made up at the moment," he said. "Using the scent from one of the female beavers, we'll be able to catch the male beaver fairly quickly." [more inside]
    posted by chuckdarwin at 7:10 AM PST - 39 comments

    Though you'd think it's as old as humanity itself, Murphy's Law is only just turning sixty this year. Happy 60th, Murph!
    posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:20 AM PST - 38 comments

    The Princeton Shahnama Project is an "archive of book paintings--commonly known as Persian Miniatures--that were created to illustrate scenes from the Persian national epic, the Shahnama (the Book of Kings). The Shahnama is a poem of some 50,000 couplets that was composed by Abu'l Qasim Firdausi over a period of several decades in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries. The core of this archive is a fund of 277 illustrations from five illustrated manuscripts of the Shahnama that are housed in Princeton University's Firestone Library." The site also has the complete Shahnama in the Warner & Warner translation but here's another translation by Helen Zimmern [more inside]
    posted by Kattullus at 2:26 AM PST - 5 comments

    A British parody of an Americanized and kid-sanitized edit of an animated Japanese show based on a children's collectible card game: Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series. [more inside]
    posted by Scattercat at 1:02 AM PST - 13 comments

    The End of the Financial World as We Know It. "We have a brief chance to cure ourselves. But first we need to ask: of what?" How to Repair a Broken Financial World. "There are obvious changes in the financial system to be made, to prevent some version of what has happened from happening all over again."
    posted by homunculus at 12:12 AM PST - 48 comments

    What was so shameful and embarrassing to me, an American journalist whose own Moscow-based newspaper, The eXile, had just been driven out of existence [previously] by these same Kremlin bastards, is that Sasha was rightly frustrated. A Kremlin minder right and the Western journalists wrong? What has this world come to when the Kremlin has a better grasp of the truth than the free Western media?
    How to screw up a war story: The New York Times at work
    posted by Anything at 12:04 AM PST - 32 comments

    January 4

    Kaiju Shakedown points us to the trailer of Ramen Girl, starring Brittany Murphy as a American who decides to learn how to make the perfect bowl of ramen noodles (what?!?!) after she is dumped by her boyfriend in Tokyo. Tampopo this isn't. [more inside]
    posted by gen at 11:38 PM PST - 73 comments

    You and Your Research was a talk given by Richard Hamming in 1986. Read it if you have an interest in doing first-class work.
    posted by parudox at 7:23 PM PST - 24 comments

    When did this ball go so wrong? As thousands of people get out their best clothes, spring for pricey tickets and head to DC for a fairy tale night of dancing at one of the 10 official Inaugural Balls, the Washington Post takes an amusing look at the decline of the once-glamorous event, which has now become a hideous, tacky ordeal complete with coat check riots, box wine (at the cash bar!) and phoned-in cameos by the exhausted First Couple. If you must go, here's some sage fashion advice. If you ignore wise counsel not to buy a fancy dress, make sure to register it to avoid the dreaded dress dupe.
    posted by CunningLinguist at 6:37 PM PST - 33 comments

    So, you have some old books lying around you don’t read and that you're pretty sure no one else will ever read because they have pages missing or they’re hopelessly outdated technical manuals or they never should have been published in the first place. What to do? As always, crafting is an option. You can make a wrist cuff, or a purse. Book covers can be made into clocks, or photo frames, or photo and card stands. They can become CD and DVD cases, or a hiding place for valuables or necessary contraband, Shawshank Redemption-style. [more inside]
    posted by orange swan at 4:57 PM PST - 20 comments

    Professor Mills Kelly of George Mason University had his History 389 class spend the fall semester on a class project about the intriguing figure of Edward Owens, the "Last American Pirate". They blogged about their research, made videos for YouTube, and gave Owens a Wikipedia entry. The story even got some media attention. There was just one problem: History 389 was a class on historical hoaxes, and Edward Owens was their fictional creation. [more inside]
    posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:12 PM PST - 47 comments

    Have we ever been more emotionally volatile, more in thrall to our sensations than now? We had become used to viewing all our neuroses as crises; now a genuine crisis was upon us, it was a cataclysm. Atheist or believer, we have in the last decade been primed for an end-time of sorts, with a stock of latent fears ready and waiting. Suddenly, all of those fears had an outlet.
    Tim Adams contemplates the new Age of Anxiety.
    posted by Sonny Jim at 3:07 PM PST - 28 comments


    Viewing the Penanggalan of Malaysian folklore usually takes intestinal fortitude [NSFW], but there are also emotional, wistful, girlish, and playful depictions of this monstrous creature. (Previously)
    posted by benzenedream at 10:22 AM PST - 30 comments

    A New York Times investigative report on the case against alleged anthrax terrorist Bruce Ivins: "[U]nless new evidence were to surface, the enormous public investment in the case would appear to have yielded nothing more persuasive than a strong hunch, based on a pattern of damning circumstances, that Dr. Ivins was the perpetrator." [more inside]
    posted by availablelight at 9:44 AM PST - 84 comments

    An Awesome Book : About the power of dreams. Ostensibly "for children." [more inside]
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:29 AM PST - 63 comments

    Pyrophones are organs where the notes are sounded via explosions or other forms of combustion. Often beautiful just to look at, they also make otherwordly noises (open up all these links at once for a real wake-up). Unlike other fire-based instruments, they can even play recognizeable melodies. Here's how to make one. They've become quite popular at events (7 MB video, more videos) like Burning Man, but they've been around since the 17-1800's. If you're new to experimental instruments, a read/listen through Gravikords, Whirlies and Pyrophones should be your next stop. Related: chemical harmonica, burning harmonica, singing tubes. [via & prev.]
    posted by jessamyn at 7:55 AM PST - 29 comments

    Brown Dyed Hotel is one of those no-instructions-given-figure-it-out-for-yourself games.
    posted by alby at 5:44 AM PST - 33 comments

    It's easy to take for granted in today's data-drenched world. But time was, if you wanted to see Doctor Who and you had the misfortune of being an American. You have very few options, you could hope to connect to someone across the world via a BBS once the 80's rolled around and FidoNet mail someone who may be able and/or willing to send you NTSC VHS copies from their own collection, taking the generational hit in quality as penance for your copyright crime. Or you could phone your local PBS station and beg them to show the Tom Baker era episodes that proved popular with the more imaginative kids (or poor kids, depending on whether or not you had CATV) . [more inside]
    posted by mediocre at 5:14 AM PST - 64 comments

    So you've spent the holidays playing games, but now you have to be back at work. How to get your gaming fix during commutes and lunch-hours, whilst keeping up with that resolution to Learn Something New this year? Well, you could make a Sack-Boy. You can keep your portable games device warm with a Zelda cosy. You can knit up a Pacman scarf or a Space Invaders bag or socks if you're feeling retro. Or you can make a pocket ninja, an invincibility star to get you through the afternoon, a maqgnetic Katamari ball to spring-clean that desk, or a friendly companion cube. (and if you're too cack-handed to knit, you can sew a friendly cube with the pattern here and tutorial here!)
    posted by mippy at 2:59 AM PST - 13 comments

    If you can type, you can make movies. A website that allows users to create animated movies using text-to-speech scripts and a surprisingly versatile selection of characters, voices, actions, camera shots, etc.
    posted by Balonious Assault at 12:53 AM PST - 42 comments

    The Village Voice and IndieWire have both put out their dueling film critic's polls this year, with Wall-E and Flight of the Red Balloon topping the lists, respectively. [Previously] [more inside]
    posted by Weebot at 12:21 AM PST - 16 comments

    January 3



    The Internet Bird Collection has over 28000 videos of birds from all over the world. The brain-child of Josep del Hoyo (who also started the Handbook of the Birds of the World) it contains footage of more than half of all the bird species in the world, which number around 10000. Just browsing randomly I found such charming clips as a pair of gang gang cockatoos, a pair of preening and feeding Siberian cranes, a hoatzin displaying, Temnick's tragopan displaying, Kerguelen petrel swooping between waves, green hermit feeding on heliconia flowers, in flight, a pair of hamerkops mating display and American avocets mating. Or you can just go look up your favorite bird species and see if they have videos of it. Happily they had plenty of videos of my favorite bird, sterna paradisaea, the arctic tern, and I like this one best. Each bird has taxonomic and distribution information.
    posted by Kattullus at 8:01 PM PST - 25 comments

    JournalSpace: R.I.P. [Sub-Titled: When is the last time you tested your backups?]
    posted by GatorDavid at 6:13 PM PST - 70 comments

    Some videos: In 1985, Tipper Gore's PMRC released a list they called the "Filthy Fifteen," detailing what they believed to be the fifteen most objectionable songs of the time, and the reason they felt each song should be censored... [more inside]
    posted by the_bone at 4:51 PM PST - 120 comments

    The 25 best comics covers of 2008 - from Robot 6, the new home of the old blog@Newsarama team. [more inside]
    posted by Artw at 4:09 PM PST - 21 comments

    Richard Feynman Fan. YouTube playlists. [Previously.]
    posted by McLir at 1:46 PM PST - 10 comments


    Love Thy Neighbor: Why Have We Become So Suspicious Of Kindness? Most people, as they grow up now, secretly believe that kindness is a virtue of losers. But agreeing to talk about winners and losers is part and parcel of the phobic avoidance, the contemporary terror, of kindness. Because one of the things the enemies of kindness never ask themselves - and this is now an enemy within all of us - is why we feel it at all. Why are we ever, in any way, moved to be kind to other people, not to mention to ourselves? Why does kindness matter to us?
    posted by jason's_planet at 12:54 PM PST - 71 comments


    The Eleventh Doctor Who was been announced. Matt who?
    posted by codswallop at 10:09 AM PST - 153 comments

    J. Tithonus Pednaud herein presents for your edification and enlightenment a curious collection of human marvels. You may call them oddities, freaks or monstrosities—whatever you will—but I call them incredible, persevering, resourceful and marvelous human beings. I chronicle their inspirational stories of triumph over nature, fate and the judgment of man. [Previously seen here. See also.]
    posted by parudox at 9:52 AM PST - 9 comments

    I am a Palestinian refugee; my parents are refugees too, as well as my grandparents. I have been raised in a place called a refugee camp. With Israel still banning foreign Journalists from Gaza; read some of the Blogs from people inside or with friends and relatives inside the war zone. Then there is The electronic Intifada.
    posted by adamvasco at 9:38 AM PST - 223 comments

    A small collection of special programs for system administration, written at a level suitable for senior admins. [more inside]
    posted by 31d1 at 2:18 AM PST - 37 comments

    Google Android is almost ready to run on netbooks.
    posted by Dipsomaniac at 1:30 AM PST - 28 comments

    January 2

    Kurt Kuenne is a filmmaker and composer. His light hearted, modern fairy tales have a strange continuity to them. Validation is the story of how free parking can change your life. Rent-A-Person is a musical about restroom attendants and Slow is about the power of travel. But Kurt's work isn't just fairy tales. [more inside]
    posted by Lord_Pall at 11:21 PM PST - 7 comments

    "When Mr. von Trapp finally returned to take over from his father, Johannes, he had had quite a decade: teaching skiing in Aspen, modeling for Ralph Lauren, surfing in Chile and even making People magazine’s America’s Top 50 Bachelors list in 2001. Recently, he sat in a dark office at the Trapp Family Lodge, the inn his grandmother started, trying to decide what to do with some old curtains..."

    - the legacy of the Von Trapp family, made famous (but not rich) by The Sound of Music, now with less singing at the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont. [more inside]
    posted by crossoverman at 7:40 PM PST - 38 comments

    My Day Yesterday. A Flickr set of short (under 90 seconds) videos which describe... a person's day. The instructions, as outlined by Garrett Murray, who started the group with this video: "Shoot video throughout a day in your life, then put it together and upload it the next day. Don't add any music or sound effects, just use what the camera recorded." Some favourites: Delphine Gilbert in Cordoba, Dean Allen in France, and Piotr/presentday in Florence.
    posted by jokeefe at 6:41 PM PST - 25 comments

    Of all the offshoots of the "Stuff White People Like" meme, my favorite is Stuff Journalists Like. From Free Food to Press Passes to Exclusives, this blog is covering everything in the ink-stained-wretch's lifestyle, including some things they really just barely tolerate. For a more serious look at the Journalistic Profession during this time of Transition/Crisis/Insanity, there's always Jay Rosen, whose PressThink blog has been previously seen here and is getting more attention than ever via (shudder) Twitter. Or, for something more in-between... 10,000 Words uses a bright, shiny bunch of tag clouds, maps and other visual aids (plus fun with typography) to tell the journos how it should be done while doing it.
    posted by wendell at 5:38 PM PST - 20 comments

    The History of Rome A breezily-told, yet surprisingly thorough podcast covering the entire history of Rome from Aeneas onward. 15 minute episodes, updated weekly, he's currently up to the Catiline Conspiracy of 62BC.
    posted by empath at 3:01 PM PST - 35 comments

    "When Harold Carr's nephews and nieces inherited a dusty old lock-up garage from their eccentric uncle their expectations were low. But when they opened the doors of the car collector's Tyneside [England] garage they discovered what may prove to be a life-changing inheritance."* Inside they found a rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante. Having sat hidden, gathering dust for over 50 years, the classic car -- of which only 17 were built -- goes up for auction by Bonhams at the Retromobile auto show in Paris on February 7, 2009. [more inside]
    posted by ericb at 2:54 PM PST - 44 comments

    Offbeat Guides create personalized, up-to-date travel guides that cover over 30,000 travel destinations, using a combination of search technology and curation by both amateur and professional travel experts. [more inside]
    posted by gman at 2:30 PM PST - 30 comments

    Former Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky (re)posted Thomas Hardy's "The Darkling Thrush" to Slate. Discussion ensued, and became very lively when National Book Award winner Mark Doty observed that the poem contains an overt homage to an earlier poem by Keats. Guggenheim fellow Mark Halliday, MacArthur fellow Jim Powell and Annie Finch chime in. An opportunistic Billy Collins (also a former Poet Laureate & Guggenheim fellow) even showed up, attracted by the discussion of a "bird poem." A fascinating look at some of the finest American poets geeking out over poems that were hits before your mother was born.
    posted by eustacescrubb at 1:31 PM PST - 24 comments

    Structure Synth is an application for creating 3D structures from a set of user specified rules. It is an attempt to make a 3D version of Context Free.
    posted by signal at 12:57 PM PST - 8 comments

    The Top 10 Rightblogger Stories of 2008. Can it really have been almost two months since the U.S. presidential election? It seems like a long time ago that bloggers on the right were claiming Obama killed his grandmother and denouncing WALL-E, but this list does a pretty good job of summarizing what got them all riled up in 2008.
    posted by you just lost the game at 12:34 PM PST - 76 comments

    Peace and War in the 20th Century is an ambitious, in progress, massive assemblage of posters, photographs, propaganda, ephemera, letters, diaries, paintings, sketches, stories, letters, music and related items, from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The collection is international in scope. Some of the nodes lack content, and the navigation is a little confusing, so the jump I list some of my favourite case studies from their site. [more inside]
    posted by Rumple at 12:03 PM PST - 4 comments

    At 18 lanes and 110 metres wide, Avenida 9 de Julio in Buenos Aires, Argentina, is not only a beautiful example of urban design but is also apparently the widest major road on the planet. [more inside]
    posted by Cobalt at 9:25 AM PST - 60 comments

    Team Hoyt: The story of Dick and Rick Hoyt (Today Show SLYT) (prev)
    posted by allkindsoftime at 6:23 AM PST - 22 comments

    2009 will be a whole new year for flavor. Expect toasted sesame and root beer, Peruvian food, beer, and persimmon.
    posted by twoleftfeet at 4:02 AM PST - 88 comments

    "If you already know his name, chances are you've been doing something illegal." The Independent on aXXo, the movie pirate king.
    posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:16 AM PST - 107 comments

    JPG magazine is going out of business. An experiment in crowdsourcing, and the home of some excellent photos, the magazine and Web site are finished as of Monday, Jan. 5. [more inside]
    posted by diddlegnome at 3:00 AM PST - 34 comments

    Shouting in the datacenter - increased disk latency caused by shouting: Yelling at your computer* may cause an increase in disk latency and a decrease in performance.
    posted by loquacious at 2:15 AM PST - 42 comments

    January 1

    Walter Monheit -- The Oldest Club Kid A retiree who lives in Bensonhurst with his cat, Precious, he is known for nocturnal antics like dancing with sexy young women in clubs, and getting their phone numbers. In a world marked by status-consciousness tied to youth, physical beauty, and wealth, this elderly man of modest means is popular and respected, and some club owners admit him for free—the mark of a VIP.
    posted by jason's_planet at 9:56 PM PST - 28 comments


    Brad Pitt is no spring chicken, but it still took some work to put an 85-year-old version of his face on a child's body in his newest movie. The first step: a new markerless, wireless, uncanny-valley-clearing motion capture process, termed "volumetric cinematography" by the effects studio. [more inside]
    posted by peachfuzz at 8:58 PM PST - 49 comments

    The Sky in Motion [via rw]
    posted by kliuless at 7:43 PM PST - 19 comments

    Former US Senator Claiborne Pell (D-RI) dead at 90. You may be familiar with Pell grants.
    posted by brandz at 7:00 PM PST - 37 comments

    Fans of both Dead Space (and comic books in general), will be happy to learn that the first issue of the new comic book mini-series based on the game has been released online, in full, for free here. Not a fan of Dead Space but like comic books? There are lots of other comic books online that can be viewed for free, like stuff from DC Comics, Marvel and Image. There's also a few Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Doctor Who comics online for your viewing pleasure (in fact you can even make your own with the latter).
    posted by Effigy2000 at 5:34 PM PST - 12 comments

    So one of your resolutions was about your lifelong dream of getting into Playboy? Here's an article that has all the details you don't normally hear about. "Hef is like any normal hot-blooded American who likes pretty ladies: He took a wife or two, has four kids, and lives in a Tudor-style mansion with luscious lawns and a personal zoo. Sounds like any old family man, right?" There's a How-To included: [more inside]
    posted by P.o.B. at 4:53 PM PST - 59 comments

    A New York Times article about the debate over just what kinds of animals count as guide animals. Horses? Monkeys? Parrots? Ducks? Who gets to determine what counts as a service animal, and how? [more inside]
    posted by shaun uh at 4:44 PM PST - 16 comments

    Glass Blowing Venice Man Makes Cat (YouTube link, via)
    posted by dhruva at 4:02 PM PST - 39 comments

    Who says nothing on the Web ever goes away? Make yourself a Disposable Webpage and it'll be gone in a maximum of 90 days (plus 2 weeks for some inexplicable reason). [more inside]
    posted by wendell at 3:18 PM PST - 25 comments

    Donald Westlake is dead. This prolific novelist wrote more than 100 books and several screenplays under many names, creating one of the most memorable comic caper series and hard violent fiction under his psuedonym, Richard Stark. John Banville called Stark and Georges Simenon "two of the greatest writers of the 20th century."
    posted by ed at 1:57 PM PST - 35 comments

    Time to turn off the lights. "Cities needlessly shine billions of dollars directly into the sky each year and, as a result, a fifth of the world's population cannot see the Milky Way. Malcolm Smith explains why a dark sky has much to offer everyone." [Via]
    posted by homunculus at 1:45 PM PST - 47 comments

    Dear Israel: you picked wrong boat to mess with. Israeli patrol boats have rammed into and nearly capsized a relief vesssel sailing in international waters, bearing humanitarian medical aid to Gaza. Accompanying the international doctors and aid workers who comprised the heart of the mssion were several politicians, including former US congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, as well as several international journalists, such as Karl Penhaul of CNN and Othman Abu Battiri of Al Jazeera, who have used mobile video reporting to refute Israel's claims that the damage was somehow caused by those leading the relief mission. Shades of the USS Liberty... or Whale Wars?
    posted by markkraft at 12:13 PM PST - 375 comments

    The Polar Bear Club of Milwaukee has been going strong since 1916, with crazy folks like this carrying on the tradition of jumping into the icy waters of Lake Michigan year after year.
    posted by jon_hansen at 11:30 AM PST - 18 comments

    Leah Evans is a textile artist who maps imaginary worlds in her quilts.
    posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:31 AM PST - 14 comments

    The Academy of Achievement brings students face-to-face with the extraordinary leaders, thinkers and pioneers who have shaped our world. Through profiles, biographies, and interviews Achievers in The Arts, Business, Public Service, Science, and Sports teach us how the Academy's core values of passion, vision, preparation, courage, perseverance, and integrity can, and will, lead to success. [more inside]
    posted by netbros at 7:59 AM PST - 6 comments

    Take Me Back - The Series
    posted by Manhasset at 7:46 AM PST - 6 comments

    Start your new year by visiting (perhaps revisiting) the amazing corpus of Stephen Ratliff's Star Trek fan fiction, and you'll have nowhere to go but up. Unless you have an iron will and love of unmitigated pain, however, ignore the preceding link and proceed in the company of a few robot friends. [more inside]
    posted by Wolfdog at 6:48 AM PST - 36 comments

    The End of the World Cult is a 2007 documentary about the Lord Our Righteousness Church, aka the Strong City Cult, as they count down the days before the end of the world on October 31st 2007. The film features unusually good access and especially focuses on the creepy sexual relationship cult leader Wayne Bent has with his mostly female followers. If you watch the film and are hankering after justice, you'll be pleased to know that yesterday Bent was sentenced to eighteen years prison for sexual relations with minors. Oh, he also has a blog.
    posted by dydecker at 3:42 AM PST - 38 comments

    The sections of britishbattles.com about The First Afghan War have apparently been quoted verbatim in Al-Qaeda propaganda. Site author, amateur historian John Mackenzie, told the press "It's exactly appropriate to use the account of the first Afghan war to point out the pointlessness of the current operations and the dangers that they run of a similar disaster," [more inside]
    posted by nthdegx at 2:49 AM PST - 17 comments

    "I'm known as a strange, aloof kind of man. But all I'm doing is trying to protect myself and my work." Reclusive author J. D. Salinger today celebrates his 90th birthday. [more inside]
    posted by Knappster at 12:17 AM PST - 73 comments