January 2011 Archives

January 31

2 0 1 0 a year in reviews - This visualization renders a browsable, searchable distribution of all 2010 Pitchfork music reviews
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:19 PM PST - 26 comments

Security advisor Brian Krebs on the 'hacking' of web dating site Plenty of fish by Chris Russos.
posted by unliteral at 7:24 PM PST - 73 comments

You may not be familiar with the name Mel Birnkrant, but if you've played with toys in the last 45 years, you're probably familiar with his work. [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 7:02 PM PST - 10 comments

Short Film: Facts About Projection [SLYT]
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 6:18 PM PST - 21 comments

Stronger people are harder to kill. A 20-year study involving nearly 9000 men aged 20-80 found "Muscular strength is inversely and independently associated with death from all causes and cancer, even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other potential confounders." Food for thought when designing your next fitness program?
posted by schroedinger at 5:22 PM PST - 88 comments


Contrary to a lot of idle criticism, Bungie's Halo series of video games has a surprisingly rich backstory -- a universe complex enough to support seven bestselling novels, a wiki with over 7,000 articles, and one of the most successful ARGs in history (including a full-fledged radio drama). The series has also turned out sweeping audiovisual work, from the games' cinematic cutscenes and epic music (lots of free previews) to top-shelf anime and the Hollywood-quality short films -- ODST, Believe, Deliver Hope, Landfall -- that were made to promote the games (the latter of which, produced by Neil Blomkamp, inspired District 9). And that's apart from all the material produced by Bungie's dedicated fan base: genuinely hilarious machinima from Red vs. Blue, professional-level graphic novels (table of contents at the top), gorgeous artwork, hours of recorded dialogue, complete transcripts of hidden apocrypha, and more factual analysis, story speculation, and casual discussion than you can shake an energy sword at. But most of these pale in comparison to the latest and greatest exercise in Halo beanplating: the Svmma Canonica, a 40-page, 17,000-word formal treatise on the nature of canon in the world that Bungie built, and how it will fare once Bungie moves on and the franchise is managed by 343 Industries. Discussion over at Bungie's official site, or at decade-old fan forum Halo.Bungie.Org.
posted by Rhaomi at 4:40 PM PST - 71 comments

Milton Babbitt, the quintessential american academic composer, died Saturday. Whatever you think of his music, he was one of the most significant composers of new music in the second half of the twentieth century. [more inside]
posted by MisterMo at 3:35 PM PST - 23 comments

Hooray! It's Eyezmaze's latest GROW game, Grow Cannon.
posted by Rinku at 3:07 PM PST - 22 comments



You can't judge a book by its cover. But people do. if the 41st version of the cover of The Madonnas of Echo Park is this awful...how bad were the first 40?
posted by ecourbanist at 2:16 PM PST - 61 comments

"Conductor turns the New York subway system into an interactive string instrument. Using the MTA’s actual subway schedule, the piece begins in realtime by spawning trains which departed in the last minute, then continues accelerating through a 24 hour loop. The visuals are based on Massimo Vignelli’s 1972 diagram." [more inside]
posted by pwally at 2:05 PM PST - 13 comments

As part of ongoing quality assurance, Intel Corporation has discovered a design issue in a recently released support chip, the Intel® 6 Series, code-named Cougar Point, and has implemented a silicon fix. Intel has identified the Northbridge chipset to the new Sandy Bridge processors to have an issue that will likely require the recall of all existing motherboards. Price tag for the recall is currently estimated to be $700 million. [more inside]
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:43 PM PST - 28 comments

[SLYT] A brief video explaining the parts of the UK. This video explains the difference between Great Britain and The United Kingdom, and its various territories, and which countries form which political and/or geographical groups.
posted by marienbad at 1:31 PM PST - 60 comments

"Until about 1964 most comic books in the Middle East were in either English or French.... Then a forward-looking editor began to wonder why comic books could not be translated into Arabic." Illustrated Publications, a Beirut-based company, did just that, starting with Superman. As a reporter for "Al-Kawkab Al Yawmi" he swooped into the Middle east from distant Krypton on February 4, 1964. The mild-mannered report, Clark Kent, became Nabil Fawzi, whose name roughly translated to "Noble Victory". The text of the comics was translated, but the rest of the comic looked an awful lot like the Superman of the United States, except the covers lacked context, Superman's S logo was reversed, and some of the colors were skewed in odd ways. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:26 PM PST - 5 comments

Gun show undercover - how dangerous people get guns.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM PST - 76 comments

Team Gorilla is "a celebration of the functional athletic physique, and the effort needed to attain it." Because strong is the new skinny.
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 1:00 PM PST - 51 comments

Are you gay enough for asylum? “Judges and immigration officials are adding a new hurdle in gay asylum cases that an applicant’s homosexuality must be socially visible,” said Lori Adams, a lawyer at Human Rights First, a nonprofit group, who advises people seeking asylum based on sexuality. “The rationale is that if you don’t look obviously gay, you can go home and hide your sexuality and don’t need to be worried about being persecuted.” [more inside]
posted by anya32 at 12:54 PM PST - 33 comments

CHUD.com presents "Horror 101". [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 12:53 PM PST - 10 comments

Earlier today, Graeme Obree revealed that he is gay, attributing his struggles with mental health in the 1990s to this. "I was brought up thinking you'd be better dead than gay." [more inside]
posted by entropone at 12:33 PM PST - 15 comments

Filibustery, making the filibuster — and the proposals in the U.S. Senate to reform it — more understandable. [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 12:00 PM PST - 5 comments

Want to be a coder? Productivity-porn site Lifehacker has posted its 4.5-part "Learn to Code Nightschool Course." [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 11:43 AM PST - 47 comments

Residents of the unique town of Crestone, CO (and surrounding areas) are among the only people in the USA to have the option of a funeral pyre.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:19 AM PST - 31 comments


Cue up a kaleidoscope of House Industries techniques, substrates, disciplines and muscle memory compressed into high-definition pixels and actively matrixed through modulated electroluminescence with an audio lesson from The Bird and The Bee.
posted by chavenet at 10:33 AM PST - 3 comments



Show The Monster : "Guillermo del Toro’s quest to get amazing creatures onscreen." Video: Monsters in the Making. (Via)
posted by zarq at 7:21 AM PST - 42 comments

Wikipedia Struggles to Reduce Gender Disparities in Online Contributions Sue Gardner, the executive director of the foundation, has set a goal to raise the share of female contributors to 25 percent by 2015, but she is running up against the traditions of the computer world and an obsessive fact-loving realm that is dominated by men and, some say, uncomfortable for women. Her effort is not diversity for diversity’s sake, she says. “This is about wanting to ensure that the encyclopedia is as good as it could be."
posted by modernnomad at 6:16 AM PST - 147 comments


RIP John Barry, composer of the soundtracks of 11 James Bond films and many others including Midnight Cowboy. He won Oscars for Born Free (for best song and best score), The Lion in Winter, Out of Africa and Dances With Wolves. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:54 AM PST - 65 comments

NYT article discussing a hypothetical proposal for a temperature based tax on carbon by Canadian economist Ross McKitrick.
posted by Philosopher's Beard at 2:39 AM PST - 44 comments

Related to the previous post, but hopefully sufficiently different: referees' quotes on manuscripts submitted to Environmental Microbiology: the Best of 2010. [more inside]
posted by subdee at 1:18 AM PST - 11 comments

January 30

ZOMGscience.net. For those who think science could use more swearing. [Text is very NSFW, images are fine.] [more inside]
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:00 PM PST - 33 comments


The Martello Tower is the definitive 19th century small coastal fortification, built in large numbers around the coast of the British Isles and elsewhere between 1805 and the 1870s. Many have been lost to the sea or demolished, but some have been converted to private residences (you can even stay in this one). The most recent conversion of a Grade II listed tower, by Billings Jackson Design working with Piercy Connor Architects, has produced this very interesting modern home, set in a wetland.
posted by wilful at 8:15 PM PST - 31 comments

Adults With College Degrees in the United States, by County. Sort by available years (1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 200, 2005-2009), zoom in on counties, and sort the data by the available fields. Uses the U.S. Census Bureau as the primary data source.
posted by cashman at 7:14 PM PST - 61 comments

The Art of Memory - minimal film music art
posted by Joe Beese at 6:57 PM PST - 3 comments

This is by far the coolest collection of TV pilots, pitches, scripts, and supplementary documents I have ever seen. [more inside]
posted by cthuljew at 5:26 PM PST - 33 comments

In which our guide, Iain Sinclair, expounds upon and attempts to participate in the Transport for London/Barclays "Cycle Hire" program ("scheme" in the Queen's English"). [more inside]
posted by webhund at 2:02 PM PST - 24 comments

"If men are honest, everything they do and everywhere they go is for a chance to see women." 73-year-old Jack Nicholson talks about relationships, sex, aging, art, drugs, partying with Keith Richards, plastic surgery, and acting.
posted by John Cohen at 1:32 PM PST - 107 comments

Scott Adams suggests that if we assume that the solution to our fiscal problems is increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, perhaps we should figure out how to make the taxation amenable to them... [more inside]
posted by bpm140 at 1:27 PM PST - 223 comments

Cold fusion returns to the debate over itself. Rossi and Focardi say that, when the atomic nuclei of nickel and hydrogen are fused in their reactor, the reaction produces copper and a large amount of energy. The reactor uses less than 1 gram of hydrogen and starts with about 1,000 W of electricity, which is reduced to 400 W after a few minutes. Every minute, the reaction can convert 292 grams of 20°C water into dry steam at about 101°C. Since raising the temperature of water by 80°C and converting it to steam requires about 12,400 W of power, the experiment provides a power gain of 12,400/400 = 31. As for costs, the scientists estimate that electricity can be generated at a cost of less than 1 cent/kWh, which is significantly less than coal or natural gas plants. [more inside]
posted by Brian B. at 1:26 PM PST - 52 comments

LL Cool J v. The Prodigy: Momma Said Kick Ass," a mashup by DJ Top Cat of LL Cool J's "Mamma Said Knock You Out" and from Kick Ass, The Prodigy's "Stand Up", which itself heavily samples from the trumpet melody line of Manfred Mann's "One Way Glass."
posted by WCityMike at 1:18 PM PST - 34 comments


Come on down to the Winnipeg Humane Society for Kitty Midnight Madness!
posted by MaryDellamorte at 12:16 PM PST - 22 comments

Solard Death Ray: Power of 5000 suns! [SLYT] The R5800: made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 suns! This amount of power is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across.
posted by Fizz at 11:06 AM PST - 59 comments

Champion Swedes to take on British Challengers ... in rabbit jumping.
posted by sonika at 9:41 AM PST - 12 comments

Antique Japanese Postcards via the great pinktentacle.com.
posted by fixedgear at 9:00 AM PST - 7 comments

Hey! It's the Zooey Deschanel Show. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:53 AM PST - 60 comments

KNTV is an educational programme for secondary schools, produced for Channel 4. It ran for three series, covering science, philosophy and sex education. Oh, and it happens to be hosted by two animated teenagers, Kierky and Nietschze, residents of the last Communist country in Europe, Slabovia, who understand the modern world only via You've Been Framed-style home video bloopers. Slabovian news. Educational ditties, including the excellent Communist Song. Watch the Sex series on 4oD here (may be UK only)
posted by mippy at 8:52 AM PST - 3 comments

Milton M. Levine has died. He invented the ant farm. [more inside]
posted by Sailormom at 7:13 AM PST - 38 comments

This is a game about breeding flowers. Each flower's traits are determined by its genes. Pick two flowers and their genes combine to create new variations. There is no aim in this game... Feel free to set yourself one. -- Rare Breeds: Petunia. (Flash.) [more inside]
posted by Gator at 6:48 AM PST - 44 comments


John Fliszar had a heart attack in 2006 and was rushed to Illinois Masonic Medical Center. “When I was in the emergency room with him, he asked me to promise him, if he died, to make sure his ashes were interred in the Naval Academy,” said Mark Ketterson. “He loved that place. He very much wanted to be there.” The memorial coordinator asked about his relationship to the deceased. Ketterson said that John Fliszar was his husband. [more inside]
posted by BZArcher at 5:46 AM PST - 23 comments

On China realtime report (WSJ blogs): while China celebrates the upcoming year of the rabbit, an intensely violent satirical animation has gone viral. [more inside]
posted by knz at 5:45 AM PST - 17 comments


Andy Kershaw's back. BBC radio DJ Andy Kershaw, champion of world music and an old mate of John Peel's, was sacked from the airwaves three years ago after some personal problems. Now he's back, with a Radio 3 series called Music Planet, where he and Lucy Duran travel the globe listening to each region's traditional music. So far, they've tackled Deserts, Oceans and the Arctic, and all three 60 minute programmes are available online. I think they're rather good.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:40 AM PST - 9 comments

January 29

We've talked about Deconversion 2.0: The God Concept on the blue. The creator of this well-produced, content-heavy mini-series has began Deconversion 3.0: A New Way of Seeing God, which details his life as a new atheist searching for truth. Whatever position you take, we can all appreciate the crisp style of his videos.
posted by Taft at 10:26 PM PST - 29 comments



The Exotica Project. One Hundred 45s, presented here to say simply that "Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman and Yma Sumac are only the tip of exotica." Organized helpfully into several categories, including Polynesian/Pacific Theme and Maritime/Castaway Theme and even Wordless Vocals. Compiled by the keeper of Office Naps.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:44 PM PST - 16 comments

Green Bay Packers Yearbooks from the (Vince) Lombardi Era (1960-1967). The yearbooks here are from the team's return to glory under Lombardi. Arriving in 1959, Lombardi led the Packers to their first winning season in eleven years in his first year as coach. From that auspicious start, Lombardi's Packers had nine winning seasons and claimed five NFL championships in the 1960s. Each yearbook contains roughly 80 pages of text and photos.
posted by cashman at 6:36 PM PST - 8 comments

I don't watch American Idol. I'm not even remotely interested. But I did happen across this clip of barista Chris Medina, who impressed me less with his singing during his audition (which is great) than with his heart (SLYT; 4.55). Excuse me, but I've got something in my eye.
posted by bwg at 3:29 PM PST - 85 comments

Katie Couric and Bryant Gumbel, in the distant era of 1994, try to puzzle out what "internet" is. They should have asked Peter Mansbridge and Bill Cameron at the CBC, who had reported a year earlier about this revolution in which fifteen million people were taking part. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:49 PM PST - 90 comments

Amateur radio gets stick for being home to a lot of reactionary weird old buffers. How true. Many are put off by this. And that's a crying shame... [more inside]
posted by Devonian at 2:08 PM PST - 61 comments

Wampa at the gas station
posted by puny human at 12:54 PM PST - 24 comments

Sasquatch Birth Journal 2, "an unprecedented peek at the mysteries of nature." Perhaps NSFW.
posted by theperfectcrime at 12:23 PM PST - 20 comments

YaCy is a p2p search engine. It is fully decentralized, so it's quite difficult to censor.
posted by - at 12:15 PM PST - 17 comments

Jacques Rivette, who emerged in the 1950s... as one of the primary filmmakers of the French New Wave, is the most underappreciated (and under-screened) of this legendary group. Rivette’s deliberately challenging, super-size films defy easy assimilation, and demand a level of attention unusual even to his compatriots’ works. In addition to being considered difficult, however, Rivette’s body of work is also, arguably, the richest of the New Wave era, possessing an intellectual inquiry and humanity unmatched in the French cinema of his time. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 11:42 AM PST - 11 comments


For the kid who has everything else -- a battery-powered full sized Dalek.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:55 AM PST - 30 comments



By helping other people look happy, Facebook is making us sad. The human habit of overestimating other people's happiness is nothing new, of course. Jordan points to a quote by Montesquieu: "If we only wanted to be happy it would be easy; but we want to be happier than other people, which is almost always difficult, since we think them happier than they are." But social networking may be making this tendency worse. Jordan's research doesn't look at Facebook explicitly, but if his conclusions are correct, it follows that the site would have a special power to make us sadder and lonelier. By showcasing the most witty, joyful, bullet-pointed versions of people's lives, and inviting constant comparisons in which we tend to see ourselves as the losers, Facebook appears to exploit an Achilles' heel of human nature. And women—an especially unhappy bunch of late—may be especially vulnerable to keeping up with what they imagine is the happiness of the Joneses.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:59 AM PST - 106 comments

With kettling becoming a commonly deployed tactic by the London Met, students from the University College London are fighting back with Sukey, launched this morning. [more inside]
posted by asymptotic at 7:58 AM PST - 56 comments

Electronics companies all over the world are increasingly reliant on certain rare metals, most of which are mined in China, which controls 97 per cent of the global supply. The Chinese government has promised to slash export quotas to ensure future sustainability of the world's supply of rare metals. China will drop its quota by 35 per cent in the first half of this year as compared with the same time last year. But despite its escalating consumption of rare metals and the need for future sustainability, the West's electronics industry is mistrustful of China's motives and claims that the move has more to do with the mainland's desire to dominate electronics manufacturing than ensuring the future sustainability of the world's supply of rare metals. ~ Greening conscience or resource checkmate? The rare earth trilogy covers eWaste harvesting, restarting interest in mines and dithering around trade regulations, all in one neat package. [more inside]
posted by infini at 7:15 AM PST - 18 comments

The final tranches of the net addresses used by most people are about to be allocated, raising the prospect of a web that isn't world wide. In the next few days the last big blocks of the net's dwindling stock of addresses are about to be handed out. These are the days when IPv4 dies and is replaced by IPv6. The deadline arrived a little earlier than expected (previously).
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:51 AM PST - 79 comments


January 28

It's Only Rape if They Say So House Republicans decide to fight abortion access by redefining rape.
posted by emjaybee at 9:24 PM PST - 168 comments

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that the sale of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa will be fully deregulated: USDA factsheet [PDF]. Advocates of organic agriculture are outraged, while the biotechnology industry supports the decision. Monsanto is also pleased by the USDA's action. [more inside]
posted by catlet at 9:14 PM PST - 38 comments

The Hot Spotters examines the possibilities of a strange new approach to health care: to look for the most expensive patients in the system and then direct resources and brainpower toward helping them. — by Atul Gawande [more inside]
posted by netbros at 9:02 PM PST - 34 comments

Happy Birthday Taylor!
posted by boo_radley at 7:51 PM PST - 46 comments

How to communicate if the government shuts down the Internet, according to: 1) Wired (wiki) 2) PC World
posted by msalt at 4:59 PM PST - 63 comments

Watch your computer design a 2 dimensional car. What happens when you give a computer, instead of a predefined function to run, a set of parameters, a goal, and the ability to mutate those parameters? You get a genetic algorithm. At its core, genetic algorithms can best be described as Darwinian evolution of computer functions. Is it better to use a streamlined, wide-wheel-base motorcycle to cross terrain, or something that looks like a cross between a fish and a tank? This simplistic simulation shows just what's going to cause the rise of Skynet.
posted by mark242 at 4:45 PM PST - 90 comments


Washington Post humor columnist Gene Weingarten somehow talked his way into reviewing a Chevy Volt (GM's new electric vehicle) for 7 hours over 4 days. That's about 6:30 more than most reviewers get to spend with the vehicle. What resulted is a auto review unlike any other you've read before.
Previously on Metafilter.
posted by COD at 4:00 PM PST - 130 comments

Challenger . . . . go with throttle up. Twenty-five years ago today the U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into the 25th space shuttle flight. The reports (pdf) tell us of O-Ring failures. Today, we remember one of the most tragic days in the history of the U.S. manned spaceflight program. Today, January 28, 2011, we remember: Michael Smith, Dick Scobee, Judith Resnik, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, and Christa McAuliffe.
posted by IvoShandor at 1:39 PM PST - 100 comments

The Viral Me - GQ article on some of the newer social media stuff coming down the pike by Devin Friedman who asks: What is the endgame of your revolution? And can you promise me it won't suck?
A more general thesis about the basic disappointment of the Internet: It ultimately evolves only where it meets human desire, which itself is geared for life circa 200 b.c. If the Internet ultimately disappoints, it's because it was made for humans. Give us instant connection to everyone and the ability to collaborate in vast seamless networks and we spend 99 percent of those resources telling everyone what kind of oatmeal we ate for breakfast and 1 percent of it building Wikipedia.
[more inside]
posted by marble at 1:27 PM PST - 21 comments

A little bit of security theater will shut down in April as the Department of Homeland Security will end the color coded Homeland Security Advisory System. The terror alert has not changed from yellow in over four years, unless you are on an international flight. The system has been criticized immensely since its introduction. And don't forget the jokes. [more inside]
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:25 PM PST - 28 comments

After over 18 months of infighting, including a seven-month lockout where it was "broadcasting without any community involvement or reflection, oversight or management, or apparent control", CKLN -- Toronto's first campus radio station -- has had its licence revoked by the CRTC, Canada's broadcast regulator. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 1:21 PM PST - 12 comments

Satirical periodical The Onion has long used Vice-President Joe Biden as a running gag for a series of articles depicting the VP as a tattooed party animal often at odds with the law. The articles have been among the most popular on the site. Today, the real Joe Biden responds, calling the series "hilarious" while also correcting The Onion; Joe has a '67 Corvette, not a Trans-Am.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:18 PM PST - 21 comments

Merit badges for nerds, mothers, and Etsy hipsters. [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 1:01 PM PST - 18 comments

'On the Hunt for Universal Intelligence' 'How do you use a scientific method to measure the intelligence of a human being, an animal, a machine or an extra-terrestrial? So far this has not been possible, but a team of Spanish and Australian researchers have taken a first step towards this by presenting the foundations to be used as a basis for this method in the journal Artificial Intelligence, and have also put forward a new intelligence test.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:45 PM PST - 11 comments

Mike Doyle is making a series of intricate decayed Lego buildings. With irregular arrangements of bricks and careful choice of texture the results approach photorealism in black and white. [more inside]
posted by Lorc at 12:45 PM PST - 15 comments


Playing Doc’s Games by William Finnegan (The New Yorker, 1992, long) is probably the best article on surfing ever written.
posted by puny human at 12:09 PM PST - 5 comments


"Five orphans with a spacecraft battle a lipsticked maniac from the Crab Nebula and his unlikely big flying robots. No one gets hurt."
In 1972, the anime action-adventure show Kagaku ninja tai Gatchaman (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman,) premiered on Japanese television. Featuring graphic violence, extensive profanity and a transgendered villain, it was one of the most popular animated series of its time. Envisioning similar success in the US, Sandy Frank Entertainment acquired the series in 1978 but deemed it too graphic and shocking for domestic audiences. So they hired two Hanna-Barbera vets to "re-version" totally bowdlerize the episodes with new scripts, voiceovers music and effects, animation, etc., at a cost of $5 million and turn it into a brand new show: Battle of the Planets. Here are the original 1978 Battle of the Planets feature film (in 7 parts,) and the first 19 episodes of the show, all available on Youtube. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:26 AM PST - 61 comments

National Geographic's "infinite photograph" series is an endless, fractal mosaic of beautiful images from around the world, each based on a different theme : US National Parks, the natural world, weather, or one day's contribution to the source for all the photographs used, the National Geographic My Shot site. (requires Flash). [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:26 AM PST - 4 comments

On January 19, 2011, a police officer was shot in front of El Camino High School in the LA Unified School District. First the school was locked down, then half the city, as police performed a car-by-car search for a white male in his 40's in a bomber jacket. Several people were detained. The intense manhunt lasted more than a day.

So, it turns out the police officer just kind of accidentally shot himself.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:13 AM PST - 62 comments

How to be 1990s.
posted by naju at 10:00 AM PST - 117 comments



Over the River is the newest environmental art installation proposed by Christo and Jeanne-Claude. As usual, there is some opposition. Previously on MeFi, The Gates. Jeanne-Claude, the female half of this team, died in 2009.
posted by hermitosis at 8:17 AM PST - 76 comments

Is Google willing to censor? After a December announcement, Google has quietly begun filtering piracy- and torrent-related terms from its Autocomplete and Instant services. While much of the content is arguably illegal, and results will still appear in Google's traditional search, one of the affected search terms is "ubuntu torrent."
posted by Tubalcain at 7:43 AM PST - 69 comments

In 1969 banjo virtuoso and bluegrass innovator Earl Scruggs parted ways with his longtime musical partner Lester Flatt and the band they led to great popularity and acclaim, The Foggy Mountain Boys. Scruggs wanted to push his musical gifts as far as they could go. In 1970 he was the subject of a PBS documentary where he played with artists such as Bob Dylan, Doc Watson, The Morris Brothers, The Byrds, Charlie Daniels, Bill Monroe, Joan Baez, various friends and family members, and even records a track accompanying a Moog. You can watch the whole thing online: Earl Scruggs, His Family and Friends.
posted by Kattullus at 7:39 AM PST - 17 comments

11th grader David Sukhin's Snow Day Calculator uses weather data, user judgment calls, and algorithms of his own devising to predict the chances of a snow day for any school in the US. And, so far, to his knowledge it has never been wrong.
posted by Miko at 6:57 AM PST - 32 comments

After football head coach Randy Edsall left the University of Connecticut for the head coaching position at Maryland, the athletic director began the search for a new head coach. On January 13, Paul Pasqualoni was named the new UConn football head coach. In an unprecedentedly public manner, the largest athletics department donor at UConn sent a scathing six page letter to the athletics director demanding his money back for not being consulted prior to the hiring, while also listing his grievances against the UConn athletics director. [more inside]
posted by This Guy at 5:56 AM PST - 65 comments

radio k'bvh;b is on the air. A three day Internet radio experiment by Catalin Ilie and Letitia Calin, radio k'bvh;b presents field recordings, noise, experimental stuff, and live performances direct from Berlin. It only goes until Sunday midnight CET, so tune in to the odd noises while you still can.
posted by sixohsix at 5:35 AM PST - 17 comments


Star Trek Girl (WARNING: SLYT)
posted by valkane at 4:40 AM PST - 73 comments

Bohemian Rhapsody on Ukulele by Jake Shimabukuro [via NPR | 3QD]
posted by peacay at 3:13 AM PST - 33 comments

January 27

Walt Disney's Up (1965) [more inside]
posted by Artw at 10:34 PM PST - 23 comments

The first thing I was told about Arcanum was the central conflict of the game: magic versus technology. This idea was so interesting and unique that I considered carefully how to best reflect it in the music. […] We finally settled on a sort of musical anachronism: a score centered around the styles and textures of Renaissance, medieval, and early music, but performed by a characteristic ensemble of the Victorian era, the string quartet. Composer Ben Houge and his choir-on-strings score for Troika Studios' (buggy, beloved) steampunk step-child Arcanum (letsplay), in mp3, lossless pcm, and full sheet music. [more inside]
posted by kid ichorous at 6:53 PM PST - 41 comments

Big Coach in the Little Gym Scott Lang was 41 years old when he died last month. He was not married. He had no children. He spent almost all of his adult life as the basketball coach at La Roche College, a tiny Division III school in the north hills just above Pittsburgh.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:37 PM PST - 29 comments

In preparation for massive protests after Friday prayers, it's being reported that Egypt has completely shut down access to the internet and most text and MMS messaging. [more inside]
posted by notion at 5:55 PM PST - 2734 comments

Badass Lego Guns, a short YouTube video (1.55) showing five working guns built from instructions from the book of the same name by Martin Hudepohl. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 5:02 PM PST - 18 comments

Gladys Horton, a founding member of the pioneering (yet undervalued by Berry Gordy and Motown) girl group The Marvelettes, who sang lead on their 1961 classic Please Mr. Postman has passed on. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:54 PM PST - 19 comments



"The most notable women in technology probably don't spend all day thinking about hairstyles and dinner parties. But according to a bright pink infographic making its way around the web, you can tell a lot about some of the world's most tech-savvy women based on their hairdos and extracurriculars. In hopes of inspiring people, Wpromote ... created "Which Female Tech Influencer Are You?" -- an infographic reminiscent of a teen magazine quiz."* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 2:28 PM PST - 46 comments


The Pufedorf Hoax [more inside]
posted by jtron at 2:16 PM PST - 16 comments


A kotatsu is a piece of furniture used in Japan, consisting of a short table, a heating element attached to the underside of the table, a blanket or light futon to cover the table to the floor, and a flat surface on top. As Japanese houses are usually poorly insulated and not centrally heated, kotatsus are considered a cost-saving alternative to space heaters. • Example: five people sharing one. • It's called a korsi in Persia. • How to make a kotatsu.Cats seem to love them, as do dogs. • Kotatsu vs. Stepladder.
posted by not_on_display at 2:11 PM PST - 59 comments

Did Thin Mints make the cut? Girl Scouts of America has announced they are cutting the number of flavors in their iconic cookie assortment, which earns the bulk of the organization's regional operating budgets, because of a lack of demand. Don't go near the freezer! Video of a dude screaming about his addiction to Girl Scout Cookies here. Ted Nugent's Girl Scout Cookies. An adorable old ad for cookies.
posted by parmanparman at 1:43 PM PST - 92 comments

On January 13, 2011 Freedom House released ts findings from the latest edition of Freedom in the World, the annual survey of global political rights and civil liberties. According to the survey’s findings, 2010 was the fifth consecutive year in which global freedom suffered a decline—the longest period of setbacks for freedom in the nearly 40-year history of the report. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 1:25 PM PST - 8 comments

Snow, and its diabolical cousin Thundersnow, once again has paralyzed the East Coast of the United States. This we know. What we don't know is the answer to the question: Why Is This Dude Running Through A Snowstorm Holding An Ice Cream Cone? [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:19 PM PST - 73 comments

On June 23, 1911, The Miami Metropolis published predictions about the year 2011 from Thomas Edison, including his visions of transmuting metals, a world of light-weight steel products, and writings printed on leaves of nickel that would be "so light to hold that the reader can enjoy a small library in a single volume." In Edison's future of today, five authors and an editor/publisher envision the world of publishing in the year 2021. Spoiler: nickel is not mentioned once. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:13 PM PST - 15 comments


Natalia Fabia Inspired by light, color, punk rock music, hot chicks and sparkles, Fabia is fascinated with “hookers”, which fuels her paintings of sultry women. (A bit NSFW)
posted by SylviaAspevig at 12:49 PM PST - 2 comments

Why Minnesota mothers are doing pretty good. Cripes we all know about Tiger Mothers already, but what the heck can we learn from Minnesota Mothers?
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 12:41 PM PST - 30 comments

Two years ago, Mann says, he had never seen a pot plant. Today, he envisions weGrow becoming the "Wal-Mart of Weed", a vertically integrated chain of big-box stores perfectly positioned to cash in on California's booming marijuana industry as it moves from the shadows to the mainstream. In this "green rush" for semi-legal weed, Mann and his partner Derek Peterson, a 36-year-old investment banker, seek to be the modern equivalents of Levi Strauss and Samuel Brannan—the Gold Rush entrepreneurs who made a killing not from mining, but from selling pans, pickaxes, and victuals to the forty-niners.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:02 PM PST - 43 comments

Love love is a floating sculptural installation by Julien Berthier.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:22 AM PST - 13 comments

Debtris. From Information is Beautiful.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:44 AM PST - 21 comments

Professors' global model forecasts civil unrest against governments - With protests spreading in the Middle East (now Yemen - not on the list) I thought this article and blog on a forecast model predicting "which countries will likely experience an escalation in domestic political violence [within the next five years]" was rather interesting. [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 10:01 AM PST - 42 comments

Emergency is a webcomic about pre-independence Kenya. Start with the first issue. [more inside]
posted by squishles at 10:01 AM PST - 7 comments

Over Christmas, Johnson & Johnson decided to stop carrying their popular brand of o.b. tampons. This elicited an immediate and frenzied response from women who used the product. Told that their tampon of choice was permanently discontinued, ladies took to eBay and other outlets to get the last few boxes. In a turnaround, however, J&J is now claiming they were experiencing a "temporary supply interruption". To everyone's relief, the product will soon be back in stores.
posted by reenum at 9:54 AM PST - 83 comments


Peking Opera :: The Chinese :: Dream Shocks :: Four Beauties :: Under The Sun :: Revolution :: Uniform Series (click to enlarge, nsfw)
posted by puny human at 8:45 AM PST - 6 comments

Fascinating and inspiring interview with playwright and screenwriter Tom Stoppard by Riz Khan on the subject of Belarus, a country ruled by the dictator Alexander Lukashenko, and whether artists can have an impact on the world of politics. Recently, the troupe Belarus Free Theatre has been touring the West with Being Harold Pinter, to rave reviews. Stoppard himself was a child refugee, escaping with his family from Czechoslovakia in 1939.
posted by Kattullus at 7:37 AM PST - 15 comments

The United States of Swearing -- a map of profanity on Twitter.
posted by empath at 5:57 AM PST - 49 comments




January 26

Powers of Ten is a classic film by Ray and Charles Eames which deals with the relative size of things in the Universe. (Previously) There are still six days left to join the Powers of Ten Video Response Competition, sponsored by the Eames Office and Core77, which already has some interesting entries... [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:38 PM PST - 18 comments


Nashville or Bust is a project where the Onion A.V. Club's Nathan Rabin (previously), who has predominantly listened to hip-hop in the past, spent a year listening to country music. The series proper (apart from a planned road trip in February) ended yesterday with a thoughtful essay about Charley Pride. Along the way the author wrote about Johnny Cash's "Christianity . . . of the deeply spiritual, non-commercial, almost creepily intimate variety," discovered that Willie Nelson "is the coolest motherfucker on the planet," had a hard time imagining Merle Haggard living on a houseboat, decided Garth Brooks is not history's greatest monster, and found the Dixie Chicks to be "way more badass than Toby Keith."
posted by ND¢ at 7:49 PM PST - 96 comments


Smiles are awesome! But what are they? Which ones make you more attractive? Who fakes them better - and how good are you at spotting a fake one (previously)? Do they spread through social networks? Does smiling make you feel better when you're down? Will they predict you living longer or having a happier marriage? If all else fails, at least a smile might make you better at gambling.
posted by Scarf Face at 6:45 PM PST - 20 comments


Is earlier interaction with technology creating new and different neurological structures in children’s brains? PBS has featured an interesting series of programs on just this question: one with Miles O’Brien, previously CNN’s science correspondent, who also talks to his kids about their use of tech. Digital Nation is a massive related site on Frontline exploring the ethnography of so-called "digital natives" that includes some interesting celebrity interviews; the site is the sequel to the earlier Growing Up Online [previously].
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:53 PM PST - 40 comments

100 years ago tonight was the first performance of composer Richard Strauss and librettist Hugo von Hoffmansthal's opera of romance, elegance and gender confusion, Der Rosenkavalier. Highlights [on YouTube] include the Feldmarschallin's meditation on the passage of time, the famous Presentation of the Rose duet, Baron Ochs's waltz, and the final trio (performed at Strauss's funeral, as remembered here by the late Sir Georg Solti.) [more inside]
posted by Pallas Athena at 4:52 PM PST - 5 comments

If you buy a Billy, a wee bunch of crowns goes directly into the pocket of their boss which (that is, the metaphorical pocket) resides in Liechtenstein and pays no taxes. Single link to the news of the day in Swedish. [The TV programme "uppdrag granskning," love-hated revelation-platform of the Swedish TV, cooperated this time with a bunch of newspapers to get the capitalist truth about this family company to the people. Background in Swedish here]
posted by Namlit at 4:07 PM PST - 27 comments

Gerry Adams, irish republican and candidate for a seat in the Dail [the Irish Parliament, usually sounds a bit like 'doyle'], is an MP in the UK Parliament at Westminster. Or is he? No - I resigned! "Oh - but you can't! You have to take a position under the Crown, say the Brits". Oh, no I don't... Till this constitutional crisis is resolved Gerry Adams, may be paid by both states as an MP...
posted by dash_slot- at 3:51 PM PST - 37 comments


The Last Temptation of Ted. GQ talks to Ted Haggard about coming to terms with his beliefs and sexuality in the wake of the New Life Church scandal.
posted by chundo at 3:11 PM PST - 77 comments

Bart Hickey is an incredibly inspiring blind auto mechanic who owns his own shop called B.A.T. Automotive. [SLVimeo]
posted by gman at 3:00 PM PST - 7 comments

Using pioneering animation techniques to create a look never seen on film before, this 10-minute award-winning film tells the true legend of history's most challenging cipher....The film contains 16 hidden messages that reveal the larger story at play. Eight are fairly easy and require only a close eye. Six are moderately difficult using various encryption methods. Two are extremely difficult and will require a genius mind to decrypt. [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio at 2:52 PM PST - 14 comments

Iconographie ouvrages anciens is a collection of historic animal illustrations that date as far back as the 16th Century, courtesy of the library at Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Lyon. [more inside]
posted by Ufez Jones at 1:33 PM PST - 10 comments

"Thou hast here gentle reader, an art of short, and so of speedie wryting, plainly delivered unto thee. So as by thine on industry, thou maiest attain unto it, if thou wilt but one month take paines therein, and by continuance of another month, maiest thou attain to great readiness." So began Characterie, an Arte of Short, Swifte, and secret writing by Character. The original 1588 publication by Timothe Bright, Doctor of Phisike, was the start of modern shorthand. But the Bright system was based on symbols replacing whole words that took years to memorize, as compared to Phineas Bailey's shorthand based on sounds. Phonetic shorthand was improved upon by Sir Isaac Pitman, John Robert Gregg, and others, climbing in popularity that there were even books published in shorthand, including Sherlock Holmes titles, A Christmas Carol, Legend of Sleepy Holllow, and other titles. But the craze died, and the skill has faded, but it is remembered online by language enthusiasts and fans of specific shorthand styles.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:07 PM PST - 24 comments


Today marks the exit of The Minimalist from the pages of the Dining section, as a weekly column at least. There may be return appearances, but the unbroken string of more than 13 years and nearly 700 columns ends here. (I’m not leaving the Times family; more about that in a minute.) (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 11:59 AM PST - 51 comments

The Warriors of Qiugang: A Chinese Village Fights Back, nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject). [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 11:33 AM PST - 5 comments


A large chunk of the Yad Vashem Photo Archive has been made available online. The first batch consists of 130,000 photographs and more will follow. The photos and their keywords are indexed and searchable via Google. Readers can contribute to the archive project by adding stories, comments and further documents linked to the photos. Photos range from the horrific to the charmingly mundane. [more inside]
posted by jonesor at 10:29 AM PST - 11 comments


For the second year in a row , the U.S. Military has lost more troops to suicide than it has to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Previous posts regarding PTSD) [more inside]
posted by dry white toast at 9:58 AM PST - 57 comments

The Jungle. Made in 1967 and awarded a Documentary Film Award at the Festival de Popoli, Italy, The Jungle is a short film made in Philly by Harold Haskins and the 12 & Oxford Film Corp. Re-discovered a few years back through Temple University’s Urban Archives.
posted by fixedgear at 9:57 AM PST - 2 comments

The Museum of Modern Art announced this week it would induct 23 digital-era typefaces into its permanent collection (Times coverage). But what do the designers of these fonts look like? Pics or it didn’t happen: first set; second.
posted by joeclark at 9:47 AM PST - 34 comments


Playboy (nsfw) has recently revamped their online Interview archive. Even though most are available through the website, a full index is still not available. However, there are now specific category pages devoted to Interviews with Women, Comedians and Sports Figures. There's also a Best Of roundup. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 8:38 AM PST - 29 comments

Chen Sah is an unlikely good samaritan, a gruff man who cajoles would be jumpers into the Yangtze River to rethink their plans of suicide. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 8:10 AM PST - 18 comments

Yes, there are grocery stores in Detroit. The myth of a city without supermarkets is hard to kill, even faced with the evidence above. Ultimately, that myth perseveres because the mainstream media and its audience is steeped in a suburban mentality where the only grocery stores that really seem to count are those large, big-box chain stores that are the only option in so many communities these days, largely because they have put locally-owned and independent stores like the ones you find in Detroit out of business. [more inside]
posted by enn at 8:06 AM PST - 61 comments

Jolecule is an HTML5 viewer for three-dimensional protein structures that requires no plugins. "Jolecule works in modern browsers such as Chrome and Safari and mostly in Firefox." Check out the 3D structure of myoglobin. Or view an animated slideshow of how the glucocorticoid receptor binds DNA (press spacebar to advance).
posted by grouse at 8:03 AM PST - 21 comments

Country music legend Charlie Louvin has passed on. Charlie rose to fame with his brother Ira as the Louvin Brothers, whose career was cut short by Ira's death by automobile accident in 1965. Charlie continued to record and perform solo, and though his popularity never quite reached the heights that it did with his brother he retained a loyal fanbase until the very end. [more inside]
posted by item at 7:21 AM PST - 32 comments

Nabokov Butterfly Theory Is Vindicated "Nabokov came up with a sweeping hypothesis for the evolution of the butterflies he studied, a group known as the Polyommatus blues. He envisioned them coming to the New World from Asia over millions of years in a series of waves. Few professional lepidopterists took these ideas seriously during Nabokov’s lifetime. But in the years since his death in 1977, his scientific reputation has grown. And over the past 10 years, a team of scientists has been applying gene-sequencing technology to his hypothesis about how Polyommatus blues evolved. On Tuesday in the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, they reported that Nabokov was absolutely right."
posted by dhruva at 6:35 AM PST - 27 comments

Awesome !!! Nearly 10 minutes of the robot warfare. SLYT
posted by lobstah at 5:42 AM PST - 77 comments

Computer game, "Hearts of Iron III", lets you replay history from 1936 to the Cold War. Apparently, WW2 was more complicated than the movies suggest. Via The browser
posted by Philosopher's Beard at 5:33 AM PST - 43 comments

MeatWater. Interview. Video.
posted by unSane at 5:13 AM PST - 18 comments

Fascinating! (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:15 AM PST - 29 comments

January 25

Slacklining at the Totempole in Tasmania. SLYT. (Previously: Funambulism on Wikipedia)
posted by growabrain at 11:28 PM PST - 24 comments


John Park Finley, American meteorologist, wrote the first known book on tornadoes (Tornadoes, 1887). Though some of his "safety" guidelines for surviving a tornado have since been refuted as dangerous (seek shelter on the side of a house facing an oncoming tornado!), the book remains a seminal work in tornado research. [more inside]
posted by Wossname at 5:50 PM PST - 9 comments

Kelly Williams-Bolar has been sentenced to ten days in prison in a school residency case. The African-American mother of two lives in public housing in Akron, Ohio, and forged court records so that her children could attend a better school in nearby Copley Township. Judge Patricia Cosgrove sentenced her to 10 days in prison, 80 hours of community service, and two years of probation. Ms. Williams-Bolar works as a special education classroom aide, and was working towards a teaching degree. Because of the felony conviction she may no longer be eligible to teach in the state of Ohio.
posted by mmmbacon at 4:04 PM PST - 190 comments

Daily snapshots of people on the street in Japan. I think it's Harajuku, but I don't speak or read Japanese. Those pictured as slightly less staid than those on The Sartorialist. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise at 3:04 PM PST - 68 comments

Prickly, idiosyncractic and unashamedly pro-Goldsmith, Christian Clemmensen has reviewed modern movie scores at Filmtracks since 1996.
posted by Iridic at 3:01 PM PST - 7 comments

The CRTC has just authorized usage-based internet billing in Canada. The decision has been met with some criticism but is being reported differently by some outlets. [more inside]
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:15 PM PST - 86 comments

Rock My Religion "...is a thesis on the relation between religion and rock music in contemporary culture. Graham formulates a history that begins with the Shakers, an early religious community who practiced self-denial and ecstatic trance dances. With the "reeling and rocking" of religious revivals as his point of departure, Graham analyzes the emergence of rock music as religion with the teenage consumer in the isolated suburban milieu of the 1950s, locating rock's sexual and ideological context in post-World War II America. The music and philosophies of Patti Smith, who made explicit the trope that rock is religion, are his focus. This complex collage of text, film footage and performance forms a compelling theoretical essay on the ideological codes and historical contexts that inform the cultural phenomenon of rock 'n' roll music. (Original Music: Glenn Branca, Sonic Youth)
posted by puny human at 1:17 PM PST - 64 comments

Rioting spreads to Egypt. Plans had been percolating online for the past several weeks about a "Day of Revolution" in protest of the corruption of the Mubarak government, and widespread unemployment, similar to those seen in Tunisia. In response to the online coverage through social networks, the government has responded by blocking access to Twitter. It has also been reported that police have fired into the crowds, resulting in several deaths, and that the presidential family has fled the country.
posted by zabuni at 1:14 PM PST - 83 comments

Well, that's one way to use your Youtube audience. Hank Green, one half of the VlogBrothers, is angry at Warner Chilcott, the pharmaceutical company responsible for Asacol--a drug that's gone up in price by 1200%. He's so angry, in fact, that he encourages his nearly half-million-strong YouTube audience to spam Warner Chilcott's CEO, Roger Boissonneault.
posted by litnerd at 12:52 PM PST - 38 comments

After he and his co-commentator Richard Keys were stood down Monday for off-air, on-mic pre-match comments about a female assistant referee and the inability of women to understand the laws of football, Andy Gray was sacked by Sky Sports when further evidence of sexism and sexual harassment surfaced. A third Sky employee has also been suspended for complicity in the original complaint. Many are drawing parallels to Ron Atkinson's resignation in 2004 for racist comments about Marcel Desailly. [more inside]
posted by Errant at 12:28 PM PST - 132 comments

I did it for the Lulz! but I stayed for the outrage (direct mp3 link) An anthropologist talks about Anonymous. [more inside]
posted by LiteOpera at 12:20 PM PST - 15 comments


The BBC plans to jettison the Douglas Adams-founded H2G2, but the H2G2 Community Consortium is trying to raise money to buy it back.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:44 AM PST - 30 comments

“I wake up every day and I stretch out my arms and if I don’t feel any wood on either side, then I know I can get up.” The remarkable story of Maurice Franklin, Wood Turner.
posted by essexjan at 11:14 AM PST - 23 comments

Haunting images of the night sky above UNESCO world heritage sites: the ruins of the Mayan city of Tikal and Easter Island by astronomer Stéphane Guisard; above Uluru by Kwon O Chul. Much more. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 10:12 AM PST - 10 comments

"studioBASAR is an architectural studio established in 2006 by Cristi Borcan and Alex Axinte. studioBASAR is a ’search and rescue’ team, acting as an agent of architectural observation and intervention." [more inside]
posted by Mooseli at 9:53 AM PST - 1 comments


After lifetimes confined in a medical testing facility, beagles Freedom and Bigsby see sunlight and feel grass for the first time. [via America's second most famous beagle owner.]
posted by Joe Beese at 9:25 AM PST - 53 comments

Sausage pork beef cheese whole milk butter margarine nuts and sausage pork beef cheese whole milk butter margarine nuts and sausage.... [SLYT, 1:00, looping]
posted by heurtebise at 8:55 AM PST - 44 comments

A dreamy animation about life, love, and loss. Un Tour de Manege (A Turn of the Gear) shows the journey of a girl from youth through adulthood.
posted by Windigo at 8:49 AM PST - 6 comments

Glove Actually: An Ode to Cinema's Greatest Slaps [7m10s]. (SLYT)
posted by hippybear at 8:46 AM PST - 23 comments

Fallout: Nuka Break is a short fan-made film set in the Fallout universe. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 8:18 AM PST - 32 comments



The greedy ghost of market fundamentalism. Oxfordshire county council is planning to close just under half of all of its libraries, and has invited locals to set up new ones on a voluntary basis. Philip Pullman, ironically criticised for having a profit motive, objects.
posted by Summer at 6:15 AM PST - 111 comments

A timeless monologue on the mechanics of likelihood. Tage Danielsson's talk about "sannolikhet", which he wrote in 1979 after the Three Mile Island accident remains a Swedish classic. [more inside]
posted by Namlit at 5:07 AM PST - 7 comments


January 24

Food for Thinkers is a week-long, distributed, online conversation looking at food writing from as wide and unusual a variety of perspectives as possible. Between January 18 and January 23, 2011, more than 40 food and non-food writers will respond to a question posed by GOOD's newly-launched Food hub: What does—or could, or even should—it mean to write about food today?
posted by parudox at 10:19 PM PST - 7 comments


We go to great lengths commemorating soldiers who have died fighting wars for their countries. Why not do the same for the naturalists who still sometimes give up everything in the effort to understand life? [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 9:03 PM PST - 44 comments

On YouTube & MySpace beginning two years ago, singer/songwriter Christina Perri rocketed from relative unknown to digital star when her song, "Jar of Hearts," was featured on the June 30 episode of Fox TV's "So You Think You Can Dance". (source). [more inside]
posted by spock at 7:44 PM PST - 23 comments

Kambriel Steamcon II Fashion Show - pics from the event
posted by Ardiril at 7:19 PM PST - 25 comments

Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero announced today that Thomas Lowry, a long-time Lincoln researcher from Woodbridge, VA, confessed on January 12, 2011, to altering an Abraham Lincoln Presidential pardon that is part of the permanent records of the U.S. National Archives.
posted by gyusan at 6:49 PM PST - 87 comments

Online Corpora . In linguistics, a corpus is a collection of 'real world' writing and speech designed to facilitate research into language. These 6 searchable corpora together contain more than a billion words. The Corpus of Historical American English allows you to track changes in word use from 1810 to present; the Corpus del Español goes back to the 1200s.
posted by Paragon at 6:47 PM PST - 11 comments


The oldest black and Chinese communities in the UK are located in Liverpool. The area where those communities settled, Liverpool 8, played host to scores of small, black-owned nightclubs. L8: A Timepiece takes a look at the significance of those clubs to that community and the bands that worked those clubs. Last year, Tate Liverpool hosted From Freetown to Motown, an erudite discussion of the history of Liverpool's black music scene between legendary electro-funk DJ Greg Wilson (previously), and one of the legendary DJs to come out of the L8 club scene, Les Spaine
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:36 PM PST - 9 comments

Based on a quirky animated short that charmed MeFi four years ago, Pendleton Ward's Adventure Time is arguably the most delightful thing in animation right now. Following the surreal adventures of 12-year-old Finn and his magical dog Jake in the fantastical post-apocalyptic Land of Ooo, the series has breezed through two seasons and secured a third -- while generating a devoted fandom along the way (partially through savvy callbacks to things like 4chan's Courage Wolf meme and Kate Beaton's pudgy Shetland pony). There's an exhaustive wiki, an active discussion board, oodles of fan-art, and AdventureTi.me, a fan-made repository of previous episodes (complete with a mobile version) that makes catching up a cinch. Want more? Then check out the show's bountiful production diaries, its equally in-depth blog at Frederator Studios, catch some official clips, follow Pen Ward on Twitter, or buy or make your own awesome Finn hat (though not necessarily what lies beneath). Oh, and a new episode is airing... oh, right now. Totally math! [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 5:04 PM PST - 54 comments

Flamenco flash mob stages a protest against a bank: Rumba Rave "banquero" en el Banco de Santander. (via @hrheingold) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 5:02 PM PST - 12 comments

The United States of Shame. Surprisingly, Florida is not the oldest state. Unsurprisingly, Utah uses the most internet porn.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:00 PM PST - 103 comments

"The House Republicans' first major technology initiative is about to be unveiled: a push to force Internet companies to keep track of what their users are doing." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 4:53 PM PST - 45 comments

It was not easy to get Terence Malick to direct again, as this article about the making of "The Thin Red Line" from Vanity Fair shows.
posted by reenum at 4:41 PM PST - 27 comments

I notice a pair of faux-leather lace-up ankle boots that look a lot like the Jeffrey Campbell ones I'm wearing: The style is the same, so are the combination of hooks and holes for the laces and the distinctively shaped heel. Forever 21 sells the boots for $35.80, less than one-quarter the price I paid. I mention them, and Linda says brightly: "You should buy another pair here." An in-depth look at Forever 21 and the family that built the fast-fashion empire. [more inside]
posted by Thin Lizzy at 3:42 PM PST - 60 comments

Ever wondered how the Twelve Colonies of Battlestar Galatica fit around a single star? Then gaze upon a lovely map of star clusters that is the BSG universe, designed by writer Jane Espenson and science advisor Kevin Grazier
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:01 PM PST - 78 comments

NASA's NanoSail-D unfurled its solar sail and is now orbiting 650 km above Earth. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 2:56 PM PST - 18 comments


The Speed Camera Lottery is winning idea of Volkswagen's Fun Theory Award (article, video, official site, previously)
posted by AceRock at 1:20 PM PST - 23 comments

He Touched Me: The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley -- Where other documentaries have focused on the early rock-and-roll of the Sun years, the Memphis Mafia, or the fat, drugged Elvis of the Las Vegas era, this documentary focusses on a side of Elvis many people may not be familiar with, and does a convincing job showing that it was early Southern gospel groups (both black and white) which were his true love and the main musical influence throughout his life. Filled with wonderful archival footage and revealing, and rather tender interviews from his band and his backup singers. (Part One) 1::2::3::4::5::6::7::8::9::10::11::12 (Part Two) 1::2::3::4::5::6::7::8::9::10::11 And here is a clip of Elvis singing the Battle Hymn of the Republic section from his American Trilogy, used to good effect in the Bazooka & Jetpack Scene from the movie Kick Ass. [This post dedicated to "The King" of Metafilter music, the mighty mighty flapjax at midnight]
posted by puny human at 1:06 PM PST - 13 comments

Previously on metafilter, it was suggested that opinions on Genghis Khan might sway with political sentiment. Well apparently he's now being hailed by some as history's greenest conqueror. Discuss.
posted by Stagger Lee at 12:43 PM PST - 45 comments

n+1 explores why "it’s the bearers of culture rather than the wielders of power who are taxed with elitism." [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee at 12:39 PM PST - 34 comments

Star-crossed lovers are of course a trope as old as storytelling itself, but Liang Shanbo and Zhu Yingtai, the Butterfly Lovers of Chinese mythology may be new to many. Also encompassing tropes such as Sweet Polly Oliver, the legend tells of the tragic love between two students in the Jin dynasty, one a girl disguised as a boy so she could attend school. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 12:39 PM PST - 5 comments

Müller Exercise System - A 15-minute No-Equipment Workout. 'Watch and learn the favorite exercise routine of early 20th century Europeans.''The exercise guide, which promised that just "15 minutes a day" of prescribed* exercise would make "weaklings" into strong men (and women), was ultimately translated into 25 languages, reprinted dozens of times, and sold briskly well into the 20th century.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:23 PM PST - 32 comments

Wolfenstein 1-D: The Game That Changed Everything, Converted to a One Pixel Line. In 1992, Wolfenstein 3-D revolutionized video games and created the 3D first-person shooter genre. Now, after decades of development, Wolfenstein 3-D has been converted to breathtaking, epoch-making 1-D. You can now play the game in a single, dazzling one-pixel line.
posted by Fizz at 12:17 PM PST - 42 comments

The Coenfographic (large jpg), by Tom Muller, is a visual representation of actors in Coen Brothers films.
posted by dobbs at 11:35 AM PST - 35 comments

In the summer of 2004 I [Jason Oliver Goodman] set out alone on my bike to make a photography project called A Girl's Bike. In roughly 4 months I documented close to 200 women and their bicycles around NYC, mostly on the street as I found them. In 2008 it was made into a book published by Partners & Spade. It also toured with the Bicycle Film Festival as a slide show before films and in the art show Joy Ride.
posted by fiercecupcake at 11:32 AM PST - 41 comments


The Koran of Kansuh al-Ghuri is a 500 year old manuscript written on six foot square sheets of a silken, vellum-like fabric which is polished with smooth stones so that ink sits on the surface rather than being absorbed. It is considered "one of the finest, most lavishly illuminated and calligraphically significant Qur’an manuscripts from the late Mamluk period". Too fragile to be displayed, it is also missing two leaves that were discovered in Dublin's Chester Beatty Library in the 1970s. So a unified digitized edition is being prepared that will be freely available on the Internet for researchers. The process is being blogged here.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:08 AM PST - 14 comments

Film editor and sound designer extraordinaire Walter Murch writes to Roger Ebert regarding a fundamental conundrum of current 3D technology: "It is like tapping your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time."
posted by oulipian at 8:48 AM PST - 84 comments

One year after the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, which, overturning over 100 years of precedent, opened a floodgate of corporate money into election campaigns, Virginia Lyons (D-VT), has introduced legislation (full text of bill not yet available, articles here and here) in the Vermont State Senate to amend the United States Constitution to explicitly state that corporations are not persons. This would overturn the controversial notion of corporate personhood which was established in the 1800s. Controversial not only for the unequal distribution of rights and responsibilities among humans and corporations, some, like Thom Hartmann (previously), have claimed that the notion of corporate personhood was established as an intentional misinterpretation of the decision as recorded by court reporter J.C. Bancroft Davis, former president of the Newburgh & New York Railway Co. [more inside]
posted by laminarial at 8:25 AM PST - 102 comments


Kevin Smith brought a new film to Sundance, Red State. But he's not looking for a deal. He's going to distribute himself with no advertising. And not talk to the press. And quit making films to concentrate on distributing other indie film makers. Smith explains his plans at the screening (30min Vimeo) (NSFW)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:58 AM PST - 96 comments

“Nature doesn't remind us that we are small, but rather provides chilling, awesome evidence of our size and strength. We glance up to the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro and think of how quickly our coal generators have heated the earth. We fly over the denuded stretches of the Amazon and see how easily we have gashed the planet.” Alain de Botton considers how climate change is reshaping our relationship with the environment.
posted by londonmark at 7:04 AM PST - 19 comments

Mazes: generate them, solve them, learn about them.
posted by Jpfed at 6:15 AM PST - 27 comments

Why Wal-Mart Is Making Our Health Its Problem - "So what's behind the [healthier-eating] initiative? In a word: scale. In a recent article in HBR, Chris Meyer and I argued that we'll see companies taking more and more ownership of externalities they could ignore because of changing sensibilities and better sensors (meaning detection and reporting of impacts by third parties). But we also identified a third driver: the scale of modern business. Whereas in the past, a single grocer could not have much impact on society, in today's highly consolidated market, Wal-Mart touches a significant percentage of the nation's food intake. Once you reach a scale where your decisions have ramifications for millions, it is hard to pretend that the impacts, even as distant ripples, are not your problem."
posted by kliuless at 6:09 AM PST - 75 comments


Bath salts are said to improve cleaning, improve the experience of bathing, serve as a vehicle for cosmetic agents, and some even claim medical benefits. But now bath salts are becoming the next big drug menace.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:23 AM PST - 95 comments

Sean Walling invites us into his machine shop to show us in great detail how each and every Soulcraft frame is hand designed for the individual customer based on their fit needs and riding style. [SLV]
posted by AndrewKemendo at 2:16 AM PST - 31 comments

January 23

A quick google search for "free wordpress themes" returns quite a number of varied results. The author of Why You Should Never Search For Free WordPress Themes in Google or Anywhere Else does a quick run-down of which of the first 10 results are genuine, trustable sites, vs. how which carry themes full of malicious code. The results aren't good.
posted by Hackworth at 11:37 PM PST - 52 comments


How "just another homework assignment" (slyt) can (maybe even without the creator's knowledge) easily explain an analogy first coined by the philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) "Russell's Teapot" (wiki)
posted by MrBCID at 9:22 PM PST - 17 comments

Roger Ebert: "In the last year or two, the world's cinema has become even more available. This instant, sitting right here, I can choose to watch virtually any film you can think of via Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, MUBI, the Asia/Pacific Film Archive, Google Video or Vimeo. At Europa Film Treasures, I can watch films none of us has heard of." Ebert on how the accessibility of film online is making for more and better film criticism from around the world "..by their early 20s, Wael Khairy of Cairo and Seongyong Cho of Seoul had seen every significant film ever made." "The best single film criticism site is arguably davidbordwell.net". [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 9:16 PM PST - 24 comments


"Feel better, look better and live longer" (video) was the credo of "Nutritionist, Author, Lecturer and Physical Culture Expert on Your Figure and Beauty", Jack LaLanne, who despite everything, passed away today of pneumonia at the age of 96, less than a week after the Slate "Fitness Issue" compared him to other "fitness gurus". [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:15 PM PST - 63 comments

Gavin Castleton does a pretty cool one-man cover of Peter Gabriel's "Sledgehammer". [more inside]
posted by rollbiz at 7:10 PM PST - 18 comments

An Australian journalist on board an icebreaker has spotted a mysterious piece of wood sitting on top of an iceberg in the Antarctic, posting photos reminiscent of the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. Cue crazy theories about its origins. [more inside]
posted by puffl at 5:49 PM PST - 110 comments

Yesterday, the drug manufacturer Hospira ceased its production (corporate statement) of Sodium thiopental, the first drug used in the three drug cocktail for lethal injection. (Sodium thiopental shortages previously) [more inside]
posted by Hactar at 5:09 PM PST - 61 comments

I didn’t really appreciate the concept of becoming ‘unstuck’ in time until I returned from war. Matt Gallagher gives words to the discomfort of life after 15 months in Iraq.
posted by shii at 4:58 PM PST - 13 comments


Do nothing for 2 minutes. From the man who brought you The Million Dollar Home Page.
posted by chavenet at 4:07 PM PST - 60 comments


Catfish: Filmmakers Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost begin to film Ariel's brother Nev, a photographer who shares office space with the the pair in NYC. Nev begins an online relationship--through Facebook--with a family in rural Michigan: an 8-year-old girl, the girl's mother, and most significantly, the girl's older sister, with whom Nev develops a romantic relationship. The trio ultimately discover that all is not what it seems. The latter might describe the film critically acclaimed Catfish itself, which the makers defend as completely true. Ten reasons why Catfish is fake. Roger Ebert liked it, but doesn't seem to care if it's fake or not. Others think it's just sort of fake. More here and here.
posted by zardoz at 3:51 PM PST - 22 comments

Al Jazeera has obtained a large volume of official documents concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The confidential files, to be released in the coming days, were shared with The Guardian.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 3:05 PM PST - 112 comments


"I'm getting older, and I'm not always gonna be around the house to explain stuff to you. I know you have a lot of questions, and I want us to be open with each other. So, I think it's time you learned where blogs and tweets come from." (SLMcSweeney's) [more inside]
posted by memebake at 2:02 PM PST - 30 comments

Every day during 2011, Bristol artist Kirsty Hall will go for a walk to release an art jar into the wild for people to find and keep. The jars thus far. Kirsty on twitter.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:09 PM PST - 30 comments

Paulo Coelho to Sean Parker: Did you like the movie? (seven second time delay) (question at 4:40)
posted by Xurando at 12:55 PM PST - 16 comments

Why Man Creates directed by Saul Bass
posted by puny human at 10:41 AM PST - 12 comments

Horizon asks "What is reality?" -- youtube for links for those outside the UK: 1, 2, 3, 4. It's a hard question. To help you answer it, Stanford has a set of free courses available on line by Leonard Susskind: General Relativity, Cosmology, New Revolutions in Particle Physics, Quantum Entanglement, Special Relativity, Classical Mechanics, Statistical Mechanics, The Standard Model. (Each link is to lecture 1 of a full college course of a dozen or so lectures.) If you need help with the math, the Khan Academy should help get you up to speed.
posted by empath at 8:13 AM PST - 67 comments

The Art of Hermann Zapf film "was produced in 1967 at Hallmark Cards in Kansas City and in my design studio in Dreieichenhain, Germany... After long discussions and the help of a lot of alcohol we started late in the night. I was sitting at a slanted glass table with a hot spotlight in my neck. Frank Robinson was lying on the floor with the camera ready for a frog-view shot. My task was to write beautiful letters with ink which dried as soon the pen touched the slippery surface of an astralon sheet." — Hermann Zapf
posted by netbros at 7:31 AM PST - 16 comments

In 1976, in response to NASA's development of the Space Shuttle, the USSR began it's own reusable launcher program, the Buran (Snowstorm), based at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in what is now Kazakhstan. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago at 7:04 AM PST - 49 comments

Activists in the UK are currently rather angry about the news that undercover cops have been sleeping around in order to infiltrate largely peaceful environmental groups - one officer even married an activist. "Everybody knew it was a very promiscuous lifestyle," ... "You cannot not be promiscuous in those groups. Otherwise you'll stand out straightaway.".
posted by handee at 6:18 AM PST - 91 comments

UK cosmetics company Lush cultivates an image of quirky naiveté in its marketing, even when it loses the credit card details of thousands of customers. [more inside]
posted by him at 5:23 AM PST - 42 comments

The ambulance that was used to carry the body of John F. Kennedy from Andrews Air Force Base to Bethesda Naval Hospital was sold at auction last night for $120,000. Or was it? [more inside]
posted by fixedgear at 4:37 AM PST - 10 comments

This interview, conducted by family friend Todd McCormack, took place in 1988, when Roald Dahl was 71. As Dahl himself said, “I have worked all my life in a small hut up in our orchard. It is a quiet private place and no one has been permitted to pry in there.” He not only let Todd McCormack inside the hut, but also have him a rare insight into how he worked, where his ideas came from, and how he shaped them into unforgettable stories. Roald Dahl passed away in 1990, two years after the interview. [more inside]
posted by infini at 4:17 AM PST - 13 comments

Pica is an eating disorder, that causes people to eat very strange things, like dirt and glue. But eating a couch? Is that really the same thing?
posted by mad_little_monkey at 2:04 AM PST - 35 comments

January 22

Pink releases music video for the song Fuckin' Perfect: Explicit Version (Youtube, possibly NSFW) / Radio Edit: Youtube / MTVMusic. Background: Pink's Website / Wikipedia. Note: Both versions of the video depict anorexia, cutting and suicide.
posted by zarq at 10:37 PM PST - 61 comments

Veena Malik, a Pakistani actress, appeared on an Indian reality show, "appeared to cuddle with an Indian actor" and was criticized by a Pakistani cleric. Malik stood her ground: "What is your problem with me? You tell me your problem!" an angry Veena Malik asked the Muslim scholar, who accused her of insulting Islam. At least some people in the country are unimpressed by the criticism of Malik: If there’s something this country’s good at, it’s sanctimonious hypocrisy. Oh by the way, she's said to have broken new ground in the Twittersphere.
posted by ambient2 at 10:29 PM PST - 20 comments

Lazy Teenage Superheroes - Short Film [nsfw]. A fun 12:49 minute superhero movie created by Michael Ashton.
posted by nickyskye at 10:19 PM PST - 7 comments

Songs about cheese [MLYT] are a more popular genre than one might expect. [more inside]
posted by lollusc at 10:08 PM PST - 21 comments

"People in these communities may not have experienced the Great Depression first-hand, but our research suggests that the cultural consequences of suspensions, especially as they relate to trust and demoralization, have been passed along for generations." Counties with higher bank suspension rates in 1930 experienced elevated suicide rates 70 years later.
posted by orthogonality at 9:33 PM PST - 5 comments

Former Spy With Agenda Operates a Private C.I.A. 'Duane R. Clarridge parted company with the Central Intelligence Agency more than two decades ago, but from poolside at his home near San Diego, he still runs a network of spies. Over the past two years, he has fielded operatives in the mountains of Pakistan and the desert badlands of Afghanistan. Since the United States military cut off his funding in May, he has relied on like-minded private donors to pay his agents to continue gathering information about militant fighters, Taliban leaders and the secrets of Kabul’s ruling class.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 6:14 PM PST - 32 comments

The Super Secret International American Time Box by Miracle Jones
posted by cthuljew at 5:45 PM PST - 18 comments

The Lord of the Rings wasn't the only movie featuring The Beatles that never happened. Very early in their career, the group signed a three-movie deal with United Artists as a way to get increased publicity, with A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965) being completed in short time. An early contender for their third film was a western comedy. Going quite a different direction was a "morbid and dull" work called Up Against It, seen by others as dated satire that read "like a rather mediocre early [Monty] Python movie." Continue on in for more ephemera from other rejected film projects by The Beatles. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:41 PM PST - 11 comments


Lack of Belief in gods by Qualiasoup. SLYT; 10.00; "Explaining the concept, refuting common objections and giving a number of reasons that atheists are sometimes 'fervent'."
posted by bwg at 3:49 PM PST - 106 comments

Basically, the big hurdle on this title was a clause in the contracts stating that the likenesses of both Tony Curtis and Burt Lancaster MUST appear, and both MUST be the same size. And given the power imbalance between the two characters in the film, the idea of having the two of them just standing there, on equal footing with each other, felt really wrong… Eric Skillman on working with artist Sean Philips on the cover for the Criterion edition of Sweet Smell of Sucess.
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM PST - 21 comments

Beyond Black Mesa [SLVimeo]
posted by benzenedream at 3:40 PM PST - 40 comments

Bad Project. For anybody who's ever worked in a bio lab, or know people who have. (SLLadyGagaParody.)
posted by kmz at 3:20 PM PST - 23 comments

Smooth Criminal cello duet. That is all.
posted by sonika at 1:14 PM PST - 102 comments

Always entertaining fashion blog, Tom and Lorenzo, posted Splash Calendar 2011 by Tejal Patni. The photographs are beautiful, odd, dark and somewhat reminiscent of artists, Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison (previously).
posted by Euphorbia at 11:18 AM PST - 3 comments

New math theories reveal the nature of numbers [1,2] - "We prove that partition numbers are 'fractal' for every prime. These numbers, in a way we make precise, are self-similar in a shocking way. Our 'zooming' procedure resolves several open conjectures, and it will change how mathematicians study partitions." (/.|via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 10:40 AM PST - 45 comments

Hydraulic hybrid cars to be mass produced by Chrysler. Using a brake-stored "launch assist" technology developed and tested by the EPA since 2004, the lesser known hydraulic hybrid vehicle is relatively clean-burning and fuel efficient, easy to deliver, and isn't powered by batteries. How it all works.
posted by Brian B. at 10:35 AM PST - 56 comments

Ivan Yakovlevich Bilibin had an eye for bold lines, vivid colors and hypnotic patterns but he also comfortable working in shades of gray, and he wasn't above making a buck. His early work illustrating fairy tales led naturally to his later engagement in the theater as a costume and set designer. [more inside]
posted by Rat Spatula at 10:16 AM PST - 18 comments

Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight: The John Hinde Butlin's Photographs "Long viewed only as a master of kitsch Hinde is now recognised, albeit posthumously, as a peerless social documentarian. Dazzling in their their colour intensity and strange clarity.... Visionary, Wonderful." Sean O'Hagan, The Observer, London "Extraordinary...the combination of aesthetics and promotion produced something that bypasses documentary and approaches an arresting British surrealism". David Jays, Financial Times "These phenomenal photographs...a cacophony of colour...Despite and because of their artifice, John Hinde's picture postcards are endlessly fascinating, exposing social trends, sartorial aberrations and a particular photographic vision. A delightful book". The Art Book. Large collection of his other work at the John Hinde Collection
posted by puny human at 10:00 AM PST - 6 comments



What's a Bigger Draw Than a Camel Fight? A Camel Beauty Contest, of Course To the uninitiated, what makes a camel beautiful isn't exactly obvious. But organizers of the Selcuk championship hope the addition of a pageant will draw new enthusiasts to the sport of camel fighting, which is struggling to stay relevant in an increasingly modern and urbanized Turkey.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:03 AM PST - 9 comments

Devadasi are women in southeastern India who were dedicated in their youth to the goddess Yellamma. When they reach puberty they are forced into sex work. Once they were women of high status, but now they've been relegated to the outskirts of society. The devadasi practice goes back a long way in history, and was once celebrated in poetry. When God Is a Customer, a collection of translated classical Telugu poems about the devadasi, is free to read online. Their modern life is described by William Dalrymple in The New Yorker and in a video interview with filmmaker Beeban Kidron which includes clips from her documentary Sex, Death and the Gods. The devadasi have been targeted by exploitative Western media for a long time, but have recently started to hit back, using the internet to disseminate their views.
posted by Kattullus at 7:46 AM PST - 14 comments

iHero: Mosaics of Steve Jobs - Charis Tsevis is a Greek artist and visual designer who creates interesting collages from objects related to the subject, often for publications like the Wall Street Journal and Time. Other works include Barack Obama, Charles Darwin, Jonathan Ive and much more.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:38 AM PST - 25 comments

A Jesuit priest arrives at an art museum in a red Cadillac and parks across two handicap spaces. The frail man has a generous donation of artworks for the museum. He wants neither cash nor a tax receipt for his gift. The problem is, he isn't a priest and his donations are all forged. [more inside]
posted by Brodiggitty at 5:18 AM PST - 46 comments

This is not the South Africa we dream of... (NSFW) "Using a Pentax camera with 35mm focal-length lens, Billy Monk photographed the nightclub revellers and sold the prints to his subjects. His close and long friendships with many of the people in the images allowed him to photograph them with extraordinary intimacy in all their states of joy and sadness. His images of nightlife seem carefree and far away from the scars and segregation of apartheid that fractured this society in the daylight."
posted by artof.mulata at 3:14 AM PST - 54 comments

They Were There is a 30 min video from IBM, who is turning 100 this year. "told by first-hand witnesses—current and retired employees and clients—who were there when IBM helped to change the way world works."
posted by finite at 12:05 AM PST - 52 comments

January 21


NEPHICIDE by JOGGER (SLYT)
posted by p3on at 9:55 PM PST - 44 comments

Steampunk Palin.
posted by NoraReed at 8:16 PM PST - 59 comments

A blogger for information security firm Imperva reports the discovery of a hacker site offering root access on US & foreign government, military & educational sites for sale for prices ranging from $55 to $499, or just database records for the reasonable price of $20/1000. Besides US sites the hacker(s) also offer government servers in India, Taiwan & Italy. The hacker(s) also provide what they claim is proof of their access for the skeptical or cautious buyer. No credit card offers, please - the only currency they accept is Liberty Reserve.
posted by scalefree at 7:17 PM PST - 29 comments

2K Games and Gearbox Software have announced that Duke Nukem Forever will ship simultaneously for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Windows PCs on May 3. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 7:00 PM PST - 50 comments

After 8 years as host of Countdown, Keith Olbermann calls it quits. The final sign-off.
posted by empath at 6:23 PM PST - 142 comments

A duffel bag full of money was found along I-76 today. [more inside]
posted by Balisong at 5:44 PM PST - 51 comments

"All my life I’ve focused on the poor. The rich ones have their own photographers."
Social documentary photographer Milton Rogovin's 'life was about seeing. In the literal sense, he was an optometrist. In a more figurative sense, through the lens of his camera, he saw things and people that were often ignored — the poor, the oppressed, the "forgotten ones," as he called them.' "A librarian in Buffalo's Communist Party, he was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1957, and was named "Buffalo's Top Red" in the Buffalo Evening News. Losing business and facing intense social persecution, Rogovin turned to photography in order to create images that conveyed his desire for a more equal and just society, and to give voice to others who were persecuted, who were invisible to most." Mr. Rogovin died on January 18th at his home in Buffalo at the age of 101. Previously on Metafilter [more inside]
posted by zarq at 5:27 PM PST - 9 comments

Fox in Socks: fastest bed time story, ever. Now go to sleep. (SLYT; 2.24) [more inside]
posted by bwg at 3:47 PM PST - 22 comments


Today is National Squirrel Appreciation Day. Here are seven ways to celebrate. Here are squirrel FAQ's. Here is a cute squirrel video.
posted by Xurando at 2:18 PM PST - 39 comments

Belgium's telecoms companies have a reputation for customer care that is only slightly better than the Gestapo's. Because of divisions among the linguistic areas, monopolies and a disinterest in oversight, the phone and internet companies are notorious for outstandingly poor customer service. Everyone has a tale to tell. In my case, I had a deal with one company and when my neighbour got connected with a rival firm, instead of putting in a new cable, they literally cut through mine and attached him. They then refused to reconnect me, on the grounds that I was not a customer of theirs. After five weeks of getting nowhere, I had to pay another company to install a new cable. Recently a Flemish TV show fought back for all of us. SLYT. A fine and elaborate prank that needs to be watched to the end. Yes it is a SLYT but for anyone who has ever had to deal with Belgian telecoms or internet companies, this is entirely justified payback.
posted by quarsan at 1:59 PM PST - 32 comments

Cold Reading - A rationalist ghost story by Alan Moore.
posted by Artw at 1:56 PM PST - 50 comments

Microaggressions. This blog seeks to provide a visual representation of the everyday of “microaggressions.” Each event, observation and experience posted is not necessarily particularly striking in and of themselves. Often, they are never meant to hurt - acts done with little conscious awareness of their meanings and effects. Instead, their slow accumulation during a childhood and over a lifetime is in part what defines a marginalized experience, making explanation and communication with someone who does not share this identity particularly difficult. Social others are microaggressed hourly, daily, weekly, monthly.
posted by prefpara at 1:54 PM PST - 56 comments

'The new Republican leaders in the House have received millions of dollars in fresh contributions from banks, health insurers and other major business interests, which are pressing for broad reversals of Democratic policies that affect corporations, according to disclosure records and interviews.''Much of that money flowed to the GOP chairmen overseeing banking, energy and other key committees, who will play a central role in setting the House agenda over the next two years. The impetus behind such largess is simple: Many companies and industry groups hope that House Speaker John A. Boehner (Ohio) and other Republicans will succeed in rolling back Democratic policies they find objectionable, including environmental and Wall Street regulations.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:14 PM PST - 79 comments

"With the lifetime costs of civilian brain injuries escalating, are local communities prepared for the complex treatment measures many veterans will require? . . . Why have we devoted such tremendous effort to sustaining life while investing so little to support and nurture it?" Fascinating accounts of brain injuries and their aftermaths, devastating and hopeful, from brain injury case manager Michael Paul Mason. [more inside]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:02 PM PST - 8 comments

On January 5th, 2011 largely unknown modern composer, and pioneer of long format compositions on early computer systems Roland Kayn "... left this world today from his home". [more inside]
posted by wcfields at 11:57 AM PST - 8 comments

One Day On Earth - a vast repository of video captured from lexperiences around the world on the 10th of October, 2010.
A Day Of The World’s Air Traffic - visualisation of the world's air traffic in a single day in 2008. (Original source, in German, previously.)
A Day In The Life Of Social Media. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 11:39 AM PST - 6 comments

Legal Sea Foods plans to serve a menu of blacklisted fish next Monday, claiming that there is no scientific basis for the Monterey Bay Aquarium's guide to sustainable seafood--which was recently updated to promote Atlantic haddock, Atlantic pollock, summer flounder, and line-caught Gulf of Maine cod to its “Good Alternatives” Category.
posted by rhiannonstone at 11:25 AM PST - 69 comments

While there has been quite a few pastiches, parodies, and new stories by fans of Sherlock Holmes over the years, there has been no new works to be placed in the canon of Sherlock Holmes since the final collection was published in 1927. But that is going to change in 2011: Anthony Horowitz has been chosen by Arthur Conan Doyle's estate to write an official Sherlock Holmes novel. Horowitz is the author of the Alex Rider series of young adult spy novels, The Power of Five series of fantasy suspense novels, and a number of TV writing credits. Until then, enjoy digital copies of the Sherlock Holmes canon, and then some. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 10:58 AM PST - 47 comments

Since at least Wednesday, there's been a Cooper's Hawk in the Main Reading Room at the Library of Congress. It has has adopted the ornate 160ft high dome as its aerie. [more inside]
posted by Herodios at 10:38 AM PST - 48 comments

She's a lady. A bunch of gems penned by women and mis-attributed to men, rounded up by the Yale Alumni Magazine. To wit: [more inside]
posted by liketitanic at 10:16 AM PST - 16 comments

NPR's Carl Kasell reads the pregame pep talk from Any Given Sunday.
posted by me3dia at 10:04 AM PST - 34 comments

Josh Springer thinks his invention can eliminate lines for beer at sporting events. The Bottoms Up beer pouring system claims to pour beer up to nine times faster than normal serving methods by using the power of magnets.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:00 AM PST - 49 comments

Since November of 2008, the Uncertain Times tumblr blog been offering a daily ragtag of unique, eclectic, intelligent eye-candy, over 8,000 wondrous posts. Bookmark and lose some hours exploring it! [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 9:30 AM PST - 5 comments

Two rather brilliant documentaries on two rather brilliant comedians, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. Buster Keaton: A Hard Act To Follow (part one) 1::2::3::4::5::6 (part two) 1::2::3::4::5::6 (part three) 1::2::3::4::5 Harold Lloyd: The Third Genius (part one) 1::2::3::4 (part two) 1::2::3::4 Narrated by Lindsay Anderson
posted by puny human at 9:27 AM PST - 14 comments


Anal Massage Goes Deeper Than You May Have Ever Imagined. A collection of very awkward sexual self-help videos, gathered by Eliot Glazer (creator of My Parents Were Awesome).
posted by hermitosis at 8:48 AM PST - 66 comments

"As Hannah Montana once said..." A Med School commencement speech about what it means to be called a Doctor. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:39 AM PST - 6 comments

Endogenize Ideology: Steve Waldman on the interplay between policy decisions and public opinion, in response to Krugman.
posted by Jpfed at 7:30 AM PST - 14 comments

Real Men Find Real Utopias Historian reviews new book by bigshot sociologist Erik Olin Wright and gives it a thorough drubbing. Wishes sociology could be like it used to be, with more history and better English. Via ALDaily.
posted by Philosopher's Beard at 6:36 AM PST - 34 comments

The Doge was the leader of the Venetian Republic, which lasted for over a thousand years, so they must have been doing something right. Here's Wikipedia's concise description of the selection process: "Thirty members of the Great Council, chosen by lot, were reduced by lot to nine; the nine chose forty and the forty were reduced by lot to twelve, who chose twenty-five. The twenty-five were reduced by lot to nine and the nine elected forty-five. Then the forty-five were once more reduced by lot to eleven, and the eleven finally chose the forty-one who actually elected the doge." Sounds crazy, but Miranda Mowbray and Dieter Gollmann wrote a paper, "Electing the Doge of Venice: Analysis of a 13th Century Protocol" (pdf) explaining its virtues in terms that should warm the cockles of MetaFilter's collective geeky heart. From the abstract: "We will show that it has some useful properties that in addition to being interesting in themselves, also suggest that its fundamental design principle is worth investigating for application to leader election protocols in computer science." Interesting sidelight: "security theater" can be a good thing.
posted by languagehat at 6:06 AM PST - 49 comments



January 20

That guy who predicted the big one? Don't listen to him. Stern School of Business (NYU) Professor Nouriel Roubini (wiki : twitter : prev : prev : prev) made waves when he predicted the Great Recession, but not all of his predictions have panned out. This needn't be a surprise, however: Predicting the Next Big Thing: Success as a Signal of Poor Judgment outlines how those who make big, accurate predictions are often worse than the general public at making predictions in general. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:50 PM PST - 34 comments

Trying to decide between a Ram heavy-duty pickup truck (gross combined weight rating of 24,500 pounds) and a Delta IV Heavy rocket (maximum payload 28,650 pounds)? This article and infographic will help. [more inside]
posted by alms at 7:58 PM PST - 74 comments

Chris Buzelli Twelve Tales from the Wolrd of Energy
posted by Sailormom at 7:40 PM PST - 13 comments

In Aliens, what was the primary danger Ellen Ripley faced? Was it A. the machinations of the officials of the Weyland-Yutani corporation, B. the attacks and acid blood of the aliens themselves, or C. the bizarre, space-warping doors of the space colony dumping her into pits of death? According to a recently-surfaced prototype of a Famicom (Japanese NES) port of Aliens, produced by Squaresoft, the answer is C!
Sardius of gaming blog Dream And Friends tells us all about it: Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 6:40 PM PST - 37 comments

The Dancer and the Terrorist. When Peru’s most wanted man, Abimael Guzmán Reynoso, was captured in 1992, a young ballerina, Maritza Garrido Lecca, went to jail too, for harbouring him at her studio. The story was turned into a novel and film, “The Dancer Upstairs” (trailer). This year, the author of the novel, Nicholas Shakespeare, flew to Lima to meet the dancer at last — and to ask her whether she was guilty.
posted by zarq at 5:16 PM PST - 13 comments

Khalid Sheik Mohammed claimed in a 2007 military hearing that he killed Daniel Pearl. His confession did not convince everyone, in part because it first emerged during CIA interrogation which included waterboarding him 183 times. (It may for that reason also be inadmissible if the Obama administration ever does try him in a civilian court.) And in fact, four other men have been convicted for the murder. But a new detailed report by The Pearl Project states that "vascular technology, or vein matching," reveals that the hands of the beheader are Mohammed's.
posted by bearwife at 4:04 PM PST - 198 comments

A blog dedicated to chronicling the events that took place on this day in 1957.
posted by Leezie at 3:30 PM PST - 26 comments

Fuhgedddaboutit! This morning, FBI agents conducted a multi-city raid across the Northeast, busting over 120 suspected mobsters in one of the largest raids in FBI history. The Village Voice blog helpfully provides this list of the 20 best nicknames of the suspects, including such immortals as Junior Lollipops, Tony Bagels, Jimmy Gooch, and Vinnie Carwash. They should have known something was up when the feds came looking for Joey Cupcakes.
posted by briank at 2:41 PM PST - 66 comments

"Gourmet ice, often heavily filtered and hand-cut to guarantee the optimal amount of dilution, has officially become part of cocktail culture." That is all.
posted by Scoop at 1:52 PM PST - 242 comments

Inside Google's Age of Augmented Humanity. Wade Roush of Xconomy interviews Google researchers working on speech recognition, machine translation, and computer vision. [CEO Eric] Schmidt talked about "the age of augmented humanity," a time when computers remember things for us, when they save us from getting lost, lonely, or bored, and when "you really do have all the world's information at your fingertips in any language"—finally fulfilling Bill Gates' famous 1990 forecast. This future, Schmidt says, will soon be accessible to everyone who can afford a smartphone—one billion people now, and as many as four billion by 2020.... It's not that phones themselves are all that powerful, at least compared to laptop or desktop machines. But more and more of them are backed up by broadband networks that, in turn, connect to massively distributed computing clouds (some of which, of course, are operated by Google). "It’s like having a supercomputer in your pocket," Schmidt said in Berlin. "When we do voice translation, when we do picture identification, all [the smartphone] does is send a request to the supercomputers that then do all the work."
posted by russilwvong at 1:50 PM PST - 62 comments

Harvard University’s Laboratory for Developmental Studies, colloquially known as the "Baby Lab" is an important center for research into human development. The various research groups at the Baby Lab cover many different areas; Felix Warneken's lab, for example, studies the development of human cooperation, while Elizabeth Spelke is concerned with determining what knowledge human infants are born with. Researching human development certainly produces fascinating findings, but there are perhaps stronger reasons why the lab might hold interest for a layperson. I'm talking, of course, about adorable videos of human and chimpanzee toddlers which have been produced by its researchers. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 1:09 PM PST - 11 comments


Hu Jintao, premier of China, is in the middle of his first state visit to the US, whose pomp and circumstance reflects China's growing economic stature and role in world affairs. Due to the linguistic and political differences between the US and China, few Americans know very much about Hu. Many of them will have had their first real look at him during an extended and surprisngly candid joint press conference held with President Obama and lasting well over an hour - something which never happens in China. Fears (or possibly hopes) of a trade war between the US and China a year ago have faded, and instead a trade deal involving $45 billion of American exports was announced, to mixed reactions. He was received less kindly by Congress, whose members expressed disquiet about everything from trade deficits to human rights and whose leaders declined to discuss matters over dinner - perhaps because they did not wish to be lost in the high-powered crowd of attendees. [more inside]
posted by anigbrowl at 11:33 AM PST - 59 comments

Cartography is the science of map-making. Seb Przd takes a photo and maps it out to build his own world of cartographical projections.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:00 AM PST - 18 comments

Cow Clicker distilled social games to their essence, offering players incentive to instrumentalize their friendships, obsess over arbitrary timed events, buy their way out of challenge and effort, and incrementally blight their offline lives through worry and dread.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 10:50 AM PST - 18 comments

Like many of the ibex farms sprouting up across the northeastern United States, Yael offers an intensive Chinese-language immersion course. The most emailed New York Times article ever.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:43 AM PST - 59 comments

In Norway, Start-ups Say Ja to Socialism - We venture to the very heart of the hell that is Scandinavian socialism—and find out that it's not so bad. Pricey, yes, but a good place to start and run a company. What exactly does that suggest about the link between taxes and entrepreneurship?
posted by kliuless at 10:40 AM PST - 52 comments


Copycat of Arizona's immigration status bill has passed the Mississippi Senate by a vote of 34-15. The difference here is that there is a precondition with the immigration status check. Though selection cannot be based on race, color, or country of origin but ability to English can cast enough suspicion to warrant a check on immigration status.
posted by azileretsis at 10:24 AM PST - 73 comments

The last meals of executed prisoners - photographs of the final choices of death row inmates.
posted by mdn at 10:05 AM PST - 75 comments


Well, the Poe toaster didn't show for the second year in a row (previously). Fear not, here's a lovely and disturbing animated short film of The Tell-Tale Heart from 1953, narrated by James Mason. Although nominated for an Academy Award, the UPA production was apparently the first cartoon to be rated X by the British Board of Film Censors.
posted by HumanComplex at 9:01 AM PST - 24 comments


"There was a night, maybe sometime around 1993, when I [Joe Matt] was working on an issue of my comic book, Peepshow and I was using some xeroxes of Peanuts strips from the collection, “You Can Do It, Charlie Brown” as blotter-paper. Anyway, there came a moment when I was using white-out and to remove some excess white-out from my brush, I wiped it on the blotter paper beneath my hand. And that’s how I came to idly white-out the words balloons on a few Peanuts strips. Once I saw the balloons whited-out and forgot what they originally said, I began filling them with the first perverted thing my brain thought they might say. It was so much fun and I was so happy with the results that I brought the pages out to show to Seth and Chester [Brown] the next day. Seth was eager to try it and immediately suggested we each go home and produce a set number of pages for a mini comic. Less than a week later, Chester brought out his original take on the concept and put Seth and I to shame." [more inside]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:59 AM PST - 56 comments

Not Common People is a photography blog. It's probably NSFW.
posted by chunking express at 7:34 AM PST - 37 comments

Paris Catacombs. National Geographic's Neil Shea goes underground in Paris. Photography by Stephen Alvarez.
posted by The Mouthchew at 7:25 AM PST - 23 comments

Roger Ebert gets a new chin An inspirational story; and he is due back on TV real soon.
posted by Jaymzifer at 7:18 AM PST - 47 comments

Lily the bear is giving birth and is going under the web cam again. The web cam and the American Bear Center are the creation of Lynn Rogers. Dr. Rogers work has his critics: "I highly disagree with the way Lynn Rogers has decided to pimp out these bears in order to pay off HIS debt. Instead of studying bears, I believe he has successfully 'studied' humans and has found the trick to manipulating them. "
posted by Xurando at 6:50 AM PST - 11 comments

Lake Vostok (previously) is about to be breached by a team of Russian scientists. The ice cores from Vostok Station have given us a continuous record of the earth's climate going back 420,000 years. Some scientists are worried that the breaching of the lake may lead to contamination. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:35 AM PST - 40 comments

Cromartie High School is a Japanese manga and animated series. It investigates poignant issues and themes in contemporary culture such as Internet Trolls, Denial, and Perception. Most importantly, it educates the viewer on what it takes to be an honest-to-goodness Badass. [more inside]
posted by lemuring at 4:40 AM PST - 29 comments

January 19



RUBBER (Not THAT one) is the story of Robert, an inanimate tire that has been abandoned in the desert, and suddenly and inexplicably comes to life. As Robert roams the bleak landscape, he discovers that he possesses terrifying telepathic powers that give him the ability to destroy anything he wishes without having to move. At first content to prey on small desert creatures and various discarded objects, his attention soon turns to humans, especially a beautiful and mysterious woman who crosses his path. [more inside]
posted by Knigel at 9:39 PM PST - 17 comments

"I was daydreaming in class about who knows what, when I thought of my fire poofer project...I tried to think of ways I could apply a fireball shooter to things in ways that would be pretty awesome. I thought of using a microcontroller to sync the fire to the beat of music - now that would be pretty cool, and the patterns would always be different, so it wouldn't get as boring as fast. Then I thought of the game Guitar Hero." High school student Chris Marion hacks a guitar controller and builds FireHero. Facemelting ensues.
posted by therewolf at 8:53 PM PST - 28 comments



According to official Chinese stats, make of them what you will, there are now 457 million internet users in China. They are said to include 450m who have broadband, and 303m who use mobile internet. 304m play online games, 140m use online banking, and 63m microblog. These users are estimated to spend an average of 18 hours a week online. As a benchmark, the current US population is estimated at 312m.
posted by philipy at 6:20 PM PST - 26 comments


An axegrinding tradition: the Buffalo Beast has posted its annual list of the 50 Most Loathsome People in America (previously)
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 5:16 PM PST - 108 comments

HR 2, officially the "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act", has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives with a vote of 245 to 189. 3 Democrats (Reps. Boren (OK), McIntyre (NC), and Ross (AR)) joined all 242 Republicans voting Aye. The bill will not be brought for a vote in the Senate, nor would it escape veto by President Obama. [more inside]
posted by 0xFCAF at 4:50 PM PST - 177 comments


Super Mario Brothers X The greatest fan game tribute to Super Mario of all time! Gameplay video here. hat tip to tigsource!
posted by boo_radley at 3:32 PM PST - 23 comments

The BBC and toy company Character Options will be putting a new Doctor Who themed series of construction toys on store shelves around the world in the next few months. Just when you thought Matt Smith and Karen Gillan couldn't get any cuter...
posted by BZArcher at 3:09 PM PST - 62 comments

What do you get when you mashup Girl Talk with Girl Talk? Mashed Up Mashup (or Mashup Squared). From artist Evan Roth. [more inside]
posted by azarbayejani at 2:48 PM PST - 31 comments

The Danger of Cosmic Genius. Why is Freeman Dyson now considered "perhaps our most prominent global-warming skeptic?" Previously
posted by zarq at 2:19 PM PST - 50 comments

In 1982, three 12-year-old friends began work on Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation. The shot-for-shot recreation was finished in 1989, and received its world premiere in 2003 (prev.). Watch the first ten minutes. More scenes via the BBC review and the Today Show. [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 2:08 PM PST - 20 comments

Craig Rowin asked the internet for a million dollars, and apparently the internet is going to deliver. Now, the caveat is that the check for a million dollars will be handed to Craig during an improv show, so is it just a publicity stunt? Time will tell. Previously.
posted by taumeson at 1:52 PM PST - 20 comments

Space Suit of the Week.
posted by Scoop at 12:43 PM PST - 12 comments

The Global Aging Preparedness Index The GAP Index is a measure of how countries are prepared to deal with their elderly/retired - this is a recent report put together by the Center for Strategic International Studies and looks at how things stood in 2007 and looks ahead to 2040. Hint: you don't want to be old now in South Korea or old in 2040 in Spain. via cfr.org
posted by skyscraper at 12:14 PM PST - 16 comments


A collection of covers from different editions of Crash. Includes some commentary by JG Ballard.
posted by Dim Siawns at 11:32 AM PST - 26 comments

Rock impresario Don Kirshner has died in Boca Raton, Florida at age 76. [more inside]
posted by CosmicRayCharles at 10:43 AM PST - 26 comments

A huge number of English translations of the Iliad and Odyssey, many available in full text. I would just add to the list Chapman's Iliad available in full-text on Google Books and Logue's War Music available in preview.
posted by Paquda at 10:16 AM PST - 29 comments

Right before the 10th anniversary of the first same-sex marriage in Canada, Saskatchewan's highest court has ruled that a proposed law allowing provincial marriage commissioners to refuse to wed same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Thecourt.ca gives its thoughts on the decision and the social context surrounding it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:34 AM PST - 40 comments

Images of War. Three friends: Robert Capa, Gerda Taro and David Seymour (known as Chim) set out to document wartime Spain. Each photographer found their own vision, relationship with war, and eventual wartime deaths (Taro near Madrid in 1937; Capa, the first photojournalist killed in Indochina 1954, and Seymour to sniper fire in Egypt in 1956). Capa and Taro’s work from the Civil War assumed lost during the Nazi Invasion of Paris appeared in a Mexican Suitcase in 2007 bringing with it a mysterious tale (Previous Metas). For extra galleries click [more inside]
posted by stratastar at 9:25 AM PST - 5 comments

Every time this guy peels out, God kills a baby panda. So offensive it becomes kinda glorious. (slyt, SFW)
posted by Tom-B at 9:16 AM PST - 108 comments

Twitter-controlled robot, christmas tree, etch-a-sketch, car, PC, pop corn, LEGO, LED, coffee pot.
posted by keepoutofreach at 9:13 AM PST - 10 comments

The 2010 AI and Interactive Digital Entertainment conference hosted a Starcraft AI Tournament last October, pitting AI algorithms against each other. The winner was the Berkeley Overmind agent, and one member has written a fascinating article describing how their AI evolved, how it went up against one of the top SC players in Europe, and eventually won the competition. [more inside]
posted by SirOmega at 9:05 AM PST - 30 comments

An open source, html5 based graphing and computation engine does in your browser what is usually outsourced to the cloud. It graphs, solves, simplifies, integrates and differentiates expressions, and needs no internet connection once you load the page in your browser (or save it on your computer). RTFM.
posted by Obscure Reference at 8:40 AM PST - 26 comments

Gay parents find the south more welcoming. The south gets a bad rep. Organizations like Southerners On New Ground are doing incredible grassroots work that is changing that.
posted by anya32 at 7:47 AM PST - 52 comments

Indeed, the comeback of the culture of poverty, albeit in new rhetorical guise, signifies a reversion to the status quo ante: to the discourses and concomitant policy agenda that existed before the black protest movement forced the nation to confront its collective guilt and responsibility for two centuries of slavery and a century of Jim Crow—racism that pervaded all major institutions of our society, North and South. Such momentous issues are brushed away as a new generation of sociologists delves into deliberately myopic examinations of a small sphere where culture makes some measurable difference—to prove that “culture matters.”
Stephen Steinberg on culture and poverty
posted by AceRock at 7:46 AM PST - 25 comments

Alien prequel morphs into Prometheus [warning: annoying interstitial ad], the new Ridley Scott sci-fi film. Via the awesome Strange Shapes Alien series blog.
posted by Bangaioh at 7:45 AM PST - 47 comments

GLBT rights advocate Carolyn Wagner has passed away. In 1996, Carolyn's 16 year old son, William, was assaulted in his school in Fayetteville, Arkansas, following years of anti-gay harassment. School administrators rebuffed his complaints, telling him to man-up. His mother, Carolyn, filed a complaint with the Office For Civil Rights that the Fayetteville Arkansas School District was in violation of their son's Title lX rights and succeeded in convincing the OCR that GLBT students are covered by Title lX, and won. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:20 AM PST - 28 comments

Minding his own business looting a tomb near Lake Nemi, south of Rome, an Italian man, now in custody, has led police to what they believe is the resting place of one of the most famous emperors in history, Caligula. [more inside]
posted by zombieApoc at 6:48 AM PST - 55 comments

'On March 30th 1995, I started doing at least one Self-Portrait everyday for the rest of my life. At present I have over 7,900 of them. [...] After experiencing drastic changes in my environment, I looked for other experiences that might profoundly affect my perception of the self. So I devised another experiment where everyday I took a different drug and drew myself under the influence.'
posted by shakespeherian at 6:32 AM PST - 47 comments

If It Were My Home lets you see in what ways your life might be different if you lived in another country.
posted by empath at 5:44 AM PST - 33 comments


Sherry Turkle of MIT once fell in love with a robot. And was promptly repulsed by her own reaction. Via the always great Arts and Letters.
posted by converge at 3:26 AM PST - 104 comments

reMIND is a webcomic that updates on Mondays.
posted by cthuljew at 12:53 AM PST - 9 comments

The Voyager I spacecraft, 33 years into its mission, "has outrun the solar wind" and is exiting the solar system. This nice article explains what this means, and has a bunch of wonderful details and interviews with the original mission scientists. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:00 AM PST - 70 comments

January 18


Before and After the Flood. Startling pictures of recent events in Brisbane.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 8:17 PM PST - 45 comments

The world is well on track to achieve 4 degrees of warming by 2100. In September 2009, a conference organised by the Tyndall Centre looked at this scenario, with the papers recently published in a special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society. Pr. Anderson of the Tyndall Centre suggests that only 10 percent of humanity may survive this conflagration.
posted by wilful at 7:33 PM PST - 114 comments

5 miles, on a surf board - Tidal bore surfing is limited to about 100 rivers. This short video from the Cook Inlet, Alaska may cause you to buy a board. (previously)
posted by HuronBob at 6:56 PM PST - 16 comments

"Feathered Hussy Moves in on Pale Male." Famous Central Park raptor Pale Male has taken a new mate, which most likely means that Lola, his companion of the last eight years, has died. Though some birders hold out hope for her return, one expert says, "This is not the season that experienced [female hawks] cavalierly absent themselves from their established territories." Pale Male is known to have sired at least 26 chicks, and inspired both controversy and counter-protests when fancy Upper East Siders tried to evict his nest from their fancy building. The birds won that conflict. Next argument on tap: what to name his new mate.
posted by BlahLaLa at 5:15 PM PST - 31 comments

Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep: Lally Stott (original version) ll Middle of the Road (Top of the Pops) ll The Strollers (Malaysia) ll Koivisto Sisters (Finland) ll Snaps (Italo) ll The Jay Boys (Reggae) ll Chai Mimi and 鳳飛飛 - 愛情多甜蜜 (Mandarin) ll Tyyne Lipasti and Aki, Turo & Hepamamas (Finland?) ll Børre & Gibb (Norway) ll Paul Mauriat (France) ll Los Continuados (Spanish) ll Mac & Katie Kissoon and Lush (Britain) ll The X Factor
posted by puny human at 5:01 PM PST - 25 comments



The Daily Diff is a timed spot-the-differences puzzle based on public photo submissions. There's a new photo every day. For those of you who remember Highlights for Children magazine, it's basically Check...And Doublecheck for grownups.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 4:08 PM PST - 8 comments

What the Heck is Shadow DOM? Browser developers realized that coding the appearance and behavior of HTML elements completely by hand is a) hard and b) silly. So they sort of cheated. They created a boundary between what you, the Web developer can reach and what’s considered implementation details, thus inaccessible to you. The browser however, can traipse across this boundary at will.
posted by netbros at 4:00 PM PST - 38 comments

Visceral Games launches a very innovative ad campaign for their upcoming game, "Dead Space 2". The second installment of the Dead Space series is set to come out January 25th of this year. In what seems to be a final ditch effort to build some last minute hype, the producers have started an interesting ad campaign. [more inside]
posted by MHPlost at 3:55 PM PST - 77 comments

Since November 29th., 2010 Boston's PBS station WGBH has had an open call for video submissions that "best tell the story of gay rights in America today." "WGBH...which produces American Experience, is inviting 'citizen reporters, journalists, video-bloggers, documentary story tellers, animators or new media-makers' to create three-minute shorts on the Stonewall Riots and their 'legacy of courage.'"* One winning submission "may air along with the television debut of Stonewall Uprising on American Experience this spring." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 3:25 PM PST - 4 comments

“You know what Miami gets in their crime show? They get detectives that look like models, and they drive around in sports cars. And you know what New York gets, they get these incredibly tough prosecutors, competent cops that solve the most crazy, complicated cases. —What Baltimore gets is this reinforced notion that it's a city full of hopelessness, despair and dysfunction. There was very little effort—beyond self-serving—to highlight the great and wonderful things happening here, and to indict the whole population, the criminal justice system, the school system.” —Baltimore Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III, on the effect of The Wire on Baltimore’s reputation. [more inside]
posted by kipmanley at 3:14 PM PST - 119 comments


The other places are like kindergartens compared with this. It smells so incredibly evil! I didn't think such a place existed except in my own imagination. It has a ghastly familiarity like a half-remembered dream. *Anything* could happen here... any moment... Pauline Kael called it "hilariously, awesomely terrible". Others consider it "a forgotten gem of a film that set the gold standard for noir films to come". It was Josef von Sternberg's last major film - The Shanghai Gesture (1941). (parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)
posted by Joe Beese at 2:20 PM PST - 7 comments


Know that feeling of disappointment when you realize this is yet another Civil War Re-enactment that's just not down enough? Good news.
posted by yerfatma at 1:54 PM PST - 30 comments

The official W3C sanctioned HTML5 logo So, what do you think of the new, official W3C HTML5 logo? Or the official HTML5 t-shirt?
posted by greenhornet at 12:36 PM PST - 151 comments

The FCC and Department of Justice have approved Comcast’s purchase of NBC Universal. The acquisition marks the first time a major television network will be owned by a cable provider. Opponents like Al Franken decry the deal as giving “unprecedented control over the flow of information in America” to a single media conglomerate. FCC news release about conditions imposed on the merger. (Scribd link)
posted by spitefulcrow at 12:35 PM PST - 73 comments


Why Does Roger Ailes Hate America? He tarred NPR higher ups as "left wing Nazis" over the Juan Williams firing, and more recently asked his commentators to "shut up, tone it down" after the Giffords shooting. Esquire profiles the president of Fox News Channel.
posted by availablelight at 12:13 PM PST - 28 comments

Todd Bieber was skiing in New York City's Prospect Park when he found a mysterious roll of film documenting the NYC blizzard. He hopes that with $26 and your help, he can find the owners and return their negatives to them.
posted by Captain Cardanthian! at 11:22 AM PST - 53 comments

Kibera is a slum in the southwest of Nairobi, often called the biggest slum in the world; some estimates of the population put it as high as 1.5m, although the 2009 Kenyan census puts the population at a rather more sober 170k(ish). Now, Kiberans are carrying out two similarly named but unaffiliated projects, Map Kibera and Map Kibera Project, to create maps of their home. MKP has a pair of rather slick-looking PDF maps showing the terrain and structures in Kibera. MK uses OpenStreetMap, which means that their cartographers can be rapidly update it to more accurately reflect how quickly things change in Kibera. They also have, inevitably, a twitter account, flickr stream and a blog to keep the world up to date with their work, including their ambition to start mapping another Nairobi slum, Mathare. Via the Beeb, which also has a nice wee audio slideshow about MK.
posted by Dim Siawns at 9:46 AM PST - 8 comments

"You can’t help feel a little swell of pride in this 2.0 generation. They’ve spent a decade being berated for not making the right sorts of paintings or novels or music or politics. Turns out the brightest 2.0 kids have been doing something else extraordinary. They’ve been making a world." Zadie Smith on Mark Zuckerberg, The Social Network, and Facebook.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:41 AM PST - 155 comments

"In 1964, Lyndon Johnson needed pants, so he called the Haggar clothing company and asked for some. The call was recorded (like all White House calls at the time), and has since become the stuff of legend. Johnson’s anatomically specific directions to Mr. Haggar are some of the most intimate words we’ve ever heard from the mouth of a President." From Put This On. (Via).
posted by chavenet at 9:21 AM PST - 68 comments

In 1905, a rich French man named Louis Mantin died. He had no children, and had an unusual request in his will: keep his house untouched for 100 years, and then turn it into a museum (English-language link; BBC video). Welcome to the Maison Mantin of Alliers, France (French-language links). If you can't find it, it's right on the Cour des Bénédictins, right next to the surprisingly picturesque former prison (last two links are to images). You have to book ahead by phone.
posted by flibbertigibbet at 8:58 AM PST - 16 comments

Who, exactly, represents the left extreme in the establishment blogosphere? You'd likely hear names like Jane Hamsher or Glenn Greenwald. But these examples are instructive. Is Hamsher a socialist? A revolutionary anti-capitalist? In any historical or international context-- in the context of a country that once had a robust socialist left, and in a world where there are straightforwardly socialist parties in almost every other democracy-- is Hamsher particularly left-wing? Not at all. It's only because her rhetoric is rather inflamed that she is seen as particularly far to the left.
Freddie De Boer on the lack of left wing discourse in the blogosphere. [more inside]
posted by ennui.bz at 8:47 AM PST - 84 comments

Brazil won't extradite an Italian writer convicted for political murders in the 1970s, so a Venetian official wants his books out of libraries. Not only Cesare Battisti's works, but also those written by Italians who supported him through petitions.

The Wu Ming group is on the case (English translation), fearing this will worsen and spread to the rest of Italy. [more inside]
posted by doctornemo at 8:44 AM PST - 9 comments

In September, a privately held and highly secretive U.S. biotech company received a patent for a genetically adapted E. coli bacterium that feeds solely on carbon dioxide and excretes liquid hydrocarbons. Joule Unlimited, co-founded by George Church, appears ready to forever alter the way we produce fuel. [more inside]
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:15 AM PST - 140 comments

Apparently They, of "They say..." fame, have been misusing the statistical significance test. So much of what "They say" might not actually be. (via)
posted by cross_impact at 8:14 AM PST - 51 comments

Student puts the cost of education on the table Out of state student Nic Ramos paid his $14,300 tuition cost for a semester at CU Boulder in $1 bills to bring attention to the rising cost of education in the U.S. [more inside]
posted by lonefrontranger at 8:12 AM PST - 65 comments

In the 1960's, 70's and 80's, urban decay and high crime rates caused retail chain supermarkets to flee New York City. (google books link) Korean immigrants filled the gap with corner grocery stores. For nearly two decades they were ubiquitous -- symbols of the group's ongoing quest to achieve the American Dream. But 30 years later, Where Did The Korean Greengrocers Go? [more inside]
posted by zarq at 8:03 AM PST - 19 comments

GameKnot, in addition to being a generally wonderful site to play and study chess, has a page which show nothing but checkmates from recently-played games being carried out. Watch as fate is inexorably sealed.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:35 AM PST - 14 comments


The Fifth Solvay Conference, where the leading physicists of the time gathered to discuss quantum theory, produced an iconic photo of the participants. 17 of the 29 pictured either already were or would be Nobel prize winners, including Marie Curie who was badass enough to have two. But did you know there is film footage of the conference as well? [more inside]
posted by kmz at 6:28 AM PST - 8 comments

Rafaela Persson photographed female drug addicts and their children in Afghanistan. [more inside]
posted by gman at 5:38 AM PST - 9 comments

Death of General Vang Pao who led the Hmong into exile. His exile was not uncontroversial as he was involved in Heroin trafficking and possible embezzlement.
Photos of Hmong guerilla fighters.
in 2010 the secret Hmong army was still fighting. Forty years on, Laos reaps still reaps the bitter harvest of the secret war where the US dropped more ordinance than the entirety of World war II. (previously)
posted by adamvasco at 3:43 AM PST - 19 comments

January 17

The identity of Banksy is up for auction on eBay. Bidding currently stands at $999,999.00 with 38 bids. He has been "exposed" before.
posted by deadbilly at 10:03 PM PST - 83 comments


Matthew Irvine Brown has written 18 short pieces specifically to be played in iTunes shuffle mode. The fragments can be downloaded from his site to create your own original track. A liking of glitch will probably increase your enjoyment.
posted by meech at 5:40 PM PST - 22 comments

Bayard Rustin was an important civil rights activist, the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington and an invaluable strategist to Martin Luther King, Jr. Despite opposition relating to his status as an openly gay man, he continued to contribute throughout his life to the struggle for racial equality and later, for gay and lesbian equality. [more inside]
posted by Morrigan at 5:02 PM PST - 26 comments

Following 25 years of exile, and disembarking in the midst of a power vacuum, Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier has returned to Haiti. [more inside]
posted by clarknova at 4:40 PM PST - 70 comments

Dogs Themselves - A 3-Part CBC Ideas Program (MP3) Do they think in visual images - or maps, or strings of ideas, or perhaps in whole stories? Do they think at all? [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 4:28 PM PST - 40 comments

Happy Martin Luther King Day everyone! Audio from The Pod F. Tomcast, well worth checking out.
posted by America at 4:27 PM PST - 14 comments

The way different people respond to Wikipedia may tell us more about them (or ourselves as we react) than it does about The Opus itself. Oh well, when you're rowing a boat, you're always looking at where you've been. At any rate, Atlantic has posted a nice selection of opinions on a worthy, controversial subject by mostly recognizable names.
posted by Twang at 4:23 PM PST - 74 comments

Mountain House, the first project in the U.S. from genius Japanese design firm Atelier Bow Wow. Designed for Mike Mills and Miranda July. [via]
posted by puny human at 4:16 PM PST - 24 comments

The new film Blue Valentine (trailer) features a damn fine 60's-era soul ballad called "You and Me," of mysterious origin. The exposure has sparked an effort to find out who sang it and where it came from. The archival label Numero Group (previously) discovered the rehearsal tape, labeled only 'Penny and the Quarters', at an estate sale in Columbus, OH. Since then, "we have played this recording to over 100 movers and shakers from the time and no one has a clue."
posted by naju at 2:37 PM PST - 28 comments

The Battle Hymn of Sarah Palin. (SLYTAWESOME)
posted by EarBucket at 2:30 PM PST - 177 comments


The Words That Maketh Murder/The Last Living Rose - Director Seamus Murphy introduces two of 12 short films he made for PJ Harvey's forthcoming LP, Let England Shake
posted by Artw at 1:15 PM PST - 19 comments

Basehead, also known as dc Basehead and Basehead 2.0, is an American alternative hip hop group formed by Michael Ivey in suburban Maryland in 1992. Basehead's 1992 debut album, Play with Toys, was recorded at Ivey's home with various studio musicians (hits: Ode to My Favorite Beer, Not Over You, 2000 BC). Ivey formed a touring band for live performances, which contributed to Basehead's second album, Not in Kansas Anymore (which contained what some consider his best song, Split Personality). [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:12 PM PST - 21 comments

Congratulations, Mr Karimov! On the eve of your first official visit to Brussels in years, President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, you deserve high praise. You have played the long game expertly and outmanoeuvred European foreign-policy makers so deftly that you have become a model of how to shrug off international pariah status. [more inside]
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:11 PM PST - 11 comments

High profile cybercrime researcher and blogger Dancho Danchev has been missing since September. Many in the security community fear for his safety, and a recent report (google translate) has placed him in a psychiatric hospital since December 11th. (via)
posted by kaytwo at 12:10 PM PST - 6 comments

What scientific concept would improve everybody's cognitive toolkit? (The Edge.org Question of 2011) [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 12:01 PM PST - 67 comments


If you put your name on only one online petition this year, then sign this one too. [more inside]
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:17 AM PST - 42 comments

On MLK Day, Some Thoughts on Segregated Schools, Arne Duncan, and President Obama "American schools are more segregated by race and class today than they were on the day Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed, 43 years ago. The average white child in America attends a school that is 77 percent white, and where just 32 percent of the student body lives in poverty. The average black child attends a school that is 59 percent poor but only 29 percent white. The typical Latino kid is similarly segregated; his school is 57 percent poor and 27 percent white."
posted by Fizz at 10:40 AM PST - 55 comments

Why I Hate the Avant-Garde or, Why Laurie Anderson is less Avant-Garde than DJ Kool Herc. A rant with videos. Via The Front Section.
posted by mediareport at 10:34 AM PST - 110 comments


Donkeys! Sometimes they play with the band, or with kittens (Oh Hm), or with cars, or with doors.
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM PST - 8 comments

How Private Is 'Private Charity'? Private charity may be more accurately described as "private donations coupled with involuntary, tax-financed public subsidies." And it's not fair: "very low-income people paying only payroll taxes get hardly any leverage for their donations. Very high-income people in states with high income-tax rates – such as New Jersey and New York – can through the tax code virtually double the money funneled to a charity per dollar of their own sacrifice." (previously)
posted by kliuless at 9:33 AM PST - 39 comments


Comptine d'un autre ete : L'apres midi is a simple, heart-rending piano piece by Yann Tiersen. It has inspired covers spanning the range of musical expression: classical guitar, violin, harp, and piano and flute. Maybe that's not surprising, but the depth, sincerity, and number of metal covers was.
posted by fake at 9:01 AM PST - 22 comments

Why we're still fighting yesterday's economic war Above all, like historians assessing the Maginot Line, we must avoid comforting ourselves with the judgment that the [financial] system's architects were naive and that therefore we might hope to do much better. Far more important is to be aware that defenses are vulnerable precisely where they are strongest and to be prepared to respond creatively and calmly when they fail, as they surely will again.
posted by Philosopher's Beard at 6:26 AM PST - 19 comments

“Floating.” "Paint from a bucket" in slow motion, by Johann Cohrs & Siggi Kuckstein. Youtube version.
posted by zarq at 4:21 AM PST - 11 comments

"Dear Plasticians, As you may know, January 15th will be our 10th anniversary. Unfortunately, Plastic will shut down a month from then, around February 15th (exact date to come)." [more inside]
posted by iviken at 1:35 AM PST - 112 comments

January 16

"Nearly half of pregnancies among American women are unintended, and four in 10 of these are terminated by abortion.... At least half of American women will experience an unintended pregnancy by age 45, and, at current rates, about one-third will have had an abortion." Abortion is one of the most common medical procedures in the U.S., but it can be very difficult to get unbiased information about the procedure. From Jezebel: The Girl's Guide to Having an Abortion.
posted by jokeefe at 10:39 PM PST - 104 comments

If you brave the flash interface, there is so much to find. Critical Dictionary has photography, ideas, and very strange music. [more inside]
posted by idiopath at 9:44 PM PST - 7 comments



You've met AZO, the videogame animator that can actually do the stunts he animates. Now meet MrOldMana, one of AZO's (former) game developer colleagues, who has his own particular eye-popping talent that makes Bruce Lee look like a punk.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:05 PM PST - 49 comments

The Rise of the New Global Elite The new global elite are fabulously wealthy, cosmopolitan, philanthrocapitalist, entrepreneurial, highly driven, frequently self-made, and confident they deserve their success. They are also often unsympathetic to the middle classes of the developed world. Said one senior executive: "...if the transformation of the world economy lifts four people in China and India out of poverty [and] one American drops out of the middle class...that's not such a bad trade."
posted by shivohum at 4:49 PM PST - 70 comments

America by TV Shows. America by movies.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:20 PM PST - 48 comments

The photography of John Divola Divola's website can be a bit overwhelming, containing four decades worth of photographs, but it is well worth the effort. From his landmark Zuma series from the seventies, to his more recent shots of the X Files and Brady Bunch sets, there is not a dull image in the lot. I would also recommend Five Prints from the '80s, Isolated Houses in the '90s, and Artificial Nature and Dogs Chasing My Car in the Desert from the '00s.
posted by puny human at 3:37 PM PST - 3 comments

Rule 34 expands once again. Real life Simpsons sex tape (nsfw) coming to a screen near you. Trust me you can not unsee this so watch at your own risk... [more inside]
posted by troll on a pony at 2:58 PM PST - 133 comments

The 10:23 challenge is an international protest over the weekend of February 5-6 2011, to make the simple statement: "Homeopathy - There's Nothing In It". Protesters will ingest significantly more than the recommended dosage of homeopathic remedies, to demonstrate the lack of efficacy. Here you can watch legendary sceptic James Randi take a lethal dose of homeopathic sleeping pills. (more at Science-Based Medicine)
posted by ivey at 11:32 AM PST - 223 comments

Video footage of an experimental LSD session from the 1950s, which concludes with a short discussion with philosopher Gerald Heard.
posted by gman at 10:35 AM PST - 138 comments

Das Racist's (Previously) video for Who's That? Brooown! is an homage to Sierra On-Line's early adventure games. Liked the video? Play the game!
posted by griphus at 10:05 AM PST - 29 comments

The "Brown Stabilizer" - better known as a Steadicam - had its first commercial use 35 years ago in Bound for Glory, Hal Ashby's biopic of Woody Guthrie. Later that year, it was used to film the iconic shot of Rocky Balboa running up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. But it was this shot in The Shining - which even Kubrick-hater Pauline Kael deemed "spectacular" - that showed the technology's full potential. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 10:04 AM PST - 41 comments

Em Maria Smedstad's cartoons. Blog: Grow Your Own Cows: Green evening. [more inside]
posted by Segundus at 9:53 AM PST - 5 comments

Is gun liability insurance on the horizon? The idea that gun owners should have liability insurance for their firearms is rarely a political issue, but can no-fault insurance for certain guns stay clear of the second amendment?
posted by Brian B. at 9:36 AM PST - 125 comments


Before the rise in popularity of the bench press as the de facto test of upper body strength, the overhead press was king. However, the press began to fall out of favor in the 1970s. Legendary strength coach Bill Starr provides a history of the lift and offers a number of suggestions for strengthening it. Until 1972, the clean and press was one of the three contested lifts in Olympic weightlifting. It was dropped from competition in part because of the dynamic style some lifters developed for the press, which was said to make judging the lift difficult. Bill Starr explains how to perform the technical Olympic-style press, and veteran lifter Tommy Suggs coaches it in a three-part video series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3).
posted by Anatoly Pisarenko at 8:56 AM PST - 46 comments

Watch a swarm of flying robotic drones construct a tiny building. In the future, construction workers will be a buzzing, mildly disturbing haze of mechanical diligence.
posted by Tom-B at 7:26 AM PST - 54 comments

Notch added music blocks to minecraft last week. Predictably, people have been making awesome stuff with it: Minecraft Rave., Deadmau5's I Remember in minecraft. (original, also, Deadmau5 playing Minecraft with fans), Billie Jean, Tetris, The Theme from The Office [more inside]
posted by empath at 6:45 AM PST - 44 comments

Extreme violence with a vapid smile Some NSFW for tiny Barbie sized adult toys and situations. It was really the attention to detail in these dioramas that caught my eye. After the subject matter, of course...
posted by Redhush at 6:36 AM PST - 39 comments

How (crowd) curation is making a comeback in search and how Facebook is using it to "remake whole industries."
posted by kliuless at 6:00 AM PST - 27 comments

Lead Pencil Studio is an architecture+art collaboration between Annie Han and Daniel Mihalyo, based in Seattle. Featured last month in FastCoDesign: Billboard advertising clean air. Lots of Google links to their work. [Main site = mildly annoying interface YMMV]
posted by yoga at 5:11 AM PST - 3 comments

It's possible that Galileo arrived at basic laws of physics by studying Dante's Inferno. In 1588, Galileo gave two lectures questioning the scalability of Dante's Hell. A paper questions its importance.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:04 AM PST - 24 comments

January 15

10 versions of Joe Hisaishi's composition "Kaze No Toori Michi" ("The Path Of Wind") from the movie My Neighbor Totoro [more inside]
posted by mintcake! at 8:01 PM PST - 35 comments

Louie recoiled in horror, jerking his legs to the side, away from the shark's mouth. The shark kept coming, directly at Louie's head. Louie rammed his palm into the tip of the shark's nose. The shark flinched, circled away, then swam back at him again. Louie waited until the shark was inches from him, then struck it on the nose again. Again, the shark peeled away. Above, the bullets stopped coming. As quickly as he could, Louie pulled himself along the cord until he reached the raft. He grabbed its wall and lifted himself clear of the shark.
This quote is from an article about Louis Zamperini, whose planed crashed into the Pacific in 1941. He and two other men, Francis McNamara and Russell Phillips, made it into liferafts. They would drift in the ocean for weeks. The article is by Laura Hillenbrand, author of Seabiscuit. For more about Zamperini and his amazing story you can go to his website.
posted by Kattullus at 6:58 PM PST - 24 comments

Lovecraft: Fear of the Unknown - A 90 minute documentary on HP Lovecraft with contributions by Neil Gaiman, John Carpenter and Guillermo Del Toro.
posted by Artw at 5:45 PM PST - 26 comments

3D without glasses! (SLYT)
posted by mexican at 3:37 PM PST - 76 comments

The trashmaster (single link dailymotion) - a 1h20mn machinima movie made with gta IV
posted by motdiem2 at 1:08 PM PST - 23 comments



guide to housecat coat colors and patterns Just what it says....
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:13 PM PST - 106 comments

Weightless Cats and other fun experiments. An excerpt from from coverage of research at the Aerospace Medical Division Hq 657Oth Aerospace Medical Research Laboratories including scenes of F-104 seat ejection; drop tests from C-130 and ejection from F-106; effects of weightlessness on cats and pigeons in a C-131; test subjects in water tank, on centrifuge, in heat chamber and on complex coordinator. Also, scenes of vertical deceleration tower, incline impact test facility, vertical accelerator, equilibrium chair and vibration platform. More videos can be found at Airboyd.tv: Accident Animations, Aviation Films, Military Flight Training Films, and Space Shuttle Vidoes.
posted by Fizz at 10:46 AM PST - 32 comments

Stony Stratford, outside Milton Keynes, is facing the loss of its library as a result of crippling local budget cuts. Local residents weren't too happy about this, so they decided to take some books out. All 16,000 of them.
posted by dudekiller at 9:15 AM PST - 72 comments

Julia Sherman offers us a glimpse into the sheitel industry and the larger global hair trade. [more inside]
posted by gman at 8:55 AM PST - 24 comments



The Price of Altruism - George Price, a (troubled) father of group selection thru his discovery of the eponymous Price Equation, has a rather interesting biography... [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 5:55 AM PST - 9 comments

On the afternoon of November 1, 2010, Julian Assange, the Australian-born founder of WikiLeaks.org, marched with his lawyer into the London office of Alan Rusbridger, the editor of The Guardian. Assange was pallid and sweaty, his thin frame racked by a cough that had been plaguing him for weeks. He was also angry, and his message was simple: he would sue the newspaper if it went ahead and published stories based on the quarter of a million documents that he had handed over to The Guardian just three months earlier. [. . .]

In Rusbridger’s office, Assange’s position was rife with ironies. An unwavering advocate of full, unfettered disclosure of primary-source material, Assange was now seeking to keep highly sensitive information from reaching a broader audience. He had become the victim of his own methods: someone at WikiLeaks, where there was no shortage of disgruntled volunteers, had leaked the last big segment of the documents, and they ended up at The Guardian in such a way that the paper was released from its previous agreement with Assange—that The Guardian would publish its stories only when Assange gave his permission.
"The Man Who Spilled the Secrets," by Sarah Ellison, documents the tumultuous relationship between The Guardian and Wikileaks.
posted by Weebot at 3:33 AM PST - 136 comments

January 14

Growing Up Gay (Part 1, Part 2) is a two-part documentary series exploring the experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender young people growing up in Ireland. As recently as 1993, homosexuality was illegal in Ireland. As the first generation born after decriminalization comes of age, this series seeks to establish how much has changed in Irish society in the intervening years. For young people, whose lives revolve around school and the family, is it any easier to be lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender today than it was 17 years ago?
posted by minifigs at 11:52 PM PST - 27 comments


Does a better education really lead to a higher income? Take a map of the USA, overlay census data for high school graduation rates (red), college graduate rates (yellow) and median household income (blue). What do you get? A patchwork map of purples, blues, pinks and greens, that shows the relationship between education and income by county. [more inside]
posted by Joh at 9:32 PM PST - 61 comments

A Danish court rules that truth is not a defense to its hate speech law and fines Member of Parliament Jesper Langballe $1,000 for commenting that "Of course Lars Hedegaard [President of the Danish Free Press Society] should not have said that there are Muslim fathers who rape their daughters when the truth appears to be that they make do with killing their daughters (the so-called honour killings) and leave it to their uncles to rape them." Hedegaard had tried to explain that he was speaking in the context of an epidemic of honor violence within Muslim families when he said "They rape their own children"; he faces his own set of charges. (via Volokh Conspiracy) [more inside]
posted by shivohum at 9:20 PM PST - 229 comments

Vicenta (NSFW - Contains explicit Spanish Plasticine sex)
posted by TimTypeZed at 9:19 PM PST - 13 comments

Where do you think Apple’s iPhone is the most popular? Where do Nokia’s Symbian phones dominate? How is it going for Android in different parts of the world? What about Blackberry? We’re going to answer all of those questions and more in this article, which will closely examine mobile OS usage across the world.
posted by infini at 5:30 PM PST - 45 comments

Michael, Michael, Michael!; SLVimeo (1.38); every line of dialogue in The Lost Boys is "Michael". [more inside]
posted by bwg at 5:21 PM PST - 67 comments

In 1967, Ken Nordine (previ-ously) did a themed album of his "Word Jazz" titled "Colors" that consisted of over 30 short poems/riffs about specific colors. Recently, cuts from that album have become popular soundtracks for exercises in animation... A lot of them use the currently-trendy "kinetic typography" - Black Beige Blue Brown (with a Brown Owl) Brown Green Mauve Magenta while others use paper cut-outs - Amber Azure Cerise Coral (starts at 1:00) Crimson Fuschia Green (again) Lavender Magenta (again) Maroon (a rhyming Cartoon) Mauve (again) Orange Russet. Plus three versions of Yellow, with J.R. 'Bob' Dobbs, with a character resembling PacMan and with blobby cut-outs and a cut-off ending. Finally Flesh, but without animation.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:06 PM PST - 14 comments

William Langewiesche writes an enthralling account of the hijacking of a French cruise ship in the Gulf of Aden by Somali pirates.
posted by reenum at 4:16 PM PST - 17 comments

The Smiths Project. 71 Smiths songs recorded in 1300 hours, in 1 year, in billions of layers of 1 voice, by 1 woman. [more inside]
posted by therubettes at 4:00 PM PST - 44 comments




To mark the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's inauguration, the JFK Library has unveiled a new digital archive containing 200,000 pages; 300 reels of audio tape, containing more than 1,245 individual recordings of telephone calls, speeches and meetings; 300 museum artifacts; 72 reels of film; and 1,500 photos.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:28 PM PST - 13 comments

"The theme of this blog is not only and obviously space, but in particular places in space that a person might theoretically be able to one day visit. So for the most part, nebula, galaxies and the like are not a part of this forum. I tend to focus on “terrestrial” places or places that host such places. I suppose I would like to find out more about these places that we may one day inhabit or simply visit."
wanderingspace.net
Hat tip to Nice Guy Mike!
posted by boo_radley at 2:08 PM PST - 4 comments

Edward and Bella disemboweld. Style purists are pretty tedious, but so can be Bella's conversation. [more inside]
posted by Namlit at 1:58 PM PST - 61 comments


In 1999, psychologist Robert A. Fein and Executive Director of the US Secret Service's National Threat Assessment Center, Bryan Vossekuil, published a study of 83 persons who had attempted or succeeded to assassinate a public figure (Google HTML view of pdf). Those 83 were all the people who were known to have attacked, or approached to attack, a prominent public official or public figure in the United States since 1949. The goal was to better understand the motives behind such actions, and included interviews with some of the subjects. NPR covered the report today, interviewing Fein and discussing the findings. The summary was that the attacks were not political in motive, but attempts at gaining fame. "They experienced failure after failure after failure, and decided that rather than being a 'nobody,' they wanted to be a 'somebody,' " Fein said. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:32 PM PST - 31 comments

'The fall of Mr. Ben Ali marks the first time that widespread street demonstrations have overthrown an Arab leader.' Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, the president of Tunisia for 23 years, has fled the country amid protests that have been ongoing for weeks. [more inside]
posted by lullaby at 1:20 PM PST - 66 comments

William Taylor Adams, a progressive Massachusetts educator and one term legislator, was once a household name in populist fiction under his nom de plume Oliver Optic. [more inside]
posted by JaredSeth at 12:47 PM PST - 8 comments

'Conservative justices appear to agree police should be allowed to enter a suspect's residence without a warrant if they suspect evidence is being destroyed.' 'Police officers who smell marijuana coming from an apartment can break down the door and enter if they have reason to believe the evidence might be destroyed, several Supreme Court's justices suggested Wednesday.''Scalia said the police couldn't go wrong by knocking loudly on the door. "Criminals are stupid," he said, and they often cooperate with police when they are not required to do so. They might open the door and let officers inside, or if not, the police can break in.''In the past, the high court usually has said police cannot enter a home or apartment without a search warrant because of the 4th Amendment's ban on "unreasonable searches and seizures." But during arguments in a drug case, the court's conservatives said they favored relaxing that rule when police say they have a need to act fast.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:34 PM PST - 147 comments


USA PATRIOT is up for renewal again. Tim Nichols of the Independent Examiner reports that "nobody notices" as Mike Rogers (R-MI) floats the renewal. As we noted last year during another quiet renewal, this is not the first time the Obama administration has been confronted with the idea. While groups as disparate as the Cato Institute and the Randolph Bourne Institute's antiwar.com speak out against the possibility, mainstream media sources seem uninterested.
posted by anarch at 12:00 PM PST - 31 comments

"A desperate Arizona man faced with a horrible family tragedy is praising a Southwest Airlines pilot today for displaying an act of human kindness some say is rare in the airline industry: he delayed a takeoff so the man could reach the bedside of his dying 2-year old grandson." Via. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 11:36 AM PST - 84 comments

Wins-above-replacement, or WAR, is a Sabermetric term of art for baseball player comparison. Fangraphs, one of the go-to sites for baseball nerdlingers, now offers a way to make WAR grids, an amazingly easily comprehended visual display comparing players based on WAR, sortable by team, position and season, with a default topline of player age. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston at 10:16 AM PST - 54 comments

Toxic Waste is toxic.
posted by ardgedee at 10:09 AM PST - 43 comments

The Decentralized Dance Party : The DDP is a portable, battery-powered Party System. It consists of hundreds of Party People, carrying boomboxes, and a DJ who wears a backpack, containing a powerful FM transmitter.
posted by GuyZero at 9:39 AM PST - 34 comments

The absurd amount of over-laughing that occurs during NFL Pregame Shows has long been a cliche. The Wall Street Journal recently calculated that one show spent 2 minutes and 22 seconds, or 11.6% of its length, laughing. But this recent video may be the defining moment of the trend, raising over-laughing to an art form.
posted by JoeGoblin at 9:30 AM PST - 68 comments

Slate says putting more than one space between sentences is "totally, completely, utterly, and inarguably wrong." Microsoft's Bill Hall agrees. LaTex does not. The American Psychological Association used to agree but has changed its mind. The exhaustive Wikipedia article on sentence spacing has a predictably prickly discussion page.
posted by escabeche at 9:26 AM PST - 273 comments

Tolls and toll roads are a fact of modern life. If you run past the booth without paying for any reason, you must pay a fine. A Chinese man has been sentenced to life in prison for not paying tolls.
posted by Xurando at 9:03 AM PST - 36 comments




At a Pentagon commemoration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Defense Department general council Jeh C. Johnson argued King, a strident opponent of the Vietnam War and of militarism generally, would acknowledge a justification for US military actions around the world. Justin Elliot of Salon responds.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:57 AM PST - 31 comments

Trish Keenan, vocalist for the group Broadcast, has passed away after contracting H1N1 and pneumonia. [more inside]
posted by Dr-Baa at 7:06 AM PST - 76 comments


Basically, Kant was right by Carrie Jenkins, aka Conceptual Truth. Philosophy should always be this much fun! Also check out her philosophy band, The 21st Century Monads.
posted by Philosopher's Beard at 6:22 AM PST - 13 comments

Interview with Gary Gorton (pdf) - Fascinating look at private institutional bank money creation (really) and subsequent run on the shadow banking system that hearkens back to the late-19th century banking crises with securitization playing the role of checking before the advent of deposit insurance. "Gorton is a lucid narrator of a complex tale." (via via)
posted by kliuless at 5:43 AM PST - 10 comments

The Word made another helper from fire to be its hands as it toiled on its creations. The Word gave them free will. Although they did not know their name, they were called the Jinn... Iblis, a webcomic take on the Islamic tempter figure by Kelli Nelson. [more inside]
posted by kid ichorous at 4:42 AM PST - 15 comments

Slavoj Žižek on WikiLeaks
posted by acb at 4:26 AM PST - 65 comments

While the self-appointed task of one creative act per day continues to exist, I present the sonic explorations of Clang Jingle Clang . Highlights of Kerrith Livengood's early morning posts include a Goomba attack, political musings, and a fable from Aesop.
posted by Bistle at 1:50 AM PST - 2 comments

Wasps' nests: nuisance, a source of tasty treats, or just a tongue twister? If you are a Social Wasp Enthusiast check out the Collection of Monster Nests (video tour). [via]
posted by benzenedream at 12:58 AM PST - 20 comments

January 13

The Hurrian song is the oldest notated work of music, dating to approximately 1400 BC. Deciphered from cuneiform tablets, there are now modern interpretations. The most likely traditional version used an instrument like a harp or lyre, but there are also versions for the piano, chorus (autoplay), MIDI, and even a remix with a beat.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:52 PM PST - 23 comments

Michael Chabon is currently blogging about President Obama's Arizona speech, Huck Finn, the return of hip-hop to his life, and his hometown.
posted by AceRock at 8:49 PM PST - 42 comments

Superguy was a forum for the posting of original, comedic fiction based loosely on superheroes and related concepts. ... It existed during the birth of the modern Internet culture, and survived much longer than many similar groups, diminishing in activity only when the webcomic trend became widespread. ... It is one of the longest running collaborative shared universe projects on the Internet.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:31 PM PST - 1 comments

Ellen Stewart, RIP [more inside]
posted by geryon at 7:40 PM PST - 14 comments

The Nation recently interviewed public intellectuals including Noam Chomsky, Bill McKibben (previously), and Dmity Orlov (previously) to produce a series of videos centered around Peak Oil and a Changing Climate. The first video, online now, combines all of the people interviewed while the videos yet to be released will be longer sections featuring them one at a time. [more inside]
posted by Glibpaxman at 6:28 PM PST - 91 comments

Still clinging desperately to those reading-things of yours made from dead trees? While you're at it, scan the damn thing and make your own e-book. (My prediction is that there are copyright issues here that the manufacturer is ignoring, but that will come back to haunt them.)
posted by anothermug at 6:24 PM PST - 48 comments

The story of how The Pharcyde hired a linguist to train them how to rap backwards for the Spike Jonze-directed Drop video [more inside]
posted by jng at 6:14 PM PST - 47 comments

With crazy hair and wacky body movements, Detroit Free Press columnist Scott Burgess embraces new media and squeezes it to death. Vlogging the bulleted list.
posted by nayrb5 at 6:00 PM PST - 14 comments

Fifty vintage beer cans from Dan Becker's book entitled "Beer: A Genuine Collection of Cans".
posted by gman at 4:48 PM PST - 18 comments

So you found something cool on the Internet... A helpful chart that MeFites totally don't need because the Blue is all about "Found something cool on the web and want to share it with everyone else?" from Loldwell.com (previously) and Rosscott, Inc. (semi-previously) who's doing for symbols in The Noun Project (here) what xkcd did for/to stickmen.
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:40 PM PST - 23 comments

The Watson Artificial Intelligence system will take on Jeopardy champions Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter in February (previously). Here's a sneak preview of a warm-up round between the contestants. [more inside]
posted by auto-correct at 4:40 PM PST - 35 comments

Senate leaders are seriously considering modifying the traditional, divided seating arrangements for President Obama's upcoming State of the Union address. [more inside]
posted by saturday_morning at 3:54 PM PST - 65 comments

Yet another end of the (sea)world story. Sadly, not the theme park, the other 3/4 of our planet. The obligatory Corporate Bad Guys. But these kind folks say it's alright [more inside]
posted by Redhush at 3:10 PM PST - 31 comments

disposable lighters = motorbikes [language slightly NSFW]
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 1:40 PM PST - 15 comments

The Butterfly Keyboard (officially called a TrackWrite) on IBM's Thinkpad 701c was so unusual and innovative that it's housed at MoMA. So what killed the design? (via) [more inside]
posted by kmz at 1:32 PM PST - 44 comments

How To Make Stuff has four ways to make plastic at home, from stryofoam with acetone, potatoes with vinegar and glycerin, milk with vinegar, and cream with lemon juice. Instructables has similar recipes with visuals (styrofoam plastic, potato or corn starch plastic, and milk and vinegar plastic).
posted by filthy light thief at 12:44 PM PST - 30 comments

Think About This is a surprisingly gory, ironically NSFW authentic safety video aimed at keeping factory workers safe, by giving them something to think about. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:27 PM PST - 67 comments

We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies. - Google's Chrome is will be joining Firefox in no longer licensing the MPEG-LA H.264 video codec favoured by Apple and Microsoft for use in the HTML5 <video> tag (previously). Not everyone is seeing this as a good thing.
posted by Artw at 11:57 AM PST - 145 comments

Cee Lo's Fuck You in sign language. So much more uplifting than it sounds. (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by penguin pie at 11:56 AM PST - 70 comments

Born This Way! Photo/essay submissions that capture men and women, innocently, showing the beginnings of their innate gay selves.
posted by hermitosis at 11:46 AM PST - 78 comments

Bo Burnham, the crown-prince of puerile, obscene, yet surprisingly clever and catchy Youtube videos has turned reflective (NSFW for language). [more inside]
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:39 AM PST - 14 comments

Not a Dry Eye in the House. Maggie Doyne — Why the human family can do better. Maggie's story, and Maggie's blog: Life at Kopila Valley Children's Home. Instead of going home to the States to start her University education, Maggie decided there were more urgent things that needed doing right there and then in Nepal. More background and story from NJ.com..
posted by thisisdrew at 10:46 AM PST - 9 comments


"The world’s oceans have been experiencing enormous blooms of jellyfish, apparently caused by overfishing, declining water quality, and rising sea temperatures. Now, scientists are trying to determine if these outbreaks could represent a “new normal” in which jellyfish increasingly supplant fish.. Total jelly domination would be like turning back the clock to the Precambrian world, more than 550 million years ago."
posted by stbalbach at 8:57 AM PST - 69 comments


"The [Customs and Border Patrol] specifically wanted laptops and cell phones and were visibly unhappy when they discovered nothing of the sort." [more inside]
posted by notion at 8:52 AM PST - 78 comments

The zodiac calendar has been corrected based on the original Babylonian setup. "When [astrologers] say that the sun is in Pisces, it's really not in Pisces," said Parke Kunkle, a board member of the Minnesota Planetarium Society. [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon at 7:21 AM PST - 154 comments

The sitcom Taxi was inspired by two non-fiction articles that appeared in New York Magazine in September, 1975: Night-Shifting for the Hip Fleet and The Word from Belmore, both by author, writer and journalist Marc Jacobson. (Google Books: Original layout and photos.) In 2004, he checked in with local cabdrivers to see how things had changed for them after 30 years. As predicted, leasing did spell the end for the artist/writer/actor cabbie. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:02 AM PST - 65 comments

This year's archaeology awards do provide a great opportunity to learn ancient secrets. There is lost treasure, forgotten murders, a mysterious Anchorite condemmed to a life of confinement and the forbidden spaces at the heart one of the holiest temples in stone age Europe.
posted by BadMiker at 5:29 AM PST - 12 comments

The First Decade of the Future is Behind Us: Blackberries, WikiLeaks, airport scanners, 3D televisions, robot vaccum cleaners, Microsoft Kinnect, private spaceflight and Facebook all look like sci-fi novel elements to Kyle Munkittrick. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 4:13 AM PST - 83 comments

January 12

Richard Henry has died. "The bird was originally discovered in Fiordland in 1975 when kakapo were believed to be extinct. [...] Richard Henry played a vital role by offering genetic diversity to the breeding programme, which now numbers 121 birds"; Kakapo, memorably described by Douglas Adams as the "world's largest, fattest and least-able-to-fly parrot", are not the only New Zealand bird brought back from the brink (and Don Merton features in many of their stories, as well as others farther abroad). [more inside]
posted by rodgerd at 11:33 PM PST - 27 comments

Why does Martha Stewart have a human skull in her kitchen?
posted by naju at 10:24 PM PST - 147 comments

In December 1964, Frank Morris' shoe shop was set ablaze in the middle of the night. Still inside at the time, Morris was severely injured; he died four days later at a nearby hospital in Ferriday, La. Like many Southern crimes against blacks in the 1960s — an era of racial strife dominated by criminal activities by the Ku Klux Klan — the incident went unsolved, despite an FBI investigation at the time.
A vast amount of research and investigation by the Civil Rights Cold Case Project (especially Stanley Nelson on this case) is described in gripping detail in the documentary David Ridgen brings us here called Murder at The Shoe Shop (MP3 download link). [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 9:08 PM PST - 2 comments


A Day in the Future. "I don’t live in Philadelphia, but my friend has a machine that lets us see what’s happening there. I have one too. Almost everyone does. The sun won’t rise for another hour, but I don’t need to light a fire or candles. I have artificial ones, mounted on the ceiling. Hit a tiny switch and I can see everything, any time of day."
posted by WCityMike at 7:34 PM PST - 78 comments

EterRNA (reg. req) is a game, of sorts, that asks you to design complex new ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules, with the chance to have your efforts synthesised by Stanford University. A successor to the protein-folding of FoldIt. There's some background info at the NYT.
posted by Sparx at 7:32 PM PST - 10 comments




Casual is a cute series of shorts about what happens after a one night stand.
posted by empath at 5:47 PM PST - 36 comments

Are you a designer? Artist? Musician? Web designer? Writer? Freelancer whatever? Then you need to know: Should I Work For Free?
posted by The Whelk at 5:26 PM PST - 37 comments

openculture.com is offering hundreds of links to free online courses from the top universities in the United States (and Oxford).
posted by gman at 4:42 PM PST - 16 comments

Mmmm...croissants (yt). [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 3:51 PM PST - 58 comments

The last surviving member of the classic radio and TV series "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" has died. David Nelson, the older son of Ozzie and Harriet Nelson has died. He was 74. [more inside]
posted by crunchland at 3:23 PM PST - 31 comments

Get the Energy Sector off the Dole - Why ending all government subsidies for fuel production will lead to a cleaner energy future—and why Obama has a rare chance to make it happen.
posted by kliuless at 1:49 PM PST - 42 comments

Cryptoforestry is a heady blog that covers cryptoforests of all sorts, from feral forests that thrive next to heavily developed urban environments without human assistance, land in limbo and "states of vegetation for which lay-language has no name", incognito forests that hide in plain view, precognitive forests that are about to become forest or are forest Fata Morgana, and unappreciated forests that are considered wastelands. The scope of the blog covers local Utrecht sites to the "g/local" Amazon basin, and lands in-between. All this is filtered through the lens of psychogeography, emphasizing "the psychological effects of a forest rather than canopy cover or land use as of importance for classification." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:38 PM PST - 24 comments

Population 7 Billion By 2045 global population is projected to reach nine billion. Can the planet take the strain?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:18 PM PST - 151 comments

Don't Touch That Dial! is a simple tumblr that collects radio shows and advertisements now in the public domain. The archive is pretty great.
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:15 PM PST - 8 comments

In almost every picture #9 This book deals with one family’s attempt to solve one of the great mysteries of photography: how to shoot a black dog.
posted by puny human at 12:02 PM PST - 42 comments

Henry Roth had one of the most anomalous careers in modern letters: a brilliant novel at age twenty-eight, the incomparable Call It Sleep, lost for thirty years but never quite forgotten, then a torrent of words let loose in his seventies and eighties. ... Roth continued to resist any single explanation for his catastrophic writer's block, but it became evident that it was the incest, and the self-loathing that accompanied it, that threw the biggest roadblock across his path. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 11:57 AM PST - 7 comments

Seeing this article today about a defendant in a drug trafficking trial who if deaf, mute and without any language skills reminded me of this question from 5 years ago. One of the answers to that question linked to the Straight Dope which had this question and answer. [more inside]
posted by AugustWest at 11:34 AM PST - 59 comments

As a result of legal settlements, 7 of the major drug companies, representing a little over 1/3 of the prescription drug market in the US, are publishing their direct payments to physicians and other medical professionals. All payments are supposed to be published by 2013. Would it bother you to know that your doctor was making a decent part-time income from promoting specific prescription drugs on the side?
posted by COD at 10:04 AM PST - 87 comments

You might already know The Windsor, or The Half-Windsor et al... but what about The Lovecraft?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:47 AM PST - 42 comments

The Open Laboratory 2010: Best Science Blog Posts from 2010. 50 essays, 6 poems and 1 cartoon selected from nearly 900 submissions. Open Lab previously on MetaFilter
posted by bobobox at 9:42 AM PST - 7 comments

This year, Shonen Knife turns 30 years old. Despite their start in the early 80s, it wasn't until grunge acts such as Nirvana (who invited them to tour with them in 1991) that the band would gain greater attention in North America. Their carreer has seen its share of ups and down, including the death of drummer Mana "China" Nishiura in 2005, but they continue to rock - especially live - even when writing a song for the Power Puff Girls.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:38 AM PST - 32 comments

Shanghaiist reports that the Chinese authorities have followed through on their promise to tear down Ai Weiwei's studio. (previously). The artist is under house arrest in Beijing. [more inside]
posted by dubold at 6:49 AM PST - 20 comments

Separation Anxiety: "Now that there's no escaping the digital world, research is getting more serious about what happens to personalities that are incessantly on."
posted by zarq at 5:48 AM PST - 42 comments


Calvin & Hobbes Search Engine
posted by Soup at 2:41 AM PST - 42 comments

As Hungary takes over the Presidency of the European Union, a new media law also comes into effect that centralizes control of the media in ways many consider is anti-democratic. The central media authority can issue decrees and apply financial penalties to those media, including internet portals and blogs who for "politically unbalanced reporting". The first test for the new Authority is Ice T following the broadcast of his songs, "Warning" and "It's On". Local media responded with blank pages by way of protest. Many see this as the latest example in the increasing authoritarian and anti-democratic nature of the Orban-led FIDESZ government. They point to the privatization of pensions, the diminution of the powers of the Constitutional Court and the imposition of wind-fall taxes on multi-national companies, as examples of this trend. The Washington Post calls it the "Putinizantion of Hungary", while The Guardian laments "One-party rule" in Hungary. The German newspaper, Spiegel describes it as a "A Slow Poison Attacking Democracy" while quoting those who refer to Hungary as a "Führer state". Local critics include the prominent economist János Kornai. English readers can keep up to-date with developments at the Hungarian Spectrum blog and politics.hu. On the hand, some see Hungary as a World of Potentials (SLYT).
posted by vac2003 at 1:51 AM PST - 37 comments

January 11

In late December 2010, fail0verflow, a team of European hackers, demonstrated that the Playstation 3's security was fundamentally flawed and managed to obtain the encryption key used by the device (see previous discussion). Utilizing the techniques developed by the fail0verflow team, iPhone hacker George Hotz released the encryption key publically, which enables the execution of arbitrary code on the console. Now Sony is suing both George Hotz and members of the fail0verflow team. [more inside]
posted by nhamann at 11:21 PM PST - 157 comments

There are many types of Reogs in Indonesia but Reog Ponorogo is the most famous. Waroks hold a 50kg singobarong mask in their teeth while performing. Malaysia has attempted to annex the performance.
posted by unliteral at 7:24 PM PST - 6 comments

The Noun Project collects, organizes and adds to the highly recognizable symbols that form the world's visual language, so they may be shared in a fun and meaningful way. The goal is to collect and organize all the symbols that form our language into one easy-to-use online library that can be accessed by anyone. All the symbols on their site are completely free to download, and can be used for design projects, architecture presentations, art pieces — just about anything.
posted by netbros at 6:42 PM PST - 23 comments

Not to be outdone by the New York Time's efforts to cover the American Civil War, the Washington Post is offering a blog (too), before and after photographs of the District of Columbia from 1860 to today, a guide to ongoing Civil War events, and for those with a short attention span and a fondness for 140 characters, Tweeting the Civil War (daily events 150 years after they happened as if they were happening today).
posted by Atreides at 6:35 PM PST - 11 comments

The Alphabet
posted by cjorgensen at 6:24 PM PST - 17 comments


Happy Holidays from LOW – Free EP Recorded live January 22, 2009 in the St. Catherina Church, Eindhoven
posted by edgeways at 4:22 PM PST - 28 comments

English-born artist metal-worker Ford Hallam in South Africa recently completed a very special project - at the request of a patron-collector, he created a reproduction of a lost tsuba (Japanese sword guard), transforming scraps of raw metal into this exquisite object. The hugely interesting process was documented in HD video, and you can watch it on YouTube in two parts: [1] | [2]. [more inside]
posted by woodblock100 at 3:57 PM PST - 31 comments


Dataists give their hopes and dreams for data, data tools and data science in 2011. Already, Google has provided Google Refine (previously) to help clean your datasets. While great visualizations can be created with online tools or by combining R (great posts previously), with ggplot2, GGobi, and even Google Motion Charts With R (already built into Google Spreadsheets). Need data? Needlebase, helps non-programmers scrape, harvest, merge, and data from the web. Or if you’re introspective, Your Flowing Data and Daytum provide tools to measure and chart details of your own life.
posted by stratastar at 1:23 PM PST - 19 comments


The Dune RPG that never was.
posted by Artw at 12:16 PM PST - 70 comments

♡♢♣ Different kinds of playing card art. [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 12:12 PM PST - 20 comments

Bang & Olufsen product archive, articles, pictures, and museum.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:46 AM PST - 26 comments

Back in 2003, MetaFilter noted a very strange bank robbery in which the robber was also a particularly desperate victim. Seven years later, the story has become even more gnarled and mysterious, despite the ultimate conviction of a 'mastermind'. The Incredible True Story of the Collar Bomb Heist. [more inside]
posted by dragstroke at 11:42 AM PST - 45 comments


Late last year antimatter atoms were produced and trapped at CERN. (previously) NASA scientists, using the Fermi Space Telescope, have now observed thunderstorms on earth hurling antimatter into space. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:26 AM PST - 24 comments

Ever get the feeling you're being watched? Maybe you're just Paranoid. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:16 AM PST - 57 comments

In November of 2009, the IWW set up shop in Minneapolis. Similar to their Starbucks campaign, organizers set up the Jimmy John's Workers Union, and began attempting to unionize the employees of local franchises of the sandwich chain, "seeking a pay increase to above minimum wage, consistent scheduling and minimum shift lengths, regularly scheduled breaks, sick days, no-nonsense workers compensation for job-related injuries, an end to sexual harassment at work, and basic fairness on the job.". When local franchise owners MikLin Enterprises refused to meet with employees, union organizers scheduled a National Labor Relations Board election. As allegations of dirty tricks came out, the union lost in a stunningly close vote. The IWW pressed the NLRB to look into the alleged misconduct, and they did.

The earlier vote has been nullified as a part of a settlement between MikLin and the NLRB. The union is resuming its push for official recognition.
posted by Subcommandante Cheese at 11:01 AM PST - 84 comments

After the bombs have fallen, the plague has wiped out most of humanity, or the dead have risen and claimed the world as their own, we must go on. The tales of those survivors are told in fiction and film, in many ways with enough to overwhelm you. Enter the apocalypse fans. Post-Apocalypse.co.uk has just under 50 reviews, with a quick note on the rating of each film. Post Apocalyptic Movie Mania has reviews categorized by the way the world ends, along with other p-a related material. But the end of the world isn't always like an Italian Post Apocalyptic Movie (Google cache), sometimes it's quirky and off-beat, in a proto-Monty Python sort of way (rough approximation of Ebert's review of The Bed-Sitting Room) (videos inside) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:01 AM PST - 20 comments

Following the tragic shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others, Peter King (R), chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, plans to introduce legislation banning firearms within 1000 feet of a government official.
posted by clarknova at 10:25 AM PST - 205 comments

NASA - The Frontier Is Everywhere. A NASA promo video made by a fan. Narration edit and music taken from an older video, though the words are obviously originally by Carl Sagan, from A Pale Blue Dot (previously). [more inside]
posted by kmz at 9:38 AM PST - 12 comments

If you were trying to decide which online cartoon creation myth you wanted to read today, Nick Edwards's First and Last Project should do the trick. (via) [more inside]
posted by shakespeherian at 9:04 AM PST - 2 comments


HistoricAerials.com contains a surprisingly large database of aerial photography dating back to the dawn of aviation, with a Google-Maps-like interface. [more inside]
posted by schmod at 8:15 AM PST - 15 comments

Nervous s/he isn't game to watch midget porn and might judge you for your interest in it? Enter Mojo Upgrade. (contains nsfw text) [more inside]
posted by Busy Old Fool at 7:48 AM PST - 41 comments

There is Housing Works in NYC, which raises money for community based AIDS/HIV treatment and housing for the homeless. Here in Chicago we have Open Books, who uses the money raised from selling donated books to run literacy programs and tutoring programs for children. Now Minneapolis is getting Boneshaker Books; an all volunteer run radical bookstore that will house the Women's Prison Book Project and offer bike book delivery.
posted by bibliogrrl at 7:20 AM PST - 17 comments


Today, the first Somali-American to hold public office in Minnesota, and likely the nation, will be sworn in. But he prefers to be known as African-American. [more inside]
posted by jillithd at 6:33 AM PST - 23 comments


Gallica (the digital section of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France) has put Charles Baudelaire's heavily annotated proofs of Les Fleurs du Mal on line.
posted by Lezzles at 5:41 AM PST - 10 comments


How musical are you? ← the test. The BBC is teaming up with researchers at Goldsmiths University of London to find out whether personality or practice creates great musicians.
posted by Gyan at 1:25 AM PST - 79 comments

January 10

Meet Kepler-10b. The smallest exoplanet ever discovered. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 9:13 PM PST - 36 comments

Meet the new form of prison currency: Honey buns.
posted by reenum at 8:59 PM PST - 56 comments

Behold the territorial Russian attack hamster. (features some gentle prodding and the hamster is, I think, not harmed.)
posted by boo_radley at 8:15 PM PST - 75 comments



Last year Jim Woodring raised close to $5,000 to build a seven foot long steel dip pen. On January 9th, the pen was unveiled. It works! [more inside]
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:34 PM PST - 36 comments

Ooooh, pretty colors. Introducing Silk - a magical interactive artwork. Go ahead, give it a whirl. Some likable Silk wallpaper too.
posted by nickyskye at 6:58 PM PST - 22 comments

Single, Female, Mormon, Alone
posted by JeffL at 6:18 PM PST - 75 comments

Recent heavy rain in Queensland has bought destructive flooding to many towns and cities. Yesterday the mountain city of Toowoomba was hit with heavy rain and experienced flash flooding. With (so far) eight confirmed dead and 70 missing, the disaster is set to worsen as more rainfall is predicted.
posted by the noob at 6:00 PM PST - 264 comments

Super PSTW Action RPG is a parody of modern RPGs. Axman13 was not impressed.
posted by empath at 5:47 PM PST - 38 comments

"The Szpilman Award is awarded to works that exist only for a moment or a short period of time. The purpose of the award is to promote such works whose forms consist of ephemeral situations." This years winner is Treebute to Yogya. The organisers also maintain a blog and an encyclopædia of ephemeral works.
posted by unliteral at 4:39 PM PST - 9 comments

Part one: Beethoven - Piano sonata No. 27 in E minor, op. 90, Part two: Schubert - Piano sonata No. 7 in E minor, D.566, Part three: Piano sonata, Sz. 80. [more inside]
posted by Namlit at 4:37 PM PST - 12 comments

From the Pentagon to the private sector - In large numbers, and with few rules, retiring generals are taking lucrative defense-firm jobs [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:49 PM PST - 56 comments

Sea Ice Skating, it's all fun and games until a passing tugboat breaks up all the ice leaving you stranded on a thin sheet of frozen water! [more inside]
posted by Lanark at 12:59 PM PST - 56 comments

In an age of information wealth, how do we decide what's true & what's not? Allow me to introduce the world of discussion mapping. First up we have zest (demo here), a simple tool for threading mailing lists for easier navigation. It lacks the advanced features of the others but it's an easy starting point for structuring your discussions. [more inside]
posted by scalefree at 11:53 AM PST - 6 comments

Need a quick and dirty explanation of what the process is like to become a U.S. citizen? Check out this flowchart, courtesy of the Reason Foundation. [more inside]
posted by jng at 11:26 AM PST - 76 comments



"He was a good man, a very good man, I would follow him to hell and back. So would the men from E Company."

“He led hundreds of young men through some of the toughest fighting the world has known, but at his core he was a peaceful man. In everything he did, he served honorably.”

Major Richard "Dick" Winters (official site, memoirs), memorably portrayed in HBO's Band of Brothers (based on Stephen Ambrose's book), peacefully passed away on January 2. Winters never received the Medal of Honor, but there is a petition to remedy that. He was 92. (BoB previously)
posted by HumanComplex at 8:38 AM PST - 83 comments

Taking the Amphicar for a test drive. Telstar Logistics leaps at the opportunity to test drive an Amphicar. Previously.
posted by exogenous at 8:32 AM PST - 17 comments

A working beer catapult fridge by Purdue undergraduate Ross Wehner and some details on its design. Powered by Arduino.
posted by grouse at 7:48 AM PST - 31 comments

Why Cecco Beppe Does Not Die (Scratch 'n' Sniff Edition), a reenactment of the lost 1916 Futurist film Vita Futurista by the neutered cat responsible for the sleeper hit Valentine for Perfect Strangers (DLYT)
posted by shii at 6:43 AM PST - 10 comments

Can a book stop a bullet? A soldier in 1916 reported a bullet stopped by a book case and a metal shaving mirror. Short story collective Electric Literature tested six of the biggest books of 2010. The Box O' Truth shot $1.50 of discarded library books. Mythbusters armoured a car with phone books. Sports Nation challenged a guest's basketball book. Internet pranksters ZUG shot different religious books as well as the Twilight Saga. One of Oklahoma's nominees for state superintendent for education even demonstrated how textbooks could protect against school shootings. Would you trust your life to such an educational encasement?
posted by Mike1024 at 4:13 AM PST - 56 comments

January 9

Ever since open source drivers were written for the Microsoft Kinect (previously), we've seen countless innovative uses of the hardware from puppet shows to air guitar to realtime 3d data capture. The most profound and far reaching hack so far, however, is no doubt the ability to import giant 3d statues into minecraft. More info on the project can be found here. (via reddit)
posted by inedible at 9:11 PM PST - 34 comments


FRACT is an atmospheric adventure game set in an abstract forgotten world of analog sounds, samples and glitches by Richard E Flanagan. (Mac & Windows downloads, vimeo trailer, RockPaperShotgun post)
posted by juv3nal at 6:32 PM PST - 19 comments


Tea party in the Sonora: For the future of G.O.P. governance, look to Arizona. An article by Ken Silverstein, from the July 2010 issue of Harpers.
posted by chunking express at 5:30 PM PST - 87 comments


NPR looks at why we can't walk in a straight line. More info (and radio broadcast) is available on NPR's main page.
posted by gman at 1:54 PM PST - 52 comments

Future shock? Welcome to the new Middle Ages - The 21st century will resemble nothing more than the 12th [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 1:32 PM PST - 56 comments

Debbie Friedman passed away today. She was the most well known and influential composer of Jewish music and litergy in the United States. The Jerusalem Post says that "Friedman’s music is performed in synagogues around the world more than that of any other modern composer." Her most well known song is a setting of Mi Shebeirach, a prayer for healing.
posted by kdern at 12:07 PM PST - 24 comments

She is a bit deaf but she still hunts mice in the garden. Her name is Lucy. Her family says she is 39 years old, and is the oldest cat in the world. She does look a bit saggy. How long will your cat live?
posted by longsleeves at 11:05 AM PST - 96 comments

Valero Doval created a marvelous image for an Oliver Sacks' article about neuroplasticity, the brain’s capacity to create new pathways. The artist's other collages are also excellent: Aerofauna | Wonderful World | EnigmaticCities | Portraits. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 10:41 AM PST - 6 comments


In 1989, Milton Bradley debuted HeroQuest, a board game in the style of Dungeons and Dragons. Not to be bested at their own game, D&D's parent company TSR released Dragon Strike (reviewed here by Angry Video Game Nerd's James Rolfe.) Packaged with the board game was a low-budget fantasy short film meant to simultaneously set the mood, demonstrate a potential adventure and explain the rules.
posted by griphus at 10:01 AM PST - 74 comments

On Friday evening, Trent Reznor sat down with Jon Pareles (music critic for the NYT) for a lengthy, candid interview about his work on The Social Network soundtrack, Nine Inch Nails, How To Destroy Angels, and his creative process. The interview runs 1h15m, and is available for download in both video and audio versions. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:33 AM PST - 17 comments


The 50 best (American) comicbook covers of 2010 - as selected by Robot 6 (previously), who also have links to the best of the years best lists (The 5 worst comics of 2010 being a particular favourite.)
posted by Artw at 9:28 AM PST - 20 comments

The Romanian government has changed its labour laws, and in doing so has added a number of professions which weren't previously recognised but which are now subject to tax. Car valets, embalmers and driving instructors are unhappy to be added, but their protests aren't likely to be as scary as those of the...witches. [more inside]
posted by reynir at 8:45 AM PST - 18 comments


Steve Dorner (old Times coverage), creator of E-mail software Eudora, has cancer. Treatment is going reasonably well. (Via)
posted by joeclark at 6:27 AM PST - 13 comments

The Chase through digital reality. It's an intel ad.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:19 AM PST - 16 comments

Bangable Dudes in History.. with pie charts. [more inside]
posted by Ahab at 3:27 AM PST - 63 comments

Paul Bilger's Flickr stream is full of beautiful, otherworldly photos, many created with ink in water and long or multiple exposures. They range from curved and abstract to fractal-like. Also, there are some pretty trees.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 12:55 AM PST - 6 comments

January 8

The 'GDC 25' Chronicles: A Quake Aftershock. Shortly after the release of Quake in 1996, former iD employee Michael Abrash gave a talk detailing many of the technical hurdles that had to be resolved in making the game. For its 25th anniversary, GDC has put up video clips of two segments (1 2) as well as audio of the full talk.
posted by kmz at 10:25 PM PST - 21 comments

The Beatles' Lord of the Rings. Yes, that CNN article dates back to 2002, but Superpunch has recently had a contest to design posters for the film-that-never-happened (including a fake Wikipedia page for the film) and someone has written a fictional account of a fan discussing the film-that-never-happened with Paul McCartney, as if it had actually been made.
posted by crossoverman at 10:09 PM PST - 35 comments

Borromean rings consist of three circles linked as a group, with no two circles interlinked; removal of one ring results in the separation of all three. Named for the Borromeo family of 15th century Italy which featured the rings on its coat of arms, the symbol has had a long and varied history. The rings have appeared everywhere from medieval Christian iconography to Norse rune stones to the pillars of Hindu temples. In more recent times, Borromean rings have attracted formal study in the fields of topology, chemistry and (strangely enough) quantum mechanics. [more inside]
posted by dephlogisticated at 6:52 PM PST - 24 comments


Every Batmobile ever (prev)
posted by Paragon at 1:30 PM PST - 25 comments

A box of raisins saves a family from the Nazis. The Pop Laval Foundation in Fresno, CA adds an interesting WWII story to a historical photo from a local raisin processing plant.
posted by gusandrews at 12:22 PM PST - 25 comments

Have we hit 'peak travel'? Recent studies have suggested we may be approaching the limits of global capacity to sustain growth in human movement at current rates, or that we may already be at the structural limits of that capacity: the theory of "peak travel." Does it matter? What is our responsibility as travelers? Is there an upside? [more inside]
posted by spitbull at 11:45 AM PST - 49 comments

Fernando Vicente creates his own Body Worlds*, shows what makes people tick, gets under their skin, and appeals to dignity and prurience. Also, he has a blog. Reminds me of Boris Artzybasheff and Yoshitomo Nara for different reasons. via strange maps [more inside]
posted by jtron at 10:42 AM PST - 6 comments

Following the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology's decision to publish Daryl Bem's writeup of 8 studies (PDF) purporting to show evidence for precognition (previously), researchers from the University of Amsterdam have written a rebuttal (PDF) which finds methodological flaws not only in Bem's research, but in many other published papers in experimental psychology. Could this prove to be psychology's cold fusion moment? [more inside]
posted by yourcelf at 10:34 AM PST - 21 comments


Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan has entered a long line of ballet movies to critical acclaim, Golden Globe nominations and Oscar buzz. But what do ballerinas think of it?
posted by Artw at 9:18 AM PST - 121 comments

One of the most enduring mysteries in solar physics is why the Sun's outer atmosphere, or corona, is millions of degrees hotter than its surface. - Now scientists believe they have discovered a major source of hot gas that replenishes the corona
posted by The Whelk at 8:26 AM PST - 13 comments

It was December 14 when Twitter first received the sealed order to turn over information on several of its users. Twitter could simply have provided the information requested, instead of acting, on January 5, to have the order unsealed. The unsealing of the subpoena allowed the Twitter users in question to become aware of the situation, and it allowed them an opportunity to dispute the order--an opportunity they would not otherwise have had.
US wants Twitter details of Wikileaks activists.
WikiLeaks demands Google and Facebook unseal US subpoenas. One of the subpeoned accounts it that of Birgitta Jónsdóttir, activist and Icelandic Member of parliament. A resolution proposing the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative (IMMI), has already been unanimously passed by the country's parliament.
Icelands intention is to become an international transparency haven.
posted by adamvasco at 7:57 AM PST - 86 comments

Tim Bell teaches computer science to kids without using a computer. CS Unplugged has lots of resources for you to do this on your own. [via reddit]
posted by empath at 7:54 AM PST - 11 comments

The Silver People [nsfw] is a site created by 60's photographer, Jon Stevens, whose shtick is to paint people silver and photograph them. More interesting are his pics of Miles Davis | The Cockettes Erotic [nsfw] | Salvador Dali [nsfw] | his being photographed as the first male mod model [modest, not]. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 7:40 AM PST - 6 comments

A Yank in the (virtual) RAF
posted by protorp at 4:06 AM PST - 25 comments

Open Tyrian OpenTyrian is a port of the DOS shoot-em-up Tyrian (previously). The port uses SDL, making it easily cross-platform. Builds are available for Windows and Mac OS X [... and] for Android, Amiga, Dingoo, Dreamcast, DS, GameCube, Gizmondo, GP2X, GP32, Nokia Internet Tablets, PSP, PS3 Linux, Symbian, Wii, and Wiz
posted by kid ichorous at 1:13 AM PST - 21 comments

January 7

In this TED talk, Neil Pasricha of the blog 1000 Awesome Things talks about how to have an awesome life.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:26 PM PST - 55 comments

Michelle Obama promotes an anti-obesity campaign, telling her children that "dessert is not a right." Sarah Palin takes a shot at her on a reality show, making s'mores and saying, "This is in honor of Michelle Obama, who said the other day we should not have dessert." There's hooting and hollering from all sides. And then there's this -- is Sarah Palin courting the fat vote?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:15 PM PST - 248 comments



'Illinois wants Amazon to collect 6.25 percent sales tax and send it back to the state.' Amazon fights back. Under current law, only companies with a physical presence in the state have to do this, but the new bill declares that even having affiliates in Illinois counts as "presence." 'An e-mail sent from the company to all of its Illinois affiliates this morning warns that, should Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sign a just-passed tax bill, Amazon is cutting off every affiliate in Illinois. "We regret to inform you that the Illinois state legislature has passed an unconstitutional tax collection scheme that, if signed by Governor Quinn, would leave Amazon.com little choice but to end its relationships with Illinois-based Associates," said the e-mail.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 4:36 PM PST - 149 comments


On August 30, 1978 a Polish airliner was hijacked and redirected to Tempelhof airport in West Berlin. Torn between a policy of supporting defection and a recently-signed anti-hijacking treaty, the West German government ceded jurisdiction over the defendants to the United States government, which was still technically an occupying power and had an interest in the case because of the US Air Force Base at Tempelhof. The result was the one and only decision rendered by the United States Court for Berlin, United States v. Tiede. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 3:08 PM PST - 13 comments

On January 6, 1961, the University of Georgia was desegregated when Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes were admitted to the University of Georgia, with the ruling issued by U.S. District Court Judge William Bootle. The process had taken lengthy legal battles, following their applications to attend the school starting in the fall of 1959. With the 50th anniversary of that ruling, NPR has two interviews with Charlayne Hunter-Gault (née Charlayne Hunter). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:12 PM PST - 17 comments

In an upcoming episode of Fringe, Walter meets the keyboard player for his favorite band, Violet Sedan Chair, who will be played by Christopher Lloyd. And while the band is fictional, they have, in fact, released an album called Seven Suns, which was shipped to record stores across the country a couple of months ago. Fringe previously
posted by cottoncandybeard at 1:54 PM PST - 48 comments

The Monkeys You Ordered : Literally titled New Yorker cartoons.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:06 PM PST - 75 comments

Butt (previously) interviews Didier Lestrade, former publisher of classic French gay zines and periodicals like Magazine (scanned archives) and Têtu. “Unlike many young fags today, we knew our gay history. We were learning all the time about all kinds of stuff and we were always eager to lean more…. It freaks me out to think how quickly we went from creating our own history to not caring about gay history anymore! It happened so fast. No one has even begun to collect and preserve all the material from the Paradise Garage, the Saint, etc., and now gay people don’t seem to even care.” [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 12:09 PM PST - 31 comments

Writer Harry Mathews' epically challenging recipe for Roast Boned Rolled Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb (Farce Double) in text and audio form.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:47 AM PST - 42 comments

"Just months before the Nazis launched their attack on the Soviet Union, they had nothing better to do than to obsess about this dog." Introducing Jackie, the Finnish dog that infuriated the Nazis.
posted by naju at 9:24 AM PST - 69 comments

Mapping Slavery. In September 1861 Edwin Hergesheimer of the United States Coast Survey produced a map based on data from the 1860 census showing the distribution of slaves across the South. It's interesting to compare this to other maps. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 8:07 AM PST - 32 comments

Animal Farm; or, a Short and Somewhat Political History of Comics in Poland by Tomasz Kołodziejczak, translated by Michael Kandel. More Polish comics info here.
posted by cog_nate at 8:04 AM PST - 4 comments

Miami Police Set to Become First State in the US to Use Drones. As also discussed here on TPM, the new drones offer "unique hover and stare capability... advanced intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) with real time video documentation." If things proceed to plan, this will represent the first use of such devices both in the US and outside of combat environments. The resemblance between these Honeywell-manufactured devices and the ubiquitous, menacing City Scanners that populate the dystopian landscape of the popular video game series Half-Life is striking.
posted by saulgoodman at 8:02 AM PST - 135 comments

Rocaterrania is a country located in part of what's often known as the North Country of New York State, bordering on Canada. At least, it's there in the mind of Renaldo Kuhler, its creator, who has been imagining -- and sometimes physically creating -- the nation's politics, fashion, and artifacts since he was a teenager on his family's ranch in Colorado just after World War II. The son of Otto Kuhler, who designed the Hiawatha passenger trains of the Milwaukee Road railway, Renaldo needed an escape from ranch life. He invented a nation of forward-looking Eastern European immigrants with a vibrant, distinctly un-American culture. He warns, though, "it is not a Utopia." He has drawn, painted, and been the nation's history. He created its language, Rocaterranski, and alphabet from Yiddish and Spanish and German. Rocaterrania is a large-scale work of fiction but sometimes the way Kuhler speaks, it sounds like he believes it's really there. Kuhler now lives in Raleigh, North Carolina and is known about town for his Rocaterranian garb. [more inside]
posted by knile at 6:57 AM PST - 12 comments

Il était une fois... les technologies du passé. (YouTube) Adorable Francophone kids will make you feel old as they try to figure out technology from the 1980s.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:39 AM PST - 62 comments


See that Mechanical Red Eye? That's YOU, and you are an Insane Rogue AI. (Friday Flash Fun) [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy at 6:19 AM PST - 13 comments

We Are Those Lions. Sepia Mutiny discusses the death of Jayaben Desai, trade unionist.
posted by chunking express at 6:14 AM PST - 8 comments

Gulet Mohamed is an 18-year-old American citizen who has, since December 20, been detained and tortured in Kuwait. The U.S. Embassy has subsequently informed him that he is now on a no-fly list, effectively barring him from returning to the United States. Glenn Greenwald has posted a recording of a 50-minute telephone interview with Mr. Mohamed. [more inside]
posted by indubitable at 6:05 AM PST - 37 comments

176 Horn Lane, Acton, London, probably isn't an address you think of when it comes to death sentences in Arizona and California. It is the home of a small driving school. And Dream Pharma, a mom and pop pharmaceutical wholesaler. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 5:52 AM PST - 13 comments

Yes, it's Canadian, of course. I like the way the promo overreacts to the possibility that some people might find the sport a little slow, or, perhaps not a sport at all. Snazzy music. Shots of the guys horsing around. Black and white and slo-mo. Killer, eh.
posted by anothermug at 5:29 AM PST - 31 comments

The British Medical Journal has called Andrew Wakefield, the lead author of the study that initially claimed a link between the MMR vaccine and autism, a fraud. Investigative journalist Brian Deer went through the original medical records of the children included in the study and found that, amongst other things, some of them didn't have autism. Language this strong in a journal like this is pretty unusual, especially given the UK's libel laws. The Lancet retracted the original paper (PDF) last year due to concerns about breaches of research ethics (previously on Metafilter), but the BMJ is claiming deliberate manipulation and misrepresentation of data for financial gain.
posted by une_heure_pleine at 4:28 AM PST - 120 comments

January 6

If you like meaty filthy 60s-70s rock by sometimes severely ripped blokes &b.b.b.babes — like I know I do — then bite on these two crispy mix streams and the extensive opinionated textual japery and idolatry from Brit musician, musicologist, Julian Cope that accompanies them. This man writes books on music. Why is he giving it away? [more inside]
posted by Twang at 11:24 PM PST - 21 comments

The Chevy Volt plug-in electric goes 40 miles on battery alone, yet can go up to 350 miles. Top speed 100mph. How can you top that?
How about an 80 miles on battery, 500 miles total, and a top speed of 150mph and 0-60 in 3.9 seconds? The gasoline engine is a turbine (also used in jet engines). The Capstone CMT380. Specs (PDF). [more inside]
posted by eye of newt at 10:56 PM PST - 57 comments

Patricia Bosshard and Simon Grab make music with the sounds from an MRI machine. For their project MRI Patricia Bosshard and Simon Grab use exclusively sound recordings from an MRI scanner (Magnet Resonance Imaging). In the tradition of the Musique Concrète they leave the raw material in its own radicality. The actual transformation is being achieved by layering these rich and complex sounds. You know you've thought about it.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 10:06 PM PST - 27 comments

Global spam email levels suddenly fall. The volume of email spam has been dropping for 5 months, but during the holidays fell below 25% of August 2010 levels. [more inside]
posted by Existential Dread at 8:50 PM PST - 53 comments

Something that I am still trying to get my head around - Honey Laundering is big business in the black market. [more inside]
posted by troll on a pony at 8:02 PM PST - 44 comments

The French government today said it was the victim of an "economic war" after Renault, the partially state-owned car maker, suspended three top executives over suspected leaks of secret electric car technology. The French industry minister, Eric Besson, told French radio: "The expression 'economic war', while often outrageous, is for once appropriate here." He said the case illustrated "the risks our companies face in terms of industrial espionage, and economic intelligence".
posted by infini at 7:49 PM PST - 28 comments

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of his awesome abstract compilation album Miniatures, Morgan Fisher (of Mott the Hoople fame) has started going through the 51-track masterpiece from the beginning in, well, minute detail, updating readers on the current status of the featured band, providing relevant links, explaining his compilation process, and, of course, streaming each track. So far the first 7 tracks are featured, but start here with the bonus track added to the 1994 CD re-issue of Miniatures – "The Miniatures Miniature". [more inside]
posted by carsonb at 7:44 PM PST - 11 comments

Born in Concrete; Canadian artist Derek Stenning creates grim, Soviet-inspired futuristic space posters. Blog; Flickr photostream.
posted by bwg at 7:27 PM PST - 12 comments

Star Magazine ran for five issues in the spring and summer of 1973. Based in Los Angeles and directed at teenage girls, it covered rock stars, fashion ("How to get the rich hippie look"), dating advice ("How to get guys"), and interviews with such luminaries as Marc Bolan and Sally Struthers, as well as paeans to groupie life and getting your head together. All five issues have been scanned and uploaded for your viewing pleasure (once you get past the clunky interface and watermarks). Platform shoes recommended.
posted by jokeefe at 6:47 PM PST - 38 comments


The new Mac App Store: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
posted by misha at 5:12 PM PST - 157 comments

Phallus paintings and wood carvings were ubiquitous, like red chilies, all over Bhutan. But now they are fading as Bhutan undergoes prudish self-censorship They come in various sizes, color schemes and embellishments. Some have ribbons tied around them like jovial holiday presents. Others are coiled by daunting dragons. A few even have eyes. They typically feature hairy testicles, from the neatly trimmed to full-on Yeti-style. And, of course, all are fully erect. “Oh, golly,” said an elderly woman visiting from Seattle, when she stepped off the bus in the Punakha valley and found herself surrounded by an alarming concentration of penis imagery, set against a magnificent Himalayan backdrop. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 4:34 PM PST - 35 comments

Blue Shield of California seeks rate hikes of as much as 59% for individuals. 'Insurer says the increases result from fast-rising healthcare costs and other expenses resulting from new healthcare laws. The move comes less than a year after Anthem Blue Cross tried and failed to raise rates as much as 39%.''Nearly 1 in 4 of the affected customers will see cumulative increases of more than 50% over five months.''Michael Fraser, a Blue Shield policyholder from San Diego, learned recently that his monthly bill would climb 59%, to $431 from $271.''Anthem's attempt to raise rates by up to 39% led to national outrage and helped President Obama marshal support for his healthcare overhaul. The insurer was ultimately forced to back down, accepting maximum rate hikes of 20%.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 3:46 PM PST - 108 comments

"Book lovers, you can exhale. The printed, bound book has been given a stay of execution by an unlikely source: the design community."
posted by Scoop at 3:37 PM PST - 60 comments

The library of King Matthias I of Hungary, the Bibliotheca Corviniana, was "the second greatest collection of books in Europe in the Renaissance period, after that of the Vatican." Destroyed following the 15th century Turkish invasion of Hungary (despite the efforts of Matthias' vassal Vlad III the Impaler), a few surviving codices have been digitized by the National Széchényi Library and the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 2:56 PM PST - 7 comments


"On GChat, I type many things – sincere and not – that I would never say in person because it’s easy, when typing certain things into a box, to forget whom you are typing to." From Thought Catalog, writer Caroline Bankoff lists 45 things she thinks about when she thinks about google's chat service. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:14 PM PST - 34 comments

Dragon whiskers, honey skein, King's Dessert, Kkultarae, a Korean street vendor shows how to make 16.000 honey strings in two minutes. More looks at the making of this amazing candy, the wows of appreciation are worth waiting for and a close-up at the end. You can try making some yourself. What it tastes like. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 1:21 PM PST - 38 comments

Canntaireachd is a Scottish oral tradition for the vocal imitation of the bagpipes, dating from the 16th Century or earlier. Canntaireachd `nonsense' words represent particular manner of articulation as well as pitch, and are used during instruction, to swap tunes between musicians, and during performance. Canntaireachd is a dying art, largely replaced by staff notation, but a few players are keeping it alive. [more inside]
posted by yaxu at 1:15 PM PST - 15 comments

Effing Meteors: Rain destruction upon the universe! From the makers of Effing Hail. Previously.
posted by Fleebnork at 1:00 PM PST - 6 comments

The A.V. Club sits down with W. Earle Brown -- Deadwood's Dan Dority -- in a fascinating and far-ranging interview about his experiences on the show, and what could have been.
posted by auto-correct at 12:42 PM PST - 38 comments


The Nottingham Cave Survey is active program that is recording all of Nottingham's 450+ sandstone caves, using a laser scanner to capture 3D details of the caves. So far, there are over 100 clips on YouTube, most of them flythroughs into the caves. Many clips are short, some clocking under a minute, while others run over 10 minutes, such as the tour of the private Peel Street Caves (Rouse's Sand Mine [PDF]).
posted by filthy light thief at 11:50 AM PST - 12 comments

Evil doers beware! An actual costumed avenger is patrolling the streets of Seattle. Maybe he'd like a few tips. Or maybe a few villians
posted by The Whelk at 10:04 AM PST - 61 comments

Quote Investigator [more inside]
posted by jtron at 9:29 AM PST - 25 comments

The Torch, at 4100 lumens, may be the world's brightest handheld flashlight. It also lights fires. [more inside]
posted by quin at 9:23 AM PST - 70 comments

G.W. Little is a boutique for small dogs. They have a YouTube channel that showcases their wares in hypnotic film clips set to stock music: Spiderdog, Rocketdog, Firedog, Maddog, Doggula, Turkeydog, Ghostdog, Beedog, Frogdog. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 9:23 AM PST - 8 comments

So, last year Target set off a mini bruhaha by donating a wad of cash to fund advertisments for MN Republican Govonor candidate Tom Emmer. The Tea Party favorite subsequently went on to lose the race (narrowly) in one of the few bright spots for Democrats this past election season. Coincidentally, Target now is the recipient of (former) MN Governor, Tim Pawlenty's (R) new book (Courage to Stand) and released it a week early, trumping all other sellers. Although Pawlenty hasn't yet officially announced his candidacy the book tour is running through the early nomination states, despite his being near the bottom of the pack in GOP contenders. Mind you, he is not the only Minnesotan looking to make a run at the top seat. [more inside]
posted by edgeways at 9:22 AM PST - 25 comments

The incoming Republican majority in the US House of Representatives is right now reading the text of the Constitution on the House floor. Representatives chose to omit superceed portions of the text including The Three-Fifth Compromise and Prohibition
posted by T.D. Strange at 9:04 AM PST - 139 comments

If you are a BCBS IL PPO large group policy holder with mental health benefits, you probably received a letter stating you were required to obtain pre-authorization for your visits. By doing so this could subject you to a change in care, a denial of care, and/or limits in visits. But if you follow mental health laws, Federal law states that limits/pre-authorization should not apply if your core medical coverage does not require such hoops. Well that fight was won after 6 days. The preauthorization has been lifted.
posted by stormpooper at 8:51 AM PST - 15 comments

Inducement Prizes -- Best known for the Ansari X Prize, the DARPA Grand Challenge and the Clay Mathematics Millennium Problems, inducement prizes have a long history, but their recent successes have led to increased government interest, viz. challenge.gov, and resulted in the development of vaccines, thanks in large part to the work of Michael Kremer.* [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:42 AM PST - 8 comments

UBS Style Guide. A 43 page manual on style circulated around one of the world's biggest banks doesn't concern language but personal dress and grooming, including advice on neckerchiefs, make-up, and choices in underwear and alliums. Maybe they're taking advice from American Apparel.
posted by mippy at 7:28 AM PST - 146 comments

Jocasta Nu may be a Jedi, but she's not much of a librarian.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:04 AM PST - 35 comments

The U.S. National Physical Activity Plan was released on May 12th, 2010. Similar plans are in place in several European countries (France, Switzerland, Sweden) and W. Australia. The Compendium of Physical Activities (older thread) categorizes energy expenditure levels of specific physical activities (yes, including sex, but I did not see that activity targeted in the US plan).
posted by jeffmac at 6:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Heading out for a drive this weekend? Live near Lake Biwa in Japan? Then head over the O-hashi ('Big Bridge') and sing along with the music your car will make as it runs over the 'Melody Road'. These attractions (distractions?) - created by carving ridges into the surface of the road, causing your tires to play 'music' - have popped up all over Japan in recent years (here's an English-language news clip on the phenomenon). But if you are a road engineer, and are thinking of perhaps making one of these, you had better do the math properly, something the engineers on a similar project for a Honda commercial spectacularly failed to do. (Analysis of what went wrong on this interesting blog post).
posted by woodblock100 at 5:51 AM PST - 11 comments



Richard Amsel was a Philadelphian artist who created original and iconic illustrations and paintings found on posters for several popular 1970s and 80s American movies, including Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome, The Dark Crystal, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and The Sting. He also created unique artwork for TV Guide covers, as well as album cover art for Bette Midler and others. His Time cover featuring Lily Tomlin was added to the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:16 AM PST - 10 comments

Ghastly ghouls in flaming color! Mutant spores! Sizzling suns! - a selection of classic horror movie posters.
posted by Artw at 2:41 AM PST - 13 comments

An elderly woman, not famous, just someone on the street in Belarus, playing her own unique brand of blues. With a light bulb.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:53 AM PST - 39 comments

A new Breath has begun for Nexus Clash, a reimplementation of the now-closed browser-based game Nexus War (prev), with extra skills and classes to play with. Gameplay is map-based PvP, inspired by the classic Urban Dead. [more inside]
posted by WhackyparseThis at 1:05 AM PST - 10 comments

January 5


Dutch Winter: Kasper Bak shoots handheld video on skates on frozen Netherlands waters. If you feel cold after watching that, try warming up with some great Dutch winter food.
posted by bwg at 6:13 PM PST - 36 comments


Cyberspace when you're dead.
posted by xowie at 2:39 PM PST - 55 comments

8pen, a replacement for QWERTY on touch devices. (SLYT)
posted by CitoyenK at 2:38 PM PST - 81 comments


It's barely been a half-a-week, and your New Years Resolutions are probably running out of steam. The cure? IFeelUnmotivated.com! [spawned and via Reddit's /r/getmotivated]
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:56 PM PST - 20 comments

Let’s put things into perspective: 2010 was not the worst year ever. There have been MUCH worse years. For example, toward the end of the Cretaceous Period, the Earth was struck by an asteroid that wiped out 75 percent of all the species on the planet. Can we honestly say that we had a worse year than those species did? Yes we can, because they were not exposed to Jersey Shore. Dave Barry reviews 2010, the worst of all years, ever.
posted by hippybear at 1:33 PM PST - 63 comments

"If you get arrested in California, better hope there are no incriminating texts or e-mails or sensitive data stored on your phone. On Monday, the California Supreme Court ruled [PDF] that police in that state can search the contents of an arrested person's cell phone." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 1:22 PM PST - 87 comments

Starbucks unveils a new logo. They're taking a no-words branding approach. [more inside]
posted by litnerd at 1:14 PM PST - 142 comments

This is not satire. This appears to be a completely serious attempt to justify the extension of the Bush tax cuts by showing a "typical" family of 4 with no debt (other than a mortgage) struggling to get by on a quarter of a million dollars a year. They clearly can't afford to pay a couple thousand more in taxes. They can barely afford to send the kids to summer camp as it is.
posted by COD at 12:52 PM PST - 314 comments

The Children of Leningradsky. A 20 minute short by two Polish directors, Andrzej Celinski and Hanna Polak, nominated for the 2004 Academy Award for Best Documentary, Short Subject. 'Since the fall of the Iron Curtain an estimated four million children have found themselves living on the streets in the former countries of the Soviet Union. In the streets of Moscow alone there are over 30,000 surviving in this manner at the present time. The makers of the documentary film concentrated on a community of homeless children living hand to mouth in the Moscow train station Leningradsky.' Through Liveleak.
posted by VikingSword at 12:27 PM PST - 8 comments

"The rich are different than you and me." A new study out of the Harvard Business School suggests that frequent use of luxury goods and services may encourage a narrower, more self-interested view of the world. Here's a link to the report itself. (Achtung! it's a PDF.)
posted by saulgoodman at 12:23 PM PST - 72 comments


Today is a day for a Heavy Metal Penguin
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:11 AM PST - 35 comments

Yesterday there was a partial solar eclipse over most of Europe and northwestern Asia. There were a lot of great pictures, but the most spectacular may have been the solar transit of the International Space Station during the partial eclipse, taken by French astrophotographer, Thierry Legault. Bad Astronomy has more on why he chose the Sultanate of Oman, and how he captured a picture that was possible for less than a second. Bad Astronomy also covered his picture of the lunar transit of ISS, captured December 21, 2010.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:00 AM PST - 27 comments

Amazing World of Insect-Wing Color Discovered "A closer look at seemingly drab, transparent insect wings has revealed realms of previously unappreciated color, visible to the naked eye yet overlooked for centuries. Until now, the wing colors of many flies and wasps were dismissed as random iridescence. But they may be as distinctive and marvelous as the much-studied, much-celebrated wings of butterflies and beetles." The paper (pdf) was published in PNAS.
posted by dhruva at 10:49 AM PST - 10 comments

With Air Force's Gorgon Drone 'we can see everything.' "In ancient times, Gorgon was a mythical Greek creature whose unblinking eyes turned to stone those who beheld them. In modern times, Gorgon may be one of the military's most valuable new tools. This winter, the Air Force is set to deploy to Afghanistan what it says is a revolutionary airborne surveillance system called Gorgon Stare, which will be able to transmit live video images of physical movement across an entire town."
posted by homunculus at 9:49 AM PST - 85 comments


"What dudes do have for inspiration is Fuck Yeah Menswear, a new anonymous blog dedicated to the poetry of self aggrandizing and hurting people’s feelings through your personal style." Via.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:04 AM PST - 57 comments

Portrait of an Immigrant Detainee as a Young Man. Meet New York bike-scene fixture Pablo Airaldi. He made friends with everyone—except ICE officials.
posted by fixedgear at 7:38 AM PST - 53 comments

Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist is an American animated series that originally ran on Comedy Central from May 28, 1995 to December 24, 1999. The series used an unusual animation style called Squigglevision and often featured prominent comedians like Jon Stewart and Mitch Hedberg. Many of the episodes can be found online... [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:15 AM PST - 58 comments

Google Refine is a free data-cleaning tool provided by Google. You install it on your own computer and run it through your browser. It’s very similar to PivotTables in Excel, but there are some advanced features such as data matching. On their blog, ProPublica provides a practical example of how they used the software to clean medical billing data for one of their investigative reports.
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 2:11 AM PST - 29 comments

Story of the King James Bible. There are still a few things BBC Radio 4 does superbly well. Jim Naughtie's current three-part history of the King James Bible is one of them.
posted by Paul Slade at 1:27 AM PST - 44 comments

The Big Fat Quiz of the Year, an annual British trivia show featuring a panel of comedians, humorists, and celebrities, returns with its 2010 edition. Expect puns, rants, inside jokes, teasing, and at least a few UK-specific news stories that'll leave you scratching your head if you don't follow the Sun. (NSFW due to language) [more inside]
posted by jng at 1:13 AM PST - 18 comments

Monday, 1/3/11's episode of How I Met Your Mother, "Bad News," has caused a bit of a stir. [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer at 1:10 AM PST - 83 comments

The Dubai Job: One year ago, an elite Mossad hit squad traveled to Dubai to kill a high-ranking member of Hamas. They completed the mission, but their covers were blown, and Israel was humiliated by the twenty-seven-minute video of their movements that was posted online for all the world to see. Ronen Bergman reveals the intricate, chilling details of the mission and investigates how Israel's vaunted spy agency did things so spectacularly wrong (previously)
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:32 AM PST - 73 comments

January 4


Nothing is Forgotten, a lovely little wordless comic about loss, fear, kindness, and memory.
posted by Gator at 7:29 PM PST - 39 comments

Ted Williams is a homeless man with the gift of a golden voice (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by sarastro at 7:07 PM PST - 83 comments

Richard Matheson—Storyteller - To mark the publication of a book of tribute stories writer and editor Richard Bradley has been blogging about the author's 60 year writing career- covering I Am Legend, Duel, and The Incredible Shrinking Man, not to mention Somewhere in Time (full index here). Of course Matheson is probably most famous for his contributions to the Twilight Zone, being one of it's three major writers and scripting Nightmare at 20,000 feet. Twice.
posted by Artw at 6:30 PM PST - 25 comments

Kava: "a slightly bitter, slightly frothy, aromatic, resinous brew capable of inducing tranquility and an ultimate sense of wellbeing" [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 6:09 PM PST - 45 comments

Coyote repeatedly attacks a Canadian's boot (only because his stuff from ACME hasn't arrived yet). SLYT; 4.55
posted by bwg at 6:06 PM PST - 59 comments

First Leslie Nielsen, and now Anne Francis. Fortunately, Robbie the Robot will live forever.

While probably best known as Altaira Morbius, the Miranda character in the Shakespeare-inspired sci-fi classic "Forbidden Planet", Francis had a long career in film and TV. She co-starred with Spencer Tracy in the thriller "Bad Day at Black Rock", which took a stand against the racism of Japanese internment during WWII, and played a private detective in "Honey West." An Aaron Spelling copy of Great Britain's "The Avengers," "Honey West" was more notable for the lead's pet ocelot than compelling writing, though Anne's charm and good looks kept the show afloat for two seasons.

Francis first appeared in film in 1947 and continued to work up until the last decade, when she was slowed by a battle with lung cancer. She died Sunday at age 80.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 5:29 PM PST - 21 comments

The NASA list of "silliest" science fiction films outlines some complete horseshit offerings but is sci-fi meant to be realistic? Fans of hard sci-fi might argue it is the core of that place where dreaming and science combine, but shouldn't the dreaming part allow an amount of creative freedom in the hopes of getting at some larger truth? Some would say there is a point where you've gone too far. But what if our current impossible dream later becomes plausible, possible or reality?
posted by Raunchy 60s Humour at 4:48 PM PST - 100 comments

A 24 hour observation of all of the large aircraft flights in the world, condensed down to just over a minute. Similar videos are created by NASA's Future ATM Concepts Evaluation Tool (or FACET), like this one of a day in the life of air traffic over the United States.
posted by gman at 4:46 PM PST - 14 comments

Measurements separated by decades can yield a wealth of knowledge. Old Weather is a citizen science project (part of the Zoouniverse initiative for crowdsourced analysis) to transcribe the weather logs of Royal Navy ships from WWI in order to gather data on climate change; analysis of the data on punch cards from 1967 were recently used to form one of the longest retrospective studies ever on cholesterol.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:24 PM PST - 5 comments

Mick Karn, bass player for Japan, Dali's Car and Gary Numan is dead at 52.
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 3:18 PM PST - 34 comments

RIP Gerry Rafferty, Scottish singer songwriter best known for the 70s hits 'Baker Street' and 'Right Down the Line', and as part of Stealers Wheel, 'Stuck In The Middle With You' which was later immortalised for new generation in the film Reservoir Dogs.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:32 PM PST - 99 comments


Fond of Dr. Pepper, but don't like to pay for the big name on the can? Chances are, you've stood in a store beverage aisle and seen one of these awaiting your purchase. Want a bit more information about each brand? Whatever you do, don't confuse the Dr. with Mr. PiBB.
posted by hippybear at 12:49 PM PST - 162 comments

A House in California is a surreal, narrative game by Jake Elliott about four characters who bring a house to life. It's a finalist for the Nuovo award at the 2011 Independent Games Festival. Available for Windows/Mac/Linux download or play it in your browser at Kongregate. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 12:00 PM PST - 3 comments

75 Sensational Examples Of Sci-Fi Illustration at Designer's Terminal. If you click on an image there are details of each artist.
posted by nickyskye at 11:17 AM PST - 64 comments

Clancy Martin is the chair of the philosophy department at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. He's also an unabashed liar, a recovering alcoholic, and was once suicidal. He's surprisingly honest, and has written extensively about all three of these things. Prior to becoming a professor, he dropped out of grad school, made a small fortune in the murky world of luxury jewelry sales, and nearly became the world's leading dealer of counterfeit Fabergé eggs along the way. He occasionally writes an advice column about lying, and even wrote a few books about it. [more inside]
posted by schmod at 11:13 AM PST - 29 comments

Hearing him discuss films one day in the Lake Street Screening Room used by Chicago critics, Ebert said, "I was struck by the depth and detail of his film knowledge, and by how articulate he was." After reading his work online, Ebert was sold.
Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, 24, will co-host the revival of At the Movies with Christy Lemire. [previously] [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 11:07 AM PST - 35 comments


James Van Der Memes (with accompanying infomercial video). [more inside]
posted by sarahnade at 10:44 AM PST - 11 comments

Law professor Susan Crawford takes a moment to explain to all of us why we should be wary of Verizon's decision to suspend FiOS rollout across the country and the resulting likely domination of the high-speed internet access biz by the cable companies in a short (for a legal journal) paper in the Yale Law and Policy Review. [more inside]
posted by Inkoate at 10:41 AM PST - 55 comments


Salman Taseer has been assassinated in Islamabad. Why was he assassinated? Because he spoke in defence of Asia Bibi and against Pakistan's outdated blasphemy laws. Where do the justifications for death to those who insult Islam come from? Apparently not from the Quran...
posted by dougrayrankin at 9:37 AM PST - 39 comments


"He was a mighty good nigger [sic, recte slave], Jim was." [more inside]
posted by ericost at 9:30 AM PST - 210 comments


"[U]sers ... are beginning to find that when they try to do searches to evaluate or buy consumer items--such as dishwashers, or iPhone 4 cases--or to find a site that will give them some useful answers, that Google's results are awash with spam." Is there "Trouble in the House of Google?" Is Google the next Yahoo? ... or worse? Why we need a better Google, and how Facebook likes, Blekko, and Bing are "changing search." (Previously; more previously)
posted by mrgrimm at 9:11 AM PST - 67 comments

Movie-Censorship.com is a resource to provide amazingly detailed comparisons between different versions of movie releases. [more inside]
posted by quin at 8:58 AM PST - 16 comments

The Realist is a comic by Asaf Hanuka, originally serialized in the Israeli newspaper Calcalist and available in the original Hebrew as well as English translation by Hanuka's brother, Tomer Hanuka.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:32 AM PST - 4 comments

In 1719, Louis Renard published Poissons, écrevisses et crabes, de diverses couleurs et figures extraordinaires, que l'on trouve autour des isles Moluques, et sur les côtes des terres australes. The book documented the newly discovered marine life of the East Indies in images of astonishing beauty, but dubious accuracy.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:03 AM PST - 7 comments

20 years ago, an amazingly comprehensive piece of civil rights legislation was passed in the United States. The law addresses several key pieces of rights and standards for people with disabilities, and laid the groundwork for inclusion as a federal protected class. [more inside]
posted by TomMelee at 4:58 AM PST - 53 comments


How to make a decent cup of tea. by Christopher Hitchens. Single Link Slate Post. But it's all true, dammit.
posted by Grangousier at 12:44 AM PST - 214 comments

'The Lord of the Books of the 55 Arse-Hymens of Stone.' (SLYT) The Lord of the Rings gets the Dirty Potter treatment. Exceptionally NSFW
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 12:06 AM PST - 15 comments

January 3

"The Museum of the City of New York is pleased to announce the soft launch of its online collections portal [where you can] view more than 50,000 newly digitized photographs by Berenice Abbott, Samuel H. Gottscho, Jacob A. Riis, the Byron Company, the Wurts Brothers, and many others."
posted by peacay at 11:19 PM PST - 5 comments

Winter's Bone director Debra Granik offers her 45+ minute documentary, Hillbilly Up!, as a free exclusive iTunes download. The film features several of the local musicians and actors from the film discussing Ozarks culture and history.
posted by dobbs at 9:25 PM PST - 17 comments


Library Girl by ReinaDelCid
posted by Toekneesan at 6:14 PM PST - 42 comments

Poo Prints: DNA Profiling for Pets; "... designed to help communities enforce their pooper scooper rules and give the pet owner tools that help them build a better relationship with their dog." [more inside]
posted by bwg at 5:22 PM PST - 73 comments

Four Color Process is a blog which reposts magnified details from old comic book panels. The images become semi-abstract and very striking (and surprisingly non-Lichtensteinian). Some favorites: Ruined City, Steranko's Strange Tales, Ghouls, Swirl Lamp, Kirby's Silver Surfer, Romance, Novelty Magic, Ditko's Dr. Strange, Man at Conference Table, Homo Comicus, Easy to Do and finally a comparison of contemporary printing with the old four color process. [via The Front Section]
posted by Kattullus at 5:13 PM PST - 21 comments

Let's talk parenting taboos (SLTedTalk) [more inside]
posted by joannemerriam at 5:12 PM PST - 89 comments


"I see you have constructed a new lightsaber. Your skills are complete. Indeed, you are powerful, as the Emperor has foreseen." The lightsaber prop to own all lightsaber props, complete with crystal chamber and a blade bright enough to blind with the lights switched on. TL;DR? YouTube vids - with the blade attached; the crystal chamber. [via Geekdad, via Make]
posted by obiwanwasabi at 2:59 PM PST - 42 comments

The goal: Erect a monolith on the moon.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 2:50 PM PST - 72 comments


Since the spring of 2010, all-volunteer units called Female Engagement Teams have been doing what male soldiers can't: speak with women and children in rural Afghani communities, both to gain information and to foster trust. These soldiers may carry M4 rifles, but their toolkit includes sidewalk chalk and jump ropes, too. The FETs, trained for this specific mission grew out of more ad hoc programs like the Lioness program for traffic checkpoints in Iraq. "The FET mission to me is so critical that if I had to exchange blood for it, I would," said Sgt. 1st Class Sawyer Alberi, an FET team leader for the National Guard. "The FET mission is nested very closely in the COIN mission, and unless you do it, you're not doing the whole COIN mission." First Lieutenant Quincy Washa, platoon commander for the Female Engagement Team with Regimental Combat Team 1, describes the teams' role. Despite the apparent importance of the FETs' work, the program is still an experiment; it is unclear whether it will continue after the current teams' deployment.
posted by ocherdraco at 1:49 PM PST - 21 comments

heartfelt felt cats. pregnancy (incl. sonography). newborn & begin of life cycle.
posted by megob at 1:21 PM PST - 12 comments


Why does Futura work here but Slanted Futura doesn't? Enter FONTS IN USE: A breakdown, explanation and appreciation of type design out in the real world.
posted by The Whelk at 12:58 PM PST - 17 comments

Do you use RSS? Not many do, apparently. Goodbye, then, RSS button in the location bar of Firefox 4 (Bugzilla entry). “RSS is dying,” a blog hyperbolizes in response, with retort from Asa Dotzler of Mozilla, who states the functionality is being moved to a menu item.
posted by joeclark at 12:38 PM PST - 98 comments

Detroit, after the fall. Devastating photos by two young French photographers.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:24 PM PST - 69 comments

In 2006-2007, while Capt. Owen Honors was second-in-command of the USS Enterprise, the ship-wide closed circuit television was often used to broadcast videos to entertain the crew of around 6000. Not all of those videos were big budget movies. In fact, some of them were made by Honors himself, and depict simulated masturbation, female crewmembers showering together, and feature large amounts of sexual innuendo and homosexual slurs. (edited video included in link, maybe NSFW) [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:14 AM PST - 74 comments

Slapstick eroto-psychodelia-(NSFW) Violens is made up of former members of the now defunct Lansing-Dreiden, a band responsible for beautiful, confoundingly strange, sublime, and rocking art and music. [more inside]
posted by Enigmark at 11:11 AM PST - 3 comments

First birds, then fish. between 4000-5000 blackbirds and an estimated 80-100,000 drum fish have turned up dead over the space of a few days around Beebe, Arkansas. [more inside]
posted by FatherDagon at 10:30 AM PST - 67 comments


HYPERPYPE -- a strangely addictive flash game. It's easy to fill most of the pipes, but it's very hard to get them all.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:00 AM PST - 36 comments

Bram Bos, maker of easy-to-use programs for making electronic music, has released all his old software for free download. Get some free VST instruments and samples from KVR Audio and make some music, or at least download Hammerhead and make some beats!
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:33 AM PST - 24 comments




Inside the Battle to Define Mental Illness. The DSM-V and its critics. (DSM-V previously)
posted by OmieWise at 5:40 AM PST - 98 comments

Employed by a startup? Working long hours for little pay but lots of stock options? When your company goes public you can finally realise the value of your options but what if the IPO is delayed or never happens? [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 4:36 AM PST - 32 comments

British actor Pete Postlethwaite has died at the age of 64, after a lengthy battle with cancer. A renowned veteran of the Royal Shakespeare Company (he held the leading roles in both The Tempest and 2009's King Lear among others), Postlethwaite is perhaps best known worldwide for his roles in The Usual Suspects (trailer), The Constant Gardener and The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Steven Spielberg supposedly described him as "the best actor in the world", although Postlethwaite himself often denied this.
posted by fight or flight at 2:57 AM PST - 136 comments

January 2

It is the 16th century. From all over Europe great ships sail west to conquer the new world, the Americas. The men eager to seek their fortune, to find new adventures in new lands. They long to cross uncharted seas and discover unknown countries. To find secret gold on a mountain trail high in the Andes. They dream of following the path of the setting sun that leads to Eldorado, and the Mysterious Cities Of Gold. [more inside]
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:24 PM PST - 41 comments

The Monterey Bay aquarium seafood watch has an app. Fish are a delicious, but problematic food source for humans. For those who've been cramming the Seafood Watch guide into their pockets when contemplating dining out or their next menu for decades, the next generation of fish eating awareness has arrived, in the form of a free mobile application. [more inside]
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:20 PM PST - 43 comments

China is eating our lunch, says one columnist. Obama called it a "Sputnik moment." When a Philadelphia football game was delayed because of snow, the governor of Pennsylvania said we had become a nation of wussies, and said, "The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything. If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down." Not so fast there, says a guest writer to the Seattle Times: "To be sure, our 14th-to-25th ranking in the Program for International Student Assessment is no cause for complacency. Neither is China eating our lunch, or any meal — at least not yet." Which brings up the hokou system, which guarantees that the Chinese students measured for the test are the richest, best of the best in the country, and not the working poor of Shanghai. Some have called the system, which separates "urban" from "rural" workers, "China's apartheid."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:13 PM PST - 96 comments

The miniskirts, hotpants, bellbottoms, boots, sunglasses, and hairdos of the Sixties Seventies as worn by the famous and anonymous beauties of the time. (some images NSFW)
posted by Joe Beese at 8:02 PM PST - 60 comments

The team of scientists and young researchers at POLENET, stationed at Byrd camp on the west Antarctic ice sheet, have been video podcasting since October 2009. Their seventh features kickin' music by the Weepies. SLYT: Antarctica (song)
posted by friendlymilkman at 6:13 PM PST - 2 comments


SF0 is a game played in the real world, where you play your character. However, it's not a LARP, and it's not quite an ARG (alternate reality game), either. Think of it more as an interface for the cities of the real world. [more inside]
posted by LSK at 5:23 PM PST - 26 comments


Iftin , a Somali form of funk, was popular from the early 1970s until the time of the civil war there in 1991. It's just one of many examples of little-known (outside of Africa) African popular music found preserved at Likembe. Found while falling down the world music blog rabbit hole here, after stumbling on a rock here. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 2:54 PM PST - 8 comments

Writer Melanie Thernstrom continues to be interesting. After a career spanning more than 20 years, and including well-received articles and books covering murders, suicide, and chronic pain, Thernstrom has published an article -- today on the cover of the New York Times Magazine -- describing her and her husband's choices and experiences in building a family through one husband slash sperm donor, one wife and mother with infertility, one egg donor, and two women serving as gestational surrogates. The internet weighs in. [more inside]
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:12 PM PST - 56 comments

Rise of the Neuronovel. Marco Roth at N+1 argues that the recent interest of contemporary novels (Motherless Brooklyn, Saturday, Atmospheric Disturbances) in the disordered wetware of their characters represents a defeat for fiction. "...the new genre of the neuronovel, which looks on the face of it to expand the writ of literature, appears as another sign of the novel’s diminishing purview." Jonah Lehrer responds to Roth and Roth responds back.
posted by escabeche at 12:08 PM PST - 58 comments

How to do accents. Gareth Jameson has made a number of videos on how to do different accents: Russian, German, Spanish, and more. Some of his accents are better(?*) than others. Some are terrible. If all else fails, he can at least teach you to yodel. [more inside]
posted by Deathalicious at 11:38 AM PST - 50 comments

Shoah, Claude Lanzmann’s 1985 film about the Holocaust, can be seen on YouTube, in 59 parts and lasting more than 9 hours. This is not for the faint of heart or for folks with short attention spans. Reminded of it through Ebert’s latest post. On Wikipedia. (Previously here)
posted by growabrain at 11:18 AM PST - 42 comments

Dog Videos ... Just what it says on the tin.
posted by HuronBob at 10:58 AM PST - 13 comments

When he was seven years old, Francois Luambo Makiadi built his own guitar. He would become one of the titans of 20th Century African music, Le Grande Maitre of the All Powerful Orchestre Kinois Jazz. [more inside]
posted by williampratt at 8:07 AM PST - 8 comments

101, images of males from age 0 to 100 by Danish photojournalists Sofia Wraber and Nanna Kreutzmann.
posted by nickyskye at 7:01 AM PST - 56 comments

Want to create a video of a steady stream of divers simultaneously using the 10 and 3-metre platforms at the diving pool? Get a lot of fellows together, or just Fake It (SLYT; 3.43). Original site (Japanese).
posted by bwg at 3:42 AM PST - 35 comments


January 1

Every January 1 is Public Domain Day, when new authors enter the public domain. Copyright law is "fiendishly complex", but using the generic "life plus seventy" rule, here are some of the authors who enter the public domain today. What could have been entering the public domain today under the pre-1978-era law (Fellowship of the Ring, Dr. Seuss, etc..).. but you can expect further endless extensions of copyright to come. More articles here, here.
posted by stbalbach at 9:43 PM PST - 115 comments

Wrong Side of the Art!: This is the place I post B-movie posters. One sheets, half sheets, daybills, locandines, quads – whatever I find. Also – some random movie stills. (previously, with outdated link)
posted by Joe Beese at 7:59 PM PST - 8 comments

Strategy Page offers a brief overview of the state of the planet, concentrating on who is fighting whom, and why. One interesting thing about it is that the most violent and destructive current wars aren't getting a lot of press coverage in the West. Another interesting thing is that the majority of current violent conflicts are driven by ethnic or religious differences, or by a struggle for control over local sources of wealth (i.e. oil or cocaine or opium). [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:35 PM PST - 44 comments


Train of Thought is a short film in paper by Leo Bridle and Ben Thomas. Although it used digital compositing software, all the animation and models were done by hand, not with CGI. The film took approximately nine months to complete, from storyboards through to the final edit. [HD on Vimeo]
posted by netbros at 4:19 PM PST - 9 comments

Oakland's Turf Feinz (previously) dance in memorial for Oscar Grant (previously). While the riots in Oakland received more media coverage (previously, previously), there's been several memorial murals painted across Oakland and numerous songs channeling local anger, outrage, observations, lamentations, reflections, and frustration. The news gave the nation broken windows and burning cars, while the town continues peaceful protest, 2 years later.
posted by yeloson at 2:17 PM PST - 11 comments

Google is known to ask the following question in job interviews: In a country in which people only want boys every family continues to have children until they have a boy. If they have a girl, they have another child. If they have a boy, they stop. What is the proportion of boys to girls in the country? Think you know the answer? If so, Steve Landsburg may be willing to bet you up to $5000. [more inside]
posted by gsteff at 2:00 PM PST - 279 comments

"The design brief had at least one interesting bulletpoint: The chair had to be 'torpedo-proof.'" Making, testing, more testing, history, design, redesign. [more inside]
posted by Paragon at 12:37 PM PST - 26 comments

January 1, 1985: Earfuls of earrings out, armful of bangles in.
January 1, 1993: Pellegrino out, Crystal Pepsi in
January 1, 2004: Viagra out, Levitra in (MetaFilter previously in)
January 1, 2011: Trolling out, Hacktivism in.

The List: a middlebrow, Beltway elite, mildly insufferable, perennially baffling Washington Post tradition since 1978 (Concave chests out, bosoms in)
posted by silby at 12:17 PM PST - 52 comments

A year of cool comics - A breakdown of 365 cool comics from Comics Should Be Good.
posted by Artw at 12:04 PM PST - 6 comments

Hot s&ſ action: Google Books’ optical character recognition is louſy enough to be unable to differentiate f from the ancient long s or medial s, ſ (previouſly). But what exactly were the rules for uſing this now-obſolete glyph? It turns out you almost need a flowchart. (Via)
posted by joeclark at 12:04 PM PST - 38 comments


Broken Umbrellas
posted by cjorgensen at 9:22 AM PST - 20 comments