October 2006 Archives

October 31

BardoThodal the tibetian book of the dead, a way of life.This is what happens on the 49th day of our being dead. If you do not escape the Matrix, the day after you are inside a woman's womb. part one part two (Google video)
posted by hortense at 11:00 PM PST - 6 comments

Big ups to DiddyTV, it is indeed legitimate , sirs. Of course, prosaic gentlemen (i.e. regula' huslas) can be king (i.e. pimp daddy master flex^3) too. Have it your way on the googletube.
posted by jne1813 at 10:52 PM PST - 16 comments

Calling All Wingnuts blogger Mike Stark (previously discussed here) found himself in a fight with George Allen's staffers after asking the Senator an impertinent question about his first wife and sealed divorce file and court records.
posted by homunculus at 10:46 PM PST - 29 comments

High Security Fashion
Miguel Caballero is walking around his company's showroom in Bogotá, Colombia, holding a .38-caliber revolver. "You!" he says, pointing to German Gonzalez, a 20-something salesman who's been on the job for just two weeks. "You're next."
The latest in boardroom insanity? Nah, Miguel Caballero makes high fashion bulletproof clothes for presidents, state leaders and gangsta rappers and enjoys demonstrating how effective they are at stopping pistol fire at point blank range.

Its Armani-style combined with highly effective personal protection.
posted by fenriq at 10:08 PM PST - 15 comments

Pet Peeves in Customer Service Why cellphones are so proprietary, why PA systems sound terrible, why rental companies gouge on gas, and answers to other vexing questions.
posted by aerotive at 9:47 PM PST - 30 comments

The Virtual Gramophone. A massive database of early Canadian 78 RPM recordings, now available in mp3 and rm format. Over 13,000 titles available, freely downloadable. Includes biographical notes on the artists, notes on the history of Canadian recording, interesting technical notes on media conversion, a few videos from the olde dayes, and podcasts. This collection is particularly strong on Quebecois and Acadien folk/fiddle music. Courtesy of the Library and Archives Services of the Government of Canada. Mentioned once before in passing, five years ago on Metafilter, but much improved since them realaudio only days.
posted by Rumple at 9:38 PM PST - 18 comments

Fed up with old-fashioned boards and planchettes? Want to contact spirits the 21st century way? Try iPod Ouija. (not responsible for any possessions or nightmares. try at own risk.)
posted by divabat at 9:15 PM PST - 2 comments

"Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come to You, My Lad," "Casting the Runes," and other stories by M.R. James, the master of the ghost story.
posted by Iridic at 6:23 PM PST - 22 comments

Masterpieces of Persian Painting "The atrocity of raging wars, the fainting of Leili (the beloved) and Majnoun (the lover) and the Prophet Mohammad’s (PBUH) ascension to the celestial sphere while floating in light—all reflect the reality and image of the pure heart of the artists who viewed the world, its Creator and creatures with love." [via]
posted by dhruva at 5:41 PM PST - 22 comments


Your humpback has gone to a watery grave and you don't know what to do? Time to call in the bone eating zombie worms! (And maybe invite a hagfish or two)
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 3:42 PM PST - 18 comments

Nigel Kneale dies.
posted by feelinglistless at 3:28 PM PST - 8 comments

In honor of Halloween, the greatest costume ever: a playable Pac Man arcade cabinet.
posted by jonson at 3:11 PM PST - 24 comments


Maqam World contains much more than maqamat. Rhythms, genres, instruments - all presented with audio examples, pictures, and even pronunciation. The podcasts are an added bonus. [Note: some multimedia features only work in IE, most audio in .rm (it's worth it, though)]
posted by imposster at 2:17 PM PST - 6 comments

Elephants are self aware (news story, videos). "As a result of this study, the elephant now joins a cognitive elite," said researcher Frans de Waal at Emory University. [Past posts tagged with "elephant" "elephants"]
posted by salvia at 1:45 PM PST - 52 comments

My Rapist One day several years ago, I opened up my hometown newspaper and found a picture of my rapist on the Engagements page.[via nytimes]
posted by cgs at 12:10 PM PST - 142 comments

Enduring Outrage: Editorial Cartoons by Herblock, an LOC exhibition. From 1950s plutocrats to 1970s ethics scandals, and up to the ideal American Flag of the religious Right, Block captured complex issues in just one frame. His drawings about government limitations of civil liberties seem particularly prescient.
posted by OmieWise at 11:27 AM PST - 16 comments

Your Disease Risk is an interesting new website that quantifies your risk of contracting various diseases. From a Wall Street Journal story on the site: "The site goes beyond the standard questions about age, cholesterol and family history and explores the variety of lifestyle choices, environmental issues and other factors that can influence health risk. The questions are based on risk factors that have been established through credible scientific studies."
posted by bove at 10:52 AM PST - 18 comments

It's a thriller, thriller night. [youtubefilter]
posted by EarBucket at 10:48 AM PST - 21 comments

The Strange Saga of Milberg Weiss. It started with a bitchslap in Cleveland and may end in the downfall of the largest securities class-action law firm in America.
posted by Falconetti at 10:26 AM PST - 23 comments

Who Killed Ryan Harris? Eight years ago the body of eleven-year-old Ryan Harris was discovered in a poor neighbourhood on the South Side of Chicago. What followed was a saga involving the youngest children in U.S. history to be charged with murder; the subsequent dropping of the charges after exculpatory evidence surfaced and allegations of coerced confessions; another (adult) suspect allegedly faking a low IQ and entering an Alford plea; lawsuits against the prosecutors on behalf of the boys, later settled out of court; and, earlier this year, one of the boys coming back into the news after being charged in connection with a double shooting, with lawyers insinuating that his earlier ordeal was to blame for his criminal activity. One of the sadder stories I've heard in some time.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:10 AM PST - 9 comments



Paul Bugess, director of foreign-policy speechwriting at the White House from October 2003 to July 2005, probably hates you. And now he is fed up and wants you to know just how much he hates you.
posted by nofundy at 5:45 AM PST - 153 comments

The Enron Explorer from Trampoline Systems "lets you investigate the actions and reactions of Enron's senior management team as the noose began to tighten" (through some 200,000 public domain corporate emails) using Trampoline's SONAR social network mapping platform. (via FutureFeeder)
posted by tpl1212 at 5:45 AM PST - 1 comments

Borrow and spend, the delayed pain Ever thought of giving the future generations a little something to remember you by? How about the gift of debt? Whatever lens you want to look at the graph, you can blame the rise on: Out of control spending on the military or social programs; The end of the US being the swing producer of oil; Expensive wars; The money no longer being tied to gold or silver and instead being a fiat currency

No matter what the reason for the spending, the GAO warns: If the United States government conducts business as usual over the next few decades, a national debt that is already $8.5 trillion could reach $46 trillion or more, adjusted for inflation. Or If you don't like the graph due to the static nature, how about a clock so you can watch the numbers move upward?
posted by rough ashlar at 5:34 AM PST - 80 comments

Explore Beethoven's Eroica Symphony [note: flash, sound]
posted by crunchland at 5:28 AM PST - 25 comments

Composer and arranger Rogério Duprat passed away on Thursday. Duprat had a substantial career in music for films and commercials, but he is best known for shaping the sound of Tropicalia, the revolutionary stew of Brazilian folk styles, bossa nova, MPB, rock, jazz, blues and psychedelica. Some youtube clips: Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil , Os Mutantes, and Gal Costa.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:32 AM PST - 8 comments

October 30

Fed up with their bus journeys being blighted by loud music blaring from phones or MP3 players, Londoners strike back - er, by putting up posters at bus stops. Tales of woe and disaster to be found here.
posted by greycap at 11:25 PM PST - 50 comments

Beowulf, Beowulf, Beowulf. A great cat, example of cvlture, or former President. Also soon to be a major motion picture. Strange to think that a few geeks trying to outdo mainframes would result in so much. Oh yeah, and I guess there's also this old misspelled thing, also an attempt to clean up the spelling. But we know its really all about the cats, right?
posted by sotonohito at 8:36 PM PST - 25 comments

Peter Greenaway speaks (what follows are short Youtube excerpts of a lecture by Greenaway): on the tyranny of celebrities; on Martin Scorcese; on airport bookshops and culture; on notions of media; on his belief that Bill Viola is worth ten Scorceses; on why he goes on making films; on the notion of the frame in theater and cinema; on Dutch producer Kees Kasander; on why we have to get rid of the camera: "There's a way in which a camera is essentially a mimetic tool which tells us how the world exists, and what it tells us is always going to be less interesting than what's really happening out there. Also: interview about 8 1/2 Women.
posted by jayder at 7:59 PM PST - 48 comments

Secrets of Shuriken.
posted by hama7 at 6:44 PM PST - 27 comments

Electronic Blockade of Mexican Government: Hactivism and Oaxaca; The Electronic Disturbance Theatre, founded by Ricardo Dominguez has organized a virtual sit-in of Mexican embassy and consulate websites. [More Inside]
posted by jrb223 at 6:31 PM PST - 7 comments

Body of art "Viruses, blood, and x-rays of bones and viscera can be at once unsettling and enticing." [via]
posted by dhruva at 4:26 PM PST - 11 comments

Her vote went smoothly, but boss Gary Rudolf called her over to look at what was happening on his machine. He touched the screen for gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis, a Democrat, but the review screen repeatedly registered the Republican, Charlie Crist. ...A poll worker then helped Rudolf, but it took three tries to get it right, Reed said. ... Broward Supervisor of Elections spokeswoman Mary Cooney said it's not uncommon for screens on heavily used machines to slip out of sync, making votes register incorrectly. ... Early voting problems already in Florida.
posted by amberglow at 3:46 PM PST - 107 comments

Fractran. A Turing complete programming language expressed in prime numbers from John Conway. (Interpreter here.) More pathological programming. Via Good Math, Bad Math.
posted by loquacious at 3:42 PM PST - 14 comments

By searching for the phrase "mic in track" in your favorite p2p file sharing program, you can find audio tracks people recorded on their own computers and probably never intended for public broadcast. Lots of them are empty or otherwise pretty dull, but sometimes you can find some really interesting stuff. Metafilter's starkeffect turns the cool ones into even cooler music.
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:54 PM PST - 30 comments

The Unpublished Illustrated Mind of William Burroughs. Before his death Burroughs collaborated with Artist Malcolm McNeill on an illustrated book that never made it to press. A garden of earthly delights. (NSFW)
posted by harlanpepper at 12:58 PM PST - 9 comments

Celebrity Baby Blog explains Babywearing, how to do it and what could be the best way to do it for you and your baby. "Wearing your baby is one of the best things you can do to promote healthy bonding and attachment between you and your little one. Did you know that babies that are worn cry less and are easier to soothe? There are four main types of soft baby carriers: wraps, mei tais, slings and pouches. All are excellent for different types of carries and or different aged children."
posted by k8t at 11:03 AM PST - 44 comments

Todd Skinner falls to his death Sport and free climbing pioneer/entrepreneur, Todd Skinner, died over the weekend in a 500-foot fall. Sadly, it appears that his death was from a "..very worn.." belay loop on his harness. I met Todd about 10 years ago, and was struck by his warmth and enthusiasm. He spent almost three hours at a dingy Seattle climbing gym with about 10 neophyte femail climbers. He helped us all climb better and have more fun. He was generous with his praise, and offered truly helpful instruction - his ego did not get in the way (unlike many climbing instructors/"stars"). He'll be missed.
posted by dbmcd at 10:00 AM PST - 32 comments

The Daily Drawing - Sped up videos of drawings in the making. Check out Wasp, Mirror Monkey, or 3D Face.
posted by Stauf at 9:44 AM PST - 9 comments

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posted by four panels at 7:53 AM PST - 108 comments

Worried about that border fence? While you'd be in good company, it doesn't look like any money has been appropriated for this project. More worried about the fence not being built? That's ok, because enraged citizens are taking the task onto themselves.
posted by shownomercy at 7:51 AM PST - 79 comments

No doubt taking their cue from MeFi's recent 30-bucks-for-the-best-post, YouTube wannabe Metacafe is offering cash to those whose vids garner the biggest audiences. 2 million views? 10,000 dollars. More on this from Wired News.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:47 AM PST - 10 comments

Sir Nicholas Stern, British economist, issues a "Stern Review", warning of global warming (link contains 15-min video presentation, PDF executive summary, PDF slideshow, and news summary). Ends on an optimistic note for England to lead the world with solutions.
posted by stbalbach at 6:13 AM PST - 20 comments

The recent E. coli outbreak and spinach crisis may have been partly caused by wild boar near the California ranch where the bad veggies were grown. (There's wild boar in California?) Meanwhile, they're shooting wild boars in Virginia after a rabies outbreak, and also in northeastern China in response to reports of boars attacking humans. Louisiana reportedly has wild boars the size of bears. (Somebody tell Colbert!) Meanwhile in Texas, they're capturing them live and selling them. When in France, cook up some Baby Wild Boar. It's as delicious as it is cute. (Or just enjoy the webcomic Adventures of Cy-Boar.) And you can expect a lot more from the boars in the coming months, because February 18, 2007 begins the Year of the Boar.
posted by wendell at 3:30 AM PST - 48 comments

October 29

Death of a President...the first six minutes [youtube]. This slick mockumentary imagines the assasination of George W. Bush. So far, most critics have panned it; apparently the filmmakers have managed to take the premise of Bush being killed and made it...boring. Still, for those of you who'll gladly pay $8-10 to watch Bush get shot, here's where it's going to be playing (and yes, some theater chains have refused to show it)
posted by Deathalicious at 10:59 PM PST - 53 comments

TIBET is an artist who works entirely underground (literally) in Stockholm, Sweden. All of his work is done only in the most hidden of places, and very few people will ever get to see it. Each statue is made of concrete and are 11" tall and weigh about 5 pounds each. They are glued, welded or drilled into the solid rock and will stay there for a very, very long time. via
posted by jonson at 10:53 PM PST - 14 comments

Man turns $1 bill into over $11 via Ebay. No it's not old, it's just a used 2003-series bill that's not even in very good condition. It does has an interesting serial number, though. As does this other $1 bill also on Ebay with a current bid of $11. Of course if your dollar bills don't have particularly rare serial numbers it doesn't mean you can't Ebay your way to profit.
posted by clevershark at 5:49 PM PST - 31 comments

You see, when large trucks make a right turn, they swing a little bit wide to the left first. Simple idea. Many ways to express it. God bless us all.
posted by signal at 4:33 PM PST - 35 comments

On the Edge of Blade Runner [documentary, google video, 52mins]
posted by MetaMonkey at 2:58 PM PST - 114 comments

"Two years of twisting my back for 15 bucks an hour as an artist's model convinced me that modern sketch classes weren't nearly as sexy as they were cracked up to be."

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, hosted in Brooklyn and with branches around the World , gives artists the chance to draw burlesque performers like The World Famous *BOB* , Dirty martini , and Amber Ray , and make real pretty pictures . A return to glory days? Or just another tired trend?

Oh, and there is a book.

(Possibly NSFW if your job doesn't like pasties. )
posted by juliarothbort at 9:14 AM PST - 39 comments

Voters will see Foley's name on signs to help them make the 'right' choice, if they don't know about his page proclivities. But John Boehner would have 'canned him' had he known about what Foley was doing. In the meantime, Foley has been offered sexual reorientation, even while he's in exclusive alcohol treatment in Arizona, with an 'average stay of 30 days'. Just long enough, don't you think? He'll be relaxing by the pool with a Shirley Temple, but the blogger who exposed him will be out looking for a new job.
posted by Kickstart70 at 9:10 AM PST - 58 comments

"[M]y writing's not making a distinction between physical/muscular action and mind action or between events of history and minute events between people." -- Leslie Scalapino. Leslie Scalapino is an American poet associated with the language poetry movement. -- How2 Special Feature on Scalapino. -- Excerpt from The Forest is in the Euphrates River. -- Audio links to Scalapino reading from and discussing her work. -- Another audio link, to Scalapino reading from her book The Pearl. -- Excerpts from The Tango. -- Scalapino's Nov. 11 2006 reading at The Poetry Project in NYC. -- Scalapino is the daughter of controversial Berkeley scholar Robert Scalapino, who founded Berkeley's Institute for Asian Studies. -- Scalapino defends her father. -- Scalapino co-edited a volume of poets against the U.S. interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. -- Scalapino's discussion of "relation of writing to events" with Judith Goldman.
posted by jayder at 8:26 AM PST - 6 comments

"Sonic fabric (woven from 50% cotton and 50% audio cassette tape) emits sound when you run a tape head over it. Because the tape retains its magnetic quality through the weaving process, it acts as a big wide band of tape." Here's an interview with the creator. {via Apartment Therapy}
posted by dobbs at 6:48 AM PST - 26 comments

Operation enduring chaos: ... the death squads are the result of US policy. At the beginning of last year, with no end to the Sunni insurgency in sight, the Pentagon was reported to have decided to train Shia and Kurdish fighters to carry out "irregular missions". ... From killing everyone named Omar (a Sunni name) who passes thru the wrong checkpoint, to simply marking businesses (and their owners) they want gone with red crosses, how various squads and militias and "armies" and "brigades" are running Iraq.
posted by amberglow at 6:25 AM PST - 48 comments

The Ins and Outs of Write-in (Candidates) Can you vote for a write-in candidate in your state? In 2004, Business Week said "Regardless of which state you live in, voting for a write-in contender is much more complicated than scribbling whatever name you please on the dotted line at the bottom of the ballot. Thirty-five states require that a write-in candidate must submit some form of affidavit and, sometimes, a filing fee at least one month before the election. In North Carolina, these candidates must circulate a petition. Then their names are posted on a list at the polling place, though not on the official ballot. All other write-in votes are tossed. " In Massachusetts, the Boston Globe reports Write-in candidates face hurdle on paper ballots. Wikipedia reports there have been some successes however (including Strom Thurmond's election to the US Senate).
posted by notmtwain at 5:14 AM PST - 16 comments

Please throw this away! Vintage photo collector finds cache of 1950s-era spanking fetish photos. Collection included newspaper clippings about spanking and a letter from a very naughty girl. Most of the images are pretty innocent by modern standards, but at the bottom of the last link some are NSFW. Enjoy!
posted by Brittanie at 4:51 AM PST - 21 comments

Fixavote.com Election Consultants "provides unparalleled results by focusing on the outcome rather than the process. Using state-of the-art technology, we overcome the challenges of competition and ensure election results for our clients." (To make it even more evil, it's Flash-based) A food-for-thought satire or something more? When A reporter called the site's 800 number, the person who answered "said that he had been contacted by representatives of about 30 political campaigns to date." (I'm thinking sting operation to catch dishonest idiot politicians. Whad'ya think?)
posted by wendell at 1:05 AM PST - 14 comments


October 28

Norm MacDonald on Conan - part 2 - part 3. From sometime around 1997 I think, he was sick with flu like symptoms at the time. Also Norm MacDonald on the Daily Show shortly after the death of Steve Irwin.
posted by Paris Hilton at 11:01 PM PST - 30 comments

SportsFilter: Legendary Celtics Coach Arnold "Red" Auerbach dies at 89.
posted by ericb at 8:05 PM PST - 18 comments

Extreme Instability.
posted by hama7 at 6:45 PM PST - 17 comments

Warning signs from the future. Things to look out for when you get there.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:50 PM PST - 33 comments

A bill President Bush signed on 17 October grants the President expanded powers to declare martial law (currently Slashdotted; Digg mirror). Text of the bill; see "SEC. 1076. USE OF THE ARMED FORCES ...".
posted by jam_pony at 2:34 PM PST - 160 comments

Sheikh Hilali, the mufti of Australia, has raised more than a few eyebrows when he declared that rape-victims are to blame for tempting men: "If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park and the cats come and eat it -- whose fault is it? The cats or the uncovered meat?" Needless to say, the mufti doesn't think the cats are to blame. Australians (including their PM) are not amused and call for the mufti to step down. Even many Islamic women think it's the mufti, and not the meat, that stinks. Others argue that at least the mufti (quickly christened the "rape cleric" by some news outlets) will force Muslims to fess up and take a stand on whether they really think that women are Satan's agents who incite rape with immodest dress. The Sheikh himself found it wisest to go on a "self-imposed holiday" to join the Hajj in Mecca, possibly to pray for attire with larger surface area, and left with the disingenuous remark that he might step down if someone could "prove" what his *real* intentions were when he made his controversial comments.
posted by sour cream at 10:33 AM PST - 112 comments

NATS is an online personal nutritional analysis tool. It has a database of common foods, and an interface for entering nutritional data about foods that aren't listed. You can also calculate how much energy you burn in a day, and search for foods by nutrient. Registration is required to if you want to save your diet information.
posted by owhydididoit at 9:39 AM PST - 15 comments

Hart Island is a tiny island in Long Island Sound, NY. Formerly the site of a prison, it contains an active Potter's Field with over 700,000 people buried in it, a ghost town, abandoned Nike Missile silos, was the site of a Civil War POW camp, and a long-abandoned sanitarium. It's the subject of a documentary, and has guest starred in at least two movies.
posted by biscotti at 8:58 AM PST - 19 comments


In the latest edition of Aurthur Magazine, author Douglas Rushkoff takes a half hit of the red pill. Over the past year both Stephan Colbert and Keith Olbermann have swallowed a bit of the red pill. What other major media folks have the balls to stand up and acknowledge what needs to be said about America's present circumstances.
posted by thedailygrowl at 12:59 AM PST - 62 comments

October 27

Henry Smolinski and Hal Blake had a great idea: bolt the wings and engine of a Cessna to the body of 1971 Ford Pinto. Fly the Pinto to an airport near your destination, unlatch it from the wings, and drive it where you want to go. No need for rental cars...

It worked. Until the day it failed. Sometime late in 1973, Smolinski and Blake climbed aboard the "Mitzar" and rolled down the runway. During takeoff, the peculiar marriage of wheels and wings divorced, and the Advanced Vehicle Engineers found themselves sailing through the California sky in a very un-advanced vehicle, a wingless Pinto.
Pics here: 1, 2, 3
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:27 PM PST - 36 comments

Campaign remix From the Associated Press who are apparently in the music business now. Via wonkette.
posted by delmoi at 9:18 PM PST - 4 comments

Garbage In/Gold Out Which is more important: recycling or the garbage collector's bottom line? Some Oregon cities are backing up the garbage collectors over recyclers. Too bad. First time I've ever seen a dumpster diving company who has a web page with testimonials from police officers.
posted by leftcoastbob at 8:24 PM PST - 24 comments

Meat is Neat. We are but tiny machines. Remember the YouTube video of a funky animation of cellular activity? Here it is with a voice explanation of what's going on. Absolutely mindblowing. some sort of embedded video, dsl-quality with sound. see here for other forms
posted by five fresh fish at 8:19 PM PST - 35 comments

George Lakoff responds to Steven Pinker’s review of Whose Freedom?. Highlights include charges of deception and incompetence on both sides.
posted by anotherpanacea at 8:09 PM PST - 27 comments

It's over. YouTube is taking down Daily Show and Colbert Report clips.
posted by mullingitover at 5:32 PM PST - 86 comments

When Scientists Go Bad
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:19 PM PST - 26 comments

Camille Paglia opines on how the Foley story coverage hurts not only gays but Democrats; on how women have a stake In Conoleeeza Rice's success; talk radio in general; and how the Democrats have to play the religion card well to win, not only now, but in 2008.
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:40 PM PST - 70 comments

DoubleJeu is a simple French flash game; balance a ball on one axis while playing pong on a reversed axis. Easier to understand if you just visit the link.
posted by jonson at 3:09 PM PST - 40 comments

Make your own Simpsons Treehouse of Horror Trailer. Sure, its an ad for the Simpsons, but with a neat interface and clips like Homer chanting "must eat, then poop," there is Friday Fun to be had. Can you put together something fun for the hivemind? [To share a video, you can email a persistant link to yourself, and then post that link in the thread]
posted by blahblahblah at 2:14 PM PST - 11 comments

K-Fed drops a heater. New album streaming in full. It is really bad. Whether or not he ruined Britnety Spear's career or not is disputable, but if listening to this is any clue it seems likely. Featuring genius lyrics like : "Girls say I'm cocky, I think I'm humble, Basically ya'll just talk like Bryant Gumbel". Gumbel ryhmes wit' humble, basically, yo. You are in for a listening treat.(warning: steaming aol music site)
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 2:08 PM PST - 62 comments

Red America is shading purplish blue. A new poll shows rural voters in 41 highly competitive districts have swerved Democratic since September. Now 52/39 for the Dems.
posted by Julie at 1:49 PM PST - 33 comments

He added to Rock, Paper, Scissors and came up with RPS-15 (with 15 signs) and then RPS-25 (yep, 25 signs). Then he added on to those games and made something "so complex, I highly doubt anyone will actually even want to attempt to play it." Dear lord, it's RPS-101. (Previously)
posted by 23skidoo at 1:40 PM PST - 25 comments

Haw! Haw! Try and get this Levi's song out of your head. This and the Nesbitt's Orange spot were two of my favorite TV commercials as a kid. I hope they brighten up your Friday a bit. (YouTube alert)
posted by Oriole Adams at 12:14 PM PST - 13 comments


Starbucks, Ethiopia and Intellectual Property. It was only a matter of time before Starbucks went up against a nation-state. Starbucks responds that they just want to help and that Ethiopia's position is based on unsound advice. Do their advisors know better than Oxfam? [oxfam response]. Maybe. Starbucks is breaking into the entertainment business quite effectively. Can corporate interest and social responsibility go hand in hand? Either way, the Pumpkin Spice Latte is yummy.
posted by cal71 at 10:39 AM PST - 24 comments

His fog, his amphetamines and his pearls
Lofi shot off the monitor at the recent EMP exhibit, the entire footage of an Eat The Document outtake recently edited by Martin Scorcese for No Direction Home.

I don't entirely get the Chaplinesque--To paraphrase crunchland, Hey, Skeezix--it's a talkie...
posted by y2karl at 10:36 AM PST - 31 comments

Did you know that the Vacation series of movies were inspired by a story in the September 1979 edition of the National Lampoon entitled Vacation '58? The writer then was little known, but would go on to create some of the seminal jems of the 80s teen film genre and then devolve into poor commercial crap, but what career doesn't?
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:25 AM PST - 27 comments

Teh Intarweb suXXors! Macleans, the venerable Canadian magazine of declining circulation, declares the Internet a failure. But they're not bitter.
posted by GuyZero at 10:08 AM PST - 95 comments



Perfectly Aligned [yes, youtube] A short film with comics from NYC's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater.
posted by Stauf at 9:23 AM PST - 5 comments

Smart marketing or shameless pandering? Country music star Darryl Worley played to the largely conservative county music fanbase (and post-9/11 ultra-patriotic sentiment prevalent in the country at the time) in 2003 with his hit Have You Forgotten which strongly supported the impending war in Iraq. Today, with support for the war in Iraq dwindling, Worley has now released, “I Just Came Back”, which depicts a more ”somber light on (the) war”.
posted by The Gooch at 8:55 AM PST - 119 comments

Thomas Pynchon Paper Dolls Something light because, yes, it's the run-up to the November 21st release of Against the Day, the new 1000 page doorstop from Thomas Pynchon. The Modern Word is using the time to update their already vast Pynchon site. Good luck. (A whole lot of other paper dolls previously.)
posted by OmieWise at 8:26 AM PST - 37 comments

Harry Potter and Lord Wal-d-mart: The Late Night Players entertain us this friday: Harry Potter combats the low low prices of Wal-Mart.
posted by cjoh at 7:42 AM PST - 8 comments

Got crabs? Well, if you're going to scratch, then do it with flare. But everyone has to start with baby steps.

Jesse Kriss has created an engaging visualization, synchronized with video of DJ Axel Foley, to illuminate the mechanics of cutting and scratching. J to the motherfucking K, homeboy.
posted by e.e. coli at 7:20 AM PST - 12 comments

Chinese students riot in Jiangxi province after being told that their diplomas would not be recognized by the government. Riot police and soldiers had to be brought in to stop the riots, reportedly under the pretext that Ethnic Muslim Uighurs were causing the riot.
posted by afu at 6:10 AM PST - 16 comments

"Three dollars a minute for technical assistance for my computer? If I'm going to spend that kind of F--KING money, I'd just as soon have phone sex." Lewis Black on customer service.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:22 AM PST - 25 comments

Street Use: Somewhere on a continuum shared with Umdenken and Chindogu we find Kevin Kelly's Street Use.
posted by econous at 4:04 AM PST - 14 comments

You whisper "Je t'aime", the machine says "I love you". Carnegie Mellon offer the prospect of a real-time automatic face-mounted translation device.
posted by imperium at 2:01 AM PST - 21 comments

Cockroach Dream - Knock out 100 cockroaches before the sleeping man goes mad! When you get tired of that, try the other Flash Friday games on this delightful site. Dice Wars and Ladies' Tournament Tennis are particularly good. And take a moment to ponder your good fortune, for we are truly in the midst of a Flash gaming renaissance.
posted by ikkyu2 at 1:34 AM PST - 18 comments

Tetris - From Russia with Love (Google Video) A BBC documentary about Tetris and its creator Alexey Pajitnov.
posted by loquacious at 12:03 AM PST - 23 comments

October 26

Friday Youtube Fun: How to beat Mario 64 in under 22 minutes (and only 16 stars). [previously]
posted by knave at 11:59 PM PST - 24 comments

neighboroo!
posted by jne1813 at 11:36 PM PST - 20 comments

Michael Crest, a carpenter, beat supermarket deli worker Wayne Yorra 830-490 at the Lexington Scrabble Club in a record-setting game on Oct 12' 2006. The game set records for highest score for (i) most points in a game by one player - 830, beating the previous highest 770 set in 1993, (ii) the most total points in a game - 1320 (iii) and the most points on a single turn - 365, for Cresta's play of QUIXOTRY. Stefan Fatsis, author of "Word Freak", has a nice write-up of the game (lots of misc. links in that article) If all this leaves your hands twitching for those tiles, start Quackling (both, MAC and Win versions available).
posted by forwebsites at 11:05 PM PST - 33 comments

Good Day Mr. Kubrick! In 1984 Stanley Kubrick placed an ad in Variety requesting audition tapes from unknown actors for his next movie, "Full Metal Jacket." This is allegedly one of those tapes.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:38 PM PST - 57 comments

Why is Miss Congeniality the most frequently rated DVD on Netflix? Database magic reveals the most contentious movies ever.
posted by muckster at 9:31 PM PST - 52 comments

12 tone scale? bah! Harry Partch: American composer, philosopher, publisher, teacher, satirist, instrument builder and designer, sculptor, theorist, experimentalist, adapted violist, conductor, author, retired hobo, seaman, sewer cleaner, vagrant, and graffitist. Until his death, Harry Partch had been doing his own thing for more than half a century. Partch's own thing began with his rejection of the European masters and the traditional bourgeois concert-hall performance.
partch created over 30 intruments to produce the sounds caught by the human ear not reproduced in concert halls. his life story is cool. his thoughts (pdf) have influenced the path of contemporary experimental music. one of the best of the bands influenced by him.
posted by localhuman at 9:20 PM PST - 20 comments

Art Deco blog From Lisbon, gatochy celebrates the Jazz Age (and Art Nouveau on Wednesdays). See also Beautiful Century and her flickr sets, which are full of fun.
posted by mediareport at 8:52 PM PST - 10 comments

A SADD campaign to fight drunk driving forgot about the costume. They also seem to have forgotten about social phobia, aka SAD.
posted by owhydididoit at 7:48 PM PST - 29 comments

Baseball nerd fun: Type in which team's at bat, how many outs, which inning, how many on base, and the Win Expectancy Finder will spit out the likelihood the team wins, based on actual game data from the periods 2000-2004, 1991-1998, and 1979-1990.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:45 PM PST - 12 comments

How many me's are there?
posted by aerotive at 7:41 PM PST - 70 comments

This is probably a viral ad for a car and looks slightly digitally altered but it's still quite amusing and amazing at the same time. If only drivers could actually do this. The qashqai car games site has more.
posted by mathowie at 6:38 PM PST - 16 comments

NYC via DC's The Walkmen have recorded a fourth studio LP, a "note-for-note reproduction" of Harry Nilsson's 1974 album "Pussy Cats," famously produced by musician and drinking-buddy John Lennon during his "Lost Weekend" days in Los Angeles. You can listen to the new album here gratis.
posted by bardic at 6:09 PM PST - 10 comments


What is it like to take performance enhancing drugs? Writer/cyclist takes dope, tells story.
posted by fixedgear at 2:54 PM PST - 34 comments

Magnificent? Obsessions: Mystery Science Theatre Edition. A labour of love: annotated epidoses of MST3000. Inspired? A Distributed MST annotation project.
posted by Rumple at 1:32 PM PST - 70 comments

If you slow down an Alvin and the Chipmunks recording by just the right amount you can hear the voices of the original singers. via
posted by Turtles all the way down at 12:55 PM PST - 39 comments

what happens if you assign a colored pixel to each decimal of pi?
posted by petsounds at 10:31 AM PST - 99 comments

From Hammacher Schlemmer, "America's Longest Running Catalog", comes the most unlikely invention of this holiday season: the Computerless Email Printer. It dials up to the Internet, downloads and prints emails, all without one of those pesky computers. If only someone could have invented this in, say, 1843.
posted by GuyZero at 9:28 AM PST - 47 comments

"In a close-knit Chesapeake Bay community, the world’s fastest muskrat skinners face off in a truly cutthroat competition at the National Outdoor Show. One lucky young lady gets to be their queen." [Warning: Fiddle tunes!] Muskrat Lovely, a documentary about the conflation of the world muskrat-skinning championships with the Miss Outdoors beauty competition. The film will air soon on the PBS program Independent Lens. Catch some of the brackish flavor of the Chesapeake Bay's traditional regional culture, including some muskrat recipes and skinning tips.. And don't miss the link to Everything Muskrat.
posted by Miko at 9:05 AM PST - 21 comments


Free hugs in New York City inspire free hugs in Sydney inspire free hugs in Philadelphia (Warning: Two YouTube links).
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:05 AM PST - 34 comments

A 10 minute home movie taken by an SS officer has been discovered in an English church. It shows SS officers and secretaries relaxing in the summer of 1942 in southern Russia. The last couple of minutes shows footage from a slave labor camp in that area. The footage was taken at the height of the German success in Russia, a few months before the turning point in the Russian campaign - and probably the turning point in the Second World War.
posted by bobbyelliott at 2:56 AM PST - 51 comments

October 25

An interactive map of the 174 major meteor impact craters. The largest crater we know of is the Vredefort Dome in South Africa, caused by a meteor some 10 km in diameter. Almost as large in the Sudbury Structure, located in Ontario, which contains some of the world's richest nickel and copper reserves, and has been only confirmed recently to be a crater. Third largest is the now-famous Chicxulub crater in the Yucatan, which probably killed the dinosaurs. Then take a look at an animation of asteroids near Earth [animated gif] and the list of minor planets that could hit us. Want to find out what happens when an meteor impacts in your area? Use the handy Earth Impacts Effects Program!
posted by blahblahblah at 10:47 PM PST - 13 comments

A manual for electoral apocalypse in America. Quite a bit's been written both on MeFi and other places about how bad Diebold machines are. Rolling Stone wrote an article about election fraud in 2004 that was discussed here on MeFi. Tonight, Ars posted a very thorough, very clear article about how we are completely screwed if we do not enact expensive, fundamental changes in how we handle elections in America. It's too late to do anything about the elections in a couple weeks, but perhaps steps can be taken to fix things before 2008...
posted by sparkletone at 10:41 PM PST - 45 comments

Empire Falls. "They called it 'the American Century,' but the past hundred years actually saw a shift away from Western dominance. Through the long lens of Edward Gibbon's history, The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Rome 331 and America and Europe 2006 appear to have more than a few problems in common." By Niall Ferguson, whose views on the American hegemony have been discussed previously.
posted by homunculus at 9:13 PM PST - 46 comments

Celebrity Star Wars via CityRag via Egotastic
posted by geekyguy at 8:28 PM PST - 6 comments

Cheyenne Mountain base on phased retirement . The Cheyenne Mountain headquarters of NORAD (etc.), hardened to survive multiple thermonuclear impacts, is being all but abandoned for a nearby facility that's cheaper to maintain. My prediction: apocalyptic war movies are going to lose a lot of visual oomph. [via Schneier]
posted by grobstein at 4:18 PM PST - 24 comments

Japanese Pink Movies, and posters. [nudity]
posted by hama7 at 4:02 PM PST - 24 comments

Imagine a massively multiplayer music studio, connected worldwide over the Internet. Log in, and everyone sees a set of synths, effects, sequencers, or other custom patches. Everyone’s looking at essentially the same screen, and can add beats, trip out effects, slide the bpm up and down, and reprogram synths — all at once. That’s the basic idea of netpd.
posted by bigmusic at 3:41 PM PST - 19 comments


NJ says yes to same-sex marriage! (altho it might not be called that in the end) -- link to pdf of ruling here.
posted by amberglow at 12:26 PM PST - 138 comments

When you have a blog , and you're the Special Representative of the UN in Darfur, be careful about what you write. Jan Pronk's blog gives you a good idea in what a high level UN diplomat actually does, and how difficult it is to get anything done in a country torn by war. Oh, and check these photos out, if you just want the non-political goodness.
posted by Harry at 11:30 AM PST - 11 comments

Last week, Pride Fighting Championships had their American debut in Las Vegas. Pride FC is a Mixed Martial Arts organization from Japan that boasts a lineup of fighters arguably superior to those of other MMA groups. Their heavyweight champion for example, Fedor Emelianenko, is considered the best MMA fighter ever by most fight commentators. They are famous for their operatic production values, regularly filling out 30-60,000 seat arenas in Japan. However, many in MMA circles assert that their product is "too foreign" for the US, and that they need to "Americanize" their product for the mass market. Is this true? Given the popularity of video games, Anime and Manga in the US, they might not have to change all that much.
posted by ishmael at 10:59 AM PST - 68 comments

101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived is a book chronicling the most impactful (non-religious) fictional characters throughout history. While they only tease with the first 50 characters on the book's homepage, the hard hitting investigative journalists at USA Today have uncovered the entire 101 for your arguing enjoyment.
posted by jonson at 10:17 AM PST - 101 comments

Whipping cures depression. ”The whipping therapy becomes much more efficient when a patients receives the punishment from a person of the opposite sex. The effect is astounding: the patient starts seeing only bright colors in the surrounding world, the heartache disappears, although it will take a certain time for the buttocks to heal, of course,” Sergei Speransky told the Izvestia newspaper.
posted by cgs at 9:43 AM PST - 70 comments

Tweakers with nuclear weapons technology Exactly what the world needs in these uncertain times.
posted by empath at 8:35 AM PST - 25 comments

On 14 April 1988, the missile frigate Samuel B. Roberts was damaged by a mine in the Persian Gulf. Some 45 years before, Coxswain Samuel B. Roberts was killed when he guided his boat in front of Japanese lines on Guadalcanal in an effort to distract their fire from a rescue party evacuating wounded marines. In between was the destroyer escort Samuel B. Roberts, which on 25 October 1944 sailed into history in the Battle off Samar. (Long post inside for history buffs.)
posted by forrest at 8:25 AM PST - 21 comments

"If your soul needs healing, the prescription you need is not Chuck Norris' tears, it's Jesus' blood." Right-wing online magazine World Net Daily proudly welcomes Chuck Norris as its newest columnist.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:20 AM PST - 62 comments

Illegal Art: Should artists be allowed to use copyrighted materials? Where do the First Amendment and "intellectual property" law collide? What is art's future if the current laws are allowed to stand? Questions asked by Stay Free! in their ongoing multimedia exhibit.
posted by dejah420 at 7:51 AM PST - 25 comments

Kim Jong Il's Ringtones and Wallpaper and other fine, fashionable accessories for your digital lifestyle. (via waxy.org.)
posted by loquacious at 6:49 AM PST - 20 comments

September 30th, 2002, scientists intercepted a 10 minute radio burst from the galactic center, 26,000 Light Years away. 77 minutes passed, and it repeated. And again. The signal repeated 5 times that evening.

Some think those signals are weird mysterious. Others think they are interesting mysterious.
posted by Lord_Pall at 5:44 AM PST - 63 comments

Treacherous Irish Mountains
posted by rom1 at 4:52 AM PST - 8 comments

D'oh, a deer. Deer chases, licks, boy. Video.
posted by fixedgear at 4:36 AM PST - 34 comments

SWEDEN.SE:Music gives you a selection of the best Swedish pop and rock music right now.
posted by mr.marx at 4:35 AM PST - 16 comments

Thomas Friedman:
The First Law of Petropolitics, in short, argues that the price of oil and the pace of freedom operate in an inverse correlation. As the price of oil goes up in what I call petroauthoritarian states—like Iran, Sudan, Venezuela—the pace of freedom goes down. These regimes can afford to be less responsive to their people and outside pressure. And as the price of oil goes down, the pace of freedom goes up because these regimes have to open up to the world if they want to deliver for their people, and they have to empower their people more.
But how to lower oil prices and help freedom on its proverbial march? Many, from Alan Greenspan to Andrew Sullivan to Ray Magliozzi from Car Talk think the answer may be to . . . raise the gas tax? The Pigou Club is an ever-updated list of economists, politicians and others who have advocated Pigouvian (or is it Pigovian?) taxes to not only lower oil prices, but reduce greenhouse gases, fix the federal deficit and strengthen our national security. Though some remain more than a little hesitant to jump on the bandwagon and others remain skeptical that the movement is anything more than "just talk," this could be an idea whose time has come, especially since the gas tax isn't as regressive one would think.
posted by joshuaconner at 1:32 AM PST - 57 comments

Erik Mongrain is the latest artist to use extended techniques on the guitar (YouTube link 1 2), following closely (by his own admission) in the footsteps of the late Michael Hedges (YouTube link 1 2 3), although jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan is a notable predecessor, as well as Emmett Chapman. Still, no-one else quite has the tuning peg mojo of Adrian Legg.
posted by starkeffect at 12:44 AM PST - 18 comments

He seems to imagine God, if not exactly with a white beard, then at least as some kind of chap, however supersized. He asks how this chap can speak to billions of people simultaneously, which is rather like wondering why, if Tony Blair is an octopus, he has only two arms. -- Terry Eagleton on Richard Dawkins' new book, The God Delusion.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:23 AM PST - 205 comments

October 24

SF writers only use six words. A collection of six word epics from the cream of contemporary SF writers. Can Mefi do better? I reckon!
posted by Sparx at 8:45 PM PST - 400 comments

Rush Limbaugh claims Michael J. Fox is faking the side effects of his Parkinson's disease treatment in a new political ad being run during the World Series. Classy, Rush. Classy.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 8:40 PM PST - 118 comments

Part of anti-terroism act ruled unconstitutional in Canada on the grounds that defining a motive as a crime contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Two days ago, the same court struck down a related official secrets law after the RCMP used it to search the house of a reporter investigating the Maher Arar torture scandal. The act itself was the subject of a rare Senatorial rebuke in 2001 which blocked a number of other dangerous sections. Five years on, are we ready to take a more measured approach to combatting terrorism?
posted by Popular Ethics at 8:34 PM PST - 13 comments



Crystal Clear A sliding tile-matching game that allows addictive heads-up play. (Pretty sure it's flash).
posted by klangklangston at 7:04 PM PST - 11 comments

Men With Cramps. Watch the groundbreaking documentary and discover how Cyclical Non-Uterine Dysmenorrhea calls into question not only the shaping of world history, but the spelling of the word history.
posted by kindle at 6:38 PM PST - 27 comments

Is optimism enough? [via]
posted by onalark at 5:31 PM PST - 27 comments

Finding The Third Dimension. A research project at Carnegie Mellon University that attempts to extract the third dimension from one single photograph. (YouTube video, via)
posted by zardoz at 5:12 PM PST - 13 comments

A wonderful bird is the Pelican. His bill can hold more than his belly can. But it's not against any religion to want to dispose of a pigeon... (Caution - last link video and all links Not Safe For Pigeon Lovers)
posted by Flitcraft at 4:59 PM PST - 24 comments

Conversing with the matchless Judith Martin I know you are all familiar with the work of the inimitable (if syndicated) Judith Martin, alias Miss Manners, but I dared to presume that you have not come across this 2005 interview with her. In it she discusses the process of becoming Miss Manners, the cyclical nature of etiquette, her historical predecessors, sumptuary laws in Renaissance-era Venice, and the respective natures of aristocratic and democratic etiquette. Fascinating read.
posted by orange swan at 3:24 PM PST - 41 comments

"We are living in science fiction." --William Burroughs
posted by jason's_planet at 1:44 PM PST - 33 comments

Blaster Master ... Solid NES Gold. Those who remember the game do so with fondness. Though critically lauded on release, and later spawning several sequels, the game was never as big a hit as its its spiritual predecessors, Metroid and Legend of Zelda. Like Super Mario Bros. 2/Doki Doki Panic, Blaster Master was based on an obscure Japanese game, in this case Chōwakuseisenki Metafight although the differences in this case are limited to the story. Blaster Master was also the first (and only "canon") book in the Nintendo Worlds of Power series, in which various authors novelized third-party games using the pseudonym "F.X. Nine." Download the Blaster Master book here (MSWord zipped, "enhanced" by a fan). Lastly, some bonus links: one, two, and three (!)
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 1:33 PM PST - 36 comments

Vote for James H. "Jim"? Voters in certain Virginia precincts will see electronic ballots featuring only part of some candidates' names. For some reason this is said to be "unfixable", even though this has been discovered two weeks ahead of election time. This problem only affects voting machines made by... not the one you'd expect, but Austin, TX-based Hart InterCivic, whose motto is "Always Accessible". Senatorial Candidate James H. "Jim" Webb (D) is, one may assume, not amused.
posted by clevershark at 12:38 PM PST - 56 comments

Julian Dibbell, the same journalist that lived off virtual cash for a year, gives Calorie Restriction a 9-week test drive and tells all about it in this long New York Mag piece. Sure preliminary evidence says you could lengthen your life by 50 years, but is 150 years of starving yourself worth it?
posted by mathowie at 12:19 PM PST - 59 comments

Not In The Newsfilter: Yesterday, two men attended their pre-trial hearing at Preston Crown Court, accused of possession of explosive material. As previously reported only in local newspapers, Robert Cottage was in possession of 'what is believed to be a record haul of chemicals used in making home-made bombs', while a search of former BNP candidate David Bolus Jackson's house 'uncovered rocket launchers, chemicals... and a nuclear biological suit'. Some webloggers, and the left-wing press, are wondering whether the story might have received more coverage if the suspected bomb-makers had been, say, Muslims. The BBC blame reporting restrictions.
posted by jack_mo at 11:59 AM PST - 19 comments

The Dictionnaire Infernal. Tired of the same old devil costume each Halloween? Why not go as Bael, Asmodeus or Gaap? Written and (wickedly) illustrated during the 1800s, the Dictionaire (annoying sound warning) has the demon you need. Of course, there are other resources. If you have a hard time choosing, try your birth month's demon.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:20 AM PST - 13 comments

Penguin Books is an all too brief Flickr Photoset of Penguin Book cover designs from decades past. For those interested, this book is highly recommended.
posted by jonson at 10:08 AM PST - 9 comments

Chris Bowers of MYDD is launching an ambitious campaign to Google Bomb the top 70 congressional races with negative articles for the respective republican candidates. If you don't find this ethically perturbing you can find the code for pasting in to your blog here.
posted by sourbrew at 9:58 AM PST - 39 comments

ISS EarthKam. Loads and loads of stunningly beautiful pictures of Earth. I recommend the search by feature feature.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:05 AM PST - 5 comments

An album with two middle-aged women who sit by a piano and sing 30 year old Steely Dan songs is, on paper, a hopelessly uncommercial idea. Swedish Jazz singers Rebecka Törnqvist and Sara Isaksson sing Steely Dan. Here's a taste: Do It Again and Barrytown.
posted by three blind mice at 9:02 AM PST - 29 comments


A sad day for import video gamers- online retailer Lik-Sang has closed its doors due to multiple lawsuits from Sony.
posted by Dr-Baa at 8:01 AM PST - 66 comments

Green Nazis.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:47 AM PST - 17 comments

Using a physiological sensor called the SenseWear by BodyMedia, researchers at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) have created the XPod. The XPod "learns" a user's preferences, activities and even emotions, and then selects the most appropriate music to accompany any given situation. The mood ring for the new millennium.
posted by terrapin at 7:27 AM PST - 14 comments

Stunning video flyby of the "Face on Mars". Oh, and this one too. via
posted by grateful at 7:03 AM PST - 18 comments

The Kings of Myspace. I wanted to hate this, but it's actually very funny. (youtube)
posted by empath at 7:02 AM PST - 30 comments

October 23


Fantasy Congress lets you build a team of legislators who score points for you by moving legislation through congress.
posted by owhydididoit at 7:55 PM PST - 20 comments

Misprinted Type.
posted by hama7 at 7:04 PM PST - 22 comments

Ever wondered how your state stacks up? Well, with this nifty tool, you can decide how the next revision should read! Also check out the state-by-state version!
posted by TheNewWazoo at 6:56 PM PST - 19 comments



Turning off anti-inflammatory response cures viral meningitis in mice. Chronic viral infections may one day be cured by suppression of interleukin-10 (IL-10).
posted by MonkeyC at 4:14 PM PST - 9 comments

M is for MOTORHEAD
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:58 PM PST - 46 comments

Get Firefox 2.0 a day early. (mirror) via slashdot
posted by Mr_Zero at 3:40 PM PST - 69 comments

Angry men, searching men -- and what they can learn from girls and queers. Examinations of how feminist progress has left a lot of men adrift, and how the Left is falling down in offering help. "[Men have] had no reason to question whether a society that so perfectly suits them has created a definition of manhood that isn’t 'real,' and so attempts to change society are inextricably linked to attempts to change men in ways they believe they cannot be changed. And that makes a lot of men angry." The original essay that inspired the discussion at There's Something About Men, a follow-up at Shakespeare's Sister in Redefining Manhood, a response at Pandagon, a Christian male feminist youth leader's take by Hugo Schwyzer, and an updated list of further commentary at Obligitory Reading of the Day - Femiphobia.
posted by oliver at 12:42 PM PST - 84 comments

Pope Benedict XVI wants to bring back the latin mass. This could be the start of a return to the old Catholic traditionalism and the undoing of Vatican II.
posted by SansPoint at 12:31 PM PST - 71 comments

Double Wires (flash) Point and click to shoot out grapples or webs. Move to the right to advance your score.
War of the Hell (java) Get the stick figures to climb your rope and then carefully fling them skyward to 'Heaven'.
(Via d_of_i's always unique DOFI-BLOG, creator of Cat Sledding and the mesmerising Sand Sand Sand.) (Third in a continuing series of physics games posts.)
posted by loquacious at 12:09 PM PST - 13 comments

Getting to Know Garry Trudeau. "The first extensive profile of him in the 36 years since he began the comic strip that became an American icon." Online chat with Gene Weingarten, who wrote the article.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:29 AM PST - 21 comments

Although he’s been mentioned here before, and in some detail, it was related to a specific event. He’s a TV star, but he was a chef first, and it wasn’t until he became a writer that his star really began to rise. He’s been endless interviewed, profiled and excerpted--in his hometown and in mine. His latest effort is an homage to the place and product that was really his jumping off point. How can one man be so godlike, yet so irreverent? Ladies and gentlemen: presenting Anthony Bourdain...
posted by spacely_sprocket at 11:27 AM PST - 17 comments

Would you marry me? A man wants to buy an ad during the Super Bowl to pop the question.
posted by dov3 at 11:15 AM PST - 69 comments

During the 19th century, thousands of men took to the seas to hunt for whales. The indigenous peoples of the Arctic practiced whaling for several millennia before that. Technological change and changes in mores have reduced the whaling industry to a heavily regulated shadow of what it used to be. But it hasn’t disappeared altogether. Even now, at the dawn of the 21st century, ships prowl the seas in search of a spout or a gigantic fin. A few months ago, Outside magazine published an account of a whale hunt aboard the Norwegian ship Sofie.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:34 AM PST - 21 comments

Happy birthday, iPod! Kinda hard to believe that only 5 years ago Mefites were speculating about what Apple's breakthrough device would be. And then we found out. And have been talking about it ever since. Love it or hate it, 5 years later it's "one of the most successful consumer electronics products ever."
posted by allkindsoftime at 10:14 AM PST - 63 comments

DrawSpace is a collection of dozens of highly detailed (multi-page) online drawing tutorials & downloadable PDFs for anyone who wishes they could draw a little bit better than they can. Probably not very useful if you're already a good artist, although the tutorials do range from beginner to advanced.
posted by jonson at 9:48 AM PST - 4 comments

Harper's connects everything. Connections is an impressively thorough timeline of news stories and strange facts from the past six years organized into entertaining catagories like Human Attributes (my favorite, folly) and Supernatural Beings (featuring both gnomes and gods as subcatagories). And, though similar in concept, it is unrelated to this fondly-remembered Connections.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:24 AM PST - 11 comments

Stallion breeding device (youtube). A look inside the barn behind the grandstands.
posted by four panels at 7:17 AM PST - 15 comments

Ecstasy is good for your brain. A new study suggests that MDMA may actually increase the survival of dopamine neurons, suggesting it may be helpful to combat diseases like Parkinsons. This is already supported by some anecdotal evidence.
posted by empath at 6:47 AM PST - 62 comments

TSA Alert: US Bans Vegemite. Is it because this yeast extract tastes bad? Do the Marmite^ people have some sinister influence? Has Australia offended our government somehow? How is it that a product that has been around for 80 years suddenly becomes forbidden? Who would ban a product that can help prevent neural tube defects (e.g., spina bifida)? Blame the FDA, whose has ruled that folate (folic acid) "should be kept under 1 mg per day ... because higher intake may complicate the diagnosis of pernicious anemia, one form of vitamin B12 deficiency, which especially affects older people." Of course pernicious anemia is rare (less than 10-20 cases/100,000 people per year in the US), as is the Vegemite market. But when has logic ever dictated policy. The international fallout has already started:
"I am never going to America", vows Xochiquetal, while a commenter at Geelong blogger Bernie Slattery’s site foresees US regulators going even further down the road to absurdity, "Americans don’t know what they’re missing … they’ll be banning Tim Tams next."
If the government wanted to ban something Australian, the least they could have done is started here.
posted by scblackman at 6:14 AM PST - 47 comments

This [very slow loading, but persevere, it's worth it] website "probably" contains the biggest digital image in the world. Some details are here.
posted by tellurian at 2:05 AM PST - 56 comments

Printed Matter "Markus Dressen has taken the power of Google Maps towards a showcase of illumined manuscripts, Bauhaus design, and medieval whimsy"
posted by dhruva at 12:10 AM PST - 6 comments

October 22

Autostitch is the world's first fully automatic 2D image stitcher. Capable of stitching full view panoramas without any user input whatsoever, Autostitch is a breakthrough technology for panoramic photography, VR and visualisation applications. This is the first solution to stitch any panorama completely automatically, whether 1D (horizontal) or 2D (horizontal and vertical). Don't miss the gallery.
posted by crunchland at 8:38 PM PST - 54 comments

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales asks: Imagine there existed a budget of $100 million to purchase copyrights to be made available under a free license. What would you like to see purchased and released under a free license? Photos libraries? textbooks? newspaper archives? Be bold, be specific, be general, brainstorm, have fun with it. And they do.
posted by divabat at 6:47 PM PST - 60 comments

The Smithsonian's Sackler gallery opened a unique and wide-ranging new exhibit yesterday featuring fragments of Bibles from before the year 1000. "Most of the manuscripts have never been seen outside the countries where they are stored. [Some Smithsonian-owned documents in the exhibition] have never been exhibited and two have not been shown since 1978." Fragments of the Codex Sinaiticus are included in the exhibit. Along with the archaeological interest, these fragments can pose theological and historical challenges for Christians. Some, like UNC's Bart Ehrman, have lost their faith as a result of studying early Bibles; some, like Luke Timothy Johnson of Emory, believing that Christianity is about a common cultural and spiritual experience, are unmoved by the "corruptions" and differences in the New Testament over time; other Christians try to refute (MeFi link) claims that the text has changed.
posted by ibmcginty at 5:55 PM PST - 36 comments

The Institute for the Promotion of the Less than One Millimeter proudly presents The Micropolitan Museum of Microscopic Art Forms. [via]
posted by mediareport at 5:02 PM PST - 7 comments

If Jesus were alive today, what sort of jeep would he drive? Why that's simple, of course. He'd drive the jeep that can drive on water!
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:48 PM PST - 34 comments

Bread: From ritual to the dinner table, bread has played a significant part in human society. Yeast, aka Barm, is only one of several leavening agents. Which leavening used (if any) can be of cultural significance. I know when I drive by the Franz factory, the smell makes my mouth water. Sourdough is my favorite, but you can cook / find your own. World Bread Day has passed; hug your local baker anyway! To Health!
posted by whimsicalnymph at 4:16 PM PST - 27 comments

Ever wonder how toilet efficiency is tested? With pictorial goodness of the, errr, test subjects. (mildy NSFW)
posted by greatgefilte at 2:54 PM PST - 30 comments

Fifty years ago, on October 23, 1956, Hungarians rose up in a violent revolt against the Soviet occupation and Communist domination of their government and country. The revolt was not materially supported by NATO or its allies, and - given the timing - was doomed to failure. Today, many of the heroes are forgotten. After 16 years of democratic government, Hungarian politics is still bitterly divided and Hungarians are unable to celebrate this anniversary with a single united National ceremony.
posted by zaelic at 2:34 PM PST - 8 comments

The weird world of Deal Or No Deal.
"My God," I thought, as I climbed off the treadmill, exhausted. "They're in a bubble. They've got no sense of reality. They have, in Noel Edmonds, a charismatic leader who believes in nutty things. It's like a religious cult! An incredibly nail-biting and entertaining cult, brilliantly presented by Noel, but a cult none the less."
Jon Ronson (previously discussed here, here, here and here) goes behind the scenes of the wildly successful British version of Deal Or No Deal.
posted by afx237vi at 1:49 PM PST - 37 comments

Fan jumps Jeff Tweedy. Jeff Tweedy jumps fan. Incident. Apology. Pitchfork. WILCO (scroll down to "Springfield Masacree)
posted by c:\awesome at 10:45 AM PST - 96 comments

Emergency Kindness -- a new network dedicated to providing emergency contraception for women in need. Members ("Janes") promise to have some Plan B on hand to immediately send to women in need, whether they were denied by their local doctor or pharmacy or couldn't get to one.
posted by amberglow at 10:43 AM PST - 60 comments

"Welcome to the Archive of the Now. The Archive of the Now is an online and print repository of recordings, printed texts and manuscripts, focussing on innovative contemporary poetry being written or performed in Britain. It is part of the Brunel Centre for Contemporary Writing, at Brunel University in west London, UK. At present, the Archive consists of readings by 65 UK-based poets. This number will continue to grow, and includes newly commissioned, recently acquired and historical recordings."
posted by jayder at 10:36 AM PST - 5 comments

Hardcore unicycle, "trial" style. Wasn't this the punchline to a joke once? (YouTube, of course.)
posted by loquacious at 10:21 AM PST - 31 comments

At the beginning of the twenty-first century, American public schools are now twelve years into the process of continuous resegregation. The desegregation of black students, which increased continuously from the 1950s to the late 1980s, has now receded to levels not seen in three decades. *** The word "segregation" is used while describing the contentious changes of the 1960s, the Civil Rights movement, and the America of the past. It is also a word that is now gone from the American social and political landscape. In actuality, however, the word segregation continues to characterize the present lives of many minorities in America. *** I asked how many white kids she had taught in the South Bronx in her career. “I’ve been at this school for 18 years,” she said. “This is the first white student I have ever taught.”
posted by j-urb at 9:35 AM PST - 38 comments

John Fahey in concert: Beverly (aka Indian Pacific Railroad Blues) Poor Boy (Which is a variation on Booker White's Poor Boy Long Way from Home)
posted by y2karl at 8:10 AM PST - 19 comments

BodyModificationFilter: Some people express themselves by getting a little ink. Others express themselves by getting a piercing. And some people express themselves by having a pair of antennas attached to their heads (a couple of the photos are kind of gory.)
posted by jason's_planet at 8:08 AM PST - 85 comments

The largely forgotten holocaust of the Ukrainian people began when Stalin imposed collectivism upon the farms, sealing state borders & refusing any seed grain until ficticious and unattainable production goals were met. The Ukrainian upper class were executed, the peasantry left to starve to death. In all, seven million people died, one out of every four citizens. At this Ukranian art site, a collection of stamps commemorating the event & a gallery of "genocide art" continue to speak for the dead.
posted by jonson at 7:41 AM PST - 55 comments

When is an aircraft carrier no longer an aircraft carrier? When its flight decks have been decertified by the Navy for the unsafe condition of arresting gear and other equipment, and it can no longer conduct flight operations. One of the two remaining conventionally powered carriers on "active duty" in the U.S. Navy, "Big John" (CV-67) aka The John F. Kennedy sits ignobly at dock in Mayport, Florida, unfit for anything more than basic seamanship training, and waiting for decommissioning. August 2006 decommissioning recommendation to Congress. 24 page PDF file [more inside]
posted by paulsc at 2:35 AM PST - 58 comments

CSRF (Cross Site Request Forgery) is starting to become a real issue for many web forums. While the vulnerability has been around for a while, recently it has become more interesting. Luckily the policy against against self linking and some recent fixes should protect readers here.
posted by mock at 2:09 AM PST - 69 comments

October 21

The Festival of Lights, Good vs. Evil Diwali is the Hindu Festival of Lights that falls each year in October or November. This year, Diwali is on the 21st of October 2006. Legends about Diwali are many, from the story of Prince Prahlad, immortal in his faith in the universe to the story of Ram and Sita returning from exile to Ayodhya. My favourite is not a story so much as a snippet of what is actually said to happen tonight, not the mythology behind it. Lakshmi walks tonight, she is the Goddess of Wealth and Prosperity, and lamps [diya or deep] are lit and placed at hearths and entrances so as to help her find her way. Accompanying her is the elephant headed one, Ganesh, the remover of obstacles and giver of knowledge. Just welcome them into your home.
posted by infini at 9:55 PM PST - 22 comments

OCTOBER 22 IS INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!!!
EVERY YEAR WE GET TOGETHER AND MAKE SALMON FOR TOAST, EVERY YEAR WE GET A CROCKETY BLOAT, EVERY YEAR WE GET DRUNK ON THE DOCKS, AND EVERY YEAR WE HAVE SEX WITH OUR CAPS LOCKS!!!!
posted by Krrrlson at 9:03 PM PST - 247 comments

A bizarre oversight is finally being corrected: Edward D. Wood Jr., the writer-producer-director of Plan 9 From Outer Space, has a chance to get the Hollywood Blvd star he deserves.
posted by jfrancis at 8:15 PM PST - 19 comments


On the ground with the 101st in Iraq, a video by photographer Sean Smith on the lives of US soldiers and their complex relationship with Iraqi civilians.
posted by bardic at 5:50 PM PST - 35 comments

My name is Henry, and I am addicted to public radio. It's pledge drive time again here. If the 1-800 number for your local public radio station scrolls through your consciousness for weeks after the drive is over, or you have bad dreams about contribution gifts, you might want to see this site for a diagnosis. As for treatment, no support groups have yet been found.
posted by localhuman at 4:31 PM PST - 29 comments

Tim Curry reminds us that Anything Can Happen on Halloween. (YouTube). Via WFMU's Beware of the Blog.
posted by treepour at 3:46 PM PST - 37 comments

This is what the end of the world looks like. Photos of ballistic missiles, especially reentry vehicle tests. (Sound on last link.)
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:09 PM PST - 69 comments

Feats Don't Fail: Thirty years ago, Little Feat went on the road and began recording performances for their live album, Waiting For Columbus. Until its release two years later, the band’s popular success never matched the critical acclaim the band and their albums had received, as when Melody Maker proclaimed, "Little Feat is the best U.S. band of the decade." Lowell George’s Feat broke up again for the last time in 1979. Little Feat, a slight return, reformed in 1988 with founding members Paul Barrere, Bill Payne and Richie Hayward. If the original Feat had enjoyed the rabid fan-base it does today—with its grass roots marketing effort, encyclopedic fan-assembled set lists, organized group vacations, charity work, and of course, the tape traders —it may never have broken up in the first place.
posted by spacely_sprocket at 1:24 PM PST - 28 comments


Tesla coil music system (YouTube alert) and five other musical gadgets you didn't know about.
posted by madamjujujive at 12:08 PM PST - 24 comments

Old textbooks proposed as protective shields. One political candidate's idea is to reissue outdated textbooks and place them under desks so that students can use them defensively when a shooter opens fire. They actually stop most handgun bullets, although raise the specter of a passive bystander society.
posted by Brian B. at 11:13 AM PST - 67 comments

As virtual worlds economic activity and populations grow, the importance of Real Money Trade comes to the fore. When does fraud inside game worlds become illegal? when do earnings from online worlds become taxable? [discussion], and what happens when real day traders get interested? [more inside]
posted by MetaMonkey at 9:13 AM PST - 25 comments

LyricsWiki is the place to find reliable lyrics without invasive ads. SongMeanings when you've been wondering what those lyrics mean. The Archive of Misheard Lyrics because sometimes your version is much better than the original.
posted by Sharcho at 9:10 AM PST - 21 comments

Unendorsed --an Ohio newspaper takes a rare if not unprecedented step--taking back their endorsement. ... The Monday debate (youtube) showed which one has a greater understanding of Christian conduct. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:06 AM PST - 38 comments

Sound Exchange Can't Find Wall of Voodoo Who else can't they find? Charles Mingus, Archers of Loaf, Art Blakey, T. Rex, Brand Nubian, Art Blakey, and thousands of others. The link is comprhensive list of the "missing," which is a long list indeed, but includes many who aren't that hard to find. Nashville entertainment lawyer Fred Wilhelms has tried to help SoundExchange as he has written about at least twice in Counterpunch. SoundExchange is the organization put together by the R1AA and the major entertainnment companies to collect royalties for streaming (Internet, DMX, XM) radio performances protected by copyright and to distribute it to the artists. These, indeed, are some of the royalties that could be going to artists, if only SoundExchange could find them. Unfortunately, many artists will not be getting pizzaid for performances from 1996-2000 if they do not register with SoundExchange by December 15 of this year (2006). SoundExchange was chartered to find these artists or their estates, but apparently they aren't looking very hard. Why? Because if the artists don't register, SoundExchange (read: R1AA and their corporate partners) GET TO KEEP IT!.
posted by beelzbubba at 9:03 AM PST - 21 comments


...Iraq may have started as a war of choice for the Bush administration, but it has become a war of great and unintended consequences. Immense risks lurk down every strategic road. Given the fractured state of the American body politic, it is almost certainly too late to rally the country behind an all-out war effort -- think tax increases; a war Cabinet; a full mobilization of the National Guard and the Reserves; a civilian reconstruction corps; a larger Army and Marine Corps; longer combat tours for troops; mandatory combat-zone deployments for U.S. diplomats and aid officials; a return to national service; and possibly even a limited draft. Yet absent a plan that puts the nation on either an all-out wartime footing or the firm path to retreat, the United States is largely condemned to some tweaked-around-the-edges variation of the administration's current approach on Iraq of "muddle through and hand over." And America, the experts agree, is already losing that war.
Endgame
posted by y2karl at 7:55 AM PST - 60 comments

The Real North Pole Expedition is a journey to the bottom of the Arctic Ocean, to the actual North Pole, using research submarines, tentatively scheduled for the summer of 2008. Spots are still available. And if that doesn’t interest you, they have other expeditions that might.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:24 AM PST - 10 comments

In 1966 the Tifton Record Company's efforts to cash in on the popularity of the Batman TV show resulted in the release of an LP called Batman and Robin. Though the jacket credited “The Sensational Guitars of Dan and Dale”, the musicians were in fact members of Sun Ra’s Solar Arkestra and The Blues Project. The wonderful folks at WFMU have made this unlikely collaboration's wonderfully infectious music available for your downloading pleasure. Very fun, lively stuff, with a warm and rollicking sound. I've fallen in love with it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:59 AM PST - 19 comments

Notes On Construction starts out simply-- as an editorial description of the binding process for spork magazine. Like many editorial columns, however, it tends to wander. Meanwhile, the meat of the mag, the fiction, the poetry, can be perused via the author index.
posted by carsonb at 1:15 AM PST - 8 comments

October 20

How Advertising Spoiled Me is a blog showcasing mainly magazine & billboard advertising from around the world, with pieces selected based on their inventiveness/cleverness. If you're offended by advertising, you might want to skip this post.
posted by jonson at 10:29 PM PST - 34 comments

The MPAA has come up with a new way to stop pirating early (PDF), let the scoutmasters drill it into the kids while their brains are still malleable. via
posted by IronLizard at 9:46 PM PST - 32 comments

Surviving office work: 2006. Surviving office work: 1853. The more things change......
posted by lalochezia at 8:03 PM PST - 16 comments

Kizmeet. Craigslist's "Missed Connections" can be an entertaining read, but it ain't exactly efficient if you're actually trying to locate that tempting hottie you lost in the crowd. At this new site, you can post and search for him or her according to the specific location (bar, gym, coffee shop, market, etc.) where your eyes first met. No word yet on whether this actually works either. [via Curbed, oddly enough]
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:35 PM PST - 7 comments


The French do some things well and, well, some things not so well. (see)
posted by pwedza at 5:12 PM PST - 23 comments

Michael J. Fox makes an impassioned plea(YouTube) to Missouri voters asking them to vote for Claire McCaskill for the us Senate.
posted by sourbrew at 4:45 PM PST - 89 comments


Cloaking Device Revealed. in a joint effort, US and British scientists succesfully make a copper cylinder invisble to microwaves at Duke University thanks to metamaterials. (Previous invisibility posts on the Blue.)
posted by luminous phenomena at 3:03 PM PST - 28 comments

Why do atheists care about religion? (youtube). Some of this video is factual, however some states do not have these clauses in their constitutions. However, not even being able to testify in court because you are an atheist is downright frightening.
posted by triolus at 2:47 PM PST - 74 comments

Comic filter: Free Powers
Brian Michael Bendis is making the entire first run of his popular comic Powers available online, including some of his page scripts and Oeming's layouts. They are posting a page a day (currently at 67). A great (free!) read and interesting look at how it is done.
posted by cgs at 2:08 PM PST - 10 comments

The Allen Institute for Brain Science has made the Allen Brain Atlas available online for public searches. It contains maps of gene expressions in a mouse brain, searchable by gene, anatomy, or with boolean syntax. They also offer Brain Explorer, a 3-D program that lets you highlight particular genes, and rotate the model in any direction. Via
posted by owhydididoit at 1:09 PM PST - 14 comments

Stop me if you've heard this one before - Republican congressman blames democrats for legal troubles. The house ethics committee didn't see anything wrong with Weldon's activities, but one can't help but wonder how Weldon is helping his constituency by traveling to Belgrade on behalf of one of Slobodan Milosevic's pals, who is, incidentally, a client of Weldon's daughter's consulting firm. At least no one is accusing Weldon of trying to choke his mistress.
posted by Mister_A at 12:28 PM PST - 30 comments

Amie Street: "[A] recently launched music Web site that carries independent -- and mostly little-known -- artists, is trying an unusual model for selling music. Instead of selling songs at one fixed price, the site determines prices for songs based on how frequently they're downloaded." [WSJ link].
posted by pfafflin at 11:08 AM PST - 6 comments

Somehow.
posted by EarBucket at 10:39 AM PST - 38 comments


Beautifully painted cardboard houses. [Pink Tentacle]
posted by econous at 10:03 AM PST - 7 comments


Rat race got you down? Grabbing for the brass ring? Looking for a land of jobs and opportunity? Live the Irish Dream!
posted by jellicle at 7:18 AM PST - 36 comments

Shaq's Blue Ridge Thunder blunder just raided and attempted to ruin a Virginia farmer's life based on a "mistaken computer IP address". No mention has been made so far in the press beyond a newspaper of the town closest to the mistaken raid.
Blue Ridge Blunder and SHAQ ATTACK.

"On Saturday morning, Sept. 23, 2006, many police vehicles appeared in our driveway. Men in black with flak jackets ran to and around our house. My wife was at home alone. I drove up and asked, “What's going on?” Men ran at me, dropped into shooting position, double-handed semi-automatic pistols pointed at me, and made me put my hands against my truck. I was held at gunpoint, searched, taunted, and led into the house. I had no idea what this was about. I was scared beyond description. I feared there had been a murder and I was a suspect. My wife and I were interrogated about Internet crime. We are not avid computer users; we do not even e-mail. We knew nothing of what they were speaking. After seemingly convincing them of our computer “illiteracy,” we were questioned about our children and made to doubt their innocence. Our home was searched by a para-military search-and-seizure team. Our computers, digital camera, disposable cameras, DVD's, and VHS tapes were seized. We were held in our home under guard for five hours. Our children came home and were also interrogated. It was awful. We were accused of horrible crimes, crimes that even the mention of would ruin our reputations.
posted by unpoppy at 7:02 AM PST - 104 comments

About as Subtle as a Terror Attack. We all know Bush doesn't do nuance. Well, apparently the GOP doesn't either, especially not in close midterm elections. The following is a (presumably web-only) video:
A ticking sound reminiscent of a bomb timer grows progressively louder until the last repeated phrase ("What is yet to come will be even greater") is shown, followed by the sound of a beating heart, fleeting images of explosions and terrorists in training, and ending with the message "These Are The Stakes. Vote Nov. 7."
The video can be found here.
posted by rzklkng at 5:48 AM PST - 91 comments

A collection of American Catholic paraphernalia, including mysterious (for me, a non-Catholic) objects like; aspergills, clappers and Sick call sets. There are also more rosaries, medals and pins than you can shake a stick at.
posted by tellurian at 5:36 AM PST - 20 comments

War of the Words: A five-part, Ken Burns-style documentary of the 101st Fighting Keyboarders.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:19 AM PST - 29 comments

Ask A Man? "You have come to the right place for love, relationship and dating advice. Ask a man will provide you with the love, relationship and dating answers you seek. Our staff of amazing men have agreed to break the "man code" and tell you the absolute truth about what your man is really saying to you." For example: "Men want respect. In a man's world, men are nothing without respect. In a relationship, a man needs to know his woman respects him. "
posted by feelinglistless at 3:51 AM PST - 43 comments

The Double Curse of '86 - Many sports fans remember the game 6 error (youtube) of Bill Buckner that cost the Red Sox the championship. But a supposed new discovery seems to show that that the Sox were saddled with not one curse - but two. It could be real or just a new angle for the 20th anniversary. (previously on metafilter)
posted by bob sarabia at 12:19 AM PST - 32 comments

Future Phone: Call a number in Iowa, give them the international number you want to call, talk for free - well, at American long-distance rates anyway. No headphones required.
posted by trinarian at 12:02 AM PST - 23 comments

October 19

Meet the man who "had more impact on the atmosphere than any other single organism in earth history" - Thomas Midgley, Jr. Midgley invented leaded gasoline in 1921 to stop cars from knocking. In the process, he created a huge new industry, increased by 500 times the atmospheric lead levels, and was part of a multi-decade coverup of lead's effects that put the tobacco industry to shame [note: article is both terrific and very long] and still continues today. Just a few years later, he invented chlorofluorocarbons, and, with a dramatic demonstration of their safety, usured in an era of cheap air conditioning and social change, as well as ozone depletion. In the end, he was killed by one of his inventions, though it was neither lead nor CFCs that were responsible. He is sometimes remembered fondly, he is more often vilified.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:47 PM PST - 30 comments

GamerDad, a site which has been around since 2003 (and is a registered trademark), has been a source of amusement and reviews for parents who play games, and parents who want to know what their kids are playing. Microsoft decided that they liked the name so much, they would steal it. But at least they had the courtesy to admit they knew about GamerDad before they stole the name.
posted by dejah420 at 10:41 PM PST - 19 comments

Congressman Jim Gibbons's was 5 points ahead in the polls for the Nevada Governor's race, but that was before these drunken 911 calls. [more at wonkette]
posted by delmoi at 10:07 PM PST - 44 comments

So Predictable - Malcolm Gladwell talks at the recent New Yorker Festival about success-predicting software for the music and film industries.
posted by forallmankind at 9:49 PM PST - 18 comments

...Would it surprise you to learn that if the Johns Hopkins estimates of 400,000 to 800,000 deaths are correct -- and many experts in the survey field seem to suggest they probably are -- that the supposedly not-yet-civil-war in Iraq has already cost more lives, per capita, than our own Civil War (one in 40 of all Iraqis alive in 2003) ? And that these losses are comparable to what some European nations suffered in World War II ? You'd never know it from mainstream press coverage in the U.S. "Everybody knows the boat is leaking, everybody knows the captain lied," Leonard Cohen once sang. The question the new study raises: How many will go down with the ship, and will the press finally hold the captain fully accountable ?
Iraqi Death Rate May Top Our Civil War -- But Will the Press Confirm It ?
See also Debating the Body Count in Iraq
See also Deaths in Iraq: how many, and why it matters
See also The Science of Counting the Dead
See also How the Media Covered The Lancet’s Iraqi Casualty Study
See also More deadly than Saddam
posted by y2karl at 9:23 PM PST - 80 comments

The Hollywood moguls were appalled...Hitherto, Tinseltown had the police and politicians in its capacious pocket, yet here, landing like a ton of hot manure, was this crummy magazine from the east coast. A sharp look from British Journalism Review at the career of Robert Harrison, whose 1952 magazine Confidential single-handedly "opened the floodgates of tell-all sleaze." Seems Harrison branched out from publishing a long string of 1940s girlie mags after being inspired by the Estes Kefauver organized crime hearings that gripped early TV audiences in the U.S.A.
posted by mediareport at 9:13 PM PST - 2 comments

These institutions have one very clear problem: they promote facts and books. Clearly something needs to be done. Call your local police or FBI field office or speak clearly into the closest potted plant to give the NSA all pertinent information regarding these and other terrorist elements. View a rough sketch of Hell. What we're doing is bringing democracy to knowledge.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:51 PM PST - 16 comments


Had he not died in 1971, Tor Johnson would be 103 today. Who could forget his face? Or that it makes a great mask? Don't we often think back fondly on his remarkable filmography? He made a great partner for Bela Lugosi! Who could forget that he tended to break toilet seats when he sat on them, and so would often steal them?
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:48 PM PST - 12 comments

I'm Paul R Nelson, and I approve of this message anything that might get me elected. Why? Well, his congressman Ron Kind is the (cue menacing music) WRONG KIND. For starters, he pays for sex, but not soldiers (wmv). On top of that, he also voted to let illegal aliens burn the American flag (wmv). But worst of all? Because of him, we're dependent for oil on islamic fascists and nations that support terrorism. Elect Paul R Nelson, and he'll finish the job he started 23 years ago (wmv). Best. Smear ads. Ever. Check out the radio ads and his photo collection for even more stomach-churning right-wing meretriciousness.
posted by nTeleKy at 4:22 PM PST - 33 comments

The Grand Comics Database is aiming to become the IMDB of comic books cover art. I only tested a couple from memory, but they seem to have a pretty deep reservoir of content, and fairly large scans of the results. Searchable by series title, character appearance, writer, illustrator and a number of other criteria.
posted by jonson at 3:29 PM PST - 21 comments

Tanya Streeter is a champion in the sport of competitive freediving. Anyone who can dive to 400 feet and return using muscle power and fins, or to 525 feet below the surface of the water using a special sled, on just one breath of air, has won my undying respect.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:53 PM PST - 44 comments


Wal-Mart workers walk out. "It's the first time that Wal-Mart has faced a worker-led revolt of such scale, according to both employees and the company". Apparently the working conditions of Wal-Mart employees is not much of a concern to The Eagles though. Time to start greasing the wheels for the new album.
posted by gfrobe at 12:51 PM PST - 46 comments

EZ does it. "Unventor" of the Möbius scarf and the Pi Shawl, "ur-geek of knitting" Elizabeth Zimmermann will be honored at the University of Wisconsin's Design Gallery in the retrospective exhibit New School Knitting: the Influence of Elizabeth Zimmermann and Schoolhouse Press (opening Oct. 27). "EZ" has been called "the Jerry Garcia of knitting: jolly, kind, unconventional, endlessly creative, often quoted, and much-loved by countless people." More than all those things, however, EZ was an Opinionated Knitter who urged her fellow needlepersons to think critically and inventively about their craft; in her 1999 obit the New York Times said she "brought a penetrating intellect and a sculptor's sensitivity to revolutionizing [this] ancient art." Plus she was funny. The Wisconsin knit camp she founded is now run by her daughter, Meg Swansen (heir to the throne in more ways than one); it was featured in a Wisconsin Public Television segment that aired last December (warning: RealPlayer format; transcript here).
posted by GrammarMoses at 12:20 PM PST - 11 comments

Swords and Sandals .. Create a gladiator, arm him up with a variety of armour and weapons, and send him into battle against a horde of crazy gladiators. [note: flash]
posted by crunchland at 11:37 AM PST - 25 comments

A letter, written in Spanish , sent to an estimated 14,000 Democratic voters in central Orange County, tells recipients: "You are advised that if your residence in this country is illegal or you are an immigrant, voting in a federal election is a crime that could result in jail time." A fine example of often-GOP tactic called "caging" but you can call it good ol' intimidation, and just for sake of irony the guilty appears to be the campaign of GOP Congressional candidate Tan Nguyen who is himself an immigrant. You may also recall his party is fond of drafting legislation to complicate the ballot process with voter id requirements and thus make caging a little more legal.
posted by StarForce5 at 11:16 AM PST - 66 comments

Dick and Rick Hoyt are a father-and-son team from Massachusetts who together compete just about continuously in marathon races. And if they’re not in a marathon they are in a triathlon — that daunting, almost superhuman, combination of 26.2 miles of running, 112 miles of bicycling, and 2.4 miles of swimming. Together they have climbed mountains, and once trekked 3,735 miles across America.

It’s a remarkable record of exertion — all the more so when you consider that Rick can't walk or talk.
Quite possibly one of the most inspirational stories that I've ever encountered -- Team Hoyt.
posted by purephase at 10:53 AM PST - 20 comments

As Americans, we must always remember that we all have a common enemy, an enemy that is dangerous, powerful and relentless. I refer, of course, to the federal government.
posted by EarBucket at 10:19 AM PST - 47 comments

Larry Harlowe (born Lawrence Kahn) was a Jewish kid from a racially mixed Brooklyn neigborhood who discovered the clave rhythm. Encouraged by his musician parents, he pursued his new love and became one of the genre's most admired players and one of the first artists signed to the legendary Fania (lovingly annotated reissues are on the street from this label), working with legends of the form. He also was one of the men behind 'Hommy,' the first 'salsa opera,' about a deaf-dumb-and-blind conga player (gee, that sounds familiar). One of the more interesting and illustrious musical charcters of our time.
posted by jonmc at 9:12 AM PST - 13 comments

BLACK MAN #1: "If you make a little mistake with one of your 'hos,' you'll want to dispose of that problem tout suite, no questions asked."

BLACK MAN #2: "That's too cold. I don't snuff my own seed."

BLACK MAN #1: "Maybe you do have a reason to vote Republican."

Holy mackerel! Republican issue ad woos black voters with modern versions of Amos 'n' Andy talking about knocked up "hos". Yo bettah votes fo' Kingfish!
posted by orthogonality at 8:42 AM PST - 123 comments

The Beginning of the End of America. (YouTube, Keith Olbermann)
posted by Malor at 7:48 AM PST - 289 comments

Fun Motion - a blog dedicated to physics-simulating games, currently with 49 reviews (and counting) of well known favorites like Stair Dismount and Truck Dismount, Towers of Goo, Toribash and many, many more. (A follow up to my previous YouTube post.) Kiss your precious, fleeting motes of productivity goodbye, cube-farmers!
posted by loquacious at 4:21 AM PST - 26 comments

BramTV [flash] [possibly NSFW] Art + interaction = data-dandy behaviour. If you like to be in control you may well find this extremely annoying.
posted by tellurian at 1:07 AM PST - 12 comments

It is done. Windows Internet Explorer 7 has been released.
posted by armoured-ant at 12:43 AM PST - 131 comments

October 18

EXPOSED!!! TUFTY the traffic safety squirrel 'Patriots, would you trust a skwerl to teach children the fundamentals of safety at home and on the road? Of course not!' Read the execrable Tufty Fluffytail song sheet music! Weigh in on the enigma that is the Shroud of Tufty! Watch insidious squirrel propaganda!
posted by owhydididoit at 10:43 PM PST - 12 comments

The Top 200 Universities in the World. [logon:mefier/pass:metafilter] For the second year, the Times Higher Education Supplement has exhaustively ranked the top schools in the world. The US, and, to a lesser extent, the UK, dominate the list, but Australia continues to have a strong showing, and China makes more appearances. If you don't like that list, try Newsweek's Top 100 Global Universities, or the ranking by Shanghai Jiao Tong University, which looks at Nobel Prizes and highly cited articles, or just judge universities by their age. All of this a little too global? Washington Monthly rates universities by how they contribute to social mobility and the US as a whole, Mother Jones ranks by social activism, and Young America's Foundation lists the 10 best conservative colleges. [prev.]
posted by blahblahblah at 10:42 PM PST - 69 comments

Why Don't We Do It In Our Sleeves? A short instructional video.
posted by graventy at 8:40 PM PST - 34 comments

Potty Whispering (otherwise known as Elimination Communication or Natural Infant Hygiene) results in Diaper-Free Babies (and a more diaper-free environment). See also: 101 Reasons to EC.
posted by spock at 8:06 PM PST - 41 comments

Hotline TV Is an original internet video show for political insiders and junkies that I've been watching for the past few weeks. Today's episode on hot candidates was pretty entertaining, if a bit glib. Their first episode after the Foley story broke is another good one. (note: there's a 30 second pre-roll ad in the video that you might want to skip)
posted by delmoi at 7:42 PM PST - 6 comments

Charlie Darwin joins the fray. Yes, The formation of vegetable mould, through the action of worms, with observations on their habits is there.
posted by jfuller at 6:12 PM PST - 19 comments

$250,000 Reward For Information About Election Fraud In The November Election VelvetRevolution is offering a $250,000 reward for information about election fraud and manipulation in the November 7th mid-term elections. That’s a quarter million dollars to the persons or persons who provide us with definitive and conclusive proof that a United States House or Senate election has been rigged by illegal means. Meanwhile, Drudge runs this forthcoming piece NYT: BE PREPARED FOR CHAOS ON ELECTION DAY; NEW MACHINES, LINES, CONFUSION Wed Oct 18 2006 19:12:07 ET With an unusually large number of tight races and dozens of states shifting to new electronic voting systems, election officials across the country are bracing for long lines and heightened confusion at the polls on Election Day, Nov. 7, the NEW YORK TIMES will front on Thursday. "North Carolina, Ohio, Indiana, Arizona, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Mississippi and Missouri are among the states considered most likely to experience difficulties, according to voting experts who have been tracking the new technology and other election changes. Developing...
posted by Postroad at 6:11 PM PST - 61 comments

Bonkers Candy was my all time favorite, especially for the commercials and the idea that everytime I chomped it, a gigantic piece of fruit was trying to crush me from the sky. But, the real mystery is : WHAT HAPPENED TO THE "BONKERS MOBILE" ? Anyone ?
posted by unpoppy at 6:09 PM PST - 14 comments

The real James BondSidney George Reilly, the shadowy 'Ace of Spies' and inspiration for Ian Fleming's 007, was born Shlomo/Sigmund Georgievich Rosenblum in Ukraine/Poland in 1874. Perhaps illegitimate, dapper Sidney was a tireless self-promoter, patent-medicine chemist, world traveller, and high-stakes gambler (not only at the tables: he married four women but divorced none.) A Czarist Okhrana informer as a Parisian student, he was hired as an undercover agent in the late 1890s by M of Scotland Yard. Reilly worked both sides of the Russo-Japanese War, influenced British oil interests in Iran, brokered World War I arms sales, and volunteered for the Royal Flying Corps in Canada. Sent to Russia by C of Britain's SIS in 1918, he joined a plot to overthrow the Bolsheviks: it failed, but he escaped to London. Returning to Russia in 1919 to help the White Army, he was later awarded the British Military Cross. A staunch anti-Communist, Reilly schemed against them throughout his career. Lured back to Russia by agents of the 'Trust' — an anti-Bolshevik trap set by the Soviet OGPU — Sidney was arrested, interrogated, and shot in 1925.
posted by cenoxo at 5:16 PM PST - 14 comments

Testicular protection for the 21st century... (via Deadspin) (embedded video) Seen previously here, but marketed with much more enthusiasm this time around.
posted by lovejones at 4:00 PM PST - 38 comments

just a reminder..now that google is facing lawsuits and will have to delete some great youtube videos you can always download the flv videos of your favorites and burn them onto blank dvds
posted by petsounds at 2:24 PM PST - 37 comments

The Worst Congress Ever. How our national legislature has become a stable of thieves and perverts -- in five easy steps. By Matt Taibbi. [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus at 2:15 PM PST - 80 comments

See the child. He is pale and thin, he wears a thin and ragged linen shirt. He stokes the scullery fire. Outside lie dark turned fields with rags of snow and darker woods beyond that harbor yet a last few wolves. His folk are known for hewers of wood and drawers of water but in truth his father has been a schoolmaster. He lies in drink, he quotes from poets whose names are now lost. The boy crouches by the fire and watches him. Night of your birth. Thirty-three. The Leonids they were called. God how the stars did fall. I looked for blackness, holes in the heavens. The Dipper stove. The mother dead these fourteen years did incubate in her own bosom the creature who would carry her off. The father never speaks her name, the child does not know it. He has a sister in this world that he will not see again. He watches, pale and unwashed. He can neither read nor write and in him broods already a taste for mindless violence. All history present in that visage, the child the father of the man.” --Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
posted by jason's_planet at 1:10 PM PST - 41 comments

Krishna Maharaj is a British businessman who was convicted of the 1986 murder of a Jamaican father and son in a hotel room in Miami, Florida. He was given the death penalty, but this was commuted to a life sentence in 2002 due to irregularities in his trial. Well, "irregularities" is an understatement: none of Maharaj's seven alibi witnesses were called to the stand. Maharaj is widely understood to be innocent, and another prime suspect has been identified. In 2001, 300 British politicians wrote to Jeb Bush, requesting a retrial. Considering this possibility in 2004, the Florida judge said that “newly discovered evidence which goes only to guilt or innocence is insufficient to warrant relief" and denied the motion. The US Supreme Court refused to take the case. Krishna Maharaj must now rely on the mercy of Jeb Bush.
BBC Newsnight with 2-part video documentary
2004 FAQ
Campaign website
posted by thirteenkiller at 1:08 PM PST - 58 comments

How Much Fossil Fuel Does Your Dinner Burn? Ingredients for the average American meal travel well over 1500 miles to reach your plate. Our food might be inexpensive, but it's costing the planet a lot (and doesn't taste so hot either, since it's bred to withstand shipping and have long shelf life rather than to taste good). So what happens when people reject the large-scale industrial food system? One recent development in the growing localism movement is the 100-Mile Diet, originated by a Canadian couple who spent a full year eating only foods grown or raised within 100 miles of their home. They'll even give you a road map to having a 100-Mile Thanksgiving. For other variations on the eat-local idea, check out ideas like the Eat Local Challenge, Slow Food, and Locavores encourage you to rediscover your place on earth, build community, and enjoy the Local Harvest.
posted by Miko at 12:56 PM PST - 66 comments

Canada's governing Conservative Party has expelled one of its Members of Parliament -- for blogging. Garth Turner, Conservative MP for Halton, author of "The Turner Diaries Report" (link) was today suspended from the ruling party's caucus because of his blog. "There is [sic] attacks that were made on individuals, including the Prime Minister," explained Conservative MP Rahim Jaffer. "The theme of confidentiality was not being respected, in their opinion, and it restricted the ability for members to operate in a confidential way." At least one national pundit compares the exiling to 1984.
posted by docgonzo at 12:34 PM PST - 75 comments

Farewell on a Dark Tarmac When American service members are killed in Afghanistan or Iraq, people from their base form a Patriot Detail, an ad hoc honor guard that escorts the flag-draped coffin to the airplane that will carry their body home. A reporter recently observed one of the ceremonies; some earlier descriptions.
posted by kirkaracha at 12:21 PM PST - 6 comments

Browniegate! Incensed by confusing essay questions in the New York City 4th grade ELA (English Language Assessment) test, a group of parents have created browniethecow.org. Could you answer the question for "Why the Rooster Crows at Dawn" or "The Stolen Moon"?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:50 AM PST - 72 comments

Tag, you're out! "I've witnessed enough near collisions" in the playground area, D'Elia said. "I support anything that makes the playground safer and helps teacher to keep track of them."
posted by setanor at 10:31 AM PST - 123 comments


We've seen zombie flash mobs and zombie flash games (this awesome post deserves a resurrection - pun intended - for Halloween)... even zombie awareness products and laser controlled headless zombie flies. But do zombies really exist? This video makes a sound case.
posted by shoppingforsanity at 9:30 AM PST - 22 comments

Web-rage. Man attacked with pickaxe after insults exchanged in an internet chatroom.
posted by GuyZero at 9:00 AM PST - 67 comments

The Air Force finally went and got themselves a proper memorial. Although he’s now deceased, the man who designed it also designed some other buildings around town. It’s a unique structure, with time-tested big lead balls to compensate for the wind. On opening day, a ‘sky-parade’ of old and new aircraft paid tribute, flying overhead in sequence. Some like it, some don’t.
posted by matty at 8:12 AM PST - 40 comments

Sniper training starts a little earlier these days. Forget violence in video games - the best way to teach your kids how to kill is still with a good old-fashioned Nerf war. Still, is creating a new generation of sharpshooters really the best idea?
posted by OverlappingElvis at 7:57 AM PST - 41 comments

Mass infection from bellybuttonpiercing was left untreated. This Mom, seemingly neglectful, ignored her teen's self-piercing gone wrong, and now faces up to 5 years in prison. I let my teen daughter get a small tattoo and nose piercing. I have a tattoo, but no piercings. All done by trusted professionals in sterile environments. Another teen's tongue piercing causes ‘suicide disease.’ Maybe a little upfront information is a good idea before proceeding. What are your piercing / tattoo experiences?
posted by The Deej at 6:51 AM PST - 74 comments

Altar•ations [flash] Remember YOU'RE in control.
posted by tellurian at 12:37 AM PST - 16 comments

Ricky Gervais reads the Bible GoogleVideo
posted by jonson at 12:37 AM PST - 25 comments

October 17

The Best Stuff in the World -- "an open, organic, polymorphous site which, depending on the user, could take on diverse forms and meanings. The site simply asks you to input your best stuff, whether that be a song that inspires you, your favourite little Indian restaurant, or the best explication of Kantian aesthetics ... it's up to you!" {via mefi projects}
posted by dobbs at 11:19 PM PST - 19 comments

Bowling+Rollercoaster=Fun (Youtube. No actual rollercoasters were harmed in making this film.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:16 PM PST - 22 comments

Archaeological treasures found on Google Earth. In 25 years on the ground, "I've found a handful of archaeological sites. I found more in the first five, six, seven hours [on Google Earth] than I've found in years of traditional field surveys and aerial archaeology,"
posted by stbalbach at 8:07 PM PST - 20 comments

Project Witness provides training and video cameras for local groups to use in their human rights advocacy campaigns. They have recently begun releasing these videos online. Check out US films like Outlawed, Rights on the Line, or The Day After Diallo, or focus your attention on the international scene: Between Two Fires dwells on Northern Uganda's civil war crimes, torture, and refugee camps, Season of Fear deals with Burma's internally displaced, and Witness to Truth addresses Sierra Leone's attempt to replicate the South African Truth and Reconciliation model. Best of all, this simple strategy actually works.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:51 PM PST - 3 comments

**Gon-Puti** for dog.
posted by hama7 at 6:19 PM PST - 19 comments

First, interrobang got the ball rolling with his cool illustrations that can be shuffled in any order to create a new continuous panorama. Cortex added some coded widgetry to automate the process, creating a neat little toy. Then taz and iconomy joined in with their own creative spin. It's nice to see a contemporary techno version of the polyrama, a fine creative tradition dating back to the mid 1800s.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:09 PM PST - 39 comments

Small Number of Video iPods Shipped With Windows Virus. As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it. Oops!
posted by defenestration at 2:31 PM PST - 98 comments

Newsfilter: North Korea's response to a toothless UN resolution may be a second nuclear test. With military solutions pretty much off the table, it may be up to rival factions within the DPRK to topple the regime. NK coups have been discussed here before, and the end result may not be as pretty as one would hope, but maybe this time the Chinese have had enough.
posted by ernie at 2:08 PM PST - 57 comments

A great Stephen Colbert profile. "It’s been a very good year for Stephen Colbert because it’s witnessed the birth of the Colbertocracy. We’re just voting in it."
posted by js003 at 1:52 PM PST - 69 comments

Kira Salak is a writer who embodies an old-fashioned spirit of adventure. She has kayaked the Niger River solo; during her time in Africa, she freed a slave. On another trip, she sampled Ayahuasca in the Peruvian jungle. At the age of 24, she trekked alone through the tribal violence of Papua New Guinea. Her work is a wonderful alternative to the blandness and narrowness of contemporary consumer society, in which there is nothing new to be discovered and everything can be reduced to lucre.
posted by jason's_planet at 1:03 PM PST - 21 comments

Please enjoy this remarkable rendition of a classic Disney tune from Britain's fabulous Jordan(mildly nsfw).
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:44 PM PST - 63 comments

When He Said "Jump..." Photographer Philippe Halsman starting asking his subjects to jump at the end of photo shoots in 1952. This Smithsonian article features some of the photos. [via; more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 12:00 PM PST - 24 comments

N E W - M U S I C
posted by a_green_man at 11:54 AM PST - 8 comments

Still looking for a Halloween costume idea? How about Flaming Carrot?
posted by UKnowForKids at 11:43 AM PST - 21 comments

I see dead people — Victorian post-mortem photographs. (via boingboing)
posted by spock at 11:28 AM PST - 41 comments

It was originally meant to look futuristic, but now it's considered kitsch. Even the most mundane food tasted good if the restaurant featured Googie-style archetecture and signage. I wish more buildings today looked like these. Previously discussed here.
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:10 AM PST - 34 comments

Madonna and Child by Duccio di Buoninsegna (ca 1300) “is widely considered a key forerunner of the Italian Renaissance style and a landmark in Western European painting”. The painting “resides in a Plexiglas case in the middle of a room of medieval Italian paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art” and was purchased in 2004 for about $50million, the most expensive acquisition in the Met’s history. However James Beck, Columbia professor, founder of ArtWatch “established for the dignity of the art” (previously mentioned in this forum), is emphatic: “It’s a poor painting and it is a fake.” In a recent interview to Paul Hond in the Columbia Magazine Fall 2006 issue he admitted that such a bold and counter-mainstream proposition is “…calling attention to the mistakes of our favorite institutions of great power would not have been readily available if I didn’t have tenure.”
posted by carmina at 9:55 AM PST - 18 comments

Why I Gave Up On Hip-Hop "Hip-hop was still largely about the break-beat and dance moves and brothers who battled solely on wax. It was Whodini, Eric B. & Rakim, Dana Dane, EPMD, A Tribe Called Quest. And always and forever, Lonnae Loves Cool James. I knew all LL Cool J's b-sides and used to sleep under a poster of him that hung on my wall. I still have a picture of the two of us that was taken one Howard homecoming weekend.

And if, gradually, we noticed a trend, more violence, more misogyny, more materialism, more hostile sexual stereotyping, a general constricting of subject matter, for a very long time we let it slide (.pdf)"
posted by four panels at 8:40 AM PST - 118 comments

Straight Dope on the birth of the iPod from the sharp pen of WIRED's Mac maven Leander Kahney. Quoth Steve Jobs: "Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like. That's not what we think design is. It's not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
posted by rdone at 8:02 AM PST - 35 comments

Wanna blow up a tower block? We all do. But some people wanna do it differently.
posted by dash_slot- at 7:27 AM PST - 24 comments

Can You Tell a Sunni From a Shiite? Should the FBI's counter-terrorism chief know the difference? How about the head of the FBI national security branch? How about a vice chairman of the House intelligence subcommittee on technical and tactical intelligence?
posted by caddis at 7:06 AM PST - 125 comments

"This may very well be the single greatest biological discovery of our age" - rods, or skyfish, are the subject of a documentary by Jose Escamilla. While some are skeptical, Jose and others aren't dissuaded and Kozo Ichikawa claims to catch them bare-handed. Japanese TV reports, and USA's unit 13 investigates. Heres a guide to photographing them or filming, or buy an instructional video and rod-rod, known as a spoodle and try to catch some yourself.
posted by MetaMonkey at 5:58 AM PST - 43 comments

Evolutionary theorist Dr Curry predicts humanity will "split in two". At the very least this should provide material for playground insults. At the top end, as Dr Curry says, we could be living in Wells' The Time Machine. Only without the time machine, sadly.
posted by imperium at 5:46 AM PST - 70 comments

Bob "Mad Dog" Lassiter, dead at 61. Bob was one of the most notorious and entertaining "confrontational radio" hosts to ever sit behind a microphone. WFMU's The Professor wrote , "every other talk host I’ve ever heard usually gets off on like-minded callers, but not Bob. In fact, he was often quite impatient with callers who agreed with him." Bob was an absolute master of baiting the listening audience, ensnaring many callers who thought that they were clever enough to outwit him. Of course, none of them were. He once played "dead air chicken" with a belligerent caller for 11 minutes straight, saying absolutely nothing until the caller finally gave up and hung up his phone. Tapes of these broadcasts have been prized by aircheck collectors for years, many of which are now available as mp3 downloads at BobLassiterAirchecks.com. Bob knew he was dying, yet he actively resisted any measures that would improve his health. He blogged nearly every moment of his last days, often in graphic detail. His last written words were posted yesterday.
posted by melorama at 5:42 AM PST - 24 comments

WOXY is Dead. Long Live WOXY. One of the best modern music stations, WOXY (previously discussed here), closed up shop in September 15, 2006 after running out of money. Their subscription-based model failed to generate sufficient revenue to keep the station on-line. Amazingly, their plea for "white knight" funding was answered 5 days later. Their savior was Bill Nguyen of lala.com. Within 4 weeks WOXY was up and running again - no fees, same format and same staff.
posted by scblackman at 5:00 AM PST - 8 comments

One Day in History is a national blogging event organised by the History Matters campaign in the UK. They want UK citizens (or anyone with UK ties) to blog a diary entry about their day today (17 October). The entries will be archived at the British Library, creating a snapshot of everyday life in 2006 for the bemusement of future generations.
posted by chrismear at 1:33 AM PST - 7 comments

Cover Browser. A wonderous comic book cover gallery made possible by various open APIs. [via mefi projects]
posted by panoptican at 1:20 AM PST - 8 comments

October 16

Ms Dewey: A is a search engine with a "human" face. I can't understand why anyone would think this is a good idea, but whoever did seems to have spent a lot of money doing it.
posted by delmoi at 10:49 PM PST - 104 comments

As he read, Mr Sterling became convinced he had to publish the book. Jed Rubenfeld's "The Interpretation of Murder" had an intriguing cast of characters, an engaging plot and a dash of kinky sex. It was a historical thriller, one of publishing's hottest recent categories. It had the potential, he thought, to be the next "Da Vinci Code."
The Wall Street Journal details the fascinating mechanics of modern-day book marketing as Henry Holt & Co labors to birth this year's must-buy publishing phenomenon.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 9:35 PM PST - 14 comments

The Worlds of David Darling. British astronomer and science writer David Darling has written over 10,000 articles for three massive online efforts: the Encyclopedia of Astrobiology, Astronomy, and Spaceflight, the Encyclopedia of Alternative Energy and Sustainable Living , and a related encyclopedia of concept vehicles. Though the diversity of entries can be eccentric, and some are quite short, the science seems solid: learn about the illicit corned beef sandwich of Gus Grissom, peruse a comprehensive set of advanced space propulsion concepts, and see a terrific illustrated listing of strange land and air vehicles (don't miss the Peel P50 microcar and the Volvo Gravity Car).
posted by blahblahblah at 9:34 PM PST - 2 comments

We live in a weird time. via plasticbag.org
posted by cgc373 at 8:23 PM PST - 17 comments

For centuries mankind has wondered if the Alien (from the movie Alien) could viably gestate in the plastic belly of a My Little Pony doll, and if it could, what would the offspring look like. Well, wonder no more. Final images here. Making of here.
posted by jonson at 7:58 PM PST - 67 comments

Yahoo! Time Capsule , from the artist that brought you justcurio.us (Mefi'd here), is the world's first digital time capsule. Submit images, words, videos, and sounds to a digital archive that will be sealed up in Smithsonian Folkway Recordings - Users have until November 8th to make submissions, at which point the capsule will be sealed. Check out the about page for a little more information on the project and the artist's statement.
posted by TheRoach at 7:09 PM PST - 6 comments

Does television cause autism? A statistical study by two professors at Cornell appears to find a correlation between autism and toddlers watching television.
posted by winston at 7:07 PM PST - 72 comments

Hearing Aid waiting list The BBC reports that in some British NHS hospitals the waiting list time for a digital hearing aid is 200 weeks (in others it is 2 weeks...) and perhaps 4m people could benefit from an aid, but don't have one. Not an NHS bashing - but what would the situation be elsewhere? Presumably in some countries - the US? - the waiting list for a digital hearing aid would be infinite, eg if you don't have the money you'll not get one? Does Medicare/Aid cover this over 65? What about Canada?
posted by A189Nut at 4:39 PM PST - 48 comments

Mexican government bans American Catholics who sued Mexico City Prelate The Mexican government took the unprecedented and controversial step of banning Dave Clohessy of SNAP and Jeffrey Anderson, a lawyer specializing in abuse cases, from entering the country for five years. The men had filed a lawsuit against Mexico City Archbishop Norbeto Rivera, who they allege covered up sex abuse in his diocese.
posted by parmanparman at 3:46 PM PST - 14 comments



Stick magnetic ribbons on your SUV. A downloadable ditty from the Asylum Street Spankers. "The Spankers preemptively state that current and former members of our band are veterans of the military, we support American troops and we love our country, especially its Constitution and Bill of Rights, but also its movies, music, whiskey and regional cuisine." (YouTubeFilter, IraqFilter, language NSFW, ouch!)
posted by chipr at 2:20 PM PST - 26 comments

The Transportation Research Board released their 3rd edition of Commuting in America. Among their findings, a 50% increase in "extreme commuters", those with a one way commute of more than 60 minutes; 8% of Americans are now in this category. 25 years ago, 1 in 5 commeters carpooled. Today, only 1 in 10. And the dominant commuting pattern is now suburb to suburb or city to suburb. [via NPR]
posted by jaimev at 12:40 PM PST - 31 comments

Why don't Americans care about the loss of privacy? Give your SSN for a 50 cent coupon? Have your car tracked by EZ-Pass? Have a security camera on the corner? Who cares?
posted by SansPoint at 12:16 PM PST - 112 comments

Great White Shark Live on the Monterey Bay Aquarium webcam. This is the second time [mefi thread] they've kept a carcharodon carcharias in captivity. They hope to raise awareness of ocean conservation and the complexity of Great Whites. They are far from simple killing machines as the media often makes them out to be. They are also endangered despite legislation to protect them. Amazing creatures though [youtube].
posted by cal71 at 12:15 PM PST - 40 comments

"THIN is a photographic essay and a documentary film about the treatment of eating disorders. In 1997, Lauren Greenfield began documenting the lives of patients at the Renfrew Center in Coconut Grove, Florida, a forty-bed residential facility for the treatment of women with eating disorders. She subsequently returned to Renfrew to take more photographs, and was eventually given unprecedented access to film the daily lives of patients". (scroll down or search for "Greenfield"). 2002 MeFi post on Greenfield's previous project, "Girl Culture", here.
posted by matteo at 10:43 AM PST - 23 comments

"Over the last few weeks I have been introducing you to eight schools of criticism – Biographical, New Critical, Marxist, Structural, Jungian, Psychoanalytical, Feminist, and Post-Colonial – giving a little history behind each, and showing how they can be used to critique the video game Katamari Damacy for the PlayStation 2." [Part One | Part Two | Part Three]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:03 AM PST - 63 comments

America's 10 Dumbest Congressmen. How dumb are they? Bill Frist isn't even on the list.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:33 AM PST - 96 comments

The Computer Gaming World Archive. The first 100 issues of Computer Gaming World downloadable in pdf form, ads and all. 1981-89. (Url directs to splash page with ad, click link below to continue, pdf files somewhere around 20 megs.)
posted by pyramid termite at 9:11 AM PST - 17 comments

A 6.6. magnitude earthquake hit Hawaii on Sunday. The quake originated from 24 miles below the west coast of the Big Island. Mefi's own pzarquon posted photos of Honolulu without power, and there's also a photo pool. AP reports: "Across the state, residents reported little panic, and for some the loss of power meant it was time to sit outside, set up barbecues and talk with friends and neighbors."
posted by NemesisVex at 9:07 AM PST - 12 comments

Tomorrow morning at 7:46am, the US Population Clock will hit 300 million. As the world population continues to grow at a similar rate to ours, perhaps its time to start asking some questions. After all, if you can read this post, chances are you don't live in Africa, where "more than 2,500 children are dying each day," simply for lack of access to fresh drinking water. Its so easy not to worry about when you're not the 1 in 5 who can't get a clean drink. But there's lots of ways you can help.
posted by allkindsoftime at 9:03 AM PST - 39 comments


Peter Gabriel has introduced a new iTunes plugin for Windows XP called The Filter. Using the All Music Guide in a fashion similar to Pandora, the software builds playlists from your library for you after you select a few tracks. Their marketing copy tells you that you should "Prepare to be reengaged and reinvigorated by your iTunes library."

OS X, WinAMP, and WMP versions are slated for the near future.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 7:07 AM PST - 55 comments

In Saturn's Shadow. Pictures of Saturn like none you've seen before, taken by Cassini while the planet was in between the probe and the sun. You can just make out Earth in the photos. Previously.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:45 AM PST - 17 comments

Arguing Against Datamining MySpace in search of Pedophiles. In certain circles, MySpace has become the villain de jour for all sorts of debauchery (threatening the President, phishing , dismembered women , etc.), as well as being fertile hunting grounds for the pedophile. Given the huge size of MySpace, reported as 100 million accounts (although estimates of active accounts are far lower, at approximately 43 million ), and an hypothetical and absurdly low natural incidence of pedophiles and pedarasts (let's say just 1%), one could assume that there could be as many as 430,000 to 1,000,000 of them out there. Wired contributor and reformed hacker (Kevin Poulson) has developed a script to weed out the bad seeds [via]. His script was effective, although it took several months of sifting and refining, as well as numerous false positives - 744 registered sex offenders, 497 with convictions for crimes against children. While such an experiment has merit, how much time, resources, and law enforcement manpower will be wasted chasing down the ""high-cost "false positives", and what will be neglected and sacrificed for that effort?
posted by rzklkng at 6:27 AM PST - 38 comments

Monday quiz fun. Can you spot the incorrect logos?
posted by Oriole Adams at 5:59 AM PST - 26 comments

Splice gives anyone, anywhere the ability to collaborate on music right through a web browser. Users can upload or record sounds, make songs, listen to other user's songs, make remixes, make friends and a whole lot more.
posted by crunchland at 5:14 AM PST - 7 comments

JJ Casalonga's Gallery of Odd Watches contains a number of rare and esoteric designs. Some are conventional but for being nearly transparent or made of wood, while others are truly bizarre and impractical. Is this what the timecube guy wears? Don't miss the Bolshevik counter-clockwise design.
posted by Rhomboid at 5:06 AM PST - 12 comments

Games games games. You've probably seen some of them before. But they're all based on good physics.
posted by Jimbob at 2:37 AM PST - 10 comments

From model to billboard in 60 seconds (qt mov).
posted by zardoz at 1:40 AM PST - 35 comments

...Objectives    This double-blind study evaluated the acute and longer-term psychological effects of a high dose of psilocybin relative to a comparison compound administered under comfortable, supportive conditions...

Results    Psilocybin produced a range of acute perceptual changes, subjective experiences, and labile moods including anxiety. Psilocybin also increased measures of mystical experience. At 2 months, the volunteers rated the psilocybin experience as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance and attributed to the experience sustained positive changes in attitudes and behavior consistent with changes rated by community observers.

Conclusions   When administered under supportive conditions, psilocybin occasioned experiences similar to spontaneously occurring mystical experiences. The ability to occasion such experiences prospectively will allow rigorous scientific investigations of their causes and consequences.
Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance
posted by y2karl at 12:11 AM PST - 58 comments

October 15


Don't like a judge's decision? If you live in South Dakota, don't bother appealing. Just sue the judge instead, with the help of the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (possibly embedded sound), or Amendment E, a ballot initiative that would allow judges and other decision-makers to be stripped of their normal immunity, and then sued by anyone who felt they'd been wronged by a judgment of theirs. Judges could "lose their jobs or assets" for making an unpopular decision. Many people don't like it, but the majority of South Dakotans do not appear to be among them, even though their legislature is unanimously against it.
posted by oaf at 10:25 PM PST - 58 comments

13 haunted houses that will make you wet your pants.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:05 PM PST - 9 comments

Friendster : Wallflower at the Web Party via
posted by Afroblanco at 8:45 PM PST - 27 comments



Japanese Ant Database Group.
posted by hama7 at 6:48 PM PST - 7 comments

Goodsearch is an Internet search engine with a simple concept and unique social mission. GoodSearch enables you to help fund any of hundreds of thousands of charities or schools through the simple act of searching the Internet.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:23 PM PST - 9 comments

Roses on a piano, tulips on an organ (as mentioned here), but who knew that there are so many people who make their own pipe organs or illustrate how to make pipes (simple or complex).
posted by plinth at 4:06 PM PST - 3 comments

Earn $10 from home! Simply write about McDonalds for your blog. [via Public Address]
posted by meech at 3:11 PM PST - 47 comments

"Hey, you got your bacon in my caramel!" "Oh yeah? You got your caramel on my bacon!" Two great tastes that taste great together. (via Fark)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:20 PM PST - 61 comments

R·a·tW·h·i·s·k·e·r·s - a hot research topic in robotics, biomedical engineering, and neuroscience. Check out the Robotic Rat Whiskers segment from this weeks Quirks & Quarks, and watch them in action (video link at bottom of page).
posted by Chuckles at 1:44 PM PST - 5 comments

When Poets Attack Tony Snow denies that the president called him a nut, but now, poet Nikki Giovanni called Ken Blackwell an S.O.B., in quite a public place.
posted by tizzie at 1:25 PM PST - 35 comments

Art Money is an alternative, worldwide currency in the form of original works of art. The Bank of International Art Money is an independent organization directed by artists and free from any form of government financing.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:19 PM PST - 7 comments

Pre-ordering the Wii [at everyone's favourite $1.65 billion website]
posted by reklaw at 1:08 PM PST - 36 comments

Landfill is a new short story by Joyce Carol Oates. The story has caused controversy due to it being partly based on the real life death of a College of New Jersey student. At first, Oates was bewildered by the outcry, but later she apologized.
posted by Kattullus at 12:14 PM PST - 28 comments

No Music Day exists because music has run its course. No Music Day exists to give you time to decide what you now want from music. No Music Day is on the 21st November, this and every year. To register, visit nomusicday.com
posted by Blue Stone at 8:52 AM PST - 81 comments

The Magic of NSFW. Ursula Martinez has been discussed here before, but I searched for, and failed to find, the first link (google video).
posted by grumblebee at 6:58 AM PST - 192 comments


October 14

The Bobitos have been captured in an unknown dimension. They need your help to come back to their world... If you can guide the king to the central square and stop him there, a dimensional door to their world gets opened! [note: Flash]
posted by crunchland at 11:54 PM PST - 7 comments

Something Awful forum goons + stick figure physics simulator = 9 minutes of creative stick figure cartoon violence.
posted by loquacious at 11:30 PM PST - 35 comments

Modisti is an online directory with information with regard to experimental music, it's performers and enthusiats, thru lists promotion activities such as concerts, festivals, etc., as well as record releases.
posted by onkelchrispy at 10:03 PM PST - 4 comments


In 1979 Paul McCartney asked a few friends, namely John Paul Jones, David Gilmour, Ronnie Lane, John Bonham, Kenney Jones, Hank Marvin and Pete Townshend to stop by the studio for a bit of a jam. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Rockestra.
posted by punkfloyd at 7:00 PM PST - 40 comments

This video (set to The Album Leaf's "Outer Banks") is an absolutely gorgeous bit of time lapse photography, all shot around a cityscape I couldn't recognize. Watching it made me think of this movie, which is another bit of ethereal time lapse urbanscape beauty, this time shot in a city I did recognize (downtown Los Angeles & LAX initially, San Francisco later). Direct download 480p version of second film here. Of course, watching the second film reminded me of this previously posted third film (Rivers of Light, by the Grass Collective) involving cityscapes(downtown L.A. again - flash based preview here), this time in slow motion, and without audio. All links are quicktime, and HUGE, but highly recommended and very, very pretty.
posted by jonson at 6:08 PM PST - 19 comments

Aw+

Ar+

Whee+

Ah, the variability in the written length of phatic interjectives...
posted by y2karl at 5:25 PM PST - 22 comments

The Shape of a Mother There are a lot of sites out there that document the changes a woman's body goes through during pregnancy. The goal of Shape of a Mother (picture-heavy, NSFW) is to document what also happens afterwards. Women from all over the world submit stories and pictures of how their bodies changed after giving birth and how it affects their self-image. From the site's creator: "It occurred to me that a post-pregnancy body is one of this society's greatest secrets; all we see of the female body is that which is airbrushed and perfect, and if we look any different, we hide it from the light of day in fear of being seen."
posted by LeeJay at 2:25 PM PST - 53 comments

Catamaran "sun21" prepares for record-breaking voyage Next week, "sun21", which has been constructed specifically for this purpose, will begin its journey from Basel in Switzerland to New York. It will be the first solar boat ever to cross the Atlantic: entirely dependent on sunlight, not consuming one drop of gasoline.
posted by booksprite at 11:06 AM PST - 28 comments

The New Yorker Festival (On Video) A few videos of the events that took place last week.
posted by jne1813 at 10:34 AM PST - 6 comments

Curious about what a college class in Anatomy and Physiology is like? Here's Berkeley's version on Google Video, complete with adorable professor with a great collection of colorful scarfs. via Nurse Sean
posted by dog food sugar at 8:01 AM PST - 18 comments

October 13

Beckhal’s Tears is the first film to safely come out of Iraq addressing the current discord for women in the region and the culture. Laund Omar is only the third director to bring a completed film out of Iraqi Kurdistan after seeing "that nobody was doing anything for the youth, not in society and not in the media" in this region. Placing rave-pop dancer Ozzie Aziz in the lead role, this film has recieved middle eastern and international recognition, but of course has slipped through popular American press attention.
posted by unpoppy at 10:15 PM PST - 5 comments

Aaron Russo releases America: Freedom to Fascism on the net!
posted by augustweed at 10:05 PM PST - 47 comments

CNN's guide to the Indie Scene. Not for posers!
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:48 PM PST - 128 comments

1950's US Print Advertisements Click thumbnails for larger versions. via.
posted by jonson at 5:29 PM PST - 22 comments

Chief of the General Staff General Sir Richard Dannatt has given an interview to the Daily Mail in which he says that the presence of British troops makes the security problems in Iraq worse . The General won the MC aged 22 in an action in Northern Ireland, so he presumably knows a thing or two about insurgency, never mind courage. Mr Blair has agreed...
posted by A189Nut at 4:07 PM PST - 36 comments

A Soldier's Tale , featured on the always excellent Cursor, catches us up with Lynndie England (not to mention her hybrid child).
posted by malaprohibita at 3:46 PM PST - 22 comments

Newsfilter : Lightning exits woman's bottom. Unfortunately, there's no video.
posted by crunchland at 3:41 PM PST - 43 comments

Radio Lab! Already listened to everything This American Life offers or maybe looking for something a bit smarter and full of science? Maybe you'll like Radio Lab. Maybe you'll like the mind-blowing and historically expanding episode on music. Maybe older history is your cup of tea -- how about biblical times and how they sit in shoeboxes in Oxford. A stack of shows available via podcast, MP3 download (and some .RAM, sorry).
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:20 PM PST - 11 comments

(RED) is an initiative started by Bono and Bobby Shriver, to (Embrace) you in the fight against AIDS in Africa whenever you buy iconic red-colored products like the iPod, Amex card, Armani and others. A portion of the sales proceeds of each product goes to the Global Fund charity that gives away antiretroviral drugs to HIV infected people. Watch out for Bono painting the town red with/on Oprah today to mark its US release. Make friends with it on mySpace.
posted by forwebsites at 2:47 PM PST - 36 comments

Air samples over North Korea show no radiation "It is possible there was no radiological data. That could be the case if: the North Koreans successfully sealed the site; it was such a small detonation and so deep underground there was no escape of nuclear debris; or the test was actually conventional explosives."
posted by Artw at 2:10 PM PST - 57 comments

friday flash fun!
draw a line from the man to the flag and make him walk across it. watch out for the spikes!
posted by alona at 1:14 PM PST - 13 comments


Idol
posted by gwint at 12:20 PM PST - 87 comments

"I've seen what happened in Abu Ghraib, and Abu Ghraib was not torture." [brief youtube video, safe for work, only tortured analysis, no actual torture or sex]
"The bottom line was it was sex. . . . It wasn't primarily about torture."
posted by orthogonality at 10:00 AM PST - 75 comments

It is uncommon to fire all six shots of a revolver with great suddenness when one would probably be sufficient. (fearsome flash friday fun). Battle zombies and contemplate he whose name cannot be spoken. No, not him.
posted by blackfly at 9:34 AM PST - 34 comments

CBGB is closing at the end of the month. Yeah, newsfilter, NYCfilter, say what you will, and the club hasn't "mattered" in decades, but anyone who cares about punk rock will feel the pang. This should probably have been posted by jonmc, but I wanted to do it so I could highlight this excellent piece by Paul Collins; besides the inevitable "I played CBs" anecdote, there's some wonderful history of the site. [Quote inside.]
posted by languagehat at 8:48 AM PST - 110 comments

Canada troops battle 10-foot Afghan marijuana plants - Canadian troops fighting Taliban militants in Afghanistan have stumbled across an unexpected and potent enemy -- almost impenetrable forests of marijuana plants 10 feet tall.
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:41 AM PST - 73 comments

Good old flash friday.... waste away your friday with this ping-pong game
posted by djseafood at 7:46 AM PST - 14 comments

Totems. It's in japanese, but the point of the game is to click the little guys before they go away. (flash friday)
posted by empath at 6:42 AM PST - 20 comments

Gillo Pontecorvo, director, has died at 86. Most famous for his controversial classic, The Battle of Algiers (a movie whose relevence is still being felt ), he also directed numerous other films over a long career. Pontecorvo threads previously on mefi 1, 2
posted by Chrischris at 6:07 AM PST - 15 comments

In 1976, a young Bangladeshi economics professor named Muhammad Yunus founded Grameen Bank to implement microcredit — lending small sums to the very poorest members of society. Today, he and his bank share the Nobel Peace prize. Grameen, a profit-making company with social objectives, has lent $5.3bn to 6.4m people. 97% of borrowers are women, as Yunus believes [video] "men will do whatever they could to enjoy for themselves personally [but] women looked at it for the children, for the family and for the future."
posted by matthewr at 3:55 AM PST - 24 comments

Tell a story in 5 frames is a Flickr "group" and nothing more. Not every folksonomy succeeds as well as this one. "ride of your life" is a classic.
posted by paulsc at 2:06 AM PST - 15 comments

October 12

Some observations of a wanderer "was started primarily to organize and share the pictures [Matt Goff] had taken of Sitka over the years." When not blogging, Dr. Goff teaches mathematics at Sheldon Jackson College.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:11 PM PST - 2 comments

Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon as a soundtrack to its album art. Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 (YouTube). For another painstakingly minimalist (though livelier) tribute, Kenny G's Intelligent Design show on WFMU recently featured Nick the Bard's a cappella rendition of the entire album. Playlist & link to audio archive here.
posted by treepour at 9:37 PM PST - 26 comments

How to mess with a telemarketer. (audio)
posted by Wet Spot at 8:08 PM PST - 124 comments

Turkish Star Trek. For some reason, there's a one off Turkish cover version of The Man Trap, that old episode of ST:TOS with the salt monster that leeches saline from your body with its fingertips. And while it's been mentioned before, that was years ago, before the actual episode could be found on YouTube.
posted by jonson at 3:23 PM PST - 19 comments

Floyd Landis' Defense Onilne. Two pdfs of his defense, one zip file with a dozen documents supporting his claim.
posted by fixedgear at 3:20 PM PST - 25 comments

This American Life is now offering free podcasts. A while ago, someone noticed MP3s of This American Life episodes were sitting in a publicly accessible directory. People soon starting making podcasts. This American Life asked them to stop. Most of them did. Fans of the show were disappointed. Now the podcast is available directly from TAL for free.
posted by scottreynen at 3:08 PM PST - 53 comments

Imagine Earth Without People A great, non-hysterical article about what Earth would be like if we all, one day, vanished.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:50 PM PST - 71 comments

MADD has an interesting new ad campaign out that uses something a lot of designers tend to forget about when putting together a poster: the paper it's printed on.
posted by dead_ at 1:50 PM PST - 63 comments

Haiku Circus. Red autumn leaves blow./The monkey looks for laughs and/Finds Haiku Circus.
posted by John of Michigan at 1:08 PM PST - 31 comments

Leonardo comes to life. A stunning collection of short animations based on Leonardo da Vinci's sketchbooks. Watch a man running, a human heart beating, a tank moving, a bird flying, or a geometrical model rotating. Then visit the Universal Leonardo website to find out more about the man himself.
posted by verstegan at 12:19 PM PST - 14 comments

"As the Arabs see the Jews" by His Majesty King Abdullah, The American Magazine, November, 1947. This fascinating essay, written by King Hussein’s grandfather King Abdullah, appeared in the United States six months before the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
posted by four panels at 11:42 AM PST - 92 comments

The hard drive celebrates its 50th birthday Timothy Prickett Morgan reviews the history of the hard drive, introduced to the world in September, 1956 as the IBM 305 RAMAC . Imagine life without the hard drive, without the ability to store and quickly access bootlegged MP3 and video files and pr0n large data collections. (To anticipate, yes, Mr. Morgan may know the history of technology, but firearm nomenclature, perhaps not so much.) Also Tom's Hardware Guide interviews Seagate's Senior Field Applications Engineer, Henrique Atzkern, on the hard drive's future.
posted by mojohand at 11:20 AM PST - 19 comments

"Holler, holler, holler, till my throat get sore.
If it wasn't for the pretty girls, I wouldn't have to holler no more.
I say, Watermelon! Watermelon! [Also see the other pic links to the left.]
Got em red to the rind, lady." - Earl Dorsey, Arabber
Descriptions and pictures of Baltimore's disappearing horse and cart arable goods vendors.
posted by OmieWise at 11:19 AM PST - 9 comments

Emitt Rhodes "still doesn’t know what hit him. Thirty years ago, he was the new Paul McCartney, an ambitious kid who craved the perfect pop song. Then he got blindsided into submission by the heartless business of music. Now he’s just another sad guy with a boatload of talent that got buried in a black hole of depression."
posted by njm at 11:04 AM PST - 21 comments

How Not To Get Drunk is a newish blog that takes a quasi-scientific approach to the fine art of imbibing without embarassment. Maybe Ben Affleck (YouTube) should take some lessons.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:30 AM PST - 60 comments

Libertarians, the forgotten voters (pdf) For those on the trail of the elusive swing voter, it may be most notable that the libertarian vote shifted sharply in 2004. Libertarians preferred George W. Bush over Al Gore by 72 to 20 percent, but Bush’s margin dropped in 2004 to 59-38 over John Kerry. Congressional voting showed a similar swing from 2002 to 2004. Libertarians apparently became disillusioned with Republican overspending, social intolerance, civil liberties infringements, and the floundering war in Iraq. If that trend continues into 2006 and 2008, Republicans will lose elections they would otherwise win. (via Andrew Sullivan)
posted by caddis at 8:34 AM PST - 197 comments

Mark Warner shermans? Who will this leave as the moderate Democratic not-Hillary favorite of the"netroots?"
posted by orthogonality at 7:21 AM PST - 107 comments

Orhan Pamuk has been awarded the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature. The Nobel website has a short audio interview with Orhan Pamuk in English. Here is the AFP article which has a good rundown of his career. And finally, here's an essay he wrote this summer called Who do you write for?
posted by Kattullus at 6:18 AM PST - 44 comments

Swede plans to put little red cottage on the moon. Not content with having them dotted all over the countryside, Sweden is now considering putting a little red cottage on the moon. The idea, first conjured up by the artist Mikael Genberg seven years ago, may become reality with the help of the Swedish Space Corporation (SSC), according to N24.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:05 AM PST - 29 comments

Steven Foster is the perfect bartender. He wants to share his ontology, his reflections on what it means to be happy, bird aquariums, how to make margarita mix from scratch, solutions to the world's five most pressing problems [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or just read the summary on every page towards the bottom], and more drink recipes than you can shake a stick at. This man delivers.
posted by trinarian at 3:50 AM PST - 20 comments

October 11

Wondering what to do with your disquiet? Check out Protest.Net and see who's taking it to the streets in your area. Angry, but your town isn't listed? Don't worry, maybe you can find a ride on HitchHikers. Disgusted, but prefer a more decorous exchange? So do the folks at Progressive Secretary.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:41 PM PST - 14 comments

Both are open 24 hours a day, and serve as a "mecca" to their respective worshipers. One was ordained by Allah as a place of worship on Earth to reflect the house in Jannah called al-Baytu l-Maˤmur. The other was built by the house of Jobs to showcase Macs and iPods. Is Apple's Fifth Avenue Cube (QTVR) mocking the Kaaba? Some Islamic website thinks it's a new insult to Islam.
posted by jaimev at 10:14 PM PST - 97 comments

Linux filesystem developer Hans Reiser has been arrested on a charge of murder. Reiser and his company, Namesys, developed one of Linux's most popular filesystems, ReiserFS, and are currently working on the next generation, Reiser4. Reiser was interviewed by KernelTrap last year:
A willingness to believe that data indicates that one is wrong, and sometimes perhaps that everyone is wrong, is essential to a scientist. Boys think that being brilliant will make them a great scientist. Men know that, in the words of Sir Francis Bacon "men are imperfect mirrors of the creator". and that rigor, thoroughness, and a belief in data over consensus are what really matters. I am a blind man with a stick, and my contribution to society is that I ignorantly poke where none have poked before because I am more sure that I am such a fool I'd better check it than anyone else in my field. My only true insight into the field is knowing what a fool I am.
Reiser has sometimes been known as abrasive and arrogant in development circles, but no body has been found. The future of Reiser's two children remains unclear. [more @ arstechnica]
posted by nasreddin at 9:22 PM PST - 80 comments

Interactive Toxic Town from Natl Library Medicine This NLM link shows relatively small everyday sources of toxics around town. Most worry over envirodisasters like Love Canal and Libby Montana but toxics in homes, schools, and small biz can add up to a bigger dose for most of us. The toxic town thread from June 2nd shows the incredible scale of industrial negligance at the nasty sites. Time capsules are neat when you stumble into something gramps left in the attic to remember his hey day. But hazwaste sites are time capsules of a different sort, left behind by industries escaping their environmental liabilities. These sites tell the story of utter disregard for the environment and community as hazwaste was poured down floor drains, dumped into soil and unlined lagoons, or directed into nearby streams. Most of us live far enough away from these chemical bullseyes to not be directly affected. But even more unbelieveably, sometimes the industry was able to pawn off its waste as "clean fill", getting rid of the stuff and spreading it all over town. Prime examples: Grand Junction CO and Stratford CT. But you don't need that for your street to harbor toxic waste - there are thousands of small waste sites in various stages of discovery or cleanup embedded in every state, rural/suburban/urban towns alike. Leaking tanks beneath gas pumps, dry cleaners, small industry, farms, nurseries,and even some homes can be toxics hot spots. Vermont's statewide hazwaste site list broken down by town is an example - it would be smart to find the list for your town.
posted by whatstoxic at 8:30 PM PST - 12 comments

Anyone ever win McDonalds Monopoly? Mmmm.... It's McDonald's Monopoly season again! Looking for Boardwalk? Good luck. Where are the winners(pdf) now? Or is it all just a fraudulant scam? Mmm... I'm scoffing it!
posted by Gankmore at 8:06 PM PST - 26 comments

In 1974 Alexander Lipson wrote an excellent Russian language textbook: scanned highlights, complete book. However, its value goes beyond the merely pedagogical. via our very own metafilter udarnik languagehat.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 7:51 PM PST - 24 comments

Did you bring bottles? They gave away dishes, encyclopedias, and Batman toys to get you in the store. Most have been replaced by mega-groceries, but David Gwynn remembers the grocery chain ^ down the block.
posted by ?! at 7:40 PM PST - 19 comments

Answer Me! the first three, The Rape Issue, The Rape Board Game (includes Rape Dice), and Chocolate Impulse (Goad's hoax fanzine) Jim Goad has been called "The Most Dangerous Man in Publishing" by Penthouse magazine, as he's been writing some of America's most essential reading material in the past 10 years, including the rare white slavery document Redneck Manifesto and the powerful prison industry analysis of Shit Magnet. Answer Me! rereleased boxed set includes all the essential pieces for a collection that is worth getting for the investment value alone even if you arent a fan. Dig in !
posted by unpoppy at 6:38 PM PST - 74 comments

Helping Smokers Quit: A Role for Smokeless Tobacco? 45 million Americans still smoke, and 438,000 die each year, despite a 40-year intense public health campaign. Apart from 'quit or die', the third neglected option is smokeless tobacco. The linked report by the American Council on Science and Health describes the products and examines the risks.
posted by daksya at 6:16 PM PST - 50 comments


"Never in the history of gaming has a judge ever asked to review a game before its release — and that is going to happen here tomorrow.” Judge Friedman asks Take-Two to produce a final copy of Bully, while Wal-Mart is poised to release the game on Tuesday. Everyone's favorite game censor Jack Thompson (discussed here, and here) couldn't be happier, meanwhile those who've played it say it's without blood or gore and generally innocent.
To add more twists to this plot, the employee picked by Take-Two that will play almost 100 hours of the game for the judge might be unable to make the flight to Miami because of the earlier-mentioned crash of a helicopter plane into a manhattan high-rise
posted by revmitcz at 6:01 PM PST - 31 comments

"Most Surreal Moment - Watching Marines arrive at my detention facility and unload a truck load of flex-cuffed midgets. 26 to be exact." A Marine's observations from Al Anbar province.
posted by the duck by the oboe at 5:46 PM PST - 20 comments

A World War One sketchbook from an unknown soldier. Some of them are quite enigmatic.
posted by tellurian at 5:10 PM PST - 18 comments

The Automat was a remarkable, culturally ubiquitous part of the history of both Philadelphia and New York City. The basic concept wasn't unusual, but the Art Deco style was unique. Now, BAMN! Food has revived the concept and the name.
posted by scrump at 3:07 PM PST - 47 comments

Three years prior to the Superbowl Shuffle, another group of eventual sporting champions gathered in a Los Angeles studio to bring a powerful anti-drug message to the children.
posted by jonson at 2:39 PM PST - 13 comments

!WOm!WAm! WOMEN Doing Things To Men! An insane but illuminating website of bizarrely "wholesome" fetishism depicting examples of women attacking men from 50s/60s popular culture. (slightly NSFW)
posted by jonp72 at 1:47 PM PST - 10 comments

'I'm bringing Paxil back' [Quicktime]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 12:51 PM PST - 26 comments


Giant Madagascar Hissing Cockroach Brooch. These insects come in varied patterns and are decorated with the finest Austrian Swarovski crystal... All roaches are male to ensure sterility, and come complete with a leash set. People step on these things or feed them to other animals. We're giving them this really fabulous, beautiful life. Allegedly inspired by a joke. Product specimen shown in action here.
posted by brain_drain at 11:15 AM PST - 28 comments

Rosa Parks wants you to buy a Chevy!
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:10 AM PST - 64 comments

WaxDJ.com - an excellent source for free downloads and streams of original electronic music mixes of all sorts, from seasoned pros to beginning bedroom amatuers, all told numbering in the hundreds or thousands. My current brand new favorite is the very diverse and well-versed Detriot/Chicago techno stylings of DJ Rubsilent. Recomended mix: Future Funk 23: (Direct MP3 link) (Streaming mp3 link) But don't let me divert you - search for your favorite local DJ or browse for new ones.
posted by loquacious at 10:45 AM PST - 19 comments

the American God? The herders of this remote mountain village know little about America, but have learned from those who run a US-funded aid program about the American God. A Christian God. ...
posted by amberglow at 9:35 AM PST - 32 comments

The end of cursive? When handwritten essays were introduced on the SAT exams for the class of 2006, just 15 percent of the almost 1.5 million students wrote their answers in cursive. The rest? They printed. Block letters. "Cursive -- that is so low on the priority list, we really could care less. We are much more concerned that these kids pass their SOLs [standardized tests]."
posted by stbalbach at 7:03 AM PST - 243 comments

The invasion of Iraq may have caused 650,000 Iraqi deaths according to a study being published in the Lancet on Saturday. The work follows up a controversial late 2004 study by the same researchers that estimated "excess deaths" due to the conflict (at that time) to be 100,000. In response to criticism that the 2004 paper's margin of error was uselessly high (the 95% confidence interval was 8,000-194,000), the new results are based on a larger sample, yielding more reasonable range of 426,000-793,000. The paper is virtually guaranteed to reignite debate over the accuracy of the most widely cited source for Iraqi casualty information, the Iraq Body Count project (which currently gives a max of 48,893), and the media reports it relies on. The lead author, Les Roberts of John Hopkins, has said that the original study's publication was timed to influence the 2004 elections, and it would appear that this one is as well. [more inside]
posted by gsteff at 12:54 AM PST - 214 comments

October 10

Project Hotseat is an experimental way to send a message to U.S. midterm Congressional candidates. From the minds of Greenpeace.
posted by pwedza at 8:02 PM PST - 7 comments

An international manhunt is under way seeking the man who expressed his displeasure of Polish president Lech Kaczynski by forcefully expelling intestinal gas. No word on whether he did another for the president's twin brother, nor whether he will attempt arson by lighting these farts on fire.
posted by Kickstart70 at 7:23 PM PST - 31 comments


OH NO! THERE GOES TOKYO! GO GO GODZILLA! (Nearly) every Godzilla soundtrack. (Thanks to my girlfriend for hipping me to this)
posted by klangklangston at 3:22 PM PST - 28 comments

The whiskey containing the scorpion is left for several months, which then imparts a unique flavour into the whiskey; it is quite an acquired taste. Tasty pregnant small crickets in salt water brine. Real Cobra Snake whiskey is infused with a real farm raised Cobra snake, ginseng roots and seed pods. All these and more, sold here.
posted by jonson at 1:47 PM PST - 52 comments

Apple has its own mystery blogger. Not to be outdone by Microsoft's secretive Mini Microsoft, Apple now has its own anonymous blogger (except with a less attractive blog and more spelling mistakes). There's not too much there at the moment, but how long can they last before being shut down? via Scoble
posted by TheDonF at 1:38 PM PST - 24 comments

Giant Concrete Caterpillar. Driving on I35 south out of Dallas to Austin, you pass through Italy, Texas, and on the side of the road is Bruco, the Texas Italian Caterpillar, and the home of the Monolithic Dome Institute, makers of fine homes, restaurants, and churches. These domes are green and disaster resistant. (See previous thread). They also can be visually interesting. These domes are concrete as opposed to R. Buckminster Fuller's Geodesic domes, such as Epcot Center or the incredibly interesting Eden Project.
posted by dios at 1:08 PM PST - 19 comments

David Beamer, father of Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer stars in new 527 political TV ad... Misleading? (youtube link)
posted by DougieZero1982 at 12:34 PM PST - 66 comments

Spice Test. [warning: jackass style antics]
posted by delmoi at 12:04 PM PST - 23 comments


PSA: Want to get out of your Sprint - Nextel wireless contract without paying a penalty? Thanks to the fine print in their contracts, Sprint must give many that option— but only until Oct. 31st. (USAfilter)
posted by spock at 11:05 AM PST - 16 comments

Spam Paint repurposes comment spam.
posted by eustacescrubb at 10:56 AM PST - 4 comments

Thelonious Sphere Monk's birthday is today and WKCR will not stop playing his music untill after midnight
posted by hortense at 9:15 AM PST - 49 comments

Impossible Is Nothing. Yale student applies for job on Wall Street, includes video detailing his physical prowess and philosophy of success. Hilarity ensues: "He single-handedly decreased trading volumes over the last two hours of the day because everyone was laughing too hard." Perhaps not surprisingly, there are some problems with his story.
posted by Gamblor at 9:01 AM PST - 156 comments

Choose and Watch Television stations streaming effortlessly to your computer. (via A Welsh View)
posted by caddis at 8:52 AM PST - 14 comments

Google Trends now includes chart information about what people are listening to while using Google Talk. Some genres have questionable entries, but it's still fascinating for chart followers. Mind you, I don't remember signing off on sharing that information when I got the new version of Google Talk...
posted by beaucoupkevin at 8:10 AM PST - 25 comments


The Sandbox A Doonesbury driven non-partisan non-policy community blog on the details of being human in a global war on terror.
posted by srboisvert at 3:21 AM PST - 22 comments

P2P is a sin [bugmenot]
posted by PenguinBukkake at 2:15 AM PST - 35 comments

SecondLife under attack from self-replicating grey goo. Worried about your avatar? Escape back to meatspace. Scripts not included on meatspace objects. Exporting self-replicating grey goo objects currently not available. (via boing boing) Free t-shirt not included.
posted by loquacious at 2:10 AM PST - 70 comments

18DoughtyStreet Talk TV - 'the home of anti-establishment TV' launches today (they do seem to have fallen a bit behind on their blog though). [trailer] The two main presenters are Tim Montgomerie and Iain Dale. Anti-establishment?
posted by tellurian at 1:03 AM PST - 6 comments

Hitch 50. Starting at 10:00am Tuesday in NYC, these two guys will be attempting to visit all 50 state capitals in 50 days or less by hitchhiking. (No word yet on how they're going to get to Honolulu.) Despite falling out of fashion in the US in the 1980s, thumbing a ride is still a safe and sustainable means of transportation, even for female hitchers, and those who'd rather call it by other names. Good luck Scotty and Fiddy.
posted by toxic at 12:29 AM PST - 20 comments

October 9


The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed - H. L. Mencken (Still, if I were you, I'd ditch my copy of Blue Lagoon . . .)
posted by Crotalus at 7:46 PM PST - 40 comments

April may be the cruelest month, but November is rough on turkeys. Perhaps coincidally, it's also National Novel Writing Month, as you may recall.
posted by owhydididoit at 7:35 PM PST - 29 comments

Lieutenant Commander Charles Swift is the Navy lawyer who took the case of defending Salim Ahmed Hamdan (aka Osama bin Laden's driver). A quick plea-bargain was expected, but Swift managed to get his client a hearing before the Supreme Court in Hamdan v. Rumsfeld. While a complicated and nuanced decision, most would agree that "Swift, one of five judge advocate general lawyers assigned to represent the first round of commission defendants, determinedly stepped through this looking glass, defying skepticism at home and abroad that he and his colleagues would do more than a perfunctory job." However, despite all of his efforts and obvious legal abilities, he was recently passed over for promotion and effectively fired under the military's "up or out" promotion system. (Previously: [1] [2] [3])
posted by bardic at 6:27 PM PST - 30 comments

"They say, 'get bent,' we say, 'let's fight!'" A protest at Columbia University and Minutemen (NYT link) are forced off stage.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:01 PM PST - 192 comments

Underground Wonderland The RISD Museum is hosting a retrospective of Providence's DIY marketing approach to underground shows. The exhibit, with every wall plastered from floor to ceiling, feels like a time-capsule. Fort Thunder and its associated bands has been mentioned here on the blue before, but the sense of community that comes through, and which still runs through Providence's subcultures thanks to individuals like Ryan Lesser and his "Lots of Noise" site deserves yet another post. Be sure to check out the Lots of Noise image and photo gallery for more fun stuff. (No direct links, sorry!)
posted by stagewhisper at 2:53 PM PST - 7 comments

Google buys YouTube. $1.65 billion dollars is enough for Google to buy the number one video streaming site on the net.
posted by andreaazure at 1:46 PM PST - 118 comments

The Boneyard at the Neon Museum (Google Map view from above) is where old Vegas casino signs go to die; while the sign graveyard is only open by appointment, a virtual tour courtesy of these Flickr sets is the next best thing to a visit in person for fans of decaying gaudiness & faded glamour.
posted by jonson at 1:44 PM PST - 7 comments

Nihongo Bongo! - Latin music by Japanese artists from the 40s, 50s and 60s. "Mambo, rumba, cha cha cha, bossa nova, calypso, you name it... it was big in Japan. The exodus of Japanese migrants to Brazil ensured a lasting connection with South American culture as many Japanese artists toured Brazil."
posted by carter at 1:40 PM PST - 14 comments

Bitflicks : very large and accurate representations of video games made out of Lego blocks.
posted by boo_radley at 1:03 PM PST - 10 comments



It’s NYC’s 4th Annual Architecture Week! These seven days included a weekend of free exhibitions: Five boroughs of interesting locations to see! Download MP3’s of "podcast tours" for selected sites. Missed it? Don’t worry, you can catch up.
posted by bodega at 8:22 AM PST - 4 comments

My parents are dead! Scott Kurtz of PvP brings us "a sprawling epic that examines the deep inner psyche of Batman." In six pages. No apologies to Frank Miller.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:59 AM PST - 94 comments


Art is power. Two of London's biggest names in art just went head to head. Yesterday the Serpentine Gallery opened an exhibition by new Chinese artists in Battersea Power Station, allowing the public to see inside the city's greatest piece of abandoned architecture for the first time. Not to be outdone the Tate Modern, the other London art gallery built in an abandoned power station, hits back with its new interactive exhibit tomorrow.
posted by Hogshead at 7:16 AM PST - 15 comments

ABC Australia reports on plagiarism of Wikipedia by traditional media.
posted by jedro at 5:05 AM PST - 39 comments

The Incredible Mouth Band is the product of an idea. The idea was simple: Instead of people actually playing their instruments, why don't they just say their names out loud, to the rhythm of the music?

note: The organist tends to get a lil' creepy. Do not watch late at night if that kind of thing bothers you.
posted by alona at 4:10 AM PST - 14 comments

October 8


North Korea pops a cap
posted by hortense at 8:46 PM PST - 222 comments

Looking for a new religion? Something to save your soul? Do you like Elephants? Then consider becoming a Babarist, a new religion that is seeking to spread the word of Babar. Followers seek to influence and enhance every facet of their lives by asking "What would Babar do?"
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:29 PM PST - 6 comments

People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI) a.k.a. Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) Apparently they now work for us and are inside Iran. Could lead to similar results as the Gulf of Tonkin.
posted by andywolf at 7:04 PM PST - 12 comments

"My roommate got a pet elephant. Then it got lost." (For weeks I've been collecting special elephant links for a FPP; I guess I'm late again. So here we go.) Time for a Thai Massage (Includes a Thai Massage). Elephants on LSD. Elephants playing soccer. And Elephant encyclopedia. Christopher Bahn posted a large collection of Links about Elephants on “Incoming Signals”. Off-subject: Crazy German bikers, female bodybuilders and Velada Romántica
posted by growabrain at 6:25 PM PST - 4 comments

Another fucking elephant post. This one however is followed up by a link to inhumanly good animation done by another French dude at the same company.
posted by 6am at 5:13 PM PST - 22 comments

12xux12
posted by bardic at 5:10 PM PST - 14 comments

The Thain's Book is an online encyclopedia of Middle-earth in the Third Age. Oh, you're an expert? Take the Middle-earth Challenge and prove it!
posted by owhydididoit at 4:45 PM PST - 11 comments

Oliphaunts were one of the many amazing sights Sam Gamgee wished to see when he left The Shire. He immortalized the mighty beast in a song, and many other have paid tribute over the years. Origami, a design firm, and even a political cartoonist, it is clear that everyone who's anyone loves them some Oliphaunt. They even have their own urban dictionary entry, and a rather unflattering variant. Be careul not to confuse them with the Mastodon. Nor should be they be considered simple war elephants. The Oliphaunt towers over them all.
posted by sparkletone at 4:06 PM PST - 8 comments

Tribute (K-fed)
modern artwork by Colby Bird
posted by carsonb at 3:31 PM PST - 21 comments

Why is the elephant the symbol of the GOP? In large part, we can thank cartoonist Thomas Nast, who, on November 7 of 1874, published this cartoon, showing Republicans as a rampaging elephant tearing up the flimsy planks of the Democratic Party. He wasn't just a man who made elephants though; considered to be the father of political cartooning, Nast's illustrations helped bring down Boss Tweed, argued for the abolition of slavery, and hated the Irish.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:36 PM PST - 20 comments


Never underestimate the powers of elephant sex. It's linked to the human sixth sense, it's been the subject of symbolic controversy, and it's even inspired new methods of artificial insemination. And what of interspecies sex? Purely hypothetical given a two-party system.
posted by ed at 1:56 PM PST - 2 comments

Around A.D. 800, the storied Caliph Haroun Al-Raschid sent a diplomatic delegation some two thousand miles from Baghdad to Aachen, the seat of Charlemagne's empire. Among the many gifts for the Frankish ruler that accompanied the delegation was Abul-Abbas, the first recorded elephant north of the Alps.
posted by Iridic at 1:49 PM PST - 4 comments

Peale’s Mastodon by Paul Semonin. "The skeleton preoccupied American patriots for another reason less scientific in nature–one which helps to explain why its bones were eagerly sought after by the Founding Fathers during and after the Revolutionary War. For many Americans, the great beast had become a symbol of the new nation’s own conquering spirit–an emblem of overwhelming power in a psychologically insecure society." An interesting article about Americans trying to understand mammoths, from Common-Place, the web magazine of early American history. Semion wrote a book on the topic, American Monster.
posted by LarryC at 1:49 PM PST - 4 comments

Giant Spiders is a website run by Guy Tansley, who spends his time collecting and photographing mankind's greatest known enemy, the Giant Spider, hopefully immediately prior to crushing them to death.
posted by jonson at 1:20 PM PST - 28 comments

Philadelphia Zoo will close Elephant Exhibit, America's "Oldest Zoo" announced Thursday - becoming the 11th zoo in the US to stop displaying elephants since the Detroit Zoo made such a decision two years ago. Is this officially a trend yet?
posted by soyjoy at 12:55 PM PST - 22 comments

Miniature earth is a flash movie of the results of the 'State of the Village' report by Donella Meadows in the 1990's.
posted by darsh at 12:47 PM PST - 29 comments

Snuffy has a posse. From his hero (Big Bird, of course, as well as "John William Konevich II's Bald F***ing head and those who worship it") to his friends (the Notorious PIG among them) to his friends' comments, Mr Aloysius Snuffleupagus' myspace page is thoroughly entertaining. (previously on MeFi)
posted by nevercalm at 12:37 PM PST - 7 comments

We all know what it is. We've all seen it, or heard of it. Maybe it's hard to talk about it. At any rate, we don't, generally. Or at least we're said not to. In fact, it seems that we do refer to it pretty often. It's interesting how all of the uses end up pointing to problems in the pachyderm population itself, from population pressures to captivity. Of course, the Victorians started the tradition with a particular item of interior furnishings, which forms the basis of a game, and may be the foundations of pachyderm communications.
posted by mwhybark at 11:56 AM PST - 8 comments

Baseball's White Elephants: When the Philadelphia Athletics joined the American League, Muggsy McGraw derided the team as White Elephants ^. Though the team has moved on, the Philadelphia Athletics Historical Society still follows the Elephant Trail.
posted by ?! at 11:34 AM PST - 6 comments

Elephant Never Forgets.
posted by gwint at 11:26 AM PST - 10 comments

baby elephant walk
baby elephant walk
baby elephant walk
posted by cortex at 11:25 AM PST - 12 comments


Should Mumbai ban elephants from the city? They're already using microchipped to crack down on "illegal elephants" being used for begging. Is this the next step?
posted by reklaw at 10:28 AM PST - 11 comments

Elephant Rage might just tell us a lot about ourselves. There are rehab programs for elephants [mefi thread], and perhaps the ones for human victims can paired . This would be a pretty big step in acknowledging the trans-species psyche. Could this lead to a scientific revultion? Should it lead to an ethical one?
posted by cal71 at 10:14 AM PST - 18 comments

In 1955 the Pajero Valley Historical Association erected a monument... which reads : * "Charley Darkey Parkhurst (1812-1879) Noted whip of the gold rush days drove stage over Mt. Madonna in early days of Valley. Last run San Juan to Santa Cruz. Death in cabin near the 7 mile house. Revealed 'one eyed Charlie' a woman. First woman to vote in the U.S. November 3, 1868."
posted by 445supermag at 9:14 AM PST - 8 comments

The Weather Channel launches One Degree, a broadband channel dedicated to global warming - for the "weather obsessed", sexy-voiced climatologists Heidi Cullen brings global warming mainstream. Are you a "climatechanger"?
posted by stbalbach at 7:09 AM PST - 9 comments

Introduction to Traditional Wetshaving [YouTube playlist]
posted by Sharcho at 3:39 AM PST - 45 comments

The John Whitney Music Box Variations are (currently) 17 nifty Flash sound/color objects based on the harmonics and algorithmic animation work of John Whitney, from the same fine fellow who brought us CoverPop and ColrPickr.
posted by loquacious at 1:44 AM PST - 15 comments

October 7

So, what is an "actroid"? It's an android actor, and you can rent one for $3500 for 5 days, to do presentations at shows or whatever else you want. They come in a number of configurations and wear a variety of costumes. The latest one, Actroid DER2,  is shown on this page in several high quality stills and 3 WMVs (in Japanese; click thumbnails and links immediately below thumbnails). Why is she wearing a "Hello Kitty" T-shirt? Because she was created by Kokoro, a member company of the Sanrio Group, which also does the majority of "Hello Kitty" merchandising. So are they working on a robotic Hello Kitty? If you need me, I'll be hiding under my bed.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:51 PM PST - 29 comments

No running in PE. I was talking to my kids about school the other day. We were discussing what they do in their different classes and the conversation came around to physical education (PE). I was shocked when they told me that their gym teacher forbids running in PE class. What?! No running in PE? It’s true.
posted by John of Michigan at 5:06 PM PST - 92 comments

A recently discovered species of polychaete annelid worm dating from the Silurian now bears the name of Motorhead fronstman, Lemmy Kilmister.
posted by owhydididoit at 4:43 PM PST - 28 comments

Blake Leyh Sound designer for such films as The Abyss; Frida; Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Y Tu Mama Tambien, and many others has a music blog. He also composed the end credit music for HBO's The Wire, which may be the best television show ever made.
posted by vronsky at 4:42 PM PST - 20 comments

Historic Glass Bottles. Bill Lindsey of the BLM created a tremendous resource to assist you in identifying and dating most utilitarian glass bottles and jars produced in the United States and Canada between the early 1800s and 1950s. Check out information on glassmaking, bottle dating, and bottle types. Of particular interest to me are the pages on liquor, wine, and beer bottles.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:55 PM PST - 14 comments

Fixed Gear Gallery.
posted by hama7 at 3:53 PM PST - 55 comments

A plea to save New Scientist magazine from SF author and programmer Greg Egan (whose home page crashes my browser at the moment).
posted by thatwhichfalls at 3:50 PM PST - 33 comments

The Kameny Papers Project preserved and presents the papers of gay rights pioneer Franklin Kameny, who had activists picketing the White House in 1965, well before Stonewall. The website includes a nice archive of his papers, including correspondence, a small photo gallery, and some charming hate mail from members of Congress. See also the Franklin Kameny pages at the Rainbow History Project. Yesterday, the Library of Congress accepted Kameny's papers. [via Andrew Sullivan]
posted by LarryC at 1:14 PM PST - 9 comments

Newsfilter: Chechen war reporter found dead - Anna Politkovskaya. Courageous reporting from the "forgotten" conflicts in Caucasus. I guess she found out the truth too often.
posted by hoskala at 1:12 PM PST - 26 comments

Hi, mom ! Mars Orbiter takes a picture of Mars Rover on the lip of Victoria Crater with the HiRISE camera.
posted by y2karl at 11:53 AM PST - 20 comments

Sex education of trainables, a 1970's instructional video for educating the mentally handicapped about human sexuality is just one of the many excellent ephemera uploaded to Google Video by Slave to the Man Productions. Along the same lines (from the collection) are Parents Talk to Children About Sex and Walt Disney's Attack Plan for Syphilis.
posted by jonson at 11:08 AM PST - 22 comments

Make like a knight and generate your own simple heraldic shield. The venerable Pimbley's Dictionary of Heraldry can define the archaic blazoning terms that the Generator uses. If you'd prefer a more modern, more casual emblem, try the Official Seal Generator.
posted by Iridic at 9:09 AM PST - 11 comments



Hotel Bed Jumping
posted by delmoi at 1:39 AM PST - 33 comments

October 6

Confirmed Judges, Confirmed Fears. "Federal appeals court judges nominated by President Bush are threatening and undermining Americans’ rights and liberties, and working to reduce congressional authority to protect those rights and liberties, according to a legal analysis (PDF) published today by People For the American Way Foundation." [Via Talkleft.]
posted by homunculus at 10:13 PM PST - 20 comments

The Bitchun Society is now open for all of your Whuffie-market needs. Or cynical mocking, take your pick. Via (of course) BoingBoing. Can a brother get a ping? Confused?
posted by loquacious at 8:18 PM PST - 58 comments

Disney's The Little Mermaid - WMV W/NSFW Audio by Out of Bounds troupe, Brown University
posted by riotgrrl69 at 4:42 PM PST - 26 comments

GOBOTS! Remember Cy-Kill, Turbo, BuggyMan, the unfortunately named Dumper, the much-maligned Scooter, and the rest of the original GoBots? How about the Super Gobots? The commercials (1, 2)? The Challenge of the GoBots? And whatever this is? The last four links are videos, FYI.
posted by brain_drain at 3:14 PM PST - 52 comments

I am facing forclosure A 24-year-old kid who leveraged eight houses in a dropping market with no-down loans from television get-rich-quick seminars is now $2.2 million in debt. Thanks, Donald Trump, you twat.
posted by parmanparman at 2:41 PM PST - 118 comments

An interesting link breaking apart the myths of religious affiliation and the divorce rate. They also take on divorce rates in interfaith couples.
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:56 AM PST - 82 comments

Hooray for Kinky Friedman -- Friedman isn't going to solve Texas' problems, but neither is any other politician. The whole premise of his campaign is to mock the process—as his slogan goes, "How hard can it be?"
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:07 AM PST - 93 comments

Al Columbia.com - Newly launched website of one of comics most elusive and gifted/uncompromising creators. (more images) (a personal favorite) (also) (via) - some image links NSFW.
posted by Peter H at 9:58 AM PST - 14 comments

Float (youtube) is the first of a series of short films designed to stir the imagination. The brief film shows the streets of Melbourne as the letters & numbers from every sign in town begin to peel off & float away on the wind. The project lives here, and open contributions are being listed here.
posted by jonson at 9:23 AM PST - 16 comments


The new series of the Gervais/Merchant sitcom "Extras" can be streamed from the BBC's website. This series is really excellent. There are two quality settings and Windows Media/Realplayer streams are available. Shows are only available for a few weeks after broadcast but there is still much to enjoy!
posted by mokey at 8:30 AM PST - 33 comments

Text Etc. is a sprawling, highly engaging, nearly obsessive look at the craft and theory of poetry, including sound patterning, fractal criticism, poetry heresies, brief, clear intros to theorists like Bakhtin, Lacan and Foucault, writing instruction and much more.
posted by mediareport at 8:15 AM PST - 11 comments

Folkstreams.net has two goals. One is to build a national preserve of hard-to-find documentary films about American folk or roots cultures. The other is to give them renewed life by streaming them on the internet. The films were produced by independent filmmakers in a golden age that began in the 1960s and was made possible by the development first of portable cameras and then capacity for synch sound. Their films focus on the culture, struggles, and arts of unnoticed Americans from many different regions and communities. The filmmakers were driven more by sheer engagement with the people and their traditions than by commercial hopes. Their films have unusual subjects, odd lengths, and talkers who do not speak "broadcast English." Although they won prizes at film festivals, were used in college classes, and occasionally were shown on PBS, they found few outlets in venues like theaters, video shops or commercial television. But they have permanent value...
folkstreams.net Currently streaming are the films The Land Where the Blues Began , Cajun Country , Jazz Parades: Feet Don't Fail Me Now , Talking Feet: Solo Southern Dance: Buck, Flatfoot and Tap , Ray Lum: Mule Trader and Pizza Pizza Daddy-O , among many others.
posted by y2karl at 6:19 AM PST - 14 comments

Battle of the Bands. [QT, NSFW] Album cover animation. More at Motionographer.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:02 AM PST - 18 comments

October 5


Termination of Intractable Hiccups with Digital Rectal Massage. The Annoying Frequency of Fingernails on a Blackboard. How Many Blinking Photographs Does it Take? The 2006 Ig Nobels.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:14 PM PST - 33 comments

Nietzsche Family Circus : Family Circus cartoons randomly combined with quotes from Nietzsche. Remixing Family Circus is nothing new, but I find this one fascinating.
posted by Lirp at 8:43 PM PST - 30 comments

Do you want a titty blow mastrubator? Comedian mericilessly mocks bad sex toy packaging. The question is- does she use them?
posted by juliarothbort at 8:26 PM PST - 15 comments

Popular art teacher, Sydney McGee, a teacher for 28 years at the Wilma Fisher Elementary School in Frisco, Texas, was suspended from her job on September 22. Her infraction? Exposing her students to "nude art" during a visit to the Dallas Museum of Art. "One of her students saw nude art in the museum, and after the child’s parent complained, the teacher was suspended."

[A situation similar to that of teacher Pete Panse previously discussed here?]
posted by ericb at 6:05 PM PST - 127 comments

The sound of the Universe being born. University of Washington professor calculates the frequencies of sound waves propagating through the Universe during its first 760,000 years by analyzing small differences in sky temperature. More information here and here.
posted by zaebiz at 5:39 PM PST - 26 comments

Both Find a Flu Shot and Flu Clinic Locator will let you punch in a date & zip code and find a bunch of locations near you in the U.S. selling the vaccine. For the first time in three years there's plenty to go around. The CDC estimates that everyone who might want one will be able to get one. And you probably want one. According to wikipedia "36,000 people per year in the United States die from influenza, and 114,000 per year are admitted to a hospital as a result of influenza. According to estimates by the World Health Organization, between 250,000 and 500,000 die from influenza infection each year worldwide." That's 5 to 10 times as many civilian casualties as the Iraq conflict in 1/3 the time. [more inside]
posted by phearlez at 3:01 PM PST - 46 comments

Music for One Apartment and Six Drummers. (Google Video.) Sort of like Stomp, except Scandihoovian and, you know, not totally embarrassing to like.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:57 PM PST - 16 comments

To help enforce the genuine advantage, Microsoft will include a "kill switch" in Vista--if it's not validated within a specified time, all of its functions except web browsing are locked down and the machine automatically kicks you out after an hour. Will it mean more Linux users, an excuse to just use Google desktop, or is it just a matter of time until this, too, gets cracked?
posted by camcgee at 2:09 PM PST - 136 comments

America's worst school violence ever was not a recent event, but the Bath School disaster of 1927. Andrew Kehoe, a school board member upset with his tax bill, used dynamite and some pyrotol from WWI-era military surplus to blow himself up along with the elementary school of Bath Township, Michigan, leaving 45 dead and 58 injured. See a 1927 book on the disaster, a list of victims, the coroner's inquest, a historical marker, a memorial park, an oral history from a witness, and a 1920s KKK rant denouncing Kehoe as an agent of the Roman Catholic conspiracy.
posted by jonp72 at 1:45 PM PST - 14 comments

What does everyone called Gary Smith, John Williams or Robert Johnson have in common with Saddam Hussein, the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon, the President of Bolivia, and the dead 9/11 hijackers? They're on the No-Fly List, that's what, even if they're babies. But the 11 British suspects recently charged with plotting to blow up airliners with liquid explosives were not on it, despite the fact they were under surveillance for more than a year. They were deliberately left off the list. in case it fell into the wrong hands.
posted by unSane at 12:14 PM PST - 65 comments

The Bijlmermeer Disaster Yesterday marked the anniversary of the 1992 crash of El Al Flight 1862 into the Amersterdam neighborhood of Bijlmermeer, "whose sordid aftermath opened up a whole can of worms relating to secret weapons trafficking and unaccountable government." Six years after the crash, an investigation revealed that the flight had been carrying three of the four chemicals needed for Sarin.
posted by frecklefaerie at 12:03 PM PST - 19 comments

The world's longest undefended border apparently gives the U.S. enough freedom to send in the FBI for routine investigations in another country. Of course, this is not the first time that American authorities operated illegally in Canada. How would Americans feel if it was the other way around? Pretty funny, eh?
posted by Kickstart70 at 11:34 AM PST - 42 comments


Web 2.0 is pretty played out. Today's new buzzphrase: "the chmod 777 web." [via Technically Speaking]
posted by GuyZero at 9:53 AM PST - 74 comments

Protecting your privacy on Craig's List. Sex blogger Violet Blue re-assures Craig's List users with a list of tips to protect yourself from the new scammers who harvest your pictures and emails, and then publish them on the web.
posted by destinyland at 9:32 AM PST - 30 comments

It's October, and across the nation, the search for the most sincere Pumpkin Patch begins anew. For those unfamiliar (or those wishing to reacquaint themselves) with the rituals & lore of the Great Pumpkin, the entire CBS Special is online here. Also, for the blind readers of this site, the long out-of-print spoken word radiodrama version of the Great Pumpkin can be found here.
posted by jonson at 9:18 AM PST - 12 comments

Executive Coloring Book. The original 1961 edition. There have been imitations: The Account Executive Coloring Book and A Coloring Book for Lawyers. (via The Presurfer and TextUrl)
posted by caddis at 9:03 AM PST - 29 comments

HIV is a gay disease.
posted by thirteenkiller at 8:56 AM PST - 87 comments

Good coders borrow. Great coders steal. Google Code Search, originally developed as an internal tool to search their volumes of source code, has been expanded to include many major open-source repositories, and released via Google Labs. Who knows what lurks in the heart of cvs?
posted by mkultra at 7:38 AM PST - 42 comments

Teleportation Breakthrough. Until now scientists have teleported similar objects such as light or single atoms over short distances from one spot to another in a split second. But Professor Eugene Polzik and his team at the Niels Bohr Institute at Copenhagen University in Denmark have made a breakthrough by using both light and matter. A more technical explanation.
posted by empath at 6:30 AM PST - 67 comments

The Navier-Stokes equations constitute the fundamental equations that describe fluid mechanics, and are used everywhere from atmospheric science to airplane design. Proof of the existence of a smooth solution to the Navier-Stokes equations in 3-dimensions is considered a challenging problem, so challenging that the Clay Math Institute has offered a million dollars to anyone who can do so. Has it been done? (More detailed explanation). (via)
posted by onalark at 6:28 AM PST - 17 comments

The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive Is the recently aired work of Stephen Fry. [1][2] a well know english comedian diagnosed as manic-depressive.Now also know as bipolar disorder manic-depression is a class of mood disorders in which the person experiences clinical depression and/or mania, hypomania, and/or mixed states; a rollercoaster of highs and lows.Fry's work and personal involvment help shine a spotlight on a condition obscured by the stigma associated with mental disorders.
posted by elpapacito at 6:26 AM PST - 27 comments

Military hones a new strategy on insurgency (NYT) Perhaps someone in the Pentagon has finally watched The Battle of Algiers (and learned a lesson from it)?
posted by dylanjames at 5:43 AM PST - 36 comments

At 1400 CET today, (in Swedish) the Swedish Riksdag is expected to elect Fredrik Reinfeldt (again, in Swedish) as Swedish Prime Minister, replacing Göran Persson, the Social Democrat who has been in power for 12 years. Reinfeldt is head of the Alliance of four "borgerliga" (literally, non-socialist) parties who won a majority of seats in the riksdag on the September 17th election. The alliance promises "a better government than the ruling left-wing cartel."
posted by three blind mice at 4:09 AM PST - 12 comments

October 4

Music in the Head
posted by persona non grata at 10:57 PM PST - 24 comments

The Third Party aims to "creat[e] a platform truly of and by the people." They have a PoliticWiki, a list of 38 other parties' web sites, as well as essays and commentary, but the Convention Floor is where the action is.
posted by owhydididoit at 10:50 PM PST - 42 comments

Scientific visualization challenge 2006: This year's winners captured inner details of a child mummy, mathematical surfaces rendered as glass objects, the highest mountain on Earth, air traffic by night, etc...
posted by dhruva at 10:13 PM PST - 10 comments

Candy. Bureaucracy. Memory. The Daily Collage Project, from Dilar Pereira in Portugal. [via]
posted by mediareport at 9:41 PM PST - 6 comments

Here is the Mississippi John Hurt Blues Foundation, the website, which is the creation of one Frank Delaney of Spokane. There's a great deal of guitar related material and a page of mp3's by fans, which includes several interesting originals by one Fred Bolden, a grand nephew. I always knew he had a son who played guitar and wondered why no one had ever tried to record him. Now there is a grand nephew playing, if nowhere near as sublimely as his great uncle, in roughly the same style.

Here is an interview of John Hurt from 1963, courtesy of Stefan Grossman's guitar video empire. It is a real delight.

Consider this a follow up to this post. Not all of the links there are good. The Mississippi John Hurt Guitar Tab Book, for instance, is now available only in PDF format but well worth the download. And here is an illustrated discography of John Hurt by another Stefan, Stefan Wirz, a subject of yet another post back in the day.
posted by y2karl at 9:04 PM PST - 19 comments

Freemasonry has a long history of accusations of evil conspiratorial machinations, both in print and elsewhere. But it seems that, if you ask most Masons, they're just in it for the booze. Now, the newspaper of record is taking a look at the Masons' efforts to open up to the public in this post-Da Vinci code age.
posted by huskerdont at 8:51 PM PST - 49 comments

The Specter of Recession in 2007. With the US housing bubble falling for the first time in over a decade, oil traders are dumping inventories (and driving down prices) in fear of a US-led global recession brought on by the end of the biggest housing bubble in history. Previous.
posted by stbalbach at 8:06 PM PST - 40 comments

Analog by Design: Reality TV for Design Engineers (autoloads Flash with sound). Author, self-proclaimed Czar of Bandgaps, and minor hero to many scientists and engineers Robert Pease now has an online video podcast.
posted by fatllama at 6:38 PM PST - 6 comments

The Motley Fool's new CAPS stock-picking system keeps track of your stock picks and whether they outperformed or underperformed the market. Then everyone's picks are aggregated, weighted by the quality of their past records, to rank individual stocks. Here's how it works. (more inside)
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:49 PM PST - 13 comments

The Work of Carol Rambo. (Warning, these articles are all PDF or .doc format.) Carol Rambo is a professor of sociology who paid her way through school by working as an exotic dancer. Rambo has written articles on the sociology of strip clubs, drawing upon her own experience as an exotic dancer. In one article, Rambo writes about "the discourse of deviance" that exotic dancers use to "organize their identities" in a process Rambo calls "narrative resistance." In another article, she writes about the concept of old age as it affects exotic dancers. In a third article, drawing upon her own experiences as a "table dancer," Rambo writes about "Interactional strategies that table dancers use to cultivate counterfeit intimacy," and she concludes that dancers manage to "carve out an autonomous niche in an otherwise oppressive context." Also interesting is her article on growing up as the daughter of a mentally retarded mother, "On Loving and Hating My Mentally Retarded Mother."
posted by jayder at 4:05 PM PST - 54 comments

Ima Gangsta -- the motivation and the regret. "San Francisco has an out of control gang violence problem, but what motivates young people to join gangs? Ruben City Palomares -- in his first film -- explores the reasons young homies choose to get jumped into a gang and reveals the lifetime of regret older gang members carry as a result of their fateful decision to be a gangsta. Palomares, 16, is a filmmaker with Conscious Youth Media Crew."
posted by derangedlarid at 11:01 AM PST - 23 comments

Promoting Literacy, Promoting Google at the Frankfurt Book Fair. Google's Literacy Project aims to become an essential resource for educators, though it also seems to be a promotion for all of Google's other services. Participants include 826NYC and UNESCO's Lifelong Learning Project. Quite cool is the mapping feature to help literacy groups find each other.
posted by cal71 at 10:43 AM PST - 3 comments

What Good Are the Arts? asks John Carey’s recent book of the same name. The New Criterion think Carey’s thesis is informed by cynical political motives rather than earnest convictions, and accuses Carey of dabbling in the risky art of aesthetic relativism: Obviously, art is ultimately about “the search for truth” (a lesson we’d do well to remember before society falls apart). But as Carey and others point out to the contrary, the Third Reich was all about art—and yet, art under the Third Reich had precious little to do with “searching for truth.” So just what good are the arts? Here’s what a few others have to say on the subject.
posted by saulgoodman at 10:26 AM PST - 45 comments

Radio Sherpa We show you what is playing on your favorite radio station right now. If you see a song or program that you like, just click on the album art to make your selection. You can play the song, learn more about the artist or song, or even buy it. Only in Boston at the moment.
posted by srboisvert at 9:52 AM PST - 5 comments

Hadley Centre: Climate Projections Two computer models showing how the North Pole is melting and what the surface temperature of the earth will be like at the end of this century. A spinning globe visualises the changes. This is not hyperbole just lots of data.
posted by hard rain at 9:40 AM PST - 21 comments

Interesting update on Maxon Crumb, fascinating guru brother of counterculture cartoonist Robert Crumb.
posted by crunchland at 7:02 AM PST - 33 comments

During the Great Depression, thousands of young people wrote to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt for help. They asked for clothing, money, and other forms of assistance.
posted by jonson at 6:54 AM PST - 20 comments

Peekskill Riots The Peekskill Riots were anti-communist riots (with anti-black undertones) in the city of Peekskill, New York in 1949. The catalyst for the rioting was an announced concert by black singer Paul Robeson, who was well known for his strong stand on civil rights and his communist sympathies. The concert, organized as a benefit for the Civil Rights Congress, was scheduled to take place on August 27. Before Robeson arrived, a mob of locals attacked concertgoers...many names you might recall were involved in this blot on American history, and Howard Fast, the novelist, recalled his involvement in his book Being Red (1990), Howard Fast's memoir of his life on the left. Additionally, some later writers recalled the involvement of relatives and/or friends.. Pete Seeger, present during the riot, wrote a song about it Later, gathering some of the rocks tossed at the lefty participants of the concert, he used the "ammo" to build a chimney on the cabin where he lived. The Lefty -sympathizing wonderful actress Judy Holliday was summoned before the congressional committe in charge of rooting out communists during the anti-communist days, and gave a lengthy testimony about herself and many others. And though the riots were sparked in part by local newspapers, editoriallizing against the "visitors" to their serene area, they and the good citizens of Peekskill quickly tried to ignore, forget, or bury lthe disgraceful riots. But the memory lives on for some, and this sad event remains memorialized, a reminder perhaps of what hate, aggression, and just plain nastiness can bring about.
posted by Postroad at 5:54 AM PST - 30 comments

"Injection is the real-life story of six health care workers falsely accused and jailed by an Arab dictator [^], the deplorable conditions that led to their arrest, and the simple solution that might have prevented not only this injustice, but millions of needless infections. " [full movie at google video]
posted by tnai at 5:51 AM PST - 7 comments


An Israeli military training mission gone bad. A mid-air collision during a simulated dogfight. An A4 Skyhawk goes down, and an F-15 Eagle decides to try and make it the 10 miles back to base. When the pilot lands, he finds out that he has definitively answered the question, Can this aircraft fly on just one wing? [video]
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 5:11 AM PST - 28 comments

October 3

A new voting protocol from Ron Rivest [pdf] "We present a new paper-based voting method with attractive security properties. Not only can each voter verify that her vote is recorded as she intended, but she gets a “receipt” that she can take home that can be used later to verify that her vote is actually included in the final tally. Her receipt, however, does not allow her to prove to anyone else how she voted." Another interesting property is that all ballots are scanned and put online, so everyone can perform their own count, if they like.

The only downside: People have to fill out three ballots with special rules on how to do it. Ron Rivest [wiki] is one of the inventors of public key cryptography
posted by delmoi at 11:30 PM PST - 39 comments

Today is the 70th anniversary of the battle of Cable Street. On Sunday October 4th 1936, Oswald Moseley, leader of the British Union of Fascists, attempted to lead a march through Stepney, at that time a predominantly Jewish area. As the fascists met at Royal Mint Street, around 300,000 people barricaded the roads of the East End, chanting "No Pasaran" and "They Shall Not Pass". When the police attempted to break through the corden at Cable Street a riot ensued. The police were repelled and Moseley and his acolytes were forced to march in the opposite direction, into the empty streets of the City. With the Spanish Civil War at its peak, Cable Street saw communists, anarchists, Jews, dockers and many other ordinary eastenders fighting the fascists together and has a mythological place in East London folklore. Celebrations will be held this Sunday.
posted by criticalbill at 11:00 PM PST - 26 comments


Book Bags. That's right. Bags, made from books.
posted by empath at 8:36 PM PST - 27 comments


MappyHour is a Google Maps and happy-hour mashup. It includes mostly US cities, with decent Australian representation ... plus Paris, France and Windsor, Ontario. Sorry, direct city links don't seem to work.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:43 PM PST - 21 comments

The first member of SHAC 7, an animal rights group convicted for their organizational role in a campaign against animal research at Huntingdon Life Sciences (previously discussed here and here), began his three-year prison sentence today. Meanwhile, Horowitz and Malkin are still at large.
posted by homunculus at 5:11 PM PST - 38 comments

So this horse walks into a bar ...
posted by kcds at 2:52 PM PST - 65 comments

Whores of Warcraft (NSFW). Tired of having to leave the insulated online fantasy universe to experience pornography?
posted by klangklangston at 12:51 PM PST - 58 comments

Black Vodka. Perfect for Halloween! (A separate search yielded direct links to mixing and drink tips.) The coloring is from the Indian/Burmese catechu, a wood extract, but it won't stain. After doing a little research, it seems UK company Blavod merged with US Extreme Beverages, maker of Red Bull. So... is it a novelty, or niche filler? Reviews seem pretty favorable. I'll be picking up a botle for my Halloween party.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 11:47 AM PST - 37 comments

What inoffensive songs do people find scary? A list asked for by a curious Jarvis Cocker, former frontman of the band Pulp.
My favorite entry:
"Laughing Gnome - Bowie. Scared the crap out of me as a kid. I remember getting my parents to check under the bed. My father, a bit of an evil electronics bastard put a speaker under my bed one night and played the song just as I was drifting off. He then ran in when I started screaming and pulled out a doll from under the bead and chopped its head off with a machete. God I need therapy."
posted by w0mbat at 9:14 AM PST - 152 comments

On The Road meets google maps, thanks to littourature. [link via bookslut]
posted by drezdn at 8:58 AM PST - 12 comments

Music for Funerals - 5000 Brits were surveyed about songs they'd like played during their funeral. I'm warning you right now, Bon Jovi made the top 20.
posted by davebush at 5:43 AM PST - 173 comments

In a corporate jet flying 37,000 feet above the Amazon rainforest, I heard the three words I will never forget: “We’ve been hit.”
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:56 AM PST - 70 comments

Serious plans are now being formulated and carried out to merge the United States, Canada, and Mexico into one EU-like entity. The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) entered into by Paul Davis (then PM of Canada), President of Mexico Vincente Fox, and President Bush celebrated its first anniversary in March 2006. The White House would like you to know that no formal agreement was signed at Crawford in March 2005, and that claims to the contrary are made by conspiracy theorists. While most discussion of this subject is reserved for highly partisan / special interest news sources, there has been some major news network coverage: Lou Dobbs on CNN.
posted by Derive the Hamiltonian of... at 3:56 AM PST - 73 comments

October 2

Extraordinary Hang Glider Murdered-- Sunday, August 20, 2006 Dan Murphy was just pulling up on his motorcycle at his favorite place to hang glide in San Francisco. Fort Funston, just south of the City, is known for having perfect conditions for the sport. But on this day a deranged man approached him in the parking lot, shooting him in the head at point-blank range. Before the man turned the gun on himself he also shot one of Dan's friends who was nearby. Dan died from his injuries, but he leaves behind a couple of short videos that reveal some of his amazing hang gliding feats, including an Icarus-like crash, and perhaps his moment of glory when he successfully made a pinpoint landing into a stationary wheelbarrow. Evidently Dan took great pleasure in twisting in the saddle on take-off. Here's his signature move. R.I.P.
posted by derangedlarid at 11:28 PM PST - 11 comments

... the eighth young man since 1997 was found dead in the Mississippi River in the La Crosse [Wisconsin] area on Monday.
posted by anjamu at 11:27 PM PST - 37 comments

The Imperial History of the Middle East is a flash based map of the Middle East, with a sliding timeline showing the various forces that have established dominance in the region over the last 5,000 years. Just one of many interesting interactive demonstrations over at Maps Of War.
posted by jonson at 10:57 PM PST - 33 comments

The Heterosexual Agenda: Exposing The Myths --No longer satisfied with “mere acceptance” by our society, heterosexual political pressure groups have launched a well-planned, well-financed campaign, which, if left unchecked, threatens to destroy the most fundamental structures of American society. (actual report itself is a pdf from there--a takeoff on this stuff, which is NSFHumans)
posted by amberglow at 8:40 PM PST - 24 comments

Some of you may have seen the feature film Brick; I thought it one of the best of the year and among the better debuts I've seen in a long time. Writer-Director Rian Johnson offers up the shooting script and original novella for free on his site. Fun for fans of noir, high school flicks, or MeFites gaggle of screenwriters.
posted by dobbs at 8:36 PM PST - 29 comments

A theatre group in NYC is putting on a "Hell House"- a dramatic representation of sin, judgement, heaven and hell typically performed around the country by evangelical churches in an attempt to win believers. The original "Hell House" script (to be used in NYC) was written by Pastor Keenan Rogers of New Destiny Christian Center. An interview with the director of Les Freres Corbusier reveals they're not out to make fun; rather, they look to examine the different experiences people who witness them have.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:28 PM PST - 36 comments

Carnets de voyage : illustrated notebooks of travel (french site)
posted by dhruva at 6:49 PM PST - 8 comments

Blood-painting the inside of your car has got to suck. Ever wonder what happens when you hit a moose? Hint: it appears worse to your car than hitting a kangaroo. (warning, if you can't stand the sight of dead animals [even when they look cute in deathly repose], stay away)
posted by Kickstart70 at 6:31 PM PST - 39 comments

DEFCON , based off the real alert levels (and Wargames), is a game about killing innocent civilians.
posted by pantsrobot at 5:46 PM PST - 60 comments

Destined for Destiny , a new appreciation of our president, is Destined for Destiny itself. There's a movie too!
posted by hexatron at 5:08 PM PST - 16 comments

Elvis: King of the Rock 'n' Roll Jews? Unlike George Allen, Elvis proudly embraced his Jewish heritage. Through his mother's side of the family, Elvis could trace his lineage back to his Jewish great-grandmother, Martha Tackett, which makes Elvis Jewish by matrilineal descent. A former shabbos goy who did chores on the Sabbath for a rabbi in Memphis, Elvis had his biggest-selling success with a #1 hit by a Jewish songwriting team. Known to wear a Hebrew Chai pendant and to donate to Jewish charities in Memphis, Elvis also put the Star of David on his Mom's gravestone.
posted by jonp72 at 4:58 PM PST - 49 comments

Neuroscience Gateway - "a comprehensive source for the latest research, news and events in neuroscience and genomics research"
posted by Gyan at 4:27 PM PST - 6 comments


Male Restroom Etiquette. For the public restroom inclined.
posted by four panels at 3:25 PM PST - 38 comments

Was that real manure? Biff wants you to stop asking him the question. (YouTube)
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:39 PM PST - 30 comments

"But right now, Bob is a human being in a rather painful fleshsuit, who needs our help. I refuse for the history books to say he died alone and destitute, for I want future generations to know we appreciated Robert Anton Wilson while he was alive."
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:27 PM PST - 103 comments

Modest Muse: Author J.G. Ballard’s influence on modern music. J.G. Ballard (needs no introduction, surely?) in an interview discussing his work's influence on popular music. From the CBC.
posted by jokeefe at 2:18 PM PST - 36 comments

FairPlay is turned about. "DVD" Jon Lech Johansen, of DeCSS fame, has reverse engineered Apple's FairPlay DRM technology, which has thus far prevented 3rd-party digital music players from playing music purchased from the iTunes Store. RealNetworks did something similar in 2004, but Johansen is licensing it to whomever wants it.
posted by mkultra at 1:41 PM PST - 41 comments

The NSA Bibliographies The NSA internally publishes thousands of papers every year, on every topic from spycraft to cryptography to physics & aliens (no, really!). Each year the titles of these papers gets indexed & those indexes are also published internally. The Memory Hole has made a successful FOIA request for a large number of these, spanning almost 50 years. We don't get to see the actual papers, but just the titles are fascinating - including such page turners as "Computer Virus Infections: Is NSA Vulnerable?", "KAL 007 Shootdown: A View from [redacted]", "NSA in the Cyberpunk Future", "Telephone Codes and Safe Combinations: A Deadly Duo", "Coupon Collecting and Cryptology", "Cranks, Nuts, and Screwballs" & my personal favorite, "Key to the Extraterrestrial Messages". When you're done browsing the titles, there's a sample form you can use to request some of the documents yourself!
posted by scalefree at 11:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Smilin' Savior not winning hearts and minds. Suprisingly, in a Muslim nation where the thumbs-up sign is considered obscene, "Buddy Jesus" fails to amuse after a woman and girl are left dead in a firefight.
posted by orthogonality at 11:29 AM PST - 69 comments

H.R. 4411: The Internet Gambling Prohibition and Enforcement Act is a bill aimed at making online gambling illegal by blocking any US funds to foreign servers from American banks and credit cards. It passed the House on Saturday and sent British gambling stocks tumbling. I was kind of surprised at the swift passing of this bill, given that online poker is a pretty serious business, but one poker site says they'll be in the clear as poker is a game of skill and not just chance (good luck with that). Oh, and this is just one cog in the 10 tooth wheel of The American Values Agenda, the republican attempt to push socially conservative issues in time for the election.
posted by mathowie at 10:51 AM PST - 42 comments

See Vous Play -- Well, yesterday, as some of you may have heard was National Music Day, in Canada at the very least. In celebration of this CBC Radio 3 and it's French-Canadian hot cousin Bande A Part hosted the See Vous Play bilingual concert in Canada's centre of the universe, Toronto. On the bill were Les Breastfeeders, Emily Haines & the Soft Skeleton, Les Trois Accordes, and the incomparable Joel Plaskett Emergency Band. If you missed last night's broadcast, you can hear everything that went down here.
posted by Old Man Wilson at 10:38 AM PST - 8 comments

The Libertarian Democrat. Kos makes the case for the Libertarian Democrat for the Cato Institute.
posted by empath at 10:01 AM PST - 79 comments

“The leader of the jury looked at his papers and said in the first round: ‘I know a disabled person is coming. I want the jury to close their eyes. I don’t want them to be touched in any way.’ ”
As if, of course, one needed to know about Thomas Quasthoff's Thalidomide-related severe physical handicaps to be moved by the sound of his voice. He goes seamlessly from pianissimo to fortissimo, in his recitals a single Lied becomes "a major, stunning drama playing out in a few minutes". He sang jazz to support himself in university and it remains a passion (he likes to sing Paul Robeson or even Frank Sinatra encores), but he's famously leery of crossover artists like Andrea Bocelli. Just don't cough during his recitals -- "because I love this music so much". He doesn't like to talk much about his nightmarish childhood and teenage years, plagued by surgeries and body casts -- "I have in my past time had very difficult years, very difficult years" is all he'll usually say -- so please try not to consider him a victim, because he doesn't see himself as such: "I don't think people are moved because I am disabled. I think it's because I have something to say." More inside.
posted by matteo at 8:17 AM PST - 21 comments

"Kip Hawley is an Idiot". Careful what you say about the Director of the TSA when you're waiting to pass airport security.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 7:14 AM PST - 208 comments

I'm My Own Grandpa ^(embedded audio) is a funny and head-scratching song about, well, being your own grandpa (hint: dad's to blame). There's a video using footage from The Sims, which includes a cover by Ray Stevens. Bonus points if you can figure it all out the first time you listen.
posted by zardoz at 5:40 AM PST - 22 comments

[MediFilter] The 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine goes to the discoverers of RNA interference (RNAi) [Note: Links to original 1998 Nature paper .pdf]. The finding that cells have an intricate mechanism for blocking viral RNA replication quickly spawned a new technology for investigating the role of different genes by allowing scientists to quickly, (relatively) cheaply and easily "knock down" their expression and measure the effects. When Kerry Mullis won in 1993 for the discovery of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR), there was talk of whether or not the prize had gone to a technical advance and not a fundamental discovery. It will be interesting to see, in this case, which receives more focus: the discovery of a new technology or of a new cellular mechanism.
posted by scblackman at 4:16 AM PST - 18 comments

Drag the circles, have some fun.
posted by triv at 4:01 AM PST - 19 comments

October 1


Charles Krafft is a porcelain artist who creates detailed munitions made of fine china, painted servingware commemorating modern atrocities, and "Spone" art, bone china made using human bones as the base material.
posted by jonson at 10:51 PM PST - 11 comments

Massive gallery of concert photos. Some bands, you may not have heard of; others, well there's a few of those too.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:43 PM PST - 8 comments

Paco Rosic is nearing completion of a one-half scale replica of the Sistine Chapel in Waterloo, Iowa - all painted with about 2,000 cans of spray paint.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:26 PM PST - 5 comments

A concise history of the British safe and safe-cracking.
posted by exogenous at 8:09 PM PST - 8 comments

The cloud chamber may no longer the particle detector of choice (that would be the bubble chamber) but easy to build yourself (in modern or vintage style) and watch cosmic rays in the comfort of your own home.
posted by jessamyn at 8:06 PM PST - 12 comments

VBlogger and journalist jailed for refusing to give up footage of protest
Josh Wolf is a video blogger and freelance journalist who was jailed by a U.S. district court on August 1, 2006 for refusing to turn over a collection of videos he recorded during a July 2005 anarchist protest in San Francisco, California. During that event, anarchists allegedly set a police cruiser on fire. [more inside]
posted by stenseng at 7:25 PM PST - 58 comments

Shooting War: a graphic novel by Anthony Lappe and Dan Goldman. The 11-chapter first act has been lauded in Rolling Stone, Wired and The Village Voice. It's 2011: President McCain is fighting for political survival, America is stuck in Iraq, and there's another oil embargo. 'Vlogger' and indie icon Jimmy Burns happens to catch a terrorist attack in NYC on his web cam, making him the new face of wartime journalism.
posted by spaltavian at 6:39 PM PST - 36 comments

If you've run out of places to pierce yourself, you can now pierce your car.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:31 PM PST - 25 comments

October 1 through till October 8 is National Trichotillomannia Awareness Week. What is Trichotillomania^ (or Trich, for short), you ask? Put simply, Trich is a compulsive hair pulling disorder that causes people to pull out their own hair from the scalp, eyebrows or pretty much anywhere on the body. Because they often pull repeatedly from the same spots, they may develop bald spots that are difficult to disguise and which sufferers are often very ashamed of. Sometimes they may even injest the hair, which is sometimes fatal. It is unknown exactly how many people suffer from it, but it is known that the vast majority of those afflicted are female. But for those few people who suffer with it, help is at hand! There's a documentary about it which you can watch, a website devoted to helping people learn how to deal with it, blogs and even an anonymous AskMe question. For those interested in learning more about what National Tricotillomannia Week entails, check out this page.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:52 PM PST - 30 comments

Revolutionary twelve pound folding bicycle designed by Clive Sinclair (who previously brought the world calculators--including a wrist calculator--, computers, and an electric vehicle, the C5. Sinclair has had successes and failures, but this new bicycle may change the way thousands of people commute to work. Until now, "folding bicycles" have been little more than conventional bikes with hinging mechanisms and smaller wheels. The well known Brompton and Bike Friday bikes typically use 16" wheels, while Montague makes full-size bikes that fold, and Dahon makes both. Yes, they might fit in your car's trunk. Or you can check them as baggage with the airlines and have your own bike with you on vacation. But they all weigh 25 to 30 pounds, so while the size was a bit more convenient, they were not the breakthrough their makers claimed. The unconventional Strida showed a glimpse of what was possible, but at 22 pounds, still was overweight for easy schlepping. Finally, with the A-Bike it seems that for the many folks that live a mile or two from a train or subway station, it will be practical to ride the A-Bike to the station, then fold it up (26"x12"x6") and carry it along. Short video here, download "A-Bike Teaser Trailer." I want one!
posted by centerpunch at 3:16 PM PST - 159 comments

Cereal Box Archive Here is an archive of hundreds of cereal boxes, with even more to come.
posted by bob sarabia at 2:53 PM PST - 23 comments

Something wicked this way comes. There are a huge number of October 6th put options for the big indexes, just like the massive put options that took place just prior to 911. Fear the "October Surprise."
posted by augustweed at 2:44 PM PST - 44 comments

Are you American enough? The website of character actor R. Lee Ermey (perhaps best known as Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in Stanley Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket). The flash intro alone is worth the price of admission.
posted by John of Michigan at 2:15 PM PST - 38 comments

Pentecostals are a lively group. According to some, they rank among the fastest growing religions in the world, especially among the poor. A map shows their concentrations in America.
posted by Brian B. at 11:37 AM PST - 64 comments

Detecting the erotic (like detecting the humorous) is one of those things that people can do better than any known machine. This new patent seems largely based on "Finding Naked People", a paper in the field of Computer vision.
posted by GeorgeHernandez at 10:50 AM PST - 12 comments

Discworld cake from cake decorator Jane Fisk. (She does some other neat stuff, too.)
posted by LeeJay at 10:50 AM PST - 28 comments

[NSFW] Much of contemporary liberal thought rests on the idea of the Social Contract. In this scheme, we agree to give up a certain amount of freedom in exchange for the protection and opportunity that society provides. Our individual lives mirror this. We defer to others when politeness requires it. We assert ourselves and our needs with pleases and thank yous. Most of daily life has some power dynamic to it, expressed with the subtlety that civilization demands. And what is implicit in daily life is made explicit in the role-playing of BDSM, based on the idea of a Power Exchange, where one party explicitly agrees to give up a certain amount of power to another. For most people who are into this, the “scenes” are circumscribed by rules, usually discussed beforehand, such as appropriate safewords, time limits, etc. For a small subset of this group, the typical safeguards are cast aside and the slave surrenders all aspects of his or her life to the master. The female submissive Polly Peachum has written about this lifestyle in her essay “Violence in the Garden” about her life as a 24-7 slave and the sexual dimensions of that relationship.
posted by jason's_planet at 10:50 AM PST - 219 comments

"I don't think that form of public humiliation to get social control is the best form possible." Though in Middlesbourough that is exactly what's happening. Of course, it's not confined[mefi thead] to the one town, but this place has the most active form of public surveillance I've seen and they seem quite excited about it. Others are eager to try the system for themselves. Perhaps this will inspire theatre? Or you could learn to avoid the cameras. Is public safety destroying public discourse?
posted by cal71 at 10:49 AM PST - 41 comments

More languages are in danger than ever, but some argue that this is no big deal. Is language extinction only worrisome because it means a loss of diversity?
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 9:04 AM PST - 32 comments

The Twelfth Annual Interactive Fiction Competition begins today. Non-contestants can take part in the proceedings by grabbing a torrent of the competing games and judging them over the next six weeks. If you're new to interactive fiction, Emily Short's "How to Play" will acquaint you with its conventions. And if you're enough of an I.F. expert that even a full slate of Comp games won't satisfy you, you can find every competition entry since 1995 archived at Baf's Guide.
posted by Iridic at 8:51 AM PST - 3 comments

London to Brighton in Two Minutes (2006) [HI Apple Quicktime, LO Adobe Flash] preceeded by London to Brighton in Three-and-a-Half Minutes (1983) [RealMedia, context] preceeded by London to Brighton in Four Minutes (1953) [RealMedia, context]
posted by riotgrrl69 at 8:02 AM PST - 21 comments

The costs of climate change adaptation are estimated at US$1 Trillion* (wordwide, by 2050), equal to one year's growth. "Our analysis suggests that there are technologically feasible and relatively low-cost options for controlling carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Estimates suggest that the level of GDP might be reduced by no more than around 2-3% in 2050 if this strategy was followed, equivalent to sacrificing only around a year of economic growth for the sake of reducing carbon emissions in 2050 by around 60% compared to our baseline scenario. But if this is to be achieved, it will take further concerted action by governments, businesses and individuals over a broad range of measures to boost energy efficiency, adopt a greener fuel mix, and introduce carbon capture and storage technologies in power plants and other major industrial facilities". * that's less than half one cock-arse war!
posted by wilful at 3:38 AM PST - 13 comments

The Croquet Project is a staggeringly ambitious attempt to create 'an operating system for the post-browser Internet' - a multi-platform, open-source, extensible, decentralised, peer-to-peer, 3D virtual reality metaverse [2,3], designed for 'highly scalable deep collaboration', led by Alan Kay.
posted by MetaMonkey at 2:37 AM PST - 37 comments