October 2008 Archives

October 31

Archaeologists find a pottery fragment with the oldest known example of written Hebrew at the Elah Fortress(YT) in Israel - or maybe not [more inside]
posted by XMLicious at 10:05 PM PST - 8 comments

Yet another Thriller cover. One man. 64 channels of a cappella. SLYT
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:29 PM PST - 30 comments

Ghosts, apparitions, angels, spiritual visitations and views of the future "The relationship between photography and the spirit world of ghosts, apparitions and angels during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century was a blending of popular belief and scientific fraud. The lack of sophistication in the public in an age of deeply held religious values and the generally accepted belief that the camera recorded truth allowed the unscrupulous to exploit the situation for financial gain...This online exhibition explores the diverse interactions between mortals and the spiritual world..." [via Bouphonia]
posted by mediareport at 8:19 PM PST - 6 comments

The Online Time Travel Pharmacy. It is the combination of Indian manufacturers and Canadian pharmacists working together that allows us to do this. By the same guy who brought you this and this. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 8:11 PM PST - 13 comments

"Elke Wisbey, 6, was born with brain damage and cannot walk or speak. After her community raised funds to purchase a state of the art communication device for Elke, the little girl was able to use tiny eye movements to speak her first words through the machine: 'I love you.'"
posted by An Infinity Of Monkeys at 7:59 PM PST - 17 comments

Red paper lantern medusa
posted by vronsky at 5:48 PM PST - 26 comments

"How would you like to tour my famous tomb?" he asked. "It's impossible to be buried alive there."

This gentleman is almost alone in his concerns today, thanks to modern medicine's advances (and advances in embalming). But in the 19th century, plans to prevent live burial were frequent. Timothy Clark Smith of Vermont had a window installed in his grave, where you can check on him to this day. The Germans instituted Leichenhauser (or "waiting mortuaries"), halls in which corpses rested among flowers, their fingers tied to alarm bells, until it was clear to everyone that it was time for their burial. [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 5:34 PM PST - 27 comments

A short video of a starling saying something.
posted by 31d1 at 5:00 PM PST - 32 comments

Hey, Natalie Dee had a baby
posted by JohnR at 3:43 PM PST - 82 comments

Flash Halloween Friday Fun: Zombie Baseball. John and Sam are the only remaining humans left on Earth due to a horrible virus gone wrong. Sam drops baseballs and you (playing John) hit them into zombies...Rinse and Repeat! The obligatory upgrades and special bats as you increase levels.
posted by schyler523 at 3:34 PM PST - 15 comments

The Mother of all Wii Hacks: Early on in the life of the Wii, hackers discovered a bug in "Zelda: Twilight Princess" and exploited it to create the Twilight Hack. From that came the Homebrew Channel, a software browser, and even DVD capability. [more inside]
posted by Brodiggitty at 3:25 PM PST - 28 comments

How do different wines taste? An interesting visualization tries to answer the question of what is different about a Shiraz vs. a Pinot vs. a Cab, built from scanning keywords on 5,000 tasting notes over a five year period.
posted by mathowie at 2:42 PM PST - 42 comments



DesignFilter: Walking house designed to beat the floods [pics and vid] l Wearable Gadgets [pics and vids] l Backpacks l Commuting by JetPack l Blog Designs l Twitter Clapper l and for Halloween, some awesome [whoa] carved pumpkin designs.
posted by nickyskye at 1:06 PM PST - 13 comments

The World's 9 Scariest Monsters! With Carol Vorderman (1,2) - watched by Lee and Herring
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:59 PM PST - 6 comments

Thomas Muthee, the witch-hunting prayer warrior who anointed Sarah Palin, is part of a much larger movement called the New Apostolic Reformation. Researchers at religious watchdog site Talk2Action have released a 36 page report on the NAR (part 1, part 2, part 3 & PDF). Learn about Palin confidant Mary Glazier, the Queen of Heaven, the Christian Emergency Network and much, much more.
posted by scalefree at 12:42 PM PST - 75 comments

And the LORD said to Moses, "Go, get down! For your people whom you brought out of the land of Egypt have corrupted themselves. They have turned aside quickly out of the way which I commanded them. They have made themselves a molded calf, and worshiped it and sacrificed to it, and said, 'This is your god, O Israel, that brought you out of the land of Egypt!'"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:41 PM PST - 60 comments

After an historic near-collapse (p), a federal bailout to the tune of $85,000,000,000, a second federal bailout to the tune of $37,800,000,000 and one hell of a party (p), the news on A.I.G. just keeps getting better. Now: Fed arbitrage! Paying down a 9% taxpayer loan with a 2% taxpayer loan? Genius!
posted by jckll at 12:31 PM PST - 7 comments

Every Halloween I think about him Vincent never wanted to be an actor. What with the degree from Yale in Art History and English. His intent was certainly not to be one the classic Masters (YTV) of Macabre (YTV). Never the less his legend surpasses his own humble ambitions. Part of our collective childhoods (MP3) gone but not forgotten. [more inside]
posted by tkchrist at 12:15 PM PST - 28 comments

The picture of a boat approaching a wooded island held a strange sway over the early twentieth century imagination. Strindberg closes The Ghost Sonata with the image; Rachmaninoff brought forth a symphonic poem from it; Freud, Lenin, and Clemenceau all owned prints, while Hitler hung one of the original five paintings on his wall. The work's creator, a Swiss Symbolist painter named Arnold Böcklin, never cared to give it a name. It was an art dealer who first called it Die Toteninsel"The Isle of the Dead."
posted by Iridic at 10:49 AM PST - 27 comments

What a way to go
posted by ericbop at 9:45 AM PST - 95 comments

Given that you're a Metafilter user, if you're also a Firefox user, you may want to check out the Read It Later extension. It's not an unfair assumption to assume that Metafilter users tend to do a lot of online reading (who, us?), and the Read It Later extension is well-suited to help you manage your online reading while not cluttering up your bookmarks. It began as a bookmarklet but now has its own online site, RSS feed, intracomputer syncing, caching of pages for offline use, integration with Google Reader, and customizable keyboard shortcuts, and has really matured into a really great (free) extension. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 9:31 AM PST - 35 comments

100 Illustrated Horror Film Posters part 1 and 2 [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 9:05 AM PST - 27 comments

Flash Friday Fun with Splitter. Cut things to solve puzzles. Sort of a destructive Incredible Machine.
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:05 AM PST - 26 comments

Evangelicals are very good at articulating their sexual ideals, but they have little practical advice for their young followers. Social liberals, meanwhile, are not very good at articulating values on marriage and teen sexuality—indeed, they may feel that it’s unseemly or judgmental to do so. But in fact the new middle-class morality is squarely pro-family.

The New Yorker discusses the red-state/blue-state divide in attitudes about premarital sex, sex education, and teen pregnancy: Red Sex, Blue Sex.
posted by Who_Am_I at 8:03 AM PST - 153 comments

For many people who lived in Houston in the early 1970s, trick or treat brings up memories of "The Candy Man," serial killer Dean Corll. He, along with accomplices David Brooks and Wayne Henley (YouTube), kidnapped, raped, and tortured to death 27 boys between the ages of thirteen and eighteen between 1970 and 1973. Thirty-seven years after the bodies of their victims were discovered in mass graves in southwest Houston and the Bolivar Peninsula, three still were unidentified until recently when the efforts of forensic anthropologist Sharon Derrick identified victim ML73-3349, now known to be Randall Lee Harvey.
posted by WolfDaddy at 8:01 AM PST - 32 comments

Israeli court approves construction of Museum of Tolerance. With a design by starchitecht Gehry, whats not to like? Well, for one, it is being built on an ancient Muslim burial site. [more inside]
posted by yonation at 7:58 AM PST - 56 comments

Former Redskins linebacker Ken Harvey wants to bring sports to space. He calls it Space Sportilization
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 7:48 AM PST - 15 comments

Mathematician Cracks Mystery Beatles Chord. Not to be confused with the Hendrix chord or the sacred chord.
posted by twoleftfeet at 5:29 AM PST - 44 comments

How best to take the pulse of the global economy? While market driven rates such as LIBOR or US Government T-Bills reveal the state of fixed income and Credit Default Swaps tell the observer much about possible default rates, many analysts prefer a more basal view. The Baltic Dry Index is one such indicator. [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 4:25 AM PST - 27 comments

Fringe Friday: Obama is a hypnotic and entrancing public speaker. No, really, he's hypnotic and entrancing. [PDF] via
posted by Rykey at 4:14 AM PST - 89 comments


October 30

Moscow is home to the largest number of billionaires and in Russia, there are nearly 100 billionaires. Due to recent economic developments and the drop in oil prices, the oligarchs, who rose to prominence under Gorbachev, have lost a combined total of $200 billion. Help is here.
posted by gman at 7:17 PM PST - 21 comments

Armchair travel via three superb audio slide shows by photographer Reinhard Krause:
Monlam, the Tibetan Great Prayer Festival - Aba China
Catholics celebrate Christmas in rural China
Tibetan prayer meeting in Tongren [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 6:52 PM PST - 9 comments

The :CueCat finally received its patent this month, eight years after its abject failure in the marketplace. [more inside]
posted by jamaro at 6:44 PM PST - 46 comments

浄閑寺—Jokanji, the "Throw Away" Temple "From the street, it looks like many other Tokyo temples, but behind the new main building is an old cemetery that has one particular point of interest, a crypt and monument to twenty-five thousand prostitutes interred there."
posted by gomichild at 6:42 PM PST - 14 comments


The Free Site Validator is for all y'all web designers who are tired of putting each and every page through the W3C Markup Validation Service. Enter the URL you'd like checked, start the report and you'll soon have every page of the site examined for valid markup and link rot. It also uses OpenID so you might already have an account! [via 456 Berea Street] [more inside]
posted by sciurus at 5:13 PM PST - 13 comments

iBioSeminars is a new project from the American Society for Cell Biology to release freely available lectures from leading scientists on the web. It features talks on such diverse areas as stem cells, malaria, HIV, and biofuel production.
posted by pombe at 4:36 PM PST - 4 comments

Eagle Ager
posted by geos at 4:30 PM PST - 16 comments

"The King of Rock Steady," (or "Godfather" as he was sometimes known) Alton Ellis, passed away earlier this month at the age of 70. A romantic at heart with one of my favorite voices, he leaves 20 children two weeks after finally receiving royalties for the Sean Paul song "Still in Love With You". [more inside]
posted by sleepy pete at 4:24 PM PST - 17 comments

Gobekli Tepe: The World’s First Temple? "Predating Stonehenge by 6,000 years, Turkey's stunning Gobekli Tepe upends the conventional view of the rise of civilization."
posted by homunculus at 3:30 PM PST - 28 comments

The Unfinished Swan is an unfinished video game set in an entirely black and white world. Players can splatter paint to help them find their way through an unusual garden. A video of the gameplay.
posted by GuyZero at 3:22 PM PST - 32 comments

Bernt Aune's corneas are 123 years old, which possibly makes them the oldest living human tissue on record. [more inside]
posted by andeles at 2:30 PM PST - 27 comments

The Kid's Halloween Candy Code from cockeyed.com. [more inside]
posted by loquacious at 1:48 PM PST - 65 comments

We've seen it done before with Ms. Dewey (previously), but all the same, meet Max Kerning. He's also on Facebook and Twitter. He's a total shill (Sutcase Fusion 2) but still worth checking out. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 1:22 PM PST - 13 comments

Dancing with Ink: by Taiwanese photographer Liu Chunxing (刘纯兴).
posted by of strange foe at 1:04 PM PST - 9 comments

The nine biggest US banks aren't using $125 billion in federal bailout money to make loans. They're going to use taxpayer dollars to buy other banks. [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel at 12:43 PM PST - 80 comments

Seventy years ago today was the original broadcast of "The War of the Worlds". Listen to it, uninterrupted, here. The program reportedly caused a mass panic across much of the Northeast. [more inside]
posted by backseatpilot at 12:31 PM PST - 13 comments

The phenomenon of homemade roadside signage for Obama is not much in evidence on the other side. See also Obama signage and other art at The Obama Art Report, and many individual homemade Obama signs. Neither campaign is, shall we say, overly happy with renegade signage, however.
posted by beagle at 12:10 PM PST - 40 comments

Obama just got endorsed by The Economist. Yes that Economist. My favorite economic publication and often noted for its pragmatic conservative-centrist approach. Good stuff here.
posted by Lacking Subtlety at 12:05 PM PST - 131 comments


Making the Sculpture. Tom Otterness, the guy behind those sculptures that make riding the A almost bearable (aka Life Underground), explains how bronze casting is done in a way even an idjit like me can understand.
posted by dame at 11:12 AM PST - 16 comments


Of all the People in the World "uses grains of rice to bring formally abstract statistics to startling and powerful life" . via
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 10:46 AM PST - 13 comments

Approximately two years ago, James Kim died after he and his family were stranded, snowbound, in their car on the Oregon coast (Previously, previously, and (selflink) previously). But what if he'd had a Personal Locator Beacon (PLB)? [more inside]
posted by scrump at 10:33 AM PST - 36 comments

We need a way to have, buy, and sit on fewer and better things. — from the CICINA, a 20 minute video presentation on their effort to compare all things in a massive bracketed set of 214 binary judgements. Which is better: Apples or Oranges?
posted by blasdelf at 9:44 AM PST - 22 comments

Marina Hyde blogs on the Guardian website about the ludicrous press release circulating about Lily Allen's new album, referring to her as 'the Wordsworth of her generation'. Then Lily herself uses her right to reply,snipes about the journalist's affair with Piers Morgan, and debate ensues about the difference between her cheeky public persona and the fragile, defensive lass within. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 9:41 AM PST - 32 comments

SLYT. From the creator of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, NC Neighbors, Vote 08 (NSFW). [more inside]
posted by pearlybob at 9:05 AM PST - 28 comments

Back in 1972, there was a fellow who had a novel idea for a porno flick. But when his producer objected to the movie's title, fearing no one would understand it, Gerard Damiano reassured him: "Don't worry, "Deep Throat will become a household word." And indeed it did. Now, 36 years after the infamous and influential film's release, director Gerard Damiano, aka Jerry Gerard, has gone on to that deep, deep throat in the sky. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:29 AM PST - 73 comments

"You cannot overestimate how threatened the scientific establishment is by the fact that it now looks like the materialist paradigm is genuinely breaking down.", argues psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz, part of a growing "non-material neuroscience" movement, an approach that evokes Cartesian dualism - the belief that the mind is not linked to the body, taking on the qualities of a soul. However growing the movement might be, others argue that the end of materialism is far from nigh. (via)
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:42 AM PST - 263 comments

October 29

The Doctor is set to regenerate once again as David Tennant calls time on Doctor Who. "When Doctor Who returns in 2010 it won’t be with me" Tennant, widely acknowledged as one of the most popular actors ever to play the Doctor, said. "Now don’t make me cry. The 2009 shows will be my last playing the doctor.” [more inside]
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:19 PM PST - 160 comments



Legendary Nights -- The tales of Arguello vs. Pryor: Chavez vs. Taylor.
posted by vronsky at 8:01 PM PST - 15 comments

Let boys make their own kites and bows and arrows; they will find a double pleasure in them, and value them accordingly, to say nothing of the education involved in the successful construction of their home-made playthings. -- The American Boy's Handy Book
In the late 19th- and early 20th-century, the Beard family—Daniel Carter, Lina, and Adelia Belle—wrote a number of books on outdoor activities, woodcraft, and other recreational activities for boys and girls. Many of these books are in the public domain now: (The American Boy's Handy Book, The Field and Forest Handy Book, The Outdoor Handy Book, The Jack of All Trades, The American Girl's Handy Book, On the Trail: An Outdoor Book for Girls). Others, such as Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties and Boat-Building and Boating, are excerpted online. Some highlights include throwing tomahawks, making candy, and building tree houses, sleds, catapults, and rafts. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good at 7:42 PM PST - 40 comments

Corpse Craft is a flash game -- a puzzle/ strategy hybrid that's one part Same Game and one part Tower defense and one part Edward Gorey. Decent art, sound, story and gameplay.
posted by boo_radley at 5:18 PM PST - 19 comments

Messenger has just made another flyover of Mercury, revealing hidden features. Watch the animation to see the blue volcanoes.
posted by Xurando at 4:33 PM PST - 24 comments

In the 13th century, thrifty monastic scribes erased an old Archimedes manuscript they had lying around and reused it. Thankfully, they didn't do a very thorough job. Ten years ago today, an anonymous American collector purchased the Archimedes Palimpsest, and has since funded the project to conserve, image, and study the manuscript, which contains several otherwise unknown works. Today, the Archimedes Palimpsest Project has released all its data and images under a Creative Commons license.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:41 PM PST - 22 comments

Brain's 'Hate Circuit' Identified. "People who view pictures of someone they hate display activity in distinct areas of the brain that, together, may be thought of as a 'hate circuit', according to new research by scientists at UCL (University College London)."
posted by homunculus at 3:21 PM PST - 34 comments

While you may not be the shoe hoarder some people are, you have shoes in your closet you never wear and you'd like to know what to do with them. Are they just boring? In that case you could just experiment with new ways to lace them, or find a way to make them light up when you walk into a room. Or you could draw on the shoes with markers or sharpies. You could also paint them, going with the theme of your choice: Art Nouveau, Picasso, Day of the Dead, or any of the ideas here. You could cut motifs from fabric and glue them on to your lace-ups, cover your flats with new fabric, bling up a pair of strappy shoes with glitter, or embellish your flip-flops with some yarn. Is the old upper worn out? Knit or crochet a new one. Want to get where you're going faster? Make custom roller skates, or modify your bicycle. Do your shoes hurt your feet? Put them on your face instead as a wrestling mask, or turn them into an iPod case. Your shoes could also become a birdhouse, a planter, a centrepiece, or an integral part of a coat rack, bookends or leg lamp. If you're really not up to crafting, here are 11 non-crafty ways to recycle old shoes. But what fun is that?!?
posted by orange swan at 2:41 PM PST - 22 comments

Ubersuper is the place where Stefan Sicher shares inspiration and has fun. It has lead me to Soviet Propaganda Posters, Generating Art from Computer Games, Bruce Mozert's Underwater Photos, a cool stop motion video and much more.
posted by sciurus at 1:35 PM PST - 3 comments

Short selling is basically the practice of selling borrowed shares, with the intention of purchasing them back later at a lower price. It amounts to a placing a bet on the share value dropping, is a favoured move of hedge funds, and has been recently blamed for much of the current economic mayhem. However, when last Sunday Porsche tersely announced that, in addition to its 44% of Volkswagen's shares, it had secured 31% through cash-settled call options, the invisible hand of the market gave those short-sellers an atomic wedgie: Since the German state of Lower Saxony holds just over 20% of VW, Porsche's disclosure meant that, in fact, there were only 5% of VW's shares left on the market, whereas traders were shorting for about 13% of those shares. This set off the "Mother of All Short Squeezes". [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 12:53 PM PST - 98 comments

Elbow's video for their song One Day Like This is pretty simple, but you'd be surprised how much a nice song and some slow motion can make something totally awesome. [more inside]
posted by mathowie at 12:34 PM PST - 51 comments

Building a Steampunk Cane. Inspired by GirlGenius and involving breadboard electronics, molten acrylic, and a little light metalwork. Parts 2, 3 and 4 plus the whole Flickr photoset.
posted by jacquilynne at 12:31 PM PST - 57 comments

Using copper alloys for surfaces we touch could help control bugs Replacing stainless steel with copper for commonly touched surfaces such as taps (faucets), toilet seats and door push plates make it harder for bacteria to survive on the surfaces [more inside]
posted by bluefin at 12:18 PM PST - 37 comments

Sarah Palin's "folksy" approach has been examined and dissected by the "main stream media." But Anil Dash cuts to the core of what Sarah Palin is saying.
posted by jdfan at 9:11 AM PST - 184 comments


[SLYT, ElectionFilter, 2:40] Dance-off!! The teams: Obama Dance Crew vs. John McCain's Grand Old Posse. It's ON!!
posted by not_on_display at 9:01 AM PST - 23 comments

Hilda Magazine ― prose, poetry, illustrations, photography, video, and music from a wide assortment contemporary artists. [contains some nude art images] [more inside]
posted by netbros at 8:25 AM PST - 3 comments

North Korea's Kim suffers 'serious' setback from stroke. When Will North Korea Collapse? Should it happen, US, South Korean, and Chinese troops could charge into North Korea to secure its nuclear facilities-and confront each other, says RAND corp and others. However it is "far from certain that the regime would collapse like a puffball", and even John Bolton thinks The World Shouldn't Fear The Collapse of North Korea . But it's all probably a mugs game, In ’97, U.S. Panel Said North Korea Could Collapse in 5 Years, and in 2004 Talk was Swirling of a North Korean Regime Collapse.
posted by stbalbach at 8:07 AM PST - 23 comments

A World Enslaved: There are now more slaves on the planet than at any time in human history.
Restaveks are Haitian child slaves.
To understand more here is a Modern Slavery 101 and a BBC special. Slavery is often hidden as Bonded Labour.
On the positive side in Niger an ex-slave wins a landmark case .
Here is a country by country report.
posted by adamvasco at 7:54 AM PST - 41 comments

British students, ambassadors, even singers are all at it. Don't you want to host a political fundraiser too?
posted by kothar at 7:23 AM PST - 15 comments

Fabulous vintage Halloween Photos that just might show up in your nightmares. (via Wired.com)
posted by mattholomew at 6:43 AM PST - 19 comments

In case you've never heard him, I'd like to introduce you to the sublimely soulful music of Kazuhira Takeshita, from Amami. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:23 AM PST - 10 comments

"Features the only hint of vegetable in the form of a few shreds of iceberg lettuce, the nutritionally bankrupt variety. Also features a vile khaki-colored sauce with black flakes we assumed to be pepper. Made it about 80% through before throwing in the towel." An unboxing of the new Guitar Hero: World Tour KFC Fully Loaded Box Meal. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 5:11 AM PST - 79 comments

On a Japanese island just east of Taiwan lives the Iriomote wildcat. Numbering between 60 and 100, this creature has been critically endangered since its discovery in 1967, although it has likely never numbered more than a few hundred in the 200,000 years it's lived on the island. The Iriomote wildcat is protected, and endearing to many Japanese - it was even featured in the popular anime Azumanga Daioh (warning: English dub). The chances you'll see one are slim, but conservation efforts continue.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:23 AM PST - 15 comments

Fresh and Tasty band that puts on shows for thousands a day but only listened to by dozens. (NSFW lyrics) [more inside]
posted by BrnP84 at 12:07 AM PST - 18 comments

October 28


Generation WE: How Millennial Youth Are Taking Over America And Changing Our World Forever (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:22 PM PST - 111 comments

Charles Meets Barack [SLYT]
posted by MaxK at 7:14 PM PST - 238 comments

Codeweavers is offering their product line for free until midnight Central time tonight. They implement versions of WINE, which allows one to run Windows programs under Mac OSX and Linux, including implementations focused on running games. [more inside]
posted by Kwine at 6:35 PM PST - 40 comments



The Shakers ...the definitive film on the Shaker movement. --- The New Yorker (30 min, QT)
posted by vronsky at 5:26 PM PST - 11 comments

This is Georgina Baillie [slightly NSFW], aka Voluptua of Satanic Sluts Extreme, aka the granddaughter of Andrew Sachs, aka Manuel off of Fawlty Towers; This is Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister of Great Britain; This is David Cameron, the leader of the opposition; This is Ofcom, the British media regulator; This is The Mail On Sunday, the pro-Hitler anti-BBC newspaper beloved of the British middle class; These are 10,000 concerned Britons. Collectively, they're calling for the heads of Russell "Bush is a retarded cowboy" Brand and Jonathan "£18m of TV licence fee payers' money" Ross after the pair apparently left lewd messages about Ms Baillie on Mr Sachs' answerphone during Brand's BBC radio show. Here's the timeline.
posted by cillit bang at 4:10 PM PST - 65 comments

As laddish 'landfill indie' bands take over the British charts and the previous vanguard of art-school bands trouble the mainstream less, the old debate on class in pop music rears its head once again.
posted by mippy at 3:16 PM PST - 41 comments

From Great Game to Grand Bargain. "The crisis in Afghanistan and Pakistan is beyond the point where more troops will help. U.S. strategy must be to seek compromise with insurgents while addressing regional rivalries and insecurities." A new piece in Foreign Affairs by Barnett R. Rubin and Ahmed Rashid. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 3:09 PM PST - 35 comments

Bassets for Obama! Of course, they aren't the only dogs campaigning for Obama . [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:13 PM PST - 32 comments

In the field of humanitarian aid, personnel decisions are life and death business. The UN knows all too well the costs of poor oversight, but aid worker and blogger Michael Kleinman makes another observation, far more disturbing. In the multi-billion dollar humanitarian aid business, some lives are worth less than others, and not only among the populations served. [more inside]
posted by cal71 at 1:57 PM PST - 11 comments

Madonna is pop art
posted by Artw at 1:13 PM PST - 40 comments

Newsfilter: "After a century of continuous publication, The Christian Science Monitor will abandon its weekday print edition and appear online only, its publisher announced Tuesday." [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:48 PM PST - 35 comments

The Hardest Rapper Alive (SLYT; NSFW language)
posted by educatedslacker at 12:38 PM PST - 35 comments

I like these pictures. They are cute and whimsical. (Some slightly NSFW.)
posted by dame at 12:26 PM PST - 30 comments

Q: Why did the elephant cross the road? A: Chicken's day off. Or, according to this article, or this one, or this one, or this one it didn't. Doesn't explain this video, or this video, or this video. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 11:58 AM PST - 12 comments

"The Authors Guild, the Association of American Publishers (AAP), and Google today announced a groundbreaking settlement agreement on behalf of a broad class of authors and publishers worldwide that would expand online access to millions of in-copyright books and other written materials in the U.S. from the collections of a number of major U.S. libraries participating in Google Book Search."
posted by Knappster at 11:48 AM PST - 35 comments

Got a stack of bras you don't know what to do with? Charities will accept secondhand bras in good condition, but if you're in the mood to be creative there are bra crafting ideas on the net. You could make a bra wristlet, and then make a sleep mask out of the rest of the bra fabric, earrings out of the hardware, and a toy out of inserts. You could make a lavender sachet out of a bra and use it to perfume your lingerie drawer. One seemingly popular idea is to make a cute and feminine evening bag or, as one woman who wears a 36F quipped in a comment, luggage. If you're an especially sassy member of the Red Hat Society, you could make a purse that matches your hat. Some people even make hats out of the bras, though perhaps not every woman would care to so obviously wear a bra on her head. If you're a breast cancer survivor and want to avoid buying expensive and uncomfortably heavy prosthetics, you could knit yourself a pair of tits and go right on wearing your favourite bras. You could also make an art installation: a 5' bra ball. Here's a list of 28 things to do with old bras. And yes, I realize this post will make many of the men of MeFi want to get a lot of puns/juvenile comments off their chests, but titter away. You're probably just jealous you can't make such cool crafts out of your jock straps.
posted by orange swan at 8:38 AM PST - 49 comments

A couple of Neo Nazis were going to kill 88 blacks and behead another 14, culminating in the assassination of Barack Obama. They aren't the first to attempt to keep him out of the White House.
posted by gman at 7:13 AM PST - 278 comments



Another stock market post. Technical traders (or charters) don't look at the fundamentals of an investment, like the earnings per share or even macro economic indicators to understand how a stock will move. Instead, they look at the movements in the market. While many of us might think prices are now low, technicians have the reassurance of fibonacci sequences, relative strength indexes, support levels and other "blackbox" ratios to determine their investments. There are some who blame them for a lot of woe, but they also provide a ray of light when everything else looks glum. Despite some evidence it doesn't work, or at least doesn't work over the long term, the number of true believers in the market mean even true fundamentalists can't ignore their impact. [more inside]
posted by bystander at 6:10 AM PST - 74 comments

Nelsonica ’08 is sold out. But for those who won’t be at the Official Bill Nelson Fan Convention in Yorkshire this weekend, comfort yourselves with these blazing live performances by the guitar god and his band Be Bop Deluxe: Maid in Heaven, Dangerous Stranger, Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape. [more inside]
posted by grounded at 12:43 AM PST - 16 comments

October 27

A taxonomy of the costumed pet.
posted by 31d1 at 10:03 PM PST - 29 comments

Sen. Stevens (R, AK) found guilty of of seven corruption charges. Stevens was behind in the polls before this point anyway, so it looks like a solid Dem gain at this point. Palin has obviously thown him under the bus.
posted by jaduncan at 9:00 PM PST - 131 comments

MTVMusic Music to your eyes.
posted by ColdChef at 8:25 PM PST - 84 comments

Daughter of a slave casts vote for Obama. As the centenarian looks forward to turning 110 later this year, let's all take a moment to celebrate centenarians... and, of course, try to work out just how on earth they made it this far. High levels of vitamins A and E seem to play a role, or of course you could just be lucky enough to be from Okinawa or Sardinia. Whatever the reason, they sure know how to live. And as we've seen previously, they're fascinating people.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:50 PM PST - 35 comments

MonkeySee provides free access to a large collection of professionally-produced and user-generated how-to videos. Some of the more interesting tutorials include How To Apply Heath Ledger Joker Makeup, How to Tell if Your Food Has Gone Bad, How to Build a Terrarium, How To Tell If Someone is Lying To Me and How to Get Out of a Speeding Ticket.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:40 PM PST - 17 comments

On Oct. 27th, 1915. Sir Ernest Shackleton gave the order to abandon ship, moving the crew and supplies off of the ice bound Endurance. The Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition would never achieve it's goal of crossing the continent, instead Shackleton would become famous for somethings far greater: his masterful and amazing ability at leadership and survival for himself and his crew of 27 men under the harshest conditions imaginable. [more inside]
posted by mrzarquon at 5:59 PM PST - 59 comments

Plainview is a free full-screen web browser for your mac. Until now, you had two options for showing Internet work: capture it all to Quicktime and throw it into Powerpoint or Keynote (looks nice but no interactivity as everything has to be canned) or show it in your browser (interactive but with ugly chrome distracting people from your beautiful sites). So here's a third option. Fire up your full-screen browser and let your audience focus on the work. [more inside]
posted by krautland at 4:51 PM PST - 52 comments

The creator of Jim Chee and Joe Leaphorn died last night. His books were enjoyed by many. Tony Hillerman was 83.
posted by bjgeiger at 4:25 PM PST - 40 comments



Quantum of culture. Terminology from quantum theory shows up frequently in art, films, poetry and sculpture. Robert P. Crease gauges the impact of quantum mechanics on popular culture. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 2:55 PM PST - 20 comments

The Flag of Earth is often flown at locations doing SETI work in order to indicate that the search is the "work of humanity and not a specific country or organization." The creator of this flag of the Earth (there are others) James W. Cadle died in 2004, but he left the design in the public domain. The flag is now supported by the North American Astrophysical Observatory.
posted by acro at 2:12 PM PST - 53 comments

Do you know what to do if your vote is suppressed?
GOODVOTE.ORG is a group of volunteers from the technology community and blogosphere who simply want the will of the voters to be reflected in the result of the 2008 election. Our only purpose is to make sure that when legitimate voters are challenged they know who to turn to for help.
posted by mecran01 at 2:02 PM PST - 36 comments

As was noted previously, Robert Rauschenberg left us ealier this year at age 82. The webcast of a private memorial for Robert Rauschenberg’s friends and family will be viewable tonight for one time only at 9 p.m EST.
posted by R. Mutt at 1:57 PM PST - 13 comments

Hearing Voices [prev, prev] has a devilishly viscera-soaked Halloween broadcast: Bloody Hell: The First Half is Bloody. The Second Half We Go to Hell. So, turn the lights out, press play, and grab your favorite token of comfort. (It won't help.) [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 1:56 PM PST - 3 comments


Shifting the Debate. Track the movement across the blogosphere of the top 100 political videos on YouTube with this amazing Flash applet.
posted by scalefree at 1:42 PM PST - 8 comments

electric stimulus to face
posted by chrismear at 1:07 PM PST - 41 comments

Back in 1940, a young singer called Virginia O'Brien made her debut in the LA production of "Meet the People" when she was seized by a paralyzing case of stage fright. The policeman daughter nevertheless bravely kept on singing while the audience roared with laughter. Surprisingly, her frozen-faced delivery, far from cutting her career short, created a unique niche for her instead (her wide vocal range and stunning looks also helped). Within short, she'd be appearing as deadpan "featured singer" in a number of golden-age MGM comedies, such as the "In the Storehouse", "Panama Hattie", or, most memorably, "Du Barry was a Lady". It's a bit sad that such a singing and acting talent was reduced to a novelty act, but, damn, what an act!
posted by Skeptic at 12:42 PM PST - 21 comments

Let's play M.U.L.E! [more inside]
posted by roaring beast at 12:17 PM PST - 25 comments

Blotchmen is a short comic by Kevin Cannon that collides Watchmen with children's books. Other short comics by Kevin Cannon can be read on his site under Grab Bag and on his blog, Freshman for Life. His professional work is done through Big Time Attic which he founded with Shad Petosky and not-brother Zander Cannon.
posted by Kattullus at 12:12 PM PST - 8 comments

The Bullingdon Club is an elite drinking dining club for members of Oxford University in England. Its alumni include the London Mayor, Boris Johnson; the leader of the Conservative Party, David Cameron and the shadow Chancellor, George Osborne - in other words the three most powerful Tories in the UK. Photographs of the club are already extremely rare, but recently it surfaced that one of the two in wide circulation, might have been doctored. [more inside]
posted by MrMerlot at 11:36 AM PST - 26 comments

Original character designs for Watchmen, including a (dropped) full body suit for Rorschach, by Dave Gibbons. (Also it looks like the movie version will have a different ending, so fears of a non-sucky Alan Moore film can be put to rest.)
posted by Artw at 11:13 AM PST - 163 comments

To get you in the Halloween spirit: Yume Nikki - a strange and sometimes scary game (that's free to download) where you play a girl who spends her days in a tiny room, but in her dreams goes exploring. Some rave about it, others find it overwhelming, while others still provide many helpful guidelines. Try it yourself - if you're lucky, maybe you'll see Uboa (3:26).
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:57 AM PST - 5 comments


It is the most successful solo jazz album of all time, but Keith Jarrett wants to see each of the 3.5 million copies of "The Köln Concert" stomped into the ground.
posted by mattholomew at 8:25 AM PST - 118 comments

Remember Abu Nidal? The "Bin Laden" of the 70s and 80s, he mysteriously committed suicide in Baghdad on the eve of the 2003 invasion. New documents have come to light suggesting Nidal was working for the USA "trying to find evidence linking Saddam and al-Qa'ida." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 7:08 AM PST - 17 comments

"US helicopter raid" in Syria. Could this be an October Surprise? Many have hinted this election's October Surprise will be the capture of Osama Bin Ladin or a resurgence of terrorist activity. As we recall, news media had jumped on a McCain Aide who claimed a terrorist attack would benefit McCain in the Election.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 7:02 AM PST - 91 comments

Way back in 1984, when rap was still in its infancy, a now-obscure Brooklyn trio called UTFO released a record entitled "Roxanne, Roxanne". UTFO cancelled an appearance at a show promoted by now-legendary figures Mr. Magic and Marley Marl, and when a teenage girl named Lolita Shante Gooden overheard them discussing the cancellation and their anger over it, she offered to record a diss track as the titular Roxanne, and became Roxanne Shante. UTFO responded with their own "Real Roxanne", and thus began a ridiculously long series of answer records involving everyone from the fictional Roxanne's doctor to her grandmother. Now you can listen to them all without spending a fortune: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 [more inside]
posted by DecemberBoy at 6:41 AM PST - 40 comments

The November Atlantic on transgender children: "Since he could speak, Brandon, now 8, has insisted that he was meant to be a girl. This summer, his parents decided to let him grow up as one. His case, and a rising number of others like it, illuminates a heated scientific debate about the nature of gender—and raises troubling questions about whether the limits of child indulgence have stretched too far." [more inside]
posted by dgaicun at 2:53 AM PST - 117 comments

October 26

Turn your name into a face is a tool that creates icon-style faces based on your name. It is an example of an Identicon, automatically generated avatars that serve a security purpose. Another cool example is Monster ID, which each name creates a unique monster.
posted by blahblahblah at 11:58 PM PST - 53 comments


John Hodgman: A brief digression on matters of lost time
Perhaps the sweetest discourse on the subject of aliens & earth that you will ever hear — from a 2008 TED talk. (via BoingBoing)
posted by spock at 7:54 PM PST - 50 comments

Mark Kistler has spent over two decades inspiring kids to pick up their pencils and draw. If you're a child of the 80s, you'll remember him as Commander Mark, host of The Secret City Adventures on PBS—some episodes of which are conveniently archived on YouTube for your nostalgic viewing pleasure. [more inside]
posted by greenie2600 at 7:24 PM PST - 15 comments

Robocop on a Unicorn
posted by brett at 7:11 PM PST - 44 comments

I Love Lucy Pilot (1951). Originally unaired. More about this. Of related interest, the audition for the I Love Lucy Radio Show.
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:06 PM PST - 15 comments

Are you a nerd? Have you ever dated a nerd? Are you dating or married to a nerd right now and you don't understand the person you sleep next to every night? Don't worry, help is here.
posted by SpecialK at 5:56 PM PST - 52 comments

Crimes of Necessity On Oct. 14 2008 the B.C. Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision declaring that, due to the lack of adequate homeless shelters, it was unconstitutional for the City of Victoria to prevent homeless individuals from erecting temporary structures for protection from the elements. The ruling culminates a multi-year campaign by David Arthur Johnston to establish the "right to sleep". As the decision is based on an interpretation of Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the ruling applies to every municipality in Canada. In the wake of the decision, Victoria City Council passed a resolution which stipulates that such shelters must be removed by 7:00 each morning. [more inside]
posted by dinsdale at 5:02 PM PST - 100 comments

"Death and Taxes: 2009" is a representational poster of the federal discretionary budget; the amount of money that is spent at the discretion of your elected representatives in Congress. Basically, your federal income taxes. (previously)
posted by Knappster at 4:25 PM PST - 14 comments

BIGFOOT FOUND.
posted by loquacious at 3:55 PM PST - 32 comments


It started in 1956 and led in 1969 to Quicksilver Messenger Service recording the song as an entire side on the Happy Trails album. This song was later to be covered by The Doors (1970); The Band + Ronnie Hawkins (1976); George Thorogood (1978) among many. The second side also featured a composition by the same writer; performing here with Tom Petty. Hey Bo Diddley
posted by adamvasco at 3:02 PM PST - 23 comments

Evidence of a Global SuperOrganism. "My hypothesis is this: The rapidly increasing sum of all computational devices in the world connected online, including wirelessly, forms a superorganism of computation with its own emergent behaviors." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 2:50 PM PST - 67 comments

Rule 10a-1, otherwise known as the uptick rule, provided that, subject to certain exceptions, a listed security could only be sold short at or above the last sale price. The uptick rule was introduced in 1934 when the public blamed bear traders for the 1929 crash, and was eliminated in July of 2007 after a temporary pilot program. The SEC is now considering reinstating the rule, an effort buoyed by rumours that downtick short-selling may have facilitated an alleged 'bear raid' on Bear Stearns.
posted by anotherpanacea at 12:04 PM PST - 14 comments

Twin brothers Trevor and Ryan Oakes have a new technique for drawing perspective. Unlike the camera obscura and camera lucida (allegedly) employed by Renaissance masters, their method uses an easel with a curved steel frame which splits the artist's view into a grid and a skullcap to lock his head into place. By employing an optical trick similar to magic-eye stereoscopy, the artist can superimpose what he sees onto a thin strip of his paper. The result? Richly detailed line drawings on concave surfaces. Their website. (Look for Trevor's pipe cleaner weavings and the see-through concave cardboard wall). More, more and more.
posted by hydrophonic at 10:43 AM PST - 24 comments

Long-time CBS in-house designer Lou Dorfsman passed away this week. He did a lot of great work, but let's just focus on one part: His cafeteria wall at CBS, dubbed Gastrotypographicalassemblage. More about the wall. And an interview with Mr. Dorfsman about the wall.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:28 AM PST - 14 comments

Physics Invader takes the classic Space Invaders idea and, as you might guess from the name, adds physics. Extra points awarded for pushing the heaps of Invader corpses off the edge of the screen! PEW PEW PEW! [more inside]
posted by 40 Watt at 9:11 AM PST - 19 comments

Though Bessie Smith is regarded as the queen of the early blues singers, Martha Copeland was singing the blues and its variants (and doing a fine job of it) back in the 20s as well. Head over to Internet Archive to hear Martha sing her versions of two of the tunes that made Bessie so famous: I Ain't Got Nobody and St. Louis Blues, the latter with backing vocal chorus from the Hall Johnson Choir. Check out her Dying Crap Shooter's Blues and Sorrow Valley Blues. And there's plenty of Martha Copeland goodness for your ears (RealPlayer) here and here. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:06 AM PST - 9 comments

October 25

Are you a Democrat who drinks lattes? eats arugula? Does the thought of another Republican president fill you with dread? Canada's E.L.I.T.E. immigration plan is right for you! [more inside]
posted by afu at 9:02 PM PST - 102 comments

Calgon! (Gregorian Chants) Take Me Away!!!!! [more inside]
posted by snsranch at 8:52 PM PST - 13 comments

Caleb Charland's photographs artistically demonstrate the laws of physics. In "Solid, Liquid, Gas," for example, three similar glass-tumbler shapes are positioned on a film of water. One glass is filled with a separation of water, oil and alcohol. Another, overturned, contains an extinguished candle which, having burned up the oxygen inside the vessel, created a vacuum that sucked the water inside. The third vessel and the other pictures are just cool.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 4:43 PM PST - 26 comments

From The Atlantic, a fun bunch of montages of interesting people answering questions like "What is the cost of being a nerd?", "When is evil cool?" and "Are good books bad for you?" (Accompanies a redesign of magazine as well as of the web site. In seeking readers and advertisers, publications like The Atlantic and The Economist, known as thought-leader magazines, have long tried to make up in cleverness what they lack in wallet power.)
posted by Non Prosequitur at 3:40 PM PST - 27 comments

The History of Mother 1 (NES) In honor of the new fan translation of Mother 3 (or Earthbound for the GBA), I've decided to post an article explaining what ever happened to the English port of the first game in the Earthbound/Mother trilogy.
posted by AZNsupermarket at 2:53 PM PST - 19 comments

Financial Regime Change? Robert Wade, professor of political economy and development at the London School of Economics, "argues that we are exiting the neoliberal paradigm that has held sway since the 1980s" and considers the "causes and repercussions of the crisis, and errors of the model that brought it to fruition." Prof. Wade was making similar predictions last year.
posted by Abiezer at 2:39 PM PST - 24 comments


Norm Coleman mails "rape" comic book to kids. Just about the most negative advertising possible, in comic book form, slamming Senator Franken. Not the first use of comic book form to slam opponents, of course. Would be much better if they were used in more positive ways.
posted by Kickstart70 at 2:21 PM PST - 40 comments

Much of the extraordinary variety of traditional art from Africa comes from the countries in West and Central Africa, because of the availability of wood (often called exotic woods) and metal. Hamill Gallery has organized their excellent site to show the materials, including textiles, metals, beads used, as well as the names of the many tribes and categories, such as animals. The images are accompanied by information about the art. The Yale University Art Gallery also has a nice selection of African art with information. The Africa Image Library offers an archive of images, which give a little backdrop to the lives and environment of the artists and artisans in various parts of Africa. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 2:18 PM PST - 5 comments

Explorations in Black Leadership is a collection of video interviews with prominent African-Americans, focusing on activists of one sort or another. 34 people are interviewed, including Nikki Giovanni, John Lewis, Barbara Lee, Bobby Rush, Dorothy Height and Amiri Baraka. There are full transcripts of every interview. Here's an excerpt from the Nikki Giovanni interview: "The kids today have to have a voice. I'm amazed that they found it. I remember Sugarhill Gang with Sylvia, you know: "Uptown, Downtown, the Holiday Inn." You know, things like that. Then, of course, I remember the explosion of Tupac Shakur. Losing Tupac was a great loss for this generation. I have a tattoo--it says "Thug Life" --because I wanted to mourn with this generation. I don't see how people can knock the kids…paying so little attention. I had deep regrets--and I know Rosa Parks, you know, we don't hang out but I know her--I so regretted that she lent her name to be used against Outkast, because Rosa Parks is a wonderful--is a wonderful tune. And they were giving her problems. If people don't--if the younger generation doesn't sing the praises of the older generation they get forgotten."
posted by Kattullus at 1:52 PM PST - 8 comments

First Person Plural. "An evolving approach to the science of pleasure suggests that each of us contains multiple selves—all with different desires, and all fighting for control. If this is right, the pursuit of happiness becomes even trickier. Can one self bind another self if the two want different things? Are you always better off when a Good Self wins? And should outsiders, such as employers and policy makers, get into the fray?" [Via]
posted by homunculus at 1:00 PM PST - 27 comments

The Martin D-28. You have heard it thousands of times before. Its modest appearance belies its history and influence; there have been several changes in its design and construction over the years, but it remains largely the same since its introduction in 1934. [more inside]
posted by jimmythefish at 11:54 AM PST - 24 comments

They got overshadowed by Bono in their interviews, their videos hardly rocked the zeitgeist, their lead singer looked way too much like the weird kid who played little Hitler in the Boys From Brazil, but for a while in the late 1970s and the early 1980s (before the release of a certain annoying movie), it was sometimes claimed that Simple Minds were the best band in the entire history of the Universe, if not the world ... and the groove goes on.
posted by philip-random at 11:33 AM PST - 53 comments

It's Parade Day, the culmination of the island's biggest and best party of the year, Key West's Fantasy Fest 2008. It's a small party, (in that Key West is only 4-by-2 miles in size), but it increases Key West's population from 27,000 to over 100,000! What's the attraction? Well aside from the body painting [NSFW], casual debauchery [NSFW, GGW, and possible WTF], great freakin' music, freaks getting freaky over freak nakedness, photo ops [again, NSFW], and a pretty much non-stop outrageous gay-straight-bi-leather-whatever One Human Family sexy fun fun fun [NSFW] celebration, Parade Night is miles and miles/five hours of out-of-this-world partying island festival [possible NSFW, whatchutink]! Come now!
posted by humannaire at 11:13 AM PST - 6 comments

Derrida's fear of writing. ("I have a nap or something, and I fall asleep" in English, rest in French with subtitles).
posted by internationalfeel at 9:36 AM PST - 20 comments

Orson Welles in the Arena, BBC; 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: with Jeanne Moreau, Peter Bogdanovich, John Huston, Charlton Heston. More Arena documentaries: Buddy Holly: Joe Orton: Elvis: Peter Sellers: Superman: David Lynch on surrealism: Philip K. Dick.
posted by vronsky at 7:43 AM PST - 18 comments

Almost 100 years ago Bessie Smith sung the blues
posted by Mblue at 7:13 AM PST - 16 comments

Dee Dee Warwick, sister of Dionne and a fine soul singer in her own right, recently passed on to that other shore. This blog entry on Dee Dee features mp3 links to her wonderful cover of the Elvis Presley hit Suspicious Minds and the heartrending She Didn't Know. More: I'm Gonna Make You Love Me, Monday Monday and Foolish Fool.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:04 AM PST - 14 comments

The United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842Authorized and funded by the U.S. government, six ships sailed with 346 men (including officers, crew, scientists, and artists) on a four-year scientific and surveying mission, logging 87,000 miles around the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans. Two ships and 28 men were lost, and the Expedition's contentious commander Charles Wilkes was court-martialled for his erratic behavior, and was sued by former officers and crew members. During the Civil War in 1861, he boarded a British ship, seized two Confederate agents, and nearly provoked military retaliation by England (he was court-martialled once again in 1864 for insubordination.) Wilkes' 1845 Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition and the Ex. Ex.'s journals were published by Congress, and some 40 tons of Expedition specimens and artifacts became the foundation of the Smithsonian Institution's collections. [Nathaniel Philbrick (video lecture) chronicles this almost-forgotten voyage in his 2003 book Sea of Glory (NYT review).]
posted by cenoxo at 3:26 AM PST - 21 comments

October 24

Dr. Joe Z. Tsien has previously created a strain of mice unable to form memories, one with much improved memory - "Doogie" mice - and can now erase single mouse memories. "Our work reveals a molecular mechanism of how that can be done quickly and without doing damage to brain cells." Remembering to forget....
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 11:12 PM PST - 45 comments

The wonderful wordsmith, Anu Garg, at Wordsmith.org has posted five words this week: "To barrack"."Bidentate"."Meeken". "Palinode". "Obambulate". Definitions inside. [more inside]
posted by Tarn at 10:00 PM PST - 26 comments

The first time I encountered this song was on an Anita Kerr Singers record I found in my dad's basement. The original was composed for The Thomas Crown Affair. When the film was remade in 1999, the song was performed by Sting, but his was far from the first recurrence. It inspired numerous covers, perhaps most popularly by Dusty Springfield. I find Jose Feliciano's version to be particularly soulful. Dorothy Ashby layed down some of the funkiest harp you'll ever care to hear. My personal favorite is Peter Nero's performance of the windmills on a Moog synthesizer. Cameron Carpenter puts the phantom to shame with his rendition. New Dawns Show Choir do it with jazz hands. Arturo Sandoval uses his jazz hands to a slightly more impressive effect. I could keep going but I feel like a door that keeps revolving in a half forgotten dream. Oh. The Muppets did it, too.
posted by _aa_ at 9:32 PM PST - 19 comments


Halloween is lurking ever nearer, and you need costumes and home decorations. Even if you're not as crafty as a witch, Halloween is a good time to start because the results are supposed to look deformed and grotesque. And you're dreaming of a green Halloween. Fortunately I just happen to have a few links to get you started. This garlic wreath could help you keep the vampires away, and this eyeball wreath may work on everyone else. For a geek-style Halloween, make a Mac-o-lantern. You could also decorate the house with a vinyl record cat clock, tin can candle lanterns, a ghost mobile, CD cat coasters, or a skeleton doll made out of old socks. For outdoor decorations, lawn tombstones can be made out pizza boxes and old newspapers, a skeleton out of old plastic containers, and there could be a ghost or two hanging about. You could adorn yourself with a skeleton brooch made out of tin cans, and if you've got old clothes or linens lying about the children in your life might like a few cute monsters to cuddle. If your kids (or you) have finally outgrown dolls, give the dolls a zombie makeover. For costume ideas, check out the Daily Green's list of the best recycled costumes on the Web, then send the kids trick or treating with pumpkin or black cat canisters. Just please be careful with those shears and x-acto knives or the blood and gore on your costume may be a little too organic.
posted by orange swan at 7:32 PM PST - 28 comments

Love Story: the 2006 documentary about the obscure, semi-legendary 60s L.A. psychedelic band Love, and its leader Arthur Lee. One week only on Pitchfork.TV previously 2001 and 2006 [more inside]
posted by msalt at 4:44 PM PST - 38 comments

Origami inspired bamboo and paper modular buildings for use as temporary shelters, by Ming Tang.
posted by Artw at 4:41 PM PST - 17 comments


Did you like Spy Hunter? Then you'll probably like The Heist, for even more Friday Flash Fun! It's a similar vertical scroller, but you lose points when you hit cars (if you destroy cop cars, you add points.)
posted by schyler523 at 4:02 PM PST - 15 comments

One minute and four seconds in London, 1904. Birkbeck College professor Ian Christie rediscovered this footage in an archive in Canberra, shot for a travelogue by film pioneer Charles Urban.
posted by digaman at 4:01 PM PST - 67 comments

Web of Horror #1 (December 1969): Re-presenting the short-lived and impossibly obscure horror comics magazine that featured early work from such luminaries as Ralph Reese, Jeff Jones and Bernie Wrightson. Link via Journalista (may be NSFW). [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:44 PM PST - 23 comments

Some more Flash Friday Fun! Edmund McMillen, creator of indie platforming physics-based game darling Gish and "Experimental game" Aether has a new game called Meat Boy, about a chunky block of meat with a face and appendages, he must rescue his girlfriend, Bandaid Girl, from the clutches of the bad guy. To that end, Meat Boy must travel through more than 56 levels spanning four chapters.
posted by Del Far at 3:20 PM PST - 8 comments

The Mattel toy company insists that their Little Mommy Cuddle 'n Coo dolls do not utter the phrase "Islam is the light." You be the judge.
posted by Knappster at 3:04 PM PST - 75 comments

The Wassup boys have had a tough eight years, but things are looking up. (SLYT.)
posted by william_boot at 2:33 PM PST - 59 comments

History and the Universe , mentioned months ago in a NYTimes travel feature, has finally gone live. This Internet TV channel has two shows so far: Big Book of Lies and Emily Time, both filmed in Buenos Aires. Video is high quality, even filmic at times. Favorite characters include Buck Chomsky, the disaffected son of you-know-who, and Exon, a 5'3 Colombian gangster with a penchant for Apple products.
posted by spigoat at 1:57 PM PST - 3 comments

Flash Friday! John Calhoun's classic mac game Glider Pro, now in flash form. [previously] [more inside]
posted by hellojed at 1:38 PM PST - 9 comments


CUBE
posted by Scoo at 1:01 PM PST - 47 comments

To celebrate the build up to the spookiest time of the year (which is almost certainly a co-opted Celtic end of the year festival), here are some spooky songs about endings from the marvelous Jason Webley: the end of the month, the end of the year, the end of life (with bonus ballet!), the end of the world, and the reason that we have endings. [more inside]
posted by Caduceus at 12:59 PM PST - 15 comments

Giordano Bruno: Philosopher, Heretic, Troll.
posted by homunculus at 12:45 PM PST - 23 comments

Friday Flash Fun! It's two great flavors that taste great together in White House Tower Defence!
posted by GuyZero at 11:04 AM PST - 24 comments

After recently leading his far right wing party, Alliance for the Future of Austria, to shocking gains at the polls, Jörg Haider, was killed this month whilst driving drunk. His 27 year old replacement, Stefan Petzner, was sacked after admitting to having a special relationship with Haider.
posted by gman at 10:08 AM PST - 52 comments

Palin for 2012? She's popular with conservatives, and even before any potential makeover 6 out of 10 evangelicals think she is experienced enough to be president. She'd potentially get the Huckabee evangelical vote in the primaries *and* the talk radio wing. If Obama succeeds in taking moderates, the evangelical and talk radio wings will only be stronger. And the GOP would appear to already be talking about it.
posted by jaduncan at 9:01 AM PST - 317 comments

"No other country could have produced the Specials. Terry Hall grew up with Jamaican culture as well as English culture, that’s the only way The Specials could have happened. If you listen to American ska bands, they don’t sound authentic, it's like surf music with reggae mixed with it." Tricky talks about Englishness.
posted by parmanparman at 8:50 AM PST - 84 comments

"We'll breed him and we'll see if his kids glow, too!" Meet Mr. Green Genes: (No, not that Mr. Green Jeans) Pic. Pic. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 7:37 AM PST - 30 comments

All the stocks and bonds you think you own are actually owned by a company you've probably never heard of, a company owned by the same people who own the US Federal Reserve. [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 6:30 AM PST - 58 comments

'Around my house we kinda laugh when Sarah Palin comes on TV, and we say, "That's Greg Stillson as a woman."' Interview with Stephen King on the thirtieth anniversary of The Stand.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:40 AM PST - 121 comments

Kuroda Tetsuzan Sensei is an incredible Japanese martial artist. As a skilled swordsman, he practices very old and unusual forms of iaido, kenjutsu as well an interesting form of ju jutsu. He is both incredibly still and incredibly fast and he knows a few tricks too. [more inside]
posted by salishsea at 1:06 AM PST - 60 comments

This isn't exactly the scarlet letter, but it might be a sign of something we've seen before (or maybe not, depending who you ask.) Still, you should probably get yourself one of these [see also] if you're planning to cry wolf! (You can also make your own.) [more inside]
posted by davejay at 12:04 AM PST - 125 comments

October 23

All Kinds of 70's awesomeness!! Plaid Stallions!!
posted by pearlybob at 10:12 PM PST - 19 comments

If americans are compensating by driving SUVs...then what the hell is up with these europeans?
posted by 445supermag at 8:46 PM PST - 50 comments


Vinni Puh only because, with all the hate and nasty stuff happening, we need something to just make us smile. (SLYT) via
posted by HuronBob at 7:04 PM PST - 33 comments

Confused about what caused this whole credit crisis? Let me Paddy Hirsch from Marketplace explain it to you in this surprisingly entertaining and easy to understand video. While you're there, check out his explanation of short selling and credit default swaps. I wish this guy was my finance professor.
posted by JPowers at 5:20 PM PST - 23 comments

8 Against 8 Last weekend, a ragtag group of 8 lesbian bloggers slapped together an idea - join forces to raise $8,000 in 8 days to defeat Proposition 8, the ballot initiative that would eliminate same-sex couples' right to marry in the State of California. They set up a donation page and launched 48 hours later (midnight this past Monday). None of them were expecting the immediate and passionate response. Within 24 hours, they had raised $2,500. In 2 days, over $5,000. Yesterday, before day 3 out of 8 ended, they had already shattered their goal of $8,000. Blogs and the media started buzzing with 4 days to go. Moral of the story: it doesn't take months and a huge budget to run a successful fundraiser, just a crazy idea and a few laptops.
posted by notoriousbhc at 5:07 PM PST - 44 comments

Last week, an absentee ballot request mailer was sent out locally by the Republican Party of Virgina. The return envelope bears an ambiguous, yet eerily familiar, picture along with some strong words. Some bloggers weigh in. via
posted by phunniemee at 4:54 PM PST - 87 comments


The story of Benjamin Darling and his descendants begins with a dramatic shipwreck and ends, generations later, in a dark moment of human injustice [more inside]
posted by Foam Pants at 3:07 PM PST - 5 comments

Wanna play the first two Fallout games for totally cheap? Good Old Games is now open to the public. Via Blue's News, some interesting discussion there about "DRM Free" claims and whether or not Freespace 2 is really "free."
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:38 PM PST - 60 comments

Hey Everybody, Clap Your Hands!
posted by Xurando at 2:37 PM PST - 18 comments

It's hardly the case today (unless you live in Iran), but once upon a time, all computer programmers were female. While the (male) engineers who built ENIAC, the world's first modern computer, became famous and lauded, the six women who actually programmed ENIAC have been largely overlooked. Now a team of researchers and programmers is trying to raise money to tell the story of these pioneering women in a new documentary, before it's too late. [more inside]
posted by Asparagirl at 2:22 PM PST - 25 comments

The Neoclassical Gem Collection of Prince Poniatowski - Prince Stanislas Poniatowski was the vastly wealthy nephew of the last King of Poland. Living in Rome, he built up a stunning collection of gems depicting scenes like Hercules Bagging the Pygmies in the Skin of the Nemean Lion. The collection was sold by Christie's at auction in 1839 and that's when the questions started… [pdf]
posted by tellurian at 2:19 PM PST - 15 comments

During The Troubles in Northern Ireland, the SAS came up with a very creative way of identifying and apprehending PIRA bomb-makers: They set up a laundry.
posted by Cobalt at 1:58 PM PST - 35 comments

Olle Hemmingsson´s Trio. Quartet live. (SLYT, via)
posted by bonefish at 1:40 PM PST - 4 comments

Prophets and politics. "The Mormon Church works to ban gay marriage in California, even as gay people in places like Rexburg, Idaho, come out of the LDS closet."
posted by homunculus at 12:30 PM PST - 87 comments

Ikons painted by Ilian Rachov of Bulgaria.
posted by RussHy at 12:19 PM PST - 6 comments

Hacking Al-Qaeda's websites: Hacker wars are the latest front in the fight against Al Qaeda. CNN says here that AQ may be unable to post propaganda videos as a result. But who is attacking? As far back as 2002, people speculated that Western intelligence agencies had compromised them, and a pornographer claimed he did. More recently, there are Shiite vs. Sunni battles, as when Ayatollah Sistani's website was cracked. In 2004, Zarqawi's site was breached.
posted by msalt at 12:16 PM PST - 11 comments

"You aren't in as much control as you think you are." Buyology by Martin Lindstrom. Cigarette Health Warnings Stimulate Smoking. Subconscious Encounters: How Brand Exposure Affects Your Choices . A sign is anything that can be used to tell a lie. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 12:02 PM PST - 27 comments


Okay, this election is officially weird. Opie, Andy, Richie and the Fonz apparently want us to vote Obama. Sadly, it's missing the kind of catchy songs featured in Fonzie's other PSA (NSFW).
posted by miss lynnster at 10:51 AM PST - 55 comments

Lars Veldkamp. I happened upon Lars through his Flickr sets, in particular Typocalypse.
posted by netbros at 10:46 AM PST - 12 comments


America's Secret War: charming Vanguard correspondent Mariana van Zeller travels to the Iraq-Iran border to investigate claims that the United States is supporting militant groups that are attacking Iran.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 8:55 AM PST - 31 comments

Electronic waste is a massive worldwide problem. Some deal with it themselves and profit from it, whilst others dump their waste on other countries. Some stats and an eWaste Guide.
posted by gman at 8:46 AM PST - 27 comments


Terry Tate would like to let you know to Get Out The Vote! He also has a couple of messages for Sarah Palin. He's coming From Russia With Love to tell you Reading Is Fundamental to establishing your world view. [more inside]
posted by P.o.B. at 12:38 AM PST - 43 comments


October 22

gay advertising
posted by serazin at 10:42 PM PST - 58 comments

Modista [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:22 PM PST - 42 comments

Michael Myers is to be feared in ways you don't realize. You may know Michael Myers by his main body of work, but his on-screen performances only scratch the surface of his talent. Besides piano, he's skilled at bass, guitar, ukulele, multiple personality metal band, many styles of dance, and motorcycle riding. this guy has nothing to fear.
posted by dr. fresh at 8:43 PM PST - 20 comments

Wait - Chicago has a pedway?
posted by LSK at 8:34 PM PST - 53 comments

Gentlemen, are you searching for that special something to wear to the Paris Court Ball? Ladies, do you long to don a pelisse and kid shoes for your next round of afternoon calls? Vintage Textile can help. [more inside]
posted by chihiro at 6:44 PM PST - 28 comments

If the World Could Vote
posted by bwg at 6:13 PM PST - 86 comments

Forget again to enroll at Oxford? Some of what you've been missing.
posted by Rykey at 4:53 PM PST - 25 comments

October 18, 1997, Liz Heaston becomes the first woman to score points in a college football game (NAIA), kicking for Willamette in their victory over Linfield College. August 30, 2001, Ashley Martin kicks three extra points for Jacksonville State University, helping them in their 72-10 defeat of Cumberland, and becoming the first woman to score points in a Division 1 game. August 30, 2003, Katie Hnida becomes the face of women in college football when she scores two extra points in New Mexico's victory over Texas State University. She received harassment and (alleged) assault from her former teammates at Colorado University before becoming the first woman to core points in a Division 1-A game, as well as the first to suit up for a bowl game. Five years later, Kacy Stuart, a 14-year-old High School Freshman who can kick 50-yard Field Goals, is facing opposition for suiting up for the New Creation Center Crusaders, first from the league, and now from the other teams...
posted by Navelgazer at 4:17 PM PST - 41 comments

Richard Thompson (no, not that one) is the writer and artist behind Cul-de-Sac, a delightful comic chronicling the lives of Alice and Petey Otterloop. [more inside]
posted by god hates math at 3:39 PM PST - 14 comments

Guns and Roses to finally release Chinese Democracy after all these years.
posted by Artw at 3:07 PM PST - 130 comments

Powerful, quiet photos of Barack Obama. Callie Shell captures Barack Obama in private and mundane moments that happen to say a lot about him. Highlights include two little kids literally looking up to him, Barack doing pull-ups, waiting in a stairway, and cleaning up after himself at an ice cream parlor.
posted by ignignokt at 1:22 PM PST - 319 comments

Crystal Palace. "Cavers in Mexico confront extreme conditions and find extraordinary beauty." (Previously.)
posted by homunculus at 12:21 PM PST - 34 comments


"She handed me the box and I studied it carefully, squinting, even allowing my eyes to blur, to try and see what I was missing. She pointed- 'Do you see?' See what? I didn't see anything. Just broccoli. Her finger tapped on a certain part of the box and she urged me to look closer. 'There- right there. Do you see it? I'm not going to tell you what it is if you don't see it.' And then, it suddenly became clear to me. WHAT THE HELL?"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:43 AM PST - 67 comments

Big Lots, the mega-retailer that specializes in really low prices on really odd assortments of stuff - basically, whatever their supplier has too much of - just launched its new website with a Woot-like "Deal of the Day" section. But perhaps most interesting is cartoon spokesmodel Anita Deal, who bears a striking resemblance to a certain vice-presidential candidate.
posted by jbickers at 10:41 AM PST - 93 comments

Six Russian artists have created reproductions of world-famous paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Van Gogh and Picasso entirely out of sausage, earning a Guiness record certificate . This exhibition of perfectly edible art pieces took place a few weeks ago in the Russian city of Rostov-on-Don to celebrate the centennary of a local meat-processing factory. Close-up photos of the pieces at English Russia. [more inside]
posted by wretched_rhapsody at 9:57 AM PST - 24 comments

Fish. They're ugly and they smell. You can't find many calendars with them on, and they lose out to pandas when it comes to zoo adoption. But wait! PETA are going to save fish through canny PR. Say hello to Sea Kittens.
posted by mippy at 9:23 AM PST - 82 comments

Microsoft is taking unprecedented measures to combat China's piracy. The people aren't happy. Is the company shooting itself in the foot?
posted by strangeguitars at 8:41 AM PST - 66 comments

Basketball rats. So the folks at the Finnish Science Centre Heureka have trained rats to play basketball.
Any tame rat can learn to play basketball, but brave rats which are relaxed playing in front of an enthusiastic audience will be the best professionals!
Video here and more here. Via TrueHoop.
posted by i_cola at 8:34 AM PST - 18 comments

Leadership for the 21st Century Harvard Business School hosts moderator Charlie Rose in a roundtable discussion concerning the credit crisis, housing, American leadership and foreign affairs. Participants are the 2008 HBS Alumni Achievement Award recipients, including eBay (and McCain advisor) CEO Meg Whitman, GE CEO Jeff Immelt, Venture Capitalist extrordinaire John Doerr, Indian business juggernaut Anand G. Mahindra, and former World Bank president James D. Wolfensohn. This aired on PBS last night and it was some of the most honest, intelligent, and inspiring discussion I have heard in some time. While the only transcript I could find is a paid one here, this 100 minute video should be required viewing for anyone working in a fortune 500 company, or those interested in politics, environmentalism, technology, foreign policy or the election. [more inside]
posted by daHIFI at 7:56 AM PST - 18 comments

A veeeery interesting article in Rolling Stone magazine, described by these words: Block the Vote, Will the GOP's campaign to deter new voters and discard Democratic ballots determine the next president? The article is signed by R.F.Kennedy Jr. and G. Palast
posted by acrobat at 7:38 AM PST - 176 comments

As the U.S. election approaches, you're getting fidgety. You've donated, you've volunteered for your candidate's campaign, but you've still got time on your hands for election-themed activities. What to do? Well, you could make some snazzy Obama or McCain earrings to wear to the polls on decision day. You could make presidential candidate finger puppets out of yarn, paper, or felt and re-enact the debates. You could knit a party animal so as to have something to snuggle up to at night when you wake from nightmares of stolen elections. You could decorate some oranges. Slate has a slideshow of political craft ideas, my favourite of which is probably the Homeland Security Quilt. For more ideas, check out the Obama Craft Project, where crafters are crafting for change and fundraising. There you'll find everything from Obamaware to a cool Yes We Can scarf, to a cross-stitch portrait, to a cozy Obama cap. Lest you think I'm being too partisan here, I'll say I did search for Republican-oriented crafts and there just didn't seem to be many. It seems Obama's got the crafting demographic, um, all sewn up.
posted by orange swan at 7:37 AM PST - 18 comments

SOMEHOW, THE FOLLOWING VIDEO CLIPS SEEMED APPROPRIATE FOR INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY: WORLD'S FASTEST CLAPPER - WORLD'S FASTEST DRINKER - WORLD'S FASTEST UNDRESSER - WORLD'S FASTEST SHOOTER and WORLD RECORD 124 HEADSPINS.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:49 AM PST - 43 comments


In 1886, Association Football adopted a new tradition: "That all players taking part for England in future international matches be presented with a white silk cap with red rose embroidered on the front. These to be termed International Caps."
posted by Wolfdog at 3:12 AM PST - 14 comments

Using ground-breaking photography techniques, revolutionary 4D scanning techniques and anatomically accurate models, Channel 4 shows us Extraordinary Animals in the Womb.
posted by chuckdarwin at 2:28 AM PST - 8 comments

"India on Wednesday became the sixth nation to launch a moon mission when indigenously built PSLV-C11 rocket blasted off from the spaceport here carrying with it Chandrayaan-I, which will map the lunar surface." For India, The Future Is Here. [more inside]
posted by ageispolis at 1:08 AM PST - 38 comments

October 21

Can't decide on what would serve you best in the next zombie outbreak? Zombie Tools has you covered. Each weapon is handmade from tempered spring steel and designed specifically for dispatching the undead. [more inside]
posted by Telf at 11:31 PM PST - 51 comments

The City of Absurdity - The Mysterious World of David Lynch
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:07 PM PST - 48 comments

African Swim is the newest free album being offered by Cartoon Network's Adult Swim. This time the album features South African hip hop groups.
posted by drezdn at 11:02 PM PST - 12 comments

Shantaram is the story of a violent man's search for the man of peace within himself. Gregory David Roberts, clip 1, clip 2, 3 and 4, is an ex-junkie, former gun runner; drugs, forged passports and black market currency dealer; was a member of the Bombay Mafia and close with a Mafia don there; acted in Bollywood movies; fought with the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan; imprisoned in an Australian maximum security prison with a 19 year sentence and escaped to the Bombay slums, where he set up a free clinic. His semi-autobiography is called Shantaram, which means man pf peace. Review on Shunya. His website. Movie due out in 2009. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 10:28 PM PST - 30 comments

The latest paper-based video from the folks at Common Craft. This video explains the ins and outs of phishing scams. Show it to your less web-savvy brethren.
posted by dbarefoot at 10:13 PM PST - 5 comments

Hear the Wind Sing
posted by vronsky at 9:59 PM PST - 2 comments

Pixish is Closing. Today, Derek Powazek announced on his blog that the collaborative website for creative and design work will close on October 31, openly admitting "We underestimated the 'spec work' issue." [more inside]
posted by pineapple at 9:25 PM PST - 37 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 chrisamiller at 9:00 PM PST - 256 comments

Flow of Time is a BBC documentary that "tries to explain time and covers the different ways we have used to understand Time, religion, mathematics, relativity, and quantum mechanics." Part 1, 2, 3, 4posted by nola at 8:33 PM PST - 10 comments

This post is all about toilet paper, such as its history, toilet paper art, toilet paper facts, and toilet paper commercials. There's even links to toilet paper museums, detailed facts and scans of toilet paper from Germany and alternatives to toilet paper (both physical and virtual), which is great since finding ways to reduce your toilet paper consumption might just help save the planet or, at the very least, solve The Toilet Paper Problem.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:00 PM PST - 15 comments

Flawless Aircraft Emergency Landings (QLYTP). Breatheless reporting aside, it looks like when a pilot can control the landing, these aircraft are tough enough that no one need be hurt. Many more excellent videos in the post-video links, too.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:24 PM PST - 40 comments

Friedman under attack More than 100 faculty at the University of Chicago, where Milton Friedman won the 1976 Nobel Prize in economics, are trying to stop the university from putting Mr. Friedman's name on a $200-million (U.S.) research centre. The opponents argue that the Milton Friedman Institute would compromise the academic integrity of the university and serve as a monument to Mr. Friedman's world outlook, which they say has largely been discredited. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 7:23 PM PST - 31 comments

Smile!
posted by miss lynnster at 6:11 PM PST - 51 comments

He's a ghost, and he writes to us: GhostWriter. In 1992, PBS launched a new TV show designed to teach 7-to-10 year-olds to love reading and writing. The show initially featured a team of 5 characters (Rob joined the team a few episodes later, and by the end there were a few additional characters) in Brooklyn, NY solving mysteries. It had cameos by Julia Stiles, Spike Lee, and Samuel L. Jackson and one of the characters even had her own music video. So what happened to it? Well, it's available on VHS, but has not been released on DVD. Don't worry! There's an online petition!
posted by lunit at 4:49 PM PST - 41 comments


NextBus uses GPS to tell you the predicted time of the next bus. Google maps show buses in real time, and you can get updates on your phone/PDA. The coverage is limited to certain agencies within the US, so these other sites might be useful: Hopstop covers subways and buses in NYC, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, DC, and more. (mobile version) Google Transit has many US metro areas in addition to Canada, Europe, and Japan. (previously) Many more locations inside. [more inside]
posted by desjardins at 2:58 PM PST - 36 comments


Internet Overdose Song (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by pearlybob at 1:39 PM PST - 23 comments

With election season in the US, it's probably hard to get a less than Gung-ho picture of the war in Afghanistan, but this Spiegel Online article paints a dark picture. "Pessimism about the situation has never been so high." High level NATO commanders are using phrases like "Doomed to Fail," "We are trapped," "repeating the same mistakes as the Soviets", military victory "neither feasible nor supportable," "downward spiral." For some it is so dark the only beacon of light would be peace talks with the Taliban. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 1:36 PM PST - 35 comments

Do you miss blasting with your orange and blue space-warping cannons? Surely you miss Companion Cube... Nine months of work by a dedicated modder: NykO18 (and team) has crystallized into what amounts to an epic prequel to Portal, called Portal: Prelude, whose story arc focuses on the "pre-GlaDOS epoch". It's said to have more gameplay than even the original: 8 chapters, 48 challenges, 6 advanced maps and more than 400 lines of speech. [more inside]
posted by tybeet at 12:25 PM PST - 58 comments

New Year’s Day 2030. A new report from Forum on the Future, Climate Futures (6.7MB PDF), maps out five possible scenarios for how climate change might affect our collective future by 2030. Meanwhile, the WWF has released a report, Climate Change: Faster, Stronger, Sooner (1.65MB PDF) which claims that global warming is accelerating at a faster rate than climate change experts had previously predicted. [Via Gristmill and Disinformation]
posted by homunculus at 12:12 PM PST - 24 comments

Before They Were UFOs, back when the only flying objects were arrows, birds, and clouds, how did people describe them? [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 12:00 PM PST - 52 comments

For nearly 20 years, Chicago has known about police torture of suspects. Torture at the city's notorious Area 2, under Commander Jon Burge, resulted in numerous false confessions in the 1980s, including the men who became known as the Death Row 10. The Death Row 10 case was among the reasons former Gov. George Ryan's called a moratorium on capital punishment in Illinois in 2000 and pardoned four in 2003. Burge, fired in 1993, retired to Florida on his police pension, where he seemed to escape any measure of justice. Until today. [more inside]
posted by scody at 11:34 AM PST - 45 comments

Portland's got white ones, Austin has yellow ones, Vassar has them in pink. What are they? Community bikes. Colleges, universities, even whole cities are seeing the benefits of offering their students and citizens an alternative to cars, fossil fuels, and parking lots. Want to start a shared bike program in your community? Here's how. (previously)
posted by Toekneesan at 10:03 AM PST - 42 comments

ChinaSMACK. English China. (Occasionally NSFW)
posted by klue at 8:46 AM PST - 11 comments

In the 1960s and 1970s Hong Kong had a thriving film industry, dominated by studios such as Cathay Studios. One of Cathay's most fabulous stars was Grace Chang (Ge Lan), referred to by some as the Marlene Dietrich of Hong Kong Chinese cinema. Her greatest hit was The Wild Wild Rose (Ye mei gui zhi lian), based on Bizet's Carmen. The showstopper is her version of Habanera (YT). [more inside]
posted by carter at 8:44 AM PST - 16 comments

Wooden Paths is a flash game where you solve puzzles to complete bridges connecting two land masses with progressively more difficult levels and new challenges. [more inside]
posted by schyler523 at 7:13 AM PST - 13 comments

The U.S. Constitution protects your right to bear arms. And it supposedly protects your right to mock nearly-bare bears. Speech is definitely subject to supply and demand. So why does the FCC feel the need to regulate swearing on the airwaves? Steven Pinker complains. [via ALDaily]
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 6:27 AM PST - 82 comments

“There’s probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.”

The Atheist Bus Campaign rolls out today in London.
posted by plexi at 5:34 AM PST - 273 comments


The Choice 2008 is the newest report from PBS's Frontline. It examines the backgrounds, both personal and political, of John McCain and Barack Obama. You can also watch the entire two-hour show on YouTube.
posted by aheckler at 4:22 AM PST - 34 comments

The website to tie in with the BBC series Imagine: The Story Of The Guitar has video interviews with The Edge, Bob Brozman, Johnny Marr, Pete Townshend, David Gilmour, Charlotte Hatherley and BB King. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:29 AM PST - 27 comments

Warfare: 1917 gives you a taste of the trenches.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:34 AM PST - 47 comments

October 20

Vote for Hope [more inside]
posted by clearly at 10:19 PM PST - 43 comments


"The Vital Triangle: China, the United States, and the Middle East"- seeking to understand the effects of the China-Middle East relationship on the United States, the U.S. Middle East relationship on China, and the Sino-American relationship on the Middle East. Book excerpts (Chapter 1) (Chapter 3). Interview with Jon Alterman, co-author. Via the very useful SUSRIS.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:28 PM PST - 4 comments

The life and times of cultic ham Romeo Stepanenko: 1 & 2 & 3.
posted by Taksi Putra at 8:11 PM PST - 8 comments

Iran says it caught two pigeons spying on it's nuclear reactor. It sounds crazy, but it's not as farfetched as you might think. The lowly pigeon has been used in military operations since the 12th century. Commando the Pigeon flew 90 missions in German-occupied France during WWII. Pigeons like Commando, Winkie, and Paddy had a lock on the Dickin Medal for animal bravery during WWII. Then again, maybe it's just crazy. Last year Iran said it had arrested 14 squirrels for espionage.
posted by up in the old hotel at 8:08 PM PST - 40 comments

Double-Fine, when they aren't creating the videogames classics like Psychonauts and the upcoming Brütal Legend, have been busying themselves putting cute mini-games online. Tasha's Game is probably the best of the bunch.
posted by empath at 7:58 PM PST - 12 comments


Volunteers from the general public working together with researchers to advance personal genomics. 10 volunteers, among them noted author and cognitive psychologist Stephen Pinker, have open sourced (so to speak) their genetic information. [more inside]
posted by thatbrunette at 6:20 PM PST - 13 comments

Celebrating 120 years, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra is offering 10 symphonies as free downloads, available until November 24! [more inside]
posted by LooseFilter at 5:37 PM PST - 17 comments

Fall is here and if you're in the mood for barbeque why not make your own? Here is a helpful guide.
posted by nola at 3:58 PM PST - 42 comments

Long discussed, searched for and even relocated, the White House Bowling Alley has been closed to league members since 9/11. The most avid (p)residential bowlers? Lady Bird Johnson and Richard Nixon. (his ball, previously) [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 3:47 PM PST - 37 comments

Ever wonder what a quocker-wodger was? Just what did they mean when they said that you were all kippers and curtains? Worldwidewords.org has the answer. "More than 1600 pages on the origins, history, evolution and idiosyncrasies of the English language worldwide." Word geeks, say goodbye to the rest of your afternoon.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 3:14 PM PST - 17 comments

The warm and fuzzy one, not the end of civilization as we know it. For the third year in a row, a whole gaggle of artists have donated original art for a silent auction to benefit domestic violence shelters and a crisis line in Portland, OR and Fleminton, NJ. One (prolific and admittedly talented) guy's obsession turned to good. [more inside]
posted by yiftach at 3:04 PM PST - 5 comments

Let's talk crap. An interesting interview about toilets (NSFW, music, talking, interesting) and bathroom habits and expectations. Greasemonkey script for Salon premium-pass.
posted by nevercalm at 2:42 PM PST - 25 comments

DARPA , the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has issued a call for proposals for submersible aircraft concepts. Although the idea has some pedigree, and there was actually a flying, diving prototype called the Reid Flying Submarine RFS-1 back in the sixties, one must wonder whether it is really of any use. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 2:34 PM PST - 19 comments


Jane Meyer of The New Yorker explains how John McCain came to pick Sarah Palin [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:55 PM PST - 189 comments

Don Quixote - or a superhero? Judge Baltasar Garzón has launched a criminal investigation into the fate of tens of thousands of people who vanished during the country's civil war and General Francisco Franco' s dictatorship. This is upsetting some people. The Spanish Civil War left an estimated half a million people dead. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 12:43 PM PST - 12 comments

Rudy Ray Moore, known to most as Dolemite, has passed away of apparent complications due to diabetes. His movies Dolemite (1975) and the Human Tornado (1976) are Blaxploitation classics and bits of his more than 2 dozen party records have been sampled by countless rappers. Even in an era of raunchy party records Rudy pushed the envelop of taste, but always had fun doing it. (The general rule is that most things Rudy Ray Moore are NSFW).
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 12:03 PM PST - 52 comments

Verve Photo. Photographer and photo editor Geoffrey Hiller has created Verve to feature photos and interviews by the finest young image makers today. Verve is a reminder of the power of the still image. Verve will also point you to new photo agencies, publications and inspiring multimedia projects.
posted by chunking express at 11:32 AM PST - 6 comments

Rejoice, classical music lovers! After closing in October 2007 due to copyright issues, the International Music Score Library Project (previously) has reopened! (In June, but there's no FPP about it.) From a quick overview, it seems the site has most of every major (pre-20th-century?) composer's opus - far more than any other "free sheet music" website.
posted by archagon at 11:14 AM PST - 10 comments

Gannets like sardines. Gannets like sardines so much that they will fly high in the air and then dive at speeds of up to 100 km/hr, up to 22 meters below the water, to catch them. (Youtube videos have commentary and occasional music.)
posted by voltairemodern at 11:11 AM PST - 20 comments

A view from Iran: Golboo Fiuzi, a young resident of Tehran, talks to fellow Iranian citizens about why they think the US hasn't attacked yet, their political views, opinions about globalization and their lives under UN imposed sanctions.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 10:36 AM PST - 24 comments

The Princess of Nebraska premiered on YouTube this weekend (unrated by MPAA, but 18A+ rating, but on YouTube, so maybe mild NSFW). Often focusing on Chinese immigrants in America and culture gaps (NPR interview; text and audio) between both their new country and across generations, director Wayne Wang has returned to his roots after several more traditional Hollywood movies (Wayne Wang Is Missing). (Known for "Chan Is Missing" and "The Joy Luck Club", he has made movies such as "Maid in Manhattan" recently.) "Princess" is intended as a double feature with traditionally released "A Thousand Years of Good Prayers," "Princess" might "be the first feature feature film by a major director to premiere" only on the internet. Both are based on short stories by Yiyun Li.
posted by skynxnex at 9:07 AM PST - 3 comments


There were four young and energetic lads (especially that drummer, wow!) who used to really get the Mods out on the dance floor over in London town, circa 1964. Called themselves The High Numbers. It must be said, though, these blokes weren't above a little bald-faced plagiarism now and again. Well, anyway, a little later they changed their name, and got kinda famous. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:26 AM PST - 85 comments

October 19

Tampa Bay Rays beat Red Sox, head to World Series - The Tampa Bay Devil Rays began the 2008 season having never made the playoffs and or finishing the season above .500. Motivated by skipper Joe Madden's mathematically questionable slogan "9 = 8" ("9 players going hard for 9 innings means 1 of 8 playoff spots") but not considered a competitor for the AL East top spot by most fans and analysts, the Rays used their new name, uniforms and confidence to slowly emerge as one of the best teams in baseball this year. [more inside]
posted by null terminated at 9:44 PM PST - 115 comments

The Yahoo! 2008 World Rock Paper Scissors (RPS) Championships will be held in Toronto, Ontario on October 25. First prize: $10,000. Norway has publicly stated that they aim for a Norwegian world champion by 2010. RPS trading cards can be found here. Graham Walker, co-founder of the World Rock Paper Scissors Society, discusses the sport on CBC here. Amusing posters and other kitsch. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 7:57 PM PST - 29 comments

Waggish would be one of the choicest blogs around if he updated more, but I suppose I can settle for what there is. If you've never read it, you'll know how good it is when I tell you about a few of the coolest posts: an inquest on "left-brained" literature, a short review of John Williams' Stoner, an appreciation of the great Shohei Imamura and three part coverage of the ultimate film, Béla Tarr's Sátántangó.
posted by colinmarshall at 6:43 PM PST - 23 comments

Carol Blymire recently finished cooking every single recipe in the formidable French Laundry cookbook. Here are some of her reflections on the journey, including favorite recipes, recipes to break your Thomas Keller cherry, and seasonal menus.
posted by AceRock at 6:42 PM PST - 19 comments

The Simpsons movie references, side-by-side. (two, three) Site is in Spanish.
posted by starman at 6:30 PM PST - 29 comments

Caught on Video: Stealing Obama Sign , and again, and again, and again, and this crazy lady, here, here, and here.! WTF . . . over.
posted by augustweed at 6:07 PM PST - 121 comments


Were black cats ever in danger during Halloween? For the past decade or more, animal shelters have been holding back their black cats at Halloween, for fears of obsessed youths sacrificing them in ritualistic slaughter (or other cruelties, some involving duct tape). Some experts say it's a myth, or an urban legend with no basis in fact. The origins of the idea are often cited as ancient influence.
posted by Brian B. at 4:43 PM PST - 46 comments

Pattern Recognition, mostly serene paintings, illustrations and photographs from a variety of sources, grouped according to similar motifs: Interiors in paintings and more l moon l napes l light and shadow l moments of quiet intimacy, daydreams, dreams l very early Vogue and Vanity Fair covers 1, 2 and 3 l portraits of children and more l children's book illustrations l flora. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 3:48 PM PST - 9 comments

Christian Nymphos: Not an exploitation site but an apparently sincere, sex-positive celebration of faithful sex. Reclaiming the word Nympho, no less. (NSFW) [more inside]
posted by msalt at 1:47 PM PST - 272 comments

Yes We Carve. Barack O'Lantern stencils to politicize your Halloween.
posted by spiderskull at 1:01 PM PST - 27 comments

Harold "Herk" Harvey, a director of educational and industrial films for the Centron Corporation, was driving through Utah when he spotted the derelict Saltair Resort squatting on a mudded lakebed. The sight charged him with ideas, and when he returned home he recruited his Centron colleages and an unknown method actress to make a psychological horror movie. The atmospheric result, shot over three weeks at locations in Kansas and Utah, was 1962's Carnival of Souls. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 12:44 PM PST - 10 comments

Military equipment drawn as anime girls. Probably SFW, but good luck explaining it to the boss. Wikipedia explains.
posted by mccarty.tim at 12:30 PM PST - 34 comments

Former US Secretary of State and retired General Colin Powell, a controversial, if reluctant supporter of the war on Iraq, offers his endorsement (Flash video) of Senator Barack Obama for the office of President of the United States. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:08 PM PST - 717 comments


You've been getting your sweaters out for the cold season, and finding that moths have been picknicking on them all summer. Or your significant other did the laundry and threw your favourite handwash-only sweaters into a hot water wash and/or the dryer. Or your children have outgrown the sweaters Grandma made them. However your sweaters became unwearable, it's time to make like a surgeon and do some cosmetic reconstruction. (If the old sweaters are at least 50% wool, you may be able to felt the material first.) You can make extra long gloves from sweater sleeves, mittens, a scarf, or slippers, legwarmers, a tote bag, a few handbags, or a coin purse. If the kids don't want to let go of their favourite sweaters, they can be pacified with building blocks, a bunny, snail, or seahorse, or diaper-coverup pants. If the cat feels left out, make it a pet bed. Or you can make things the whole family can enjoy: throw pillows, a quilt, or felted bowls. Since Christmas is approaching, Christmas stockings or a wreath might come in handy. If you want to get into needle felting and start sculpting with the felted fabric, you could make virtually anything, including, oh, say, a robin in a nest, Anne of Green Gables, a zebra, or art for the wall. And best of all, by the time you're done you no longer want to throttle your laundry-challenged significant other! As much.
posted by orange swan at 10:02 AM PST - 11 comments

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition. There's a Murphy's Law for most fields of endeavor. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:29 AM PST - 24 comments

Melted street signs, Art + Auction = Obama 08, Mr Brainwash's political satire, Amused Loon, Tyler Stout, and Robert Williams's Dream Detective video (parts 1, 2, 3, 4). All adds up to the latest art, courtesy of Juxtapoz magazine.
posted by internationalfeel at 3:05 AM PST - 7 comments

Stories from Hogar de Don Guido - the DX shack in the Galapagos.
posted by Taksi Putra at 12:31 AM PST - 5 comments

October 18


In the wide world of synthesizer guitars, the Synthaxe may well be the choicest both in its aesthetics and its raw awesomeness could. John Hollis tells us what we're missing. Some guy demonstrates it. Allan Holdsworth whips it out in concert. Also, a music video from Lee Ritenour's Synthaxe-heavy Earth Run album.
posted by colinmarshall at 5:46 PM PST - 25 comments

"Fuhrer, we have some unexpected news: the band you hired tonight have broken down in their van ... we have already hired a replacement band. They play... jazz." Ah, silly Nazi henchmen! They should've hired The Trons. Yes, The Trons. Surely the Fuhrer would've enjoyed The Humans Are Dead. But let's go behind the scenes and meet Greg Locke, the human behind the Trons, who, by day, designs blueberry sorting machines, and has been kind enough to create a Trons MySpace page. But the Trons will ultimately have to go modular. It's the only way a robot band can hope to reform for the inevitable reunion tour. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:41 PM PST - 14 comments

China's Golden Age.
posted by homunculus at 5:00 PM PST - 27 comments

Karoshi Suicide Salaryman challenges you to maneuver yourself into hazards rather than around them. And it's free, a quality we could all use more of in these trying times.
posted by mattholomew at 4:52 PM PST - 32 comments

An entire beach in Jamaica has been stolen. Although much of the sand has been found, it is estimated that it will take up to 100 years for the beach to be rebuilt. People now think that there is a coverup operation. [more inside]
posted by ooklala at 4:43 PM PST - 26 comments

John Cleese talks Election 08 with Seesmic (YT) and discusses his views on American Politics, and americans in general. (via)
posted by blue_beetle at 4:42 PM PST - 54 comments

The Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics hosts a treasure-trove of online scientific talks from leading scientists in their fields. [more inside]
posted by nowonmai at 1:08 PM PST - 5 comments

Canadian founder of the International Federation of BodyBuilders (IFBB) and Napoleon Bonaparte theorist, Ben Weider has died.
posted by gman at 1:06 PM PST - 10 comments

Until 1947/48, the complex political map of India (by which I mean pre-Independence India, including Pakistan and Bangladesh) included over 650 quasi-independent Indian Princely States. Indian royalty: In hats, turbans and, more turbans, sometimes colorful, often decorated with amazing gems ("It is believed that the entire collection of Pearls in the Nizam's collective collection could fill up an Olympic size swimming pool.") like emeralds, diamonds (large diamonds), pearls, sapphires. Usually with beards and moustaches, on a throne. Princesses. Reflections of a Princess (audio and video). Queen mothers (in animation). The Royal Houses Of Punjab. The Maharaja of Patiala had 365 wives. In satins and brocade, with swords. Owners of stylish cars, like a 1937 Delahaye Type 135 Figoni & Felashi, bottled water, extraordinary interior design, lavish architecture, in their many palaces, from a place to watch cockfights to special palaces to keep their harem. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 12:29 PM PST - 19 comments

Haskell has a sort of unofficial slogan: avoid success at all costs says one of its inventors, Simon Peyton-Jones. But will the advanced purely functional programming language[, a]n open source product of more than twenty years of cutting edge research remain true to its roots? Things look rather bleak for the obscurity of Haskell. In the wake of Peyton-Jones's own A taste of Haskell, and with the imminent publication of Real World Haskell by O'Reilly and the emergence of the Haskell Platform, comes BONUS's fun, colorfully illustrated Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!. [more inside]
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 11:38 AM PST - 61 comments

Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room It's been a few years since this documentary came out, and if you haven't seen it yet, you must. Just click and watch. The film is artistically made, enlightening, and ultimately infuriating. It takes on greater resonance in light of the current economic climate. (Too many previous posts to list.)
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:57 AM PST - 70 comments

Get Down on Your Knees , Crying Holy (Unto the Lord) with Vince Gill, and Working on a Building with Patty Loveless. Some gospel music from Del McCoury.
posted by RussHy at 5:11 AM PST - 17 comments

The O'Donnell clan claims descendancy (like, dare I say, a significant part of the Irish population), from Niall of the Nine Hostages, legendary High King of Ireland. The O'Donnell clan ruled over the kingdom of Tyrconnell, in modern-day County Donegal, well into the modern age. However, after the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, Rory O'Donnell, Earl of Tyrconnell, fled Ireland together with Hugh O'Neill, Earl of Tyrone, in the Flight of the Earls. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 4:55 AM PST - 19 comments

Running Like Wildfire — Imagine a national disaster that stopped 99% of American transportation in its tracks; shut down the country; halted shipping and trade; hobbled counter-insurgency operations, and helped Boston burn down. It spread from Canada southward to Cuba and westward to the Pacific, crippling all that Americans took for granted: their cities and towns; their supplies of food and consumer goods; their jobs, businesses, and the national economy. Such was the Great Epizootic of 1872.
posted by cenoxo at 1:39 AM PST - 24 comments

FCC paves way for free use of vacant airwaves -- white space -- available in February as TV spectrum is cleared up by digital conversion. Apparently another vote for change will take place November 4. The FCC btw also recently backed a free (ad-supported) nationwide wireless broadband plan in another hunk of spectrum to be auctioned off in 2009.
posted by kliuless at 12:34 AM PST - 19 comments

October 17

Koblo, a company from Denmark that makes virtual synthesizers, seeks to reinvigorate it's name with a mash-up of social networking, distributed music production and interactive music distribution. [more inside]
posted by Pecinpah at 11:09 PM PST - 14 comments


In 1953 a student named Stanley Miller did an experiment showing that the simple chemicals present on the early Earth could give rise to the basic building blocks of life. Miller filled a flask with water, methane, hydrogen and ammonia—the main ingredients in the primordial soup. Then he zapped the brew with electricity to simulate lightning, and, voila, he created amino acids, crucial for life. Now, scientists have reanalyzed this classic experiment, and found that the results were even more remarkable than Miller had realized.
posted by Mr_Zero at 7:28 PM PST - 49 comments

The Best Romance Novel Covers of the year - click on the winner of each category to see the Top Ten and explanations. Also the site doesn't avoid the snark with a worst cover category [The winner is Big Spankable Asses [maybe NSFW]].
posted by meech at 7:23 PM PST - 44 comments


Annoying and/or pretentious terms: "jejune", "pyjamas", "piping hot", "social justice". Cool terms: "cogitate", "cul-de-sac", "high dudgeon", "orangutan".
posted by colinmarshall at 5:30 PM PST - 112 comments

Voices and Music of World War I and Voices of World War II: Experiences From the Front and at Home both feature spoken word, sheet music and songs galore (all audio RealPlayer). The Great War site has plenty of stuff, but the core is the collection of songs, anti-war, patriotic, France-themed, Kaiser-knocking and so forth. The WWII site also has a whole bunch of music, demonstrating the changing mood of the US, from conflicted feelings about the start of the war to conflicted feelings about the atomic bomb. Among the artists are Nat King Cole, Leadbelly, Benny Goodman and Fats Waller. But in addition the wonderful songs there are newscasts, speeches, propaganda and other radio broadcasting of all kinds.
posted by Kattullus at 5:26 PM PST - 10 comments

Prepping for the Digital Conversion is Harder When You're a 99-Year-Old Grandmother. (SLYT)
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:59 PM PST - 39 comments

We wanted to hold onto them for as long as possible. Not as much as a tribute to the early history of MAD... but because these paintings were covering up quite a few holes in the walls.
posted by R. Mutt at 4:42 PM PST - 8 comments


Retiring hedge fund manager Andrew Lahde: "All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America."
posted by finite at 3:44 PM PST - 37 comments

Mother 3 fan translation completed. Earthbound (known as Mother 2 in Japan) is one of the most highly regarded RPGs for the Super Nintendo. The game suffered disappointing sales in America, but has since gained the status of a cult classic. A sequel, Mother 3, was released for the Game Boy Advance, but it has never been officially translated into English. After a long development, a fan translation patch has just been released. Trailer. [more inside]
posted by painquale at 3:35 PM PST - 44 comments

The Chicago Tribune has been a bastion of Republican endorsements, having consistently endorsed every single Republican presidential nominee since it was founded in 1847. One of its earliest managing editors, Joseph Medill, was a founder of the Republican Party. Today, it endorsed its first Democratic presidential candidate in its 161-year history. And it certainly did not do so halfheartedly. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 2:35 PM PST - 65 comments

Return to the Valley of Death. In this Vanity Fair article, Sebastian Junger describes life with the men of Battle Company at their Korengal Valley outpost in Afghanistan. In Rolling Stone, Nir Rosen describes his journey into Taliban-controlled Afghanistan: How We Lost the War We Won.
posted by homunculus at 2:32 PM PST - 18 comments

Spiders invading Europe. Spiders invading England. Spiders invading Pittsburgh. Spiders invading your produce section. Spiders invading other spiders. [more inside]
posted by longsleeves at 2:21 PM PST - 53 comments

The Way is a 2D Japanese-style rpg you would do well to play if you are interested in the genre. It invests in characters, keeps you wanting to see what happens next and has one on one duels that are usually a part of the storyline. It's all fun and games until (your) blood gets spilt on the screen. First stop: Episode 1. [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 1:28 PM PST - 13 comments

Revenge porn involves posting your ex's nude pics or video to the Web. It can be difficult to prosecute because it's not a specific crime and pornography "performers" hold no copyrights, but it's easier to press charges when the victim is a minor. A victim speaks out: "There's a reason I don't like having my picture taken." Sometimes it's not even real porn. (all links SFW)
posted by desjardins at 1:20 PM PST - 74 comments

20 years after its cinematic debut, Akira is being released on bluray. [more inside]
posted by slimepuppy at 1:07 PM PST - 96 comments

"When you’re on your own in that pit with the bomb in the middle of a city, it’s strange how everything suddenly goes totally quiet..." Interview with one of Germany's most experienced bomb disposal experts as he retires. Photogallery.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 12:46 PM PST - 19 comments

Another member of the "Pants Down Republicans" in trouble: PJ O'Rourke has cancer. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:29 PM PST - 60 comments

LittleBigPlanet, the highly anticipated create your own platformer game by Media Molecule, originally set to release next week, has been recalled. The reason? Apparently one of the music tracks used in the game, "Tapha Niang" by Grammy Award winner Toumani Diabate, contains verses from the Qur'an. As it's a no no to mix Islamic holy text with music, Sony has pulled the game after complaints. The problem has been fixed, but no new release date has been announced.
posted by yellowbinder at 11:52 AM PST - 61 comments

Free Poverty. Kinda like freerice.com but they're giving water to places that need it. [more inside]
posted by Nauip at 11:06 AM PST - 32 comments

A cry went up. The Audacity had pulled astern of us, and dropped anchor, and pinned us with her swivel guns. I heard a snap of cording, and a thump, and then the man Obama stood on our deck, still gripping the rope he had swung over on. [more inside]
posted by Biblio at 10:35 AM PST - 45 comments

Levi Stubbs. Tears.
posted by Webbster at 10:19 AM PST - 42 comments

The Art of Politics. The 2008 election, regardless of the winner, has created opportunities for so many new stakeholders to take part in our national dialogue and be heard be seen. With only weeks left, let us pause to gaze upon the mainstream embrace of political street art. At least we have Bush to thank for something.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 10:06 AM PST - 8 comments

The Bee Gees' Stayin' Alive can be used as a training tool for CPR, because it has a near-perfect rhythm for timing compressions, it's well-known and it has a tendency to get stuck in your head. Unfortunately, another song useful for training, with a similar rhythm, isn't quite so uplifting.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:41 AM PST - 36 comments



Forty Four Presidents and a letter to a cat. Starring: Grover Cleveland's love life! McKinley's untimely death! Truman singing! Taft in the bath! & more...
posted by jim in austin at 8:40 AM PST - 14 comments

In the 1940's the British Government set about creating eight deep level shelters underneath central London. Now, one of them is up for sale (Photos)
posted by vacapinta at 3:51 AM PST - 42 comments

October 16

Never Say Die: Why We Can't Imagine Death. Why do we wonder where our mind goes when the body is dead? Shouldn’t it be obvious that the mind is dead, too? Examining self-consciousness and mortality.
posted by amyms at 10:07 PM PST - 219 comments

Artist's notebook. "...But once we saw Dr. Kukin's office, complete with a photo of the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl, a photo of Babe Ruth, and various signed balls, we were put at ease. The message? Heart failure is like bank failure: Bailout is possible. Life goes on. Plus, he had a plastic heart that comes apart; I just love playing with those things."
posted by spish at 9:40 PM PST - 12 comments

Events are moving fast in my campaign. And, yes, it is true that this morning I dismissed my entire team of senior advisors. All of their positions will now be held by a man named 'Joe The Plumber.' No, not Saturday Night Live, but the real John McCain at this year's Al Smith dinner, where he and Obama poked fun at each other as well as themselves. McCain's funny and graciously touching speech: McCain Part 1. McCain Part2. Obama's speech is here: Obama Part 1. Obama Part 2.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:10 PM PST - 164 comments

Footage (in Russian) of some concept tanks. Includes human tanks, hydrofoil tanks, rocket assisted tanks and many many more. SLYT I know, but Rockets! And Tanks!!!
posted by fingerbang at 8:56 PM PST - 9 comments

KazooKeylele. Europe's "The Final Countdown" played on a combination kazoo, baby keyboard, and ukulele. Single link YouTube awesomeness. (Via)
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:11 PM PST - 20 comments

Who is the mysterious Shadow Candidate for Shadow Senator of the District of Columbia? Marx Cafe Bartender Damien Ober, kind of. Ober wrote a series of campaign ads (which can alternate between provocative, sophomoric, and simply creepy, depending on your point of view) in response to D.C.'s lack of congressional representation, and hired an actor to sit in the darkness portraying his unnamed candidate. After viewing the videos on youtube, however, the D.C. Libertarian Party has decided to give him a for-real shot at the for-fake position.
posted by Navelgazer at 6:32 PM PST - 11 comments

The Things He Carried. "Airport security in America is a sham—'security theater' designed to make travelers feel better and catch stupid terrorists. Smart ones can get through security with fake boarding passes and all manner of prohibited items—as our correspondent did with ease."
posted by chunking express at 5:33 PM PST - 91 comments

This years Project Runway is over and the winner has been announced, coming out top when the three remaining finalists showed their collections at at Bryant Park. But what they didn't tell you is that they also had some of the other contestants show there as well, to throw would-be spoilers off the track, and now thanks to the wonders of YouTube you can see them too.
posted by Artw at 5:29 PM PST - 46 comments

Batman vs. The Penguin. SLYT
posted by gman at 4:06 PM PST - 44 comments

Remember Laura K. Pahl, the girl who was famously humiliated for trying to buy a term paper over the internet? Perhaps she should have gone to a professional.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:45 PM PST - 67 comments

The ailing economy has given rise to excellent gallows humor. [period is NSFW, MLYT/MLNews]
posted by Korou at 3:40 PM PST - 3 comments

If you've never heard of Adam Cadre, then Adam Cadre is the best internet writer you've never heard of. He's a novelist and interactive fiction (a.k.a. "text adventure") author, but his site is packed with some of the clearest, most entertaining (and most personal) cultural writing around. It's a blog-esque sort of deal with posts prompted by films, books and other. Choicest articles include a to-the-point takedown of Stranger in a Strange Land, thoughts on Lanark and trolls who have never known love, an exegesis of the virtues of The Sweet Hereafter and the story of his near-lifelong relationship with Cosmos.
posted by colinmarshall at 2:45 PM PST - 21 comments

The Persistent Myth of the Bradley Effect proposes that even if racists lied to pollsters in the 1980s, there's no evidence of that happening in 2008. The Bradley Effect - Selective Memory goes further: "The Bradley Effect was born amidst some major polling errors and a confusing array of mixed predictions, hardly a firm foundation to construct a theory."
posted by shetterly at 2:03 PM PST - 62 comments

Mastermind: World Conquerer puts you in the role of the evil Mastermind, supergenius bent on destroying* the world. A great ending and some hilarious dialogue make this game a gem. Hey, it's Friday in Australia by now, right? (via jig) [more inside]
posted by Eideteker at 1:38 PM PST - 17 comments

Expat Interviews With People Living In Countries Like Japan - Holland - China - Thailand And A Lot More.
posted by nickyskye at 12:53 PM PST - 84 comments

Frank Kerr died on Wednesday, October 15th of throat cancer. The 51-year-old was better known as Frankie Venom, the lead singer of Teenage Head, a punk band from Hamilton, Ontario that some have called Canada's version of The Ramones. The Glasgow native formed the band in 1975 with some high-school friends and they released several popular albums and played at least two shows that ended in riots. After splitting with the group in 1985 due in part to lifestyle issues, Venom later rejoined and began touring again. In 2003, Teenage Head recorded a special cover album with Ramones drummer Marky Ramone that was just released earlier this year. One fan got some video of one of Frankie's last shows in Hamilton.
posted by mathewi at 11:46 AM PST - 18 comments

Pseudopod - a podcast of short horror stories.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:14 AM PST - 9 comments

The case against God brought by Ernie Chambers (previously on MeFi) has been thrown out. (title via News Now Network, although I added a capital H.)
posted by homelystar at 11:03 AM PST - 22 comments

50 Years of Blue Peter. [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:21 AM PST - 17 comments

Aravind Adiga, a 33 year-old first-time author from India, won the Man Booker Prize yesterday with his novel The White Tiger. It's a story about the underclass of India which he found "similar to black Americans, with a sense of humour you would associate with the Jewish population in the ghettos". The prize selection was very heated and "brought all of the male judges to tears" over the winner and one other work (unnamed). Some critics find it a "left field" choice. The complete review. Excerpts.
posted by stbalbach at 9:39 AM PST - 37 comments

There is a potential crisis (PDF) looming in business education. Unlike many other fields in higher education, demand for qualified faculty well outstrips supply. The result is a strong job market and high pay (PDF). In response to this potential shortage a number of things are being done. The accounting profession has recently started a program designed to increase the number of professors in the field called the Accounting Doctoral Scholars Program. This program provides fellowships of $30,000 a year for 30 students. The AACSB has created a website to promote getting a PhD in business. The PhD project is designed to increase the number of minority PhD business professors. [more inside]
posted by bove at 9:21 AM PST - 32 comments

June Carter and Johnny Cash appear on Pete Seeger's Rainbow Quest. June reminisces about the Carter family and A.P. Carter. They all sing It Takes a Worried Man. Johnny sings As Long as the Grass Shall Grow. Finally, June sings I Am Thinking Tonight of My Blue Eyes.
posted by RussHy at 7:47 AM PST - 8 comments

Only 4.3% of the web validates. Opera have finished a scan and validation check of the net using their new MAMA spider and have got an extremely interesting dataset. Did you check your website today?
posted by jaduncan at 7:26 AM PST - 81 comments


[Warning: Not Safe For the Squeamish] "An Illustrated History of Trepanation": Although the reasons for trepanning and the instruments used for the procedure differ with time and from culture to culture, the result is always the same: a hole in the head, usually made when the individual was fully conscious and, often, unanaesthetized. • • From an interview with Heather Perry, who trepanned herself: "I used a hand trepan initially, but that wasn't proving to be terribly successful. Then there was a problem with the people who owned the property we were staying in, so we decided we'd have to just leave it. I wrapped my head up in a towel and we got out of there. A couple of days later, we had another go. We abandoned the hand trepan and got an electric drill instead." • • And, of course, the home version of the game. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 6:05 AM PST - 71 comments

Meet Prepared, a World of Warcraft gamer who plays 36 separate characters simultaneously, with the use of an 11-computer rig - a one-man raid party who spends $5711 in subscription costs per year. In his own words: "I’m looking at it like it’s a hobby and there are more expensive hobbies out there than World of Warcraft."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:45 AM PST - 113 comments


Internet memes. Will they come and go, dying with their creators? Or will they continue to replicate, posing a danger to life as we know it?
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:27 AM PST - 29 comments

"Torturing Democracy" is a new documentary which details how the government set aside the rule of law in its pursuit of harsh interrogations of suspected terrorists. You can watch it online or on some PBS affiliates, but PBS won't run it nationally until January 21, 2009. Scott Horton suspects that may be because PBS is afraid of political retaliation. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 1:00 AM PST - 23 comments

October 15


In case you were wondering, yes. There is a republican furry community. The bigger question is: what consequences will this have for the geek chart?
posted by mullingitover at 5:41 PM PST - 101 comments

Ava Marie Ciptak was born on Friday, October 10, 2008. Except that her name wasn't Ava Marie Ciptak. Her father, Mark, of Elizabethton, Tennessee, "sort of secretively went behind [his wife Layla]'s back and changed the paperwork" by using two separate birth certificate forms. Instead of naming his daughter John McCain — his initial plan — he named his daughter Sarah McCain Palin, "figuring hopefully [he] would get two weeks in the doghouse rather than two months."
posted by WCityMike at 5:24 PM PST - 84 comments

It's (semi) official: Washington and Baghdad have reached a final agreement after months of talks on a pact that would require U.S. forces to withdraw from Iraq by 2011, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Wednesday. Additionally, "Iraq said it had secured the right to prosecute U.S. soldiers for serious crimes under certain circumstances" "Inside their bases, they will be under American law. Iraqi judicial law will be implemented in case these forces commit a serious and deliberate felony outside their military bases and when off duty." [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 5:12 PM PST - 36 comments

Brian Eno brings generative music to the iPhone.
posted by Artw at 4:29 PM PST - 39 comments

AIDS Orphans in Kenya: a disturbing video report about the lives of Kenyan children forced to live on the street after their parents die of AIDS. The Kibera Slum where the disease spreads like fire and the incredible follow-up story, all submitted to raise awareness about poverty.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 3:32 PM PST - 5 comments

Atomic and nuclear explosions. [more inside]
posted by swift at 12:28 PM PST - 77 comments

The Geek ABCs. A is for Alignment, which is why I stabbed you... G is for Grue, likely to eat you... R is for RuneQuest where old people roll the dice.
posted by GuyZero at 12:03 PM PST - 47 comments

Remember Thief? When Looking Glass Studios originally released Thief: The Dark Project in 1998, it broke new ground by combining a first-person shooter with stealth-oriented gameplay. [more inside]
posted by dunkadunc at 11:51 AM PST - 125 comments

Stanford Italian literature professor Robert Harrison does a conversational show on KZSU, the university radio station, called Entitled Opinions (on Life and Literature), which is also distributed as one of the most fascinating, engaging podcasts in any possible universe. Choicest topics include mimetic desire, Proust, the inflationary universe, 1910, American writers in Paris and the history of the book.
posted by colinmarshall at 11:00 AM PST - 8 comments

Welcome to The Sacramento County Republican Party. The official website has removed content calling for Obama to be waterboarded. But it still contains fake quotes supposedly from Obama's memoir. In this political climate, 33% of voters do not identify Obama as Christian, and 8% believe he is Muslim. Yet, the polls predict a landslide, hinted at by early voting. McCain needs something spectacular, and he may be regretting his decision to invoke Bill Ayers in tonight's debate; and perhaps other things.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:49 AM PST - 1600 comments

Neal Hefti, trumpet player, arranger, big band leader and composer for film & televison, has died. This may be his most loved work.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 7:52 AM PST - 35 comments

Bluegrass banjo player Eddie Adcock underwent brain surgery while awake and playing the banjo. [more inside]
posted by mandal at 7:05 AM PST - 37 comments


It's not so often that a US Top 40 chart hit is a song whose origins can be traced back 300 years, and even less often that such a song would be sung in Spanish. So when Ritchie Valens went into a studio and recorded La Bamba 50 years ago this month, he carved himself what would become a special place in American pop music history. It was one of those cases of the B side becoming the hit, though: the A side was Oh Donna, which showcased a sweeter, croonier side of Valens (singing in English), but was a somewhat unremarkable tune on its own. Here's a live recording of La Bamba by Valens, who, of course, along with rock'n'roll legend Buddy Holly, lost his life in an airplane crash just as his career was blossoming. Almost 30 years after La Bamba's original release, a version by Valens' natural heirs Los Lobos became a hit once again. And, admittedly, I didn't make it through the entire clip, but it's perhaps worth noting, for the record, that a Barack Obama-related version is available for your listening and viewing, er, pleasure? [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:33 AM PST - 44 comments

In a new article in the Washington Post: "The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects". These documents were requested by then CIA director George Tenet, who told 60 Minutes last year (in conjuction with the publication of his book, In the Center of the Storm), ""The image that's been portrayed is, we sat around the campfire and said, 'Oh, boy, now we go get to torture people.' Well, we don't torture people. Let me say that again to you. We don't torture people. Okay?"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:30 AM PST - 44 comments

Brothels in Germany (pics): Photographer Patric Fouad's book, Frauenzimmer, takes a look at the insides of German brothels. (mostly SFW unless you are offended by the occasional sex toy hanging on the wall and blurry porn in the background)
posted by chillmost at 1:55 AM PST - 61 comments

L'homme et l'oiseau au Mont-Blanc. Falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers runs the Aigles du Léman park on Lake Geneva where he teaches eagles raised in captivity how to fly. Here he is paragliding down the Alps with his student Sherkan.
posted by homunculus at 12:52 AM PST - 8 comments

October 14

Mad Meg. Since the beginning of 2001, I draw in small notebooks 11 cm X 15 cm (approximately), always with a ballpoint pen, always on same paper, always in black. (Some drawings are NSFW) Digestion Paintings, her renditions of paintings by other artists l Glam Freak Show l The Family Code l Chimères l The Patriarchs l Digestion Notebooks l Photos of Mad Meg setting up for her most recent exhibit at the Austin Gallery in London, which opened today. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 11:55 PM PST - 20 comments


Any Canadians curious as to who their riding voted for? Nobody was willing to call this election and as it turns out the Conservatives won. Only a few ridings are left to be called. Here's what the CBC says about the results so far [more inside]
posted by Pseudology at 11:11 PM PST - 88 comments

The "best" of the internet.
posted by pedstel at 10:25 PM PST - 44 comments


Who's wrecked Britain? A three part list from the Daily Mail. [more inside]
posted by debord at 9:44 PM PST - 47 comments


Christopher Buckley endorses Obama and then is forced to resign from the National Review. Is he serious, or does he just want to let the Democrats f**k things up for a change? [more inside]
posted by sararah at 7:58 PM PST - 41 comments

another day, another word
posted by netbros at 7:44 PM PST - 35 comments


"I don't want to be writing for a fuddy-duddy audience." Tori Amos follows up this year's Comic Book Tattoo (a graphic novel adaptation of 51 of her songs) with a musical version of George MacDonald's The Light Princess for the Royal National Theatre.
posted by crossoverman at 6:35 PM PST - 13 comments

So you've finished hiking the Appalachian Trail, just came down from Mount Katahdin, and you're wondering what to do now. Well, there's always the International AT, which goes through the Chic-Choc Mountains on the Gaspé Peninsula before crossing over to Newfoundland. Then you'd have hiked the tallest mountains in Quebec, right? Wrong. 800 miles to the north, on the border of Quebec and Newfoundland, lie the Torngats. [more inside]
posted by A dead Quaker at 5:52 PM PST - 10 comments

The Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act has added a whole other dimension to the term "copyright infringement." Sponsored by the US entertainment industry, it allows seizure of assets before the accused is found guilty and the creation of a new executive branch led by an "Intellectual Property Czar" who would report directly to the President on IP crimes--similar to the Drug Czar of the War on Drugs. Financial penalties for copyright crimes have increased dramatically. More information here, and a summary of critiques here. Is this a useful addition to the War On Copyright Infringement or just more bureaucratic red tape?
posted by schroedinger at 4:51 PM PST - 45 comments

Beneath the Antarctica lies a hidden mountain range known as the Gamburtsevs. The mountains are at least 4km beneath the ice and present a puzzle for scientists who are unable to explain what the mountains are doing there. [more inside]
posted by panboi at 4:01 PM PST - 59 comments

Parkour, it’s easier than you think to get started and you can keep your workout lively. Ryan Ford has a training center in Colorado , and there’s probably one right near you . Or DIY. [more inside]
posted by Smedleyman at 2:39 PM PST - 47 comments

I am Jack's raging bile duct, but I'm not CutoutDissection.com. Nope, that distinction goes to a woman formerly know as Jennifer Thornburg. I am also not a Nugget. Some have not been kind. Maybe you want the play at home game. Previously. Previously. Previously. (you get the idea.) Warning, PETA heavy links, but MetaFilter loves PETA. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 1:56 PM PST - 62 comments

New research suggests that low blood pressure is a symptom, not a cause, of Alzheimer's Disease. While the cause of the disease is still unknown, some research suggests stress exacerbates its progression. Also, the problem is growing across the globe. So, while you never forget the challenges and revelations of those living with the effects of Alzheimer's, try to laugh and smile a little more.
posted by Panjandrum at 11:29 AM PST - 20 comments

The Supreme Court today issued a one line statement refusing to hear Troy Davis' appeal. Troy Davis was convicted of the 1989 murder of a police officer in Savannah, GA, and sentenced to death solely on eyewitness testimony. No murder weapon or any physical evidence linked him to the crime. Since the conviction, seven of the nine witnesses have recanted or changed their stories, and one of the two who haven't changed their stories is the other suspect in the case. Things were looking good for Davis when the Supreme Court issued a stay two hours before his execution last month. Justice may really be dead in this country.
posted by x_3mta3 at 11:21 AM PST - 60 comments

21st Century Tintypes : Modern day tintypists are Preserving the Past (A Natl. Geographic video on the tintype work of Robb Kendrick). An interview, NYTimes article and an NPR story, and a on Robb Kendrick. For some, like John Coffer, the process becomes an entire way of life. (Coffer also offers training.) View the work of a few other modern day tintypists. [more inside]
posted by spock at 10:29 AM PST - 12 comments


The Eyeballing Game
posted by Skorgu at 10:01 AM PST - 81 comments

Obama Advertising in Video Games Obama campaigning in XBox 360's Burnout Paradise. Although Mark Warner did it first with his video appearance in Second Life, Senator Obama has gone one step further and is advertising on Xbox 360. [more inside]
posted by Ironmouth at 9:19 AM PST - 58 comments

Kongregate, the Flash game house has released Kongregate Labs, offering a series of "shootorials" to teach users how to create simple Flash games. "OMG LAZERS PEW PEW ... wait, this is actually pretty cool..." [more inside]
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:11 AM PST - 6 comments

Antrepo Design have created an alternate set of film posters regarding the 'brand integration' ie product placement in a number of movies. Lynch on the matter (NSFW).
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:50 AM PST - 28 comments

RocketBoom's co-founder Andrew Baron found out last week that his father had Multiple Myeloma, and likely less than 48 hours to live. Then a miracle occured. A drug that could save his father's life existed. However the drug was not approved by the FDA to be used this way. They sought and quickly got approval from the FDA. But now, the drug's manufacturer Biogen won't approve usage despite pleas to Biogen's president from Lance Burton, President Clinton, and others. Read this open letter and request for help from Andrew to learn what you can do to save his father's life.
posted by IndigoSkye at 8:36 AM PST - 66 comments

Broken koans to amuse and enlighten.
posted by RussHy at 8:26 AM PST - 62 comments

Army Funds Synthetic Telepathy Research Inspired by video game research [previously] the army has issued funding to research the possibility of sending/receiving e-mail via brainwaves. Some progress has been made using EEGs already, although the army's motives don't seem so pure.
posted by jnaps at 6:31 AM PST - 29 comments

October surprise? Rumor has it that the Galactic Federation of Light, a fraternity of extraterrestrial beings, will visit our planet today--October 14, 2008. Blogs announced the visitation some time back, and are giddy with anticipation. View the announcement in video form. (Alert! Retinal searing imagery ahead.)
posted by Gordion Knott at 4:51 AM PST - 81 comments

The geography of fear. Children map the no-go areas that blight their lives.
posted by WPW at 4:46 AM PST - 30 comments

The czech magazine Respekt, known for its investigative reporting, has published a story claiming prize winning author and anti-communist dissident Milan Kundera denounced a young exile who was back in Prague to the communist secret police. [more inside]
posted by lucia__is__dada at 4:02 AM PST - 22 comments


The Stakes, 2008. Eight of the Washington Monthly's contributing editors "consider the looming challenges that America is likely to face—in the economy, education, the courts, and other areas—during an Obama or McCain presidency, and how, based on what we know about the two men, they are likely to handle them." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 12:34 AM PST - 25 comments

October 13

Spisi, spiral signal analysis, an infoviz toy by Bestiario. This application of theirs is also beautiful, heat C. A. "A simple cellular automata simulating heat dynamics". water, tissue and neurozapping are quite mesmerizing. Their birds flock makes me think of the starlings over Ot Moor.
posted by nickyskye at 11:45 PM PST - 6 comments

Election Day in Canada. Haven't followed the campaign? Summed up in images, it would probably look like this, or this. To our American friends, it probably looks a bit like this. Complete campaign chronology in cartoon form here and here. For those who like a little more meat, the Hill Times provides a campaign synopsis, and speculates about how the next minority Parliament may work. [more inside]
posted by Urban Hermit at 9:06 PM PST - 205 comments

The Dow went up today.. don't watch the Dow. Here’s the number that really captures the financial crisis [TED spread]. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 8:51 PM PST - 44 comments

The Sun [more inside]
posted by grouse at 8:33 PM PST - 49 comments

Mini Monkees Of Brazil
posted by vronsky at 7:34 PM PST - 17 comments

Think you can stump the Elbot? Give it a try. Maybe your interaction will enable it to "learn" an extra 10% more to pass the 30% threshold of the Turing Test. The test is to fool a panel of people who talk with AI entities via text and guess if it's a real person or a robot.Mr Smarty Pants where are you?
posted by goodhelp at 4:07 PM PST - 93 comments

Lets Anime: Reminisces of early American Anime Fandom. Including discussions of 80's cosplay, the rise and fall of the Animanga APA and other zines, and early merchandising. For more old school goodness see part 1 and part 2 of Mike Toole's "Dubs that Time Forgot" at Anime News Network.
posted by zabuni at 3:52 PM PST - 42 comments

Man-up with Stephen King.
posted by Artw at 2:59 PM PST - 137 comments

OK, it's a little cheesy, maybe MeFark or Believe It or Not Only True, but this site has some hidden gems. Vagabonds in America (lifestyle of the New Depression?), the Road of Death, Lenin: Still Dead, and the always popular, almost finished, really genuinely tall Barj Dubai.
posted by cogneuro at 2:27 PM PST - 62 comments

A bunch of writers (42 to be exact), having decided civil liberties are important, have launched a website with poems, essays, and short stories protesting the extension of the pre-charge detention period in the UK from 28 to 42 days. Of course, Not everyone thinks it's a good idea. [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 1:48 PM PST - 22 comments

Perhaps in your non-Metafilter time or during the occasional power outtage you indulge in that charmingly antiquated past-time of reading a newspaper made out of actual paper. But, once you've read it, you're left with blackened hands and the necessity for putting that fragment of a dead tree somewhere or other. Aside from putting it in the recycling bin, which is responsible but kind of obvious (and therefore would not necessitate a MeFi FPP) what can you do? One option is to make handmade paper. If you're an outdoors type, you could make organic flower pots, some kites, or a dory. If you're more of a fashionista or home decorator, you could make a purse or a bead necklace, weave a basket or placemats, or make a bird. If you're a spinster, you could make some newspaper yarn as student Greetje van Tiem did for her Design Academy Eindhoven graduation show. The yarn can be woven into carpets, curtains and upholstery. Here's a tutorial on how to make the yarn. Then there's always papier maché. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 11:21 AM PST - 27 comments

The Daily Beast is the latest venture from Tina Brown. (mis)Named after the newspaper in Evelyn Waugh's (awesome) novel Scoop, the site is a mixture of original journalism and curated links from around the web, and of middle and low brow. Already it's attracted attention for both a (previously spiked) feature on Jennifer Lopez and for its logo, which some allege is remarkably familar. Reviews have been so so, but its stated aim to "sift, sort, and curate" finally allows us to get the best of the web...
posted by Hartster at 7:54 AM PST - 47 comments


"...For his analysis of trade patterns and location of economic activity," the 2008 Nobel Prize in economics has been awarded to New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:56 AM PST - 94 comments

Tubular Bells, arranged for Commodore 64: Part 1, Part 2. (Tubular Bells for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum has been on MeFi previously, but this has far more ring modulation.)
posted by Wolfdog at 5:04 AM PST - 22 comments

"Project Euler is a series of challenging mathematical/computer programming problems that will require more than just mathematical insights to solve. Although mathematics will help you arrive at elegant and efficient methods, the use of a computer and programming skills will be required to solve most problems."

Started in 2001 as a sub-section of Maths Challenge, it has since grown large enough to become its own entity. It now boasts over 200 problems, many of them insanely difficult. [more inside]
posted by mystyk at 3:34 AM PST - 31 comments

Afraid to read the daily news? Need some broader perspective on The Credit Crunch? There are lots of different ideas by lots of different authors floating about ... [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 1:29 AM PST - 34 comments

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (QT). The words of the Declaration are brought to life in honor of its 60th anniversary (also on YouTube). [Via Cool Hunting]
posted by homunculus at 12:00 AM PST - 23 comments

October 12

Contemporary architecture in India, a little look: Odd and unusual buildings l Mumbai 1, 2, 3 l Kerala backwaters l Kolkata l Architectural renderings from the Indian Skyscraper blog. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 11:32 PM PST - 12 comments

A $3million dollar, 3-year project by IBM to create a virtual tour of China's Forbidden City was released Friday. It is a large download, but there is support for Mac, Linux and Windows. Unlike most virtual tourist projects, this one seems to foreground actual human beings, and not just artifacts (architecture, art). It is based on gaming software but with an emphasis on historical authenticity and "a sense of decorum", meaning "you can't run and you can't fly," in the Forbidden City.
posted by stbalbach at 8:38 PM PST - 35 comments

The iconic photographer William Claxton has died at the age of 80. His unforgettable shots of Miles Davis, Steve McQueen,Chet Baker (the book of his Baker photos here), Bob Dylan, Charlie Parker, Ray Charles, John Coltrane, Billie Holiday, Bill Evans, Lenny Bruce, Frank Sinatra and so many others are legend. His books "Jazz Life" and "Photographic Memory" are great collections, but his official site is probably the best way to appreciate the amazing legacy of work he left behind.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 8:37 PM PST - 13 comments

Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans have been enjoying Rifftrax for a while now [previously], but the movie riffing experience just isn't the same without Mike and the 'bots at the bottom of the screen to watch the movie with us. Now a MST3K and Rifftrax fan has brought the 'bots back in this ten minute "proof of concept"-type video of a MSTed Plan 9 From Outer Space.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:45 PM PST - 26 comments

Colin - no relation to Conor - Oberst won the Hockey Night in Canada new anthem challenge with his entry Canadian Gold, beating out 13-year-old Robert Fraser Burke's Sticks to the Ice and (somehow) Logan Aube's Hockey Scores. (previously)
posted by mannequito at 5:00 PM PST - 35 comments

AssaultCube is a free first-person-shooter. Set in a realistic looking environment, it's fast and arcade-like. Available for Windows, OS X, and Linux (via)
posted by blue_beetle at 3:43 PM PST - 27 comments

Recurring science misconceptions in K-6 textbooks: CLOUDS REMAIN ALOFT BECAUSE WATER DROPLETS ARE TINY? Wrong! SOUND TRAVELS BETTER THROUGH SOLIDS & LIQUIDS? No it doesn't. GRAVITY IN SPACE IS ZERO? It's actually strong. THE SKY IS BLUE BECAUSE OF COMPLICATED PHYSICS. No, it's simple. And many more.
posted by vronsky at 3:25 PM PST - 108 comments

The Places We Live is a new project by photographer Jonas Bendiksen from Magnum. Jonas (portfolio) is the author of the book Satellites [previously]. Interview (youtube) [+]
posted by ig at 3:24 PM PST - 8 comments

Ten years ago today gay college student Matthew Shepard died after having been savagely beaten, left alone for 18-hours and found tied to a fence five days prior on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. America was stunned by the vicious hate crime. As his mother, Judy, pushes for passage of the Matthew Shepard Act, advocating for federal hate crimes legislation, and directs the Matthew Shepard Foundation, folks in Laramie ask: "...how has the town changed since 1998? ...how do we measure that change?" And yet 10 years after Matthew's death the 1969 United States federal hate-crime law has not been expanded to include crimes motivated by a victim's actual or perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, or disability due to a veto threat by President Bush. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM PST - 170 comments


Studio visits with artists Cynthia von Buhler, Joyce Pensato, and Ida Applebroog, all set to music.
posted by stagewhisper at 9:38 AM PST - 5 comments

Sequoia Capital presentation on the bleak scenarios for the economy and how start-ups should prepare. Last week the famous (the firm funded Apple, Oracle, Cisco and Google, among others) venture capital firm Sequoia Capital held a meeting for the firm’s portfolio companies. There, partners presented their views on what went wrong with the economy, what the prospects are for a quick recovery (Hint: the presentation is called 'R.I.P. Good Times' ) and what startups can do to survive. Here are the PowerPoint slides used in their presentation. I suggest a stiff drink before viewing. VIA [more inside]
posted by mojohand at 7:53 AM PST - 55 comments

Have you heard the one about the deaf comedian? John Smith is Britain's only BSL (British Sign Language) stand-up.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:44 AM PST - 20 comments

How will the financial mess affect you? Will you still have a job? Will your mortgage go up or down? Will your bank account pay more or less? What if you want to buy a house? Or a car? Or have a child? College? Insurance? What if you are dying?What about Religion? And what if you want to get a credit card? First time things get hard? If it is tough, there is always bartering. So, who is winning? [more inside]
posted by bystander at 5:19 AM PST - 54 comments

October 11

Witches of Cornwall. "Macabre evidence of age-old spells surfaces in an archaeologist's front yard." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:25 PM PST - 44 comments

When Man on Wire won a Grand Jury Prize: at Sundance this year, many could hazily remember Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the World Trade Center Towers in New York in 1974 (previously) but few knew the extent to which the entire endeavor was a wacky multinational caper. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 7:55 PM PST - 32 comments

People sleeping, gently vulnerable and evocative, vintage photographs. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 6:08 PM PST - 50 comments

My New York : artists, writers, professionals, and New Yorkers of all stripes talk about what they look forward to seeing in the city this fall.
posted by shivohum at 5:32 PM PST - 17 comments

Bill Moyers interviews George Soros on the financial crisis. Soros discusses market fundamentalism and the causes of the current crisis, as well as what can be done, and how this meltdown will change the global economy. (via The Big Picture) [more inside]
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:24 PM PST - 44 comments

The myth persisted over the years until it became real even though the truth was known. Now thanks to wonder of the net, we find out that Mama Cass did not die from eating a Ham Sandwich. NSFW
posted by Xurando at 5:20 PM PST - 27 comments

The book artist Clifton Meador has dabbled in a few other projects, including I HV DRM, a version of Martin Luther King Jr.'s historic speech delivered at the 1963 March on Washington. Meador's edited out the words, leaving only the pauses and the audience response. "We can't remember the words anymore," he says. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic at 5:16 PM PST - 8 comments


Climb Dance A short (and fast) film about a Pikes Peak International Hill Climb run from 1989. (Warning: Contains a small amount of jazzy piano sandwiched around about five minutes of very loud high RPM engine revving.)
posted by loquacious at 4:56 PM PST - 15 comments

[unicode snowman for you] [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 4:24 PM PST - 72 comments


M a x T un d r a :v:
posted by vronsky at 2:50 PM PST - 19 comments

Cormac McCarthy as “gay porn.” Literary site Bookninja holds a contest to rebrand literary classics with jarringly (but hilariously) out-of-place new cover designs. [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 12:43 PM PST - 53 comments

A man ambushed a stone. Caught it. Made it a prisoner.
Put it in a dark room and stood guard over it for the
rest of his life.

Russell Edson is an American poet. More of his work here (beware popups). An appreciation.
posted by generalist at 9:57 AM PST - 12 comments

Before it was a website, the Weather Underground[google video, 90 mins] was an off-shoot militant wing of the Students for a Democratic Society. It was responsible for a series of bombings of government buildings, banks and corporate HQ's, as well as Timothy Leary's breakout from prison. They eventually turned themselves in, but few were convicted of any crime, due to misconduct by federal authorities tasked with investigating them. [previously]
posted by empath at 8:30 AM PST - 81 comments


Paul is NOT dead. Paul goes into the studio, alone, no songs prepared at all. Thirteen songs in thirteen days -- one each day -- Paul playing every instrument, writing lyrics on the fly, ripping a line from a poem, the next spontaneous, off the cuff, really gutsy. The album, Electric Arguments, to be released next month. [more inside]
posted by dancestoblue at 12:26 AM PST - 116 comments

There is a litmus test that has predicted the winner and loser of every presidential election over the past 100 years. If the Dow has risen 3.3 percent or more in October, the incumbent party has never lost. If the Dow has dropped 0.5 percent or more, the incumbent party has never won. That is, until 2004. Perhaps a more reliable test is the relative popularity of halloween masks; track your favorite candidate at Amazon or BuyCostumes.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:05 AM PST - 31 comments

October 10

"Dear Mr. President-Elect, It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food." Michael Pollan advises the next president on what he can and should do to remake the way we grow and eat our food. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:15 PM PST - 30 comments

Boy Tweets Girl Boy meets girl. Boy falls madly in love. Boy tweets marriage proposal. Girl accepts and suggests space pirate/ninja/zombie wedding.
posted by m2002 at 10:42 PM PST - 67 comments

A Metatalk Post about someone's birthday included a sound file that made me think of the Stock Market Slide. Not this one, but rather, this one. [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello at 10:17 PM PST - 7 comments

A luminous dragon climbing the side of a building is almost certain to be fearsome; but, when executed properly, even a sculpture of a bunny rabbit can threaten.... Gargoyles and Grotesques. (some nsfw stonework) [more inside]
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 10:16 PM PST - 5 comments

You can't tase me bro, no, seriously, you can't. The Thor Shield is handy for all your not getting electrocuted needs.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:14 PM PST - 31 comments


Many poor Haitians, driven over the edge by world rising food prices, are now eating cakes of mud, salt and shortening in order to survive. This article in the September issue of National Geographic describes how, thanks to history and other factors such as hurricanes, Haiti has lost its ability to feed itself; more than 90% of the country is deforested. The picture caption in the print version, not seen online, uses the word "clay" instead of "dirt". Bill Quigley wrote about the U.S. role in Haiti's food riots, which claimed six lives last spring.
posted by Melismata at 7:49 PM PST - 33 comments

Say 'Hebbo' to Tarvuism. Learn more at the Tarvupedia. It's SO easy to join!
posted by jack_mo at 7:39 PM PST - 21 comments

We Have Lasers!!!!!! At one point in your childhood, maybe you did too?
posted by [NOT HERMITOSIS-IST] at 7:16 PM PST - 16 comments

Meet Andy Martin, aka Anthony R. Martin-Trigona, perennial losing candidate for public office and one of the truly great vexatious litigators. [more inside]
posted by enn at 6:58 PM PST - 13 comments

Legislative panel concludes that Palin abused the power of her office. A Republican-dominated Alaska State Legislative panel voted unanimously this evening to release to the public the results of the investigation into Governor Sarah Palin's dismissal of Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan. (Full report PDF here) Among four key points released in the report, the most significant "concludes that Palin violated the state's executive branch ethics act, which says that 'each public officer holds office as a public trust, and any effort to benefit a personal or financial interest through official action is a violation of that trust.'"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:00 PM PST - 477 comments

The 150 Best Online Flash Games grouped according to theme: Action, Aim and Shoot, Arcade and Classic, Escape the Room, Graphical Adventures, Guitar Hero, Jewels, Logic, Multiplayer, Physics, Puzzles, Racing, Reflex, RPG, Shoot It Far, Shoot-’em-Up, Skill, Sports, Strategy, Weird. Includes a link to every game on the list, a visual and mini description and how each one is played.
posted by nickyskye at 5:34 PM PST - 20 comments

Hitmen For Destiny: a weird, hilarious webcomic. Google suggests it's virtually undiscovered, but I think it's almost at Achewood level. The art seems crude at first glance, but with a little reading the distinctive brilliance becomes apparent. The plot appears to be something to do with monsters, alternate worlds, and destiny. Key features are odd humor and some insanely detailed taxonomy of imaginary creatures. There are many high points in the already long, convoluted story, but this installment may give as good an idea as any of the flavor. [more inside]
posted by misterzoo at 4:49 PM PST - 35 comments

As of today, the truly excellent media filter & news digest Cursor.org is suspending publication. [more inside]
posted by jammy at 4:41 PM PST - 8 comments

As of October 1, 2008, the state of Texas now requires that driver's license applicants show proof of legal immigration status when getting an original, renewal, or duplicate license. For those who are not citizens or permanent residents, the license will have on its face an indication of the expiration date of legal status. [more inside]
posted by marble at 3:59 PM PST - 58 comments

The Iron Heel, published a century ago this year, is a novel by Jack London about socialist revolution in the United States. It is set mostly between 1912 and 1932, with a foreword and numerous footnotes written from the point of view of a historian who has just discovered the manuscript some 700 years later. Here is an excerpt (which is printed on the back cover of some editions) from chapter five:
"This, then, is our answer. We have no words to waste on you. When you reach out your vaunted strong hands for our palaces and purpled ease, we will show you what strength is. In roar of shell and shrapnel and in whine of machine-guns will our answer be couched. We will grind you revolutionists down under our heel, and we shall walk upon your faces. The world is ours, we are its lords, and ours it shall remain. As for the host of labor, it has been in the dirt since history began, and I read history aright. And in the dirt it shall remain so long as I and mine and those that come after us have the power. There is the word. It is the king of words--Power. Not God, not Mammon, but Power. Pour it over your tongue till it tingles with it. Power."
posted by finite at 3:17 PM PST - 30 comments



In 1982, Steve Wozniak sank a lot of his own money into creating the US Festivals -- the first large concerts to celebrate the merging of music, technology (and money). For the second (and final) US Festival in 1983, Van Halen was given 1.5 million dollars, up front, to headline the 1983 US Festival. What did they give back to their fans? Well, about eighty-four seconds into their first song, David Lee Roth screamed, "I forgot the f@¢₭n' words!" Along with a swipe at the Clash, the set that followed remains evar a drunken classic of testosterone-fueled pop metal campiness. About 3:20 into this clip, DLR launches into his epic fail version of "God Bless the Child" -- 'nuff said.
posted by not_on_display at 2:01 PM PST - 36 comments

Notebook is a short animated film by Evelien Lohbeck. Just graduated from the St Joost Academy of Arts in the Netherlands, she is already creating wonderful animations. And Notebook has just been awarded first prize in the Netherlands Online Film Festival.
posted by ceri richard at 1:37 PM PST - 10 comments


Jame's Gunn's PG Porn ('For people who like everything about porn...except the sex.') - Nailing Your Wife starring Firefly's Nathan Fillion. Interview.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:37 AM PST - 38 comments

You fell asleep, watching a dvd. It's Friday, so after a long week, you decide to put in a movie and tune out the world. When you regain consciousness, you wonder if you even made it 5 minutes in.
posted by ninjew at 11:20 AM PST - 57 comments

Would you like some Narco ballards with your network software?
posted by Artw at 10:47 AM PST - 9 comments

Shark Virgin Birth! Praise Jawsus! (punchline stolen from Halcyon) Meanwhile, in Dubai, they're so rich they can focus their attention on Sammy the Shark, and a museum in Hawaii is trying to dispel fears raised by recent shark sightings with an exhibition titled "Megalodon: Largest Shark That Ever Lived". And if you always wanted a shark of your own, contact Big Al. Just remember the words of Alby Singer.
posted by wendell at 10:18 AM PST - 12 comments

Just as a California campaign for a Constitutional ban on same-sex marriage (allowed since June 16, 2008) is heating up the Connecticut Supreme Court has followed suit and overturned bans on same-sex marriage in that state. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic at 9:13 AM PST - 86 comments

Project Censored 2009 brings you 25 stories censored this past year. This essay by Amanda Witherall introduces Project Censored as well as summarizes the top 10 stories selected. [more inside]
posted by infini at 7:47 AM PST - 65 comments

Doctor assisted suicide for the terminally ill, or those in chronic pain, is an issue that some find themselves opposed to. Dan Savage, of Savage Love fame, writes about the death of his mother and the implications of religious opposition to such measures.
posted by sotonohito at 7:25 AM PST - 99 comments

Blind Muslims with guide dogs. Dogs are usually considered unclean, but one U.K. imam carried out research and determined that a dog in service to, or trained by, a person could be allowed in a mosque. [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 6:46 AM PST - 44 comments

I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me. You too can win arguments. Simply follow these rules.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:43 AM PST - 53 comments

Pocketful of dough - an article on where the art of, er, tipping up front can get you. Originally printed in a year 2000 edition of Gourmet. Via Juicy Tidbits.
posted by nthdegx at 6:05 AM PST - 59 comments

President Martti Ahtisaari wins the Nobel Peace Prize. A former Finnish President, an UN envoy, a social democrat, a school teacher and founder of Crisis Management Initiative has negotiated for peace in many troubled areas for three decades. Last fall and last summer CMI (without Ahtisaari's presence) called former Northern Ireland and South African militants to use their experience for finding Iraqi factions a way out of bloodshed. A plan for Kosovo. Negotiations ending 30-year conflict in Aceh, Indonesia. Negotiating Namibia independence. Got conflict? Mr. Ahtisaari is your man.
posted by Free word order! at 4:30 AM PST - 16 comments

Credit Default Swaps (CDS) are derivative instruments providing the purchaser with protection against default on an underlying financial asset. When Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac technically defaulted on September 7th there was much speculation that the CDS market would collapse as a result of protection being invoked on $1.4 trillion dollars worth of debt. On October 6th these derivative contracts settled, and the CDS market didn't collapse with recovery rates of 92% being observed. Today CDS contracts protecting against the default of Lehman Brothers settle. The problem? Because industry lacks a central clearinghouse for these derivatives, nobody is really sure how many CDS contracts were written either by Lehman or by other banks providing protection against a Lehman default. Next on the list are CDS' covering Washington Mutual, which are due to settle October 23rd.

Meanwhile efforts to create a clearing house continue, as some folks speculate that the settlement of Credit Default Swaps is a major reason why banks are hoarding cash.
posted by Mutant at 2:32 AM PST - 155 comments

Remember the days of ACME products and cans that simply said BEER? Product placement in television and film is so commonplace that "product integration" is where the money is now. Some writers are getting very good at it while others wonder if it will be possible to survive without it.
posted by kyleg at 12:58 AM PST - 43 comments

October 9

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rap, by the Notorious B.O.A.L.T. (audio NSFW) [more inside]
posted by Navelgazer at 9:14 PM PST - 17 comments

The fringes of knowledge Amok publishers specializes in collecting the finest of esoterica. Back before the Internet had everything, people with deviant tastes would have to rely on mail order catalogs such as Amok. It has published a compendium of bizarre books known as Dispatches since the 80s. [more inside]
posted by bodywithoutorgans at 8:07 PM PST - 26 comments


The Palin Mob "It's no wonder that the slightest incitement from Sarah Palin or John McCain will turn one of their rallies into a lynch mob. Just talk to the folks who attend.

My camera was rolling for literally seconds before people happily said to me, on camera, that Barack Obama is a terrorist. If I hadn’t spent most of my time at the event inside, waiting for the candidates to show up, I could have gotten dozens of these people on tape."

Via Blogger Interrupted
posted by 4midori at 6:28 PM PST - 489 comments

Control time... A face gets punched, a face gets water-ballooned, and a dog laps water (with its face!) at your accelerative discretion. (If that's not enough... Previously on Metafilter.)
posted by pokermonk at 6:14 PM PST - 6 comments

xkcd had an idea to counter YouTube comment stupidity, and apparently someone at YouTube was paying attention. Not everyone is convinced however. (And there's always Comment Snob).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:53 PM PST - 31 comments

Will You Be My Friend [Flash]
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:04 PM PST - 12 comments

Donna Brazile Is Not Going to the Back of the Bus. Stirring remarks from an October 4, 2008, New Yorker panel discussion, "If I Were Running This Campaign." [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 3:56 PM PST - 44 comments

Grzegorz Jonkajtys's short films include Mantis, Legacy, and the Best of Show winner at Siggraph 2007, Ark. (All movies are QuickTime.) More on the making of Ark here. [via]
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 3:48 PM PST - 3 comments


As the market plummets, it might be interesting to look at the neurological background in the breakdown of trust. The author, Jonah Lehrer, is a young brainiac writer for Seed and the excellent Frontal Cortex. l Scientists immediately discovered a strong neural signal that drove many of the investment decisions. The signal was fictive learning. l One way to think of the financial markets right now is that instead of being populated by rational agents, they're full of people with borderline personality disorder. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 2:25 PM PST - 32 comments

"We can have all the applications and Internet connectivity [...] but that still won't get at issues of lack of electricity and cartographic literacy and suppression of geospatial information by the state and their complicit corporations" reads a recent post on Geowanking, a mailing list for GIS nerds. [SLMLP] [more inside]
posted by finite at 2:17 PM PST - 13 comments

The New York Times reports that tens of thousands of voters from swing states have been illegally purged from voter registration lists using social security numbers. Unsure whether your vote will count? Check here.
posted by Xurando at 1:15 PM PST - 71 comments

...As he pored over the mass of texts and thumbnail photos that the eBay search engine had pulled up on that day in 2005, one strangely worded listing caught Schein’s eye. It read, “Old Snapshot Blues Guitar B.B. King???” He clicked on the link, then took in the sepia-toned image that opened on his monitor. Two young black men stared back at Schein from what seemed to be another time. They stood against a plain backdrop wearing snazzy suits, hats, and self-conscious smiles. The man on the left held a guitar stiffly against his lean frame. Neither man looked like B. B. King, but as Schein studied the figure with the guitar, noticing in particular the extraordinary length of his fingers and the way his left eye seemed narrower and out of sync with his right, it occurred to him that he had stumbled across something significant and rare... the more convinced he became that it depicted one of the most mysterious and mythologized blues artists produced by the Delta: the guitarist, singer, and songwriter whom Eric Clapton once anointed “the most important blues musician who ever lived.” That’s not B. B. King, Schein said to himself. Because it’s Robert Johnson.
Searching for Robert Johnson reveals not only what may be the third picture of Robert Johnson but a Byzantine struggle over his legacy as well.
posted by y2karl at 12:26 PM PST - 29 comments

Beyond the Reach of God. Thought experiments involving the God-universe and the Nature-universe, the Turing-complete Game of Life, and a lot of insightful back-and-forth in the comment section, to boot. One of the most interesting and thought-provoking essays I've read on the Internet in a very long time, by Eliezer Yudkowsky on his blog, Overcoming Bias (via).
posted by WCityMike at 12:25 PM PST - 64 comments

A beautification engine developed by computer scientists from Israel. Before and After shots.
posted by gman at 12:10 PM PST - 67 comments

Iceland's last non state-owned bank is nationalised, with subsidiaries shut down in Finland, refusing to pay depositors in the UK and in adminstration in Luxemberg. Iceland has had to shut down trading on the stock market to stop panic dumping, and has become one of the most state run economies in the world. For everyone who wondered what true worst case is, this might be it (saving the Weimar scenario, but the US is too sane for that).
posted by jaduncan at 11:32 AM PST - 74 comments

Hot Dogs in Hot Love. Banksy is back with a gallery show in NYC featuring crazy robotic food. At least I hope these are robots.
posted by Paid In Full at 10:51 AM PST - 14 comments

On the Oct. 7th Daily Show , Sarah Vowell mentioned that she is so desperate for Presidential leadership that she listened to FDR's Fireside Chats (from the Great Depression of the 1930s) and felt a little better. Beginning March 4th, 1933, and running through March 1st, 1945 FDR's fireside chats were a staple in American Homes. The news of the day, brought to you directly from the commander in chief himself. These are those broadcasts. (#2 is his first, on the banking crisis.)
posted by spock at 10:47 AM PST - 57 comments

MIT report debunks China energy myth. A detailed analysis of powerplants in China by MIT researchers debunks the widespread notion that outmoded energy technology or the utter absence of government regulation is to blame for that country's notorious air-pollution problems. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 10:44 AM PST - 11 comments


"Ever since President Bush confirmed the existence of a National Security Administration wiretapping program in late 2005, he has insisted it is aimed only at terrorists’ calls and protects Americans’ civil liberties ("This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America — and I repeat: limited.")....However, ABC News reports [text with embedded video] that the NSA frequently listened to and transcribed the private phone calls of Americans abroad....These conversations included those of American soldiers stationed in Iraq and American aid workers abroad, such as Doctors Without Borders."* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 9:51 AM PST - 75 comments

The 2008 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to scientists who advanced the use of jellyfish green florescent protein, or GFP (previously), an indispensable tool in molecular biology. The man who discovered the GFP gene, however, is doing something quite different these days. [more inside]
posted by NikitaNikita at 9:38 AM PST - 13 comments

Smuggler's Britain tells "the fascinating story of smuggling in 18th and 19th century Britain, when high taxes led to an dramatic increase in illegal imports. As the 'free trade'" grew, smugglers openly landed contraband in full view of the customs authorities: columns of heavily-armed thugs protected the cargoes." Includes a gazetteer with Google maps links so you can scope out some lonely cove to land contraband of your own in the footsteps of your forefathers and introduces you to famous smugglers like Isaac Gulliver, who never killed a man in a long career. Though of course, it was an enterprise where things often would turn ugly.
posted by Abiezer at 8:07 AM PST - 7 comments

Mark Bittman updates the no-knead bread recipe to make it faster, healthier. For the four of you that don't read Lifehacker or Mark Bittman's pieces in the New York Times, but who love baking bread. [more inside]
posted by mojohand at 6:21 AM PST - 60 comments

Return to sender: Artist puts Royal Mail to the test - "To put them to the test, Harriet Russell concealed the addresses of 130 letters to herself in a series of increasingly complex puzzles and ciphers. Among the disguises she employed were dot-to-dot drawings, anagrams and cartoons. The answer, it seems, was very far indeed. Amazingly, only 10 failed to complete their journey back to her." Be sure to click the "more pictures" link to the right for more samples. Via one.point.zero.
posted by nthdegx at 5:27 AM PST - 56 comments

Ain't this cute: The US State Dept. has outsourced a Private military contractor to investigate Blackwater. There are still some questions in the air for U.S. Investigations Services (USIS) regarding Ted Westhusing. There is Controversy In The Military; Will Anything Change? Remember that Military Rules Don't Apply when Outsourcing Fear. ( Related 1, 2, 3 ).
posted by adamvasco at 4:32 AM PST - 41 comments

The Nobel Prize in Literature goes to French novelist Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio. Here's an old interview, a short video interview (in French) and a short story (in English).
posted by Kattullus at 4:21 AM PST - 34 comments

Paavo Haavikko, one of Finland's (and Europe's) foremost poets, died earlier this week. As well as poetry, his seventy or so published works included essays, novels, plays for the stage, radio & TV, and opera libretti. (via) [more inside]
posted by misteraitch at 1:28 AM PST - 8 comments

How We Evolve: "A growing number of scientists argue that human culture itself has become the foremost agent of biological change, making us — for the past 10,000 years or so — the inadvertent architects of our own future selves." [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 12:16 AM PST - 49 comments

October 8

Oil sands will pollute Great Lakes The environmental impacts of Alberta's oil sands will not be restricted to Western Canada, researchers say, but will extend thousands of kilometres away to the Great Lakes, threatening water and air quality around the world's largest body of fresh water. *****Report: How the Oil Sands Got to the Great Lakes Basin***** (pdf) Policy makers around the lakes, in both Canada and the U.S., are largely unaware that the tar sands will lead to massive industrial development in their region, and consequently have no strategy to minimize the environmental impacts. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:49 PM PST - 33 comments

So, you watched the movie Tron, and now you want to run your computerized guy off of the game grid and into the rest of the computer system? That's exactly what Daniel Wellman did on his Apple IIgs.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 9:27 PM PST - 34 comments

Down, but pehaps not down enough P/E Ratios historically revert to 11, at least from 1871-2003 after any bubble, but somehow they did not revert that far after the dot-com bust [more inside]
posted by Rafaelloello at 8:53 PM PST - 24 comments

Does this look infected to you? A Flickr pool that taps into the same part of your brain that makes you slow down to stare at a car accident. NSFL (lunch). [more inside]
posted by Cobalt at 8:48 PM PST - 40 comments

Jay Walker's Library was just profiled by Wired [via], but they failed to mention where many of those books came from. Big players like Maggs, Simon Finch and the Baumans still compose most of the rare book world. (Heritage is gone but Michael Sharp got four of their employees.) They're all excellent places to shop if you're building an Überlibrary, but, if you're Jay Walker, you start with Phillip J. Pirages. [more inside]
posted by nímwunnan at 6:50 PM PST - 30 comments


Charlie Brooker - Tapping The Wire (1, 2, 3).
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:09 PM PST - 69 comments

As we approach Nov. 4, I'm reminded that an estimated 5.3 million Americans are prohibited from voting because of a felony conviction. The ACLU breaks it down by state.
posted by lunit at 2:46 PM PST - 145 comments

He holds a degree in jam-making. His stepmother is a former stripper by the name of Kandy Caine. He once appeared in a Backstreet Boys video. He's Senator Julian Polonius Foley Marcos DeWiki III, and he's running for President. (more) (via)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:31 AM PST - 22 comments

Cyberdyne. Works on robotic systems that shouldn't kill you unless you are named John Connor. And, maybe not then. Cyberdyne. Works on robotic systems that could actually help you walk. Does it help any that they named it HAL?
posted by dwivian at 10:59 AM PST - 26 comments


"Girl, he died a hero with tons of people loving him." A jack-of-all-trades worker from Florida came to Houston to help clean up in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, and was killed while trying to save three dogs on a freeway. At first, it seemed the man, while praised as a local hero, and receiving tons of support in death from animal lovers, would remain an unknown loner in death as he had been in life. Then a Google search and an exchange of e-mails led one Houston woman to the man's daughter, living in Pittsburgh. The young woman had been searching for her father for thirteen years.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:23 AM PST - 37 comments

Fire, brimstone & pee. (SLYT)
posted by felix betachat at 9:16 AM PST - 38 comments

Neil Gaiman's latest work, The Graveyard Book, is a kind of undead Jungle Book, with a man-child being raised by various ghosts and ghouls rather than animals. He's been the whole thing a chapter at a time on each stop of his American promotional tour, and posting the videos online (and blogging about it of course), which means that with tonights reading the entire thing will be available online.
posted by Artw at 9:03 AM PST - 38 comments

"I'll argue for the sake of arguing that we as human beings have a finite supply of attention for ambient awareness of things around the world.... And the fact that I know just a little bit too much about popular television due to twitter has to be responsible for some other deficit in my life..." Twitter zero: One man's experiment in staying connected to the public-soundbite world without becoming overwhelmed by it.
posted by ardgedee at 8:57 AM PST - 10 comments

YouTube, now in Quad-Resolution! (QLYT)
posted by blue_beetle at 8:47 AM PST - 17 comments



According to the Global Extinction Awareness System (GEAS, by the Institute For the Future) - a simulation based on "the worlds’s first massively multiplayer forecasting game" - by the year 2042 AD there is a potentially terminal combination of five so-called “super-threats” which represent a collision of environmental, economic, and social risks. Acting together, the five super-threats may irreversibly overwhelm homo sapiens ability to survive. Spokesperson for United Nations Secretary General “We are grateful for GEAS’ work, and we treat their latest forecast with seriousness and profound gravity.”[[press release]]. The game runs from Oct.8 to Nov. 6, players wanted.
posted by stbalbach at 6:16 AM PST - 31 comments


If you listen to BBC radio, especially in these troubled times, you may have heard consumer expert Martin Lewis (on one, two or four). His moneysavingexpert site is comprehensive and UK-centric (and regularly referenced on the green). However, the real gem is the site's huge forum, with masses of information that might be useful to just about anybody. [more inside]
posted by primer_dimer at 3:56 AM PST - 12 comments

A novel youtube page promoting Nintendo's latest platform game. The page itself adds context as the video progresses.
posted by nthdegx at 3:16 AM PST - 24 comments

[warning: not safe for anytime, extreme piercing] The Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, when hundreds of spirit mediums torture themselves by piercing sharp spears through their cheeks and other parts of the body. This is believed to avert evil spirits from the community. 28 September - 7 October 2008. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 2:42 AM PST - 20 comments


The Unspeakable Odyssey of the Motionless Boy. "How much of our humanity are we prepared to cede to machines? This is a dilemma of the future, but it's not much of a concern for Erik Ramsey. Erik can't move. He can't blink his eyes. And he hasn't said a word since 1999. But now, thanks to an electrode that was surgically implanted in his brain and linked to a computer, his nine-year silence is about to end." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 12:00 AM PST - 32 comments

October 7


Here there be dragons. On 8 October 2008, the #1 book on Amazon.com was Christopher Paolini’s Brisingr, the third book of the Inheritance quartet. The books recount the adventures of Eragon and Saphira, the last Free Dragon, but they are hardly free from past influences. In medieval lore, dragons are man’s great foe, a monstrous version of the serpent from the garden of Eden. Raphael’s painting (c. 1506) of St. George and the Dragon evokes this idea, but dragons and their heraldic relatives, the wyverns, gained a more positive reputation over time. Look to Ursula K. Le Guin’s Earthsea Cycle for the inspiration behind Paolini's dragons, or try Dealing with Dragons, geared towards younger readers. There be dragons on bookshelves everywhere.
posted by woodway at 11:03 PM PST - 45 comments


Aether: lonely boy befriends a mysterious monster, leaves Earth to explore the galaxy. A quick, relaxing, hypnotic, motion-aftereffect-inducing flash game. Programming/music/design by Tyler Glaiel with further art/design by Edmund McMillen. [more inside]
posted by Korou at 10:03 PM PST - 14 comments

"Nailing down Senator Obama's various tax proposals is like nailing Jello to the wall." Well, how hard is it, really? Initial attempts are not too promising. Some creative engineering fares better, but not a whole lot. Of course, Jesus can help. Oh well -- at least you can set it on fire. [more inside]
posted by limon at 9:28 PM PST - 33 comments

Definitive guide to fonts on Mad Men. Mostly the fonts that didn’t exist during the time of the show. Not every single thing is “historically accurate,” apparently. [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 9:18 PM PST - 23 comments



More subprime collateral damage. Iceland's now getting a $5B bailout from Russia. What does Russia want in return? Access to shipping lanes? The old US base? via
posted by blahblah at 8:29 PM PST - 48 comments

CNet's Music site is one of my favorite sources of often surprisingly good independent music. As I write this, I'm listening to Zo Wanti Music's Lost Ship, a mellow New Age environmental piece that is very nice and relaxing. They have an enormous selection of music here, but one of the oddest and sometimes most rewarding to pick through is the game soundtracks/musical scores section. The artists listed here all compose music for video games (or have in the past). It's strangely fun to listen to some of their pieces and wonder what game that could belong to.
posted by Reverend Robbie at 7:20 PM PST - 0 comments - Post a Comment

Write In My Journal "I simply ask people to write in my journal. What they write is up to them...." Such a simple, elegantly beautiful idea.
posted by azul at 5:59 PM PST - 11 comments

We already talked (self-link, sorta) about Zeitgeist: The Movie. Its author, Peter Joseph, recently released Zeitgeist: Addendum. (beware: last two links are two hour movies) This time, it’s about money and debt, scarcity and resources. The first, financial part may look like an extended Ron Paul ad, but then there’s a sudden turn towards resource-based utopian techno-communalism, and an endorsement for The Venus project. It seems to me like "Kropotkinian anarchism meets The Matrix". In these rough times, is it time for a big leap? [Also announced: The Zeitgeist Movement, still not active]
posted by Baldons at 4:40 PM PST - 21 comments


Last month (Sept. 16, 2008) the American taxpayers bailed out insurance giant American International Group (AIG) to the tune of $85 billion dollars. So, asked "what ya' goin' do now after the bailout?" top executives said "party it up at the St. Regis Resort Monarch Beach (Dana Point, CA) for a week (September 22 - 30, 2008). Total costs? Invoice: $443,343.71. "$200,000 dollars for hotel rooms. Almost $150,000 for catered banquets. AIG spent $23,000 at the hotel spa and another $1,400 at the salon." Said Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD): "They were getting manicures, facials, pedicures and massages while American people were footing the bill. And they spent another $10,000 dollars for I don’t know what this is, leisure dining. Bars?"
posted by ericb at 4:00 PM PST - 147 comments

Chris Onstad's online comic Achewood has recently gotten some semi-mainstream media attention: A Salon piece and an NPR interview with the author related to the publication of a print version of the ultra-violent epic The Great Outdoor Fight of 2006. The online version in its entirety begins innocently enough here. previously.
posted by longsleeves at 2:33 PM PST - 74 comments

A restaurant in Japan employs Monkey Waiters. They're not the worst waiters in the world and you only have to tip them with edamame.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:12 PM PST - 60 comments

Marc Moulin, Belgian pop culture polymath and electropop pioneer, has died. Moulin was probably best known outside of Belgium for the electronic group Telex, founded in 1978 with Dan Lacksman and Michel Moers. Telex scored an international hit with Moskow Diskow, made a great video for their version of Twist a Saint-Tropez, did anything but Rock Around the Clock and, most famously, entered the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest with a cheerfully mocking song titled Euro-Vision. [more inside]
posted by grounded at 12:09 PM PST - 8 comments

Video Art 1984
posted by vronsky at 11:19 AM PST - 13 comments

Kilmer House, the most engrossing corporate-based blog I've ever experienced, tells "The Story Behind Johnson & Johnson and Its People", from the days of the company's inception. Posts include strange products like silk and velvet Beauty Spots, a sherry-based cola drink, pain relievers laced with belladonna and kidney plasters; the difficulty marketing early feminine products to a prudish society; Doctor Dan the Bandage Man; why J & J is allowed to use the Red Cross on its packaging; and the iconic artistry behind the company's early ad campaigns.
posted by misha at 11:17 AM PST - 9 comments

Google rolls out Mail Goggles, designed to prevent drunk or otherwise impaired emailing by forcing you to answer basic math questions. And no, it's not April 1st.
posted by mattholomew at 11:11 AM PST - 67 comments

Talking about Sweden and music has up until now either dealt with The Swedish Music Export Phenomenon or how Sweden is a safe haven for pirates. That might change now. Today Spotify launched (that is, for people in Sweden, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Finland or Norway). A streaming music application that provides full on demand playing. Available in ad-supported (30s twice per hour) free mode or premium mode (~$15 per month). [more inside]
posted by mnsc at 10:47 AM PST - 7 comments

“I have seen many Anne Franks in Cambodia. ...Under Pol Pot, many children were separated from their families. They faced starvation and were sent to the front to fight and die,” she explains. “Like Anna, they never knew peace and the warmth of a home.” Translated by Sayana Ser with help from the Dutch embassy in Cambodia (Kampuchea, Khmer), The Diary of Anne Frank has now become one of the most popular and discussed books in this war-torn country.
posted by parmanparman at 10:23 AM PST - 7 comments

Thomas Nast, Honoré Daumier, Bill Mauldin, David Low, Theodor Geisel, Herblock, and good grief, more Herblock! In honor of some sort of election that's apparently coming up, Comics Should Be Good! will be featuring one ink-stained satirist every day this October! Visit the Stars of Political Cartooning Month Archive for daily updates.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:12 AM PST - 12 comments

Evolution of Corporate Logos
posted by gwint at 8:50 AM PST - 76 comments

"Far away from the Taliban insurgency, in this most peaceful corner of Afghanistan, a quiet revolution is gaining pace. Women are driving cars — a rarity in Afghanistan — working in public offices and police stations, and sitting on local councils. There is even a female governor, the first and only one in Afghanistan." Carlotta Gall writes about promising developments in Bamian. (NY Times; print version.)
posted by languagehat at 8:22 AM PST - 19 comments

Don Helms, the steel guitarist in Hank Williams' Drifting Cowboys band, died on August 11. He was 81. Don provided the smooth-as-silk string stylings for over 100 of Hank's tunes, including Hey Good Lookin' and I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry. See Don demonstrate some of that steel guitar goodness in a snazzy version of Blues Stay Away From Me, or this instrumental rendition of Hank's Cold Cold Heart, or this sprightly little number, Fireball Mail. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:56 AM PST - 9 comments

…if you are the single newspaper in San Francisco or Kansas City or St. Louis, you are just highly constrained about how rigorous you can be in the accuracy of your reporting. Because the whole model is: You are appealing to everybody. Because the whole model is: You are appealing to everybody. … That's why the existence of an independent media sector is so important.
Talking Points Memo is one of the more notable successes in independent journalism and using blogs as a format for journalism. It has broken at least a couple of stories that got picked up by the mainstream press: The Duke Cunningham bribery scandal, and the U.S. Attorneys firing scandal. It's grown from being a one-man shop in 2000 to a staff of ten today. Josh Marshall talks about how it came to be.
posted by adamrice at 7:13 AM PST - 51 comments

Ah, the town-hall debate. Where Joe Sixpack and Jane Chardonnay can have their chance to ask a presidential candidate just about anything. Of course, such an open format can sometimes lead to uncomfortable moments for a candidate (although tonight might not have such fireworks). [more inside]
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:10 AM PST - 877 comments

Oasis have been accused of plagiarizing Cliff Richard. Does 'The Turning' have a certain resemblance to 'Devil Woman'? If so, it would not the first time... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:41 AM PST - 65 comments

Nobels for Physics announced. The prize will be shared between three individuals, including one American teaching at the University of Chicago. The other two winners are from Japan, Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide Maskawa .
posted by leybman at 5:38 AM PST - 19 comments

Nearly a month ago jbickers made a post that mentioned the TIGsource Demakes competition. The competition is over, and the winners have been announced. All of these are playable. Most are for Windows, except for those that are Flash or something else:
1. Soundless Mountain II (Atari 2600 Silent Hill) (from previous post)
2. Gang Garrison II (Kyntt Stories-like Team Fortress 2, complete with multiplayer)
3. Aquarium (NES-ish Aquaria)
4. Little Girl in Underland (Soviet McGee's Alice)
5. House Globe (Homeworld)
6. S.T.A.C.K.E.R. (Nuclear Tetris)
7. Squish
(Crush is a PSP game where the player can switch the world between a 2D and 3D representation. Squish is a game in which the player switches between a 2D and a 1D representation. See for yourself.) 8. (tie) Fillauth and Advanced Set The Rope On Fire Cartridge (an Intellivision-like remake of this, previously mentioned)
9. Sexy Seaside Vollyball (NSFW, pixelated breasts) (Sinclair Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Vollyball)
10. Macarena of the Missing (A thematically-appropriate demake of Limbo of the Lost)

Lots more after the jump! [more inside]
posted by JHarris at 3:19 AM PST - 29 comments

October 6

Trains of Russia, photos from Pavoroz.com, a site about the railways of Russia, the Baltics and the C.I.S. (Commonwealth of Independent States). More than 50 000 pictures of steam, diesel, and electric locomotives, EMU and DMU trains, draisines, stations, tracks, etc. The collection is updated daily. The Turkestan-Siberian railway. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 9:14 PM PST - 26 comments


Discovered just last night by the Catalina Sky Survey at Mount Lemmon Observatory, asteroid 2008 TC will enter the upper atmosphere (and should explode spectacularly) over Northern Sudan in around 30 minutes.
posted by JaredSeth at 7:13 PM PST - 45 comments

Naomi Wolf: "A coup has taken place." An interview with Naomi Wolf author of "Give Me Liberty: A Handbook for American Revolutionaries" given October 4, 2008 on Mind Over Matters, KEXP 90.3 FM Seattle
posted by augustweed at 5:54 PM PST - 66 comments


Even if you only have a passing familiarity with Bollywood musicals, Asha Bhosle's voice will be familiar to you. As one of the most sought after playback singers in Bollywood, and an accomplished, versatile musician in her own right, she's reputed to have sung over 12.000 songs and may be the world's most recorded artist. She's certainly one of the most beloved.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 5:31 PM PST - 19 comments

Dacre Stoker presents: Dracula... the sequel!
posted by Artw at 4:13 PM PST - 37 comments

Public television viewers from the seventies may remember being hectored and freaked out by anti-pollution animations. Three of the more catchy and memorable Willie Wimple cartoons (don't kill trees, don't litter, don't pollute the water, lyrics) that scared us away from a lifetime of casual littering were actually directed by Academy Award winning animator Abe Levitow -- also co-director of The Phantom Tollbooth (intro, time song) and director of Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol (full movie, songs: we're despicable, all alone in the world) -- as one of his final projects.
posted by jessamyn at 4:02 PM PST - 22 comments

Matt Taibbi vs. David Ray Griffin Taibbi, to whose writing Metafilter frequently links, and who is currently on retainer at Rolling Stone, takes on Griffin, who is perhaps the most prominent member of the so-called "9/11 Truth Movement," in a knock-down, drag-out multiple-round bout (in three parts). Part II. Part III.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:55 PM PST - 99 comments

Ossining Calling. Dyna Moe presents Mad Men Illustrated.
posted by scody at 3:35 PM PST - 15 comments

Anti-Conservative site Vote For Environment, has had over a million hits in just 12 days. Previously.
posted by gman at 2:53 PM PST - 33 comments

The Obamix: King Most puts together the perfect soundtrack to pump Obama supporters up for that next phone bank or canvass. [more inside]
posted by rollbiz at 2:12 PM PST - 22 comments

A-Ha's Take on Me, but done literally with lyrics changed to describe what was happening in the video, instead of the head-scratcher of a 80s video having nothing to do with the song. Also? A-ha still exists and the lead singer still looks the same. This meme of doing new lyrics to go with old videos is novel, previously people made videos to match the lyrics literally.
posted by mathowie at 1:16 PM PST - 168 comments

Cell Phone Reception and Tower Search: "...searchable databases of over 130,000 cell phone tower locations registered with the FCC, and over 43,000 cell phone carrier comments submitted voluntarily from real customers using their service all over the U.S. ...and with our graphical tower location search, users can pinpoint nearby tower locations. Even to the exact rooftop with satellite imagery and the help of Google Maps!"[e.g. Casper, Wyoming] You can also search for dead spots, and see how your neighbors really, truly feel about their reception.
posted by not_on_display at 12:24 PM PST - 14 comments

A dress code at the polls? Many states have 'electioneering' laws in place that can be broadly interpreted to mean that clothing with political messages is not allowed. Snopes put a page up advising voters to check with their board of elections. Some election officials have released statements attempting to clarify [pdf] the enforcement of their state's electioneering laws, though those statements aren't legally binding. Other election officials are suing to keep the broad definition of electioneering in place. If rules are interpreted to include campaign shirts and buttons, you will likely need to cover the item up, remove it, or otherwise conceal it. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 10:26 AM PST - 55 comments

On the 10 year anniversary of his death, Mr. Cee of New York's Hot 97 played a 4-hour tribute mix (with some interviews and such) dedicated to the Notorious B.I.G., a/k/a Biggie Smalls a/k/a Big Poppa a/k/a Christopher George Latore Wallace. Downloads in four parts available here. [more inside]
posted by kosem at 10:00 AM PST - 20 comments

As reported in the Guardian the US has cut funding for condoms in Marie Stopes' African clinics. In 2007 MSI provided 129 million male and female condoms. Since 2001 with the Mexico City Policy commonly known as " The Global Gag" The Bush administration has blocked birth control access at every turn. It has tried to redefine Contraception as Abortion. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 9:31 AM PST - 38 comments

Savita Bhabhi is India's First Virtual Pornstar (NSFW). A sexy, buxom, and lusty almond-eyed femme fatale, Savita, bearing the title 'bhabhi' which means 'sister-in-law' indicating that she's married, is the quintessential Indian male porn fantasy 'toon. Launched in March this year, the web site has proven to be a hit, incorporating South Asian themes such as sleeping with the servant boy; with a cousin; and, of course, the boys playing cricket next door.
posted by Azaadistani at 9:26 AM PST - 33 comments

People who make music out of carrots via The World Carrot Museum, enjoy some vegetable music on a Monday afternoon. Flute N Veg. Ivan the Chef drills a carrot. The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra. Carrot Pan Flute.
posted by grippycat at 9:25 AM PST - 7 comments

The Money Meltdown is an excellent site clearly summarizing the banking crisis, with links to articles of varying complexity, including an dry (but readable) economics paper summarizing the lessons from 42 previous banking crises and a guide from the Brookings Institution on what the next President needs to do. And yes, they also reference the podcast just discussed.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:58 AM PST - 12 comments

"There is powerful literature in all big cultures, but you can't get away from the fact that Europe still is the centre of the literary world... not the United States," he said. "The US is too isolated, too insular. They don't translate enough and don't really participate in the big dialogue of literature... That ignorance is restraining."

Nobel literature prize judge Horace Engdahl comes down hard against Don DeLillo, David Foster Wallace, and other crazy American shit that just can't cross the waters.
posted by plexi at 8:14 AM PST - 124 comments

Home Delivery: Fabricating the Modern Dwelling comprises a selective survey of prefabrication in architecture, represented by a timeline, and a building project of contemporary prefabricated homes on the MoMA west lot that is available until October 20th. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:52 AM PST - 2 comments

Top Ten Worst Traffic Signs you may disagree, but these are pretty bad and amusing if you don't have to deal with them during your Monday commute. via
posted by agatha_magatha at 7:50 AM PST - 63 comments

Luc Montagnier, Francoise Barre-Sinoussi and Harald zur Hausen take the Nobel Prize in Medicine for the discoveries of the AIDS virus and HPV, respectively. Take that Gallo.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 6:41 AM PST - 20 comments


Aptly named hardcore deconstructionists Fucked Up are slated to play a free, 12-hour show in NYC on Tuesday, October 14th. The show will feature appearances from the likes of John Cale, Matt Sweeney, David Cross, Mobb Deep, Akon, Vivian Girls, U2's The Edge, and others.
posted by auralcoral at 12:57 AM PST - 13 comments

October 5

This American Life gives you Another Frightening Show About the Economy.. The guys who brought us The Giant Pool of Money (previously) explain the credit crunch and why it's so scary. And not in the Halloween fun-to-be-scared sense.
posted by justkevin at 9:04 PM PST - 169 comments

Sports activism is dead? - so asks Andy Kroll in his review of Dave Zirin's new book, A People's History of Sports in the United States.
"And since the ‘80s, the money, TV time, and narcissism have only increased. Most professional athletes could care less — that is, if they even know at all — that their sponsors’ shoes and jerseys are made in squalid conditions in third world countries."
Author Zirin argues that “[w]e can pretend sports isn’t political just as well as we can pretend there is no such thing as gravity if we fall out of an airplane.” [more inside]
posted by Surfurrus at 7:54 PM PST - 38 comments

Hasil was kind of a mythic sort of figure, you know. And sometimes life is never that easy for a myth. -Dexter Romweber (the Flat Duo Jets on Hasil Atkins in the documentary MY BLUE STAR . Hubcap Hunch, No More Hotdogs. [more inside]
posted by nola at 6:29 PM PST - 12 comments

What is a "trash-out?" When you see this, you feel like this. And some music to go along. After Monday, bunker or hunker ?
posted by wallstreet1929 at 6:00 PM PST - 37 comments

Maybe you've left the corporate world and its dress code behind, you've decided you're not the Avril Lavigne type after all, or you're soon to be unemployed. Whatever the reason, you've got a lot of neckties you no longer wear. What can you do with them? Well, if you still want to wear them in some form, you can make daisy pins, a wrist cuff, a belt or two, a shoulder bag, a wallet or cellphone pouch, a skirt (long or short), a dress, or thong underwear. If you want to have the best dressed dog in your suburb, you can make a dog collar or leash. If you have kids, you can make a snake or cravat cats for them, or teach them how to use old silk ties to dye eggs. If you'd rather decorate the house, you can make baskets, a photo frame, a lampshade, a new chair seat, a floor mat, some throw pillows or some cool quilts. If you want to start getting ready for Christmas, you could make a Christmas stocking, a tree skirt, or an angel. In fact, there are so many ways to make things out of old neckties there's a blog devoted to the topic. Whatever your choice, your days as a corporate peon will be memorialized. As will the peanut butter and jam sandwiches you used to have for lunch.
posted by orange swan at 5:43 PM PST - 23 comments

"The Baldwin Project seeks to make available online a comprehensive collection of resources for parents and teachers of children. Our focus, initially, is on literature for children that is in the public domain in the United States. This includes all works first published before 1923." [more inside]
posted by bitter-girl.com at 5:20 PM PST - 10 comments

Overlooked New York, Impassioned New Yorkers from an Artist's Perspective by Zina Saunders, who is now becoming better known for her darkly humorous political images. Her blog on the illustrator blogsite, Drawger. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 5:01 PM PST - 18 comments

Of Jock Straps and Conspiracy Theories. A new study looks at how lacking control increases the tendency for magical thinking and illusory pattern perception. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 2:20 PM PST - 87 comments

Burlap paradummies called Ruperts were dropped during D-Day, later depicted in the film The Longest Day. But prior to D-Day, both the British and the Germans had used straw-filled decoys in various locations. Later in the war, the U.S. tested "Oscar" but found him lacking, adopting instead the PD Dummy. [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 2:04 PM PST - 11 comments

Japanese Cat Weightlifting (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by essexjan at 1:50 PM PST - 41 comments

Generation Tehran A documentary short about the youth of Iran.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:46 PM PST - 8 comments

Internet Party 2: An Intervention For Myspace The sad aftermath of the previous Internet Party Possible NSFW due to smooching.
posted by The Whelk at 1:15 PM PST - 15 comments


Chrissie Hynde: “[A] complete rock star in every sense of the word”? Nope: “I consider myself an animal activist first and my music as more of a hobby that gives me a platform to fight for animals.” [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 6:10 AM PST - 136 comments

A Hunter-killer stalks its prey in your bloodstream.
posted by orthogonality at 5:08 AM PST - 30 comments

The fungi fire their spores up to 55 miles an hour–which translates to an acceleration of 180,000 g. Research from the lab of Nicholas Money. Music video by Dr. Money's students. (SLYT) via
posted by Slithy_Tove at 4:20 AM PST - 18 comments

October 4


When I was growing up, I did not dress up as a nun for Halloween. When I was a young, impressionable Catholic school girl, I did not secretly (or otherwise) pine for the veils, habits, odd religious names, and overall mystique of the nuns who taught me. The whole “nun” thing kind of snuck up on me when I wasn’t paying much attention. A Nun's Life is the eclectic personal blog of Sister Julie, a Servant of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and a Star Wars fangirl.
posted by amyms at 8:37 PM PST - 18 comments

It was the 80's. We were younger then, and anything seemed possible. So it all seemed part of Destiny when my very first screenplay was bought and produced; fame and fortune was surely just around the corner. HA! Fat chance.- The making of Forever Evil.
posted by Artw at 6:26 PM PST - 6 comments

In these final days the campaign,with the promise of more mudslinging looming large on the horizon, tempers flaring, political threads raging out of control, it's important to remember that religion and politics often make some people give way to ranting and raving and carrying on like emotional children... [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio at 6:22 PM PST - 23 comments

Akhetaten (a.k.a. Amarna) was the city built by Pharaoh Akhenaten, famous for his monotheistic beliefs and his queen, Nefertiti and son, Tutankhamun. The Amarna Letters has translations of correspondence sent to the Akhenaten, but a trove of it was found at the Amarna site. During his reign a distinctive style of art rose to prominence, only to vanish after his death. The Boston MFA has 40 objects from the era in its collection. Perhaps the most famous of the cultural artifacts of Akhenaten is the Great Hymn to Aten (hieroglyphics, four different English translations: 1, 2, 3, 4). This poem was set to music by Philip Glass for his opera Akhnaten (information about the opera). Some see direct parallels between The Great Hymn to Aten and Psalm 104. Though it was billed as a new beginning, like many utopias, Amarna was no haven for the regular folk who lived there.
posted by Kattullus at 4:55 PM PST - 23 comments

A Brief History of English, with Chronology by Suzanne Kemmer is one of many articles at Words in English, a website designed as "a resource for those who want to learn more about this fascinating language – its history as a language, the origins of its words, and its current modern characteristics."
posted by blue_beetle at 4:36 PM PST - 37 comments

Its Fall and a perfect time to make a road trip. Its more than just a hip movie location, Marfa, Texas is home to bizarre food options and of course the world famous Mystery Lights.
posted by shockingbluamp at 4:09 PM PST - 16 comments



All-Art.org provides an extensive image library, essays and information on art history, organized by date and movement, up to the 20th century, including photography, design and classical music with audio samples. A small selection of the encyclopedic range offered: Erotica in Art l Paintings that changed the world l The Origins of Typography and Graphic design l Russian Silver Age l Japanese Prints l African l Posters l A Brief History of Western Literature l An illustrated dictionary of art and artists. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 3:27 PM PST - 7 comments

Make-Believe Maverick. "A closer look at the life and career of John McCain reveals a disturbing record of recklessness and dishonesty."
posted by homunculus at 2:00 PM PST - 120 comments


Tom Davis Gives Up (SLNYT). “Tell them about the important work we’re doing while Rome burns,” he said. A candid accounting of American politics from a member of the GOP disillusioned with both sides of the aisle and an overview of how he became that way.
posted by schroedinger at 12:52 PM PST - 39 comments

Sarah Palin has put a new face and voice to the long-standing, powerful, but inchoate movement in US political life that one might see as a mutant variety of Poujadism, inflected with a modern American accent.
[more inside]
posted by y2karl at 12:32 PM PST - 110 comments


Urim and Thummim were a mystical medium used by ancient Israelites to divine God's will and, according to some interpretations, to distinguish sinners from non-sinners. Todd Walker believes he has found the Urim and Thummim (in a Goodwill Superstore in Nashville, TN). He would like to share this miracle with you. Quicktime trailer
posted by kimdog at 9:29 AM PST - 30 comments

Brutal or Amazing? - this is just one of many fine posts on the Photo Africa Blog, an excellent source of in-the-wild animal and nature photos and reports from bush field guides. Also see: Madikwe Lions.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:49 AM PST - 20 comments

Bacon Cat in the New York Times With the presidential race heating up and the financial bailout package passing Congress on Friday, the New York Times thought this was the perfect time for a hard hitting look at straight, single men who own cats. So of course they wanted input from author John Scalzi, who by virtue of the fact that he is married, is not single. He does own Bacon Cat though.
posted by COD at 7:15 AM PST - 46 comments

"One dude's quest to save democracy!" Free for All! is a new documentary about the 2004 Ohio election results, which decided the presidential winner. It covers some familiar ground, but also a lot of details you might have missed. You can see it in theaters on October 8, or view it online right now. Here's Roger Ebert's review.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:11 AM PST - 28 comments

Woosta is an interview driven website that is dedicated to the promotion of artists and their work. [mild nsfw] [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:39 AM PST - 2 comments

Back in 1963, a TV special called "Folk Songs and More Folk Songs" aired, which featured a cross section of the "folk" artists who were at that time just beginning to receive wider media exposure. Aside from the squeaky-clean, white bread embarrassment of groups like The Brothers Four, the show redeemed itself with performances by a very young Bob Dylan, who sang The Ballad of Hollis Brown (with banjo and bass accompaniment) and Man of Constant Sorrow. And here's two more very early Dylan TV appearances, from Canada, 1964: A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall and Girl From the North Country. Here's the same Girl From the North Country performed years later, once again on broadcast TV, in duet with Johnny Cash, from the Johnny Cash Show. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:32 AM PST - 23 comments

Charity Navigator is most interesting for the CEO salaries, but non-profits are a huge segment of society. Melissa Data lists all the organizations with nonprofit status for your zip. This is an excellent rant on one of them.
posted by Bitter soylent at 3:03 AM PST - 31 comments

October 3

O.J. Simpson convicted of twelve counts of kidnapping, armed robbery. Background for this case. This conviction comes on the 13th anniversary of his acquittal for the murder of his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ronald Goldstein.
posted by Guy Smiley at 11:15 PM PST - 79 comments


From grainy stills to gorgeous high-resolution portraits, from intimate pairings to stark contrasts, and from old standbys to little-known surprises, The Planetary Society's Earth galleries offer a rich collection of stunning photography and video footage of our world as seen from both planetary spacecraft and geostationary satellites. It is a vista that has inspired many a deep thought in the lucky few that have seen it firsthand [previously]. Oh, and the rest of the Solar System is pretty neat, too.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:34 PM PST - 9 comments

Remember the Fifties? For a certain generation, who could forget those golden innocent days as depicted in shows like Happy Days, Grease and the band Sha Na Na. But it turns out that vision of the 50's is mostly fantasy and never existed, largely invented by a group of Columbia U students around 1969. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 9:50 PM PST - 61 comments

If you missed the VP debate last night, you might enjoy this video of VP debate highlights in song and dance by Michael Gregory. (Also available: Running From Your Shadow, presidential debate highlights in song and dance.) DLYT
posted by MegoSteve at 9:08 PM PST - 9 comments

It’s been a long, weird and expensive week all over. Why not stay in tonight and watch guys (mostly) with long hair playing strange and difficult music from a long lost decade? [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 6:17 PM PST - 47 comments

The John Mobberly Story (parts one through four) about a Confederate Guerilla who terrorized Loudoun county Virginia and the Harpers Ferry area, as written by blogger Neddie Jingo. [more inside]
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:47 PM PST - 8 comments


While the Wall Street financial crisis gripped the world Icelanders woke up one day to find that the Icelandic state had forcibly taken over the country's 3rd biggest bank, Glitnir. The worry is now that one of the two larger banks could also fail and the state wouldn't have the resources to do anything as the two remaining of the big 3 have assets totaling 10 times the GDP of Iceland. While the Central Bank claims it was the only option in a bad situation, prior bad blood between one of the Central Bank's directors, a former Prime Minister, and the main owner of Glitnir have some wondering if Icelanders have just been witness to "the biggest bank robbery in Icelandic history." [Warning: The story you are about to read may make you reconsider the verisimilitude of soap operas]
posted by Kattullus at 3:48 PM PST - 25 comments

A housing boom and bust, interbank lending rates reaching record highs, people losing faith in complex financial instruments, a stock market crash. We've seen it all before... The Great Depression of 1929? No, the Panic of 1837...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:08 PM PST - 33 comments


Project Vote 2008 aims to repair "vote caging" [discussed previously] by compiling Google spreadsheets of affected households. Check your own status, and alert friends or neighbors you find there that their voter registration status is at risk for "alleged or actual deficiencies." [more inside]
posted by jayCampbell at 1:31 PM PST - 27 comments

It's the commons, our right of birth
And to you who would own everything all around the Earth
Our future is your downfall, when we cut this ball and chain
You who'd sacrifice the public good for your private gain
posted by finite at 1:30 PM PST - 11 comments

What happened to Dorcas Snodgrass? I don't know who did this research on this nurse, but she's haunting me and the articles hint at a tragic mystery but leave many unanswered questions.
posted by chickaboo at 12:16 PM PST - 25 comments

Something to make the inner geek that is inside your inner geek do the boogie-woogie: "Weird Al" Yankovic announces that thanks to digital distribution, he will begin releasing songs as he records them, while the parodied song is still fresh in the public's mind, instead of waiting for an album release every three to four years. The first one will come out on October 7. iTunes will have first dibs on the new singles for the first 14 days, after which they'll go to other online music retailers. (via /.)
posted by WCityMike at 12:07 PM PST - 73 comments

Boy goes on "rampage" at Aussie zoo, killing rare reptiles and feeding them to a crocodile. [more inside]
posted by educatedslacker at 10:31 AM PST - 306 comments

Steal *MY* laptop, will you? Now I can track you down like the pathetic dickmonkey you are. Wish you could sneak up on the asshole who stole your laptop and beat the crap out of him/her with a baseball bat? Now you can! Thanks to the beauty and glory of open source and OpenDHT, researchers at University of California, San Diego and University of Washington have created free software that enables you to track down your missing laptop. The Mac OS version even has an option to capture photos of the aforementioned scumbag so you can know your victim before you beat him/her senseless. (Note: I'm not saying that you *should* beat someone up for stealing your stuff, I'm just saying you *could*.)
posted by Geekyblonde at 9:35 AM PST - 40 comments

In 1684, the French Crown didn't send Quebec its yearly allotment of currency. Yet, the soldiers needed to be paid. [more inside]
posted by QIbHom at 9:30 AM PST - 18 comments

The 14th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition has been released. History of the competition. Previously on Mefi. Emily Short reviews this year's entrants. [more inside]
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:44 AM PST - 21 comments

Strategery is a unique hedge fund.
posted by infini at 6:37 AM PST - 25 comments

Some people look like celebrities. Some people look like their pets. Some people look like monkeys or Kenny Rogers or old lesbians or video game characters. But I just want someone who looks like my parent so eventually we can look more like each other. (Obviously previous stuff: here and here and here. Familiarity breeds similarity!)
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:13 AM PST - 21 comments

Vintage poison labels. "One year I put them on the cocktail glasses at my Halloween party." Via BoingBoing (no Katamari/papercraft/steampunk/DRM content).
posted by mattholomew at 3:41 AM PST - 29 comments

"You are negative bastards, the pair of you." That is about the most innocuous thing Joe Kinnear said in his first press conference as interim manager of Newcastle United. [more inside]
posted by ninebelow at 2:03 AM PST - 34 comments

Ludomancy: Storyteller, I wish I were the Moon, The Trials, and Night Raveler and the Heartbroken Uruguayans. Flash gameplay experiments by Daniel Benmergui. windows bonus: Stars over Half Moon Bay and The Marriage by Rod Humble
posted by juv3nal at 12:48 AM PST - 2 comments

October 2

Video of Dictyophora Indusiata. "When they find it, they sniff it. The scent of this mushroom causes sexual arousal, often to the point of orgasm." ^ Other interesting articles available from Aphrodisiology: List of Aphrodisiacs l Visual Stimuli l Pheromones & Perfumes. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 11:54 PM PST - 49 comments

This is the Wartime Broadcasting Service. This country has been attacked with nuclear weapons. Communications have been severely disrupted, and the number of casualties and the extent of the damage are not yet known. We shall bring you further information as soon as possible. - The BBC releases its script for use in the event of nuclear war.
posted by Artw at 11:48 PM PST - 37 comments

American businessman Steve Fossett, who went missing last year after taking flight from Barron Hilton's Flying M Ranch (previously and previously), and was declared dead last February, had left many questions unanswered, including the possibility that he faked his own death. However, remains of his plane have just been found.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:42 PM PST - 48 comments

Your favourite jeans are giving out on you, but you don't want to let them go. These are the jeans you were wearing when you met your partner/got your all-time best score on Frogger/performed at your garage band's only ever paying gig/whenever you move out of, then back into, your mother's basement. They're not just jeans — they're your history. But since you can't wear them anymore, you think you could reincarnate them. You have many options, especially if you've got more than one pair due for retirement. You could make journal or photo album covers so your jeans can truly be part of your historical record. You could make a quilt or two or three, or a wall hanging, or some woven rugs. Or a Christmas tree. You could make a slipcover for a chair, pillows or placemats, or an apron or two. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 7:55 PM PST - 14 comments

Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. There are now nearly 600 maps.
Worldmapper
posted by y2karl at 3:21 PM PST - 28 comments


Geeky Cakes.
posted by lunit at 1:04 PM PST - 25 comments

Chef Ljubomir Erovic has written a cookbook drawing attention to the World Testicle Cooking Championship.
posted by gman at 12:14 PM PST - 32 comments

100 skills every man (or woman) should know (with videos!) from Popular Mechanics - learn how to split firewood or solder a wire, among others. Before you look, take the quiz and see how you stack up against people like our own Adam Savage. Need more? Esquire offers a more touchy-feely list of skills; the Art of Manliness has a list that includes how to land a plane and how to survive a street fight; and also a (PDF) book listing medical skills for surviving the end of the world. And if you prefer the fictional, there is also the classic list of skills from Robert Heinlein and the skills of a certain TV stuntman.
posted by blahblahblah at 12:03 PM PST - 96 comments

Kung Fu Election -- Someday, this is how all election campaigns will be fought.
posted by Class Goat at 11:34 AM PST - 25 comments

Birth of an Ocean: The Evolution of Ethiopia's Afar Depression. "Formation of an ocean is a rare event, one few scientists have ever witnessed. Yet this geophysical nativity is unfolding today in one of the hottest and most inhospitable corners of the globe." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 11:30 AM PST - 26 comments

Notes from an economic collapse. With the shaky state of the economy, some are modifying their retirement plans. Fortunately, we have helpful tips from survivors of other collapsed economies to help us weather the (possible) approaching storm. [more inside]
posted by mecran01 at 11:07 AM PST - 30 comments

Constantine's Sword (google video) A former priest's personal journey through the tangled and sometimes violent history between Christians and Jews.
posted by empath at 10:56 AM PST - 14 comments

Don't vote.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 10:38 AM PST - 94 comments

Coming soon to a theater near you: An American Carol (not to be confused with the Dickens Christmas time classic). This new film by David Zucker features a slave-owning Michael Moore look-alike who is punched, slapped and otherwise cajoled by ghostly generals and country music stars into learning the true meaning of America, and a thing or two along the way about how to be a man.
posted by washburn at 10:30 AM PST - 100 comments


Worms in your fresh fish? We've heard about them in sushi for years, but stories are on the rise of creeping condiments from supermarkets. The FAO says they're actually not uncommon though "worms are unsightly and consumers naturally object to their presence". One theory holds that they're on the rise due to cost-driven onshore processing. Icked-out consumers have been posting videos on YouTube 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, while others have sought solace in discussion forums. But the good news? Cook thoroughly and you'll be safe. Me, I'll be sticking to enchiladas.
posted by crapmatic at 7:53 AM PST - 71 comments

What's the biggest problem facing America today? Gas prices? Healthcare? High taxes? No, it's far, far more serious than any of those things. I demand to know what the candidates intend to do for the American people in the face of this threat.
posted by essexjan at 7:50 AM PST - 39 comments

What happens when a former NASA software engineer and a co-founder of Wired magazine decide to start up a chocolate company? TCHO Ventures is trying to make single-bean varietal chocolate varieties that best express the component flavors of chocolate, which they've identified as "chocolate", "nutty", "fruity", "floral", "earthy", and "citrus". To test this concept, they've been "beta-testing" their chocolate in plain brown wrappers, and collecting feedback. The result is good chocolate, with just a hint of viral marketing.
posted by kaszeta at 7:43 AM PST - 26 comments

I Am Capable of More Than I Think I Am - Gregg Rogers discusses his introduction to being a parent of a child with Down syndrome for a segment of NPR's This I Believe. [more inside]
posted by plinth at 7:07 AM PST - 28 comments

David Carr is a New York Times columnist and Oscar blogger. He also just published his memoir, The Night of the Gun, about his time as a crack addicted fat thug who beat up women and sold bad coke, using his journalistic skills to investigate events he barely remembers. Reviews have placed it head and shoulders above the recent spate of other junkie redemption narratives, with one reviewer stating his confusion as to "whether you’ve just seen the memoir redeemed or irrevocably dismantled."

He has some sort of potato fixation, too. [more inside]
posted by Panjandrum at 4:56 AM PST - 41 comments

Imagine the worst, most foul thing you have ever smelled. An overpowering mix of rotting meat, old socks that haven't been washed for weeks - topped off with the pungent waft of an open sewer. Imagine being covered in the stuff as it is liberally sprayed from a water cannon. Then imagine not being able to get rid of the stench for at least three days, no matter how often you try to scrub yourself clean. Introducing Israel's new, non-lethal but highly effective and highly offensive weapon: Skunk.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:43 AM PST - 62 comments

The biggest show in town is Huckleberry Hound... and 50 years ago today, The Huckleberry Hound Show debuted. On a budget of $2,800 per half hour, this was the show that truly brought animation to TV... and limited to animation... and Daws Butler to fame as a voice actor. [more inside]
posted by wendell at 2:21 AM PST - 33 comments

October 1

Cornelia Hesse-Honegger paints watercolours of mutated insects from radioactively contaminated areas in Ukraine, Switzerland, the United States, and Europe. She has recently published a scientific article incorporating these paintings (5 MB PDF). site also available in German
posted by Rumple at 11:45 PM PST - 26 comments

FairyTaleFilter: SurLaLune Fairy Tales features 49 annotated fairy tales, including their histories, similar tales across cultures, modern interpretations and over 1,500 illustrations, 1,600 folktales & fairy tales from around the world in more than 40 full-text eBooks. Fairy Tale timeline. l Women Children's Book Illustrators l The Evolution of the Illustrated Children's Book l Some really beautiful free graphics and clipart from Grandma's Graphics. [more inside]
posted by nickyskye at 11:29 PM PST - 11 comments

Crystal Head Vodka. Dan Aykroyd's been sampling too much of his own product
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:40 PM PST - 138 comments

Google, an internet search company, announced a US$ 4.4 trillion proposal for reducing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels by 2030. Google CEO Eric Schmidt, chided political leadership in the U.S. and the rest of the world for not showing initiative on the issue. Google's philanthropic arm, Google.org has already made significant investments in alternative energy solutions (previously) that will naturally tie in to this plan.Google stock has bounded on the news, but is their plan the way to go?
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 8:36 PM PST - 56 comments

The Mathemagician and Pied Puzzler (PDF, rough table of contents here) is a collection of puzzles created by members of the Gathering 4 Gardner Foundation, in tribute to the man himself (previously). Also freely available at the G4G site is Puzzle Craft (PDF), by Stewart Coffin. (The Puzzling World of Polyhedral Dissections, also by Coffin, is available here.)
posted by cog_nate at 7:21 PM PST - 9 comments

Jonathan Koppell and William Goetzmann on why Congress should let Wall Street hang for a bit and use the $700 billion to directly refinance homowners' bad mortgages. Fire away, mefites! [more inside]
posted by puckish at 7:16 PM PST - 84 comments

What's the hardest dining reservation to score? French Laundry? Nope. El Bulli? Non. D.C.'s minibar? Not even close. [more inside]
posted by shiu mai baby at 7:10 PM PST - 54 comments

150 years ago, Father Isaac Thomas Hecker, a Catholic priest looking for a way to convert more North Americans, founded the Paulist Fathers. From the start, they took a mass communications approach to proselytizing, from the magazine the Catholic World in 1865 to the website Busted Halo. At the same time, they are also decidedly ecumenical and have a history of disagreeing with Rome, sometimes to the ire of other Catholics.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:28 PM PST - 11 comments

The Next New Deal With the vaunted post-Cold War "Peace dividend" evaporating, the United States found itself unable to invest adequately in either its infrastructure or its children. Eventually people began to talk of another Great Depression, before the coming of the next New Deal.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:27 PM PST - 8 comments

As most women know, nylon stockings don't last. They run, they snag, they rip, and they can't be mended. And they take 40 to 50 years to decompose in a landfill. I was sure as I began researching this post that there must be some great pantyhose crafting and art ideas out there. But the results were, um, mixed. If you are into weaving, you can make some wall hangings or rugs from nylons. If you're a Klondike Kate type who sews, you can make a skirt. If you work in a corporate environment but want to keep your edge, you can abide by your company's dress code AND sport temporary tattoos. If you're a crafty bride-to-be, you can make flowers or dragonflies for wedding decorations. If you're into the less practical kind of art, you can create semi-wearable pantyhose art, or construct pantyhose art installations like artist Mary Nicollet. You can even make pantyhose dolls, and stick them in a jar if you want to. Just be prepared for the fact that most people will never understand why you'd want to. But beware, because pantyhose arts and crafts are either underexplored or instrinsically strange, and can go from “interesting” or “kind of cute” to “bizarre” and “kind of disturbing” faster than a run can make its way from your thigh to your toes. [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 5:23 PM PST - 38 comments

Literate c1980 acid trip ~v~
posted by vronsky at 5:12 PM PST - 19 comments

Concerned about not only oral hygiene as well as nicotine intake? IPCO has you covered. Follows best dental practices of Ayurveda, Unani and homeopathic medicine. Chases the blues away while helping your bowels! This is indeed the wonder product for which you have waited your entire life!
posted by Ogre Lawless at 3:59 PM PST - 10 comments

Sarah Palin may be a better debater than you think... Sarah Palin, much derided for reasons best not gone over again, may be a better debater than people tend to think. Andrew Halcro, a Republican from Alaska says, "I've debated Governor Palin more than two dozen times. And she's a master, not of facts, figures, or insightful policy recommendations, but at the fine art of the nonanswer, the glittering generality. Against such charms there is little Senator Biden, or anyone, can do."
posted by datter at 3:34 PM PST - 1422 comments

Still a small world The 34th Small World Photomicography Competition is allowing visitors to pick their favorites among this years' top entries. Previous years were here and here.
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:18 PM PST - 5 comments

"What would you say if I told you that I filled my entire living room with completely original works of art for less than $300?" Andrea Dickson from Wise Bread has found an unlikely -- though, the more you think about it, almost obvious -- place to find original art from new artists: Ebay. If you can filter through the crapload of "artistic nudes", there are plenty of gems, and usually at buyers' market prices. And, as Andrea's mother mused, when it comes to decorating the house, it beats buying mass-produced art from Costco, which is about as original as a Big Mac.
posted by chakalakasp at 3:15 PM PST - 35 comments

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain may be computer illiterate, but his campaign does think highly of eBay. Sen. McCain and Governor Palin have each suggested eBay as a fix for the economy, tool for government reform, and strategy for homeland security. Perhaps it's because former eBay CEO Meg Whitman, in spite of disagreeing with parts of his technology platform, is co-chair of McCain's campaign?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 2:41 PM PST - 24 comments


An online auction site called Swoopo, once called TeleBid, has hit upon an ingenious way to make money. They are an auction site not entirely unlike Ebay - but using a different auction scheme. Where EBay uses a slightly modified Vickrey auction system, Swoopo uses an auction system based on the "Dollar Auction" game - with interesting results. [more inside]
posted by Zarkonnen at 2:10 PM PST - 31 comments

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, what are the most important people in the political spectrum eating for breakfast then? Obama eats eggs, McCain eats cereal, Pelosi eats... ice cream? Politicians and reporters divulge their breakfasts inside the beltway.
posted by kerning at 2:03 PM PST - 47 comments

Tsukiji knife photos by Tony McNicol. List of published articles. List of selected photo galleries. I’ve been taking photos of a 240 year old knife shop in Tsukiji fish market.... If you buy a knife at the shop you can bring it back to be sharpened for free. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 1:39 PM PST - 14 comments

A brief history of chocolate slavery: That Chocolate is an oligopoly might surprise a few people. Chocolate's Bittersweet Economy (pdf) shows that seven years after the industry had agreed to abolish child labour, little progress has been made. Cross-border Migration of Working Children has still been left out of Harkin-Engel Cocoa Protocol Process. Bitter Chocolate Reflects on the politics of cocoa and chocolate. With Halloween approaching you might consider a Fair Trade approach to Trick or Treat. (If Chocolate slavery doesn't make you throw up a little maybe this will.)
posted by adamvasco at 1:01 PM PST - 26 comments

This post piqued my interest, as I'd always presumed I was "the only one" who'd read these books. Many, many years ago I got a First Communion gift from my ultra-Catholic grandmother of the paperback editions of both Karen and With Love from Karen. [more inside]
posted by Oriole Adams at 1:00 PM PST - 7 comments


"The common point of all my characters is that they aren’t nice, [they’re] either nasty or mean. They all have a personality with good and bad sides." Olivier Bucheron creates striking alien and robot meanies. Zamak.... (some images mildly nsfw)
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 12:02 PM PST - 2 comments

Peter Nalitch [Russia's “homegrown star to match Borat”] has penned the ultimate cheesy Eastern song:
gitar, come to my buduar
gitar, jump to my yaguar baby
you have a possibility play it with me [more inside]
posted by chuckdarwin at 11:21 AM PST - 18 comments

Right Again. The passions of John Stuart Mill (previously).
posted by homunculus at 11:20 AM PST - 18 comments

Scatman + Ultraman = ScatUltraman!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:01 AM PST - 27 comments

Fan-diddly-damn-tastic! The whirly-twirly-leapy-flippy world of nonce words. When something is crappy, do you ever yearn for synonyms such as crapitudinous, crapfestacular, and craposcopic? (via ADS-L)
posted by strangeguitars at 8:56 AM PST - 49 comments

Diamond Artistry. With the baseball postseason about to begin, some folks won't just be looking at the ball, they'll be checking out the backdrop. Red Sox groundskeeper David Mellor gets most of the credit for kicking off a revolution in creating patterned fields for Major League ballparks, with designs including the Sox logo, intricate plaids, and an American flag mowed into the field. Want to do this to your own lawn? He's got a book to tell you how. (Previously.)
posted by dseaton at 2:16 AM PST - 26 comments

To some, Exclaim! is more or less the northern equivalent of Pitchfork, a free monthly mag for the hipster masses. But I've always enjoyed the way their Questionnaire page provides an often surprisingly clear glimpse into an odd array of celebrities' lives. This month's subject is Motörhead’s Lemmy. [more inside]
posted by mannequito at 12:32 AM PST - 30 comments

Oct. 1 marks the 100th birthday of Ford's Model T. With its optional windshield, gas lamps, and innovative left-side steering wheel, it ushered in an age of automotive marvels. The Model T left a legacy of mass production, user mashups, and affordable cars for everyone. It may have been one of the worst things to ever happen to the planet. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:03 AM PST - 46 comments