October 2009 Archives

October 31

Google Music search is now live - powered by Lala and Ilike. Also provided are supplemental links to relevant Rhapsody and Pandora pages. Some are are not impressed with the search feature. Related: Lala's streaming iphone app is awaiting Apple's approval.
posted by bigmusic at 5:21 PM PST - 52 comments

grumblebee's post about cell size and scale the other day was quite fascinating. Pulling back to the home for that site, the Genetic Science Learning Center at the University of Utah delivers educational materials on genetics, bio-science and health topics ranging from stem cells to gene therapy, and from epigenetics to heredity. Explore the neurobiology of normal and addicted brains and the genetic contribution to this chronic disease.
posted by netbros at 4:35 PM PST - 4 comments

Kobelkoff: "This rare documentary puts us in a troubling situation of voyeurism by having us attend the exhibition of trunk man Nikolaï Kobelkoff, born in Siberia, without limbs. Kobelkoff uses his unique stump with incredible dexterity: he drinks, eats, shoots with a rifle, paints, winds his watch and lifts a dumbbell! In 1932, this extraordinary character was film director Tod Browning's inspiration for the famous film Freaks." (1900, b&w, silent, 1:23 min) brief history
posted by vronsky at 3:06 PM PST - 11 comments


The only open seat for Congress this election day, in New York's 23rd district, was shaping up to be an interesting 3-way race with possible implications for the future of the Republican party. But after today's Sienna poll showing Democratic Bill Owens leading in this traditionally Republican district, the Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava has announced she is suspending her campaign. Is the race now a shoe-in for Conservative Doug Hoffman, already endorsed by Pawlenty, Palin and others in the far-right of the party? Or will Dede's supporters, who were drawn to her her more moderate stance, simply stay home?
posted by saffry at 12:50 PM PST - 156 comments

Esteemed actor Christopher Walken performs Lady Gaga's "Poker Face". Not a cover. Not an impression.
posted by WCityMike at 12:41 PM PST - 73 comments

"Some People" is a comic about perspective, misunderstanding, and people. The artist writes a lot of interesting comics.
posted by Taft at 11:52 AM PST - 22 comments


Asset inflation, price inflation, and the great moderation
Economists as penance have been trying to locate the origins of the great chain of causation that has led us to our present situation -- the worrying conclusion is that problems remain -- imbalances precipitated by a labour supply shock [1,2] and/or (the rise of) machines [1,2] have not gone away and continue to persist in decimating the ('developed world's) middle class, as evidenced by high and rising unemployment, which has led to a crisis in central banking itself. [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 8:24 AM PST - 31 comments

FASHION SWAT 09! The Goons from Something Awful review and comment on this year's best costumes. (Halloween Fashion Swat '08, '06, '05) previousish Science Fair SWAT :
posted by The Whelk at 8:23 AM PST - 23 comments

Enrich your Halloween experience with some seasonally appropriate art: the whimsical and charming SkeleCANS (flapjax recommends: slideshow viewing) from New Orleans' indefatigable Skeleton Krewe.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:34 AM PST - 6 comments

21 Halloween costumes that will not get you laid. Probably NSFW. Looking through these, I'm sensing a certain theme. 21 fun, ad-choked clicks. sorry.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 2:12 AM PST - 58 comments

Widely regarded as the greatest Chinese writer of the twentieth century, Lu Xun was so deeply unimpressed by the Chinese character-based writing system that he is reported to have said "if Chinese characters do not fade away, China will perish!". In his 1934 "An outsider's chats about written language" (menwai wentan), he discussed the matter using the pseudonym Hua Yu, which means both "China's Prison" and "China's Language". [more inside]
posted by moorooka at 12:35 AM PST - 36 comments

Lovecraft 101: Get To Know The Master of Scifi-Horror. For more detailed insights into each of Lovecraft's tales in publication order you might want to follow the H.P.Lovecraft Literary Podcast. For another story-by-story guide to Lovecraft you might want to check out Kenneth Hite's Tour De Lovecraft (also available in expanded form as a book). China Mieville on Lovecraft and racism and a lecture at Treadwells by Archaeologist James Holloway which delves deep into Lovecraft and identity. The making of the Call of Cthulhu RPG. The making of Cthulhu (Hipsters! Ego! Madness!). Happy Halloween with H.P. Lovecraft!
posted by Artw at 12:13 AM PST - 54 comments

October 30

Why Yankee Stadium sucks: "Its design is profoundly un-American. Baseball has traditionally played a unifying role. The ballpark is where people of different classes and races and religions actually mingled. The box seats, where the swells sat, weren't physically separated from the proles. The new stadium is like an architectural system of class apartheid."
posted by bardic at 11:56 PM PST - 89 comments

It's too late for International Babywearing Week 2009, but don't let this stop you. Don't have a baby to wear? Don't let this stop you either! Strap on your toddler. Still left out of the babywearing? Well, you can always get a dog! [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 7:29 PM PST - 40 comments

James Moran, script-writer on shows such as Doctor Who and Torchwood and the feature-film Severance has launched his latest project, the web-series Girl Number 9. [more inside]
posted by benzo8 at 4:34 PM PST - 16 comments



Katy Perry's song was pretty controversial when it was released last year. Kunt and the Gang explore the opposite side of the equation. (Caution: Definitely NSFW or the easily offended. Obscene lyrics, simulated bukkake, all manner of nasty stuff.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:54 PM PST - 64 comments

One of the best parts of watching Mad Men is the perfectly recreated world of 1960s New York. Who doesn’t wish they could simply step into their tvs for a moment and experience the romance of sipping a cocktail in an elegant 60s bar? Guest of a Guest put together a list of Mad Men inspired locales, consisting of places that have been around since the 1960s as well as their modern counterparts. Here’s everything you need to know to dress, drink, eat, and live like a character out of Mad Men.
posted by netbros at 3:40 PM PST - 49 comments

The Undertaker"s sketch is an example of dark humor. [more inside]
posted by Mblue at 3:04 PM PST - 10 comments


The Maskatorium: hundreds of masks collected from around the world over the past 20 years.
posted by gman at 1:46 PM PST - 6 comments

By now you're surely aware of Tron Legacy, the sequel to 1982's Tron. Tron Legacy will have a soundtrack by Daft Punk as counterpoint the score in the original composed by Wendy Carlos. But what of the Trons that Never Were? Listen to the soundtrack to Tron 1.5: Rise of the Virals and find out a little about the process behind the sequel that didn't make it. [more inside]
posted by lekvar at 12:26 PM PST - 22 comments

The Daily Drop Cap is an ongoing project by typographer and illustrator Jessica Hische. Each day (or at least each WORK day), a new hand-crafted decorative initial cap will be posted for your enjoyment and for the beautification of blog posts everywhere.
posted by HumanComplex at 11:48 AM PST - 19 comments

SAGE is a free, open-source computer algebra system. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 11:11 AM PST - 37 comments

Perhaps you have seen the recent video of flies zooming around a "German trade show" like little banner planes? That "German Trade Show" was the Frankfurt Book Fair (Frankfurter Buchmesse)—the most important event in the book publishing world. It's international; all the major US publishers go, as do many agents, to meet their foreign counterparts and to buy and sell projects amid publishing's eternal and ever-present air of fatalism. This year's fair had some interesting subplots, the most visible of which was the complicated dance the organizers did with this year's guest of honor, China, as accusations of censorship (on the part of China) and of brown-nosing (on the part of the fair's organizers) flew. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 10:18 AM PST - 16 comments



Fritz Darges died on Saturday aged 96. Darges was the last surviving member of Hitler's inner circle and was present for all major conferences and policy announcements for four years of the war. He reportedly left instructions that after his death his memoirs of his time with Hitler could be published. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 8:55 AM PST - 40 comments

As parents scramble to get one of the 25,000 items in the Disney Princess range, this article, What's Wrong with Cinderella?, gives perspective from a mother and feminist. [more inside]
posted by mippy at 8:52 AM PST - 124 comments

Sir Stanley Spencer (1891-1959) was a British painter. [more inside]
posted by fire&wings at 8:09 AM PST - 12 comments


Haven't we all, at one time or another, wanted to carve an enormous circle into an industrial building facade and have it rotate in three dimensions? Of course we have. But Richard Wilson did it. That's right, he actually did it. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:17 AM PST - 76 comments


October 29

People have studied many things relating to, and regarding Marcel Proust; what they may never have told you is... Proust is funny!! (just not "Lucky Jim" funny.) [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 11:39 PM PST - 22 comments


The Thirty Years War is a website covers that ginormous kerfuffle that consumed Europe in the first half of the 17th Century from the Second Defenestration of Prague to the Peace of Westphalia. It has a handy map with a place locator which will help you tell your Schweidnitz from your Schweinfurt. Here are some other maps, The Religious Situation in Central Europe about 1618, Principal Seats of War, 1618-1660 and Europe in 1648 - Peace of Westphalia.
posted by Kattullus at 7:32 PM PST - 55 comments

A gene variant associated with serotonin transport (STG) , and normally associated with depression is strangely more prevalent, but also less likely to induce depression in collectivistic East Asian cultures. The study took data from 29 countries, and found a consistent trend towards this same genetic variant being strongly associated with episodes of major depression in Western cultures.
posted by mdpatrick at 5:19 PM PST - 27 comments

In 1948, in the aftermath of the Second World War, with Europe still in ruins, three young Belgian comic strip artists, Joseph Gillain (aka Jijé), Maurice de Bevere (aka Morris) and André Franquin, crossed the Atlantic with the intention of settling in the US. All three would eventually return to Belgium, their hopes of working for Disney ultimately dashed by the turmoil of the McCarthy years. However, in the meantime they made the acquaintance of their colleagues of the Charles William Harvey Studio in New York, including a cosmopolitan young wit named René Goscinny. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic at 2:28 PM PST - 37 comments

“I started firing my machinegun. Then I passed out. Walter came crawling up the stairs and hid all my guns under his bed. When he left in the morning he took all my negatives for safekeeping. [more inside]
posted by acro at 2:17 PM PST - 30 comments


The Downie/Schudson Report, as it's widely called, is cautiously optimistic that journalism will survive, but doesn't beat around the bush. It urges a number of fairly radical, controversial suggestions on how to reinvent the news media without killing "accountability journalism," that critical, dirt-digging, power-questioning but expensive journalism America is famous for.
posted by jason's_planet at 2:05 PM PST - 27 comments

One effect of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans was to render existing bike maps of the city obsolete and incomplete. The NOLA Cycle Bike Map Project is a grassroots effort to create a comprehensive, freely-available bicycle map for New Orleans (like those that already exist for Chicago, Portland, and other cities). Because the project is driven by DIY maps produced by individuals and by volunteer social events organized around mapping different locations that can then be added to the project's database, it's been described as "Wiki-style involvement in the real world." (Here's some video of the project.) [more inside]
posted by liketitanic at 1:10 PM PST - 4 comments



"A company at a German trade show has attached tiny banner advertisements to flies and set them loose on unsuspecting visitors, in a bizarre yet effective marketing stunt."
posted by william_boot at 12:16 PM PST - 74 comments

In 1965, Carl-Wolfgang Holzapfel was arrested by East German border guards and spent nine months in solitary confinement in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen, the notorious prison run by the Stasi [previously]. Starting today, Holzapfel is back behind bars in Berlin-Hohenschönhausen to remind people how they felt before the Wall came down 20 years ago. You can ask him about his campaign and watch him live here. [more inside]
posted by up in the old hotel at 11:44 AM PST - 7 comments

Taylor Mitchell, 19, was a promising Canadian folk singer. Her life was cut short by a rare coyote attack. Her music can be heard on her Myspace page. Mitchell on Facebook. From her bio: Taylor has just released her debut full length recording "For Your Consideration"- a collection of mostly original songs that showcases a range of styles, from folk to country-rock to pop, and reflects the diversity of her talent.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:26 AM PST - 105 comments

Forty years ago today, Leonard Kleinrock and a team of engineers at UCLA connected to Stanford Research Institute and typed (an incomplete) message between the first two nodes of the Internet: "lo." [more inside]
posted by starman at 11:26 AM PST - 35 comments

Ride the City maps the best or safest urban bicycle route from point A to B. Presently featuring multi-lingual maps from New York, Chicago, Austin, Louisville, San Diego, and Seattle. Their blog posts updates about new cities added to the grid, or other topics relating to urban bicycling.
posted by netbros at 11:19 AM PST - 16 comments

"Professor David Nutt, chairman of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, attacked the decision to make cannabis a class B drug, claiming ecstasy, LSD and cannabis are less dangerous than cigarettes and alcohol. [more inside]
posted by Taft at 11:08 AM PST - 84 comments


The book the NBA doesn't want you to read. Former NBA referee Tim Donaghy was convicted of passing inside information on NBA games to gamblers, for thousands of dollars. He has written a book purporting to reveal many explosive scandals about NBA officiating (detailed excerpts). It was scheduled for publication by Random House (cached Amazon page), then cancelled after an alleged lawsuit threat by the league. [more inside]
posted by msalt at 10:40 AM PST - 47 comments

""Anti-Gravity Hills" (also known as "Gravity Hills", "Spook Hills", or "Magnetic Hills") are natural places where cars put into neutral are seen to move uphill on a slightly sloping road, apparently defying the law of gravity. Typically, the "spooky" stretch of road is rather short (50-90 m), only a few meters wide, and surrounded by a natural hill landscape, without nearby buildings. Such places are found in several countries all around the world, and have been tourist attractions for decades. They should not be confused with the "Mystery Spots" [previously] found in amusement parks. These are generally tilted cabins, purposely built as such; a person walking inside feels disoriented, getting a very strong impression of standing at an angle in a perfectly normal room." CSICOP and Discovery News explain the phenomenon, and here's the paper on which the CSICOP article was based (PDF).
posted by cog_nate at 10:24 AM PST - 41 comments

Average time to an MBA: 2 years. Time to a law degree: 3 years. To an MD: 4 years. Average time to a humanities PhD? 11.3 years. Then there's only a 50% chance you'll get a job somewhat related to your field--and odds drop to a 25% chance that you'll ever become a tenured professor. The life of the Academy and its myriad institutional problems, from Harvard magazine.
posted by jefficator at 10:10 AM PST - 130 comments

Yesterday, US President Obama signed a $680bn military policy bill, which cuts military spending, including $2bn in funding for new F-22 fighter jets. However, the bill also contained the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation, and fulfilled an Obama campaign promise: acts of violence against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people have now been added to the list of federal hate crimes.
posted by zarq at 10:00 AM PST - 219 comments



Comic Strip Mashups
posted by backseatpilot at 8:48 AM PST - 22 comments

"Somalia is in the grip of famine and chaos but officials there are inspecting bras". "..[T]he extremist ideology assumes that humans are a group of wild beasts that are completely incapable of controlling their instincts". In an editorial in The Independent, Alaa Al-Aswany discusses fundamentalist gender bias.
posted by gallois at 8:23 AM PST - 51 comments

Chemistry in its Element - a weekly podcast from the Royal Society of Chemistry offering an engagingly-narrated stroll through the periodic table, element by element.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:49 AM PST - 15 comments

For your perusal: The New FBI Operations Manual. "Agents may begin such assessments against a target without a particular factual justification. The basis for such an inquiry “cannot be arbitrary or groundless speculation,” the manual says, but the standard is “difficult to define.”
posted by Xurando at 5:42 AM PST - 16 comments

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google talks about what the web will look like in five years. The internet will be dominated by Chinese-language content... content will move towards more video... today's teenagers are the model of how the web will work in five years.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:56 AM PST - 152 comments

October 28

A Hierarchy of Classic Horror Monsters: Regular vampires are shit. They can only beat Zombies, Witches, assorted Poltergeists, and Mr. Hyde. That is BARELY BETTER THAN A REGULAR PERSON. Shut the fuck up about vampires. [more inside]
posted by mediareport at 10:03 PM PST - 129 comments

Hey Jude flowchart. Via.
posted by Caduceus at 8:49 PM PST - 56 comments

Sky Lanterns... Australia has banned them, and those caught selling them could face fines of up to $100,000 for companies and $20,000 for individuals. Sky lanterns are airborne paper lanterns traditionally found in East Asian cultures. They are constructed from oiled rice paper on a bamboo frame, and contain a small candle or fuel cell composed of a waxy flammable material. When lit, the flame heats the air inside the lantern, thus lowering its density causing the lantern to rise into the air. The sky lantern is only airborne for as long as the flame stays alight, after which the lantern floats back to the ground. Great YouTube set of videos here. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 8:38 PM PST - 55 comments

When not pressing the valves on his trumpet or the record button on his tape recorder, Armstrong’s fingers found other arts with which to occupy themselves. One of them was collage, which became a visual outlet for his improvisational genius. ... These little stories, illuminating and entertaining syntheses of Armstrong’s passions, now reside in the Louis Armstrong Archives at Queens College in Flushing, New York. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 8:28 PM PST - 11 comments

"Every day hundreds of strangers reach out to other strangers on the strength of a glance, a smile or a blue hat. Their messages have the lifespan of a butterfly. I'm trying to pin a few of them down." Missed Connections illustrated by Sophie Blackall. [more inside]
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:24 PM PST - 26 comments

So the webcomics institution Scary Go Round has ended. No need to cry, because John Allison is now bringing us the new sexiness that is Bad Machinery. It's the story of two schoolgirl sleuths and three schoolboy investigators, attending Griswalds Grammar School in Keane End, Tackleford. Start here. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 5:04 PM PST - 30 comments

For your Halloween party this weekend, creep out your guests by serving them a Meat Hand.
posted by zardoz at 4:56 PM PST - 46 comments

The first time they came and recorded with me—which was January 23, 1988—they didn't have a band name, and they just had a borrowed drummer, which was Dale from the Melvins. But, yeah, they came and recorded 10 songs with me in one afternoon. I was left going "God, who are these people?" The cassettes I gave out just said "Kurt Cobain and Company" on them, because that's all I knew. - Recording Nirvana Before They Were Nirvana. As Nirvanas first albulm hits 20 years old, with Sub Pop prepare to release a remastered anniversary edition, the Seattle Weekly takes a look back at the album that launched grunge.
posted by Artw at 2:30 PM PST - 94 comments

In a revelation that, to some, is on the order of realizing there is (or isn't) a god, it turns out that all the dungeons in The Legend of Zelda were part of the same enormous map. This seems to have some sort of transcendental importance that I can't quite put my finger on. [more inside]
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 2:04 PM PST - 91 comments

The best way to cook a steak. That is all.
posted by AceRock at 11:34 AM PST - 140 comments

Luigi Russolo was a futurist painter, experimental composer, and instrument builder. In his 1913 manifesto "The Art of Noises" he declaimed the death of traditional Western music and foresaw the dawning of a new music based on the grinding, screeching, moaning, crackling and buzzing of mechanical instruments. He and his assistant Ugo Piatti built the Intonarumori to bring these new sounds - "the palpitation of valves, the coming and going of pistons, the howl of mechanical saws, the jolting of a tram on its rails, the cracking of whips, the flapping of curtains and flags" - to life. Listen to them, then and now.
posted by fire&wings at 11:32 AM PST - 10 comments

Natalie Portman has been a vegetarian for twenty years, but was recently inspired to become a vegan by Jonathan Safran Foer's first nonfiction book, Eating Animals. Portman wrote an essay for the Huffington Post in which she compares the book favorably to Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma (previously on the blue), and makes this specific criticism of the latter book:
But he reminds us that being a man, and a human, takes more thought than just "This is tasty, and that's why I do it." He posits that consideration, as promoted by Michael Pollan in The Omnivore's Dilemma, which has more to do with being polite to your tablemates than sticking to your own ideals, would be absurd if applied to any other belief (e.g., I don't believe in rape, but if it's what it takes to please my dinner hosts, then so be it).
[more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:29 AM PST - 283 comments

Sixteen years ago, Dungeons and Dragons aficionado Dr. Richard Garfield had an idea for a game. He mocked up a few black and white cards and then he and a friend played the very first game of Magic: The Gathering. The first modern collectible card game, Magic was a runaway success and within five years Wizards of the Coast, a company with Magic as almost its sole product, purchased TSR Inc, the publisher of Dungeons and Dragons. [more inside]
posted by 256 at 10:09 AM PST - 177 comments

Wired profiles pediatrician Paul Offit, co-creator of the RotaTeq rotavirus vaccine and a primary target of the anti-vaccination movement. Dr. Offit published a book,“Autism’s False Prophets” in 2008 but didn't tour, because he had received too many death threats. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:48 AM PST - 136 comments

Joe Lieberman... Deal or No Deal?! (SLYT) A campaign ad for Ned Lamont has suddenly become very relevant, considering Sen. Joe Lieberman's recent statement threatening to block any health care legislation with a public option. "I accused him of, after 20 years, dithering on that topic," said Ned Lamont yesterday. "As far as I can tell, a filibuster is one more dither."
posted by markkraft at 8:28 AM PST - 123 comments

Becky Blanton spent a year in her van grieving her dead father. Even with a full-time job and a writing career, a depression quickly set in which made Blanton feel like a homeless person. How do we define homelessness? [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:14 AM PST - 46 comments

Veto is a four-letter word (google quickview, here's the PDF):.Governor Schwarzenegger of California, at odds with the state legislature but ever the poet, vetoes Assembly Bill 1176 with a nice little acrostic.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:56 AM PST - 72 comments


Just Add New Zealanders — a compilation of short-form film, music videos, movie trailers, and interactive promos. Check out the locations section for photos of the world-class scenic beauty New Zealand is famous for.
posted by netbros at 7:09 AM PST - 7 comments

Cool app lets you zoom in from a coffee bean to a carbon atom, so that you can compare sizes. Along the way, you see a grain of sand, a skin cell and many other tiny things. This is the first time I've ever had a sense of these objects' sizes. Cells are actually bigger than I thought they were. I wish the zoomer would keep going. I want to see some sub-atomic particles on the scale.
posted by grumblebee at 6:50 AM PST - 43 comments

Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye, sing to us (auto-tuned in a way that I actually don't hate), in We Are All Connected*. *Possibly NSFW owing to sidebar video links. Something similar was mentioned here previously.
posted by bwg at 3:01 AM PST - 38 comments

October 27

In the waning days of the Disco era, Larry Levan crafted a new style of dance music, which, like House music in Chicago, came to be named after the nightclub where it was most played, the Paradise Garage. Garage music may have started with disco, but over the decades, it's evolved in some surprising ways: [more inside]
posted by empath at 10:06 PM PST - 62 comments

Lucian Freud Interview (YouTubes): 1; 2; 3; 4; 5
posted by Dumsnill at 8:50 PM PST - 3 comments

The Infamous Witch. El Protector. Opryland. The Strange Case of Scenic Drive. Blogger Aunt B. of TinyCatPants uses Google Maps to link to the "locations" of her original Nashville-area ghost stories, one for every day of October. Link takes you to the map; start with "The Infamous Witch."
posted by emjaybee at 8:21 PM PST - 13 comments


Meet Tarra and Bella, an elephant and a dog who are best friends. They live at The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee, a haven for elephants with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). [more inside]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 5:32 PM PST - 38 comments

This is to teach you how to dance.
posted by vronsky at 5:08 PM PST - 54 comments

Net set for 'language shake-up' - ICANN plans to allow internationalized domain names with non-Latin characters.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:34 PM PST - 61 comments

While his uncle hits the motivational speaker circuit, 33 year old George P. Bush ships off to war: other than being arrested at 18 for burglarizing the home of an ex-girlfriend, George P. Bush appears to have all the right credentials to carry the Bush legacy well into the future. And while his dad wants the GOP to shed its "old white guy" image, some are positioning George P. Bush to be America's first Hispanic president.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 2:24 PM PST - 102 comments

Gender Gap Report 2009 - The U.S. in a lowly 31st position. The United States, which prides itself on civil rights progress during the past half century, fell four spots from last year to stand at 31st place behind Lithuania and ahead of Namibia, according to the World Economic Forum, a nonprofit group based in Switzerland. Melanne Verveer, U.S. ambassador-at-large for global women's issues, said at the launch of the report in New York: "In many ways we've been a model ... but we also have a ways to travel." Iceland and three other Nordic countries lead the world in gender equality, according to a report released on Tuesday by the World Economic Forum. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 2:14 PM PST - 61 comments

3 o' clock in the morning, you're buying a pie from the BP station, what must you always do? New Zealand police officer delivers a stern warning on the hazards of thermo-nuclear pies and becomes a Youtube Hit. [more inside]
posted by moorooka at 2:07 PM PST - 108 comments

Influential landscape architect Lawrence Halprin has died at the age of 93. "He was the single most influential landscape architect of the postwar years," said Charles Birnbaum, president of the Cultural Landscape Foundation. "He redefined the profession's role in cities." Noted projects include The Sea Ranch a 5,000-acre residential development on the coast of Sonoma county in northern California; Ghirardelli Square, the first major adaptive re-use project in the United States, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial in Washington, D.C; and a new trail from which to experience Yosemite Falls. [more inside]
posted by otherwordlyglow at 1:58 PM PST - 10 comments

Looks like The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers have been slated to star in their own stop-motion animated movie, Grass Roots: The Movie, produced by bolexbrothers! Here, the Freaks' creator, Gilbert Shelton, talks about the movie. In true stoner fashion, though, it's been "in production" since 2006, but you can watch a teaser here. While you're waiting for the movie to be made, here's the youtubed version of bolexbrothers award-winning stop-motion feature length film, The Secret Adventures of Tom Thumb: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6
posted by not_on_display at 1:43 PM PST - 34 comments

Matthias Schlitte is a modern day popeye.

"...by only increasing the size of his one forearm and no other part of his body, he has allowed himself to arm wrestle in lower weight classes, even though his arm is as strong or stronger than much bigger men than him."
posted by lazaruslong at 1:20 PM PST - 68 comments

While some might believe that Walt Disney had the first feature-length animated film with Snow White and the Seven Dwarves in 1937, the Disney film is the fourth animated feature-length film, and was two decades late for first place. The first two animated feature-length films were directed by an Italian in Argentia in 1917 and 1918, though all prints of those films are presumed lost or destroyed. The third animated full-length feature, Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (The Adventures of Prince Achmed), came out the same year that the first two were lost to fire. This third animated film was a silhouette animation made by a German artist named Lotte Reiniger. The original negatives are considered lost, but a supposedly first-generation positive (from the camera negative) remains and the film has been restored from this stock (full film with limited subtitles, 5 minute preview with English subtitles and the full film viewable with Veoh plug-in). More information and videos inside. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:02 PM PST - 15 comments

People love their cats. Understandably so. In San Francisco, Cat-o-philia has resulted in a measure to ban declawing cats in city limits. That means San Francisco would join about 20 other nations that ban similar practices. The reason? Cat declawing is typically a painful process. But cats have always been loved throughout history. Some say that after the collapse of the Roman Empire, cats even started their own government. [more inside]
posted by glaucon at 12:39 PM PST - 105 comments

Os Gameboys are a band from Brazil who play only music from classic videogames. They are really, really good. (via waxy: "the best live Mario cover I've ever seen")
posted by joshwa at 12:38 PM PST - 26 comments

Cyborg Spy Beetles are no longer a thing of the future. UC Berkeley (funded by DARPA) has created cyborg beetles guided wirelessly via laptop. These spy beetles were created with the intent of bugging actual conversations, literally acting as the "fly on the wall". [more inside]
posted by scrutiny at 11:54 AM PST - 56 comments

Asymmetrical friendship: Tired of the relentless positivity of social-networking sites, where, as on Facebook, all you can be is a “friend” of someone? Greg Smith responds to a journal article that addressed the topic, among others; Smith calls for “asymmetrical friendship – this is cynicism put to good use.” Because there are times when somebody “friends” you on Facebook when what you think of them is more along the lines of “enemy combatant.” [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 11:28 AM PST - 63 comments

Women are choosing to wear the most revealing costumes this Halloween, sometimes to the point of absurdity. Popular family destinations now rely on seductive creatures of the night to draw in the crowds for their Halloween festivities. Parents are seeing big changes in costumes kids want to wear. Noah Cyrus, the nine-year-old sister of teen star Miley Cyrus (aka Hannah Montana) recently raised eyebrows with her "dominatrix" costume, worn to a Halloween children's party raising money for charity. (Of course, Noah has been called to task for her wardrobe before). But is this all just a reflection of the way we view the holiday now? Are we intent on turning Halloween into an adults-only party?
posted by misha at 11:14 AM PST - 180 comments

Comparemyradio.com analyses the playlist data from all the major UK radio stations. If you want to know who's playing the current number one, what's the overlap between Radio One & Two or whether you should bother checking out Radio Six, this is the site for you.
posted by Hartster at 11:08 AM PST - 6 comments

Lenny Dykstra was lauded for his heroics with the Mets and Philles. After his career, Dykstra became well-known as a post-career athlete success story. Then the truth started coming out... [more inside]
posted by reenum at 10:54 AM PST - 22 comments


Tim Macmillan has been slicing time for more than twenty years now. His early attempts and the recent applications of his technique in nature documentaries, commercials, sports, music videos and his own short films can be watched on his vimeo page. His technique later mutated into the Bullet Time effect made popular by the Matrix movie. Watched enough? Then read an interesting article about him. Via Fleischfilm. [more inside]
posted by namagomi at 8:46 AM PST - 13 comments

Duck and Cover! There are many aspects of the Civil Defense program that may seem funny today, but the period after World War II was a very scary time. Civil defense officials and volunteers during that time were very serious about their work and I believe they deserve respect for their efforts. They rendered emergency services after natural and man-made disasters and would have had an impossible task had there ever been a nuclear war. This virtual museum is dedicated to the Civil Defense and emergency workers of the United States who worked to protect the public from nuclear attack.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:28 AM PST - 44 comments

Why do my medications cost so much? Are there ways to save money on my pills? [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 8:15 AM PST - 37 comments

Reddit founders Kn0thing and Spez have left the building. The social media juggernaut's founders Alexis (Kn0thing) and Steve (Spez) have declined to renew their contracts, prompting much discussion and speculation on reddit itself, and the incubator that helped it start up, Ycombinator.
posted by khafra at 8:14 AM PST - 28 comments

The Rent is Too Damn High. (warning, audio)
posted by tumbleweedjack at 7:31 AM PST - 30 comments

"Far from being a healthy free lover in the making, Dr. Hart says, the unresponsive infant is not “securely attached” and will have problems later on in relationships." Why jealousy can be a good thing.
posted by jbickers at 7:04 AM PST - 38 comments

Your humble clothes dryer is under attack. "Dryers are said to use 10-15% of domestic energy output in the US." "Only 4% of the homes in Italy have dryers." Can't give up the convenience? Consider a condenser dryer. As usual, Doonesbury was way ahead of the curve.
posted by Xurando at 6:01 AM PST - 235 comments

In 1666 Willem Van de Velde, the Elder made a pen and ink drawing of the Council of War held on the eve of what was to be known as the four-day battle during the Second Anglo-Dutch War.
Maarten Platje brings it new life ( Click Paintings to enlarge).
The news of the Dutch gathering is briefly mentioned by Pepys ” … some sudden newes of the Dutch being come out”.
It is considered that Willem Van de Velde, the Elder, and his son, Willem Van de Velde, the Younger provide the one accurate record of Seventeenth Century warships, from mid-century on.
More than you ever want to know about the Anglo Dutch wars; and Related
posted by adamvasco at 4:28 AM PST - 10 comments

Klingon Propaganda [1:52](via)
posted by P.o.B. at 3:47 AM PST - 35 comments

October 26


Meet Giuliano Stroe. At 5 years old, he broke a Guinness World Record for the fastest 10-meter hand walk with a weight ball between his legs. Opinions about weightlifting at an early age are mixed, to say the least. Either way, this kid must be a force to be reckoned with on the playground.
posted by DMan at 9:22 PM PST - 46 comments


Anthony Toth has recreated a first-class Pan Am cabin in his garage.
posted by armage at 5:30 PM PST - 49 comments

Zomeeggz's channel of post-proto trance-punk minimalist-futurist synth-wave: Snowy Red - Come On Dance::Holger Hiller::Die Kapazität - Kurzfilm::Mekanik Kommando - Stop And Play::Carol - So Low
posted by vronsky at 3:49 PM PST - 20 comments

It will be the site of 12 medal finals this February, but Richmond's Olympic Oval has already won gold in one event: on October 9th, it was awarded top honors for a sports or leisure structure from the Institution of Structural Engineers, beating out Wimbledon, the Copenhagen Zoo's Elephant House, and another Olympic venue, Beijing's Birds Nest. The Richmond Oval won largely on the strength of sustainability, including a 2 hectare roof built out of salvaged lumber from the Mountain Pine Beetle infestation. [more inside]
posted by mannequito at 2:50 PM PST - 33 comments

With a background of turning around distressed hotels, Larry Whitten this past July bought the 'Paragon Hotel,' a "run-down, Southwestern adobe-style hotel" in Taos, NM with the intent of ressurecting it [now called the 'Whitten Inn']. "The tough-talking former Marine immediately laid down some new rules for the staff. Among them, he forbade the Hispanic workers...from speaking Spanish in his presence (he thought they'd be talking about him), and ordered some to Anglicize their names. No more Martin (Mahr-TEEN). It was plain-old Martin. No more Marcos. Now it would be Mark." This "liberal enclave of 5,000 residents...where Spanish language, culture and traditions have a long and revered history" didn't take well to his management approach. Local protests ensued [video | 09:35]. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM PST - 108 comments

The Last Supper recreated out of 4,050 Rubik's Cubes. (SLYT)
posted by gman at 10:43 AM PST - 43 comments

"Less than 10% of the world's land is more than 48 hours of ground-based travel from the nearest city." In August, archeologists discovered what may be the oldest map in the world. Years ago, MetaFilter introduced us to the concept of the "upside-down map". But a new map released Friday attempts to illustrate how our improved transportation network has managed to consolidate distances on earth.
posted by jefficator at 9:51 AM PST - 48 comments

"Imagine a large corporation with a workforce whose African American percentage far lagged its industry peers, sans any apparent concern, and without a credible action plan to remediate it. Would such a corporation be viewed as a progressive firm and employer? The answer is obvious. Yet the same situation in major cities yields a different answer."
posted by revgeorge at 9:41 AM PST - 128 comments

Iconic Photos
posted by Joe Beese at 9:05 AM PST - 28 comments


Want to see Trajan's Column, Michelangelo’s David (with or without fig leaf), and Notre Dame all in one room? (Well, two rooms.) The Victoria and Albert’s “Cast Courts” are an amazing example of Victorian plaster casting, allowing those who couldn't afford the Grand Tour a chance to see great works of art and architecture.
posted by JoanArkham at 7:23 AM PST - 22 comments


"I am only ashamed that I waited this many months to act. I hereby resign my membership in the Church of Scientology." In a blistering letter that calls out some church lies, "Crash" director Paul Haggis quits Scientology after 35 years over its support for Prop 8. He says he was also influenced by this acclaimed St Pete Times series. The high level defection comes as ABC began running a multipart expose of the church that included choice video of Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis storming off when asked about the alien lord Xenu.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:26 AM PST - 324 comments

A Heart a Day — Freelance illustrator Thomas Fuchs manages to include a heart in his daily drawings.
posted by netbros at 5:59 AM PST - 9 comments


Classic Cinema Online. A ton of old movies watchable in an embedded player.
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:28 AM PST - 9 comments

At the dark end of disco and funk in the early 1980s a DJ and crew known as Afrika Bambaataa had wild, sweaty, drunken sex with the emotionless zombie robot corpse of school-of-Bauhaus German synthpop unit Kraftwerk and an unholy thousand-headed monster rose from the undead to groove across the land. Its name is Electro. [more inside]
posted by loquacious at 1:40 AM PST - 43 comments

October 25


"There's people from literally across the world making these bikes, from Portland, Oregon, to Japan to Australia to Jamaica." The "Scraper Bike King" talks about the DIY community-oriented movement (YT), which started in Oakland was popularized with this video and covered by NPR.
posted by aniola at 6:28 PM PST - 35 comments

iWatch PSA. The LAPD recently launched a new program named iWatch which encourages and establishes guidelines for citizen reporting of suspicious activity. There's also a 7 minute action movie playing out a fictional case study of the program. [more inside]
posted by sloe at 6:12 PM PST - 32 comments

Yōkai Daizukai is an illustrated guide to yōkai authored by manga artist Shigeru Mizuki. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 5:12 PM PST - 15 comments

Marc Isaacs is a British documentary maker with a talent for making poignant, revealing films about people. You can watch his new film Men In The City ‒ an affecting and beautifully shot profile of four very different London workers ‒ on the iPlayer, following its broadcast on the BBC yesterday. You also shouldn't miss his BAFTA-nominated short film Lift, filmed entirely from within an elevator inside a block of flats, and All White In Barking, a study from an English town with high immigration and strong BNP support ( pertinently ). Another interview with Marc.
posted by sleepcrime at 4:48 PM PST - 6 comments

A chance meeting between Kevin Pollak and Jason Calacanis at a poker game gave birth to Kevin Pollak's Chat Show, a weekly, web-based interview program. Episode 29, with guest Weird Al Yankovic, will be streaming live at 8PM ET/5PM PT. While you're waiting, check out previous episodes with guests like Eddie Izzard, Hank Azaria, and John Hamm. Or try your hand at the Larry King Game.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:24 PM PST - 25 comments

After a spate of recent deaths, efforts to rehabilitate homeless chronic inebriates in Anchorage now include involuntary confinement. Other city-wide efforts include a mayoral decree that established homeless camps should be scattered. [more inside]
posted by stinker at 2:01 PM PST - 52 comments

"It's urban, it's real, but is this literature? Controversy rages over a new genre whose sales are headed off the charts"
[more inside]
posted by trojanhorse at 12:33 PM PST - 157 comments


The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was (originally) a radio series, broadcast on BBC Radio during March and April 1978. It was a success. Since then it has spawned a 5-book trilogy, additional radio broadcasts, a television adaptation, a computer game, a comic book series, a movie, and at least one minor holiday. However, subsequent releases of the original radio series were edited (in part for copyright reasons), and the original broadcasts have been unavailable, until now. A software engineer and H2G2 fan has now tracked down the recordings of the original broadcasts, analyzed the differences between them and the official CD releases, and provided patches and instructions to update the CD release to match the original broadcast. Not only that, but he has written software to automate the process.
posted by fogovonslack at 12:00 PM PST - 30 comments

A contemplative sketch with Richard Pryor in a gun shop. SLYT.
posted by Not Supplied at 9:25 AM PST - 37 comments

WKBW aired a night of Halloween Goodies on Halloween Night 1973. Its quite worth the listen,especially the intro to the entire night. More within..... [more inside]
posted by wheelieman at 6:44 AM PST - 14 comments


Looks like Paul Volker is attempting to bring some sanity back to the U.S. banking industry, as adviser to the Obama administration. But is anybody listening?
posted by GreyFoxVT at 5:33 AM PST - 29 comments

"They were all continually trying to figure out where we are, where we might be going, and the possible downsides and dangers of new technologies so we can use the new technologies to serve human purposes. In other words, it was my kind of crowd". Michael Wesch presents; The Machine is (Changing) Us: YouTube, and the Politics of Authenticity to the 2009 Personal Democracy Forum at Jazz at Lincoln Center (fittingly SLYT) [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 12:21 AM PST - 18 comments

October 24

As Geocities is officially turned off for good tomorrow I'd like to pay my respects. I'll miss you old friend, the internet won't be the same without you.
posted by nam3d at 9:08 PM PST - 134 comments

Ask Henson. Quality questions and excellent answers to Muppet related questions.
posted by Frasermoo at 9:07 PM PST - 17 comments

The number of refugees from Iraq and Afghanistan seeking asylum in Europe continues to grow. Recently, despite criticism from the UN, deportations have begun. Most of those on a recent flight to Iraq were forced to return to the UK (the nationalities of some remains unclear, as does their fate). Furthermore, the move to deport has meant denying that Iraq and Afghanistan are each in a state of war.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 6:44 PM PST - 23 comments


From Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe to Zombie Nightmare, Canuxploitation is your guide to the world of Canadian B-movies. Via the always indispensable (and occasionally NSFW) Mondo Digital.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:11 PM PST - 32 comments

Eleanor Powell was born to dance. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 3:00 PM PST - 15 comments

Bears play hockey. But it's not all fun and games.
posted by weston at 1:40 PM PST - 34 comments

Hey Paisanos! It's the Super Mario Brother's Super Show! Hosted by Captain Lou Albano ( previously ) as Mario and Danny Wells as Lugi, the show boasted an unusual list of guest stars including Elvira, Magic Johnson, Erine Hudson, Moon Zappa, Regina Williams (with Capt. Lou in drag) , and in a meta-twist, Cyndi Lauper trying to find Captain Lou himself. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 1:24 PM PST - 32 comments

Jewish-Australian John Safran is (in)famous for his outrageous style of comedic television documentary, including the AFI award winning "Music Jamboree" and "John Safran vs God" (previously). His latest effort, "Race Relations" has already been described as the "lowest point in the history of Australian television". Including a "sniff test" comparison of Eurasian and Jewish panties and a scene involving a plastic cup and a copy of Obama's "Audacity of Hope" inside a Palestinian sperm-bank, episode one (of eight) aired last Wednesday to a buzz of controversy, and there's plenty worse to come.
posted by moorooka at 9:41 AM PST - 102 comments

These files, I thought, only tracked daylight savings time for all the different timezones & offsets from Greenwich Time. Actually, they have a detailed, fascinating history of timezones scribbled in the margins. (via)
posted by Pronoiac at 9:40 AM PST - 18 comments

The 3 million people of the San Diego metro area are served not just by a single airport but by a single runway, making it the 2nd busiest single-runway airport in the world (behind London's Gatwick). But where to put a new one? How about 10 miles out to sea?
posted by FfejL at 8:49 AM PST - 40 comments

A free computer-programming course on reddit. Click "prev" for more lessons. 113 lessons so far.
posted by grumblebee at 8:37 AM PST - 89 comments

In their heyday in the 1960s and '70s, "spaghetti westerns" redefined a genre. The Spaghetti Western Database has a Beginner's Guide to the Spaghetti Western, a tribute to Sergio Leone, and Top 20 viewing lists, including Quentin Tarantino's favorites. A Fistful of Pasta has its own Essential Top 20 and an article about Spaghetti Westerns and Politics. Shobary's Spaghetti Westerns has trailers and bloopers. [more inside]
posted by amyms at 8:01 AM PST - 24 comments

Knowledge Score is a general knowledge quiz game. Categories include Art, Astronomy, Food and Drink, Geography, History, Literature, Movies, Politics, Music, Economics, Languages, Sports, Math and more. If you want to try out Knowledge Score without registering, use the "Play as guest" feature.
posted by netbros at 7:30 AM PST - 25 comments

We've seen Nine Inch Nails before on the blue, and the band's last two albums have been available for free online. Now there's more, in the form of a fan-produced DVD. [more inside]
posted by reptile at 7:03 AM PST - 17 comments

Flying Panties?!? The closing credits for Episode 2 of "Sora no Otoshimono"("Heaven's Lost Property", about a 'fallen angel' of standard 'Anime Girl' variety: big eyes, big boobs plus big wings). (clip is as SFW as women's underwear without the women can be)
posted by wendell at 5:23 AM PST - 105 comments

October 23

Moondog For Midnight
posted by vronsky at 9:03 PM PST - 19 comments

Friday non-Flash Fun: Robozzle is a surprisingly deep puzzle game. If you don't want to install Silverlight, there's a Javascript version. [more inside]
posted by you at 7:10 PM PST - 29 comments

Operating Room (semi) a cappella (MLYT) [more inside]
posted by jeoc at 7:05 PM PST - 6 comments

Jeff Altman took some of his grandfather's 16mm Kodachrome home movies and made some really nice HD transfers out of them: San Francisco circa 1958, Disneyland in 1956 (part 2).
posted by mikesch at 5:57 PM PST - 44 comments

Take my movie—please. Nasty Old People is a Swedish movie about just that. However, it's been released freely on the web by its creator, Hanna Sköld, under a Creative Commons License, being the first Swedish film to do so. [more inside]
posted by Askiba at 4:00 PM PST - 36 comments

Chanteur puissant à la voix rocailleuse. And here is bluestab's blog And here, via Babelfish is bluestab's blog in an English of sorts. Then, while, looking for mp3s to match the tabs, I came across the universe of African American history and culture that is AfricanAfrican aka NegroArtist.com, a site so big it has two URLs. [Billy Mays] But, wait--that's not all! [/Billy Mays] [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 3:20 PM PST - 12 comments

AP article about the chant "The South will Rise Again." In the past few years University of Mississippi officials have done away with both the waving of the Confederate Battle Flag at football games and Colonel Reb, the school mascot who resembles a white plantation owner. However, the school band, nicknamed "The Pride of the South," still plays "From Dixie with Love" at each game and the students still shout "The South will Rise Again" at the end of the song. The AP has a nice article on recent efforts by both the student government and the new school Chancellor, Dan Jones, to end this "tradition."
posted by bguest at 2:37 PM PST - 301 comments

A Day in the Life of a Blacksmith (start here) is the 1869-70 diary of an apprentice blacksmith in Medfield, Massachusetts, in blog form. Brought to you by the American Antiquarian Society and its new blog Past is Present.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 2:19 PM PST - 15 comments

On July 4, 1916, Gussie and Addie Van Buren set out from New York on two Indian Model F motorcycles. Though it was well before the creation of an interstate highway system, they reached San Francisco on September 2 and Southern California on September 8. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 1:05 PM PST - 17 comments

Fake AP Stylebook is making Twitter worthwhile. (Single-link Twitter post. But damn, really; it's funny).
posted by emjaybee at 12:39 PM PST - 66 comments

Something vivid and sweet for Friday:
Liz Wolfe takes beautiful photographs.
Cool Hunting interviews Liz.
posted by isopraxis at 10:58 AM PST - 30 comments

Lu Guang, a freelance photographer, took disturbing photos of the effects of pollution in China. [more inside]
posted by movicont at 10:56 AM PST - 54 comments

Fox News's bent on the news is well known, but recently the White House has begun actively excluding the network, including skipping Fox's Chris Wallace on a recent round of Sunday morning news shows. “We simply decided to stop abiding by the fiction ... that Fox is a traditional news organization.” says White House Depty Communications Director Pfeiffer (as has Press Secretary Gibbs and others). The responses range from concern about an attempt to control the media to a feeling that it's about time. Is it just about Fox's anti-Obama pundits, or is it also about Fox's consistent errors and misinformed viewership? Or is the White House attempting containment so that Fox's ratings-gold style and ideas don't take over the rest of the press?
posted by ADoubtfulTrout at 10:34 AM PST - 285 comments

Klenginem does Eminem songs in Klingon. SuvwI'pu' qan tu'lu'be. Also heavy metal.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:28 AM PST - 21 comments

Do you feel disappointed in government? Does Obama seem a little too meek for the Presidency? Do you wish he'd make larger structural reforms? Maybe, suggests Matt Taibbi, there's an answer. [more inside]
posted by jock@law at 10:23 AM PST - 43 comments

"Miller produced a memo written in 1978 by Jack DeMent, a senior Dole [Food Company] executive, that reflected a proposed policy that 'people in the areas to be treated will be notified to the effect in the language of the workers involved.' Miller said a comment found on the draft undercut the good intentions. The comment read: 'This is not operationally feasible and does not need to be implemented.'" [more inside]
posted by burnfirewalls at 10:12 AM PST - 15 comments

"Hello, I'm Johnny Cash." On January 13, 1968, Johnny Cash played two concerts at Folsom State Prison with June Carter, Carl Perkins, the Statler Brothers, and his band, the Tennessee Three. At Folsom Prison, drawn mainly from the first show, is often ranked as one of the best albums of all time and turned Cash's career around. Reporter Gene Beley covered the concert and recorded some songs from the audience. [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 9:56 AM PST - 22 comments

Were they arguing? Were they asleep? It's not clear yet why two pilots overflew the Minneapolis airport by 150 miles before turning around in Wisconsin. What is known is that they dropped radio contact over Kansas, that Air Force fighters were put on alert, and that, according to MN Public radio, passengers saw cops and stern-looking men in suits waiting on the jetway when they were finally allowed off the plane. MSP alt-weekly City Pages aggregates info about the flight as it comes in, and discussion on local sites is spirited.
posted by COBRA! at 9:50 AM PST - 74 comments


Health care around the world
-Hawaii: The state has had success over 35 years of requiring employers to provide health care benefits.
-Singapore: Its health care is first class, cheap and market-driven.
-Taiwan: "more than 80 percent of the population is happy with the system"
-China: "300 million people have no coverage at all"
-Dutch: "America is going to go Dutch"
-US: "I just wanted to flag for colleagues that their bosses should be careful using the talking point that under the Dem bill, Americans who don't like the coverage they have, will be able to choose something else... more than 90 percent of Americans will remain barred from shopping for insurance in the exchange."
posted by kliuless at 8:42 AM PST - 45 comments

Ignore Everybody: Reflections on living a creative life, via No Depression blogs.
posted by Miko at 8:38 AM PST - 44 comments

Last night, leader of the BNP Nick Griffin controversially appeared on the BBC's flagship political discussion programme Question Time. Missed it? Cassetteboy provides a handy summary.
posted by mippy at 8:31 AM PST - 61 comments

But most years were pretty close to $24,000. Despite his high income, he was not able to save or, as he said, “amass capital.” Fitzgerald reported every dollar he had entered in his ledger. He was impeccably honest in his reporting. But Fitzgerald did press tax conventions on some occasions. On his 1924 tax return, he deducted $2,450 as a business expense for a “trip to Europe for the purpose of obtaining material for stories, etc.” The American Scholar examines F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tax returns.
posted by geoff. at 7:18 AM PST - 13 comments

You Get Old.
posted by Paid In Full at 7:13 AM PST - 103 comments

Cookie Rolling
posted by yegga at 5:46 AM PST - 14 comments

Douglas Rushkoff's latest piece for the Daily Beast got pulled; everything goes to 404. However here's a transcript.
The set-up doesn't feel much different than the playroom of a die-hard videogame enthusiast—except no one is smiling, high-fiving, or celebrating his hits. They speak in the cool monotone of commercial airplane pilots—
Copy that we got eyes on em… 3-0-5 rifle time of flight 15 seconds…. that's 10 seconds… 5-4-3-2-1 - and splash…
And with that, presumably, some people on the other side of the monitor were blown up.

Jane Mayor writes in the New Yorker that according to the New America Foundation’s study, that in the forty-one drone strikes conducted by the Obama Administration in Pakistan; 98 percent of those killed were civilians. Americans have been insulated from the human toll.
Problems With Killer Drones (related UAVs over Sadr City and Death From Above).
posted by adamvasco at 2:19 AM PST - 76 comments

The Sixties Project - The Sixties Project began as a collective of humanities scholars working together on the Internet to use electronic resources to provide routes of collaboration and make available primary and secondary sources for researchers, students, teachers, writers and librarians interested in the Sixties. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 12:37 AM PST - 9 comments

October 22

Be forewarned, the sound quality isn't the best. But for a dose of pure surreality strong enough to turn your socks into melted Dada timepieces, try mixing "Weird Al" Yankovic on accordion with the Presidents of the United States, performing a (non-parody) cover of Boston's "More Than a Feeling" (SLYT). (via Dave Dederer's Reddit interview)
posted by WCityMike at 11:54 PM PST - 29 comments

Soupy Sales has died. Mark Evanier explained his appeal years ago, adding a bit more today. An entire live Soupy Sales Show from 1965 on YouTube: part 1, part 2, part 3.In his honor, throw a pie or two (filled with shaving cream, of course, let's not waste food). [} [} [} [more inside]
posted by wendell at 10:01 PM PST - 72 comments


Jean Fouquet, peintre et enlumineur du XVe siecle is an exquisite French-language exhibition devoted to the fifteenth-century painter Jean Fouquet. Fouquet--known, among other things, as the painter of (possibly) the first stand-alone self-portrait--is best remembered for the Melun Diptych, now split between two museums. His illuminations include the Book of Hours of Étienne Chevalier and contributions to the Book of Hours of Simon de Varie, among others.
posted by thomas j wise at 8:25 PM PST - 7 comments

Rachell Sumpter takes color and detail to the extreme in her art exhibits, reminiscent of Fantasia in a sense. Sumpter is developing quite the portfolio as demonstrated at the Richard Heller Gallery. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 7:38 PM PST - 9 comments

CARLOS JIMÉNEZ CAHUA : "This young Peruvian photographer, now based in New York, returned to Lima to document the city’s unchecked sprawl into the desert, where flimsy plywood houses huddle together, as if for warmth. Jiménez Cahua takes the long view, typically framing broad landscape vistas from an omniscient, elevated perspective, so teeming neighborhoods appear unpopulated, toy-like." NYer (alt view)
posted by vronsky at 5:45 PM PST - 11 comments

"Chinatown" communities across the United States (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco) are undergoing a shift in linguistic identity, as recent immigrants are more likely to natively speak Mandarin (the official spoken language of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan,) instead of Cantonese. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 2:57 PM PST - 56 comments

...chotz: that music with which an Eisel surrounds himself, to project his mood, or to present an ideal version of his personality... The 'personal music' is produced by an ingenious mechanism programmed, not by musicians, but by musicologists--so, the word chotz appears ten times. As in ..Jubal, becoming aware of the now irrelevant chotz, in irritation switched to Far Clouds in Stately Formation. The chotz setting Far Clouds in Stately Formation appears but once. Mordant appears 23 times, Cognomen, eight. Put in Emphyrio and one finds that it appears 70 times and thus--Too many results (more than 50). Your question is nuncupatory. Please refine your query... while amber appears 65 times to the same response.
Totality - 'The Vance Vocabulary Search Tool'
You will be given 500 sols to begin with--use them wisely. [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 2:52 PM PST - 5 comments

Sung in incoherent pseudo-English, Adriano Celentano's Prisencolinensinainciusol (1973) could be thought of as an early example of rap.
posted by dunkadunc at 2:25 PM PST - 64 comments

Good Night and Tough Luck "Getting a good night’s sleep is actually a lot more complicated than one would think." An amusing look at the problems involved in getting a good night's sleep.
posted by nooneyouknow at 1:55 PM PST - 62 comments

There was a rivalry between the parties, of course, but in Potter's account, it was more like the rivalry between Cal and Stanford than that between today's Republicans and Democrats. The parties had somewhat different constituencies and pledged fealty to a different set of men, but each attempted to encompass as much of the political spectrum as possible rather than merely half of it. The story of the 1850s, by these lights, is about how this changed.
With reference to David M. Potter's The Impending Crisis, Adam Cadre surveys the four antebellum presidents. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 1:49 PM PST - 23 comments

More than two dozen bacterial, viral or parasitic infections are known to be transmitted largely or exclusively through sexual contact. U.S. public health authorities focus on a limited set of these STIs. Read more about it in "Facts on Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States" published by the Guttmacher Institute. [more inside]
posted by pick_the_flowers at 12:49 PM PST - 38 comments

The Face Of Hockey: November 1st will mark the 50th anniversary of Jacques Plante - subject of an upcoming biography - skating onto the ice wearing a goalie mask. A new style was born, one that would later be carried into the mainstream by another prolific slasher. And to celebrate the anniversary, TSN is running a poll asking which current goaltender has the most original mask. (gallery) [more inside]
posted by mannequito at 12:37 PM PST - 31 comments

You have a great idea for a novel and it's almost November, so you think now is the time to get cracking. You've decided that hiring a ghostwriter is too easy, but you don't have 100 days to write your novel and the snowflake method seems too frilly. Snowflakes, those delicate little monsters that papered your car when you were stranded on the road in Minnesota. A single snowflake is beautiful, but millions make an avalanche. You were cold, so cold, yet you survived. You're not sure if you have time to read a book on what not to do (UK edition), and the search results are daunting. Forget all that, because you already know how to write, right? Embrace your awesome, magnificent, spellbinding abilities, go forward but never back, ever spinning, shake the rain off your bedspread, and now that you have brewed a delicious pot of steamy, hot, life-giving coffee, you can learn how to write badly well. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:27 PM PST - 35 comments


On Tender Hooks - New sculptures by Beth Cavener-Stichter on display at NYC's Claire Oliver Gallery. (NSFW: tastefully artistic goat boners.)
posted by hermitosis at 10:14 AM PST - 58 comments

Richard Dawkins, the English biologist and public intellectual well known for his passionate defense of a gene-centered view of biological (organic) evolution, and the introduction and development of the meme-concept and a meme-centered view of social-cultural evolution, to say nothing of his strong stance as an atheist has put out a new book on evolution
posted by JL Sadstone at 9:58 AM PST - 147 comments


I Love Comix. Tons o' galleries of classic and not-so-classic newspaper comics. Essentials such as Little Nemo in Slumberland and Flash Gordon. Also Batman, Conan, Dark Shadows, and Pogo. Also lots of oddball stuff like Myra North: Special Nurse and Chris Welkin, Planeteer. [via] [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 8:52 AM PST - 18 comments

Eric Williamson was making coffee in his kitchen at his home in Springfield, Virginia on Monday morning. He was home alone. "But a woman [the wife of a Fairfax County police officer] and her 7-year-old son happened to be strolling through his front yard and saw the 29-year-old having breakfast in the buff through his window."* Police were called. Williamson was arrested for indecent exposure. Parents are outraged because there is a school bus stop across the street. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 8:46 AM PST - 280 comments

Liquor before Beer... In the Clear
In case you thought anything has changed since the Global Financial Crisis, Greenlight Capital's David Einhorn delivered a remarkable speech at the Value Investing Congress Monday [background, excerpts] wherein he lays out what's still wrong with (the culture that is) Wall Street and Washington: "the consequences will be seen during the lifetime of the leaders who have pursued short-term popularity over our solvency." On a related note, the BOE's Mervyn King concurs with Einhorn: "To paraphrase a great wartime leader, never in the field of financial endeavour has so much money been owed by so few to so many. And, one might add, so far with little real reform."
posted by kliuless at 8:00 AM PST - 26 comments

But were afraid to ask. A window into the world of Mad Men and our parents. I found this link on a Mad Men message board, but the book is too, too interesting. [more inside]
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:44 AM PST - 47 comments

What Should Museums Throw Out? At a time when controversial moves by major art museums are making the public more aware than ever of how museums collect or discard objects, the University College of London's museum invites visitors to play curator in the exhibit Disposal, viewing some white-elephant objects and determining their fate. The museum also just wrapped up another innovative exhibit on objects and point of vew, Object Retrieval, in which one object was explored and responded to by a rolling team of contributors from varying displines, 24 hours a day, for one week.
posted by Miko at 6:41 AM PST - 22 comments

The Canadian Government’s Translation Bureau recently made its French/English/Spanish technical terminology database, Termium, free to access after over a decade as a subscription-based service. While off-the-cuff translations are often available from free services like BabelFish, Termium focuses on technical terminology such as scientific, medical and legal terms. [more inside]
posted by Shepherd at 6:21 AM PST - 35 comments

Fox Rox was a local music show that ran from 2001 - 2007 in San Diego. Here's the YouTube archive of more than 230 good-quality studio performances from bands as disparate as Electric Six, Blackalicious, Drive-By Truckers, Buzzcocks, Peaches, High on Fire, and many more. [post-mortem || myspace]
posted by milquetoast at 4:53 AM PST - 4 comments

All TV episodes of This American Life are currently available for free in the U.S. through the main Chinese video sharing site; Youku (here's an episode guide and Season 1, Season 2.) [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:47 AM PST - 42 comments

The New Yorker's "Critterati" contest invites you to "take a picture of your pet—dog, cat, ferret, iguana, or any other nonhuman member of the animal kingdom—dressed as a character from literature, and upload it to newyorker.com by October 25th." Gallery | About | Rules | Enter. [more inside]
posted by taz at 2:08 AM PST - 42 comments

October 21

Small Worlds is an exploration game created by David Shute for JayisGames' Casual Gameplay Design Competition 6 (the theme this time around was "exploration"). It's short and there are no enemies to kill or items to pick up but it has faux pixelly gorgeousness and decently atmospheric music. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 11:30 PM PST - 23 comments

The woman at my polling place asked me, do I believe in equality for gay and lesbian people? I was pretty surprised to be asked a question like that. It made no sense to me. Finally I asked her, "What do you think I fought for on Omaha Beach?"
posted by pashdown at 10:31 PM PST - 90 comments


"I Love the Whole World" + xkcd Loves the Discovery Channel + Noah Raby + the Map of the Internet + Olga Nunes = I Love XKCD, a pretty cute bit of animation. (It's not the first time Raby's animated an xkcd strip.)
posted by WCityMike at 8:26 PM PST - 40 comments

On a reporting trip to Afghanistan in November of 2008, New York Times reporter David Rohde and two of his colleagues were kidnapped by the Taliban. After being held captive for seven months in the mountains of Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan, David and one of his colleagues escaped in the middle of the night and made their way to freedom. He recounts the story in a five part series: Held by the Taliban. [more inside]
posted by Merik at 8:05 PM PST - 22 comments

OCTOBER 22 IS INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!!!
EVERY YEAR WE GET TOGETHER AND MAKE SALMON FOR TOAST, EVERY YEAR WE GET A CROCKETY BLOAT, EVERY YEAR WE GET DRUNK ON THE DOCKS, AND EVERY YEAR WE HAVE SEX WITH OUR CAPS LOCKS!!!! [more inside]
posted by tarheelcoxn at 5:02 PM PST - 315 comments

"I leave with a heavy heart as part of the changes that have, in my humble opinion, destroyed the station that I helped to set up 29 years ago."
Radio Fail documents (mostly UK) radio bloopers and cock-ups.
posted by hnnrs at 4:41 PM PST - 11 comments

Time-lapse video, shot from overhead, of Tibetan monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery creating a sand mandala over 5 days: Eight frames per second (1:30); Thirty frames per second (0:23). [via MeFi's Own™ carter]
posted by not_on_display at 4:09 PM PST - 22 comments

Chartporn is a blog devoted to good graphics. Here are a few that stand out to me: environmental indicators, a beautiful graph of the time takes people to get to a good sized town, 2010 ski resort guide, who owns the US national debt, how to crack a master lock and - of course - a poster to hang in your time machine. [more inside]
posted by shothotbot at 3:31 PM PST - 13 comments

"The Kindest Cut" A Colorado surgeon is helping to restore sensation, biological structure and self-esteem to victims of female genital mutilation. She's "Trinidad's Transgender Rock Star"
Bowers performs the surgery free of charge, and the hospital caps its fees at $1,700. "...you cannot charge money to reverse a crime against humanity," she says. "Sexuality is a right."
[more inside]
posted by zarq at 2:29 PM PST - 51 comments

The Microsoft Surface was the subject of much ridicule. When Gabe and Tycho from Penny Arcade had the chance to sit down with one at Carnegie Mellon's Entertainment Technology Center, known colloquially as the ETC, they saw potential for the Surface to become an amazing tool for Dungeons and Dragons tabletop gaming. They offered some suggestions to the team, and months later, SurfaceScapes is the result. Video. [more inside]
posted by lazaruslong at 2:27 PM PST - 45 comments

Ron Paul Singles
Welcome to Ron Paul Singles, the online dating community for freedom-loving individuals.We're here for single men and women who want to make a connection with those who share the values of liberty, honesty and limited constitutional government.
posted by empath at 1:16 PM PST - 121 comments

Chuck Klosterman's new book of essays Eating The Dinosaur is out this week. You can read the first chapter, which features interviews with Ira Glass and Errol Morris. Chuck appeared on Bill Simmons' podcast [warning, browser resize] today.
posted by JakeWalker at 12:58 PM PST - 31 comments

There is contention in Sweden over the use of rabbit cadavers as bioenergy to provide heat in Värmland. The rabbits are invasive species, initially pets that were released into the parks in the city of Stockholm. Lacking any natural predators, the rabbits thrive on vegetation, eating their way through the city's central parks. The culling last year set a local record with nearly 6,000 rabbits removed from Stockholm's parks, mostly from Kungsholmen. Some concerned citizens have formed a group, Vilda kaniners värn (Society for the Protection of Wild Rabbits, Google translation). They speak out against the culling and provide alternatives to killing the rabbits, citing methods used in Helsinki (including plant protection) as more humane alternatives. (Biofuel details and more after the break.) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 12:26 PM PST - 47 comments


Funkytown: The Montreal Disco Era. Studio 54? Qu’est-ce que c’est? By the late 1970s, “Montreal had platinum-status admission to the VIP lounge of coolest-of-the-cool disco cities.” An oral history of the city where no one bats an eye at going out to dance at 1:30 AM in –20°C weather. (Contains links to MP3 of CBC Radio documentary.) [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 11:58 AM PST - 14 comments

The Last Crack Hipster "The media got it a bit wrong, he said. It’s not quite the bogeyman that they make it out to be. People who snuffled mountains of coke for years, the instant someone mentions crack, they freak out, panic, run the other way."
posted by mylaudanumhabit at 11:42 AM PST - 94 comments

Left vs. Right , the Infographic
posted by blue_beetle at 10:54 AM PST - 70 comments

Getting serious about a sport can mean doing the previously unthinkable. Swimmers shave their bodies sleek. Cyclists take blood-boosters. And ultramarathoners have their battered toenails surgically removed — for good. Want pictures? (I can't imagine why you would, but still...) Here's one runner's surgery and recovery photos. [NSFWeakStomachs]
posted by dersins at 10:47 AM PST - 68 comments

The BBC has captured footage of golden eagles hunting reindeer calves in northern Finland, confirming Sami reports. For more about the Sami, you can watch this series of videos, which cover a wide range of subjects, among them the language, arts and crafts, religion and music. And here is more about Sami reindeer folklore.
posted by Kattullus at 9:50 AM PST - 38 comments



If you're looking for something to celebrate on October 22nd that is NOT CAPS LOCK DAY or the release of Windows7, may I suggest Wombat Day? Wombats* are fascinating creatures (scroll down to "Wildlife"), with marsupial pouches, sharp digging claws, unique cube-shaped feces** and a preferred self-defense method of crushing attackers with their butts. [more inside]
posted by wendell at 4:29 AM PST - 52 comments

Remember a TV show that featured goofy crimefighting teen heartthrobs driving around in a van with a giant hotdog on top? [more inside]
posted by MrVisible at 4:04 AM PST - 25 comments

Alastair Levy is a photographer.
posted by nthdegx at 3:53 AM PST - 16 comments

Stick with 'er Wiener! On March 9, 1987, a well-known derailment occurred here when a runaway CN train journeyed from Brunswick Mines to just short of the wye. There was a mixup in communications and engineer Wesley MacDonald ended up with more cars on his train than he thought, and the brakes on the engine alone were unable to hold the consist on the grade in the Brunswick Mines yard. Great radio show about the accident that we previously discussed here.
posted by srboisvert at 2:46 AM PST - 7 comments

American Jews Rethink Israel: The US-Israeli relationship is largely unparalleled in history, with a monolithic Lobbyist . This is changing.
J Street, a decidedly more liberal Jewish lobby than AIPAC, seems to be having a hard time making friends. ( self loading video) Perhaps, as the comment suggests, it is being thwarted by the religious right?
J Street And World Order - an analysis.
What’s Driving the Jihad Against J Street - Matthew Yglesias
Mondoweiss thinks J Street is scaring the shit out of the old Israeli lobby.
posted by adamvasco at 2:42 AM PST - 58 comments

October 20

Sequoia Voting Systems seem to have inadvertently released SQL code from their voting machines. And people are saying that the code is incriminating. People who have analyzed the code claim that it contained code designed to control or influence the outcome of an election. [more inside]
posted by idiopath at 9:46 PM PST - 105 comments

What do Kudzu, the Northern Snakehead, St. Johnswort, and the Air Potato have in common? They're all invasive species. USDA's National Invasive Species Information Center and the Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health have got you covered. [more inside]
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:30 PM PST - 40 comments

Cheezborger cheezborger cheezborger TM!! (ad infinitum) is one of the sounds you're likely to hear upon descending the stairs down to Lower Michigan Avenue and walking through a big fireman-red door (perhaps for the monthly Chicago meetup?) into the Billy Goat Tavern and Grill, where the bathrooms are confusingly named but not unisex, and where you can get a "cheezborger" or any one of a number of vegetarian-unfriendly menu options. [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 8:24 PM PST - 35 comments

Does carrying a gun protect you from physical harm? Research by epidemiologists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine suggests that carrying a gun makes one 4.5 times more likely to be shot in an assault, than someone not possessing a gun. Resisting increases one's odds of suffering harm even greater. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:11 PM PST - 290 comments


Tonight on PBS, Frontline airs a new investigative report entitled The Warning (sneak peaks 1 & 2), which profiles Brooksley Born, who (as head of the CFTC from '96-'99) was almost alone among regulators in warning of the potential dangers of derivatives.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 3:32 PM PST - 34 comments

Pablo Pineda holds a teacher diploma and a BA in educational psychology. He also recently won a Best Actor Award in the San Sebastián International Film Festival for his role in the semi-autobiographical film "Yo También" ("Me Too"). He has Down's Syndrome.
posted by Skeptic at 1:54 PM PST - 12 comments

Pop-up Lego Temple A crazy Lego version of the Buddhist temple of Kinkaku-ji.
posted by GuyZero at 1:35 PM PST - 43 comments

Ben Schott (previously) on The Ages of Man.
posted by HumanComplex at 12:52 PM PST - 3 comments

We have known almost since we first got him that Rojo was "different" from many other llamas we have been around. Rojo is a therapy llama. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski at 12:21 PM PST - 55 comments

The 30,000 men of the British Merchant Navy (one-fifth of its pre-war strength) who fell victim to the U-boats between 1939 and 1945, the majority drowned or killed by exposure on the cruel North Atlantic sea*, were quite as certainly front-line warriors as the guardsmen and fighter pilots to whom they ferried the necessities of combat. Neither they nor their American, Dutch, Norwegian, or Greek fellow mariners wore uniform and few have any memorial. They stood nevertheless between the Wehrmacht and the domination of the world. - John Keegan
posted by Joe Beese at 12:07 PM PST - 23 comments

Sir Ludovic Kennedy has died at the age of 89. Kennedy was a journalist, broadcaster and long standing campaigner against miscarriages of justice and the death penalty and for euthanasia. [more inside]
posted by Electric Dragon at 11:29 AM PST - 14 comments

Prison food is bad but it is getting better in some places, at least nutritionally. Other places, it is just getting cheaper. Who serves this stuff? Recently, Slate took a look at the Association of Correctional Food Service Affiliates Annual Conference. But there is food beyond 'prison food bad': Nutraloaf. It is so bad it is almost unconstitutionally bad.
posted by wcfields at 10:48 AM PST - 130 comments

You know who's been busy? Nick Pitera. Previously posted to MeFi, the animator/YouTube star sings his Michael Jackson tribute, his Poker Face, his Glee duet, his Whitney, his Mariah, his Over the Rainbow.
posted by hermitosis at 10:46 AM PST - 6 comments

The Vatican announced today that it would create a new structure that would allow former Anglicans to join the Roman Catholic Church while preserving elements of Anglican spirituality and liturgy. [more inside]
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:52 AM PST - 105 comments

Alasdair Gray is best known as a novelist but his illustrations of his own books have long fascinated and delighted. Here you can see hundreds of artworks by Alasdair Gray, including some book illustrations, from 1950 through 2009. Here are a few of his works that I like: unfinished Scottish Society of Playwrights poster, Nina Watching the Simpsons, Erics Watching Television, Ice Age and Babylonian Science, theatre poster for A Clockwork Orange and the Scots Hippo series. Also on the website there are a lot of articles about and by Alasdair Gray reposted from various publications. And finally, here's a podcast of a talk Alasdair Gray gave called The First Pictures I Enjoyed.
posted by Kattullus at 9:37 AM PST - 18 comments

A polymath and a mathemagician without a math degree, Martin Gardner turns 95 tomorrow, and he is celebrating by publishing a new book of essays, which joins over 100 he has written on math, philosophy, literature, magic, and skeptical thinking. A wonderful documentary covering the overlapping circles of math, magic, and science in which he travels is available from Encyclopedia Britannica [mp4 version here]. His thousands of puzzles and mathematical diversions included building a learning machine out of matchboxes that could beat you in a simple game, science fiction puzzle tales (can you solve the first couple?), many mathematical tricks, and the first general introduction to the Game of Life. A fascinating interview with the man is available from Cambridge University Press. [more inside]
posted by blahblahblah at 9:26 AM PST - 46 comments

2D BOY made around $100,000 in a week. That’s $50,000 each for writing a blog post about a game they finished a year ago. By letting people pay whatever they wanted. 2D Boy stirred up a lot of discussion (previously) about game piracy when they used online scoreboard data to estimate an 82% piracy rate for their fantastic indie game World of Goo (previously). For World of Goo's first birthday, they decided to try the Radiohead model and let people buy the game for any price they choose. Now they've released extensive data about the results. Short version? "A huge success," even though the most commonly chosen price was only a penny. [more inside]
posted by straight at 9:24 AM PST - 64 comments



Verizon takes iPhone head-on. Will Android finally become something to people outside the nerd set? Will all those people still waiting for the iPhone to come to Verizon actually buy in? Personally, I'm not giving up my iPhone, but I was amused by the commercial.
posted by dame at 8:24 AM PST - 154 comments

Leeches, horror film staples, medicinal wonders, and now crime fighters. Police cracked the case of a home invasion and safe robbery when they found one of the suspects' blood inside a leech on the floor and matched his dna.
posted by caddis at 7:59 AM PST - 14 comments

A free website that helps you learn to diagnose and work through negative though patterns. Having seen so many posts on AskMeFi about depression, anxiety and related topics, it seemed almost a duty to share this. It's a free website (well, you have to register but it's anonymous and no cash changes hands) that's run by the health service here in the UK. [more inside]
posted by KMH at 7:53 AM PST - 27 comments

Japan has a flourishing market for video games featuring adult content, or Eroge. Unfortunately, the sole exposure of some westerners to this wide genre may be through the controversy surrounding the irredeemably disgusting Rapelay (previously). That's a shame, because there is wide variation in content and gameplay focus in even the small subset of Eroge games translated and released for the western market by specialty publishers like Peach Princess and G-Collections. [more inside]
posted by The Confessor at 7:09 AM PST - 40 comments

Bill Cosby Presents the Cosnarati: State of Emergency The project includes songs about frustration, incarceration and .... [more inside]
posted by Jenny is Crafty at 7:07 AM PST - 14 comments


The movie adaptation of Mark Whitacre's story, Steven Soderbergh's The Informant, based on the book by Kurt Eichenwald was released last month. Whitacre's life belies easy explanation: a hugely important corporate whistleblower, at some point during the five years he spent informing on agribusiness behemoth Archer Daniels Midland Whitacre embarked on a massive embezzlement scheme that would see him imprisoned for nearly eight and a half years. To this day, the FBI remain divided on whether he is more hero or villain. [more inside]
posted by MuffinMan at 6:18 AM PST - 19 comments

aliens, planet Voca, music The Voca people are 8 friendly aliens from the planet Voca, a musical planet that has no verbal communication but use vocal expressions only. They have heard the music from earth for decades now and with their imitation abilities they have decided to pay a one evening tribute to humanity and to perform the songs they love as musical- gratitude. And, for your continued enjoyment, a more.... because, sometimes we take things way too seriously around here!
posted by HuronBob at 6:06 AM PST - 8 comments

Synesthesia. (SLYT, 4 minutes.)
posted by The Deej at 5:42 AM PST - 6 comments

Time was, even the Three Stooges didn't fear the Census. But now, turbulent political and economic times roiling the nation are expected to diminish initial participation by households in next year's Census. To counteract this, the Census will spend an unprecedented $326 million in marketing, including a Super Bowl ad, and will appear in a Spanish-language telenovela. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:03 AM PST - 67 comments

“I try to do my testosterone movie and it’s a chick flick. That’s how it is for me.” The New Yorker profiles James Cameron
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:01 AM PST - 57 comments

Kanye West and Spike Jonze follow up Flashing Lights with. Something. After the success of Flashing Lights it seemed perfectly reasonable that Spike Jonze and Kanye West would team up for another music video. [more inside]
posted by GilloD at 1:07 AM PST - 47 comments

October 19

While evolution is one of the best-supported theories in science, one lay criticism is that it doesn't explain the creation of life from non-life, or abiogenesis. This is a different problem domain, of course, as survival of the fittest hardly applies if there's nothing alive yet. There have been many guesses over the years: the most commonly accepted is "the primordial soup". That's probably what you learned in school, the Frankenstein's Monster approach to cell creation. Start with a random chemical bath, throw enough lightning at it, and mysterious magic happens, somehow resulting in life.

Dr. William Martin of the University of Düsseldorf, working with geochemist Mike Russell, has presented an actual theory of abiogenesis. It neatly explains both bacteria and archaea, describes fairly closely why they function the way they do, and shows why we don't see new life being created now. Their suggestion: our original ancestor wasn't lightning-zapped soup, but rather a proton-powered rock.
posted by Malor at 10:48 PM PST - 75 comments

Never Mind the Pity: How Killian Mansfield's Dying Dream Turned into the Making of a Miraculous Album.
While still hospitalized, Killian puts together a dream list of musicians he’d like to work with, focusing on those who spend time in the Catskills. E-mails are sent, calls made, favors asked. He wants to make the record a love letter to the idyllic, eclectic swath of America where he’s lived the past few years. As the responses come in, however, the project shapes up to be far more ambitious than anyone first imagined. Among those who sign on are Dr. John, the legendary New Orleans songwriter; Levon Helm, the drummer for the Band; Kate Pierson of the B-52s; the Lovin’ Spoonful’s John Sebastian; and Todd Rundgren. Ralph agrees to put off all other work in the studio. Killian, meanwhile, compiles a list of songs that, in some way or another, are connected in his mind to integrative therapy. He sees “Scratch My Back,” by renowned bluesman Slim Harpo, as a reference to massage; “Express Yourself,” the funk classic, is chosen to give props to the Cancer Dancers, a group that reaches out to sick children through dance. “Kiss” he deems “one of the greatest love songs ever written,” love being perhaps the best integrative therapy around. Topping his “dream list” of collaborators is David Bowie, with whom Killian imagines recording a uke version of “Starman.”
[more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 8:19 PM PST - 34 comments

Women are finally putting Rio's favelas on the map. They're competing for a journalism scholarship by loading the most data from their GPS-enabled phones to Wikimapa (a name easily confused with Wikimapia). The data, including addresses, photos, and business details are not likely to be collected by Navteq's and Google's high-tech vans anytime soon due to the notorious danger. [more inside]
posted by ATXile at 7:21 PM PST - 9 comments


"We only went into Iraq because of oil, you know." "We only appease Saudi Arabia because of oil, you know." To hear people talk sometimes, you'd think they never used oil. - David Mitchell on hypocrisy and politics, and how we blame our leaders for making decisions based on what we want, not on what we say.
posted by Artw at 3:34 PM PST - 74 comments

Four years ago metafilter was introduced to Pandora. This weekend, the New York Times introduced the world to the minds behind the music genome project. [more inside]
posted by jefficator at 2:34 PM PST - 76 comments

Back in 2004, the Chicago Tribune published an investigative series about the state of Islam after 9/11. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 1:29 PM PST - 4 comments

Spreeder is a free speed-reading training tool. Paste in your desired text, tell it how many words per minute, and hit play. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 12:41 PM PST - 47 comments

I.B.M. Joins Pursuit of $1,000 Personal Genome The target is remarkable given that the original Human Genome Project successfully sequenced the first genome less than ten years ago and cost roughly $500 million to $1 billion. Advances in sequencing technology puts Moore's Law to shame: "In the last four to five years, the cost of sequencing has been falling at a rate of tenfold annually, according to George M. Church, a Harvard geneticist. In a recent presentation in Los Angeles, Dr. Church said he expected the industry to stay on that curve, or some fraction of that improvement rate, for the foreseeable future." [more inside]
posted by storybored at 10:53 AM PST - 47 comments

William Chace, former university president (Wesleyan and Emory) and Eng. Prof., on the decline of the English department, with lots of good ideas for why and how, as well as some thoughts on what to do about it. (Albeit no explicit blame to the true scourge: postmodernism and the relativity of it all…).
posted by JL Sadstone at 10:39 AM PST - 120 comments

Jamie Leigh Jones alleges she was drugged and gang-raped by co-workers at Camp Harper in Iraq while employed by KBR. As explained by Senator Al Franken in this youtube clip, Ms. Jones had signed a contract requiring binding arbitration of employment related disputes. Sen. Franken introduced Amendment 2588, which would prohibit any use of Federal funds for Federal contractors that require such agreements. The amendment passed 68-30 (roll call). [more inside]
posted by aerotive at 9:50 AM PST - 186 comments

To promote their soon-to-be-released album, In This Light and On This Evening (coming October 27), British indie rockers Editors have made an interesting hack of Google Maps Street View. If you go to the Editors website here, you can wander through the streets of London looking for landmarks set out by the band. [more inside]
posted by rocket88 at 9:45 AM PST - 9 comments


MEMORANDUM FOR SELECTED UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS: As a general matter, pursuit of these priorities should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana. For example, prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources. (SLUSDOJM)
posted by gerryblog at 8:43 AM PST - 94 comments

Take A Break magazine has such a huge readership that it was the publication chosen by Tony Blair to address the women of Britain through during the 2005 election. It covers social issues, health, problems and many other mainstays of the women's weekly market. But what makes it so popular? As Take A Weird Break demonstrates, it brings us the stories other magazines won't print.
posted by mippy at 6:57 AM PST - 40 comments

It's armageddon all over again. Chinese have created a black hole.
posted by strangeguitars at 6:21 AM PST - 66 comments

Will the future of cinema be live or remixed? "There is a level of panic in Hollywood I haven’t seen for a while." So begins USC Professor Jon Taplin, also a producer of films by Martin Scorsese. Taplin speaks about Francis Ford Coppola's recent interview where the director states that "I think the cinema is going to live off into something more related to a live performance in which the filmmaker is there, like the conductor of an opera used to be." Taplin bemoans "the dearth of imagination in Hollywood", while the comments section lights up with various prognostications.
posted by joetrip at 5:39 AM PST - 33 comments

October 18

Enrico Caruso Remastered. Aside from his musical skill and his tempestuous character, he was also known in the English-speaking world as a gentlemanly public figure, and patriot.
posted by StrikeTheViol at 9:18 PM PST - 18 comments

The Freakonomics follow up, Superfreakonomics, contains a chapter on climate change that lives up to the best selling contrarian style of authors Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner. However actual climate scientists were not pleased with the chapter. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, the book "repeats tired global cooling myths," "unfairly trashes climate models" and "advocates rolling the dice on unproven technology" among other faults. They have also been accused of misquoting climate scientist Ken Caldeira. Levitt and Dubner respond to their critics, Global Warming in SuperFreakonomics: The Anatomy of a Smear. [more inside]
posted by afu at 8:22 PM PST - 128 comments

"This is a novel born out of the intersection of two eras. The first is a story of the Cultural Revolution, a time of fanaticism, repressed instincts, and tragic fates, similar to the European Middle Ages. The second is a story of today, a time of subverted ethics, fickle sensuality, and every kind of phenomena, even more like the Europe of today. A westerner would have to live four hundred years to experience the vast differences of the two eras, but a Chinese would only need forty years for the experience." Yu Hua's Brothers, a sprawling, foul-mouthed, comic-historical epic, and the best-selling novel in China's history, is available in English. [more inside]
posted by escabeche at 8:03 PM PST - 25 comments

First-person base jumping in Switzerland. Stick with it, as the horizontal movement across the rock face using the gliding bodysuit will blow your mind.
posted by lazaruslong at 6:57 PM PST - 76 comments

OMG JERRY JACKSONS WEBSIGHTS THE WEBSIGHT OF POPELAR ANIMATER JERRY JACKSON
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 5:59 PM PST - 27 comments

Photography of Corey Arnold: Human Animals ll Arcticness ll Fish-Work Bering Sea ll Fish-Work Norway
posted by vronsky at 4:08 PM PST - 18 comments

Classic Movie Lines, with Peter Serafinowicz. Now with Mos Eisley spaceport re-edit.
posted by Artw at 3:07 PM PST - 27 comments

"For 35 years, I attended the same religion. When I left, I realized I didn't know the first thing about what other faiths believe. So I decided to find out the only way I know how: Go ask. For 52 weeks, I'm setting out to visit 52 different religions. Christian to Muslim, Buddhist to atheist, I'm going to attend their services, discuss faith with their leaders, and bring it all back to you." (via)
posted by sabira at 2:54 PM PST - 85 comments

Last week the House Committee on Financial Services approved legislation to regulate derivatives. Some critics contend that the legislation does not go far enough, and there is fear that there are too many exemptions to the rules: reforming the $42 trillion market for credit swaps is crucial if taxpayers are to be protected from future rescues of institutions deemed not only too big but also too interconnected to fail. [more inside]
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 1:48 PM PST - 25 comments


Use the ($2) Two / Track the ($2) Two (and the $1, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100) [more inside]
posted by MrBCID at 12:28 PM PST - 42 comments

There was a typewriter repairman in North Hollywood, California. He couldn’t believe it when all of a sudden someone deposited 24 vintage typewriters on his doorstep and said, “Make them look new.” He probably hadn’t had that much work in the last 25 years. He was probably just about ready to hang up the “Going out of business” sign and cursing the arrival of the laptop computer when all of a sudden here I come with 24 typewriters. The Collectors Weekly interviews Scott Buckwald, propmaster for Mad Men.
posted by dersins at 12:24 PM PST - 44 comments

Grain Edit is focused on classic design work from the 1950s-1970s and contemporary designers that draw inspiration from that time period. Site content includes interviews, articles, designers’ libraries, as well as examples of rare design annuals, type specimens, ephemera, posters and vintage kids books from their bookshelves.
posted by netbros at 11:53 AM PST - 5 comments

Elizabeth Clare Prophet died last Thursday at age 70, from Alzheimer's. In the 1970s, she helped found and led a New Age doomsday cult, the Church Universal and Triumphant, and predicted (in the 80s) a nuclear strike inside the United States that led all her followers to do the compound/weapons stockpiling thing in Montana. Also of interest is the Smithsonian/Folkways recordings of her cult, Sounds of American Doomsday Cults, Vol. 14 which contains many fascinating and insane chanting tracks, most notably the Great Divine Rector's Call, which was sampled to hilarious effect by Negativland and Mylo. [more inside]
posted by fungible at 10:24 AM PST - 34 comments

Obechi: Languid Sunday afternoon catching-dots-in-circles Flash fun from the maker of Boomshine.
posted by Copronymus at 10:22 AM PST - 13 comments


In April, 1999, The Cluetrain Manifesto went live as a web site, followed shortly thereafter by a hardcover book version, and now, a 10th anniversary book edition. [more inside]
posted by paulsc at 2:17 AM PST - 36 comments


October 17

Geert Wilders is now making a splash in London drawing a protest from the hardline Islamic members of the British public. The protests featured such memorable slogans as "Freedom Can Go to Hell" and "Islam will dominate the world" and eventually forced Geers to change the location of his press conference. On the ground interviews conducted by Press TV show the attitude of some of the crowd. British nationalists are naturally responding in kind.
posted by Talez at 9:03 PM PST - 58 comments




For the second time in two years a team from Germany has won the US Department of Energy's Solar Decathalon. This year's entry was a cube shaped house entirely covered in 300W and 70W solar panels generating a peak of 11.1kW. The DoE has published a complete product directory of all the subsystems and components used to build each house. Another notable design is the Canadian Team North house designed for optimal solar+insulation performance in high latitude climates.
posted by thewalrus at 5:20 PM PST - 15 comments

Machinarium: a new game from the creators of Samorost 1 & 2.
posted by brundlefly at 4:32 PM PST - 33 comments

The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria's 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.
posted by orthogonality at 4:24 PM PST - 67 comments

Long a mainstay prop of thrillers, the silencer (more correctly called a suppressor or moderator) presents a unique engineering challenge to the gunsmith: lower the audibility of a shot without adversely affecting performance or ballistics. Many variations have been attempted over the years, ranging from gas-seal revolvers used in NKVD assassinations (as well as more modern interpretations) to shotgun suppressors (memorably used in No Country For Old Men). Suppressors are legal in some countries that allow private firearm ownership, as well as a majority of US states, and range in size from the small to the impressive to the absolutely ridiculous.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 4:02 PM PST - 40 comments

"Promoting the Love and Study of American History." The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has many resources on its website, including over 50 free lecture podcasts, a collection of war letters throughout history, a Lincoln bicentennial page, and a new John Brown exhibition. [more inside]
posted by Hargrimm at 1:13 PM PST - 7 comments

Math Overflow is the first attempt to use the Stack Exchange platform, already popular with programmers, as a scientific research tool. Founded this month by a group of young mathematicians, including Scott Morrison and Ben Webster of the Secret Blogging Seminar, the site is already wrestling with hundreds of questions, ranging from the technical ("When is a map given by a word surjective?") to the historical ("Most interesting mathematics mistake?")
posted by escabeche at 12:28 PM PST - 40 comments

The Dark Mod, a total conversion for Doom 3 in the spirit of Looking Glass Technology's Thief series, has finally been released after years (and more years) of development and is now available to download.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:19 AM PST - 20 comments

Anthony Falzone and the Fair Use Project have dropped Shepard Fairey's case after he admitted he lied and submitted false evidence in his suit against the Associated Press. (Previously).
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 10:56 AM PST - 50 comments

Having previously put together a post with links to stories from the 2009 edition of Best of American Crime Reporting, I decided to go to earlier editions to gather together what is available on the web. Starting in 2007 with The Tainted Kidney: Charles Graeber, New York. A serial killer who chooses to donate his kidney has his motives questioned. [more inside]
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:39 AM PST - 18 comments

BBC Streams has rekindled my love of all things BBC Radio 4, now I can listen to The Today Programme on my iPhone whilst on my commute.
posted by nam3d at 10:17 AM PST - 21 comments

Youtube user totallyjk has been posting a series of videos titled the "Andy Rooney game", in which everything but the first and last lines of an Andy Rooney segment from 60 Minutes is removed, often with amusing or touching results. A few other YouTubers have videos of the game, too.
posted by LSK at 9:49 AM PST - 35 comments





Photos from the war. A slideshow of photos taken by German soldier Werner Wiehe... vermisst in Russland, 1944. (While viewing the slideshow, might I suggest playing some appropriate musical accompaniment, arranged in sequential order?!)
posted by markkraft at 3:43 AM PST - 18 comments

What do you do if you like the sound of a Ferrari, but you can't afford to buy one? Pierre Scerri of Avignon, France loved the sound of the Ferrari 312PB, but he couldn't afford to purchase one. Pierre did what all of us would do, he started to build it, from scratch, from raw materials... Fifteen years and 20,000 hours later, he had this. If I was short, really, really short, I would want this car!
posted by HuronBob at 3:29 AM PST - 35 comments

87 Cool Things
posted by mattoxic at 3:21 AM PST - 23 comments


As the Obama administration debates strategy for the war in Afghanistan, the U.S. Department of Defense recently announced it had met its 2009 recruitment goals, but Fred Kaplan of Slate sees it differently. [more inside]
posted by paulsc at 12:49 AM PST - 13 comments

October 16


The Polaroid SX-70. A 10 minute promotional film by Charles and Ray Eames.
posted by ardgedee at 8:22 PM PST - 15 comments


34 industries, 62,000 stalls, 320,000 commodities for sale, 4 million square meters of selling space: welcome to the world-famous Yiwu Wholesale Market in the Zhejiang Province of China, "where Santa Claus comes to shop." [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri at 6:10 PM PST - 8 comments

America on Stone: 19th Century American Lithographs is a browsable collection of lithographs on topics from advertising to uniforms. The viewer includes pan and zoom functions. (Harry T. Peters, who amassed this collection, was particularly interested in Currier & Ives.) Lithography became popular very quickly after its discovery at the end of the eighteenth century, rapidly finding its way into such commercial uses as sheet music covers. Needless to say, it also came in handy for far more exalted applications. (For previous MeFi adventures in lithography, try these posts.)
posted by thomas j wise at 6:06 PM PST - 5 comments

Suspended Animation with Rotton Egg Gas!?!? - It may smell like rotten eggs, but it turns out H2S may be able to slow down the chain of chemical degradation that causes death in cells that are deprived of oxygen. Biologist Mark Roth can supposedly take a lab rat, stop its heart with a dose of hydrogen sulfide, and bring it back to life an hour later just by turning off the gas. Interesting...
posted by d4v1dr0b3r7s0n at 3:15 PM PST - 28 comments

"If your ex-spouse has run off and taken your children abroad, and the international legal system is failing to bring them back, what are you to do? One option is to call Gus Zamora, a former Army ranger who will, for a hefty fee, get your children back. Operating in a moral gray area beyond the reach of any clear-cut legal jurisdiction, Zamora claims to have returned 54 children to left-behind parents. Here’s the story of number 55."
posted by andoatnp at 1:58 PM PST - 53 comments

Epic fail for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but a fun one. The Hall-of-Fame NBA center bricks a Celebrity Jeopardy question seemingly gift-wrapped for him. Kareem wouldn't be a Jeopardy pushover -- he's the author of several history books, but the night's win went to Michael McKean. You know, Lenny.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 1:57 PM PST - 39 comments

The perfect burger starts with the perfect blend of beef. [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 1:51 PM PST - 55 comments

Welcome to the charming world of Vissarion: the Siberian, vegan, reincarnation of Christ, who also happens to be a Polygamist. When he lost his job as a traffic cop in 1991, Sergei Torop changed his name to Vissarion and began spreading his message about how to attain moral perfection, drive out negative energy, and survive the coming Apocalypse. Today the Community of Vassarion in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia numbers around 10,000, while a further 50,000 follow his teachings in the world beyond. [more inside]
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 1:25 PM PST - 28 comments

Infernal Landscapes. [more inside]
posted by WPW at 1:22 PM PST - 17 comments


I was ready to sink into the earth with shame. An ancient Chinese form letter sent to apologize for having imbibed too much at a dinner party.
posted by ShadePlant at 11:34 AM PST - 33 comments

"[Irruption] is the term birders use to describe an unusual mass movement of birds into an area. But even that big word fails to capture what happened last winter when thousands of owls descended on northern Minnesota." [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 11:33 AM PST - 70 comments

For your next shoggoth-hunting trip to Antarctica (or Halloween party), you can arm yourself with authentic-looking props by visiting Propnomicon: contemporary ephemera, pages from the Necronomicon, monster-repelling (or -attracting) amulets, and so on. If your expedition is a bust, bring back a homemade thing in a bottle, or in a pinch, make your own tentacle. [more inside]
posted by kurumi at 10:53 AM PST - 13 comments

"I gather a repulsive nobody writing in a paper no one of any decency would be seen dead with has written something loathesome and inhumane." Stephen Gately of the band Boyzone died of natural causes while on vacation in Spain with his husband. Jan Moir of The Daily Mail saw it differently and links his homosexuality to his death. Reaction to her column is not kind. [more inside]
posted by kmz at 10:51 AM PST - 143 comments

"Porn films are not about sex. Sex is airbrushed and digitally washed out of the films There is no acting because none of the women are permitted to have what amounts to a personality.The one emotion they are allowed to display is an unquenchable desire to satisfy men, especially if that desire involves the women’s physical and emotional degradation." In his most recent book, Chris Hedges navigates our culture of narcissim, from porn (in the linked segment), to the WWE, to Ivy League graduation ceremonies and reality tv — exposing, according to his publisher "an age of terrifying decline and heightened self-delusion". Hedges is a former foreign correspondent for the New York times, has previously gone to war with Christian Fundamentalists, The New Atheists, War itself and his own employer, resigning from his job rather than submit to the Times's reprimand over his outspoken opposition to the Iraq War and the press "cheerleading" that preceded it.
posted by psmealey at 10:14 AM PST - 207 comments

The Gervais Principle, Or The Office According to “The Office”. Warning: link may evoke baleful despair!
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:47 AM PST - 57 comments

The OER Commons exists to help educators "find free-to-use teaching and learning content from around the world." Thousands of primary, secondary and post-secondary activities, labs, lecture notes, assignments and other educational materials are available by searching or browsing the OER site.
posted by cog_nate at 8:44 AM PST - 7 comments

"I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way." Keith Bardwell, justice of the peace for Tangipahoa Parish’s 8th Ward in Louisiana, has denied a marriage license to an interracial couple, using Tragic Mulatto reasoning. He claims that children of interracial marriages suffer needlessly, and the couple's union won't last. Previously on MeFi: The Bill of Rights for People of Mixed Heritage
posted by zarq at 8:02 AM PST - 189 comments

A few days back I was introduced to the Banjo Ninja [via Boingboing] and found myself instantly hooked to the 'gritty hard edge Appalachian claw-hammer and Scruggs style banjo with punk rock intensity'. The more I watched video and listened to streaming tracks on Phillip Roebuck's web site, the more I liked it, particularly Summons Song, which blew me away. Other great tunes include Little Bo Peep and Monkey Fist. The downside to my newfound musical interest is that being in Hong Kong I can't buy any of the tracks via iTunes or Amazon, which sucks royally because I would love to send Phillip some money for my favourite tracks. After searching MeFi all I could find was one brief mention in the green back in 2007 (which I missed as I don't always visit Ask MeFi), and couldn't believe Roebuck hasn't been introduced via the blue, so I hereby rectify that situation. It may not suit everyone's tastes, but I defy you not to tap your feet.
posted by bwg at 6:49 AM PST - 34 comments

Friday Flash Fun: Frontier is an adventure RPG with an economic bent, very similar to Caravaneer. You travel from town to town dealing in the goods available in each town. [more inside]
posted by schyler523 at 6:30 AM PST - 15 comments

Age progression compositing (or forensic composting) is the process of taking a photo of a child and creating a composite image of what they might look like years later. It has been used to great success in the recovery of kidnap victims, and most recently in the case of Jaycee Dugard.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:29 AM PST - 19 comments

October 15

In her new book, Read My Pins, Former Secretary of State Madeline Albright reflects on choosing jewelry as a means of sending diplomatic messages.
posted by paulsc at 11:32 PM PST - 38 comments

The airing of the upcoming PBS documentary Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons, will bring new attention to a protest event against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints that raised important questions about free speech, the rights of student athletes, and the state of the Civil Rights Movement in the Mormon Church. On October 17, 1969, 14 football players at the University of Wyoming were suspended for threatening to wear black armbands onto the field in an upcoming game against Brigham Young University. The squad members, who were known as the "Black 14," were protesting the the Mormon Church's exclusion of people of African descent from the priesthood. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic at 11:31 PM PST - 37 comments

Chris Sims of the Invincible Super-Blog has tangled with the undead before, most notably with The Annotated Anita Blake, but now he's taking on the big daddy with the cape and the fangs: It's Dracula Week! Over on Comics Alliance Chris lists Dracula's Greatest Comics Appearances, then back on ISB he's followed up with Batman versus Dracula and Dracula versus Superman. Now he's taking on Dracula in his ultimate, most 70s form. Behold... BLACULA!
posted by Artw at 10:13 PM PST - 11 comments

Today is the 150th anniversary of John Brown's abolitionist raid on Harper's Ferry, and the commemorations are underway.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:46 PM PST - 121 comments

Dash and Bella is a blog about cooking with your kids. Its lovely and mouth watering.
posted by badego at 9:19 PM PST - 12 comments

Judge William Wayne Justice. 1920 -2009. Appointed to the federal bench in 1968, Judge Justice spent his career as a progressive jurist working to insure the rights of minorities, the poor and the disenfranchised. His rulings forced the State of Texas to desegregate public schools, reform its prison system and provide education to undocumented immigrants.
posted by anticlock at 9:08 PM PST - 32 comments

Norman Centuries is a new podcast by Lars Brownworth, best known for his podcast series 12 Byzantine Rulers (previously). Norman Centuries, as the name suggests, recounts the history of the Normans, those literal vikings who gained Normandy and then England, Sicily, Malta, Antioch and, well, a whole heck of a lot of other places too. They were a conquering bunch. First two episodes are out with more to follow. [iTunes link]
posted by Kattullus at 8:24 PM PST - 18 comments

Artist Mark Bennett's real blueprints for fake places are fascinating. The home of socialite Bruce Wayne and Dick Grayson is, not surprisingly, much more intricate than that of Mr. and Mrs. Flintstone. (via CurbedLA)
posted by GatorDavid at 6:50 PM PST - 18 comments

Frontline in Afghanistan
In a war that has lasted eight years, what is the way forward now? [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 6:24 PM PST - 52 comments

Breastfeeding in Mongolia The author describes the ubiquity of breastfeeding and breast milk in Mongolia, and her experience over a three-year period of breastfeeding her infant in Mongolia and in the West.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:40 PM PST - 84 comments

From October 1972 to October 1973 a controversy over Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory simmered in the pages of The Horn Book. It began with an article, "McLuhan, Youth, and Literature", by Eleanor Cameron, author of the Mushroom Planet series for children and of The Green and Burning Tree: On the Writing and Enjoyment of Children's Books. Spread out over the October, December, and February issues, it tied the ideas of Marshall McLuhan (The Medium is the Massage) to the confection of Charlie, calling it "one of the most tasteless books ever written for children":
"The more I think about Charlie and the character of Willy Wonka and his factory, the more I am reminded of McLuhan’s coolness, the basic nature of his observations, and the kinds of things that excite him. Certainly there are several interesting parallels between the point of view of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and McLuhan’s 'theatrical view of experience as a production or stunt,' as well as his enthusiastic conviction that every ill of mankind can easily be solved by subservience to the senses."
What followed was a knock-down, drag-out, letter-writing brouhaha, refereed by Horn Book editor Paul Heins, with librarians, parents, teachers, Ursula K. Le Guin, and Roald Dahl himself joining in, and it was one of the main causes of the book's revision that year. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 5:38 PM PST - 68 comments

Nearly 100 years had passed since nationally syndicated radio host Tom Joyner's "great-uncles, Thomas Griffin and Meeks Griffin were wrongfully executed in South Carolina. On Wednesday, a board voted 7-0 to pardon both men, clearing their names in the 1913 killing of a veteran of the Confederate Army. ...It marks the first time in history that South Carolina has issued a posthumous pardon in a capital murder case." [more inside]
posted by darkstar at 5:11 PM PST - 8 comments

Yellow Cake , a geopolitical fable by animator Nick Cross. Main link includes interview - "There was a lot of talk about 'yellow cake' uranium being sold in ominous tones, but I always thought of yellow cake as being a delicious dessert treat."
posted by dinsdale at 1:45 PM PST - 16 comments

On May 21, 2009, Oklahoma's governor signed the Statistical Reporting of Abortion Act (pdf). The act requires, as a condition of having the procedure done, that each woman fill out an "Individual Abortion Form" containing personal details, including age, county where abortion was performed, race, marital status, years of education, state of residence, number and result of previous pregnancies, and the reason for the abortion. [more inside]
posted by cereselle at 1:31 PM PST - 131 comments

Foreclosures hit a record in third quarter 2009. President Obama took measures to contain the crisis. It is now many months later, and one can start asking how successful these measures have been. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 12:11 PM PST - 57 comments


There's lots going on with HTML5. Get the latest from the folks at Ajaxian. First, find out What's New in HTML5 (The WHATWG Blog), then look into the new Microdata Spec. There's a Sticky Notes Tutorial, and an examination of the Canvas Tag. Getting the nitty gritty details right.
posted by netbros at 11:37 AM PST - 64 comments

I'm 100% sure that if it hadn't been for Mrs. Hill in fourth grade and a few others, I would have absolutely ended up in jail. A timeless and fascinating 1995 interview with Steve Jobs.
posted by erikvan at 11:30 AM PST - 22 comments

A New York City film location scout (mentioned before, here and here) revisits the scenes of the movie Taxi Driver (1976) and compares them to what's there now. [more inside]
posted by monospace at 10:32 AM PST - 28 comments

A handful of female seniors at the Naval Academy or in the Naval Reserve Officers’ Training Corps could very well be the first women to be assigned to a U.S. submarine. And if initial plans fall into place, those women — joined by some seasoned supply and surface nuke lieutenants already in the fleet — will be included in four crews assigned to two Ohio-class submarines by late 2011. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 9:53 AM PST - 97 comments

If it could be anywhere in the world, where would you wish to wake up tomorrow? This was the question asked to people on the streets of London and Brooklyn. Some of the answers are mundane, some are beautiful. What would yours be? [more inside]
posted by dnesan at 9:47 AM PST - 93 comments

"You'll have heard how the city once ended in fire, and around these parts, it threatens to end in ice every few years or so. But once, not too long ago, Chicago flirted with ending in water, an entirely preventable man-made inundation that few saw but everybody felt – a two-billion-dollar sucker punch tsunami that weighed in among the dozen most costly floods in American history." [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 9:33 AM PST - 18 comments

Zappa. Kirby. Pals! (via)
posted by COBRA! at 9:33 AM PST - 16 comments

Barbie has cankles? So says designer Christian Louboutin. (via)
posted by mrgrimm at 8:09 AM PST - 68 comments

Ever dream this man? Every night throughout the world hundreds of people dream about this face. [more inside]
posted by logicpunk at 8:03 AM PST - 139 comments

"My answer is, I don't know. I don't know." US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker asked Prop 8 supporters to define the nature and extent of damage done by same-sex couples to the institution of marriage, and being unable to get any definitive answer, denied the request from supporters of Prop 8 to throw out Perry v. Schwarzenegger and ordered the case to trial in January 2010.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:50 AM PST - 94 comments

I Have Seen the Future, and It Is Snuggie. The arrival of autumn through much of the United States means that sales should be heating up for Allstar Products Group, the juggernaut behind the Snuggie ads. More and more infomercials are capitalizing on the opportunity to market their wares to mainstream audiences as traditional companies pull back from prime time ad spends. The Wall Street Journal reports that one entrepreneur is bringing "as seen on TV" products to rural India, staging live shows for people without TVs. It seems you really can't escape them.
posted by woodway at 7:03 AM PST - 64 comments


The Virtual Window Interactive is a toy based in, and an advertisement for, The Virtual Window, a theoretical Visual Studies text authored by Anne Friedberg, who passed away this week at age 57. If you're like me, the first thing you'll realize is that your native aspect ratio is faulty already.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:03 AM PST - 17 comments

October 14

Jean M. Fasse (Red Cross during WWII, and later the Special Service). Shirley Ann Thacker (WAVE). Just two of the interviews from the extensive collection of material (photographs, letters, diaries, scrapbooks, oral histories and posters) at the Women Veterans Historical Collection.
posted by tellurian at 10:01 PM PST - 4 comments

The ever-oddly dated Project Censored has released its list of undercovered and ignored stories for 2010.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:44 PM PST - 37 comments

Mad About Mad Men: The flaws in Mad Men's period detail and the show's greater triumphs. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 9:23 PM PST - 81 comments

Sometimes, there just aren't words: Punky Power 2009. (For those having no idea what's being referenced, linkage.)
posted by WCityMike at 8:48 PM PST - 35 comments

"If the Swiss can do it on a regular basis, why can't we North Americans too." The Dollar ReDe$ign Project believes its time for the United States to switch from the old to something new in the field of American currency. As a result, a contest was developed and submissions accepted. They range from the cultural to the cynical, and a salute to American space achievements to update designs to the present content.
posted by Atreides at 6:21 PM PST - 126 comments

Does your tap water taste funny? Have you tried lighting it on fire? [more inside]
posted by Sys Rq at 4:43 PM PST - 49 comments

Erotic illustrations of Alice in Wonderland by Marvel legend Frank Brunner (Doctor Strange, Silver Surfer, Johnny Quest). Color versions here: Title page ll Alice and Dragon ll Mad Tea Party ll Humpty Dumpty ll Looking Glass ll Mirror ll Jabberwocky ll White Knight ll Hookah ll Alice
posted by vronsky at 4:34 PM PST - 62 comments

Inscentinel uses trained bees to sniff out drugs, explosives, and spoiled food.
posted by contraption at 2:58 PM PST - 38 comments

Living Colour, the pioneering African-American funk rock band, released a new album last month. Perhaps the band's most poignant moment was at their comeback show in 2001 when they played American Skin (41 Shots) to protest the shooting of Amadou Diallo, a black man shot by the NYPD. In addition, they are responsible for one of the most seriously shredding guitar solos of all time.
posted by elder18 at 2:48 PM PST - 82 comments


How People Count Cash (via)
posted by nam3d at 2:11 PM PST - 35 comments


Is The Large Hadron Collider Being Sabotaged from the Future? A couple of distinguished physicists posit that this indeed might be the case! [NYT Article]
posted by sk381 at 2:03 PM PST - 128 comments


The eyeballing game: compare your best attempts at several instinctive everyday tasks - determining a point of convergence, bisecting an angle, finding the midpoint of a line - against mathematical certainty. In a more financial mood? Play Chartgame: given a random historical stock chart of an unnamed S&P 500 company, choose to buy and sell as time advances to see if you can beat the market.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 2:01 PM PST - 22 comments

October is American Archives Month. From Alabama [pdf] to Wyoming, New England to the Rocky Mountains and points in between, archival repositories across the United States will celebrate by offering workshops, open houses, and behind the scenes tours. Pretty complete list here. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 1:37 PM PST - 8 comments

French Vogue accused of publishing blackface photos of Lara Stone? [more inside]
posted by pwedza at 1:14 PM PST - 142 comments

The other side of Islam - Abida Parveen (last.fm) sings verses by the Sufi saint Bulleh Shah. and here is Main Nara-E-Mastana and Mast Qalandar. She is sometimes called the natural sucessor of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan though there is also his nephew Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Begum Abida is associated most closely with the verses of the Sufi saint Shah Abdul Latif, (wiki) some of whose illustrated veses are shown here. She has also sung the verses of other Sufi saints, including Amir Khusrau, Bulleh Shah, Sachal Sarmast, Sultan Bahu, and others such as Kabir and Waris Shah.
More about Qawwali (Related: - kosem's outstanding post [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 12:31 PM PST - 5 comments

After 10 years of silence, Susan Klebold, mother of Columbine shooter Dylon Klebold, discusses her experience and her son in a new essay in O Magazine (abstract/Napstered). [more inside]
posted by dgaicun at 12:24 PM PST - 80 comments

Natasha Mitchell: So it's not a little man or woman inside our heads...

Thomas Metzinger: ...that looks at pictures. But the experience of looking, of being directed to one's own feelings or to one's sensory perceptions of the outside world, this is itself an image. There is nobody looking at the image, it's like the camera is part of the picture or the viewing is itself a part of the process of viewing. This is how a first-person perspective emerges in our own case, the question is, okay, if it's not a thing, if it's not something in the brain, what kind of a process is it?
[more inside]
posted by y2karl at 12:15 PM PST - 56 comments

A document has recently surfaced online, published by an Adelle Dewitt, asking all of the employees of the Los Angles branch of Rossum inc. to please, for the love of god, buckle down and bring in more clients. The only problem? Rossum has denied that Dewitts department even exists. Which is why Sen. Perrin is threatening to call down the thunder. [more inside]
posted by tylerfulltilt at 12:12 PM PST - 85 comments

Last month, the makers of Monster Energy Drink (Warning: Flash, Ads) sent a cease and desist letter (PDF) to Rock Art Brewery, makers of The Vermonster beer. Brewer Matt Nadeau plans to fight back, even though such a fight would be nasty, time consuming, and very, very expensive. [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:18 AM PST - 79 comments

Hen Kerlien (or, hěn​ kě​ lián​). For when an anglophone needs a phrase that suggests a child walking alone in the world.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:49 AM PST - 25 comments

In Does the Vaccine Matter?, Shannon Brownlee and Jeanne Lenzer discuss the history of vaccines and explore why "some flu experts are challenging the medical orthodoxy and arguing that for those most in need of protection, flu shots and antiviral drugs may provide little to none." In a related story (which condenses and provides a point-by-point summary of the original (with obvious bias)): "Flu vaccines revealed as the greatest quackery ever pushed in the history of medicine."
posted by torquemaniac at 9:41 AM PST - 90 comments

Matt Helm is a fictional character created by author Donald Hamilton. He is a U.S. government counter-agent—a man whose primary job is to kill or nullify enemy agents—not a spy or secret agent in the ordinary sense of the term as used in spy thrillers. ... The character appeared in 27 books over a 33-year period beginning in 1960... A movie series was made in the mid-to-late 1960s starring Dean Martin... the series bore no resemblance at all to the character, atmosphere, or themes of Hamilton's original books, nor to the hard-edged action of Bond. One reason was the attitude of the filmmakers that the only way to compete with the Bond films was to parody them. - Wikipedia (links may be mildly NSFW) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 9:37 AM PST - 17 comments

One day ago, Neil Gaiman wrote the beginning of a story, which was retweeted by BBC Audiobooks America as the first of a thousand or so tweets that would compiled and edited to become an audiobook. People are still contributing, and BBCAA's blog has four scenes compiled (1, 2, 3, summary of scenes 1-3, and 4), for a total of 175 tweets. When 1,000 or so tweets are logged, they'll be edited into a script, and produced in a studio to make the final audiobook, which will be released for free on BBCAA's website. This isn't the first game of exquisite corpse played via twitter that made a piece to be refined and presented in some way. The first Twitter opera was one of a few recent "gimmicks" to garner attention for the Royal Opera House (twitter opera feed, ROH twitter feed, ROH blog). The result, Twitterdammerung, was given a decent review by opera critic Igor Toronyi-Lalic.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:35 AM PST - 32 comments

John Needham's 1988 documentary on the life and work of animation legend Tex Avery [part 1 2 3 4 5]. Some representative work, much of which is covered in the documentary: Porky's Duck Hunt (1937, first appearance of Daffy Duck) || A Wild Hare (1940, first appearance of Bugs Bunny) || Dumb-Hounded (1943, first appearance of Droopy) || Red Hot Riding Hood (1943) || Bad Luck Blackie (1949) || The House / Car / TV / Farm of Tomorrow (1949, 1951, 1953, 1954) || Symphony in Slang (1951) || I'm Cold (1954, Tex's first Chilly Willy)
posted by milquetoast at 9:24 AM PST - 11 comments

Vivian Maier's Photography. "This [site] was created in dedication to the photographer Vivian Maier, a street photographer from the 1950s - 1970s. Vivian's work was discovered at an auction here in Chicago." [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 8:46 AM PST - 35 comments


Fans of U2 have probably already seen concert footage from their current tour of the giant elliptical LED screen that morphs into a 7-story high cone-shaped structure, enveloping the band as it extends. But what you may not know is that it was designed (in collaboration with Barco) by Chuck Hoberman, inventor of the Hoberman Sphere. [more inside]
posted by albrecht at 7:25 AM PST - 47 comments

Notary fee: $3; County Clerk Recording Fee: $16; Protecting your land from abortionists forever? That'll cost ya $77. [more inside]
posted by fontophilic at 7:20 AM PST - 68 comments

Ralph Nader appraises Obama's first 9 months as president (guess how he feels). Warning: video starts automatically (with bizarre illustrative clips occasionally thrown in). [more inside]
posted by leibniz at 3:02 AM PST - 189 comments


Mystery Google gives you what the person before you searched for. {via}
posted by Ljubljana at 1:12 AM PST - 94 comments

The posthumous career of Michael Jackson began at midnight (Eastern time) Sunday with the release of a new single, This Is It. Shortly thereafter, Paul Anka reminded them that the song was the same song he cowrote with Jackson called I Never Heard, which was recorded by Safire. Anka was promptly given his share. Now nothing stands in the way of our seeing Michael Jackson's posthumous last concert.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:04 AM PST - 25 comments

It was 30 years ago today... October, 1979: Rapper's Delight by the Sugarhill Gang was released. A few days later, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five gave us the tighter and catchier (IMHO) Superrappin'. Hip Hop had arrived. Here's a charming interview with a New York City paramedic who, as a very young photographer on the South Bronx scene back in the day, was the unofficial photo-documentarian of the birth of hip hop.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:31 AM PST - 32 comments

October 13

VIDEOGIOCO (NSFW, vimeo) -- Crazy Animation/Stop-Motion of... I don't even know, gory stuff?
posted by azarbayejani at 5:59 PM PST - 10 comments

A (mostly) vegetarian spider: "A small jumping spider has taken to hunting plants instead of bugs. Bagheera kiplingi dodges throngs of aggressive ants to feast on the leaf-tip morsels of acacia shrubs, making it the first mostly vegetarian spider known to science."
posted by dhruva at 5:54 PM PST - 37 comments

The Senate Finance Committee has approved the plan proposed by Max Baucus.
posted by reenum at 3:34 PM PST - 177 comments

Kitchen Sink is a creepy short film made by Alison Maclean.
posted by sciurus at 3:06 PM PST - 30 comments


It's time to kick back and relax with a tasty bottle of $BEVERAGE - often but not always beer. But how to open it? And what tool to use? [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 at 12:39 PM PST - 83 comments

Paul Giamatti and Matt Damon star in Resident Hunting: Shoot ’Em Up by the Dozen 2. For decades, Toronto has been a cheap, versatile city in which to shoot movies. Most of the time, Toronto pretends to be some other place – mostly New York. Using DVD screencaps, city blog Torontoist takes a sightseeing tour through over 50 films shot in Toronto that mostly pretend to be set somewhere else, from (yes) Good Will Hunting to the HBO version of Grey Gardens. [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 12:20 PM PST - 70 comments

Respect Your Pet has launched with a mission of tracking down those individuals who mistreat and humiliate their pets with such tools as creative grooming and silly photography. Their "about" page hints at one reason this is such an important cause for the couple that started the site. [more inside]
posted by amelioration at 11:45 AM PST - 78 comments

Exact details are still forthcoming, but the impossible project announced that Polaroid is preparing to re-launch some of their iconic instant cameras and TIP will be manufacturing the film, at Polaroid's request. No doubt this will increase the ranks of their cult-like following, but will this second coming reverse what turned into a money-losing tech in our new digital age?
posted by revmitcz at 11:45 AM PST - 40 comments

Techno Tuesday
posted by yegga at 10:13 AM PST - 26 comments

The season now approaches for snowbirds to make their way to warmer climes for the season. Among them will be members of Amish and Menonnite orders. In the 1920s, farmers were persuaded to come to Sarasota, Florida and begin using the land for agricultural purposes. Among the items surmised best to grow in the soil was celery, produce already commonplace in Amish farms in the northern bands of the US. And so, some made the trip to begin farming, only to later learn it was a scam, but the weather and surroundings enticed them to stay or visit on a regular basis. Pinecraft, Florida is the winter home for many of these people. [more inside]
posted by keli at 9:50 AM PST - 7 comments

Wind, water and solar technologies can provide 100 percent of the world's energy, eliminating all fossil fuels. HERE'S HOW (via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 9:41 AM PST - 82 comments

"The Court makes no apology for the tone of its previous orders. They were direct and strong but apparently not strong enough. They certainly do not demonstrate personal bias. They do demonstrate a lack of tolerance for frivolous legal claims asserted by lawyers who should know better." In a thorough and often hilarious 43 page opinion, Judge Clay Land of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia imposes sanctions on lawyer (for now)/dentist/real estate agent Orly Taitz for her abusive and frivolous conduct.
posted by kosem at 9:36 AM PST - 116 comments


Since SRI and Xerox invented the GUI and the mouse in the late 1970s, technology has leaped forward, but the way we interact with our computers has stood still. "10/GUI aims to bridge this gap by rethinking the desktop to leverage technology in an intuitive and powerful way."
posted by Plutor at 9:22 AM PST - 66 comments



"Good, big ideas about evolution are rare." Simon Ings of the Independent reviews "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human" by Richard Wrangham. (via)
posted by The Whelk at 7:48 AM PST - 17 comments

The titles grabbed me - Why I am going to give my 9-year-old Pot. and the four month follow up, Why am I giving my 9-year-old Pot. But, my mind was changed, and heart softened, by the articles. via
posted by PissOnYourParade at 7:12 AM PST - 75 comments

Tom Waits has a new live album coming out. You can get 8 full length tracks--just under 40 minutes--from the forthcoming release for free on his site. Requires you surrender a valid email address, however.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:58 AM PST - 42 comments

Nina Sankovitch is about to finish reading a book a day for a year. She not only reads them, she reviews them too. "You can’t go from ‘Little Bee,’ by Chris Cleave, which is about this young woman who witnesses torture and herself is a victim of abuse in Nigeria — a really great book, but you’re just crying or your stomach is clenched — to another book like it the next day,” she said. “If I read a book like that every day, I would have collapsed a long time ago.” Other 365 day projects have included this, this, and this.
posted by Xurando at 1:04 AM PST - 133 comments

OK, this looks bad. Disgusting and really bad. Sea "Mucus" Blobs Pose Threat (video from National Geographic). [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:29 AM PST - 49 comments

October 12


Peter Goldmark, developer of early color tv technology, is lesser known for a cooler invention, the Highway Hifi – the first recorded-music player for an automobile. The under-dash system played records provided by Columbia Records which played at 16 ⅔ rpm even when the vehicle was in motion. It was first released with Chrysler models in 1956 but lackluster promotion of the option by both Columbia and Chrysler led to the option being discontinued before the 60s. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 6:41 PM PST - 36 comments

"Long thought to be lost or destroyed, this complete recording of one of the few hour long interviews of Alfred Hitchcock has been found." [more inside]
posted by dhammond at 6:34 PM PST - 17 comments

After 10000 hours of hard work, more than 10 years from time to time in the garage and about 15000 Euros spent, the Snaefell was ready to ride! Ever wonder what the teleportation booth mishap result of a sportbike crossed with a sportscar would look like? François Knorreck spent an insane amount of time finding out and the results are, well, you decide whether you like it or not but you can't say the workmanship is anything but top notch.
posted by fenriq at 6:08 PM PST - 42 comments

"Won't you gentlemen have a Pepsi?" Raised from '80s oblivion by Family Guy, the 1986 Dan Aykroyd / Chevy Chase comedy Spies Like Us deserves some respect. When the American government sends two inept diplomats abroad into enemy hands as unwitting decoys, hilarity ensues all the way into the Soviet Union where they have to prevent World War III with plenty of classic Chase one-liners and Aykroyd attitude. Then there's Paul McCartney's theme song, "Spies Like Us", and the remixed version from Art of Noise.
posted by Servo5678 at 5:53 PM PST - 123 comments

Simon Dyson was the winner at the Dunhill Links Championship, but Manuel de los Santos may have made the biggest impression at the pro-am event, which was played on St. Andrews, Kingsbarns and Carnoustie. De los Santos, 25, is a former baseball player who lost a leg in a car accident and picked up golf in 2004, after moving from his native Dominican Republic to France. He plays to a 3-handicap without the aid of a prosthesis.
posted by netbros at 5:32 PM PST - 4 comments

In 1771, John Wilkes succeeded in defending the freedom of the press to report the then secret debates of Parliament. In 2009, the well-known libel law firm Carter-Ruck, possibly acting on behalf of their clients Trafigura, succeeded in gagging The Guardian newspaper from reporting a question to be asked in Parliament (see #61). [more inside]
posted by Sova at 3:42 PM PST - 53 comments

They're responsible for the slang terms "hip" and "dive."1 Among many other traditions, Chinese immigrants brought opium dens to the Western world. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, and Oscar Wilde all embellished the existence of opium dens in Victorian England. In the expanding US, Chinese railroad workers brought opium dens to outposts as far-flung as El Paso. By the 1880s, US readers were familiar with the stereotypical opium den of urban Chinatowns like San Francisco's (pdf) -- where it was made illegal for white people to smoke -- and New York's (pdf).2

Learn more about opium dens, and see the photos, at the online Opium Museum. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie at 2:34 PM PST - 45 comments

Today is the 11th anniversary of Matthew Shepard's murder in Laramie, Wyoming. His mother, Judy, continues to speak out against her son's death, the House of Representatives has passed expanded anti-hate crime legislation, the event is being commemorated with the staging of The Laramie Project Epilogue in over 150 cities worldwide, including a special performance in Laramie itself. Meanwhile, some people continue to deny Shepard was killed because he was gay.
posted by elder18 at 1:47 PM PST - 70 comments

A new iPhone app helps you, uh "score" with women. (YT) It's made by Pepsi to promote its AMP energy drink. You choose the type of girl, and it gives you information related to that type (music suggestions, locations of bars). Then you can Tweet your conquest when you're, uh, done. Is Pepsi alienating its female customers? It's sure not going over well.
posted by desjardins at 1:41 PM PST - 209 comments

"Captain, the tech is overteching" - Ron Moore confirms everything you suspected about the Star Trek TNG approach to writing.
posted by Artw at 1:00 PM PST - 245 comments

"This is for the guy who needed a card to come out to his parents." (Youtube) David Ellis Dickerson draws on his previous job as a Hallmark greeting card writer to create funny, poignant cards for people with unconventional greeting card emergencies (but he won't do cards aimed at making people feel bad). [more inside]
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:39 AM PST - 46 comments

Wonderful documentary on the art inspired chain of Best retail stores designed by Site architectural firm in the '70s and early '80s. 1::2::3::4
posted by vronsky at 11:09 AM PST - 17 comments

uPlaya uses algorithms to determine if a song will be a hit. [more inside]
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:07 AM PST - 42 comments

Juan Cabral, the commercial maker behind the Sony Bravia bouncing ball ad has completed a new piece: this time, he and collaborators, including Múm, Richard Fearless (of Death In Vegas) and the people behind Sigur Rós' live concerts, transformed the Icelandic town of Sey∂isfjör∂ur into an ambient sound installation, placing speakers throughout the town, playing music (from folk to electronica to ambient orchestral) and filming the reactions of the locals as they went about their lives. [more inside]
posted by acb at 10:54 AM PST - 17 comments

One Fast Move or I'm Gone : a documentary of Kerouac's Big Sur features a soundtrack by Ben Gibbard & Jay Farrar.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 10:23 AM PST - 8 comments

Electric Junkyard Gamelan is the brainchild of bandleader and composer Terry Dame, and fuses Dame's passions of composing, inventing and building. Originally inspired by traditional Gamelan music from Bali, the group recycles and repurposes everyday objects into musical instruments. While some of their songs do indeed resemble the hypnotic percussive melodies of a Balinese/Javanese gamelan orchestra (The Nutbutter Challenge), other tunes strike out into new, distinctly urban American directions (Ode to Fred Beans). Following the band's motto, "Reuse, Recycle and ROCK," instruments are fashioned from coat hangers and rubber bands, bed frames, old farm equipment, turntable platters, clay pots, saw blades and truck springs. The "Big Barp" rubber-band harp makes a particularly unusual sound. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 10:07 AM PST - 5 comments

The Pekar Project started a couple of months ago from Smith Magazine; it posts new webcomics every other week by Harvey Pekar and one of four artists, like "Pekar and Crumb: Talkin' 'bout Art, plus occasional extras. They just posted a tribute to Harvey's 70th birthday. [Smith Mag's webcomics previously, including Pekar's The Next-Door Neighbor I Don't Know] [via] [more inside]
posted by mediareport at 9:22 AM PST - 9 comments

How To Save Media Jason Ponti from Technology Review offers some suggestions as to how traditional print publishers might save themselves from becoming irrelevant.
posted by reenum at 8:56 AM PST - 30 comments

Colleen lives in New Orleans and makes strange dolls out of polymer clay. She has a blog and an Etsy shop. Here's a short interview. See also Art Dolls Only and the Travelling Doll Project.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:16 AM PST - 21 comments

Surprise, surprise. It's a girl - for the first time. Elinor Ostrom ("for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons") and Oliver E. Williamson ("for his analysis of economic governance, especially the boundaries of the firm") have won the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2009.
posted by jfricke at 5:13 AM PST - 42 comments

October 11

"One more murder, and he's earned himself a detention." Were the movies, the books, the fan-fiction, and the squealing not enough for you? Then perhaps it is time to see Stephanie Meyers's tour de force parodied in musical form. Previous Twilight posts here and here and here.
posted by schroedinger at 10:23 PM PST - 57 comments

the videos of datdatdat.org, Andreas Fischer, artist, designer and director from Berlin:
Palatine
Drone
The Tourist
The Omega Code

datdatdat is part of the We Are Chopchop collective.
posted by boo_radley at 8:14 PM PST - 4 comments

The internet has declared Rot, a 36 year old British Man, to be the winner of a long and torturous decade long search for the ultimate meme. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by sleslie at 8:04 PM PST - 65 comments

How to Tell a Story. "The humorous story is strictly a work of art--high and delicate art-- and only an artist can tell it; but no art is necessary in telling the comic and the witty story; anybody can do it. The art of telling a humorous story--understand, I mean by word of mouth, not print--was created in America, and has remained at home." That Itchy Chick | You Should Have Seen The Old Man [more inside]
posted by Mike Buechel at 7:57 PM PST - 17 comments

The Images of Eyes Gallery exhibits images and paintings of eyes by international artists, featuring work from about 200 artists from Algeria to Zimbabwe. Gallery I contains figurative paintings, oil and watercolor paintings, portraits, charcoal and ink drawings, lithographs, sculpture, digital, and other fine art content. Gallery II exhibits nude paintings, so may be NSFW.
posted by netbros at 5:17 PM PST - 10 comments

Last week in Detroit, where unemployment is close to 30%, one third of all households are in poverty, and whole neighborhoods have been abandoned, chaos ensued as an estimated 15,000 to 30,000 people lined up in the hopes of getting federal aid. 65,000 applications were taken for a new program that will fund only 3,500 people (via).
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 3:50 PM PST - 83 comments

BNP Wives. A 46 minute documentary following three female members of the far-right British National Party.
posted by afx237vi at 3:43 PM PST - 32 comments

Jace Clayton, better known as DJ /Rupture (previously on mefi), interviewed last month for the avclub. He discusses his use of Colombian cumbia music, collaborating with Dutch guitarist Andy Moor of The Ex, and a concept record with his Spanish electro-string quartet Nettle. The concept? Stephen King's The Shining transported to an abandoned luxury hotel in Dubai.
posted by mannequito at 3:12 PM PST - 10 comments

"Which [U.S.] metropolis has the most intelligent residents? The Daily Beast crunched the data on the brainpower of America’s 55 largest cities (w/ video), from first-to-worst." The list. First -- Raleigh-Durham, NC. Worst -- Fresno, CA. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 1:47 PM PST - 99 comments


The Leonardo of Wermsdorf: technical illustrations by Karl Hans (Joachim) Janke
posted by brundlefly at 12:35 PM PST - 7 comments

Against Transparency. "How could anyone be against transparency? Its virtues and its utilities seem so crushingly obvious. But I have increasingly come to worry that there is an error at the core of this unquestioned goodness. We are not thinking critically enough about where and when transparency works, and where and when it may lead to confusion, or to worse. And I fear that the inevitable success of this movement--if pursued alone, without any sensitivity to the full complexity of the idea of perfect openness--will inspire not reform, but disgust. The 'naked transparency movement,' as I will call it here, is not going to inspire change. It will simply push any faith in our political system over the cliff." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 10:35 AM PST - 94 comments

In the light of the Microsoft/Sidekick data disaster, it might be a good time to take a look at just what's happening with Microsoft's half billion dollar investment in Danger. Despite already having a mobile phone operating system (Windows Mobile) and an entire division (Zune) just itching to go head to head with Apple's iPhone. Microsoft decided to turn Danger into a skunkworks for "Project Pink," named, apparently, after the pop star. Now, According to MobileCrunch, the project is two years late, most of the team has left or been fired, Microsoft hasn't managed to create an app store, and the demoralized team is more enamored of their iPhones than their own product. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:18 AM PST - 42 comments

The Fantastic Argoman
posted by vronsky at 8:07 AM PST - 16 comments

Happy Pulaski Day! [more inside]
posted by Aizkolari at 6:51 AM PST - 26 comments

The Origin of The Chipmunks. "Ross Bagdasarian Sr. (who went by the stage name "David Seville") was an actor who appeared in Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window and on Broadway in William Saroyan's Time of Your Life. He wrote novelty dialect songs, including Rosemary Clooney's huge hit "Come On-A My House", and released a few records but his successes never seemed to result in very much money in his pocket. He bought a tape recorder with his last $200 and played around with shifting the speeds, coming up with a novelty song titled "Witch Doctor". He got the single released and two weeks later, he found himself appearing on the Ed Sullivan Show performing the song. The success of "Witch Doctor" gave him the idea of creating characters with sped up voices, so he quickly knocked out a Christmas demo titled "The Chipmunk Song" and took it to record executives Simon "Sy" Waronker, Theodore "Ted" Keep and Alvin "Al" Bennett at Liberty Records." [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 12:30 AM PST - 39 comments

October 10


T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger probably lost all Sidekick users' data. They continue to advise customers to NOT reset their device by removing the battery or letting their battery drain completely, as any personal content that currently resides on your device will be lost.
posted by finite at 10:29 PM PST - 125 comments

Chaos Reigns! [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 10:08 PM PST - 39 comments

After a disastrous experience with international banking, Iceland has a new angle to attract investment. BBC News reports that a company called Verne Global is currently converting an unused warehouse at the former US Navy airbase (Keflavik) near Reykjavik into a carrier neutral datacenter / colocation facility. The promise is abundant carbon-neutral low cost electricity and the lack of need for any air conditioner system. With a mean June/July temperature of only 13C, Iceland can use air side cooling to dissipate the heat generated by densely packed servers. Iceland is not exactly the best place in the world telecom-wise, but it is linked to Europe and North America by the FARICE , DANICE and CANTAT-3 cables.
posted by thewalrus at 9:58 PM PST - 15 comments

While Obama strongly reaffirms his promises to the GLBT community, not everyone is convinced. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 9:10 PM PST - 258 comments

In this corner, Norazo from Korea, singing about Superman, risking one's life, and that wonderful fish the mackerel (sung in an actual fish market). And in the other, DJ Ozma from Japan, singing about Spiderman, drinking, and Age Age Every Night (videos may be NSFW). [more inside]
posted by needled at 7:56 PM PST - 10 comments

Marge: the centerfold 'nuf said
posted by HuronBob at 7:34 PM PST - 82 comments

All those who have gone before you have perished. Star Gard! Retro-shooty platformer for PC and Mac that rethinks character death. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:19 PM PST - 10 comments

Vulgar Army: Octoprop to Octopop is "an informal study into the representation of the Octopus in propaganda and political cartoons, and influence on, or co-option of, popular culture." [more inside]
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 6:18 PM PST - 10 comments

Whether it's trailer hitches or complete rebody customizations; Ford, GM and Dodge all provide guides to body builders or upfitters to make safe and reliable modifications to light and medium duty trucks and vans. The guides contain wiring diagrams; dimensions and specifications (eg: how much weight can you put on your van's roof); emissions information; and information on areas to avoid mounting equipment in for safety. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 5:19 PM PST - 9 comments

Fans of Tacitus's Germania, meet Hermann.
posted by oldleada at 5:08 PM PST - 11 comments

HIV Clock. Masturbating dinosaur wall art. Kitten Head on Amputee. Regretsy posts some of the stranger items offered for sale on Etsy.
posted by permafrost at 1:37 PM PST - 63 comments

Why deny the obvious(,) child? Short film. Romantic Comedy. Paul Simon. Abortion.
posted by pick_the_flowers at 1:02 PM PST - 18 comments

"We ran over 5,000 experiments last year. Probably 10 experiments for every successful launch. We launch on the order of 100 to 120 a quarter. We have dozens of people working just on the measurement part. We have statisticians who know how to analyze data, we have engineers to build the tools. We have at least five or 10 tools where I can go and see here are five bad things that happened." Udi Manber, Google’s vice-president of technology, explains the business of running a search department. "It takes a very, very good engineer about two years to really understand search." From a surprisingly candid series of articles detailing the business of Google, "Can Google Stay on Top of the Web?" [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 12:50 PM PST - 21 comments

The Pacific theatre of World War 2 left many traces behind. The shipwrecks of Chuuk Lagoon are probably the most famous, but they're hardly the primary reminders of former military action present in the day-to-day lives of many Micronesians. [more inside]
posted by barnacles at 12:34 PM PST - 12 comments

Maria Mochnacz, photographer mostly known for her work with PJ Harvey, now has a YouTube channel (Some pictures may be NSFW)
posted by Lanark at 11:57 AM PST - 6 comments

"So why bring up this sore spot in 2009, roughly 16 years after the Jaguar's ill-fated launch? Because as an artifact of video game history, the Jaguar speaks volumes about where we've been, where we are, and where we're going." Linking the past, present, and future: The Atari Jaguar as console artifact [more inside]
posted by joedan at 9:45 AM PST - 33 comments

Anna the Red's Bento Factory presents Where the Wild Things Are (plus part 2), and Just Bento points to a video on how to get up, eat breakfast and get ready for work in 5 mins! More bento. Previous bento.
posted by milquetoast at 9:45 AM PST - 7 comments

Fiddle, accordion, and a singing drummer. Seven minutes and fifty seven seconds of Gypsy music from Ukraine, live in Budapest. The real thing. Totally wailing. Kickass. Técső Banda at Kertem.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:13 AM PST - 23 comments

Remember when your computer just worked? Did you click 'OK' to that recommended update on programs like iTunes, Adobe Reader, or Yahoo Messenger, only to realize that the older version ran faster or had better features? Then Version Download may be your solution. Includes back-level versions of browsers, audio and video, security and anti-virus, FTP, file-sharing and communications software.
posted by netbros at 6:37 AM PST - 59 comments

The Automata Art of Steve Armstrong. Part I, Part II, Part III.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:22 AM PST - 9 comments

"...call your custom class 'Loser'." IT-HE Software has posted its latest anti-walkthrough, this time for The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. [more inside]
posted by fearthehat at 1:53 AM PST - 29 comments

October 9

He was born in Israel, spent four years in Jamaica, studied cinema and worked as a voice actor. Now, at 29, he sings like Janis Joplin and is the first Israeli musician to sign a four-record label with Sony Columbia. Ladies and gentelmen, presenting Asaf Avidan[youtube]. [more inside]
posted by alona at 11:59 PM PST - 23 comments


The psychoanalytic mystique was overwhelming. It was a little bit like the evangelical movement.” How Aaron Beck and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helped increase empiricism in psychotherapy.
posted by Non Prosequitur at 6:05 PM PST - 53 comments

You are a shark. You swim off the coast of Florida. You dive in and out of the water to smash boats, and you can pull jumbo jets out of the sky WITH YOUR TEETH. You are Miami Shark. Via Rockpapershotgun. [more inside]
posted by Decimask at 5:53 PM PST - 58 comments

Violinist Paul Dateh and turntablist Inka One bring it. Violin and turntables, like peanut butter and chocolate. If there are equivalent examples of where music is headed in the 21st century I'd like to see them. For a bit of a background on this, here's an interview with Paul Dateh the violinist. [more inside]
posted by jeremias at 4:17 PM PST - 31 comments

No, it is not Caturday.
posted by Pronoiac at 3:35 PM PST - 63 comments

He wasn't even supposed to perform, but when Michael Jackson took the stage solo at the Motown 25 in 1983, magic. Billie Jean. The moonwalk. The glove. It was one of those moments to remember. So a few years ago a coupla data dancers started The White Glove Tracking Project to commemorate the performance by analyzing the height and size of MJ's iconic white glove throughout, crowdsourcing the project frame by frame for 10,060 frames. Now the dataset is complete, and the Proce55ed magic is thrilling:
Slinky (75mb QT), Stretchy (45mb QT), and Shapely (33mb QT) by MeFi's own James Seo
Speed=Height (QT) by Zach Lieberman
Giant White Glove by Tim Knapen
and more in the gallery.
posted by carsonb at 2:18 PM PST - 28 comments

Split Screen is a blog about      |   From Edwin S. Porter's Life of an American Fireman
the eponymous film technique    |   to Andy Warhol's The Chelsea Girls to Michel Gondry's
and its alternatives, with many   |   Sugar Water (the BEST EVER, imo), split screens have
surprising, intriguing examples.  |   encouraged alternate and ideally unlimited perspecitves.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:11 PM PST - 28 comments

To promote his new CD Whiskey Rebellion one Mojo Nixon is giving away pretty much his entire catalog for free on Amazon. Get it while the gettin's good, since this celebration of all music Mojo lasts for "about three weeks." (previously)
posted by cjorgensen at 2:07 PM PST - 61 comments

24 Hours: The Starck Mix is a unique 24 hour soundtrack, selected, arranged, composed and mixed by Soundwalk for leading French designer Philippe Starck. Whenever you press play, the mix will start from the exact time it is in his current time zone, no matter where in the world he is that day. More soundwalks here. Examples: India, Chanel.
posted by vronsky at 2:04 PM PST - 3 comments

"It began with a photograph. You've seen it. The new Yankee Stadium. The House Next To The House That Ruth Built. The picture showed the most expensive seats empty, with the rest of the stadium packed." Wright Thompson shares his experience splurging on a Legend Suite seat at the new Yankee Stadium. [more inside]
posted by yeti at 1:09 PM PST - 71 comments


To play for a draw, at any rate with White, is to some degree a crime against chess. A Latvian Jew with ectrodactyly and lifelong kidney ailments, Mikhail Tal is considered one of the most audacious attacking players in the game's history. For a quarter century, he held the record of being the youngest man to win the World Championship. And his streak of 95 consecutive games without a loss is unmatched to this day. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 12:11 PM PST - 14 comments


Verner's Law. Ari Hoptman (his website) explains early Germanic sound laws to his young friend Frankie, who has tossed aside his copy of Braune’s Gothic grammar in disgust. If you want to know what makes historical linguists tick, this is a great way to find out. Warning: links to seven-minute YouTube with two sequels; disclaimer: I myself have a copy of Braune’s Gotische Grammatik within arm’s reach and I have spent time reading the Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung, so I may be especially susceptible to jokes about William Jones, the Brothers Grimm, and Danish linguists. [more inside]
posted by languagehat at 11:12 AM PST - 16 comments

Piano Stairs! (Not everyone thinks they're a good idea.) Also see "The Deepest Trash Can". Both videos are from Volkswagon Sweden, whose new English-language website, TheFunTheory is still under construction. But here's the Swedish-language version.
posted by zarq at 9:46 AM PST - 26 comments

A new genomic study posits at least a reliable genetic marker for honey bees subject to Colony Collapse Disorder. [more inside]
posted by paulsc at 8:06 AM PST - 30 comments

Particlasm is home to the browser games of Luke Paakh. He first caught my attention with fine space shoot'em-up Ether War but I also enjoyed his other games, shooter Ether Cannon, tree defending games Phoenix and Shen Long, puzzle game blue and petri dish action game Amoeba. His new game is my favorite. It's called William and Sly and it's a beautiful platformer is about an adorable fox who likes mushrooms and his quest to recharge some runestones with fairyflies.
posted by Kattullus at 6:11 AM PST - 9 comments


October 9th is 한글날, or Hangul Day. Hangul is the Korean alphabet, and it has a fascinating history, so let's celebrate! (YT). Better yet, here are some videos that will help you learn Hangul for yourself: [Introduction] [Advanced] [Hangul Rap!] [Beginner's Vocabulary]
posted by bardic at 3:55 AM PST - 15 comments

Barack Obama wins Nobel Prize for Peace 2009. Isn't this kind of... soon?
posted by NekulturnY at 2:11 AM PST - 705 comments

October 8

When Northern Illinois University entered the national spotlight it was for tragic reasons. One of the university's public faces during the tragedy was University Police Department Chief Donald Grady. Now, the university is conducting a performance review of the chief after he spent three hours berating, yelling at, and trying to bribe a student journalist with a job at the university in exchange for favorable coverage. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 11:38 PM PST - 14 comments

Conquerors 2009 “There are many underhanded ways of making your conker harder. The best is to pass it through a pig." World Conker Champion – Charlie Bray. The World Conker Championships are on this weekend. All the action from last year. previously [1] [2] In other news, a cure for bleeding canker has been found, with a welcome side effect, leaf miners don't like having garlic breath.
posted by tellurian at 10:17 PM PST - 19 comments

1,000,000FPS video of bullet impacts. Stay tuned for the glass, ballistics gel, and bullets impacting each other in the air. [more inside]
posted by Rinku at 9:58 PM PST - 53 comments

From 1988-1994 game designer Richard Garriott ran one of the most elaborate, interactive 'haunted houses in the world from his own house, a sprawling mansion custom built in part to house the event. After 1994 there was a break for Garriott's new house to be built (with more customization just for haunt use). Many had lost hope, but now 15 years later it's back.
posted by djduckie at 9:49 PM PST - 17 comments

A better way to get kids to learn to ride - a single training wheel. The folks at bikecommuters.com liked it too. Available December 1.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan at 7:43 PM PST - 46 comments

A former employee speaks out about what goes on at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation. Namely, the alleged treatment surrounding one of their most famous members on his way into the cryonic chamber. He has a book. They have a statement.
posted by dr_dank at 7:39 PM PST - 48 comments

Ben Ali, co-founder (with his wife Virginia) of Ben's Chili Bowl, died yesterday. Ben's is a favorite spot of politicians, actors, sports figures, and everyday people of all backgrounds. Back story on Ben's and some video of Obama at the bowl. [more inside]
posted by serazin at 6:25 PM PST - 30 comments

Sugar: The Bitter Truth. Robert H. Lustig, Professor of Pediatrics at UCSF, discusses the biochemical properties of fructose and makes the case for why it should be considered, essentially, a poison. [Youtube, 1.5 hours] [more inside]
posted by knave at 6:04 PM PST - 110 comments

"Magellan" by Stephen Crowley may be my favorite superhero comic on the web. The art seems to owe more to Tintin than Marvel or DC. The dialogue and plots are fun. The cast is huge, but the characters are distinctive, and generally charming. If you like Paul Grist's Jack Staff, give this a try. To start at the beginning: here.
posted by shetterly at 4:33 PM PST - 11 comments

Poet Robert Pinsky presents an appreciation (and reading) of the most famous section of Christopher Smart's "Jubilate Agno" (1759-1763) -- the (epic) fragment devoted to the spiritual consideration of the institutionalized Smart's sole constant companion for the years of his confinement: Jeoffry (his cat). [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:11 PM PST - 19 comments

Australian television show "Hey Hey It's Saturday" is currently back on the air after a few decades, running a series of reunion shows, and the other night a group that had been on the show in the 80s came back with the same act, in blackface. [more inside]
posted by barnacles at 3:42 PM PST - 216 comments

"Demon's Souls, an Atlus-published action-RPG out this week on the PS3, is way too hard for you. We say this without knowing a thing about your skills and with no equivocation." Demon's Souls was released this week in North America, and its reviewers are coming to terms with its staggering difficulty level. [more inside]
posted by Prospero at 3:32 PM PST - 59 comments

On July 31 of this year, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) introduced H.R. 3501, a bill aimed at granting tax deductions to owners of companion animals. Known as the HAPPY Act — Humanity and Pets Partnered Through the Years — it would create a deduction of up to $3,500 on federal tax returns for the care of "qualified" pets, defined as "legally owned, domesticated, and live animals." As of yet, there are no co-sponsors. So did McCotter introduce the bill due to being a genuine supporter of animal protections, or is this one Republican's way of trying to ensure taxpayers get to keep more of their money? Either way, the ASPCA approves, as do actors Leo Grillo and Robert Davi. via
posted by lovermont at 3:29 PM PST - 37 comments

Family Guy Corn Maze. Walk among the rows with Brian and Stewie.
posted by jeremy b at 2:38 PM PST - 29 comments

You can blame Gilbert Gottfried, or you can blame Fark, but either way a website was born that pissed Glenn Beck off enough that he sicced his lawyers on Isaac Eiland-Hall. The First Amendment protects Eiland-Hall, so Beck's lawyers are trying an end run on the Constitution by petitioning the ICANN to give rights to the website glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com to Beck. Eiland-Hall's lawyer Marc J. Randazza responds in a well-written and hilarious brief. (via) (previously) [more inside]
posted by cjorgensen at 2:01 PM PST - 102 comments


From the Prints & Photographs Division Library of Congress - browse through more than 1900 World War I posters. You can also search or look by subject heading. [via] [more inside]
posted by cashman at 11:48 AM PST - 8 comments

On October 9th, NASA spacecraft will run into the moon, and on purpose. The Lunar Crater Observation and Sensing Satellite (LCROSS) and its rocket's Centaur upper stage will impact the moon, with the goal of sending some of the (possibly present) ice above the lunar surface. Once out of the eternal shade of the moon's south pole, sunlight will break the ice up into H+ and OH- molecules, which can be detected by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO). The initial impact site was the crater Cabeus A, but the target was later changed to Cabeus (proper), selected for highest hydrogen concentrations with the greatest level of certainty, and for the high-contrast back drop to detect ejecta and vapor measurements. NASA has provided guides for amateur observations of the impact, a facebook group, and a Twitter feed so you don't miss the moment.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:55 AM PST - 53 comments

Douglas Crockford, who oversaw the porting of Maniac Mansion to the NES, would like for you to know how the game changed in the porting process and why.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:27 AM PST - 59 comments

I Just Made Love shows on the map of the world places where people just made love.
posted by nam3d at 10:00 AM PST - 60 comments

"It's big, like people were back in the 70s... Big when you get that way because you're just real damn strong." Brought to you from the Wichita Falls Athletic Club, 70sbig.com will teach you how to eat, how to train, and how to style your moustache so that you can get 70s big. Not interested in becoming 70s big? Then stop by and observe the amazing feats of those who were, like weightlifter Anatoly Pisarenko, who cleaned and jerked 583 pounds, or powerlifter Doug Young, who deadlifted 711 pounds in competition despite three broken ribs. The site also feature a series of cheeky interviews with Mark Rippetoe, owner of WFAC and author of books like Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training and Practical Programming for Strength Training.
posted by ludwig_van at 9:52 AM PST - 48 comments

An 18-year-old outlaw in Washington State had been a police target for years. He's now really into stealing and crashing planes, and of course has a Facebook Fan Page. He evades the police by disappearing into the woods, Robin Hood-style.
posted by jasonsmall at 9:00 AM PST - 65 comments

Vincent van Gogh's letters have been published online before, but never like this. In facsimile, when wanted. And accompanied by images of the drawings and paintings he was writing about. Sided by a weblog too. [more inside]
posted by ijsbrand at 8:48 AM PST - 9 comments

132 keys, two strip controllers and a breath pipe. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Eigenharp, instrument of the future.
posted by permafrost at 8:24 AM PST - 26 comments

Schrödinger’s Rapist: or a guy’s guide to approaching strange women without being maced.
posted by kimdog at 8:06 AM PST - 844 comments

"It is a scene etched in film history. ...the drowning of the little girl in Frankenstein was a truly transgressive moment in a film already overloaded with gruesome happenings. Actor Boris Karloff protested, as did audiences and critics when the film previewed. The scene was jettisoned, cutting off suddenly as The Monster reaches for the child." John Cox went looking for the spot where this scene was shot, join him in The Return to Malibou Lake. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 6:31 AM PST - 14 comments

David Hockney's iPhone passion. Audio slide show commentary by critic Lawrence Weschler to accompany his article in the New York Review of Books about Hockney's iPhone paintings using the Brushes feature. Weschler talks more about Hockney's artistic project in this NYRB podcast.
posted by Rain Man at 6:14 AM PST - 12 comments

The End of Fish - maybe it's finally time for an environmental accounting, cuz the 'bill' is coming due; stocks and flows, folks.
posted by kliuless at 5:43 AM PST - 74 comments

This year's Nobel Laureate in Literature is Romanian born author Herta Müller, who writes in German, as predicted yesterday by M. A. Orthofer of The Complete Review and Literary Saloon. Here's an interview with Herta Müller and a short bio.
posted by Kattullus at 4:10 AM PST - 38 comments

The Times Higher Education Supplement's World University Rankings for 2009 are out.
posted by louigi at 2:19 AM PST - 78 comments

October 7

You may have heard Walt Whitman on TV recently. A 39-second recording from 1890 is possibly an early Edison recording of Walt Whitman reading his poem America. Now, the recording is being used in a Levi's campaign [YouTube version] (the Whitman poem "Pioneers" in the second commercial is read by the blacklisted actor who once played Grandpa Walton); a campaign which some critics think is far too romantic for today's jaded youth.
posted by blahblahblah at 9:44 PM PST - 89 comments


"The quest to undercut fashion’s standards of perfection, and to find beauty in the disdained, overlooked or overripe, runs throughout Mr. Penn’s career. In an otherwise pristine still life of food, he included a house fly, and in a 1959 close-up, he placed a beetle in a model’s ear." So long, Irving Penn.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:22 PM PST - 20 comments

DSLR News Shooter is a new photo site featuring the use of the latest HD-dSLRs like the Canon Eos5DmkII, 7D and Nikon D300s for news, documentary and factual shooting. By Guardian news photographer Dan Chung, it's a place for professionals, educators, students and industry figures to discuss the practice and the art of cinematic photography in documenting the real world. For example, the time-lapse and slow-motion film of the recent 60th anniversary parade of the PRC. Other places to look for information and discussion of DSLR video are the Planet5D blog, and filmmakers such as Vincent Laforet and Phillip Bloom. (previous 1, 2)
posted by netbros at 5:34 PM PST - 32 comments

"QSL cards confirm either a two-way radiocommunication between two amateur radio stations or a one-way reception of a signal from an AM radio, FM radio, television or shortwave broadcasting station. They can also confirm the reception of a two-way radiocommunication by a third party listener. A typical QSL card is the same size and made from the same material as a typical postcard, and most are sent through the mail as such." Here's a substantial collection of them.
posted by dersins at 3:19 PM PST - 43 comments

The Hay in Art Database lists 6,779 works of art related to hay, such as images of haystacks (Rembrandt, Monet, Lichtenstein) or hay workers (Van Gogh, Picasso). The accompanying blog has essays exploring various themes of hay in art, including hay on water, hay in winter, and rolls in the hay. There is even an introduction to the poetry of hay.
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:35 PM PST - 19 comments

"Gaza Love Story: The Bride Who Crawled Through a Tunnel" "He lived in the Gaza Strip, she in the West Bank. It seemed as though the Israeli blockade would prevent their marriage. Then May risked her life to crawl through a smugglers' tunnel into Gaza and join Mohammed. Now they face an uncertain future together."
posted by shetterly at 1:19 PM PST - 14 comments

The British Columbia Civil Liberties Association has filed suit against the City of Vancouver over a recently enacted 2010 Olympic bylaw which the BCCLA claims limits free speech and is in violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [more inside]
posted by futureproof at 12:42 PM PST - 57 comments

The Speaking Piano, and Transforming Audio to MIDI - Austrian Composer Peter Ablinger has transformed a child speaking so that it can be played as MIDI events on a mechanically-controlled piano, making the piano a kind of speech speaker.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:32 AM PST - 53 comments

In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this week marked the unveiling of French marionette troupe Royal de Luxe's latest open-air theatre work, The Berlin Reunion. The story is of a young giantess and her uncle, attempting to reunite in the city of Berlin after the uncle destroyed a great sea wall that was thrown up by monsters.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 10:56 AM PST - 19 comments

"We’ve processed the messaging habits of almost a million people and are about to basically prove that, despite what you might’ve heard from the Obama campaign and organic cereal commercials, racism is alive and well." The people who run the dating site OkCupid continue to analyze the aggregate data of their users, shedding light on preferences and behavior. The most recent OkTrends post takes a look at their compiled racial data: Your Race Affects Whether People Write You Back. (previously 1 2)
posted by naju at 10:42 AM PST - 459 comments

"At 83, he has lived through one third of the lifespan of the United States. If anyone incarnates the American century that has ended, it is him. He was America's greatest essayist, one of its best-selling novelists and the wit at every party. He holidayed with the Kennedys, cruised for men with Tennessee Williams, was urged to run for Congress by Eleanor Roosevelt, co-wrote some of the most iconic Hollywood films, damned US foreign policy from within, sued Truman Capote, got fellated by Jack Kerouac, watched his cousin Al Gore get elected President and still lose the White House, and – finally, bizarrely – befriended and championed the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh." Johann Hari meets Gore Vidal
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 8:49 AM PST - 111 comments

Winter 1900. You are in Dawson, Alaska. The Klondike Gold Rush is fading. Suddenly... news from Nome - Gold Strike! (on the beach of all things) You are snowed-in at Dawson, and recovering from tetanus. You have to get to Nome before the thousands of other gold seekers. What to do? How about hopping on your bike and riding the 1200 miles across snow and river ice!!! [more inside]
posted by ecorrocio at 8:20 AM PST - 21 comments

"At Jewish Delis, Times Are as Lean as Good Corned Beef" [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 7:28 AM PST - 62 comments

R.I.P. Mr. Magic. Mr. Magic's Rap Attack on WBLS was the first and for some time the only commercial radio outlet for hip hop. On October 2 Mr. Magic, John Rivas, passed from a heart attack. Previously 1 2 3.
posted by caddis at 7:05 AM PST - 16 comments

Michelle Cottle takes a look at the rise of Betsy "Death Panels" McCaughey - No Exit: The never-ending lunacy of Betsy McCaughey: Since her earliest days in the spotlight, McCaughey has presented herself as a just-the-facts-please, above-the-fray political outsider. In reality, she has proved devastatingly adept at manipulating charts and stats to suit her ideological (and personal) ambitions. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 12:01 AM PST - 48 comments

October 6

On October 7, 1952, the first patent [PDF] for a barcode was issued. Today, Google is celebrating the anniversary with a special logo. Why not generate your own or find out how they work. In addition to generally making things easier, barcodes also have to power to mesmerize world leaders.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:47 PM PST - 49 comments

Make A Monster! Just one of many activities over at Universal Leonardo (previously).
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 11:44 PM PST - 3 comments

Canadian actor William Shatner continues to diversify his cultural contributions in two recent documentaries making the rounds on the film festival circuit entitled: How William Shatner Changed the World (youtube trailer) and William Shatner's Gonzo Ballet (youtube clip).
posted by rumbles at 11:31 PM PST - 32 comments

The James Koetting Ghana Field Recordings has 142 reels of Ghanaian music, almost all of which have more than one track, collected by ethnomusicologist James Koetting. There is a glossary of musical terms should you want to know a bit more about Ghanaian music and Koetting's notebooks should you want to know a whole lot more. All the music is wonderful but here are a few that stood out to me. Here are two tracks featuring postal workers whistling over a rhythm beat with scissors and stampers. Flute and drum ensemble. Brass band blues. And finally, twenty teenage girls singing over some nice rhythms. [requires RealPlayer]
posted by Kattullus at 8:01 PM PST - 35 comments

Vic Walczak, legal director for the Pennsylvania ACLU, sees the FBI's action as pure "intimidation," and part of a "much bigger war on demonstrators" in Pittsburgh. [more inside]
posted by acro at 7:25 PM PST - 69 comments

Botchamania is a series of fan-created, professional wrestling video mashups that showcases the physical slip ups, bad commentary and interviews, and bizarre aspects of wrestling.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 6:56 PM PST - 41 comments

"This may truly be the most important new painting of the twenty first century." The McNaughton Fine Art Company presents "One Nation Under God" [cache], an... interesting take on American history in a nifty zoom interface. Artist John McNaughton, who calls himself "the only living artist in the world today" to practice the Barbizon School of French Impressionism, has an extensive body of less opinionated work for you to admire. Interview. Character list.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:29 PM PST - 305 comments


The Lumière brothers, Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and Louis Jean, were among the earliest filmmakers. Their father, Claude-Antoine Lumière, ran a photographic firm and both brothers worked for him. It was not until their father retired in 1892 that the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented a number of significant processes leading up to their film camera — most notably film perforations as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector, and the cinématographe. Their first public screening of films at which admission was charged was held on December 28, 1895 in Paris. This history-making presentation featured ten short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory). Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 5:14 PM PST - 11 comments

Clips from each six episodes of BBC's Walk on the Wild Side, which involves the overdubbing of voices to natural history footage. 1 2 3 4 5 6
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:49 PM PST - 16 comments

Time for the morning jolt delivered by the dark nectar of the gods? Ok fine, but shouldn't you know what's in that cup of coffee?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:23 PM PST - 57 comments

LIFE magazine presents: 30 Dumb Inventions of the 1950s and 60s. via laughing squid.
posted by serazin at 4:18 PM PST - 82 comments

Laura Mae Gross, founder and owner of Babe's and Ricky's Inn in Leimert Park (a gem of an artistic community in Los Angeles), died this past Saturday. [more inside]
posted by pazazygeek at 3:23 PM PST - 2 comments

In the bright and shiny future, we all live in cities under giant domes, green and warm all the year round - a sort of Logan’s Run, but without the forced euthanasia. It almost happened in, of all places, in Winooski, an old mill town in northern Vermont. [more inside]
posted by daniel_charms at 1:42 PM PST - 33 comments

Robert Yang on the homophobic response to his Half-Life 2 mod Handle With Care.
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM PST - 145 comments

It’s the 70s, you’re Czech, sassy, and your future is bright. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:35 PM PST - 16 comments

Birth of a Notion: Implicit Social Cognition and the "Birther" Movement asks why 'white Europeans are more “American”' to many people than nonwhite Americans and includes details like this: "Horne was asked to give two concerts at Camp Robinson in Alabama, one to white servicemen, the second to black GIs. But she refused to do the second one when she saw that black Americans were sent to the back of the theater. Who got the good seats up front? German prisoners of war." Institutional Racism Ignored notes “racial bias in conviction rates and length of sentences of both juvenile and criminal courts,” “direct discriminatory practices in housing…as well as in mortgage lending,” and in the educational system, “racial bias in the type of disciplinary action given to white or minority students.” Tucson schools create race-based system of discipline and Tucson Arizona school discipline policy is not racist; Alan Keyes is right address one anti-racist solution. But anyone interested in racial justice should note The Queer, "Racist" Case of the Spank-Happy Judge.
posted by shetterly at 12:18 PM PST - 58 comments



Isabella Sinclaire isn't just a world-famous dominatrix. She's also owner of two film distribution companies, an accomplished director of high-quality fetish videos, and is now a pitch-person for Lynda Resnick's Wonderful Pistachios. (NSFW)
posted by valkane at 7:27 AM PST - 73 comments

October 5

Producing the spider silk—the only example of its kind displayed anywhere in the world—involved the efforts of 70 people who collected spiders daily from webs on telephone wires, using long poles. A unique piece of golden yellow silk brocade cloth, woven from spiderwebs, is on display at the Museum of Natural History in New York. To harvest enough silk to make the cloth, more than a million female golden orb spiders were collected in Madagascar, "milked" for silk, and released back into the wild. The golden spider silk was woven by Malagasy artisans into lamba Akotifahana, a type of brocade that is traditionally reserved for the aristocracy; the entire process took 4 years. [more inside]
posted by Quietgal at 8:57 PM PST - 88 comments


Uncle Grandpa!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 8:15 PM PST - 49 comments


My Parents Were Awesome Before the fanny packs and Andrea Bocelli concerts, your parents (and grandparents) were once free-wheeling, fashion-forward, and super awesome.
posted by xingcat at 5:51 PM PST - 128 comments

Appalachia Ohio is home to an eclectic mix of individuals united by a common sense of place. Through photography, video, audio, text and interactive graphics, Soul of Athens reveals the spirit of this unique community. Produced by students at Ohio University's School of Visual Communication. (2008, 2007)
posted by netbros at 4:34 PM PST - 9 comments

War Dances: “I wanted to call my father and tell him that a white man thought my brain was beautiful”. Sherman Alexie doing his thing in The New Yorker, excerpted from his upcoming book (early review; interview 1, 2.)
posted by Non Prosequitur at 1:36 PM PST - 45 comments

Upcoming Flash CS5 will allow you to publish iPhone Apps. Today at Adobe MAX, Adobe announced that the upcoming Flash CS5 will allow you to build and export Flash Content as an iPhone App. This is not the same as Flash coming to the iPhone, it just means that instead of writing apps in Objective-C, folks can use ActionScript 3. Designers everywhere are already buzzing:perhaps time to re-purpose all those old intro screens? Perhaps the real question is: Do consumers win or lose?
posted by jeremias at 12:29 PM PST - 169 comments


"Common images are bearded, goblin-like demons laughing or whispering sinister speech, a faceless girl (usually covering her face with hair, moving around in bed moaning and feeling my body), hands appearing from the wall and attempting to strangle me. A hung man talking in the corner of the room, and some of the most bizarre experiences may include up to a dozen 'critter' entities (think Gremlins movie) laughing and talking about me. The environment tends to feel like a holographic dollhouse, the experience peaks and then the hallucinations mysteriously vanish when I regain control of my body."- The bizarre world of sleep paralysis, a form of hypnagogia and root of many folkloric figures such as succubi or incubi and the night hag.
posted by Artw at 12:07 PM PST - 80 comments

Mazen had had his pectoral muscles cut off. There were two drill holes in Namir’s left leg, below the knee. Both had been shot in the head, apparently from close range. “Two young men were killed on Thursday,” an unnamed Sadr City official told the Reuters news agency in a story published that same day. “They were sexual deviants. Their tribes killed them to restore their family honor.” How a few New Yorkers are trying to save the hunted gay men of Iraq.
posted by hermitosis at 11:38 AM PST - 62 comments


The Conservative Bible Project. Rod Dreher of Belief.net offers further analysis of a budding new Wiki project to rewrite the Holy Bible to eliminate what some young conservatives apparently now view as liberal bias in the scriptures (via Harpers).
posted by saulgoodman at 11:32 AM PST - 304 comments

The Gardens will put in place a pervasive garden ambience and quality living environment from which Singapore's downtown will rise, and steer Singapore to the forefront of the world's leading global cities. (via)
posted by Joe Beese at 10:29 AM PST - 11 comments

The Social Media Guru (SLYT)
posted by geekyguy at 10:12 AM PST - 19 comments

Listeners to NPR have probably heard the blurb: "Support for NPR comes from the estate of Richard Leroy Walters, whose life was enriched by NPR, and whose bequest seeks to encourage others to discover public radio." Nothing too out of the ordinary. Except Richard Leroy Walters was homeless.
posted by kmz at 9:11 AM PST - 54 comments

"We present a system that composes a realistic picture from a simple freehand sketch annotated with text labels." PhotoSketch takes simple drawings and makes composite photos.
posted by Pope Guilty at 9:00 AM PST - 44 comments

Wall Street's Version of Flip This House. How private-equity ran Simmons to the ground.
posted by reformedjerk at 8:58 AM PST - 40 comments

Caveman Science Fiction. Me Go Too Far! Me Am Play Gods! [more inside]
posted by WCityMike at 8:55 AM PST - 25 comments

Native American Sites in the City of Philadelphia is a superbly illustrated exposition of the historical development of Philadelphia, with a focus on those few surviving Native American sites which lie under the urban fabric. Lots more excellent Public Archaeology is available from the Philadelphia Archaeological Forum. Bonus link: Philly's lost creeks and streams. [more inside]
posted by Rumple at 8:08 AM PST - 12 comments



"X or Y" Quizzes have been an Internet Mainstay since the first time a nerd noticed similarities between the names of sci-fi aliens and programming languages. While finding those earliest examples is beyond my Google-Fu skills (YOU try a search for 'x or y quiz'), here's a more recent example,"Web 2.0 or Star Wars?". MeFites who enjoyed the recent "Font or Cheese" quiz may have been unaware of the related "Band Name or Font" quiz. MentalFloss.com has frequently engaged in this kind of quizzery, either raising it to an art, or jumping it into the shark's mouth (Star Trek Character or Erectile Disfunction Pill, Harry Potter Character or Skin Disease, Moon-Landing Astronaut or Pro Golfer, Ben & Jerry's Flavor or Pottery Barn Paint Color) And just in case you thought this was a 'guy thing', try your luck at "New Perfume or Soap Opera Character?"

But the "x or y quiz to end all x or y quizzes" has just been put online by some terminally snarky t-shirt salesmen, with tongues in their cheeks and hands down their pants (obviously NSFW), it's "Pornstar Or Potato?"
posted by wendell at 5:18 AM PST - 51 comments

October 4

Google CEO Eric Schmidt gave a talk at the Newspaper Association of America convention on April 9, 2009 in San Diego. He speaks about how Google and newspapers might co-exist in the future. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 11:20 PM PST - 78 comments

RunMan: Race Around the World is a donationware PC platformer made of bright colors and public domain folk, blues and jazz. The trailers (final and preview) are made of happiness. The download page is here. (via RPS) [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:47 PM PST - 6 comments

The model of the new media model (video), Leo Laporte talks to the Online News Association about new media and the origins of TechTV, ZDTv, and TWiT. (via)
posted by blue_beetle at 10:28 PM PST - 14 comments

50 years ago today, IBM announced the 1401 Data Processing System. Originally designed as a spooling system for the larger machines, the 1401 became very popular as a mainframe in its own right, eventually being called 'The Model T of Computers'. By the end of 1961, the number of 1401s installed in the United States alone had reached 2,000 - representing about one fourth of all computers installed by all manufacturers at that time. 15- 20,000 were eventually built. The Computer History Museum in Mountain View is having a 50th anniversary celebration on November 10th. Here's what $125,600 (or $2500/month rent) would get you: [more inside]
posted by MtDewd at 9:53 PM PST - 52 comments

Mercedes Sosa, a beloved Argentinian folk singer, passed away today. Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has ordered an official period of mourning. [more inside]
posted by lunit at 9:44 PM PST - 13 comments

Photographer captures citizens' arrest of alleged purse-snatcher (video, slight graphic violence)
posted by desjardins at 6:53 PM PST - 174 comments

Playgrounds from years gone by. Bonus. Previous playground stuff and stories on mefi.
posted by cashman at 6:22 PM PST - 37 comments


Our biotech century: the noocytes are coming... (previously)
posted by kliuless at 1:23 PM PST - 25 comments

Stephen Harper, Canada's Prime Minister, sings "With A Little Help From My Friends" at a gala last night in Ottawa with Yo Yo Ma and the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Harper survived a confidence vote this week with a little help from his former sworn enemies.
posted by salishsea at 12:25 PM PST - 43 comments

Why the Chinese support the Communist party Interviews with four elderly Chinese. Among the answers: "We used to live in a tiny house, over ten people all together, just a place of over ten square metres. Now I often say to my husband that life has been totally different for our grandchildren, not only from ours, but from their parents too. They have nothing to worry about, no need to worry about food, clothes."
posted by shetterly at 11:26 AM PST - 52 comments

Inside Chernobyl Sarcophagus (1996). Deep inside the sarcophagus, a remarkable group of Soviet physicists is at work in levels of radiation that would be considered almost suicidal in the West. [more inside]
posted by Monsters at 10:26 AM PST - 42 comments

"The What Cheer House catered to men only, permitted no liquor on the premises, and housed San Francisco's first free library and first museum." Opened in 1852 by Robert B. Woodward it became immensely popular. "[S]ailors enjoyed staying there... [he] was such a well-liked man that they would often bring him trinkets from around the world when they’d come to town. For Woodward, these gifts were the beginning of what would become a life-long obsession with collecting." He moved the collection and opened Woodward's Gardens in 1866 between Mission and Valencia at 13th-15th streets. Called the Central Park of the West, it was San Francisco's most famous public resort. [more inside]
posted by jessamyn at 10:25 AM PST - 23 comments


Most of Africa, India and the developing world depends on innovative and inventive people coming up with ways to make a living with no cash and next to no resources. Fritz Schumacher ( wiki ) was an internationally influential economic thinker with a professional background as a statistician and economist whose 1973 book "Small is beautiful" - Economics as if People Mattered; is among the 100 most influential books published since World War II ( Review ). There are links to several articles, Essays and Videos on the Schumacher Society webpage including the Essay "Buddhist Economics". He was a founder of the Charity Practical Action. ( Related 1; 2 )
posted by adamvasco at 8:31 AM PST - 14 comments

One hamburger sent a 23 year-old woman into a coma for nine weeks. When she awoke, she could no longer walk. A lengthy expose in the NYTimes follows the secretive chain of events bringing E. coli into her life. Contemporary carnivores read at your own risk... [more inside]
posted by pjenks at 7:51 AM PST - 157 comments

Plumbers Don't Wear Ties, the legendarily awful 3DO game, is now fully playable on YouTube. It is a (barely) "Interactive Romantic Comedy," whose main selling point is its "17+" rating for innuendo, language, and censored nudity. (Walkthrough inside) [more inside]
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:48 AM PST - 29 comments

Eel slap.
posted by slater at 5:06 AM PST - 70 comments


October 3

A companion to one of Europe's most eminent prehistoric monuments has been discovered just a mile away. Bluehenge has the same rough configuration as its sister site, Stonehenge, but with 27 stones instead of 56. It is speculated that the stones of Bluehenge may have been moved to aid in the making of Stonehenge. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser at 11:41 PM PST - 43 comments

"They spent the entire weekend licking the underside of the airbags. Or sowing oats with the pepperoni calzone. Or Martinizing the Twinkie. Or messaging* the hand grenade. The Euphemismator provides randomly-generated euphemisms (like the previously MeFi-ed Always Amusing Euphemism Generator, but with the option to 'lock' parts of the phrase to seek out the best combinations). Or try out the more comlex algorithm of Toykeeper.net's Euphemism Generator. Politics has even gotten involved with the Obama-Matic (TM) Content-Free Euphemism Generator (funnier than 99% of right-wing humor, but isn't there anybody in the Teabag Blogoshpere who can automate it, like somebody did to Wondermark's Genre-Fiction Generator [previously here]?) [more inside]
posted by wendell at 5:34 PM PST - 33 comments

The British postcode system, one of the things which Britain arguably does better than anyone else, is 50 years old. The system divides the entire UK into alphanumeric postal districts organised in a hierarchy, with the first one or two letters denoting a postal area (typically a city or the environs of one, though London has several). Unlike systems elsewhere (such as the US, Australia, and most of Europe), it doesn't stop at the neighbourhood level, with each 5-to-7-character full postcode denoting a segment of a street. This makes it useful for applications other than addressing mail, such as navigation; as such, you can enter a postcode into Google Maps or a satellite navigation unit and be shown exactly where it refers to. [more inside]
posted by acb at 3:40 PM PST - 126 comments

Anne Frank - The only known film image of Anne Frank from July 22, 1941, a year later she went into hiding.
posted by HuronBob at 2:31 PM PST - 60 comments

Awesome Action Joe commercials.
posted by MegoSteve at 2:05 PM PST - 18 comments

Stage plays for nothin'! If you live in or plan to visit one of the 120 American cities participating in Free Night of Theater, then log on, find a show, and get one of the free tickets before they're gone. Simple. [more inside]
posted by Lesser Shrew at 12:36 PM PST - 20 comments

Tim Langdell started Edge games in Pasadena in 1990. The studio has produced no games, and has instead made a name for itself as a trademark troll: it attempts to sue almost anyone (flickr) who dares to use the word "edge" in their titles. Recently, the tables have turned, when Electronic Arts asked the United States to cancel all trademarks associated with Langdell, after Langdell attempted to claim copyright for the title Mirror's Edge. [more inside]
posted by hnnrs at 11:27 AM PST - 55 comments

Craving some speedy, accurately prepared, clearly enunciated junk food with a typographically proper menu? QSR has released their yearly Best Drive Thru rankings, with reports for speed of service, order accuracy, speaker clarity, and menuboard appearance. Overall description of the survey, survey questions and demographics, and Methodology (via the consumerist and chicago trib)
posted by aerotive at 10:31 AM PST - 39 comments

For those of you who haven't been following the ongoing saga of Cambodia's Biting Monk, the Department of Cults and Religious Affairs failed to find sufficient evidence to defrock him and passed the matter on to the monk management board. After two weeks of silence, the accused monk denied the charges. However, there are those who claim the the monk is protected by his fearsome street rep.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:05 AM PST - 26 comments

The First Bank of the United States was Americas first attempt at forming a Central Bank. Inaugurated by Congress in 1791, it was followed by The Second Bank of the United States, which was dissolved in 1836.

And then The United States of America was without a Central Bank for 77 years. [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 4:31 AM PST - 54 comments

Whether it is seasonal flu or novel H1N1, people have been touting the need to wash hands often. Some evidence suggests that since the virus is airborne, washing hands may not be the most effective strategy to prevent it. This evidence is hard to swallow by some.
posted by reverenddrjice at 4:13 AM PST - 58 comments

Marek Edelman dies aged 90. A leader of the Jewish Fighting Organisation in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, Dr. Edelman survived to later fight in the 1944 Warsaw Uprising and in the post-war years was a key figure in preserving the memory of his fallen comrades-in-arms.
posted by Abiezer at 12:54 AM PST - 24 comments

October 2


Understanding the Anxious Mind. A good article on the psychology of anxiety and how an anxious temperament at birth can ebb and flow during one's lifetime. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 6:16 PM PST - 22 comments

This year's winners of the Ig Nobel prizes are a bumper crop of wild and crazy SCIENCE!, featuring sword-swallowing, knuckle-cracking, benefits of cow-naming, pregnant women NOT tipping over, a household use for giant panda poop (take that, Packham), diamonds made from tequila, a brassiere that can be used as TWO gas masks, "Ireland's Worst Driver", Icelandic banks, Zimbabwean currency, and a 'Peace Prize' earned by hitting people over the heads with beer bottles (and comparing the effects of empty vs. full bottles) (related inquiry)
posted by wendell at 4:55 PM PST - 23 comments

Dig! Destroy The System. The entire film about the Brian Jonestown Massacre's rivalry with the Dandy Warhols (after a 30 second ad). One week only on Pitchfork TV.
posted by msalt at 3:25 PM PST - 56 comments

Being a same-sex, taxpaying couple is more expensive, overall, than being a straight, taxpaying couple, for the same services and benefits, when available.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:21 PM PST - 62 comments

The pitch was extravagent: a man-made archipelago of 300 islands constructed to approximate the land masses of Earth, located 4 kilometers off the coast of Dubai. Claim part of The World for your own, or as an investment. Angelina Jolie And Brad Pitt bought Ethiopia, Tommy Lee bought Greece for ex-wife Pamela Anderson, David Beckham and Rod Stewart were each rumored to have bought an island, joining other celebrities who had purchased part of The World. The environmental impact of World-creation was raised, and Sir Richard Branson warned that the islands would be submerged in 50 years if global governments did not address climate change. The warning in 2007 did not dissuade the developers, and the final rock was placed in the breakwater in January 2008. The end of The World has not been brought about by rising tides, but financial woes have put the development on long-term hold, potentially ending the project. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 2:54 PM PST - 47 comments


VeganMoFo 2009! Started as a riff on NaNoWriMo, Veganmofo challenges food blogs to go vegan for October. Kitteekake is hosting the index. If you've ever been curious about vegan cooking, it's a damn fine place to start. via. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston at 12:36 PM PST - 246 comments

Seeking to be the first Green Olympics, Brazil wins its bid to be the first ever South American nation to host the 2016 games. [more inside]
posted by msali at 12:03 PM PST - 108 comments

Stargate Universe ("SGU") premieres this evening in the US and Canada, on 10/6 in the UK and Ireland and in Australia on 10/9. Billed as "military scifi," the series is reportedly less campy than its predecessors and uses thematic elements which will seem familiar to Battlestar Galactica fans. Preview trailer. For US viewers, Hulu will be streaming the show a day after it airs. Reviews are mixed. Wikipedia.
posted by zarq at 11:48 AM PST - 100 comments


We think it’s normal to work all day every day at a dead-end job. It’s normal to fight with our spouses and our children. It’s normal to eat and drink and drug ourselves to escape, to veg out and stare at a screen for hours a day just to dull the pain. It’s normal to hate our lives and be miserable, it’s normal to be lonely, it’s normal to feel hollow. The Freak Revolution Manifesto.
posted by fiercecupcake at 10:01 AM PST - 97 comments



Panoramic shots of people doing yoga in Umag, Croatia taken at sunset (1 2 3) and one in the morning. (Previously)
posted by gman at 8:50 AM PST - 11 comments

Googling for the Piratebay brings up less results than before, and no front page at all, as well as give you an interesting notice at the bottom of the page - "In response to a complaint we received under the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, we have removed 16 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read the DMCA complaint that caused the removal(s) at ChillingEffects.org." The notice is unavailable.
posted by dabitch at 4:43 AM PST - 115 comments


October 1

We welcome anyone to visit our town! There are no commandos in the streets. There is no fence or gate being built around Hardin. People are free to come and go as they please. APF is not running our town or our police force. [more inside]
posted by mek at 11:03 PM PST - 128 comments

Fundable.com is closed permanently. According to the site's current index, there is bad blood between the two founders of the site, Louis Helm and John Pratt. The recent story of Mary Robinette Kowal being ripped off was apparently the final straw. [more inside]
posted by clockworkjoe at 8:51 PM PST - 116 comments

High court serves first injunction via Twitter. [more inside]
posted by puckish at 8:08 PM PST - 18 comments


CGI-brows (link goes to video on Vimeo which contains a naughty word but is otherwise SFW.) A short mockumentary about extreme emoting through SFX by RocketSausage (Dir. Andrew Gaynord) which has won the Virgin Media Shorts People's Choice Award for 2009.
posted by planetkyoto at 7:04 PM PST - 12 comments

Zaytuna College in Berkeley, CA will accept its first students in the fall of 2010 or 2011. Founded by Sheik Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir, it will be the first accredited Islamic college in the United States, open to men and women of all religions.
posted by escabeche at 6:01 PM PST - 60 comments

'You are being shagged by a rare parrot'. Stephen Fry and zoologist Mark Carwardine have been revisiting the animals on the edge of extinction which Douglas Adams described in Last Chance to See. Here they make the acquaintance of an amorous kakapo.
posted by homunculus at 5:53 PM PST - 29 comments


An article in an art-related blog recently mentioned a new installation by a Columbus, Ohio conceptual artist named Richard Whitehurst: an exhibit reachable only by a tunnel, growing progressively narrower, with the artist waiting to rape anybody who attempted to pass. [more inside]
posted by acb at 5:30 PM PST - 41 comments

Rifqa Bary, the Ohio teen who ran away from her Muslim parents because she believed they would kill her for converting to Christianity, has appeared on a weekly anti-Islam conference call hosted by the National Day of Prayer Task Force (headed by the wife of Focus on the Family's James Dobson, Lou Engle of The Call & Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council). Rifqa, who is in custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families and was not authorized to be on the call, shared some of her story and then launched into an extended passionate prayer. DCF officials are investigating how she came to be on the call.
posted by scalefree at 4:28 PM PST - 46 comments

43 photographs of Afghanistan provide a striking sense of personal identity to a conflict that is often remote and abstract.
posted by gallois at 4:16 PM PST - 22 comments

Henry Rollins: The Death of Joe Cole: Part 1, Part 2. About 17 minutes total, but, God, worth it.
posted by WCityMike at 1:43 PM PST - 38 comments

On September 10th, to celebrate their initiation week, 172 communications students at the University of Quebec at Montreal decided to put on a show. After weeks of preparation, the costumed and prop-wielding crowd enacted an exuberant, complex, and flawlessly-choreographed performance of the Black Eyed Peas song "I Gotta Feeling" that sprawled through the campus's multi-story Judith Jasmin Pavilion... and they did it all in one continuous take (on their second try). The feat is just the most recent example of "lipdubbing" -- a video phenomenon where a single camera moves through a crowd of highly coordinated lip-syncers in a single seamless take, with the original recording dubbed over the finished product. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 12:56 PM PST - 83 comments

January: Newly sworn-in President Obama says, "We need greater investment in... essential systems like the C-17 cargo... aircraft, which provide the backbone of our ability to extend global power." April: Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says, "Our analysis concludes that we have enough C-17s, with the 205 already in the force and currently in production." May: The Office of Management and Budget proposes the termination of the C-17 program with a savings of $17 billion. July: The 2010 Defense Appropriations Bill includes funding for the program. September 29: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) proposes an amendment to strip that funding - "You can't walk through these hallways without bumping into a lobbyist from Boeing." September 30: By a vote of 64 to 34, the Senate defeats the amendment.
posted by Joe Beese at 12:44 PM PST - 113 comments

1969: The Year of Gay Liberation is an online exhibit of the New York Public Library focusing on the radical gay rights movements of the late sixties and early seventies, focusing on the organizations The Mattachine Society of New York, Daughters of Bilitis, Gay News, Gay Liberation Front, Radicalesbians, Street Transvestites Action Revolutionaries and the Gay Activists Alliance, and the events of the Stonewall Riot and Christopher Street Liberation Day. This is but one part of the NYPL's fine LGBT collection, which includes, among other things, resources for teens, AIDS/HIV collections, and digital collections on ACT UP, Barbara Gittings and Kay Tobin Lahusen, Bessie Bonehill, Gertrude Stein, Gran Fury, Julian Eltinge, Richard Wandel and Walt Whitman.
posted by Kattullus at 12:13 PM PST - 14 comments

A Truly Shocking Gitmo Story: "the U.S. government tortured an innocent man to extract false confessions and then threatened him until he obligingly repeated those lies as though they were the truth." His lawyer notes, "The Obama Department of Justice, with Attorney General Holder piously proclaiming that this Administration repudiates torture, and follows the rule of law, in fact is following the Bush playbook to the letter." Unbelievable Evidence, but Good Enough for Seven Years in Prison notes, "Al Rabiah's treatment is reminiscent of what happened to Mohammed Jawad, the Afghan who was captured as a young teenager and held for almost seven years before he was released last month. Both detainees were locked up based mainly on coerced confessions that appear to have been false, and it looks like both might have remained imprisoned but for the intervention of the federal courts. " Also: Judge's Order to Release Kuwaiti Detainee Puts Obama in a Bind.
posted by shetterly at 12:11 PM PST - 39 comments


In Kunming, southern China, a community of dwarves has set up its own village to escape discrimination from normal sized people. "As small people we are used to being pushed around and exploited by big people. But here there aren't any big people and everything we do is for us," said spokesman Fu Tien. [more inside]
posted by dirtdirt at 11:40 AM PST - 31 comments

It's never easy to talk about sex. It all depends on your definition.
posted by monospace at 11:38 AM PST - 18 comments

What can we learn from quadrapeds about our own bipedal gait? Recently, a group of researchers has taught rhesus macaques how to walk, and then used neural recordings to develop a model of a functioning brain-machine interface (BMI) designed to take the signals from your brain and use them to interface with a prosthetic leg, which would allow previously paralyzed patients to literally walk again. [more inside]
posted by scrutiny at 10:30 AM PST - 3 comments

Ever wonder how the people on Mad Men make it through the work day while drinking so much? The women of Slate spin-off The XX Factor gave it a go, and documented the results. You can listen to their Political Gabfest podcast with a "pie-eyed" Emily Bazelon here. This topic was discussed recently in AskMe.
posted by mkultra at 10:18 AM PST - 98 comments

Urban Drum Crew (SLYT) performed at F1 Singapore. Reminds me of Drumline (SLYT)
posted by manny_calavera at 9:38 AM PST - 15 comments

Filmmaker, Peter Sorcher, will be showing his documentary "Eat the Sun" at this year's Mill Valley Film Festival. The film follows people who practice sungazing. The leading proponent of sungazing, Hira Ratan Manek, is seen as a teacher by some and a scam artist by others.
posted by agatha_magatha at 9:30 AM PST - 19 comments


Ardipithecus: We Meet At Last. (Single Link Carl Zimmer)
posted by HumanComplex at 8:45 AM PST - 20 comments

Google began inviting volunteers to a public preview test of their new Wave web-based collaborative email and document communications platform yesterday, which enables users to "communicate and work together in real time." Initial reviews this past May seemed positive. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:45 AM PST - 75 comments

Lottie the Otter is Winnie the Pooh's newest pal in the new book (released Oct. 5) Return to Hundred Acre Wood. Lottie is said to enjoy cricket and is a stickler for etiquette. [more inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:52 AM PST - 84 comments

At 145 miles away by car, this spot between Glad Valley and Meadow, South Dakota, is the farthest spot from a McDonald's in the contiguous USA. This fact and a lovely image of the contiguous United States visualized by distance to the nearest McDonald's come from Stephen Von Worley. (via Strange Maps)
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:24 AM PST - 63 comments

Clockwords. Type words to destroy robotic insects intent on stealing your secrets. [more inside]
posted by juv3nal at 12:29 AM PST - 27 comments