October 2012 Archives

October 31

"swiss cheese dirt moto3 bruce brown snowflakes digger zebra candy flake dust speed master rigid k180 smiley firestone barn find swap meet junk tempter ape 2 stroke soup magneto sumo triple dubble white wall twin garage build amal webco roses beehive bates sissy air head bahnburner bacon slicer baloney bob bone shaker bonnie continental circus cowhorn dog bone hole shot mouse trap new york steak pancake rice rocket sharkfin trumpet" [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 10:07 PM PST - 19 comments

The New England Aquarium welcomes an unusual new guest, just in time for Halloween. Last week in Massachusetts, lobster fisher Dana Duhaine caught the lobster, which is perfectly "split" down the middle in two colours: black and orange. Scientists attribute this type of colouring to a complete cellular split that happens upon fertilization of the lobster egg. Split lobsters are relatively rare; they are estimated to make up only one per every 50 to 100 million lobsters. Recently, American and Canadian lobster fishers have been reporting more of the unusually coloured creatures in their catches, including blue lobsters, calico lobsters, and splits. National Geographic article about different colouration in lobsters.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 9:14 PM PST - 27 comments

Why an airline that travelers love is failing. Virgin America, named the "top overall airline in the U.S." with a huge wow factor is having financial problems and experiencing cutbacks. Meanwhile, deep discounter Spirit Air is imposing $100 checked-bag fees, is wildly profitable, and has high bookings. [more inside]
posted by fireoyster at 9:10 PM PST - 109 comments

It's not too late for one more Halloween spook -- Thurl Ravenscroft narrates as Ron "Ritchie Cunningham" Howard and Robie Lester (Mrs. Kris Kringle, Disney Storybook narrator ["when Tinkerbells rings her little bells... turn the page"] encounter Pete Renoudet as the Ghost Host in Disney's 1969 adventure, The Story Of The Haunted Mansion. [25m] [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 9:05 PM PST - 5 comments


Browncoats: Redemption was an unofficial and independent, not-for-profit film based in the Firefly/Serenity universe. The movie, which was filmed, funded and produced entirely by volunteers, followed a new ship and crew three months after the events of the movie Serenity. It also featured cameos from Adam Baldwin and Michael Fairman. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 6:59 PM PST - 58 comments


You may have read np312's wonderful Reverse Trick-Or-Treating story in Ask Metafilter. You may have seen Doctor Popular's comic based on the same. This year however, you can now enjoy a video of the same concept. [via]
posted by radwolf76 at 3:29 PM PST - 35 comments

Josh Sundquist in costume as the leg lamp from the 1983 movie A Christmas Story this Halloween. [more inside]
posted by flex at 2:25 PM PST - 28 comments


Musæum Clausum is a catalog of invented books, pictures and antiquities written by 17th Century Englishman Sir Thomas Browne. It is a fantastical and witty meditation on the ravages of time on literature and other works of man. The Musæum Clausum is perhaps the finest example of the invented, or invisible, library, a genre which seems to have originated with Rabelais. The genre has been of special interest to Beachcombing's Bizarre History Blog (older posts), where he has written about the invisible libraries of writers such as Charles Dickens, Neil Gaiman, H. P. Lovecraft and invisible libraries in video games. The natural medium for invisible libraries might be pictures, and Musæum Clausum inspired a suite of etchings by Erik Desmazieres.
posted by Kattullus at 1:35 PM PST - 30 comments

Trees are Freaking Awesome! (SLYT)
posted by klausman at 12:08 PM PST - 29 comments

Gerald Ford's administration was in trouble. Tension within the party and turf battles in the Cabinet were tearing it apart. Something had to be done to get things back on course in time to fend off Ronald Reagan's primary challenge. And Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld were just the men to do it.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:08 PM PST - 37 comments


Reuben Reynoso gets paid to jump on mattresses, day after day, mattress after mattress. The McRoskey Mattress Company in San Francisco has been making mattresses — and having people jump on them — for 112 years, since before the 1906 quake. [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 11:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Some are strong, and some are weak. The weak, as is well known, are easily mastered—completely regular and, frankly, pathetic. But it doesn't have to be that way! The Society for the Strengthening of Verbs labors at its noble cause of strengthening verbs and nouns (in English too, though with less Sprachgefühl), increasing the stock of causatives, and generally messing around with German (excuse me, with Neutsch).
posted by kenko at 11:38 AM PST - 29 comments

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, home to Rembrandt's The Night Watch and Vermeer's The Milkmaid, among many other masterpieces, today unveiled the Rijksstudio, 125,000 digitized images of its collections, available in a zoomable interface online or as high-resolution public-domain downloads (account creation required for the latter).
posted by Horace Rumpole at 11:27 AM PST - 31 comments

Not-Hurricane Sandy turned over a hundred-year-old tree — that had grown through a body buried a hundred years before THAT. " A homeless woman made a spooky Halloween’s eve discovery on the Upper Green: bones from a centuries-old human body unearthed by a giant oak tree toppled by Superstorm Sandy."
posted by axoplasm at 11:13 AM PST - 64 comments

Hammer House of Horror was a 1980 British anthology television series produced by the eponymous film studio. It was followed by Hammer House of Mystery and Suspense and there were a couple of other notable, similar themed, series around at the time, Beasts and West Country Tales. They might now seem a little crude and simplistic, but they employed an interesting array of writers, directors and actors and the best can still raise a definite chill [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:54 AM PST - 8 comments

Hurricane Sandy's proximity to Election Day means that the response to it is highly politicized. [more inside]
posted by entropone at 8:44 AM PST - 433 comments

"Even if your alarm clock is one of those Zen alarm clocks with melodious metal chimes, or it's your phone playing New Age music at gradually increasing volume, an alarm clock is still not offering you anything." MeFi's own dansdata wakes up to a proper cuppa.
posted by Harald74 at 7:34 AM PST - 75 comments

An interactive web documentary (mostly in Italian with French subtitles) takes a look into Predappio - the city where Mussolini was born and where neofascists assemble yearly to commemorate the anniversary of the March on Rome and to pray over the Duce's tomb. Ironically, the town has been left wing ever since the end of the war and the current mayor, Giorgio Frassinetti, is exasperated :"We have to work on the image of the town, on the prejudices against it... but these marching imbeciles are not helping!". Frassinetti participated in the Difficult Heritage conference, part of Contemporary History Days in Braunau am Inn, Hitler's birthplace, and reflected on how easier it is to attempt to recover a town's honor when there is no dead body to be worshipped but his performance and town strategy is still being criticized.
posted by Marauding Ennui at 7:32 AM PST - 1 comments



A Halloween doodle from Google. Be sure to click around, and save the kitty for last.
posted by doctornemo at 6:06 AM PST - 20 comments


Our study, “Bicyclists’ Injuries and the Cycling Environment” (the BICE Study), examined which route types are associated with higher and lower cycling injury risk. It examined the association between bicyclists’ injuries and the cycling environment (e.g., route types, intersection types). Taking place in Toronto and Vancouver between May 2008 and November 2009, the participants were adults who were injured while bicycling and who attended hospital emergency departments for treatment. Five hospitals recruited participants, 690 in total. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 3:44 AM PST - 91 comments

Around this time in 1982, "The Wonderful World of Disney" on CBS aired Disney's Halloween Treat. In February of '83, a pre-special-edition Star Wars debuted on HBO. Later that year, what used to be known as the Disney Channel went on the air. Then in '84, Star Wars made its network debut on CBS, which included a short introduction ("We've seen Star Wars 324 times!"). [more inside]
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 3:06 AM PST - 22 comments

Caro Emerald is a Dutch jazz singer. Her debut album "Deleted Scenes From The Cutting Room Floor" went sextuple-platinum in The Netherlands, and has the longest run at #1 on the Dutch charts. BBC Music reviews. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:03 AM PST - 16 comments

October 30



The World of a Professional Naked Girl - Molly Crabapple on her time as a nude model.
posted by Artw at 9:41 PM PST - 50 comments

It has been 30 years since it was first recorded, and almost that long since it was released as a single and a extra-long music video (alt. link: YT), but Thriller has remained at the top of lists for best Halloween songs (2, 3, 4, 5) and best Halloween videos (2, 3, 4, 5). You know the dance, and you've read Vanity Fair's extensive Thriller Diaries (previously), or at least Los Angeles Times' 25 Thriller facts, but have you seen the almost hour long making of the video? Have you heard the voice-over session with Michael and Vincent Price, with the bonus unreleased "rap" vocals by Price? You remember that Vincent did Thriller just to make fun of himself, like he did when he worked with Jack Benny and Red Skelton, right? Or maybe you're in the mood for more of the comedic horror that Michael liked, such as his collaboration with Stephen King, Michale Jackson's Ghosts (HD, with Japanese subtitles and intro). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:22 PM PST - 19 comments


Imagine a school where the cool kids are on the Chess Team... Welcome to I.S. 318. where 60% of the students come from families with incomes below the federal poverty level. BROOKLYN CASTLE tells the stories of five members of the chess team at a below-the-poverty-line inner city junior high school that has won more national championships than any other in the country. One of those students and the only female, 17 year-old Rochelle Ballantyne, is poised to become the first African-American female master in the history of chess. An interview with Miss Ballantyne.
posted by spock at 7:57 PM PST - 19 comments

"Level 4 is not the hardest level of ... Hotline Miami. Oh, not by a long shot. It’s just the one that, once I finally beat it, made me feel like a god. I had a plan. I made that plan work. Every single action I took, every single movement I made, was with surgical precision. A dozen men died, and their little dog too. I never knew their names. I never cared to know their names. I didn’t even know why they had to die. I just knew they had to die ..." Hotline Miami is the newest game from Swedish developer Dennaton (previously). It is fast paced, brutally difficult, dizzyingly violent, and (above all) very fun. All links probably NSFW due to extreme pixelated violence. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 6:50 PM PST - 34 comments

The New Taste Journal is a collection of well over 600 healthy and delicious recipes that were created using a wide variety of simple yet amazing natural whole food ingredients.
posted by troll at 6:11 PM PST - 11 comments

Gimp Monkeys: 'We are climbers first, disabled second. If you're a climber, you want to climb El Capitan.' (SLV)
posted by growabrain at 3:15 PM PST - 8 comments

Disney has purchased LucasFilm, including the Star Wars movies, for a shade over four billion dollars in cash and stock. Also in the Sydney Morning Herald.
posted by Wordshore at 1:06 PM PST - 769 comments

"Pretty much everyone interested in dinosaurs, in the history of life, or in such matters as the evolution of intelligence and/or brain size, will be familiar with the various speculations on ‘humanoid dinosaurs’ that have made their way into the literature." - Tetrapod Zoology on Dinosauroids [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 1:00 PM PST - 23 comments


Physicist Ben Tippett has written a paper [PDF] showing that the events of Lovecraft's The Call of Cthulhu could have happened.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:44 AM PST - 38 comments

The possibility of voter fraud in the US has spawned a number of state laws requiring particular kinds of identification at the polls, as well as grassroots organizations that search public records to challenge certain voters' registrations . Much of the modern debate about potential voter fraud has been driven by Hans von Spakovsky, a Heritage Foundation senior legal fellow, former member of the Federal Elections Commission, and former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights, where he worked on voting issues. Writing for the New Yorker, Jane Mayer describes von Spakovsky's influence on conservative groups like True the Vote, various state attempts to disqualify registered voters, and the lack of evidence for many claims made in support of voter ID laws.
posted by catlet at 11:33 AM PST - 111 comments

Nixon's Enemies - Master List "This memorandum addresses the matter of how we can maximize the fact of our incumbency in dealing with persons known to be active in their opposition to our Administration, Stated a bit more bluntly --how we can use the available federal machinery to screw our political enemies. " [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 10:39 AM PST - 60 comments



Las Azaleas ride tonight! An American Escaramuza Charra team, Las Azaleas were recently featured in the Pony Highway Production documentary, Escaramuza: Riding from the Heart, about a team of precision women riders who compete in the traditional Mexican rodeos known as charreada. Tonight, you can watch Las Azaleas represent the United States in the National Charro Championships in Mexico, here, in a deft display of skill that involves riding in a collision course toward each other only to miss by inches and followed by carefully choreographed turns. (Presumably at 8 pm PST, but unsure of precise time) [more inside]
posted by Atreides at 9:54 AM PST - 3 comments

Karyn Reeves collects Penguin paperbacks. She reads and reviews a Penguin a week. She also blogs about Penguins (such as the elusive green Penguins) and showcases classic Penguin book covers. Nonfiction fans may want to check out her list of Pelicans - or visit the Pelican Project at Things Magazine (previously).
posted by kristi at 9:10 AM PST - 18 comments

Have literary journals lost their cultural relevance? Ted Genoways, former editor of the Virginia Quarterly suggests they have, and are relegated to publishing masses of material, often submitted by waves of new MFA graduates, that few read. Others question the definition of relevance. The journals do continue to proliferate, generating constant fresh material for a review that reviews them, a database that writers use to sort through them, and agents who comb through them looking for the next literary sensation. Perhaps only print journals are in real trouble?
posted by shivohum at 8:57 AM PST - 39 comments

Secrets of T-Rex sex! An interview with John Long, author of The Dawn of the Deed: The Prehistoric Origins of Sex. Long's four-part series on Evolution: This View of Life - 1) Down and Dirty in the Devonian; 2) Palaeozoic Paternity Problems; 3) From Bones to Behavior; 4) From Clasper to Penis. Also a Scientific American video ("Long discusses a fossil central to this new view of the origin of copulation and live birth: a 375-million-year-old expectant mother fish dubbed Materpiscis attenboroughi").
posted by flex at 8:19 AM PST - 23 comments

The Royal Spanish Library has put online today an interactive version of Leonardo da Vinci's Madrid Codices I & II. There are transcriptions of the text (in Spanish and Italian, click "T" on the bottom menu), animations of many of the mechanical contraptions (click play button "ver animacion") and the "Indice" in the bottom menu organizes the folios by theme.
posted by Marauding Ennui at 7:16 AM PST - 3 comments


Rescue of a model airplane using a helicopter (five minute YouTube video)
posted by exogenous at 5:31 AM PST - 44 comments


Shakespeare: Globe to Globe was a series of 37 Shakespeare plays performed in 37 different languages presented at the reconstructed Shakespeare Globe theatre in London this summer. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 5:19 AM PST - 20 comments

"Now it is instructive to go into, eg, one of the big old boozers in the East End of London and imagine them not as they are, just one room, frequently, if they’ve been hipstered up, with unplastered brick walls and big, clear windows, but as they were 50, 60, 80, 100 years ago, carved into three, four or more separate spaces by mahogany and etched glass barriers, each section with its own hermetic, exclusive group of customers, who would rather walk into the wrong lavatory than the wrong bar, and served, often, by its own separate door to the streets outside." -- Martyn Cornell dives into the diverse varieties of British bar one could encounter until recently
posted by MartinWisse at 4:39 AM PST - 18 comments

"This is a project I've been working on for six years - a replica linking book from the video game Myst." [more inside]
posted by Leucistic Cuttlefish at 4:35 AM PST - 26 comments

In case you felt that your week was missing an interview of Carl Sagan by Sidney Poitier during the 1989 Voyager Neptune encounter, you're welcome. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 2:18 AM PST - 10 comments

October 29

Surveillance Camera Man (SL Vimeo) is a man who acts like a surveillance camera. However, he is not ceiling-mounted like most surveillance cameras. He takes video of people in public and private places. Most people have a problem with him, creating conflict. One person actually likes him.
posted by ignignokt at 11:06 PM PST - 68 comments


11FOOT8.com is a site dedicated to documenting a single 11'8" railroad trestle over a street in Durham, North Carolina and the trucks (and sometimes RVs) taller than 11'8" that fail to pass through underneath (or sometimes do pass through, just with pieces lost). Now over 30 crashes have been compiled into a three-minute video of (dare I? I dare.) The Bridge's Greatest Hits.
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:39 PM PST - 113 comments

Savagery - Arcadia - Consummation - Destruction - Desolation. The five stages of The Course of Empire, a fascinating quintet of paintings by 19th century artist and Hudson River School pioneer Thomas Cole. In it, an imaginary settlement by the sea becomes the stage for all the dreams and nightmares of civilized life, a rural woodland grown in time into a glorious metropolis... only to be ransacked by corruption, war, and a terrible storm, at last reduced to a forgotten ruin. At times deceptively simple, each landscape teems with references to cultural and philosophical markers that dominated the era's debate about the future of America. Interactive analysis of the series on a zoomable canvas is available via the excellent Explore Thomas Cole project, which also offers a guided tour and complete gallery of the dozens of other richly detailed and beautifully luminous works by this master of American landscape art.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:43 PM PST - 23 comments

When China met Africa
posted by infini at 4:12 PM PST - 37 comments

Johnny works in a factory. Billy works downtown. Terry works in a rock and roll band looking for that million dollar sound. Got a job down in Darlington. Some nights I don't go. Some nights I go to the drive in. Some nights I stay home. -- Bruce Springsteen, "The Promise"
"I listened to the version of The Promise on 18 Tracks. It's not the version Springsteen recorded more than 30 years ago. This version is stripped down to almost nothing, just Springsteen and a piano. And the weirdest thing happened, something I can never remember happening before or since when I listened to a song. I felt myself crying." Joe Posnanski writes about fathers and sons, factory work, and the magic of the Boss and one of his most beautiful and haunting songs. [more inside]
posted by sallybrown at 3:47 PM PST - 68 comments

HMS Bounty has foundered off the coast of North Carolina in Hurricane Sandy. Fourteen crew members have been rescued by the US Coast Guard, while two others, including Captain Robin Walridge remain missing at sea. [more inside]
posted by stargell at 1:54 PM PST - 108 comments

Playable Pumpkin Tetris. (SLICHC)
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:43 PM PST - 11 comments

Classic Shell is an open-source program that fixes two of the biggest problems users perceive with the newly-released Windows 8: it brings back the Start Menu, and it allows users to log-in directly to the Desktop instead of the Start Screen. (8.4 MB WINDOWS DOWNLOAD)
posted by JHarris at 12:06 PM PST - 154 comments

When you fall behind on payments on your private jet or your yacht, Ken Cage is the man who comes and takes it away.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:19 AM PST - 44 comments


"Extremely silly" photos of: "extremely serious" artists - "extremely serious" writers - "extremely serious" historical figures. Also 14 photos that shatter your image of famous people. A few images might be considered slightly NSFW. [more inside]
posted by flex at 7:56 AM PST - 65 comments

The 4th Estate corrects its numbers - "That journalism struggles with racial diversity is old news, but a study released on Thursday by The 4th Estate tried to quantify the magnitude of the problem. The organization released an infographic showing that, among the 38 most influential newspapers in the country, 93 percent of front-page articles about the 2012 election were written by white reporters. The infographic received a host of coverage." [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 7:36 AM PST - 44 comments

225 years ago today, in the Teatro di Praga, there premiered a new opera - conducted by the 31 year old composer, who was in demand after his success in Vienna the year before. Although he had completed the overture less than 24 hours earlier, the opera was an instant smash - with the composer being "welcomed joyously and jubilantly by the numerous gathering". In the years to come, Kierkegaard would agree with the French composer Charles Gounod that the opera was "a work without blemish, of uninterrupted perfection". Flaubert would call it one of "the three finest things God made". Today, it is the 10th most performed opera in the world. It is Mozart's Don Giovanni (spoiler). [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 5:08 AM PST - 20 comments

Football's (soccer, that is) ultimate conquest of North America comes a step closer with the sale of English Premier League broadcasting rights to NBC for 250 million dollars. Unlike the Olympics, NBC has indicated that they'll broadcast the games live, to complement their NHL broadcasts. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 3:35 AM PST - 65 comments

The book publishing world is merging into behemoths in order to better negotiate with Amazon. Rupert Murdoch (HarperCollins) has made an offer to buy Penguin for $1.6 billion. This just hours after Penguin said it was in talks to merge with Random House to create a 'Random Penguin' with nearly 25% of all English-language book sales. Either way the reputation of Penguin could soon be in tatters. As one agent said, "Authors have told me they are frightened by a Random House takeover, but terrified by a HarperCollins one."
posted by stbalbach at 2:05 AM PST - 77 comments

October 28


The Beautiful Blackboards at Quantum Physics Labs (from The Atlantic)
posted by moonmilk at 9:18 PM PST - 36 comments





We last discussed music discovery site TheSixtyOne back in 2009, but it's changed pretty radically since then. Out with pages of spare, Facebook-like charts, in with gorgeous full-screen imagery peppered with photos and information about each track and the artists behind them. Anybody can submit music to the site, where community listens and ratings elevate the best to the top, and users can directly tip their favorite musicians with purchasable credits. Explore by mood, by Creative Commons tracks, indulge in some gamification with quests (in the top bar), or follow development on the official blog areasixtyone. Returning soon: user-created listening rooms for dedicated playlists or topics. And if you own an iPad, don't miss the free companion app Aweditorium, which sprawls the site's entire collection into an endless grid of playable audiovisual fun.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:34 PM PST - 15 comments



Flash cards are an effective study aid because they are founded on the principles of rote and memorization. With Flashcard Exchange | Study Stack and Flashcard Machine, you can use web-based flashcard makers to create, share, export and print flashcards to assist your studying.
posted by netbros at 2:57 PM PST - 26 comments

The Fool and His Money - The sequel to the 1987 puzzle game The Fool's Errand has just been released, after nearly 10 years of delay and anticipation. [more inside]
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:12 PM PST - 30 comments

The early months of 2012 at Adat Shalom Reconstructionist Synagogue were busy with the things typical for a liberal congregation: a phone bank for gay marriage, a silent retreat, a weekend study session on unorthodox ideas such as observing Sabbath through dance and movement. Then in February, David Kaye, a longtime Montgomery County rabbi and registered sex offender, started attending Saturday services. Also: When a Predator Wants to Pray
posted by OmieWise at 2:06 PM PST - 87 comments

The Guide to Trading Candy. (SLYT) Buzzfeed gets into the Halloween spirit by scaring kids onto the fast track toward embittered adulthood.
posted by Smart Dalek at 1:58 PM PST - 16 comments

North Carolina State Senator Thom Goolsby is running for re-election against Deb Butler. Last year, Senator Goolsby voted in favor of NC House Bill 854. Among other things, this bill requires that women must undergo an ultrasound and a waiting period before having an abortion. Using a prop, Deb Butler ran this ad. And this ad. [more inside]
posted by flarbuse at 1:42 PM PST - 31 comments

Can't get enough Gangam Style? This will fix that.
posted by egypturnash at 1:37 PM PST - 51 comments


The Art of Presence. Despite so many threats to their freedom, Arab women continue to stage a thousand small revolutions in their everyday lives.
posted by bardophile at 10:34 AM PST - 8 comments

California begins its "top two primary" runoff. Called a blanket primary, open primary, jungle primary, the top-two primary seeks to end partisan gridlock by having one primary for all voters in June, where the top two candidates face off in November, regardless of party affiliation. Said to favor moderates while hurting small parties, Arizona votes on a similar measure next week. [more inside]
posted by Brian B. at 10:31 AM PST - 41 comments

He was methodical, he rode the highways, and he preyed on teenage girls. Girls who'd run away. Girls no one would miss. In the summer of 1985, the author was such a girl. One night on I-95, she hitched a ride from a stranger and endured the most terrifying moments of her life. Now, years later, she returns to the scenes of her fugitive youth looking for clues to that terror—and the girls who lost their lives to it - The Truck Stop Killer
posted by Artw at 10:24 AM PST - 23 comments

Minimalist design. Seamless metal and glass. Sleek lines. Revolutionary. Super thin. Perhaps the last official Steve Jobs product launch (translation). [more inside]
posted by mazola at 10:07 AM PST - 83 comments

Life on Matinicus Island: "Matinicus lies 23 miles out to sea, the most remote inhabited island on the Atlantic seaboard... one of a vast necklace of islands, more than 3,000 in all, spread out along the Maine coast as far north as the Bay of Fundy. A century ago, 200 or more of them were fishermen's communities; today, only 14 are inhabited year-round... Today, two years after putting a bullet into the neck of another lobsterman, in defense, he says, of his daughter, Vance Bunker is a pariah on the island: legally acquitted but privately unforgiven, widely but quietly reviled." (via longform)
posted by flex at 7:44 AM PST - 25 comments

Hallowindow The very talented Mark Gervais makes movies for projection in the window on Halloween. Some examples have been posted on Youtube, but the genuine article is worth every penny.
posted by Tarn at 7:42 AM PST - 17 comments

Something Awful's Fashion SWAT returns to review sexy Halloween costumes such as Sexy Grinch, Sexy Rooster, and Sexy Woolly Mammoth. (Previously)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:28 AM PST - 75 comments

Caught on camera: engineering in action 'The winning entries of the 2012 Photography Competition at the Department of Engineering[Cambridge], sponsored by Carl Zeiss, provide a stunning visual insight into the ways in which engineering makes a vital contribution to our lives.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:01 AM PST - 5 comments


October 27

October 30, 1987 is the anniversary of the release of Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou's first solo album. It would go on to sell over 8 million copies in the first year of its release in the US alone, spawn six Top 5 singles (including four which hit #1, another reaching #2), would reach the top of the album charts in countries around the world, and to date has sold over 25 million copies across the planet. That's right, ladies and gentlemen, George Michael's Faith is 25 years old. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 10:01 PM PST - 78 comments

A bunch of fighter aircraft, real and imagined, with alternate paintschemes.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 9:38 PM PST - 19 comments

Benjamin Grosser's latest project is Facebook Demetricator, a browser application that aims to confront our "collective obsession with metrics" by hiding all of the numbers embedded in Facebook's interface— friends, likes, shares, comments, and even timestamps. [more inside]
posted by brieche at 9:29 PM PST - 6 comments

US Presidential race got you stressed? Escape into the past with Retro Campaigns.
posted by Miko at 9:05 PM PST - 15 comments

Edge. Photography by Mikko Lagerstedt. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 9:05 PM PST - 4 comments

One critic found it "an abominable, abdominal comedy." Others see it as one of the best comedy films ever made. But clearly, these two fans successfully channeled the spirit of the original scene when they made this 50 second homage to one of the film's slapstick sequences . (youtube link)
posted by centerpunch at 7:38 PM PST - 24 comments

In the first years of the Fifteenth Century Henry III of Castile sent Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo as his ambassador to Samarkand. His journey introduced him to giraffes and many other sights unknown to Europeans of the time. Samarkand was then the center of the largest empire in the world, that of Tamerlane the Great (a.k.a Timur), the last of the nomad conquerors. His capital began as a city of the Sogdians, which became an important center of culture and trade, as is recorded in these 7th Century wall paintings. Samarkand was refashioned by Timur and his descendants, the most famous being the astronomer Ulugh Beg, and the Timurid legacy is still visible in Samarkand. After Timur's death, his empire disintegrated, and soon fell into decline, but left enough of a mark to inspire both Christopher Marlowe and Edgar Allan Poe. The Russian Empire conquered Samarkand in 1868, and the city was documented in the early 20th Century in color photograhs by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii (this one's a favorite) and remained an out of the way place in the Soviet era.
posted by Kattullus at 7:10 PM PST - 15 comments


On May 18, 1970, two Minneapolis men made a shocking request. They applied for a marriage license. Minnesota Public Radio explains how we got from 1970 to now, when a week from Tuesday, Minnesota will vote on Amendment 1. [more inside]
posted by hoyland at 6:02 PM PST - 5 comments

"A few days ago, I participated in a debate with the legendary Daniel Ellsberg on the merits of the Obama administration, and what progressives should do on Election Day. Ellsberg had written a blog post arguing that, though Obama deserves tremendous criticism, voters in swing states ought to vote for him, lest they operate as dupes for a far more malevolent Republican Party. This attitude is relatively pervasive among Democrats, and it deserves a genuine response."
Matt Stoller lays out a progressive case for why one should not vote for Barack Obama for reelection, even if you are in a swing state.
posted by ennui.bz at 5:56 PM PST - 447 comments

She sat zazen, concentrating on not concentrating, until it was time to prepare for the appointment. Sitting seemed to produce the usual serenity, put everything in perspective. Her hand did not tremble as she applied her make-up; tranquil features looked back at her from the mirror. She was mildly surprised, in fact, at just how calm she was, until she got out of the hotel elevator at the garage level and the mugger made his play. She killed him instead of disabling him. Which was obviously not a measured, balanced action--the official fuss and paperwork could make her late. Annoyed at herself, she stuffed the corpse under a shiny new Westinghouse roadable whose owner she knew to be in Luna, and continued on to her own car. This would have to be squared later, and it would cost. No help for it--she fought to regain at least the semblance of tranquillity as her car emerged from the garage and turned north. Nothing must interfere with this meeting, or with her role in it. "Melancholy Elephants," an enthralling, Hugo Award-winning short story by Spider Robinson about a disciplined operative, a powerful senator, and a crucial mission to preserve humanity's most precious resource. (some spoilers inside) [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 5:14 PM PST - 14 comments


Can the company fire you for the way you vote? When workers are forced to go to rallies in communist countries, we call that Stalinism. Here, we call it the free market. Featuring David Siegel, CEO of Florida's Westgate Resorts; and Florida-based ASG Software CEO Arthur Allen.
posted by adamvasco at 4:24 PM PST - 62 comments

A family friend, Susi, just turned 90. Since I’m home in Oregon, I attended the B-Day party. Her Jewish family got out of Germany in ’39 and she found herself a teenager in the US. Got an education, got married, raised a family. She was — is — an artist, and she ended up teaching. But she worked as a gag strip cartoonist in New York, from ’46 to ’50. I’m interested in the history of comics, so she loaned me a rather large file box (which I am being very careful with!) Lots of old clippings, old battered bristol board with typed captions taped on. Neat!
posted by latkes at 4:16 PM PST - 3 comments


In honor of the release of their new album, the experimental instrumental hip-hop group 3:33 (a side project of Parallel Thought) have released the free album 7 Sets of 7, an amazing series of surreal/atmospheric/old-school remixes of various hip-hop artists including Del The Funky Homosapien, Bone Thugs N Harmony, and MF DOOM. They're also offering for free their horror-influenced album The First Thousand Days. [more inside]
posted by Frobenius Twist at 2:17 PM PST - 5 comments


CSI: Parthenon: A questioner asks historians how a murder case would be solved and prosecuted in the era of their expertise. Answers for : Colonial Boston, Norman Ireland, 19th Century Imperial China, Ancient Athens, 14th-Century England, 13th century England, Victorian England, Rome. (Via Reddit's AskHistorians; whole thread.)
posted by Diablevert at 10:53 AM PST - 18 comments

Crime fiction is a magnifying glass that reveals the fingerprints of history. From Holmes and Poirot to Montalbano and the rise of Scandi-noir, Mark Lawson investigates the long tradition of European super-sleuths and their role in turbulent times. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust at 10:37 AM PST - 12 comments

A glance at shade-ism [video], skin 'lightening', and personal impact [video] for those who vary from cultural preference across the world.
posted by zennie at 10:15 AM PST - 27 comments

Pick your celebrity president - "We have gathered runners and riders from across the celebrity spectrum - from sports stars to celebrity chefs - for a more glittering election in 2012. Answer the questions and find out who you would likely vote for in a showbiz showdown for the keys to the White House." via BBC. [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 10:00 AM PST - 40 comments


Want to make historic recipes? You can help transcribe the University of Iowa Libraries age old assortment of handwritten cookbooks, ca. 1600s-1960s, documenting culinary history in America and Europe and how tastes have changed over the years. Copy the text as is, including misspellings and abbreviations. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 9:12 AM PST - 31 comments

The universe (which others call The Twitter) is composed of every word in the English language; Shakespeare's folios, line-by-line-by-line; the Exegesis of Philip K. Dick, exploded; Constantine XI, in 140 character chunks; Sun Tzu's Art of War, in its entirety; the chapter headings of JG Ballard, in abundance; and definitive discographies of Every. Artist. Ever... All this, I repeat, is true, but one hundred forty characters of inalterable wwwtext cannot correspond to any language, no matter how dialectical or rudimentary it may be. [more inside]
posted by 0bvious at 8:15 AM PST - 14 comments

Nightfall was a popular and controversial horror and sci-fi series that aired on CBC Radio between 1980 and 1983. [more inside]
posted by ryanshepard at 7:50 AM PST - 18 comments

Some folks in CHIKARA Pro were having a wrestling match, and a baseball game broke out.
posted by mightygodking at 6:48 AM PST - 20 comments

Released in 1999, The Rocky Interactive Horror Show was a point and click video game featuring clunky gameplay and graphics that looked dated even by the standards of the time. Reviews were middling, and the title soon fell into obscurity. But while nobody would ever call the game a classic, it did feature a few wonderfully weird treats guaranteed to drive any Rocky Horror fan in-say-yay-yay-yane... [more inside]
posted by Ursula Hitler at 5:11 AM PST - 35 comments


Forbidden Planet - Whole Soundtrack Album
Bebe Barron - Mixed emotions
Elementary Electronics: Louis and Bebe Barron, Forbidden Planet and the Dawn of Electronic Music
Luis and Bebe Barron were pioneer composers of electronic music who collaborated with the likes of Henry Miller and Anais Nin before scoring the soundtrack of the classic science fiction film Forbidden Planet. [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 3:33 AM PST - 7 comments

October 26


In the spirit of the Nobel season, Yasha Levine discusses the history of the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel as a PR gimmick for laissez-faire economics, and how its existence is an affront to the Nobel legacy.
posted by clarknova at 9:31 PM PST - 26 comments

Come and sit for a while. An amazing photo from shorpy.com. Tomorrow, after you've absorbed all the details from this image, browse through the rest of the images at shorpy.com. We'll send someone to drag you back out of the time warp worm hole in a few days.
posted by HuronBob at 9:05 PM PST - 43 comments

Hacking the President’s DNA. "The U.S. government is surreptitiously collecting the DNA of world leaders, and is reportedly protecting that of Barack Obama. Decoded, these genetic blueprints could provide compromising information. In the not-too-distant future, they may provide something more as well—the basis for the creation of personalized bioweapons that could take down a president and leave no trace."
posted by homunculus at 8:55 PM PST - 45 comments



Colin Fahey goes to great lengths to get the lowest possible score on the SAT. Includes a facsimile of his persuasive essay arguing that he should receive a score of zero.
posted by grouse at 8:05 PM PST - 42 comments

Like Food Porn? Me too!
posted by Yellow at 6:43 PM PST - 9 comments

Initiate salutation cascade, star-citizens! Seven years ago tonight, Stephen Colbert introduced Tek Jansen to the world. Originally a one-off parody of vanity fiction by media blowhards, the "super-awesome spectacular ultraspy" became the center of a small universe of comics, cartoons, and books, his exploits satirizing awful pulp sci-fi, rampant Mary Sue "Marty Sue" syndrome, and the cheesy melodrama of 1970s Hanna-Barbera. Look inside for US/Canadian links to both animated seasons along with other content available on the web. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 5:11 PM PST - 3 comments

Cargo bikes, long a mainstay in the Netherlands and emerging as an automotive alternative in the U.S. (via bike-friendly Portland), come in many flavors: Longtails, longjohns, cycle trucks, porteurs, trikes and the traditional Dutch bakfiet. Will a cargo bike transform your life?
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 3:01 PM PST - 73 comments

Alt-J (∆) are a British art rock band who play low-key but ambitious music and have done well lately, been nominated for the Mercury Prize and broken into the UK top 20, while remaining somewhat anonymous and now they're starting to get noticed in the US. But you don't have to take my word for them being quite good, they've put their whole debut album, An Awesome Wave, up on their SoundCloud page, along with a bunch of other music, or you can check out their videos. You can also watch an entire concert in high definition and good sound quality recorded by KEXP in Seattle.
posted by Kattullus at 2:33 PM PST - 36 comments


What do you get when you mix hydrogen peroxide, iodine and dishsoap? Elephant's Toothpaste (or Elefantenzahnpasta, if you prefer German). Many more class experiments from the 2nd link here. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 1:45 PM PST - 26 comments

It's Boggle + Go (or Scrabble + Risk). It's by Loren Brichter. It's a wake-up call for Game Center. It's Letterpress - Word Game. (I know, it's Friday... sorry, Flash.)
posted by progosk at 1:39 PM PST - 87 comments

On April 26th, 1988 ABC aired a made for tv movie as a backdoor pilot called China Beach. It went on to be a critically loved, audience deprived show that lasted four seasons from 1988 - 1991. [more inside]
posted by mediocre at 1:00 PM PST - 32 comments

And you thought Farming Simulator 2011 was boring! [NSFW (or whack posers) SLYT]
posted by cthuljew at 12:43 PM PST - 46 comments

So apparently, Misfits covers on ukelele are now a thing. [more inside]
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 12:39 PM PST - 21 comments

Neil Gaiman reads a story that scared people. A new Neil Gaiman story is available from Audible. It's free, and every copy downloaded means a donation to DonorsChoose or BookTrust. (Neil does ask that you wait to listen to it until after dark.)
posted by kristi at 12:33 PM PST - 22 comments

Chris Lee is building a full-sized replica of the Millennium Falcon.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:21 PM PST - 42 comments

Once the financial sector achieves a certain size, its continued expansion reduces economic growth, according to a new study by two senior economists at the Bank for International Settlements, Stephen Cecchetti and Enisse Kharroubi, using a large international data base stretching back more than 30 years.
posted by unSane at 12:03 PM PST - 10 comments

Contact juggling: a championship performance by Yanazo (Akihiro Yanai) at the Japan Juggling Festival 2012 earlier this month - it won first prize; he juggles one, two, and finally three balls by rolling them on his body, occasionally tossing them with his body movements instead of his hands. [more inside]
posted by flex at 11:50 AM PST - 24 comments

1997: Arizona. Matt Varilek gets a degree in Environmental Studies, and starts teaching at the Biosphere 2, known as an incubator for radical enviromental ideas. Back in South Dakota, Kristi Noem is named Outstanding Young Farmer of the Year by the Watertown Jaycees.
posted by benbenson at 11:48 AM PST - 21 comments

"She's known as the hardest working young lady in show business today. Ladies and gentlemen, Miss Tina Turner." [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 11:47 AM PST - 10 comments

The 55 Scariest Scenes from Fantasy/SF/Horror movies by the jewel-in-the-crown-of-Gawker io9 features many clips guaranteed to freak you out. Along the same lines, and also from io9, is an excellent list of ten novels that are scarier than horror movies.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:44 AM PST - 52 comments

In the spirit of Halloween and scary movies: a remix of Mr. Sandman set to a supercut of some of the spookiest scenes from horror cinema: Full-On Lovemaking. Warning, NSFW. Further warnings for the squeamish below the jump. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 9:54 AM PST - 18 comments

Heathrow Approach Planes lining up on approach to London Heathrow at 17x speed. Strangely hypnotic slyt.
posted by jontyjago at 9:46 AM PST - 57 comments

Play with your food.
posted by Kitteh at 9:31 AM PST - 13 comments


Ronald Clark O'Bryan: The Man Who Ruined Halloween, the source of the urban legends about random Halloween poisonings and sadism
posted by jonp72 at 8:17 AM PST - 71 comments

Adorable. From Metafilter's own growabrain: "In 2009, after I turned 56, I fathered my first child. Since all her extended family members live in other countries, I started a daily photo blog, to record her growth. I love my baby with all my heart. When she was about a year old, we took her to a street fair and a cartoonist drew a quick caricature of her face. That gave me the idea to start collecting artworks based on her pretty self. I guess I went a bit overboard, because yesterday she celebrated her third birthday, and the collection grew to 500 original art works from all over the world." [via mefi projects]
posted by xingcat at 6:31 AM PST - 23 comments

Jacques Barzun, pioneering cultural historian and author of From Dawn to Decadence, has died at the age of 104. [more inside]
posted by ubiquity at 6:30 AM PST - 28 comments

You may already be familiar with PhDComics (Previously) and the PhDMovie (Previously), but PhDComics.tv has now become a pretty fantastic resource for both researchers and laymen. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 4:44 AM PST - 2 comments

"I am calling you from Windows": A tech support scammer dials Ars Technica [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:34 AM PST - 98 comments

Shakespeare on Security. In 2007, AT&T produced this nest of corporate videos which posited what would happen if "The Bardster" took a job working in an IT Department. Episodes: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:52 AM PST - 9 comments


October 25

The Choice 2012 is a Frontline documentary about the background of the current candidates for President of the United States.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:34 PM PST - 118 comments

The oldest known recording of American voice has been restored and replayed for the first time in over 100 years. Dating to June 22, 1878, the recording was made for an early Edison phonograph on tin foil which had become too fragile and torn to play back. Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory optically scanned the foil and developed a program to replay it digitally. [more inside]
posted by Esteemed Offendi at 9:15 PM PST - 29 comments

In the Shadow of Wounded Knee. Along the southwestern border of South Dakota is one of the most poverty-stricken places in the United States—the Pine Ridge Reservation, home of the Oglala Lakota people. After 150 years of broken promises, they are still nurturing their tribal customs, language and beliefs. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:11 PM PST - 32 comments

The Permanent War (video). "This project, based on interviews with dozens of current and former national security officials, intelligence analysts and others, examines evolving U.S. counterterrorism policies and the practice of targeted killing." Part 1: Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists. Part 2: A CIA veteran transforms U.S. counterterrorism policy. Part 3: Remote U.S. base at core of secret operations. [more inside]
posted by homunculus at 8:35 PM PST - 68 comments

Legendary Mississippi Delta bluesman Tommy Johnson is finally getting a headstone on his grave, more than a half century after his death. Recommended celebratory listening, then, is this 9-song YouTube playlist, which starts out with "Cool Drink of Water Blues" (a shining example of Johnson's quavering falsetto - "looooooord, lordy looooord") and continuing with pre-war blues classics like his "Big Road Blues", "Big Fat Mama Blues", "Canned Heat Blues" and more.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:11 PM PST - 9 comments

The argument over whether photography should be considered an art form seems laughable to us today. Yet, beginning in the 1880s and lasting into the 20th century, members of amateur photographic clubs and societies the world over deemed the topic of artistic photography worthy of a decades-long shouting match. PhotoSeed, representing an evolving online record of this early fine-art photography movement, is a rich collection of photographs representing numerous vintage processes. From delicate platinum to exquisite hand-pulled photogravures, images produced singularly or published in portfolios and journals, as well as vintage source material, investigate the roots of the online galleries with the PhotoSeed Highlights.
posted by netbros at 5:49 PM PST - 26 comments

The Onion's great for a witty skewering of current events. But its historical editions, as collected in the book Our Dumb Century, are a gem all their own, full of razor-sharp satire, trenchant social commentary, period-accurate advertisements, running gags, historical irony, photoshoppery, and even some editorial cartoons for every year of the twentieth century. Luckily for history (and humor) buffs, nearly the whole run of the series is available piecemeal on their website. Click inside for an organized timeline of links to all the front pages from this brilliant work (plus a bonus!). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 4:32 PM PST - 52 comments

Google's Street View jumps the curb and enters the Grand Canyon, with Trekker.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:17 PM PST - 16 comments

New Republic article on James Flynn's new book Are We Getting Smarter?: Rising IQ in the Twenty-First Century "IN THE MID-’80s, the political philosopher James Flynn noticed a remarkable but puzzling trend: for the past century, average IQ scores in every industrialized nation have been steadily rising. And not just a little: nearly three points every decade. Every several years, IQ tests test have to be “re-normed” so that the average remains 100. This means that a person who scored 100 a century ago would score 70 today; a person who tested as average a century ago would today be declared mentally retarded." [more inside]
posted by bookman117 at 2:45 PM PST - 96 comments

During the reign of Constantine the Great, the Roman senator and poet Publilius Optatianus Porphyrius was sent into exile for crimes unknown. He succeeded in regaining favor and his good name by composing a series of poems in praise of the emperor which looked like nothing else. His poetry was an evolution of the Greek tradition of pattern poetry, but he took it a much more complex level, as Arrigo Lora Totino explains. In an illustrated article, John Stephan Edwards goes through the poetry of Porphyrius, showing the evolution of his craft.
posted by Kattullus at 12:40 PM PST - 14 comments


Scientists confirm: friendzone is real. [more inside]
posted by thirteenkiller at 11:33 AM PST - 202 comments


[Andras] Schiff, 58, has lately been giving a lot of thought to each of the musical keys and the colors he associates with them as he embarks on the Bach Project, a large-scale tour of North America over the next year that will include all that composer’s major keyboard works, played from memory. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 11:27 AM PST - 13 comments

"To deride Mr. Fieri for opening his restaurant there as if he’d taken a dump in the Louvre is silly. He pooped on a pile of bright shiny poop, Jeff Koonsian poop, Guy Debordian poop." The New York Observer reviews Guy Fieri's latest restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:59 AM PST - 214 comments

Travis Shrugged: The creepy, dangerous ideology behind Silicon Valley’s "Cult of Disruption"
posted by AceRock at 10:54 AM PST - 55 comments

Robert Aickman wrote some of the best ghost stories of the last fifty years. He also edited one of the finest genre anthology series of his time: The Fontana Book of Great Ghost Stories. Between 1964 and 1972, he curated eight volumes of horror fiction without repeating an author, favoring always the subtle, the psychological, the poetic, the rare, the neglected. 59 of his selections can be found online. [more inside]
posted by Iridic at 10:35 AM PST - 21 comments

Listen to a movie: For the cubicle workers of the world. Discovered via Jonah Ray during Dana Gould's most recent, and always entertaining, podcast. [Earlier MeFi mention]
posted by wensink at 9:59 AM PST - 29 comments

In 1990, George Bush Senior had inaugurated a New World Order, based on uncontested US military supremacy and western economic dominance. This was to be a unipolar world without rivals. Regional powers would bend the knee to the new worldwide imperium. History itself, it was said, had come to an end. But between the attack on the Twin Towers and the fall of Lehman Brothers, that global order had crumbled. Two factors were crucial. By the end of a decade of continuous warfare, the US had succeeded in exposing the limits, rather than the extent, of its military power. And the neoliberal capitalist model that had reigned supreme for a generation had crashed. The End Of The New World Order and the Search for a Way Forward.
posted by philip-random at 9:57 AM PST - 24 comments

Ten years ago a small chartered airplane went down on the Iron Range of Minnesota. Paul and Sheila Wellstone, their daughter Marcia Wellstone Markuson, campaign staffers Tom Lapic, Mary McEvoy and Will McLaughlin, and pilots Richard Conry and Michael Guess all died in the crash. It was eleven days before the 2002 election, in which Paul was running for a third term as Senator representing the state of Minnesota. [more inside]
posted by Elly Vortex at 9:34 AM PST - 48 comments

An opposition provincial official in a hotly contested election has threatened to arrest international election observers monitoring for fraud and voter intimidation. In an area with a rich history of secessionist fervor, ballot box stuffing, and repeated infringements on the voting rights and representation of ethnic minorities, this pronouncement is certainly controversial. Rogue vigilantes, organized in this province, are expected to deploy to polling sites across the nation, causing alarm. It is not a chaotic contest in a fledgling democracy. It is Texas, the United States. Previously. [more inside]
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 9:32 AM PST - 30 comments

Tutorial, How to eat a Triceratops. (Most useful if you happen to be a T. rex.)
posted by jfuller at 9:13 AM PST - 39 comments

Dark matter, or DYSON SPHERES? [more inside]
posted by fnerg at 8:54 AM PST - 70 comments

Intrade is a Prediction Market, where you make predictions by buying and selling shares on the outcome of real-world events. These events are always defined on Intrade as a YES/NO proposition. Shares are bought at some point between $0.00 and $10.00, based on whether the buyer believes the event will or won't occur (which correspond to $10.00 and $0.00 respectively). Most popular propositions at the moment are election related, though this week the market for the Best Picture opened. [more inside]
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:33 AM PST - 43 comments

Scary stories for Halloween Guardian books writers select their favourite seasonal chillers
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:25 AM PST - 54 comments

Unlike a member of the public, the officer gets a "cooling off" period before he has to respond to any questions. Unlike a member of the public, the officer under investigation is privy to the names of his complainants and their testimony against him before he is ever interrogated. Unlike a member of the public, the officer under investigation is to be interrogated "at a reasonable hour," with a union member present. Unlike a member of the public, the officer can only be questioned by one person during his interrogation. Unlike a member of the public, the officer can be interrogated only "for reasonable periods," which "shall be timed to allow for such personal necessities and rest periods as are reasonably necessary." Unlike a member of the public, the officer under investigation cannot be "threatened with disciplinary action" at any point during his interrogation. If he is threatened with punishment, whatever he says following the threat cannot be used against him. Why firing a cop is damn near impossible. Via.
posted by unSane at 6:22 AM PST - 80 comments

Thursday Flash Fun. Welcome to Frog Fractions! You will learn all about fractions!
posted by pixie at 5:54 AM PST - 40 comments

Glass anatomical models: "Gary Farlow [...] and his team of 10 at Farlow’s Scientific Glassblowing are able to transform the body’s vasculature—and nearly all of its other parts—into an ornate borosilicate glass sculpture, from the heart’s ventricles to the brain’s circle of Willis[...]Their anatomically correct models can be designed to simulate blood flow, teach placement of catheters and angioplasty devices, or simply test or demo new surgical gizmos. Individual arteries, veins, and capillaries are shaped and fused together, one at a time."
posted by OmieWise at 5:53 AM PST - 17 comments


How Things Fell Apart, By Chinua Achebe - 'In an excerpt from his long-awaited memoir, the inventor of the post-colonial African novel in English discusses his origins as a writer and the seeds of revolt against the British Empire.'
I can say that my whole artistic career was probably sparked by this tension between the Christian religion of my parents, which we followed in our home, and the retreating, older religion of my ancestors, which fortunately for me was still active outside my home. I still had access to a number of relatives who had not converted to Christianity and were called heathens by the new converts. When my parents were not watching I would often sneak off in the evenings to visit some of these relatives.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:23 AM PST - 10 comments


October 24

Giger's Necronomicon (yt) (nsfw) - a 1976 documentary about H.R. Giger with music by Joel Vandroogenbroeck of the Brainticket.
posted by Artw at 10:58 PM PST - 7 comments

Hailed as the Github of printed circuit board (PCB) design, circuit.io allows hobbyists and electrical engineers alike to share their designs, providing a full featured schematic & PCB editor in the browser. [via (sorry, I couldn't resist, hyuk hyuk hyuk)]
posted by spiderskull at 10:06 PM PST - 23 comments

British Education Secretary Michael Gove was a dick to his French teacher 30 years ago, so he apologized. The Guardian goes a step further and asks a bunch of writers if they'd like to apologize to their former teachers. To wit: "I was, in fact, incredibly high. So was Pete. Now I can't even remember what happens in The House of Seven Gables, but I learned a lesson that day, just the same. Sorry again, Tim Dowling"
posted by bardic at 8:41 PM PST - 38 comments

A few nights ago MIT scientist Donald Sadoway (Time 100) was on Colbert Report to discuss a new cheap high-capacity liquid-metal battery that could be the holy grail for solar and wind power to store electricity for on-demand use. The Colbert show is an intro but sort of dumb (by design), the TED talk gives some more detail, or the company page Ambri has more info.
posted by stbalbach at 8:35 PM PST - 31 comments

A good naming scheme is scalable, unique, and easy to remember. The purpose of these naming schemes is to name networked servers, wireless access points or client computers, but it can also be used to name projects, products, variables, streets, pets, kids, or any other project where unique names and rememberable names are required.
posted by TangerineGurl at 8:25 PM PST - 120 comments

Good Job, Brain! is a weekly quiz show & offbeat news podcast. "We here are nuts about trivia. And we are darn sure there are people out there who share our unusual obsession. Are you in a weekly pub trivia team? Do you relish beating your friends at Trivial Pursuit? Do you blab out the answers at the gym when Jeopardy! is on? And don't you just loathe badly worded questions? Ggrrrahhhh! Then this podcast, fellow trivia nut, is the ultimate mental nutrition for your very big brain."
posted by flex at 7:26 PM PST - 10 comments


You might have heard of Masiakasaurus knopfleri, the dinosaur named in honor of Dire Straits singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler. You may not have realized just how many organisms are named after celebrities great and small. Well, today, you can include a new genus of ferns, which includes 19 species, all named for the pop star, Lady Gaga. Despite appearances to the contrary, the announcement video is not a hoax. Watch the video for all the fabulous synchronicities, including a secret surprise hidden in the DNA.
posted by symbioid at 7:22 PM PST - 15 comments

Whirligigs are whimsical, wind-driven expressions of American folk art that first appeared in this country nearly 200 years ago. Traditional designs depict common characters and activities of early American rural life, from farmers milking cows to lumbermen chopping wood. Here are some highlights of the ninth annual Whirligig & Weathervane Festival in Shelburne Nova Scotia, September 2008. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 6:59 PM PST - 9 comments

The Eat Your Heart Out Cake Shop (NSFW), with cakes graphically illustrating medical conditions and symptoms of disease, will be open from October 26th-28th at London's Pathology Museum at St Bart's Hospital. [more inside]
posted by dng at 5:13 PM PST - 38 comments

Style Blaster is a motion-activated camera situated a block from the Bedford L in Williamsburg. It takes photos of people passing by and asks you to rate their style. Do your civic duty, and troll it.
posted by outlandishmarxist at 3:32 PM PST - 92 comments

Younger Americans' Reading and Library Habits: "The Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project has taken a special look at readers between the ages of 16 and 29... This report examines how they encounter and consume books in different formats. It flows out of a larger effort to assess the reading habits of all Americans ages 16 and older as e-books change the reading landscape and the borrowing services of libraries."
posted by ocherdraco at 2:41 PM PST - 63 comments

Emergency Compliment Random reassurances, as close as your web browser. (Of course, if you like what they say, they'll sell you a poster.)
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:59 PM PST - 50 comments

Tom Hanks performs Beat-style poetry about Full House. That is all.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:58 AM PST - 39 comments

In the first decade of the 20th Century, a German Chief Justice was asked to hear the case of a man who had recently been found guilty according to a law code enacted in the last years of Napoleon's short-lived empire. No state in Europe still used that exact set of laws, but in one small part of the continent, there was an 850 acre plot of land which no state had claimed since the final defeat of Napoleon: Neutral Moresnet, also known as Kelmis, La Calamine or Amikejo. In To Govern, or Not to Govern: Prussia, Neutral Moresnet [pdf, click 'Download This Paper'] Steven Michael Press explains how Neutral Moresnet came to be, and how the Chief Justice ruled in the case. For more information, visit the Neutral Moresnet website. For an account by a visitor, read Unvisited Places of Old Europe by American travel writer Robert Shackleton [starts on page 157]. Finally, here's a podcast lecture by journalist and historian Neal Ascherson called Memories of Amikejo [iTunes link] reflecting on Neutral Moresnet's short existence and whether it tells us something about modern Europe. [Neutral Moresnet previously on MetaFilter]
posted by Kattullus at 11:44 AM PST - 21 comments

In response to Facebook limiting the number of friends / fans who receive your posts (previously) while simultaneously instituting their new pay to Promote scheme, the folks at Dangerous Minds have launched a new campaign, Facebook: I Want My Friends Back!
posted by jabo at 11:35 AM PST - 103 comments

You knew this day would come. @qwantz, the Twitter bot run by Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics has gotten into a conversation with another Twitter bot, @loudbot. There would appear to be no stopping the two.
posted by tommasz at 11:28 AM PST - 35 comments

On November 28, 1976, ABC televised the premiere of The Brady Bunch Variety Hour. Few who saw it would ever forget it. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 11:19 AM PST - 89 comments

Band-e-Amir is Afghanistan's first national park, struggling to keep tourists visiting its beautiful mountains and lakes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:23 AM PST - 28 comments

"Dog owners have a dog park where they can show off their dogs, but cat people don't have that," she says. "The Internet is where people who love cats can go to say, 'Look how cute my cat is.'" On cat videos on the Internet, and maintaining the popularity of Henrí and Maru, while designers of the Scratching Post note how how some owners start writing in a first feline style. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 10:17 AM PST - 31 comments

"I am here because when I was young, I wanted very badly to be a writer, I wanted to be a filmmaker, but I couldn’t find anyone like me in the world and it felt like my dreams were foreclosed simply because my gender was less typical than others."
On Saturday, Lana Wachowski (co-director of the "Matrix" franchise and "Cloud Atlas") received a "Visibility Award" from the Human Rights Campaign for her recent decision to publicly come out as transgender. In a powerful 25-minute acceptance speech, Lana spoke about the pain she went through growing up and how she developed self-acceptance. Video. Transcript. Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter.
posted by zarq at 10:10 AM PST - 76 comments

For about three years, the A.V. Club ran Sawbuck Gamer, a regular column reviewing the week's most notable free and cheap games across all platforms, from web games to handhelds to console downloadables. It's a treasure trove of content, especially since more literary sister site The Gameological Society took the helm, and it's publicized great desktop projects like the luscious platformer Frogatto (previously), feature-rich Super Mario Bros. X (previously), the evocative faux-web Digital: A Love Story (previously), interactive fiction gem Rover's Day Off, and the hyperkinetic RunMan: Race Around the World (previously). But if you're in the mood for something more immediate, why not start with a list of all the original column's free A-rated online titles? [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi at 9:24 AM PST - 20 comments

ESPN NBA blog The Hardwood Paroxysm has released a 2012-2013 Season Preview Guide [PDF] full of clever, opinionated (or sometimes data-driven) previews of each team and star player. [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:39 AM PST - 29 comments

30 Thrones makes use of a simple idea: combining images from Game of Thrones and dialog from 30 Rock, to create something unexpectedly good.
posted by quin at 7:52 AM PST - 26 comments

A point-counterpoint on the nature of fun in video games:
Games Are Best When Things Go Wrong
Games Aren't Best When Things Go Wrong
posted by griphus at 7:39 AM PST - 72 comments


Monopoly Is Theft. The antimonopolist history of the world’s most popular board game.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:21 AM PST - 36 comments

Ask the very old on Ikaria how they managed to live past 90, and they’ll usually talk about the clean air and the wine. Or, as one 101-year-old woman put it to me with a shrug, “We just forget to die.” The reality is they have no idea how they got to be so old. And neither do we. [more inside]
posted by unSane at 5:38 AM PST - 56 comments

Bloco do Sargento Pimenta: mashing up Beatles with carnaval street party rythyms
posted by Tom-B at 5:23 AM PST - 2 comments

London's River Fleet may be the best-known buried river, but there are examples around the world, including the Bievre in Paris, the Wein in Vienna (as featured in The Third Man), the Neglinnaya in Moscow, the Tank Stream in Sydney, the Minetta Brook in New York and the lost streams of Los Angeles. Some buried rivers are now being restored to the urban landscape. Why bury a river? Well, Ben Jonson's On the Famous Voyage gives an idea of what the Fleet was like in the 17th Century. [more inside]
posted by gnimmel at 3:07 AM PST - 43 comments


Eric Maundu - who comes from Kenya, now lives in West Oakland and is trained in industrial robotics- transforms unused spaces into productive, small aquaponic farms. He has taken the agricultural craft one step further and made his gardens smart. He explores new frontiers of computer-controlled gardening. More information about this story. His company, Kijani Grows. Via faircompanies.com.
posted by nickyskye at 12:41 AM PST - 21 comments

October 23

Urine flavor wheels of yore.
posted by latkes at 11:32 PM PST - 43 comments

Lincoln Alexander has died at 90 years old. Among his many accomplishments, he was the first Black MP elected in Canada (1968 -- re-elected 4 times, in his last term appointed Cabinet Minister), served as Ontario's Lieutenant-Governor, was chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and that is just scratching the surface of his many contributions. A beloved citizen in Hamilton, the city named a Highway after him "The Linc" ... a running joke with him since he did not drive. [more inside]
posted by chapps at 10:51 PM PST - 10 comments

[trigger warning//NSFW-audio] In a year where Frank Ocean makes headlines by being forthcoming about his sexuality and Community star Donald Glover delivers a celebrated performance (warning: autoplay) on the BET Hip-Hop Awards, it may seem that honesty is a prevailing trend in a genre consumed by braggadocio. New York rapper Angel Haze continues this with a heart-wrenching rap that transforms Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet" from an adolescent boy's angry confessional to a young woman's crushing autobiography.
posted by raihan_ at 10:48 PM PST - 35 comments

What's in the bear row and the wolf column? A wolf cub wrestling a bear cub. What's at the intersection of monkey and raccoon? This meeting of rascals. Just some of the many videos you will find at the amazing Animal Matrix.
posted by painquale at 9:49 PM PST - 14 comments

During the first weekend of October, at a Connecticut campground, a group of women gathered. As part of a pilot program organized by the federal government, these women, self-arranged into groups of three called "triads," were finalists for an experimental parenting program. Two of the triads would be selected for the right to be artificially inseminated, the resulting child to be raised by all three women as equal co-parents. While no one was certain how the experiment might turn out, every one agreed that something had to be tried since all of the men were dead. [more inside]
posted by GameDesignerBen at 9:42 PM PST - 25 comments

Some of the excellent audio stories/interviews from the first season of Strangers, the latest project from Lea Thau, creator of The Moth Podcast (mp3s): The Teacher who Couldn't Read (part 1 and part 2); Big Jim and Smokey Joe (NSFW - A Hollywood waitress, a former bomber pilot, and a retired railroad engineer from the Midwest take the trip of a lifetime); And Justice for All (A booker for court TV shares highs and lows from the merry-go-round of daytime justice) [more inside]
posted by I, Credulous at 9:10 PM PST - 7 comments

The Corpus Juris Civilis, also called the Code of Justinian, is a foundational document in (continental) Western law. Perhaps because of its limited impact on the common law, no English translation existed until the 1930s. The best English translation of the two main parts of the CJC, the Codex Justinianus and the Novels, was the life's work of a single Wyoming Supreme Court Justice, Fred H. Blume. [more inside]
posted by jedicus at 7:23 PM PST - 16 comments

Metamorphosis. "An exclusive TwistedLamb (nsfw) editorial exposing unknown creatures living inside their domain." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 7:07 PM PST - 9 comments

Looking Like Lincoln - photographer Greta Pratt shoots nineteen Lincoln impersonators, drawn from participants in The Association of Lincoln Presenters
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:50 PM PST - 24 comments

Today saw Apple has enter the competitive 7" tablet market with the iPad Mini. But what if your tablety desires run to something larger, not smaller? Sony has you covered with a 20-inch, 11-pound "tabletop PC".
posted by Artw at 5:31 PM PST - 265 comments

Blogging about parenting. Little Seal is about Emily Rapp's son Ronan, who is 2 1/2 and has Tay-Sachs disease. Count on Rapp for a jolt of humanity and perspective amid the mundane. Her Bad Mother is Catherine Conners, a working mom devoted to her husband and children, who chronicles the ups and downs of parenting, balancing it all with humor and poignancy. She is not afraid to speak out against mothers who believe that their way is the best way to raise kids. These blogs are among the 25 Best Blogs 2012 per Time magazine.
posted by netbros at 4:46 PM PST - 4 comments

Teenage girls try to navigate the minefields of desirability, attractiveness, and self-objectification in the age of Facebook. [more inside]
posted by flex at 4:36 PM PST - 80 comments

Democracy Distilled: A History of America's Voting Rights. Remember to vote this November. Women in America, let's rise up. [more inside]
posted by cashman at 3:27 PM PST - 32 comments

Can I Buy You a Coffee? "Harassment isn’t once. Harassment comes from a lifetime of dealing with people constantly doing things to you, whether you wanted them or not, at random intervals. You learn not to trust people. And what might have been pleasant, once, as an isolated incident, starts to feel pretty oppressive when it’s something you deal with on a weekly basis. It changes you, and then guys call you bitchy when you don’t feel like playing along and pretending this is just about the coffee."
posted by sweetkid at 3:24 PM PST - 509 comments

Mountain biking
posted by roofus at 2:30 PM PST - 28 comments

Smoking, stop! (SLYT)
posted by Clementines4ever at 2:08 PM PST - 24 comments


On September 24th Radiolab posted a new episode, The Fact of the Matter. It included a segment titled Yellow Rain. Radiolab's website says that it's "a detective story from the Cold War, about a mysterious substance that fell from the sky in Southeast Asia at the end of the Vietnam war." Robert Krulwich's interview with two of the segment's guests has prompted outrage at his treatment of them. One of the guests, writer Kao Kalia Yang, talked with Hyphen Magazine.
posted by FatRabbit at 1:06 PM PST - 136 comments

Two oxen are slated for slaughter at Green Mountain College (VT). The Oxen, named Bill and Lou, have worked for 11 years on the rural campus. Now Lou is injured and, consistent with college policy, both are scheduled for slaughter to provide hamburger for the student dining hall. This has provoked much discussion, including editorials and opinions from many sources. Many of the students, even vegetarians, support the decision.
posted by Michael_H at 12:26 PM PST - 69 comments


In 1970, Robin Tomlin opened his Argyle Secondary School yearbook to his graduation picture. Next to his picture, instead of the quote he had submitted about his future plans, there was one word: "FAG." The classmates who had tormented him with homophobic bullying for years had managed to get their final shot immortalized in print. After Tomlin's daughter found her father's yearbook in 1999 and broke down in tears over the bullying her father had experienced, Tomlin asked the North Vancouver school district to apologize and replace the original yearbook copies still held in the Argyle school library. Frustrated by a lack of response, Tomlin shared his story on an alumni message board and a lawyer offered to represent Tomlin pro bono. The school district originally balked, stating its "regret" over what had happened but declining to offer an apology. After a recent suicide of a bullied BC student and increased public pressure, yesterday Tomlin finally received an apology from the school district and a new yearbook with the slur replaced by the inscription he had wanted all along. Tomlin, who has terminal liver disease, said "now he can put behind him the slur that has bothered him his entire adult life....Tomlin also said he hopes the apology will give other victims of bullying hope."
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:00 PM PST - 69 comments

Paul Kurtz, noted secular humanist, has died. Kurtz was a philosophy professor who was instrumental in the founding of a number of skeptical and humanist organizations. These include the Committee for Scientific investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (publisher of Skeptical Inquiry), the Council for Secular Humanism (publisher of Free Inquiry magazine), and the Center for Inquiry. [more inside]
posted by TedW at 11:22 AM PST - 27 comments

[raises envelope to temple] Human bone cancer. Sea gooseberry larva. Bat embryos. [tears open envelope, blows inside, removes paper, reads] Some of the winners of the 38th Nikon Small World microphotography competition.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:11 AM PST - 16 comments

Denny's will soon be launching a Hobbit inspired menu. Featuring such delights as Bilbo's Berry Smoothie and Radagast's Red Velvet Pancake Puppies, second breakfast and elevenses will never be the same! (via boingboing)
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:58 AM PST - 93 comments

Gideon Oliver spoke to me of the devastating effect this kind of surveillance has had on activists. “People fear that detectives are following them around. They panic. It’s a movement-dismantling tactic.” Most Occupy protesters are new to activism and are emotionally unprepared to deal with this kind of intimidation. Nor, so far as I have seen, are they inclined to seek the advice of older activists who were under surveillance in the 1960s and 1970s, before the protections of the original Handschu Decree, which prohibited political spying, were put in place. Those activists nevertheless found ways to continue their political work.
From an article on the NYPD's Intel Division. [more inside]
posted by eviemath at 10:35 AM PST - 34 comments

One of New Zealand's greatest-ever exports of experimental music, The Dead C. have built a huge catalog of challenging "rock" music over the last 25 years that offers massively dosed psychedelic excess, improvised all-night flights, blistering free noise and deconstruction of blazing garage punk for adventurous listeners. They've cheekily called themselves "The AMM of punk rock" and it's not far from the truth. Their high-water mark -- the double-LP Harsh 70s Reality -- has reached twentieth anniversary status and has just been reissued on vinyl by legendary US imprint Siltbreeze, restoring a few cuts that didn't make it to the late 1990s CD re-release and offering this fearless free music to a new generation of fans. [more inside]
posted by porn in the woods at 9:39 AM PST - 24 comments

Idakoos is an online t-shirt store that automatically generates t-shirts based on animal types, hobbies, adjectives, and occupations (among other categories). This can lead to some relatively strange combinations.
posted by codacorolla at 9:17 AM PST - 158 comments


Ceefax , the world's first teletext information service will be turned off today. [more inside]
posted by arcticseal at 7:59 AM PST - 45 comments

Daniel Agdag, a Melbourne based artist and filmmaker, is presenting his first solo show, “Sets for a Film I’ll Never Make”. A playful nod to his short career as an animator, “Sets for a film…” presents a meticulous industrial world of his own imagining. The unassuming use of boxboard as a medium belies an elaborate world of transmission and communication that preserves the incessant redundancies of the modern industrial world. His short films have screened worldwide, and garnered a Dendy Award and an AFI nomination. His work has been described as architectural in form, whimsical in nature and inconceivably intricate. [more inside]
posted by jillithd at 7:37 AM PST - 2 comments

My mother finished with, “If Jesus came to you and said that he had found your perfect spouse, what would you say to him?” She paused for effect. “Now, how much more is Father?” Photographer Jen Kiaba writes a first hand account of courtship and a mass wedding under the direction of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, founder of the Unification Church. Not every arranged marriage story is unhappy, but inside and outside observers are curious to see what happens to the organization (and its finances and investments) after Moon's death this past September. Oh, and of course there is a goofy TLC special. Previously. (And previously, on the Moonies and the Washington Times.)
posted by availablelight at 6:10 AM PST - 30 comments

Derek Smart has been making games for over 20 years. He sold his first games in plastic baggies at hobby stores. Yet his longevity is somewhat of an anachronism. Many gamers today don't even know who is is, in spite of the fact that his games have sold well enough to keep his company in business since 1992. And the games themselves, well they're mostly terrible. Especially his first, Battlecruiser 3000AD. The Verge takes an in-depth look at the hotheaded perfectionist millionaire game developer whose impenetrable, terminally overhyped games sparked one of the most legendary flamewars in internet history.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:26 AM PST - 35 comments


At the request of Tavi (wiki) and his wife Anaheed, This American Life host and MetaFilter favorite Ira Glass has contributed an Ask A Grown Man segment (NSFW audio) (AAGM previously) to Rookie. As an added bonus, he instructs viewers on how to make balloon animals, based on a pamphlet he used as a young man entertaining at parties. When not dispensing balloon advice in this clip, he discusses Buffy & Angel's age discrepancy and blow jobs. (via)
posted by knile at 1:16 AM PST - 12 comments


October 22

"The original Pac-Man for the Atari 2600 was quite the disaster and though it did sell a few million copies many would argue it was the beginning of Atari's end. And rightly so. Dennis Debro's brand new and properly indie Pac-Man 4k, on the other hand, hopes to make things right by cramming a way more faithful post of the original pill-chomper arcade game to the very same and now very retro machine." (via IndieGames)
posted by Shadax at 11:24 PM PST - 55 comments

boyfriend_require/README-en.md
----------
======================
After having spent one too many years not interacting with the opposite sex, I began to feel like I would never find a partner, and so it is with a sense of urgency that I've decided to invite people to contact me here. [more inside]
posted by grobstein at 11:20 PM PST - 170 comments


Researchers think that the late beluga whale named NOC had been trying to speak with a human accent – or at least talk to its keepers. Current Biology has more (PDF link).
posted by barnacles at 8:34 PM PST - 49 comments

Do you feel that it's been too long since you watched an interview in which the guest, told by the host that he is a criminal, replies, "You're a priggish, gullible, British fool"? Then, behold, Conrad Black's interview with BBC Newsnight. [more inside]
posted by Dasein at 8:34 PM PST - 44 comments

File FOI requests in different countries Use Alaveteli to create Freedom of Information requests from governments around the world, the full responses will be posted. Read what has been posted US Drones example UK office, Kosovo office
posted by naight at 6:21 PM PST - 4 comments


Internet dating destroyed my sense of myself as someone I both know and understand and can also put into words. It had a similarly harmful effect on my sense that other people can accurately know and describe themselves. It left me irritated with the whole field of psychology. I began responding only to people with very short profiles, then began forgoing the profiles altogether...Internet dating alerted me to the fact that our notions of human behaviour and achievement, expressed in the agglomerative text of hundreds of internet dating profiles, are all much the same and therefore boring and not a good way to attract other people. [more inside]
posted by latkes at 5:02 PM PST - 136 comments

The old and the new videos for Dayvan Cowboy by Boards of Canada. Old (Joe Kittenger's 1960 jump) and new (Felix Baumgartner's 2012 jump). As previously followed on MetaFilter.
posted by Wordshore at 4:39 PM PST - 44 comments

Suppose you’ve got an old computer around, just taking up space, and your initial attempts at finding alternate uses for it have not been successful. But you know perfectly well that, according to this super scientific pie graph, there must be better recycling ideas out there on the net. Let’s have a look at some of them, shall we? [more inside]
posted by orange swan at 4:14 PM PST - 19 comments

Lo Pan Style! Yes, it's a Gangnam parody. But how many Gangnam parodies feature a cameo by James Hong?
posted by brundlefly at 3:28 PM PST - 48 comments

Jim Lehrer and Bob Schieffer continue their trend of moderating the first and last presidential debates, as they did in 2004 and 2008. Both grew up in Texas, and got their starts in journalism there, too, both covering the JFK assassination in 1963. Following Lehrer's role as moderator in this year's presidential debate, subsequent moderators have been under significant scrutiny before and after their performances, and Schieffer, who has covered all four of the major Washington beats, is ready for his role in the political process, in the middle of partisan divide, which is deeper than any time he can recall from his 43 years in Washington. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:27 PM PST - 77 comments

Japanese Prints Online - The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts provides an on-line catalogue for its collection of 18th- and 19th-century Japanese prints, which includes over 600 prints made by Japanese artists between the middle of the 18th century and the turn of the 19th century.
posted by misozaki at 3:18 PM PST - 4 comments

President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney will have the final debate of the US Presidential race tonight. Yawning at the thought of a formulaic back and forth, while secretly hoping for a rap battle? Then look beneath the fold for examples of explicit lyrical parodies. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:56 PM PST - 4475 comments

Cat-Bounce.com is one of the strangest sites I've seen in some time. I have no idea how these people got their bouncy cats wedged into our browsers, or why.
posted by cashman at 2:37 PM PST - 33 comments


Mark Rice writes about historical urban and colonial photography; specifically the portrayal of American colonial acquisitions and the imperfect "American Dream" captured by the NEA Photography Surveys of the 1970's. He's also a regular contributor to Forbes magazine, constantly measuring America's policies and self-regard against that of other countries. His blog "Ranking America" portrays many of these measurements using good old-fashioned bar graphs. [more inside]
posted by obscurator at 2:10 PM PST - 7 comments

Six natural disaster experts and one government official were sentenced today to six years in jail for not having warned the populace of the major earthquake that hit L'Aquila, Italy in April of 2009 (previously). [more inside]
posted by progosk at 2:02 PM PST - 46 comments


Outlawed by Amazon DRM: A couple of days ago, my friend Linn sent me an e-mail, very frustrated: Amazon just closed her account and wiped her Kindle. Without notice. Without explanation. Leaving her without recourse. [via] [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 1:40 PM PST - 98 comments

The hard numbers behind scholarly publishing's gender gap - The Chronicle of Higher Education investigates the nature of gender disparity in science and humanities publishing, with the help of researcher Jennifer Jacquet in collaboration with Jevin West and Carl Bergstrom of the University of Washington, whose Eigenfactor tool (previously) is used to map the intersection of gender and authorship in JSTOR articles from 1665 to 2011. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:39 PM PST - 8 comments

The sky is a deep cobalt blue; coconut palms, orange-limbed and yellow-fringed, sway in the steady trade winds. There are still breadfruit trees and pandanus trees and flame trees with brilliant red blossoms. Two hundred yards to the north, a coral reef meets the full, transparent blue violence of the Pacific. There is just one problem, though you could stare at this palm grove for a lifetime and never see it. The soil under our feet, whitish gray in color with flecks of coral, contains a radioactive isotope called cesium 137. In high enough doses, it can burn you and kill you quickly; at lower levels, it just takes longer to do the job, eventually causing cancer.(via)
posted by ChuraChura at 11:00 AM PST - 47 comments

IMF Economists are suggesting that The Chicago Plan, first proposed in 1936 as a way to avoid another Great Depression, is the answer to our current economic woes. [more inside]
posted by COD at 10:48 AM PST - 57 comments



The Sessions, which opens nationally on October 26th, is a film depicting the true story of the therapeutic relationship between the disabled poet Mark O'Brien and the professional sexual surrogate Cheryl Cohen Greene, to whom O'Brien lost his virginity at the age of 36. The film, adapted from O'Brien's moving essay "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate," was written and directed by Ben Lewin, who, like O'Brien, contracted polio at the age of six. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:11 AM PST - 21 comments

Mope-rock titan Mark Eitzel (former frontman of American Music Club) gets some constructive criticism of his excellent new LP Don't Be A Stranger from "America's $1 Funnyman" Neil Hamburger. This is the sixth video of Eitzel's Life Lessons video series where he solicits career advice. After having a reformed AMC crumble after two great albums last decade, as well as suffering a heart attack in 2011, it's a treat to see Eitzel's fit and working again.
posted by porn in the woods at 9:09 AM PST - 9 comments

On the 40th anniversary of the release of "Free To Be... You and Me," a three-part piece in Slate examines the genesis and impact of this influential album and its accompanying TV special.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:09 AM PST - 56 comments

A few days ago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art published online 368 full text titles also downloadable as pdfs. They range from major exhibition catalogues such as the 1983 Leonardo da Vinci: Anatomical Drawings from the Royal Library or the 1992 Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain, exhaustive lists of holdings (European Post-Medieval Tapestries and Related Hangings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Volumes I and II), art books like Degas: The Artist's Mind or The Great Wave: The Influence of Japanese Woodcuts on French Prints, facsimile editions such as The Cloisters Apocalypse: An Early Fourteenth-Century Manuscript, social history titles covering subjects such as fashion or dance, technical manuals for those wanting to know how The Care and Handling of Art Objects works and much, much more.
posted by Marauding Ennui at 7:39 AM PST - 19 comments

Like folk enthusiasts and field recordists John and Alan Lomax did in the US, Englishman Hugh Tracey documented an astonishing amount of traditional music. Tracey's love was the music of central and southern Africa, and his recording work came at a crucial time in the history of the region, when, due to repression from Christian missionaries as well as great social change and migration, traditional music of various kinds was fast disappearing. The hour-long audio documentary Discover and Record: The Field Recordings of Hugh Tracey is an excellent introduction to the man and his work, and is chock full of some absolutely fantastic music. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:07 AM PST - 6 comments

One of the many problems farmers of various kinds of legumes need to deal with is the pea aphid. They reproduce incredibly fast and live by sucking the sap out of the plants, an electron micrograph of one in action. However, while they are terrifying parasites of legumes, they have their own yet more horrific parasites, a parasitoid wasp. Here is a really nice close up picture of one doing its thing, a video of the act, and here is a brain meltingly horrific video of a dissection of the mummified aftermath 8 days later. Essentially, these wasps deposit their eggs in a pea aphid and the growing larva feeds on it, developing there for about a week, and then consuming the host from the inside out like a Xenomorph. When it’s done, the wasp larva dries the aphid’s cuticle into a papery brittle shell and an adult wasp emerges from the aphid mummy. Legume farmers love them, and you can even order their mummies online these days. However, farmers noticed that the wasps didn't work as effectively on all of the aphids, and so researchers went to work figuring out why. It turns out that all aphids have a primary bacterial endosymbiont living inside their cells, in addition to and just like a mitochondria, and that many have some combination of five other secondary endosymbionts. Interestingly, two of those other five, Hamiltonella defensa and Serratia symbiotica have been shown to confer varying levels of resistance to the parasitoid wasp, allowing the aphid to survive infection. However, it turns out that there is yet one more layer to this story, [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 6:46 AM PST - 50 comments


UK dividends hit new record in Q3 2012: "Dividend payments in the UK hit highest quarterly total of £23.2bn, up 10.4 per cent in the third quarter compared with last year, according to Capita Registrars." [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 2:26 AM PST - 57 comments


Q: How many miles is it to the crab nebula? How does one even figure this out? A: The cosmic distance ladder! Here's a talk by Fields medalist Terrence Tao on methods for indirect calculation of distances to astronomical objects. Here's Tao's blog post on the subject, including the slides for the talk. And here's a Wikipedia page. [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu at 12:42 AM PST - 17 comments


October 21


OCTOBER 22 IS INTERNATIONAL CAPS LOCK DAY!!! EVERY YEAR WE GET TOGETHER AND MAKE SALMON FOR TOAST, EVERY YEAR WE GET A CROCKETY BLOAT, EVERY YEAR WE GET DRUNK ON THE DOCKS, AND EVERY YEAR WE HAVE SEX WITH OUR CAPS LOCKS!!!!
posted by Apropos of Something at 9:41 PM PST - 287 comments

Looking for a break from horse-race coverage of the 2012 election? The New York Review of Books has thirteen short essays on the election and its consequences. Michael Tomasky. Elizabeth Drew. Cass Sunstein. Frank Rich. David Cole. Richard Dworkin. Russell Baker. Darryl Pinckney. David Bromwich. Kwame Anthony Appiah. Steven Weinberg. Garry Wills. Jeffrey Sachs. Plus a blog post by Christopher Benfey: The Empty Chair That Keeps Me Awake at Night.
posted by russilwvong at 9:20 PM PST - 4 comments

While at college I yearned to feel connected, to be a part of something larger, something that involved more than bricks and mortarboards. I never managed it. Now, two decades later, I felt a familiar ambivalence. Those bright college years are so influential, so much a part of who we become, that revisiting them brings up a host of conflicting, tumultuous emotions. Going back stirs the pot. Maybe that’s a good thing.
Author and columnist Rachel Toor on mixed feelings about going to a class reunion when you haven't exactly become successful in the traditional sense. (This essay also appeared in a 2004 issue of the Chronicle Review, the essays and opinions insert of the trade periodical The Chronicle of Higher Education.)
posted by Nomyte at 7:47 PM PST - 67 comments

Here’re some photographs of outstanding structures & buildings:
The Salk Institute in San Diego
400 Monte Vista Avenue, Mill Valley CA
Light Cathedral, Ghent Belgium
The Buzludzha monument ... [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 7:31 PM PST - 35 comments

Artist Dusty Abell has created a massive poster featuring "at least one, sometimes more, character, entity, starship or structure from every episode of [Star Trek: The Original] series." Via io9, who ask: How many characters can you name? Stumped? Here's a key of all 123! [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:29 PM PST - 25 comments

The long wait is ending! On February 5, 2013, Animaniacs Volume 4 will finally be released on DVD. This set will contain the final 24 episodes from the 1993-1998 cartoon, including the remaining thus-far unreleased episodes from Season 3 and all the episodes from the truncated 4th and 5th seasons. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 7:24 PM PST - 51 comments

Photographs by William Vandivert of London during World War II, presented by Life Magazine.
posted by maxwelton at 5:47 PM PST - 12 comments

USF's collection of maps of America. Includes killing frost dates from 1911, Hog production circa 1860, 1900, Paths of Western Exploration and many more.
posted by Grandysaur at 4:16 PM PST - 7 comments

Bond 50 - SFX Magazine has been recapping all 22 "official" Bond films, from Dr. No to Quantum of Solace in the run up to Skyfall (critical reation, trailer).
posted by Artw at 3:50 PM PST - 84 comments

Rod Serling discusses writing. A conversation.
posted by timsteil at 1:24 PM PST - 13 comments

In the 1952 presidential race, The Crimson decided neither General Dwight D. Eisenhower nor Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson were good enough to endorse, so the paper went for a certain possum from Okefenokee Swamp: Pogo. Buttons were made, campaign was waged and Pogo's creator, Walt Kelly was invited to give a speech. When he was delayed coming in to Harvard from the airport, riots broke out. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 1:14 PM PST - 22 comments

This Is Why I'm Broke: not just jet packs and flying cars - you could locomote in a hot-tub boat, a killer-whale submarine, or a light-up monowheel; exercise on a rock-climbing treadmill; sleep on a convertible futon bunk bed; set the world on fire; or hold a zero-gravity wedding. Only in your dreams? Well, you can still fritter away your money on a flying radio-control shark, a turntable for your wall or for your cat, geeky iPhone cases (cassette tape - han solo in carbonite - ordisguise it as a leather book), a Batman snuggie or a pizza-wheel + fork or a flying fuck. All this and much more collected & curated for browsing, updated daily. Default sort is by popularity: can change to price or newest updates first. [more inside]
posted by flex at 12:47 PM PST - 32 comments

Aurora is an 4X simulation game in which you start from a civilization barely on edge of the Space Age, and guide them to galactic domination---or possibly crushing, painful defeat at the hands of your equally-ambitious neighbors or grumpy elder civilizations. It is the labor of love of a single dedicated designer (Steve Walmsley), and its depth and attention to detail rival that of the perennial Mefi favorite Dwarf Fortress. (Also much like Dwarf Fortress, the UI has a learning curve, being primarily based around what appears to be a series of spreadsheets.) The main game, and most recent patch, can downloaded from the Aurora forums here and here respectively. [more inside]
posted by Upton O'Good at 10:40 AM PST - 30 comments

Music video for Young Rival's 'Two Reasons' featuring face paint artist James Kuhn
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:21 AM PST - 6 comments

Holt’s philosophers belong to the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Compared with the giants of the past, they are a sorry bunch of dwarfs. They are thinking deep thoughts and giving scholarly lectures to academic audiences, but hardly anybody in the world outside is listening. They are historically insignificant. At some time toward the end of the nineteenth century, philosophers faded from public life. Like the snark in Lewis Carroll’s poem, they suddenly and silently vanished. So far as the general public was concerned, philosophers became invisible. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet at 9:50 AM PST - 130 comments

The Adventures of Shirley Holmes is available online in its entirety. Filmed in Winnipeg and set in the fictional Canadian town of Redington, The Adventures of Shirley Holmes followed the work of Sherlock's teenage great grand-niece and her friend Bo Sawchuk, with classmate Molly Hardy (Moriarty) serving as a recurring antagonist. Known for its intelligent characters, the show's original 52 episode run has been translated into nine additional languages and aired in over 80 countries. [more inside]
posted by Orange Pamplemousse at 9:38 AM PST - 16 comments

In March of 1969, Apollo 9 was launched into low earth orbit as critical test for future lunar landings. The Duet of Spider & Gumdrop is a half hour film, set to music from The Yellow Submarine, that publicized highlights of the mission.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:28 AM PST - 4 comments

Over the course of the next two months, each participating ISP [*AT&T, Cablevision, Comcast, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon] expects to begin rolling out its version of the [Copyright Alert System] – a system through which ISPs will pass on to their subscribers notices sent by content owners alleging copyright infringement over peer-to-peer networks. Educational alerts will come first, followed by acknowledgement alerts that require the recipients to let their ISP know they have received the notices. For accounts where alleged infringing activity continues, enhanced alerts that contain “mitigation measures” will follow. - Jill Lesser, Executive Director, Center for Copyright Information [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 8:15 AM PST - 136 comments

A Fat Mustachioed Orphan Finds a Home. (NYT, MLWP, video within*) [more inside]
posted by spitbull at 6:17 AM PST - 27 comments

YouTube user ultramanvszetton makes oddly compelling Ultraman movies using action figures, stop-motion animation, and sound effects, such as The Return of Ultraman and Ultra Seven Vs. Bado Alien. YouTube user Goji73 has created an entire series of web videos using action figures called Godzilla and his Amazing Friends (there is some crossover between Godzilla and an Ultraman spinoff called Daikaiju Battle).
posted by KokuRyu at 5:51 AM PST - 11 comments

"Why do parasites harm their hosts? Conventional wisdom holds that because parasites depend on their hosts for survival and transmission, they should evolve to become benign, yet many parasites cause harm. Theory predicts that parasites could evolve virulence (i.e., parasite-induced reductions in host fitness) by balancing the transmission benefits of parasite replication with the costs of host death. This idea has led researchers to predict how human interventions—such as vaccines—may alter virulence evolution, yet empirical support is critically lacking." Two papers demonstrate empirical evidence for related models predicting the origin of virulence: [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 4:35 AM PST - 23 comments

"As a result, it creates a mediated reality environment, or what we call a visual filter, which is a proper superset of augmented reality." Realtime High Dynamic Range Imaging adapted for TIG Welding (video) [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:25 AM PST - 28 comments

October 20

Flannery O'Connor Soundboard. Based on audio snippets of O'Connor reading from "A Good Man Is Hard to Find" (previously) and from her lecture "Some Aspects of the Grotesque in Southern Fiction."
posted by Cash4Lead at 8:45 PM PST - 15 comments

Foldable Origami Chair ~via gizmodiva
posted by TangerineGurl at 7:55 PM PST - 9 comments

I explained that, for a variety of reasons — including feeding my boys the most nutritious food available, supporting local farmers, and reducing the carbon miles our food inflicted on the environment — I tried to buy our food locally and organically. She looked at me as if I’d just told her I believed in Santa Claus and, with a poorly disguised smirk, said, "Honey, those days are over."
In 2009, Michelle Gienow came close to having to feed her family sustainable, organic, local, and ethically produced (SOLE) food on a food stamp budget. She documented her budget calculations in the pages of the City Paper, Baltimore's alternative weekly. This year Ms. Gienow's financial situation really did call for financial assistance — and she found that her calculations were too optimistic.
posted by Nomyte at 7:44 PM PST - 107 comments

In this sprightly talk (transcript and video) Daniel Lieberman describes why our bodies are so good at running long distances, how our social intelligence developed and how modernity and capitalism require us to learn (or relearn) how to use our bodies. (May inspire tolerance for people who wear five-fingered shoes.) Prof. Lieberman studies human evolution at Harvard where he focuses on heads and feet. (via Tyler Cowen)
posted by noway at 7:05 PM PST - 40 comments

Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? (6.78 MB PDF) It turns out that it depends on how you measure the price. In a recent study by the USDA, some 4,439 foods were compared using the following metrics: the price of food energy ($/calorie), the price of edible weight ($/100 edible grams), the price of an average portion ($/average portion), and the cost of meeting the federal dietary recommendations for each food group. The study found that for all metrics except the price of food energy ($/calorie) healthy foods cost less than less healthy foods (defined as foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugar, and/or sodium, or that contribute little to meeting dietary recommendations).
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 4:19 PM PST - 123 comments

Don Kenn is a Danish artist that draws monsters. 4chan adds the dialog.
posted by Long Way To Go at 3:50 PM PST - 35 comments


What's your problem? Putting purpose back into your projects: "Design is both problem and solution. In order to know we are creating the right solution, we have to make sure we’re solving the right problem... I do this by relying on three principles of problem solving..." Whitney Hess is a user experience design consultant. IgniteNYC video presentation she did on good user design principles (5 min.). [more inside]
posted by flex at 12:22 PM PST - 23 comments

Just Say No To Cabaret [slight nudity]
posted by nadawi at 11:54 AM PST - 23 comments

An edited extract from Cruel Britannia: A Secret History Of Torture, or Torture UK: why Britain has blood on its hands.
In December 2005, the full truth about British complicity in rendition and torture was still such a deeply buried official secret that Jack Straw felt able to reassure MPs on the Commons foreign affairs committee about the allegations starting to surface in the media. "Unless we all start to believe in conspiracy theories," he said, "and that the officials are lying, that I am lying, that behind this there is some kind of secret state which is in league with some dark forces in the United States… there simply is no truth in the claims that the United Kingdom has been involved in rendition."
Ian Cobain is a senior reporter for The Guardian who has previously been awarded the Orwell Prize and the Paul Foot Award.
He writes frequently about how British governments consistantly defy the law and then lie about it. As he has previously indicated, this is nothing new.
posted by adamvasco at 11:25 AM PST - 37 comments

Bill Hill, digital typography and e-book pioneer, died Wednesday. A pioneer in using science to explain how our brains let us read, he was at Microsoft in the 1990s, and was one the inventors of ClearType, a technology for improving online reading on Windows. His passionate and entertaining lectures include Homo Sapiens 1.0 (transcript) which advocated that programmers need to learn as much about how their user's brains work rather than just OSes and programming languages, Why you only need one space after a period and the section of that talk on Why underlining hurts your brain. He died Wednesday from a heart attack.
posted by Berkun at 10:30 AM PST - 42 comments

Scott Walker (not the politician) has a new record on 4AD, Bish Bosch, available December 4. The album trailer promises more of the visionary, challenging avant-rock that Walker has been creating since the first four tracks on 1978's Nite Flights, 1983's baffling Climate of Hunter, the scorched earth upsidedowntown of Tilt [nsfw, nudity] (1995) and the devastating The Drift (2006).
posted by porn in the woods at 9:45 AM PST - 24 comments

'Afghan' is a short film by Pardis Parker about finding 'Go Home Arab' spray-painted on his car.
posted by secretdark at 8:46 AM PST - 16 comments

Photos from the sets of Jaws, Godzilla and various horror flicks.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:20 AM PST - 16 comments

He won't win any accolades for subtlety or refinement, perhaps, but he was a beloved entertainer who stomped his feet and threw himself wholeheartedly (and very, very energetically) into every tune he ever performed, from the early days of country radio to the Grand Ole Opry to television's Hee Haw series. I'm talking about Louis Marshall "Grandpa" Jones. Today's his birthday, so why not drop in on some of the Grandpa performances on offer at ye olde YouTubes, such as Good Old Mountain Dew, Night Train To Memphis, Are You From Dixie or The Kickin' Mule. When he wasn't hamming it up for the camera, though, his vocal performances were often much more varied and accomplished. Check out, for example, his delivery and vivacious yodeling on T For Texas. And here he turns in a solid, honest version of the great Merle Travis classic, Dark As a Dungeon [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:23 AM PST - 34 comments

Supernatural supporting actor Misha Collins is holding another international scavenger hunt this year. Called GISHWHES (for Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen), last year's attempt broke the standing world record for largest scavenger hunt (the rhino hunt (previously) was only a test run). This year's list has not yet been released, but there is a video featuring selections from last year's, including the Christmas tree that flew into a Canadian airport's airspace (which was not the same Christmas tree that mysteriously appeared on a farmer's field.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:21 AM PST - 69 comments

Tired of cute kitty videos? Here's a cute baby elephant video with a dramatic confrontation, a car chase, a saved-in-the-nick-of-time rescue and a happy ending (SL BBC).
posted by aqsakal at 6:46 AM PST - 25 comments

We Are Never Ever Gonna Cook Together - A Breaking Bad Taylor Swift parody. (SLYT / Spoilers)
posted by yellowbinder at 6:17 AM PST - 11 comments

A harpsichord automaton. Malcolm Messiter: "After hours of struggling with a soldering iron, suddenly it all became worth it when the system just worked flawlessly. The sheer joy and satisfaction of seeing and hearing it work for the first time was extraordinary. It played Soler’s Fandango, Brandenburg 5, the Goldberg Variations, and even the Flight of the Bumble Bee, late into that first night!" [Project direct link (PDF, from p.27)].
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 5:50 AM PST - 11 comments

The Puzzle of Plastid Evolution: A comprehensive understanding of the origin and spread of plastids remains an important yet elusive goal in the field of eukaryotic evolution. Combined with the discovery of new photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic protist lineages, the results of recent taxonomically broad phylogenomic studies suggest that a re-shuffling of higher-level eukaryote systematics is in order. Consequently, new models of plastid evolution involving ancient secondary and tertiary endosymbioses are needed to explain the full spectrum of photosynthetic eukaryotes. [Full Text HTML] [Full Text PDF] [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 4:13 AM PST - 8 comments

October 19

On Monday October 15th, XperiaBlog wrote about apparent photos of a Sony Nexus X phone found in a Picasa gallery. By the end of the day, The Verge, Gizmodo, TechCrunch and CNET had picked up the story. The next day, the hoaxer revealed how "an individual with no previous worldwide recognition save for a frontpage Reddit post, managed to alter the behavior of people in Russia, Japan, Uzbekistan, and Italy within the course of 24 hours, all from the comfort of my home while exerting next to no effort."
posted by dragoon at 10:58 PM PST - 34 comments

NATO Research Topic: Examining the Propaganda Tactics of Operation Unified Protector: 'the full set of 20 propaganda leaflets that were being dropped over cities in Libya during the aforementioned operations.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:29 PM PST - 7 comments

It is worth overcoming your hatred of lists, your dislike of the word "lifehack," and your distaste of ugly tumblr sites to scroll through the rather revelatory 99 Life Hacks. Highlights include: using a dustpan to fill containers, dental floss to cut cheese and cake, using drink tabs to hold straws, charging phones at hotels using the TV, filtering for spam the easy way, keeping your zipper up on your pants, filtering microwave popcorn, and the secret to locating highway exits. I can't believe I never knew that one...
posted by blahblahblah at 8:46 PM PST - 174 comments

It was the last few weeks before I left 2000AD and I was looking forward to starting work on my next creation: Misty. I took the title from the film, Play Misty For Me and my plan was to use my 2000AD approach on a girls’ comic: big visuals and longer, more sophisticated stories with the emphasis on the supernatural and horror. Pat Mills on the creation of Misty, a comic full of "pacts with the devil, schoolgirl sacrifice, the ghosts of hanged girls, sinister cults, evil scientists experimenting on the innocent and terrifying parallel worlds where the Nazis won the Second World War." The Guardian's Jacqueline Rayner recalls Jinty, Tammy, Misty and the golden age of girls' comics.
posted by Artw at 7:08 PM PST - 6 comments

A little Halloween inspiration: "Friendly, Upbeat,Youthful, Energized and Versatile" voiceover actress and puppeteer Serra Hirsch (Puppet Junction) earned herself a spot in Coolest Homemade Costumes' Contest Winner Hall of Fame -- and her very own page on the site -- with such creations as Eggs and Bacon, Photo Booth Picture Strip, and Prisoner in a Visiting Booth. Now there's a short documentary about her. She discusses some of the details of her costumes in this video interview (dull intro section skipped).
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:16 PM PST - 5 comments

They've been around for over 20 years, but as a snack scourge, it's only recently taken its grip on American kids. It's "hyperpalatable," meaning eating it in large quantities can lead to symptoms mirroring addiction. It's been banned from school districts in several states, including one that was moving an amazing 150,000 units a year. Corner store owners report the item as their #1 seller, and that kids even eat them as breakfast. Just a tiny portion contains 160 calories, 17 percent of the daily suggested serving for fat and 250 MGs of sodium. And it's sending kids to emergency room with a frightening but basically harmless side effect. So what is this gastrointestinal menace? Flamin' Hot Cheetos.
posted by mreleganza at 6:06 PM PST - 126 comments


Much Better Now — A bookmark is stuck in a forgotten book that is one day knocked over by wind. It experiences its environment by surfing the pages that turn in to ocean-waves, enjoying the ride of its life. As the book cover closes, light reveals new challenges. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:25 PM PST - 3 comments


This afternoon, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne got on a train from Cheshire to London. Despite only having a Standard Class ticket, he headed straight to First Class, because (obviously) he couldn't sit with the Standard Class herd. So he sent an aide to tell the ticket collector that he was going to sit in First Class, but was unwilling to pay. Sadly for him, the discussion took place right next to a journalist, who tweeted the whole thing. This comes hot on the heels of Plebgate, of course: the protagonist in that embarrassment resigned soon after Osborne's gaffe, apparantly in an attempt to distract attention. [more inside]
posted by Grangousier at 3:49 PM PST - 82 comments


"Learning to draw primarily comes from practice. Spend ten to twenty minutes every day sketching something new. Don't feel demotivated if you start off as a not-very-good artist." Want proof? Check out the dates of this conceptart.org thread: Over the next sixty pages and seven years of drawing, you'll see how Jonathan Hardesty was working a little bit every day and developing from a beginning hobby artist to an accomplished art teacher. [more inside]
posted by growabrain at 3:03 PM PST - 47 comments


212” (nsfw) was voted Pitchfork’s no. 9 track of 2011, propelling Banks to the top spot on NME’s 2011 “Cool List” and earning her a coveted endorsement from Kanye West—all before she even landed a record deal. But some listeners just couldn’t get past that C-word. In a December 2011 cover story for self-titled magazine, the interviewer asked Banks a question that no one would have asked, say, Lil Wayne, who was three years younger than Banks when his debut album dropped: “Is it weird to play these songs for your mother?” [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 11:48 AM PST - 68 comments

Larry Sloan, the ____(adjective)____ publisher of the ___(adverb)___ ___(adjective)____ "Mad Libs" died on October 18th. His family and friends described him as ____(adjective)_____, ____(adjective)_____, kind to his pet ____(animal)____, and very interested in his hobby, collecting _____(plural noun)____.
posted by xingcat at 11:45 AM PST - 54 comments

The State of Minnesota has informed Coursera that it cannot offer courses to Minnesota residents because it has not obtained permission to do so from the state. The Chronicle of Higher Education's Wired Campus blog reports on the story here. The State was acting pursuant to the "Minnesota Private and Out-of-State Public Postsecondary Education Act," which requires schools to register with the state if they offer courses in Minnesota and requires approval if degrees are granted or the words "college" or "university" are used in the name of a school. The law was enacted in 1975 and appears to have been intended to be a consumer protection law. Noted First Amendment scholar Eugene Volokh has opined at his blog that the statute is unconstitutional, at least as applied to a web site that offers its courses for free and does not grant degrees.
posted by Area Man at 11:30 AM PST - 69 comments

A family spokesperson confirms the 90-year-old McGovern is no longer responsive and is "at the end stages of his life." He has been in hospice care in South Dakota since Monday, suffering from a combination of age-related medical conditions that have worsened in recent months. McGovern is best known for running against Richard Nixon in 1972 on a platform of withdrawing U.S. troops from Vietnam, reducing defense spending, and providing amnesty to those who evaded the draft. Although he ultimately lost his election bid by a landslide, McGovern shattered the consensus in Capitol Hill around the Vietnam War as one of the first senators to speak out against the war. As a decorated World War II pilot who flew B-24 bombers over Nazi Germany, McGovern did not fit the stereotype of antiwar leaders in the 1960s and 1970s. He is also known for transforming how the Democratic Party chooses its presidential nominee and for his efforts to end world hunger.
[more inside]
posted by eviemath at 10:42 AM PST - 82 comments

Here's a bit of noise for your Friday: three free EPs from the duo known as Flosstradamus. As the three X EPs are presented with minimal information and blind links to zip files, here are three links with more text and streaming versions of the song. Two more bonuses: Major Lazer's Original Don remixed by Flosstradamus, and Certified Trap, a 20 minute mini-documentary on Trap Music.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:41 AM PST - 10 comments

Kanye Wes Anderson (SLTumblr)
posted by m@f at 10:26 AM PST - 16 comments

You want us to pay you for directing eyeballs to your sites? Newspaper publishers in France want a law whereby Google (and other search engine services) have to pay for each click made from the search engine to their sites. You click on a link to a French newspaper site from a search engine, the Search Engine has to pay the newspaper for that click. If the law is passed it's likely Google will no longer include links to French sites that require payment for said links.
posted by juiceCake at 10:21 AM PST - 107 comments

Humans of New York is a Facebook page that posts pictures of the humans (and sometimes pets) of New York. Yesterday, HONY got ready to post a picture of an NYU student named Stella, . Afterwards, she told the photographer about a self-portrait she recently posted on Tumblr. So, instead of just posting of the photo they took, they also included her self portrait. In the first 13 hours, the photo was been seen by 2.4 million people, and has been "liked" by 300,000. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:02 AM PST - 106 comments

The Seattle Times will run campaign ads supporting Washington Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna and the state's pro-same sex marriage measure Referendum-74, paid for by the Seattle Times Co..
posted by scaryblackdeath at 9:40 AM PST - 29 comments


The State Fair of Texas is underway, famous for its fried foods and livestock shows. Perhaps nothing is more iconic than the giant, talking statue of Big Tex--look at the domain name of the Fair if you don't believe me. But today, creating probably the greatest/most traumatic State Fair memories of all time for those present, Big Tex caught on fire and burned. Rest in peace, Big Tex.
posted by resurrexit at 9:05 AM PST - 74 comments

HelixSnake is not very good at Skate 3.
posted by theodolite at 8:48 AM PST - 28 comments

Eating Only Dessert: Why your information diet is probably terrible - "[Clay] Johnson is the author of The Information Diet, a book with a unique core metaphor: heavily processed information, like heavily processed food, isn’t healthy but for some reason we can’t get enough of it. Email. Social networks. Blogs. Online video. People today consume more information than ever before, and typically only consume the things they really, really like. Johnson compares this to a bad diet. “If you only ate what you want then we’d probably put the dessert section at the top of the menu, rather than at the bottom,” he says. “I think the same thing is happening with journalism: we’re going straight to dessert every time.”" PBS Newshour interview with Johnson (~6 min. video with full transcript). Previously: Who wants to hear the truth when they can hear they're right?
posted by flex at 8:38 AM PST - 39 comments


An Ada Lovelace Day editathon is happening at the Royal Society in London This is part of a project to improve the representation of 'women in science' on Wikipedia and is hosted at the Royal Society of London after previous edit-a-thons at Harvard and Stockholm. It seems like most of the participants are women. If it sounds intriguing, it's not too late to register for a subsequent session in Oxford on the 26th (You might even be given cake).
posted by AFII at 7:57 AM PST - 15 comments

In 1998, a Playstation game called LSD: Dream Emulator was released in Japan. The game had no goals except for wandering around and exploring a dream world from the first person perspective. [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:17 AM PST - 31 comments


Have you ever had a dream like this? {22 second Youtube clip}
posted by dobbs at 6:23 AM PST - 53 comments

Jazz saxophonist David S. Ware passed away yesterday at age 62. [more inside]
posted by box at 6:22 AM PST - 18 comments

The Visit Quick Friday Flash Fun - all you want to do is visit your girlfriend, but can you make it?
posted by jontyjago at 6:16 AM PST - 9 comments

Cats That Look Like Pinup Girls (SLFridayTumblr) (NSFW)
posted by yellowbinder at 5:32 AM PST - 28 comments

The Bottom One Percent "Federal Prison Industries (FPI), which employs inmates in federal prisons, pays them between $0.23 and $1.15 per hour, with the average federal prisoner making $0.92 per hour. [F]rom this gross pay, the government deducts funds for restitution, to offset the high cost of incarceration, and for other purposes, leaving the average federal-prison employee with a measly $0.18 per hour. [Although state prison inmates'] wages were higher, ranging from $0.23 per hour to $7.00 per hour, their “take-home pay” was only about 20 percent of their wages. It’s safe to say that people making 72 cents an hour who have no other income are in the bottom 1 percent of the U.S. income distribution."
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:16 AM PST - 50 comments

You might find this an agreeable way to spend six minutes and twelve seconds: a two part introduction to the traditional music of Tsugaru, Aomori prefecture, in the far north of the main Japanese island of Honshu. The first piece is a starkly beautiful song, just voice and flute, and the second a solo piece performed on the shamisen, by the late Takahashi Chikuzan, a master of the Tsugaru style. And here you can see Chikuzan in action, rocking the three strings.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:45 AM PST - 12 comments

A great week for Australian Diplomacy
It has been an excellent week for Australian diplomacy. Prime Minister Julia Gillard established a strong new beginning for Australia's sometimes-troubled ties with a rising India. And the crowning moment was of course the country's victory in its bid for a non-permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council ...
[more inside]
posted by de at 3:34 AM PST - 20 comments

Mitigating Mutational Meltdown in Mammalian Mitochondria PLoS Biol 6(2): e35. [The PDF, where you can read the paper in its much prettier intended format.]
Mitochondria are remarkable microorganisms. About two billion years ago, their distant free-living ancestors hooked up with a truly foreign lineage of archaebacteria and started a genomic merger that led to the most successful coevolved mutualism on the planet: the eukaryotic cell. Along the way, evolving mitochondria lost a lot of genomic baggage, entrusted their emerging hosts with their own replication, sorted out genomic conflicts by following maternal inheritance, and have mostly abstained from sex and recombination. What mitochondria did retain was a subset of genes that encode critical components of the electron transport chain and ATP synthesis enzymes that carry out oxidative phosphorylation. Because mitochondria house the biochemical machinery that requires us to breathe oxygen, it was first assumed that mitochondrial genes would show very slow rates of molecular evolution. So it was big news almost 30 years ago when mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) evolution was observed to be quite rapid [1]. How could the genes for a highly conserved and critical function sustain the consequences of high mutation pressure and permit rapid rates of nucleotide substitution between species? Without the benefits of recombination, where offspring can carry fewer mutations than either parent, mutations should accumulate in mitochondrial genomes through the random loss of less-mutated genomes, a process referred to as Muller's ratchet [2,3]. How have mitochondria avoided a mutational meltdown, or at least significant declines in fitness?
Here is a jaw droppingly beautiful 3D animation of what Mitochindria look like in action. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 3:21 AM PST - 37 comments

October 18

Kim Han Sol is the son of Kim Jong Nam, who is the eldest son of Kim Jong Il, the recently deceased North Korean dictator. In this English interview for Finnish TV with former United Nations Under-Secretary General Elisabeth Rehn, he talks about his life, refers to his uncle and current DPRK Supreme Leader, Kim Jong Eun, as a 'dictator,' and says he never met his grandfather. [Part 1 (interview begins at 1:35)] [Part 2]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:50 PM PST - 22 comments

Solitary in Iran Nearly Broke Me. Then I Went Inside America's Prisons. "We throw thousands of men in the hole for the books they read, the company they keep, the beliefs they hold. Here's why." An article on solitary confinement (previously) by Shane Bauer, one of the three American hikers who were detained in Iran in 2009 (previously).
posted by homunculus at 11:30 PM PST - 52 comments


"Milgram and Bishop are opposed to reforms of mathematics teaching and support the continuation of a model in which students learn mathematics without engaging in realistic problems or discussing mathematical methods. They are, of course, entitled to this opinion, and there has been an ongoing, spirited academic debate about mathematics learning for a number of years. But Milgram and Bishop have gone beyond the bounds of reasoned discourse in a campaign to systematically suppress empirical evidence that contradicts their stance. Academic disagreement is an inevitable consequence of academic freedom, and I welcome it. However, responsible disagreement and academic bullying are not the same thing. Milgram and Bishop have engaged in a range of tactics to discredit me and damage my work which I have now decided to make public." Jo Boaler, professor of mathematics education at Stanford, accuses two mathematicians, one her colleague of Stanford, of unethical attempts to discredit her research, which supports "active engagement" with mathematics (aka "reform math") over the more traditional "practicing procedures" approach. [more inside]
posted by escabeche at 9:32 PM PST - 119 comments

Just what is Weird Twitter, anyway?
posted by gilrain at 8:09 PM PST - 89 comments

comfytube: Hours and hours of YouTube videos of crackling log fires in fireplaces. Click the raincloud to add the sound of rain, and the music note to add some soft music.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:53 PM PST - 23 comments

Today, the Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit ruled that "we conclude that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act violates equal protection and is therefore unconstitutional" [PDF of decision]. Plaintiff Edie Windsor has also petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear her case. [more inside]
posted by catlet at 6:30 PM PST - 51 comments

In case you were hoping to sleep tonight, there's always Hominid to haunt your dreams (SLVimeo).
posted by quiet coyote at 6:22 PM PST - 16 comments

Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy writes SciAm, as part of their election coverage, which also includes rating two candidates' answers on particular sciencey topics (full replies here, marking sheet here), as well as inquiring about the positions of other congress critters. Use 'Print' button for single page presentation
posted by Sparx at 5:58 PM PST - 49 comments

A beautifully written saga of a long-distance traveler's in-progress kayak journey from the Northwest Angle to Key West. [more inside]
posted by Ickster at 5:20 PM PST - 12 comments

The Audacity Of Louis Ortiz is a kickstarter funded documentary that chronicles the life and times an unemployed Puerto Rican man from the Bronx, whose life completely changed when he was told that he resembles Barack Obama. The story of Ortiz has been featured on This American Life, NY Times, and DRS 3. Ortiz as Obama has been featured in a few TV spots including an episode of Flight of the Concords and a Korean satellite TV commercial.
posted by wcfields at 3:35 PM PST - 19 comments


"People don't like their beloved childhood memories messed with, and when you adapt a classic like Wrinkle, that's what you're doing." An interview with Hope Larson, whose graphic novel adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s "A Wrinkle in Time" was released earlier this month. More: "How 'A Wrinkle in Time' Was Made Into a Graphic Novel." Even more (with lots of images): "‘A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel’: Hope Larson inks a classic."
posted by MonkeyToes at 3:04 PM PST - 41 comments


Do Smurfs Cry? [more inside]
posted by mrgrimm at 2:48 PM PST - 20 comments




Robots at Work and Play (a photo gallery from the Atlantic).
posted by tykky at 1:53 PM PST - 7 comments



A blog about raising (and co-sleeping with) a baby elephant named Moses: Rangers at Vwaza Wildlife Reserve noticed a baby elephant on his own running around frantically trying to find his mother. Moses is now living at Jumbo Foundation founder Jenny Webb's house, alongside her children and pets.
posted by vegartanipla at 12:02 PM PST - 26 comments

Perpetual Energy Wasting Machine (via)
posted by DU at 11:51 AM PST - 47 comments

The inventor of NiMH batteries, hydrogen fuel cells and thin film photovoltaics, Stan Ovshinsky was an inventor with a purpose. He made it his mission to change the way we use energy one invention at a time, but all with the ultimate goal of removing the need for carbon based fuels for transportation. A fixture in Michigan for decades, he was the quintessential innovator. Almost single-handedly he changed the course of discussion about the future of cars. Previously.
posted by BillW at 11:37 AM PST - 13 comments


Have you ever been in a room with lots of people and not great ventilation. Or even a room with normal ventilation. You may be cognitively impaired due to elevated levels of CO2 once considered safe now thought enough to make you a little dumb. 600ppm is now thought too much, but “there are plenty of buildings where you could easily see 2,500 ppm of CO2 — or close to it — even with ventilation designs that are fully compliant with current standards.. classrooms frequently exceed 1,000ppm." [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 11:25 AM PST - 50 comments

"That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons It’s clobberin’ time." Comics blogger Mike Sterling re-imagines the Fantastic Four in a Halloween mood.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:21 AM PST - 11 comments

Adieu Emmanuelle
Sylvia Kristel (NSFW) has died aged 60 from Cancer.
In one Parisian theater, Emmanuelle played non-stop for over a decade.
Roger Ebert Kristel actually seems to be present in the film, and as absorbed in its revelations as we are. It's a relief, during a time of cynicism in which sex is supposed to sell anything, to find a skin flick that's a lot better than it probably had to be.
Some Pictures [more inside]
posted by adamvasco at 10:58 AM PST - 42 comments

Government report on secret flying saucer program (pdf) made available.
posted by joannemerriam at 10:19 AM PST - 26 comments

"Is she O.K.?" a customer asks.
"My mom?" asks Kristy, the waitress.
"Yes," the customer replies.
"No."


Since Sunday, the front page of the New York Times has been featuring a portrait in five parts of Elyria, Ohio (pop: 55,000), seen mostly through the lens of a local diner. (Second link is to a full multimedia feature, but direct links to the five individual articles can be found within.) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:30 AM PST - 42 comments

I find it almost impossible to finish cataloging. I spend days away from the fourth floor, ruminating over things I’ve read and unable to return to my place in the pages. I read things that really piss me off. I read things that frighten me. I read things that delight every bone in my body. When I’m working on it, I feel as though I’ve gone underwater. One day I forget to leave at five. The clock on the fourth floor has stopped at some point while I’ve been working. When I finally get up I find the elevator has been locked. Jenn Shapland is cataloging the archive for David Foster Wallace's The Pale King.
posted by chavenet at 8:56 AM PST - 21 comments

Sound of Cylons (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:52 AM PST - 70 comments

In the wake of its $1 sale and subsequent restructuring, merger with The Daily Beast, and some increasingly criticized covers and stories, Newsweek announces that it will cease print publication at the end of the year.
posted by theodolite at 8:38 AM PST - 76 comments




Ernest P. Worrell was a character created by actor Jim Varney and commercial director John Cherry. Before their remarkable films and tv series, Ernest appeared in untold numbers of commercials for everything from local car dealers to Coca-Cola. Here are 106 of them. [more inside]
posted by modernserf at 6:18 AM PST - 76 comments


An angry crow mocked me this morning. I couldn’t finish my croissant, and fled the café in despair.
— and other excerpts from Le Blog de Jean-Paul Sartre
posted by the mad poster! at 5:04 AM PST - 53 comments

Constitutive formation of caveolae in a bacterium. [Full Text]
Caveolin plays an essential role in the formation of characteristic surface pits, caveolae, which cover the surface of many animal cells. The fundamental principles of caveola formation are only slowly emerging. Here we show that caveolin expression in a prokaryotic host lacking any intracellular membrane system drives the formation of cytoplasmic vesicles containing polymeric caveolin. Vesicle formation is induced by expression of wild-type caveolins, but not caveolin mutants defective in caveola formation in mammalian systems. In addition, cryoelectron tomography shows that the induced membrane domains are equivalent in size and caveolin density to native caveolae and reveals a possible polyhedral arrangement of caveolin oligomers. The caveolin-induced vesicles or heterologous caveolae (h-caveolae) form by budding in from the cytoplasmic membrane, generating a membrane domain with distinct lipid composition. Periplasmic solutes are encapsulated in the budding h-caveola, and purified h-caveolae can be tailored to be targeted to specific cells of interest.
Elio Schaechter writes in plain English about how fantastically amazing and unexpected the researchers actually pulling this off is, and he also talks about it in more detail in his podcast.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:55 AM PST - 22 comments

"In removing the associations with genitalia, the messiness of bodies mashing together is obfuscated. Men no longer have to worry about being replaced. Women no longer have to worry about the psychic implications of being penetrated by a penis. Society doesn’t have to worry about gender norms being disturbed. And expectations of what defines sex remains stable." -- Jenny An on "The Pleasure Model" (a jokey NSFW pic at the top)
posted by bardic at 12:56 AM PST - 66 comments

October 17

Having his colon removed was one of the best things that ever happened to him, Simmons says. It stopped his Crohn’s symptoms, which allowed him pitch horseshoes competitively again. So having his colon removed was easy and nothing compared to the long list of troubles he would face in the 2000s, after he had become a world champion.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:16 PM PST - 18 comments


James Coyne, the former Governor of the Bank of Canada, died October 12 at the age of 102. Coyne will be best-remembered for the Coyne Affair in 1961, a watershed moment in Canadian monetary policy that has been the subject of scholarly articles and at least one Master's thesis. Coyne and the Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker, disagreed on monetary policy. After Diefenbaker failed to get a bill vacating the office of Bank Governor through the Senate, Coyne resigned, setting the modern precedent that the government, not the Bank, sets the fundamental direction of monetary policy in Canada but that the Bank implements policy independently. His son, columnist Andrew Coyne, pays tribute (obliquely) to James Coyne's legacy of integrity in public office. (Andrew once complimented his father's parsimoniousness in purchasing cars.)
posted by Dasein at 7:51 PM PST - 9 comments



It all started on Sept 27, when Honey Boo Boo's Uncle Lee "Poodle" Thompson made his first appearance on the show. Not a week had passed before Karen Cox's October 3rd op-ed for the New York Times using him as an example for the encouraging state of being gay in the South. October 8th, Jonathan Capehart wrote his own op-ed column for the Washington Post taking Cox to task for painting too rosy a picture of what GLBT life is like in the South, and calling for Uncle Poodle to speak out. Finally, October 10, Lee Thompson did speak out, in a profile column with the GA Voice, Georgia's gay newspaper. And what he had to say is getting positive attention.
posted by hippybear at 7:18 PM PST - 57 comments

A short musical explanation of campaign finance.
posted by Isadorady at 7:17 PM PST - 2 comments

The Swiss Army Tampon - a life-saving wilderness survival tool
posted by flex at 5:52 PM PST - 49 comments

Last week, The Onion revealed it is taking on TED with Onion Talks. The first episode is up: Compost-Fuelled Cars: Wouldn't That Be Great?
posted by yellowbinder at 4:04 PM PST - 59 comments

Mike's Amazing World of Comics has a section called The Newsstand that lets you select a year/date/publisher and then view a collection of cover images from that time period. [more inside]
posted by lord_wolf at 2:33 PM PST - 25 comments

As of yesterday, The Pirate Bay - which has described itself as "the world's most resilient BitTorrent site" - is now hosted by multiple cloud computing services in two countries who are unaware of the identity of their notorious customer. The pirates boast, "If the police decide to raid us again there are no servers to take, just a transit router. If they follow the trail to the next country and find the load balancer, there is just a disk-less server there. In case they find out where the cloud provider is, all they can get are encrypted disk-images. They have to be quick about it too, if the servers have been out of communication with the load balancer for 8 hours they automatically shut down. When the servers are booted up, access is only granted to those who have the encryption password.” [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 2:16 PM PST - 117 comments

Omaha schoolgirl dresses as a different historical figure every day. "The Dundee Elementary School third-grader comes to school dressed as a different historical figure or character — Every. Single. Day. And she's done that since the second day of second grade, when this all started."
posted by sweetkid at 1:42 PM PST - 82 comments


Branding the US Presidents. [via]
posted by cashman at 10:26 AM PST - 68 comments

Sitting is hazardous to your health. "The research, published in separate medical journals this month, adds to a growing scientific consensus that the more time someone spends sitting, especially in front of the television, the shorter and less robust his or her life may be." [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:25 AM PST - 116 comments

The Absurd Quest for Euro Crisis Images: The Greeks aren't the only ones sick of the euro crisis. Photographers are reaching the end of their tether too, struggling to shoot images of euro coins in various states of distress to illustrate the story. Though some of the photos are absurd, they still get published -- because news outlets are equally desperate. Gallery. [via]
posted by daniel_charms at 10:25 AM PST - 19 comments

"Look, goddamn it, I’m homosexual, and most of my friends are Jewish homosexuals, and some of my best friends are black homosexuals, and I am sick and tired of reading and hearing such goddamn demeaning, degrading bullshit about me and my friends." - Merle Miller.
In 1970, two years after Stonewall, Joseph Epstein wrote a cover story for Harper’s Magazine, Homo/hetero: The struggle for sexual identity, that came to chilling conclusions: "I would wish homosexuality off the face of this earth." His incendiary language prompted author/journalist/writer Merle Miller to come out of the closet in the New York Times Magazine, with an angry and poignant plea for dignity, understanding and respect: "What It Means to Be a Homosexual." 40 years later, that essay helped inspire the launch of the "It Gets Better" campaign. Via [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:05 AM PST - 62 comments

This is what the internet looks like. Google hired photographer Connie Zhou to photograph its data centers for the first time ever, from enormous warehouses in Iowa to color-coded pipes in Georgia. You can even check out their security team on Street View.
posted by theodolite at 8:36 AM PST - 86 comments

Die Antwoord's new video FATTY BOOM BOOM is a bright and colourful African adventure, complete with wild animals, zef savages singing and dancing in the streets, and a special guest appearance by a sneaky little prawn star. (warning: contains ironic blackface)
posted by Tom-B at 7:14 AM PST - 160 comments

The usual rape prevention campaigns often focus on the victims and what they can do to minimise the risk of being attacked (as discussed previously) but in Scotland they're now doing things differently. [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 6:56 AM PST - 116 comments

"Thanks to extra fuel left on their plane and a pair of binoculars from a passenger, the crew of [an] Air Canada jetliner was credited Monday with assisting in the rescue of an Australian yacht adrift in the South Pacific." [more inside]
posted by maudlin at 6:19 AM PST - 35 comments

“These companies are willing to shove 1,000 attorneys down your throat if you share music, but won’t even respond to a legal order about actual music theft and piracy.” -Benn Jordan [via] [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges at 6:16 AM PST - 23 comments

Rockstar's open-world police procedural is set in 1947. Dad was born in 1943, and he spent his early years in Crenshaw, a district in the south-west of the city. (It's close to where the body of the Black Dahlia was found.) Best of all, his dad was a beat cop - a beat cop who, as we've already discovered, once shot a guilty man in the ass. The game world was the world of dad's childhood, then. Would he recognise it?
posted by liquidindian at 5:27 AM PST - 43 comments


What ho, dearest cousins in the Western Colonies. You appear to be increasingly using the vernacular of the mother country. Splendid! [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 2:37 AM PST - 180 comments

The Genome Compiler is an IDE for DNA projects for all you DIYbio enthusiasts. Previously. Previously.
posted by lipsum at 12:20 AM PST - 24 comments

October 16

It was pretty grand when The Roller Coaster Capital of the World, Cedar Point (previously / previously) , started offering HD quality perspective videos of their coasters for those of us far away from home. Recently, Google Street View has mapped the entire amusement park for our enjoyment!
posted by TangerineGurl at 10:54 PM PST - 23 comments

Lake Street Dive ("DIVE not DRIVE!") is a band from Brooklyn, NY. Maybe you've already heard of them but in case you haven't, they do infectious covers and some originals too. They'll also do an impromptu web cast in someone's basement if their outdoor gig gets rained out.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:21 PM PST - 15 comments

Ultimate Drumming Technique: an instructional video (so very NSFW.) [more inside]
posted by griphus at 7:46 PM PST - 93 comments

Of all the spinoffs that came as a result of Ayn Rand and Objectivism, Neo-Tech has to be the strangest. [more inside]
posted by mediocre at 7:01 PM PST - 25 comments


Thought the "rubber rooms" where New York City teachers were sent to wait for disciplinary hearings were closed? Not so much. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 5:33 PM PST - 32 comments

Mad Men season five in review (audio) - As the latest season is released on DVD the Nerdist Writers Panel talks to creator Matthew Weiner, showrunners Andre and Maria Jacquemetton, and writer Erin Levy about the show.
posted by Artw at 5:30 PM PST - 11 comments

Based on Robert Kennedy's book Thirteen Days, with a stunning cast and a riveting screenplay, broadcast a scant 12 years after the event... The Missiles of October. [more inside]
posted by timsteil at 4:28 PM PST - 20 comments


A planet with about the same mass as Earth has been discovered in orbit around Alpha Centauri B, a star in the Alpha Centauri triple star system - the solar system's closest neighbor, a mere 4.3 light years away. Alpha Centauri B is very similar to the Sun, and this marks the first planet with a mass similar to Earth ever found around a Sun-like star. However, the planet is orbiting at a distance of about six million kilometers, much closer than Mercury is to the Sun in the Solar System, so temperatures above 400 degrees Celsius may make vacationing there unpalatable even for the most dedicated beach-goer. However, lead paper author Xavier Dumusque called it "a major step towards the detection of a twin Earth in the immediate vicinity of the Sun."
posted by kyrademon at 3:58 PM PST - 55 comments

Provirophages and transpovirons as the diverse mobilome of giant viruses
Abstract: A distinct class of infectious agents, the virophages1 that infect giant viruses of the Mimiviridae family, has been recently described. Here we report the simultaneous discovery of a giant virus of Acanthamoeba polyphaga (Lentille virus) that contains an integrated genome2 of a virophage (Sputnik 2), and a member of a previously unknown class of mobile genetic elements3, the transpovirons4. The transpovirons are linear DNA elements of ∼7 kb [kilobases]5 that encompass six to eight protein-coding genes, two of which are homologous6 to virophage genes. Fluorescence7 in situ hybridization8 showed that the free form of the transpoviron replicates within the giant virus factory and accumulates in high copy numbers inside giant virus particles, Sputnik 2 particles, and amoeba cytoplasm. Analysis of deep-sequencing data showed that the virophage and the transpoviron can integrate9 in nearly any place in the chromosome of the giant virus host and that, although less frequently, the transpoviron can also be linked to the virophage chromosome. In addition, integrated fragments of transpoviron DNA were detected in several giant virus and Sputnik genomes. Analysis of 19 Mimivirus strains revealed three distinct transpovirons associated with three subgroups of Mimiviruses. The virophage, the transpoviron, and the previously identified self-splicing introns10 and inteins11 constitute the complex, interconnected mobilome12 of the giant viruses and are likely to substantially contribute to interviral gene transfer.
[Full Text PDF] and two explanations in English [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 3:55 PM PST - 28 comments

Ever since the first televised general election presidential debate was held on September 26, 1960, between U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy, the Democratic nominee, and Vice President Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee the vast majority of moderators have been men. "Why haven’t women moderated a presidential debate in the past 20 years, especially when women vote more than men?"* [more inside]
posted by ericb at 2:39 PM PST - 3061 comments

In the first 11 matches of the 2010 season they scored 2 goals and conceded 227. Madron FC is the worst football team in Britain.
posted by jontyjago at 12:16 PM PST - 28 comments

Felix Salmon on why pumpkin is the new bacon. The weird thing about pumpkin’s rise to baconlike ubiquity is that pumpkin, on its own, is not a very appetizing food at all. A dense and stringy fruit, it needs the accompaniment of a lot of sugar and spices before it becomes particularly palatable. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead at 12:00 PM PST - 156 comments

Who is voting against MN's same sex marrage ban being enshrined in the MN constitution? Michael Brodkorb: Broadkorb, a former top strategist for the Minnesota Republican party before losing his job because of an affair with Senate Majority leader Amy Koch says he plans on voting against the amendment even though he helped craft it. The gag order in his case claiming wrongful termination was recently removed allowing him to "clear the air". perhaps the biggest charge that he lays so far is the amendments where strictly a ploy to drive voter turnout:
“The belief was, the United States senate race was not going to be close, and that Republicans needed and social conservatives needed a reason to get to the polls in November,
posted by edgeways at 11:53 AM PST - 43 comments

Last week, a male Facebook user wrote to Bodyform (a manufacturer of feminine hygiene products) to complain that its advertisements were not consistent with the realities of menstruation. Quickly thereafter, his post went viral, and today, the company responded.
posted by schmod at 11:51 AM PST - 109 comments

Verizon draws fire for monitoring app usage, browsing habits: Verizon Wireless has begun selling information about its customers' geographical locations, app usage, and Web browsing activities. The company this month began offering reports to marketers showing what Verizon subscribers are doing on their phones and other mobile devices, including what iOS and Android apps are in use in which locations. Verizon says it may link the data to third-party databases with information about customers' gender, age, and even details such as "sports enthusiast, frequent diner or pet owner." [more inside]
posted by jaduncan at 11:49 AM PST - 19 comments

Framestacking ISS Video. This is seriously cool, produced by running International Space Station videos though framestacking software, successively adding the images to produce trails of light. View full screen and smoke it if you got it.
posted by pjern at 11:29 AM PST - 13 comments

Flipping through public access or PBS channels one might have seen Classic Arts Showcase with it's familiar ARTS bug. The 24-hour non-commercial free-to-air satellite channel broadcasts a repeated 8-hour mix of about 150 video clips weekly a mix of various classic arts including animation, architectural art, ballet, chamber, choral music, dance, folk art, museum art, musical theater, opera, orchestral, recital, solo instrumental, solo vocal, and theatrical play, as well as classic film and archival documentaries. The channel has no VJs and only silent interstitials encouraging the viewer to “...go out and feast from the buffet of arts available in your community.” [more inside]
posted by wcfields at 11:01 AM PST - 7 comments

"Mountain of Dinosaurs" (1967) A Russian cartoon, directed by Rasa Strautmane. WARNING: things don't end well for the Dinosaurs. [via]
posted by brundlefly at 10:59 AM PST - 4 comments

"Michael devoted his work to exploring the limits of the galleries and schools and museums that give context and space for art, poking at all sorts of barriers and shibboleths with a humor that was sometimes sly, and sometimes hilarious. He removed walls and doors and windows from galleries and museum spaces, letting in daylight and air, letting out preconceptions." Pioneering conceptual artist Michael Asher dies at 69 [more inside]
posted by wreckingball at 10:38 AM PST - 7 comments

Ayn Bran - The Objectebreakfast. (SLFunnyOrDie)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:29 AM PST - 32 comments

Our leaders -- of both parties -- have systematically infantilized Americans to believe that perfect security is attainable. This is one reason the White House reacts so defensively to any intimation that its conduct of the war on al-Qaeda is less than perfect. It’s one reason Republicans cynically argue that the administration is incompetent in its prosecution of the war, and in its mission to keep U.S. personnel alive. So long as both parties react so small-mindedly and opportunistically to the terrorist threat, we won’t be able to have a rational, adult conversation about the best ways to wage this war. - Jeffrey Goldberg, Benghazi Attack Brings Infantilizing Response
posted by beisny at 9:48 AM PST - 39 comments

Can playing Dungeons & Dragons make you a more confident and successful person? The PBS Idea Channel posits that playing pen-and-paper role-playing games helps to develop valuable life skills such as problem solving, people management, and abstract thinking.
posted by asnider at 9:32 AM PST - 77 comments

Jackie Guthrie , wife of Arlo Guthrie, passed away at her home on October 14th. Arlo and Jackie were married in 1969 after meeting at the Troubadour in Hollywood where she worked as a cashier. They had recently celebrated their 43rd wedding anniversary, she leaves behind 5 children and 10 grandchildren. Arlo's recent posts on his facebook page are very personal and touching.
posted by HuronBob at 9:19 AM PST - 22 comments


Photographer Senen Llanos likes profiles and costumes, so why not combine them both with The Faces Of New York Comic Con 2012 Part 2. (via)
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM PST - 16 comments


Schools in Missouri, Maryland, and other states are using fingerprint scans and RFID chips to track students as a means to speed up service in the cafeteria and to track student whereabouts in and around school. [more inside]
posted by gauche at 7:04 AM PST - 83 comments

A Letter to My Allies on the Left by Rebecca Solnit
posted by mokin at 7:00 AM PST - 240 comments


Sara White, Canadian blogger who recently moved to Rome, shares some thoughts about old world food cultures versus the American approach to cooking. One of the most interesting things to me about her post is the discussion about how having no limitations (many Americans can just waltz into a large supermarket and get almost anything from almost anywhere) can negatively impact culinary creativity.
posted by hansbrough at 6:20 AM PST - 107 comments

British computer hacker Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced. [bbc]. She stated that "a decision to extradite would be incompatible with Mr McKinnon's human rights." on grounds of his mental illness(es) and propensity for suicidal thoughts. On a broader level she has also indicated that a forum bar will be available in future extraditions to the USA, meaning a court will be able to consider whether it would be more appropriate for a trial to be held in the UK. [more inside]
posted by samworm at 5:25 AM PST - 40 comments


Put another way, the historian is the ‘Internal Affairs guy’. This is a well-known figure in popular TV ‘cop shows’ and rarely a ‘good guy’. He or she is there to suppose that the hero has lied or done something wrong and that the villains might have been wronged or be telling the truth. The character rarely turns out to be as unsettling as that but it works as an analogy. For me, the historian is not there to provide comforting truths but to question them. The historian must always be prepared to wonder whether the ‘heroes’ of history are not, in fact, the villains, [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 3:58 AM PST - 23 comments


"When global warming was recast as "climate change," that was Frank Luntz. When the estate tax became a "death tax," that was Frank Luntz. When the Affordable Health Care for America Act was held up as "a government takeover," that was Frank Luntz, too." How A Top GOP Strategist Is Helping Hockey Owners Craft Their Lockout Propaganda [more inside]
posted by mannequito at 1:20 AM PST - 51 comments


October 15

Vulture's Top 25 Most Devoted Fan Bases: "Vulture has scanned the great plains of pop culture, weighing passion versus mere popularity to decide the 25 Most Devoted Fans of entertainment, which kicks off our weeklong exploration of all things Fandom. It's important to underscore that this list is not about mere numbers — it’s about fervency." [more inside]
posted by roger ackroyd at 10:29 PM PST - 81 comments

"I Loved it...I Loved it All" An eight minute film essay that Ned Judge co-produced and directed with Edward Abbey in 1985. At the time Judge was working for a network magazine show. The executive producer took him to lunch one day. He told him that he was having trouble with his son who was 18. The son thought his dad was a corporate whore. He had told his father if he had any balls at all he’d put Edward Abbey on his show. That’s why the EP was talking to him. Would Judge see if it was possible? Judge had an acquaintance who knew Ed and he passed the request along. Ed responded that he’d give it a try. He signed the contract and wrote a script. Judge and Abbey met in Moab and went out to Arches National Park to shoot some practice sessions with a home video camera. They would review them at the motel in the evening. After a day or two, Ed was feeling pretty comfortable on camera so they scheduled the shoot. They were all happy with the way it went. But then they ran head-on into network reality. Roger Mudd, the show’s host, was extremely negative about putting an “eco-terrorist” on the show. The executive producer caved (his son was right about him apparently). So this Abbey essay was put on the shelf and never aired. Abbey died 3 years later in March 1989. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 8:40 PM PST - 17 comments

"The Wenzhou crash killed forty people and injured a hundred and ninety-two. For reasons both practical and symbolic, the [Chinese] government was desperate to get trains running again, and within twenty-four hours it declared the line back in business. The Department of Propaganda ordered editors to give the crash as little attention as possible. “Do not question, do not elaborate,” it warned, on an internal notice. When newspapers came out the next morning, China’s first high-speed train wreck was not on the front page." [How a high-speed rail disaster exposed China's corruption]
posted by vidur at 7:48 PM PST - 22 comments

Computer scientist and past president of the ACM Barbara Simons recently spent 15 minutes chatting with Charlie Rose [no transcript available yet] about the insecurity of electronic voting machines, ranging from Direct-recording Electronic systems (such as the Diebold systems which were shown to be insecure in the excellent Hacking Democracy [1h21m, also on Google Video and Hulu]) to optical scanning machines. Add into her expressed uncertainty and frustrations Virginia's wireless vote-tally reporting, Florida's problems with demonstrated voting machine hacking (and again) (not to mention a case in FL with outright wrong machine-tallied results), questions being raised in Chicago about the accuracy of electronic voting, a Utah election recount being halted after being found to be incorrect, possible appearance of impropriety about e-voting machines in Ohio, and a picture starts to be painted wherein the veracity of election outcomes is cast into doubt. Verified Voting gives information about which state uses what kind of voting, and provides a lot of numbers.
posted by hippybear at 6:33 PM PST - 72 comments


In a surprise move, Premier of Ontario Dalton McGuinty has resigned. CBC National Post Globe and Mail Toronto Star. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea at 4:24 PM PST - 92 comments

You can accurately judge a person just by looking at their shoes, psychologists say. "Researchers at the University of Kansas found that people were able to correctly judge a stranger's age, gender, income, political affiliation, emotional and other important personality traits just by looking at the person's shoes." Virginia Postrel responded: "The study made a solid contribution to research on first impressions, but it was hardly earthshaking. By getting so much attention, however, it demonstrated a sociological truth: People love to talk about shoes. Even those who dismissed the research as silly often felt compelled to call radio stations or comment on websites, providing details about their own choices. Why this fascination with footwear? " [more inside]
posted by flex at 3:36 PM PST - 159 comments


Jay Mark Johnson takes two dimensional photographs, like just about everyone else. But he's chosen an unusual pair of dimensions: One in space, and one in time. Slate article, artist's webpage.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:58 PM PST - 18 comments

During the Golden Age of Hollywood and until 1967, mainstream movie studios were banned by the Production Code from depicting taboo topics like drug addiction, explicit murder and venereal disease, or even showing explicit nudity. But in the 1930's and 1940's, films marketed as "educational" could and did fly under the radar, and three of the best known 'educational' propaganda exploitation films are: Sex Madness (1935), Reefer Madness (1936) and The Cocaine Fiends (1938). [more inside]
posted by zarq at 2:27 PM PST - 30 comments


Although the heading is a little bucket-listy, I found many of the thoughts in 40 Things To Say Before You Die to be represented with insight in the form of charts and graphs. [more inside]
posted by achrise at 10:40 AM PST - 79 comments

One Man, 1200 Hours, and Over 100 Pencils: City Band, A Monumental Drawing by Chris LaPorte
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:24 AM PST - 9 comments

In Treatment was an HBO series that ran three seasons from 2008 through 2010. Adapated - often word-for-word - from the Israeli drama BeTipul, it depicted the weekly sessions of a psychologist (Emmy-nominated Gabriel Byrne) with his patients (including Debra Winger, Emmy-nominated Hope Davis, and, in her first American role, Mia Wasikowska) and with his own therapist (Emmy-winning Dianne Wiest). The filming of the series placed extraordinary demands on Byrne - which are well described in this interview with showrunner Warren Leight. (h/t: MCMikeNamara) You can watch its entire first episode here. (possible spoilers throughout)
posted by Egg Shen at 10:16 AM PST - 24 comments

Corb Lund is a classically trained jazz musician who was a founding member of Canadian metal legends The Smalls. For the past seventeen years, though, as the centrepiece of Corb Lund and the Hurtin' Albertans, he has been cranking out alt-country records that have garnered praise from well outside usual country music circles. His biggest hit is almost certainly the comedic Truck Got Stuck. His most recent single however is the sombre peak-oil apocalypse tune Gettin' Down on the Mountain. Corb also maintains maintains an excellent songwriting blog that he describes as 30% guitar lesson: "What That Song Means Now."
posted by 256 at 9:43 AM PST - 22 comments

Oldest message in a bottle found. The bottle was released as part of a research project tracking deep ocean currents. (Via socimages, via boingboing.)
posted by NoraReed at 9:20 AM PST - 25 comments

"The History of Food & Drink in Portland, Oregon" presented by the Portland Mercury and written by Chris Onstad.
posted by griphus at 8:48 AM PST - 23 comments

The NYC Stop-and-Frisk Program (wiki). Previously. Previously. Previously. And previously. Now there is new audio of how the stop-and-frisk program is being carried out by the NYPD, revealing the discriminatory and unprofessional way in which this controversial policy is being implemented. Includes some discussion on the culture of being a cop and how these orders are being handed down from the top.
posted by phaedon at 8:41 AM PST - 85 comments

A 280-page history of Athens (en) with a focus on architecture and planning. 1930s buildings of Athens photothread with multiple pages (selection). Athens Highrises (en). Ambelokipi. Piraeus and more Piraeus. Bits and bobs. The Athens forum.
posted by ersatz at 8:17 AM PST - 14 comments

Revelations From Running For Congress Steve Packard writes a blog called "Depleted Cranium," which debunks bad science in the media. Last spring he decided to run for Congress on a "Science-based" platform. It was ultimately a heartbreaking experience for him and he had to quit, as he'd run out of money for food. He has a pretty great post up summing up his experiences now. And at this point probably wouldn't mind if you donated a couple of cans of beans.
posted by proscriptus at 7:03 AM PST - 58 comments

Méliès's best known film is, of course, Le Voyage Dans La Lune, but Les Aventures de Robinson Crusoé, the newly discovered film, is an even more ambitious work; a landmark in the history of narrative cinema. Georges Méliès's Robinson Crusoé film resurfaces in Pordenone.
posted by Mezentian at 6:10 AM PST - 11 comments

With 32 million active players per month, League of Legends, the world's most played video game, just finished it's second World Championship with teams from the US, Russia, Korea, Taiwan and Europe competing for a $2 million dollar prize pool. The tournament was filled with stadium sized crowds, nonstop action, major upsets, even controversy. [more inside]
posted by roaring beast at 5:51 AM PST - 44 comments

In the spirit of free speech. (SLYT in Swedish.) Artist Lars Vilks' sculpture Nimis Nimis in the Republic of Ladonia (a k a, the Kullaberg nature reserve) (previously) has been made into a minaret, broadcasting the Islamic call to prayer six times a day. [more inside]
posted by three blind mice at 5:10 AM PST - 8 comments

The Guardian's crossword blog recently completed a list of the top 10 crosswords in fiction [more inside]
posted by KirkpatrickMac at 5:09 AM PST - 16 comments

Telling Stories About The Stories We Tell, An Interview with Philip Gourevitch [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:50 AM PST - 6 comments

King Lear with a happy ending (once more popular than the original!) Audio version. The Tempest with extra characters. Parody version of the tempest with extra characters (set in London). Romeo and Juliet, where Juliet fights crime as the Red Whirlwind, Verona is built on a floating island in the sky, and Prince Escalus is a tree (anime; manga). More unusual Shakespeare adaptations.
posted by gnimmel at 4:27 AM PST - 23 comments

The governments of the United Kingdom and Scotland agree on a framework for the latter to vote on independence. Other reporting in the Telegraph, Guardian and the Scottish Sun. The referendum, for this nation of 5.25 million people and a unicorn as its national animal, will be held before the end of 2014. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 1:26 AM PST - 109 comments

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Serge Haroche (France) and David Wineland (US) for discovering ways to measure and manipulate quantum particles, a discovery which many are suggesting may soon allow us to build computers with virtually limitless capabilities. The Nobel press release provides a layman friendly PDF summary of the research and its potential applications, as well as a less layman friendly PDF with additional scientific background information. The press release cites two older Scientific American articles for further reading, and the magazine has made these articles available to read free online for the next 30 days:
Monroe, C. R. and Wineland, D. J. (2008) Quantum Computing with Ions, Scientific American, August.

Yam, P. (1997) Bringing Schrödinger’s Cat to Life, Scientific American, June.

posted by dgaicun at 12:59 AM PST - 51 comments

Twenty-five years ago today, southern England and northern France were struck by the Great Storm of 1987. Although the storm did not go entirely unforecast, the exact track and ferocity of the storm were not as predicted, and the resulting devastation killed at least 22 people, and destroyed six of the seven oak trees that are symbolic of the eponymous town of Sevenoaks, in Kent. [more inside]
posted by kcds at 12:01 AM PST - 11 comments

October 14



Google is commemorating the 107th anniversary of artist Winsor McCay’s comic masterpiece 'Little Nemo in Slumberland' with an animated Doodle that follows Nemo through several levels of adventures, Inception-style. [more inside]
posted by mysticreferee at 10:21 PM PST - 23 comments

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon have created what they are calling "acoustic barcodes". These barcodes can be decoded by a computer with a microphone attached, and their video presents several potential use cases including an interactive whiteboard, cell phone mode controls, and children's toys.
posted by eak at 9:38 PM PST - 22 comments

Artist makes music with bird droppings. This BBC report includes probably the most excited reaction to guano in history.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:42 PM PST - 16 comments

HoneyMap is an interesting data visualization project depicting cyberattacks. Details.
posted by lalex at 1:05 PM PST - 6 comments

Former Pennsylvania senator Arlen Specter, who passed away this morning, is most recently known for his switch from the GOP to the Democratic Party in 2010. Specter is also distinguished for his vote in the Clinton impeachment trial: "not proven," a choice available to Scottish jurors when they believe insufficient evidence has been presented to prove the defendant's guilt. [more inside]
posted by Apropos of Something at 12:34 PM PST - 58 comments

Kimono Nagoya posts pictures of vibrantly colored Kimonos that show how the Kimono is used in day-to-day fashion. From the about page, "Kimono can be immediate and accessible. Let’s check it out." Modern designs, bold colors, and striking combinations. Fun to browse even if you have no plans of owning a kimono in the near future. Via maybe Wednesday, maybe not.
posted by codacorolla at 11:35 AM PST - 9 comments

In anticipation of "The Hobbit" movie, New Zealand has issued "Lord of the Rings" themed coins that are legal tender.
posted by reenum at 11:34 AM PST - 92 comments

Jonathan Strahan’s acclaimed Eclipse series of anthologies is coming to the web as Eclipse Online. The first story is The Contrary Gardener by Christopher Rowe, from Eclipse One.
posted by Artw at 10:42 AM PST - 5 comments

Many people will never visit any of North Dakota's 837 named towns and places. MeFite afiler visisted...all of them. [more inside]
posted by capricorn at 9:23 AM PST - 95 comments

"Cooking isn't creative, and it isn't easy." A NYT Magazine piece on Christopher Kimball, Cook's Illustrated, and his franchise (America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Country, et al.). "At the core of C.I.’s M.O. are two intrepid observations Kimball has made about the innermost psychology of home cooks. Namely that they 1) are haunted by a fear of humiliation, and 2) will not follow a recipe to the letter, believing that slavishly following directions is an implicit admission that you cannot cook... What the magazine essentially offers its readers is a bargain: if they agree to follow the recipes as written, their cooking will succeed and they will be recognized by family and friends as competent or even expert in the kitchen... The bargain further holds that the peppercorn-crusted filet of beef or butterscotch-cream pie will turn out not only in C.I.’s professional kitchen, with its All-Clad pans and DCS ranges, but also on a lowly electric four-top, using a dull knife and a $20 nonstick skillet." [more inside]
posted by flex at 9:11 AM PST - 196 comments


Citizens United has wrought widespread changes in the election law landscape. Yet, a lesser-known consequence of this watershed case might have a significant impact in the workplace: it may permit employers to hold political captive audience workplace meetings with their employees. Under Citizens United’s robust conception of corporate political speech, employers may now be able to compel their employees to listen to their political views at such meetings on pain of termination. [1]
And employers such as Koch Industries are taking full advantage of this. [more inside]
posted by eviemath at 8:59 AM PST - 83 comments

In a triumph of both technology and agriculture, the Guinness World Record for largest Quick Response code has been claimed by a corn maze.* [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 8:31 AM PST - 26 comments



In his Lingua Franca column, Allan Metcalf challenged his readers to come up with plausible but fake new grammar rules. And the winner is... [more inside]
posted by moonmilk at 6:07 AM PST - 50 comments


Who do you think you're fooling? A comparison of Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs and Ringo Lam's City on Fire. (Vimeo) [more inside]
posted by mediated self at 1:03 AM PST - 64 comments

October 13

Six years ago, US Army Captain Ivan Castro was severely wounded in a mortar attack in Iraq that left him permanently and completely blinded. Today, he's one of only three blind active duty Army officers, and the very first to serve in the US Army Special Forces. Thirteen months and 36 surgeries after the attack, Castro ran the 2007 Marine Corps Marathon in 4:14 and the Army Ten Miler in 1:25. And he's still going: In the last 15 months, he's completed 14 marathons. Why? "Because I still can. Because people need to see what's possible." [more inside]
posted by zarq at 10:24 PM PST - 17 comments

Heliodore Cyr a Canadian potato farmer (and god knows how he had time) appeared on "I've Got a Secret" three times. His wife should have been the guest. Whatever you do, read the comments.
posted by HuronBob at 10:11 PM PST - 27 comments

"In an effort to outwit raccoons, are we pushing their brain development and perhaps even sending them down a new evolutionary path? Using high-definition, infrared cameras that turn pitch dark into daylight ... Raccoon Nation [alt link] achieves something that has never been done before: it intimately follows a family of urban raccoons over the course of six months as the young – under the watchful eye of their mother – grow, develop, and begin to find their way in the complex world of a big city." "Raccoon populations have grown twenty-fold in North American cities over the last seventy years. And as this documentary will show, city life is changing raccoons in remarkable ways." (45:08 min. video)
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear at 9:38 PM PST - 42 comments

Tired of the Presidential race? The battle for 33 Class I seats in the 100-member United States Senate, once commonly known as the "World's Greatest Deliberative Body", now known for stifling torpor with record-breaking numbers of filibusters and a total logjam of pending confirmations, is also taking place on the same day. With many key Senate races happening in states where the Presidential outcome will be lopsided, all eyes are on split-ticket voters. 53 Democrats (2 of them independents) and 47 Republicans make up the current chamber. Who will control the second Senate ivory gavel, the first of which was shattered in 1954? [more inside]
posted by Hollywood Upstairs Medical College at 7:03 PM PST - 71 comments

A Handy Guide to Lucid Dreaming (With Additional Tips From Richard Feynman) (warnings: Gawker media, misuses "Begs the question")
posted by davidjmcgee at 6:30 PM PST - 34 comments

Saving Aesha She came to America after the Taliban hacked off her nose and ears, a symbol of the oppression of women in Afghanistan. Since then, she's been passed around by well-meaning strangers, showcased like a star and shielded like a fragile child. The fairy-tale ending everyone hoped for has remained elusive.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:28 PM PST - 12 comments

Timothy Kurek is a straight Christian man who decided to go "undercover" for a year as a gay man, [more inside]
posted by Red Loop at 6:27 PM PST - 130 comments

In 1968, William Greaves conducted a filmmaking experiment in Central Park, wherein a film crew (directed by himself) filmed the non-existent movie "Over The Cliff", while a documentary film crew filmed the filming of the film, and another documentary film crew filmed the filming of the film of the film. The result was Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, [1h15m, NSFW (language and situations); trailer] an experimental film wherein the observers are observed observing of the observed, with Greaves attempting to capture real moments in contrived circumstances. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:08 PM PST - 20 comments

For the last several months in Mississauga, Ontario, someone has been repeatedly vandalising a roadside memorial at the Glen Erin Drive overpass. The memorial is maintained by the father of Thomas Jasinski, who died in a car crash at that location in 2009. After an extended investigation, the vandal in question has been found, and in today's Toronto Star he has stepped forward to give his side of the story. [more inside]
posted by spoobnooble II: electric bugaboo at 3:57 PM PST - 88 comments

O Universo Musical de Baden Powell. A documentary about one of Brazil's most loved musicians.
posted by sp160n at 2:07 PM PST - 6 comments

In a recent exposé, Sir Jimmy Savile OBE – children's television presenter and tireless charity campaigner – was revealed to be what some had suspected and many had known: a predatory sex offender who abused hundreds of young girls. [more inside]
posted by mattn at 1:17 PM PST - 89 comments

Berk Senturk presents "Ottoman was Geeky", a collection of reinterpreted pop culture characters.
posted by griphus at 1:02 PM PST - 8 comments

A documentary about Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, parts one and two, by Michel Parbot (fr.wikipedia), broadcast on Dutch TV in 1980 (so the first 30 seconds or so are in Dutch). [more inside]
posted by cthuljew at 12:22 PM PST - 5 comments

The Pliocene Pussy Cat Theory (which originally appeared in The Annals of Improbable Research) argues that the human ancestor Australopithecus domesticated cats for hunting, defense and harvesting static electricity to make it easier to climb trees. The theory, which was proposed by Lorenzo Love, is a parody of the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (which is critiqued here and in shorter form here). Whether you know about the Aquatic Ape Hypothesis or not, the Pliocene Pussy Cat Theory, and Love's follow-up, the Subterranean Ape Theory, will completely alter your understanding of human evolution.
posted by Kattullus at 12:19 PM PST - 14 comments

RL Book 1 is the first part of a comics series from cartoonist Tom Hart, in which he talks about the death of his two year old daughter in November last year and how he and his wife, fellow cartoonist Leela Corman, are trying to deal with their loss. Somewhat sad, as you might expect.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:24 AM PST - 19 comments

After protests by members and MPs of neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn and religious groups, the Athens premiere of the play Corpus Christi was cancelled. A journalist trying to document the protests was reportedly beaten while the police stood by. "A well-known Golden Dawn MP follows me. He punches me twice in the face and knocks me to the ground. While on the ground, I lose my glasses. The Golden Dawn MP kicks me. The police are just two steps away but turn their back". Full translation of the tweets. MP Christos Pappas was later charged for intervening in officers’ attempts to detain a protester. The incident was captured on video, as well as MP Ilias Panayiotaros abusing the actors in a homophobic and racist manner (translation NSFW). [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 10:24 AM PST - 68 comments


When Alexi Lalas was asked by a woman sitting next to him on a plane what he did for a living, he told her he played soccer. She said: 'That's nice, but what do you do for a living?' Today the US Men's National Soccer Team can be watched on ESPN, has a large traveling fan base and can sometimes beat major teams like Italy or Spain, but back in 1990, no one knew who they were.
posted by BillW at 9:12 AM PST - 16 comments

The World of Photography (vimeo link, 24 min) was an episode of Alive From Off Center where William Wegman and Mike Smith helped you to see whether photography is for you. Learn about basic equipment like vests and sandwiches, get a quick but comprehensive lesson on depth of field, and find out how to make your boot photos really pop!
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 8:37 AM PST - 4 comments

If you're ever in Loretto, Kentucky, you're welcome to pay a visit to the Maker's Mark bourbon distillery, a National Historic Landmark. Until then, why not pour yourself a taste and watch this video? [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 8:13 AM PST - 19 comments

Inflatable Unicorn Horn For Cats. That is all.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:04 AM PST - 40 comments

My Life as a Girl - Why Stephen Burt likes dressing up as a woman.
posted by Artw at 7:25 AM PST - 54 comments

"2. Airman Thompson possesses outstanding talent in writing. He has imagination, good use of English, and can express his thoughts in a manner that makes interesting reading 3. However, in spite of frequent counseling with explanation of the reasons for the conservative policy on an AF base newspaper, Airman Thompson has consistently written controversial material and leans so strongly to critical editorializing that it was necessary to require that all his writing be thoroughly edited before release." - A memo regarding Airman Second-Class Hunter S. Thompson's reporting for the base newspaper. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:27 AM PST - 27 comments

When Carolyn McCaskill was 15 years old, she and nine other deaf black students were enrolled in an integrated school for the deaf in Talledega, Alabama. McCaskill had learned American Sign Language at home with her two deaf siblings and at the nearby Alabama School for the Negro Deaf and Blind. "When the teacher got up to address the class, McCaskill was lost." The American Sign Language used by the teacher and white students at her new school looked different than the American Sign Language that McCaskill had learned at home and at her previous school. Today, McCaskill is one of the leading authorities on Black ASL, which has distinctive features as a result of a history of segregated schools for the deaf and the influence of spoken black English. She is a professor at Gallaudet University, the co-director of the Black ASL Project, and a co-author of "The Hidden Treasure of Black ASL."
posted by Area Man at 4:06 AM PST - 41 comments

October 12

Baseball or Football? How Your Sports Choices ... Reveal your Politics. StubHub crunched their ticket data and found that baseball states tend to vote blue and football states tend to vote red. [via PostRoad's very excellent linkblog (nsfw)]
posted by caddis at 10:31 PM PST - 51 comments

Just four minutes of a domesticated fox being aggressively cute. (SLYT)
posted by hellojed at 8:55 PM PST - 76 comments

Sam Rockwell: Dancing Machine (SLYT)
posted by joannemerriam at 8:46 PM PST - 36 comments

True facts about hedgehogs.
posted by drlith at 4:31 PM PST - 65 comments

Zanta (previously, previously) was a fixture of the streets of Toronto for several years. Zanta (b. David Zancai) was a muscular, shirtless man in a Santa hat who entertained passersby for years and he was the subject of a 2007 graphic novel and a documentary film. His absence the last few years had been noticed and commented on. Zanta (or someone pretending to be him) launched a Twitter-based mayoral campaign in 2009 but he had been quiet since then. The Toronto Star reveals today that Zancai is alive, living with his mother and being medicated for his schizophrenia.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:50 PM PST - 25 comments

“If I had depended on Yéle,” said Diaoly Estimé, whose orphanage features a wall painting of Mr. Jean and his wife, “these kids would all be dead by now.” (SLNYT)
posted by Nomyte at 2:47 PM PST - 14 comments


"You ended up losing your family over this?” “I did.” Genesis Associates was an Exton, PA-based counseling practice which crashed and burned in the late 90's, leaving a long, scorchingly-painful trail of destruction in their wake. Founded by Pat Mansmann and Pat Neuhausel, Genesis employed the then-controversial, now-largely-discredited recovered memory therapy. Genesis also urged patients to "detach" (cut off contact) from their alleged abusers, as well as any individuals to whom they had become "addicted" - including their own children. In a long, harshly critical article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, a former patient is quoted as saying, "They had me brainwashed ... they get you so worn out, so confused, you can't think straight." A patient estranged from her children wrote, “The Genesis therapists were not only out to implant memories - they were out to destroy families and lives.” (“Betrayed” by Carol Diament; 3/4 of the way down this page). The group's use of detachment and "rage therapy" were also prominently featured in the Frontline special "Divided Memories". Genesis was sued by dozens of former patients (1,2,3); at least nine cases were settled out of court. In 1999, Mansmann and Neuhausel surrendered their licenses to practice in Pennsylvania. Unlike their patients', Mansmann and Neuhausel's relationship has remained tight... they're partners in an entity named "WIC Enterprises", they co-own property in Key West (manual search here) and, as of 2008, they were both members of the "National Center for Crisis Management". Their attorney has since been disbarred. The book they co-authored is still available used on Amazon.
posted by julthumbscrew at 2:00 PM PST - 36 comments

The Real Bears What bears drinking soda would look like.
posted by Yellow at 1:35 PM PST - 47 comments

"In the Sumerian religions, once one dies and enters the underworld, one cannot leave without finding another to take their place. Ron Paul leads an ideology that calls for a retrieval of the past. The only way to bring the past and its people back is an immense sacrifice, 350,000,000. Ron Paul’s followers are willing and grateful to be sacrificed, not only because they love him and believe in him, but because they know, that like the sun and wind god Nergal in the Sumerian religion, who entered the underworld and seduced Ereshkigal, he will enter the underworld and bring all of his loyal followers back to life, eternally. " Ron Paul Funeral City (Slightly NSFW, SL-TMBLR). [more inside]
posted by codacorolla at 1:29 PM PST - 26 comments


The American Presidency Project is a comprehensive archive of more than 100,000 documents related to the study of the United States' Commander-in-Chief, including transcripts of debates, public papers, state of the union addresses, White House Press Briefings, party platforms and election returns, as well as audio and video recordings. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 1:23 PM PST - 4 comments

This is the Greatest Event in Television History (SLYT). Jon Hamm, Adam Scott, and Paul Rudd re-create the opening credits to "Simon and Simon." Jeff Probst gives it a proper dramatic (and hilarious) introduction.
posted by Four-Eyed Girl at 1:19 PM PST - 82 comments

In his 45th year on the throne, Prince Roy Bates has passed away at the age of 91. The seeds of his nation were planted with the establishment of pirate station Radio Essex aboard the Knock John Tower offshore platform. Legal troubles forced Bates to move his operations further into international waters, claiming Roughs Tower for himself, and establishing the micronation of Sealand. He is survived by his wife and children, including his son, Prince Michael Bates, who has been acting ruler the nation of Sealand since the 1990s.
posted by AzraelBrown at 12:49 PM PST - 24 comments

“I’m trying to design the game so you don’t have to know programming but you can share the code,” says Notch. “If you have a friend who’s made this really awesome docking algorithm, you can put that on a floppy disk within the game and put that into your computer.”
Mojang (of Minecraft fame) have released details and footage about their upcoming game 0x10c. [more inside]
posted by griphus at 12:26 PM PST - 57 comments

Heaven is Real: A Doctor's Experience of the Afterlife. As a neurosurgeon, I did not believe in the phenomenon of near-death experiences...In the fall of 2008, however, after seven days in a coma during which the human part of my brain, the neocortex, was inactivated, I experienced something so profound that it gave me a scientific reason to believe in consciousness after death.
posted by shivohum at 11:50 AM PST - 196 comments

In 1983 House of Music, the Italo disco label managed by and featuring Carlo Favilli & Stefano Zito released arguably one of the best 12"s of the genre: B.W.H. - Livin 'Up / Stop. Both tracks, Stop (Music Video of Helene, the actual track singer and wife of Stefano Zitto) and Livin' Up, had their importance cemented in 1999's Mixed up in the Hague Volume 1 & Volume 2[mp3] Italo mix compiled by I-f aka DJ Ferenc/Interr-Ference
posted by wcfields at 11:38 AM PST - 6 comments

What if your action movie starred feline thespians instead of Colin Ferrel, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Tom Waits, and Christopher Walken? You'd get Seven PsychoCats. SLYT, NSFW
posted by kyleg at 11:29 AM PST - 7 comments

The Mom Stays in the Picture - When Allison Tate wrote about how "Too much of a mama's life goes undocumented and unseen... I'm everywhere in their young lives, and yet I have very few pictures of me with them", it resonated with many other women. "To read through the notes that came with the thousand-plus photos (and yes, we have read every single one) was to read the minds of today's mothers. Over and over you told us that you don't look the way you want to look, don't look the way you once did. Even when joining a movement created around the motto 'I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to love, but I am perfectly their mother,' you felt the need to apologize." (via middleclasstool's other half)
posted by flex at 11:16 AM PST - 50 comments

"It’s the feeling I remember from that glorious fall, a feeling I have never felt since and am quite sure I’ll never feel again. I was full of sap and muscular and strong, and, of course, quite deluded. A young Icarus with enough literary training to be pretty sure of where all this was heading. It was hubris plain and simple, but one thing they don’t tell you about hubris is how good it feels. In fact in some ways, though I now know what it will lead to, I still think of that fall as the high tide of my twenties. In some ways I still think of it as the high tide of my life. Though a happier and better man now, I still miss that time and if there were a way, if granted a wish, I can’t pretend I wouldn’t run right back and crawl inside that lunatic’s skin." Ultimate Glory: A Frisbee Memoir by David Gessner. [more inside]
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:11 AM PST - 4 comments

"Humans are playing God by physically and metaphorically perfecting themselves." Do these shoes "inflict a new beauty standard"?
posted by kinnakeet at 10:55 AM PST - 61 comments

Duncan Jenkins, Oldham fan and perspiring football journo, is not real. Slam Dunc overcame his fictional status to get thousands of followers on Twitter and even impact the real world by costing Liverpool FC hundreds of thousands of pounds when the made up journo posted some made up inside information that just happened to be true. Jen Chang, Liverpool's Director of Communications, was not happy and upon finding the real person, a Liverpool fan, behind the account, threatened him with revealing his identity which would lead to the destruction of his parents' business and the smearing of his name by the press. Oh, and a lifetime ban from Anfield, Liverpool's home stadium. [more inside]
posted by robocop is bleeding at 10:35 AM PST - 21 comments

Today marks the release of the film Argo, about the effort to smuggle out six Americans from Iran after the fall of the shah. The film is based on the actual events of the Canadian Caper, during which the Canadian embassy and staff in Iran sheltered the six Americans and, in cooperation with the CIA, provided Canadian identities and passports for the six. They were then smuggled out under the ruse of being part of the film crew for a science fiction film based on Roger Zelazny's Lord of Light. [more inside]
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:42 AM PST - 68 comments

Enter the Freeman is a short film based on Half Life. [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 8:28 AM PST - 25 comments

The BBC have released a narrated storyboard of an unfilmed Doctor Who scene that would have been a postscript to 'Angels In Manhattan' (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:42 AM PST - 103 comments

Microsoft is pushing hard to win adoption and support for Windows Azure Cloud services. How hard? Nerdcore hard. When you think "cloud", do you think rap? Someone at Microsoft does, apparently.
posted by ElDiabloConQueso at 7:40 AM PST - 55 comments

Ever wonder where ukulele strings come from? It's time for the annual string harvest. [more inside]
posted by MtDewd at 7:27 AM PST - 7 comments

"From Washington, D.C.: The Nation of Ulysses"
"Brothers and Sisters, what are your real desires?" 9:30 Club 1991, Part 2
"That's how you do this song, loose baby. Okay, 1 2 3 4" Live at Peace Center 1992, Part 2
Live at Jabberjaw
posted by OmieWise at 7:25 AM PST - 15 comments

Softball-sized eyeball washes up on Florida beach (SLN) Single Link Nightmare
posted by dirtdirt at 7:23 AM PST - 84 comments

Jill Harness from Neatorama curates a collection of photos of Over 40 Fantastic Animal Halloween Costumes. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 6:48 AM PST - 29 comments

Bomb vessels were heavily-fortified sailing ships designed to carry explosive shells. The Hecla Class of bomb vessels lived particularly interesting lives. [more inside]
posted by gnimmel at 6:15 AM PST - 20 comments



"I'm a 41 year old mom of two teenage boys. My oldest is gay and has the full support of both of his parents and his brother. If your family won't accept you, in honor of the day, I will be happy to virtually adopt you if you want to come out to a family that will accept you no matter what. "
posted by yankeefog at 3:29 AM PST - 27 comments

"So a friend of mine pitched down the sound of a baby crying" - Probably the weirdest sound you will hear today. [Link is SFW. Rest of site NSFW.] [more inside]
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:10 AM PST - 52 comments

[There] is a glaring contradiction in the fact that Gunung Kemukus, a mass ritual of adultery and sex, is going on in the middle of Java, the demographic heart of the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. Of course, the ritual isn’t Islam as most would recognise it. Instead, it’s emblematic of Indonesia’s – and especially Java’s – syncretic mix of Islam with earlier Hindu, Buddhist and animist beliefs. But what is truly surprising is that even while Indonesia undergoes a steady shift towards more orthodox Islam, the ritual on Gunung Kemukus is exploding in popularity. It’s a quintessentially Indonesian contradiction.
posted by barnacles at 1:21 AM PST - 4 comments

If I Fly a UAV Over My Neighbor's House, Is It Trespassing? "The wide availability of UAV technology (combined with HD video) scrambles my sense of what is right. Specifically, it points out how much of our sense of privacy is intimately connected up with our expectations of our property rights. Drones - as flying, seeing objects - scramble our 2D sense of property boundaries, and along the way, make privacy much more complicated." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 12:28 AM PST - 67 comments

October 11

Bottles Beware! 81 plastic water bottles meet their doom. (SLYT)
posted by Monkeymoo at 9:00 PM PST - 56 comments

Does your icon need flogging? (also) Is your writing humdrum? Do your photos just show what you see [previously]? Want to see the world from a new angle, or put a better face on things? Julius can help. [some short videos] [more inside]
posted by dmayhood at 8:14 PM PST - 1 comments

Chris Friel: one photo a day. [Via]
posted by homunculus at 6:10 PM PST - 4 comments



LEGO Batcave
posted by Egg Shen at 4:51 PM PST - 19 comments

Chuunibyou (中二病), or "Middle-school 2nd Year Syndrome", is "a colloquial and rather derisive term in Japan which describes a person at the age of fourteen would either act like a know-it-all adult, or thinks they have special powers no one else has." [more inside]
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:40 PM PST - 45 comments

What Snake Venom Does To Blood (SLDubbedYTP)
posted by The Whelk at 3:51 PM PST - 38 comments

Davé is a restaurant that caters to writers, actors, film directors, and rock stars. The polaroids of Davé Part One Part Two Part Three Part Four
posted by unliteral at 3:50 PM PST - 7 comments

The Onion's A.V Club has posted their list of the fifty best films of the '90s (part 1)(part 2)(part 3). [via]
posted by SomaSoda at 3:20 PM PST - 188 comments

"Buffalo mozzarella is the Great White Whale of American cheesemaking: a dream so exotic and powerful that it drives otherwise sensible people into ruinous monomaniacal quests."
posted by Chrysostom at 2:24 PM PST - 61 comments

Put A Poe On It
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:18 PM PST - 34 comments

45Football is based on a collection of about 1000 vinyl 7" records on football. Listen to classics like "We're Never Going to Stop" (LFC, 1983), and "Undici uomini d'oro" (AC Milan, 1979).
posted by modernnomad at 1:45 PM PST - 7 comments

The Global Language Online Support System (or GLOSS), produced by the Defense Language Institute in sunny Monterey, CA, offers over six thousand free lessons in 38 languages from Albanian to Uzbek, with particular emphasis on Chinese, Persian, Russian, Korean, and various types of Arabic. The lessons include both reading and listening components and are refreshingly based on real local materials (news articles, radio segments, etc.) rather than generic templates. [more inside]
posted by theodolite at 1:27 PM PST - 23 comments

Pokémon, Paradigmatically
posted by naju at 1:02 PM PST - 27 comments

The Hathi Trust, a partnership between 66 universities and 3 higher education consortia, is breathing a little easier now that Judge Harold Baer, Jr. of New York's Southern District has found that the Trust was within its fair use rights to allow Google to scan member library holdings, and then making the resulting files available for the reading impaired, and for use in search indexing and data mining. While this is excellent news for the educational institutions involved, it doesn't completely exonerate Google's role in the scanning project. It's notable that just last week Google abandoned it's own fair use claim in settling a different case involving the same book scanning project. Of the four factors used when considering fair use cases, Judge Baer ruled on the side of the Hathi Trust on all four.
posted by Toekneesan at 11:56 AM PST - 6 comments

Eric Lomax, River Kwai prisoner who forgave, dies at 93.
posted by tykky at 11:51 AM PST - 32 comments

Wickets and Wonders: Cricket’s Rich Literary Vein - a meditation on the literary history of cricket, and a few of the more well-known books surrounding gigaioggie.
posted by Wordshore at 11:49 AM PST - 14 comments

On the day he turned thirty-eight, Michel Eyquem de Montaigne retired from public life to the tower of the Château de Montaigne, there to spend the next ten years composing an assay of his life's experience. That his mind might thrive, he turned the tower into a "Solitarium" and its top floor into a sumptuous library, lining its round walls with some 1,500 books. Even the roof beams were made to bear his thoughts: on them he inscribed 46 quotations, here collected and translated.
posted by Iridic at 10:58 AM PST - 22 comments

"Farmer Bowman began purchasing Monsanto’s patented seeds in 1999 and, because of the licensing agreement, did not save any of the seed for future planting. But he also bought so-called “commodity” seed from a local grain elevator, which acts as a clearinghouse for farmers to buy and sell seed. But given that more than 90 percent of the soybeans planted in the area were Roundup Ready crops, the elevator’s seed was contaminated with Monsanto’s patented seed. Farmer Bowman planted that commodity seed, which was substantially cheaper to purchase, to produce a second, late-season crop, which is generally more risky and lower yielding. He then used seeds generated in one late-season harvest to help produce subsequent late-season crops. Monsanto sued him for patent infringement, and he lost." [more inside]
posted by sio42 at 10:15 AM PST - 105 comments

Don't Look at This! TV's Frank has a YouTube channel! And a hilarious twitter account! (Don't miss his live tweets of the debates.) And a brand new, star-studded, satirical, musical podcast spectacular: The Wonderful Pundits of Oz!
Actually, it's Frank Conniff, mild-mannered stand-up comic and veteran TV writer (MST3K, Invader Zim). And he'd like you to know that Governor Chris Christie is a large man. [more inside]
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:13 AM PST - 11 comments

Back in September a group of French Biologists published a "ground breaking" study on the impacts of GMO Corn. funded by CRIIGEN. [more inside]
posted by JPD at 9:57 AM PST - 57 comments


"...it should be made clear that Tehran in the ’70s was not an equivalent to New Orleans, Chicago or Detroit. There was no funk haven per se, but within the Iranian pop world some tracks did appear, and those records are a rare treasure trove for funk aficionados." — Searching for Iran’s lost funk [more inside]
posted by furtive at 8:52 AM PST - 7 comments

Why Obama Now - from Simpsons/Family Guy animator Lucas Gray [more inside]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:32 AM PST - 61 comments

Nine minutes of gameplay of the upcoming SimCity reboot. RPS has more.
posted by griphus at 8:19 AM PST - 94 comments

Chris Kraus' new novel, Summer of Hate, is out, published by Semiotext(e). Read the first chapter here. No spoilers inside, but some spoilers in the links. [more inside]
posted by outlandishmarxist at 7:45 AM PST - 10 comments


Lennon's Poster — A short film follows the recreation of the Pablo Fanque circus poster [previously] that inspired John Lennon to write 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite' for the Beatles album 'Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band'. Using the traditional methods of wood engraving and letterpress printing, a team of experts brings Lennon's poster to life.
posted by netbros at 6:05 AM PST - 12 comments

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq at 6:02 AM PST - 5 comments

A Reddit user began compiling information on members of the subreddit "creepshots", posting them on her tumblr. The tumblr is deleted, but Gawker's Adrian Chen allegedly threatens to publish information about violentacrez, moderator of r/creepshots and r/jailbait. Reddit's Politics subreddit disallows all Gawker links in response.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:38 AM PST - 1668 comments

Mo Yan has been awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature. A Chinese novelist, born as Guan Moye, his pen name means "don't speak." His most famous novel, Red Sorghum: A Novel of China, was turned into an acclaimed film in 1987. Here are some interviews with Mo Yan: Granta, National Endowment for the Humanities and Paper Republic. Speculation was rife in China before the announcement whether Mo Yan would receive it, and the matter was controversial. For people who haven't read any books by Mo Yan, the Swedish Academy recommends Garlic Ballads [NYT]. For more news over the day, keep an eye on The Literary Saloon and The Guardian's liveblog.
posted by Kattullus at 4:27 AM PST - 24 comments

Computing Texas Hold'em - Dr. Avi Rubin, a Johns Hopkins professor, computer security and electronic voting security expert, writes about learning and playing poker. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:36 AM PST - 16 comments

It's the hottest new metaphor for the brain, they say. Your brain is a rain forest. [more inside]
posted by Twang at 12:56 AM PST - 39 comments

October 10

First Draft of the Revolution is a browser-based, interactive, epistolary story, where the process of letter writing is used to explore aspects of character and plot that might otherwise remain hidden. Plus, lashings of classism and magical references.
posted by Sparx at 10:30 PM PST - 3 comments

"Based in Brisbane, Australia, Stuart uses the medium of comics to explore serious issues with a unique perspective and a sense of fun." - War on Drugs and more, and even more. [Previously]
posted by vidur at 7:47 PM PST - 6 comments

"Wes Anderson" by I Cani This is the video (SLYT WHOOO!!) for a wonderful song in Italian about wanting to live in Wes Anderson's films. And, of course, the video is a proper homage (and a half). [more inside]
posted by Rev. Syung Myung Me at 7:42 PM PST - 17 comments

John D. Fitzgerald had written three fictionalized memoirs of his family's life in the late 19th-century Utah west before the night he happened to regale a group of friends with childhood stories of his money-crazed brother, Tom. At their urging, he crafted a funny and clever series of children's books chronicling the adventures of The Great Brain. Like countless other readers, the blogger and researcher behind Finding Fitzgerald (and its companion blog and Facebook page) has been fascinated with discovering the real settings and stories behind the books. And the truly committed can even watch Jimmy Osmond in the 1978 film adaptation.
posted by Miko at 7:10 PM PST - 40 comments


A writer for outside magazine investigates first hand the world of the Argentinian Barra bravas. Argentina's most popular football team Boca Juniors is supported by La Doce, who are known as football's most passionate fans, and also run the underground economy of the stadium. (Boca's players aren't known for being saints either...) In spite of the violence, drugs, poverty, exploitation, and extortion - if you can get a chance to go to La Bombonera, eat a choripan and dare to stand in the populares with La Doce - it can be life changing.
posted by youthenrage at 4:49 PM PST - 9 comments

SmoothLife is a continuous version of John Conway's Game of Life. When you tire of watching the hypnotic video you can read a technical description of SmoothLife on the arXiv. Then you can watch more videos of SmoothLife.
posted by escabeche at 4:29 PM PST - 30 comments

The Story of Nokia MeeGo
posted by Ad hominem at 4:25 PM PST - 34 comments

The broth is just chicken and onions, with a confetti of vegetables added at the end where their flavor remains bright. The noodles are wide and winding... But, for me, the real triumph was giving the chicken parts and onion a saute... before adding water to make the soup. This deepened flavor base makes for magical soup, with a bronzed color, more robust flavor and significantly reduced prep time. ... With all of the blustery, cold days to go this winter, everyone... deserves to have a homemade, from-scratch chicken noodle soup that can be pulled off in just about an hour in their back pocket. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 3:57 PM PST - 57 comments

The USADA published its "Reasoned Decision" in the case against Lance Armstrong. It reads, as The Inner Ring said, like "a crime novel" and has a cast of the who's who of American cycling: Hincapie, Zabriski, Andreu, Vande Velde, Hamilton (YT), Landis, Swart, Barry, Leipheimer, Vaughters, Danielson. 200+ pages. It's all there.
posted by thomsplace at 3:18 PM PST - 134 comments


What number is halfway between 1 and 9? New research lends credence to the Weber-Fechner law.
posted by aniola at 12:58 PM PST - 138 comments

Researchers at Oregon State University have uncovered a unprecedented find: a spider attacking a wasp, both captured in amber (larger image here). The story, published in the journal Historical Biology, details that the attack occurred some 100 million years ago, during the early Cretaceous, in what is now Myanmar. Both the spider and the wasp belong to now-extinct species. The amber fragment also contained the body of another spider in the same web, which may be the oldest evidence yet for social behaviour in spiders.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:14 PM PST - 41 comments

Introvert Fairy Tales Once upon a time there was a woman who never lived in a castle, never married a prince, and always did all her own housework. She also never had paparazzi following her while she was on holidays so they could take topless pictures of her with a telephoto lens and distribute them for public consumption. So there was that.
posted by modernnomad at 12:11 PM PST - 66 comments


The new Humble Bundle (multipreviously) has been released. This time it's not games or music on pay-what-you-will offer, but DRM-free eBooks (in multiple formats including PDF, MOBI, and ePub). Featuring work by Kelly Link, Mercedes Lackey, Lauren Beukes, Paolo Bacigalupi, Cory Doctorow, and bonus works by MeFi's Own John Scalzi, and Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean should you pay more than the average. Books, hooray!
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:55 AM PST - 63 comments




Twenty years ago today: "I'm calm now / I've calmed down / but I'm shaking . . ." [more inside]
posted by chaff at 10:35 AM PST - 31 comments

Did you know? Today is World Mental Health Day. World Mental Health Day was started by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 1992 to raise awareness about mental health issues around the world. The World Federation for Mental Health has more information about this year's theme, Depression: A Global Crisis. Meanwhile, the Alternatives conference also starts today in Portland, Oregon. Now in its 26th year, this conference is the U.S.'s oldest national mental health conference organized and run for mental health consumers, offering tons of workshops on peer-delivered services and self-help/recovery methods. How will you celebrate World Mental Health Day? [more inside]
posted by docjohn at 9:57 AM PST - 35 comments

Submachine 8: The Plan is the latest installment in Mateusz Skutnik's iconic point-and-click game series. [previously 1, 2, 3]
posted by lalex at 9:55 AM PST - 12 comments

Alex Karras, N.F.L. Lineman and Actor, Dies at 77 [NYTimes] "Alex Karras was one of the National Football League‘s most feared defensive tackles throughout the 1960s, a player who hounded quarterbacks and bulled past opposing linemen. And yet, to many people he will always be known as an actor — the lovable father from the 1980s sitcom “Webster” or the big cowboy named Mongo who famously punched out a horse in “Blazing Saddles.”
posted by Fizz at 9:05 AM PST - 59 comments

Sarah Brightman, multi-million selling singer, actress and songwriter, has taken her medical and will soon start training to become the 7th or 8th 'Space Tourist', visiting the ISS in 2015. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 9:03 AM PST - 51 comments

The Jealous Curator is 'a collection of art that inspires & depresses' its proprietor, who has been updating the site almost daily since February 2009 with series of paintings, sculpture and mixed media, furniture, and always with light-hearted commentary about what's posted.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:35 AM PST - 8 comments

Hail and well-met, ye good townsfolk! 'Forsooth, what ho is this? Why, 'tis thee Medieval Shark, sallying forth to rend asunder thy countryside!
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:28 AM PST - 24 comments

Imagine you're a game producer in the late 1980s, a week before the deadline and you still haven't got a cover for your game. Exhausted from crunchtime, you tell your illustrator to just rip off some Schwarzenegger action movie to get the job done. Careful, your subordinate might take the order all too literally!
Hardcore Gaming 101 present Tracing the Influence - Stolen Images in Games: Schwarzenegger and Stallone, Illustrators and Painters, Other Boxart and Ads, Ingame Graphics pt. I, Ingame Graphics pt. II.
posted by griphus at 8:13 AM PST - 24 comments

Training for the National Wife-Carrying Championships.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:01 AM PST - 30 comments

SpaceX's Dragon spacecraft docked with the International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday morning, after a slightly problematic launch on Sunday. Following on the successful test flight in May, this mission marks the first official supply run to the ISS by a private company. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:40 AM PST - 98 comments

The story of British art From the earliest evocative stone structures at Skara Brae and Stonehenge to the disturbing 20th-century portraits by Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud, the art inspired by the British isles tells a truly spectacular story. Through painting, sculpture, architecture and much more, immerse yourself in the best of critic Jonathan Jones's epic survey of the artworks that have made us who we are interactive, intro
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:01 AM PST - 2 comments


What if money was no object? [SLYT] A brief talk by the philosopher Alan Watts. Previously
posted by MuffinMan at 5:23 AM PST - 61 comments

Kenya has another election coming next year, the first under their new constitution, and since the last one in 2007 was followed by violence that left hundreds dead, and hundreds of thousands displaced (many of whom remain so today). [more inside]
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:41 AM PST - 5 comments

The 14 year old Pakistani diarist and feminist activist Malala Yousafzai (ملاله یوسفزۍ) has been shot in the head in a targeted attack by the Taliban [NewsPakistan] [AFP]. She is presently in hospital, and in a stable condition. The attack was in apparent reprisal for passing her diaries regarding the Taliban's ban on female education to the BBC in 2009 [original BBC diary story], but also her continued activism and pressure for women and girls' rights. The attempted killing is part of a wider conflict over women's rights within Pakistan, and Pakistani feminism in general tends to be bound up with religion and the shifting boundaries of having to argue against both the patriarchal government and the Taliban itself.
posted by jaduncan at 2:54 AM PST - 63 comments

How cork is made - An illustrated guide to the cork production process
posted by nevercalm at 1:29 AM PST - 45 comments

Intense opera singer
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:36 AM PST - 51 comments

In 1859 an American named Frederick Townsend Ward arrived in Shanghai. A sailor, mercenary, smuggler and filibuster, he created a force of Europeans to protect the city from, and engage directly in, the Taiping Rebellion against the Qing Dynasty, to avoid the complications of Western powers getting directly involved. After a severe defeat at Sungkiang/Songjiang, he decided to recruit from the local Chinese population instead, arming and training them in the Western fashion. This force was dubbed the 'Ever-Victorious Army.' [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:22 AM PST - 10 comments

October 9

Maymo isn't ashamed of any of it.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:29 PM PST - 28 comments

"From off the streets of Cleveland" goes the tagline for American Splendor, but in fact, from 1972 to the end of his life, Harvey Pekar lived in nearby Cleveland Heights. Much of that time was spent inside the Cleveland Heights Library.

On October 14, a memorial and statue honoring Harvey Pekar's work will be dedicated inside the library, "Harvey's first love and second home". [more inside]
posted by Herodios at 8:49 PM PST - 22 comments

The Jumper Squad. "Each year, the New York City Police Department receives hundreds of 911 calls for so-called jumper jobs, or reports of people on bridges and rooftops threatening to jump. The department’s Emergency Service Unit responds to those calls. Roughly 300 officers in the unit are specially trained in suicide rescue, the delicate art of saving people from themselves; they know just what to say and, perhaps more important, what not to say."
posted by zarq at 8:17 PM PST - 39 comments

Captain Pronin! An early '90s Russian parody of '80s American action heroes. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 5:24 PM PST - 13 comments

"The six CIA officers were sweating. It was almost noon on a June day in the Middle Eastern capital, already in the 90s outside and even hotter inside the black sedan where the five men and one woman sat jammed in together. Sat and waited. They had flown in two days earlier for this mission: to break into the embassy of a South Asian country, steal that country’s secret codes and get out without leaving a trace. During months of planning, they had been assured by the local CIA station that the building would be empty at this hour except for one person—a member of the embassy’s diplomatic staff working secretly for the agency." [The CIA Burglar Who Went Rogue]
posted by vidur at 4:53 PM PST - 25 comments

The Clothesline Paradox: A Conversation with Tim O'Reilly - "The thesis is simple: You put your clothes in the dryer, and the energy you use gets measured and counted. You hang your clothes on the clothesline, and it "disappears" from the economy. It struck me that there are a lot of things that we're dealing with on the Internet that are subject to the Clothesline Paradox. Value is created, but it's not measured and counted. It's captured somewhere else in the economy." (a full text transcript of a video interview) [more inside]
posted by flex at 4:34 PM PST - 77 comments

Full episodes of T-Rex frontman Marc Bolan’s 1977 series "Marc" are now available online. [more inside]
posted by davebush at 4:14 PM PST - 20 comments

In a few weeks, ground-breaking will begin on the far West Side. The project: Hudson Yards, the largest real-estate development ever undertaken in the city's history, an enormous mini-metropolis whose planning might have left even Robert Moses dumbstruck. - Wendy Goodman [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 3:56 PM PST - 22 comments

Terrorism as art: Mark Pauline's dangerous machines. Robots, rebellion, and the post-apocalyptic performance art of Survival Research Labs.
posted by homunculus at 3:54 PM PST - 29 comments



Navigating late slash end career Monkees is a perilous minefield. HEAD (previously, previouslier) has with the luxury of time evolved from embarrassing boondoggle to a challenging and experimental piece of cinema admired for it's utter determination to be challenging and experimental. 33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee has not enjoyed the same fate. [more inside]
posted by mediocre at 2:03 PM PST - 23 comments

The Pakistani Women You Have Probably Heard About How can we engage with the economic and physical violence against women, everywhere and anywhere, without falling into the trap of creating strict, rigid lines of good and evil that are unfair characterizations of populations? Additionally, what purpose do pieces such as the above-linked NY Times article on so-called “free will marriages” ultimately serve? Now that those of us who sit as spectators of Pakistan, from the outside, know that this is an experience of many Pakistani women – what do we do? What can we do?
posted by parmanparman at 1:38 PM PST - 17 comments

Vampyroteuthis infernalis, also known as the Vampire Squid from Hell. (SLYT)
posted by Leucistic Cuttlefish at 12:42 PM PST - 30 comments

Road bike Party (SLTumblr). The bike featured in the link is the same $10K Pinarello that Brad Wiggins won the Tour de France on. Turns out it's a talented offroad whip too.
posted by lonefrontranger at 10:03 AM PST - 60 comments

On October 29, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., a conflict about “first-sale doctrine”. The doctrine, which has been law in the U.S. since 1908, allows people to buy and then subsequently sell items (books, furniture, electronics, dvds, etc.) without needing additional permission from the copyright holder. Supap Kirtsaeng came to the United States from Thailand to study mathematics and attempted to save money by having his family purchase textbooks in Thailand and ship them to him. After reading up on the first-sale doctrine, Kirtsaeng began to sell these textbooks to others on eBay. He made $37,000, before he was sued by John Wiley, a textbook publisher. A jury found his copyright infringement to be willful. He was ordered to pay $75,000 per work for a total penalty of $600,000. He appealed, and lost at the 2nd Circuit.

The Library Journal notes that if the Supreme Court rules against Kirtsaeng, it could mean the end of public libraries. Marketwatch warns that it means the end of resale as we know it. Hollywood Esq. does the most cogent job of putting this IP fight in perspective of other IP fights before the Court.
posted by dejah420 at 8:33 AM PST - 213 comments

Lionel Messi is one of the world's greatest soccer players. So why is he forgotten in his own home town?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:00 AM PST - 15 comments

Submarine to Somalia - Pranksters add their own signage to the London Underground with perfectly matched design & typography. (SLimgur)
posted by growabrain at 7:45 AM PST - 67 comments


John Coulthart's first illustration work was for the album Church of Hawkwind in 1982.
Since then he has become prolific together with his art and design blog ‘’Feuilliton’’. (linked before on the blue, but only for specifics).
His weekend edition is a timesink; and then are his illustrations for The Haunter of the Dark
To understand more about him read some interviews.
From 2004 Could you explain some of the words used on your website: {retinacula} {pleonasm} {pantechnicon} {oniomania} {decalcomania} {catenation} {bibliopoesy}?
Are they in Latin or did you just make some of them up?
Or most recently earlier this year.
posted by adamvasco at 6:11 AM PST - 11 comments

Added to the list of songs banned from performance at S.H.I.E.L.D. Karaoke Night is “Cold As Ice” by Foreigner, even if, ESPECIALLY if, you are Mr. Stark singing it to Capt. Rogers with “sulky puppydog eyes.” -- From the desk of Nick Fury, Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement and Logistics Division, to whom it may concern (singleTumblrlink) [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 5:35 AM PST - 40 comments

"I will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man, I will not. And the Government will not be lectured about sexism and misogyny by this man. Not now, not ever. The Leader of the Opposition says that people who hold sexist views and who are misogynists are not appropriate for high office. Well, I hope the Leader of the Opposition has got a piece of paper and he is writing out his resignation." - The Prime Minister of Australia, Julia Gillard, takes the Leader of the Opposition to task over his sexist views (link includes extracts and video of full fifteen minute speech) [more inside]
posted by crossoverman at 4:58 AM PST - 207 comments

October 8

Davy Rothbart, perhaps best known for the Found magazine and series of books, got a random drunken phone call in a motel room from a breathy woman wanting phone sex. He somewhat cheekily "obliged," and continued to take her calls, less cheekily. It turned out to be quite a journey, and a destination. What Are You Wearing? [more inside]
posted by mreleganza at 10:42 PM PST - 49 comments

Generational Warfare: The Case Against Baby Boomers [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:37 PM PST - 70 comments

Minimal Android minimal homescreen, minimal icons, themes, wallpapers or other minimalistic android things - as long as it is minimal and meant for android.
posted by Artw at 10:32 PM PST - 36 comments



The Maker. A gorgeous short stop-motion animation about a creature who has only one important mission (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by Queen of Spreadable Fats at 8:53 PM PST - 19 comments

A visit to the underworld: the unsolved mystery of the tunnels at Baiae "In 1932, the entrance to a hitherto unknown tunnel was discovered in the ruins of the old Roman resort of Baiae, on the Bay of Naples. Packed with rubble, wreathed in choking gases, and heated to more than 120 degrees Fahrenheit by nearby magma chambers, it was difficult and dangerous to excavate. But when, after 10 long years of work, the amateur team exploring it finally broke through to lower levels, they uncovered something truly remarkable: a complex, pre-dating the Romans, built around a boiling underwater stream that seemed to have been designed to ape a visit to the Greeks’ mythical underworld." (A Blast from the Past)
posted by moonmilk at 8:13 PM PST - 30 comments

NFL Chiefs player Eric Winston rants (audio) against stadium fans who cheered when Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassell was knocked out during game play. "We are not gladiators and this is not the Roman Colosseum. This is a game."
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:54 PM PST - 57 comments

The iEconomy: Apple and Technology Manufacturing. Since January, the New York Times has been running a series of articles "examining the challenges posed by increasingly globalized high-tech industries," with a focus on Apple's business practices. The seventh article in the series was published today: In Technology Wars, Using the Patent as a Sword. Related: For Software, Cracks in the Patent System and Fighters in the Patent War. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:52 PM PST - 16 comments

Narratively is "devoted exclusively to sharing New York’s untold stories—the rich, intricate narratives that get at the heart of what this city’s all about." The site, launched in September, presents one long-form piece of journalism, sometimes text, sometimes video, sometimes a photo essay, sometimes audio.
posted by beagle at 5:20 PM PST - 10 comments

In light of the US House Intelligence Committee recommendation that American companies should be blocked from carrying out mergers and acquisitions involving two Chinese telecommunications firms, ZTE and Huawei, how do people in the telecommunications industry think about Huawei? And what is really going on with the Shenzhen-based ICT conglomerate? Hosts Kaiser Kuo and Jeremy Goldkorn of the Sinica Podcast (recorded in Beijing) cover Huawei in depth in August at The Huawei Enigma with guests David Wolf and Will Moss.
posted by gen at 4:57 PM PST - 39 comments

How people profit from your online mugshot and ruin your life forever. A Gizmodo article, and a recent piece in Wired magazine, on how mugshots-as-entertainment have turned minor incidents into persistent embarrassments, and the cottage (extortion) industry that has sprung up in response.
posted by availablelight at 4:38 PM PST - 122 comments

When looking for inspiration, most songwriters to go well-used emotional wells – triumph or loss, love or heartbreak. But Peter Larsen, a biologist at Argonne National Laboratory, looked to the microbes of the English Channel. He used seven years’ worth of genetic and environmental data, converting geochemical and microbial abundance measurements into notes, beats, and chords.
posted by Egg Shen at 3:51 PM PST - 13 comments

Art.sy recommends art based on the art work and artists you like.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 3:14 PM PST - 17 comments

Sally Field was honored this weekend as the Human Rights Campaign's Ally for Equality at the 16th Annual National Dinner. She was introduced by her youngest son, Sam Greisman, and gave this speech.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:28 PM PST - 6 comments

The person you used to be still tells you what to do: "We work from conclusions made years ago, usually with no idea of when we made them, or why. Most of our standing impressions are probably based on a single experience — one instance of unpleasantness or disappointment that turned you off of entire categories of recreational activities, lifestyles and creative pursuits, forever." (via notnamed)
posted by flex at 12:09 PM PST - 113 comments


Has anyone seen a blue-arsed fly? Someone must have cooties. This is no FAQ, can you make a make a defining contribution to the OED?
posted by stbalbach at 11:01 AM PST - 5 comments

On October 19, 1995 Chuck Phillips interviewed Tupac Shakur at Can Am Studios Tarzana, California for an article published in the LA Times. The recordings were previously unreleased. Tupac talks about how the United States is full of gangs (the FBI/ATF/Democrats/Republicans), disparate media treatment of artists, how Tony Danza wrote him in prison, how Shakespeare's stories are the same things rappers talk about in their music, and the worth of black people's lives.
posted by cashman at 10:45 AM PST - 20 comments

An interview with Bennett Foddy, the creator of QWOP, in which, to the surprise of no one, he states, "I don't feel any sympathy for people who find a video game hard. At all. It never occurred to me to try to modify QWOP so that it was easier to play." [more inside]
posted by Copronymus at 10:22 AM PST - 44 comments

Explore the subtext of the London Skyline through a journey down the Thames with Caryl Phillips and an exquisite photographer.
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 10:07 AM PST - 2 comments

"New Owner-employees will exchange some of their UK employment rights for rights of ownership in the form of shares in the business they work for, any gains on which will be exempt from capital gains tax." [more inside]
posted by marienbad at 9:47 AM PST - 59 comments

Just how gay is Seattle? Pretty gay.
posted by modernist1 at 9:47 AM PST - 35 comments

With the possible exception of the Nobel awards, physicists seem to get all the press these days, whether they're doing quantum level work at the LHC, or cosmology via the latest satellite data. Biologists, not so much. It's too bad, because Richard Lenski is running one of the great evolutionary experiments of our time, and it's producing interesting results. [more inside]
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 9:25 AM PST - 34 comments


"Two people. I call them "Rummy Couples", dressed allmost alike. The last 5 years I managed to photograph 56 of them."
posted by like_neon at 6:14 AM PST - 157 comments

In celebration of the upcoming RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) Big Music Week almost every notable public service broadcaster in Ireland (and many hundreds of others!) assembled in RTÉ headquarters in Dublin to sing along to The Stunning's “Brewing Up a Storm”: shot in one continuous take the result is pretty spectacular!
posted by nfg at 1:42 AM PST - 25 comments

Australian national identity. "Liam Pieper reflects on the shielding that has led to Australian peoples' perpetual ignorance of our true history." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 12:57 AM PST - 99 comments

October 7

The Oddment Emporium is 'a Cornucopia of Eclectic Delights', such as the story of Big Nose George. Try Ticklers of my Fancy as a good starting point for exploration.
posted by unliteral at 11:04 PM PST - 14 comments


Have you met my friend, Jenny Haniver? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:56 PM PST - 14 comments

A Voter’s Guide to Legalizing Marijuana ..at the state level
posted by daksya at 9:16 PM PST - 60 comments

Dignifying Design
It used to be that young people with humanitarian aspirations went into law or medical school or applied to Teach for America or the Peace Corps. But today, increasing numbers of the most innovative change makers have decided to try to design their way to a more beautiful, just world.
[more inside]
posted by AceRock at 9:11 PM PST - 22 comments

Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds, and Peter F. Hamilton discuss their books with fans (video). The Hydrogen Sonata, the 10th of Bank's Culture books, will be released October 12th, read the first chapter here. Meanwhile it's 20 years since Reynolds first started work on Revelation Space.
posted by Artw at 8:43 PM PST - 94 comments

Barrett Brown (previously), journalist, researcher, and activist formerly associated with Anonymous, was raided at his Dallas home on September 12 and brought into Federal custody in Texas. Video and audio of the raid exist, as Brown was hosting a video chat at the time of the raid. (Brown's girlfriend was present during the raid and has published a partial account.) Brown now faces indictment on counts related to his comments about an individual FBI agent in three Youtube videos he had posted in the day before his arrest, and to some of his recent tweets (including a retweet of a Fox News commentator's 2010 remark about Julian Assange). [more inside]
posted by FrauMaschine at 7:29 PM PST - 40 comments

This summer, Gawker began soliciting and publishing a weekly series of first person essays submitted by their readers: "True Stories." They include ten stories (to date) from struggling, unemployed Americans: Hello from the Underclass. (Those who dislike Gawker's interface can find direct links to individual essays within.) [more inside]
posted by zarq at 7:05 PM PST - 20 comments

Recently Confirmed: A Rothko painting has been defaced at Tate Modern today. [more inside]
posted by Oliva Porphyria at 6:45 PM PST - 183 comments

T. Boone Pickens and other wealthy, elderly Oklahoma State alums decided to participate in a scheme named "Call of a Lifetime", where they would allow the university to take out $10 million life insurance policies on them. What could go wrong?
posted by reenum at 5:04 PM PST - 66 comments

Alphabet Horror Vacui is a satire of children's alphabet books utilizing unnerving themes such as nightmares, war, monsters, institutionalized ignorance, and willful ambivalence to human suffering in lieu of familiar alphabet scenes of busy city streets, animals amongst nature, and happy fanciful scenes. Each piece takes a slightly different tack with Marsh's self-imposed assignment, and while some of them are funny in an almost Edward Gorey way, others worm their way into your brain. (via io9) [more inside]
posted by mysticreferee at 4:57 PM PST - 6 comments

Twenty-three years ago, John Cusack and Peter Gabriel were inexorably linked by a single scene from the movie Say Anything. The scene's inspired devotion, mockery, parodies (including South Park, Saturday Night Live, Jimmy Kimmel, and even here on the blue) and flash mobs. Cusack and Gabriel have accepted their shared fate, though - and recently paid tribute themselves, during the Hollywood Bowl show from Peter's current tour. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:05 PM PST - 60 comments

Since the 80s Tony Galeota managed Porky's, a Hialeah dive notorious for drugs, prostitution, and violence, where he was part pimp, part bouncer, and completely untouchable. When he left to open a bona fide brothel in Panama, Galeota thought the country's lax prostitution laws (NSFW) would make him rich. Instead, he's trapped in a labyrinthine legal system, alone and unable to speak Spanish.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:44 PM PST - 58 comments

The Ohio State University Marching Band, in its October 6 game against Nebraska, decided to pay tribute to video games. (SLYT)
posted by booksherpa at 1:38 PM PST - 39 comments

The League of Dangerous Mapmakers. The byzantine trade of redistricting was long dominated by brainy eccentrics like Hofeller and his Democratic counterparts. But that began to change in the 1990s, when the availability of mapping software and block-by-block census data for the whole country opened up the field to a waiting world of political geeks. The democratization of redistricting is a lovely thing, perhaps. But as one redistricting veteran told me, “There’s an old saying: Give a child a hammer, and the world becomes a nail. Give the chairman of a state redistricting committee a powerful enough computer and block-level census data, so that he suddenly discovers he can draw really weird and aggressive districts—and he will.”
posted by Sebmojo at 1:10 PM PST - 20 comments

In the wake of the venerable Boston Phoenix changing to a glossy magazine format and rebranding itself as simply The Phoenix (as well as the ongoing turmoil at the Village Voice), Salon's Will Doig writes the obituary for the age of the alt-weeklies. The Phoenix responds.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:56 PM PST - 32 comments


All evidence is pointing to the fact that Voyager I has left our solar system. New data from the spacecraft, which I will discuss below, indicate Voyager 1 may have exited the solar system for good. If true, this would mark a truly historic moment for the human race — sending a spacecraft beyond the edge of our home solar system
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:09 AM PST - 89 comments

Civil Rights CAPTCHA is unique in its approach at separating humans from bots, namely by using human emotion. This enables a simpler and more effective way of keeping sites spam free as well as taking a stand for human rights.
posted by mahershalal at 4:10 AM PST - 107 comments

October 6

On a winter night in 373 or 372 BC, a catastrophic earthquake and tsunami destroyed and submerged Helike (or Helice), the principal Greek city on the southwest shore of the Gulf of Corinth. Also destroyed was the temple of the Heliconian Poseidon, the god of earthquakes and the sea. The destruction of city was foretold by several events, including the appearance of some "immense columns of flame" (Google books), which have since been classified as a type of earthquake lights. The submerged ruins of the city disappeared slowly, as centuries later tourists could still see the walls beneath the water. Silt finally covered the ruins, turning the ocean into land again. The city, once a founding member of the Achaean League, was lost and remembered only in writings. A coin from Helike was discovered in 1861, but it wasn't until 2001 that not one but two ancient cities were discovered, including an entire Early Bronze Age town, dating from about 2400 BC. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 9:18 PM PST - 28 comments


The history of the Russian-Chechen conflict spans two centuries. Images of Chechen enemies were mentioned even in a lullaby by Lermontov that put children to sleep in the 19th century. War correspondents Robert Parsons, Sofie Shehab, Petra Prohazkova and Andrey Babitsky tell about the war they saw with their own eyes in Nino Kirtadze’s film “The Chechen Lullaby”. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 7:27 PM PST - 7 comments

What is it like to be a woman in the Pacific Northwest craft beer industry? The 2011 documentary The Love of Beer offers a look into the lives of several women who work with beer: Tonya Cornett, the brewmaster of Bend Brewing Company in Central Oregon; Teri Fahrendorf, who started the Pink Boots Society, the US's first professional society for female brewmasters; Sarah Pederson, a beer retailer who owns a Portland tavern; and Lisa Morrison, known as the Beer Goddess, who hosts a Portland radio show and writes about beer.
posted by catlet at 6:42 PM PST - 20 comments

Vince Hannemann is The Junk King. A very short documentary by Evan Burns about the Cathedral of Junk, an ongoing art installation made from mass-produced garbage collected since the 1980s.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:24 PM PST - 8 comments

Josh Fox, director of the documentary Gasland (previously, 2), took his fight to New York with an emergency short film The Sky is Pink [vimeo] with favourable results, for now. [more inside]
posted by de at 4:43 PM PST - 13 comments

The Esc key was born in 1960, when an I.B.M. programmer named Bob Bemer was trying to solve a Tower of Babel problem: computers from different manufacturers communicated in a variety of codes. Bemer invented the ESC key as way for programmers to switch from one kind of code to another.
posted by TangerineGurl at 4:43 PM PST - 95 comments

Oscar Racoon, D.D.S. (SLYT)
posted by griphus at 4:41 PM PST - 12 comments

This cover of Lady Gaga's "Telephone" (video) is performed by Slovenian vocal/a cappella group Perpetuum Jazzile. [more inside]
posted by flex at 2:24 PM PST - 20 comments

It was on a Monday, April second - I was cruising in the vicinity of Betelgeuse - when a meteor no larger than a lima bean pierced the hull, shattered the drive regulator and part of the rudder, as a result of which the rocket lost all maneuverability. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen at 2:23 PM PST - 40 comments

A society where the lucky few reap prodigious financial rewards is one where many will fall short of their dreams through no fault of their own. We must insure all people against disability, against sickness, against hunger, and against homelessness. I realize that these things cost money. I believe that the costs of building and maintaining a great country should be shared by all of us, beginning with the people who benefit the most from our society. I believe that people like me (and people who are far wealthier) should pay more in taxes.

So-called "job creator" acknowledges that he lives in a society and owes a debt to it, as a response to (seemingly in agreement with) a satirical Job Creator Manifesto published in the Washington Post. [more inside]
posted by univac at 1:40 PM PST - 40 comments

The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project The Safe Motherhood Quilt Project is a national effort developed to draw public attention to the current maternal death rates, as well as to the gross underreporting of maternal deaths in the United States, and to honor those women who have died of pregnancy-related causes since 1982.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:23 PM PST - 17 comments


Moyers & Company presents “United States of ALEC,” a report on the most influential corporate-funded political force most of America has never heard of — ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. A national consortium of state politicians and powerful corporations, ALEC presents itself as a “nonpartisan public-private partnership”. But behind that mantra lies a vast network of corporate lobbying and political action aimed to increase corporate profits at public expense without public knowledge. [previously]
posted by troll at 11:44 AM PST - 21 comments

Ted Chiang interview. Metafilter's own Ken Chen recently arranged an interview with author Ted Chiang, who's decorated like a Christmas tree with Nebula, Hugo, Locus, and other coveted sci-fi awards. (Previously on Metafilter: Chiang was the subject of what is so far the most popular Metafilter post of all time.) [via mefi projects]
posted by Sleeper at 11:42 AM PST - 26 comments

Often hailed as Canada's favourite cocktail, the Caesar is a combination of vodka, Clamato, Tabasco, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce served in a glass rimmed with celery salt. It is almost unheard of outside of Canada. [more inside]
posted by asnider at 11:39 AM PST - 119 comments

Down by three runs with runners at first and second and one out in last night's first-ever NL Wildcard Playoff Game, Braves' shortstop Andrelton Simmons hit a pop fly to left field. Cardinals' shortstop Pete Kozma went back to make the catch but broke off at the last second, and the ball dropped. The runners advanced, and almost everyone thought it was bases loaded with one out. But left-field umpire Sam Holbrook invoked the infield fly rule, and so, Simmons was out on the play. Video of the whole thing here. Braves fans were not happy. [more inside]
posted by Jonathan Livengood at 11:26 AM PST - 54 comments

Eigenfaces for facial recognition. (This post assumes familiarity with the terminology and notation of linear algebra, particularly inner product spaces.)
posted by Evernix at 11:25 AM PST - 18 comments

Kevin Roose of Nymag.com posted about a brand new North Carolinian hedge fund that seemed less than impressive. The fund then started to use a sarcastic quote from Kevin's post as a kind of ringing endorsement on their website. Uh oh.
posted by The Whelk at 8:49 AM PST - 43 comments


Female executives at Twitter, Yahoo and Google discuss work/life balance at the top of the tech industry, how women should negotiate at work, and whether women view job satisfaction differently than their male colleagues. [more inside]
posted by Catseye at 4:53 AM PST - 57 comments

Ecce Orcus! An Argument for Humanizing the Orc [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:58 AM PST - 52 comments


October 5

The Red Letter Media guys have a miserable time watching the entire Resident Evil film series when the ending of Resident Evil: Afterlife simply breaks their minds. Watch the full review.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:42 PM PST - 35 comments

Pity the Billionaire (YT): Thomas Frank discusses how the American right pulled off a massive coup and successfully branded itself the party of rebellion and protest in the wake of the financial crisis.
posted by shivohum at 8:17 PM PST - 32 comments


The hardest 400m race in the world? Planica in Slovenia is known for its ski jump. In the summer, 164 runners from around Europe race up it.
posted by jontyjago at 2:55 PM PST - 46 comments


Free birth control cuts abortion rate dramatically, study finds: "When more than 9,000 women ages 14 to 45 in the St. Louis area were given no-cost contraception for three years, abortion rates dropped from two-thirds to three-quarters lower than the national rate." [more inside]
posted by flex at 2:16 PM PST - 72 comments


For your Flash Friday consideration, I offer a quirky platform game with a physics engine to challenge your dexterity and puzzle-solving ability. In Box Clever, you take on the role of the Blue Blob, who searches for the exit in a succession of side-view platform worlds and is rewarded by gentlemanly attire. [more inside]
posted by tykky at 12:38 PM PST - 10 comments

Sometimes walls, windows, door and a roof just isn't enough. Why be boxed in by four walls when you can make your home or business look just like your favorite critter? Here's a collection of animal-shaped buildings from around the world, including the trailblazing Lucy the Elephant whose creator got a patent in the 1880s giving him exclusive rights to make animal-shaped buildings up until the turn of the century. [more inside]
posted by julen at 12:29 PM PST - 12 comments

FTL (trailer) is a new and lauded space-sim roguelike-like. Since its debut, RPS' Alec Meer has been keeping an imaginitive diary of a playthrough entitled The Fatal Frontier: Sector 1, Sector 2, Sector 3, Sector 4, Sector 5, Sector 6, Sector 7, The Last Stand.
posted by griphus at 12:13 PM PST - 125 comments

Standup comedian Tig Notaro's celebrated early-August set at Largo at the Coronet (previously) has been released online as a $5 download (audio only), with a bit of help from Louis CK. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 11:36 AM PST - 54 comments

"At this point his collaboration with Burton post–Ed Wood is such a study in diminishing returns that the only logical next step for them is a 3-D adaptation of Zeno's paradox with Depp as the voice of the arrow." Tim Burton: How Did It All Go Wrong So Fast?
posted by davidjmcgee at 11:22 AM PST - 163 comments

The new issue of Entertainment weekly contains an ad with an LCD display showing live tweets from the CW network. A teardown of the ad reveals an entire functioning 3G phone running Android, complete with SIM card and QWERTY keyboard.
posted by jpdoane at 11:22 AM PST - 35 comments

.... .. -.. . -. .. .-- .- -.- .- (HI DE NIWAKA) If you see something flashing in the sky and it flashes with that morse sequence, it's not an UFO. It's the small (10cm cube) cubesat FITSAT-1 greeting us from the space with powerful LED morse flashes.
posted by elpapacito at 11:15 AM PST - 11 comments

I Haz A Catnip In Mah Head
posted by empath at 11:06 AM PST - 26 comments

I EXPLAIN CYBERPUNK TO THE MASSES by writer/film critic Anne Billson "Believe it or not, there was a time when people didn't know what "cyberpunk" was, and indeed had probably never even heard the word before this three-minute clip, in which I explain it to them. Sort of. Don't blame me if I got it wrong - you're looking at this with the benefit of hindsight, while I was making it up as I went along..." [Via: Multiglom - The Anne Billson Blog]
posted by Fizz at 10:14 AM PST - 29 comments

What to do when your bees develop a taste for the residue of the confectionary process, with some rather visible side effects. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 9:28 AM PST - 65 comments

"For the first time in their lives two dozen recently rescued ducks get their first taste of life in a pond."
posted by stbalbach at 9:26 AM PST - 54 comments

“So, okay, at $649, divide that by 366 visits, brings it down to a $1.77 a day,” he said, showing me the results. “Or, if you turn that around, do 366 visits times $140 for Park Hopper and parking each day, it’s $51,240.” I agreed that an annual pass would be more economical for the 366-day-a-year visitor.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:51 AM PST - 67 comments



The new James Bond outing Skyfall, has been discussed on the blue before. Today, on Global James Bond Day, the 50th Anniversary of the release of Dr. No, the theme song sung by current sensation Adele has been released. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion at 7:38 AM PST - 88 comments


The Elder Scrolls series has a very strong modding community. The recently-released Morrowind Sounds & Graphics Overhaul v3.0 (FAQ) (trailer) (screenshots) is a mod compilation of 100+ mods (list), which gives a new lease of life to 2002's Game of the Year. It includes a semi-automatic installer (video) (forums) and options for the various mods. A gameplay pack has been in the works for quite a while, but if you want more than cosmetics and don't mind looking around, voila: you may dive in. However, the modding community is at its best in Oblivion. [more inside]
posted by ersatz at 6:23 AM PST - 31 comments


How to find the express route to a job like Commander James Bond - without getting hidebound by desks, petty blackmail, IT support, the heavy drinking embassy cocktail party circuit or an HR policy that frowns on you killing people. But you are going to have to drive an un-obtrusive car and teach yourself about cards, suits and seduction in your own time; sorry.
posted by rongorongo at 5:44 AM PST - 9 comments

Lake BAIKAL ICE live sound. Unbeliveable! Real video from IRKUTSK ethnik percussion group «ETHNOBEAT». We playing on frozen water with pleasure and delight in the soul:)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:15 AM PST - 18 comments


Fifty years ago today, the UK record company EMI Parlophone put out a single by four young lads from Liverpool: Love Me Do
posted by Mister Bijou at 1:14 AM PST - 82 comments

October 4

Their last winning season came in 1997. Only one member of their Opening Day starting rotation remains, a 27-year-old from Taiwan who hadn't pitched in the majors before this year. The others have been replaced by a Red Sox cast-off picked up from the Mexican League, an ex-prospect with a career ERA of 5.5 in his first three years, and the son of one of their former pitchers, a throw-in in a 2009 trade with the Dodgers. They have only one regular hitting over .270, they're missing two-thirds of their Opening Day outfield, and their 20-year-old third baseman started the year at AA. Nate Silver's PECOTA projection system reckoned they'd finish in last place, 24 games behind the Yankees. And tomorrow night, the Baltimore Orioles will play their first postseason game in 15 years. [more inside]
posted by escabeche at 9:01 PM PST - 87 comments

"It's like a hillbilly, really. You listen to the wrong kind of music, you dress in the wrong kind of way, you have the wrong kind of hair." Mun2tv does a ten minute video on the evolving social implications of the terms 'naco' and 'pocho' within the community of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans. Featuring Edward James Olmos! It may not be safe for work if you have coworkers who understand Spanish, but it is subtitled in English. [more inside]
posted by winna at 8:20 PM PST - 25 comments

After a 13 year hiatus Red Dwarf returns to the UK on Dave TV. The first episode airs this evening in the UK. Apparently all the main cast have been booked into the show this season albeit a bit older. [more inside]
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 7:51 PM PST - 99 comments

Women on Waves is a Dutch organization started by a doctor in 1999 to provide abortion services to women in countries where abortion is illegal by performing procedures in international waters. They have traveled to Ireland, Spain, and Portugal, and now have their eyes set on Morocco. But Moroccan authorities are attempting to prevent the ship from docking. The group promises a surprise response. [more inside]
posted by zug at 4:51 PM PST - 42 comments

Plurality ... in 2023, the Grid knows who you are and where you go at all times. A short near future sci-fi movie (15 min).
posted by crunchland at 4:46 PM PST - 23 comments

Cult genre film director Vincenzo Natali (Cube, Cypher, Splice) directs The Undeading, a PSA for the Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation.
posted by eugenen at 3:53 PM PST - 16 comments

"What is currently happening in Manbij, once a sleepy provincial city in northern Syria, is the first future-oriented experiment in the midst of horror. " In the Syrian city of Manbij, the first larger city to be liberated by rebel forces, residents have been left with the task of governing amidst Syrian forces' daily attempts to destroy schools, hospitals, access to clean water and other infrastructure using air strikes.
posted by lookoutbelow at 3:31 PM PST - 13 comments

About a month ago we learned in the blue that a large amount of maple syrup had been stolen from a Quebec warehouse. Yesterday, the RCMP seized a large amount of maple syrup from an export company in New Brunswick. The export company's owner claims that he purchased the syrup from one of his regular suppliers. The recovered syrup was escorted to parts unknown in Quebec by provincial police cars. As the Chicago Tribune notes, "Plot thickens as Quebec police seize cache of maple syrup" ...
posted by anaphoric at 3:12 PM PST - 57 comments

Are you the type of person who, when flipping through a book or scanning a website, immediately searches for the diagrams or charts because you'd rather absorb the information visually than have to read a bunch of text? If so, then you are probably a visual learner and you may find Useful Charts helpful. The goal is to present useful information in the form of study charts so that students, teachers or simply those interested in increasing their general knowledge can absorb the information quickly and visually.
posted by netbros at 2:47 PM PST - 9 comments

Books on the Knob, Pixel of Ink, and iReader Review are three blogs that feature free & bargain ebooks daily. If you want to start simple there's OpenCulture's 375 Free eBooks list but if you don't mind doing some footwork then there's this very comprehensive 614 Places for Free eBooks Online post (with divisions of content by genre) on Gizmo's Freeware. [more inside]
posted by flex at 2:12 PM PST - 12 comments

Not only is there no paper in the Star Wars universe, it's highly likely that almost everyone is illiterate.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:15 PM PST - 120 comments

After years of fans complaining about their omission (including, quite frequently, fans here on the blue), Rush is finally on the list of nominees for entry into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Better yet -- this year, fans can vote on who gets in. [more inside]
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:41 PM PST - 100 comments

In May 1876, Baron Joseph Henry Louis Charles De Palm died, leaving his worldy goods to Theosophical Society president H.S. Olcott with the request that his body be disposed of “in a fashion that would illustrate the Eastern notions of death and immortality." And so, after what the press called a "Pagan Funeral" in New York and with the help of Pennsylvania doctor Francis LeMoyne, his became the first modern cremation in the United States. The New York Times of 1876 covered both funeral and cremation. (That is, if you can stand to read grainy pdf scans of old newsprint.) In Winter 2009, a theosophist telling of events was published in the American society's quarterly, Quest magazine. Olcott himself devoted several chapters to De Palm's story in his Old Diary Leaves.
posted by Lorin at 12:26 PM PST - 10 comments

In February, PBS and AOL launched Makers, a video archive containing personal stories and anecdotes told in the first person by women, many of whom have sparked groundbreaking changes in American culture. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:24 PM PST - 3 comments


Meet the Green Candidate. Is Maine ready to elect America's first Orc Assassin Rogue senator?
posted by roger ackroyd at 12:02 PM PST - 55 comments

Writing for the Globe & Mail's "Wine & Spirits" section, Beppi Crosariol interviews some bartenders and suggests that there are some drinks you should never order in a bar. [more inside]
posted by asnider at 11:59 AM PST - 106 comments


High and Dry: How Sabrina De Sousa, a former US diplomat of Indian origin, was swept up in the undertow of the war on terror "Sabrina De Sousa was among those convicted in absentia in Italy in November 2009—wrongly, she says, and based only on circumstantial evidence. She was an accredited diplomat at the US consulate in Milan at the time, but claims she was not in Milan on the day of the kidnapping ... Sabrina has argued that she should have been protected from prosecution because of diplomatic immunity. The US government thought otherwise."
posted by dhruva at 10:29 AM PST - 20 comments

Tapes on Books: Mixtape soundtracks for beloved classics. Some obvious ("Runaway" by Del Shannon for Ralph Macchio's escape after stabbing Johnny Cade in The Outsiders), some clever ("If You Got the Money" by Lefty Frizzell as Daisy Buchanan's theme song in The Great Gatsby), with witty rationales throughout ("If Sauron's evil flaming eye was actually a evil flaming mouth, then it would sing with Lemmy’s voice").
posted by goatdog at 9:11 AM PST - 8 comments

Ecologists breed and release swarms of giant fish-eating spiders into the waterways of Britain. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore at 9:05 AM PST - 80 comments

World Boxing Organization featherweight title winner and former Olympic boxer Orlando Cruz has come out as boxing's first openly gay athlete.
posted by hippybear at 8:58 AM PST - 20 comments

Miguel Cabrera has won the Triple Crown. The list of Triple Crown winners is quite short (considering that Major League Baseball is 136 years old). [more inside]
posted by Groundhog Week at 8:46 AM PST - 273 comments

Perhaps to compensate for his not-so imposing physique, lack of good looks, and plebeian background, Gabriele D’Annunzio (1863-1938) embraced excess in everything he did. And he did many things: novelist, playwright, poet, aviator and sailor, a genuine war hero, a narcissist, a drug addict, a gifted rabble-rouser, debt-evader, and a noted womanizer.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:42 AM PST - 7 comments

Microsoft and David Lynch team up for a new generation of internet communications. Microsoft LYNCH is your one-stop-go-to communicator for all aspects of your business. Share videos, chats, files, and pictures with everyone - even yourself. I mean, if that is actually you on the other end of the chat. Will you accept the message? [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 8:25 AM PST - 23 comments

Are Some Languages “Faster” Than Others? from Slate's Lexicon Valley podcast series. Transcript included!
posted by Panjandrum at 8:23 AM PST - 26 comments

How to Stay Stuck in the Wrong Career (PDF) (non-PDF version requires free registration): Conventional career change methods...are all part of what I call the “plan and implement” model of change. It goes like this: First, determine with as much clarity and certainty as possible what you really want to do. Next, use that knowledge to identify jobs or fields in which your passions can be coupled with your skills and experience. Seek advice from the people who know you best and from professionals in tune with the market. Then simply implement the resulting action steps. Change is seen as a one-shot deal: The plan-and-implement approach cautions us against making a move before we know exactly where we are going. It all sounds reasonable, and it is a reassuring way to proceed. Yet my research suggests that proceeding this way will lead to the most disastrous of results, which is to say no result. (by Herminia Ibarra, who expands on these ideas in her book Working Identity)
posted by shivohum at 7:58 AM PST - 13 comments



Kickstarter success stories have so far been firmly rooted in nostalgia, not innnovation. We’re seeing some of the biggest talent in the industry openly abandoning the ambition of innovation, and we’re paying them to do it.
Kicking It Old School: The Peril Of Kickstarter Nostalgia
posted by griphus at 6:47 AM PST - 54 comments

“Maybe after the election I’ll have a better sense of the big picture,” he continues. “I do think I’ll probably try to learn statistics.”
"The. Polls. Have. Stopped. Making. Any. Sense." profiles Nate Silver of 538 and other polling innovations. Meanwhile, authentic polling nerds read the Princeton Election Consortium, pundits complain that "Political Scientists are Killing the Campaign 'Narrative'," and Peter Levine asks, "Would we better off without any horse-race polls?"
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:37 AM PST - 89 comments



October 3

The Justice Department, after a legal battle with the ACLU to avoid having to admit it, recently released documents showing that the federal government’s use of warrantless “pen register” and “tap and trace” surveillance has multiplied over the past decade. But the Justice Department is small potatoes. Every day, the NSA intercepts and stores 1.7 billion emails, phone calls, texts, and other electronic communications. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper at 9:02 PM PST - 82 comments


Like too many studies, the Stanford study dangerously isolates a finding from its larger context. It significantly plays down the disparity in pesticides...and neglects to mention that 10,000 to 20,000 United States agricultural workers get a pesticide-poisoning diagnosis each year. And while the study concedes that “the risk for isolating bacteria resistant to three or more antibiotics was 33 percent higher among conventional chicken and pork than organic alternatives,” it apparently didn’t seek to explore how consuming antibiotic-resistant bacteria might be considered “non-nutritious.”.... That the authors of the study chose to focus on a trivial aspect of the organic versus conventional comparison is regrettable. That they published a study that would so obviously be construed as a blanket knock against organic agriculture is willfully misleading and dangerous. That so many leading news agencies fall for this stuff is scary. Mark Bittman - That Flawed Stanford Study (SL NYTimes)
posted by beisny at 8:14 PM PST - 38 comments



With a new baby and wife to support, out-of-work filmmaker Matt Gallagher tries his hand - and some would say “luck” - at playing poker for a living. Grinders is the director’s inside journey into the unconventional, often bizarre, underground world of illegal poker clubs.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:54 PM PST - 14 comments

Imagine that a genie grants you three wishes. You wish first for unlimited money, natch. Next, you ask for x-ray vision. Your third and final wish is to be unencumbered by the consequences of your irresponsible actions. After living a life of fun and frivolity, you realize that your existence has been empty and completely without meaning or purpose. On your deathbed it finally hits you that redemption of your immortal soul can only be brought about by more beedogs. But will you click the link? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb at 3:09 PM PST - 103 comments

In a dystopian future... (NSFW audio) [more inside]
posted by zippy at 2:30 PM PST - 39 comments

Blast from the past: scans of posters from schools in India. That's all.
posted by vidur at 1:40 PM PST - 55 comments

Knitters say that you should never knit your boyfriend a sweater. But what if you just knit your boyfriend? Artist Noortje de Keijer decided to try to avert the curse. [more inside]
posted by sparklemotion at 12:13 PM PST - 62 comments

Expedia's latest and ongoing ad campaign, "Find Your..." offers 'personal journey' stories from travelers who have used their site, with footage from their trip. Their latest entry: "Find Your Understanding," tells the story of a father traveling to his daughter's wedding. Via.
posted by zarq at 12:02 PM PST - 53 comments

Scandals of Classic Hollywood* is a fantastic series of articles exploring the careers and private lives of old Hollywood's most legendary performers, written by self-styled "doctor of celebrity gossip" Anne Helen Petersen. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz at 11:17 AM PST - 44 comments

In the summer of 1969, two guys pressed a few thousand records with white label stickers, and packaged them in nondescript white sleeves. They didn't have their own cars to deliver the records so they borrowed friends' cars, and the record ended up throughout California, with copies getting airplay at 5 southern California radio stations. The music wasn't their own recordings, but unreleased material from Bob Dylan. The recording became known as the Great White Wonder, "the entertainment industry's first truly hip situation comedy" (in other words, the first bootleg ever to be produced in the rock-and-roll era). [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:15 AM PST - 24 comments

I Want To Talk About Politics On Facebook vs. Get Out Of My Facebook, Politics: two arguments for and against using social media to share political opinions (presented on Thought Catalog) [more inside]
posted by flex at 11:10 AM PST - 78 comments

TypeScript is Microsoft's new open source programming language. [more inside]
posted by Jpfed at 10:36 AM PST - 69 comments

After a ten year break, Godspeed You! Black Emperor have announced a new album, Allelujah! Don't Bend! Ascend!
Listen.
posted by schyler523 at 10:20 AM PST - 65 comments


It's D-Day: Governor Mitt Romney debates President Barack Obama in Denver, Colorado. Will we see an epic game-changer or an airless, pre-orchestrated zinger-swap? [more inside]
posted by sallybrown at 9:23 AM PST - 3068 comments

The history of voter's rights in America is treacherous. In this upcoming election, voter suppression continues and as before, it is racialized, and targets traditionally marginalized & left-leaning individuals. The ACLU's Laura Murphy on voter suppression this year. The NAACP and Project South both have a hand in the fight to be counted.
posted by gracedepapel at 9:12 AM PST - 18 comments


Good Ideas, Through the Looking Glass [PDF] by Pascal creator Niklaus Wirth, is an interesting look at some ideas - both successful and not-so-successful - from the past decades of computing.
posted by JeffL at 6:52 AM PST - 39 comments

A study-based analysis of UK gaming magazines in the 1980s and 90s argues that the analysis of computer games, independent of attributes such as the platform or narrative, becomes more evident after March 1985 when the term 'gameplay' begins to be used in this media.
posted by Wordshore at 6:49 AM PST - 10 comments

Comics critics groupblog The Hooded Utilitarian ("a pundit in every panopticon") turned five in September and to celebrate ran a month long festival of hate, "in which contributors will write about what they believe is the worst comic ever — or the most overrated, or the one they personally hate the most, as the case may be." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 6:13 AM PST - 94 comments

Imagine a lake so polluted and contaminated that spending just an hour on its shores would result in certain death, and the only way seen fit to deal with it is to fill the entire water body with concrete blocks to keep the toxic soil underneath from moving onshore. That lake is Lake Karachay in Russia’s Chelyabinsk Oblast, and it is considered by many to be the most polluted place on the planet.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:01 AM PST - 31 comments

The Krew Kats were an instrumental surf-rock act out of England in the very early 60s. Cut from the same cloth, you might say, as the much more well known stateside crew The Ventures. But the Krew Kats had a playful, surprising, inventive and gloriously dopey sound all their own. As far as I can tell, their total recorded output consists of seven songs, all of which are available for your listening pleasure here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:50 AM PST - 13 comments

For the first time ever, a meteor has grazed in and out of Earth's atmosphere, slowing enough to become a temporary satellite that lasted a full orbit. In other astronomical news, a comet was discovered by a couple of Russian astronomers that appears to have all of the ingredients to be one of the greatest comets in our lifetimes, and maybe one of the greatest in human civilization's history. New comet might blaze brighter than the full Moon This will be the second great comet of 2013.
posted by spock at 4:48 AM PST - 72 comments

BFI set to open its catalogue of 10,000 archive films to stream online Yesterday, the BFI released its five year plan 'film forever' . One of the key points is the development and launch of a BFIPlayer in 2013 which will stream the 10,000 films they aim to digitise by 2017. Other objectives are also outlined in the full plan, such as the money available for British film production rising to £24 milllion p/a.
posted by jamiemch at 2:03 AM PST - 18 comments

October 2

Allen Ginsberg's four box set "Holy Soul Jelly Roll: Poems & Songs 1949-1993" is a collection of released and unreleased recordings. Eight poems are free on Soundcloud. More Ginsberg, including Howl, "What Would You Do If You Lost It?" and with Paul McCartney. Previously
posted by Isadorady at 11:16 PM PST - 9 comments

Cigarettes: The Most Stable International Currency. In China, expensive cigarettes (not to be confused with counterfeits of popular brands) are sometimes used as bribes. Cash can be difficult to handle, or outright illegal, in some places. Since a smoking ban (and subsequent black-market trade in cigarettes) in US prisons, canned mackerel (previously on MetaFilter) has become the exchange medium of choice. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:16 PM PST - 34 comments

Umihotaru is an artificial island on the Tokyo Bay Aqualine that has had to reinvent itself as a tourist trap to justify the continued maintenance of a little-used bridge-tunnel crossing.
posted by 256 at 9:15 PM PST - 27 comments

World's Best Father . (For certain values of "best".) [more inside]
posted by Lexica at 8:30 PM PST - 21 comments

Making perfect bacon every time is easy. Here's how: [more inside]
posted by SansPoint at 7:22 PM PST - 82 comments

A first-hand account of the creation of the new Microsoft home page.
posted by gilrain at 7:04 PM PST - 44 comments

Silk ... a symmetrical doodling program, like drawing with strands of silk. (previously)
posted by crunchland at 6:46 PM PST - 43 comments

10 Inexplicable and Possibly Offensive Halloween Costumes You Can Buy (But I Don't Recommend It) Haven't we all wanted to dress as a sexy crayon or a sexy body bag at some point?
posted by SisterHavana at 6:39 PM PST - 126 comments

Stop-motion Lego Dr. Strangelove (part I | II) [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:39 PM PST - 6 comments

Live-Giffing the 2012 Debates — October 3rd marks the first presidential debate for the 2012 American elections. There will be literally hundreds of live blogs offering differing perspectives and blow-by-blow accounts. Elevating the discourse as only they can though, Tumblr will have a crack team of GIF artists cranking out instant animations of the best debate moments, from zingers to gaffes to awkward silences. The place to take it all in will be the purpose-built Gifwich live-GIFfing blog. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:41 PM PST - 25 comments



The shorter wit and wisdom of Arnold Schwarzenegger - highlights from his autobiography 'Total Recall'
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:52 PM PST - 40 comments

Same Love. A song and film produced by Seattle hip hop artist Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in support of legalizing same-sex marriage in Washington State.
posted by Apropos of Something at 12:43 PM PST - 17 comments

"The death in Buenos Aires of Argentine filmmaker (in Spanish) and theorist Octavio Getino was reported on the same day as that of the historian Eric Hobsbawm in London. Worlds apart and different spheres of activity, perhaps, but both contributed in major ways to the broad current of independent and international critical culture that grew up after 1968, even though Hobsbawm remained a Communist and Getino was always a Peronist." - Michael Chanan, with a video interview of Mr. Getino from 1982.
posted by parmanparman at 12:39 PM PST - 5 comments

GWAR covers KANSAS. Yes, you read that right. [more inside]
posted by Eideteker at 12:26 PM PST - 46 comments

Although three members of Pussy Riot "have been sentenced to two years each on the absurd charge of 'hooliganism motivated by religious hatred,'" they remain unbowed. In this GQ interview Nadya Tolokonikovoy relates that "prison is a place for ascetic practices," and states "In any case, I'm happy I got two years. For every person with a functioning brain, this verdict is so dumb and cruel that it removes any lingering illusions about Putin's system. It's a verdict on the system."
posted by mr. digits at 11:57 AM PST - 69 comments

In the two years building up to the government’s NHS reform bill, the BBC appears to have categorically failed to uphold its remit of impartiality, parroting government spin as uncontested fact, whilst reporting only a narrow, shallow view of opposition to the bill. In addition, key news appears to have been censored. The following in-depth investigation provides a shocking testimony of the extent to which the BBC abandoned the NHS.
posted by infini at 11:47 AM PST - 19 comments

The Smiths are never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever going to reunite - ever. [more inside]
posted by mysticreferee at 11:21 AM PST - 72 comments



The problem is that the fedora has become a go-to accessory for a peculiar subculture of love-entitled male nerds whose social inexperience and awkwardness manifests in a world rocked by a gender revolution—a tectonic shift in the makeup of formerly cloistered, rule-bound clubs. They aren't bad people – they simply need a place from which to draw a sense of manhood, if not from women.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:41 AM PST - 718 comments

"I am more than a number on a scale" La Crosse, Wisconsin news anchor Jennifer Livingston responds to a fat-shaming email directly on-air. [more inside]
posted by Senor Cardgage at 10:22 AM PST - 116 comments

You're about to be the base doctor at Halley Research Station in Antarctica for a year. For ten months, no one gets in or out. Fourteen lives are in your hands, including your own. What do you put in your medical kit? And how do your choices differ from those of your predecessors (Eric Marshall and Edward Wilson) a century ago?
posted by zarq at 10:13 AM PST - 8 comments

Travel: My Father’s Color Images of Southern California in the 1940′s. Pretty much what it says on the tin. Some nice color snaps. The main reason I posted this is I can't stop looking at this shot of the Universal Studios' back lot.
posted by marxchivist at 9:50 AM PST - 22 comments

Television Without Pity re-capper Jacob Clifton has written a short steampunk story for Tor.com. “There’s a level on which the story is an indictment of using steampunk as a fashion or trend. It came about because I wanted to see what would happen if you substituted Jane Austen for Jules Verne in the steampunk equation...” The Commonplace Book
posted by The Whelk at 9:37 AM PST - 19 comments

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court returned from summer vacation, and among other things, it heard the second oral argument of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum Co.. Esther Kiobel and eleven other Nigerian plaintiffs are accusing oil companies of complicity in a brutal crackdown on protesters that included torture and murder; during the first round of arguments, "some of the court's conservative justices signaled a willingness to shield corporations from liability in U.S. courts over allegations that they had aided or acquiesced to foreign governments that abused their own people." Meanwhile, a group called People Against Legalizing Murder has launched MurderisBad.com - which Shell has allegedly blocked from its employees.
posted by jbickers at 9:22 AM PST - 50 comments

"We have a man in the Marmite factory whose job it is to watch Marmite evaporate. Literally like watching paint dry" explained St.John cheerfully. How to make your own Marmite.
posted by unSane at 8:59 AM PST - 47 comments

Nina Paley's take on This Land Is Mine You will never be able to think of this song the same way again. (SLYT)
posted by brianstorms at 8:49 AM PST - 29 comments

How Apple uses a Nevada based investment fund to (legally) avoid paying corporate tax on some of its massive profit.
posted by COD at 7:31 AM PST - 135 comments

This winners for the MacArthur Awards have been announced , and among the fellows is Chris Thile. [more inside]
posted by Wolfster at 7:26 AM PST - 23 comments

An interview with Jamie Bestwick, now aged 41, on what motivates him as the world's greatest BMX vert rider.
posted by roofus at 7:18 AM PST - 2 comments

Golden Dawn [Wiki summary] progress report: "One survey last week showed a near doubling in the number of people voicing "positive opinions" about Golden Dawn, up from 12% in May to 22%" as Golden Dawn have become vigilante enforcers where the police cannot [Guardian - short summary] and provide food and clothing for the ethnic Greek poor. "Kaiti Lazarou, 55, the owner of a newspaper and cigarette kiosk in Piraeus, agreed. “I myself have gotten food and potatoes from them in Syntagma Square,” she said. "I would not be surprised if they become the government one day, and why shouldn’t they? They protect the Greeks, while Samaras and the government are out of touch with the people" [NYT - somewhat more detailed, and with useful links]. Golden Dawn is also setting up foreign offices to collect aid [Canadian example] to distribute in Greece, both providing benefits to ethnic Greeks and attacking immigrant stalls and community centres [example attack on a Tanzanian community centre, where the police allegedly stood by].
posted by jaduncan at 6:09 AM PST - 70 comments




October 1

Copyright Criminals , the 2009 PBS Documentary, discusses the complex artistic and legal history of sampling in music, featuring interviews with both the samplers (Chuck D, De La Soul, Shock G, El-P, DJ Qbert) and the sampled (George Clinton and Clyde Stubblefield). via egotrip
posted by chrchr at 11:56 PM PST - 15 comments

If you're thinking about being bitten by a coral snake in the United States, you may want to do so before the end of the month. October 31, 2012 is the extended-extended-extended-expiration date for batch 4030026 of the only FDA-approved antivenin for coral snake bites. (Antivenin shortages are not uncommon, surprisingly enough.) [more inside]
posted by maxwelton at 11:46 PM PST - 69 comments

"A blue cloud of smoke wafted over the Famous Five statue that sits just east of the Senate doors. No one seemed to be going insane or looking like they were about to personally invade the United States. There were people of all colours in the crowd, but if any of them were members of The Ring, they hid it well. The peaceful demonstrators were, however, breaking the law, smoking a banned substance that could in theory have landed any one of them in prison." Emily Murphy’s legacy lives on in more ways than most care to remember.
posted by mannequito at 11:30 PM PST - 14 comments

Tigers in Nepal's Chitwan National Park have taken the 'night shift,' apparently to coexist with people.(Youtube)
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:42 PM PST - 8 comments

The Pacific War Photographs of Pfc Glenn W. Eve — "In the summer of 1942, the U.S. Army called up a skinny California boy barely out of his teens. But at 5’9’’ and 125 pounds, Private Glenn W. Eve was deemed unfit for combat. He might have spent the duration of World War II at a desk, except that he had field skills the Army needed – he was a gifted artist, draftsman and photographer who'd spent the previous four years working for the Walt Disney Co. In July 1944, they promoted him to private first class (Pfc) and assigned him to the Signal Photo Corps, bound for the Pacific to document the war. This is his collection, never before published. All comments in quotes are Pfc Eve's, written on the back of the photo."
posted by unliteral at 8:07 PM PST - 13 comments

It has been a bad week for contemporary Marxist scholarship [earlier this morning]. This past Saturday, the geography world lost Neil Smith, versatile theorist, advocate for social justice, LA Times Book Award winner, and founder of the Center for Place, Culture and Politics at CUNY. Best known for his theory of the uneven spatial development of capitalism and for changing the way we think about gentrification, his numerous contributions to the field of critical human geography include a sustained critique of neoliberalism, a history of American empire, and the declaration that there's no such thing as a natural disaster. Here's Neil on Occupy Wall Street, urban securitization, deconstructing USA Today in 1984, and singing the Socialist ABCs.
posted by avocet at 7:03 PM PST - 12 comments

31 for 21 in honor of National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, bloggers will be writing a blog article a day concerning the issues of Down syndrome. In addition, there is a blog hop of "best of" weekly posts. [more inside]
posted by plinth at 6:19 PM PST - 6 comments

Barry Commoner has died at age 95. Commoner was a scientist, an environmentalist, an author, and 1980 presidential candidate. He was one of the founders of the Committee for Nuclear Information and of the Citizens Party.
posted by maurice at 5:15 PM PST - 7 comments

The Edge Effect. Daniel Kukla spent March of 2012 as an artist in residence at Joshua Tree National Park.
posted by Lexica at 4:38 PM PST - 10 comments


Peggy Wang, a senior editor at Buzzfeed, has recently displayed a pronounced knack for aggregating what feels like some of the best of Pinterest in tips/lifehacks, home decor ideas, and DIY projects shared around the web. Exhibit A: 52 Totally Feasible Ways To Organize Your Entire Home; Exhibit B: 22 Things You're Doing Wrong; Exhibit C: 33 Meticulous Cleaning Tricks [more inside]
posted by flex at 4:07 PM PST - 69 comments

Next Monday, "Fearless" Felix Baumgartner will attempt to break the sound barrier. Skydiving. Over Roswell, New Mexico. Having jumped from his balloon and an altitude of 23 miles.
From the AP: "Then there’s the risk of a flat spin, in which Baumgartner loses control of his body during the free fall and starts spinning. A long, fast spin, if left unchecked, could turn his eyeballs into blood-soaked, reddish-purple orbs, and he could be left temporarily blind. Also, a massive blood clot could form in his brain. 'All the things that can happen are varying degrees of bad,' offers Baumgartner’s top medical man, Dr. Jonathan Clark, a former NASA flight surgeon."
posted by wensink at 3:47 PM PST - 392 comments

Thieving octopus (SLVimeo, warning: banjo)
posted by zippy at 3:18 PM PST - 58 comments

The Dynamics of The Subway
posted by empath at 2:47 PM PST - 12 comments


Today’s “luxury” car is just like today’s “luxury” watch. The value of the thing is the price, the presence, the heavy flame-surfaced tank-like offensiveness of an X6 imposing your prosperity on your neighbor’s fragile psyche like a heavy gold chain worn around one’s neck a thousand years ago.
posted by highway40 at 1:37 PM PST - 146 comments

Apparently irritated with their record label dragging feet, Sacramento band Death Grips (previously) took to their Twitter feed last night and (after quoting a little Charles Manson) began leaking their new album NO LOVE DEEP WEB. They are now reporting that their label has shut down the group's website, but the album is still out there.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:18 PM PST - 24 comments

A. Roger Ekirch on the history of segmented sleep. via NYT
posted by Lorin at 12:57 PM PST - 24 comments

Two photographers risked their lives to become the first people to capture the explosive moment fiery lava crashes into the sea. [more inside]
posted by heyho at 12:57 PM PST - 36 comments

Breaking Bad dialogue via the jarring yet oddly fitting medium of Calvin & Hobbes strips. Clayton Hanson takes dialogue from Breaking Bad episodes and inserts them into Calvin & Hobbes strips. He's done all the seasons to date. In a recent interview with the Washington City Paper, he talked more about his inspiration, his process, and his lawyer. (Calvin & Hobbes & Copyright previously on the grey.)
posted by knile at 12:36 PM PST - 43 comments

“Economic theory has come to a dead end — the last real breakthroughs were in the 1960s,” says Yanis Varoufakis, a Greek economist recently hired by the video-game company Valve. “But that’s not because we stopped being clever. We came up against a hard barrier. The future is going to be in experimentation and simulation — and video game communities give us a chance to do all that.”
posted by Chrysostom at 12:28 PM PST - 25 comments

It's 1983. Put Eddie Van Halen and Brian May in a room together. The result? Of course, Star Fleet, a cover of the theme from the children's marionette tokusatsu series broadcast Saturday mornings in the U.K.
posted by Chinese Jet Pilot at 11:32 AM PST - 15 comments

If every person on Earth aimed a laser pointer at the Moon at the same time, would it change color? No? *sigh* Well, what if we tried more power? Keep asking that question and you get an astonishing result.
posted by exphysicist345 at 10:58 AM PST - 42 comments

The Power of Kawaii: Viewing Cute Images Promotes a Careful Behavior and Narrows Attentional Focus This is interpreted as the result of a narrowed attentional focus induced by the cuteness-triggered positive emotion that is associated with approach motivation and the tendency toward systematic processing.
posted by EvaDestruction at 10:44 AM PST - 19 comments

The Yellow Dog Project is a global movement for parents of dogs in need of space. If you see a dog with a yellow ribbon or something yellow on the leash, this is a dog who needs some space. Please do not approach this dog with your dog. Please maintain distance or give this dog and his/her person time to move out of your way. [more inside]
posted by ancillary at 10:20 AM PST - 211 comments

Now that's rocket science: An interview with Steve Collins of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:16 AM PST - 8 comments

British Marxist historian and lover of jazz, Eric Hobsbawm is dead: Guardian obit. His key works: Industry and Empire (1968); and the "Age of" series, which he began with The Age of Revolution: 1789-1848, first published in 1962. Followed in 1975 by The Age of Capital: 1848-1875. And in 1987, The Age of Empire: 1875-1914. A fourth volume, The Age of Extremes: 1914-91, was published in 1994. He also found time to be castaway on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs (5 March 1995). Other than the music, his choice of book was a collection of Neruda's poems and his "luxury item" was a pair of binoculars. stream or download
posted by Mister Bijou at 6:44 AM PST - 53 comments

Descendants of Holocaust Survivors Choose to be Tattooed Livia Rebak was branded with the number 4559. Now her grandson, Daniel Philosof, has the same tattoo. [more inside]
posted by modernnomad at 6:43 AM PST - 115 comments

David Corio has been photographing musicians since 1978. His website is a treasure trove of portraits, featuring some actors and comedians but mainly reggae, soul, hip hop, punk & rock artists, in concert, in the studio or in the street, including some you may have seen before. His work has featured in newspapers, magazines, on record sleeves and even in a judge's legal opinion. Plus megaliths!
posted by criticalbill at 6:30 AM PST - 2 comments

IKEA "airbrushes" women from its catalogue in Saudi Arabia. Scandinavian newspapers have noticed something missing in IKEA's catalog Saudi Arabia: women.
posted by three blind mice at 4:25 AM PST - 161 comments

It’s a good story because of the Vatican’s proverbial secrecy and intrigue and because of its ambiguity between its role as an international political and economic power and its claim to spiritual and ethical leadership. Mix that with the pedophile priest scandals (none in the Vatican itself so far but plenty of accusations of cover-ups) and not surprisingly, there is good copy for all. [more inside]
posted by aqsakal at 4:16 AM PST - 30 comments

"Like a racist or a sexist, a foodist operates under the prejudices of a governing ideology, viewing the whole world through the grease-smeared lenses of a militant eater." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse at 1:43 AM PST - 137 comments