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December 2004 Archives

December 31
Smallware
Anti-Bloatware A very nice list of tiny apps. Get small!
posted by mecran01 at 11:21 PM PST - 28 comments

Why cant I free your doubtful mind and melt your cold, cold heart
goodbye joe, me gotta go, me oh my oh. 01/01/53 the true gran-daddy of white rock and roll is found dead in the back seat of a caddy.
posted by arse_hat at 10:27 PM PST - 27 comments

More Than Seven Words You Can't Say...
New Year's Tradition: Banishing Words (yes, I've done this before) L.S.S.U has been making lists since 1976, but after all the censorship battles of the last year, they probably should be using less threatening terminology than "banished". Still, most of the terminology in this Hall of Shame list certainly deserves to be discouraged, derided and degraded.

Of course, Creative Deity Matt Groening does his own annual list of Forbidden Words, and some webhead has developed a cool webtool: The Forbidden Words Flagger.
posted by wendell at 9:20 PM PST - 31 comments

Objectivism: The philosophy of the future?
The U.S should not help tsunami victims according to those ever-thoughtful fellows at the Ayn Rand Institute. Why not? Because, Objectively speaking, altruism is evil, especially collective altruism.
posted by jdroth at 6:28 PM PST - 84 comments

They're like little babies. Riding things.
Feric Studio has some pretty cool illustrations (hidden behind a benign Flash interface). I especially liked the Fevolution II series.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 4:17 PM PST - 3 comments

.
New Year Webcams Probably a yawn but I do not want to look at Regis. Other places besides NYC...
posted by nj_subgenius at 3:03 PM PST - 14 comments

Comparing tsunami deaths to the World Trade Center collapse
Compare the death count from the tsunami to the deaths at the World Trade Center using graphs. Rob Cockerham took a break from his victimless pranks to help put things in perspective. Those without a giant monitor will have to do some horizontal scrolling.
posted by fleener at 1:19 PM PST - 114 comments

Viva Velvet
"Nuts to art." Edgar Leeteg is considered, for good or bad, the poobah of modern velvet painting. He did manage to rate his own museum exhibit and inspire others to create their own special brand of nutty art. (Links have possible NSFW art displays)
posted by DeepFriedTwinkies at 12:43 PM PST - 6 comments

Micro
Eye Of Science - Beautiful images of the microscopic world. (via boingboing.net)
posted by buriednexttoyou at 11:17 AM PST - 13 comments

Darth Vader/Weirdo Music Video
Darth Vader/Weirdo - An animated movie about....something. [mov]
posted by puke & cry at 9:48 AM PST - 17 comments

Tomorrow is the first day of the rest of the year.
January Is......
Family Fit Lifestyle Month....International Creativity Month....International Balance Month....National Be On Purpose Month....National Clean Up Your Computer Month....Get Organized Month....National High-Tech Month....National Hot Tea Month....National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month....National Reaching Your Potential Month....Oatmeal Month....National Walk Your Pet Month....Eradication of Colonialism Month....National Radon Action Month....National Clean Out Your Desk Month....National Birth Defects Prevention Month....National Bread Machine Baking Month....Autism Awareness Month....National Eye Care Month....National Glaucoma Awareness Month....National Soup Month....Fat Free Living Month....Reminiscence Month....and much more.
posted by fenriq at 9:26 AM PST - 28 comments

My new hero
DOJ coup d'etat. Ashcroft is gone. Now, six days before the confirmation hearings of Alberto Gonzales, the acting Attorney General, Daniel Levin, issues a new official memo (pdf)on torture, reversing and specifically repudiating the definitions of torture from the August 2002 memo addressed to Gonzales. The new memo states, among other things,
'we disagree with statements in the August 2002 Memorandum limiting "severe" pain under the statute to "excruciating and agonizing" pain [...] or to pain "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death'
posted by boo at 9:09 AM PST - 18 comments

20 Amazing Facts About
20 Amazing Facts About Read this and cry. Or move to another country.
posted by Postroad at 9:00 AM PST - 76 comments

Glad people are giving relief... but sheesh.
Our country is more humanitarian than YOURS is! No it's not. Yes it is. See? We donated more aid than you did. Well, we doubled our donation. So there. But yours are loans, not donations. Nuh uh. They're donations. Are not. Besides, we'll triple ours. And we'll send planes. You wouldn't. Watch us. Well then, we'll just octuple ours. Yeah? I bet you won't. I quadruple dog dare you. I hate you... you know that, right?
posted by miss lynnster at 8:45 AM PST - 105 comments

Forest People of Sri Lanka
Veddas (or Wanniya-laeto): the ancient and presently endangered forest-people of Sri Lanka. (more: 1, 2, 3, 4)
"...the surviving Wanniya-laeto community retains much of its own distinctive cyclic worldview, prehistoric cultural memory, and time-tested knowledge of their semi-evergreen dry monsoon forest habitat that has enabled their ancestor-revering culture to meet the diverse challenges to their collective identity and survival."
posted by moonbird at 8:02 AM PST - 6 comments

She thinks Steve Albini is an Olympic rower
"11. Wilco — A Ghost is Born: Wilco is a band for people who think they are intellectuals about music, the Wilco man is always unhappy so his songs start very quietly in order that people don't wake up with a start. It is all for nothing because halfway through someone will play a guitar solo with a chairleg." Shelley Winters, of Scary-Go-Round, reviews the Top 20 albums of the year as picked by John Allison (the creator of Scary-Go-Round). (Oh, and the rest of the archive is worth a gander too, as is John Allison's previous strip Bobbins.)
posted by Johnny Assay at 7:24 AM PST - 25 comments

Give a hoot, use your computer!
The World Community Grid is a project to use spare CPU cycles to help the world. The Grid is Windows only, but Folding@Home is a cross-platform way to spend your extra CPU cycles, in an effortless (for you) quest to cure disease. And of course there's the original donated cycle project, SETI@home.
posted by mosch at 6:59 AM PST - 12 comments

Gallery of Computation
Complexification Jared Tarbell 's summer update to the gallery is the most mesmerizing example of computer generated art I"ve ever seen forming on my monitor.The Sand Traveler is a rendering of 1,000 traveling particles, each in pursuit of another. Over time, patterns of travel are exposed as sweeping paths of color.
posted by hortense at 5:40 AM PST - 18 comments

Artie Shaw 1910-2004
Artie Shaw has died at age 94. An era continues to fade away into memory.
posted by bluedaniel at 5:15 AM PST - 18 comments

Essex History
Earls Colne, Essex: Records of an English Village 1375-1854 ; and Domesday Witham, an Essex town. Pieces of Essex history.
posted by plep at 12:19 AM PST - 4 comments

December 30
an immediate solution for water sanitation in the tsunami affected areas
Sodis.ch is a Swiss group which has conducted low cost water treatment research in areas of the world currently affected by the tsunami. There are immediate concerns with waterbourne microbial diseases. The entire region is receiving rainfall at the moment. Shipping in massive amounts of plastic bottles to sanitize that falling water may be a viable immediate fix for water sanitation.
posted by elle at 9:02 PM PST - 6 comments

100 years of Einstein!
Einstein's miraculous centenary - "A century after Einstein's miracle year, most people still do not understand exactly what it was he did. Here, we attempt to elucidate." [oh and, also see :]
posted by kliuless at 8:36 PM PST - 68 comments

Spain becoming Southern Sweden?
Spain to legalize Same Sex Marriages. Fulfilling a campaign promise, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero's socialist government is on the verge of making Spain only the third country in Europe to legalize same sex marriages after the Netherlands and Belgium. This and other progressive legislation has led angry bishops of the Spanish Church and other religious groups to start a campaign against Zapatero's “social revolution” that is converting Spain into one of the most liberal countries in all of Europe. [more inside]
posted by sic at 6:17 PM PST - 61 comments

Find that job you've always dreamed of
Indeed.com is what a job search aggregator was meant to be. I stumbled across it and have found it immensely helpful. It indexes every job site that I’m aware of, corporate employment pages, newspapers and craigslist then makes the jobs searchable based on keyword(s) and (optionally) location. Searches can be made into RSS feeds, e-mail alerts, etc. Current beta only work for jobs in U.S.
posted by jperkins at 6:05 PM PST - 24 comments

The worlds oldest living things.
Methuselah is 4,767 years of age. The Bristlecone Pines began life during the Third Dynasty in Egypt.
posted by arse_hat at 5:44 PM PST - 27 comments

No static. Democratic.
Channel 101 - Democratic "television" on the web. Shows include The 'Bu (first episode in 3-D!!!), the bizarre Ringwald and Molly, Laser Fart, the much downloaded Kicked in the Nuts!, and many more. Some shows may be NSFW.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:15 PM PST - 11 comments

Why Does Archbishop Desmond Tutu Hate Our Chirstian Moral Values
Why Does Archbishop Desmond Tutu Hate Our Christian Moral Values? In an interview with MSNBC, the nobel prize winner slams George Bush. "I had naively believed all these many years that Americans genuinely believed in freedom of speech. [But I] discovered there that when you made an utterance that was remotely contrary to what the White House was saying, then they attacked you. For a South African the déjà vu was frightening. They behaved exactly the same way that used to happen here [during apartheid]—vilifying those who are putting forward a slightly different view."
posted by expriest at 3:03 PM PST - 95 comments

South Africa, 10 years on.
10 years of freedom. This past year marked a full decade since South Africa held true elections. The CBC held interviews with four prominent S. Africans. Writer Zakes Mda, Leader of the Independent Democrats Patricia de Lille, Albie Sachs - judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and Bulelani Ngcuka - The National Director of Public Prosecutions.
There are problems (of course), first hand reports still indicate rampant racism (As mentioned from Wired to AllAfrica.com) Some serious corruption charges have been leveled against members of the ANC. Poverty and AIDS both remain high. Despite these issues I cannot but have hope, and believe that this was the way a people should seek liberation. Congrats S.A. I hope the future continues to improve for you.
posted by edgeways at 1:30 PM PST - 5 comments

Nothing runs like a Beagle!
The Beagle Bros Software Online Museum - "a tribute to the coolest software company of the 80's." These guys made my Apple II childhood just a little more magical. The museum includes their ever-informative diskette care warning labels and a less-than-useful but inside joke-filled FAQ. The Beagle Bros Wikipedia entry also has a lot of fun tidbits.

They also had very funny and clever ads (found on this great Apple II history page). The ads always contained these amazing little 2-liners, Applesoft BASIC programs that made my 11 year-old head spin trying to figure out the PEEKs and POKEs that turned Applesoft BASIC from a toy into a pretty powerful tool.

This bout of nostalgia started when I discovered, via this boingboing post, that you could play I/O Silver online (ActiveX)! (only the greatest puzzle game I've ever owned. And hard as heck, too.)
posted by Space Coyote at 12:37 PM PST - 18 comments

AARP Opposes Private Social Security Accounts
AARP Says No To Bush ... The AARP is coming out strong against private Social security investment accounts, saying they "will actually make the problem worse, not better." In January they plan to spend $50 million on an ad campaign opposing privatization. Kevin Drum of The Washington Monthly has also been awesome in pointing out that the common wisdom that Social Security is in trouble is just not true.
posted by nathanrudy at 11:04 AM PST - 116 comments

Laugh, Cry, and Learn
"Massive misinformation" from Arab news networks such as Al-Jazeera is hampering the US effort in Iraq, Rumsfeld told the troops during his Christmas Eve visit to Mosul: "Everything we do here is harder because of television stations like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyah." In remarks that were not quoted in the American press, the defense secretary went on to tell the troops, "We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they'll say what you want. We just don't do that and they do and that's happening" (which is itself meta-misinformation.) Meanwhile, the Pentagon's multimillion-dollar solution -- the CIA-funded Iraqi news network, Al-Iraqiya (featuring "Iraqi programs that make you laugh, cry, and learn") -- has become "an irrelevant mouthpiece for [coalition] propaganda" according to one of its own former correspondents, veteran news reporter Don North.
posted by digaman at 10:24 AM PST - 21 comments

The eye in the sky
Before, during and after. DigitalGlobe's QuickBird satellite imaged the coast of Sri Lanka at precisely the time the tidal wave hit the beaches. It was pure coincidence.
posted by OpinioNate at 10:13 AM PST - 56 comments

fast food fitness
An unholy union of fitness and fast food: Bally Total Fitness teams up with Yum Brands to offer free four-month gym memberships to people who eat at Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John Silver's or A&W restaurants.
posted by me3dia at 9:03 AM PST - 51 comments

Is this your sister's sixth zither, sir?
Twisting Tongues in Other Tongues
This page was originally created to give a good group of tongue twisters to people in speech therapy, to people who want to work on getting rid of an accent, or to people who just plain like tongue twisters. I hope you enjoy them.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:17 AM PST - 32 comments

Bubbles the Artist
Bubbles the Artist! If you've been looking for a Pee Wee Herman dinner plate, a greeting card featuring Paul Lynde, or a painting of John Belushi drinking himself to death, then look no further. (If you love crappy disco midi files, you'll want to keep your speakers turned up.)
posted by ba at 7:22 AM PST - 11 comments

President Tomato Ketchup
Imitation chicken. Kennedy Fried Chicken, JFK Fried Chicken, J. F. Kennedy Fried Chicken, Kantacky Fried Chicken, et al. [via cardhouse]
posted by sklero at 2:58 AM PST - 41 comments

Animal Locomotion: Eadweard Muybridge
Animal Locomotion: Eadweard Muybridge "Grandfather of the Motion Picture".
posted by plep at 12:10 AM PST - 5 comments

December 29
I Am Right Because I Am Not Wrong
The Art Of Controversy : Or Better Referred To As The Politician's Bible by Arthur Schopenhauer.
posted by Gyan at 9:43 PM PST - 20 comments

HorizonZero
HorizonZero a Canadian new media and culture web journal, wraps up its run with Issue 18: Ghost [Flash]...a tribute to and investigative archive of itself....
posted by tpl1212 at 6:20 PM PST - 4 comments

Suprnova.org is back... with a vengeance?!
Suprnova.org is back... with a vengeance?! It was just last week when suprnova.org, the most popular site online for finding BitTorrent downloads, shut down their site. The MPAA and RIAA crowed, but it appears the celebration was a tad premature. Suprnova's new site mentions a special announcement tomorrow at 9 PM GMT on NovaStream.org radio. Rumors suggest that it will introduce Exeem, a decentralized, BitTorrent-driven software client that turns every user into a tracker, removing the requirement for a centralized site such as suprnova, while providing users with easy searchability, the swarming powers of BitTorrent, and a network that is far harder to shut down.
posted by insomnia_lj at 6:06 PM PST - 73 comments

Kurds are the Closest Relatives of Jews
Kurds are the Closest Relatives of Jews Funny, They don't look Jewish:"Research has just begun into the ancient ties between Kurds and Jews. It would be interesting to see if the various Jewish groups have as strong a family tie to Kurds in the maternal lineages as they do in the paternal lineages. Preliminary studies indicate that Jewish populations in eastern Europe and Yemen have maternal origins that contain much more non-Israelite ancestry than their paternal origins. Despite this admixture with other groups, the Jewish Judean people ultimately began their existence in an area within or nearby Kurdistan, prior to migrating southwest to Israel. This exciting research showing that Kurds and Jews may have shared common fathers several millennia ago should, hopefully, encourage both Kurds and Jews to explore each others' cultures and to maintain the friendship that Kurds and Jews enjoyed in northern Iraq in recent times (as chronicled in Michael Rubin's recent article "The Other Iraq"). As Rubin indicates, the Kurdish leader Mullah Mustafa Barzani once visited Israel and met with Israeli government officials. Rubin refers to the Iraqi Kurds' "special affinity for Israel" and writes that "In the safe haven of Iraqi Kurdistan, the Jews and Israel are remembered fondly, if increasingly vaguely." Let us hope that this relationship can be renewed and strengthened."
posted by Postroad at 4:56 PM PST - 51 comments

Explorations in the Art of Stop-Motion Animation
Stop-motion clips from some of Eastern Europe's greatest masters. From "DarkStrider, Explorations in the Art of Stop-Motion Animation".
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 2:23 PM PST - 12 comments

Laser pointers
I saw this on my local news this evening. Can consumer lasers really bring down planes?
posted by Recockulous at 2:20 PM PST - 62 comments

Duct tape/Deep Space/Gravity=Fun
Great Shockwave Game - "Doom Funnel Chasers" asks you to launch projectiles through space, plugging the funnels o' doom. Each attempt leaves its own trail, producing a fun Spirograph-ic effect. [Found via Qarcade]
posted by bullitt 5 at 12:31 PM PST - 25 comments

(Hypothetical) Lovin, Touchin, Squeezin
Steve Perry Fan Fiction "11:30 Halloween night and Steve Perry pulled up to the very dark and deserted pumpkin patch in his Toyota Land Cruiser and when he came to a stop he looked out through the gloom to see if anyone else was here and in his own way he was hoping, hoping that some of his old band mates would show but with the reaction he got he really didn’t expect them to be here but he could hope couldn’t he."
posted by Swampjazz! at 12:18 PM PST - 58 comments

sIFR: anti-aliased text in any font
Forget Verdana, here’s sIFR: anti-aliased text in your browser in any font you like.
The next big thing? Just a kludge? Heard about it already?
posted by Termite at 11:36 AM PST - 160 comments

Chuteless Jumps
Chuteless Jumps: Russian I.M. Chisov survived a 21,980 plunge out of a plane with no parachute. He landed on the steep side of a snow-covered mountain with only a fractured pelvis and slight concussion.
posted by thisisdrew at 11:22 AM PST - 41 comments

Let's get Kraken!
Like most people who love mythical creatures (cryptozoology), I also collect stamps (philately). At last, someone has combined these twin fetishes in one easily displayed fashion. My favorites include the Loch Ness Monster and his ancient cousin the Kraken, especially these two which feature a guest appearance by Mickey Mouse.
posted by jonson at 9:17 AM PST - 23 comments

What do bloggers owe their sources?
Roland Piquepaille, author of the excellent Technology Trends blog and frequent contributor to Slashdot, is accused of using plagirism, Slashdot and his own blog to pump up his Blogads revenue. Long quotes and summarization of sources are staples of the blogging culture. When revenue is involved, some infer that the blogger owes more than just credit to their sources. [via Eyebeam Reblog].
posted by tomharpel at 8:53 AM PST - 27 comments

Famous trio should've been the Nairobi...
Ballerina. Vulcan. French. it's a rainbow of sock monkey flavors that I never knew existed. (via Slumbering Lungfish)
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:24 AM PST - 5 comments

La voila! Voila la Carmencita!
Carmen, ah! souviens-toi du passé! The 233 [mostly] female cigar rollers (las cigarreras) at Seville's Altadis tobacco factory are urgently trying to defend the last remaining trace of the four-hundred-year-old tobacco industry in Seville, which is certain to cease production by 2007. Responsible for manufacturing six million cigarettes a year for Altadis, las cigarreras claim to be "the rightful heirs of the feisty Gypsy heroine" Carmen, idealized in Georges Bizet's 1875 opera of the same name. "Invoking what they see as Carmen's 'independent, unbending' spirit, these contemporary las cigarreras have organized a protest every Wednesday, between shifts, for more than a year to save well-paying local jobs as well as the factory itself, a link to the gritty history that spawned the romantic legends."
posted by naxosaxur at 8:10 AM PST - 8 comments

Not just a detective.
Jerry Orbach, 1935-2004. Goodnight, Lennie Briscoe. Farewell, Lumiere.
(And Billy Flynn and Mack the Knife and Sky Masterson and ...)
posted by grabbingsand at 7:57 AM PST - 97 comments

Heartless response
Heartless response An American couple survived while diving off Thailand during the tsunami. Because they had lost all their possessions, they had to have new passports issued. At the Bangkok airport other governments had set up booths to assist their citizens. The couple searched there for officials from the American consulate for three hours, before finding them in the VIP lounge. Oh, and U.S. officials demanded payment before taking any passport pictures.
posted by fleener at 7:27 AM PST - 166 comments

Babes in Space
Babes in Space.
posted by greasy_skillet at 7:09 AM PST - 14 comments

So much for my vacation.
Yes, I know the Tsunami is old news. We've seen it on tv ad nauseum, the same videos on a loop.
Ok, so now? Stop for a second and imagine BEING there.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:07 AM PST - 53 comments

Bittersweet Bears
Bittersweet Bears "When a loved one becomes a memory, make the memory a treasure." Teddy Bears made from the clothing of a loved one.
posted by ColdChef at 6:56 AM PST - 16 comments

w00t
A trickle of reports coming out of North Korea paint a picture of a regime in its dying days
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:41 AM PST - 106 comments

2004 Year in Pictures
The NYTimes 2004 Year in Pictures.
posted by bluedaniel at 5:38 AM PST - 23 comments

FutureFeature
FutureFeature. What should the future bring? [via magnetbox]
posted by soundofsuburbia at 4:46 AM PST - 11 comments

Portrait of Alaska
Portrait of Alaska Norio Matsumoto's unspeakably beautiful photographs. Mountains,lights,forests. tiny remote island in big ocean.
posted by hortense at 1:19 AM PST - 17 comments

Why can't we all fart together?
"Me, I fart loud - I can't be a hypocrite. I get these parts, but I never get to play 'em because I fart out loud. Why can't we all fart together? Let thy arse make wind!"

It is my pleasure to introduce you to the late, great Timothy Carey, possibly the weirdest of all Hollywood character actors. A follower of Salvador Dalí and Le Pétomane, Carey was a Method actor who was pals with John Cassavetes, a muse of sorts for Stanley Kubrick, alleged discoverer of both Frank Zappa and Ray Dennis Steckler, and one of the dedicatees of Reservoir Dogs. Not only that, he wrote, directed, and starred in one of the all-time strangest American films, The World's Greatest Sinner, and wrote and directed the world's only Dalí-inspired play about death by flatulence.

Against all odds, Timothy Carey has a website, and if you're interested, you can buy his movies, posters, and other odds 'n' ends (warning: doesn't appear to have been updated particularly recently).

Truly, in the words of his tombstone, "A Super Nova of Original Thespian Talent."
posted by Dr. Wu at 12:31 AM PST - 12 comments

The Music Factory
The Brill Building , located at 1619 Broadway in the heart of New York's music district, is a name synonymous with an approach to songwriting that changed the course of music. Housing legendary songwriters like Carole King, Jerry Leiber, Neil Sedaka, and Burt Bacharach, the Brill Building created some of the greatest hits of the rock'n'roll era. [more inside]
posted by rocket88 at 12:10 AM PST - 11 comments

December 28
Arctic Blue Books
Arctic Blue Books Online - 'a searchable, World-Wide Web version of Andrew Taylor's unique index to the 19th Century British Parliamentary Papers concerned with the Canadian Arctic. '
posted by plep at 11:32 PM PST - 2 comments

Told you so
I hate people who say I told you so... But.... Edgar Morales shot a little girl, does that make him a terrorist? Other gang members were prosecuted before this for terrorism, other groups who maybe should have haven't - so what's the new law for? Is this the first of many prosecutions under new laws which some said would do one thing but are actually doing something else?
posted by Smedleyman at 11:10 PM PST - 60 comments

Totem burns so hard...
The graffiti art of Totem2 is astonishing in its depth, realism and style. I strongly recommend the 3D Science Section where he creates astonishing art akin to something like sculpture.
posted by E_B_A at 10:02 PM PST - 9 comments

-MATT-TAME-META-TEAM-
The Human Genome.
posted by Gyan at 9:11 PM PST - 6 comments

Collapse!
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed [oh and, also see :]
posted by kliuless at 8:30 PM PST - 30 comments

RISCy business
Great Microprocessors of the Past and Present : This list is not intended to be an exhaustive compilation of microprocessors, but rather a description of designs that are either unique, or representative designs typical of the period, not necessarily the first of their kind, or the best. It includes material from text books, magazine articles and papers, authoritative descriptions and half remembered folklore from obscure sources, as such, it has no bibliography or list of references. via Linkfilter. It gets a little technical at times, but it's interesting reading if you're into the guts of these fun little toys!
posted by starscream at 7:42 PM PST - 4 comments

Sustain and Abstain
The Enchiridion or Manual of the eminently quotable Epictetus contains many words of austere comfort. (more inside)
posted by mono blanco at 7:04 PM PST - 10 comments

Now that's a pan!
And so it came about, this week, that I gazed at a black screen and saw words so calamitous that they might have been written in my own blood: “Screenplay by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Joel Schumacher.” Anthony Lane reviews "The Phantom of the Opera" in the current New Yorker. Now THAT'S how you pan a movie! Does anyone have any other favorite un-favorable reviews?
posted by GriffX at 4:19 PM PST - 72 comments

The Global Baby Bust
The Global Baby Bust Summary: Most people think overpopulation is one of the worst dangers facing the globe. In fact, the opposite is true. As countries get richer, their populations age and their birthrates plummet. And this is not just a problem of rich countries: the developing world is also getting older fast. Falling birthrates might seem beneficial, but the economic and social price is too steep to pay. The right policies could help turn the tide, but only if enacted before it's too late.
posted by Postroad at 4:00 PM PST - 108 comments

God bless the magnetic ribbon industry
My Ribbon is Bigger Than Yours. The magnetic ribbon backlash begins. (See also: AntiMagnet.)
posted by me3dia at 1:47 PM PST - 77 comments

Losing the War
Losing the War, an insightful memoir by writer and journalist Lee Sandlin. Note: It's not about Iraq. Or is it? "A year later, in the second winter of the invasion, as the army inched forward on a final, desperate push into Stalingrad, a daring joke began making the rounds in Germany, a mock dispatch from Stalingrad HQ: 'Today our troops captured a two-room apartment with kitchen, toilet, and bathroom. They have succeeded in retaining two-thirds of it despite fierce counterattacks by the enemy.' Few of the tellers realized just how accurate this description was. John Keegan, in his book The Second World War, quotes a German officer's description of the fighting in the city: 'We have fought for fifteen days for a single house with mortars, grenades, machine-guns and bayonets. Already by the third day fifty-four German corpses are strewn in the cellars, on the landings, and the staircases. The front is a corridor between burnt-out rooms; it is the thin ceiling between two floors.' This was where Hitler's vision of the world finally foundered. After striding like a colossus over a continent, the German army was in the end unable to force its way up a flight of stairs."
posted by digaman at 1:40 PM PST - 20 comments

a blast from the past
Miss Abigail's Time Warp "old advice for contemporary dilemmas"...
posted by konolia at 1:32 PM PST - 4 comments

Boethius and the Consolation of Philosophy
Boethius is one of history's most overlooked philosophers. While imprisoned and awaiting execution at the hands of Theodoric, Boethius illustrated the medieval Christian worldview through his most famous work, The Consolation of Philosophy. Though he also wrote essays on music, science, and logic, engaging with Porphyry [pdf] Plato and Aristotle, the Consolation reached widest. In style and content, Boethius' work had a profound influence on Geoffrey Chaucer (as the Chaucer Review makes very clear). Dante, reading Boethius for solace after Beatrice's death, called Boethius "[t]he blessed soul who exposes the deceptive world to anyone who gives ear to him." [MI]
posted by jeffmshaw at 10:26 AM PST - 26 comments

OFZQDHSUSQPYEORBPSCCGMLEJYB
Flash and Java Enigma machines. And, if you're burdened with free time, an excellent text adventure in which Enigma-deciphering plays a crucial role.
posted by Wolfdog at 10:26 AM PST - 12 comments

Susan Sontag, Leading Intellectual, Dies at 71
Susan Sontag, Leading Intellectual, Dies at 71 (NYT Link)
posted by lilboo at 10:07 AM PST - 88 comments

Psychic and other predictions revisited
There's still time for some of these 2004 predictions to come true, but not much. For those of us who like schadenfreude (pleasure at another's mis-fortune, har): the paranormal survey, the pet psychic, the banal, the faith-based.
posted by nj_subgenius at 9:56 AM PST - 4 comments

Look for specials in this week's Sunday paper
Unblemished and uniform in size. The price is low as consumers destroy Central American farmers by way of giant supermarkets.
posted by orange clock at 8:53 AM PST - 44 comments

Soup & Old Clothes
Photos of some seriously vintage clothing from 1830 up to 1910. Some fashions seemed ahead of their time while others were just plain strange. Care for some shoes my pretty?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:52 AM PST - 22 comments

SETAC Astronomy
Letters to a new employee I think it's so nice that the President and CEO of Starbucks International would send a welcome letter[s] to such an unimportant person. Don't you?
posted by johnj at 6:44 AM PST - 28 comments

Two peas in a pod.
Every July, peas grow there. {mp3}
Eat Your Peas. {mov}
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 1:16 AM PST - 8 comments

I think I can't, I think I can't
"Things just happen, he had decided; they happen and they happen again, and anybody who tries to make sense out of it goes out of his mind."

For this reason, Tom Rath, the hero of Sloan Wilson's 1955 novel The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit, decides not to "make sense" of the the atrocities to which he bears witness during World War II. Instead, he accepts that war is in itself irrational, and that he must simply forget its horrors before returning to civilian life. This New Yorker article contrasts Wilson's 1950's stoicism with today's veneration of the grieving process and suggests that this change in attitude has led us to vastly underestimate our own capacity for coping with trauma. The author also draws some interesting parallels with a controversial study in which victims of childhood sexual abuse were found to be no more likely than others to suffer from mental health problems as adults. Intriguing stuff, to say the least, and as I read it, I can't help but think of Johnny Cash's "The Man Who Couldn't Cry"

(Note: Having thankfully never been subjected to war or sexual abuse myself, I am in no way attempting to demean the anguish of those who have. Rather, I'm more interested in the idea that people are stronger than they give themselves credit for, and how different upbringings affect our experience of trauma.)
posted by idontlikewords at 1:03 AM PST - 41 comments

December 27
Science grooves
Math And Science Song Information, Viewable Everywhere. For all those times you've needed a catchy acappella tune about doppler shifting [mp3] in a hurry, there's now MASSIVE, a fully searchable collaborative database of over 1700 songs about math and science, sponsored in part by the seriously pedagogical Science Songwriters Association. Biz Markie made the cut, and so can you. [via the always-effervescent Research Buzz]
posted by mediareport at 10:26 PM PST - 14 comments

"Not My Head!"
"Not My Head!" Drinking games based on movies or television shows are legion, but surely the most epic, erudite, witty, and hangover-inducing is "Not My Head": the "I, Claudius Drinking Game"! Whether or not you've ever seen the 13 part BBC series on which it's based, the rules are quite simple—and since every episode contains plenty of banishments, poisonings, and orgies, you can be sure you'll be working through those bottles of red wine pretty quickly. Dress as your favorite character for extra debauched realness - and remember, you can't tell the players without a scorecard! (Especially when you're drunk.)
posted by contraposto at 9:19 PM PST - 22 comments

Happy Reading.
eScholarship Editions. Like ebooks? Want something free, nonfiction,"scholarly", publicly accessible, and more recent than Gutenberg ? (Lately I'm on an Ancient History kick.) My problem with this "eScholarship" site is they try to make it hard to download a whole ebook to read offline. For one of those, for people who are interested in 20th-century political history-cum-theory that's never had much to do with any U.S. election, today I'm recommending the Platform.
posted by davy at 8:52 PM PST - 12 comments

How Walmart Is Destroying America And The World: And What You Can Do About It
"How Walmart Is Destroying America And The World: And What You Can Do About It" Available for pre-purchase, online, from Walmart.com. List price: $10.95. Wal*Mart price: $7.55. You saved $3.40.
posted by jmccorm at 7:31 PM PST - 101 comments

Greeks, postmodernism, and the rethinking of deomocracy
Greeks, postmodernity, and the rethinking of democracy Found this fascinating interview on openDemocracy by way of meat-eating leftist. Greek opposition minister George Papandreou, son of former socialist Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou, says some interesting things about the changing nature of representative democracy and the new fluidity of citizens' political and social identities. Given our diminishing democracy in this country, it is refreshing to hear a politician say that individuals in society need to be empowered and that political leaders must listen to and trust individuals.
posted by mountainmambo at 7:20 PM PST - 14 comments

Bell Curve for Doctors
Is there a bell curve for doctors? How hard would it be to evaluate the performance of doctors and should this information be publicly accessible?
posted by rks404 at 4:57 PM PST - 40 comments

How could they DO this to us? We trusted them!!
Let's Roll !!! Does Donald Rumsfield contradicting the official US record harm America?
posted by Balisong at 4:50 PM PST - 119 comments

Quantum Darwinism
Natural selection acts on the quantum world. "Objective reality may owe its existence to a 'darwinian' process that advertises certain quantum states."
posted by homunculus at 4:42 PM PST - 30 comments

Democracy
Update from Holland. After the filmmaker Theo van Gogh's murder by Mohammed Bouyeri, the Dutch creed of tolerance has come under siege.
posted by semmi at 4:24 PM PST - 12 comments

Weather repit!
Hurl snowballs at windows in Glasgow Turn your speakers up for genuine ethnic responses
posted by terrymiles at 3:57 PM PST - 12 comments

Colors of the Past
Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii took three b&w photos of his subjects using red, green, and blue filters. Now, they've been digitally composited, and we have stunning, authentic color photographs of Russia in the early 1900's.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 3:28 PM PST - 49 comments

A Winemaker's Library
A Winemaker's Library. Sean Thackrey is a well-respected winemaker from Northern California, who is unusual in that he prefers to learn from old writings on the subject than from modern enological studies. His personal website includes not only practical information and interviews, but a collection of his favorite texts about winemaking through the ages, with his own introductions.
posted by liam at 3:16 PM PST - 4 comments

15 -- oops -- 10 Commandments
Alabama judge wears robe with Ten Commandments embroidered on it in a nice cursive mustard yellow, bringing the state even closer to the nipples of religion. Lawyer objects. Hear the judge's defense at npr.
posted by swift at 3:00 PM PST - 53 comments

Yes Virginia, There are Christian ACLU Lawyers
A call for Christian lawyers who have worked for the ACLU. The ACLU tries to be balanced , but considering the amount of effort they have put forth to inhibit Christian influence from/to the government, should a Christian lawyer work for them?
posted by urlnotfound at 2:22 PM PST - 65 comments

Historic Spirits
The real Spirit of 1776. Spurred by a Christmas gift of 18th century-style rye whiskey, I found this fascinating exposition on the history of beer and the history of San Francisco. I've signed up for a tour!
posted by Daddio at 1:35 PM PST - 15 comments

They were just collecting dust anyway.
The city of Salinas, CA has decided to address budget concerns by cutting a number of services*. Most surprising, though, is the decision to raise ~$7Mil. (or 2, depending on the PDF) by closing all of the libraries* (hey, at least they're not burning novels) in a town whose population is mostly Hispanic.
Reminds me of that bumper sticker: "Welcome to America: Learn English."
Which begs the question; Where?

*pdf; 5% fewer calories than leading brands.
posted by odinsdream at 12:05 PM PST - 57 comments

Bush's suit bulge revisited:
Bush's suit bulge revisited: Originally it was thought to be a hidden radio prompter (that Bush laughed off in an interview). Others speculated it was a bullet proof vest, and maybe troutfishing almost got it right. So now, the latest theory is a portable defibrillator.
Is the president as healthy as they'd want us to believe?
(more inside)
via cryptome
posted by forforf at 11:45 AM PST - 39 comments

One man's retirement math: Social Security wins
One man's retirement math: Social Security wins At the heart of President Bush's plan to sell Social Security private accounts is a simple notion: You're always better off investing your retirement money than letting the government do it. By doing it yourself, you can stow some money in the stock market, and over the long run will get a better return on that investment than today's Social Security system offers. The idea is broadly accepted. That's why the administration's plan to partially privatize the system sounds appealing to many. But that better return won't always happen. Just ask Stanley Logue of San Diego. For 45 years, the defense-industry analyst paid into the system until his retirement in 1994. But with all the recent hoopla over reform, Mr. Logue, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduate, decided to go back and check his own records. Would he have done better investing his money than the bureaucrats at the Social Security Administration?
posted by Postroad at 11:09 AM PST - 80 comments

Thanks for the new living room, neighbor!
Thanks for the new living room, neighbor! In case you needed any further news about the earth moving, residents in Berkeley, CA have found themselves embroiled in a property-line quagmire as the result of the shifting earth. Small quakes and unstable ground have caused real property to slide as much as 20 feet in the last century, though property lines remain firmly fixed, in some cases causing bitter disputes between neighbors who find themselves with new and sometimes unwanted "improvements" relocated across into their survey area. Even in California where the earth moves all the time, the law still hasn't quite caught up to these trickle events.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:46 AM PST - 17 comments

Adopted family values
The Evan Parker Scott case bears more than a passing resemblance to the Baby Richard case of several years ago. Once more, a toddler who barely knows what's going on is being confiscated by the parent who gave him up in the first place. Is the domestic adoption system broken?
posted by u.n. owen at 10:43 AM PST - 13 comments

Phuket tsunami photo gallery
Phuket tsunami photo gallery. Crazy stuff. And the aftermath.
posted by zorro astor at 8:14 AM PST - 40 comments

PlayBot
The first annual PlayBot calendar. (Might not be SFW) "No robot was permanently harmed or injured during the shooting of the calendar."

posted by kika at 7:13 AM PST - 15 comments

TV Cream's Top 100 Toys
TV Cream's Top 100 Toys
posted by ZippityBuddha at 3:47 AM PST - 26 comments

zyzacks? zeezacks?
xixax is a film community/bulletin board. In addition to forums for new films (released and rumored), stuff on DVD, and tech goodies for filmmakers, they've got director forums for Wes and PT Anderson, Scorsese, Lynch, the Coens, Soderbergh and many others.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 12:09 AM PST - 2 comments

December 26
2004 Google Zeitgeist
The Year in Searches ...for the second year in a row, Britney Spears is the top searched for term on Google. Google releases their 2004 year-end zeitgeist. Rounding out the top five are Paris hilton, Christina Aguilera, Pamela Anderson, and 'chat.'
posted by menace303 at 10:27 PM PST - 46 comments

The art of Jeff de Boer
Pet armour For your dog or your cat. even your mouse!. your rat!
posted by hortense at 10:26 PM PST - 16 comments

My Kind of Comic Book
''The Complete Cartoons of The New Yorker" (Reviewed by Walter Kirn) "Of more than 68,000 pieces of art that could have been included in its pages, only about 2,000 have been printed on paper, while the rest are reproduced on two CD's attached to the inside of the front cover." I gotta git me one a 'em. Kirn also says "a fool who can laugh at his folly is not a fool but something rarer and finer: a self-ironist." [New York Times, wants registration.]
posted by davy at 7:14 PM PST - 22 comments

Drip drip drip...
Between whimsy and science lay the water clocks of Bernard Gitton.
posted by arse_hat at 6:48 PM PST - 6 comments

International Onomatopoeia
Onomatopoeia around the world. Wonder no more how a cow's moo sounds in Japan, or a car's engine revs in China.
posted by Oriole Adams at 6:24 PM PST - 14 comments

Place Project
Place Project. A suitcase with a camera and a blank book travelled the world. 35 designers have translated the world around them into their pages. After 18 months and 170.000 km it will be presented in Barcelona. November 23 - December 12, 2004.
posted by yoga at 2:51 PM PST - 5 comments

Dream Bloat
Everything's bigger in Toulouse. The world's biggest plane has started rolling off assembly lines and is expected to take its first flight in March 2005. The quarter-billion-dollar, twin-deck, four-aisle plane can carry 555 passengers. Thanks to its design's outsized wings, future versions of the economical plane may carry as many as 800 passengers.
With the A380, Airbus hopes to do to Boeing what Boeing did to its competitors over 30 years ago with the 747. Already, Airbus Industrie has outsold and out-delivered Boeing for the last two years. But don't boycott just yet! It turns out the A380 is 51% American-made. Parts are so big they don't fit in this whale-like record-size transporter (though this Russian monster may have a claim); they are transported to Toulouse on a barge. More pics. Let's hope this latest high-tech aerospace gamble does better than the last one.
Europe, of course (troll alert), already makes the world's biggest truck, the fastest trains, the best cars (sorry Japan), and the most successful rocket launchers.
On a darker topic, 10 years ago, French commandos boarded an Airbus and killed Islamic terrorists planning to fly it into the Eiffel Tower.
posted by Turtle at 1:29 PM PST - 63 comments

+WAR +Iraq Poster Exhibit
+WAR +Iraq Poster Exhibit Graphic designers from multiple political POVs collaborate, and the gallery is up to 17 pages of thumbnalish posters since March, 2003. [via jennet.radio]
posted by billsaysthis at 12:31 PM PST - 15 comments

It's that time of year again!
It's Kwanzaa! Today begins the seven day celebration of the principles which make the African People and their descendants, and ultimately Humanity, great. While I don't celebrate, I will take the opportunity to learn more about the holiday and to hold the Seven Principles in mind.

Now it's back to watching my new In Living Color and Chappelle's Show DVDs.
posted by Eideteker at 12:10 PM PST - 85 comments

Shoot first, then aim
Think those new green laser pointers are pretty spiffy? Think again.
posted by squidlarkin at 11:14 AM PST - 72 comments

Best
Best "Mashups" download site? This is the most complete mash up download site I could find - other suggestions? PS This has become my #1 music choice. I know I am late to the party. This has been discussed here before. Peter Rojas of Gizmodo/Endgadget fame was way ahead. I can't see it as a political protest movement, I prefer to see it as a "cornucopia of brilliant, foolish, and brilliantly foolish novelties."
posted by Voyageman at 11:06 AM PST - 8 comments

Tsunami eyewitnesses
Eyewitness accounts of today's Tsunami.
posted by Mwongozi at 10:56 AM PST - 6 comments

Christmas and End of Year Quizzes
It's time for Christmas and "End of Year Quizzes". The King William's Quiz (previously posted) is quite the challenge. The following are a bit more manageable.

(1) BBC News’ “Quiz: 52 weeks 52 questions
(2) Canadian TV’s “Year End Quiz
(3) Financial Times’ "Quiz 2004"
(4) The Guardian’s 2004 “End of Year Quiz
(5) New Scientist “End of 2004 Quiz
(6) New York Daily News’ “2004 Movie Quiz
(7) The New York Times' “Pratfalls, Catcalls and Spitballs: A Year in Ephemera” Year End Quiz
(8) The Observer’s “2004 Books Quiz”.

Good luck!
posted by ericb at 10:35 AM PST - 6 comments

South Asian Tsunamis
A massive earthquake - the largest since 1964 - centred off the coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra has caused tidal waves that are devastating coastal areas around the Indian Ocean including Sri Lanka, India and Indonesia.

Eyewitness report from the south coast of Sri Lanka. The death tolls are still rising, there is the risk of further tsunamis and it is being estimated that 100,000s of people will be left homeless.
posted by i_cola at 1:43 AM PST - 193 comments

December 25
It's a living.
Unproduced screenplays, including Edward Ford, written by Lem Dobbs (The Limey) and one (pdf) by Charlie Kaufman (Eternal Sunshine..., Adaptation, Being John Malkovich). The Dobbs script is often cited as one of the best (if not the best) unproduced screenplays in Hollywood. The site also has scripts by Al Jean and Mike Reiss (Simpsons, Sledge Hammer!), Adam Fierro (The Shield), T. S. Cook (The China Syndrome), Nicholas Kazan (Homegrown, Reversal of Fortune, Frances), John Kamps (Charley Varrick, Madigan) and others.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 10:22 PM PST - 12 comments

Legitimate Businessmen only.
Worried that the new guy might tip off the feds about your "concrete company?" The internet gives you the perfect research tool.
posted by drezdn at 10:05 PM PST - 11 comments

Old Computer Ad - The Exidy Sorcerer
"The Exidy Sorcerer . . . It does everything I wanted [it] to do and some things I never dreamed of." It even uses . . . are those 8-track tapes?! We have come so far in so short a time. What a world we live in! Link goes to old Advert. via]
posted by johnj at 7:34 PM PST - 26 comments

from guns to art
Peace Art Project Cambodia --turning the detrius of war into art, in hopes of a more peaceful future. More info here, and here. "You can't help but think about what this machine has done to affect so many lives." And that is really the point. These sculptures are political art at its most powerful - relics of a violent past transformed into expressions of hope for a more peaceful future.
posted by amberglow at 7:32 PM PST - 6 comments

Es wie wie dies und wie das und wie dies, und..
Es wie wie dies und wie das und wie dies, und. Vibrant demonstration of why your favorite hip-hop artist is unlikely to be German. Link via little black dada cat.
posted by dickumbrage at 5:25 PM PST - 24 comments

#mefi vs. macho grill geeks
Communication Grill Chang-tei: Chat powered barbeque. "You have to continue carrying out the chat with the partner surrounding a table. If a chat is stopped, the fire of an electric heater will go out." (via)
posted by moonbird at 11:39 AM PST - 14 comments

Yes, Metafilter, there IS a Santa Claus
T.E.R.D. Tangible Evidence. Real Discoveries. Dr. Lloyd Darrow may have proof that something - or someone - really exists.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:17 AM PST - 8 comments

Remixed classics!
OverClocked ReMix This great site has all sorts of music, redone with vastly superior technology and, at times, an eye towards radical reinterpretation. My old fave Metroid has provided quite a few cool reinterpretations.
posted by pabanks46 at 10:17 AM PST - 15 comments

Management methods, models, theories
Management methods, models, thoeries Kick off 2005 sounding and/or being smarter than everyone else. Minds will spin given the amount of info available here.
posted by Voyageman at 10:16 AM PST - 13 comments

Forty-two.
Douglas Adams will soon be coming to the silver screen (again). New concept art, casting info, updated news, as well as some background on the project has been diligently compiled. A short trailer and some additional concept art can be found on the official movie site.
posted by rooftop secrets at 4:52 AM PST - 81 comments

Welcome to Dubai
The world's ritziest hotel. The world's largest man-made islands- three of them, actually. And, starting construction in mere weeks, the world's tallest building- by more than 300 meters. Welcome to Dubai.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:38 AM PST - 42 comments

December 24
WHAT THE FUCK KEYSER?
The European Space Agency's Huygens probe successfully detached from NASA's Cassini orbiter today to begin a three-week journey to Saturn's moon Titan. NASA's Deep Space Network tracking stations in Madrid, Spain, and Goldstone, Calif., received the signal at 7:24 p.m. (PST). All systems performed as expected and there were no problems reported with the Cassini spacecraft. There was a very real probability it would have never have happened if it weren't for the persistence of a swedish engineer.
posted by Keyser Soze at 9:44 PM PST - 14 comments

Huge Gated Communities
Are these huge gated communities OUR urban future? Enormous gated communities in Latin America - complete with schools, clinics, and a wide array of recreational possibilities - are now billing themselves as Latin America's best example of New Urbanism.
posted by halekon at 6:51 PM PST - 40 comments

Artist
Wladimir Kaminer represents an emerging Russo-German culture. He is a DJ spinning Russian wild ska-punk club music, he is a radio talk-show host, the author of several best-selling books depicting the life of Russian immigrants in Germany, and a sort of good-humored emblem of the emerging hybrid culture of Berlin. In a fascinating interview, he reveals post Soviet Russia, and Russian lives and literature in the West; you can read his stories, Paris Lost, and Animal Transport, and the usual overview of his works and of his significance, in the NYT Books section.
posted by semmi at 6:03 PM PST - 5 comments

Euro's rise raises 'catastrophic' fears
Euro's rise raises 'catastrophic' fears The euro rose on Thursday, topping $1.35 for the first time ever, amid speculation that the United States would not act to counter the dollar's decline. . "If we remain in a situation without any coordination, we can imagine a catastrophic situation" for the global economy, Finance Minister Hérve Gaymard of France told manufacturers during a factory visit Thursday in Strasbourg
posted by Postroad at 5:02 PM PST - 60 comments

Inspiring equal parts awe and awww
Smoosh! • "Two Seattle sisters, Chloe (age 9) on drums and vocals and Asya (age 11) on keys and vocals, write and play pensive, pulsing indie pop rock." Audio interviews & live songs available from KEXP radio. Certainly more endearing than these little tykes.
posted by dhoyt at 3:40 PM PST - 33 comments

8 ball, corner pocket
Is the Apocalypse set for April 13th, 2029? Good news, everyone! A collossal asteroid, poetically named 2004 MN4, is calculated to pass pretty damn close to the Earth on that date. How close? Well, the folks at NASA have given it an unprecedented Torino Impact Hazard rating of 4, with chances of impact currently at around 1 in 63, although this will no doubt change as calculations are made. Happy Holidays! (via Slashdot)
posted by 40 Watt at 2:52 PM PST - 96 comments

Pollstar's Top 25 tours chart for 2004
Pollstar's Top 25 tours chart for 2004 is out and You'll never guess who was Number 1! Here's a Hint:
"His 69-city/96-show tour was "by far the biggest tour he has ever done," Gary Bongiovanni, editor-in-chief of Pollstar, the concert industry trade publication, told The Associated Press. "It's kind of a renaissance for him."
"HE" grossed $87.4 million. Celine Dion, Madonna, Metallica and and Bette Midler round out the top 5. Other acts in the top 10: Van Halen, Kenny Chesney, Sting, Toby Keith and Elton John. Yes, this is 2004, not 1984.
posted by Blake at 1:35 PM PST - 37 comments

Haughy-lujah!
Santa Santa Santa Santa It's Friday, it's Flash, it's Christmas Eve, so....
posted by SPrintF at 10:47 AM PST - 17 comments

Fa la la la la... la la la la.
The history of the Christmas tree began in Germany. They are a fairly recent tradition in America, a country which first shunned any "frivolity" over the sacred holidays until Queen Victoria made Christmas trees cool. The American addition of electric Christmas lights, on the other hand, is a fairly recent tradition in Germany, a country where Christmas tree candles are still in use. Even in 2004, electric Christmas lights are used far less extensively in Europe than America... but maybe someday they'll want to be cool like us, too.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:33 AM PST - 29 comments

Wow! All the crusts of bread I can eat!
How much money do first-time novelists make? Author and upcoming first-time novelist Justine Larbalestier is constantly asked by aspiring writers what first-time novelists should expect in advance payment for their beloved texts. So she asked some of her author friends what they got for their first novels. The responses ranged in time from 1962 to 2004. What didn't change in all that time was the basic amount: Not much. Quoth Larbalestier: "The life of a novelist is, financially speaking, a mug's game. Enter at your own peril."
posted by jscalzi at 6:54 AM PST - 66 comments

Super Mario Bolsheviks
Was Mario some Communist propaganda? "If anything can be said about Mario, it is that he seems to wear quite a bit a red . It’s on his name, it’s the color of his suspenders, his super mushrooms, his flag, even his hat." He does kinda look like an 8-bit Stalin, but a more important question must be asked: "Is Mario a drug pusher?"
posted by StephenV at 2:37 AM PST - 20 comments

If you want me, I'll be in the Infinity Room.
The House on the Rock.
Mentioned in Neil Gaiman's American Gods, worked on by the mysterious Dr. Evermor... in your face, Frank Lloyd Wright!
posted by scrim at 1:49 AM PST - 22 comments

December 23
The talking dog is blasphemous.
Davey and Goliath are back! After a successful pro-tolerance Christmas special, new episodes of the Lutheran stop-motion sensation Davey and Goliath are thundering back into production. Revisit some old times (Quicktime; also, slow) and look to the familiar future of Christian programming for kids!
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:54 PM PST - 30 comments

Concrete Folk Art
Fred Smith's Concrete Park near Phillips, Wisconsin. "Born in 1886, a tavern owner and former lumberjack, Fred Smith began building sculptures in 1948, in his 60s. He created more than 200 concrete sculptures and covered them with broken beer bottle glass from his tavern. Said Fred, 'nobody knows why I made them, not even me.' " [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 10:22 PM PST - 13 comments

Hot Dog!
Why Pottersville is better than Bedford Falls. Merry Christmas you old building and loan!
posted by braun_richard at 9:37 PM PST - 22 comments

Santa!
Watch the sky! He's coming soon! With fighter escort!
posted by arse_hat at 9:17 PM PST - 15 comments

large johns
Big John vs. Great John.
posted by me3dia at 7:52 PM PST - 83 comments

Yu-Mex
This is a small homage to hundreds of performers who covered themselves with sombreros to become Slavic Mexicans. (via memepool)
posted by mr_roboto at 6:32 PM PST - 10 comments

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
JewelEye. A jewel that is placed inside your eye. Ooch. [Webpage is slow because it contains two huge pictures.]
posted by kika at 4:43 PM PST - 57 comments

Heavy Metal FAQ.
Heavy Metal FAQ. (More inside.)
posted by koeselitz at 2:15 PM PST - 61 comments

Greylodge #14
Greylodge #14 on-line Previous issues referenced here.
posted by metameme at 2:15 PM PST - 3 comments

My Gosh! It's Getting to be a Rampant Problem!
Suspicions of vote fraud strike Mozilla FireFox poll! You have to like a sense of humor.
posted by mmahaffie at 12:44 PM PST - 21 comments

World's only revolving building
World's only revolving building? The heck with revolving rooftop restaurants, I want to live in Suite Vollard, an entire apartment building whose eleven circular units can each revolve 360 degrees. (Unfortunately for me, it's in Brazil.) More photos are here.
posted by Kat Allison at 11:48 AM PST - 20 comments

Comedy
Being in touch with the absurdity of life got to lead to the absurdity of form. Dave Eggers discusses the Monty Pythons’ brand of comedy.
posted by semmi at 10:52 AM PST - 22 comments

China's Records In the Eyes of Foreigners.
"China's Records In the Eyes of Foreigners" Pick your favorite China statistic. Is it "GDP of the Shanghai region is equivalent to that of Brazil;" is it "Foreigners invest about $1 billion in China every week;" is it "China has the largest online gaming population in the world;" is it "China produces 2.3 billion condoms each year." NB article from the "People's Daily Online", although original source claimed to be the "French L'Express weekly".
posted by Voyageman at 10:11 AM PST - 12 comments

Predicting 2004
Predicting 2004.
posted by sdrawkcab at 10:07 AM PST - 20 comments

Theo van Gogh translations
Two months before that fatal May 6th I asked on this site why Pim [Fortuyn] so far hadn’t been shot. Readers were perplexed and asked if I had lost my mind, because something like that "would never happen in Holland". Right.
In an update to their van Gogh file, Peaktalk offers translations [via Zacht Ei] of some excerpts of the writings of murdered filmmaker Theo van Gogh, which previously appeared (in Dutch) on The Healthy Smoker, van Gogh's web site, which now lives on as The Quit Smoker.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:40 AM PST - 18 comments

Don't send a card - just sing!!
Merry Christmas from James My sister sent me this link from a friend that didn't want to send out cards this year - he's not much of a singer but I thought it was a great idea! Hallmark could be in danger...
posted by matty at 9:24 AM PST - 32 comments

A Good Start...
Let's face it: lawyers don't have a great reputation for being nice people. For example, an associate at Winston & Strawn leaves a somewhat abusive message [wav] for another associate at Latham & Watkins. Along those lines, here's a message [wav], with increasingly frustrated obscenities, purportedly left by a trademark applicant/appellant with the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB); resulting Final Order [pdf] concerning disclipinary action of the attorney. Most recently: the Grinch who almost stole Christmas [pdf].
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:12 AM PST - 13 comments

O'Reilly's soul searching
O'Reilly's dark night of the soul. Bill O'Reilly's on a mission to follow God's path for him and the path of the Founding Fathers. Trouble is, he's having a hard time keeping down the welling feelings to 'execute' the lot of America. There's a nice little jab on Sweden, too, just in case you're a Christian thinking about moving to the other Land of the Free.
posted by santiagogo at 8:00 AM PST - 47 comments

'We are the Gay Men's Radical Singing Caucus!' the lead singer yelled in his exquisite tenor.
Tis the Season -- a new short story from China Mieville, just in time for the Holidays™ ... Don't get me wrong. I haven't got shares in YuleCo™, and I can't afford a one-day end-user licence, so I couldn't have a legal party. I'd briefly considered buying from one of the budget competitors like XmasTym, or a spinoff from a non-specialist like Coca-Crissmas, but the idea of doing it on the cheap was just depressing...
posted by amberglow at 7:56 AM PST - 14 comments

Micronations, from Hasbro!
Micronations have existed for some time. Some were a frauds and shams. Some were seized or destroyed. Some for profit and others for promotion. Australia had a rash of them. Meanwhile others were lost dreams that others wish to resurrect. Some were created for artistic reasons. Some were meant as protests both playful and serious. Some dedicated to old ideas and others to new ones.
posted by Vaska at 7:53 AM PST - 27 comments

Sri Lankan Elephant Room
Elephants of Sri Lanka. Three have been lost in a train wreck.
posted by mcgraw at 7:40 AM PST - 3 comments

I stole this Lexus fair and square...
Woman uses ancient law, including a purported 1778 treaty between the U.S. government and Native Americans, as explanation for not paying for her $40,000 Lexus, and then claims that Toyota owes her $1,114,000.
posted by TuxHeDoh at 7:32 AM PST - 26 comments

[Enter Super Cool Blog Title Here.]
Yo! Check out Dylan's video blog! Does 11-year old Dylan point us towards the future of video blogs? [via waxy & eyebeam]
posted by gen at 4:47 AM PST - 28 comments

Pirate Raido calling
Priate Radio Calling for inauguration protests CNN is reporting that a guerilla radio station is calling for massive protests of the inauguration of President George W. Bush. After some googling, I found a press release from WSQT on indymedia concerning the transmissions. It seems that they are somehow related to DAWNdc a local leftist activist organization. Here is how they are reacting to the sudden attention.
posted by pemdasi at 4:30 AM PST - 12 comments

Turning the tables on Anti-Choice Protesters
Turning Pickets Into Pledges Planned Parenthood has launched a new program that "creates a no-win situation for anti-choice protesters — the more picketers who demonstrate outside a Planned Parenthood clinic, the more donations that clinic receives." This campaign allows supporters to pledge between 25 cents and one dollar per protester -- not a lot of money, but it adds up to thousands over time.
posted by zarq at 4:20 AM PST - 29 comments

I want that troutfishing Memorial Axe-Nubbin nice n shiny!
John Conyers, Jr., Ranking Minority Member of the House Judiciary Committee, accuses TRIAD Governmental Systems Inc. of pretty transparent recount fraud in Ohio, as well as having a really suspicious-sounding name. Get Your Democracy On.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:55 AM PST - 10 comments

Yuh! Books burn wicked good, brother!
Welcome to the Alabama of the Northeast.
Andrea Minnon of Lebanon said she had never heard of "The Catcher in the Rye" before she learned that it was on her 14-year-old son Spencer's freshman reading list.
Presumably because reading's not her strong point. But she wants the local school to ban it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:05 AM PST - 109 comments

You spin me right round baby, right round...
Mars Express Image Browser The European Space Agency's Mars Express site has been linked before, but this neat little flash globe lets you rotate the planet yourself and select various viewpoints for more detailed pictures of the surface. Some of the pictures are stunning, others just don't look real.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 3:00 AM PST - 3 comments

20 Years of Christmas
20 Years of Christmas
Courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Goulet (for $12 each)
posted by miss lynnster at 1:48 AM PST - 18 comments

theyyam
Theyyam , a corrupt form of daivum (god), is a popular ritual dance of North Kerala, India. As a living cult with centuries old traditions, ritual and custom, it embraces almost all castes and classes of the Hindu religion in this region. A performance (mpg) of a particular deity continues for 12 to 24 hours with intervals. The costumes differ based on the character (mpg) of the theyyam.
posted by dhruva at 1:14 AM PST - 13 comments

December 22
The public speakers and the peole that pay for them - On the next MetaFilter!
How much would you pay to have an "Accelerationist" speak at your next event? You'll have to call and find out. Same with The “Wantivator”, Phil Steffen. Some people are up front about how much they want to speak at an event but if you want Deepak Chopra, you'll have to call his people. Seems like everyone from the very famous to the not-so-famous has an audience.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:49 PM PST - 12 comments

Hindu nationalist attacks on scholars
In the past several years, some prominent Western scholars of South Asian religions have been subjected to extraordinary criticism and unprecedented attacks because of their apparent disrespect for Hindu culture. Whether another instance of post-colonial academic politics or a troubling sign of the rising impact of Hindutva on academic freedom, it isn't just the study of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam that is becoming polarized.
posted by felix betachat at 10:25 PM PST - 24 comments

Humdinga
The Gibbs Humdinga is the big brother to the Aquada, previously discussed here. I'm not sure why dg felt the Aquada's practicality as either a boat or a car leaves quite a bit to be desired, but if size was the big problem, the Humdinga addresses that.
posted by Doohickie at 7:07 PM PST - 4 comments

AK-47 Is The Tool
"Welcome to Black Man With a Gun dot com. If you smiled at the name of the site or jumped from fear of it you are not alone. This site is about responsible firearm ownership. I use the taboo subject of race to show how people have been conditioned to fear the words "GUN" and "BLACK MAN" when used in the same sentence."
posted by fandango_matt at 6:22 PM PST - 35 comments

Middle Earth snark
Fraud of the Rings LOTR cartoon satire...My favorite.
posted by konolia at 4:53 PM PST - 28 comments

Fun With Pseudofluids
You probably knew that Silly Putty is a non-Newtonian fluid, and that Faraday waves make cornstarch and water do creepy things, but did you know that your washing machine probably has magnetorheological fluid in it? Yes indeed, there are fun and interesting applications for ferrofluids.
posted by Specklet at 4:29 PM PST - 20 comments

MUERTOS INCOMODOS
"Writing a whodunit may sound like an odd thing to do when you are running an insurgency"... Nevertheless, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, the mysterious, offbeat leader of the Zapatistas, and Paco Ignacio Taibo II, a Mexican crime novelist, are coauthoring a mystery novel live--alternating chapters each week--in the pages of the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada. So far, they have finished chapters one, two and three (pdf) of Muertos Incomodos, (The Awkward Dead). Is there a precedent for this experiment? I love this sort of thing but, unfortunately, my Spanish is insufficient. Any Spanish speakers care to review?
posted by boo at 12:41 PM PST - 13 comments

Moebius, I Love You
Moebius, I Love You. Even if you will only let me get 384 points playing your game.
posted by jonah at 12:22 PM PST - 52 comments

Friday Fun - early
Friday Fun Might as well be Friday, really, especially in Texas where we're shutting down the state due to snow. Here's a fun, free online game where you can make penguins dive all day long without getting tired (you OR them). Highly reminiscent of playing too hard for too long doing the same thing over and over when you were a kid, except you don't have to wait for your turn. Or come home in wet, cold clothes crying. You're Everypenguin.
posted by sparky at 11:22 AM PST - 22 comments

If you're hit by lightning, don't take it lying down!
Opportunists and Self-Described Victims vs. Any Available Deep Pockets For the stupid and the dead, there's the Darwin Awards. For the opportunistic and the alive, there's the Stella Awards. The Stella Awards were inspired by Stella Liebeck. In 1992, Stella, then 79, spilled a cup of McDonald's coffee onto her lap, burning herself. A New Mexico jury awarded her $2.9 million in damages. And of course it wasn't that simple, but the brief descriptions of the various cases make for entertaining reading. Serious legal geeks can have full case reports mailed to them, or check out and post to the site forum.
posted by orange swan at 11:12 AM PST - 47 comments

BioMotion Walker
The BioMotion Walker [flash] demonstrates that biologically and socially relevant information about a person is conveyed in biological motion patterns. It allows you to manipulate a number of parameters controlling the characteristics of human walking. You can interactively change biological properties, personality traits and emotional expression of a point-light walker. You can even help out their research here.
posted by sciurus at 11:12 AM PST - 12 comments

Raving Jugglers
Gandini Juggling. Starts out slowly, but gets much more complicated. Like lights and shiny things? Need Drama, Romance? Stop breaking my balls. (Make sure to visit their sister site: The Racketeers.)
posted by quasistoic at 10:23 AM PST - 10 comments

Orgone Energy Accumulator
These People believe you can accumulate a life force known as Orgone Energy by sitting in a box.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:00 AM PST - 49 comments

What would Spuds think?
Moveon ads aren't the only things the networks won't allow , Miller has had beer ads pulled after Anheuser-Busch complained that the ads "went beyond the substantiation and communicated taste superiority and/or preference." So the ads were pulled. Oddly enough, AB is the company consumers demanded stop their current ad campaign.
posted by drezdn at 9:48 AM PST - 17 comments

Leroy Bailey
His name is Leroy Bailey, and he was once briefly famous. The legacy of war for one Vietnam veteran. Part of an excellent series in the Chicago Sun-Times, previous article linked here.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:39 AM PST - 5 comments

Skunkworks At Apple
The Graphing Calculator Story. Amazing and very amusing article about the conception of a piece of software included with every Macintosh. Made at Apple... by volunteers.
Q: Do you work here? A: No.
Q: You mean you're a contractor? A: Actually, no..
Q: But then who's paying you? A: No one..
Q: How do you live? A: I live simply..
Q: (Incredulously) What are you doing here?!

posted by kika at 9:22 AM PST - 34 comments

Affirmative Action hurts Black Students?
Affirmative Action hurts Black Students? Richard Sander, a professor of law at UCLA, examined empirical data on black law students' graduation rates and BAR results, and found that affirmative action reduces the number of total black lawyers. He claims that there is a mismatch-effect between the school a student matriculates in and one that he is qualified to attend. Dissenting opinion. Sander's remarks at Volokh. Hat Tip: Kevin Drum.
posted by nads at 9:07 AM PST - 35 comments

Heart-warming
Mosul attack - heart-warming? I never figured I'd hear heart-warming in relation to the aftermath of a missile attack, but I heard the quote on the radio yesterday, and it just seems wrong. "It was a heart-warming experience to see the wounded soldiers caring for those who were more severely wounded." said Brig.-Gen. Ham.
posted by jim-of-oz at 9:05 AM PST - 42 comments

Clothes of the Future
Flexgrid. A flexible LED display developed to be imbedded on a dress for the Milan Triennial 2005.
posted by Hands of Manos at 8:00 AM PST - 27 comments

let 'em starve
Bush's answer to global poverty: let 'em starve. The administration has defaulted on $100 million in the last two months alone promised to charities aimed at helping improverished families become self-sufficient, so that organizations like Save the Children and Catholic Relief Services are cutting programs. Instead, increasingly scarce funds are being earmarked for emergencies only, like the one in Darfur. The result: five to seven million people have less to eat this Christmas.
posted by digaman at 7:42 AM PST - 73 comments

Water really is blue! Who knew?
Teaching bad science is not something only creationist wingnuts do. The redoubtable Bill Beaty sets us straight. (thanks, Laen)
posted by flabdablet at 7:26 AM PST - 35 comments

In this corner...
James Lileks vs. James Wolcott. That link is Wolcott's blog entry about this whole "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" thing. This is Lileks' response. Can't wait for Round 2!
posted by braun_richard at 6:51 AM PST - 121 comments

All I want for Christmas is a robot suit and unlimited power!
Giant robots in the backyard. An ambitious young Alaskan is trying to create his own mecha suit. Be sure to look at the pictures. The GE Hardiman project only managed to have one working arm, here's hoping Owens has more luck with his robot suit.
posted by riffola at 6:43 AM PST - 20 comments

Oceans 13
This was not a lucky crime, this was a well-organised crime A gang stole at least £20m ($40 m) in cash from a Belfast bank yesterday. Many suspect the involvement of one of the paramilitary organizations which collectively made off with over £43m during 22,000 armed robberies during the Troubles using the tiger kidnap. Only one problem: most of the cash was in Northern Irish notes. Which sometimes are not even accepted in the rest of the UK.
posted by fshgrl at 6:34 AM PST - 22 comments

A need for new punctuation?
Josh Greeham argues on Slate that we're in need of the Sarcasm point. In this new internet world of smilies and bad grammar there seems to be a need for new ways to express oursleves. So much so, that people are even patenting the questioning comma. Even the humorists are getting in on the act.. And whatever you do, don't tell interrobang.
posted by seanyboy at 4:19 AM PST - 48 comments

Restricting freedoms
There are only two ways to describe the US army plans for Falluja: either "American gulag" for those who enjoy Stalinist imagery, or "concentration camp" for those who prefer the Nazi version of the same. But maybe we should just call it a plain old police (city-)state, just like it's feared US is becoming.
posted by acrobat at 3:46 AM PST - 43 comments

Maybe Logic
The Maybe Logic Academy is an online learning center and community whose mission is to "create a learning and community environment where alternative models, philosophies and methodologies can be discussed and explored at length with the guidance of an expert in the field." Instructors include Alan Clements, Douglas Rushkoff, R.U. Sirius, and Robert Anton Wilson. The Maybe Quarterly is the Academy's student-produced journal of twenty-first century metaphysical illuminism. The folks behind the Academy also offer some nice online libraries for the whole family. [Via Vortex Egg and LVX23.]
posted by homunculus at 12:49 AM PST - 12 comments

Welcome to Dumf**kistan
Santa Saves Time and Money by simply skipping over the Blue States. SNL still somehow relevant. TV Funhouse still on the good side of that damn shark.
posted by wah at 12:35 AM PST - 26 comments

December 21
166 canned meats... and counting
Boasting 166 canned meats, the Potted Meat Museum.
posted by mexican at 11:38 PM PST - 10 comments

Jose Miranda, Rumpologist
"The left cheek is the cheek of the future. The right cheek is the cheek of the present."
posted by gimonca at 9:27 PM PST - 16 comments

Bush Press Conference
President Bush gave a Press Conference yesterday, and it was only his 17th to date. According to Editor & Publisher, this compares to 43 for Bill Clinton, 84 for George H.W. Bush, and 26 for Ronald Reagan at similar points in their presidencies. Dana Milbank of the Washington Post has an analysis of yesterday's rare event, calling him "elusive". (Milbank was the same reporter who shredded Dubya a couple of years ago for granting an exclusive interview to Rupert Murdoch's trashy UK Sun while snubbing reputable US newspapers that would have been more likely to ask hard-hitting questions.) (The WashPost links require registration, which can be bypassed with BugMeNot.) Don't want to read the entire transcript? Try the poem "Man Date", instead. RudePundit took text from Bush's statements and turned 'em into poetry.
posted by zarq at 8:16 PM PST - 28 comments

arcana imperii
As two thirds of Americans polled cannot name any Supreme Court justices, these "Ten Things . . . About Scalia and Thomas" may not affect many people.
posted by orange clock at 8:14 PM PST - 36 comments

The Incredibles' Costumer
The real-life Edna Mode - If you aspire to cartoonish superhero proportions, where your massive muscles and barrel chest allow you to leap computer-generated buildings with single, animated bounds, you should take a lesson from Mr. Incredible: Sew your underwear to your shirt. Salon link; advertising supported free access
posted by GriffX at 6:44 PM PST - 15 comments

Adam Dunning, We Hardly Knew Ye. Or Why.
They Knew It Couldn't Last Forever Twenty one hours ago, Australian Police Officer Adam Dunning was shot twice in the back and killed, becoming the first casualty in the Solomon Islands assistance mission. With the Australian government's quasi-imperialistic intentions towards their closest neighbours and its refusal to sign a non-aggression treaty with ASEAN nations, how long can Australia ride the line between East and West? [MI]
posted by cosmonik at 5:24 PM PST - 24 comments

Saints and Indians
" Fifty years ago, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, or Mormon Church, began a foster care program for American Indian children. Between twenty and fifty thousand children, mostly Navajo, participated in what was called the Indian Student Placement Program....Through Placement, children had the opportunity to grow up in families – white Mormon families – while attending day schools in Utah and across the West. Placement also had a theological motivation. Championed in the ‘50s by an LDS Church leader named Spencer W. Kimball, Placement grew from a sense of commitment to the Indians – then regarded as descendants of the original people of the Book of Mormon. Listen to the amazing story, full of first hand accounts from both sides here
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 4:25 PM PST - 18 comments

Festivus
Festivus going mainstream.
posted by semmi at 4:05 PM PST - 41 comments

Girl Kicked Out Of Prom For Wearing Confederate Flag Sues
Girl Kicked Out Of Prom For Wearing Confederate Flag Sues A girl who says it was always her dream to wear a confederate-themed dress to her prom arrived in a self-designed gown which incorporated the Confederate battle flag into its design. The school promptly removed her, and she is suing. The fate of her suit is somewhat uncertain. Lower federal courts have applied the Tinker test, which says that a school may restrict student expression when that expression may be disruptive. To win her suit, the girl will need to show that wearing a Confederate flag to your high school prom is not a disruptive act.
posted by expriest at 3:14 PM PST - 172 comments

faces from the Ark pen
Mirrors. Documentarian Bruce Jackson found "a group of about two hundred 3x4" identification photographs made between 1914 and 1937... in a drawer in the Arkansas penitentiary in the summer of 1975"; this (slideshow) is the online record of an exhibition.
It is impossible to look at these images and not think about the persons depicted there. But, save for one fact that is a given—and what we find in or infer from these images—we know nothing about those persons, and never will. The given is that they are all prisoners: for whatever reason, they have been deprived of liberty, the single piece of enduring proof of which is the image at which we presently gaze. The conclusions we draw, the feelings we have, the narratives we suppose—they are all our own. The images are mirrors, resonating with aspects of our selves we perhaps never before encountered.
Many of them are haunting; this one has been turned by time into a work of art. (Via Ramage.)
posted by languagehat at 3:08 PM PST - 34 comments

Disney's x-rated fare
The original plates for the famous parody work (that was never sued over) Disneyland Memorial Orgy, is on sale at eBay. Here's the whole story on the piece, which ran in 1967 in a small underground newspaper and was created by Paul Krassner. I bet a copyright/trademark lawyer with a sense of humor buys this to mount over his desk soon.
posted by mathowie at 2:53 PM PST - 28 comments

Signature Stamping Machine
The automated signature machine would like to express it's sincerest condolences ..."Rather than personally signing letters of condolence to the families of service members killed in action, Rumsfeld has been letting office workers affix his signature with a stamping machine."
posted by thisisdrew at 1:37 PM PST - 95 comments

Mobile-phone radiation damages lab DNA
Mobile-phone radiation damages lab DNA . Sure to be controversial and certainly not the last word, but it raises some interesting points of conversation. Government surveillance becomes much easier with wireless communications and there is a huge corporate financial investment in the infrastructure. Could we really trust the government(s) to tell us if this particular technology was harmful? And at what point would you give serious consideration to giving up a technology that had proved to be such an intrinsic part of your life? Are you addicted beyond the point of no return?
Other media carrying the story via Google News.
posted by spock at 12:50 PM PST - 28 comments

WaPoSlate
Washington Post Buys Slate.
posted by me3dia at 12:30 PM PST - 26 comments

Static Calendar
Static Calendar Proposal as seen on Slashdot This is something I found on Slashdot and thougt was interesting. Judging by the savvy website of the new calendar's creator, I doubt we'll be having "Newton" months anytime soon. Check it out.
posted by Glibaudio at 11:58 AM PST - 30 comments

convenient hypocrisy
Community Values, Corporate Profit and Pornography
"Popular culture isn't popular because members of the "tax-hiking, government-expanding, latte-drinking, sushi-eating, Volvo-driving, New York Times-reading, body-piercing, Hollywood-loving left-wing freak show" (to borrow a line from a campaign ad this year) are the only customers. It's because there is an unquenched thirst for it, and the corporate profiteers (who are members of and contributors to both political parties) see a nationwide market for it." What will we tell the children?
posted by nofundy at 11:46 AM PST - 20 comments

Meet the Beastles
Meet the Beastles - The Beasties mashed up with that obscure quartet from Liverpool. Let the countdown to the C&D letters commence!
posted by shawnj at 11:24 AM PST - 39 comments

OuLiPo
Oulipo. Originally founded by author Raymond Queneau and mathematical historian François Le Lionnais, this group (literally the Workshop for Potential Literature- Ouvroir de Littérature Potentielle,) sought to create and incorporate restrictive techniques and methods into their writing. The circle has since expanded, welcoming those outside of France and beyond literary genius. Oulipo and its effects upon the literary world still exist today.

Some products of this group's eccentricity are a novel lacking the letter "e" (in both original French and its English translation) (by Georges Perec, who also needs a direct link here), a novel both self-referential and circular, and 100,000,000,000,000 sonnets made from interchangeable lines.
posted by hopeless romantique at 11:17 AM PST - 13 comments

The Evolution of Manufacturing
The Evolution of Manufacturing is a collection of New York Times articles, providing a historical perspective on manufacturing operations in the U.S. The collection consists of 12 articles published between 1909 and 2000. It includes an article by Henry Ford himself, and an article by Thomas Edison based on his interview of Henry Ford. Interestingly, the collection is an advertisement for Peoplesoft.
posted by tuxster at 10:15 AM PST - 6 comments

The Mathematics Genealogy Project
The Mathematics Genealogy Project. A service of the Department of Mathematics at North Dakota State University, the project intends to "compile information about ALL the mathematicians of the world. [...] It is our goal to list all individuals who have received a doctorate in mathematics." Seven generations from one of my recent professors back to Gauss, six back to Felix Klein (of Erlangen Program and bottle fame), eight back to Jacobi, and nine back to Poisson and Fourier, then Lagrange, then Euler, then the Bernoulli brothers, then Leibniz, and then it blew up at infinity.
posted by gramschmidt at 9:30 AM PST - 5 comments

Bush - brought to you by Busch!
White House Considering Product Placement Deal All I can say is, I really, really hope this is a spoof article.
posted by FormlessOne at 9:29 AM PST - 23 comments

7,000 Years of Religious Ritual Is Traced in Mexico
7,000 Years of Religious Ritual Is Traced in Mexico Archaeologists have traced the development of religion in one location over a 7,000-year period, reporting that as an early society changed from foraging to settlement to the formation of an archaic state, religion also evolved to match the changing social structure. This archaeological record, because of its length and completeness, sheds an unusually clear light on the origins of religion, a universal human behavior but one whose evolutionary and social roots are still not well understood.
posted by Postroad at 8:24 AM PST - 33 comments

Things that make you spew fluids out your nose...
"Sushi pants" and other stories... Possibly not the "best of the web", but not political and damn funny. Of late I have been enjoying a number of "story" sites recounting the kind of tall tales of questionable accuracy you usually only hear from genuinely funny friends. Many, many chuckles to be had out there. Some of the stories seem superficially mean but are actually interesting looks into difficult situations you might otherwise never glimpse. "A few days later he put a tarantula in my bedsheets while I was sleeping. Thankfully I wasn't bitten, but I was freaked out and still sometimes jump out of bed in the middle of the night for no reason and attack my sheets." - from thingie.net
posted by soulhuntre at 7:41 AM PST - 13 comments

Christians make AIDS fight a high priority
The Church Awakens "The AIDS pandemic is the greatest humanitarian crisis," Casey said. "It just begs a reaction from the church." The church is now in full reaction mode. More than 2,000 Christian medical professionals, church leaders, and students gathered for the ninth annual Global Missions Health Conference, November 11-13, at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. They spoke not only of statistics that confirmed the extent of the pandemic (43 million people living with HIV/AIDS; 8,000 deaths each day; 14 million orphans), but of working together.
posted by halekon at 5:53 AM PST - 62 comments

Sikh play dropped
Behzti (Dishonour) a play by sikh author Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti has been dropped because of violent protests from members of the birmingham sikh community.

Catholic archbishop feels that violation of the sacred place of the Sikh religion demeans the sacred places of every religion.

As an aside at least enoch was wrong.

Once again folks - in the right corner it's religion , erm.. running round in circles like a scared fool its freedom of expression.
posted by dprs75 at 3:49 AM PST - 47 comments

Hack a fibre optic display. Blow up smarties. Make a lava lamp (that actually works). Things to make and do from Big Clive.
posted by nthdegx at 2:46 AM PST - 12 comments

King William's College Quiz
King William's College Quiz 2004-2005 (PDF) has the reputation for being the hardest quiz in the world. It's also the hundredth edition, and they've made it extra hard this year! For what it's worth, here's last years Questions and Answers.
posted by BigCalm at 2:24 AM PST - 41 comments

December 20
like Cube turned inside out
The Dark Room is one of the best puzzles I've seen in a long time. (Flash, via Little Fluffy.)
posted by squidlarkin at 11:31 PM PST - 15 comments

yum ice cream
Ice cream flavors are not what they used to be. A few years ago, in Nice France, I experienced tasting lavender, and violet flavored ice cream, the wonderful flavors just blew me away. Later on in San Francisco, I found a wonderful Indian ice cream parlor, and fell in love with the cardamom, and rose flavors. When my travels take me back to Japan, I think I will try to avoid some of these incredibly strange ice cream flavors.
posted by thedailygrowl at 11:16 PM PST - 48 comments

The Pagan Christ
"The Pagan Christ" by Tom Harpur would make a great stocking stuffer! Just in time for Christmas! Anyone up for some Apollonius vs. Jesus Christ? Which tradition was the original, and which was the copy-cat? Apollonius' tale is eerily familiar, as are the tales of many other pagan figures. Was the historical Jesus [mefi] padded with stolen pagan ideas? Some go as far as to suggest a historical Jesus never existed. Gasp.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 9:48 PM PST - 51 comments

The Hum
What is The Hum? Some residents of Taos, New Mexico suffer from it, and it seems to happen elsewhere, too. Listen to it here and here (.wav files, and not actually very dramatic). No one knows quite what the hum is, and even refutations don't really work. There are some "scientific" explanations, but The Hum Remains mysterious and sinister.
posted by interrobang at 9:33 PM PST - 33 comments

Manybooks.net
"This site contains more than 10,000 eBooks formatted for reading on your Palm, PocketPC, Zaurus, Rocketbook, eBookWise-1150, or Symbian cellphone." So if you have a PDA and especially if you're into the classics, you no longer have to settle for lame video games on your cell phone or inconvenient newspapers for your downtime entertainment.
posted by Doohickie at 9:33 PM PST - 19 comments

Share the love
With organ donation lists far outstripping availible donars, is it fair that people who don't donate get equal footing when waiting for an organ? LifeSharers pledge to donate organs preferentially to other registered organ donors upon death, essentially forming a private organ donation network. Excess organs are donated to the public.
posted by phatboy at 6:17 PM PST - 50 comments

a little off the top, please.
Known in part for their semi-corny jokes and vaudeville style while performing, The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America is a not-for-profit fraternal and charitable organization that has one primary goal: to get people singing. Aren't familiar with Barbershop Quartet singing? Have a listen. There is also a Sister affiliate, Sweet Adelines Int'l., for women who want to sing four-part harmony as well.
I grew up listening to this stuff, and only really started to appreciate it recently.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:07 PM PST - 19 comments

It's All About Words.
In 2004, we had Jon Stewart on Crossfire. In 1986? There was Frank Zappa...
As Zappa once said, "There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we'd all love one another." (I don't know of any song that could ever inspire me to love John Lofton, though... compared to him, Tucker Carlson is simply delightful!)

In 1986, I was a 19 year old art student. One Saturday afternoon I found myself volunteering at an event at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood where Frank Zappa was scheduled to speak about censorship. I was not that familiar with him or his music at the time, but he was so funny, eloquent, and intelligent as a speaker that his many "words" made a major impression on me that day. In this interview conducted on March 16, 1986, Frank Zappa talked further about his appearance before the US Congress and his involvement in the fight against censorship.

BTW, this is my first post. I hope it passes muster! ;)
posted by miss lynnster at 5:35 PM PST - 73 comments

balance
Balance (8 min) is an Oscar award winning short animation piece by the Lauenstein brothers. "Balance turns a black comedy into a meditation on human interdependence" [flash, click on last link at bottom of page]
posted by dhruva at 5:14 PM PST - 9 comments

bone art
Get boned.
posted by onkelchrispy at 5:12 PM PST - 12 comments

An Executive Order Along Torture's Path
Request for guidance regarding the OGC's EC regarding detainee abuse, referring to “interrogation techniques made lawful” by the “President's Executive Order.” comes from Records Released in Response to Torture FOIA Request.
Smoking Gun ? asks the ACLU--or just another stepping stone from Torture's Path ? As Ex-Military Lawyers Object to Bush Cabinet Nominee, and in Torture begins at the top, Joe Conason suggests that a recently disclosed FBI memo indicates that "marching orders" to abandon traditional interrogation methods came from Defense Secretary Rumsfeld himself and all the while Guantánamo torture and humiliation still going on, says shackled Briton. (more inside)
posted by y2karl at 4:53 PM PST - 35 comments

Belly dance music
Mohammed El-Bakkar. [flash with sound] The Man... The Myth... The Legend? Some great music, and the cover art isn't bad either.
posted by tellurian at 3:53 PM PST - 4 comments

There must have been some magic in that old silk they found...
Merry Christmas, Interweb! Though it's become part of a larger media conglomerate, the Chicago T.V. station famous for Bozo the Clown has dusted off some old footage from its archives. Among the goodies converted to Flash format are a Frosty the Snowman cartoon which inspired a bit of online detective work, as well as a more recent holiday favorite, The Yule Log.
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:40 PM PST - 10 comments

The Repo Man Ate My Homework
Local Town Mortgages Students' Textbooks. "[The South Plainfield school board] plans to sell nearly all student textbooks to a bank or financial institution, which then would lease them back to the district over a period of five years. The more than 2,500 books would remain in students' hands, and the move would bring a quick boost of about $965,000."
(via Patridiot Watch)
posted by Karmakaze at 2:23 PM PST - 35 comments

Long Live Freedom....
CEO of eBay's Indian company arrested for an item offered up for sale on his site. Avnish Bajaj, the CEO of baazee.com, an Indian auction site purchased by eBay in June 2004, was arrested on Friday while assisting in the investigation into the attempted sale of pornography by a user on the auction site, and charged with violating the 2000 India IT Act. Bajaj was arrested even though he was not involved in the sale, had it cancelled as soon as it was found, and the people involved had already been arrested.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 2:10 PM PST - 25 comments

Hippo Cannibals Ruin It For the
Cannibalism May Have Spread Anthrax in Hippos
posted by mcgraw at 1:42 PM PST - 16 comments

BE THE MEDIA
The Diebold Variations. Yes, I'm in a one-trick pony mood.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:33 PM PST - 13 comments

My Visa Card's Secret Identity is A Victoria's Secret Gift Card
Frontline's: Secret History of the Credit Card
Includes alot of useful and less than well known information like "universal default" clauses that allow your credit card company to raise your interest rate when you're late on a payment to another creditor and there's no limit to the late charges a credit company can lay on you as well as no limit on the interest rate they hit you with. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Of particular interest: credit scores explained and an examination of credit responsibility. There are also interviews with lawmakers (including the infamous Bill Janklow). Not sure how well versed you are on credit card info? Take the quiz and find out. (I did badly).
posted by fenriq at 1:32 PM PST - 21 comments

thumbs up
What do you keep on your USB thumbdrive? Maybe you want to turn yours into a dual boot drive. Or maybe you want to keep a special portable Firefox implementation, including extensions, on there.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:26 PM PST - 14 comments

New Utrecht High School
New Utrecht High School , school rules gone wild:
#9. Carrying Magic Markers is prohibited.
#13. NO WEAPONS ALLOWED (Laser Beams are considered weapons). Possession will result in automatic Superintendent's Suspension and/or expulsion from school.

Lasers going the way of the drug-dealing magic-marker peddling beeper?
posted by omidius at 12:54 PM PST - 92 comments

Gay Abe?
Lincoln Outed. It's a subject that has been discussed before (hopefully not here), but in "The Intimate World of Abraham Lincoln," to be published next month by Free Press, C.A. Tripp, a psychologist, influential gay writer and former sex researcher for Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, tries to resolve the issue of Lincoln's sexuality once and for all. The author, who died in 2003, two weeks after finishing the book, subjected almost every word ever written by and about Lincoln to minute analysis. His conclusion is that America's greatest president, the beacon of the Republican Party, was a gay man.
posted by three blind mice at 12:49 PM PST - 57 comments

*sob* we miss you, hockey
Hey dicks, make a deal. [mi]
posted by adampsyche at 12:49 PM PST - 26 comments

Senior Cranky Hates You
Senior Cranky Hates the Irish, Porn, Nascar, Cats, People Magazine, and Snow, to name a few.
posted by john m at 12:38 PM PST - 9 comments

Twelve STIs of Christmas
Twelve STIs of Christmas I can't decide if the lyrics are better than the animated men or not, but the twelve STIs of christmas is possibly the best public health propoganda I've ever seen. [Flash][SFW. Probably][And technically double post, but it's a great one. And it's christmas.]
posted by twine42 at 11:33 AM PST - 12 comments

Sharia? Shuria thing
Sharia recommended to Ontario government. A review of Mumtaz Ali's recommendation to permit legal arbitration by Islamic law has concluded in his cause's favour, recommending that sharia be allowed for family disputes and inheritance cases. Sharia may be joining Roman Catholic and Orthodox Jewish laws as religious law arbitration options, which is good. But women's groups are worried about the inherent discriminatory nature of sharia, which is bad.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 11:30 AM PST - 36 comments

Walmart
"With 1.4 million employees worldwide, Wal-Mart's workforce is now larger than that of GM, Ford, GE, and IBM combined. At $258 billion in 2003, Wal-Mart's annual revenues are 2 percent of US GDP, and eight times the size of Microsoft's. In fact, when ranked by its revenues, Wal-Mart is the world's largest corporation." The real cost belongs to the taxpayer, as this report (PDF or HTML through Google), by the Democratic Staff of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, makes clear. A "total annual welfare bill of $2.5 billion for Wal-Mart's 1.2 million US employees."
posted by OmieWise at 10:59 AM PST - 186 comments

Surf's Up
Surf's Up! While many of us in North America are battling freezing rain, sleet, snow, and other sub-zero madness, the folks on the north shore of Oahu are enjoying their own December weather phenomenon.
posted by Crackerbelly at 10:29 AM PST - 15 comments

Something fishy?
Singaporean scientists genetically modify zebra fish to detect water pollutants by turning fluorescent. An American company realizes there's a consumer market for novelty glow-in-the-dark fish, and starts selling the US's first genetically modified pet. While the FDA, which oversees GM animals, 'finds no reason to regulate', California's Fish and Game Commission bans sales in the state over ethical concenrns, and a coalition of watchdog groups files suit to support a national ban.

A year later, GloFish are still on sale, and California's reconsidering its sales block. With the first GM pet quietly swimming into homes, and others (like hypo-allergenic cats) close behind, are we ready for a designer pet invasion?
posted by thomascrown at 8:37 AM PST - 51 comments

A thorn in the side of Big Brother.
White Rose "is a protest blog collective focusing on civil liberties in the UK and the rest of [the] world. It was set up to point a finger at the erosion of personal freedom in the UK. Government's active measures introduce new means of control such as identity cards and surveillance cameras, the passive measures such as weakening of double jeopardy and presumption of innocence." Nice quote from this entry:
My audience were all gluttons for freedom, if by that you meant the freedom to hunt, or the freedom to eat roast beef without the fat trimmed off. But they were perfectly happy to see their own liberties curtailed, if that gave the authorities a chance to crack down on scroungers and bogus asylum-seekers.
posted by languagehat at 8:24 AM PST - 20 comments

It was Christmas. It was merry.
If Hemingway wrote A Visit from St. Nick. By Thurber, published all the way back in 1927.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:19 AM PST - 19 comments

A glimpse through the Wardrobe
A glimpse through the Wardrobe (25meg Quicktime file) at WETA Digital's amazing work on The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. Seems another one of my childhood favorites is being brought to life by those Kiwi wizards. The minotaurs look simply amazing!
posted by TetrisKid at 8:02 AM PST - 27 comments

Phantom Pregnancy and Postpartum Depression?
Why some women kill for a baby.
"Most often women do this to fool the husband, and they don't want to break the spell, and there comes a time when they need to go get a baby."
posted by grabbingsand at 7:05 AM PST - 56 comments

Overheard in NYC
Subways, crime, high rents, and general frustration are not the only benefits of living in NYC; we also get to overhear the most interesting little conversations.

My favorite:
Street Vendor: Hey, hey, hey man, jewelry blow out special. Everything a dollar. Buy something nice for your wife for the holidays. One dollar!
Businessman: A dollar? I'm not gonna buy my wife jewelry for a dollar.
Street Vendor: It's the thought that counts.

--57th and 8th
posted by mountainmambo at 6:45 AM PST - 43 comments

December 19
What are you doing to earn your feeling of heroism?
The Ernest Becker Foundation is "devoted to multidisciplinary inquiries into human behavior, with a particular focus on violence," based on the work of the titular academic iconoclast, "to support research and application at the interfaces of science, the humanities, social action and religion." Becker's Pulitzer-winning The Denial of Death (completed just before his own tragic demise at 49) viewed Kierkegaard's proto-existentialism through the lens of Otto Rank's psychology and concluded that "the root of humanly caused evil is not man's animal nature, not territorial aggression, or innate selfishness, but our need to gain self-esteem, deny our mortality and achieve a heroic self-image" (summary quoted from Sam Keen's excellent Foreword to the latest edition of the work). The book has now inspired an award-winning indie documentary that purports to be "the first documentary film ever [!] to examine the manifestations of death anxiety on spiritual, cultural, and psychological levels." (6.5 MB QT trailer)
posted by joe lisboa at 8:40 PM PST - 15 comments

Your source for furry Japanese stick-man hijinx
While Keenspot picks and chooses the webcomics it hosts like a newspaper comics syndicate would, their Keenspace service is the Geocities of the webcomics world, providing hosting for whoever comes along. Or so I thought. You must experience for yourself these samples of webcomics that haven't quite got Keenspace approval yet.
posted by mendel at 7:38 PM PST - 34 comments

Thriller!
Michael Jackson's Thriller...in Lego form! This must have taken days and days to put together. For those of you who remember the video well, you'll be amazed. I love the Internet!
posted by braun_richard at 7:36 PM PST - 35 comments

Classics from the Golden Age
Kiddie Records Weekly. In 2005, Basic Hip Digital Oddio will feature an entire year of albums from the golden age of kiddie records, lovingly transferred from the original 78s and encoded to 192kbps MP3 format. That's one a week for 52 weeks!
posted by Robot Johnny at 6:10 PM PST - 9 comments

Run, you pigeons. It's Robert Frost!
Comedy Returns to Video Games?
I've been searching for a funny computer game to give my father for christmas, after last years gift of Grim Fandango went over brilliantly. Unfortunately, it seems that in games as in any media dying is easy, comedy is hard.
With the upcoming release of their first game, Psychonauts, Double Fine productions, hopes to resurrect the art. How do I know it's going to be hilarious? The company is headed up by headed up by Tim Schafer of Grim Fandango, Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle fame. Oh, and they're all utterly insane
And lest anyone accuse me of corporate shilling, check out the scummVM and FreeSCI projects which allow you to play classic LucasArts and Sierra comedy adventures on your linux, mac or palm computers. Don't forget to tip your waitress.
posted by Popular Ethics at 6:10 PM PST - 40 comments

Stille Nacht
Alfred Anderson, last survivor of the 1914 Christmas Truce
Apparently, Alfred Anderson is the last man still living who spent 25 December 1914 serving in a conflict that left 31 million people dead, wounded or missing.
posted by tomcosgrave at 3:58 PM PST - 36 comments

We are all puppets in the mighty hands of God
Silly Puppets! For ministry, therapy, school, or just for fun at home.
posted by swift at 3:36 PM PST - 10 comments

Woman in the Moon
Fritz Lang's last silent film, Woman in the Moon, has just been released by Kino Video in a lovingly restored and remastered edition, expanded to its original running time of 169 minutes. (Prior releases of the film in the US had as much as half of the original footage removed, with altered title cards that completely changed the storyline.) Woman in the Moon is considered to be the first real attempt to depict a flight to the moon in film that wasn't completely fantastic, thanks to the technical input of Hermann Oberth, who later went on play a key role in the development of the German V-2 rocket. As a piece of futurism, Woman in the Moon gets a few things wrong (the Moon of the film has a breathable atmosphere, for one thing), but it's also surprisingly prescient as well (the rocketship that voyages to the moon has multiple stages). Its most significant contribution to popular culture is the reverse countdown to blastoff, which was invented by the filmmakers as a dramatic device.
posted by Prospero at 2:36 PM PST - 10 comments

Religion
The Vatican's university in Rome is starting a seminar on satanism and exorcism. "The seminar will conclude with the testimony of two exorcists who will explain how to distinguish between someone who is ill and requiring medical care, and one is 'possessed by demons.'"
posted by semmi at 2:09 PM PST - 67 comments

Penny Postcards
OK, Seattleites, see the American flag here ? On the sidewalk below is where your 3rd & Pine McDonalds now sits. Man, I can see five buildings here that are still standing, but that red brick one at the lower right got replaced early. Now here's the Northern Life Tower. Note how the bricks lighten towards the top, so as to make it look taller from below--very subtle, that. It's one of Seattle's two Art Deco buildings, the other being the Exchange Building. You can cut through that one, coming off the ferry at First Avenue and take the elevator to walk out on Second Ave rather than climb that steep hill, you know.
     And consider on what playground equipment our grandparents got to play. Lucky stiffs--you can't even find a decent 50s era swing set in a park in this town anymore. Penny Postcards From King County, from Penny Postcards of Washington, from Penny Postcards. Man, I loves me some vintage postcards. And if you do, too, check that last link--it's got all 50 states.
posted by y2karl at 1:56 PM PST - 17 comments

At what point did the muse disappear and become replaced by the dramaturg?
At what point did the muse disappear and become replaced by the dramaturg? "Scripts aren't written, they're rewritten", goes the cry from all the script gurus - all the literary managers, editors, producers, dramaturgs - not just in theatre but film, too. Why do they say this? Because their jobs depend on it. If scripts were left alone, what would they do? Dominic Dromgoole writes about playwriting in the UK.
posted by Panfilo at 12:02 PM PST - 20 comments

Labyrinths
A Winding Path. Why a Bay Area microbiologist turned to the New Age art of building labyrinths -- by hand, out of dirt.
posted by homunculus at 11:22 AM PST - 9 comments

If you live on Planet Earth, you might be interested in this
Clinton Eugene Curtis gives sworn testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary. [RealPlayer, sorry]
Yang Enterprises (YEI) respond.
Brad Friedman responds in kind.
... next ... previously ...
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:31 AM PST - 27 comments

Enjoying Japanese Tale
Japanese fairy tales. In English, illustrated.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:24 AM PST - 7 comments

kudzu reshapes Georgia
The many seasons of kudzu. In Georgia, the legend says that you must close your windows at night to keep it out of the house. Love it or run.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:04 AM PST - 12 comments

R.I.P. Suprnova
R.I.P. SuprNova Greetings everybody, As you have probably noticed, we have often had downtimes. This was because it was so hard to keep this site up! But now we are sorry to inform you all, that SuprNova is closing down for good in the way that we all know it. Apparently something went down last night that prompted this exit from the scene, a great loss indeed as suprnova was the gold standard for bittorrent sites. From the inside I have also learned work on exeem is being halted (any beta testers can verify?) trying to head off problems previously seen here.
posted by gren at 8:45 AM PST - 146 comments

War on (Some) Drugs?
Real Reason the Government Won't Debate Legalization of medical cannabis and industrial hemp re-legalization? Since reading the previous AARP FPP and an article about how DEA Ruling Renders Federal Approval of Medical Marijuana Impossible while the Supreme Court weighs marijuana as medicine, I found the historical perspective in "Real Reason" about how the current state of insanity quite enlightening... and not too hard to believe. (Please try to separate information herein from its location and knee-jerk accusations of Godwinism.)
posted by Enron Hubbard at 8:44 AM PST - 21 comments

ten-gallon-hat leadership style?
Person of the Year. TIME magazine reveals their pick. Is anyone surprised?
posted by wfrgms at 8:13 AM PST - 81 comments

Project C-90
Project C-90 An impressively comprehensive archive of pictures of blank audio cassettes. Via
posted by Mwongozi at 6:22 AM PST - 28 comments

It's insane, this post's taint!
So is David Cross now a resident of Wisconsin? He's taken a keen interest in the Journal Sentinel's online columns. First he takes on the technology columnist then the TV/Radio columnist, an entertainment reporter and finally a UW-Extension consumer horticulture agent. You'll have to scroll down to find the question from "David Cross of Atlanta, GA". [more inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:30 AM PST - 35 comments

December 18
Got the right genes?
Predicting who'll benefit from anti-depressants From the study's abstract: "There are well-replicated, independent lines of evidence supporting a role for corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) in the pathophysiology of depression." The NY Times has a bit more readable explanation (reg-free link) of a recent investigation of into whether there is a genetic explanation for why some people get more from their drugs than others.
posted by billsaysthis at 1:04 PM PST - 143 comments

Rub
When little girls rub their eyes, the face of the man to whom they're destined will become visible in the swirling eddy of light. (a short film from Doc Hammer of Venture Bros. fame)
posted by buriednexttoyou at 1:03 PM PST - 26 comments

Scared of Santa
Ho Ho Waaaahhhh!! A lot of kids don't like standing in long lines. A lot of kids don't like strangers (especially ones with big fake beards who are laughing dementedly). A lot of kids don't like having their pictures taken. Put them all together, and you've got the nightmare of the Kid's Photo With Santa, some unfortunate results of which are immortalized in the Scared Of Santa Photo Gallery. (Link is to #2, which is my favorite.)
posted by Kat Allison at 10:50 AM PST - 56 comments

IEDs vs. Wookiees
Rumsfeld, shmumsfeld. Indiana Jones to the rescue in The Battle for Falluja. "Militarily, the battle of Falluja was an unqualified success," says Bing West, the former assistant defense secretary whose not-yet-published book will be turned into the fast-paced actioner.
posted by digaman at 9:52 AM PST - 38 comments

'Evil doesn't wear a trench coat, doesn't have bad teeth, doesn't announce itself.'
Nineteen Faces :: Nik adds some thoughtful commentary to photos found on US Sex Offender Registry websites. I find Number Six to be most interesting.
posted by anastasiav at 9:43 AM PST - 34 comments

The AARP says, toke up!
AARP poll finds older Americans favor medical marijuana. With a medical marijuana case in front of the Supremes, and with a dozen states now with medical marijuana laws on the books, AARP decided to take a poll. Here's what they found: "Nearly three-fourths of older Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use." My father (a senior citizen) takes prescribed Marinol (synthetic THC) as an appetite stimulant; my wife, a cancer survivor, got through chemotherapy largely on the strength of the weed I was able to buy on the street in New York. [MI]
posted by enrevanche at 9:30 AM PST - 23 comments

I'm at level 8 so far...
This is not pron - its a damn hard puzzle. More info here.
posted by Orange Goblin at 8:49 AM PST - 27 comments

Good-lookin' books.
Czech book covers of the 1920s and '30s. Czechoslovakia was an amazingly creative place between the wars, and this Cooper-Hewitt exhibit showcases some of the book covers it produced. Here's an overview and descrption of styles; you can explore them here. I particularly like Sborník Literární skupiny, Jaroslavu Královi k padesátinám, Nejmenší dum, and the work of Karel Teige. (Via wood s lot.)
posted by languagehat at 8:33 AM PST - 9 comments

Survey finds support for restricting Muslim-Americans' freedoms
Survey finds support for restricting Muslim-Americans' freedoms Nearly one in two Americans believe the U.S. government should restrict civil liberties for Muslim-Americans, according to a nationwide Cornell University poll on terrorism fears. The survey also found respondents who identified themselves as highly religious supported restrictions on Muslim-Americans more strongly than those less religious. Curtailing civil liberties for Muslim-Americans also was supported more by Republicans than Democrats, the survey found. The amount of attention paid to TV news also had a bearing on how strongly a respondent favored restrictions
posted by Postroad at 6:44 AM PST - 135 comments

Naked Power: The Homeland Security Collection
Homeland Security - multimedia artist and activist John Douglas portrays himself as a one-man citizen soldier army in a series of provocative photographic tableaus. NSFW.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:08 AM PST - 16 comments

Christmas Cards
With the dangers of e-Christmas cards becoming apparent, perhaps it is time to return to sending Christmas cards the old fashioned way. Or not.
posted by Quartermass at 5:44 AM PST - 11 comments

the mystery of neurocam
Neurocam. A billboard appears near a Melbourne freeway entrance inviting people to "Get out of their mind". "Those who follow the instructions on the neurocam website are assigned missions, with the threat of grave consequences should these tasks not be carried out. Individuals prove their mettle by completing progressively more complex, riskier assignments - possibly of questionable legality." from the Age article linked below. Is it an art project, a cult, a marketing ploy, a game or a psychological experiment? Neurocam says none of these. Melbourne's Age newspaper investigates (free reg sometimes req'd). You can also read some blogs from participants here and here. Plus it seems to have something to do with this place dealing in Human Possibility(TM), which makes as little sense as the rest of it. I'm such a cynic, I still think it is marketing something, but it is fairly extreme.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:08 AM PST - 24 comments

December 17
Patrick Mimran
The Patrick Mimran Billboard Project, an eyesore to New York City inhabitants for the past few years, has imposed the French "artist's" lame, clichéd grievances about the art industry onto anyone driving or walking down W24th, 25th, or 26th Street in Chelsea. It's an infestation. Now, happily, some New Yorkers who have tired of M. Mimran's pretentious sloganeering have decided to fight back. Hurrah!
posted by jeremy b at 9:00 PM PST - 43 comments

metal under tension
More than starwars kid...check out the dangerzone. Some kids from the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science have been winning local film awards with their movie Noir, but I prefer Dangerzone (on the same site as Noir). Their webpage isnt too shabby either.
posted by nile_red at 8:42 PM PST - 22 comments

Cool daddi-o
Come on in to The Fedora Lounge. Grab a martini, maybe a pack of smokes, and join in the conversation about the clothing, music, furniture, architecture, lifestyle and just plain old style of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. From the folks behind Retro Radar.
posted by braun_richard at 6:51 PM PST - 13 comments

America Beyond Capitalism
America Beyond Capitalism
What a "Pluralist Commonwealth" Would Look Like
from the author of The Coming Era of Wealth Taxation (pdf)
posted by y2karl at 6:06 PM PST - 22 comments

Sex offender registries
How well do you know your neighbors? With the California Megan's Law database, just breeze through the first few pages, and you'll get a map interface searchable by city, zip code, county, etc. Zoom in, and see little icons that tell you the location of registered sex offenders, and schools. Click on one of those little icons, and you'll see pictures, addresses, descriptions of their crimes, scars, and aliases. This strikes me as an internet app that is both cool and entirely creepy.
posted by jasper411 at 4:52 PM PST - 125 comments

Welcome to the Plantation
A chilling reenactment of slavery in the Americas. (RealPlayer Link.rm)
posted by Paddle to Sea at 4:01 PM PST - 17 comments

Female pirates.
Female pirates.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:58 PM PST - 17 comments

Media
Don't miss tonight on PBS the final NOW with Bill Moyers. "Bill Moyers looks inside the right-wing media machine that the conservative NEW YORK TIMES columnist David Brooks called a "dazzlingly efficient ideology delivery system." The program examines how a vast echo chamber that is admittedly partisan and powerfully successful delivers information — and misinformation — with more regard for propaganda than fact. Founding father to the conservative movement, Richard Viguerie tells Moyers, 'That’s what journalism is, Bill. It’s all just opinion. Just opinion.'”
posted by semmi at 3:36 PM PST - 45 comments

the best ever death metal band out of denton
"Face-crushing guitars, head-pounding drums, bass so low you'll vacate your bowels, and vocals so scorching, so extreme they simply can't be human! They're not." You cannot dodge the talons of hate.
posted by scrim at 2:59 PM PST - 33 comments

EA HUNGRY .... EA SMASH!!! GRRRRR!
The battle for the NFL After EA Games bombshell announcement that it had signed a five-year exclusive licensing deal with the NFL, many sports games fans are wondering what will happen to their favorite franchises that don't feature John Madden. You can bet ESPN is hoppin' mad (and probably Microsoft as well), as are fans of its NFL 2K series (of which I'm a proud member). Do deals like this hurt the fans or the sport ... or even the gaming industry itself? I certainly think so. Sports is about competition! Oh, no, wait it's about money. Never mind.
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:52 PM PST - 34 comments

I'm a survivor I aint gon/ give up
Let me on survivor!!! Oh the lack of justice! Canadians make up 10% of the Survivor audience and yet the show doesn't want to allow canadians to be on the show. This young courageous man wants to change the rules, and he thinks he qualifies to be a good survivor. Because after all 'Canadians live in igloos 50% of the year, so we're perfect for outdoor survival reality-tv shows '. So he's on a crusade to be the first canadian citizen on the show, and ask people to sign his petition.
posted by Sijeka at 2:49 PM PST - 40 comments

Roses are red, violets are blue, here is some rhyming from the EU
The year in verse, from The Economist. Via Slate.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 2:46 PM PST - 9 comments

Randall the Enamel Animal
Randall the Enamel Animal is an organoleptic hop transducer module. Click on the links, they're about beer!
posted by turbodog at 1:55 PM PST - 14 comments

Bah and the Humbugs!
No Xmas in U.S. this year: Santa on Fed's "No Fly" list.
Okay, that's just "News" from the website of satiric rockers Bah and the Humbugs, skewering Xmas since 1985. MP3s of the entirety of this year's CD Farhenheit 12/25 are available on the website, or you can buy the CD for $10 and all ten sheckles go to the UN World Food Programme. More tracks here, including the "Jolly Roger the Xmas Pirate" series and "Free the Reindeer. " Great stuff for that awkward holiday family get-together, where the music won't offend but the cool lyrics can keep you chuckling to yourself all night.
posted by Shane at 12:44 PM PST - 4 comments

We piss on your Segway!
Freebord explained. (Rest of life still a mystery.) Via Bifurcated Rivets.
posted by 327.ca at 12:16 PM PST - 30 comments

Peer-reviewing the monkeyhouse
Introducing the International Journal of Web Based Communities (IJWBC), a quarterly peer-reviewed scientific journal whose first issue just went online. Growing out of the papers presented at the IADIS International Conference on Web Based Communities, the journal lists among their intended subject coverage such topics as "the history, architecture and future of virtual communities", "group processes and self-organisation", and "fading hierarchies and epistemic dictatorship". Read it while you can, because future hardcopy subscriptions will run you $450/€430 a year.
posted by Asparagirl at 12:15 PM PST - 8 comments

Foom.
DR3I is a Macromedia Flash game. Avoid vomiting.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:49 AM PST - 14 comments

Reflex
Reflex is the game responsible for a significant drop in the scores of my final exams. (Friday Flash)
posted by anomie at 11:36 AM PST - 26 comments

Put some change in your butt....
Rectal Foreign Bodies Courtesy of Rectal Foreign Bodies . ( (NSFW maybe) )
posted by protocool at 11:21 AM PST - 18 comments

Christmas Letters to Christopher Walken
Christmas Letters to Christopher Walken - Santa not coming through? Try Mr. Creepy.
posted by amandaudoff at 11:16 AM PST - 26 comments

90 Days, 90 Photographs
Photographer Jim Brandenburg gave himself a challenge: for 90 days between the autumnal equinox and the winter solstice he would take exactly one photograph each day, around his home near Minnesota's million-acre Boundary Waters Wilderness. He then repeated the challenge in the summer, again taking one photograph each day from the summer solstice to the autumnal equinox. You can see the results here: Chased by The Light and Looking for the Summer.
posted by driveler at 11:16 AM PST - 22 comments

I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island!
I am Mr. Roarke, your host. Welcome to Fantasy Island! The virtual economy gets more interesting. (More inside)
posted by malaprohibita at 11:01 AM PST - 35 comments

If they don't fit, your fingers are too fat.
Grey Holiday Puppet. Festive Friday Flash Fun
posted by Robot Johnny at 10:56 AM PST - 6 comments

People who drink to excess also tend to be chronic smokers
Speaking Of weight loss and exercise... Those who like their booze also like their nicotine. People who drink to excess also tend to be chronic smokers, and a new report suggests the combination of the two might prove more toxic than either one alone. a small study found chronic smoking + alcohol dependence = increased severity of brain damage. The frontal lobes (short-term storage sites) turn out to be the most damaged. A separate study used rats to show that alcoholism and excessive food intake may share the same chemical pathways in the brain. Forbes has the HealthDayNews report that focuses mainly on the smokes, MSNBC looks more at the eats. They also have an interesting Addictions Sections. Could it be that some folks are just prone to addictions and everyone settles on something different?
posted by Blake at 10:35 AM PST - 21 comments

The price of greatness is responsibility.
"There is no excuse for superior authority not choosing the most suitable agents for particular duties, and not removing unsuitable agents from particular duties." With all the talk of empires and resignations, a reflection to history turns up a remarkable story about an already remarkable man:

A tense time in British India came to a head when General Reginald Dyer's brigade opened fire on an unarmed crowd assembled in Amritsar with machine guns, killing 379 and wounding over 1500. Command wanted to relieve him of duty, but patriotic (and imperialist) fervor at home led to a parliamentary debate which was expected to repudiate this decision and honor him. Enter War Secretary Winston Churchill who defended the Government so eloquently that the minds and hearts of the entire deliberative body were turned.
posted by allan at 10:12 AM PST - 16 comments

Hitchhikers Guide to the Planet
What Killed Hitchhiking? Well, some people don't think it is dead.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 10:06 AM PST - 30 comments

Being an egg gets you laid.
Shower gel gets you laid. iTunes gets you laid. National Public Radio gets you laid. Craigslist gets you laid (if you're a Republican). Obscure Jewish humor apparel gets you laid. Going vegan gets you laid, unless you're a nice guy, natch. [All links SWF. First link leads to an advert that may not be.]
posted by fatllama at 10:04 AM PST - 30 comments

Got drugs?
Tired? Need a boost? Everything you ever wanted to know about one of America's favourite energy boosters. This website contains 25 pages covering the history, uses (both legitimate and illegitimate), and biological characteristics of cocaine and the coca plant. An interesting read for those with time to kill (like me). Possibly NSFW.
posted by LunaticFringe at 9:41 AM PST - 10 comments

URL Fun
URL Fun
Ever need to make a really long or convoluted URL shorter? Or need to hide some bit of web naming from someone? You'll want to use something like TinyURL, BabyURL , URL123, and Make A Shorter Link.

All that shortening can't be good. Fun ways to play with your enemies! HugeURL and my favorite - EvilURL (Evil - NSFW)
posted by filmgeek at 9:28 AM PST - 27 comments

The Fug of Whoooarrh
The good ladies of Go Fug Yourself have created an elegant little Web freakshow devoted to the fashion aberrations of the rich and frumpy. Less annoying than the shrill harridanry of Rivers mere et fille, hipper than Mr. Blackwell's "Worst Dressed", and much safer for work than AwfulPlasticSurgery.com, it's a must-see for anyone whose veins, like mine, are a-fizz with the coruscating combination of Schadenfreude and diet Coke.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:24 AM PST - 15 comments

Medal of Freedom for Iraq
Medals of Freedom awarded and I'd like to make some smart comment about current Iraqi conditions and the award and the presenter, but why bother - make your own.
posted by jim-of-oz at 8:47 AM PST - 27 comments

John Perry Barlow's Trial Commences
John Perry Barlow's trial commences and is commented upon by Seth David Schoen. A most interesting paragraph was: "First follow-up question: If you think a bottle contains an improvised explosive device, is it appropriate to shake it? No, that's almost the worst thing you can do. Second: Is it appropriate to open the bottle? No, that's the worst thing you can do. The defense then argued that Ms. Ramos could not really have believed that the ibuprofen bottle in question contained an improved[sic] explosive device, because she had testified that, on removing it from Barlow's bag, she became suspicious of it, then shook it, and then opened it. These actions were the most dangerous actions she could possibly have taken if she really believed that the bottle might contain explosives..." Followup for this post.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:39 AM PST - 9 comments

Japanese Death Poems
My coming My going, Two simple happenings that got entangled... Japanese Death Poems. Small beautiful simple poems written before death. I just discovered them and thought I would share. A few more here
posted by mrs.pants at 7:22 AM PST - 15 comments

McWhodini's
The Floating Logos Project .'Floating Logos' is a working title for this project. The images are inspired by signs perched high atop very tall poles in order for people to view them from a very long distance. The poles are digitally removed from the image in order to give the illusion that the signs are disconnected from the ground as they ominously float above us.
posted by Hands of Manos at 6:35 AM PST - 61 comments

Cousin Marriage Conundrum
Cousin Marriage Conundrum [...]By fostering intense family loyalties and strong nepotistic urges, inbreeding makes the development of civil society more difficult. Many Americans have heard by now that Iraq is composed of three ethnic groups -- the Kurds of the north, the Sunnis of the center, and the Shi'ites of the south. Clearly, these ethnic rivalries would complicate the task of ruling reforming Iraq. But that's just a top-down summary of Iraq's ethnic make-up. Each of those three ethnic groups is divisible into smaller and smaller tribes, clans, and inbred extended families -- each with their own alliances, rivals, and feuds. And the engine at the bottom of these bedeviling social divisions is the oft-ignored institution of cousin marriage[...]
posted by Postroad at 6:06 AM PST - 36 comments

I scratch your back...
US to forgive Iraq’s 4 billion-dollar debt - so, I'm curious as to the benefit of such an action. A "bilateral agreement" was signed - if this is our part, what's theirs?
posted by FormlessOne at 6:01 AM PST - 36 comments

Put out to pasture in a bombing range
Slab City, CA "is not so sinister as it is a strange, forlorn quarter of America. It is a town that is not really a town, a former training grounds with nothing left but the concrete slabs where the barracks stood. [...] The land belongs to the state, but the state, like the law, does not bother, and so the Slabs have become a place to park free. More than 3,000 elderly people settle in for the winter, in a pattern that dates back at least 20 years." [NYT Reg Req]
posted by LondonYank at 4:56 AM PST - 23 comments

Sink, or swim?
Happy Harold Holt Day! On this day in 1967, Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt disappeared whilst swimming at Cheviot Beach near Melbourne. Conspiracy theories abound. Today, his memory is honoured by a memorial swimming pool.
posted by Pinback at 4:52 AM PST - 7 comments

Recount shenanigans in Ohio
Proof of Ohio Election Fraud Exposed. Move over "election irregularities", say hello to "recount irregularites". Hot on the heels of Blackwell's about face on his promise to let the recount proceed unmolested, and a Karen-Silkwood-esque attack on the "recount activist" who broke that story, comes even more damaging allegations concerning the central tabulators. The Kerry-Edwards campaign is nominally on the case, and the NY Times is finally picking up the story. Is American democracy hanging by a thread?
posted by dinsdale at 1:43 AM PST - 69 comments

December 16
Pop Vultures, R.I.P.
Pop Vultures, perhaps the freshest show to grace our radio airwaves in recent years has been cancelled. Host Kate Sullivan and a collection of friends mused on pop music and associated pop culture with passion, a strong does of "um" and "uh, like" and an always great soundtrack. You can listen (for the moment anyway) to the archives . R.I.P.
posted by donovan at 8:13 PM PST - 21 comments

Firefox ad on the NY Times.
Firefox ad on the NY Times. The long-awaited 2-page ad for the open source browser is finally out, complete with the 10,000 names of donors.
posted by arrowhead at 7:25 PM PST - 79 comments

Pull it together
It shakes me that something as prosaic and taken for granted as a paper clip was once an innovation. Someone actually invented it. It revolutionized. It evolved. At one point, it became a political symbol strong enough to warrant arrest. Eventually, it became something so ho-hum that it could be artistic, profound. In short, it became indispensable -- er, ubiquitous. Before I die, I would like to visit a paper clip factory.
posted by mudpuppie at 7:17 PM PST - 23 comments

Giraffes on Horseback Salads
S. Dali + 3 Marxes. From Marx-Out-Of-Print, "a tribute to The Marx Brothers with full reproductions of books and articles from magazines and other publications that are now 'out of print' and hard to find." Dali was a huge fan of Harpo and once gave him a harp strung with barbed wire. He also wrote a script for the Marx Brothers, which was deemed "too surreal."
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:18 PM PST - 8 comments

The End is Nigh!!
Millenarianism (or millennialism :) A brief history of the end of the world. Why do end-of-time beliefs endure? [also see, oh and (OT) :]
posted by kliuless at 6:00 PM PST - 16 comments

Campin' with the net
FutureIsNowFilter "TengoInternet and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department announced a pilot program to offer wireless Internet service at five Texas state parks... The wireless service will allow park guests while visiting the park to access the Internet to gain park information, send e-mail or pictures, or just surf the Web, without cords having to physically plug into a network."
Shouldn't be camping be more about nature than technology?
posted by Doohickie at 5:30 PM PST - 31 comments

Who are you to question Zombie Joseph Beuys?
The University of You Suck! While the newer comics are lacking a certain something, oldschool Cat and Girl should still be ranked among the Best of the Web. Please keep in mind, Cat and Girl are Not For Babies.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:27 PM PST - 20 comments

The Daily Dinosaur
The Best Webcomics of 2004 as presented by the Webcomics Examiner Advisory Board [mentioned here previously]
posted by tpl1212 at 4:13 PM PST - 24 comments

You take care of your body, don't you?
Evangelical enviromentalists. "Any kind of pollution that hurts the unborn, children, families and the poor—this is contrary to loving your neighbor, which is at the center of ethical teaching." Maybe there's hope for this world after all.
posted by fungible at 3:48 PM PST - 31 comments

39 Across
A New York Times crossword puzzle printed on November 5, 1996, election day, was designed to predict the winner of the election, no matter who won. That takes some skill to design.
posted by BradNelson at 3:48 PM PST - 20 comments

Blair Magazine: The New Heroin
Gay or Eurotrash? This fab game from Blair Magazine one of the early web's greatest zines, the first issue published a decade ago. They also made the Lesbian or German Lady?. Lest you think that all they did was quizzes here are some articles: Goomiliation, Masters of the Universe, How Stella Got Her Jazzy Back and Rock on GoldDust Woman (I don't remember The World Wrestling Federation ever being that interesting). It's all great, and since only seven (plus one) issues ever came out, it'll take all too short a time to read.
posted by Kattullus at 2:51 PM PST - 14 comments

needled
The magic of needlepoint...featuring The Six Million Dollar Man!!
posted by onkelchrispy at 2:07 PM PST - 20 comments

Money, Honey
If you've been paying attention, then you're probably aware that Clear Channel own your favorite (or least favorite) radio station, your local concert venues, the promoter who organizes shows for them, the billboards that advertise the show, and the company you bought the tickets from. And now they own your favorite dead rock star. SFX Entertainment, a promoter owned by Clear Channel, has bought an 85% share of Elvis Presley's estate and name from Lisa Marie Presley. That includes Graceland. Wow, do they ever suck. (Salon agrees.)
posted by logovisual at 2:00 PM PST - 37 comments

Wheelchair offroading
Wheelchair Junkie, for all your wheelchair offroading (and ramp-jumping and wheelie-popping) needs.
posted by kavasa at 1:58 PM PST - 6 comments

The magic pill
Want to lose weight, but don't want to exercise? How about quitting smoking? And, what about those other little nasty addictions? Well Rimonabant is the magic pill for you. It's so great that it can even cure your Doritos craving, commonly known as the munchies. It works by blocking the endocannabinoids/cannibas receptors in your brain. This latest and greatest cure-all even has it's own blog.
posted by Juicylicious at 1:26 PM PST - 50 comments

Annual airing of grievances
The War on Christmas. "What we are witnessing here are hate crimes against Christianity." Angered by perceived attacks on the Christ part of Christmas, Christians are taking a page from GWB and staging pre-emptive cultural strikes around the country. Or are they? Is this effort a bigger attack against Judaism and the rest of the nonbelievers/scapegoats, an honest attempt by Christians to "save" the holiday, or a media-manufactured controversy? (Air out your holiday spirit, but save your own personal grievances for December 23.)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:20 PM PST - 212 comments

Your discarded plastic cup is floating
Told you plastic is nasty.... Most of plastic that somehow reached the ocean floats in the North Pacific Gyre[look at Currents], an exotic name for an area of the Pacific ocean with a surface larger then U.S.A, dreaded by sailors for its lack of winds and called by some World largest Landfill. The people at Algalita Marine Research Foundation have made this nice video[Quicktime] showing how tons and tons of tiny plastic particles have been accumulating in the area for the last 50 years, slowly entering the food chain. Why does that bother us who live thousand of miles away ? Because we're on the top of the food chain and because that plastic is a sponge of hazardous chemicals.[Via tpl1212's link in another unrelated story]
posted by elpapacito at 11:34 AM PST - 44 comments

Yeah But Was He Hungry Again in an Hour
Mexican Man Kills, Cooks and Eats His Lover
Cannibalism (Wiki) is chic. With the consensual cannibalism of Armin Meiwes and a psychosexual facet as well as arguments about the religious aspects as well as how religion stopped cannibalism along with some tips, "The natives told Father Zumbohm that the fingers and toes were the choicest morsels." And now even a Donner Party Cookbook (no, no recipes on how to serve man). Can cannibalism be considered as taboo as it once was?

Of course, there are bound to be humorous sites, movies and even a musical. And heck, why not even a Letterman Top Ten?
posted by fenriq at 11:25 AM PST - 54 comments

No Fucking Tenure For You!
Professor Stephen Roberds, Southern Utah University's controversial Professor of the Year 2003-2004, you're fucking fired.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:11 AM PST - 89 comments

Yahoo! Video Search
Search Wars Part XXIV: Yahoo! Video Search.
posted by tranquileye at 9:27 AM PST - 30 comments

Robot Evolution
Honda has upgraded Asimo. They've added jogging, autonomous continuous movement, some new joint designs, and better intelligence, expanding the range of humanoid robots, which includes, the Qrio from Sony, Isamu, and Toyota's offering that entered the fray earlier this year (previously discussed). (More)
posted by effwerd at 9:04 AM PST - 27 comments

At last!
Frustrated by web sites that don't offer a customer service number? Slate magazine discovers Amazon.com's. (Of course, they'll probably change it after it gets around...)
posted by braun_richard at 8:47 AM PST - 42 comments

To see a buffalo is to remind us
Catalina Bison, lovingly returned. Montana Bison, not so much.
posted by xowie at 8:37 AM PST - 3 comments

Early Flash Friday submission
Gem Sweater Girl Rocks You! Oh my god, this is bedazzle-icious! She could totally be Mrs. Napolean Dynamite! I know its not quite Flash Friday yet, but it FEELS like Friday already... Anyways, check out the gem-sweater girl and these videos from her band... which, i will admit is not actually called Gem Sweater Girl... but it SHOULD BE! This is Leslie and the LY's! card number one... card number two... and (I think) my personal favorite.
posted by indiebass at 7:58 AM PST - 10 comments

Toto, something tells me Earthsea isn't Iraq.
A Whitewashed Earthsea: Perhaps topping Harlan Ellison's beef about City on the Edge of Forever, Ursula K. LeGuin expands a post on her Web site ("Had 'Miss Le Guin' been honestly asked to be involved in the planning of the film, she might have discussed with the film-makers what the books are about") into a rant on Slate trashing the Sci-Fi channel's adaptation. Things seem to have gone a bit downhill since March.
posted by soyjoy at 7:53 AM PST - 88 comments

Why The Shoe Fits
Meet Charles Brannock. In 1926, he invented a foot-measuring device that has become an industry standard and a landmark of American innovation, now preserved in the Smithsonian.
posted by anastasiav at 7:52 AM PST - 18 comments

The geese fly south for the winter.
Have you ever wanted to be a repressed homosexual suicidal genius? Now's your chance. The UK's GCHQ has set up a series of codebreaking challenges to try and attract your attention in the hope it gets you interested enough to apply for a job. This is the latest. A previous challenge here. Plus some other puzzles they've set. GCHQ: It's not all about selling out your fellow man/woman.
posted by biffa at 7:51 AM PST - 31 comments

Here we are now
Free TiVo. If you are an American consumer and live in the Bay Area, the TiVo company on Friday will give away 40GB Series 2 recorders to Comcast customers who bring their cable bill and a gift for The Family Giving Tree charity to TiVo headquarters in Alviso, Calif. The giveaway will last from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., or until they run out of units, and will be limited to one recorder per household.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 7:50 AM PST - 22 comments

Pro-nuance
A right that ends in sorrow , aka the difficulty of standing up for something that really sucks. (via Amy Sullivan)
posted by alms at 7:45 AM PST - 73 comments

New Monekys and Species this year
A new species of monkey turned up in India [NYTimes or Rediff]. Though the monkeys are new to science, people in the area are quite familiar with them. They call them "mun zala" or deep forest monkeys. It's a stocky, short-tailed, brown-haired creature they have named the Macaca munzala, or Arunachal macaque. Maybe not that excting for those of us not excited by, uh, mokeys, but did you know this year there have been other new things discovered? A new species of plec and one of Neon goby, even more exciting, a new electric fish was found as well. A quick search turned up dozens of new fish this year. ABC News says 178 new things found in the oceans this year alone, raising the number of life-forms found in the world's oceans to about 230,000. The big question is, of course, how many of those will Taste Like Chicken? The bad news on the little critter front is 1 in 10 bird species could vanish within 100 years, and I bet they all taste like chicken.
posted by Blake at 7:43 AM PST - 16 comments

Why everything tastes like chicken
Tastes Like Chicken : the field of culinary evolution faces one great dilemma: why do most cooked, exotic meats taste like cooked Gallus gallus?
posted by papercake at 7:01 AM PST - 30 comments

Stalin vs. Hitler
Stalin vs. Hitler. A comic. With wizardry and valkyries.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:47 AM PST - 16 comments

Can't get enough of your office life?
Ugh... As if working in an office isn't enough. This is one toy I will NOT be buying for my kid. I get the irony, but man, how depressing would it be to see this under the xmas tree?
posted by mountainmambo at 5:45 AM PST - 44 comments

Cult Leader Buried Alive
Cult leader proves his divinity by being buried alive and resurrecting himself. Except for the resurrecting bit. Good show for trying though
posted by criticalbill at 4:45 AM PST - 26 comments

The Future Of News
In the year 2014, the New York Times has gone offline. What happened to the news? What is EPIC? [flash]
posted by signal at 4:15 AM PST - 14 comments

Word play
Collins Word Exchange "At Collins we pride ourselves on reflecting current language, used by real English speakers across the world." Collins have launched a public forum designed for (amongst other things) discussing 'new' words and the legitamacy of their inclusion in official dictionaries. Chav is probably on its way, but I'm no intellectual snob, but bounce-backability? Even I'd balk at that one.
And, just remember kids, flip-flopper is not valid for use in scrabble
posted by qwerty155 at 3:57 AM PST - 8 comments

The Bulwer-Lytton Contest
The worst opening lines to the worst novels never written. An international literary parody contest, the competition honors the memory (if not the reputation) of Victorian novelist Edward George Earl Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873). The goal of the contest is childishly simple: entrants are challenged to submit bad opening sentences to imaginary novels.

The original bad opening sentence and inspiration for the contest? From Bulwer-Lytton's novel Paul Clifford, and made famous by Snoopy: ""It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents--except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness."
posted by zardoz at 3:40 AM PST - 37 comments

Archaeological forgeries
The Cardiff Giant , The Mandelbrot Monk, and the amazing Centaur Skeleton from Volos. It's not just this administration that loves to manufacture evidence. Scientists too have often succumbed to temptation.
posted by acrobat at 3:37 AM PST - 14 comments

Like lane markings, but better
Like lane markings, but better. Montreal artist Roadsworth transforms street markings into boots, bullets, and zippers. Sad postscript? He's been busted.
posted by optimuscrime at 1:23 AM PST - 21 comments

December 15
THERE BE OO HERE.
The Vision. The Longing. The Confusion. The Claim. One of my favorites from back in the day.
posted by pieoverdone at 10:01 PM PST - 16 comments

God Save Us Nelly Queens
Now that we may be renaming the rebuilt eastern span [pdf] of the San Francisco - Oakland Bay Bridge after 19th century character (and sometime MeFi topic) Emperor Norton I, the question remains: when the time comes, what shall we name after his devoted widow? [cached last link]
posted by expialidocious at 8:30 PM PST - 15 comments

VAX 11/780 - The Future Is Now
Geek History through T-Shirts. Shamelessly cribbed from memepool, who spotted a good one...
posted by tss at 7:40 PM PST - 13 comments

Oops, I Ofoto'd again
The great thing about Ofoto and other photo printing sites is that you can instantly put up photos of an event for your friends to see and get prints made. But sometimes you accidentally leave them public. I give you: Lindsay Lohan's Thanksgiving.
posted by mathowie at 6:50 PM PST - 75 comments

the death of productivity, redux
Metababy is still resting. But if you can tolerate a near interminable lag, betamaybe appears open for business.
posted by felix betachat at 5:13 PM PST - 8 comments

Viz Top Tips
Minor skin grafts can be performed on pigs by covering any cuts and grazes with thin strips of bacon. Not sure if this will appeal to American tastes, but some Top Tips from British satirical mag Viz are a wonderful excursion from work, reality, etc. Some other favourites are: "DON'T INVITE DRUG ADDICTS round for a meal on boxing day. They may find the offer of cold turkey embarrassing or offensive." and "A next door neighbour's car aerial, carefully folded, makes an ideal coat hanger in an emergency." Enjoy.
posted by milkwood at 4:46 PM PST - 13 comments

MacMod
The Macintosh case-mod movement has resulted in some interesting specimens. Learn how to do it yourself!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 4:18 PM PST - 12 comments

Escape from Eluned
Drunk Jenga.
posted by fungible at 3:12 PM PST - 26 comments

See you on the ground
Men falling from the sky [14MB Quicktime] (via newstoday)
posted by gwint at 2:13 PM PST - 70 comments

Through the eyes of the soldiers
What do the soldiers see? We've been saturated with images from Iraq - from the media and from other sources. Under Mars has images from a different perspective - they were all taken by soldiers in Iraq. Some are wistful, some are painful, and some are just plain great photographs. There are a few that are kind of funny, too.
posted by bedhead at 2:12 PM PST - 25 comments

Felichan Esperanto Librotago
Today is World Esperanto Literature Day. December 15th is the birthday of the creator of Esperanto, Dr. L. L. Zamenhof. Don't speak Esperanto yet? You can learn Esperanto on the web, via email, or at home. After all of that learning you may want to relax by playing a game, watching a movie (starring William Shatner!) or listening to some music.
posted by Doug at 1:24 PM PST - 29 comments

Driedel, driedel, driedel, I made you out of clay....
Today is the last day of Hanukkah. "The Festival of Lights" commemorates ... well, that's the question now, isn't it? It's a minor holiday, not found in the Torah (alleged allusions notwithstanding). The story about the candles is first found in the Babylonian Talmud (Shabbat 21b), which was written over five centuries after the fact. More contemporaneous sources paint it as a fairly typical Greek-style victory celebration, and the national holiday of the Second Commonwealth. [More inside...]
posted by jefgodesky at 12:51 PM PST - 21 comments

squick-o-matic
well, this ought to take care of that pesky problem of your glasses always sliding down your nose.
posted by crunchland at 12:19 PM PST - 77 comments

What not to do this new years
Remember this New Year's: Bottle rockets should be fired off from bottles, not your drunken friend's ass (Not really safe for work, but amusing enough to enjoy the stupidity of others).
posted by mathowie at 12:15 PM PST - 50 comments

The times they are a-changing
The Rise and Fall of the Black Voter is a remarkable sequence of maps graphically describing the realignment of voting patterns in the U.S. during the past century (read this for a bit more context). It is an excellent companion to the purple maps of the most recent election, and a nice antidote to simplistic comparisons of pre-Civil War and recent electoral college maps. Republicans can bask in the glow of their successful "Southern Strategy," while Democrats can take heart that change, while often slow, is still possible.
posted by googly at 11:57 AM PST - 7 comments

Lotta latte art
Latte art. Lots of latte art. A few how-to videos and words from the master.
posted by turbodog at 11:50 AM PST - 9 comments

What do you want to do with your life?
What do you want to do with your life? Initially people were simple and modest, but it did not last long. [via @rgumente]
posted by MzB at 11:17 AM PST - 17 comments

Tensions explode at
"Nobody here is a bad person," she said. "Nobody here failed at the show. We failed as a community." Protestors unleash rage and sorrow against a University of Oregon production of "The Vagina Monologues." The issue? The queer community, the women of color community, and the plus-size community did not feel represented. At that rate, "the fact that they had auditions means that some people are automatically excluded." The solution? Replace auditions with nominations from student groups, looking past the "drama-oriented" to the politically active. More here.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:45 AM PST - 167 comments

How did Adriana's top end up as a skirt?
Melfi's office is one of the few places where one always sees the characters' feet. An interesting behind-the-scenes look at dressing the Sopranos by Emmy-winning costume designer Juliet Polcsa.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:36 AM PST - 14 comments

3d dun right...
aNTROPUs is a 3d animator/modeler that makes some very interesting pictures. There was an animated short that caught my eye called, "The Plumber" ( it's in .rar format, if you don't have the software to view it, you can get it here (Mac) or here (PC) )
posted by Hands of Manos at 10:18 AM PST - 24 comments

Barney Cam Returns
Where is Miss Beazley? [Large WMA file] President Bush's dog Barney has a new home video this year. The president has asked Barney to look after their new dog, Miss Beazley. It's a bit hokey, but still amusing. Includes a cast of various administration officials.
posted by BradNelson at 10:08 AM PST - 48 comments

The new voice of the Iraqi uprising...
The new voice of the Iraqi uprising speaks English and knows about propaganda. That said, the music is a bit over the top. Remember that South Park episode, where both Chef and the lead mutant turkey cover themselves in warpaint and give a "Braveheart" speech to their followers prior to battle? It's kinda like that. But hey, it feels good!
posted by insomnia_lj at 9:59 AM PST - 29 comments

Architectural blight
The stomach of Paris. Finally, after months of deliberation, Paris city hall awarded the task of reworking the site of Les Halles to French architect David Mangin: the winner has a vision of a Barcelona Ramblas-style walkway integrating Les Halles with the surrounding cityscape. Among the losers, Rem Koolhaas. The Les Halles site was first built in 1135 when King Louis VI moved the market there from the nearby Place de la Greve. The site was endowed in the 1850s with the huge metal halls for which it became famous; but in the 1970's the old market moved to the outskirts of the city. Then-mayor Jacques Chirac ordered the redevelopment of Les Halles -- it was supposed to re-emerge as a bustling tourist attraction. Instead that project gave birth to an architectural WTF? of a gigantic disaster. Unpopular and difficult to maintain to boot. (warning: the words in italic link to a French-language page)
posted by matteo at 9:17 AM PST - 31 comments

freedom of speech?
new york art show shuttered due to controversial portrait of the president
beginning of the end of free speech?
posted by specialk420 at 8:51 AM PST - 70 comments

OfficeOlympics
Office Olympics.
posted by srboisvert at 7:52 AM PST - 9 comments

This all makes perfect sense.
The ten most accurately rated artists in rock history! According to SPIN, at least.
posted by scottq at 7:25 AM PST - 131 comments

I wish I was never born
It's a Wonderful Life in 30 seconds, re-enacted by bunnies.
posted by driveler at 6:45 AM PST - 38 comments

Whose sorry now?
Who's sorry now? Artists! Have you ever felt the need to apologise for the hurt caused by your Satan promoting work? Have you ever been forced to apologise or see your public funding withheld in contravention of the European Convention on Human Rights? Have you then decided to say sorry by organising a parade, whipping yourself and leaving wreaths outside cityhall?
posted by Damienmce at 6:38 AM PST - 6 comments

Grand-Guignol
The Theatre du Grand-Guignol was a French theatre that was famous for one thing: bloody awful plays. The theatre produced gory plays that gauged its success by the amount of people that fainted in the audience. unfortunately due to the excessive amount of violence in their plays, they became a parody of themselves. People lost interest and the form of gore theatre was lost. until fairly recently.
posted by joelf at 5:14 AM PST - 12 comments

Finnish police raid BitTorrent site
Finnish police raid BitTorrent site "Around 30 volunteers who helped moderate the site were also arrested....MPAA is co-operating in criminal investigations with police in Finland, the Netherlands and France, so it is reasonable to infer that reports of raids in more European countries are likely to surface shortly." I was about to look into using BitTorrent given the positive feedback - maybe I should wait.
posted by Voyageman at 2:32 AM PST - 82 comments

Elimination Dance
Elimination Dance A quicktime movie based on Michael Ondaatje's poem. "The rules of the dance are simple: if the caller announces a circumstance that has occurred in the lifetime of you or your partner, you must leave the dance floor at once."
posted by dhruva at 12:04 AM PST - 29 comments

December 14
Cal Thomas wants babies to suffer...
Cal Thomas doesn't want 'mercy killings'. This man is an idiot. But don't take my word for it. (From Viewropa/Sikkema.)
posted by codeofconduct at 9:29 PM PST - 54 comments

because just like mistletoe, I'm totally hung...
GIVE ME A WEAPON OF MASS AFFECTION a boy band (called Boy O Boy) that sings a song like you've never heard/seen before (quicktime video, in a popup, but oh so worth it)
posted by mathowie at 8:58 PM PST - 69 comments

If Mohammed Cannot Come To The Seminar...
Seminar in Texas. "Tribute to the Great Visionary." It's a triumph in both graphic design and public relations.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:12 PM PST - 25 comments

But where is Danny Bonudce
Thanks to our new service you too can spend quality time with Kato Kaelin. Unfortunately, Leon Spinks is currently unavailable. And if you think you might want to sleep or use your phone during the next week, make sure to read the faq.
posted by alms at 6:48 PM PST - 20 comments

Who's Your Daddy?
Protective Pairing for Punks: a primer on sexual relationships in prison. (no images, text mildly NSFW) Also: The Lexicon of Prison Slang, and essays by condemned prisoner Michael Hunter.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:37 PM PST - 149 comments

Do you mind if I don't smoke?
"My Acid Trip with Groucho"
In the preparation for a highly zany/psychedelic/recommended movie called "Skidoo" (directed by Otto Preminger, starring Jackie Gleason, and featuring music by Harry Nilsson), Groucho Marx takes LSD.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:17 PM PST - 19 comments

Play a Harry Partch Instrument.
Play a Harry Partch Instrument. Visionary musican Harry Partch (1901-1971) built his own incredible Just Intonated instruments. You can now play them all with your keyboard!
posted by ubueditor at 5:07 PM PST - 16 comments

The intricate underbelly of civilization.
His ability to create a home in a city drawbridge was instinctual. "You've got to be kind of agile," he said. "You can't be a idiot.... It doesn't take long to figure out what you need to do. How long has mankind lived in caves? The first time it was scary. After that, it was almost like riding a Ferris wheel.''
posted by naomi at 3:32 PM PST - 33 comments

Are you a monkey or a man?
"The lawsuits are coming," school board member Angie Yingling said. "It's like being on the Titanic. Everyone seems to see the iceberg, but no one is steering away." The ACLU sued the Dover (Pennsylvania) Area School District today to prevent the district from enacting their recent controversial decision to teach "intelligent design" in the classroom.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:26 PM PST - 39 comments

Greyscales?
The vOICe: Seeing with sound {java} “...vertical positions of points in a visual sound are represented by pitch, while horizontal positions are represented by time-after-click. Brightness is represented by loudness. In this manner, pixels become... voicels!”
posted by Cryptical Envelopment at 3:10 PM PST - 26 comments

Christians and Muslims. eying each other with interest
The Truth About Muslims. William Dalrymple, one of those rare historians who can really write (his books From the Holy Mountain and White Mughals have gotten rave reviews), takes on Bernard Lewis and gives some fascinating information about the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims through the centuries:
Fletcher also stresses the degree to which the Muslim armies were welcomed as liberators by the Syriac and Coptic Christians, who had suffered discrimination under the strictly Orthodox Byzantines: "To the persecuted Monophysite Christians of Syria and Egypt, Muslims could be presented as deliverers. The same could be said of the persecuted Jews.... Released from the bondage of Constantinopolitan persecution they flourished as never before, generating in the process a rich spiritual literature in hymns, prayers, sermons and devotional work."
posted by languagehat at 2:36 PM PST - 18 comments

Electrons are for weaklings
LEGO Logic Gates - It's like Babbage, but with bricks. All the gates except XOR are here, and he goes on to develop a clocked flip-flop. While practical mechanical computers may be out, even at the nanotechnological scale, nanomechanical memory may be in.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 2:27 PM PST - 14 comments

Finally, a place to keep my porn safe.
One Terabyte?! I remember the good old days. Back when I was a kid and Gmail revolutionized communication by offering 1 gigabytes of storage to it's users. Well step aside, G. These crazy bikers are giving away 1000 GB accounts with a whopping 500 MB limit on attachments. And no ads?! Is this really possible? Think of the bandwidth.
posted by drpynchon at 2:13 PM PST - 26 comments

Thanks xtina
iPod only plays songs that are less than 14 years old.
posted by cmicali at 2:06 PM PST - 48 comments

more simian than human
'Contributed To Culture Of Death' That Spawned His Killer? That's the charge that William Grim, Contributing Editor of the popular conservative web site The Iconoclast makes. There is a thread at Blabbermouth on this, but I'd like to hear what you folks think. Me? It's been a while since I've been called a barbarian.
posted by kmartino at 1:37 PM PST - 44 comments

Map of the USA
Map of the USA
I found this beautiful map in my parent's house and thought I might share it.It was issued by the Secretary of State and handed out to Germans I believe in the late fifties or early sixties.
posted by ronsens at 11:01 AM PST - 79 comments

Is a smaller school always a better school?
Is a smaller school always a better school? School districts across the US are seizing on size as the key to reform. But some experts worry that the rush to create smaller schools is happening too fast.
posted by Postroad at 10:12 AM PST - 33 comments

You down wit G.O.D.? (yeah you know me)
Christian Gangsta Rap is the hottest new thang, G (and we're talking about tha big "G" if ya know watta mean). Make sure to check out "God Side Jam" by "Preachas in Tha Hood" or the "Gospel Gangstaz" with their hit song "Holy Tera" and who can forget the timeless classic "Demon Killa" by "Str8 Young Gangstaz" (not t be confused with the evil Gay Ol' Prankstaz)
posted by Hands of Manos at 9:54 AM PST - 66 comments

next big thing: digg
yesterday: news.com
today: Slashdot
tomorrow: digg
posted by johnnydark at 9:21 AM PST - 23 comments

The Next War?
Is the next war unavoidable? China is now building a large amphibious fleet, with the sole purpose of invading Taiwan. This joins its ever-growing and formidable surface and submarine fleets. Thousands of coastal surface-to-surface missiles, with dozens added each month, now face Taiwan. For its part, Taiwan is considering an $18 Billion arms purchase from the US. India is ramping up its military might, and even Japan is changing its neutral defense policies. Is a major Asian conflict coming soon?
posted by kablam at 8:57 AM PST - 106 comments

RSS frenzy
Bot-a-blog emails up to 25 blogs (RSS) updates to you, gregarius lets you roll your own homepage to keep track of all the RSS feeds you read, sharpreader works on windows thinfeeder does it with java. How do you take your RSS, with one or two sugars?
posted by dabitch at 8:36 AM PST - 32 comments

Life in China: Photos
Life In China: A Series of Photos Without Words, For The Mysterious Beauty and Contradictions of China. By EastSouthWestNorth, via Simon World, Asia by Blog.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:24 AM PST - 19 comments

You Are/I Am
You are beautiful. is a project that reminds me of this. (previously discussed here.) Be sure to check out the postcards and books. I've signed up to participate.
posted by modernsquid at 7:54 AM PST - 21 comments

3 young writers achieve acclaim years after their deaths from cancer
Although cancer got these three young writers before their books were published, their now-acclaimed work -- from children's inspirational to humorous fantasy to coming of age (book and movie) -- was brought to life by the efforts of parents or a brother or friends.
posted by escorter at 7:19 AM PST - 1 comments

Because it's too big a sack for one man to carry.
Elfster is a free web-based utility for automating Secret Santa gift exchanges. My office is Holiday-Cheer-Challenged this year, but after finding Elfster, things are looking up. There's nothing a tech company likes more than a new-fangled spin on a classic.
posted by FlamingBore at 7:13 AM PST - 10 comments

Arizona hardcore punk flyer archive
A Punk Rock Flyer Archive 1982-1984. "This site contains an archive of flyers for mostly hardcore punk gigs from the era 1982 to 1984 that took place in Tucson Arizona, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Historical narrative and observations are included as well as stickers, various handbills, and other curiosities from the same era."
posted by greasy_skillet at 7:02 AM PST - 20 comments

Bullets not included
Lego Beretta 9mm
posted by Orange Goblin at 4:18 AM PST - 30 comments

Google, the Library
Google to team up with the University of Michigan and Harvard University to make their extensive libraries available online. According to the agreement, Google will make available all books in the public domain; the universities can put the material to whatever use they see fit. Others have made attempts before, but none with the sheer might of Google. [via /.]
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:15 AM PST - 71 comments

December 13
If he buys a car, he's doomed to be victim of chaos, traffic and mechanics stinginess.
Neuro is a new Flash cartoon by Bruno Bozzetto, an Italian animator most well-known for creating the character Mr. Rossi. In 1965, Bozzetto was the only Italian to create and produce an animated feature film in over 20 years. Check out the rest of his excellent site, which includes a bio, clips from his older work, and some more recent Flash cartoons. I recommend the short Europe and Italy.
posted by painquale at 11:52 PM PST - 8 comments

The most influential philosopher alive?
"Same-sex marriage? Euthanasia? Child's play issues in the avant-garde philosophy of Peter Singer" (Singer has been the subject of previous MeFi discussions). Having only skimmed those earlier threads, I don't know enough about Singer to usefully comment about the accuracy of World Magazine's interpretation of his views. What I found interesting was the tone of the article. The writer appears at times to bend over backwards to show that, while he thinks Singer's ideas are reprehensible, Singer himself seems like an OK guy (eg. "He approves of polyamory in the abstract but in his own life, to his credit, he has been married for 35 years to one woman"). Is World Magazine (mission: "To report, interpret, and illustrate the news ... from a perspective committed to the Bible as the inerrant Word of God") trying to present a balanced portrait of Singer and his views? Or is he being portrayed as a wolf in sheep's clothing? (original link courtesy of Arts & Letters Daily)
posted by e-man at 11:31 PM PST - 63 comments

Francis Bacon Studios
No artist's palette was found in the studio and the artist appears to have used just about anything he could find as a substitute. Even the walls of the studio itself were used to mix and test paints.
posted by symbioid at 10:51 PM PST - 26 comments

Particle physics zine.
Symmetry magazine.
posted by Gyan at 10:40 PM PST - 11 comments

The Wisdom of Super Sadhu
The Wisdom of Super Sadhu: An Indian Sadhu, or holy man, expounds upon sexuality. Entries are scrawled out in a nearly illegible longhand and mailed to turbanhead, who transcribes them into blog form so the spiruatally bankrupt technoratti can get their learn on. Not to be confused with the other, less sexy Super Sadhu.
posted by ba at 10:30 PM PST - 9 comments

Lab-Tested
"LAB-TESTED: Just which toys, bowls, crates, etc. can stand up to the tender attentions of a young and determined Labrador Retreiver?" A Consumer Reports-like website for testing stuff to see how it will stand up to a big dog. My favorite item. What a neat way to write your dog off as a business expense!
posted by Doohickie at 9:07 PM PST - 22 comments

Mail Art
Nick Bantock's gorgeous Griffin and Sabine series is based on mail art, a medium with a long history. Developed in the mid-20th century by Ray Johnson and his contemporaries, today the community thrives, with the internet allowing dissemination beyond the reach of point-to-point mail.
posted by dmd at 8:53 PM PST - 12 comments

generative arts
Jason Freeman created N.A.G. (Network Auralization for Gnutella), which turns peer-to-peer keyword searches into chaotic audio collages. Also, my favorite METAMIX, which algorithmically remixes user-selected source material into new music. They are both incredibly fun, and useful(be you a musician) programs. Also, runme.org and generative.net are two fun sites that host links to a cavalcade of software art.
posted by onkelchrispy at 8:31 PM PST - 3 comments

Computer Rage is all the rage...
At least 10 percent of high-tech gifts this holiday season may fall victim to "computer rage" - acts of uncontrolled frustration by their owners - estimates University of Maryland professor Kent Norman, a cognitive psychologist who directs the Laboratory for Automation Psychology and Decision Processes.
posted by mhaw at 7:42 PM PST - 10 comments

Donations appreciated...
Donations appreciated... "The male species is doomed, says Bryan Sykes, professor of human genetics at Oxford University. And a woman-only world is possible." More here, and here.
posted by docpops at 6:26 PM PST - 49 comments

CARtoons
CARtoons was MAD Magazine for the hot-rod enthusiast, a bimonthly magazine-format comic book which I used to read regularly until it quietly disappeared from the newsracks in 1991 after a 30-year run. Reminded of the magazine earlier I was thrilled to find the website of George Trosley, the long-term CARtoons artist behind Krass and Bernie and the magazine's excellent how-to-draw articles whose results decorated my binders through high school. Those who remember the mag might enjoy the CARtoons archive he hosts, with scans of features and covers and writeups about the mag and its artists, many of whom passed away too soon. Still need a wild hot-rod fix? Ed "Big Daddy" Roth passed away in 2001, but Rat Fink lives on.
posted by mendel at 6:19 PM PST - 19 comments

What I had come looking for were the secrets to my father's murder.
What I had come looking for were the secrets to my father's murder. [LA Times link] In 1972, when Mark Arax was 15, his father was killed by two unknown gunmen. He spent nearly three decades trying to solve the crime, and wrote a book about his investigation. Then a break in the case led to some suprising discoveries.
posted by kirkaracha at 5:03 PM PST - 27 comments

Nothing--you're screwed.
Safe Personal Computing. Bruce Schneier, cited frequently on Metafilter, has a new article on his blog in which he gives home users concrete actions they could take to improve security. As the holidays come and I make the rounds to disinfect and repair all my family's computers, I'll be printing this out and sticking copies to their monitors.
posted by sohcahtoa at 2:11 PM PST - 73 comments

world-wide t-ball scores
Backfence.com wants to see a thousand tiny websites bloom, created by neighbors, for neighbors, and supported by local advertising. The founders' assumption is that many little people creating content for free will put big dollars in their pockets. (WaPo link, reg. req.) Is there an information gap in your life that "hyperlocal" websites could fill?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:03 PM PST - 20 comments

All killer no filler
"You can't buy any better heroin in the world than you can buy in New Jersey" The Drug Enforcement Agency cites New Jersey has having the purest heroin in the United States.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 12:41 PM PST - 32 comments

Just as every cop is a criminal and all the sinners saints
Prison, gangs, people, and boxing: photography by Chris Cozzone.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:25 AM PST - 8 comments

From Hlohovec to Sárospatak
Watercolor landscapes of Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, and Hungary by Thomas Ender (1793-1875). The main frame for each painting allows you to open a large view, or read about the region depicted.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:23 AM PST - 7 comments

Where's the Cup Holder?
My Wife, The Coffee Table (Google cache)
Geocities Original (with awful Google Adsense ads covering the text on the right).
While I feel bad for the guy losing his wife at such a young age, I'm not sure that having her interred for all eternity in the living room isn't just a little damned creepy. Especially if he started dating again.
"Some of his friends and relatives, filled with fear, stop visiting Jeff. His true friends respected his decision and continue visiting him." No mention of whether his true family respects his decision and visits him still.
But if you think this is how you'd like to spend eternity or how you'd like your loved on to spend eternity then go hit up CasketFurniture (who now have a cool casket shaped pool table too), previously discussed in the Blue 1st here and again here.
posted by fenriq at 11:02 AM PST - 33 comments

iPod My Photo
iPod My Photo - Transform your photos into iPod ads
posted by puke & cry at 10:57 AM PST - 39 comments

Note use of
The Sudan crisis isn't going away. Darfur is a dead link. This Christmas, I urge you, leave your favorite animal charity in the care of the Western world's army of old ladies, and instead use your money for the immediate saving of those most desperate of human lives.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:41 AM PST - 34 comments

There is a special place in hell for Bush
Caring for the Wounded in Iraq. A photo essay in the New England Journal of Medicine. (NSFW)
posted by EmoChild at 10:35 AM PST - 14 comments

"The poetry, if there is any, comes from the tautness. It arises out of simplification"
"When one is in prison, the most important thing is the door". The precise coordination of every element of filmmaking -- camera distance, sound, theme, narrative, motion, color, human action -- so that it functions with rhythmic clarity: that is the cinema of Robert Bresson, who died five years ago aged 98. A "Christian atheist" by his own description, he made only 13 films (and a short) and created a cinema of paradox, in which "the denial of emotion creates emotionally overwhelming works, the withholding of information makes for narrative density, and attention to 'the surface of the work' produces inexhaustible depth". Paul Schrader, the most famous among Bresson scholars, wrote that "Bresson has seemed like God himself; distant, beyond communication. Now, like God, Bresson is dead". More inside.
posted by matteo at 10:30 AM PST - 12 comments

Gimme That Ol' Time Phallus Worship
The ancient concept of the sacred phallus in spirituality, art, and culture (that is, before moralistic taboos attempted to mute phallic representations with fig leaves for the geniality of civilization). Obviously NSFW.
posted by moonbird at 10:18 AM PST - 6 comments

Reservists punished for resourfulness
Six reservists from the unit located in my hometown of Springfield, OH were court-Martialed for scrounging abandoned military vehicles so they could do their jobs delivering fuel to troops on the front line. Any other war previous such recycling would have gotten them commendations for resourcefulness, but because this only highlights the administrations lack of troop support and the war's poor equipment disbursement from military contractors showing their incompetence, someone has to pay for doing their jobs.
posted by Dome-O-Rama at 10:13 AM PST - 34 comments

You LOOK like a real prince, but YOU ARE A BUM.
The man who brought us The Paper Bag Princess and Love You Forever, Robert Munsch is Canada's best-selling author and, though originally from Pittsburgh, a Member of the Order of Canada. His website contains descriptions of his books and mp3s of his entertaining readings of them as well as stories written collaboratively with kids he meets on his reading tours. A former Jesuit-priest-in training, he will once again act as Honorary Celebrity Chair for ABC CANADA Literacy Foundation's 2005 Family Literacy Day. The CBC aired a documentary about his life on November 7, 2000 (video excerpt [.ram]). See also: many lesson plans for teachers using his books.
posted by heatherann at 10:08 AM PST - 13 comments

Wish I had this much spare time...
Can this matrixy eye candy be considered bunraku?
posted by Specklet at 10:05 AM PST - 17 comments

Living the life of an inter-net superstar
drew*#*#^*# - among the few sites about which I wax nostalgic, drew was one of the first really hilarious (imo) inter-net sites I discovered. Unfortunately, the site has become defunct (for the most part), but that's why God made the Wayback Machine, which allows you to view the past archives. Besides his various writings (including an unfinished novel entitled Temp Jobbin'), he gained relative internet stardom for his lego porn site, which due to litigation he had to change to block-structure porn. He also popularized Domokun and received a great deal of hate for his instructions on how to kill squirrels with electricity. He even took the time to register morrisseydance.com. Lately drew has been writing for .net magazine and drawing and sellings images through toothpaste for dinner. drew doesn't suit your taste? Perhaps you'd like other dumbrella member sites including diesel sweeties and exploding dog.
posted by Frankieist at 9:43 AM PST - 16 comments

Apparent Suicide
Investigative journalist Gary Webb found dead of an apparent suicide. Webb is known for his Dark Alliance series, linking the CIA to drug trafficking. As you can imagine, not everyone responded well to his work, especially his employer. An interview with Webb can be found here.

Gary Webb: I look like an idiot up here with all these mikes, the CIA agents are probably behind one or the other... [laughter from the audience]. - Jan 16, 1999
posted by odinsdream at 8:59 AM PST - 45 comments

Bluetooth Christmas Tree
The Tate Britain Christmas Tree
Every year the Tate Britain art gallery invites an artist to design a Christmas Tree to put on display. This year, artist Richard Wentworth has incorporated a bluetooth receiver into his tree. Files sent to the tree, or uploaded via the web, will be "unwrapped" online on Christmas Day.
posted by Mwongozi at 8:33 AM PST - 3 comments

Playing with the Queen of Pins
Does bowling bore you? Kirsten Easthope maybe able to spice things up. She takes bowling pins and paints "Pin Up" girls on them (get it? pin up girls, on pins!...clever eh!). sfw -- but do know it's pin up work
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:50 AM PST - 22 comments

Travel Aggregators
Upstart travel sites challenge the big three Catering to skinflints who can't be bothered to check multiple sites for the best fares, travel aggregator sites like Mobissimo, CheapFlights, Qixo, or Sidestep allow you to search Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity with a single query, as well as bargain airlines like JetBlue and Southwest, which aren't covered by the big three. (note: Sidestep requires a download, and only works on Windows; the others are all just regular websites.) But maybe you'd be best off just heading straight to an obscure Belgian travel site.
posted by yankeefog at 7:16 AM PST - 13 comments

...meet the new (toon) boss...
Meet my favorite "new" 'toonist, if you haven't already. Andy Singer: I'm currently reading his latest "No Exit" collection about five times a week, but you can find free samples on his website, his CarToons over at Slate, some BikeToons at BikeReader.com, not to mention more in dozens of papers, mags and books, and on the web. (Interview.)
posted by Shane at 6:54 AM PST - 8 comments

Lydiard Dies
Legendary running coach Arthur Lydiard died this weekend at age 87. Q and A with Lydiard here. Obit via Boomberg here. NYTimes obit here. Lydiard had been travelling through the US on a final lecture tour. Among distance runners Lydiard is a hero. Two of his athletes won gold medals for New Zealand at the 1960 Olympics, and Peter Snell went on to dominate the middle distance running at the 1964 Games, taking home two gold medals, the only man since 1920 to win both the 800m and the 1500m. Lydiard coached Mexican, Japanese and Finnish runners to Gold medal performances, and his philosophy of training has influenced countless other runners. Finland thought that he was important enough to the success of their runner's to award him the White Cross (eq. of a knighthood), making him the only non-Finn to be given the award. Lydiard's approach was high-mileage, aerobic conditioning. Even his middle distance runners trained 100 miles/week. He felt that too many athletes were training for speed first and endurance second. One of his lectures, explaining some of the science behind his theories, is here.
posted by OmieWise at 6:12 AM PST - 10 comments

New Power for 'Old Europe'
New Power for 'Old Europe'
"Since the fall of the Berlin wall, the European Union has been steadily transforming itself from a facilitator of trade to a sophisticated geopolitical power with the teeth to back up its policies... Over the past decade, EU member states have ceded governing and enforcement authority to Brussels in areas ranging from environmental regulation to food safety, accounting standards, telecommunications policy and oversight of corporate mergers."
posted by Irontom at 5:47 AM PST - 26 comments

Logistical issues threaten to undermine Iraqi elections.
Logistical issues threaten to undermine Iraqi elections. "I just can't see how we can hold these elections," an American consultant working with Iraqi election planners said on the condition of anonymity." I found out about this story, btw, from someone working on the elections in Baghdad. They write: "We've got a leak. Someone, an American, is talking to the press. And ___ is *pissed*. It's a good article, though... er, even though I'm not commenting on it. Or expressing an opinion. But if you've got any interest in these elections, you should read it."
They also cited several of the problems they are having: "Because our meal times are regulated by (KBR), it only allows us about five hours a day . . . with our Iraqi counterparts. Iraqis bolt for home at around 3 PM to avoid being shot in the head or blown up . . . After a mortar attack, car bomb, or any other security related exercise, the US military shuts down the Iraqna mobile phone network . . . We have become the focal point for . . . everything that the Iraqi staff cannot handle . . . which includes getting people (and) equipment into the building, getting water (and) lunch for day laborers, preventing mass resignations due to salary disputes, replacing windows broken by car bombs, removing trash, cleaning toilets, fixing locks, moving (and unpacking) boxes . . . It makes it difficult to get our actual jobs done, although I have forgotten what those are."

posted by insomnia_lj at 2:19 AM PST - 6 comments

Old wax in your ears. Whats next?
"Its like a fancy xerox machine": taking unplayable, broken, cracked, or worn-out wax cylinders and shellac disks, Lawrence Berkeley Lab scientists have found a way to image the grooves directly into digital sound files (some examples on this page). News summaries on this research make me think of obsolete computer media and the digital archaeology that may be needed to read them. What stable media should we use to communicate with the future? High density analog disks are one idea, nuclear waste warning monuments (long, surreal PDF) are another, and, of course, who can forget the pictographs for aliens sent out with Pioneer 10?. Serious thinking about this at the Long Now Foundation and the Foundation for the Future.
posted by Rumple at 1:37 AM PST - 13 comments

December 12
A modern myth of creation
The History of the Universe.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:45 PM PST - 26 comments

Extreme Ironing
Extreme Ironing! Climb that mountain, then have a nicely pressed shirt for on the way down!
posted by qDot at 7:16 PM PST - 12 comments

i liek prisms tnaks
thing i liek
thing i haet
its is a red alart2 staratagy xtravvagazna.
percys red alrt 2 web paeg
posted by y2karl at 5:59 PM PST - 46 comments

Cock-a-doodle-doo. What, what?
20,000 genes and splices: the Colonel's Secret Recipe revealed! Even the fanciest chickens won't be able to ignore their genetic cousins now.
posted by naomi at 5:38 PM PST - 32 comments

Chinatown In Trouble
Help Save Chinatown Nope, not the Polanski classic, but London's Chinatown. I found this on the Reverend Rat's London street life blog, and the BBC seems to confirm it: London's Chinatown is becoming a victim of its own commercial success, in stark contrast to some others in the world which are shrinking dramatically or being superseded by the so-called ethnoburbs.
If you don't know much about Chinatowns, the Wiki entry is as a good place to start as any.
posted by runkelfinker at 4:54 PM PST - 7 comments

Let's play 20 questions!
20 questions, AI style. Pretty amazing... and addictive. It guessed "Superman" in 15 questions, "harmonica" in 18..."tampon" in 20.
posted by jeremy b at 4:50 PM PST - 85 comments

A misattribution no longer to be put up with
A Misattribution no longer to be put up with -- If you think that it was Winston Churchill who dissed a copy editor's correction as "nonsense up with which I will not put", think again. And if you think that the line is a good argument for stranding prepositions at the end of relative clauses, regardless of who wrote it, re-think that one too.
posted by myl at 3:43 PM PST - 29 comments

Your vote counts, until the memory is full.
Oops. Touch-screen errors led to loss of 4,400 ballots in North Carolina election.
posted by drezdn at 3:23 PM PST - 48 comments

Charities refuse strip club donations.
Strip clubs are associated with spreading legs, not spreading the wealth. And apparently that's the way a lot of charities in the San Francisco area want it to stay. The reason? They don't want to be associated with "those people" i.e., the skin trade. This in a city where buttless chaps are considered casual wear. [SF Gate article, about a year old, but I doubt anything has changed.]
posted by zorro astor at 3:07 PM PST - 19 comments

A whole new meaning to the phrase "giving the finger"
Ring vs. finger...finger loses "When Marine Lance Cpl. David Battle learned he'd either have to sacrifice his ring finger or the wedding band he wore, he told doctors at a field hospital in Iraq to cut off the finger." Incredibly romantic or incredibly retarded? You decide...
posted by echolalia67 at 2:08 PM PST - 90 comments

Hiroshi Sugmoto's Mathematical Photographs
Beautiful Mathematical Surfaces : "Conceptual Forms," a series of photographs by Hiroshi Sugimoto, conceived as an hommage to Marcel Duchamp (English summary) and as an un-Man Ray-like treatment of the subject, consisting of (English summary) "Mathematical Forms" ("Curves" and "Surfaces") and Mechanical Forms.
posted by Zurishaddai at 1:34 PM PST - 10 comments

25 best designs of 2004
Your distinguished panel chooses Fortune Magazine's 25 best product designs of 2004.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:23 PM PST - 19 comments

hammer, sure, but against whom?
Who are today's Maccabees? Fundamentalists fighting a secular culture? Or as our president states in his Hanukkah message, our brave soldiers in Iraq? Or is it the Iraqis themselves, rebelling against an invading and occupying force? Or is it the white supremacists? The enduring power of a symbol of resistance and its many and incompatible uses--all in time for Hanukkah.
posted by amberglow at 12:54 PM PST - 26 comments

Winter's nothing like she used to be.
Winter in Minnesota aint nothin like she used to be.

Once upon a time, winter meant more than an extra 15 minutes stuck in traffic in a car with heated seats, a CD player, and a good excuse for getting to work late.

"...After great toil they reached the scene of distress and found many dead; and what was more horrible, the living feeding on the corpses of their relatives."

posted by santiagogo at 11:22 AM PST - 30 comments

The 'Acting White' Myth.
The 'Acting White' Myth. When smart black kids try hard and do well, they are picked on by their less successful peers for 'acting white.' But it isn't true.
posted by Lisa S at 10:15 AM PST - 45 comments

Most Ridiculous Item Ever Sold on Ebay
For that person who has bought everything on ebay; presenting the most ridiculous item sold on ebay.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:35 AM PST - 26 comments

All Warm & Comfy Now?
Bowed by Age and Battered by an Addicted Nephew 'They went out late. It was ugly weather. Six below zero in the Brooklyn night. Wind took garbage into the air. A blizzard was in the forecast. It was Lincoln's Birthday, 2003, in Brighton Beach. Not a night for humankind, but the sisters, one 73 and the other 70, didn't get holidays off, didn't get snow days. In years of miserable low points, it was one of the lowest. As they had done the day before and the day before that, Lillian and Julia hobbled out to Coney Island Avenue, a lineup of chromatic storefronts, to beg from strangers in their cars. They were known out there, regulars among the mendicants. The money was for their bilious nephew and his crack habit, their own blood who was smoking up their lives. He had already cost them their house, their savings, their dignity. "I need one more," he would tell them when he desired a hit, "one more." Not comply and he would fly into crazed tirades, blacken an eye, bruise their ribs. It had been this way for years, since their lives stopped being comprehensible. ' [From the New York Times; they'll want registration, if you haven't already.]
posted by davy at 8:05 AM PST - 18 comments

Culture Jamming Myth
Hate consumer culture? Authors of the new book, Rebel Sell, argue you've been co opted by the very consumer culture you thought you had rejected
posted by squeak at 12:39 AM PST - 196 comments

You are where you live
You are where you live. (Click "Zip Code Lookup" in lower right.)
posted by rafter at 12:03 AM PST - 52 comments

December 11
Mashing the Montego
A Senior Moment The sign of a good specialist writer is the ability to amuse those who aren't specialists, or even enthusiasts, of their particular field. Dan Neil of LA Times is probably the most entertaining automotive writing around. Here, regarding the Montego, he asks the Mercury people, "What were you thinking?" (Registration might be necessary). He's also funny when doing positive reviews, as when drooling over the Acura. No particular car lust required.
posted by QuietDesperation at 11:25 PM PST - 17 comments

Buy Nothing Christmas
The perfect Christmas gift for the geek in your life. Or maybe you need something for your new niece or nephew? Then again, this site may have all the stuff on your gift shopping list.
posted by Doohickie at 10:10 PM PST - 24 comments

Behind every man alive stand thirty ghosts
2001: A Space Odyssey
"This site showcases the printed program for Stanley Kubrick's film, 2001: A Space Odyssey."
via Haddock
posted by thatwhichfalls at 8:16 PM PST - 14 comments

Have you driven a couch lately?
Brent and Eivind's Couchbike Adventure. "In 2002, two intrepid cyclists rode a human powered couch through Maritime Canada." Via Gadling.
posted by mcwetboy at 6:06 PM PST - 11 comments

That which is old is new again...
Chicago - Then and Now. Chicagoan Luke Seemann takes Charles Cushman's early Chicago photos and attempts to recreate them from the same perspective with sometimes startling results.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:43 PM PST - 28 comments

19th Century Etiquette for Gentlemen
19th Century Etiquette: For Gentlemen How to keep yourself from looking like an ass if you happen to go back in time. Funny. "If one is walking with a friend, and happens to run into another, one is not obligated--indeed, one is discouraged--to introduce them to each other. So one can completely ignore the first friend while carrying on a conversation with the second, leaving the first to smile absent-mindedly, look in window shops, and half-heartedly laugh at comments you make even though he really has no idea what you're talking about."
posted by Count Ziggurat at 4:18 PM PST - 27 comments

War of the Worlds!
The new War of the Worlds movie will premiere in June '05. Based on H.G. Wells book, (e-text), the story terrified thousands of American radio listeners and caused a panic on October 30, 1938. That night, a series of increasingly alarming breaking news reports (narrated by a young Orson Welles) about an invading force of Martians interrupted the Mercury Theater show on WABC radio in NYC. Welles had announced at the start of the hour that he was reading a story, but most of the audience tuned in late and thought it was all real. More information can be found here and here. Wav files of the original broadcast can be downloaded (or purchased) from here. "They're bombing New Jersey!": Check out a picture of the NYTimes front page and full text of the article they ran the next day. War of the Worlds has been made into several films, including this one from 1953.
posted by zarq at 3:33 PM PST - 69 comments

tomato, tomahto
Tomatoes! They are delicious, or at least they used to be. First came ethylene ripening and monoculture which turned them into tasteless red baseballs, and taste was't the only problem. Then came this year's hurricanes which decimated the crops, driving prices up. And now, just when you think you've found a really tasty variant on the market with the wonderfully appropriate name of UglyRipe, the state growers board goes and bans them for being too ugly. If you agree that this sucks go and tell the guys in charge.

Man, that little red fruit sure does seem to cause a lot of trouble. Maybe we should try to smash them all.
posted by allan at 2:17 PM PST - 51 comments

Last Meals.
The Last Request: Selected Last Meals of Texas Death Row Inmates. [flash] [+]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:10 PM PST - 23 comments

Pause Online: Music Videos
Pause Online (Flash, QT content) An eclectic collection of music videos by various directors (Spike Jonze, Michael Gondry) and in certain categories (New York New York, French New Wave, Sonic Animation). Flash navigation sucks but you do get Matchbox 20!
posted by Cryptical Envelopment at 12:56 PM PST - 20 comments

Matches & matchbooks
Matches & matchbooks: History (and more history [urine???]), museum, the matchbook inventor, how safety matches are made, the matchbook as artform & chronicle of the 20th Century, obsession, or just an interesting diversion. Attempting to go match-less?
Hopefully an educational and entertaining weekend diversion on the subject of portable fire the old-fashioned way.
posted by spock at 12:05 PM PST - 11 comments

Over One Million Served And Over Half Now Prefer Home Cooking
1 million U.S. troops have gone to war The data also show that one out of every three of those service members has gone more than once. The Pentagon says more than 5,500 servicemen have deserted since the war started in Iraq. Few experts are surprised to hear that a recent army survey discovered that half the soldiers were not planning to re-enlist. Experts are divided over how stretched America’s military really is. But they agree that another conflict would put the military in overdrive. Another war would require a shift to a “no-kidding wartime posture in which everybody who could shoot was given a rifle and sent to the front,” according to John Pike, of GlobalSecurity.org. - US Army plagued by desertion and plunging morale.
posted by y2karl at 12:04 PM PST - 52 comments

Ukraine candidate was poisoned
Following up on a previous discussion of the goings-on in Ukraine, it's now a CNN front-page story: Viktor Yushchenko was, in fact, poisoned with dioxin.
"There is no doubt about the fact that Mr. Yushchenko's disease has been caused by a case of poisoning by dioxin," Zimpfer said. "What we can say at this point is that this concentration constitutes an amount which is 1,000 times above the normal levels that you would find in blood or tissue... We have made a final diagnosis as well as an additional diagnosis, that we suspect a cause triggered by a third party. So there is suspicion of third party involvement... We can state that there has been an oral intake," he said, adding that it was not known if it was from eating or drinking.
I am currently smoothing the crinkles out of my tin-foil hat in preparation for its constant use throughout the rest of my life. (Or do you think it works better if it's crinkled?)
posted by logovisual at 11:21 AM PST - 28 comments

And the "Recedents", who are not the Residents.
Short movies of live performances by some avant-garde musicians, including Derek Bailey, Skeleton Crew, and The ROVA Sax Quartet. Last three links WMV
posted by kenko at 11:11 AM PST - 8 comments

Preach it, mister mathers
Eminem is Right If yesterday’s rock was the music of abandon, today’s is that of abandonment
posted by konolia at 6:16 AM PST - 96 comments

Chika Honda
In 1992 Chika Honda was a 36-year-old Japanese woman who accepted an offer from a regular customer, Mistuo at the pub she worked nights in, to join him and his brothers on a holiday to Australia - her first ever overseas trip. During a stopover in Kuala Lumpur their suitcases were stolen. Charlie, a business associate of Mistuo, offered to sort everything out and returned the next morning with their belongings in a new set of suitcases, claiming their luggage had been slashed with a knife. When the group arrived in Melbourne, customs found 13kg of heroin in the lining of their suitcases. Chika and the others were arrested, investigated, charged and later tried and sentenced.

Chika was eventually released and deported in 2002 after having served 10 years in Victorian prisons. She still maintains her innocence. Several documentaries about this case, known in Japan as the Melbourne Incident have been aired in Japan but very little coverage has been given in Australia. In one of the documentaries, Charlie completely exonerates Chika (PDF : See page 5). In 2002, her Japanese lawyers filed a submission to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to clear her name. Two years later and nothing has yet been achieved. The Australian government still admits no miscarriage of justice.

But she'll be right mate, we Aussies know what we're doing.
posted by DirtyCreature at 3:07 AM PST - 34 comments

Mapgeekery
That hole in the backyard would not have gone to China. In fact, most of MeFi's readers would have ended up causing quite a leak. With so many 2d projections out there, who can blame us? There is always this introduction to map projections. You can then make your own projection or your own globe. At least it's not as hard as a 2d spacetime map of the universe (with relativity!).
posted by ontic at 1:17 AM PST - 18 comments

Happy on the Plantation?
School Drops Slavery Booklet after it receives criticism about the book's description of slavery as a benign institution where the slaves led "a life of plenty, of simple pleasures." [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 12:55 AM PST - 38 comments

December 10
Scrooge Good
Scrooge Good Dr. Landsburg is not always correct or clear when he tries to show how us how to best think counter-intuitively. But, he might be onto something here. His recommendation to make "saving" more tax free is probably a great one.
posted by narebuc at 11:54 PM PST - 11 comments

You save $2,501 (33%)
241 titles on 282 disks, just $4,995 (after discount). It's the Criterion Collection Holiday 2004 Gift Set, exclusive from Amazon, all of the series' published DVD's through October*. One wonders who has the money for such a thing. (Not many -- current sales rank 26,154). Heck, for that kind of dough you can get one of these contraptions. Or, alternatively, you could feed 72 third world children for a year. Now, Criterion does great work, but as the comments point out, this supposedly complete collection does not include its out of print titles like John Woo's "The Killer" (current eBay bid: $148) and, sadly, the beloved This is Spinal Tap (High bid: $61). (At least it's a good investment). So, subtract the ones I already own and love, like The Third Man and some that are simply awful you could probably save scads with some selective shopping. Sure, it would be satisfying to own so much great film, but I find more and more I have no use for re-watching movies, unless I am joined in my satellite of love by some good companions. Anyway, happy consumer month!
posted by Slagman at 11:54 PM PST - 34 comments

The king of the sport of kings.
The king of the sport of kings. Official teletimer finish line photo - 8th race, Belmont Park, June 9th 1973. And here's the race itself [Windows Media file].
posted by e-man at 11:25 PM PST - 8 comments

Name that song
Name that song! Plug in any composer, band, album genre, year or style into the address bar and get a little personalized quiz.
posted by joelf at 11:25 PM PST - 10 comments

Hear them now and believe me later
Cower in fear girly-men for Crom has finally answered our prayers and brought to us a band which unites Arnold Schwarzenegger with the awesome forces of metal. Witness the awe-inspiring, towering colossus of sonic force that is ArnoCorps. (via BoingBoing and previously here)
Intrinsic within the genre, these songs are full of exotic, mysterious and unbelievable details, which are often critical of society and convey the views of the oppressed. It is this standpoint which has lead to ArnoCorps' aggressive sound and physical presence, which accentuate the emotive forces within the tales they convey. We insist that these songs not be experienced as audio or text alone. To truly experience the splendor that is ArnoCorps, you must go see them live. Come on! Do it now!!!

posted by euphorb at 11:07 PM PST - 3 comments

The MIT microturbine rotor has to turn two million rpm--more than 20,000 revolutions per second.
The MIT microturbine rotor has to turn two million rpm--more than 20,000 revolutions per second. Here's some current efforts. Micro Electric Machines (MEMS)pdf, the future of Aerospace Power Projection? Further interesting reading. pdf A couple of articles are a year-year and a half old, but still current in the analysis of "tiny technology". I find the concept of dime-size turbines to be fantastic!
posted by codeofconduct at 10:47 PM PST - 7 comments

Live Performance Painting
With a prepared canvas, these two artists create finished paintings in the time it takes bands to play one concert.
posted by mic stand at 10:31 PM PST - 5 comments

This Page Intentionally Left Blank
This Page Intentionally Left Blank. You just figure someone had to do it. In fact, it appears to be catching on all over.
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:24 PM PST - 59 comments

Massachusetts gays divorcing
Gay divorce Well, if the track record of straight marriages is any indication, this was bound to happen sooner or later. "Less than seven months after same-sex couples began tying the knot in Massachusetts, the state is seeing ts first gay divorces."
posted by livingsanctuary at 9:21 PM PST - 20 comments

Real Climate blog
RealClimate is a blog written by nine working climatologists from around the world (all experts in their field), focusing on explaining climate science, providing context to current reports in the mainstream media, and rebutting the fallacious arguments of carbon lobby hacks. (via World Changing)
posted by stbalbach at 8:49 PM PST - 6 comments

Another Blackhawk Down
I was in the Blackhawk mentioned in the above story, which is mostly accurate. I, along with six others, were on a mission last night heading into Mosul. An Apache was flying next to us. Some say that the Apache took evasive action after being targeted by an RPG. Unfortunately, in doing so, it collided w/ our helicopter and tore off our rotors completely. The Blackhawk then fell to the ground. Good thing was that we were pretty low to the ground when the collision occurred. Otherwise, there's no way I'm here right now. So begins a letter home from my brother, a grueling first-hand narrative from the front, so-to-speak. I have been putting his photos and letters home online for family and friends and thought some of you might appreciate reading what it's like to be over there.
posted by Qubit at 8:21 PM PST - 35 comments

Australia in pictures...
Australian Snapshots is one of those "give lots of people disposable cameras to take photos of their lives during a particular time" photo collections. In this case, the pictures were taken by Australians in regional areas during the 2004 Olympics. I know there are lots of these projects around, but they can often turn the ordinary into interesting or capture those things iconic to that community.
posted by AnnaRat at 7:55 PM PST - 6 comments

poor babies
An Epidemic! A kinda-not-so-scientific study of the celebrity "exhaustion" epidemic, from the NY Observer: There was no discernible difference in recovery time for patients who smoked and had sex with visitors (19.9 percent), but fatigue levels remained consistently high in patients who drank large amounts of wine and cried more than four hours per day (22.3 percent). Poor little Lindsay Lohan, working herself into the hospital--a modern-day little match girl, no?
posted by amberglow at 6:20 PM PST - 14 comments

I'll take lasers for $800, Alex
Sam's Laser FAQ is an online bible for laser enthusiasts (of all shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds). Curious novices can start by learning how lasers work and what is inside those nifty green laser pointers. Graduate students, why not fix up that large frame Argon-ion laser sitting the back of the lab? Or just build your own? Of course there are lots of pretty pictures and for hobbyists not terribly interested in glorious amounts of light, don't miss the wonderful discrete semiconductor test guide thrown in for free. And above all, MeFi, let's think safety.
posted by fatllama at 3:58 PM PST - 17 comments

The poetry of patents
Patentlysilly.com - a semi-regular rundown of strange, cool, scary, and silly patents. For the last 2 sets of entries, the authors have decided to become poetic...
posted by pitchblende at 3:05 PM PST - 10 comments

Barlow's War
Is John Barlow, cofounder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Grateful Dead lyricist, a threat to national security? "On September 15, 2003, I boarded Delta Flight 310, scheduled to depart San Francisco International Airport for JFK at 7:20 that morning. I was still feeling slightly singed from Burning Man and the hour was one I prefer to see from the other side. I was almost back to sleep when, roughly two minutes before pull-back, I was approached by a Delta employee who informed me that there was 'a problem' of some sort and that it would be necessary to get off the aircraft..."
posted by digaman at 2:22 PM PST - 172 comments

I
self-reference in song led me to self-reference in story, to quines in brainf**k, also alarm clocks for some reason, and finally here.
posted by 31d1 at 1:57 PM PST - 28 comments

I know we can discuss this with intelligence and civility
Noted British atheist Antony Flew has changed his mind, persuaded by scientific evidence that God exists and that "intelligence must have been involved" in the origin of life. As Professor Emeritus in Philosophy at the University of Reading and the author of several influential books on the subject of atheism, Flew was once one of rationalism's leading lights. He now compares his beliefs with the predominantly American concept of Intelligent Design. "My whole life has been guided by the principle of Plato's Socrates: Follow the evidence, wherever it leads," he says.
posted by gd779 at 1:38 PM PST - 172 comments

Revenge of the 1Ls
The Curse of the Family Palsgraf. "In the eight decades since the New York Court of Appeals in Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad outlined the two competing theories of proximate cause, a branch of the Palsgraf family has been beset by bad luck, serious injuries and losing lawsuits, just like their matriarch, Helen Palsgraf."
posted by adrober at 12:28 PM PST - 16 comments

This Is How Historical Fiction Should Be Done!
HBO's Deadwood is quite possibly the best television show ever produced. Not only is it amazingly gripping stuff, it's also meticulously researched. (Pretty easy to do when the entire city is a registered historic landmark.)
Sure, we all know that Wild Bill and Calamity Jane were real people. As it turns out, though, almost every main character in the show (and many minor ones) had a real life counterpart, as did many of the events.
Deadwood notables EB Farnum, Reverend H W Smith, Seth Bullock and his partner Sol Star, Colorado Charlie Utter, Al Swerengen with his Gem Saloon, and the crosseyed gambler Jack McCall all lived and breathed in one of America's most storied cities.
posted by absalom at 10:18 AM PST - 82 comments

Picturing America's National Parks
Picturing America's National Parks
Quang-Tuan Luong became the first person to photograph all 58 US national parks in 2002 and continues to do so, with over 3,600 photographs of them online. Last month, Scott Parker completed his two-year project of visiting all the national parks and documenting them in paint and pastel.
posted by driveler at 10:08 AM PST - 11 comments

Urban Gentrification and Eugenics
The connections between post-war urban reconstruction, demographics, social engineering, and eugenics are explored in this treasure trove of links, from things magazine.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:47 AM PST - 4 comments

The world's first multinational
The world's first multinational I found this informative piece via Arts&Letters. "Corporate greed, the ruination of traditional ways of life, share-price bubbles, western imperialism: all these modern complaints were made against the British East India Company in the 18th century. Nick Robins draws the lessons...
posted by Postroad at 9:07 AM PST - 12 comments

No Java for you, my Iranian friend.
No Java for you, my Iranian friend.
posted by hoder at 8:55 AM PST - 32 comments

silent but deadly?
has the media hit the "mute" button? the news is chock-full of accounts of a soldier challenging rumsfeld with a question that makes the news media look like the pack of lap dogs they are. so - where's the audio? the video? i, for one, want to hear those thousands of soldiers respond to the question.
posted by subpixel at 8:27 AM PST - 68 comments

Opening up government, because they're too slow to do it themselves
Hacking open democracy. First came FaxYourMP, so technophobe MPs could be easily contacted by the 'net generation. Next were PublicWhip, DowningStreetSays and TheyWorkForYou (previously discussed here and here) to help voters keep tabs on what their elected representatives get up to in office. Coming soon are FaxYourRepresentative/WriteToThem, NotApathetic and YourConstituencyMailingList. (MI).
posted by grahamspankee at 8:24 AM PST - 6 comments

Amazing little magazine
This tiny (24 pages or less!) magazine is the best graphic design pub around, even at six bucks a pop. I’m not a designer, but I’ve picked up enough from this that people think I am. And for you cheapskates, they’ve just done a $16 book with the best stuff from all the issues. Their site also has an interesting analysis of the Bush and Kerry logos, showing why one (guess which?) had serious flaws.
posted by escorter at 8:12 AM PST - 49 comments

googleFilter
A large number of people really don't know the finer points of search. For those people, Google has a suggestion.
posted by Mick at 7:07 AM PST - 46 comments

Could Tucker be right?
Canada's "Brain Drain" has been a growing concern among Canadians for a number of years. There are a number of reports (PDF) indicating that an increasing number of "highly skilled graduates in fields such as health, engineering and natural and applied sciences" have been heading south for work. There are guides to assist, first hand accounts, and even profiles of people who have left.
posted by purephase at 7:06 AM PST - 29 comments

Best Photos Of 2004 From Reuters
You can browse your way through the Reuters 2004 Pictures Of The Year over at Yahoo! News. They also have a Slide Show For Easier Viewing. They range from the Puzzling, to the Amusing, and Sad or kinda Creepy. Some took incredible Timing or Good Luck to capture. I only spotted a couple that looked familiar, including the kite surfing Kerry. My favorites, 2 men on fire, one Literally and one Figuratively.
posted by Blake at 6:50 AM PST - 15 comments

Lazy Like Me
Quitting The Paint Factory. Are you feeling overworked? Do you feel like you need more free time? In this essay from the November 2004 issue of Harper's Magazine, Mark Slouka argues that idleness is both a virtue, a health benefit and a requisite for a fully-formed personality. Keep it in mind the next time you feel guilty for doing "nothing" on your time off.
posted by The Card Cheat at 5:49 AM PST - 62 comments

Richard Dawkins on Nilsson/Pelger
Creationists argue that the complexity of the human eye could not have arrisen by random Darwinian natural selection, since it "must be perfect to work at all". The Nilsson and Pelger computer experiment refutes this with a method of awesome beauty, showing that a human-quality eye is not just possible under Darwinian evolution, but nigh-inevitable. This is from Do Good By Stealth, chapter 3 of River Out of Eden, which is maybe the greatest thing I've ever read.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:39 AM PST - 67 comments

Crosswords with numbers
Su Doku. Fill in the grid so that every row, every column, and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. That's all there is to it. It doesn't sound like much, but it's as addictive as hell. The Times is one publication with a daily puzzle (may be unavailable to overseas readers.) There a tuturial and sample puzzle here (flash).
posted by salmacis at 5:18 AM PST - 6 comments

New York Waits, Upstate Is Fed Security Pork
Less than 60 percent of federal homeland-security funding sent to New York State this year has ended up in New York City.

New York’s elected officials often complain about the way the Department of Homeland Security distributes money. They repeat the finding that America spends more money per capita securing Wyoming than protecting New York State. Quietly, however, New York officials in both parties have created a local copy of Congress’ spending priorities, distributing money to places like remote Wyoming County.

For example, Ontario County (pop. 100,000) is purchasing a climate-controlled mobile command post, said Jeffrey Harloff, director of the county’s emergency-management office. Mr. Harloff will buy the vehicle with his share of the Department of Homeland Security’s main grant to the state. How will he use the command post? It depends on who’s asking.

"If it’s the federal government asking me, it is for the intended purpose of W.M.D. incidents and HazMat incidents," Mr. Harloff said. "In reality, we’re going to use it for everyday stuff in our office."
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 1:56 AM PST - 41 comments

Impeach Blair
Teflon Tony Blair is a class act as a survivor but could he seriously face impeachment proceedings from These guys? So far its only the loons and the wannabees but how long before the case is taken up by The Prince of Darkness? It looks bad because his Pants are on Fire.
posted by Cancergiggles at 1:08 AM PST - 39 comments

December 9
Remember when this happened in My So-Called Life?
We will flirt for you for free! Virtual Wingman will write a funny email to the hot girl or guy you just met and will try to sweep them off their feet for you. Or apologize to your date for being a boor. Just fill out a form. Also, totally free.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:03 PM PST - 11 comments

Sociology
A hundred years of “The Protestant Ethic.” Elizabeth Kolbert on Max Weber in The New Yorker.
posted by semmi at 10:53 PM PST - 13 comments

Like a virgin, whee!
Sold, for 28,000! Remember that Virgin Mary in the Grilled Cheese? Well, an online casino bought the famed sandwich on e-bay for $28,000 and now you too, can put a face on a grilled cheese sandwich. Blessed Virgin Elmo, perhaps?
posted by erratic frog at 10:45 PM PST - 20 comments

ça va faire une maudite poutine
ça va faire une maudite poutine! In order to prepare yourself for the upcoming holiday gastronomical binge-fest, you may want to warm up with a few feeds of this winter-friendly, carb-loaded, heart-clogging goodness. That said, where the hell did disco fries come from? ("Oh Tony... I love to watch you dance, and eat poutine!")
posted by Darkman at 9:30 PM PST - 27 comments

Coulter on Canada
The ever-gracious Ann Coulter on why Canada is "lucky we allow them to exist on the same continent." A foreigner's (can anyone figure out where from?) incisive media-mash highlighting some [more] nauseating drivel from rockstars of the far right. (via wonkette)
posted by Lisa S at 8:27 PM PST - 131 comments

Make your own Snowflake
Every holiday seaon, some little web outfit puts together a really cool flash app. Make-a-Flake is that app. Here's my stab at a pirate themed snowflake (note the anchors, which was an accident).
posted by mathowie at 8:13 PM PST - 30 comments

Kites over Frisco, 1906
"THE YEAR was 1906, and the citizens of San Francisco must have found it a wildly incongruous sight--grown men at child's play in the midst of tragedy. Less than three weeks before, the earth had shaken and the city had burned. The disaster began with an earthquake in the early morning of Wednesday, April 18, and when the fires were extinguished three days later, at least two hundred thousand San Francisco residents were homeless. Yet on the afternoon of May 5, a small group of men was flying kites near Folsom and Sixth streets."
posted by Cryptical Envelopment at 6:30 PM PST - 27 comments

The Comic Bubble and the Bust.
The Comic Bubble and the Crash: Did you buy comic books in the 90's? Did you start speculating? Did you buy issues just because they were a #1? Even though there were 12 million of them out there? Did you buy all the multiple covers? Did you buy the the holofoil covers? Chromium? Did you start buying collectable card games? Like many nerdy teenagers of this time, I got sucked into a lot of this stuff. Read how the scam worked. (Read all the posts in the thread by the poster named "noun").
posted by McBain at 6:13 PM PST - 53 comments

Photographs of the Iraq occupation
Photos of an aftermath in progress (graphic). How a search for weapons of mass destruction has lead the U.S. so far. An informed citizen has an amazing right to see what is going on.
posted by omidius at 6:10 PM PST - 25 comments

"Why you should always brush your teeth."
"Why you should always brush your teeth." Soldier, shot in the face point blank, survives quite literally by the skin of his teeth. Some not-too-bloody photos. (via dangerousmeta)
posted by brownpau at 6:07 PM PST - 30 comments

Sore Thumbs
Sore Thumbs - A webcomic featuring a liberal girl, her ultra-conservative brother and mother, her ditzy best friend, and a love interest who lost his manhood in Iraq (and the love interest's pet bear). All (sans mother) working at a video game store. Well drawn, and very funny (and not just liberal humour, although there is plenty of that too)
posted by hopeless romantique at 4:53 PM PST - 24 comments

Virtually natural sounds
Listen to nature. If the sadness of life makes you tired, remember that in California, all the treetops are bursting with birds, and be happy again (unless you don't like pages that load with sound, or commercial sites, or Flash; don't go adding to your sorrows).
posted by melissa may at 3:53 PM PST - 12 comments

Street Photography
Street photography. Beautiful photos of urban life and decay.
posted by cmonkey at 2:31 PM PST - 11 comments

So that's what Beggin' Strips taste like...
"Other ingredients include BEEF TRIPE, BEEF HEARTS, AND 'PARTIALLY DE-FATTED COOKED PORK FATTY TISSUE' How does one de-fat fat? Bizarre. God knows what else is in here."
posted by Specklet at 2:09 PM PST - 51 comments

Online Etymology Dictionary
Ever wondered why they use K to record a baseball strike? How about the origin of eavesdrop? What about vamping on a piano? All this and more at the Online Etymology Dictionary.
posted by xmutex at 2:06 PM PST - 18 comments

Whodunnit?
The Deadly Necklace. The current issue of the New Yorker has a fascinating story about Richard Lancelyn Green, a preeminent Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes scholar who died under mysterious circumstances in March. At the time of his death, Green had been looking into the provinence of an archive of Conan Doyle’s papers [reprint of a NYTimes article], which he believed (perhaps wrongly) had been stolen, and he'd hinted that there had been threats to his life. Soon afterward, he was found garroted by a shoelace in his room. The magazine does not provide the article online, but does offer this Q&A with the author. I cannot recommend it highly enough, but to get you started while you're still at work, here's some more about Green's death from a Holmes message board; a discussion of the curse of Conan Doyle, which holds that Holmes scholars can meet an untimely end; and info on Doyle's belief in the supernatural.
posted by owenville at 1:40 PM PST - 13 comments

Disney's War Against the Counterculture.
Disney's War Against the Counterculture. Parody Mickey Mouse and see your life turn to madness, even if things are more or set straight in the end. “The main point,” O’Neill says, “was to buck corporate thinking. We just didn’t like bullshit.” [via]
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:27 PM PST - 8 comments

A 2D representation of the 3D
The complete guide to isometric pixel art - from the basic line to the interior of a kitchen, now you can produce your very own eboy-scapes...
posted by tpl1212 at 12:57 PM PST - 19 comments

God save me from ur ppl!
Don't put a restraining order on God the toughest challenge of living in a democracy is to respect the freedom of other people to live according to values that are not your own. Real freedom, however, does not thrive in a moral vacuum (the ardent secularist) or a moral straightjacket (the ardent theocratic). What does my ideal of democracy look like? I can sum it up in a single sentence: A person arrives at faith freely, practices it openly, and uses dialogue with others about their own life path to deepen their understanding. another interesting read from the same webpage: God is not a Republican or a Democrat: the Religious Right does not speak for you. Remind America that Jesus taught us to be peacemakers, advocates for the poor, and defenders of justice.. this article is a little dated, but it is relevant for people who choose to accept Jesus as the Christ but do not want someone's political agenda attached to their belief system.
posted by Hands of Manos at 11:59 AM PST - 127 comments

Fry me for an oyster
Fried Beyond Belief: You're disgusting. But why shouldn't you be? If Elvis were on the blue today, WWES?
posted by ewkpates at 11:28 AM PST - 18 comments

When Santas go bad
When Santas Go Bad. Apparently, they brawl.
posted by dismitree at 11:05 AM PST - 10 comments

Me, Mom, and sadomasochism
Mom finds out just how kinky you really are? Prepare for the consequences: phone calls, awkward questions, threats, revelations, and some stuff you don't want to hear. Get ready for the tough questions, and a conversation you'd definitely like to forget. Advice? Just accept it. Is it easy? No.
posted by Paddle to Sea at 10:48 AM PST - 18 comments

Great distraction for work, surgery!
Game Boys used to calm down kids heading into surgery. I have been replaced, as a parent, by a Game Boy, and have come full circle.
posted by adampsyche at 10:48 AM PST - 7 comments

Maine Lobster Festival and DFW
Palaverous Diatribe on the ethics of lobster consumption by the equally equanimous David Foster Wallace.
posted by svenvog at 10:38 AM PST - 55 comments

wow.... just wow
Oh yes - what i have been looking for, via odinsdream which btw, negates what i've said previously
posted by sourbrew at 10:13 AM PST - 54 comments

The New Games Journalism
The New Games Journalism is a manifesto written earlier this year in an attempt to re-shape the way that video game reviews are written, moving away from a stats-based view (these are the weapons, the graphics quality is X, the A.I. is as good as Y), and toward a more narrative approach. The goal, essentially, should be to convey to the reader what it's actually like to play the game. Be sure to follow the link to "Bow, Nigger" as an example. This review of Eve Online (pdf) is another good example. Are other areas of media criticism in need of a revolution?
posted by mkultra at 9:01 AM PST - 20 comments

It's like America, only with freedom!
Supreme Court of Canada approves gay marriage. Although agreeing that religious groups can't be forced to perform any ceremonies, the Court stated in their ruling that defining marriage for civil purposes in Canada as a lawful union of two people would be constitutional. The ruling validates future legislation legalizing gay marriage, which is apparently almost guaranteed to pass early next year.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:45 AM PST - 103 comments

Date With Density
Fluffy Kittens' Lunar Wheel Calendar gives a different turn to scheduling for 2005. Download high-resolution images -- free under Creative Commons license -- and construct your own, or opt for a ready-made color poster. Disclaimer: No actual fluffy kittens involved in this post.
posted by LinusMines at 7:47 AM PST - 17 comments

Noises off
Hugh McIntyre has died. The retired librarian was the bass player for The Nihilist Spasm Band, widely considered the first noise band. Started in 1965, the band operated way underground for most of their career, but achieved no small notoriety in the 90s, ran their own noise festival for a few years, had a great documentary made about them, and jammed with REM (!) about a month ago. My favourite memory of Hugh would be watching him time noise improvs with his stopwatch to make sure they weren't too long. RIP big man.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:25 AM PST - 7 comments

RIP Dimebag
Nightclub Shooting in Ohio kills "Dimebag" Darrel Abbot, formerly of Grammy Award Winning band Pantera. His new band Damageplan released a their debut album 8 months ago. [I know music filter, news filter, etc]
posted by Numenorian at 6:37 AM PST - 133 comments

Limmy killed the video player
Limmy: Pop star, Betamax Jockey [Macromedia Flash, video with sound]
posted by SpaceCadet at 6:08 AM PST - 9 comments

RIP Bruds
David Brudnoy -- Boston-area political commentator, film critic, and memoirist -- is close to death. After a debilitating illness ten years ago, Brudnoy has given a public face to living with AIDS, and has used his renown to found an organization for AIDS research. Last night, his final interview served as a public wake for his friends, his loyal listeners, and local government officials who sparred with him on his show.
posted by pxe2000 at 4:21 AM PST - 9 comments

Bangkok news and views
Ron Morris' 2bangkok.com (and related sites) is the news from Bangkok covered like nowhere else. It has a beautiful, strange, odd and interesting collection of photographs from Bangkok, his story of Black May, translations of Thai language newspaper stories, news on the latest infrastructure projects (like the Mega Bridge or the world's highest open air restaurant) . Plus photos from the latest events, like the King's birthday, or old time, like the trams from the 1960s.
posted by AnnaRat at 2:49 AM PST - 11 comments

This is simply beyond my comprehension.
"Kriminalz?" Appears to be two German guys attempting to rap while wearing construction hats. German or not, how can this be for real?
posted by asbates2 at 2:32 AM PST - 22 comments

(insert cartoon Transformer noise here)
Verdier, a very geeky proposal for the redesign of the VW Westfalia. I think my brain just exploded. It has solar panels, an integrated pop-top tent with a huge awning and an attached screened enclosure, a fold-out kitchen with tables and chairs and more. [Flash-based, English translation link available at the bottom.]
posted by loquacious at 2:18 AM PST - 34 comments

One Block Radius
One Block Radius is a psychogeographic survey of a block in New York using a variety of tools and media. See also Urban Songlines, and related MeFi discussion.
posted by dhruva at 12:45 AM PST - 6 comments

December 8
Ok now.
Repeat after me: LION. Repeat after me: LION.
posted by onkelchrispy at 9:44 PM PST - 28 comments

The History of Online Comics
The History of Online Comics, by T Campbell. A painstakingly annotated eight-part series [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8] ranging from the first webcomics through the inception of the collectives and on to the present day. A good read, even if he does seem to think that Boulder is in the Midwest. [via Websnark]
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:40 PM PST - 13 comments

That's not the rapture, it's the space people harvesting you for meat
Republican environmental politics as usual? While the president's policies seem to be standard for his party, Bill Moyers thinks there's more than meets the eye. On receiving Harvard medical school's Global Environment Citizen Award, Moyers posits that destruction of the environment isn't just good for big business, it's a self fulfilling prophecy of the apocalypse. Not just any old apocalypse, it's The Rapture, complete with plagues for the non-believers and immmediate ascension to the right hand of God Himself for the righteous.

Two days after Moyer's speech, Science magazine looks at the scientific consensus on global warming. If you're having a hard time explaining all this to your kids, don't worry, your tax dollars are hard at work.
posted by jimray at 9:32 PM PST - 51 comments

kerbing garrulous public chatter
Dear Cell Phone User (pdf): We are aware that your ongoing conversation about [insert topic here] is very important to you, but we thought you'd like to know that it doesn't interest us in the least. In fact, your babbling disregard for others is more than a little annoying. (via and via) SHHH!
posted by shoepal at 8:39 PM PST - 70 comments

Beware ... step away from the laptop...
Beware ... step away from the laptop. Laptop computers may damage male fertility. Dr. Yefim Sheynkin of the State University of New York (Stony Brook) reports in the journal Human Reproduction. "Laptops, which reach high internal operating temperatures, can heat up the scrotum which could affect the quality and quantity of men’s sperm." "...Sheynkin, director of male infertility and microsurgery at the university. 'Don't get me wrong -- the laptop computer is very useful and helpful. But we need to be cautious.' "
posted by ericb at 8:34 PM PST - 29 comments

Jews Against Israel
Jews against Israel.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 5:47 PM PST - 109 comments

No, Mr. Bond...
SawStop The videos are amazing.
posted by Mwongozi at 5:22 PM PST - 55 comments

Palestinan opinions
Palestinian opinions. A poll conducted by the Jerusalem Media and Communication Center indicates a dramatic decline in Palestinian support for acts of violence targeting Israelis. For the first time since the outbreak of the intifada in September 2000, a majority of Palestinians, some 52%, oppose violence against Israel. Palestinian opposition to attacks on Israelis is up 25% since last June. Original report is here in pdf. Is the intifada finished? If so should Arafat be awarded a second Nobel Peace Prize for dying?
posted by Ugandan Discussions at 4:46 PM PST - 25 comments

Learn to say PENIS in Over 50 Languages!
Assorted Street Posters - "This collection of street posters, mad scribblings, political screeds, religious rants, and paranoid raves was collected on the streets of New York City from 1985 to the present. Some time ago, it occurred to me that the streets are as full of art as, say, thrift shops are full of great paintings. . ." (via cmonkey via undule) (this is my 7th post please be gentle)
posted by neckro23 at 4:06 PM PST - 12 comments

Homeless Iraq vets showing up at shelters
Homeless Iraq vets showing up at shelters U.S. veterans from the war in Iraq are beginning to show up at homeless shelters around the country, and advocates fear they are the leading edge of a new generation of homeless vets not seen since the Vietnam era.
posted by Postroad at 3:30 PM PST - 43 comments

Animated iPod enthusiasm
How many consumer products are so loved that users create elaborate animations to showcase their enthusiasm? Only one that I can think of. (He has apparently had problems with having enough bandwidth to host the video, so you'll need to follow the "On to the iPod mini ad" link on his page to get to the mirror du jour.) I'm behind the iPod curve here, because despite being a gadget guy, a music guy, and a (kind-of) internet and computer guy, I didn't get one until a few months ago. I must say it has changed my outlook on life, especially when driving, because instead of constantly cursing while switching radio stations every 10 seconds, I now carry my own radio station with me, and it never plays any songs I hate. (my first post, please be gentle!)
posted by centerpunch at 3:00 PM PST - 51 comments

Speed Demo Archives
Speed Demo Archives is the Guinness Book of Records for Quake speed runs, but they also have speed demos for other games, including a 2:57:35 Half-Life 2 run (torrent to video here). [Via FileRush]
posted by turbodog at 2:55 PM PST - 7 comments

that's him, officer
Is this you? Here's something for all of us who are desperately waiting for the next issue of Found, but are still a little bit creeped out by the pervy version.
posted by scrim at 2:51 PM PST - 17 comments

Poland At War
Poland at War - Photographs of Nazi-occupied Poland taken between 1939 and 1945
posted by cmonkey at 2:18 PM PST - 22 comments

Floggies!
With the next round of bloggies (or web log awards for those not down with the hip lingo), there's some concern that some types of blogs with large communities may not be included. Specifically, communities that are well known for tons of online events, and large gathering places whose interactions leak in to and out from real life. So, the food bloggers (floggers?) have done what they do best, and started their own awards - with 14 nomination categories, the results plan to, at the very least, make us all drool, if not inspire a few feasts here and there.

(and yay to mefi for winning last year's best community blog!)
posted by jearbear at 1:55 PM PST - 7 comments

Easing the Spring
The Poetry of Henry Reed Available online, not just his poems (including his most famous "Naming of Parts") but also audio of him reading, biography, drama, and criticism. Need a recommendation? Sophomore Clifford R. of my English Ten class proclaimed "Naming of Parts" as "wickedly, pathetically awesome!"
posted by John of Michigan at 1:51 PM PST - 5 comments

The B was easy; d/dt took a while
The universe in just two symbols. The rest, as they say, is details. No wonder the "Physics Establishment" is trying to keep this quiet. The author, having conquered the universe in general, tackles poetry, as well.
posted by Wolfdog at 1:21 PM PST - 20 comments

Congressional Hearing on Ohio Voting Irregularities
Preserving Democracy - What Went Wrong in Ohio Judiciary Democratic Forum - December 8, 2004. Congressman Conyers hosted a forum on the Ohio Voting Irregularities. Participant list and statements here. Covering such issues as the Warren County lockdown, the Franklin County "glitch", and much more. Wiliam Rivers Pitt provides a good on the scene report.
posted by dinsdale at 1:13 PM PST - 9 comments

Taming of the Shrew
Extinct is forever. Or is it? Scientists are hard at work reconstructing entire genomes of our common ancestors. The present technology is a far cry from Jurassic Park, but we're getting there.
posted by mowglisambo at 12:58 PM PST - 9 comments

Gustav Klimt
The artist Gustav Klimt began his career by creating classical realist murals for public buildings in Vienna. Soon, his innovations and experiments became too controversial for further government-commissioned work, illustrating the changes in society taking place around him. Klimt’s sensual paintings (which sometimes included nudity) shocked some, as did his experiments in form. Since his father was an engraver, Klimt took to using gold in his work, creating a distinct style. You’ve probably seen at least his most famous work, The Kiss. People can see Klimt’s work in person, including the spectacular “Beethoven Frieze” wall cycle, at the Secession Museum in Vienna. On-line, there’s this database of about 100 works, searchable by title, year, theme and technique. Another gallery of 114 works is here, and for landscapes, try these.
posted by jeffmshaw at 12:13 PM PST - 25 comments

Giant leap for developers
Developer in space? Oracle has announced sweepstakes to send a developer into orbit. Answer a quiz and win a sub-orbital space flight. Contest is open to software developers who work with Oracle software in connection with their employment. Start cramming. Good luck! (And for the rest, with a $10,000 deposit for the $98,000 ticket, nothing stops us from booking our own space flight with Space Adventures.)
posted by jellybuzz at 11:52 AM PST - 6 comments

Bob Jones University
Introducing Bob Jones University, a liberal arts, nondenominational Christian university in South Carolina. BJU stands "without apology for the old-time religion and the absolute authority of the Bible." The University Creed explains more. New Age, jazz, rock, and country music is still not permitted on campus. Women's hairstyles. "should be neat, orderly, and feminine. Avoid cutting-edge fads and cuts so short that they take on a masculine look." BJU believes that "biblical principles preclude gambling, dancing, and the beverage use of alcohol" -- just ask the new Dean of Men [QuickTime]. The current president of Bob Jones University, Bob Jones III, recently wrote a congratulatory letter to President Bush: "In your re-election, God has graciously granted America--though she doesn't deserve it--a reprieve from the agenda of paganism." You might recall that they just recently lifted their ban on inter-racial dating, but a parents' note is still required.
posted by ori at 11:22 AM PST - 138 comments

The Sky is Falling!
Chicken Little is Disney's first feature length 3d animated movie (without Pixar). Mark Dindal, director of Cat's Don't Dance and Emporer's New Groove, is at the helm. Is there a chance that the sky won't hit them in the face?
posted by Hands of Manos at 11:13 AM PST - 43 comments

Do you remember the War on Drugs?
War on Drugs - Do you remember it? A call for support of this amorphous war has been trumpeted by every American President from Nixon through Clinton. The current guy, has associated himself (at least a little bit) with the Drug War in the previous campaign but current policy, not so much. What I’m curious about is the actual phrase, the concept of War on Drugs. It looks like we still dedicate large sums of money to the effort. It seems to me that we just don’t use the phrase much anymore. Did we win? Did we lose? Do we just want to forget about it? Or, did we repackage the endeavor under a new name? I tend to think we are not capable of waging more than one war against the nameless other at a given time. It would just be too scary. So, I think maybe we're bundling the War on Terror and the War on Drugs under a new brand name.
posted by Crackerbelly at 10:07 AM PST - 31 comments

Pol Pot's Dead?
25 years in a non-existant war In 1979, a Khmer Rouge guerrilla fled to the hills of Cambodia when his village was attacked by Vietnamese troops. He and a small group of friends and family lived in the dense forests for 25 years, emerging in 2004 to discover that the war was over and that Pol Pot was dead. They had been fearful of any human contact, believing everyone to be the enemy.
posted by BradNelson at 9:44 AM PST - 17 comments

Will she be mefi blue?
Haughey 2.0 Mefi user #1 will be reproducing. Hearty congratulations!
posted by owillis at 9:19 AM PST - 94 comments

Clint Curtis Yang/YEI FDOT Tom Feeney Democracy Scandal Oh My
New blog on Feeneygate (the Congressman Tom Feeney/Yang Enterprises/Clinton Curtis vote-fraud software affidavit thing) by the original reporter.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 9:19 AM PST - 10 comments

Get that A grade you paid for!
People talk about how universities have almost turned into diploma mills, churning out degrees to almost anyone that breathes. So what do students think about the current situation? According to this student, it doesn't go far enough: "I have come to the conclusion that the University system makes absolutely no sense. Students pay teachers to educate us, yet they are then allowed to tell us how much we're learning...I'll be the one to tell the receiver of my hard-earned money exactly how well they did. Shouldn't it be the same with education?" That's right, students want, nay, demand an A, since they paid for it.
posted by mathowie at 9:03 AM PST - 77 comments

Dude, where's my safely heterosexual intimacy?
Deconstructing Dude A linguist from the University of Pittsburgh has published a scholarly paper deconstructing and deciphering the word "dude," contending it is much more than a catchall for lazy, inarticulate surfers, slackers and teenagers. An admitted dude-user during his college years, Scott Kiesling said the four-letter word has many uses, all of which express closeness between men in a safely heterosexual manner. How about you? Do you do the dude? If so, does that mean you're white [PDF]?
posted by owenville at 8:56 AM PST - 32 comments

You don't have to be crazy to be disappeared, but it helps
Whitewashing Torture. "On June 15, 2003, Sgt. Frank 'Greg' Ford, a counterintelligence agent in the California National Guard's 223rd Military Intelligence (M.I.) Battalion stationed in Samarra, Iraq, told his commanding officer, Capt. Victor Artiga, that he had witnessed five incidents of torture and abuse of Iraqi detainees at his base, and requested a formal investigation. Thirty-six hours later, Ford, a 49-year-old with over 30 years of military service in the Coast Guard, Army and Navy, was ordered by U.S. Army medical personnel to lie down on a gurney, was then strapped down, loaded onto a military plane and medevac'd to a military medical center outside the country." (Salon, day pass req.)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:32 AM PST - 15 comments

Have you moshed enough this year?
Santa, apparantly, brings the mosh like noone else.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:03 AM PST - 16 comments

Mazaltov!!
Mazaltov!!
posted by spicynuts at 7:44 AM PST - 23 comments

Vietnam revisited
It is not the first time this thing happens, but I'm sure we'll be seeing more and more of this until Americans finally wake up and realise the nightmare Bush has dragged us all in. What with CIA reports painting a completely different picture than the administration would have us belive and the help from people with experience from previous military blunders, it looks like we may soon have a revival of the "stop the war trains" tradition. Cheers!
posted by acrobat at 7:28 AM PST - 26 comments

Thunderbird 1.0 Comes with RSS
Thunderbird 1.0 has RSS support integrated The release of Thunderbird 1.0 was covered yesterday, however nowhere in the thread was the new RSS integration mentioned. I'm now viewing MeFi in my email client, complete with all of the sort/search features that I depend on for my email, and that's pretty sweet.
posted by mcstayinskool at 7:22 AM PST - 39 comments

What a lovely set of pixels!
Phoarr - what a lovely set of pixels! Following in the footsteps of the annual Miss World contest is Miss Digital World, a contest to create the perfect virtual woman.
posted by bap98189 at 7:08 AM PST - 32 comments

A Caravan of Camels in the Eye of a Needle
Vladimir Aniskin, by day a farm equipment researcher (pdf), makes gorgeous Faberge-like creations, haunting and whimsical metaphors of war and peace, and more in extreme miniature. Moscow reporters have entered him in a competition (Russian-language page) for the strangest hobby practiced in Russia. Via the ever-brilliant aldaily.com.
posted by By The Grace of God at 5:58 AM PST - 7 comments

GFD
Angry? Tired of x-tian zealots? Having difficulty living with other people? Disappointed with your new job? Tired of childish rants? Getting old? Or just generally pissed off? We feel your pain. Come on in and tell us all about it! (NSFW)
posted by three blind mice at 4:36 AM PST - 6 comments

Simple and Hard
Quzzle. Using the basic 'dad's puzzle', a 5X4 grid with a number of blocks, Jim Lewis calculated the most difficult solvable variation (yes of course that's quibbleable). Read more here.
posted by biffa at 3:14 AM PST - 21 comments

Proof that girls are evil…
Proof that girls are evil…
posted by horhey at 12:33 AM PST - 98 comments

Polarized light in nature & technology.
Polarization.com - polarized light in nature & technology. [via MoFi]
posted by Gyan at 12:25 AM PST - 3 comments

December 7
Legal questions surround Texas hold 'em
What is the deal with Texas hold'em??? Texas Hold'em (in the U.S.) has become the poker players crack. Its OK, but not that fun for me, and I don't understand what has caused this huge craze sweeping the nation. Poker Chips are in definately in demand... 1 In 10 Kids Will Become Compulsive Gamblers so Do Your Kids Know When To Fold'em? at least there is some texas hold'em charity work aiding victims for the holidays
posted by clubmedia at 11:46 PM PST - 52 comments

Your prescription is their business.
Just Say No To Drug Stores. As we've previously discussed, drug companies aggressively market to doctors and consumers. In September, the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse sued supermarket chain Albertsons for allegedly violating consumer rights by being paid to promote the products of pharmaceutical companies such as AstraZeneca with calls and letters based on personal prescription history. If you've been pitched by your drugstore, the PRC would like to know (confidentially, of course).
posted by melissa may at 10:26 PM PST - 3 comments

My childhood, ruined!
Skeletal structures of cartoon characters, past and present.
posted by borkingchikapa at 10:13 PM PST - 12 comments

Mind Hacks, The Real Story
The folks who hacked Amazon, Ebay, Google, Linux and TiVo have now Hacked Your Head. Yup, it's an O'Reilly book (no, not THAT O'Reilly Hack). 8 of the 100 Hacks are online, including the Elevator Button Analogy (pdf format). And they've got a blog, with some extra hackery. Free your mind. Forcibly, if needed.
via GleepGlop
posted by wendell at 10:07 PM PST - 35 comments

elegant universe
Yikes! In light of approaching finals do you find yourself excogitating WTHHIBD (what the hell have I been doing) over and over, and wondering if your lost time may have been due to circumstances beyond your control? While the vindicating qualities (obviously you would have been more productive if you hadn't been somebody else's science experiment) of this alibi are usually ephemeral, it is still curious to think is all this talk of sightings/abductions/misplaced keys just a hoax, an elaborate cover up, or some yin yang amalgamation of the two? Is the mystery surrounding Area 51 nothing more than conspiracy, (even if well positioned)? To what extent are we inexorably skeptical or prepared to sort through the overflowing, spooky coffers of galactic mystery?
posted by superposition at 9:41 PM PST - 6 comments

When Santas Attack!
Santas Gone Wild Imagine a flashmob. Now imagine a flashmob that is nothing but Santas. Once a year, for 10 years now, a bunch of crazies dress up like Santa Claus, frolic around major cities (like NYC, good text summary of what SantaCon is all about to be found here) and cause merry mischief.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:03 PM PST - 20 comments

All aboard, the sinking ship is leaving...
A metaphor for the next four years? Apologies in advance, as this post might be better kept afloat at Fark, but one can't help think this it is a more represenative sign. After a mishap like this can you blame the dems?
posted by damclean2 at 8:50 PM PST - 19 comments

But the cities visited by Marco Polo were always different from those thought of by the emperor
The Names of Ancient Cities Still Stir the Imagination. While the City of 333 Genies has almost vanished in the sands and the Mirror of the World is tarnished with age, the City of Men's Desire abides. In 1000 years, will the Big Apple be as vital as the Eternal City or as forgotten as the City of Venerated Houses?
posted by blahblahblah at 8:48 PM PST - 10 comments

IBM sells PC business
The end of an era confirmed. IBM sells its PC business to China's Lenovo. Is a future Apple partnership in the works?
posted by xammerboy at 7:49 PM PST - 16 comments

Don't hang up on Texas!
Have a good day Ms. Beyer! "Before you are rude to another telemarketer, you should keep in mind that he or she has your phone number and your address." Texas Telemarketer sends a threatening letter to a hanger-upper.
posted by wfrgms at 7:34 PM PST - 39 comments

Is that a rangefinder in your pocket?
I've developed an obsession of sorts with old cameras. You should too. Digital was cool for a while, but there is something about film. Now, I'm not saying run out and get a Lomo. Lomos are for lamers. No, get yourself a Kiev 35, the poor man's Minox, or perhaps an Olympux XA. Can't find batteries for your old cameras? You're not looking hard enough. Want to hold something a bit more substational? Perhaps you should check out a Yashica Rangefinder or a Canon Canonet. A good rangefinder will make you look like better photographer, and that's what it is all about.
posted by chunking express at 7:27 PM PST - 54 comments

W.M.D. to IRAQ from US too?
Check out the stuff WE gave Saddam... In light of the recent news about the prosecution for supplying Saddam w/ WMDs, I was reminded of the Senate report that revealed what we were giving him at the same time. Scroll down to the "U.S. Exports of Biological Materials to Iraq" section. SCARY STUFF!!! - Bacillus Anthracis - Clostridium Botulinum - Brucella Melitensis... Check it out! We even sent him West Nile Fever Virus in 1985.
posted by samlam at 6:26 PM PST - 15 comments

Butt Fun
7 Lightbulbs, 3 Flashlights, and 1 Kangaroo Tumor - A database (of sorts) of objects that have found themselves lodged in rectums. (probably SFW)
posted by mervin_shnegwood at 6:09 PM PST - 17 comments

Have you accepted Jesus Yet ?!?
Why hast thou forsaken me !?... Every once and a while I ponder why i don't believe in religion... then something like this comes along and reminds me exactly why.
posted by meowchow at 5:48 PM PST - 36 comments

prove it!
"Students in tax-supported schools are being taught that evolution is a fact. We are convinced that evolution is a religion masquerading as science and should not be part of any science curriculum." Dr. Kent Hovind is offering $250,000 to anyone who can prove evolution. Dr. Hovind is also known for his 17-hour award-winning seminar series. While you're there, you can buy all sorts of goodies like fossil replicas! And if that's not enough, there's a great FAQ. [MI]
posted by exlotuseater at 5:28 PM PST - 85 comments

Happy Birthday, String Theory.
String Theory Turns 20 - first posited in 1984 as an explanation for the strong force, String Theory turns 20 this year. While some physicists celebrate, others are concerned that string theory isn't coming close to being a theory of everything as many had hoped. While it does reconcile quantum mechanics with Special Relativity, there is currently no mathematical proof for String Theory. Even more troubling, rather than providing one solid explanation for the universe, the many dimensions of string theory offer 10^100 different possible results.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:22 PM PST - 25 comments

Thunderbird 1.0 out
Thunderbird 1.0 out My faverit mail client!
posted by k7lim at 3:34 PM PST - 50 comments

So what if it's a crummy name for a genre...
Slint to reunite for tour dates! First it was the Pixies and Sebadoh. Now, following announcements of their plan to curate a few ATP dates, Slint is promising 15 additional tour dates in 2005. Arguably the most most influential band your brother never heard of, probably among the handful of groups that formed the bedrock of 90's underground music, and certainly the progenitors of the Louisville-Chicago sound, they're back to post-rock your ass to oblivion! [via Pitchfork]
posted by drpynchon at 3:10 PM PST - 35 comments

Site Bars Black Box Voting Head
Site Bars Black Box Voting Head "A politically progressive website at the forefront of discussions about electronic-voting machines and election irregularities is barring Black Box Voting founder Bev Harris from posting to its site. In a written statement, site administrators said that they barred Bev Harris because her postings on the site 'have made positive discussion of verified voting increasingly difficult.' .... 'We no longer believe that it is productive to allow her to use DU as a platform to promote herself while simultaneously trashing us, our moderators and others who have been previously supportive of her cause,' site administrators wrote in the statement."
posted by ericb at 2:32 PM PST - 23 comments

Drop the Rock!
Reform of the Rockefeller Drug Laws, perhaps the most draconian in the nation, is being seriously debated right now on the floor of the New York State Senate. By the magic of the internets, you can watch this historic event happen, live.
posted by palegirl at 2:15 PM PST - 12 comments

Super Fantastic!
Manolo's Shoe Blog. Because every once in a while, you need something where the sole political content consists of commentary on Bush in a poncho.
posted by pxe2000 at 2:03 PM PST - 12 comments

Cell Phones
Cell Phone users beware Dec 15th 2004 is the deadline According to the National Do Not Call List, you have until Dec. 15th 2004 to get on the national "Do not call list" for cell phones. They said that you need to call 1-888-382-1222 from the cell phone that you wish to have put on the "do not call list" to be put on the list. They also said you can do it online. Registering only takes a minute, is in effect for 5 years and will possibly save you money (definitely frustration)! Make sure you register now!
posted by Gooney at 1:23 PM PST - 38 comments

Carnivore. Webcam. Sniffing.
Carnivore. Webcam. Sniffing.
posted by modernsquid at 1:21 PM PST - 12 comments

I have a cunning plan
Blackadder goes forth. Criticising religion is a "fundamental freedom of society", a leading international comedian affirmed last night, as he headed a coalition opposing measures to outlaw the incitement of religious hatred. Rowan Atkinson, the star of Blackadder, gave an impassioned defence of the right to lampoon religion as he joined Tory, Lib Dem, and Labour backbenchers, lawyers, and academics opposed to part of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Bill - which today gets its second reading. There was, he said, a fundamental difference between race - already covered by legislation - and religion. [more inside]
posted by psmealey at 12:39 PM PST - 41 comments

Hanzi Smatter
Hanzi Smatter ???? Dedicated to the misuse of Chinese characters (Hanzi or Kanji) in Western culture... The problem is NOT that people are getting characters tattooed on them; it's that people who don't understand the characters are getting characters tattooed on them by other people who don't understand the characters. It is the equivalent of the “blind leading the blind”.
posted by Ljubljana at 12:28 PM PST - 24 comments

Sappy Benday Romance
I avoided these like the plague as a kid , sifting through stacks of old comics at my uncle's antique store. Now I kinda dig the bland-yet-breathless Lichtenstein quality of these old romance comics. Brought to you by the stellar Heck's Kitchen and a spectacular English teacher (mentioned on Kitchen's front page)
posted by chinese_fashion at 11:45 AM PST - 5 comments

What's with the dynamite?
Sex education from the BBC, flash-style. Willy Wonky and Funny Flaps.
posted by Mwongozi at 11:35 AM PST - 22 comments

The Only Expedition Class, AWD
4Sale. 2002 Recreation Vehicle. 40,000 miles. $400,000.
posted by stbalbach at 11:22 AM PST - 29 comments

From Pie to Pantalaimon?
An Pre-Emptive Interview With Director Chris Weitz. "On the surface of it, as a fan of the books I would be terrified if I read that I was going to adapt [The His Dark Materials Trilogy]. Let me try to put at ease anybody who is of a mind to be convinced at all..."

(Could be considered a follow-up to this post from 2002.)
posted by grabbingsand at 11:16 AM PST - 33 comments

Thoughts on Arab Satellite Television, Pan-Arabism, and Freedom of Expression.
Today I would like to share with you some personal experiences in my encounter with Arab satellites both as a contributor to their programs, as their victim sometimes, and also hopefully sometimes as their interlocutor. Let me say a few words--a background--about why Arab satellites have done probably for the Arab world more than any organized critical movement could have done, in opening up the public space, in giving Arab citizens a newly found opportunity to assert themselves.   Thoughts on Arab Satellite Television, Pan-Arabism, and Freedom of Expression By Saad Eddin Ibrahim, from the very interesting Fall/Winter Edition of Transnational Broadcasting Studies Journal--Covering Satellite Television in the Arab and Islamic Worlds--both via the very interesting Abu Aardvark.
posted by y2karl at 11:02 AM PST - 2 comments

Converting to which Islam?
"White Muslim." Converting to which Islam? Most of the new Muslims I read about in the usual media feel impelled to join the "orthodox" Sunni (if not outright Wahhabi) variety, as if there is no other. But, as many of you no doubt already know, a non-negligible minority of the world's Muslims are Shi'ite, whose biggest "Twelver" branch was made famous by this Ayatollah. To further refute the image of "monolithic" Islam,within the Shia minority are a minority known as "Seveners" or Ismailis , whose biggest branch is run by this gentleman , whose conception of Islam as "a thinking, spiritual faith, one that teaches compassion and tolerance" seems more congenial to the self-selected strata inclined to, oh, post to MetaFilter, perhaps especially to "Secular Humanist" atheists like me. (I'll bet some of you can even relate to his divorce.) Further reading from these links (perhaps with Google's help) should further belie much of the dumbed-down propaganda "mainstream" Americans are spoon-fed about Islam, showing the kaleidoscopic nature of one of today's One True Faiths. (And then there are the almost Zen-like Sufis, and ....)
posted by davy at 11:01 AM PST - 58 comments

Size -- and 'Erogenous Sensation' -- Matter
Micro-penis sufferers, rejoice!
posted by digaman at 10:46 AM PST - 50 comments

Georges Bataille
Georges Bataille. Librarian, surrealist, archivist, writer of works on subjects ranging from economics to the erotic. Father of the notion of transgression as a positive force. Frequently name checked and sometimes very confusing. And at this festive time of year, we may also remember his ideas on the gift.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:34 AM PST - 6 comments

The Greensboro Massacre
Greensboro, NC , a relatively progressive southern city, is not without it’s own skeletons.

“On Nov. 3, 1979, Klansmen and Nazis pulled rifles and pistols from the trunks of their cars and opened fire on a group of anti-Ku Klux Klan marchers in the Morningside Homes neighborhood of Greensboro, N.C. Five of the demonstrators were killed by the bullets and several others were injured. The victims had close ties with the local Communist Worker’s Party..”

The Greensboro Truth and Reconciliation Project, the first of it’s kind in the United States, using the concept of restorative justice, “seeks to heal relations between opposing sides by uncovering all pertinent facts, distinguishing truth from lies, and allowing for acknowledgement, appropriate public mourning, forgiveness and healing.” ( a little more inside)
posted by lyam at 10:27 AM PST - 34 comments

Undifferentiated human tissue flopping down a slippery slope?
Monster Farming: The Creepy Solution to the Stem Cell Debate. MSN Slate's William Saletan: "The good news is that we may have figured out how to solve the moral problem that's been holding up stem-cell research. The bad news is that the solution will introduce a whole new kind of horror."
posted by neckro23 at 9:33 AM PST - 33 comments

Eliot Spitzer to Run for Governor of New York
Eliot Spitzer to Run for Governor of New York.
posted by malaprohibita at 9:06 AM PST - 39 comments

Better living through mechanical modifications
Nine Planets Without Intelligent Life Seeing the solar system with a couple of philosophical robots. Beautiful web comic.
posted by rustcellar at 8:48 AM PST - 12 comments

It's that time of year again.
It's that time of year again. I don't think Pearl Harbor Day is that important to most people anymore, but it was always an important part of December in my family.
posted by Captaintripps at 8:19 AM PST - 38 comments

Place the State
Place the State. How well do you know the fly over states?
posted by jonah at 8:18 AM PST - 103 comments

The Hit we Almost Missed
The Hit we Almost Missed Shaun Considine, an employee of Columbia Records in Sxities, recounts how close Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" came to being lost to obscurity. (NY Times)
posted by Tullius at 8:03 AM PST - 12 comments

PTC won't let the FCC be?
The mice that roar. "According to a new FCC estimate obtained by Mediaweek, nearly all indecency complaints in 2003—99.8 percent—were filed by the Parents Television Council, an activist group." We already know what a few people can do to your television viewing... is this man effectively in charge of the FCC's indecency monitoring?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 7:54 AM PST - 15 comments

I made him a giraffe, which can keep a lookout for him
A Clown Ministry Christmas. With the ever-present crush of Yuletide commercialism, perhaps this can help you remember that Jesus is the reason for the season. More generalized Clown Ministry skits can be found here.
posted by Swampjazz! at 7:45 AM PST - 10 comments

les Français n'aiment pas le Publicité
SA VIGNAC. Welcome to the world of Raymond Savignac, the greatest poster artist of all time, and inventor of the little Bic man. Joyous, naughty, simple, elegant, and beautiful.
posted by Sticherbeast at 7:42 AM PST - 4 comments

Stripper FAQ
Looking for a career change? (NSFW)
posted by E_B_A at 7:01 AM PST - 14 comments

Lies, Damn lies, and everything looks like a nail
We conclude that the study is entirely without merit and its “results” are meaningless. Remember Florida and those electronic voting machines? Remember those plucky Berkeley grad students who proved something was wrong with the evoting counties? It turns out they were completely wrong.
posted by allan at 6:59 AM PST - 29 comments

Drunken Shoutouts
Finally, a collaborative audioblog devoted to drunken shoutouts.
posted by Tlogmer at 3:41 AM PST - 9 comments

ALS
Think you've got a problem? Then discover how you should pick your nose with a fish fork. Some guys really don't get all the luck. Not when they bleed to death from eating blueberries.
posted by Cancergiggles at 2:29 AM PST - 23 comments

Leaderless Resistance
Leaderless resistance today. An essay by Simson Garfinkel -- on network analysis and headless chickens. This seems a little odd to me, what we call al-qaeda could fit in with a leaderless resistance model.
posted by gsb at 12:57 AM PST - 12 comments

December 6
Nostalgic for backmasking
Remember the days when parents only used to be worried about the backwards messages in songs? Feeling nostalgic for a song with a little backmasking? backmaskonline.com. While few today buy-into the idea that backmasked lyrics have any affect on the subconscious (and vinyl LPs that can be played backwards are few and far between) some artists persist. What are your personal backmasking favorites? What was the appeal for you?
posted by spock at 9:56 PM PST - 33 comments

Little Golden On Acid...
Ultra-Murder Death Squad is the insane artwork of Tim Biskup & Andrew Brandou. Combining cute animals & weird creatures with guns, bombs, native americans.
posted by Dreamghost at 9:27 PM PST - 7 comments

What time isn't it?
Internet Clocks, Counters and Countdowns
posted by Cryptical Envelopment at 8:27 PM PST - 14 comments

Apologies not accepted
Apologies not accepted. In response to Sorry Everybody.com.
posted by fleener at 6:26 PM PST - 75 comments

IT IS OAK
WE ARE INDEED IMPRESSED BY THE TREE. IS IT OAK.
One human, four dogs, and hilarity.
posted by scrim at 6:25 PM PST - 20 comments

In sworn affidavit, programmer says he developed vote-rigging prototype for Florida congressman; Congressman’s office silent
In sworn affidavit, programmer says he developed vote-rigging prototype for Florida congressman; Congressman’s office silent - Will this go the way of the Wayne Madsen report? Perhaps this is, as some have noted, just another Rovian Hit. At this point in time, I keep my tinfoil hat ready. Even if it were true, I doubt the Republican-majority-ed House and Senate are can hardly be expected to investigate themselves. For now, I just keep laughing at HERCUBUSH (Quicktime) (Real) and trying to convince myself that we are all in Bush now.
posted by jackspace at 6:10 PM PST - 35 comments

Democratic Transhumanism
Democratic Transhumanism 2.0. A treatise by James Hughes, author of Citizen Cyborg. [Via WorldChanging.]
posted by homunculus at 5:18 PM PST - 8 comments

Math + test = trouble for US economy
Math + test = trouble for US economy For a nation committed to preparing students for 21st century jobs, the results of the first-of-its-kind study of how well teenagers can apply math skills to real-life problems is sobering. American 15-year-olds rank well below those in most other industrialized countries in mathematics literacy and problem solving, according to a survey released Monday
posted by Postroad at 5:02 PM PST - 86 comments

The unusual twist is accuracy—both biblical and scientific!
Coming soon, the Creation Museum. Tired of those pesky evolutionists getting all the natural history museums? Want to see dinosaurs threatening Adam or entering the ark? Then hie yourself to Petersburg, Kentucky, where what is billing itself as "the world's most unusual museum" will soon be opening its doors. "Uneasy answering questions about radiocarbon dating? Rock layers? Natural selection? Do you want to believe in six literal days, but you’re still confused about the big bang or Grand Canyon? You’ll find answers here!" Some background on founder Ken Ham and his theory that dinosaurs are "missionary lizards" who draw young minds to evolution and must be reclaimed.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:02 PM PST - 60 comments

Woman Hits Two Boys with SUV
Woman charged with running down boys who hit SUV with golf ball. Her family said this is completely unlike her, yet she told the judge this morning, "I'm mentally ill." Well, obviously, but does that mean she isn't accountable for three counts of attempted murder?
posted by Miss Beth at 4:48 PM PST - 36 comments

Photo-Blocker
Photo-Blocker - For those who are tired of obeying basic traffic laws. (via)
posted by buriednexttoyou at 4:46 PM PST - 29 comments

your legs look extra strong on this barf-textured couch print
Retrocrush: Red Hot Trailer Brochure Model Fan Fiction. (via bb)
posted by moonbird at 4:13 PM PST - 8 comments

Not that there's anything wrong with it
Seinfeld Dictionary Head-First Parker - 1) a person who tries to pull into a parking space head first as opposed to backing into the space 2) a person who pulls into a parking space head first with the intention of screwing someone else out of the space
posted by BradNelson at 3:53 PM PST - 29 comments

Art is temporary
The Museum of Temporary Art. "The museum itself is located in my home. It is about 40x50 cm big and has 33 compartments. This website is a representation of what is currently in the museum, i.e. the compartments."
posted by me3dia at 3:21 PM PST - 3 comments

American Indians of the Pacific Northwest
"For 500 generations they flourished until newcomers came... much was lost; much was devalued, but much was also hidden away in the hearts of the dispossessed." Much that is now available in image and in writing at the University of Washington's "American Indians of the Pacific Northwest" Collection.
posted by jeffmshaw at 1:41 PM PST - 5 comments

Whoa
Mother of the Matrix? What if everything we experience is actually being delivered to our catatonic bodies by superintelligent robots? On a more practical note, what if the Wachowski brothers ripped off the ideas for their high-grossing trilogy from an unknown screenwriter who claims to have submitted it in response to a 1981 ad the brothers placed "requesting new sci-fi works?" (registration required, but it will deliver the goods while saving you the pain of parsing intentional spelling errors in "Da Ghetto Tymz"). Does the fact that the author claiming infringement is a black woman change the character of this story? It does seem like, considering where the case has gone, that it would be considered news. Just how long is the arm of Time/Warner/AOL/Skynet? In other stories, how many times will The Terminator be sued? (via PennyArcade)
posted by nanojath at 1:18 PM PST - 70 comments

Holiday Fun Fun Fun
Does this just happen in the UK? No, apparently in the US as well. It's that time of year, when good cheer gives way to bad judgment. Perhaps we all need a lesson in etiquette, perhaps we need a date. The W network seems to suggest that you shouldn't get it on with either the booze or your coworkers. Finally, New York Magazine offers advice for Scared Sick Day. What's your damage?
posted by OmieWise at 1:01 PM PST - 3 comments

Fine Print: Contract is Void if US Military Say So
Soldiers Challenge Enlistment Extensions
You sign a contract for a specific period of service, when that service is up you're supposed to be done but that doesn't happen if its a contract with the US government. Soldiers are now suing to try and get out of their extended duties.

Yes, there is the Pentagon's "Stop Loss" program but "The lawsuit contends the policy [stop loss] is a breach of the service contract because it extends the length of service without a soldier's consent. It also alleges the contracts were misleading because they make no reference to the policy, said Staughton Lynd, an attorney for the soldiers."
posted by fenriq at 12:28 PM PST - 41 comments

Rivers for Railroads
Yes, I am a pathetic geek. And yes, this homemade LOTR version of Monopoly rocks. Much more beautiful than the Hasbro product (which I bet doesn't include a shortcut through Shelob's Lair). Too bad there doesn't seem to be much of a homemade movement happening. Or is there? Little brothers everywhere need somethng cooler than a dumbed-down Shrek 2 edition. [via kottke]
posted by scarabic at 11:03 AM PST - 14 comments

Another damn list
If you had to pick your 5 Favorite web sites... ...what would they be? Yeah, it's the end of the year and we're all list-happy! Professor Barnhardt's Journal asked writers like Joel Stein, Dan Radosh and Rob Walker and bloggers what their favorite sites are. Sadly, not one mention of Metafilter!
posted by braun_richard at 10:50 AM PST - 23 comments

Organic AEV's - minus the bombs.
Remember the threads last week about R/C planes with digital cameras? Rank amateurs. Animal Planet has upped the stakes in the unmanned aerial vehicle race by strapping a video camera to an eagle. That's right, an eagle. It's incredible. Check out the dogfight in particular. They're also doing a bunch of other cool things with animals and technology.
posted by loquax at 10:16 AM PST - 28 comments

Your favorite band's website sucks
Your favorite band's website sucks. I can't count the number of times I've wanted to share a band's great new tracks with friends over email and had to give them detailed instructions on how to navigate the flash popup (ok, first click on the band's launch panel, then look in the popup for something marked "sounds" then click that and click the stream button...what? you don't have the latest flash?), or if I love a band's music, I can't seem to find their tour dates even though I know they're on the road. Merlin drops the five golden rules for bands that do too good of a job keeping their fans from their music.
posted by mathowie at 9:58 AM PST - 81 comments

Broken hearts and homes
Attention NYC mefites and animal lovers. I've supported an animal shelter in Brooklyn that apparently was not legit. There is now a desperate need for foster homes for the animals that were rescued from them - they especially need homes for kittens, but there are dogs involved too. There is contact info on this page, but don't look at the pictures if you don't want your heart broken.
posted by tizzie at 8:21 AM PST - 17 comments

Ditone and Quadratone and all that Jazz
Coltrane's Giant Steps, visually explained. (via)
posted by shoepal at 7:57 AM PST - 37 comments

...towards the rotating cubes...
I've invoked the name before. But while looking for the web site of Peter Zumthor, I came up with this.
posted by Dick Paris at 5:30 AM PST - 7 comments

The Hydrogen Economy
Physics Today provides a nice overview of some of the technical challenges of transitioning to a hydrogen economy and transforming the electric infrastructure.
posted by kliuless at 4:45 AM PST - 38 comments

Paying the Price
The British aid agency OXFAM has released new figures on foreign aid. In 2003, the average aid budget of wealthy countries was just 0.25% of national income. According to the OECD this is actually a modest increase. Only 5 countries: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden meet or exceed the 0.7% target agreed at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. Among wealthy nations, the US is meanest in terms of percentage. At 0.14%, or £8 billion a year, the US foreign aid budget is less than one tenth of what was spent on the invasion of Iraq. The aid budgets of rich nations are half what they were in 1960, Oxfam said, while poor countries are having to pay $100 million a day in debt repayments. Does foreign aid help? Or is it just throwing good money after bad?
posted by three blind mice at 1:35 AM PST - 30 comments

December 5
Que pensaient-ils?
French police on Sunday ended their practice of hiding plastic explosives in air passengers' luggage to train bomb-sniffing dogs after one such bag got lost, possibly ending up on a flight out of Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport.
WTF were they thinking? Isn't there a better way to train the dogs without making innocent people unwittingly carry plastique?
posted by Vidiot at 11:00 PM PST - 34 comments

Is this a good idea?
It's the stupid, economy. I'm no economist, but I'm reminded of the underpants gnomes business strategy when I read this. Obviously there is a political component (to the story) but what the $!@(# are the nuts and bolts? Why is pressuring economic engine states (California, New York) a good thing? (registration to the L.A. Times ... sry) Pretty much the same story here.
posted by Smedleyman at 10:41 PM PST - 15 comments

The Flurby Jim News Site
It goes back to his kidnapping and presumed death this year...
posted by symbioid at 10:31 PM PST - 6 comments

junkscience top10
Junkscience: Top Ten "Most Embarrassing Moments" of 2004 Whoops: "10. University of Arkansas researchers attacked the Atkins Diet in January with a report linking a high-carbohydrate diet with weight loss, saying it was possible to lose weight without cutting calories and without exercising. What they didn’t reveal, however, was that the study subjects who lost weight actually ate 400-600 calories per day less than those who didn’t lose weight." I don't see the big deal behind number 6.
posted by skallas at 9:23 PM PST - 45 comments

Nastaliq Past and Present
According to Persian mythology, God is a painter who has painted the world with his kelk. More Persian calligraphy here.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:12 PM PST - 10 comments

Pat Tillman, The Real Story:
Pat Tillman, The Real Story: "During several weeks of memorials and commemorations that followed Tillman's death, commanders at his 75th Ranger Regiment and their superiors hid the truth about friendly fire from Tillman's brother Kevin, who had fought with Pat in the same platoon, but was not involved in the firing incident and did not know the cause of his brother's death. Commanders also withheld the facts from Tillman's widow, his parents, national politicians and the public, according to records and interviews with sources involved in the case. " Believe nothing.
posted by owillis at 9:01 PM PST - 46 comments

Skeletal systems of cartoon characters
Skeletal systems of cartoon characters

(All hail Waxy.org)
posted by 40 Watt at 8:42 PM PST - 40 comments

Speculaas, pepernoten & Bisschopswijn
Sinterklaas is coming to town. Christmas comes early for Dutch children. Or rather, Sinterklaas does, having brought his gifts this weekend. While many Anglo-American Christmas traditions owe much to marketing schemes, the Dutch attachment to mulled wine and spiced biscuits harks back to earlier times. Perhaps too much so: with ongoing racial tensions following the murder of Theo van Gogh, the annual debate over 'zwarte piet', Santa's blackfaced little helper, has been especially heated. (One advantage of artificial traditions is that they tend to avoid such messy questions.) Nevertheless, here's the motherlode of Sinterklaas links, including songs, recipes and background.
posted by holgate at 8:06 PM PST - 25 comments

looky that funny gee-tar Martha!
Artistic guitars. Check out the Folk Legend, the Skeletar, and the MotorGuitar.
posted by Wet Spot at 7:26 PM PST - 14 comments

Carnival
Carnival by Steve McCaffery (wikipedia entry). One of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E poets. Their late 70's, early 80's magazine can be found archived here and makes for interesting reading. However, I suggest you start off by looking at the two beautiful panels that comprise Carnival. They're both visual art and poetry. There's also a terrible pun hidden in one of them if you can find it. But if you hunger for more, here's an interesting critique by Marjorie Perloff [note: The Carnival panels are too big for any screen, but they can be shrunk by hitting "map"]
posted by Kattullus at 6:01 PM PST - 19 comments

Media Mammon
Media Mammon is the latest edition of stock market simulation...with a very kind UI. Instead of 'buying' stocks, atheletes, celebrities, politicians or future events specifically you are 'buying' words and phrases that can cover anything...as long as its reported on Yahoo! News. By analyzing the content of news stories, the more frequently a word is used, the higher its value. Some people may just want to buy 4 shares of dumb and call it a night, or be the first to get Metafilter listed as a public share...hail Mammon ;¬) [via Waxy]
posted by gren at 5:55 PM PST - 17 comments

Early Celebrity.
Famous for Being Famous - is an article on the artist, Giotto, argued to be among the first "celebrities." Giotto studied with the painter Cimabue and is said to have been an early influence on Leonardo da Vinci. Although not currently as well-known as Michaelangelo, for instance, Giotto's fame in his day was great, as evidenced by writings by Dante and Boccaccio.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:48 PM PST - 5 comments

Faceted hierarchy as killer app
Recently we've all been thinking about flat (or better, faceted) hierarchy web apps that organize email, photos, bookmarks, and general knowledge. The common threads are metadata (tags, categories, labels) that enrich relationships within and hence searchability of large collections. But besides marketroid hype (buzzwords, snark) and a computer that plays Twenty Questions what else can we do and study using faceted data structures: searchable culture references in The Simpsons, library science, computer filesystems, A.I. development, models for human memory and cognition?
posted by fatllama at 5:26 PM PST - 46 comments

(Miao Miao Miao)
The Wonderfully Absurd Temple. [Via MoFi]
posted by homunculus at 5:13 PM PST - 2 comments

mmmmm ... DNA
To settle the issue, I extracted my own DNA. I extracted the DNA of my subject. I tested both in a gel electrophoresis [flash] chamber that I built myself. As I suspected, although my DNA is delicious, I am not a kiwi fruit.
posted by deshead at 5:02 PM PST - 6 comments

a culture of war
"We need to be the benevolent, dominant tribe." The United States enacts tough love in the aftermath of fighting in Fallujah. "Bellon asserted that previous attempts to win trust from Iraqis suspicious of US intentions had telegraphed weakness by asking, " 'What are your needs? What are your emotional needs?' All this Oprah shit," he said. "They want to figure out who the dominant tribe is and say, 'I'm with you.'""
posted by four panels at 3:51 PM PST - 43 comments

Wounded Warriors
When the fighting stops. In World War II, for every American soldier killed in combat, there were three wounded on the battlefield, according to the U.S. Army Medical Command. In Korea, the ratio of killed-to-wounded was one to four. The ratio was the same for Vietnam. In Iraq, the ratio is one to 12.
Those combat survivors -- along with thousands more service members in Iraq and Afghanistan who are injured or who fall ill off the battlefield -- will add to the growing demand for services from an already struggling federal Veterans Affairs Department. More inside.
posted by matteo at 1:47 PM PST - 33 comments

First off, a bit of background
"Excuse me, but we can credit sources however we choose." Some of you might have seen the pictures of Jessica Simpson as Daisy Duke which have been popping out all over. One of the sources was Film Rotation, who presented the 'story' in this post. The following day they included a follow up discussing other sites which have been covering the story including Cinema Blend adding that it was "sadly with no source credit - seems to be a pattern with them as of late." The Blend people didn't take too kindly to the criticism and this 'discussion' occured. It's captivating, but all too familiar.
posted by feelinglistless at 1:38 PM PST - 31 comments

Lagrange: it's not just a ZZ Top song
Minimal surfaces in 3D (red/green, or stereo pairs), with rotate and zoom. If you want to go beyond the eye-candy aspect, here's the obligatory Mathworld link, the classic intuitive explanation, and a raft of additional information. If you like eye-candy, don't miss the ray-traced minimal surfaces and these interesting, but non-minimal surfaces.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:41 PM PST - 7 comments

We're a pirate mind-station, the New Edge
A history of Mondo 2000 : "It had arrived at a particular moment where there was at least a subculture of people in the computer community that were ready for it," remembers Sirius. "At the time there was no competition at all. There was absolutely nothing to compare it to. It talked about how technology was important in our lives at a time when people were in denial about it."
posted by ori at 11:57 AM PST - 33 comments

For anyone who still believes "reality" shows are legit, Time magazine's Joel Stein has the scoop in the LA Times (free reg. required) of "unscripted" programs with "real" people following carefully-written plots. He's even obtained a smoking gun: a Queer Eye script (.pdf) in which "every moment is planned in advance, including a few specific lines for the straight guy to deliver." The Osbournes features canned sound effects and phony reaction shots. Every scene in The Simple Life is so scripted, its producers stopped calling it a reality program, preferring the odd "soft-scripted show" euphemism. In short, the entire genre is a rather transparent fraud.
posted by evening at 11:54 AM PST - 90 comments

The Hidden (in Plain Sight) Persuaders
The Hidden (in Plain Sight) Persuaders It's not hard to understand why corporations would try "word of mouth" marketing campaigns to promote their products. But why would regular people volunteer to turn their daily interactions into marketing moments? (NYT - requires free registration)
posted by ericb at 10:13 AM PST - 45 comments

Christmas Pudding.
The Scarlet Whore of Babylon must've been a culinary genius. After all, the Quakers credited her with the invention of the Christmas pudding. Being American, I grew up thinking that the world of pudding began and ended here. Boy, was I wrong! This traditional dessert has made its mark on everything -- from great literature and film to atomic modeling. While Stir-up Sunday has been and gone, I think that as long as Christmas hasn't arrived, it's never too late to make your own. (And once you've eaten your fill, try your hand at the game!)
posted by fricative at 9:30 AM PST - 16 comments

Becker-Posner Blog
Take a Nobel economist who has devoted his career to studying the effect of social and political change on microeconomic theory. Combine with the most prolific legal scholar of the past half-century and federal judge with immeasurable influence on American jurisprudence. Add Moveable Type and a bit of technical help from our fearless leader, and you've got the Becker-Posner Blog, which debuts today.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:05 AM PST - 14 comments

Jumping snail love quest
Saltacol {flash} is a jumping snail who needs your help to reach his mate. Level codes and hints are here. Warning: can be frustrating and addictive.
posted by Cryptical Envelopment at 7:34 AM PST - 10 comments

like you and me, but stupider.
Just a week in the life of a san diego county police officer. Linked from YouCSD, a news alternative weblog for the UCSD community.
posted by radiosig at 5:05 AM PST - 28 comments

December 4
Deliciously negotiating with hostage-takers
Would it be wrong to steal a loaf of bread to feed one's family? And by loaf of bread, I mean a nine-foot inflatable SpongeBob Squarepants, and by feeding my family, I mean getting free Whoppers for a year as a reward for returning them to the roof of the Burger King from which they have been disappearing. (via ToonZone)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:14 PM PST - 36 comments

Just Say No To Drugs (Reps)
Just Say No To Drug Reps.
posted by Gyan at 9:57 PM PST - 40 comments

"You Narts are a haughty and stubborn race."
Narts! The Nart Sagas are arguably the most essential ingredient of Circassian Culture, to which they are what Greek mythology is to Western Civilization. Though much less known than their Greek counterparts, the Nart epic tales are no less developed. The heroism, sagacity, guile and ferocity of the Nart demi-gods are more than matches to those of the Greek Pantheon. If this selection of stories captures your interest, you might want John Colarusso's Nart Sagas from the Caucasus; you can read the introduction online ("A ship sailing across the Black Sea in the year 1780 eventually would have come upon a lush shore at the eastern end of the dark gray waters..."). Although they seem to have been brought by the Ossetes (and J. Cassian is posting an Ossetian tale, The Death of Soslan, on his blog), they're everywhere in the Northern Caucasus. And some people say they were the source of the King Arthur stories.
posted by languagehat at 7:24 PM PST - 13 comments

Get out the vote
Vote for your favourite online community
posted by Mwongozi at 4:12 PM PST - 62 comments

Internet in Iran: a new report by NPR
Internet is not a luxury in Iran anymore (NPR)
posted by hoder at 3:42 PM PST - 5 comments

A Muppet Christmas with Zbigniew Brzezinski (1978)
The Ten Least Successful Holiday Specials of All Time. From An Algonquin Round Table Christmas to Noam Chomsky: Deconstructing Christmas, these are the worst Christmas specials ever. I'd pay good money to see the Ayn Rand one for real.
posted by apathy0o0 at 1:23 PM PST - 44 comments

Recommendation network
As illustrated by this recent Wired Magazine article, consumer-to-consumer recommendations on the Internet are certainly influencing consumer demand. Goodblock attempts to gather casual friend-to-friend recommendations--from a good baby-friendly Thai restaurant in town to a doggy day care you trust--and collect them in a directory much as del.icio.us collects bookmark recommendations for your friends to peruse. For now, goodblock is in beta and is accessible only by friend invitation and, similar to the friendster model, you can only see your own directory and those of your listed friends.
posted by lowkey at 12:58 PM PST - 20 comments

To the French, it is the flower that thinks; what do the English call it?
Etymology-wise, which hormone is an island? What word both denotes a prime and euphemizes Satan? What word denotes "the future" and abbreviates the unknown? Is urine pith? These are some of the questions from "Moot: The World's Toughest Language Game," a homemade and little-known board game for lovers of words. Some puzzles are available online; there are a few more available on a page detailing the interesting story behind the game's creation. You can sign up to have a new language puzzle e-mailed to you every week.
posted by painquale at 12:09 PM PST - 8 comments

Elvis is basically Shakin' Stevens writ large.
Don't believe the hype Debunking the so-called genius of Prince, The Sopranos and 'Blade Runner'. Amusingly harsh yet convincing cases all round. Can I add 'Goodfellas' to the list? Never has so much been written about a film so lacking. I prefered 'Casino'.
posted by feelinglistless at 11:30 AM PST - 135 comments

We all should've known this before...
Criticize Iran? Obviously, you're with the Mossad. As it turns out, Al Jazeera is run by Americans and Zionists bent on discrediting Islam in the West, heightening tensions among Islamic countries, and obstructing President Khatami's Dialogue Among Civilizations initiative. Tehran Times has the scoop.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:16 AM PST - 22 comments

Free weather data via XML
The weather just got a lot more accessible. The National Weather Service's weather data is now freely available in XML format for SOAP clients; it had previously been only available through commercial providers or in a difficult-to-decipher format. Not knowing anything about web services, I'm not sure about the implications, but I imagine that anyone who knows their SOAP could build their own weather app really easily.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:25 AM PST - 18 comments

Tommy Thompson
Tommy Thompson , former Wisconsin governor, GOP platform committee chairman, and outgoing Secretary of Health and Human Services leaves with these reassuring words: "For the life of me, I cannot understand why the terrorists have not attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do." Time stock up on those rapture rations?
posted by three blind mice at 7:33 AM PST - 48 comments

Remote-controlled aerial photography
Remote controlled aerial photography is not just for spies - members at RC Groups take low-altitude photos from remote-controlled planes. This impressive gallery of submissions for an aerial photography calendar offers a sampling of the art. (via Buzz)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:22 AM PST - 14 comments

Remember Design Takes Time
Elite Designers Against IKEA
posted by armage at 5:55 AM PST - 90 comments

Every once and while you find a site that leaves you completely speechless...
John Nozum's Sleep Apnea page isn't particularly interesting unless you suffer from the condition. He spends a great deal of time discussing his treatment which included a Tracheostomy. Some of it's not pleasant to look at but then you stumble onto this page and things... well... what can I say? I just hope to God this guy never gets a colostomy bag. A few warnings: Although not particularly gory or gross, many of these pictures are unpleasant in one way or another. Also, there's an embedded midi file on every page. BEWARE (it's located at the bottom of the page).
posted by E_B_A at 5:42 AM PST - 6 comments

The G-Cans Project
The G-Cans Project is a massive project, begun 12 years ago, to build infrastructure for preventing overflow of the major rivers and waterways spidering the city (A serious problem for Tokyo during rainy-season and typhoon season). The underground waterway is the largest in the world and sports five 32m diameter, 65m deep concrete containment silos which are connected by 64 kilometers of tunnel sitting 50 meters beneath the surface. The whole system is powered by 14000 horsepower turbines which can pump 200 tons of water a second into the large outlying edogawa river.
posted by joelf at 12:48 AM PST - 24 comments

December 3
HOW HIP-HOP MUSIC IS SLOWLY TRANSCENDING ITS CIRCULAR CULTURE
The best essay on hip-hop I've read...
posted by pabanks46 at 9:13 PM PST - 154 comments

Vittorio Sacerdoti - K Syndrome
The BBC has a beautiful story of another unsung hero of the Holocaust.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 7:48 PM PST - 14 comments

Cartoon History of Iceland
Cartoon History of Iceland, chapter 1, for those of us who need a quick and painless (except for some of the puns) introduction to the history of one of the claimants to the title of Oldest Democracy. (other chapters inside).
posted by QIbHom at 7:06 PM PST - 12 comments

Old Istanbul.
Old Istanbul Postcards. If you have any fondness for old city views, this is irresistible. Here's a look at the Old City of Istanbul a hundred years ago (Hagia Sophia is just left of center), and here's the gate of the Ottoman War Ministry, now Istanbul University (map). There's lots more where those came from. (Via Desultory Turgescence.)
posted by languagehat at 6:18 PM PST - 14 comments

Slanguage
Safire's latest list of slang
posted by srboisvert at 6:08 PM PST - 91 comments

The Art Of Hover Pissing
A lesson every woman needs to learn. I myself practise "hovering" and what the article leaves out is how it can work wonders for one's thigh muscles (ha ha). Seriously, for women, going to the bathroom is a complicated process.
posted by livingsanctuary at 5:23 PM PST - 52 comments

Bottoms Up
Tired of waiting for that waitress to fill your pitcher? Technology once again rides to the rescue courtesy of two industrious Cornell students. [warning: lots of nerdy details in link...not safe for technophobes]
posted by rooftop secrets at 4:54 PM PST - 17 comments

They had ways of making you talk
Infernal Device 49 Examples of Human Perversity
posted by Cryptical Envelopment at 4:50 PM PST - 27 comments

Rats!
Rats are being trained to detect buried land mines in Africa. Giant African pouched rats! Mine-detecting is definitely not a suicide mission, the rats are trained with care and attention and are expected to give about eight years of service. They can also detect tuberculosis. And so cute! Here's a page on keeping them as pets (but you'd need a spare room and a nocturnal lifestyle.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:38 PM PST - 17 comments

Not So Fast...
That BBC article about AIDS and NYC? Debunked. This one's for schroedinger, who posted the original BBC story about the documentary accusing the NYC Association for Children’s Services of using children in foster care for drug testing experiments without parental consent on MeFi here. Here's an intelligent and well thought out rebuttal from blogger respectfulofotters to the points made (and sources used by,) the documentary.
posted by zarq at 4:05 PM PST - 41 comments

The Best, Jerry. The Best!
It's that time of year again. When everyone comes out with their lists of the best movies, albums, TV shows, books, etc, etc. Fimoculous has a page that lists them all so you don't have to search around the web. (And it will be continuously updated for the next month or so, so keep checking back)
posted by braun_richard at 1:54 PM PST - 15 comments

men in power + women in need = bad
Meet the Landlord. Mr. Bobby Veal, a class act guy, decides to harass and rape mothers living alone on Section 8. Oh, but it gets better, when they refused sex and began to complain, he'd evict them, change the locks and keep their furniture inside. Even after an eventual trial and conviction, what are the women doing now? Living in cars, furniture stolen by Mr. Veal and waiting for the court settlement that many believe will never come. Poverty ain't pretty.
posted by geoff. at 12:41 PM PST - 61 comments

The History of Maps
The History of Maps from the the oldest map of the world to prehistoric globalization to early modern worlds to nautical charts. Myths and facts.
posted by cmonkey at 12:33 PM PST - 13 comments

This post is not very PC
End of an era IBM may sell its PC division to Lenovo, a Chinese company, due to its decade-long dwindling importance in comparison to powerhouses HP and Dell - in a market they helped invent in the first place. Seems like a good enough reason to reminisce about the old bastard.
posted by fungible at 12:21 PM PST - 21 comments

Should Christ be kept out of Christmas?
Christ out of Christmas Have the retailers won the war on Christmas over the religious folks? (WMP)
posted by dov3 at 11:59 AM PST - 67 comments

Back to Iraq
She's baaaaaaaack! Farnaz Fassihi, the Wall Street Journal reporter whose private e-mail to friends lamented the dangers of reporting in Iraq and criticized the Bush administration's war policy, is returning to her war beat next week for the first time since her missive sparked a controversy in October. Reports that she was being punished by her newspaper for the e-mail were apparently false. Her e-mail brought her unexpected attention, raised issues about whether reporters covering Iraq were telling the whole story, prompted some introspection in journalism circles, and led a variety of news outlets to confirm her dour outlook (last link is a reprinted NYT article). Previously discussed here.
posted by owenville at 11:25 AM PST - 4 comments

Teenage Wasteland
25 years ago tonight, 11 people died in a horrific crush outside the doors of the Cincinnati Coliseum before a concert by The Who. "Every square foot of that room (the Coliseum’s first aid room) was covered by bodies," recounts then-police lieutenant Dale Menkhaus. Pete Townsend took it hard: "I dealt with it, … by sitting and getting drunk." Lessons were learned, but it happened again. This city’s resulting ban on festival seating was repealed just this year. As Jerry Springer, who was a Cincinnati city councilman at the time of the Who concert tragedy, would say, “Take care of yourselves, and each other.”
posted by tizzie at 11:07 AM PST - 9 comments

Gay and Ashamed
Hustler's magazine's anticipated expose of closeted congressman David Dreier (R – California) hits newsstands today. Raw Story reports that the article “offers a handful of new details not previously reported, including a charge that high-level California Republicans have been aware of (and sanctioned) Dreier’s gay lifestyle for many years.” The article recounts how Dreier’s gay life was exposed earlier this summer by blogACTIVE.com, RAW STORY, and then picked up by L.A. Weekly (previously discussed here, here, and here). Dreier was targeted because he had repeatedly voted against gay rights measures – all the while keeping his alleged partner on his office payroll. Hustler gave permission to blogACTIVE and RAW STORY to excerpt parts of the article. The full article is only available in the print edition of the magazine.
posted by ericb at 10:20 AM PST - 40 comments

Contact, is the answer, is the reason, that everything happens
Look around you... The world is an hilarious place, and there's no better way to confirm that fact than by watching low-budget educational films. If your middle school experience was anything like mine, then you'll remember the intense rush of joy that you felt when you arrived at class to find a TV cart set up at the front of the room. Maybe some of you were excited about the chance to catch up on sleep or pass notes or whatever, but I watched those damn things with a passion, noting every flubbed line, analog-synth-driven soundtrack, and polyester-filled wardrobe like they were keys to a parallel universe.

Thanks to the Internet Archive's AV Geeks collection of films, I've recently rekindled my love affair with the genre and with last night's premiere of Look Around You on BBC America, I've been catapulted directly into geek/kitsch heaven! The series parodies 70s/80s science films and nails the look and tone of these series with such astonishing accuracy that it made my big, comfy couch feel like a cramped uncomfortable desk (with the chair attached). With this show, Coupling, and Trailer Park Boys, BBCA is fast on its way to becoming my favorite network! (Sorry Cartoon Network, it's nothing personal... =)
posted by idontlikewords at 10:02 AM PST - 30 comments

Only geeks read on Friday nights
Nominations for the best software essays of 2004. There's lots of reading here, pardners, and much of it is great.
posted by bonaldi at 8:44 AM PST - 3 comments

Shop Your Party, Choose Blue (or Red)
WalMart? Red. Costco? Blue.
Vote with your wallet, shop in stores that support your political beliefs and stay away from stores that don't.
Home Depot? Red. Circuit City? Red. JC Penney? Red. Sears, Staples, Walgreens? Red. So where's the blue? The Gap, CostCo, Bed Bath & Beyond, Barnes & Noble, Toyota (the only car maker to support Blue more than Red). They get Coors, Bud, Busch and Michelob but that's nicely balanced out by the Blue getting Guinness. The only anamoly I've found so far is Target, a Minnesota based company headed by a strong Democrat, is in the Red.
Will this change anyone's shopping habits? I hope so.
posted by fenriq at 8:25 AM PST - 211 comments

Honors student, cheerleader, football-player-dating girl with straight A’s who's HIGH
The Washingtonian wants you to know: Kids smoke pot. And sometimes you can't even tell! "You could have the honors student, cheerleader, football-player-dating girl with straight A’s who may be the go-between for some drug dealer, just selling the stuff at school.” Even in the suburbs! Got your pearls clutched tightly? The Washington City Paper responds.
posted by occhiblu at 8:04 AM PST - 76 comments

Doctor Who Returns in 2005
Doctor Who returns in a few months, here's a teaser for those of us übergeeks who cannot wait. (Realplayer warning on the link!). The "new" Doctor Who returns to BBC sometime in the first half of next year. While this topic was discussed several months ago, more new details have surfaced on the new series. What other TV series have you seen 'resurrected' that you once loved, and what success do you think there was in that resurrection? What made the revived series work or not work?
posted by tgrundke at 7:44 AM PST - 60 comments

Bonds testimony
Bonds said he unknowingly used steroids Following up on yesterday's article on Giambi's grand jury testimony, the SF Chronicle reports that Bonds admitted using steroids, but didn't know what they were at the time. Gary Sheffield said something very similar in October, and was not penalized by baseball, nor by public opinion. Meanwhile, the Yankees are reportedly trying to void Giambi's contract. What will the fallout be from the Bonds story?
posted by ibmcginty at 7:28 AM PST - 50 comments

Organic Flash
Organic Flash is a response to my perception of current design trends. In many popular sites that I come across I sense coldness; an attempt to master nature, to remove us from reality, a struggle to feel superior to our offline world and to one another. ... We are of this earth and though our online world is virtual, I believe that the most fulfilling user experiences will be so because the designer/artist wisely incorporated elements from our natural environment into their presentation. They made an effort to communicate with our humanity rather [than] squash it into cold vector perfection. In addition to speaking with the mind, they bonded with the soul. Yes, we are still left bodiless, but hopefully, when we get up from the computer and finally agree to go to bed, we take with us an enriched soul, rather than a depleted one.
- Kurt Dommermuth, 10 April 2001
posted by jefgodesky at 6:51 AM PST - 61 comments

A Long walk for justice.
Abc Australia reports on Michael Long World Football (Soccer) Star and Australian Aborigine Michael Long meets with the Aussie PM after drawing attention by walking from Melbourne to Canberra. As a child of the Aboriginal lost generation he is seeking a voice for his people in the government. Make what you will of the issue, this is a brave, brave man.
posted by lumpenprole at 6:47 AM PST - 27 comments

Women Working
Harvard's Open Collections program: Women Working, 1870-1930. Includes photos, manuscripts, trade catalogs and books documenting women working in the United States between the Civil War and Depression. Curious about Abercrombie & Fitch's 1913 styles? Or The Working Girls of Boston?
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:19 AM PST - 4 comments

Dow accepts responsibility
Dow Accepts responsibility Twenty years too late but Dow finally does the decent thing over Bhopal. It comes as a surprise to those who were expecting them to drag their feet forever. What next - the extradition of Anderson?
posted by rhymer at 4:10 AM PST - 36 comments

No sex, please, we're Republicans
No sex, please, we're Republicans. At the dawn of a digitised, globalised millennium, these creeps want the clocks turned back to a time when the church held sway over our sexuality. They prefer us ignorant and terrified, alone in the dark, the better for them to control us through fear and guilt. Too bad for them that we live in the bright, vivid light of our incandescent dirty dreams.
posted by acrobat at 3:25 AM PST - 64 comments

Bahia
Adenor Gondim has spent almost 50 years photographing Bahia (English version will be available soon I hear, but the pictures speak for themselves). It's an enchanting part of Brazil, not least because of the sights and the candomblé religion and traditions.
posted by keijo at 2:43 AM PST - 5 comments

Irene Elizabeth Stroud, an associate pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia, was accused of flouting the church's ban on homosexual clergy.
In the first open trial for the Eastern Pennsylvania United Methodist Church Council in more than 50 years, the Rev. Irene Elizabeth Stroud was accused of violating church law by openly living with her partner in a committed relationship. Jurors were instructed that they had a duty to "hold a good pastor accountable to the standard with which we all live'' under the Methodist Book of Discipline. The jury voted 7-6 to withdraw Stroud's ministerial credentials at the First United Methodist Church of Germantown in Philadelphia. She was defrocked, so to speak. Laicized. Ostracized. Demonized.
posted by three blind mice at 1:03 AM PST - 58 comments

December 2
Guaranteeing a Right to a Job at a Living Wage
Our nation so richly endowed with natural resources and with a capable and industrial population, should be able to devise ways and means of insuring to all our able-bodied working men and women a fair day's pay for a fair day's work . - Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 1937

Chapter 1 [PDF] of Ending Poverty as We Know It - Guaranteeing a Right to a Job at a Living Wage. Here is a Q&A with William Quigley, its author.
posted by y2karl at 10:47 PM PST - 29 comments

Frank Kimbrough
Not your smooth jazz crap! Frank Kimbrough is part of the Jazz Composer's Collective, a prolific and amazing composer and one of my mentors. His music is groovy, intellectual and comes from an area that includes much thought, much playing and being the house pianist for years in what used to be a real crap bar owned by devotees of Ayn Rand. My favourite of his many groups is the Herbie Nichols Project, which resurrects the music of a man taken early from this world, but who could have done much more for music.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:39 PM PST - 7 comments

Bzzt.
These are the toy tanks and they shock the people.
posted by hughbot at 6:45 PM PST - 48 comments

Japan is crazy on the internet!
Megametajapanfilter --feel the fury of 2ch, Japan's largest message board. Not only have bus hijackings (CNN) and group suicides been announced there, but 2ch helped spawn a world of memes and spin-off sites. The likes of pancake bunny (Oolong) and roflcopter have been breeding freely in the English-language mirror-world 2ch would help create. There is the (frequently disgusting and sexual) spin-off image board 4chan (English), which is a legend in its own right, plus many other *chans you'd rather not see. (See also the Japanese Futaba Channel.) Obviously Something Awful goons had their fingers in the 4chan pie.
posted by Kleptophoria! at 6:34 PM PST - 19 comments

Lazyweb
A rug that turns into a laundry bag. "The perfect gift for teenagers, students and the lazy other half." [via]
posted by adampsyche at 6:06 PM PST - 27 comments

The vanquished know war.
Chris Hedges on war. The long-time war correspondent explains why it will be years before we have any idea what's been going on in Iraq, and describes the gulf between here and there:
One of the Marines in the book returns to California and is invited to be the guest of honor in a gated community in Malibu, a place where he could never afford to live. The residents want to toast him as a war hero. "I'm not a hero," he tells the guests. "Guys like me are just a necessary part of things. To maintain this way of life in a fine community like this, you need psychos like us to go out and drop a bomb on somebody's house."
posted by languagehat at 5:49 PM PST - 45 comments

The FDA's for Losers.
New York's HIV Experiment. Need test subjects for your highly experimental, possibly lethal drugs but don't want to deal with consent issues? Don't worry, New York City's Association for Children's Services has got you covered! Just ask GlaxoSmithKline about its continuing antiretroviral drug trials. Not only does the ACS provide it and other pharmaceutical companies with high-quality HIV-positive orphans and foster children, but it administers the drugs to them as well! Kids not willing to take the pills? The ACS will stick peg-tubes in their stomachs. Foster parents refusing to give kids the drugs? The ACS will charge them with abuse and put the kids somewhere else. Wondering about Tuskegee comparisons or how the combination of side-effects like diarrhea and swollen joints with no evidence of benefits fits into a cost-benefit analysis? Why? This is the ACS! They can do whatever they want.
posted by schroedinger at 2:55 PM PST - 81 comments

Gulf not found
Google "Arabian Gulf" and you'll find that the gulf you are looking for does not exist. It seems that the ongoing ideological war between Iran and Iraq has escalated to the level of parodic error pages.
posted by mikrophon at 2:33 PM PST - 18 comments

pre-emptive big feet big xxxx joke
Diagnosis via press release. Josh Marshall speculates on Dick Cheney's health based on a press release put out by a shoe store. The store says Cheney's feet have "changed to a size 10EEE". Swelling of the feet is a primary symptom of congestive heart failure.
posted by jpoulos at 2:26 PM PST - 33 comments

Who ate Baby Jesus?
Who ate Baby Jesus? You may well ask yourself if you should become owner of this here nativity scene made entirely out of S'Mores.
posted by brookish at 1:52 PM PST - 21 comments

Watching movies in a difficult year
On the meaning of life... and movies: The radiation made it difficult for me to handle solid food, and I existed on a product named Ensure, which kept everything humming along. Very early on the first morning in Cannes I woke early, as I always do, and wandered, as I always do, down to the all-night cafe by the port, and ordered, as I always do, a croissant and cafe au lait. I dunked the croissant into the coffee, as I always do, and ate it, and that was the beginning of real food again.

Roger Ebert describes his battles with cancer--and his love of movies--in the introduction to his 2005 Movie Yearbook.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:18 PM PST - 25 comments

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic
Google's sorcery You use it, I use it some 30-40 times a day, but did you ever wonder exactly how they do it? The numbers are staggering:
# Over four billion Web pages, each an average of 10KB, all fully indexed. # Up to 2,000 PCs in a cluster. # Over 30 clusters. # 104 interface languages including Klingon and Tagalog. # One petabyte of data in a cluster -- so much that hard disk error rates of 10-15 begin to be a real issue. # Sustained transfer rates of 2Gbps in a cluster. # An expectation that two machines will fail every day in each of the larger clusters. # No complete system failure since February 2000.
Is Google God? (via /.)
posted by daHIFI at 12:50 PM PST - 40 comments

Can you take a picture of a thought?
Perhaps the largest non-profit you never heard of, the Chevy Chase, Maryland-based Howard Hughes Medical Institute recently decided on the long-term mission of their currently-under-construction $500 million research facility in Ashburn, Virginia. Janelia Farm will strive to understand human consciousness in a 100-year timeframe. They plan to accomplish this by attracting the best and brightest, and non-conventional scientific minds to live at or near the research facility, and to work in a collaborative, the sky's the limit type environment.

disclaimer: I work for HHMI in a non-scientific role.
posted by pmbuko at 12:32 PM PST - 41 comments

Saving the world, one stapler at a time.
Saving the world, one stapler at a time. Now you can buy a stapler (signed by an uber-celeb) and be a philanthrophic soul at the same time! If only they had a red Swingline signed by Milton, my life would be complete. But why would anybody want this one signed by Paris Hilton? God knows where it's been!
posted by drew at 12:12 PM PST - 14 comments

Cut the crap - Duchamp opened up modern art
Marcel Duchamp's "readymade" Fountain has been named the World's Most Influential work of modern art, according to 500 artists, curators, critics and dealers in a survey conducted by Turner Prize sponsor Gordon's. (more inside)
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:39 AM PST - 64 comments

Unmanned aerial photography sentinel bot thingy
RC Aerial Photography. Oh so pretty!
posted by riffola at 10:41 AM PST - 29 comments

Spiky Bras! Wheee!
Do you like boobs? Do you like spikes? How about boobs that look like blowfish? Spiky Bras is an innovative concept, to say the least. Bras (and other, related underthings) covered with spikes. Why not? Give people the impression you have 300, 400 nipples! But why stop there? They have feathery bras and flowery bras and men's underpants that talk (ie. "I'm a horny 'lil devil!"). This may seem crass and juvenile but nothing is as cool as the glowing cactus that now tops my Christmas list. The site is relatively SWF, that is, if you think looking at pictures of boobs stuffed in bras covered with what looks like white, plastic Hershey's kisses is safe for your workplace.
posted by E_B_A at 10:35 AM PST - 16 comments

Heroin, PCP, ketamine, marijuana?
Rescheduling marijuana: third time's the charm? Rather than hoping activist judges use the outdated notion of state's rights to allow Angel Raich to use marijuana medicinally (she claims she'd die without it), why not reclassify it as Schedule II? Or more appropriately, Schedule III? Don't hold your breath. They've been trying since 1972.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:34 AM PST - 42 comments

If abc -> abd, then xyz -> ?
Copycat [Java] - long available only in its rickety original LISP source - is now an interactive applet. You can propose analogy puzzles based on strings of letters and watch Copycat build up and tear down models of the problem until it finds a solution it's happy with. It will explain its reasoning, and, since stochastic elements are inolved, can come up with alternate solutions upon rerun. Tutorial for the applet here; or, explore MetaCat, the next generation follow-up.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:50 AM PST - 6 comments

Gawking in Atlanta, ya'll
FIDDLE • GoldenFiddle.com sends up Gawker.com, tailing celebrities in Atlanta: "Saw David Cross over thanksgiving at the Magnapop show in east Atlanta. He seemed really pissed off about something. Christianity maybe?"
posted by dhoyt at 9:44 AM PST - 3 comments

DVDs that self destruct
When technology falls into the wrong hands ...After 48 hours, the DVD expires and turns black. "The viewing window begins when the consumer opens the package and exposes the Flexplay DVD to air. A Flexplay DVD can be watched as many times as a consumer wants during the pre-set viewing window." More here, here, and here.
posted by thisisdrew at 9:16 AM PST - 76 comments

Hey, Johnny, give bisexuality a try
RecallMontgomerySchoolboard.com The purpose of this site is to provide an information exchange for all citizens* concerning the recent actions of the Montgomery County School Board with the possible recall of these board members in accordance with applicable statutes.
* Please note that "all" is used here in its little known sense of everyone afraid of rubbers and homos.

posted by danOstuporStar at 8:53 AM PST - 30 comments

Homosexuals take note
Are you a gay teen in Utah? Do you want to attend a high school dance with a same-sex date? Better bring a note from your parents!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:19 AM PST - 26 comments

Sex Ed
Abortion makes you sterile, 50 percent of gay male teenagers are HIV-positive, mutual masturbation can get you pregnant, you can get HIV from sweat, and more fun "facts" from our federally-funded abstinence-only curricula.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 8:03 AM PST - 58 comments

Sony vs. Kottke
Jeopardy Going After Kottke. Jason Kottke has served as the web's source of news about Ken Jennings and Jeopardy, with his most-linked blog entries being his September report of Jennings' impending loss and his Sunday provision of the actual audio of Kennings' loss. Now Sony is taking legal action against him for his spoilers, and this makes him very sad.
posted by waldo at 8:02 AM PST - 76 comments

From Guernica to Fallujah
From Guernica to Fallujah It's difficult to believe that in this day and age, when people are blogging, emailing and communicating at the speed of light, a whole city is being destroyed and genocide is being committed - and the whole world is aware and silent. Darfur, Americans? Take a look at what you've done in Fallujah." - Female Iraqi blogger Riverbend
posted by Postroad at 7:24 AM PST - 51 comments

This TB is whipping me.
With a newly indurated PPD in my arm, I went looking for tuberculosis resources. According to the WHO over 2 million people a year die of tuberculosis. About a third of the 40 mil. people infected with HIV worldwide are also infected with TB. Successful treatment takes 6-9 months of powerful antibiotics, but that's assuming the bacteria in your body aren't drug resistant. Epidemics of drug resistant TB are raging in some parts of Central America and in the Russian prison system. Paul Farmer is the man for treating it, and quite a good man in general. On the plus side, possibly having TB puts me in good company: Orwell, Kafka, Chekhov, Chopin, and the 70s favorite mummy, King Tut all had it. Every one of the Brontes did too, and they were all geniuses. Of course they all died of it. On a more sober note, if I do have to get treatment, but I refuse, I might be ordered to take medications by a judge.
posted by OmieWise at 7:03 AM PST - 11 comments

incredibly interesting things in the most simple ideas
Lorcan O'Herlihy, architect. Cool stuff. c/o Los Angeles Times.
posted by xowie at 6:41 AM PST - 4 comments

It Was Shit.
Copyright Davis. Logo terrorist.
posted by armoured-ant at 6:28 AM PST - 27 comments

Lynne Cheney Sisters blog
The Lynne Cheney Sisters blog. Previously seen only in excerpts, and its reprinting refused consistently by the Vice-President's wife since its writing, Lynne Cheney's frontier-era lesbian romance novel is now available, in its entirety, for your reading pleasure.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:17 AM PST - 12 comments

Microsoft Blogger
Microsoft does blogging Standard features, standard ugly MS design. Will "integrate" with MSN Messenger.
Via /.
posted by Mwongozi at 6:05 AM PST - 21 comments

Are you a member of the sandwich club?
Are you a member of the sandwich club?
posted by ifoughttheapemen at 5:42 AM PST - 24 comments

Legal p2p?
Three major record labels have inked deals with Peer Impact, a (still-in-beta) "legal p2p service"...this news on the heels of Shawn Fanning's "Snocap plan which involves identifying music files being traded through file-swapping networks and then attaching a price tag to them..." [+]
posted by tpl1212 at 5:18 AM PST - 7 comments

Open the gates!
Lexis-Nexis...AlaCarte? Yes, it's true. The giant archive of news, corporate and legal information is now providing a pay as you go service. Queries can be entered for free, without subscription; charges are affixed to downloaded material on a per-document basis. (via Poynter)
posted by Smart Dalek at 5:03 AM PST - 9 comments

Stem Cells in China
First look look into the surgery of of Dr Huang Hongyun who cultivates the cells of aborted foetuses and injects them into the brains and spines of his patients. His method is controversial, but his results have led hundreds of westerners to his Beijing surgery. (MI)
posted by brettski at 3:38 AM PST - 28 comments

Yankee Star Admits Steroid Use.
Yankee Star Admits Steroid Use. Jason Giambi finally came clean. Will this lead to the confession of other baseball players? Barry Bonds - the heat is on. Or are you in "the clear"?
posted by cpchester at 3:12 AM PST - 30 comments

I Don't Wanna Go Down To The Basement
These are a few of my favorite things: We've spoken previously of Disposophobia, crazy eBay moms, and all things Collyer--to that end, here's a support group and an enterprising company specializing in Clutter Management and Disposophobia, with lots and lots of before, during, and after pictures, some of which may not be safe for viewing while eating.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:36 AM PST - 11 comments

December 1
the unbearable lightness of soufflé
"I have realized that the traditional omelet form (eggs and cheese) is bourgeois. Today I tried making one out of a cigarette, some coffee, and four tiny stones."
posted by scrim at 11:24 PM PST - 31 comments

All I Want For Xmas Is An Anthropomorphic Humanoid Guitar God Robot
GuitarBot
"In designing GuitarBot, our goal was to create an electrified slide guitar that was versatile, responsive, capable of fast and slow playing, easy to control, with high-quality sound, modular and portable. We also wanted to extend, not simply duplicate, the capabilities of a human guitarist."

Don't miss the video [16 meg Quicktime]. Brought to you by the League of Electronic Musical Urban Robots.
posted by quonsar at 10:31 PM PST - 34 comments

I could probably fake fluency in Bengali
I never realized how great Wikipedia was for quick-and-dirty guides to languages. For example, did you know that Esperanto uses affixes to cut the number of adjectives one must learn in half? Or that Finnish has fifteen noun cases, including six locative declensions? Or that Vedic Sanskrit was tonal? How about that Cherokee verbs each have 21,262 inflected forms? I could play with this forever.
posted by borkingchikapa at 9:05 PM PST - 36 comments

Annoyed by the oven mitt
Everybody loves to hate the Arby's oven mitt. A slightly crazed version of mitt-hate. An editorial on how the commercials could have been amusing, but instead fell flat. Finally, scary stuff you can buy from Arby's (link on the left nav, can't link directly).
posted by tb0n3 at 7:41 PM PST - 43 comments

R.I.P. Freeze
Freeze is dead. Approach the wall in your B-boy stance, meaning gorilla steez for all you new-school punks: knees bent, arms forward, like you’re going to hit a mogul kicker. Freeze, arguably Transworld's hippest volume, will cease publication in January after 8 years covering new-school skiing, leaving a gaping void. Where will you turn for step-by-step instructions if you're trying to go Wallride To Fakie Rock. Worse: where will you turn for Liftie of the Month?
posted by RockyChrysler at 7:37 PM PST - 12 comments

Atari BackWater Produces First Page Post
The Atari Games That Never Were -- and then some. A community dedicated to rooting out prototype or unreleased titles such as Alligator People,Monstercise and -- hey cool -- a genre-busting color-field. While all this may seem a tad on the esoteric side, the glimpses into the the art is cool, hey?
posted by undule at 6:42 PM PST - 15 comments

worst website ever
Q: What could be more incomprehensible and poorly drawn than "Pokey the Penguin"?

A: The self-proclaimed worst website ever.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:40 PM PST - 23 comments

Bhopal
Twenty Years Without Justice (34.6 MB Quicktime). The Bhopal chemical disaster 20 years on. (Via MoFi)
posted by homunculus at 5:42 PM PST - 15 comments

Send any US solider some stuff
While I'm certainly not a fan of the methods used to get us into Iraq and keep us there, I do feel for the troops on the ground and hope they return safe. Any Soldier is a site that aims to let you contact any random US Soldier in a pen-pal email or postcard kind of style, which is kind of cool if you don't know anyone over there. Recently they've gone and added Treat Any Soldier, a way to send a care package to any random US Soldier serving in Iraq. I didn't vote for Bush and I think the war is a growing mistake, but I'm sending a package over this holiday season. Seems like a great way to actually do some good for someone in the real world than putting a picture of a ribbon on your car will ever do.
posted by mathowie at 5:26 PM PST - 85 comments

Reprecussion
Reprecussion is a nifty flash-based music generator. Info about the project.
posted by shotsy at 5:14 PM PST - 3 comments

No Child Left Unrecruited
What "No Child Left Behind" Really Means
"There, buried deep within the law's 670 pages, is a provision requiring public secondary schools to provide military recruiters not only with access to facilities, but also with contact information for every student -- or face a cutoff of all federal aid."

Read that again slowly, No Child Left Behind is actually a military recruitment program. Backed up with an inverse extortion threat.
via.
posted by fenriq at 4:53 PM PST - 72 comments

Feel like I'm in college again
My prayers have been answered. Finally.
posted by adampsyche at 4:44 PM PST - 57 comments

Jean-Paul Sartre - A Tribute to kamus Camus
Jean-Paul Sartre - A Tribute to Camus A eulogy for a man we all knew well...
posted by insomnia_lj at 4:16 PM PST - 16 comments

Gabriel Yacoub's Boxes
Found objects as art. This French singer/songwriter collects items from the mundane to the sublime and arranges them in boxes - be sure to visit the gallery and see some of these most unusual creations.
posted by livingsanctuary at 2:59 PM PST - 8 comments

MTV Meets Military History Channel
You got your Outkast in my Sun Tzu Weaponry, military, and war footage set to music. Although the author believes Enya did the song Adiemus, the target practice video is kind of interesting. I couldn't find any videos set to Peace Train, however.
posted by joaquim at 2:34 PM PST - 13 comments

"Oh, two-fingered guru."
"The Samchillian Tip Tip Tip Cheeepeeeee is a [computer] keyboard MIDI controller of my own invention based on changes of pitch, rather than fixed pitches. This scheme gives the performer the ability to perform extremely quick, rhapsodical lines." Perfect for the music nerd on your Christmas list. Complete with "instructional" video (53MB .mov) and mp3s. I'm on a Mac so I can't try out the freeware version.
posted by Cryptical Envelopment at 1:26 PM PST - 17 comments

Free Will Astrology
Tired of the same old boring stars? ("Thursday is a good day to plan something; an unexpected financial bonus may occur late in the week"). Then take a look at Free Will Astrology, quirky snippets of crazy wisdom drawn from all manner of sources, from Persian poets to Frank Zappa.
Quick links: aries taurus gemini cancer leo virgo libra scorpio sagittarius capricorn aquarius pisces
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:25 PM PST - 11 comments

Trade ‘em! It’s infectious!
I’ll trade you my Ebola for your Hantavirus! This Christmas give the little scientist in the family infectious diseases trading cards!
posted by arse_hat at 1:16 PM PST - 11 comments

Hope on the horizon?
Today is world AIDS day, and two days ago a joint French/Brazilian project has had some starling success in creating a vaccine that shows promise in stemming the epidemic which has killed 20 million since 1981. Whether you realize it or not, chances are you know somebody who is HIV+, so please take some time today to remember the suffering and fallen...and remember to practice safe sex. Also: AIDS blogs. (Second link via POE News)
posted by baphomet at 1:01 PM PST - 11 comments

An Interview with Chalmers Johnson, Parts 1 & 2
If we were having this conversation in 1985, and I had said to you, “Four years from now the Soviet Union will collapse and in six years it will disappear,” you would have thought, “This is not a reliable observer.” But the U.S.S.R. is gone -- disappeared -- and we didn’t predict it. Russia today is a much smaller country than the former Soviet Union. The CIA had all the wrong data. We also made a mistake when we concluded that we had won the Cold War. We had almost nothing to do with what happened in the Soviet Union: there were internal issues and it certainly wasn’t Star Wars. We now know in detail how Gorbachev brought Sakharov out of exile in Gorky to address the Politburo on, “What would you do about a ballistic missile defense?” Sakharov said, “It’s easy to overwhelm it with missiles. I wouldn’t spend a ruble on it.” And they didn’t. But in mistakenly thinking that we won the Cold War, we strongly imply that we did something to cause that. Instead, the Soviet Union collapsed because of overstretch, a case of imperial overstretch.   An Empire of More Than 725 Military Bases
An interview with Chalmers Johnson, author of Blowback and The Sorrows Of Empire (More Inside)
posted by y2karl at 11:38 AM PST - 33 comments

He's got a pretty mouth.
Squeal Like a Pig dot com - Online home of actor Bill McKinney, best known as the villain from Deliverance. There's not much on the site but there is Real versions of three tracks from Bill's album, Love Songs From Antri.
posted by dobbs at 11:22 AM PST - 9 comments

Mint chip anyone?
Screenshots from the new Netscape release. (via waxy)
posted by bluno at 11:00 AM PST - 34 comments

Blog 3:16
Rockin' Rollen Stewart , aka the clown wig wearing - John 3:16 sign sporting wingnut that is currently serving a prison sentence for holding a maid hostage at a Los Angeles hotel proclaiming that rapture was six days away, now has his own weblog via sending letters to his friend George. (via crabwalk - previous MeFi thread on Stewart here)
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:50 AM PST - 15 comments

You'll put your eye out!
You'll put your eye out! My childhood was fraught with peril. I rode bikes without a helmet. My friends made flashpowder bombs. I brought knives and lasers to school. I survived. Blogger Tim Blair did too, and asks "What insane risks did you take as kids that would now induce rage and fear if repeated by your children?"
posted by bitmage at 10:42 AM PST - 147 comments

UNPO: All the flavor of regular UN without all the fat.
UNPO: All the flavor of regular UN without all the fat. UNPO is a democratic alternative to regular UN. Its members are indigenous peoples, occupied nations, minorities and independent states or territories who have joined together to protect their human and cultural rights, preserve their environments and to find non-violent solutions to conflicts which affect them, with half the sugar and no fat. List of members.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:32 AM PST - 11 comments

Free Annual Credit Reports
Free Annual Credit Reports
The Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 goes in to effect today. One of the major provisions of the bill, is that consumers now have the right to one free report from each of the three major credit bureaus every 12 months. [more inside]
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 9:44 AM PST - 37 comments

Bush Does Halifax
A moment-by-moment account of the Bush visit to Halifax via cameraphone.
posted by boost ventilator at 9:41 AM PST - 15 comments

Just in time for X-Mas
U2 vs. Negativland IPod "special edition". Totally Unauthorized, but your purchase will help Downhill Battle , and thus, will end the major label monopoly and build a better, fairer music industry. If you are not the high-bidder, you can always make your own by stopping here and here .
posted by JBennett at 9:36 AM PST - 25 comments

Modular Origami
Modular Origami is a very cool thing. Make a Buckyball with some PHiZZ units or make some polyhedra with the penultimate modules.
posted by dwordle at 9:23 AM PST - 8 comments

A Singular Christmas
A Singular Christmas. You know how you're so busy during the holidays that you don't have time to listen to all that Christmas music you love some much? Brian Whitman and his Eigenradio have taken all the hassle out of holiday music-listening for you by "play[ing] only the most important frequencies."
posted by soplerfo at 7:35 AM PST - 6 comments

Eulogy of George W. Bush
Eulogy of George W. Bush A comic of a far-right debate show hosted by Jerry Falwell and Pat Buchanan looks back on the presidency of George W. Bush in 2024. See them also debate Gay, Marriage, The Pledge, and Private Security in Iraq. Also, you might want to see as special guest Donal Rumsfeld Discovers Catch-22!
posted by flarbuse at 7:34 AM PST - 13 comments

Be an artist, today
Art.com's Art Pad is a fun little flash app that lets you paint a masterpiece, frame it, then hang it. Check out my handiwork. I'll start the opening bids at $50,000 for the piece. [via redferret]
posted by mathowie at 7:32 AM PST - 44 comments

7.8
The power of the Pitchfork.
Rating: 7.8
posted by Quartermass at 7:14 AM PST - 96 comments

Ach! A Wee Haggis!
Haggis Hunt 2004/2005. Well, now, lads and lassies! 'Tis time to seek out that "Great Chieftan o the Puddin-race!"
Look for them. Learn about them. Or just smack them silly.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:05 AM PST - 3 comments

Canadian Lawyers Charge Bush with Torture
LAWs instructions for starting criminal procedures against Bush Today in Vancouver, Lawyers Against the War filed torture charges against George W. Bush under the Canadian Criminal Code. The charges were laid by Gail Davidson, co-chair of Lawyers against the War--LAW, under provisions enacted pursuant to the U.N. Torture Convention, ratified by both Canada and the United States. The charges concern the well known abuses of prisoners held by US Armed Forces in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba. The charges were accepted by the Justice of the Peace and referred for a hearing to decide whether Bush should be required to appear for trial. The Attorney General of Canada's consent is required within eight days for proceedings to continue, and the question of Bush's diplomatic immunity will have to be resolved by the court.
posted by sunexplodes at 6:45 AM PST - 66 comments

Bring out your dead!
Up to 100 million dead within weeks. A pandemic of biblical proportions according to the latest World Health Organization warning about the bird flu virus H5N1. It is so lethal that it kills most people it infects. Some experts are even warning that the WHO are being too conservative and that a death toll of 1 billion could be expected.
posted by Meridian at 4:00 AM PST - 87 comments

Today is World AIDS Day.
Today is World AIDS Day. Take some time today to learn something new, or maybe get tested. Smart is sexy.
posted by Psionic_Tim at 2:40 AM PST - 10 comments

Yule Never Find Another Love Like Mine...
Traditional annual advent calendar post: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9, and 10.
posted by nthdegx at 2:20 AM PST - 4 comments

Beautiful agony
"Facettes de la petit mort" Yes, it's erotic but it doesn't feel like porn. Or does it? (NSFW)
posted by hjarten at 1:54 AM PST - 19 comments

Jesus loves you, but not the networks
The United Church of Christ seeks to welcome all people, regardless of ability, age, race, economic circumstance or sexual orientation. But that message, when shown in a TV advertisement is apparently too controversial for CBS and NBC.
posted by bashos_frog at 1:43 AM PST - 136 comments

PuzzleDonkey4 - Are you up to the challenge?
Arghhhhh!!! Aghhhhhhhh! Arghhhhhhh!!!

Cheats for PuzzleDonkey4 Available here
posted by willnot at 12:11 AM PST - 55 comments