December 2005 Archives

December 31

Stunning photography of wild things. Whales, Eagles, and more. Flash interface, but it's not too bad to navigate. Every time I think I'm getting good at taking pictures, I see something like this and just drool.
posted by pjern at 11:36 PM PST - 28 comments

AAA of Northern California will give you a ride home, and tow your car for free tonight. Good in Norcal, Utah and Nevada. Have a safe one all.
posted by bitdamaged at 4:00 PM PST - 20 comments

May The Force be with you. Also: 13 things that don't make any sense. May your New Year - and the many years to come - be wild and wonderous and bright.
posted by loquacious at 3:29 PM PST - 64 comments

The Last Post, a military bugle call marking the end of the day, was originally sounded to call off-duty soldiers to barracks; later it was also incorporated into British and Commonwealth military funeral services (analogous to the playing of Taps for US military dead) and "symbolises that the duty of the dead is over and that they can rest in peace." It's perhaps as fitting as "Auld Lang Syne" at the close of year 2005.
posted by orthogonality at 1:03 PM PST - 16 comments

The DeLay-Abramoff Money Trail The U.S. Family Network, a public advocacy group that operated in the 1990s with close ties to Rep. Tom DeLay and claimed to be a nationwide grass-roots organization, was funded almost entirely by corporations linked to embattled lobbyist Jack Abramoff, according to tax records and former associates of the group.
posted by Postroad at 12:46 PM PST - 33 comments

At 7 PM EST today, 80 cesium-based atomic clocks around the world will stop for precisely one second, to take into account the gradual slowing of the Earth's axial rotation.
posted by Rothko at 11:57 AM PST - 40 comments

"Champagne" in a can. An offer you can refuse?
posted by CunningLinguist at 10:56 AM PST - 66 comments

A vacation in Libya for Michael Totten, who confirms some things you might expect and uncovers a few you might not. Lonely Planet has some advice, or go straight to the source: libyaonline.com. Totten's blog has more.
posted by bardic at 10:07 AM PST - 16 comments

Many letters to the editor are unfit to print, but that didn't stop one of my local papers from saving them up and printing the most entertaining today. Among the gems are complaints about ugly feet and phallic WalMart trash cans, as well as the astute observation that the "Frenchies" own a lot of foreign cars. Registration may be required. I took the liberty of creating a metafilter/metafilter account.
posted by ewagoner at 10:06 AM PST - 20 comments

Did the blue dress ever exist? Regina Louise had a miserable childhood, shuttled from foster home to foster home, at best ignored at best and at worst abused. There was only one happy memory from her childhood: the time she spent with the sole foster mother to ever show her love. But that woman had vanished from Louise's life years ago, and it seemed unlikely they'd ever meet again... (Warning: this newspaper article may make you cry.)
posted by yankeefog at 7:04 AM PST - 46 comments

Hello, my name is Kentucky Friedcruelty.com.
posted by sour cream at 5:11 AM PST - 60 comments

Webctionary Using typography as comic art. Portuguese version by the same creator.
posted by divabat at 2:56 AM PST - 10 comments

And isn't it about time? As a charter member of the Axis of Evil, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been repeatedly branded by U.S. President George W. Bush as “a real threat." State supporter of the terrorist organisation Hezballah, Iran's president has suggested that "a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska" would be a more appropriate location for the Jewish state of Israel than on land taken from innocent Palestinians. In addition to its well-publicised nuclear ambitions, "Iran is now the only regional military power that poses a significant conventional military threat to Gulf stability." Compared to the fiction of the "growing threat" that was Iraq under Saddam Hussein, the facts in Iran appear largely undisputed. Under the Bush Doctrine of pre-emption, should the US or its allies be threatened by terrorists or by rogue states that are engaged in the production of weapons of mass destruction" unilateral military action - "a policy of pre-emptive war" - is called for. The buildup to war has been going on for a long time. Recent reports in the German media suggest that the United States may be preparing its allies for an imminent military strike against Iran. Al Jazerra says the war has already begun.
posted by three blind mice at 1:40 AM PST - 93 comments

December 30

Ads (*.wmv) for the Isuzu Gemini. Shot without special effects.
posted by driveler at 8:28 PM PST - 59 comments

Chemistry Comes Alive has sample videos of chemistry experiments, some violent and some not.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:17 PM PST - 16 comments

Who knew Jack Abramoff owned a restaurant? Well with the power-lobbyist-cum-felon's latest problems, Signatures, his Capitol Hill eatery, is looking for a new name. And you can help! I hope the Mefi community can offer many thoughtful suggestions. (via)
posted by slogger at 7:05 PM PST - 24 comments


What I heard about Iraq in 2005. Eliot Weinberger provides an updated companion piece to his earlier list (previously discussed on MeFi).
posted by melissa may at 2:18 PM PST - 41 comments

We won the f*ing lottery! Ingredients: TiVo of last week's lottery run, trusting friend, friends looking to capitalize on the relationship between the two and a lottery ticket for this week's lottery to seal the deal. (Um, yes, via) WARNING: Contains video, profanity, Milli Vanilli
posted by Ogre Lawless at 2:06 PM PST - 37 comments

Strange Fruit
Southern trees bear a strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swingin' in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin' from the poplar trees...

posted by caddis at 1:31 PM PST - 47 comments

Plans were drawn up in the 1930s to invade Canada... really. While the idea has been a rampant joke in modern times as the US finds itself in hot water with its neighbor, it has been done before, albeit with laughable results.
posted by moonbird at 12:58 PM PST - 34 comments

The new Yahoo! Mail service, which features a "new interface more like that of a desktop e-mail application...[plus] e-mail caching; message preview; drag-and-drop filing, an integrated RSS feeder, and the ability to view multiple e-mails at the same time in separate windows and scroll through all message headers in a folder rather than one page at a time," is getting some pretty good buzz (Leo really raved about it on TWiT last week). It's only out to a select few though -- any MeFites been privy?
posted by JPowers at 12:37 PM PST - 29 comments

Steve Martin has a posse. He's only made one post so far but Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin) is blogging for the Huffington Post.
posted by bdk3clash at 11:21 AM PST - 41 comments

"Newbies" have become a rare breed and other interesting conclusions from the Pew Internet & American Life Project's very readable (if PDF) report on 'net usage demographics, published 10/5. [ty biri]
posted by scarabic at 9:25 AM PST - 10 comments

Jeremy Hermanns' flight on Alaska Air #536 was out of the ordinary, to say the least. A baggage handler ran into the plane before takeoff and didn't bother to report it. So when the plane reached altitude, its cabin suddenly depressurized, and was forced back to Sea-Tac Airport. Jeremy, who has experience as a pilot, posted about what happened on his blog. Rather than offer an apology, Alaska Air employees have taken to bashing him from company IP addresses.

This brings up a larger question, though. What should companies do when their products or services fail, and consumers (almost inevitably) discuss it in a public forum? Jeff Jarvis' Dell incident comes to mind. In that link, he mentions Dell's no talking to customers on blogs policy.

Would you rather have a company that reached out to disgruntled customers, or pushed them away? I've seen more than one small software company comment on a blog or take direct action as a result of a post -- is that the preferable route today?
posted by bitter-girl.com at 9:20 AM PST - 40 comments

100 things we didn't know this time last year. We seem to have an overload of year-end lists, but this one from the BBC was rather entertaining (if UK-centric). Feel free to add anything that you didn't know a year ago in your corner of the world.
posted by spock at 6:58 AM PST - 61 comments

10 Worst Americans? Hot on the heels of BBC's list of the 10 worst Britons of the past 1000 years, people are calling for nominations for the 10 worst Americans. (a nice? change from all the "best" lists floating around the end of each year)
posted by amberglow at 6:39 AM PST - 209 comments


"Video Game Development - Learn to write C# the fun way." is a series of 11 1-hour long msdn webcasts starting jan16th, needs registration (c# express is free, 430mb iso here)
posted by suni at 5:27 AM PST - 45 comments

BBC Open News Archive Eighty iconic news reports available in a variety of formats. Here is the full directory. For another example of the cool things Auntie as been offering lately, see the downloadable mp3 commentary for the Christmas episode of Doctor Who.
posted by feelinglistless at 4:41 AM PST - 6 comments

"[E]ven though you couldn't predict exactly what animals would look like if you started evolution over on earth, or it happened on another planet -- with a given gravity and density of their tissues, the same basic patterns of their design would evolve again." A new study models all forms of locomotion -- swimming, walking, flying by muscle or flying by 747 -- in one physics theory, and stultifies Stephen Jay Gould's conjectures about the "contingency" of evolution. [mi]
posted by orthogonality at 3:36 AM PST - 62 comments

December 29

A Disturbance in the Blogosphere: Publishing the UK/US/Uzbekistan Torture Memo. Braving arrest, bloggers have broken the UK’s law of silence with the truth about torture. Bloggers are mass publishing the leaked UK/US/Uzbekistan Torture Memos. The memos are from the correspondences of Craig Murray who was the United Kingdom's ambassador to Uzbekistan. These memos are evidence and a memorandum of record outlining the rendition and torture of US-arrested prisoners in Uzbekistan. From Craig Murray's Memo: 12. On the usefulness of the material obtained, this is irrelevant. Article 2 of the [UN] Convention, to which we are a party, could not be plainer: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." 13. Nonetheless, I repeat that this material is useless – we are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful.
posted by Dunvegan at 11:51 PM PST - 246 comments

What would Tübingen look like if you traveled through it at the speed of light?
posted by feathermeat at 10:52 PM PST - 33 comments

ladybird beetles behaving badly. When they have consumed all the resources they devour the competition. sigh.
posted by longsleeves at 8:52 PM PST - 15 comments

A Critical History of Computer Graphics and Animation is a reasonably interesting academic-esque survey of computer graphics history, up to the year 2000 at least. via
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 7:32 PM PST - 12 comments

"Hi, Mom? Hi, I'm just calling to say I'm on my way to Baghdad." In which a Floridian teen decides he wants to see what's going on in Iraq. So he, you know, goes. "It was mid-afternoon Tuesday, after his second night in Baghdad, that he sought out editors at The Associated Press and announced he was in Iraq to do research and humanitarian work. AP staffers had never seen an unaccompanied teenage American walk into their war zone office. ("I would have been less surprised if little green men had walked in," said editor Patrick Quinn.)"
posted by LondonYank at 3:04 PM PST - 109 comments

Look...look into the LCD Ball. Divine the great spirits of tech and gaze into 2006. The new year is only a few days away, how hard is it to guess into next week?
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 2:38 PM PST - 22 comments

Bugs. Orisinal has been linked to several times, but this game was so fun that I had to share. NQFFF: Not Quite Friday Flash Fun.
posted by ND¢ at 12:50 PM PST - 29 comments


1896. The presidential campaign in political cartoons and annotations. Including: Popocratic Witches; Goldbug variations; Bryan the Lion (a link in the Oz connection); the Populist Pandora; Resurrecting Secession; and so much more.
posted by OmieWise at 12:22 PM PST - 6 comments

Mel Gibson on evolution, women, and political conspiracy theory. It's an old interview but includes some topical issues.
posted by bobbyelliott at 12:14 PM PST - 51 comments

Kirkbride Buildings. Once state-of-the-art mental healthcare facilities, Kirkbride buildings have long been relics of an obsolete therapeutic method known as Moral Treatment. These massive structures were conceived as ideal sanctuaries for the mentally ill in the latter half of the nineteenth century. AKA:The Kirkbride Plan. [more stuff inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:03 AM PST - 21 comments

A nice collection of 19th century French and English medical caricatures, including some drawn by George Cruikshank.
posted by iconomy at 9:35 AM PST - 8 comments

Of all the Christmas cards I received this year from political action committees, this one from the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep & Bear arms best summed up the holiday spirit to me.
posted by jonson at 9:06 AM PST - 75 comments

Derailroaded: Inside The Mind Of Wild Man Fischer . Larry "Wild Man" Fischer was a schizophrenic street musician on LA's Sunset Strip back in the hippie daze. Frank Zappa took him under his wing and produced a double album entitled An Evening With Wild Man Fischer (full audio available) [mi]
posted by jonmc at 8:37 AM PST - 40 comments

Checks and No Balance While previous presidents have at various times claimed the legal right to authorize searches and electronic surveillance without court warrants so as to gather foreign intelligence, those decisions have undergone scrutiny by either courts or congressional hearings. It's fair to say that Bush had no intention of allowing public scrutiny of his act, since he personally summoned the top executives of The New York Times to a private meeting on December 6 and pressured them not to run the story about the domestic spying
posted by Postroad at 8:14 AM PST - 20 comments

Scientists recruit wasps for war on terror No it is not some B movie from the 1950's. Scientists at a Georgia laboratory have developed what could be a low-tech, low-cost weapon in the war on terrorism: trained wasps.
posted by robbyrobs at 7:41 AM PST - 20 comments

Sacco and Vanzetti are guilty. (LA Times link, reg. required/bugmenot) At least according to a letter that recently surfaced in California. The letter saying this was apparently written by none other than famed muckraker Upton Sinclair, author of The Jungle. What's more, after supposedly learning of their guilt from the pair's lawyer, Sinclair went ahead and wrote the novel Boston, which helped popularize the view that the trial of Sacco and Vanzetti was a matter of injustice, and the notion the two were innocent. This is not the first time their guilt has been asserted, either. In 1961, Max Eastman, famous leftist-turned-McCarthy supporter, wrote an article which alleged that the shadowy anarcho-syndicalist, Carlo Tresca, had told him that Sacco was guilty but Vanzetti was innocent.
posted by Heminator at 7:07 AM PST - 33 comments

Honoring the fallen is bad for business. Magnetic yellow "ribbons" on the SUV, good! Actual numbers, double-plus ungood!
posted by orthogonality at 12:42 AM PST - 107 comments

Take a back-road south of Palmyra, Tennessee, and you'll stumble across the remains of E. T. Wickham's concrete statues, worn by time and broken by vandals. Since being documented online by chroniclers of outsider art, they've found a new set of admirers. A 2001 photography exhibit showed off their former glory; family members now hope to preserve what's left. To learn something of their creator, read the personal tribute by Wickham's grandson.
posted by holgate at 12:23 AM PST - 4 comments

December 28

PICTURE THIS: A folksy, self-consciously plainspoken Southern politician rises to power during a period of profound unrest in America. The nation is facing one of the half-dozen or so of its worst existential crises to date, and the people, once sunny, confident, and striving, are now scared, angry, and disillusioned. Through a combination of factors -his easy bearing chief among them (along with massive cash donations from Big Business; disorganization in the liberal opposition; a stuffy, aloof opponent; and support from religious fanatics who feel they've been unfairly marginalized)-he wins the presidential election. Ripped from today's headlines? Nope. Sinclair Lewis, Circa 1935: "It Can't Happen Here" has been recently reissued. But you can read it here (with free registration) at American Buddha (possibly NSFW). first link via Arts & Letters Daily
posted by spock at 10:59 PM PST - 44 comments

Fifty music videos that are neat. Also, some guy thinks they were the best of 2005. [via the oh so quiet show]
posted by panoptican at 10:33 PM PST - 45 comments

The script of the Naxi (or Nakhi) people of China's Yunnan province is the only extant pictographic language. The Naxi script, known as Dongba, has traditionally been the domain of spiritual leaders, and despite preservation efforts, is in danger of extinction.
posted by feathermeat at 10:25 PM PST - 12 comments

Imagine what it might feel like to get hit in the head by a rotating helicopter blade. Johnny Lowe found out two days ago -- and has survived to earn the nickname "Chopper".
posted by soiled cowboy at 8:47 PM PST - 25 comments

The Kids are Alright, Dammit. Reason's Nick Gillespie weighs-in on the 2005 Modern Language Association annual convention. "...faced with a choice between a sort of bitter righteousness and increasing irrelevance on the one hand and engaging students with more fair-minded argumentation and open-ended discussion, some academics are choosing the latter. That's certainly good news for kids stuck in freshman composition classes, those dreary required classes which are often little more than clumsy attempts at political indoctrination."
posted by ZenMasterThis at 3:01 PM PST - 42 comments

The Science Corner, a collection of newspaper columns covering assorted scientific topics, authored by two scientists at the University of Guelph in the 80s.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 1:12 PM PST - 8 comments

Mr. Gonopolis and his 12 Holsteins. It’s December 24th and Santa gets the measles. Mr. Gonopolis, a bumbling dairy farmer from Minnesota and member of the Emergency Substitute Santa Claus Corps, gets the call and hitches up his 12 Holstein cows. Following a custom of naming cows after people he admires, for the 20th anniversary edition of his children’s book Uncle Hyggly renamed one of the cows “Oprah” and got into some hot water. Even so, this book is a welcome alternative to other cow temptation (NSF Farmers).
posted by luckypozzo at 12:38 PM PST - 15 comments

Miracle on 57th Street.
Thomas Wolfe said that America is not only the place where miracles happen, but where they happen all the time. This is the story of a miracle, a true-life fairy tale, and appropriately enough it begins with the intervention of the Almighty.
Artur Rodzinski, music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1943 to 1947, was an eccentric, a health nut who drank only milk from goats he raised himself and who kept a loaded revolver in his back pocket whenever he conducted. Rodzinski said that God told him to hire 24 year old Leonard Bernstein, to be his assistant conductor. In the fall of 1943 Rodzinski decided to take a vacation, spend a little time with his goats, and called in Bruno Walter to conduct seven concerts in ten days. Only hours before one of those concerts (in the program, works by Schumann, Rosza, Strauss and Wagner) Walter fell ill. Rodzinski was only four hours away, in his farm. But he declined to come back to Carnegie Hall: "Call Bernstein. That's why we hired him." The concert was broadcast over radio and a review appeared on page 1 of The New York Times the next day: "Young Aide Leads Philharmonic; Steps in When Bruno Walter is Ill". In the same size type as another that read, "Japanese Plane Transport Sunk." More inside.
posted by matteo at 10:41 AM PST - 48 comments

"A Brief Survey of the Various Foreigners, Their Chief Characteristics, Customs, and Manners." Israelis, "They were personally responsible for the fall of the Roman Empire, the 1929 stock market crash, and the loss of World War II by a prominent European country." On Canada, "It is thought to resemble a sort of arctic Nebraska." It's okay because it's both unapologetic and National Lampoon circa Animal House. Harvard boys in the 60s were original ironic hipsters!
posted by geoff. at 9:32 AM PST - 361 comments

Gwynne Dyer's Year Ender is always an interesting read. The Canadian military historian and widely syndicated columnist has been posted about here before, but has since published a new book (in large part a compilation of previously published columns since 9-11), and, of course, the year ender is all new.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:25 AM PST - 5 comments

The Hard Road A very engrossing and well written series by three reporters of the St Petersburg Times who spent a year reporting on a hit-and-run case that shocked Tampa. This long, tragic narrative broken into five installments, explores what happened after Jennifer Porter, a quiet, unassuming 28-year-old schoolteacher, ran down four of Lisa Wilkins' children one evening in March 2004. [via]
posted by StarForce5 at 8:50 AM PST - 91 comments

Games and Simulations at the Noble Prize website. See the right sidebar for a complete list of what's available.
posted by OmieWise at 7:46 AM PST - 20 comments

Sundown Towns: A Hidden Dimension of Racism in America, by James Loewen (author's site; Dallas Morning News; Washington Post; Dallas Historical Society; Washington City Paper; Wikipedia)
posted by LinusMines at 4:30 AM PST - 79 comments

December 27

Rule 1b: Do not write some stupid slogan on your flag. If you've ever wanted to know how all the world's flags rank in terms of aesthetic appeal, here's a handy guide with an accompanying methodology.
posted by jonson at 11:22 PM PST - 65 comments

Won'tcha do us all a favor and start ripping those CDs at a higher quality if you're going to share. Thanks.
posted by panoptican at 10:29 PM PST - 62 comments

I-Got-Problems.com, for people who got problems.
posted by jimmy at 10:06 PM PST - 23 comments

Bored dork with truck, goofing around. Hilarity ensues. I know I shouldn't laugh, but after watching this over and over again, I still can't stop snickering. [jackass-style google video called "redneck surfing", 16 seconds long via Jalopnik]
posted by mathowie at 7:44 PM PST - 101 comments

LibriVox is out to share public domain literature via podcast and soundfiles. Free. Volunteers do the reading. The catalog has only a short list of completed works, but there are many "in progress." I was pleased to see Psmith in the City is complete.
posted by mmahaffie at 6:48 PM PST - 14 comments

Enchanted Ceiling is a menagerie of skies collected by you and your internet neighbors. It consists in a gallery of photos capturing the sky all over the world. The site was inspired by the enchanted ceiling of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which, by means of a spell, simulated the weather taking place outside. These pictures will nicely complement the pictures of the earth made from the sky.
posted by Masi at 5:48 PM PST - 4 comments

ESB (Electrical Stimulation of the Brain) can be used to create feelings of intense euphoria and (in some unintentional cases) paranoia. Since we don't know too much about what's inside our skulls, to what extent should we be allowed to control it?
posted by pantsrobot at 5:13 PM PST - 23 comments

Psychiatry: an Industry of Death. That's the name of Hollywood's newest museum, kicked off in style by Lisa Marie Presley, Priscilla Presley, Giovanni Ribisi, Jenna Elfman and other celebs. It's sponsored by the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, a "psychiatric watchdog group" sponsored by guess who.
posted by gottabefunky at 4:46 PM PST - 95 comments

Le Grand Jardin. For only $65m dollars you can own a thousand year old villa along with the bastille that housed The Man in the Iron Mask.
posted by OpinioNate at 4:15 PM PST - 10 comments

Pentagon has yet to ban contractors from using forced labor
"A proposal prohibiting defense contractor involvement in human trafficking for forced prostitution and labor was drafted by the Pentagon last summer, but five defense lobbying groups oppose key provisions and a final policy still appears to be months away, according to those involved and Defense Department records." ...this is "zero tolerance" ?
posted by specialk420 at 4:09 PM PST - 42 comments


The Story of Wheat
posted by Gyan at 1:33 PM PST - 24 comments

We've knelt on the altar of the Predator UAV and paid homage with tax dollars (see related MeFi thread) but the Army (and possibly Hollywood [PDF]) and others want to go smaller and more efficient. With massive budget increases for UAV/MAV technology over the last two years and increased use of UAVs for border surveillance, [PDF] one wonders when the tiniest of cool toys starts becoming a tool for surveillance as the legal arguments for and against will almost certainly heat up. Face it - cool RC toys aren't just for amusing/terrorizing your pets anymore.
posted by TeamBilly at 1:10 PM PST - 15 comments

What you get when a Cars Salesman is your Ambassador Do you get the idea that this whole administration is new to this whole diplomacy thing It seems the only way the truth is admitted is under glaring pressure by our allies.
posted by Elim at 11:33 AM PST - 48 comments

Collapse of civilization: Not necessarily a bad thing Many will no doubt find the foregoing discussion of collapse depressing or pessimistic. In “How Civilizations Fall: A Theory of Catabolic Collapse”, John Michael Greer hints at why this is, writing, “Even within the social sciences, the process by which complex societies give way to smaller and simpler ones has often been presented in language drawn from literary tragedy, as though the loss of sociocultural complexity necessarily warranted a negative value judgment. This is understandable, since the collapse of civilizations often involves catastrophic human mortality and the loss of priceless cultural treasures, but like any value judgment it can obscure important features of the matter at hand.” Greer goes on to characterize collapse in terms of ecological succession. …Collapse happens precisely because it improves our lives—and it happens when the alternative is no longer tolerable.
posted by halekon at 11:33 AM PST - 45 comments

The Israeli Response to the 1972 Munich Olympic Massacre and the Development of Independent Covert Action Teams is a very interesting 1995 military paper for background and analysis of the Israeli response to the slaughter of Jewish Olympians in 1972. This hot topic is at issue in Spielberg's controversial new film Munich. The film is based on a book by journalist George Jonas and a self-proclaimed Mossad agent, Yuval Aviv. The book also served as the basis for the 1986 movie Sword of Gideon.
posted by dios at 8:13 AM PST - 58 comments

Matt Damitio's shamelessly egotistical Buddhist-Anarchist blog offers three books for free download: Slackville Road, a novel about homelessness in the US; Rough Living: An Urban Survival Manual about how to survive, er, homelessness in the US, and, last but not least, the Anarchist Manifesto Project, which offers an easy introduction to such rare philosophical delicacies as Anarcho-Taoism, primitivism, syndicalism, and green anarchism... a healthy antidote to the sense of defeated self-loathing that the corporations have generously given us all for Christmas. "Money is what the system tells us people obviously need", opines Damitio. "However, if one takes a deeper look, it becomes clear that what we really need is time. Time to enjoy a spontaneous discussion. Time to express our views and hear them critiqued. Time to hear the views of others and allow our thoughts and ideas to evolve."
posted by cleardawn at 7:19 AM PST - 66 comments

In Middle Class, Signs of Anxiety on School Efforts. The New York City Department of Education has made a number of changes to gifted and talented and special admission programs, and has increased the emphasis on test preparation. These changes (it is suggested) may start pushing middle-class parents out of the (relatively few) public schools regarded as good. Parents who can afford the $20k tuition and who can manage the admissions process will go to private school ... one supposes those who fall short on either front will go to the suburbs.
posted by MattD at 6:24 AM PST - 20 comments

December 26

Roar: through the eyes of children, one year later, children's artistic responses to the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2005.

Meanwhile baby Tsunami turns one
posted by Rumple at 11:31 PM PST - 10 comments

Having trouble with that new videogame you got for Christmas? Text-only walkthroughs don't do it for you? Then try Stuck Gamer. Video walkthroughs for a pretty good number of games. Including, thanks the Lords of Kobol, Ninja Gaiden.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:04 PM PST - 16 comments

Kerry Packer died last night in his home at the age of 68. Love him or hate him, he certainly had a huge impact on Australian media.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 7:02 PM PST - 16 comments

RIP Vincent Schiavelli , a character actor who appeared in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Buckaroo Banzai, Amadeus, Death to Smoochie and a ton of other films. A cult favorite, he was one of those actors you looked at and thought, "who is that guy?".
posted by dbiedny at 2:06 PM PST - 81 comments

"Ashes and Snow" is the name, but it's mostly very pretty pictures of brown people with acquatic mammals such as elephants. (Alas, the portfolio requires Shockwave.) The book is itself a work of art.
"The permanent home of Ashes and Snow, the Nomadic Museum, debuted in New York in 2004 and is charted to travel the globe with no final destination." In New York it filled Pier 54 for three months (not usually such a neat art venue).
posted by Aknaton at 1:48 PM PST - 19 comments

The Agency That Could Be Big Brother [when this guy talks about NSA, he is authoritative] "DEEP in a remote, fog-layered hollow near Sugar Grove, W.Va., hidden by fortress-like mountains, sits the country's largest eavesdropping bug. Located in a "radio quiet" zone, the station's large parabolic dishes secretly and silently sweep in millions of private telephone calls and e-mail messages an hour"...
posted by Postroad at 11:17 AM PST - 100 comments

MAN - Mothers Against Noise. "Noise is music that uses unpleasant or painful or extremely loud or discordant sound. Noise is also a very dangerous musical trend that is hell bent on destroying civilized culture, this anti-cultural movement is quickly sweeping the globe, and is very dangerous to our youth." via MonkeyFilter and our own panoptican.
posted by loquacious at 11:14 AM PST - 70 comments

Derek Bailey has died. Here's an interview with him from 2001, and another about playing in Japan. Bailey was considered by many to be the father of free improvisation, beginning with his band Joseph Holbrooke, with Tony Oxley and Gavin Bryars, and, in addition to his voluminous discography, is the author of a book on the nature of improvisation.
posted by kenko at 11:04 AM PST - 26 comments

There have been a number of urban exploration or modern ruins photography posts here over the years, but I couldn't find any that linked to my new favorite modern ruin site, opacity.us. With 85 galleries of subjects as gorgeous as Bannerman's Arsenal and as haunting as the Verden Psychiatric Hospital, it's a treasure trove of entropy on film.
posted by jonson at 10:27 AM PST - 18 comments

I shall now have to kill myself. Worst. Flash. Christmas Card. Evah.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:36 AM PST - 100 comments

This apartment is so cramped. I wish I could find a little extra space.
posted by caddis at 9:30 AM PST - 22 comments

Corporate Scandal 2006. The year of Enron. Some articles (and at least one documentary) attempt to outline the size and proportion of the economic, financial and political dimensions of the scandal involving notorious names. As Sam Buell, a former federal prosecutor with the Justice Department's Enron Task Force puts it ""The deepest, most complex, most system-related case would be the last one to be resolved in all of this". Meanwhile Calpine company operating 90 power plants in U.S.A. recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection with debts measured in billions of dollars. Among other problems the company wasn't able to predict negative consequences of an increase of natural gas price on at least eight significant contracts. (But hey they're new to this gas market things, it's my first day at work and I signed eight big contracts ! D'oh !). Who routinely gets it up the arse ?
posted by elpapacito at 8:41 AM PST - 16 comments

December 25

There are an infinite number of things you could be doing. No matter what you work on, you're not working on everything else. So the question is not how to avoid procrastination, but how to procrastinate well. (via slashdot)
posted by Chuckles at 11:04 PM PST - 24 comments

Jonbenet Ramsey has been gone for nine years, but her death has still not been solved. Though theories still exist that her brother Burke was involved*, her parents were ruled out as suspects earlier this year, thanks to DNA evidence. Of course, that goes against the astrological evidence. None of the Ramseys have ever been charged with Jonbenet's murder, and they have taken CourtTV to court in order to maintain their innocence.
Jonbenet's murder has been lampooned repeatedly, it can be viewed as the start of a new era of crime journalism.
*graphic description on a Geocities page, N remotely SFW
posted by aristan at 10:08 PM PST - 53 comments

This is the Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny. A gathering of All Awesomeness, fighting to the death to see who is the greatest! Once you've watched the flash animation, grab the music and listen to it over and over again.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 5:46 PM PST - 23 comments

Of course santa is real, even NORAD tracks him. With large corporate sponsors and a long list of b-class celebrities (except for Mickey Rooney), how could any child doubt that santa exists. How can mass societal lies be any good for children? Does it teach them that everyone lies and is it the reason that most adults do?
posted by Mr_Zero at 10:38 AM PST - 142 comments

Double Feature Finder. Find back-to-back movies in a given movie theater. You could spend the whole day watching movies which you have paid for and have not snuck into. [via mefi projects]
posted by panoptican at 10:01 AM PST - 27 comments

December 24

Merry Christmas! Santa knows if you've been bad or good. The U.S. Department of Transportation wants to know where you're driving. Where you're driving, right this very minute, tracking you in real-time using GPS. If the GPS signal is obstructed, your car's engine will turn off, Citizen!
posted by orthogonality at 9:04 PM PST - 97 comments

"Happy Christmas your arse, I pray God it’s our last.”
Warning: embedded audio and/or video in some links

posted by dash_slot- at 5:30 PM PST - 41 comments

America seems a little less evil today. The outrage and indignation expressed in a previous MeFi story was unjustified. The Department of Homeland Security did not visit a student after he made an interlibrary request for Mao Tse-Tung's Little Red Book. The student made it all up.
posted by Meridian at 4:34 PM PST - 53 comments

Off in the Christmas Cosmos. Concert promoter Andy Cirzan spends a lot of his free time scouring record stores, thrift shops and flea markets for odd and obscure Christmas music. You used to have to be an industry insider to get a copy of his annual compilation, but now there's a download courtesy of Sound Opinions (the world's only rock 'n roll talk show). If the barrage of Christmas standards has left you with the holiday blahs, let the Free Design, Lord Beginner, and the polka of Don Cornell get you back in the mood. If that's not enough, get more (including Mr. Cirzan explaining what the heck you're listening too) on the SoundOpinions podcast.
posted by hydrophonic at 1:24 PM PST - 10 comments

A last minute gift to really get the Yule fires burning. Trouble starting fires? Need help with that oh so seasonal roaring log on which to roast your chestnuts? Why not use the President? (warning: immediate sound, jerky movement, nsf republicans)
posted by mygothlaundry at 12:29 PM PST - 11 comments


Where do all the teaspoons go to? A scientific study published in the British Medical Journal about where all the teaspoons in a works canteen go to.
posted by hardcode at 9:17 AM PST - 34 comments

BBC Radio 3 has spent the two weeks before Christmas playing Bach 24 hours a day. By the end of the day tomorrow, they'll have played his entire surviving body of work. Unfortunately, I just discovered this fact last night. Fortunately, Radio 3 makes their broadcasts available online for a full week, which means that Bach-heads who start listening now can get 192 hours of free streamed Bach via the BBC3 online radioplayer.
posted by yankeefog at 8:29 AM PST - 19 comments

Have yourself an Ugly Little Christmas! Cause nuttin' says Christmas like Juggling Monkeys.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:16 AM PST - 8 comments

From the outside it's hard to guess this is a car factory. But then again, even from the inside the parquet floors and lack of shelves may have thrown you off. Welcome to VW's Incredible Glass Factory.
posted by furtive at 7:55 AM PST - 16 comments

In Search of Mornington Crescent Every wondered what the rules of this vital part of Radio 4's I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (the antidote to panel games) might be? Well you won't find them here, but what you will enjoy are some excellent jokes at the expense of many British institutions (if you have real player or the alternative installed). Worth listening to for how the game was played during the restoration. Anybody care for a game? I'll start ... erm ... Tower Bridge ...
posted by feelinglistless at 7:22 AM PST - 21 comments

Moving AI out of its infancy: Changing our Preconceptions [.pdf]. Accelerating Change 2005: The Prospects for AI - A Panel Discussion [.mp3] Tetris AI. A few fun AI links to get the brain working [via]
posted by MetaMonkey at 6:23 AM PST - 29 comments

Merry Christmas Gesëende Kersfees, Milad Majid, Bon Nadal i un Bon Any Nou!, Sretan Bozic, Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan, Gajan Kristnaskon, Joyeux Noel......
posted by zouhair at 4:52 AM PST - 36 comments

It Isn’t Easy Being the Sexy Bin Laden : “the face is alluring (big dark eyes, long lashes, plump lips, caramel skin)”. Satin sheets, a feather boa and not much else. And who could resist alluring bin Laden quotes like this?
“At the end of the day, I believe that the American people understand things and they have compassion and they see what’s fair,” [bin Laden] says. "They’re very fair, and that’s why I love America, and that’s why my mom loves America.”
Or this quote:
“Come on, where’s the American spirit? Accept me. I want to be embraced, because my values are like yours. And I’m here. I’m not hiding.”

posted by Davenhill at 1:17 AM PST - 58 comments

At last, someone is going to take the legal route. Italian authorities have issued arrest warrants for 22 CIA Agents suspected of involvement in the US kidnap/torture policy. "The new warrants allow for the suspects' detention anywhere in the 25-nation EU, a prosecutor said." That's more lost clients for the European tourist industry.
posted by cassbrown1 at 12:14 AM PST - 45 comments

CryptoKids Hey Kids! Want to learn about how to spy on your friends? Do you like to snitch on your siblings? Here's a fun site for you where the U.S. Government can start to let you know about the fun world of cryptography and violating the Fourth Amendment rights of your fellow citizens. For you parents, check out the NSA's Responsible Citizen page! Note the funny ellipses after the references to the Fourth Amendment and Government Oversight. Your tax dollars at work.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:06 AM PST - 11 comments

December 23

How do you say, "I have a gub" in Hungarian? (registration or video viewing required) Attila Ambrus, the handsome, courtly Whiskey Robber of Budapest, shares his tale with Salon, and what a yarn it is! After fleeing his native Romania beneath a train, Ambrus was variously a pelt-smuggler, Zamboni-wrangler, world-class hockey failure, gravedigger, and dog-walker, until he found his true calling in 1993: relieving banks of their cash. Then the story gets interesting, involving bad disguises, flowers for the bank tellers, a nervous stomach, a prison break via knotted bedclothes, and pursuit by his own Lieut. Columbo. It all added up to folk heroism for "Chicky Panther," until they put him away in Hungary's maximum security slammer, where he languishes today. Now he's talking, and Hollywood's listening.
posted by rob511 at 11:51 PM PST - 8 comments

The New York Times (reg required) is reporting that the National Security Agency has eavesdropped on far more domestic telecommunications at the directive of President Bush than has been previously admitted. "The N.S.A. has gained the cooperation of American telecommunications companies to obtain backdoor access to streams of domestic and international communications... N.S.A. technicians, besides actually eavesdropping on specific conversations, have combed through large volumes of phone and Internet traffic in search of patterns that might point to terrorism suspects. Some officials describe the program as a large data-mining operation."
posted by chakalakasp at 10:09 PM PST - 243 comments

National Geographic Video of 7 lions attempting to kill & eat a full grown elephant. embedded wmv, amusingly hyperbolic narrator
posted by jonson at 9:04 PM PST - 29 comments

I send you some of the urine I pass in the morning: A large, interesting, well-presented archive of notes and letters (includes facsimiles) written by ordinary Virginians in the early 19th century to a country doctor, William Carmichael of Fredericksburg. Also includes medical instruments and pharmaceuticals of the time, and browse a facsimile of the doctor's daybook. Carmichael also tended to the health of slaves.
posted by Rumple at 8:23 PM PST - 11 comments

A Yule Log for your iPod. If you don't live in the New York area, and you have one of those fancy video iPods, you can now download some holiday cheer from Channel 11. (Their Yule Log phenomenon was previously discussed here.) For more information about Yule Log traditions, wikipedia features in depth articles on both the traditional and the modern. [Inspired by logging out of gmail.]
posted by jann at 7:38 PM PST - 11 comments

distellamap is a series of graphical representations of the code and data in Atari 2600 game cartridges, created using the Processing programming language. The results are rather pretty. Also by the same author: mario soup, a representation of the sprites in Super Mario Brothers. (via artificial.dk)
posted by whir at 1:24 PM PST - 17 comments

In 1993, a series of racist incidents plagued Billings, Montana. When a brick was thrown through 5 year old Issac Schnitzer's menorah-decorated window, the predominantly non-Jewish city responded in a remarkable way: the local paper printed thousands of menorahs, and people displayed them in their windows as a gesture of solidarity. Since then, the story has inspired a book, a play, a song and a movement.
posted by Biblio at 12:49 PM PST - 29 comments

Federal surveillance of over a hundred homes, businesses, mosques, warehouses and other sites has been conducted without warrants, according to a new USNews report. Indications are that the persons so targeted were US citizens. "In numerous cases, the monitoring required investigators to go on to the property under surveillance, although no search warrants or court orders were ever obtained, according to those with knowledge of the program. Some participants were threatened with loss of their jobs when they questioned the legality of the operation, according to these accounts."
posted by darkstar at 12:40 PM PST - 131 comments

The War on Christmas. A very brief overview of the war Christians have waged against other religious holidays since roughly 400AD. Just a reminder of the reason for the season.
posted by tcobretti at 12:18 PM PST - 33 comments

Friday Java Fun - Junk's Hanoi, a cool puzzle for this lovely Festivus.
posted by knave at 11:11 AM PST - 19 comments

Bush approves new "dead presidents." In addition to the new new silver dollars celebrating the 300th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin's birth, the US Mint will be making new dollar coins featuring all 37 dead presidents starting in 2007.
posted by Hot Like Your 12V Wire at 9:58 AM PST - 55 comments

BT Technology Timeline 2006-2051 It's interesting to see a major company such as BT set a timeline such as this, especially as they say thier 1990 timeline has had around 80% accuracy. They predict a supercomputer as powerful as the human mind in 2006, self aware computers that pass the turing test by 2020, and the rise of a global computer dictator by and artificial brain around 2040. After that its hard to predict, you know with the singularity coming and all... Some of the interesting things they predict: genetically engineered teddy bears; androids form 10% of the population around 2015; the Matrix is created, 2030; thought recognition as input device by 2014; the list goes on and on. Discuss. [via]
posted by daHIFI at 9:33 AM PST - 43 comments

Governor Taft of Ohio is about to sign Senate Bill 9, the Ohio Patriot Act. Among its provisions:
  • Police can deny entry to "transportation infrastructure" to anyone not showing an ID;
  • Police can demand the name, address, and date of birth of anyone suspected of having committed a crime or being about to commit a crime, or having witnessed a crime or a plan to commit a crime. Failure to provide this information is an arrestable offense -- so basically all demonstrators could be required to give their names, addresses and dates of birth or face arrest;
  • Reminiscent of Joe McCarthy's famous question, many state licenses will begin with the question "Are you a member of an organization on the U.S. Department of State Terrorist Exclusion List?". Failure to answer means no license; answering affirmatively is self-incrimination.
  • Perhaps worst of all, the original version of the bill simply prohibited state or local governemnts or government employees from objecting to the USA PATRIOT act. The current version allows criticism, but threatens local government with the loss of funds if they in any way "materially hinder" Federal anti-terrorism efforts.
"Welcome to Ohio! Ihre Papiere, bitte!"
posted by orthogonality at 8:59 AM PST - 128 comments

A Wine For The Rest of Us...... Today is December 23, so have yourself a Merrry Little Festivus! It's too late to buy a Festivus Pole, but you can still send a card or take the quiz.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:04 AM PST - 18 comments

NewsFilter: Supreme Court nominee Alito advocated overturning Roe v. Wade in 1985 DOJ Memo. The National Archives have just released a new collection of records pertaining to Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito. One document in particular (pdf) will likely draw considerable fire during his nomination hearings.
posted by justkevin at 7:22 AM PST - 22 comments

Merry Christmas, Taxpayers. The latest chapter in the "Alaskan bridges to nowhere" saga.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 5:47 AM PST - 27 comments


King William's College Quiz. Mefites, your mission: Collectively solve the hardest 100 year old annual quiz around. (Be warned, I think they're getting wiser to the appliance of google-fu science.)
posted by biffa at 2:43 AM PST - 75 comments

December 22

The best helicopter gunship in the world, flown by the best pilots in the world, the British Army (sic), against the best handling car in the world, driven by an idiot. Who wants to be an idiot for Christmas?
posted by hindmost at 9:17 PM PST - 82 comments

A Natural History of Peace. Humans like to think that they are unique, but the study of other primates has called into question the exceptionalism of our species. So what does primatology have to say about war and peace? Contrary to what was believed just a few decades ago, humans are not "killer apes" destined for violent conflict, but can make their own history.
posted by semmi at 9:06 PM PST - 13 comments

accurate weather forecasts...yes... Add your own sound effects.
posted by longsleeves at 8:37 PM PST - 6 comments

Google reels in Guido van Rossum. Guido van Rossum's popular Python language will be the focus of his work and play. Lovingly stolen from MoFi.
posted by fish tick at 7:08 PM PST - 13 comments


Fox Affiliate Airs Ode to White Supremacist Site A South Carolina Fox Affiliate aired a fluff piece praising white supremacist website Stormfront.org. The reporter who filed the story is apparently a member of the hatesite and filed the pro-Stormfront story in accordance with orders from her superiors.
posted by expriest at 3:45 PM PST - 89 comments

"Do you know your Downfall from your Descent, your Crash from your Wedding Crashers? Discover how oblong-eyed you were in 2005 with our bumper end-of-year quiz". And be sure to post your score.
posted by JPowers at 3:27 PM PST - 39 comments

NSFW MMOrgy: No more logging on and feeling sheepish 'cause you wanna know where the bordello is first. No more endless search through horrible shops finding implements for you and your fiancee who's 3000 miles away to have fun with. NSFW
posted by signal at 1:13 PM PST - 25 comments

A time attack of Megaman X and Megaman X2, played simultaneously on one controller by one person. (Torrent download link provided on page)
posted by jimmy at 12:32 PM PST - 21 comments

"Buy Stock in Ipods. Or Da Vinci Codes." Steve Odom's Smarkets is a web-based stock trading game (and market experiment) based on Amazon.com sales rank. (via jayisgames)
posted by selfnoise at 11:44 AM PST - 8 comments

Alistair Cooke's bones have been stolen by a modern day gang of bodysnatchers. A sad and gruesome posthumous news appearance for the ever-dignified Letter from America presenter.
posted by penguin pie at 11:17 AM PST - 37 comments

Newsfilter: Sex Clubs OK in Canada ruled the Supreme Court yesterday in a 7-2 decision that drastically alters the definition of indecency in this country. What will be the results of this far-reaching change? Will gay bathhouses and marijuana growing be affected? Will there be anti-social behaviour? "Now harm, rather than community standards, is the key yardstick that will be used to measure the point at which constitutional freedoms can be limited".
posted by stinkycheese at 10:20 AM PST - 213 comments

poketo.com's limited vinyl wallets might be the perfect last-minute gifts.. sweet designs by lots of fancy design and art people (links and infos to everyone of them too), e.g. derek kirk kim had 3 designs (take a look at the sold out designs by clicking on "archive" and "sale")
posted by suni at 8:43 AM PST - 63 comments

The women's petition against coffee and the mens answer to the petition against coffee circa 1674. The Humble Petition and Address of several Thousands of Buxome Good-Women, Languishing in Extremity of Want.[more stuff inside]
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:50 AM PST - 32 comments

Reuters Pictures of the Year, 2005 If a picture is worth a thousand words then here's 40,000 words to remind you (if that's what you want) of 2005...
posted by benzo8 at 4:46 AM PST - 50 comments

Narrow Casting: This article describes the trend of narrowcasting, a media consumption pattern in which users increasingly turn to specialized, often web-produced media content and away from professionally mass-marketed content shown on TV and sold in record and video stores. [Via Aldaily.com]
posted by gregb1007 at 2:41 AM PST - 12 comments

December 21

World Art Treasures :What is essential in my approach consists of not "letting the others profit," as is too often thought, but to PROFIT ALONG WITH OTHERS from the dual experience of my studies and travel, sharing the emotions of my discoveries and encounters, to maintain faith in this miracle that is life. J-E Berger .
posted by hortense at 11:48 PM PST - 2 comments

Life on Mars is looking less likely. Two new papers published today in Nature argue that vulcanism and meteors, rather than standing water, are a better explanation for the results found by the Opportunity Rover, despite previous excited announcements by NASA in 2004.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:56 PM PST - 13 comments

If this doesn't convert you... you may truly be lost.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:53 PM PST - 43 comments

Shadowmechanics - Appropriately apocalyptic scenes for these end times. Artwork/Illustration by Harry Halme. A definite preponderance of nightmarish creatures and reapers to suit the mood of the last few day's political landscape. I found this at SpartanDog.
posted by spicynuts at 7:21 PM PST - 17 comments

New invention: A computer-based drum machine. In Microsoft Excel.
posted by loquacious at 4:33 PM PST - 31 comments

Zoo Burglars Steal Baby Penguin
Toga, a baby Jackass penguin, was "birdnapped" this week from Amazon World on the Isle of Wight. Zookeepers surmise that Toga was stolen as a result of someone wanting to give him as a gift this Christmas -- following the popularity of the hit documentary 'March of the Penguins.' A reward of £5,000 is being offered for his return.
posted by ericb at 4:32 PM PST - 29 comments

Our Domestic Intelligence Crisis Federal Appeals Court Judge Richard Posner imagines a world in which US citizens are constantly under electronic surveillance.... and is totally okay with it. Once you accept Posner's premise that "machine collection and processing of data cannot, as such, invade privacy," how far are we from cameras and microphones in private homes. After all, there is no privacy invasion so long as it is only a computer flagging "suspicious" activity, right?
posted by GregW at 1:25 PM PST - 164 comments

Abramoff is negotiating a possible deal with the Justice Department, in which he would agree to plead guilty and cooperate in the wide-ranging political corruption investigation focused on his dealings with members of Congress and executive branch officials, people familiar with the talks said last night. Abramoff's entry in the Wikipedia. WaPo's chart outlining Abramoff's dealings. A dKos diary pointing out some omissions in the chart. [Newsfilter]
posted by darkstar at 12:14 PM PST - 49 comments

For when you really want to karaoke with a severed deer's head, but just don't know where to start. Do you have a cousin, grandparent, or spouse who enjoys really large, high-concept, expensive gag gifts? Look no further. Buck the Singing Trophy is the latest product from Gemmy industries, whose previous culture-changing invention was Big Mouth Billy Bass. It's already sold out at Wal-Mart and most online stores, so you'll either have to wait until the new year or head to Ebay to get your crate of Pepsi Blue. And really, has Pepsi Blue ever tasted so strange (WMV)?
posted by billysumday at 10:28 AM PST - 37 comments

Take a trip with me to 1913.
To Calumet, Michigan, in the Copper Country.
I'll take you to a place called Italian Hall,
Where the miners are having their big Christmas Ball.
This time of year, Woody Guthrie's haunting ballad "1913 Massacre" brings to mind one of the most tragic incidents in American labor history. At the midpoint of the bitter and violent miners' strike of 1913-14, miners and their families gathered for a Christmas party given by their union. An unidentified "stupid person" gave the shout of "fire", causing a panicked rush to escape. Unable to get out the door, more than 70 people, mostly children, were smothered to death. A forthcoming documentary (main link) explores the legacy of the event, using Guthrie's song as its starting point.
posted by Miko at 9:38 AM PST - 19 comments

The Internet Is Broken -- Part 2. We can't keep patching the Internet’s security holes. Now computer scientists are proposing an entirely new architecture.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:01 AM PST - 49 comments

Absolve Big Box shopping guilt! So apparently this bookstore in Boston decided if you can't beat them join them. You can basically buy permission to shop at a big box store...or absolve your guilt depending on how you look at it. Suppose they had to license the concept from the Catholic Church?
posted by UMDirector at 8:45 AM PST - 23 comments


Locked in a Timeless Embrace: A third possibility. First documented gay couple (manicurists to the King) or just a case of conjoined twins? Same-sex closeness in historical Egypt.
posted by Jikido at 8:11 AM PST - 21 comments

Turduckens are for the WEAK. A stuffed roast consisting of ten different birds, just in time for the holidays. No, seriously. Just in time. You should start all the prep work now.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:58 AM PST - 61 comments

Listening In and Naming Names "...The press tends to shy away from covering America's largest and most secretive intelligence agency, fearing precisely the kind of scolding President Bush delivered to the New York Times. But the truth is that the NSA—which has an estimated $6 billion annual budget bigger than those of the CIA and the FBI combined—has a decidedly checkered history when it comes to playing by the rules." And yet, NSA abuse seems not limited to Bush. Now, possib ly, Carter and Clinton also used NSA for spying on civilians. That said, NSA seems also to have been used for non-miltary spying, to help selected American firms compete against rival companies elsewhere. What is curious about this agency is that it is the single biggest intelligence organization in our country and yet so few people know what they do, where they are, what they had been legally allowed to do. If, as we are told, tapping phones is necessary in our fight against terror, why then doesn't the FBI do this? If any mobster worth his blackjack knows not to use phones because they are potentially tapped, why are we told that NSA doesn't want terrorists alerted to our tapping their phones and therefore there ought not to be any discussion of this "strategy."? In sum, my suspicion is that a lot more is going on than we have thus far been told, and that in fact email and the internet are more involved in what is taking place than is phone tapping.
posted by Postroad at 4:27 AM PST - 134 comments

December 20

Opium
posted by caddis at 11:41 PM PST - 60 comments

"They call themselves libertarians; I think they're antisocial bastards". George Monbiot goes on a considered rant against individualistic road users and groups.
posted by wilful at 10:29 PM PST - 48 comments

A rabbi, some snails, the color purple, and a 1,500 year old mystery. By puzzling through various sources, a group of researchers and religious scholars think they have found in the mollusk Murex trunculus the source of a purplish dye that was used in ancient Jewish ceremonies over a millennia and a half ago. Murex has been used for the last 3,600 years to make Imperial or Tyrian Purple, a key color in the ancient world. There are many other pigments with their own interesting stories as well.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:26 PM PST - 15 comments

"...George Bush must resign. Failing that, he should be impeached. I have little doubt that this column will infuriate many Republicans and conservatives, millions of whom twice voted enthusiastically for George Bush. It is always painful to realize that one has been betrayed, and even more painful to discover that one has been made a willing accomplice in the destruction of that which one cherishes. You can continue to believe that George Bush is a patriotic American, though he is not. You can dismiss me as a liberal, a left-winger or a lunatic, though I am not." So says Vox Day, WorldNetDaily columnist, self-described Christian libertarian, and recent subject of MeFi interest for his views on rape.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:13 PM PST - 144 comments

Almost exactly 40 years ago, on New Year's Day 1966, 35,000 transit workers walked off the job in New York City, defying the 1947 Condon-Wadlin Act which forbade strikes by government employees. Mike Quill, the TWU's militant founder and president, 'Called an "irresponsible demagogue" and "lawless hooligan" by the press,' 'would not be daunted by politicians' pronouncements and editorial page attacks.' When served with a court order, "Mike Quill tore up the injunction in front of the television cameras." The strike led to the creation of the Taylor Law, which is now being used in attempt to crush the TWU Local 100 strike of today.
posted by Edible Energy at 9:23 PM PST - 20 comments

Digital Universe , an alternative to Wikipedia, has been launched by wikipedia proposer Larry Sanger. Digital Universe will be powered by ManyOne, a new 3D browser, will include paid experts, a subscription option, and will require real names from contributors. This may or may not be connected to Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales' editing his own bio to remove reference to Sanger as co-founder.
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:26 PM PST - 49 comments

Jurgen Habermas and the Public Sphere. Habermas' conception of the public sphere has become increasingly interesting to scholars of internet theory. Any thoughts on what role MeFi plays in creating a public? What about issues of accessibility, autonomy, and quality? Could Mefi be the realization of Habermas' public sphere?
posted by TheRoach at 3:25 PM PST - 25 comments


A potted history of coffee Oh, and some music - Dylan, Bach, Inkspots, Lightnin' Hopkins, Peggy Lee, Duke Ellington, White Stripes, etc.
posted by carter at 2:40 PM PST - 14 comments

A haunting AIDS commercial reminiscent of Katamari Damacy.
posted by chunking express at 1:44 PM PST - 25 comments


"More cowbell!" is the new "Freebird."
posted by mrgrimm at 11:55 AM PST - 57 comments

World War II video footage. Graphic, violent images that are both horrifying and mesmerising. [via Digg]
posted by Elpoca at 11:25 AM PST - 56 comments

Stick Arena - mindless multiplayer Flash violence, because I can't frigging wait for it to be Friday already.
posted by whir at 11:22 AM PST - 14 comments

Paper Forest is a blog devoted to making things with paper, including holiday models, the most complex paper model in the world, classic cartoon cars, and where to find a 50 MB PDF do-it-yourself Howl's Moving Castle model.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:09 AM PST - 8 comments

Computerized physician system linked with increase in child mortality In an effort to reduce medical errors and mortality a children's hospital implemented a commercial physician order entry (CPOE) system.
After the system had gone live, analysis over an 18-month period revealed an unexpected increase in mortality from 2.80% to 6.57% (about one extra death per month)
It seems the big mistake was Changing the Systems of Work to suit the computer system, rather than fixing the technology to meet the needs of a specialist work area (intensive care).
posted by Lanark at 11:09 AM PST - 13 comments

Conyers Flies Paper Airplane into Whitehouse. Rep. John Conyers has submitted motions to censure Bush and Cheney, and to establish a select committee to investigate their offenses. He outlines the evidence in The Constitution in Crisis: The Downing Street Minutes and Deception, Manipulation, Torture, Retribution, and Coverups in the Iraq War. (3.8MB pdf)
posted by stonerose at 10:50 AM PST - 139 comments

The ultimate rubber woman. (embedded video clip)
posted by debralee at 9:34 AM PST - 41 comments

Religious extremism: the good, the bad, and the deadly (pdf) is an academic paper offering an alternative analysis of economic self-interest as a motivation for terrorism. A University of California San Diego economics professor is among the world's leaders in a small but growing field of study that uses economic principles to gain a deeper understanding of radical religious groups.
posted by redneck_zionist at 8:32 AM PST - 15 comments

Decision in Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District:
The weight of the evidence clearly demonstrates, as noted, that the systemic change from "creation" to "intelligent design" occurred sometime in 1987, after the Supreme Court's important Edwards decision. This compelling evidence strongly supports Plaintiffs' assertion that ID is creationism re-labeled.
posted by orthogonality at 8:26 AM PST - 146 comments

85% of Americans are going to heaven.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:19 AM PST - 188 comments

"CivilWar@Smithsonian is produced by the National Portrait Gallery and is dedicated to examining the Civil War through the Smithsonian Institution's extensive and manifold collections." Winslow Homer's Civil War drawings, portraits of leaders, artifacts of soldiering, and, of course, Mathew Brady's portraits. Much more besides. Previous Winslow Homer thread.
posted by OmieWise at 7:29 AM PST - 6 comments

"I learned this week that on December 6, Bush summoned Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger and executive editor Bill Keller to the Oval Office in a futile attempt to talk them out of running the story..." President Bush really did not want journalists to reveal his NSA spying program against Americans [discussed here.] And in yesterday's rare press conference, the President said: "An open debate about law would say to the enemy, 'Here's what we're going to do.' And this is an enemy which adjusts... Any public hearings on programs will say to the enemy, 'Here's what they do. Adjust.' This is a war." Neocon guru William Kristol argues that talk of Bush being an "imperial" president" is "demagogic" and "irresponsible" since "Congress has the right and the ability to judge whether President Bush has in fact used his executive discretion soundly." What is the role of "open debate" in a war against terror that may last for decades?
posted by digaman at 7:26 AM PST - 222 comments

Little Urchins is a small collection of photographs of babies underwater by Zena Holloway. Gallery 1. Gallery 2.
posted by quiet at 6:57 AM PST - 16 comments

The Alvin Lustig Archive - "Alvin Lustig's contributions to the design of books and book jackets, magazines, interiors, and textiles as well as his teachings would have made him a credible candidate for the AIGA Lifetime Achievement award when he was alive...Lustig created monuments of ingenuity and objects of aesthetic pleasure." The archive collects over 400 examples of his book, architectural, and ad-design work (see also AIGA's list of Lustig's Top-10 designs). Via HOW magazine...
posted by tpl1212 at 5:21 AM PST - 5 comments

So it actually happened. Not going anywhere tomorrow? The last time the MTA went on strike in New York was 1980. This time, one would hope there are plans already in place to cope with what will no doubt be an awful morning for millions, though the information seems dated already. Perhaps ths might be a good opportunity to share any tips and information about the situation. [newsfilter, of course]
posted by wakko at 12:51 AM PST - 314 comments

December 19

Everyone is aware, I'm sure, that year-end or best–however many lists are really just not that interesting, and the discussion surrounding them falls along similar lines all the time. However, someone always links to them anyway. Here's Pitchfork's, of the top 50 albums of this year. Here's some guy's top ten of 2004. Two writers for Dusted (the rest to be linked from this page, theoretically). Stylus Magazine's picks, and those of Pop Matters.
posted by kenko at 11:55 PM PST - 108 comments

Tonight's WTF is brought to you by Taiwan. There must be a escalating Weird Race with Japan brewing, this is the first salvo. A shiny object will be awarded to the first reasonable explanation. {qt} {NSFW}
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 10:32 PM PST - 30 comments


Lazy Sunday. Apparently SNL occasionally can be funny still. Points for giving shoutouts to magnolia bakery and MeFi's favorite recent web toy google maps
posted by piratebowling at 9:28 PM PST - 83 comments

Anthony Braxton and the Tri-Centric Foundation | Wesleyan University recently hosted a semester-long 60th birthday celebration for visionary composer and musician Anthony Braxton. Learn about Braxton's foundation for musical exploration, and his peculiar system for naming his compositions; read a few of his dense and cryptic research papers on many subjects (full contents here); peruse a remarkably comprehensive discography of his works; read a brief and interesting interview with him, and if that doesn't feed your curiosity, dive head-first into an absolutely gargantuan interview with this important composer; listen to interviews with Braxton from 1971 and 1985; and, finally, give a listen to Composition No. 186, part of Braxton's "Ghost-Trance" series.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:39 PM PST - 13 comments

If you hunger for more posts like yesterday's about Michael Rockefeller, here's another morsel: a student's interview with American expat and cannibal Kapal Nath. Of course sometimes you get the impression that Nath will say anything in an interview. I suppose you could always find some neighbors to help you separate the hufu from the chaff. 'Course you could just stick to the documentaries.
posted by arakasi at 6:03 PM PST - 7 comments

Barbarism begins with Barbie — the doll, that is. Research done at the University of Bath (UK) posits that prepubescents' pre-eminent plasticine plaything provokes disproportionate punishment. According to the study, which originally focused on the effects of branding on young consumers, the statuesque Mattel mini-miss seems to attract undue savagery. "The researchers had not intended to focus on Barbie, but they were taken aback by the rejection, hatred and violence she provoked when they asked the children about their feelings for the doll. Violence and torture against Barbie were repeatedly reported across age, school and gender. No other toy or brand name provoked such a negative response."
posted by rob511 at 5:44 PM PST - 46 comments

Springfield, Missouri the place mobsters go to die. John Gotti, Anthony Corrado, "Fat" Tony Salerno, Vito Genovese, Tony "Ducks" Corallo and now Vincent "The Chin"Gigante.
posted by flatlander at 5:06 PM PST - 25 comments

75 hard-core alcoholics to be offered apartments. Seventy-five alcoholics... are about to get an invitation to move into a new apartment building all their own on the edge of downtown Seattle. At tax payer's expense. What's different about this homeless shelter? The residents will be allowed to drink alcohol, provided they do it in their rooms. [.PDF]

"As much as we want it to work, the idea of asking a hard-core population of chronic alcoholics, for example, to put down the bottle before they get a set of apartment keys is unrealistic and impractical." Predictably, the project was not without opposition. [bugme]
posted by OpinioNate at 3:10 PM PST - 85 comments

Echelon This is what we know--or do not know--about NSA prgram called Echelon, from 60 Minute show (TV) in 2000. If we assume this what had been going on and there were some sort of restraints for internal spying, then what is going on now? This evening I had heard on radio that the White House claimed that only calls going in and out of the country might be monitored. But this early interview suggests that such calls were monitored previous to the "new" approach. Why were legal restraints put in place calling for judicial hearings? Because of spying abuse done under Nixon. Those restraints are now removed.
posted by Postroad at 2:40 PM PST - 158 comments


So I have a blog. Tim enters the fray.
posted by movilla at 1:41 PM PST - 30 comments

Traveling soon? Check out your airport's food for health or taste. A move away from single concessionaires has brought star chefs and big money to some locations and frustrated locals (Sea-Tac, halfway through article) in others. But the overall airport-food picture is still weak enough to inspire six pages of Rooneyesque diatribe. [more inside]
posted by expialidocious at 1:39 PM PST - 11 comments

The Wilmington Race Riot of 1898 (some call it the Wilmington Massacre), occurred on November 10, 1898, when a white "mob forcibly expelled from the city black and white leaders opposed to Conservative Democratic rule and white supremacy. It used the threat of paramilitary forces -- in the only recorded coup d'etat to occur on American soil -- to remove from office at gunpoint a duly elected city government, which included three black aldermen." North Carolina just released an extensively researched and documented report on the riot and its effects. The riot helped ensure years of Jim Crow laws and a white supremacist government. [MI]
posted by marxchivist at 12:06 PM PST - 17 comments

King Kong's Post Production Diary - videos of weekly progress, on all aspects of filmmaking, starting from the first day of post-production, upto the premiere.
posted by Gyan at 11:59 AM PST - 18 comments

Ever wish you weren't circumsized? (NSFW) The SenSlip is a very flexible garment for the penis. It is available in Caucasian Pink (mid-brown and dark brown colours will be available soon). Make sure you check out the video demo. [via]
posted by If I Had An Anus at 11:24 AM PST - 154 comments

"Never in the course of my life have I known a controversy of which all the right so clearly on one side and all the power so overwhelmingly on the other." So said former President and current Massachusetts Representative John Quincy Adams regarding a territorial conflict between Michigan and Ohio that would eventually grow into the Toledo War of 1835. [more inside]
posted by goatdog at 10:17 AM PST - 44 comments

Who goes to POZ Parties? Researchers profile HIV-1 positive men who have sex with men (MSM) at so-called "POZ parties": "Predominantly white and over the age of 30, subjects in the sample include a broad range of years living with HIV infection. Motivations for using a POZ Party venue for sexual partnering include relief from burdens for serostatus disclosure, an interest in not infecting others, and opportunities for unprotected sexual exchange. High rates of unprotected sex with multiple partners are prevalent in the venue. Although the sample evidences high rates of lifetime exposure to illicit drugs, relatively little drug use was reported in these sexual environments."
posted by docgonzo at 9:57 AM PST - 42 comments

the dead puppet show - a brief photographic essay for those who are sated with seasonal saccharinity.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:20 AM PST - 13 comments

If you shop at Urban Outfitters a $10/hour manager will accuse you of stealing. Or something.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:54 AM PST - 96 comments

A young man comes to the city. He has no name, no home, no work: he has come to the city to write. He writes. Or, more exactly, he does not write. He starves to the point of death.
The city is Christiania (Oslo); the year is 1890. The young man wanders through the streets: the city is a labyrinth of hunger, and all his days are the same. He writes unsolicited articles for a local paper. He worries about his rent, his disintegrating clothes, the difficulty of finding his next meal. He suffers. He nearly goes mad. He is never more than one step from collapse.
Still, he writes.
In From the Cold: The Return of Knut Hamsun.
posted by matteo at 7:18 AM PST - 17 comments

How motorways work (slightly NSFW - ever so slightly - I think it swears a couple o times). Why we hate UK motorway users hate using our motorways. See also Middle Lane Morons.
posted by 13twelve at 6:26 AM PST - 50 comments

Looking for a flat in Switzerland? Yes, yet more ajax-y, web2.0 stuff, with satellite maps. This site crawls a number of swiss realty sites, and displays the available flats on a dynamic, zoomable map, according to your search criteria.
posted by slater at 4:20 AM PST - 6 comments

December 18

Through his Webcam, A Boy Joins A Sordid Online World Justin Berry got a webcam when he was 13. Within an hour of his setting it up, a pedophile found him. More followed. They paid him, and he performed. He earned hundreds of thousands of dollars and lots of gifts, including webcams with better resolution which his new "friends" ordered him from his (presumably now abandoned) Amazon wish list and an apartment from which he could perform and not be bothered by Mom. He soon was persuaded by his "fans" to make lucrative in-person appearances so they could molest him, and he also started his own personal subscription service. More inside...
posted by spira at 10:51 PM PST - 152 comments

Just in time for the holiday two cats show you how to assemble & decorate your artificial christmas tree.
posted by jonson at 10:20 PM PST - 33 comments


[NewsFilter] A leftist candidate from one of Bolivia's Indian peoples who wants to legalise coca-growing has claimed victory in the presidential election. Mr Morales, an admirer of Fidel Castro, said on Sunday that he wanted ties with the US but "not a relationship of submission". He also promises to make foreign oil and gas investors pay what he says is a fairer share to Bolivians.
posted by wilful at 9:25 PM PST - 120 comments

Medical Malpractice Myth explores the idea that it's not litigious patients, ambulance chasing lawyers and runaway juries behind the rising costs of medical malpractice insurance. It's the increasing occurrence of medical malpractice that's driving those insurance rates up.
posted by jperkins at 7:24 PM PST - 105 comments

Lou Reed : Photographer
posted by Lanark at 4:16 PM PST - 48 comments

Bush Buzzword Bingo - If you can't stand listening to the president speak, try playing this game. Like the Thanksgiving version, you get a bingo card randomly printed with Bush's favorite buzzwords, bushisms and talking points. First to get five in a row gets bingo, but probably will just end up feeling bad about the world. For more bush/bushism fun, try the "Give Bush a Brain" game from egreetings. (see if you can beat my high score of 8)
posted by FeldBum at 4:01 PM PST - 36 comments

It's a Wonderful Internet. A re-telling of a charming Christmas tale that modern day geeks can now relate to! [flash]
posted by panoptican at 2:52 PM PST - 29 comments

Master Manole built the Curtea de Arges Monastery. According to legend, he couldn't complete the work without sacrificing someone dear to him, and his hubris upon completing the work lead him to a tragic end. It's a touching story, and now you can play the game.
posted by empath at 1:33 PM PST - 6 comments

Thomas Timberwolf Late cartoons of Chuck Jones. (You probably want the "play movie" button, not the "play" button). Mentioned previously, but at a new location.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:40 PM PST - 10 comments

A few years back ASCAP, the performing rights agency that collects fees on behalf of songwriters and publishers, attempted to collect licensing fees from summer camps for songs sung around the campfire by Girl Scouts. This week, PRS, the UK equivalent of ASCAP, flexed its muscles by demanding a licence fee from a guitar shop owner for customers who play copyrighted riffs while testing instruments. Jimmy Page must be rubbing his hands together.
posted by gfrobe at 12:29 PM PST - 69 comments

Main Course or Colonel Kurtz? Michael was a Harvard graduate, but otherwise refused to follow in his father's footsteps. After graduating cum laude and serving a hitch in the army, he went to New Guinea as a member of the Harvard Peabody Museum expedition. As he explained it, "I have the desire to do something romantic and adventurous at a time when frontiers in the real sense of the word are disappearing." In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, fortunate son of the first order, disappeared while studying the Asmat people of New Guinea. Questions remain, however. Was he, indeed, eaten by the Asmat, who had a rumored history of cannibalism, or did he decide to go native? At least one documentary has explored this.
posted by John of Michigan at 12:14 PM PST - 14 comments

This media world of ours is teeming with hidden messages under the apparent ones. For instance: Bateman shows us Bush's actual meanings of his latest radio address. The Nightly Potato at AtomFilms is just one more spud in a tv universe of spuds. And you think you really understand "Who's on First?" Maybe you can, if you take a Star Wars approach at Squizzle.
posted by WildThang at 9:21 AM PST - 8 comments

The Robert Rauschenberg Renunion Tour [NYT]: Prolific American artist Robert Rauschenberg (previously discussed here) has a show opening at The Met on Tuesday (Dec. 20). [More Inside]
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:57 AM PST - 6 comments

Newsfilter: Bill Gates, Melinda Gates and Paul Hewson named by Time Magazine as their persons of the year in recognition of their efforts against HIV-1, malaria and debt in Africa. "For being shrewd about doing good, for rewiring politics and re-engineering justice, for making mercy smarter and hope strategic and then daring the rest of us to follow, Bill and Melinda Gates and Bono are Time's Persons of the Year." said the mag's editor-in-chief.
posted by docgonzo at 8:14 AM PST - 123 comments

Putting the Satan into Santa - Mad Santas go on a rampage in New Zealand, last year it was here in Wales - but the Satanic truth is much more shocking... However, that depends which version you want to believe
posted by Dio at 8:12 AM PST - 14 comments

At least one commander told him, "Follow the soldiers' instructions, because they'll put their lives at risk to save you." But no one tried to censor his drawings or discourage him from going out on missions. -- Steve Mumford is a New York painter who was embedded as a "combat artist" in Iraq. The archives of his Baghdad Journal make for fascinating reading. He has recently published a large book of the art he created on this voyage.
posted by Gator at 7:48 AM PST - 9 comments

The feeding pipe was thick, thicker than my nostril, and would not go in. Blood came gushing out of my nose and tears down my cheeks, but they kept pushing until the cartilages cracked. I guess I would have screamed if I could, but I could not with the pipe in my throat. . . . . When torture is condoned, these rare talented people leave the service, having been outstripped by less gifted colleagues with their quick-fix methods, and the service itself degenerates into a playground for sadists. Thus, in its heyday, Joseph Stalin's notorious NKVD (the Soviet secret police) became nothing more than an army of butchers terrorizing the whole country but incapable of solving the simplest of crimes.
Vladimir Bukovsky, "who spent nearly 12 years in Soviet prisons, labor camps and psychiatric hospitals for nonviolent human rights activities," explains how America's use of torture "will destroy your nation's important strategy to develop democracy in the Middle East."
posted by orthogonality at 2:40 AM PST - 93 comments

Interview with Patrick Stewart about his upcoming movie.
posted by Citizen Premier at 1:02 AM PST - 40 comments

December 17


The Columbia Law School Music Plagiarism Project is a repository of the music industry's most famous copyright infringement cases of the past 100 years. Each case contains links to samples of the original song and the alleged infringer, and there's even a song list for easy browsing. (My favorite: Gilbert O'Sullivan v. Biz Markie).
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:32 PM PST - 42 comments

Happy X-mas miniGROW! The latest puzzle in Eyemaze's GROW series. Previous GROW games discussed here, here, and here. [flash] [via jay is games]
posted by brain_drain at 6:13 PM PST - 28 comments

How far will an online company go to make sure you're a good American? Some companies will test you like in a cheesy WWII movie drama. (screenshotted for posterity, but you can get there by clicking on "Unregistered?" on their website)
posted by Kickstart70 at 5:49 PM PST - 29 comments

The Passion of the Benny Hill. What if Benny Hill had made Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ?
(Probably NSFW, though not for the usual Benny Hill reasons)
posted by Aknaton at 5:21 PM PST - 39 comments


New Evidence says the Hummer inventory overfloweth trend is real. An interesting update on last month's Hummer Bummer posting. Latest inventory figures obtained from the same Californian dealership appear to confirm a pessimistic outlook and perhaps further validate the notion of an exhausted/oversaturated market for oversized vehicles. It really seems Californians aren't much dreaming these days of being your next typical owner of a gas-guzzling large persons chariot.
posted by rodney stewart at 4:44 PM PST - 40 comments

Web Gallery of Art - "The Web Gallery of Art is a virtual museum and searchable database of European painting and sculpture of the Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque periods (1100-1850), currently containing over 14.500 reproductions. Commentaries on pictures, biographies of artists are available. Guided tours, free postcard and other services are provided for the visitors."

Direct Links seem to be turned off.... lame, but the search function is worth checking out. One of the coolest features is being able to search for artists based on country, style, or time period.
posted by sourbrew at 3:36 PM PST - 14 comments

A Dictionary of Amercanisms by John Russell Bartlett, published 1848. A "vocabulary of the colloquial language of the United States" during the mid-19th century. As noted by jmorrison at the nonist (the source for this link), it is interesting to see much of what we find so common today " called out as 'americanisms' not yet included in the dictionary." The site has other goodies too, such as The Slave's Friend, a Christian anti-slavery tract, and Memoirs of a Captivity Among the Indians of North America, by John Dunn Hunter, published in 1823 and 1824 and recounting his life after being captured as a young boy and raised by Native American tribes. It provides an intimate, inside look at their societies, customs and battles.
posted by caddis at 3:09 PM PST - 17 comments

The Chappelle Theory. According to this anonymous theorist, a team of African-American celebrities called the "Dark Crusaders" threatened Chappelle with a package containing a picture of a man, of Al Sharpton's build, standing next to his sleeping children. Is this a joke or the work of a right nutter?
posted by farishta at 2:25 PM PST - 60 comments

Andy Rosen: I was a rock photographer working in London 1976-1984. This is my private collection. These pics have been stored since the Punk Days. This is the first time they can be seen in 25 years. His Clash and London Punks sets.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:07 PM PST - 16 comments

Museum fears stolen statue worth $5 million will be sold for scrap Reminds me of that "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego" game/tv show. I always thought it was stupid, because nobody ever steals big heavy landmarks.
posted by poorlydrawnplato at 1:02 PM PST - 28 comments

The Real Story of Christmas ...Many who are excitedly preparing for their Christmas celebrations would prefer not knowing about the holiday’s real significance. If they do know the history, they often object that their celebration has nothing to do with the holiday’s monstrous history and meaning. “We are just having fun.”
posted by NorthernSky at 11:43 AM PST - 68 comments

Lifestyle on the line. UK to allow hospital's opinions on personal lifestyle to define state healthcare decisions.
posted by shepd at 11:42 AM PST - 39 comments

We Can Remember It for You Wholesale ... Montage of digital retouching techniques [note: Quicktime]
posted by crunchland at 9:44 AM PST - 40 comments

[TotalitarianismFilter] Don't be asking your college librarian for a copy of that Little Red Book to do a class assignment, or your parents might get a visit from the good folks at the Department of Homeland Security. More evidence that the Bush administration cannot restrain itself when granted enhanced surveillance powers.
posted by digaman at 9:41 AM PST - 97 comments

The idea behind the Parking art project is pretty simple: once you throw some coins in the meter, you can do pretty much anything with a parking space, right? Rebar decided to try converting some vehicle space into a community space, by laying sod, adding benches and a tree, then letting people enjoy the space for a few hours. [via treehugger]
posted by mathowie at 8:45 AM PST - 32 comments

The author Rodney Whitaker is dead, taking along with him Trevanian, Nicholas Seare, Benat Le Cagot, and several of his other pen names. Under the name Trevanian he wrote The Eiger Sanction (1972) (which became a Clint Eastwood movie of the same name), Shibumi (1979), The Loo Sanction (1973), The Summer of Katya (1983), The Main (1976), Incident at Twenty-Mile (1998), and others. In real life, Whitaker was the Chairman of the Radio, Television, and Film Department at the University of Texas. He was believe to be 74 years old, and died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 8:12 AM PST - 14 comments

Guidestar.org.uk offers detailed information on all 167,000 registered charities in England and Wales, as well as guides to giving and volunteering. And, should you wish to give Christmas gifts that make a difference, The Alternative Gift Catalogue and Good Gifts can help.
posted by jack_mo at 6:41 AM PST - 4 comments

December 16

Plastic Ono Man
posted by thedailygrowl at 10:42 PM PST - 27 comments

I noticed tonight that my Dish TV basic-subscription service no longer offers MSNBC and suddenly does offer FOX News. Strange indeed, but the bigger issue methinks is a potential plus in that a la carte programming may be on its way soon. Great, you say, right? Perhaps not -- because if you only pay for what you get, that means that the little guys (like Link TV, the RFD network and Free Speech TV) likely face a big honkin' challenge in being visible and thus viable. So. Given that...do we really want pay-per-channel programming? Or is this just a moot point considering that "convergence" is creeping ever so closer?
posted by diastematic at 9:46 PM PST - 53 comments

Op-ed Payola, not just for the White House anymore. An outcry arose over the Bush administrations payments to multiple columnists to push the Bush agenda without disclosing the payments. Now it turns out Jack Abramoff had op-ed columnists on his payroll too. Doug Bandow has just resigned as a senior fellow of the Cato Institute after being discovered taking payola from Abramoff's clients. Josh Marshall claims this practice is endemic in DC. There are even shops in DC that specialize in ginning up bogus 'man on the street' opeds which they then get placed on major oped pages. Another area where my reporting showed this to be very common was among foreign lobbyists, a number of whom had ex-foreign service officers and various other foreign policy bigwigs on retainer to write opeds advocating on behalf of their clients. Actually, 'write' overstates the matter. The lobbying firm writes the OpEd and the expert signs it.
posted by publius at 8:25 PM PST - 37 comments

Is it too early to start throwing out the phrase "Kong Bomb?" Is Peter Jackson the next Michael Cimino?
posted by JPowers at 7:25 PM PST - 162 comments

Waddy. Waddy Watchel the amazing West Coast Gunslinger (rhythm /lead guitarist) for all the big acts around there back in the day. Always in tune and up to eleven. Here's a freebie of him driving "Lawyers Guns and Money" home........ courtesy the Internet Archive Live Music Archive ... so even if this post is totally irrelevant to what's going on in the world, and even if you are not impressed, the're might be some other little treat for any regular ol' rock fan at the archive.org link. No Romanian pop ups or viral code there (I think) ... nice.
posted by celerystick at 6:15 PM PST - 19 comments

Lost Numbers. I won't get to see any of the second season of Lost until summer 2006 'cause I live in Ireland. I also didn't care enough about the first season to use the "numbers" as my lottery numbers. I should have, they (almost) came up in the National Lottery on November 19. I say almost, instead of 42 it was 24 (sorry Douglas).
posted by Elmore at 6:12 PM PST - 31 comments

The French Democracy is a short film on the recent riots in France. It was made by Alex Chan, Parisan-born but of Chinese parents, to "to correct what was being said in the media, especially in the United States" about the riots. He used a techinique called machinima--using a video game engine to make his movie.
posted by LarryC at 4:36 PM PST - 39 comments

Leo McGarry! Where have you gone! RIP John Spencer.
posted by bluedaniel at 3:16 PM PST - 100 comments

Mass Producible Quantum Computer - Christopher Monroe has produced the first quantum computer capable of being scaled to a production model at the Trapped Ion Quantum Computing facility at the University of Michigan. (via)
posted by sourbrew at 3:06 PM PST - 21 comments

Google buys a 5% stake in AOL. For ... one billion dollars.
posted by Tlogmer at 2:22 PM PST - 49 comments

Friday Flash Filter: Take out some of your aggression on with this simple yet satisfying game.
posted by Mr T at 2:21 PM PST - 21 comments

Ball of Dirt. Me, I'm stuck going home to Ohio for my vacation. If you can't get away either, you can scratch your travel itch by reading about other people's adventures... Torture yourself by searching for dreamed-of destinations. I especially enjoy the Indiana Jones-type maps.
posted by tentacle at 2:07 PM PST - 7 comments

Congressional Resolution To "Defend Christmas" meets The History Channel... H. RES. 579: "Whereas the Framers intended that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States would prohibit the establishment of religion....Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That the House of Representatives-- (1) recognizes the importance of the symbols and traditions of Christmas; (2) strongly disapproves of attempts to ban references to Christmas; and (3) expresses support for the use of these symbols and traditions.". The bizarreness of that statement aside, what were US Christmas traditions at the time of the "framers" ? : see the History Channel for the real story of [ American ] Christmas.
posted by troutfishing at 1:55 PM PST - 37 comments

Fallen Fruit. you shall not reap all the way to the edges of your field...you shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. Lev. 19 Fallen Fruit took root when CalArts professor Matias Viegener discovered an old city law declaring that all fruit growing on branches that overhang into public property is free for the taking, even if the trunk of that tree is in private domain.
posted by caddis at 12:11 PM PST - 24 comments


Senate Blocks Patriot Act Renewal In a 52-47 vote, the Republican majority was unable to obtain the 60 votes necessary to end the bipartisan fillibuster. Roll call is in the title link as well as here, Patriot Act provisions set to expire on 12/31 via CNN.
posted by rzklkng at 10:55 AM PST - 158 comments

"To avoide the tediouse repetition of these woordes: is equalle to: I will settle as I doe often in woorke use, a paire of paralleles, or gemowe lines of one lengthe: ======, bicause noe .2. thynges, can be moare equalle." Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde (1510–1558) invented the equals sign in his 1557 work The Whetstone of Witte, which also introduced "Zenzizenzizenzic", the eighth power of a number. Recorde had advocated the + and – symbols in his 1540 work The Grounde of Artes. He died in debtor's prison in 1558. Read, watch, or listen to a recent lecture that links the equals sign to developments in art, navigation, and astronomy. (Wikipedia)
posted by goatdog at 10:05 AM PST - 14 comments

Jewish movie goers might feel duped by The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Millions of readers (and, now, moviegoers) who thoroughly enjoyed a fantasy tale of four World War II-era British children tumbling into the enchanted world of Narnia via a wardrobe, and fighting medieval battles alongside talking animals and mystical creatures, would be surprised to learn that “Lion” and the six other books in Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia were seeping with Christian allegories.
posted by debralee at 9:36 AM PST - 225 comments

The professional world is rough, so here are some things to help navigate it: To get ahead, the How to Guide on Kissing Ass. Elevator Etiquette. The (should be common sense) guide to Corporate Crapper Etiquette. (See also, previous thread on the International Center for Bathroom Etiquette.) Or if you work in more rustic environs, there is also Port-a-Potty Etiquette. The ever-important How to Masturbate at Work (among other places) Guide. 'Tis the season, so here is some Office Christmas Party Etiquette (Please be aware of the Office Christmas Party Sex Warning).
posted by dios at 9:22 AM PST - 60 comments

Make your own DRM CD! Nothing says "Merry Christmas" (or Happy Chanukah, et al) like a homemade CD with the same crippling DRM technology that Sony and BMG use. Let a friend or relative you know that you care enough to prevent them from stealing music you've already stolen, even at the expense of enjoying the CD at all. It's what the holidays are really about.
posted by FeldBum at 9:19 AM PST - 8 comments

Do you feel bad about cutting down a tree in the prime of its life just for Christmas? If you live in San Francisco or Portland, OR you can rent a tree instead.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:18 AM PST - 15 comments

The Occupation of Iraq I first went to Iraq in 1978, and I’ve been there I suppose fifty or sixty times. Sometimes for as long as three months, at other times for a fortnight or so. In all I have spent a bit more than half my time in Iraq since the Occupation. I was there before, during and after the invasion...
posted by Postroad at 9:02 AM PST - 21 comments

13 Miles In Armor (For Charity). On August 9 of this year, 6-year old Katie Johnson lost her battle with cancer. Katie's father is Albin Johnson, founder of the 501st Legion (the premiere Star Wars Costuming Fan Club). In January 2006, Cheralyn Lambeth, a member of the Carolina 501st, will run the Walt Disney World Half Marathon in her honor, to raise money for the American Cancer Society ... and she will do it in head-to-toe Stormtrooper Armor.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:01 AM PST - 33 comments

50FootWave is seeking new earballs. "We thought it'd be interesting to ask for your energy & enthusiasm rather than your money and see what happens. To that end, please share this music in any and every way you see fit. Burn CDs, post the mp3s, seed Torrents -- whatever's comfortable for you. It's an experiment. Who knows how it will go? Wheee!" [via]
posted by YurikoKinje at 6:50 AM PST - 45 comments

December 15

"After watching his computer expert change vote totals this week, Sancho said that he now believes someone on the inside did the same think in Volusia County in 2000." Leon County, FL election supervisor alleges fraud in the Bush/Gore election. "In Volusia County precinct 216, a memory card added more than 200 votes to George W. Bush's total and subtracted 16,000 votes from Al Gore. The mistake was later corrected during a hand count."
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:57 PM PST - 81 comments

"The NAACP has many civil rights issues that require our attention. Criticizing Donovan McNabb is not one of them" That's the response of Bruce Gordon, CEO of the NAACP responds to an ignorant and racist column written by Whyatt Mondesire, president of the NAACP's Philadelphia chapter, in the Philadelphia Sun. Two years ago Rush Limbaugh lost his ESPN gig for making racist comments about McNabb. Will Mondesire have to pay a price for remarks that are even more offensive and racially loaded?
posted by b_thinky at 11:18 PM PST - 98 comments

The Secret of Nimrud Hey! What's down in this basement here? Looks like Johnnie Walker Scotch Whisky! And, hey, a golden Assyrian mask from 800 BC! A photo-essay on the re-discovery of treasures in Iraq.
posted by vacapinta at 9:50 PM PST - 14 comments

Hurra Torpedo has been to America and their tour has been documented. Did a metafilter email lead to, if not a world tour, an American tour? At least it brought joy to these children (video #3), the ecstatic witnesses to Hurra's first American gig. If you don't get a thrill from the performance, have no love for beards, or find that crack of ass does not so much smile at you as it much as it sneers, you can still try win an automobile.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 9:41 PM PST - 18 comments

For Christmas Briony would like: a sketch book, pencil crayons and 2 new rodent cages for her pet rats. A lot of people give to charities or directly to a homeless person during this time of year in the hopes that their money will be put to good use. But what do the homeless really need? Jennie and Dan Keeran found out, put the answers up on the web and are now asking for people to donate. I think it's an awesome idea.
posted by concreteforest at 9:17 PM PST - 15 comments

Work from Esao Andrews [some NSFW] Includes photography, painting, drawing, sculpture and more. All presented in a quite elegant, uncluttered interface.
posted by tellurian at 7:41 PM PST - 14 comments

"The White House asked The New York Times not to publish this article, arguing that it could jeopardize continuing investigations and alert would-be terrorists that they might be under scrutiny." What's the article about? The NSA, and you, if you've ever called internationally or sent email overseas: ...the intelligence agency has monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants over the past three years in an effort to track possible "dirty numbers" linked to Al Qaeda, ... (very long, NYT--and the NSA's mission is to spy only on communications abroad)
posted by amberglow at 6:31 PM PST - 74 comments

Stop-motion Animation ... Clips from some of Eastern Europe's greatest masters.
posted by crunchland at 6:30 PM PST - 16 comments

New Star Trek Movie? There is talk that there might be a new Star Trek movie with Shatner, Stewart & Bakula. Via Digg
posted by notcostello at 3:47 PM PST - 81 comments

Le Roi et L’oiseau - is an old school “anime” by Paul Grimault, the script and score were contributed to by Jacques Prévert. If those two names are not good enough for you then I also submit for your approval that the style in this film has been referenced as a source of inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki. Although the wikipedia article doesn't back it up, so ill link to another site that does. At any rate watching this movie will leave you wondering just how many people have ripped it off over the years.
posted by sourbrew at 2:57 PM PST - 29 comments

GreedyMe.com is like deli.icio.us for capitalists.
posted by bobbyelliott at 2:49 PM PST - 12 comments

Patriot Act used to arrest environmental activists
"Federal marshals arrested six environmental activists in a series of coordinated raids in four states yesterday, Dec. 8, in apparent response to a string of arsons in Oregon and Washington attributed to the Earth Liberation Front (ELF)" ... has the patriot act produced any arrests in the country related to 9-11?
posted by specialk420 at 2:45 PM PST - 105 comments

Google releases new FireFox Extensions, one for what they call Blogger Web Comments, and another to prevent against phishing - Google Safe Browsing.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:42 PM PST - 22 comments

The Homeless Museum.
posted by scody at 2:24 PM PST - 16 comments

William Proxmire dead at 90. The senator from Wisconsin was famous for the Golden Fleece Award
posted by fixedgear at 1:07 PM PST - 21 comments

Rescued from rape and slavery - brought to you by the CIA. Also, the Atomic Revolution and AA. From Ethan Persoff who brought us Teddy.
posted by caddis at 11:49 AM PST - 17 comments

The Disappointing Trajectory of Amir Peretz Amir Peretz is a leading candidate for the next Israeli Prime Minister. Does he have what it takes to make a difference? Many think he might, others are not so sure.
posted by mk1gti at 11:26 AM PST - 6 comments

Newsfilter: Iraq votes for a permanent government. Despite warnings from insurgents and al Qaeda that the elections are "the work of Satan", estimates are that over 10 million of the 15 million eligible voters have cast ballots for their first non-interim government, including many Sunni Muslims at the urging of their leaders.
posted by loquax at 11:22 AM PST - 172 comments

This Spanish commercial for Madrid's Metro system uses a cool visual device, making the ground transparent and showing the view from the subway, like a glass bottom boat in reverse. note: link contains embedded wmv
posted by jonson at 11:07 AM PST - 26 comments

Looking for a broadband connection in the UK? Dont believe all you read from all providers (even well known ones, like Pipex). A geek fights back; annoyed by his download rates being cut down from 200kb/sec, to 1kb/sec (with a geeky video of wow, gta and him downloading stuff). A bit more info (some annoying pop ups - and the videos a bit slow paced - but Pipex users beware!)
posted by 13twelve at 10:46 AM PST - 23 comments

Second Life CEO turns in players name to the FBI for disrupting one of his virtual parties. In the world of Second Life any player can create objects using the built in scripting language. Some players have created self replicating "bombs" or hand out embedded pornography. Instead of just banning users or limiting what can be done with the scripting language the CEO Philip Rosendale is simply turning over the names of players straight to the feds and expecting the FBI to prosecute players under existing anti-DoS laws. A case of the bruised ego of a self-important CEO or are virtual world 'hackers/pranksters' best treated like common criminals?
posted by skallas at 10:06 AM PST - 67 comments

Google music search... It had to happen sooner or later, right? Drop in a phrase, you get artist, album, and song title matches to choose from. Choose an artist, you get a list of their albums and on the album page you get a tracklisting and links to buy the album online, as well as links to do other artist/album/song-related Google searches.
posted by sarajflemming at 9:45 AM PST - 53 comments

Fuck Christmas. Via del.icio.us.
posted by MarkO at 8:55 AM PST - 170 comments

Sir John Soane (1753-1837) was responsible for the design of quite a few of London’s public buildings (and to some extent, its phonebooths). His home, now a museum, is filled to the brim with architectural relics, sculptures, paintings, drawings, stained glass, and assorted curiosities. Almost unchanged since his death, it also contains the gravesite of his wife’s beloved dog Fanny, a mummified rat, an Egyptian sarcophagus, and an imaginary monk named Padre Giovanni. Best of all, on the first Tuesday of every month the museum has a candlelight tour which enhances the spooky splendor of the rooms.
posted by annaramma at 8:33 AM PST - 18 comments

Smoke.
posted by 31d1 at 8:30 AM PST - 34 comments

UK politics filter: WriteToThem.com tells you who your MP, MEPs, MSPs, and Welsh and London Assembly members are, and will send letters to them on your behalf. All you need is your postcode. It's a service of MySociety.org, the charity behind PledgeBank, where you can promise to do something worthwhile if other people join in (last seen here in June — please sign up to save Christopher Robbin). The charity's latest project, HearFromYourMP.com, lobbies MPs to provide regular email updates to their constituents, like this one.
posted by londonmark at 6:53 AM PST - 10 comments

Loans over $10,000 require collateral ... (NYT link gen) The SBA (loan officers wanted ), which runs the federal government's main disaster recovery loan program for homeowners, has rejected 82 percent of applications. (17,463 home loans approved, 77,000 rejected - though some must get rejected in order to receive smaller FEMA grants...)
posted by R. Mutt at 6:08 AM PST - 49 comments

One-page history of remote-controlled weapons. Includes some Tesla goodness.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 4:04 AM PST - 10 comments

Generation KKK Documentary photographs of the Ku Klux Klan, 1988-2002, by James Edward Bates.
posted by jack_mo at 3:08 AM PST - 36 comments

December 14

The journal Nature: "Wikipedia comes close to Britannica in terms of the accuracy of its science entries."
Nature had experts review articles from both encyclopedias. (Also, 10% of Nature authors contribute to Wikipedia.)
posted by Tlogmer at 11:43 PM PST - 31 comments

Cute! ! ! [Seriously: cute.]
posted by nobody at 9:30 PM PST - 81 comments

The Top 10 Stories You Missed in 2005. Foreign Policy, the political science journal/magazine issues its top 10 stories that went under the radar in '05. Included are Rumsfeld’s Slip of the Tongue in regards to One-China, Oil's Opaque Outlook, and "The New Coalition of the Willing."
posted by j-urb at 9:18 PM PST - 14 comments

Is your podcast being hijacked? The nature of RSS and podcast content makes it really easy for somebody to create new feeds based on somebody else's content and pass it off as the original through directories like Yahoo's or iTunes; then, of course, they potentially add advertising or use the built-up audience to extort the original podcaster. Podkeyword, the organization that has sparked concern about the issue, says they're not doing anything illegal or unethical; correspondence between Podkeyword and the guy whose podcast is at issue is available. [First pass legal take here, potential third-party retribution here; via.]
posted by aaronetc at 7:55 PM PST - 31 comments

Smokers Brokers is brilliantly simple: take the cash you'd waste on cigarettes and invest it instead. Perhaps this could help coax economists into quitting smoking, for everyone else, it might be better to have some savings and your health than burning up a few more expensive coffin nails. [this site from mefi projects also won the contest for banished]
posted by mathowie at 7:39 PM PST - 27 comments

Dead Celebrity Songs picks up where Elton John left off, providing custom versions of "Candle In The Wind" for a wide range of celebrity corpses including (but not limited to) George Mikan, Estee Lauder, and Spaulding Grey.
posted by jtron at 7:38 PM PST - 4 comments

Yee is a Canadian Artist. His company Yee's Job is located in Montreal. He designs & handcrafts all kind of paper craft, such as a working V-8 engine made of paper, a paper biplane clock, the Cathedral at Notre Dame and more.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:34 PM PST - 15 comments

Enjoy the interactive art work of Lars Arrhenius. "Arrhenius often uses pictographs, the kind of stereotypical figures and universal symbols seen on public information signs. A direct use of media, and a judicious blend of austerity and irony are typical of his work. The digital characters in his animation, The Street, create an exaggerated view of daily routines, where each individual contributes to keep things going like an anonymous cog in the machine of life." Complete bio (along with additional artworks) here. Flickr slideshow of his work here.
posted by JPowers at 4:39 PM PST - 9 comments

Paranoid Android Covers
posted by parallax7d at 4:33 PM PST - 28 comments

The synchronization of two pendulum clocks was discovered in 1665 by Huygens. Two pendulum clocks mounted on the same wall always fell exactly out of phase with each other no matter what the starting conditions. Regardless of the initial conditions the system always ended up the same. In stark contrast, a chaotic system is extremely sensitive to initial conditions. How can these two seemingly seperate things be tied together? The synchronization of chaos. When two chaotic systems are synchronized together, information can be shared between them. It immediatly brings to mind applications for encryption, but it is still far away from everyday use.
posted by ozomatli at 2:50 PM PST - 49 comments

"At Ceiling Scenes, we believe the ceiling has a fundamental right to take part in the ambiance of any interior space." -- From their catalog (.pdf). Personally, I think tin ceilings are much more nifty, but I can see how these photographic tiles could really brighten up a dull office or classroom. Too bad they're so cagey about actually telling you how much they cost...
posted by Gator at 12:54 PM PST - 20 comments

Yet another Google Maps hack for the NYC subway system. This one helps you plan your trip from point A to point B, and gives you an estimated travel time. Most locals will quickly find that the routes it suggests usually aren't the optimum, however this may be useful for visitors, at least until Friday morning. In the event of a strike, this is your best bet for some form of direction.
posted by allkindsoftime at 12:30 PM PST - 20 comments

Liquid Stone: New Architecture in Concrete (Flash). A nice round-up of contemporary concrete architecture, with some stunning pictures, from the National Building Museum. Be sure to follow the "Featured Projects" link on the right.
posted by OmieWise at 10:38 AM PST - 20 comments

Civil war. Surely this is an adjectival misnomer of the first rank. Of all of the various types of war, civil war -- that is, a violent conflict waged between opposing sides within a society -- has generally been the least mannerly and the most savage... By just about every meaningful standard that can be applied -- the reference points of history, the research criteria of political science, the contemporaneous reporting of on-the-ground observers, the grim roll of civilian and combatant casualties -- Iraq is now well into the bloody sequence of civil war. Dispense with the tentative locution "on the verge of." An active, if not full-boil, civil war is already a reality.
Shattering Iraq
See also Iraq: see no evil, hear no evil
Iran gaining influence, power in Iraq through militia
Bush's Strategy, Iraq's New Army Challenged by Ethnic Militias
Outside View: Iraq's Grim Lessons   More Inside
posted by y2karl at 10:14 AM PST - 93 comments

Basic Brewing Radio : Good info and podcasts that are done pretty well. (22 shows already "in the can"). If you are looking for a good online book: How to Brew by John Palmer. Homebrewers, feel free to share your favorite sites and resources.
posted by spock at 10:02 AM PST - 20 comments


Asimo gets an upgrade. His new abilities include running at 6 mph, operating a cart, serving tea, walking hand in hand, walking with a tray, facial recognition, and the ability to defenestrate you without moral responsibilities.

Videos of the Asimo in action.
posted by sourbrew at 9:31 AM PST - 65 comments

A Conversation with Stanley Tookie Williams - Amy Goodman had a conversation with Stanley Williams days before he was executed using lethal injection at San Quentin's death chamber. It was good to listen to the audio and following along with the transcript. In listening I kept in mind Williams' violent past, his long incarceration, and his "redemption". I learned something from this. And it was redemption which Ahnold said [PDF] was the reason for no slack. In the end it was Conan the Barbarian who singularly determined Tookie's fate.
posted by rmmcclay at 9:20 AM PST - 99 comments


Judge: Stealing a password does not constitute hacking. David Egilman is a highly-regarded expert in occupational medicine; he was the plaintiff's witness in a recent $253-million verdict in Texas against Vioxx. After two opposing law firms stole a password to his private website containing confidential information for his clients and students, he sued them under the DMCA. He lost.
posted by docgonzo at 7:57 AM PST - 50 comments

Newsfilter: Washington Post columnist/blogger Dan Froomkin writes the "White House Briefing," an online "daily anthology of works by other journalists and bloggers," which is often critical of the administration. This past Sunday, the new Post ombudsman wrote that the paper's White House correspondents worried that Froomkin's column creates an appearance of bias at the Post. Froomkin responsed, and hundreds of commentors offered their support. Then Post national politics editor John Harris weighed in, to somewhat less acclaim from commentors. Harris expanded on his views in this interview. The whole affair raises issues about allegations of a subservient, stenographic press, how the media deals with charges of liberal bias, the perceived vindictiveness of the Bush administration, and the relationship between in-house bloggers and the traditional media.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:36 AM PST - 20 comments

Brazilian mayor outlaws death. Faced with a shortage of cemetary space, and other options outlawed, what are the choices? "Of course the bill is laughable, unconstitutional, and will never be approved," said Gilson Soares de Campos, an aide to the mayor. "But can you think of a better marketing strategy?"
posted by Balisong at 6:40 AM PST - 20 comments

Cover Art: The Time Collection [Flash] "In 1978 Time Magazine gave to the National Portrait Gallery some 800 works of original art that had at one time or another appeared on its covers." The gallery has created an online-only exhibition of the covers (the museum is closed for renovation until July 4, 2006). "And while one may normally imagine ornately framed oils of distinguished luminaries when thinking of the NPG, the Time covers offer a much closer to 'street level' survey of the prominent figures of any specific period." [via CSM]
posted by clgregor at 6:14 AM PST - 7 comments

Back in April, Carmel Andrews and Charles F. Gray claimed that Commodore reverse-engineered Atari's 8-bit hardware. Bob Yannes (creator of the SID chip and co-founder of Ensoniq) responds. What results is a brief, informative history on the concept of "sprites" and the idea of reverse-engineering. More drama, reviews, and retro computing at The Atari Times. (See also this collection of links at atari.org. Happy holidays.)
posted by milquetoast at 4:55 AM PST - 14 comments

"A Helpful Hand" - Penn & Teller call Bullshit! on the "bestselling book in the world," the Holy Bible. (link is to entire episode approx 29mins - *language, flash)
posted by hypersloth at 4:41 AM PST - 120 comments

Without any hint of irony, p2pnet has republished a copy of an article originally published at Gamustra entitled 'The End Of Copyright', in which author Ernest Adams argues that the advance of technology (specifically the internet and file sharing programs) will kill off the very notion of copyright. Another recent article argues much the same thing. As an interesting aside to these two articles, both articles mention Metallica's much publicized stand on the issue of file sharing and their stealing of music, which is interesting only because of recent claims by Queens of the Stone Age rocker Josh Homme, who said in a recent magazine interview that Metallica "borrowed" a frustratingly large volume of music he recorded with his former band Kyuss.
posted by Effigy2000 at 4:03 AM PST - 20 comments

They Might Be Giants have a Podcast - Dig it!
The inaugral installment features, among other choice musical morsels, a cover of the Banana Splits' "I Enjoy Being a Boy," yet another nifty rendition of Particle Man, and a hilarious collection of turtle songs. Direct link to feed.
posted by JHarris at 2:21 AM PST - 23 comments

December 13

When the levees broke, he looked for was his camera and a boat. This Times-Picayune photographer tells his story of what happened next.
posted by Pacheco at 10:45 PM PST - 2 comments


Bush in the Bubble. Newsweek's analysis of the man who is possibly "the most isolated president in modern history."
posted by digaman at 8:40 PM PST - 47 comments


Ding dong! It's a Christmas song! (Windows Media) Günther has returned to put the tra-la-la and ding-ding-dong back into Christmas.
posted by insomnia_lj at 6:08 PM PST - 21 comments

The first Transhuman Conference On the Law of Transhuman Persons: Whether or not you believe humans are set to evolve into gods, or AI is destined to achieve self-awareness the idea of the Transhuman is a thought provoking concept. Philosophers have debated the nature of the self, of the human for millennia. Is it time to start drafting new laws to govern all possible sentient beings on this planet? or is it all just a science of fiction? a comfortable humanist illusion?
posted by 0bvious at 5:43 PM PST - 37 comments

Asymmetric airplanes may look weird, but the idea isn't just for the luftwaffe anymore: Burt Rutan has done one too. Not counter-intuitive enough for you? How about an asymmetric helicopter?
posted by phrontist at 5:00 PM PST - 17 comments

Below is a press release announcing a partnership between Weedshare and Magnatune. I tried to hit the DRM issue head-on in the release, as that's likely the most contentious issue with our existing Magnatune fans.
Bottom line: this is an alternative way for people to buy Magnatune music, in a scheme where they can themselves make money by sharing their bought files with other people, in what is typically referred to as an "affiliate network." We absolutely will continue to sell DRM-free music through the magnatune web site, but for those who wish to make money by sharing their files, that option is now there.

posted by zouhair at 3:03 PM PST - 21 comments

Make eggs a part of your balanced breakfast... and they're also an excellent source of protein! Uhm. Probably not for the weak of stomach / May be NSFW. (Google translation from german.)
posted by crunchland at 2:36 PM PST - 49 comments

Refuge of Last Resort is a documentary shot in the wake of Katrina. They've got a trailer up showing a quick overview of the project and they're even offering raw footage shot in hi-def. [via mefi projects]
posted by mathowie at 2:31 PM PST - 14 comments

Tzintzuntzan was the capital city of the Purépecha Empire (also known as Tarascan). Culturally (scroll to middle of page) isolated from the rest of precolumbian Mexico, the origins of the Purépecha is still unknown. Their language is one that is not even provisionally linked with any other language and is still spoken by about 200,000 natives around Michoacan. The Purépechas were the only state to become an empire in the Western Mexico cultures.
posted by ozomatli at 1:53 PM PST - 18 comments

Faceless lovers in purple moonlight, pin-up elephants, chess playing rabbits (in sepia). The anthropomorphic anime, noir, and classic film inspired paintings of Joseph Park.
posted by iamck at 1:53 PM PST - 16 comments

Bound For Glory: Color Photographs from the FSA The first major exhibition of The little known color images taken by photographers of the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. These vivid scenes and portraits capture the effects of the Depression on America's rural and small town populations, the nation's subsequent economic recovery and industrial growth, and the country's great mobilization for World War II. --- Taken from when Kodachrome Film was just being developed, the pictures document life in color during the depresssion era US. We're so used to seeing FSA photos in black and white; seeing them in color is just surreal.
posted by virga at 1:27 PM PST - 52 comments

Love That Dracula. Don't forget to check out Jesus Christ, Asshole Supreme whilst you're at it (contains rude words and blasphemy).
posted by longbaugh at 1:24 PM PST - 24 comments


"Richard Rainwater made billions by knowing how to profit from a crisis. Now he foresees the biggest one yet". Rainwater discovers peak oil and wants to profit from it. Among other things, "he's thinking about opening a for-profit survivability center". Admittedly, his peak oil obsession goes beyond profiting:
But there may be something more important than making money. This is the first scenario I've seen where I question the survivability of mankind. I don't want the world to wake up one day and say, 'How come some doofus billionaire in Texas made all this money by being aware of this, and why didn't someone tell us?'
posted by samelborp at 12:04 PM PST - 20 comments

While googling for the the USDA's Thrifty Food Plan, which estimates how much it will cost to feed a family in the United States, I stumbled upon The Hillbilly Housewife. There is material here relevant to my original search, including the $45/week Emergency Menu and the $70/week Low Cost Menu. There's also some pretty weird stuff, too. Things like the essay on the "pleasure and power of aprons" or her blog entry detailing her troubles trying to buy a house.
posted by Irontom at 11:58 AM PST - 90 comments

The narwhal, often termed "The Unicorn of the Sea," has a really odd tusk. It's long, spiraled, and there's only one of 'em per animal. Its purpose has been disputed for ages, but at long last, it seems that the answer has been found. And it's pretty damn cool.
posted by greatgefilte at 10:51 AM PST - 69 comments


It's official, humans are dumber than chimps. These guys show (at the NY Times level) that human kids will over-imitate every ritualized nuance modeled for them, whereas chimp kids just wanna get the damn cookie out of the box. Their website also describes more of their studies.
posted by Eothele at 10:12 AM PST - 42 comments

Please be careful to observe proper etiquette when dining on sushi. [31 MB .mov, coralized link]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:25 AM PST - 49 comments

Fulton Street Trade Card Collection at the Brooklyn Public Library consists of 245 late 19th and early 20th century illustrated trade cards, all emanating from businesses in Brooklyn's historic commercial thoroughfare. [via Gothamist]
posted by riffola at 9:07 AM PST - 6 comments

This utterly stunning panorama of Paris by night (WARNING! 15000x520 image, 1.8mb) is almost too good to be true. You can see so many landmarks it's ridiculous - this version has them labelled for your convenience. I traced it back to Arnaud Friche's gallery of panoramic photographs of Paris, churches and cathedrals, and other cities. There are so many beautiful hi-res photographs here that I won't waste any more of your time talking about them.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 8:15 AM PST - 66 comments

Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked - Henry Jenkins (previous discussed here) points out errors in the myths we here about videogames and those who play them. It's nice to hear intelligent commentary that doesn't run along the lines of the usual messages.
posted by Dantien at 8:00 AM PST - 71 comments

St. Lucia Day is celebrated today, primarily in Sweden . Celebrate at home! Bake some Lussekatter and put a wreath on your head!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:37 AM PST - 16 comments

The late Fredric Wertham, anti-comics crusader, has taken time out of his busy afterlife to start a weblog.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 7:37 AM PST - 3 comments

I'd like 128 20oz Cokes, please... hold the coke. If you buy 64 sodas from Wendy's before February, Airtran will give you a free round-trip flight, anywhere they fly, limit two.
posted by empath at 7:35 AM PST - 51 comments

♪ Somebody snitched on me ♫
Nuttin' for Christmas by Stan Freberg is one of those old-time favorites that's simply too cynical to be considered a holiday classic. When Strange Reaction [mefi] posted a selection of punk Christmas tunes, I was introduced to the Vindictives cover version [mp3 nsfw] which takes some amusing liberties with the lyrics. After some googling, it seems Nuttin' for Christmas is a song for which people love creating their own words, often in poor taste. But the original [midi] itself extends of an ancient yule tradition of releasing pent up negativity and resolving to begin the new year all straight edge and shit. What MetaFilter dog race will you let go of this year?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:27 AM PST - 15 comments

Tim Yang's TV Commercial Blog is sweet, sweet succor for those of you who miss the heyday of AdCritic.
posted by grrarrgh00 at 7:21 AM PST - 7 comments

Dumped, but which BBC Trail got these responses? Hint, its not the Christmas Doctor Who...

"I wish to protest that this image is disturbingly psychotic. Its unacknowledged aggression could make a fragile viewer ill."

"Anyone else think this is the single most terrifying thing ever, or is it just me?"

"Terrifying. Given me nightmares, so it has."

Find out here
posted by Dio at 6:31 AM PST - 49 comments

The Eyes of Nye is "Bill Nye the Science Guy" for adults, with topics like "Cloning," "Pseudoscience," and "The Evolution of Sex" with its montage of happily fornicating animals. The topics are more serious but the humor is still there. The show's web site has video clips and extra information related to each episode. [both links use Flash]
posted by pithy comment at 6:06 AM PST - 19 comments

Remember Surge? It was a Mountain Dew knockoff from the Super Wicked Radical days of the mid 90's. Reflecting the times, Surge was the color of radiator coolant and as thick as labrador drool. Inexplicably, it failed (except in Norway and also may have been the inspiration for this). The site is a magnificent document of true love for a dead product (and the opposite of Pepsi Blue on so many levels.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:30 AM PST - 61 comments

When most of us think motorsports, we don't think Diesel. But the Vorsprung durch technik guys decided that a 5-liter V12 dual-turboed oil burner would be a good idea for the Le Mans and other racing series. The monstrosity is officially launched today (in English)
posted by SharQ at 5:17 AM PST - 33 comments

The Plain English Campaign Awards have been published again. No Rumsfeldian "known unknowns" this time, just this from Rhodri Morgan:
The only thing which isn’t up for grabs is no change and I think it’s fair to say it’s all to play for, except for no change.”
The complete shortlist (word doc) and BBC report. 2003 awards previously
posted by patricio at 3:01 AM PST - 9 comments

The Lazy Drinker — a first step towards a glorious dystopia of drink serving droids. Salut!
Beware: frames & Comic Sans ahoy!
posted by elphTeq at 12:16 AM PST - 12 comments

December 12

Transcendence. Prepare to waste a lot of time. This free, downloadable game is kind of like Nethack. But re-envisioned as a shoot-em-up. In space. With pretty graphics. And a backstory. And user mods. If any of that appeals to you, download the newly released version .95 and say goodbye to the rest of your productive week.
posted by blahblahblah at 10:53 PM PST - 29 comments

Your Guess Is as Good as Mine --by Kurt Vonnegut (it's an excerpt from his new book)
posted by amberglow at 10:35 PM PST - 38 comments

Holy Chimera - Fred Gage has spliced human brain cells into mice.
posted by sourbrew at 8:54 PM PST - 33 comments

Happy Holidays.
posted by boo_radley at 8:49 PM PST - 19 comments

The layout of this site looks an awful lot like this one. Probably just a coincidence. [via matthewgood]
posted by tranquileye at 7:56 PM PST - 61 comments

THE EVOLUTION OF GLOBAL POLITICS. University of Washington Professor George Modelski is credited with developing the concept of world leadership. There have been five world leaders: Portugal, the Netherlands, Great Britain I, Great Britain II, and currently the USA. Some scholars in political science and history are pointing towards U.S. decline and a takeover by a United States of Europe...
posted by j-urb at 7:55 PM PST - 46 comments

RandomProxy [via mefi projects] Tired of talking to the same people on AIM all the time? RandomProxy allows you to talk to someone randomly and anonymously. Air out your problems with your boss or just find out what the weather is like across the country. Warning: Not for those who strictly adhere to the rules of conversation.
posted by tozturk at 5:54 PM PST - 45 comments

Where's the green? In Canada, as elections loom closer, men in suits discuss each other for our bemusement on national television and radio, but where is the green party all of this? %5 of the popular vote, and unable to appear on the nationally televised debates hosted by the public broadcaster...via...
posted by pucklermuskau at 5:48 PM PST - 62 comments

The Angels of the Hours offer us the opportunity to direct our lives from within,not being swept along by the demands of the clock.By living in the real rhythms of the day we become more real...(real audio) .
posted by hortense at 5:36 PM PST - 4 comments

Eat Dog Cat Mouse (link goes to embedded QT movie with audio) is a charming, weird 3 minute cg cartoon described as a folk tale about the food chain. More info here.
posted by jonson at 5:04 PM PST - 8 comments

A class-action lawsuit is being prepared against Wikipedia. After the controversy about John Seigenthaler and the exposure of the culprit, a group seeking to sue Wikipedia want people to join them. Can I sue other encyclopedias for publishing out-of-date, partizan, politicized nonsense?
posted by bobbyelliott at 1:41 PM PST - 121 comments

Zombie Claus to strike SE Michigan! You have your Zombie in my Claus. No, you have your Claus in my Xombie. Behold two great memes that taste great together, even better than finding a Zombie in your coffee. So how do you kill a Zombie Claus? Candy cane through the heart?
So Little Jimmy what do you want for Christmas? BRAAAIINS!!!
[via Laughing Squid]

posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:41 PM PST - 6 comments

"...so what we got now is Brokeback Mountain." The New Yorker republishes Anne Proulx's orginal short story. Here's a recent Bookslut interview with the author, and a discussion on turning the short story into a screenplay.
posted by kirkaracha at 1:05 PM PST - 97 comments

Think of this prison riot the next time you joke about pancakes on Metafilter.
posted by birdsquared at 12:50 PM PST - 43 comments

Google Map NYC Subway Hack! Like most New Yorkers, I do most of my intra-city travel via subway. Back when Google Maps debuted, I sent in a request to have subway info added to the NYC maps. The MTA's subway map focuses on the train lines, with very little street info. But you need a map that shows both subway and street data to figure out which train(s) to take to a given destination... and while you can buy printed maps of this kind, I've never found one online -- until now. Something called Google Transit is in the works, but it only seems to cover Portland, OR at the moment. Thankfully, OnNYTurf has stepped into the breach with a beautiful, practical Google Maps hack. Cool!
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 10:26 AM PST - 43 comments

100 Cartoons to celebrate Black Ink Monday "Over the last 20 years, the number of cartoonists on the staff of daily newspapers nationwide has been cut in half." Today, the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists protests "newspapers everywhere who have lost sight of the value of having a staff editorial cartoonist."
posted by mediareport at 10:01 AM PST - 41 comments

Pourquoi? "Les petites enigmes de tous les jours" - Interesting site akin to AskMe, "en Français."
posted by AllesKlar at 9:10 AM PST - 21 comments

Tomorrow Stan "Tookie" Williams founder of the Crips gang is scheduled to die. Many feel that Tookie has turned has life around, he's written books about his life, and has had his story made into a movie and even been nominated for the Nobel Prize Some say he deserves clemency others do not this morning Tookie was denied an appeal to the California Supreme Court and is waiting on a federal appeal. Which begs the question Should Tookie Die?
posted by bitdamaged at 9:08 AM PST - 474 comments

Big Screen Version [.mov, 9.5MB - 3 min.] is the title of a short film described as "Split-screen talking heads and flying graphics collide in a musical homage to the self-righteous rhetoric of Fox News." made by film and videographer Aaron Valdez. Other gems of his include Politics, Any Way You Slice It, and his regularly updated vlog.
posted by nitsuj at 8:52 AM PST - 16 comments

Order now for next Christmas! We’ve already discussed the fascinating story of Pitcairn Island (home of the Bounty mutineers’ descendents) and its recent troubles.
Now you too can help the struggling community re-find its feet by buying online items hand-crafted on Pitcairn by Fletcher Christian and Co’s descendants. Just be aware that shipping could take 3-8 months. (Or try these guys who have a stash of Pitcairn goods in the US.)
posted by penguin pie at 8:15 AM PST - 9 comments

Stelios goes down! (flash)
posted by 13twelve at 5:12 AM PST - 25 comments

'A cadaveric kidney comes from a dead person and in the majority of cases in China, the dead people are prisoners, which allows for us to know at least two weeks ahead when the kidney will be ready' Transplantsinternational.com is offering organs from executed Chinese prisoners for sale on it's website (offline at the moment) for £23,000 per kidney. They say the deceased's family receive a donation for the organs.

This is not a new phenomenon as it was brought to the attention of US Congress in 2001, however, now people seeking transplants know in advance that there is an organ ready for them. "Blood samples are taken from prisoners to ensure they will be the perfect match for their Western beneficiaries."

It raises all sort of ethical issues. Should someone accept an organ from an executed prisoner? What right does someone have to say it is immoral to take an organ acquired in this way? Then again China's human rights record is appalling, should desperate Westerners be taking of advantage of those in prison? Should it be made illegal in the West to become a transplant tourist in order to curb this trade?
posted by ClanvidHorse at 2:24 AM PST - 49 comments

Why Homos have big butts, short shouts, and big leg joints: long distance running.
posted by orthogonality at 1:44 AM PST - 36 comments

The Bugatti Veyron, according to Jeremy Clarkson on last night's Top Gear, may well be the Concorde of cars. So Clarkson is a man prone to hyperbole, but this time the facts might just back him up. A throw-away remark from VW boss Ferdinand Piëch became the informal design brief. A 1000 horsepower car capable of the north side of 400kph/250mph. It looks futuristic, but has the stats to match. 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds. In an acceleration race with a McLaren F1 (the previous fastest supercar), the Veyron can give the F1 a head-start to 120mph, but will still beat it to 200mph. At 250mph, the 100 litre fuel tank will empty in 12 minutes, and you can brake to stand-still in just ten seconds (albeit covering the length of four football pitches in the process). The car will set you back most of UK £1,000,000 but that's barely an indicator: the few that exist are being sold at loss because they "just wanted to see if they could". With an industry facing shifting priorities, there may never be another super-car quite like this.
posted by nthdegx at 1:38 AM PST - 77 comments

Personality
“Research in individual differences addresses three broad questions: 1) developing an adequate descriptive taxonomy of how people differ; 2) applying differences in one situation to predict differences in other situations; and 3) testing theoretical explanations of the structure and dynamics of individual differences.”
Visit the Personality Project. While you're there, participate in the Internet Personality Inventory Survey.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:16 AM PST - 17 comments

An awkward resemblance to a certain eigenface might get you pulled aside in Las Vegas. Prof. Hilbert is probably spinning in his grave.
posted by Rothko at 12:04 AM PST - 24 comments

December 11

The Semiotics of Smoking.
posted by loquacious at 11:32 PM PST - 23 comments

Happy Seed [note: flash]
posted by crunchland at 9:53 PM PST - 26 comments

An Evaluation of Federal Tax Policy Based on Judeo-Christian Ethics An evangelical Christian law prof. evaluates Bush admininistration tax policy and finds it immoral.
posted by rbs at 9:47 PM PST - 23 comments


A So-Called Atheist Manifesto. In this article the writer seems to forget that there's more to atheism than anti-Christianity, but fans of such rants might enjoy it. Those with more classical tastes might prefer Voltaire, who wanted to wipe out Religion altogether. Those who enjoy heat as much as light might like this rather polemic site, while those who prefer dispassionate intellectuality and/or agnosticism might go for Bertrand Russell.
posted by davy at 6:35 PM PST - 354 comments

Jerry Thomas' Bar-Tender's Guide or How to Mix Drinks.
posted by kenko at 6:00 PM PST - 9 comments

90 Reasons to Hate the 90s : A funny read from a couple guys that seem to really really hate hipsters.
posted by starscream at 5:22 PM PST - 77 comments

Densha Otoko (Train Man) is the true story of a japanese otaku who finds love. After saving a beautiful woman on a train from the unwanted attentions of a drunken groper, an anonymous poster writes about the incident on the the Japanese mega messageboard 2ch. With the encouragement of his fellow internet geeks, he pursues her romantically and posts every detail to 2ch. Japanese media has been obsessed with the story all year, and the original postings were adapted into a best selling book, a major motion picture, an enormously popular TV show, and even a stage play. Of course, it may not be real.
posted by JZig at 4:39 PM PST - 31 comments

Road rules [wmv] A birdseye view of an intersection in Nanchang reveals the intricate traffic flow. Keep an eye out for the swarm that builds up on the left-hand side, making a break for it at 2:18 in.
posted by tellurian at 3:54 PM PST - 28 comments

Clear your head with a neti pot. [video inside]
posted by cmicali at 3:54 PM PST - 42 comments

Huge explosion rocks UK countryside. Police say the oil depot explosion appears to be an accident, even though Al-Qaeda called for attacks on the oil industry just a few days ago. (As usual, the media feels the need to report this, even though Al-Qaeda was speaking of Gulf oil targets, and nothing of this scale could have been implented in just a few days)
Some pictures: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
posted by empath at 2:56 PM PST - 64 comments

Newsfilter: White people riot in Sydney, Australia They're upset that a lifeguard or something got beat up by a bunch of 'middle eastern looking' people.
posted by delmoi at 11:11 AM PST - 163 comments

Cardiff Terrifies Me. Daily news-stand headlines from that bastion of quality journalism, the South Wales Echo.
posted by nylon at 10:38 AM PST - 28 comments

Opera Guide: the Virtual Opera House. Cast information, synopses and libretti of the main operatic repertoire.
posted by matteo at 10:05 AM PST - 7 comments

This is why we can't have nice things. The man who edited the John Seigenthaler facts concerning the assassination of JFK & RFK in the Wikipedia has finally come clean. As a consequence of his actions, Seigenthaler wrote an editorial to USA Today, anonymous editors can no longer create pages in the Wikipedia (although they can still make edits), and the credibility of the project as a whole was placed into scrutiny. NY Times bugmenotlink
posted by jonson at 9:36 AM PST - 70 comments

He is “fine” by a certain very technical definition of “fine” which indicates he didn’t kill himself and do a header on the bathroom tile. Hillarious trip report from scotto on erowid. Erowid previously here and here.
posted by lalochezia at 9:35 AM PST - 11 comments

Experts can suck at predicting the future. Their intuitive sense of probability is no more developed than lay-people's. A classic experiment is to present two indistinguishable choices are presented, but with unequal probability of reward. Humans look for complex patterns, which don't exist, and preform quite poorly. Rats quickly recognize the choice with higher probability, and preform optimally.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:38 AM PST - 34 comments

Merrian-Webster open dictionary "Have you spotted a new word or a new sense for an old word that hasn't made it into the dictionary yet? Well, here's your chance to add your discovery (and its definition) to Merriam-Webster's Open Dictionary"
posted by robbyrobs at 7:09 AM PST - 22 comments

2005 - The Year in Ideas. From Accredited Bliss to Zombie Dogs, the NY Times runs through the year's scientific, cultural, and academic developments.
posted by ph00dz at 5:15 AM PST - 13 comments

' "Predictive programming works by means of the propagation of the illusion of an infallibly accurate vision of how the world is going to look in the future". Through the circulation of science "fiction" literature, the ignorant masses are provided with semiotic intimations of coming events. Within such literary works are narrative paradigms that are politically and socially expedient to the power elite. Thus, when the future unfolds as planned, it assumes the paradigmatic character of the "fiction" that foretold it...........' The Illuminati: an all encompassing conspiracy stranger than any fiction
posted by 0bvious at 2:17 AM PST - 17 comments

A House full of insults is an informal look at the history of parliamentary put-downs and their inconsistent consequences in Britain's House of Commons.
posted by nthdegx at 1:00 AM PST - 22 comments

Worse than Fossil Fuel. I keep telling people to take note of where their biodiesel comes from....
posted by Farengast at 12:56 AM PST - 61 comments

December 10

"Dead heroes are supposed to come home with their coffins draped with the American flag -- greeted by a color guard. But in reality, many are arriving as freight on commercial airliners -- stuffed in the belly of a plane with suitcases and other cargo."
posted by EarBucket at 5:48 PM PST - 102 comments


"I am standing at the traffic lights when the woman next to me, lost in her thoughts, suddenly bursts out laughing. Then she immediately covers her mouth with her hand and glances around, embarrassed. This gives me an idea. I phone the photographer Stephen Gill. 'Let's walk around looking for people who are laughing to themselves because of something they've just thought of,' I say. 'When we find them, you take their photograph and I'll ask them what they were thinking about that was so funny.'" Jon Ronson sets out to discover the secret source of joy.
posted by Blue Stone at 2:01 PM PST - 31 comments

Pretzel architecture, a Virgin Mary funyun, and $609.00.
posted by leapingsheep at 1:53 PM PST - 11 comments

National Wildlife Magazine's 35th Annual Photography competition. [via Fark]
posted by Gyan at 1:52 PM PST - 9 comments

Fsaturday Flash Fun: ColdTomatoes.com features a few diverting little Flash games (squish the birdie!) for a rainy day when you're sick to death of Freecell and Minesweeper. There's also this weird tile thing.
posted by Gator at 1:26 PM PST - 7 comments

According to his official website, comedian Richard Pryor has died at the age of 65. More coverage at Fark and updates at Wikipedia.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 1:14 PM PST - 168 comments

Woophy stands for WOrld Of PHotographY, a website founded by a Dutch collective of photo aficionados and internet designers who believe navigation on internet can be more visual, logical and associative. The goal of Woophy's founders is to create an accessible, visual, current, democratic and collective work of art comprised of a database picturing our remarkable world.
posted by crunchland at 1:01 PM PST - 8 comments

Note the champagne boxes. Lots of amazing interior and aerial photos of the new Airbus A380 are up on Airliners.net. It's a huge, huge plane. [There is more inside.]
posted by brownpau at 12:07 PM PST - 36 comments

Kite Running Banned. For those who read The Kite Runner and who may be waiting for the movie, a bit of info from "real-life." Pakistan has banned the practice because it's too dangerous.
posted by johngumbo at 11:56 AM PST - 30 comments

"Give the Jew Girl Toys" --music video by comedian Sarah Silverman
Claus...Claus...is that German?
posted by amberglow at 9:16 AM PST - 109 comments

Odd Films: Hungry for films on food? Pining for movies about dead pets? Can't get enough substance-abuse flicks? Perhaps you want to catch a glimpse of Elvis/Nixon/Nixon&Elvis? All these and many more are included in this somewhat crudely presented, but surprisingly comprehensive list of strange and/or indy cinema.
posted by Drexen at 8:43 AM PST - 7 comments

Myspace Deaths - many car accidents, some murders, suicides, Iraq
posted by growabrain at 8:12 AM PST - 85 comments

Nazi swing music from the 30s. FMU's terrific blog presents mp3s of songs by Charlie and His Orchestra, a big band assembled by Hitler's minister of propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, to spread the Nazi message abroad even while trying to stamp out jazz and swing domestically. "Leave it to Goebbels to take the music of The Andrews Sisters, Paul Whiteman and Irving Berlin and fill it with venomous rants against Jews, America and the British." Vol. 1 is here. Some history. And now I want to see this movie about the band. via BB
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:06 AM PST - 20 comments


Dick Van Patten Eats Dog Food Presumably because he's old and poor. But not like the neighbor lady in that one episode of "Good Times." Kids like it, too and so do the continental Europeans and the Quebecois.
posted by Mayor Curley at 2:41 AM PST - 41 comments

Hippocamp Ruins Sgt Pepper's A group of electronic artists have worked on a "ruined" version of the Beatles Sgt Pepper's classic. Designed to accompany and contrast with the ".... Ruins Pet Sounds" release from earlier in the year .... this ruined release exists to be compared and contrasted to the original album and its artistic competitor Pet Sounds. The original classic is recontextualised through the humour and vision of these artists whose approaches to the tracks aims to re-examine Pepper's through a filter of 2005 technology.
posted by room at 1:51 AM PST - 31 comments

Face to Face: The Science of Reading Faces. Transcript(and video)of a 2004 interview with psychologist Paul Ekman, who is known for his research on facial expression and the development, with associates, of the Facial Action Coding System (FACS). Includes a few facial expression photos. Part of the "Conversations with History" series at the Institute of International Studies, University of California, Berkeley .
posted by hortense at 1:42 AM PST - 10 comments

Like to listen to the ATC radio chatter while on long flights? Well now you can do it in the comfort of your own home.
posted by taschenrechner at 1:41 AM PST - 17 comments

Now they're after the lyrics. The MPA isn't stopping at the MP3 files.
posted by IronLizard at 12:06 AM PST - 58 comments

December 9

ZOMBIEGRINDER! Only a fat man with a shotgun survives the zombie apocalypse in this Abuse-like game with a death metal soundtrack.
posted by boo_radley at 10:53 PM PST - 22 comments

Robert Sheckley passes on: It does not come as a shock, as mentioned in this thread from may of this year he has been ill. However, as with Zelazney I considered him a great science fiction writer. An end of an era is fast approaching.
posted by edgeways at 9:14 PM PST - 27 comments

Odd/Niche Magazines. Yesterday evening, I was on my way home on the train, when I noticed a man reading a glossy four-color magazine called Pizza Today. It floored me that there was actually a magazine dedicated to pizza, with a feature article on dessert pizzas on the cover! So I went looking for other odd niche magazines and found (bi)monthly printed publications for twins, LEGO fans, cowboys who are Christian, ferret lovers, collectors of clocks, goat and sheep herders, cephalopods, and beaders.
posted by lunarboy at 7:51 PM PST - 35 comments

Conservative Blogs Rock! NEW YORK In an argument sure to be challenged in certain sectors of the blogosphere, a story in The New York Times magazine coming up this Sunday declares that conservative blogs continue to best liberal blogs in political and electoral influence.
posted by Sagres at 6:20 PM PST - 51 comments

Bush Threatens U.N. Over Clinton Climate Speech Bush-administration officials privately threatened organizers of the U.N. Climate Change Conference, telling them that any chance there might’ve been for the United States to sign on to the Kyoto global-warming protocol would be scuttled if they allowed Bill Clinton to speak at the gathering today in Montreal,
posted by Postroad at 5:07 PM PST - 115 comments

Photobooth (quicktime, direct link) is a short absurdist comedy sketch about a couple who meet, fall in love & celebrate 101 blissful years together in a mall photobooth. via
posted by jonson at 3:49 PM PST - 19 comments

Jun 2006 is too far away! How did you like the drawing? What are the tough and easy groups? Let's the WC madness begin.
posted by dov3 at 1:44 PM PST - 58 comments


Burma's military overseers, possibly in fear of a US invasion or internal strife, are moving the country's capital. At 6:37 a.m. on November 6th, (a time selected by one of the country’s leading astrologists), Myanmar's government began relocating its ministries to a 100 square-km complex in Pyinmana, a remote forest-bound location about 390 km north of Rangoon. Some analysts said the move is being driven by fears of a US invasion, while many in Myanmar believe it is due to worries about a possible internal uprising. (This despite a commitment to a "discipline-flourishing democracy".) The country's neighbors were put-off because they hadn't been informed of the move. Fortunately, the government is sure the relocation won't affect the country's tourism industry.
posted by soiled cowboy at 1:28 PM PST - 30 comments

Those funny commies - china once again shows us how to do things with respect for the people. (newsfilter)
posted by sourbrew at 1:18 PM PST - 17 comments

Carl Buell, natural history illustrator, has started a blog. Interview with the man here.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:13 PM PST - 7 comments

In a land where the facility to divorce exists, and where widows may remarry [with no ability to conceive], and where humans may change sex, and the promulgation of same sex unions is rife, the inevitable has occurred: Bernardette [née Bernard] divorced and married the same woman on the same day.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:21 PM PST - 39 comments

The Origin of Superman !
Possibly NSFW. via
posted by Tlogmer at 12:03 PM PST - 34 comments

y.ah.oo Del.icio.us bought by Yahoo. Another one bites the dust? I miss the days when del.icio.us was largely undocumented and was a somewhat underground, community-based project. What will the corporate buyout mean for everyone's favourite link sharing site?
posted by sid at 11:55 AM PST - 69 comments

Is Christmas under attack? Who knows. But Joe Moretti's neighbors are feeling a might uncomfortable. This calls for a creche of cryingbaby!Jeebus and his wtf angels.
posted by FunkyHelix at 11:54 AM PST - 30 comments

Books return home. Librarians do a little dance. Back in 1919, Collyer's Eye was the first newspaper to report the details of the Chicago Black Sox scandal. This year, as the Sox neared the end of their 88-year pennant drought, bound volumes containing one of the few remaining copies of the newspaper disappeared from the library of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. This week, thanks to an apparent attack of conscience on the part of the thief, they mysteriously reappeared on a desk inside the University's main reference room. Libraries aren't always this lucky.
posted by MsMolly at 11:50 AM PST - 6 comments

Stupid Computer Tricks. Photo array of one computer service employee's favorite customer problems. Don't miss the intense AOL user, the sealed floppy, the floating hard drive, and the extreme case mod.
posted by brain_drain at 11:47 AM PST - 21 comments

A Study in Brown. He was only 25 when he died, but he left a musical legacy that few can match. His early death led to the jazz standard I Remember Clifford. He helped pioneer hard bop in contrast to the prevailing "cool" jazz of Chet Baker and Miles Davis. influenced by Fats Navarro his signature rich beautiful tones and melodic solos were a refreshing change from the recent emphasis on technique, but make no mistakes about it he was one of the most talented and gifted trumpet players of all time.
posted by ozomatli at 11:44 AM PST - 9 comments

Not safe for work: Shoot Your Wad (warning: Flash, porno music, and John Holmes). "You are Johnny Wadd, the hottest private eye/cocksman in America. You need to distribute your own unique brand of justice by sharing some loving with your adoring female fans." Avoid trannies and skanks, and say no to drugs; power up with Spanish Fly.
posted by Gator at 11:32 AM PST - 11 comments

Yacht Rock —"We're not going to stand idly by while you stab the American airwaves in the balls with your shit music." —"My musicians power their hits with their blood and their broken dreams."
posted by oldleada at 11:22 AM PST - 7 comments

Liberal conspiracy to take away school children's right to sing cherished Christmas song... ...Or simple misunderstanding? Another hard-hitting battlefield report from the frontlines of the Culture Wars, from the same stalwart news organization who brought us John Stossel's seminal treatise on the hidden virtues of greed. (Yes, both links are to a mainstream news outlet, but this story's an exclusive, so there aren't any alternatives.)
posted by all-seeing eye dog at 11:04 AM PST - 42 comments

Death (?) of a Small-Press Legend The link points to a page dedicated to Bill-Dale Marcinko, one-time gonzo Rutgers University newspaper editor, small press publisher and a character it seems no one who knew could ever stop thinking about. Marcinko, who had been supporting himself selling CDs on eBay, apparently died in a house fire when firemen were held back by cardboard boxes full of his collections. Still, he did fake his death several times before. His friends, most of whom haven't spoken to him in years, are hoping this is just a more elaborate prank. Clifford Meth's tribute page celebrates Bill-Dale and his work, including AFTA zine, described as perhaps "the first comics 'zine distributed to book and comic shops that combined comedy, politics and reviews on books, films, and comics. It was very much an underground version of Crawdaddy, though with vastly personal content." (via Mike Appelstein, a contributor to the Rutgers Livingston Medium)
posted by Scram at 11:01 AM PST - 1 comments

Is every cop a criminal? At least 41 officers in the Tennessee Highway Patrol have a criminal record. Ranging from drunk driving and driving state vehicles without a valid license to assault and child abuse. Gov. Bredesen called for a comprehensive background check of the THP and was surprised by the "inherent cronyism" with the force. Further scandals have forced the Commander to resign and the interim Commander is under some doubt as well. Will this be the end of the Good 'Ole Boys in Brown?
posted by teleri025 at 10:46 AM PST - 31 comments

No time for Warcraft? There's a whole new industry growing in China for outsourcing your "character". So called Gaming Factories (nytimes reg req.) have men playing for $250 a month 12 hours a day 7 days a week.
posted by bitdamaged at 10:25 AM PST - 28 comments

The servers are alive with the sound of music. Wolfram Tones takes patterns found out in the computer universe and converts them to completely original musical scores (which still may sound familiar, weirdly enough). Visitors to the site can then tweak styles, instrumentation and pitch (Phyrigian hexatonic, anyone?). Compositions can be saved, e-mailed or downloaded to your cellphone. Via.
posted by Sully6 at 10:12 AM PST - 14 comments

Appalachian State University is HOT, HOT, HOT. An analysis of a promo video for Appalachian State University that was apparently intended to make students want to come to their school.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:38 AM PST - 51 comments

These amazing gingerbread houses on display in Seattle sent me looking for others. This directory includes tons of pictures, including a haunted house, a millhouse complete with millwheel, the old lady's shoe, a tudor castle, and a Thai temple. Recipes and dimensions for your own modest (and delicious!) abode.
posted by OmieWise at 9:37 AM PST - 12 comments

My Grandmother's Funeral - Quiet and melancholy comic - by cartoonist Nick Mullins.
posted by Peter H at 9:28 AM PST - 25 comments

Learn SQL by playing inside a galaxy of stars.
posted by Rothko at 8:38 AM PST - 31 comments

Routemaster makes final journey. I must be turning into an old sentimental fool: I understand the technical and practical reasons to retire them, yet I think it's sad.
posted by blogenstock at 8:21 AM PST - 27 comments

Just a small piece down the road from Christmas Town USA looms the empty Loray Mill, an icon of the old industrial South and a monument to the early labor movement. Gastonia 1929: the chief of police is murdered, the Communist organizer flees the country, and the young union balladeer is killed by a strikebreaking mob. (Hear Pete Seeger sing one of her ballads. [real media]) Much more on the area's rich and turbulent history at A Southern Primer. (Lewis Hine's child labor photographs previously discussed here.)
posted by milquetoast at 8:20 AM PST - 1 comments

Approval ratings for Bush are at all-time high! This has got to be the most misleading headline ever, but not for the reason you probably think of at first.
posted by GuyZero at 8:01 AM PST - 44 comments

Future handgun ban? Despite reassurances made during passage of C-68 that registration would not lead to confiscation, Paul Martin is promising to enable provinces to ban handguns if elected this January.
posted by Mitheral at 6:56 AM PST - 77 comments

Whether Man. Every morning (since November 22, at least), an NYU student (and video artist) has stepped out onto his Queens rooftop, clad only in his underwear and a necktie. Why? To provide you with "up to the 6 o'clock weather information," of course.
posted by grabbingsand at 6:17 AM PST - 9 comments

39 Pounds of Love "is the inspirational and humorous non-fiction account of Ami Ankilewitz, who was diagnosed with an extremely rare and often fatal form of SMA/2 that severely limits his physical growth and movement yet at 34 years of age, he continues to outlive a doctor's prediction of life expectancy by 28 years and counting. Ami, who weighs only 39 pounds, works in Israel as a 3D animator and creates his art despite the fact that his bodily motion is limited to a single finger on his left hand."
posted by Gyan at 5:40 AM PST - 14 comments

The US has admitted for the first time that it has not given the Red Cross access to all detainees in its custody. Meanwhile, the German citizen picked up by the CIA and tortured in one of the secret prisons, based solely on having the same name as a suspected terrorist, would really, really like an apology from someone. If you think things are getting out of hand, why not join the Amnesty International Write-a-thon? You can get the message across to the people in charge and let them know that you don't support prisoner abuse or rendition to secret prisons.
posted by Dag Maggot at 3:41 AM PST - 80 comments


Edward Burtynsky - Rock of Ages images Photos of abandoned quarries.
posted by srboisvert at 2:44 AM PST - 11 comments

The Poetry Archive claims to be "the world's premier online collection of recordings of poets reading their work". The main page will open a RealAudio file whether you want it to or not, so you may prefer to explore the site from one of the inside pages, like the Historic Recordings page, where you can listen to Robert Browning (reciting "How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix" and forgetting the words halfway through), Alfred Tennyson ("The Charge of the Light Brigade") or W.B. Yeats (sonorously declaiming "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"). Or if you want something more modern, there's Ashbery, Heaney, Logue, Pinter .. (Warning: all links to individual poets have embedded RealAudio files.)
posted by verstegan at 2:18 AM PST - 14 comments


Incompetent Design is yet another entry in the battle regarding the origin of humans.
posted by knave at 1:51 AM PST - 38 comments

David Stone Martin (Coralized link) is not very well known, but you've most likely seen his work on featured on various jazz records. Be sure to view all three pages of some amazing album covers. (The original site is on Geocities, please be gentle)
posted by riffola at 1:16 AM PST - 12 comments

December 8

Christians install creche near Supreme Court hoping for controversy and nobody cares.
posted by MrSoyBoy at 11:25 PM PST - 44 comments

"I am Daily Dancer, a software developer who loves to dance! Three days a week, I post a new video of me dancing to a different song." Here's some of the clips on Google Videos.
(via one of the links in delmoi's post, since yes indeed, this guy does get down to "My Humps")
posted by Melinika at 10:22 PM PST - 33 comments

Nissan.com belongs to Nissan Computer Corp., owned by Uzi Nissan in Raleigh, N.C. Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. has been in a protracted legal battle with Nissan Computer Corp. for control of the domain name and 10 million dollars. Now comes the mind-blowing coincidence: back in the day, Gateway, Inc. (then Gateway 2000, Inc.) was suing Gateway.com, Inc., owned by Alan Clegg, also of Raleigh, for control of gateway.com. They eventually settled out of court.)
posted by bugmuncher at 10:14 PM PST - 44 comments

Go Filter: The Interactive Way To [Learn] Go. Beginner's Go Questions Answered. How to Teach Go. Get taught at the Go Teaching Ladder. Browse Sensei's Library, a Go Wiki, or the Go Database Gobase.org. Play online at Kiseido Go Server , Dragon Go Server or The Internet Go Server. Try some Go problems. Play at home with GNU Go or Igowin, free strong 9x9 game. Learn more with a Guide to Go Books. Read up on The Integration of A Priori Knowledge into a Go Playing Neural Network or the Intelligent Go Foundation Overview of Computer Go. Also discussed here, here, and here.
posted by MetaMonkey at 9:25 PM PST - 32 comments

Some 25 million years ago, humans and vervet monkeys diverged from a common ancestor. In very rough terms, perhaps one and a quarter million human generations, or five million vervet generations, have been brought forth upon the Earth since that common ancestor lived. Of course, many differences have evolved between humans and vervets in those 25 million years: among other things, human parents choose toys for their children; vervet parents do not.

But after all that time and genetic change, and despite studies attributing human children's toy preferences to adult stereotypes, a new study by Dr. Gerianne Alexander finds that vervet males, like human boys, prefer toy trucks and balls, while vervet females and human girls prefer dolls and toy cooking pots. What's more, the vervets play with the toys much as human children do: males roll trucks on the ground, females inspect dolls (apparently) for genitalia. Previously on MetaFilter: Pinker vs. Spelke, Gender and Brain morphology, Harvard president Larry Summers and his daughter's "baby truck".
posted by orthogonality at 9:23 PM PST - 80 comments

Klik Kandy
posted by Mr Bluesky at 8:53 PM PST - 10 comments

Who travels with St. Nicholas? Most of us didn't learn about Krampus in elementary school, but apparently Santa Claus doesn't just rely on positive reinforcement. Gather the kiddies around and teach them about the "Christmas Devil."
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:04 PM PST - 12 comments

What Not to Crochet. Things you must never ever crochet. [via]
posted by brownpau at 7:16 PM PST - 36 comments

Not settled after all partial genetic explaination of eye color. it's not one classic dominant/recessive allele a la the monk Mendel. three known + unknown genes involved, everybody's still beautiful.
posted by longsleeves at 6:46 PM PST - 19 comments

Trust-Building Hormone Short-Circuits Fear In Humans Oxytocin, a brain chemical recently found to boost trust, also suppresses the activity in the amygdala where fear is generated. This could be a breakthrough for those who suffer from any type of social avoidance disorder.
posted by sultan at 5:33 PM PST - 23 comments

Peruse The Geographical Reader for Dixie Children and contemplate the manner in which the greater body of man has improved his intellect these past seven-score years and two.
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:23 PM PST - 27 comments

9306 Bombs, Grenades, Torpedoes, Mines, Missiles & Similar Munitions of War now available at the Ukraine outlet mall (free samples too!). Apparently it's just a click away to get just about any type of explosive you could imagine too.
posted by Guerilla at 3:24 PM PST - 15 comments

Personalized Digg. What if you could be able to read news filtered by people you trust? Of course it would be better if system can automatically learn your interests and likes, filtering the news appropriately... Beelaxy tries to do that job.
posted by snark9 at 2:34 PM PST - 22 comments

An open letter to Lance Armstong.
Subject: Minor changes to your screenplay. You mean once he starts winning, he just keeps winning? There's never a serious doubt that he'll keep winning? It gets a little predictable, Lance. Think about this for a second: Rocky lost in the first movie, and that's the only one that was any good.
posted by RockyChrysler at 2:21 PM PST - 41 comments

Phylotaxis, created by Jonathan Harris for Seed magazine, is "an exploration of the space where science meets culture." In other words, a groovy Flash visualization of photographs, "quivering with Brownian Motion." (more info)
posted by kirkaracha at 2:05 PM PST - 5 comments

You can be a better boyfriend. Helpful though sometimes unfriendly tips like "put on pants sometimes," "make sure you don't smell," and "don't touch girls who aren't your girlfriend." Via cior.
posted by Go, now. Go! at 1:10 PM PST - 167 comments

He looks like Zorro on doughnuts. Noel Gallagher berates White Stripes' Jack White for writing a song for a Coke ad (more here), saying it was as bad as doing an ad for McDonald's: "Jack White has just written a song for Coca-Cola. End of. He ceases to be in the club. And he looks like Zorro on doughnuts, I don't believe in adverts. He's meant to be the posterboy for the alternative way of thinking." But as the article notes: "Noel and his brother Liam are believed to be pocketing a six-figure sum from Toshiba for endorsing its 803 MP3 mobile phone."
posted by josephtate at 1:05 PM PST - 76 comments

Iran's President wants Israel to move to Europe. In what part of Europe would Israel fit?
posted by dov3 at 1:04 PM PST - 63 comments

Bullet Philharmonic Orchestra. A barebones, vector shooter for PC ala Kenta Cho's made for practicing bullet dodging in manic scrolling shooters, which generates bullet patterns based on the music playing(found here (previously)). Think a very, very poor man's Rez. Here's the download link if, like me, you can't read Japanese. (about 1 megabyte, Windows only, sorry) Further instructions inside the file and comments.
posted by BlackLeotardFront at 11:45 AM PST - 7 comments

Wikipedia's Bad Jokes and Other Deleted Nonsense category is a veritable goldmine of...well. I had never heard of a Mushroom Tattoo, for example, nor did I know about the tragic exploitation of the Gnomish Nation or the truth about the American Revolution. Towards the end, Ronald Reagan's condition was even sadder than I thought. And why shouldn't we believe in Atlantis, or for that matter the bearatross or Alphonse W. Turkeyman?
posted by Gator at 11:22 AM PST - 15 comments

Remember Samorost? Well, a sequel has been made. (via jayisgames, my new hero)
posted by Eideteker at 10:58 AM PST - 31 comments

My humps. My humps. My Lovely Lady Lumps. A song described as being "the very subversion of pop music, a depraved attempt to destroy our common cultural heritage" (that's a bad thing) and Slate calls "proof that a song can be so bad as to veer toward evil." Interestingly, it's a song that was not indented to be released as a single, but became popular without any promotion. That same slate review states: "For now, 'My Humps' has become the standard-bearer for the direct-democracy cultural possibilities of the Internet." Horrible pop music, or the hip-hop version of Carl Andre's Equivalent VIII? Either way, it's inspired some hilarious videos
posted by delmoi at 10:51 AM PST - 119 comments

The End of Porn? The Ashcroft/Gonzales Justice Department has made obscenity prosecutions a top priority, with 60 prosecutions in the first four years of the Bush administration (compared to four for the entire eight years of the Clinton administration). Anti-porn advocates were dismayed in January when a federal judge in Pittsburgh, citing dicta on sexual liberty in the Supreme Court's Lawrence v. Texas decision, dismissed an indictment in a closely-watched case. Today, however, the Third Circuit reversed, rejecting the defendant's arguments that (1) Lawrence protected their liberty interest in distributing pornographic material, and (2) earlier Supreme Court obscenity precedent should be revisited in light of the increased prevalence of Internet transmission. The result, undoubtedly, will be a new wave of prosecutions not seen since the Supreme Court set limits on First-Amendment based protections in the 1970s.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:46 AM PST - 50 comments

60s/70s psych, crossover, beat, and a go-go from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam with band/music scene histories, streaming audio, cover art, etc. Part of a large site devoted to 60s/70s progressive music around the world.
posted by carter at 10:13 AM PST - 15 comments

NewsFilter: Highest UK court rules against torture evidence. The Law Lords, the UK equivalent of the Supreme Court, issued a stern ruling condemning torture, and incidentally containing some judicial criticism of US policy. [more inside]
posted by athenian at 9:50 AM PST - 23 comments


Inside the Spectrum: a hauntingly beautiful and thought provoking little collection of photographs of autistic people by Chris Combs, a fiercely talented photographer in his early 20s who works at the Washington Post. Read Combs' project description here. For more on autism, see here.
posted by digaman at 8:59 AM PST - 16 comments

Be. The. Battery.
A brilliantly simple concept will allow anyone who needs (a small amount of) power to generate their own just by walking around while wearing this special backpack. By mounting the pack's load on springs connected to a rack and pinion device that is, in turn, connected to a small generator, the wearer's natural walking motion can generate up to 7.4 watts of power. Plenty enough to keep your Nofriendo DS charged. Or your sniper rifle's night scope.

The bonus? By having the pack's load on springs, the backpack is more comfortable and ergonomic than a traditional backpack too.
posted by fenriq at 8:49 AM PST - 40 comments

The 100 best board games ... (at least according to this guy).
posted by crunchland at 8:31 AM PST - 112 comments

sony tries counter culture to sell playstations - and gets beat down
or was it all part of the plan?
posted by specialk420 at 8:02 AM PST - 42 comments

Historical Anatomies. Bury the bones under forgotten tomes.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 7:53 AM PST - 16 comments

As seen on the Red Cross's website , a new symbol has been chosen for use along side of the Red Cross, or Red Crescent. This new symbol, dubbed the "Red Crystal" was developed specifically for situations where combatants may not understand or respect the implications of the Red Cross or Red Crescent. CBC in Canada has an article on the subject. The BBC has another that explains the desire for neutrality. More information is available on the Red Cross's emblem page.
posted by blackturtleneck at 7:49 AM PST - 36 comments

Join the Sasquatch Militia Forest militarization: "The Bureau of Sasquatch Affairs' mission is to enhance the quality of life, promote economic and ecological opportunity, and to carry out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of Sasquatch, Sasquatch culture and Cascadian native hominoids. We will accomplish this through the delivery of quality services, maintaining government-to-Sasquatch relationships within the spirit of Sasquatch self-determination." Supporting the right to keep and bear salmon from the Republic of Cascadia.
posted by warbaby at 6:39 AM PST - 3 comments

It was twenty-five years ago today. John Lennon was murdered in front of the Dakota building in Manhattan. While there have been many conspiracy theories surrrounding it, most reasonable people agree that his assassin was simply deranged.

Rest in peace, John. We'll keep imagining in your absence.
posted by cerebus19 at 6:06 AM PST - 151 comments

The Briar Press is a fantastic resource for those interested in letterpress printing. It includes (amongst many other things) a museum, downloadable ornaments and a guide to buying your first handpress.
posted by johnny novak at 4:12 AM PST - 13 comments

Could Tom Cruise sue South Park for suggesting he is gay? A discussion of the legal implications of a recent South Park episode suggesting Cruise was "in the closet." (Link to the clip in question) (via)
posted by Ljubljana at 3:45 AM PST - 87 comments

Big Eye in the Sky. A collection of absolutely incredible 360 degree panoramas by St. Paul photographer Ed Fink of the Twin Cities, Mt. Rushmore, the Post-Katrina Gulf Coast and more. He claims to be the first photographer in the world to do full spherical (180 x 360) panoramas from a helicopter. The effect is truly spectacular. Those with vertigo beware.
posted by panoptican at 12:46 AM PST - 19 comments

...With the end of the cold war and the emergence of global networks in which goods, ideas and people circulate outside the language of citizenship, the fundamentalist fight for ideological states has lost influence... Muslim radicalism, by contrast, has moved beyond the language of citizenship to assume a global countenance, joining movements as different as environmentalism and pacifism in its pursuit of justice on a worldwide scale. Such movements are ethical rather than political in nature: they can neither predict nor control the global consequences of their actions...
Spectral brothers: al-Qaida’s world wide web  
Snapshots of Faisal Devji's Landscapes of the Jihad are to be seen within
posted by y2karl at 12:27 AM PST - 17 comments

December 7

The Neopets Addiction: Neopets.com has a staggering 25 million members worldwide... Four out of five Neopians are under age 18, and two out of five are under 13... Neopets calls its model "immersive advertising... an evolutionary step forward in the traditional marketing practice of product placement."... Kalle Lasn, editor in chief of the advertising watchdog magazine Adbusters says, "It's the most insidious mind-fuck ever."
posted by MetaMonkey at 8:46 PM PST - 54 comments

USF Professor acquitted of terrorism charges -- After being in prison for 3 years--much of that time in solitary confinement--Sami Al-Arian was acquitted today of 8 "key charges" (there was a hung jury on 9 other charges). In all, there was not one guilty verdict out of the 51 charges against Al-Arian and the three other men. The prosecution brought forth 80 witnesses and recorded over 20,000 hours of tapped phone calls--the defense didn't call a single witness. Now the government is trying to decide whether to retry him on the nine counts or to deport him to Israel--a move his attorney is calling "totally vindictive."
posted by whatgorilla at 6:12 PM PST - 54 comments

The Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday in Rumsfeld v. FAIR, a case challenging the Solomon Amendment, a US federal law that allows the government to cut federal funding to universities that refuse to allow military recruiting on campus. FAIR is a coalition of law schools challenging this law on the basis that the US military's policy of prohibiting open homosexuals from serving violates the schools' anti-discrimination policies (see section 6-3). Summing the issue up nicely, the dean of one law school said of the US military, "If it were a private employer who discriminated on the basis of sexual orientation, race or gender, we wouldn't allow them here on campus." .rm C-SPAN coverage here.
posted by thirteenkiller at 5:16 PM PST - 56 comments

MoveOn wanders off the reservation? An arm of MoveOn tries to "confront" Tribune Co. CEO today to present him with 45,000 signatures protesting deep staff cuts at the Tribune newspapers, claiming they undermine newspapers' vital watchdog role. New West's Jonathan Weber, former editor in chief of The Industry Standard, says "Most newspapers are businesses and it's silly to make a political cause out of what in this case is a highly routine business decision." Since it seems MeFites almost universally are fans of the emerging "citizen journalism," as well as ardent advocates for journalism's watchdog role, what do we think of MoveOn's effort here? And yes, my title and tags for this post indicate that I agree with Weber, not MoveOn.
posted by twsf at 4:38 PM PST - 44 comments

Against Indifference: A Conversation with Elie Wiesel "I believe that a person who is indifferent to the suffering of others is complicit in the crime. And that I cannot allow, at least not for myself." short, but good. The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity site is worth some time as well (or if you're looking for a worthy cause this season).
posted by amberglow at 3:41 PM PST - 32 comments

Tired of hunting animals? This video is made entirely worth watching simply because of the ridiculous sound made three-quarters of the way through.
posted by awesomebrad at 2:43 PM PST - 47 comments

Got access to a daily satellite feed? Win $10 000. Not quite Sink the Bismarck, but the Sea Shepherds have offered a $10 000 reward for anyone who can tell them where the Japanese whaling fleet is this summer, as it prepares to scientifically study 950 minke and fin whales.
posted by wilful at 2:24 PM PST - 19 comments


William Schaff makes really good art... Perhaps you recognize his artwork from Songs:Ohia's Magnolia Electric Company release or maybe the beautiful artwork from Godspeed You Black Emperor's Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas To Heaven either way his site has a huge collection of his scratchboards, paintings, collages, and mail art.
posted by mrs.pants at 1:59 PM PST - 15 comments

The Ledge He appeared on Laugh In, produced one of the truly weirdest 45s of the 60's, and was one of many inspirations for David Bowie's Ziggy Stardust. Meet Norman Carl Odam, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy.
posted by timsteil at 1:52 PM PST - 13 comments

It's looking like the Pope will abolish the doctrine of Limbo. The real story, of course, is how this change in cosmology will affect D&D players. What’s a Chaotic Neutral to do?
posted by Zed_Lopez at 1:03 PM PST - 46 comments

Live News Filter: Federal air marshal fires shots in jet bridge of American Airlines flight in Miami. NBC | CNN reports.
posted by ericb at 11:57 AM PST - 332 comments

"The fundamental goal of Oboe is to make all your music available to you on all devices." DVD Jon is onboard. Michael Robertson is behind the project. MP3Tunes has become an MP3Beamer.
via
posted by airguitar at 11:31 AM PST - 27 comments

Christmas carols reviewed It's that time of year again for the Christmas Abstract: a music reviewer casts his ear upon tunes of the season. Mostly acerbic, but still interesting. Even includes dialog between Jesus and the Pottery Barn music director.
posted by forrest at 11:27 AM PST - 20 comments

RSVP is a cool puzzle/strategy game, albeit several years old. I ran across it again recently and couldn't find it posted previously, so here it is if you've not played before, or even if you have.
posted by jonson at 11:25 AM PST - 23 comments

It all started with American Pro Football. But soon inventors had one, then rockabillies and even cowgirls. Now there's even a Hall of Fame dedicated to the luminaries of network media. Seeing that's, uhm, people like us, i suppose the question is, do we agree with the list? Is anyone missing. How many of them should be deleted? And are there really no women working in this field?
posted by MrMerlot at 11:19 AM PST - 13 comments

Eroica. Film director Andrzej Munk’s tragic death at age thirty-nine might have formed the plot for one of his own darkly sardonic works: a Polish Jew and an active resistance worker during the war, he was returning home from shooting his film Passenger at the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1961 when an oncoming truck struck his car. He left behind only four feature films, but his influence was prodigious. As one of the key figures of the postwar “Polish School” of filmmaking, along with Wajda and Kawalerowicz, he helped to shape a vision that broke with the official social realist optimism of Eastern-bloc dogma and cast a skeptical eye on official notions of heroism, nationalism, and life in the Stalinist-occupied state. Mentor to Roman Polanski and Jerzy Skolimowski, his influence can be felt even in the films of a later generation of Polish filmmakers — directors like Zanussi and Kieslowski. More inside.
posted by matteo at 11:00 AM PST - 7 comments

Bush and Blair slated by Pinter George W Bush and Tony Blair must be held to account for feeding the public "a vast tapestry of lies" about the Iraq war, writer Harold Pinter said. [Postroad: but then, what do artists know about politics?]
posted by Postroad at 10:40 AM PST - 41 comments

Presenting: The ACLU Freedom Files. Teaming up with producer Robert Greenwald (of Outfoxed and Unconstitutional, among others), the American Civil Liberties Union is presenting a 10-part series on current issues in civil liberties, viewable free online. Using comedy, drama, documentary, personal stories, music, interviews, and animation, each epsiode focuses on a timely topic, "stripping away the sound bites" and illustrating what civil liberties mean for the average American. Check out the first three, available now: Harry Shearer, librarians, and harrassed Muslim americans take on illegal search and seizure in Beyond the Patriot Act; high school students oppose mandatory drug testing and experience firsthand the power of The Supreme Court, and Gulf War veterans, protestors, and attendees at a Bush speech llustrate the concept of freedom of speech in Dissent. Production is ongoing: stay tuned for more. And more. And more.
posted by Miko at 9:40 AM PST - 15 comments

Catapult Kits. Big or small, classic or modern, no matter their taste, you'll find something to drive everyone on your holiday shopping list ballistic. It's all fun and games (audio), but be sure to plan ahead so no one gets hurt.
posted by Gamblor at 9:28 AM PST - 19 comments

#1 Grabowski! Mike Ditka. Rapping. Yeah.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:23 AM PST - 29 comments

Imperial Grunts: With the Army Special Forces in the Philippines and Afghanistan—laboratories of counterinsurgency. Robert Kaplan's new book has been excerpted over the last while in the Atlantic Monthly, and it's an amazingly relevant and enthralling book. It draws several parallels that are perhaps underrepresented in the media, such as the the similarities between the Iraqi and Afghani insurgency and the the Philippine-American War. It's also an incredible look at the logistics and tactics involved in fighting wars, both at the forward-operating Special Forces level and within the macro "Big Army" bureaucracy. The focus of the book is the status and abilities of American "empire", its use of power and its goals.
posted by loquax at 8:58 AM PST - 58 comments

ALPHA and ATRAP are two collaborations of physicists racing to trap and study antihydrogen. To the winner most likely goes a Nobel Prize. The proposed comparison of hydrogen to antihydrogen promises to give an extremely senstive test of CPT invarience. Why do we care? Thats a whole Noether matter...
posted by ozomatli at 8:54 AM PST - 10 comments

Thinking about shaping a new fiberglass surfboard? Better get your blank quick... Clark Foam, the largest producer of polyurethane foam surfboard blanks for the last 40+ years has closed its doors due to environmental regulators.
posted by rodo at 8:44 AM PST - 39 comments

Zombied-out customer-service reps beware: the Consumerist, the newest edition to Nick Denton's Gawker "nanopublishing" empire, is watching you. Gizmodo's Joel Johnson (who recently spent a month in New Orleans) serves up sassy shopping tips and customer-service-tests-from-Hell. More hip-product-pr0n-with-an-attitude, just in time for Christmas the happy holidaysTM.
posted by digaman at 8:38 AM PST - 18 comments

December seventh, nineteen forty one. 64 Years ago today, 2,471 people were killed in the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In response, one of our greatest leaders made one of his greatest speeches. And you can listen to it here.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:09 AM PST - 85 comments

The Average Shoveler Strange retro snow shoveling game style rss news stream [flash]
posted by srboisvert at 8:09 AM PST - 18 comments

It's Jerry Time! Awesome animated video autobiography. A little Terry Gilliam mixed with a little Harvey Pekar (via BoingBoing).
posted by doctor_negative at 8:00 AM PST - 8 comments

pixel art tool (flash demo)
posted by crunchland at 7:24 AM PST - 9 comments

Tryptophan-5ht's kickass artwork. [via projects. NSFW: some artistic nudity]
posted by delmoi at 7:03 AM PST - 25 comments

Signs of a Bubble ? In a world where it makes sense for ebay to pay around $4 billion for (mostly free) internet phone service Skype, it's hard to not think that the old days of wild overvaluation are here again. Then again not everyone agrees.
posted by clevershark at 7:02 AM PST - 25 comments

For those who have moved away and miss the sounds, or for those who have never been and wonder what it sounds like, listen to Folk Songs for the Five Points, from New York's Tenement Museum. Dissonance in all it's aural beauty.
posted by Framer at 6:52 AM PST - 7 comments

Ergotism: The Satan Loosed in Salem? Linda Caporael's 1976 Science article was the first sustained argument that the Salem witch scare was caused by a case of ergot poisoning. Mary Matossian's 1989 book Poisons of the Past: Molds, Epidemics and History makes a more comprehensive argument for the effect that ergot poisoning has had specfically on European history. Barbara Comyns wrote a fabulous 1955 novel called Who Was Changed, and Who Was Dead about a 1927 ergot poisoning outbreak in Manchester, England. Pictures of the dread mold.
posted by OmieWise at 6:23 AM PST - 25 comments

Laser-etched PowerBooks.
posted by nthdegx at 5:47 AM PST - 25 comments

Type design in Switzerland from A to Z, and more about typography from other destinations around the world, like Finland and The Netherlands, as well as other European, Asian Pacific and South American countries.
posted by Rothko at 2:31 AM PST - 6 comments

you make the world spin. missing (amazing) singer shelagh mcdonald has apparently resurfaced at the offices of the scottish daily mail, and has been writing new songs. hallelujah. previously discussed.
posted by dorian at 2:26 AM PST - 7 comments

Cross Site Scripting (XSS) Filter Tests Are you in charge of a system that allows users to enter comments? Here's a huge list of techniques that may be used against you (or, "why you shouldn't use regex").
posted by null terminated at 12:07 AM PST - 9 comments

December 6

Vote Chris Christmas Rodriguez for Santa. [MI]
posted by bluedaniel at 11:59 PM PST - 7 comments

Scalped basketball tickets: $370 . XBOX 360: $299. Having Ebay stop the bidding and award all items to the person who bid $80: Priceless
posted by chakalakasp at 10:40 PM PST - 25 comments

Wait. What?
posted by keswick at 9:37 PM PST - 119 comments

Kiwi Actually French: Film At 11. The French wine industry is notably protective of domestic producers' rights to use terms like Champagne and Burgundy, both geographic indications of areas of France. The Institut National des Appellation d’Origine even protested against the US registration of the trademark Goats do Roam (sounding similar to Côtes du Rhône). Now one winemaker, Lacheteau, which sells French wine under the brand Kiwi Cuvee, has successfully scared off a New Zealand winery from using the "Kiwi" appelation in the EU.
posted by afiler at 9:15 PM PST - 24 comments


Anthology Holy Tango of Literature: "The question of what would happen if poets and playwrights wrote works whose titles were anagrams of their names is one that has been insufficiently studied in the past." Francis Heaney has published his book online under a Creative Commons license, along with the Holy Tango Basement Tapes.
posted by mendel at 5:07 PM PST - 21 comments

Gay hating Ford exec led push for Roberts nomination, meanwhile..... The scandal [ see mefi 47306] lurches in new directions as antigay Ford exec caught "running secret meetings out of Ford's own offices in support of Bush's far-right Supreme Court nominees." The Ford / Nazi link is bad enough, and the leader of the largest branch of American Judaism has recently said, in a speech, "when Hitler came to power in 1933, one of the first things that he did was ban gay organizations", now a new Am. Judaic alliance to oppose ( viciously anti-gay ) Christian theocratic nationalism ?
posted by troutfishing at 4:39 PM PST - 54 comments

Britain may pull out of the JSF program. Multinational defense programmes are becoming more common, and the JSF is indicative of particularly close ties between the U.K. and the U.S. Representatives Hyde and Hunter have opposed the transfer of technology to Britain. Even with the Rueda Report (pdf) concluding that the embargo against China not be lifted, eventual third-party sales to China still appear a concern.
posted by Captaintripps at 4:06 PM PST - 16 comments

Have you got a copy of the bible you no longer want or need? Do you want some porn? Well, if you live in San Antonio, you're in luck, because a group of atheists at UTSA are trading bibles for porn.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:35 PM PST - 84 comments

Project Porchlight [via mefi projects] is a volunteer-based, not-for-profit group that aims to deliver one free energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulb to every household in Canada. If successful, the resulting reduction in pollution from energy saved will be the equivalent of taking 66,000 cars off the road.
posted by Robot Johnny at 3:12 PM PST - 26 comments

Bush administration admits denies making mistake! Starts off new relationship with conservative German chancellor by personally insulting her. "We are not quite sure what was in her head." - a senior Bush administration official, referring to Merkel. This after Condoleeza Rice gave Merkel private assurances and made a public statement in which she said "when and if mistakes are made, we work very hard and as quickly as possible to rectify them. Any policy will sometimes have mistakes . . . we will do everything that we can to rectify those mistakes." Obviously, Condi was mistaken. The Bush administration does not make mistakes.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:54 PM PST - 54 comments

The Garbage Man: where would we be without him?

Some are under-appreciated, some hated. Some may deserve our ire. Some just don't care.

They can inspire fiction, poetry, even a cult! [warning: midi bagpipes]
posted by Mr T at 2:02 PM PST - 22 comments


Salon Video Dog: (Reg. Req'd.) After squandering an entire decade on all-too-often embarrassingly cerebral journalism, online publishing pioneer Salon.com has clearly decided to finally get serious, making a concerted push to join the ranks of the internet's pillars of innovation and originality. Good thing too, because it's all too hard these days to find quality mirrors for the Star Wars Kid, the Exploding Whale, and freshly ripped clips from last night's Stewart/Colbert broadcasts. Thanks, Salon!
posted by MaxVonCretin at 1:49 PM PST - 21 comments

Timelapse Typeface: [Flash: "Type Something"]
posted by nobody at 1:29 PM PST - 8 comments

Games for the Web: Ethnography of Massively Multiplayer On-line Games Students of Trinity University's Communications department wrote their term papers on various issues that come up in the MMORPG, World of Warcraft. I'd like to take that class!
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 12:08 PM PST - 27 comments

Claiborne Paul Ellis, union organiser, born January 8 1927; died November 3 2005. He was Studs Terkel's favorite interviewee, and a former Exalted Grand Cyclops of the KKK. In 1971, he co-chaired a 10-day discussion group on school desegregation with Ann Atwater, a local civil rights activist who had once tried to stab him with a pocket knife during a city council meeting. Over the course of those ten days, the two former antagonists formed an unlikely bond. Their friendship became the subject of a prize-winning book, and a subsequent documentary film. (The "Curriculum and Video Guide" .pdf on the film web site is also interesting. Direct link to .pdf)
posted by halcyon_daze at 11:41 AM PST - 17 comments

Photos of the outcome of a motorcycle merging with a car @ 155 miles per hour.
posted by jonson at 10:40 AM PST - 110 comments

"[She] loved as in our age
People already do no longer; as only
The wild soul of a poet
Is still condemned to love".
Ever since her tragic death in a car accident in 1967, Forough Farrokhzad has been drawing thousands of visitors to the Zahir-al-Doleh cemetery in Tehran. They come to lay flowers, recite poetry and light candles on the grave of the poet who has become an inspiration to women not only in Iran, but wherever women's rights are severely curtailed. If she had survived her car crash, the poet would have celebrated her seventieth birthday this year. Farrokhzad was also a film director: her documentary The House is Black is considered a masterpiece by filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami and Chris Marker and critics like Jonathan Rosenbaum. More inside.
posted by matteo at 10:26 AM PST - 8 comments

Snowplowing. Too much seriousness here on the blue today. We need something fun. Since it is snowing where I am, a flash snowplowing game it is.
posted by caddis at 10:21 AM PST - 12 comments

For most of human history, infants have needed to stay in close proximity to their mothers simply to survive. The result? Most cultures developed and used some kind of soft baby carrier that straps to the mother's or caretaker's body. Despite research, doctor's advice and celebrity endorsement, American and European babies spend less time in arms and more time in containers than babies in more traditional cultures. Somehow, the concept simply picking up and carrying the baby continues to elude many parents.(warning: music)
posted by Biblio at 10:12 AM PST - 30 comments

In a sardonic new editorial, the Register asks whether the EFF is harming the very causes that it's supposedly fighting for. This isn't coming out of left field. The EFF has lost numerous cases that could have been won, and in doing so is helping to creating precedents that make fights for civil liberties harder to wage.
posted by bshort at 10:07 AM PST - 35 comments

The Life of Larry is a 1995 short film of both animation and live-action by Seth MacFarlane that became the basis for Family Guy. (more inside)
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:15 AM PST - 87 comments

For 45 minutes on Dec. 6, 1989 an enraged gunman roamed the corridors of Montreal's École Polytechnique and killed 14 women. Marc Lepine, 25, separated the men from the women and before opening fire on the classroom of female engineering students he screamed, "I hate feminists."
posted by aclevername at 8:50 AM PST - 152 comments

This Site Cannot Exist! Recently I've been seeing a lot of crazy talk around the web regarding the possibility of a purely "community driven" website. And it is FIERCE -- running the gamut from here to here to here . And, although the ongoing discussion is interesting (and centered around the pontification of one person), I couldn't help but think, "What the Hell is wrong with these people?" Community-owned blogging/websites have been alive and well for years. For example: Kuro5hin, Slashdot, Linkfilter, Plastic, and a growing host of sites using community platforms like Drupal and Scoop. Heck, all they'd have to do is head on over to Google and type in the words "Community Weblog" to discover the answer to their queries. That's right. At the top of the page staring them in the face is the grand-daddy of all community Blogging -- the pioneer that started it all -- Metafilter.com!! Is community blogging possible? Come on! Long live the Big "M"!!
posted by jb_thms at 8:43 AM PST - 43 comments

4 out of 5 non-Christians agree: rape rocks the box! "There may be a genuine moral argument against rape to be made outside of the Judeo-Christian ethic, but I have yet to hear it." Well? Let's hear it.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:35 AM PST - 94 comments

Don't mess with Kansas. Professor at the University of Kansas decides to offer this course, is beaten by unknown assailants, withdraws the course. Add "no sense of humor" to what's the matter with Kansas? [more inside]
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 8:14 AM PST - 118 comments

Ford folds to pressure from American Family Association; pulls ads from gay media The American Family Association is forthright about its efforts to take corporations "Head-On" who supposedly embrace the homosexual agenda; apparently in this instance it worked. Ford spokespeople are pitching a different story to the New York Times, claiming the ad withdraws were due to "cost cutting," but John Aravosis claims to have more sources who will confirm Ford's dealings with the AFA. One wonders how Ford could forget its founder's history of intolerance; not everyone is missing the connection.
posted by rkent at 6:50 AM PST - 78 comments

The Doctor Who Cuttings Archive 42 Years of Doctor Who in newspapers magazines and listings...
posted by srboisvert at 6:38 AM PST - 4 comments

I will never apologize for the United States of America, ever. I don't care what the facts are As we read of the unfortunate crash of an Iranian military plane, causing at least 119 deaths, it's worth remembering what happened 17.5 years ago. Arundhati Roy has written and spoken about Bush Sr.'s quote but the act itself has often been forgotten. The US did end up going to the International Court of Justice and coughing up some dough, however.
posted by allen.spaulding at 6:34 AM PST - 64 comments

The USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts is a very useful compilation of essays on various topics, searchable versions of the Qur'an (uses three different translations) and hadith (the sayings and traditions of the Prophet), and a glossary (which is how I discovered the site, while trying to find a good reference for a comment on Falconetti's excellent Maniac Muslim post). The first of the Ten Misconceptions About Islam: "Islam is 'the religion of peace' because the Arabic word Islam is derived from the Arabic word Al-Salaam which means peace." Their response:
It might seem strange to think of this as a misconception, but in fact it is. The root word of Islam is al-silm which means "submission" or "surrender." It is understood to mean "submission to Allah." In spite of whatever noble intention has caused many a Muslim to claim that Islam is derived primarily from peace, this is not true.
As you can see, they care about accuracy, not just propaganda.
posted by languagehat at 6:20 AM PST - 24 comments


iTunes Gets NBC Shows. And not just this season's: like a page out of Infinite Jest, iTunes and NBC are serving up classic NBC programs, including Knight Rider and Hitchcock Presents. (note: sorry - first link goes to iTunes Music Store -- no press releases available yet to link to.)
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:38 AM PST - 32 comments

3quarksdaily. Just another blog, sure, but a good one. 3quarksdaily is a filter blog much like our very own, but with only 15 users (and an editor). As they say on their about page "On this website, my guest authors and editors and I hope to present interesting items from around the web on a daily basis, in the areas of science, design, literature, current affairs, art, and anything else we deem inherently fascinating." The do an admirable job.
posted by panoptican at 1:34 AM PST - 26 comments

Baby Bush: toys for the resoundingly average child. Also new from plinko design: Fancy Parking.
posted by kyleg at 12:15 AM PST - 23 comments

December 5

Maniac Muslim: Making Muslims look cool since 1984. A humorous look at all things Muslims, by Muslims, and for Muslims (and you), such as Annoying Quirks Of Masjid Uncles, Your Guide to Islamic Conferences, and Muslim Chat Lingo. The impetus for the sight can be found here.
posted by Falconetti at 10:25 PM PST - 25 comments

Joy to the world! The Lord has gum! "Good King Wences' car backed out / On the feet of heathens..." We've discussed Mondegreens (misheard lyrics), but tis the season for Christmas Mondegreens. Snopes has culled out some great ones, and there's also a book of them, "Deck the Halls with Buddy Holly."
posted by GaelFC at 9:36 PM PST - 51 comments

FARNE North East English folk archives. Interviews, performances, manuscripts, photos and videos. You can browse the archives a few different ways to get the feel of the place.
posted by tellurian at 8:46 PM PST - 4 comments

John Lennon: The Wenner Tapes. A BBC program centered around never-before-aired audio of Jann Wenner's benchmark 1970 Rolling Stone interview with John Lennon, available online for the first time at the BBC. (Text excerpts from the same interview.)
posted by BackwardsCity at 8:27 PM PST - 19 comments

Mapping Margery Kempe Visual, geographical, and cultural context for Margery Kempe's famous autobiography.
posted by thomas j wise at 6:50 PM PST - 7 comments

Environmental Literacy in America (PDF) is a new a report from the NEETF on the poor state of environmental literacy in the US and the consequences of our growing nature-deficit disorder. Meanwhile, some students have uncovered a confidential brief on climate change (PDF) for the president, allegedly from the IPCC (but probably not.) [Via WorldChanging and Gristmill]
posted by homunculus at 6:30 PM PST - 8 comments

le Papillon An beautifully animated quicktime short about filial dedication in a feudal japanese setting. via Drawn!
posted by boo_radley at 5:42 PM PST - 22 comments

X3 Trailer released! The first X3 trailer has been released, due to everyone downloading this, it may take awhile. Looks like its gonna be a good one!
posted by edmcbride at 4:56 PM PST - 73 comments

Need cash right away? Your local car title lender will be happy to lend you a couple of grand. But you'd better be able to pay it back in a month, or you'll lose your car--or get trapped in a spiral of debt. This is a business model based on preying on the working poor. Imagine my surprise when I saw the latest commercial for title loan company LoanMax, featuring their new spokesman.
posted by EarBucket at 4:39 PM PST - 86 comments

First People is a collection of artworks, vintage photographs, clipart, legends, essays, treaties, poems and more, relating to the first peoples of America and Canada (Turtle Island). [via]
posted by peacay at 3:51 PM PST - 6 comments

Tomorrow for the 35th anniversary of WBAI's four and a half day radio reading of Tolstoy's War and Peace, the amazing Pacifica Radio Archives will host a 18 hour fundraiser on the Pacifica Foundation Network. (KPFK, KPFT, WPFK, and the first listener supported radio station in America, KPFA.) A hour long speical on the War and Peace broadcast will be featured on Democracy Now! Tune in for a slice of history.
posted by wheelieman at 3:32 PM PST - 9 comments

Kong Kicks Ass [flash] Squish, crush, eat or poop on your favorites.
posted by kosem at 3:29 PM PST - 15 comments

After he discovered a false biography on Wikipedia that claims he was responsible for the death of JFK and his brother Bobby, John Seigenthaler wrote an op-ed piece in USA Today refuting those claims and rebuking Wiki admins and the ISPs that host them. Now, in light of Seigenthaler's outrage, the once open access Wikipedia now requires registration to submit new articles to the English language version of the site.
posted by brittney at 3:27 PM PST - 70 comments


Corollaries to famous quotes pt 1: "Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which is distorted." - Shelley.
posted by lalochezia at 2:11 PM PST - 7 comments


The first episode of a new podcast by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant (of Extras and The Office fame). If you need a bigger fix, try the archive of their radio shows from the last few years.
posted by greycap at 11:46 AM PST - 30 comments

America's hopes today for an orderly exit from Iraq depend completely on the emergence of a viable Iraqi security force. There is no indication that such a force is about to emerge. As a matter of unavoidable logic, the United States must therefore choose one of two difficult alternatives: It can make the serious changes including certain commitments to remain in Iraq for many years that would be necessary to bring an Iraqi army to maturity. Or it can face the stark fact that it has no orderly way out of Iraq, and prepare accordingly.
Why Iraq Has No Army   [pdf]
via Small Wars Center of Excellence, an Official Marine Corps Web Site
See also Why the Strong Lose   [pdf]   More Inside
posted by y2karl at 11:18 AM PST - 151 comments

A Peek Under the PR Mask Once in a blue moon, we actually get a peek under the White House's public-relations mask, and this morning it comes courtesy of Peter Baker and Dan Balz , whose front-pager in The Washington Post suggests that Bush's unflagging public confidence about his Iraq policy reflects the work of public opinion researchers.
posted by Postroad at 10:38 AM PST - 25 comments

Interesting (if biased) article on the downside of Craigslist's populist appeal in the form of it's contribution to the imminent death of the print newsmedia, especially in the SF Bay Area.
posted by jonson at 9:51 AM PST - 64 comments


Tim Tom [QuickTime] is a charming CGI short film from 2003 that looks like stop-motion animation at first glance. More info here.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:05 AM PST - 14 comments

The only bad thing I can say about the Gilbert and Sullivan Archive is that it's been on the internets for 12 years but has never been posted to Metafilter.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:53 AM PST - 31 comments

The Forbes Fictional 15 -- it is list season, after all--the usual suspects, and some new entries. Daddy Warbucks (Net Worth: $27.3 billion, attended SUNY Stony Brook) gets this: Iraqi conflict has been kind to Warbucks; recipient of multiple defense contracts; cat-food holdings also up.
posted by amberglow at 6:48 AM PST - 49 comments

MemoryWiki is a project to create a bank of memories, stories and experiences. Anyone can submit their account of an historical or personal event. Some examples: First sight of Viet Cong dead | The first time I told a lie | Working with Frank Sinatra | Ukranian Independence Day, 2005.
posted by chrismear at 5:56 AM PST - 36 comments

Harry Beck's famous map [current 287K .gif version] of the London Underground has a long history and is often praised as a definitive example of excellent information design. Many consider it unimprovable, but that doesn't stop many others trying. The latest variant is a project by Oskar Karlin, redesigning the map to illustrate journey time [warning: large, slow loading .pdf]. [partly via]
posted by normy at 4:44 AM PST - 17 comments

The mystery of Qwert Shmarble--solved! If you've ever wondered how stunningly useful items like Qwert Shmarble end up on Amazon, here's the inside story, from the former Amazon temp who wrote the user manual to the NM-156 Reciprocating Emu Press.
posted by yankeefog at 3:38 AM PST - 16 comments

December 4

Mathematical proofs in sanus, with some visualization from Martin Wattenberg's The Shape of Song. "The music here...is a raw and unadorned representation of the mathematics itself, involving few human preconceptions beyond a basic mapping needed to accommodate the Western tonal scale."
posted by Rothko at 10:40 PM PST - 13 comments

For stoners who like to trip out, here is AJ Weberman’s unapologetic Virtual Acid Trip. Lots of basic mid-90’s midis in background, but if you are under the influence anyway, it will all make perfect sense. Many hallucinogenic links in the archives, including the German Buschman and others. Lock your door, Smoke N Toke & enjoy yourself. If you like it, you can donate some dough. (You are welcome.)
posted by growabrain at 8:53 PM PST - 47 comments

Global Options, Inc. Have you been unfairly attacked by: the media? trial lawyers? disgruntled workers? terrorists? overzealous federal regulators? competitors? hackers? industrial spies? one-issue activists? extortionists? intellectual property thieves? or even the Russian mafia? Global Options has your back. [warning: radar beeps.]
posted by panoptican at 8:24 PM PST - 19 comments

The Road Online is part of a collaborative project to gather ambient sounds from locations mentioned in Kerouac's "On the Road" in order to create a sonic portrait of the big cities, small towns, backwoods, deserts and mountains that Kerouac visited and wrote about. Feel free to record and contribute your own and become part of the musicircus. [via mefi projects]
posted by jessamyn at 1:35 PM PST - 14 comments

"It is absurd to talk about a Judeo-Christian tradition".
I had been born in the United States but didn't know any English because none was spoken at home or in the streets. We were a solid enclave of some 600,000 Eastern European, Yiddish-speaking Jews. But I still remember one day that a missionary came to the door with what I still have my copy of: a Yiddish translation of the New Testament. There's a kind of grim joke in that, isn't there? In the mere existence of it.
Harold Bloom on religion in America, God smoking a cigar, and who really is the King of the Jews.
posted by matteo at 11:05 AM PST - 72 comments

Why is this flyer pink?
posted by empath at 10:50 AM PST - 54 comments

Is it too late for "Flash Friday"? How about Psycho Bondage Bunnies, and the sequel? (NSFW, obviously)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 10:17 AM PST - 18 comments

9/11 in comics, including the black-covered The Amazing Spider-Man #36 in its entirety.
posted by nthdegx at 10:13 AM PST - 65 comments


The Social Issues Research Centre in Oxford, England, publishes sociological and antropological studies of contemporary issues. Particularly interesting are their guides to British pub etiquette, flirting, and horse racing watching etiquette. But watch out for their opinionated bulletins about current events—surely articles their corporate sponsors and sister PR agency (at the same address and with the same staff) would be proud of. SIRC studies previously mentioned here, here, and here.
posted by grouse at 9:23 AM PST - 9 comments

Twice a victim. A 17-year-old girl in Beaverton, Oregon accused her then-boyfriend, 18, of raping her along with two of his friends. Not only was the case dismissed, but prosecutors then decided to charge the girl with filing a false report; she was found guilty this week: included in the judge's reasoning were such things as "she did not act traumatized" to his satisfaction, and "the woman's false accusations were serious enough to lead to charges." Several bloggers have touched on this story and its potential impact, including Kevin Drum, Shakespeare's Sister, and Kevin Hayden, who knows the victim personally.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:53 AM PST - 134 comments

On the night of Feb. 7, 2005, Hatun Surucu, 23, was killed on her way to a bus stop in Berlin-Tempelhof by several shots to the head and upper body, fired at point-blank range. The investigation revealed that months before, she reported one of her brothers to the police for threatening her. Now three of her five brothers are on trial for murder. According to the prosecutor, the oldest of them (25) acquired the weapon, the middle brother (24) lured his sister to the scene of the crime and the youngest (18) shot her.

Evidently, in the eyes of her brothers, Hatun Surucu's capital crime was that, living in Germany, she had begun living like a German. In a statement to the Turkish newspaper Zaman, one brother noted that she had stopped wearing her head scarf, that she refused to go back to her family and that she had declared her intent to "seek out her own circle of friends."
posted by The Jesse Helms at 8:35 AM PST - 35 comments

Images of daily life Photoessays of daily life in Morocco, Yemen and Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, and Hong Kong. [An update on a plep thread from 2003, and some nice armchair travel for a Sunday morning]
posted by carter at 7:28 AM PST - 8 comments

Newly declassified US documents show that the US government knew well in advance about the invasion plans of Indonesia into East Timor. Once in East Timor, Indonesian forces committed a mass genocide of the local population - anywhere from 100,000 to 250,000 people, which was only 600,000 to begin with according to Wikipedia. As the first link shows, The US government actively suppressed news stories from getting out about the genocide. This isn't exactly news to Those who followed the invasion, But most people are unaware of the US government's support, perhaps the number of Newspapers covering the story according to GoogleNews can go some way to explain why many are unaware of this fact.
posted by JokingClown at 7:25 AM PST - 30 comments

The winners of the 2005 Nikon Small World Competition are up (previous years going back to 1977 are also worth a look). Photomicrography produces some amazing imagery, giving us glimpses into both the inner workings of living things, and the intricate structure of nonliving things (just click "find all").
posted by Gator at 6:56 AM PST - 4 comments

Economist Steven Levitt, author of Freakonomics, has long posited a controversial thesis that legalized abortion help reduced crime, by reducing unwanted children, prone to crime. However, a new paper argues that Levitt (& Donohue) made serious errors in their research. Properly analysed, abortion has no significant effect on crime. Levitt disagrees, of course.
posted by daksya at 6:34 AM PST - 46 comments

West Australians were treated to a spectacular light show last night when a meteor streaked across the sky. LQ video also available. Via ABC News.
posted by sjvilla79 at 4:04 AM PST - 22 comments

December 3

Photoset: DC in the 1970s. Washingtonians, take a look. Some things haven't changed at all, other things are subtly different, still other things are no longer there.
posted by brownpau at 9:47 PM PST - 16 comments

Santastic: Holiday boots for your stockings. Mash-ups of decades of Christmas records just in time for the holidays. The quality varies throughout, but it makes for some fun manic listening if you've grown tired of the same perennial chestnuts. Merry Christmash to all, and to all a boot night.
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:34 PM PST - 14 comments

Al-Jazeera bites back. In 2003, following US pressure on the Emir of Qatar and claims of a secret meeting of House, Senate, Pentagon, and intelligence leaders who authorized the use of "all possible pressure" to silence the station, al-Jazeera fired its general manager, stopped referring to Iraqi insurgents as "the resistance", and banned the airing of hostage executions and the death of US soldiers. Today, following recent reports of George W. Bush planning an attack against al-Jazeera HQ in Qatar, and the US bribing of Iraqi reporters and news sources, al-Jazeera seems to have changed that policy by airing the video of 10 US Marines being killed in an improvised explosive device attack. (NSFW. Windows Media. Right click this link to save the video, or this link to stream it.) Is this change indicative of larger changes in Arab public opinion, or has the Emir of Qatar decided to push back?
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:14 PM PST - 113 comments

Does God Play Dice?
posted by Gyan at 6:35 PM PST - 104 comments

Hooded Progressivism: The secret reformist history of the Klu Klux Klan.
"Today the Federal Reserve is more likely to be the object of a Klan conspiracy theory than the source of its favored candidate for president. Today, for that matter, when a movie inspires people to create odd organizations and dress up in costume, they're more likely to end up at a convention devoted to Star Trek than a convention devoted to nominating a presidential candidate. A lot can change in 90 years. "
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:52 PM PST - 27 comments

Don't smoke urine if you're looking for a methamphetamine high, because you might burn yourself, or worse, have the world find out about your mishap. The best is the quote from his lawyer: "I suspect that, more than anything, Steve was doing this as an intellectual proposition." Lawyers will say the darnedest things.
posted by dbiedny at 3:25 PM PST - 28 comments

HOWTO: Kidnap someone. Originally published in the al Qaeda web magazine Mu'askar al-Battar, and written by Abdul Aziz al-Muqrin, the author of The Targets Inside Cities [pdf].
posted by brundlefly at 3:16 PM PST - 6 comments

The first known motion picture (Quicktime movie, somewhat slow to download) was produced by Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince at Roundhay House, Leeds, UK some time before October of 1888. Its date can be verified, as the elderly lady in the film, Mrs. Sarah Whitley, died in that month. The two-second-long film was shot on paper or celluloid photographic film through a custom-made camera. Although the original paper film appears to have been lost, two photographic copies of the film dating from the 1930s remain in existence. Le Prince's second film, Traffic Crossing Leeds Bridge, was shot shortly afterwards.

Le Prince is generally not well-known outside the film historical community, partly because he did not publicize his works, but also because he disappeared in 1890 during a journey to Paris, France. It's thought that Le Prince committed suicide over money worries, but his body was never found.
posted by watsondog at 1:59 PM PST - 29 comments

Bring down the government! Flickr collection of scans from a CIA published guide for revolutionaries in Nicaragua; many of the suggestions are universally applicable. I myself have been guilty of at least one...
posted by jonson at 1:53 PM PST - 19 comments

Who owns the internets? The 2005 World Summit on the Information Information Societies seems to have left a number of nations with a bad taste in their mouth. ICANN emerged the apparent winner. Of course, you can always blame Bush. (first phase of wsis previously discussed here)
posted by es_de_bah at 12:38 PM PST - 25 comments

Escape from Detention. It's the last day of school (well, yesterday was, technically) and you've been not just locked but trapped in the detention room; framed for a crime you didn't commit. You've got to get three crazy Canadjun youngsters out alive; but you can only succeed if you work together. Can you point and click your way toward victory? This game's fairly straightforward, but there are a few puzzles to make you scratch your head. Just about the right difficulty for a lazy Saturday afternoon. Found via jayisgames (thar be spoilers in the comments at that link).
posted by Eideteker at 12:12 PM PST - 9 comments

Future Magazine covers: A bit self-aggrandizing in a subtile way. However I found the future mag covers engaging enough in a "lite" sort of way. (click on: "See covers from the future" option)(via)
posted by edgeways at 11:19 AM PST - 30 comments

Vampz - amusing animated movie about undead hijinks. [quicktime, 31mb / smaller version (15mb) / larger version (56mb)]
posted by crunchland at 9:03 AM PST - 7 comments

What Was That Movie is an online community database of people helping others figuring out what that movie with that guy who did that thing was. Sort of an AskMe that caters to a specific, though frequent, issue of inquiry. It's new, but odds are the longer it's up the more useful it will become, but until then, the unsolved questions are fascinating in among themselves.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:27 AM PST - 16 comments

"The extraordinary radiance of the voice. I still remember that. The extraordinary, enveloping, overwhelming beauty of Ferrier's voice."
When Kathleen Ferrier died at 41 in October 1953, she was as famous as the newly crowned Queen. A working class girl from Blackpool who had to quit school at 14 to work as a telephone operator, a young woman who lacked formal musical training and whose husband bet that she would never win a music contest, Ferrier -- under the guidance of the great conductor Bruno Walter -- went on to become an international superstar. An "ordinary diva" who humbly worshipped "Herr Doktor Bruno Walter", gave very few newspaper interviews, never appeared on television or in cinema newsreels. Her speaking voice can be heard only briefly and only twice, on a tape made at a post-concert New York party, and in a short speech she made for the BBC at an Edinburgh Festival. Her extraordinary career lasted only less than 12 years.
Half a century later, although her legacy lives on through her music, Ferrier herself -- "Klever Kaff" -- remains elusive. More inside.
posted by matteo at 8:23 AM PST - 11 comments

Joblessness is a major motivating force of these riots, which is why the politicians and the press turn endlessly around the question of job creation in the banlieues. [...] An injection of vigorous enterprise, a big deregulating kick, and racial discrimination would evaporate in the tremendous, creative release of market forces. No race riots in an untrammelled market economy: that’s what Sarkozy really means. It’s an ingenious, high-pressure sales pitch for the ‘Anglo-Saxon model’ – indeed, it’s bordering on blackmail. Jeremy Harding in the London Review of Books goes among the arsonists in Paris and offers some insights on the economic factors and political consequences of the riots.
posted by funambulist at 7:38 AM PST - 6 comments

An Open Letter to Larry the Cable Guy by David Cross
posted by farishta at 7:03 AM PST - 122 comments

Whistling: a lost art? Once upon a time, siffleurs like Brother Bones, Fred Lowery and Marcel ‘Muzzy’ Marcellino warbled from the stage, and trilled across the airwaves. While our generation almost certainly whistles less than our grandparents’, and while we may never again see a whistler attain the modest fame of Ronnie Ronalde, let alone the celebrity of la belle siffleuse Alice Shaw, nor witness any meaningful revival of the kunstpfeifen tradition, there are yet several contemporary whistlers who would revive the art: ‘Whistlin’ Tom,’ Sean Lomax, Robert Stemmons (‘the whistler of Coeur d’Alene’), Hylton ‘The Whistler’ Brown, Chris Ullman (‘the symphonic whistler’) and Milt Briggs (‘a maverick among whistlers’), etc., or any number of the other enthusiasts who attend the International Whistlers Convention held every year at Loiusburg, North Carolina, ‘the world’s whistling capital.’
posted by misteraitch at 3:42 AM PST - 26 comments

December 2

Acquitted of rape on basis of "sexsomnia" defense. Ontario resident Jan Luedecke said his unbidden penetration wasn't rape because he was asleep at the time. A judge agreed that "sexsomnia" is an illness. The websites which purport it to be a legitimate illness don't necessarily inspire confidence, and, unsurprisingly, some people are less than inspired. Meanwhile, the victim is appealing the ruling.
posted by poweredbybeard at 9:34 PM PST - 106 comments

truthdig --drilling beneath the headlines. A new webmagazine, offering expert in-depth coverage of current affairs as well as a variety of thoughtful, provocative content assembled from a progressive point of view. The site is built around major “digs,” led by authorities in their fields, who will drill down into contemporary topics and assemble packages of content... Robert Scheer is editor in chief (you may know him from the SF Chronicle). The current featured "dig" is on religion and homosexuality.
posted by amberglow at 8:43 PM PST - 12 comments


Mortal Kombat vs Street Fighter 2 has too much dialog, but once it get's going, it totaly kicks ass.
posted by willnot at 6:20 PM PST - 44 comments

Deaths from international terrorism compared with road crash deaths in OECD countries (Abstract). In a study published in the Journal Injury Prevention, researchers found that people in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development countries are 390 times more likely to die in car crashes than in terrorist attacks. The conclusion of the Brief Report (PDF): "Policy makers need to be aware of this when allocating resources to preventing these two avoidable causes of mortality."
posted by mmahaffie at 5:33 PM PST - 40 comments

Le Cornichon seems to be Quebec's version of The Onion with a strong political bent. There are many excellent political cartoons covering the sponsorship scandal, Kyoto, and other issues.

Movie posters of your favourite politician: Jeancula, The Godfather, Stephen Harper, Jack Layton as Canada Man, and Paul Martin starring in Pirate of Canada, Paul Almighty and The Aviator. And it's always cool to see a vamped Duceppe.

British and American mefites need not feel left out, Bush and Blair make multiple appearances.

CBC has a fine collection of newspaper cartoons about the current election. (unfortunately they are in a flash wrapper that Firefox has trouble getting through).
posted by angrybeaver at 5:21 PM PST - 11 comments

Tom Fox, a Quaker peaceworker, abducted in Iraq with three others. He understood the risks, accepted them, and now must "stand firm against the kidnapper as... against the soldier". His friends and supporters are calling for the hostages to be released, making it clear that they "[do] not advocate the use of violent force" to save lives.
posted by dsword at 5:02 PM PST - 29 comments

Wayfaring.com -- Share your personalized Google maps of your favorite watering holes, hiking trails, or roadside attractions, using numerous customization features. Still in its early stages, you can follow its growing pains on the development blog or post bug reports in the forums.
posted by Gator at 4:42 PM PST - 4 comments

Dear Valued Hybrid Customer... I can't tell if this is a joke or something. As rhetoric, it's well done. As a reasoned argument it falls apart if you actually know anything at all about hybrids.
posted by Ken McE at 4:05 PM PST - 86 comments

LibertyFilter is an aggregator of freedom-focused bloggers, with some original content of its own as well. Great way to keep up on current happenings (good and bad) regarding our rights. Note, however, not much actual filtering seems to occur.
posted by knave at 3:19 PM PST - 9 comments

Mark writes ditties for you. Including such songs as THINK! BEFORE MARKING YOUR EMAILS HIGH PRIORITY and others.
posted by xmutex at 2:43 PM PST - 23 comments

Gov't will no longer report on M3 money supply, nor count Columbia River salmon Without explanation, the the Federal Reserve Board will, in March 2006, be stopping publication of its "M3" money supply information. Funding for the lab responsible for counting salmon on the Columbia River has also been eliminated.
posted by hank at 2:40 PM PST - 31 comments

Homecoming - anti-war movie from National Amusements featuring the ungrateful dead. This will possibly invoke some controversy.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 1:52 PM PST - 21 comments

The Charts of Clarence Larkin A mechanical engineer by training, Clarence Larkin later found his true calling as a pastor and an author of influential books on religion. He is best remembered, however, for his detailed charts on topics such as: The Underworld, The Failure of Man, The Threefold Nature of Man, and an incredibly detailed The Book of Revelations from his book on Revelations.
posted by vacapinta at 1:24 PM PST - 6 comments

The year in lists. Best albums, Top 100 DJs, 100 Notable Books, the list goes on. Lists from 2004 also.
posted by caddis at 1:07 PM PST - 26 comments

Conan O'Brien runs the one Walker, Texas Ranger clip that he never dared run before...
posted by jonson at 12:45 PM PST - 142 comments

Aeon Flux, animated Series. This may kill all your time today. With the release of the new Aeon Flux Movie, they are releasing some of their animated shorts on their Overdrive application. Unfortunately, I can't provide a direct link to it, since it goes through a flash interface. You can get their by clicking on the 'movie' link on top. Requires IE, Flash, and probably windows only.
posted by countzen at 12:36 PM PST - 50 comments

NewsFilter: UFO (missle) exhaust seen by pilot Have the aliens landed, and are shooting at planes with unidentified flying objects? Or is it the 'terrorists'?
Don't worry citizens: FBI agents and Homeland Security officials spent the weekend investigating the report of a possible missile fired at an American Airlines.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:14 AM PST - 26 comments

"I sat down to it with my bottle of wine, a bowl of rice, salt and pepper at hand. I had thought about this and planned it for a long time, and now I was going to do it. I was going to do it, furthermore -- I had promised and told myself -- with a completely casual, open, and objective mind. But I was soon to discover that I had bluffed and deceived myself a little in pretending so detached an attitude." The problems of researching what you and I actually taste like. [Previous threads]. [Via]
posted by Ogre Lawless at 10:14 AM PST - 43 comments

Gulf of Tonkin Intelligence 'Deliberately Skewed'
The National Security Agency has released hundreds of pages of long-secret documents on the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin incident that played a critical role near the beginning of the Vietnam War. ... The most provocative document is a 2001 article [PDF] in which an agency historian argued that the agency's intelligence officers "deliberately skewed" the evidence passed on to policymakers on the crucial question of whether North Vietnamese ships attacked U.S. destroyers on Aug. 4, 1964. Based on the mistaken belief that such an attack had occurred, President Lyndon Johnson ordered air strikes on North Vietnam, and Congress passed a broad resolution authorizing military action.
[more inside]
posted by kirkaracha at 9:59 AM PST - 22 comments

What is a "fair wage" for contractors working in Iraq? Halliburton subsidiary KBR pays subcontracted employees far more than they could earn at home, in exchange for living far from friends and family in a dangerous work environment. KBR insists their contractors adhere to all local labor laws in the country where they operate. But when that country doesn't yet have an effective or legitimate government of its own, and the workers are brought from a country with a 68% poverty rate, is that enough?
posted by justkevin at 9:21 AM PST - 41 comments

Friday Finger Frenzy How fast can you type the alphabet? 9.083 seconds here...
posted by skjønn at 8:49 AM PST - 77 comments

"311, I am ready to fight." Tough times for Scott Stapp. via.
posted by klangklangston at 8:25 AM PST - 65 comments

A memo from the Department of Justice in Texas' voting division reveals that, back in 2003 during the Texas GOP's redistricting push, the division unanimously agreed that the redistricting plan sponsored by the state GOP and Rep. Tom DeLay was illegal under the Voting Rights Act. The plan was pushed through anyway, being the most effective in securing additional House seats for the GOP.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:18 AM PST - 71 comments

Why SETI's search for intelligent extraterrestrial life is different from the work of proponents of Intelligent Design. An interesting bit of argumentation regarding the distinction between the simple signals searched for by SETI and the complex signals used in arguments for ID.
posted by voltairemodern at 7:41 AM PST - 55 comments

Arianna Calling! Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, we learned from reading the New England Transcendentalists, yet Arianna is often put down, bad mouthed, for having moved from the Right to the Left...Yes. she is very wealthy. Yes, she seems always in a spotlight. But there is much substance to this woman, as is indicated in this piece, found via Arts&Letters.
posted by Postroad at 6:25 AM PST - 26 comments

"I'm greater than Superman and Batman put together! Before I'm through, I'll have them cringing before the might of Composite Superman!" The mighty Composite Superman is brilliant artifact from the Silver Age of comics. A variation on the theme recently resurfaced in print and on television! Just goes to show that you can't keep a gimmick supervillain down. He's even got his own blog! (via Scans_Daily)
posted by grabbingsand at 6:16 AM PST - 43 comments

The "a" in '[a href=' is for ADVISORY. Given that the social conservatives are eager to spend their waning mandate (and to be fair, hyper-PC liberals too) and extend out the nannystate to Cable TV, satellite, (which isn't entirely a bad thing) and videogames, is it too soon to work about the implications for the internet, and possible requirements and censorship? Blogger Sean Gleason suggests pictorial icons rating each link as to it's content. And of course, you could always make your own.
posted by rzklkng at 5:48 AM PST - 23 comments

Friday Jedi Fun - Kill the droids by deflecting lasers into them.
posted by Stauf at 5:23 AM PST - 21 comments

Is H5N1 flu transitioning to a human-to-human illness? Recent reports of familial clusters suggest that it may be, though there are certainly other possible explanations, such as families living in environments contaminated by virus-laden bird feces. On the other hand, it would seem that epidemiologists are growing increasingly interested in the possibility that these clusters are indicative of human-to-human transmissions. Further, the virus may be inching towards being asymptomatic, which isn't as good as it sounds: if people can carry the virus and transmit it to others without showing symptoms, it will be very difficult to impossible to tell who is a vector and highly difficult to control any emerging epidemic.
posted by chakalakasp at 1:30 AM PST - 23 comments

December 1

Remember that Shining trailer from a few weeks back? Now they've done it with Big. (embedded WMV)
posted by adrober at 11:29 PM PST - 46 comments

Alternative methods of photography When I first saw Scott Mutter [previously linked], I was hooked, and purchased a manual focus Nikon FG. I've resisted going digital (as have many) [partial nudity] until recently, when I purchased a DSLR - as I felt that nothing could come close to an SLR. While I love it, I find myself still fascinated by the older methods [main link], and the internet has allowed for easy distribution of unusual pinhole camera plans [annoying flash interface]. But is there a place for those of us holding on to the last fragments of traditional photography, or will alternative digital methods have to suffice?
posted by MysticMCJ at 10:13 PM PST - 42 comments

Blixa Bargeld reads the Hornbach Catalog. In a series of ads, finalists in 2004 for an EPICA award, the poet and musician Blixa Bargeld, known primarily as a leader of the industrial band Einstürzende Neubauten, read aloud descriptions of home improvement products. With hilarious results.
posted by jann at 9:38 PM PST - 35 comments

Finally! The link between Adolf Hitler and Julie Andrews explained! I can't believe it never occurred to me before. [via memepool]
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:25 PM PST - 55 comments

How about some pre-Friday flash fun? Nothing to win here. Just a lot of bouncing boxes.
posted by panoptican at 8:06 PM PST - 21 comments

In Europe, it's debated whether it's Suchowola Poland, the village of Krahule near Kremnica Slovakia, Dilove in western Ukraine, or Bernotai Lithuania. In Asia, there are more disputes, but Kyzyl put up an obelisk and stages tours. Various places claim that the Central African Republic is at the geographical centre of Africa, but that seems more likely based on looking at a map than measuring anything. On January 9 1956, Admiral Byrd flew over the geographical center of Antarctica. Alice Springs is pretty close to the centre of Australia. The center of North America is at latitude 48°21'19" north, longitude 99°59' 57" west in Rugby North Dakota. South America's center is officially Chapada dos Guimaraes in Cuiaba Brazil.
posted by Kickstart70 at 7:45 PM PST - 11 comments

Are we making Iraq into the country we wanted to invade in the first place? Rob Corddry has the answers (as he does so often these days)
posted by FeldBum at 7:23 PM PST - 17 comments

How to Build a Universe That Doesn't Fall Apart Two Days Later is a speech by Philip K. Dick which he never delivered. In it he details his theory of time and reality. A complimentary speech, which he did deliver, is If You Find This World Bad, You Should See Some of the Others. According to one account "people left the auditorium, it was later reported, looking as though they'd been hit with a hammer." Other essays by him in that vein are Man, Android and Machine and Cosmogony and Cosmology.

Here are some excerpts from his exegesis. Also, a collection of interviews with Dick.
posted by Kattullus at 6:16 PM PST - 119 comments

This entry from the Bigfoot Field Researchers Organization website is kinda creepy, especially if you download the high resolution JPEGs and look at them in an image editor.
posted by dbiedny at 6:14 PM PST - 42 comments

Are you in your early 40s? Do you resemble the God Apollo yet feel a certain dissastisfaction (like a splinter in your mind) toward photos of yourself? You are not alone: "I have enclosed below a series of pictures to show how the US government starting around 1994 went back in time with remote sensing and holographic radiation longitudinal emf and sound wave holographic energy beams as shown in the movie time tunnel to place different computer generated holographic archetypes of different Nordic, Celtic, and Aryan faces and other attributes around my body as if I were a microcosm of the center of the universe, Adam, and God, to change the genetic attributes, facial form, eye color, hair color, voice sound, and many other body attributes throughout my life year by year from my birth (1962, Jan 23 Midnight) to the present representing correlation's between the years in my life and the ages of evolution and history from the beginning of time to the present." [via Waxy]
posted by scarabic at 5:41 PM PST - 55 comments


Tryangle cannot be defined, but it's way fun. Use it to easily create angular art pieces, then share your creation with the teeming masses on the Tryangle Flickr pool.
posted by Cecily at 4:23 PM PST - 13 comments

Sixteen serious questions raised by the 1964 holiday classic Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer.
posted by lola at 4:12 PM PST - 57 comments

How to use your prosthesis (quicktime). Ed Van Den Brouck hosts the first in our "how to use your prosthesis" series. apologies to Julian? Also cool architecture.
posted by alball at 2:33 PM PST - 15 comments


"[S]ave more lives" is what George Bush pledged to do in a speech today about the AIDS epidemic. With more people living with AIDS in the world than ever before, is the US's problematic stance of promoting an ABC policy and other controversial policies working? Or is it an appropriate response to a culturally touchy topic that some oddball health officials in African nations are still coming to grips with?
posted by jessamyn at 1:30 PM PST - 18 comments

Benvenuto Cellini—sculptor, untrustworthy autobiographer, convicted sodomite—was in the news recently when one of his works, "the Mona Lisa of Sculpture," made the FBI's Top Ten Art Heists list. His Saliera, or salt cellar, which he designed for Francis I while in residence at Fontainebleau, is valued at US$55 million. It was stolen in May 2003; people purporting to be the thieves demanded £3.5 million in ransom in August 2003. It's still missing. (The piece is so fragile that it's likely that it won't survive its latest adventure.) More about Cellini at Wikipedia.
posted by goatdog at 12:56 PM PST - 18 comments

Orwell: Politics and the English Language. Some timely links in the fast changing world of instant communication. Alistair Cooke Needles the Jargonauts in Assessing the State of the English Language. The Electronic Revolution by William S. Burroughs. On Wittgenstein's Concept of a Language Game. The Economist Looking for a sign. John Zerzan Language: Origin and Meaning. Hakim Bey: Aimless Wandering: Chuang Tzu's Chaos Linguistics also Chaos Linguistics. The Language of Animals. John C Lilly on Interspecies Communication. Language Log: Natural language and artificial intelligence. Natural Language Processing AI News.
posted by MetaMonkey at 12:55 PM PST - 22 comments

The Beerbelly A removable spare tire that serves a stealth beverage.
posted by ColdChef at 12:53 PM PST - 22 comments

Everybody's an expert, but does expertise promote better predictions?
posted by semmi at 12:26 PM PST - 14 comments

NewsFilter: Squirrels attack
posted by spinoza at 12:11 PM PST - 57 comments

Are soy candles better than paraffin wax candles? Yes. Soy (or Soja) "healthy candles" may be all the rave among new age hippies, but this time they've really got a point. There's no shortage of vendors, but why not keep it real and make your own?
posted by analogue at 11:56 AM PST - 21 comments

Plagiarism it's just about the most wrong thing you're told not to do in college. It seems even more wrong when one of your professors does it, but it certainly does drive up prices.
posted by nile_red at 11:47 AM PST - 63 comments

Pentagon bribery scandal -- Iraqi journalists bought out. Officials in Washington have admitted that the US military has bribed Iraqi journalists with under-the-table payoffs of up to $200 a month -- twice the average Iraqi monthly income -- for producing upbeat newspaper, radio and television reports about the war in Iraq. This follows a similar report yesterday that the military secretly paid Iraqi newspapers to run dozens of pro-American articles written by the US Information Operations Task Force in Baghdad. A Pentagon spokesman described the report as "troubling". "This article raises some questions as to whether or not some of the practices that are described in there are consistent with the principles of this department."
posted by insomnia_lj at 11:12 AM PST - 62 comments

Advent calendars 2005. Back when the internets were very young, people began combining a wonderful old holiday tradition, the Advent calendar, with the latest in communications, the internet, and thus it was that interactive Advent calendars were born. This one (requires Flash) was the first one I ever saw and here are some other of my favorites: Leslie Harpold's and Tibi and Beens. Want more? Check Google.
posted by Lynsey at 11:12 AM PST - 13 comments

A must for Rush fans everywhere, and those who enjoyed Reagan's Raiders and Liberality.
posted by you just lost the game at 11:05 AM PST - 39 comments

Trafficing in unsecure data? - ticket those schmucks on your network who screw your carefully planned security measures with their sloppiness.
posted by sourbrew at 10:57 AM PST - 10 comments

Iwan.com has lots of nice photos of interesting places and people and an inoffensive site layout.
posted by ab'd al'Hazred at 9:40 AM PST - 21 comments

Pete Ashdown, the founder of Utah's oldest ISP, is apparently crazy enough to challenge Orrin Hatch's reelection. Ashdown descided to run when he heard Hatch propose that p2p user's computers should be required to explode (see also the INDUCE Act). Ashdown's campaign is the first to wikify its platform & strategy. Boing boing has endorsed him.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:30 AM PST - 40 comments

Remember Blogpoly? You can now play it online at Kurnik. Still no Metafilter though. (via Blogger Buzz)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:05 AM PST - 2 comments

"Heard 'Em Say" is Kanye West's latest video, animated by the legendary Bill Plympton.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:01 AM PST - 87 comments

First World AIDS Day: CBC archive A short clip from December 1st, 1988, the first World AIDS Day (with a Canadian focus). Also of interest from the CBC archives are two pages of radio and video clips (21 in all) on the early years of the disease.
posted by livii at 7:18 AM PST - 18 comments

Today is World AIDS Day around the world. Millions die from this disease every year, and I wish that we still devoted a whole day worth of links to AIDS. (You can still see it in the yearly December archives.) Also there's other info at Wikipedia. Please give a little to the effort if you can.
posted by wheelieman at 6:52 AM PST - 5 comments


Hel Looks. Street fashion from Helsinki, Finland. You're probably familiar with Japanese street style, and how they're dressing in Shibuya, but what are things like on the other side of the world? Some Hel fashions look familiar. Very familiar. Some recall the 'world between the wars'. Shemagh are popular, although not for the head. Sometimes just...eek! If Death Metal marries Neko Musume, in which religion will the kittens children be raised? Of course this is Helsinki: "When I dress up the most important thing is not to be cold!" [via]
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:28 AM PST - 39 comments


"I would get a doll that cried or peed when you pressed its stomach, and think it was pretty lame. I'd be like, 'Mom, I don't want this. Can I return it for a camping set?'" With NSFW accessories? I guess a plain, old creepy doll is now out of the question as a gift?
posted by Rothko at 2:40 AM PST - 37 comments