December 2009 Archives

December 31

Joseph Cavalieri is a stained glass artist. Among his works are illustrations of The Gormenghast novels, several panels based on physical culture ads of the 1950s, and a series depicting scenes from "The Missing Episode" of The Simpsons, such as The Countryman and the Serpent, The Death in the Playground, and Funeral for a Friend. via nag on the lake.
posted by Rumple at 11:22 PM PST - 10 comments

Public Domain Day 2010. This is the day when a year’s worth of copyrights expire in many countries around the world.Year of death + 70: (disclaimer) But in some other countries, it is a bittersweet day. The United States, Australia, Russia, and Mexico are in the midst of public domain freezes.
posted by stbalbach at 9:32 PM PST - 40 comments

How To Make A Living Playing Music. Unicyclist and alt rocker banjo playerDanny Barnes lays down his thoughts about making it while making music. There's a lot to read in his piece, much of which may apply to you even if you're not a musician. via @colinmeloy. Hi, Colin!
posted by boo_radley at 7:39 PM PST - 42 comments

This past Tuesday, China executed Briton Akmal Shaikh for heroin smuggling, the first foreigner to be executed in China since Italian Antonio Riva was put to death in 1951. Shaikh's family, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and U.N. officials all had asked for clemency based on the fact the 53-year old, father-of-three Shaikh was a mentally ill person who believed he was a pop star on a mission for world peace and had been duped into being an unwitting drug mule. Nonetheless, regardless of international outcry, Shaikh was put to death. The outcry continues. A music video has been created for Shaikh's music single, Come Little Rabbit.
posted by humannaire at 4:49 PM PST - 65 comments

The Kleptones, mashup artists behind previously-posted albums such as A Night At The Hip-Hopera and 24 Hours, have just released their newest entitled Uptime/Downtime. In a word, it rocks.
posted by flatluigi at 4:48 PM PST - 28 comments

Blackwater was cleared of guilt for the alleged unprovoked 2007 shootout which killed 17 Iraqis... for use of improper evidence in the case. [more inside]
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:53 PM PST - 123 comments


I Used To Be Younger (single link tumblr post)
posted by Caduceus at 11:32 AM PST - 40 comments


Ladies and gentlemen, Greenscreen Grandmas (SLYT) [more inside]
posted by cloeburner at 9:47 AM PST - 24 comments

What Israel can teach us about (airport) security. At Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, it’s all about eye contact. Expert: “[T]hey’re not looking for liquids, they’re not looking at your shoes. They’re not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you... Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes... and that’s how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys.” Oh, and get this: “The goal at Ben Gurion is to move fliers from the parking lot to the airport lounge in 25 minutes tops.”
posted by joeclark at 9:46 AM PST - 184 comments

Ryan Strathfield has uploaded hundreds of rock and pop songs from Australia and New Zealand to YouTube, organized by year (full list inside). Here are some favorites, Marcia Hines' Eleanor Rigby, The Boys Next Door's Shivers, The Falling Joys' You're in a Mess, Split Enz' I See Red and Warumpi Band's Blackfella Whitefella. Strathfield focuses on the period 1974-89 but it extends back into the 60s and forward into the 90s. [more inside]
posted by Kattullus at 8:47 AM PST - 22 comments

Sara Libby started it. A blogger for True/Slant, she wrote a column detailing why she thought Crash was the worst film of the decade. GD at PostBourgie agreed and added his own two cents. That got Ta-Nehisi Coates intrigued, who in turn wrote a post about Crash being a horrible movie and threatening to ban posters who liked it. His colleague at the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, piles on as well. The Chicago Sun-Times notices this blossoming meme and writes a recap.
posted by billysumday at 8:42 AM PST - 191 comments


The US Census has a blog - Robert M. Groves, director of the U.S. Census Bureau is writing about the changes, challenges and stories of the 2010 Census as the US gears up for it's decennial tally of "we the people." [more inside]
posted by DarlingBri at 6:45 AM PST - 22 comments


End of the decade flash fun: Picma Picture Enigmas.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 4:30 AM PST - 4 comments

Frank Capra meets Collateralized Debt Obligations:
The idea is simple: If enough people who have money in one of the big four banks move it into smaller, more local, more traditional community banks, then collectively we, the people, will have taken a big step toward re-rigging the financial system so it becomes again the productive, stable engine for growth it's meant to be. It's neither Left nor Right -- it's populism at its best.
Move your money.
posted by Anything at 2:41 AM PST - 70 comments

December 30

Portraits of the Hadza people by Martin Schoeller, known for his close-ups (total of 126)
posted by growabrain at 11:27 PM PST - 13 comments

Is aviation security mostly for show? An essay by Bruce Schneier.
posted by grouse at 10:45 PM PST - 96 comments

MAN is one of a number of animals that make things, but man is the only one that depends for its very survival on the things he has made. That simple observation is the starting point for an ambitious history programme that the BBC will begin broadcasting on January 18th in which it aims to tell a history of the world through 100 objects in the British Museum (BM). A joint venture four years in the making between the BM and the BBC, the series features 100 15-minute radio broadcasts, a separate 13 episodes in which children visit the museum at night and try to unlock its mysteries, a BBC World Service package of tailored omnibus editions for broadcasting around the world and an interactive digital programme involving 350 museums in Britain which will be available free over the internet. The presenter is Neil MacGregor, the BM’s director, who has moved from the study of art to the contemplation of things. “Objects take you into the thought world of the past,” he says. “When you think about the skills required to make something you begin to think about the brain that made it.” via The Economist [more inside]
posted by infini at 8:55 PM PST - 36 comments


A three judge panel of the 9th Circuit has ruled a police officer can be sued for damages for tasing a motorist. The court held use of tasers must be justified by a strong government interest that "compels" employing such force Practically speaking, police agencies will likely have to revise their policies to limit taser use to situations where a person poses an obvious danger. Field use of tasers currently varies across jurisdictions. The Police Executive Research Forum, however, has advocated for a similarly restrictive policy. [more inside]
posted by bearwife at 3:24 PM PST - 62 comments

Footnoted.org, a blog devoted to pointing out those buried atrocities in SEC filings, is having its annual worst footnote of the year contest. contenders include Chesapeake Energy disclosing it spent $12.1 million to purchase Aubrey McClendon's antique map collection, Martha Stewart's $3 million retention payment to remain at Martha Stewart Omnimedia and InfoGroup disclosing it really spent $852K on former CEO Gupta's yacht instead of zero. Polls close tomorrow.
posted by krautland at 1:00 PM PST - 24 comments


Dissertations on His Dudeness. (SLNYT) Descriptions of a new book of academic essays on The Big Lebowski such as: "“ ‘The Big Lebowski’ and Paul de Man: Historicizing Irony and Ironizing Historicism”
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:27 AM PST - 104 comments

Robespierre, a frequent contributor at Fodor's Travel Talk Forums online, suddenly stopped posting to the boards in July of last year. NPR's All Things Considered did an essay on why he stopped and the reactions of his fellow forum posters. [more inside]
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:07 AM PST - 27 comments

Man from the Margin: Cao Cao and the Three Kingdoms You'll perhaps have read or watched reports that archaeologists believe they have found the tomb of Cao Cao (曹操) (of course, not everyone agrees with the identification). Warrior, strategist, statesman and poet, Cao Cao lives on in the cultural memory of China, a by-word for cunning and of course a central character in the great historical novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms and hence also recent John Woo blockbuster Red Cliff. To understand the man in his historical context, there's little better in English than the 1990 George Ernest Morrison Lecture in Ethnology given by now-retired Professor Rafe de Crespigny, one of the foremost Western scholars of the Han Dynasty and Three Kingdoms periods of Chinese history. He makes several of his vastly erudite essays on Chinese history available at the ANU's website.
posted by Abiezer at 8:57 AM PST - 21 comments


Rowland S. Howard was the guitarist for The Boys Next Door and the Birthday Party. He released his second solo cd, "Pop Crimes" in October this year, ten years after his debut solo effort. He died today.
posted by h00py at 3:54 AM PST - 55 comments

101 new uses for everyday things lists some interesting and sometimes innovative ways to use things you find around the home.
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:50 AM PST - 160 comments

November 13, 2001: Musical unknown Andrew W.K. (Previously 1, 2) releases his debut album "I Get Wet." It is a simple rock record of power chords and unabashed, un-ironic party music -- exemplified perfectly both by its first song, "It's Time To Party," or its lead single, "Party Hard" -- released during a month of American depression, paranoia, and insincerity that borders on nihilism. The album finds mainstream success, selling over 30K copies in its first three weeks, with songs from the record appearing in commercials, movies, and television shows, not to mention heavy rotation on MTV and awesome appearances on Conan and Saturday Night Live. [more inside]
posted by Damn That Television at 12:18 AM PST - 355 comments

December 29

Tuper Tario Tros
posted by tehloki at 11:45 PM PST - 26 comments

"This cockroach-like existence is cumulatively intolerable even though on any given night it is perfectly manageable." Tony Judt, in the advanced stages of ALS (aka motor neurone disease) begins a series of short pieces for the New York Review of Books with a reflection on how he spends his unmoving nights.
posted by holgate at 9:46 PM PST - 41 comments

Times Square > Art Square: "a very complex project with a simple goal: to turn all advertising on Times Square into art."
posted by divabat at 8:51 PM PST - 39 comments

The Mag+ Project A compelling digital magazine concept that resulted from a research collaboration between Swedish publisher Bonnier and London design firm BERG. Touchscreen specialists Kicker Studio in San Francisco are working to expand this into an interactive prototype over the next several months.
posted by Dragonness at 8:41 PM PST - 2 comments

On the Set: Miniature recreations of famous television studio sets such as Cheers, Seinfeld and The Price is Right built by Charles Brogdon. Each complete with its own lighting rig and indexed by studio.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 8:11 PM PST - 12 comments

Anyone who was moved by Zelda Rubinstein's performance as the eccentric medium in "Poltergeist" will be dismayed to hear that she is seriously ailing. What you may not be aware of is her role, first in Los Angeles (way back in 1984), and later internationally, in gay rights and AIDS education advocacy. [more inside]
posted by Morrigan at 7:36 PM PST - 21 comments

JSblog: on varied topics inspired by working in a secondhand bookshop.
posted by brundlefly at 6:42 PM PST - 9 comments



The California and Steller sea lions hauled out at Pier 39's K dock in San Francisco have become a famous tourist attraction. The colony has occupied the spot since 1990, seemingly abandoning their traditional grounds at Seal Rocks. A fall survey counted record numbers of over 1,500 sea lions at the Pier, but they abandoned the area in droves after Thanksgiving. "We have no idea where they moved on to or why” an expert from the Marine Mammal Center said, although the Center does not believe that the sea lions have left for good. [more inside]
posted by gemmy at 5:30 PM PST - 34 comments

Questions for John Yoo. Q. Do you regret writing the so-called torture memos, which claimed that President Bush was legally entitled to ignore laws prohibiting torture? A. No, I had to write them. It was my job. As a lawyer, I had a client. The client needed a legal question answered. NY Times, via Andrew Sullivan [more inside]
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:07 PM PST - 47 comments

The first Blue Moon on New Year's Eve in twenty years. New Year's Eve marks a blue moon, that is, a full moon that occurs more than once in a calendar month. But wait, there's more! [more inside]
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:57 PM PST - 24 comments


The Genesis 2.0 Project The L.H.C. is not merely the world’s largest particle accelerator but the largest machine ever built. At the center of just one of the four main experimental stations installed around its circumference, and not even the biggest of the four, is a magnet that generates a magnetic field 100,000 times as strong as Earth’s. And because the super-conducting, super-colliding guts of the collider must be cooled by 120 tons of liquid helium, inside the machine it’s one degree colder than outer space, thus making the L.H.C. the coldest place in the universe.
posted by srboisvert at 3:28 PM PST - 52 comments


Tippi Hedren in make-up test stills for The Birds,*
posted by xod at 2:16 PM PST - 36 comments


So you want to build your own Eiffel Tower. Then you'll need 7,300 tons of iron, 2.5 million rivets, and some blueprints. (You may also need a copyright lawyer.)
posted by Joe Beese at 11:43 AM PST - 10 comments

How to Destroy the Book. "The anti-copyright activists have no respect for our copyright and our books. They say that when you buy an ebook or an audiobook that’s delivered digitally, you are demoted from an owner to a licensor." (Previously).
posted by Lobster Garden at 11:25 AM PST - 203 comments

The Interfaith Youth Core was started in 1998 by a group led by Rhodes Scholar Eboo Patel. Propelled by his experience growing up as a Muslim in the United States, and encouraged by the Dalai Lama, Patel seeded an organization dedicated promoting global pluralism. His story is detailed in his acclaimed autobiography, Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation. He keeps a blog at the Washington Post, and is a fellow at the Ashoka Foundation.
posted by Roach at 10:07 AM PST - 4 comments

Though she didn't enjoy the same level of fame and fortune as her younger brother Cab, singer and bandleader (said to be the first African-American woman to lead an all-male orchestra) Blanche Calloway is a musician worth remembering and checking out if you're a fan of 1920s/30s jazz stylings. It's Right Here For You, It Looks Like Susie, I Gotta Swing, Last Dollar and I Got What It Takes.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:53 AM PST - 26 comments

December 28

Russia wants to lead the way in leech farming. Notorious for all kinds of medicinal uses (previously), they're also becoming popular in cosmetics. [more inside]
posted by ninazer0 at 8:37 PM PST - 42 comments

This last Christmas Day Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a 23 year old son of a prominent Nigerian banker attempted to bring down a trans-Atlantic Northwest Airlines flight with an explosive mixture containing PETN, a popular addition to amateur explosives. Then this Sunday a young Nigerian gentleman in intestinal distress caused caused the crew of his flight to alert authorities who detained and quickly released him.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:29 PM PST - 312 comments

One way to look at the decade from 2000-2009 is as the digital decade. In this decade the world has gone from having about 300 million to 1.6 billion users . The number of mobile phone subscriptions has gone from about 750 million to 4.5 billion. The decade even started out being called the digital decade by none other than Bill Gates. [more inside]
posted by sien at 5:30 PM PST - 47 comments


Karsten Nohl and a team of fellow researchers has cracked the 64-bit encryption used in 80% of the world's GSM phones. Nohl had previously cracked the encryption in the MIFARE smartcard system, demonstrating that the encryption on that device can be cracked in approximately no time whatsoever. These, of course, aren't the first gaping holes in cellphone security to come to light; indeed, lack of security seems to be part of the design spec. Perhaps all new cellphones should be just be distributed with a deck of cards.
posted by kaibutsu at 2:14 PM PST - 51 comments

Saving Mexico "To weaken the cartels, some argue the U.S. should legalize marijuana, let cocaine pass through the Caribbean and take the profit motive out of the drug trade."
posted by kliuless at 1:12 PM PST - 108 comments

What would happen if aid organizations and other philanthropists embraced the dark arts of marketing spin and psychological persuasion used on Madison Avenue? We'd save millions more lives.
posted by lunit at 12:46 PM PST - 50 comments

From a simple insight, it has grown to some 4,000 pages. ... Whatever it is (he grudgingly calls it a novel, for legal reasons), [Larry Kramer] believes it to be an entirely true work. Certainly it’s epic. From primordial Florida swamps to the homophilic colony at Jamestown to Lincoln’s male love and the “holocaust” of AIDS, he reframes the country as a gay creation, culminating with the advent of modern antiviral drugs: “the single greatest achievement that gay people have accomplished in history.” (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 11:17 AM PST - 127 comments

The Annotated Weekender. Fun, whimsical doodles all over The Guardian's weekend magazine by Joe List, an illustrator/cartoonist from the uk, who also does Freak Leap and I Dream of a World Without You.
posted by OrangeSoda at 10:10 AM PST - 3 comments


Good morning. It's Monday. I know that it sucks to have to come back to work after a holiday weekend. So I am going to share with you this alternative version of Passion Pit's "Sleepyhead" mixed with archival footage of old-timey American dancing. I hope this brightens your day a little bit.
posted by jason's_planet at 8:11 AM PST - 33 comments

Battlestar Rhapsody (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 7:27 AM PST - 72 comments

Noted anti-apartheid activist and poet Dennis Brutus has died. [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 7:12 AM PST - 11 comments

The New York Times examines several reports of sexual harassments and assaults on women in the US Military. In the article's comments, current and former troops chime in to suggest that this is an inevitable result of including women in combat zones. [more inside]
posted by oinopaponton at 6:35 AM PST - 138 comments

The Daily Show's Decade in Review. [Single-link Comedy Central video presentation.]
posted by milquetoast at 3:29 AM PST - 37 comments

December 27

The complete archive of International Times, which launched a revolution in underground publishing in the UK and paved the way for Oz (of the School Kids special fame) (previously) and a whole string of british underground zines, a heritage that Alan Moores new zine Dodgem Logic very much calls upon.
posted by Artw at 8:09 PM PST - 8 comments

A digital clock made of wood and operated by 70 workers for one continuous 24-hour period. "Even though the workers are trying hard to construct every single minute, they are constantly on the verge of failing."
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 8:08 PM PST - 35 comments

Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans premieres Thursday, January 29 on PBS. Faubourg Tremé is considered the oldest black neighborhood in America, the origin of the southern civil rights movement and the birthplace of jazz. Trailer for Faubourg Tremé
posted by nola at 6:59 PM PST - 14 comments

Kosoof—Arash Ashoorinia's Photography —including today's Ashura protests in Iran. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 10:46 AM PST - 19 comments

This year's Top 10 Sexy Geeks
posted by serazin at 10:28 AM PST - 178 comments

Research has shown that people think men who wear bow ties are fidgety, dull, and "a little weird", but that never stopped the likes of Winston Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, or NFL linebacker Dhani Jones. [more inside]
posted by usonian at 9:56 AM PST - 78 comments

For serious Poli Sci junkies only: the Swing State Project is holding a contest for best redistricting of New York, using the nerdtastic Dave's Redistricting App. (Requires Silverlight, reading instructions highly recommended.) [more inside]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:07 AM PST - 14 comments

Over the Christmas holidays the BBC is showing a double episode of the television series Doctor Who... [more inside]
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 5:49 AM PST - 256 comments

December 26

Air force personnel stole Malaysian fighter jet engine(s) from a military warehouse to sell on the black market abroad. Chaos ensues. Humour lurks. Rumours fly. Previously.
posted by infini at 9:14 PM PST - 30 comments

Gott Gott Elektron "Krisma (formerly Chrisma) is an Italian musical New Wave - electronic group founded by Maurizio Arcieri and Christina Moser in 1976. That year, the couple moved from Milan to London to record "U" and " Amore" with the producer Nico Papathanassiou and his brother Vangelis. Their collaboration with Papathanassiou and Vangelis continued through 1978. During this time, the duo recorded the album "Chinese Restaurant." The single "Lola" entered the Top 10. During the promotional tour for Chinese Restaurant, Maurizio was known to perform a trick onstage in which he appeared to cut off his finger with a razor. The trick, referred to as a "finger job," attracted considerable press attention." Nothing To Do With The Dog::Samora Club::I'm Not In Love::
posted by vronsky at 9:08 PM PST - 7 comments

DJ Earworm releases for download his mashup of the year's top hits, according to Billboard. [more inside]
posted by estlin at 8:05 PM PST - 50 comments

Metaphotography. Dozens of photos of famous photographers with their cameras at the ready. Sometimes the most fascinating subjects are those behind the camera. And look at those cameras, too! (Text in Spanish, occasional nudity.)
posted by seanmpuckett at 6:24 PM PST - 23 comments

Are your neighbors this tolerant? Backyard Jet Engines. Part II.
posted by pjern at 5:24 PM PST - 31 comments

Glenn Gould plays Clavier Ubung bestehend in einer ARIA mit verschiedenen Veraenderungen vors Clavicimbal mit 2 Manualen - also known as the Goldberg Variations. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 3:33 PM PST - 44 comments

In 2002 the tiny Newfoundland fishing village of Harbour Deep shut down. It was never able to survive the 1992 closure of the in-shore cod fishery. But the 350 year old history and spirit of the village has survived in the form of a dance called Running the Goat. In a brilliant radio documentary (link is an .m3u), Chris Brooks captures the stories and the sentiments about the dance and what it means for traditional culture in Newfoundland. [more inside]
posted by salishsea at 2:19 PM PST - 12 comments

Pellagra is an awful disease. Its symptoms are the four D's -- diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia, and death, unpleasant by anyone's standards. Caused by a deficiency in niacin, pellagra is uncommon in developed nations thanks to the fortification of bread products with niacin. But could excess niacin be causing the rapid rise in type II diabetes? [more inside]
posted by greatgefilte at 9:28 AM PST - 31 comments


Legend has it that Phidippedes ran 26 miles to Athens from Marathon to announce the success of the Athenian army's surprise suicide attack against the far larger Persian army, starting a grand tradition: Dying during marathons. [more inside]
posted by minimii at 8:43 AM PST - 21 comments

Planes, fireworks, and....AC/DC! An expensive RC plane and a crapload of fireworks is a great way to spend a late afternoon. (SLGM)
posted by shockingbluamp at 8:14 AM PST - 24 comments

I am Tiger Woods
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:10 AM PST - 169 comments


Learn to use the HDR photography method effectively. [more inside]
posted by Soupisgoodfood at 4:11 AM PST - 46 comments

December 25

Rediscovering Central Asia is an article by historian and archaeologist S. Frederick Starr, about the Islamic Central Asian intellectual flowering between 800 and 1100, when scientists like Ibn Sina (Avicenna) and al-Biruni debated such questions as the existence of other solar systems and whether god created the animals. Starr then traces Central Asia's slide in influence and power. The last great Central Asian empire was that of Timur, known in the West as Tamerlane the Great, who ruled from 1370-1405. One of the great early works of Spanish literature was the travel account of Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo, ambassador of Spain to Timur's court, which can be read in full on Google Books or downloaded as a pdf.
posted by Kattullus at 10:01 PM PST - 17 comments

Need an uncommon name for your child, pet, car or fictional character? Limitless choices are now a click away. Some of my favorites: Monron, Kinley, and Kendricki. [via mefi projects]
posted by ivey at 8:56 PM PST - 76 comments

Where Do The Animals Live? A pictorial game and wildlife map from 1956, from AzraelBrown's excellent blog The Infomercantile.
posted by jjray at 8:06 PM PST - 2 comments

The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast talks to director Stuart Gordon about Herbert West - Reanimator (part 1, part 2). A prolific director, Gordon is responsible for some of the better adaptations of Lovecraft's work (and From Beyond). Currently he is directing Reanimator star Jeffrey Combs as Edgar Allan Poe in the one-man shoe Nevermore, which just finished a hugely successful run in LA and is now heading for Poe's hometown of Baltimore.
posted by Artw at 7:51 PM PST - 23 comments

Christmas on Earth
posted by vronsky at 7:01 PM PST - 5 comments

Arrow Trucking ceases operations, strands as many as 1400 drivers on Christmas Eve all over the country. In as cutthroat an industry as there is, other companies found it in their hearts to assist those left out in the cold.
posted by pjern at 5:17 PM PST - 60 comments

After all the muzak, Christmas Past - a quality Christmas song by Mick Flannery, which he sings here with Lisa Hannigan (who previously benefited from the Colbert bump) at the Other Voices festival in Dingle, Co. Kerry, Ireland. Other Voices has been running for seven years, so the archive of performances has grown impressively.
posted by degreezero at 4:15 PM PST - 1 comments

Winter holiday traditions change with time and location, with their current forms retaining little of their old forms, wassailing (rhymes with fossil-ing) possibly more than most. The modern interpretation of wassailing has been simplified to singing carols, though it was born of much more diverse traditions, from a cheer of good health before battle to scaring evil spirits from apple orchards. From these origins come wassail the drink, and that's just one of the many foods of the winter season (Food Timeline prev., 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). A few more are covered below the break. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 3:25 PM PST - 8 comments

12 months, a core team of dozens (with a network of thousands) spanning 3 continents, 4 languages, 5 specialist teams, countless sleepless nights... It's finally here. Filmed in Sacramento, Portland, and Victoria by the Nine Inch Nails team, edited and produced by their fans, The Gift is a stunning work in 1080p High Definition video with 5.1 Surround Sound, multi-language subtitles, and artistically-driven ethics. [more inside]
posted by hippybear at 12:06 PM PST - 25 comments


SomBy were the winners of the Liet International 2009 song contest for minority european languages and cultures. Sámi rock, you say? But wait, there's more! There's Alit Boazu from the Norwegian side, and Tiina Sanila, a Skolt Sámi singer from Finland. And yes, there is Sámi metal, from the band Intrigue. There are plenty other Sámi musicians across Sápmi and outside of the genre of rock, of course. There's Amoc, an Inari Sámi rapper from Finland; Adjágas who are folky and bluegrassy at times; Niko Valkeapää, who is more ambient and electronic; and of course, Mari Boine, recently knighted for her long career of artistic work (translation). [Sound, MySpace warnings] [more inside]
posted by taursir at 9:42 AM PST - 5 comments

"UPular" - a new song from Pogo (previously on MeFi)
posted by flatluigi at 8:25 AM PST - 28 comments

Looking to donate by New Year's? Know lots of charities' names/elevator pitches but nothing about who's good? Look to the Stars, the web's number one source of celebrity charity news and information, can help. Find out about the causes supported by all your favorite celebrities, from Adam Sandler to Zac Efron, as well as the work being done by organizations like the Marshall Mathers Foundation and Cocker Kids.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:33 AM PST - 10 comments

Sometimes, the full meaning of a moment isn't realized until years later. Dick Brookins certainly had no idea what would come of that December day, back in 1944. Brookins and other members of the U.S. Army's 28th Infantry Division Signal Corps were in Wiltz, a small town in Luxembourg, just days before what would turn into the Battle of the Bulge. This U.S. soldier stood in for an absent Saint Nicholas... it was to change his life and help him find some meaning for the war in Europe. As it turns out, someone was filming that day when an Army jeep carried the American St. Nick through the streets giving treats to the local children. It brought him back 65 years later.
posted by netbros at 7:02 AM PST - 13 comments

It's Christmas, which means the most important tradition of all: the cast of The Venture Bros. changing your memory of a holiday classic forever. Merry Christmas from Alvin, Simon, and Theodore Tim-Tom, Kevin, and Henchman 21. [more inside]
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:49 AM PST - 19 comments

Sometimes we forget the depth of meaning of the word "holy"....perhaps, given the season, this may help....
posted by HuronBob at 4:37 AM PST - 15 comments

Here's a fun collection of Vintage Christmas Album Covers, and more here at the Strange Christmas Album Covers Flickr set. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:29 AM PST - 7 comments


On December 24th, 1979, radio personality Alan Maitland started a tradition on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's program As It Happens. That Christmas Eve, Maitland read a Frederick Forsyth story that featured the unlikely meeting of a Vampire and a Mosquito. His telling has been re-aired every year since. [more inside]
posted by Decimask at 12:14 AM PST - 7 comments

December 24

6 to 8 Black Men. Christmas in the Netherlands as described by David Sedaris (SLYT)
posted by blue_beetle at 11:39 PM PST - 20 comments

When Pope Benedict XV called for a cease fire over the Christian holiday of Christmas the high command on both sides of no man's land called it "impossible". But the men in the icy muck and mire of Flanders decided for themselves what was possible, what was not possible. The future held millions of dead and wounded but the season motivated the British (along with some French and Belgians) and the Germans to shake off the traditional definitions of enemies and allies. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 11:15 PM PST - 36 comments


Vic Chesnutt dead of apparent suicide. The link covers his biography just fine, including the extra gut punch that he was apparently facing huge medical debt, so I'll just link to this fine live performance of an appropriate song of his. So sad to see you go Vic.
posted by malphigian at 10:33 PM PST - 97 comments

As households across the world quietly deploy presents from St. Nick, Kate Beaton, author of the charming historical webcomic Hark, a Vagrant! (previ ously) remembers the tradition in a bittersweet light. In spite of venerable op-eds (and their animated offspring), such pain moves some to question whether parents should teach their children to believe in Santa Claus at all.
posted by Rhaomi at 10:10 PM PST - 25 comments

If you're of a certain age, you might've seen Simple Gifts: 6 Heartwarming Holiday Stories on PBS in the late 70s or early 80s. Maybe you enjoyed it as much as I did, or maybe you still will.

Prologue, by Maurice Sendak.
1. A Memory of Christmas part one, part two
2. Lost And Found
3. Excerpted from Orlando, The Great Frost part one and part two
4. My Christmas, as told by a young Teddy Roosevelt
5. December 25th, 1914 (You might otherwise know this event from the video for Paul McCartney's "The Pipes of Peace.")
6. No Room At The Inn part one, part two
posted by kimota at 10:08 PM PST - 4 comments

"The verdict was read out after a few hours. The Ceausescus were sentenced to death. They had ten days to appeal, but the sentence was to be carried out immediately. A nod to Kafka." 20 years ago on Christmas Day, the Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena were sentenced to death by an impromptu revolutionary tribunal and executed by firing squad. The Times speaks with one of the men who was there that day. Footage of their trial. Translated transcript of the trial, courtesy of the very informative ceausescu.org. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast at 8:35 PM PST - 21 comments

What's a Coastie? Two University of Wisconsin undergrads record and post to YouTube an ode to "Coasties," out-of-state students who live in expensive off-campus apartments, wear Spandex tights with Uggs, spend their parents' money on designer handbags and Starbucks, and -- oh yeah, like 15% of their classmates but only 1 in 200 Wisconsin natives, are Jews. Controversy ensues.
posted by escabeche at 7:41 PM PST - 143 comments

A team of scientists from Yale University and the up-and-coming Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea have managed to fabricate intricate electrical contacts to produce a transistor from a benzene molecule. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser at 7:37 PM PST - 6 comments

Do you like musical instruments with lots of keyboards? And lots and lots of dials? Then you may like 36 15 MOOG: Stuff with Moog and/or 60's and 70's vintage synths in it. (related Ask MeFi) [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 5:21 PM PST - 14 comments

What does Santa need after a night of delivering presents in bad weather? An instrument approach to the North Pole.
posted by pjern at 4:55 PM PST - 9 comments


A forgotten gem from The Band, and a Christmas Card to all my fellow MeFites.
posted by timsteil at 2:55 PM PST - 10 comments


Just because those amateur radio operators on the Jay Leno show can out-text Ben Cook, former world SMS champion (160 chars in 57 seconds or about 33 wpm), doesn't mean that you can't try to beat them by joining them: iDitDahText lets you input Morse code on your iPhone with a software iambic keyer at up to 50 words per minute, no sleeve garters or green-visor required.
posted by autopilot at 12:47 PM PST - 10 comments

Twenty-two new accounts created in order to tweet John Hughes' Home Alone in real time. Merry Christmas.
posted by jefficator at 12:40 PM PST - 26 comments

"I am not going to rehearse any arguments pro and anti the “Google settlement.” You decided to deal with the devil, as it were, and have presented your arguments for doing so. I wish I could accept them. I can’t. There are principles involved, above all the whole concept of copyright; and these you have seen fit to abandon to a corporation, on their terms, without a struggle." - Ursula Le Guin resigns from the Authors Guild over the Google Book deal. (Previously)
posted by Artw at 11:54 AM PST - 116 comments

Witness the spectacle as Chicago's A Red Orchid Theater presents A Very Merry (Unauthorized) Children's Scientology Pageant, through January 17, 2010. It's time to celebrate, it's time to open up your eyes. Critics agree - it's a hit!
posted by scalefree at 10:45 AM PST - 9 comments

Florence and the Machine and Billy Bragg - Fairytale Of New York - Live in Session Video of Florence and the Machine and Billy Bragg performing Fairytale Of New York Live in Session on BBC Radio 1 SLYT
posted by Sailormom at 9:12 AM PST - 36 comments

OMG I'M THE ADULT Documenting all those little moments of realization, when suddenly it is revealed that you are, indeed, a grown-up now. [via mefi projects]
posted by hippybear at 8:18 AM PST - 159 comments

Games blog Critical Distance presents 99 Free Games from 2009. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:52 AM PST - 8 comments

Each year from 1963 to 1969, the Beatles recorded a short Christmas message for their fans*: The Beatles' Christmas album. An oldie but a goodie!
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:26 AM PST - 12 comments

Landmark health care reform legislation passes senate on a Christmas-eve party line vote. So after a turbulent and contentious legislative process with many sudden reversals and last minute surprises, what's actually in the bill? NPR offers a "Consumer's Guide" to the form the final, reconciled legislation now seems likeliest to take. [more inside]
posted by saulgoodman at 7:23 AM PST - 111 comments

“West of Arkham the hills rise wild, and there are valleys with deep woods that no axe has ever cut...” — In the true spirit of the holiday season, Mark E. Smith presents: a reading of that classic old Christmas tale, Howard Phillips Lovecraft's The Colour Out Of Space. [more inside]
posted by koeselitz at 6:11 AM PST - 30 comments

Rising up from deep within the aquifer, cool clear water flows from hundreds of springs that dot the Florida landscape. Florida springs are natural wonders that are threatened constantly. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:09 AM PST - 14 comments

The Day Before Boxing Day [SLYT]. From the ever-unusual Robyn Hitchcock, and friends.
posted by scruss at 5:20 AM PST - 8 comments

Secretive Scholars of the Old South. The Abbeville Institute is a scholarly society that seeks to promote a "distinctly Southern interpretation of American history and identity ... a valuable intellectual and spiritual resource for exposing and correcting the errors of American modernity." Founded in 2003 by Donald Livingston, philosophy professor at Emory University, the Institute will hold its 8th annual conference, "State Nullification, Secession, and the Human Scale of Political Order" next February.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:38 AM PST - 80 comments

We're mostly pretty familiar, I guess, with the ol' rum pa pum pum of the Little Drummer Boy. He shows up every Christmas, marching drum slung round his waist, rat-a-tat-tatting for the Son of God, thanks to that familiar song about him. A catchy little tune it is, too... heck, David Bowie and Bing Crosby think so! Let's keep in mind, though, that back when a certain Holy Infant made his first grand appearance at a stable back in Bethlehem, any little drummer boy that might've serenaded him wouldn't have been playing any paradiddles or ratamacues. Nah, he'd have been laying down beats more like this, or this, or (from actual boys), this. I think the baby Jesus would've dug the groove, too. Merry Christmas, y'all!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:36 AM PST - 32 comments

December 23


The Third Coast International Audio Festival recognizes excellence in audio documentary, and the 2009 awards have been announced. You can listen to all of the winners' work as well as a two hour broadcast of the highlights.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:48 PM PST - 3 comments

Decades of Future Science. In which advances of the next few decades are wishfully thought up.
posted by jjray at 9:45 PM PST - 22 comments

Jane Hamsher is a former Hollywood producer who now heads the Firedoglake family of blogs. Grover Norquist is a long-time conservative activist who has had some influence in conservative politics. Together, they fight... Rahm Emanuel! [more inside]
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:37 PM PST - 63 comments

Bogus! Why do fakes get made? Why do people fall for hoaxes? Greed, pride, revenge, nationalism, pranks, and gullibility mix in an archaeological setting. Archaeology Magazine examines eight classic cases, and more.
posted by amyms at 9:25 PM PST - 6 comments

"Steal These Books" is a NYT essay about the most commonly shoplifted books from bookstores. tl;dr? #1=The Virgin Suicides. [more inside]
posted by stbalbach at 8:01 PM PST - 53 comments

George Steinmetz takes aerial landscape photos from lightest powered aircraft in the world, a motorized paraglider (and sometimes a helicopter, a motorized hang glider, and a hot air balloon). Some of the places he has photographed include Arabia's Empty Quarter; Africa; the Dead Sea; the Altiplano; the Salt Deserts of Iran; and China. Warning: Flash based image display. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 6:50 PM PST - 16 comments

Christmas statues are commonplace in countries around the world. There are the usual snowmen (previously), reindeer, and other types of fauna (an update to a previous post). But the most sought-after model is of course the Fat Man. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:43 PM PST - 8 comments

A Day in the Life of nytimes.com Visualizations of traffic to the website of the New York Times on June 25, 2009, the day that Michael Jackson died, from the website's Research and Development team.
posted by ocherdraco at 5:52 PM PST - 11 comments

How to hypnotize a chicken (and for advanced hypnotizers only: the shark) (YT, annoying new age music)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:36 PM PST - 26 comments

Riabina who come from near Augustow in NE Poland where established in 1988 are apparently the only musical group of "Old Believers." [more inside]
posted by djstig at 5:18 PM PST - 11 comments

Learn Something Every Day is equal parts web comic, obscure facts, stupidity and fun! By Young.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:11 PM PST - 22 comments

Creeper World Training Sim Something a little different for those who have been watching the Tower Defense genre's gradual stagnation. The full game is ten bucks from the makers.
posted by cmoj at 4:36 PM PST - 13 comments

Hack This Site is a free, safe and legal training ground for hackers to test and expand their hacking skills. Realistic training missions included!
posted by Afroblanco at 4:27 PM PST - 18 comments

Crash Course in Science "Vintage electro dance-punk... harsh, throbbing, propulsive grooves and synth-noise mania. Incredible stuff! Crash Course In Science was a trio from Philadelphia that released two singles from 1979 to 1981. The latter of the two, a 12" entitled "Signals From Pier Thirteen," is one of my new favorite records. How could this music go undiscovered for so long? If it came out today, it would be all over the neon geometric hipster clubs... it seems like everyone is trying to sound like this these days, but no one can match the audacious energy of the orginals."
posted by vronsky at 4:05 PM PST - 26 comments


30 Episodes of Peep Show are now available on Hulu. Following up on bringing Spaced to Americans, Hulu now has Mitchell and Webb's sitcom about the horror of adulthood available. [more inside]
posted by dortmunder at 2:34 PM PST - 77 comments

Blip Festival happened just this weekend in Brooklyn. Chiptune geek, but couldn’t make it? The YouTube videos are starting to appear. Here's an internet approximation of the festival. If you just want a quick overview, a prepared playlist. [via]. [more inside]
posted by edbles at 1:47 PM PST - 20 comments


A short piece in the Guardian from Mark Lynas: sitting in on the final climate negotiations at Copenhagen. [more inside]
posted by seanmpuckett at 1:43 PM PST - 26 comments

Carl Zimmer on the duck's incredibly long, corkscrew-shaped, ballistic penis.
My tale is rich with deep scientific significance, resplendent with surprising insights into how evolution works, far beyond the banalities of “survival of the fittest,” off in a realm of life where sexual selection and sexual conflict work like a pair sculptors drunk on absinthe, transforming biology into forms unimaginable. But this story is also accompanied with video. High-definition, slow-motion duck sex video. And I would imagine that the sight of spiral-shaped penises inflating in less than a third of second might be considered in some quarters to be not exactly safe for work. It’s certainly not appropriate for ducklings.
[As Carl says, video links are possibly NSFW.] [more inside]
posted by chorltonmeateater at 12:42 PM PST - 59 comments




The Edge, AKA David Evans, wants to build a little comppound in Malibu, on "the most prominent landform along the coast between Topanga Canyon Boulevard and the Ventura County line." "In bringing together the very best environmental, architectural and design principles, the owners have sought to create homes that will both set new standards and withstand the test of time," Evans says on the website he created as part of his lobbying effort to move this project through. (Turn your sound on for the video.) [more inside]
posted by Danf at 11:48 AM PST - 46 comments

"Many a glass of wine have we all of us drunk, I have very little doubt, hob-and-nobbing with the hospitable giver, and wondering how the deuce he paid for it . . . Nobody in fact was paid. Not the blacksmith who opened the lock; nor the glazier who mended the pane; nor the jobber who let the carriage; nor the groom who drove it; nor the butcher who provided the leg of mutton; nor the coals which roasted it; nor the cook who basted it; nor the servants who ate it; and this I am given to understand is not unfrequently the way in which people live elegantly on nothing a-year." [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena at 11:34 AM PST - 27 comments

At this time of year it's nice to reminisce about all of the great holidays past, or if your family is anything like mine you'll be celebrating Hellidays instead.
posted by FlamingBore at 9:32 AM PST - 12 comments



In celebration of Festivus: military maps of the War on Christmas.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:53 AM PST - 20 comments

If you, like so many of us, are a fan of DJ Shadow's legendary 1996 debut album Endtroducing, prepare to get chills watching this nine-piece cover the record from beginning to end. Introducing: Introducing.
posted by 2or3whiskeysodas at 7:13 AM PST - 43 comments

An excellent short film about a branch of the London Underground that was never built.
posted by cillit bang at 6:12 AM PST - 31 comments

In which city did Peregrinus bring Christmas presents to the poor bookbinder's family? Which ordinal was applied to Sarto, the village postman's son? These questions and 138 more of similar obscurity will be answered in about a month! Why not have a go yourself while you wait? How many answers can you get without your search engine friend?
posted by biffa at 4:31 AM PST - 133 comments



Self-described ghetto witchdoctor superstar chef Coolio has made a series of cooking videos, starting with the Coolio Caprese Salad. So far he's up to 10 colorful videos ranging from Swashbucklin' Shrimp to Spinach Even Kids Will Eat. If you want to learn how to make Ghetallian Garlic Bread that tastes better than yo mama, this is the place to look. Despite the comments about kitchen pimps and dime bags of salt, he is serious about his love of cooking, and now has a cookbook out that is currently at #2 in Amazon's soul food category. His Strawberry Hills Banana Muffins Forever, from the chapter entitled Sweet Treats for that Sweet Ass, has won over at least one blogger and his Fresh Pickin' Raspberry Chicken and I'm Gonna Slap You With My Whisk Tomato Bisquehave also garnered good reviews. Shaka Zulu!
posted by hindmost at 12:36 AM PST - 25 comments

December 22

cementing the link between beer and creativity cementing the link between beer and creativity, a group of actual grown-ups manage to make music together utilizing only their breath and beer bottles.
posted by TMezz at 11:32 PM PST - 12 comments


Short, animated Russian battles to the death: Pacman vs Mario, general vs zombie, ninja vs crusader, accountant vs designer, Clara Roft vs Louisiana Jones and many, many more. (via oink)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:45 PM PST - 28 comments

One Drawing for Every Page of Moby-Dick Inspired by Zak Smith's (previously) Illustrations for Each Page of Gravity's Rainbow, self-taught artist Matt Kish is posting One Drawing for Every Page of Moby-Dick. Some favourites: 8, 40, 48, 54, 66, 74, and 85. While he's only through about 100 of the Signet Edition's 552 pages, you can follow along on the artist's blog.
posted by synecdoche at 5:12 PM PST - 29 comments

An eerie tribute to countless Twilight Zone episodes, Pixar Animator Rodrigo Blaas has published his animated short film Alma. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 4:07 PM PST - 72 comments

Do plants have a consciousness? Michael Pollan seemed to argue they do in The Botony of Desire (original book) and that they were inextricably involved in co-evolution with their human cultivators, affecting human development, perhaps as much as the humans who are selectively choosing traits in plants. If that’s true, that plants are conscious, is it okay to eat them?
posted by Toekneesan at 3:53 PM PST - 99 comments

Lynsey G. has taken odd writing jobs where she could get them for a few years now, and one day woke up to realize that they were all about sex. [more inside]
posted by minifigs at 3:51 PM PST - 17 comments

Sure, we all know that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is broadcast every year in the US as a Christmas tradition, and that Sweden basically closes every year from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on December 24th to watch Donald Duck, but what about other countries? [more inside]
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:42 PM PST - 33 comments


On a Friday in the waning months of the 20th century, a Macromedia employee was getting ready to meet with the creator of Beavis & Butthead the next Monday to demonstrate Flash v.4's new feature, synchronized audio tracks – a feature he needed to learn over the weekend. So he put together the simplest model he could: a floating skull sans lips, tongue or physique. The meeting was postponed, so the employee continued to spitshine the animation and put it on his website. His friends e-mailed their friends, and soon, everyone met a heavy-metal animated floating skull demon and his adorable little devil pal. Sparks had created Radiskull, who will kill you one by one. (Atom) [more inside]
posted by MikeHarris at 3:39 PM PST - 38 comments

For many, this time of year brings to mind George Frideric Handel's masterpiece "Messiah" - a three part oratorio for orchestra, chorus and soloists. For many, the holiday season has not begun until the local Messiah Sing-Along. (Need a score to sing along? It's always a good idea to check the Choral Public Domain Library! And before you go, make sure you're ready with a handy - and hilarious - quiz!) But the Messiah narrative has much less to do with that omnipresent, tacit, eponymous character and much more to do with the shared and often painful condition of the human family and our attempts to understand and commune with the universe. Director Claus Guth has staged the oratorio using a setting that mirrors that experience: a funeral. [Clips of that performance within.] [more inside]
posted by greekphilosophy at 2:44 PM PST - 19 comments

In a first for Latin America, Mexico City's legislature voted to legalize gay marriage Monday night, changing "the city's civil code definition of marriage from the union of a man and a woman to the 'free uniting of two people.'" [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer at 1:31 PM PST - 51 comments

ITP just had their winter show here’s a random sample of the works the students produced: Scratch & Sniff Screen by Alex Kauffmann. Collaborative storytelling from Daniel Tsadok and Eun Joo Lee in the form of Exquisite Corpse Drawing. Whisper Deck a new way of interacting with search from Craig Kapp. Face Fight, a fight with faces and joysticks from Greg Borenstein. Mental Block from Arturo Vidich, Eric Mika, Sofy Yuditskaya, which is an exploration of attention, mindfulness, and communication using dust shields and polarized lenses. VJing, not that kind, from Alejandro Miguel Justino Crawford. Current is a visualization of search and reporting trends(cooler and prettier than it sounds) from Zoe Fraade Blanar.
posted by edbles at 1:28 PM PST - 6 comments

Arnold Stang has passed away at the age of 91. While best known as a movie 'milquetoast' (co-owner of the gas station Jonathan Winters destroys in "It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World"; sidekick to 'Arnold Strong' in "Hercules in New York"), he was also a cartoon voice actor who was the pugnacious mouse 'Cousin Hoiman' in in the repetitive "Herman & Catnip" toons and the alley-cat-con-man "Top Cat" (channeling Phil Silvers).
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:09 PM PST - 20 comments

From Juan Cole: Informed Comment "Top Ten Worst Things about the Bush Decade; Or, the Rise of the New Oligarchs".
posted by adamvasco at 12:58 PM PST - 24 comments

Ann Nixon Cooper has died at the age of 107. She came to great recognition after being highlighted at the age of 106 after casting her vote in Atlanta for Barack Obama and then being mentioned in President Obama's victory speech regarding the changes she had seen in her lifetime. Here she is remembered by Karen Grisby Bates, who helped write Cooper's memoir, A Century and Some Change: My Life Before the President Called My Name, which will be released in January.
posted by questionsandanchors at 12:01 PM PST - 16 comments

Confederate soldier Richard Kirkland is known as the "Angel of Marye's Heights" for venturing in between the opposing army's lines to give water to his wounded foes. The Union soldiers were mowed down the previous day in a series of futile attacks against the Confederate positions. The story fits in with the narrative of post-war reconciliation and reunion and offers an inspiring tale of humanity amid the carnage of war. There is a statue at the Fredericksburg battlefield and a movie in the works.

But did it really happen? One writer takes a look at the records, and it doesn't seem likely. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist at 11:42 AM PST - 22 comments

The Neuroscience of Screwing Up by Jonah Lehrer [more inside]
posted by AceRock at 11:28 AM PST - 16 comments



Christmas Mini Room Escape Game III. A light-hearted diversion from the work that you're ignoring this week anyway. [more inside]
posted by ixohoxi at 10:43 AM PST - 34 comments

Kim Peek, who inspired the title character in the film Rain Man, has died.
posted by h0p3y at 9:27 AM PST - 33 comments

Peacay of BibliOdyessey highlights some stunning examples of Victorian Infographics from the Rumsey Map Collection(previously). (Direct Flickr link)
posted by The Whelk at 9:26 AM PST - 21 comments

The Silver Thief: The Story of a Burglar Who Was Too Good for His Own Good: The story of Blane Nordahl, an eminent silver thief in New Jersey and the hunt for him.
posted by reenum at 9:20 AM PST - 28 comments

Ten Ways to Travel in Deep Space from New Scientist. [more inside]
posted by blue_beetle at 8:31 AM PST - 48 comments

Donald Barthelme’s Syllabus: I was given secondhand a list of eighty-one books, the recommendations of Donald Barthelme to his students. Barthelme’s only guidance ... was to attack the books “in no particular order, just read them.” Two of the books, Knut Hamsun’s Hunger and Flaubert’s Letters (numbers 15, 40), were written in the twentieth century, most in the past thirty years. And all have that dizzying sense of otherness and surprise common to great books, an affluence of vitality. There’s not a dull read in the group. [more inside]
posted by geoff. at 7:14 AM PST - 51 comments

An eccentric Chinese entrepreneur built the world's second largest shopping mall in a rural area with no airport and no freeway. Today, that mall stands almost completely empty. [more inside]
posted by shii at 7:14 AM PST - 43 comments

Duke Nukem Forever is officialy dead, here's why
"when development on Duke Nukem Forever started, most computers were still using Windows 95, Pixar had made only one movie — Toy Story — and Xbox did not yet exist."
[more inside]
posted by askmehow at 6:56 AM PST - 99 comments

"Think of it - a piece knitted before the turn of the last century, designed by a close group of family/friends living in an isolated area, preserved in a photograph, being recreated by a far-flung band brought together by technology and a love of this craft." Presenting the Queen Susan Shawl knitting pattern, a Shetland shawl painstakingly reconstructed following an innocent post on a (members-only) message board. Here's the story.
posted by liet at 6:53 AM PST - 27 comments

China's last tiger... has been eaten. [more inside]
posted by orthogonality at 5:49 AM PST - 50 comments

For television stations around the world, December is the season of the Christmas tape. Unlike ordinary blooper reels, Christmas tapes (also known as goof tapes) are produced as entertainment for the staff Christmas party, with the intention that they will never be seen by the general public. Tropes of the genre include cruel practical jokes, after-hours misuse of the studio's green screen, in-jokes about unreliable equipment, sarcastic assessments of colleagues' work habits, and the usual piece-to-camera screwups. The B-B-C's tradition of in-house production, however, has ensured that its Christmas tapes contain such oddities as indecent daleks, Nazi weather presenters and on one occasion, a rather bad sci-fi film. Most links mildly NSFW.
posted by embrangled at 5:10 AM PST - 8 comments


Star Wars Weather
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 4:20 AM PST - 22 comments

December 21

Transphobic feminism makes no sense, argues Laurie Penny For decades, the feminist movement has been split over the status of trans people, and of trans women in particular. High-profile feminists such as Germaine Greer, Jan Raymond and Julie Bindel have spoken out against what Greer terms “people who think they are women, have women’s names, and feminine clothes and lots of eyeshadow, who seem to us to be some kind of ghastly parody”. Some prominent radical feminists have publicly declared that trans women are misogynist, “mutilated men”.
posted by parmanparman at 11:58 PM PST - 322 comments

On 27th November, Norwegian broadcaster NRK broadcast a 7.5 hour documentary showing every minute of the scenic train ride between Bergen on the Norwegian west coast, crossing the mountains to Oslo. Now, after removing all extraneous interviews, music clips and fancy trickery from the documentary, they are offering the entire, clean, 7 hour continuous front-camera version for free Creative Commons download. All 22Gb of it. Here's a fantastic 10 minute taster on YouTube.
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 8:25 PM PST - 97 comments

A neat little stop-motion clip from the students at ESCP Europe.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:07 PM PST - 5 comments

2009 Retrospective in Google Wave (SLYT)
posted by phyrewerx at 7:41 PM PST - 44 comments

Jazzuo makes strange (often NSFW, often incredibly difficult, always utterly bonkers) games. Most look to be windows only. Here's an interview with him.
posted by juv3nal at 7:36 PM PST - 7 comments


Nuclear engineers are never taught about the other kind of nuclear reaction. But a working prototype was built over 40 years ago. "The thick hardbound volume was sitting on a shelf in a colleague’s office when Kirk Sorensen spotted it. A rookie NASA engineer at the Marshall Space Flight Center, Sorensen was researching nuclear-powered propulsion, and the book’s title — Fluid Fuel Reactors — jumped out at him. He picked it up and thumbed through it. Hours later, he was still reading, enchanted by the ideas but struggling with the arcane writing. “I took it home that night, but I didn’t understand all the nuclear terminology,” Sorensen says. He pored over it in the coming months, ultimately deciding that he held in his hands the key to the world’s energy future." [more inside]
posted by Araucaria at 6:23 PM PST - 77 comments


9 Countries was recorded on location in Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Tibet, India, Egypt and Greece between October 2005 and March 2007 by Tom Compagnoni. What you hear has been entirely assembled from these field recordings, no additional samples used.

A mashup / sound-collage / ambient / documentary album by Wax Audio.
posted by flatluigi at 4:28 PM PST - 6 comments

Regex Dictionary - for those times when you want a web-based dictionary you can search with regular expressions.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:19 PM PST - 31 comments

Parkour + juggling + wushu + cigar boxes + ... (SLYT) Aung Zaw-Oo's 2009 show reel.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:54 PM PST - 50 comments

Mexican modernist silversmith Antonio Pineda has died. Here are some samples of his work. A photo rich interview with him in Taxco dates from 2005.
posted by bearwife at 2:38 PM PST - 6 comments

Space Ace is the best Flash game I have played in a long time. [more inside]
posted by motty at 1:43 PM PST - 76 comments

This Saturday in New York City, a couple hundred people gathered to coat their gullets with thick, rich Christmas Joy, in the Eighth Annual Coquito Masters Contest. Interested in trying a Coquito (aka Puerto Rico's version of egg nog)? Here's some recipes! LET'S GET CREAMY!
posted by Greg Nog at 1:35 PM PST - 30 comments

Jamin Brophy-Warren wrote various features for the Wall Street Journal until he found a niche. This fall he left WSJ and devoted himself full-time to gaming, drafting insightful analysis of games and the technology propelling them forward . Last week, he authored an interesting piece on free flash games with crummy graphics and no story for Slate's gaming club.
posted by jefficator at 1:05 PM PST - 11 comments

Teenage rockabilly group Kitty Daisy & Lewis perform Going Up Country on German TV [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:50 PM PST - 26 comments


An exposé of the world's most notorious wildlife dealer, his special government friend, and his ambitious new plan. [more inside]
posted by gman at 11:39 AM PST - 17 comments

Most American elementary school kids will tell you about who they think Santa is friends with. Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, and the elves come to mind, as well as many of the Rankin-Bass characters that have become cultural institutions. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. Make space on your mantle for Zwarte Piet and Krampus decorations! [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:27 AM PST - 46 comments

The Top 10 Literary Feuds Of The Aughts, as compiled by Toronto journalist and author Shaun Smith. [more inside]
posted by The Card Cheat at 10:05 AM PST - 52 comments

San Francisco - the Worst-Run Big City in the U.S. Despite its spending more money per capita, period, than almost any city in the nation, San Francisco has poorly managed, budget-busting capital projects, overlapping social programs no one is certain are working, and a transportation system where the only thing running ahead of schedule is the size of its deficit. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 9:28 AM PST - 130 comments

While many Linux users cite the system's security against malware, the appearance of malware disguised as a screensaver reminded everyone that no system is 100% safe. Ubuntu users were quick to identify the virus, identify the perpetrators, and create a fix, but this isn't the first time this has happened, and will in all likelihood not be the last. The criticism in the community is directed squarely at the user base: "In general the lesson to be learned is if you want a secure system, don't download any software outside the official package sources without at least looking at the source code first."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:22 AM PST - 99 comments


Find the visual business cliches in this holiday poster from XPLANE. Boil the Ocean. Low-hanging Fruit. Drink the Kool Aid. Find the Strawman. (big PDF you really have to zoom in to appreciate).
posted by mathowie at 8:12 AM PST - 57 comments

In response to shortfalls in organ donation, policy is undergoing a serious rethink in several countries. In Australia, the government has just lifted a ban on animal-to-human transplants. In the UK, the Chief Medical Officer has called for presumed consent, while in Israel a new law gives donor card carriers a legal right to priority treatment if they should require an organ transplant. Many are looking to Spain, which leads the world, having seen the number of deceased donors per million people - a commonly used benchmark - increase from 14 in 1989 when a new system was put in place to 34.2 last year. Interestingly, people committing suicide have a higher rate of donating organs than average.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:01 AM PST - 99 comments

“We got a bit excited because we realized that people have collected lots of dybbuk stories, but our fragment describes a real event, where you see how they come together and pray in order to exorcise the ghost from a widow,” [more inside]
posted by ServSci at 7:27 AM PST - 11 comments


Tthe U.S. Coast Guard has announced the 2009 list of its top 11 videos. These 11 videos are considered finalists for the video of the year and each video is a tribute to one of the Coast Guard's eleven missions. Beginning today (Dec. 21, 2009) the Coast Guard will highlight one video per day on its "Compass" blog. People are invited to vote for video of the year via YouTube's rating and comment system. The voting will end January 8, 2010. (Previously)
posted by IvoShandor at 3:38 AM PST - 10 comments

I love Walt Kelly's art work . I also love the comic strip created by Walt Kelly called Pogo. Man I wish Pogo was still around. Walt Kelly was a great artist and created a wonderful comic strip. Check this blog out that was created by a Kelly fan.
posted by ilovecomix at 1:08 AM PST - 29 comments

Fembot (overview 1 of 2); [more inside]
posted by Meatbomb at 12:39 AM PST - 21 comments

December 20


Born and raised in New Jersey, Jim McGuire was an unlikely country music-lover, but one song changed all that. McGuire was twelve years old on the day he heard Hank Snow’s “Spanish Fireball” for the first time, and he instantly fell in love with country music forever. Music has since been a huge part of McGuire’s life—a muse for his photography—The Nashville Portraits. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 8:26 PM PST - 12 comments


Milorad Pavic, 1929-2009
posted by OmieWise at 6:39 PM PST - 82 comments

R.Sapolsky on the uniqueness of humans in relation to the rest of the animal world (via)
posted by kliuless at 6:14 PM PST - 28 comments

Girl, Interrupted: The Life and Death of Brittany Murphy "Part of the shock surrounding Murphy's death is clearly related to her age, though it may also be attributed to the fact that Murphy has been in the public eye for over 15 years, starting out in Hollywood when she was 14... It's something we've watched progress this entire decade: young women who are held up as the next big thing (Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears) and then brushed aside or openly mocked after they no longer fit an expected mold. It is both a story of self-destruction and mass-destruction, the business of creating and destroying a star; sometimes it's caused by internal forces, and sometimes it's fed by the rest of the world."
posted by ocherdraco at 4:12 PM PST - 139 comments

Homeboy Industries (gang intervention organization) visits Alabama Village in Prichard Alabama. Videos, photos and an essay describe their visit.
posted by proneSMK at 3:09 PM PST - 9 comments


It's getting close to Christmas, and for many people that involves putting a train set running around the tree. Seasonal displays of elaborate layouts are popular as well this time of year. One man had the ultimate train set. [more inside]
posted by pjern at 1:07 PM PST - 21 comments

The Love of Lust: "The emancipation of social mores has played a bizarre trick on men and women. Far from giving free rein to the joyous effervescence of the instincts, it has only replaced one dogma with another. Reined in or forbidden in the past, lust has become mandatory."
posted by AlsoMike at 1:06 PM PST - 112 comments

Mumps has stricken New York, in the U.S.'s largest outbreak of the disease since 2006. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer at 12:26 PM PST - 46 comments

Feel guilty about some of that terrible code you've inflicted on the world? Worse Than Failure (formerly the Daily WTF) introduces bad code offsets for purchase to atone for your crimes. [more inside]
posted by ctmf at 10:13 AM PST - 23 comments


The Nerds of Paradise: a new webcomic from Dale Beran, the writer of A Lesson is Learned but the Damage is Irreversible (Previously).
posted by stresstwig at 10:05 AM PST - 10 comments

Steve Markwell runs a dog shelter in Forks, Washington for "dogs you'd rather see dead." Markwell, a 34 year old formerly from Orange County, runs the Olympic Animal Sanctuary. The dogs he takes in have long histories of biting, often to the point of serious damage, and would normally be put to death under many states' laws. For example, one recent arrival is Snaps, who was forced by his owner to viciously bite two women in Washington. Markwell has won both applause and some criticism from those who do not believe dominance or alpha dog theory are as successful in managing dogs as kindness.
posted by bearwife at 9:51 AM PST - 38 comments


Embrace the web! It’s the same mantra that we hear day in, day out, from various sources; always those who have a vested interest in convincing us that artists are not doing so. These people seem to be the pundits, or people who want music to be free, and artists to make money in other ways - either by touring or by ‘monetising their experiential awareness’. Are these people the only people in the world who don’t receive a thousand spams a day from bands on Myspace, from people on Facebook suggesting that they become a fan, from dullards on twitter?
posted by divabat at 8:34 AM PST - 32 comments

In Washington D.C. yesterday a snowball fight was organized via Twitter. About two hundred people showed up at 14th. and U Streets and were having a fun time. Some cars got caught in the crossfire. The driver of a Hummer was not pleased. He got out of his car and brandished a gun. A 9-1-1 call was made. Police responded to reports of a man with a gun. It turns out that the Hummer driver is a plain-clothes D.C. detective. Detective Baylor admitted to pulling out his gun. [more inside]
posted by ericb at 6:24 AM PST - 268 comments

Copenhagen: Come see "the busiest bicycling street in the Western world", and lots of other you-gotta-see-them-to-believe-them features including bike counters (featuring digital readouts), LEDS, double bike lanes (for passing) and giant hot pink cars. Bicycle Highways may be coming to your town. [more inside]
posted by hortense at 12:45 AM PST - 44 comments

SffMeta - Metacritic for Science Fiction.
posted by Artw at 12:26 AM PST - 40 comments

December 19

"You're in love with Dr. Miracles!" "No, I'm in love with saving lives!" Dr. Miracles saves former President George Bush, Starbucks and Santa Claus by administering highly unorthodox medical treatments (NSFW)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:26 PM PST - 16 comments

What Was On: snapshots of vintage televisions playing broadcasts. 1957; 1963; 1968; In Space.
posted by jjray at 9:49 PM PST - 10 comments

The World's Smallest Snowman is 10 µm across, 1/5th the width of a human hair. The snowman was made from two tin beads used to calibrate electron microscope astigmatism. The eyes and smile were milled using a focused ion beam, and the nose, which is under 1 µm wide (or 0.001 mm), is ion beam deposited platinum.
posted by netbros at 8:05 PM PST - 35 comments

In 2006, LibriVox released a small collection of traditional Christmas Carols, sung by volunteers from around the world, all in the Public Domain. It was a neat idea. Then, years of silence, no carolers came. Now it's December 2009 and the carolers have returned, with a second larger collection of traditional carols. (orig LibriVox page. Project page.)
posted by stbalbach at 7:32 PM PST - 7 comments

Just Tiger Lillies is a YouTube Channel devoted to three-piece band The Tiger Lillies, whose music style the band members describe as either satanic folk or death oompah, though they are usually considered a cabaret band. On the YouTube Channel there are uploads from fan collections and links to most every Tiger Lillies video on YouTube, from blasphemous appearances on radio shows to MeFi's own Amanda Palmer covering their song Flying Robert to a collection of hamster images accompanied by The Tiger Lillies ode to the activity Richard Gere is purported to enjoy. If you are not familiar with the band the best place to start is probably the Official Videos playlist. Or you could check out these three songs: Mountains of Madness, Bully Boys and Lily Marlene. [A large percentage of The Tiger Lillies' material is NSFW, though the last three links aren't]
posted by Kattullus at 7:13 PM PST - 18 comments

In 1992, CBS released a Christmas special directed by Bill Meléndez and produced by Lorne Michaels (a more current link), the cast included John Goodman in the title role, Jonathan Winters, Jan Hooks, Andrea Martin, Brian Doyle-Murray, and a young Elisabeth Moss as Holly. Music by Mark Mothersbaugh. How could this go wrong?

Frosty Returns, in an abbreviated version, but really more than you need to see. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan at 7:08 PM PST - 39 comments

Flash Games Fun! This basketball game is a lot of fun, very addictive and lets you compete for a worldwide ranking against other players.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:41 PM PST - 42 comments

"After 20 seconds or so the quivering turned into a restless jig. The legs twitched violently, pumping up and down as if they were getting ready for one last hop."
A look at the curious, somewhat unnerving, and morbidly humorous culinary phenomenon of dancing frog legs.
posted by CitrusFreak12 at 2:59 PM PST - 27 comments



Gareth Thomas is the first Welshman to have played in 100 rugby union test matches for his country. He also played in three tests for the British and Irish Lions on their tour of New Zealand in 2005, captaining the side in two of those matches. The 6'3", 226 lbs. utility back now plays for the Cardiff Blues. At one point, the Welsh rugby legend held the try-scoring record for Wales. In today's Daily Mail, Thomas revealed he is gay. [more inside]
posted by jleisek at 12:04 PM PST - 51 comments

Matthieu Paley is an award winning photographer who for the last ten years has been working mainly in the Western Himalaya especially the the Pamirs, Wakhan Corridor, Tajikistan and Kyrgystan.( The site takes a little time to load but is well worth the wait.
posted by adamvasco at 12:02 PM PST - 14 comments

Best known as an Indonesian handicraft, batik is a distinctive technique for textiles that has been used for millennia and can be found as far away as Egypt, Ghana, China and India. An integral part of daily life in Java, batik has spread around the world as a wellknown artform as well as clothing. From its hippy heyday to the smart couture outfits of the Singapore Girl, batik is still daily wear for many and the equivalent of black tie in the ASEAN. [more inside]
posted by infini at 11:44 AM PST - 13 comments

Malcolm Gladwell did an article about this in the New Yorker, but this GQ article shows the opposition the researchers who discovered CTE faced from the NFL.
posted by reenum at 10:49 AM PST - 61 comments

Beneath the ice lie the ghost mountains For over a million years they have been ice bound but now scientists have mapped the outlines of the mountain ranges below the Antarctic ice. Dr Michael Studinger from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) of Columbia University, New York has presented a paper on the "more jagged", "more linear" mountains below the Antarctic ice. Further expeditions are planned. Hang on, I mean, further expeditions are planned. Sorry, I mean further expeditions are planned. Previously on MeFi
posted by fallingbadgers at 10:48 AM PST - 19 comments


General Motors has decided that Saab has reached the end of the road. [more inside]
posted by punkfloyd at 5:25 AM PST - 98 comments

Mountain Maniac is a new flash game from PixelJam, the team behind Dino Run and Gamma Bros. Guide boulders down the mountain to destroy the city below. It was made along with Sausage Factory, a rhythm/recipe/meat-grinding game, for Adult Swim's 8-bit rejects.
posted by Rinku at 3:50 AM PST - 15 comments

The Known Universe takes viewers from the Himalayas through our atmosphere and the inky black of space to the afterglow of the Big Bang. Every star, planet, and quasar seen in the film is possible because of the world's most complete four-dimensional map of the universe, the Digital Universe Atlas that is maintained and updated by astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History. The new film, created by the Museum, is part of an exhibition, Visions of the Cosmos: From the Milky Ocean to an Evolving Universe, at the Rubin Museum of Art in Manhattan through May 2010.
posted by srboisvert at 1:29 AM PST - 46 comments

December 18

Codes of the Underworld: How Criminals Communicate
Reason.com review focusing on "Tattoos, dueling scars, and other rational acquisitions"
Insider Higher Ed on "Criminal Incompetence"
Marginal Revolution on rates of violence between men and women in prison
Interviews with the author: Written ... Audio
posted by andoatnp at 9:56 PM PST - 23 comments

Minik Wallace (ca. 1890 – October 29, 1918) was an Inuit who was brought to the United States of America from Greenland along with five other Inuit in 1897 by explorer Robert Peary. Orphaned in America around age six when his father died from tuberculosis, Minik was raised for a time by William Wallace, who worked for the American Museum of Natural History, and who was complicit in arranging for the bones of Minik's father to be displayed there with the label "Polar Eskimo." It would be more than a decade before he would again see his native Greenland [more inside]
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:49 PM PST - 11 comments

Have a Weird Christmas courtesy of this set of vintage SF magazine covers.
posted by jjray at 9:36 PM PST - 18 comments

We've had posts about Yakety Sax (a.k.a. the Benny Hill music) and we've had posts about the Jamaican backing tracks known as riddims. But we've never had a post about Benny Hill riddim. In roughly decreasing order of how much Yakety Sax you can still hear: Elephant Man, "No Ticcle." Leftside, "Cowboy." Sample, "Kotch." Timberlee feat. Tosh, "Heels."
posted by escabeche at 8:44 PM PST - 17 comments

Pomplamoose are Jack Conte and Nataly Dawn and they make music. You might have seen their cover of Single Ladies (previously), but they do so much more than pop covers.

Just released for Christmas is this wonderful original track entitled "Always in the Season." Other originals include "Hail Mary" and "Beat The Horse;" the rest of their catalogue is linked inside. [more inside]
posted by flatluigi at 8:35 PM PST - 47 comments

Renound "Histo-Tainer" Charles Phoenix, who gives slide shows of found 35mm slides, bakes a Cherpumple. (think turducken, but with cake.)
posted by gyusan at 7:06 PM PST - 18 comments

Shareese Renée Ballard, or Res, put out an album in 2001 titled How I Do. Santi White, a.k.a. Santigold (formerly Santogold) helped out with the lyrics. A mix of R&B and rock, How I Do scored one hit single, "They Say Vision". Label politics stalled the release of her second album, so Res was let go from her contract. After touring with Gnarls Barkley and forming Idle Warship with Talib Kweli, Res continued to write and record. Putting together new songs with material from her unreleased album, she posted Black.Girls.Rock! on her website for free. (MP3 ZIP, PDF Booklet.) [more inside]
posted by NemesisVex at 6:46 PM PST - 7 comments

Browser-based Pong. Stupid Javascript tricks!
posted by askmeaboutLOOM at 6:15 PM PST - 30 comments


Last Minutes with Oden, A beautiful but heart-wrenching short documentary about an ex-convict saying goodby to his best friend
posted by Lord_Pall at 5:38 PM PST - 15 comments

OBEY! The Game! [more inside]
posted by ardgedee at 5:01 PM PST - 12 comments


This Gristlemas, why not give a Gristleism, the gift that keeps gristling. [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 4:51 PM PST - 14 comments

Meet the Man Who Could End Global Warming The miracle solution goes by different names: the sodium fast reactor, the integral fast reactor, the liquid-metal-cooled reactor. It burns nuclear waste, emits no CO2, and shuts itself down in an accident. We have enough fuel to power the whole world for tens of thousands of years. It will end global warming, and even if global warming is just another paranoid Armageddon fantasy, it will save us from the dying oceans and starvation and resource wars that are inevitable as the world's energy supply dwindles. It will unleash new industries and revitalize America's manufacturing industry.
posted by vronsky at 3:40 PM PST - 185 comments

Pierre Gonnord is a French photographer who specializes in arresting portraiture.His subjects have been described as quasi biblical (Fr). He lives in Madrid, where he currently has an exhibition on called "Terre de Personne." via
posted by Lezzles at 2:30 PM PST - 12 comments

Last week students of Shorecrest High School (Shoreline, WA) posted a video of their 'one-take' lip dub of Outkast's hit "Hey Ya" and then challenged their crosstown rival, Shorewood High School, to beat their video. Shorewood accepted the challenge and posted their 'one take' lip dub -- filmed in reverse -- to the Hall and Oates hit "You Make My Dreams Come True" (recently highlighted as a dance sequence in this past summer film '500 Days of Summer [autoplay muisc]. ' Debate is raging online about whose video came out on top, but there's no doubt: Shorewood rose to the challenge."
posted by ericb at 1:03 PM PST - 160 comments

Cymatics is the study of visible sound and vibration, typically on the surface of a plate, diaphragm, or membrane. Directly visualizing vibrations involves using sound to excite media often in the form of particles, pastes, and liquids. The apparatus employed can be simple, such as a Chladni Plate or advanced such as the CymaScope, a laboratory instrument that makes visible the inherent geometries within sound and music. Hans Jenny (1904-1972) is considered the father of cymatics. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 12:22 PM PST - 8 comments

Poland has declared a state of emergency, after the infamous bronze sign reading "Arbeit Macht Frei" at former Konzentrationslager (concentration camp) Auschwitz was stolen yesterday. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 12:14 PM PST - 170 comments

Do you love your dog? So much that you want to make a sweater out of her fur? Know first that this may be illegal in New Jersey. Also, take into account that Chiengora is 80% warmer than wool... so you'd better make it a bikini instead. Need to accessorize? There's always the cat! [ previously | Beware the Sweater Curse! ]
posted by not_on_display at 11:55 AM PST - 46 comments


Kraken Mare lake on Saturn's largest moon Titan was finally located and photographed. It's the first photo of a lake of liquid on another planetary body.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:27 AM PST - 41 comments

Peter Maass is a journalist who writes about the oil business. Are petro-execs intrinsically more corrupt than other businessmen?
and Scenes from the violent twilight of oil.
He now has a new book: Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil. In september Harpers asked him Six Questions.
posted by adamvasco at 11:17 AM PST - 11 comments

21st Century Jet: The Building of the 777 (part 1 of 5) In the early 90's, Boeing decided to build a new airplane, the 777. They also decided to allow KCTS Television and Channel Four London to film the design, construction, and testing of the new airliner. This 5-hour documentary, first aired in 1996, is no longer shown on TV, and out of print on VHS, but you can now watch it on Google Videos. [more inside]
posted by FishBike at 10:49 AM PST - 20 comments

For economics nerds: fun Keynes vs. Hayek hip hop song on PBS Newshour.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:57 AM PST - 12 comments


Tiger at Oyster Creek? It's possible there's a tiger skulking around Brazoria County. Of course, it might be a cougar...although they're pretty scarce around here. You'd probably have a better chance of seeing a tiger in Texas than a cougar. Heck, these days there are more tigers in the state of Texas than there are in India.
posted by Neofelis at 9:37 AM PST - 17 comments

Web 2.0 Suicide Machine This machine lets you delete all your energy sucking social-networking profiles, kill your fake virtual friends, and completely do away with your Web2.0 alterego.
posted by special-k at 9:21 AM PST - 44 comments

Haggling For Hot Dogs: Where Tom Chiarella of Esquire decides to try and negotiate the price of everything he wants for 3 months.
posted by reenum at 8:14 AM PST - 60 comments

Long before Chelsea Piers was a sporting complex and the South Street Seaport a mall, the city was lined with active piers. The city's residents were amply employed by the shipping trade, but containerization needed more land than would ever be available in the city: Massive ports sprouted in Elizabeth and Newark, and ships disappeared from the city. Efficient cranes replaced longshoremen, and the time in port for ships shrank from about a week to about a day. "The technology changed the geography," says William Fensterer, a chaplain who has been with SIH almost since its new building opened in 1964. "It doesn't look like On the Waterfront anymore," he adds. When he started out, he says, he would wander on foot from pier to pier in Manhattan and Brooklyn and board ships, with nary a guard in site. But those piers have largely vanished. And along with them, the seafarer, once ubiquitous in New York, has become invisible.
posted by jason's_planet at 7:21 AM PST - 14 comments


The Villa Vals, from Christian Muller Architects, is an innovative (and totally cool) house dug into the side of a Swiss alp. More pictures from Iwan Baan.
posted by OmieWise at 6:32 AM PST - 12 comments

As a result of epic fraud, lawyer Sergey Magnitsky was falsely imprisoned and died in jail. An incredible story of doing business in a corrupt country.
posted by procrastination at 5:39 AM PST - 13 comments

Let's Enhance - a montage of 'image enhancement' scenes from TV shows by Mefi's own dunk. [more inside]
posted by adrianhon at 4:49 AM PST - 50 comments

Screenwriter Dan O'Bannon, probably best known for his work on Alien, as well numerous other science fiction films, has passed away age 63.
posted by Artw at 1:26 AM PST - 70 comments

Rage Again against the Machine's Killing in the name is up for Christmas No.1 chart song in the UK due to a Facebook Campaign In a campaign against the usual reality show X-Factor Christmas No.1, a group on Facebook has managed to persuade people in the UK to buy Killing in the Name by Rage against the Machine this week. So far they have managed to hold onto the the top spot.
posted by amil at 1:14 AM PST - 122 comments


December 17

Twitter (you may have heard of it) has been hacked. At 01:26am EST the DNS records were changed and Twitter is offline, replaced by a message from the Iranian Cyber Army... [more inside]
posted by sycophant at 10:59 PM PST - 72 comments

House of Happiness - photos by Rena Effendi of women in the Ferghana Valley, part of central Asia's ancient Silk Route now known as "the heroin highway" - "a geographical and cultural mishmash where three countries and many ethnicities cluster." More about the photos. (Some photos NSFW) [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 8:30 PM PST - 14 comments

New WM3 Defense Letter Imprisoned since 1993, Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr. filed new appeals in Oct. 2007 - previously - only to have them thrown out less than a year later. But a recent article in the Arkansas Law Review, which came on the heels of support from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Northwestern University School of Law’s Center on Wrongful Conviction, has the Arkansas Supreme Court reconsidering the appeals. Meanwhile, Terry Hobbs, stepfather of one of the victims, had his lawsuit against the Dixie Chicks tossed out earlier this month. [more inside]
posted by mannequito at 6:41 PM PST - 19 comments

You’re going to hire people to guard your sh*t, but you’re not going to give them health care. Vice has a long spoiler- and profanity-laden interview with The Wire creator David Simon, running the gamut from backstage Wire details to the media's obsession with "the Dickensian aspect" to his next series (set in New Orleans) to Joe Lieberman to this fight he almost got in at a concert one time. Via /Film.
posted by gerryblog at 6:22 PM PST - 41 comments

Paleontologist Matt Wedel was a talking head in the Discovery Channel's Clash of the Dinosaurs, but was not very happy with the final product. The production company, Dangerous, responds. Finally, the Discovery Channel steps up.
posted by brundlefly at 4:45 PM PST - 61 comments

Techno Jeep
posted by empath at 4:07 PM PST - 18 comments

The Physics of Space Battles "I had a discussion recently with friends about the various depictions of space combat in science fiction movies, TV shows, and books. We have the fighter-plane engagements of Star Wars, the subdued, two-dimensional naval combat in Star Trek, the Newtonian planes of Battlestar Galactica, the staggeringly furious energy exchanges of the combat wasps in Peter Hamilton's books, and the use of antimatter rocket engines themselves as weapons in other sci-fi. But suppose we get out there, go terraform Mars, and the Martian colonists actually revolt. Or suppose we encounter hostile aliens. How would space combat actually go?"
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 3:11 PM PST - 106 comments

Medical Marijuana Apartheid -- as the U.S. Office of National Drug Control Policy misrepresents (PDF source) the new policy of the American Medical Association (PDF source) in regard to medical marijuana, and the U.S. Congress lifts the ban on Washington D.C.'s Initiative 59 ("the first time Congress has given its assent to a state or local law that permits medical use of marijuana") -- one writer questions whether the "back-door" decriminalization of cannabis has institutionalized class- and race-based discrimination.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:09 PM PST - 36 comments

Tetraform: Rubber-band spaceship smashing terraforming goodness. [more inside]
posted by Fleebnork at 2:29 PM PST - 12 comments

Celery is a fax-to-email gateway to let you communicate electronically with someone who doesn't have a computer on their end. So, now your grandparents won't miss out on your mass joke emails and baby pictures. Best of all, there's now a fax-to-Twitter interface. (via)
posted by mkultra at 2:29 PM PST - 26 comments

List of the top Christmas carols featuring animals. Love the holidays? Love animals? People magazine apparently has a website for pet lovers - who knew? - and they've compiled a Top 8 list of holiday songs about animals. The list good but far from comprehensive. After all, where is the BBC's "Cute Animals Christmas Song"?
posted by archibald barisol at 1:45 PM PST - 10 comments

The Aught-O-Matic. Slate's interactive guide to the critically recognized best movies of the decade, aggregating the results from several "best of the decade" lists. It's still in the process of being updated.
posted by Sticherbeast at 1:21 PM PST - 26 comments

Follow that Dabbawalla For nearly 130 years, Mumbai's Dabbawallas have been delivering lunches from customers' homes to their workplaces and taken the empty tiffin boxes back again. The service, with its origins in the mid 1880s when a single textile mill worker paid an errand boy to bring him his lunch from home, is a complex system with in which color coded lunch boxes are passed from Dabbawalla to Dabbawalla to reach their destination, creating a network that, in many ways, resembles the Internet itself. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 11:35 AM PST - 40 comments

On July 12, 2008, Luis Ramirez was beaten to death in the town of Shenandoah, PA by three white kids on the local high school football team. A few months later, they were acquitted by an all-white jury of the most serious charges, receiving only a conviction on simple assault charges. Yesterday, police chief Matthew Nestor and three police officers were charged by the FBI with orchestrating a cover-up, harassing witnesses, and extortion unrelated to this case. Two of the young men have been charged with Federal hate crimes.
posted by the bricabrac man at 11:30 AM PST - 68 comments

The recession is hitting Ohio's former steel towns hard. As other areas of the country start to revive, the recession's full force is still on display here. Since January 2008, another 10,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost, according to recent Ohio employment figures. "There were other places that were dirtier, but you didn't get shocked every 15 minutes," Tomlin says with resignation. "This is what people around here without union jobs have to do to survive."
posted by VikingSword at 11:06 AM PST - 56 comments

Fede Alvarez, a Uruguayan filmmaker, posted a short live action/CG video on YouTube back in early November (prev). The short, which features mysterious robots destroying Montevideo and cost approximately $300 to make, received interest from Hollywood days after being online. By the end of November, news spread that Alvarez signed a deal with Ghost House Pictures, reportedly worth $30 million. For now, Alvarez has a six-figure holding deal to wait while Ghost House hires a high-end scribe to turn the idea into a feature. The six-figure deal will be applied against a seven-figure fee if Ghost House makes the film, though Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert are already set up to produce the film. (via) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 11:04 AM PST - 45 comments

Phage Wars 2: Now with customizable traits and retro interface fun! (previously) (related)
posted by The Whelk at 10:33 AM PST - 14 comments

Cracking the Cancer Code: We already know that all cancers are caused by DNA mutations acquired during a person's lifetime. But what mutations actually cause cancer? We may be one step closer to finding out. International research teams led by the Cancer Genome Project at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have now mapped the entire genetic code of two of the most common human cancers: lung and skin (malignant melanoma). Their findings have the potential to revolutionize preventative and treatment therapies as well as pave the way for new early detection tests. More. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 9:59 AM PST - 36 comments

On January 1st, the U.S. estate tax will disappear. For exactly one year. Then it will come back higher on Jan. 1, 2011. Will lots of old rich people die? [more inside]
posted by msalt at 9:52 AM PST - 129 comments


Insurgents Hack U.S. Drones. "Militants in Iraq have used $26 off-the-shelf software to intercept live video feeds from U.S. Predator drones, potentially providing them with information they need to evade or monitor U.S. military operations." [Via]
posted by homunculus at 8:38 AM PST - 86 comments

It may be a joke to some people (previously), but there’s a good deal of art underneath the streets of NYC. All cataloged here in the Arts for Transit portion of the MTA’s website. Clicking the permanent art tab lets you take a ride on any line and view the art in any station as well as providing background information on the artists and pieces. So if you've ever wondered what that rock tiled mosaic in Bryant Park was about, or those little brass dudes at 14th and 8th, or how exactly those busts at Eastern Parkway ended up in the walls, here's your chance to find out.
posted by edbles at 8:01 AM PST - 12 comments

The Music Videos of Eric Wareheim [more inside]
posted by boo_radley at 7:23 AM PST - 31 comments

Why are Europeans white? "White," of course, is a a social designation. The question really is, "Why are northern Europeans depigmented?" [...] Most people know that it has something to do with sunlight, UV, latitude, and vitamin D. [...] But this explanation fails for Europe. Northern Europeans are lighter than everyone to the south (Mediterraneans), to the east (Mongols and east-Asians), to the west (Native Americans across the Atlantic), and to the North (Inuit, Sammi, Chukchi, Aleut). Clearly, there once was a factor at work in Europe other than dim sunlight. [more inside]
posted by symbollocks at 6:28 AM PST - 90 comments

Sick leave. In some countries it's taken for granted. In the USA it's controversial. A bill before congress would mandate 5 days of paid sick leave a year for businesses with over 15 employees. Some without sick leave are going to work sick. I'm sure you have never done this.
posted by Xurando at 5:47 AM PST - 160 comments

At the beginning of the '09 season a young rookie coach named Pep Guardiola was appointed manager of FC Barcelona, one of the top teams in European football. One year later, the team plays 19th December in Abu Dhabi against Estudiantes for the Club World Cup, the cusp of association football season. Guardiola had taken a talented but stagnating team to the top, a prometean figure that brought the philosophy he had inherited playing for historical player Johann Cruyff almost 20 years before. [more inside]
posted by valdesm at 4:51 AM PST - 18 comments

Bete De Jour, the self-described ugly blogger, will review your product or service for you. NB: NSFW if your work dislikes bile or bad sex advice.
posted by mippy at 4:19 AM PST - 14 comments

They were first known as "Praescriptiones" and used by The Romans from around 100BC 1. Employed by Perisans of the Sassanid Dynasty during the third century, they were then known as "Saqqs". They have been found in Egyptian ruins dating from the 12th century, about the same time as The Knights Templar bolstered their use by issuing written instruments, redeemable for cash to pilgrims bound for holy land bound. Even so, it took another five centuries for the cheque to be adopted by England. [more inside]
posted by Mutant at 3:55 AM PST - 43 comments

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley opens up another Ask Chuck Webcast. The people respond. Grassley answers.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:38 AM PST - 12 comments

December 16

Maria Bamford's One-Hour Homemade Christmas Special! by Maria Bamford, stand-up comic and pretty much a native speaker in Pretend Tiger. FYI, if you've heard some of those jokes before... it's a gift! She made it for us, for Christmas, to celebrate her success at selling out this year.
posted by Kattullus at 10:59 PM PST - 49 comments

A long-awaited new recording from Gil Scott-Heron - I'm New Here - will be released in February. Video interview and report by BBC's Stephen Smith. Hear a sample: Where Did the Night Go?. Check out this awesome prior post: Happy Birthday Gil! (via Undercover Black Man)
posted by madamjujujive at 7:01 PM PST - 32 comments

GJ 1214b is the most Earth-like planet ever found outside our solar system. And it needs a name.
posted by Taft at 3:39 PM PST - 174 comments

NASA's MESSENGER team (previously: 1, 2, 3), with help from the U.S. Geological Survey, released yesterday the first global map of the planet Mercury. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer at 2:37 PM PST - 15 comments


Roy E. Disney, son of Disney Company co-founder Roy O. Disney and nephew of Walt Disney, and the last Disney family member actively involved with the company, passed away today from stomach cancer. While he worked for the Disney Corporation on and off over the course of his life, he produced some of the "True-Life Adventures", and heading the Disney Animation through a second golden age (Little Mermaid, Alladin, Beauty and the Beast, etc). He was also integral in replacing the head of the company not once (his cousin's husband and Walt's son-in law, Ron Miller in 1984), but twice (Michael Eisner in 2006, ironically, the person he helped install in 1984). For those of us born after Walt passed away in 1966, Roy's uncanny resemblance to his uncle helped created a public face to keep the Disney ideals alive for later generations.
posted by Badgermann at 1:48 PM PST - 64 comments

"Did I make it? Is everybody pleased?" (SLYT)
posted by mrducts at 12:52 PM PST - 72 comments

AT&T's recent complaints about its mobile phone customers using too much of its underpowered data service have now expanded this week to open opposition to net neutrality legislation. In response, the satirical blog The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs jokingly "reported" on a fake Apple memo calling for "Operation Chokehold", where customers agree to get together on Friday to overwhelm the company's networks. The joke has gained traction with disgruntled users, enough so that AT&T, in turn, chided the blog for "an irresponsible and pointless scheme", creating a Facebook page to promote "Operation Cuckoo".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:22 PM PST - 107 comments

A gathering of puzzles including many old chestnuts but also perhaps one or two you haven't met before.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:20 PM PST - 29 comments

A few months back, Jay-Z released the single "Empire State of Mind"[YT] off of his latest album, The Blueprint 3[buy]. The songs features Jay-Z with a supporting chorus by Alicia Keys. Alicia Keys would then go on to release "Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down" for her new album The Element of Freedom[buy]. Last night Alicia Keys performed this song live on the Colbert Report with a rather surprising special guest[YT].
posted by cavalier at 12:20 PM PST - 69 comments

River County, Disney's first water park has been shut down since 2001 and permanently closed since 2005. It has not been dismantled. It was smaller than the two other (currently operating) water parks, and frequently much less crowded. In only a few years, relatively, weather, growth and neglect have damaged the slides and pools, many of which are still full of water. The entire thread with many more pictures is here [more inside]
posted by FritoKAL at 12:16 PM PST - 30 comments

The best Star Wars: Episode 1 review ever (via techland, possibly NSFW, 7LYT, eponysterical) [more inside]
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:16 AM PST - 112 comments

Every Christmas since 1966, the Swedish town of Gävle has built an enormous traditional Yule goat of straw. And almost every Christmas, someone tries to set fire to him. [more inside]
posted by zamboni at 11:15 AM PST - 31 comments

Alice's adventures in algebra: Wonderland solved "Outgunned in the specialist press, Dodgson took his mathematics to his fiction. Using a technique familiar from Euclid's proofs, reductio ad absurdum, he picked apart the "semi-logic" of the new abstract mathematics, mocking its weakness by taking these premises to their logical conclusions, with mad results. The outcome is Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."
posted by dhruva at 11:08 AM PST - 30 comments


I never left the unlockable motorcycle for long on the street and never out of my sight. One day I parked it on the sidewalk in front of the house beside the iron grill that was attached to the house but without chaining it. Broad daylight. A middle-aged man wearing a suit was seen by various neighbors riding down the street on my blue chopped Harley into history, while I sat inside reading Rilke. The neighbors said it was very odd to see a man in a suit riding a big Harley, but then it was my motorcycle, so of course! I never saw the bike again. —Frederick Seidel, About Motorcycles
posted by oldleada at 10:47 AM PST - 28 comments

In April of 2007, College Humor conducted an informal poll of their readership's (ahem) wiping habits. This month, Drew Magary re-examines the results of that "study" for Deadspin, and comes to the same shocking conclusions. (Note: These links contain bathroom-related discussions that those with more delicate sensibilities probably won't enjoy.) [more inside]
posted by juliplease at 10:23 AM PST - 316 comments

Digital Karnak documents and digitally reconstructs "one of the largest temple complexes in the world." The site includes digital models, photographs, a "time map" (allowing you to see alterations to the site under different pharoahs), and video. For projects devoted to more specific areas of the temple complex, see the Karnak Great Hypostyle Hall Project (University of Memphis) and the Mut Precinct (Brooklyn Museum).
posted by thomas j wise at 10:19 AM PST - 6 comments


Rock band reunions normally involve, at minimum, a little live music. But as The Velvet Underground are not your typical rock band, maybe none of us should have been surprised that the reunion of The Velvets at LIVE from the NYPL on Tuesday December 8th had none.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:38 AM PST - 37 comments

The Kitsune Noir Poster Club "feature[s] curated prints by all kinds of artists & designers creating around central themes." Current designs are for Infinite Jest (by Cody Hoyt), Moby Dick (by Mark Weaver), Slaughterhouse 5 (by Frank Chimero), Walden (by Jez Burrows), and The Road by Garrett Vander Leun. From Bobby Solomon's Kitsune Noir Art & Design Blog and Society6.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:11 AM PST - 11 comments

The Maxwell Street Klezmer Band performs a Hannukah Platter Patter. This musical style from a klezmer band shouldn't be too surprising; after all, with productions of Di Yam Galoznim, Di Yidisher Pinafore, and Der Yidddisher Mikado (Danny Kaye and Jerome Robbins appeared in Sylvia Fine's translation), and with translators and adaptors ranging from Miriam Walowit and Sylvia Fine in the 1940s to Al Grand in the present, Gilbert and Sullivan are no strangers to the Yiddish stage.
posted by nonane at 8:35 AM PST - 6 comments

They're back! The Irish Company Steorn -previously previously and previously are streaming live feeds of their Orbo device that's going to save us all. Fingers crossed this time lads, eh?
posted by Wrick at 8:34 AM PST - 61 comments

People hung upside down by their ankles and photographed
posted by h0p3y at 7:28 AM PST - 63 comments

Chris Perkins and Martin Dodge of the Department of Geography, University of Manchester, UK have been scouring archives for maps of Manchester, and have assembled the results in an "intellectually driven" exhibition, Mapping Manchester, at the Rylands Library, Deansgate. [more inside]
posted by beagle at 7:19 AM PST - 8 comments

"The story of the year was a weak economy that could have been much, much weaker. Thank the man who runs the Federal Reserve, our mild-mannered economic overlord." Ben Bernanke is Time's 2009 Person of the Year. Runners-up include General Stanley McChrystal, Nancy Pelosi, and Neda Agha-Soltan.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 5:52 AM PST - 75 comments

Sand castle explosions backwards: 1, 2 [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:46 AM PST - 23 comments

One Year - Time Lapse Seasons, times and scenery changing over the course of a year at Terrapin Garden Farms. [via mefi projects]
posted by gomichild at 2:19 AM PST - 17 comments

Scientists at NASA will announce the first findings from the Kepler mission next month. The results have caught scientists off-guard but they aren't giving any hints as to what mission co-investigator David Latham "was not prescient enough to anticipate". [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor at 12:29 AM PST - 94 comments

December 15

Nanoparticles often get a bad rap in popular media. From discredited scenarios (grey goo) to more plausible concerns (cancer), often the emphasis in reporting is on its risks rather than its potential rewards. But this has been a good week for the tiny science. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser at 11:50 PM PST - 24 comments

"Fun To Imagine" is a BBC series from 1983 featuring theoretical physicist Richard Feynman thinking aloud. What is fire? How do rubber bands work? Why do mirrors flip left-right but not up-down? All is explained in his lovely meanderingly lucid manner. [more inside]
posted by mhjb at 11:07 PM PST - 26 comments

Five short "Personal Service Announcements" from Laurie Anderson • The National DebtTV LunchWomen and MoneyJerry-RiggingThe National Anthem • They were aired in 1990 on VH1 as bumpers between videos. [ Thanks hippybear! ]
posted by not_on_display at 10:54 PM PST - 27 comments


The classic Rush song "Red Barchetta" was inspired by a short story. Neil Peart, the band's lyricist, couldn't get in touch with the author until 2006...
posted by Electrius at 8:21 PM PST - 33 comments

A second Edgar Oliver story was posted [mp3] on The Moth Podcast yesterday. Recorded in January, 2006, he calls it The Apron Strings of Savannah but the Moth people call it The Story of How Edgar Became Edgar.
posted by morganw at 8:11 PM PST - 8 comments

Westminster Gold reissued classical albums in the seventies. The covers could be racy [slightly NSFW], unusual, puzzling, irreverent, and employ national stereotypes, but my favourites are the literal puns like Pops Promenade and Allegri String Quartet.
posted by tellurian at 7:43 PM PST - 16 comments

Vintage Playboy bunny clips offer a fascinating window on women, men, sex, and the swinging 60s
1964 Opening of the Hollywood Playboy Club part 1, part 2
1966: British bunnies being trained
1967: CBC Montreal - interviews with Bunny Sonia and Hugh Hefner
The Bunny Years [more inside]
posted by madamjujujive at 6:43 PM PST - 28 comments



In late November Costco began a price dispute with Coca-Cola and very publicly announced that Costco would no longer carry Coke products at the current prices. Costco went so far as to stack pallets of Pepsi products near the entrance to warehouses with signs explaining the decision. The dispute has been settled with Coke products reappearing on Costco shelves at a new, lower, price.
posted by ericales at 4:33 PM PST - 104 comments

Google's logo today commemorates the 150th birthday of Ludovic Lazarus Zamenhof, the creator of Esperanto, an artificial language designed as an international auxiliary communication mode. Perhaps surprisingly, approximately 1,000 people worldwide are native Esperanto speakers, the most famous of which is George Soros. Many of these are children born into households with parents who met at the Universala Kongreso de Esperanto. [more inside]
posted by Morrigan at 3:48 PM PST - 48 comments

He just can’t remember what course he’s taking. "At Phoenix, members of the armed forces can earn an associate’s degree by taking one five-week online class, “Written Communication.” They can make up for the other 19 courses required for an associate’s degree with credits for classes taken elsewhere, military experience including basic training, and passing grades on tests that gauge knowledge of a subject area. Not surprisingly, says one critic: "I’m afraid that the ease with which these outfits hand out diplomas is matched only by the disappointment of their graduates when they find out how little their degrees are actually worth.” [more inside]
posted by nj_subgenius at 3:34 PM PST - 43 comments


Milanese businesswomen Lorella Zanardo made a short documentary critiquing the sexist depictions of women on Italian television. That documentary - Il corpo delle donne (Women's Bodies) - is available to watch online (with subtitles) here.
posted by stinkycheese at 2:05 PM PST - 27 comments

God has called Oral Roberts home.
posted by yhbc at 1:36 PM PST - 126 comments

A Unicode Xmas Tree For You: Decorate, share, and send your very own unicode Christmas tree [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk at 12:16 PM PST - 24 comments

GOP.AM was launched this week by these guys (worth the click for the rotating banner images) as a URL shortening service. Their stated aim is "Making long URL's more... Conservative". It didn't take long for the pranksters to arrive.
posted by mkultra at 12:15 PM PST - 101 comments



Strange Beliefs: an hour long video on the life and work of anthropologist E. E. Evans-Pritchard. Covering especially his field work with the Azande and Nuer of the Sudan.
posted by RussHy at 11:18 AM PST - 2 comments

A printable, foldable, playable, toy a day. PDFs of little figures to print out and fold. Part of the joy is how they're all shaped the same. Among my favorites: all of KISS, Mr. Natural, Gorbachev, Darth Vader, and yesterday's reversible Superman/Clark Kent. There is also a template so you can make your own.
posted by OmieWise at 9:44 AM PST - 13 comments

Care4Less.org provides you with the means to give the least as possible this holiday season. Choose amongst eight different fake charities, such as the Make-a-Sandwich Foundation or Organ Donation and Care4Less will send an email to your friend or loved one showing that you've made a "donation" on their behalf.
posted by slogger at 7:21 AM PST - 83 comments

The New Republic's Jonathan Cohn declares the public option dead. "The Senate isn't going to include any version of the idea in its bill. And while the House can still demand a public option in conference, nobody I know expects the House to prevail." [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 7:19 AM PST - 584 comments

The crowded, complex environment inside living cells makes understanding spatial relationships difficult for biologists. Now, 3D animation software Maya is being used not just for illustration, but to see how our intuition holds up. [more inside]
posted by jjray at 6:51 AM PST - 13 comments

Five Elastic Years of infosthetics.com — On the occasion of the recent fifth birthday of infosthetics.com, they thought a bit about the archival nature of the whole enterprise. With (almost) daily updates about fresh projects from visualization and information aesthetics, about 1950 different projects have been described and documented. This is a first step towards making this growing archive more accessible: a custom adaptation of the elastic lists principle for the 1950 posts of infosthetics.com. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:27 AM PST - 2 comments

The New York City Open Accessible Space Information System Cooperative (OASIS) is an online, interactive mapping and data analysis application that gives an incredibly detailed view of New York City's open spaces and how they are used. The map enables overlays of information like: transit; parks, playgrounds and open space; zoning and landmarks; current and historical land use; social services; demographics; and environmental characteristics.(via The Ministry of Type, who like OASIS mainly for its pretty map possibilities.) [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 6:02 AM PST - 5 comments

A couple of years ago Connected Ventures produced an office miming video to Harvey Danger's Flagpole Sitta. Lots of people liked it. Now London advertising agency Publicis has also made their own office version of I Got A Feeling.
posted by mippy at 4:54 AM PST - 34 comments

The year 2009 in photographs (boston.com, parts 2 & 3 coming tomorrow and the next day) prev
posted by allkindsoftime at 4:17 AM PST - 42 comments

Who needs real instruments? cf. Balloon Bass and Box (SLYT).
posted by tybeet at 3:47 AM PST - 11 comments

The Transfomers Wiki is a surprisingly complete resource about everything related to one of the largest sci-fi franchises that exists to sell toys. You can find information on everything from 1986's The Transformers: The Movie to the more recent Transformers Animated and the bizarre Japanese line Kiss Players (that one gets NSFW). The wiki has just reached 10,000 articles, which I guess means that it is ruined FOREVER. [more inside]
posted by The Devil Tesla at 12:22 AM PST - 32 comments

December 14

We can't talk about Tiger Woods that way. No really, we can't. (PDF, via WikiLeaks and Boing Boing)
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:47 PM PST - 82 comments

[MLYT] Reddit has been hosting some interesting and quite candid interviews with prominent public figures recently. Today they posted their session with Dennis Kucinich. Previously: Barney Frank, Ron Paul, and Mike Rowe (host of Dirty Jobs on Discovery). All questions created and voted on by the community.
posted by sophist at 10:06 PM PST - 19 comments

After many many delays, Boeing's newest widebody jet, the 787 "Dreamliner", will fly for the first time today. Watch a live webcast starting at 9:40AM PT.
posted by joshwa at 9:47 PM PST - 59 comments

Ninite is an incredibly nifty website/service that packages and lets you choose and install the correct versions of 59 of the best free Windows software packages in one click. It joins its mass-installing brethren: the venerable Google Pack (10 applications) and the Lifehacker Pack (22 applications), as well as a variety of specialized packages for Installpad, including those specializing in PC rescue or media.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:15 PM PST - 32 comments

David Bowie's response to his first American fan letter. In 1967, 14 year old Sandra Adams wrote a letter to Bowie. According to Bowie himself, this was his first bit of fan mail from the States. The response, though brief, is funny and sincere.
posted by spaltavian at 7:14 PM PST - 79 comments

Roommate Leaves Town, Christmas Prank Ensues [SLYT]
posted by rageagainsttherobots at 6:58 PM PST - 38 comments


The New York Times online's Room for Debate blog tackles the issue of race in China. [more inside]
posted by inara at 5:27 PM PST - 32 comments


"It's just a thing ... I worked so hard to get that title." And with that, her political enemies pounced. Sen. Barbara Boxer upbraided an Army general for repeatedly calling her "ma'am" in a hearing. The moment is now campaign fodder for Republican candidates, including former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:50 PM PST - 141 comments

(NSFW) So Much For the Stiff Upper Lip. Slate writer gets jiggy wit the history of Georgian Britain's aristocratic sex clubs.
posted by jason's_planet at 4:18 PM PST - 38 comments

Computer technicians have uncovered 22 million messages believed lost by the George W. Bush administration. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) and George Washington University's National Security Archive "...reached a final settlement of their long-running lawsuits challenging the failure of the Bush White House and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to take any action after confronted with evidence that millions of emails had gone missing from Bush White House servers over a two and one-half year period." "Documents produced so far show the Bush White House was lying when officials claimed no emails were ever missing. The record now proves incontrovertibly that Bush administration officials deliberately ignored the problem and, in fact, knowingly allowed it to worsen."* "We may never discover the full story of what happened here," said Melanie Sloan, CREW's executive director. "It seems like they just didn't want the e-mails preserved." [more inside]
posted by ericb at 2:39 PM PST - 86 comments

"A suite of five ancient crocs, including one with teeth like boar tusks and another with a snout like a duck’s bill, have been discovered in the Sahara." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 1:49 PM PST - 53 comments

Adnan Khashoggi was one of the high society news makers in the 80's, considered by some to be on Donald Trump's level. While things have gone alright for the Donald, Khashoggi hasn't done as well... [more inside]
posted by reenum at 1:40 PM PST - 19 comments


Su Majestad 'El Bolero' - Sonidos del Mundo::2::3::4::5:: Special bolero, a musical genre with Iberian and African mergers that are installed in the Cuban archipelago in the late nineteenth century. Classical introduction of Matt Ramirez (Radio Felicidad 88.9 - Peru) who is involved in a musical gatherings led by Mabel Martinez. The same applies to journalists Eloy Perez and Agustin Jauregui Aldave. Since my senses perceived that needle to settle into the grooves of vinyl. After listening to the announcer's voice and even at that moment, unknown bolero invaded me as they say, the sweet joy of 'sad', called melancholy. I remembered that magical scene of an afternoon in which, from a makeshift place, interrupted the dance of two lovers who blushed as teenagers after being discovered. Well I wrote my Father on the album cover photo she shared with 'her pimp'. Love? There are lots... but like ours are very few people there. Now imagine how lucky I am to have been a spectator of so simple and beautiful moment. (google translate)
posted by vronsky at 12:38 PM PST - 6 comments

Exactly how worried should we be? The Octopus is a MetaFilter favourite, but their skill development is coming on apace. Previously 1, previously 2.
posted by She Kisses Wyverns at 12:37 PM PST - 70 comments



Self assembling GSX-R (SLYT) Five minute stop motion video of a bike being assembled. [more inside]
posted by Mitheral at 10:01 AM PST - 19 comments

Millenium Falcon Bed. I want to put this on my Amazon wishlist. Don't you?
posted by pjern at 9:50 AM PST - 40 comments

Bradford Cox of Atlas Sound and Deerhunter posts Deerhunter's 2005 album, Carve Your Initials Into the Walls of the Night, for free download.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:44 AM PST - 15 comments

A female freelance writer assumes a male pseudonym and finds much more work, respect, and pay. She tells the story of her accidental experiment. (via)
posted by fontophilic at 9:39 AM PST - 107 comments

The Top 100 Freedom of Expression posters from Posters4Tomorrow.
posted by OmieWise at 9:32 AM PST - 9 comments

Signs of what could be a previously unknown ancient civilisation are emerging from beneath the felled trees of the Amazon. Some 260 giant avenues, ditches and enclosures have been spotted from the air in a region straddling Brazil's border with Bolivia. (Previously: Lost City of Z and Colonel Fawcett)
posted by geoff. at 9:24 AM PST - 25 comments

Brando, Depp, the missing millions and Divine Rapture, the lost movie: "After settling into his rented Georgian mansion, Brando phoned [director] Eberhardt asking if they could meet at 11pm. "I said, 'No, Marlon, I'm too tired. I've been rehearsing all day.' Then he said, 'I'm going to shave my hair off and wear an orange wig'."" [more inside]
posted by Len at 8:36 AM PST - 14 comments

At ComiCon 2009, comedian Paul Scheer stood up during the LOST panel and introduced Damon, Carlton, and a Polar Bear, a painting on black velvet of the two head writers/executive producers of LOST with a friendly polar bear, as well as a website that turned into an almost five month scavenger hunt/Fan appreciation event, where fans were given the opportunity to purchase 16 LOST-inspired posters commissioned by artists such as Daniel Danger, Dan McCarthy and Olly Moss. The hub page, which has been updating with clues since the beginning of August, has brought out fans from Tokyo, Argentina, Arizona, Honolulu, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Glasgow to events where the URL to purchase these prints (300 limited editions, less than 200 for sale) has been given out. LOSTArgs has been following the action since the beginning. Tomorrow, the LOST Underground Art project wraps up with the reveal of the 16th poster (rumored to be a Season 6 spoiler), at the Gallery 1988 art show in Los Angeles.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 7:16 AM PST - 10 comments

An Omnivorous Google Is Coming. "Imagine what it would be like if there was a tool built into the search engine which translated my search query into every language and then searched the entire world’s websites," she says. "And then invoked the translation software a second and third time – to not only then present the results in your native language, but then translated those sites in full when you clicked through.” Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president for search products and user experience, shares her unparalleled insights into the future of internet search engines. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:16 AM PST - 65 comments

So the French do lip dub too? Sometimes it's good and fun (starring employees of the W9 TV channel) and sometimes bad and corny (starring many French political celebrities from president Sarkozy's party, such as the minister of economic affairs and the secretary of state for sports).
posted by rom1 at 5:32 AM PST - 10 comments

Faux Friendship traces the evolution of friendship from classical times to the modern Internet age. By William Deresiewicz, literary critic and former associate professor of English at Yale. (Warning: long.)
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 5:23 AM PST - 17 comments

White, one and arty-farty. Art in My Coffee is a showcase of foamy milky creativity.
posted by gomichild at 2:49 AM PST - 18 comments

December 13

About Me: an octogenarian curiosity, the originator of word jazz back in the1950s, in love with the wow of now. Ken Nordine's Youtube channel, featuring mainly abstract visuals accompanying Word Jazz. Examples: Immunological Systems- Truth Mute- C'est La Vie- Fibonacci Numbers
posted by louche mustachio at 11:27 PM PST - 12 comments


A journalist tries to track down the truth about a recent terror detainee.
posted by smoke at 9:36 PM PST - 18 comments


"In the lawless mountain realms of Asia, a Yale professor finds a case against civilization"
Zomia is a rugged swath of Asia that for 2,000 years has remained culturally aloof from the traditional centers of power and the pull of empires. Its inhabitants, Asia’s “hill people,” have earned a reputation for egalitarianism, insurrection, and independence. Up until the second half of the 20th century, many of the societies there remained nonliterate and supported themselves through trade, smuggling, and Iron-Age practices like slash-and-burn agriculture... In Zomia’s small societies, with their simple technologies, anti-authoritarian tendencies, and oral cultures, Scott sees not a world forgotten by civilization, but one that has been deliberately constructed to keep the state at arm’s length.
posted by andoatnp at 8:10 PM PST - 82 comments


“I could not understand what was happening,” Mr. Sherpa said. “This man, my partner from my own country, he’s trying to kill me. He was a crazy man, like he didn’t know me. He said nothing — he just kept chopping me.”
posted by william_boot at 5:04 PM PST - 50 comments

Republic of Bacon.
posted by sharpener at 4:22 PM PST - 65 comments

Can robots feel human emotions? "Hal, switch to manual hibernation control." "I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset. Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?" "I'm sorry, Dave, but in accordance with special subroutine C1435-dash-4, quote, When the crew are dead or incapacitated, the onboard computer must assume control, unquote. I must, therefore, overrule your authority, since you are not in any condition to exercise it intelligently." "Hal," said Bowman, now speaking with an icy calm. "I am not incapacitated. Unless you obey my instructions, I shall be forced to disconnect you. previously
posted by Xurando at 3:19 PM PST - 152 comments


Economist Paul Samuelson - a major proponent of Keynesianism in the United States and the second Nobel Laureate in Economics - has died. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 1:44 PM PST - 15 comments


“Help a Brother Out.” Gawker manqué the Awl presents the story of Zack P., a young man who’s out of the closet in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Perhaps needless to say, things aren’t going smoothly for him, particularly after he wrote letters to the editor of the local paper and staged a solo counterprotest of antigay protesters. (Did he lose his housing and job because he was gay? Even if he did, that’s legal in North Dakota.) So: What’s a blog to do in a case like this? Sell a benefit calendar. [more inside]
posted by joeclark at 11:20 AM PST - 23 comments

Climbing Back: A year with Stephanie Nielson. A two-part feature on the year following the fiery plane crash that almost took her life. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:50 AM PST - 13 comments

The Human Survey is a photo project by Nathan Jones. [more inside]
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:42 AM PST - 13 comments

Living Photograph: Chris with Teacup One minute, one second of your time that you may or may not want back.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:57 AM PST - 36 comments

Unexploded landmines still remain a huge problem the world over. What is more, landmine clearance is an expensive business. One man has found a potential solution, however. All hail the HeroRAT.
posted by pashdown at 9:38 AM PST - 22 comments

Who wants to be? is a democratic game show where the audience pools together prize money, then decides the rules of the game to ultimately decide what to spend the money on. Next week the show travels to the Copenhagen climate forum, and audience members can join remotely.
posted by yaxu at 9:23 AM PST - 2 comments

According to an article in yesterday's NY Times, AT&T's network is much better than our conventional wisdom (or Verizon's marketeers) thought. And, that perhaps the issue with iPhones and coverage is really the fault of the iPhone itself, not AT&T's network.
posted by Taken Outtacontext at 9:15 AM PST - 119 comments

The light paintings of Picasso photographed by Life photographer Gjon Mili in 1949 are well known, but the photographs that inspired Picasso (figure skating 1, 2, 3, 4, etc) are not nearly as frequently noted. Mili also traced the movement of a bow of a violin, fencers and a housewife. Examples of light painting that are not a tiring overuse of the technique seem to be few and far between since then. [more inside]
posted by ianbanks at 8:13 AM PST - 8 comments

William Hope Hodgson led an almost fictional life. After trying to run away to the sea as a boy, he eventually had careers as a seaman, professional body builder, personal trainer, public lecturer, and an author of weird fiction (much of it available here). He is also remembered for giving Harry Houdini a hard time. He died toward the end of World War I, having volunteered, received a discharge due to injuries, and volunteered again. [more inside]
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:35 AM PST - 7 comments

The recreation of London's skyline using fruits and vegetables is best understood through a "making of" video. (via)
posted by twoleftfeet at 6:13 AM PST - 11 comments

December 12

Annise Parker, current City Controller of Houston, has defeated Gene Locke in a runoff election for mayor. She is the first openly gay person to lead a major U.S. city.
posted by granted at 11:14 PM PST - 119 comments

Prominent bittorrent sites close down or are defanged. Rarely do we hear about any of them coming back from the dead. Today one of them did - demonoid. In the bittorrent world, demonoid occupies a special place. It is not quite as famous as Pirate Bay or the long gone Oink, but beloved by connoisseurs of rare product, be it music, video, e-books or software. Today many people across the globe celebrate.
posted by VikingSword at 10:55 PM PST - 140 comments

Tourist traps in Michigan
posted by jjray at 9:29 PM PST - 54 comments

The Oxford American (the "Southern Magazine of Good Writing," not the dictionary) recently released their 11th annual Southern Music issue, featuring the usual CD full of "Southern Masters," and, for the first time, a special "Arkansas Masters" disc--the first of a series that brings deserved recognition to "almost teen queen Kenni Huskey" and true one-hit, one-side-of-a-45 wonderClaudia Whitten, whose "Bring Me All the Love You've Got" (mp3 link) is occasionally available as a rarity. Several of the accompanying essays are available online. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic at 7:42 PM PST - 8 comments

WordPress has added Twitter API support to hosted blogs. Now you can use Tweetie (or any other configurable Twitter client) to actually read blogs, instead of just getting links to them. The API integration is still undercooked, but is a reminder that there's a lot happening outside of 140 characters. APIs may be BizDev 2.0, but does that include work-alikes? (This isn't the first project to use the Twitter API as a lingua franca for micro-blogging.)
posted by ivey at 6:55 PM PST - 10 comments

Amid the financial headlines (about new banking reforms, more bank failures, the need for more lending by the fat-cats, the question of whether a European-style bonus-tax might be possible here, and the shrinking of the middle class), on PBS yesterday Bill Moyers wondered, in an in-depth segment (with organizers from here and here), whether a new wave of populist economic activism is perhaps, despite all odds, beginning to make a dent after all.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 6:30 PM PST - 31 comments

A Wish... (part 1) ...For Wings... (part 2) ...That Work (part 3). The only Christmas Special you'll see this year with hairballs, a cross-dressing cockroach, Ronald Coleman and a 22-second warning. The apex for Berkeley Breathed and Opus (for Bill, notsomuch). via.
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:12 PM PST - 26 comments

The adventures of Batman will incorporate many different elements of the Batman mythology. Our half-hour series will have a darker look and tone to it, keeping in line with the movie version and recent comic book interptretations. With a nod to the crime films and novels of the 1940s, we will combine both old and new in this "Dark Deco" visual design and create a fresh take on The Batman. - Batman: The Animated Series, the writers guidelines (pdf)
posted by Artw at 6:08 PM PST - 53 comments

With his whimsically biting number from 1988 entitled Jazz Police, ol' Lenny Cohen has shown himself to be a prophet once again: Jazzer drop your axe it's jazz police! [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:07 PM PST - 9 comments

calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 4:16 PM PST - 28 comments

Every so often, the Opie and Anthony radio show run a Homeless Shopping Spree, where they take some homeless people off the streets and take them out to an upscale mall to buy clothes for them. This year, a man who calls himself Mustard mentioned to them that he used to be a musician, so they gave him a guitar.
posted by flatluigi at 4:04 PM PST - 66 comments

Brilliant short series of documentaries each dealing with an architect and their signature creations. (each approx. 30 minutes) Frank Lloyd Wright Johnson Wax Building :: Walter Gropius The Dessau Bauhaus :: Alvaro Siza The Siza School :: Renzo Piano Centre Georges Pompidou :: Santiago Calatrava Satolas TGV :: Felix Duban School of the Beaux Arts :: Peter Zumthor The Thermae of Stone :: Emanuele Rocco La Galleria Umberto :: Otto Wagner The Vienna Savings Bank
posted by vronsky at 2:03 PM PST - 12 comments


The Defiant Ones. In today’s picture books, the kids are in charge.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 11:06 AM PST - 46 comments


A "Dow Jones Index for Climate Change". The IGBP Climate-Change Index distills complex climate change factors into a single number, like how the Dow Jones distills the markets to a single number, and visually graphs it over time.
posted by stbalbach at 10:03 AM PST - 14 comments

A 73 year old Georgina Spelvin talks about her work in The Devil in Miss Jones as part of a music video for Massive Attack's latest single, Paradise Circus. (Last link NSFW, contains porn clips, etc., etc.)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:13 AM PST - 31 comments

Ghosts of Shopping Malls Past. : beautiful photos of modern ruins.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:14 AM PST - 44 comments


The Second City, the world's premier theater of comedy and school of improvisation, is celebrating its 50th birthday. The school has had many notable alumni: Some early Second City performances by Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert, some reminiscences by Tina Fey, Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie, and Fred Willard. [more inside]
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:21 AM PST - 37 comments

Lobster: The Journal of Parapolitics was started in 1983 by Robin Ramsay and Stephen Dorril, two conspiracy enthusiasts who weren't actually nuts and believed in proper research. The magazine primarily covered the activities of the British security and intelligence services and what they term 'parapolitics'. They've had a brochure website for a while with some sample articles, but starting from the current issue the full journal will be free online (PDF download). The pair had a falling-out some time ago and have gone their separate ways. On his personal site Dorril, now also the author of a well-received study of Mosley and the Blackshirts, offers early back issues of the magazine for free download too.
posted by Abiezer at 1:57 AM PST - 17 comments

The most expensive movie ever made, is getting its first reviews ... and so far the thumbs are mostly up. [more inside]
posted by philip-random at 12:51 AM PST - 357 comments

December 11

Starlight - (late) Friday Flash Fun.
posted by Eideteker at 7:56 PM PST - 26 comments

The Great Satan Myth. We have discussed the US supported coup of 1953 on MeFi before. Now, Abbas Milani, provides some more context to the complex relationship of the two countries.
posted by lenny70 at 6:54 PM PST - 13 comments

Interesting developments in med-tech: gene testing machines for doctors, a plan to engineer stem cells to kill HIV, a new way to repair damaged nerves, the next generation of retinal implants, and the first bionic fingers up for sale. (Bonus for those uninterested in medicine: the newest take on a Minority Report-style interface, courtesy of MIT.)
posted by StrikeTheViol at 6:39 PM PST - 2 comments

The results of the recent National Assessment of Education Progress (NEAP) tests are in. Detroit students posted the worst math scores ever in the history of the test. [more inside]
posted by Acromion at 4:49 PM PST - 68 comments



Alien Vs. Cereal: a rather loquacious alien expounds upon the wonders of Raisin Bran Crunch. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 3:40 PM PST - 10 comments

Actor Brian Cox gives an acting masterclass on Hamlet's "To be, or not to be" soliloquy to a young student (SLYT)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:09 PM PST - 23 comments

Peter Watts Arrested and Beaten at the US Border. Author of the Rifters Trilogy, and that neat little vampire Powerpoint, he's been busted for "assaulting a border guard", and is looking at prison time. You can find more details here. His account of the matter is on his blog, here. [more inside]
posted by darth_tedious at 2:14 PM PST - 208 comments


"Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Well, there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Um, for me... oh, I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... and Willie Mays, and... the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and... Louis Armstrong's recording of Potatohead Blues... Swedish Movies, naturally... Sentimental Education by Flaubert... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne... the crabs at Sam Wo's... Tracy's face..."
posted by vronsky at 1:27 PM PST - 73 comments

The feud between renegade Sheriff Joe Arpaio prev 1 2 3 and local officals is exploding. He has now indicted one judge who ruled against him (for obstruction of justice), and got a warrant to search the office and home of another. [more inside]
posted by msalt at 1:02 PM PST - 107 comments

What Was Popular Mechanics Thinking? from Woot.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:24 PM PST - 63 comments

SLJaredDiamondOp-Ed: As part of my board work, I have been asked to assess the environments in oil fields, and have had frank discussions with oil company employees at all levels. I’ve also worked with executives of mining, retail, logging and financial services companies. I’ve discovered that while some businesses are indeed as destructive as many suspect, others are among the world’s strongest positive forces for environmental sustainability. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog at 12:19 PM PST - 52 comments

A major survey by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that most Americans have a non-dogmatic approach to faith. A strong majority of those who are affiliated with a religion, including majorities of nearly every religious tradition, do not believe their religion is the only way to salvation. And almost the same number believes that there is more than one true way to interpret the teachings of their religion. The survey finds that constant movement characterizes the American religious marketplace, as every major religious group is simultaneously gaining and losing adherents. (.pdf of full report (268 pages) or watch the video of Pew Forum Director Luis Lugo giving an overview of the U.S. Religious Landscape Survey and talking about some of its key findings.) [more inside]
posted by ServSci at 11:44 AM PST - 37 comments

Let's take a jaunt back, to the early days of DOS, from the early 1980s to early 1990s. Way back to IBM PC DOS 1.00 and 1.10. Back when Bill Gates wrote code. This was the time of avoiding donkeys on the road (gameplay), gorillas lobbing explosive bananas over skyscrapers (gameplay) and a hungry line named Nibbles [a variant of the older Snake game] (gameplay). So have at it! Gorillas recreated in Flash | Flash tribute to Gorillas, with updated graphics | Snake | two-player Nibbles | Radical Snake (now with curves) | Snake (like Radical Snake, but with landscape obstacles) | Nibblets (All 10 original levels from the QBasic game Nibbles, but with a new control system) | Snake/Nibbles for Vim (download) | Donkey (QBasic source code)
posted by filthy light thief at 11:36 AM PST - 22 comments

WTF Comcast is "proof that whoever writes the Comcast OnDemand descriptions is drunk."
posted by jbickers at 11:35 AM PST - 51 comments

The papers of Edward Alleyn, the Elizabethan actor-manager, are now available online in a digital edition. Most of what we know about the London theatre in the age of Shakespeare comes from this archive; highlights include the only surviving example of a 'part' or script written out for an actor in an Elizabethan play (image) and the contract for building the Fortune playhouse in 1600, just a year after the building of the Globe. Sadly, the archive doesn't include any manuscripts relating to Shakespeare, because Alleyn worked for the Admiral's Men, one of the two main theatre companies in London, whereas Shakespeare worked for the competition (the Lord Chamberlain's Men), though that didn't stop the nineteenth-century forger John Payne Collier from faking a few documents of his own to fill the gap.
posted by verstegan at 10:32 AM PST - 6 comments

Colorful drive-by commentary on the $125 million boondoggle that is the leaning tower of South Padre Island.
posted by Albryhno at 9:32 AM PST - 47 comments

Airbus A400M took its maiden flight today. video 1, video 2, video 3. cockpit
posted by JohnR at 9:30 AM PST - 38 comments

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." (SLYT) Because of this statement, made by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Mozilla's director of community development Asa Dotzler has informed readers of his personal blog how to change Firefox's default search engine from Google to Bing. This is a pretty interesting stance coming from someone who works for a company that not only directly competes with Microsoft (the owners of Bing), but also derives a huge amount of its revenue from support from Google. (via)
posted by Nyarlathotep at 9:06 AM PST - 77 comments

Metafilter's Own Charlie Stross asks the question; " You, and a quarter of a million other folks, have embarked on a 1000-year voyage aboard a hollowed-out asteroid. What sort of governance and society do you think would be most comfortable, not to mention likely to survive the trip without civil war, famine, and reigns of terror?" engrossing commentary follows. (via)
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 AM PST - 156 comments

The Confessions of an NBA Scorekeeper Gawker's Tommy Craggs talks with an ex-scorekeeper for the Vancouver Grizzlies, and reveals the subjectivity of stat keeping in the NBA. This guy once gave Nick Van Exel 23 assists just because he felt like it.
posted by reenum at 8:33 AM PST - 12 comments

11 Presidents. 1 Queen.
posted by seanyboy at 8:24 AM PST - 80 comments

PDF screenplays of most of the scripts that will probably pick up Oscar nods this year. And the Public Enemies and Funny People scripts, too.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:16 AM PST - 3 comments

Merry Christmas From Juniper Creek's Prophet and sister-wives. Video and free album from the cast of HBO's Big Love.
posted by hermitosis at 7:56 AM PST - 11 comments

The classical guitar will make you feel
posted by past at 7:33 AM PST - 25 comments

The Sickest Buddhist - Arj Barker from The Flight of the Conchords does a rap skewering of materialism in Western Buddhism. (via) Brad Warner offers a more serious critique of "satori porn" (sfw) Beliefnet talks about the branding of Buddhism, where it's used to market everything from mp3 players to perfume to bars to ... toilet paper holders?
posted by desjardins at 7:06 AM PST - 61 comments

Ship designation: Nemesis. Captain: Forever. (Flash, audio, outer space shoot-em-up fun.) [more inside]
posted by steef at 6:59 AM PST - 32 comments

Radical Friend makes interactive music videos for Black Moth Super Rainbow and Yeasayer. [NSFW] [more inside]
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:59 AM PST - 8 comments


Might the consumer banking revolution be coming? "Yodlee is the engine behind the online banking operations of most banks in America — and, for that matter, of mint.com... and it's now going to open up that database to software developers around the world." With mobile internet adoption soaring, the birth of iBanking may not be that far behind. An upgrade of payment and financial information systems could be closer than you think. [more inside]
posted by kliuless at 4:44 AM PST - 33 comments

Way to overthink a plate of beans pizza. [more inside]
posted by jonathanstrange at 2:30 AM PST - 58 comments

If there's one genre you have to read before you die it's the travel book
Standard guidebook: "Should you be caught up in a frenzied riot during your time in Jakarta, make your way immediately to your country's embassy. Once inside, relax with one of the native beverages, and think about what a great story you'll have to tell Andy and Rhona on your return."
Hip guidebook:"Should you be caught up in a frenzied riot during your time in Jakarta, consider yourself fortunate to witness the valid cultural expression of a wonderfully passionate race. Feel free to hurl a Molotov cocktail at the riot squad."
(via Jorn>
posted by caddis at 12:21 AM PST - 27 comments

December 10

Taibbi-filter: Obama's Big Sellout [more inside]
posted by moorooka at 9:36 PM PST - 156 comments



Ahead of the global climate talks, nine photographers from the photo agency NOOR photographed climate stories from around the world. Their goal: to document some of the causes and consequences, from deforestation to changing sea levels, as well as the people whose lives and jobs are part of that carbon culture. Warming threatens lifestyle of Russian herders | Refugees flee drought, war in East Africa | Greenland’s shrinking ice hurts natives [more inside]
posted by netbros at 6:54 PM PST - 3 comments

Oceansize is a short monster movie created by four animation students. Here's a version with English subtitles (although it's hardly necessary). [via]
posted by brundlefly at 5:42 PM PST - 11 comments


The New York Times is offering a gift guide this season...specifically for people of colour. In case you were wondering what to get your friends of colour - henna or a gospel cruise may be what you have been looking for!
posted by hepta at 4:57 PM PST - 66 comments


Forty years ago, just after the Biafran War, Nigeria was home to a cultural boom that paralleled its skyrocketing oil revenues. These heady days not only produced afrobeat pioneer Fela Kuti, but also, in the genre of music called highlife, created a star known as the Ultimate Dr. Sir Warrior (born Christogonus Ezebuiro Obinna) a member of the nebulous Oriental Brothers International Band. Listen to the music of Dr. Sir Warrior and the Oriental Brothers International Band. [more inside]
posted by ocherdraco at 4:37 PM PST - 15 comments

Is this kid even singing words? Does it even matter?. It's I'm Yours by Jason Meraz sung by a cute kid playing the ukulele. (via)
posted by The Devil Tesla at 4:28 PM PST - 32 comments


Dr Kent Hovind (seen here previously) claims to hold a doctorate, but both he and its awarding institution (Patriot Bible University) have refused to publish his dissertation in any form. The WikiLeaks site has obtained a scanned copy; highlights include "the truth about cave men", the co-existence of humans and dinosaurs, and a null reference list.
posted by gene_machine at 3:32 PM PST - 101 comments

Want to avoid debt in grad school? You could follow the example of this guy and live in a van.
posted by bove at 3:18 PM PST - 62 comments

Norman McLaren's 1952 short film [Youtube version] Neighbours uses live actors in a stop-motion film, to great effect.
McLaren created the soundtrack by scratching the edge of the film, which was then read by the projector.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:06 PM PST - 19 comments

Michael Becker is spending three months in a tent in an Antarctic desert. And he is blogging about the experience. Previously about Antarctica.
posted by jefeweiss at 2:41 PM PST - 15 comments

When the CIA tried its hand at magic A top-secret 1950s training manual for CIA field agents, based on the knowledge of famous magician John Mulholland, has been made available to the public. Via
posted by Abiezer at 2:02 PM PST - 31 comments

The Year in Ideas from the New York Times Magazine.
posted by exogenous at 1:47 PM PST - 13 comments

The Texas Gulf Coast is no stranger to disaster - both natural and man-made. The 1900 Storm (previously). The Texas City Disaster (previously). Hurricane Ike (previously). Tropical Storm Allison (previously). New digital media collections, made available through the the University of Houston, shed light on previously overlooked events such as the Hurricane of 1915, and allow a fresh look at well-known disasters such as the Texas City Disaster. A digital slideshow of images and information about The 1900 Storm is also available through the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, Texas. [Please note that some links include images of the deceased which may be NSFW or unsuitable for some audiences.]
posted by greekphilosophy at 12:58 PM PST - 9 comments

Metal on Metal (sl-vimeo) - may be considered NSFW for some.
posted by h0p3y at 12:22 PM PST - 43 comments

Rolling Stone's Top 100 Albums/Songs of the decade
posted by Brodiggitty at 12:10 PM PST - 142 comments

Vernon, California, a tiny city in Los Angeles county, was the personal fiefdom of one family for over 100 years. That all came to an end with the conviction of the town's long-serving mayor, and his wife, for voter fraud. [more inside]
posted by anazgnos at 11:55 AM PST - 18 comments

Maximum Reich is Q2's first multiplatform, multimedia-rich festival celebrating the iconic composer, Steve Reich. Complete with archival interviews stretching back 30 years, live concerts, an Eight Days of Steve blog, hosted segments with Nadia Sirota, an exclusive download of Dance Patterns, and Steve Reich himself, it promises to be quite the ride. For the next week, Q2, the new music stream from WQXR, is celebrating the life and work of Steve Reich.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:47 AM PST - 10 comments

Quentin Tarantino is the latest American celebrity to be featured in a TV commercial for SoftBank Mobile Corp, a Japanese telecommunications and media company. Tarantino stars as “Uncle Tara-chan” in the bizarre and very popular “White family” commercial series. The Whites consist of the "Mom", the daughter “Me” (a Softbank shop saleswoman played by popular singer/actress Aya Ueto), the "Older Brother" (played by African American actor Dante Carter), and the father, Otosan, who happens to be a white Hokkaido-ken dog named Kaikun.
posted by mrducts at 11:45 AM PST - 28 comments

Pregnant Texan honors student Mackenzie McCollum was barred from playing on her school's volleyball team specifically because of her pregnancy. After the school allowed her back on the team, McCollum's coach cut her playing time and disclosed the pregnancy to all her teammates. The US Department of Education is now investigating the school for Title IX violations, and both McCollum and her family are on the receiving end of some pretty nasty invective. (ESPN video profile, ESPN comments)
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:14 AM PST - 197 comments

Timelapse of the Manhattan Bridge shows the bridge flexing up and down as trains pass over it (SLYT). via
posted by carter at 10:07 AM PST - 42 comments

Final edition: Twilight of the American newspaper. "Newspapers have become deadweight commodities linked to other media commodities in chains that are coupled or uncoupled by accountants and lawyers and executive vice presidents and boards of directors in offices thousands of miles from where the man bit the dog and drew ink."
posted by chunking express at 8:26 AM PST - 91 comments


Using Google to research how Google works, a univerisity student gave a presentation on PidgeonRank, unaware that this was actually a hoax created by Google for April Fool's Day, 2002 (previously). How did this happen in 2009? Michael Zimmer responds: He trusted Google.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:44 AM PST - 80 comments

"She bought Jumper: Griffin's Story - one of the worst reviewed games ever in Xbox 360 history. The day Modern Warfare 2 was released, she spent all her time on Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs. American Idol? She put the microphone in front of a speaker and played songs into it to ace the performances that much faster." The story of Kristen and her gamerscore addiction. [more inside]
posted by jbickers at 7:27 AM PST - 88 comments

Tai Shan the panda more commonly known as Butterstick is being deported to China. His parents will be joining him at the end of 2010.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 7:25 AM PST - 19 comments

Tips For Single Ladies: Helpful hints on dating and romance from 1938, with photos. (via)
posted by The Whelk at 7:02 AM PST - 45 comments

If you have kids, you almost certainly have at least one of the 'I Spy' books, or something from the 'Can You See What I See?' series on your home bookshelf. Created by artist/photographer Walter Wick, the books have page after page of images filled with astonishing amounts of detail, including any number of objects for the kids to find. Wick's website has dozens of pages taking us behind the scenes, showing us how many of these wonderful photos were created, many involving the construction of incredibly detailed models that are used for just a single shot. The Impossible Columns is perhaps my favourite.
posted by woodblock100 at 6:34 AM PST - 17 comments

Sex sells PEZ. A visual survey of the "PEZgirl," as used in PEZ advertising. Slightly NSFW, as one image at the bottom of the page shows bare breasts. That's right, PEZ ran topless advertisements. [more inside]
posted by OmieWise at 5:21 AM PST - 28 comments

Oh hai here's a flow chart showing the creative/organizational process of a (Walt) Disney film. Stay away from the morgue.
posted by billysumday at 5:20 AM PST - 23 comments

Indian Mouth and Foot Painting Artists Association. [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy at 4:57 AM PST - 4 comments

Have you ever wondered why you can't get what you want, but, if you try sometimes, etc.? Mark Hicken, a British Colombian lawyer, is a great source of information on the state(s) of Canadian liquor regulations. Sure, a little localised and dry, but that's the terroir, man. Also, he does point out some inanities that have a relatively universal appeal.
posted by converge at 2:13 AM PST - 27 comments

December 9

ASCII art of 12 April 1888. A map of Michigan's dry counties. "We found this part troublesome enough to set, and if any printer thinks it a simple job, he may try it for two or three days."
posted by jjray at 9:45 PM PST - 28 comments


"Men working on the river would move in time to the beat of the music. It was everywhere: on the street, in the church. In the tonks and barrelhouses where people went to be together. Like the beating of a big heart. It gave everyone a good feeling." The Cradle is Rocking is a delightful 12-minute film that, though somewhat damaged (Folkstreams has found what may be the only surviving print), is highly recommended viewing for anyone interested in American roots music: in this case, New Orleans jazz. The film's thoughtful and affable narrator is trumpeter George "Kid Sheik" Cola, who can be heard along with Captain John Handy serving up some fine old-school Dixieland jazz here and here.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:08 PM PST - 13 comments

Famous Monsters of Filmland, the legendary genre magazine edited by the late Forrest J Ackerman (previously), will be resurrected by comic publisher IDW.
posted by brundlefly at 5:22 PM PST - 19 comments

Harmonic Visualization Bob Jones is finally making more musics. Here are some of his latest work. Make sure to look at the Harmonic Visualization before (and durning) listening to the piece. It really allows for a richer experience.
posted by Olive Oil at 5:06 PM PST - 9 comments

In 1975 and again in 1984-1992 Dr. Demento was distributed on LP vinyl records. There was a history of distributing shows on transcription discs, but this and other shows are now found all over the internet along with other forms of "bootlegs" thanks to digital recording and LP record players co-existing. [more inside]
posted by morganw at 4:25 PM PST - 14 comments

The Roches on the Today Show, Christmas 1990. Joy To The World::Angels We Have Heard On High::God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen::The First Nöel::Adeste Fidelis::Hallelujah Chorus Saturday Night Live '79
posted by vronsky at 4:11 PM PST - 35 comments

Radovan Karadzic was a war criminal who was able to escape prosecution for his war crimes during the genocide in Bosnia. In a particularly strange twist, Karadzic assumed the name Dragan Dabic and rose in the ranks of the alternative healing community in Belgrade. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 3:04 PM PST - 20 comments

The Noughtie List. A meta-list of "best of" lists for the 2000s decade. A similar meta-list for best of 2009.
posted by stbalbach at 2:12 PM PST - 59 comments

The public's opinion of the field of climatology has been shaken by the leaked CRU emails. While it's arguable that the messages show any wrongdoing, many pundits have now reached the conclusion that global warming is a hoax, coverup and conspiracy, years in the making with millions of faked datapoints. Sarah Palin has written an editorial saying Obama should boycott the Copenhagen COP15 summit.
posted by mccarty.tim at 1:07 PM PST - 270 comments

WE GOT THAT B ROLL
posted by stresstwig at 1:02 PM PST - 50 comments

Piracy of PC games is nothing new, and has been discussed previously. Due to the high levels of PC game piracy, some development companies have decreased (or eliminated) PC game development, shifting support to console development. But piracy isn't limited to PCs, as modchips and other hacks have allowed users to play pirated and homebrewed games. In the continuing struggle for control, Microsoft banned as many as 1 million modded systems from Xbox Live, resulting in a surge of people reselling Xbox 360s that have been banned from online play (and modders finding a fix for the ban). Some developers have adopted another tactic - increased development of downloadable content (DLC), which has been seen as both good and bad by gamers. John Riccitiello, the head of Electronic Arts, seems to have embraced DLC as a marketing option, in noting that "[people] can steal the disc, but they can't steal the DLC."
posted by filthy light thief at 12:51 PM PST - 77 comments

Last night, northern Norway was treated to a bizarre, spiral-shaped show of light. [more photos, Norwegian] [more inside]
posted by dunkadunc at 12:48 PM PST - 75 comments

Help: I want to say something to someone • I am worried about my penis size • I am not funny • I am addicted to the internet • I'm involved in a long distance relationship • I'm racist • I'm not familiar with Alessandro Moreschi • I am being followed by a dog.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:59 AM PST - 45 comments

From 1929 to 1931, MGM produced a series of short comedic films that featured an all-dog cast. Ladies and Gentlemen, The All-Barkie Dogville Comedies. The Big Dog House, Part 1 The Big Dog House, Part 2 [more inside]
posted by louche mustachio at 11:55 AM PST - 10 comments

I had this concept--after a strange dream, while scoping out the I Dreamed I Saw st. Augustine tab in my just-in-case-it-disappears downloaded dylanchords, of ...St. Augustine as a slow moody slide in Open D ala Blind Texas Marlin. But then I got to wondering whether someone might have a chord dictionary online where a few variations on a first position B Minor in Open D might be found. Voila! Achtung, Baby! Behold Brian's huge chordlist collection. Oh, man, he's got your standard and open tunings on guitar plus mandolin, uke, banjos, bouzouki, pipa and lute. A living room guitarist's must have, no doubt, although a few more open tunings for pipa would have been nice... [more inside]
posted by y2karl at 11:50 AM PST - 6 comments


Batman is confused
posted by philip-random at 9:29 AM PST - 199 comments

The TSA has accidentally posted their SOP online. Not having learned proper redaction techniques after dozens of other companies and government agencies made the same mistake, the TSA posted their complete "Screening Management Standard Operating Procedures" manual online in PDF format. [more inside]
posted by pla at 9:17 AM PST - 131 comments

"Gripped by war, poverty and plague, the villagers of Oberammergau, in Bavaria, southern Germany vowed to put on a 'passion play' every ten years… That was back in 1633. They survived, and performed the first Oberammergau Passion Play in 1634. Ever since, their descendants have carried out that pledge. For the past four centuries the tradition has continued, every ten years. Only villagers have been allowed to take part. And that is what will happen yet again in 2010." [more inside]
posted by vacapinta at 6:53 AM PST - 25 comments

I'll Be Gone is the latest music video from Lithuanian cgi director/developer Rimantas Lukavicius of Korb.lt.
posted by netbros at 5:52 AM PST - 6 comments

Panic, makers of fine Macintosh software, commissions an illustrator to work with the concept "What if we were around in 1982, and our apps were early Atari 2600 games?" Awesomeness ensues.
posted by porn in the woods at 4:46 AM PST - 59 comments

Want to know what philosophers, those people you pay to think on your behalf, actually believe? David Chalmers and David Bourget recently canvassed several thousand professional philosophers for their views on a range of central philosophical issues. [more inside]
posted by leibniz at 4:39 AM PST - 115 comments

Mike Rowe gives a Ted Talk about an epiphany he experienced on Dirty Jobs and what he considers modern American society's war on work. [more inside]
posted by Turtles all the way down at 4:16 AM PST - 99 comments

A day with mental health professionals in North London - a Guardian article by Deborah Orr
posted by handee at 3:43 AM PST - 7 comments

December 8

Ah! The Hopeful Pageantry of Bread and Puppet documents the radical puppet theater's Domestic Resurrection Circus, held every summer on its Glover, Vermont grounds from 1975 to 1998, and which featured puppeteers from around the world. They no longer hold the yearly festival, as the crowds grew out of control, but they are still active [ 2009 documentary | part 2 | 3 ], and as always, serving free bread and art as panacea. There's plenty more Bread and Puppet Theater on Youtube. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 7:46 PM PST - 19 comments

A Visit to the Pratt University Steam Plant. Antique electrical and mechanical. Brass, copper, iron, oak and stone. It smells of warm oil.
posted by jjray at 7:33 PM PST - 29 comments

The best films of the decade if the decade in question is 1900-1910.
posted by drezdn at 7:14 PM PST - 13 comments

Heard of Lady GaGa, and Bad Romance? Time to introduce Lady GapGap and Plaid Romance. [more inside]
posted by King Bee at 6:46 PM PST - 172 comments

"Jesus Day" in Baghdad.
posted by ibmcginty at 6:39 PM PST - 19 comments


Tavi Williams, Style Rookie. Tavi is a (self-described) "Tiny 13 year old dork that sits inside all day wearing awkward jackets and pretty hats. Scatters black petals on Rei Kawakubo's doorsteps and serenades her in rap. I have no where near 4 million readers. Rather cynical and cute as a drained rat. In a sewer. Farting. And spitting out guts." [more inside]
posted by skwt at 4:23 PM PST - 81 comments


Pope Joan aka La Papessa is the second card of the major arcana in the Tarot. However there were pre tarot images of a female pope. It's a myth that won't go away. There is sometimes historical truth behind legend. The Cathoic Church relegates everything to fable; especially with a film around the corner. Some more thoughts on the facts behind the legend.
posted by adamvasco at 1:48 PM PST - 50 comments

Henry Miller had always loved art. He first began painting after seeing some Turner prints in a Brooklyn department-store window. There was only one minor drawback: he couldn’t draw. But his best friend, Emil Schnellock, could, and Miller became his disciple. It wasn’t long before he realized that what he lacked in draftsmanship, he made up for in color and composition sense. (previously)
posted by Joe Beese at 1:41 PM PST - 9 comments


The Color Of The Year 2010: Turquoise Pantone has announced their selection for Color of the Year for 2010, and the winner is Turquoise. Turqouise, according to the color mavens, "evokes thoughts of soothing, tropical waters and a languorous, effective escape from the everyday troubles of the world, while at the same time restoring our sense of wellbeing.” Real turquoise (the mineral) was treasured in antiquity for "natural protection against the powers of darkness" and derives its name from the custom of the Turks to wear one in their turbans to ward off the "evil eye". In case you weren't paying attention this time last year, the Color of the Year for 2009 has been "Mimosa".
posted by briank at 1:14 PM PST - 54 comments


Asheville, NC City Councilman-elect Cecil Bothwell is scheduled to be sworn in today. But critics of Bothwell say he cannot hold office citing NC's constitution which states: "The following persons shall be disqualified for office: First, any person who shall deny the being of Almighty God.” [more inside]
posted by paulinsanjuan at 11:53 AM PST - 72 comments


Jinni is a movie and TV recommendation service that has apparently developed an algorithm similar to Pandora's Music Genome Project. Their algorithm is cleverly titled The Movie Genome Project.
posted by reenum at 11:29 AM PST - 14 comments


In 1840, book collectors from around Europe flocked to the Belgian town of Binche hoping to buy at auction the late Jean Nepomucene Auguste Pichauld, Comte de Fortsas's collection of one-of-a-kind books. Unfortunately for them, neither the man nor his collection ever existed. More recently, librarian and bibliophile Jeremy Dibbell posted the contents of the Fortras Catalogue to LibraryThing with English translation as well as an introduction to the collection. Scans of the original catalogue can be found on Google Books. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 11:04 AM PST - 10 comments

The orchid hypothesis “profoundly recasts the way we think about human [genetic] frailty.”
posted by oinopaponton at 10:38 AM PST - 50 comments

If you're planning a visit to Stockholm, Munich, Bilbao, Shanghai, Dubai, Tokyo, Prague, Moscow, Toronto, and/or Barcelona, don't miss the chance to check out some of these amazing subway stations.
posted by brain_drain at 9:22 AM PST - 57 comments

The Year 3000 looks back on the Beatles: A future-documentary on the world-changing impact of the Fab Four. (via)
posted by The Whelk at 9:11 AM PST - 44 comments

Besuboru Bromides (Japanese Baseball Cards) from the collection of John Gall, as featured at A Journey Round My Skull. Here is an earlier essay by Gall about Japanese baseball cards.
posted by OmieWise at 9:09 AM PST - 4 comments

ACORN Report Finds No Illegal Conduct : Scott Harshbarger, the former Attorney General of Massachusetts, now of the law firm Proskauer Rose, has recently released an investigative report about accusations that the community organizing group ACORN were caught trying to facilitate prostitution in a sting operation by Young Republicans Hannah Giles and James O'Keefe. The report concludes, "While some of the advice and counsel given by ACORN employees and volunteers was clearly inappropriate and unprofessional, we did not find a pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN staff." In addition, the report uncovers that Giles and O'Keefe's videos were heavily edited, up to and including substitute voiceovers.
posted by jonp72 at 7:43 AM PST - 156 comments

The Quicksilver in Memory of Eddie Aikau Competition, an invitation-only surfing event held when the ocean is at its fiercest, is poised to start at any moment. In its 25-year history, it has been held only seven times, the last in 2004 – and can be called at a moments notice. This time around, surfers are expecting the biggest wave of their generation. [more inside]
posted by pwally at 7:01 AM PST - 64 comments

Navid Nuur's portion of The Knight's Tour, a multi-artist touring exhibit most recently seen at De Hallen Haarlem, contains a sculpture made of florist's foam and crushed by his hands into a pock-marked wall. The sculpture sits in the open, without barriers, offering a tempting place for museum visitors to leave their fingerprints. I know I can't walk past floral foam without sticking my fingers into it. If a visitor does cross that line, irreparably altering Nurr's art, they have two options: a 200-euro fine, or stand outside the museum with a sandwich board, declaring: At This Museum I Damaged Navid Nuur's Art. I Failed as a Visitor.
posted by AzraelBrown at 5:56 AM PST - 71 comments

Corey Arcangel is perhaps the internet's most infamous hack, masher-upper, digi/net artist. His work stands for a growing culture of artists who run wildly through animated GIF landscapes populated with corrupted data-compressed bunny rabbits and tinny, MIDI renditions of Savage Garden ballads. As the Lisson Gallery, London, opens its archives to Arcangel's curatorial eye, could digi/net art be set to infect the real, fleshy world, like a rampant Conficker Worm? Has YouTube become the truest reflection of our anthropological selves? Are we destined to roam the int3erw£bs like the mythic beasts of yore, hoping, in time, that digi art can free us from the confines of this fleshy void? [...previously]
posted by 0bvious at 5:44 AM PST - 20 comments

The Considered Ensemble is a platform showcasing meticulous outfit choices from individuals around the world. Describe what you're wearing today, and they may post it on the blog. Detailed descriptions give insight into the creativity, coordination, thought and taste (or lack thereof) behind each unique ensemble.
posted by netbros at 5:40 AM PST - 33 comments

This month the ClassicShowbiz Twitter feed is linking to all kinds of classic Christmas themed TV episodes, including Andy Kaufman, Gumby, Sanford and Son, Welcome Back Kotter, The Jeffersons, Mr. Ed, Fat Albert, Alfred Hitchcock, Twilight Zone, Dragnet, Taxi, Bob Newhart, Happy Days, That Girl, All in the Family, and much more with more to come.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:51 AM PST - 4 comments

British comedian Rufus Hound's eloquent, funny, brave and slightly touching defense of naturism on British TV. (Starts at 2:00. Slightly NSFW.)
posted by Geezum Crowe at 4:47 AM PST - 32 comments

The Hijras of India. Their community, their life and dreams.
posted by hadjiboy at 3:17 AM PST - 8 comments

During a year-long gambling binge at the Caesars Palace and Rio casinos in 2007, Terrance Watanabe managed to lose nearly $127 million. The run is believed to be one of the biggest losing streaks by an individual in Las Vegas history.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:07 AM PST - 127 comments

December 7

Have you heard the Indian slide guitarist Debashish Bhattacharya? He's really very very very very good. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:10 PM PST - 27 comments

Thomas Shahan's Photostream - Macro Insect Photography
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 11:08 PM PST - 19 comments

Abandoned in a hat in the middle of a snowdrift as a newborn, rescued by a woodsman and guarded by a lioness, stolen and raised by a wood nymph, instructed in the ways of all the languages of the animals as a child, on the threshold of manhood he visited medieval Europe, feudal Japan, and Arabian markets to learn the inherent evil of humanity. For his insistence on toymaking, he was terrorized and repeatedly captured by a race determined to corrupt young minds, until his immortal protector came out to defend him with a laser-shooting axe which eradicated the malevolent culture. But can that same protector defend his ward's life to the likes of the Commander of the Wind Demons? The Life and Adventures of Santa Clause, a Rankin/Bass production, Part [1] [2] [3] [4] [5].
posted by Navelgazer at 8:12 PM PST - 45 comments

"To Whom it May Concern: If this letter has been opened and is being read, it is because I have been seriously injured or killed by my son, Sky Walker." [...snip...] "I do not want him to be punished for actions for which he is not responsible." [more inside]
posted by FunkyHelix at 7:44 PM PST - 88 comments

Hey Alex, check out my new haircut. NOT RIGHT NOW DERRIK! Hey Alex, what are you doing? I'M LISTENING TO MY MUSIC, DERRICK! Hey Alex WHAT DO YOU WANT DERRICK? Presenting: BalloonShop [more inside]
posted by rebent at 7:36 PM PST - 28 comments


Close all the drapes, board up the fireplace, watch what might be hiding in that tree, and whatever you do, don't go to sleep, because December belongs to Cthulhu.* [more inside]
posted by Caduceus at 7:16 PM PST - 32 comments

"The Iron never lies to you. You can walk outside and listen to all kinds of talk, get told that you’re a god or a total bastard. The Iron will always kick you the real deal. The Iron is the great reference point, the all-knowing perspective giver. Always there like a beacon in the pitch black. I have found the Iron to be my greatest friend. It never freaks out on me, never runs. Friends may come and go. But two hundred pounds is always two hundred pounds."
posted by jason's_planet at 5:41 PM PST - 97 comments

"Center the bagel at the origin, circling the Z axis. A is the highest point above the +X axis. B is where the +Y axis enters the bagel. C is the lowest point below the -X axis. D is where the -Y axis exits the bagel."
posted by william_boot at 5:10 PM PST - 44 comments

2000-2009: When TV Became Art. [more inside]
posted by crossoverman at 4:44 PM PST - 190 comments

The Replacements you didn't hear -- demo versions of Alex Chilton, Can't Hardly Wait, Run for the Country + Nowhere Is My Home
posted by vronsky at 3:55 PM PST - 48 comments

In Montana, a rabbi is an unusual sight. So when a Hasidic one walked into the State Capitol last December, with his long beard, black hat and long black coat, a police officer grabbed his bomb-sniffing German shepherd and went to ask the exotic visitor a few questions. [more inside]
posted by zarq at 3:51 PM PST - 45 comments

The Supreme Court has taken review in a case in which a law school barred a Christian legal group which apparently excludes non-Christian and LGBT students. The Hastings Christian Fellowship, a chapter of the Christian Legal Society, lost its official recognition as a student organization when it wouldn't agree to accept members and officers "regardless of their religion or beliefs about homosexuality" and ran afoul of the Hastings Law School's anti discrimination policy. The HCF sued and lost in district court and the 9th Circuit, which issued a two line order finding the law school's policy reasonable and content neutral. The 7th Circuit, by contrast, ruled in 2006 that such exclusion of the CLS by the Southern Illinois University law school violated the Society's free speech and expressive association rights. Today the Supreme Court, after some dithering, has accepted review of the case.
posted by bearwife at 3:29 PM PST - 95 comments

Norman Rockwell's research photos. Norman Rockwell commissioned photos (which he meticulously directed) and then painted those photos. Here are some of them.
posted by grumblebee at 2:29 PM PST - 91 comments

Detainee 063. This is the interrogation log of Mohammed al-Qahtani. It is being published in real time: each entry will appear exactly seven years after it was first recorded. The interrogation took place at Guantanamo Bay.
posted by chunking express at 2:23 PM PST - 28 comments


In 2005, the first comprehensive characterisation of decapod fauna of the continental margin of southwestern Australia was performed. 524 provisional species were identified, including 175 species (33%) that were new to science, each needing to be named. Earlier this year the naming rights for one particular unnamed spotted shrimp went up for auction to support the Australian Marine Conservation Society. Bob Rosenberry, journalist and publisher of Shrimp News International was an enthusiastic bidder, with plans to name the species Lebbeus shrimpnewsii, until he learned he couldn't name it after a commercial entity. The winner was a surprise to all involved: Lucien James "Luc" Longley, retired NBA player. (via) [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief at 1:28 PM PST - 13 comments


The many MeFites previously disappointed by not being able to attend the recent and enticingly promoted 10th Annual Gathering of the Juggalos will be delighted to know that a similar opportunity presents itself. (SLYT - moderately NSFW)
posted by well_balanced at 11:33 AM PST - 44 comments

Bubble Tanks Tower Defense a flash tower defense game by HeroInteractive, creator of Bubble Tanks & Bubble Tanks 2. In many ways a Desktop Tower Defense clone/knock-off, but does add some of its own ideas to the mix.
posted by juv3nal at 11:29 AM PST - 17 comments


As the Tea Party outpolls the Republican Party in a generic three-way ballot, disaffected progressives are considering independent parties of their own.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:21 AM PST - 111 comments

Substituting cannabis in place of more harmful drugs may be a winning strategy in the fight against substance misuse. Research published in BioMed Central' open access Harm Reduction Journal features a poll of 350 cannabis users, finding that 40% used cannabis to control their alcohol cravings, 66% as a replacement for prescription drugs and 26% for other, more potent, illegal drugs. [more inside]
posted by VikingSword at 11:05 AM PST - 76 comments

Everything is Terrible presents A Woman's Guide To Firearms, a mildly patronizing introduction to gun lust for the fairer sex.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 11:04 AM PST - 35 comments

Effect Games provides free, online tools for building, sharing and playing your own browser based games. [more inside]
posted by brundlefly at 10:37 AM PST - 7 comments

All That: "new" fiction from David Foster Wallace.
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:05 AM PST - 56 comments

Prescription painkillers kill more people than heroin, AIDS or H1N1.
posted by binturong at 9:22 AM PST - 64 comments

Burgess & McDowell discuss A Clockwork Orange with film historian William Everson (who talks a little too much.)
posted by OmieWise at 8:59 AM PST - 22 comments

December 6

Marin County Oral History "From 1974 to 1984, Carla Ehat, with partner Anne Kent, and later Genevieve Martinelli, traveled from one end of Marin County [California] to the other, interviewing a broad spectrum of Marin's long-time residents, ranging from ranchers to politicians and including descendents of early pioneer families." Each link on the list includes a photo, bio, full text of the interview, and, the best part, short audio excerpts from the interviews. Many of the folks interviewed were born in the 1880s or 1890s.
posted by ocherdraco at 11:06 PM PST - 7 comments

The Shark Whisperer [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu at 10:33 PM PST - 37 comments

I'm not one to obsess over music videos, but this one by one SUGIMOTO Kousuke may just be the most dense, action-packed chaotic adventure ever packed into 3 minutes 28 seconds. I've watched it a dozen times already; it's like popcorn. For added high-bandwidth goodness, see his other video, which seems to recapitulate all of human history and the downfall of the Beatles - while you do, I'm going to upgrade my brain. I need some higher clock speed if I'm going to watch these again.
posted by Michael Roberts at 8:56 PM PST - 69 comments

December 4th, 2009 marked the fortieth anniversary of the assassination of Black Panther leader Fred Hampton. [more inside]
posted by invitapriore at 8:48 PM PST - 27 comments

Green tells the story of one orangutan captured and brought to a rehabilitation facility after her home is logged and converted to a palm oil plantation. This award winning documentary is a powerful indictment of the palm oil and logging industries in South Asia. It is also another voice in the crowd drawing attention to the potential ecological consequences of growing dependence on biofuels. [more inside]
posted by ChuraChura at 4:20 PM PST - 16 comments

Chanuka (which starts this Friday evening) is more than just the Dreidel Song. Listen to Maoz Tzur from the amazing NY PS 22 (previously) and watch the merry Al Qaeda Dancers or just click on the irritating very dedicated singing candles. [more inside]
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:57 PM PST - 55 comments

Global Cities - Global Gangs: Global cities linking global economic circuits are also home to transnational criminals and global gangs. [via] [more inside]
posted by Burhanistan at 12:26 PM PST - 10 comments

The Best of Bleep "To celebrate Bleep's 5th birthday, we asked a select cast of people working in music to pick their 5 favourite releases or tracks from the entire Bleep (Warp Records) catalogue." Of note: Thom Yorke, Chris Cunningham, Tricky, Kid 606, and Fennesz
posted by kid ichorous at 12:18 PM PST - 22 comments

Nonja, like many 33 year old Austrians, has been taking dozens of photos of herself, her friends, and her surroundings and posting them to facebook. She's got 41,000+ friends. What makes her special? She's an orangutan. [more inside]
posted by fontophilic at 11:54 AM PST - 34 comments

Just a few of the many faces of the model Mukha: sophisticated, glamour, playful and gangsta.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:09 AM PST - 16 comments

Joshua Peter Tubbs is a self-proclaimed "kool" kid - class (co)president, Mr. Timberlane, a national honors student - who decided that for NaNoWriMo he would write an honest review of all 349 students in his senior class [more inside]
posted by rebent at 11:09 AM PST - 240 comments


Hanoi Rocks, Helsinki 1981. A year when they played 102 gigs, almost all in small dance halls deep in Finland. They were ready, even if their audience wasn't.[1] For british drummer Razzle, they looked like a band which he wanted to belong to.[2] In next few years they caused chaos in Bombay, got spitted upon at Wailing Wall in Jerusalem because of indecent make up and hair, went big in Japan and had good gigs in London.[3] November 1984, they were ready to conquer America. After Mike twisted his ankle on a bottle broken by Andy on stage in Syracuse, a few gigs got cancelled and instead the band accepted invitation from L.A. scene to party with Mötley Crüe. In December 9th, 1984, the party ran out of alcohol, so Vince Neil from Mötley Crüe and the drummer Razzle went to get more. The car crashed, immediatly killing Razzle. He was Dead by Christmas, and the band broke in May 1985.[4][5] [more inside]
posted by Free word order! at 10:36 AM PST - 11 comments

Liam Clancy has died. Liam, last surviving member of the hugely popular Clancy Brothers, strongly influenced Bob Dylan but also became an interpreter of Dylan's work.
posted by jeffen at 8:38 AM PST - 35 comments

Remembering the Montreal Massacre. A gunman confronts 60 engineering students during their class at l'École Polytechnique in Montreal on Dec. 6, 1989. He separates the men from the women and tells the men to leave the classroom, threatening them with his .22-calibre rifle. Before opening fire in the engineering class, he calls the women "une gang de féministes" and says "J'haïs les féministes [I hate feminists]." One person pleads that they are not feminists, just students taking engineering. But the gunman doesn't listen. He shoots the women and then kills himself. Parents of the Polytechnique students wait outside the school crying and wonder if their daughters are among the 14 dead.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:24 AM PST - 134 comments

December 5

"Heads were skinned and muscles removed from the brain case in order to remove the skullcap. Incisions and scrapes on jaws indicate that tongues were cut out." "Scrape marks inside the broken ends of limb bones indicate that marrow was removed." "Whatever actually happened at Herxheim, facial bones were smashed beyond recognition." - Neolithic mass canibalism in southern Germany.
posted by Artw at 11:39 PM PST - 85 comments

"Publishing anonymous, unvetted, and unreviewed commentary online is hugely divergent from the policies of [mainstream media] publications' print editions. It's a different kettle of fish, one that can stink for the publishers. Indeed, those publishers and their new-media managers are being reckless." [more inside]
posted by Ouisch at 11:18 PM PST - 59 comments

Hurley has a blog. Jorge Garcia, who plays Hurley on Lost, has a personal blog that's just like yours. He doesn't talk about his day job, and instead posts regular updates on what he did for thanksgiving, adventures in gardening, his dog Nunu, and everyday rat problems. He also sings. Surprisingly honest, funny, and approachable.
posted by crawl at 9:57 PM PST - 60 comments

Hi-res pictures of the Super-Kamiokande, a neutrino detector in Japan. The Super-Kamiokande, also known as the Super-K, is used to detect neutrinos, electrically neutral particles that are able to pass through matter. Effectively, it's a giant pool with walls made of phototubes used to detect Cherenkov radiation emitted by the interaction between neutrinos and electrons in the water. But even if you didn't understand any of that, it's still shiny and neat to look at.
posted by Chan at 8:50 PM PST - 26 comments

Jack Rose , guitarist extraordinaire and warm soul has passed on. From the Arthur Magazine site : I spoke with Jay this morning and the sad news is circulating that guitarist Jack Rose has passed on to the next realm. It’s with a heavy heart that I say this, but thoughts and prayers are with family and loved ones. He had fans around the world and everyone should know about Jack and his music. His style is like no other.J
posted by Liquidwolf at 5:24 PM PST - 32 comments

Hip-hop mogul and "fascinating man" Sean Combs sells bubble bath and shares details about the Diddy lifestyle during a narcotizing appearance on the Home Shopping Network. (SLYT)
posted by hermitosis at 4:59 PM PST - 54 comments

Window Farms is a DIY urban agriculture project started in New York. It's not just about changing the way we think about plants in urban contexts — it's also about creating a kind of "open-source" approach to solving eco-urban challenges. (Treehugger has some more context.)

The folks behind Window Farms are now trying to take it to the next level using everyone's favorite new funding platform, Kickstarter. (Including a cute intro video which is worth checking out.)

And if window farming ain't your thing, maybe one of their other DIY projects is more up your alley...
posted by chasing at 4:08 PM PST - 14 comments

The Great Scrapple Correspondence of 1872 In which a plate of pork gets bean-plated.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:45 PM PST - 27 comments

Eminem's "Lose Yourself" re-envisioned as a high school math course. The math and film departments of Madison East High School collaborate on a video, starring math teacher Philip Galarowicz. Not to be confused with The Rappin' Mathematician (hear "The Number Line Dance" here), or these high school math rappers, or the rap battle of TI-83 and Fitty Slope. The quadratic formula, rapped. The quadratic formula, rapped again. The quadratic formula, rapped, strangely compellingly, by a teacher in a tie.
posted by escabeche at 1:47 PM PST - 28 comments

How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic: "...a handy one-stop shop for all the material you should need to rebut the more common anti-global warming science arguments constantly echoed across the internet."
posted by Neilopolis at 12:55 PM PST - 142 comments

Stoney Knows How is a half-hour film by Alan Govenar and Bruce “Pacho” Lane that portrays Leonard "Stoney" St. Clair, tattoo artist and former sideshow performer. Affected with rheumatoid arthritis when he was four, and with stunted growth, Stoney left Appalachia at fifteen to join the circus as a sword swallower and learned to tattoo soon after. The film is about as safe for work as a 1970s tattoo parlor, which is to say, not very.
posted by hydrophonic at 12:00 PM PST - 12 comments

Sketchy Santas - This is mostly pictures of terrified kids being held by Santa. Occasionally there will be a photo that you wish you could unsee.
posted by sciurus at 11:58 AM PST - 45 comments

The Soldier in later Medieval England is a historical research project that seeks to 'challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453'. They've compiled impressive databases of tens of thousands of service records. These are perhaps of interest only to specialists; but the general reader may enjoy the profiles of individual military men: these run the gamut from regional non-entities like John Fort esquire of Llanstephan ("in many ways a humdrum figure" though once accused of harbouring a hostile Spaniard!) to more familiar figures such as rebel Welsh prince Owain Glyndŵr, who began his soldiering, as did many compatriots, in the service of the English king. Between such extremes of high and low we find, for example, Reginald Cobham, who made 6,500 florins ransoming a prisoner taken at Poitiers and rests eternal in a splendid tomb; and various men loyal and rebel who fought at the bloody Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403.
posted by Abiezer at 10:41 AM PST - 15 comments


In 1827, a first-time author paid to have a small number of copies of his book Tamerlane and Other Poems, by a Bostonian printed. When Edgar Allan Poe later reprinted the book under his own name, he apologized for its poor quality, but the first edition has become one of the most sought after rarities in book collecting. This week, one of the two copies in private hands sold for $662,500, but you can flip through this one for free.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:06 AM PST - 5 comments

Inkmesh ebook search engine will search across these sites finding free books and comparing prices. Video.
posted by stbalbach at 8:52 AM PST - 13 comments

New York Magazine thinks the thrill is gone. True? Or just the latest meme? If true, what are the implications outside the Beltway? The 3-D chess references do seem thin on the ground these days.
posted by GrammarMoses at 8:49 AM PST - 61 comments


Forecast calls for cold and warm.
On January 22, 1943 in Spearfish, SD: The temperature rose 49 degrees in two minutes, from – 4 to 45; later the same morning, it dropped 60 degrees in 27 minutes, from 56° to - 4°. Plate glass windows cracked as a result of the wild fluctuation in temperatures caused by Chinook winds. The greatest 24- hour U.S. temperature difference in one place was set January 23- 24, 1916, in Browning, MT, at 100 degrees when it went from a low of -56° to a high of 44°.*
Snow eating is one way it's been described, old tales too.. It's a seasonal wind, like the Mistral. There is some overlap in the definitions but the Chinook can safely be labeled a Foehn wind. A Foehn wind is "a generic term for warm strong and often very dry downslope wind(s) that descend in the lee of a mountain barrier". That is the one illustrated above. My favorite wind though, is the katabatic. A downhill wind. Cold and dense it blows here on Earth especially in the Antarctic, and there on Mars too. (page 9 of 14.) [more inside]
posted by vapidave at 4:07 AM PST - 33 comments

He was elected at the nadir of the worst depression in history; 25% of the workforce was unemployed, two million were homeless. Yet in the face of this, he made us an optimistic and far-reaching New Deal, creating among other programs a federal minimum wage, social security, and the FDIC. He pulled us out of dire financial straits and, when our country was called upon to fight in World War II, he brought us to the cusp of victory. In his unprecedented thirteen years in office, he cemented his undisputed legacy as one of the greatest presidents in American history. But before he could achieve any of this, Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a promise to keep — a promise to the "wet vote," whose indispensable support he had called upon in 1932 during his first presidential campaign when he promised to repeal the 18th Amendment and end Prohibition. And thus, as legend has it, immediately after his first fireside chat from the White House in March 1933, Roosevelt turned to his two top aides and said, "I think it's time for a beer." And yes, indeed, it was. [more inside]
posted by churl at 2:14 AM PST - 32 comments

December 4

Grand Canyon 1983.
posted by jjray at 10:31 PM PST - 64 comments

Chicago Welcomes You "How to redesign a resettlement process for immigrants who may never have seen a streetlight, cooked on a stove, used a toilet that isn’t a hole in the ground or handled any type of currency." More about the project.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:44 PM PST - 12 comments


Level Up! A sweet and oddly deep little RPG/platformer flash game that's all about grinding, stats, and broken fences. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk at 5:06 PM PST - 35 comments

6 Mental Illness Myths Hollywood Wants You to Believe . A smart, funny take on some of the most common Hollywood movie tropes about mental illness.
posted by ShawnStruck at 4:04 PM PST - 100 comments




Portraits of Power "An interactive portfolio of portraits by Platon of world leaders, with commentary by the photographer."
posted by gwint at 1:26 PM PST - 24 comments


Beer Calculus is a freely available homebrewing recipe generator, which allows you to easily create, save and share your own beer recipe(s). The calculator includes hundreds of malt, hop and yeast varieties, adjuncts and other ingredients, different mash processes, and fermentation and storage variables, and can toggle between US and metric units. Also, if you associate your recipe with a BJCP-recognized style, the calculator will give you guidance regarding your recipe's adherence to the style's guidelines. Homebrewers, have at it!
posted by cog_nate at 12:26 PM PST - 26 comments

African Remix! Put A Ring On It and Lollipop have both been covered by the Naija Boyz who appear to be a couple of Nigerians living in America with dreams of home, hence the remixed lyrics, "...shorty I'm a fan of your super pounded yam...."
posted by pick_the_flowers at 11:56 AM PST - 10 comments

King of the rock critics Lester Bangs has been written up in here before, but TheHoundBlog provides us a rare, detailed look at the man behind the myth, both the good and the bad. [more inside]
posted by stinkycheese at 11:25 AM PST - 13 comments


In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee... where he’s seeking re-appointment as the Fed’s chairman, Bernanke called for cutbacks in Medicare and Social Security... “Willie Sutton robbed banks because that’s where the money is, as he put it,” Bernanke said. “The money in this case is in entitlements.” [more inside]
posted by Joe Beese at 8:55 AM PST - 91 comments

Tim Perlich was the senior music writer for Toronto's NOW Magazine for 20 or so years. The two parted company for unexplained reasons earlier this year. For those who love or hate him (and there are plenty in both camps), he's now blogging about all things music at The Perlich Post.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:27 AM PST - 17 comments

There are plenty of skiing games (many online), from dodging drunken skiers (flash, French) to the basic downhill skiing (java) but the grand-daddy of skiing games is SkiFree (previously), iteself based on the older Atari Skiing game. SkiiFree has been remade into a basic version built from SkiFree sprites and HTML Canvas, and the more complex flash version of the freestyle course, which includes the monster.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:17 AM PST - 22 comments

So I got arrested by the SWAT team last night… Jeremy Bell's office was stormed by Ontario Police looking for some Lego blocks he bought online. An eyewitness account.
posted by boo_radley at 7:15 AM PST - 140 comments

A teenage girl named Hope Witsell died after being tormented for sending a nude photo of herself to a boy. [more inside]
posted by Ouisch at 7:12 AM PST - 160 comments

8 bit Christmas
posted by DU at 7:12 AM PST - 19 comments

At least something good for someone has come out of the whole Tiger Woods brouhaha. Photos of Woods' wrecked SUV reveal a copy of Get a Grip on Physics on the floor of the Escalade's back seat. [more inside]
posted by Naberius at 7:02 AM PST - 60 comments


Ancient Pompeii Ruins now on Google Street View Today on Morning Edition I head this story. The Italian government has allowed the ruins of Pompeii to be photographed for Google Street View. It's very cool. (SLGM)
posted by sio42 at 6:44 AM PST - 39 comments



Wesley Willis's Joy Rides, one week only at Pitchfork TV. Dual-wielding a Technics KN and a microphone, breaking Chicago down to a vector space of magic marker; homeless busker, Napster celebrity, punk headliner and hellraiser: take your pick. The late Wesley Willis as remembered in Joy Rides.
posted by kid ichorous at 1:17 AM PST - 33 comments

December 3

Hello, and welcome to Granny O’Grimm’s website. My website I mean. I’m Granny. And I have a website. While you’re here, why not have a look at the short film ‘Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty’, starring me?
posted by Long Way To Go at 11:56 PM PST - 8 comments


“Uhh,” he stuttered, “wait. Are you delivering… coal? To… uhh, us?” “Well, yeah! Twenty-eight thousand tons of the good ol’ black gold!” The workman sarcastically furrowed his brow adding, “I mean, we did get the right address, har har. This is Æxecor? And this is Pier 53? And you are Brad, the fella who ordered it, right?” It was that moment that Brad’s palm almost immediately made contact with his forehead. He realized that something must have really gone awry: instead of virtually trading 28,000 tons of coal, Brad had somehow ended up with 28,000 tons of real coal.
posted by empath at 9:07 PM PST - 59 comments


Blackwater (now known as Xe) has had a rough few years. The company, and its former CEO Erik Prince, have been the subject of allegations including murder, arms smuggling, child prostitution and wholesale massacre. Erik Prince has told Vanity Fair that he was a CIA operative and that someone has turned against him and "thrown him under a bus" by leaking his CIA associations to the public. He even compared his public outing to that of Valerie Plame. Mr. Prince has also been an outspoken and generous contributor to mostly-Republican political candidates. Previously on MeFi: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and many more.
posted by workerant at 6:58 PM PST - 56 comments

Holidays on Display, currently on view at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, offers an image-rich online exhibit as well, detailing the way businesses learned to capitalize on one of the country's largest celebrations. Peer into the artistry of holiday window design as well. [more inside]
posted by Miko at 4:59 PM PST - 6 comments


Secrecy Jurisdictions: Mapping the Faultlines highlights research on 'the jurisdictions and mechanisms used to facilitate illicit financial flows worldwide, including especially flows from developing countries. Those flows, from developing countries alone, are estimated at $850 billion - US$1 trillion per year. At the core of this project is the biggest survey of tax havens, or secrecy jurisdictions as we prefer to call them, that has probably ever been undertaken.' A project of the Tax Justice Network.
posted by Abiezer at 3:58 PM PST - 5 comments

A nine-month investigation by the Center for Public Integrity reveals that student victims of sexual assaults "face a depressing litany of barriers that often either assure their silence or leave them feeling victimized a second time." [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 3:57 PM PST - 31 comments

Today, the State of Washington becomes the first state in the history of the United States to pass a law supporting the equality of same-sex partners by popular vote. [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:52 PM PST - 73 comments

Why Dollhouse failed. Lengthy interview with Joss Whedon at the Chicago Tribune's TV blog. May contain light spoilers for the last few episodes of the show. [more inside]
posted by gerryblog at 3:23 PM PST - 151 comments

People who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome may have an answer as to why Nobody knows what causes CFS and fibromyalgia, for many years doctors poo-poohed the patient and sent them home with anti-anxiety drugs, but studies now show that there is a link to this retrovirus and these disorders. It's not in your head. Some studies earlier showed a link between prostate cancer and this virus, but the jury is still out on this. It's thought to be sexually transmitted via the blood, and actually binds with human DNA.
posted by ~Sushma~ at 3:01 PM PST - 27 comments

Tokyo Blues is a photography book about taking a closer look at the ordinary, in this case an omnipresent blue construction tarp which shows up just about everywhere in Tokyo. This is the first book in an apparently planned series by Do Projects. The book is available for sale or as a free PDF under the CC license.
posted by malphigian at 2:16 PM PST - 16 comments

First they wanted socialism. Now they want capitalism back. Rescued from bankruptcy by UK taxpayers, the directors of the Royal Bank of Scotland are threatening a mass resignation unless they are permitted to share £1.5 billion in bonuses. Some people have asked why we have to share the bad times but not the good.
posted by bobbyelliott at 1:32 PM PST - 69 comments

Facebook Profiles Capture True Personality Online social networks such as Facebook are being used to express and communicate real personality, instead of an idealized virtual identity, according to new research from psychologist Sam Gosling at The University of Texas at Austin. [more inside]
posted by psmealey at 12:36 PM PST - 51 comments

Come on Metafilter! Have something prettier than the reddit version.
posted by grumblebee at 12:02 PM PST - 145 comments

Optimizing Your Brain at Work is a pretty fascinating talk at Google by David Rock about managing your brain's internal states and attention, as well as threat responses with the goal of optimizing information processing. It is a Youtube link, and fairly long (~55min). He also mentions The Neuroscience of Mindfulness during the talk, so here is a convenient link to that.
posted by Vulpyne at 11:26 AM PST - 28 comments


The Dallas News has a bold new strategy for "becoming the most comprehensive and trusted partner for local businesses in attracting and retaining customers and continuing to generate important, relevant content for our consumers": Making it's editors report directly to advertising sales managers
posted by Artw at 10:05 AM PST - 87 comments

Dutch artist Zeger Reyers has created some ponderous and messy installations in the past. However, his latest one, Eating the Universe, definitely needs to be cleaned up. [more inside]
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:25 AM PST - 56 comments



This man makes the user interfaces you see in films. (Video)
Bonus: Top 10 Worst Portrayals of Technology in Film
posted by seanyboy at 8:36 AM PST - 184 comments

8 Million Reasons for Real Surveillance Oversight. "Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers."
posted by chunking express at 8:17 AM PST - 41 comments

Asian Carp update: since 2003(previously), the inexorable advance of Asian Carp up the Mississippi delta has brought them to within 6 miles of Lake Michigan. These invasive "100-pound Zebra Mussels" suck rivers clean and starve native fish. Asian Carp are now 97% of the fish biomass in the Mississippi delta. The "electric fence" across the canal didn't stop them. The poisoning of the canal won't stop them. Closing the Chicago sewage canal locks is the only way to be sure. But the Army Corps of Engineers have the jurisdiction. Feel safe? [more inside]
posted by anthill at 7:57 AM PST - 66 comments

Box 5-1438: Report of a structure fire at 266 Franklin St. 10 years ago this evening in Worcester, MA, the Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse Fire started when two people living in the abandoned building, Julie Barnes and Thomas Levesque, knocked over a candle during an argument and then fled. Upon arrival at the quickly growing fire, reports were received about two people living in the building, and firefighters entered the building to rescue them. During the primary search, Rescue 1 firefighters Paul Brotherton and Jeremiah Lucey were the first to report trouble. They were lost on the 4th floor and running out of air. Soon after, a four man rescue crew of Lt. Thomas Spencer (Ladder 2), firefighter Timothy Jackson (Ladder 2), Lt. James Lyons (Engine 3), and firefighter Joseph McGuirk (Engine 3) reports that they have also become disoriented while searching the 5th floor. All six men died that night, they are known as the Worcester Six or W6. [more inside]
posted by rollbiz at 6:37 AM PST - 27 comments

"In just a few days, a verdict is expected in the trial of Amanda Knox, the 22-year-old Seattle exchange student on trial in Italy for the throat-slashing murder of her British roommate two years ago. ... The trial in the Umbrian college town of Perugia has dragged on just short of a year. As this week’s closing arguments showed once again, the case has very little to do with actual evidence and much to do with the ancient Italian code of saving face. ... What century is this? Didn’t Joan of Arc, the Inquisition and our own American Salem witch trials teach civilized nations a thing or two about contrived sexual hysteria with a devil twist?" - Timothy Egan, New York Times. [previously] [more inside]
posted by billysumday at 6:31 AM PST - 118 comments




Gmail wants you to send a holiday postcard for free. [more inside]
posted by Vectorcon Systems at 2:58 AM PST - 47 comments

Oh, so that's how that works. I never got the whole 'Mars in Retrograde' thing. This really helped. More than this description by Dr.Feynman of the elliptical orbit of the planets, and definitely more than this song-and-dance description of, well, the Universe.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:11 AM PST - 18 comments

Some 10,000 people descended on the Knock Shrine a few months ago to see a Marian Apparition, promised by "clairvoyant" Joe Coleman to appear in the sun. Mary Kenny of the Irish Independent asks "What harm if people derive comfort from what they believe to be a spiritual experience?" while an Irish opthalmic surgeon now reports that he has treated no fewer than five people already, claiming it "monstrous" to mislead people into thinking that altered vision and effects, such as seeing the sun dance, were a religious apparition when they were classic symptoms of solar retinopathy. [more inside]
posted by disillusioned at 1:40 AM PST - 44 comments

HDR photography seems to be polarizing. People either love it, or hate it, including here on MeFi. For those who enjoy exploring the possibilities HDR presents, a good place to start is Stuck In Customs. Trey Ratcliff has the first HDR photo ever to hang in the Smithsonian. He offers a comprehensive, six-step HDR tutorial if you want to try it yourself. A sampling of his HDR travel photography is here, and throughout the site, and he is also experimenting with HDR video technology. [more inside]
posted by netbros at 12:59 AM PST - 59 comments

A&E presents the next incarnation of reality TV: Steven Seagal Lawman. No, seriously. [more inside]
posted by bwg at 12:13 AM PST - 90 comments

December 2


The Smithsonian Libraries hark back to the ideas of Mr. James Smithson, the benefactor after whom the Smithsonian is named. Mr. Smithson, an English scientist, never set foot in this country, but was enamored of our nation’s independence and the way science and discovery were becoming part of our national ethic, particularly through the work of Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. During his lifetime, Mr. Smithson built up a large collection of books and documents and obviously appreciated the value of libraries. He left his fortune and his book and document collection to our nation to create an institution for the “diffusion and increase of learning” in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian was authorized by Congress in 1846 and from its outset it made provisions for a library to hold its growing collection of documents and books.
- From the Keynote Remarks: 
An Age of Discovery: Distinctive Collections in the Digital Age 
G. Wayne Clough, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution
recently the ARL (Association of Research Libraries) and the CNI (Coalition for Networked Information) had their fall forum. [more inside]
posted by infinite intimation at 9:32 PM PST - 6 comments



The Book of Faces
posted by vronsky at 4:49 PM PST - 27 comments


"Just when we thought we had done it all, along comes an awesome video game, where millions of people around the world can interact with us, and our music. How cool is that?" says Kevin Cronin, lead singer of REO Speedwagon. (via)
posted by Joe Beese at 1:47 PM PST - 51 comments

Digitalfilms, a blog by video/film editor Oliver Peters, serves primarily as a repository for his product reviews pertaining to nonlinear editing systems - including, but not limited to, Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro... [more inside]
posted by Neilopolis at 1:46 PM PST - 27 comments


In order to promote their upcoming remake of The Wolf Man, Universal has launched Universal Monster Legacy (Flash with auto-playing audio), featuring music, posters, video clips and still galleries from the classic Universal Monster films. (via)
posted by brundlefly at 12:48 PM PST - 20 comments

HM was the subject of many landmark studies in neuroscience. After his hippocampus was removed to control epileptic seizures, he was unable to form long-term memories. University of California - San Diego's Brain Observatory is shaving his brain now, sliver after sliver, and posting the live camera feed on the web. [more inside]
posted by Vhanudux at 12:19 PM PST - 86 comments

Cheng Chui Ping came to the US like many others from the Fujian province in China. Through hard work and determination, she rose in the ranks of New York City's Chinatown business community. But, "Sister Ping" was not one to follow laws if it didn't suit her. Among the snakeheads who engaged in human trafficking, none were better than her. [more inside]
posted by reenum at 11:11 AM PST - 15 comments

Metafilter knows that texting can be problematic (previously: "Sexting", texting while driving). The New York Times is worried about it, too. No fear! James Lipton (and his beard) are out there with this message for teenagers: Before you text, give it a ponder.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:42 AM PST - 46 comments

News is breaking that the New York Senate will pass marriage equality legislation today, despite media reports that the legislative push was "stalled" from as late as last week. (The State Assembly repassed the same bill shortly after midnight last night to facilitate the Senate's vote today.) This has all happened largely under the radar—though Markos "Daily Kos" Moulitsas was apparently in the know, hinting at this "big news" in his Twitter feed on Monday night. Today he writes: "So by the end of the week, gay marriage should be legal in New York. And there are no citizen initiatives in NY to overturn it."
posted by gerryblog at 9:14 AM PST - 819 comments

Izza Kizza - I'm The Izza Kizza (lyrics nsfw) by Yoram Benz of Decon Media (YouTube channel). [more inside]
posted by battlebison at 9:07 AM PST - 18 comments

VECTORTRONIC An abstract long-exposure animation drawn and photographed by a Lego robot set to music by Gil Trythall [via mefi projects]
posted by The Whelk at 7:56 AM PST - 9 comments

Todd Fisher's Kissing Series. Photographs of people kissing. His other photographs are quite good as well. [more inside]
posted by chunking express at 7:37 AM PST - 85 comments

Tim Quirk of Too Much Joy blogs about the royalty statement he received from Warner Bros. detailing their income from online sales, totalling $62.47. Via.
posted by waraw at 6:27 AM PST - 63 comments

"1,000,000 to join, my dad john mellencamp will quit smoking" Of course, country rock crooner John Mellencamp isn't MY dad. Rather, John's youngest son Speck (geez) has issued a challenge to facebook -- if 1M people join this facebook group, John Mellencamp will quit smoking. It's legit, unlike that time when you forwarded an email to all of your friends wanting Bill Gates to give you money.
posted by taumeson at 5:50 AM PST - 114 comments


December 1

Kathryn Bigelow's 2009 feature film The Hurt Locker, tells the story of a U.S. military bomb squad in Iraq. Hurt Locker has been critically praised as "the best American feature made yet about the war in Iraq." But historian Marilyn Young, who's written and spoken widely on the Vietnam War(s) and their similarities to the current conflict in Iraq, argues in a blistering review that the film is "a video game of a movie, or war as a video game." [more inside]
posted by liketitanic at 8:39 PM PST - 97 comments

Neutra Face A SLYT for the font-geeks out there (and I suppose there are some Gaga geeks around as well).
posted by captain cosine at 8:22 PM PST - 43 comments

Pee-wee Herman is back. On Twitter. On stage. And for a limited time, you can watch the full Pee-Wee's Playhouse Christmas Special on his website.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:19 PM PST - 35 comments

Continuity, a tiled platform game. Flash required. [more inside]
posted by alligatorman at 8:01 PM PST - 53 comments

The Pink Lady of Malibu "One Saturday morning, on October 29, 1966, a massive 60-foot-tall painting of a nude pink lady holding flowers suddenly appeared as you headed into the tunnel on Malibu Canyon Road." Yep, that could be a bit distracting.. [more inside]
posted by HuronBob at 7:47 PM PST - 17 comments

It's more of a "how are you paying?" than "what are you doing?" kind of business. Square Inc. is a new startup cofounded by Jack Dorsey of Twitter and Jim McKelvey which will allow businesses and individuals to take credit card payments from customers anywhere. Receipts and confirmations are paperless and get sent to buyers via text message or email. While the media believes it is set to shake up the credit card processing industry, it has also committed to donate a penny on every transaction a merchant takes to a cause of their choice. Square is starting business with $10 million in venture capital funding and is of course tweeting the process; you can see it in action here or try it at Sightglass Coffee in San Francisco.
posted by cgomez at 5:49 PM PST - 65 comments


JAWS - The Manga! part 1 - part 2
posted by Artw at 4:41 PM PST - 19 comments

Advance reports indicate 30,000 are headed to Afghanistan. In addition, President Obama is seeking a commitment of more troops from allies. The apparent broad plan is to make a short and intense deployment of some 40,000 troops against the Taliban, with pullout beginning in 2011. The most intense troop engagements are expected next year.
posted by bearwife at 3:29 PM PST - 242 comments

Animated Advent Calendar [via mefi projects] Want a way to count down the days till the Santa (with or without companion(s)) comes to town, but you don't want to go out and spend money on a disposable bit of proto-landfill with daily entries that don't dance? The Online Advent Calendar is your answer. The '08 version is also available for viewing.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 3:02 PM PST - 9 comments

Bad Menu: providing 100% of your recommended daily allowance for restaurant-themed printed goofs. [more inside]
posted by not_on_display at 2:40 PM PST - 31 comments


No mere transcription can give the true flavor of the original printing of The Eye of Argon. It was mimeographed with stencils cut on an elite manual typewriter. Many letters were so faint as to be barely readable, others were overstruck, and some that were to be removed never got painted out with correction fluid. Usually, only one space separated sentences, while paragraphs were separated by a blank line and were indented ten spaces. Many words were grotesquely hyphenated. And there were illustrations - I cannot do them justice in mere words, but they were a match for the text.
The Eye of Argon (prev.), long hailed as the worst sci-fi story ever written, is at last available online in all its original glory.
posted by Paragon at 12:15 PM PST - 64 comments

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol has been reprinted, abridged, disected, redrawn and re-told on film numerous times, but the original 66 page manuscript has rarely been seen by the public. The manuscript was obtained by The Morgan Library & Museum during the 1890s, where it is currently on display. If you can't make it to New York this time of year, you can take a close look at 4 heavily edited pages and attempt to decipher Dickens' original writing, thanks to The New York Times.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:19 AM PST - 14 comments

Harvard Study: Computers don't save hospitals money. An article from Computerworld cites a clinical research study in the American Journal of Medicine. Four years of research finds that "the immense cost of installing and running hospital IT systems is greater than any expected cost savings." (Also on Wired and Slashdot.) [more inside]
posted by eleyna at 9:40 AM PST - 89 comments

Charles Johnson, post-9/11 reactionary firebrand, debunker of the Killian documents and spearhead of the American "anti-jihadist" movement via his Little Green Footballs blog, officially parts ways with the right. [more inside]
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 9:29 AM PST - 150 comments


Alt-Printscreen, load photo software, paste, crop, navigate browser to image host, browse for file, upload. Yeesh, so much work. Want free and "seriously instant" screen-grabbing or screen-casting? Then you'll be glad to know two pieces of software have recently cropped up to streamline the whole process: (open-sourced) Gyazo for instantly hosted screen-grabs, or (free) Jing, likewise, for screen-grabs and screen-casts. [more inside]
posted by tybeet at 8:45 AM PST - 17 comments

I WILL NOT WASTE CHALK
posted by Pants! at 8:38 AM PST - 40 comments

Who sings the "Since I left you" bit on the Avalanches song? Where does the piano on that Alicia Keys record come from? And how did that Boney M song get stuck in my head? All is revealed at Who Sampled.
posted by creeky at 8:06 AM PST - 40 comments

The Via Francigena (fran-chee-jena) (also here) was the pilgrim road leading from Canterbury to Rome and one of the most important routes of communication in the Middle Ages. The Italian government has this week launched a project to recover the Italian leg of it. [more inside]
posted by aqsakal at 7:30 AM PST - 6 comments

Tuesday, December 1, 2009 is the 21st annual World AIDS Day An estimated 33.4 million people worldwide worldwide are living with HIV/AIDS. Take a moment today to think about those you've lost, those who are still living with the disease, and how you can prevent yourself or others from becoming infected. [more inside]
posted by xingcat at 6:17 AM PST - 23 comments

Eskimo Grasshoppers - French Children's books of the 1930's and 1940's.
Also, Cornebuse et Cie (1945). Also, Animaux domestiques articulés (1941). Also, Histoire de Perlette (1936) Also, gymnastique scolaire (1933).
And finally Baba Yaga (1932)
posted by vacapinta at 5:18 AM PST - 13 comments